Linky Friday #183: Downtown

Will Truman

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

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308 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Ci1: Detroit was the city hit hardest by the suburban drive of the mid-20th century. It never really recovered compared to others.

    Ci4: How does this have to do with cities?

    Cr1: Fake law firms are a big problem in immigration law. In Asian communities the fake law firms are called travel agents and in Hispanic communities, notarios. Other immigrant communities have their own version of them. They tend to mess up a lot and do some very unethical things. Many of the immigrants will eventually go to a real lawyer and that real lawyer will have to do a lot of work to get things right and legal.

    Cr2: Your private employer had the option of not administrating drug tests. The FBI is bound by law to administrate them. Considering the other wild hijinks that law enforcement seems to get into, getting upset about some casual drug use seems dumb but the government takes the War on Drugs seriously.

    Cr5: When a lay person realizes that the words of the science person sound at best stupid and at worst like the scientist is trying to pull off a con than the scientist is doomed.

    Cr6: More moral panic.

    E1: Thats because babies are cute and many parents treat their kids as dolls and pets in their very early years.

    E3: On LGM, Saul recently used the debate on summer vacations and whether school should start before or after Labor Day to blast the type of policy wonk who thinks that data is the only reason why a particular policy should be implemented.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    I am quite surprised that none of those clowns has been shot, or even shot at, yet.Report

  3. fillyjonk says:

    the “Soviet vision of Future Transportation” image is making my inner 12-year-old snicker. That is all.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Cr5: What surprises me about Theranos and Holmes is that she still seems to be at it? I still see Theranos recruiting for employees on Linkedin. She just released another video trying to save face. Dave Wiegel said that she sounded like a 12 year old caught using dad’s credit card without permission to buy pizza.

    E3: As a I understand the summer vacation debate it is about socio-economics (which usually ends up being about race by proxy in the United States.) The guy who wrote this article seems to be a guy who grew up middle-class and above (and considering the location is probably white). His parents could afford to send him to summer camp and other enriching activities. The people who argue for ending summer vacation (or shortening it) do so because the research/data (in their minds at least) shows that kids from lower socio-economic statuses tend to lose more knowledge/skills over the summer because their parents can’t afford to send them to summer camp or other enriching activities.

    Another issue is that many poor (and not-white) kids get subsidized or free meals during the summer. So long summer vacations = food insecurity.

    There could be good reasons for long summer reflections but this blog post read like another blowhard white guy with anti-government sympathies and some idiot yuk yuk statement about how school got in the way of his real learning. I am not convinced by this dude.

    E5: The LIU story is insane. I am not sure what management is trying to do here. LIU has two campuses. One on Long Island (which tends to have a whiter and wealthier student body but declining enrollment) and one in Brooklyn which has a growing enrollment but tends to be students of color and from a lower socio-economic status. The Brooklyn faculty get compensated at a much lower rate than the Long Island faculty. Only the Brooklyn faculty is being locked out. The Brooklyn buildings are zoned for educational use so the property is of questionable value. Theoretically high but hard to sell. I think overplayed their hands.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I wonder if the trend towards helicopter parenting and away from letting your kids risk free makes summer vacation harder for people on lower socio-economic levels. Anecdotally, summer camp was more than a middle class or above thing, it was an East Coast thing. Kids who grew up outside the BosWash corridor seemed to have more unstructured summers.Report

  5. Michael Cain says:

    Ci3: The whole website where the interactive graphic originally appeared seems to have gone missing — just returns a blank page. Which is a shame, it was pretty cool — one of the things that got me started looking at interstate migration data.Report

  6. DensityDuck says:

    [T1] “just by driving with Waze open on your phone, you are sending real-time info about traffic back-ups or slow downs.”

    when the government does this people shit themselves. “Oh, Waze app wants to be on all the time and track my exact location? SURE, NO PROBLEM! Waze won’t work unless it can look at all my contacts and emails? Well, I guess I really like Waze so I better say ‘yes’ to that one!”

    “This app really embodies the modern sharing economy that we live in today.”

    Damn right about *that*. It’s a bunch of people accepting that a massive corporation will milk them like cows in return for a minor convenience.Report

    • It’s a lot easier to opt out of using Waze than it is to opt out of a particular government. And Waze doesn’t throw people in jail.

      That being said, I do wish I could pay Waze for the service (as well as an offline mode) instead of the current arrangement.

      They need to work on their revenue model, but it should be noted it includes advertisements as well. I just wish their ads were for gas stations and food rather than Home Depot.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

        And Waze doesn’t throw people in jail.

        Why is this kind of statement considered such a powerful argument? It doesn’t do the work it pretends to do.

        Its like saying the government doesn’t decide to throw people into jail, Waze’s attorney’s pressing for patent infringement do.

        The statement pretends to be contrasting the voluntary nature of a private party with the coercive power of the state.

        Yet the voluntary arrangement is only possible by being surrounded and protected by the iron fist of a monopoly framework of property and legal structures. Contracts, patents, money itself; Waze depends on these things, and cannot exist without these things.

        And any infringement on these structures is punished by violence- men acting at Waze’s behalf, with guns who put you in cages, to use the proper terminology.Report

        • It’s more of a shorthand indication that I believe I have more to fear from the government directly than I do from Waze in particular (a good chunk of the fear I have from going through the government itself).

          I consider “You give that information to google so you have no basis for objecting to give that information to the government” to be very unpersuasive.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

            The weakness is not that we have nothing to fear from government;

            The weakness is in thinking that there is some magic separation between private power and public power.

            All forms of power flow from the implicit threat of violence, held by the state.

            Can Chip Daniels, Inc, throw you in jail?
            Not at the moment.

            But give me a billion dollars, a state legislature, and I can make that happen tomorrow.

            Any form of power can be used wisely, or abused to horrible ends.

            So going back to the original point- a municipal form of Waze could be the tool for state oppression; but a private version can do the job just as easily, were Waze and your local government in the mood to do that.Report

            • So going back to the original point- a municipal form of Waze could be the tool for state oppression; but a private version can do the job just as easily, were Waze and your local government in the mood to do that.

              The fact that Waze and the government would need to agree on a course of action, whereas the government need only agree with itself, suggests that it’s not “just as easily.”

              Which also touches on the other thing, which is that Waze is easier for me to avoid or limit my participation in.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Will Truman says:


                You always make this argument as if people are suggesting that private power isn’t dangerous & government is. No one is saying that, stop pretending they are.

                What is being said is that if private power is a rifle bullet, government power is a tank round.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                ” if private power is a rifle bullet, government power is a tank round.”

                This isn’t actually a refutation of what Chip Daniels is saying. If anything, it’s agreeing with him.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Wasn’t disagreeing with him as such, just objecting to how he characterizes the argument as treating private power as all friendly and fuzzy, when no one is actually doing that.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I don’t think he’s saying that. He’s saying that we consider private power to be constrained and, ultimately, powerless, different in kind rather than simply degree from government power; and he’s saying that he disagrees with this framing, instead suggesting that all power is the same power.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Yes, pretty much.

                I am teeing off on the phrasing of how “at least [private power] can’t throw me into jail”, which is a pretty common line used in the “private= good, public= bad” sort of arguments.

                Which led to my extended thoughts on another thread about how this sort of abstracted view of power and justice is a reflection of our own comfort and privilege.
                That the actual experience of oppression and injustice is never a function of governmental system differences, so much as societal and cultural differences.

                Or to put it another way- whether Chip Daniels gets thrown in jail has very little to do with whether Waze is a private or public entity, and a lot more to do with whether Chip is a member of the dominant group or a despised minority.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I’ve never considered private power as not-dangerous, merely as a power that, for the most part, at least has a check (the courts) between the desire to exercise that power, and the ability to do so.

                Ideally the courts would also serve as that all important check against government power as well. The reality is that the courts will, generally, put the brakes on the private abuse of power more often than they will the government use of power, hence, the government exercise of power can be much more dangerous that the private use.

                To take an example from history, a private corporation could never legally round up a complete ethnic group, confine them to internment camps, and relieve them of property. That corporation would have to convince the government to do that, and one would hope that the courts would balk at such.

                Too bad the courts seem OK with it.

                When I think about it, the worst abuses of corporations generally happen because those corporations convinced the government at some level that it was in their interest (either personal, or institutional, or both) to support the action, and once the government is onboard, the courts will tend to allow it.Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              “The weakness is in thinking that there is some magic separation between private power and public power.”

              The separation is that nobody pretends that private power, outside narrowly-defined property rights, has any authority over any particular nonconsenting individual.

              That is, nobody’s going to tell me that Wells Fargo making fake accounts and flipping all my money into them is being done for the benefit of society, and that if I go bank at Chase instead then I’m a danger to society and probably a homophobic misogynist racist.

              They might sayReport

              • DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck says:

                erk. They might say I’m a loon, they might say I’m a fool, they might talk about how much better Waze is than the alternatives, but they won’t consider me a hazard to society for choosing to not use Waze. There won’t be criminal sanctions for me not using Waze. And if somehow things got arranged so that there were, people would recognize it as regulatory capture rather than saying “well it must be what society wants because it’s the government doing it”.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          We’ve had this discussion before. The distinction is that the government can choose to exercise it’s power rather at a whim, while a private entity has to at least engage the courts.

          If judges were not so eager to grant the government every deference, and acted as an actual & effective check on the power of the executive branch, I’d find your argument much more compelling.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            I dunno, I mean in theory I see the argument, but in practice when state actors dick people around it seems to have a lot more to do with bullshit traffic stops or municipal and state regulators who can’t tell their asses from a hole in the ground than it does with careful collection and review of huge amounts of personal data.

            Like, sure, the government could use this stuff against you, but chances are they won’t because why bother?Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

              See: every police officer who has looked up a woman’s phone number via the DMV in order to get a date; or any DA who’s gone data mining for anything remotely chargeable because someone annoyed them.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Will Truman says:

        “It’s a lot easier to opt out of using Waze than it is to opt out of a particular government. And Waze doesn’t throw people in jail.”

        Except that Waze is the only game in town for traffic information. Which means that either you play the game Waze wants, or you don’t play.

        “I do wish I could pay Waze for the service (as well as an offline mode) instead of the current arrangement.”

        Yeah, so, turns out that the organizational infrastructure Waze would need for taking payments from you doesn’t exist, because their business model is “track user data and sell it”, so you’d have to pay about $800 a year to make it worth it for Waze to not track you.Report

        • There are alternatives. You can go without the traffic information. You can use a competitor. You can use a paid alternative/service.

          As far as ETA’s and route-finding go, it’s the best of the bunch. But it’s not the only one. And it’s not an indispensable service. Got along fine without it before, and it’s not even the primary one I use* and most of the time I drive I use nothing at all.

          * The primary one I use does have a similar model. Waze and Here are both simply better than the alternatives. I do have two paid apps, though.Report

          • I will say this, though. If you’re going to poke around my contacts, please have a mechanism through which I can use the addresses I have stored in their names.

            Both the paid apps I have do this, but Waze and Here don’t. The other free app I sometimes use (MapFactor) doesn’t touch contacts.Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    [T2] “Many developers have abandoned OpenOffice to work on LibreOffice, a fork that got its first release in January 2011.”

    trans. “the developers were distracted by something shiny. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office, which is made by that gross horrible awful Microsoft, gets maintained.”Report

    • I have no problem with Microsoft. Its the price tag that leads me to avoiding it.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to DensityDuck says:

      That’s not the story of the LibreOffice / OpenOffice fork at all. It was actually the commercial software mentality at its worst that killed OpenOffice.

      Basically the OpenOffice foundation’s charter reserved way too much power for Sun Microsystems. This was mostly fine when Sun was Sun, because Sun was a company that really got free software. Sun was basically a benevolent dictator. They accepted code and strategy from the other foundation members, and committed serious resources of their own to development.

      Then Sun was bought up by Oracle. Oracle is notorious for being a nasty company, and particularly openly hostile to free / open source software, to the point of cutting off their nose to spite their face. They practically stopped contributing to OpenOffice, and used their authority in the foundation to block the other foundation members from contributing maningfully.

      In response the LibreOffice foundation was formed, with a charter carefully to prevent any member from sabotaging the project.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Yeah, that retelling seemed very OO-friendly. I knew some folks when the split occurred and it was basically Sun claiming too much ownership. Which they gave up on pretty quickly (when they turned it over to Apache) but by then it was too late.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

          I meant it to be more Oracle-hostile.

          You make a good point that it was already contentious that Sun was requiring contributors to hand over code ownership. But then suddenly Sun was Oracle, and the tolerable became intolerable.

          My main counterpoint to what @DensityDuck said though remains – it wasn’t the community developers who “got distracted”. The commercial company “got distracted” (i.e. didn’t want to support the product anymore), and it was the community developers outside that company who were able to maintain the product despite the commercial company’s loss of interest, thanks to open source software licensing.

          Yes, Microsoft continues to maintain Office. But when one day Microsoft folds or decides to drop their Office suite because it’s not profitable, there is nothing that can be done about it. MS Office will be done. It’s precisely because OO was open source that LO can exist. It’s the same software, just with a different name.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

            I had a brain-fart. I meant Oracle. Or, specifically, when Oracle bought Sun. There may have been problems with Sun prior to that, but I only became aware during the transition.Report

          • dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

            Too late to edit: the change in name was because Sun / Oracle retained ownership of the trademark “OpenOffice”. The product itself, the software, was able to be severed from a particular trademarked release of the software, so continuity of the actual product could be maintained.Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to dragonfrog says:

              Sounds like the same story as hudson/jenkins.

              “We own the name of the project, but we promise not to make you rename past releases.”

              “What about future releases?”

              “We could bring the hammer down at some point in the future. But we totally won’t.”

              “Can you write something up to that effect?”


              Sounds like the usual dealings between corporate lawyers and people working for the company. “We reserve the right to kill you and your family, but I’ll promise verbally in a very non-binding way never to use that right. Sign here.”Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to dragonfrog says:

        As I recall, the hudson => jenkins split was the same sort of thing. An open source project that thrived under Sun just couldn’t deal with Oracle. Oracle trademarked the name “hudson” and couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t pull the rug out from under the project at some time in the future, so the project renamed to jenkins. Both projects now consider the other to be a fork.Report

  8. dragonfrog says:

    Ci4 – While an interesting story and movingly written, the attempt to map videoconferencing vs physical presence onto liberalism vs conservatism seemed pretty tortured.

    Acknowledging the inalienable human dignity and individual uniqueness of a person convicted a crime via “conservative” physical presence vs othering, stereotyping, and dehumanizing them via “liberal” videoconferencing – it seems… How to put it… Exactly opposite to the way those words are used in the world.

    Especially when it gets into prisons that are banning all in person visits from family, and allowing only video conferences (and charging the family of the convict inflated fees for a thing that exists for free) – I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that support for these pointlessly punitive scammy setups doesn’t exactly skew liberal.Report

  9. DensityDuck says:

    [T3] Anyone who takes credit-card payments using their iPhone will be pretty salty about the headphone jack thing, because the card-swipe dongles use that jack to plug into the phone. Other users have described using high-quality microphones that connect through the port. And there’s a whole hacking community that uses the port.

    So it’s really more than just Nerdz Bein’ Nerdz, here. This is actually removing significant functionality from the device and replacing it with…not a whole lot, actually, mostly just a thinner device. Not more battery, not more memory, not bigger radio antennas, just…less, less of everything.Report

    • Isn’t this the sort of thing that you can use splitters to get around?

      It does seem like less thought was put into this than it should have been, but I suspect things will come up rosy before non-first-adopters (like businesses) start adopting it.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Will Truman says:

        “Isn’t this the sort of thing that you can use splitters to get around?”

        So I can pay Apple (or whoever) some money to be able to use a feature that is vital to my business and I used to get built-in to the phone for free? Boy, what an awesome future we live in!Report

  10. DensityDuck says:

    [S6] Haw. Kapernick jersey sales went up because people figure this is the last year they’ll be able to get ’em, and maybe even the last month or two!

    PS of course the Seahawks would support Kapernick. Him playing QB for the Niners is the best thing that ever happened to the Hawks!Report

  11. DensityDuck says:

    [Tr6] It’s gonna be funny in about twenty years when we see articles about how Millennials don’t buy houses, they just buy self-driving RVs that drive in circles all day.Report

  12. DensityDuck says:

    [Tr5] “Even if we did see a scenario like that [said Andrew Chatham], usually that would mean you made a mistake a couple of seconds earlier. And so as a moral software engineer coming into work in the office, if I want to save lives, my goal is to prevent us from getting in that situation, because that implies that we screwed up.”

    hm, sounds kind of libertarian there. The best solution is to not have the problem in the first place? Well that sounds awful GLIB there, mister person who’s OKAY WITH RACISM EXISTING. What happens when you get in that situation ANYWAY, HUH? Whaddya do THEN?! Or maybe you could just MOVE TO SOMALIA where there’s NO PEOPLE!

    But on a serious note, the answer is “slam on the brakes”. As the other engineer points out, by the time a system can recognize that the brakes failed and you have to make a choice, you’ve already run someone over.Report

  13. Chip Daniels says:

    “Spontaneous Order” , like “Sharing” sounds like a buzzword, something used to construct an imaginary reality rather than illuminate an existing one.

    Waze, like all apps, is a commercial service that you pay for, and is carefully constructed of rules.
    Long EULA agreements from your cell phone provider, device manufacturer, and the software itself construct a thicket of rules regarding what you can do, what you have to give them in exchange.

    Nothing wrong with any of that, but using the words “Spontaneous Order” here makes it sound magical, as if the Waze user is in control, as if there are not those hidden hands and underlying contractual agreements and very real payments that need to be made.

    There is nothing spontaneous about it. In one sense this is nothing more than a new version of a classified ad section, that offers information quickly, and you pay for the information not with money but with your user data.Report

  14. Saul Degraw says:

    Update from LGM. LIU is attempting to use stand-ins (read: scabs) to teach the classes as professors are being locked out. It is going as well as expected (read: it is an absolute shit show and unmitigated disaster).

    “We aren’t planning to go back to class at all until our professors are back,” said Sharda Mohammed, 18, a sophomore studying philosophy. “Today I walked into my English class and the guy gave us a syllabus and told us we could leave. He couldn’t even pronounce the names of the books.”

    “They are charging us full tuition for this, and they’re not teaching us,” she added. “I was in class for five minutes today.”

    Gina Pacifico, a 19-year-old sophomore from Queens, said she had a two-hour organic chemistry lecture in which the instructor left after an unproductive 40 minutes. “He didn’t teach,” Pacifico said. The business school seemed to be less affected by the lockout. Business major Gabriel Torres, 27, said his business classes were “fine, so far.” While Shelleyanne Esquilin, 17, said her professor was running between rooms, essentially trying to teach two classes at once.

    I am somewhat snickering that the business school stand-in was doing fine.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Apparently replacing highly trained professionals is harder than it looks. Maybe colleges need to consider that when they decide that adjuncts don’t need to be paid a decent salary and the administration could line their pockets.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yes and no. It is hard to find suitable replacements at the last minute. My guess is that if they just let go of all their adjuncts at the end of the Spring semester, they would have been fine at getting good replacements mainly.Report

  15. Pinky says:

    Ci2 – DC’s population has historically been native blacks and non-native whites. Since the increase in federal workers in the 1960’s, it’s now seeing a second generation of whites, but if anything they’re more likely to get college degrees, having grown up in households that valued education. I’ve never seen stats on this, but I’d bet that DC is one of the worst places for upward mobility without a college degree.Report

  16. Pinky says:

    Cr6 – I remember this. The criminals started to wear masks to make it harder to identify them, then Dollar Bill and Captain Metropolis came along so the good guys could have their own masked team. I’m sure this will end happily.Report

  17. Kazzy says:

    I think the first Seahawks link jumped the gun. The article I read had all those quotes together and it seemed to make clear that they planned to do something as a team that promoted unity, respecting the opinions of all sides. Maybe that piece was written after the fact and tried to whitewash the whole ordeal but I don’t see any direct quotes indicating the Seahawks ever planned to protest… only that they planned to do something together. Included in those quotes were acknowledges of the import of the 9/11 anniversary.Report

  18. Kolohe says:

    For the record, a Japanese funded Balt Wash maglev link is almost certainly vapor ware for any time frame under 50 years.Report

  19. Jaybird says:

    E1: Next week, we ask why adolescent females find Twilight compelling. Let’s hope they don’t grow up to read retooled Twilight erotic fanfic!Report

  20. Jaybird says:

    On the whole “Basket of Deplorables” thing that’s currently blowing up twitter:

    Here’s the quote:

    “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”

    So far, on twitter, I’ve seen a couple of people say a couple of things to the general effect of:

    “I’m not seeing how what she said was wrong, here.”
    “Right wing candidates regularly deplore the values of some left wing voters.”

    And I’ll go back to something that I say *EVERY* election:

    The point of any given effort in politics is to accomplish one of three things.

    1) Get Your People Fired Up.
    You want your people to say “Hells, yeah! I’m voting for my preferred candidate! I can’t wait!”

    2) Get Your Opponent’s People Depressed.
    Sure, most of the people inclined to vote for your opponent are never, ever, going to vote for you. That’s not a problem is you can get them to not vote for your opponent. Make them stay home. Make them say “I don’t care who wins.” Make them say “Both parties suck.” Make them *NOT* vote for their guy.

    3) Get people on the fence to say “hey, you know what? I spent all that time thinking about the World Series and now that it’s over, I can think about the election. Who is running again? Hey. I think I’ll vote for the candidate the people in example #1 are singing the praises of because the people in example #2 are such downers.”

    And I’ll just ask the question:

    Which of these is being done by “Basket of Deplorables”?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      Accepting this framing… 1 and maybe 3.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’d love to see a significantly different framing!

        The speech, from where I sit, did one of the things you do *NOT* want to do, though:
        Get opponents to say “I’m even *MORE* fired up!”

        It’s sort of the opposite of #2.

        I’m not seeing how it accomplished #1. I can see the argument for #3, though. I guess. Maybe.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

          #1: “Fuck yea, H-dawg. Call those clowns what they are!”

          #3: “I dunno if she’s right but if she is, I don’t wann be in that basket.”

          I agree it risks reversing #2.

          Another framing is that she was not being strategic but just being honest (insofar as communicating what she believes to be true, not necessarily what is). Aren’t we supposed to embrace a turn away from polished PCness?Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

            I’m thinking 2 is unlikely.

            Because there really is a cleft in the GOP, between the guys who are loving the bigoted, racist crap Trump spews — and the group that’s really uneasy and unhappy about it.

            In this case, 2 might fire up one group (the aforementioned basket) but really depress the 2nd. Because it points out “Look who you’re travelling with, and they really like this guy. A LOT. Because he’s like them”.

            I’d say the basket folks are already pretty fired up (finally one of their own!), but they’re not very big. The second is a much larger group that’s already unhappy about the first group.

            At worst, I’m thinking it’s a wash.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            I’m not seeing #1. I’m seeing, for example:

            “I’m not seeing how what she said was wrong, here.”
            “Right wing candidates regularly deplore the values of some left wing voters.”

            I’m not seeing what you’re saying they’re saying.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

              I suspect that you might be suffering somewhat from a “bubble” here.

              There exist rabid Hilary supporters out there. I don’t know that we have any here. I don’t know how many of them are on Twitter and, if so, how many of them cross circles with you. But they do exist. And I bet they are cheering these comments on.

              Which isn’t a criticism, mind you. But your framing seems predicated on the notion that hardcore Hilary supporters don’t really exist. That those of us who are planning or likely to vote for her will only do so through gritted teeth.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’m sure that they do exist. I’m just saying that I see no evidence of the things that common sense tells us ought to exist.

                Instead, I’ve shown the things that I have seen.

                I am more than willing to agree that there ought to be people who were energized by Hillary’s statement.

                I wonder if Hillary’s subsequent apology has deflated them at all.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I haven’t seen the apology.

                I’m curious… where are you looking for the rabid-pro-Hilary-type#1 response? You might just be looking in the wrong places… Much the same way I can’t seem to find any Trump supporters in Greenwich village or among my high school friends.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Here’s the LA Times.

                On the twitter, from retweets.

                I follow a handful of Pro-Hillary people. They’re the ones I used as examples of what I’m seeing.

                Do you have examples of what common sense tells us ought to exist or just more examples of how if I haven’t looked everywhere, I must not have looked hard enough?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:


                I’m just still not seeing a strong case being made against #1. Granted, I haven’t made a strong case for it. Jaybird’s handful of Pro-Hilary Twitter followers isn’t a particularly representative sample.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:


                If my base is based on a base hatred of certain folks, then calling those base folks out for being basically different than us doesn’t motivate my own base since it’s already part of the logic of the political “two base hit”.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                Seems to me everybody is looking at the wrong “half.” Her point wasn’t that Trump supporters are bigots, but that half of them aren’t. It wasn’t “going after” Trump supporters in the sense if criticizing, but rather saying that some of them have needs that can be addressed.

                It’s a case of what was being said not being what was heard.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:


                Then what is she apologizing for? I mean that seriously.

                As I wrote upthread to pillsy, she coulda doubled down on the statement and hammered it home to her advantage rather than apologize for it.

                It just strikes me as really bad (not fatal!) politics, particularly in this election cycle with these two candidates in this electoral climate.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                She muffed the delivery.

                I don’t think she should gave apologized so much as “clarified” and objected to the characterization of her comments. “I was talking about the fraction of a fraction of the people that supported him in the primaries and go to his rallies. Have you seen the videos of his rallies? Go and look. This is what people are signing on to whether they mean to or not. I’m trying to reach out to them because it doesn’t have to be this way… “Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                Sure. But she didn’t do any of those things.

                Politics is performance art.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                She’s not good at this.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                No, she isn’t.

                What she should to is play to her strengths: talk about how crazy abandoning NATO is; how absurd it is to pander to Putin; how the wall won’t get built; why it’s wrong to deport illegals who’re good citizens; etc etc. The wonky stuff. And leave the other stuff to other people.

                I mean, I’m absolutely amazed that she and her advisors think that she, personally, needs to attack Trump and Trumpers. For a multiplicity of reasons, actually: her negatives, his negatives, what will play best with the undecided middle, that she’s no good at food fighting, …Report

              • Road Scholar in reply to Stillwater says:


                Exactly. What she said needs to be said, loudly and often. Just not by her. Proxies with a bit of distance, social media, etc.Report

              • What she said (Trump voters are bad people) is a terrible idea, and no one associated with her should say it either.

                Trump himself is bad, his allies are bad, his staff is bad, etc. That’s the message.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater @jaybird

                What does it mean if my response is, “I’m glad she’s calling out his and some of his supporter’s bullshit! I just hope it doesn’t bite her in the ass!”

                Does that qualify as #1?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                It depends. Does it get his and more of his supporters to say “WHAT THE HELL?” and show up at the polls?

                If so, it was a flub.

                Even if it was true.

                “I find it offensive that you are implying that the truth value of the statement doesn’t matter!”

                “Get a safe space.”Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird @kazzy

                I suspect that geography and biography is destiny. I know lots of people who are very passionate about HRC. I also went to a school that was known as being part of the Seven Sisters and know a lot of college educated (and above) professional women. I suspect this is HRC’s core demographic. Donald’s biggest losses are among college-educated Republican women.

                I still suspect that a lot of HRC hate (and Obama hate) is from the fact that white guys are no longer the center of the Democratic Party. The reasons that a lot of white guys seem to swing right or libertarian are often connected to privilege and power in my view. It’s like the essay by the guy sneering at school reformers for wanting a shorter summer break. Does he have some points? Maybe but he also seems incapable of thinking that maybe there are lots of kids who did not have the same enriching summers as he did.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                A lot of young voters have run away to Gary Johnson, which is…weird. HRC still holds a sizeable lead on Trump, who has also lost relative to 2012 numbes.

                Not sure how long that will last. Historically, there comes the hemorrhaging of the third party support, but we’ll see how it goes.

                I think young voters, in particular, have issues with this election because they’re less cynical and experienced with sausage making and also, frankly, have no immunity to the Clinton-crazy* that the media indulges in.

                *The Clinton Foundation is a good example. There’s been a number of articles with aggressive writing and headlines about corruption and ‘appearance of corruption’ that go into details of how nobody actually got anything, which makes me wonder how it appeared corrupt if all the examples they could find were of people NOT getting access for donation. Which hasn’t stopped the breathless headlines.

                I think Obama managed to avoid it for one simple reason: The GOP has gotten crazier with it’s attacks, so the media was capable of blowing it off. Whereas with the Clintons, they have a 20 year history of believing anything the GOP chooses to sell. They can’t help but kick at the football, it’s habit.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Morat20 says:

                I think Obama managed to avoid it for one simple reason: The GOP has gotten crazier with it’s attacks, so the media was capable of blowing it off.

                Well, there was also that the Obama was a first-term Senator with no executive branch history and (by Senate standards) quite poor. So far as I can tell, no one is saying particularly bad things about Hillary’s time in the Senate — it’s all executive branch stuff and private sector stuff after she and Bill got rich enough to start foundations. The media hates “people of privilege” in the old sense of lots of money and using it to insulate themselves from the hoi polloi.Report

              • Road Scholar in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Michael Cain,

                I heard an interesting take on this the other day. It’s pretty much SOP for former presidents to walk out of the White House and into big money; speaking engagements, foundations for pet projects, etc. HRC is in a unique position as a former First Lady in that she walked through that door the normal way with Bill and is now trying to walk back through it the other direction.

                If you go back far enough you can find a couple exceptions, but as a rule — and especially in the modern era — turning over the keys to the White House effectively marked the end of your career in electoral politics. Just no more “up” to go. As such, the money tree at the end of that trail is sort of a big “whatever”. This time, for the first time in presidential history, it’s not.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Morat20 says:


                My theory is that a lot of millennials (and maybe some late Generation Xers who were born in 1977-1980) unconsciously absorbed a lot of the Clinton-hatred from the 1990s. They just grew up with it always in the background.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            Another framing is that she was not being strategic but just being honest

            Well, I realize that I need to amend what I said, more or less.

            Let’s preface my framing with something like “assuming you’re in a situation where you can count on 40% support no matter what, count on 40% support for your opponent no matter what, and a squishy 20% in the middle who is technically on the fence, there are three things you need to do…” and then go into #1, #2, and #3 (with the aforementioned corollary to #2 being “don’t get your opponents to get fired up”).

            I would put “not being strategic but just being honest” into the category of things that would fall under “wasted effort” (defined as “an effort that would not fall into #1, #2, or #3).Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

              It is entirely possible that these comments will do none of 1, 2, or 3.

              I also realized I might have misread your initial comment. You were speaking about which of the three items this comment was likely to contribute to… NOT what Hilary was actually trying to accomplish, correct?

              I think it possible that Hilary was not thinking in those terms when she said what she said. But, yes, I think in terms of what is likely to result from these (or any) comments, the three items you’ve listed along with NULL is a pretty good framing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’d say that anything that fits neatly into #1, #2, or #3 moves the ball.

                Anything that does not fit into those three categories does not move the ball.

                It is very, very important to move the ball *OR* prevent your opponent from moving the ball (which can include not screwing up #2).

                If you are winning, not moving the ball isn’t a bad idea. Keep the ball where it is. Run the clock down.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      All three, I’d imagine. 1 clearly, some of 2 and 3, especially with the second half of the quote that is not really trending as much on twitter.

      She’s been working hard to play up Trump’s noxiousness to GOP voters and to point out that, all things considered, shes’ not that bad.

      I can’t see it dong the “47%” thing, if only because she was careful to slice Trump’s support into two groups — a totally unobjectionable group that might disagree with her, and a group that represents all the worst things in humanity.

      She picked a good time for it, what with the rise of the term “alt-right” (which, you know, she pushed to the forefront) and their increasing public visibility. It plays into any unease Republican supports might be having about Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry, racism, crazy supporters, crazy rhetoric, massive man-crush on Putin, etc. There’s a very clear “We know there’s a group of crazy people supporting him because he’s their sort of crazy. There’s also you guys, who aren’t but are loyal to the party and disagree with me on a lot. Do you really want to vote for the crazy flag-carrier? I mean this ain’t Romney or McCain here, this guy is a believer of crazy, not a sane guy who happened to have some crazy supporters”

      The use of the term “basket of deplorables” was rather nice. Everyone knows that the quote would get cropped down to the group she was calling bigoted and racist, removing the rest of the context. But the media couldn’t resist that bit of phrasing, so even the clickbait’s going to carry the pretty obvious implication that she was saying “some” not all.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

        Given your comment, would you expect Hillary to have apologized by now or to double down on a comment that will have accomplished all three?


        • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

          Ugh. I guess we, as a country, are not ready for a major party candidate to tell the truth about the coterie of neo-Nazis, Confederate wannabes, and general fascist dirtbags that provide so much of Trump’s support. It’s another sign of the corrosive effect of the far-left politically correct agenda, I guess.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:


            I don’t disagree, but I wanna make a narrower point regarding Hillary and her political style: instead of apologizing for those remarks she could have doubled down on them by reasserting her commitment to opposing those types of people and their coalitions. By doing so she would have demonstrated a real political commitment on an issue that’s actually politically relevant to heaps of people. What she did, tho, was apologize for making the claim (stupid tho it was) which effectively eliminated the potential for any political upside gain. I mean, let’s be honest: lots and lots of people see White Nationalism riding the Trump wave right now, something which could be (actually, could have been) used as a real wedge in her favor. So instead of winning this particular political battle, she ends up losing on two levels (on the initial comment and the subsequent apology).

            All she did was lose support in this exchange. She gained nothing.

            She isn’t good at that game. 🙂Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          I’d say a semi-apology that reinforces the “He’s openly courting racist scumbags in a way that would make Lee Atwater cringe”.

          So something like “Perhaps I was too broad, but Trumps’ basically the alt-right poster boy and is basically running as THE candidate for racists, xenophobes, bigots, and white supremacists. He’s clearly working to get their support by being just like them. I don’t think many Republicans agree with him on that, but he’s doing it anyways”Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      She should have called them moochers and looters, maybe suggested they should suffocate in a big tunnel.Report

    • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      I dunno about 2 and 3, but the sheer cravenness that so many people in the press are showing in the face of the Nazi dirtbags that are clumping around Trump really has some of 1 working for me personally. The alt-right is genuinely despicable, and I’m getting extremely tired of how many high-minded reporters and pundits want to avoid dealing with that fact, often in the name of opposing “political correctness”.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

      If it were possible to get me to support Trump, statements like Clinton’s would be why.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

        Now *THIS* is fascinating. Could you go into more detail?Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

          I don’t know that it would make me support Trump (I’m not sure I see the connection between the two, actually), but it sure doesn’t make wanna support Clinton.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

          It’s a lot easier to forgive someone for lying to you than lying about you.

          There are a lot of conservatives who don’t feel like we’ve got a candidate this year. We just want to sit at the bar and finish our drinks, then vote for a good Senate candidate and go home. We’ve got no reason to support either of the pro-choice pro-single-payer pro-high-tax crony capitalist Democratic fundraisers who are running for President. But the more Clinton talks, the harder it is to stay neutral. I am so sick of being lied about. I opposed her white male husband and her black male boss and I oppose her for the exact same reasons. They’re the same reasons I oppose Trump. We maybe don’t use hashtags, but #NeverTrump sums it up really well. Just don’t push us.

          In terms of your schema, I’m speculating that objective #2 is going to be pivotal in this race, but in an unusual way. Both candidates are so patently unpleasant that their mere presence works against objective #2. For every person either candidate fires up on their side, they’re going to fire up two on the other side. There’s a negative multiplier effect. The only thing that can inspire me to not vote for Trump is to not see Clinton.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Pinky says:

            What lie did she tell about you? Because as far as I can tell, her statement was pretty much right on the money, and the reaction has been purely as if to a Kinsley gaffe, and more to the point, it described Trump supporters, and you’ve just stated you aren’t one.Report

            • Pinky in reply to pillsy says:

              I know too many good people who are reluctantly at least considering voting for him out of legitimate fears about Clinton’s ethics. Maybe you can make those claims about the fervent long-time Trump supporters, but even then, those accusations have been made so many times against so many people with so little merit that the words have become, practically, meaningless.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

                I should have stated that better. Too much ground to cover in one short post. I’ll flesh it out as necessary.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Pinky says:

                Except if the charge has so little merit, why is Trump the nominee?

                Throughout the primary process, he had a strong plurality of support [1], and throughout the primary process, the main things distinguishing him from his competitors were a complete lack of qualifications and a willingness to appeal repeatedly to open bigotry.

                Bad politics or not, Clinton’s charge fits the data well. It’s a gaffe not because she lied, but because she told the truth by accident.

                [1] Not quite, but close to… “half”.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                who are reluctantly at least considering voting for him out of legitimate fears about Clinton’s ethics.

                I’m just going to let this marinate a little.

                “I’m concerned about Clinton’s ethics. So I support Trump.”

                “I’m concerned about Clinton’s level of boorishness and ignorance. So I support Trump.”

                “I’m concerned about Clinton’s divisiveness and appeals to racists. So I support Trump.”

                OK, the only way this makes any logical sense is that when someone says they support Trump out of a concern for Clinton’s ethics, they mean they are concerned that she has too many ethics, and are seeking a candidate who is more untroubled by them.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      This is where someone chimes in and repeats that hackneyed old phrase “Hillary just isn’t very good at retail politics.”

      IF she loses this election it will be because of things just like this: degenerating to Trump’s level by thinking that personal attacks on him and/or his supporters will yield a net benefit. There’s just absolutely positively zero upside to be gained by her doing so.

      Adding: And of course, I can’t help but view her commitment to that strategy – or more neutrally, those expressions – as a flaw in her political character.

      Add2: and to fill THAT out a bit: I think she’s either misunderstanding the political lay of the land or is incapable of perceiving it if she thinks that going negative against Trump is a winning strategy for her (specifically) this cycle (in particular).Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

        I think she mostly just muffed the delivery. Arguing that Trump supporters and Republicans fall into multiple categories is one of her ongoing arguments, and it’s not an ineffective one. What was supposed to be heard was “Some of Trump’s supporters are deplorable, but not all. Don’t be with the deplorables, be with us.”

        But she used the word “Half” and that… was not helpful. And so instead of talking about the Trump supporters talking about African-Americans should go back to Africa, we’re talking about who all she was including because of the illusion of broad specificity by assigning proportions.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

          This may be true in terms of the politics, but “half” seems like a pretty accurate partitioning based on how many Trump supporters, when polled, will tell you about how (for example) African Americans are lazier and more violent than white people.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

            So will a third of Hillary supporters.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

              I don’t see how that makes Clinton’s statement any less accurate.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

                We’re not talking about wonkish accuracy, pillsy, we’re talking about electoral politics and political strategy. Hillary got bruised in this little scuffle.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                Really? Based on what? Polling? Electoral snapshots?

                We’ve just got our own opinions here, and we shouldn’t pretend we speak with authority on facts. Maybe she hurt herself, maybe she helped herself, we’ll have to wait to see.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

                Morat, she made a risky comment (at a fundraiser…) about Trump’s base, was outed for it, received pushback, and apologized. By what metric can you construe that as a political win?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                So you’re firmly behind your opinion. It’s still an opinion.

                Honestly? This was prepared remarks to a fundraiser open to the press. She wanted this to be heard, it wasn’t some private event that leaked — it was deliberate.

                And it’s the same attack she’s been using since her alt-right speech, basically trying to make GOP voters uncomfortable with Trump’s crude appeals to bigots and racists. Which, you know, he happily plays into.

                Frankly, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the basis of her campaign — continuously pointing out how toxic Trump is.

                I realize that, for some reason, people are trying to force this to be the 47% comment. It’s not, and I don’t think it’ll play that way.

                But again, opinion. We shouldn’t act like they’re facts.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:


                If you think this is just a matter of opinion, let me ask you your opinion of how this strange incident actually benefits Clinton instead of merely expressing your opinion of how other people’s view that it won’t are just opinions.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’m not sure I can be more clear as to the potential upsides without drawing a picture.

                I mean you’re aware of why she made a big speech tying Trump to the alt-right, right? It wasn’t base consolidation — it was aimed at GOP voters.

                This was more of that. As polarized as the country is, it might make more sense to push a chunk of the GOP base into sitting this one out because of, you know, the rather obnoxious element Trump is courting.

                But that’s kind of boring compared to talking about how bad a politician HRC is, which garners a great deal of agreement among many people, despite her habit of winning elections.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                You know how you can tell which team is losing without looking at the scoreboard? Listen to both teams and figure out which team is complaining about the refs.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m pretty sure the GOP has been complaining about the refs since 1980.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                Then I’m sure the Democrats have nothing to worry about. The “so-called” apology is a chess move confusing only to checker players.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                If we’re measuring whining, I’d say “The party of the feminazis, the communists, and the pro-terrorists called us a bad name!” puts that side ahead.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I have no idea what would happen.

                But that, to me, is an indicator because I’d think that I’d have an idea of what’s going to happen.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                despite her habit of winning elections.

                Underperforming in almost every one. (Exception 2006.)Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                In the end, though, I keep hearing “She’s a horrible politician” — even as she was beating Sanders. She lost to Obama, in what amounted to the closest thing to a tie in a Democratic primary in at least a century, and he’s supposedly a very, very, very good politician.

                I heard the whole primary how awful a politician she was, and how much better Sanders was, and then…you know, it wasn’t even particularly close.

                So I can’t help but wonder: How does she keep winning, if she’s so bad? It seems like we’re really changing the bar on “Awful” here, and it kinda feels like that new definition is just for her.

                I mean Bill Clinton, was he an awful politician? Because he only won because Perot split the vote (didn’t even get a majority).

                I’d imagine the increasing polarization also kind of skews our idea of “Awful”. I mean the GOP could run a dead monkey against Jesus, and I suspect would still net 40% of the vote. (And vice versa).Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                Lack of substantive opposition and/or difficult races?

                2000 Primary: No substantive opposition
                2000 General Election: Democrat in New York in a presidential election year. (Ran five points behind Gore.)

                2006: Good performance, on-par with Spitzer.

                2008 Presidential Primary: Lost (Was favorite going into the race.)

                2012 Presidential Primary: Ran with the near-complete support of the establishment with only one opponent. (Opponent still managed to get more nationally than Bill Bradley did in any state but NH.)
                2012 General: Running against Trump with a general election map that favors her party. (Over/underperformance TBD)

                Now, in each of these underperformance cases, I can come up with a reason for it that doesn’t reflect too negatively on her. But we have a pattern, the only exception to which was a Democratic Wave election in which she faced marginal opposition.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                That feels like special pleading.

                Look, I think the bare basics of “good/bad at campaigning” is whether or not you win at all. Clearly someone that never wins is BAD at it. Bad at picking their race, bad at picking their moment, bad at campaigning.

                HRC keeps winning. Her only loss was, again, to the most talented politician the Democrats have thrown up since Kennedy.

                So saying “She won BUT….” feels like excuses, like ignoring data.

                “Oh but she had all that establishment support”. Isn’t that, um, politics? Like…being GOOD at politics, in fact? Or does that not count? See in the end, she keeps getting people to vote for her in larger numbers than her opponent. She gets the movers in shakers in her party to support her.

                Isn’t that…being good at politics? Key endorsements, more votes, etc?

                Again, there seems to be this weird special “bad” that only applies to Clinton. Was McCain a bad politician? He’s a Senator who lost the Presidential primary once, then won it another time — then lost to Obama.

                How about Romney? He lost to McCain in 2008, who went on to lose against Obama. Was he a bad candidate?

                I mean transitively speaking. Clinton’s got to be better than both of them — she gave Obama a much tougher fight.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                I would say that Romney is similarly bad. She did better against Obama, but came in with all of the advantages he didn’t have. His 2012 primary performance notwithstanding. (Actually, despite the fact he won it, kind of indicative of his weakness.)

                McCain was spotty. But McCain was at his best in the 2000 primary, which he lost. He was a better candidate there than he was in 2008, a primary in which he won. And he was a bad general election candidate.

                I think it is entirely possible to be a bad candidate and win a statewide election in New York if you’re a Democrat. I think it’s entirely possible to be a bad candidate and beat Bernie Sanders by 12%.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                That still leaves me confused by your metrics, because you keep listing as “bad” candidates who won national races. Or as good in a year they lost, and bad in a year they won (McCain), which means your definition of “good” and “bad” is orthogonal to either winning elections or governing.

                Which is fine, but in this context — the actual election– that’s really confusing.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’ve been pretty consistent in my belief that Clinton is going to win. I’ve never predicted her to lose. (Including the time that she lost.) It helps that her opponent is who it is, and the opposing party is where it is.

                It’s not so much that it’s orthological as it is that it’s one of multiple things I’m looking at. Consider college football, for example. The Georgia Bulldogs are 2-0, which sounds like a promising start. One of those victories is a 26-24 victory against Nicholls State. A win may be a win and that’s better than a loss, but that’s seriously alarming and indicates that Georgia isn’t actually very good.

                When I appraise my own team, I look at the record first, but I also look at how games were won/lost, against whom, and under what conditions. So there have been seasons where we’ve been 4-0 and I’ve been far less pleased than other seasons where we were 3-1.

                Now, in college football, it’s easy to test these assessments because there are future games to be played. So when we go from 4-0 to 6-6 (which has happened), my views are vindicated. Or we actually have a good year and I determine that I was wrong or the team improved or whatever.

                In politics, it’s harder to because there are fewer data points. But as with college football, or any other competition, there are a lot of variables to consider besides W-L.

                To pick another politician whose electoral history I consider to be misleading, I’d point to your very own Rick Perry. He won all of his races, but despite never being very popular and with some combination of immediate incumbency (in 2002), luck (in 2006), and a favorable political environment (in 2010). So when I was assessing his candidacy in 2012, his electoral accomplishments weren’t given the same weight that they might have been for somebody else.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                “We didn’t win that game as much as we didn’t lose it” is one of those things that sports is good at teaching.

                And there’s always a guy who yells “A W IS A W.”Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

                And both of these things are true!Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                How does she keep winning, if she’s so bad?

                Machinery. Strong networks of funding, funders, fundraisers, volunteers, local and statewide honchos. Nearly every Democrat everywhere owes the Clintons something, and has, since 1992. That, and she is really really smart and appeals directly to the center.

                Which, in one sense, makes her an astonishingly good politician. Query how much of that is legacy machinery from her husband’s career and how much of it is her own, and it’s no use really teasing that apart because they built it all together ever since they took over the DNC back when I was majoring in chasing girls and drinking beer.

                1) She can’t seem to dispel the constant barrage of attacks from the right; some of that stuff sticks when it’s thrown at her. This e-mail business is a good example of that: sometimes when you dig down, there is really something there. How bad is it, I admit having difficulty telling anymore because of too much hyperbole for too long. But there’s no doubt she made a mistake, and damnit, she seems less than candid about that.

                2) She isn’t particularly good at the speeches and the direct appeals; certainly not compared to the likes of Bill and Barack. Her convention speech was pretty good. Her stump speech is only okay. She doesn’t land punches often, and misses with her zinger lines at least as often as she hits: compare “bait him with a tweet” to “basket of deplorables.”

                3) She hasn’t given a vision, a mission, an idea for her Presidency, at least not in any way I can articulate. We should vote for her because she’s going to be competent and smart and she’s not a spraytanned lunatic. That’s likely enough to earn my vote but it isn’t enough to get me enthusiastic.

                So don’t get me wrong. She’s not the spraytanned lunatic so yeah, I’m with her. For now.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


                1. I was 12 when Bill Clinton became President. 14 during the Republucan Revolution. As far as I can tell, the Clintons have always made the GOP go off the deep end.

                2. I think we would all look like C students compared to Clinton the Hubbie and Obama.

                3. Clinton’s politics are not grand and visionary. Her politics are more micro tailored policy proposals to help specific groups that she believes need help. This is effective but not poetic government.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                1. You are correct. A significant number of people within the GOP (tended to be the ones quickest to self-identify as “movement conservatives”) began to show signs of Clinton Derangement Syndrome as early as 1991.

                2. Them dudes is wicked smart, that’s for sure. But don’t sell us short, we’re pretty smart around here too.

                3. Incremental improvements aren’t a bad thing at all. By definition, they’re improvements on the status quo. They just aren’t sexy on the campaign trail, is what I’m saying.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Segments of the GOP were already showing signs that they believe that government should belong to them in perpetuity by the early 1990s. There was always a segment of the Republican Party that saw the Democratic Party as Communist light and the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc provided enough evidence for them that anything but full-throatle free market capitalism with no welfare state was wrong. The fact that a Democratic candidate, even if he wasn’t a particularly liberal one, could win at the end of the Cold War was just wrong to them.Report

              • J_A in reply to Will Truman says:

                How did she underperform otherwise, @will-truman ?

                In 2000 she was leading against super popular Rudy Giuilliani before he self destructed in another adultery scandal

                In 2008 she was within striking distance of Obama

                In the 2016 primaries she got millions more votes than Bernie

                I don’t see the underperformance, but I’m open to hear your argumentReport

              • Will Truman in reply to J_A says:

                I compiled a list elsewhere, but to review:
                2000: Polling in 2000 between Rudy and HRC was mixed until Rudy’s life fell apart. But up against Lazio, she performed worse than Gore did against Bush.
                2006G: She did well in that one.
                2008P: The nomination was hers to lose and she lost it.
                2016P: What should have been a Gore/Bradley race turned into a Bush/McCain race. (And the latter was an instance of GWB underperforming.)
                2016G: She’s running against Donald J Trump and not kicking his ass.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

                I just read this and thought I’d link it. It’s from Josh Marshall (D) at TPM:

                If there’s nothing else we’ve learned from this cycle we should have learned the centrality of ‘dominance’ politics. Campaigns are performative displays of strength, resolve. To back down, apologize or cower would not only play into Trump’s dominance politics routine, it would make Clinton look weak. It would deepen suspicions that she has no beliefs or will change them out of convenience. Far more importantly though, backing down would demoralize her supporters since it would amount to apologizing for or backing down from and delegitimizing what is in fact a central truth of the election.

                Donald Trump has not only brought haters into the mainstream, he has normalized hate for a much broader swathe of the population who were perhaps already disaffected but had their grievances and latent prejudices held in check by social norms. This isn’t some minor point or critique. It’s a fundamental part of what is at stake in this election, what makes it different from Obama v Romney when we had a critical election but still one that was mainly about different policy directions for the country. This election has become a battle to combat the moral and civic cancer Trump has injecting into the body politic. (I know that sounds like florid language but it is the only fitting and valid way to describe it.) Backing down would make Clinton appear weak, accomplish nothing of value and confuse what is actually at stake in the election.

                He wrote all that before her apology.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                By what metric can you construe that as a political win?

                We’ll call it a draw.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                {{It moves.}}Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                I don’t think 1/3 of Hillary supporters are deplorable and irredeemable.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                So it’s not deplorable to think black people are lazy and violent?

                Also, to persist in my insistence on accuracy, she said “some” of the deplorable ones were irredeemable. Which, again, appears absolutely true to me.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                I don’t think having deplorable opinions makes one deplorable. I think people are complicated.

                I don’t know what percentage of Trump supporters go in what bucket. I think pinning it down is a distraction. Not sure it can be pinned down and think her attempt to (likely not premeditated) was not helpful. As indicated by what followed.

                Hillary wants to move in from that and I think that’s a good idea.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                As I’ve said, I think the point was more to plant the idea — again.

                She’s been doing this since the alt-right speech. It’s not aimed at Democrats or even the mushy middle.

                It’s aimed at college-educated, white Republican voters who are uneasy with Trump’s flirtation with the alt-right. (And by “flirtation” I mean “at least third base”). It’s not even designed to get them to vote for her.

                Apologize, don’t apologize, doesn’t matter if you can make the topic “Donald Trump: Does he really love racists and bigots?”. (What’s the old saw? “I want to make him deny it”).

                I’d lay money that “basket of deplorables” was NOT a random phrase, but was deliberately chosen.

                Even the apology reinforced it. “I shouldn’t have said half. It’s not even half. But they totally exist, and he loves them and they love him. Those are his go-to guys, the ones at his rallies, the ones he’s speaking for. Those guys suck, don’t they? Might as well vote for David Duke, you know?”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

                Its not about deplorable opinions, though.

                Donald Trump’s supporters are actively working to do deplorable things.

                They really, truly, want to round up 12 million people and put them in cattle cars. We need to take them seriously.

                And we need to be honest about what that is, to call it by its true name.Report

              • My objection, such as it was, wasn’t really with the word “deplorable.” It was “half.”

                And that may be accurate or may not be – some are deplorable and at least half are something I really don’t like – it’s that uncertainty that leaves me to believe that the delivery wasn’t good and I wish she’d made her point (which I thought was fair and maybe even generous) differently.Report

              • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Donald Trump’s supporters are actively working to do deplorable things.

                They really, truly, want to round up 12 million people and put them in cattle cars. We need to take them seriously.

                How is that any different than wanting to throw the people at that Bunday Ranch, or the people on Wall Street into prison.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                There were 12 million people at Bundy Ranch? You think more of them would have appeared in photographs.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                Way to side step the issue; the number of people isn’t the important question, it’s the rounding people up part.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                No, the number is very much an issue, but I understand that pretending otherwise is convenient for Trump supporters and their apologists.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                How does the number of people involved make a difference to the morality as opposed to the practicality of the actions?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                Because you can’t round up and deport 12 million people in a way consistent with respecting human rights of those people, nor can you do it without massive expenditures of money and erosion of everybody else’s civil liberties.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                Those are arguments about the practicality not the morality. If you could equalize everything else how does the number people involved make a difference?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                Yes, I’ll concede that if you pretend there’s a magic wand that can teleport millions of people cleanly with a flick of wrist, you can also pretend Trump supporters who want to deports millions of people from the country aren’t awful.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                Chip was making an argument about the inherent morality of enforcing immigration law, he said that people who favor it a deplorable. If he had argued that they were being impractical I wouldn’t have objected.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                Because you can’t round up and deport 12 million people in a way consistent with respecting human rights of those people

                If you can arrest one person without violating their civil liberties than you can arrest 12 million people with violating their civil liberties, it would just cost a lot more.

                nor can you do it without massive expenditures of money

                That has nothing to do with the morality of the issue.

                erosion of everybody else’s civil liberties.

                How will arresting people who are breaking the law effect the civil liberties of people who aren’t breaking the law?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dand says:

                If you can arrest one person without violating their civil liberties than you can arrest 12 million people with violating their civil liberties, it would just cost a lot more.
                Name one example in history where millions of people have been forcibly expelled from a country where it didn’t turn into a humanitarian disaster? I’m not aware of any.

                How will arresting people who are breaking the law effect the civil liberties of people who aren’t breaking the law?

                Just like there hasn’t been any erosion of law-abiding citizens’ rights due to the Wars on Drugs and Terror? Just like there’s no precedent for police using illegal immigration as an excuse to racially profile and harass people who are in the country legally? Just like there’s no history of actual citizens being caught up in sweeps looking for people in the country illegally and being thrown out along with them?

                Sorry, I’m not going to give people credit for reasonable intentions just because they’re too damned stupid to understand what they’re really asking for.Report

              • Dand in reply to pillsy says:

                Name one example in history where millions of people have been forcibly expelled from a country where it didn’t turn into a humanitarian disaster? I’m not aware of any.

                No one is proposing expulsions like those that happened after WWII, people are proposing deportations were people are arrested then given a hearing. Explain in detail how it will lead to a humanitarian disaster.

                Just like there hasn’t been any erosion of law-abiding citizens’ rights due to the Wars on Drugs and Terror?

                By this logic we shouldn’t have any laws, laws against murder sometimes harm law-abiding citizens.

                Just like there’s no precedent for police using illegal immigration as an excuse to racially profile and harass people who are in the country legally?

                Some police will abuse any law, police often use speeding laws to racially profile, should we not enforce speeding laws at all?

                Just like there’s no history of actual citizens being caught up in sweeps looking for people in the country illegally and being thrown out along with them?

                By this logic we should not enforce murder laws because sometimes people are falsely convicted of murder.Report

              • Dand in reply to Dand says:

                Incidentally the idea that enforcing immigration law will require 12 million deportations is a fallacy; if we create an environment where it’s impossible for anyone who isn’t in the country legally to work most of them will leave on their own. Of coerce the New Republic claims the employer based immigration enforcement is worse than deportation. Report

              • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You’re a hypocrite you an architect, a profession the requires a license in order to practice; that means that you are limited from foreign completion; a foreign architect and undercut your wages yet you think it is illegitimate deny meatpackers and agricultural workers the same protections. At HitCoffee Will Truman has written about how difficult it is for foreign doctors to start practicing in the US. People who work in low status jobs should enjoy the same protections from foreign completion that people in high status jobs enjoy.

                And let me add the many liberals in high status jobs think that the cheep labor immigration provides is a feature not a bug here’s Matthew Yglesias:

                The benefits to the American economy of highly skilled immigrants are widely recognized, but the equally important contributions of less-educated immigrants are underappreciated.

                One big arena in which this is clearly the case is child care, where foreign-born workers are major providers. These immigrants often have limited formal education but perhaps more practical experience and skills in dealing with small children than your typical US-born yuppie first-time parents.

                The presence of such immigrant caregivers in the United States is a huge win for the world. It allows the immigrants to raise their living standards far above what would be possible in their countries of origin. It allows American babies to receive a higher standard of care than their parents could provide alone. And it allows highly educated Americans — especially but not exclusively women — to participate more fully in the labor market.

                Letting more such workers into the country makes almost everyone better off. It is true that recently arrived immigrants might benefit from shutting the doors to further immigration, but that’s a thin string on which to hang nativist politics.

                So Americans who work in child care need to put up with lower wages so that his dual income family can afford a nanny.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dand says:

                So is the complaint here that American workers are making too little money?
                Or is it that the workers are of the wrong ethnic group?

                IOW, if we somehow replaced all the Mexican lettuce pickers with genuine full blooded white American citizens, would it trouble anyone that they make sub-minimum wages and toil away in awful conditions?

                Is there even a hint among Trump’s supporters that they want a better life for these American workers?
                Better life as in, “making more money and having better working conditions”?Report

              • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                My complaint is that low skilled immigration drives down the wages of low skilled American workers, while high skill workers still enjoy the benefits of immigration restrictions. When the INS raided meat packers during the Bush administration the meat packers were forced to raise wages. When Obama took office the raids stopped.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dand says:

                We could end the importation of immigrant workers tomorrow, if we simply forced farms and meatpacking plants to pay higher wages, thereby making the jobs attractive to Americans.

                But you realize don’t you, that Donald Trump and the Republican party honestly believe that American workers are currently paid too much, and they want to enact policies to force Americans to work longer, harder, for less money and benefits than they do now?Report

              • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t care what Trump and the Republicans believe (although the anti-immigration left is much more skeptical of low paying employers than you give them credit for); my problem is with the open borders left. Raising the minimum wage would help somewhat although many of the jobs that immigrants take, while low paying are above the level that the minimum wage could be practically set at without causing increases in unemployment, the only way to get pay where I’d like it to be is to stop the flow of cheep labor.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dand says:

                @leeesq was correct in saying that the left opposes the free movement of capital while the right opposes the free movement of labor.

                The national dialog tends to put automation, outsourcing, and immigration in separate silos, as if they were wholly unconnected issues.

                They aren’t. Even if all immigration were magically halted tomorrow, meatpackers would not earn a dime more. Their jobs would be outsourced, or automated away.

                Donald Trump and the GOP explicitly want meatpackers and low skilled Americans to work for as little as possible.

                I don’t see anyone refuting this assertion.Report

              • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                How is Matthew Yglesias’s nanny going to be outsourced or automated?

                They aren’t. Even if all immigration were magically halted tomorrow, meatpackers would not earn a dime more. Their jobs would be outsourced, or automated away.

                That’s demonstrably false, 10 years ago when the Bush administration was raiding meatpackers the packers responded by raising wages. T Since outsourcing and automation are significantly reducing the number of jobs why on earth do we need low skilled immigration?

                Donald Trump and the GOP explicitly want meatpackers and low skilled Americans to work for as little as possible.

                I don’t see anyone refuting this assertion.

                I don’t see how it’s relevant I’m doing care what Trump and the GOP think. Bringing it up is a distraction.Report

              • notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Or if liberals got serious about stopping illegals, business would have to offer higher wages to Americans. Think of that.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

                Or we could just force businesses to offer higher wages anyway.
                Then Americans would swarm into the lettuce fields and steal the jobs from those immigrants.

                Think about that!Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Between automation and outsourcing, the need for architects is slowly shrinking. We are like steelworkers in 1975- currently well paid, but facing a bleak future.

                I wrote about how I have brought my son into work with me as my assistant.
                Technology is so wonderfully intuitive and productive that with less than a year of experience he can produce a 3D virtual model of a building with almost no help, and earns a fraction of what I do.

                The handwriting is on the wall- I can see that within a few years a more ruthless employer would see an advantage in firing the father to hire the son.

                The anxiety that Trump supports feel is not unfamiliar to me. I just don’t see immigrants as the cause.

                What I see is a world in which there is a growing surplus of labor, and a society that hasn’t come to grips with that fact, and has no plans to deal with it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You want me to pay more for my domestic help? You’re a racist!

                There. That should hold the little SOBs.

                Wait. Why is Donald Trump doing so well in the polls?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Because there are actually a lot of racists in this country?Report

              • notme in reply to pillsy says:

                According to Hillary there are.Report

              • Pillsy in reply to notme says:

                Yup, it’s definitely one thing that Hillary Clinton has right. It’s the most parsimonious explanation of why Trump is the GOP nominee, and aligns well with a ton of available data.

                Of course, it’s inconvenient for people who are invested in the legitimacy of the Republican Party to admit this is the case, so there’s a lot of outraged spluttering about her saying it, and very little actual data presented to refute it. It’s just another sign of the way left-wing political correctness has taken over the world.Report

              • Pillsy in reply to notme says:

                Thank you for providing such a good example of the kind of hand-wavey, outraged non-refutation of Clinton’s argument that I was alluding to.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


                My dark thoughts here are what if there is a privilege/cognitive dissonance (yeah yeah I know) to being generic, nominally Christian white guy here.

                Suppose a nominally Christian white guy is not bigoted in any way what so ever. He doesn’t tell bigoted jokes or comments. However, he knows a lot of white guys who do love telling bigoted jokes about Blacks, Jews, LBGT, women, etc. But the joke tellers also give him a hand when he is in need. Maybe one of these guys also expressed Holocaust Denial.

                What is the ethical thing to do here? How should a generic white guy act in front of his bigoted friends?

                Saying that people are complicated and saying a deplorable thing is a luxury that minorities don’t have. I don’t have the luxury of thinking “Bob always talks about how the Jews control the banks and media and the Holocaust is a lie. However, he really helped his friend Rich when Rich had cancer.”

                I don’t have the luxury of that kind of thinking. I have to think that Bob is potentially dangerous to my security because he is willing to sprout anti-Semitic conspiracy theories publicly. Minorities and women are in this position.

                I think a lot of white guys have their heads up their asses about this reality.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Or, you know, commenting that the alt-right has some good arguments about “political correctness and multiculturalism”, when the most frequent arguments about “political correctness and multiculturalism” from the alt-right is that they’re Jewish plots to perpetrate #WhiteGenocide.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I know Trump supporters personally. They are the “one truck contractors”, comfortably middle class aging white suburban Boomers you read about.

                They are in fact very complex people. Perfectly lovely, generous, good hearted folks.

                But so what?

                Who isn’t?
                Can anyone here point to a person, or even group of people who are not complex, who are not perfectly lovely to their family and friends?

                Every awful, horrible atrocity has always been committed by people who cleaned the blood off their hands, then went home and kissed their children and made tender love to their wives.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:


                That is pretty much my point. I think there a lot of white guys (maybe even people here) who have friends who make really bigoted comments and might believe in deplorable things and actions. But a lot of guys here are safe in that they are white, male, and nominally Christian in some way.

                But if you are a member of a minority, you don’t have these luxuries. I can’t say “Bob is a grade A anti-Semite but he is really nice to his friends and wife and kids.” The Grade A anti-Semite is always going to be the issue between us because I am Jewish and frankly it is not my job to teach bigots the error of their ways especially if it imperils my civil liberties and personal safety.

                This is the source of the meme of white guys fretting about whether Trump or HRC is worse and being told by a million minorities that Trump is worse but the white guy still can’t decided and sticks his head further up his ass.Report

              • It might be a different issue if we’re talking about a “Grade C” antisemite rather than a “Grade A” or even “Grade B” one. All grades have deplorable opinions, but the higher the grade, the more dangerous.

                That’s not to obviate your point, though. Speaking for myself, I have pretty much the entire suite of luxuries you describe in your comments here. And I’m sure I often overlook that fact in practice.Report

              • And to be clear, even a “Grade C” antisemite can be dangerous. I don’t want to deny that.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I was thinking about this yesterday after my exchange with Will about the difference between government power versus private power.

                What I think catches in my throat when people make dark ominous comments about government power- the whole “men with guns and cages” sort of stuff, is that they are creating a self-centered fictional form of oppression while ignoring the real thing.

                That is, these sorts of comments are nearly always made by people who have absolutely no reasonable fear of government oppression, under any system of governance.

                Its almost always people who are white, male, middle class, educated, Christian and straight who say this stuff.

                What sort of conditions would have to occur in order for that class of people to suffer persecution at the hands of the government?

                We can easily find real instances of black people being persecuted and shot unjustly; gay people being beaten, Muslims being rounded up;

                But for people like me to grumble ominously about government power is to invent a as-yet imaginary oppression, while very real oppression is occurring right in front of us.

                Its a way of looking at politics as a game of abstract theory that ignores how human beings really behave and interact with each other.

                Whether Trump would pursue a policy of assertive government welfare, or laissez faire economics is irrelevant; what is relevant is that all of his policies would be deliberately tilted towards white Christians, and away from ethnic minorities.Report

              • Dand in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Just because a person is white and male doesn’t mean they are immune from insults. I have to listen to people making SES and geographic insults all the time. Whenever I bring the subject up here people call me “resentful” or act as if it’s something I got from talk radio rather than something I have personally experienced, you have personally been extremely dismissive of it.Report

              • Dand in reply to Dand says:

                Here’s an example:

                Tom Paquin, a Cambridge, Mass. resident, voted for Rubio and provided what “might be the only Republican vote in this part of town.””Given Trump’s support in my state among the neanderthals in Western Massachusetts, I doubt it’ll make much of a difference, but I’m hopeful enough common-sense conservatives will rally behind the establishment choice, as vague a choice as it is with such a diluted field,” said Paquin.

                A considerable portion of my extended family lives in Western Mass. Above all else the statement is tremendously ignorant of Massachusetts political geography, Western Massachusetts Is one of the most liberal places in the country, there are four counties Obama’s worst performance was 61% in the other 3 he got more than 70%. But upper class urbanites think all rural areas terrible.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                However, he knows a lot of white guys who do love telling bigoted jokes about Blacks, Jews, LBGT, women, etc. But the joke tellers also give him a hand when he is in need. Maybe one of these guys also expressed Holocaust Denial.

                What is the ethical thing to do here? How should a generic white guy act in front of his bigoted friends?

                Well, maybe the answer to that is what YOU do when your Jewish friends tell jokes about Christians, or white people, or Muslims? Like Chris Rock (prominent Black Man) said: the most racist people he knows are old black men. (“Cracker ass cracker” and so on.)

                I don’t have the luxury of that kind of thinking.

                That’s the heart of the issue. From your perspective, non-Jews control the social and political (but not economic – see what I did there?) power structures in the US, so trends of those folks humor must be monitored with extreme vigilance. The jokes are the “tell” of people’s oppressive intentions.

                So, to finish out the argument, once the jokes are no longer made you’re safe and there’s no more worry about anti-semitism rearing it’s ugly head, right?Report

              • Well, maybe the answer to that is what YOU do when your Jewish friends tell jokes about Christians, or white people, or Muslims?

                Jews, oddly enough, tend to consider ourselves white; if I tell a joke about white people, it’s self-deprecating. (“Like most white people, my main basketball skill is fast-forwarding just past the commercials.’)Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                OH!. Replace that with Redneck.

                Add: Also, that’s a good joke…Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Speak for yourself. I identify as a Jew not as white.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

                Holocaust denial is just a joke now?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                I have appendages in all sorts of white social and ideological pies, holocaust denial remains a “Holy Spit” revelation. I know some people out there believe it, but it’s not something I run across.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Stillwater says:

                generic white guy

                Oh, I see how it is. I think my people have withstood this slanderous stereotyping of being bland and boring just about long enough.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Glyph says:

                And I, being a generic white guy all the way down, resent that you (well not you, maybe you…) have an escape route to rise above such white-guy genericity, and that resentment stereotypically consumes me.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Stillwater says:

                A great many people in this community qualify as “generic white guys.” I’d like to grow the community in a way that brings in more diversity than that, because I think people of other backgrounds can’t help but have different perspectives, different priors, different responses.

                With that said, a great many people in this community are generic white guys. And there’s no shortage of different opinions even as it is. As @will-truman says, people are complex.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko says:

                {{Burt, I was actually making fun* of the concept of “generic white guys”, which Glyph picked up on in my response to Saul’s comment about … well … generic white guys.}}

                * Trying to anyway.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think where I come at this from a slightly different direction than others is that from an early age I had to reconcile myself to the notion that (a) Someone can have an ugly worldview, and (b) not be a terrible person, in the overall. I’m not arguing that some views aren’t so terrible and thoroughly considered that anyone who believes them can’t be so tagged, but that’s a subset of a subset.

                I’m certainly not alone in this regard. A disproportionate number of my #NeverTrump folks are Russian-American Jews who, while they themselves oppose Trump vigorously, are ensconced within families that don’t. There is a lot of frustration, to say the least. But what we find is a degree to which they are selecting different parts of the whole as relevant and whatnot.

                Granted, Russian-American Jews may not be in Hillary’s Basket of Deplorables, though I would not be surprised if many of them answered the Reuters questions wrongly.

                My own background is southern, of course. This conversation, and @saul-degraw comment, hits a bit close to home because some of the problem people are not some guy I know from work or a casual acquaintance or whatnot. It’s Mom. It’s my aunt. Maybe it’s my brothers, depending on who we are categorizing as Deplorable or not.

                The last time we spoke of it, Mom said that she isn’t going to vote for Trump. Which has me feeling good. If she starts to waver, I’m going to do my best to convince her not to. But at the end of the day, even if I succeed, it isn’t be cause I’ve fixed her broken worldview or her bad views on race. Her views are what they are, but they are not the totality who she is, however she answers a Reuters poll. Or how she votes in November (some such people within my extended family will certainly vote for Clinton just as they voted for Obama). Or how she views immigrants (she’s pretty good on that one, though, actually.)

                Now maybe @pillsy would have it that my only objection to casting the wide net for Deplorable designation is due to my partisan delusions. Or maybe a lack of commitment on my part to racial justice. Too soft a spot for bigotry. Or, you know, I just love my moms so I am blind to the fact that she is in her person Deplorable.

                Except I truly don’t believe that she is. And I think that’s true of a lot of people. Frankly, I don’t even have a good relationship with Mom right now. The objectivity of her not being my mother might lead to a more realistic assessment… but actually I believe it would simply make it easier for me to view her as a one-dimensional cartoon. To dismiss everything she is in all of her complexity… into a Basket of Deplorable. It’s not that it’s mean. It’s just that I believe it is an oversimplification to the point of inaccuracy.

                Folks here are welcome to characterize this as my having my head up my white privileged arse, but I’ve seen too much in the way of gradiants over the years for it to ever be that simple. My brother is going to vote for Trump, I’m relatively sure and quite sad to say. I don’t know whether he’s in the Basket or not. He views the confederate flag differently than people here. He’s married to an Arab-American. I can see complexity in them because I have known them for so long, and at the end of the day a lot of the Trumpers I spent a lot of time mocking are also likely complex in ways that I can’t see or appreciate (and that go beyond “loves his kids”).

                So for me, it’s always going to be complicated. It can’t be any other way. Others may not be confronted with it in the same way that I am. Or maybe they have the moral clarity to call their mother or their aunt Deplorable as they are. And they can celebrate with rapturous applause that Hillary Clinton called the right people the right thing. And view ostensible fellow travelers as less sincere, or uncomfortable with the Hammer of Truth, if they see it somewhat differently.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:


                I read this comment a while ago and didn’t know what to say except my silent nodding and agreement. Just wanted to you to know that I agree: this shit’s complicated. And maybe even more than that, I don’t think applying an “outside in” model of moral judgment is the right one. People matter, and my main objection to Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment is that she confused people with the beliefs they hold. (And even then, calling people out as holding deplorable beliefs strikes me as a risky political move unless you’re gonna run that rabbit down before it finds its hole.)

                Personally, I think the content of that comment is FP OP worthy, just as a reminder that politics is about people, and none of this stuff is as simplistically, ideologically reducible as we’re often encouraged to believe.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                My view is mostly instrumental. Like, if HRC’s comments had a tangible beneficial effect on the outcome of the election, I’d take it regardless of my view of the substance. This election is sufficiently important. But (as delivered) it predictably didn’t. Which is why I wish she had presented it differently.

                I appreciate the thought of the second paragraph, but don’t want to talk too much about family racism and the family on the FP.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I can’t remember the last time I read something on the Internet that’s pissed me off, and made me feel insulted, the way this comment did. You wrote a long–and, really, legitimately insightful–post about a week or so ago about how “border hawks” were behaving reasonably by taking Trump’s racist anti-Mexican rants as a sign that he would shred the Constitution in exactly the way they want.

                You can sympathize with them. Evidently, however, those of us who fear the racists, anti-semites, Islamaphobes and other alt-right figures who Trump is working to raise up and empower, and worry what they’ll do to people we care about–we deserve snarky dismissal in the form of mocking our “moral clarity”.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                Evidently, however, those of us who fear the racists, anti-semites, Islamaphobes and other alt-right figures who Trump is working to raise up and empower,

                Rested here is an assumption that I do not fear these things, that I am some degree of okay with Trump and Trumpism, anti-semitism and the altright, and so on. That it’s not a disagreement over particulars (or tactics), but positions.

                I consider myself somewhat naturally sympathetic to anti-Trump because I consider myself to be anti-Trump. I don’t even need to work for the empathy as I do for the border hawks (which I am not one).

                Perhaps “lack of moral clarity” was more snarky than I had intended, but I was honestly trying to assign a positive trait to attribute to the opposing point of view. It was actually lifted from how #NeverTrump Republicans respond to Trump supporters ascribing less lofty motives to our position.

                Even partial disagreement over the substance of HRC’s comment has been described as objecting only to style or politics, rather than considering it inaccurate. And, perhaps wrongly, a vibe of a lack of something on the part of those who disagree. (moral clarity, courage, commitment, etc.) And ever since the aforementioned border piece, your comments in particular have had embedded in them disgust for the less something.

                That said, my comment was overly personal towards both you and Saul. My intent to include your tags in response became an unintended (but real) direct attack. And perhaps because of the above (or the perception of the above) I am a bit more defensive than I should be. Either way, my bad.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                That was a more gracious apology than I really deserved. Thank you.

                In any event, I’ll cop to being disgusted by seeing less of something I would like to see, but instead of going into detail about what that is, I think I’ll take a metaphorical deep breath and try to keep the disgust under control.Report

    • Road Scholar in reply to Jaybird says:


      Which of these is being done by “Basket of Deplorables”?’

      My money would be on “None of the above.” I think you’re attributing too much forethought and intentionality to that statement. This strikes me as being her version of Obama’s “clinging to guns and religion” remark or Romney’s 47% gaffe. Statements which are a) True, or at least “true enough”, but despite being at least truthy are b) highly impolitic and therefore c) not helpful.

      I mean… you have to take into consideration that these people have been on the campaign trail since at least… when? Last June, anyway. Practically every day they have some sort of event — a rally or fundraiser or town hall or whatever — where they’re expected to speak. And while much of that speech is carefully scripted another much of it really isn’t. There’s a fair bit of contemporaneous, off-the-cuff remarks and time-fillers in there.

      When I heard that on the radidio machine I had two thoughts in rapid succession: “How true!” and “Boy, she is going to regret saying that.”Report

      • She has used terminology and concepts like this before. So I think it was intentional as far as that goes. The “half” comes across to me as unintentional, though. Or an estimate so vague as to not be taken literally.Report

        • notme in reply to Will Truman says:

          Or an estimate so vague as to not be taken literally.

          Did you not take her literally when she told folks how she planned to put coal miners out of work, or when Bill was ranting recently about “coal people?”Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Road Scholar says:

        When I heard that on the radidio machine I had two thoughts in rapid succession: “How true!” and “Boy, she is going to regret saying that.”

        Exactly. And you were right.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:


      We’ve spoken a good deal about #1. But as I think on it more, I’m trying to understand the value of that. I could see it being important to the fringe supporters… people who might end up in Group #3 absent moments like that. And maybe that is where the focus lies (and that is a hugely important segment of the voters). But if all it does is give the diehards something to pump their fist at, I’m not sure A) if that really matters and B) how we measure that as it seems harder to tease out than the other two.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

        Rallying your base isn’t just about getting those folks to show up at the polls. It’s about generating a buzz, one that leads to knocking on doors and making calls and outreach and tilting the water-cooler and all the stuff which results in getting more votes than woulda happened without it.

        Traditionally, anyway. Trump is all about free media buzz rather than a nuts and bolts GOTV operation, and if he wins it’ll become one more institution to throw in the dust bin. What he’s banking on is that a majority of people are pissed off about the way things are, so his “buzz” is based primarily on fomenting cynicism (and racism, xenophobia, nationalism, anti-establishmentarianism, etc).

        Well, that’s not entirely fair to Trump. He does have a positive message: if elected he’ll make America great again.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

          Is there any evidence that all that happens?

          I mean, I don’t doubt that certain candidates inspire more action than others. Bernie had rabid followers… though all their rabid efforts still amounted to a loss (though arguably a closer one than anyone imagined). Then again, if you compare Obama and Hilary, you just know the former is going to have more people who want to knock on doors for him and it isn’t because of policy.

          But is there any evidence that a Hilary can turn herself into a Bernie or an Obama?

          I imagine the people knocking on doors for Hilary fall into two groups: people who always knock on doors for Team Blue and rabid Hilary followers (which I imagine to be a relatively small group).

          Where I imagine Obama had three groups: Team Blue, Rabid Obama-neers, and people who became inspired Obama supporters. Because Obama — whether you liked him or not — had a way to touch that nerve in a certain segment of the population.

          I just don’t think Hilary has that ability. So saying, “Hey… this isn’t inspiring anyone to knock on doors,” is true but also sorta meaningless… because I’m just not sure there is anything Hilary can do to inspire people who aren’t already knocking on doors to go knock on doors.

          Now, I *do* think that Trump has the chance to be so noxious that he inspires people to knock on doors in support of Hilary who wouldn’t otherwise.

          I guess what I’m saying is that in Hilary’s particular case, I’m not sure #1 matters. I just don’t think moving that needle is in the cards for her.

          Then again, what the fuck do I know??? This is all gut-level conjecture.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

            {clears throat}

            Lessee here. Jaybird offered a sorta short-hand for actions that are politically useful and they fall, in his scheme, into three categories. Thru this thread you’ve been talking about #1, which you’ve defended against JB wrt the situation we’re discussing (The Deplorables). You then wondered what the merit of motivating the base is, and I answered that by saying it leads to a general buzz which, in the normal course of things, historically, in general, on balance, leads to more votes.

            Now you’re saying Hillary isn’t the type of candidate who can generate a buzz. Which is fine (I feel the same way, actually) but doesn’t really effect anything Jaybird or I said, as far as I can tell, and in particular, that her comment about The Deplorables won’t achieve #1. Which was Jaybird’s point all along.

            Tho maybe for different reasons…. 🙂Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:


              I don’t mean to waffle. I’m turning all this around in my head as we go. This is far from a polished argument. As counters have been raised, I’ve thought further about the matter and, sometimes, revised my position.

              For what it’s worth, here is where I stand:
              A. I am confident there is some segment of Hilary supporters who reacted with a, “Hell yea!” then they read/heard these quotes.
              B. I don’t think these — or any comments — Hilary makes are likely to impact her “buzz”.
              C. In terms of improving her odds in the election, I think the comments and her followup are somewhere between a wash and a slight downturn. That is to say, their “usefulness” to hear is somewhere between none and slightly less than none.
              D. I feel like @will-truman ‘s analysis makes sense: Hilary meant the sentiment but chose the words poorly. If she executed the sentiment properly, I think the “usefulness” flips to somewhere between none and slightly better than none, with all gains coming from Group #3.
              E. This means, in the end, I probably agree with @jaybird on the usefulness though we might disagree on other parts.

              Does that make sense? Or am I still talking out of my ass?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, assuming that it’s a zero-sum game, let’s look at each group’s 40%.

                If you say something that gets 5 people from your group to say “Yeah! Hell yeah!” but 10 people from your group to say “Ugh. I think I’m going to forget that day…” and another 20 people from your group to say “You have to understand what she meant by her original statement that was clarified in her apology…” then you’ve got yourself a loss of 10 votes from your group.

                If you’ve got 25 people from your group saying “YEAH!!! HELL YEAH!!! FRICKEN YEAH!!!!!!!!” and 10 people saying “I can’t condone the use of all caps but if you understood the sentiment behind it, you’d see that what was originally meant was…” then you’ve got yourself a full 35 people voting for you.

                Would you like an example of the latter?


              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wait, are those 40 people current Hilary supporters?

                My hunch — hunch! — is that Hilary didn’t lose any current supporters, though she may have pushed some a little closer to the edge (and if they break we’ll then argue which straw it was that did it).

                Where I think she most likely lost was with undecideds.

                That is a good example. But now imagine Hilary saying that in exactly the same way and context. It doesn’t work, does it? I just don’t think Hilary has very much, “YEAH!!! HELL YEAH!!! FRICKEN YEAH!!!!!!!” in her. The one area where she might — women’s issues — is more complicated than most.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                So it seems, at this point, we agree that this was not a good day for Hillary. The point of contention seems to be how bad.

                I think she maybe lost some support among undecideds.
                You think she probably alienated people previously prepared to vote for her.

                I really have no way of knowing which of these is correct.

                Assuming you are correct, do you sense that the votes she lost are gone forever? Gone temporarily? Gone unless/until she can win them back with a real good day? If they stay gone, are they in Trump’s camp? Or just staying home?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                There are “your” people. These are people who, if they vote at all, will vote for you. They won’t vote 3rd party. They won’t ever, freaking *EVER*, vote for the other guy.

                The only thing they’ll do is vote for you or happen to forget to fill out their absentee ballot and then mail it in… then, come election day, forget to vote… then say “eh, I won’t vote on the way home… my state is a lock anyway.”

                Those are the two options. The only thing with this group of voters is get them to say “YEAH!!! YEAAAAAAH!!!!!!” and show up or let some air out of them with some dumb-assed quotation like “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.”Report

  21. pillsy says:

    It’s amazing to see how many mainstream and moderate Republicans, who have spent months wrestling with shock and dismay at Trump’s rise, getting offended because Hillary Clinton speaking truthfully about what made it possible. Maybe if Republicans hadn’t been so shackled by, well, political correctness when it comes to describing the Trump coalition, they might have been able to derail him before he became their nominee.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

      Personally, I don’t think political correctness shackled them, pillsy. I think it was an institutionally motivated constraint. If they admitted that racists were a big chunk of the base which they pandered to they’d be concomitantly admitting to being something they’ve expressly – vehemently! – denied and rejected ideologically.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      And just to get ahead of everything, let me just point out that Republicans faint all the time, Hillary Clinton is just fine, everybody faints when it’s hot out, and Donald Trump fainted last week, probably, and nobody reported on that.

      It doesn’t mean anything and, you know what, I think that the American people will appreciate her swooning because it’s an indicator of how much she cares about 9/11.

      Did Donald Trump even nod his head or lean on something during the 9/11 thing that he was at or did he just stand there, like a jerk?Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      Since this is the sort of thing that leads to wild speculation, I shall indulge:

      I watched a guy get heat exhaustion from standing around in relatively mild weather for a few hours. It looked like that, down to the jelly legs. I also watched my dad do that do to a mixup in medications once, it’s remarkably disturbing to watch.

      On the other hand, I realized why she never takes off her jacket in public — and heck, one reason pantsuits are probably the best outfit a female politician can wear. She’s got to have a vest on under there, and it’s got to be easier to tailor a jacket to cover a vest than a blouse.

      Which made me realize: I don’t think I’ve seen many pictures of any President, or candidate, wearing a vest. But you know the Secret Service will insist when campaigning (it’s too public, too many good sight lines, etc). But we don’t ever show it. We spend all this analysis on ear wax buildup to see if there’s an earbud (which IIRC, we also did for Dubya during one debate. I think they also tried to decide if his mic pack was a secret medical dispenser. Crazy people are crazy), but we never say “Oh yeah, she’s wearing a bulletproof vest under there”.

      I wonder why not.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

        You know what’s weird? Donald Trump *NOT* fainting. What kind of weirdo wouldn’t faint under these circumstances?

        I think Hillary’s fainting actually humanizes her.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

        Bullet proof vest point is a good one.

        We were out in the heat 90 minutes yesterday and it was rough. Weather more temperate today, though.

        I’m not making much of it (per the post I wrote in it) but the optics not good 9n the other hand, she’s running against Trump and I don’t think this is an issue of strength for him.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

          It’s easy to push back against, as she’s got debates coming up, and all she has to be is…you know, like normal. (Or like, say, in the Benghazi hearings).

          Plus, let’s face it — Trump can’t not overplay this. It’s Trump. He’s gonna have to be a dick about it.

          Anyways saw footage of her leaving her daughter’s apartment about an hour later, which makes it seem pretty straightforward and pretty much what her campaign said, but it’s the Clinton’s which means we can’t accept anything at face value.

          I mean, I don’t think you walk out after some water and an hour in the AC after a stroke or anything.

          Speculating wildly — I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s been sick the last week or so. Cold, upper respiratory infection, that kind of thing. But one of those campaign rules is you can’t admit to human weakness like getting a cold.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

            It’s definitely not going to play as a stroke. Not outside the swamps, anyway. It does help (in the media’s mind) legitimize the health story, which will lead to more coverage that HRC would probably rather not have.

            That’s what I mean by the optics not being good.

            No, no, not going to be decisive. Harm (if any) most likely a temporary poll blip, either with Trump pulling even or Clinton’s pulling away being delayed.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

              I suspect so, unless Trump (as I said) overplays his hand.

              I bet his advisers are sitting on him, and have probably confiscated his phone so he can’t tweet.

              I suspect that, for once, the debates might be pretty meaningful this year, despite my sad belief that Trump will be declared the winner of the first one based solely on the fact that he didn’t soil himself on live TV.

              It’ll be an interesting contrast, especially given Trump is showing signs he’s blowing off debate prep and his particular debating style has the problem of looking bad when across from a woman. (I know Biden had a lot of special debate prep to handle debating Palin. The optics of a man arguing with a woman are just different and have to be accounted for).

              If HRC is dogged by health issues (which I agree, the media has been dying to get into and now can. And they won’t investigate Trump’s, because Doctor Hippy scribbled off a note on how awesome he was) then an energetic performance will certainly help.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’m optimistic about the debates, but I was/am really hoping to see some positive movement before then.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


                How about this?



                Does this poll go against the your idea that Trump is doing well?Report

              • Yeah, was delighted to see that one. Only the second unambiguously good one in a week.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                She had a pretty bad week. Trump didn’t gain so much as she sloughed off people to Johnson (plus the switch to LV screens).

                Seemed to drop her from her +8 high back to a +3 or +4.

                I’m not sure how sticky that Johnson support is. Any fading there is likely to be more positive for her than Trump.

                Electoral polarization means, I think, means that 8 points is a blowout (like 2008). I don’t think you can really do any better right now.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s not just the past week, though. She’s been sliding gradually for about a month now. I was hoping the early August numbers were the new normal.

                My +/- is six points. She should be able to win by more than that. I want her to beat the Obama/McCain margin, and I think it’s possible she does.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                I don’t think that was going to last. Trump had a really, really, really horrible set of weeks and she had that solid convention bounce.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                Bounces are temporary until they’re not!

                Trump’s campaign has actually improved (read “become less bad”) since then. So credit where credit’s due, while everyone was looking at Bannon it appears that the Conway hire was actually a net gain. For now. A lot of watching that campaign has been watching for dropping shoes.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Trump’s campaign has improved mostly by muzzling Trump and making him read off a teleprompter.

                Hence my thinking the debates are going to be interesting, because from everything I’ve read, he’s not a good candidate for solid debate prep, even if he felt like it. Which apparently he doesn’t.

                Because what’s gonna come out of his mouth in the debate is likely to be pure Trump. On the other hand, he seems to tone it to his audience which is likely to be less rabid than his rallies. So that might not be as bad for him,.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Does this poll go against the your idea that Trump is doing well?

                My idea is not that Trump is doing well.

                It’s that Clinton is doing poorly.

                If the election were held today, I think that Clinton would win.

                But the election is not being held today.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                “My policy is to support NATO members with the full strength of the US military as permitted by the governing treaty thereby …”/

                “See how crooked my opponent is? Oh, you’re crooked, Crooked Hillary. Sad!”

                “My opponent’s policy on NATO, on the other hand …”/

                “Crooked lies. NATO is a bad deal. I make great deals. People love my deals. I’ll make America great again.”

                {{wild applause}}Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

                Which again, is the fundamental problem with Trump that’s more far reaching than the man himself.

                There’s a case to be made that NATO *is* a bad deal, and for a while now – the USSR has been defunct for a quarter century. But Trump is incapable of making that case coherently, and actively undermines it from the get-go. Just like he undermines any case against the realist/liberal interventionist consensus that dominates the foreign policy establishment (for lack of a better term)Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

                I’m not sure there is an issue he’s touched that hasn’t become less popular for him touching it. I cringed when he released his education platform.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

                It’s very much like the deal every hundred years or so, where the only thing that gets some people really animated about state sovereignty is when those same people want to treat African Americans badly.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:


                I totally agree. He’s said plenty of things that got my attention – one of them, certainly, his initial NATO-based claims about (eg) making SA kick in their fair share when we go to war for them in the ME. On the face of it, claims like that strike me as the beginning of a useful and politically necessary conversation about the US’s role in geopolitics, finances, purposes, goals, tradeoffs, geopolitical free-riding(!!), etc and so on. But given the lack of follow-up/follow-through, it’s pretty clear that the purpose of such claims isn’t to “sell” a particular set of policy changes based on analysis of underlying problems. It’s simply a targeted pitch to “sell” his “brand” to (eg) anti-establishment voters. SAD!Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

            But one of those campaign rules is you can’t admit to human weakness like getting a cold.

            “Friends, being Commander in Chief of the world’s greatest military simply means that you never get a head cold. {{yeah!!}} Sadly, my opponent has a head cold. {{boo!!!}} So today I promise that when I’m elected President I WILL NOT GET A HEAD COLD! It’s not gonna happen on MY watch!!!” {{wild applause!!!}}Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

              I mean, you know any campaigning politician has GOT to pick up colds, stomach bugs, etc from the job. All the travel, all the outdoors, all the bad food, all the germ-ridden people they’re constantly glad-handling.

              And yet, you never hear “Candidate X has bowed out of a speech today because he caught a cold from a snot-nosed little kid” or “Obama vomiting up his socks, thanks to bad chicken at a crappy event”.

              They probably live on corticosteroids though. 🙂Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

            Good news! Her doctor just announced that it was pneumonia and now Hillary is on antibiotics and she’s been advised to take it a little bit easy for a little bit.

            No problem.

            Hey, we have a college nearby and they have outdoor graduations and, every year, two or three kids faint during the ceremony and nobody thinks that those kids are sick or anything.

            Also, FDR was in a wheelchair and he saved the world.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

              The bar for a vice president from Virginia taking over from a president who died of pneumonia couldn’t possibly be set lower than history has already set it.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’m sure you’re making a point there, but damned if I can figure it out.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                The point is that there’s nothing going on with Hillary and the people who think that this looks bad are wrong.

                If anything, it looks good because it communicates how strong she must be to be able to campaign even though she has pneumonia. You know that if Trump had pneumonia, he’d hole up somewhere. Not Hillary!Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m sure you’re making a point there, but damned if I can figure it out.

                Seriously, just spit it out. The point of communication is to communicate.

                (Sarcasm is difficult enough to convey in pure text, even when it’s blindingly obviously sarcasm. Lack of vocal intonation and facial expression causes real problems.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                There are those out there who argue in such a way that it seems like there is *NOTHING* that Hillary could do or say that would get them to admit that, okay, this might have been bad.

                Like, she could make a gaffe and then apologize for making the gaffe and these people would say that it doesn’t indicate that anything bad happened.

                Like, she could collapse at a public function and people would say that it wasn’t bad.

                It’s almost like, if she died? These same people would argue that nobody would be complaining about this sort of thing if it were Bernie Sanders dying on the campaign trail.

                Which strikes me as being kinda silly. Silly enough to make fun of.

                The comments that you seem to find confusing are my over-the-top attempts to spin what happened to Hillary in the best possible light as if I thought that, by pure will, I could turn what is arguably a bad day into a good one just by arguing against the bad day hard enough.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                FYI, those would work better with facial expressions and vocal tones. 🙂

                Offhand, it’s pretty bad day for Clinton. On the other hand, it’ll blow over pretty quick and there’s a few upcoming, major events that’ll help her bounce back. (I am taking “She had walking pneumonia” at face value, although I realize that the conspiracy theorizing on that has scarcely begun).

                I suspect her spin will be something like “I thought I could power through, didn’t want to miss the ceremony, etc” and as long as she’s healthy and energetic by the debates, it’ll be just a blip.

                Having said THAT, it’s been pretty fun watching the conspiracy theorists go nuts. Did you know her getting pneumonia is proof she has Parkinson’s? Also, when she fell, part of her leg braces fell out. She wears those, you know.

                Also, I found out that there’s a big doctor that follows her around with a syringe of…something…ready to inject her. (That one’s dying down, as it turns out that it’s just the head of her Secret Service detail, but some lovely theories die hard).

                Also, all pneumonia is the same thing, she didn’t really get diagnosed on Friday, they’re lying now, and she infected innocent people with her pneumonia at the 9/11 memorial.

                That aside, the weirdest thing is when I dipped over on Reddit politics was the amazing number of people that have apparently never had or known anyone that had pneumonia.

                I hear “she has walking pneumonia” and I think “That makes sense. She’s been fighting a cough for weeks, probably from allergies, and my brother is really prone to going “Allergies->Congestion->Upper Respiratory Infection/Pneumonia/Bronchitis” (he varies it for fun), and he passed on on the field* from walking pneumonia when he was 15, nobody even realized he had more than a nasty cough.

                So I think “Oh, that story makes sense from my personal and family experiences with illness!” but apparently to a surprising number of people, it does not. (In the “allergies can’t possibly lead to pneumonia and also you don’t get heat exhaustion from that!”).

                Of course it’s reddit, so it’s mostly snake people. Maybe they’ve never actually been sick.

                *Marching band, cool night — 70s — he wasn’t even playing due to the cough. He passed out after 15 minutes of walking, at 15. Really did a number on a mellaphone. Landing on one of those is bad for the instrument.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                My current favorite conspiracy theory is that after Hillary Clinton collapsed, a body double was the one walking around.

                Look at the photos, man! LOOK!

                I said a few months back that a medical event would be one of the things that could shake people.

                This was a medical event.

                I think that it will shake people. I’m already interested in seeing next week’s polls.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                FWIW, I don’t see any way this is GOOD for Hilary.

                I can see a number of ways this is BAD for Hilary.

                But mostly I see this as being largely inconsequential in the long run.

                I mean, assuming it is pneumonia and she takes the meds and it goes away and never resurfaces nor do any other health issues, I imagine the only people who will be thinking of this on election day are folks who never would have voted for her anyway.

                But tomorrow? Lots of people will be thinking about it and none of them will be thinking, “Fuck yea, H-dawg!”

                I guess the only way I could see this going well for her — and this really isn’t about today as much as it is about a possible tomorrow — is if Trump flies off the handle attacking her on it and ends up looking like a bully going after a sick old grandma. I could see that maybe turning off some of those folks in the middle.

                But, again, that isn’t about today but about tomorrow and that is ultimately up to Team Trump. I have a hunch he’ll avoid doing that personally and that we’ll see most of the attacks/questions come from others and certain segments of the media.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I saw a series of tweets that explained how questioning Hillary’s health was ableist.


                There. That oughta put the little bastards to bed.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                47 followers. Clearly this is something everybody needs to pay attention to for reasons.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Perhaps we’ll see that the ableist argument/defense doesn’t have any legs.

                I think that we’ll see a lot more of it in the coming days.

                Remember when there were questions about the Edwards affair (and even the child) and how “the media” reacted?

                This kind of reminds me of that.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                What does that have to do with what I said?

                It seems you want to pick at the people having the craziest reactions to this issue. Which is fine. But none of those people are here.

                Others are here having different reactions. Why not engage at them?

                Do you want me to shake my fist at people who are incapable of being critical of Hilary? Fine.
                [shakes fist at people who are incapable of being critical of Hilary]
                Feel better?

                Should I run across any of those people, here or elsewhere, I’ll be sure to put them in there place. As it stands, I’m not sure what more I can do than shake my fist [shakes fist again].Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, we were talking about what was going to happen “tomorrow”.

                At this point (the Monday morning you mentioned), it seems that there are two different tacks being taken by Team Hillary (distributed).

                One is the whole “you’re a bad person for even wondering this” (i.e., the ableism argument).

                The other is “Both candidates need to have credible doctors provide the results of recent physicals.” (NPR was talking about this this morning.)

                Trump, as far as I can tell, hasn’t hit Hillary on this yet.

                If he hits her too hard, he’s no longer fighting against her but fighting against Biden or Bernie or something and that’s not to his benefit.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                If you have an issue with the way certain people are responding to this, I suggest you take it up with those certain people.

                Mocking those people here — as you seemed to be doing above — seems pretty fruitless.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I have no issues, let alone fruit. Merely observations about narratives that are (or strike me as being likely to be) successful and observations about narratives that are (or strikes me as being likely to be) unsuccessful.

                A presidential candidate collapsing at an event is catastrophically bad.

                Remember the whole framing thing we did? This probably won’t have an impact on #1 and it won’t have an impact on #2 but for #3? THIS IS FREAKING HUGE. The best, and I mean the *BEST*, thing you can hope for is nothing. (And, at this moment in time, it doesn’t look like nothing is likely.)

                It is, however, possible to argue in such a way that makes things worse.

                Trying to accomplish X but failing in such a way that it makes the opposite of X more likely?

                That’s something that is mockable.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                You weren’t sharing observations above. You were mocking people. I think that is pretty clear.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                If it came across that I was mocking people rather than mocking transparently inept attempts to spin a horrible situation, I apologize.

                I was trying to mock transparently inept attempts to spin a horrible situation.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Fair enough.

                But were any of those transparently inept attempts to spin a horrible situation occurring here?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                For the pneumonia incident? No. For such things as the statement that resulted in Hillary apologizing? Yes.

                (Aside, Here’s an article from Salon: Hillary powers through pneumonia — because that’s what women do )Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                So why bring it up here?

                It seems your observation is that people of different political viewpoints than you interpret political events differently than you. Profound.

                Yes… There is a segment of Hilary’s supporters that will remain positive and optimistic about her no matter what. Why is this noteworthy?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Because Ordinary Times is a small outpost of The Future.

                Ideas that wither and die here tend to be ideas that won’t do well in The Wild. Ideas that flourish here tend to be ideas that will do very well if they make it to The Real World.

                Why is this noteworthy?

                This goes back to what we were talking about with the three groups of people.

                There are the Hillary People. (We have them.)
                There are the Trump People. (We don’t have any of them.)
                There are the people on the fence. (We also don’t have any of them, really. We have crazy third party people but we don’t have any who are saying “I’m either going to vote Trump or Hillary but I don’t know which yet!” We might have some who waver between Hillary and their Third Party of choice… but they’re not particularly vocal.)

                So the only testbed we really have here is Hillary Supporter.

                If you want to test an idea to see if a particular attack and/or defense of Hillary will do well or do poorly, you can test it here and see what does well and what won’t do well a couple of days early if you float it here.

                And then, if you got your phrasing right, you can see it in the wild tomorrow.

                And you can gauge, once more, how the attack and/or defense of Hillary did when you compare it to how it did here at the Times.

                It’s like having a crystal ball!Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                So… in summary…

                You made several posts in which you sarcastically took the position that Hilary’s current health status was a positive for her in order to see how Hilary supporters here would respond because we might serve as some sort of bellwether for Hilary supporters at large.

                Do I have that right?

                If so, I’m still struggling to see the point. It also feels like your explanation has shifted several times during this exchange.

                Again, you’re free to do what you want… but it can become very frustrating — to the point of just not engaging — when your intentions are so deeply buried that I don’t know what ground we are engaging on.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Something like that. You can get a feel for how stuff will play in the real world.

                To tie into the three categories, I got the feeling that it was vaguely deflating, but nowhere close to a dealbreaker, for Hillary #1s.

                Perhaps someday today we’ll explore Trump’s visit to Doctor Oz!

                What’s the point? I want to understand what we’re all going to understand tomorrow. Perhaps even the day after that.

                For the record, I get the feeling that #1s know that what happened was bad, and the short term hope is that it blows over. Maybe we can get away with arguing that it was hot and she had pneumonia.

                If it happens again…Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m just not seeing anything particularly noteworthy being offered by all this.

                When something seemingly is done by or happens to a candidate, it seems par for the course that some supporters will…
                1.) Insist that, no, really, this is actually a good thing!
                2.) Know it is bad but attempt to downplay it somehow.
                3.) Know it is bad but will insist it will all blow over.
                4.) Wring their hands over how awful it is.
                5.) Recognize it for the bad that it is.

                Now, the strange this is… 5 is not mutually exclusive of the others. It is possible that something that seems bad today ends up being good! Or not a huge deal. Or blows over. Or really is awful. This is just what people do. They do it for everything.

                “Our starting QB got hurt? This will rally the defense to new heights!”
                “The backup isn’t so bad!”
                “It doesn’t matter… he’ll be back for the playoffs so as long as we don’t tank in the meantime, it is all for naught!”
                “WE’RE DOOMED!”

                And we can’t know which of them are right until everything is said and done. And even if someone ends up right, that doesn’t mean that their process was correct. Also, people aren’t necessarily going to react with consistency. The same person might look at the “half” remark and say, “THIS IS AWFUL!” and look at pneumonia and think, “THIS IS NOTHING!” Which is probably a good thing… it means they are lending a critical eye to individual occurrences. The people we should be a little weary of are the people that always respond the same way, especially if there is some denialism inherent to their position. But those people exist everywhere on all topics. So I’m not clear on why you are focusing on Clinton supporters who take the “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!” approach, especially when none of them seem to be present here.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy says:

                So she comes down with pneumonia, and presses on with a grueling schedule anyway, toughing it out the way few others could.

                I’m really perplexed at the media’s reaction here; what is the issue, seriously? Why the consternation and not, for example, praise and admiration for someone who is tough and courageous?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Hillary is kept alive only by frequent injections of the blood of young virgins, and Tinder is raising havoc with the supply.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m sure we’ll see a blip, depends on how long the media obsesses for. Trump’s being remarkably quiet, so it may linger out of media boredom. (I mean it’s far more interesting than him bribing people, you know?).

                Wild speculation is fun, and also they can demand more records from Clinton and wonder things like “If she hid a doctor’s visit from us and pneumonia, maybe she’s hiding leprosy and feline AIDS from us too!”

                And there’s literally no way for HRC to respond, because she can turn over records of ever doctor’s visit she’s ever had, and it’ll switch to “She CLAIMS we have ALL her records, but CAN WE BE SURE? We’ll talk to one oncologist — that’s CANCER DOCTOR and one neurologist — THAT’S DEMENTIA DOCTOR — who explain that, indeed, she can’t prove a negative so we should assume she has CANCER AND DEMENTIA”.

                How long a blip? I suppose it depends on how long until she’s back running around like normal, or the media gets bored, or until the debates, assuming she’s back to normal. (I’d imagine so, but then I’m not under the impression she’s lying about what she has.)

                The only silver lining I can possibly see is, well, this might actually change the expectations game for the debates. I’ve been expecting Trump to be declared the winner if he merely shows up, after all.Report

  22. notme says:

    Sure bc they wouldn’t lie about her health.Report

  23. Chip Daniels says:

    A bit late for this thread, but Gov. Brown signs legislation to ensure overtime pay for farmworkers.

    This is huge in that this battle has taken 80 years, and failed many times.Report