Has Pantsuit Nation Imploded?

Pantsuit Nation started as a secret Facebook group where supporters of Hillary Clinton came to coordinate wearing pantsuits on election day. Once Clinton didn’t win the election, it became something of a collective grieving space for those who couldn’t believe we didn’t have our first female president. All that changed one week ago when Libby Chamberlain, the group’s founder, announced she’d landed a book deal.

The Huffington Post quickly called Pantsuit Nation a “sham.” Apparently someone didn’t like the New York Times reporting on Chamberlain’s book deal the previous day. Chamberlain also filed a trademark application for Pantsuit Nation, despite allegedly seeking no profit or compensation from the group’s activities. HuffPo writer Harry Lewis called the move “a branding machine.”

Elizabeth Chamberlain has every right to make a living. Are her activities a “sham?” Is she guilty of scamming people? All signs, from this deception artist’s perspective, point to “no.”

Assuming the facts least favorable to Ms. Chamberlain, she isn’t under any obligation to abstain from profits under a book deal she signs. People are allowed to make money in America. That’s part of the good stuff in this country. Starting a Facebook group isn’t illegal, and getting a book deal for “stories” told in the group is a testament to the power of social media.

Ms. Chamberlain is under no obligation to pay any participant who chooses to submit a story for her book. If that changes, I’ll change this post. What sticks out as interesting is her decision to only include stories submitted with express permission. Obtaining that “express permission” would arguably require sending each potential participant a contract for signature and return. The terms of such a document would be worth examining, and each participant would be well advised to look over the “permission slip” with an attorney.

She also, according to my understanding, does not owe the collective, invitation-only Facebook group she created any sort of “duty” to tailor its activity to anyone’s liking. That argument’s been tried before at other sites, and with no rules placed other than what Chamberlain and the group’s admins set the “duty” is whatever Chamberlain and her friends say it is.

The issue people seem to take with Chamberlain’s actions is they’re not active enough. Over at Slate, Christina Cauterucci finds several members of the (approximately) four million member Facebook Group wanted to do more than just share their stories. A book didn’t live up to their expectations.

“We came to fight Trump,” [one Pantsuit Nation member] continued. “Instead, [Chamberlain] made a coffee table book? Really? Not only are there millions of us, but we are passionate and ready to go. A coffee table book feels like a kick in the teeth.”

A book may not have been what brought Pantsuit Nation together. That book may be the group’s undoing. But for now, if Elizabeth Chamberlain happens to make money off the Facebook group she created, that’s not a scam, sham, or any other negative word you might choose to label it. Asking for additional transparency won’t do any good. Someone got lucky and secured a book deal.

Unfortunately for the Pantsuit Nation Facebook group, they can’t even be happy about that.

I accepted an invitation some time back to Pantsuit Nation for reasons I can’t explain. Part of me was fascinated at the alternate reality some of its members saw. Another part of me was curious at the alleged fear its member base “felt” in the aftermath of President Elect Trump’s rise to power.

Now that it’s disintegrated to infighting, it’s time to move on. There’s more important battles to fight, and more conflicts worth discussion than the self-destruction of Pantsuit Nation.

The book deal Elizabeth Chamberlain has is far from a potential scam. Some people just can’t accept her refusal to do more. That’s expectation management, not deception.

Clarifying Bernie.

Yesterday Bernie Sanders took to Medium in defense of his support for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid.  I’m not surprised the whorehopper went to the one platform where his millennial fan base would flock, something owned by Twitter, to defend his complete and utter sell-out of those who truly asked for change.  He made some points defending his endorsement of Supreme Queen Clinton.  I’m going to help clarify them.  All bolded statements are my emphasis.

I am writing you today to express my deep pride in the movement — the political revolution — you and I have created together over the last 15 months. When we began this historic campaign, we were considered fringe players by the political, economic and media establishment. Well, we proved them wrong.

Yup.  Sure did.  You managed to allow yourselves to get branded as sexist (anyone with half a memory remember the BernieBro slur hurled at those men and women who dared support anyone other than Queen Clinton?), displayed a spineless campaign strategy of “being the nice guy,” promised far more than you could ever deliver, and didn’t come close to rebutting the fears Americans have of the “S” word you kept throwing around.

We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors.

By jumping right on the corporate teat and begging for the table scraps, like a good Whorehopper would.

We mobilized over 13 million voters across the country. We won 23 Democratic primary and caucus contests. We had literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. And we showed — in a way that can change politics in America forever — that you can run a competitive national grassroots campaign without begging millionaires and billionaires for campaign contributions.

Senator Whorehopper, a few of those donors would like their money back, and if you could just be a dear and apologize for wasting your volunteers’ time I think they’d really appreciate that too.

This movement of ours — this political revolution — must continue. We cannot let all of the momentum we have achieved in the fight to transform America be lost. We will never stop fighting for what is right.

And we’re going to do it Hillary’s way, because Senator Whorehopper totally spoke with her before announcing any strategies to transform America, and she’s totes cool with it, you guys.

It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead.

Um, Senator Whorehopper, elections are about candidates.  They’re about the people we allegedly pick to run this country.  That’s their sole purpose.  Standing around with your fist raised in the air does nothing.  Actually getting to the White House, or Congress, or your local Congress and working for the people who helped you get there.  The “strength of your campaign” and the “strength of your movement” amounted to a bunch of whining and crying without ever accomplishing a damn thing in your allegedly radical brain.

In terms of the presidential election this November, there is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump as president would be a devastating blow to all that we are fighting for. His openly bigoted and pro-billionaire campaign could precipitate the same decades-long rightward shift in American politics that happened after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. That rightward shift after Reagan’s election infected not just politics as a whole but led to the ascendancy of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party — an era from which we are still recovering.

To have all of the work we have done in elevating our progressive ideals be dashed away by a complete Republican takeover of Washington — a takeover headed by a candidate that demonizes Latinos, Muslims, women, African Americans, veterans, and others — would be unthinkable.

TL;DR: Those damned Republicans.  It’s always the damned Republicans, fucking shit up for the working class.  Even when it’s our people fucking shit up for you, it’s always the Republicans’ fault.  Remember that when you go to the polls.  Don’t think for yourself, don’t cast blame on the people who go Team Blue, just pull the lever for anyone who isn’t a Republican.  It’s always their fault, even when we were the fuckups.

Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton.

Because if she gets elected then I’ll get my own little shed at the back of the White House where I can hang my pictures of Marx and Lenin and think I actually did something to make this country better again.  Hillary and Bill both told me last night at the $500 a plate fundraiser we attended.  Hell, I even met one of the Koch brothers who said I was doing the right thing by being #WithHer!

You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward.

Translation: “She told me what to say, and I said “yes ma’am” so I might have a chance at keeping my home in Vermont or sucking off campaign teats as Senator Sanders later on.  Never fuck with a Clinton, no sir–um, no ma’am.

 The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months.

But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance.

You guys, please, please vote for Her and all her buddies.  In fact, just get on the “approved representatives” list on Queen Hillary’s website and vote for all of them.  They may all be influenced by corporate slavemasters, but so what?  That way you can be on the right side of history and I might get weed legalized for you.  Work with me, please.  Don’t walk out like that.

It is extremely important that we keep our movement together, that we hold public officials accountable and that we elect progressive candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level who will stand with us.

Did you see the shit Queen Hillary pulled with the FBI?  Holy cow.  I need in on that action before I get two to the dome. That’s why you #StandWithHer.

You should know that I intend to be actively campaigning throughout this election season to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda. I hope to see many of you at events from coast to coast.

If I’m lucky, Queen Hillary (and she keeps telling me to call her that because that’s the preferred pronoun.  Queen.  Remember that) will even let me off my leash and go campaign on my own like a big boy.

Now more than ever our country needs our movement — our political revolution. As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your ongoing support as we continue through the fall and beyond.

All campaign donations go to HillaryClinton.com from this point forward.  Oh and I saved you the trouble and gave her all my email lists and campaign donor information.  You’re welcome.  We have to be good guys and gals about this.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to my regularly scheduled masturbation session over a copy of Das Kapital.

On a personal note, I cannot say with words how appreciative Jane and I are of the kindness, dedication and love we experienced from so many people across the country.

On a personal note, you’re welcome, Senator Whorehopper.  Now go fuck yourself.