Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Philly Cheese Stank, Day 2: Who Farted?

Cognitive dilemmas abound so far in Philly. You have the Bernie holdouts, resplendent in their anger, vowing to never vote for the she-creature. To listen to these people, you might almost be convinced that:
  • There is no difference at all between HFC and the raving clown Drumpf.
  • There are no other candidates at any other level running this year.
It's too bad Drumpf has poached the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want, because that song would be a little too on-the-nose for the last few hard-to-herd libs. Look, we get it, she's sub-optimal, not precisely what you wanted. The young holdouts have yet to learn that is exactly and always how politics works; the old hippies and Bernouts (see what I did there?) are past the point of caring anymore, as they only have a few election cycles remaining.

Now, when your own avatar, who also is past the age for selling out, grabs you by the lapels and says, "Look, motherfucker, this is how it is. Deal with it," then maybe it's time to listen. Your movement has revolved around one person, and one person only; you have failed to endorse or explain how anything will roll down to state or local levels. Who are they endorsing for Congress, for their state legislatures, etc.? No clues, but I don't even have to ask about the HFC side. Whatever else she is, she understands the whole picture, that being president doesn't matter if you're surrounded by a bunch of mouth-breathing teabaggers who refuse to work with you. Ask Hopey-Changey how that all worked out.

Bill Clinton managed to convey effectively the high points of his (and her) career, emphasizing public service. This is a solid tack to take; it is very easy to make the argument that whatever their flaws, the Clintons have actually done things for other human beings, sometimes even for altruistic motives. On the other hand, it is very difficult to find an example of Drumpf doing anything for anyone, without Drumpf benefiting from it directly. Again, every relationship the guy has is transactional, first and foremost.

But overall, the Dems are walking a very fine cable here, trying to make the case for continuity and sanity, when people are addicted to the rush of fractal fear-mongering in the form of news, and thus want Change, although they cannot define the what or how. They are quickly finding out that the only way to win this thing now is to fight fear with fear, to counter Drumpf's hysterical "flaming hellscape" narrative with the "in your guts you know he's nuts" response that undid Goldwater fifty-two years ago.

Win or lose -- but especially if they lose -- the Democrats have to start confronting the seismic faults in their own party. It's easy to point across the aisle and guffaw at the utter chaos of a party undergoing a schism of their own. But the fact is that just about anyone else should have been able to pound a preposterous clown like Drumpf into the fucking dirt, and it's not happening, probably not going to happen unless he has a meltdown in the debates -- and maybe not even then, since his kool-aid-marinated cult followers clearly don't care. He probably could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and see a bump in the polls. I've never seen anything like it.

Again, deep breath. It is statistically improbable that he can pull it off. But the truly scary part is that he doesn't really need to in order to undermine an HFC presidency. If it's close, he'll claim shenanigans and/or pull some of his own, a la Bush v. Gore. If it's not quite close enough to steal, then what's left of the party will lean on the slim differential as a rationale for continuing to be obstructionists.

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