Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, January 18, 2016

Paul Krugman, Unicorn Slayer

On financial reform, "For what it’s worth, Mrs. Clinton had the better case."
On healthcare reform, "Bernie Sanders is wrong about this and Hillary Clinton is right."

One more thing for the Berniebros and the Trumpbros to agree about: that Paul Krugman, ooh, he is a bad man. 


Elias Altvall said...

After the last post I decided simply for shit and giggles to research little bit about the various democratic candidates. I would argue that you are wrong the the conservative assitmate that Hillary Clinton has a bigger chance at winning then Bernie Sanders does. First of all yes like you have already posited voting for an american president is never a revolutionary act which yeah obvious. But the idea that you should leave your principles behind because Clinton is more likely to get elected therefore not risking a republican win is silly and nonsensicle especially the whole argument against the ridiculous sanderbros against the trumpbros thing you have going on when in many polls Sanders beat Trump more than Clinton does. I suck at inserting shit so perhaps you need to just copy it.

Dale Carrico said...

Opting for candidates you think better capable and connected to shepherd us closer toward ideal outcomes seems to me to be an expression OF commitment to the principles in question not a matter of leaving them behind. I honestly think Hillary gets us closer to universal coverage than Bernie does or I wouldn't say these things. I think neither of them gets us as far as I'd like given existing stakeholders and legislative exigencies, but I think Clinton gets us closer.

You don't have to agree with that assessment. But claiming I'm abandoning principle in caring more for the pragmatics of getting where I want to go than just repeating where I ideally want to go over and over without a congress to do it or a sufficiently impassioned and informed majority to resist deep-pocketed incumbent agitation and organization against is is simply wrong. It is also enormously commonplace among Bernie supporters.

The polls declaring Bernie beats Trump more than Clinton does are not convincing to me at all -- given the fundamentals which always matter but are not registered in these polls -- I dismiss those polls for now -- like most national polls before a single primary has taken place -- but especially before the novelty wears off and while the GOP is giving him a pass in hopes Dems are stupid enough to pick him over Clinton who scares them to death as she should. I say this with exactly the same confidence that dismissed the brief meteoric popularity of the obviously unelectable Carson over Trump for a couple weeks. I knew I was right and was. I am sure I am right again. I have been watching and participating in American partisan politics for over thirty years. That doesn't mean I can't be wrong, but it means I'm possibly worth a listen. This is especially so, I should think, given the fact that I am saying these things as a democratic eco-socialist feminist queer very much to the left of the candidate I am supporting and very possibly to the left of the candidate to her left that you are supporting.

If Bernie is the nominee I will support him, of course, but I think he is much less likely to win and less likely to succeed in accomplishing progressive outcomes, even though he advocates these intellectually in forms closer to the ones I advocate myself, policy-making isn't an academic conference or a popstar rally. I think a Bernie v Trump contest would be a disgusting dispiriting mess with higher risks than I can contemplate without feeling sic to my stomach. I await your next designation of my views as ridiculous. That's always enormously welcome.

Elias Altvall said...

First of all I was not calling your believes ridiculous, what I was referring to is the more general feeling i have been getting from ameican progressives that somehow Sanders is right in every thing he says but we are supporting Clinton because it is the "practical" thing to do, when I feel that is hiding behind pragmatic rhetoric when in reality they just do not actually want that much change. Whether you fit there or not I do not care since I feel no you do not. But I see no real reason for the comparisons and the fear about trumpbros vs Sandersbros since at least from an outsiders perspective it all seems just silly and not particulorly funny.

I am not supporting Sanders in fact the idea that I am is nowhere in my previous post nor in this post right now I am simply making a critique from the position of an outsider to the american political process and a person who is most likely in the left wing area your are in. (if we measure our left wing dicks in this penis contest)
In fact I am glad I do not have to chose between your candidates since it most likely would result in me voting simply to not have a republican in office, not achieve any progressive change. I Find most of his supporters kinda like a better version of the young people who supported Ron Paul (for the reason that he wanted to get out of your wars and legalise pot) in that they are simplistic and thoroughly mistaken if the think big changes are coming because he is put in the white house.

In fact I do not comment on thing unless they are horrible wrong, dumb, stupid, fascinating and funny or I respect and appreiate the person writing the post and I deeply take the posts to heart before commenting. You get to decide which of the catagories you feel you belong to.

Dale Carrico said...

I was referring to is the more general feeling i have been getting from ameican progressives that somehow Sanders is right in every thing he says but we are supporting Clinton because it is the "practical" thing to do, when I feel that is hiding behind pragmatic rhetoric when in reality they just do not actually want that much change... I Find most of [Sanders] supporters kinda like a better version of the young people who supported Ron Paul (for the reason that he wanted to get out of your wars and legalise pot) in that they are simplistic and thoroughly mistaken if the think big changes are coming because he is put in the white house.

The overwhelming majority of Clinton supporters I know do want change... on abortion access, financial regulation, immigration reform, gun regulation, many issues. Clinton's policy papers are online and they are serious engagements with the possible and the actual. I agree with your latter claim that too many Sanders supporters are simplistic and mistaken to believe radical change would follow just from his election. I thought you objected to the spirit of that characterization, so I guess I don't understand what you are substantially disagreeing about. The initial worry I expressed about white berniebros provided a layup for white trumpbros to elect their fuhrer was not a joke -- I do think Bernie's support is more white than America is and definitely more white than the Democratic party is, and Trump's white racism is plain to see. One can paint with too broad a brush in making this point, but there is something afoot here, Bernie's rallies even in the South are seas of white faces in places where African Americas positively throng the party -- definitely Bernie has some vocal supporters among African Americans (like the wonderful Nina Turner and the distinguished Cornel West -- tho the latter's notorious Obama bashing complicates his role in this dynamic). In the States you have to watch white supremacy like a hawk -- it interminably pops up in the most unexpected places.

Elias Altvall said...

What I am "disagreeing" about as well what I was referring as "silly" is I think you are very much overstating the case that if Clinton does not win you (Though since America is the so called "leader" of the "free" world, we) are in trouble because Sanders are not going to win or be able to get things to change in the ways you pointed out was Clinton policies. I think there is less to worry about then you think since Sanders unlike Clinton can get the lower middle class white male vote more and therefore "hoepfully" can draw them away from crazy town into more productive and good changes in society. But in the end Clinton will win let be honest here and it really has little to do with voters and constituents she will win because Sanders bases his entire popularity and case on not taking money from big corporations. Which means either he takes money and therefore loses credibility or does not and Clinton gets to be the nominee, simple. But like I stated before as long as the republicans do not win, I think planet earth will be around at least 4 more years. But just for shits and giggles, do not know much you know about comics but Frank Miller is supporting Clinton apparently that for me is hilarious. :D :P

Dale Carrico said...

The last thing the Democratic party needs to do is chase the votes of non-college-educated straight white men again. It always alienates the larger and growing constituencies of women, POC, lgbtq, and college-educated workers. A couple generations of marginalization will do more to make the lumpen white-supremacists and patriarchs play nice than catering to their fee fees.

I do agree that in the general the Sanders reliance on small donors would create likely insurmountable quandaries for him. Sanders will always be one of my few favorite Senators -- his Presidential run will have shored up power for Warren wing progressives there, which is a good thing, especially when he enthusiastically endorses and campaigns for Clinton as I have no doubt he will.

Like Obama, Clinton will be a center left politician, but since the Base has avoided investing her with the cult nonsense they will be less likely to turn on her within a year as they did Obama with the consequence of depressing mid-term turnouts that invite the usual Republican shenanigans. We shall see.

Elias Altvall said...

It seems for me very strange for a socialist to say that, Oh god no lets not try and make working class people understand their own exploitation and oppression as well the source of their own patriarchial and white supremacists views and that the road to material security and freedom is to tolerance of race, lifestyles and sexuality, but lets instead make sure the college educated white people feel safe when they do not have to communicate with the people who work in dehumanising and oppressive conditions. I doubt you really meant this but that is what it seems like.

I do not know since Obama pretty much has himself to blame for his campaign of hope and change and then the fact that little was achieved though mainly yes because of a silly congress. Loved the Boondocks episode that dealt with it, pretty much accurate.

Dale Carrico said...

The views you attribute to me are obviously not views I hold nor are they entailed by what I have actually written. You seem to be trying to be deliberately insulting. Are you? If so, what do you expect to accomplish that way? Haven't our disagreements hitherto proceeded under the shared assumption that we were both people of good will and of the democratic left? If you insult and misrepresent me you'll just bore me and I won't attempt to converse with you anymore when you post in the Moot, and that would be a pity, surely?

As for Obama, he was a center left candidate much like Hillary is, and he campaigned as such, his conduct in office has been exactly what I expected given his claims in the campaign and the objective circumstances in which he has been acting. Those who became instantly bitter and demoralized and disastrously didn't vote in the mid-terms because Obama turned out not to be a wizard or their Dream Date seem to me much like Bernie supporters now -- pretending partisan politics can provide unicorns. I do not include you among them.

Voting isn't a revolutionary activity, partisan reform is compromised and slow and to be progressive requires the push of education, agitation, organization, expression from its left. Still, in my view Obama was perfectly right to campaign on hope and change in the Bush era, and he delivered more of each than I actually expected he would be able to manage. Admitting these things is not tantamount to denying I want much more freedom and fairness from the world than he did or could deliver nor to denying that arriving at radically more sustainable and equitable ends would be better in every way for everybody. I know all these things and do not consider them particularly stunning insights. I am also able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Elias Altvall said...

Sorry if my previous post seemed insulting or in any way offensive, I was not trying be but only trying to argue a point felt your previous stated but if it did so it did it unknowingly and most likely was not meant to be such. I especially do not wish to misrepresent your views since that way any meaningful dialogue is pointless. So once again sorry if you felt insulted by my post, what I was trying to communicate was the idea that activists should not try and appeal (as well as educate) to working class whites simply because they hold racist and sexist views felt little strange coming from a committed socialist, but I also stated that I felt you did not hold those views simply that in your comment it could be interpreted that way. So sorry if this was insulting again. I will try to make my points clearer in the future as I love to converse on various subjects on this blog so hopefully you will understand.

As an outsider to your political process(as well as not even being of voting age when Obama was elected) I would say that amongst many reasons that perhaps many people feel so demoralised, disenchanted and alienated (about voting and in general) is because of your two political parties and that most people are ignoring organising outside of them or similiar notions as in they expect when someone comes and promises change they will get it and then they do not have to do any work to achieve it themselves, someone else will liberate them and all they have to do is tell people to on a specific date to vote for them. Now this is something that can be glanced I think in most western nations which is for example why right wing isolationist parties are cropping up all over Europe because oppressed and alienated people want quick fixes and easy understandable analysis and those are not given out by any major political party (or more likely most political parties are afraid of looking like they are anti-capitalist because they will lose support money and the massively centralised unions votes. But i agree that if there are progress to be acheived then little is better than nothing at all.

Please hopefully this time I have made my self clear, if not then please let me try again and I do not harbor any ill feelings towards you in any shape or form, especially not on comment about Bernie "fucking" Sanders (who I recently heared being compared to the awesome Eugene Debs. That comparison could only work if Bernie Sanders were imprisoned when he ran this campaign). Like I have said before I like this blog and your thoughts stimulate my own thinking.

Dale Carrico said...

I'm glad to hear this because I enjoy conversing and even arguing with you. I was probably oversensitive anyway because I have recently had quite a few exchanges with Bernie supporters (I know that you are not one) with whom I generally agree on political questions and many of them have seemed quite obtuse and even vitriolic in ways I did not expect and which has felt a bit dispiriting.

Of course, I do think radical democrats should educate, agitate, organize everybody about anti-democratic plutocracy and the power of solidarity to address this. I do not think that a Democratic Party Presidential primary is the best way to do that educating, especially if (1) that educational project undermines the capacity of that primary to do the necessary job of selecting the best, most competent nominee for the general and (2) that project also mis-educates people about the actual role of parties, about the power of the presidency in legislation, the difference between symbolic versus pragmatic politics, and the proper location of radical educational, agitational, organizational work (which in my view happens on the street, in schools, in issue campaign and labor organizing, not in reformist partisan legislative politics -- and both of which are necessary to real progress toward sustainable equity-in-diversity).

Elias Altvall said...

I am glad that it was sorted out. I of course agree with you about how american presidential or swedish general elections are not the best or as far as i am concerned main arena of practical revolutionary (borrowing a term from Dewey to define it constructive remaking) politics.

I find it somewhat funny that in my opinion a lot of Bernie supporters does not seem to believe in what I know he has stated multiple times he believes in, that nobody can liberate you but yourself. Paraphrasing the last american presidential candidate i would support whole heartedly, "I cannot lead you to heaven because if i could then somebody could lead you out" - Eugene V. Debs.