Is the Democratic Party About to Learn That Pigs Get Fat and Hogs Get Slaughtered?


We’re hearing a lot about the 2000 election these days. The Democratic Party faithful have reminded us several thousand times how foolhardy it was to vote for Nader.

It’s an interesting spin. One could have attributed Gore’s loss to the Supreme Court decision. Or to the purging of Democrats from voter rolls. Or to the mass confusion in Palm Beach County over the butterfly ballot, which caused about 5,000 Jewish Democrats to vote for Pat Buchanan. Or to, well, Gore.

But after the dust settled, the Democratic Party establishment chose a different epitaph. It was that no good Nader and the idiots who voted for him.

Okay, let’s give the Party leaders the benefit of the doubt and assume they really believed it was all about Nader. And let’s assume they wanted to make sure history didn’t repeat itself. That logically left them at least two options.

One option would have been to get behind election reform, specifically, ranked voting. By 2000, the technology was available to allow voters to rank their choices and allow voting machines to re-assign the votes of those who voted for the last place finisher to their second choice candidate. Essentially, it works the way a runoff election does, but without the need for another election. In fact, the term “instant runoff” often is used in place of ranked voting.

If you buy the Democratic Party’s logic, had there been ranked voting in 2000 the second choice of those stupid Nader voters would have been Gore, and their votes ultimately would have taken Gore over the top after Nader was tossed out.

Has the Democratic Party advocated for this seemingly logical fix to the terrible fate that befell its candidate? Absolutely not. Why? Because ranked voting would make third-party candidates more attractive to voters. Gone would be their worries about “wasted” votes. For that reason, the two major parties have been in lockstep to prevent ranked voting, despite the indisputable logic supporting it.

Not willing to risk losing its duopoly over elections, the Democratic Party chose a different approach to the Nader problem: Use the 2000 election results to bully voters into passing on third-party candidates. With the advent of social media, it’s generally not an ineffective approach, albeit not as efficient as ranked voting. But it has the advantage of leaving third parties in the wilderness.

So that tactical decision was a bit piggy, but perhaps not hog-like.

Here’s another way the Democratic Party establishment could have been piggy, but not hog-like. It could have done whatever was required to make ranked voting a reality. Then, it could use the Party machinery, it’s donor base, and affiliated organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, the environmental groups and organized labor to put its thumb on the scale when it saw fit. Even if it angered some voters into voting for a third-party or independent candidate as their first-ranked choice, they still would rank the Democratic candidate above the Republican candidate when push came to shove.

So what’s being a hog? In this case, it’s kind of like “pig squared.” It would be putting a thumb on the scale in an obvious, corrupt and insulting fashion, then invoking the 2000 election to bully supporters of the non-establishment candidate to vote for the establishment’s pick in the general. The overall message is “Yes, we screwed your candidate, but you really must get over it and vote for our candidate or [fill in blank].”

And in 2016, it seems, the Democratic Party establishment is going, well, whole hog, as they say.

Reports have it there was quite the fracas at the Nevada State Democratic Party meeting over the weekend. First, Barbara Boxer, who is not from Nevada but whose daughter is married to Hillary Clinton’s brother, took to the mic to taunt the Sanders delegates. Then, on a vote for a measure that favored Clinton, the chair said the ayes had it, when they didn’t, at which point tempers boiled over. Police were called in for crowd control.

I’m not sure exactly how many convention delegates were at stake, but it was a tiny fraction of the number Clinton will have in excess  of the amount needed to secure the nomination.

The bottom line: In order to secure a few unnecessary delegates, the Hillary camp poured gasoline on an already raging fire. The Party faithful keep saying “no matter who, vote blue,” but the feeling increasingly is “no matter what, vote Bernie.” Or Jill Stein. Or just stay home.

I had a comment exchange on a recent post with our own Captain Arizona about this:

Captain: I will be voting for a strong woman, Jill Stein, Green Party, if Bernie is denied the nomination. A Clinton supporter asked me: “What about the Supreme Court?” I said “Well, what about it? You should have thought about the Supreme before you voted for Hillary!”

Me: Interesting. I remember you commenting how you were going to hold your nose and vote for Hillary, but now the stench is too powerful, even with your nose held. I’ve a hunch you’re not alone on this front.

Captain: Bob, I tried to hold my nose, but it didn’t work!

If you follow the commentary, there’s been talk for weeks of the need for Sanders to “tone down” his attacks on Hillary. You know, for the sake of party unity. Shouldn’t the concern be about the tone of Hillary and her minions? Call me crazy, but every time Hillary lets loose with one of her snide remarks, and I heard one as recently as yesterday, Jill Stein inherits a few supporters. Every time Tameron Hall or Chris Matthews engages in rank intellectual dishonesty to spin events in Clinton’s favor, more Sanders supporters say “no mas.” And then there’s social media and the blogosphere, where the Ready for Hillary crowd is out to prove to those they insultingly refer to as “Bernie Bros” what a bunch of idiots they are. It brings to mind the old fable about the North wind and the South wind competing to see who could make the old man remove his coat. [Spoiler alert: the North wind lost]

I had my own reasons, independent of party politics, for not supporting Clinton this fall should she be the nominee. Months ago, I was practically alone in my feeling. Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters alike were lecturing me why I must “vote blue, no matter who” in the fall. I remember joking to a Facebook friend, who was the only person I knew who shared my view, that she and I would stand back-to-back and fight everyone off if they tried to force us to vote for HRC.

That was then. Now, the discussion among Sanders supporters is more along the lines of “should I write in Bernie or vote for Jill Stein?” [Answer: Vote Stein. Nobody will ever know about your write-in vote for Bernie] Will those Bernie supporters ultimately hold their noses and vote for Hillary? It doesn’t seem so. Just ask the Captain. He tried holding his nose and it didn’t work. The stench still got to him.

That’s the thing about hogs. They smell even worse than pigs do.

And that’s before they get slaughtered.


  1. Oh boy, Bob and captain are perfectly willing to blight the lives of non-male, non-white, non-wealthy Americans for a generation or more because Hillary is insufficiently pure.

    Glad to know where we stand.

    • That’s ridiculous. We just think Jill Stein would make a better President. Do you really think Dr. Stein would blight the lives of non-male, non-white, non-wealthy Americans? I find her to be caring and compassionate and can’t conceive of her remotely doing such things. Oh well, I suppose reasonable minds can differ.

    • Dude, you’re worried about something that doesn’t matter anymore.

      Arizona, like 47 other states, is winner take all, and it’s going to go Red, crAZy will be all in for Trump.

      I’m voting for, and it won’t hurt anyone, I promise.

      I’ll vote blue all the way down from there, because those are the races that matter next.

      While we’re on the subject, HRC supporters should be helping Sanders supporters keep the momentum of 2016 alive instead of demonizing fellow progressives.

      Sanders getting this far proves that in the face of a corrupt corporate media, a corrupt DNC, SuperPACs, and a very sleazy DWS, progressive values are mainstream.

      This is great news! Yuuuuuuge news!!!!

      Encourage current and future politicians who have progressive ideas, don’t demonize dissent, because it kinda’ sounds like you’re the one with the purity test.

      This ain’t a swing state, this is CrAZy, the top of the ticket is out of play for progressives.

  2. Certainly Captain I feel your indignation on the Iraq AUMF vote. Yes Hillary as the Senator from NY was 1 of 98 ayes in Senate after she detailed her trepidation 4 it as a last resort 4 Bush 43. Their were 420 ayes in House also on the vote. Currently approx 1/2 of the Congressional member still remain in our Do Nothing Congress costing taxpayers $93M this yr.

    Actually Congress has not voted on an actual war resolution since Dec. 9, 1941 the day after Pearl Harbor. But an honest question. It takes 60 votes to invoke “cloture” which ends the debate & sends it for a vote. Sanders had a chance to invoke the silent filibuster on the AUMF but chose not to. Y is that? He voted against the AUMF but y didn’t he make it tougher on the GOP to get it through if as he says he knew the right answer?

    Certainly we can point fingers @ either candidate because neither r perfect. We also can go back to the Nader Gore election & let’s assume it was Nader who won not Gore. Either way we still have to assume the election would be decided by a conservative SCOTUS & still have Bush 43 win. Is really the point of teaching a lesson worth the American families lives it would effect?

    • a lot more then two senators voted against iraq war vote in 2002 even republican lincoln chafee voted against going to war. also sanders in house voted against iraq war.

  3. if trump wins it will destroy the republican party and cleanse the democratic party. a two fer. the iraq war vote for personal gain was an abomination that disqualifies her from the presidency. in 2000 nadir’s slogan not for sale hillary’s slogan 2016 bought by goldman sachs and others. and don’t forget mena arkansas trump won’t. as the english say two clever by half!

  4. WOW Bob. Certainly I can see the ethics oozing out of your soul willing to stifle the progressive movement for decades by letting Republicans make the next 2-4 SCOTUS Justice picks. That will teach the Democratic Party a lesson & Americans who were willing to hold their nose & vote Bernie if they had to. But hey while your sitting in your easy chair watching cspan & SCOTUS day in & day out votes against pay raises, LGBT Rights, Voting rights, SS, Medicaid, Clean Air etc. u can b proud that “Yep I did that.” Cudos

  5. Kudos to Bob Lord for emphasizing the need for a SANE foreign policy (I notice that the Hillary supporters don’t seem to be real eager to tackle that subject). The simple fact is, under Obama/Clinton’s leadership, we have simply embarked upon a continuation of the Bushevik insanity in the Middle East (Libya/Syria, not to mention the ongoing disasters in Iraq/Afghan.), AND we are continuing to shove NATO in Russia’s face (the Crimean Peninsula has been overwhelmingly Russian in ethnic/linguistic composition for centuries; no REAL expert on the subject seems to think that ANY referendum on its separation from Ukraine would’ve gone any other way). We need a Maggie Thatcher in office like we need more Zika and Ebola viruses in the world.

  6. First of all, the US should have national voting standards. The idea that states and counties can tinker with voting laws and use them to stop some people from voting is absurd and undemocratic. This is not a Democratic Party issue. The Democratic Party doesn’t control the elections system; county and state governments do. (And it’s not all about Bernie. That sad song gets tiresome.)

    Remember in Ohio in 2012 when their Secretary of State and the county recorders lengthened early voting for Republican-controlled counties and shortened early voting for counties that are primarily urban, mostly black? Black people in the poor neighborhoods of Cleveland stood in line in the rain for hours to vote for Obama because there were not enough polling places and because the Ohio government specifically tried to suppress their vote.

    Obviously, as we saw Bernie and Hillary and Trump and the rest battle state by state, some state systems favored some candidates, and other systems favored other candidates. Bernie and Trump tended to win caucus states with lots of white people. Hillary tended to win states with more racial and ethnic diversity and states that had elections– not caucuses.

    Instead of whining about independents having to re-register to vote Dem or Rep– a practice that is dictated by the state and not the party– let’s have national standards, instead of a crazy quilt of laws. (Personally, I think independents should be able to vote in the primaries, but many party people from both parties disagree.)

    For starters…we should have:
    – automatic voter registration at age 18 for every citizen,
    – standardized voting days and practices. (For example, some states don’t even have mailed ballots.)
    – no voter suppression,
    – only elections, no caucuses,
    – a Constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to vote,
    – NATIONWIDE Clean Elections,
    – publicly funded elections,
    – a set time period for campaigning (like the Brits and the Canadians).

    When did you become a Trump fan, Bob?

  7. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just vote for the candidate of my choice, the one that most closely matches my values, and not be accused of some horrific crime against humanity.

    It’s my vote, it’s my voice in my government, I cannot lie and vote against my own beliefs.

    Also, Ralph Nader walks his freakin’ talk, when did we all decide he’s a bad guy?

  8. I still remember 2000 quite well. Tom Hayden came to the city I was living, campaigning for Al Gore. He said that he did not know one African American voter in LA that was planning to vote for Nader.
    I think that some on the left will vote third party or not vote. But I think the base of the Democratic Party, women of color, will turn out in high numbers this fall. To them (and to me), elections matter. They impact the level of our public education, health care, tax rates. Elections are actually critically important to our well being.
    To decide one’s vote based upon a candidate’s stance toward Bibi Netanhayu is not in our perspective.

    • But I wonder, if you had close relatives living in a country you knew was on Hillary’s list to attack, if you’d feel the same way.

  9. The lack of support for Hillary is not just who she is and her history but it is also her machine headed by Bill and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the way they treat or dismiss the Sanders movement.
    Watch the movie “A Requiem for The American Dream” and you will understand that if indeed we want to save our Democracy, voting for her is contrary to returning the country to a true democratic nation. It is terribly sad to see where we are today.Look how they operated in NV just days ago. Fixing it for her will only strengthen the revulsion for her and her machine. It is time to rebuild and take our country back. Enough is ENOUGH!

  10. Bob — You may think that we Hillary Clinton supporters are ferociously concerned that your and other supporters of Sen. Sanders will vote for Jill Stein, or not vote at all, if Mrs. Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee. But frankly, I recognize your right to vote for whomever you wish. Perhaps you and the Captain will cast your ballots for Jill Stein. Hillary Clinton supporters like me will be working to get her elected; we won’t be spending time (wasting time) trying to convince you to change your position.

  11. OMG Bob! I gotta admit that although I liked much of Bernie’s message and think he has provided a very valuable contribution to the nation, I’m in the Hillary camp. And, I just don’t get those who will not vote for her. She must be the most vetted politician in U.S. history and she is still alive and kicking. I also believe she is the most qualified presidential candidate we’ve seen this year.

    Okay, so she’s not a dynamic candidate and yes, she didn’t use the best of judgement with either the email thing or the speaking fees thing but…she is definitely the adult in the room. I have no sympathy for Democrats (and other rationale people by the way) who don’t vote for the Democratic nominee in November. Want to talk about pigs? I have two words for you. Donald Trump.

    • Linda, my point wasn’t about Clinton as much as it was about the Party itself. My own feeling about Clinton is that I can’t vote for a candidate who is practically jumping out of her skin eager to give Bibi Netanyahu weapons he’ll use to slaughter Palestinians. If that happens and I was complicit in it by voting for her, it wouldn’t help much to rationalize it away by saying Trump would have been worse.

  12. Whatever the reason that Gore lost in 2000, the Nader Raiders didn’t help. Also, for all the bad things people said about Bush in 2000, Trump in 2016 looks much worse.

    • Indeed Trump does look worse than Bush. Which goes to my point. If Trump wins in November, will Democratic Party leaders blame themselves and take a good long look in the mirror, or will they lash out at someone else? Will Debbie Wasserman-Schultz acknowledge that if she’d been less corrupt a different result might have obtained?

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