Tag: Reviews

It’s a Variant of a Russian Joke

During the 1990s, when Boris Yeltsin was presiding over the rape of Russia by finance types, there was a joke going around:

Everything that they said about Communism was a LIE.

Unfortunately, everything that they said about Capitalism was the Truth.

Donald Trump hews fairly close to this.

Everything he said about himself was a lie, but much of what he said about the US elites was the truth, and this review of the book The Tyranny of Merit, provides an interesting primer on this idea.

The thesis of this book is that the “Meritocracy” sees itself as important, when it is really self-important, and that it is pervasively corrupt, where the efforts to benefit themselves are hypocritically sold as benefiting society as a whole:

In examining the 2016 populist revolt that gave rise to Donald Trump and Brexit, most observers have focused on two explanations. Some say the uprising was driven by economic dislocation: Voters were angry about rising inequality and felt they were losing out because of trade. Others argue that anger with the establishment stemmed from racist discomfort with immigration, demographic change, and growing religious diversity.

In his new book, the Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel focuses on a third factor: elite smugness and self-dealing. To Sandel, 2016 represented a rebellion of voters lacking a college degree against a governing class that believes that its credentials, wealth, and power are the products of its merit. These leaders, Sandel argues, have condescended to blue-collar workers, “eroded the dignity of work and left many feeling disrespected and disempowered.”

Sandel focuses primarily on the left. For three decades, he writes, leading Democrats—including Bill Clinton (Yale Law ’73), Hillary Clinton (Yale Law ’73), and Barack Obama (Harvard Law ’91)—embodied personally, and touted rhetorically, a brand of meritocracy hopelessly oblivious to what he calls the “tyranny of merit.” Sometimes, this is implicit, as when Pete Buttigieg flexes on his ability to speak eight languages and his experience as a Rhodes Scholar. Other times, it’s explicit. Speaking in Mumbai in 2018, Hillary Clinton bragged that she “won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product”—that is, the places that had been successful in the era of globalization. This, Sandel writes, “displayed the meritocratic hubris that contributed to her defeat.” The Democratic Party “once stood for farmers and working people against the privileged. Now, in a meritocratic age, its defeated standard bearer boasted that the prosperous, enlightened parts of the country had voted for her.”


But Sandel is right to probe the dark things that can come from embracing meritocracy. Liberals have been overemphasizing their credentials and the economic success of their cosmopolitan metropolises. In doing so, they’ve forgotten that these markers are not good indicators of worth. The ability to obtain post-secondary degrees, particularly from elite institutions, is at least as much a reflection of one’s class and race as it is of one’s deservedness. The wealth and success of more liberal places has as much to do with an unequal system that allows existing wealth to concentrate as it does with the merit of those cities.


The term meritocracy, almost universally praised today, was coined in the 1950s by the British sociologist Michael Young to describe a dystopia. In contrast to an aristocracy, where people on top know they are just lucky and people on the bottom know they are merely unfortunate, in a meritocracy a small minority of winners feel enormous pride in their accomplishments and the majority feel humiliated by their low position. Young’s book predicted a revolt against meritocratic elites in 2034. “In 2016, as Britain voted for Brexit and America for Trump, that revolt arrived eighteen years ahead of schedule,” Sandel writes.


As a result, embracing meritocracy too tightly can be politically disastrous. In 2016, some working-class people were left with “the galling sense that those who stood astride the hierarchy of merit looked down with disdain on those they considered less accomplished than themselves.” The disdain was made explicit in 2016 when Hillary Clinton, speaking at fund-raisers in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, labeled millions of working-class Americans as “deplorables.”


Trump brilliantly exploited the idea that well-educated progressives looked down on those with less education (and, sometimes relatedly, those who are deeply religious). He rarely spoke of opportunity and upward mobility. A candidate “keenly alive to the politics of humiliation,” Sandel says, Trump feigned respect for working-class people. “l love the poorly educated,” Trump famously said after one primary victory. The gambit worked. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won college-educated voters, but Trump won voters without a college degree—a larger share of the electorate—by seven percentage points.

Liberals, of course, tend to have policies that are far more helpful to those without college educations than do conservatives. But Democratic governments stacked with well-educated elites have little real understanding of working-class struggles, and, just like Republicans, they can cause problems for the poor. For example, the mostly Ivy League status of Obama’s cabinet helped inform “a Wall Street–friendly response to the financial crisis,” Sandel writes, one that failed to comprehend “seething public anger.” Instead, the too-big-to-jail philosophy seemed to exonerate well-educated Wall Street bankers who engaged in selfish behavior that did grave damage to the country. Timothy Geithner and Rahm Emanuel were happier to bail out financial executives—who shared their pedigrees (and in some cases their former jobs)—than they were to rescue average Americans. In other words, a belief that wealth and education equal merit helped lead to stunning inequality.

From this review, and the policy prescriptions in the book, it seems to me that they have missed the point:  Many of the problems of “Meritocracy” do not come from a disdain for those less educated, though this is clearly a problem, much of it comes from the replacement of actual merit with credentialism.

There is no reasons that jobs which a decade ago required nothing beyond a high-school diploma a generation (or 2) ago now require a college degree, and possibly a post graduate degree.

Teachers entering schools in the 1950s needed an associated degree in education, or a bachelors in some other subject, while now all teachers need a masters degree in education.

Unfortunately there has been a whole infrastructure of credentialed people doing the bullsh%$ job of creating credentials, verifying credentials, and ranking credentials for other people.

Interestingly enough it is not the US that has the most extremely credentialed society on earth, it is likely India, where credentials, they call it caste there, completely permeate their society.

Today in Savage Book Reviews

Matt Taibbi giving a savage book review is its own reward.

I cannot possibly due justice to it so I will leave you with just this quote:

It takes a special kind of ignorant for an author to choose an example that illustrates the mathematical opposite of one’s intended point, but this isn’t uncommon in White Fragility, which may be the dumbest book ever written. It makes The Art of the Deal read like Anna Karenina.

Go read.

Even if you disagree with the thesis, you will be amused.

Review: Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

Kaley Cuoco … Harley Quinn
Lake Bell … Poison Ivy
Ron Funches … King Shark
Tony Hale … Doctor Psycho, Felix Faust
Jason Alexander … Sy Borgman
J. B. Smoove … Frank the Plant
Alan Tudyk … the Joker, Clayface, Calendar Man, Doctor Trap, Condiment King
Charlie Adler … Nick Quinzel, Grandpa Quinzel
James Adomian … Bane, Chaz, Ian, Ratcatcher
Diedrich Bader … Batman
Tisha Campbell-Martin … Tawny Young, M.O.N.I.C.A.
Briana Cuoco … Barbara Gordon
Andy Daly … Two-Face
Chris Diamantopoulos … Aquaman
Rachel Dratch … Nora Fries
Giancarlo Esposito … Lex Luthor
Susie Essman … Sharon Quinzel, Grandma Quinzel
Sean Giambrone … Joshua Cobblepot
Meryl Hathaway … Marcus
Tom Hollander … Alfred Pennyworth
Michael Ironside … Darkseid
Tom Kenny … Clayface’s Hand
Wayne Knight … the Penguin
Rahul Kohli … the Scarecrow
Phil LaMarr … Jason Praxis, Black Manta, Lucius Fox, Brian
Sanaa Lathan … Catwoman
George Lopez … Himself
Howie Mandel … Himself
Vanessa Marshall … Wonder Woman, Giganta, Joey Day
Christopher Meloni … Commissioner James Gordon
Alfred Molina … Mr. Freeze
Natalie Morales … Lois Lane
Brad Morris … Victor Zsasz
Frankie Muniz … Himself
Matt Oberg … Kite Man, Killer Croc, KGBeast
Rhea Perlman … Golda
Jim Rash … the Riddler, Stan, Mr. Isley
Will Sasso … Maxie Zeus
Rory Scovel … Gus
Nicole Sullivan … Mrs. Cobblepot, Benjamin
Wanda Sykes … Queen of Fables
Talia Tabin … Debbie Day
Jacob Tremblay … Damian Wayne / Robin
Mark Whitten … Herman Cizko / The Cowled Critic
James Wolk … Superman

Directors: Juan Meza-Leon, Matt Garofalo, Ben Jones, Frank Marino, Cecilia Aranovich Hamilton, Colin Heck, Colin Heck, Vinton Heuck, Brandon McKinney, Ben Jones

I will attempt to keep this this review as spoiler free as possible, but there will be a few inevitable spoilers, you have been warned.

This series is a telling of Harley Quinn’s transition from sidekick to super-villain after her split with Joker.

You can (at least until June 1) stream it online at Syfy.com, at least if you have a cable account. (see the link)

I have enjoyed what I have seen this far, I am very impressed.

Kaley Cuoco, who plays Harley, gives what her is arguably her finest performance to date.

She puts the “fun” in dysfunction, and plays Quinn as a whip smart and thoroughly broken ingenue.

The best performance though, is Lake Bell as Poison Ivy, who completely steals the show as the self-described eco-terrorists.

She is deeply devoted to Harley (I ship them so much), and she has a remarkably clear view of reality, except for the whole insane toxic pheromone criminal plant lady thing.

Ron Funches as King Shark is an truly amusing combination of techno nerd and ravenous prehistoric deep sea predator.

Alan Tudyk as Clayface (and  the Joker, Calendar Man, Doctor Trap, Condiment King) is a revelation. (He is a leaf on the wind, watch as he soars)

His, and the writers’ vision of Clayface as the ultimate theater dweeb overeager actor is truly inspired.

All of this is wrapped in witty, completely irreverent, and thoroughly profane (S-Bomb, and F-Bomb, though the (spoiler) C-Bomb is bleeped) plotting and dialogue.

There are some problematic bits in the scripts though, particularly the fact that they occasionally traffic in Jewish stereotypes, particularly during the (spoiler) Cobblepot bar-mitzvah, and the character of Sy Borgman, and (spoiler) Harley’s parents.  (Who knew that Quinzel was a Jewish name?)

This is a joyous roasting of super-hero culture, while also being a profoundly feminist narrative.

I recommend this highly, and rate it 8⅔ out of 10.

Watching What Might Be the Best Police Procedural Movie Ever

The 1974 version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, directed by Joseph Sargent, screenplay by Peter Stone, and starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Héctor Elizondo, Martin Balsam, and Jerry Stiller.

In addition to being an excellent cop movie, it’s also an excellent transit movie, and it has the most famous sneeze in cinema.

It is also a glorious snap-shot of the culture and weirdness of New York City in the 1970s.

It may be the most New York City movie ever.

After I saw the movie, I read the book, and was not impressed, but this movie was genius.

The 2 remakes that followed, not so much.

According to the Customs of My People

Today, we engaged in a Jewish tradition from time immemorial, we had Chinese food, and went to a movie.

Actually, we saw 2 movies.

What follows is a spoiler free, and hence vague, review.

Last night, we watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TFA) on pay-per-view, (we also had Chinese food), and tonite, we saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (RoS) in a movie theater.   (also Chinese food)

They were both decent movies, but I much preferred TFA to RoS.

I could consider TFA to be the 3rd best of the Star War movies, though I was never able to sit through the first two of the prequels.

TFA was self-aware, actually commenting the Star Wars mythology and conventions, and it was true to the characters, and the plot, while possessing some holes, was relatively coherent.

Also, there was what is arguably the least subtle anti-fascist message of any of the films in the series.  (Anti-fascism is IMHO a common throughout the series)

Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), who was introduced in TFA, was firmly relegated to the background in RoS, probably as a result of the Twitter sh%$-storm from alt-right fanboi after TFA.

Also, as befits J.J. Abrams, he directed the RoS but not TFA there was a big Chekhov’s gun* violation.

In both movies, the performances of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver’s performance was better, though I think, particularly in RoS that it served to highlight some of the shortcomings of the script.

Mark Hamill’s performance in TFA, largely playing the role of sensei from many Japanese Samurai movies, is arguably his best performance in a Star Wars movie.

Carrie Fisher’s performance in TFA was good, but that might be colored by her death following filming, and in RoS, her performance was a combination of archival footage and possibly CGI.

Of the supporting characters, the best performance was probably that of Kerri Russell in RoS, who did so either fully or partially masked, and the always entertaining Benicio Del Toro in TFA.

*Chekhov’s gun (Russian: Чеховское ружьё) is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed; elements should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play.

The Cats Movie Has a Positive Social Value

Because while the movie has generally been reviewed as an unalloyed disaster, it has produced outraged reviews with lines like, “Cats always feels like it’s two seconds away from turning into a furry orgy in a dumpster.”

I enjoy reading outraged negative reviews, so it’s all good.

I wait with baited breath for Rex Reed’s review, because no one does a catty negative review like he does.

Taibbi Reads the Coffee Man’s Book, So I Don’t Have To

Matt Taibbi’s review of Howard Schultz’s autobiography From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America, and it’s up there with his epic take-downs of Tom Friedman’s drivel:

Scientists may someday find the edge of the universe, but there is no end to the delusional self-regard of America’s one-percenters, as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz proved this week.

Sunday night on 60 Minutes, Schultz announced he was considering a run for president as an independent. The Twitter reaction was like something out of 28 Days Later: mobs of Trump-exhausted Americans sprinting to bite his face off. At a bookstore appearance for his new memoir, a heckler shouted “Go back to Davos!”

Why the severe reaction? Schultz openly declared his decision to run as an Independent was based on the idea that he’d have to “lean left” to win the Democratic nomination. This is rich-speak for “I obviously couldn’t win the nomination if I had to compete honestly.”


Schultz timed his announcement to coincide with his ghostwriter Joanne Gordon’s new work, the aforementioned memoir entitled, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America, released Tuesday.

From the Ground Up belongs to the F%$# You: How I Became a Billionaire and You Didn’t genre that has an oddly persistent market in America.

Because it’s also designed to double as an extended stump speech, it’s a particularly difficult read — the boring and insincere autobiography of a pretentious oligarch who probably hasn’t been told to his face he’s full of shit since the first Bush administration.

He finishes by asking, “Is anything in the world more dangerous than a bored billionaire?

This is Taibbi at the top of his form, and you should read the rest.

According to the Customs of My People, Chinese and a Movie on Christmas

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Shameik Moore … Miles Morales (voice)
Jake Johnson … Peter B. Parker (voice)
Hailee Steinfeld … Gwen Stacy (voice)
Mahershala Ali … Uncle Aaron (voice)
Brian Tyree Henry … Jefferson Davis (voice)
Lily Tomlin … Aunt May (voice)
Luna Lauren Velez … Rio Morales (voice)
Zoë Kravitz … Mary Jane (voice)
John Mulaney … Spider-Ham (voice)
Kimiko Glenn … Peni Parker (voice)
Nicolas Cage … Spider-Man Noir (voice)
Kathryn Hahn … Doc Ock (voice)
Liev Schreiber … Wilson Fisk (voice)
Chris Pine … Peter Parker (voice)
Natalie Morales … Miss Calleros (voice)
Edwin H. Bravo … Brooklyn Visions Security Guard (voice)
Oscar Isaac … Interesting Person #1 (voice)
Greta Lee … Interesting Person #2 (voice)
Stan Lee … Stan (voice)
Jorma Taccone … Green Goblin / Last Dude (voice)
Joaquín Cosio … Scorpion (voice)
Marvin “Krondon” Jones III … Tombstone (voice) (as Marvin Jones III)

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writers: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman

Yes, it’s better than the trailer

This is a spoiler free review, of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and I will not go into the minutae of the plot beyond what you can see in the (attached) trailer.

Charlie and I saw this, while Sharon* and Nat saw Mary Queen of Scotts, because Sharon* was not interested in seeing an animated superhero movie, and I have always had a visceral loathing of Mary I of Scotland, so I did not want to see the movie.

Natalie was up for both, but went, and enjoyed, Mary Queen of Scotts, which was probably best for her.

The basic plot is that Wilson Fisk (The Kingpin) is engaging in dimension spanning experiments to further his nefarious (but understandable) aims.

This threatens the very fabric of existence, and brings other Spider beings into Miles Morales’ universe.

Miles Morales must learn how to use his powers and work with other Spider folks in order to do this.

It’s a rather ordinary Spider-Man plot with a multiverse thrown in, but really, you don’t go to this movie for the plot, you go to the movie for the characters and the art direction.

The characterization, and dialogue, are very good.

“How good?”, you ask?

So good that I did not find Nicholas Cage, who voiced Spider-Man Noir, annoying.

The performances are all top flight, with Kathryn Hahn’s performance as Doc Ock, and Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as Gwen Stacy being the strongest.

As to the art direction, it was magnificent.

First, they had a clear vision, and a reason to use animation as a result.

Second, their vision recreated the medium of the printed comic book to a degree I have never seen.

In addition to using the classic boxes for internal dialogue, they treated the background in a way that evoked the occasionally problematic color registration issues present in comic books, along with the occasional captioned sound effects.

One health note here:  If you have an issue with flashing lights,  migraines or a seizure disorder, it might be triggering.

Nat was having a mild migraine yesterday, which is why it was good that she saw Mary Queen of Scotts instead. You probably want to make sure that you are ready for what is a very vibrant style on that day.

One final note, it has what will be one of  Stan Lee’s final cameos, with him telling Milo that about his Spider-Man costume, “It always fits — eventually,”  pulls at the heart strings.

There is also a blink-and-you-miss-it call out to Steve Ditko.

Finally, (do I need to say this for a Marvel Studios Film?) SIT THROUGH THE WHOLE CREDITS.  Seriously.

Overall rating: 9 of 10.

As to the Chinese food, we had dinner after seeing the movies, and I shared Peking Duck with Sharon* at David Chu’s, a local kosher Chinese eatery, which I highly recommend.

That duck is why I did not write the review last night. It’s delicious, but it is perhaps the best sleeping aid that I have ever encountered.

I was sleeping like a baby at 8:30 pm.

*Love of my life, light of the  cosmos, she  who must be obeyed, my wife.

Read This

The editors are at Rolling Stone are sadists, so they assigned Matt Taibbi to do a review of the new HBO hagiography of Senator John Sidney McCain III’s life, and he is brilliant and savage:

I hope my editors boil in oil in the afterlife for asking me to review John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, the new HBO doc that premieres Memorial Day and stars David Brooks, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush and a succession of other wax-museum escapees who line up to evade and prevaricate about things McCain-related and not.

The review copy might as well have been titled, Go Ahead, Say Something Bad About a Terminal Cancer Patient. I felt like a monster 20 seconds in.

It is a beautiful take-down, with quotes like this:

So McCain brought in Sarah Palin, who was a hell of a change, all right, with the IQ of a cheese-wheel – she made Dan Quayle sound like Spinoza. McCain’s campaign was cooked from that moment, because as the months passed, he couldn’t conceal his growing contempt for his own decision, leading to a fracture within the party that has persisted to this day.

This review is a thing of beauty, and you need to read the whole thing.

Some Commentaries on the White House Correspondents’s Dinner

First, read Matt Taibbi, who unloads a righteous can of whup ass on the chorus of whines from the “elite” press that must be read, and while both the New York Times and the Washington Post published articles that similarly extolled the virtues of comedy and the condemned the general uselessness of the establishment press.  (Here and here)

Basically, it’s the same pathetic self important hurt feelings that we saw after Stephen Colbert cut the White House press corps(e) a new asshole in 2006.

Deep Wisdom

In his review of the Clinton campaign tell all Shattered, Nathan Robinson and he provides a potent insight, specifically that there a number of factors that had to coincide for Clinton to lose the election, and that the Democratic Party political establishment needs to focus on the ones that are they have control over, and those factors are the fault of the Democratic Party political establishment.

The alleged Russian meddling in the election and Comey’s behavior are both unlikely events, while the fact that the party establishment went all in on the worst possible candidate, and the party’s consultants ran the worst possible campaign.

The last two items are something that could be fixed the next time around, though it’s clear that neither party establishment, and the consultants who feed off the party apparatus want this to happen, since it means less for them.

The problem, much like the sitcom Seinfeld, the Democratic conventional wisdom calls for the party to be about nothing, and a bad something with bad hair and bad ideas still beats nothing:


First, let’s be clear on what we mean by identifying something that “caused” the result. Because the election was extremely close, and well under 100,000 people would have had to change their minds for the result to be different, hundreds and hundreds of factors can be identified as “but for” causes of the result, i.e. but for the existence of Factor X, Clinton would have won. So, say we narrow our 500 “but for” causes down to 4: the Clinton campaign’s incompetence, the Russian leaking of embarrassing internal documents, obstinate voters who refused to come out for Clinton, and James Comey’s letter. If we assume for the moment that we think each of these had an equal effect, we can see how it’s the case that in the absence of any one of them, the result would have changed:

That means that the decision of which factor to pick out for blame is subjective. Since both Comey’s letter and Clinton’s incompetence are equal causes, in that without one of them the result would have tipped in the other direction, the person who blames Comey and the person who blames Clinton are equally correct. Again, the actual chart would have about 5 million causes rather than 4. But the point is that we have to decide which of these causes to focus our attention on.

Thus the statement “The Clinton campaign lost because it lacked vision, authenticity, and strategy” is consistent with the statement “If it wasn’t for James Comey’s letter, Hillary Clinton would have won the election.” But personally, I believe it’s far more important to focus on the causes that you can change in the future. You don’t know what the FBI director will do, and you can’t affect whether he does it or not. What you can do is affect what your side does. So the Democrats cannot determine whether James Comey will choose to give a damning statement implying their candidate is a criminal. But they can determine whether or not to run a candidate who is under FBI investigation in the first place.

Note that even if you think Comey was the major cause of Clinton’s loss, it still might be advisable to turn your attention elsewhere:

If you fix the other things, then even a highly impactful Comey letter won’t tip the election. And correspondingly, even if you prove that Clinton’s own actions were 99% responsible for her loss, a Clinton supporter would be technically correct in identifying Comey as causing the outcome:

In any scenario, it’s probably best to figure out what your party itself can do to address the situation. After all, if we’re really adding up causes, Donald Trump himself is probably the primary one, yet it would be a waste of time to sit around blaming Donald Trump, if it’s also true that you ran a horrible campaign that alienated people.

You can also think certain things acted as precipitating causes without necessarily being at fault. For example, you might think that WikiLeaks was a direct cause of the result, but not think them at fault because it’s their job to post the material they receive. The same goes for the New York Times covering the email story; it might have contributed to the outcome, but you might think this isn’t their fault because they’re journalists and that’s what they do. Likewise James Comey; you might believe he was doing his job as he saw fit. And Bernie Sanders: Clinton may have lost both because she gave speeches to Goldman Sachs and because Bernie Sanders repeatedly criticized her for it, but you might think that one of those things is more justified than the other. There’s a question of which things you can change to improve outcomes, and then there’s a question of which things you should change. In 1992, for example, Bill Clinton realized that Democrats could win more elections if they adopted the Republican platform of slashing welfare and locking up young black men. This did change outcomes. But it was also heinous. And personally, I think you’re changing something about the party, you should change “Democrats enriching themselves from Wall Street speeches” rather than “people pointing out that Democrats are enriching themselves from Wall Street speeches.”

Shattered is both tragic and comic. It’s tragic because Donald Trump becomes president at the end. But it’s comic in that it depicts a bunch of egotistical and hyper-confident people arrogantly pursuing an obviously foolish strategy, dismissing every critic as irrational and un-pragmatic, only to completely fall on their faces. There was, Allen and Parnes tell us, “nothing like the aimlessness and dysfunction of Hillary Clinton’s second campaign for the presidency—except maybe those of her first bid for the White House.” And however horrible it may be to have Donald Trump as commander in chief (it is incredibly, deeply horrible and threatens all of human civilization), reading Shattered one cannot help but get a tiny amount of satisfaction from the fact that Mook and Clinton’s cynical and contemptuous attitude toward the American public didn’t actually produce the result that they were certain it would. One wishes they had won, but one is also a tiny bit glad that they lost.

Vision, authenticity, strategy. You need to have clear sense of what you want to do and why you want to do it. You need to show people that you mean it and believe in it. And you need to have an idea of how to get from here to there. The Clinton campaign had no vision, was inauthentic, and botched its strategy. But that’s not a problem unique to Hillary Clinton, and singling her out for too much criticism is unfair and, yes, sexist (especially because Bill is much worse). This is a party-wide failure, and it will require more than just banishing the Clintons from politics. If the Democrats are to have a future, they must offer something better, more honest, and more inspiring. With Republicans dominating the government, we cannot afford to end up shattered again.