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Name: David Allen
Gender: Male
Hometown: Washington, DC
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 62,956

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The Democratic Primary Ruined My Friendship!

Perhaps if we contemplate how pointless and unnecessary it is for other people to lose friends over their preferred primary candidate, then we get a little perspective on our own situation here on DU...

The Democratic Primary Ruined My Friendship!
Why Bernie-Hillary has gotten so personal.

By Michelle Goldberg

A couple months ago, one of my husband’s former colleagues from a progressive digital strategy firm popped up on his Facebook page to castigate him for supporting Hillary Clinton. “Matt, do you remember the exact date when you gave up?” the man wrote. “Was it when Obama turned out to be a damn conservative? Or were you never 100% behind this progressive thing to begin with? Tired of losing, so pick a candidate who, if she loses, it won’t really matter that much? I think it’s the last one. Sellout.”

That was the moment I realized that the Democratic primary, while incredibly high-minded compared with the Republican one, is creating lasting interpersonal enmity. On Saturday, Peter Wehner wrote in the New York Times about conservative friendships fraying in the age of Trump, describing people for whom “differences over the Trump candidacy have caused such a loss of respect that they feared their friendships would not survive, and that even if they did, they would never be the same.” I wish I could feel schadenfreude, but the same thing is happening among some committed progressives. Even now, with the primary season limping toward its foregone conclusion, collegial disagreement has given way to hostile incredulity, as people wonder how those who they thought saw the world in the same way could be so utterly, bafflingly wrong.

A necessary disclaimer—evidence for this is entirely anecdotal. The people who came to hate each other over the Democratic primary are a small, unrepresentative group of political obsessives. Most people never talk about politics online; in a 2012 Pew Research Center study, 84 percent of social media users said they’d “posted little or nothing related to politics in their recent status updates, comments, and links.” Like those Wehner writes about, people who’ve spoken to me about damaged relationships either work in liberal politics or are serious activists. They are part of a fairly minuscule subculture.

Among this little group, however, it’s easy to find people whose ties are being tested. “It has been an eye-opening and heartbreaking election cycle that has revealed some ugly truths about ‘progressive bros’ in my circle that will take some time for me to digest,” says Maryna Hrushetska, a 47-year-old curator and art adviser in Los Angeles who supports Clinton.* In the past, Hrushetska tells me, she’s worked on behalf of Palestinian rights and the environment, and she’s been shocked to see men she knows through those movements repeating sexist anti-Clinton slurs.

Read more at Slate...

What Does Donald Trump Think of You? Get your personalized Free Trump Score



John Judis: "I'm Voting for Bernie, but on One Condition"

Interesting piece on TPM by John Judis (yes, that John Judis -- co-author of The Emerging Democratic Majority). I haven't really heard this attitude before in a primary election context. While I am fully aware that actual discussion is virtually impossible here in the DU GDP forum, I am curious what people think about this. As a Hillary supporter, I will admit that this article does resonate with me somewhat.

I did a search and was surprised that this hasn't been posted here on DU yet. But I guess it makes sense given that the article is somewhat off message for partisans on either side of the Hillary/Bernie split.

Full article is here: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/voting-for-bernie

“He’s not going to get the nomination, is he?” my wife asks anxiously as she gazes out of the kitchen window at the Bernie for President sign on our front lawn. No, I assure her, and he certainly won’t win Maryland on April 26. I’m voting for Bernie, and my wife may, too, but we’re doing so on the condition that we don’t think he will get the nomination. If he were poised to win, I don’t know whether I’d vote for him, because I fear he would be enormously vulnerable in a general election, even against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and I’m also not sure whether he is really ready for the job of president.

Why, then, vote for him at all? For me, it’s entirely about the issues he is raising, which I believe are important for the country’s future. Hillary Clinton and her various boosters in the media have made the argument that it’s impractical and even irresponsible to raise a demand like “Medicare for all” and “free public college” that could not possibly get through the next Congress, even if Democrats eke out a majority in the Senate. They presumably want a candidate to offer programs that could be the result of protracted negotiations between a Democratic president and Speaker Paul Ryan – like a two percent increase in infrastructure spending in exchange for a two percent reduction in Medicaid block grants. I disagree with this approach to politics.

What Sanders is proposing are political guideposts – ideals, if you like – according to which we can judge whether incremental reforms make sense. He is describing, whether you like them or not, objectives toward which we Americans should be aspiring. That’s a central activity in politics. Should it be confined to issues of Democracy or National Affairs? Or is it the kind of activity that is entirely appropriate for a nominating contest? Ronald Reagan and the conservatives thought so during the 1970s. And I think Democrats should be thinking this way now. So I applaud Bernie Sanders for not limiting his proposals to what might appear on a President’s often-ignored budget requests.


Does the country really need turning around? Sanders has been derided for holding up Denmark and other Scandinavian countries as examples. They are far different from the US, and they are also beginning to experience problems sustaining their own social democracies. But I think in comparing life there with life in the United States, there is one useful point to be made. . What people in these countries enjoy is not assured lifetime employment or control over their workplaces, but a degree of basic security about their lives that is missing in the United States. Americans endure needless anxiety about access to education and healthcare and about being left penniless or homeless. Our social safety net doesn’t just need mending, but replacement. It’s worn out. And Sanders provides a set of guidelines in his proposals that will move exactly in that direction That’s why he gets my vote on April 26 – even if I hope Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

Here's what Ed Kilgore had to say at New York Mag about Judis's piece:

Do All of Bernie’s Voters Want Him to Win?


...primary exit polls consistently show voters concerned about electability are heavily tilting toward Hillary. After all, you don't need a political-science degree to suspect that a 75-year-old self-styled democratic socialist with a Senate voting record a bit to the left of tofu is going to get Dukakised to death after a good, vicious billion-dollar Republican general-election ad campaign. That makes you wonder how many Hillary voters there are who'd pull the lever for Sanders if they really thought he could win the general election. And it also makes you wonder exactly how many Sanders voters like Judis don't really want him to win the nomination because they don't think he can win the general election — or want to fence in Clinton ideologically because they think she can.

A word about the ongoing Democratic presidential primaries

After last night's primary results I think it's safe to say that the shape of the 2016 general election is starting to come into focus. On the Republican side, Donald Trump holds a commanding lead and will likely secure his party's nomination. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton continues to maintain a significant delegate advantage. She has not yet collected the 2,383 delegates necessary to claim the nomination, so technically it is still possible for Sanders to win. But the chances of that happening are exceedingly small, barring some sort of unexpected event that completely changes the fundamentals of the race.

So what does this mean for Democratic Underground?

Given that neither Democratic candidate has collected the necessary delegates to win, and neither candidate has suspended their campaign, it is still primary season on Democratic Underground. Members are free to support the Democratic primary candidate of their choice here on DU while the candidates themselves are still actively campaigning for the nomination.

But we also understand that many DUers -- even as they continue to support their preferred primary candidate -- are starting to turn some of their attention to the general election that is starting to take shape. I know it is something of a cliché to say that this year's election is the most important in a generation, so I'm not going to say that. But I think it goes without saying that this year is unique in that our likely opponent espouses a toxic mixture of unvarnished racism and incitement to violence that many of us had believed (wrongly) was beyond-the-pale for a major party candidate. Given such a repellent choice on the other side -- a candidate that displays outright contempt for many of the core values of this country and this website -- I have no doubt that every DU member will, in time, get past the divisiveness of the Democratic primary and vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is. To do otherwise is unthinkable.

I understand that many of you are not ready to think about the general election yet, and that's fine. But to those of you who are starting to think about the need to get past the division and start to think about healing, I think it is important that we begin to tone down the most divisive and over-the-top rhetoric about our primary candidates and their supporters. And in case it's not clear, that goes for both candidates.

For the last four years we've allowed you all, via the Jury system, to set the standards for where you think the line should be drawn at DU, without interference from Admins. The system worked pretty well for a long time, but I think most people would agree that it has been stretched beyond the breaking point during the last few weeks of primary season. I knew there was a risk in sticking with this system in a highly-charged partisan environment, but we decided to place our faith in the members of DU -- believing that most DU members would be able to take off their candidate-supporter hats when serving on juries and make a good-faith effort to be fair to everyone regardless of candidate. I do not believe my faith was misplaced, but in hindsight I think that it was very difficult for individual jurors to hold the line against the worst-of-the-worst when it felt like standards everywhere on the site were in freefall. And let's be honest: Some of you have been serving on juries in a nakedly partisan fashion.

With this in mind we have been working on some significant changes to the Jury System which we think you will approve of -- I'm not going to go into the details because we're still working on it. Let's just say the focus is on reducing drama, providing better guidance for jurors, and setting clearer standards that better lay out our expectations for what Democratic Underground should be. Unfortunately these changes are still a couple of weeks to a couple of months away from being ready -- at which point the primary race should be pretty much over. Until then, we are going to implement some short-term changes to get us through primary season.

The short-term changes

We still believe that the vast majority of DU members are perfectly capable of participating in a productive way, and serving on juries in a non-partisan way. But given the pervasively negative tone of discussions here, we think it would be wise to provide a greater incentive for people to do so. Going forward if we see anyone voting to leave the worst-of-the-worst posts, or voting in a nakedly partisan fashion to hide posts which are clearly legitimate, then we will remove that person's ability to serve on juries. (We are not going to provide any notification to members who lose their jury privileges, because under the messed-up values of primary season we think many of you would see it as some kind of badge of honor.)

So, please, do the right thing when serving and let's clean this place up a bit.

We've also decided to try removing the current "five hides and you're out" restriction, mainly because we suspect that members would be more likely to vote to hide bad behavior if they didn't feel like one of their friends might get canned over it. So while members can still be flagged for review for getting posts hidden too quickly, there's no more five-hide suspension. And anyone who is currently suspended for getting five hides is able to post again as of now. We reserve the right to change this decision if it seems like it's having the opposite effect to what was intended.

And also we are not going to feature discussion threads on the DU homepage if they are posted in the General Discussion: Primaries forum, or in either of the two primary candidate supporters' groups. We are no longer interested in featuring the most divisive content on the front page of this website.

And so on to the part I'm sure you're all really interested in...

Who are we purging?

Nobody. However, if we see anyone puffing up Trump they will have to go do it someplace else.


General election season is on the horizon but the race is not over. Primary season continues. Nobody is getting purged unless they're Trump-humping. In an effort to improve the level of discourse we're going to remove Jurors who make terrible decisions (either voting to leave the worst-of-the-worst posts, or voting to hide clearly innocuous posts).

We'll be back with more news when we have some. In the meantime, let's all enjoy the fact that 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for progressives and a car wreck for conservatives.

PS. Fuck Donald Trump.

The Accidental Swiftboater

I suspect some of you may have heard about a discussion thread I started yesterday regarding this photograph of Bernie Sanders during the civil rights movement which was alleged to not be Bernie Sanders. It seems that I inadvertently stumbled into something much bigger than I was aware at the time. Here's what happened.

Obviously many of you are news junkies and DU junkies and you have a totally up-to-the-minute awareness of the latest controversies and where they stand, particularly when it is related to politics and the Democratic presidential primary in particular. When I am on DU I usually have a pretty good handle on what is going on, but if I am not on DU I don't actually spend my leisure time following politics. I rarely if ever watch cable news.

And it just so happens that when I posted my infamous thread about the Bernie photo, I was completely unaware of the larger context which the discussion was taking place.

On Thursday I was on DU a fair amount in the early afternoon, and I even participated in some of the discussions about John Lewis and the CBCPAC. My last post was probably midafternoon, and then I logged out for most of the rest of the day -- stopping back in around 11pm to post a little and then go to bed. As far as I'm aware, the story alleging that Bernie Sanders was not the person in the widely circulated photo from the civil rights era broke sometime in the evening, and I totally missed it.

I woke up on Friday morning and briefly stopped into DU, adding some stuff to the homepage, maybe posting a little and then logging off. I had an important conference call at 11:30am that I needed to prepare for, so I didn't spend much time on DU that morning and I didn't have any clue what the controversy du jour was.

After I finished my conference call I logged onto DU and if my memory serves that was when I first heard about the two posts that had been hidden by juries because they referenced this photo controversy. In both cases I thought the posts were fairly innocuous -- they were reporting that there was a story reported by Chris Matthews on MSNBC and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post alleging that there was a photo from the civil rights era previously believed to be Bernie Sanders, which might not have been him after all.

This was the first I had heard about this issue.

I looked at the hidden posts and I thought the hides were pretty dubious. I've certainly seen some questionable hides before, but I very rarely if ever see posts hidden simply for sharing (in a relatively civil manner) some information gleaned from a reputable mainstream news source. This troubled me.

In both cases the alerts characterized the posts as vile smears which (at the time) seemed over-the-top for what I thought was a just a case of mistaken identity. Big deal, right? One of the alerts referenced a debunking of the vile smear, which I checked out. It seemed pretty compelling -- similar looking clothing, hair, and glasses -- but not a slam dunk because it did not address why the wife and friends of the guy alleged to be in the picture (someone named Bruce Rappaport) seemed to think that this was their friend Bruce. I checked the Capehart article and an article at Time Magazine and the picture on the University of Chicago website and at the time I checked none of them had updated their stories to indicate that any of the facts of the story might be in dispute.

So this looks to me like some jurors just straight-up voted to hide a legit news story because they didn't want to hear what it said, which would be pretty lame. Keep in mind that at this point as far as I am aware the only thing going on here is that people are trying to figure out who's the dude in the picture. Perhaps the over-the-top alert messages should have been a clue, but I've seen over-the-top alert messages plenty of times before so I tend to discount them.

So, as I said, this troubled me. There had been another thread a couple weeks ago where a jury had voted to hide a legit news story about Jane Sanders' tenure at Burlington College that didn't cast her in a positive light, and that was somewhat eyebrow-raising but I figured it was removed under the unofficial don't-attack-family-members (unless they're public figures) principle. But here it was happening again, people voting to hide a legit news story simply because they didn't like what it said. I was getting concerned that this was now a trend, and we had entered a new phase of primary season in which people were using the DU juries to just censor news stories from reputable mainstream sources because they paint their candidates in a less-than-favorable light.

After thinking about it for a moment I decide to just go ahead and start a thread to ask about this allegedly misidentified photo. My intent was twofold: 1) to find out if there was more to the debunking than I was aware of, and 2) to express my concern that people might be using the juries to straight-up censor stuff for no good reason. I knew there would be some pushback, maybe some people would call me biased or complain about the jury system, but I figured most people would not quibble with my points 1 and 2 above so I went ahead and wrote up the post. I called EarlG to get his opinion before I posted, but he didn't pick up the phone so I just went ahead and posted it.

Again, keep in mind: At this point I still think we're just talking about some old picture and whether the person in the photo is Bernie Sanders. I have not seen any of it on cable news, nor have I read many other threads on the topic. The issue of the mis-identification does not seem like a a particularly big deal to me, except for the fact that some people were getting their posts hidden.

But based on some of the replies I am getting, it slowly starts to dawn on me that everyone else thinks this is some kind of swift boat situation. The reason why everyone else is so invested in the identity of the person in the photo is because they believe this is an effort to cast doubt on Bernie Sanders' history of civil rights activism.

By midafternoon my three boys come home from school. They bring along one friend from school for an impromptu playdate. Then a neighbor brings over her three kids so I can watch them while she runs errands. Then another boy from across the street comes over to play, because our house is the one where all the neighborhood kids come to play. Then I get a last-minute phone call from a neighbor asking if I can watch her daughter because her mother is having complications related to breast cancer. So here I am babysitting nine children between the ages of 3 and 11, entirely by myself, while I've got nearly the entire membership of my website piling on to tell me what an awful person I am. The whole situation is totally surreal.

By dinner time all the children leave and I can focus back on DU and it's totally nuts. It was right around the time when somebody called me a "COWARDLY SCUMBAG" that I decided to call EarlG -- which is what I do when DU is blowing up in my face -- to get his feedback and also to just vent. He has of course already seen the whole thing. And as I'm on the phone monologuing and wondering what the hell is happening, he tells me:

"Dude, don't you realize what's going on? They think you are trying to swift-boat Bernie."

He's actually laughing when he says it, even though he knows it's not funny and I know it's not funny. But maybe it is kind of funny in a way. It's a complete clusterfuck and I feel like crap but at least now it all kind of makes sense. I barely slept at all last night, and I spent most of today obsessing over what happened.

Which is a long way of saying that I think a number of you might have gotten the wrong idea about my post. I was actually trying to find out to find out how (and if) the story had actually been debunked, and to express my concern that people might be using the juries to straight-up censor stuff. I totally didn't get why it seemed so important to some of you that I give you my verdict asap, and then go back and edit my OP to make clear. The whole thing just seemed so surreal and over-the-top.

So, in case anyone still cares at this point, yes, I am convinced that it is Bernie Sanders in the photo. And yes, I understand why some people do actually think this might be a coordinated attempt to swift-boat him. And yes I now understand why this was such a big deal. But no, I am not involved.



The CBC PAC works to increase the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress, support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process-with an emphasis on young voters. There are currently 46 African Americans in Congress comprising the largest Congressional Black Caucus in history. With your financial support we will continue to grow, and expand our voice in key campaigns throughout the country.



Gregory Meeks (New York-5), Chairman
Serving the people of New York’s Sixth Congressional District has been the focus of Congressman Gregory W. Meeks’ eleven year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Benjamin Branch Executive Director
Benjamin Branch is the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC where he is responsible for developing and implementing the PAC’s fundraising strategy.

Chaka Burgess
Chaka Burgess is co-Managing Partner of Empire Consulting Group. Mr. Burgess has over 20 years of experience in public affairs, coalition building, lobbying and ally development for corporations, trade associations and nonprofit organizations.

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First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in early 2008 as part of a special election, Congressman Andre Carson was voted in to his first full term in Congress in November 2008.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Maryland-7)
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he still resides today.

Daria C. Dawson, J.D.
Daria C. Dawson is a senior legislative manager of governmental relations at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (New York - 8)
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries has proudly represented New York’s Eighth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since taking office on January 3, 2013.

Earl Jenkins Treasurer
Mr. Jenkins is a native of Detroit, Michigan and has been a CBC-PAC board member for eight years. He was educated in Detroit Public Schools and holds BBA (1971) and MBA (1974) degrees in Marketing from Western Michigan University.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas-30)
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is serving her ninth term representing the 30th Congressional District of Texas. The 30th District is entirely within Dallas County.

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Born and raised in New Orleans, Cedric Richmond was elected to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives on November 2, 2010 after more than a decade of service in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

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Congressman Albert Wynn is a Senior Director at GreenbergTraurig LLP. He joined GreenbergTraurig after serving 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.


Congrats to Bernie Supporters on your New Hampshire victory

Nicely done.

Spread the Love! It's Valentine Hearts Week on DU!

I know there has been a lot of negativity on DU recently. Here's a chance to spread around a little good feeling...

It's almost Valentine's Day -- time to Spread the Love to all your friends on Democratic Underground! From now until February 15, we're doing our annual Valentine Hearts promotion. Purchase a DU Star Membership or renew your existing membership, and we'll give you Valentine hearts to share with your DU friends. For every dollar you spend, you'll get one Valentine heart.

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Marco Rubio crashes and burns: Repeats himself four times in GOP debate (Video)

I didn't see this video posted on DU over the weekend. I wanted to make sure nobody missed it.
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