The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

People Are Soooo Convinced Trump Can’t Win the Presidency

Just as people were soooo convinced that Trump couldn’t win the Republican nomination.

Let’s clear a couple things up.

  1. Trump is not stupid by any useful definition of stupid. He has spent his life getting what he wanted.
  2. Trump is not crazy, except in terms of being crazy like a fox. He knew what he was doing and it worked.

Trump has a basic critique:

Our elites are corrupt fuck-ups who work for rich people, screw over ordinary people, and couldn’t manage to a Taco Bell.

They have bungled the economy, they have lost multiple wars, and they allowed 9/11 to happen on their watch.

Trump, because he is rich and successful, is not politically corrupt; he does not need to take anyone else’s money. He owes no one anything.

Because he has played at the top of the game, he knows how politics and business works and because he needs nothing from anyone, he will use his skill and knowledge to help ordinary shmoes.

America’s economy will work under him. America will avoid stupid wars.

This is a strong critique, because it is true. America’s elites are corrupt incompetents whose only skill is funneling more money to rich people. They have lost multiple wars, bungled terrorism, and completely fucked up the economy for ordinary people.

Whether Trump is the right man to fix this is more questionable, but his critique works against Clinton. She was there for all of it and she was in favor of virtually all of it. Clinton is a corrupt, oligarchical tool who never saw a war she didn’t like, and whose reign as Secretary of State was an endless series of fuck-ups.

Maybe Trump isn’t all he says he is, but many Americans are very likely to be willing to take a flier on him, because his critique of Clinton will be right in the essence, even if it misses some of the details.

I shouldn’t have to point out, but apparently do, that Trump will now move to the center. He’s pandered to the right-wingers whom he needed to to win the nomination. Now, he’ll pander to the people he needs to win the presidency.

I do not know whether Trump will win. But I am quite certain he can win.

This is true, also, because Clinton is an incompetent executive and campaigner. She damn near lost the nomination to a socialist. She did lose in ’08 when she had everything going for her. She promotes cronyism, her entire campaign is, “No, we can’t, don’t be a child, you can’t have anything good,” and her instincts are terrible.

Clinton’s campaign premise will be, “I have ovaries and he’s crazy.”

That isn’t a good message against, “I’ll make America great again and give you a good job.”

Clinton’s entire hope comes down to Trump’s bigotry. She will rest heavily on the minority and female votes.  But if inroads are made there, she can easily lose. Women are not the monolith people act like they are: Married women often vote in their husband’s interests, seeing those interests as their own.

Also, it remains to be seen how much people will come out for Hillary. They won’t vote for Trump? Okay. But vote for Hillary? A different thing.

There’s plenty of time before the election, and Clinton does not seem to me to be a sure thing.

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Learning to Understand the World


The Labour Vote Is Up Four Percent


  1. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    The question which matters is: Are enough of the oligarchs willing to take a chance on a poorly controllable, and questionably sane, fellow oligarch? One of the Kochs, Robert Kagan, and Henry Kissinger have all stated that they would prefer HRC.

    If yes, then Ian has a point.

    If no, then Il Douche doesn’t have a chance in Areinnye, because even if HRC can’t defeat Il Douche genuinely–and I think she can–the oligarchs can simply order their minions to use their back-door passwords into the proprietary software of the unaccountable vote-counting computers to shift enough votes to Hillary.

    Il Douche wouldn’t be able to do one damned thing about that, because unlike his apparent role model, he neglected to assemble a private army of hoodlums first.

  2. Billikin

    Hmmm. Il Douche could refer to either candidate, couldn’t it? 😉

  3. Gtdread

    It was always going to be difficult for any Repub to win the election, given the head start Dems get in the electoral college. Going as hard racist as Trump did to win the nomination is something the other Repub candidates wouldn’t do because they know how hard it is to reverse that. Trump starts off down 13% against Clinton (down 16% against Sanders, but Dems prefer to take risks, apparently). It’s really difficult to see how he makes up that kind of deficit. A lot of Repubs actively dislike him – practically the entire state of Utah, for example!

    He has a chance, of course, but it’s very, very slim.

  4. realitychecker

    I’ve never cast a vote for any Republican in my life (I’m 65), but I would rather cut my own legs off with a dull knife than vote for that lying bitch Killary.

    Trump will be better than her on trade issues, border control, resisting the influence of big money in politics, breaking down the poisonous duopoly monopoly, and rolling back the ridiculous modern excesses of political correctness (Microaggressions? Really? GFY!!!!!)

    Those are positive values that, IMO, outweigh the drawbacks of living through the manifestations of his obnoxious personality.

    P.S. I still nurture a fantasy about Bernie pulling it out, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  5. Dan Lynch

    Ian is spot on.
    I would only add that Trump is acting in the Jacksonian tradition. Andrew Jackson may have been an asshole and a bad president (in hindsight), but he was popular because he was perceived as standing up for the working man against corrupt elites.

  6. Interesting arguments why Trump can’t win. The polls, which show him 13% down, except that the polls don’t really matter. Winning electoral college votes matter and few have even started the count of how that works out. Are there any red states that Trump will lose? Arizona, maybe, but don’t count on it. Otherwise, no. Are there any blue or swing states that he can win? Oh yes, there are. Florida, rust belt, and maybe western Pennsylvania can give him that state.

    The Democrats and the Clinton machine will rig the vote count, which is a cool argument given that when Bush won it was Democrats complaining that Republicans rigged the voting count. Apparently both parties can do it which (a) makes doing it pointless and (b) makes voting pointless.

    “He’s crazy.” All he has to do is play and replay the clip of “We came, we saw, and he died,” followed by the cackling laugh, and the crazy thing is a draw.

  7. Shh

    realitychecker “I’ve never cast a vote for any Republican in my life (I’m 65), but I would rather cut my own legs off with a dull knife than vote for that lying bitch Killary”

    Amen. There is a missing function in the Dem calculus and that is people who actually have a “liberal” policy stance divorced from party apparatchik allegiance.

    There are a great number – (~50% judging by Bernie’s success) of “Democrats” that do not support Schillary’s obnoxious, toxic brand of sycophancy. She’s a poison pill and like realitychecker, although I’ve never voted for a Repugnatkin in my life (52), I would never, not even under torture, willing cast a vote for that repellant piece of shit.

  8. Steeleweed

    John Michael Greer had a couple of good posts up at Archdruid Report concerning The Donald.

    He postulates four classes based on where they get their income:
    Investment – Salary – Wages – Welfare.

    Things haven’t changed much for the Investment, Salary and Welfare groups. The Wage group has been devastated and they are Trump’s Army.

    “The reason that millions of Americans have had their standard of living hammered for forty years, while the most affluent twenty per cent have become even more affluent, is no mystery. What happened was that corporate interests in this country, aided and abetted by a bipartisan consensus in government and cheered on by the great majority of the salary class, stripped the US economy of living wage jobs by offshoring most of America’s industrial economy, on the one hand, and flooding the domestic job market with millions of legal and illegal immigrants on the other.”

    It is the resentment of the Wage class that Trump is talking to, and it is JMG’s view that Bigotry is just a dogwhistle, a way for Trump to ‘connect’ with the people who have been wiped out by most every metric you can think of.
    I don’t consider Trump a particularly good businessman – started rich and got richer with other people’s money (and left them hanging via 4 bankruptcies) but he is a master manipulator.
    Trump lacks the background and it worries me where he would be getting his advice. Reagan and Dubya were only puppets for those who fought FDR and LBJ. (Bush Sr was part of the Elite and both Clintons were/are just opportunists looking to advance themselves by catering the the Elite). I have no doubt that Trump’s advisors would be the worst possible. On the other hand, he’s such an egotist he might ignore a lot of their bad advice.
    Those I know personally in the .5% are in shock over Trump, but it seems to me they are more disturbed by this crassness and uncouth behavior. A Trump victory might be reminiscent of Jackson’s inauguration when the Common People began to taste power for the first time – and trashed the place in a wild party.

  9. Adams

    Thanks for this, Ian. I was certain in 1980 that Reagan had no chance. After all, I had seen some of his B- movies, and watched him flacking for GE on the teevee. The guy was clearly a lightweight. If the good folks in California had elected him governor, well, we all knew about the left coast: 900 miles long, 300 miles wide, and an inch deep.

    The Nation was certain too. Week after week I read how pathetic and inept they considered Jimmy Carter. Until about a month before the election when they realized that people outside their bubble liked RR, and exhorted all their readers to do everything possible to elect Carter.

    Although it wasn’t until the 84 election that Reagan declared “Morning in America” in his “Prouder, Stronger, Better” campaign, the parallel with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” couldn’t be clearer. While Reagan’s appeal to racism and xenophobia was more a muted dog whistle, Trump’s much more overt appeal to bigotry and blaming the other appeals to the same ilk. We’ve come a long way, baby.

  10. Jeff Wegerson

    In 1992 I confessed that I would be voting for a Republican for the first time in my life. I have regretted ever since voting for Bill Clinton, who even then I recognized as a Republican.

  11. Jeff Wegerson

    As for the possibility of Trump winning I have said since Bush won in 2000 that it’s a two party system and anyone who wins a nomination has a real shot at winning the general election.

  12. ks

    I’m sorry Ian but this is a bit much. You vastly overestimate Trump and underestimate Clinton. “She damn near lost the nomination to a Socialist.”? Seriously? No, she did not.

    Trump is expert at playing the media game because he’s is a media figure. Certainly much more so than a business man and the media shamefully carried him along because he’s great for ratings and business.

    In terms of his positions Trump is, and has been, a wheathervane spinning whatever way the wind blows and he will continue to do so. The thing I find odd is this “Trump vs the corrupt elite on behalf of the common man” notion when the fact is that Trump is actually part of the corrupt elite and his business practices, like the rest of his posse, have screwed over the common men especially the ones who work for him.

    In terms of Trump winning the GOP nomination, as they say, timing is everything. It was a combination of his brilliant marketing, especially media savvy, and the dismal state of the GOP field.

    Trump vs Clinton. Can he will win? Maybe. Is it likely. No. I think the idea that Trump will attack based on some intellectual critique is iffy at best. He’s going to do what’s been working for him so far which is relentlessly mock and bluster against his opponents and drag them into the mud with him. Just two days ago he was saying that “Lyin’ Ted’s” father was involved in the JFK assassination. He’s already started the similar stuff with Clinton with his “women card” line which fell flat though I get that he’s doing the “attack a strength” tactic. He is what he is and won’t change.

    In terms of underestimating Clinton, it’s amazing how people seem to forget the 90s. Both Clintons and even their daughter, the former “White Hose dog” Chelsea have been “Trumped” by their opponents for almost 30 years and they are still rolling along.

    Also, the current electoral college map is terrible for the GOP. ANY GOP candidate starts behind and has a narrow path to victory. For Trump the initial map is way worse. Sure you can conjure up a path to 270 but he’d have to win all the Romney states and all the “battleground” states which is very unlikely. Based on Trump’s overall negatives particularly among certain groups, it’s hard to see him holding states which should be a lock for the GOP and hard to see him making up the needed ground elsewhere. As such, he puts too much into play for Clinton to go after (GA, AZ, etc.) Btw, Clinton is leading in Utah. Yes, you read that correctly.

    Finally, I think this might be a case where VP picks matter more than they usually seem to do. If Clinton picks somebody like say current HUD Secretary and former mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro, barring something dramatic, she might as well start picking out drapes.

  13. highrpm

    “She promotes cronies, her entire campaign is “no we can’t, don’t be a child, you can’t have anything good”, and her instincts are terrible.” characteristics of a bitch mom. bad enough growing up under one. to have one as president, no less!?!? god help us all.

  14. BlizzardOfOz


    Going as hard racist as Trump did


    Trump’s much more overt appeal to bigotry

    I suppose if I can learn the answer anywhere, it’s here. Can you point to a single “racist” or “bigoted” thing Trump has ever said or done? Or are those just now (as I suspect) content-free slurs?

  15. wendy davis

    Just one small quibble, Ian, since I have no idea who that man is (save for his hideous visage and love of shocking ‘decent’ people), nor do I give a fig about electoral politics in general.

    But for the record, Sanders isn’t ‘a socialist’, but a ‘democratic socialist’. While among socialists there are large variations of identifying policy beliefs, as far as I know, the general idea is ‘shared power’, not just ‘one person, one vote’ as in Bernie’s explanation.

    He’s still a militarist, is okay with Obama’s Kill List, wants the USA to have the largest military on the planet, hasn’t called for the Fed to be nationalized, seems to see ISIS as a ‘phenomenon’ of unknown origins, much like John Brennan does, etc. But here he is explaining democratic socialism in his own words. Kinda an FDR without the threat of the IWW strikers back in the day.

    Me, I’ll forgo voting for a candidate for the Leadership of the Free World™, myself.

    But as far as the man you’re writing about, if elected, he might just be able to focus folks’ awareness; Generalissimo Clinton sure won’t. It’ll be identity politics all the way.

  16. highrpm

    the dissonance between hillary’s eyes and her lifeless smile scream alarm. both medical doctors and psychologists note how much of the state of being the eyes reveal. and yet many choose to overlook the why of such natural discomfort, though they likely have no such types — because of discomfort in their presence — for personal friends?

  17. ks


    I see you’re back with the don’t call racism racism because “identity politics” something…something…type reasoning.

    Sure, Trump’s not dumb enough to scream “ni88er!” and of course Trump being a major cheerleader for years for the “first black president was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim” Birther craziness had nothing to do with race and certainly wasn’t an overt appeal to bigotry…oh wait.

  18. AlanSmithee

    How do you go through life without knowing Drumph is a repulsive racist asshole?

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

    “Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”

  19. NLK

    I predict a Trump win. He is a master manipulator and persuader. Hillary has a gaffe a minute, and she was very lucky that she ran against Bernie, who was unwilling to bring out the long knives.

    Hillary has never run against a Republican on the national stage, and Trump can attack from angles that other Republicans wouldn’t, like her Goldman Sachs connection. She will be bombarded from all sides. Here’s a sample of what’s coming for Hillary: She defended a child rapist as a trial lawyer, she openly tried to smear and discredit a rape victim, she continues to say dumb shit like “off the reservation” and “I will make coalminers bankrupt” while being completely incapable of doing damage control, she is responsible for Libya, she is a horrible debater, she is horrible at rallies, she looks like she is a zombie and seems ill all the time, she refuses to release Goldman Sachs speech, she is for TTIP and TPP which are hugely unpopular, she currently has 150 FBI agents investigating her for felony crimes, she has an obnoxious base as well as obnoxious surrogates that are alienating Bernie supporters (I refuse to vote for her, as well as my entire family who have been automatically voting for the Democrat candidate since the 60’s), she is the status quo candidate when the country does not want status quo, she continues to pull the gender card which alienates male voters, she is pro war when Americans don’t want war, she knows nothing about economics…I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, she’s a horrendous candidate. She’s far worse than the biggest Hillary hater thinks she is.

  20. Adams

    @Blizzardof Oz:

    You don’t have to read Ian’s comments for your answer. Just Google “Trump, racist.” But if you’re too lazy to do that, and because your effort to vindicate Trump by implying there are no grounds for the charge Trump is a racist and bigot cannot be allowed to stand, here are a few samples:

    “In Trump’s speech when he announced his candidacy for president, he began by comparing Mexican immigrants to “rapists” and then decided to broaden the scope of his insult to all Latinos. Shortly after his initial “rapists” remark in his speech, the candidate expanded his comments beyond Mexico. “It’s coming from more than Mexico,” he added. “It’s coming from all over South and Latin America…”
    After his anti-Latino remarks, Donald Trump was asked to clarify his comments on CNN’s “State of the Union”. Instead, he decided to call Mexicans “killers”, as well.

    When asked to provide evidence for his claim that Latino immigrants crossing the border were rapists on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Trump told host Don Lemon he got his information from a Fusion article. When Lemon corrected him — explaining that article actually said 80 percent of women and girls from Central America are raped by human smugglers, gang members other migrants or government authorities while immigrating to the U.S. — Trump shot back dismissing the victims and suggesting Latino immigrants were the ones raping the victims.

    As a matter of accuracy,” Ben Mathis-Lilley writes at Slate, “if someone who says Mexican immigrants in America are disproportionately likely to be rapists, argues that Muslims should not be allowed into the United States, and repeats sleazy urban legends about the behavior of American Muslims and black people is not a racist, then the word has no meaning.”

    The Islamophobia-baiting contest that Trump and Cruz are currently engaged in echoes the worst excesses of the McCarthy-era anti-Communist witch hunts, albeit this time with overtly racist and ethnic overtones.”

    What’s your next defense? Splitting hairs: “Mexican” is not a race, it’s a nationality? Or maybe he didn’t really mean any of those nasty things he said? Pathetic, but dangerous. Unconscious and oblivious at the very, very best but, even if so, still racist, still bigoted.

  21. Synoia

    Trump can win the 99% vote against Hillary, and move the Republican Party to assume the mantle of “The People’s Party,” while the DNC leads the Democratic Party to become the Party of the 1%.

    As much as the R’s love their corporate masters (and I suspect they don’t, they just love the money) re-positioning themselves into a firm populist majority appears withing their grasp.

    Hillary will never move to the left, all the signs are there for a rightward triangulation if she wins the nomination. She’s after the “Moderate Republicans”, all one of them. Trump is after the populist vote.

  22. Number 3 is were the weakness lives.

  23. Hugh

    I agree with much of what Ian says, but… Both Trump and Clinton are endlessly corrupt products of a terminally broken political system and class. They are both shit sandwiches, and it is kind of mindblowing to see grown people trying to sound reasoned and reasonable about choosing between them. This one’s runnier but that one has more bits and pieces of something really disgusting in it, little less aroma, though.

    In real life if someone offered you a shit sandwich, you would throw it back in their face. Why are politics any different?

  24. realitychecker


    If “race” is all you care about, as indeed seems to be the case, then by all means continue to eat the shit sandwiches forever.

    I ate a shit sandwich once by voting for Obama. Never again

    For all here who endeavor so desperately to minimize the awfulness of the Obama record, as a means of selling the Hillary shit sandwich, I highly recommend Googling Hugh’s List Of Obama Scandals ( by the author of the famous Hugh’s List of Bush Scandals). All documented with links.

  25. Ken Hoop

    There’s a significant chunk of the oligarchy which wouldn’t trust Trump and would use vote fraud to defeat him if necessary.
    That’s the chunk who heard him pledge neutrality between Palestinians and Zionists.

  26. Some Guy

    Seems like independents don’t like Clinton or ‘the establishment’ much. There are a lot of independents.

    Seems like it is more likely that Democrats will vote Trump than vice-versa. Sure, moderate republicans will vote for Clinton – but there is only 100 of them and they are all in D.C. and environs.

    Seems like there will be more foot soldier enthusiasm on Trump’s side

    Clinton’s record in getting votes is lousy. Trump’s is very short, but so far has surprised to the upside on almost all occasions

    This will be the purest test in a while of how many people are willing to cast their vote based on nothing more than to placate the PC cries of racist, sexist, populist, fascist, misogynist, etc(ist) that will be blaring nonstop from the MSM from now until November. In the past couple of decades, this has always been a decisive tacic, but I’m not sure that’s true any more – I guess we’ll see.

  27. ks


    What are you babbling about? The only thing I said about race was to respond to Blizzard’s nonsense about Trump and I said nothing in particular about Obama other to mention the Birther craziness.

    Look, if you a few others want to go with the shit sandwich analogies to cry about a vote for Obama or not vote or fight the PC/Identity politics dragon or talk yourself into voting for Trump or etc., go right ahead.

    This article was about the possibility of Trump winning the WH which while possible, I don’t think it’s likely at all. That doesn’t mean I like Clinton. I’m just acknowledging the very likely reality that she will be the next POTUS.

  28. realitychecker

    @ Some Guy

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The simple fact is that the left has consistently voted on the basis of social issues, and has studiously ignored the way that both parties, including the Democrats that are supposed to be so damn people-oriented, have conspired to take away all our basic liberties that comprise the essence of our vaunted “freedom.”

    What good are the social issues when the government has taken away your privacy, your right to habeus corpus (look it up-NDAA 2012), and even claims the right to assassinate you (A special Obama achievement, God damn his eyes)? As a lawyer, I say these were the things that made America America. Freedom for all the citizens. All gone now, and more gone under Obama than under Bush. Hillary will only extend that trend further.

    This system must fail and be rebuilt from the ground up. Trump inspires that fear in the Establishment of both parties, just as Sanders did. I would vote for either one over ANY Establishment candidate at this point. IOW, I know Hillary will fuck regular people; Trump might not. And even if Trump fails to deliver on his promises, the effect of that will be to make regular people even more militantly anti-Establishment, which would also be a positive IMO.

  29. realitychecker


    If you are the same ks that used to comment at Firedoglake, then I stand by my assertion.

    If you are not, then I simply re-read your prior response to Blizzard, and still stand by my assertion.

    Only difference is, if the former, then I stand by my assertion in spades.

  30. ks


    Your responses are non-responsive and silly. Stand by whatever you like as it means nothing one way or the other.

    Anyway, I have a question for you:

    “This system must fail and be rebuilt from the ground up.”

    Of course….So what will you be doing when the system fails? Bunker? Gentlemen farming with Kunstler? Pontificating on whatever replaces blogs? It’s pretty obvious you won’t be doing any rebuilding.

  31. alyosha

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump wins, and wins by a landslide.

    Besides all your other critiques of Hillary, is that she’s at best, average at retail politics (and that’s being generous). Trump, the consummate showman, after many warm up sparrings with the other Republican contenders / losers, will a have ball with Hillary at the debating podium. He may not know anything, but he’ll nonetheless eviscerate her like a fat pig on a spit. And the public is going to eat it up.

    Call it silly, but I’ve found that there’s something to a name: Bernie Made-Off, Howard Weiner… and Donald Trump, a great surname for someone who wins at any cost.

    They laughed at other famous, rustic boors as they ascended, despite long odds, to their top positions, in similar socio-economic conditions: Hitler and Mussolini.

  32. stephen nally

    Reading the comments and watching general debate, I am struck that no one seems to ever consider voting for an alternative candidate, eg Green or Libertarian (and there are many others). It’s always Dems or Reps. Maybe one day someone will vote with their convictions, rather than for the lesser of two evils. Go crazy everybody, do something different. It might just shake things up.

  33. Tom

    I hate Trump, but better him than Hillary. At least Trump won’t send people to die pointlessly.

  34. V. Arnold

    Have we learned nothing over the last 22 years?
    Rhetorical question; the answer must be in the affirmative.
    We’ve been tricked, lied to, gamed, manipulated, and robbed of literally everything.
    Yet, we’re talking elections and outcomes; really? Are you effin serious?
    Sorry, another rhetorical question which must be also answered in the affirmative.
    Well, the upside is; you’re properly prepared for the slaughter…

  35. “but his critique works against Clinton. She was there for all of it and she was in favor of virtually all of it.”

    Which is the case some of us who support Sanders have been trying to make

  36. highrpm

    30+ clinton hate books. 2 ok (probably more) ones,

    no one left to lie to, christopher hitchens (1999)
    unlikeable, edward klein (2015)

    klein is former editor of new york times magazine, with good reputation there, mixed reviews for not stating his sources his books. the prologue of unlikeable is worth reading, see amazon’s “look inside” click on the book cover and scroll through the opening pages to it.

  37. Jeff Wegerson

    It’s a two party system. The only way third parities succeed is when one of the the two is waning and an emergent third party becomes the new second party. See Whigs and and Republicans. Both current parties are in a state of flux. Most likely the Republicans continue their downward slide and the Democrats essentially split with the current Clintonian neo-liberal wing supplanting the Republicans and Sanderian wing splitting off into new social democratic party.

  38. Gtdread

    “lso, the current electoral college map is terrible for the GOP. ANY GOP candidate starts behind and has a narrow path to victory. For Trump the initial map is way worse. Sure you can conjure up a path to 270 but he’d have to win all the Romney states and all the “battleground” states which is very unlikely. Based on Trump’s overall negatives particularly among certain groups, it’s hard to see him holding states which should be a lock for the GOP and hard to see him making up the needed ground elsewhere. As such, he puts too much into play for Clinton to go after (GA, AZ, etc.) Btw, Clinton is leading in Utah. Yes, you read that correctly. ”

    This is what the discussion should be focusing on. Current analyses suggest the Dem candidate needs to win only 33 EC votes from the “battleground” states. The Repub would need ~79. All the other stuff “pundits” and others talk about is useless without addressing this. There is NO indication at all that Trump will have it easier than Romney, despite the obvious weakness and appalling policies of Clinton. And whether or not Mr. Trump is actually a racist, that identity is solidified in the American populace, and is unlikely to dissipate. It actually doesn’t matter whether he is or not. The Repub party is the party of racists, and that’s enough.

    It would actually be a good time to vote Green, which I will be doing (and have always done, anyway).

  39. ProNewerDeal


    Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant is trying to get Sanders to run as a Green or Independent.

    I read elsewhere (apologies forgot the URL) that Jill Stein said she is willing to run as VP on a Sanders/Stein Green ticket. Apparently if Sanders were to run as a Green, ballot access would be much easier, than the logistics of getting ballot access as an Independent.

    I would suggest Sawant/Stein/etc commission these polls:

    1 3-way race: H Clinton (D) v Trump (R) v Sanders (Green)

    2 4-way race: H Clinton (D) v Trump (R) v Sanders (Green) v “Independent Republican Pol” (R Establishment Tool like Paul Ryan, Sen. Ben Sasse, etc) (as per the reports I’ve read that the R Establishment are considering this tactic, to help the Senate Rs win elections, by allowing Senate Rs’ to campaign-“hug” the “Indy R” instead of Trump).

    I checked the Wiki page on 2016 Pres polls. There are no 3+ way polls that have both H Clinton & Sanders. Most of the 3+ way polls on that page, add a 3rd neoliberal rightwing oligarch like Bloomberg to the other 2, H Clinton & Trump.

    Perhaps if Sanders read a poll indicating he would have a decent chance, he MIGHT reconsider the idea of running as a non-D, overriding his fear of being outcast & hated as a “Nader 2000”. I know there are duopoly-designed challenges that reduce the chances of an non-duopoly candidate, as well as a BigMedia blackout/ignoring.

    However, Sanders has a passionate voter base, spread the message outside of the BigMedia on the internet/etc, has very low negative ratings, whereas Trump & H Clinton have historically high negative ratings.

    I could imagine Sanders ticking off his agenda in a debate: “I support MedicareForAll, H Clinton & Trump won’t allow MedicareForAll – apparently they want to keep killing 45K USians/year as the Harvard Public Health Professors report”. Ditto for $15 min wage, free public university tuition, etc.

    I think Sanders could win such a 3-way or 4-way race: Sanders the 1 candidate who supports policies with majoritarian support (e.g. a Democracy), vs. 2-3 oligarch tools or oligarch who mostly oppose these policies – the oligarch vote is split 2-3 ways.

    What do you think?

  40. someofparts

    Men are not the only ones offended when Hillary or her surrogates play the gender card.

    Guess how much galling mistreatment from female employers it took to make me feel this way.

    I’m another 66 yr old who never thought I would be unwilling to vote for the Democrat, but I guess it does happen.

    I recently realized that my side job, the one I go to every night after my day job, is paying me exactly what my mother was paid to be a secretary in 1965.

    Problem is, in 1965 my mom could have gotten a nice one-bedroom close to the job for about $100/month. Today that same unit would rent for $1000.

    John Michael Greer said that a mythology is starting to emerge among children growing up in homeless shelters. As they see it, God is hiding because the final war between Hell and Heaven is underway. God has to hide because so far the Devils are winning and if God comes out of hiding they will capture him and then Heaven will be dead forever.

    Sounds about right to me.

  41. realitychecker

    @ ks

    Yup, same guy lol.

    As to your question, what difference does it make what I personally do? I am analyzing a situation, that is what I do, and I have been warning people for 40 years that we were heading into fascism. (While folks like you put all their energy into agonizing over their pet social issues, I would point out.) So, now we’re there. Quel surprise.

    The adjustment process will last years, and probably last beyond my demise. So, don’t worry about me, I will just control my own little world, loving and enjoying those around me, from now on. But still use my analytical skills and share with those who care to engage in a thoughtful process.

  42. Jill

    I believe the oligarchy will win the presidential election.

    Sadly, this could be a time when a third party might have a very good chance at winning the election. However, as of right now, the oligarchy seems to have bought off many of the third party candidates as well. The Socialist mayor of Seattle is circulating a petition to have Bernays run on the Green Party. Meanwhile, Jill Stein is ready to sell out the Green Party platform and the lives of others for the VP to Bernie’s presidential run. Here’s what I wrote the Green Party backer who asked me to help them out in my area: (I put this in because I think the real answer is something like Hugh’s statement-no shit sandwich of any kind!)

    Hello Dan,

    You asked me for help with the Green Party. I wrote you before asking how it could be that targeted assassination, war mongering and Jeff Sach’s economics, all of which Bernie Sanders has embraced, would fit in with the Green Party’s platform.

    If Jill Stein trades out the lives of others for her getting the Vice Presidency, how do you reconcile being a Green Party member and supporting this kind of illegal and immoral action that you’ll be supporting if Bernie Sanders is the presidential candidate of the party?

    Here’s something from Democracy Now on this issue:

    I’d really like to hear from you. Is the Green Party just another example of tribalism in that members blindly support anything as long as it’s their party doing the dirty work, or are members going to stand up and demand the right thing from this party?

    Sorry, but I’m not going to mince words on this. For example, targeted assassination is illegal and it is evil. Do you support it if Bernie is your candidate? Would you support it if Trump or Hillary engage in it? Probably not I”m guessing. So isn’t it still wrong if Bernie and Jill want to engage in it? Is the Green Party a a party of conscience or just another sell out?

    Naturally, I haven’t gotten an answer. But my answer is if we the people don’t hold to our conscience no matter who the candidate, or which party they belong to, this country is going down. It will likely go down anyway, but that is the one and only chance we have.

  43. ks


    You do love your windy blather. You haven’t “analyzed” anything relevant to the matter at hand here.

    Instead you’re engaging in diversionary “who are you” nonsense and patting yourself on the back on your obviously very effective strategy of “warning people for 40 years that we were heading into fascism”. I guess your vote for Obama was part of that warning.

    Anyway as I suspected you’re just another in a long line of loud do nothing “burn it all down” types who hope they will be either comfortably dead when/if it all burns down or, in a fit of delusion, imagine they will be able to comfortably narrate the collapse from their little tidy enclaves. Good luck.

  44. Hugh

    ks, revolutionary movements are necessary when the current political and economic system are rotten to the core. At such a point, projects of reform are not only futile. They are diversionary and deceptive. We are at such a point. Our revolution needs two programs, one negative, one positive. The negative is about tearing down the old, the corrupt, the evil and bringing to justice those responsible for these things. The positive is about building a society we want to live in and commit to, for both those like us and those not like us, that is one which is inclusive. There will always be a tension between these two programs. It is important to keep our eyes on the prize and that which is best in us, but without an underlying anger at the way things are, change will never come.

  45. realitychecker

    @ ks

    You obviously have a huge emotional investment in supporting the process continuing to unfold and deteriorate as it has been.

    Good luck with that, comprador.

  46. “There’s plenty of time before the election, and Clinton does not seem to me to be a sure thing.”

    Right on Ian…, write on.

    I am somewhat surprised that no has noted that Hillary will be getting it from both sides at once now from here to the convention. Bernie hitting her straight on from the front with the social and intellectual ammunition of his “positive” campaign while Trump goes at her hard and dirty and ruthlessly from behind. NLK has already enumerated many of Trump’s possible angles of attack above…, and there are many more readily available. That tag-team attack will only accelerate her continually falling poll numbers…, as well as delegate lead…, and leave her so bloody and bruised by the convention…, that those super delegates will be forced to take a second look at just who can take Trump in the general election. I sure hope so. They very well could be making a critical mistake if they don’t.

    I don’t want to vote for Trump…, but I won’t vote for Hillary.

  47. roger gathmann

    I don’t think Clinton’s only chance is a naive hope that we are repulsed by Trump. The puppets battle each other in debates and such, but what counts are the turn out the vote operations. Trump will have little help from the GOP establishment, and he’ll have to turn out his own groundgame. He’s pretty amateur at doing that. Winning 5 million votes without a groundgame is much easier than winning 70 million points. Obama’s machine was excellent in 2012. Clinton will inherit it. In terms of structure, I’d say Clinton has a huge advantage.

  48. Maddie

    It comes down to demographics and that favorite insult lobbed by the far left: “identity politics”.

    White (and especially white male) lefties of the ideological sort like to say that there’s no struggle aside from class struggle, and that making people more equal economically will solve all other problems: race, creed, gender, et cetera. They know that openly stating this is not smart politics – telling a majority of people that their issues don’t count seldom is – so they usually try to find more diplomatic ways to express this.

    The irony is that the white male Trump voters Bernie is courting (and has courted from the start) practice “identity politics” more assiduously than any EMILY’s List supporter ever could or would.

    They are voting for Trump not out of economic interests, but racial, cultural and religious ones. Economic arguments don’t have any pull with them, because for the past fifty years they have been trained by the GOP to see government aid as going to help the “undeserving”, meaning blacks, gays, Latinos, women, Muslims and anyone else who doesn’t look, act or talk like them. Nothing can be done to break them of this, not with FOX News reinforcing their viewpoints at every turn.

    The good news is that this group of voters is shrinking in percentage terms whereas the number of people of color is growing. And Trump has shaken Latino voters enough that undocumented immigrants are getting their citizenship papers just so they can vote against him.

    This is why the theory has been going around conservative Republican circles that Donald Trump was talked into running by Bill Clinton as a way to (quite unwittingly on Donald’s part) destroy the GOP from within. He’s doing so quite effectively by using its own favorite tool, bigotry, against it. The only reason it hasn’t collapsed already is because the US media is trying to keep it propped up by seeking to normalize Trump.

  49. Maddie

    P.S. – Anyone else here notice that the burn-it-all-down crowd is made up mostly of white males who either aren’t Americans or have the means and desire to flee the US should the catastrophe they wish Trump would bring finally arrive?

  50. Maddie

    For the record, I always thought that he had a shot. His control of the white GOP bigot base is just too right for him not to have a shot.

    What’s finally happened now is that the overlap between what wins the GOP base and what wins the general public has all but vanished. What wins the GOP base in the presidential primaries is now electoral death in the general.

    This does not mean that the GOP is finished. The party leaders’ use of the Southern Strategy to demonize the growing diversity of the Democrats means that GOP pols still control the states where white voters predominate. That’s why Iowa is now quite GOP while Texas is getting more Democratic despite Tom DeLay’s gerrymandering.

    Twenty years from now, I expect to see a very pleasing electoral map.

  51. realitychecker

    @ Maddie

    One must presume that Maddie is short for Madwoman. That’s the only way to make any rational sense out of your very emotional comments, very race-based comments..

    Have you ever heard about the definition of insanity? A more thoughtful person than you (and ks) might be more careful than to think that casting naked ad hominems at anybody who recognizes the likely end result of your shared insanity was the best way to save your world.

    Just sayin’.

  52. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    P.S. – Anyone else here notice that the burn-it-all-down crowd is made up mostly of white males who either aren’t Americans or have the means and desire to flee the US should the catastrophe they wish Trump would bring finally arrive?

    @Maddie: A noble but wasted effort.

    I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that you mention it–yeah, most of the characters here who promote Tribble Hair as the lesser evil are as white and male as I am. I thought I was leftist, but these people are sending me back toward the center in disgust. 😛

  53. realitychecker

    @ IBW

    FWIW, this particular Killary hater is an American who knows her record and follows the news very closely, and is and will be stuck here in the same shithole as the rest of you dumb neoliberal/neocon-supporting shit-sandwich eaters (and ENJOYERS, apparently).

    Folks like me are just so fucking tired of having folks like you endlessly and mindlessly enable the inexorable incremental “lesser-evil” strategy that has predictably dragged ALL of us regular folks into the stinking shithole we are all now stuck in. Just because you can’t tolerate any original thoughts or out-of-the-box thinking.

    Your mental limitations are killing all of us, you included, relentlessly, by degrees. The record is undeniable to any sane person. And all you can do is call names to those who would try to save your sorry ass by shining a light for you to see the fucking path that might save that stupid, cowardly, oh-so-limited sorry ass. It has to start with removing the superstructure that has been put in place to ruthlessly enforce the status quo. There is no other way, and if you believe our electoral system as presently constituted will ever allow any real progressive changes for regular people, you are dumber than the bird you’ve named yourself after. But keep banging your face against the tree trunk if you wish.

    In the end, we’re all dead.

  54. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    @RC Cola:

    You amuse me. Have a nice day. :mrgreen:

  55. realitychecker

    @ IBP

    Hey, you left out the Hillary cackle. As in, “We came, we saw, he died. Cackle.” Go view that video, then come back and tell me you are not blindly supporting a soulless monster.

    Sorry, but I’ve been around long enough to remember what a semblance of freedom felt like. And even though we’ve never had more than a semblance of real freedom in my lifetime, I am fully aware, as a lawyer since the early 1980’s, of how quick and relentless the retreat from even that semblance has been in the last thirty years, under BOTH Democrat and Republican administrations, and exactly how that retreat was engineered by your Masters. If you can be comfortable with that history, then I pity you.

  56. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I suffer in the state with the second worst average Internet speeds in the 50 states, so I think I’ll decline watching that video.

    We’ve never been nice to our enemies. Ask the Japanese–the ones who survived, that is.

    I see no reason to waste tears on Qaddafi/Ghadafy/Kadafy/Potrzebie/however he was spelling his name when he died. We’re not nice, but neither are our enemies.

    If you really think Tribble Hair will be better and gentler, Tribble Hair has a bridge he’d like to sell you.

    But then, maybe I’m a soulless monster myself–after all, I did once call myself “Monster from the Id”. 😈

    As for having been around, I will complete my 53rd trip around the Sun this Friday.

  57. Mark

    hey Ian

    You’re advocating a irrational demagogue over a centrist hawk. You’re advocating and overlooking the most dangerous aspect of a Trump presidency ;

    The full stop halt of all forms of progressivism in this country (society) and the 1st pivot to plain sight totalitarianism.

    Your lack of iteration of the multiple dangerous realities that Trump’s election would mean for our society is what is harmful to your usually rational dispostion.

    Trump is an ultra authoritarian fascist and must be stopped from taking office in the EXECUTIVE branch of the USG. It would be one thing for Mayor, or congress or worse yet a Governor but the office is too powerful and the policies are systemic and never short term.

    You vote for Trump you doom us to the active forms of proto-fascism. Hillary is status quo and not a neo-fascist nativist. Whether or not you think the following summary is an attack on your speech think again, it is me merely disagreeing with you and expressing my anger, hostility and intent to respond.

    Vote for Trump should mandate an immediate IQ test of the speaker. Worse yet the lack of polemics that “Trump must be stopped” is what bothers me. We treated Palin as if she was a literally the anti christ. Trump is evil and dangerous and yes stupid.

    Intellect = a capacity for rational thinking
    Intellection = cultivated forms of reasoning

    Both candidates have a capacity for rational thinking, but the test is this simply ;

    (granted, test parameters are subjective but the information (morphology) can be easily acquired, sorted, classified, identified, queried and analyzed.

    The test ;

    Who demonstrates an ability to use sophisticated forms of reasoning?

  58. realitychecker

    Rational thinking?????

    Did Hillary learn from her Iraq mistake?

    No, she got us into Libya.

    Did she learn from her Libya mistake?

    No, she wanted to get us deeper into Syria.

    Fuck you and the false rationality you rode in on. You have always been an Establishment Democrat robot. You and IBP should get a room.

  59. anacardo


    In the final years of Bush/Cheney, the American Left was on the verge of a mass quantum leap in the quality of their discourse and popularly understood theories of power analysis. 9/11 Truth spent one glorious summer growing too big and too mainstream for jaded old conspiracy hacks to believe, Naomi Wolf, who has since returned to drathering on about the male gaze (that’s not entirely fair; I understand her last full-length feminist book offering was panned by academia but might be pretty good) was writing back to back NYT bestselling books about post 9/11 America as essentially a post-Reichstag fascist state, veteran analysts of deep politics with all their favorite canards were being introduced to a new generation of credulous Internet listeners who grew up thinking supporting Clinton in ’92 in Texas made you part of the edgy Left – there’s been nothing like it in American life since the Kennedys / MLK and the Vietnam War, and possibly not since before we sent the boys to France in 1917.

    Then along came Obama and Hope and Change, and lifelong Democratic voters were offered the chance to swallow the blues doing and even expanding the business of the previous administration in naked tyranny and endless wars fought on increasingly obvious lies, and they didn’t have it in ’em to burn their flags; they swallowed it down.

    And the way most of them swallowed it down, was to just stop taking any interest in trying to become conversant in anything like covert operations or propaganda theory or anything else on the Grand Chessboard scale – this incredibly occult and difficult business of studying and modeling how real power really works – they just went back to what they were all really interested in doing in the first place – signaling moral superiority from a deeply elitist, upper-crust class position that despises the groundlings of its extended family worst of all. All of this progressive-stack-of-victimhood, critical theory kids horseshit – it was all neatly packed away in university departments and very marginal as a political force. Then came Obama and Tumblr and the cult of transgenderism and check your privilege, this giant platform that just happened along to propel these ideas as the golden ticket replacement to having to hurt your pretty heads dealing with the fact that the Democrats had openly set themselves as the party of Empire and the Money Trust. And you pretty much all went for it, and it’s mostly the fault of the social justice warriors – you useless dupes with your six figure gender studies PHDs from Bryn Mawr or Columbia and this monomanaical damsel in distress shit you’ve managed to poison the entire civil rights movement with. You are wrong. Your Goddess is false. Patriarchy theory is the most absurd conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard and I’ve heard ’em all – a flat Earth or the Jewish World Controllers are more plausible than patriarchy theory. You are ruining what little time we have left to fight back against the fucking world war that is going to land in *your* lap while you’re nattering on somewhere about mansplaining or something.

    The people of the West get ahold of their state machinery or otherwise force it to make major, major changes, or else we are going to end up bombing Tehran, or landing a NATO expeditionary force at Odessa, or whatever, and then it’s just our closet full of post-1945 secret weapons versus the Russians and the Chinese. WE WILL SETTLE YOUR BULLSHIT LATER.

    In the meantime, consider giving yourself the inestimable gift that feminism and the civil rights movements gave to white, straight Western men (the people who served as cannon fodder to win World Empire for their ruling class and who used their cut of the spoils to make their wives the first mass leisure class in modern history on a scale so novel that it inspired you all to read Betty Friedan and dedicate your lives to unmaking all they had built your gilded palaces with) – look in the mirror and run a check on what you represent, what you take for granted, whether you’re a complete hypocrite.

    If that goes somewhere productive, maybe you can be ready to join the first rank of thinkers, doers and commentators on your own merits, rather than indulge yourselves in this fifth grader’s conception of how social, economic and political power work. That world is gone. Teddy Roosevelt and Cecil Rhodes and the Anglo-Saxon Race ™ were 110 fuckin’ years ago. Join the world of color revolutions, fiat currency, false-flag terrorism, antisatellite munitions and Total Information Awareness. Join the real world or stay the fuck out of the way and go make us some sandwiches.

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