Tendown July 31, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This is 235. Let's read some Tendown 236.

1. Not as bad as "let's slur atheists" in terms of getting my vote, but this is not the church at which I pray.

2. Who do the Neocons Support? One guess.

“I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan told a group gathered around him, groupie-style, at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser I attended last week. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”
As the co-founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, Kagan played a leading role in pushing for America’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, and insisted for years afterwards that it hadturned out great.
Despite the catastrophic effects of that war, Kagan insisted at last week’s fundraiser that U.S. foreign policy over the last 25 years has been “an extraordinary success.”
3. Thanks!

5. As opposed to this - this is the Justice blogger for Think Progress; prior to this campaign, you would have thought of him a reliably progressive.  My views about the world and his are almost certainly very closely aligned.


6. We can't win a game.  But...


9. Here's what you can't say at the Democratic Convention.

Here's what you can...

"many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems" -Mike Bloomberg

10. So, here's the editor of what used to be a lefty mag, Mother Jones, hitting a fringy left political party.

The logic of this is challenging.  

When Sanders did not pick up African-American votes; the view expressed by liberals was it was his fault.  It wasn't that the voters did not appreciate that Sanders would better assert their interests than Clinton, it was that Sanders did not effectively make the case.  Moreover, the thought continued, it's never the fault of the voters - if you want a vote, you need to earn it.  Sanders, in message, in effort, in the structure of his campaign, did not reach out sufficiently to people of color in the Obama coalition and it was his undoing.

Fair enough.  Sure, there weren't many liberals lining up against the "What's the Matter With Kansas" thesis but fine. I'm in.  It's not the voters.  It's the campaign. Sanders did not earn their votes.  Done.

However, in recent weeks, a clear narrative is being established to cover a possibility that Clinton doesn't win - it's the left's fault.  Some % of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton and if that causes Clinton to lose the Sanders campaign (or, in this circumstance, the Green Party) will be to blame.

Not the fault of the candidate.  Not the campaign.  Someone else.  

I'm comfortable with that narrative prediction as you don't have to dig more than an inch deep through liberal analysis of modern American history to find that Ralph Nader receives the blame for the 2000 election and therefore, for the Iraq War.  Liberals blame Ralph Nader for the Iraq War more than they blame Hillary Clinton, who voted for the Iraq War.

I want to put aside the fan fiction that a Gore Presidency has a substantially better foreign policy outcome than a Bush Presidency (although, for me, I am 100% convinced that if a Democrat was President on 9-11 every single GOP campaign forever would be "They let us get attacked" and it would be emboldened by mainstream media and the Democrats couldn't bomb people fast enough to try to demonstrate toughness) and instead just talk Nader.

The "it's Ralph's fault" thesis requires one to believe that Nader voters would have been Gore voters absent Nader.

I voted for Nader.  Absent Nader, I would not have voted.  Gore was not a consideration.  This is the benefit of being an old guy; I was around for these things.  

I did not vote for Clinton in '96.  I did not vote for Clinton in '92.  The third way Democrats, the DLC "era of big governmenmt is over" Democrats were not my party.  They weren't New Deal, War on Poverty Democrats.  They were "not as bad as Republicans, so come on you guys" Democrats.

You want to blame someone for 2000, you can't blame Nader, he just gave me someone to vote for instead of staying home or writing in Jesse Jackson.  You have to blame me. And that means we can blame voters for their votes, and then we need to have a discussion about when it's cool to do that and when it's not.  

I'm not voting Green; I'm most likely voting for Clinton.  I think it's the right vote to cast.  But please, if Clinton loses, how about blaming the Democratic Party for seeing incredible anger from those economically marginalized over the past 30 years and nominating the Wall St. candidate as opposed to blaming Jill Stein.  

And one more...

that's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,



John DeWolfe said...

This is the first time in my life I'm actually buying the standard cry wolf argument of the centrists - I know the Democratic leadership would be deploying it regardless, but I think there is actually a wolf this time. Perhaps it's because I just have to watch from across the border and can't actually do anything about it except watch my big economically and militarily powerful neighbour flirt with electing an incompetent unhinged fascist that it's making me particularly frightened, and I know my reaction is at least a bit irrational. Still, I'd almost go as far as to suggest that all Americans have a moral duty to vote for Clinton, just to keep Trump out, in the way French voters will switch from a Gaullist to a Socialist candidate or vice-versa as circumstances require just to keep the Front National out of office.

With of all that said, I couldn't stand the way the mainstream media treated Bernie's convention delegates. For decades, we've been mocking young people for being apathetic about politics, and then as soon as they find a cause and a candidate that excites them we mock them for that passion too. A party that ran out a bunch of speakers closing in on or past retirement age should probably be thrilled that a bunch of twenty and thirty somethings want to join up and should be bending over backwards to keep them activated and start grooming the best and brightest of them to run for office now and start some political careers that will replenish their bench.

Jim said...

1. I think I agree with the conclusion to point one; the Clinton vote is the right vote to cast and the best argument for it is it makes it harder for Trump to win.

2. I don't know how much worse Trump is than recent candidates. Sarah Palin was VP nominee 8 years ago; Bush 43 pre-Presidency has a life just riddled with incompetence. And, for my money, a Trump Presidency is better than a Cruz Presidency. Cruz's messianic thing is my darkest timeline. They're all pretty terrible; the challenge is when you accept the Democrats' "hey, you can't let them win" argument you minimize the leverage on the Democrats to get better. The Democrats today are better than the Democrats in 2000, and they don't get here without losing some elections. Balancing the equities, I think you're right, which is why my plan is a Clinton vote, but there are equities to balance.

3. Yeah on point two. I was unsurprised - I've been overly engaged in the primary on twitter, and so there's an availability bias toward overly weighing that information, but my takeaway from the primary is that it was a particularly ugly smear job by Clinton partisans/surrogates to portray Sanders supporters (and Sanders himself) as misogynist/racist, and when (as was the case here) those supporters included a bunch of women, those women were typed as too young to know better (Sanders enormous advantage over Clinton by young voters in the primaries required a narrative other than "white men don't want a woman to be elected President"; selfish millenials as storyline was all teed up for the convention) I've been involved in primaries, they can be bruising, and the instant hot take required by twitter will make personal reconciliation challenging.

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