Hillary announces

April 12, 2015 • 2:28 pm

Let the games begin. Here’s Hillary Clinton’s official announcement that she’s running for President. (She doesn’t show up until about 1:30 of this 2:18 video; the rest shows average Americans making their plans.)

From the New York Times:

This campaign will begin on a small scale and build up to an effort likely to cost more than any presidential bid waged before, with Mrs. Clinton’s supporters and and outside “super PACs” looking to raise as much as $2.5 billion in a blitz of donations from Democrats who overwhelmingly support her candidacy. Much of that enthusiasm is tied to the chance to make history by electing a woman president. But some, too, owes to the lack of compelling alternatives in a party trying desperately to hold on to the White House when Republicans control the House and the Senate.

Mrs. Clinton’s declaration on Sunday is to be followed by a series of intimate but critical campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshire. She will use them to reintroduce herself to voters and begin to lay out the central theme of her candidacy: improving the economic fortunes of the middle class, with an emphasis on increasing wages and reducing income inequality.

What do you think? I’m holding my nose and wishing for Warren.

153 thoughts on “Hillary announces

    1. I believe comment number #1 makes the best argument for holding the nose. About one more pick by the repubs and you can just declare us an annex of the Vatican.

    2. Oops, I didn’t see this before I posted below. Yeah, the numbers 82 and 79 should factor in your decision somewhat.

  1. $2.5 billion

    Ho. Ley. Fuck.

    There really isn’t any remaining pretense that this is anything other than a naked plutocracy, is there?

    One presidency, for sale to the highest bidder.


    1. Plutocracy- it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? What a waste of fucking money…especially for the loser!

      1. To put it in perspective…that could be the capital for two and an half million $1,000 small business startup microloans in the developing world. Have you any idea what kind of economic development that sort of investment would spur?

        …and, what’s more, you’d even get the capital back plus a not-bad rate of return….


      2. waste of money? naw, it’s “shovel-ready” job creation! Just think of all the bullsh*t that gets shoveled onto us by people who make TV and radio ads, print flyers, door hangers, and so on! And thanks to the Supremo Court, Citizens United, and corporations being people too, my friend, there’s unlimited economic growth potential!

        Freedom’s just another word for something else to sell!*

        *(apologies to Kris Kristofferson)

      1. A profound comparison. I would contend it would come under the belt of a Neptune aero capture with bonus of studying Triton…almost certainly a dwarf planet capture (its reverse orbit and >97% of all satellite mass for Neptune). It could stay there for ten years on the edge of our solar system for the cost of political maneuvering. Jesus I hate the American political system.

    2. Caesar would approve. And his backer, Crassus.
      Then again, the venerable-ness of the tradition is vouched for by the fact that it was named by the ancient Greeks.
      I’m stretching my knowledge of American politics – who came up with the first multi-generation political dynasty there? I know we swapped royal dynasties more-or-less for elective ones (Pitt the Elder, Pitt the Younger) but I can’t think of any American dynasties until the Roosveldts, and I’m not sure if they were closely related.
      But I wouldn’t be surprised to find there’s some of that in all countries.

      1. Caesar got himself stabbed for that. It was Augustus that manipulated everyone into thinking they wanted what they didn’t.

  2. We are going to get soooooo tired of her. I can’t imagine voting for a slippery, hawkish, dynastic, antediluvian like Hillary. If our only choice were to be her or Cruz or her and Bush or her and Rubio, I hope somebody would create a write -in campaign for anybody else. What a ceiling cat awful choice.
    Yes to Warren, and Sanders…..dream on.

    1. Just to congenially inquire for clarification, by “antediluvian” do you mean “old” or “too old”?

      1. She will be the same age as Reagan in ’81. That is pretty old, but I personally think that should not matter.

      1. Warren has made it abundantly clear that she won’t run. I’d bet real money that Sanders will thrown in his hat soon. Dream on that he’ll be nominated, but hopefully he’ll push HC into a progressive stance.

    2. I too think Hillary Clinton is a hawk. I don’t think the world needs her right now with Russia populating its old bases in the Arctic, Canadian CF-18’s scrambling over Russian fighter jet incursions regularly, Putin building up his nuke arsenal, and ISIS not to mention the instability that global warming is already starting to bring as people start to migrate because of disasters and scarce resources.

      1. So true. Peace in our time. As the Inimitable L. Ron Hubbard said (plagiarised, I should imagine), you get what you reward.

    1. At least Canadian elections will be over this year. That is going to suck no matter what too!

      1. Just when that is over, you get non-stop news about election goings on down here. Sorry about that!

  3. Ignore Iowa

    worked for Carter, but the Iowa caucuses are a joke, not representative of anything & should be allowed to wither away

    1. With all due respect, you must be thinking of someone else. Winning Iowa was Carter’s strategy for being taken seriously. He practically lived in Iowa for the year before the caucus. And he won. Technically, “uncommitted” won but Carter had double the votes of the second place human, Birch Bayh.

      You are correct,though, that there was a year when whomever got the nomination ignored Iowa. Might have been the year Sen. Harkin (D-Iowa) ran.

      1. With less than 1% of the population I just can’t believe you can pass up Iowa.

        I am from Iowa and it is a joke in this political spin today. Besides, it is so disgustingly repub and right wing religious the only thing left to do is call it Alabama.

  4. jerry, I love your blog and share many of your political views, But I get very annoyed when otherwise smart liberals like you engage in the “hold my nose” attitude that gave us George W Bush. For this was precisely the attitude that encouraged Ralph Nader to run in 2000 and get 100,000 votes in Florida in 2000. Wake up and smell the roses Jerry, there is no ideal candidate and the Democratic Party is the only sensible alternative in our fraught political system. One cannot give Repugs the benefit of the doubt for there are no good Repugs. Just look in your own state of Illinois where the new GOP governor Rauner is already trying to destroy the state.

    1. You know what? I don’t care whether you’re annoyed. I’m not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton and I’ve explained my position; I will vote for her if she’s the Democratic candidate, and will urge others to do so, too, for she’s far superior to any Republican on offer. But asking me to be super-enthusiastic about her is like asking me to believe in God: it’s simply not in me. I’ve voted Democratic all my life, and even voted for the main Democratic candidate when Ralph Nader ran, because I wanted Democrats to win.

      I don’t know what you’re on about, except to lecture me on why I’m supposed to like Clinton a lot more than I do. I already said that she’ll probably be the candidate and I’ll vote for her, though I prefer Warren. What do you want from me—my blood?

      And where did I ever say I’d vote for a Republican?

      1. There’s a lot about Hillary that I don’t like, but it has to do more with her personality than her political positions. I’m not as far left as I once was, more center left now. I reviewed Clinton’s political stances a couple of days ago and I have to say that I agree with her more than I disagree. Since Warren isn’t running, she hasn’t developed (or at least, publicized them) positions on a broad range of issues. I like Warren’s positions on areas where she’s developed them fully…big business and banking are the obvious two.

        We all know how nasty Republicans can be (even to their own candidates). If Hillary gets the nomination, there will be more mud slung than ever before…they literally hate her. This might actually help her win, the sympathy vote.

        1. I long ago adopted the “maximin” strategy for voting. Maximize the minimum outcome. Vote so as to make the worst possible outcome as unlikely as possible.

          Where I live, that means I have registered as a Republican because the worst possible candidates are in that party. I vote against them in the primary — and I invariably vote the Dem in the general.

          The most fun of all is when I am called for tracking polls in local elections where turnout is low and my responses have the potential to help lead an undeserving pol down the primrose path.

          1. Ha ha. High five! 🙂

            Great way to deal with the disaster that is the American electoral system.

            Sorry to criticize your country guys, but most of the rest of us live in countries that have strict campaign finance laws, no gerrymandering, limited campaign seasons etc. Some of us even have representative governments where the number of MPs a party gets is the same percentage as the votes they get so people feel like their vote actually counts even in an electorate that is solid red,blue etc.

            1. Which would be great if the general NZ population were less apathetic, cared more about “dirty politics”, and stopped returning Key!

    2. Of course, this is the Lesser Lizard fallacy. All it does is sacrifice your short-term comfort for the long-term viability of your principles.

      So-called “strategic voting” should best be called tactical voting, and any voting system in which that sort of thing makes sense is itself horribly broken.

      Vote your conscience, not your flag.


      1. Vote your conscience, not your flag.

        So many Americans have no conscience.

        Can I vote for Jennifer Lopez?

          1. Ha! ok, still reminds me first of the shape-shifting alien lizard overlords of Icke’s demented, anti-semitic mind, but I guess Adams wrote this long before Icke went off the deep end.

          2. I also like Douglas Adams on the whole thing about how/why Zaphod Beeblebrox got to be president.

      1. The Electoral College system is OK, but if we get rid of it, and go by poular vote, then I feel it should ONLY be won by a candidate who receives at least 50% + 1 vote. If no one does, then the top two participate in a runoff 4 weeks later. This elimates a Ralph Nader/Ross Perot type situation.

          1. 50% + 1 is a recipe for disaster, for endless runoffs and bickering and challenges and what-not. Even though they’re ostensibly a census rather than a survey, it’s still plainly clear that there’s quite the margin of error in modern elections.

            Rather, it should be at least a 10% margin of victory (55% v 45%).

            And, rather than hold a runoff…some form of power-sharing in close elections would make more sense. If the people are so evenly divided, so too should be their elected representatives.

            The winner, for example, would become president and the second-place candidate vice-president and, as today, president of the Senate, with said position re-worked to be more than a figurehead and tiebreaker. Say, the one who has the final say on committee membership.

            I’d also keep the Electoral College, but, as at least one state has done, split the votes by congressional district with only the two extra votes going to the state’s popular winner. It would preserve the good stuff that the College was designed to do and fix the bad stuff the winner-take-all mess has gotten us into.

            Lastly…any vote-counting system other than first-past-the-post. I don’t care if it’s instant runoff, ranked choice…all of them are so vastly superior to first-past-the-post that it’s insane we’re still stuck on it.


            1. the electoral college belongs in the 1780’s, back before we had national and international newspapers, telephones, tv, internet, satellites, and the like. if we are to keep this infernal, ancient, and unnecessary crap, then we need all states to allocate electoral votes proportional to the popular vote of each state. But really it is pathetic that we dare call ourselves a democracy, even a democratic republic when we are no such thing. we need more direct representational democracy, the elimination of the electoral college would be ideal, along with the elimination of winner-take-all elections in favor of a multi-party system of true direct representational democracy.

              1. Lawmaking isn’t something for amateurs. Believe me; I’ve served at the literal very bottom rung of the ladder, as a member of the Tempe Transportation Commission (non-elected, appointed by mayor and council) — and, even there, it took me years to get up to speed to the point that I wasn’t a complete idiot about things.

                Representative democracy is the least-insane method we have. Pick somebody you trust to make decisions on your behalf, including becoming an expert on subject you don’t even know exist just so that an informed decision can be made. Have all lawmaking go through said experts — and have good systems in place for oversight so you know how good a job the lawmakers are doing and so you can get rid of them if and when they need to be fired.


              2. The electoral college has naught to do with lawmaking, it was formed due to communication limitations of the era, the lack of literacy and general education, and the assumption that these uneducated, illiterate rubes, cut off from Washington, and other population centers, would not be able to get full information about candidates and thus could nit be trusted to make informed decisions. Now, with international newspapers, tv, cable, internet, high literacy rates, adequate education, the primary reasons for the college are moot. That doesn’t mean that the electorate will make wise decisions, but that is of course the pitfalls of a democratic republic such as ours. We did away with a similar form of indirect election of senators with the 17th amendment, it’s time to do the same for the presidency. The real problem, in regard to your opening statement about lawmaking not being for amateurs is this notion that we must “throw the bums out” in order to avoid “career politicians”. This only leads to disfunction, as we can see with the House and many, especially Southern, state governments. We need to stop being so hypocritical; either we allow the citizenry to elect their representatives, or we don’t. There ought to be no requirements for voter eligibility beyond age, citizenship, residency and registration, as is with most elections. The electoral college should not be another special requirement simply for the presidential election. As it is, neither the highly educated, nor the high school drop out get to truly have a voice in the election; that voice is limited to the select few and that has no place in a modern democracy and needs to be just a footnote in history more befitting ancient Athens but I doubt you’ll agree.

            2. A 10% margin is absurdly overconsevative for a country with 350 million people, about half of which vote. Your margin has only happened 6 times since the start of WWII, and in 5 of those times it was the reelection of an incumbent, not a straight-up contest between new candidates. The one time your standard has been met with two ‘new’ candidates was Eisenhower in 1952…and ya think that might’ve had something to do with his war hero status?

              The margin of error is almost certainly under 1%. I challenge you to find any mainstream political statistician who thinks that Obama’s ~4% margin of victory in 2012 or Bush II’s 2.5% margin of victory in 2004 was ‘too small’ and could’ve been the product of voter error.

              1. I agree with Ben’s overall complaint, but also that 10% is an unnecessarily high bar. Of course we have to be clear between the overall popular vote margins and the vote margins in electoral deciding states, but the principle is the same. In either case the error in voting is never zero, and is something that can probably given some reasonable bounds by statisticians who study the issue (at a minimum, the error is at least as big as the number of ambiguous ballots, and a bit higher due to other factors). Whatever the margin should be, it shouldn’t ever be 1 vote, or any other number which is clearly below the error bounds. There should be some level below which the election is declared a “statistical tie” and we fall back on some explicit tie-breaking procedure.

              2. My point isn’t about the statistical or mathematical significance of the margin of error so much as it’s about the lack of a sociopolitical mandate unless you can command that kind of margin of victory.

                If the election results are 51% – 49%, even if that’s well outside the statistical margin of error, it’s damned clear that the people themselves are divided. And if the people are divided, so, too, should the government be divided.

                All y’all who bitch at Nader because Gore lost to Bush? Imagine if, in the example I suggested off the cuff, Bush got the Presidency but Gore was both the Vice President and the President of the Senate, in control of all committee assignments and the like. Do you still think the Bush years would have been as disastrous?

                A divided electorate should mean a divided government. Many of our problems can be traced to winner-take-all and would have been ameliorated had the barely-losing side had an almost-equal say as the barely-wining side.


            3. Agree completely. It is totally insane to treat the voting/vote counting process as an exact measure. That’s what bothered me most about the whole Bush-Gore fiasco, all the earnest people trying to argue who “really” won when it is perfectly obvious that it was a tie to the level of precision of our measurements (at least in those deciding states, in a nationwide popular vote it wouldn’t have been). The only rational thing to do would be to have a runoff, or some other tie-breaking scheme, of which many can be imagined. I guess we had a tie-breaking scheme in practice, but frankly I’d prefer a coin toss to having the SC pick a winner. OTOH, being a pessimist, I suppose having the SC pick a winner is preferable to civil war, which is what would happen in many places in the world. So, mixed blessing duly noted.

              1. The Constitution clearly specifies what’s supposed to happen if a state can’t decide on its electors. The matter goes to Congress, not the Court.

                The Court’s wresting of the election away from Congress will, in the future, be pinned as the beginning of the end of the Republic.


    3. Raul, you have totally misinterpreted Jerry’s “hold my nose” remark, which essentially means exactly what you call for here: “there is no ideal candidate and the Democratic Party is the only sensible alternative in our fraught political system.”

      Thus the vast majority of us USians here (except Ben) are gonna hold our nose & vote for the Democratic candidate.

  5. My ideal ticket would be Warren/Sanders, in either order. But all I really care about is winning and keeping the *&^%$! Republicans out of the White House. If Hillary gives us the best chance to win (and I, unfortunately) think that she does, I have to support her this time. Elizabeth Warren’s time will come, but we MUST win this time.

    1. Warren is 64 years old. Her time is now or never. It would be different if she were in her mid fifties.

  6. Ms. Clinton’s words seem fairly temperate, civil, congenial. Especially when compared to the bloviations of Cruz’s and Rubio’s announcements. Rand Paul made a pilgrimage to genuflect before the Koch Brothers. What concern for the middle class do Republicans have?

    Of course, everybody’s always doin’ sumthin,’ so far as that goes. Obviously, someone considers such ads effective. I wonder how much less effective they are without the music? What if one were to simply read what she said typed on a sheet of paper? That’s all I want. But, no doubt, I’m a one-dimensional antediluvian.

    Would it be tolerable for Clinton to pick Warren as a running mate?

    Assuming Clinton gets nominated, I’d like to see her push for a Nixon-JFK debate format, where there was none of this bloody interrupting one another in mid-sentence. Enough of this whoo-hooing and whooping and caterwauling and clapping of an audience, as if it were a sports event or tent revival or rock concert. Or would too many voters be “offended” by that? I suspect that Clinton will be forced to say “God Bless America” after every speech. I wonder if Warren could resist that? I gather that that’s what the rubes and Philistines require.

    And while I myself am bloviating, I’d like to see a one six-year presidential term, and put an end to this “lame duck” fatuity.

    1. ” What concern for the middle class do Republicans have?”

      Given that Hilary contends she & Bill were completely broke when they left the White House, I shudder to think what her idea of “the middle class” might be.

      And wow, I think Clinton/Warren would be fantastic! Might inspire some chronic non-voters to show up at the polls.

  7. I am 74 years old and have seldom (read: never) had a presidential candidate that I whole heartedly could vote for. Voting has been an exercise in choosing the least bad option. Even Barack Obama was not close to perfect (for reasons other than those focused on by the GOTP). (And he’s done amazingly well considering the congress he’s had to work with).

    And, if I were foolish enough to run for office, knowing my flaws and foibles, I would not vote for myself.

    From what I’ve read or seen of and by Elizabeth Warren, I think she is wonderful. However, she wears a halo from not having been in the public eye for as many years as Hillary.

    There are things I don’t admire about Hillary but, I too will vote for her in preference to any of the Far Right Evangelical candidates offered by the Republicans.

    Why are we jumping on Hillary for “plutocracy”?
    Grassroots donations will not bring in enough to compete with Koch brothers et al war chests for the Republicans.

    For one positive take on Hillary, please read Meryl Streep’s introduction of her at the 2012 Women in the World conference.

    1. Why are we jumping on Hillary for “plutocracy”? Grassroots donations will not bring in enough to compete with Koch brothers et al war chests for the Republicans.

      That’s right — the system is horridly broken.

      Hilary might not be as nasty a lizard as the Koch Brothers and those they buy, but she’s still a lizard through and through and an integral part of the broken system.

      The solution is to get the money out of politics altogether…but, at this point, the entire political system is so thoroughly corrupted by the legally-mandated form of bribery known as “campaign contributions” that I can’t imagine any hope of a contiguous form of government that could reform it — and that really scares the shit out of me.

      Obama campaigned on change we can hope for or something like that. The change we got…is that he’s no longer pretending that we’ll be out of Afghanistan in a perpetual six months from the date of the rousing impending victory speech of the week; now he’s promising we’ll still be killing brown people — excuse me, “insurgents” — in Afghanistan for yet another decade. And the change we got in Iraq…was DAESH. And the change we got at home…was the Enterprise Institute’s wet dream of an ultra-conservative health insurance scam with mandatory private participation in guaranteed 20% profits. And so on.

      No Republican could have campaigned on promising what Obama actually delivered because it’s all been too far radically conservative for Republicans to have hoped for before under earlier administrations.

      So…if even Obama turned out to be such a naked lizard, you’ll understand when I express the greatest confidence that Hilary will be at least as nasty a lizard as Obama.


      1. It seems that the thought that would naturally follow from the realization that we have a broken system might be the realization that we need something like an engineering project that would enroll science and reason to design a political system from the ground up.

        A system that takes into account what we’ve learned since the venerable founding fathers’ tour de force. Paying homage to them, yet, without being dogmatically bound by their legacy as if it were divinely ordained.

        A system that takes into account the possibilities the digital revolution might offer to crafting a more rational and thus effective democracy.

        A system not susceptible to irrelevant, ever further removed from reality, dogmas of ideologies be they left, right or center. A system impervious to the mythologies and superstition of religion. A system whose leaders are bound to commit to making reason, fact and evidence based decisions.

        1. Of course those thoughts naturally follow.

          It’s getting beyond the “thought” stage that’s impossible.

          Nicely said, though.

          1. Though, what can give us hope is having a look at the insurmountable odds -the seeming “impossibility”- the founding fathers faced -considering the types of government and sentiments common at the time- pulling off the monumental achievement they did.

            What can dash those hopes, however, is comparing, the erudition, intelligence and intellectual honesty, even, of the founding fathers to what currently populates our state and federal legislatures.

            Which is how you might have arrived at your view.

            1. I think you’ve nailed it. 😉

              Of course the Founding Fathers had the advantage of enormously delayed communications with their remote constituents.

        2. design a political system from the ground up.

          The only time you get to do that is after a revolution, and generally only a very bloody one that was fought explicitly for a chance to do so. Like France, for example.


      2. The solution is to get the money out of politics altogether…

        Lotto Democracy. Get rid of the campaigns altogether, think of the money we’d save.

        1. IIRC, that’s the way the Greeks did some of their elected offices: they drew lots from a smaller number of eligible people. Of course, back then they used things like ‘male’ and ‘rich’ as standards for eligibility, so that part wasn’t good.

  8. Mixed feelings. I want a progressive. Then I would like a woman. Elizabeth warren is first choice but Hillary is OK. As long as it’s a progressive woman they can run the smartest of the Kardashians and that might be OK.

  9. Any issues I may have with Clinton, Mr. or Mrs., is small potatoes compared to the horrors of a Bush, Rubio, Cruz, or Paul presidency. In fact, lesser of two evils or not, I won’t have to hold my nose when I vote for her, if in fact she gets the nomination. We’re finally getting our economy back to normal, in fact I’ve had more job offers in the last month than I’ve had since the start of the Bush administration, and for decent money too! I’m terrified that the republicans might have a shot, american memories and ability to think rationally being what they are. I’m rather fond of clean air, water, land, the endangered species act, mining regulation, secular public school education, and of course, not being unemployed. I don’t always agree with the Dems, Obama has disappointed me several times, and I can’t expect anything different as it’s not easy governing from the center-left, but it sure as hell bets anything from the very right, far right, extreme right, and bat-sh*t crazy right thus far on display!

  10. I’m reminded of a line by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post a few elections ago (probably Kerry-Bush):

    “It isn’t the lessor of two evils, it is the evil of two lessors.”

  11. I just watched the video. It is light years better than the Cruz one that starts off with him saying (and never explaining) that if it hadn’t been for Jesus, he might gave been raised by a single mother, followed by Murica, Murica, Murica.

  12. As presidential material, Hillary Clinton is far better than any candidate the Republicans can offer.

    1. If ever there were an example of damnation with faint praise….

      And, frankly, I find the very notion incredibly depressing. Reminds me far too much of the frequent Republican defense of torture and the like: “Hey, it’s not as bad as what they do in North Korea!”

      When on Earth did we stop reaching for the stars? How did we fall so low that “Not quite as bad as the most execrable example in recent memory” qualifies as “good enough”?

      I mean, really? Vote for Hillary because she’s not quite as deep in Big Money’s pockets as Jeb Bush, not quite as corporatist as Rand Paul, not quite as corrupt as Chris Christie, and not quite as religiously insane as Bobby Jindal?

      I weep for my country….


      1. Just to throw yet another thought out there, yes we must go for Hillary because we cannot stand any Repub alternative.

        But, if we ever want a chance of actually getting control of the country to the people, we must have total and complete public funding of all national elections. Probably will take a constitutional amendment so what are the odds. Depends on how bad it gets but we are well on the way.

        Money had many a joke out of this place and no one is laughing.

        1. But, if we ever want a chance of actually getting control of the country to the people, we must have total and complete public funding of all national elections.

          It’s a Catch-22. If you could get something like that through the current political system, you could get an honest non-bought candidate into office. It’s why this sort of corruption is so worrying…the system may have perverted itself into a corner from which recovery from within is no longer possible.

          I fear we’re stuck with our plutocracy until the empire crumbles from the sheer weight of the parasites at the top. That may well be a while, yet…and it is not going to be pretty when it finally happens. If we’re especially lucky, it won’t be any worse than the breakup of the Soviet Union. And, obviously…such a revolution is all but guaranteed to leave you in worse shape than where you were before.


          1. I believe what you have to do to avoid complete pessimism is visualize how bad it needs to get before the constitutional amendment will work. You certainly could not get it through the current system at all.

            I am always open to other ideas, just have not seen any. The BS about campaign reform is just garbage and has been tried many times. It’s a loser. Others seem to want an amendment just to reverse the citizens united thing. Total waste of time far as I can see. The money has to be removed completely and permanently. That includes even the use of any of the person’s own money. It all has to go.

            1. The problem with any such reforms is that they have to go through the current political system which is dominated by people with lots of money who will vigorously oppose any efforts to reduce the influence of money.

              That’s what I mean by a Catch-22. To eliminate money from the system, you need more money than anybody else in the system has. But you can’t get that kind of money unless you’re a cheerful participant in the system.


        2. “…we must have total and complete public funding of all national elections.”


          We also need to make election day a national holiday so that single mother/working poor/have-to-pick-up-children/public transport-dependent, etc., Americans have more than a 2 hour window of a frigid dark November eve to vote in.

          And please, move to mail-in ballots like a few states already have!

          1. Mail-in ballots re-enable all the vote fraud that used to run rampant. It’s trivial for a boss to collect an employee’s ballot (in exchange for a paycheck) and “helpfully” fill it out for the employee. Or for an abusive spouse to do so, or for political parties to collect ballots for “personal processing,” and so on.

            The way we solved all those problems in the past was by in-person behind-the-curtain secret ballots. Maybe our culture is such today that those problems don’t exist in significant numbers…but mail-in ballots throws the doors wide open for those problems to return without hinderance.


            1. Mail-in voting has been working well in Oregon and I believe some other places. Wherever it’s employed it greatly increases election participation. Michigan allows anyone over 60 to vote absentee, and is considering opening up eligibility to everyone. Which reminds me that there’s already a fair amount of mail-in balloting in most precincts via absentee forms. It allows people to take their time and research proposals they may be unfamiliar with.

              Certainly it would be illegal for an employer or anyone else to collect another person’s ballot.

  13. Looks like this presidential election is going to be a rerun of 1992. Yesterday’s America is on the ballot. I hope neither Hillary nor Jeb will win the primaries.

    1. I’m gonna be a downer and say both will almost certainly claim their primaries.

      And Jeb will win the election. I think on WEiT we’re seeing in microcosm a few things – lack of democratic party energy, and lack of trust in, and enthusiasm about, Clinton. These will energize the GOP and sway the undecideds in Jeb’s favor.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excited about 8 years of Jeb either.

      Wouldn’t it be great if something unexpected happened – a democrat to get excited about? A republican who doesn’t seem like some kind of bizarro-world throwback?

      1. Obama was quite unexpected, wasn’t he? I vaguely remember (I was 17 at the time) hearing the dutch news say that Hillary had the biggest chance of winning the primaries.

        The American voter deserves better than choosing between a Clinton and a Bush.

        1. Maybe, but I don’t remember it that way. I remember some fantastic early speeches by Obama, with whom I was unfamiliar at the time, lots of enthusiasm about him, and talk about how Hillary was hated so on the right, and that sealed the primary.

          Do we deserve better? I don’t know. How did we get into this mess? How do we get out?

          1. Well, Dutch news isn’t always accurate (more often than not in my opinion), so I trust you. As for how to get out of this mess, I’m afraid I have no idea. But I live in a monarchy without seperation of church and state. It’s better to have two families competing for the throne than one occupying it forever.

            1. I think you’re partially correct. People who pay a lot of attention to politics remembered Obama’s surprising speech at the previous Democratic convention (I think it was), but for a lot of us he was pretty much an unknown till midway through his first election.

              1. My new wife in 2000 at 60 yrs of age after hearing Obama speech at the DNC said that man will be president someday. I am a white, labor history and black history specialist and I said no way it will be decades before a black will get elected president.

  14. I will be doing some nose holding when I vote for Hillary Unfortunately, if somehow Warren were to be the nominee, the forces of the wealthy and powerful would ally to crush her like any of the populist movements in the past who presented a challenge to the established order–just look at what happened when Upton Sinclair ran for governor in California in the 30’s

  15. I only have this to say about the upcoming election:

    Ruth Ginsberg: 82
    Antonin Scalia: 79

    Choose wisely.

  16. To be perfectly blunt, America is not trending our way. (To be even more blunt, white America is not trending our way.) Folks have had it tough, and Republicans have been depressingly successful in convincing them that what’s holding them back is government and the poors. In this environment, our ideal candidate would be slaughtered. We could do a lot worse than an ambitious candidate who can draw a shitload of money. And I can’t argue that Clinton is unqualified to serve as president.

    1. Consider the world of 1950 and the world of today, and it is bleeding obvious that the US has been getting more socially liberal. Yes, it is a ‘two steps forward one step back’ process and this particular supreme court (2008-2014) is the group doing the ‘one step back’ for now, but viewed from a large perspective of history I don’t see how anyone can think we are getting less tolerant, less civil, more conservative, etc.. in terms of social polity as a nation.

      Now, on economic policy, you may be right…

      1. You’re just looking at a very small fraction of the picture.

        J. Edgar Hoover ain’t got nothin’ on today’s police state. The war on drugs makes Prohibition look like a tea party. Never before did we have flying death robots raining down bombs on wedding parties overseas. We’re now committed to another decade of war in Afghanistan on top of the fifteen years we’ve already been there — a quarter century of war!

        And even on the civil rights front. You can’t look at the numbers of brown people in prison or disenfranchised or who’ve had their property seized or what-not and tell me that we’re headed in the right direction. Yes, culturally people have been trained to understand it’s “not nice” to discriminate based on skin color…but tell that to the blacks doing hard time for possessing single doses crack cocaine while the whites get off with a slap on the wrist for retailing powdered cocaine — and that’s written into the law!

        So, yeah. Yay marriage rights. Whoopee.

        Get back to me when “Driving While Black” isn’t teated as a crime, and when I don’t have to subject myself to gate rape if I want to travel, and when the NSA doesn’t have everybody’s phone and email tapped, and when we’re not waging multiple decades-long wars on brown people, and….


        1. ” . . . and when I don’t have to subject myself to gate rape if I want to travel . . . .”

          And some nut bag co-)pilot while we’re at it.

  17. I’ll cross myself three times as long as it is a Democrat who gets elected. I really don’t want to see a Republican in office while Putin is still in his …

    1. After getting to the bottom of the first page of that article and finding out it was just the first page, it became tl,dr territory for me (a problem I have a lot with The Nation, FWIW).

      But I think I got the gist; and I didn’t see anything that wouldn’t also jibe with her being a canny politician.

      It is true that she surprised a lot of people in her short time in the Senate by being pretty good at working across the aisle, and her religious bona fides probably had a lot to do with that. Like it or not, some ability to work across the aisle would be quite valuable these days.

      1. From page 2:

        When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian “cell” whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.

        Clinton’s prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or “the Family”), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to “spiritual war” on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship’s only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has “made a fetish of being invisible,” former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.

        From page 3:

        These days, Clinton has graduated from the political wives’ group into what may be Coe’s most elite cell, the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast. Though weighted Republican, the breakfast—regularly attended by about 40 members—is a bipartisan opportunity for politicians to burnish their reputations, giving Clinton the chance to profess her faith with men such as Brownback as well as the twin terrors of Oklahoma, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn, and, until recently, former Senator George Allen (R-Va.). Democrats in the group include Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, who told us that the separation of church and state has gone too far; Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is also a regular.

        1. Thanks, Dave.

          I still see nothing to disprove the canny politician hypothesis, though.

          Of course I suspect she is some kind of Christian. (By which I mean, somewhere that ideological spectrum. I already know she’s Methodist.)

        2. ” . . . Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is also a regular.”

          I gather that his breakfast companions, for reasons politic and of comity, and whatever their religioso zeal and concern for the state of his soul, refrain from following the charge of “The Great Commission” to evangelize Senator Lieberman.

  18. While I’m not dreadfully fond of Hilary, I will vote for any Democrat over anyone from the party that got us into two stupid wars and whose candidates all seem the think the baby Jesus has chosen them. Oh, and as gluonspring mentioned above, Ruth Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia.

    Diana MacPherson, if the Republicans win, can I move to Canada?

    1. Yes, you can move to Canads but Republican governments have a way of making things rough up here too.

      1. It is the time to practice patience and continue your efforts to support science in any little way you can.
        we should not move locations as much as we should move minds and hearts

      2. Yes, you can move to Canads but Republican governments have a way of making things rough up here too.

        Yes. While we’re on the subject of The Family, read Jeff Sharlet’s book on them especially the concept of ‘Key Man’ These are people they have groomed over the years to take over governments in other countries- look at the christian disasters in Africa- and realize that their key man in Canada is occupying 24 Sussex Drive.

  19. I don’t see any realistic prospect for reform, so Hillary it will have to be I guess. I can’t even be sure that any of the Republicans are even sane – they are so far gone and corporate media is now so fully in the bag for them, the American people are unmoored from reality.

    Ask Americans what administration has had the lowest rate of spending growth in 80 years, and the number who will correctly tell you it was the Obama administration is vanishingly small.

    Ask Americans what the median net worth of a household headed by someone my age (60)is and most haven’t a clue. And they don’t know that the average net worth is 5 times higher – and they’re too ignorant to understand what that enormous difference implies.

    Ask a median householder what percentage of their income they pay in all combined taxes, and maybe they’ll get it close to right. But then ask them what percentage someone worth 100 times more pays, and they’ll be ignorant that it is actually a bit lower. Or if they do know, they’ll still vote for the party who has openly campaigned for cutting their social security while continuing to insist that people worth 100 times more should get a tax cut.

    Someone above said that Americans deserve better, but some days I’m not so sure.

  20. Our political system has become so toxic that it drives out all of the decent candidates. The last politician on the national stage that I truly believed would have been a great leader for our country was Bobby Kennedy. Over the years there have been politicians that I have liked but none that really fit with my worldview. Hubert Humphrey and McGovern would have been better than Tricky Dicky. Carter or Ted Kennedy better than Reagan. Al Gore better than Dubya. Mainstream candidates have to raise so much money now that it excludes those who can’t wheel and deal with the big money people and corporations to finance their campaign. Unless millions of Americans come together to crowdfund a grassroots candidate that shares our Humanist values we have to pick the lesser of two evils for President. While Hillary Clinton has many issues where I disagree with her, she is still light-years ahead of any potential GOP candidate. We get the government we deserve. It is a duty of every citizen to vote and I’d love to see it made mandatory. Freedom comes with responsibility which includes being an active participant in our government.

    1. Dukakis, and what’s-his-name, that Minnesotan, too.

      “It is a duty of every citizen to vote and I’d love to see it made mandatory.”

      Agree. And easy.

    2. I am not registered to a party, and I am more nearly libertarian than liberal, but Mcgovern is the only person I’ve voted for without holding my nose.

  21. A Clinton-Bush campaign is surely a sign of the apocalypse.

    Out of at least a hundred million eligible for the office, this is the best we can do?

  22. I am curious how Americans estimate her chances.
    The impression I get from the media here (Israel) is that it will be incredibly surprising if she doesn’t become president.

  23. Could be worse. In a little over 5 years time it is quite possible that Boris Johnson will be our Prime Minister.

  24. Folks, it’s actually very simple. It’s the Supreme Court. Consider some more recent appointments. Clinton: Ginsburg and Breyer. Bush pere: Thomas. Bush fils: Alito and Roberts. Obama: Sotomayor and Kagan. Nuff said.

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