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April 11, 2018

Comments

sapient: Should she have...

IMHO, none of those are particularly useful. But the general question of What makes a successful candidate (while still being someone we would like to vote for)? remains worth asking. Maybe even getting a serious answer.

bob mcmanus: I look forward to it.

So all you want for Christmas is a 2nd term for He, Trump?

Why don't you tell us who you want Us The Impure to rally around, bob?. You never know: we might join you, since you've made it clear that you'll never join us. Who are your Sufficiently Pure nominees?

--TP

Why don't you tell us who you want Us The Impure to rally around, bob?.

Right now like I said it is just useful to make Wall Street and NYC-Boston-DC corridor thing poison in preparation.

Vermont is landlocked, so not East Coast.

Sanders is old as stone, but working hard kicking ass every day more than the others I see.

I so kinda want to watch the Clintons and Obamas on the podium watching Sanders take the Oath of Office and reminding the crowd of the four years of hell that the greed and callous smug self-righteousness of the Wall Street Democrats gave the country.

Yes. #itsherfault

she was the WRONG candidate

I don't think so. Or if she was it had nothing to do with her policy positions or abilities. It is possible that she ran a poor campaign, or unwisely decided to try for a landslide rather than doing all she could to just win.

Candidates, it turns out, are actual people, who sometimes misjudge, and are flawed in ways that ideal candidates are not. When they lose it's easy to overstate those flaws.

The people I blame for Donald J Trump being POTUS are, in order:

1. the people who voted for him
2. the people who couldn't be bothered to vote

There is nothing whatsoever that you can say about Clinton's personality, ethics, professional resume, what have you, that isn't utterly obliterated on the merits by comparable deficiencies on Trump's part.

She's not a billionaire, he does have the edge there.

Everybody has their theory about why it all turned out the way it did. At a certain point, the discussion begins to deprive the folks who voted for Trump, or decided to just stay home, of their agency in their own decisions, and of their responsibility for them.

Whatever happens with the whole Trump fiasco, it's on the folks who either voted him in, or couldn't be bothered to vote at all.

Everybody talks about this stuff like there was a conga line of (D)'s who would all have been much better candidates than Clinton, if she would only have stood down.

There wasn't.

Clinton isn't the charming glad-hander that her husband is, and isn't the thoughtful no-drama can't-we-all-get-along reasonable guy that Obama is. She's a tough, competent, seasoned political professional.

Lots of folks simply preferred Trump. So, we have Trump.

It's on the folks who voted for him, and on the folks who couldn't be bothered to even show up.

At a certain point, the discussion begins to deprive the folks who voted for Trump, or decided to just stay home, of their agency in their own decisions, and of their responsibility for them.

I don't disagree that they are responsible for the results of their own action (or inaction). But that leaves the question of how those who do not belong to either group might have acted in order to change the outcome. Because we all have agency as well.

Personally, I do not feel responsible for the fact that Trump is POTUS. I just deal with it.

I was not 2.

All the more reason to blame you for everything, boomer. ;)

Sanders and Harris, so far.

Harris looks promising. Sanders? Well, maybe his time has come and gone, but I thank him for his '16 run. Gillibrand may or may not be some kind of opportunist, but I like opportunists who both (a.) wind; and (b.) agree with me. She's making the right noises.

Should be interesting to see what we Democrats (yes, I am one in good standing in my LD) find to come to blows about in 2020, the hindsight year.

win, not "wind" sheesh.

All the more reason to blame you for everything, boomer. ;)

I blame wj.

Oh, and for the record I think it is useful to the point of conditional that if he runs Sanders look for a West of Appalachians person of color for the bottom of the ticket. Keith Ellison would be cool, but there are many women possibles, and a Latina woman veteran from the Rockies or Sierras would be maybe acceptable.

Cause remember Sanders is old and I want to watch Clinton applaud the first woman President.

bob mcmanus: I personally think Franken is viable ...

Hooray! I agree with bob!!

Until the Republicans ratfucked him and the Democrats stomped on him, I thought that Franken was both perfectly prepared and ideally positioned to take on TV personality and humorless shithead He, Trump. I still think so.

--TP

I blame wj.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Do any of you Harris fans happen to know if she has started spending any time in Iowa and New Hampshire? Because demonstrating that she can win (at least primaries) in those kinds of places is going to be critical if she is going to convince people that she can do what Obama did: overcome the racial issue and will the general election.

As noted, Obama demonstrated that is was possible. But it's still an uphill climb and it would be nuts do deny that reality.

Should she have not been a Senator from New York?

My own lunatic fringe theory is related to this: Democrats from the NE urban corridor will consistently underperform nationally. "From" means roughly "lived there for the 20 years leading up to the election." Serving in Congress counts. I suspect this is increasingly true for the Pacific and Intermountain West as well, but there's never been a test case. Maybe Kamala Harris will be one, but my own bet is that she will go for Governor of California instead.

I think Michael may well be correct. She's young. And traditionally, Governor is a better launching pad than Senator. (If only because you tend to have a better executive staff in place to start.)

Democrats from the NE urban corridor will consistently underperform nationally.

I dunno', I thought FDR did OK, and there was that Kennedy guy.

I suspect this is increasingly true for the Pacific and Intermountain West as well, but there's never been a test case.

Reagan does not count?

Y'all are lazy as hell.

Stop focussing on "the candidate" and get real with "the voter".

No saint is going to save us. We need to focus on the people. If they're okay with corruption and fraud? We're done. We need to change their minds. It's a heavy lift, but it's our job.

Stop focussing on "the candidate" and get real with "the voter".

Yes, and thank you.

I dunno', I thought FDR did OK, and there was that Kennedy guy.

FDR and Kennedy were candidates when the Solid South was still a thing -- racist white Southerners would die before they voted for a Republican. As Johnson said, the CRA and VRA were the right things to do, even though it would cost the Dems the South for at least a generation. (We're at what -- three generations now?) 1968 and beyond is a whole 'nother thing.

Reagan does not count?

Read what I said. Reagan wasn't a Democrat running on a Democratic platform. Reagan ran hard against what is still a major part of the NE urban corridor Democratic platform -- how to deal with black poverty in inner-city cores.

Stop focussing on "the candidate" and get real with "the voter".

Absolutely. Arizona is ready to flip. Pour money into registering the young Latinx voters, getting them on the permanent no-excuse absentee ballot list, keeping their address up to date, and voting. A state that can pass independent redistricting, a $12 minimum wage, and guaranteed sick time, all by initiative, can elect many more Democrats.

I claim that a DNC dominated by the NE urban corridor, Rust Belt cities, and Southern blacks, is incapable of following that path. Western Dems will have to do it despite the DNC.

Johnny Unbeatable will save us all.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/12/ballad-johnny-unbeatable

I claim that a DNC dominated by the NE urban corridor, Rust Belt cities, and Southern blacks, is incapable of following that path.

yeah, well, screw your west-coast hippy-cowboy, thirsty gravel-heeled dustmouths. give me a damp and greasy east-coaster any day.

and furthermore, italics can go right to hell.

I will not vote for Sanders unless he's the last one standing after the primary. I would have voted for him in the last election, but everything he has done since losing the nomination has convinced me that he's a self-important Drama Llama.

Talk about needing to learn from the last defeat and not doing so...

I'll probably regret this, being new to commenting and the button still being quite warm to the touch, but what the hell...

To get an idea of where I'm coming from, literally, my appointment at the dentist tomorrow is one town over from Chappaqua. Make what you will of that. Anyway, the anecdotal, general consensus of my ever-shrinking circle of friends with whom I can discuss politics at a conversational volume is as follows, fwiw...

It wasn't the speeches so much as the refusal to disclose what was said. It wasn't the emails, it was the cloak-and-dagger feel of it. It was the hiring of DWS. It was the general message of "everything's fine", when for a lot of people everything is not fine.

One thing that particularly bothered me was that the first debate was scheduled after the primary registration deadline in NY. Maybe that's small thing, but it just felt wrong. And that's not on Hillary. But I kinda feel like that's the kind of oversight that a better campaign wouldn't have missed.

Nobody disputed her ability or credentials. Nor do I get the sense that anyone was swayed by the Fox-smearing and Benghazi-ing and the rest of that rubbish. It's more a sense that there was nothing inspiring about a another third-way corporate-friendly politician. For a lot of people, she just felt "wrong". And I don't need to squint too hard to see how some might, even if I disagree with it.

That having been said, many of us, especially the lifetime NYers, have had the douchebaggery of Trump on full display for decades. He's just orders of magnitude wronger, for every reason, and I don't know anyone who voted for him - even those grumbling heavily on the way to the polls. We were mostly in the Sanders camp, so I guess that makes us "Left". There may have been some grousing, but we all did the responsible thing when the time came. The alternative was unthinkable. I can only hope this fact will be mitigating when cleek takes me for a spittoon.

It occurs to me that I probably owe a bottle of wine to a lovely couple from Frankfurt I met in Tuscany, for assuring them that there was absolutely no way the US would be crazy enough to elect Trump. I was wrong. I still can't believe I was so very wrong.

It wasn't the speeches so much as...

Trump launched his campaign by descending a gold-plated esacalator and yammering away about mexican rapists. It kind of went downhill from there.

Whatever comes of this, it's on the folks who voted for him.

They wanted him, they got him. They own the result.

It occurs to me that I probably owe a bottle of wine to a lovely couple from Frankfurt I met in Tuscany, for assuring them that there was absolutely no way the US would be crazy enough to elect Trump. I was wrong. I still can't believe I was so very wrong.

That's nice. I am privileged too, having happened upon new friends in Tuscany.

We were mostly in the Sanders camp, so I guess that makes us "Left".

Maybe you should explain that further. What about the tax returns? No problem for you? How about his nonsensical "explanation" of his own numbers? No problem - it's all about sound bites.

Bernie people - hope y'all learn. Follow the money. Oh, you can't? Hmmm. Red flag.

Bernie people - hope y'all learn.

This is tiresome. Learn fucking what, exactly? The "Bernie People" overwhelmingly voted for HRC in the general. They fought the good fight in the primaries, but ultimately got in line for the general. Just what more do you ask of us?

Her defeat was due to a multitude of factors, and other than the Comey October surprise, I am hard pressed to assign the bulk of the blame to any one of them in particular.

Let's work together to win next time, shall we?

On another note, what does the peanut gallery think of this? Does the analysis (capitalism is not compatible with effectively dealing with climate change) hold any validity to you?

I am curious.

Thanks.

Michael Cain,
You are correct. I misread your comment...a not uncommon occurrence in my dotage.

Pete...no need to regret anything. Lots of sharp elbows here, but not particularly venomous.

Yikes!

I was surprised at the vehemence in cleek's 3:54 and was attempting (poorly, it seems) to illustrate that my experience, in my small circle, wasn't Bernie-or-Bust or purity tests or talking point shrieking. And while support for Clinton in that small circle may have been lukewarm, it certainly didn't translate to supporting Trump. Your experience may be different.

I'm not sure what returns and nonsensical numbers you're referring to, but I'll do my best to answer if you can clarify.

I thought Clinton and the "Left" (as opposed to the Extreme Left?) were largely moving in the same direction, if not to the same degree. Perhaps I'm missing even more than I thought.

I'll check the privilege and the prose. Apologies. I'm not trying to step on any toes here.

bobbyp,

Thanks! I've been lurking here for a while, so I kinda know what to expect.

But the game sure is faster up here in the bigs. ;-)

on the earlier discussion about corruption, even Trump’s own attorney (along with a number of his advisors) seems to assume he is a criminal:
https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/04/trumps-lawyer-cohen-forgets-to-pretend-trump-is-innocent.html

In a conversation with Trump last Friday, Jay Goldberg, one of Trump’s lawyers, warned the president, “Michael will never stand up [for you]” if charged by the government, according to the Wall Street Journal. But why would Trump have anything to worry about, unless… Trump committed a crime that Cohen knows about?

Hillary was a bad candidate. Not because she would have been a bad president, but because she lost an eminently winnable election.

The lesson is never again to throw the party machine behind a candidate whose main claim is name recognition through a husband (or father).

What almost every elected president of the modern era has in common is that they come across well on television. As they have to, to win the primary election. Hillary didn't have to pass that test. That's the mistake to avoid.

I think it should be a blind face off like The Voice. We listen to them for a year and then turn around to see if we picked a presentable looking President.

Not because she would have been a bad president, but because she lost an eminently winnable election.

Agreed.
I argued along these lines before, during, and after the election.

she lost an eminently winnable election.

by getting several million more votes than Trump did. yes, that's the system. ever notice how it always hurts the Dems?

Not wanting to start a fight, but I tend to agree with cleek here. Clinton is probably the best qualified presidential candidate we've ever had, so saying that the party machine was thrown behind her because she was Bill Clinton's wife really misses something. Though the second part, about a modern president not coming across well on TV is something to ponder. But if that is the standard, I think the US is screwed.

Of course, playing who's next (in the barrel), while fun, misses out on what needs to be done, which is statehouses and local elections need to be turned solidly blue in a way that they will stay like that for a generation in order to stop gerrymandering, kneecapping unions, etc etc. That's why you've got Scott Walker trying to not hold elections. That's a hill they are going to be willing to die on.

I know it is irresistible to think on who should be the next Democratic candidate (and it is really fun to think of the next Republican candidate, bearing in mind two conditions, one where Trump gets kicked out and the other where Trump wants to run for a second term. Will there be a Eugene McCarthy/Robert Kennedy type run by some mavericky republican? Is that even possible in the framework of the Republican primaries?)

Pete's comment makes me wonder about size and effect. The largest BLM facebook page was a Russian bot, so even though Pete suggests that there was movement in the same direction, I wonder how much actual visibility of Bernie Bros was needed to cause problems. Or indeed, how much of the Bernie Bros opposition was accurate and how much was just ratfucking...

Since Clinton lost the election cleek and sapient have been creating a really lovely atmosphere here, reminiscent of a Russian show trial - it's getting a bit ridiculous really.

Or indeed, how much of the Bernie Bros opposition was accurate and how much was just ratfucking...

and we're going to see it again, at even louder volumes, in 2020 (if not later this year).

there's really nothing that can be done to stop it, after all. the paid trolls just need to get a little more fluent in English and a bit more subtle with their claims. the audience that gorged on in i 2016 is still out there, and it's is ready to gobble-up even more.

it's getting a bit ridiculous really.

https://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?page_id=25541

“Michael will never stand up [for you]” if charged by the government

what makes this situation even more surreal is that it's not completely crazy to consider the possibility that Cohen might be involved in things that might cause him to worry about Russia putting Novichok in his Cheerios. so maybe he won't want to talk. maybe he'd prefer to hang out in a federal prison, quietly, safely.

thanks Republicans. you're the best.

statehouses and local elections need to be turned solidly blue in a way that they will stay like that for a generation

yes. why settle for one generation, let's shoot for two, or ten.

reminiscent of a Russian show trial

except, of course, nobody will br shot at dawn or sent to siberia.

so, not much like a russian show trial, after all.

Clinton's deportment, policy positions, hair style, quantity of cookies baked - whatever, take your pick - were unobjectionable. No doubt lots of folks disagreed with her on broad policy terms, because they aren't traditional activist government liberals. But that's not why Trump won.

I do fault Clinton - or, more likely her party and her campaign - for taking the rust belt for granted. Tactical error, had they been pro-active there, she'd be POTUS.

Live and learn.

But the bottom line, for me, is that almost half the folks who showed up to vote, voted for a man whose campaign was based on bigotry, militant nationalism, and malice.

That is what he ran on, and that's what his supporters ate up. With a spoon.

Folks are correct to say that Trump should never have won. But the reason he should not have won is that bigotry, militant nationalism, and malice should never have been attractive to enough people to put him within 10 miles of victory.

Remarkably, that was not so.

Clinton is not responsible for that.

Yes, it's not Hillary Clinton's fault that approaching half the people who voted were willing to vote for Trump.

But it is the Democratic Party's fault that it picked a candidate who didn't beat such an unattractive opponent.

Clinton is probably the best qualified presidential candidate we've ever had...

Perhaps the candidate best qualified to be president. But also the candidate in the modern era least qualified to win a presidential election.

...by getting several million more votes than Trump did...

Yes, we know. But the mission is to win elections under the system you've got, not the one you wish you had.

But it is the Democratic Party's fault that it picked a candidate who didn't beat such an unattractive opponent.

FWIW, IMVHO, if you factor out 20+ years of insane propaganda and paranoia, Clinton was not a particularly unattractive candidate.

Perhaps the (D)'s should have factored in the "everyone hates Hillary" factor.

One of my reasons for supporting Bernie was my concern for how successfully the R's had smeared Nillary. I brought this up at the caucus and people were just in denial. I had my own reasons for not liking her, but one of the dumbest things I hear people say in defense of voting for Trump is that she would have been worse. That's just flat out stupid. Kafka-esque tupid.

I actually had a conversation with a guy who asserted that she should be locked up, but he could not say what crime. He said the evidence was being suppressed by the FBI.

I said that it was unAmerican to convict someone of an unknown crime based on unknown evidence.

Do Republican voters have any principles left at all? Seems to me that they have thrown everything they ever claimed to believe in into the trash to justify voting for the Republican party: fiscal responsibility, patriotism, strong defense, family values, Christianity, personal responsibility....

Granted those are buzz words, not policies or even principles, but that's what R voters say they believe in And it ought to be pretty obvious that what the real Republican party stands for is the use of defamation and fear-mongerig to get votes in order to pervert our government into a kleptocracy. I mean REALLY obvious. Yet clearly R voters get something from voting R.

One of my FB friends said that she was glad Trump was president because it meant an end to Obama's prejudice against white people and re=ace relations in her state (Alabama) had returned to normal which she regarded as a blissful state of happiness and racial unity.

on the topic of insane propaganda and paranoia:

a long-time friend is a trumpie, also posts on FB. the latest news is that Kimba Wood officiated at the wedding of.....

wait for it....

GEORGE SOROS

See, it all fits together.

Thats pretty damning. Imagine the furor if she officiated at the wedding of one of the Kochs.

Imagine if people believed that the ability of a federal judge to act impartially as part of a federal investigation was compromised, because she had officiated at the wedding of one of the Kochs.

Wouldn't that be kind of nutty?

A judge has just ordered Trump to pay that 25 million he owes to the people he defrauded. But Hillary must have defrauded even more people and must hove even more money and the proof is being hidden by a judge somewhere...

if only notorious commie symp Ronald Reagan hadn't brought her into the Federal Judiciary.

One of the recurrent characteristics of R defenders is that they never can defend anything R politicians do. They ALWAYS change the subject and make attacks on someone else. They never ever can defend the Republican who is the topic of the conversation. And yet they never seem to notice their inability to make a defense, nor do they ever consider the implications of their inability to present a defense.

I'm sure the vast majority of Bernie supporters would have gotten behind Clinton (sooner) if they had had any idea that Trump would've ended up winning. That outcome seemed kooky at the time to most people.

But if you want to rail at the so-called "Bernie Bros" for the next two years and maintain the divide within the set of likely Democratic voters, good luck in 2020, I guess.

The ghost of Will Rogers will smile.

i'm OK with anyone who votes for the D candidate in the end. fighting the D candidate from the left after the primary is ... counter-productive.

My two cents.

Hillary Clinton was a fine Democratic candidate and should have been able to win the election over the oaf. The number of small own goals that piled up in the campaign, I suspect due to over confidence, kept him in the race.

The missing piece to all of this, contrary to the assumption that 50 million plus people were racist, is what Slart said the other day. They, we, are not going to vote for someone who fundamentally disagrees with most of their points of view because we don't like the Republican candidate.

Trump being who he is didn't mean 50M people were suddenly going to become Democrats. No matter how dearly cleek would like to think that would be a reasonable choice, it isn't. We think the way you want to do things is wrong.

They, we, disagree with the Democrats policies in most basic areas of governance.

So she was trying to sway a reasonably small core of independent voters and overestimated her hold on them, particularly in the rust belt where Obama had done well. The difference being Trump ran on a message that resonated with a core of rust belt voters that did remember when America seemed great to them, industries boomed, jobs were plentiful, life seemed secure.

And he got just enough in areas where she, her campaign, had overestimated their strength. Her campaign, with a few months to go, were so confident they decided to pour time and money into trying to create a landslide mandate by focusing on states that were really not in play.

I don't see it as much more complicated than that. Would another candidate have been more likely to appeal to middle American voters? Would a different campaign staff have stressed guaranteeing the states in hand over trying to overreach and contest everywhere? Would have Comeys inexplicable and inappropriate comments even made a difference?

Pick a good candidate, run a professional and not overconfident campaign and you're still running against a crippled and flawed candidate and you will win going away. But don't expect a wave of Republicans to suddenly decide that a good Democratic candidate is reason enough to vote for policies they fundamentally disagree with, no matter how bad the GOP candidate is. The best you can hope for is they stay home.

i'm OK with anyone who votes for the D candidate in the end.

Thank you.

To those few people to my left (can't be many of you out there), I offer this.

...fighting the D candidate from the left after the primary is ... counter-productive.

I agree. But I also think:

1. It was a fairly small but vocal minority who did that.

2. Continuing to complain about it will only increase the likelihood and vigor of a repeat performance.

So the message needs to be "WE can't let this happen again" rather than "YOU assh*les caused this." Complaining about how counter-productive people's politics were is ...counter-productive.

Holy crap, has this thread extended.

"Personally, I do not feel responsible for the fact that Trump is POTUS. I just deal with it."

russell is once again eminently wise, here. Just deal with it and move on.

Look, my liking for Donald Trump as Chief Executive of my country is...small. I think I liked him rather less than I liked Barack Obama.

But invest your energies in things that are likely to move things forward from here, I advise. Not that my advice is something you should automatically heed. Just; Trump is president, now and until the end of his term. Whenever that will be.

Work on your next move. Maybe consider the next candidate to put up against Trump. Or work on Congressional opposition.

Putting your energy into denial and derision of something that isn't going to go away in a multi-month timeframe is, I say, maybe a way to keep yourselves in misery.

But that's where some people like to live, I think. People on both sides of the political divide

But what do I know?

So the message needs to be "WE can't let this happen again" rather than "YOU assh*les caused this." Complaining about how counter-productive people's politics were is ...counter-productive.

This may be true, but the constant "Why was Hillary Clinton the WRONG candidate?" is asking for the answer: "She wasn't."

So instead of that "WRONG" refrain, we should ask "What strengths are we looking for, and is there someone who comes close to that, because we all need to be behind that person when the primaries are over."

Marty at 11:09 does that thing where, after driving you nuts for however long, he's spot on (for the most part, anyway). I mean, I do think Trump appealed to racism, jingoism, etc. That was almost certainly a contributing factor, if not something that got Trump anything close to every vote he received. But, otherwise, yeah.

This may be true, but the constant "Why was Hillary Clinton the WRONG candidate?" is asking for the answer: "She wasn't."

Sure, but I also don't think this maps well to the attacks from the left (or attacks from the left after the primary, if that's what really bugs you). That's a whole other kettle of fish, not specific to the farther left or "Bernie Bros" or whatever. Her supporters in the pundit class seem to be going through this exercise.

Anyway, yes, it's over. Let's get ready for the next one.

the bottom line, for me, is that almost half the folks who showed up to vote, voted for a man whose campaign was based on bigotry, militant nationalism, and malice.

That is what he ran on, and that's what his supporters ate up. With a spoon.

Except I remember back to the elections when George Wallace was on the Presidential general election ballot. He did pretty darn well. And I suspect that the only reason he didn't do (lots!) better is that there was also a Republican/conservative candidate on the ballot -- who won. That time, tribalism helped; this time it hurt.

So if Trump's vote count means we are screwed, we've been so for a lifetime. But in fact, we are getting better overall. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the GOP. Thanks Tricky Dick.

But I also think: 1. It was a fairly small but vocal minority who did that.

here's what i've come to think about that.

in summer/fall 2016, that small vocal minority was the majority of my FB feed, and fueled the majority of the blog comment discussions i was in. and, it would be easy to dismiss that as a product of my self-selected friends and blog or just noise on the internet. but, that stuff, in diluted form, was also all over the TV. it was all over the press. The Daily Show and Colbert did "Bernie Was Robbed" half-jokes for weeks. the discussion was not limited to blogs. people knew about it and talked about it. which means it had an impact; people took it seriously.

and, the election was very close. it was close enough that it doesn't take much effort to look at the results and imagine what they might have looked like without the downward pressure all that hissing from the left had created.

now, i won't accuse people on The Left of being insincere in their motivations or their opinions (though Russian trolls were absolutely at work keeping the battle going on the left). but their efforts had an effect. and it's disingenuous for any of them (hi Greenwald!) to claim otherwise.

if campaign speeches have an effect, then people talking about candidates have an effect. if yard signs have an effect, then the constant anti-Clinton barrage from the left had an effect. if favorable press coverage has effect, then unfavorable press coverage has effect. the effect is among the persuadable group of people. it might not be a huge effect, but Clinton's EC loss was, IIRC, less than 100,000 votes. that's not a lot of people.

but IMO, Clinton's core problem, and the thing that doomed her, wasn't the left, it wasn't Trump, it wasn't Comey, it wasn't her gender, her personality, or any of her policies. it was the simple fact that everybody assumed she was going to win. that's what gave The Left the space and confidence to attack her like it did; that's what lead Comey to his announcements; that's what lead the NYT to run countless pointless stories about the latest email nothing; that's why the press was so giddy about Trump. everybody assumed Clinton's win was a foregone conclusion so they didn't have to worry that anything they were doing was going to matter - they were going after the President-to-be, not a candidate. they were being pro-actively tough on Clinton's Presidency.

and what all of that did, based on that simple faulty premise, was to push just enough people to Trump or simply away from Clinton. because she didn't have it in the bag. but thinking she did lead a lot of people to do a lot of really stupid things.

IMO, Clinton's core problem, and the thing that doomed her, . . . was the simple fact that everybody assumed she was going to win.

In short, the conventional wisdom that seeming inevitable is a Good Thing for winning an election might not be entirely correct.

exactly.

so nobody start talking about a "blue wave", here. mm k? don't count those chickens!

I will never stop reminding everybody about the American electorate's long-time habit of re-electing the incumbent president and then electing one of the opposite party. Anybody who thinks that 2016 was "eminently winnable" for the (generic) Democrat is overlooking this pattern. The (generic) Republican had the advantage going in.

It's easy to downplay the macro when analyzing the micro, in general. In 2016, when the Republican was emphatically NOT generic (being a vicious nutjob) and the Democrat was not generic (being a woman), the temptation was all the greater.

I can't resist a chess analogy: it's always POSSIBLE for Black to win any particular game, but by and large White starts with an advantage, generically speaking. In open-seat presidential elections, the incumbent's party is always playing Black.

Based on the long-term trend, even so execrable a president as He, Trump will be playing White in 2020 -- if he lasts that long. (I'm putting higher odds on Melania poisoning His cheeseburger than on McConnell abandoning Him, FWIW.) But trends are not immutable, so there's always hope.

Incidentally, two data points don't make a trend, but I think everybody knows that twice in a row now the Republican has won the presidency while losing the popular vote. So it's possible that the correct chess analogy is: the Republican is ALWAYS playing White, in American presidential politics.

--TP

For all the analysis, I think we sometimes overlook the possibility that Trump's win was simply a statistical fluke.

Clinton got a lot more votes, after all, but they were unluckily distributed, so she lost due to the insane EC system. As has been often noted, a handful of votes in some states - 11,000 in Michigan - would have made the difference.

There is a random element to elections. Bad weather, (honest) counting errors, traffic jams, who knows what, affect the result.

Re: cleek's 11:59am post: mostly agree.

But I'd tack on: like not showing up at the polls when they otherwise might have.

Not guaranteed to have changed the outcome, but at least NPR thinks that Clinton lost some key states due to poor D turnout in those states.

Not that I am dispensing advice again. Because once a day is, these days, way past my limit.

Other than get the hell off my lawn, I mean.

so nobody start talking about a "blue wave", here. mm k? don't count those chickens!

Exactly! Hope for it? Sure. Work for it? Absolutely. But don't do things, like talking about it, which might convince people that they don't need to bother voting because the results are a foregone conclusion.

#itsalock Going to get the Facebook page The tsunami is guaranteed, don't worry about it.

I find Marty's 11:09 and Slarti's 11:24 to be generally right on.

FWIW, I think Marty underestimates the appeal of profoundly negative themes in Trump's campaign, and in what resonates with the folks who supported Trump. wj hits it on the head with his invocation of Wallace and Nixon.

Folks should think, and try to be candid with themselves, about what appealed to them in Trump's message. He wasn't just selling conservative (R) orthodoxy. Ugly does in fact have a constituency in this country. It's worn the hat of different parties over the years, right now it tends to be (R). Folks who are invested in the (R) label might want to think about that.

Winning isn't everything. Some prizes aren't worth the candle.

I have no problem with people being angry over how events have played out for them. I recognize that many parts of the country are not doing well. The place I live now faced many of the same things that are facing "heartland America" not that long ago - entire industries decamping for other regions, where labor was cheaper, once-prosperous cities and towns turning into shabby boarded-up ghosts. It takes a lot of work to turn stuff like that around.

Hating on other people isn't going to turn it around. And hating on other people was a big part of what was on offer from our current POTUS. You can try to tell me it ain't so, but I saw it with my own eyes. I remember, and will not forget.

The common weal is not a given. Things can fall apart. Fostering resentment of other people is one of the things that can make that happen.

Over and out.

#itsalock Going to get the Facebook page

From the Russians, if nobody else....

Clinton got a lot more votes, after all, but they were unluckily distributed, so she lost due to the insane EC system

"Unluckily" is not the word I would use, though I am not sure about a correct one. I have said it before, but Bill Bishop's Big Sort is probably the most important book, and most important event, in 21st century politics.

Liberals and Democrats (and conversely Republicans) have been concentrating in blue areas, states and counties in red states at a breathtaking pace since 2004, and since politics have become so polarized. My guess is that this trend has even accelerated since 2011 publication. Why the hell would a bright young Dem stay in Kansas or Wisconsin?

The electoral college is not the problem, sure wasn't in the past. Kansas is not red by geology. The problem are where people are choosing to live.

Rural states and counties will always be over-represented, that Const Amendment can't even be amended, the only one. Liberals have to move there, away from the metropoles.

"Winning isn't everything"

Right, agreed. But some people have made it an end. Maybe THE end.

And so we find ourselves in our current situation. Lather, rinse, repeat.

To be completely honest: to the extent that winning has in the past been an end unto itself, this is my circus; these are my monkeys.

But I am trying to separate myself from them. And to stop with the victory-at-any-cost kind of behaviors.

Liberals and Democrats (and conversely Republicans) have been concentrating in blue areas, states and counties in red states at a breathtaking pace since 2004

FWIW, I see the dynamic differently.

*People* have been concentrating in relatively more urban areas, see here.

All things considered, people in densely populated areas tend to skew relatively more (D). Because (D)'s tend to favor policies that are relatively more relevant and appropriate to densely populated areas.

It's not a matter of (D)'s and (R)'s picking up sticks and migrating to places where everyone is just like them. Party affiliation is following the demographic pattern.

IMO Bishop misconstrues cause and effect.

that Const Amendment [the 12th, which creates the Electoral College] can't even be amended, the only one.

Why not? I'm not seeing anything in the text to suggest that?

Bob,

"Unluckily" is not the word I would use, though I am not sure about a correct one.

There is a lot to what you say, but I think that when we consider the narrowness of Trump's win in a few states that "unlucky" is a reasonable description. Had the overall popular vote been the same, but not so close in those states, then the "sort" analysis would be a stronger explanation.

As the southern Democrats decamped to the GOP, the two parties have become more ideologically cohesive. This raises the stakes immensely, because if your side does not win, your side may be toast as far as public policy is concerned.

cf: Scott Pruit and EPA; Supreme Court justices.

That is why vanity 3rd party runs are so pointless and pointlessly stupid. And yes, harmful.

The conservative movement did not run 3rd party candidates. They took over the GOP. (note to wj-the 2nd time around, Wallace was running in the Democratic primaries). See also the link I provided somewhere above.

For now, this sort has given the GOP a better edge electorally, but long run demographics are not in their favor.

Man the trenches.

"Fostering resentment of other people is one of the things that can make that happen."

Sure is.

Do we Coastal Elites resent the "white working class" now? I thought we were supposed to be looking down on them with smug arrogance, or something.

--TP

Part of Clinton's disadvantage was that she was too well known. She had been in the public eye for over two decades.

Part of Trump's advantage was that he was pretty well known. But not for politics.

Neither had Obama's advantage, the glamor of the unknown.

Trump's advantage is that his voters are completely unconcerned with truth.

Neither could deliver a speech like Obama, either. He is a gifted and eloquent orator.

Tony,

Not quite correct. Your smug arrogance is creating (i.e., fostering) those real amercuns' resentment. Therefore it is all your fault that Clinton lost because real amercuns have no agency.

so nobody start talking about a "blue wave", here. mm k? don't count those chickens!

My same bet is still on offer...

(a) Team blue scores +1 point in the 2018 elections for every Congressional seat, governor, and state legislative chamber flipped.

(b) Divide the country into two parts; the first consists of 25 states, the 13 states in the Census Bureau's western region plus 12 states in the NE urban corridor (VA up the coast to ME, plus VT); the second half is the other 25 states.

(c) The Dems will score positive numbers in both parts of that first half, and net zero in the second half.

(d) Stakes are a microbrew or comparably-priced adult drink of choice.

Takers?

Full disclosure: I'll be giving money to Democrats, but only in the West. I am annoyed that my (D) US Senator keeps sending me nagging emails to give money to incumbents in the South and Midwest.

I pretty much find this to be the very essence of fostering resentment:

"Ugly does in fact have a constituency in this country. It's worn the hat of different parties over the years, right now it tends to be (R). Folks who are invested in the (R) label might want to think about that."

Lets hate those GOP ugly people and if you are a GOP'er, well, you're guilty by association.

Ugly has always had a constituency in this country, and everywhere else. They find a place to popup and declare themselves relevant.

The folks that voted for Trump had no other rational alternative. I was told was the case that for months here as I proposed Gary Johnson as an alternative. The choice of a 3rd party was irrational, not voting was irrational. For most Republicans that only leaves one rational choice. And it isn't the Democrat.

You can use words like "tend to be Republican" but the point is to foster resentment against the people that voted Republican. Or maybe resentment isn't the right word but it sure as hell ain't building bridges.

Marty: For most Republicans that only leaves one rational choice. And it isn't the Democrat.

Right. It's the racist drunk at the end of the bar. The billionaire "populist" -- or "billionaire" populist, maybe. The twice-divorced pussy grabber. Putin's little bitch. The only "rational" choice for "most Republicans", because giving libruls the finger is more important than any so-called principle "rational" Republicans ever espoused.

Resent Trump voters? Not a chance. Resentment is for people you DON'T hold in contempt.

--TP

Marty, Republican voters also handed Trump the nomination. No Democrats were running in the Republican primaries or caucuses.

"a speech like Obama":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ54GDm1eL0

The ones he didn't give are even more eloquent.

Clinton was the wrong candidate, we are endlessly chastised, we OBWI kingmakers.

I'm not a Clinton lover (I hope mp arrests and imprisons her and other Democrat leading lights, and the conservatives in federal law enforcement as well now carrying out the law, so we can have at the carnage that will follow; the sooner the better) though unlike many right wing republicans, I wouldn't have shot her in the head had she been elected ... and there would have been an endless number of grassy knolls to investigate given the hate for the woman and the intimated blood lust for gun vengeance among those animals .... but still, the election was stolen.

I forget who came in second to Mussolini or Hitler. Surely the losers could have chosen a better candidate to fend off brutal ruination via the only "rational alternative".

They probably weren't suitably photogenic up against the fascist gesturing and funny walks. And the Other-baiting. Especially that.

In other countries, like mebbe America during the early founding days, that event, a stolen election, would have been reversed by every means necessary, including good old savage American violence.

Here are some other loser "candidates":

Bush

Carson

Christie

Cruz

Fiorina

Gilmore

Graham

Huckabee

Jindal

Kasich

Pataki

Paul

Perry

Rubio

Santorum

Walker

Please explain, republicans. A good half of them should have won the primary in a normal, functioning democracy.

What did mp sense, what low, malign urges and simmering hate for the Other in the conservative movement in America did he sniff out and exploit to pull it off?

Please explain, republicans.

He looked the lot of you up and down and like any transactional (the only politically correct republican "trans" that dare speak its name) reptilian thug, he read you like a petty Cosa Nostra chieftain in a Sicilian hilltop surveying his subjects for the quantity of the sentimental tribute each will render, their livestock, their meager savings, their daughters.

The crucial turning point in the disgraceful republican debates was the argument over who had the biggest dick.

Of course, prurient Christian fakir republicans didn't ask for visible proof, despite the showing of hands, and despite their extended perverted edging fixation on the precise physical properties of Bill Clinton's member these last decades.

And so like everything else republican rat fuckers touch, and I mean their electorate and their elected, we ended up with the smallest, ingrown swinging dick, the most ruthless and cruel and incompetent of them all.

An administration of killers.

Here's the bridge McConnell and company self-sabotaged when they stole my electoral agency by denying, with no historical precedence, Merrick Garland a simple hearing under the presumed rules we have tried to operate under for 260 years, and that is the very least of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRHVMi3LxZE

Resentment?

That doesn't come anywhere close to the catastrophic end that is coming to the republican party.

Go ahead, build another bridge. Call it government.

I'll help blow that one up too and tear it asunder.

Nothing personal, Marty. You know that.

But your sentimental reenactments of Michael Cohen's and KellyAnne Conway's rationalizations of mp's behavior and policies here put you at the bottom of the pile on.

But, we've apparently chased off every other conservative, so you've taken on a lonely task.

Though I notice, as hairshirthedonist does as well, that you have an uncanny knack for being both the guy disappeared at the bottom of the pile-on AND the guy who moseys in through the saloon doors wearing the red MAGA hat and the hint of a Russian accent, takes a look at the pile, removes the toothpick from his mouth, and asks "Shucks, fellas, what's all the commotion about?"

I know what you're doing.

True, hsh, but I think if Trump did one thing I like it was keeping Ted Cruz out of the White House.

Cruz may not have Trump's flaws, but his own set is awful.

The folks that voted for Trump had no other rational alternative.

As far as getting their desired set of federal policies go, after the convention, I'd agree they had no choice. That they did not rise up in shrieking unison during the primaries shouting, "No, not that m$therf*cker! Never! Never in a thousand years!" Speaks volumes.

As far as resentment goes, not once during the Clinton or Obama years did we see anybody of note writing op-eds to the effect that the GOP base had to dial it back some in order to get "centrist Democrats" to come over to their side. Apparently this resentment thing goes only one way.

Speaking of Cruz, he seems to have won the victory over himself.

Can Cruz' nose get any browner? For a guy who trashed his father and his wife. Sad. Really, really sad. Not to mention pathetic.

hsh, I would only point out thst pretty much everyone, the press, Dems, Russians, were all happy to bury each of his competitors along the way thinking he would be easy pickins in the general. Bush was, well, a Bush. Cruz was crazy, Rubio was inexperienced, Fiorina was a Republican woman, Christie was fat, and Trump just had to make the caricature and everyone else ran with it.

Lots of stupid things happened along that path.

What do folks make of the possible criminal charges against McCabe ?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inspector-general-referred-findings-on-mccabe-to-us-attorney-for-consideration-of-criminal-charges/2018/04/19/a200cabc-43f3-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

Seemingly for lying to investigators about his l(unsanctioned) eaking to the press,shortly before the election, the existence of a second investigation into Clinton.

I voted for Cruz in the primary, I confess. Not because I like the guy, because he's not really likeable. But I don't think likeability is any sort of key ingredient for a President.

It helps. But I preferred to vote for a guy whose words at least sounded a bit like he had some regard for the rule of law.

I might have voted for Fiorina, had she lasted that long. Sharp woman. I got the sense that she didn't know politics all that well, but she could learn quickly if she got the chance.

Jeb! was actually a passing fair governor of Florida, and passing fair may make him one of the best Florida governor of all times. The guy was about as center-right as you're likely to find in the Republican party. But he dropped out, so I didn't have to hesitate over putting another Bush on the presidential ballot.

Basically all the other decent choices were gone by the primary, and then there was only Trump, so I said screw it and cast my vote for the rather eccentric Gary Johnson. Not that he had a chance of winning, nor that anyone besides Trump was going to win Indiana. Protest vote.

Hell of an athlete, though.

Slarti,

Without commenting on the others, let me say that I considered Fiorina right up there with Trump and Cruz as candidates.

Her career was a classic example of failing upward. Her singular achievement was wrecking a great company. Smart woman? I beg to differ.

I admit that there weren't going to be any potential GOP nominees who appealed to me, but Fiorina?

The folks that voted for Trump had no other rational alternative.

the mobbed-up, daugther-lusting, serial-bankrupting, fake-"universitying", completely-idiotic, truth-allergic, illegal-immigrant-marrying, mail-order steak-selling, corrupt, foreign-entangled, New York, formerly-liberal was the only rational alternative?

that was what we knew before the election!

your dumb-ass party just abandoned every goddamned principle it pretended to have in service of a guy who has been an obvious con-man since the mid-80s.

that was rational?

your whole party is drunk. go to bed. let the adults clean up your mess. we'll call you when we need someone to harass the neighbors again.

The people who voted for Trump are responsible for their decision. They had a choice.

Or,cleek, they could hsve voted to destroy the country for four more years, yep tough choice I have to say. But 4 more years of aggressively destroying every principle this country was built on: rule of law, personal responsibility, free markets, free people, was not an acceptable alternative.

You can rail on but he has implemented, along with Congress, significant Republican policies that matter while perhaps, though not definitely, protected our rights in the SC for another generation. All the while dismantling the massive regulatory burden imposed over the last eight years.

Yes, all those things you say about him are true, and he is still a better choice than a Democrat, any Democrat.

You sit over there and whine while us Republicans secure our freedom, fix the economy, make the world a safer place and create sustainable prosperity for your kids and grandkids.

A blue tsunami accomplishes nothing but turning Trump into a centrist Democrat for two years. I will hate that too.

Adults understand that sometimes the best thing still comes with a downside, This is one of those times.

As for principles, decisions sometimes require painful compromise. This is a hard one made completely necessary by the actions of the last President and congressional Democrats, especially the leadership. Our country can ill afford for them to be in charge.

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