i don't know whether this is an asset or a liability, but tim kaine is a far better speaker than hillary clinton: so much more natural on stage, so much more ready to improvise, so much more connected to the words he is saying.
supposedly, hillary's veep criteria were things like 'ready to take the helm from day one,' 'foreign-policy experience' etc. but they're obsessed with safety and with demographics; it was always going to be a white guy. it's an interesting year in the sense that donald will take wild risks all the time while hillary lives by one ultra-inspiring principle: fear of mistakes. expect her to say nothing, while yapping constantly, for the rest of her life.
just getting realistic for a moment on nato and trump's take: anyone who thinks that there would be an instantaneous military counter-attack in the event of a russian incursion into estonia is tripping, no matter what the treaty commitments.
i admire what ted cruz did last night, and i interpret it as an endorsement of gary johnson. as usual, people want to trap you in a 'binary choice.' i heard a number of republicans say today that a vote for anyone other than trump is a vote for hillary. that is just obviously false, and same with the assertion that a traditional democrat voting for a third party (jill stein, maybe) is voting for trump. so, if i traditionally vote republican and i vote libertarian, that takes away a vote for trump, but does not add one for hillary, which is obviously not mathematically the same as taking away a vote from trump and adding one for hillary. i don't know why i have to keep making this point.
i think it was a good speech. you should check it out if you didn't see it live. it took guts to do that. and what he was saying is that a trump presidency will be disastrous for american freedom and the constitutional tradition. other people can make other criticisms, but that's an important one, and one that 'conservatives' should think about.
some years, i've blogged the conventions minute by minute. i can't stand to do that this year, though i've been watching intermittently.
surely this year is a reductio ad absurdum of the two-party system. this is what we're left with. i'd say both that no one had the guts to jump ship, and that these idiot factories really have made it more or less impossible to develop alternatives.
donald trump jr.'s speech last night has been welcomed with 'a star is born.' christ, did you watch that? on melania's plagiarism, etc: billmoyers.com points out that both she and michelle really nailed the inspiring values on which we all agree: that our word should be our bond, that we're doing it all for our children etc. but really, most political speeches are indistinguishable from plagiarism because they focus-grouped phrases like 'hard-working families' or whatever in 1991 and have been doing nothing but running through them mechanically ever since, both treating us as idiots and actually being idiots, both at once. oh, she did really swipe sentences, but if you listen to any of these people (donald does better than most on this), they're all just yipyapping hyper-repetitive empty manipulative bullshit.
it's the science of communication, baby. you put a bunch of people in a room with some sort of little meters, and when you say 'children' they turn the dial to 'positive.' so then you hide behind the podium, raise your sock puppet up in front of the the teleprompter it says 'children children children.' it's sophisticated, clever, thoroughly researched, mindless, meaningless, useless, and evil.
simultaneously, the hyper-partisan vilification continues to intensify, when you thought it couldn't get any worse. these people hysterically hate each other, which is all the content that remains. hop off this shit now, or be so gross, as though you were the new york times opinion operation.
in re: pence. everyone talks about the indiana religious freedom law. as i've said over and over, i (alone among anyone i've ever talked to) support such laws completely. the idea that you have to get another bakery or florist for your wedding in indianapolis is just not jim crow, or even any actual problem whatsoever, and different sorts of people can be discriminated against, for example on the basis of their religion. you are going to have to show me that there are real costs, or real lack of access to essential services etc to convince me that someone's religious conscience should be violated under legal constraint.
i feel both ways about brexit. i do love it when people sneak up and nip pollsters, not to speak of technocrats, elitists, professors, and such. and the bigger the system, all else equal, the less democratic: the further from any particular person's or community's input. i think these same professors and technocrats expect the whole world to unify into a super-state (habermas is in this spirit, for example), which would leave every particular situation so distant from power that no one could have any self-determination at all. i like localism: local cultural differences, vernaculars, folk arts, funky customs, and so on. a world where those things are being expunged in favor of standardized tests is a world i'd prefer to depart. so i am viscerally sympathetic to almost any secessionist movement anywhere; i'd like to see us fragment.
on the other hand, i'm no fan of nationalism, anti-immigrant fever, border walls, and the like. i want a spontaneous localism confident enough in itself to be happy with other localisms and to shift with new members and generations. nationalism has been an element in terrible wars and oppressions and exclusions, and it's not natural or inevitable; the nation-state emerged in history.
i'm unimpressed by the technocratic freak-out now in progress, which has plenty to do with sudden shocks in stock markets. this too will pass. this is not as wild or unaccountable a change as people are making it out to be this morning.
obama's press conference on the supreme court non-decision on his executive orders on immigration was a good example of what's wrong with american politics. first of all, the relentless focus-grouped yipyap: "commonsense commonsense commonsense; dreamers dreamers dreamers; hardworking hardworking hardworking.' then, immediately using the whole thing to bash republicans and turning straight to electioneering. so, he's blaming republicans for the partisanship, and offering a dem congress and white house as the solution. how has that worked before? they'll just spend the next years running again, by bashing the republicans with a collage of robotic phrases and of course vice versa. there is no way out within the two-party system and all anyone on either side cares about is aggrandizing themselves by vilifying others. that's not a decent way to live; these are not good people.
i think when paul ryan says, roughly, that donald trump is a racist, and i (paul ryan) support him, he needs to gaze at himself in a mirror for several days and ponder what he has become and how. moral black holes, i tell you.
it's worth saying every so often - though it never seems to help at all - that we have no idea what we're talking about when we're talking about race. 'mexican' is not a race, and even back in the day when people such as, say, carleton coon (actually, my great step-uncle by marriage or something) were enumerating races, 'latino' or 'hispanic' were definitely not among them. well, the child of a black person and white person in the usa is a black person; black/white is also conceptually indefensible; these are political/economic categories all the way down, and they could disappear. anyway, brazil is a multi-racial society, or cuba, right? or they would be if there were such things as races. they don't speak spanish in brazil. a lot of mexican folks look very 'indigenous' to me. watching the copa america, all the teams seem to have multiple colors (except perhaps haiti and jamaica).
so maybe the categories are important or something, or could be positive in some uses or in some respects. but i really do think that it's a serious problem that the terms are just meaningless but that we're obsessed with them anyway, on both ends of the political spectrum. or we're organizing the real world around them like we still believe in fairies. seems like if you realized there are no demons, you'd stop performing exorcisms. i think when you realize you're talking nonsense, you should try to talk differently.
this applies at least to some extent even if races are "mere" social constructions and not biological or genetic categories. first of all, the genetics was part of the social construction: we were supposed to biologically different. and second, we can't even coherently state the content of the social construction 'hispanic' qua race. we seem to know what we mean, we feel like we mean something. alright, then what do we mean, exactly? skin tones, hair colors, language groups, nationalities, hemispheric regions (of current residence or of [some of] your ancestry), cultural identifications, even economic statuses (statusae? stati?) and religions: they're all scumbled up in our alleged minds.
the usual, rather half-assed explanation of 'the trump phenomena' is 'fear and anger.' but everyone on both sides seems to be fearful and angry these days. what these things denote in relation to trump is 'the fear and anger of white men,' which is a way not to just say 'racism.' actually, i do think that's in there.
i'd like to centralize another dimension, however: the utter emptiness, repetitiveness, safety, and stupidity of american political discourse over the last few decades. i might call the way politicians such as the clintons, gore, kerry, the bushes, and damn near everyone else expresses themselves mechanical, primitively manipulative, and cowardly. a lot of it emerges from university communications programs, and orbits around focus-grouping words or phrases and polling both positions and formulations, and its effect is to conceal the human beings doing the uttering, to create an utterly impersonal form of expression divorced from humanity, the experience of the person doing the uttering, and individual differences. the latter effect has been central both to apathy and hyper-polarization: on each side, people say exactly the same words in exactly the same order, over and over, and in the ideological 'echo-chambers,' non-politicians come to sound just like politicians.
i have never seen a worse example of this than the professoriate, all of which mumbles leftesque talking points in unison. but it is also almost incredible what it has done to opinion journalism; it has made the new york times opinion section empty and unreadable and redundant, for example. also, in both these cases it is quite pointless, as people aim to manipulate audiences that already agree completely. central to it is vilifying the other side, which isn't even there to hear, and for good reason. it is central to our division into two realities, both of which are simplistic, dishonest and robotic.
i believe that this sort of thing makes the people who utter it, whether 'leaders' or followers literally stupid: people with nothing at all to say for themselves, with no point to make or flair with which to make it. but it is the easiest thing in the world to break through. all you have to do is say what you think in sentences you compose yourself; just the minimal standard of human communicative competence and a tiny dose of social courage. trump is very very good at this, and it takes guts to do what he's done in this nation led so long by cowards. it looks instantly like strength and leadership and ability, because mechanically repeating what other people are saying is a kind of retardation. i think anyone with minimal linguistic competence and some sort of decent values could do this simply by resolving to do it, and i hope that trump, whether he wins or flames out right now, has taught everyone some lessons about that.
i have to say that that was a good speech by clinton yesterday; she finally seems to have found a writer. and i do think trump is jumping the shark right now, though i've thought that before. if you're wondering, i will mention again that i do not want that man ever to be president of the untied states.
a number of things might scuttle the clinton campaign. i don't think the death of vince foster is among them. if i were guessing, i'd say it will be the mcauliffe matter and in general, moneymoneymoney.
i'm up on splice today with my little rap on fear, anger, and hope in presidential politics. i'm going to try to ship them a piece every week or so for a bit. actually i think it's an interesting publication, one of the few zones of the media not completely dedicated to simplistic or obviously false partisanship, with independent voices. it's edited by russ smith; i was a music critic for his baltimore city paper in the '80s, and his new york press in the 2000s.
how can we explain the hillary clinton phenomenon? who could have anticipated it? it makes no rational sense. but then politics isn't about rationality. for myself as for so many, it is inexplicable that anyone could vote for her at all; one cannot understand the motivations of the people who have brought her to the brink of the democratic nomination. but here is an explanation: there's a lot of anger and fear out there, particularly among women. hillary is exploiting that anger and fear. that's what leaves people open to demagogues, but also to empty surfaces such as hillary where people can sort of project their fears and desires.
“If you want to imagine what Trump’s America would look like, picture more kids at risk of violence and bigotry,” Clinton said.
“Picture more anger and fear,” she added. “Ask any of the mothers here tonight if they want to live in that kind of America … Enough is enough.”
Clinton’s remarks were in direct response to Trump’s appearance at the NRA’s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The billionaire, once a proponent of stricter restrictions on firearms, countered skepticism among pro-gun voters by embracing open carry laws and calling for an end to gun-free zones in schools.
That idea, Clinton said, “isn’t just way out there. It’s dangerous.”
“This is someone running to be president of the United States of America, a country facing a gun violence epidemic, and he’s talking about more guns in our schools. He’s talking about more hatred and division in our streets, even about more nuclear weapons in the world. That’s no way to keep us safe.”
nathaniel rich has a several books by and about james baldwin in the may 12 nyrb. it's not the worst thing i've ever read, though rich is no baldwin. but it ends with this typical symptom of obsessive, delusional political partisanship, which runs like painful urination through the pages of the new york review of books, the new york times, the new yorker, and so on.
Baldwin’s novels and essays describe a nation suffering from a pain so profound that it cannot be discussed openly. This was not a pessimistic view; it was, rather, deeply optimistic. It suggested that most people, deep down, wanted to resolve the crisis—that they were not apathetic or, in Baldwin’s term, brutally indifferent. Today it can be difficult to preserve this optimism. Still there are strong indications that there is more pain than indifference. You can tell this by the general level of fear, which is, after all, the source of that pain. It has risen to the surface, often reaching the level of total panic, evident in the calls to “take our country back,” to “reignite the promise of America,” to “abolish the IRS,” to “restore America’s brand,” and the many other revanchist sentiments that dominate the political discourse. These messages do not ring of indifference. They are expressions of great terror.
now, rich echoes baldwin in insisting that white americans examine the bigotry in themselves and its effects on their own psyche. rich engages in no such self-reflection, but just goes for the autonomic trump-bashing. but truly, his approach is just bizarre. so, for example, 'abolish the irs' is supposed to be an obvious expression of great terror and racism. say what? i suppose the internal revenue service is an agency dedicated to ending the national nightmare of racism. only a racist would have misgivings about american tax policy. 'restore america's brand' is supposed to be something you'd only say if you were terrified, i guess? also i suppose that the most wicked insult rich has at his disposal is 'revanchist.' is there nothing people like you, nathaniel rich, will not try to turn to partisan account? and can you do it no better than that?
what baldwin - one of my heroes - would tell someone like nathaniel rich is to try to start peeling back his own racial attitudes before he starts hurling his inexplosive bombs. and i will say, as i have said before, that american leftism has been an extreme disaster for the black community. we are approximately as segregated now as we were in the 1950s. housing programs in particular, but the welfare state in general, has frozen a permanent racial underclass and destroyed black communities. democrats loved and prosecuted mass race incarceration until they pretended to see the light. that they've trapped black folks in this insane dilemma where they vote 90% democrat is unforgivable. and there is racism at the very heart of white liberalism, but it is 'unconscious': incredibly condescending, taking no account of the experience of the people whose conditions or selves it proposes to ameliorate, engaged in continual moral self-congratulation, which is what it is for.
also, just for the hell of it, hillary's campaign is already based entirely on fear, of the 'dangerous loose cannon', etc. of course, some fears are rational, so that accusing someone of operating politically on fear is not adequate to condemn their position. also 'make america great again' sounds strangely like hope, though not like my hope. and sheer hope isn't enough either; it depends on what you hope for.
the partisanship we see now - and i emphasize the left though it's certainly coming from both ends - is obsessive, manipulative, and delusional. baldwin would tell you that if he were still around, rich boy. the people who write in this mode for these publications are only writing for people who already agree with them, and the whole thing is an exercise in slapping one's own back, all day every day. also the people who already agree are the only people who could be expected to nod along with non sequiturs of this caliber: disliking the internal revenue service can only be an expression of racial terror. i hope your ass gets audited, son, and they end up coming for your paycheck.
talking only to people who agree with you leads to thinking of this quality, as heads bob up and down in unison. also it's liable to lead to some kind of partition in this country, or maybe a civil war if it keeps going like this. tell you what: let's see where race is after 8 years of hillary (admittedly, hillary getting elected is unlikely). just where we are now, i believe. or after 8 years of trump: also more or less just where we are now. engage in some self-reflection or leave james baldwin alone, son. you are not ready.
republican candidates had an argument that trump would never be the nominee: the voters are really smart; i have faith in the american people, etc. so i wonder whether these bozos are teachable? admittedly, the whole thing was the most boilerplatish pandering horseshit. but i pray they have lost the faith they never had. in fact, they believed that the american people are incredibly easily manipulated by emitting little catch-phrases, or engaging in diabolical yet idiotic strategic communications. the clintons are going the same way now: the american people are too good, too wise; i trust the american people. lord knows whether they've ever met any american people. but they sure do recite their little cliches mindlessly, which perhaps shows that they are themselves american people.
this thing where trump posed as his own publicist under an assumed identity, far from being a scandal, is hilarious and wonderful. so very often, each of us is posing as his own publicist under an assumed identity. that is what distinguishes us from bacteria, if indeed we can be distinguished from bacteria.
typepad doesn't seem to be letting me edit previous entries, so instead of adding at the end i'm writing new ones. i am not saying that hillary clinton, for example, has not faced sexism in a variety of ways. but the first thing to point out is that membership in any group is never univocal. hillary is not only a woman. she is a white heterosexual woman. perhaps you should look at her residences or itinerary or income. or perhaps you should consider that she will raise about $1.5 billion dollars, in large measure from her mega-rich patrons, clients, and friends. she is one of the most privileged human beings in the world, alright? and i would feel sorry for billions of the earth's peoples and take their claims to have been treated with prejudice and oppression much, much more seriously. or seriously.
and i'll add this. if you are a tenured professor at an r1 university, or a columnist at the guardian, you are a person of privilege, even if you are black or female. you're going to have to grapple with that fact. if you believe that hillary clinton is sub-altern in virtue of her gender, you are being very disingenuous or very foolish or both. i predict that hillary and/or her surrogates will be portraying her as a victim throughout the general election campaign. they ought to be ashamed.
i do think extreme lack of entertainment value has been a practically bad aspect of american political discourse for a long time, and i trace the real total boredom to the clinton era. bill was a good speaker and better than most at presenting the focus-grouped, consulted phraseology, but he is remembered way too enthusiastically. but he got us to the position where you go with whatever's polling, and say as little as possible, and always try to short-circuit your opponents by apparently absorbing their values or exceeding them, as in the crime bill (that'd be a good nickname).
but look, was it wrong that martin luther king or abraham lincoln was a spellbinding orator? was that important in motivating and persuading and moving people? alright compare that to al gore circa 2000: taking no positions, including nothing about climate. doing absolutely nothing but focus-grouped sentences. safety, strategy, extreme cowardice, no convictions that would actually motivate him to passion, unless passion was polling, then he'd simulate. so, is it bad for democracy when it is impossible to pay attention to what leaders are saying, or when that are not saying anything, yet saying the same thing over and over? apathy is the only possible and the only rational approach. think about pericles, or the way aristotle conceived rhetoric: as bound to truth as well as to persuasion.
i'm thanking don for bringing the personality, the definiteness, for taking chances, for speaking his own words, for not having a gaggle of mediocrities feeding him strategic advice. other people can do that too; sanders comes a lot closer to clinton to having some reality or belief or...anything at all.
i'm serious when i say this: if i were voting my pure self-interest, i'd have to vote for trump. the main stake i, like most americans, have in the presidential contest is that i will have to watch the winner on television, every day, for at least the next four years. i have no idea how donald or hillary's agendas would affect my bottom line or whatever, and actually i don't think hillary has any agenda at all, except 'you won't notice me doing anything.' that's because i don't think she has any beliefs except that she should aggrandize herself. but i sure will have to watch her yapping robotically, and i long ago had way too much of that.
people keep howling that politics has become mere entertainment. no, it has always been entertainment, in large measure. now shit does happen. someone might take you into a disastrous war, for example. but you can't really know that ahead of time unless they're screeching it, which is unlikely.
anyway, i am not down with trump's nationalism, with walls or muslim bans etc. not at all. but again, if i were actually to vote only on my self-interest, it's obviously trump. you too, i'm thinking, probably, though maybe not. it's just that msnbc, cnn, and fox will be 24-hour saharas if she's elected. i'll know what she's going to say about anything at any time before she says it: it will be the safe thing, the polled thing, the empty thing, the consulted thing. it'll be all manipulation all the time, yet it will be unbelievably repetitive, predictable, contentless: just as though she is an idiot.
what this theory of communication which everyone appears to share (that communication is manipulation or propaganda in every case) has led to politically is this: a completely incoherent set of political positions on which people seem to be unanimously agreed in their demographic. so, the whole left since marx has been dedicated to achieving egalitarianism through maximum inequality of power. marxism is the most extreme and insane version of this, but no egalitarian can consistently be a statist, bro. indeed, the whole american left will end up voting straightforwardly for oligarchy, motivated essentially by vilification and dehumanization of their opponents.
on the other hand, watch the thrashing about right now about who is really a 'conservative' etc. now, is right-wing foreign policy militarist or isolationist? trump will run 'to hillary's left' on military interventions, etc. that doesn't mean anything, because 'right' and 'left' don't mean anything. do right-wingers want minimal government, or do they want laws telling people what bathroom to use (next: laws telling them how to poop, etc)? no idea bro, because 'the right' makes no sense.
every day i watch and am just stunned that people are throwing around these terms (left, right, progressive, conservative, etc) when they obviously have no idea of what they mean whatsoever. they don't even notice. that's because they are not trying to say or advocate the truth, but only to form up groups against one another. nothing could be more obvious, all the damn time. that is some sad sad shit.
that's a quote, and i am still working sk's attack upon christendom.
a couple of people asked me, apropos of the entry below, whether i support trump. let me say this: that i do not support trump, think he's dangerous, etc, does not entail that i should believe that everything he says is false, monstrous, etc, or that i should pretend i do in order to help form up the like-minded, impress or comfort you with the fact that i belong to your group, etc. people actually believe that the only reason anyone would say anything is to achieve manipulation=solidarity or whatever. this is false, and all you need is a few cases where obviously the person would say anything to join their group together or make its members feel good about themselves or manipulate people into agreeing (='epistemic partisanship') to get to the point where that person ought to have been thoroughly discredited.
all i'm trying to do is say the truth, not lead or follow a movement, not work you emotionally to agree, not to congratulate myself or you because the people we oppose are so stupid. now, obviously that does not entail that what i say is actually true - not at all. but it ought to be the minimum standard of human credibility. i often feel that i am the very last american with any commitment along those lines whatever.
all day every day, people just flamboyantly parade the fact that they don't care about truth at all; they care about group membership, and that means they care about exclusion, destroying or discrediting their opponents. i don't see how people give rush limbaugh or timothy egan any credibility whatsoever, or krugman on politics or whatever. the obvious minimum standard for human cred is that you do try to speak the truth. now, the fact that such people may think of themselves as trying to do that, when it is false on its face, might be the saddest thing of all.
hillary clinton was born to get destroyed by trump, much like jeb bush. she has already focus-grouped her phraseology: right now it's 'risk' and 'loose cannon,' over and over again infinitely. someone on morning joe this morning said that her whole campaign will be based on fear, because 'women are more risk-averse.' then they'll get pissed when don says she's playing the 'woman card', when every single person in the universe knows that that's her basic strategy: above all, no one in politics should be permitted to say anything true.
meanwhile, donald just rolls through the improvisations, as in wv last night: (more or less) 'the bill clinton administration was a disaster. and she was involved in all of it. well, maybe not in absolutely everything. i hope not, anyway.' much laughter. man you don't even have to say anything; all you have to say is 'bill' and images of interns and cigars swim into the minds of americans.
while she mechanically parrots her strategic bullshit, he will roll her up and lob her casually into perdition. i don't think she can survive two weeks of trump, much less six months. it will be 100% woman card by the end, and she'll fuck that up too somehow, like that gloria steinem stuff.
hillary, the most privileged person in the world, will be whining all fall about being the victim of bullying...because women respond to that, according to her internal polling. if the way women are being portrayed now by everyone, and particularly the clinton campaign, is anything like true - fear and spoiled whining being the two major factors in their vision of the future - it really is a devastating indictment of the gender. i have a funny feeling that trump is going to do much better than expected with women, however, because actually i think most american women outside the highest classes of white women aren't really like that.
like i say, my very andrew-wyethy bit of rural pa is about 50% mexican. (i'd say 'latino', except it really seems to be almost all-mex). my favorite spot out here is tania's mexican restaurant (and jewelry), down near the big canning plants in aspers. when i moved out here four years ago, it was all-mexican in staff and clientele; it was hard to order if you didn't speak spanish. one time i saw some boys in a truck drive by, flying the rebel flag, honking the whole way and flipping the bird at the place in general. also it's kind of a community center.
but it has dawned on people. man it is good; you've never had good mole, i bet. some of the staff seems to have intermarried with the anglos, and there are babies. this evening, there were a couple of different groups of mennonites in there, and quakers i recognize from meetings. there was an asian dude, as well as a bunch of folks looking all-mayan.
i don't know how trump will really play out here; you do see signs and stickers. but if we know what's good for us, we'll roll down there and tear down any wall that may arise, for this area was dying - culturally and economically - before the influx. there are many abandoned old houses and stuff; a number are being rehabbed and inhabited by mexican families with small children. i think the whole situation is paradigmatically american, actually.
the prospect of a hillary-donald matchup in the fall is unbelievably depressing, and i must say that i still cannot reproduce in my mind the structure of motivation that gets someone to vote for hillary clinton. she's meaningless, is one problem. and contrary to some, i think trump will destroy her in a two-person general election. she's the only candidate who approaches his numbers for 'disliked,' and lord there is infinite twitter ammo.
at any rate, what i'd hope for now is a free-for-all that breaks the two-party system. that's definitely not impossible, and it's a wee bit hard to imagine reince preibus and john mccain coming around at this point after the trump takeover of the party. it would have to happen fast; it almost has to happen now; but it is not impossible that they'd use whatever machine they still control to run someone else: kasich or rubio, maybe. i hope that they've gotten realistic: trump is almost certain to be nominated at the convention on the first ballot, i think. they need to be meeting today to develop an alternative.
sanders is in burlington, reflecting, and what i hope he is reflecting on is that hillary clinton is in fact the very essence of what he most opposes: a straight representative of the oligarchy. she's as 'progressive' as the poll numbers at any given moment, and her words mean nothing about her policies. she serves the super-rich. so then i hope that he feels duty-bound to run as a third-party candidate.
and then i'd like to see rand paul look squarely at all four of the candidates and realize that they agree extremely on one thing: the state should control every aspect of everyone's life, and feel duty-bound as well. if the two-party system breaks, party loyalty this time is going to lose its value for the long haul. but if rand doesn't hop, i think in that situation gary johnson could do pretty damn well; he'd have my vote, for sure.
i'd love to see a situation in which timothy egan or hillary clinton or michael tomasky can't just mechanically vilify republicans all day with the broadest brush and call that a strategy, in which the hypersimplistic partisan identity of these people faces a complex situation. i'm telling you that if it sticks to two parties each spending all day talking to themselves about how insane and evil and stupid the other one is, we'll head toward a partition in this country. a more complex politics where you have to vilify in multiple directions simultaneously, confusing yourself, would be the only route to the kind of contentious unity that could hold a democracy together.