Centrist Democrats Using Putin and Russian Hackers To Maintain Control of Their Party


Meanwhile, Bernie's fighting hard to save Social Security and Medicare.

Short of someone hacking voting machines, I could care less. We do propaganda too.
Its certainly not Putin's fault that the American media wanted to portray the presidential election as a popularity contest between the apple-polishing student body president and the cheerfully sociopathic ne'er do well son of the local mill owner. Without the amplification eagerly provided by the New York Times, et. al., those leaked emails would have had no influence on the election at all - because there was nothing in them.

Its all a lot like the last time the GOP won an open White House - a loss in the popular vote, some crazy mayhem around the edges and Al Gore's earth tones.
Also fun to see Dems fawn over James Clapper. Oh yeah, that guy is real trustworthy and certainly isn't known to lie.
OMG, really? Have you seen what Corbyn has done to the Labour party? Is that what we want?
Wow, I finally agree with Charles on something. The Russians-hiding-under-your-bed narrative is a hilarious, almost Veep-level distraction from certain harsh realities we'd rather not talk about. Like, for example, what the fuck was Hillary nominated for in the first place if she's crooked enough to set up a basement email server to circumvent the people? The saddest thing, though, is that everyone in this stage production knows it's a crock but lacks the balls to break the charade.
This makes a lot of sense because progressive political priorities are immensely popular out there in deplorableland. Trump didn't win largely due to the visceral contempt meathead white guys have for coastal progressives and all they stand for, no clearly he won because we didn't offer them the 'government takeover of healthcare' and the middle class tax increase they were clamoring for.
When push comes to shove Senator Schumer will cut Social Security and call it a necessary evil. But hey: we had an election that the Democrats made to be about being with Hillary: never about Hillary being with us. And we all know that with the Clintons it's ALWAYS about them. Just ask those other sexual assault victims of Bill Clinton.

Yeah kids: you were going to have a rapist living somewhere in the White House starting in January no matter WHO won this time around.

You do have to love his name, however. You can't make this sort of thing up. If we had invented a Mr Clapper for this role, everyone would have thought we were joking.

That said, Charles does have a point. You yourself are distracting from that point. Your deflection is one of "Don't pay attention to centrist fuckups, here, look at James Crapper instead!"

Deflection is all youve got left. After 35 years of pushing this line that centrist is "reasonable" and that progressives are too extreme to be trusted, you've been in the driver's seat long enough for us to see the results of your policies and determine what the effects are. So far, you've completely dismantled worker's rights and programs directed at allowing marginalized citizens a decent quality of life. You've aggressively incarcerated our young people for minor drug offenses, tot he point where we now imprison a greater proportion of our population tan any country on Earth. You've put high powered automatic weapons within reach of the deranged. You've adopted trade policies which ensure nobody in America can work less than two jobs and still get by. You've blown bubble after economic bubble, from housing to student loans. You've allowed tuition and book costs to skyrocket ensuring a lifetime of debt slavery to every young person in America. Currently, its wiser not to attend school yourself, and rather just invest in a private diploma mill, raking in the tuition money from gullible shills. And how about healthcare reform? Have you managed to address the Adverse Selection problem with your handout to the private insurance companies? Have you offered the public option everyone's been clamoring for for well on a decade now? No? Then by what measure is the ACA a success?

You've been in power now longer than a good portion of our citizens have been alive, and you can't blame the progressives whom youve shut out of the conversation the entire time for your fuckups. You can't pin the blame for those too rich for the medicaid expansion and yet too poor to afford Aetna on universal single payer. It's not the free tuition people's fault that nobody can afford college. The fact that none of us have anything in our bank accounts anymore and its all based on credit cards isnt the fault of the progressives. That's YOUR centrist fault. This is YOUR doing.

Voters see this, even if you refuse to look at it. Thats why they rejected Clinton twice throughout the Midwestern states you needed to win the Presidency, once int he primaries and then again on election day. You're to blame for Trump, because you just couldnt get out of the way when the voters told you they did t want your policies any longer. You and your goddam ego.
@8- 50% of people who could have voted didn't. There are millions of voters who support progressive policies (even if they don't identify as progressives, liberals, or even Democrats) and they are totally reachable. Milquetoast centrism is not going to bring them to the polls, as the last election demonstrated.
The other thing that is a distraction is the people who can't stop blaming centrists for Hillary and can't stop hating Hillary herself.

The election is over. The Clinton's are done and gone. It's time to stop the blaming and the whining about what's past. Democrats, centrists and progressives alike, need to stop fighting amongst themselves over a battle that's already over and focus on moving forward.

Stop blaming Putin and stop talking about Putin, fine, but stop blaming and talking about the Clintons then too. Move on.
@7: You're an idiot. The email server was set up to facilitate the use of a BlackBerry. She did it because she'd used one as a Senator and didn't want to stop. She did it because fucking Colin Powell did the exact same thing.
@12 "Stop blaming Putin and stop talking about Putin, fine, but stop blaming and talking about the Clintons then too. Move on."

Stop whining about our whining and we'll stop whining!
It is most deplorable in and of itself, to characterize groups of Americans as a "basket of deplorables" even though it is great cocktail conversation for elitist progressives. Thank God for our silver lining in that the chronic pervasive planned dishonesty of the Clintons and Hillary's vision-challenged politics are behind us - forever!
@10 and @11 The population is more economically illiterate than it was 30 years ago, but you imagine there is this vibrant mass of leftist energy waiting to be unleashed as a political force. You build a movement by organization and showing you can get things done. Sawant and the SA could have had $15/hr front and center nationally and taken credit for it (!!), allowing them to make some big organizational gains. But they that isn't happening now, is it? At best, they believed their own hype about the fix being in for Clinton and ended up having to own their rhetoric that there isn't any difference between Clinton and Trump. You may not need ACA healthcare or Social Security, but my family does. We are going to be seriously hurt, but you are going to call me a right wing centrist incrementalist because I didn't believe we'd be better off with chaos and suffering as a bridge to improvement?

You own this. You are the ones who told people it didn't matter, but you haven't go the guts now to explicitly say, "Rejoice, the Trump presidency is the best of all possible scenarios!"
@15 Yeah, people who want health care and money to retire on are elitists!

The thing Charles doesn't fully register is how surreal it is to see authoritarians like you kissing up to Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange, while supporting someone who is directly renting rooms to foreign delegations in competition with other hotels - while in the presidency. You don't have much fig leaf left to hide your priority of white authoritarianism over honesty, the country, and the constitution. You will trade away anything if you think it will harm the people you hate. Really, you guys should band together to publish Das Reich Washington, so you can have your own special regional bloggy newspaper.
@16- Did you mean to reply to me, because I don't see how anything you said was a response to what I said.
@11 I'm trying to recall when you ever demonstrated that you have ever once ventured outside the borders of Seattle in your bubble boy suit.

What that 50% who didn't vote have in common is that they are even more ignorant than the less than 25% that voted for Trump.

The Democrats do not win by pushing more progressive ideas, or at least not by pushing more progressive ideas that are wildly unpopular among most of middle America (a middle class tax hike for example). They win by remaining sane and stable while the right smashes everything up once again and they win if they can field more charismatic candidates. Most of the idiot electorate sees the presidential election as basically equivalent to a contest for prom king. The importance of policy is clearly negligible (unless it is wildly unpopular policy, see above). The importance of personality is ever increasing in this country that is ever devolving towards infantilism.
@13, that steaming mound of horseshit didn't work with the voters, did it. Hillary's corruption was visible to the whole world. And now, who woulda thunk, attempting to (and failing miserably) distract the world from your unconscionable fuckup in choosing a crook for a candidate is doing nothing to improve matters for yourself. Look inward, fool.
@17 - Your extrapolation and projection certainly generates ample fodder for your hyperbole.

Nice alternative universe you have there.
In 1936, FDR said in a campaign speech that he "welcomed the hatred" of big bankers and the financial elite. The electoral map from the ensuing election is almost nothing but blue. By contrast, Clinton took six-figure fees for speeches to Wall Street where she assured her wealthy patrons of "private policies" which would be different from public policies... and she lost to the most unqualified bozo in history.

The key underlying deception that Trump pulled off was that he persuaded people he was against the side of power. It's a ludicrous notion; no one is more on the side of power than Trump-- but he was able to convince the gullible that he was another FDR, welcoming the hatred of the powerful elite. On the other hand, Clinton and the Democratic Party were perceived as the servants of power. Clinton didn't make those Wall St speeched because she needed the money; she made them because she believes in power, and felt the need to kiss the hands of power on her path to the White House. The deplorables might be woefully ignorant about almost everything, but they saw this very clearly.

Charles is correct. If the Democratic Party is to have a future, it will have to once again become the party that is against the side of power.
Charles you are jumping the gun here, right now we are just watching the shit fly towards the fan. This week it is Putin, next week it will be something else, so just sit back relax have a beer. The shit isn't going to actually start hitting the fan until after 01/20/17 what you are smelling right now is just fart gas. We aren't going to be able to get any real clear read on things until after the Ides of March.

@Idiot Sawant, yes I know your entire life all you've heard about Hillary is one bull shit alleged scandal, after another which clearly after 25+ plus years finally drowned her. Hate her if you want I don't care, but shut up about it already none of it is true. As a politicians go she is more honest then most, she certainly committed no crimes and a $250,000 speaking fee is not unreasonable for someone who has had her career. As for the server questions, it is grossly unfair to hold her today's standers at the time she set it up it was more secure then the government servers that existed at the time. So yeah swallow all the anti-Hillary bile you want but STFU about it, she is now off the stage and you are just spinning in place.

Oh as for you endless whining "Bernie would have won". No he wouldn't have, if nothing else the Jewish/Atheist thing would have ended him.

@Raindrop I know you were baptized by dear St. R. Reagan, but until you drop the knee jerk running dog tribal Republican mindset you are going to have to accept that folks like #17 are going to view you as he does. That you didn't vote for Trump doesn't change your reflexive Republican tribalism. You still need to work on that.

To be clear I'm not talking about you fancying yourself a conservative, hell I'm likely more conservative then you are if we are talking about actual historical political philosophy.

Christ this is a long post for me I must be grumpy. Oh well, fuck it.
One of your best posts, Mr. Mudede. Ever since November 8, the Dick Morris-triangulation-Democrats have been casting about for something, anything to excuse the debacle at the polls.

Clinton's deficits were well known going into the primary season. That includes her reputation, whether fair or unfair. She had every advantage handed to her, both in 2008 and 2016 and she lost both times. You'd think that would tell you something.

We've just had 8 years of a centrist Democratic administration. Yes, there have been some successes. Obama has been a competent President. He kept the trains of the federal government running. And yet, Democrats finish 2016 in the worst position they have been in for decades. Centrism. Is. Not. Working.

Obama and Clinton (and Romney and McCain, for that matter) all represent variants on the center-right liberal democratic consensus that has shaped American politics pretty much since WWII, especially after 1968. That consensus is breaking down throughout the West.

Propping up the ancien régime won't get us through this mess. We need something that will unite the working and remnants of the middle class broadly across the country. Socialism (yes, I know the word is scary) is the only thing I can think of that has a chance to do that.
This thread survived 7 comments. And then it got into name calling, muckraking, showboat sarcasm, rapist comments and mindless defensiveness.

Of course, conversation that threatens to push the Democratic Party to the left is going to be faced with the Third Way Democrats who really don't want to lose power. They remind me of the white people they love demonizing. They're scared they're going to be pushed out and will troll people into submission.
@25 We should go back to the start of the center-left movement: Harry S. Truman. The industry's preferred choice for Vice President, he replaced the more progressive Vice President Henry Wallace, and shoved the party hard to the right. Especially after FDR died less than a year after the re-election in which he replaced Wallace with Truman.

Since Vietnam, the Democrats have been regularly selling out the new deal as quickly as they could. The boomer generation is still mighty sore about Vietnam protests, and likes inflicting those wounds on the next generations.
@25 Oh you are so high.

Do any of you twits read anything besides Slog (and maybe World Workers Daily)? Do you know anyone at all who does not live in a vacuum sealed urban bubble?

The deplorable mindset has been exhaustively documented in publications such as the NYT. There is no fucking mystery. Don't you think it makes a little more sense to listen to what these people claim to be motivated by than to make shit up? This is it: the #1 issue of the day is political correctness. A world under threat of climate change, ludicrous levels of inequality, a million other urgent issues, and political correctness is primarily what looms monstrously large in the tiny cranium chamber of your average deplorable. You aren't going to win them over with glorious progressive ideas like single payer health care. These people are more than happy to cut off their nose to spite their face (if it will also spite those hoity toity liberals in their coastal enclaves). Only hope is to wait for Trump and his merry men to wreck a bunch of shit. There is always a subset of the idiot electorate in perpetual 'throw the bums out' mode. Now the right are the bums. Throw up as many roadblocks as possible and wait for them to fail.
Rhizome @8 and @28 is a perfect illustration of the name calling Third Way Democrat so desperate to cling to their way of thinking. They call all Trump voters Deplorable, and then label a push to the left a result of being high.
Thanks Charles, well said.

I live in Michigan.
Bernie won a 'surprise' victory here during the primaries.
I say 'surprise' because the only people who were surprised were Hillary supporters.

Working class people were excited about Bernie.
There were more Bernie signs than all the other candidates from both parties put together.

80,000 people in Michigan went to the polls on election day and didn't even cast a vote for president.

Trump won by less than 11,000.

I can't say Bernie would have won the whole thing, but I know he would have won Michigan.

Honestly, I think he would have won.

He couldn't have done any worse than Hillary.
Of course, right wing Democrats are again using jingoism to keep control of the Democratic party. They voted for the Iraq war while their constituency was in the street so we already knew what they are capable of doing to maintain the status quo. They'll run the whole thing into the ground before voluntarily relinquishing an inch of influence to the left. Voting them out will be the only way.
@28 Oh, honey, you're absolutely correct. Your limited view is the one correct view and everyone who disagrees is just a deplorable moron.

Now how about listening for a minute. Yes, there is no way we could've convinced the real (alt-right) deplorables to vote for our side. But, the bigger piece of the pie are the people who stayed home who came out for Obama in 08 and 12 (though, you've already childishly admitted to hating them too). I know a large number of them and, while I did end up voting for Hillary, I don't blame them for not. It was a difficult decision and not one I'm personally happy I made.

Thing is, there was a lot of fear based voting on the Democrats side (myself and obviously you included) but that's simply not a winning strategy for the left. If it were, we'd be Republicans. But we're better than that. While that may hurt us when we choose candidates who are unlikable (another way Democrats can't win) it forces us to find the Obamas who give us a renowned sense of hope and moves us greatly in the right direction.

Look, you bring up the socialist Jew thing like Hillary didn't have the old white woman with a shit ton of baggage thing or Obama didn't have, well, the Obama thing. The difference that would've helped Bernie, like it helped Obama, is that he's likable and people believe what he's saying. Plus he wouldn't have gone after the Bush vote like our idiot candidate did (talk about going for the deplorable vote!).

She also seemed like she felt entitled to the presidency which, frankly, puts liberals off to a high degree. People seemed to have a viscerally negative reaction to that. Had she ran as a Republican, on the other hand, they would've cherished that aspect of her like they have with Trump.

Anyway, I doubt you'll read this or care because you really need to have to defend some old lady that nobody likes and didn't know how to run a campaign for some reason.
@32 I don't know chief, but it sure sounds like you are confirming most of what I said. With the increasing devolution towards complete infantilism that is ongoing in this country, personality trumps (sorry) policy, just about every time. There appallingly widespread ignorance about what the real issues of the day are and near total indifference about which candidate can best address those issues. This is not limited to the right. I've been tangling with the Saint Bernie disciples on here for months and, with the exception of Mr. Misanthrope, who has given some indication he is not an illiterate, I have seen practically no evidence that most of the other said disciples even have any idea what Sanders policy proposals were/are (never mind how he was going to ever come close to achieving a single one of them). He was just 'likable'.

Idiots get the leaders they deserve. This country deserves Trump. And yes plenty of idiots voted for Obama. In 2008, you'll perhaps remember, there was economic collapse. The bums were the Republicans. The 'throw the bums out' crowd, the perpetually angry 'independents', voted to, surprisingly enough, throw the bums out.
While I agree personality wins over substance, there's also what that personality stands for. Obama, despite being a bridge building type of guy, was also progressive while on the campaign trail. If he hadn't been, I doubt he would've beaten Hillary in the primary. But his ideas galvanised minorities and millennials in a way Hillary couldn't. You can call them idiots all you want but they voted for a great man while you're trying to defend a failed campaign.

Hillary has had a history of being attached to conservative ideas which made it difficult to believe her when she tried to talk to the left. It's not as if people didn't know who she was 8, 16, and 24 years ago. She's done some stupid shit that a lot of people couldn't forgive her for. Additionally, a lot of us who campaigned for Obama in 08, including myself, remember the kind of dirty tricks she tried to pull off during that primary. And that, mixed with the smugness and narcissism of many of her supporters this last year, just creates a level of resentment that meant she'd lose out of pure apathy.

It should be noted that a large sum of Bernie's support came from those of us who listened to him on the Thom Hartmann program when he'd do his weekly QA. That's where I got his ideas, plans, and planks. Now, would he have been able to do everything he wanted? No. But the starting position for debate in congress would've been farther to the left than it would have under Hillary (and, before you start typing, let's just accept that neither of them would've got much legislation passed with the Republicans in control so saying blank would've never happened is pointless since the very same thing would've happened under your preferred candidate).

Sorry, Due to her character/personality, she made every mistake possible. Her arrogance led her to choose Tim Kaine who, while a nice guy, wasn't going to win anyone over. If the Democrats want to win, the can no longer run a purely white ticket. Unfortunately, she didn't want to be out shined.

Her inability to think ahead, her arrogance, and a history of bad choices all made her a bad candidate. If you can't trust her to run a campaign, you can't trust her to run the country.
I'll also throw this out as evidence for her sheer stupidity:


Honestly, I wish 538 would look at the results and compare them to what they would've predicted had Hillary ran against a generic Republican. I'm guessing it would've aligned pretty well with the actual results.
I think you are projecting an awful lot onto 'people who didn't vote'. The people you are talking about amount to 'people who didn't vote who I know'.

Again, we live in a bubble here. If you are not in the habit of venturing outside of it, extrapolating what people think out there based on what your fellow bubble dwellers think is going to give you a very distorted view of the motivations of the average voter (or non-voter).

The views of the deplorables as well as the indifferent were rather exhaustively well covered by several different publications. This coverage certainly did not suggest that the non-voting half of the country is largely composed of lefty idealists who were staying home because their revolution had been derailed. To the contrary the vast majority of them are political naifs, almost entirely lacking any idea of what the most vital issues of the day are, fond of conspiracy theories, and vague ideas like 'they're all corrupt', 'there's no difference between the parties', or 'I'm just sick of all the yelling, the media circus etc.'
"I think you are projecting an awful lot onto 'people who didn't vote'. The people you are talking about amount to 'people who didn't vote who I know'."

Oh, trust me, I feel the same about you. I'm just talking about the difference between the number of voters Obama got vs. Hillary. And I could only include 2012, and not the extraordinary numbers of 2008, in that sense. Because, as we both know, the difference between a win and a loss on the very minute level is between those two years.

"If you are not in the habit of venturing outside of it ... is going to give you a very distorted view of the motivations of the average voter (or non-voter)."

See, again, something I can agree with... About you. While I certainly don't live in the Midwest, I have family in Eastern Washington, the shit hole known as Ohio, and Colorado. I'm also engaged to a woman who, despite being foreign, has a very conservative family structure. Which, by all means, doesn't make me "knower of all" or anything. But it does give me some incite to a few things. For one, Hillary's issues with trade did have a net negative effect on those belonging to unions. Even the article I posted shows how she took them for granted, due to her ego, and lost that small percentage that may not have mattered to her but matters to the rest of us who are now fucked.

"To the contrary the vast majority of them are political naifs... fond of conspiracy theories, and vague ideas like 'they're all corrupt', 'there's no difference between the parties', or 'I'm just sick of all the yelling, the media circus etc.'"

The thing is, while you're correct in your assertions, Hillary was pretty fucking corrupt. Come on, even if she wasn't corrupt in the sense that she took money from foreign governments or manipulated the primary in her favor, she was corrupt in her own ego. Her sheer arrogance, her privilege, is what made her corrupt. There was no sense that she wasn't in it for herself. Again, this is a strength that Obama had when people pushed him into winning. People don't want someone who expects to win (on the left). They want, at their core, someone who doesn't want the presidency but has to because of the hero's journey.

Yes, this is silly but this is what makes two term presidencies in the new modern era. Hillary did everything she could to alienate every voter she could. She stayed married to a man that was accused of sexually assaulting women, she supported the Iraq war, she wanted to make flag burning a crime, and she was against gay marriage before she was for it (And, before you say, "Obama did it", remember that he had signed a 1996 document saying that he supported gay marriage). So, while he may have lied about being more conservative than he was, Hillary can be equally charged for lying about being more liberal than she is: the Contract with America (and the shit that came with it), lying about not being for the TPP when she obviously was (I mean, it would've been more respectable had she just defended the fucking thing), and her history of being a warhawk.

Can you just admit that she was a shit candidate and that we need to find someone better in the next four years? Can't we come together and say, "no more" to the bullshit of the past and find someone remarkable? And, more so, let go of this arrogance that leads to further alienation? I mean, who are you helping by calling people who stayed home deplorable? That's certainly not what Hillary meant when she first used the word. It also will mean we lose in four years. And, since you are obviously more knowledgeable than the rest of us plebs, shouldn't it be on your shoulder to let go over your wants and find someone that we can like too?

Eh no. Most of your narrative is bunk, and it is not a matter of my superior than thou opinion, it is a matter of empirical evidence to the contrary.

Hillary Clinton's primary problem was that she is a woman. She won the popular vote by a fairly comfortable margin. You did notice that right? The Dem bench was empty and she was the best candidate. No way the 75 year old commie, atheist Jew (who by the way I think is a great guy) was going to draw the zombies out of the woodwork once Trump's surrogates started talking about his plans to 'take away your healthcare' and raise taxes. It would have been a different campaign. Trump would have had to distance himself from Putin so his surrogates could go full on with the red baiting, but Saint B would have lost, and almost certainly lost even the popular vote, as 'fiscal conservatives' would have been highly motivated to take him down.

Clinton was/is overqualified to be president. I think you need to be on some serious drugs to see someone with her qualifications as a 'shit candidate'. Whether she could be trusted to push for progressive priorities is another matter. I'd say with reasonable certainty she would have done so for the first two years of her term. The Clintons have a triangulation problem, and I am none too fond or her husband for this reason, but if anything she has demonstrated marginally more integrity than he possesses.

But of course as the presidential election is now basically the election of prom king/reality TV star, indeed we above all else need a candidate with a degree of charisma. What we absolutely do not need is someone even fringier than Bernie Sanders. Progressive priorities need to be achieved incrementally, strategically, by stealth, in this country, if they are ever going to be achieved.