The latest anti-Hillary lies about that DNC lawsuit

First, a disclaimer: I supported Bernie in the primaries, and believe that had he won the nomination, he may very well be President today. But that’s an issue for another day.

Some rabid Bernie people (perhaps spurred on by Trump people behind the scenes who troll liberal pages and try to get us fighting each other) are making absurd claims about the recent lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee.

Basically, the lawsuit was filed by some Sanders supporters.  I’ll summarize their argument here:  “Waah! The Democrats were mean to us!”bernie-and-hillary

Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that. What they said was that the leaders of the Democratic party were biased against Bernie and were doing what they could to make sure he didn’t get the nomination. The lawsuit complained that the DNC worked behind the scenes to schedule debates in a way that helped Clinton; that the people in charge supported her; that they planned events in ways that harmed Sanders. (The lawsuit did not claim — nor could it — that any laws were broken.)

Oh noes! Whoever thought there would be politics in politics!

Setting aside the problem of an outsider suddenly joining a group and demanding to be in charge of it and how that group would react, the lawsuit faced its first challenge that all lawsuits face: A Motion for Summary Judgment.

This is where the defendant in the case (the DNC) tries to get the case thrown out. The law requires the judge to say “assuming the plaintiff’s recitation of the facts is true, is there a claim for action here?” In other words, just because you may claim to be hurt doesn’t mean the law provides a remedy.

The judge rightly concluded that there was no case here and threw it out. Instantly, memes and blog posts started popping claiming that the judge found that everything the plaintiffs claimed was true. That’s not how it works.

The Democratic party is a private organization. They can set whatever rules they want for picking their candidate. The don’t have to have primaries (and in fact, many states have a caucus instead). They don’t have to sponsor debates. They can go back to the old days of choosing candidates in smoke-filled rooms (although being Democrats, it would be in a “smoking not permitted, have some latte and a croissant” room).

Don’t like it? Join the party and work to have the rules changed, instead of, you know, being an independent for your entire political career, joining the party just in time to run for office, and then quitting the party again as soon as you lose.

Did the DNC violate its own internal rules? Very likely. But that’s an internal problem they need to deal with — it’s not subject to a lawsuit.

So if you see someone claiming that the judge found that everything in the plaintiff’s lawsuit was true, they’re either completely unaware of how lawsuits work or else they are aware and are lying to you.

Unsolicited Advice for Democrats

by guest blogger Jesse Hendrix

In the wake of the Republicans setting a world record for synchronized shooting yourself in the foot, Democrats are feeling good about themselves. And why not? Polls show that if the election were held tomorrow, there would be a good chance of them taking the House while keeping the Senate. DemocraticLogoUnfortunately, the election won’t be held tomorrow. There’s a whole year to go. A whole year of dealing with this House. A whole year for the Democrats to screw something up.

In the spirit of my advice to Republicans, here are five rules to help Democrats make the most of a bad situation.

Rule 1. Go big on the budget.

The shutdown-ending deal has set the stage for yet another round of budget talks, which will in all likelihood go up to the last possible second. Treat this as an opportunity. Don’t just try to maintain the current budget levels–the current budget levels suck. Make the argument for more job-creating spending and more tax fairness. Keep hammering the damage austerity has done and make the Republicans own it. When they say “We can’t afford that,” point out the military program we could cut that costs more, or the small tax changes that would pay for it. Anything that costs 24 billion or less should be compared to the economic cost of the shutdown. Republicans are down. Kick them.

Rule 2. Go big on everything.

On the rare occasion that something gets done in Washington, the discussion goes like this: Republicans make a far right proposal, Democrats make a center-left one, and we end up with a center-right compromise. This needs to change. They say “Defund Obamacare” you say “Expand Obamacare.” Then suddenly the compromise is “Maintain Obamacare.”

Since Republicans are blocking everything, you might as well go for the wish list. Push a jobs bill. Push infrastructure spending. Show the public what they would get if they put Democrats in charge of the house and senate. Keep reminding them of the first two years of Obama’s presidency when stuff got done.

Rule 3. Be the reasonable ones.

This follows on from Rule 2. Push for what you really want, but be ready to take what you can get. Practice variations on the following: “We believe that [Strong Liberal Policy] is what is best for the country, but in the interests of bipartisan compromise, we are willing to accept [Weak Liberal Policy]”

Work with any Republicans who are willing. You’ll get more done. As an added bonus, this makes you look good to independents and moderates, while opening the Republican involved to attacks from the right.

Rule 4. Don’t fear the Deficit.

Republicans are going to try to make the discussion all about deficit reduction. This is code for cutting social programs. Do not fall for it. We do not have a short term deficit problem. The deficit is falling faster than Wile E. Coyote holding an anvil. We have a growth problem, and to encourage growth the government needs to invest money. The way you say it matters. Don’t call it “Government Spending.” It’s “Investment in America.”

Rule 5. Don’t do anything stupid.

This is both the most important rule and probably the most difficult to follow, but you have to try. We need to see no dirty tweets, no affairs, no prostitutes, none of it. As Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner taught us, it only takes one Democrat with a sex scandal to completely distract the media and public from Republican wrongdoing.

So there you have it. Five ways for Democrats to capitalize on Republican self-destruction. You guys have finally been showing some spine, and you need to keep it up. To completely misquote Margaret Thatcher, “Someday the Republicans will be in charge of government again. The Democrats’ job is to hold on until they are sane.”

Jesse Hendrix writes political satire at Questions, comments, good jokes and job offers can be sent to him at

The Purpose of Government

So many arguments have ensued over a very basic question. What is the purpose of government?

Some of us feel that government should be used to promote the common good; that together, we can accomplish more than we can as individuals. We believe that it’s a good thing to take care of each other, and provide education, health care, and other social services. Government oversight of business is encouraged to make sure our food and medicine is safe and to provide for a living wage and safe working conditions. Let’s call this the “socialist” view of government.

Others feel that government should not infringe upon our freedoms and our liberties in any way, and should not use tax dollars for things like health care or unemployment benefits or other types of welfare. Government should not put so many restrictions on businesses or guns or our own personal lives. We’ll call this the “libertarian” view of government.

Most people fit somewhere between the two, and are completely inconsistent.

Democrats, for instance, believe in government involvement to regulate business and provide social services but are strong supporters of freedom in other areas (gay rights, abortion, etc.)elephant donkey

Republicans hate government involvement in business and social services but love to have the government regulate private behavior (what they consider “moral” behavior, which is primarily religion based).

Both the socialist view and the libertarian view are legitimate views. Both are valid. You can believe in either one of these views and be an absolute patriot who is being true to what America stands for.

And there lies the problem: There are people at either extreme who think that if you hold a view opposite from them, you are not just wrong, you are evil. You are anti-American, a traitor, someone who wants to destroy this country.

And that’s why we can’t get things done.