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April 18, 2016


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Whipping up hysteria in our culture war is probably the last effective arrow Republicans have in their quiver. Most people, however, don't care that much about these ultra-boutique issues and even Caitlyn Jenner is a Ted Cruz supporter. In five years, this "controversy" will have exhausted itself unless they find a way to couple it with anchor babies being carried to term in a Mexican drag queen's burka. I get the nature of our permanent if nebulous discontent expressing itself in mostly symbolic ways although we're not going to solve that with high-profile pearl clutching. As with gay marriage, the issue gets adjudicated first with cultural acceptance before the legislature and courts weigh in. RuPaul, take a bow.

Jamelle Bouie in Slate writes about the Bernie Sanders movement in ways that touch on the meta-argument we're having here about political theory and change. He seems to think that the movement will succeed insofar as it organizes itself inside the Democratic Party and starts driving the conversation leftward in the coming years. I'm not really confident our Facebook revolutionaries have that kind of staying power, but it is probably the most hopeful thing I've read yet about Bernie's wildfire yet. Read it here: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/04/there_is_no_bernie_sanders_movement.html

And as long as people who are not old, white, and angry choose to view voting as an expression of consumer preference rather than a civic duty, and choose to sit out the numerous state and local elections that don't feature a charismatic leader or rabble-rouser who thrills them, things will continue to get worse.

According to the book "Listen Liberal" the DNC, like Elvis, has left the building. The Left left. They became RNC-lite.

The constituency has no constituency.

That means, soleri, Donna, Jon, Hattie, Phoenix Suns Fan, et al. are dinosaurs who are extinct and just haven't realized that Comet Bernie is here to finish them off.

Comet Trump will finish off the RNC.

Behold, a new era.

Here U go: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/18/democrats-march-toward-cliff/

I ll be back, meanwhile I gotta step outside to take a whizzzzz behind that big Sajuaro.

transgender Republicans pick GOP presidential contender?

Hey, Mombo, we got the votes and you have the zealots. This means we're winning. Life is so tragic for fake Democrats like you and Bernie.

Heroes are dangerous, especially, when people follow them slavishly, treating them like gods"
Fran Herbert,

Do Ronnie and Hillary have something in common.

Right Wing Bathroom Myth.

soleri writes,

"Hey, Mombo, we got the votes and you have the zealots. This means we're winning. Life is so tragic for fake Democrats like you and Bernie."

Where do you have "the votes"? In red states like Arizona, South Carolina and other southern states which will be voting Republican in the electoral college in any event in 2016. You need northern white liberals to carry swing states like Colorado, Wisconsin and Ohio. What Wall Street Hillary has to offer may not be enough to have the votes. White, northern liberals will survive the Reign of Terror from a Trump or Cruz administration.

Yankee, I cannot imagine the alternative reality in which Bernie Sanders wins the presidency. Yes, I know the polls that show him beating the GOP field, but it's only because America's citizens have not been frightened in their bed clothes about a Marxist wealth redistributor who plans to raise their taxes in order to make life fairer for "others". Three months of this "information campaign" will easily beat him into a pulp. The reason political parties like to nominate from their center instead of the fringes is exactly why Bernie is so vulnerable. Given the choice between a right-wing extremist and left-wing extremist, the script writes itself. This nation elected Ronald Reagan but not Henry Wallace. By the way, the Democratic Party has already done focus group studies that explain to voters some of Bernie's positions. The results were not pretty, which is why even if Bernie finishes the primary on a triumphant note, he will not prevail in Philadelphia with the superdelegates. Pros know Bernie is the far weaker general election candidate.

Last time I checked, Hillary has gotten about 2.4 million more votes than Bernie, a number he's unlikely to surpass before the end of this season. Yes, some of those votes are black people in the South who are somehow treated by the Sanders' campaign as second-class citizens. Their votes are not as good as Bernie supporters! Well, it's an interesting opinion, and not unlike the pervasive misogyny we see among so-called progressives, aka Bernie Bros. I'd like to get the perspective of a psychologist on movements that indulge in pre-rational and unconscious mental habits while pretending to be morally superior. Whether it's the Tea Party or its left-wing analog, the results are disconcertingly similar.

The book and my comment were not about the election. It is about the DNC abandoning their constituency and casting their lot with the elitist, meritocracy oligarch class. Bernie has swooped in and commandeered the "growing" constituency that the DNC was counting on to carry them to victory in the future. That future trajectory has now changed. The DNC will be left behind. Comet Trump will see to it that the RNC suffers the same fate. The current iterations of the RNC and DNC are doomed.

How the Democratic Party sent Sanders to the OUTHOUSE.

Not that this bears directly on the column -- but neither do most of these comments, but...

"Elitist, meritocracy oligarch class."

— "Elitist" sends up red flags, a word that was used to demonize educated, usually urban-dwelling people. It was a favorite of Sarah Palin to whip up the mob of stupid "real Americans" in 2008. As if stupid conveys authenticity that trumps those book learnin' pinhead "elitists."

— "Meritocracy." What's wrong with a society based on merit, where one can rise because of hard work and natural gifts, rather than one's family or station in life? A meritocracy does not preclude taking care of the last and the least — indeed, it insists that they gain the opportunity to rise, as well.

— "Oligarch" makes me think of the modern robber barons, mostly Republicans or Sili Valley "libertarians," all toxic to republican government and the commons.

So they don't go together. The only swooping that has been done was Reagan peeling off the "Reagan Democrats," and I don't see how a Democratic Party committed to equal rights — explicitly including people of color and LGBT — can ever get them back. It's What's the Matter With Kansas.

JON, Elitist's, I give you:

U.S. Trade Policy: Populist Anger or Out-of-Touch Elites?


AND after we get Hillary or Donald:


Ben and Jerry are Sanders cult members.
Or why you shouldn't eat the ice cream.
It taste like Kool Aid.

Off subject, of course.
For Soleri, How Sanders and Trump are alike!


Cal, that Vice piece on weed reminded me of the politics in California where huge grow operations are poised to kill mom-and-pop farmers in Humboldt County. Medical marijuana is aleady legal and recreational weed will be by next year. You might think of those Congolese farmers as niche players in an economy where power and wealth seize opportunities and upend lives in the process. Short of returning to some feudal or hunter/gatherer arrangement, stuff like this will happen. Think of what the interstate highway system did to small-town economies off the beaten path.

The argument that "elites" are interesting in only feathering their own nests is self-evidently true and irrelevant at the same time. Money will always find a way to maximize its returns. The reason Democrats got on this bandwagon was part of a complex web of interests that wanted greater rationality in the markets, including American producers wanting to enlarge their market share in other countries. This doesn't mean that trade agreements didn't do significant harm to workers in America. Clearly, they did although the argument, at least at the time, was that our economy was creative and vibrant enough to provide new opportunities for these workers.

The global-economy ideology goes too far in my opinion but it has a huge infrastructure in think tanks and corporate media. The Reagan Revolution was also very popular among the working class. Look at the 1984 electoral map for a reminder how the Rust Belt went big for Reagan. I also remember by own frustration back in the day trying to get co-workers upset about things that got my left-wing dander up and how difficult it was to get those workers caring about their "class" so much as their race. This is why the Southern Strategy is so essential to understanding the core rupture in our politics over the past 40-some years. When unionized workers started voting Republican for "cultural" reasons, the Democratic Party naturally began to lose the incentive system by which politics would mediate their economic interests. Instead, Democrats took an increasing interest in lifestyle issues (gays, feminists, environmentalists). Unions began shrinking in size, as well, and Big Labor itself was not an ally to lifestyle liberalism. Indeed, when it came to the greens, those interests tended to be in sharp conflict.

This demonization on the left toward the Democratic Party misses almost all of this history including the reasons for those trade deals, along with attention to new constituencies in technology and the creative class. The political landscape changed along with the economy. Even in 1972 when George McGovern was running for president, you could see the dawning rupture that would define the new Democrats. McGovern had actually run against Big Labor and its "corruption" back then. After he won the nomination, Big Labor returned the favor and did as little as possible for the party, thus insuring a landslide victory for Nixon.

The Bernie zealots cannot be bothered with history and it's useless trying to engage them on this level. They know with complete conviction that the Clintons are the devil and that Democrats are sellouts and that people like me are cowardly Republicans-lite. Of course, Bernie himself is helping them with their ignorance since it dovetails with his Working-Class Hero campaign. I'd like to ask him why he decided to abandon working-class Brooklyn for bucolic Vermont if he's such a stout-hearted friend of the proletariat.

Here's a link to Bernie's tax return story. Kevin Drum supports him here against allegations he's a hypocrite but I'm fascinated by the suggestion that Bernie's purity doesn't extend to realm of personal self-interest. Indeed, take those legal deductions (I know I do!) but then maybe pause before you demonize another candidate for taking legal contributions.


We passed 25,000 comments on Rogue today. Thanks to all who have contributed.

conngrat Jon,
and from your book
Concrete Desert:
"the 1956 Newport (Ellington) concert on the CD player...a glass of Bombay Sapphire...a Marlborough Light -- not "jazz", "a martini", and "a cigarette"

Well I know your are there for the Martini,
and I let you post how you like it mixed.

Aside from Soleri's absurd "point" that itemizing your taxes is equivalent to having your campaign bankrolled by plutocrats, he hits on something extremely important I think. The issue of losing blue collar workers to the GOP over these "lifestyle" issues.

Understanding the way that the GOP has branded the Democrats this way is essential for designing a leftist Southern Strategy to take back the Congress and other political bodies. Democrats must be willing to de-prioritize and even distance themselves in some cases from these in order to to have a chance at the most important big wins.

NY ok but it's still not over:

Washington on my mind.
Wonder what Teddy and John Muir would say.
Only second time in history.

We need a Bear as president to protect the rabbits in
Whats Left of the WILDERNESS.
a place for the Silence to roar.

Elections held in Cuba for new President.
Fidel y Che reappoint Raul.
say good by to the somewhat unspoiled environment in Cuba
Monsanto and the agri boys are coming.


Did Obama do a good thing/
(maybe for his history but maybe not for Cuba in the long run)

Ex Phx Planner, I know you think we live in a fantasy where Mr Smith/Jesus goes to Washington and drives out the money-changers, but absent a scenario where we climb into a time machine and prevent sanctimonious lefties from throwing the 2000 election to George W Bush, I'm not sure how a party stays competitive with the actual party of the plutocracy in a post-Citizens United world. Politics isn't a fairy tale despite the unicorn of revolution and the Snow White promise of purity. You fight as hard as you can with every tool you can use. You don't unilaterally disarm. And if you're lucky, you can get a liberal justice on SCOTUS and possibly another hearing on campaign finance reform (which would likely be at least a decade away. Thanks, Ralph Nader!).

I'm not against personal purity per se. Indeed, we used to live in a country where people would actually overpay their taxes from a sense of patriotism. That said, I don't particularly care for Bernie Sanders insisting that everyone live by his unwritten rules when it comes to campaign financing. It's a nice fairy tale and one that bewitches people who get their sense of reality from Hollywood fantasies.

Soleri: "Yes, some of those votes are Black people in the South who were somehow treated like second-class citizens by the Sanders campaign..."
Shameless. Cheap. Getting pretty predictable now, though.

Soleri: Great analysis.

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