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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Feminists want to have fun

Let's stipulate that Bernie Sanders is not deliberately stoking overt misogyny. Yes, he condemned "corporate Democratic whores." No, he did not plan the demonstration where supporters threw dollar bills at Hillary's car -- as, in Joy Reid's accurate framing, at a strip club. Even though he has a history of "going there" in his campaign in 1986 for Vermont governor against Madeleine Kunin, let's say that he doesn't consciously intend it.

Let's put Bernie aside entirely.

What's striking now -- as in the 2008 primary, as in the anti-war '60s, as, it seems, forever -- is that women are simply not permitted to feel joy or exhilaration -- even at the prospect of a woman becoming president of the U.S. Exuberance itself is yucky -- when it's female, but not about a man. Winning is something men do. Fun is something men have. Girls may want to have it -- but we'll be standing by the side of the road to make sure it's not pang-free, make sure it's tainted.

Even if you don't think those dollar-bill-throwing Hollywood hipsters were intentionally echoing "whore," what they were unmistakably saying was: "YOU don't get to lead a parade. WE decide where and what the party is." The not-so-sub-text of a media stunt like this to deride, to diminish, to demonstrate contempt, to reassert who the Master of Revels is.

Destroying the emotional meaning of Hillary's run in 2008 was basically MSNBC's editorial strategy. Along with the Times and the rest of the media, all joy, excitement and inspiration were reserved for Obama and his "movement." Bernie, too, is presented as leading one of those. Hillary was presented then -- and a bit more subtly now -- as the house mother, the dorm proctor... or worse, Nurse Ratched. As I've noted elsewhere -- indeed, it was the genesis of this blog -- the MSNBC "coverage" of the New Hampshire primary in '08 was a party to celebrate her humiliation. Once again, we're the ones who have fun -- and you're the one at whose expense we have it.

Of course, a requirement to justify this deep, sadistic wish is the demonization of the object of ridicule. Doing this -- even feeling this -- isn't nice. So you tell yourself that the evil witch deserves it. She's the interloper, she's corrupt, she's voracious and hateful and dangerous. It's only right and proper that she be publicly scorned. It's a badge of honor to wipe any smile off her face and darken any gleam in her eye.

This is what Robin Morgan was reacting to in her remarkable "Goodbye to All That 2" rant in 2008. And sadly, it is so pervasive, so deeply embedded in the humans' psyche, that lots of women feel it, too. Boys will be boys, and girls will love them for it. Girls may want to have fun, but it's only available on our terms.

So, yes, Hillary, you may doggedly, grimly slog your way to the White House. But we're here to make sure you don't enjoy it.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hypocritic oath - updated

The decisive moment in tonight's debate was the exchange on guns. It was decisive not just because it rehashed the already well-trod turf of Bernie's weakness on the issue, but because it underlined as never before the hypocrisy that destroys his broader argument, his core self-definition.

He's the purist. Every issue is a moral choice in his world, and he's the independent defender of morality. And yet here he was saying, "You can want something all you like, but you have to acknowledge when something is never going to happen. There are 50 states in this country." (I may be getting the exact quote wrong -- video and/or transcripts haven't been posted yet. I'll correct it when they are. But this was the thrust.)

Really. The guy who never heard a pie-in-the-sky leftwing policy he wouldn't laud with no real idea of how to make it happen criticizes Hillary for pursuing gun control -- and he does so for the most realpolitik of reasons: because it's politically impractical. Because in many of those states, the NRA is just too powerful.

What if we had a citizens' revolution to fight against them, Bernie? How'd that be?

And, of course, he revealed his lack of moral and emotional sechel by laughing while Hillary was raising the topic. And she nailed him on it. The chuckle slowly faded from his lips, and he was left silent.

The truth is, Bernie Sanders is not a courageous person. He's a pedant who's all talk. He found a progressive sinecure early in life and settled into it like a comfy couch. He's a professor who reads the same notes to every class for 50 years, never learns much of anything new, certainly never rethinks any of his idees fixes. He gets tenure, and then repeats the same schpiels at faculty meetings while his colleagues tire of him. He, on the other hand, never tires of those smug, self-righteous diatribes.

Update: Delusion vs. facts. Tie-breaker. Of course, the real verdict will come Tuesday.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

And if Hillary has gained Aravosis...

Back in '08, John Aravosis was one of the most vicious anti-Hillary bloggers. If he's now posting in support of her, it is (a) rich and (b) more proof that the Democratic Party will unify.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Good grief

Thanks a ton, Jimmy. Hope you're looking forward to President Trump.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Begging the Bros

Joan Walsh is being very gentle. And since a vote is a vote, working hard not to burn bridges is the right affect. Still, it's beyond galling to have to keep coaxing these misogynist babies to grow up. Again and again, backwards and in heels.

Meanwhile, the good perfesser once again tells it like it is.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lyin' Bernie - updated

Desperate times demand desperate measures, I guess. The Bern is banging its shins on reality and on mathematics, and they're panicking. The result is to start projecting wildly. Everything they're feeling, they're attributing to Hillary ("She's getting nervous"). Everything they're saying, they're claiming she said first ("She said I'm unqualified! Well, SHE'S unqualified!!"). Everything they're doing, they're justifying as a response to her -- while denying that they're doing it. Witness this post attributed to Bernie himself, though really from Jeff Weaveron Reader Supported News.

Need one point out that this CNN "report" is from an anonymous source?Need one point out that Hillary didn't somehow trick Bernie into embarrassing himself before the editorial board of the NY Daily News? That he didn't and doesn't have an idea how to enact the things he is proposing? That despite having been in the House and Senate for decades, he hasn't had enough interest in action to know some basic facts about how these processes work, much less about the facts on military or defense engagements or foreign affairs? Need one point out that many observers, including that same editorial board, found his performance borderline disqualifying? Need one point out that Hillary twisted herself into a pretzel to avoid having "unqualified" come out of her mouth when Joe Scarborough persistently pressed her to say it?

And now he's giving himself license to resurrect old rightwing slurs against her by claiming, falsely, that she started it. Not, it turns out, a good guy.

Update: A study in contrasts. Bernie doubles down on the whining attacks. Hillary doubles down on refusing to say he's unqualified -- saying, instead, that he's obviously preferable to a Republican.

Update 2: The White House has weighed in, supporting Hillary. Bernie has really stepped in it. He has shown that not only doesn't he have the skills or mindset to do this job, he also doesn't have the temperament. He's all-rant, all-the-time, a petulant, thin-skinned, narcissistic whiner. If you don't permit him to talk over you, if you force him to go off script -- as the Daily News editorial board did, by pressing him to explain "how"-- he lashes out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Just the facts, ma'am - updated

This kind of thing just never happened in 2008. The slime was never cleared from the surface.

Update: More facts.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Astroturf - updated

A Berning pile of crap in the Times, this article purports to be a critique of Sanders's campaign missteps, but is nothing more than butter-wouldn't-melt hagiography. He was too pure and too naive to go after Hillary and to campaign hard (because he was so, so dedicated to his job as Senator), and that's why he's losing.

What a crock. First of all, he did, too, go after her -- as the article itself has to admit, he began complaining about the Goldman speeches in January, a month before the first votes were cast.

Second, he did, too, campaign hard in the Super Tuesday states -- as Maddow and others have noted, he was on the ground there before Hillary with more people, and he spent more than she did. His inability to win minority votes was not a matter of campaign tactics or timing. The article uncritically accepts the Sanders campaign's claim to the contrary, which has already been debunked.

Third, the unstated premise of the entire piece is that momentum would have mattered, would have changed everything. It's like a college friend used to say: If we had any ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had any eggs. There has been no Bernie momentum, despite the media's hunger for it. With one notable exception (not counting his home-court-advantage states), he has won lily-white states with caucuses, period. This has decidedly not been a "momentum" campaign. It has been a campaign that has followed the smart money's expectations from the get-go, with Hillary's strengths not being seriously challenged.

Nice work,Times. And spare us, Berners, from your complaints about media bias. If Hillary had gotten anything like the kind of cheerleading coverage in '08 that Bernie has this cycle, we'd be talking about her as a lame duck president now.

Update: The perfesser weighs in.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Grist Mill

Lots of good stuff today -- here, and here, and here, and here. And while I'm at it, I'll also park Markos's true-but-hypocritical takedown of Bernie -- another What a Difference Eight Years Make special.