Enough Democrat smugness. It is the Democratic Party, not the GOP, which is dying--nay, already dead

Considering the Republican party isn’t sure it’s even going to be able to secure the Republican presidential nomination this year, I have to feel the OP’s prediction is a little off track.

Do the OP think Hillary Clinton supporters were happy when Barack Obama got the nomination? That Howard Dean supporters were happy when John Kerry got the nomination? That Bill Bradley supporters were happy when Al Gore got the nomination? That Paul Tsongas supporters were happy when Bill Clinton got the nomination? The OP needs to stop acting like the world has ended and move forward.

Especially since the first sentence of the OP is;

“Face it.”

Clinton clearly does have a base. It may not be a base that you particularly like, but it is obviously a base.

What is that base? Well, it’s partly racial minorities. We know Clinton has clobbered Sanders among African Americans, and we also know that she’s doing very well with Latinos; her share of Latinos in the *primaries *in both TX and FL was about two thirds, or about the same share that Obama got in his *general *election–over Republicans. Yes, Clinton is beating Sanders among Latinos to the same degree that Obama beat Romney and McCain. Her base includes a metric ton of women; in Florida, she won 70% of women. It’s also made up of older voters; in FL she won over 70% of voters 45 and up.

Now, some Sanders supporters dismiss all this. For some reason or no reason, these particular groups of voters don’t “count.” I’ve been told on this board that blacks are “low information voters” who obviously don’t know what’s best for them. Old voters, let’s face it, are going to die sooner rather than later; a movement based on them is going to fail. Women are “just voting for Clinton because she’s a woman.”

Very liberal white men who are Sanders supporters, in particular, seem quick to reject the notion that there can be a true “base” for a candidate that isn’t made up, of you know, very liberal white men.

If you look at the actual data, though, it’s silly to conclude that Clinton “has no base.” Given what groups make up her base, moreover, it’s borderline offensive to draw that conclusion. And in the long run it doesn’t help the democratic socialist cause. Instead of bitching and moaning about Clinton winning over “low information voters” or denying that she has a base or that the base will carry her anywhere, Sanders supporters would be better off building their own movement, encouraging grass-roots candidates at all levels who will support Sanders’s principles–and perhaps even do what Sanders obviously can’t, which is to make inroads into HRC’s own core group of supporters. Just a thought…


Yes, I vividly remember the turmoil in the Democratic Party when Leader Pelosi was disposed in a non-election year due to her willingness to compromise with the other side. And then there was the succession of Democratic House members who wanted to replace her, but none could get majority support, until the Party finally found someone willing to take the job but only under strict conditions.

Speaker Boehner has been laughing for months about all that chaos in a major American political party.

TLDR: holy fuck the OP is a deluded idiot.

You fundamentally misunderstand SuperPACs. They are not directly connected to a candidate. The candidate cannot even coordinate with the PAC. Sanders can in fact say he himself doesn’t accept money, while other people do accept money to advocate for his campaign.

The first article you link even explicitly makes that distinction.

And I’m basically a fence-sitter on the Democratic side. It’s why I was going to vote in the Republican primary, before personal issues came up. I have no dog in this fight.

But there is a difference in having an external group try to get you elected and you actually accepting money from them. You can only control the latter.


Welcome to the Party, pal…

Thank you for your input, BigT.

I must tell you, though, that speaking as someone who has been involved in political campaigns for many years, I’m very well aware of what PACs are and are not. And what you say is immaterial.

First, Sanders can ask the nurses’ PAC (or the communication workers’ PAC, or whatever other PAC might be out there) to quit spending money on his behalf. He could say something like, “I appreciate what you want to do, but I’m all about individuals, not groups, and for the sake of consistency I can’t let you spend this money to elect me. Have your members send me $27, have them make phone calls, bang on doors…but don’t spend money on my behalf. I’m sure you understand.” My cites indicate that he has done that in some cases, especially where small amounts of money are concerned. In the specific cases the articles are about, where (a cynic might point out) the money amounts seem greater, he chose not to do that.

Second, when the nurses spend a million bucks on advertising for Sanders, that’s a million bucks he doesn’t have to spend on advertising; it’s a million bucks he doesn’t have to raise from “ordinary people.” It’s like your deadbeat brother in law calling you up and saying “I need you to give me $500 to pay the drug dealer! I don’t have it because I have to pay the electric bill!” You say “Well, I won’t pay the drug dealer for you, but I *will *pay your electric bill…” Guess what? You’ve just paid the drug dealer. (I am not saying that Sanders is a drug dealer, btw!) If I earn $10K a year, I’m poor, right? But if my rich uncle is buying all my groceries, paying my rent, and giving me a new car every year, perhaps not.

Third, the original statement I was responding to was that Sanders funds his campaign entirely from the little guy. When you have hundreds of thousands of dollars helping you from outside sources, that is a disingenuous statement at best. That money may not be directly under Sanders’s control (though I bet that just as with Clinton or Kasich or Cruz, if Sanders doesn’t like the way his PAC money is being spent, all he has to do is pick up the phone), but it is being spent on his behalf. To say it somehow doesn’t “count” is to take refuge in the types of technicalities and semantic arguments normally associated with, well, Bill Clinton.

If you read the articles I linked to, you’ll see that Sanders and the people who run the PACs that support him are trying very, very hard to say that these organizations aren’t “really” PACs. “It’s not a super PAC, super PACs are corrupt.” “This isn’t big money.” “They have billionaires…we’re not billionaires…billionaires are different.” Trouble is, he’s opened the gates to outside money, and that’s a problem. Apparently, it isn’t that Sanders opposes outside money in politics; it’s that he opposes outside money from sources he doesn’t like in politics. It’s not that he opposes outside money, it’s that he opposes outside money in amounts greater that what he himself is receiving. That’s not a stand of principle. It’s a stand of convenience. And I wish he’d be honest about it.

You are amazingly naive.

I didn’t know, but in my mind this doesn’t change much. It sounds as if Sanders benefits from Citizens United unless he specifically tells organizations like National Nurses Untied not to support him - an opt-out process if I understand correctly? I’d feel a lot better if he admitted it and opted out, yes… especially given that National Nurses really should admit they’re a SuperPAC and stop beating around the bush about it. At least Sanders wants to undo that political privilege.

Not necessarily good or necessarily bad. Just that businesses exist for the purposes of maximizing profit - which also isn’t necessarily bad, but can be bad. No one is perfect, so I’m sure no union is perfect either, and I’m sad to hear of bigotry in unions.

These are the kinds of things that won’t become law in a lot of states (including mine) without becoming federal law. There’s too much conservative pushback. Even lately, a few hangers on in the South have been disobeying the legality of same sex marriage.

Would ENDA, LGBT protections etc happen under President Sanders? Likely.
Would they happen under a President Hillary Clinton? Maybe. She’s moved left of center in her campaign promises since Sanders joined the race, but we all know not all campaign promises are kept.
Would they happen with a Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich in the White House? No, just like they didn’t happen during the Bush years.

If Clinton becomes president with a Republican house and Senate, I predict she’ll be making a lot more compromises than a Sanders Presidency would.

A lot less different than they used to be. Hey, even with Bernie’s nomination almost certainly lost, he’s done a lot to show that the people will rally for and support a true left candidate, as opposed to the center left “mainstream” Democratic party or the center right pre-Obama Dems. His winning the Presidency would be much better news for progressives than a Hillary win, even if neither is bad news.

Quite a few. Sanders’ amazing success in even getting this far shows there is a vast and energetic progressive base out there, hitherto unrepresented and almost untapped.

Sure, if there are five more political parties out there to split the vote six ways, progressive could do great in 30% of the elections in 16% of all states. :smack:

They could do a lot better than that if they take over the Democratic Party, TP-style.

**umop **-- (love your username btw) It’s not as formal as an “opt out” wrt PAC money and Citizens United.

Sanders, like other candidates, is entitled to have outside groups spend money on his behalf. In theory, candidates and their campaigns have no control over what the outside PACs spend, how they spend it, etc. In practice, candidates and their campaigns have a lot of say over these matters.

Sanders has made it clear to some outside groups that he would prefer they not spend funds on his behalf. He has in a sense “opted out,” but there’s no “official” way to do that. For other outside PACs, he has not told them to knock it off, and they haven’t.

As for your second post, I agree that a GOP president is going to stop progress (as you and I define it) in its tracks, and that getting anything done with a Dem president and a GOP Congress is going to be very, very tricky.

I disagree, though, with some of the rest of what you say. The main area of daylight, policy-wise, between Clinton and Sanders is economic, not social, for example, so I see no reason to think that Sanders will work harder for LGBT rights than Clinton will. If anything, I think the reverse is true. The Human Rights Campaign, after all, endorsed Clinton, not Sanders.

And though Sanders probably did come around to marriage equality before Clinton, he hasn’t exactly been in the trenches fighting for it throughout his political life. In fact, though (once again) he doesn’t exactly highlight this, he opposed marriage equality in VT when it was proposed there in 2006.

I don’t doubt Sanders’s (current) commitment to gay rights, but I don’t doubt Clinton’s either, and I don’t believe that he would be a stronger voice on this issue as president. [I have a son who is gay, so I follow this issue–and care about it–more closely than your standard-issue middle aged straight guy. Son and partner, despite being in their twenties, are both staunch Clinton supporters, though to be honest I don’t know how much her support for gay rights plays in that.]

I also think that the question of compromise with a Republican Congress is a complicated one. If we have learned anything from the Obama presidency, it is that the GOP will do absolutely anything to try to destroy progressive principles. The steady backtracking on the ACA and the never-ending attempts to repeal it; the refusal to consider a nomination for the Supreme Court; the delight with which they say “We’re the party of Hell, No!”

The sad truth (well, sad for Democrats, anyway) is that very little is going to get done as long as the GOP controls Congress. We are simply not going to get single-payer health insurance (though I would love to see it happen); we aren’t going to see free college tuition; we aren’t going to see heavy-duty taxes on Wall Street.

To the extent we get anything, it will be via end runs around Congress (executive orders and the like), and via twisting arms of recalcitrant Democrats (as was done with the Iran treaty, for instance), and, perhaps, via some kind of deal with some of the saner Republicans (I did say “perhaps”). Sanders might be better (because bolder and less cautious) at the first of these three, though let’s be honest, opportunities to issue executive orders don’t come up all that often. It’s hard for me to see how he would be better at the second and the third, though, so that’s a wash at best.

Honestly, my bigger concern is what happens if a president Sanders has a narrow Democratic majority to work with in the Senate (or in both houses of Congress, he says hopefully). Sanders is an independent, a gadfly; he presents himself as an outsider and carries himself that way. He certainly does not have the unpopularity of a Ted Cruz, but he also does not have lots of direct support or political capital in Congress. Certainly not in the sense that Clinton does, or in the sense that Obama does.

You might know that just six sitting members of Congress have endorsed Sanders. None of his fellow senators has endorsed him, they’re all House members; and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio is the only one of the six who actually served with him in the House (the other five were elected to the House after he became a senator).

So…When the going gets tough, when congressional Democrats begin to rebel against some of Sanders’s ideas (as they will, because that’s what they do), he will have a difficult time getting them in line, convincing them to do what he wants, twisting arms and calling in favors. Who will be his lieutenants, his heavies? Whose career has he helped over the last quarter century? For whom has he served as a mentor? How can he convince a relatively moderate representative from a purple state to support his agenda, when that representative knows his or her constituents won’t be happy with that stance? That’s been difficult for Obama. It will be difficult for Clinton. It will be ten times harder for Sanders.

And so I don’t think Sanders will read the tea leaves properly. I think he’ll barrel full speed ahead whether he has allies or not, and I think that will mean failing again and again to accomplish what he wants. And while you might say that failing spectacularly is better than not trying at all, well, I very clearly remember the Clinton health care debacle of the early nineties, which was badly handled and which set back the cause of health care reform for 15 years, maybe longer… It’s just too easy for me to see a President Sanders accomplishing just about nothing and alienating a lot of people who should be allies in the process–hardly a recipe for getting your ideas accepted.

Perhaps you are being too harsh on her and you may have reason to believe that she would not generally be a proponent of LGBT issues, but I was able to find that Clinton has co-sponsored ENDA. So what exactly is their big difference again?

They were never that dissimilar.

Yes, they would win elections where the Democratic candidate was certainly going to win. Big deal.

Ooh, good burn.

But you’re both missing my point and making it! You deflect by pointing to the GOP’s problems, as if any bobble of the GOP is a success for Democrats.

But in fact, I made a joke back around the first Democratic Party presidential debate last year about three ex-Republicans, an independent, and Martin O’Malley the sole Democrat in the race. Arguably, the Democratic Party, understood as a particular coalition of labor, civil rights, academic, green, and social justice constituencies, already won’t win its own nomination this year, in that they either get Hillary, who’s an elite “centrist” thing, or Bernie, who’s nominally an outsider.

Now, that’s not quite fair to either of them, but then again, Trump is a white northern-European Protestant billionaire who liked to go on Fox News. He may not be the GOP’s machine, but he is their base.

I also remember the Clinton health care debacle of the early nineties, which is where I first learned to distrust the HRC approach to policy, and why I am extremely pessimistic about Hillary Clinton as leader of the Democratic Party.

You may say she’s older and wiser now. But her proposal for high-frequency trades tax, & her $12 minimum wage line, show that she’s still the old Hillary on policy. Trying to be the cleverest weasel in the room, a “moderate” & a “centrist;” she ends up pitching things neither side of a question will buy into–and becomes toxic to any politician that tries to follow her hare-brained triangulations.

Are you kidding? It seems to me that if those policies passed then that would be a great progressive victory. $12 is a lot closer to where it should be than it is now, and raising it to $12 doesn’t mean we can’t raise it again later. No way Hillary would veto a $13, or $15 min wage bill.

Well, I don’t know about that. Like the GOP, the party is essentially its Establishment, not its base. And the Establishment is none of those things, though it is sometimes willing to listen to them. AFAICR, no Dem POTUS or presidential nominee in the past 100 years has been a labor leader, a civil-rights leader, etc., and damn few Dem Congresscritters, either. The only academic I can recall was Woodrow Wilson. LBJ and FDR were perhaps social-justice warriors of a kind, but not really part of any popular SJW constituency; FDR was a knickerbocker aristo and LBJ a progressive strain of sleazy Texas pol – those were their identities, social justice was merely some part of their politics. Apart from her sex, Clinton is in fact entirely typical of Dem presidential nominees, a person of upper-class background and somewhat liberal views but an essential loyalty to Wall Street and corporate capitalism. And even the Dem base includes many voters in none of those constituencies – the plain ol’ poor, for instance, the class below the working class; and a great many non-academic middle- and upper-class professionals.