The Complete ‘Bernie Sanders Can’t Win’ Liberal Pundit Article Kit

Bernie SandersWe writers are very busy. I know, right now, I have an article on SSH that I really need to finish. I wanted to finish it last night, but I was so tired. Really: I spend about 10 hours per day writing and doing reading in support of it. And admittedly, that is my life. I don’t have much else that I even want to do. But I feel totally rushed all the time. It’s after 3:00 pm today, and I have next to nothing done. I haven’t gotten to the SSH article. I’ve written one Frankly Curious article. My anxiety level is so high, I’d take a Valium, but that would make me fall asleep, get further behind, and make me even more anxious. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Look at Paul Krugman. He writes a lot. And in addition to that, he has to go out to cool concerts where he hangs out backstage and he has to eat expensive dinners with important people. And he has to go to conferences all over the world. He’s a busy guy. And it must be crushing to use all the time that could be spent talking to John Paul White to write yet another article about how it would be wrong to vote for Bernie Sander like the one he wrote yesterday, How Change Happens.

But I do have more free time because John Paul White never returns my calls. So I thought I would use the one advantage I have over him to help Krugman out. And not just Krugman. What I’m proposing here will help out lots of other people. For example, it will save Jonathan Chait a lot of time. And Martin Longman. And Erik Loomis. And plenty of other liberal commentators who I very much like. That is why I’m doing this. It is a gift. It is a free tool to make their lives better.

So here it goes. It’s really simple, but I can’t pretend that it’s my own idea. I’ve just systematized the process. In general, none of these people are thinking very deeply about any of this, so I’ve just created a system where they don’t have to think at all. Here it goes:

  1. Start with some recent good news for the Bernie Sanders campaign: polls or a famous person saying something or money raised. Or nothing at all. Here’s a generic opening that I release to the public domain. I hope that everyone finds many uses for it, “Despite what everyone expected, Bernie Sanders has really caught fire. He’s packing people in at his rallies. And he looks certain to win New Hampshire, and has a good shot at Iowa.”
  2. Next, use several paragraphs to talk about how much you like Bernie Sanders. Now if I were writing this for new writers, I’d have to provide a lot of details. But for the top tier writers I’m talking about, it’s easy. All they have to do is go back and look at pretty much every article they wrote about Bernie Sanders as long as he was polling at less than 25%. Don’t plagiarizer! But professional writers know how to rip themselves off without technically plagiarizing. It’s quick and easy. Exactly how many paragraphs you want to spend on this will depend upon your editorial needs. But don’t go overboard, or you’ll make the rest of this harder. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you actually have to argue against yourself!
  3. Now turn everything you’ve just said (and written for months) on its head. Point out that this is pie in the sky. Note that no one will elected a socialist. Write whatever you want. Just make the point that despite everything, it would be wrong to vote for Bernie Sanders. It doesn’t even have to make sense. For example, Krugman wrote, “Mr Sanders is the heir to candidate Obama, but Mrs Clinton is the heir to President Obama.” See that?! Candidate and president Obama are the same guy, so that statement actually means the opposite of what Krugman means, given both Sanders and Clinton are in candidate mode. But it doesn’t matter. Clinton is good because whatever and Sanders is bad because whatever, but make sure everyone knows that you actually agree with Sanders more.

Done! File that and go spend some more time with John Paul White. You’ve done enough thinking for a career. As for me, I just made a contribution to the Bernie Sanders campaign and bought a very cool shirt. So I feel I’ve done a good turn for both camps. I’ve given money to Bernie, and I’ve allowed otherwise decent liberals to write their hack Hillary articles more easily.

I’m like a saint or something!

Update (23 January 2016 5:45)

Robert Reich takes on Krugman directly and persuasively, Bernie’s Movement. It’s really short. Give it a read.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

25 thoughts on “The Complete ‘Bernie Sanders Can’t Win’ Liberal Pundit Article Kit

  1. *laughs* I really should stop pestering you then. But I am not going to because you need more to life then work and more work.

    • Well, I do keep writing for all of you regular readers. As far as I can tell, there are about a hundred people who just stop by each day to check out what’s going on. But I’ve been feeling recently that a lot of work is kind of forced. But tomorrow’s music and anniversary posts came easily, so that’s good. And I’ve been happy with some recent features. But there is a lot of work. Always a lot of work.

      • I told a friend of mine who also blogs today that the reason I love your blog is that you post so frequently and told him your schedule. He went “that man is insane.”

        And if it is forced, it is not really noticeable.

        • It is nucking futs. This s**t cannot be done 4 times a day. (Used to be more!) I tried blogging once a week and I almost lost my goddamn mind. I don’t know what button is broken in Mr. Frank’s brain, but it’s clearly a brilliant one. It’s a giddy trolley of thought to hop onto.

          • Oh, you are being too nice. It isn’t that hard. It’s like a mouse on a wheel. You get on it and you start slow. Before long, you are going really fast.

            BTW: I was at a pet store recently, and the mice were literally waiting in line to get on the wheel.

            Bad thing: I noticed that the price of the rats was higher for the bigger ones. I thought that was strange because the smaller ones were just younger and would live longer. Then I realized: most are being bought to be fed to snakes. I still can’t believe that. What’s wrong with people?!

            • Snakes gotta eat, bro. Reminds me of that time we took the SO’s nieces to the Raptor Center at the university. One of the nieces was oohing over how beautiful the owl was, and she wasn’t wrong. It was a beautiful owl. Then the handler rewarded the owl for stretching its long, lovely wings. The owl was rewarded with a dead baby bird to snack on. Because that’s what owls eat! The niece was mortified. Her sister was “wow, cool.”

              So, just to be a twisted asshole, I steered us next to the nearby Twin Cities Reptile Shop. This is an amazing store, full of creepy critters and the other critters they eat. Sure enough, the one kid set two feet in the shop and completely freaked out. Her sister spent the subsequent hour amazed by the weird-ass stuff people actually have as pets.

              Horrible, I know. But what’s the point of being around kids if you can’t fuck with their heads a little? Besides, when I was 12, I would have thought the Reptile Shop was the coolest thing in the universe, so that’s the adult standards I go by.

              • I’m a strong believer in torturing children. But snakes aren’t actually pets. We should have a stronger bond with mammals than we do reptiles. There’s a difference between knowing that Dracula exists and delivering your daughters to him.

                • Torturing children is the best. I always wanted to be the Evil Uncle — the creepy guy surrounded by Bud Light empties, smoking a joint, who says “hey kids, wanna check this shit out?”

                  And it turns out, I’m terrible at it. Instead, I yell, “put that down, it’s sharp” and “get out of the road, there are cars!”

                  I’m a very lousy Evil Uncle. But I do know where the reptile shop is, and seeing kids shriek in pure terror is fun. Also seeing kids go, “that’s so gross. This is so cool.”

                  Here’s the worst Evil Uncle story. This is from five years ago or so.

                  We’re visiting the Science Museum, me and the SO and two kids. The kids want to see different museum stuff, so we pair off. One adult per kid.

                  I get the kid who only communicates in American Sign Language. We do reasonably well on homework and such, she’s incredibly talented at making herself clear even to ASL illiterates.

                  So I’m following a pre-teen girl around a museum, she’s signing enthusiastically in ASL, and because she’s excited about the exhibits, she’s not dumbing down ASL to the few hand signals I can grasp.

                  Get this. I’m stalking a pre-teen in a museum. Without saying a word to the kid.

                  Yeah, you can bet security was all over me.

                  The poor kid is desperately trying to sign “he’s not a stalker! He’s in the family” and security interpreted this as “spooky guy freaks out innocent Deaf kid.” I didn’t have my phone on me, so it was 15 minutes before the other adult and kid (both of whom know ASL) wandered back around to where we were.

                  The thing about being Evil Uncle is, at times armed forces will see you as Evil Uncle.

                  • I guess she couldn’t write anything down because they were security and thus illiterate.

                    I’m a big worrier myself. I do evil uncle purely on intellectual matters — and the need to live life like you live in the Looney Toons.

                    • My mother worked security most of her adult life and taught herself to read since her grade school didn’t recognize her dyslexia.

        • Your friend is right. Of course it helps that I do it for a living. And there is some cross over. Knowing all this random stuff from FC makes a lot of the other stuff easier. Like recently I had some writers add a sidebar about the monkey that took its own picture to an article on copyright. But it’s also like exercising. Until about 6 months ago, I ran every day. Then I didn’t one day. And I haven’t managed to do it again. I’m a man on habits.

          I’m glad it isn’t obvious.

    • In the economics world, there are the Two Rules of Paul Krugman. Rule 1: Krugman is right. Rule 2: If you think Krugman is wrong, see Rule 1. He is great about economics. But on political science, he’s less reliable. I’ve long said that I was looking forward to the time when we disagreed. The fact that we agree almost all the time is an indication of just how screwed up American politics are, because he’s really quite a lot more conservative than I am.

      I don’t know what this recent thing is, but obviously it displeased me. But then, I think in 2008, he was a Clinton supporter and he liked Obama as president the more he acted like Clinton. So I’m not terribly surprised.

      • If somebody has to give out a Nobel Prize for economics, there are way worse candidates than Krugman. He vacillates between “mildly instructive” and “utterly harmless.”

        Why he gets what I presume is a solid salary, I have no idea. It’s like David Brooks. One could easily generate algorithms to pump out this stuff.

        • Wow! That’s harsh. I find Krugman fairly useful. Certainly Dean Baker is must reading and Krugman is not. But like Krugman’s writing. And I like that he’s clear-eyed about what the Republicans are.

          • Oh, sometimes I just dick around with words for the sheer fun of it. In this case, I got to use “vacillate” in a sentence. I don’t mean it, and if I thought Krugman was reading, I’d be much nicer. He’s a good guy. I do wish he’d reach across the desk and strangle David Brooks to death, but I realize that’s not appropriate office etiquette.

            • Jonathan Chait has written a number of articles about the unstated arguments the two are always having. It’s good they are unstated because Brooks really is an idiot.

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  3. Every decent person is afraid of Bernie winning the nomination because down deep we are afraid that would ensure a Republican of having a good chance of becoming President. And that is as scary as it gets. So all these liberal writers are coming from fear. I have the same fear and I am a big Bernie guy. I also have the feeling some time to just roll the dice and let’s have the big contest between Bernie and whatever nut the GOP has running. I don’t have much faith in the people of this country to do the right thing. When I think about Bush getting re-elected despite his huge failures, I feel mass fear again. If he could get elected anyone can.

    • I’m with you. I support Sanders but I’m scared to death. That’s part of why I’m so down on Krugman (I have two more articles on the subject tomorrow). I understand the fear. Let’s talk about the fear. Let’s not just assume that Sanders will lose and pretend that this is just logic and not emotion.

      There’s another issue that I haven’t seen anyone discuss. A big argument against Sanders is that we must control the White House because otherwise the Republicans will control all of Washington and do terrible things. We can only hang onto the White House for so long. We need to think bigger than this. Eventually, the Republicans will win the White House. And then what? The White House is our last line of defense. Sanders is part of a movement. He doesn’t matter by himself. The Democratic Party needs to reinvent itself. And the old idea that neoliberalism is going to save us is not the way. We tried that. Not only did it hurt the liberal constituency; it also pushed the Republicans even further to the right.

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