Morning Ed: Politics {2016.07.05.T}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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139 Responses

  1. Vikram Bath says:

    George Will is leading the Republican Party

    Accurate as written.Report

  2. Christopher Carr says:

    David Frum is the court jester of the Republican Party. He can’t leave. We need him to keep entertaining us with his ridiculousness.Report

  3. Vikram Bath says:

    Black adults were the most supportive of deportation, at 66 percent.

    Perhaps they perceive unauthorized immigrants as the closest substitute to their own labor?Report

  4. notme says:

    PBS uses last year’s fireworks and forgets to tell folks. Has lying become this pervasive?

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    1. I am always amazed at how people are dumb struck by political disagreement. Perhaps Candice has trouble convincing women to join the GOP because many women swing left in their politics. And perhaps the attitudes she gets from various GOP higher-ups is why. The liberal equivalent of this is when my friends post memes about how Congress passes no bills. I always think “Do you realize the GOP is the party of small government and their base might believe in this?”

    2. The too many lawyers complaint never made sense to me. People who go to law school are people interested in studying the law. It seems natural that they would want to write law as well. I think people assume that more engineers and scientists in government is going to lead to more rational legislation.This is not true. Look at Yolo (he is a vet) and Dr. Carson. You can have a big scientific education and background and still be a nut. Apparently a lot of young earth creationists have engineering backgrounds.Report

    • …when my friends post memes about how Congress passes no bills. I always think “Do you realize the GOP is the party of small government and their base might believe in this?”

      The GOP asserts that governments — local, state, federal — are already too big. If they really believe that, I would expect bills aimed at shrinking the size of government: stop doing certain things, restrain the reach of regulatory agencies, etc. As an example, I am still perplexed that during the Bush II administration, Congress didn’t pass a bill adding one sentence to the Clean Air Act: “For the purposes of this Act, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and may not be regulated.” They had the majorities they needed, and probably the super-majority in the Senate with Democrats from coal-producing states (or, you know, they could just do away with the modern filibuster).

      From time to time, there are discussions here about whether a parliamentary system would be better because it doesn’t have all the checks and balances that get in the way of allowing a legislative majority to implement policy. I don’t pay attention to the day-to-day operations of the British government; do they do policy reversals when there’s a change of control? Eg, CO2 is a pollutant; no, it’s not; yes, it is; no, it’s not; each reversal being done in statute?Report

      • James K in reply to Michael Cain says:


        The important thing to understand about the Westminster system is that the things that make it work aren’t written down anywhere. Instead of a formal written constitution, we have “constitutional arrangements”, which are informal cultural practices that make out system of government work.

        For example, in New Zealand new governments do not typically sweep into power and undo everything the other side did over the past 6-9 years. There’s nothing stopping them, its just not done. How much you can change depends on a few factors. More recent laws are more OK to reverse than long-standing ones. The longer a government is in power the more licence they have to make larger changes. And campaigning explicitly on changing a law before an election gives you much more latitude to change it if you win.

        This is one of the problems with coveting another country’s government. A lot of what makes a government work is a set of embedded cultural factors that cannot easily be replicated.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to James K says:

          There used to be lots of unspoken norms governing American politics to. It used to be assumed that the Senate would vote on most of the President’s appointments without much of a fuss or that the filibuster wouldn’t be used to block all attempts to legislate. The norms have broken down.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I actually think that the legislature should contain a broader group of professions and jobs to represent more interests and points of view. The article did give good reasons on why too many lawyers is bad from a liberal perspective, it favors the wealthy in taxes at least.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Bear in mind that holding political office is still a ladder-climbing profession, for the most part: many US Senators used to be Representatives; many Representatives used to be state legislators; etc. Most state legislatures are part-time gigs in the sense of being full-time for two-six months, then no-time. I’m an outsider, but have the impression that historically, plenty of lawyers were in a position to arrange for the necessary time off from their practice — they could take four months of unpaid time from the partnership, but with a guarantee of being able to come back at the end of the session. There’s not a lot of professions where that works. In my state’s legislature, small business owners who have reached a certain level of success are also over-represented, because they can take four months off during the session and leave the day-to-day business operations in the hands of the paid managers. The group that is grossly underrepresented is the wage slaves.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain says:

          That’s how it works a lot in practice. Law firms might find it useful to have somebody in office, so they let an associate take time off to run.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:


          According to this, California, NY, and Pennsylvania are full-time legislatures. The New York assembly gives an annual salary of just under 80K a year plus a per diem. An assembly member in California makes just over 95K plus a per diem. The salaries are the same in the senates of the state. New Yorks per diem is 174 a day with overnight and 59 a day without overnight.

          Interestingly, the SF Board of Supervisors pays members 111K per a year. The NYC council voted themselves a raise from 112K to 148.5K in February 2016.

          Yet I think many New York state reps keep their day jobs. Sheldon Silver got in trouble because of his “of counsel” positions at two law firms. He used his position to some how get them clients. What is odd is that these were plaintiff firms and he got them mesothelioma clients instead of businesses as clients.

          But it makes sense to me that lawyers can do their work remotely or part time in ways that other professions cannot. Plus law firms might get more indirect benefits from having an associate or partner who is a member of the state legilsature in terms of PR/Marketing. I can’t imagine an accounting firm or marketing firm boasting that one of their cubicle dwellers is an elected official.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Yeah, an engineer/scientist taking time off to run for public office might as well just change career tracks now and devote themselves to politics full time, because getting back into their career will be tough (just ask any woman who takes time off to have kids). About the only ones who can do it are academics, and those who have ascended to upper management/C-suite, where keeping technical skills current is no longer a going concern.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    First of all, I thought Frum had gone apostate years ago. Second, Frum makes the same mistake everyone else makes when he says the Republican agenda didn’t ‘work’ particularly the way it’s a ‘team sport’. It didn’t work exactly for Romney, but it has worked to gain and keep the House, gain the Senate, gain a bunch of state legislatures and governors mansions – including the gov’s of traditionally true blue Mass and Maryland.

    this thing also needs some real detailed analysis of the following:

    Blame them for choosing wrong—but don’t forget that the circumstances of their choice were not created by themselves, but by millions of voters, most especially the right-leaning independents allowed to vote in GOP primaries. (Trump tended to lose primaries where only registered Republicans could vote, and to win primaries open to anyone who cared to cast a ballot, except Texas and Ohio, the home states of rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.)

    there was a lot of blame (in my twitter feed) from ‘regular’ Republicans around (the first) Super Tuesday that the open primaries led directly to Trump.

    But the actual dynamics of how Trump got (or did not get) the plurality of votes in any given election are a lot more complex, determined by the timing in the election cycle, how strong Hillary vs Bernie (& everyone else) was at the time, where the Trump (national) poll #s were, and where the other GOP candidate poll #s were).

    I can tell you in Virginia, from reading the exit polls and working at a polling location (as an impartial, non-partisan) election official, that Trump’s win really narrowed on election day, and a lot of that was usual Democratic voters crossing over an voting for anyone but Trump. (though they split between Rubio and Kaisich).

    (the source of this analysis was the fact we nearly ran out of GOP primary ballots – other precincts did run out – because while our blank ballots on hand anticipated a 4:1 Dem-GOP ratio in choosing which primary to vote in, the actual pick was closer to 2:1. Also, people just straight out told me, when I asked them if they wanted to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, “Republican, and I feel really dirty about it”).Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

      Trump did well in open primaries. He did okay (though not quite as well) in closed primaries, too. He did very poorly in caucuses, though, and exit polls do demonstrate that Trump did his best among independents and more marginal Republicans. In other words, other than that he won their vote too (albeit in lesser numbers), the base and party faithful were not his area of strength. He is not the product of open primaries over closed ones, but he is the product of primaries over caucuses (for the most part).

      Which actually does explain some of what I think Priebus has been thinking. Trump’s voters are the most likely to stay home and the most likely to flip. They’re the ones we must keep engaged. And in doing so, he lost site of everything else. (That’s about the nicest I can be to the guy, who I turned against at the 2012 convention and has gone only downhill since.)Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        Colorado’s results skew how Trump did in caucuses, though. I suspect that he would have done well here.

        The (inadvertent) shenanigans exacerbated things.Report

      • Mo in reply to Will Truman says:

        The problem is that he’s toxic to minority voters. He trails Jill Stein and Gary Johnson among black voters in the latest Quinnipiac poll.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Mo says:

          He can win despite a collapse in minority votersvoters. Don’t see how he wins without a significant uptick in women voters, though. It turns out more than half of white voters are women. Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

            These sorts of assertions always raise a ton of questions for me. Who do we mean by white voters? Does my Jewishness and/or College-educated background overcome or destroy by European background? Lots of white people are still heavily involved in the Democratic Party and proudly so. I don’t think there are that many undecideds remaining.

            So what makes a white voter a white voter? Does whiteness imply a natural inclination towards white-wing politics? Would you say that white people whose inclinations are towards the left negates their whiteness?Report

            • Self-identification, mostly. If a pollster asks you your race (white/black/Latino/Asian/other), do you say “white”?

              A strong minority of whites vote for Democrats and/or lean to the left. That percentage can change up or down.Report

            • Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              I think American Jews of European ancestry and with no obviously eccentric attire became white some time in the second half of the 20th century. You can still be non-white for being Jewish, but you have to put a lot more work into it.

              Edit: Try walking down the street wearing a tefillin. That might be enough.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

            Not given his numbers among white females. I saw someone run the numbers that showed he could increase his share of the white vote 4 points over Romney and still lose. (And that was holding every other demographic, including women and Hispanics, the same as Romney).

            He’s not getting another 4 points with whites.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

              Right. White women are the main problem for him. Potentially the key to his success, but I don’t see how he gets there from here. But that still seems less daunting than the minority vote.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Again, I’m going to point out: They gave him a 4 point boost in the white vote overall, holding the minority numbers steady (including Hispanics, whom I believe Trump has decided he’s going to go door to door to insult personally) and he still lost the electoral college.

                Which meant that places like Florida or New Mexico weren’t punishing him for his Hispanic problem. It was literally “Romney but even better with white voters”.

                He’s not going to get 4 points more than Romney among white voters.

                That’s a ludicrously optimistic scenario and he still lost.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                He’s not going to get 4 points more than Romney among white voters.

                I don’t believe he is, either. I don’t even think he will match Romney’s performance among white voters. But I am far more certain that he’s not going to pick up non-white voters. If I’m Trump’s Dark Analyst, and I’m looking at how he can best get votes, I’m looking at white women.

                Per RCP, a 4% bump among whites gets him across the finish line, assuming no losses elsewhere.
                A 7% bump among whites gets him across the finish line, assuming that his minority support is cut in half.

                Meanwhile, a full 50% increase in the minority vote wouldn’t get him across the finish line.

                If I’m advising Marco Rubio or Nikki Haley or even Paul Ryan, I worry about the message to all voters and hope that he can improve on Romney’s numbers among minorities. If I’m advising Trump, I know that’s not going to work and so I’m talking about running up the totals among whites.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                He can’t get 4% among whites — diminishing returns, basically. The GOP has gone whole-hog into the white vote for 50 years, and they’ve….just run out of room.

                Trump would be better served going for the other unicorn, the “voter who stays at home”. He’d have more luck convincing non-voters to vote than he does of finding 4 more points among whites.

                That mine is dry.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                In Texas, yes. In Ohio, no. A part of the overall vote percent is the utter dominance in the South.

                If I’m advising Trump and I’m looking at white voters in Ohio or Hispanic voters in New Mexico, the former seems less impossible than the latter.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        That’s the thing, the caucus results, in my admitted cursory analysis, are more of function of timing than what a candidate was intrinsically good at.

        Cruz won Iowa, because he worked hard to win it. But it was a narrow victory only 5 points over 2nd place Trump, and Cruz was unable to capitalize on it because ‘never Cruz’ was still a thing*. The other February caucus in Nevada is a Trump romp, with almost half of every vote. Super Tuesday had two caucuses, where Minnesota was a decisive Trump loss, Alaska a narrow one – but my contention was the story of all of Super Tuesday is that Trump *under* performed compared to where his polls numbers were a few days before March 1.

        The next few contests were a mixed bag, Trump won some caucuses (Hawaii), lost most of them, but also lost a few primaries (Idaho), and all the contests were fairly close (except for the Puerto Rico primary was a Rubio rout).

        Second Not So Super Tuesday, was almost a Trump sweep, with Trump getting the CNMI caucus decisively. Only favorite son effect on Kaisich stopped the sweep. The last caucus of any kind was a week after Second Not So Super Tuesday.

        *that’s the real key to Trump’s overall win. If Cruz hadn’t actively alienated so many people, there would have been a rally around Cruz earlier than the one that did occur, and Cruz could have won.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

          Look at Kansas and Oklahoma, compare to Arkansas. He’s naturally weak in Kansas (for a Republican) but Oklahoma is likely to be one of his strongest states in November, but he performed weakly. Compare Maine and New Hampshire.

          It’s not straight primary vs caucus (Utah/Idaho had more to do with LDS, for example) but the difference is pretty big.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

          If Cruz hadn’t actively alienated so many people, he wouldn’t be Ted Cruz. Sophocles understood this stuff.Report

  7. Murali says:

    Selecting a small electorate by lot from the general pool does seem to solve at least some of the morbidities endemic to the current implementation of representative democracies.Report

  8. RTod says:

    The piece by Greaux is weird, in that it talks a lot about how women should embrace the GOP but then doesn’t really bother making the case for *why* they should.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to RTod says:


      Exactly. The author was a woman and Republican. She has the sads that many women (especially in her age cohort) are Democratic. She wants more people to be Republican but can’t quite convince people because she has already bought the stuff full circle. “Why don’t you think the GOP platform is good for women? I’m a woman and I love the GOP platform.”

      See also Jennifer Rubin, Jews, and the Republican Party.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “Why don’t you think the GOP platform is good for women? I’m a woman and I love the GOP platform.”

        What do you mean, “That isn’t good enough?!”. Wait, you want me to actually think deeply about why I align myself with X, instead of just running off on the ‘feels’? I don’t have time for such introspection!Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to RTod says:

      It also highlights for me at least, the difference between the ostensible “policy” face of a party, and the real culture of a party.

      The objective policy goals of the GOP are very different than the experience of the Republicans themselves.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to RTod says:

      Honestly, I kind of frame the piece as a contribution to the “liberals are tribal and condescending” theme.

      In addition, she offers personal testimony that Republicans have treated her well personally. I believe that. The issue I have with Republicans is with policies and political stances, not personal treatment. Overt sexism in the workplace is somewhat hard to find, though implicit bias is still pretty common. So perhaps Greaux has found a way to whistle Vivaldi to them.Report

      • Liberals are rootless cosmopolitans. (Yup , Ross Didthat.).Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          No, not Liberals specifically; the argument is broader than that.

          I think the Liberal Linkerpiece is its companion… along with Millman and even Larison.

          The punchline, though is reserved to Will Straw, the executive director of Britain Stronger In Europe [the main government sponsored vehicle]:

          “There were people turning up who had never voted before,” Straw said after the defeat. “They did it this time because they were very angry with what they felt had been done to them in their communities over decades – the decline of industry, the rapid increase in people coming to this country, the levels of austerity. In a general election they might think it doesn’t matter who you vote for because they’re all the same. In the referendum they recognised this could lead to something different. Maybe they didn’t anticipate all the consequences. But there was a sense that you could change things.”

          Things are afoot and regardless this election cycle, I don’t think Liberal/Conservative are going to be our defining points of light in the coming years.Report

          • Millman makes a nice point:

            Douthat, ironically, sounds here a bit like the social justice warriors who he would otherwise deride. He’s calling for our multicultural masters to check their privilege.

            But it’s funny how when liberals say that power and wealth is becoming more and more concentrated to the detriment of the rest of humanity, we’re silly people who don’t underdstand economics. When the Right says it, it’s the authentic voice of the people and you’d all better watch out.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              Heh, well, when Peter cries wolf all the time no one believes him… until they see the bodies of the dead sheep. Maybe this is the moment when the right sees the sheep. And, if it is, we can know the sheep are well and truly dead.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              Though, the most interesting bit I found in the Millman piece was this:

              If the new ruling class faces insufficient opposition, maybe one reason is the decay of the institutions that once would have provided representation to the classes left behind by globalization.

              To a certain sort of Conservative and a certain sort of Liberal this is exactly the wolf they’ve been crying about. And depending on how you want to look at it, the Brexit shows that either the sheep or maybe the wolf is dead; but doubt about the wolf is gone.Report

              • Agreed. Brexit, protectionism, calls for a new New Deal all arise from the idea that the global economy isn’t helping the people it’s supposed to help, i.e. me. Or, to say it another way, you might recall Dawkins turning genetics on its head with “An organism is a gene’s way of making other genes.” In today’s economy, a human is a dollar’s way of making another dollar, it’s just rarely stated as bluntly as that.Report

              • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Mike Schilling says:


    • KenB in reply to RTod says:

      This article isn’t about convincing women to vote GOP — it’s telling women who might already be inclined to work within the Republican party but who think that they will face hostility or otherwise be made to feel unwelcome that they don’t need to worry about that.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to RTod says:

      It’s weirder than that. She acknowledges the truth of various good reasons why women might be put off by the Republican Party, while complaining that Democrats are pointing out these things that she acknowledges to be true. Darn those Democrats, nefariously telling the truth!

      The thing is, it is logically possible to support a party’s broad agenda even when it harms one’s particular demographic. The Log Cabin Republicans back in the day were true believers in Republican economic theory, and considered this important enough to overcome the Republican Party’s loathing of gayness. This is a perfectly reasonable, and even admirable, stance (overlooking for the purposes of discussion the substance of the economic theory). But you have to make the argument.

      Her argument seems to be that her personal experience has been good, so therefore women should disregard all those “United States Congressmen railing against abortion (while whispering to their mistresses to get one), to the 2012 “rape guys,”” I don’t think that will preach.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        “Darn those Democrats, nefariously telling the truth!”

        I dunno. Apparently, quoting the things that someone actually wrote is “harassment” on Twitter now.

        “Her argument seems to be that her personal experience has been good, so therefore women should disregard all those United States Congressmen railing against abortion…”

        Imagine if there were a large contingent of Republican voters who didn’t want abortion restricted.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to RTod says:

      She might have to argue the case against the first commenter on her article.

      Ok. As I understand it then, Democrats have skills. They have been able to message the issues in such a way to completely distort reality to make Republicans appear the opposite of how they really are. How do they make Republicans draft laws and vote on the issues the way they do?


  9. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Ya know, one could say putting up a poll of residents of a border city of Mexico about immigration and not putting that fact in the blurb could be seen as unfairly trying to shift the debate by acting like it could be a national poll if somebody doesn’t click on it, but I wouldn’t possibly comment.Report

  10. The FBI says:

    As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

    Of course, that’s after Comey and Bill spent a romantic weekend together.Report

    • Washington Post

      FBI Director James B. Comey dismantled large portions of Clinton’s long-told story about her private server and what she sent or received on it during a stirring 15-minute news conference, after which he took no questions. While Comey exonerated Clinton, legally speaking, he provided huge amounts of fodder that could badly hamstring her in the court of public opinion.

      Most importantly, Comey said the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails. And it even stands in contrast to her amended statement that she never knowingly sent or received any classified information.

      It’s hard to read Comey’s statement as anything other than a wholesale rebuke of the story Clinton and her campaign team have been telling ever since the existence of her private email server came to light in spring 2015. She did send and receive classified emails. The setup did leave her — and the classified information on the server — subject to a possible foreign hack. She and her team did delete emails as personal that contained professional information.

      Those are facts, facts delivered by the Justice Department of a Democratic administration. And those facts run absolutely counter to the narrative put forth by the Clinton operation: that this whole thing was a Republican witch-hunt pushed by a bored and adversarial media.


      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Mr. Blue says:

        What’s that old saying about going after powerful figures, dead hookers, or live boys?Report

      • This is not just a story being pushed by the media.

        The Media.Report

      • J_A in reply to Mr. Blue says:

        Please do not read this as a defense of HRC’s stupid, stupid, no good, horrible, really bad, indefensible, email servers idea.

        110 emails with classified information sent or received in this server during her whole tenure ? That’s a rounding error in the number of emails the Secretary of State receives and sends. I get 110 work emails on a slow day.

        I would also want to know how Sent and Received breaks out. If it’s 100 Received and only 10 Sent, well, she cannot control that people do not send Classified Info to her private email (that should have never, ever, ever, existed). Ten wrongly Replied or Forwarded emails among the barrage doesn’t even get to rounding errors.

        From someone who’s been in the crosshairs of every Republican officer from the Amarillo TX municipal dog catcher upwards, it was a very stupid move. But it was not a criminal move, it was not ever a wreckless (using the legal meaning of the world) negligence.

        Do little people get prosecuted for mistakenly forwarding a classified email instead of the invite to the office Christmas party? Yes. A lot. It should not happen.

        But I’m still waiting for a Republican, from dog catcher upwards, to get pissy about disclosing the identity of CIA agents to discredit the writer of a completely accurate report. Not that anything bad happened to the discloser, or even to his stooge.Report

        • Mr. Blue in reply to J_A says:

          Armitage endorsed Hillary. Maybe he’ll be her Secretary of State 😉

          I’ll leave it to Comey whether or not to prosecute. I’ll also believe him when he says actually this is kind of a big deal even if it’s not prosecutable.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to J_A says:

          Actually it’s worse than that. The FBI didn’t make the classification determination, they sent it to what they considered the relevant organization (NSA, CIA, DoD, etc).

          Which means that, again, some of those “classified” emails continue to be discussions over an article on drone attacks from the New York Times because just because the NYT broke the story didn’t declassify the drone program.

          Which means, quite literally, that those 110 emails can include aides not cleared for the drone program emailing HRC with an update on the NYT story, and thus disseminating classified information. Even though they ONLY know what’s in the NYT story.

          And seriously, Comey talking about ‘administrative punishments’ — I know what those are. You’re forced to retake your security training unless it got into the wild. Then maybe — MAYBE — you might lose your clearance.

          And that is, I admit, for peons. Executive level people — business or government — have always been above IT rules, which has traditionally included crap like “Don’t leave proprietary stuff out, idiot”. (Again, business or government).Report

        • notme in reply to J_A says:

          So what, she still lied about not having classified emails, whether it was 1 or 110.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

            I don’t expect you to read things I link to, since you clearly don’t often read things you link to, so I’ll help you out here. Comey writes:

            Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

            That is, almost all of the 110 aren’t emails marked “classified”; they’re emails that someone later, looking at the contents, said “That one has information in it that we consider classified.” If Hillary didn’t have the same level of subject-matter expertise, she would not have known it was classified.

            In fact, if you read Comey carefully,you see that someone who didn’t know that the material was classified and had no reason to know that had no obligation to treat it as such.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              Old marketing pitch – “Hillary Clinton has the most knowledge, experience, and wisdom of any candidate for President of the United States in decades”

              New marketing pitch “Well, you can’t really expect Hillary Clinton to know all that much about things she was talking about with other people as part of her day to day job”Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

                Man, I sent a memo to the CEO for Pontiac about how they should modify the headlight assemblies for their 2018 models to be interchangeable with the ones we use here at Chevrolet, and he didn’t even know we were switching from our current composite to the new one. What does that guy do all day?Report

            • notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              You are right. From now on I’ll believe anything she says even if later facts prove her wrong.

              So we should believe comey when he said it wasn’t criminal but not when he says she lied about having classified emails?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

                Sure, just show me where he uses the word “lie”.Report

              • notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                He was too polite to say lie. Can you read between the lines?

                For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

                With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been “up-classified.”Report

              • greginak in reply to notme says:

                “to polite…read between the lines”. Face meet palm. You just try to hard and go to the point of silliness. It is so easy to criticize her without flipping out.Report

              • Dave Regio in reply to greginak says:

                “to polite…read between the lines”. Face meet palm. You just try to hard and go to the point of silliness. It is so easy to criticize her without flipping out.


                Come on. Go easy on him. If he’s like a good number of people on my Facebook feed, he feels like he was robbed. Poor guy. Let’s give him a hug.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

                The entire first paragraph is “discusses material that some agency classified”. Perhaps it was about invisible ink used during WWI.

                In the second paragraph, yes, after an exhaustive search, the FBI seems to have found three classified emails from her entire four-year tenure. She should be taken away in chains, or perhaps just shot.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                The Bush Jr conquest of America is complete. Failing upward is now a laudable thing.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

                So do you not agree that way, way, way too much stuff is classified, or is going after Hillary so much fun that we’ll ignore that for now?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Obviously, the best way to handle that is to agree that we have a huge problem with overclassification, but only acknowledge that when the powerful are caught red-handed thus allowing us to keep two different standards in play.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sure, we desperately need to address the problem of ordinary people being thrown in jail for tweets and Facebook posts that discuss information that happens to be classified.Report

              • Kim in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Was the DNC server classified?
                She’s got another lawsuit coming because of that…

                The foxes are in the henhouse.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Kim says:

                Hell, the henhouse is built from live foxes.Report

              • Kim in reply to Joe Sal says:

                That only works when you understand that the person in charge of punishing people on Hillary’s enemies list is also the most frequent person on the enemies list.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Kim says:

                The one that’s not dead, yet?Report

              • Kim in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Oh, Hillary doesn’t kill her enemies.
                And yeah, foxes are notoriously hard to kill.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Mike Schilling:
                So do you not agree that way, way, way too much stuff is classified, or is going after Hillary so much fun that we’ll ignore that for now?

                There is too much stuff that is classified.

                There are two sorts of powerful people

                I would expect powerful people, when, if they’re the good sort of powerful people, to take action to fix the problem they’ve identified as a problem.

                I would expect powerful people, if they’re the selfish sort, to ignore the problem and do everything to work around the problem.

                I used to expect people that in favor of ‘good governance’ to cheer wildly for the first sort of people.

                I now see that a lot of people that are in favor of ‘good governance’ cheer wildly for the second sort of powerful people.

                And allow the underlying problem to continue, unabated.Report

        • InMD in reply to J_A says:

          I don’t see the hypocrisy of the Republicans as much of a defense of Clinton… just more evidence of Republican hypocrisy. The parallel justice system is what bothers me most. It’s always the politician or the banker or the cop who gets the benefit of discretion.Report

          • J_A in reply to InMD says:

            We have two issues here, both very important, and they should not be conflated:

            The dual Justice system is pervasive at all levels. Old boys/girls networks are treated one way, the rest of the hoi-polloi a different way. Even OUR rapists get the benefit of discretion come sentencing time (he’s a good kid, are you going to mess HIS life for a bad 20 min HE had?). We can talk about this all day long.

            The Republican hypocrisy (and I won’t accept “both sides do it the same”) is dangerously corroding the faith in our system of government. When “if the VicePresident screams Classified Information in a crowded threatre, well, he just declassified it, nothing to look at” becomes “she is a traitor to the country because she received three emails marked classified in her home server”, it makes it clear that is just a juvenile game, in which you will say or do or risk anything (by risk, I mean, other people will pay, with money or blood) just to score points at your opponent.

            After all, Brexit as exactly that: “hey, let’s get our names on top of the Tory Leadership chart. Yes, the country will suffer, but, old chap, I’m talking about OUR names on the top”.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

              We’re watching the seams begin to unravel.

              While it’s easy to argue that we’re nowhere near a high-trust/high-collaboration society, there are not merely differences of degree when it comes to trust/collaboration, there are differences in kind.

              We are witnessing a transition of this kind into that one.

              People will be defecting all over. It’s different when people like we defect, of course. It’s only rational for people like us to do so. They started it, after all.

              But that doesn’t change the fact that people will be defecting all over.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                We’re watching the seams begin to unravel.

                Where “begin” means since 1954, or 1964, or 1980. But these are slow processes.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                A difference of degree, if great enough, becomes a difference in kind.

                We’ll have the comfort of knowing that the outgroup started it, though.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Trump got the nomination, where Buchanan did not. But Buchanan was running against an incumbent, while Trump was running against a weak field with no clear front-runner. And Trump’s a mirror that lets his supporters see themselves, where Buchanan was clearly a vicious thug. So, compared to 1992, I see a difference in circumstances, not in degree or kind.Report

            • InMD in reply to J_A says:

              The fact that BSDI isn’t a defense of the Republican party, it’s an indictment of what our system has become. The closest I ever came to being a Democrat was during the Bush years until I realized all the opposition to the security state and imperial presidency was really just a ploy to get their guy in charge of the drones. The D’s are playing the same game, they’re just appealing to a different, more urbane culture since the R’s have the jingoistic vote wrapped up.

              Plenty of people in blue America realize this. It’s why Bernie was able to get as far as he did even if he probably never had a realistic shot at the nomination.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD says:


            There is nothing wrong with holding the powerful accountable. The problem with this sort of never ending inquiry and prosecution is that it can be used for partisan ends and to destroy the opposition. This is what happens in authoritarian states.Report

            • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Can you really not see the irony in that comment?

              Look my preference would be a country where the force of prosecution is used very lightly and with considered, sober restraint. However we don’t live there. The bigger concern for me about authoritarianism is the fact that high ranking government officials can do what they want with impunity for their own politial purposes, while people who make innocent mistakes or god forbid act as a whistle-blower are harshly punished.Report

    • I’m half-way hoping that he does. From the party’s perspective, this is not a campaign to waste talent on. This is probably not one of those cases where the VP nominee is going to be a good position four years from now. Let it be Gingrich. Or Christie. Or anyone else that’s pretty much done as a candidate.

      The only advantage to someone like Pence is that if for some reason or another Trump doesn’t make it as a candidate to election day, they’re ready to step up immediately. If that happens with Gingrich as VP, it’ll be even more chaos. But that’s still the route I would prefer.

      I speak as a NeverTrumper, of course, but Lion supports Trump and he thinks Gingrich is a good idea. And Gingrich won the Drudge Poll. There’s a decent argument to be made that Trump succeeded at least partially on the basis of Gingrich’s ’12 coalition. So this sounds like win-win!Report

  11. Jaybird says:

    In news completely unrelated to anything else going on today, Chelsea Manning has been rushed to the hospital after an alleged failed suicide attempt.Report

  12. Will Truman says:

    For personal reasons, I have decided to close comments on this post.Report