2016 May 23, 2016 at 9:03 am


Trump and Clinton—indistinguishable

yeah that quote is pretty hard to dignify.

Poll panic well-managed is useful - it gets out the vote. Just don't panic them too much or you get voter despair. But "here's the thing": national polls suck these days - suck bigtime. We're talking margins of error (always misreported as "3%") in the double digits. so "Trump and Clinton: Dead Heat!" is total BS. Just a few decades ago pollsters were existentially petrified to see their response rate (how many attempts to get an opinion against how many actually got) drop below a third; now it's below a tenth. To call getting a tenth of your 'random' trails (effectively throwing out 90%!) a "random sample", and then merrily compute margin of error using a formula which demands a random sample, is statistical malpractice of first order.

Wait... one more quick point before your eyes glaze over completely: most national /cable-news polls are "opt-in" polls. That is, you have to make the effort to visit a specific webpage to vote. Just as an example consider the case of a poll on our beloved The Stranger: what sort of poll taker is reading the stranger to discover a poll on The Stranger? what are the chances that a conservative member of the populace would ever discover a poll on The Stranger? (not zero but pretty damn low) This egregious situation is repeated every evening on MSNBC and CNN accompanied with an utter lack of questioning of the poll itself - because: news is the product and "our polls are meaningless" makes for a bad product.
Anyone who honestly thinks that Trump and Clinton are indistinguishable should have their head examined. I don't care what polls say, the facts say something very different. One candidate on that list has experience, has definitively supported a center-left agenda and has spoken repeatedly about bridging divides and supporting the middle class. The other has no experience, talks incoherently in vitriolic anti-rhetoric, and has threatened to allow war crimes if given power. They are not even close to the same.

What is most dangerous is that so many people seem to be slurping up that absolutely flawed message so easily.
How interesting that everyone except Clinton is the problem. Better grab the Valium:

Clinton's Lead Over Trump Shrinks to 3 P…

Democratic voters are dangerously underestimating how much people completely freaking loathe the Clintons, yet they're so sure she's the electable one. Meanwhile, her once 11 point lead has crashed into the margin of error. Face it, she's box office poison.
I predict that in the next major election after this one, all the same complaining and warnings will be issued from all the same people. Just as they did in the last major election, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that...

Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite?
We're doomed.
@3 But then again, Sanders deadenders are dangerously overestimating the chances their candidate would have in a general election once his opponent happened to bring up the fact that he plans to 'take away your healthcare', and raise taxes on the middle class to pay for this 'government takeover'.
All this would have been avoided had Mitt Romney was running for re-election.
Every election is doomsday if "the other guy/gal wins".


Um, where exactly did Stein say Trump and Clinton are "indistinguishable"? I her saying that both would be horrible (true), but nothing about them being indistinguishable (not true). Is it time now to start smearing the third party candidates now?
@9: That's standard policy apparently: run a terrible candidate, and then blame the voters for not voting for them anyway.

Stein is right - Clinton vs Trump will be the two most hated candidates in decades, as they both have negative favorability with the American public. Being dishonest about what she said isn't going to change that.
National polls mean nothing. They never have and they never will. We do not have a national election in this country. We have 50 statewide elections.

The fact is that the Rs have painted themselves into a corner. States that have reliably voted Republican are numerous but have few electoral votes. States that reliably vote Democratic have many more electoral votes. And in the end, that's ALL that matters.

So liberals can stop running around like headless chickens. Again.
Jill Stein tweets "Yes, I will be horrified if Donald Trump is elected. I will also be horrified if Hillary Clinton is elected. Both are corporate politicians." and Dan Savage tries to scare us by saying she thinks they're identical.

Fucking Hillary Bros just don't get that we young people, 80% of 18-29 year olds don't want billionaires (trump) for president or millionaires (clinton). Obviously they're not the same type of candidates but they DO represent corporate interests and corporations. Corporations which are fucking us by destroying the planet, imprisoning as many people as possible, poisoning our air, water and food, working us to death for shitty wages, overusing antibiotics and creating superbugs, and so much more countless bullshit.

We need candidates who are openly against the interests of corporations and want to put them on lockdown with massive regulation. Hillary wants us to pretend everything is okay and we all just need to get along so she can pat their hands and keep raking in the millions.

Of course she wants to do some good, which greatly distances her from Trump, but she's also greedy and rich and entrenched in corporate interests.
So look, what do we, as a populace, as individuals, actually do about this? I vote in primaries; I vote in generals. I throw a few bucks to my blue candidates. But is there something concrete I can undertake to move the election Dem? I'm in a solidly blue state, so it's not like I have to convince my undecided neighbors. Complain to editorial boards, to stop drumming up panic with editorials?

There's just all this hysteria, but without an actual call to action. Give me something productive to do and I'll do it.
How is this not 2000 all over again? A known and proven capable national level politician who isn't particularly liked by the media going up against an inexperienced, though charismatic shit stain that is being helped into office by an egotistical old man claiming moral superiority acting as the spoiler.
Did you ever meet someone who admitted voting for Nader after about 2003? There will be no time machine for the Bernie Bros just like we can't magically avoid 9/11, two wars, global economic recession, and the untold damage to our rights by imagining what would have happened under a Gore presidency.
Dan doesn't realized that being horrified by two different things doesn't make them equal. I am horrified by both snakes and Ann Coulter, but that does not make them "indistinguishable". Or does it?
@12: I remember idealism. I lost mine for good in November of 2000, when you were too young to vote. it's not like you're saying something old libs haven't heard previously.

you and your generation better start running for office now. show us old cynics how its done. you'll have my vote.
#3, Sanders supporters keep stating this, but her approval ratings as senator and secretary of state were actually quite high (58% and 65%, respectively), not as high as Sanders' but much higher than Elizabeth Warren's. And Bill Clinton's ratings as President were much higher than Obama's. Of the dozen presidents we have ratings for, he was in the top five:
@14: Al gore lost because he was an unlikeable, unrepentant corporatist. His winning would have been better for the country, but he ran like a "lesser of two evils" candidate, and he lost like one.
This is 2000 over again. Also 2004. Also 1992 and 1996. Every one an election the democrats ran a third-way corporatist, every one they lost or were handed a victory on account of a third-party spoiler.
@18: I hope you're pretty, because you're certainly hopelessly clueless.
about what? no third-way dem has ever won without a right-wing spoiler throwing the race. The states Clinton won a majority in totaled exactly 9 electoral votes in 1992
@20, Couldn't see that you put a link there. Bush v Gore was a bad decision, of course. Spoiler campaigns are also bad (because of the rules put in place by the 2 parties) - So many things to point a finger at, doesn't change the fact that Gore was a Bad Candidate.
I guess bernie must be worse, since he's losing by 3 million votes to "third way corporatist" (WTF that means).

Kinda weird that so many people voted for him then, isn't it?
not really. that's what the lesser of two evils strategy will do. in the short-term anyway
@21: I thought Obama was 3rd Way. No? 8th-dimensional Chess Way?
@26 no, his campaign signaled hard they wanted nothing to do with the DLC or their strategies. He declared himself a "new democrat" later on, but that's an evolved definition from what it was
@24, "so many" doesn't win elections. "More" wins elections.
Clinton and Gore left the economy in fairly decent shape at the end of their administration, mostly by luck, and Gore would have been able to ride that happy bubble into the White House if it hadn't been for the constant drip of icky stuff his reckless and predatory boss had been up to, not only in the Oval Office, but apparently throughout his entire political career, pretty much grossing everyone out.

So rather than run on the successes they'd had together, Gore was forced to defend and disassociate himself from the stains and wet cigars that Clinton left behind (sorry), and the campaign became more about proving he wasn't a perv like his boss than anything substantive, and the daily attacks from the religious right, and all the other small minded prudes at the time, stuck to him like a wet dress. In fact, Clinton and Gore seldom if ever appeared on stage together during the campaign. So it wasn't Nader who got a moron elected president who destroyed the Middle East and spread misery of one form or another to nearly every corner of the planet, and all that other stuff, it was a blow job. Way to go, Bill.

But the Clintons are back. Smarter, wiser, tougher, and now riding a well-heeled Godzilla-like political beast that will devour Trump Tower like a cheap movie set, which pretty much describes The Donald himself. The Clinton field staff alone outnumbers Trump's by 100 to 1, and they're just getting started. But the most important thing to remember is that Donald Trump himself is a dreadfully flawed candidate and laughably unqualified to be president, and I simply don't think there are nearly enough stupid and angry white guys out there to put this twit into office. Obama laughed when someone asked him about it recently. And that's why the smart money is backing her, like I am. Plus, according to the Huffington Post (I think?) Bill now has one of those anatomically correct personal robots, so we should be covered on that front as well.
What I like in this post is that Mr. Savage distinguishes between Donald Trump and normal Republicans (even what's been normal post-Bush). I have friends who are Rep and conservative and they deserved better than this.

What they should take away? "Trump will owe the party nothing." That's key. The conventional Republicans are rallying because they're hoping to buy some voice in any future administration, and they're not going to get one.
@18 Al Gore lost for several reasons, but the margin was so small, that if any one of them had been removed, the butterfly ballot or claiming to have served in Vietnam or inventing the Internet, he'd have won.
Well, obviously. It was what, 525 votes?
The point is, if he was even slightly less of a triangulating insincere party hack, that would have translated into millions more votes and a map that looked a lot like Obama's.
@32 Al Gore did served in Vietnam, He was in Vietnam with an Engineering Unit and as a stringer for a Tennessee Paper from Jan to May 1971... It wasn't Bob Kerry service or many others, but Al Gore is a Vietnam War Veteran.
@31: Indeed this.
One of the managers at my day job (down in Yeehawland) is a pretty dyed-in-the-wool conservative, but can't imagine the thought of voting Trump, in no small part because he's Latino.
@32 Al Gore never claimed to have invented the internet. He said he helped make it what it is today through authoring supportive legislation making the point that government can make good things happen. Some GOP shmuck twisted this to make a pithy bullshit soundbite for a news cycle and it stuck.
Florida was more than the butterfly ballot. It was a concerted effort to purge the voter rolls of democrats.
Learn some real history already.
@12, I don't disagree with you but your (our, I voted for him too) candidate lost this election. The next step is that you hold your nose and vote for the person who doesn't intend to destroy everything you care about.

The important next step that many (especially liberal) voters ignore is to keep working at it. Keep working until the liberal 18-29 year olds are 30-39 year olds and have "trained in" a new generation of 18-29 year olds. We get to watch the over 60 crowd die off and leave the country to a new generation.

The strong liberal agenda isn't happening this year, and realistically might not happen next year. The kind of serious change we want takes time and if liberals get dispirited and lazy (as often happens in non-presidential election years) then conservatives win.

You want to see real change happen, get your liberal friends to reliably vote in state and local elections. The only way to get the House back from extremist conservatives is to undo their redistricting which happens at the state level.
@36. Exactly. I can't believe people are still claiming he said that. Infuriating!

Please wait...

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