Morning Ed: Crime {2016.07.28.Th}


Will Truman

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

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115 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Native American kid, the 14 year olds on the sex offender registry, and how some people have never left the 1970s to 1990s when it came to crime are related. Many people have a very law and order personality, sometimes selectively applied because of race, and simply see that the law is the law and must be enforced no matter how destructive or stupid a law is. Sending a teen away to jail for possessing a joint or putting young adolescents on sex offender registries because two kids under the age of consent should be seen as idiotic but it makes sense to many people for some reason.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      And for most, that feeling holds, right up until they or a loved one gets crosswise with a dumb law.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        That’s usually the catalyst for change. The War on Drugs lasted for so long because most White drug users had fewer problems than drug users of color regardless of the type of drug used. The Sex Register thing seems to be getting more traction because white kids are getting hammered by it to.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Empathy really doesn’t kick in for the faceless masses. We’re just not wired that way.

        The public doesn’t really care unless it’s someone close, or someone photogenic. Sometimes that will kick off a push for change — sometimes good, sometimes bad.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to Morat20 says:

          This is counter to the historical record.

          Last night, I was reading a rather gripping case from the practice of A. Lincoln concerning the murder of one James Gray, August, 1852.
          It was essentially a duel, arranged the previous day, and Gray had invited others to “watch the fun.” Gray was met by Moses Loe, who felt the sting of dishonor on his dignity for Gray’s remarks, and subsequently stabbed Gray in the neck, killing him. Loe was arrested the next day, and, at length, tried for murder. The jury returned a conviction of manslaughter, and sentenced him to eight years in the penitentiary, the first thirty days in solitary confinement.
          Four years into his sentence, there were three petitions for a pardon directed to the governor. The first and second were signed by seven of the petit jurors who convicted Loe, the first with an endorsement from Mr. Lincoln. The third petition was signed by 146 residents of the county.
          This was not unordinary. It was quite common at the time that petitions for pardon would be taken up for persons convicted of manslaughter (whereas a conviction of murder would require hanging until dead within 25 days of conviction), and such petitions were most often granted.

          A little over two years after Loe was released, he married a local girl. He left his pregnant wife and one-year old daughter almost three years to the day of his marriage, joining the 103rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Less than two years following his enlistment, he succumbed to wounds received on the field of battle, and died in a place near Atlanta, Ga., June 23, 1864.

          In the end, the rascal was redeemed as a fallen hero.

          It is taken as symptomatic of emotional immaturity in the individual to view persons in stark terms of wholly bad or wholly good. Granted, there are saints among us, and the diabolical as well, though these, for better or worse, are found to be few and far between.
          However, it is this very same indication of emotional immaturity which is quite prominent at the societal level in present days.

          There is nothing hard-wired at play.
          It is an ingrained quality of our current culture, true; but at some point, it was a conscious decision.
          My own belief is that it is a decision of a continuing nature, a renewal with each coming day, as is its opposite.

          Which, to me, poses a most perplexing problem:
          Why on earth is it that our people should be granted any manner of rights– at all– when it is demonstrably the case that all they want to do with them is to be eminent assholes on an ever-more grand scale?Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Regardless of whether this quote-unquote “fake hate crime” actually happened, the important thing is that it’s raised awareness of the very real problem of hate crimes against police supporters.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      This is laughable on its face.
      Were there not so many bumper stickers, window stickers, and yard signs of persons stating their unabashed support off the police (at several levels, though typically the state), it might be capable of taking it seriously.

      Further, were it not the case that police, correctional officers, and probation officers have enormous sway is setting public policy through union organization, it even being disclosed that many of the barriers to re-entry of former inmates specifically advocated by such, there might be something a little less insidious about it.
      Additionally, the formation of “victims’ right” groups as public relations arms of such unions, as described by Joshua Page in The Toughest Beat, with overlapping directors, financial accounts, etc., indicate that support of the police is a very, very safe position to take in this nation– where the paramilitary operation of the police is very open, as opposed to “la guarda” of other nations; what the Lt. Col., former commanding officer of the State Police Training Academy described as “the guardian function” when we spoke.*
      Americans are a very action-oriented people, and prefer to see their police out there kicking ass rather than providing a protective function.

      * I’m not sure if I’m the only person around here who has actually had criminal justice classes, as opposed to a single criminal law class in law school dealing primarily with procedure (i.e., flow of documents), but I vociferously disavow the notion that the oath of an attorney acts as some form of magical incantation to imbue its speaker with knowledge of criminal justice procedure; e.g., that a newly-minted attorney being sworn as an attorney in Cleveland would then be empowered to say definitively what the policies and practices of the police departments of Pensacola, Fla., Tyler, Tex., or anywhere else, might be, or how they interpret certain statutes, or anything else related to actual policing or patrol work.
      I simply do not believe that speaking the magic words imparts some form of knowledge, the same as I disbelieve in the ability of a parrot factoring a polynomial to perform algebraic functions.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme says:

      InfoWars? …Seriously?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to pillsy says:

        If you don’t like it, I linked directly to the website. Feel free to make your reparations.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme says:

          If you don’t like it,

          The issue isn’t the “reparations” website. The issue is that you actually take InfoWars seriously.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to pillsy says:

            What did the author of the article get wrong about the website? Let’s start there.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme says:

              What did the author of the article get wrong

              Posting it on InfoWars. Either the author thinks that’s a great venue for publication (and they’re delusional) or they can’t get a substantial audience any other way (which says terrible things about their credibility).

              Also, the article is rambling garbage, with slavery apologism and some random appeals to unrelated activists. Did you actually read it? If so, why on Earth did you think it added anything worth adding when you could have just linked the site yourself?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to notme says:

          Dude, it’s the internet. Some guy put up a page asking people to give him money to make potato salad, Nigerian Princes swarm from the woodwork asking for assistance in repatriating their monies, cats eat hamburgers and type in amusing broken English, prophets solicit money for every religious cause under the sun. Of course some enterprising person has set up a set to let people give them money using “reparations” as a reason. Frankly I’d be more surprised if there wasn’t one.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    France’s Prime Minister said “The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism”

    This seems like it’s a lot more likely to create an unstable equilibrium than not.

    I mean, if I were creating campaign videos, posters, postcards, radio ads, and/or buttons, for the opposition, this is the quote that I would put on it.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      Living with terrorism is a related in many countries and the statement of France’s prime minister is how many liberals and libertarians and certainly the Further Left want terrorism to be treated. You need to articulate this though if you want people to live it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The problem is that saying “we have to live with terrorism” presents fairly closely with “you know what? you people have to live with terrorism”.

        In a country that has democratic elections, that’s a recipe for someone running who says “we (and when I say ‘we’, I include myself) should not FREAKING HAVE TO LIVE WITH TERRORISM.”

        Which will always play a hell of a lot better than “if you look at the numbers dispassionately, you’d see that we still have a lot fewer bombings than we were willing to put up with in 1973.”Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

          Your right. The Democratic Party had the same problem with crime during the late 1960s to the early 1990s. They stuck to their principals and supported civil rights and the principals of the New Deal and Great Society over being tough on crime and got hammered in the polls because of that. Sometimes politics gives politicians no good choices. See also Labour from 1979 to 1997 or the Republican Party now to an extent.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

          I think it may play differently in France than it would in the US. France has a fairly consistent, and fairly recent, record of keeping calm and carrying on in the face of terrorist attacks.

          Not that they don’t investigate, arrest, and prosecute. But French people seem to be a bit more realistic than citizens of some other countries about the actual risk presented by terrorism, and the corresponding degree to which the framework of civil liberties should be dismantled in service of countering that risk.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

          In a country that has democratic elections, that’s a recipe for someone running who says “we (and when I say ‘we’, I include myself) should not FREAKING HAVE TO LIVE WITH TERRORISM.”

          Well put. And the next question to be asked in a Democracy is “who needs to die so I don’t need to live with terrorism”.

          Which will always play a hell of a lot better than “if you look at the numbers dispassionately, you’d see that we still have a lot fewer bombings than we were willing to put up with in 1973.”

          It’s part of the human condition to pay a LOT of attention to people killing people-who-are-potentially-me. Husbands killing wives gets a pass, but murdering-potentially-me could be ‘war’.

          These are instincts, supposedly we’ve had periods of time (long before history) when the lifetime murder rate (from tribal war) was 20%-50%.

          And who was bombing whom in 1973?Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Funny thing liberals don’t tell us that we need to live with other things like drunk driving, sugary drinks, tran-fats, smoking, gun violence, etc. Why is terrorism any different?Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme says:

          The lack of self-awareness here would be staggering if it were anybody but @notme, who wanted everybody to take the Munich shooter’s gun violence very, very seriously until it turned out that he wasn’t a jihadist. Then he became an example of gun violence that we were not only supposed to live with, but forget about entirely.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

          If all of those things were as rare as terrorism, nobody would be talking about them.

          We can almost certainly push the terrorism numbers lower than they are, but the problem with completely stamping out a behavior that lives at the very tail of a distribution is that people at the tails of distributions are unusual and hard to pull into the middle of the distribution. You can win a war against a democratic nation by convincing the median voter that they’re losing and should surrender. You can only completely end terrorism if you can convince 100% of the people inclined toward terrorism to stop.

          It’s unfortunate that simple facts like, “We can’t stop all terrorism,” are political third rails. Why vote for the person who tells you the truth about it when you can vote for Santa Claus who will not only end all terrorism but will turn it into ice cream? And no more clouds on Sunday!Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah they really should politic it up and dress it up a bit to make it more palatable. Talk about fixing any gaps in security services or communication that these attacks reveal, laud the resilience and stoicism of the electorate, condemn the backwards barbarity of the attacks, note that the attack is not in keeping with the lived philosophy of the overwhelming majority of Muslims.

      I mean under it all the base sentiment has a degree of truth but there’s a lot that should be said along with it.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

      Though I agree that was France has experienced in the last several months is well above average, “living with terrorism” sounds different in Europe (or other parts of the world) that it does in the USA.

      Europe has lived with ETA, IRA, the Italian Red Brigades, etc. for decades. The idea that somehow there is a non-zero chance that you would be blown up while in the supermarket is not new.

      Europeans also differ from the USA in the sense that they don’t believe that terrorism is somehow capable of threatening the existence or the essence of society. Hence they are more focused and realistic about what can and should be done.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

        I still think that a politician who runs on something like “enough of this happy crappy, I want us to live in a situation where there aren’t anymore bombings” will automatically have a leg up against anyone who points out that “we have achieved an acceptable level of violence, this is just a small spike, calm down”.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

          Leg up, right up until people realize what kind of measures it takes to get to “aren’t any more bombings.” Although when I took a homeland security graduate public policy class at the University of Denver several years ago, there were an awful lot of 20- and 30-something people in that class who seemed willing to accept a “Papers, please!” security state.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to J_A says:

        I don’t know much about French politics, but the Pew polls Will posted earlier this week don’t suggest the French are that blase about recent developments:

        45% view Middle-Eastern refugees as a “major threat,” and 35% a “minor threat.”

        46% believe those refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorism, while 53% believe they will pose a burden by taking jobs or social benefits.Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to PD Shaw says:

          I don’t think French people are blasé about terrorism. I think they are realistic about terrorism.

          Had you asked me 20 ot 10 years ago if I would move to the Basque Country I would have answered you that all things considered I’d rather not, because of the increased terrorist risk. But no one (this side of the Oath of Juan Carlos I) ever suggested that civil guarantees be suspended to fight ETA.

          My significant other is a Protestant from Belfast. IRA terrorists have shot his bus on the way to school. Even him does not believe terrorism is an existential threat.

          That doesn’t mean my in-laws did not believe at the time that the presence of Catholics would not increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks.

          And I also am wary of the refugees, for many reasons, increased risk of terrorist attacks being one, over burdened social services another. But last year I had no good suggestion to bridge the gap between accepting more than one million refugees, and shooting one million refugees in the Mediterranean waters. I still don’t have a better option to propose.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to PD Shaw says:

          I think this one got cut from the queue, but there are some indications that patience and cool are wearing pretty thin right now. This is far from the only article I’ve seen in this vein. I’ve seen a few comment that it’s probably a good thing that Socialists are in power because the Republicains can keep the Front at pay by offering a Softer Right solution that, if the Republicains were in power, the Socialists couldn’t.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Re: not just for the left – remember backward B face girl?Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Do we have a term for those in the 18-20 limbo of being legally allowed to hold a rifle in the army but not buy a beer at the enlisted club?

    The teen who got arrested for a gram of weed was 19.

    It’s not unthinkable that, by the time stuff gets to trial, he’ll be 20 or 21.

    Above and beyond the concern trolly “is this really a decent allocation of government resources?” question, I’d want to know WHAT IN THE FLYING HECK IS THE PROSECUTOR FREAKING THINKING?!?!?

    I suppose the answer to that depends on whether he gets the conviction or not… but the first thing that I thought of when I read that story was the story of the cops involved with Lawrence.v.Texas and the prosecutors involved with Lawrence.v.Texas.

    Did they not freaking see that this wasn’t going to go where they wanted it to, once the papers got a whiff of the story?

    Then again, it’s a Guardian story rather than an NYT one, so maybe they had decent instincts here.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      Do we have a term for those in the 18-20 limbo of being legally allowed to hold a rifle in the army but not buy a beer at the enlisted club?

      Minorish? Adultoid?

      I suppose the answer to that depends on whether he gets the conviction or not… but the first thing that I thought of when I read that story was the story of the cops involved with Lawrence.v.Texas and the prosecutors involved with Lawrence.v.Texas.

      I wonder if we would have gotten a decision like Obergefell as quickly if Texas had repealed it’s sodomy statute[1] in 1998 or something. I’m not crying into my beer about this, of course, but it seems like really bad strategy now, and for that matter it was obviously really bad strategy at the time.

      [1] Indefensible on any but the most frivolous of public policy grounds.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Reading btw/ the lines the feds want something from the young man, probably to narc on someone. DOJ has tried to be transparent on its policy here, which is to honor state experimentation, but no guarantee that federal laws won’t be enforced as part of federal objectives, which include things like organized crime and sales to minors. He will be convicted though, I don’t think alone answers the question of what is going on here.Report

  6. Avatar North says:

    Watched several of the speeches on DNC Night #3. Scattered thoughts:

    -I oddly expected DNC #2 to be the “Stick it to Trump” night probably because Bill filled that roll (amazingly well) in 2012. Instead Bill turned in the first First Gentleman’s speech in the Democratic Party’s history and Obama et all picked up the knives last night.
    -I thought Bloomberg drew blood but there was no Trump explosion on twitter. Maybe Trump is tied up in a closet or maybe I can’t put my brain in moderate right wing mode. Some of those lines though, yeow! “He says he wants to run the nation like he has run his business. God help us.” That’s so salty I took a drink of water just quoting it.
    -Biden is a jolly ol’ attack dog. Solid Biden performance.
    -I keep flipping back and forth on Tim Kaine. I just don’t know. He seems solid but that’s it? I don’t know if I feel the vibe he’s supposed to be generating but again I think this is aimed at the center righties and maybe I’m just not picking up that signal. Or he’s a boring but harmless pick for Veep. I am not seeing downsides beyond not exciting the left wingers.
    -Apropos of that speech the Bernie holdouts seemed mostly quiet tonight. As far as party unity goes things seem to be shaping up well enough. Despite initial GOP hopes Philly isn’t turning out like the dumpster fire in Cleveland.
    -They sure got a lot of celebrities on stage. I wonder if that helps at all? I can’t imagine it hurts.
    -Obama turned in an excellent speech. I think he stayed within the parameters laid out by his wife while still knifing Trump vigorously.
    -I head something about Rich Lowry complaining that the Dems stole all the GOP’s stuff. Did Lowry not remember that’s the Clinton’s MO? Bill stole the sensible parts of the GOP’s economic platform in the 90’s which has sent them groping their way into the right wing weeds ever since. Also, it’s not like Trump didn’t abandon all this Regan style optimism in Cleveland, did they think the Dems would just leave those opportunities hanging there?

    Anyhow, did anyone else catch it? Thoughts?Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to North says:

      I think Tim Kaine was endearingly dorky. He’s not a great speaker, but he looked genuinely thrilled to be up there, and that counted for a lot with me (and a lot of my friends).Report

      • Avatar North in reply to pillsy says:

        I will say that HRC seems genuinely happy to have him on the ticket with her and that ain’t nothing. I dunno, I want to think he’s great but that’s for partisan reasons.

        How do you think he’ll do vs. Pence in a debating knife fight?Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to North says:

          The format will suit Kaine’s style, and he has lots of experience on Meet the Press type shows already. The thing that may hurt Pence the most is an organizational bias in Team Trump against being prepared.

          Otoh, all that time they’re not spending on Trump in debate prep, Pence can bank.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe says:

            Good point. Will probably depend on Pence’s experience personally with Trump. If it’s good he could do as you say. If it’s bad he might simply elect to phone it in. But I’m wishful thinking.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to North says:

          My guess is he’ll do OK just because Pence seems like such a drip, but I don’t have much to go on beyond personal bias.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy says:

            We can always take comfort in the fact that these aren’t so much “debates” as “people making 90 second stump speeches instead of addressing the topic.” You can really only do so badly at that.Report

            • Avatar Mo in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

              It depends. I feel like Trump-Pence are more vulnerable to the, “Let’s check the tape*,” style that was used on the last few debates. Trump because he contradicts himself in the same sentence and Pence because he’s had to qualify for the US gymnastics team since joining the ticket.

              * I think Trump may have gotten a heads up (from Ailes or the like) that this is what the Fox News debate he skipped was going to be like and made up the feud with Kelly as an excuse to skip.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to pillsy says:

        That was my sense: he seemed utterly sincere but a complete fuddy duddy. Oddly, that may play well with young people: he’s the dad who embarasses you with dad jokes but who you love because he doesn’t embarass you with his midlife crisis. I saw him getting some FB love from peers (early 30s).Report

        • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy says:

          I think his “Believe Me” riff is could be secretly powerful. He’s trying to do to Trump’s verbal tick what Christie did to Rubio’s 30 second stump speech. If Kaine’s riff comes to people’s mind when Trump says, “Believe me…” then the speech did its job.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Mo says:

            I want to believe, I just don’t think I can find anything to hang my hat on that isn’t just partisanship.Report

          • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Mo says:

            Agree this is the test. If Donald Trump can no longer say “Believe me” with a straight face (either today, or after Kaine polishes the impression every day on the stump), that’s a solid attack.

            If not, it was a blah speech that may (if Hillary is also blah), emphasize that we don’t have the same star power this election that we’ve gotten accustomed to.Report

    • Avatar nevermoor in reply to North says:

      I think it was Obama’s best of the four convention speeches, but that’s because I don’t understand how anyone even remotely serious about our country could walk away and pull the lever for Trump after hearing it.

      He didn’t say anything petty, but it was an unequivocal evisceration that seems to have landed with a big chunk of its intended audience.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to nevermoor says:

        Thank you for your opinion oh wise raven.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to North says:

          I haven’t seen every speech, but it stands out that the Dems *seemed* to bring out a bunch of stars who all went to bad hard for their candidate while the GOP *seemed* to trout out a weak cast missing key figures many of whom were tepid in their support.

          But maybe that doesn’t matter? Hilary had her primary opponent, a former Pres (who she is related to, it must be said), the sitting Pres and Veep, FLOTUS, and several rising stars in the party give her the rock star treatment.

          Trump had his wife offer a plagiarized speech, Cruz refuse to endorse and… Scott Baio?Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Kazzy says:

            As you lay it out the contrast seems stark.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to North says:

              I just worry my perception was skewed somehow. Like I said, I didn’t watch all — or even most — of either convention but did catch some speeches and excerpts online and read a decent amount of analysis and reaction pieces. Am I missing something? Or was that more-or-less accurate?

              Thing is… even if I am accurate… it doesn’t necessarily matter. Regardless of your feelings on any of the specific people on either side, if you are a believer in the anti-insider revolution, all you are going to see on the Dems side was a bunch of insiders.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

            I don’t want to prognosticate or overstate the case for Trump pulling an upset, but all that star power (with an emphasis on the power) cuts both ways.

            There is a not insignificant number of people who will look at the DNC and think Look at all those people propping up Hillary Clinton. Why are they trying so hard? or Those are the people that got us into this mess. And never mind what the mess is; there is more than enough fodder to supply those folks with reasons.

            Seeing some of the cluster that was the RNC laid something bare about the nature of political conventions. They are theater, a production. This year, the DNC happened to look like a big budget Hollywood/NY production and the RNC like something you’d see in Branson, Mo. The fact remains that Sarah Silverman and Elizabeth Banks aren’t any more serious than Scott Baio or the guy from Duck Dynasty; they just have more cultural cache.

            There may come a time when having the elite on your team is more of a liability than a benefit. That said, I don’t know that 2016 is that time.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:

              A fair counter, @j-r . If things were reversed, at least some would say, “Look at those spineless Rs, falling in line behind a monster.”

              If I knew nothing of either candidate, I’d look at the respective slate and think, “It seems like the Dems like her more than the GOP likes him.” But… That is reflective of my own stuff AND some may see that same thing and think, “Exactly why I’m not with her.”Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

                I wasn’t really trying to counter. I look at the RNC and think, “geez WTF happened!?”

                It’s just an acknowledgment that I am not the median voter, of past present or future. We may be entering a period where every time presidential election results start coming in, some significant portion of the population is going to be legitimately shocked as to how many people there are out there who don’t see the world the same way.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

              Elizabeth Banks is the finest actress who played the girlfriend that got pregnant by accident on two different sitcoms of her generation.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to nevermoor says:

        … I don’t understand how anyone even remotely serious about our country could walk away and pull the lever for Trump after hearing it.

        I don’t think that politics works that way.Report

        • Avatar nevermoor in reply to j r says:

          I guess we’ll see. She’s certainly wooing hard, and I do think Trump’s distastefulness cuts across party lines among real voters (not just posturing beltway types who want to lead the counter-revolution).

          Obama accusing him of being a dictator landed pretty solidly I thought (as did Clinton’s twitter dig and support of the military).Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Does the booing and/or the chants mean anything bad yet?

    Is this something where we have to wait until next week to know for sure?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Everyone was expecting it and from what I heard the yays and cheers were louder. I was at work until recently and missed the speech.

      As it stands, we know this much:

      1. The DNC received higher ratings than the RNC.

      2. Trump’s speech was the lowest rated RNC speech since 1996.

      3. More Sanders supporters pledged to support HRC than HRC supporters said would vote for Obama in 2008. People who dally with third parties often change their mind closer to election day.

      4. HRC’s ground game is still much more disciplined and organized than Trump’s ground game. She ha more offices in Philly than Trump has in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Plus offices in the rest of Pennsylvania as well.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are taking nothing to chance in this election and will run it with discipline and efficiency. The growing partisan divide means that anybody the Republicans nominate is likely to get a decent share of the popular vote but they have disadvantages in the electoral college.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

          The electoral college thing may not be true this time around*. The 538 Nowcast, for example, gives Hillary a very slight advantage in the Popular Vote (45.4 vs 45.2) and Trump an advantage in the EC (276.5 vs 262.1). General polling for Trump has him performing better in swing states (respective to Romney) and worse in red states.

          I am still not yet at the point where I believe there is a good chance that the country will elect Trump – check back in about two weeks – but as I have said “If I start talking about how Trump can’t win because of the Blue Wall, please pull me aside and gently tell me it’s over.”

          We’re talking about a pretty mild advantage to begin with. Romney was 4% back in the popular vote, and 5.4% back for the Electoral College on a uniform swing. It was bigger in 2008, with 7.2% vs 9.3%. These are historically large numbers, but in both cases we’re talking about popular vote margins that are historically really close. The swing between 2008 and 2012 was pretty uniform. If it’s different in 2016, it’s likely to be different in a way that doesn’t favor Clinton.Report

          • On a side note, Bill *really* isn’t looking very good. That… could be a factor in this election.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

              Trump doesn’t look so hot either.Report

              • Judging from their appearance at the moment, I would bet on Trump being alive in five years. I would not bet either way on Bill. Maybe he was just under the weather or caught a bug, but some folks are saying that’s not it. On the other hand, the election isn’t that far away and the likelihood of something happening between now and then is probably pretty small.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Agnostic heaven forfend but if Bill died during the election what impact would we even be looking at? Assuming (the most likely outcome) that Hillary didn’t fall apart or something, just was very sad but held it together.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to North says:

                I wonder… would that rally a strong sympathy vote for Hillary, or would the loss if Bill nix the deal. i.e. what portion of voters are voting for The Clintons (TM)? Or no change, becuse, well, Trump.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine says:

                I have no idea. Has any candidate for President lost a spouse or significant other during the general election run before?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

                No candidate who won, anyway. The closest is Andrew Jackson, whose wife died a month after he was first elected.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North says:

                I could see it cutting either way. If he were to go to sleep one night and doesn’t wake up, I think it would help her. State funeral, attended by presidents not a one of whom support Trump. Humanizing. Reminding people they liked Bill. People saying nice things about him. Moment of seriousness and sobriety. Trump possibly trying to win the news cycle with taunting tweets.

                If it were a long death, though, I could see her getting dinged for campaigning while her husband is at his death bed. Or if she didn’t campaign, being hurt that way.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman says:

                Both plausible… is there a third aspect where Bill is an important part of her “likability” rating (as low as it is) – that is, without Bill, er, ouch?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Let us hope we do not have to find out.Report

              • I’m picturing Bill giving a speech from his sickbed about how he insisted Hillary keep campaigning.

                You know, if the Republicans had nominated a good man, the way they did when I ran against President Bush, we wouldn’t be so afraid for the country. And we could be a little bit selfish, and we’d stay here together, at our home, until this is over, one way of the other. But Donald Trump is a man who doesn’t take the job seriously, doesn’t understand what a responsibility to the American people it is. That’s why not a single former president, even the ones from his own party, has endorsed him. And that’s why I told Hillary that she needs to keep up the fight, because I wouldn’t rest easy unless I knew she was doing everything she could to save the country from that man.


              • If he is able, he’ll definitely do that and it will help.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman says:

                Agreed, if Bill Clinton could die mid-politicking I dare say he’d go with a grin on his face. That man loves what he does.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Will Truman says:

                One of the points of electing Hillary is getting Bill back in the White House. The issue isn’t whether we feel sorry for her (we will), the issue is whether we think she can do it by herself. I’m not sure how much of the electorate is that sexist… but then we need to worry about how much of a blow out this election will be and whether 1%(?) would matter.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

            538 is giving HRC a 54 percent chance of winning but does have Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire as light red.

            Summer polls are traditionally very volatile. I believe McCain and Romney were both winning at this point in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Trump is probably hitting his high water mark and 538 admitted that there was no state polling for places like PA yet.

            Princeton has HRC at 322 electoral college votes. The Upshot has HRC at 70 percent.

            GOTV is about more than just calling people up and reminding them to vote. GOTV also handles arranging transportation and even wading through voter id requirements with people. Does Trump have the capacity to do this? Winning a primary is very different than winning a general.

            I will admit that Trump is doing way better than average among whites without a college degree but will all these people turn out an vote on election day for Trump? Will enough of them?

            Do people think Trump does not animate people in the other direction?Report

            • I cite 538 mostly to suggest that the Democrats’ electoral college advantage may not be as strong as previously supposed. It may not exist. As things stand, it looks like it’s simply going to come down to Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If Trump can win those, and hold on to North Carolina and Georgia, he’ll win.

              Will he? I don’t know. We cannot yet dismiss the possibility.

              As far as animation goes, it’s worth pointing out (very surprisingly) that Hispanics do not appear to be as engaged as I would have guessed.

              I’m really hoping that, come late October, we’re not talking about GOTV as the thing that’s going to win the election for Clinton. I’m not saying that it won’t (it’s certainly more likely to matter than the Blue Wall), but in itself it’s not a real basis for optimism.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              Do people think Trump does not animate people in the other direction?

              Depends what you mean by animate. Trump pisses a lot of people off, but I’ve never seen evidence that people turn out in large numbers to vote against a candidate.

              More importantly, I think a lot of people inhabit a bubble where Trump is the worst thing ever. Just like a lot of people inhabit a bubble where there is a debate as to whether Obama or Hillary are the worst thing ever.

              Come November, one of those bubbles is going to burst (at least momentarily, before immediately beginning to re-inflate).Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      How about all the other good moments? The Muslim father of a fallen soldier asking Trump if he ever read the Constitution. Kareem Abdul-Jabar citing Thomas Jefferson against Trump.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        We knew that there would be good moments.

        What we were saying on Monday was that the boos didn’t mean anything because they’re probably the last of the Berniebros/bras getting it out of their system.

        So now we’re saying that the boos don’t mean anything because there were so many other great moments such as the Muslim father and Kareem Abdul-Jabar?


        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Yeah and the Berniebros did get it out of their system. The rest of the convention proceeding basically according to program. Yes some holdouts continued to boo but they were unable to cause enough ruckus to disrupt the overarching convention message so I don’t think they represent anything at this point but 50-100 votes that HRC may not get in November.

          If you think they do indicate something more by all means lay out the affirmative case.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

            Yeah, my affirmative case is more of the form “holy crap, there are boos at the DNC, this doesn’t bode well for the eventual election”.

            I suppose if we want to say that boos at the DNC are not an indicator then the boos at the DNC are not an indicator.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

              Okay so basically you’re suggesting that this one time the anecdotal data has means more meaning than the aggregate? If that’s what you think then that’s fine but I think that’s some pretty weak tea as an argument goes. It’s possible I’m just being colored by partisan blinders here but I don’t think I am. The historical data suggests that the vast majority of the Bernie faction will pull the lever for the Democratic candidate.

              But we should have a better idea in a week or so when the impact of both conventions is integrated into the polling.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                The historical data suggests that the vast majority of the Bernie faction will pull the lever for the Democratic candidate.

                I’m pretty sure that the historical data suggests that the majority of the Bernie faction will pull the level, the rest will not vote.

                It’s in the difference between “majority” and “vast majority” that I see as being potentially troublesome and I see the boos as being representative of the difference between “majority” and “vast majority”.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                That’s how I’d read it as well, I think the number that will cross-over is miniscule; but despite Bernie’s best efforts there is some doubt between the vast majority voting for Clinton and the majority voting for Clinton but some larger than expected number sitting out.

                But that’s just a hunch… won’t know until November.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


              Can we examine your anti-Democratic Party bias here? Can you name a major Democratic politician that stayed away from the convention? There were lots of stories about Republican politicians who had better things to do over attending their own convention. Do you just hand-wave that away?

              Why does the concept of people being enthusiastic about the Democratic Party and a lot of the speeches perplex so many people here?Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      They didn’t seriously disrupt any of the events beyond day one enough to derail the coverage so I’d opine that the booing and chants mean mostly nothing at this point.Report

  8. Avatar pillsy says:

    OK, so I don’t think I have a finger on the pulse of America more than anyone else[1] and I’m extremely biased, but still.

    We have two candidates that are really unpopular by historical standards. One convention seemed to be working very hard on giving you reasons why you might want to vote for Hillary Clinton even if you didn’t like her.

    The other convention ended with Donald Trump announcing that he alone could save America, while standing under a big gold Trump sign right out of The Onion.

    Now, political predictions are of course a tricky thing, of course, but one strategy seems sounder than the other.

    [1] I’ve always been sorta proud of my terrible score on Charles Murray’s dippy, “How much of an effete snob are you?” test a few years back.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:


      I largely concur. The DNC was an overwhelmingly positive affair.

      I also think that a lot of people discount that there are people who like HRC here. I mean really like. They discount it because they have ways of underplaying harassment of women on social media as being a nothingburger and they see the BernieBusters as white, frat guys like them and confuse this with the pulse of the nation.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Writing from a special place in hell does kinda do that to the soul, I suppose.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        There are lots of people who like HRC but also lots of people who hate her across the political spectrum. Most of the hate seems based on illegitimate reasons or assertions not backed by evidence but the Democratic Party has to deal with the fact that many people are apathetic to her.

        I think her biggest problem is what Klein and Yglesias says on Vox, she isn’t a natural campaigner for a variety of reasons and her collaborative approach to speech writing isn’t good. She also has something of a Thatcher problem. Thatcher always had a terse relationship with British feminists because she wasn’t the Far Left type they imagined would be the first female PM of the United Kingdom. Hillary Clinton is much more liberal than Thatcher but does have some policy beliefs that alienate her from at least a certain segment of women who consider themselves feminist like naturally hawkish instincts in foreign policy and a tendency to favor the market. HRC also apparently likes to have money, who doesn’t, but this comes across as incredibly venal to a lot of people.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to pillsy says:

      If Trump’s going to make a decent move, he’s going to do it after the convention. Of course, even if he tries to throw the election, he may muff that up too.Report