Features Aug 9, 2017 at 4:00 am

The Democratic Socialists of America have had record growth since Trump. Are they saviors or spoilers for the left? We went to Chicago to find out.

POWER IN NUMBERS: Membership for DSA swelled after the election of Trump. About 700 delegates went to Chicago last week for the group’s annual convention. Sebastián Hidalgo


Dan Savage is a shill for corporatists. Green party support did not exceed the gap between Hillary and Trump. They aren't spoilers. Hillary didn't campaign in the Midwest.

More people didn't vote for anyone for president than voted for Jill Stein.

When is he going to retire and let The Stranger become more than a blog of drunk rants?

Get it straight: Hillary was the spoiler who tilted the election to Trump. Bernie Sanders openly identifies as a socialist and routinely polls as one of the most popular politicians in the country. He easily wins elections in a state with a Republican governor.

I don't understand how a third party is supposed to work in the United States of America. Like, lets say the DSA or the Greens or whoever can pull down a seat in a legislature. Then what? They are going to caucus with the Democrats, right? So what has been accomplished?

It just seems demented to me to consider what the ideological has accomplished over the last 50 years by working within the framework of the GOP and conclude from that "derp, we need another party!".
er, what the ideological right has accomplished, etc.
These scumbags are the reason why tRump is our President.
Nice article!

Note to Dan Savage: instead of asking progressives whether they will or will nto support the Democratic Party, maybe you should try asking the Democratic Party whether they will or will not support progressive ideals. Look back at the Obama years: extrajudicial execution, indefinite detention, imprisonment of whistleblowers (often under abusive conditions), prosecution of child soldiers, unprecedented surveillance, government secrecy, massive subsidies for oil companies, etc. And look at Clinton, who supported all of that, and who vowed unconditional support for the racist and murderous Netanyahu regime, and who almost single-handedly bestowed "legitimacy" on the Honduran coup regime which is now hunting down and murdering environmentalists. I would say the answer is a resounding "no."

I have mixed feelings about socialism, but hope the DSA becomes a force to reckon with. And if the Democratic Party wants their support, maybe they'll have to actually earn it with something more than just "...but the other guy is even worse!"
Here's an informal/error-prone observation: of all the self-declared political divisions running the gamut from communists to fascists i've never met a socialist who wasn't a shouty grumpy sort. Their convictions all seem the most gentle and human (as one might expect) but personally they were a bag of angry rusty nails. I've met far-right pure capitalists, who i would never want near the controls of any political office, who nonetheless were quite amusing to have a conversation with; no such luck among the children of Proudhon. So my humble advice to socialists: smile a bit, tell a joke, and become a bit more ..social, your beliefs deserve to be sold a bit better. ((yes yes... i'm sure there are socialists i haven't met who are the life of the party))
@5 Right? I mean, it was out of cowardly fealty to his tyrannical husband that Dan Sacage had to begrudgingly split his endorsement into a wishywashy "bitankual" split support for Bernie and for the losing candidate. And once Hillary made it through the primaries, Dan accepted nothing less than blind devotion to a flawed candidate, insulting anybody and everybody who dared challenge Her Highness. It's almost like he had no idea how to read a room, the pot having long since fried his brain past rational thought. It's why he's so quick to anger, his brain is all squishy and full of rotten bits, but his ego is so huge he can't help but be pissed off when his powers of communication fail him. It's because of squishbrains like him that we have Drumpf, unquestioningly backing a loser candidate and stymieing all dissent. Why else would he have hired Matt Baume as The Stranger's most obvious Hitman For Hillary?
The DSA should try living in Venezuela for 6 months. Democratic socialism at its finest.

It's a great idea, but sorry, people are aweful and it never, ever works. If these kids read something other than twitter they might know that.
@7 Dan isn't a grumpy shouty angry sort who insults everybody who gets in his way? Terry isn't the husband who would run screaming out of a dinner party the moment the topic changed to Trump?

The problem with holding a minority opinion is that people hold you to higher standards than everybody else. But, when you agree with a majority, like Dan, then you get a free pass to act like a stupid asshole whenever you want.
Ah yes, another group calling for Intersectionality (Except For Jews). You don't get to call for Israel to be pushed into the sea and then claim you're stsnding for all peoples.
@9: And look at Cuba!

"Oh but they have such good health care"
@3 That's an argument for more 3rd party participation, not less.
@11 I didn't realize all Jews were Zionists who lived in Israel. Tell me more.
Wow, 25,000 members - that's what? - 0.0017% of the total number of registered voters in the 2016 election. Get back to me when this group has some real numbers to report.
We've been down this road before in the 1970s, when young, extreme left-wingers terrified America into shifting right.

The GOP will incrementally melt down on its own thanks to Trump. And with the infantile, bat shit crazy Presidential proclamations by Tweet assaulting the minds of most rational Americans of all persuasions daily, a shift towards the left will inevitably occur on its own.

But a new generation of extreme leftists pushing hard easily could scare the daylights out of everybody in the middle once again, stopping and reversing any leftward movement by a majority of Americans and leading to renaissance of the right.

@12 they have a 99% literacy rate! Sure they aren't allowed to actually read anything, but still!
The problem of course is that covert support for these guys is among the cheaper ways for Billionaire righties like the Koch brothers to undermine the Democratic Party in close Federal elections. I'm not saying the DSA is in the bag, a la Jill Stein and Gen Flynn going to Moscow to "bend the knee", but after Trump's election, I've lost my devil may care attitude. It can really get worse.
@9 Venezuela is suffering because it failed to diversify its economy and remained over-reliant on oil extraction. Russia's economy is in the shitter for similar reasons.

@12 Cuba is struggling because its nearest neighbor, which happens to be the worlds biggest economy, has subjected it to crushing economic sanctions since the 1960s.

Why don't you dopes have a look at how the socialist government in Bolivia is doing?
@7 Seattle DSA has monthly socials. Some of them are a bit socially awkward, yes, but it's a fun, welcoming group. Its open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend, debate, socialize, what have you. Check their website for details!
this was a fun article ok i like it, it's too bad it primes with an old man's fantasy. 3rds are rarely spoilers electorally, but they are used as a foil for losers, and to spoil the rhetoric so everyone becomes as rotten as the violent chauvinists running the manifest exceptiony show. if 3rds can shift perception of themselves from aberrants to be seen as the everyday schmoes they are, the casual brutality of the duopoly can be exposed as the very shield defending elitists like savage, and it can be cracked, and we can work on living happily ever after.

i hope dsa drops dems entirely and becomes a party proper, but more than that i hope the bloodthirst of old heartless elites (who want now to kill russians and koreans, in addition to the africans and arabs they have been) fades, and people start talking about best policy for our shared reality, not how best label it.
Good article, fair in it's critical eye. Thank you, Heidi Groover. But as expected, there's a lot of nonsense in the comments.

Regarding the DSA's small size, you've gotta keep some factors in mind. The DSA requires paid dues to join, whereas nearly every other large org has no payment requirement. That paywall means that it generally filters out average passive participants, instead leaving an overwhelming amount of activists. Most of whom show up for protests, organize, canvass, etc. Those 25,000 are enough to change the conversation, apply immense political pressure, more. And when it comes voting time, or census time, you'll see a lot more than that who will throw their lot in with the DSA.
TheMisanthrope: You just singlehandedly made the best case I've ever seen against giving any level of government responsibility to the various marginal and fractious organizations mentioned in the article, and why it's about as likely to happen as Donald Trump suddenly announcing that he's converting to Buddhism and turning Trump Tower into a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
@19. How about you read "the gulag archipelago", and get back to me on how awesome socialism is? 40+ million dead can't be wrong!
@24 Whatever, Dan.
Electing billionaires to hire billionaires to give billionaires tax cuts has been working out so far. Who needs the DSA? You want to end up like Norway? No thanks, we just about have Ballard cleaned up from the mess those freaks left.
A reminder that The Stranger endorsed Cary Moon for mayor in our primary. How can Dan Savage complain about spoilers or talk about pragmatism when the Stranger basically ensured that a mayoral candidate with no ground game or popular grassroot support will be facing off against the odious Jenny Durkan in the general election?
"We are not interested in performing our politics. We are here to win."

followed by

"There's almost an element of nihilism with it, where we're kind of just like, fuck it."

I think it's tremendously important to have forces pushing our politics to the left (i.e., the mainstream of successful countries in Northern Europe), but a lot of the Democratic Socialists here in Seattle are most assuredly motivated by virtue signaling, performative progressivism and principle over tangible policy. The result? Some of Jon Grant's largest donors are the whitest, most privileged NIMBYs in the city, content to see the left eat itself and fight proxy wars against capitalism in local housing policies.
@25 oh for fuck sake. Not this bullshit again. There is "Socialism" and then there is social democracy. Thee are economic models. The system of government layered over the top can be democratic, despotic, or autocratic. Just like in free enterprise systems.

Solzhenitsyn was warning people about totalitarianism. police states, (mostly de to Stalin) and the inhumanity of forced labor prison systems. All things Republicans god damned LOVE! BTW Solzhenitsyn wasn't exactly thrilled or uncritical of the American prison system, either.

Next you'll be arguing that the Nazi's were also "socialists."

PS. It's not like Solzhenitsyn thought universal healthcare or welfare were some one way ticket to some Soviet hellscape. Particularly since he returned to live in the Russian Federation in 1994 that has much of the same social infrastructure - like universal healthcare - that the DSA talks about. Though the Russian version is abysmally corrupt like everything else there under Putin's so-called "free-enterprise (meaning: Free for Putin)" system.
"As I wander around campus, the crowd is largely young, white, and male, though not overwhelmingly. (Contrary to stereotypes, some of DSA's most active leaders and organizers are women. Attendees talk about socialist feminism, and organizational rules require diversity on the group's leadership committee. During the weekend, DSA members vote to create a national Afro-socialist caucus.)"

its all white male bernie bros (except for all the women and poc's there too).
"I don't want to be their junior partner"

How do people like this think politics works, exactly? I'm not just talking about US politics. I mean everywhere. Larger parties are always senior partners in coalitions. This doesn't change in a multi-party parliamentary system...

Anyone saying, "But look at X country!" needs to take a step back and realize that a sexual predator with the emotional security of a 2 year old, and the intellect of a 12 year old, is currently in charge of the United States, the most evangelical pro-capitalist country in the world. The President of this capitalist paradise cannot read; in fact, he may have never read a book in his life. The healthcare system of this capitalist paradise is grossly inefficient and needlessly cruel, its infrastructure is crumbling and actively poisoning its citizens, its education system creates a mass of indentured servants drowning in debt, and its military is black hole of spending that can't even care for its soldiers. Inviting comparisons isn't going to win any arguments.

Also, Dan isn't great at math if he thinks Jill Stein was a spoiler. A brief explanation:

Of course, considering the chasm separating Stein’s politics from Clinton’s, this whole exercise is pure fantasy. More likely, without a left-wing third-party challenger on the ballot, many voters who pulled the lever for Stein would have simply exercised their right to “stay home” — a euphemism for choosing not to chart a path through the dense field of barriers standing between ordinary Americans and their constitutional right to vote on election day.

But let’s indulge the thought experiment anyway. In Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, and Florida, even if every single Jill Stein voter had instead voted for the Democratic candidate, Clinton still would have lost. I’ll show my math.

In Iowa, Trump (798,923) beat Clinton (650,790) by 148,133 votes, more than ten times Stein’s 11,119 vote total.

In Ohio, Trump (2,771,984) beat Clinton (2,317,001) by 454,983 votes. Stein got 44,310 votes — again, less than 10 percent of what Clinton would have needed to turn the state blue.

In Florida, 119,770 votes separated Trump (4,605,515) and Clinton (4,485,745). Jill Stein got just over half that — 64,019 votes.

It was closest in Pennsylvania. There, Trump (2,912,941) received 68,236 more votes than Clinton (2,844,705). Still, Stein (48,912) would have needed almost 20,000 more votes to cover that spread.

No matter what Dan believes, Jill Stein didn't act as a spoiler. If anything, Clinton and the neoliberal establishment spoiled a Sanders administration.

@30. "Abysmally corrupt", is what happens every time you try to institute socialism. And obviously "they" just weren't doing it right (the oldest and dumbest argument of Marxism). We'll get it right next time, I'm sure.

GFY. I'll take the evils of the free market over some arbitrary hand out system coordinated and executed by (who again?). Socialism is a complete failure as an idea in almost every form it's ever taken. It's championed by people who are afraid of competition and need the government to level the playing field of life.
Oh, and the Northern European countries where social democracy is "working" are almost entirely homogenous racially and don't pay for their own national defense.

Neither is the case in this county.
@34, the numbers is that article were pre-final. In the final tally, Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes, and Stein had 51,463. In Wisconsin, Trump won by 22,748, and Stein had 31,072. In Pennsylvania, the delta was 44,332, and Stein won 49,941. The electoral votes in those states would have been sufficient to swing the election. Savage was right in terms of the numbers, though of course, no one knows what would have happened had she not run.
@34 that analysis does not take into account the crystalline power of a stein endorsement that would have brought out millions of registered non-voters (which also caused 100k in michigan to vote down ballot only, one of 14 states with this phenomenom), nor the spoilage effect by which her existence mystically brought out trump support.

beyond ballot access, if dsa becomes a party, its most formidable challenge is not explaining their platform but violent liars like savage who use their media presence to distort, strangle, and take up space (demspread, if you will); for thestranger to do a dsa article it must first tenderly wrap itself around an old man's tumescent and throbbing feelings.
All the people pointing out that various third world socialist countries have high poverty rates have failed to mention that the third world capitalist countries adjacent to them also have high poverty rates. Almost as if the first world has been crapping on the third world in general! The difference here is that a strong social safety net alleviates the pain of poverty. The observation that the people in a socialist nation wait in long breadlines isn't super meaningful when one realizes that lines are short in capitalist nations because a lot of people can't afford the bread. If capitalism is so great, why don't you move to a Brazilian favela?
Heidi, you're so edgy for standing up to Dan Savage! What bullshit. Dan "Dolla Bill" Savage is more than happy to be a paper tiger for your Battle on Behalf of the Oppressed Millennial Socialists.
Well, it's all fixed.
Thanks everybody!
@40 You're gross and way too obsessed with your visions of Dan Savage.
I just want to utter a guttural howl every time Bernie Sanders people come online to be obnoxious. Not a measured rebuke to their liberal purity fetish, not an earnest query into how the GOP doesn't benefit when leftest groups ouroborous themselves/each other, not a hysterical, tear-and-mascara streaked pleading for agreeing to disagree until the abysmal moron running our country has been run out of office. Just a guttural howl like an exasperated, wounded animal caught in the bear trap of self-serving progressivism praying for the sweet release of death in lieu of relitigating the 2016 Democratic Primary for the next 4 to 8+ years. To quote William Carlos William's poem "The Sea-Elephant," ahem, "Blouaugh!"
As someone who voted for Clinton in a swing state, during the general election, I gotta say: blaming the Greens for the 2016 election loss is ridiculous.

We wouldn't be in this place if the Democratic leadership had learned the lessons from 2000. e.g. insiders cleared the field and all but annointed a candidate who had never actually won a national election as the headliner; said candidate then ran to the center as if it was 1996 in pursuit of elusive "upper income moderates" -- and adopted a strategy that is even more foolish now than it was in 2000. e.g. the country is much more polarized now, Dems win when they turnout irregular voters -- that's where the focus needed to be. Those voters tend to be lower income, they will not be wooed by a pitch from Michael Bloomberg, Marc Cuban, or assorted former Bush administration officials.

The Greens didn't have access to over a billion dollars of cash and limitless free media. They weren't responsible for the candidate's decision to take the industrial midwest for granted. If a candidate loses to a reality TV star with a negative 20 net favorable, even with a 2 to 1 cash advantage, there is no basis for shifting blame.

The Greens aren't responsible for the fact that the Clinton team took the Obama coalition for granted, and put their energy and focus on Romney Republicans. The Clinton team continually sent a message to the unenthused "we can win without you, we don't need your votes". Unfortunately, some took the offer seriously.

it's worth remembering too, that in 2008, Clinton hired a campaign manager whose strategy didn't factor in the delegate apportionment rules. (e.g. he built a strategy without understanding the scoring system). He was paid millions for his trouble. Some of the same warning signs were flashing red this election cycle too. Clinton is a great fundraiser, intelligent and ambitious, but she has never been a great retail politician, and the Clintons seem most comfortable in an environment of petty infighting and organizational dysfunction. As David Axelrod said in Feb 2016, "When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, "Hey, maybe it's US?"

The Trump team did what it needed to win -- rather than run to the center, they went far-right, consolidated the base, and poured resources into a handful of states offering the best path to victory (e.g. even with the big cash disadvantage, Trump outspent Clinton significantly in Michigan).

Obama and his team didn't take votes for granted. They understood the importance of persuasion and voter mobilization. The Clinton team put most of its faith in an algorithm. e.g. see Politico's "How Clinton Lost Michigan" and the book "Shattered" -- these are the tip of the iceberg.

The bigger issue is that the party itself is at the lowest ebb since 1928. We control fewer governorships than we have at any time during the modern era. We don't control the Congress or the Supreme Court. This is a party that went from big majorities in 2008, to falling off the cliff since then. The party ditched the 50-state strategy 2 years before a redistricting cycle, rather than build up party organizations at the state and local levels, it pooled hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of DC based political consultants (many of whom control party political arms). If we are going to lay blame, I would put it there first, second, third, fourth and fifth.

If the Democratic Party took care of business, and cared as much about its voters as it does about its mega-donors, we would be in a different place right now. I see the Green Party's performance as a symptom of dysfunction and decision making within the Democratic Party, not as a cause of the party's problems.
I'm afraid most of the talk about a new people's army bringing justice to the masses is just that, talk. A Gallop poll of 1500 people in May showed that twice as many voters have have a more positive view of capitalism than they do of socialism. This is little changed from similar polls they conducted in 2010 and 2012.

But even more striking (warning - marxist trigger words ahead), when voters were given a choice of eleven types of candidates and asked to rate them from most likely to get their vote to least likely, the top three vote getters were "catholic, a woman, black". The bottom three, and least desirable were "muslim, an atheist" and at the very bottom, "a socialist", again little changed from past polls. Socialists scare the hell out of the masses. They are not waiting to be saved. At least not by socialists.

It's not that the various socialist factions don't have some good ideas, but that they think that every damn one of them is brilliant, despite much of it sounding like the kind of Evergreen Tinkerbell stuff that most of us grew out of a long time ago. They have some impressive leaders as well, but excluding people of color, their followers seem more like a ragtag bunch of kooks, malcontents, old lefties, and privileged white liberals, which could be worse I suppose, but are rediculously under-qualified to bring about any of changes they insist we're all just too obtuse or greedy to get on board and walk the plank right along with them.
I think it's wonderful that Dan has become a national figure - he's a voice of reason and sanity and has also been a fantastic role model and advocate for LBGTQ kids, and it's hard to say how many of them he helped in one way or another. I'll bet it's not a small number. So fuck you if you don't like his particular style of progressive politics. What have you done lately? And he's probably having a lot more fun than you are as well.

And if you think he's no longer 'a man of the people' because of all this success, he's got a couple of hundred t-shirts that'll prove you wrong.
@46 In terms of policy Clinton did not "run to the center" like it was 1996. That's why your argument for how she ran to the center is based on cherry-picking people who campaigned for her, not policy.

"a candidate who had never actually won a national election" other than incumbent presidents this is always true. This is so stupid it has to be straight trolling.
They should have pushed for ranked preference voting, or at least cross-listing (so you can prefer, for example, the Democrat who's also running as a Socialist as opposed to the one also running as a Conservative).
@48 Whatever, Dan.
52: Since you've called me out twice on this, ok, it is me, Dan. I've commented hundreds of times in just the past year alone, mostly making fun of loopy lefties like you in a way that wouldn't be appropriate in my day job as a journalist and publisher, as much as I'm tempted.

I do it to let off steam. Commenters like you are basically impervious to reason or logic, and it doesn't matter how well reasoned or sincere any of my opinions are if they don't agree with your rigid little uptight view of the world and everybody in it. Some of it's pretty entertaining. But you guys are also hilariously thin-skinned, like Trump, and getting you all frothy and indignant is a guilty pleasure I'll probably never get tired of. Sorry. I'm not particularly proud of it.

Guess I'll have to get a new user name!
Venezuela has been mentioned in several of the comments here. Let me recommend two blogs of note that focus on current Venezuelan politics: "Venezuela News and Views" and "Caracas Chronicles." Both blogs seem to me to offer honest, non-dogmatic, and highly informative commentary. I have also spoken to and gotten to know about half a dozen Venezuelans in Seattle. Most lean left politically but to a person despise the Nicolas Maduro regime. Of course, the situation in Venezuela is complex, and I'm certainly no expert in the matter. Numerous causes seem to have contributed to the country's economic decline. Surely, failure to diversify the economy (away from dependence on oil) factors into the country's problems, as does standard corruption that could occur under a right-wing regime as well as a left-wing regime. That said, the governments of Hugo Chavez and especially Nicolas Maduro have dramatically clamped down on free speech; instituted hyper-hyper government regulation, mismanaged by corrupt bureaucracies and often used to retaliate against political opponents; falsified vote totals and intimidated potential opposition through retaliatory firing and career-thwarting; routinely and repeatedly jailed opposition leaders; and tortured and killed numerous political opponents. This is not merely a case of failure to diversify the economy; Maduro sees himself as pledged to uphold Chavez's commitment to socialism, and that appears to mean rewarding a top-heavy government bureaucracy and (likely bribed) military. To be sure, Maduro does not represent the final word on socialism and its effects, but it would be wise to honestly assess what is going in Venezuela, and not simply attribute its failings to everything other than Maduro's commitment to socialism. The best way to find out about this is to listen to and learn from Venezuelans--and right now a huge majority seem staunchly opposed to the Maduro government. These people need support and to have their voices respected. Does Maduro represent all of socialism? No. Does he represent a disturbing image of how autocratic socialistic governments all too often become? Yes. But ask the Venezuelans.
The big amoebas eat the little amoebas, right on up the line. Socialists never factor in this basic truth when cooking up their latest vision of our collective pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The big amoebas drive natural selection, innovation and technological progress. Whereas the socialist vision, to people like me, is about as realistic and appealing as the corny illustrations that used to be on the front of the Seventh Day Adventist pamphlets you'd find on the front porch. As they say, for many of us, it's better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.
@55 Dan, does that mean you're going to follow through on your idea to move to Austria?
So, how come nobody voted, then?
This was a very good article for the Stranger. I appreciated reading it.

The real spoiler, to me, is Dan Savage and more often, the Stranger, with their unfailing ability to fall short and disappoint ...when it comes to endorsing the best candidate or position and actually making a difference in the right way with what's clearly an influential Seattle newspaper. The fact that they're influential also makes it more pathetic how they don't even bother to explain themselves on some candidates and issues - or provide such poor arguments. Or resort to bullying tactics.

The most recent example is their failure to endorse Oliver in the mayor's race - they could have put her over the edge into second place. But Dan Savage and his pals at the Stranger had to be the spoilers yet again.

Take me back - did they even have the courage to endorse Bernie? And with the entire state going in his favor? Well, I guess, if they didn't, at least they couldn't spoil that race. Because if they endorse him, it was so weak and flimsy, it was totally unmemorable.

I was actually surprised they endorsed Jon Grant - who I voted for in 2015 and this last election - I didn't care or even remember that he was a Democrat in the one before. I don't know him personally but I liked what I've read about his record over the years on housing issues. If it's working better for him on the DSA ticket, well, all the more power to him and them. I remember how disappointing it was when he didn't win in 2015. (And perhaps the Stranger just endorsed him so they wouldn't have to for the general? Spoilers again?)

As for the Presidential race and Jill Stein - this, too, is absurd along with that bullshit piece Dan Savage wrote. As already posted - she didn't get enough votes in the swing states to "spoil" anything - but even if she did, so what? Doesn't Clinton have any responsibility to listen to the concerns and issues affecting people in these areas, including voters who are going with the Greens, instead? I mean, my God, some people are living the street while voting for these pathetic politicians. And they're angry at these "Spoilers" - on behalf of Madam Inevitable? Who didn't even bother to campaign in the swing areas? Because she was so busy listening to wealthy donors instead? If she (along with Dan Savage) don't care about how they feel, why the hell should they vote for her? Because Their Royal Arrogances say so? Or like school yard bullies telling you what to do? Newsflash: people have a right to vote for whoever they want to vote for. If you want someone's vote, why don't you work for it like some of these other newer candidates? Otherwise, go F yourselves. That goes for you, too, Dan Savage.

See, too, these comments like "socialist scumbags ruining it" - this is another disgusting, sickening aspect to the Democratic Party - that I am gladly leaving behind me. You people ruin it for yourselves. And hey - you yourselves are telling people like me - go! Get out of the Democratic party! We don't want you here! You're not a real Democrat! ,,, And we're the spoilers?

Look at them on the social media - they're even blaming Bernie and Stein supporters for the current danger of nuclear war - they don't even blame Trump. It's Bernie and Jill's Stein's fault - some And this is after Bill Moyers reported in March 2016 how much money Obama was sinking into the nuclear arms race. But no, it's Susan Sarandon.

This is also while they attack Stein for going to Russia. Stein went to Russia because she's a peace activist - not because she's in bed with the Russia mafia, fucking ignorant McCarthyite assholes. The ones they should be holding responsible for nuclear war - if that happens right now - in terms of this last election are the Clintons. Because BIll Clinton encouraged Donald Trump to enter the race and the DNC colluded with mainstream media to catapult him into the Republican nomination. You people wouldn't have Donald Trump to hate if it weren't for Bill and HIllary Clinton and the DNC. They did this FULLY KNOWING that he was great danger to the nation and the entire world with respect to the president's authority over NUCLEAR WEAPONS. We know that they did this knowingly because Clinton made it an issue in the campaign. She made this an issue while there was evidence - at the same time - through the DNC emails - that they also pushed him into the nomination with the cooperation of the mainstream media. Consider the implications as to what that says about HIllary and Bill Clinton (and the fucking assholes in charge at the DNC). Along with everything else. Yet still their owner's interests control the Democratic Party and still you idiots sing their praises as if yearning for oligarchy. "Can Chelsea be next? Please! What about Malia! Let there be blue blood!" Elections? What's that?
And you're "democrats?" You don't even know what the word means.

The DSA looks like it's getting off to a great start. I look forward to voting for more of you (if you're reading) at the local level. I look forward to probably sending Jon Grant all of my Democracy vouchers since I just found them (after this last election) and I can't see why I'd give them to anyone else left in the races. Good luck to him.

I think the Mayor's race had too many candidates and they should allow, minimally, a 3rd - meaning Oliver. But this city has a failing in imagination, right now. That would be, well, too French. And as Hillary said, "This is not -- . And this is never going to happen."

But it will. The times they are indeed a changin'.

P.S. Not that the Mayor's race had too many candidates; I misspoke. Too many candidates to narrow it down to two for the general. That there should be at least 3. Especially when you consider the close margins between each of those three and the number of other points of view and how they might be distributed.

But of course Olympia and the developers and Amazon don't want that, do they.
The DNC establishment are the spoilers. They spoil on the issues every time. From single payer to better wages at the federal level to expanding social security to a liveable minimum so seniors aren't living in poverty to abolishing student debt and instituting free college to a total lack of courage on universal basic income and total bullshit on job creation. That's not a plug for the GOP. But they are the ones who are handing the cake over. Most notably, at present, on single payer. This country must go over to a Medicare for all system - fully and rapidly. They are not facing reality - and they don't give a shit about facing it, either. As per my prior post, after all, look how much they give a shit about putting the entire planet at risk of nuclear annihilation. Hey, it's Susan Sarandon's fault if North Korea decides to Seattle with a nuke. Believe it, we'll all be dead and it won't be Susan's fault - or Bernie - Jill Stein.

People better get real with these elections - and get tough as hell. Being tough doesn't mean being a bully for Hillary Clinton and WALL ST. It means getting tough with Wall St Democrats and lousy candidates and voting for people who will actually go in and represent the American People INSTEAD.
“The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”
— Margaret Thatcher
The great thing about Margaret Thatcher were the tons of wonderful songs written about what a nightmare and disaster she was for the working people of Britain. The ones being robbed by a bunch of incompetent and unprincipled crooks and thieves.

Thank goodness for Jeremy Corbyn.
@58-62 you start off trying to come off like you're being all reasonable, but then reveal you don't know what you're talking about and descend into conspiracy theories about the DNC and purity pony whining.

I do have a question though: Which healthcare system is the best in the world and based on what criteria? Do France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Japan use single payer? (Spoiler alert: no, they don't.) Are their systems bad? (Spoiler alert: no, they're among the best in the world and perform better than Canada on many measures. And much better than the US, of course.)

If you're going to label anything short of single payer as basically DNC treason, maybe you should remember that universal healthcare has been achieved in many other countries and insisting that single payer is the only acceptable way just reveals you don't know the first fucking thing about it.
62: Your profile photo is of a Stellars Jay, not a North American Jay Bird. And get some sleep.
All very interesting, but Jon Grant's going to get smacked in the November election and Oliver, Sawant's other pet, has already failed. Not a lot of momentum to be gained here in Seattle.
I love to read the comments about politics, written by for college kids and people who have never evolved past the mentality.

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