Steve M: Forget Democracy When I’m Winning

Steve MI’ve already cut a number of people out of my RSS feed because they are annoying me. But Steve M at No More Mister Nice Blog has thus far avoided this treatment because in general he’s insightful. But he wrote an article yesterday that was so stunningly brain dead that I may have to change my mind. The article is, Why Democrats Could Tolerate a Lot More Division in 2008. The end of the title was cut off in my feed, so I thought that it was a call for continued democracy. But no.

Steve M is making the lamest of counterarguments against those who note that Hillary Clinton fought Obama to the end in 2008. And the argument is: it was different in 2008! He even claims that he hated Clinton for doing it then. Now in one sense, this is very consistent: when his candidate is winning, he thinks the other candidate should drop out. It’s a vile position to hold, but since that’s all that is going on, he should own it. He shouldn’t be making arguments that it was okay for Clinton to do it then but it is not okay for Sanders to do it now.

Steve M’s Retrospective Argument

And really: all his argument comes down to is that in retrospect, we know that Obama won therefore Clinton did no damage. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from pulling out statistics about how unpopular Bush was. The truth is that the reason Obama won big in 2008 was the economy. And it was only in May that we started to see the economy fall apart. So the truth is that when Clinton was fighting most she and the nation did not know the election was a slam dunk. The idea that the Democrats “had the wind at their backs” is silly if not stupid.

I do wish this whole thing were over. Bernie Sanders is not going to be the Democratic nominee. Even the marginal notion that he would get the super delegates to switch to him is now ridiculous with everything he’s done to alienate the Democratic establishment. But the man has every right to stay in the race. And Clinton supporters should accept this. Steve M concluded his article, “No, the Democrats can’t afford the luxury of a sustained fight. Not this year.” That’s a nice way of saying that Sanders should have dropped out of the race in February.

Steve M Has “Reasons”

I believe in democracy. I believe in it in the Democratic primary and I believe in it in the general election. Barring an economic catastrophe, I don’t see Trump winning. And the truth is that I don’t think that Steve M would be making the argument that this election is going to be really close under normal circumstances. But that’s what he has to say to make the argument that everyone must rush to get in line behind Clinton. Authoritarianism isn’t just something for Republicans. And it doesn’t matter if the authoritarian has “reasons”; authoritarians always have “reasons.” And in the case of Steve M, we’ve heard the exact same “reasons” before.

Let me leave you with a thought: in 2008, the Clinton and Obama camps were probably more angry at his other than the Clinton and Sanders camps are today. I didn’t even follow politics that closely then I heard lots of Clinton supporters claim that they wouldn’t vote for Obama. It didn’t go like that in the end, of course. The time for unity is the general election. The only people who call for unity in the primary are the people who are winning. If Hillary Clinton loses in November, it won’t be because of Bernie Sanders.

No One Is Slacking at Frankly Curious

Nobody's SlackingI know you are all probably thinking that I’ve been slacking. I haven’t been posting two articles per day. I think this is a misconception. But the truth is that I’ve been very tired. Dealing with my father’s medical problems were hard. But they were nothing compared to after it was all over. You can maintain a certain level of energy while you have to — while you are going through a stressful situation. But after it is over, you fall apart. Or at least I do.

But all of this has been more reflected in my day job. I’ve actually been doing a lot of work here on Frankly Curious. For one thing, I think the features that I’ve been writing here have been more in-depth. In the past, when I was writing a lot of articles, I had a tendency to bring them to hasty conclusions after I hit about 500 words. Now there’s more of a natural flow of things. And I seem to be writing more things in the 800 to 900 word neighborhood.

More than that, I’m doing things that you probably haven’t noticed. The new page, Don Quixote in English Language Translation, is now up to roughly 3,000 words. And it continues to climb. But along with that, I have to go through all these old Don Quixote articles. Most of them are from the days before we switched to WordPress, and they need to be reformatted. And there are other technical details that need to be dealt with. It’s all a pain.

Of course, I know that few people around here are all that interested in Don Quixote. But it’s part of a process. There are a number of other things that I think I will do similar pages for. One is for the artist Bernard Frouchtben, although I think my articles on him are already the top three on Google. It’s too bad he isn’t better know, because I am pretty much the only source of information about him. The other thing I’m thinking about doing is a long article about Bob’s Burgers. I really do think I could do a blog on the show without any problem. And it would be unusual, because I think my insights are much deeper than what you are going to find at the AV Club.

So I haven’t been slacking. I’m just focused on making Frankly Curious more than it is. The truth is that over the last two years, we’ve seen the popularity of the site grow. But for the last six months, it’s stagnated. I do know one way that I could increase traffic: I could write about Donald Trump all the time like Digby is. But I just don’t care. In fact, as you’ll see later, about the only time I write about the presidential election at all is when I get angry at the way that “liberals” treat Bernie Sanders. It isn’t that I think Sanders deserves to be treated well. But I wish people would stop claiming that they are democratic socialists when they were never willing to vote for the only democratic socialist in the race.

Bottom line: I’m not slacking. I’m working hard. Even as I write this, I’m exhausted. Yet here I am in front of my computer working. And what are you all doing? Slacking I’ll bet!