Lots of Derp Out There

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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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 22, 2016 @7:20 pm


    Maybe the fact that Hillary lost the ’06 primary, wasn’t all Mark Penn’s fault after all.
    It seems that no matter who her advisers are, stooping to the (pretty much) lowest level is part of the gameplan.

    I don’t know, to this day who, if NY’s primary was tomorrow, I’d vote for. And by the time that comes, it just might be a done deal.

    I keep hoping to see a bit of FDR and JFK/RFK/Teddy in her.
    They all came from wealth. Unlike Bill, she did to. And yet, to one degree or another, they tried to help the common people.
    If she was more like Eleanore, it would also help.

    But I don’t see it.
    And maybe that’s because she and her reputation were driven through sewers, and she’s a woman, and feels she needs to look tough.
    I just don’t know.

    I keep asking, because I do like Bernie, where are the votes for a mid-70’s Jewish Democratic-Socialist born in NYC, by way of Vermont, going to come from, to win him the Presidency?
    Besides the younger folks, I mean?
    To them, the “S-word” is pretty meaningless. But to anyone who’s over 40-50, that is a 4-letter word.

    I just don’t know.
    All I DO know, is whoever the D candidate will be, I’ll be out there helping to GOTV!


  2. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 22, 2016 @7:22 pm

    Glad you’re ok, maha! 🙂

    And, obviously, I meant the ’08 primary.
    Oy,, yet again…

  3. Doug  •  Feb 22, 2016 @7:46 pm

    “Unpledged delegates exist, really, to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists,”

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC.

    If ‘grassroots activists’ doesn’t translate to ‘Bernie supporters’, please explain what it DOES mean.

  4. Doug  •  Feb 22, 2016 @7:59 pm

    But here’s the kicker, and DWS is in it up to her kinky perm. When Obama was elected in 2008 he instructed the DNC that they would not accept PAC money or money from lobbyists. Wasserman Schultz reversed that policy secretly in late 2015. Now look at how that reversal in policy relates to the great defender of Obama policy.

    The ‘Clinton Victory Fund’ has given 27 million to the DNC, who was 1.5 million in debt at the first of the year. Clinton had to throw out the Obama pledge, through her surrogate DWS so that Wall Street could pay for her coronation! This deal is highly unusual – candidates don’t fundraise for the party usually until AFTER they have secured the nomination. But in Clinton’s case, she owed DWS because she, thru the DNC sabotaged the debate schedule for Clinton, which deprived the DNC of exposure they needed to do popular grassroots fundraising.

    So Clinton dumps the Obama policy on ethics in fundraising AND claims the mantle of Obama?!!! Vote for Clinton if you wish, but your tongue should burn with the lie that Clinton is like Obama or Clinton and Sanders basically have the same values.

  5. maha  •  Feb 22, 2016 @8:14 pm

    Doug — can I quote you?

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 22, 2016 @8:46 pm


    Thanks for the info.
    I haven’t liked DWS for a long time. I liked her when she was feisty in interviews, back in the W days. But since then… uhm, not at all. Certainly not since she became head of the DNC. And especially now that you’re running against her!

    On the plus side, at least my tongue isn’t burning, since I don’t remember ever saying Hillary and Bernie had the same values!
    Maybe just a bit warm…

  7. Doug  •  Feb 22, 2016 @8:58 pm

    LOL – You are my mentor, Maha. No need to ask.

  8. Ed  •  Feb 23, 2016 @12:08 am

    Gotta wish that Team Bernie was better at getting voter turnout. You can’t have too many Nevadas and win this game. Obama could never have won without having the level of getting voters to the polls that his supporters achieved in 2008. If the Trumpsters get their act together on getting potential voters to show up and become actual voters, that will be very bad.

  9. Doug  •  Feb 23, 2016 @12:14 am

    Off Topic – and don’t drink anything you don’t want to exit your nose before clicking.


  10. goatherd  •  Feb 23, 2016 @9:03 am

    also, off Topic, but, a good summation of Scalia’s effect.


  11. Joel Dan Walls  •  Feb 23, 2016 @7:33 pm

    It feels to me as though a lot of what you call lying and mudslinging by the Clinton campaign is not really anything more than the usual attempts to differentiate the candidates and discredit the opposition.

    I can point you to a blog that was pro-Clinton in 2008 and which still maintains an archive of articles that critiques what the writer called lies and mudslinging by Obama directed against Hillary Clinton. At the time I thought many of these critiques were off the wall, but the writer was righteously angry.

    Isn’t there some dharma in all this? When I read claims that amount to “we’re righteous, the other candidate’s supporters are sleazy”, with no room for discussion or debate, I reflect on several of the “ten grave precepts”, as we term them at my Zen center:

    Do not become intoxicated–polish clarity, dispel delusion
    Do not dwell on past mistakes–create wisdom from ignorance
    Do not praise self or blame others–maintain modesty, extol virtue

  12. maha  •  Feb 23, 2016 @10:05 pm

    Do not become intoxicated–polish clarity, dispel delusion
    Do not dwell on past mistakes–create wisdom from ignorance
    Do not praise self or blame others–maintain modesty, extol virtue

    And do not try to play holier than thou on my blog.

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