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Who's Afraid of Howard Schultz? Just About Everyone, and They're Right To Be

The former Starbucks CEO is getting dragged by liberals and progressives because he is talking about debt and spending in ways they don't like.

Nick GillespieNick GillespieLast night I went to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City's Union Square to hear Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, talk about his new book, From the Ground Up, and his possible presidential bid. It's an understatement to say that Democratic Party activists, liberals, and progressives have responded negatively to Schultz's talk of running for president (he says he'll make a final decision after roaming around the country in an obligatory book tour cum "listening campaign").

That's a shame for at least two reasons. First, Schultz is foregrounding serious issues, especially the gigantic and endlessly metastasizing national debt, but also ever-proliferating calls for new and massive entitlements—Medicare for All!, Free College for All!, Guaranteed Jobs for All!, etc. Second, Schultz's style of talking and engagement is a welcome respite from the amped-up, over-the-top rhetoric in which both Donald Trump and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez traffic. I don't think Schultz has any real shot at becoming the next president and I don't agree with him on many things, but for god's sake, he is staging exactly the sort of conversation we desperately need to have as a nation.

Within the first couple of minutes, Schultz, a billionaire who grew up in projects in Brooklyn, was heckled by a protester shouting:

Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole...Go back to getting ratioed on twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite, who think they know how to run the world.

The heckler speaks in only slightly more graphic terms than many folks on the Democratic-to-left side of the political spectrum. For instance, New York Times columnist and former Nation scribe Michelle Goldberg pleaded, "Howard Schultz, Please Don't Run for President: A bid by an ex-chief of Starbucks would be reckless idiocy." She calls his potential bid "a narcissistic spoiler campaign." The fear, which is widespread on the broadly defined left, is that Schultz will somehow take votes away from any Democratic challenger and thus hand Donald Trump a second term (this fear is wrong on multiple levels, not least of which is that it's wrong about electoral history). But here's former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau wheezing out similar anxieties while also slagging Schultz for being rich.

Schultz, adds Favreau, "is afraid that if he tells half the country's voters what he truly believes, they'll reject him. So he's buying his way right to the general."

Actually, no. Last night and in other interviews, Schultz is perfectly clear on why, if he runs, he will do so as a "centrist independent." He openly disagrees with a lot of ideas that dominate Democratic Party discourse and he doesn't want to be forced into accepting those policies. Specifically, he's criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren's asset tax on "tippy-top" earners, and a whole host of tax-funded giveaways that he says we can't afford. For instance, he spoke about the cost of single-payer health insurance plans, which will almost certainly be part of the DNC's 2020 platform. He noted that California's total state budget is currently around $150 billion but the cost for Gov. Gavin Newsom's version of single-payer runs toward $400 billion. Even as he talked forcefully about growing up poor, with parents from the Greatest Generation who failed to participate in the post-war economic boom, he refused to say government should be all things to all people. In his various interviews over the past week or two, he never misses an opportunity to talk about how a $21 trillion debt is the single biggest problem we need to reckon with. He's right to say it not only ties the hands of government (and the ligatures get tighter as interest rates rise) but also that it inhibits broad-based economic growth, the best way to increase living standards. He also refused to be penitent about being rich last night, at one point saying he helped to create a great company and wasn't going to apologize for his or anyone else's success. He called the class-warfare rhetoric used by so many Democrats "so un-American"! In other words, he doesn't fit very well in today's Democratic Party.

Cue Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is running for president herself:

Well, that's what elections are for, to hammer out definitions of what's ridiculous, right? It's an odd thing, really, to see Democrats and progressives mad as hell that Schultz won't run as a Democrat but than never missing an opportunity to put him down as latter-day robber baron who is so out of touch with the little people that he should go back to sipping lattes on his mega-yacht. Over at the Center for American Progress, a liberal political group, Neera Tanden calls Schultz's possible run as an independent "disgusting" and calls for a boycott of Starbucks if he goes through with it. "Schultz," sniffs the Times' Goldberg, "appears to share the conviction, endemic among American elites, that the country hungers for a candidate who is socially liberal but fiscally conservative."

Ah, now we're getting somewhere, aren't we? It's not really that Schultz is threatening to run as an independent, it's that he's already thinking as an independent. At Barnes & Noble, he hit any number of great notes beyond fiscal responsibility. He stressed the need for economic mobility, made a practical and humanitarian case for immigration, questioned both Trump's and earlier presidents' foreign policy as often reckless and open-ended. Mostly, though, he was raising topics for actual debate, rather than as occasions to bark out increasingly shrill or stupid talking points. He was at times emotional but never shouty or irrational. He also stressed that voters who identify as independent are the single largest group. He's also betting that people are tired of contemporary, increasingly tribal politics. When he ran Starbucks, he was regularly pilloried by conservatives for all sorts of irredeemably liberal things, such as refusing to use the phrase Merry Christmas on their cups to Schultz's endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016. In the current context, liberals hate him because he actually believes in free market capitalism.

howardschultz.comhowardschultz.comWhich isn't to say he isn't angering folks on the right. As Scott H. Greenfield observes, Schultz's economic realism mixed with liberal social ideas is to progressives what garlic is to vampires. At the same time, Schultz "is the real deal of the businessman-president model, because he's actually a wealthy, successful businessman." That helps to explain why Donald Trump was quick to call Schultz out when he appeared on 60 Minutes:

Others on the Republican side of things are more welcoming, and not because they think he will drain votes away from the eventual Democratic nominee. Writing in National Review, John Fund notes:

Regardless of what he ultimately decides, Shultz's decision to run would be welcome if for no other reason than that he might address issues that both Trump and the Democrats are afraid to touch. "I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations," Schultz told CNBC.

"If he is anything, Howard Schultz is a straight shooter," says John Carlson, the leading talk-show host in Seattle, where Starbucks is headquartered. "He could force both parties to expand the political debate," he told me.

Based on what I've read so far and what I saw last night, this is exactly right. Schultz is certainly not a doctrinaire libertarian, even if he is "socially liberal" and "fiscally conservative." He almost certainly believes in a government that is bigger and more expensive than I'm comfortable with.

There's almost no way he can actually win, especially if he runs as an independent, but since when should getting elected be the main goal of politics? He's staging an alternative conversation to the increasingly awful one that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, insist on having while the ship of state bears down on that deadly iceberg on the horizon. Schultz is pointing in a new direction, one we should all be heading towards unless we are committed to self-destruction.

Photo Credit: howardschultz.com

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  • Crusty Juggler||

    Hey Nick, learn to code!

  • John||

    Jokes are like fish dude, they never taste good as leftovers.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Crusty loves fish dicks.

  • Agammamon||

    Crusty is Kanye? So much is falling into place right now.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    He sounds bitter, like a JournoList who just got laid off or something.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Notice the Crusty posts are becoming more frequent, as if he has more time on his hands?

  • Dillinger||

    Jon Favwho?

  • Matthew Chalice||

    He directed Elf.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    He was the pussy in Swingers who somehow manages to end up with Heather Graham.

  • Dillinger||

    probably still a fun thing to happen.

  • Benitacanova||

    No, that's his non-evil twin, Jon K. Jon E. is the evil, or 'sinister' one.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    Is this Howard Schultz of the libertarian moment?!?

    In all seriousness, the sense of entitlement Democrats give off when they bitch at Schultz is telling. They think they have a right to win in 2020 simply because Trump is bad. This says a lot.

    Also, I hope Schultz is happy that all his corporate pandering still got him nowhere with these people. When will the public learn that bending the knee to social justice claptrap only delays your destruction at their hands?

  • John||

    Like I say below, Democrats should be asking themselves why a guy like Shultz doesn't feel welcome in their party. It is the same way the Republicans should have been wondering why Perot was taking their voters rather than bitching about him doing so.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    Nah. Dems are proud of the fact that he's unwelcome. They view him as a corporatist. They're not entirely wrong, but the Democratic lurch towards opposing private property is asinine.

  • John||

    They do. What I can't figure out is how they square that opinion with the fact that Google and the other tech barons pretty much own the Democratic Party. Isn't that corporatism too?

  • Nihil||

    The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.
    --Milton Friedman

    Most people support corporatism as long as it's the right kind of corporatism, and corporations have caught on. As long as the corporate leadership champion the right causes and say the right things, people will love it no matter how far short the come from their goal.

    Ideas are more important than results, morals are more important than facts, and reality is subjectively defined by many people as adherence to those rules.

  • John||

    As long as the corporations will go along and do the dirty work of oppression that the government can't do or so that it doesn't have to do it, they are great. This is not a new idea.

  • MoreFreedom||

    "Dems are proud of the fact that he's unwelcome. They view him as a corporatist."

    They've said the same about Trump, but I've seen no evidence that he seeks to use government to fatten his wallet as president. Trump obviously knows the corporatist game, as evidenced by his campaign contributions to Hillary, for which he got the booby prize of her showing up at his wedding. I'd say he's more interested in ending that game for politicians.

    The thing about Dems seeing others as corporatists, is because IMHO all of the Dem politicians are. There is no practical difference from a politician's point of view, between politicians picking winners/losers in the markets via legislation/regulations/permits, and socialist control of business: in both cases that power drives cash into their hands from people looking for political favors.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Democrats should be asking themselves why a guy like Shultz doesn't feel welcome in their party

    Keep in mind, these are the same people who bitched about Bernie running for the Democratic nomination, even though he's actually a registered Independent, because he temporarily interfered with Her Highness's Victory Tour.

  • vek||

    This guy would have been a shoe in in the Democratic party in 1994. The fact that he's a crazy right wing zealot to them now is super LOLz.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Isn't it funny, that the only candidate (other than the libertarians) talking about the deficit and debt, and advocating for a balanced budget, is Schultz. You'd think the RINOs that control the GOP would be the ones afraid of him, and that the Democrats would want Schultz to get the GOP nomination. The RINOs of course have no intention of stopping the spending, and just lie about being fiscal conservatives.

    It shows how much the uniparty Republicrats or Demopublicans political class are for themselves, at the expense of the non-political class, that the Democrats come to the defense of the RINOs by attacking Schultz. As if they're afraid of billionaires with big mouths, who've accomplished things, unlike most politicians whose list of accomplishments begin and end with getting elected and getting nothing done.

  • RJP||

    Why? Because he doesn't want anything from them.

    The Dems/Progressives/Social Demos only like millionaires and billionaires that want something from them and will be beholden to them.

    That something has to be either the enjoying a good seat at the exclusive trough of crony subsidies and protections that the progressives have built up and plan to augment with any means necessary.

    Or using their publicly professed fealty to progressive and social democrat ideals as a sort of moral dispensation for the "sins" they committed on their way to becoming rich.

  • Brandybuck||

    I friend explained this to me. I thought he was nuts at first, but I now think he may be right. The modern political class is all about "who turn it is to be president". Democrats flipped out over Bernie because it was Hillary's turn to be president. Then they flipped out over the Trump win because it was obviously Hillary's turn to be president. I mean, they didn't even bother to campaign it was so obvious everyone was going to vote for it. He's upsetting the natural order where it's Hillary's turn to win.

    Now it's Elizabeth Warren's turn to win. The kinder, gentler version of Hillary.

    Then after eight years a properly trained Republican will get four years, then we'll hve eight years of OCA. It's all been planned out. Any deviation will cause rage.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    Actually, they think it's Kamala Harris' turn. CNN has already cranked up the machine in her favor. Brian Stelter probably daydreams about her in the White House.

    Also, they hate Sanders, because they desperately want the person who liberates them from Trump to have intersectional appeal. They define progressive as the opposite of old, white, male, and straight. Since Bernie ticks off all those boxes, he can't be their messiah, even though he's to the left of all of them.

  • Agammamon||

    Well, she will have been a Senator for two whole years by that point. That was enough government experience to make Obama the best candidate in his time.

  • Fmontyr||

    She was Attorney General of California, about 1/10th of the US population and the 4th largest economy in the world. Trump, he be a failed businessman owing his soul to Russian oligarchs.

    Obama, in spite of some faults and mistakes was a great president, loved here and around the world for his character. Trump, he be the most incompetent and worst character president of all.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Obama, in spite of some faults and mistakes was a great president

    No, Obama was George W. Bush's third and fourth terms.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Yes! And Hilary would have been 5th and probably 6th.

    I would thank the Russians if they had had anything to do with deposing Hilary.

  • You're Kidding||

    The Attorney General of California is a useless, holding position for people who plan to run for governor.

    It's the bullpen of CA politics.

  • John C. Randolph||

    they think it's Kamala Harris' turn.

    So, they think America is ready for the first literal prostitute president?

    -jcr

  • Fmontyr||

    Why a literal prostitute, Kamala Harris? Even so, she be far better than a hole Trump.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    True. most 'hos get money for fucking their johns. Harris got political positions.

    Anyone who seriously believes she'd be better than Trump is a proglydyte doofus.

  • vek||

    Come on now, Bernie is a Jew! That's gotta count for somethin'!

  • Anomalous||

    So is Howard.

  • Agammamon||

    They're also upset that a mild Leftist is going to skip their 'coronation ceremony' by not running through the D primary. That sort of ability to bypass the gatekeepers is why traditional news is failing, and it scares the shit out of them.

  • EveryOtherUsernameWasTake||

    Exactly this. The 2020 democratic primary was supposed to be a competition to see who could promise the most free shit to the most people, with the straightest possible face, while insisting it would be paid for solely by mean old cis-het white billionaires who are probably rapists to boot. A self-funded center-left candidate who isn't willing to enter that particular dog-and-pony show threatens the entire enterprise; of course he's going to catch a raft of shit for it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Man from Earth||

    Considering what we know about how the DNC cheated Sanders out of the nomination, why would anyone want to go through the DNC primaries.
    It is starting to become apparent the Harris is the adopted candidate and the DNC will screw over every other candidate to give her the nomination.
    It will be 2016 all over again.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Brandy, this goes in in both parties and not just the presidency. Why do you think people like Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy end up as Speaker? Or McConnell as Majority Leader? They certainly aren't the best the republicans have to offer. Democrats have the same hierarchy.

  • Rossami||

    Warren as the "kinder, gentler version of Hillary"? I can't think of any dimension on which Warren is less angry, strident, antagonistic or extreme than Clinton.

  • You're Kidding||

    I'd enjoy seeing them debate each other face to face.

  • John C. Randolph||

    AFAIK, she hasn't attacked any rape victims on her husband's behalf, or been responsible for any US diplomats getting killed yet.

    -jcr

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I friend explained this to me. I thought he was nuts at first, but I now think he may be right. The modern political class is all about "who turn it is to be president". Democrats flipped out over Bernie because it was Hillary's turn to be president. Then they flipped out over the Trump win because it was obviously Hillary's turn to be president.

    There is of course, an element of truth to this. The Democrats don't believe in merit-based systems, they believe in grievance and seniority-based systems (unions, for example).

    In 2008, while Hillary was running, on the grievance hierarchy, Obama sat higher than Hillary, so it was his turn. Once his 8 year bid was up, then it was Her Turn. it was supposed to be Al Gore's turn in 2000, but Ralph Nader fucked that up.

    The rules are simple, people. WAIT YOUR TURN.

  • You're Kidding||

    "The Democrats don't believe in merit-based systems, they believe in grievance and seniority-based systems (unions, for example)."

    You mean they support gangs and mob rule. For what is a union, protected by laws, but a gang. In every sense of the world.

    I've never understood how RICO laws couldn't be applied to activist unions.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    How are unions a gang?

  • Trainer||

    They are violent groups of people who defend their territory. That sounds like a gang to me. Unfortunately, they also have the protection of the government.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    This is the same Howard Schultz that closed all umpteen thousand Starbucks locations for four hours of compulsory 'sensitivity training' after a couple employees in one store did not handle some rude young black men very well.

    That alone should disqualify him from the presidency.

  • Robes Pierre||

    They were rudely sitting at a table?
    I think the sentence is clearer to your meaning when you take out the 'rude young'.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Sitting at a table taking up space that could have been used by a paying customer, unlike them.

  • ifman||

    Have you been to a Starbucks? You just described half the people in there at any given time.

  • EveryOtherUsernameWasTake||

    There are lots of words to describe treating a commercial business's private property like it's your own personal living room or meeting space without even having the decency to drop a lousy buck-fifty on a cup of coffee; ironically, "rude" is one of the less-rude ones.

  • jimusa||

    A businessperson needs to keep his company acceptable to its clientele. It's not a matter of what soapbox he cares to stand on.

  • Trainer||

    More importantly, a corporation has a single responsibility and that's to the bottom line. That was a necessary PR stunt so they wouldn't lose business.

  • Roman Moroni||

    Why does that disqualify anything? What could be more libertarian than running your company according to your own set of values?

    You are making the same statist-think mistake as the far left. Unless the guy advocates putting a gun to YOUR head to force YOU to run a business according to his set of values, what's the problem?

    Are you looking to elect our President or our nanny?

  • Teddy Pump||

    "Within the first couple of minutes, Schultz, a billionaire who grew up in projects in Brooklyn, was heckled by a protester shouting:

    Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole...Go back to getting ratioed on twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite, who think they know how to run the world."

    Ummm, actually it is Progressive/Cultural Marxist/SJW/Antifa intolerant arse-wipes who don't have a pot to piss in that truly think they know how to tun the world!!!

  • Cthulunotmyfriend||

    I agree. I don't like Trump. I say that all the time. But I want a centrist candidate, and I am not going to vote for somebody who is gone to far to the left. I really want a President who wants to address the national debt. We need to start spending less. More Americans are living pay check to paycheck because we spend too much money, and our nation is no different and has been running at a deficit for almost 20 years.

    The Democrats look like they are going for the hard left for their candidates, to energize their crazy base. And if we don't support then, by bad logic, we are supporting Trump. If Trump is re elected because I have to vote for a candidate that doesn't make me want to puke, I see at as a failure of the Democratic Party, which is what 2016 was. Even Trump, who is a huge narcissist, has publically said that the Democrats basically handed him the election by doubling down on Hillary so much.

  • BSL1||

    There is nothing centrist, in today's political spectrum, about addressing the national debt. It would be attacked by leadership of Rep and Dem parties.

    Also, deficit spending at the federal level has occurred in almost every year since 1932 (87 years ago). It first went over $10 Billion in 1942 (77 years ago). It first went over $100 Billion in 1982, which was ~37 years ago. That's a lot more than "almost 20 years".

  • John||

    Talk is cheap. Anyone can wax poetic about the evils of the debt. Until he gets serious and specific about whose taxes he is going to raise and whose free pony he is going to take to solve the problem, there is no reason to take him any more seriously than any of the other hundreds of politicians who have warned of the evil debt monster.

    That being said, if this guy were not a complete disaster on gun rights, he would not be a particularly bad candidate. He is the sort of guy that the Democrats used to run that you might not like but at least wasn't insane and you knew wouldn't complete destroy the country if allowed in power. Instead of bitching and moaning about the guy, the Democrats should be asking themselves why someone who appears to be a reasonable liberal no longer feels welcome in the flee circus they call a party.

  • Mithrandir||

    I agree with you to a degree. However, I'm nearing the point where I'm so desperate yo hear ANY amount of concrete discussion on the debt and spending that I'll probably at least give him a chance to win me over, despite some of his other insane ideas. It's horrible that this is what it has come down to.

  • I'm Not Sure||

    Yeah, it's Canada, but still...

    The thing about elections is that the country's basically voting on what to have for lunch for the next five years, and every option is a shit sandwich. Mostly you only get offered cat shit and pig shit and bowel-infection shit and oh god is that a tapeworm and basic pride won't let you dignify the farce by choosing, but once in a while you're offered a horse shit sandwich and, horrified, you find yourself thinking well at least it's high in fibre….

    https://bluntobject.wordpress.com/

  • perlchpr||

    Oh, does he suck about guns? That'll lose him my vote, for sure.

  • Teddy Pump||

    And anyone can wax poetic about changing things for the better until they run into the evil of the Deep State....Y'know the SOBS that killed JFK & tried to kill Reagan, that run the FED RESERVE & continue all these IMMORAL & ILLEGAL wars we are in, etc...That is the one thing people do not understand about Trump: He knows if he crosses some lines he is a dead man & so he tries to change what he can at a slow pace!

    Hey, I love Dr. Ron Paul & his son, Rand Paul & I have written them in on my Prez ballots several times now, but, if either one became Peaz & tried to do half of what they said they would, they would be dead within 6 months!

  • You're Kidding||

    "flee circus"

    Freudian slip!

  • vek||

    Totally correct John.

    The funny thing is, a guy like him probably wasn't rabidly anti gun 20 or 30 years ago. That's been all the propaganda and distortions put out by the anit gun crowd that have turned a lot of otherwise sane people to the dark side on that issue, because they don't know the real facts.

  • Ajay prasad||

    amazing post and really very useful content

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    What do you use it for?

  • John||

    I wish we could have a four way Presidential race in 2020. Schultz, a full on socialist nominated by the Democrats, Trump, and then some Gary Johnson like Liberaltarian. In fairness to the Democrats, I can understand how they are pissed off about the prospect of the opposition to Trump being split. The sollution to that is to split both sides and find out just what the country wants.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    "I wish we could have a four way Presidential race in 2020. Schultz, a full on socialist nominated by the Democrats, Trump, and then some Gary Johnson like Liberaltarian."

    This is a three-way race.

    Schultz is trying to sound nuanced, which means he'll start pandering to the far left.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    Trump, Gabbard, and McAfee Skyping in from his boat would make for a fun debate.

  • John||

    I used to find McAfee refresing and entertaining. Lately, he seems to have crossed a real line and is just crazy. Now I find him sad.

  • Brandybuck||

    According to the purists, he's still more a Libertarian than Gary Johnson would ever be. Because Leppo or something. And wedding cakes. Better to have a crazy murderer in office than someone who might have nuanced thoughts about wedding cakes and can't name countries he would bomb.

  • John||

    I think Johnson isn't a Libertarian. And in fairness, Mcafee wasn't quite this nuts back in 2016.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He's MORE nuts now? Yikes!

  • Tul­pa||

    Was that supposed to be some kind of convincer? Because now Johnson sounds even worse.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    I just looked up the definition of "nuanced" in the dictionary and it didn't say anything about using the threat of force to make people do things they didn't want to do. Do you have some kind of government-issued NewSpeak dictionary?

  • Conchfritters||

    I'll vote for any candidate, who if asked: "What about Aleppo", responds: "your mom".

  • John||

    I haven't paid that much attention to him. I am assuming that he is more of an 80s style old school liberal.

  • Calidissident||

    What's the point of running as an independent while pandering to the far left? The only way that would make sense is if you thought the Democratic party was too far to the right and you wanted to pull them leftward. But that's the exact opposite of Schultz's complaints about the party.

  • Agammamon||

    Effectively its still a two-way race.

  • Teddy Pump||

    Just like Johnson & Weld pandered to the Left in 2016, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump has too many Libertarian-ish things to be some opposition to a guy like Gary Johnson.

    A Libertarian would have gutted Drug War police agencies, ended the endless Wars, and focused on gutting the federal budget and federal agencies.

    Gary Johnson gained fame by vetoing a bunch of new Mexico Legislation and for some reason that state legislature didn't override him (Maybe they Constitutionally can't).

    Trump is very aware that he has RINOs who might give Democrats the 2/3 majorities in both Congressional Houses to override his vetoes.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I hope he destroys their chances and Trump goes the distance. The democrat apoplexy alone will be delicious.

    I'll cackle even more than I did when he won the first time.

  • Robes Pierre||

    Because you hate America?

  • JLF1200||

    You don't have to hate America to recognize things can always get worse. The Dems are literally making the claim that the existence of wealth is immoral and we're almost 2 years out from the election. Imagine where they'll go by then.

  • mpercy||

    You mean "I agree with 73 percent of what Sanders says" Johnson? No thanks.

  • Brian||

    Howard Schultz is another outsider.

    Of course they'll Trump him.

  • John||

    He isn't my first choice. But, I would take him over any Democrat I can think of. Wouldn't you?

  • Dillinger||

    tough to trust capitalist in communist's silk suits.

  • John||

    True. But, I said I would take him over any Democrat, which is a pretty low bar.

  • Dillinger||

    right. he's your #1 Democrat. dude's no Independent.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Sadly John, given his willingness to socialize medicine and higher education, that isn't saying much.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Just saw a site that is progressive left - there is strong agreement there that he isn't centrist, he's a Reagan Republican. I mean, holy shit. These folks have swung so far out of the mainstream that it's not even in the galaxy that they're in.

  • Matthew Chalice||

    I've heard idiots argue that Obama and Clinton are conservative Republicans, because they've killed so many foreign civilians. As though the left is immune to being pro-war.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Stalin and his brand of Communism was about as far Left as you can go on a L-R Political Spectrum and he killed millions of non-Russians. He killed people himself. Stalin also ordered the murder of tens of millions of Russians too.

  • Trainer||

    Only Stalin's brand of communism did that?

  • John||

    I have a ton of friends who absolutely think that Obama was a centrist. And I don't mean they think crazy liberal is centrist. No, they really believe he was a centrist and wanted to compromise and work with Republicans but coudn't because the Republicans were too racist to give him a chance and just wanted to see the first black President fail.

    I used to find it mind boggling that anyone could believe that. But then I realized that these sorts of people get all of their news and information from the New York Times and the three networks along with maybe CNN. If all I knew was what those sources told me, God knows what kind of crazy shit I would believe. You really have to know and be around Democrats who are not just crazy leftists but are actual thoughtful and intelligent people to understand just how badly the media gaslights the country and Democrats in particular.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    John Roberts, a white male "Republican", sided with Obama's signature unconstitutional medical scheme.

    Obama was voted in for various reason but one reason was that some American knew that Obama would be stalled by the GOP in order to mitigate his Socialist policies.

    Mittens and McCain would have Democrats, RINOs, and some Republicans passing all their bullshit war mongering Socialist policies.

    Evidently Obama had to happen so we could get a Trump. Thank God.

  • retiredfire||

    When 0blama was voted in, he had the House and the Senate on his side, and that vote gave the Senate a filibuster-proof majority. Though the people - of Massachusetts, of all places - didn't like that and replaced Teddy Kennedy with a Republican, but too late.
    He lost the House two years later, in a historic manner, on the back of 0blamocare.
    That's when he got stalled by the GOP.

  • mpercy||

    Any number of pundits were on TV crowing about the overthrow of the racist Trump-istas in the House as "truly historic".

    Not.

    After spending hundreds of millions of dollars (outspending GOP by 2-1 by some reports), with huge chunks backed by billionaires like Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, Democrats did indeed retake the House.

    Before the election, Congress was 51-47-2 in the Senate (GOP-Dem-Ind) and 235-193-7 (GOP-Dem-Vacant) in the House. After, is 53-44-2 in the Senate and 199-235 in the House. Republicans lost 41 seats in the House and gained 2 seats in the Senate.

    Compare to 1996. Before the election, Democrats had 53-47 majority in the Senate and 258-176-1 majority in the House. After that election, Republicans had a 52-47 majority in the Senate and a 228-206 majority in the House. That was in Bill Clinton's first term. Democrats lost 52 seats in the House and 1 in the Senate.

    In Obama's first term, before the 2010 elections, Democrats had a 56-42-2 majority in the Senate and a 255-179 majority in the House. After the elections, they had a slim 51-47-2 majority in the Senate and a 193-242 deficit in the House. Democrats lost 62 seats in the House and 5 in the Senate. They would go on to lose the Senate majority, too, in 2014.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    But then I realized that these sorts of people get all of their news and information from the New York Times and the three networks along with maybe CNN.

    Don't forget NPR, which is probably more common amongst your particular economic/social class than the networks or even CNN.

  • John||

    Go back and look at what Dick Gephart, one of the most powerful and well liked Democrats of his time was saying in 1990 and compare it to Trump's economic positions. If you can find a significant difference, you will be doing better than me because I can't see one.

    Every year what is considered mainstream liberalism is branded harasy and considered evil Republican fascism.

  • You're Kidding||

    Meet the new boss.
    Same as the old boss.
    Won't get fooled again!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To these nutjobs, anyone with some Libertarian-ish positions is "Hitler".

    Since Hitler was a Socialist, this just illustrates how far Left these progressives and Socialists are.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They lie or are deluded and call Hitler a product of the right. Even though there is no such thing as a right wing socialist.

  • Brandybuck||

    When Gavin Newsome was first running for mayor of San Francisco he Left was shitting their pants of his right wing reactionary candidacy.

    Anyone who is not out there orbiting the same star OCA is orbiting is a crazy Reaganite.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's only going to get worse. Soon we won't have country unless something is done, and elections are no longer a solution.

    We need to hit back, and hard.

  • You're Kidding||

    Uh, the FBI just started investigating you.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Any cites?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    He stressed the need for economic mobility, made a practical and humanitarian case for immigration

    As long as he's pro-immigration we Koch / Reason libertarians should support him IF he ends up being the Democratic nominee.

    What we should not accept, however, is a third party campaign that steals anti-Drumpf votes that rightfully belong to the Democrats. It's the same criticism I make about the Libertarian Party.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You just need one more election to,get the right person in and then you can get rid of the constitution. For everyone's own good, of course.

  • JesseAz||

    Democrats are all about everybody voting 3xcept for people voting for who they want... say an independent candidate. Democrats dont give a flying fuck about voting rights.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or peace movements, or fiscal responsibility, or individual rights, or much of anything they say they're for.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole...Go back to getting ratioed on twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite, who think they know how to run the world.

    At least some Lefties are finally admitting that Trump was duly elected.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    LOL

    Russia hacked the election and Hillary Clinton still won by 3 million votes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Too bad Hillary didnt have all the other Democrats in CA, OR, WA, CO, NM, IL, NY, MA, MD, RI... get out and vote.

    Hillary would have lost the election by winning millions more than 3 million votes.

  • Brandybuck||

    Hillary lost by campaigning in the dark blue Democrat states and ignoring the rest. It's not about the popular vote it's about winning electoral votes. You have to do a tiny bit if campaigning in California and New York to get the funding, but if you lose the flyover vote you lose the race. And Hillary essentially took a shit on the flyer votes.

    I mean, it's not like the Electoral College is any great mystery. Except to the Democrats. Which is why Trump will win again in 2020.

  • John||

    No she didn't. That is a myth. Every time Hillary campaigned in anything but deep blue areas her numbers went down. Her campaign was not as stupid as being portrayed. They knew those states were close. They didn't send her to those states because they rightly I think thought doing so would do more harm than good. Hillary lost because the country didn't like her and she was a terrible candidate. He only hope at winning was to stay out of the public eye and hope people forgot that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think Hillary's numbers went up after she was tossed into the Secret Service van and everyone thought she was dead.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That's true. Every time she campaigned in a battleground state it hurt her numbers. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To be fair, Hillary's speeches that pretty much were FYTW, don't appeal to most non-coastal Americans.

  • You're Kidding||

    It seems to me that, here entire FYTW and I know what's best for all of you attitude pretty much killed it for her in all areas of the country. She was pretty transparent in projecting that she wanted power at any cost. That even scares the ultra-leftists.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    They didn't send her to those states because they rightly I think thought doing so would do more harm than good.

    I'm not so sure about that. In "Shattered," they talk about how her campaign team essentially lived in a bubble in their New York offices, and didn't see how sending her out to do grip and grins in the Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountains would do any good. They figured that since these were lower-populated areas, they weren't worth the effort (which is why their satellite teams in these areas were constantly begging for help) and focused on increasing vote totals in major urban centers. I believe there was also a fear, amusing in hindsight, that Hillary would win the electoral college but lose the popular vote, and this drove their urban vote efforts as well.

    Bill was pleading for the team to pay attention to the Upper Midwest, but they saw him as an old, out-of-touch codger and ignored him. Never mind that the guy, unlike his wife, won two Presidential campaigns and still has a great common touch with ordinary people who have to actually work for a living. He ended up being a one-man campaign team for her there, but it wasn't enough in the end.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Hillary lost.

    praise Jeebus.

  • DajjaI||

    I agree that debt is a big problem, but the greatest threat to democracy that I see is these hecklers. They prevent the audience from being able to hear what the speaker is saying. This problem will only get worse as the elections proceed. The electorate will not be able to make an informed decision on who to vote for. This will undermine our society. We really need to criminalize disrupting public events. If Trump runs on this issue I will definitely vote for him again.

  • John||

    I wouldn't call them the greatest threat but they are a problem. The real danger is that people are going to get fed up with it and start engaging in acts of violence. Once political violence starts it is very hard to stop.

  • End Child Unemployment||

    Political violence is already happening on the Left Coast. Alt-right / patriot group / whatever you want to call them guys getting into essentially pre-planned street fights with antifa.

  • JoeB||

    Yes, because Antifa should be given priority over other groups, and be allowed to disrupt/assault/destroy unopposed by anyone.

  • JLF1200||

    I don't think he was implying that. I mean fuck Antifa but still.

  • retiredfire||

    The only "pre-planning" is on the part of antifa, being sure to bring violence to keep people from exercising their Constitutional rights, like they did in Charlottesville.

  • Brandybuck||

    You know Democrats no longer believe in democracy when they freak out over the idea of someone running against Hillary Junior in the primaries. It's like they're blaming Bernie for Trumps win.

  • John||

    Democrats blamed Nader for Bush winning in 2000. So, I don't think they have changed much.

    The thing about third party candidates is that as long as they are legitimate and not a false flag, there is nothing wrong with them. In 2016, for example, there was nothing wrong with Jill Stein or Gary Johnson's candidacies. The Greens and the Libertarians are sincere parties who run to advance their own ideologies. If one of them had been the margin of victory for Hillary or Trump, well too bad.

    A problem candidate was McMullin. McMullin was running for the specific and single purpose of disrupting the election and preventing Trump from winning. That is not an honest candidacy. That is a false flag and a real threat to Democracy. This guy whatever his merits seems to be an honest candiacy and not a McMullin style trolling operation.

  • Brandybuck||

    McMullin was an honest candidate. He was the only conservative in the race. He was campaigning on Republican Party ideals. The same ideal the 2015 Republican Party stood for. I still voted for Gary Johnson, but I understood why McMullin was in the race. The GOP was not founded to be the Cult of Personality Party.

  • John||

    McMullin was a fraud. His behavior since the election has shown that. What ideals was he running on? Mass surveillence state, endless war, and open borders? In fairness, that might be the Republican Party in 2015 but it sure as hell wasn't the Republican Party I grew up with or wanted.

    He was not an honest canddiate. He was a fraud created in the hopes of preventing the country from getting the President it wanted to elect.

    As an aside, McMullin kept a fortune in leftover campaign money and ensured that a bunch of crony Republican consultans got paid while screwing over his regular campaign staff leaving them unpaid. That tells you everything you need to know about the reasons for his candidacy and the sorry state of his character.

  • You're Kidding||

    We need to change the laws on campaign funding. Use it or lose it. No junketing. No passing off to others.

    How much would that increase the federal income if we enacted such a plan?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    2016 Presidential Election Results:

    There is a chance that Trump might have won more states had Gary Johnson not gotten as many LP votes as he did. States like NV, MN, NH, and ME were actually fairly close.

    Of course, these states had been trending Blue for years.

  • You're Kidding||

    The party system sucks!

    Everyone analyzing stragies like we are here is evidence of this.

    Candidates should be not be advocating their own ideologies at all. But how they will govern as the will of the people dictates.

    IMHO, the professional pols and political analysts forgot about this at their own peril. Hence, Trump.

  • You're Kidding||

    In my neck of the woods - CA - lots of low information voters loved Bernie. After all, he was promising free shit to anyone and everyone.

  • Eddy||

    "Schultz is certainly not a doctrinaire libertarian, even if he is "socially liberal" and "fiscally conservative.""

    What do you mean "even if"? When has socially liberal meant libertarian, even if combined with fiscal conservatism?

    Socially liberal means gun control and compulsory gay cakes.

  • John||

    Socially liberal means gun control and compulsory gay cakes.

    Amen. Socially liberal is an utterly meaningless term. Who isn't socially liberal? Is anyone wanting to make sodomy or adultry a crime? Is anyone trying to make drinking in public or sex outside of marriage a crime? Not that I know.

    The whole damn country is socially liberal and has been for decades. "Socially liberal" as the term is used now means support for goverment mandated acceptance and adoption of socially liberal values, whatever those are.

  • Lester224||

    Mike Pence would like to make sodomy or adultery a crime. He probably wouldn't have enough guts to speak his mind about that. If he ever had a platform he would probably support the "if it has a heartbeat it's a person" legislation to criminalize abortion after about 4 weeks, or before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

    Nope, there are social conservatives still. They are all over state legislatures.

  • John||

    Mike Pence would like to make sodomy or adultery a crime.

    No he wouldn't. Show me a link showing where he says he would. Sorry but we have to deal with reality as it is not as you wish was so you could feel important and your enemies evil.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your citation fell off Lester.

  • lap83||

    "Mike Pence would like to make sodomy or adultery a crime."

    Socially liberal means being more tolerant than the evil conservative gremlins that only exist in your mind

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I've never understood how anyone could be for individual rights and gloss over the rights of a significantly fpdeveloped fetus. As if a sentient being is not a person, due to on which side of the birth canal it resides.

    Some people are just anti science.

  • Vernon Depner||

    I've never understood how some people don't recognize that one "side of the birth canal" is a WOMAN whose rights must not be glossed over on behalf of an unwelcome fetus, as if she were a "residence" and not a human being.

  • John Cuyle||

    Sure. You have two people, each with the full complement of rights that come with being a person. Those rights are in tension (most of what government is about is providing a predictable and reasonable way for resolving situations where two or more individuals' rights are in tension.) Specifically, the child's right to not be killed and the mother's right to... uh... not be inconvenienced by completing her pregnancy. Or something. Early and late term abortion are relatively straightforward. Early term there's actually only one person there, the mother. Late term (five months and later) there are two, and the right to not be killed probably trumps various privacy and convenience considerations. It's three or four months where things get murky and nobody has good answers.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You do realize you're actually in a minority of people who think abortion should be legal all the way up until the baby fully emerges from the birth canal, right? Even the majority of "pro-choice" supporters want some kind of restrictions on the practice.

  • You're Kidding||

    It's not science that is driving this. It's religion. Thus...........

    "I knew you when you were in your Mother's womb"

  • You're Kidding||

    ^^^

    Yep!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Note for foreign readers: American National Socialists, for reasons of political expediency, now use "liberal" to refer to the people German Nationalsocialists called "Bolsheviks and Jews"

  • John||

    Hank, that doesn't even make any sense as an insult. If you want to rant and rave about the Jews, go back to Storm Front or DU or whatever swamp you crawled out of because we don't do that here.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm so sick of his depraved ramblings. He's so gleefully pro abortion that I'm convinced he watches videos of partial birth abortions of lives babies and jerks off to them. Plus he's a massive bigot against a number of groups.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Honestly, people use liberal to mean a whole lot of things. Same for conservative. Perhaps it's just a part of a two party system, that the terms used to describe them become meaningless as they must cover the entire scope of human political philosophy.

  • You're Kidding||

    ^^^^^^^

    Exactly!

  • JFree||

    The whole damn country is socially liberal and has been for decades.

    Puhleeze. Trump got elected by tapping into the same social conservatism of the working class that Nixon and Wallace tapped in 1968.

  • John||

    What makes those people social conservatives? Nothing. The term socially liberal is forever moved so that people like you can feel smug. So we start out with "gays should be free to live openly". When everyone agrees to that it becomes "gays should be married", when everyone agrees to that it becomes "transsexuals should be treated like the gender they prefer" and if and when everyone goes along with that, it will be something else.

    By the standards of even 20 years ago the coutnry is massively socially liberal. You only claim it isn't because you keep moving the goal posts and use the term "socially conservative" as an all purpose slander for anyone you don't like.

  • JFree||

    Foreigners are dangerously anti-American therefore we got to shut that shit down. On what fucking planet do you see that as 'socially liberal'? Hell the KKK got its second wave (and mostly in the North not the South) in the 1910's on that exact sort of CONSERVATIVE sentiment. That is what the Know-Nothings were built on - and was deemed conservative - in the 1850's.

    I'm not moving any goalposts here.

  • John||

    Yes you are. You just are calling anyone who disagrees with you a bigot and branding them a "social conservative". Sorry but you can think that open borders are a bad idea without being against foreigners. You just pretend that you can't because you are not smart enough to defend your position and find it easier to just slander the other side and render it morally illegitimate.

    And the irony of you calling everyone who disagrees with you about anyone a "bigot" is lost on noone except appearently you.

  • JFree||

    WHAT OPEN BORDERS?

    Your very attempt to frame immigration using that phrase is a CONSERVATIVE attempt to revert to some mythical past. NOT a reflection of any existing reality.

    Even on the southern border, it has never been 'open borders' anything. We have had laws re migration since forever. During the 1990's (when there really was a flood of people escaping Mexico), those laws resulted in roughly 1-1.5 MILLION apprehensions per year. Post-2006 or so (when the flow of Mexicans actually reversed), we have been apprehending about 400-500k per year. That is not by any fucking stretch 'open borders'.

    Is there cronyism in those immigration laws? Of course. BUT THAT AIN'T OPEN BORDERS. IT'S CRONYISM. The only effective purpose of the phrase 'open borders' is to put the blame on the immigrant/foreigner - not on those AMERICANS who distort the laws for their own benefit.

  • JFree||

    Edit to previous -- If we actually had 'open borders' in any year on our southern border, then apprehensions would be ZERO.

    And BTW - even your misguided complaint that I'm somehow 'moving the goalposts' is just the perpetual complaint of all conservatives always. As explained by Hayek in his Why I am Not A Conservative. To wit:

    Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving. It may succeed by its resistance to current tendencies in slowing down undesirable developments, but, since it does not indicate another direction, it cannot prevent their continuance. It has, for this reason, invariably been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing.

  • Tul­pa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jfree is an ass, but he isn't Hihnfaggot.

  • JFree||

    I thought I was Tulpa

  • Tul­pa||

    He just posts like one.

  • BYODB||

    Conservatism does indicate another direction, it's just that if you're going to use language that paints choices as 'directions' obviously Conservatives look backwards towards enlightenment values and limited government. Since those are obviously bad to most people today, well, you do the math.

  • Nardz||

    Yea, Ilhan Omar is totally a social liberal

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Uh-uh, the kindergarten class is raging again.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano knows about kindergarten because he never advanced emotionally past pre-school.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    You indeed belong with Nixon and Wallace. But massively ignorant of how Trump was elected.

    In the popular vote, nearly 10 million voted against him. A record number of "anti" votes, nearly 20% of his votes against Hillary, NOT for him. The electoral win, a teeny-tiny 39,000 voters, So how much influence did he NEED from Russia, Wikileaks and Comey?

    Do 80% of epubgs support him or hate Dems? 43% of Republicans want a different choice for 2020.

    40% of the electorate self-describes as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, so left and right less than 40% combined -- and shrinking. As Americans increasingly reject both left and right, both are increasingly dominated by wackos and zealots, which then accelerates the tribal death spiral.

    Wackos and extremists have always been a minority, believing humanity is eager for their message. Both manipulated by the political elites.

    I found this years ago, I forget where

    Mass movements do not need a god, but they do need a devil. Hatred unifies the True Believers."
    -Eric Hoffer, "The True Believers" (1951)

    Throughout human history, the worst moral atrocities have been committed by those manipulated to BELIEVE they are defending some "greater good" -- the Collective, the State, the Master Race, the Party or a God. Zealots and fanatics. The militant self-righteous. Witless tools of the ruling elites
    -Mike Hihn (1994)

    Whoever assembled those sure nailed it.

  • Nardz||

    I'd wager 90% of readers on this site skip right over your comments, hihn, and that number likely rises once your handle(s) become familiar

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Is anyone trying to make drinking in public

    Yes. And they already have.

  • You're Kidding||

    Spouse and I regularly attend free concerts in the park in a city nearby. No alcohol allowed of course. Interestingly enough, park is old Spanish land grant plaza downtown. Now surrounded by restaurants and bars. Including a serious biker bar.

    Wife mixes me up batch of margaritas in puts it in a thermos. I drink them from a coffee mug.

    Friends who go with us open consume wine, but keep bottles out of sight in coolers, etc.

    Many LEOs around. They don't really care. As long as you are not acting out in some way that interferes with others.

    Where there is a will, there is a way. Personally, I believe this is the heart and soul of libertarnism.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Behold the raging ignorance of the Authoritarian Right.

    When has socially liberal meant libertarian, even if combined with fiscal conservatism?

    For 50 years.
    See the World's Smallest Political quiz for nearly 40 years. (lol)

    YOUR limited intelligence EXPLODES by that, as you prove next.

    Socially liberal means gun control and compulsory gay cakes.

    It also means equal rights for what goobers call niggers and faggots. It's only those social liberals who are ALSO fiscally conservative.

    Equally stupid progressives equal all fiscal conservatives with the equal fascism of a Ted Cruz, Ron Paul and the Christian Taliban.

    That's why the authoritarians, both left and right, have been collapsing for decades -- huddling in caves like this, bellowing and consoling each other. While three libertarian mantras win more and more

    1) Left and right are obsolete.
    2) The left wants government out of your bedroom and into your wallet.
    3 The right wants government out of your wallet and into your bedroom.

    Two authoritarian tribes rage and piss about GOVERNMENT, dividing our rights for your power.
    We focus on ... PEOPLE ... whose rights are both economic and personal.
    We REunite the liberties divided by power-driven thugs, both left and right.

    I see a smattering of righties agree with you. Losers seeking solace amongst each other.
    As your tribe slides toward extinction. Like the dodo bird.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still assmad that no one takes his stupidity seriously.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Authoritarians STILL fail to shout us down (snort)

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • Roman Moroni||

    I confess I don't know enough about this feud to really judge, but in general, don't we dislike the tactic of shouting down a speaker? In this very comment thread the practice has been rightfully criticized.

    I also confess that I wish someone would explain this whole Hihn thing to me.

    He's a guy who said things you don't like and then switched user names? Is that it?

    What did he say that now makes you dismiss everything he says out of hand? I'm genuinely curious. So far I haven't read anything that seems trollish or intellectually dishonest.

    What are we even disagreeing about? The definition of "socially liberal"? I always thought it meant, individual liberty in human interaction. Not "socially PROGRESSIVE." But maybe the term has changed. I guess I don't know what MOST people necessarily mean.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Don't worry, Dumbfuck Hihnsano, this sockpuppet's head will be on my digital mantle soon enough along with the rest of them.

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • ||

    Schultz's endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016 ... he actually believes in free market capitalism.

    Cognitive dissonance hurting my brain.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Lesser of two evils.

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole...Go back to getting ratioed on twitter. Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite, who think they know how to run the world.

    Yeah, this is where we are right now and there's no end in sight. G'night, Mr. Shultz. Not in 2020. Maybe 2024, 2028 or 2032.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite, who think they know how to run the world."

    Says the guy who thinks he, through his candidate of choice, knows how to run the world. Only better.

    Self awareness is obviously not his strong suit.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So... all of this free stuff is to be given away at whose expense?

  • You're Kidding||

    Do you really have to ask?

  • JFree||

    "Schultz," sniffs the Times' Goldberg, "appears to share the conviction, endemic among American elites, that the country hungers for a candidate who is socially liberal but fiscally conservative."

    This actually is insightful. That 'socially liberal but fiscally conservative' is endemic among elites - and it has come to be viewed as 'libertarian' too. Which since elites DO control the country and have for decades, gets morphed into libertarians have controlled the US for decades. Which creates a real problem when people are pissed off at elites and at the direction the country is going - which has been the case since about 2004 or so. Cuz it means 'libertarians' present themselves as part of the problem not part of the solution - while not getting one whit of the policy benefit at the other times when people are ok with elites and direction of country.

  • John||

    To believe that the country is in anyway fiscally conservative, you have to believe that the government has run up 19 trillion dollars in debt and currently runs a trillion dollar or whatever deficit despite collecting over three trillion dollars in taxes over the objections of the nation. You have to believe that somehow some cabal of politicians forced this giant government down the country's throat over its objection.

    Sorry but I don't buy it. Claiming the country is really fiscally conservative is pretty close to being a form of no kidding populism in the actual pajoritive sense, meaning that it is based on the accusation that the will of the people was subverted by some shadowy unseen force (as opposed to anything the population wants but the elites do not, which is how the term is usually defined today).

    And the country is socially liberal. The problem is that Progressives keep redefining "socially liberal" to include more and more things thus ensuring that they can always claim moral superiority over the bigots even after they have taken the field on an issue.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And the country is socially liberal. The problem is that Progressives keep redefining "socially liberal" to include more and more things thus ensuring that they can always claim moral superiority over the bigots even after they have taken the field on an issue.

    Too many on the left see (and actually practice) "social justice" as a full time job. There's no way they're going to quietly work themselves out of a job, so they have to stake new ground over increasingly picayune societal transgressions, or invent them out of whole cloth.

  • JFree||

    I'm not saying the US is actually fiscally conservative. That's why I said libertarians (meaning actual libertarians) don't get any policy benefit during those times when people are ok with how things are being run.

  • Lester224||

    My guess is that Schultz is trying to move the Demos further to the center by threatening to poach votes off their eventual candidate.

    Either that or he is secretly pro-Trump and wants to be a spoiler. He can't be naive enough to think he'll influence anyone who would vote for Trump otherwise.

  • Calidissident||

    This feels pretty accurate. He might jump in if the Dems nominate Bernie or Warren, but overall it makes more sense as a way to influence other Dems to the center. There's no way he would win, and he'd probably get single digits. That could be enough to sway a close election.

  • John||

    If that is what he is trying to do, I wish him luck. It would be nice if the Democrats would at least stop being the "too crazy and evil to vote for under any circumstances party".

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Schultz might have a big enough ego to assume that if Trump got elected it will be even easier for him.

  • perlchpr||

    I dunno. If he is anti-gun I won't vote for him, but if he's not, he's saying things that might make me vote for him over Trump (depending on if the Libertarians are stupid enough to run Weld.)

  • retiredfire||

    Both sides lost support as a percentage of the voting population in 2016, compared to 2012.
    Some of it went to "third" parties but a lot of it stayed home.
    He may, honestly believe that an other-than R or D candidate might win.

  • TGoodchild||

    "#UltraMillionaireTax"

    You mean, like, a Billionaire, who might necessarily be hit with the tax? No? Not a billionaire, just, say, beyond a multi-millionaire and up to a billionaire?

    Such a dumb term: captures her policy, self-awareness, and candidacy perfectly.

  • Yoopertarian||

    Reason needs to enroll Nick into a photo journalism class, or at least get him a press pass that gets closer than the "Christian Living" section.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If he wanted to capture how big the crowd is, being in the back would be a way to do that.

    We all know that a "crowd" in a bookstore is not very many people. Trump likely had more people in line for toilets at one of his campaign speeches that Schultz has.

    With that being said, I don't think crowds at political events are good predictors of election outcomes.

    Hillary had low turnouts for campaign events yet she had a large cult following.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Schultz is certainly not a doctrinaire libertarian

    Good. HE is not rejected by 91% of Americans who self-identify with libertarian values (fiscally conservatism and socially liberal). That means he'd have very strong appeal to the independents that Reason editors praise with their words, repulse with their actions, does nothing to support, or to even acknowledge.

    The actual David Nolan knew, "Most American are libertarian but they don't know it."
    That was then. Today, \"Most Americans are libertarian but we don't know them.

    Can Schultz give life to our now-voiceless majority (over 60%)? Or will he go full self-righteous and ignore them, because they're not "doctrinaire" libertarians (fewer than 6%)? Will he just be swallowed by the cult?

    A tough choice when 6% of American are doctrinaire libertarians and 55% are Nolan libertarians.
    Of hose, WHICH has been expanding the growing acceptance of libertarian values the past few decades?
    a) 75-100,000 Nolan libertarians, elected to local office, active in their community, with perhaps a half-million activist supporters?
    A handful of "doctrinaire" libertarians, a fewhundred in elected office, who mostly sneer at their communities, because libertopia is for libertarians only, thus the exact opposite of a free society?

    Hmmm.

  • John||

    Shut up Hihn. No one cares.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    HIHN DELUSION SYNDROME!

    CANNOT challenge ... so roars their hatred in semi-literate sneering.

    Each new assault a badge of honor for libertarians!

    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano confirms his lunacy.

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Hihn is down to his last socks.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hihnfaggot should turn up his morphine drip to 11.

  • perlchpr||

    Hihn should try ketamine infusions. They might help reset his brain and stop him from being so goddamn crazy.

  • retiredfire||

    Fuck off, Hihn!

  • Cosmo Man||

    As a lifelong centrist Democrat let me say that I would vote for Howard Schultz as an independent. If that enables four more years of Trump I say "Oh Well". Better to have four years of a lame duck Trump than four years led by one of the looney far left cast of characters that currently make up the Democrat candidates.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Get ready for 4 more years of Trump.

    Since Trump is not like any president ever in the history of the USA, I suspect his last 4 years as President wont mean he wont continue to fuck with the Left's Socialist legacy.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    First, Schultz is foregrounding serious issues, especially the gigantic and endlessly metastasizing national debt, but also ever-proliferating calls for new and massive entitlements—Medicare for All!, Free College for All!, Guaranteed Jobs for All!, etc. ... I don't think Schultz has any real shot at becoming the next president...

    Of course not. Anyone talking about the debt in any "real talk" sort of way doesn't have a chance. The politicians don't want to address it and neither do the voters who elect their sorry asses. Everyone knows the national debt is going to fuck us but we're at the looting stage where everyone tries to "get theirs" before the house of cards collapses.

    Nobody gives a shit about actually addressing the problem, mainly because the problem is too large to actually fix (does anyone really think there's any way in hell we can pay off 20+ trillion dollars worth of debt?). So the only rational thing to do is to try and get as much as you can and hope that you'll be long dead by the time the collapse finally happens.

  • Aloysious||

    "Fuck you, pay me" isn't just a saying, it's a way of life.

  • Vernon Depner||

    We can pay off a debt of any size simply by making the dollars small enough.

  • You're Kidding||

    ^^^^^^

    Exactly. And that's what pols and John Q are counting on. Inflating our way out of it.

  • Rockabilly||

    Starbucks 2020!!! Free soy lates for all !!!

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    She calls his potential bid "a narcissistic spoiler campaign."

    As opposed to what? The narcissism of the major parties candidates?

  • Eddy||

    Yeah, calling someone a narcissist simply because he threatens your chance of being President is the ultimate in projection.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    I have to agree—serious candidates run in the primary of one of the two major parties. Sanders isn't a Democrat and Trump isn't a Republican but they ran in those nominating contests because they were serious about winning.

  • BYODB||

    And yet Sanders helped pull the Democrats more towards socialism and Trump is helping pull the Republicans more towards becoming the 1995 Democrat party.

    It's interesting there is basically no party left on the right, they're both just different flavors of leftism these days.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Schultz is correct—we need a boring consensus builder that ignores daily events and doesn't try to enact any new programs.

  • Dadlobby||

    If your intent is to be an honest candidate and work on issues of importance to every day American's and your running forces the other parties to address these issues and move their platform closer to yours, haven't you "won" even though not achieving the office? A moral victory, like a Libertarian Party candidate.

    For my part I'll still support President Trump as the best chance to drain the swamp. He ws the most centrist the last time around, same again this time. A person who can win, and in his 2nd term there's no reason to do what he wants to do, which hopefully will include the deficit and borrowing.

  • BYODB||

    If more Democrats were like Schultz, maybe I'd actually have some respect for them. Sure, I disagree with Schultz but here's the big difference: there are some area's of overlapping agreement.


    I can no longer say anything mainstream Democrats believe are things that I can agree with, or even things that mesh with reality in many cases.


    If a lifelong Democrat like Trump couldn't see a way forward in their party, how would anyone else who has wealth that isn't a politician. (Note how many Democrat senators/congress critters are themselves massively wealthy. Also note how many of them became so while in office.)

  • Mickey Rat||

    This Schultz guy is the one bought into the outrage mob's contention that if a cafe asks someone who happens to be black to vacate the premises for not actually being a paying customer, it is racist?

    That is really not the person I want guarding our civil liberties

  • Jerry B.||

    based on the hit job stories about Schultz in the Washington Post, looks like the DNC already has the word out on him.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Schultz: I am selling the Sonics, but have no fear, I want to keep the team in Seattle, and that means local ownership.

    Schultz: OK, I am selling the Sonics to an out of town owner who told everyone he wants to move the team, but don't worry, I have assurances from Clay Ford and Shitbag NBA execs that the team stays put.

    Schultz: OK, who could have known that the team was only staying put if Seattle built a glorious new arena on the public dime for Clay Ford and the Shitbag NBA execs? Sorry, I guess.

    Now imagine this guy as President.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Eh, if the people of Seattle loved the Sonics that much, they would have told the city council to buy the team and keep them in Seattle as a municipally-owned franchise.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I think the point is Schultz's capability for prevarication. What happened with the Sonics is just a demonstration

  • NashTiger||

    That's how we got the Iran deal

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'm not going to support him of course, but my opinion of him would rise considerably if he tells the NYT and Fauxcahontas to go fuck themselves.

    He's a US citizen, he's older than 35, and he has every right to run for office if he wants to.

    -jcr

  • NashTiger||

    No, Fonzi, I'm pretty sure exactly nobody on either side is scared of a guy with 0% name recognition. The fact that he would have been on the Left of the D Party up until a few years ago, and is now too right for them, is another matter

  • Jackie Leo||

    Terrific piece, Nick. Who would have thought that a money+guts+a hyper dose of caffeine could get a guy from Brooklyn to espouse true American values and run for president. More power to him.

  • factjack||

    When is someone going to take that damned phone away from PDJT before he gets himself in real trouble. He's getting too snarky, and he's also getting just about as bad as AOC with foot in mouth syndrome.

    I hope Schulz doesn't run. Running a corporation is not like running a country. And I have no idea why he's calling himself a centrist - - he's no such thing. You can't lean either way and be a centrist. He needs a whole new, untouched, unused platform.

  • JoeB||

    PDJT gave him a choice with those comments: If you bow out now, you're a pu**y. Trump 2020!

  • lacraig1||

    I like this guy. I like especially that he's running as an independent rather than a Democrat. Our whole election system is wrong, but his running might be the impetus to fix it. Almost all of our elections are based on a two party system. When you have a third candidate, we allow someone to win it with as little as 34% of the vote. Not only is that wrong, it is stupid. We either need to have a runoff or use a weighed ballot. We need to have more choices for President, but our current system won't allow it. The Republicans won't fix it, because they are useless. Now finally Schultz's candidacy would hurt the Democratic nominee, so maybe they will fix it.

  • Paulpemb||

    "Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world!"

    The lack of self-awareness of this, coming from a Democrat partisan, is absolutely astounding. The Left's entire world-view is based around the assumption that the Davos elite and others of their ilk know how to run the world.

  • JeremyR||

    So he's more a libertarian than Bill Weld?

  • perlchpr||

    That's not much of a stretch.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ms. Warren, sweetie, what is REALLY ridiculous is a Party that thinks runnng a career criminal and likely traitor was a 'sure win' scenario, and that having a multi-year tantrum when that proves not to be so is appropreate.

    Then again, seeing that you are not only a fraud, but a STUPID fraud....

  • librich||

    Right on, Nick.

    I watched Schultz's interview on 60 minutes and decided to vote for him on the spot--for one reason: he's sane.
    The bar's pretty low these days.

  • wareagle||

    It's an odd thing, really, to see Democrats and progressives mad as hell that Schultz won't run as a Democrat but than never missing an opportunity to put him down as latter-day robber baron who is so out of touch with the little people that he should go back to sipping lattes on his mega-yacht.

    This is not the least bit odd. It's not like Dems habitually nominate lunch bucket guys or gals. Come on; their last guy used the job in trying to become another version of Schultz. The previous nominee has nine figures of net worth, mostly from selling influence. Previous nominees include Kerry, who married not one but two heiresses, a few Kennedys, and assorted others whose connection to regular paycheck life was limited to the hired help.

  • You're Kidding||

    "hired help"

    Who also were what we once called, illegal aliens or other disaffected minorities. ;-)

  • Rockabilly||

    The Starbucks Music Store Under Howard Schultz Was Painfully White

    https://tinyurl.com/y7gqfha6

  • Eddy||

    The gloves are off! The media's really going to savage this guy.

    John Coltrane and Mary J. Blige, but no modern hip-hop? It's like the Rwandan genocide all over again!

  • J2Hess||

    Schultz is welcome to run however he wants, as far as I'm concerned. The problem is not how he'd run, but how he'd attempt to govern. Business and government have different foundations, different methods, and different ethics. Success in one is apt to produce an over-ripe estimate of your prospects for success in the other. I'm tired of seeing businessmen treat government budgets as personal expense accounts, for one. Or policies as a chance to reward their buddies, not the citizens and taxpayers.

  • You're Kidding||

    As someone who was trained for business, worked more than 20 years in the private sector including running his own business and working for a fortune 200 company and, who spent the last 22 years of his working life in three public sector roles at the executive level, running a business and governing are more similar than they are different.

    Full disclosure: I received some seriously bad grades in MPA classes for making this same argument to SJW professors who had never worked in the private sector and who insisted that private enterprise put "evil" profits before all else, even the health and well being of their customers and employees whereas, "benevolent' government put the health and well being of the public before all else.

    And, I did end up getting A's and B's by eventually pretending to agree with them in all of my writings. F'ing idiots!

  • wearingit||

    That's not the case for all businesses surely but they have a fiduciary responsibility to raise profits (at least public companies.) That *can* come at the expense of the general welfare of their customers, etc. etc.

    Meanwhile, the govt *can* do bad by citizens but its primary goal is to serve the public.

    So I get what you're saying but there is a shred of truth in what they speak about.

  • IndependentTexan||

    This guy doesn't check all of my boxes, but a sane, civil, solutions-oriented grown up who doesn't feel the need to insult everything that moves, and who also doesn't believe in jamming socialism down my throat? Relative to the two choices the major parties are apt to give me in November 2020, what's not to like about him?

    No, he's not a libertarian. But he would be a viable third choice, which we desperately need. I hope he runs.

  • Red Tony||

    since when should getting elected be the main goal of politics?

    Sorry to break it to ya, Nick, but getting elected is the entire point. Or has Hillary Clinton suddenly gotten permission to bomb the crap out of Syria, appoint cabinet members, and nominate people to the Supreme Court? After all, she was the runner-up two years ago.

  • tommhan||

    I agree with him about the debt problem and this is what both parties should be working on but I don't see that happening as they keep getting closer to walking off the end if the pier.. I don't agree with him enough to vote for him on other issues. A center right fiscal Conservative would be nice. The left is just too radical for me.

  • JoeB||

    He's vague. Reduce the debt how, exactly? Shut down the government?

  • dchang0||

    I'm glad he's bringing up the debt, but there's no way I could vote for him because of his anti-gun position.

    The debt cannot be paid, period. It is mathematically impossible without debasing and hyperinflating the currency.

    Or the US can simply default on the debt.

    Either way, there will be a lot of angry people and a possible societal collapse, and guns will be necessary for daily self-defense. We don't want to be like Venezuela where the citizens lament allowing the gov't to ban guns only a few years ago because only the criminals and the police/army have guns now and are preying upon the citizenry.

  • Lulasylva||

    Interesting !
    Medicare for All!, Free College for All!, Guaranteed Jobs for All!, etc. Second, Schultz's style of talking and engagement is a welcome respite from the amped-up, over-the-top rhetoric in which both Donald Trump and Rep.

  • tlapp||

    The last presidential election showed voters of both major parties did not believe their candidates represented them well. Hence the anti-establishment Trump won. That was the greatest fear of republicans and democrats. All the donors that have been schmoozed, all the political favors that have been accumulated are now worthless. Their entire career plan is blowing up. A person with their own money and celebrity and no debts owed to other interests can now run for President and win marginalizing the political parties. That is the reason for the animosity towards Trump from both parties more than his fat ego or policies.

  • awildseaking||

    Socially liberal and fiscally conservative is code for: I don't have strong convictions and I buckle under criticism because hurt feelings make me feel bad too :(

  • wearingit||

    Pretty moronic take on it all. They hate him because yes, he could hand the presidency to Trump by stealing more left votes than right. Two, they disagree with him on top tax rates on higher earners. That whole thing would (presumably, all else being equal) make the deficit go DOWN, not up. Moreover, a Koch (or was it Mercer- same difference) funded study found that the US would spend 32 trillion on healthcare over 10 years, 2 trillion more than the quite generous Bernie plan at 30 trillion.

    I know people here like to fellate to some actual businessman privatizing everything and it being great but the Dems have actual issues with him and it's not because he wants to focus on the debt.

  • CGN||

    More idiotic comments from the wellspring of stupidity, a.k.a. liberal democrats. to these fools with heads filled with excrement, all one has to be is successful and it is time to berate them. When will we hear a lib or democrat talk about the HUGE criminality of Hillary and Bill Clinton, including the MURDER of a man. STFU libs and dems until all the bodies you have buried have rotted.

  • vek||

    First off, ANOTHER 1990s style moderate Democrat billionaire! Da fuck! We already have one of 'em!

    But I'm so torn on this... I've only seen a few clips and quotes of his recent statements, but have read some things in the past too.

    On the one hand, he should have run as a Democrat in like 2004... Maybe he could have saved them from going completely insane!

    On the other hand, if he ran as a Dem now, he might actually get the nomination. There are still sane moderates that vote for those loons because of a few divisive issues. The downside here is if he got the nomination, he might win the election. And I very much dislike him overall compared to Trump. He won't deal with the debt, but I bet he'll push through prog BS on other issues.

    On the other other hand (I have 3 hands okay!), if he runs indie, he will DEFINITELY take more votes from shit libs. No conservative will vote for him, and only some right leaning moderates might. He'll pull mostly from the center left. Which ensures Trump term 2!

    So I just don't even know. He should either run indie, or maybe wait until 2024 and run as a Dem after the hyper crazy leftists have burned themselves out?

    If people like him were as bad as the Dems got, it wouldn't be THAT bad of a thing.

  • skeptic||

    "Specifically, he's criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren's asset tax on "tippy-top" earners, and a whole host of tax-funded giveaways that he says we can't afford." The grossly excessive tax cuts for the rich already in place are the giveaways. So, the solution is more tax cuts for the rich?

  • Kevin Smith||

    How is it a giveaway to let people keep their own money?

    Also, even with Warren's asset tax we'd barely cover the deficit we are already running, let alone the trillions of dollars of additional spending they want. The billionaires may be rich compared to the average person, but they are paupers compared to how the government spends money. To put it in perspective the federal government spends the equivalent of Howard Schultz's entire net worth every 7 hours

  • mmmjv||

    Schultz is not a liberal. He is a billionaire who loves Trump being president and wants four more years of Trump. His candidacy isn't going to "somehow" take votes away from the Democratic nominee. It is going to take votes away, and hand the victory to Trump. Add to this that the mainstream media wants Trump to win and will give him as much help as they can. They gave him plenty in 2016 when every single word he uttered or tweeted was "breaking news". Expect that to be even worse now that he's actually the president and they can use that as a BS excuse. And as usual, in pathetic attempts to look unbiased and to ward off attacks of liberal media bias they will go easy on the Republican and hard on the Democrat.

  • vek||

    LOLOLOL

    You really do live in fantasy land.

    When the media is BASHING you 24/7, it's kind of hard to call that helping a candidate genius.

  • ValVerde1867||

    And old vaquero once said; if elections changed anything, they would be illegal. The country is still going down the drain and no politician can stop it.

  • Fmontyr||

    Oh, Nickie boy, do you ever stop getting ahead of yourself clamoring about the wild (not happening) expenditures of the progressives while those who were in the position to act greatly increased spending and set the stage for unbearable debt. Obviously there must be increased revenue to cover this irresponsibility. Remember talk is cheap while finding solutions to problems is hard work. Thankfully we are getting a legislative body which will work hard to bring spending under control and reduce the national debt.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You are a truly stupid person.

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