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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

It's Trump v. Clinton. Plus: What would happen if we judged Bernie Sanders by "Clinton rules"?

I know that many of you hate her. If you want to express your hate, there are plenty of other websites to service your needs. I will not publish your comments. (Unless you are clever and unpredictable. I love cleverness and hate predictability. I'll even let you insult me directly if you can do so in a truly novel fashion.)

Hillary Clinton, for good or for ill, now has the nomination wrapped up. Massachusetts was the tipping point, the retroactive must-win for Bernie. He didn't succeed. He fought well, and now it is over.

It seems likely that, yesterday, many Dems thought as I think: Sanders is a good man who espouses many honorable positions, but Hillary Clinton is the only one who can win in November. A self-described socialist cannot become president in today's America. That is a law of politics. This law is hard, obdurate, made of titanium. You cannot chip away at it, no matter what chisel you hold.

Perhaps a later generation will have a different attitude toward the S-word; if so, good. But now is now, and reality is reality.

Besides, once you veer away from the area of foreign policy -- and readers know how I feel about the neocon stranglehold on both parties -- Hillary and Sanders have staked out many of the same positions. She too speaks of ending the "too big to fail" attitude toward the banks, she too opposes TPP (although we constantly hear from folks who insist that she supports it), she has said all the right words about police harassment of African Americans, and she favors a substantial increase in the minimum wage.

Naturally, many of you will presume that Hillary Clinton must be lying about all of that. It's 2008 all over again, when Obama the Lightbringer was held to be incapable of fibbing and Hillary was presumed to be incapable of telling the truth.

Well, how did that presumption work out for you? Was he incapable of fibbing?

I have one message for all of the people who told me not to vote for Gore in 2000 because "both parties are the same" -- for all of the people who told me not to vote for Kerry in 2004 because "both parties are the same" -- for all of the people who told me not to support Hillary in 2008 because Obama meant true change -- and for all of the people who insisted that the better part of Democratic valor was to let Romney win in 2012. That message is a simple one: FUCK YOU.

I learned my lesson back in 1980, when I stupidly went third party because so many lefties were bleating that Jimmy Carter was infinitely worse than Reagan. Mine was the mistake of the young. My hair is grey now.

If the best that Hillary Clinton can manage is a reprise of her husband's record of peace and prosperity, good enough. The people have rejected the false history of the Bill Clinton years that the liberal websites have proffered.

African American voters laughed at the idea -- heard in such venues as Salon and The Nation -- that the Clintons were somehow scheming to reduce the black vote in southern states. Why on earth would the Clintons do such a thing? If not for black voters, Bill Clinton would never have been president. If not for black voters, Hillary would not have won in South Carolina. If not for black voters, she would not have done so spectacularly well on Super Tuesday.

The "Clinton wants to suppress the black vote" allegation was always an absurd smear.

Many voters, I suspect, have reached the same conclusion that I reached: If there is a concerted effort to smear a candidate, that person must pose the real threat to the Establishment.

Oh, Bernie -- how could you? On the Rachel Maddow show, I heard Tulsi Gabbard talk about why she stepped down from her important position in order to support Bernie Sanders. This should be a teaching moment, I thought: Tulsi Gabbard can use Maddow's show to denounce the neoconservative mentality which controls both parties. Gabbard can talk about Syria and Yemen in ways that our mainstream media usually refuses to allow. She can tell the truth about neocon sponsorship of the coup in Ukraine.

Moreover, she can use this opportunity to commit Sanders to an anti-neocon position -- something that Sanders himself has been loathe to do.

No such luck. Gabbard gave us none of that.

Instead, Gabbard's sole argument against Hillary came down to -- you guessed it -- the 2003 Iraq vote.

Tulsi Gabbard knows full well that nearly every Democrat voted for the authorization of military force, but only Hillary Clinton is pilloried constantly for going along with what was, at the time, the popular will. If any of those other Dems were running for President now, Tulsi Gabbard would say nothing about that 2003 vote. 

Lefties of the sort described above -- the ones who keep telling us both parties are the same, so let the Republican win -- talk as though Hillary bears sole responsibility for the Iraq war. "She MADE Dubya do it...!"

Here's a lovely bit of irony: The 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill is another measure that was once extremely popular but is now being held against Hillary Clinton. Guess what? Bernie Sanders voted for it. Hillary had no political office then.

What's good for the gander is good for the Sanders. Let's see what happens if we judge Bernie Sanders the way we would judge a Clinton.

Let's see what happens if we apply "Clinton rules" to Bernie Sanders.

(Ahem. Excuse me for a few seconds while I try to work up the appropriate rage. Imagine the following words shouted by a man with beet-red cheeks.)

Bernie is totally responsible for everything you dislike about that 1994 crime bill. You say that you don't like the disproportionate incarceration of blacks? Blame Bernie!

Why did he concoct this scheme to keep the black vote down? Because the ruthlessly ambitious Bernie Sanders foresaw that he would one day run for national office, and he understood that he would need to suppress the black vote in southern primaries. Yes, Sanders really thinks THAT far ahead.

It's just another Sanders conspiracy, one of oh-so-many.

Bernie Sanders must be judged -- forever -- by that one vote. Ignore everything else that this man has said and done. That one vote is ALL.

Notice that he has never apologized for his 1994 vote. Instead, he offered a lame justification for his decision, claiming that the legislation contained an assault weapons ban. Actually, the version on which he voted did not have that provision: It was added later.

In other words, SANDERS IS LYING -- AGAIN.

He lies and lies and LIES! He schemes and schemes and SCHEMES!

The real reason Bernie Sanders voted for that bill is obvious. BERNIE SANDERS HATES BLACK PEOPLE!!! He longs to hunt them for sport! He wants to cook and eat them!

(Hey, this kind of absurdity is fun. Now I understand why so many people get off on demonizing the Clintons. It must be nice to have a target for all of your pent-up anger.)

ADDED NOTE: At least five readers have wasted their time, writing comments that never stood a chance of being published. I have no sympathy for you. Was the opening paragraph unclear?
You're wrong. Hillary would have won in South Carolina even without the black voters.

Also, I don't think Sanders is really better on foreign policy than Clinton. He's extremely pro-Israel, and she at least has a good record on Singer's buddie in the vulture funds.

Clinton's identity politics also rub me the wrong way. Breaking up the big banks wouldn't end sexism or racism, but it might prevent the next financial meltdown.

I doubt there will be many people thinking the two parties are the same if Trump wins.
Bernie's path to victory
Alice, Alice, Alice -- you still think that the American people want to support that RACIST? Why do you hate black people so much?
As I've said here before, I will vote against Trump or any other Republican that gets the nomination. I really don't think any of them have a chance at all, as I suspect many of Trumps supporters have never voted and won't this time because they figure he's got a win locked down. I still don't know if I'll vote for Hillary, but it seems like I won't have much choice (someone mentioned voting Green Party......though I would feel better about that, it would unfortunately be a wasted vote because the vast majority of Americans probably don't even know there is a Green candidate running for office, let alone on their ballot in November). Of course, Bernie and Hillary are practically indistinguishable where foreign policy is concerned (though Bernie might actually be worse).

Do you really think, Joseph, that Hillary is going to do anything about the "too big to fail" banks who are bankrolling her campaign? You don't strike me as being that naive (or naive at all, for that matter). I suspect that she will push for some decent things, much like Obama did. Of course, without a change in congress we can expect the same obstructionism from them that we had for most of Obama's tenure. Yeah, I don't think both parties are the same. Though they both get their palms greased by a lot of the same corporations and filthy rich elites. Still, when forced to choose, especially now, I'll go with the Dems.

I just wish that it was actually possible for a 3rd party candidate to have a chance. Rules for getting on the ballot need to be changed nationwide for that to happen, and 3rd parties should have the same rules as the Dem and Repub candidates (they have much more difficult hurdles to cross than them). For now, I'll just try to be satisfied with keeping fascists like Trump away from the Presidency.
In other words; get off my lawn.
Ben, I'm not letting 2008 happen again. Back then, I allowed comments from people who disagreed with my anti-Obama stance -- until I started getting robo comments at all hours of the day and night, most of them from the same servers in Chicago and California.

That kind of trolling makes censorship inevitable.

So, yeah: Get off my lawn. This is a troll-free patch of grass.
One final point. In 2008, I could not believe that my smallish blog was on the Obama "troll list." But it was. Moreover, I privately heard from another blogger who had fewer readers than I did. And the same thing happened to him!
What are your thoughts on the view that this year's spats between supporters of the two major Dem candidates are even uglier than 2008's? I personally find the proposition ludicrous, but I'm seeing more and more of it.
Now that is an interesting question, bob. I know that in 2001 the trolling was coming from Obama central, because so many of the comments came from the same server in Chicago.

I don't think that Bernie has hired an army of trolls. But the Republicans might. They want to run against Bernie, and they want the Bernie supporters as filled with Hillary-hate as possible.

So I think the GOP may be trying to game the comments sections of various liberal websites.
Let's not forget "flag gate" from 2008. I had three of my blogs all flagged within 5 seconds of each other and the blogs remained out of operation for several days. Puma Blogs Flagged by Google
Gus, I read one line. What did Obama do? BAILED out the banks. LMFAO when Hillary reminded voters Obama was the single biggest recipient of Wall St money in 2008.

"Tulsi Gabbard knows full well that nearly every Democrat voted for the authorization of military force, but only Hillary Clinton is pilloried constantly for going along with what was, at the time, the popular will. If any of those other Dems were running for President now, Tulsi Gabbard would say nothing about that 2003 vote."

So fucking true, Joseph.
So true about the gaming.

I have about three readers on my blog and I got trolled by the Obots, so their reach was broad and deep. No BernieBots have bothered me, though I keep running across them in various places. Imagine the Clinton Rules laid on tRump.
Joseph, I cut Tulsi Gabbard a little slack on the war vote. I suspect the vote means a lot to her, having served and having seen the damage firsthand. I also think she would say something about the vote were any other Democrat running.
And I have a difficult time with the thought that Sanders not winning Massachusetts is his death knell. Hillary took home one more delegate than Bernie with her win. Had the numbers been reversed, with Bernie winning by 1 or 2 percentage points and taking home one more delegate than Hillary, there would be little difference. There are several reasons Hillary has the upper hand in this race, but one delegate difference in Massachusetts doesn't seem to suggest Hillary "has the nomination wrapped up".
I remember FDR and cast my first presidential election vote for John Kennedy. I have NEVER voted republican. I still have hope and will vote for the Democratic nominee. I just prefer Bernie Sanders and his message more than Hillary Clinton.
For the record, I am also a Cleveland Browns and Indians fan. I take my medication faithfully.
powlerzee ...... and now it's Hillary. What's your point?
What would happen to Bernie if he were judged by "Clinton Rules?"

He'd wither on the vine.

I say this as someone who likes Sanders but does not believe he was prepared to run a full-throated presidential campaign. Rather this run gave Sanders a national platform to get his message across. He's weak on policy specifics and frankly not every problem can be addressed by screaming 'Income Inequality.'

I'm an unapologetic Hillary Clinton supporter. We all know she's not perfect, anymore than any of us are perfect. No saints at the party. But if Trump is the GOP's choice, Hillary is the fiercest fighter to take it to him. In addition, I believe she'll make an exceptional president.

The Donald cannot be allowed near the White House, God help us.

From my Canadian perspective the entire nomination process is too complicated and fraught with meaningless two-party nuance. It's a TV soap opera leading up to the DNC Convention. Hillary is the chosen horse that can pull through to the nomination. But I predict it is Joe Biden that is selected at the Convention.
Gus, just reread every word Joseph wrote in this post. It is so dead on, in every instance. But nice try on the misinfo!

Joseph, I kept changing my copied clips, I just didn't know which one to praise the most. SO true about Kerry and every other Dem not being held accountable as she was. So true that Bernie's trolls smell of thuglicans, whereas Obomba's of 2008 where his own deranged supporters. But the MOST darling point was Bernie's voting for that crime bill. I knew that Hillary, tho held accountable by every last one of my precious prog friends, was not responsible, and I can't wait to rub their cultist noses in the fact that Bernie voted for it!!! They are moaning about how black voters don't know what a "nonfriend" they are voting for, and I tell them
well, it's the older people voting so they REMEMBER what Bill Clinton (unlike Zero) did for them.

I read the post very thoroughly the first time, and while his general point is true, I can't agree with every detail.

"Misinfo"? I'm not sure what that means, but it is a fact that on the Dem side, Hillary has taken more Wall Street money than any other candidate (the Republicans, aside from Trump, all have her beat, of course, but I was never going to vote for one of them anyway). Hillary will not be breaking up the big banks, of that you can be sure. Of course, I didn't really expect Sanders would be able to do that either, but he might have actually made the attempt (naturally, no Republican would even consider such a thing).

That said, I can (and have) admit that Hillary is the best chance we have of keeping Republican fascists out of office at this point.
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