Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, February 22nd, 2016.


Lots of Derp Out There

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Obama Administration

I regret to say that not all of the derp is on the Republican side. For example, I’m seeing a lot of good ol’ irrational exuberance among Sanders supporters who believe he will win the nomination based on Sanders’s being ahead in some national polls. But the primary calendar and math are weighted against him. There is still a little room for hope, but very little.

I took some time to look at the primary calendar and the current polls. Very basically, most of the early primaries are in more conservatives states that are likely to vote for Clinton. IF Clinton were to sweep all the primaries and caucuses between now and March 15, she’ll have the nomination on March 15. In fact, there’s room for her to lose some smaller state primaries and still win the nomination by March 15. And if she’s almost there on March 15, she’ll likely have it by March 30.

On the other hand, if a Sanders nomination is still a mathematical possibility at the end of March, then the primary map moves into more states that will likely be more favorable to him.

This is probably why the Clinton campaign is throwing all the mud it can at Sanders. She needs to stop him before April.

Clinton and her supporters are twisting and mud-slinging with reckless abandon, pretty much lying about Sanders as fast as they can move their lips. I’ll get to the derp on the Clinton side in a moment, but you’ve probably noticed that Clinton is running the same kind of ugly, dirty scorched-earth campaign against Sanders that she ran against Obama in 2008. It sometimes sounds as if she’s just re-writing her old talking points against Obama to use on Sanders.

I’m seeing a lot of nastiness coming from supporters of both candidates, but the Sanders campaign itself has not been particularly harsh toward Clinton. He criticizes her on issues, but all along Sanders has refused to take cheap shots against Clinton on matters such as the email non-scandal. Clinton, however, appears to have no scruples whatsoever in what she’ll say about Sanders.

Looking at the March primaries: Right now, I understand, he is favored — sometimes narrowly — in Colorado, Minnesota and (of course) Vermont, March 1; Kansas and Nebraska, March 5; and Maine, March 6. He is losing narrowly in Massachusetts (March 1), but not by so much that it’s completely out of reach. He needs to win a big majority of delegates from those states to stay in the running, I believe.

But chances are he’s going to be slaughtered, so to speak, in South Carolina this week. Going into Super Tuesday (March 1), that’s not going to help. I’m running into Sanders supporters who don’t get that it may not matter if Sanders is beating the socks off Clinton in West Virginia, for example, because West Virginia doesn’t vote until May.  Probably it will be over by then.

But now let’s talk about derp among the Clintonistas. Hillary Clinton has some utterly and passionately devoted supporters, many of them older women, who appear to devoutly wish for a Clinton win because, in their heads, that would be paypack for all the sleights and obstacles and disrespect they’ve suffered through the years.

And that’s why they want her to win. Issues? Income inequality? Election reform? The corruption (or, as Jeffrey Feldman calls it, “clientelism“) in government? Nope, not on their radar. She’s going to do so much for women! they gush. (If you point out that Sanders is a feminist, also, they don’t want to hear about it. A Sanders win would deny them their symbolic victory.)

This is from my man Feldman:

While not guilty of corruption in the explicit sense of quid pro quo, Clinton not only participates in, but actively cultivates patron-client relationships with Wall Street. In the clientelism that Clinton embraces and defends, she claims the American public to be the sole beneficiary via her representation, but she refuses to acknowledge how Wall St. benefits.  And yet, in a patron-client system, both the patron and the client always benefit. Always. That is how it works. In this case: Clinton gets resources to run for office, while Wall Street gets the guarantee that the candidate they gave so much money in one place (e.g., a speech) will tacitly if not explicitly support their views of economic reality in another place (e.g., The White House). It is a long term strategy for both. …

…Secretary Clinton, for all the good work that she has done, has built a career on the belief that she can control these patron-client relationships to benefit the powerless. Yet, she has done so by entering into reciprocal relationships with the powerful–who gain no advantage by legislation that helps the powerless.

To have such powerful clients as Goldman Sachs, who secure their relationships with unfathomably large payments for symbolic services–is to accept both the benefits and the limits of that clientelism.

Basically, Clinton functions by mediating between the interests of her patrons and those of the voters. If she can tweak a few bennies for the common folks without taking so much away from the Goldman Sachs crowd that they turn off the cash flow, she considers herself a great success. And apparently her fans think that’s just dandy.

And there lie the boundaries she will not cross; it’s why we can’t have nice things.

She’ll defend Obamacare as it is, probably, but she’s not going to try to make it better to cover those sill not covered. They both talk about Wall Street reform, but if you look at their proposals, Clinton seems fine with continuing to let the foxes run the henhouse. And so on. Sanders also has proposed more sweeping changes to the criminal justice system than Clinton has.  See also “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”

And there we are. I believe I’ve already argued why the “Hillary is more electable” argument is bogus, and indeed I think I’m seeing a bit less of people trying to shame Sanders supporters into voting for Clinton so Donald Trump won’t be President. But they haven’t entirely given up on it.

Now, however, she’s spreading a rumor that Sanders is an enemy of Barack Obama and has dissed the POTUS on many occasion. None of the things he allegedly (but did not) say about Obama come close to the vile things Clinton said in 2008, but never mind. If enough people believe the lie it will help keep black voters from defecting to Sanders in South Carolina.

Yeah, lots of derp.

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