“Clinton supporters are quieter about their support, since we’re pretty low on public outrage.”
Lizzie Maldonado 🌹

My father was born on a kibbutz in Israel. On that small scale, where everyone knew everyone, communism worked all right, though not great. On a large scale (say China or the Soviet Union), not so much. Democracy worked so-so in Athens (where most people were not citizens). On a bigger scale, there will be problems. On a VERY large scale, say the USA, there will be issues. Unless you want to go into the street and shoot at police and the military, and hope that when the dust clears, YOUR vision of the perfect government is what emerges rather than someone else’s, you’re stuck with it: a system in which we trust the judgment of a few people, lobby at them with contributions and mail, and replace them when possible with someone better.

Yes, writing the ballot in weird ways and a majority of the supreme court helped get Bush elected in 2000. ID laws will try to get Trump elected in 2016. Ads will try to get people to change their minds. But fundamentally and for the most part, people’s votes are what matters. I have never lived in an area where I didn’t vote on a paper ballot, and I am somewhat concerned over fully electronic voting machines. I’d like to see them gone. I have no problem with you condemning those.

If the rules the Republicans used to tally delegates were used in the Democratic primary, Clinton would have won by a larger margin. If we were to use the electoral college, she’d have crushed Sanders 406 to 132. In 2008, the ‘establishment’ was convinced piecemeal and not entirely. The ‘establishment’ is really just a whole bunch of people trying to do what’s right for their party.

Our government is a Republic, not a Democracy. If it were a Democracy, we’d have a national voting hour every week where all citizens get to weigh in on every bill. Which would be pretty awesome. Too bad the founding fathers didn’t think of that. ;-) And it’d be impossible to do that both anonymously and with a paper trail.

Yes, I do believe that many of our folks in power mean the best. My mother got me to come with her (there are pretty easy rules for young people to easily become delegates here) to the 2012 Democratic convention in MA, where I voted for Elizabeth Warren for the first of two times that year. It was a formative moment for me. I saw her one remaining opponent attack her from the left for a lack of purity on something, maybe a public option for Obamacare. I saw Joe Kennedy III, earnest and humble, knowing that he had a lot to learn. I heard speeches with pro forma sections celebrating a retiring congressperson for being great at taking care of his district (read: pork!). And from all that, I got a picture of the Democratic party as consisting of a wide variety of types of folk. Some think their job is to take care of their constituents first. Some believe their job is to reflect the will of their constituents. Some are crusaders on specific issues. Their jobs are not simple, and since every bill has many impacts, their votes are not black and white.

Who are you to tell me I can’t be an Elizabeth Warren Democrat? I voted for her. Twice. How many times have you voted for her?

Also, Elizabeth Warren supports Hillary Clinton.

Two can claim privilege, too. Saying we shouldn’t have gotten involved in Libya is a luxury that the people of Misrata and Benghazi couldn’t afford. Saying we shouldn’t have gotten involved in Kosovo is a luxury the Kosovans couldn’t afford. What I’m saying is that these are tough judgment calls and there are times to go both ways.

If we’re in the business of claiming that the other side is brainwashed, that cuts both ways. You’ve been brainwashed by the media to look at politicians and everything they say cynically. To the point that you see them as opportunistic cartoon villains smoking cigars rather than as people trying their best with the limited information and perspectives they have.

When I vote, I vote for folks whose basic morals I trust and whose perspective I think is valuable in government. My morals are pro-choice, pro-queer, intervene in developing genocides, tax the rich, and get money out of politics as much as possible. As a progressive Democrat, Elizabeth Warren has my basic values. And I value her expertise. And I trust that with more information and understanding than me, her judgment on TPP is worth more than mine. But I feel the same about Obama and Clinton and Sanders. What to do when honest people disagree? Send them all to Washington and see what compromise they emerge with, or who can convince whom.

No, let me define progressive. Progressive means you want to reduce the power of money in electoral politics and spread the wealth around. It means believing in a tolerant society. And it means believing in government oversight of business. Let me put it this way: I’m a progressive, not a revolutionary iconoclast. By ‘your’ values, I meant the policies Sanders supporters voted for.

Had Sanders had actionable plans, I might have voted for him. There was this one statement he made on Israel that I absolutely loved. Probably something about putting pressure on or not trusting Netanyahu.

Want to experience whiplash of yourself? If you’re over the age of 35 I bet you’ve supported candidates who weren’t in favor of gay marriage. And you call yourself a progressive. It’s not immoral to have a position and later change it when you see the harm it’s caused. It’s human.

Just a question for clarity — when you’re talking about Clinton supporting the overthrow of a Democratically elected president, are you referring to Morsi in Egypt? I sort of expected a link there… and can you give me more examples?

I think you’re taking my use of ‘crony’ the wrong way. Not as in cronyism but as in a bunch of friends or likeminded people. DWS, as far as I can tell, is a Democrat on social grounds, and doesn’t really care about economics and thus is for sale on those issues. Think of her as from the opposite wing from Elizabeth Warren. The wing I don’t like. Which is why I’m glad she’s out. I haven’t donated to Tim Canova myself, but if I lived in her district I’d vote for him.

I was pretty upset with her endorsement of DWS. Presumably they’ve known each other personally for a while. And ‘honorary co-chair’ is like ‘professor emeritus’ (my grandpa doesn’t teach biochemistry anymore) or ‘honorary supporter’: toothless and basically meaningless beyond ‘she supports me’.

Yes, I was expecting a smoking gun. If you hacked my computer and email, you’d basically have everything I’ve ever done. The absence of a smoking gun tells me everything I need to know: The DNC wanted to convince people to vote for Hillary, but didn’t rig or support rigging of any elections.

Well look at that, you linked the exact bogus study I was thinking of. Tell me then what exactly they found, huh?

I’ve read pages of their ‘report’ ’and I’ll tell you what they found: that large precincts voted differently than small precincts. No shit; Sanders did better in rural areas. Then they claimed that this was evidence of fraud (whaaat?!?), wrote two pages of nonsense about how race and location weren’t a factor because they say so, and used the small precincts as the baseline rather than the large precincts because that’s the direction which would imply fraud in favor of Clinton rather than Sanders. They got someone prominent (whose field of expertise isn’t elections) to look at their graphs once and say ‘that doesn’t look right…’ whereupon they claimed his name as a major collaborator. Oh, and they don’t even show their data. Shoddy, shoddy work.

Having taken several Econ classes in college, I’ve been making that argument about GDP myself. It’s a better measure of interdependence than wealth.

I’ve actually been recording my own lessons. Automating myself. :-) Hopefully there will always be a market for a friendly, smart people person who can communicate complicated ideas simply. Otherwise I guess I’ll get retrained. Regardless of whether we’re talking about me personally or my less capable but darling students, we need a safety net for people not lucky enough to be born with the right skills or talents.

I guess you didn’t notice when a pretty radical group of Republicans took over congress in 2010 (And you better believe I voted in my safe D district). How much did you expect from the approximately 6 months of barely (only if you could count on D-Byrd, WV) filibuster-proof Democratic control? During that time we got Lilly Ledbetter, SCHIP reauthorization, the recovery act (stimulus)… oh hell, here’s a link. And let’s not forget that the first few months of a president’s term are usually spent filling out their roster of secretaries. I’d say we got from Obama everything we could reasonably expec. My view is that you’re being unreasonable. Writing laws and getting them passed is hard.

Oh sure, progressives can vote against her, too. Hillary is like some weird Rorschach test. I don’t oppose her accepting money from people who work at corporations; I have family members who work at corporations. If I were running for president, especially against someone who embodies my image of human evil like no one I’ve ever seen, I’d grab every advantage I could get. There’s a difference between letting people give you money and letting them make decisions for you.

Of course you would demonize Tim Kaine. You would never take him at his word here on why Clinton chose him because you don’t believe that governing is hard or complicated. I don’t care what her transition team head thinks of Keystone XL or fracking, I care what her EPA administrator does and whether they listen to evidence.

So some Haitians think she failed them, while others appreciate her efforts and support her. When one corrupt politician uses fraud to best another corrupt politician, you can’t win.

Basically, I don’t see what you see. No one person or agenda is in charge in Washington. ‘Establishment’ is just what people say when they mean ‘politicians who disagree with me’, and ‘special interests’ is what people say when they mean ‘segments of the population who don’t agree with me’. In this interview, Charles friggin Koch complained about special interests (the nerve!), which he doesn’t define himself as, and complains about the establishment, too!

And while partisan hacks (cough McCarthy, cough Chaffetz) spend their days trying to demonize their opposition, honest people (cough Comey) make tough judgment calls and do their best to make government work.

Let’s say you’re an ex-president with a lot of credibility, connections, and know-how and you want a do-good retirement project once you’re out of office. How about creating a hands-on charity? Great idea! Let’s say you’re a wealthy person or government (or wealthy person-government) looking to give charity and you know this credible guy with a lot of know-how and connections running an A-plus rated hands-on charity which spends remarkably little on overhead. How about donating to his charity? Great idea! Let’s say you’re the secretary of state (whose JOB is foreign diplomacy) and an important foreign government official wants to talk to you. Should you do your job and talk to them? Great idea! Now let’s say you’re also a woman running for president and all of the above are true at once and I waggle my eyebrows. You’re clearly corrupt as f***.

While you’re at it, are you going to link me to Bannon’s Clinton Cash?