Enjoy the Intersectional Train Wreck 2020 (™) where the most mentally ill in the room always gets the mic first.


I was busy watching the Canadian debates.

They were way more fun, plus you can watch them in Metis


This whole circus was way funnier than pretty much anything I have seen on scripted TV in years.

Also, watching the Robert Francis O'Rourke just immolate himself for no reason on every one of these is just precious.

"I want to forcefully take your guns away under threat of violence, and also have government agents come in to your churches and tell you what you have to believe. Vote for me!"


Blip: Tilting at windmills (THEY'RE MOWING DOWN TRANS WOMYN OF COLOR! (evidence?) is not "taking a stand."
It's blatant pandering to a relatively small group of deranged activists no one can relate to nor ever satisfy.


I take it the metal whisks didn't work.
Next time try edibles plus a cranberry- vodka drink.


On second thought, self-flagellation is endemic to both Democrats and Catholics, so maybe I should try it!



@5 Of course, they never mention who is killing all these TRANS WOMYN OF COLOR! (™)

Suddenly when that subject comes up, identity politics vanish like a fart in the wind.


“Identity politics never works!!!” scream the white, broke, loud-mouthed, stupid slobs that literally get nothing but white trash supremacy out of voting RepubliKKKan.

The Onion: “Mah grandaddy was a miner who voted Republican all his years till he died from tha black lung, mah daddy was a farmer who voted star-rait Republican till he lost the farm and shot hisself threw the head, and Ahm votin’ Republican to stick it to all the uppity blacks, women, homos, and immgrants that’re ruinin’ mah lahfe!!!” (spits)


They’ve got the lowest unemployment in 50 years to forever, Andy.

What are you going to say to that? Exactly what they say? How long are the cycles - four or eight years?

Not sure why you’re looking for spine on that stage.


@ 14,

And where are all those jobs? (Hint: they’re in diverse, immigrant-welcoming, Democratic cities and nowhere near South Dumbfuckistan or Reststop, Missouri).

BTW, you must be auditioning for a sex tape with Devin Nunes with that screen name.
Moooo-ore, Devin, moooo-ore!!!


So then Google.

Missouri is at 3.2, Bama 3.1.

Both as of August.

September appeared to have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.


“It’s the economy, stupid”.


It's almost like propaganda that made an entire generation of urban liberals and Christian conservatives think that "politics" is about whether or not we accept LGBT people leads to a spectacle that is alienating and irrelevant to most people at best, obscures the reality of politics being about the distribution and control of resources, and also causes some silly television.

I thought Biden talking about bathhouses was gold. I thought Warren's statement about telling a religious man that he can choose just to marry one woman was well delivered and would be a bold statement in the 08 and 12 campaigns.

And who among us hasn't thought about kissing Anderson Cooper from time to time? I want to tie him up and call him Baby Vanderbilt personally, gulag role play, and I'll make him pancakes afterwards. But I'm not his type.


"But to win the general, they’re going to need to be a little more moderate—or at least talk less about identity and more about the issues that affect everyone in America: things like jobs, healthcare, taxes, infrastructure, and retirement."

If only there were a candidate who is talking about all these things. And bonus points if he also has a long history of supporting LGBT rights without doing any of this ridiculous media pandering and spectacle. Hmm... if only...


BTW the greatest misunderstanding of politics that I've ever heard is the idea that a line between centrist/moderate to progressive means increasing focus on identity politics. Left does not mean "more liberal" folks. You want more talk about things like jobs, healthcare, taxes, infrastructure and retirement? Baby, you are talking about class.

The only thing the left has in common with liberals is consensus on human rights, civil rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights. And that's all good, but it's not enough. You need the class politics too, and not just as an electoral strategy (yes wider appeal) but also because class politics has the strategy to do more than just ASK powerful people to give you rights.


Sweet fucking christ.

Please tell me that was an Onion article.


Side note: Trump won on identity politics ALONE.

He barely mentioned healthcare or even jobs (outside of coal and steel - which of course he has immediately betrayed because they were dead ends anyway and he knew it - and even THAT was an extension of identity politics).

Identity politics works great. (Look how much it fires up our dog shit trolls!)

It just has to the MAJORITY identity.


It would have been cool if Pete Buttigieg had to cancel because of a scheduling conflict.


Professor History,

Half the country does not vote at all.

So exclusive focus on identity politics, of their liberal or conservative varieties, works to motivate HALF the voting public. Flipped the other way, it alienates HALF the voting public.

So if you take for a given that only half the public is going to vote, then yes identity politics works to engage the half that respond to it. Some vote because they feel resentment over what they perceive as being taken from them. Others vote in response because they feel they need protection against bigotry and discrimination.

But this is circular thinking in the first place since all you are saying is that identity politics works to engage the half of the voting public that responds to identity politics.

What would engage or include the other half?


And more importantly, who does it serve to have the voting public focus so exclusively on identity politics? What other coalitions could we build, and who would we be building them in opposition to?


"Half the country does not vote at all."

Right. And fuck them. They deserve everything they get. You're probably not getting them to vote in any significant numbers no matter what you do within the current system. If they were not motivated in 2018 then fuck them.

For all the so called enthusiasm for Sanders socialized healthcare agenda etc (which I support), he doesn't get those non-voting people out to vote in significant numbers. He doesn't. For every excited new Bernie voter he got, we got a crazy Alt-right white voter who freaked out over socialism.

I think it's great to emphasis these big sweeping policy changes like healthcare, wages etc. Because they are needed policy changes. But they don't excite the non-voters.

Do you know what did? Identity. When the first black guy ran. And Trump. Trump got non-voting blocks to vote for him based on identity. Because the winner wins by tiny margins. So that's all it takes. Get one identity block the other guy didn't.

Unless we actually change how the system itself works, we'e stuck until demographic changes happen.

The best the democrats have is this lame, half assed appeal to a fractured group of competing interests and identity blocks that DO vote. That is an unsatisfactory reality, I know. But it is the way it is. Otherwise the strategists, who do this 24/7/365 for decades at a time, would try something else. They are not stupid, you know.


Hey Katie, nice to see your article in The Guardian


@26 "And fuck them. They deserve everything they get."

Successful presidential campaign managers don't think like that.


Dawkins jumped in, as well.

Which is funny.

Because science.


Professor History, it doesn't have to be either/or. Look at the states that were blue until recently and turned red. Look what Dems did to those states when they were in power and had support. People were saying "fuck them" long before they stopped voting.

Also "fuck them they deserve it" isn't a winning strategy.

I disagree regarding the Bernie support. He's built a mass movement. It's a shame it hinges on the election of an 80 year old with a bad heart, but yes he has turned people out who don't come out otherwise. If that were not true, you wouldn't have had some many Democrats bitching about all the Bernie bros who didn't vote for Clinton for the past several years. The majority of Bernie supporters did, but the small number who didn't do make up the difference between a big Dem turn out or not. The lie is that the crossover to Rep mattered- it is normal regardless. The difference is the people who stayed home. You see the same thing in the 08 and 12 numbers for Obama- that extra 1-2% of the vote makes the difference, and yes they stay home if no one offers them anything.

Now THAT'S what matters now, with the slim pickings we have. Back when Democrats and Republicans both used to respond to material conditions as well, voter turn out was 6-10% higher. Bernie has been working on building this coalition- he has been more successful than anyone since the later 60s and the public is eager for it. But movement building takes time, and they are also working against the Democratic establishment and the media. And people like you, who say "fuck them they deserve it" and yes still expect people to vote for your candidate.

BTW it's my opinion that Bernie's age + heart attack is the nail in his campaign's coffin though I wish I were wrong and would be happy to be wrong. But what it takes to win a primary is different than a general, and I think that Warren is the most likely of the three main candidates to lose against Trump despite it looking like she'll get the nom. Bernie or Biden would beat him. Warren might too, and I hope so, but a "fuck you" attitude combined with a flip flopping nerd who used to give speeches about how lazy poor people are is not going to win anyone over.


I must express agreement with previous commenters such as Will, in that yes, the Canadian debates are a hell of a lot more interesting. As a rejoinder, the UK Parliament sessions of the past year are as well. Hell, even the boring House of Lords stuff on YouTube is more interesting.

I disagree with the author, in that her final paragraph directly contradicts lived reality. Hillary Clinton did in fact run a Creampuff Casper Milquetoast campaign that went to great lengths to avoid offending the straights. She even praised Nancy Reagan as a champion of the AIDS crisis. That was such a pander to the political right that even Larry Kramer (who is as old as Moses by now and rarely makes public statements or appearances any longer) grabbed a microphone to tell her to fuck off. And the outcome is exactly what Herzog suggests will be the fate of anyone not doing what Clinton did.

I hear this all the time. Clintonistas who can’t accept that they lost, or their campaign was deeply flawed and they made serious mistakes, will go on to suggest that their strategy is the only strategy that could have won- even though it didn’t win. Self delusion in the face of catastrophe isn’t uncommon, you see it immediately after the loss of a loved one in close relationships, or in the aftermath of some natural disaster. However, most people eventually accept reality, after the shock and horror has had the chance to fade a little. It takes real insanity to hold onto those delusions our brain creates to protect us from traumatic experiences for this many years after the event we are mentally retreating from. It’s time to admit that the play it safe strategy didn’t work, it was a tactical error. Traveling to Red State Arizona rather than Purple Wisconsin was stupid. Stabbing the Left in the back by getting even the debate moderators to tell Clinton the questions in advance and not Bernie alienated the Left, as did insisting that they could win the election without the help of Berniecrats.

And Herzog her suggests wrongly that the only way to win in 2020 is to do the same thing again, to shun the radicals and adopt a centrist, “no enemies on the Right” tone. Well, I tell you what, Herzog, you win an election, and I’ll listen to your advice. Since you lost the last one, I’m going to take a hard pass on that for now. The cliche about repeating mistakes and hoping for different outcomes seems appropriate here,


How dare that person pronounce the name the same way literally every other person named Shea (what few there are) pronounces it. Such VIOLENCE. Passion of the Christ doesn't even compare to what I witnessed there.


@34 Well, there was this guy named Obama.


@6 & @7 pat L: Can I buy you a drink?
@13 Original Andrew for the WIN!
@24 EmmaLiz: Excellent points, Emma. A tremendous LOT has been shamefully taken from the 99.99% of U. S. citizens by the current corrupt-as-fuck illegal occupants of the White House. Get out and VOTE, people!


@16 low unemployment doesn’t mean as much when the poverty rate is over 20% (MS worst in the US, AL #4 just under 20%), growth is well under 1% and the population is declining at a good clip. In this case low unemployment does not equal prosperity. His point was that those voters historically vote against their own interests and apparently are unaware they are doing so. Many then blame some “liberal” or immigrant, POC, whatever for the predicament they’re in because of failed policies of local government and the Feds stripping way the safety net and making it easier for employers to take advantage of them.


@34. Trump won by less than 80k votes in three states and lost the popular vote by more than 3 million. Don’t turn the outlier of his election win into something it isn’t. Clinton was a poor candidate (as are Biden, Warren and Sanders) but Trump winning isn’t some sort of groundswell support for his way of thinking. It has more to do with the process of gerrymandering and the outsized influence of rural areas and smaller states with regards to how the electoral college works. Where it counted people disliked Clinton more than they disliked Trump.


I’d venture to say low unemployment means that much more with higher poverty rates.

Five bucks isn’t shit to me, but someone could make a few meals of it.

Meanwhile this crowd or that crowd wants fifty grand struck from their balance sheet.

So tell me, is Obama Care in the best interest of the poverty stricken?

Not when they get sick, but when they can’t afford coverage regardless?

Are you aware of the demographics leading to these numbers?


Personally,I think we should look at adopting a policy similar to Bill 21 in Quebec. If anything has ruined this country, it’s the unregulated, untaxed and highly profitable mafia known as the Religion Industry. Big Religion has completely corrupted politics. And the more we lander to the churches, the more that cancer will metastasize. Rather than run away from it, why don’t we just grab the scalpel and remove the tumor?

Laicization is the way forward. Let’s remove tax exempt status from all religious entities, and let’s ban the wearing of religious symbols by civil servants during their work day. Further, we should consider making it mandatory that all elected officials and candidates keep their religious views private, and not discuss religion at all publicly. If you have a bad habit, if you’re superstitious and delusional, don’t publicize your hallucinations and then demand we all engage with them as if they were real.


Re: comment 41:

Your faith in your own omniscience is quite telling, in that you consider all religions as mere superstition ... and your faith would have EXCLUSIVE access to our public institutions for its evangelism, if we followed your advice.

At least those other faiths you denigrate, don't place their trust in a being with a well-documented history of error, greed, mendacity, and delusion ... the way yours does.


Idont want you to think that I’m a hard liner, and unwilling to compromise. I’ll meet you halfway. As long as you agree to keep all religious institutions away from schools, playgrounds, and other locations where children are known to gather, and overtly religious persons such as priests are not allowed access to children, and you accept that pastors undergo mandatory training where we show them what the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island looks like, so they realize this will be their permanent home if they lay hands on anyone under 18, then I’m willing to consider what you have to say.


What the CNN townhalls accomplished was making non-cis people - regardless the type - look like scolding, dangerous authoritarians who should not be let anywhere near the levers of power.
Regardless of what those in the media bubble believe, most Americans do not like, nor do they support, what the far left is proposing.
Trump will win, and it will be largely in part because the Dems have drifted off so far left as to be unrecognizable from where they were just 2 years ago.
Identity politics are a cancer that eventually consume and kill every political party that embraces them. The debates put it out there for all to see.
Ask yourself, do you honestly believe middle America feels any empathy or similarity towards that lot?


Middle America votes as a bloc. They have no brains, they’re just robots who plug a cord in to connect a USB port hidden under their hairline directly into their TV sets while tunes to Fox News. Nobody in the Midwest has any individuality, they don’t even have names. There are no regional differences or interests- voters in Cairo Illinois will support the same candidate as voters in Grand Rapids. They’re all too stupid to know what their best interests are, and of course, it’s up to us brilliant, super intelligent genius Seattle people to tell these stupid rurals exactly why they’re so dumb!

Because if we jus5 pander to the imagined Middle America’s supposed opinions, that will win them over. In fact, we should just abandon all out moral principles entirely and adopt the exact same platform as the GOP, only scrubbed of all ethnic slurs, s o we can set a good example of how to behave. These idiot childlike creatures of the Midwest need to our oh so much more mature and intelligent guidance, and they won’t get there without gentle coaxing. We’ll still scold them and tell them how deplorable they are, which is just our way of putting them in a corner or spanking their bottoms like errant little children.

And of course, Midwesterners don’t resent this at all, in fact, they find our infantilization of them to be absolutely charming. Who doesn’t want t9 be told their economic interests are irrelevant, and any argument based in those interests is just a cover for simple bigotry? Iowa farmers aren’t really opposed to NAFTA because it means having to sell their agricultural goods at prices so low they can’t stay in business and have to sell out to larger conglomerates that exploit a loophole in the Farm Bill to milk subsidies out of the federal government. After all, we’ve discussed issued them as idiot bastard children so how could they be capable of such a sophisticated political platform like that? They must be supporting Steve King just because he’s racist, not because his Democratic opponents year after year take the side of Monsanto and draft legislation that allows them to patent the genome of Roundup ready crops so they can sue any farmer whose fields are cross pollinated with those genomes by a stray bee.

Fuck it, why bother trying to understand the economic interests of steel workers in Indiana? Let’s just label them all as transphobic and homophobic, because as well all know, there are no gay or tans steelworkers.

Or maybe this whole post I just typed is bullshit. And so is anyone who actually thinks like that.


Oh yeah, I’d also like to point out the cognitive dissonance of Herzog complaining that Kshama Sawant has a lot of donors from the Midwest, and then in posts like this one portraying all Midwesterners are right wing.

Why would an imagined Far Right Middle America donate heavily to a Far Left politician, Katie? Maybe you don’t really know anything about the Midwest. Have you ever lived there? Have you ever been anywhere in the Midwest other than Chicago? Have you interviewed any of the Middle America people you are so worried about alienating on Election Day to find out what they themselves see as their own concerns?

Dan Savage doesn’t count,btw, because the economic concerns of a relatively well off Chicago resident who grew up sneering at steel mill workers in Gary are not reflective of the economic concerns of anyone who actually had to bust his ass for a living. Go talk to someone with actual callouses on his hands.


Ahhhh. I love you, Katie. I’m so happy you’re a voice of sanity and intelligence in my now ridiculous hometown of Amazonia-QTland. Thanks for your hilarious and wise words, as always. I appreciate you sitting through this monster broadcast to write this, cuz I won’t.


Are we really okay with 9 year old kids who are playing dress up now claiming they are trans gendered? What's next? Irreversible hormone therapy at 10 years old?

Yeah, the Dems need to stop making these debates and townhalls an endless supply of attack material for the GOP next year


I think you are forgetting that the folks who decide elections don't give a fuck about any of this. Not one little bit. There are those on the left that will criticize and ponder over every little statement. (Some of those include journalists like the author of this piece). There are those on the right who are disgusted with all of this. None of those people will decide the general election.

It reminds of 2000. A lot of people thought that talk of gay marriage cost Gore the election. David Horsey even ran a cartoon about it. But when they polled people, that wasn't the case. Again, most people who were on the fence didn't give a shit. It was not a key issue, and none of these are.

Go ahead, run your ad showing Warren chatting with a little kid, and saying he will listen to them when picking an education secretary. Oh, what a devastating ad. The candidate chatting with a little kid and promising that they will have input in picking the next education secretary. Oh my, worse than the LBJ "Daisy" ad.

Please. Nothing anyone said at that debate matters in the least.

Please wait...

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