Morning Ed: Politics {2016.07.13.W}


Will Truman

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

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140 Responses

  1. Avatar Mo says:

    #3 is already wrong. “I’’m calling it: Trump will drop out of the race by July 5 at the latest.” It is July 13 and he’s still in.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    I… really have no idea what happens if Trump drops out post convention. I presume his VP nominee takes up the banner and selects a new Veep?

    Yeah a Cruz loss would be a lot healthier for the country than a Trump loss though if it was a Trump blowout loss it might still have a similar effect.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North says:

      Most likely. But what other options exist? When are the electors chosen? Who chooses them? If they’re loyal to Trump, they might pick Gingrich/Pence/whomever. If they’re not, they might go with Mitt. But also importantly, can they be replaced on the ballot? Will we have fifty Toricelli/Delay lawsuits? If so, be ready…

      I do agree with LTL below. But… predictability hasn’t been his strongsuit.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman says:

        Well presumably the GOP and the Dem’s have rules and procedures in place for it. I imagine, depending on the proximity to the election, that votes for Trump GOP would simply be counted as votes for his replacement GOP.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North says:

          It’s not up to the parties, though. It’s up to state law. Fifty states and a district. Ballot access is also handled by the states, which means whether Trump’s name or Pence’s name (or Gingrich’s) could vary from state to state.

          I explored this a while back for a story I was constructing. Basically, imagine a close race between a guy named Patterson and a guy named Cale. By most accounts, Patterson won. He got the popular vote and on first glance a majority of the electoral votes. However, three states (Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas, enough to shift the balance) report irregularities. Two of which Patterson won, one that Cale won. So you have Florida Times Three.

          Then Patterson and Cale are both shot by a sniper at a meeting. Patterson dies, Cale doesn’t. People are broadly comfortable with Cale’s VP selection, and Patterson’s VP selection was a flop.

          So, I had to determine, now what?Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman says:

            A big ol mess!Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to North says:

              Select me as empress. Obviously.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to veronica d says:

                God(ess?) that’d be fabulous! And the administrations travel computer systems would be coded beautifully.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to North says:

                Mostly I’d just organize a new election as quickly as possible, since I don’t feel like being assassinated. Plus I’d probably pardon Manning and Snowden. But aside from that, I wouldn’t really do much. Perhaps I’d get them to build a statue glorifying my beauty or some shit. That would be nice.

                I mean, I’d be tempted to ban the Christian religion, but I’m pretty sure I’d show restraint. 🙂

                Maybe I’d ban public juggling, but only for like one day, just for the lulz.

                “I was just kidding. Juggling is fine. Go forth and juggle.”Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to North says:

      Wasn’t there some discussion of this about two weeks ago? Either here or on the @OT-tweep feed with a lot of the Buckley Club guys. I thought the consensus was that if the nominee dies or drops out or is otherwise disqualified post-convention but pre-election, the party’s leadership would convene on an ad hoc basis and simply select a new nominee.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        But would they be able to get them on the ballot? And how do we define leadership?

        Once upon a time I thought they’d have thought this (at least the latter part) through. I don’t believe so anymore.Report

        • This. In Colorado, the names on the ballot are frozen on Sep 12 this year. Prior to that, the state party can inform the Sec of State of a change in the candidate. More interesting, statute requires that the winning slate of electors vote for the candidate that gets the most votes. The statute makes provision for what happens if one of the nominated electors has died or otherwise become ineligible; no such provision for the candidates for President and Vice-President.

          Nothing that I can find in the statute says who transmits the results to Congress. The formal voting takes place by open ballot in the Governor’s Office; the Sec of State is charged with providing any papers or materials the electors need; electors are allowed to consult with the Attorney General on their responsibilities. I’m sure the court arguments would be fascinating if the Gov, AG, and SoS all declined to transmit results that did not conform to state statute.Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain says:

            I remember looking at a different, but similar issue under Illinois law, and the state party seems to be the entity that makes a lot of the decisions as a matter of course. Without looking back at it, I’d almost wager that the state party decides just about everything unless there is some specific prohibition, particularly since some of these provisions might even predate the modern primary system. But a drop dead date like Sept. 12 seems reasonable at least in terms of finalizing the ballot and time for any challenges to it. At some point, the vote slot would effectively have to be for the Veep or nobody.

            BTW/ Not quite on point, but my preference would have been for His Accidency John Tyler to have lost his unmerited seizure of power and a tradition and legislation developed for special elections if someone dies.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to PD Shaw says:

              Yeah, I am almost certain that it’s state-by-state. So all you would need to do is get whoever makes the decision in Massachusetts to agree with the person making the decision in Georgia to agree with who is making the decision in Arizona…

              Also, find out who makes the decision in each of these states.

              And whether they can be replaced on the ballot.

              And who appoints the electors, anyway, and who the electors would answer to.

              There would be litigation.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Will Truman says:

                So, I was under the impression that states couldn’t actually bind electors to vote a particular way. Which means I imagine the typical result looks like this: First, the national party decides on a replacement and then the electors ignore whatever their state law says and vote for that replacement.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Alan Scott says:

                Many states have laws that require electors to vote according to the outcome of the election. I’m not sure what the penalty is, or whether it’s ever actually been tested legally, but there are definitely laws on the books. Look up “faithless elector.”Report

  3. Avatar Mo says:

    I don’t think they’re necessarily losing Asians because they’re more Muslim. If you look at this poll, Republicans are also losing Buddhists. I think part of it has to do with the fact that historically, many Asian Americans fled Communist regimes and the Republicans were the strong anti-Communism party (similar to Cubans). Now the reason Asians come to the US is much more diverse and anti-Communism isn’t an effective cudgel anymore (see again Cubans). Throw in the fact that Asians tend to be more coastal and educated and turned off by racist rhetoric and it’s a perfect storm.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Mo says:

      I should have said “in part.” I saw some convincing data on this a while back that moved me away from “They’re having trouble because of the donut hole*” and towards “they’re having trouble because the Asian-Americans have changed.” Less Christian (more Muslim, Buddist, Hindu), less escaping-communist, etc.

      But the Muslim swing has been rather enormous, for not-hard-to-figure reasons, and that has factored in.

      * – They lose poor Asian-Americans on economic policy, they lose wealthier ones on social policy.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman says:

        Has it been? The big swing has been in Buddhists, Hindu and Unaffliliated. Only 4% of AAs identify as Muslim.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Mo says:

          The US government (or the Census, at least), classifies people from the Middle East as white, not Asian. I believe “Asian” as a racial classification starts at China.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            I would guess Muslim AA’s are from Indonesia and Malaysia. Speaking of which, it never occurred to me to think it odd that Indonesia and Malaysia are majority-Muslim, but now that I think about it, they’re pretty far separated from the other Muslim countries.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Mo says:

          I’m trying to imagine the reconciliation of Buddhist thought (from my very limited understanding of the scope and breadth of Buddhism) with support for Donald Trump, and it kind of makes my head spin.

          But, humanity is a strange and wonderful thing – if you can name a particular form of cognitive dissonance, there is someone out there valiantly managing it…Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to dragonfrog says:

            My (also limited) understanding is that actual Buddhism is very different from the sort of feel-good Buddhism practiced by westerners.

            I saw a video once where some guy was trolling people in Berkeley or some similarly left-wing place by reading them quotes expressing disapproval of things like abortion and homosexuality and asking them whether the Pope or the Dalai Lama had said those things, and of course they all said it was the Pope, and of course they were all from the Dalai Lama.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Mo says:

      I think part of it has to do with the fact that historically, many Asian Americans fled Communist regimes and the Republicans were the strong anti-Communism party (similar to Cubans).

      In my experience this appears to be a strong factor in the Vietnamese community, which has a big bubble of immigrants who escaped post-war Vietnam and remember it very, very clearly. They like to hear anti-communist noises, and in the absence of those they’ll still prefer with the party that was historically more hard line against communism. Their US born children seem more like other Americans in that age cohort–seeing communism as a quaint non-issue rather than something meaningful to worry about.

      It’s hard to blame them, given what their lives were like before they got here. It would definitely suck to leave a communist nation and make your life in a foreign land only to have it turn into the same thing you escaped. At least, I’d rather they have that attitude than to go the other direction. It’s a little more concerning to see a few people I know from repressive countries who presumably came here for greater freedom say things that boil down to, “You know, this place is pretty good, but we could do with a little more repression of people who aren’t like me…”Report

      • Some of my Russian Jewish Republican tweeps have expressed great exasperation at the level of Trump support in their community and families.

        “Trump is the man they’ve been warning us about our entire lives and they’re voting for him! “Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Will Truman says:

          The appeal of the strong man is strong even after you escape a strong man. Weird, no?

          At the same time, most people only like a bully when he’s bullying the other guy. People like Donald Trump or Chris Christie get big time cheers from the people behind them when they’re “telling it like it is” to somebody else, but those types of guys usually end up “telling it it like it is” to too many of their potential voters to build and sustain a winning coalition.

          As annoying as it is that we spend 20-30% of our existence in a Presidential election cycle, our long election cycles do give characters like that plenty of time to show their true colors to everybody. It introduces a, “Can you not be an openly crazy asshole for a period of one year?” test that probably saves us a lot of grief.Report

  4. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    The odds of Trump dropping out are lower than the odds of Trump deciding that it’s not worth putting more effort into trying to win. He would remain on the ballot, but declare victory when he gets 40% of the vote “without really trying.”

    Consequently, a GOP meltdown resulting in a libertarian winning a few states and getting federal dollars the next time around could make things interesting. That goes double if Johnson makes a social justice-tinged critique of the militarization of the police. Certainly, it would put an end to the joke about LP voters being too stoned to remember election day.

    There is a strong argument to be made that shrinking the state – enforcer of Jim Crow, author of the original redlining maps, writer of endless expensive tickets for revenue – would be a good thing for racial justice. OTOH, the racial politics left may be too tied up in anti-capitalism to accept libertarianism within the realm of non-problematic ideology.

    Also, there have always been some far more fringe-y religious right parties out there. What if one of them gets an injection of professionalism and cash in the wake of Trump dropping out?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to LTL FTC says:

      Trump doesn’t drop out. Hillary continues to bribe him into letting her win.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LTL FTC says:


      I think saying the left has been infused with anti-Capitalism is taking it too far. Yes Bernie Sanders is a self-described social democrat who advocated for a stronger welfare state but he never called for the state to take over the means of production.

      What does anti-Capitalism even mean? When I here libertarians and conservatives complain about how people on the left are anti-Capitalism, they seem to get extremely butthurt and defensive at the merest critique of Capitalism. A critique of aspects Capitalism is not being anti-Capitalist or against the profit motive. There should not be any controversy that the irrational exuberance of the Investment Banks led them to search for profits instead of being prudent and this partially caused the huge fiscal crisis in 2007. A crisis whose effects are still being felt in many parts of the United States and the world.

      Yet suggesting even the tiniest regulation seems to make many Libertarians see the resurrection of Lenin, Mao, and Trotsky.

      This is madness.

      Another aspect is that the left still believes in the importance of the welfare state and the power of government to correct private discrimination. Yet the libertarians still howl at the Civil Rights Act, a large plurality of them at least do.

      Many libertarians, including here, say that they are of course not opposed to all aspects of the welfare state or regulation. But they never state which aspects of the welfare state and regulation they are for. This has been the same since the right-wing Republicans were opposed to the creation of Social Security in the 1930s.

      Why are the supporters of Capitalism and the richest of the rich so butt hurt that they have critics? Is Capitalism too weak to take on criticism? Is it the most perfect thing? Is anything created by humans perfect?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Any criticism of Capitalism must start with the concept that Capitalism isn’t a real economic system. It’s unstable.

        Nobody cheers the horde of locusts nor the press of lemmings off the cliff.Report

      • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m no libertarian and I don’t consider things like universal health care or public provision of infrastructure to be “anti-capitalist” so much as “acknowledging the existence of externalities within the capitalist framework.” I’m also not talking about the entire Democratic Party either. Apologies if I wasn’t clear, but I’m talking about the social justice/identity politics left. Specifically, that there is more common ground than you might think between Gary Johnson and the identity politics left. Sanders isn’t really part of that – he is only to the extent that it was the price to pay in order to have physical access to his own microphone.

        I’m not going to provide a sheaf of receipts on this, since receipts only invite the accusation of cherry-picking. But I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that the academic departments in which modern identity politics has been incubated and developed for the last half-century take Marxism seriously, even if they do sometimes pooh-pooh him for putting class first.

        Take the phrase “late-stage capitalism” and how often that’s been bandied about.

        Besides, if the system is capitalist and the system is “white supremacist,” then you do the math.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to LTL FTC says:

          “late stage capitalism” is a synonym for “capitalism is fucking ending, and we don’t know what to do about it.”

          FIRE in the Hole!Report

          • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Kim says:

            Isn’t announcing the end of capitalism a Marxist analysis and thus anti-capitalist?

            I don’t think capitalism is something imposed on people. They can try and stamp it out, but markets emerge in even the most repressive anti-capitalist economies.

            The only non-anti-capitalist people who think capitalism is ending are fringe-y libertarians who think any regulation at all puts us one step from the gulag. I don’t think Gary Johnson falls in that category.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to LTL FTC says:

              Only if the person doing it is a Marxist, of all things!
              I’m pro-market. I’m getting this argument from someone who’s done research with Krugman.

              Markets are not capitalism. Two completely different concepts. Capitalism depends on growth and productivity improvements.Report

      • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t think butthurt is a particular useful term, or even critique. Nearly everything wrong with capitalism grows out of social constructs. Banks, corporations, and governments ability to choose winners and losers in the economic/financial model. I hope most Libertarians are just pointing these things out and giving fair warning.

        There may be a ‘society’ flaw in the Subjective Theory of Value. What happens to that model when it is used by 70% of a population who desire/value social constructs that lead to command economies?

        Capitalism in it’s raw form will be around long after the social constructs have failed repeatedly and miserably.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Joe Sal says:

          The things you call as social constructs have been part of human culture before we were even homo sapiens. Humans evolved to live in groups. Most human civilizations have been based more on group identity and community membership than individual autonomy even in the most individualistic Western civilizations. The only person who held to the every person for myself ideology completely have been so limited in number that they are statistically insignificant.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Republicsns seems to be suffering from the same problem Labour is. Their membership wants things that the broader electorate find repulsive. This is less damaging to the Republicans because of certain features and quirks of American politics but it’s going to hurt them a bit.Report

      • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The rest of the political spectrum could learn a thing or two from the far-right’s ability to recruit people to run for seemingly inconsequential or small-time offices that can make big changes in aggregate.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to LTL FTC says:

          Yes but can that kind of loony obsession be replicated elsewhere and do other ideological cohorts actually WANT a larger wing of loony obsessives? That’s a sword that cuts both ways.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LTL FTC says:

          First, a lot of these small time elected positions tend to be held by civil servants in the more populous areas of the country. Second, the Far Right tends to have a much better funding source. Third, what they are doing is not democratic.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq says:

            How is winning elections not democratic?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

              People bundle “democratic” and “liberal” together in their heads.

              So when people, democratically, do something illiberal, it creates a great deal of dissonance for them.

              The go-to solution to resolve this dissonance is to no-true-Scotsman the democracy in action and say that it was therefore not democratic.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Aaron David says:

              When you game the system so you when the House while not gaining the majority of votes than it is not democratic.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Mmm maybe less Democratic. It’s not like the rules on this issue weren’t laid out well in advance nor is it like both sides haven’t used it to their advantage (though the Dems are geographically more vulnerable to it).Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq says:

                That’s because we live in a Republic @leeesqReport

              • There is no lowercase-r republican argument for gerrymandering, though.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Will Truman says:

                Gerrymandering is just the final level of deciding who gets to vote where. Someone has to do it, whether it is politicians (subject to politics and corruption) or citizen commissions (subject to politics and corruption in the same way that state appointments of senators was subject to corruption).

                I always though doing it by counties would be best, but the numbers don’t work out real well.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Aaron David says:

                Back in the day, I can see why gerrymandering was tolerated.

                Nowadays, with GIS, there is no reason a computer can’t do it with a publicly available algorithm. People need not be involved.Report

              • Can the algorithms take into account some of the other things that are written into many state constitutions? Minimize splitting cities/counties (or counties/cities, depending on the priority)? Preserve communities of interest? In my state, the rural folks on the Eastern Plains have pretty much completely different concerns than the rural folks on the Western Slope. One of my favorite parts of the last redistricting was the conservative rural folks in the SE quadrant of the state saying, “Please, don’t put us in the same district with those conservative pro-Army bastards in Colorado Springs, who will support the Army taking 10,000 square miles of ranchland by eminent domain to expand their tank playground and free up water for the city.”Report

              • Yeah. Even an algorithm requires inputs, and inputs are discretionary.

                Do you want minority districts? Do you want to keep like communities together or do you want more swing districts? For urban areas, do you what a donut or a wheel?

                Algorithms would still get rid of some of the worst excesses, though, I think.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman says:

                I mentioned a simple solution to this problem here before, I think: Anyone who wants to can propose a redistricting algorithm, or the actual redistricting lines. Then you select among the entries using an objective criterion stated in advance, like minimizing the sum of the lengths of the district borders. Anyone who tries to submit an entry engineered for electoral advantage will lose out to the math grad student who just wanted to win the contest.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

                If a human has access to the data necessary to make that decision, and the decision is not wholly arbitrary (i.e. it has some objective criteria behind it) then it can be written to computer code.

                Then you make the code public, and the data sets, so anyone can run the algorithm against the data set, and if they don’t get the same district lines, you know something hinky was going on.Report

              • This is going to be a multi-objective optimization problem. The debates will be over assigning the weightings for the multiple objectives, defining measures for vague things like “community of interest”, etc.

                (Oh, look, the math geeks are at it again!!)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Yes, but at least gaming the algorithm will be transparent as all hell.

                I suspect the bigger questions will be, which criteria are objectively legitimate to include in the algorithm, and which are blatant attempts to game it?Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I think that any algorithm that aimed for minimum perimeter length to contain the populace of a congressional district would be reasonably fair.

                The code that implements the algorithm should, though, be made public for inspection by others.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Computers make the gerrymandering problems worse because you can program to gerrymander like no human could.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Sure, but it would be painfully obvious, especially if you did something silly, like let the parties write the code, or determine the criteria & weights.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                You want to end gerrymandering, then you want to increase the number of Congressional Representatives.

                We can argue over whether we want circa 1900 kinda numbers or circa 1800 kinda numbers but there ain’t no other way to do it.

                Also: Repeal the 17th Amendment. And the 16th, why not. Repeal the 18th again for good measure.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m only up for replacing the 17th Amendment if we’re destroying the Senate at the same time. Otherwise, I don’t see why libertarians have such an affection for a time when Trusts literally bought Senate seats.

                But yes, totally double, triple, or quadruple the size of the House.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I’m not for doing it without fixing the size of the house.

                (As if Trusts don’t buy senate seats today!)Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Query as to the significance of this. Platforms have been a way party honchos mollify the ideological extremes and single-issue groups for decades now, and candidates at all levels are not bound to the platforms. In no meaningful sense are party platforms anyone’s actual blueprint for governance. BSDI, in a big way.Report

      • Some of the planks also fall into the “be careful what you wish for” category. This year, the Republicans are demanding that federal public lands be turned over to the states. In most western states, grazing fees for state public lands are considerably higher than the federal fees. Ditto severance taxes and royalties for mining. Some of my (non-OT) friends in Portland, who are normally calm, reasonable individuals, were frothing at the mouth to have the police go into Malheur with guns blazing — and Oregon land use policy is going to be set in Portland and the other urban/suburban areas, not out in the boonies.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain says:

          With that in mind where is the opposition to that seated? I suppose New England and other non-involved states who want to stick their oar in anyhow? But if you can make the case to environmentalists in NE that their sympatico fellows in Portland will deliver if they have the power to why would they resist handing it off to the states.

          Then again the Dems and the American left have been pushing towards centralization of most everything for a while so that’d be paddling against the current no?Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Michael Cain says:

          What are the odds counties will want to decentralize the land from the state? This could get fun.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Joe Sal says:

            Slim to none? Constitutionally municipalities and counties are emanations of the individual states.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North says:

              So, that just leaves the decision in the states’ hands, doesn’t it? As in, “The board of county commissioners in each county shall have authority to manage these public lands as they see fit, including authority to sell such lands or lease them for any purpose.”

              Many years ago when I lived on the East Coast, the impression I got from easterners was “Westerners are irresponsible children and can’t be trusted with pretty things.” If you dug into the reasoning, and if the particular people were somewhat informed, the tendency of western state governments to devolve lots of authority to the counties was part of why they thought bad things would happen.

              In my state, the constitution gives pretty much that degree of power to local school boards. That’s a widespread thing in the West. The fact that the state governments couldn’t force “best practices” onto the local boards hurt us badly in competitions for “Race to the Top” funding. So much so that there were eventually some set-asides that didn’t take away points for lack of central control.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Legally binding significance? As binding as reading Bush Pere’s lips, which is to say not at all.
        Political significance? Quite a bit, the platform is where the party is officially saying “This is important to us, this is what we stand for, this is what we want” you can’t later deflect criticisms of the platform by saying “It’s not binding on our candidates to enact this into law” the platform is the official GOP (Or Dem) position statement. So if it’s ultra conservative that’s not something any GOP party member can run from or handwave away and it’s something non-conservatives can make hay with very easily.Report

  5. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Some interesting numbers coming out of Quinnipiac regarding battleground states…

    I mean, we haven’t even gotten to the conventions yet and this it turning out to be a horse race!Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

      As we mentioned to a die-hard BernieBro on LGM, Qunnipac is one poll and a poll that has been known to have problems.

      But HRC haters gotta dream and troll, don’t they?Report

    • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Aaron David says:

      TFW people jump on an outlier poll that aligns with their preconceptionsReport

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Aaron David says:

      Trolls with Polls has Clinton up by a good margin.
      [*sigh* yes, I’m talking about an actual polling company. It should be obvious which one.]Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Aaron David says:

      Clinton had a bad week and Trump is going in to his convention. But still, that Q poll has seemed off the whole year, so take it with a grain of salt.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I am reminded of the polling going into the Brexit and how all the polls missed the mood, along with midterm polls in ’10 and ’14, also how the R’s were polling things going into ’12. In other words, most polls have been wrong when it comes to accurately polling anything the last few years, and pundits have had a shirt reputation this whole season. As far as I am concerned there is only one poll that matters and that is the election. But it is nice to see other information come out. Only time will tell.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Aaron David says:

          Oh, hell, leave off it.
          You get what you pay for.
          Which is a fancy way of saying that for people wagering REAL money, the polls they commission are quite a bit more accurate than the “free” ones for the media.Report

        • The aggregate Brexit polling was correct. Within the margins, at any rate.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David says:

          The polls have been dead on in the Dem race (with the exception of Michigan) and were pretty accurate in the GOP race too (though the analysis reading them kept saying “This doesn’t right so surely Donald will decline any day now”). I don’t see any signs that HRC is in trouble in the polls yet nationally.
          Indulging in cherry picking polls is fine but ya may end up with the shock-shocked Team Romney 2012 results if ya do.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North says:

            All true @north and like I said above, the only poll that matters is the election. What I am commenting on is that not all agree with the Clinton Steamroller theory. Another look is this here.

            From where I am standing, there is way to many problems with polling in general, as shown here and here . The question to me, and part of the reason I am bringing this up by showing the outlier poll, is that we might still be in that hole, and the HRC camp might just be falling deeper into it.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to North says:

            Trolling people into oblivion isn’t the only thing that competent folks do.Report

          • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to North says:

            This is an important point. There is this idea that Trump has broken all precedent, so all bets are off. This is only half true. There are certain historical patterns of what sorts of candidates ,and what sorts of things they do, leading to what sorts of outcomes. Trump has broken this. But there also are historical patterns of how well polling predicts said outcomes. This has not changed. All the commentary about how he would never be nominated was based on the first set of historical patterns, and all along it was in conflict with the second. The conclusion that therefore the polling is peculiarly non-predictive this time around is simply a case of not paying attention.

            I also suspect that Trump really is following the historical patterns, but in a modified form. We have seen multiple times over the past few cycles the pattern of some Republican candidate for the nomination suddenly surges in the polls. The lefty commentariat panics while the righty commentariat exults, as this One True Candidate will sweep into victory. Then this new-found prominence attracts scrutiny, resulting in a collective “Eh, maybe not.” Rinse and repeat with someone else.

            The commentary back in the day (i.e. last Fall) that Trump would never be nominated was based on the assumption that the same would happen to him. But it never did. Or did it? We are seeing a big bout of buyer’s remorse in the Republican Party right now. They are presumptively stuck with him, so a quiet disappearance, joining Herman Cain and Rick Perry and the rest, isn’t in the cards. So we are seeing how the “Eh, maybe not” reaction plays out when “not” is no longer an option.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        They are right, if D’s win we will descend into fascism… The Ridiculous RBG’s comments this week pretty much confirm it.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David says:

          RBG’s comment definitely went over the line for Supreme Court Justice decorum but I’m curious as to how you’d justify saying we’ll descend into fascism if the D’s win. HRC is running as a continuation of Obama, so are we in fascism now? If so how’ll we descend further into it if she wins? If she wins the House and Senate will it be total fascism; if she just gets the senate will it be half fascism?Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North says:

            “But due process is what’s killing us right now.” Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat WV. Assaults on the 5th, 1st (Citizens united) and 2nd amendments are the decent into what is called fascism currently (on the left it seems to be anything they don’t like.) But what I am mostly referring to is the idiocy of the Princeton article, for idiocy is what it is. Right now, as far as I am concerned, divided gov’t is the only way forward, as no one has enough power to do real damage in the country that way. It would take all three branches acting in collusion to truly turn the US into a fascist regime, right now having a branch of gov’t show its backbone to him, and represent their voters is keeping it from becoming that.

            I voted for Obama to end the imperial presidency of Bush. Or so I thought. HRC continuing his tenure would be only strengthen it.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

              Oh get off your fever dream!

              What RBG said was not good for a standing member of the Court. Many people on the left think she stepped out of bounds.

              But to say an HRC victory will lead to fascism is plainly absurd unless one embraces absolute white identity politics. How is protecting abortion rights, LBGT rights, and the rights of minorities fascist?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:


                Those aren’t. None of those platforms would undermine an authoritarian regime.

                But the constant attacks (and the resultant weakening of) on specific rights that interfere with the political goals of those in power, will. Bush & Obama have taken for themselves a large number of dangerous & questionable executive powers. If HRC actually relinquished those powers, I’d be inclined to agree with you, but she won’t. At best, she won’t take more for herself.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


                Any examples beyond the second amendment?

                I wish I knew of a way to get people to believe I hate X but it is a right so…. That is very hard though.

                I wonder if we have just crossed the rubicon in various ideologies having different and incomprehensible starting points. I have seen libertarians argue that the starting point should be an assumption of legality and no regulation and I just disagree on a firmly philosophical level for many things.

                I don’t agree that someone should be allowed to set up shop as a lawyer or Doctor without training and proof of competency. I don’t agree that companies should put things on market until proven safe for human use and consumptionReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                How about the 4th (pretty much gutted), the 5th (big gaping wounds), the 6th (taken some hits), the 8th (torture party, yeah!).

                And no, I don’t like the precautionary principle, it allows one to demand perfection in an imperfect world.

                This isn’t about regulation, it’s about rights being protected BECAUSE they are rights, not because some people like them. We allow inconvenient rights to be gutted for the sake of convenience and you risk the health of the other rights, as soon as those in power find them inconvenient.

                Why some very intelligent liberals fail to get this simple reality confounds me.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Oh, and the attempted murder of the 1st in CU. Funny which party is party to that.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Errr Didn’t Obama stop and roll back the infringements on the 8th?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to North says:

                Guess that depends on who you talk to. He may have stopped the official use of torture, but AFAIK, he has done nothing that would stymie HillaRump from doing it again.Report

              • How would any president do that? Executive orders can be overridden; ending it for good would require either passing a law or having a Supreme Court that would both grant cert to a lawsuit and rule that the Eighth applies.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Cross-alignment marriages seems to me to require quotation marks.

    To what extent would an “independent” today have fit fairly well within either party 10 years ago? 20 years ago?

    If yesterday’s Republicans are marrying today’s Republicans and yesterday’s Democrats are engaging in mindful life partnerships with today’s Democrats, is that really worth writing down?Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I have to find the article, but I read a pretty thorough breakdown of what would happen if Trump pulls out at various stages: pre-convention, post-convention, pre-innaguration, post-innaguration. Each situation had a different outcome.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My friends play a game on first dates now where it's ask men to name three books they've read by female authors.It never goes well.— holly wood (@girlziplocked) July 13, 2016

    (Gentleperson emeritus Ryan Noonan retweeted that and brought it to my attention. The ensuing food fight was fun to watch.)Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

      Oh my!

      Honestly tho, I’d rather a guy just say, “Oh, uh, yeah, the Harry Potter stuff, and I read Jane Austin in school, but honestly I mostly like dude-fic. I think. Oh wait! I liked the Earthsea books as a kid. That was a woman, right?”

      I mean, the whole are you perfect social justice dude is a stupid game. No one wins that game. The are you a thoughtful person game is more fun. Lots of people can win that game. Pick better games.

      But still, some guys can be a barrel of cringe-inducing hilarity.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

        Ha! This guy wins:

        Does the Bible count?


      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

        “I’ve been trying to get George Elliot removed from the curriculum and replaced by Evelyn Waugh.”

        This might be a good place to hammer out seriously important things to ask about in the first date.

        “So name three unresolved issues you have with your mother.”Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

          I’m 48. I have no unresolved issues with Mom.

          You know, I haven’t been on a “first date,” like as a proper cultural notion of “dating”, since high school, and that was a disaster. (She was actually stunningly gorgeous and waaaaay out of my league — cuz like she asked me out — and I was a terrified weird-nerd the entire time. Yeesh.)

          Since then I mostly meet people I already kinda know and hook up, and then maybe that becomes a thing.

          I keep planning to set up a tinder profile and find out just how terrible trans dating really is. Or maybe I’ll stick to math and my Hitachi. I like math. I like my Hitachi. Dating strangers — oh heavens no! I shall hug my warm Hitachi and think of math.

          Ha! This cis lady tried to pick me up in a bar the other night. She was — I dunno — too much for me. I dodged the situation.

          Anyway, if I ever do setup a tinder account, and if I do get any “dates” out of it, you can bet I’ll share my stories here.

          He fixes me with his hazel eyes, grabs me with a firm grip. “Young lady,” he says — my knees quiver — “it is time. Report to the bedroom.”

          I do as I am told, stumble in a daze down the dimly lit hallway toward the bedroom. Its door is open. Within are shadows and the vague outline of a bed.

          It’s totally true! Every word! Even the adverbs!

          (Fucking 50 shades has nothing on me, bitches!)


          Which by the way, EL James would be a hilarious answer to the “three women authors” question. Cuz OMG!Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

          “I’ve been trying to get George Elliot removed from the curriculum and replaced by Evelyn Waugh.”

          Vile Bodies instead of The Mill on the Floss? Awesome.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Jaybird says:


      I’d respond asking why the sex of the author was relevant? Then I’d probably list three books on guns by women (totally made up) like “Defensive use of handguns”, “A Woman’s AR-15” and “Pink is Taticool” and watch the reaction. But I’m evil.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Damon says:

        I’d respond asking why the sex of the author was relevant?

        Which would display a remarkable lack of insight. In fact, if I were being flippant, I would suggest that guys like you make the question relevant. Its purpose is to filter out a certain sort of man.


        But for fun, let us treat this as a serious question. The point is this, novels can actually be pretty “deep,” inasmuch as they combine narrative with direct access to the narrator’s internal life. This is quite different from what can be easily be expressed through drama or film. In other words, novels deliver a certain kind of perspective.

        We live in a gendered society. Thus women often experience life in ways different from men. Different experiences lead to different perspectives. In my experience — and this is informed by the fact I’ve literally changed genders — women indeed “see things differently” from men.

        Not all women in every way. Each woman is different. Etc. But still, the differences are real.

        Note that accepting this does not imply accepting gender essentialism, nor that women are fundamentally different from men. Perhaps we are. Perhaps we are not. But we undeniably live in a different social context.

        Certainly is is possible for a sufficiently empathetic writer to cross the “gender divide.” But it’s actually quite hard to do well. There is a texture to life, small details. Likewise, there is the ability to surprise. For a man to write from a woman’s perspective, he must either listen to women (and then report what he is told) or guess.

        It is possible to guess well. After all, we are all humans. Our emotional lives are not insurmountably different.

        But a guess remains a guess. Will you sustain a perfect track record of subtle guesses across an 80,000 word manuscript, which together capture the subtle textures of female life?

        Maybe. Probably not.

        If you listen to women, you cannot add to the conversation. You can only repeat.

        (Of course, a skilled writer will combine listening and guessing. It can be done well. But still, I can say this, when a trans women writes about being a trans woman, it is very obviously different from how cis writers write about us. The differences are, from my perspective, enormous and glaringly obvious.)

        When women write from our own perspective, we can say new shit that other women have not said, but that we’ve experienced. There is no need for guesses, because these are the actual insights of an actual women with direct access to her own inner life. We place our stamp on the world, add our two-cents to the discourse.

        Some readers are curious about such views. Others are not. So it goes. If you are on a date, your date might care which kind of person you are.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to veronica d says:

          Of course someone asking the question would feel it’s relevant. I’ve read countless dating profiles where women list requirements–height, financial stability, etc. No reason why this couldn’t be a “gate” for some women. But if it was asked to me, odds are I figure we weren’t a good match (because stuff like that isn’t a gate for me dating them) and figure I might as well have some fun with it, providing the example I wrote previously. Ideally, they’d get offended, which would be even more funnier.

          It’s the same reason I tease my very liberal actress friend about Donald Trump. It gets a rise out of her.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to veronica d says:

          You said that much better than I did (in part because you took the time to treat the question as serious).

          Only thing to add – works of fiction aren’t the only books worth considering (IMO – unless the question asked is specifically about fiction of course); books by scholars, scientists, journalists, and researchers of every stripe are also going to offer different insights depending on the writer’s experience. Whether you mostly read fiction, science, history, how-to guides – if you only read the men who write in that field, your perspective is going to be blinkered.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Damon says:

        Why is it relevant? All kinds of reasons it could be relevant to the person asking.

        One I can imagine – as a woman in a society that very often doesn’t take women’s ideas and intellect seriously, I might want to look for evidence (beyond a simple assertion “why yes, I do respect women as and take their ideas seriously”) that a date actually dedicates their time and mental energy to intellectual work by women.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to dragonfrog says:

          Ah, but I don’t “dedicate my time and energy” to intellectual work by specific sexes. I dedicate it to what I’m interested in.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Damon says:

            Exactly – and women contribute mightily to all fields. So, if you really are reading the best and most interesting authors, in any field, you’ll probably have read three female authors in that field.

            If you’re only reading dudes, your learning will have some significant blind spots in it. What exactly those blind spots are will depend on the subject. And, more importantly for the hypothetical person on the hypothetical date with you, if you can’t think of three women in whatever field it is that you’ve read, then that’s a warning sign you may ignore women because they’re women, and may be one of those dudes who needs a man to repeat what a woman just said before you’ll take it seriously. Which is a far bigger blind spot, called ‘sexism’.

            Like, seriously, if my interest is urban planning, and it hasn’t even occurred to me to read Jane Jacobs, what does that say about me?Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to dragonfrog says:

          @dragonfrog — This came across my feed today. It seems on point:

          Ironically it’s by a guy named Damon. I suspect it might be a different Damon.

          This next link I post a lot. It hits some similar points, I think:


          You all know about the “system one versus system two” cognitive stuff, right? This:

          I think this idea helps explain how sexism works (and racism also, all the nasty -isms). The thing is, most men these days don’t want to be sexist, and certainly in their deliberate mind, they are not. Given time to think about a thing, they will make the choice that they can rationalize as “equal.”

          However, by the time their rational “system two” mind has gathered the data, it has already been colored by the visceral responses of the “system one” thinking. The point is, your mind is constantly running a kind of “social evaluation subprogram,” coloring your raw sense data with value and meaning. You sense status moves. You evaluate situations for fairness, for threat, for opportunity. Your “disgust response” is always active.

          Plus the sex drive. That’s always there. (Unless you’re asexual I guess.)

          The point is, this stuff is unconscious, but it shapes so much our “reality.”

          I don’t mean our reality in the sense of radical subjectivism, Bishop Berkeley style. If you don’t believe in the speeding bus, and thus wander into traffic and get hit, you still go splat. Likewise, gravity is not a matter of opinion.

          The nature of fairness, however, is very much a matter of opinion.

          In certain experiments, psychologists will have subjects read a small story, a single paragraph, that describes the behavior of (for example) a business executive, and then ask the subjects what they think — except in this case half the subjects get a paragraph about a woman, whereas the other half get an identical paragraph, but with a male name and male pronouns. Same facts. Literally the same words, except for the name and pronouns. The responses differ quite a lot. The men are seen as “assertive,” the women as “pushy” or “bitchy.”

          Much has been written about experiments such as this.

          Recently studies like this have been seeing reversed results. But this is easy to understand. In the original studies, subjects were responding with their raw system one evaluations. In more recent studies, the subjects have heard of such studies, and thus they intervene (and overcompensate) with their system two thinking.

          Welcome to hell.

          The problem is, of course, our system one is really good at its job, except the part where it is racist and sexist. Your system two often does a terrible job. It didn’t evolve for subtle social evaluation. These things are hard to consciously decide.

          I don’t have a good solution.


          Plausibly, a man who reads much by women might built tools to improve his ability to empathize with women, in a visceral way. Maybe not.

          Okay, so big hard shit: Gavin de Becker tells women to trust their system one. If a man seems off, in any subtle way, get away from him. This is good advice.

          But what about black men?

          Uh oh! Danger zone!

          When I first moved to Boston, as I rode the subway for the first time, I was weirdly nervous around black men. I mean, I don’t want to be racist. OMG no! But still, system one. I don’t understand their behavior. It all seems off to me.

          Like, you see a surly looking black dude wearing a hoodie pulled low. He seems menacing. I’m sitting across from him. I keep glancing at him — I cannot help it. He notices this.

          What happens next is not good. (Real experience.)

          This was years ago. Nowadays, after living in the city for a while, a kid like that doesn’t bother me anymore. I don’t give him more than a quick glance. Yeah, he looks menacing — cuz he wants to be left alone, cuz he lives in fucking Dorchester and shit goes down fast.

          I don’t fear him, not at all. I don’t need to. He does not fear me either. Why should he? I ain’t eyeballing him. I’m a tranny minding her own business. No big deal.

          We all want the same thing: to get home safe.

          When a dude on the train is looking for trouble, it’s really obvious really fast.

          I’d say, from a few years living in Dorchester, I’ve trained my system one to ride the subway with black men. This came from familiarity.


          How can men train their system ones to be less sexist?

          I dunno. In my case, I just became a woman. That’s probably extreme.

          Will reading books by women help? Maybe a little, but honestly, maybe not so much.


          I used to write stories. Now, I personally have no respect for “preachy” fiction, and I never produced it myself. My system was, “Create a cool character, someone who wants something and will do stuff to get it. Make sure the stuff they need to do is hard. Someone probably wants to stop them. This adversary, they got their own reasons. Now, describe what happens.”

          “What happens next?”

          Just say what happens. It’s a good way to write. If you are skilled enough (I was okay), you can produce a nice enough short story. I had readers. They liked my stuff.

          The funny thing is, they didn’t always agree on who was the “good guy,” which was funny.

          I recall one story I wrote. It was about a hot gal who hooks up with a “bad boy” type, except I wanted to play against type. (At this point I was done with the crybaby nice guy types. Step up or step off.) Anyway, during the big climax — keep in mind this was erotica — the guy — well let us just say he makes sure she gets hers.

          Not every guy does that you know. And of course, he succeeds with great flourish. Happy endings for all!

          It’s funny how readers reacted to that shit! I mean, they read it. They liked it. They were engaged. However, many of the (mostly) male readers just assumed they were supposed to hate the guy. They assumed I was doing some “edgy” bullshit, whereas I was playing it straight.

          It’s funny, right. Same words. Same images. But different people color it differently.

          This is not Rashomon. The facts are all there on the page. This is our “social evaluation subsystem,” constantly scanning for fairness, threat, opportunity. Socially, we make alliances, and thus we feel empathy, but not uniformly, nor the same for each person. It is very uneven. There are reasons for this. (You help your allies. You destroy your enemies.)

          The “social circuits” — good narrative engages them, but they exist to run in real life.


          If you’re social circuits are sexist, you won’t necessarily know it. After all, the situation just felt unfair. Thus, in your mind, it was unfair.

          After all, you can just see it, out there in the world, morality, value, fairness and unfairness, the sacred and the profane. These things are part of the objects themselves.

          Except of course they are not. They are entirely products of your mind.

          It never feels that way. We are cognitively unable to view bare truth. After all, truth devoid of value is just matter in motion. We always paint the scene with value and meaning. However, these things are fictions produced by our minds.

          They feel real. If yours are sexist, it won’t feel sexist. It will feel as if she really is a petty, stuck up bitch.


          I think Alan Moore was trying to present these cognitive ideas with Doctor Manhattan. Of course, he couldn’t. Neither his mind, nor ours, can really work this way.

          Lovecraft could. Ligotti can. Yeesh.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to veronica d says:

            “Ironically it’s by a guy named Damon. I suspect it might be a different Damon.”

            It is. Damon isn’t even my real name. 🙂Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Damon says:

              The interesting thing about that HuffPo article is that it begins a conversation about trusting women with an allusion to the Rolling Stone rape hoax. There is a bit to unpack there, but I’ll place that piece of luggage aside for now.

              Like Damon from VSB, I often have moments when my wife expresses some set of feelings about a situation and I have similar reactions. Is it sexist? I don’t know and I am happy to leave that decision to people more invested in defining sexism than I am. It is a problem, though, which leads me to ask the more important question: how can we solve this problem?

              If someone were to reply to that question with be less sexist and listen to your wife! I would likely nod politely and move on to a more interesting conversation. And that is mostly because I would find said advice to be in the category of glaringly obvious. I am already listening to my wife and almost always have been. And that’s part of the problem. There have been times in the past where my wife expressed strong emotions about some topic and I immediately begin plotting how to address the issue only to find later that the thing that had been so vexing is now no big deal. And conversely, there have been times when my wife has expressed minor annoyance at something, which I noted but soon forgot, but which then resurfaced as quite the big deal later on.

              Telling me to trust women does not do anything to get me closer to being better able to solve this problem. And that’s because the problem isn’t that I don’t trust her; it’s that there is a communication disconnect happening that is reflective of different emotional experiences and communication styles.

              On the ping pong theory, there is a point where the protaganist says the following:

              The I’m a “bitch.” Men are given full pass to be forceful and aggressive.

              Call it concern trolling if you like, but I’m just going to throw this out there: more men, myself included, might take these messages more seriously if they did not contain such glaring falsehoods.

              No one is given a pass to be forceful. If one had a pass, then one wouldn’t need to be forceful. In truth, there are men who are forceful and/or aggressive and who get positive results from it. And there are men who are forceful and/or aggressive and get marginalized as ineffective assholes or bitter losers.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to j r says:

                @j-r — On this:

                The I’m a “bitch.” Men are given full pass to be forceful and aggressive.

                I mean, she should say “a lot of men.” It’s complicated. But it is measurable. This is exactly the “assertive versus bitchy” thing, which shapes the boundaries of every woman’s career.

                But again, it’s complicated. Just as men vary in their assertiveness, along with their ability to employ their assertiveness, women vary also. I’ve certainly met women who play the “lean in” game well. But we’re playing a different game.

                Which doesn’t mean that a short, bald guy is going to get easy access to the executive suite. There are also measurable differences between men’s careers according to their hair. Same stuff. Same reasons.

                Returning to sexism, the thing is, guys for the most part don’t really see it. That’s my point, and the important takeaway from that cartoon. The parts of your brain that are doing this stuff, they are not the parts of your brain that do conscious, slow, thoughtful deliberation.

                You’ve already decided she’s “bitchy” before your “don’t be sexist” module kicks in. And then, if someone calls you on it —

                — well it goes like this: if I “call out” a man for this shit, he doubles down. Instead of thinking about what really happened, he engages his “conscious, slow, thoughtful” brain to rationalize his behavior. If he’s a nerdy type of guy, the sort who loves to dig in and argue — hoo boy what a shitshow.

                This is terribly frustrating. It’s tempting to dismiss him with, “Shut up you -splainy creepoid.”

                This gets dysfunctional pretty fast. Men sense this dynamic as women being unreasonable. They see us playing “power games,” which we are, but we didn’t make the rules. Men need to look more at themselves.

                Being wrong feels exactly like being right. The parts of your brain doing the sexist shit, they are the pre-rational, intuitive, “quick judgment about social reality” parts.

                In general, “rational debate” is absolutely the worst fucking tool to deal with this stuff.


                I don’t have a solution. I do say this: it would really help if folks understood system one versus system two thinking capacities, and if they would accept that their system one reactions probably don’t precisely match their system two values. They can diverge. The ways they diverge can suck.

                Self-reflection. Meta cognition.


                It sucks. But it has always sucked.


                Other solutions: women should learn how power works. Get gud.


                A lot of nerdy men think we have the battle lines wrong. After all, they were bullied also. They too got the short straw. Their gender is an uncomfortable shitshow, just like mine.

                (Often very much like mine. I think it’s possible to be “halfway trans but not really trans.”)

                I dunno. Then Rebecca Watson points out that it sucks to get creeped on in an elevator. Chaos erupts.

                How many of these “sweet, thoughtful guys who get what it is like” took her side?



                There is no good answer. There will be conflict. It will likely continue to be very ugly well into the future. So it goes.


                Accept that you are not objective. You cannot turn off your system one thinking, nor can you view a situation in a truly “disinterested” way. To do so would be devoid of any feeling, robot like.

                If we commanded an obedient robot god to stop war, it would glass the planet. War would stop. If we commanded a robot god to “maximize happiness,” it would strap us down and wirehead our pleasure centers, all of us, so that we’d starve like those rats who wanted the “brain tweak” more than food. If we also asked the robot god to keep us alive, it would at least feed us.

                There we would be, motionless, ecstatic, for the brief span of our empty lives. (I suppose we could ask the robot to make sure we make babies, so they too could live empty, ecstatic lives.)

                I’d rather die kicking and spitting. Wouldn’t you?

                You are not objective. If you were, it would be inhuman and monstrous.


                No one but you and your wife really get to weigh in on your marriage. I mean, people can have opinions, but why should you care? Your marriage up to you and her.

                (It turns out folks get to think for themselves.)

                That said, the fact that you recognize that communication is difficult, and it’s something that both of you can get wrong, and you gotta work at it — that’s a really good sign.

                Carry on.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

            Recently studies like this have been seeing reversed results. But this is easy to understand. In the original studies, subjects were responding with their raw system one evaluations. In more recent studies, the subjects have heard of such studies, and thus they intervene (and overcompensate) with their system two thinking.

            There’s also the fact that, as we’ve seen from the recent replication crisis, a lot of psychology research just isn’t very good, and that a lot of the results that get published are purely due to random variation plus publication bias. And then publication bias again in what the lay media decide to cover, plus a layer of distortion in the lay media’s failure to capture important nuances of the research.

            Crossed out psychology, because this is an issue pretty much everywhere. I hate to be an epistemological nihilist, but science doesn’t work nearly as well as advertised.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Damon says:

        The main thing that the question tells me is that her relationship with me is probably not going to make her happy and I am savvy enough to conclude that if she’s not going to be happy in the relationship then I am not going to be happy in the relationship and, as such, it’s a freaking *AWESOME* first date question.

        I mean, if I answer “All-In-One CISSP”, “Star Brands: A Brand Manager’s Guide to Build, Manage & Market Brands” and “The Harry Potters”, what would that tell her?

        If I may jump to conclusions about her based on the fact that she asked that question, I’d say that my answers would be disappointing.

        Disappointing in a different way than “Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and C.J. Cherryj!” and another different way than “I don’t read women.”

        So I’d know “you’re hoping for a particular type of person and I know, automatically, that I’m not him”.

        Check, please.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to Jaybird says:


          I once had an initial call with one women who asked me questions about myself “interview style”. Yah…I’m out. But your right. It tells you more about the question asker than they are probably getting from the answerer.

          Either way we’re not a fit…’cause I don’t give a damn about all that crap as a criteria for a mate.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

          @jaybird — If you’re a gentleman, you’ll leave her the breadsticks.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

          Depends whether you liked “All-In-One CISSP” or not.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s only an interesting answer if it’s something by Rose Wilder Lane.

      (It’s time for a rescue text if it’s anything nonfiction by Ayn Rand)Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think I would fire back with four titles – 7 gothic tales, the blessing, all that rises must… and the sea of fertility – then ask which were written by women.

      And the hunted becomes the hunter…Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


      1. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

      2. Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet

      3. Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill

      What do I win?Report

  9. Avatar notme says:

    Another one bites the dust.

    Illinois Obamacare Co-op Becomes 16th to Collapse

  10. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Looks like it’s going to be Trump/Pence.Report