Savage Love

Omissions and Emissions

Comments

1

IUD; I agree with Dan: You are absolutely right in your concerns. Dump these assholes hellbent on dumping 100% of risks on you.

2

Griz is first...again? Okay--someone else seriously deserves the Lucky @69 Award honors this week as I scored it in last week's Savage Love installment.

3

“First, the bad news:” “one thing seems to be almost constant” in the weekly columns nowadays, as they often include a daily letter from only few days ago which could maybe possibly be a tiny bit disappointing to some certified organic Savagistas.

“And the good news:”
TTGFP- Yes, please do tell your girlfriend. Tell her that money changed hands, agreed upon action followed, everyone behaved and went on to mind their own business.
I’m aware of the huge difference between this situation and the much more common woman servicing men, and sadly often coerced to do so.
Yet history tells us that all attempts to eradicate prostitution failed to deliver and maybe it’s better to legalize it and provide safe working and medical conditions for all involved.

4

Yes, there are young feminists demanding their boyfriends don’t watch porn. Sad. I’d move along LW, a woman that controlling is just going to get more so.
While mainstream porn is a big debatable subject re it’s worth, there is ethical porn out there, and it’s none of anybody else’s business what you do or don’t watch alone, long as it’s legal.
As you are giving her her marching papers, for being a stupid feminist, imo, tell her then that yeah, you’ve had sex for money and you got the money.

5

Not everyone reads the daily thread CMD, and obviously Dan thinks this a good one to show on both threads.

6

TTGFP:
The question YOU asked isn't a factual one, and is tangential to your leadup.

The question SHE asked is a no, obviously.

The answer to other questions wouldn't be, tho. Just to be clear, since I smelled a weasel.

IM:
So drink up!

7

But I'd bet, if I gambled, which I don't GF2 has already "forgiven" Ms Gabbard or other women for past conduct.

Calling it "trade", as various people did for a while, was on the questionable health end of the FTWL spectrum, but calling it "gay for pay" when straight (and sometimes bi) men cannot provide the gay experience (and usually such clients are straight-chasers, anyway) is in LMB land. C2 seem like good candidates for a CMY (Covenant Marriage Yesterday for Mr Curious and any other new people, a term applied to couples (I don't think the concept would work for units whose members number something other than two) whose greatest service to humanity is to remain together because one would want not want to see either of them dating a friend or even a neutral but non-harm-deserving acquaintance.

Also, as I was seeing complaints in mainstream feminist venues as early as 2014 or 2015 that Gay Porn Degrades Women, I'm sure they've figured out how to condemn MM sex work by now.

8

Oh, drat, I left out a ) somewhere.Serves me right for trying to post after icy roads on the drive home.

9

I think these feminists target all sex work Mr Venn and close their ears to any talk, even from sex workers themselves.

10

Lava @ 5
“…obviously Dan thinks this [is] a good one to show on both threads.”
It may not be fair to some who have to double comment. They and others may also feel they are part of a market research group without their prior knowledge or consent.

11

@9 LavaGirl: As a feminist I don't think lowly of sex workers, but would be most concerned about their health and safety because what accepted risks they take on a daily basis. Forgive me, because this is going into another Stranger thread (I know--shame on Griz!), but there was an article (by Katie Herzog, I think--someone correct me if I'm wrong) about Democratic Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris passing legislation that has actually brought sex workers more harm than good.

12

What market research group CMD? You don’t have to comment twice. Nobody’s making you comment at all. Strange comment....
I’ve been hearing/ reading different perspectives re K Harris, Grizelda. Some not so good. Sex work should be completely decriminalised, and the dangers would be lessened.

13

Actually, @Dan considers comments about his advice and edits his answer to a SLLOTD when it appears in SL, so it is not simply a cut-and-paste from earlier in the week.

14

@12 LavaGirl: I agree---sex work should indeed be decriminalized, lessening the risks and dangers associated with it. What legislature that passed missed the boat, and consequences sex workers have been facing has been ugly. Other than that, I am impressed by Kamala Harris, as well as with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, D-WA, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA.
But!--enough about politics.
Back to Omissions and Emissions here in Savage Love.

15

Don't tell the partner about paying for sex. I agree with Dan.

We are left to assume that the HIV+ partner can't pass HIV through urine, since the doctor only commented on the drugs. That seems to be a big non-answer. I'd want to know that one. Also, I'm not into water sports but I assume he could just piss on the LW and not in the LW's mouth. I would also assume that letter is asking about drinking because that's the kink but sometimes kinks can be slightly modified.

16

Oh, I’ll re read Dan’s answer. Thanks SA.

17

‘Raw-dog me’.. would a twenty one year old woman use those words. In your own words, LW.
I still don’t agree Dan. Why should a woman have to lie? He wears the condom or he goes home. Not hard for a woman to stop sex and check the condom is still in place. If he is a stealther, he’ll do it whether she’s using contraceptives or not. He Doesn’t Care.. he’d expect if she got pregnant, she’d have an abortion. And he might be heading out of town next week, and good luck to her finding him.
I don’t think you understand Dan, the deep ambivalence some men feel about women, especially women in charge of their own sexualities.

18

"So, do you wanna raw-dog me or do you wanna complain?" And to some unsheathed rando on top of that? Okay, okay, so I'm asexual. But.Yuck. Stories like these make me feel even more grateful that I am.
@17 LavaGirl: Agreed, seconded, and spot on for the IUD WIN.

19

Yes, you’re the man Dan, and that is often half the trouble; you are not a woman. It’s different between men emotionally, you don’t get pregnant.. Some men want it both ways, have women available for nsa sex, and want to look down their noses at them simultaneously. It comes out in this even being an issue. Wear a fucking condom for every random fuck.
Shouldn’t even have to talk with a woman about it.

20

And the women who lie or cut into condoms etc, They Care Too Much/ for his sperm.
She’s the one who is pregnant, most likely she’ll be a single mother. Then court to get money.

21

Kamala Harris has blotted her copybook with me and will never get my vote. She violated the Eighth Amendment by arguing on behalf of the state of California to withhold gender reassignment surgery from two trans inmates. For shame! Harris, Booker, Gillibrand--I see these people as rent-a-consciences, pseudo-leftists with a finger in the air, tacking with the wind. Warren has a plausible journey and Klobuchar is substantial. These are my preferred candidates (and I'm hoping Warren will be President).

22

There are two interesting questions for me. One is a pissplay concern that's never crossed my mind; and I've surely been pissed on by the HIV-positive a few times in my life. The other gets a one-word answer--the right one; but I'd quite like 'Gay-for-Pay' to tell his gf and see whether it affects her pronounced views of how women are structurally oppressed by any financialization of sex.

23

Well, I suppose if SL were a subscription service we were paying for, we'd have a right to complain about the re-runs, but it's syndicated newspapers that are buying the weekly columns and they won't notice the re-use of a SLLOTD, so we just need to suck up the repeats I guess. Sigh. For non-SLLOTD regulars, extensive comments on IUD's question are here: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/01/21/38183750/does-she-have-to-tell-randos-that-she-has-an-iud/comments

I agree that TTGFP doesn't HAVE to tell his girlfriend about his dabbling in sex work, but I agree with CMD that he might want to tell her, seeing as she could do with some dispelling of her prejudices around sex work. Lava @4, have you read a different letter? There's no evidence Ms TTGFP has instructed him not to watch porn.

Sublime @13: Indeed, he's dropped his opinion that stories of women lying to get out of condom use are "apocryphal" after comments to the contrary.

Surfrat @15: That occurred to me as well. If blowjobs can happen without swallowing, surely watersports can too.

Lava @17: "Not hard for a woman to stop sex and check the condom is still in place." Yes, actually, I think it would be. Particularly for a woman feeling so intimidated by men that she can't stand up and say, yes I have an IUD, but you're still wearing a condom, you dolt. In the real world, we so often acquiesce to things we don't want to do in case he does something worse to us. Sad but true.

24

@21 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes: Wow. Now you're offering Griz a hair raising story, and a real eye-opener regarding attorney-turned-Presidential-hopeful Kamala Harris. Thank you for shedding further light on the subject.Yes--if she's running I'd be up for Elizabeth Warren for 2020, paired with an equally kickass female VP nominee.
@23 BiDanFan: "In the real world we often acquiesce to things we don't want to do is case he does something worse. Sad but true." I wish I could say otherwise about myself and my sexual past.

25

@1,2 congrats, Griz!

@11, @12, @23, @24 Kamala Harris - agree sex work should be decriminalized. Of course! And not surprised that progressive Democrats like Harris were against this and made it worse for sex workers, or have a less than perfect history on T* issues.

But we shouldn't fall for the Jill Stein / Ralph Nader - pushing Russian trolls or let the less-than-perfect get in the way of supporting candidate who is progressive on other issues. Sex work decriminalization is a state / local fight at best in the present era.

No electable Democrat for President is likely to have advocated for decriminalizing sex work, or to have risen through the ranks to Presidential possible without some political positions that go beyond compromise to downright wrong. But what's the alternative, George W., Trump!! Even a few "turned off voters" and "pure" progressives leave us with disaster esp. if they are in the midwest or Florida.

Personally, I like Warren, the first candidate to state the obvious: we need a wealth tax.

26

Two-Time Gay for Pay should dump his girlfriend. That woman sounds controlling. You can find nicer women out there.

27

@10 CMDwannabe
"some who have to double comment"

I had a slight impulse to post a link to the previous (maybe Dan should do so routinely?), I can't be bothered to (let alone to double comment!).

@13 SublimeAfterglow
"Dan considers comments about his advice and edits his answer to a SLLOTD when it appears in SL, so it is not simply a cut-and-paste from earlier in the week."

Thanks SA, I'd never noticed that, I applaud your dedication.
But I may still skip his edit. I mean, I read the comments too...and my interest in fishing for the edits (aka how much Dan has been influenced by the comments) will I think lose out to sheer busyness.

28

The correct response to an interrogation of ones sexual history for the purpose of moral evaluation is the same to 2010’s feminists as it was to 1950’s men who preferred to marry, if not virgins, at least women who’d never crossed into interracial or kink:

“None of your business”

29

On second thought, go ahead and ask your boyfriend if he’s ever committed rape. It doesn’t fall under “none of your business,” but the answer will always be “no.” So instead of the interrogations, maybe take your time to observe how he treats the waitstaff, cleans up after himself, refrains from rape, etc.

30

BDF @ 23
“…it's syndicated newspapers that are buying the weekly columns and they won't notice the re-use of a SLLOTD, so we just need to suck up the repeats I guess.”

Just like the paid bf, you don’t have to disclose, but I think it will be ethical to do so. At the very least mention that this letter appeared last week and provide a link. It may also be relevant to the LW and other commenters.

Lava @ 12
“What market research group CMD?”
The one that counts comments, realizing the potential genitalia war in that specific case, and decides to re run a letter or not on the weekly thread based on those factors.

31

Surfrat @ 15 - There is now overly abundant evidence that if you're undetectable, you can't transmit the virus.

32

Curious2 @27: I already posted the link. :) You're welcome to post a link to the weekly roundup where further discussion on the topic ensued!

Kew @28: Good point, the past isn't any current partner's business. She could ask him what his attitude is to sex work if she wants to gauge compatibility in that regard. I agree her rigidity might earn her a DTMFA here, particularly if it is not just a blind spot or trigger point caused by past experience -- many of us can find it difficult to view things rationally through the lens of our own traumas. If TTGFP cares for this woman and she's not otherwise controlling, he might ask why she is so strongly opposed to sex work in all its forms.

33

@32 BiDanFan
"Curious2 @27: I already posted the link. :)"

I confess I had seen that I just didn't want to miss an opportunity to be crotchety.

"You're welcome to post a link to the weekly roundup where further discussion on the topic ensued!

Oh that's right! Kudos to all ye who discuss something more than once. (I do my best not to, which I admit isn't really doing my best.)

Oh and re: the tech savvy youth including a link to the LOTD when one appears in the column...this seems analogous to the links to repeats (the first time, though admittedly not when they got re-run every few weeks).

34

Re: IUD. These morons who assume that because a woman is on birth control they can fuck without a condom are the same morons who will accuse her of lying about being on birth control or stealthing them if she ends up pregnant anyway because part of their assumption is that birth control is 100% effective. And as the more sentient among us know, even with perfect use, which can be a challenge, it’s not. Which means that best practices are, for both parties, until you are in a committed relationship and have discussed and are on the same page about the course of action in the event of a surprise pregnancy, condoms 100% of the time. (And even then, pregnancies and STIs can still happen, but hey that’s the price of admission for sex.)

35

No Fan @23, I just threw it in there, as I’ve seen these groups on fb, and with a woman so concerned about sex work I’d say him being banned from watching porn is not far behind. These feminists also are usually anti trans and ban words like terf, cis and transphobic because to them they are slurs.
If in the real world the random men picked up are too scary for one to insist they wear condoms and allow sex to be stopped to check the condom is still there, then what’s the value in getting with these men at all.
These threads are free, so if Dan wants to run three daily letters on SL, none of us have the right to say boo. Don’t do it Dan. Please.

36

Chili @34: Applause. Perfect common sense, yet seems shockingly uncommon.

Lava @35: "If in the real world the random men picked up are too scary for one to insist they wear condoms and allow sex to be stopped to check the condom is still there, then what’s the value in getting with these men at all." I couldn't agree more.

37

@29 Solid advice.

@25 et all... re: Kamala Harris kvetching. Is her lack of progressive ideals really the most glaring thing about her or do people really not want to talk about her rise to power in San Francisco?
I'm not interested in shaming anyone for their personal, consensual affairs, the issue is that she was rewarded with series of high-paying, publicly funded, do-nothing positions for it. Remove the sexual aspect of it and it's still cronyism at it's worst. It's too bad because she seems like a bright speaker and competent legislator.

38

Living in a country where sex work has been decriminalised, there is never a mention of it anywhere, unless an illegal brothel is discovered. It’s part of our culture and not an issue.
Politics. Randy Rainbow’s put out another piece of work. I admire that man, he keeps creating great work. my world vote is not for Harris. Not sure yet. Beto has disappeared and seems he’s no angel. Elizabeth so far, might be time the country could do with some solid mothering. She’s got a good heart.

40

Also, Elizabeth is a politician. She know how Govt runs, unlike buffoon boy. And what would an ex boss of a coffee empire know about govt.

42

@24. Griz. I think Democrats fear trans could become a horrible wedge issue for them. Most people have had little exposure to the issues; and understandably some will take badly to the pointyheads who care more about an extreme or far-out minority than (apparently) about the bread-and-butter of their everyday lives. This creates the possibility that Dems will discard their support on trans themes as the lowest card in their hand.

I think you avoid this just by saying it isn't the 1950s anymore and we will treat everyone with dignity.

Trump's best chance in 2020 is to make it about who is disliked more among the decisive vote--suburban moms, college-educated men who incline to low taxes and older, once blue-collar business owners. Clinton had evident negatives among these groups, all of which broke late against her. I don't see the same happening with Warren, who doesn't have the same paper trail and is more like people's grandmother.

43

I'd be interested in the timeline of sex work and society. For eg, back in the day, there was something called "temple prostitution". By the time we get to Roman times, prostitutes are seemingly a legal part of society but generally poorly looked upon. At some point, in the past 150 years, prostitution also become illegal. Can anyone fill in the gaps, hows, and whys?

44

Lava @ 35
“…if Dan wants to run three daily letters on SL, none of us have the right to say boo.”
Rest assured, boo-free, just thought of a possible inspiration. Seattle was one of the very first US municipalities to start a recycling program back in the mid 1980’s, and prides itself to be the first to turn it to be profitable some 20 years ago.

Sportlandia @ 43
Biblical Eve was rumored to be a prostitute, hence “the oldest profession” expression which I assume indicates a distinction between “profession” and “occupation” such as agriculture or hunting.
In any case, it’s all history now since prostitution was eradicated in the US and beyond once Craig’s List was forced to shut its personals section.

45

I wonder if IUD's partners would be able to feel the IUD strings? If so, would they know what it is?

46

@45 IUDs are "feelable", then feel more like a tiny needle than they do a string. It's annoying and uncomfortable but ultimately bearable.

47

Kamala Harris is a billionaire approved former prosecutor & attorney general. If that sounds 'progressive' to you, well... we disagree. She will continue to pursue the policies of Clinton & Obama. These policies will make life worse for most Americans, sending more & more people scurrying to the Republicans or to simply stop participating in electoral government at all. And fair enough. She will continue to prove that the Democrats do not represent anyone or anything other than wealth and power.

49

@25 delta35: Thanks--and agreed about sex workers. I do like Elizabeth Warren. And BRAVO to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for keeping her cool while kicking serious Trumpty Dumpty double-trailer-wide ASS! Now let's feed that pig and its RepubliKKKan minions to the gators in Mar-a-Lago Swamp.
@42 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes: I agree. This isn't the 1950s anymore. Everyone deserves dignity.
@48 Dadddy: Agreed--Elizabeth Warren for 2020!

50

I'd say LW with the anti-sex worker GF should see this as a red flag. Sure, she may be opposed to sex work, and that's fine. But to rule out a relationship with someone simply because they may have paid for the services of a sex worker in the past? That seems to leave no room for change.

Let's say LW had paid for sex in the past, and saw nothing wrong with this. But then he met his GF, and her argument persuaded him to change his mind and henceforth and forevermore never pay for sex again. Would she still reject him? What other inflexible red lines does she have? And why would LW want to be with someone who is so unforgiving of human fallacy/frailty and so incapable of embracing human capacity for change?

This is all in addition to the fact that, obviously, LW shares none of the compunctions about sex work as his GF. What other issues do they disagree on? I'd proceed with caution.

51

One of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me as a teenager was to always tell a man you're not on the Pill, even if you are, so he won't try to get out of using a condom. I have, on several occasions, seen a condom magically appear out of nowhere from a man who said he didn't have any when I've then said "Oh well, shame we can't have sex then, you wouldn't want to GET ME PREGNANT." Of course, any man who makes a fuss about a condom immediately gets downgraded to one-night rando, however well we'd got on previously.

52

Condoms -- Always a bit confused here... other than HIV exactly which STDs do you hope to avoid with condoms if you're going to kiss and probably perform oral sex without? And for the love of heaven, if you have enough random sex to be horribly concerned maybe you should evaluate the type of trash you're bringing home. I'm a gay man on Prep who pretty regularly has sex without condoms. I've gotten noooooooothing. If I did turn up with something, it would be quickly curable. It's a risk I take for the reward of much much better sex. Franklly, I'd just as soon masturbate or only have oral than have sex with a condom.

Kamala Harris -- If I were a Democratic partisan, and I am not, I would tell all the uber-liberals running around talking about taxing the rich in every way imaginable to give other people things reinforces the idea that if the Democrats get back in charge it will cost everyone who pay taxes cause that's the way it always works out. Always. Kamala is the worst kind of opportunist who comes off as both aloof and sinister, which isn't easily accomplished.

53

@50 If she feels that strongly about something like sex work, I can't wait to hear her opinion about how to raise children, where to live, how to split finances, which holidays to celebrate, how she expects / does not expect to integrate in to your broader family.... the list goes on and on and on.

54

You’re right Tim Browne, Harris is sinister.
The very rich have just about destroyed our planet, and it’s they who are targeted re taxes. A democratic socialist reform is coming, either via the govt. or via the streets.

55

@54 LavaGirl
I appreciate having read here about's Harris' bad actions (such as toward the trans people). She has never been my first choice even though I was endeared to her by her questioning of that piece of shit Brett Kavanaugh

56

Regarding the critique of Harris for not wanting the State to pay for gender reassignment surgery....

First, I support healthcare for all, and I support fully covering GRS as included in that. I’m happy to live in a city where GRS is included as part of government employees’ healthcare and more recently as part of our local version of Obamacare, which predates Obamacare.

But when GRS is covered for prisoners but not for people not in prison, and it is so hard for so many to get (one friend of mine finally just got the surgery she’d been saving TWENTY YEARS for), doesn’t that create a weird incentive to commit crime? If the only way you can get the surgery is by being locked up, people who can’t afford the surgery any other way will try to get locked up.

I certainly support hormone therapy, etc for any inmate, and surgery as well IF surgery is also accessible on the outside so that it doesn’t create an incentive to commit felonies.

57

@47 - Harris is not a billionaire by any stretch of the imagination. Her net worth is between $500,000 to $1.8 million. Even if we round that up to 2 million, someone who is worth just one billion is literally worth 500 TIMES her next worth.

Yeah, two million is a lot of money to me. But it’s not even one half of one percent of what an actual billionaire is worth.

There are plenty of things to disagree with her about. I definitely don’t support how her anti-sex trafficking bill, as its having the effect of cracking down more on sex workers than traffickers. But let’s still to actual facts, k?

58

@41 What liberal presidents? There hasn't been one since FDR.

59

@55 curious2: I agree. That's at least one point in Kamala Harris's favor. Brett Kavanaugh is truly a RepubliKKKan piece of shit., and Susan Collins deserves to go down the sewers with the rest of her RepubliKKKan ilk for confirming his SCOTUS seat.

OOOH! Who's up for the Lucky @69 Award? I won it last week so good luck to everyone else participating. Tick...tick...tick.....

60

Rockyboy @58: Jimmy Carter? Millennials weren't even born when he was in office.

61

@58 rockyboy and @60 BiDanFan: I remember Jimmy Carter, 39th President who has done so much for the people of the United States and the world since his years in office. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, #35 ("Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country") was before my time by 8 months and a week. I can't imagine 11/22/63.

62

@61 auntie grizelda
"...before my time by 8 months and a week. I can't imagine 11/22/63."

What a heartbreaking day. Even though I was only 4 years old, it was unforgettable.

65

@62 curious2: My mother was pregnant with me when the brutal assassination of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy happened in Dallas, Texas, shocking the world. I can't imagine celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas 1963 after something so unbelievably horrible. Nor can I stomach Stephen King's graphically explicit depiction of domestic violence in his time traveling historical account re JFK in 11/22/63.

66

Tim Brown, your chances of getting syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are all greatly reduced if you use a condom during penetrative sex. Chlamydia is rare to transmit orally and syphilis is not terribly common. Gonorrhea is the one you really have to worry about with oral though a bunch of lysterine afterwards will help reduce it. Nothing is 100% safe- you’re likely to pick up herpes if you sleep around (and HPV too if you aren’t vaccinated and almost no men in the US are), but you can have safer sex and yes condoms are safer. Likewise - you are a gay man so it doesn’t matter to you, but for women, you reduce chances of various bacterial and fungal infections when your partner has a condom and it reduces the chances of pregnancy which should be on the mind of any man having sex with someone he doesn't know very well regardless of what she says about her own contraception habits. Finally, the transmission of STIs is riskier from man to women (with anal, vaginal and oral), and women tend to have worse symptoms plus women are the ones who get pregnant, so all around it’s sort of shit for the man to argue she should take these risks because it feels better for him. I assume there is a similar discrepancy in the gay world with bottoms being at greater risk than tops which could affect the way you feel about condoms? I'm assuming you mostly top here since you say you'd rather not have sex than have it with a condom as I don't know if it makes a difference for the penetrated partner?

Regarding the Democratic hopefuls (currently) the only ones who are serious contenders are Warren and Harris IMO. Personally I think Harris is awful and Warren is turning out to be ok. The same Republicans are going to come out and vote Republican- there is no swaying them and they still love Trump. What matters is if the Dem contender is going to be able to mobilize a bigger turnout or not. They do not have to cater to conservatives at all because the percentage of swing voters now or undecideds this time around is going to be miniscule. What matters if they can get people who often sit out elections to show up. My feeling right now is that Harris comes off better in first impressions than Warren, but the more you get to know about them, the better Warren looks and the worse Harris looks. But I think that if Warren gets it (or Bernie), the very rich will throw up a third party spoiler like that coffee guy.

67

Also I think voter disenfranchisement is going to play an even bigger role in the next election.

68

And our Lucky @69 Award winner IS..............

70

@66 EmmaLiz
"What matters is if the Dem contender is going to be able to mobilize a bigger turnout or not...What matters if they can get people who often sit out elections to show up."

I agree with this. And I think the extremely high turnout in the mid-terms bodes well.

Obama sure nailed a big turnout. He was a magnetic candidate, and he used a classic strategy of sunny, positive messages. The sheer (and for me painful personally) vagueness of his message helped too; a message simple enough for everyone, and crafted to alienate as few as possible.

"The same Republicans are going to come out and vote Republican- there is no swaying them and they still love Trump....They do not have to cater to conservatives at all because the percentage of swing voters now or undecideds this time around is going to be miniscule."

It is pretty hard to be undecided about Trump.

And I hope you're correct about centrists (aka "swing voters"). Does polling really say President Motherfucker hasn't lost voters? All I know is that the non-Faux news media I've consumed has shown me countless interviews with Trump voters who say they won't again.

Anyway, turnout is just one factor. Who centrists (aka "swing voters") vote for is what typically decides elections (Dems gonna Dem, Repugs gonna Repug, but centrist get all the blame/credit in my book for who wins [honestly I can't stand 'em, I don't think it's any better to agree with both equally than to be a Repug). I hate to say this because a centrist Dem isn't what I want or I think the country needs.

Fortunately I also don't think it's what the country wants. I think a progressive economic populist has the best chance of both appealing to the center, and increasing turnout. That was the juice that Bernie had; but he isn't the best candidate. (And I love him, I've been a huge fan of Bernie's words for decades...but Bernie isn't our most likeable, magnetic personality.)

I think it is a great strength to have what the incumbent lacks. Obama was kinda the opposite of Dubbya (both in positive and negative ways). I think with the current incumbent being a total asshole, likeability is important.

71

Adding my two cent's worth regarding the presidential race. Check out this Washington Post article about Minnesota's own Amy Klobuchar. This is my home state and I can tell you that she is one of the most phenominal public servants I have ever seen. She recently won relection by a landslide in a state that only narrowly avoided voting for Big Orange in the last election. If you are not familiar with her, do yourself a favor and read up!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/amy-klobuchar-is-best-equipped-to-send-the-president-packing/2019/01/30/0f85122c-240a-11e9-81fd-b7b05d5bed90_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.da6c6bd45277

72

...and watch her Colbert interview here...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bExZ1agUK0M

73

Curious, I don't think centrists and swing voters are the same thing. Centrists are just Democrats- they make up like half the democratic party. Republican centrists don't really exist anymore other than to pop up in NYT op-eds from time to time. The thing about centrists is they think they lack an ideology because their ideology is the status quo and they can't recognize it as such.

Swing voters, on the other hand, have the sorts of political beliefs that don't line up with either party. Think the sort of person who would vote for Stein or Johnson who I believe this time around are likely to back someone like Tulsi. Some of them might vote Rep as well depending on the candidate choices, but they are not centrists.

Centrists are very pro-capitalist (or ignorant of how it works) and generally support (or are ignorant of) US foreign policy but also want some funding for the public sphere and like gay/civil rights and don't want to put immigrant babies in cages. I don't think any Centrists would vote for Trump or the GOP generally. The question is if they will vote Dem (or sit it out or vote third party) if someone on the Warren/Bernie side of the party wins instead of someone on the Harris side. It's the same question we had in reverse last time, and the answer then was that the overwhelming majority of lefties voted for the centrist so we already have the answer to that question. I suspect the same would be true in a flipped situation and the centrists will vote for the lefty- hold their nose and do it. But if someone like the Starbucks dude persists, I think he would peel off the centrist vote- some of them might vote third party. I hope it would be a small amount like it was in reverse last time, and if a more lefty Dem wins the ticket she is going to have to focus on getting that disaffected vote out to compensate which is what Hillary did not do.

The reason this makes a difference is that Dems can stop thinking about needing to pick up the vote of centrists and swings and instead think about improving turnout- when more people vote, Dems win. This is why the GOP's strategy right now is focusing on voter suppression. If more centrists vote, even if some vote for Mr. Coffee, they majority will vote Dem regardless. If more lefties vote, they will vote Dem. If more disaffected vote, they will almost entirely vote Dem- this is the main demographic to focus on, the nearly half the population that most doesnt vote.

I have no idea what the polls say. I decided to ignore them after they were so wrong in 2016. And in the midterms, everyone is acting like there was the huge blue wave- the Dems did alright. A few of the seats they picked up were with some really good, loud people so the impact has been huge, but they didn't win in some landslide- it seems like currently people are misremembering. My opinion of Trump's popularity with his base comes from my own personal interaction with Trump supporters and how they have received everything that's happened during his term up to recent weeks, and they all still love him. The worst is some believe that he has become ineffective because he's being controlled by a Deep State that is not letting him do what he'd really like to do. The less insane believe that the Democrats are barriers and they direct their hate at them. I don't believe that Trump has lost any support with the people who vote for him.

I'm not optimistic that any of the Dems can beat him, but if they are going to do so, they will have to focus on increasing turn out and ending voter suppression. In Texas right now, they are claiming that 100K people voted as non citizens- of course it's turning out to be total bullshit, but it's shit like this- throwing up barriers against turn out (they sent someone to prison for voting recently- a woman who had a felony in the past and didn't know she couldn't vote and they sent her to PRISON for voting- imagine how many people might look at that and decide not to risk it, especially if they are naturalized citizens or have a conviction in the past).

I agree about a progressive economic policy, but I guarantee you that if Warren or Bernie or someone like that becomes the nominee, the wealthy will run a centrist third to be a spoiler because they will take a Rep over a Dem who will increase taxes. This is why all the supposedly liberal rich fucks donate to both parties. They prefer a Dem who looks after their interests because their domestic policies are liberal, but if they can't get that, they'll take a Rep who looks after their interests over a Dem who would tax them. That's what Schultz is all about.

But it's a long way from now and I haven't been optimistic for years.

In summary, I'd say the big things are: Voter Suppression, Appealing to the Disaffected, Campaigning Hard, Not Talking Like a Politician, and Making Sure Billionaire Spoilers Go Away.

74

@71 DonnyKlicious
Thanks Donny! Klobuchar might well be the best person for the job. But I just watched that Colbert interview again because I couldn't remember anything about her; she makes me kinda sleepy; I don't think she has the wattage to be our best candidate in this benighted country. And it's more important to win than to run the best person.

@73 EmmaLiz
Very interesting and insightful stuff! (Note: I'm trying out dashes instead of indenting because spaces and other characters get deleted.)

-----"Centrists are just Democrats- they make up like half the democratic party. Republican centrists don't really exist anymore"

I had thought and hoped that were true. I mean, Repugs have alienated their moderates, and become a minority party that appeared doomed.

But then those people you're calling centrists/Dems went and voted for Trump, right?
I think more in terms of political spectrum than party. Perhaps the fact that they were embarrassed to register Repug turned out to not be important.

-----"The thing about centrists is they think they lack an ideology because their ideology is the status quo and they can't recognize it as such."

Good insight. For some I know, their needle points to the status quo out of insecurity; they choose to think whatever will incite the least popular disagreement when they voice it.

-----"Swing voters, on the other hand, have the sorts of political beliefs that don't line up with either party."

I don't disagree. While many or most I think are centrists, I think many people on the wings have more in common with each other than with the center. Such as the people I knew who liked both Trump and Bernie a lot last election.

-----"someone like the Starbucks dude persists"

A third party could be an issue (go rank choice voting!), but only if it's a good candidate, no one wants the Starbucks dude to run. I'm honestly not too worried about a 3rd party candidate being run; I heard the same concerns in 2008 (I wish the people who were sure a 3rd party candidate would appear and get a tons of votes in 2008 would have agreed to bet me).

-----"... focus on getting that disaffected vote out to compensate which is what Hillary did not do."

She was never going to be a good enough candidate to.

-----"I have no idea what the polls say. I decided to ignore them after they were so wrong in 2016."

I couldn't agree more. Even Nate Silver is dead to me, he should get another career.

-----" in the midterms...they didn't win in some landslide"

True, but turnout was so great it could overcome the gerrymander.

75

Mizz Liz/Mr Curious - It seemed about a wash. The Rs won all the governor/Senate seats they were expected to win and added a couple of upsets; the Ds only dropped a couple of House seats they were expected to win and had enough pleasant surprises just to squeak past the high end of predictions.

I tried for a while to get some sort of comment out of Republican acquaintances (who'd knocked the Electoral College whiners from 2016 and/or 2000) about the R incumbent from Maine who lost his House seat because Ranked Choice Voting lived up to its stated intentions and then after the election tried filing a lawsuit to keep the seat in a claim that his being ahead after the first round should have won, but no luck.

76

curious@74 ~ "...I don't think she has the wattage to be our best candidate ..."
She was pretty low key on Colbert, just trying to get a little face time without stirring the pot the day before elections. But I've seen her in person a couple times and her intelligence and humor shines through, as well as her passion. She's a different person on the campaign trail. Keep an eye on her. I think a lot of people are sick to death of "wattage" without substance.

77

@69: Congrats, on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award. To the Hunter go the spoils, fair and square. Savor the riches. I hope your blockage dissipates and you recover soon. It sounds quite painful.
@70 & @74 curious2, @73 EmmaLiz, @75 vennominon, and @71, @72, & @76 DonnyKlicious:
Griz votes for Trumpty Dumpty / Dencey Pencey for Prison 2019, Howard Schultz for Chapters 11 & 13 Bankruptcy 2020, and may the most kickass female Democratic candidates win #46 POTUS / VP in 2020.

78

Who's up for the Big HUnsky?

79

Curious,

"But then those people you're calling centrists/Dems went and voted for Trump, right? "

No. I don't know why you'd think this. The same percentage of the electorate that voted for Trump likewise voted for McCain and Romney and Bush etc- the GOP is the GOP and their voters always vote GOP. There are no centrist Republicans that don't vote Republican, every single time.

What has made the difference between a Rep win vs a Dem win is the percentage of people who vote Dem vs those who sit out the POTUS vote (don't vote POTUS at all but do down ticket voting) plus those that vote third party. Hillary didn't lose because more people voted Trump- the same percentage voted Trump as always vote Rep. She lost because fewer people voted Dem. They either didn't select a POTUS at all or they voted Stein or Johnson. In some states, Johnson got near 10% of the vote. And the only way to change this is turn out (increasing the over all turn out is the main way to decrease the Rep percentage) plus responding to those voters who either don't vote POTUS or who vote 3rd Party. None of these people are Centrists. Centrists are Democrats, almost exclusively.

" I think many people on the wings have more in common with each other than with the center. Such as the people I knew who liked both Trump and Bernie a lot last election."

Regarding swing voters, the main differences between swing voters and mainstream candidates (Dems or Reps) are on foreign policy & local populism. Both left and right populists (be them supporters of Bernie or 16 Trump or Johnson) are alarmed by US military machine and its role in global capitalism (for different reasons). I know liberals and centrists have a hard time believing this, but there are loads of people who'd otherwise be considered conservative who are really alarmed by American interventionism, just for different reasons than the left are. It's why you find people who really did believe Trump is less likely to be the war candidate and why he's talk about reconciliation with Russia and pullling out of Syria appealed to them, likewise why you often find GOP people like Mike Lee, Pat Buchanan and Rand Paul being the anti-military industrial complex politicians. Just like it's a super important issue to leftists and one of the main reasons they were reluctant to vote Hillary. Liberals and Centrist Dems seem to shrug this off for some reason. They are also the ones who are likely to respond to populist politicians because - unlike coastal urbanites who think of themselves as liberal or centrist Dems- they are more likely to deal with the day to day domestic problems. It's just that the Bernie side and the Trump side have totally different explanations for them- so you have some swing people who might go either way depending on how the populist candidate explains/responds to those grievances. But these people likewise are not centrists. Centrists would be defending the status quo but just saying it needs to be tweaked here and there.

"A third party could be an issue (go rank choice voting!), but only if it's a good candidate, no one wants the Starbucks dude to run. I'm honestly not too worried about a 3rd party candidate being run; "

Regarding Mr Coffee, he is already running even though no one wants him. He is unpopular, but the point is that he's not contending with Dem hopefuls. He's running independent. There's others like him- McMullen, Bloomberg, etc. It doesn't matter if they are popular. My point is that all it would take is them shaving off a small number of votes from the Dem candidate and they will enable a Trump win which will be their goal if the Dem candidate is Warren or Bernie. They will prefer Trump to a Dem with their policies. This is something we should be worried about. If Harris or someone like her (centrist Dem) gets the nom, I bet there will not be an independent run- though perhaps the same old Green and Libertarian clowns will make their regular appearance.

80

Young people are mobilising. I think climate change and guns have got to be an issue with who ever goes for POTUS. CG is finally an issue here, and we have a federal govt. election happening in a few months.

83

IUD: You don't have to lie. If you're protecting yourself and them with a condom, then what's in or not in your uterus is none of their business. The fact that you use condoms is all the information they're entitled to.

Anyone who's worthy of your trust as a monogamous, condom-free partner would understand and appreciate that you've protected them both from UTIs by using condoms.

84

To those of us here in the PNW, Midwest, and East Coast, hopefully the lack of further comments in this week's SL thread are not due to power outages or snow-ins. Stay warm everybody! Meanwhile, lucky LavaGirl gets sunny beach weather to enjoy Down Under.