KEVIN'S LIST: We won by rather narrow margins!


The need to peel away votes: As of last night, the suspense is finally over. Donald Trump has finally said that he's running again!

In their report in the New York Times, Bennett and Haberman refer to the former president's "unusually early announcement." Our thoughts drifted back to the dawn of the modern presidential era—to the famous and storied 1960 campaign.

Procedures were substantially different in that primitive era. Senator John F. Kennedy announced he was running for president on January 2, 1960—in January of the election year! 

There were only ten months to go! Pepperidge Farm remembers:

On January 2, 1960, Kennedy formally announced that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination in Washington, D.C. and stated that he would participate in multiple primaries, including New Hampshire...

On January 5, 1960, Governor Michael DiSalle, who was initially running as a favorite son candidate to lead Ohio's delegation at the national convention, endorsed Kennedy and stated that he would lead the Ohio delegation in support of him. On January 8, Kennedy filed to run in the New Hampshire primary, being the only major candidate to do so.

Our presidential elections weren't yet being run as a slush find for New Hampshire motel owners! At any rate, the election was only ten months away. That seemed like sufficient time back in that primitive era.

That storied campaign produced a lot of campaign lore. To cite one example, it produced the famous (though bogus) claim that people who listened on the radio thought Nixon won the debates. 

They couldn't see how much more handsome Kennedy was! So goes this bogus lore.

To this day, upper-end journalists haven't tired of repeating that bogus claim about the 1960 race. On the brighter side, the campaign also produced one of our greatest political jokes, recalled here by Elaine Kamarck:

The next opportunity for [Kennedy] to prove himself to the [Democratic Party] bosses was the May 10 West Virginia primary...In fact, Kennedy spent so much money to win West Virginia that he later famously quipped, “I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy; Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.” 

It's one of our greatest political jokes! In fact, Kennedy had been telling versions of this self-deprecating joke, right out in public, since at least 1958.

It's worth recalling that the nation's population was substantially smaller back then—just under 180 million. (Also, it was much less diverse.) In November 1960, the popular vote turned out to be (something like) this:

Popular vote, 1960 election
Kennedy / Johnson: 34,220,984
Nixon / Lodge: 34,108,157

By way of contrast, Trump received 74.2 million votes in 2020. He more than doubled Kennedy's vote! It's no wonder he wants to try again!

The population was much smaller then—and it was concentrated in different places. The state of New York had the most electoral votes. Believe it or not, these were the five largest allocations:

Electoral votes, 1960 election
New York: 45
Pennsylvania: 32
California: 32
Illinois: 27
Ohio: 25

Kennedy lost California, but won Texas, thus winning its 24 votes.

(Full disclosure! Our family moved to California in August of that year, as we entered eighth grade. Over the course of the next five years, we discovered that the suburban San Francisco of that era was a substantially better place than the old-world, culturally crabbed Northeast.)

At any rate, Kennedy announced in January of that very year! Somehow, we managed to conduct a presidential campaign in the space of just ten months. That's how backward we were!

No one in that year's campaign was as disordered as Donald J. Trump. Kennedy's money to the side, it's also true that no one had access to round-the-clock propaganda / misinformation messaging in the way modern candidates do.

(There was no Internet, and thus no social media. Talk radio was just getting started. There was no "cable news.")

Our politics has been badly distorted by the full emergence of Donald J. Trump in 2015. In the wake of last week's election results, the Republican Party may drift back to the practice of nominating more conventional candidates for all our national offices.

As we noted yesterday, our blue tribe managed to beat Tarleton State in many of last week's elections. (Tarleton State is an excellent school with a nascent football program.) 

We managed to beat Tarleton State! That said, we frequently did so by extremely narrow margins. In what ways could we possibly improve our game, possibly peeling votes away in our nation's future elections?

In response to the question you've asked, our thoughts have drifted back to Kevin Drum's recent list. He listed seven slightly annoying things our arguably imperfect blue tribe may on some occasions possibly tend to do.

Tomorrow, we'll return to Kevin's list. Our blue tribe is deeply sunk in its ways, which may sometimes be unwise and unhelpful.

Tomorrow: We're struck by two of those items


  1. "As of last night, the suspense is finally over."

    Those of us on the left have not been under any suspense about this. The suspense for us is about when and whether Garland will finally indict Trump.

    1. Some interesting history/anecdotes, Bob. Thanks. [your headline and the vast bulk of your post are mismatched, though]


  2. "In the wake of last week's election results, the Republican Party may drift back to the practice of nominating more conventional candidates for all our national offices."

    Tsk. If indeed The Trump Revolution is over, and the globalist establishment has won this time, it'd make us sad, dear Bob.

    ...but then perhaps, if we're lucky, the other 'party' might start nominating unconventional (i.e.: anti-establishment) candidates? Like the incomparable Tulsi Gabbard?

    We'll see. It'll be fun to observe, dear Bob...

    1. Sorry creepy one, Tulsi is going to take that Fox money and run, which was all She wanted in the first place.

    2. "creepy one." Lol! I have been thinking recently about how Dimbot "Mao" reminds me of Hannibal Lector! He gives off a vibe of someone who has some creepy skeletons in the closet (maybe literally)

  3. "They couldn't see how much more handsome Kennedy was!"

    Somerby doesn't quite have this "bogus" claim right. It was Nixon's pallor and flop sweat that radio audiences couldn't see, not Kennedy's "handsomeness." But the folklore is mainly about one poll that compared radio vs TV:

    "Where Kennedy was fluent and lucid, Nixon’s prepared remarks used odd, tangled syntax that tripped him up as he spoke. “There is no question but that this nation cannot stand still,” he said. “When we look at these programs, might I suggest that in evaluating them we often have a tendency to say that the test of a program is how much you’re spending”.

    Stumbling more and more as the debate went on, he often looked nervous and shifty in cutaway shots, glancing from side to side and curling his lip while Kennedy spoke. Without the benefit of makeup and still underweight after a two-week hospital visit, the pallid vice president failed to regather his composure.

    Whether this actually moved the needle in the election is open to question; the same goes for almost every memorable debate moment in the decades since. Nonetheless, it tarnished Nixon’s image forever. So embedded is the memory of a suspicious, shaky Nixon that it was even parodied in The Simpsons as a historic Duff Beer commercial. (“The man never drank a Duff in his life!”)

    Ultimately, Kennedy won – but barely. Nixon decided not to insist his extremely narrow loss in 1960 was in fact a theft, secured not by votes but by Kennedy-backing machine politicians in vital states like Illinois and Texas. The national Republican party fought hard to turf up concrete evidence the election was stolen, but failed; Nixon declined to pursue it further. In private, however, he is well-known to have clung to the idea he was defrauded out of the presidency."

    The comparative impact of TV vs radio is described in a scholarly analysis, and it had nothing to do with attractiveness but with improper poll sampling (as also occurred in the prediction of the Republican red wave):

    "However, the Nixon radio victory emerged in only a single poll conducted by Sindlinger and Company. Considering other polling data reveals Sindlinger’s finding is likely the result of a Republican bias in the sample and not a mass defection of Democrats swayed by Nixon’s substantive arguments. Voters found Kennedy ahead on substance as well as style. Considering the full historical context of the election, there is little evidence that television worked to the advantage of Kennedy and the disadvantage of Nixon, nor even much evidence that Kennedy was considered more attractive. We find no evidence that the first debate was decisive; we find it dubious that the debates overall produced a 2-million vote swing for Kennedy; we find it implausible that the first debate can be linked in any meaningful way to the outcome of the election. We find it more meaningful that Nixon turned a 5-to-3 Republican disadvantage into a razor-thin contest and that he largely did so using television during the final two weeks of the contest. "

    If TV were bad for Nixon because Kennedy was more handsome, then TV wouldn't have aided Nixon in the final two weeks of his campaign. After this first televised debate, nearly all candidates used TV because of its ability to reach more people. The ugliness or handsomeness of a candidate is trivial beside the wide coverage provided by TV.

    Perhaps Somerby is still convinced that Al Gore lost because of his suits and his stiffness on TV, instead of because of his various other campaign mistakes.

  4. Today Somerby reminds us that Kennedy was thought to have bought votes during his presidential election. Somerby confuses spending a lot of money on a campaign with actually buying votes, a corrupt and illegal act. Somerby quotes a so-called joke as if that were evidence that Kennedy rigged his election -- by spending his family's own money!

    Then he implies that Trump is somehow a valid candidate because he got twice as many votes as Kennedy did in a distant past time period when our national population was much smaller. Trump wasn't running against Kennedy. He ran against Biden and Biden beat Trump by the widest popular vote margin of any candidate ever.

    Aside from nostalgia, Kennedy's victory over Nixon is irrelevant to our recent midterms. Why does Somerby bring it up? I suspect it was to accuse Democrats of election tampering in the past and to make it seem like Trump has a valid election-denying point over his 2020 loss. But Trump didn't barely lose -- he lost massively, and so did the candidates he endorsed in the midterms.

    Trump is not Nixon. He won't come back and win in 2024, as Somerby implies with this comparison. He is not even as corrupt as Nixon -- he is much much worse and he may be going to jail instead of running for office as 2024 approaches.

    1. Anonymouse 9:45am: “Today Somerby reminds us that Kennedy was thought to have bought votes during his presidential election. Somerby confuses spending a lot of money on a campaign with actually buying votes, a corrupt and illegal act. Somerby quotes a so-called joke as if that were evidence that Kennedy rigged his election -- by spending his family's own money!”

      Tokyo Rose level bunk.

    2. Do you even know who Tokyo Rose was and what she did? She doesn't apply here at all. And calling something bunk is not actually an argument. It just means you reject what was said -- but why?

      Do you think that Daley's machine could have bought votes for Kennedy without an investigation by Nixon and the Republicans finding any evidence at all? This is the same problem as today, where Trump makes accusations without any proof. Nixon had no proof, but unlike Trump, he didn't foment an insurrection. He bided his time and ran again, winning with his 2nd try.

      Trump has damaged himself so severely with his failure to follow the law, that he has no chance of being seen as a serious choice, much less winning. And he STILL has no evidence to support any of his accusations.

      I lived in Chicago during Daley's reign. He did run a political machine. It consisted of patronage and use of city workers to engage in precinct work and campaigning. People were slated as candidates if they pledged loyalty to Daley, and the city ran on favors. It did not include ballot stuffing or paying for votes. Daley delivered his city for the Democrats because he had a well-organized supply of workers to knock on doors and get out the vote, which was repaid with prompt repair of potholes and streetlights. Today's large union organizations work in a similar manner to help Democrats. Republicans are the ones who think bribes are A-OK. Look at today's dark money contributions to conservative PACs and tell me who is and is not buying votes.

      "Tokyo Rose... was a name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific during World War II to all female English-speaking radio broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. The programs were broadcast in the South Pacific and North America to demoralize Allied forces abroad and their families at home by emphasizing troops' wartime difficulties and military losses." Wikipedia.

    3. Somerby seems to be performing that Tokyo Rose role these days by trying to demoralize Democrats with relentless negativity and criticism, undermining Democrats while spreading right wing propaganda, all while pretending to be liberal himself.

      In Europe the same function was performed by Lord Hawhaw. Maybe we should be calling Somerby our own blue hawhaw. Like the other Lord, Somerby is not funny and a traitor to his party.


    4. "Tokyo Rose... was a name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific during World War II to all female English-speaking radio broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. The programs were broadcast in the South Pacific and North America to demoralize Allied forces abroad and their families at home by emphasizing troops' wartime difficulties and military losses." Wikipedia.”

      Yes. You just piled paragraph upon paragraph of speciousness toward a simple accusation that you’re a demonizing Tokyo Rose propagandist for saying that by repeating Kennedy’s joke (one that would NOW be difficult for any candidate to casually make), Somerby was suggesting that Kennedy had bought the election.

      You’re a traitor to common sense.

    5. Why is it difficult to now make the joke that Kennedy made? Because it was a less divided country. Kennedy could charm voters via his looks, personality, and family fame. It was easier to peel off votes then.

      That’s not the case now. You have to work at it. We can’t even decide the elections in a day now.

      Still, it’s ok that you don’t find Bob’s and Drum’s argument compelling. It’s not okay for you to suggest it’s traitorous.

    6. Don't be silly. Somerby cited the election states and they were as divided as now. That's what it means when a race is close.

      The looks, personality and family fame became a public preoccupation after he was elected, due to press focus on him as president. And, as the article I posted said, he didn't win because of his looks. Voters didn't perceive him as being that good looking at the time.

    7. typo: election stats

    8. Cecelia, you are the one who mentioned Tokyo Rose. Somerby is a traitor because he pretends to be liberal (on our side) while engaging in the same behaviors as Tokyo Rose, discouraging and demoralizing Democrats. That is why I called him a traitor to liberals. Not because of any arguments -- because he never has anything positive to say about Democrats.

      It doesn't surprise me that you don't follow my comment, since you didn't really know who Tokyo Rose was in the first place. Ignorance is a bitch.

    9. Somerby is clearly pointing out that Republicans have accused the Democrats of fixing elections before Trump did it. He is doing it using a favorite son of the Democratic party, a beloved president who was assassinated in office. That makes Somerby doubly a creep. But his point is to show that Republicans may have reason when they claim that elections are being stolen and that Democratic strong results may be due to fraud. In this way, Somerby is raising a conservative talking point -- the longstanding beef that Democrats didn't win fairly in 1960, that Democrats do rig elections. But note that Nixon found no evidence, just as Trump found none.

      Somerby is wrong to do this. He is a huge asshole by using Kennedy to make this point. No liberal would do this. And yes, it is traitorous to the Democrats to do this.

      Somerby grew up Catholic during these times. He understands the feelings involved. That makes today's essay more of an insult to Democrats.

    10. No, my calling you Tokyo Rose is an apt due to your outright lie and smear that Bob had insinuated that Kennedy had, in fact, bought his election. He did not do that.

      Your views of Bob’s sincerity are self-referential.

    11. Somerby didn't insinuate it -- he told the story about it, which he characterized as a joke instead of an insult to Democrats. You have no idea what you are saying most of the time. I am done with you for today. You are officially talking to yourself now.

    12. lol omg



      that last line is so funny

      (unintentionally, obviously)

      6:23 thank you for cheering me up

  5. "As we noted yesterday, our blue tribe managed to beat Tarleton State in many of last week's elections. (Tarleton State is an excellent school with a nascent football program.)"

    Somerby never did explain why he spent so much time describing Tarleton State yesterday. Today, it appears he wishes to make a comparison between Democratic candidates and the underdog inexperienced red staters embodied by Tarleton.

    The Republican party is not some new-on-the-scene political organization out-classed by a Democratic machine, as Somerby hints today. MAGA candidates had national support from Republican billionaires, aided in campaigning by their own party's superstars and Fox News publicity, and the former president. Somerby's implication that those mean old Democrats squashed the hopes of a good, decent group of farmboys with barely the money to buy uniforms, is ridiculous. In fact, Somerby's attempts to elicit sympathy for Republican losers today shows clearly where his sympathies lie.

    Democrats are happy to have held the line. That they barely did so, when expected to be wiped out by a red wave, suggests the opposite of Somerby's picture. Dems were up against Nebraska State, not Tarleton. And the underdog Dems pulled their elections out of the hole in the last quarter. Dr. Oz is not Tarleton State. Nor is Herschel Walker. Nor is Kari Lake, with the full weight of MAGAdom in a state full of retirees and Q-Anon true believers. Democrats won because the voters repudiated Trump, Trumpism, and MAGA extremism, not because of Kennedy's money.

    And Somerby continues to be an asshole.

  6. "As we noted yesterday, our blue tribe managed to beat Tarleton State in many of last week's elections. (Tarleton State is an excellent school with a nascent football program.)"

    Try it this way:

    As we noted yesterday, our blue tribe managed to beat red tribe candidates in many of last week's elections. (The red tribe is an excellent party with a nascent political program.)

    Any doubt about where Somerby stands politically?

    First, Somerby has not been a member of "our tribe" for years now. Second, the MAGA extremists are not nascent, but have also been around for many years, since Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, Lee Atwater, and don't forget Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others who got their start helping Nixon with his dirty tricks. Nascent, my foot! Third, red tribe members are not found only in small college towns in Texas, but also in enclaves of wealth and power in red states, and even in CA. Fourth, it is hard to think of a party who recently rigged the Supreme Court as an underdog, while the elderly former president trots around to rallies and sneers at Biden. Fifth, state-wide elections for Senate seats are not little local college town football rivalries. These are national races, and the Dems won a majority because the voters rejected MAGA Extremism, which is a far cry from the pure hearts and strong bodies of young men on a playing field.

    This image is offensive in the light of the cynical, violent, extremism embodied by the Republicans in the last election. They are the party of deranged Q-Anon followers who hit 82-year old men in the head with a hammer, not pure youth playing a game with a ball.

    1. mmmmm Atwater "1954 you could say n word, n word, n word, now you can't" boohoo

      Guess what ghost of Atwater, thanks to Trump and Desantis et al, now you can!

      GOP can finally let their fascist flag fly proudly!

      Somerby gets results, indeed.

  7. "In what ways could we possibly improve our game, possibly peeling votes away in our nation's future elections?"

    Kevin Drum's list was about things CENTRISTS dislike about liberals, not about the things Republicans dislike about Democrats. Centrists already vote Democratic. How will appeasing them result in any increase in votes? On the other hand, frustrating the progressives in our party may drive them out of our party and toward third party candidates, or cause them to stay home.

    Personally, I think the bothsiderist centrists do more harm to our party than the progressives. The centrists, more and more, have been joining the Republicans in voicing the same criticisms of our party -- often using memes that have been debunked, that originated on the right, and that are untrue about Democrats in general. That is what I find unhelpful.

    And before you conclude that Somerby must be a blue tribe centrist instead of a conservative, recall that he keeps calling himself a liberal, attacking Democrat candidates, repeating conservative memes and urging his readers to watch Tucker Carlson. No liberal does any of that stuff.

    Today, Somerby suggests that Kennedy bought votes and thus Trump may have a point about rigged elections, claims that Republicans lost the midterms because their candidates were earnest but inexperienced political beginners (Tarleton), and portrays the Democrats as so corrupt that our own party centrists have 7 (count them, 7) beefs against us.

    Meanwhile, Russia has been gloating that it put Trump into office and is eager to help out their candidates again. Imagine Tarleton receiving sponsorship from Russian oligarchs and you will have a more accurate picture of what has been happening in American politics.

  8. Good luck to blue triber Tulsi Gabbard in her new career with Fox News. Did I mention she got her degree from Tarleton College?

  9. "Tomorrow: We're struck by two of those items"

    Unless Somerby gets distracted and talks about the trivia on the front page of the Washington Post again.

    Today was supposed to be: "Tomorrow: Pathways to defeat"

    Except we won. Hard to talk about defeat in the face of a clear victory by the Democrats.

    Before that: "We may return to the incompetent, mundane, inane and local when we return on the morrow."

    We judge a politician by whether or not they keep their promises. Somerby apparently forgets his as soon as he has made them.

    But I sympathize. It is hard to call Democrats losers after we won those major victories last week. Better to talk about how poor old Nixon was robbed, robbed I tell you! Don't you just hate rich frat boys like JFK who rode to the presidency on their daddy's money? Trump, there's a real man of the people! (Whisper it, the white people...)

  10. “We managed to beat Tarleton State! That said, we frequently did so by extremely narrow margins”

    Which races is Somerby talking about? The ones in swing states? They are called swing states because the vote can go either way, and is usually close. (Although Hassan, mentioned the other day by Somerby, beat Bolduc, brigadier general but “crackpot” according to Somerby, by almost 10 points. Not close.)

    What about the races that weren’t close? AOC won her race by 44 points.

    What about races that we lost? Barnes lost to Johnson by 1%. (By the way, Johnson, the two term incumbent, barely held on in his race against Tarleton State candidate Mandela Barnes. Wouldn’t that fit Somerby’s analogy in this case?)

    Take Ryan in Ohio. He ran a decidedly centrist campaign. He did not accuse Ohioans of racism. He did not support defunding the police. But he lost by almost 8 points to Vance.

    All of this is to say that Somerby’s analogy is stupid and this “move to the center” advice is idiocy, if only because Democrats are not extreme.

    1. Bob is now a slave to his grudges,
      and does not approach these questions
      anymore in any serious way.

  11. Art forms that appeal to Democrats tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were no hope of accomplishing anything through rational calculation and all that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of the moment.

  12. In the midst of big layoffs, Trump just saved the media.

    1. Most of the media didn’t show his speech. That’s what he can expect this time. No one cares. So how exactly is he going to save the media?

    2. The same way he kept them afloat when he was president. The same way he’s still the chief topic of media panels.

      24/7 outrage. Deja vu all over again.

    3. Trump needs the media more than they need him.

    4. No one is interested any more.

    5. Cecelia,
      Do you really expect the corporate-owned, Right-wing media (AKA the media) to be in the bag for Trump, instead of some other Republican?
      On what basis? That it worked-out so well for them in 2016?

    6. However, you wish to portray the media, Trump worked out terrifically for them, Anonymouse 2:34pm, .

      It saved the NYT and CNN at the time and will safe CNN again.

      If DeSantis enters too, it’ll be a T vs De nonstop spectacular.

    7. The Republicans are busy distancing themselves from Trump because it has become clear to them that Trump is a loser. That means that Trump will be shut out of media coverage, no matter what extreme thing he says, while attention to shifts to whoever is trying to take over his role. It is nature red in tooth and claw for the Republicans now, and it won't be pretty as they savage each other.

      Meanwhile, you are correct that the media helped Trump and vice versa. But when Trump is no longer a draw, they will turn to other candidates for exactly the reasons you noted. You are overestimating Trump's position among anyone except his base of followers, now shrinking as people leave the perceived loser.

    8. Anonymouse 3:53pm, of course it’s not as cut and dried as you pretend.

      There would be two factions in the Republican Party- supporters for DeSantis vs supporters for Trump.

      That dynamic would suck all the air out of the room. It would be all that’s covered. Certainly, to the benefit of Biden.

      This would not be the case with a DeSantis vs Ted Cruz race.

    9. It is not a benefit to the Dems when Biden is not covered. Lack of coverage makes it harder for Dems to inform voters of their accomplishments.

      There are not different factions in the Republican party because they are not policy oriented. Their only purpose is to win and they have abandoned Trump because he is now a loser. They will flock to whoever they think will win. That leaves very little for the press to cover except "horse race" issues. Most political junkies find that pretty boring, but don't pretend there are policy differences between Cruz and DeSantis. The person who seems most likely to win will get the most coverage -- kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    10. Less attention paid to Biden and his record is beneficial to him. That was true for Biden’s basement candidacy and for run up to the recent elections. Your every post was about Trump, then and now. .

      You can’t argue that Trump is a unique threat and holds sway over an essentially deplorable type of thinker AND argue that these ardent supporters would drop him like a hot potato…”and waiter, hold the sour grapes…”

      That’s been your formulation, I harbor a far less caustic view of the situation, but I still know that it would be a brouhaha acerbated by the media at every step for fun and for profit.

      Trump is the best thing that could happen to the media and they know it. That is their curse and blessing.

    11. Biden won the midterms on his record, you moron.

    12. Biden was running in the midterms?

    13. "However, you wish to portray the media.."
      Thanks. I went with "accurately".

  13. The elected seemed to have turned “why can’t we beat them?” To “why can’t we beat them by more?” Move those goalposts Bob.
    To slightly rephrase Bob’s question, “why are there so many complete idiots who thought
    Donald Trump should be President of the United States?” Well, one logical reason might be
    the quality of the information they get on
    the Right corporate media, or the Press
    Corps in general. Keeping a serious eye
    of said is the task Bob claims he was
    setting out to do, before he abandoned
    It for whatever reason.

    1. You know, Kamala Harris said, “Man is a reed bent by the wind. But he is a thinking reed.” And that’s the paradox of our being: our fragileness in nature. And yet, the supernatural grandiosity that we sense in the hallways of our Congress is a standard distillation apparatus, basically a condenser of ideas on top of something which is mixed with other political philosophies.

    2. doubletalk helps nothing, better trolling please

    3. No, this has been premium trolling for several days now.

      Stick around, anonymouse1:09pm.

    4. The Democratic Party is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, political parties look for metaphors and answers. Every time a Democrat gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory.

    5. 1:09,
      That makes more economic sense than anything I've ever heard from a Republican. Too bad the GOP doesn't have a platform. That would be a winner.

    6. Cecelia is impressed because the new troll has better words than she does. Too bad he can't use them to form meaningful sentences.

    7. Democrats need to take some time to self reflect.

    8. Anonymouse, too bad you’re so concrete that you can’t glean that she’s making fun of everyone.

    9. Nihilism isn't funny.

    10. The definition of nihilism is not “Anything that is not reverential toward anonymices and their views.”

    11. How would you know?

    12. 5:50, that so called troll is copy pasting from other sources, you dolt (have you heard of the internet? it has a search function!), plagiarizing is not trolling.

  14. Why is Somerby feeding his deeply disordered need to locate and showcase the moral depredations of “Us” by talking about something that happened 62 years ago about a fellow who was forced out of office forty-nine years ago and was never heard from again?


    1. Because this is where dear Bob's streams of consciousness leads him, dear mh.

      ...the more relevant question is: why do you care?

    2. I was quoting Somerby.



    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. mh, because Somerby is arguing that even in far simpler times, the vote between the handsome and charismatic man with all the money was close. Kennedy almost won… just kidding…

      Now you have all the modern day factors that Bob mentioned and the horrifying prospect of someone harboring an unsanctioned conspiracy theory via instant mass communication.

      Therefore peeling off votes is important.


    6. Kennedy was a newcomer and Nixon was the incumbent vice president with Eisenhower's blessing and name recognition. Adlai Stevenson had been the perennial democratic candidate before that, and many Dems were upset about the way Kennedy got the nomination, pushing aside Stevenson. The money was not the point. Republicans had been claiming that Democratic machines were stealing elections long before Kennedy won.

      Your review of modern day factors makes no sense. The mass communications permit spreading disinformation of all kinds, not just conspiracy theories. Look how fast Paul Pelosi became gay after he was attacked using a hammer. Access to social media by Russia was crucial to Trump winning office. That means we need to address the disinformation itself, not just find more votes somewhere. And notice that none of Drum's list items have anything at all to do with Republican disinformation and other ratfucks.

      Biden's approach to the problem of Republican misbehavior was to identify the threat to democracy specifically, place it with MAGA Extremists, and then urge the American people to protect their election system. They did that by voting against MAGAts. Democrats don't have to remake themselves in a Republican image in order to appeal to voters. We need to rid our country of interference, so that elections can be more fair and free of foreign influence. Somerby has never acknowledged that.

    7. “That means we need to address the disinformation itself, not just find more votes somewhere. And notice that none of Drum's list items have anything at all to do with Republican disinformation and other ratfucks.”

      This is the general level of reasoning you get from anonymices.

      1. Countering false info should be compelling enough to appeal to any voters who are not

      2. Everyone who isn’t already with you, must be MAGA, therefore you would have to utterly abandon your principles in order to win them over.

      Bottomline- if they harbor an opinion I do not hold. They’re MAGA.

      That’s the intellectual acuity of anonymices.

      Is it surprising that Drum is now considered to be a centrist in their world?

    8. No one said 1 or 2, except you.

    9. Drum calls himself a centrist. Drum has been a "centrist" neoliberal from day one, Somerby too.

      oh gawd, these right wingers are soooo slow

      Also those were not simpler times, that was actually a very complex time, when the Republican party was transitioning from worrying about wage slavery into race baiting, whereas Dems were transitioning from Jim Crow to Civil Rights.

      oh lawdy these right wingers are so so slow

      These times are actually simpler in that there is very little nuance to politics these days (one could argue there never was much). All the evidence suggests there are no votes to peel off, that how one votes is baked in early in age.

      Politics is about who gets to make decisions, either the left or the right, either you are for egalitarianism and equality or you are for hierarchy and authoritarianism.

      Hey, just because you are ignorant about electoral politics doesn't mean you have to hang your head. No doubt you excel at something. Perhaps you are number one idk knuckle dragging. Maybe tops with mouth breathing?

    10. My actual point in quoting Somerby in my original comment at 2:18 was to show Somerby’s hypocrisy. He was referring to Rachel Maddow as “deeply disordered” for her discussion of Spiro Agnew.

      Here, Somerby engages in the same sort of rumination about something he characterized as long dead and gone when Maddow did it.

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