Remember when they told us Hillary, not Bernie, would beat Trump?

Here’s a good rule: If you can’t call them on the phone to complain, blaming a person/people does not serve a function. By which I mean: Voters are not accountable. They are 100% not accountable. Attempts to hold them accountable only ever alienate them.

The DNC has phone numbers, they are an institution, they can be held accountable, and all of the blame rests there. (The RNC also has a phone, but they aren’t accountable to you.) Saying “Grr, stupid voters” is literally what people were saying to voters who picked Stein or Johnson or vowed not to vote before the election. It turns out when people say things, you should believe them. Trump won, which means history shows that this does not work. It didn’t work when GWB sailed into office either.

This cuts both ways. Bernie supporters arguing that he couldashouldawoulda won, are just blaming a different set of voters, i.e. primary voters. The allegations of “rigging” are unsubstantiated. The reality is the DNC worked against him in subtler ways, and it wasn’t conniving, he was an outsider coming in and dropping elbows. The reality is he should have become a Democrat four or five years earlier at the very least. Again, I’m blaming someone with a phone line here. He ran an excellent campaign, but it was too little, too late, and he kind of went about it the wrong way. I’m sympathetic and I voted for him, but it was a bit much to expect dark blue Dems to vote for him, and he had no name recognition in the beginning.

Blaming the voters is a waste of your time and mine. Blame the people who make decisions that capture voters. I blame Bernie for not capturing the Dem vote as much as I blame Hillary for being a bad candidate and refusing to adapt to criticisms over her. Her “apology” for the email scandal was bad. It doesn’t matter whether the it was a non-scandal, politics isn’t about what’s right, it’s about winning. If you fail to win, you failed. Qualified has nothing to do with picking presidents. You should have learned that in high school.


I keep returning to the point that Trump was savaged by Democrats. Seriously, you couldn’t brutalize a candidate more with negative messages than Trump received, loudly and unilaterally, from Day 1 of his campaign.

It didn’t. Fucking. Matter.

You tune out the critics. You hear what you want to hear. You confirm your biases. Not one of the chorus of horror over Trump was heard by the people who voted for him.

The point being: even if Bernie was savagely criticized, there’s no evidence that savage criticism would’ve mattered. Trump proved what Obama showed: people vote their hopes, not their fears. It ain’t the e-mails or James Comey that doomed Clinton. It ain’t even REALLY the horrible bigotry that doomed her. It was the fact that she was a competent and well-connected politician.


This is exactly what I’m talking about. Plus this is a guy who proudly and openly referred to himself as a Socialist; you and I know what he means by that term, ideologically, but I can’t imagine that the COMMUNIST! talk would have been quiet. Hillary’s campaign was in defense mode for months, pointing out how horrible Trump is. Even if Bernie had stuck to his message, saying the same phrases he kept using in the debates over and over again, he would have been torn to bits.


A wise move. There’s not much more for me to say at this point and this counterfactual is better left to the SF section of Amazon. I just hope Sanders continues in his efforts to drag the DNC out of its reliance on outmoded Third Way politics. I’d like to see liberalism have a fighting chance in the U.S. as right-wing populist darkness descends on the world.


Elections are decided by the handfuls of undecided idiots in a handful of swing states. Those people really are credulous. They’re also not at all leftist, don’t respond to the same messages that sounds hopeful to a typical left-wing audience, are mostly terrified and disgusted by the word “socialist.” In the past they have resoundingly rejected left-wing candidates wonkily offering left-wing policies that would be most effective. Average, poorly educated Americans in states with crap educational systems decide elections and they don’t like the things educated people do.

Add Sanders writing gang-rape slash fiction into the mix, the “racist environmentalist” angle, and the sea of other vicious attacks possible, and there’s no way to say with any confidence Sanders would have won. He could have, but it would not have been a cakewalk, but a massive struggle, with a strong chance of failure.

I really, really wanted a Sanders Trump lineup since I assume Trump would be the single weakest candidate ever and would have been steamrolled by anyone with a modicum of competence, and assumed that Trump probably the only candidate Sanders ever would have a chance to beat given the loathing Americans have for left-wing candidates, but as it turns out my assumption was completely false, that Republicans will vote en masse for anyone with an ® next to their name and in hindsight Sanders would have been in the fight of his life.


I think this is no longer true. There are few true swing voters left. Today, the party that turns out its voters tends to win.

Also, this entire article is a troll. Why oppose Trump when we could re-litigate the primary instead? Let the circular firing squad begin - that’ll show him!


But Sanders also talked in a much more direct way to the concerns of the rust belt than Clinton did. Fairly or not, she’s been connected to the neo-liberal agenda that has not been kind to the working classes of any race.

And I do agree with you that there is a fair amount of misogyny aimed at Clinton. Same goes for many women on a daily basis.



You are wiser than I. I should have just muted it immediately. Alas. Muted now.


How many Trump supporters from those flyover states have you had a dialogue with in the last week?

Because every one I’ve talked to doesn’t give much of a shit about the word “socialism.” It is, at best, in the past.

I’d be happy to hear some counter-anecdotes.

Sure. The idea I’m opposing is the idea that criticism would’ve stopped him. I don’t think that is the case - all the criticism the entire global community could muster didn’t stop Trump. I’m reasonably confident that this is because people vote with their hopes and not with their fears.


Trump was saved by Democrats…and so were his supporters and that’s why he won.

This whole scenario played out exactly the same in Wisconsin in 2012 (Scott Walker recall election) and 2014 (Walker re-election). In both cases the liberal majority in Madison and Milwaukee out-screamed the rest of the state and filled up the media air time doing so. Between ads, protests (100,000+ in Madison), speeches, social media, water-cooler talk, etc. they told everyone in the state they would be stupid to support Walker and didn’t hear a lot of opposition. So they assumed both times they would win and many polls even reflected that as “fact”.

Guess what…the quiet conservative voters of the rural (and even urban) areas got tired of being told they were stupid. They were tired of being told how to think but didn’t want to hurt others feelings by admitting support for Walker or be the target of the venomous hate spewing from anti-republican activists (especially urban undecided/conservative voters)…so they kept their collective mouth shut and stuffed the ballot box with Walker votes.

Same thing here just a different candidate and on a national scale. If the DNC had taken the time to teach their base to reach out to independent/undecided voters instead of trying to intimidate them, maybe they wouldn’t have quietly turned to Trump.

In the end, Sanders vs. Clinton wouldn’t have mattered much in a lot of the swing states. Its the attitude of the elitist-liberals that is killing the DNC.


I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but while I don’t see Bernie as a viable 2020 candidate (the man will be over 80), he’s doing awesome work at the grassroots level, where it matters most right now, and I hope he keeps doing so.


I see no good that can come from offering them. If you don’t think a video of Sanders cheering in a video as the crowd chants “The Yankees Must Die” and calling for support of the group that started that chant matters (or the gang rape perviness), I don’t think we have enough in common to discuss anything in that domain. If he’d won the primary I’d have been able to explain most of it away and qualify my reservations, and would have backed the guy strongly (I donated to him, FFS). But he lost, and the whole “what if” exercise is worse than a waste of time, it’s once again taking our eyes of the goals that matter now.

I’ve now muted this thread, FWIW, since this whole exercise nicely illustrates one contributing factor to Clinton’s loss, and I have no stomach for it.


ZOMG - did Cowicide hack Corey’s account?


I remember when I machined parts and formed sheet metal to build a car from scratch, just so I could go to the local drive in to tell them I would never eat at their restaurant.


That Hillary lost to Trump in no way indicates that Sanders would have beaten him. Based on the results of the election it’s just as likely it would have been a perfect tie with Bernie as the Dem nominee, or Bernie would have lost by a lot more, or Bernie would have won. There’s no evidence to support or go against any of those end results.

And the polls people claimed “proved” Sanders would do better against Trump than Hillary had one great flaw – they were taken during a primary in which Sanders was largely untested. Hillary didn’t go after him much, especially not after New York. Had Sanders secured the nomination in June all those polls would be different because the right wing would have gone after him hard. Didn’t matter whether they attacks were true or not – see SwiftBoating – they would have eviscerated him for being a self-avowed commie (not true, but most Americans don’t know the difference between democratic socialism and communism, much less socialism and communism), a supporter of child sex (read his writings on how kids should be naked and touch each other from the 70s), a pacifist (also untrue) unable to stand up to ISIS, etc.

To rely on a June poll of a defeated candidate no one wants to treat badly as having any validity regarding an election held four months later after a bruising campaign is to rely on water to sustain the oxygen in your blood. It is foolhardy, and will result in bad things.


But to do that the first time we needed to be in a great depression first. If Trump gives us the depression, then maybe. But only maybe.

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Well, the Democratic Kool Kids and Schoolmarms did the ‘Bernie Bros’ in so hard, they saved the Republicans from the effort. They tried the same thing on Obama in 2008, but that backfired. Whodathunk that negative reinforcing conformatism would result in less enthusiasm and lower voter turnout for the Chosen One? Not like that didn’t happen in 2000 and 2004 either.


Liberals have mastered the use of satire and ridicule, which is fine when it’s employed against policy. When it’s employed against people, no one should be surprised when those targets become further entrenched.


This is what I was going to write, but you did it better.