Savage Love

Two Breakups, One Brake On



I gaze at men EmmaLiz, and don’t see why another good word and activity should be lost to sexist men. How they look at women is appropriating not gazing. So. Guess I disagree with you too.
Curious, I like Elizabeth, and she might make a good POTUS. Maybe this time the Democrats could back off with putting their choices down, let them present themselves, then vote. The in fighting undermines the party strength.


I'm not familiar with Beto...but he's from Texas so is he a centrist?


When women like SMACK write in, it seems to me some women think following how men have behaved is the way forward. Their notion of equality I guess. It’s disheartening and I hope she wakes up to what she has become.


Not familiar with Beto? yes, he’s from Texas and a powerhouse going to a zillion town halls. Lots of adulation. It seems his wife is heir to billions and he’s voted with republicans in some issues. However, lots of adoring fans. So one to watch if he stands up. And he’s young. I get older people can have wisdom, and Elizabeth and Bernie and even the other one, Biden, are Good people with courage, I don’t see this job is for older people. Maybe as VP. Or if POTUS, then a younger VP to cover if the strain gets to them. Age does matter.


@107 LavaGirl
"Maybe this time the Democrats could back off with putting their choices down, let them present themselves, then vote. The in fighting undermines the party strength."

And it would be great if just the /people/ chose this time without the DNC being mis-used (last time to favor Hillary; though the details have slipped my mind).

I like Joe Biden as a person but he's another centrist and is much much too old.

And (while last time I was for Bernie) all things being equal I'd rather we nominate a woman.


Lava, it's not about agreeing or disagreeing. Saying that women gaze at men or that men gaze at women is not the same thing as talking about "the male gaze" which is a theory that actually has a definition. I can say that my feelings have evolved as I grew older, but this is different than "species evolution".

I have mixed feelings about "the male gaze" as a thing, and my predominant feeling is that I don't really care enough to have an opinion. But using the term "male gaze" when you mean "men checking out women" is just incorrect.


First off, I'll not beat the dead horse about Texas again, but we really as a country need to get out of the idea that certain states are less progressive than others. Every city in Texas is blue. Some of the countryside (the valley) is also blue. Texas is extremely diverse- think New York. DSA, BLM, Justice Dems, other lefty orgs are thriving there. It's just that the state is HUGE and loads of people live in rural areas, and rural areas in Texas- just like everywhere else in the country- are red and conservative. Likewise, with generational splits, etc.

As for Beto himself, he tends to be about where Obama was, so yes centrist. Because the times have changed slightly, he is just left of where Obama was on a few issues when Obama started, but yes he is a centrist Dem based on what that means for the party right now as it currently is. He won about half the vote in Texas against Cruz during a midterm election because that is how Texas is- about half blue, half red- with the difference being skewed across rural/urban racial and generational lines. My personal assessment is that people under 40 who vote Dem in Texas tend to be more lefty than their counterparts in Washington and Illinois (two other states where I spend a lot of time) but that might have more to do with my own circles. The reason Texas has not had such close federal races in the past is because Democrats literally have ignored the state for a couple decades - they haven't even bothered trying. Hillary didn't even come here. When one does try and runs a good campaign, as Beto did, they take about half the vote, as he did. Imagine what Dems could do in a general year with a good candidate if they'd been actually doing any movement building over the years. I think a left candidate could actually do better in Texas. One of the reasons I heard from nonbigot and nonidiots who voted for (or considered voting for) Trump in Texas is that Hilary was the war candidate and Trump was less likely to escalate war. So far, despite all his horrors, he has been less destructive internationally than any other president in living memory, so that turns out to be true (again, so far). Also working class Texans were hit hard by NAFTA , and understand what it did to Mexico better than people in other states (bc of the long hisotry f having a huge hispanic population) IMO and this turned them off of centrist Dems- they blame Clinton for it. Plus Texas has a huge black population, and Beto picked up votes by very deliberately focusing on police shootings and criminal justice reform. Centirsts were enthusiasti about him, lefties voted reluctantly, and many disengaged people came out. He lost (barely) but the downticket Dems won massively because of the turnout. This in a state with rampant voter disenfranchisement and gerrymandering. He ran a good campaign and he's charismatic. A similar candidate with a more populist approach slightly to his left would do even better. Warren will bomb in Texas.


It’s a theory EmmaLiz that I don’t ascribe to(o), because it includes the word gaze which debases such a good and functional word. Male sexist look does just fine. They can have Look.


@100 I'm late in the game, but Congratulations, fubar, on scoring his week's Lucky Hunsky Award! Savor our New Year's riches, and all the best into 2019 and beyond!


@113 LavaGirl
I always thought I knew what "the male gaze meant". I thought it meant seeing (looking at with one's eyes) with testosterone-fueled lust; which I thought made sense, honestly, as a male. Now google tells me that there's more to it than that.

Though the / definition ends with "...women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the male viewer" the full definition is:

"In feminist theory, the male gaze is the act of depicting women and the world, in the visual arts and literature, from a masculine, heterosexual perspective that presents and represents women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the male viewer."

Which is obviously ugly.

@112 EmmaLiz
As I said I know nothing of Beto, I was simply deducing that to have such a strong statewide showing in a red state (which Texas is, right?) he must not be as left as I am/want.

"...we really as a country need to get out of the idea that certain states are less progressive than others"

No one implied that Texas' left wasn't as left as anywhere else. But if Texas is a red state then it seems to me it /is/ electorally less progressive than a deep deep deep blue state like I enjoy living in. (I say "electorally" because all I was talking about is winning elections.)

"Warren will bomb in Texas."

For me that's fine, I don't want a centrist President that can win red states, I just want a populist progressive president that can win swing states.

And I think a populist progressive (like Bernie last time) can do very well with the same kind of 'we want a change' alienated voters that swept the vile cheeto pig into the Oval Office.

"Hilary was the war candidate and Trump was less likely to escalate war."

I often told and tell my depressed comrades that Dubya was worse than Trump (Trump's cancerous personality aside) because he came into office intending to invade other countries, for example in Iraq which led to the deaths of millions of Iraqis.

And I'll agree that naturally Trump would be less likely to escalate war than Hillary, BECAUSE TRUMP IS A PUPPET OF OUR PRIMARY ADVERSARY.

Personally, I think the second worst thing Obama did was embrace centrist economic measures; he had the spectacular opportunity of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, and the measures he took misled the uninformed electorate into thinking progressive (specifically Keynesian) economic measures are unimpressive. The worst thing Obama did was to inspire unprecedented turnout with promises of "change" then try for little change. (He really only got inspired at election time, so I think the 'change' which motivated him was his butt sitting in the Oval Office.)


@114 fubar: Make that savor your New Year's riches--I just awarded them. Enjoy!


Mizz Liz - I had no idea whether or not I was being original. But at least I will credit you with enough sense not to be among those who think that simply replacing the male gaze with the female gaze will Make Things All Better.


p.s. Why "The worst thing"? Because I'm afraid that the multitudes of non-voters that turned out for Obama's broken promise of change will never believe the such an pitch again even when a candidate who means it comes along.


Well Curious, I can't get into right now again and it seems to always fall on deaf ears anyway.

My point is that there is no such thing as a deep red or a deep blue state. Look at the demographic shift-s you are simply talking about the ratio of voters that live in urban : suburban/rural areas. So Orange County is very red in a state that everyone considers deep blue. Pelosi and Beto are about the same politically- centrist Dems- in fact Beto is more progressive since he takes no corporate money. By the logic of blue states and red states, this should not be the case since California is so blue.

I disagree with a lot of the other stuff you said as well, but I'm heading out right now. We'll pick it up later on in the year, I'm sure! Hope you are all having a good new years day.


Strictly speaking of foreign policy, Trump is not only better than Bush, but so far also better than Obama on some things (Libya, Syria) and the same on others but less to blame IMO since he inherited Obama's situation (drone wars, Yemen). Obviously neither are anywhere near as bad as Bush. And I don't believe he is a puppet of Putin nor that Russia is our biggest adversary- at worst they have similar mafia connections and interference like all oligarchs and politicians- but if Putin has influenced him to stop funding/arming the FSA (including the salafists in the mix) or to approve of improved NK-SK relations, then those are just good things. Just like it was good when Obama worked with Putin on the Iran deal.


Mr Curious - A certain amount of the D candidate's being demonized by the other side is naturally inevitable. And it may well be possible to win an election by nominating one of the most hated-by-the-enemy candidates. One need not be a centrist, though, to have shown the capacity to get those who were previously disinclined to like one. There's at least one non-centrist woman on the blue bench who's done things the hard way with at least one notable upset to her credit along the way.

As for Mr O'Rourke, I am avoiding forming an opinion, as aesthetics will have an artificially high value next time. The one thing that has struck me is how many lefties who rate him only middling politically have been saying he'd have been a good candidate for president "had he won". As if nobody ever won the presidency after losing a high-profile Senate election before, particularly one featuring debates in which candidates had to speak for an hour or longer uninterrupted. Such straw-clutching seems worth a double lorgnette.


@119 EmmaLiz
Oh right, no state is "deep" anything. I've seen the stats/graphics. I guess I should have just said something like some states tend to be less competitive.

But red and blue does have a meaningful definition:

Looking at
"Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates."

Since the sixties (as far as that URL's chart goes back), nine states (Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, both Dakotas, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming) have always voted for Republicans for President.

While Hillary carried California by 29% (3,446,281 votes), before 1992 California voted for Republicans for President. Minnesota has voted for Democrats for President since 1972 though.

"you are simply talking about the ratio of voters that live in urban : suburban/rural areas"

Yes we all know that's what red and blue mean.


Yes, even California sent a centrist Feinstein (San Francisco sent centrist Pelosi) to Washington. Honestly no states are deep blue; I live in the SF Bay Area, and I consider SoCal our Mississippi. I forget how Pelosi got in, but it's clear she's a good politician (and very effective congressional leader), I just wish she was representing a swing district instead).

And that's why I retracted "deep".

Yes puppet was hyperbole. Probably Trump just (as he's shown) loves dictators since he would like to be one.

@121 vennominon
"one non-centrist woman on the blue bench who's done things the hard way with at least one notable upset to her credit along the way"

Who? Is she charismatic?

"As if nobody ever won the presidency after losing a high-profile Senate election before"

I agree, narrowly losing a state whose last win by a Democratic President was for Jimmy Carter looks like a feather in his cap to me.


Emma Liz @ 120
“Strictly speaking of foreign policy, Trump is not only better…”
“And I don't believe he is a puppet of Putin nor that Russia is our biggest adversary…”
I strongly disagree. Trump remarks on Russia raised my suspicion back in 2015, and I was not the only one. It is obvious they have a lot about him, from business shenanigans to personal stuff.
From day one in office he is trying to convince US voters that maintaining NATO is nothing but a burden. He is antagonizing European allies, signaling their dependency on Russian oil will have to be a factor in their foreign policy.

Korea- The Russians hope to get a Korea nuclear-free zone, hence US missiles further away where they can be easier tracked and possibly shot down if and when.
So far they have failed to pressure the north to find a suitable agreement. (North holds some cards as both Russia and China are worried of millions of starving Koreans entering their countries in case of an all out war.)

Trump’s Mid East policy used to be aligned with Netanyahu’s Israel, all along appeasing his Christian right base, hence also doing business with Israel’s Saudi crown prince new buddy.
Trump’s willingness to abandon the Kurds, as well as the latest Russian actions and rhetoric re Israeli jets bombing in Syria, could be an indication that the US is considering getting out of that region, hence handing it to the Russians.


Trump is certainly in league with Putin. And Putin surely has the goods on him from video of him getting peed on to their collusion to steal the election for Trump. Puppet is a kinda strong word though; I'm OK with reserving that for the dictators of countries we overthrow.

Though as long as this moron thinks he's Putin's partner, it could get much worse. I think Putin's aim (of undermining our democracy) might just be to cripple us, to just get the US out of the way so he can dominate the world. Maybe they'd be satisfied with controlling the world and not literally run us too like puppets.

In short, I don't think saying Trump's not a puppet is particularly reassuring.


CMD @99: I blame YOU for reviving this dead horse!

Curious @100: Indeed, I have to wonder why Hunter's so adamant about being right here. It makes no sense to me. If I have a theory about, for instance, the way penises work, and someone with an actual penis contradicts me, I revise my theory. Either Hunter has to believe that age is as much an enemy of women's hair as it is men's because he's self conscious about his own thinning, or it is just as simple as him being offended that women would consciously elect to sport hairstyles that are not optimally pleasing to him personally. Congrats on the hunsky!

Lava @107: I agree with EmmaLiz and Curious2. The phrase "male gaze" means "what is presented in society as being 'attractive' is 'what straight men find attractive'." How is that phrase corrupting the word "gaze," but it would be okay to use the word "look" which is a synonym? You gaze at men, you look at men. Just as Hunter has to accept that "the patriarchy" means something other than what he would guess, "male gaze" is in the feminist lexicon now. No putting that horse back in the barn, to go back to equine analogies.


@EmmaLiz 106
Interesting comments about hair and skin and aging. In contrast, my hair has definitely declined from the hair of my youth, to my grief. On the other hand, my body hair is doing just fine (aaarrrgggh!!!) and I've never thought to wish I still had the skin of youth, as I pretty much still do (now I know to appreciate that). Skin seems to be more different between men and women, more influenced by testosterone/estrogen, than I ever imagined. And you mention short hair being expensive - for men, it's the other way around, the longer the hair the more expensive to maintain.


Apologies, Fubar, that was your post @100. Mea culpa!

Old Crow @126: I think EmmaLiz was talking about the cost of regular haircuts. If one's hair is long, one might only need to get it trimmed once or twice a year. Fair point that very short hair requires little shampoo and no conditioner, but most "short" women's cuts are still long enough to require conditioning and styling. As regards skin, women are expected to be wrinkle-free in a way that men are not. Women are generally expected to remain youthful in a way that men are not; I've seen many men complaining that without beards, they look like teenagers, which they consider a bad thing -- which seems bizarre from a female perspective!


Still more interesting info about gender differences in haircuts. You mean I can just have my hair trimmed, and the haircuts won't keep on get more expensive as I grow my hair out? Nice!

I meant that my skin is wrinkle-free, including by the standards that women much younger than myself are held to (which is what I judge it by). IIRC, much of skin's "aging" is caused by damage from UV radiation. If you have a reasonably thick beard, the UV does not get through, so the skin under it does not get damaged, and yes, if you shave, you have something like the skin of a teenager. Which works for me, if not for the men you mention.

I've watched a lot of videos by trans women with titles like "things they didn't tell me about HRT", and comments to the effect of "my skin got thinner" are very common. So, at least anecdotally, there seems to be a real difference there. Which I didn't expect.


Old Crow @128: No, haircut costs don't generally increase with hair length, just as size Large trousers don't cost more than a size Small. In fact it is often simpler to cut long hair than to cut short hair, as long hair just needs the split ends trimmed off, while short hair must be shaped. And the beards thing isn't that beards protect men's chins from wrinkles, but that beards make men appear more manly and therefore older. Beards also tend to go gray before head hair does.


@120 EmmaLiz
"I don't believe...Russia is our biggest adversary"

Who then?

Russia has the 2nd most powerful military(1) and nuclear arsenal (so is by far the greatest existential threat), and is dramatically active internationally, having invaded the Ukraine just a couple years ago.

However, this will not be true in the future. Nuclear arsenal notwithstanding, China is a close 2nd to Russia in military power, and far exceeds Russia in military expenditures(2). And it is important to note (because money buys military power) that China (and India) are economically ascendant, on pace to surpass the US' GDP in 2029(3). As will India sometime around mid-century(4).

This future is the primary reason the US invaded Iraq last decade.

(1) &
(4) &


Regarding hair, yes I was referring to hair cuts. When my hair is short, it is faster to fix in the morning, requires some product but I didn't really think about the expense of that. I meant that the initial cut is pretty expensive and then going regularly for maintenance cuts adds up- and because it is styled/cut in a certain way, I must go to someone talented that I know which is more expensive than a quick walkin cut with a stranger. When my hair is long, it takes longer to fix in the morning since I must blow dry and then curl or straighten, but it hardly requires cutting at all. I can get away with going twice a year for a trim, and even then- since it's a simple trim- I can just go to the nearest supercuts and get it done for 20 bucks or whatever.

Regarding global politics, I don't know how worthwhile this is, and I've got less time right now anyway but I keep wasting it here, ha ha. I'm considering a new years resolution of only having these conversations in person but then I do learn stuff online so I'm not sure. In any case, we've had these conversations here before so it does seem we are going in circles.

There's no reason for the US to be in Syria. I'm not an Assadist. Dude is a murderous dictator and all that. But look at US reasons. To support rebels in getting rid of him? That's not even a possible outcome - he has already won- and this is before we consider what the FSA is- entirely US now regardless of how it started. To fight salafist? Assad (and Iran) are the most successful people in the region doing that- getting rid of him increases the likelihood that groups like ISIS will spread. And this is (again) before we consider what the FSA is- lots of crossover with the very salafists we are supposedly fighting. To defend Israel? Assad himself has maintained that border- the Israelis were happy with him in this regard. This is before we get into a conversation about Israel at all. To defend the Kurds? The US has been playing them for decades- sometimes supporting them, sometimes throwing them to whatever power wants to destroy them depending on what is convenient for US. The Kurds know their own history- they did not enter into the temp alliance with the US blindsided. Theoretically there could be some sort of international group that prevents massacres but the US is not that, the US does not care about human rights, and in fact the US has often prevented international intervention when it could've been justified, so I don't think this is an argument for the US to stay in Syria. The only argument is that the US does not want Syria to remain in a Russian sphere of influence because of energy politics, and I don't agree with murdering people over pipelines, but even if you do, Assad has never been even slightly close to losing power and therefore the only options available are to prolong the murderous chaos to prevent Russian power there (just remain in a bloody stalemate) which will have the side effect of increasing salafist power btw or escalating into an actual war which will be catastrophic for the world. Trump has moved around a bit b/c I think he doesn't really know himself, and for a hot minute I thought he might actually do the latter though he's seemed otherwise like he's going to do the former which is also what Obama was doing. Currently, I suspect that what's actually going on is that they will shift to a different alliance / conflict- I'm sure what's going on with Erdogan and the Saudis have a lot to do with it but I'm not smart enough to understand the details.

As for Russian collusion, I see no reason to get into it- we've done it before and we will not agree. It's become a cult at this point. If you were to look into any wealthy families around the world and their connections with one another and interferences into each other's affairs, you'll find the same thing- the Clintons, the Bushes, the Kennedys, the Gates, etc. Trump is just sloppier, probably more mafia. Yes maybe Russia tried to influence the US elections- this doesn't shock or offend me the way it does many liberals because I know this is how the world works. The US literally overthrows elected officials, imposes dictators around the world, influences elections through propaganda everywhere. I assume that any formidable power would try to do the same in the US and it's perfectly rational that Putin would prefer Trump to Clinton since Clinton was a hawk who wanted to escalate conflict against his interests. I think a rational US response should be to increase their own security around elections and the net in order to combat this inevitability, and if Trump was involved in some way, then by all means press charges against him, etc. You want to dig into money laundering and people taking sides illegally in Ukrainian politics then you are going to dig up dirt on the Podestas as well. Why the focus just on Russia? You think these same people aren't in the pockets of the Saudis as well? And vice versa? We aren't looking at one person being a puppet of another. We are looking at a ruling class making deals with one another on how to rule the world. The difference between Trump and Clintons/Bushes is that he's not playing by the same set of goals that the status quo was- and I don't really give a shit about that. But the idea that he's literally a puppet of Putin over something like a tape of him with a prostitute is cartoonish. This is how capitalism works- it's bigger than these individuals.

And at the core of the disagreement is that I don't think that maintenance of US military and market hegemony at all costs against any possible competitors - be them Chinese or Russian- is a desirable goal. I don't start out with the "given" that the US should rule the entire fucking planet in the first place. Putin is corrupt and bloody- the US is as well (murdering millions to maintain hegemony), and in many cases I think Putin's foreign policy is actually more sane. If we are choosing between lesser evils, he makes more sense in the Middle East than the US policy does. Same with Iran v Israel or KSA. I don't think that rising Russian or Chinese power on the other side of the world much nearer to their own regions of influence is "adversarial"- it's the US arrogance that they should control every part of the world at all cost that I think is adversarial. And as of yet, there is no real threat- 2nd or 3rd most powerful militaries or whatever, they are puny in comparison to the US. Besides, the core of all of this is how the dollar is the currency of all capitalism enabling the US to print money and how all these rich fucks have to send their money through Wall Street and invest here- most military adventures exist to maintain that hegemony because the US sees any slight loss as a threat to this system. NATO exists for this reason, and while I think Trump is stupid to go on and on about it being a burden as it serves US (dollar-based capitalist) interests, I am opposed to most of the things it defends in the first place. And while it terrifies me to think of this shit collapsing, I'm not OK with my economy resting on imperialism, and now we've got failed states and a migrant crisis as a result.

Regarding North and South Korea, I think it's a good thing to make peace there, and if Putin favors a denuclearized zone, I don't see why that's a bad thing. I spend a lot of time in Seoul, and this has way more to do with the desires and plans of the administration there than it does with Trump or Putin, regardless of whatever Rachel Maddow says.

I guess the TLDR version is that while I'm no fan of Putin, I'm likewise opposed to US empire.


@131 EmmaLiz
Much of facts and position you present is I think preaching to the choir here.

"maybe Russia tried to influence the US elections"

Enough has already gone public that there's no "maybe" about it.

"I think a rational US response should be to increase their own security around elections"

I wonder why it might be that Trump has demonstrated no interest in this?
Just because we do it too, is no reason that that's f-ing all we should do (at least Obama put sanctions in place Trump took down) when a foreign power has undermined a US Presidential election.

"...the US arrogance that they should control every part of the world at all cost that I think is adversarial."

Yes but (quoting you) "This is how capitalism works"; western power has long been largely about maintaining access to customers abroad. And while I'd love to change the world's economic system, nothing you mentioned would be more difficult to change than that.


Curious, why do you say Obama was weak.. don’t you remember what he inherited? Might be a reminder soon the way the markets are going with trump’s madness. Your economy was in a really bad way... Bush was such a disaster at home and abroad. Obama pulled you out of that, just like our Labor PM Rudd helped us avoid much damage at the same time.
America is no longer a threat to dictatorships, that’s what this evil fool of a man is setting up. He’s old, he’ll be dead soon..
Russia and China are upping their bully behaviours, because trump cares nought for keeping democracy alive. Let’s hope the Dems move quickly and the impeachment begins.


Emma Liz- the argument, at least on my side, wasn’t that the US is pure hence so much better, yet acknowledging that by leaving a playground we only let others take over.
I find it a bit troubling that this negligence/careless/reckless attitude comes intentionally from the very top due to some coercion by one of our main adversaries.


@133 LavaGirl
"why do you say Obama was weak.. don’t you remember what he inherited?"

I'll never forget. It's specifically that (quoting me @115)

"he had the spectacular OPPORTUNITY of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression"

that disappoints me so much. It was a once-in-a-century opportunity to remind people how effective (again quoting me @115)

"progressive (specifically Keynesian) economic measures" are. Perhaps I can resist plunging into the details beyond saying that (until FDR eased Keynesian measures in IIRC 1936) they were very effective during the Great Depression.

I said Obama was weak for other reasons too. (Though admittedly a black man who was any different could never have been elected in the US. [Even at that only a half-black one could've.] And admittedly his passiveness also appealed to the electorate because of it's contrast with that jackass Dubbya.)

Obama was neither a fighter nor even an average negotiator. In standoffs with the Tea Party congress, he established an unwavering pattern of being held hostage (again and again promising not to concede the "next time" there was a fight) but each time he did give in rather than fight them. He was a superb candidate but a shitty, shitty politician. His insistence upon unilaterally giving in to people who will never compromise was pathetic. Particularly given how much he could have done with what's called POTUS' 'bully pulpit' given how popular he was in 2008. I voted for him, but before long I wished he'd lost to Hillary, at least she would've fought back.

Oh, and I wasn't thrilled that he promised a public option but soon stopped doing more than whispering support for it, we later learned because he'd already cut a secret deal with the healthcare industry that there would be no public option


Yes, hindsight is always s great thing. Your country was demolized and he gave you and us a few yrs of respite and some human decency. Yes. He was not perfect, sure beat the last few around him.
So who then? Who could quickly navigate thru this horror that’s being created? Let’s hope Hillary stays out of it. And now there’s talk of sexual misbehaviour in Bernie’s 2016 campaign.


@135 p.s.
Lest the phrase 'bully pulpit' sound /off/ to anyone, my point is simply that...

The primary job of POTUS (particularly one who was swept into office on a promise of [sadly vague/unspecified] "change") is to put forth a vision and inspire the people to embrace it, since the ultimate power lies with them (to change the composition of congress if necessary) to achieve their wishes.

@136 LavaGirl
"...he gave you and us a few yrs of respite and some human decency."

That he did. I think he was the healthiest human being ever elected POTUS.

I too hope both Hillary and Bernie stay out of it. They've lost enough.


I’m not against Bernie running.


@138 LavaGirl
I absolutely love Bernie (as I do Elizabeth Warren), but last time he failed to inspire the people to embrace his vision sufficiently to beat a pretty poor candidate (Hillary) in the Dem primaries. (And for the kind of change Bernie intends, he'd absolutely need the power of the people behind him to realize his vision in congress.)

I think Elizabeth Warren has very substantially more charisma than Bernie, so I'm hoping she could be effective where I think he showed he couldn't. I'm hoping he chooses not to divide the constituency they share, lest neither have a shot in the Dem primaries.


I think Bernie is going to put his hand up. And this time, if they don’t spit and bitch at each other, it might be an honest run. More will be coming up to the starting line too. Long as Hillary accepts things are different now, lots more transparency is demanded and she’s of the old way of doing things. Trump has busted the fabric of US politics wide open, it will be interesting to see how the Dems conduct themselves.
Charisma is not always a given, and in my lifetime I can only think of two US Presidents who I felt have had it, Kennedy and Obama. Only one leader in Australia and that was Gough Whitlam, our PM in the early 70’s. Gave us subsidised healthcare.


Gough Whitlam who was dismissed from power in a constitutional crisis in which the CIA was involved, Kerr was literally a board member of CIA groups that operated in a couple dozen countries around the world to oppose any left wing governments. No way the US status quo is going to let someone like that come to power in the US. It's not a lack of democratic interest in universal health care that prevents it from happening, regardless of what Fox News can stir up. The threats to our democracy (and the democracies of other countries) are home grown.