Wow, these are bad candidates (2016 Presidential race)

On Hillary Clinton:

Yes; like her negative approval rating; and her negative appeal to men, religious voters, conservatives, progressives, anti-war voters, & advocates of ethical government. She’s got a base of low-information feminists, people who think she can be worked with, advocates of corrupt machine politics, and the “Well, if I have to” brigades. This is “electable”? Wow. The party’s standards are really low.

Seriously, it’s comical how bad the two Democratic candidates left are on paper. I wish one or both of them would drop out now, and let someone reasonable save the party. Too late, I suppose.

What’s more comical is that people seem to think that they may each still be more electable than the Republican–and that may even be true, somehow…

Well, Bernie may still prove to be electable. It’s hard for me to see anything truly disqualifying in his candidacy. He’s just really, really unconventional, not a criminal as far I can tell. It’s easy to say you’ll vote for a Republican over an old Trotskyist, but when that Republican is anti-birth control, pushing a race war, or Ted Shutdown, maybe not so much.

But Hillary is a poster child for privileged ethical blindness. The Clinton administration was notorious for ethical problems, not that that is unique. But then there were the pardons, and the blatant influence peddling of the Foundation. I still think the conflict of interest between Clinton Foundation activity and her post at State is potentially the story of the summer, and I can’t promise that I can vote for her in November, let alone campaign for her. Integrity matters.

Me, I’m still voting for Bernie, and that may yet pan out. But I’m mentally preparing for a Cruz victory, and fighting to take Congress and state legislatures.

You’ve got something personal against the Clintons. I see them as no more dishonest than other high-level politicians, and probably a lot more honest than most high-level Republicans.

Integrity matters to me, but it’s probably the least important leg of the “issues/electability/personal-integrity” three-legged stool, in my view. Much, much more important to me is the need to defeat the Republicans (who, at this point, are so awful on the issues that they must be defeated, in my view), and beliefs on the issues.

Who on earth is this “reasonable” someone you who think has more political chops and better electibility that can “save the party”?

You want to talk reasonable? Reasonable is making a rational choice from the options on the menu. Instead, you’re standing in MacDonald’s and making a scene because they won’t serve you a Whopper. It doesn’t matter if you hate Big Macs. It doesn’t matter if you’re really hungry for Whoppers. No one cares. No one can help you. You’re not at Burger King. Whoppers are not on the menu.

Your reasonable options are Bernie Sanders, or Hillary Clinton. If you don’t pick one, you’ll get the default Republican and it will be your own damn fault.

Yes.

Cite: I’m a man, a religious voter, fiscally-conservative-yet-socially-progressive, anti-war, AND a huuuuuge advocate of ethical government.
And I work with some low-information feminists…

There’s also the argument that presidential races aren’t the time to be “saving the Party.” Like thunderstorms aren’t the time to be “fixing the roof.”

Well, I mean, I could probably clear my schedule if the need arose.

WEll, for Democrats who felt honesty was important in NH, they went something like 90-10 for Sanders. I wonder how independent voters who place a high priority on that will vote in the general?

I don’t think the candidates are so bad. Clinton and Sanders have fine resumes, as do well, one of the remaining Republicans.

Who else thinks Biden is kicking himself right now?

Sure, until he opens his mouth and makes some ridiculous gaffe. Then, the people complaining about Hillary would be talking about how terrible a candidate he his, and couldn’t we find someone better, and Al Gore must be kicking himself.

The grass is always greener.

I am getting sick unto death of the lazy habit of endlessly carping about one candidate or another’s supposed moral failings, instead of tackling the more difficult task of making logical arguments for their election, based on actual issues. Stop fucking telling me what putzes you think Cruz or Clinton or Trump are; I already know all about that. Tell me instead why I should favor your guy. Girl. Whatever.

Well, actually, don’t bother in Trump’s case. That guy really is a putz.

Possibly, but he would have had to get in early, just like the others. And a Biden candidacy would probably just split the traditional Democratic support base, which might have just strengthened Bernie.

This is a pretty good metaphor. Our political system is necessary to our survival, and it’s like a McDonald’s: the choices are all shit, and when you complain about the shitty choices, people yell at you and just tell you to choose already.

Yeah, we gotta make a choice–but let’s not forget how shitty a restaurant we’ve found ourselves in, let’s see if maybe we can change the restaurant so that eventually we’re not choosing something that’s gonna kill us.


That said: I’m no fan of Clinton. I think she’s cavalier with the truth (“Wipe a server? What, like with a cloth or something?” :rolleyes: ). I think she believes she’s too smart to be burdened by bureaucratic rules designed to keep lesser people from corruption. I believe she sees no conflict between a career in public service and self-enrichment. All of these traits signal something deeply wrong with our government.

And I think that, should she get the nomination (which is becoming clearer every day will happen), she’ll be one of the better presidents we’ve had in a long time. Nowhere near as honest as Obama, nowhere near as principled, but she’s got some killer political chops, and she is brilliant. She’ll do some appalling stuff that will make me weep for the future of progressivism; and she’ll also do some stuff that improves our society.

She’s got my vote, because we’re all still at the goddamned McDonald’s.

How convenient it is that it’s never the right time to save the party when people actually get to have their say in a manner that cannot be ignored.

The fixation on Sec’y Clinton’s emails may just be a political ploy. There hasn’t seemed to be a lot there, although maybe something will come out of it. I’m much more concerned about the idea of the Clinton Foundation peddling influence to foreign powers, let alone somehow laundering foreign money into her campaign.

I don’t want to nominate someone who is then shown to be guilty, or even credibly probably guilty, of high crimes.

That’s what has swung me over the last few weeks into thinking Hillary’s candidacy is a bigger threat to the party than anyone realizes, and why I think “baked in” is a garbage phrase.

I can joke about the Trotsyist Jew who just now decided to join the party, but it is a joke. At this point, if active in the Democratic Party, I’d much rather be saying, “Yeah, we’ll see if there’s a better tax schedule than what Bernie’s talking about, vote for me and I’ll work with him on it,” than, “No, of course I’m fine with the Clinton Foundation; despite appearances, they probably weren’t really selling US foreign policy to the highest bidding petro-states.”

Indeed.

I feel like the only person on the planet who thinks both of the Democratic candidates are people I would be fine voting for. Clinton is smart, tough, and competent. Sanders is smart, idealistic, and principled. To me, this is a good choice to have, not a bad one.

I’m with you on this. Both of the Democratic candidates are adults, which is more than can be said for the the other side (pace Kasich, who is an adult with whom I disagree on just about everything). Just like with Clinton and Obama in '08, I don’t think there’s a bad choice.

That said, I’m not that bothered by transactional politics and compromise, as long as the net effect is at least incrementally better policy. Given the constraints on a Democratic president certain to be imposed by what will surely be at least a Republican House, I’d rather have the smart, tough, and competent executive who can work incrementally, than the principled idealist who wants revolutionary change (even if I’d love to see some of it realized).

I look at the Democratic candidates and think, ‘Wow, that’s about as bad as it gets.’

Then I look at the Republicans and think, ‘uh, maybe not.’

What an awful political year. But none of them are as bad as the clowns we elected in Alberta. So you’ve got that going for you…

I’m with you. I simply think Clinton would make a better president, even if I don’t think she’s necessarily a better person. I don’t really think she’s a terrible person, either. (I think Bill Clinton is rather ghastly, though.)

I’m with **jsgoddess **and **RickG **. I like Bernie, I like him a lot, but I think Clinton would be a much better president. I’ll vote for whoever wins the nomination, but I’m caucusing for Clinton on March 1.

I think both sides have bad candidates in terms of being “beatable.” Historically this is a cycle that should favor the party out of power–two terms of the other party, the outgoing President has been stuck in the 40% range for approval ratings for some time etc. But due to basically “own-goaling” itself with stupidity t he GOP, whoever they nominate, is likely to be a very bad candidate in terms of unfavorability.

From a purely election standpoint I think both Bernie and Hillary have grave weaknesses. I think Bernie is a true believer, and will legitimately not coordinate with a major Super PAC in the general, this is a problem. Obama outraised Romney in campaign contributions by quite a bit, but Romney would’ve had a monstrous actual money advantage if Barack hadn’t utilized a Super PAC, because like 2/3rds of the pro-Romney / anti-Obama spending was done by Super PACs, not the Romney campaign. The literal “billionaire class” is going to come out strong again this election, particularly if Sanders is the nominee (they are going to be much less threatened by Hillary) and I suspect Trump or Rubio (my two likeliest nominees) will get a ton of Super PAC support.

But I will say this–and I’ll continue repeating it until election day, running the executive branch day to day is a President’s job. Foreign policy is a huge part of his job, managing our military forces is a huge part of his job, converting your pie-in-the-sky policy ideas into hardboiled policy is a huge part of his job. I’m not saying pie-in-the-sky as a dig on Sanders–all Presidential candidates talk in terms of aspirational goals.

The difference between Obama and Clinton and Bernie Sanders is I think he buys into these goals 100%. When he released an economic policy paper showing frankly, Tea Partyesque style disregard for how policies can stimulate economic growth, and ludicrous GDP growth numbers it showed me that within his campaign Bernie doesn’t have people who argue with him about the details of his policies. He doesn’t have serious policy wonks who are willing to feed him doses of realism–and I’m not convinced Bernie is interested in listening. That’s important because it affects the type of staff he’s going to hire to translate vision into policies. If you look at the George W. Bush administration, there were a lot of those types of staff that weren’t interested in challenging certain ideas (in the W. Bush administration these ideas weren’t necessarily Bush’s, but rather his very top inner circle were the policy drivers and all the lower staff were yes men loyal to those guys.)

If we want to really dig into Hillary, yes, Hillary is corrupt. So was Bill Clinton, so was Richard Nixon, so was FDR–these were all good Presidents in their own way, and I think Hillary will be good as well. Being personally corrupt is a character flaw, but not necessarily a fatal one for a President (well, it was for Nixon, actually.) Being “incorrupt” also isn’t a guarantee of greatness, as we can see with Jimmy Carter.

Teddy Roosevelt was incorrupt but also deeply intelligent and adept, and he knew when to fight for his principles and when to make a deal.

Basically I’m promulgating a hard truth that some “light” corruption shouldn’t be seen as the end of the world, and I think most democracies have this for their politicians. I don’t buy into the American system uniquely producing the worst politicians, there are terrible politicians all over the world. I do have a long condemnation of the American system’s inability to force compromise, but that’s a different issue.

Plus, Hillary’s self interest as President will often coincide with doing things that are good for the country, just as Bill’s did. Just as Obama’s has, that is why Obama has taken money from industries he’s done things to that those industries probably didn’t like, for example.

I don’t think that Hillary’s foundation has actually been funneling money to her campaign under the table, and nor do I believe it’s a vehicle for her to be influenced by foreign governments. I actually find that whole line of thought very little different from all of the specious Republican claims about Benghazi. I think Hillary’s Presidency, management wise, will be a lot like George H.W. Bush, a man whose presidency has been reevaluated as being quite positive for his adept management and placement of good people in the right positions.