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July 23, 2016


I didn't watch much of this, just read about it, but...

I think they probably went some way to moving the Overton window on Clinton. There must be some right-leaning voters who don't much like her but don't consider her beyond the pale, and don't like Trump either. For someone like that, seeing people on the platform at a major convention calling her a criminal and a traitor might make them think there's more to the email thing than they thought, and that she's maybe unfit for office, even if they don't go as far.

Darryl Glenn, candidate for the US Senate seat in Colorado, got a chance to appear. It probably didn't do much for his recognition in Colorado since the speech wasn't on the networks, but it did give him a chance in front of the donors. Colorado is/was supposed to be competitive this year, but Glenn is, IIRC, currently behind to the tune of 15 percentage points and several million dollars of campaign cash.

What went right? From Trumps' point of view the corporate media is helping to downplay rightwing craziness, hasn't bothered to cover the Republican platform (because that would mean covering issues and that's too much like journalism), and decided not to cover Trump's threat to NATO since international relations is actually important and therefore should not be mentioned.

Also what even right from Trump's point of view is that Hillary and the DNC are demonstrating their ability to lose elections with unforced errors. This is exactly why I caucused for Bernie.

Lastly what is going right for Trump is Democracy Spring which I hope would be a grassroots effort to combat real threats to representative government has decided instead to be an adolescent show-of campaign run by people who can't tell the general election from the primary and equate "democracy for the people" with getting their own way.

Tim Kaine's introduction today is why the "unforced errors" narrative is so flat.

Hillary Clinton is strong and vibrant, and Tim Kaine is practically a saint. I've already received emails from my friends inviting me to go door to door, and I've said of course, why wasn't I first. I am psyched, and happy and with her.

Bernie? Still thinking about that? Time to move on.

The upside?

Putin had a great week:


It's the wrong time of year for Festivus rituals, but the immediately previous thread put me in mind of "The Airing of Grievances", so here goes:

There's an old joke about an elderly, aristocratic British lady who is seriously displeased when she discovers that her suite at the posh hotel has a view of the mountains and not the lake. After a hectic hour of cajoling other valued guests and reassigning rooms, the hotel manager informs her ladyship that she can have an identical suite on the lake side of the building. To his chagrin, she replies: "I'd rather have my grievance!"

People (or tribes) who would rather have their grievance have always been a joke to me.

I have my own grievances, of course. One of them is corruption of the English language even in the service of noble sentiments. For instance:

I am concerned about the election being, as the piece describes, a matter of "which tribe is bigger".

Much as I respect Russell, much as I share his policy opinions, I can't keep from pointing out that elections are precisely an exercise in finding out "which tribe is bigger" -- on a particular Tuesday in November, at any rate.

Election campaigns are something else, and I suspect it's the campaign Russell was talking about. In some ideal America that may have briefly existed 50 or 100 years ago, election campaigns may have been arguments about which policy would best address the problems that both parties agreed were problems. In the real America of today, where Democrats officially worry about global warming and Republicans officially worry about pornography, it's hard to discuss solutions, or even trade-offs. So, as Russell says, we see politicians promoting tribal grievances in the hope that their tribe will show up in bigger numbers at the polls.

Another of my grievances: argument by extreme literalism.

I would like the text of the policy plank entitled "Massive tax cuts for Billionaires".

It's hard to know how to counter such arguments without resorting to the "Feats of Strength" ritual. At the polls, I mean.


This went very right:


"One of them is corruption of the English language even in the service of noble sentiments."

yes, I think your comment is correct. elections are pretty much a matter of seeing whose tribe - whose collection of people with a particular identity and set of common interests - is bigger.

it's basically the tone and rhetoric of the campaign, and the ways in which the various "tribes" are portrayed, that concerns me.

from the count's link:

"Yet it seemed that America’s party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism might still have time to sober up."

America's party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism nowadays begins with the letter (D).

if those are his priorities, Ladd has done well to leave the (R)'s. he should go all the way and join the donkeys.

if those are his priorities, Ladd has done well to leave the (R)'s. he should go all the way and join the donkeys.

On the contrary. Ladd may not want to be active in promoting what he sees the Republicans as having become. But our political system doesn't work well when only one party is functional. So anyone who cares about having our politics and government work well should know that we need to parties whick can (and are willing to) govern.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the Republican Party must change in order to provide an alternative. But if it doesn't, some alternative party is needed. Just moving everybody to the Democrats won't work out well. (As we have seen in city after city where one party is totally dominant and elections are decided in the primaries.)

But if it doesn't, some alternative party is needed..

but, but, this may already be happening.

Under our Constitutional arrangement, there will just about always be two major political parties. I would posit there is little, if any, foundation for your concern.

when I say Ladd should just be a (D), I don't mean the (R)'s should go away, I just mean the point of view he's looking for seems, as far as I can tell, to currently be represented by the (D)'s.

there are lots of folks who are, basically, fine with the (R)'s in their current form. Ladd just doesn't sound like one of them.

Bernie? Still thinking about that? Time to move on.

Funny, it doesn't seem like the DNC leadership agrees with you, even if they're disagreeing under duress. Good riddance, Wasserman Shultz.

One of the most irritating things about Clinton outside of her policy is how tonedeaf she appears to be (at least I hope she's tonedeaf, as that's better than the alternative) on certain subjects, many of which revolve around projecting an appearance of corruption. DWS steps down as DNC chair... and Clinton immediately gives her a position in her campaign. It's not like anyone who was paying any attention at all had the least doubt about how the DNC tilted the primary... but when one of the prime Republican sales pitch to independents has been how utterly corrupt she is, it seems rather brazen and a bit ill-advised to do something like that.

I imagine it is viewed as a strength, loyalty and not throwing people under the bus. I think this comes out in the Jill Abrahamson piece in the Guardian


For the most part, Clinton and Obama had a cordial but somewhat distant relationship. A loyalty nut herself, Clinton was determined not to undermine the president. On a few occasions, she got annoyed at White House staff, especially when they tried to block her pick, Capricia Marshall, for an important state department post. Obama overruled them and approved the appointment.


Somewhat surprisingly, Senator McCaskill of Missouri – deemed treacherous in 2008 – became its lead spokeswoman and one of the first lawmakers to endorse Clinton. She had been allowed re-entry to Hillaryland despite her disloyalty, a rare occurrence indeed.

I should have added 'It is viewed as a strength by her

One of the most irritating things about Clinton outside of her policy is how tonedeaf she appears to be...

This is her political tragic flaw, IMO. She'd be unstoppable without this tendency.

Clinton immediately gives her a position in her campaign

an "honorary chair", whatever that means.

also, Wikileaks seems... untrustworthy.


also, Wikileaks seems... untrustworthy.

Who could have predicted that people who steal documents and publish them on the Internet might not always be pure of heart?

cleek, sapient....not holding any candles for wikileaks, nor its otherwise detestable leader, but this strikes me as classic 'blame the messenger' stuff.

Are we not better than that?

Just askin'

Did you also think the Watergate burglars would have been "the messenger" if they'd found something unflattering in the DNC Headquarters?

I'm a bit perplexed, especially with the content of the emails being pretty standard office banter (at least if your office staff isn't the Stepford family). Where's the beef?

I find the beef in the Putin connection, and it's really rotten.

Are we not better than that?

if i want anti-Clinton ranting from anti-Semitic assholes, i could just go over to Trump's twitter feed.

I'm not sure why we can't have a discussion that involves (a) throwing the Watergate burglars in jail and (b) the content of what was discovered in the course of their burglary if newsworthy.

Considering that (a) AFAIK, wikileaks merely published the hacked emails and did not do the hacking itself, and (b) there are three separate stories about the emails that each start on page A1 of Washington Post today, it seems we are a bit far from the watergate burglars analogy and beyond "office gossip."

But hey, I'm sure this is routine office stuff:

Probably the most significant scoop is news that the DNC’s chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, sent an email asking "for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage."

Ugh, yeah, that's big stuff - especially since it was ignored. OUTRAGE!

Yeah, it's great that people working for the DNC sometimes have these wonderful bull sessions online where they spitball ideas like stirring up antisemitic feelings among the white southern baptists.

Someone else needs to join DWS in heading out the door, Hopefully Clinton won't hire him.

stirring up antisemitic feelings among the white southern baptists

I'm not defending the remark, and AFAIK neither did anyone else think it was a great topic for a "bull session" but it wasn't anti-Semitic. It was about his atheism. And it was about "asking him" about his belief in God. Religion, to me, is not really a necessary part of political discourse, but it's been pretty routine since before Jimmy Carter to discuss it. So while I don't think it was great, it also isn't the worst crime ever. But if you do, fine.

We clearly disagree on what's wrong with this picture.

We can also talk about Russia too. Here is Josh Marshall on the topic.

that one email from Brad Marshall appears to be the only meaty email in the whole bunch. and there's no evidence anyone ever acted on it. and, the charge from the Sanders faction is that the DNC actively, deliberately swung the race for Clinton, not that some staffers in the DNC had opinions. the months of asserting that the election was "rigged" doesn't mean "they talked about the Democrat-of-opportunity less favorably than they talked about the long-time Democrat," right?

i get that Sanders dead-enders are desperate for anything to give them hope that the wicked witch will eventually fall. but this isn't it.

The big win for Trump from the RNC convention was that he got his message out to those who can not read. I don't want to denigrate his supporters as 'stupid' but looking at his campaign website https://www.donaldjtrump.com/issues/ he is clearly targeting those who don't like reading.

Now here is a scary read: https://newrepublic.com/article/135377/donald-trump-wants-world-burn?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=sharebtn

the Dems, on the other hand, are going to get suckered into making their convention week about DWS and the DNC.

because that's what matters.

I think DWS stepping down is the attempt to limit that damage to just today.

If there is no "meat" in the emails, then case closed, right? DWS has fallen (part way) on her sword. Mea cupcakes all around.

I don't see a big beef here, and its a bit of hyperventilation to assert the convention week will be all "about DWS and the DNC". It won't.

The angle about the Russians and Trump could, however, turn out to be the real gold mine if some real evidence shows up.
One of those silver lining things.

Of course, if it is stuff published by wikileaks, I assume you would just rant some more about their shortcomings.

Otherwise, what Ugh said.

That's some scary reading, jeff.

Wikileaks soiled itself with that Tweet.

if you want to ignore it and claim that information is just information and that's that, then that's on you. but i'm not taking anything they release at face value.

why is it "on me"? It's not me who made DWS resign. I'm just a chump on the internet who doesn't see this as anything anywhere approaching even a minor "deal" big or otherwise.

If you don't want to take anything they release at face value, that's fine with me. It's not as if they are the BLS.

Wikileaks was already well soiled in most quarters already, but regardless, it's all about them, right?

If, by some miracle, wiki dumps a bunch of emails showing Trump is dancing to a tune set by some Russian oligarchs to whom he owes tons of money, promise me you will only rant some more about how terrible they are, OK?

...but it wasn't anti-Semitic. It was about his atheism.

That's how I read it. It sounded like Sanders' Jewish heritage was wrongly being taken by some voters to mean that Sanders was a practicing religious Jew who believed in the same Abrahamic God as those same Southern and Christian voters - something he, as an athiest, didn't deserve "credit" for.

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