Election 2016

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: Two Pissed-Off Peas in a Pod

Their popularity is all about protectionism and walling off America from the wide, wide world.


Yesterday, I appeared on MSNBC to discuss Bernie Sanders' strong showing among Democratic voters. In new polls, he's actually ahead of Hillary Clinton in states such as New Hampshire.

Sanders' appeal, I argued, is predicated upon anger and frustration and reflects a populist, even demagogic, appeal to fears that America is simultaneously being overrun by cheap labor from Mexico and cheap goods from China and being hollowed out by corporate fat cats who are outsourcing jobs to those same places.

Which is to say, Bernie Sanders sounds a lot like Donald Trump, who is currently leading the Republican pack while articulating (read: barking) many of the same complaints. Trump throws in an appetite for bombing overseas countries and arm-wrestling Vladimir Putin too in his bid to "Make America Great Again."

As I note in a piece for The Daily Beast, Trump and Sanders may seem like an odd couple—one's a billionaire anti-socialist! one's a socialist anti-billionaire!—they are tugging at the same strings in their followers' hearts:

Perhaps, like Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, they're not so different after all. Indeed, the unanticipated appeal of Trump and Sanders to Republican and Democratic primary voters comes from the same psychological wellspring. They represent, in the words of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Salena Zito, "populism born of frustration." They are angry candidates, bitching and moaning about the sorry shape of the United States and they are unabashedly protectionist. Each identifies immigrants and overseas competition as the root cause of most if not all of our problems. They both believe that if only we can wall off the country—literally in The Donald's case and figuratively in Sanders'—we could "Make America Great Again!" (as Trump puts it in his campaign slogan).

Trump notoriously looks at Mexicans sneaking across the border and sees crime lords, drug dealers, and rapists, though he has magnamiously granted that "some, I assume, are good people." Sanders, for his part, at the same hard cases and sees a reserve army of future wages slaves for the Koch brothers.

Read the full thing here.

On MSNBC, I suggested that neither of these guys has staying power in terms of the 2016 election. Part of that is because they are not even full members of the parties they seek to represent, which means that apparatchiks will see to it they don't get very far. But a bigger reason is simply that they aren't really offering solutions as much as airing grievances. The real challenge for the other characters hoping to win the White House is to come up with an agenda that either rebuts the idea that America is somehow in need of saving or offers a positive vision of a future that doesn't simply denounce plutocrats, Mexicans, and free trade.

NEXT: Where Are the Republicans on College Costs?

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  1. “Sanders’ appeal, I argued, is predicated upon anger and frustration and reflects a populist, even demagogic, appeal to fears that America is simultaneously being overrun by cheap labor from Mexico and cheap goods from China and being hollowed out by corporate fat cats who are outsourcing jobs to those same places.”

    The problem with that theory is that the other candidates are neither pro-immigration nor pro-free trade.

    I think your argument about the rise of independents is more persuasive. What Bernie and Trump have in common is that they’re seen as outsiders. Whether St. Bernie is really an outsider is another question, but he’s seen that way vis a vis Hillary Clinton.

    1. The economy is lousy and the job market even worse. While those candidates claim to not be pro immigration (I don’t think many people care that much about free trade), the public doesn’t believe them. People don’t believe them. They don’t believe them because they believe their lying eyes and see that there are more foreign born people in this country than any other time in its history. The public believes Sanders and Trump because they are outsiders.

      The bottom line is that pro open borders people better figure out a way to talk to people whose economic interests clash with open borders other than “fuck you you racist”. They better have a positive economic agenda and be able to explain how that will benefit people.

      1. Nobody is pro-open borders, whatever the fuck that means.

        You know, sometimes poll-tested Frank Luntz coinages come back to bite Republicans in the ass. If occasionally they tried not to turn every issue into an emotional trigger for paranoid racists, they might actually be able to accomplish something good for the country they could genuinely point to as a part of their record.

        1. Nobody is pro-open borders, whatever the fuck that means.

          Except Obama. And what are you talking about Republicans? Trump has just shot off his mouth a few times. The only candidate who says he is going to close off the border, has a plan to do it and seems to mean it is Sanders.

          I don’t agree with Sanders but he is the one candidate who seems serious about immigration. So, you better start coming to terms with the fact that a large number of Democratic primary voters agree with him and are RACIST. Come on Tony, you know you have always dreamed of blood and soil fascism.

          1. How is Obama “pro-open borders”?

            I doubt many Democrats even know what Sanders’ immigration stance is since they don’t tend to waste valuable time talking about what is a fairly unimportant issue.

            1. He refuses to enforce the immigration laws and tried to hand out green cards to millions of immigrants in contradiction of the law. If Obama isn’t open borders, no one is. I almost feel sorry for the bastard. He has basically told ICE to stand down and stop deporting anyone except those turned away at the border and even that isn’t good enough for the open borders people. Anything short of just declaring the US a null entity will satisfy them I guess.

              1. I would argue no one is. It’s just a ridiculous talking point.

                1. Again, short of just declaring the country no longer a sovereign, no one would ever satisfy you. Since it is a relative term, you are not wrong to define it that way but doing so renders the term meaningless.

              2. Obama stepped up deportations significantly – Red Tony.


                1. Only if you count people turned away at the border “deportations” which no administration in history ever has.

                  Just because you are retarded and believe the talking points, doesn’t mean we are. Take your idiocy elsewhere disp shit.

                  1. The word “deportation” no longer has any official meaning. You can portray Obama as weak on immigration enforcement if you refer only to “returns” (prevented from entering) or you can portray him as strong on enforcement if you combine returns and “removals” (expedited procedure for expelling). Bush did that, while Obama only touts returns. Combining both, Obama has “deported” more than enough to qualify as strong, though comparing across administrations is not useful because of changes in law and counting methods.

                    1. “The word “deportation” no longer has any official meaning.”

                      These are the droppings progressive parents scrape out of their children’s diapers.

                      Why are we treating Tony like people?

                2. John, Tony, Buttplug…..[runs away from thread]

              3. You do realize that, under Obama, more people were deported than ever before in history?

                1. You do realize that “deportations” includes people turned away at the border?

                  One distinct feature of the record number of deportations is the increasing share of deportations by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after border apprehension. In 2013, 25% of all deportations were carried out by the agency, up from 17% in 2012. Meanwhile, the number of deportations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which deports people caught both at the border and the interior of the country, fell in 2013 compared with 2012.

                  Another change is that in 2013, a record 363,000 (83%) of deportations were carried out without appearing before a judge

                  They are counting people turned away at the border not actual deportations within the ordinary meaning of the term.

              4. Who are these millions he tried to hand out green cards to?

        2. As opposed to turning every issue into a vehicle for expressing a vague commitment to terms with highly malleable meanings like “social justice” and “fairness” while screwing over the groups you’re claiming to want to help?

          1. The Democratic/consensus liberal policy platform is specific and well established. If Republicans want to kindly stop being nihilistic assholes for a few years, we could test it out.

            1. nihilistic

              Throwing that word around is one of the most reliable indicators that the speaker is a complete moron.

              1. You tell me what John Boehner’s guiding principle is.

                1. He’s an asshole who likes power and spray tans. It’s kind of like asking what Hillary Clinton’s guiding principle is. Your little team is stocked with the same vagabonds and rogues.

                2. Their are two actually….the first is graft….the second is maintaining his healthy orange glow.

            2. Didn’t the democrats hold a super majority in congress, the senate and the whitehouse and they choose to RAM the ACA down america’s throat which is still haunting them? Maybe they should have been smarter with the few years they had instead of telling America “Fuck you, pay me”.

              1. Mommy get the icky teabaggers away. They’re getting their old talking points on me.

            3. Oh it’s being tested right now Tonykins.

              Just not here. Shockingly . . . it’s proving to be a dystopian disaster again!!!!!! Who could have predicted after centuries of good ideas being overcome by bad luck, bad luck would strike again!

            4. Way to move those goalposts. It’s pretty much your standard operating procedure. The justifications for your preferred policies pretty much unfailingly boil down to some variant of “life isn’t fair” or unquestioning belief that the government can make everything better. Whether or not they actually work is barely an afterthought.

              And you categorizing Republicans as nihilist just because they don’t particularly want to rubber stamp your preferred policies is pretty rich. I’d say pessimism as to the efficacy of your ideas is completely warranted as they’ve often led to disaster or are hopelessly utopian, so I can’t blame them there. But at least it gives you a villain to blame when they don’t work. If it wasn’t for that, you’d be tarred and feathered and well on your way out of town on a rail.

              1. This isn’t “liberal consensus polices” vs. “libertarian horseshit.” Debates that happen in the pragmatic political world don’t all need to be dorm room bong sessions, and it’s preferable if they aren’t. Some policies are proven to work, some aren’t. Whether government per se should exist is not a serious question in this context, it should go without saying. There is a reason you eschew empirical tests for your beliefs. Think about what that reason might be.

                1. And as usual, no counterargument whatsoever. “Your point is horseshit” isn’t an argument. It’s the last refuge of someone who has nothing left. Same thing with the whole dorm room bong comment.

                  Nobody even began to argue about whether government should exist. Once again, you’re inventing a discussion that isn’t there.

                  I’m absolutely happy to look at empirical tests. As tarran alluded to above, Venezuela is doing a great job of once again proving that central planning by the intellectuals leads to starvation and ruin. There are plenty of other, more domestic examples. I’ll wait for you to point out where letting people make their own choices in a free market has led to widespread starvation and destitution. I’ll also wait for the example of where taking loads of money from one group of people through taxation has made everything better for the poor. I’ll happily point out how Medicare and Social Security are insolvent and how Social Security has a negative rate of return.

                  Really, it’s quite sad how much you project. If there’s anyone here who isn’t interested in an actual accounting of the results of his beliefs, it’s you.

                  1. You didn’t offer an argument to counter. Something about how you are against fairness.

                    Speaking of inventing arguments, when have I ever endorsed “central planning by the intellectuals”? I am for modeling our system on what has been tested and found to work better than what we have. Other countries do things better than us in specific sectors. If they got their better metrics via laissez-faire capitalism, then I would support it.

                    1. You were bitching and moaning about how all the Republicans did was appeal to racists. I pointed out that all the Democrats do is appeal to people who are pissed off that life isn’t fair. I simply turned your juvenile point against you. Your inability to keep track of the argument isn’t my problem.

                      You certainly have endorsed central planning. What do you think government health care is? In your opinion other countries do things better than us in certain sectors. The metrics you are using may or may not actually mean anything. In health care, they certainly don’t. As for “laissez-faire capitalism”, when even somewhat free markets have been tried they generally have performed extremely well. I’m not sure where you’d find an example of pure laissez-faire, except maybe in your fevered imagination. And even if they did get better results, you’d find areas where you didn’t see the outcomes you like and point to them as evidence for why we need the government to reign in those evil capitalists. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

              2. I think the only guys who could be called political nihilists are we anarchists who view the state as an irredeemable criminal gang and refuse to pretend it serves the popular will. The Republicans may be ridiculous, but their flavor of crony capitalism and right-wing welfare is assuredly not nihilism.

                1. Why are you guys treating Tony like people?

                  He’s an intellectual shit stain.

                  He’s good for batting practice. That’s about it.

                  1. Because Tony, though a depraved, knuckle-dragging, superstitious and backward ignoramus, is a human being.

                    He isn’t a nonsentient remnant of what had once been a human being like shriek.

                    1. He’s a “human being” that refuses to acknowledge that Jews had a right to their lives during the holocaust–despite their government at the time saying they didn’t.

                      He’s a “human being” that refuses to acknowledge that Rosa Parks had the right to sit in the front of a public bus–because it might suggest that Rosa Parks’ rights derive from something other than government.

                      He’s a human being that refuses to acknowledge the rights of human beings.

                      If the Progressive revolution ever comes, he’s the guy that’ll be marching libertarians up against the wall. If he had participated in the Milgram experiment, no amount of screaming or begging could have prevented him from shocking his victims on the highest setting.

                      Tony is what most people think of when they think of a psychopath.

                      He may be a human being, but why treat him like people?

                      He has no conscience, no empathy, and no self.

                  2. Yes he is. I just enjoy it. I don’t post on here very much any more, but occasionally I do like to come out of the wordwork just to beat on his balsawood points.

                    That was originally going to be “woodwork”, but I thought wordwork was kind of a cool and fitting neologism so I left it.

                    1. Yeah, he’s good for batting practice.

                      He regurgitates shit that he reads elsewhere, without thinking about any of it, and it gives us an opportunity to practice against that softball stuff.

                  3. Don’t put Tony and “intellectual” in the same sentence. He doesn’t actually respond to people’s points, he’s more of a professional straw-man hunter.

            5. The Democratic/consensus liberal policy platform is specific and well established

              Here’s the link:


              [Stupid fucking 50-character limit eats another link. Go to the lower right and click on “Immigration Reform”]

              Tell me what is “specific” in this pile of mush, pls.

      2. “The economy is lousy and the job market even worse.”

        No, they aren’t. Unemployment right now is running at about 5.5%, which is normal-to-low by the standards of the last 45 years. GDP per capita continues to grow smoothly if not at a blazing rate. Inflation is reasonably low and fairly steady. Voluntary job quitting is on the rise, which suggests people feel sanguine about getting more work.

        Why some people keep insisting that everything is terrible, I have no idea.

        1. It isn’t the same everywhere, and the labor participation rate is still pretty bad.


          Wage growth is still sluggish…

          https://www.frbatlanta.org/chcs/ wage-growth-tracker.aspx

          And sentiment about these things is forward looking.

          For people who are used to the way thing were between 1992 and 2005, the future’s a lot less brighter than it used to be.

        2. Unemployment right now is running at about 5.5%

          but that’s before the monthly revision upward. and the quarterly revision upward. and the annual revision upward. was JD the younger born 5 minutes ago because you seem to be born yesterday.

        3. You do realize that the unemployment rate is only meaningful when put in context with the labor participation rate? And that rate is horrible.

          1. Yes, the labor participation rate has dropped, from about 66% ten years ago to about 62.5% now. This is part of a 15-year decline, but also still higher than it ever was before 1980, for what that’s worth.

            Wage growth is not awesome, but it’s higher than it’s been any time since the beginning of 2010.

            Seriously, is that what you guys have for claiming that everything is crap? That’s it? You’re pointing at some mild weaknesses as proof that everything sucks? Looks more like a religious belief to me.

            1. Like I said, sentiment is forward looking, and the future isn’t as bright as we were accustomed to it being circa 1992 – 2007. That is in no small part due to all the shitty horrible things Barack Obama and company have done to our economy–and the unemployment rate is only part of that.

              We’re walking forward carrying all the baggage the Obama Administration has loaded on top of us now, and I don’t expect the future to be what I’d hoped it would be only ten years ago. And do you see a deregulator in the bunch running for President?

              Maybe somebody invents cold fusion or another internet or something next week. Maybe the singularity happens. But expecting the economy to deliver like it has in the past given all of Obama’s hamstringing, that seems unduly optimistic. And now he’s about to sign us onto a climate change treaty he says doesn’t need congressional approval.

              1. Yeah we’re reading everything we can about the Clean Power Plan at my work right now. It’s going to cause a great deal of pain for rural America in particular.

  2. According to Sanders’ website, Nick got it wrong regarding Sanders’ position on Ex-Im Bank.

    “At a time when almost every major corporation in this country has shut down plants and outsourced millions of American jobs, we should not be providing corporate welfare to multi-national corporations through the Export-Import Bank.

    “Instead of providing low-interest loans to multi-national companies that are shipping jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we should be investing in small businesses and worker-owned enterprises that want to create jobs in the United States of America. If the Export-Import Bank cannot be reformed to become a vehicle for real job creation in the United States, it should be eliminated.”


    1. worker-owned enterprises


      1. Worker-owned enterprises are similar to kibbutzim.

        In the 20th century, they were called soviets in Russia.

      2. You know how the civilized world decided that having monarchs and dictators was less free, even illegitimate, compared to having democratic governance? Not only do worker cooperatives make sense along exactly the same lines, there is evidence that they are more stable long-term. See the goal is to maximize the profit of all participants, who are all owners, rather than the prevailing model of having an autocrat-CEO for whose benefit all labor in the organization is ultimately done.

        1. Yeah, right. That explains the shining success of the Russian soviets, the Israeli kibbutzim, and numerous 19th and 20th century American communes.

        2. When someone joins one of these worker-owned companies, do they have to buy their share like stock? Is it just given to them at the expense of everyone else? Can they sell it when they leave? How does that work?

        3. I’m confused. If worker cooperatives are more stable long term as you say, they should beat out the corporations. So why do they need help from the government if they’re better?

          1. Because the government already has a bunch of laws and codes in place for traditional corporations, as they are treated as a kind of default.

            There is nothing unlibertarian about cooperatives, we should agree.

            1. Which laws place “traditional” corporations at an advantage over worker-owned ones?

            2. No, nothing unlibertarian whatsoever. At least until the government gets in the business of trying to tell them how they should organize and who should be allowed to join. Then we start having a problem.

              1. When a cooperative adds representatives from consumers (and since most companies sell to the public, the government), that’s called “corporativism”.

        4. We ostensibly have an anti-CEO capitalist democracy in the form of shareholders.

          The flaw is that most shareholders let CEO’s butt-frick their companies and workers. See the good (Costco) vs the evil (Wal-Mart).

          1. Yeah Wal-mart is a complete failure.

            1. No one said they are a failure. They just depend on government largesse to support their workers.

              1. Haha holy shit. I can’t believe you get pissed when people call you a progressive around here.

                By this logic, you also depend on government largesse, since you pay Wal-Mart workers nothing. Wal-Mart firing all of its workers would put them on the same moral plane as you (evidently the virtuous plane).

                Wal-Mart relieves some of the burden from government by choosing to hire people. You have an extremely perverse sense of morality.

              2. Palin’s Buttplug|8.13.15 @ 1:03PM|#

                No one said they are a failure. They just depend on government largesse to support their workers.

                Shrikebot’s programming is so screwed up.

                ObamaCare needs to be passed because it makes American companies more competitive, but IF IF IF Wal*Mart’s employees use government services, then Wal*Mart is feeding on government largess.

                Is he calling Wal*Mart’s employees a bunch of blood sucking leeches? Is he sticking up for the rights of the downtrodden and the working poor?

                It doesn’t matter. He’s a bot. It isn’t sentient. It doesn’t think anything.

              3. Lol, this is such horseshit. As if the people working at Wal-Mart could possibly be employed elsewhere.

              4. They just depend on government largesse to support their workers.

                I thought their workers depended on government largesse to support themselves.

                Tell me how Wal-Mart prevents their workers from getting better paid jobs that would get them off welfare.

              5. Aren’t most min wage workers supplemental incomes? If they are working for walmart their benefits go way down. It pays not to work

              6. No they don’t. They negotiate wages with their workers. Workers bid down the price of labor. You may be able to argue that government largesse acts as a subsidy, allowing workers to bid even lower, but that has nothing to do with Walmart. That’s just the government giving an advantage to the poor at the expense of the middle class, paid for almost exclusively by the rich.

            2. It isn’t sentient.

          2. Its funny because you’re probably a shareholder (through your 401(k))

        5. You realize worker owned companies are already possible in our system, right?

          1. But they’re not mandatory yet!

          2. Indeed.

            There is absolutely nothing in our current corporate laws that prevents, hinders, penalizes, or in any way burdens a corporation from being owned by its employees.

        6. …Do you propose doing the same thing to autocrat-CEOs what was done to monarchs and dictators?

    2. Of course, that was probably just a hypocritical, two-faced political statement.

  3. I’ll let the world’s foremost neuropsychologists figure out the Trump thing. Bernie is the latest crush of starry-eyed liberals who see being handed an election on a silver platter as an affront to their purity.

    1. Except that a great deal of the reason for Sanders even being a factor is that the democrat chosen one is an epic disaster who will get shredded by an even halfway competent republican opponent. There is no silver platter to be had. Hillary comes with an incredible amount of baggage, may end up indicted before the election season even finishes, and in any event just isn’t likeable.

  4. “Their popularity is all about protectionism and walling off America from the wide, wide world.”

    Or maybe people are tired of seeing government agents fuck up, show zero respect for the American people, and then walk off with retirement packages, the size of which they’ll never see. People think Trump would actually fire those people, and that means a lot more than immigration.

  5. Idiots from both political sides feel betrayed and Trump/Sanders are the solutions – as crazy as that sounds.

    Emo-Progs feel betrayed by Obama for not getting them single-payer, not prosecuting the “banksters” and for being pro free trade.

    Wingnuts feel betrayed by the elite GOP who haven’t rounded up and deported the Mexicans and turned this country into an abortion free Christian theocracy.

    1. The only idiots are the ones who don’t feel betrayed by both major political parties. If a non-nutcase was voicing the Sanders/Trump lines he’d get a nomination without too much trouble.

    2. Obama is “pro-free trade”? Are you off your meds?

  6. The perfect solution: a Trump/Sanders candidacy on the Know-Nothing ticket.

    1. Better yet, Trump versus Sanders … just for the entertainment value.

      I’d prefer Sanders to win. He’s better for war-and-peace issues, and when the economy collapses under his administration, it will be easier for most Americans to place blame where it deserves to go.

      1. Sanders could never pass anything with a GOP Congress in place until at least 2022. His supporters would then learn something about governance and wallow in disappointment.

        1. Nah, they’d just do the same thing you do wrt Obama: blame everybody else.

        2. Sanders would have a pen and phone, just like Obama has.

          1. It isn’t sentient.

  7. Nick, you’re getting sloppy in your stretch to equate these two — Sanders very definitely has put forth solutions (e.g., $15 minimum wage), albeit bad ones. Just look at his issues page.

    One program I love is his Employ Young Americans Now Act, which would spend $5.5 billion for jobs and training for 16 to 24 year-olds (presumably to make up for the jobs they aren’t getting because of the increased minimum wage he wants!).

    1. Funny how the solution to Too Much Gubmint is always Mo’ Gubmint.

    2. His solutions are awful but at least Sanders admits there is a problem. The problem with people like Nick is that they refuse to even address people who want to close the border’s concerns. Nick just calls them “racists” and moves on. If Nick and the rest of the people on the Right don’t want to address these people’s concerns, someone else will. And I doubt Nick is going to like that someone else very much.

  8. In my adulthood, I have witnessed four U. S. Presidents rise to power.

    With the exception of Bush I, every one of them swore that they were going to reform Washington DC and fix the excesses of their predecessor. Every one of them has betrayed that promise once in office.

    American voters have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the political elites for over two decades now. The political elites’ ability to tamp down this dissatisfaction is weakening. Their ability to convert that dissatisfaction to ammunition in the intra-elite scrimmage that marks modern politics is weakening. Sadly, because the elites have been quite succesful at completely undermining republican institutions and eradicating a civic devotion to republican ideals within the populace that when the elites lose control, it will be some vile fascist scumbag that rises to power.

    1. Actually Obama never promised to reform Washington. Obama really never gave a fuck about Washington. Obama promised to transform the country. In Obama’s America government transforms you.

      1. Oh no, he did promise reforms!

        Remember how bills would be posted for five days before he signed them? Remember how he swore up and down that his admin would be transparent and not hire lobbyists?

        Sure, anyone with half a brain who was paying attention could see that Obama was a lying shitweasel. But most people weren’t paying attention, and fell for his patter hook, line, and sinker.

        1. Hope and Change.

          It went out the window the day he took office though.

          It was the beginning of the end of launching Bush Administration style Napoleonic wars and occupations, though.

          Some things were bound to change anyway.

          1. It was the beginning of the end of launching Bush Administration style Napoleonic wars and occupations, though.

            Yeah, the U.S. has moved past that to randomly bombing “enemies”. The humanitarian crisis unfolding in the middle east and north africa in the wake of Obama’s victory over Khaddafi will probably take about a million lives before it is finally resolved.

    2. I think this speaks to Gillespie and Welch’s independents arguments.

      People don’t identify with either party the way they used to.

      A lot more people think those that do identify themselves personally with the label Democrat or Republican are lame as hell, and when they see the parties send up their party candidates, they think they’re lame for the same reason.

      The Fantastic Four totally sucks. And so do the Democrats. And so do the Republicans. And the registered Democrats and Republicans think their own party candidates suck, too. That’s why they pull for St. Bernie and Trump.

      1. Yeah but Ant-Man was good.

  9. As I note in a piece for The Daily Beast, Trump and Sanders may seem like an odd couple?one’s a billionaire anti-socialist! one’s a socialist anti-billionaire!?they are tugging at the same strings in their followers’ hearts:

    Worst sitcom pitch yet.

  10. Trump.

    Never has a doomsday future been so obvious so early in the cycle.

    1. I think there’s a ray of hope in that none of them are in any way charismatic, and I don’t think any of them will be able to pull off the shit Obama did.

      I guess that’s not saying much. It’s more like hoping that the rate of decline may lessen for a while.

      1. Iam still baffled by the assertion that Obama is charismatic.

        I have always found his speaking style boring and patronizing.

      2. Trump seems to be. Unlike pretty much all politicians i’ve ever seen, when he’s met with pushback or even disgust at something he’s said, he doesn’t cower down and walk it back. He often doubles down. And people eat it up because self assuredness is a quality of a good leader. I could see him actually getting things done (whether they be good things or bad things i’ll leave aside), whether through his ability to negotiate or just put pushing things through. I could see him taking Obama’s executive order abuse to a whole new level.

        Donald Trump is the Road to Serfdom candidate.

        Bernie Sanders has shown that he’s a weakling. He backs down when confronted. If he won, he’d be a pushover and get railroaded by Republicans at every opportunity. At best, it’ll be a stalemate, do nothing presidency.

        Seems the best we can hope for is for Sanders to win the white house and the Republicans to maintain control of Congress.

  11. Tony got a bunch of responses, so Tony wins again.

    1. Somebody actually accused him of being human!

      Score one for Tony.

  12. Nick: wear The Jacket.

    And then buy one for Shackford.

  13. You tell me what John Boehner’s guiding principle is.

    Money. Power.

  14. This is shallow political theater. Ron Paul always drew massive crowds and dominated the straw polls. It never translated into anything resembling a credible performance in the primaries.

  15. Sanders has a well flushed out issues page on his website.
    He has a long history of proposing solutions in the Senate.
    He is running on ideas, not anger.
    He is running for the people, not for business.
    Also, he is pro-immigration reform:
    He supported the DREAM Act, he supports the Obama Executive Action, etc.
    He has a 0% from FAIR, a restrictionist organization and 8% from USBC, both indicating support for looser immigration restrictions.

    He is not like Trump at all.

    1. If he were running on a platform of shooting all of the unemployed, you could also say he was running on “ideas and solutions”. Yeah, Sanders has solutions. The nature of those solutions is, however, his problem.

      1. True, but nonetheless, unlike the incoherent, vaguely fascist mutterings of Trump, Sanders does actually have concrete policy proposals. Insane policy proposals. Impoverishing policy proposals. Policy proposals that would spread misery and suffering and even death. Concrete nonetheless, though.

  16. Well, normally I don’t care for one sided beatings…but watch shriek and tony get pummeled today is testing that.

    All people are redeemable, and I would hope that some of this would sink in and lead to a reexamination of some thoughts by the two. If you keep getting run over in a football game, and people point out your defensive flaws – do you look at what is happening and change or just pridefully stick to what gets you trampled? You keep shanking a golf shot or throwing a gutter ball at the lanes…ignore the obvious and keep failing or maybe see what works?

    Anyhoo – I am up to the docs tomorrow to get cleared to drive again and go back to work, part time and slowly increasing back to full. Thanks everyone for keeping me entertained and informed during this little stretch of time.

    1. *hesitant claps of encouragement*

    2. Damn. Whatever pain meds you’re on, can i have some?

    3. You da man, Swissie.

      I’m sure your underlings are already cowering at the realization that your narrowed gaze will be returning soon.

    4. “If you keep getting run over in a football game, and people point out your defensive flaws – do you look at what is happening and change or just pridefully stick to what gets you trampled?”

      Those are objective failures. People telling you you’re an idiot is easily dismissed.

  17. My father went off to Peru for a job and came home married. My step-mommy is seven years younger than I am.

    When she first got here she was in a kind of shock. The first time she walked into a grocery store and saw the size of the place and how much food was there she couldn’t believe it. She was even more shocked to learn that our town, a moderately small one, had over a dozen such stores.

    The first time she went back to Peru to visit her family she decided to cook a nice dinner for them. She went to the grocery store in Lima. She discovered that the only meat in the store was one package of pork chops. She was holding it and looking at it when another woman ran up and jerked it out of her hand.

    When she stops at a railroad crossing she watches the train go by with fascination. She says that a single train here has more value on it than the GDP of her country.

    What kind of evil creep walks into a grocery store, looks at all the wealth and security that that wealth gives us and thinks we have too much of it? That we need to artificially limit our wealth? I am going to say the same thing about Sanders that I said about Obumbles: He is either an evil son-of-a-bitch who wants people to suffer and be enslaved, or he is the dumbest fuck drawing breath.

    Yeah, I know. It can be both.

    1. We don’t need 23 cuts of pork. That’s why there’s such great inequality in this country. Did you know that 1% of the top 10% of the 99% make… *collapses*

      1. Tuesday is Soylent Green day!

    2. When I was in Uni back in the 80s, I befriended a guy named Roman who was one of the Jewish ?migr?s from the Soviet Union in the early 80s. He told me that when he first got here some charitable organization placed him with a roommate, and a couple of days later the roomie asked him if he’d be so kind as to go to the local Safeway and get some food.

      He was stunned to walk into the Safeway (this was the first time he’d ever shopped for food in a Western country) and see the incredible amount of meat. He ran back to his apartment and told his roomie “Gather all the money you’ve got! We have to buy everything we can!”
      “Because it’ll all be gone tomorrow!”

      After his roomie stopped laughing, he gently explained that all the food stores were like this, and that there’d always be more tomorrow. Roman was skeptical, but his roomie finally talked him into waiting, and they went together the next day and saw, sure enough, that there was just as much meat as the day before, as well as astounding amounts of everything else.

      Roman said it was one of the defining experiences of his life, and from that day forward he discovered a renewed, and much deeper, hatred of the Soviet Union and everything it stood for, and everything it did to its citizens in the name of “equality.”

  18. All we need now is for Trump to announce he has made a donation to Sanders’ campaign, and the circle of life will be complete.

  19. “What kind of evil creep walks into a grocery store, looks at all the wealth and security that that wealth gives us and thinks we have too much of it?”

    One kind of evil creep is the Christian who believes that gluttony and greed are sins. They believe that too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

    1. Strictly speaking, they think being ruled by desire is a bad thing, whether it’s an addiction to power, fame, sex, self-righteous anger, relaxation, food, or drugs.

      1. “Strictly speaking”

        I’m not sure whether or not I agree with these Christians. The promise of wealth motivates many to worthy actions and responsible behaviour. I am not sure we get any extra mileage from the promise of unlimited wealth that Suthenboy is celebrating. It’s another example of diminishing marginal returns.

        1. I think it comes down to rejecting desire entirely, versus thinking it has to be subordinated to a system of ethics. Man cannot have two masters, and all that.

          The Gordon Gecko version of capitalism fully embraces naive lust for wealth without thinking too much about the long term impact on society or on capitalism itself (like much of the political left and certain forms of libertarianism, it is socially parasitic, insofar as it requires and benefits from a certain social order while constantly working to undermine that order), but a Smithian take on liberal economics accepts that personal morality is a key part of “self-interest” (which is not a synonym for selfishness so much as staying focused on managing your own affairs rather than everyone else’s), and any sensible notion of a market economy accepts that it is based on a limited set of ethical and legal restrictions on bad behavior — property rights, contract rights, self-defense rights, basic civil/political rights.

    2. show me on the doll where the socon refused to touch you.

    3. The inability to control one’s self is a sin because it enables government.

      1. That’s … brilliant.

  20. Tony why aren’t worker cooperatives becoming more popular and knocking out these corporations?

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