Money in Politics

    In 1994, Richard Mellon Scaife, a billionaire heir to the Pittsburgh Mellon fortune, embarked on a new $2.4 million effort to hobble the new liberal president called "The Arkansas Project" with fake news, eventually funding the Paula Jones' lawsuit as well that led to Clinton's impeachment, along with a couple "exposé" books on him.

    Scaife did not just embark on his endeavour unwittingly - his ex-OSS (pre-CIA) father had bought a news outlet to disseminate anti-Communist and pro-conservative propaganda worldwide, but had to shut it down once made public.

    Scaife's giving of $620 million by 1999 - worth billions in today's dollars - had from the 70's already created The Heritage Foundation and helped sustain such right-wing mainstays as the Hoover Institute, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), later on NewsMax, FreedomWorks and ALEC. The term "Think Tank" does little credit to the destructively active role these orgs have played in American political life, and Scaife's focused conservative "philanthropy" was unusual for its time, helping to launch the Gingrich "revolution" in 1994 and propped up the new neocon movement post-2000.

    The "Arkansas Project" as well-chronicled in "The Hunting of the President", provided $2.4 million over 5 years to The Spectator - a non-profit conservative partisan magazine. The Arkansas Project's job was to dig up and create false news on the new President's time in Arkansas, including supposed murder, drug running from Central America, fathering a black child, having troopers procure girls for him, and the bizarre money-losing land investment "scandal" over "Whitewater Development", no doubt helped by its verbal similarity to "Watergate". [Yes, it still remains bizarre that one of the proofs of so much "influence peddling" was a million dollar loss for a not particularly wealthy governor.]

    Complicit in the American Spectator's work-cum-hatchet-job were the now recalcitrant David Brock of Media Matters, along with professional conservative victim Robert Bork of Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre and failed Supreme Court fame, Christopher Ruddy (later founded NewsMax & WorldNetDaily via Western Journalism Center) and the neocon Ted Olson, friend of "independent" prosecutor Ken Starr. Besides successfully representing the Republicans in Bush vs. Gore (2000), Olson was married to long-time Clinton hater Barbara Olson, a heavy on both Travelgate & 1996 Clinton finance investigations, who somehow managed to make 10 mysterious phone calls from one of the 9/11 airliners before crashing (yes, I have trouble making calls from the metro, and cell towers point flat or down, not up), and published not just one, but 2 anti-Hillary screeds (the last one posthumously).

    Yes, Hillary was dragged in deep by the Arkansas Project, from the Rose Law Firm records to Vince Foster's supposed murder and to other erupting scandals (dildos on a Christmas Tree? drinking her own urine?). Not surprisingly, Hillary's claim of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" in the face of $600 million pumped into propaganda has been easily twisted into a paranoid squeal of a guilty conscience, rather than an accurate well-documented and independently verified description of just one piece of Scaife and others' successful attempt to buy an impeachment, a new presidency, a Mideast war, and much of US domestic and foreign policy over 4 decades.

    Not so surprisingly, Hillary was the target of the famous Citizens United ruling that asked for free rein to pummel the candidate with negative attack ads from supposedly small independent interest groups or concerned individuals. Of course Citizens United was anything but - founded in 1992 by Floyd Brown - mastermind of the "Willie Horton" attacks and backed by the Koch Brothers throughout the years, he published "Slick Willy" which purported to show Bill "dodging the draft, raising taxes, coddling blacks, chasing women, corrupting state agencies, flip-flopping on abortion, awarding special privileges to gays, promoting secularism (and witchcraft!), wrecking the school system, flirting with socialism, and, in its stirring final chapter, blaspheming the Lord..." (But the court case was brought by new CEO David Bossie, now a central figure in Trump's campaign and transition. Lucky coincidence?)

    As the Daily Beast notes Hillary was dragged into that 1992 smear campaign as well, with the NY Times counting over 20 references of "Lady Macbeth", and Emmett Tyrell (also of the Arkansas Project) continues to produce a number of excoriating pieces on her ("glared at me like a viper about to strike a rodent", "Madame Hillary The Dark Road to the White House") along with his numerous hit jobs in books & articles on Bill.

    Scaife may have died, but his remaining $1.4 billion will live on, funding say the FIRE group's initiative to sue poorly defended universities to accept whatever "citizen" guerrilla tactics they initiate (something like a full-time Peter Thiel effort to sue the opposition into acquiescence). As is typical of rightwing funding, it's a smattering of Koch Brothers here, Scaife there, the Pope Society for more - resulting in a rather hefty $600K+ budget a year as just one of many many side-shows to the Conservative Circus - all part of the right's "Dark Money" as discussed by Jane Mayer. Certainly the Clintons were not the only targets for the right, with Obama's election spurring a legion of Arkansas Project-like efforts, including but not limited to Koch's "Americans for Prosperity" who helped manage the Tea Party pivot letting Republicans twist away from any responsibility for the Bush Years, perversely running as an "anti-establishment" movement funded by the same dark money that had built the current neocon establishment.

    Around 2009, James O'Keefe helped Breitbart launch the new-new guerrilla phase of our modern money-backed rat f*cking in politics, doing his supposed underground citizen journalism shtick while actually faking and maliciously re-editing supposed live gotcha moments to discredit CNN, NPR and others. Successfully shutting down ACORN through a fake pimp video, O'Keefe was penalized a $100K fine that was no doubt gleefully picked up at lunch by conservative backers, and from there helped Breitbart launch "Big Government", which ran even into the 2016 campaign season when Trump's supposed "charitable foundation" contributed to his Project Veritas. Veritas purportedly showed how elections are "rigged", claimed Hillary was paying outside agitators and filed an FEC complaint saying the Clinton Campaign was soliciting foreign money - a serious amount of contrived disruptive fodder from just 1 of many lightly subsidized activities over a short amount of time.

    But these are pipsqueak actions. Nothing signifies the success of conservative money in politics like getting the New York Times to use its dodgy sourcing to attack the Clinton Foundation for them during the campaign, despite a thinly poorly written and dubiously sourced manuscript posed as a book. A creation of Breitbart's successor Steve Gannon, the "Government Accountability Institute" had already partnered with Newsweek, ABC News and 60 Minutes, amounting to gross professional malfeasance and the most horrendous judgment. Now the Times was to run a front page story based on the perverse machinations of the left's most dangerous and duplicitous enemies - as supposed real news. James Comey wept. And then he and the FBI used the "Clinton Cash" propaganda piece  himself as inspiration for another round of investigations.

    People act as if the media just suddenly stopped doing its job, rather than being the explicit focus of 40 years of payments, attacks, wrangling and undermining, buying up radio, TV, newsrags and online portals to meld the news into either an explicitly supportive role or a muddied, castrated no-longer-authoritative shadow of its former self. Both poses win for the right - they have bought and paid for the agenda, and while the "truth is still out there somewhere", you have to look for it, and most people will never ever ever rise to that level of effort and engagement. Inertia rules in the universe, and getting inertia on your side is victory, as the right has shown. People expected outrage to guide the election in the final weeks, but instead it was an exercise in voting-as-usual. Money well spent, lads.

    Just like the funny "faithless electors" who railed against Trump and then bailed from Hillary, there are people who complain about the huge negative influence of money in politics - and then turn and attack the Clintons for raising money from wealthy and non-wealthy donors for traditional, above-the-board activities. Meanwhile, much of our government from the Supreme Court to the presidency to the Congress and down through the largely Republican state apparati have been bought and paid for by conservative activist billionaires like Scaife, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, et al. Whether the left's participation in this self-obliterating hara kiri was also bought and paid for or come by naturally, it's certainly been useful to have candidates of the left worry too much about appearing like money-grubbing establishment types, even as their opponents have a thick, well-developed multilayer funding structure and full-time insurrection and attack mode machine going from media to government players, intelligence units, the Republican Party, and a whole web of conservative enablers.

    When you hear about some group in Arizona or Florida or Michigan asking the DNC or Hillary for money to get out the vote or provide air time, just remember that the right largely doesn't need to do this - they're there already, are constantly churning out spin and background papers and providing money, election year or not. The Republican pack in the primaries each had a billionaire behind them, with some billionaires supporting more than 1 candidate.  (Fiorina a favorite to deflect and use against Hillary for the "women's" issues) - Jeb had $100 million in the bank without even trying. Same with any policy issue - the right has cultivated and backed institutes and leading "experts" on every issue you can think of, providing disinformation and spin whenever needed. Democrats don't do that.

    Expect change on global warming, abortion, Mideast (including Israeli) policy, gun control, education, voting rights, police brutality, health care, social security, unions or defense? Not without money you don't. And right now - meaning the last 4 decades - we're losing.



    Updated to note (in next to last paragraph) - Republicans don't have to raise emergency money for issues or candidates - they're already there from the get-go,election year or not.

    Just like the funny "faithless electors" who railed against Trump and then bailed from Hillary, there are people who complain about the huge negative influence of money in politics - and then turn and attack the Clintons for raising money from wealthy and non-wealthy donors for traditional, above-the-board activities.

    Republicans have effectively branded all left wing money as bad money.  Their most effective tactic here is with anti-semitic dog whistles. The Republican accuses the Democrat of being funded by Hollywood studios, hedge funds and Wall Street banks.

    I know that's oversimplifying it, but it's amazing how Democratic funders get lumped into a cabal while Republican funders are an actual, out in the open cabal. Like, how did George Soros become a dirty word.  I know, I know, some people think he personally tanked currencies in the UK and Thailand, but the math has never actually supported the accusation.  He's actually a brilliant investor and analyst of world trends and has an amazing life story full of courage and striving. He's done a lot of good in the world. Maybe we've done a bad job defending him, and some of our other tycoon backers.

    When you criticize a Koch Brother to a Republican, you get an earful in response.

    As you note, right-wing funders like the Kochs are (rightly) as reviled in progressive circles as Soros is in right-wing ones.  But ultimately PP's call for a flood of liberal money to counteract right-wing dollars is misplaced.  The reason that the outsized importance of big money is disastrous for democracy is not that there isn't enough progressive money in politics.  It's that there are no homeless billionaires (unless they're mentally impaired like Howard Hughes was at the end of his life).  There are no (or virtually no) multi-millionaires who teach public school or hang out at Home Depot hoping for a job as a day laborer or serve meals at restaurants or are enlisted in the military or depend on a union to protect them from abusive managers.  As long as our government remains terrain that is largely contested by billionaires, the interests of the 99% will continue to be subordinate.

    George Soros witnessed enough suffering in Hungary and enough desperation in London to be able to identify and sympathize with the impoverished without needing to "teach public school" or be a day laborer or be a union worker. Anyone who's read or watched Oliver Twist or Les Miserables has the notion pretty easily in their head. Bill Gates manages to spend billions on the needy in Africa and elsewhere even though he's the son of a successful lawyer. You've argued this class bit over and over, and there's no practical justification for it - many of the wealthy have long taken up charitable, socially-responsible causes that don't enrich themselves further. Many billionaires supported increasing the tax rate on the wealthy - they're not all completely selfish and self-serving.

    I've argued it over and over because it's correct.  By contrast, you've argued over and over that it's okay for our country to be run by the wealthy.  But it's obvious, isn't it, given the extraordinary increase in economic injustice since Reagan slashed taxes on the wealthy, living in a plutocracy ain't so great.  One must also take into account when so much of our nation's wealth is concentrated in so few hands, there just isn't enough to go around for everybody else.

    But doesn't it come down to the person?

    You're talking about traits shared by the average member of a group, i.e., the plutocracy.

    But only one person gets to be president, and he or she may or may not share those traits, even if a member of that group by some standards, e.g., the size of his wealth.

    I'd hate to see us disqualify so-and-so because of a reflexive application of some numerically based standard. "Anyone who makes more than $250,000 should never be considered by the party."

    Republicans have effectively branded all left wing money as bad money. 

    That is because left wingers allow Republicans to set the tone of everything, then they pick it up and use it against their own candidates. So pretty much people on the left are as dumb as those rubes on the right who keep beating us.  Lefties won't learn because they are as in tune with the Moral Majority as they say they aren't. I think they would rather lose, so they have lots to complain about, otherwise I have no idea why they do what they do.  



    "while the "truth is still out there somewhere", you have to look for it"

    Little money in giving the public the truth n America.

    Perhaps the largest money problem is not money raised for campaigns, it's money made from gaming and liquidating our democracy and government. It's Rush Limbaugh's annual salary equalling or exceeding the net income of the New York Times Company, which spends close to a billion on gathering news. 

    It's the President getting paid $400,000, while CEO Pecker of the National Enquirer makes $3 million. Sean Hannity making $29 million for sitting at a desk with a microphone spouting Murdochian propaganda. Or teens in Macedonia making six figures with fake news.

    It's privatizing public schools, Medicare, Social Security or infrastructure.

    In a country undergoing financial liquidation by a veritable organized crime syndicate of anti-democratic right wing media and corporate interests and their political puppets exploiting the array of the uninformed, uninterested, the utopian purists, the easily manipulated uneducated/racists that comprise the electorate. No surprise the pool of those who would take up a career pushing back seems to be dwindling. 

    Hey, buddy - need your full dystopian treatise on this, not just a pithy few lines in a comment. Wage inequality? As soon as you say "wage", the ruckus of laughter erupts - the hoi polloi deal in stock options and pay-per-click and advertising percentages along with performance bonuses and base pay guarantees. The NY Times is trying to write subscription articles on new health trends while the hucksters are selling human organs out the back flap of the circus tent at a cool $50K-100K a pop - so it's largely prison labor and orphans, commerce is commerce. We don't need better journalism - we need industrial-sized bolt cutters on conveyer belts to feed the kidneys and gall bladders to the waiting masses in the time and quantity they expect. *That's* show business. *That's* being smart.

    That is the treatise...! Possible upside copied from WaPo comment:

    1) Republicans own this mess and every time Trump soils his pants the GOP has to clean it up. 
    2) Absolutely anybody can be president now - no need to worry about vetting or if somebody looks/acts presidential 
    3) Other reasonable world leaders will want nothing to do with this moron.
    4) Trump and his disgusting cabinet will be a scandal factory.
    5) When the pendulum swings the other way, it will be further and harder to the left and 
    6) 2020 is a census year 

    2020 elections won't be affected by census. Trump will likwly rig it anyway. One projection from RCP a few days ago:

    Alabama: -1 (to 6)
    Arizona: +1 (to 10)
    Colorado: +1 (to 8)
    Florida: +2 (to 29)
    Illinois: -1 (to 17)
    Michigan: -1 (to 13)
    Minnesota: -1 (to 7)
    New York: -1 (to 26)
    North Carolina: +1 (to 14)
    Ohio: -1 (to 15)
    Oregon: +1 (to 6)
    Pennsylvania: -1 (to 17)
    Rhode Island: -1 (to 1)
    Texas: +3 (to 39)
    West Virginia: -1 (to 2)

    The redistricting and therefore the elections after 2020 will be affected by the 2020 census, as in 2010. Good....If Democrats bother to show up to vote in 2020.

    I don't get the numbers?

    Predicted change in congressional representatives, which will then be used to calculate # of electors. Of course there's red states and whether they'll turn blue with Hispanics, or vice versa with population loss...

    My stomach hurts.  How did this happen?


    Scaife's  summer house on Nantucket has always  had a rug outside the back door  with a picture of Hillary's face and the words "A vast right wing conspiracy".


    Chris Ruddy, who pioneered the "Hillary killed Vince Foster" meme for the Arkansas Project and wrote dozens of articles and even a book on it, is now in Trump's Mar-a-go-go discussing his inaugural speech with other "journalists". How nice. BTW, "Accuracy in Media" received $2 million of Scaife's money. "Axe Usury in Media" perhaps. All that money has come home.



    Yes Clinton was unfairly targeted for decades and yes Trump is almost certain to be a worse President than Clinton was.  But the insistence by Clinton supporters (and Clinton herself) over the past two years, in both corporate and social media, that all Clinton criticism is unfair and comes only from right-wingers, racists, misogynists, "deplorables", et al., most likely played a significant role in Trump's win.  It couldn't have been just money that elected Trump.  After all, Clinton raised and spent far more than Trump did.

    By rejecting outright legitimate criticism and going so far as to deny the facts underlying such criticism, Clinton's loyalists lost all credibility.  They also made clear that they would not hold President Clinton accountable if, as many of us anticipated, she embraced her "moderate" and "center" self on trade, foreign policy, financial oversight.

    Trump rejected criticism and directly attacked those pointing out flaws and lies. Trump supporters note that they really didn't believe the crap he was saying and were comfortable with his ties to white supremacists and Russia. I'm not sure that Hillary is the problem.

    1) no one said "all Clinton criticism is unfair", and certainly I wrote a number of blogs noting a lot comes from left-wingers.

    2) CNN, the NY Times, Breitbart and Fox News all ended up working as an arm of the Trump campaign. Weekly Wikileaks releases given to and covered by *all* the major and non-major news organizations is a kind of advertising you can't buy, but certainly Breitbart and Fox News are backed by say Murdoch and Scaife money as an ongoing propaganda machine. I imagine Putin paid a pretty kopek for his hacking and fake news teams as well (did you know Putin is paying to help both California and Texas secede, just like Brexit? It's in Bloomberg, Breitbart, etc., so likely true, no? Money talks).

    BTW - how is it that Bernie winning in exit polls proved he should have won, but Hillary winning in exit polls didn't? The magic disappearing causation? i would have thought you'd be all over this, Hal.

    By spreading the lie that Clinton supporters claimed that all Clinton criticism is unfair and comes only from right-wingers, racists, misogynists, "deplorables", Hal has lost all credibility. When someone lies so glibly it's hard to take anything they say seriously. It's the same problem Trump has when he speaks.

    Perhaps you can provide some examples of criticism of Clinton that you - a staunch Clintonite - felt was fair.  How about criticism of Clinton that Kurt Eichenwald, Rachel Maddow, or Peter Daou called legitimate?  Did you ever read Amanda Marcotte acknowledge that it was appropriate to criticize Hillary for her use of a private email server in contravention of Federal rules?  What about Joan Walsh?  Where was she on Clinton's call for a "no-fly zone" over Syria and her exhortation to take our relationship with Israel to the next level?  Digby?  What did she have to say about the Goldman Sachs speeches?  Maybe you have some other supporters in mind?  I am happy to hear which of them you think acknowledged that Clinton was not all that and a bag of chips.

    Even Hillary only claimed " half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Half is considerably less than all. I and others criticized her for that remark. I've posted here that a minority of Trump's supporters were racist or misogynistic, though the rest seemed to not find it disqualifying. I've also posted numerous times that I thought Hillary was a bit too hawkish for me. I could go on but I'm not interested in rehashing the many posts I and others have written here. Instead of having an interesting or informative debate you repeatedly troll us with lies and force us to either ignore you or waste time debunking them.

    Hal's back, and so it goes .... he wants you to criticize not only Hillary, but her supporters for any and everything that he believes wasn't said over the past months by you and others sufficiently to satisfy his Hillary-hate.  He wants an apology for Trump's win (and his own ego) from everyone who supported Clinton.

    Barefooted, please avoid personal accusations. Thanks.

    And fwiw, I think it's pretty obvious at this point that Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate.

    Sure, that's clear. But come on. While it's possible that someone somewhere said that all criticism of Clinton is unfair and comes only from right-wingers, racists, misogynists, "deplorables" I didn't read anyone anywhere who said anything remotely like that. There certainly was no one here who said that. While we supporters here defended her often there was still plenty of criticism and acknowledgement of her flaws. Most of his comment is obviously false. So obviously false that I'm sure he knows he's lying. Hal is trolling us and it's insulting. He's just looking for a fight.

    O-K, et al., - I am truly not looking for a fight.  I am looking for some recognition that the refusal by Clinton's loyalists and herself to acknowledge her many serious mistakes and flaws was a significant factor in her loss.  This is of crucial importance going forward so that we put forth the best possible candidates in the future and politick for them as effectively as possible. 

    Below is from the Daily Banter in January 2016.  Recently tweeted by "progressive" Keith Ellison.

    MONEY. what's the connection?

    I did not write that anyone said "all criticism is unfair."  I wrote that a factor in Clinton's loss was the fact that her loyalists "reject[ed] outright legitimate criticism and [went] so far as to deny the facts underlying such criticism[.]"  There are many examples of this.  I noted in another reply that various journalists, including Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald, the Nation's Joan Walsh, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, and quasi-journalist Peter Daou of Blue Nation Review are all guilty of having done so.

    Bernie consistently did better against Trump than Clinton did in various polls and on the eve of the election was the most popular politician in America.

    MONEY. what's the connection?

    Bernie Sanders campaign was a critical component of the razor thin Trump victory.

    Ironic and tragic that a man who campaigned across the country railing about billionaires would help elect a president and cabinet of billionaires. Even more incongruous many Sanders supporters have hopes a Trump government controlled by billionaires may be better than Hillary for progressive causes, illustrating glaringly apparent  incoherent thinking.

    Hillary withstood the attacks from the right,  months of attacks from Bernie and his lefty purists played into the Trump crooked Hillary meme, and fit perfectly with the hacked campaign emails to elect Trump.

    Sanders realized this too late and his claims of a huge Democrat platform victory turned out to be worth less than nothing. 

    Less Than Zero? another Brett Easton Ellis ref to follow up American Psycho?

    Never heard of BEE and glad of it.

    Less than zero because to get there he helped elect Trump, a hoouuuugge negative for progressives.

    Watch American Psycho and think of our Trumpian times - it's perfect. Money, power, murder - a trifecta, yay!

    There were many reasons that the Democrats lost.  The biggest was the candidate.

    Hal. Glad you're back. 

    Would you agree  there's an argument your  sentence should read

    There were many reasons that the Democrats "lost".  The biggest was the candidate.

    A "loss" when you get 2.9 million more votes than your opponent is a somewhat different sort of loss.



    Thanks Flavius.  I wish the winner was the won who got the most popular votes but sadly the winner of the Presidential election will be inaugurated on January 20 and he did not get the most votes.  In any event regardless of who "won" the election, we're the losers.

    MONEY. what's the connection?

    Wait, what legitimate criticisms were ever denied?  As I see it, they were answered (issues like her Iraq war vote) but never denied (none of her supporters ever said she voted against it).  Of course she's been legitimately criticized.  But the denied stuff... well it's been denied because it was all made up.

    Three quick examples: 1) The fact that Clinton violated federal rules with her private email server was denied even after the State Department's Inspector General concluded that “she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.  2) Clinton herself lied when she denied calling the TPP the "gold standard" of trade deals.  3) Clinton's supporters routinely denied that she voted for war with Iraq.  They falsely claimed she was voting for more inspections.

    Edited to say... we should pick this argument up in another thread someplace. But, welcome back, Hal.

    We already argued it dozens of times, in the primaries and after.

    Clinton is not the problem. She got the most votes. White voters are the only group of voters who felt the emails, Benghazi, etc were more anything more than crap when compared to Donald Trump. Every other ethnic group voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. Why are white voters so gullible? Your argument is tiresome. The first action some white Democratic voters wanted to take after the Trump victory was to dump so-called "identity politics". Those were the first words out of Bernie Sanders mouth. Ethnic minorities know this is code for shove minority group issues under the bus. Clinton lost because white voters focused on nonsense and fell for a racist con man. End of story. Progressives lost most of their races. This was not about Clinton, it was about white voters. Wake up. 

    Getting money out of politics is an important step.How to educate a gullible group of voters is also important.

    We are not going to get money out of politics. We need to get liberal money *into* politics, 24x7. Until then, our lunch will continue to be eaten.

    Uneducated racist low information phony Christian white voters listen only to the tribe, and trusted tribal leaders or fake news that supports their beliefs.

    Only Republican fiascos keep them away from the polls. This group has had 25 years of Fox/Rush and their brains are hard wired with right wing propaganda.

    Liberal money would be better spent getting out the vote than trying to reach these people.

    I dont know how the money needs to be spent, kust that it has to be there.

     Clinton herself lied when she denied calling the TPP the "gold standard" of trade deals.


    And if that were not enough for someone fighting the uphill battle against a reputation for being two faced (and who had as we now know in retrospect a ticking time bomb in her transcripts addressing just such a "public/private facial discontinuity" had her boon companion Terry Mc Auliffe explicitly flag the phony in case anyone missed it on the first day after the primary was officially over (the Convention)



    ETA, in case you missed it...



    Clinton friend McAuliffe says Clinton will flip on TPP, then walks it back

    Terry McAuliffe tells POLITICO the Democratic nominee will support a deal with tweaks that Sanders' supporters hate. But the Clinton campaign calls the comments 'flat wrong.'

    It is New Years Eve. One thing that I will not carry into 2017 is the need to feel compassion for people who are still focused on Hillary Clinton flaws. A gullible voting public has ushered in a corrupt racist. That is the end of the story. For those oh so concerned about the pipeline, Trump will toss the Native American activists out at the drop of a hat. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions will be in charge of what the DOJ considers a Civil Rights violation. Pence and Carson can influence enforcement of misogyny and homophobia. Healthcare will be destroyed. The US will have a Russian puppet as President and Trump will inflame the Middle East with tweets about Muslims, discussing Muslim registration, and backing Netanyahu building settlements on Palestinian land. But, of course, the gullible voting public is not the problem, the real problem is Hillary Clinton (snark). We can't take this nonsense into 2017 because it will get us killed. The threat is Donald Trump. 

    Well, concretely Trump is the threat now as president, but the GOP monied full-court press is our bigger problem. Even if we get rid of Trump, there will be another - they may miss the presidency, but everything else will go. They pivoted on a dime to go from causers of the 2008 crash to offended populist Teabaggers defending America's freedoms. Predatory vampires and gargoyles. Certainly all that display of principled obstruction is now flushed out in the open - they are shameless hypocrites, but as long as they win, they don't care.

    Sadly, I still worry that other ethnic groups have figured out the GOP con despite the money spent. How do we get beyond this barrier?

    Topic: money in politics. Not Hillary as flawed candidate, behavior of Hillary and Bernie teams, trade policy, et al. I've written a number of blogs on different topics to get people to explore the nuances of soecific areas I think important.

    I myself have been asking "how did we get here?" and the huge targeted money component dug up in minutes just from Scaife, ignoring other conservative mega donirs and industry backers like Exxon-Mobil and Monsanto seems to make all our discussions about money in politics feeble and deluded at best. It's like talking about the use of seatbelts when tractors are downing bridges and digging large ruts in the freeway.

    We complain about Russians influencing elections, but we - including me - are largely blind and impotent to the tentacles this money has in every daily headline and piece of legislation. They have us believing that when Soros ponies up $30 million once in 4 years it levels the playing field. We trash Hillary for making publicly known speeches at published market rates, but think nothing of the stable of Republican operatives at Fox and Breitbart and Heritage and AEI making as much and more spouting out propaganda for the well-oiled/monied machine.

    In 2003, a New York Times star "reporter" conveniently funneled government propaganda to the front page to fulfill Dick Cheney's secret Energy Panel's 5-year plan to consolidate oil fields and skyrocket oil prices & profits, and incidentally use a trumped up war as lead-in. This was an institute/industry-led initiative, with stunning success, screw the rest of us.

    Both the Times and WaPo succeasfully stuck their dicks in this year's contest, including slams of the Clinton Foundation straight from Scaife-funded "Clinton Cash" and the "$3 billipn Clinton money machine" and the quickly withdrawn "Clinton under criminal investigation" - cows out, barn door shut, no hard feelings, eh? No wonder people think her actions and Trump's crooked business and "charity" foundation are equivalent, that an audited email server is equivalent to straight out fraud and misuse of non-profit funds and bankruptcies and employee abuse. No wonder Trump didn't need to pay for advertisement.

    I do *greatly* admire the Bernie $2700 effort, much like Grayson's "money bombs" a few years earlier, but there's an Indonesian-sized tsunami going on *full time* that we've not even begun to address.

    Einstein on the beach, oblivious to the ocean, playing with his pail and shovel...

    PP - I agree wholeheartedly with your focus on money in politics as the root of (almost) all evil.  Do you have any proposals for getting a lot of it out?  It seems as though we're facing a Sisyphean task does it not?  The winners in this corrupt system have little or no incentive to change it and they are the only ones who can.

    Hal, did you read my piece?

    Did you read my comment just above?

    One conclusion that we can draw from this election is that money isn't everything, particularly at the national level. Jeb Bush substantially outspent Trump. Hillary Clinton substantially outspent Trump. Opponents of Trump ran numerous attack ads against him (accurate but still negative). To what effect?

    Dragging up the late Richard Mellon Scaife's 20-year-old smear campaign is weirdly anachronistic, as if his dead hand were still hanging onto Hillary's ankle. In light of her more recent troubles, I think we can reach a different conclusion. Scaife wasn't able to savage Hillary's reputation in the 90s because his money was so effective. He was able to do it because she was such an easy target. In other words, he went after the low-hanging fruit, and it plopped right off the tree.

    I'm not suggesting that the smears were valid, far from it. But it's clear that there is something about Hillary Clinton (part congenital, part self-inflicted, part misogynistic) that makes people see the worst in her. Scaife and other smearers just provided the narratives that people wanted to believe.

    I think there is another message as well from Trump's ability to garner "earned" media attention (He really more or less updated Abbie Hoffman's playbook for transfixing the media via outrage)--I am not sure that a conventional politician carefully mustering  credentials, endorsements, portfolios and then engaging an existing cadre of doorknockers to spread the word along with ad buys is ever again going to be competitive in a national election.


    We may be running George Clooney or John Franco before Julian Castro.


    ETA: Whoever runs going forward, they will need the shamelessness shared by Abbie and Trump.


    It was her unremitting internalization of shame  that prompted HRC to the self inflicted privacy obsession that did her in.

    This is just too insulting and absurd (and stupid) to let go:

    It was her unremitting internalization of shame  that prompted HRC to the self inflicted privacy obsession that did her in.

    What in the HELL could she have done?  You and others would never have been satisfied. Never.  She could NEVER have reached your UNATAINABLE requirements. NEVER!

    She had the credentials, endorsements, portfolios,  as well as a cadre of door knockers, ad buys and more.  What she didnt have was a way to educate the "progressive purists" (like you) who drank the GOP toxic koolaide.  

    Sadly, they are still proud of them selves for having "saved" us from the Hillary (who would have improved the ACA, would have pushed for Climate Change legislation, would have helped students with absurd loan problems, would hav improved immigration law, etc, etc, etc.  But she gave speeches to Wall Street.  How terrible!  Now Trump has a significant on them nominated on to his cabinet.

    I'm tired of the out of touch and sanctimonious Progressive purists. The black people I have been talking to over Christmas harbor a great deal of anger directed at the GOP, Trump voters, and the Progressive purists. I noted above, the purists were eager to eject minorities to attract white voters to the Democratic Party. Like the Trumpists, the purists are not viewed favorably.

    rmrd - can you identify some policies urged by or actions taken by "progressive purists" that demonstrate our "eager[ness] to eject minorities to attract white voters"?  Is it your view that the interests of minorities and the white working class are in direct opposition?  If so, then how can you blame the white working class for voting its interests?  You certainly don't urge minorities to vote against their interests.

    I'm trying to make sense out of your question. You ask if there are common issues impacting whites and blacks. You then ask why whites should not vote for its interests if I don't encourage blacks to vote against black interests. Your construct is the problem. My contention is that many Trump voters are willing to vote against their own interests. I often cite the reelection of Brownbeck in Kansas as an example. Wisconsin union voters kept a union buster Governor in place.  Many white voters vote against their own interests. Why does that occur? Blacks, Latino/Hispanics, and Asians voted for Hillary. They were aware of TPP, Benghazi, emails, etc, but they all voted for Hillary. Whites were the outliers. Why did that occur?

    Regarding actions taken by Progressives to push ethnic minorities under the bus, I refer you to an article in the Boston Globe noting the concerns of members of the Congressional Black Caucus that some Democrats are ready to do just that. Names are named.

    Edit to add:

    Russ Feingold lost.Was Feingold a flawed candidate? Why did whites reject Feingold?

    You claim "the [progressive] purists were eager to eject minorities to attract white voters to the Democratic Party.?  My question is how were they trying to accomplish this?  What policies do these "purists" champion that lead to the "eject[ion]" of minorities in order to "attract white voters"?

    More generally, doesn't your construct presume that the interests of minorities and whites must be in conflict.  Otherwise, attracting white working class voters wouldn't necessarily lead to the "eject[ion]" of minorities, right?

    I know others are posting off-topic as well, but why is it that after being called out time and time again, you never bother with staying on-topic? Are you exceptional, or what? I do have the option of simply deleting your off-topic comments, but that seems an unfortunate precedent, and I would appeal to you as a presumed adult to try to keep on the subject or if it's itching you too much, write your own diary and insert a link - too much to ask?

    Sorry about diverting from the post. My overall stance is that money will not have an impact until we can figure out why working class white voters select Republicans while working class ethnic minority workers possessing the same information vote for Democrats.

    Jolly did not express any pride or pleasure in Hillary's loss. Your anger is misplaced. 

    It was her unremitting internalization of shame  that prompted HRC to the self inflicted privacy obsession that did her in.

    That was the source of my anger, and I disagree that it was misplaced.  I think it was insulting.  My other comments simply stated what I see every day,

    Insulting who? HRC? Is she some saint that we must not malign?

    And yes your anger is misplaced. Jolly is not responsible for Clinton's loss. 

    What in the HELL could she have done?

    A fair question. Let me be as specific as I can. First and foremost, won. If she wasn't going to be able to beat a psychotic buffoon, she should have left it to someone else.


    So, yes, I'm pissed and perhaps have garbled the gravaman of my references to her internalized shame--it is simply that both her behavior and the manner of it's undoing came from a guilty conscience

    viz To Goldman Sachs, this woman who has endured, by now, decades of bad ink centering on inauthenticity, is moved by her unease with what she herself can see and acknowledges as a discontinuity between her manifested position and her true position on a matter of public import, to the extent that she concocts for her audience an exegesis on Abe Lincoln as a successful practitioner of (pace Tony Schwartz.).."truthfully hyperbolic hypocrisy".


    Ok, so THEN, because now she is worried and feeling guilty about the content of the speech itself, she has the transcript circulated for input on how to deal with what any schmuck can see is damaging discourse.


    Because of this attempt to pre-but, as it were, the attack, the material ends up in Wikileaks as part of the Podesta trove


    But there's a meta beef that I have and it is where it ties into PP's post, obliquely. MONEY politics.


    When Hilary decided to get rich in the manner she did, simply accepting "tips" from the plutocrats, she should have gotten outta politics (although, of course, her political future was her "inventory").


    To make a long story short (ed note:too late) Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren are not rich, and it's not because they lacked the opportunities to cash in the way virtually every other senator (and HRC) does. You cannot in a million years imagine either one speaking to Goldman Sachs for a quarter million dollars and then riffing on why the plutocrats there assembled should not trouble themselves if they hear me shit talking them, it's just the public face for the rubes. She should not have said it and if she had to say it she shouldn't have run.


    ETA Also, ironically, and connected to money, I think Trump even shit talked her for not campaigning in that last stretch but having fundraisers.  he might have even done the shit talking in question in Eau Claire.


    One more thing she could have done, which would have won the Presidency.


    She could have picked Warren for VP (forget about the totally smart move, Bernie)  Either one.  But she knows that they are both pure where she is soiled, and she couldn't stand having them around.

    "A fair question. Let me be as specific as I can. First and foremost, won. If she wasn't going to be able to beat a psychotic buffoon, she should have left it to someone else." -  such bullshit, Jolly. First of all, the psychotic buffoon mopped the field of well-funded Republican candidates - what, 15 of them? 

    She could have chosen Warren, but that could have lost her the business crowd crossover, and if hating on 1 woman is easy, hating on 2 is even easier - cue the party of lesbians jokes. Plus the kool kidz independents already decided she was a sellout for not backing Bernie over HIllary.

    Bernie? he lost the primaries by 3 million votes, and overall did poorly in primaries, taking his wins mostly from caucuses. Plus a socialist, and if the DNC wouldn't push hard on "Godless atheist", Breitbart and Trump and everyone else sure would. His $2700 donations couldn't keep up with Hillary - how would he deal with the generals? He complained about the media ignoring him in the primaries - was CNN going to give him air time over the much more interesting and ratings-driving Trump? Were Breitbart and Fox going to praise him as the anti-establishment candidate? Would the Republican foreign policy establishment be praising him for his steady hand on the foreign affairs wheel? You're lost in the unreality of those polls showing Bernie competitive, which were a lot lot more speculative than the ones showing Hillary ahead by 3 or 4 points going into election day or the exit polls that everyone kept hanging their hats on. (didn't you learn *anything* from the Huffpost vs 538 spat that Huffpost lost badly?). Trump played "pull with my finger" with Bernie in June over a supposed rogue debate - it gave *me* at least a good idea how easy Bernie could be suckered, something like Mitt humiliatingly going to Trump thinking he'd get the State Department position - Sike!!!

    I published the list of 70 or more Hillary speeches, most to charities and social organizations, a large portion for free - but you don't respond to actual context, only focusing on a few cherry-picked items, just as the Republican oppo did. You're the perfect target for their strategy - repeat every negative detail, hope for some alternative progressive Messiah to show up, and grumble long after defeat. No, NOBODY CAN GUARANTEE THEY'RE GOING TO WIN. They can pretend and brag, but it's bullshit. Shame your detector is broken. Democrats have won 5 presidential elections since 1968 so 50 years - 1 as an exception after Nixon's impeachment - and got p3wnd twice (maybe 3 with Kerry - 3 million votes, 2.6%, 35 electoral votes) and beaten outright 6. 

    Hillary went on the speech circuit in her private years to earn money as part of being one of the most recognized and admired politicians on the planet, while running a non-profit charitable foundation for which she *wasn't* paid. She didn't become a lobbyist as so many in DC have. She didn't use her ins for investment vehicles as Gore did to the tune of $300 million. No, Bernie & Liz didn't have near the opportunity to earn money as the Clintons, hate to break it to you - Bill & Hillary are/were the superstars of the party - Hillary is an ex-First Lady, Senator, SoS, and near winner of the 2008 nomination. Liz Warren is a policy wonk. Donald Trump got an absurd $1.5 million for a "speech". Tim Geithner also got $200K for a speech to Deutsche Bank, and he's in Obama's administration - same for David Plouffe's $100K, Ben Bernanke gets $200K-$400K per speech and he's supposed to be our unbiased defender of the Fed - who asked him for his transcripts? Colin Powell gets $100K-$150K, Al Gore gets $100K or more - but only Hillary is greedy?

    Hillary loaned her campaign $10 million in 2008, and after defeat wrote off the sum, but was beaten up extensively for not being able to pay back Mark Penn his $5 million (because she was Secretary of State and there were limits to her legal ability to fundraise. I'm sure you were concerned about her income then as well, along with their millions in lawyer debt leaving the White House thanks to Scaife and Starr, et al.

    Still fighting this stuff, aren't you - yes, the Democrats play Mexican firing squad (racist term, sorry) all the time. Donald Trump doesn't release fuckall for examination, hundreds of million or perhaps billions in unscrupulous earnings, but Hillary's competitor isn't Donald - it's the scolds inside her own party or purist "independents", the "appearances" that don't apply to anyone else. Keep on fighting it, JR - you're the standard holder for the Democrats' next 40 years in the wilderness, how to lose the plot and keep on losing.

    Sure giving a few speeches to Goldman is hardly the worst case of cashing in on public service, but it's moronic if you plan to run for president. As Jolly said, if she wanted to get rich, she should have gotten out of politics.

    "if she wanted to get rich, she should have gotten out of politics" - according to who? did Kerry or McCain marrying into wealth disqualify them? did John Edwards' trial lawyer wealth disqualify him? did Al Gore's investment wealth disqualify him from another run? did Obama's book deal making him a millionaire disqualify him? did Teddy and Robert and John F Kennedy's inherited bootlegger money disqualify them? how about LBJ in the media business? Eisenhower as a military family? FDR's family wealth? Bill Bradley as a basketball star? Papa and Baby Bush? Romney as a venture capitalist? Trump as professional business whore and sleaze?

    Isn't it actually better that we see who she got money from and for what, rather than the unnamed donations going off to California and Florida to gather? And wouldn't it be much stranger if Hillary got an exceptional fee from 1 company such as Trump's $1.5 million speech, vs. Hillary's standard $225K fee that she got from numerous companies and orgs, from UCLA to Goldman Sachs to dozens of others?

    Yes, she's "elite" and "establishment", which if you didn't know that First Ladies and Secretary of States are elite & establishment already, without the Davos hobnobbing or giving a high-priced speech, you probably need are in need of more than education. Yes, Condi Rice and Colin Powell do it too. What again was the quid-pro-quo such as Trump's donation to the Florida AG's re-election fund? Oh noes, "appearances" yet again, appearances that don't seem to cause as much butt-hurt to Democrats as Kerry and Edwards, just as their Iraq votes in the Senate don't bring charges of hyperventilating charges of war-mongering and personally causing the deaths of millions.

    I thought my meaning was clear from the context, but I will amend. If she wanted to cash in on her public service, she should not have run for president.

    And that's all I will say on the matter. I and others spent an entire election pointing out Hillary's errors and flaws, but you blew off these concerns and comforted yourself with assurances that she was "our future President and Commander-in-Chief."

    Well as it turns out, our future commander-in-chief is a piece of shit named Donald Trump. The concerns we raised that the speeches and emails would hurt Hillary's campaign were right. Your confidence was misplaced. Yet even now, after Hillary Clinton lost to the least qualified nominee in American history, you refuse to acknowledge any merit to our concerns. Indeed, I have not seen you admit that HRC made any mistakes at all.

    Most of the dagbloggers who criticized her during the election have been restrained in our response to you. We are angry and frustrated with HRC for letting us down, yet we have been mostly quiet while you blame everyone but the candidate for her loss. There were many contributing factors, of course, and you're right to point out the external ones, but your adamant rejection of our modest attempts to point out HRC's errors is disheartening.

    I don't claim to be prescient. Like most people here, I predicted that Hillary would win, even if I lacked your confidence. The only person I know who was deeply and consistently pessimistic was Articleman, dag's silent cassandra. After the election was over, I told him that he was right, that I should have listened.

    I'm not asking for such a statement from you. You don't owe me or anyone else anything. But I would have expected at least a degree of humility when you make the same arguments that you made before the election, given the failure of your sunny assurances.

    In any case, I've said my piece. I'm not arguing about Hillary anymore. It's time to move on.

    Well, some of us are angry that white voters are so gullible and willing to attack the most qualified candidate. They were the ones responsible for electing the POS.

    Edit to add:

    Most people don't believe that the orange POS can handle the duties of President.

    What makes the people who voted for Trump worthy of respect? The problem was not Hillary.

    If Bernie had won the Primaries and lost the general election because minority turnout was down, the anger would be directed at minority voters. Why should we not be angry at the actual people who voted for a racist POS?

    If if if. Our candidate won, their candidate lost, but we had to listen to all this navel-gazing bullshit after his defeat, 6 months about holding or not holding one's nose, about "who's most electable" pulled out of thin air with spun thread. In other years the winner is the winner and we just go and try to elect them. Anyway, Nate Silver discussed confirmation bias in polls and it was the year that pollsters believed in magical unicorns more than verifying their assumptions and mix of likely voters and do a hard analysis on those unlikely scenarios that were more likely than believed. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. As it is, Hillary won the vote by 3 million, and if our team had pulled together better we would have easily had another 200,000 votes in the right states to win it. Instead it's still about how damaged a candidate she was. Well that cross-eyed crippled witch still won the popular vote by a long shot despite 1 1/2 years of negativity and how she was losing 24x7 and the wrong person and whatever, so she must have been a lot better than they thought. Oh yeah, the "anyone could have won against Trump" argument, anyone except 15 other Republican candidates.

    Funny, I thought I'd mentioned the seemingly missing ground game/GOTV/near-50-state strategy that never seemed to appear (agreed a post-mortem report would be useful). I didn't much mention it, but the Bill & Loretta Lynch meeting on the tarmac was seriously ill-timed with no obvious upside. While the "stronger together" and "I'm with her" were good enough, she didn't have the most compelling messaging, more dispersed into different policies and "I'm a hard-worker" - which in retrospect I'd guess the public expects an aloof president who doesn't break a sweat, not a hard worker. Even "smart" seems counterproductive, actually - more and more the typical American seems to want someone on their level, thus the 3rd grader level of our debates and what-not. Presidents on golf courses - that's the speed.

    I'll admit the "I'll show you my transcripts as soon as you show your taxes" in the end doesn't cut it, even though Trump in the end got a huge huge pass on this (it may have been a good ploy to pull out the transcripts in the debates and then hope that some fair arbiter might continue to hit Trump for his taxes, but I'm highly skeptical that would have happened, and she might have lost a news cycle over people combing every word and twisting it, as I noted the NY Times among others did big time over her "open borders" statement that obviously referred to an energy grid).

    At the same time, the reason the Goldman Sachs speeches mattered was to Democrats - I don't buy that Republicans were bothered by this to any significant degree - and everyone cashes in on their public service. Colin Powell's done his motivational get-rich shtick and a few other things, and I'd be supremely surprised if anyone found that supremely objectionable.

    I pointed to an article where they noted a big cry out among the "common man" with the deplorables comment, so while I could explain it both ways, it's entirely possible it hurt her with those she was trying to convert, like Romney's 47% comment, though it's still a question how many of those were really up for conversion. I believe I said it was strange to lose Michigan by a close margin *twice* for seemingly similar reasons, and while she should have gotten some credit for Flint, some token visit 1 or 2 times to the Michael Moore-sympathetic pissed-off center of Michigan - Grand Rapids, K'zoo, Traverse City, etc. - would have likely helped, similarly to Wisconsin, but I think the bigger issue was Pennsylvania and Ohio rural or quasi-suburban, not another stop in Philly or Cleveland, and of course the message that goes along with it - what specifically it means, I'm not sure.

    Bigger is "what do the jobs tomorrow look like, and how do we present a concise, compelling vision of how we deal with the transforming economy?" I think I expressed this a few times as well, that she didn't have it nailed, or maybe I just felt it went without saying, that Bernie was carrying that argument much better and that sending people to your website is a pretty futile expectation except for already true believers. I think I made it clear that Obamacare wasn't a winning issue for the campaign - it was an anchor weight, especially the rate hikes in the last days of the campaign, and despite Hillary's long-term infatuation with this issue, she didn't manage to repackage either Hillarycare or Obamacare into something that'd be a plus for her even though I personally liked her ad on disabilities support.

    I thought that Tim Kaine had potential, but overall he came across pretty annoying like a chihuahua or something, and doubt he helped her much at all (where did she even use him?) and I had already warmed to the feeling of a Clinton-Warren ticket and their energy on stage together, with an obvious message behind it, though this is also quite risky in a highly testosterone environment.

    I noted clearly that while I appreciated coalition building, that Hillary's gamble on regime change when Qaddafi had largely been an ally in the region post-9/11 was a cock-up, and that funneling guns to Syria for a similar hope that our supposed moderate allies would carry the day with an easy coup was another risky move that seriously failed for several reasons, leaving refugees flooding into Europe while Americans blamed the Syrian victims rather than their own hubris. 

    Hope that's enough "shea culpa" to note some humility on my side. And I made it clear I thought 4 years ago that there'd be new blood to run, and that it was doubtful that Hillary would have the energy nor the opportunity to seriously take on a more exciting contender, but lo and behold, all we had were 2 other old geezers in the Dem tank and similar for the Republicans.

    Oh yes, the Israel discussion reminded me I'm not thrilled about her kowtowing to Bibi nor settlements etc, but in America's political climate, I've resigned myself to Israel's influence on our politics and the need to suck up - even with the hardnose nuke posturing - and the difficulties this makes in talking to and reconciling the progressives with. the more centrist side. At least the majority of America's Jews seem to have separated themselves from Israel's most egregious behavior - but more to the point, sadly it's largely a *losing* position in the American political sphere between the minority hardline Jews and the evangelical rapture loonies and the bunch who just like getting political advantage out of anything, whatever the hypocrisy.

    And another point is I said several times I thought Democrats took for granted that Florida's Hispanics would be shifting their way, when I think horror over Obama's visit to Cuba had a lot more repercussions than pretended.

    A WaPo analysis suggests that Hillary won a higher percentage of Latino voters than Obama. She trounced Trump among Latinos.

    No offense, but Harry Enten at 538 suggests that Latino Decisions overstates its case, that Hillary though doing well with Latinos likely didnt do as well as claimed.

    I hereby acknowledge the "shea culpa" and apologize for my frustration. But I still say you missed the point of the Goldman issue. It's not the bare fact that Hillary profited, it's the whole narrative. Getting paid exorbitant sums (by the standards of most Americans) to hobnob with Wall Street elite and talk condescendingly about voters behind closed doors--it's like Crony Capitalism the movie. Whether it was harmless or misinterpreted or common practice is in many ways beside the point. It looks bad. Trump was well aware of the optics, which is why he kept harping on it, not just to distract from his tax returns to but to paint Hillary as a champion of the crooked elite--and he succeeded. He used the symbolism of these speeches to help people hate Hillary.

    And she did not understand that, at least not until it was too late. If she had understood how people would view these speeches and how they would affect her campaign, she would never have given them, not for 10 times the amount. This was her fatal myopia--one that is in many ways shared by Democratic Party leaders. They don't get populism. And we are losing the country because of it.

    There's a problem - that "populism" is often sheer prejudice against various industries and anything that smacks of success. Sure, "Wolf of Wall Street" parties and Leonardo di Caprio in particular are something to steer clear of, an industry (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) that accounts for 20% of US GDP probably shouldn't be ignored or considered too toxic to talk with, even if one should be *careful* just what they say, and not fall into deep capture (Joe Biden, D-MBNA?).

    That doesn't mean all is well with Wall Street (or the health industry, or energy, or defense or big agriculture ....), as both 2008-2010 crash and this article on overfinancializiation of our economy notes, but this idea that proper political figures aren't allowed to engage with major drivers of our economy is quite self-destructive to our chance of actually managing things unless by some fortuitous revolution - not likely to happen soon.

    Hillary was Senator for New York - that was her job, that was what she did. Democrats are always letting the air out of their own tires, putting more and more limits on what's proper, deciding what's acceptable.

    Hey, Republicans love the shit out of this - the only good states are rural conservative heartland regions.

    California is the 7th largest economy in the world, and booming, as Digby notes, with lots of progressive legislation - but by our attitude towards any big money, we should shun it and move to North Dakota.

    Dislike Wall Street, but its money is one reason New York and the Northeast in general can afford to be liberal.

    One of our goals should be bringing Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Long Beach-like success and prosperity to the rest of the country - putting limits where they're predatory, building the model where they're not.

    Of course now we have a return to our famous 2004 tax holiday, where we give the big internationals a way to bring home offshore money without paying taxes. The big 5 (Google/Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft & 2 others) have about $2 trillion abroad. We give Wall Street exemptions on its trader pay that nobody else gets. Once again the mortgage deduction will get renewed even though it's an unneeded sop to the real estate industry. Etc, etc. Yes, Elizabeth Warren has done a good job putting some heat under Wall Street's ass - but even she isn't a hippy antimonetarist - she's cut from banking & finance cloth, and she's good at what she does because she believes in the positive side that could be and knows the rules that should be.

    Hillary may have too tin an ear for this, but surprisingly or note she carried those who were concerned about the economy by a good margin. Where she lagged was on those worried about immigration and security - building that wall, dealing with those Muslims, and likely the refrain that she's going to take away everyone's gun and keep cops from doing their jobs.

    BTW, DailyHowler had an interesting anecdote about someone on Obamacare who's paying $250 a month with a $6000 who doesn't think she can afford to get sick or actually use her insurance, while she sees those on Medicare getting a much better deal while working less. The article goes on to note:

     47 percent of enrollees told the Kaiser Family Foundation they were dissatisfied with their deductible. A study from the Commonwealth Fund earlier this year found that four in 10 adults on Affordable Care Act plans didn’t think they could afford to go to the doctor if they got sick. Fewer than half said it was easy to find an affordable plan.

    We'll talk about the theoretical and appearances, that say Hillary's speech means more than Tim Geithner and Larry Summers and other Wall Street figures in the administration doling out rescues in the trillions, or we talk about theoretical single payer system for some reaon and not the actual details of who pays what and whether our signature health care act is actually affordable and actually working.

    So yeah, I'm worried about populism. Even #Black Lives Matter, as some noted, is only worried about black deaths from police, and not about black deaths from black criminals for example (predators, may I say?), a much more common phenomenon, even as I find the police brutality completely unacceptable that saps any hope and idea of justice out of places that need it most.

    And that "narrative" you mentioned was already being written up by conservative oppo research groups, as the March 2015 Atlantic noted. When do we write our own narratives and make them stick? They wrote the narrative on Benghazi and Obama's birth and late term abortions and selling out Israel to Iran and Muslims sneaking across the border and Obama breaking the Constitution and countless others.

    I brought up the idea of market share previously because "populism" often seems to be referring to a set of consumers of certain products. The pitch got them to vote like it was a deal.
    So maybe we should distinguish between spending money to establish "brands" and the money spent to produce a product that is in demand.
    Looking at it this way, the "people" who comprise a "populism" are not just some amorphous glob of clueless-what the-fuckers but a group of customers hoping to save money by buying together. And that is how they see politics: A market.
    Well, I propose picking that gauntlet up. It is all very well to complain about where things are made. From whom should one buy?
    I writhe in agony at the complaints of our present system of exchange when the customers can simply negate what they do not like by buying other stuff. Or not buying that much at all. How much do you need?
    Screw all these carefully managed discussions of class. What do you need and will struggle to make sure you will get?

    Ah, getting into sales & marketing, we get brand awareness, a marketing qualified lead, a sales qualified lead, an actual closed customer, and then there are suppliers, partners, etc. that form part of our supply and delivery network. Since it's a 2-party system, there's a lot of competitive analysis, unique sales proposition, price-product positioning strategy, which niche, etc. Who are the personas that fit within your tent, and which fit in the opposition's? How elastic is the customer's demand? what are core needs & features?


    Good questions. Give me some time to answer.

    I am pretty sure it involves the other tent. Investment being what it is.

    On the other hand, boycotting is an underused move that moves the market in a way that cannot be explained away by the people noticing their company does not exist anymore.

    For instance, if your mind was really screwed up by the thought that people were buying things from China, you could stop doing that today. Except for certain components, of course. In other words, if buying stuff from other places really bothers you, you could stop doing that at any time. The meme that our society has no choice where we buy stuff really pisses me off. If you only want to buy stuff made in this country, you can do that. Right now.

    You don't have to elect somebody to stop you from doing that.


    Also gets into marketing budget & spend (marketing mix), plus things like PPC for social media. Comments & engagement are roughly inbound marketing.

    Labeling country of origin only works for some things - a sweater may have 20 countries involved in manufacturing, but where they sew on the buttons might be the "made in". Same with computers/smartphones, cars, blenders, etc.

    yes, how things are getting made.
    That is the international idea, right?
     We own that together because we know why it is possible?

    America has a problem with the idea of a world.

    Correct, IMO.

    such bullshit, Jolly. First of all, the psychotic buffoon mopped the field of well-funded Republican candidates - what, 15 of them?


    Nicely played, Des, but you know perfecto  that the very multiplicity of well funded, etc. was a feature, not a bug, of Trump's success (and you have elided the contribution that the Clinton team deliberately...deliberately, Precious Blood of the Sweet Baby Jesus DELIBERATELY made to endowing his flaming red self with credibility in the clown car.


    Also, the hope to inherit Trump's troops operated to blunt the kind of oppo dump that begged to be made, a constraint of course not hobbling a general election opponent.


    All of which, of course, contributing to our complacency.


    I repeat my dystopic intuition that the future belongs to the flamboyant, if not the psychotic, albeit running naked down the streets biting people's faces off does guarantee an advantage going into any news cycle--certainly Trump has mastered the art of the usefully stoked outrage.  


    He is not the chaos candidate, he's the bath salts candidate.


    Which brings us to a point that I find looms larger and larger--consider Trump's pure belicosity when the outrage he has deliberately provoked finds its\voice.


    He is an authentic psychotic, and Hillary trumpeted her lack of authenticity to Goldman (BTW, by coincidence even this morning in the ongoing Joe Scarborough post mortem, the public face/private face remark has risen to the very top of all the damaging entrails undergoing examination.

    PS - the cattle futures summary from WaPo looks a lot different from standard lore - instead of a miraculous 1 time bet on credit that produced $100K easy profit, it was an initial loss, a bit of recover, several trades, and finally getting above water to $60K (not $100K) and then never trading again - the sign of someone not terribly comfortable with this type of gambling, while others the article notes were making easy millions at the time.

    But the simplest, most devious spin wins the news cycle.

    From Hunting, as I recall: There were allowed practices--insider knowledge about cattle production--that enabled her gain. These would not have been allowed in the stock market, but were allowed, if I recall correctly, in the commodities market. Also, it was her friend, whose name I can no longer recall, who had the insider knowledge. So more or less just gave him the money to invest for her since he was clearly so successful. And yes, she did pull out of the speculative arts after this foray. I think the Clintons' own favorite investment was Treasurys.

    Progressives lost in great numbers? Why did that happen. 

    A number of reasons.  Certainly money was one.  The failure over the past 8 years of the federal government, which wore rightly or wrongly a Democratic face, to change our fundamentally unjust economic system was another.  Probably the biggest was a Democratic standard-bearer who was the antithesis of what the majority of voters in a majority of Congressional districts and states wanted.

    Keep on banging that drum.

    With $2.4 million, I can make Jesus into a pedophile, a tactic Karl Rove was pretty good at. Low hanging fruit, eh...

    That's what you baldly assert. But Clinton and her supporters spent $1.6 billion to beat Trump. So how did they lose to such an awful opponent?

    Trump got free air time from multiple media outlets. The head of CBS said publicly that the extensive coverage of Trump was bad for the country but good for BCS' bottom line. CNN defended letting a person on Trump's payroll have a prominent position as an "analyst". Trump rallies often took up a significant portion of airtime on cable media evening news shows. No other candidate got that type of coverage. Coverage on Hillary tended to be negative. You also had the director of the FBI break tradition to bring to email controversy back to life. Comedy then said "Never mind".  There was/is a strong anti-Hillary group in the FBI. I will again bring up the uncomfortable fact that only one ethnic group took the nonsense as a reason to vote against Hillary. The other fact is that many Trump voters do not believe what Trump says but still voted for the racist.

    25 years of agitprop, loading the dice in 30+ states, targeted voter repression and steady accrual of media orgs writing stuff your way or "both sides do it" beats 4 months of campaign ads, especially when countered by a weekly news drop/attack leak anyway.

    Remember how the IRS tried to enforce laws preventing blatant political orgs from receiving non-profit tax exempt status, and instead the IRS was called on the carpet by the Republican congress for being "biased" - so that part of the corrupt big money operation continued.

    How many Benghazi investigations, 11? How much did the GOP pay for those, $0? What did they pay for the subsequent 1 1/2 years of email slander? Another $0? So that like Bill's impeachment are Return on Investment for that blanket bankrolling that buys them the storyline to begin with. How did the Tea Party with all its Republican rewarmed ideas carry 2010, just 2 years after crashing the global economy? Money talks, channeled to the roght places. If you watched the Republican primaries with the faked "late term abortion" video, you realize Hillary was running against Reagan's welfare-queen and Gingrich's welfare mothers and on tothe last five years' effort to shutter abortion clinics state by state and killing that abortion doc, all this advertising and posturing adding up over the decades, and that's just one issue.

    We, on the other hand, can't even rally behind what we did last week.

    Exactly, lots of examples of political factors other than money, reinforcing my point that money is overrated. But I guess that should be obvious given the lopsided spending this election cycle. 

    Conservatives paid a lot to acquire Clearwire, Murdoch to expand Fox and others, Jack Webb paid a ton for his stable at MSNBC. These are all money ventures, though they make profits beyond their conservative political goals. The head of CNN was bragging about how much carrying Trump tweets 24x7 made him this past year. I'm not sure why you think that money pouring into 25 causes rather than 1 make money "overrated" - I see it as the constant multiplier, the money that's not counted towards campaign spending but should be considered as such.

    What is the purpose of Breitbart's daily "news" output - to inform? Or to win the argument, the legislation, the news cycle, the election, ensure the overall disposition of its audience to vote its way? Can Hillary really give a speech on gun control without pushing up against 40 years of NRA gun rights lobbying money, as just 1 example? When Jerry Falwell Jr's $2 billion endowed Liberty University endorses Trump, he doesn't trigger any campaign spending - but there's a huge money machine and already-paid-for referral service set in motion, tax exempt charity of course despite its political activities.

    Citizen's United is largely misleading - money influence is mostly outside the campaign system, and only the Preisential campaign even puts a few limits on for individual donations - all other races and ballot initiatives are open season, even for interstate money in state races.

    There is no question that right-wing institutions have wrecked havoc on American politics, and of course those institutions require money, but that's a much more complex and indirect role than you implied with the Jesus child molester one-liner as well as the Hillary-lost-because-of-conservative-money theme.

    Not so complex or indirect. Karl Rove destroyed 1 politician's career with a single whisper campaign focused on his Boys' Club activities. John Kerry was largely defeated by the Swift Boat smear campaign. ACORN was defunded over a clearly falsified video, and the same nearly happened to Planned Parenthood. The Arkansas Project like all these others is to make a bunch of shit up, see what gets traction, and double down/dig in. $2.4 miilion was a good downpayment, and then Scaife sunk more money into the Paula Jones defense team, a book on Hillary killing Vince Foster, and other promising sidelines. 

    Look how much traction the bullshit "Hillary laughed at a rape victim" got - this isn't someone who goes around saying "turn the desert into glass" or "string up criminals" and usually speaks in caring, diplomatic language, but she's spun to be a heartless warmonger and destroyer of social access in article after article. No influence in who pays the retainer? I noted Jolly's assumption that Hillary's Qaddafi quip was about him being sodomized by a bayonet, when that news came 2-3 days later. Am I the only person who can look up dates, or is there a paid stipend with career advancement for anyone he pushes the right Hillary buttons?

    Which once again raises the counter examples: why wasn't Trump "destroyed" by the avalanche of money against him? Why wasn't Obama? Or Harry Reid? Or Bill Clinton in 96?

    When it comes to your examples, you say it's simple, but when it comes to the exceptions, you say well it's complicated. The logic seems designed to support a preordained conclusion. 

    I didnt say complicated, I don't think - I noted complex, working on many targets in parallel. They largely did destroy Obama' presidency - I was going to even add a paragraph to note this isn't a just Hillary or Bill thing. I'm less familiar with Reid, though being from Vegas might be harder to attack and blackmail than those from a southern climewho might be scandalized easier. They knocked off Russ Feingold despite a good track record while killing off unions. Remember how they put Arnie in the governor's mansion. How much money did we get into Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter? I'd guess a tenth of their conservative counterparts.

    I will say that Trump is a unique character who's defied popular wisdom and taken the result of monied confusion to a state past its sowers expectations. There of course is a Republican establishment and while its credos have gotten zanier and zanier, groups like the Tea Party have pushed them there, being hard to control, but not as unpredictable as Trump.

    So while all this money has served to slander the left while casting doubt on the now infamous main stream media, Trump has captured memes from Reagan's new Morning in America, Ross Perot as self-made billionaire businessman, John McCain as straightshooter- tell it like it is, as well as a Bernie anti-establishment character. He's a bad boy who doesn't play by rules but will bring us to greatness again - for those who believe, no money can bring him into doubt. He steamrolled the Republican pack atrociously and mercilessly, largely by coopting their memes while refusing their tired limits. For those who are converted by convenience and necessity, the penalties of a Cruella Hillary presidency were already broadcast as worse than Trump even by many Democrats and Independents. In short, conservative money had set up both "better a dead Republican than a live Dem" and the okay of insurrectionist Tea Party when Bush turned toxic, and Trump walked in and wore it. How could Hillary money tarnish Trump when the head of the iconic conservative christian Liberty University was more than willing to forgive and adapt and support? The right takes its cues from its leaders and its publications, and Falwell Jr and Breitbart were giving them clear signals, and CNN protesting just confirmed he was the right guy. Ailes fell in line as well, while Megyn Fox is near exiled. Money has broadcast The Republicans as permanently under attack and Trump called that siege mentality to arms. Hillary would need 25 years of counter propaganda or equivalent, but that's not how Democrats play - witness Gore, Kerry and the cautious accommodating Obama.

    OK, let's start from the beginning. Your argument rests on the premise that money allows a cunning political operator to destroy a politician at will (even Jesus, as you put it, for the low-low price of $2.4 million). This is a premise--asserted not proven.

    I rejected the premise and supported my position by offering counterexamples in which well-financed attacks failed to destroy their targets. You waved these away by citing extenuating circumstances, but that defense does not actually save the premise. If extenuating circumstances can derail well-financed attacks, it means that money does not necessarily allow cunning political operators to destroy politicians at will, or rather, it only allows them to do so when the conditions are right. In other words, money is a tool, not a magic wand.

    If you accept that, please say so. Then we can move on to the next question: Under what conditions are well-financed attacks most effective? The simplest answer is when candidates are vulnerable. That is to say, a well-financed attack can most easily sway public opinion when the public is predisposed to believe it. All the money in the world would not have persuaded the disciples that Jesus was a pedophile, but the Romans who detested him would have easily accepted the lie. (Of course, pedophilia was not such a crime back then, but whatever.)

    So yes, without the attacks financed by Scaife et al, HRC would not have had such a shitty reputation. The attacks made a difference in people's perceptions of her. But Scaife's attacks were only effective because Hillary was vulnerable, because too many people were predisposed to believe the lies.

    Yes, extenuating circumstances play a role. We know presidential candidates are often only 3-5% from opponent as well. The goal of most trickery is to narrow down the difference, not expecting to decimate. As most states are decided via swing states, the focus is even more acute.

    And what does it mean that Hillary was "vulnerable" - we have to dissect which of the attacks on Hillary had an inkling of truth, and from the beginning figure out whether she deserved her reputation or was set up?

    We've got a chicken-egg situation still not resolved. Joe Conason and Gene Lyons are around to help provide clues, along with Scaife's bio, but I guess there are still questions floating about, somehow still relevant to how Hillary ended up where she is today, and all the interludes. We do know for sure that Scaife's Arkansas Project for $2.4 million led from trumped up already-investigated-and-dismissed charges back to a special investigator who was friends with one of the Project's founders, that Scaife then funded the tangentially related Paula Jones legal team, which then on its fishing expedition dug up Monica Lewinsky, leading to Clinton's impeachment. While my comment about Jesus was obviously tongue-in-cheek, my guess is they could have done it for only $1 million or so, being such pros, plus Karl Rove did exactly this to an Alabama judge.

    Basically, are any of the early charges serious and substantiated enough to consider proper cause for demeaning her character? Maybe Rose Law/Whitewater (debunked here as well as the splitting hairs whether 60 hours of work over 15 months was "a lot" of work), cattle futures (debunked here including $6K on margin, several losses before only $60k won), anything else? Travelgate? Since they'd already decided on Lady Macbeth as her moniker, it's obvious a death had to occur, and that was Vince Foster, hyped up by the NewsMax guy Chris Ruddy into murder. Otherwise they had David Bossie of Citizens United fame and others making shit up, David Brock publicly recanting his participation in a well-known book.

    So really, what specifically can you point to here that makes Hillary "vulnerable" in the midst of such a concerted slanderous/libelous effort to relitigate buried investigations and snoop around Arkansas at great expense to spin something, anything to bag the Clintons?

    How specifically do you justify "But Scaife's attacks were only effective because Hillary was vulnerable, because too many people were prone to believe the lies."??? So she was obviously dishonest and thus they'd believe the lies, thus her fault, carrying a bad evil conscience on her sleeve? In Arkansas she was a northerner, so maybe there'd be natural suspicion - deserved, of course, but same in DC? The Quest for FIre theory, after several investigations over the same matter, people tend to think "where there's smoke there's fire", even if there was no smoke to start? What else you got?

    My personal opinion (which I don't claim to be able to back up with evidence) is that it has a lot to do with charisma. Some people are teflon; some are glue. Hillary is glue. That's why the 90s "gate" scandals always seemed to damage her more than Bill, even though he was often more responsible. Many people just don't like Hillary very much, so they are prepared to believe the worst about her.

    In addition, some of her vulnerability was surely due to misogyny, as you have amply documented in other posts. Some of it was self-inflicted, such as Whitewater and Filegate back in the day and the Wall Street speeches and the email server this year. The latter were not crimes, but they were errors of judgment that reinforced voters' negative perceptions of her. And finally, some of it this year was timing. Everyone is bashing the "corrupt" establishment, and HRC embodies the establishment.

    Yeah, shit just seems to stick to Hillary. I'm not sure why. I hate to just yell misogyny but I don't know what other explanation there is. She's no saint but she is just a normal politician. She spins like they all do, obfuscates when necessary, but no more than average for a politician and less than many. There really does seem to be a double standard. Things that cause barely a ripple when another politician does it becomes a high crime when it's Hillary. Where does all this deep rooted hate come from?

    There's plenty of evidence that people tend to criticize certain traits in women that they admire in men--ambition, aggression, etc. I'm sure that has something to do with it, but I'm also sure that it's not all of it. We have examples of strong, ambitious women who are popular and teflon-y: Angela Merkel, Eva Peron, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, etc. If you want to compare apples to apples, try Barbara Bush (liked) vs Nancy Reagan (disliked).

    There are also plenty of capable male politicians who are glue-ey. PP mentioned John Kerry. Why did the absurd Swift boat accusations stick to him better than draft-dodging, coke-snorting accusations stuck to Dubya? People just liked Dubya better, so they were more willing to minimize, forgive, or dismiss his indiscretions.

    Sometimes I wonder if its all just like high school. The dumb kids and even the barely smart kids hated the truly smart ones. So today they like fools like Dubya and Trump and hate the wonkish "elites."

    "Where does all this deep rooted hate come from?" - that's largely what I'm trying to explore, but even with $2.4 million, as Michael I think suggests, it still doesn't quite explain why so many seem drawn to such hate over such innocuous stuff. Here's an Atlantic article that portrays the Arkansas Project in more detail, and aside from Brock portraying Hillary as a slut, it's not really clear that the Project was terribly successful compared to other DC projects, aside from Troopergate and some small conservative circles fandom.

    Plus Hillary was already the evil daemon by 1994. Was "staying home to bake cookies" combined with socialist health care enough? Obviously the health care industry wanted to destroy her, but they weren't as personal as Brock. Maybe it was her kind of evil Sharon Stone/Basic Instinct look in 1992 when they just arrived in DC.

    I noted Jolly's assumption that Hillary's Qaddafi quip was about him being sodomized by a bayonet, when that news came 2-3 days later.

    I must have been unclear--I don't think her that vile-- I believe she knew about the bayonet when she made the crack, but I don't connect them causally.


    Huh? no entiendo. I specified you thought she made the quip over a guy she knew to have been horridly bayoneted up the ass. I note that from dates we know, this was probably not true.

    "about" is not "after"

    Your second formulation does correctly state my beef with: the quip (well, one beef among several...) but I confess to imprecision vis-a-vis the public announcement of Qaddafi's mannner of dispatch and what I take to have been the timing of HRC's being informed in her capacity as Sec/State.  


    If I don't get distracted (ed note: Hah!) I'll nail it down.

    Think of these things as "in kind" and therefore unreported contributions. If a $500/hour agrees to take your case pro bono, you can say he's doing it for free. You can also say that you're getting $500/hour representation. That's money.

    Dragging up the late Richard Mellon Scaife's 20-year-old smear campaign is weirdly anachronistic, as if his dead hand were still hanging onto Hillary's ankle.

    I think it is. Why do you think Trump rambled all over the past the 35 years? Brought back those women whom Bill had allegedly assaulted or even raped? Why was David Bossie, one of the two key people from Citizens United, working for Trump? Why was Bill's record even in play here? Isn't THAT anachronistic?

    More generally, there's a good question here: Does a smear's effectiveness depend upon a candidate's own actions? Can a good person be smeared effectively? Do we ALL have little bits and pieces hanging off of us that a good smear could attach to?

    Had Bernie been the one and lost would we say, "Look, he called himself a socialist all these years, he was a flawed candidate"? Why didn't he take himself out? Sure, young people say they aren't against socialism, but who votes in this country? And look where he got elected: In the People's Republic of VT and its capital, Burlington.

    Obama is about as squeaky clean a candidate as I can imagine (almost), but look what the birther smear did to his presidency. Or Rove's whisper campaign against that judge in Alabama.

    To be effective, any smear has to have some "truth" to it. Something that makes it plausible to enough people who themselves have little bits hanging out which the smear can hang onto. There IS something about Hillary; maybe more somethings than other people have. So, yes, she is a flawed candidate, but all candidates have flaws in this sense.

    Heck, by almost any standard, Trump was the poster child for "flawed candidate" and look where it got him.

    She was a good enough  human being and candidate and she deserved to have the majority of the

    voters choose her instead of Trump. And they did.


    If  someone has a better idea, be my guest. Otherwise  this seems like a good way to go out

    " I sit in one of the dives

    On Fifty-second Street

    Uncertain and afraid

    As the clever hopes expire 

    Of a low dishonest decade.

    W. H.Auden  

    " September 1, 1939"


    When it actually  was worse,


    It is hard to connect all the operations of the past with what is going on now. Not in the sense that causality gets more to difficult to sort out as time progresses but in the sense that the burden of proof falls more heavily on the person explaining the last 50 years than the one describing the last ten minutes.

    With all the dollars spent by different agents in order to gain a result in the election contests, maybe the focus should shift to the idea of market share. If I can spend 10 percent of what my competitor (or competitors) paid to control a market, my spending less is not indication of the relative unimportance of spending money but is exactly the opposite:

    I found the right price to make the deal.

    100% correct on all counts, IMO.

    We people talk about money in politics, they are usually referring to money expended on elections, but you show that that's just the tip of an iceberg of communications infrastructure the goes much deeper and wider below the surface. It's this infrastructure that creates the, how to put it? the group state of mind that drives many elections. Focusing on elections is focusing too late. By the time the election comes along, the battle is half over because the mental ground has long ago been prepared.

    Take Hillary. By the time she gets to 2008 and certainly by 2016 she is walking around like Pig Pen with a 35-year-old stink of corruption that was well documented in The Hunting of the President. And this is an odor that reaches liberals and progressives as well as independents. So anything new that gets added to this mix finds fertile ground. IOW, there is a presumption of guilt about her that new events simply confirm. Emails harken back to lost billing records. The Clinton Foundation harkens back to the ill-gotten $100,000 she made on commodities in Arkansas or the sweetheart deal the Clintons got from the McDougals. And much, much else.

    She gets no benefit of the doubt because, in people's minds, she's already gotten away with murder (literally) over the past 35 years, and anything new, like the emails, is simply fit into this narrative.

    Last year, or the year before, I realized I might have to vote for Hillary. I say "have to" because I knew that, rightly or wrongly, her running would bring on a huge shit show I didn't want to go through. So, in preparation, I did a lot of reading about all the Clinton scandals, which I never really understood at the time they were happening. Whitewater, in particular, was opaque. The Hunting of the President was the best book by far. Even though WW turns out to be fairly simple in essence--a losing land deal--there is a cast of characters worthy of any Russian novel. The book is a masterful piece of reporting. As PP notes, there really was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" arrayed against Bill and by extension against Hillary.

    Bottom line, there was no there there with the scandals of the 1990s,** but it took a huge amount of money to create this "negative brand" and pin it on the Clintons over the past 35 years or so.

    This is what the Republicans do so well and Democrats at least seem to do poorly. They till the soil. They add fertilizer. They plant complementary crops together. They don't just stick some gorgeous plants into the ground, water them, and hope for the best. After the loss, I stepped back to think about it, and the most amazing thing to me was how much we Democrats focused on the presidential if nothing else mattered. But when you look at Congress and then the states, it's clear that the Republicans essentially "own" this country politically.

    And this would still have been true, largely, even if Hillary had won. Losing the presidency threw into stark relief that the Democrats had nothing else. It was as if we'd gone to the roulette table and put all of our money on R11. And when we lost, we had nothing left. Even worse, we had no one in the pipeline. No up and comers to grab the fallen flag and continue to charge. Had Hillary won, we'd have been so happy or relieved, but we'd still only have gained a small, albeit important, beach head in a much bigger battle that we've been losing for a while now. All of which takes a lot of money to wage. And not just money, but persistence over many years. But it was almost as if we were so focused on this one battle, we didn't recognize that we had lost almost everywhere else.

    Here's something I heard that I haven't verified. At this point, the GOP is only one state away from being able to pass an amendment to the Constitution, basically on their own (assuming they could all agree). That's shocking.

    So yes, spending lots of money on any given race is essential. Essential and necessary, but not always sufficient to win. Sometimes, the low spender wins on any given Sunday. Ironically, spending money on specific elections probably plays a more decisive role at the state level (including Senate and House races) than at the national level, even though you need many shekels to succeed at the national level. But the real spending goes into softening up public opinion, not on the race per se. If people think that global warming is a hoax, this position in the minds of millions of people, this negative brand, if you will, becomes a broad sword that's powerful in a LOT of races, not just the one one candidate may be running.

    If you tallied up all the "free advertising" Trump got from a supine and witless press, it might reach the billion-dollar mark. And all of that air time was much more effective at changing people's minds than an equivalent amount of time spent on spots would've been. People tune out spots because they know they're advertising and thus slanted. They pay a lot more attention to the candidate standing there "naked" in front of the cameras and blabbing off the cuff. It's reality T.V. They're watching the actual guy say what he thinks at that moment. So Trump got a helluva lot more air time and more effective air time, IMO, than Hillary with all her advertising spend. My 2¢.

    And this doesn't count the many millions of dollars that had already been spent against the Clintons during the preceding 35 years. I'd call all of this spending tilling the ground, keeping it fertile, never letting it go to seed.

    ** The only caveat I'd add is that the Clintons do have a talent for drawing enemies and for getting themselves tangled up in these non-scandal scandals. That's curious, because no one else seems to have this much talent for creating controversy and not being able to kill off the attacks. They survive, but the smell lingers and lingers.

    I don't know what this talent is. Some people say, the Clintons are so convinced they are doing good, they don't bother to cross all the tees. Politics is so thoroughly their life and "business," the two get entwined, as seems to have happened with the Foundation (maybe). In reading The Hunting, my theory was that they do X. X looks bad, or someone says that X looks bad and bears investigating. Instead of just saying this is what happened, they try to keep up appearances with various cover stories to smooth it over. When the stories don't pan out, it then looks like they are trying to cover up a crime. This, then, encourages further investigations, lots of news, etc.

    So with WW, the McDougals were hiding how much money the project was losing from the Clintons and feeding money into the maw of this failing project to try to save it. When it came out that the McDougals were putting in far more money than the Clintons even though they were equal partners (I believe, though it was a corporation, not a partnership), the suspicion arose that this money was pay back for favors granted the McDougals by the state government. In this case, one of the "favors" was supposedly granting McDougal's failing S&L the right to raise money by issuing and selling shares.

    So when it came out--and the Clintons learned for the first time--that the Ms were putting in tons of dough, it didn't "look good." It looked like there had been pay for play. So the Clintons lied about how much money they had in fact put in just for appearances' sake. (I think I have this right.) They had done nothing wrong. They hadn't known that WW was failing because they were, in essence, silent partners. They hadn't known that the Ms were throwing lots of money at the project. But once this all came out, it LOOKED like Clinton might have taken a bribe in exchange for getting the government to do the Ms various favors.

    Same thing with Travelgate. They had the right to replace the travel office staff and put in their own people. Especially if they believed, as they did (wrongly, as it turned out) there was corruption in the office. Hillary WAS involved in this decision, but the press made it seem as if there were something wrong with her being involved. (She wasn't the person the people had elected, after all.) So they lied and said she'd had nothing to do with it, again to keep up appearances. Of course, they handled the firing and re-instating of the staff very badly in lots of other ways, but there was nothing illegal or even unethical with what they did, as I recall. It didn't rise to the level of scandal, but it was turned into a scandal.

    *** PP, I think you mean a repentant Brock, not a recalcitrant Brock.

    ***Peter, indeed I do. Mental thesaurus failed me... PP





    Nice, excellent - would you mind posting this as a diary not to be lost as we go forward in this new year, a marker, memo to selves how we got here and presumably a hint of how we might get out - a farm team, a years-long 24x7 apparatus, a 50-state strategy, a messaging and counter-propaganda core with reach to media and more effective social media, a group of dedicated donors in all years and all weather, and a belly for a fight - not just outrage, but also cleverness, 5 steps ahead strategy, the right spin and approach.

    Sure. How do I make a diary entry?

    Click "blog now", copy & paste and write some more, click save. If you have trouble, can provide more help.

    A prophetic/insightful piece on oppo research from Hanna Rosin/The Atlantic in March 2015 (gets going the further you get in, and what's quoted below is just one of the angles they prepared. While obviously they knew Hillary best, they'll manage the same comprehensive preparedness and strategy with any candidate):


     Oppo researchers today function in ways that make them almost indistinguishable from campaign strategists, just without the funding limits. They can provide one crucial piece of information—say, that John Edwards paid $400 for a haircut—that is subsequently integrated into the broader negative picture of a candidate (in Edwards’s case, that he was rich and vain). Last year, a tracker from America Rising caught Bruce Braley, a Democratic Senate candidate in Iowa, deriding the state’s senior senator, the Republican Chuck Grassley, as a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” This turned into a meme that made Democrats look anti-farmer and alienated from Middle America. For 2016, America Rising is building a huge database of everything Hillary Clinton has said and done, regarding everything from Little Rock to Benghazi, to try to paint a robust caricature of Hillary in the public’s mind before the real Hillary even gets started

    When Clinton went on tour to promote her new book, Hard Choices, for instance, America Rising was determined to counter all the free positive press. It sent trackers to record her every move and updated its site constantly. It aggregated unflattering news coverage, but almost always from reputable origins—a Politico summary of negative reviews of her book; or a Wall Street Journal poll showing that only 38 percent of voters thought she was “honest and straightforward”; or a Daily Mail article reporting that “U.S. taxpayers spent $55,000 on travel expenses for Hillary Clinton’s book tour,” including “a $3,668-a-night hotel suite.” The trick for America Rising is to find material that is damaging but still credible and mainstream. “If we were caught peddling really terrible stuff, wild conspiracy theories, it would have a terrible impact on our brand,” Miller told me. [perhaps no longer true - PP]

    An already-emerging line of attack is the framing of Clinton as a plutocrat: elite, rich, and out of touch with average Americans. In some ways, it’s the evolution of the old portrayal of the Clintons as vulgar money-grubbers, Arkansas grifters involved in an assortment of sleazy deals all the way down to trading old underwear for tax breaks. Now, by contrast, they are portrayed as operating on a much grander scale, acquiring their money from universities, charities, and shady international ventures. Whenever possible, America Rising cites the perks that go along with the Clintons’ new wealth. Last September on the group’s Web site, a story based on a Bloomberg News video appeared under a breathless headline: “$25,000 to Burn? Bill Clinton Smokes World’s Most Expensive Cigar!” (In the video, the CEO of Gurkha—whose high-end cigars retail for $25,000 a box—mentions that Clinton is one of his clients.)

    “If anything, the Hillary Clinton network now is the ’90s influence-peddling Bill Clinton network on steroids,” Miller told me. “It’s had time to grow from a little operation in Arkansas. Now the circus is the global financial elite—CEOs and rich hedge-fund pals all looking to make deals, and the Clintons more than happy to participate. It’s way more relevant for 2016!”

    Among its efforts to gather information, America Rising has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to learn the details of the Clintons’ speaking appearances at public universities. Such requests have already proved a fertile source of outrage stories in traditional media outlets. For example, The Washington Post reported in November that Hillary Clinton was paid $300,000 to give a half-hour speech at UCLA. (It also noted that her speaking agent requested that she be provided with a wedge of lemon in room-temperature water, a special rectangular pillow, and hummus and crudités in the green room.)

    This line of attack could be especially potent against what has emerged as one of Clinton’s regular talking points, the vanishing American dream of upward mobility. When she brings up the plight of a single mother struggling to work and take care of her children, America Rising can point out just how long it takes a middle-class family to earn the $300,000 that she pocketed for one speech. And you can be sure that there will be many, many reminders of Hillary’s comment last summer that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House....

    ...When photos of Clinton appear on the group’s home page, she is almost always wearing one of a few unflattering expressions: chin up haughtily, angry and finger-pointing, bored and contemptuous, or laughing with her mouth wide open. In one photo, accompanying the aggregated story about billing taxpayers for her book tour, she seems to be rubbing her hands together as she leaves the stage.

    Teaching Republicans how to not turn off women voters is one of the goals of Burning Glass Consulting, a group founded by Katie Packer Gage and two other female GOP campaign veterans and based just outside Washington, D.C. “Women have this feeling that the world—and particularly this town—is run by men, and if something comes across as mean or unfair, they want to rush to [Clinton’s] defense,” Gage says. “We have to make sure nothing comes across as ‘unfair.’ ” To this end, Burning Glass conducts focus groups with women in informal settings, with wine or cappuccino, to explore their feelings about Clinton. It tests potential strategies to see which ones might be persuasive, and then checks in with the women periodically, to see whether the impact was enduring or temporary. Most voters in presidential elections are women, and most women vote Democratic. But the majority of white women have voted Republican in the past four presidential elections [make that 5 now - PP]. The most obvious battle in 2016 will be for married white women, who have been drifting Republican but may, by virtue of shared life experiences, lean toward Clinton.

    One criticism of Clinton that Burning Glass has found to resonate with women is an attack Obama used successfully against her in 2008: that she is “more politically motivated” than the average politician. In general, people tend to view women as political outsiders. They assume that their motives are more pure than those of their male counterparts, and that they are in it not just for themselves but for some greater good. In its focus groups, however, Burning Glass has found strategies that, over time, can take this asset away from Clinton, and convince women that she is more political than the average candidate. One is to suggest inappropriate overlap between her work at the State Department and at the Clinton Foundation. The firm points out that one of Secretary Clinton’s aides was also consulting at the foundation, which might have created a conflict of interest. The aim is not to uncover a scandal, but rather to show that Clinton operates just like the boys: she works the system and stacks it with cronies, making them all rich in the process. It’s an approach that Burning Glass has found can make respondents “significantly less likely to support” Clinton in 2016.

    Between “plutocrat” and “too political,” a useful caricature of Clinton emerges. She’s not the hardworking secretary of state, dutiful, experienced, and breaking glass ceilings. She’s a jet-setter, hobnobbing all over the world, making herself and her friends rich, and using her career as a public servant to build her personal brand.

    Since after 5900 readers no one has yet has been willing to say the following, I will 

    1. There's nothing wrong with Goldman Sachs .It's an investment bank doing what investment banks do. Many dagbloggers think that's evil per se. They're wrong.

    2. There's nothing wrong  with raising money from investment banks. You pick cherries where the cherries is.

    3. There was nothing wrong  with what she did with it.. She didn't lose because she campaigned poorly ( she didn't lose at all  ,but that's been said above). but would have beaten Trump by even more than 2.9 millions votes  but for  the tidal wave of "uncoordinated" (give me a break) spending released by  "Citizens United". Which will be true forever after. Marketing works. As I've written before , if you can make Americans think they enjoy Budweiser you can make them think anything. If you have enough money.

    We may never see another liberal president.

    4..We tell one another  endlessly here that  prejudice is wrong.  We  congratulate one another on bravely saying it's wrong to be prejudiced against:  Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Italians, Poles, Southerners. 

     And we're  right to say it..

    But  no one above added  it's  equally wrong to be prejudiced against upper middle class Wellesley graduates . How many of the  thousands of words above  would have appeared if Hillary had been  named John Smith and had graduated from  Wayne State?

    Damn few..

    Budweiser even has rice in it. We're a highly suggestible volk.

    I think "many dagbloggers" think people rightly look askance at politicians with close relations to GS because of their serious misconduct leading up to and causally implicated in the worst financial crisis since the 30's, practices stemming from a corporate culture that by all accounts have not been changed and that has an outsized influence on both political parties.


    So if she had spoken before JP Morgan, it woulda been a whole 'nuther thing?

    Still pretty bad in my book. Not sure what you're driving at though

    You seemed to be saying that culpability in the crash was the key point. AFAIK, JP Morgan was largely cleared of misconduct in the crash.

    As far as I remember JP Morgan was the inventor/instigator of the whole MBS mess. And got a few billion dollar fines in relation to mortgage fraud scandals. For example

    Yes, when a bank or industry is complicit in wrongdoing, there can't be a full embrace. Nor was there. It was friendly enough, partly scolding, but also professional and warm. It was a speech. For many that's not enough. (this was a paid speech as quasi-entertainment/professional development, not an Elizabeth Warren or Alan Grayson investigation which has a quite different purpose and expectation)

    At the same time, we can play this game with every industry. The Big IT firms with trillions offshore who also helped the government in citizen surveillance. Media that's largely been pro-conservative and launched unhelpful "both sides do it". The military industry's building a what, $1 trillion monster with the F35 and is decorating the globe with weapons, as well as our local police forces. The oil industry has paid to hush up global warming and was in league with Dick Cheney to invade Iraq - plus BP's gulf spill, etc. Big Agriculture pushing fattening/diabetes-spreading corn syrup and destroying the economies for 3rd world farmers. Monstanto with its Roundup GMO and other chemical effects. Big Pharma pushing the price of drugs even higher while denying knockoffs to sick people. The entertainment industry that's now locking in 100+ years control in copyrights for what would normally be public domain and has killed off much of the music industry's innovations.

    By the end of the day, you won't be talking to anyone except for Russians and Muslims and Hispanics because that's our "diversity" and "inclusive" exception on the left.


    That's a pretty absurdly false equivalence. I can imagine a fair comparison would be her giving a paid talk to BP about the importance of oil industry input for how to regulate oil exploration after deepwater horizon. Just glaringly  blind to the obvious and immediate and unremedied harm the relevant corporation is responsible for.

    So tell me - if Hillary hadn't had given a speech to Goldman Sachs (4 years after the crash), what would have happened to Goldman Sachs? Would someone have sanctioned GS? Would they have lost their access to the White House? Would the DoJ have pursued white collar crime charges against them? Would the silence have made them cry? People in August 2015 wanted Biden to run against Hillary - why was that, because the guy who was in the White House for 4 years giving out billions to banks was less tainted than the woman doing foreign policy? since this was 4 years later, at what point would the hex on Goldman Sachs have come off?

    It's not so much her giving speeches there, more the justified suspicion that she probably wasn't there to give a Warren/Sanders style lecture on the failures of Wall Street and their failure to fulfill their duties to main streeet society. She was there to reassure them that she would protect them from the pitchfork plebs. As for Biden, yes, personally I trusted him maybe slightly more than Hillary but purely on the strength of his pick for economics advisor - Jared Bernstein. Not sure if you remember, but I'm far from a fan of the Obama administration's attitude towards Wall Street. 

    When does the hex on poow widdle Goldman Sachs come off? When they start being a force for good. I've seen or heard of no change in attitude on their part, no soul-searching, no reform of any consequence. 

    In general, I'm not saying Hillary is responsible for any of the harm GS has done. We're talking about why she lost, and Flavius seemed to find it ridiculous to find fault with GS, and by extension her association with them. 

    Sure, you can find dirt on most major corporations, but GS stands out in terms of power and damage done. 

    Bigger question is when the hex comes off of us. I'm much less sanguine about GS & JP Morgan/Jamie Dimon & the rest, but I think there's also some unrealistic expectation that politicians are just going to roll up and park in their front lobby and chew them out for the next 4 years. If there *was* a time to do this, it was in early 2009, And again in the mortgage scandal in 2010-11, but hey, my pick lost and instead Wall Street got a pillow.

    I don't think people were being unrealistic in their expectations. If she had given a speech that she could stand by publicly, then that would have been fine. Which wouldn't have had to be a "chewing out". She could have talked about foreign policy more generally, about women's rights, ... anything. 

    You mean stand by publicly "as is", or spun, mistyped, taken out of context, endlessly speculated on the 14 layers of subtext and innuendo and optics/"appearances"?

    Again, I point to the 1 comment about open borders where the New York Times *Editorial Board* stuck a period right in the middle of the fucking sentence to eliminate the context of "energy grid", not immigration, not trade.

    There was almost *0* of interest in Wikileaks' leaks about the DNC, but by the time they'd been bruited about and hyperventilated over, you'd think there were criminal behavior - amazing, the staff at the DNC is biased against a campaign of non-Democratic independents who are suing the DNC and constantly raging about everything from number of debates to the unfairness of being caught with their opponent's data (prompting a rather bizarre claim that Hillary & her ninja data warriors had actually left the database open as a honeypot - if only Trump came up with an answer so sweet.). What was the yuuge transgression? someone on the DNC suggested they might point out Bernie's an atheist (a political no-no in America's medieval theology system), to which the rest of the DNC responded with silence or "nah".

    The criticism of HIllary almost always relies on the premise of a reasonably fair political system, laws and statutes universally followed, with reporters who are actually looking for details to explain things, with news magazines interested in clarification and helping their audience sort things out, with public servants actually working to serve the public. It's an amusing naive framing that would be great if I were still 4-years-old getting a bedtime story, but having lived through a few political impeachments, assassinations, runaway manufactured scandals, and wholesale coopting of America's intelligence branches for political intrigue, I'm rather unswayed by the pollyannish approach, even though the mixed public perception with their own political biases and blind spots have the final say.

    Blah. No offence but really not in the mood to re-re-re-re-litigate the play-by-play of her candidacy. 

    Seems to me that your takeaway from this election is that the system is so unfair that, next time, we should pull for candidates who don't only play footsie with the corporate elite, but are willing to do a little mild over-the-clothes-handstuff to ingratiate themselves. Because the system is so unfair, even the brilliant Hillary Clinton couldn't win.

    Good luck with that line. 

    I hate to continue to harp on this, but while "purity" is sought from the Democratic nominee, Republicans poisoned    Flint, are staging a coup in North Carolina, elected the guy who forced Obama to produce a full form birth certificate and as their first act in the current legislature wanted to abolish ethics oversight. Forgive me if I find Hillary the better option. Most ethnic groups came to that conclusion.

    There is no equivalence between the Clinton Foundation and Trump's bogus foundation. There is no equivalence between Hillary's speeches and the corruption in the Trump Organization. Because of false equivalence nonsense, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is going to be in charge of the DOJ. There will be no push against voter suppression or abusive police officers. There is no acceptable rationale for electing Donald Trump.

    Edit to add:

    Looking for flaws in Hillary distracts from the more important question of why did white voters decide that Donald Trump was a rational alternative? It is not Hillary's flaws that create the long term problem. What flaws exist in voters that need to be addressed?

    Are Hillary's actions so abhorrent that Trump is a rational result?

    It's certainly worth considering whether her damage control was really so bad and tonedeaf, but that includes asking if Gore deserved all the attacks on him, Kerry the Swiftboating, Obama the birtherism and stealing his Supreme Court choice, etc, etc. Yeah, maybe Hillary could be more forthcoming, but maybe she understands too well what the rewards for being frank are.

    What are our modern rules of engagement? How do we work for and against the new media, the new social media, and the new audience - such as the views from Trump supporters on what would queer the deal.

    The reverend Wright "scandal" could have sunk Obama but he handled it well. He was thoughtful and frank - and spoke like a real human being. Hillary's best moments were when she did the same. She came across as too guilty when trying to tamp down the email issue and the GS talks. Rehearsed and defensive and, yes, tonedeaf. 

    Just to be clear - Hillary was obviously the better option. The question is what lesson do we draw from this catastrophic loss. Should the democrats dip a bit further into the swamp of corporate corruption - because there is no way to oppose them, and the only option is to coopt some not quite sociopathically evil ones? Or should the democrats try to stand apart from that, take a clear stand. 

    It isn't a level playing field, of course not. The GOP does not believe in maintaining institutions of good governance and democracy. That gives them the upper hand. But being, well, ... better ...  is also a pretty big advantage if you work it right. 

    Trump won. How pure does your hypothetical candidate have to be?

    The reason I ask is that it seems that minority groups found the threat of Trump a sufficient reason to vote for Hillary. You say Hillary was the better choice and I agree. Sessions will now head the DOJ. Why should I not be angry at purists?

    I don't think purity is the right vector to be measuring along. A lot of people are desperate. Trump leaning counties were correlated strongly with high opiate addiction, just as a clue. Clinton offered no change, some tweaks here and there, on economic issues. Trump promised them less competition from immigrants and stronger tariffs. Sure, he isn't going to come through for them, and those policies don't help. But he made it worth the gamble. He will screw the poor fuckers over. But I don't get any pleasure from contemplating that. 



    Blacks suffered a destruction of their wealth with the housing crash, yet they never believed that Republicans would come to their rescue. Everybody was suffering. In order to form a coalition, we have to understand why white voters see things differently than ethnic minorities. If we don't address this, we can nervier craft a common message. For example the simple term working class is taken to mean white workers. It suggests that minorities are slackers. We have to understand how all sides feel about issues to craft an inclusive message. When Democrats talk about rejecting identity politics, blacks hear they are about to be sidelined. Blacks also realize that the GOP has no problem promoting white identity politics. We need to know why different ethnicities look at the same issue through different lenses. I am being honest when I say that I don't understand why a white voter who is suffering picked Trump while the black/ Latino voter did not. They all knew about NAFTA, the TPP, Benghazi, the emails, etc.

    A theory: over the past 40 years all minorities - blacks, hispanics, women, have in simple economic terms seen their welfare improve. Income growth. White males' income have stagnated. (check median income here, 2/3 way down the page). Yes I know - I need better evidence. So sure, correct this if I'm wrong. 

    Also yes - they started way way ahead of everyone else. And they have overall so many other social advantages. But granting all that, for predominantly poor white ruralish communities, seeing your whole generation unable to make a decent dignified living, seeing your communities fall apart as the local factory shutters its doors, seeing others forging ahead, well that adds to the desperation. 

    I'm not saying they need special treatment, it's not that they are worse off than others, but the distinct level of anger and despair and shame can make some kind of sense, no? Without putting it all down to pure racism. 

    See below:

    Also not in the mood to re-re-re-..., but yes, "to get where I am, I had to kiss a lot of ass, right on the mouth" - there's a lot of ingratiating in any campaign, in any political process - minority communities, unions, party stalwarts, religious communities, different regions, the foreign policy clique, the media, specific industries like the health industry & other business niches, megadonors, special interests...

    I don't particularly view Goldman Sachs different than the Florida Cubans or AIPAC or the black caucus (with combined with BLM et al) except the rampant amount of criminality and disaster brought about in the leadup to 2008 and the dire need for the black community. Perhaps no one else thinks this way, but the banks at their gouging vulture level of 1998 were probably acceptable. How are they in 2013 or 2017? As Hillary noted, these aren't opinions for a political figure to make public - you have to play things multiple ways to negotiate and strike deals - but they're pretty obvious.

    The left would love to make big finance the enemy forever, but if we're going to get them to sign on to paying for social change and needs whether trillions for better health care, free tuition, global warming reductions, et al, then we better at least extend a hankie to them when we're finished - it's only polite, and without I'd expect a much tougher fight.

    We seem to be cynical in diametrically opposed ways. I can't see any common ground on economic issues with big finance. Sure I know bankers with great values and fine consciences. But the sector as a whole will take your house and health and job security with one hand while giving you a free child care policy. There is no win-win here. 

    It's not about "making" them the enemy ferchrissake, Peracles. Sure, they deserve some compensation for easing transactions and doing some (frankly suboptimal) allocation of savings to investments. But nowhere near 10% of GDP or whatever the current estimates are. They are parasitical and predatory. It's not like they're a special interest group like the others you list. They want to structure our whole economy - i.e. society - as we know it, how we even think about the economy. Even this here - the fact that I'm talking about the country as an 'economy' in the first place. 

    That said... 

    Back to political realism. Would the fight be harder? 

    On the one hand you can hold up Clinton's popular vote win as a sign of success/hope for the realist route. On the other hand she managed to lose to probably the single worst human being to have run for president. So, yeah, let's not change anything. Everything is just fine. 

    1) Trump kicked a lot of people's ass. Your definition of "worst" is not an electoral definition.

    2) I've lost hope that traders bring useful efficiency. But they control a huge chunk of the economy. If we didn't much rein that in during a cris, we won't now. And still, the US leads in parr because of easy access to credit, investor money, etc. Banking's worst intentional sin was hanging on to the cheap money it got so as to lend ,not hoard.

    3) and as Digby notes, at least Trump didn't give a speech to GS. As long as all the media and public see is the "optics" and not the reality behind (or now in front of) the scenes, we're screwed anyway.

    Again, I point to the 1 comment about open borders where the New York Times *Editorial Board* stuck a period right in the middle of the fucking sentence to eliminate the context of "energy grid", not immigration, not trade.


    How unfair!


    Would that some virtuous strategy might obviate such misquoting.


    Oh, wait!


    What if the aggrieved speaker could pre-empt, releasing the accurate transcript herself!


    Transparency, bitch!


    (ed note: "bitch" here is used merely for rhythmic emphasis, and should not be taken as referencing any particular person, nor gender.  It is a sly reference to my post of now nearly one year  vintage, which seems stlll so fresh, why even today it is a "hit o'the day"!)

    Enjoy your nostalgia. The rest of us are preparing for Trump. Nothing about Hillary justifies Trump. Those who voted for Trump are the current and present danger.

    I wish we were addressing a controversy of sufficient antiquity that it would qualify as such.  


    We have, right now, Keith Ellison, who in any sane spirit of party preservation would be a shoo in, opposed by persons motivated, I believe, by the same corporatist instincts that gave us HRC as a candidate.

    Yeah yeah, a Muslim as symbol of the party - that'll fly well in the heartland. Remember those old Tip O'Neill pork barrel ads? This one will be worse. Ask Barack Hussein.



    A stinking Yahwist   Muslim


    Freedom of Religion, what a quaint concept.

    Hillary got millions more votes than Ellison backed Sanders. She got almost 3 million more votes than Trump. Sanders did not energize minority voters. Why should we expect Ellison to be the right choice?

    You're peculiarly blind to the issue that it doesn't matter what Hillary puts on her web site - most pepple will see the versions on The NY Times, CNN, Fox, ... If the media chooses to distort it, there's nothing you can do.

    Since the question seems to be, "why did Hillary lose?" I'll add a few stray comments:

    • It's come to me from a few insider channels--whose reliability can be questioned--that Hillary had a deeply flawed GOTV game. In this view, the much-vaunted "Clinton Machine" really only applies to fund-raising, but not to the mechanics of field operations, etc. One very experienced hand volunteered for one of the key states (won't say which one) and came away saying, "These people have no idea what they're doing." I don't know in what way they didn't know what they were doing, but just the general statement, if true, is damning. This probably goes double in MI, WI, OH, and PA.

    Given the number of campaigns the Clintons have run, I find this very hard to believe, but if true, it sheds a whole 'nuther light on things. I don't know how one checks this sort of thing out before voting, but there it is.

    • Some Mcluhanistas believe that, as a society, we're moving from a T.V.-dominated culture to a digital-dominated culture, and that Trump was the first "digital candidate." Not because Trump planned that or had that idea, but it was just how he was. These people believe that, as the first digital candidate, Trump was destined to win.

    I don't know much about Mcluhan himself, but to these people, it's not just that the medium is the message, but that the medium demands certain messages. For example, anti-globalism and particularly anti-large transnational agreements and organizations, e.g., the trade agreements, the U.N., NATO, and any organization which tends to weaken or curtail the national powers of its members. So, being anti-globalism entails being pro-nationalist. To be clear, this has nothing to do with squelching international trade, but rather, with being against participation in these big agreements and organizations.

    Trump was clear on this and had a history of being against these deals, whereas Hillary seemed to waffle.

    "Jobs" and "growth" are also relics of the T.V. age, according to this view. When Trump stuck to the border wall and wasn't promising jobs or growth, he went up in the polls. When his handlers (presumably) pushed him to talk about "jobs" and "growth," he suffered in the polls. Sounds a bit crazy, but there you have it.

    • The campaign's brand. It was very easy for anyone, Trump supporter or not, to reel off the things Trump stood for. "Making America Great Again" was the umbrella, under which all his other "positions" fit neatly and supportively. That is, nothing conflicted with the umbrella; everything was a rib supporting the umbrella's canopy.

    Hillary eventually settled on a pretty good brand, "Stronger Together," but it wasn't as good as MAGA from a marketing point of view. It didn't stick in the mind and resonant with a million things the person was already thinking the way MAGA did. And it didn't quite point to the specific things she wanted to do.

    Hillary's platform broke down into a list of things with no easily grasped connections among them. This was a problem Bill also had--the laundry list syndrome--but it didn't hurt him back then. His political abilities pulled him through and it was a different time and place with different opponents. The Mcluhanites would add that Bill ran during the T.V. era.

    A successful ad or ad campaign, even a very complex one with lots of moving parts, is about "one thing." One thing that gets repeated over and over. And everything else supports and/or derives from this "one thing." Otherwise, people won't "get" what you're selling. Trump had that: MAGA. IMO, Hillary did not. Coppola, when he was writing the first Godfather, wrote down what this "one thing" was for his film: succession. Everything in that film was ultimately about succession, and what it meant for all the characters.

    • I also believe that the Bernie wing of the party (just to call it something) abandoned her. Or never got on board with her. At least in some states, I believe, the margin by which she lost was less than the number of votes cast for Jill Stein. They didn't care what Bernie was telling them to do; his rallies shrank to almost nothing, I believe. In fact, Bernie wasn't the object of their ardor; what Bernie stood for was what drew them. So when Bernie told them to vote for someone who didn't share Bernie's views, they turned away. Not ALL of them, but enough of them to make a difference. They were voting their conscience, and they got Trump.

    And in some cases, they decided that their goal was to destroy the Democratic Party in its current form. Leadership, of course. Coziness with the wealthy donor class. A preference for elites over the common person. Only by destroying the Democratic Party as it currently exists could a new Democratic Party arise--or so went the thinking. And so it goes even until now.

    EDIT TO ADD: Post-morteming why Hillary lost--other than as a fun exercise--is only useful if it points to things we didn't do but must do, differently or better, in the future. Beating up on each other for having said this or supported that drains our energy and is no help at all.

    We're party of the productive. They're party of wide-open spaces.

    1/5 the counties, 2/3 the production output/GDP.

    What can we do? This is hard but one answer is :grow up.

    The anti business posture of much of the left is justified . And counterproductive.

    Are there many corrupt corporations? Does the sun come up in the East? A better question would be : are there any  that are not corrupt? Let me see......?

    Next question . Can we live without them?  The short answer is no. 

    But the longer answer is

    We need their money, from those who are willing to support us. (The occasional statement above that Hillary's money didn't win the election for her ignores that in fact it did. And that without it  she might have lost.) We need  their votes.( As a politician friend remarked to me about the votes from  some of his deplorable supporters: "they don't weigh 'em, they count 'em".) We need them as  campaign workers. I know some fairly conservative and very smart corporate executives who  went door to door for Obama.And we need their smarts , which Obama brilliantly utilized in the first 90 days of 2009 when many of them helped him save capitalism.

    Does taking support from  businesses and/or  their employees mean selling out? No, just get  a "long spoon" as in "He who would sup with the devil need's  use a long spoon". Yes it means that after they've helped us win, we've got to "give them access". We'll have to listen.

    And that won't be too terrible.Their advice will be self interested, but not worthless.When you're doing the right thing not everything you want to do is a good idea. You can do the right thing better if you first understand which one of the ideas is not so hot.



    "If you can’t take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and vote against ‘em anyway, you don’t belong in the Legislature.” ~ Jesse Unruh

    The other problem is that Democrats are always going to be facing cash-rich Republicans. How is that supposed to work out? One of the things Clinton did to break the Republican hex on the WH was to become more business friendly and fundraise like hell.

    Can we really build a movement a la Bernie that depends only on $27 donations and massive turnout for every election, including down ballot? Maybe.

    Response to Obey abone:

    Republicans destroyed unions in the Rust Belt. Rust Belt voters responded by voting for Republicans. In Nevada the large union went for Hillary. The union in Nevada was heavily Latino.

    I don't see a  colorblind solution to the problem we face in forming coalitions. We avoid the issue at our peril. Whites have to be made to see their future is tied to that of ethnic minorities. 

    Very much agreed. 

    Trump is a vindictive racist. He has a white supremacist as an advisor. Forgive me if I don't feel obligated to feel sorry for the fools who voted for him. If the Trump administration targets minority communities, none of Trump's voters will lift a finger. Those voters knew what they wanted when they voted for Donald Trump. How do we change them?

    Edit to add:

    On Friday Trump kicked a biographer who wrote a book critical of him off of a golf course. The man was part of a group including one of the billionaire Koch brothers. If that he what Trump does to a wealthy white guy who was a critic, what do you think President Trump will do to black people who criticize him? We are not in normal times. There is no rationale that justifies electing Trump.

    There is this new "group" I heard about on Rachel's show called something like "Undivided" or "Indivisible," which sounds promising. Somewhere, they have an organizing document on the Web written by a form congressional staffer who understands how to move Congress, how the Baggers moved Congress. Lots of things bubblingn up around the country, if Rachel's report is correct.

    This starts to feel like the Foundation Trilogy.

    Just to be clear - Hillary was obviously the better option.

    This comment by Obey made my heart sink. If "Hillary was obviously the better option," why did so many on the left, broadly defined, continue to trash her even after she won the nomination?

    Why did I hear countless numbers of progressives talk about ways they could avoid voting for her while not giving Trump a boost?

    One woman, an economist who lives in CA and is something of a star intellectual, said that she was going to vote her conscience in CA and campaign in swing states against Trump?

    I don't even know what that means.

    They couldn't come right out and support Trump or say they didn't care whether he got elected, but they did everything they could to evince their disgust at the prospect of voting for Hillary.

    It was like she was a leper. Trump was worse than leper, whatever that might be, maybe someone in the final throes of Ebola. So they were going to do everything they could not to vote for her, tell everyone within earshot how horrible she was, and yet still rest easy with--what?--the knowledge or hope that Trump was somehow not going to get to the WH.

    This was not the way to keep Trump out of the WH. Voting for Jill Stein or Johnson or whomever and was NOT a way to help keep Trump out. All you're doing is depriving Hillary of your vote and spreading slag and HELPING Trump get to the WH.

    People became so precious about their vote. They were "holding their nose" and voting for Hillary. Well, when you get into the booth you can hold your nose, pick your nose, or blow your nose, and your vote counts the same. Your vote doesn't come with a place for a "signing statement" that says, "I know this is a vote for Hillary, but just know that I don't support her and don't even like her." Or "By voting for Stein, I'm sending a message to the Democratic Party that I don't want Trump to win, but my conscience keeps me from voting for Hillary"...who was the ONLY candidate in the race capable of keeping Donald Trump out of the WH.

    But people got so tangled up in what their vote meant and what message it was sending, when the political calculation was--at least to me--pretty clear: You vote for the candidate who is, as Obey notes, "the obviously better option." [my emphasis] How hard is that? Do you want the worse option to win? No? Then vote for the better option. That's it. That's all you have to do. And if you're going to constantly slag the "obviously better option," then you are, in fact, helping the worse option to win. Period.

    So I have one FB friend, a progressive, who keeps saying that he's working to destroy the Democratic Party because it's rotten to the core, etc. That way, a truly progressive Democratic Party can rise from the ashes. But he also keeps complaining that the Democrats aren't going to fight to protect the little guy from Trump et al. And, he preferred Trump over Hillary, but was keen to make clear that he didn't vote for the guy. Who cares? The guy, my friend, in his own little way, helped bring on our current situation that he now demands the Democrats save us from. Seems to me this fine fellow is shadow boxing with himself.

    Once you get down to the general election, it's like two lines facing each other in football and the ball is being hiked. You have to be on one side or the other and give it your all if you care about the outcome of the election.

    I'm fond of a line from Chekhov. "God see's the truth but waits." 

    I am angry because selfish people allowed Trump to win. Some still seem to be happy with their purity and continued Clinton criticism. Trump is openly siding with Putin and Assange. He is the Manchurian Candidate ready to destroy our intelligence agencies. The Trump zombies I speak to make all kinds of irrational excuses for Trump. One person that I disagree with but still respected until recently tells me that Trump worries that alerting the Russians that we know about the hack means that the Russians will  know who gave them the information. When I mention that the detection came via markers in cyberspace, he is silent. When I tell him Trump is not arguing about exposing secrets, but says the intelligence community is wrong, he is silent. My acquaintance will do nothing if Trump comes after my friends and family. I have zero respect for anyone who voted for Trump. I am tired of hearing excuses made for these people. Our fellow citizens said loud and clear that they were willing to let the poor and minorities suffer. I cannot forgive them.

    It's worse - we know there was a heavy effort to disenfranchise Democratic voters in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere, yet we just dial that into our rules of the game, lay of the land. 

    If Hillary won by 3 million votes without them, how many votes and electoral votes with?

    And since the rules have changed greatly since 2008, with Citizens United, gutting the voting rights act and the accretion of GOP activist legislatures, why do we just compare Hillary to how Obama fared? If voters were kept from the polls, of course she got less of the black vote beyond the basic that she's not black. And how much did that obstruction affect the Hispanic vote? We've no clue.

    But we'll shred the party and start over because Hillary was flawed - she couldn't crawl through enough mud and barbed wire and razor fencing to make the cut. Guess we as Democrats need to find little baby jesus/superboy-girl rocking in some ice locker at the North Pole (but still an American) to lead our efforts in 2050 with the perfection demanded of the job.

    As far as my remarks go, I wasn't focused just on Hillary. Although her campaign was a symptom of how divorced the party elite has become from the grassroots. It's about the party as a whole that is tanking on a national and a state level. There are no strong national left of center voices under 70. 

    But sure, change nothing. 

    "There are no strong voices under 70" - fixed that for you.

    Note: I don't believe Obama could have been elected in 2008 had he had any sort of track record to grab and distort or pick apart. Bernie was popular because the people he inspired wouldn't be paying for what he proposed, and he didn't provide enough detail to be picked apart by all. As soon as he made the first compromise with Hillary, his base largely fled.

    I'm not saying "change nothing", but when the changes are made irregardless of actual facts and analysis, it's rather counterproductive, and often plays into the opposition's strategy.

    If the far left wants to be part of coalition building, it needs to learn the art of constructive compromise. If it thinks it's going to pull down the cathedral and start anew, well, good luck (and start raising money).

    I personally think Hillary is left-of-center except for the complication of security in foreign policy. Once upon a time, trade with 3rd world countries was important to lift *their* boats - now we only care about ourselves. Once upon a time, the EU was considered a progressive ideal - now it seems to be Donbas.

    [yeah, austerity is a problem, and Soros had a nice putdown of Germany the other day, but it's also difficult not to condone countries like Greece from fixing the books, hiding the money offshore, and then pleading for bailout. In fact, it sounds like Google and Apple's strategy that we complain about regularly, only it's a whole country]


    - what's our progressive approach to white rural regions?

    - what's our real attitude about jobs? (all I ever hear about are manufacturing jobs - nothing else in our toolkit? which industries are good, which are damaged?)

    - trade and poverty? do we still care about the rest of the world, or is our pockets good enough?

    - immigration - do we have a strategy, is 100 million Hispanics by 2100 our goal, or something more normal?

    - security - what's needed domestically and for foreign security?

    - Russia, friend or foe or something else? Same with EU...

    - technology & analytics - how do they fit with the party?


    Bernie was popular because the people he inspired wouldn't be paying for what he proposed,

    The phrasing here is illustrative of the frame of mind I have a problem with. 

    The democrats and the republicans set up an economic system which funnels all the money to the rich bankers and lawyers and doctors, say, and then turn around and say that some small portion of that big pile of money should go to helping the other 90% of society. And those bankers and lawyers and doctors turn around and whine about the dirty huddled masses taking "their" money. And you're endorsing their framework. 

    We can get into the weeds about specific policies. But there is a pretty harsh divide in outlook within the democratic party, one which goes beyond distinctions such as hard-left/moderate-left, or goes beyond differences of opinion of matters that can be decided by hard, first-order material or numerical facts of the matter, like what empirical evidence there is for the economic ripple effects of a 12 dollar vs a 15 dollar minimum wage. Etc. 

    It's less marked in the US than in the UK maybe, but something I've noticed among friends in the UK labour party is the gaping chasm between grassroots corbynites and Blairite operators. They hate each other with a passion, so much that they are both prepared to destroy the labour party rather than give in to the opposing faction. They don't phrase it in that way, but their actions speak for themselves. And I'm not picking a side here, just stating an observation, that Blairite (and by extension the somewhat different Clintonite) coalition is fracturing. 


    Sorry, but Bernie was discussing a rather more significant chunk of change than "some small portion", and the lack of detail made it difficult to debate.

    This is important, but I haven't quite worked it out.

    OTOH, Hillary did very well with actual voters--3 million more. And she lost in those key states by something like a combined 70,000.

    OTOH, she did that and she did lose to guy who was ARGUABLY a very bad candidate. In many ways he was, I guess, but we need to examine that statement. How bad was he? In what ways was he actually a GOOD candidate?

    OTOH, Hillary was probably a unique candidate. She had so many different things going against her, rightly or wrongly, who is going to have that kind of baggage to overcome in the future? They'll be flawed in other ways, but in this way.

    Yet still, I don't think we should "change nothing." I'm just not certain what. There are so many factors, both specific to this case and that apply more broadly, I'm having a hard time sorting it out.

    [I'm going to skip the racist and sexist element for the moment, even though there's an important role for them in any accurate analysis.]

    The progressive case against Hillary might go like this: Trump came in and ate our progressive lunch by appealing to the white working class who are hurting. Democrats had abandoned these people. Fair enough.

    But how many of these white working class folks have been voting Democratic and decided to switch to Trump? My sense (without proof, admittedly) is that Trump's big support came from the so-called Reagan Democrats. That is, people who had long ago rejected the liberal line of protection for worker's rights and wages and welfare, support for unions, and the like. How many of these people had bought the "free trade" neoliberal line the GOP has been spouting since Reagan at least? How many had been swayed for years by arguments about the evils of deficits?

    IOW, did the Democrats abandon the working class, or did the working class abandon the Democrats with its traditional progressive agenda (which we hear must be brought back)? I think it may be the latter. And the Democrats, perhaps not to their credit and perhaps understandably, tagged along because that's where the votes were. The GOP had managed to change and control the terms of the debate, and the Democrats were simply trying to make hay in this brave new world (hence Clinton and the DLC, etc.)

    But now, it appears, the working class has woken up to the fact that they got screwed by the people they've been voting for for the past 35 years or so--but blame the Democrats for it.

    My brother and I were once walking in the woods behind our house. I was walking a few paces ahead. Apparently, I stepped into a yellow jacket nest, but didn't get stung and didn't even see a bee. But in the few seconds it took for my brother to step into the nest too, the bees had mustered and attacked him with a vengeance. Suddenly, he took off for the house with a swarm of bees stinging him everywhere; I looked up at him running away because I had no idea what had just happened, and even then not one bee stung me.

    My point is obvious: The Democrats are like my brother, and the Republicans are like me in the story. The GOP did the damage, and the Democrats acquiesced and abetted the GOP because it couldn't get arrested on the WH lawn. Until Clinton, the Democrats hadn't had a two-term president since Harry Truman, unless you want to count the JFK-LBJ strange interlude.

    So, do we go back to a set of principles that lost us election after election for decades? Or do we stay with the Third Way-ish type approach that the Clintons used to get elected? Or do we find a different way, perhaps a mix of the two in different proportions with some "new" ideas in the mix? Or do we find an entirely new, fresh way? In some ways, largely by force of his personality, Trump is something "entirely different," and that may account for his success in many ways. Attacking him the way you might attack a Jeb Bush or any of the others doesn't work.

    He wasn't a "VERY BAD CANDIDATE" - he was a very unusual candidate in a year when media and many voters were looking for something to shake up the story. None of the other candidates knew how to take him, he had existing appeal on very successful TV shows, he's got a strong rich-guy story he sticks with. And he was winning all the while on social media even as traditional media had him losing.

    And then Republicans can be relied on largely to vote Republican - they don't usually go very far in the "holding nose" thing - they just do it. For the team.

    Hillary had "baggage", and she also had loads of features. We will not replicate that anytime soon. Obama was an inexperienced crapshoot on the national stage, and it's hard to point to any strong figures coming out of his administration the way that Clinton's tenure worked like a farm club.

    Bill Clinton was a small state governor when he slipped through, likely due to Reagan/Bush fatigue and a new younger generation. Well hey, we'll just find another appealing young face to run with little experience - that'll do it. Why bother planning and writing policy papers and gathering experience? Time wasted - better to play golf, pal around with TV pals, have your own show... Government's easy, you just point your finger and someone fills a slot, and then you move on to the next.

    Truman if you recall barely got re-elected - 1 million votes, 2% counting Strom Thurmond. Obama managed by only 4%. Bill Clinton won electoral college easily both elections, only got only 43% of popular vote in the first election - Bush & Perot captured 14 million more votes  - and tied with Bush+Perot on popular vote in the 2nd (not that Perot voters would all support Bush, most likely a 50/50 split, but stil - Hillary did bad compared to that? well, the elector vote is what counts still...). LBJ had to drop out of contention, he was so unpopular. Carter got blown away.

    By definition of being a Democrat, *all* candidates are damaged with baggage.

    But again, Republicans having been using their money and legislative position to game the vote at least since Tom "The Hammer" DeLay was chasing Texas legislators around with state police to rubber stamp his egregious behavior.

    "Third Way" - where did that come from? because Democrats hadn't had a skillful answer to tons of common world and national problems since forever, and aside from the fluke that was Carter (thanks to Nixon disgust), hadn't won an election since 1964 (when Dems were strong, and sympathy for JFK was still strong). Since then, a lot of mess. The Democrats were the isolationist/retreat from the world; civil rights had turned into handouts to their constituency; jobs meant simply unions; the budget meant deficits and overshot Great Society programs; anti-business, etc. Everything was a sacred cow that had to be upheld, no freedom to move and negotiate and adapt to new times, however crappy things looked.

    Carter's malaise speech sent the people the message that "live within these confines, put on a sweater, turn the heat down". Reagan responded "we'll deal with it, no problem". Guess which one the people went with? Hillary didn't say anything that stupid, but Americans had been fed "the country is going to hell in a handbasket" stories for 7-8 years, and Donald played the "but I'll save you" card. I guess you can make an Action Figure out of him, not her, who knows. The rest of the Republican field looked like weak posers, so Republicans went with the energetic nutcase. 

    Blacks and Latinos were frustrated by MSM giving Trump free air time. They rejected messages from people like Cornel West and Michelle Alexander that Hillary was the Great Satan. Minority voters were pragmatic. They are now angry and distrustful of many whites. Minorities see the vote as white payback for electing a black President. Trump literally makes no sense as an potion other than as a revenge vote. Republicans are never the solution to economic stress. How do we convince whites that their goals are the same as blacks and Latinos? Employment and re-education programs would work in the rust belt and in urban poverty areas. Whites tend to see programs that benefit minorities in any way as stealing from them. How do we change that dynamic? 

    It's more than revenge - heartland whites are complaining about poor blacks (that's all of them, right?) getting advantages they don't get, free stuff from government. They're working on the bitter grudgefest-envy view of the world. Make America White Again, back when there were good wages and such. If it makes you feel any better, that includes Hispanics. No? Didn't think it would....

    Welfare is open for attack because it is portrayed as mainly serving black communities. The majority of welfare recipients are white. If we change the imagery to show white children and elderly being served, the assault may end. This change in imagery is what led to heroin abuse going from a crime to a health care and addiction issue when the heroin users turned up in white suburban communities. Some white voters need to see white faces reflected in need to show compassion.

    You have to be on one side or the other and give it your all if you care about the outcome of the election

    Really? Give it your ALL? These things come in gradients. There is the pushing of a button on voting day. But what about the other 365 days of the election year? The four non-election years? When you are more excited about a candidate you give all your time and money to contribute to the campaign, you argue with your family and friends, you post stupid memes on facebook. I don't blame people who voted Clinton, but didn't max out on Clinton contributions, or weren't spending 2016 shouting their live of Clinton from rooftops. 

    At what point of disengagement do we start labeling people as deplorable?

    And how useful is this whole discussion of who we can label deplorable? So slap a deplorable sticker on poor whites, Stein followers, slackers who didn't get up on election day, purist whiners about hillary foreign policy, ignorant doufuses who bought into fake news, indecisive centrists, racists and racist-adjacents who don't care about Trumpian bigotry. Who else we got? 

    In my opinion you try to **win** people' s votes. You don't insult your way into their hearts. In my experience it's not a very successful strategy. 

    I keep coming back to the massive 16% swing in poor whites who voted for Obama in 2012 who now switched to Trump. One option is to label them all deplorable racists and settle back sipping chardonnay while we whine smugly about the stupid poor morans (sic). Another option is to figure out how to bring them back into the fold.  

    Those are not the only options. Another option is to work harder to get more minority voters involved. This also involves pushing back against voter suppression by the GOP. 

    The pushback seems to me problematic as follows:  On the "aboveboard" side (eg, closing polling places, voter id stuff, what have you) at least one can see practical (if hugely burdensome--busses to get people IDs and to polling places etc.) lines of attack.


    But how do you deal with the abuse of registration rolls by guys like Kobach  EDIT TO CORRECT( whoever in Wisconsin did it) where suddenly 75,000 voters are vaporized on a duplicate name humbug?


    To be frank, the only proper response to that, back in August, or whenever it was, was for Loretta Lynch to send five lawyers to the US Attorney's Office in the city where the statehouse is and convene a grand jury, to put the fear of god into the Pugs and to make a record that would on its face reverse the action.


    That didn't happen.


    Thanks, Obama!

    In July, Brown vs. Kobach was argued in court by the ACLU. They didn't wait until August to take legal action. The legal wheels were turning much earlier than you wanted. You may be unaware that the wingnuts on the Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act meaning that lawsuits can only be filed after a state takes an action.

    The wingnuts were going crazy because their voter ID laws were being challenged across the country. Their responses were laughable.



    Obey, you misunderstand me. Note the final clause: "...if you care about the outcome." If you care. If you don't, then you do whatever. But then don't be surprised if your preference doesn't win.

    One FB friend said, "Progressives were equally appalled by Trump and Clinton." Well, if that's one's view, don't do anything. One of them will win.

    I'm not insulting anyone. I'm talking about what I believe happened. If folks felt that Clinton was so deplorable, they couldn't bring themselves to do X...fine. They helped put Trump in the WH. That's just a fact. We can split this hair by talking about swing and safe states, but a safe state is just a state where lots of people vote one way.

    Of course...the candidate has to "win" people's votes. No question. We can list and relist all of Hillary's negatives and missteps once again. Some fair; some not.

    But at a certain point, the voter himself has to decide whom HE'd prefer in the WH and vote accordingly. It's up to the voter. The candidate can't vote herself into office; only the voters can. And basically, when you're getting down to the finish line, you have two choices. Whom do you prefer? Vote for that person. If you don't care, do what you want. But it's silly to say, "I don't want Trump in the WH, but I'm not going to vote for Hillary because of XYZ."

    Hillary is who she is. Don't blame Hillary because "you" hated her so much you couldn't vote for her and that enabled DT to get crowned. Forget Hillary. Think about yourself and your family and friends. Which candidate would be better for you and them. In the end, only the voters could've kept Trump out.

    This is my basic point.

    My theory, if you want it, is that a lot of people took a Clinton win for granted, which freed them up to do whatever. I don't know. But I do know that the only way to have deprived Trump of the WH was to vote Clinton.

    My point is I don't think people getting all existential and self-involved about their precious vote played a big role in swinging the election. Those are the people in safe states, New York or California sipping downward dogging their arugula latte or whatever. 

    The enthusiasm gap plays out in terms of a less solid gotv ground game, disengaged voters not getting dragged to the polls by their annoying political friends, kids not browbeating their half detached grandma with facts and figures, people not emptying their accounts with every fundraising email. 


    And yet in those undoubtedly "safe" states of New York and California, voters overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton.  It must be because they actually thought she would be a great President, which I also thought.  They theoretically had the luxury to vote a "purity" vote for a green candidate, or even for trump but they didn't.  They actually LIKE Clinton.  They actually wanted her policies .  They actually believed she would do what she said she was going to do.


    How about that?

    If they REALLY didn't want Trump in office, then they'd have gotten enthusiastic, even if they had to fake it. Of course, the "fear" angle was also mocked, as in, "I'm tired of voting out of fear." Fine, but don't excuse yourself from the consequences of not getting enthusiastic.

    I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I believe that in certain states, the vote tally for Jill Stein was greater than the number of votes by which Hillary lost the state.

    I'm not denying the enthusiasm gap at all and the points you mention. No question. I remember 2008 very well. But at a certain point, voters--each individual voter--has to take responsibility for the outcome he wants within the limits of the election at that point.

    I can heap plenty of blame on Hillary, but I'm not going to blame Hillary for why "I didn't vote for her" and why I didn't go and drag my friends to the polls. All of THAT was on me.

    "I'm tired of voting out of fear." - did people come up with this themselvelves, or was it a spoonfed jingle like "Clinton dynasty" and "things go better with Coke"?

    How susceptible are we to suggestion?

    We had been through this before. In 2010, we were told to stay home to punish Democrats

    Ed Schultz urged staying home in 2010

    The wingnuts loved it


    I don't get the relevance of the vote tally for Jill Stein, which you're not the first to cite. Somehow moderate democrats seem to feel some ownership of Jill Stein voters' franchise, and take it as a personal affront that they didn't vote democrat. Somehow it is their 'fault' that we've got Trump. That is to say, somehow more their fault than the moderate conservatives who stayed home or voted Trump. 

    I'm not being sarcastic. I really don't understand the sentiment, the peculiar outrage directed at Steiniacs. To me, it seems that moderates, amongst whom I'll include also the likes of myself, have more in common with moderate conservatives than with Jill Stein voters. I'd feel much more hope of coming to some agreement with, or convincing, the former than the latter. Stein voters, especially in this election, just have a very different set of values. 

    Latest Comments