Monday, July 25, 2016


We're this close to electing as president an ill-informed narcissist/misogynist/racist with a fondness for torture and ties to Vladimir Putin, backed by a party that's essentially a wing of the Koch brothers network and that's preparing to hand him a series of bills dismantling voting rights, the social safety net, and the regulatory apparatus, which he'll rubber-stamp without reading, even as multiple Scalia clones ascend to the Supreme Court, where they'll remain for decades. For a while now I've been reporting on signs that may or not point to this outcome -- and a number of you have complained because Hey, it's categorically impossible for Trump to win! Democrats have a lock on the Electoral College! The GOP is a clown car! The Repubican convention was a dumpster fire! Jon Stewart says Trump's real name is Fuckface von Clownstick! And the fingers -- look at those tiny fingers! HA HA HA HA HA!

Well, the convention meant to shore up wobbly support for the one person standing in Trump's way has, on its first day, degenerated into this:
When Rev. Cynthia Hale mentioned Hillary Clinton for the first time during the invocation, the floor erupted into boos....

Every time Clinton's name was mentioned thereafter, the crowd erupted into chaos: Sanders supporters shouting against Clinton supporters....

NPR's Tamara Keith reports that Sanders' delegates received a plea from the candidate to keep protests off the floor.

"It's of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations," the text read.

... Early into the convention, it was clear ... the message from Sanders had not swayed the delegations.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, from Ohio, was shouted down many times as she tried to get through some procedural motions.

"I intend to be fair," she said as the crowd booed. "I am going to be respectful of you and I want you to be respectful of me. We are all Democrats and we need to act like it."

The same thing happened as Rep. Elijah Cummings delivered a speech centering on social justice.

As Cummings talked about how proud his late father would be of the people in the room, Sanders' supporters shouted, "No TPP, No TPP," in reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
When a truck with the message “Hillary for Prison” cruised by City Hall, where hundreds of Sanders supporters were gathered, several cheered and rushed to pose for pictures. The truck, like an airplane banner with the same message that flew over Cleveland where Republicans met, was sponsored by the pro-Trump website Infowars, which traffics in conspiracy theories.

“She’s crooked as all get out,” said Brianne Colling, of Canton, Mich., who asked friends to take her picture in front of the sign. “All the proof that’s coming out is that she’s stolen this election from Bernie.”

Ilene Cook, an emergency room nurse from Petosky, Mich., said of Mrs. Clinton, “For the first time in my life I will vote Republican to keep her out of office.” She used a vulgarity to refer to the presumptive Democratic nominee that was common among Republican delegates in Cleveland.
Months ago, when Sanders was continuing to issue harsh denunciations of Clinton long after he had a chance to win the nomination, and I worried that this was going to have an impact long past the moment, many of you told me to stop being such a gloomy Gus -- hey, Bernie will endorse and everything will be sweetness and light after that. I didn't think he'd endorse, and I was wrong about that, but I was right about what's happening now.

If this happens for four nights in prime time, then Trump becomes the favorite to win in November. It's that simple. Reckless man-babies (and the women and elders who emulate them) will be well on their way to electing the most reckless man-baby of all. And I don't want to hear another word from anyone about how this can't happen. It can happen here. It's happening right now, unless something changes.


giandujakiss said...

I have a really stupid question. Are we 100% sure these are in fact Sanders supporters and not GOP plants? I ask because GOP members are there, handing out anti-Hillary swag - I mean, this just reminds me of the Brooks Brothers riots in Florida.

Victor said...

Grow the fuck up, chidren!

I'm sorry that Bernie won't be there to poop-out rainbows and unicorns for you.

But if you keep acting like this, we'll be deluged by a tsunami shitstorm OF HORRORS!

Get over it, get over your poor hurt fee-fee's!
We're facing a real existential crisis, and you act like Mommy and Daddy didn't give you what you really wanted for Christmas.

mathguy said...

I really enjoy your blog, but this post is just ridiculous. IT'S JULY. Mittens and all sorts of other losers Were in the same position as the talking yam. Just because the Bernie Bros have decided to let their assholishness completely hang out doesn't mean you should panic. This shit will be forgotten. If Trump is in the same position in 6 weeks, then you can panic.

Unknown said...

Hillary Clinton was having her machinations come back and bite her in the ass long before Bernie Sanders came along. Maybe take a moment to reflect on how a less atrocious candidate wouldn't have found themselves in the mess.

AllieG said...

I'm retired, but now I might have a hobby. If Clinton loses (could be) I will devote my time to seeking out every Sander delegate and seeing what I can do to ruin their lives. Not their political careers, those will be over anyhow. Their lives.

Josh Fennell said...

Mathguy, I was about to write the same thing. Steve, we all like you and we want you to get back on your feet. It's OK, brother.

Trump is a racist, as noted. A racist will not be president of our country. Take comfort and show a little faith, if not because you feel confident then because you know better than to panic.

Oh, and don't believe everything you read in the press. It's still pushing old style "panic! do it!" journalism. Get serious and live your principles, Steve.

Steve M. said...

this post is just ridiculous. IT'S JULY.

Yeah, and Chicago '68 was in August. So?

AllieG said...

Steve, this is hardly Chicago '68. Fewer assassinations, no Vietnam War. The Sanders dead enders are a real problem,but not a crisis. YEt.

Feud Turgidson said...

Bernie's got his work cut out for him. His entire life's work is on the line tonight.

Tom Ferrio said...

After watching today's "activities" I'm even more pessimistic than Steve. The country has gone crazy and voters are insane. I'm going to start working on that Italian citizenship I'm eligible for. Or is Trump likely to nuke Italy too?

Rand Careaga said...

If I promise not to say that Trump's election can't happen (which shouldn't be difficult, since I haven't been given to saying it hitherto), will you at least consider pharmaceutical remedies for tamping down these panic attacks of yours? Trump is a dire danger, and these leftier-than-thou dead-enders are seriously bad news, but you are doing neither yourself nor the cause any favors by hyperventilating.

McSchwanger said...

So just to be clear, if Trump beats Clinton, it's Sanders fault, and by extension the left wing of the Democratic party. Is that what you're saying?

I can see it now. Progressives (who aren't numerous enough to matter but apparently numerous enough to blame) will be cast to the margins of "realistic" policy discussion, and the centrist triangulators will continue to run the party and bring us the midterms results their sterling leadership has brought us in the past.

I remember when Sanders endorsed Clinton and somehow I just knew that it wouldn't be good enough for this blog. Apparently it's too late because Sanders was a big meanie and was divisive during a presidential primary instead of being nice and now some of his supporters are being jerks about it on Twitter and Facebook. And that's going to cost us the election? That over the entire conservative media or Clinton's own actions and positions?

One thing's for sure: if Hillary loses, the Dem party won't learn a thing. Everybody will wail and gnash their teeth against the Bernie Bros and continue to talk to voters as if they're spoiled children and say "don't you get it? You're obligated to vote D or we'll be deluged by a tsunami shitstorm OF HORRORS" and that will continue to be the party platform. And it won't work, just like it hasn't worked in the past. Maybe it should be enough, but it's not.

Personally, I voted for Sanders and will definitely be "holding my nose" while voting for Hillary, but there are a few proposals in her campaign that I like and I obviously am rooting for her to win over Trump. I think she will win, though it might be closer than it should be. But if she does lose, the centrists will learn nothing; their answer will be to run to the right, as always.

Tengrain said...

Mike -

I'm with you.

Two times in my life already I have watched the impossible happen: Reagan (twice) and Dubya (twice). Never thought anyone would vote for either of them and lo and behold.(OK, we can argue that Dubya was never elected, but that's small comfort now, isn't it?)

Here's the thing: it should never, ever, be close enough that they can steal it, because they will.

Fight this thing tooth and nail, folks. It's eff-ing serious.



mathguy said...

"Yeah, and Chicago '68 was in August. So?"

As someone pointed out, the country was exploding in '68. It's not exploding now. Moreover, the debates will make the talking yam look like an ass. HRC doesn't have to be nice and suck up to the GOP base. I also think the press will completely turn on him, since the stakes are higher. HRC just needs to keep banging the "unfair coverage" drum.

John Taylor said...

There are some skeletons in Trump's closet that might sink him. I'm thinking of Trump University, tax returns and rape allegations. Then, of course, the Putin connection.

Jeff Ryan said...

I will have to admit that I foolishly thought the BSers would tamp it down this week, but obviously, I was wrong.

Steve M.: I well remember 1968, and I take your point. This is just how it happens. No the crises of that year were not the crises of this, but the behavior of the so-called "progressives" of this year are actually pretty damned similar to the antics of the Left in 1968. Eerily so, in fact.

Josh Fennell: "A racist will not be president of our country"? Oh yeah, why the FUCK not? Because it never happened before? I recall another president, a "Law and Order" president, who was certainly a fucking racist, and an anti-Semite, name of Nixon, maybe you've heard of him?

McSchwanger: Will it be Sanders' fault if Trump wins? How about, yeah? Everyone told him he had to start shutting this freak show down a long time ago, his fellow senators called him on the carpet, but he loved him some Secret Service protection, and, most of all, the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. He needed to be the Messiah until the very last moment, and guess what? He fucked up.

This week was supposed to be the chance for Democrats to shine, to show the sane voters what a decent party looks like, to nail this down.

So congratulations, Bernie! We'll sure as fuck remember you forever, but not in the way you wanted.

McSchwanger said...

Of course, if only the dirty hippies on the left wing of the left-wing party would sit down and be quiet and do as they're told by the pragmatic centrists, everything would be gravy.

But, as many in the party are fond of saying, "It's a big tent!" I know the centrists would have preferred the coronation, but democracy's a bitch.

Jeff Ryan said...

@McSchwanger: "McSchwanger, Chancellor Trump is very pleased with you! Chancellor Trump has a place for you in the Bernie Brigade!"

Diane said...

John Kerry in 2004.

Josh Fennell said...

Jeff, times change and this is not 1968. Not even close. Look around. The left won the culture war and is gaining even more ground every year. We're all gay now; we're all brown; we're all citizens of virtual communities.

So yeah; Trump the bigot is not going to be president. Don't let fear make you crazy, brother. Go out and talk to some different people and hear their commitment to this election. I see panic from the white left; I see people working hard on the left who are not even being mentioned by the media, as they aren't panicking and supplying hysterics, and those people give me hope and faith. I choose to believe heir vision and work with them for the outcome we all want, instead of quivering in fear and demanding others do the same.

Jeff Ryan said...

@Josh Fennell: Yeah it's different. That doesn't mean it's not close. Why do you think he copped the "Law and Order" title? Why is no one laughing at that?

And fear is a healthy thing to have, when there's something to be afraid of.

Feud Turgidson said...

Lotta GOOD SOLID speeches tonight, but two abfab ones: Obama (Michelle, noted writer of First Lady convention speeches) and Bernie. Bernie had the tougher pull, so gets higher markes for degree of difficultly - and needs it, because, objectively, that speech by Michelle is currently leading BOTH conventions.

Jeff Ryan said...

@Feud Turgidson: Well, that's all right then. I can stop hyperventilating.

Missed Michelle O's speech, so I'll have to find it online (no mean trick for trog like me). Michelle's no slouch, after all. She was hired at Winston & Strawn, and they don't pick dummies by a long shot.

And props to Bernie. It was vintage Bernie, of course, but still pretty damned good.

Maybe this will all work out after all.

I gotta calm down...

Herbert Freeman said...

I read a tweet today. I don't remember whose it was. He was describing delegate selection that he observed in his state. The Clinton folks were looking for delegates with party background and organizing experience. The Sanders folks were looking for delegates with the most Hillary hate.

Superego vs id

Jim Sweeney said...

Tonight's speeches seem to have gone down well, and the late reports seem to be mostly positive. Perhaps it was fortunate that Michelle Obama spoke; even the most recondite Sanders supporters knew better than to boo her.

By some accounts, the booing was limited, a few bad actors, including parts of the California delegation. This I can well believe, having seen a Sanders demonstration in Laguna Beach this weekend.

People have been marinating in epistemic closure for months, drawing sustenance from sites assuring them that the election was stolen, erupting in bitter frustration when the FBI passed on the email issue. They refuse to let go of the idea that some miracle will let them prevail.

As far as my family goes, the upside is that I probably won't have to host Christmas this year. The downside is admitting to myself how insufferably self-regarding my Bernie-or-Bust sibling and in-law have always been (like, I bought them a house, and they show up in a Porsche and keep reminding me about their $1000 coffee maker).

Knight of Nothing said...

I'm sympathetic to SteveM's point--HOLYFUCKINGCHRISTTRUMP! A nonzero chance of him winning the election is cause for great alarm, and Trump's chances of winning are a lot bigger than zero.

I thought Trump would be beyond the pale for my Republican family members - who are traditional, Catholic, and Midwestern (MN). Trump was roundly rejected here in the primaries. But, nope; they are falling in line behind Trump with alarming speed and complacence. My fear is a repeat of the 2000 election, and with the Shelby decision and subsequent voter ID laws, real fuckery could be afoot. Luckily there are only 8 people on the Supreme Court...

If Trump implodes, which is perfectly possible, then Hillary could walk away with a landslide. But these external factors cut both ways: if another Clinton 'scandal' emerges, or if Trump goes negative enough, or a riot or terror attack scare people, Trump might get an edge.

All that said: my god, the Democrats have a deep bench with a lot of star power. I was expecting Senator Warren and Bernie Sanders to be the highlights. But Al Franken and Sarah Silverman's routine was great. And did anyone think that the absolute best speeches would be Corey Booker's and especially Michelle Obama's? This, and the Dem's GOTV operations are best sources of hope we have.

Jeff Ryan said...

@Knight of Nothing: Of course there'll be another "scandal." Didn't you read about this week's "scandal"? The one where Trump's Russian buddies hacked the DNC email, and we all found out that a lot of the DNC people favored Hillary, and told a couple of tasteless jokes about Bernie? Obviously, that's why Bernie lost - the whole thing was rigged! Because a couple of staff people dissing Bernie, but not doing anything other than snarking, just once again shows how evil Hillary is, and how she lied about the Benghazi attack, and Whitewater and Filegate, too. Boy, she just can't stop lying. She's her own worst enemy. And I bet if they ask Hillary about the DNC email scandal, she'll lie about that, too.

Good thing for Trump he's our Law and Order candidate, who had the guts to ask Putin to hack the DNC and expose what a big liar Hillary is. Even if none of those emails were written by her. If they had been, you just know that she'd lie about it.

This is why Republicans are the only ones who can be trusted with national security. And thank God for Putin. If he hadn't illegally hacked the DNC, and then illegally leaked the stuff to Wikileaks, we'd never know about these new lies Hillary will undoubtedly tell, as soon as someone gets around to asking her about them. No wonder Trump's smiling - he knows our patriotic media will never ask him about how the emails just happened to be dumped the day before the Democratic Convention, because that's inside baseball, while Hillary lying (which, honest, she will! Just wait!) demonstrates how dangerous a leader she'd be.

After all, Julian Assange reminds us that whether or not he illegally leaked illegally obtained emails that were illegally obtained by a foreign fucking government isn't the real scandal. No it's the corruption the emails show. All those corrupt party people saying mean things about Bernie!

So Trump's right! It is all rigged!

And Trump's fiscally responsible, too, unlike those tax and spend Democrats. When Putin crosses into Ukraine again, and invades the Baltic states, Trump will stand firm, and not even ask Vlad WTF? Not until they've paid every last penny they owe us, because we are always losing, but no more, because who gives a fuck about Europe anyway? He's building his hotels in Russia and former Soviet Bloc countries, where men are men, and they extend credit to Trump, not like those American banks who unreasonably want Trump to pay every last penny he owes them. Unfair!

Ms. L.B. said...

I'm still encountering people who think Trump is a joke or who say it can't happen. I point to my hair on fire.

Ms. L.B. said...

Oh, and the Russian hack of DNC e-mails is way scarier than anything else in this crazy primary season. If it's true, it means a foreign power is trying to influence an American election, and it frightens me to death.

Jeff Ryan said...

@Ms. L.B.: Most of the media is lazy. Investigating the DNC email dump requires actual research, to say nothing of changing the narrative. Much easier to talk about Lyin' Hillary and goofball strongman Donald.

Means you can get to the bar at a decent hour.

Ms. L.B. said...

Amen, Jeff Ryan. Amen.

KenRight said...

Clinton is the American version of the execrable Holland who should be replaced by a France Firster as soon as possible.

Yes, you are right to note that the US working middle class voting majority does not want their homeland invaded and their clergy killed.

Since you mention Putin, the German First party members are given to shout
"Putin to Berlin, Merkl to Siberia," having a similar fondness for their
clergy among others.

swkellogg said...

As long as pessimism is tempered with a modicum of optimism to keep it from lapsing into defeatism, I'm for it.

It's adaptive.

Philo Vaihinger said...

We're this close to electing as president an ill-informed narcissist/misogynist/racist with a fondness for torture and ties to Vladimir Putin, backed by a party that's essentially a wing of the Koch brothers network and that's preparing to hand him a series of bills dismantling voting rights, the social safety net, and the regulatory apparatus, which he'll rubber-stamp without reading, even as multiple Scalia clones ascend to the Supreme Court, where they'll remain for decades.


And an excellent chance of mass deportation, trade protectionism, default on the national debt, nuclear proliferation, and a binge of Russian and Chinese aggression.

Trump is leading and a whole lot of people think Hillary and the Dems would be as bad as or worse than Il Duce and the GOP.

Some insist either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (how's that for an odd couple?) would be a better alternative to Hillary.

I fear this is going to be a lot worse than the election of 2000.

Is democracy really the least bad form of government?

Just asking.

KenRight said...

The Koch Brothers, have they been brought around to finally funding Trump?
Until then you can assume the party has been taken away from them by Trump.
But what does it matter, apparently many fans of this blog are free traders who buy the protectionism leads to war garbage. Then again, it's really rich this talk of a "binge of Russian and Chinese aggression" by dweebs who haven't read Chalmers Johnson's Empire of Bases and the like.

Steve M. said...

The Koch Brothers, have they been brought around to finally funding Trump?

No -- they're just lavishing money on the House and Senate Rs who'll vote for the Koch-friendly bills President Trump will sign without bothering to read them first.