Friday, December 16, 2016


Well, this blog began with a perception that Hillary was the leader Obama could never be, and today's press conference seems to have brought us full circle. He's a decent man, but he is constitutionally (pun intended) incapable of rising to this occasion, of fulfilling his oath to defend and protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Barack Obama has faced many obstacles in his presidency, but only one true crisis. A foreign power has attacked our institutions in order to install its preferred leader -- a man whose low character, disqualifying ignorance, mental illness and lack of self-control will damage America perhaps irrevocably, and which threaten the safety of the world. He is an extinction-level event, but he's putty in Putin's hands. Institutions of the government were complicit in this scheme -- notably the FBI, a segment of which constitutes a treasonous fifth column. But rather than fulfill his oath of office, Barack Obama has retreated into his reflexive decorum. He declined to reveal the true nature of the Russian cyber attack during the campaign, though he knew what it was, for fear of being criticized as partisan. He declined to rein in Comey, both in July and in October, allowing the ego-besotted FBI Director to deliver the fatal blows to Hillary's campaign not once, but twice.

And today, rather than take decisive action -- or any action at all -- to save the country when it is under assault, he chose to throw Hillary under the bus, to laud his own electoral success, to whine about how badly he's been treated, to defend Comey and even Trump, and to prevent any steps that might be taken to avert the impending catastrophe.

Abraham Lincoln took America to war to save it. Barack Obama has chosen a different path. History will not judge him kindly, if there's any history left to relate, or historians to relate it. Once again, the best lack all conviction, even in the face of the worst and their passionate intensity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Keystone Klux Klan

The gangrene that couldn't shoot straight.

Update: Maybe I was o'erhasty. This suggests that this Administration will be much more effective -- terrifyingly so -- than it has thus far appeared. It turns out we actually elected Bannon as our president. Those who feared a more effective demagogue than Trump would appear need wait no longer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Silly man

David Brooks calls for a third party -- and the third party he describes already exists. It's called the Democratic Party. Brooks correctly sees that the GOP is dead, but is so tied to faux centrism that he can't just make the switch to the other side. Instead, he has to pretend that the Dems are as radical as the GOP and fantasize a new party.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Clear and present danger

The radicalization of the Republican Party proceeds apace. It is no longer a mainstream governing institution. It has become a treasonous cabal, dedicated to overthrowing American democracy. This is Trump as symptom, rather than disease. The latest evidence: this and this. The patriotic response by the Democratic Party, defending the people and the Constitution, must be forceful. As president, Hillary must use executive authority, er, liberally. Chuck Schumer must get rid of the fillibuster. We are truly in danger from this treason, and it must be crushed.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

If we had any ham...

... we could have ham and eggs. If we had any eggs.

This critique of the right is, of course, right -- but it begs the real question. If the GOP could drain its media swamp, it would be a completely different animal. It is a creature of that swamp.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Every. Single. Word

Rebecca Traister nails it. There are too many money quotes to quote, but the punchline is especially perfect -- that Trump's campaign is to "make America hate again."

Monday, October 3, 2016

The hits... - updated

... just... keep... on... comin'. And comin'. And comin'.

Update: Nate Silver's polls-only odds have gone up, like, a point an hour today (Oct. 3)! On July 30, their chances were separated by two-tenths of a percentage point. Today, Hillary's chances of winning are 71.8% to Trump's 28.2%... with the second debate still to come, and Trump is full meltdown mode. Nice.

Update 2: Keeps on keepin' on. 76.2 on Oct. 5. And the prospects are delicious.

Update 3: Another day, another bump -- and the promise of more. Now 78.4 on Oct. 6.

Update 4: 79.3 on Oct. 7. Can't wait for the debate to harden this trajectory.

Update 5: Cracks 80 -- and this is before the grope video and Sunday's debate are factored in. Is this the start of a landslide?

Update 6: Could well be.

Update 7: On Oct. 11, it's now 84%.

Update 8: Maybe this is wishful thinking... but when you wish upon a star -- including those who can grab pussy anytime they want -- sometimes your dreams come true.

And yes, by the way, who the hell grabs pussy?

Update 9: Thursday morning, Oct. 13 -- 86.8%, with a bullet.

However, this.

Update 10: Also, I'm confused. A poll comes in showing Hillary up by 10 in Oregon... and the 538 average drops by a percent? The mysteries of algorithms...

Update 11: It keeps not being the blowout one wishes, but with every passing day, it also becomes clearer this is in the bag. Oct. 19: 87.4%. And the Senate is now shaping up very nicely. If this holds, she'll have a real majority there.

Update 12: I guess it's good if the election has plateaued at 85-86% closer and closer to Election Day -- but it's dispiriting that the third debate didn't cause the bottom to fall out for Trump. Anyway, don't look gift horses in the mouth, and all that.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Says what needs to be said

This is spot on.

Please be true - updated

Nate rates.

Update: The resurge continues.


This analysis is amazingly sophomoric. Remember these names: Michael Barbaro and Matt Flegenheimer.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The fall of our discontent - updated

I feel obligated to record here how close to despair I feel right now. It is incomprehensible to me that this monster may actually get power. It's beyond belief. I don't know what country I'm living in. God willing, by November this dread will be gone, and Trump will be history.

Update: Today's fear and loathing index.

Update 2: The descent into the heart of darkness continues. The horror, the horror.

Update 3: Beyond words. It's down to 51.8%.

Update 4: Has the worm turned? Please please.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Meme theory manque

I read Sapiens by Yuval Harari, and liked things about it. Now he's got a new book out -- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow -- excerpted in Wired. Putting aside his affection for the "brief history" trope... from the excerpt, it seems to exhibit the same strengths and limitations of the prior volume. Meme theory -- and information theory -- are fuller explanations than is his. I'll be interested to see if he addresses either -- e.g., whether Dawkins or Seife or Gleick.or Dyson show up in his index.

The grey lady gets colorful

Surprised to see this in the Times, even as an op-ed. I don't mean because of the language. I mean because of the clarity and emotional intelligence.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lazy Sunday

I guess the Post had some spare column inches to fill. Tumulty's news-free and pointless recap of the "Clinton scandals" is so without any serious effort that it falls apart before you're a quarter of the way through. She tries to argue that it was Hillary's paranoia and lack of transparency that spawned the vast right-wing conspiracy, when exactly the reverse is obviously the case, as her own feckless recitation of the evidence makes clear.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This is rich, as you'd expect

So RSN's Galindez, after promoting lies and fever dreams through the primaries (e.g., claims that the polls were skewed, that Hillary was "stealing" the election, etc.), now says that all that matters is a shared agenda, not how you achieve it.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz was nearly subhuman... but that critique wasn't about "tactics," no. The superdelegates were an abomination to democracy... but that wasn't "tactics," either. But the "Revolution"'s staff that walked out en masse because Jeff Weaver is a bully and liar... oh, they're taking their eyes off the prize.

And that shared agenda? The fact that Hillary and Bernie voted together 93 percent of the time? The fact that the Democratic Party platform represents major concessions to the "revolutionaries"? Well, er, let's move along, citizens. Nothing to see here.

No matter what the topic...

... the real one is always "Clinton scandals." What nonsense.

Monday, August 29, 2016

When you read something like this...

... you wonder how the polls have him as close as they do.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I love Nate Silver, but...

... this is silly. Just because someone reported that Hillary's campaign is planning to run out the clock doesn't mean they are doing so. Was the Reno speech running out the clock? Is the aggressive advertising running out the clock? Is the nationwide ground game running out the clock?

Indeed, is "declining to respond to recurring controversies even at the risk of seeming unresponsive" running out the clock? I don't think so. I think it's choosing to play offense rather than defense, and I think it's smart.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Alternate reality

Want to see what faux intellectualism looks like? Viciousness dressed up as smirky satire? Nativist xenophobia justified as tribal loyalty? Racism and misogyny treated as insignificant sideshows? Want to see what the modern id looks like?

Purity - updated

Glenn Greenwald has posted a lengthy and fairly thoughtful critique of the Clinton Foundation. But it contains a couple of important lacunae.

First, how did any U.S. policy during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State change as a result of contributions to the Foundation? Let's look at the five Mideastern regimes he cites (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Emirates and Brunei). Is it even slightly reasonable to argue that the U.S. would not otherwise have maintained its support for these regimes? One can, of course, argue that we shouldn't support them at all, because of their misogyny, anti-gay and exploitative policies -- but that's a different argument. If we were committed to supporting them before the Foundation ever received a check from them, what difference did that check make? And if the check made no difference -- which is really the essence of the quid pro quo argument -- then all that remains is the argument that these are evil regimes and the U.S. should never have supported them.

Did prior Administrations and prior Secretaries of State support these regimes? Has the Obama Administration under Secretary Kerry continued to support them? If so, where's Hillary's "corruption"? Is it not the case, rather, that within the real world of international relations -- where the U.S. is going to provide support to some repressive regimes when we deem it in our national interest -- the Clinton Foundation was simply going about its business of extracting money from people who have it and giving it -- in the form of, say, AIDS treatment -- to people who don't have it?

Take this question one level deeper. Did the State Department under Hillary Clinton increase or decrease its advocacy for women and girls around the world -- including in these five countries? Did it increase or decrease its advocacy for LGBT people around the world and in these countries? What about other important progressive agendas? I don't know the answers to those questions, and if there's evidence that she cut support for such goals in those countries -- or anywhere else -- and if that can be persuasively tied to their donations, I will stand corrected. My general impression is that the reverse is the case -- but I admit my ignorance.

But here's the main point: The argument about global policy is one thing. But unless one can show that Bill and Hillary personally profited from these states' donations -- either economically or politically -- I don't see how there's any cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation was or is corrupt.

What I will accept is the argument that Bill and Hillary Clinton were getting those donations because people hoped not only for access but for favorable treatment. They have certainly played the game -- the only game in town -- in that way. And when it comes to things like the Goldman Sachs speaking fees, they have clearly benefited directly. I suppose one could also say that they've received reputation benefit from the Foundation -- though right now, it would be more than ironic to argue that.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are not purists. They are not outside the system. They are of the system. We can all agree on that. Having said that, who else would any reasonable person expect to attain power within the system? And what have they done with that power? Is their record, overall, one of progressive policy and helping people? Do we believe that Hillary Clinton will, when President, pursue, say, the policy objectives in this year's Democratic Party platform? Is there anyone else with a real-world chance of becoming President who is more likely to enact a more progressive agenda?

In other words, a defense of the Clinton Foundation isn't just some overly legalistic demand for unobtainable "proof" of corruption, based on a Republicanly standard of such proof. Greenwald's argument, for all his legal training, pretty much comes down to guilty until proven innocent. To defend the Clinton Foundation isn't to defend the current geopolitical situation, nor to defend all the policies of a center-left establishment government. What it is to defend is the effort to operate, within that reality, in such a way as to take a lot of money from rich people and put it to use for good -- even for good that those rich people would not and/or do not otherwise pursue. If selling access to Bill and Hillary Clinton is the price paid for that, and if that access doesn't materially block a progressive governing agenda that moves us forward, saves lives and helps empower more people... that's fine by me.

Update: This gets it about right. The question is: Would we rather all that money had not gone to help people around the world?

Update 2: Well, perhaps I stand corrected. I don't know enough about the facts to make a judgment on the truth of this critique of the Foundation, but it does make a big point I hadn't considered.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Amazing Grace

I'm not even bothered by the fact that complaining about the ungraciousness of Donald Trump's opponent -- even if that opponent were Andrew Dice Clay -- is ipso facto absurd. I'll grant that Brooks is looking beyond the race, and to her presidency.

Even then, this is a joke. Hillary Clinton has been treated more, er, ungraciously than any public figure in our -- Brooks's and my -- lifetime. She is some kind of walking emblem of grace under pressure -- not just the pressure of world-shaking events, but the pressure of vicious misogyny and personal betrayal and humiliation. The most astonishing thing about her, among her many remarkable qualities, is her emotional and moral core. David Brooks is polite. Hillary Clinton is grace and strength personified.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Say what?

So the Times says the Dems running for Senate this year are weak? They all but predict that they won't take it back? How about checking their own data gurus' prediction that they will -- or Larry Sabato's, for that matter.

There's obviously a legit story about state legislatures and governorships -- and it's pretty clear that the DNC in the Obama era has been asleep at that wheel. That's what many of us Hillarybots predicted back in '08.

But Russ Feingold is weak? Tammy Duckworth? Maggie Hassan? Evan Bayh? Ted Strickland is weak because he's old? Katie McGinty is weak because she's young?

Friday, August 19, 2016

As I said... - updated

This was the obvious logic of Trump's "candidacy" from the get-go. I called it awhile ago, and offered a deeper explanation than the obvious commercial one.

I do think he came to believe his own bullshit and seriously entertained the possibility of winning -- but if that fantasy is now crashing to earth, it makes sense that he would return to the original plan.

Update: No doubt many others will endorse this meme, as Neil Gabler did today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Clown car

Of course, Trump himself is the Clown in Chief. But it's worth noting, in passing, one of our own. Michael Moore now says Trump never wanted to win -- when just a couple of weeks ago he was assuring us Trump was a lock to win. The difference? The polls have changed.

Some analyst. Some thinker.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

How she should proceed when she's president

Currently, for very good political reasons, Hillary is talking about her ability to work across the aisle. She wants to attract as many Republican and Independent votes as possible. And she does, in fact, have real skills and a record in doing so.

However, this piece is probably correct about the prospects for that. So once she's in, she should govern by executive authority in some key ways -- while continuing to pay lip service to bipartisanship.

The Fed should float a $1 trillion -- maybe a $2 trillion bond, which would provide the money to fund the infrastructure bank Hillary has promised, and more. It should pay for the doubling of America's corps of teachers, so that no classroom has more than 15 students. It should fund a new New Deal of programs to employ people and rebuild America for the 21st century. All of it done within the Administration, none requiring Congressional approval. And when the resulting economic growth and emotional renewal makes her re-election sure, then the 2018 midterms can look very different from the norm.

Yes, there will be wails about an imperial presidency -- as there were regarding FDR. Hillary should, as he did, welcome their hatred.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fire in a crowded theater

Wow. Just wow. Donald Trump has suggested that gun owners shoot Hillary Clinton and/or the judges she will appoint. He's inciting assassination.

The Secret Service says they are "aware" of his remarks. Okay, and?

Good to see this called out

US Uncut was a shameful sink of anti-Hillary lies and conspiracy theories. Glad it got called out here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Unuseful idiots

WTF? The Times thinks Hillary should seize this moment by... confessing she was "extremely careless"?? Apart from the fact that she wasn't -- that Comey has since admitted that none of the emails was marked confidential -- this is a non-issue that has passed. Not only are her poll numbers vs. Trump rising, but her favorables on issue after issue are, too.

The NY Times editorial board is, as the man said, a idiot.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Still holding my breath - updated

But this is certainly heartening.

Update: Breathing a bit easier now. She jumped 10 points in 538's polls-only forecast in one day -- and now leads the asshole by more than 20 points. Obviously, it's too early to count chickens, but this is excellent news.

Update 2: The hits just keep on coming. Now the likelihood is up to 66% for 538, and 74% for the Times.

Update 3: As of noon on Aug. 4, 78% and 77%, respectively.

Update 4: Outlier? Or harbinger?

Update 5: I guess this post has become a running tally of the state of the race. Hence, this today.

Update 6: The state of the race on Aug. 7.

Update 7: She keeps rising -- 86.6% likelihood on Aug. 8.

Update 8: Later on the same day, 87.5%

Update 9: It's moved up and down a couple of points over the past few days, seemingly dependent on how the model rates Arizona and Georgia. This morning, Aug. 12, it's 87.3.

btw, that's the polls-only forecast. The polls-plus forecast is 77.1, and the now-cast is 88.9.

Update 10: Sweet dreams.

Update 11: The state of play as of Aug. 16. Steady as she goes.

Update 12: Aug. 18. She seems to have plateaued, for now. In a good place.

Update 13: Aug. 22. The state of play.

Update 14: Aug. 25. Moving in the wrong direction, but only marginally so.

Update 15: Aug. 26. Fishing for more appealing predictions.

Update 16: Aug. 31. This post is buried by now, but I might as well keep it going -- this time with analysis, not just numbers.

Update 17: Worrisome.

Update 18: There's this, but then there's this and this. So... very worried -- or not?

Update 19: Sept. 8. Is the worm unturning?

Update 20: Sept. 14. Serious panic.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Into the depths

The Dowd pretzel of hatred is finding new ways to twist itself even tighter around its life's work -- the obsessive stalking of Hillary Clinton. New ways to find a new low. This piece is so deranged and vicious and wrong, one doesn't know where to begin. She's sticking pins into her voodoo doll while Trump bangs on the door. It's quite a spectacle.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

In a rational universe... - updated

... this would end a candidacy. What do you have to say now, Dr. Pangloss?

Update: This, too. Devastating.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thank goodness - updated

Finally, somebody does a thoughtful, objective portrait of Hillary. Thank you, Ezra Klein.

Update: It pairs well with this salutary takedown of Bernie and the Berners. Liberalism -- vs. radicalism -- is not a dirty word. The energy of critique and the concomitant impulse to rip up the unweeded garden by the roots may be necessary for progress, but it is not sufficient for it.

Meanwhile, Tom Friedman gets it right, for a change. The G.O.P. is D.O.A.

Friday, July 8, 2016


The person who wrote this utterly incoherent drivel was the editor of the Times Book Review?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Still putzing along - updated

Is there no bottom to Sanders's egomania? Is he utterly deaf to his own delusional arrogance? He loses... badly... and then walks into the Democratic House caucus and lectures them about how elections don't matter? Don't matter when the alternative is Donald Trump? Don't matter in order to give Hillary a Congress she can work with?

Yes, they booed him, as they should have. They were being polite. The only other response would have been to laugh in his face.

Update: Well, finally. Let's hope he does it with useful energy.

Update 2: Okay, he did the right thing. Much is forgiven.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Caesar's wife - updated

By the standards implied in Comey's "extremely careless" characterization, few if any actual human beings -- and certainly not anyone in a position as fast-paced and complex as Secretary of State -- would pass muster. Twenty-two problemmatic emails out of more than 60,000? That comes to something like 99.9% pure. And some of those -- we don't know how many yet -- touched on things that everybody already knew about (like the drone program). Even in Caesar's wife terms, this is a nothingburger.

Bottom line: The uttering of the words "extremely careless" does some political damage, but given her opponent, not much. And there was no crime. Nothing close.

Update: Predictable bile from a long-time CDSer.

Update 2: So the "very small number" of emails actually marked classified was two, and those were erroneously marked. The others -- the famous 110 out of 30,000 -- contained things that the FBI believes "any reasonable person" should have known were classified, but were not marked as such. And how would one know in advance that that was the case -- without opening the email? And is it really the case that "any reasonable person" would regard them as top secret? We can't know until/unless we know what they were, and perhaps we never will.

Meanwhile, the key point is one that has been completely glossed over. Hillary was sharing information with people who were cleared to receive it, and vice-versa.

Update 3: Precisely. Can't wait to hear his testimony today, not in response to the GOP hacks, but to the Dems. One hopes some will grill him on "extremely careless," his egomanical abuse of power.

Update 4: Well, the Dems didn't hold Comey's feet to the fire. Too bad. But the story continues to move in the right direction.

Update 5: The always sensible Kevin Drum weighs in, sensibly.

Update 6: And, of course, the obsessive Dowd creature weighs in, obsessively. I knew Comey's use of "careless" would lead to her citing Tom and Daisy. Only she's no Nick. More like Underground Man.

Update 7: Media Matters and Norm Ornstein on the Dowd creature.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Strange days

The Trump theater of anarchy isn't anything like a political campaign, but it does one thing very effectively -- it disrupts normal discourse, and in the process scrambles the brains of conventional theatergoers. While Hillary Clinton is being remarkably sure-footed in her response to it -- hitting him hard again and again, demonstrating her intelligence, knowledge and vision, marshaling the armies of the sane to fight on every front, and maintaining extraordinary composure and clarity amidst the chaos and misogyny -- many in the media are fumbling around in various forms of panic and confusion.

Case in point, this new editorial from the Times. First, consider the oddness of America's premier journalists devoting their lead space not to frame issues but to offer tactical advice to one of the contestants. And what advice! A mix of the trivial and the obtuse. Hillary isn't exciting enough. She needs to be more "passionate." She is practicing "old-style politics." Please. 

Yes, it's true -- Trump will not go down to the kind of total defeat that he so richly deserves. Even a landslide will net him 15 states or more, and somewhere around 40-50 million votes. The map will get redrawn quite a bit, but not completely. And yes, he is speaking to a real issue. Anti-globalization is a real issue, and this election will not settle it, as David Brooks notes in a rare cogent analysis

But that doesn't mean Hillary should abandon her strengths and start trying to compete on Trump's terms. All the fundamentals remain what they are. The Democrats start every presidential campaign on second base, and Trump has already balked them to third. And the correct response to anarchy is not to argue against it, but to refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy. The correct response to a rejection of governance is to govern.

That, I predict, is what Hillary's campaign will increasingly be. Her presidency has already begun. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lots of Republicans...

... will vote for Hillary, not just sit it out. While Dems may feel very uncomfortable as bedfellows with neocons like Kagan, or with centrists like Scowcroft and Salter, we should recognize this as an opportunity to move them to the left on social issues. The Republican Party is dissolving, and we're entering a new political era. It has plenty of dangers -- we don't know what the end of the two-party system will look like. But as that works its way through future history, we should welcome the shift of the Overton Window.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

He's bored

Donald Trump is bored. It's his primary (pun intended) characteristic. It's why he has long since stopped actually putting up buildings -- too much process, too many considerations, too much actually to operate -- and instead turned his business model into licensing his name to others, who do the actual work. It's also why he hasn't set up an actual campaign operation. How boring is that?

Donald Trump isn't just a little bit bored, or periodically bored. He's deeply bored. He's always bored. He's essentially retired from the real estate business, and his boredom has increased exponentially -- as it does for many retirees -- as he runs away from actual work or any demands from the actual world... from reality itself, in its endless, inescapable boredom. Fantasy is much more entertaining. He's even bored with the project of building those temples to boredom, golf courses.

This is, however, a perfect emotional fuel for a reality TV celebrity/host/impressario. It gives him a perfect ear for what will bring in continued ratings. He himself is a programming weathervane for the boredom of the depressed white no-longer-working class, people who despair of having a trajectory in their lives and desperately crave a stimulus to distract them from the depressing subject of trajectory entirely... the people who are killing themselves in record numbers. Trump is reality TV -- an endless stream of superficial-stimulus drugs.

And, by the way, this is also why the television news media has eaten him like cotton candy throughout the primaries. Boredom is their principal fuel, too. And Trump is a walking, breathing news feed. But it's also why they have now turned on him and will work to destroy his legitimacy. Because he's a threat to them -- as any drug on which one overdoses is. He exposes their own ADHD. They depend on the premise that reality is real, and substantive and mostly boring... and that their job is to go meta on that. If everything is stimulus, then the whole thing becomes meta and floats off into the ether. They need a tether. They didn't understand at first that Trump wasn't of the world, but of them, so he perplexed and fascinated and played them for a year. That's over now.

Anyway, bottom line -- Trump isn't running to become president. He's running to run. And when he suffers a crushing defeat -- well, that won't be boring, will it? In fact, there's nothing to stop him from continuing his "campaign" against boredom indefinitely, in public view, on satellite TV and radio. Hillary will actually have to be president -- and bless her heart, she actually craves that. She gets off on real thinking, real work, on setting up and running operations. Whether she governs in prose or poetry, she'll be putting her whole and true self into it. Meanwhile, The Donald will help her by making sure there isn't a five-minute stretch in which either her name or his is not trending.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hillary's convention speech

Brexit notwithstanding, I'm feeling pretty confident that Hillary's got the election in the bag. And I've been thinking about her acceptance speech in that context.

Trump is self-destructing every day. By late July he’ll be a puddle on the floor. Hillary was right to attack him vigorously at first – and her San Diego evisceration of him was both the beginning and the end of the campaign. But the convention speech represents an opportunity to pivot from campaigning to governing. Only, in this case, the person who is stereotyped as entirely prosaic will govern in poetry. 

She will use the hook of FDR’s famous 1936 acceptance speech – “Rendezvous with Destiny” – also in Philadelphia, 60 years ago. The thrust of the speech will be to lay out her vision of the future – a country and a planet of complex systems that invite and require a new kind of smart, activist government based not on fantasies of control but on engagement with a newly activist citizenry. She will co-opt Bernie’s activist army but give it something actually to do – a Peace Corps-esque generation of service that will be mobilized and paid for through a New New Deal. 

This will be a spectrum of programs funded by the Infrastructure Bank and other similar mechanisms, which will draw on activist citizen power to tackle rebuilding our physical infrastructure (as in the WPA), cleaning up and greening up the environment (cf. CCC), reinventing education (doubling the nation’s teaching corps), tackling the "last mile" of community health, etc. This will directly and materially impact employment, and it will also build a 21st century foundation for America’s competitiveness in the global economy. And there will be a regulatory component – the new sheriff we needed in 08, extending Dodd Frank.

This will reveal a dimension of Hillary few have seen – her intellectual and emotional ambition, her profound capacity to dream and to inspire. Everyone thinks she’s a boring, dogged wonk. But with this speech, she will, for the first time, unveil the historic world-changing leader she has always been inside. It will be grounded in a feminist view of the world – a collaborative, tolerant, low-ego, hard-working approach to problem-solving, the “it takes a village” approach. If she had had a real opponent in the election, she probably would have needed to run as Hillary the Fighter. But because it’s Trump, she can take her toughness for granted, and dare to go deeper. She already owns the fact that she’s a safe choice – vs. putting Claribel the Fascist anywhere near the button. Now she can surprise the world by dreaming big.

She will emerge here as the leader of a true movement – not the ephemeral cult of personality that was Bernie’s “movement.” Indeed, this speech will be the kickoff not of a campaign, but of a new idea of America, a woman’s America, an America that nurtures and listens to and relies upon its people. That’s why it’s a new New Deal. FDR was a classic alpha male – he did stuff for us. Hillary will be a Mrs. Ramsay – she will enlist us to do stuff for each other.

The result of the speech will be that people will immediately be impatient for this new era to begin.

The vision will also be seriously wonky – though artfully so. For those inclined to think in this way, it will offer a compelling worldview – a complex systems understanding of the world. It will be entirely compatible with her smart power past – her m.o. of studying systems and making forceful but thoughtful interventions. Her bias for action is real, but it isn’t a bias for control. Also, it is very different from Trump’s and Bernie’s isolationism.

The philosophy that will emerge is of government-as-catalyst, rather than either government-as-bystander or government-as-dictator. Maybe she returns at the end to FDR’s speech, which explicitly and at length described a philosophy of government, derived both from America’s origins and from the trauma of the Depression: 
“The defeats and victories of these years have given to us as a people a new understanding of our government and of ourselves…. We seek not merely to make government a mechanical implement, but to give it the vibrant personal character that is the very embodiment of human charity.”


This seems right to me -- Brexit, as disturbing as it is, is not a preview of the election here. What it certainly is, however, is a loud warning bell for Hillary's presidency.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Whither CNN?

Classing up the joint, eh? From mud-slinging to mud-wrestling in the newsroom.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whither the GOP?

As is their wont, 538 has a valuable analysis of the outlook for the House. Bottom line: It won't flip to the Dems this cycle, but it will shift significantly, enough to make a material difference in legislative outcomes. And the chances for the flip in 2018 and 2020 look quite strong.

Stepping back from this election, what's interesting about this picture is the questions it raises about where the GOP is headed. Its current position as a local, rather than national, Congressional rather than presidential, party is almost entirely a function of latency in the system -- of the territory it secured over the years through Karl Rove's master plan. The longer-term secular shifts -- in demographics, in social mores, in economics -- all favor the Dems. And despite the very deliberate and aggressive work over decades to institutionalize the Reagan era, those institutions have almost entirely dissolved before our eyes. There is no longer any ideological glue, nor even any professional discipline to keep the ship in one piece, much less afloat. 

Will it become a nativist rightwing party, a la Le Pen? Will it become a loosely tied network of red state governments -- and can such an inherently fragmented existence last? Will a libertarian party -- either the actually existing one, or a newly reformed GOP -- emerge in its place?

In other words, how long can latencies survive in a complex, emergent system when they are not grounded in actual ideas or broadly compelling goals? The GOP today looks like a fragile shell of its former self, almost incapable of action or coordination or even enlightened self-interest. Krugman's analogy to the Soviet Union in 1989 is persuasive.

Of course, that also begs the question: Whither the Democratic Party? What does it become without a serious antagonist? I expect Hillary's first term to be a spectacular success -- but what then? It's non-trivial for the winner, as well as for the loser, to evolve in a constructive way after total victory.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dowd cloud

This piece tells you everything you need to know about Maureen Dowd. Her celebrity obsession, her self-deluding faux irony, her intellectual vacuity. Trump gave her access a few months ago, and pulled the wool over her eyes. She's just now waking up to what every intelligent person has known for decades -- that he is a narcissistic phony, America's asshole laureate. No, his ideas do not make sense. No, trade deals have not left swaths of America devastated. No, our allies do not importantly take advantage of us. Trump isn't just -- mysteriously to Dowd -- spoiling his real chance and soiling his real smarts. He never had either smarts or a chance.

When Dowd writes about Hillary, she reveals how desperately she is in need of psychotherapy. When she writes about Trump, she reveals how painfully gullible she is. In either case, she remains a public embarrassment in America's paper of record.

Friday, June 17, 2016

From yuge to yawn - updated

The pervasive narrative -- and we live in a media environment dominated by narrative... just ask Somerby -- is that Trump is on the way down. One small data point in that: After Orlando, Trump said he was going to "meet with" the NRA to persuade them to accept no-fly/no-buy. One would think that departure from GOP orthodoxy would have attracted media attention. Instead, the filibuster by Chris Murphy dominated the cycle. In fact, the Senate GOP effectively gave Murphy, hence the Dems, ownership of victory on this.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, is jumping off this ship. Trump has gone straight from gruesome object of fascination to yesterday's boring news, without a stop at schaudenfreudian contemplation.

Update: Of course Trump is a horror -- but Egan's Times op-ed is silly in its melodramatic overreach. History will not remember this week. Trump may make it into a history book as a bizarro-world footnote, but it's the winners who write the history, and Trump is already what he most despises -- a loser. If he does make it into a history book, it will be because that history book is recounting the Whigging-out of the GOP, not because Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are cowards.

Fact-free "progressives"

This piece was just posted to Facebook by an avid Bernie supporter with the comment, "Not buying it." And, of course, the Nudge of the North is continuing to stick his fingers in his ears in the face of the facts that his "revolution" was a failure.

"Revolution." "Progressive." We're gonna need to stock up on quotation marks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Running in place

I've been saying that Donald Trump isn't really running for president but for King of All Media. Tonight's epiphany: He isn't running for anything -- or, at least, he isn't actually moving. He's just vamping on a treadmill, playing each day by ear, saying whatever comes to mind. He has no direction, no plan, no strategy.

He certainly isn't running against Hillary. Yes, he keeps saying "crooked Hillary," but that's not a game plan. He had five weeks between the time he locked up the nomination and the time she did, and yet he didn't lay any serious pipe, line up any helpful surrogates, run any effective ads. Even today, in the wake of Orlando, when one might have thought he'd have some way of tying Hillary to a failure of security, he directed almost all his brickbats at Obama. Put aside the fact that Obama's positives are high and Trump's are low. Put aside the creepiness and ineffectiveness of hinting darkly that Obama is secretly trying to help the terrorists (reminding everyone of his flunko birther days). Put aside the fact that nobody thinks Obama is a "fool," and saying that reminds everyone that Trump is one. Put all that aside, but the main point is that Obama isn't the target. He's not the candidate. Say what one will about the moral repugnance of Trump's attempt to capitalize on this horror -- but he isn't even employing good tactics.

When he had no response to her San Diego speech, where she knocked him around the ring, the takeaway seemed to be that she is a formidable contender who will be too much for him. But it's looking more and more as though he would have no strategy if he were running against a potted plant.

The fact is, he's got nothing. His candidacy is going to collapse at astonishing speed, and with it the Senate. Next stop: the House.

Has anybody ever made a dumber prediction than Scott Adams?

Monday, June 13, 2016


This election is presenting not just a clash of ideology, but of maturity. Hillary is the only grown-up in the room. Trump is obviously an infant, but Bernie isn't a whole lot farther along the developmental curve. He's a spoiled brat -- a superannuated terrible two -- who pouts and has to be coddled into accepting reality. His "revolution" isn't based on any real idea of a future society or a political process to get there. He hasn't envisioned new social or economic relations. This "revolution" is nothing more than a simplistic kvetch about not getting everything he wants.

In fact, as many have noted, the real story isn't these comically inadequate candidates, but their followers. How, one wonders, can millions of people actually decide they like Donald Trump? Similarly, how can alleged progressives choose to turn their future over to someone so patently incapable of actually doing anything?

The hunger for apocalypse

We so dearly wish to be present, not at the creation, but at the end of days. Suicidal jihadism is just that -- the wish for death, and the denial of its loneliness. Above all else, we must not die alone. Emperors can command thousands of terracotta companions, but we mere mortals can at least bring along a planeful or classroomful or clubful of our planetmates.

As humanistic, scientific modernism marches forward, the Romantic desire for absolute presence -- and its necessary anti-matter, absolute absence -- intensifies. This manifests itself in everything from Paris, San Bernardino and now Orlando to the cosmi-comic presence of The Donald.

A reverie sparked by the thought that "The Second Coming" and I, Claudius -- both visions of a 2,000-year cycle of empire and apocalypse -- came out within 15 years of each other, on the eve of Western civ's 19th and arguably final nervous breakdown.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This is correct...

... as far as it goes. It goes as far as a kind of Peter Jackson Gollum -- a half-baked notion of psychological complexity.

What it doesn't explain is why "Don Trump" should exist at all. If you're going to posit this level of rational self-interest, then you should take it back one step: Why even run for president in the first place? Why put yourself in a position where The Donald needs to create The Don?

My take: Trump never intended to become president, but he did want to transform himself into a sui generis reality star. That's why he wanted to win more than the public's eyeballs. He wanted to win their votes. That alone puts him in a category-redefining place among reality TV celebrities. Snooki can't compete with that. Rush and Sean and Kim and even Howard can't compete with that. He'll wind up the new King of All Media, with a reality TV-cum-radio-cum-web-cum streaming empire of which he is the impresario, host and star. People will tune in every day just to see what outrageous thing he'll say next. He'll give a show to every tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist in America. He'll claim that he speaks for the real America -- and would have been president but for the politically correct Establishment. He'll continue to generate controversy after controversy -- including, I expect, some legal ones. I think this reality TV empire will have a very active version of Court TV (or, I guess, Judge Judy-cum-Jerry Springer). He'll file lawsuit after lawsuit -- welcoming the malicious prosecution counterclaims. Maybe he'll even have a Malicious Prosecution Watch show. And he'll sit amidst it all with undisguised glee.

Donald Trump has been transitioning for two decades from the scion of a real estate empire, where he hasn't done very well, and where his natural talents don't seem to lie (even if lying does remain a natural talent). He's basically pursued two paths over that period: 1) the wildly litigious general counsel of a real estate equivalent of a patent troll, and 2) celebrity clown. The latter has looked increasingly more promising over the years -- but maybe he doesn't even have to choose.

In that context, one doesn't need to ask why The Donald created The Don. It's the obvious business model.

Friday, June 10, 2016

As do the whitewashers of past perfidy - updated

It's so heartwarming to hear Frank Rich and Chris Matthews extol Hillary's historic accomplishment. The same people who excoriated her in the vilest terms. They're deeply guilty of exactly the things they're saying she weathered. How quickly we forget...

Update: At least one of them retains her integrity. She's true to her madness. The enduring mystery is how a newspaper with editors decides it should continue to provide this lunatic obsessive with a megaphone long after she's stopped being even clever.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The testimonials start coming in - updated

This from Kevin Drum.

This from Ezra Klein.

More to come.

Update: Another.

Update 2: Another good one.

Putz - updated

We're separating the woman from the boys. From the Times this morning on Bernie's post-defeat speech:
"At almost every turn, he was grudging toward Mrs. Clinton, passing up a chance to issue the kind of lengthy salute that many, in and out of the Democratic Party, had expected and craved.
"'It’s a blown opportunity to build bridges that are going to be extremely important in the fall,' said David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents, both Democratic and Republican. He worried that Mr. Sanders was becoming 'a grumpy old man.'"
This guy is so unready for prime time.

Update: This portrait of the man is devastating -- and very depressing. He's effectively a Trump ally.

Update 2: More grist on the hypocrite of Vermont. And this was before he got creamed last night.

One tough cookie

Peter Beinart's accurate encomium to Hillary's resilience reminds us of those bad old days of 2008 -- and, of course, he only scratches the surface of the betrayals. This person will utterly destroy a paper tiger like Trump. He won't know what hit him.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016


What the DNC and the superdelegates tooketh away (in 2008), the AP, NBC and the people giveth (in 2016).

But, of course, this was supposed to happen tomorrow night. Where was the spoiler alert?

There's something in the structure of the universe that conspires to deny Hillary Clinton a proper joyous climax. Instead of a primal, I am woman hear me roar "Whoopee!!!!", it has to be, "According to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment, but we still have work to do, don’t we?"

Maybe God actually is male. A case of premature computation.

Fight Club

It's getting harder and harder not to conclude that Trump is deliberately trying to lose, on an epic scale. Even if one grants him a narcissism beyond prior measure, even if you think he's mad as a hatter, there's no question the guy knows branding, and there is no brand more toxic or indelible in America circa 2016 than "racist." Thanks to his utterly gratuitous bashing and threatening of Judge Curiel on explicitly racial grounds -- gratuitous because the trial isn't even happening until after the election -- and his insistence on doubling and tripling down on it whenever given half a chance ("yeah, no Muslim judges, either") -- he has rendered himself a pariah to everybody but actual racists. In contemporary normative society, you cannot remain the owner of a professional sports team, you cannot remain a network performer, you cannot remain the CEO of a public company if you are clearly racist.

What you can be is the host, impressario and mogul of a subscription-based reality TV/radio empire -- call it the WTF (as in World Talk Federation... and also the obvious).

I still think Hillary's speech last week was a Mike Tyson round one knockdown -- but it wasn't a knockout. So Trump is answering the bell by one-upping her. "You think you can kick my ass, bitch? Wait'll you see how I kick my ass. You got nothin'!"

Remember, there was no "Tyler Durden." There was only Edward Norton pummelling himself.

The Senate

Fivethirtyeight's Harry Enten admits it's preliminary, but his handicapping of the Senate races is interesting -- and encouraging. If Hillary cleans Trump's clock, it looks like she'll have at least the Senate (and therefore the courts) in the bag.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pow - updated

This. In case anyone was getting nervous.

Also worth reading.

Update: I know it's premature to say, but Hillary Clinton's presidency began yesterday (kinehora pooh pooh). She is already acting as our Commander in Chief, protecting us against enemies foreign and -- in this case -- domestic. America is safer than it was 24 hours ago.

And it's very interesting to me that her first act as president was not an exercise in the wonkery that is her natural metier, but an aggressively political J'Accuse. The first woman President of the United States is going to take on the bad guys with brilliance and vigor. She is going to be a bracing and inspiring breath of fresh air -- as far from "the status quo" as it's possible to be.

Update 2: Think about how the world is different today because of this speech:

1) The terms of the election and the actors in it have been defined -- both Trump and Hillary. We now know what this contest will be about. We know who the contestants are. And we know which team will be playing offense. Hillary is the force of nature here, and Trump is a cardboard figure who will struggle to remain upright. We knew that just watching her (because we all agree with her definition of him -- even those who believe they support him), but if more proof were needed, Trump provided it in his pathetic (sic) response.

I had been thinking that Hillary's best plan for this campaign would be rope-a-dope -- namely, to stand off to the side and let Trump punch himself silly. There has never been a major party candidate in my lifetime who is as likely as Trump to strut into the middle of the ring and start punching himself in the head. I thought he would knock himself out.

But yesterday was not rope-a-dope, not Ali, not even float like a butterfly, sting like a bee (i.e., Obama). It was Mike Tyson in the first round, who famously said, "Everybody has a plan until they get hit." The Donald will, of course, continue to punch himself in the face and the balls (plenty of low blows). He'll be a regular Jim Carrey from Liar, Liar. But Hillary will not stand to the side and gesture to the audience while he does that. She will finish him off. She already has.

2) Bernie has been completely marginalized. This was a speech he could not give. He neither knows enough about foreign affairs or the world, nor is he capable of being the world's leader in anything like the way that Hillary described here. One can substitute his name for Trump's in the speech's most vivid and chilling passage, and the answers would be the same:
"Now imagine [Bernie Sanders] sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him [Bernie] deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account [his rallies and stump speech] at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal. 
"Do we want him making those calls – someone thin-skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?"
Yesterday Hillary enacted -- not just described, but embodied -- a kind of leader Bernie is incapable of being. She didn't mention his name, nor did she say anything about the contrast between the two of them-- because she didn't need to. It's like watching Olivier play Lear. He doesn't have to say, "Jerry Lewis can't do this." It's self-evident.

3) The questions about Hillary herself have been blown away. She doesn't have to answer her critics, because she has seized the agenda from them. Sure, they'll continue to natter about emails and Vince Foster and Benghazi -- but the majority of voters won't pay any attention to them. Trump can say "crooked Hillary" all he likes. It would be as if -- again with the Shakespeare -- an audience were walking out of a performance of Olivier's Lear and somebody said, "Well, okay, but you know the playwright was sued by his tailor." Absolutely no one would care. Absolutely everyone would regard such a person as silly.

4) Most importantly, we have all been reminded what real leadership, true gravitas, looks like -- and how it changes the way we feel about our prospects and ourselves. Obama may have thrilled a lot of people, but he didn't have this kind of depth or seriousness. FDR did, and so does she -- only hers is informed at an even deeper level by the seriousness of women's history and consciousness.

All of this is already evident in the coverage of the speech -- including from the left.

Eight years ago, something happened. A powerful woman allowed her heart to be seen in public, and the public (at least the female portion of it) fell hard.

Yesterday, something happened again -- not a transformative moment of vulnerability and shared humanity, but a moment of metamorphosis, the butterfly shucking its larval skin.

It's a new day.

Update 3: Gail Collins gets it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hubris and chutzpah - updated

The Democratic Party has developed a cancer, and it's berning. This putz's arrogance and delusion are running amok.

Update: Keep these obits coming.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More data

Those Democrats who still live in the fact-based world -- i.e., not Berners -- have the benefit of understanding what is actually happening, as opposed to what they want to happen. Nate Silver & co. are among those reality types -- with the latest being this useful analysis.

The money line: “If all states held primaries open to independents — instead of closed primaries, or caucuses of any kind — Clinton might have a larger lead in elected delegates than she does now. The model indicates that Clinton would have a lead of 294 elected delegates, compared with the 272 she holds now. That’s not a huge difference, but it means that Clinton has been hurt at least as much by caucuses as Sanders has been hurt by closed primaries.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Already a third-party candidate

Good punchline -- and good profile of delusion -- from Lupica.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A sickness, not a movement - updated

This is dynamite in understanding the reality of the Bernie phenomenon. And the Perfesser adds his usual invaluable gloss. These Bern-feelers don't even support single-payer as much as Hillary's supporters do. CDS all the way.

Update: And what does he do if she absolutely crushes him in California (and, of course, New Jersey), as she did in New York? Is there the faintest glimmer of a hope for actual grace?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The right thing

As I've said -- in the post titled "Wow" -- it is incumbent upon Elizabeth Warren to validate Hillary and invalidate the "Bernie or bust" crowd. Apparently, she will.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The grist just keeps on comin'

The previous post had gotten updatey enough. So here's another county of the left heard from who's no longer feeling the Bern.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


These people are certainly principled.

Update: Here are the details. Seriously bad shit.

Update 2: Hypocrisy all the way down.

Update 3: The perfesser's right: not ending well.

Update 4: This is the demon whose life -- and whose grandchild's life -- is being threatened by Sanders supporters. And thank goodness some are calling a spade a spade.

Update 5: And this is the cancer that is invading the Democratic Party. The new Ralph Nader. A narcissistic whiner who is drunk on the adulation at his rallies. He's said it: He doesn't care about consequences.

There is no longer a cost-free way to manage this. Hillary has to be firm and whip this superannuated infant's ass. And if he pouts, takes his marbles and goes home without endorsing her, she has to go out and beat Trump anyway. It's a damn shame this had to happen, but it's not fatal.

Update 6: This is a moment of truth for Elizabeth Warren. She needs to denounce Bernie. Indeed, all real progressives need to do so. This guy is now a real and present danger to a progressive political agenda. He's the Donald Trump of the left, and serious leftists need to say as much.

Update 7: Well, the Nevada convention is starting to look like a tipping point. Jeff Weaver is not the only bad actor here -- it's the whole campaign that is deliberately spreading lies -- and the world now knows that. Even many Bernie supporters know it and are appalled.

Again, it's sad that it has come to this -- Bernie was never a serious candidate for president, but his campaign was, for awhile, salutary in pulling the Overton Window to the left. Alas, it wasn't just that. It was also a cult-like vehicle driven by ego that could become infected with misogyny.

And, by the way, when Bernie can be devastatingly made into a joke, you know it's over.

Update 8: One more thought: This makes the choice of Warren as veep more likely.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

For the record...

... no, Hillary has NOT argued against single-payer because it was "a wrenching legislative battle that had already been lost." Rather, she argued that we shouldn't start from scratch. She was never opposed to the public option -- which Obama's team duplicitously dangled in front of the left during 2009-10, while never intending actually to include it in the ACA. In fact, the public option is precisely the kind of add-on improvement to Obamacare that she has been advocating throughout this campaign.

Two reactions:

First, does the Times have no editors, at least, who have watched the debates and who know enough about what Hillary actually said to alter the language of this lede accordingly?

Second, it's actually fine, and very Hillary-like. She's allowing Bernie to get credit for something she was already planning to do, in order to have his followers feel a win, feel more welcomed, and vote for her. She's all about the outcome, and if Bernie Sanders goes to his grave thinking he brought the creator of Hillarycare around, it's an acceptable price to pay.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

This isn't the point

It's not whether Bernie should "drop out." It's whether he should stop attacking Hillary -- and encourage his supporters to do the same. His continued presence doesn't hurt her chances. His attacks do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

No duh

I'm sure Michelle Goldberg will be furiously trolled for this -- but it's all true, and needed to be said, because this kind of crap. And this.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Attention must be paid - updated

I do not share Andrew Sullivan't intense fear -- but his piece on the threat of Trump is essential reading. We are fortunate to have in Hillary Clinton the genuinely strongest candidate -- as a candidate, as a preternaturally evolved human -- in our lifetime. We'll need that, after the election, as well as before it.

Update: Even after a year's preparation -- indeed, a lifetime's, for those of us who grew up on the mother's gall (h/t Lady Macbeth) of the Republican Party -- it's still a brain-fuck.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blah blah

If this kind of self-righteous chest-puffery is what's required to get the votes, then so be it, but in the privacy of this anonymous and almost entirely unread blog, I will say that it's pathetic to hear these self-declared revolutionaries preen around the yard with their self-aggrandizing purity, all on behalf of a silly narcissist who found a pleasant sinecure at an early age and held onto it like a lazy professor with tenure, reading the same lecture notes for 40 years with no serious interest in listening to his students and no serious interest in how the world was changing around him.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

With a whimper

As it should. The delusional plaints of the dead-enders notwithstanding, the dramatic lowering of decibel level as Bernie's campaign starts its endgame is welcome. Because there never was anything remotely like a "movement" here, its dissolution will not, in fact, be wrenching. Yes, there will probably be a few snarling outbursts here and there, but nothing worrisome.

Now the real work begins -- and of course, I don't mostly mean the presidential election, which is in the bag. I mean the Senate and even maybe the House.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pathetic - updated

Bernie and his campaign sure are helping America. I'm surprised she didn't wear a stained blue dress with Vince Foster's picture on it.

All issues campaign, eh?

Update: And Bernie won't even repudiate it. Nice.

Friday, April 22, 2016

New York, New York

At last, a smile of simple joy.

What has become clear, 48 hours after Hillary's landslide here? Not that she will be the nominee -- that was clear, to anyone with eyes to see, after Ohio, if not even earlier, after Super Tuesday. What New York meant wasn't about the math, but about the narrative and the emotion.

Finally, Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to feel her victory, exuberantly, in public. Finally, after a lifetime of being denied that unadulterated and visible happiness, she could just bask in it. She could do so because there are no more poopers at the party. Everyone now knows that she will be the next President of the United States. Many hate the thought, but there's nobody left who can effectively rain on her parade.

And it's just wonderful for people like me, as for her, that it happened here, "under the bright lights of New York." "This is state and a country of big-hearted, open-minded, straight-talking, hard-working people." As she said, "This one's personal."

Start spreading the news.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

He was never a serious candidate - update

Marcotte is right as far as she goes, and she's certainly right that he should drop out now. But she misses the deeper point. Yes, he's not seriously trying to win now -- for very good reasons (because it's impossible). But actually winning hasn't been a realistic possibility since Super Tuesday The internal contradiction of Bernie's campaign was that its only logic depended on not really trying to win. It was a flip of Groucho's line: "I wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have somebody like me for a member." Bernie's not a serious candidate for president, but he was, for a time, a salutary emblem of a critique of our current politics  Turns out you can't have your cake and eat it, again.

Update: This is correct.

Update: So, it seems, is this. At least it's based on a lot of experience with him.

Update: And it's important to remember, as the Perfesser does here, that Bernie's economics were always basically trolling. They were pure smoke, and as pernicious in their way as the smoke coming from the fires of the right.

With friends like these

This editorial in tomorrow's Times on the results of the NY primary is remarkable for its nastiness toward Hillary. She won the nomination tonight, in an inspiring victory that was much bigger than anyone predicted. Isn't her hometown paper, the one that endorsed her (properly), inclined to acknowledge that and do a little celebrating? Also, Sanders didn't even deliver a concession speech to the national media, but retreated to Burlington and gave a pathetic interview on the tarmac there to local reporters. And worst of all, his campaign manager revealed the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of his campaign by insisting on MSNBC that they would fight to flip the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters, even if/when she beats him in both votes and pledged delegates. This isn't just Baghdad Bobesque in its delusion, it's proof that his campaign is not remotely the principled rejection of cynical politics that has been its central raison d'etre. You just can't get more cynical -- and yet the Times chooses to depict him as the continuing idealist and Hillary as the distasteful candidate whom voters "simply don't like."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A new definition of chutzpah - updated

I can't believe my ears. Bernie Sanders's campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, was just on MSNBC saying that even if Hillary has won the popular vote (as she will) and the pledged delegates (as she will) after June 7, the Sanders campaign will still try to flip the superdelegates to defy the will of the people. This is the campaign whose entire raison d'etre has been its purity from the political process.

Update: Whatever else Weaver's performance just now showed about the ethics and legitimacy of the Sanders campaign, it also showed complete lack of readiness for prime time, simply in terms of professionalism. What a garden-variety political professional does when asked the question Steve Kornacki asked Weaver, he says, "Oh, we're not going to deal in hypotheticals. The campaign still has a long way to go. I'm not going to speculate about where we all might be on June 8." In other words, you duck it. That's Politics 101. This campaign can't even do that.

The end

Once again, Nate Silver's missives from the future make clear what the reality-based community already knows.

It'll be over soon.