The Electoral College Option

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Dan Scotto

Dan Scotto lives and works in New Jersey. He has a master's degree in history, with a focus on the history of disease and the history of technology.

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  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    “Winning the popular vote with less than 270 electoral votes is the equivalent of losing a baseball game but getting more hits than the winning team, or losing a football game but gaining more yards than the winning team. In the end, it is irrelevant: hits, yards, and votes are mere means to an end, not the end itself.”

    Brilliant analogy.

    “Which is why, if the Democrats are serious about preventing Trump from becoming president, they need to make Republican electors a better offer.”

    “I’ve heard Hollywood is suggesting John Kaisch as a reasonable alternative. Clearly they don’t understand how this works.”Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My offer: Gary Johnson.

    I think that we’d be able to get National Review on board and they might be able to get Kristol and the Weekly Standard guys on board.

    The offer to make to the Democrats is that they can go back to complaining about Libertarians being selfish and FYIGM types instead of complaining about the Alt-Right and Pepe.

    We could reset the clock to 2012, more or less.

    Everybody’s happy.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

      The ’85 Bears!

      Wait, that’s not what we’re doing?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

        How about we get Obama and Biden to officially apologize for making fun of Romney’s foreign policy emphasis on Russia, officially apologize for mischaracterizing the 47% thing and say that while it’s true that both sides do it, it wasn’t as bad as the “basket of Deplorables”, and say that Romneycare was something that would be a reason to vote for him.

        Maybe we could get Romney in there and really pretend that it’s a do-over for 2012.

        No harm done, all is forgiven.

        I think that we could even get the Clintons on board with this.

        Do you think that we could get Hillary Clinton to give a televised speech supporting this solution?

        Also, the ’98 Broncos.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

          Nope. Ford stopped making them in ’96.Report

        • Avatar Mo in reply to Jaybird says:

          47% was worse than “basket of deplorables”. I’m pretty sure the Ds would agree that Romneycare was a good thing to run on. The issue was that the Romney-Ryan campaign wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mo says:

            47% was worse than “basket of deplorables”.

            Not in my view. For one, Romney’s comment was about the incentives that motivate people to vote for a certain party (which is structural politics), for another, it wasn’t inflammatory to the undecided middle who may have flipped either way as a result of his saying that (retail politics).

            Hillary’s comment was devoid of structural content issues (moral politics) and inclined those in the undecided middle to move in the opposite direction (retail politics).Report

            • Avatar Mo in reply to Stillwater says:

              Except the sheer inaccuracy of Romney’s comment made it inflammatory to the middle. That 47% included some deployed military, retirees, war widows and the disabled. A lot of those folks already voted for Republicans. So it had the same inflammatory effect as the basket of deplorables comment, while being less accurate at the same time.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mo says:

                I think the difference is this as far as the undecideds go: Romney’s comment was a (perhaps mistaken…) critique of structural politics, Hillary’s comment was a critique of the moral character and social value of Trump supporters. One strikes me as a lot more moving than the other.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think Stillwater has this right.

                I’ll go a step further and say that both the 47% and Deplorables comments were ultimately devastating not for what they said about the *other* team, but for what they said about their own. They were actually Own Goals.

                Much of the 47% vote republican, and decided not to; however, a number of the Deplorables vote Democratic, and decided to actually vote Republican.

                Both may have cost them the election, but if we’re ranking them in order of magnitude, Deplorables was the far more costly mistake.

                Romney may have lost an election he could have won; but Clinton lost an election she should have won.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Romney may have lost an election he could have won; but Clinton lost an election she should have won.

                Damn. Quote of the thread.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

                I’m just not buying this argument that it was Clinton’s election to lose.
                As Will has pointed out, and which I have to reluctantly accept, even if she had won, it was never going to be a blowout landslide.

                We kept hoping- we all wanted Trump to get the nomination, assuming that would seal the deal.

                We assumed when he mocked that reporter, the election was ours.

                We assumed after the debate, we had it in the bag.

                We assumed after the “pussy grab” comment it was time for champagne.

                Except each time he just got more popular. The daily swings went up and down, but overall the more the GOP base saw of Trump, the more they liked him.

                The efforts to pin the election on One Weird Trick that failed, the single moment that could have turned the tide, is contradicted by all this.

                60 million Americans saw all that, knew everything about Trump, and decided they preferred him, because something emails.

                That is a devastating indictment of the 60 million, not Clinton.

                This argument being presented is naive cynicism, of attempting to be detached and know the truth, while shrugging it off as unimportant.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip Daniels: I’m just not buying this argument that it was Clinton’s election to lose.

                She won the popular vote! It was definitely hers to lose – and she did.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Clinton could have easily beaten the person that kicked apart the entire GOP field!”.

                It’s just another method of holding Republicans blameless for Trump.

                “It’s all CLINTON’S FAULT he won. Not the GOP’s fault for nominating him, not all the people that voted for him. Just one person. one hated, hated person. HER FAULT ENTIRELY. Even though she won more votes. Maybe especially because she won more votes”.

                It’s just more Trump denial, really. The American people clearly couldn’t have voted FOR Trump. That’s unthinkable. Therefore, they must have voted against Clinton. Voting against Clinton is understandable. Voting for Trump is crazy and horrifying, and America isn’t full of people who thought it was a good idea. Can’t be.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s just another method of holding Republicans blameless for Trump.

                While it’s certainly true that Republicans ought to have done more to lose the election gracefully, they needed a lot more help losing than Clinton was giving.

                She didn’t even campaign in Wisconsin, for Christ’s sake!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

                I see this shift-blaming, among highly educted politically aware people as part of the contamination of our national discourse by Beltway pundits.
                Everyone wants to be detached and be all at once knowing but uncaring.

                The argument is like populists themselves, in that it flatters the people even as it holds them in contempt.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Not that it matters. The lesson is lost on them anyways.

                An America where Trump wins can’t be the real one, so blame Clinton.

                I’m sure the next Trump will have another excuse waiting.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                Yeah. “Hello, my name is Bernie Sanders.”
                How much of Trump’s win was outflanking Clinton on the left on Trade?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Kim says:

                Oh, and then there is this- “were it not for Clinton, all those Trumpistas in Michigan totally would have voted for a Socialist from Vermont!”

                Yeah.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip,
                You haven’t talked to pollsters. I have. (also, the folks on the Clinton team… and the Bernie team… and on Walkers stupid campaign too).Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                morat20,
                anyone other than clinton could have easily beaten trump. (except biden. because biden).

                Clinton got Trump through the primary (oh, sure, it wasn’t only her, but when you’re throwing that much money and influence around).

                The people who voted for trump are getting trolled into oblivion right now, because they thought he was the racist everyone said he was. And they’re pissed that he’s walking it back.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                Morat20: “Clinton could have easily beaten the person that kicked apart the entire GOP field!”.

                Clinton *should* have beaten a guy that got the nomination because he got enough bare plurality of votes in a crowded field in first past the post contests.

                There have been very few politicians that have not been able to take advantage when the opposition was so visibly divided.

                The vast underperformance of Trump in Texas and Arizona compared to Romney, McMuffin getting a quarter of Utah votes, demonstrate that the traditional Republican vote was still not unified down the stretch.

                All she had to do was maintain Obama numbers with non-traditional Republicans.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Kolohe says:

                “So visibly divided”??

                Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                Trump is the Republican Party, true and united.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Can’t be. That’s unthinkable. All data to the contrary will be discarded.

                There’s a lot of Trump denial left.

                Did you know he’s already pressed countries to move events to his hotels? That’s good old fashioned GOP businessman right there.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip Daniels: “So visibly divided”??

                Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                *After* he won. Because it’s a stroke of luck that was unimaginable two months ago, having GOP control in both chambers of Congress, the Presidency, and the (aging) Supreme Court – and at that President that is hands off on the details. So you can chose your own adventure, if you’re in power right now.

                eta – like the worst thing for the Democrats and the best thing for the Republicans is that Trump is just too darn lazy and too interested in existing in the current moment to properly plot revenge and settle scores.

                Like, the early adopters, Christie, Giulanni, Gingrich? They’re getting bupkis. But Paul Ryan, who was a best, luke warm, is gonna clean up. So is McConnell, who is still hated by the talk radio guys that got Trump in.

                I do agree that Romney shouldn’t have met with Trump twice. Once, as a public service, was fine. Twice is feeding the beast.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                Never Crazy Trump or Racist Trump or Anti-Growth Trump. However even when I voted against him I wasn’t sure this wasn’t an act.

                If he runs things as CEO Trump (and we may be looking at Money! Trump), then I’m fine with him being an ass and wanting to entertain the masses. It’s probably worth a point or two of growth to have competent management of the government in a way that doesn’t kill business.

                If he walks back the Crazy/Racist/AGrowth then the only problem is the intrinsic lack of dignity he brings to the office.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

                Ah yes, he under-performed in two states — he must have been awful. Didn’t he overperform in other’s? Oh wait, that’s Clinton. Gotta be Clinton.

                Sure, he beat the whole Republican field hollow — but it wasn’t a real win. Barely counts. Structural issues or something. Definitely no sign he had real support or anything.

                The alternative is unthinkable.

                Seriously, the excuses and cherrypicking to try to excuse Trump is pathetic.

                Trump was exactly what the GOP wanted, and in the end they fell in line hard. They backed him to the hilt. And the honorable GOP Congressmen are tripping over themselves to kiss his feet now.

                But keep blaming Clinton. Maybe that’ll change the outcome.

                DenialReport

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                morat20,
                The Republicans wanted a lifelong democrat from New York?
                … really?
                No, they didn’t. They wanted someone to kick Washington in the balls, and that’s what Trump promised to do.

                Unlike you, I listen to pollsters.Report

              • Avatar Mo in reply to Kim says:

                Seems odd to describe Trump as a lifelong Democrat when he was considered as GHWB’s running mate.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                They backed him to the hilt – to the point he was nearly out of money in September, and raised third as much overall as Romney did in the last cycle.

                They are certainly basking in, and taking full advantage of, the victory now, to be sure. But opportunists gonna opportune.

                It behooves the Democrats very much to identify parts of the loss that were purely Clinton’s fault, and those that were not, to see if the Democrats need to change systemically.

                I happen to think they do not, insofar as the only systemic change is to keep Clintonworld at arm’s length from the core decision makers of the party.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Morat20 says:

                Look M I sympathize but both the GOP and HRC can both be at fault. I actually think Kolohe is pretty on point below. It is definitely the GOP’s fault that Trump got the nomination and now Trump is going to be the definition of their party. All that principled stuff the GOP pretended to care about? We know, now, that it was either disingenuous, or not shared by their voters or has been abandoned. Deficits? Yeah everyone knew the GOP didn’t actually care about it and I’d say the good money is that they’ll soon prove it again? Small government? Definitely a liability and they’ll doubtlessly turf it. Social conservativism? The social cons basically are waving the white flag. Trumps the equivalent of bombing their own trenches to buy time for themselves while they retreat into the hills. So yeah the GOP has Trump and in exchange Trump gets the GOP. That isn’t a bargain I’d wish on our own side.

                But HRC is indisputably responsible. Yeah she ran a tolerably good campaign, it wasn’t an idiotic clusterfuck like her 2008 primary campaign, there isn’t a Mark Penn sitting around being an imbecile. To lose Hillary needed to roll a yatzi of 1’s and lo and behold she did it. The deplorables screw up, letting themselves focus on Trumps idiocy too much, a casual jog paced campaign, polling mistakes (made by everyone sure but this was their one job), the horrible complacency of assuming she didn’t need to campaign for white rural votes and that it would be made up with suburban women, that’s on her ultimately. Yeah that didn’t by itself make her lose, Comey’s unprecedented intervention and the hackers merry games definitely provided the final needed edge but had HRC not made her own errors then Comey and the hackers would have just narrowed her margin rather than putting her below the threshold.

                HRC will always be the person who lost the chance to be the first woman President to an orange charlatan. I feel bad because I like her and that will be a heavy thing for her to live with. The GOP will always be the party that gave us Trump in the first place and that’s potentially going to be a far bigger stigma.Report

              • Avatar Lenoxus in reply to North says:

                To lose Hillary needed to roll a yatzi of 1’s and lo and behold she did it.

                I don’t exactly disagree, but I’m not sure how to square this with the evidence that Trump rolled several 1s for every one of Hillary’s, or however the metaphor works. What I’m saying is, how could it have been her race to lose all along if Trump was allowed (it would seem) to do everything she was accused of, daily, six times before breakfast?

                I think it’s a fundamentally paradoxical situation with both perspectives being true. Perhaps like this: Trump’s floor and ceiling were extremely close together, whereas Hillary’s sandwiched both by a wide margin: It was her race to lose, but also hers to win.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to North says:

                @north You know… this might be the best description of my tribe in this election that I’ve seen. Plus, bonus points for recognizing the shells are falling (or will fall) on both sides of the trenches. Golf claps all around.

                Social conservativism? The social cons basically are waving the white flag. Trumps the equivalent of bombing their own trenches to buy time for themselves while they retreat into the hills. So yeah the GOP has Trump and in exchange Trump gets the GOP. That isn’t a bargain I’d wish on our own side.

                Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                As Will has pointed out, and which I have to reluctantly accept, even if she had won, it was never going to be a blowout landslide.

                It is totally over. If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug.

                This wasn’t *THAT* long ago.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Except each time he just got more popular. The daily swings went up and down, but overall the more the GOP base saw of Trump, the more they liked him.

                IMHO Trump wasn’t voted in because of his personality, he was voted in despite it. It’s up there with Bill Clinton’s womanizing, and Reagan’s forgetfulness.

                Election day polls had 4%(ish) of the GOP voting against him, and that’s supposed to be the wrath of god. Trump could have had a blowout election if he were “sane Trump”.

                60 million Americans saw all that, knew everything about Trump, and decided they preferred him, because something emails.

                Something emails. Hundreds of millions of dollars of mysterious money. Billions of dollars in her own personal charity. Fixing the primary. Deplorables.

                And being offered four to eight more years of the same.

                The same economic growth (is it Obama’s economy yet?). The same putting the green agenda in front of job creation. The same level of employment. The same watching health care costs go up. The same watching everyone connected to the government advance at your expense.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Whether they voted for Trump because of, or in spite of, his appalling behavior is almost irrelevant.

                None of it was disqualifying to them. They were willing to put this man in the Oval Office with the red button, to give him power over thousands of judges, appointees, to have him sign bills.

                They knew exactly who he is, how he behaves. And still, none of this was enough to disqualify him.They could have voted for Johnson, or Stein, or McMullen, but they didn’t want to.

                They wanted to vote for Trump. Something something emails was the excuse.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                None of it was disqualifying to them.

                Pot. Meet Kettle.

                Your chosen champion runs a Billion dollar pay-to-play scheme, and now that she’s not going to be President I expect Blackwater, the Saudis, and Russian Politicians known mostly for torture will reduce their level of “humanitarian” giving.

                That was the actual choice.

                IMHO being a total flaming ass isn’t disqualifying for being Prez, nor is marrying models, divorcing your wife because of money, etc.

                Which leaves racism (i.e. not being a Democrat), insanity (and he and his family seem amazingly functional for nuts), and anti-immigration / anti-free-trade.

                That last one did it for me, but we’ll find out how serious he was.Report

              • Avatar rmass in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Id just like to see any of hilldawgs “pay to play” proven. Just to trump standard mind ayou where a foreign country moved their event to the principles location, on his aides suggestion.

                And her charity does actual charity. But good strawwoman. If shame was still a thing the media would all commit seppuku, to wash the stain awayReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to rmass says:

                Id just like to see any of hilldawgs “pay to play” proven. … But good strawwoman….

                So you’re saying you expect Blackwater, the Saudis, and Russian Politicians who engage in torture to continue to give Billions of dollars to her charity now that they’re not dealing with the secretary of State and future President? No reduction in funding at all?

                Personally I think their haircut will be so extreme they’ll find some excuse to close the charity.Report

              • Avatar rmass in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Rso she conned those bad people out of money to do good charitable acts and has given them nothing?

                Golly she’s clever.

                But by all means, show where a donor got a quid pro quo. Im waiting.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to rmass says:

                Rso she conned those bad people out of money to do good charitable acts and has given them nothing?

                Some of these bad people are governments we need to deal with.

                You, an HRC supporter, are suggesting that she’s “only” shaking people down. So how does that work? Is she threatening to have the gov do things or is she threatening to have the gov not do things?

                There really is no good answer for this.

                But by all means, show where a donor got a quid pro quo. Im waiting.

                If we couldn’t show that for a donor who gave a million dollars to HRC in exchange for Bill giving her husband a Presidential pardon then we won’t be able to prove that there was a relationship between the tens of millions that Russian gave TCF and the mining contracts he received.

                But the lack of agreeing to an explicit price and putting it in writing doesn’t make the transaction ethical or less obvious, just impossible to prove in court.

                However now that she can’t “bundle” the government’s political power to her personal “charity”, I expect the talk about how great a charity it is will fade and it will go bust.Report

              • Avatar rmass in reply to Dark Matter says:

                No, dark one, I was just playing with your framing. I believe that bill and Hillary have a big enough and star studded enough rolodex that people will write large checks just to be at the right social party with queen bae bae, and that the clinton foundation has done vast amounts of good with that money.

                I am sure some of the people who donated did so to curry favor. And even when it was her state department, no favors given. So, less than trump got from bondi.

                And brilliant bit there, “we can’t prove these things we say they did before, we can’t prove this one either, QED she’s a crook.” Incandescent sir, truly.

                And we’ll see on the charity. But im sure if she needs to, she can still get fat $250,000 checks for speaking events.

                Speaking as a capitalist, she’s still won. She’s rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and is free to live the best possible life.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to rmass says:

                rmass,
                We are putting some odds on her being assassinated by the people she made promises to. These are NOT people you want to fuck with.

                And as for quid pro quo? Saudi Arabia, and her signing off on weapons deals as Secretary of State.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to rmass says:

                No, dark one, I was just playing with your framing. I believe that bill and Hillary have a big enough and star studded enough rolodex that people will write large checks just to be at the right social party with queen bae bae, and that the clinton foundation has done vast amounts of good with that money.

                Then you don’t expect a massive haircut and I do. That’s why I think it will be an interesting year for that point and I’m looking forward to picking this matter up again in about 16 months.

                And brilliant bit there, “we can’t prove these things we say they did before, we can’t prove this one either, QED she’s a crook.” Incandescent sir, truly.

                People like her are supposed to be operating to avoid the appearance of impropriety, i.e. the appearance of being unethical. Accepting tens of millions of dollars from torturous Russian politicians who you’re helping get mining contracts isn’t even close to that.

                Her operating (I won’t call it “ethical”) standard appears to be “avoiding what she can be convicted of”, as opposed to “being ethical”, or even “appearing to be ethical”.

                So I don’t think she can be convicted for running her pay to play scheme, but this doesn’t prevent me from pointing out that she is apparently running one.

                But im sure if she needs to, she can still get fat $250,000 checks for speaking events.

                She and Bill will take a big haircut there too. Bush only gets $100k-$175k.

                But what’s more interesting than the amount is the frequency. Two years ago, if Bill Clinton wanted to give you a speech for $300k, could you realistically say “no” if you were a high level CEO?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I don’t think we can reasonably claim the head of a multi-Billion dollar organization is personally responsible for *everything* which happens in it. Someone in the Army committed rape/murder/terrorism last year (and see BLM for other lists), it’s not useful to think Obama was personally involved without lots more evidence than we have.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Multi-billion dollar organization? I mean it may be, but I can’t find any information on it. Did you?

                And come on, comparing it to the Army? On size alone, that’s preposterous. But more importantly, with Trump U, we are not talking about an organization that had a bad actor or two, are we? We’re talking about what was, from top to bottom, a scam.

                Do you not see that distinction?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to switters says:

                Forbes thinks Trump is worth about 4 Billion, unlike Scrooge McDuck the bulk of that is going to be in his companies and not gold coins. Trump owns roughly 300 companies. His person involvement in any one of those has to be pretty small.

                If you want to claim “Fraud” is a problem then you need to find lots of other companies, otherwise this smells like a quality control issue.

                What does the worst McDonald’s look like? The worst Wal-Mart? The worst Shell? And those companies put a lot of effort into having them all be the same while Trump does not.

                Wal-Mart occasionally has to pay fines because local stores break laws, owning lots of stores and/or businesses means it’s a cost of doing business.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Quality Control?

                If Mcdonalds has issues with 1 out of every hundred burgers it sells, or with 1 out of every 100 stores its franchisee’s run, then yes, quality control. But If every burger they claim has beef and cheese actually came with no beef and no cheese, that’s not a quality control issue, thats a scam. If half of them have no beef and cheese, thats a scam.

                And I know that you know this. Despite your protestations to the contrary.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to switters says:

                If Mcdonalds has issues with… 1 out of every 100 stores its franchisee’s run, then yes, quality control.

                Agreed.

                But If every burger they claim has beef and cheese actually came with no beef and no cheese, that’s not a quality control issue, thats a scam. If half of them have no beef and cheese, thats a scam.

                Agreed. So are half of Trump’s businesses like this, or is it just that one?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Agreed. So are half of Trump’s businesses like this, or is it just that one?

                You seem to be under the extremely odd impression that Trump has people under him *setting up business*, and he might not know about it.

                This is…not how anything in the Trump Organization even vaguely work. Trump makes all that. Every piece of it, he created. There are no other people who can do that, with *perhaps* the exception of Ivanka and her semi-independent brands.

                Once the business *exists*, of course, it could go off the rails. It is entirely possible that there’s some hotel manager ripping people off and he doesn’t know about it.

                But the problem is…the place was a scam from the start. It not only made a lot of blatant lies, but those lies were *personally recorded by Donald Trump himself* in videos. Lies that included *meeting him personally*, so presumably he was aware that those were lies. (Or he was, perhaps, hallucinating meeting people.)

                Have you actually looked at how Trump U. worked? It was setup as levels, the first free, and each level almost entirely operated as a sales pitch (And convincing you to take out savings and even get loans) for the *next* level. There was no actual school there, no actual education of any sort.

                At best, if you went through the thing, you got some generic information about real estate you could get from books, and, basically, got to listen to a crappy motivational speaker. Granted, I think motivational speakers are a bit silly to exist at all, but if someone wants see one, they can get a crappy one for $1000 for *an entire room of people*, or a super-high end famous one for $30,000.

                That part of Trump U cost $1500. A person. For a *three day seminar*. That was, again, some information about real estate that you could get out of a book, and, basically, a motivational speaker.

                How much did Trump University cost if you made it to to the end? $35,000. For all that above, plus some ‘mentors’ would spend a couple of hours one-on-one with you. Supposedly a ‘year-long’ mentor-ship, but appears you got about six hours of interaction total.

                $35,000 is a *semester at Harvard* with money left over. Also included in a semester at Harvard: More than 6 hours of personal interaction with professors.

                This isn’t something that somehow transmogified into a scam. It was always, from the very start, an extremely large scam. I’m not sure how much it was *illegal*, but it, at no point, was any sort of honest business.

                Edit: Of course, most of his businesses *are* scam in a very particular way: They stiff contractors *all the time*. They are also absurdly overpriced and very poor quality, comparatively speaking to actual high-end places, although I guess that’s not really a ‘scam’.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Ok – So imagine I own Mcdonalds. Now imagine I sell burgers with no meat and cheese despite marketing them as coming with meat and cheese. It sounds like you (Dark) would agree I am running a scam.

                But….

                If i happen to own a bunch of other business, not related to hamburgers at all, that aren’t demonstrably a scam, then I am excused from my McDonald’s scam? At least according to you, right?

                I always knew diversification was a good investment strategy, I just never knew it was a liability mitigation strategy.

                I’m sure Trump used this line of argument to drive that $25 Million settlement. And it looks like it made the Plaintiffs run scared. Or not.

                Or even simpler – by your standard, one who owns lots of business can’t be a fraud, unless all of his businesses are a fraud.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to switters says:

                If i happen to own a bunch of other business, not related to hamburgers at all, that aren’t demonstrably a scam, then I am excused from my McDonald’s scam? At least according to you, right?

                Excused? No. Just like Walmart isn’t off the hook when one of their store managers prevents employees from having bathroom breaks or steals their money.

                However large numbers means this sort of thing is expected to happen.

                The question is what are we looking at here? Clearly he doesn’t have day-to-day control (or even ‘vision’ control) over 300 business. Is this bad local managers? Another possibility is this was a bad idea, badly implemented. That Trump over promised and under delivered so badly that it actually did rise to the level of Fraud (although at the moment what we’ve got is allegations and lawsuits).

                The original question was whether it “disqualifies” him for office? The issue is was this an anomaly, or the way he does business? At the moment it looks like the former and not the later.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

                The question is what are we looking at here? Clearly he doesn’t have day-to-day control (or even ‘vision’ control) over 300 business.

                Trump supposedly has 500 companies, but looking at that number causes people to vastly overestimates the number of *functioning* businesses he has. He is in the habit of creating corporate entities for pretty much everything.

                About half of his corporate entities are clearly labeled as some sort of investment scouting operation, and more than half of those close without doing anything at all, and the other half maybe pay for some surveying or hire some consultants to do feasibility things.

                Of the remainder, a good number of Trump’s companies are merely licencors to other people. There are properties with his name on them that he has no interest in, so he creates an entity to license to the property. One license, an entire company.

                Trump only has, at most, somewhere about 50 companies that actually *do* anything. And many of them, being real estate, basically run themselves…he hires a property management company to actually manage tenants. Likewise, golf courses and hotels…he turns over to a manager.

                But building a supposed university to present *his* knowledge, that claimed *personal interaction* with him? Either a) he was involved in setting up the multiple levels system that operated solely to pull money out of people and not teach them anything, thus he set it up to defraud people, or b) some underling set that up, thus he wasn’t involved anywhere near the extent *he promised*, thus he was knowingly defrauding people when he promoted it.

                Is this bad local managers?

                This isn’t some poorly run hotel. With Trump University, Trump *made videos telling outright lies*, things he had to know some of were lies, because they promised things *about himself*.

                If you make a video promising that Gold Elite level students will meet you, and then, somehow, you never happen to *meet* any of those people, despite them obviously existing based on corporate returns, you are an active participate in the scam, period.

                Likewise, the curricular was supposedly *personally designed* by Trump, and the instructors *personally elected* by him, and he has *repeatedly said this*, both in ads and interviews about it. That…is not true. He presumable would *know* that that isn’t true. (Unless we’re going the ‘dementia’ route.)

                The original question was whether it “disqualifies” him for office? The issue is was this an anomaly, or the way he does business? At the moment it looks like the former and not the later.

                You *are* aware of the allegations he constantly, repeatedly, does not pay contractors, right? There’s dozens of stories about this.

                You are also aware that he has failed to pay back American banks so often they literally will not do business with him anymore, right?

                Trump has burned his way through the American business world so badly that he basically is *forced* to operate overseas at this point. No one here will do business with him. (That is, no one *a decade ago* would do business with him. The calculation obviously has changed now, although I’m not sure which direction.)

                Hell, Charlie Sheen has a story (Yes, yes, Charlie Sheen has emotional and addiction problems, but he’s not generally a pathological liar.) about how Trump *gave him a fraudulent present* for no literally reason. Like, Trump gave Sheen a ‘wedding present’ of his own cufflinks (Despite not being invited to Sheen’s marriage or needing to give him a present at all) and *lied* about the cufflinks being diamonds and platinum. It’s a completely insane story. (Although I guess it’s not *technically* fraud.)

                http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/18/charlie-sheen-trump-is-a-charlatan-who-gave-me-fake-jewelry-as-a-wedding-gift.html

                None of this, of course, disqualifies him from office. The foreign *and* domestic emolument clauses do, however. (Yeah, there’s a domestic one, the one everyone forgets about, stopping state and local governments from bribing the president. I hope, next year, that New York City just ups and yanks every single one of his tax breaks.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

                Its funny, since if we were talking about the hiring of a night manager for a burger joint, the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                How many times have we heard stories of HR managers who notice something awful on an employee’s Facebook feed that causes their termination, and which practice is staunchly defended by those who insist that employers have every right to terminate or refuse to hire any employee at will, for any reason or no reason whatsoever?

                Yet here we have people ardently defending him for the position of the world’s most powerful person, where character is the number one job description.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If character is really number one then how were Bill or Hillary qualified?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to notme says:

                Conservatives are responsible for the Clintons.

                You should do a lot of soul searching on what you could have done differently to prevent them from attaining power.

                Maybe if you had only reached out to liberals, and listened to their concerns…Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What are you babbeling about? If character is important I’d like to know why you think either Clinton has it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Conservatives are responsible for the Clintons.

                You should do a lot of soul searching on what you could have done differently to prevent them from attaining power.

                Maybe if you had only reached out to liberals, and listened to their concerns…

                I don’t know exactly who you were attempting to throw paint on with this particular attack but you appear to have gotten it everywhere.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                …the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                You mean as opposed to HRC?

                …character is the number one job description.

                It’s not. I couldn’t care less about Bill’s sex scandals, Trump’s marriages to women who (one assumes) are marrying him for his money, Trump being an ass, or HRC reportedly being a fairly unpleasant person to work for.

                I assume I’ll never meet any of them or interact with them personally.

                Policy and Competence greatly outweigh any/all of that.Report

              • HRC, whose husband was the target of repeated investigated his entire term, all of which went nowhere except for one that didn’t involve corruption?

                Or HRC who was the target of repeated investigated her entire term and afterward, none of which led anywhere involving corruption?

                Ot HRC whose family foundation is a highly-rated charity with no evidence of corruption? As opposed to the Trump foundation, which has been fined for making political contributions and repeatedly used as a personal piggy bank.

                It may be a tenet of your religion that the Clintons are corrupt, but I’m an agnostic.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                HRC, whose husband was the target of repeated investigated his entire term, all of which went nowhere except for one that didn’t involve corruption?

                Let’s just quote Jimmy Carter about the Clinton pardons: “A number of them were quite questionable, including about 40 not recommended by the Justice Department.”… “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in [Rich’s] pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.”

                http://www.cbsnews.com/news/carter-rich-pardon-disgraceful/

                Or HRC whose family foundation is a highly-rated charity with no evidence of corruption?

                Let’s quote Bernie Sanders about Clinton’s conflict of interest: “Do I have a problem when a sitting secretary of State and a foundation run by her husband collects many, many dollars from foreign governments — governments which are dictatorships? Yeah, I do have a problem with that. Yeah, I do”

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation%E2%80%93State_Department_controversy

                Further that “highly-rated” aspect is troubling. TCF was given unfavorable ratings until December of 2015 because of it’s highly unusual structure and secrecy. Since then it’s been given really high ratings. Higher even than the red cross. What changed?Report

              • So, no evidence of wrongdoing, just quotes that something looks fishy. And from political rivals, exactly the sort of thing you dismiss downthread.

                Against Trump, a $25 million dollar judgment.

                The difference is pretty clear.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                So, no evidence of wrongdoing, just quotes that something looks fishy. And from political rivals, exactly the sort of thing you dismiss downthread.

                I picked Jimmy Carter because he wasn’t a political rival, certainly not to a fellow Dem and brother retired President.

                I don’t think it’d be useful to detail all the “evidence of wrongdoing” to everything the Clintons have done over the years (I’m sure people have written books). A good summation is they do (sometimes extremely unusual) favors for people wearing their political hat, money/power is transferred to their personal control, and we can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one had anything to do with the other.

                Then people like you insist that “not provably criminal in court” is exactly the same as “innocent”.

                After we repeat that process with many ethical adventures, I get what’s known as “Clinton Fatigue” and you insist that all these attempts to prove wrongdoing reveal more about the Clinton’s opponents rather than the Clintons themselves.

                Against Trump, a $25 million dollar judgment.

                Actually that was a “settlement”, and I already linked to how he works. Getting sued is expected, it’s part of the plan. Like the Clintons he doesn’t care what people think and he can sleep well at night no matter what he does.

                If TrumpU made a profit after subtracting that $25 Million, then it was a success. If that $25 Million means it didn’t make money, then it was a failure. He over promised, under delivered, and probably hurt people but whatever. He assumes he’s going to get pulled into court (maybe even constantly), he assumes he’ll lose every now and then, typically he settles.

                The difference is pretty clear.

                Amoral self seeking behavior resulting in personal profit by ignoring the usual societal norms in how that job is supposed to function. Doing just enough to keep yourself out of jail and simply not caring about ethics or even the appearance of ethics.

                I don’t see a difference. Trump is to business what the Clintons are to politics.Report

              • To those paying attention, false accusations say more about the accuser than the accused. Unfortunately, so few people do.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                To those paying attention, false accusations say more about the accuser than the accused. Unfortunately, so few people do.

                False? Marc Rich’s wife really did give more than a Million dollars to the Clintons (mostly HRC’s senate campaign fund), and then Bill really did ignore all sorts of standards to give Marc a pardon. And since there’s no bill of sale or other signed contract between the four of them, apparently this doesn’t quite rise to the level of “provably criminal”.

                There’s no reason to pardon him other than the money, but the legal system can’t prove an actual transaction… and that’s apparently the ethical standard the Clintons use.

                That the Clinton’ actions aren’t “provably criminal” doesn’t mean the accusations are “false”, and we could do this dance on multiple other ethical adventures they’ve been on. But I don’t see the point as long as you’re going to insist there is no difference between “not provably criminal” and “innocent”.

                AFAICT, most politicians don’t insist on living this close to the edge, the only other one I can think of who does is Trump.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter says:

                “… he can sleep well at night no matter what he does. He over promised, under delivered, and probably hurt people but whatever.”

                Just a reminder, the ‘he’ here refers to PEOTUS.

                U-S-A! U-S-A!Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Its funny, since if we were talking about the hiring of a night manager for a burger joint, the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                He’s qualified because he won like a trillion votes and the election. If he didn’t have those things we wouldn’t have to worry about it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Very good post David, I’ll have to look up some things before replying.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                You *are* aware of the allegations he constantly, repeatedly, does not pay contractors, right? There’s dozens of stories about this.

                Your post, and the background research I had to do to respond to it was an eye opener. Lots of things have been brought into focus (Thank you).

                I’d assumed this was a repeat of what happened with Romney, large numbers mean political opponents can pick the worst outcome and represent it as the normal. (Note having cried wolf with Romney meant this was much less believable).

                I withdraw that argument. What he’s doing is a deliberate business ploy. He pays his bills when it’s to his advantage and doesn’t when that is to his advantage. http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/donald-trump-stiff-contractors/

                IMHO we’re deep into “Charming Sociopath” territory.

                Sociopaths are a lot more common than commonly known, something like 1%-4% of population. Lawyers, CEOs, and Politicians are seriously over represented. I’ve considered HRC to be one for quite a while so IMHO the country was going to be enjoying this no matter who won.

                Moving back to “does it disqualify him”, the answer is “no”, we already knew he was a total bastard… but I will double down on saying he’s a “high risk, high reward” gamble.

                It’s possible to view him in his entirety and say “I don’t want him anywhere around me, he’s a total bastard”. It’s also possible to say “Wow what a bastard! That’s who I want as my agent!” We just had an election proving the later.

                None of this, of course, disqualifies him from office. The foreign *and* domestic emolument clauses do, however.

                We’ve talked about this. He’s not disqualified if he gets Congress’ blessing. Given that he’s popular and got the American People’s blessing, IMHO Congress will fold.

                It does occur to me that if he gets totally out of line, Congress may decide they’d be better off working with Pence. And the Supremes who he’s said he’ll put into office are the sort of “restrain the gov” types who’d hamstring him.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                At any point, when you typed “He’s a sociopath” then followed it up with blithe reassurance about how this is perfectly fine, did you pause, maybe to go get a drink of water or something stronger, and have even a moment’s reflection?

                Could you do that? I really do recommend it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                1st, I didn’t vote for the guy.

                2nd, HRC has a lot of those indications as well.

                3rd, I seriously doubt he’s the first or the last sociopath we’ll have as Prez. I’d feel a lot better with Romney in office, but that’s not an option.

                I’ll support him when I think he’s doing a good job and oppose him when he’s not. Thus far he’s at least shown that he’s taking the job seriously. It’s possible we’re actually seeing “Pence in charge” and Trump is just rubber stamping everything but whatever.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                At any point, when you typed “He’s a sociopath” then followed it up with blithe reassurance about how this is perfectly fine, did you pause, maybe to go get a drink of water or something stronger, and have even a moment’s reflection?

                Well yeah, that’s something that a lot of us have thought of already? And considering that a lot of us thought that he was the best choice among the credible alternatives available, that’s something that should be giving you more than a moment’s reflection.

                In the meantime, libs are in a very important position now, in that they will have a lot of obligations and situations to demonstrate loyalty and very little actual power. Let’s see if they can rise to the occasion.Report

              • he’s a “high risk, high reward” gamble.

                That is, when Obama said that Trump isn’t someone who should have the nuclear codes, he was 100% correct.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                That is, when Obama said that Trump isn’t someone who should have the nuclear codes, he was 100% correct.

                It’s possible Obama was right.

                However Obama would have said that against whoever HRC was running against.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                It’s possible Obama was right.

                Which is a factual question worth considering.

                However Obama would have said that against whoever HRC was running against.

                Given that his comment was politically motivated, the factual issue can be dismissed as not worth considering.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility… even as to whether HRC would have been better on this issue.

                Note that Wolf scream probably means HRC and Obama shouldn’t be in office. If everything is racism, or a nuclear crisis, then nothing is. If everyone is a threat to the world’s survival, then no one is.

                If their claim to HRC being the better candidate comes down to fear, then maybe they don’t actually have a claim.

                If we’re going to be serious about this, I think the odds of either of them pushing the button are remote, but it’s slightly higher with her. Short of alien invasion he’s not burning down his assets.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility…

                Generalize it to all politicians.

                No politician has any credibility except for their own team.

                Iterated cynicism is a zero sum game where everyone loses.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Iterated cynicism is a zero sum game where everyone loses.

                True, but at the same time, that cynicism has been earned and is deserved.

                The way to bet is Trump doesn’t use nukes to burn down his hotels, and he doesn’t build death camps for his daughter and grandchildren.

                That I can put it that way should show just how bankrupt the entire argument is, and should also show just how deserved my cynicism is.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility

                It’s a good thing the Obama in your mind would make such a disqualifying argument.

                For whats it’s worth, he didn’t make the argument against either of his previous opponents, and I doubt he makes it against most of the rest of the field.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Gaelen says:

                Nor was this argument made against GHW Bush. GW Bush, yes, and he did start an ill-conceived war without planning what would follow, and we’re still paying for the consequences of that.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                If everything is a threat to freedom then nothing is.

                If everything is anti-American then nothing is.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip,
                I know he’s not going to be given the red button. Palin made sure of that, the Joint Chiefs have guidelines for “oh, shit the prez is crazy” now.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kim says:

                Trump burning to the ground some of his corporate assets with the button? That seems unlikely.Report

              • Waking up one day and saying “Let’s start a nuclear war”? No. Making one more likely by acting without considering the consequences? He’s already started in on that.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Mike Schilling: Waking up one day and saying “Let’s start a nuclear war”?

                He’s just celebrating Lincoln’s birthday like you wanted people to.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

          When/how did Obama and Biden mischaracterize the 47% thing?

          Why/how was “basket of deplorables” worse?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

            As far as gaffes go (I’m being generous here…) “the deplorables” ranks right at the top of the list of incomprehensible stupidity engaged in by a politician seeking office. Unbelievable, really.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

              I suppose it depends how we are defining “worse”.

              “Worse” in terms of political strategy?

              “Worse” in terms of, well, worse… more objectionable… false…

              I understand why both matter but I’m really done with pretending that the former is the same as the latter.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                Tactically. No upside, only downside.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                By that logic, pretty much everything Trump said was better than pretty much everything Hillary said. I mean, he won, right? And winning is all that matters? Is that where we are?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49… he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5–10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

                This is factually inaccurate. It is false. Untrue. Evidence of either his own misunderstanding of voting patterns or an outright lie. We shouldn’t pretend this isn’t the case.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                This is factually inaccurate. It is false. Untrue. Evidence of either his own misunderstanding of voting patterns or an outright lie. We shouldn’t pretend this isn’t the case.

                If he didn’t believe this, he might have tried to get their votes.

                Like Trump succeeded in doing.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Doesn’t address my point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I was *AGREEING* with your point.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I guess I didn’t see it that way.

                Especially since my broader point is that evaluating statements based solely on whether they get politicians closer or further from victory is screwed up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Kazzy, I wasn’t making my statement in the context of “will this get politicians closer or further from victory?” but in the context of “what could we offer the Texas delegation to get all 38 of them to vote for Mitt Romney?”

                I appreciate the whole “no, people ought to be principled, even in the face of Trump!” argument and it’s one I’d love to participate in, but this post was about getting people to defect.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                And winning is all that matters? Is that where we are?

                Ummm…..

                {{Oooohhhhmmmmm….}}Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                ^^^^^
                Not an argument.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                How ’bout this then:

                What happens if you don’t win?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                You continue to think I’m talking about winning. I’m not.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                It’s ESPNtown, Jake. The Warriors suck. Cam Newton sucks. Hillary is Kaepernick, the worst QB ever because she hates America.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                She’s more like Brock Osweiller. Loaded up with money, and upon whom, all hopes for the future were pinned, yet lost the job to a savage man.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

                Donald Trump is Tom Brady. Bannon is Belichick. Heck, Meliana even maps fairly well to Giselle.

                Which would make Hillary Clinton into Tim Tebow.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Kazzy says:

                “Worse” in terms of, well, worse… more objectionable… false…

                Yes, the deplorables thing was objectionable. Specifically, that the voters are sovereign and it’s not Mrs. Clinton’s place to speak negatively of them.

                And it’s compounded by the fact that the substance of her complaint is untrue, and also compounded by the fact that it’s Mrs. Clinton who shouldn’t be making negative ethical judgments about anybody.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Koz says:

                @koz

                Romney spoke negatively of voters, questioning their values and intentions. AND HE WAS WRONG!

                Clinton’s comments came on the heels of a poll that showed about half of Trump’s supporters* held clearly racist views. Raciam is deplorable. Now, I concede there is a problem with conflating the holding of a horrible view with being a horrible person. But that tendency is not unique to Clinton. One of the problems is how universal it is.

                So, you have Romney saying something demonstrably false and which impugnes the character of nearly half the electorate. Let me remind you what it was:
                “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
                No. The 47% of people who do not pay income tax (which may include Trump!) do not all vote for Obama. And that number? Ain’t 47% unless you exclude state income tax. AND we ain’t giving Mitt credit for what he might have meant unless we do the same for H-dawg. ANd Mitt has *no idea* how each of those people feel about government, the welfare state, what they feel entitled to, how personally responsible they are, or HOW THEY VOTE AND WHY. Oh… and if he had won, yea, it would have been his job to worry about them. He. Was. Wrong. Demonstrably so.

                The only way to see HRC’s comment as more false and more offensive is if you apply different rules. If you can do a side-by-side comparison with identical standards and reach that conclusion, I’ll buy you a sandwich.

                * And, yes, a sizeable share of Clinton’s.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Kazzy says:

                The only way to see HRC’s comment as more false and more offensive is if you apply different rules. If you can do a side-by-side comparison with identical standards and reach that conclusion, I’ll buy you a sandwich.

                Not at all. Romney shouldn’t have said what he did, maybe he’d have been President instead of Donald Trump in that case, and presumably you’d be happy.

                Romney criticized the incentives of Obama voters who don’t (or didn’t) pay federal income tax. He didn’t criticize their character, though it was too close for comfort on that score. Most importantly, he didn’t try to pretend that he wasn’t accountable to those people.

                That’s the biggest problem with Hillary’s speech. That, presumably because of racism or whatever, that Trump’s voters were illegitimate, and somehow shouldn’t count. But that’s horrible. Racism or not, we as voters sit in judgment of Hillary, and not the other way around. Ordering those priorities correctly is more important than anything that can be said about racism. It’s not Hillary’s business to make definitive proclamations about racism anyway.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Koz says:

                No… he didn’t criticize Obama voters. This is where you are playing fast and loose with facts. He said that the 47% of the population that does not pay income taxes (wrong) is already going to vote for the President… when we have ample stats to show that the population of folks who do not pay federal income tax vote for both parties.

                And I struggle to see how you can argue that Hillary’s comments were judgmental and Mitt’s were not. Mitt questioned their motives, questioned their ability to care for themselves and take responsibility for themselves… how is that not judgmental?

                Again, different rules.

                And, again, what Mitt said was objectively false. We have numbers to show it. And that is before we get into the weeds of whether a retiree drawing social security should be considered unable to care for herself or unable to be convinced to take personal responsibility for himself. I mean, that isn’t objectively provable but I bet a whole bunch of people — when viewing such a situation in a vacuum — would come to a very different conclusion than Mitt did.

                Thus far, the objection to Hillary’s comments are not so much that she was wrong but that she was mean.

                ETA: Mitt was wrong AND mean. But you want to ignore that he was wrong and focus only on Hillary’s meanness. Again, different standards.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                The sandwich offer remains on the table…Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Kazzy says:

                And I struggle to see how you can argue that Hillary’s comments were judgmental and Mitt’s were not. Mitt questioned their motives, questioned their ability to care for themselves and take responsibility for themselves… how is that not judgmental?

                It doesn’t seem that hard to me.

                1. Romney criticized the voters circumstantially. Ie, that they are the beneficiaries of government programs who won’t want to vote against them. Which let’s note, has been the cynical lib idea toward Obamacare from the beginning. Ie, even if we don’t like it ourselves, it will still permanently collectivize health care, hopefully toward something we libs like better in the future.

                Whereas Hillary was directly criticizing the Trump voters motives.

                2. Romney explicitly conceded that the people who are not paying federal income tax are legitimately voting against him, whereas HRC strongly implied otherwise wrt the deplorables, which is the key point for me.

                3. The context that HRC talked about the deplorables was much worse. Specifically, that Hillary and especially her most ideologically committed supporters were inclined to double down on the deplorables thing instead of walking it back. And for that matter, that the ethos behind her campaign was to insulate herself and her supporters from democratic accountability.

                And for that matter, I don’t know what Mitt said that was particularly inaccurate. I think that 47% of voting age Americans don’t pay federal income tax, and as far as I know he was right on that score. But frankly, that part is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned anyway.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            When/how did Obama and Biden mischaracterize the 47% thing?

            Why/how was “basket of deplorables” worse?

            It’s a moot point now, but I was trying to come up with a compromise that might get Texas’s electoral votes to swing for the fences and vote for Mitt Romney instead of Donald Trump.

            And it would have had to get the Democratic electors, yes, all of them, on board.

            If you’re not crazy about the deal, well, maybe you should come up with one that would get the Texas electors to change their minds.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Bonus: Knowledge of Aleppo, no longer a qualification.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      Somehow it seems to me that trying to elect the tribune of one of the the only political factions to be more repudiated by the electorate than the liberals isn’t likely an easy sell.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    As far as I can tell, Team Trump, probably with direct assistant of the leadership of the RNC, did a decent job of making sure Trumpistas were selected for the elector slates. (and maybe better than Team Clinton, who maybe still have one or two #neverHillary electors in Washington state and somewhere else)

    So the electors in the states Trump won are going to dance with who brought them.

    And as stated here elsewhere often by others and myself, the Conventional Republicans are poised to get everything they want, except for some trade agreements and a continued cold war with Russia. But they’ll have everything else – judges, tax cuts, deregulation, cold war with China and Iran, a Merry Christmas, and more. So why upset the apple cart?Report

  4. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I agree that this would be a horrific shock to the system. Therefore, I’m not really interested in such discussions.

    I think that for me, a lot of the discussion around the popular vote is to underline that Trump is not that popular, and does not have much of a mandate at all. In fact, his approval rating at inauguration will probably be the lowest for any president at that point. And that’s after an upsurge.

    I think he is unlikely to finish this term. I can see possibilities of death by natural causes (he’s over 70, and doesn’t take that good of care of himself, as I understand), resignation, impeachment, and invocation of the 25th amendment are all possibilities. The fact is, he wants the prestige, but he doesn’t want to do the job of president.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I’m over the “shock to the system” issue.
      Charlie Pierce stated it pretty well, that repeatedly we have been told that the American public is not ready for such shocks as prosecutions of war crimes, of torture, as he put it, the assumption is that we are such fragile glass creatures that a constitutional crisis would be too much for us.

      I think that if one is able to nod calmly at the idea of a hostile foreign government having its lobbyists within the Oval Office, there really isn’t anything left that can shock us.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      Doctor Jay,
      There’s a decent potential for assassination or murder, as well. Trump’s no GWB.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Can she ask her electors to vote for someone else BUT ONLY this particular someone else?

    Because I can see 10-20 of them voting for Bernie which means that Rick Perry will need even more Republican defectors.

    What could Hillary reasonably offer to get Republican electors to defect?

    Oh! I know! Two more justices on the Supreme Court. I’d prefer Breyer and Kagan, but I understand how she might say Breyer and Sotomayor are the only ones she’d be willing to trade.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      The electors are, depending on who you talk to:
      1. Free agents able to vote for whomever they want (who is 35 and natural-born);
      2. Agents able to vote for whomever they want (who is 35 and natural-born) so long as they’re willing to pay a nominal fine for not voting for the candidate whose slate made them electors;
      3. Ceremonial vessels through which their state’s votes go to their sponsoring candidates, and if they deviate from the slate, their votes become nullities.

      It seems to me that faithless electors in the past have not been sanctioned in any way and their faithless votes have been counted as cast. So I think the answer is about 1.25.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I’m guessing here that what we have is a co-ordination problem.

        Let’s agree, just for the sake of argument, that we could convince all of the democratic electors to *NOT* vote for Hillary, for the good of the country.

        So let it be agreed upon. Done.

        Now the very idea that we can move from that point, conceded for the sake of the argument, to “therefore Rick Perry” (or maybe Mitt Romney) is unthinkable.

        I mean, come on now. I feel like I’ve been taking crazy pills.Report

        • Avatar Peter Moore in reply to Jaybird says:

          So your argument is to stop half way through and declare “crazy talk”? That is… unique.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Peter Moore says:

            My argument is that it is easy to concede, for the sake of argument, the premise that we can break the norm/convention that electors vote for the person the state asked them to.

            It is not easy to concede, for the sake of argument, the step that follows.

            Remember: we’re talking about getting all of the blue electors to vote for Rick Perry or Mitt Romney instead of for Clinton in the hopes that we could get Texas to vote for Rick Perry or Mitt Romney and thus keep Trump out of the White House.

            We’re not in “if I had some ham, we could have some ham sandwiches, if you had some bread” territory.

            We’re in “If I had some ham, and you had some bread, and he had some tomatoes, and she had some mustard, and he had some lettuce, and she had some onions, we could have ham sandwiches with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions!” territory.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

              I think it’s more like “how do we *make* these people do this”.

              Even assuming Trump EC delegates were picked for loyalty to the GOP and not loyalty to Trump (which btw I don’t think is correct), Trump has been on a massive “sanity” show recently.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Dark,
                Bribery. But Clinton’s cash isn’t going to get spent to get a Republican (or any other Democrat) elected.
                The alternative is blackmail, but I don’t think Clinton has much on the Republicans (I sincerely hope not, at any rate, because I DO have an idea as to what sort of blackmail the Clinton Machine might have on someone who ought not to have political ties to them).Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Technically, electors do not have to vote for someone who is 35 and a natural-born citizen. It would be *stupid* to vote for someone who cannot assume the office, but they can.

        And interpretation #3 is just factually wrong. The slightest bit of historic knowledge disproves that.

        I also find #2 a bit dubious. The courts have said, repeatedly, that states cannot impose rules on Federal elections, which, I assume, include fining people who don’t vote how they want!Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        And the reality turned out to be a little bit of column 1 and a little bit of column 3. A total of eight faithless electors, but two of them (one in Minnesota and one in Maine) were substituted at the last minute when it became clear that they were casting their ballots for someone other than their pledged candidate.

        Trump suffered two faithless electors. Clinton suffered four. Read into that what you will: what I read into it is that the Republicans are better-disciplined than the Democrats, but we all knew that already.Report

    • The only president I know of who’s ever been able to strong-arm a Supreme Court justice into resigning is LBJ. Hillary is no LBJ.Report

  6. Avatar Koz says:

    Yeah, sort of. On the nuts and bolts level, it seems to be a lost cause. I’ve heard that one GOP elector is planning on voting for somebody other than Trump, but no traction from anyone else. But the entire thing seems to be under the radar, and not in a good way for the likelihood of it happening.

    I think the time for effective political manipulations is over for a while, and the Left should accept the fact that Trump is going to be President, and figure out how it wants to orient itself toward Trump-era America, especially in a spiritual sense.

    I suspect that they might be making mistakes in this direction. Ie, first of all, that the Left base energy is for the moment at least geared toward preventing Donald Trump from taking office. Then after that, they presumably intend to go intend to obstruction mode, taking as a model the early Obama administration of 2009/2010.

    This is a situation I fear where the libs have corrupted themselves through their own lies to the extent that some years later they have actually come to believe them. The Republican opposition to President Obama was successful not because Mitch McConnell is brilliant, it worked because the Republicans were doing what the people wanted, and doing it in a circumstance where there didn’t seem to be any other representation.

    That may or may not occur in the Trump Administration. If it does happen, it will be the result of something Trump does, not the D’s.

    The D’s should focus on being better people than what they have been during the Obama Administration, and create the possibility of regaining some trust that has been lost. There will be plenty of circumstances where Trump does something that is believe by the libs to be against America’s best interest, and they will have plenty of opportunity to say so. But they also have a responsibility to help restore America’s legitimacy (especially as how they have been so grievously guilty of drawing it down), and that will be a much harder obligation for the Demo’s to fulfill, especially if Donald Trump is President of the United States. So that is where they should be concentrating their efforts.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Koz says:

      Agree with all of this… but I’m not sure it matters.

      The Left is going to stay in denial for a while. Worse, they’re seriously not ready for Trump being much better than Obama at the nuts and bolts of the Presidency, and that’s looking more and more likely.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Dark Matter says:

        I for one won’t believe that until I see it. But that’s ancillary anyway in my opinion.

        The D’s haven’t internalized that in today’s reality, there’s no need for them. Therefore their intended obstruction is simply a measure of their own character issues: pettiness, antagonism, inclination towards destruction, etc., etc.

        But that could change very quickly. Americans are going to look towards the Republicans for leadership. If they don’t like what they see, the Democrats can come back very quickly.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Koz says:

          “no need for them” Ummm yeah. Well it’s good to know there is still some group of people who can be blithely dismissed these days.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to greginak says:

            Well, how would you describe it then, specifically in relation to the Demo’s lack of direct authority, or ideas for that matter?Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

              As if the GOP didn’t literally get their ideology and leadership jettisoned en toto by their base. I mean sure, the Dems lost the election to Trump by a fingernail based on both a series of mistakes by HRC and some lamentable other events. The GOP you’ve been carrying water for since 2008, at least, lost to Trump in their primary too; and it wasn’t even remotely close.
              I don’t see much reason to think that with a better candidate the Dems core ideas don’t have a lot of mileage left on them. With the Trump win what exactly does the GOP stand for now? Oh, is it folk Marxism?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Well then if there’s anything that the D’s have to say, presumably they’ll mention it when Trump is President and the establishment Republicans did very well in the downticket races.

                Whatever the Dem core ideas are supposed to be, it’s pretty clear that America is willing to live without them at least for the moment.

                Given that, it’s up to the D’s to put away their antagonism, inclination towards destruction, and parochial political interests in favor of the betterment of America as a whole.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Or, following the GOP’s playbook they could opt for total obstruction as Trump and the GOP try and sort out what exactly they’re going to do to try and fulfill Trumps enormous promises. It’d certainly serve them right.

                Now I don’t think that’s a good choice, if Trump tries to do something sensible the Dems should probably cooperate with it. My own money, though, is that we’re going to see a return to the icecream party from Bush W’s era.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Name That Tune, kemosabe.

                Really, this is just a horribly corrosive attitude for which the Dems can’t be punished enough, no matter all the elections they have lost so far.

                If there’s anything I do in the wayback machine, politically speaking, America would be so much better off if President Obama had folded on Obamacare around Thanksgiving of 2009 or January of the following year or whatever.

                I don’t think we’d see nearly so much sleazy lib innuendo on race if the Dems had to deal with the failure of health care reform internally instead of writing it into their imaginations of Republican racism of Mitch McConnell’s maneuverings.

                I’ve stated this several times before, and IIRC stated it several times to you directly, North, but somehow you won’t take responsibility for the substantial unpopularity of health care reform of that era, and its consequences.

                Somehow, according to libs, the American people are denied their ability to meaningfully influence policy once the election is over if a lib wins. It’s long long past time to give up the Mitch McConnell bullshit and accept the blame that’s your due for the deep partisan division of America the policy failures of the Obama Administration.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                You keep singing that tune, and no one buys it because no one forgets what happened back then. McConnell opted for total obstruction long before the ACA hit the floor and everyone is well aware of it. Yes, Pelosi and Reid (more than Obama) made a decision when the chips were down to not allow the GOP to repeat healthcare reform history and the GOP has been pitching a hissy fit about that ever since but the fact remains that they were marching in lockstep opposition prior to the ACA which blows this story you keep peddling entirely out of the water.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Why do you care about what Mitch McConnell thought, who let’s face it represented 40 or 41 Senators at that time, in the context of ignoring the plain strongly expressed wishes of the American people?

                At the end of the day I can’t think of any of Obama’s bigger agenda items that were successfully filibustered during that time period. Obamacare wasn’t obviously. The stimulus package had two or three GOP votes IIRC, and there was one or two other things he got done as well.

                Why can’t the American people have the opportunity to express themselves against the collectivization of American medicine and have the libs hear it, and be constrained appropriately by it?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                It sure would have helped if Obama had campaigned on healthcare reform so the electorate could have weighed in on the matter. Maybe running against some candidate who said letting Obama and his party take a shot at healthcare reform was a bad idea. Oh, wait, he did.. and McCain did say that and then the electorate voted for Obama and his party in overwhelming numbers. I can’t imagine where Obama and the Dems got the idea that they had a mandate to enact healthcare reform.
                Oh and then after the enacted healthcare reform Obama had to face the voters again. How did Romney do in that election? As I recall not particularly well.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to North says:

                But those people voting for Obama and his healthcare law weren’t expressing the will of the American people, in fact I think a lot of them lived in California and New York.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                Are you claiming Obamacare was popular when he passed it and that the Dems didn’t pay a political cost for supporting it?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Certainly not. Are you claiming that Obama and his Party didn’t campaign on reforming healthcare in 2008?

                Trump, and the GOP are in power imminently. At that point they can either try to repeal the ACA without anything to replace it and see how much the electorate likes that or they can do what the GOP should have done in 2009 and add their own policies to the mix in exchange for their votes and then support it. I admit I’m being madly overgenerous at the moment since the GOP’s had almost a decade now and they still haven’t made up their mind what the replace portion of their repeal and replace schtick is but it is the holiday season.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                Dark Matter: Are you claiming Obamacare was popular when he passed it and that the Dems didn’t pay a political cost for supporting it?

                North: Certainly not. Are you claiming that Obama and his Party didn’t campaign on reforming healthcare in 2008?

                Your 2nd statement doesn’t pass the “so what?” question.

                The Dems knew Obamacare was deeply unpopular and passed it anyway. We live in a democracy, the people’s response was to punish the Dems and reward the GOP.

                At that point they can either try to repeal the ACA without anything to replace it and see how much the electorate likes that…

                We’ll see. They could just repeal it and then “negotiate” with the Dems on what to replace it and gamble that the voters blame the Dems for any problems.

                or they can do what the GOP should have done in 2009 and add their own policies to the mix in exchange for their votes and then support it.

                The reported price for adding their own policies to the mix was supporting single payer.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                My 2nd point remains that the GOP’s base throwing a fit doesn’t pass the sniff test for outweighing the electorates expressed preference as shown in the elections. Obama ran on reforming heath care- he won. He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again. The Dems have had to struggle with a lot of trouble on health care and I have no doubt it’s been part of their general electoral problems, but the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                We’ll see. They could just repeal it and then “negotiate” with the Dems on what to replace it and gamble that the voters blame the Dems for any problems.

                The GOP have majorities in Congress and the Presidency. If they look back at the past eight years and think that blame will fall to the minority party without the Presidency if they repeal the ACA with nothing to replace it that’d be an… extraordinary leap to say the least.

                The reported price for adding their own policies to the mix was supporting single payer.

                Nah, the price for them adding their policies to the mix was their having to offer some votes in support and give Obama a bipartisan win. An outcome they decided, well in advance, that they would not permit no matter whether it helped the country or not.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                …the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                The GOP’s “base” wasn’t the group that took Ted Kennedy’s seat from the Dems and handed it to the GOP, for the express and specific purpose of blocking Obamacare. Similarly Obamacare got every Blue dog dem thrown out of office.

                He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again.

                Which was fine for him, less fine for everyone else who needed to run on voting for it. Lesson to be learned here is big changes/programs are big political risks if they only have narrow majorities.

                Obamacare was passed with the political gamble that it’d be popular no matter how unpopular it was. Obamacare’s various promises turned out to be happy marketing talk which raised expectations higher than could be met. Healthcare costs went up, not down as promised. You couldn’t keep your doctor as promised, etc.

                The GOP have majorities in Congress and the Presidency. If they look back at the past eight years and think that blame will fall to the minority party without the Presidency if they repeal the ACA with nothing to replace it that’d be an… extraordinary leap to say the least.

                This is the same group which repeatedly shut down the gov thinking “this time” they wouldn’t be blamed.

                BTW this kind of shown incompetence is one of the reasons I doubt they were super-competent when dealing with Obama in “denying” him various victories and “preventing him” from having bipartisan wins. IMHO it’s a lot more likely he’s just not good at this sort of thing (probably deal making here, although coalition building and reaching out to the other side also are part of it).

                A really thin resume should be read for what’s not on it as well as what is. Keeping politicians unified and preventing them from doing what’s in their own selfish interest is like herding cats…. and the Minority head of the House/Senate have a lot less power than a Popular President with sky high approval ratings.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah Martha Coakley was a liberal paragon and it was an astonishing upset that her plank rigid terrible campaign was beat by Browns aw shucks campaign. Especially since back then when the GOP said “We’ll negotiate a better deal” they actually could still be believed.

                In the case of the GOP’s blanket opposition it was rather easy to organize since the party’s naked immediate interests and political welfare were both aligned so it didn’t take a lot of work. The right wielded primary threats reliably, the right wing media sphere whipped up the politically energetic base and Obama’s initial campaign (tripled down on bipartisan rainbow new kind of politics talk) promises basically put the power to make him succeed or fail on that measure alone in their hands.

                Early Obamaism also made it very easy to oppose Obama because he preemptively gave the GOP most of their asks without forcing them to offer votes to get them. For instance his 2009 stimulus bill was absolutely larded with tax cuts under the assumption that doing so would get the GOP to vote for it. They pocketed the cuts and voted en masse against it except for, like, three moderates. The ACA was basically the GOP’s final offer from the previous time health care reform had been debated. They pocketed that gain then screamed that it was socialism redux and voted against it en masse again. Obama offered the entire farm on the sequester negotiations and the only reason the GOP didn’t get it is they were so gone into rejectionism that they couldn’t countenance trading tax increases for spending cuts on a ten to one basis in their favor. Sure, they lost any pretence of being bipartisan and reasonable and Obama retained his personal cred outside the right-o-sphere but policy wise they did pretty well (unless you’re a defense hawk or a deficit hawk, those constituencies got thrown under the bus, but lo and behold it turns out that the voters don’t give a crap about either of those issues).

                This is the same group which repeatedly shut down the gov thinking “this time” they wouldn’t be blamed.

                Sure, but they were, and they will be. If they pass some kind of “repeal now, replace later” and the exchanges promptly and almost immediately collapse (which they would) then there’s no way they’re going to be able to pass that buck onto the liberals.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                In the case of the GOP’s blanket opposition it was rather easy to organize since the party’s naked immediate interests and political welfare were both aligned so it didn’t take a lot of work.

                True, but this deserves a lot more detail. If Obamacare was in the country’s best interest, why was opposing it popular?

                Obama was amazing popular and respected while the GOP weren’t. The obvious move for Obama was for him to explain to the American people how this Bill was in their interest and have them put pressure on the GOP until they caved. Reagan was a master of this, others could make it work.

                So Obama explained… that you could keep your doctor (the lie of the year), and costs would go down, etc. Lots of people recognized that these were lies and decided that Obamacare wasn’t in their best interests. That the Bill was thousands of pages long (and thus unreadable) didn’t help, nor did the fact that most Congressmen didn’t understand what was in it (meaning the public couldn’t).

                The ACA was basically the GOP’s final offer from the previous time health care reform had been debated.

                And yet no Dem, no matter how far to the left, voted against it because it was too far to the right. And with a super majority it’d be very odd behavior to write a right-leaning bill. The way it was presented at the time was the left negotiated with the far left in terms of what they’d do.

                Obama offered the entire farm on the sequester negotiations and the only reason the GOP didn’t get it is they were so gone into rejectionism that they couldn’t countenance trading tax increases for spending cuts on a ten to one basis in their favor.

                Was this when they were using 10 year accounting with the offered spending cuts happening in years 9 and 10 (i.e. after Obama left office)?

                …then there’s no way they’re going to be able to pass that buck onto the liberals.

                I think that’s a reasonable statement, but given how many times the GOP has been wrong about who the voters will blame, I don’t think a serious miscalculation on their part is unlikely.

                Rather than think the GOP is stunningly competent in spite of all the evidence, I’d rather believe that they’re every bit as disorganized, short sighted, and selfish as their actions suggest. They’re JV High School, not Pro. Most of them would sell out their “principles” for a loose dollar. All of them are for whatever will get them elected.

                Which means keeping them unified and opposed needed huge amounts of “help” from Obama himself. When the Grandmaster Chess player loses, repeatedly, to some High School Schmuck it’s worth checking out his record, and if that record doesn’t actually have a noted history of success, then why am I supposed to think he’s a Grandmaster?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                why was opposing it popular?

                It wasn’t “popular”. That confuses the issue, since popularity is something that emerges naturally, outa krisma or talent, etc.

                Opposing the ACA wasn’t popular in that sense at all. It was the result of a concerted partisan effort, embraced by every mouthpiece of the right, and was very consciously intentional at the lowest levels of cynicism irregardless (as North said earlier) whether it was good for the country or not.

                The polling reveals that. Most folks like every provision in the ACA except the mandate. Cuz FREEDOM!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                The polling reveals that. Most folks like every provision in the ACA except the mandate.

                Then why did Obama have to go out and give the lie of the year (among others) to get it to pass?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Two different things, Dark. Obama may in fact be a lying devious asswipe, and people may in fact like the provisions in the ACA.

                I know you want to reduce this whole discussion to a simplistic rejection, but the evidence just doesn’t back that up. Most folks – the majority of folks – like guarantee issue, community rating, no rescission, Rule 26, caps on insurance co. profits, etc, etc.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Most folks – the majority of folks – like guarantee issue, community rating, no rescission, Rule 26, caps on insurance co. profits, etc, etc.

                Free benefits are always popular. Whether they’re popular enough to pay for is something else.

                Healthcare reform has often been a story of the Dems (or the public) wanting Universal Coverage (or in this case, to expand coverage) but flinching away from how much it’d cost.

                Calling it “simplistic rejection” ignores that dynamic.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Sure. Now you’re talking about something else, but that’s OK. I’m used to goal posts moving on the internets. And in real life, too.

                Add: this reminds me of a conversation I had with a commenter who no longer posts here who effectively said, upon challenge to the factual claims he was making, that “she meant a truth deeper than facts, something truer than facts.”

                And that, unfortunately, is where we’re at in our political discourse.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Dark, you know very well and Lord(Lady?) knows I’ve said it a million times that Obama’s greatest weakness has always been his disdain for the more retail elements of politics. He seems to honestly believe that being high minded would win the hearts and minds in the end without him demagogue any given matter. Nor are you ignorant of the fact that the GOP members that remained in 2009 were in no position to fear electoral consequences from the left- they feared getting primaried from the right if they cooperated. No amount of Obama’s bully pulpit was going to sway them and you know it. Especially since, as I’ve repeatedly noted, the GOP had already resolved that whatever Obama proposed they would oppose.

                And yet no Dem, no matter how far to the left, voted against it because it was too far to the right. And with a super majority it’d be very odd behavior to write a right-leaning bill. The way it was presented at the time was the left negotiated with the far left in terms of what they’d do.

                I know that you’re well aware of what went down but in the interest of comity I’m going to play along with the disingenuousness. The left wingers didn’t vote against it because any form of health care reform was preferable to none at all and they were keenly aware of it. Also because despite the right wings’ hysterical screeches to the contrary actual hard left wing politicians are rare as hell among the Democratic Parties ranks of elected members of Congress. The negotiations that went down, as you obviously are aware, was between the Democratic Party as a whole and their center/right wing hold outs like Liberman. I know you know about this since the right was shrieking like fruitbats about all the things the Dems did to cajole and whip their blue dogs into line.

                I have never claimed Obama was a Grandmaster chess player. In fact I was an adamant Hillary supporter in ’08. Keeping the GOP minority united in opposition was not really that hard: the Republicans left in office were predominantly from safe right wing districts and had the Right wing Media and Primary challenges to fear; not left wing opponents. McConnell had only a handful of potential defectors to worry about and had them intimidated into compliance once the ACA went down.

                For fish’s sake, this isn’t some great secret; the GOP bragged incessantly after the fact about how they’d resolved to oppose whatever Obama proposed.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                My 2nd point remains that the GOP’s base throwing a fit doesn’t pass the sniff test for outweighing the electorates expressed preference as shown in the elections. Obama ran on reforming heath care- he won. He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again. The Dems have had to struggle with a lot of trouble on health care and I have no doubt it’s been part of their general electoral problems, but the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                North, I don’t believe that you believe that. I think we’d be substantially worse off if you did.

                Health care reform was a second-tier issue at best in 2008. Among other things, IIRC Obama’s plan during the election cycle explicitly repudiated an individual mandate (which Clinton supported).

                The fact is, the American people can don’t give up the right to oppose President Obama’s policies just because the election season is over. I expect our antagonism and cultural alienation will continue to escalate until you can appreciate that.

                Nah, the price for them adding their policies to the mix was their having to offer some votes in support and give Obama a bipartisan win. An outcome they decided, well in advance, that they would not permit no matter whether it helped the country or not.

                North, there was no reason to them to think that collectivization of health care is supposed to be good for the country. The American people certainly didn’t think so.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Happily, Koz, you (nor I for that matter) are not the arbiter of what the American People did or do want. You and I went round and round on this back in the 2008-12 period up until Romney went down in flames on this very issue. You never did present a clear explanation for how what was functionally a copy of the Republican healthcare reform plan suddenly was transmuted into a horrific collectivization of health care.

                But let’s try another tack. In your version of history what did the GOP propose in 2009 during the health care reform negotiations. What did they offer to vote for? As I recall the answer was nothing, hell, they barely have anything to offer as an alternative eight years later.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                No North, the American people speak for themselves. Most of the time, it’s a muddy hodgepodge but sometimes it isn’t, and it wasn’t in the case of ACA.

                The horrificness of ACA isn’t because of policy. As policy, it’s bad, but plausibly bad policy. The real problem with ACA is that it’s creation is fundamentally illegitimate for a free people

                Romney emphatically did not lose in 2012 over ACA. He won fairly clearly among voters who voted on that issue. Obama’s campaign that year ran away from the significant acts of his first term (ACA, the stimulus package, his handling of the debt crisis, etc), in favor of mindless crap like Julia, Sandra Fluke, binders, 47% etc. It was frankly a disgrace.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                It’s creation was fundamentally illegitimate for a free people? Legislation, approved by both a majority in a duly elected Congress and a supermajority Senate is signed into law by a duly elected President then vetted repeatedly by the supreme court which (with some small twiddles) gives it their constitutional stamp of approval. Such a scandal, I can feel the foundations of the republic quaking.

                And in that you ignore the main point I’ll take that as a concession on that point. The GOP had no alternative, they were simply going to block whatever the Dems proposed. Well now they’re in the driver’s seat; their options are to try to undo what the Dems enacted, try to modify what the Dems enacted or try to replace what the Dems enacted. Here’s hoping they do what they should have done in 09.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Such a scandal, I can feel the foundations of the republic quaking.

                Oh, the sarcasm is just so cute. After all, nobody could really believe that foundations are shaking in 2016.

                And in that you ignore the main point I’ll take that as a concession on that point.

                Main point? Main point of what, lib?Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                Calling people you disagree with by a derogatory name (at least in our mind), does little to make anyone predisposed to your ideas.

                He won fairly clearly among voters who voted on that issue.

                Or not. Pre-2012 election polling on the issue showed the opposite.

                An average of current polls shows that 44% approve of the ACA and 45% disapprove. . .

                A majority of likely voters who say that “health care and Medicare” is the most important issue in their vote self-identify as Democrats (59%) rather than as independents (25%) or Republicans (14%). Meanwhile, a majority of likely voters who say that abortion is the most important issue identify as Republicans (56%) rather than as independents (20%) or Democrats (20%). . .

                Among likely voters who said “health care and Medicare” was the most important issue in their choice, 41% said they were much less likely to vote for a candidate who supported repealing all or part of the ACA; 14% said they were much more likely to vote for such a candidate.

                But again, those were probably ‘libs’ that voted for the ACA, and thus don’t count.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                Calling people you disagree with by a derogatory name (at least in our mind), does little to make anyone predisposed to your ideas.

                That’s a great point, specifically the context that I’m hoping that my political worldview finds increased favor among the commentariat here. Yes, that would be a good thing I suppose, but how important is it, really? Maybe I should wish that my political opponents are simply punished instead.

                More than any time in my life, the real meaning of solidarity for Americans as countrymen to each other is up in the air. The resolution of that is going to be a critical issue for America going forward. Specifically, public finance is going to be very very difficult in a world where we cannot rely on solidarity among Americans, since it’s as Americans that our taxing authorities can operate and collect revenue.

                As far as the rest of the stuff goes, I didn’t go through the New England Journal of Medicine, and it seems to me to be an odd source to cite. What ever it says, it seems to me to be much less credible than RealClearPolitics or the like, but then for the point isn’t really obscure anyway.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Sarcasm or no you still haven’t explained how the passing of the ACA was illegitimate beyond that it made conservatives aghast that they weren’t able to replicate their 1994 two step. Sure Brown got elected; that was assuredly a warning sign though not a very big one considering how much of a lemon his opponent was.

                As to the point you either missed or ignored, you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support. I’ve noted, repeatedly, that they were pursuing a strategy of pure obstruction, you claim they weren’t and yet as far as I recall the GOP never said “here’s what we think would be a good reform and we’ll give you X number of votes if you incorporate it into your proposal or pursue it instead. I would assert, of course, that the GOP didn’t say any such thing because they had no such policies and were pursuing a strategy of total obstruction.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to North says:

                And it’s not just the ACA. Look at Republican tactics on obstructing Obama’s appointments for the federal judiciary.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                …you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support…

                Assume it was actually “nothing”, as you’re claiming. Why is this a bad thing? Would the country have blown up without Obamacare? The bulk of the country was happy with their insurance, and only unhappy with the cost, and they wanted what Obama promised which was to lower costs.

                Obamacare was designed to expand coverage, i.e. pulling people into the system… and getting the rest of us to pay for it. That’s a worthy goal, but not what was advertised and “worthy” is not the same as “popular”.

                Opposing this, while proposing (by implication) that we don’t change the existing system, is perfectly legit.

                Obama took ownership of the health care system, this was a high-risk, high-reward move. If he’d actually done a good job and fulfilled his promises, then Dems would be getting elected bragging about the great job they did.

                Instead prices have continued to go up (not down), and we got a website that showed a stunning lack of competence, and the coverage isn’t that great.

                Bush got punished for mishandling the war(s).
                Obama has gotten punished for mishandling healthcare.

                Yes, the GOP made it harder for him. But he’s an adult and the Dems chosen leader. He’s supposed to be up to the job of being President, and a big part of that is handling the opposition.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I think you’re stuck in a bad place, here, Dark. You think there’s a way to get universal coverage that doesn’t require a mandate, lowers costs, guarantees issue (at community rating?), etc and so on, without healthy people “paying for it”.

                Part of this, seems to me, is that you’re stuck in the concept that for 85% of Americans health insurance aint no thang, since they get via their employer.

                But that’s actually a really big part of the problem here. Not to mention that every healthy employee’s premium subsidizes the sick and infirm. And that shouldn’t be a surprise, if you think about it, since that’s how insurance works.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think you’re stuck in a bad place, here, Dark. You think there’s a way to get universal coverage that require a mandate, lowers costs, guarantees issue (at community rating?), etc and so on, without healthy people “paying for it”.

                No, I understand the economics of this just fine (and agree with what you said), but what we’re talking about is the politics.

                Universal Coverage is a fine policy choice, but it has costs. Explaining those costs and getting support anyway is what was suppose to happen. What did happen was outright lies and determined defiance of popular opposition.

                Somehow there this effort on the left to present Obamacare’s political and economic problems as the GOP’s doing, not Obama’s. Similarly there’s an effort to present Obamacare as popular no matter how unpopular it is, and approved by the public no matter how many Dems got voted out of office for supporting it.

                I don’t understand all the determined blame shifting. Obama came into office with very little experience, being President is hard. The first painting you do is unlikely to be a masterpiece. The politics (and imho the economics) of this was mishandled.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                You have changed the subject Dark. In debate was the legitimacy of the very attempt which I submit was entirely legitimate. Obama campaigned on health care reform, he was elected along with sizable majorities to enact healthcare reform and his reform bill passed Congress correctly. Nowhere, anywhere, is it written that if you lose a special election to replace a single Senator that you then are required to shelve your agenda.

                Also in debate was whether the GOP had adopted a partisan strategy of total obstruction* which is what the bit you quoted was about. The GOP’s intended outcome was for the Dems to muddle around with healthcare, then fail to produce anything a la Clinton in the 90’s. Their shock, horror and outrage that the Dems learned from and declined to go along with that history never fails to warm my heart.

                As for the success or failure of the ACA? Sure, coverage has increased which is no small thing and premiums have continued to increase though at a slower rate and from a lower baseline than pre-aca. Oddly the electorate are not huge fans of the ACA, about 50/50, but they’re also really not fans of the pre-ACA situation, so that’s a circle Trump and the GOP are going to have to either try and square or leave be. They don’t have the option of just opposing anymore.

                *Which is completely legal, note, but it makes right wingers subsequent bleating about how Obama should have sold the plan more or reached out more or whatever just empty bleating.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to North says:

                What did Clinton campaign on again?
                “Not going backward” or something like that.
                (and, of course, “we can’t let the mysogynist win”)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                Obama campaigned on health care reform, he was elected along with sizable majorities to enact healthcare reform and his reform bill passed Congress correctly. Nowhere, anywhere, is it written that if you lose a special election to replace a single Senator that you then are required to shelve your agenda.

                All of this is true, none of it changes that he rammed through an unpopular bill in the face of determined popular opposition, nor that because he abused his super majority it was taken away from him.

                it makes right wingers subsequent bleating about how Obama should have sold the plan more or reached out more or whatever just empty bleating

                Sold it to the GOP? Sure. Sold it to the American people? Now that’s more than empty bleating. Somehow you seem to think the GOP had the responsibility to back a bill sold on lies in the face of general opposition from the population.

                GOP’s intended outcome was for the Dems to muddle around with healthcare, then fail to produce anything a la Clinton in the 90’s. Their shock, horror and outrage that the Dems learned from and declined to go along with that history never fails to warm my heart.

                Haven’t you lost enough elections yet? Telling the GOP to get lost is fine, doing the same to the American people is much less so. That’s very high risk, whatever you’re trying had better darn well work without extreme goal post moving.

                premiums have continued to increase though at a slower rate and from a lower baseline than pre-aca.

                Witness the goal post moving. Victory conditions were rates going down as promised, and people keeping their plans if they liked them.

                that’s a circle Trump and the GOP are going to have to either try and square or leave be. They don’t have the option of just opposing anymore.

                Yes. Being President is hard. Ideally we’d have someone in there with a proven track record of success and experience.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                As to the point you either missed or ignored, you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support.

                This line of thought is more or less stupid. The GOP opposed all versions of Obamacare. But bigger than that, the GOP (and the American people) didn’t care very much about the issue in general, which is a big part of the reason why it ended up being so politically damaging for the Dems.

                Specifically, the American people wanted jobs and wages. After that, they wanted less deficits. Growth was in there somewhere. Libs wanted healthcare reform. The rest of the country was perfectly fine without it.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Sarcasm or no you still haven’t explained how the passing of the ACA was illegitimate beyond that it made conservatives aghast that they weren’t able to replicate their 1994 two step. Sure Brown got elected; that was assuredly a warning sign though not a very big one considering how much of a lemon his opponent was.

                And this part is just ignorance or amnesia or both. The issue completely rocked the American political world from like Apr 2009 – Mar 2010. Scott Brown was pretty late in the game even. For pretty much a solid year, the Dems tried to rally support for their various plans but couldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it inside Washington, couldn’t do it outside Washington. Until finally they had to rely on naked political power and even that was a close-run thing.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Yes, the Dems failed to drum up bipartisan support for HCR on account of the GOP having resolved prior to that to oppose health care reform whatever form it took. The Dems ended up having to pass it on a party line vote (as you concede by noting that the GOP had no policy ideas of their own on the subject). Having campaigned heavily on health care reform and having won the election with a super majority and the presidency the Dems were entirely in their rights to pass health care reform and thanks to the GOP’s thinly veiled all out obstruction the dems ended up having to negotiate between their own wings to sort out the parameters. The ACA was the result; a lawfully passed piece of legislation openly campaigned upon and entirely legitimate despite the fact that Scott Brown won a special election for his Senate seat.

                So, when you say the bill was partisan it’s disingenuous. As you note the GOP had no policies of their own and as you concede they were committed to opposing whatever Obama proposed for health care reform. So the options were to pass a partisan bill or not pass one at all. No surprise that the left elected not to simply concede the matter.
                And when you say the ACA was illigitamite you mean only that it’s something the right really didn’t like and didn’t want to lose on.

                And if you’re right that the entire public hates the ACA then Trump and the GOP can simply repeal it (well as much as they can through reconciliation) without a replacement and reap the praise of a grateful polity. For some reason I’m skeptical that it’ll turn out that way.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                If ACA universal coverage couldn’t have existed in the market, why assume the government making it mandatory is legitimate.

                At least in the market you can say, I will or will not buy this product because it meets the value threshold I put on it.

                People politically making it mandatory that you value the product more than you actually do looks the opposite of legitimate.

                It may have looked like the right thing to do, but when people felt it, that side took considerable damage.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                It is true that bipartisan support for Obamacare would have greased the skids quite a bit, but still, that’s ancillary, like I mentioned before it’s a corrupt frame of reference.

                The Dems were elected to represent their voters and America as a whole. But instead they implemented they implemented their own ideological priorities against the judgement and interest of America collectively. That has had profoundly negative consequences for America political culture (and the D’s politically for that matter).

                Anything that talks about what the GOP did or didn’t do in that circumstance is willfully or obliviously evading that.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                But instead they implemented they implemented their own ideological priorities against the judgement and interest of America collectively.

                As divined by you entirely from the entrails of Martha Coakley’s defeat in the contest against Scott Brown. You can assert it all you like but that doesn’t make it true. It also doesn’t sync up with the timelines since the ACA was passed after the GOP had already embarked on their obstruction stratagem. Nor did the electorate fire Obama for having the temerity to pass the ACA against, what you say was, their collective will even when presented with a man you enthusiastically supported as representing conservativism in 2012.

                In any event if, as you say, the ACA is an unmitigated bane upon the country then no doubt Trump, who I think does very capably encapsulate conservativism as it is in this day and age, and the GOP will have no qualms repealing as much of it as they can and there’ll be celebration across the land. Somehow, I suspect it will not turn out that way.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                As divined by you entirely from the entrails of Martha Coakley’s defeat in the contest against Scott Brown. You can assert it all you like but that doesn’t make it true.

                Au contraire lib. It is true whether or not I argue the point. That is the point. It’s got nothing to do with me (or the GOP). Anything that’s emphasizing what me or Mitch McConnell or the GOP was or wasn’t doing in 2009 is a corrupt frame of reference. They aren’t the key players.

                Btw, I mentioned like three comments ago (in response to you), Scott Brown was late in the game anyway.

                As far as repeal of Obamacare under the Trump Administration, that remains to be seen but you may be correct. If you are correct, that speaks so much worse for the libs since intention for their advocacy for Obamacare was not merely to repudiate America’s view of the situation but also prevent them from unwinding it at a later date.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Well I can’t argue faith based assertions from you so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that since I think the passage of the ACA was quite in keeping with the campaign Obama won on.

                If, as I suspect, the GOP and Trump balk or feel compelled to offer a replacement for the ACA when/if they take a run at it, well that’d be a strong indicator that it isn’t the universally reviled and destructive policy you present it as. Legally the GOP could have it gone in the next month or two: A quick run over the Senates’ presiding officer to change the rules to axe the filibuster; then a brisk passage of a simple repeal through the House and Senate then the ol’ John Hancock from Trump. If the millions of people in the electorate and especially among Trumps supporters flipped out at being heaved off their health care that certainly won’t reflect badly on liberals or Dems. I mean how dare they craft legislation that people like!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                Hopefully we’ll have an honest bipartisan reform effort.

                Alternatively Trump could just get have a bipartisan effort to get rid of the unpopular parts (the mandate) and let the death spiral destroy the popular parts.

                Politicians always fold against the public. IMHO there’s no way the Dems could remain solid against the public for keeping the unpopular parts of the bill, no matter what the long term consequences are.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Well I can’t argue faith based assertions from you so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that since I think the passage of the ACA was quite in keeping with the campaign Obama won on.

                What are you taking to be faith-based here?

                My point in this train of comments has been that during that period President Obama, the Dems in Congress and the libs enabling them manifestly and egregiously failed their duties of representation, especially their representation of weakly political Demo voters.

                (And of course now, those voters are much fewer because most of them went over to the GOP, as voters for sure and maybe even registered party members).

                In any event, none of this looks to be faith-based to me.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Koz says:

                koz,
                The voters that went Dem in PA to ward off Hillary in 2008 are STILL DEMS. I know some of them. It was too much annoyance to reregister.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North says:

                Why are you arguing with him? You’re a lib, he’s not going to listen to you. You’re illegitimate and wrong by default.

                I mean you can hear the scorn and contempt in the word “lib” every time he says it.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Morat20 says:

                You’ve been here quite some time Morat20 but I don’t recall if you were here back in Koz and I’s heydays. Him and I going round and round, on ol’ George W. and the W era GOP’s hypocrisies; folk Marxism; grand times!

                I’ve been arguing with Koz for ages here except for his hiatus after Romney went down in flames in 2012. Also, I don’t need to persuade Koz himself; I’m content to let his words and tone speak for themselves to everyone else in the conversation.

                And as for “Lib”? It’s a compliment and I take it as such. I am a liberal after all and happy to be identified as one.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North says:

                How you take it doesn’t change how it’s meant. And what that usage implies.

                Strangely, the people urging us libs to learn to listen, and stop being so smug, and to break the cycle seem to gloss over that.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Morat20 says:

                As much as it pains me, the lib might be right. Not that I have any particular animus against you or North or any of the other libs here, but why are we talking to each other?

                I’d like to think that we have some commonality as Americans to build on, but I fear that’s becoming less and less important every day. There’s at least one thing in the stew today that I think is important but doesn’t seem to be mentioned very much: in contrast to the Reagan era, where the partisan antagonism was also very bitter, a lot of the issues under contention aren’t really differences of opinion in any meaningful way.

                So, back then, even when the issues were contentious, the antagonism associated with them would dissipate once it was resolved and new information came to light. As things stand now, the libs’ primary loyalty is to disparage typical Americans and their agency to act in our political culture, ie multiculturalist balkanization.

                If I’m right, in this context one or the other of us just has to lose. Hopefully it’s you.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

                libs’ primary loyalty is to disparage typical Americans

                Remember when Jaybird used to accuse you of being performance art? I’m finally convinced.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Morat20 says:

                Morat, I used to go to Marriagedebate.com and debate SSM with Maggie Gallagher and her crew in the early aughts. Compared to the shit those people said Koz is a fluffy internet kitten. I’m pretty sure I never convinced any of the people I directly argued with there but occasionally other people not directly involved in the scuffles would chime in to comment that I’d swayed them- often as much by my manner as by my arguments. If I thought I harmed my causes with what I say online then I’d stop; I don’t think that so I still do it.

                Also I argue with Koz because it’s fun.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

                No thanks, we will stick with our destructive policy of embracing Medicare and Social Security, health care reform, and the minimum wage, against the GOP’s wildly popular policy of eradicating them.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well yeah, it remains to be seen if those are in fact the Republicans’ prospective policies. Certainly the libs are well within their rights to oppose any or all of them if they are.

                But for now at least they are sleazily and groundlessly attempting to prevent Donald Trump from assuming the office to which he was very clearly elected.

                So the immediate spiritual priority for the libs is to reverse that, to the best interest of America as a whole and its legitimacy.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

                We know what the R’s stand for; North Carolin shows it loud and clear. Power by any means necessary. Lenln would be proud of you.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I’m not sure what this is supposed to be about but I for one have doubts that North Carolina illustrative of Republicans all over the US anyway.Report

              • Avatar rmass in reply to Koz says:

                You missed where the lost the governor’s race, then decided to strip him of as many powers of office as possible?

                Dude get new glasses. Those ones are bad.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to rmass says:

                I’ve read about that a little bit but to be honest I haven’t followed it that closely. Seems like typical political football from here, but the libs are still upset.Report

              • Avatar rmass in reply to Koz says:

                Oh, I’ve missed you.

                But if you think this is normal order same ol same ol, then you’re the problem dog.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to rmass says:

                I don’t, necessarily. Like I said, I haven’t followed in that close. From what I’ve seen, it’s been a bunch of libs clutching pearls without actually bothering to state a case.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                without actually bothering to state a case.

                Read: I haven’t bothered to read\listen to what those ‘libs’ had to say.

                I mean, they have taken a bunch of Republican political appointments and made them permanent employees (among other things).Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                I have, but not exhaustively. What I have seen doesn’t persuade me as conclusive. Ok, the GOP is taking away powers from the governor before a lib takes assumes that office.

                Why am I supposed to think this is bad? It gets back to some earlier comments. What is our common interest as Americans (or Carolinians in this case) and how do we suppose that should govern the actions of the various players here?

                As things stand, I think the libs are simply in shock that Trump won. And compounding that doesn’t seem to be any kind of cagey manipulation to protect their political or ideological interests. Libs just seem to be waiting that Donald Trump will do something stupid enough to bring the libs back in from the cold. And there is certainly some chance that will happen. But if it doesn’t, libs are going to have to come up with some real answers.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to rmass says:

                It is “same old same old”. The GOP of this state learned this trick from the Dems.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to rmass says:

                According to this, not so much guys

                I’m not surprised. Doesn’t change that it is “same old, same old” however… or maybe political payback. Go back more than a decade and you’re looking at the Dems pulling that kind of crap on the GOP.

                This is how NC has been doing things for a long time. It’s a vile political culture, but that’s a different problem.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy says:

                Dark Matter: Doesn’t change that it is “same old, same old” however… or maybe political payback.

                Kazzy: cite?

                http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/north-carolina-republicans-learned-obstruction-from-democrats/article/2609886Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to rmass says:

                Let me state the psychology of this:

                1. If the GOP did something like that, it would be disqualifying. Most grown up adults would say “No, that’s not how it works, they should be punished for that, that’s not how democracy works, I’d have to vote against them.
                2. People don’t like to switch parties. They have a lot invested in them.
                3. The only way to make (1) acceptable is if it’s universal — if Democrats are just as bad, it’s no longer disqualifying as you would be supporting such behavior no matter how you voted. As such, you’re free to vote on other concerns.

                So, there is a very, very, very strong bias to believe that whatever negative thing one party does — and the more awful the thing, the more powerful the bias — that the other party must do at least as badly, if not worse.

                This is not a matter of research, it is a matter of low level cognitive processes.

                How bad it is varies, but currently there’s a nasty strain all throughout the right in America. I think it came out of the weird post-ideology 90s with the double dose of culture warriors and obstructionists that came out of Texas.

                When a good chunk of your party ideology is “We’re against whatever Democrats are for, updated daily” then you’ve basically invited that little mental tic in. After all, if the Democrats are wrong in all things, any Republican wrongs must be — by definition — lesser than Democratic wrongs. Ergo, any horrible thing a Republican did is — at best — no worse than average for a Democrat.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20 says:

                So, there is a very, very, very strong bias to believe that whatever negative thing one party does — and the more awful the thing, the more powerful the bias — that the other party must do at least as badly, if not worse.

                Resulting in the obvious end result of believing that the opposing party has somehow done actual criminal things that should result in jail time.

                When a good chunk of your party ideology is “We’re against whatever Democrats are for, updated daily” then you’ve basically invited that little mental tic in.

                Along with the mental tic of not giving a damn about policy.

                There are a few Facebook pages for the town I live in. One of those is pretty Republican meme-ist. About a month ago, I noticed something about that page, and even posted a question that was something like this, except probably a bit more circumspect and respectful:

                You know, traditionally, after your side wins an election, you’re supposed to be discussing *what you want to happen*. At this point in time in 2008, the left was busy discussing health reform (did happen) and winding down the wars (didn’t really). We stopped carrying about the Republican that lost to Obama, ole what’s-his-face, immediately.

                In fact, *so did you*. So did both of us forget about Al Gore. Everyone, in every election, at least ones where we got a *new* president, since 2000 (Can’t speak to what happened in 1992), has immediately started focusing on the new president, and what he’s going to do, and the loser instantly disappears into history books. And same with incumbent reelection, except we already have a baseline so ideas are less extreme and the discussion calmer.

                The left is doing it right now. (I mean, I’m sure you guys think the left is blowing Trump out of proportion and are wrong, but you have to admit, we are in fact talking about what Trump is going to do.)

                But this time, you Republicans…seem to be still posting memes about how bad Hillary is and how she is a criminal (Which hardly seems relevant at this point), and how stupid liberals are.

                Heck, there seem to be *less* ‘Build the wall’ and ‘Get the government out of health care, repeal the ACA’ memes and other stuff like that *now*, than before the election. And no one seems upset that promises are being backed off of.

                Do…you guys have any policy goals at all? Things you actually want the Republicans to do, as opposed to just punching liberals, or specifically Hillary, in the face? Can you please *list* some of those goals?

                You guys do know the point of the election system isn’t to *win*, right? Winning is just something your candidate has to do so they can *implement your preferred policy goals*?

                I…didn’t get a lot of responses to this, at least not on topic.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Resulting in the obvious end result of believing that the opposing party has somehow done actual criminal things that should result in jail time.

                Yes, witness 8 years ago all the cries to arrest Bush and his crew for Guantanamo etc.

                Do…you guys have any policy goals at all? Things you actually want the Republicans to do, as opposed to just punching liberals, or specifically Hillary, in the face? Can you please *list* some of those goals?

                Reform the tax code so it doesn’t punish job creation. Inversions are basically us paying US companies to relocate.

                Stop using “fighting global warming symbolism” to justify destroying jobs and the environment.

                Switch to using parents to fight educational system disfunction (school choice) and not command/control.

                Rollback growth destroying regulations.

                Healthcare reform that actually reforms healthcare.

                And I could go on but that’s enough for now I think.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yes, witness 8 years ago all the cries to arrest Bush and his crew for Guantanamo etc.

                I think you mean for *torture*, something that a) actually did happen, and b) actually was illegal.

                Also, not to get into your comments about what *you* want to happen, but I will point out that *you* are not a Trump supporter posting memes on Facebook.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to DavidTC says:

                You know, traditionally, after your side wins an election, you’re supposed to be discussing *what you want to happen*. At this point in time in 2008, the left was busy discussing health reform (did happen) and winding down the wars (didn’t really). We stopped carrying about the Republican that lost to Obama, ole what’s-his-face, immediately.

                I don’t read facebook very much, but this isn’t tracking for me at all.

                From what I can see, the GOP is talking about the upcoming Trump Administration and what it’s going to do (the wall, judicial nominees, Obamacare, even taxes and entitlements). To the extent that the GOP is talking about the D’s at all, it’s because of the anticipated obstruction to getting his nominees in to staff his Administration (something that really ought to be a gimme here).Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Koz says:

                I don’t read facebook very much, but this isn’t tracking for me at all.

                From what I can see, the GOP is talking about the upcoming Trump Administration and what it’s going to do (the wall, judicial nominees, Obamacare, even taxes and entitlements). To the extent that the GOP is talking about the D’s at all, it’s because of the anticipated obstruction to getting his nominees in to staff his Administration (something that really ought to be a gimme here).

                I am not talking about the *GOP*, as in, the *Party*.

                I am talking about the Trump supporters on Facebook, who spent the last six months trashing Hillary and demanding a wall be built and the swamp be drained and ISIS be destroyed by magic and whatever else.

                And who are now…reduced to trashing Hillary and liberals for losing. The wall talk is gone. The swamp talk is gone. Foreign policy is gone. The repealing-the-ACA talk is gone. The stuff the Republicans in Congress are talking about doing, social security reforms and stuff…never even was on their radar, but it’s not there now, either, and it should have appeared there.

                In the entire history of elections that I have observed, the supporters of the winner have always said ‘Woo! Our candidate got elected, maybe they’ll really do Campaign Promise.’ and the supporters of the other side said ‘Crap, their candidate got elected, maybe we can stop them from doing Campaign Promise’. That’s how it plays out after the election.

                No one gave a *damn* about the losing candidate the second it became clear they had, in fact, lost. Well, I lie. There’s always some faint cheering, some ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ stuff…but it’s like a week of stuff, maybe two.

                Losers *and* people leaving office get that. In a weird normality, it’s just started for Obama, exactly on schedule, and will *presumably* ramp up until he leaves office, and then die off within a week…unless it happens weirdly for *him* this election cycle also.

                But Hillary lost *seven weeks* ago. Seven. Weeks.

                At *this* point, in fact, well before this point, the people who supported Trump should have pivoted from ‘Hillary sucks, we’re glad she lost!’ to ‘What are the awesome things that Trump is going to do, and how can we hold him to his promises?’. That’s how it happened every other election.

                And the left pivoted as expected, saying ‘Crap, Trump got elected, maybe we can stop him from doing Campaign Promise’. (With added worried about a Republican Congress, obviously.)

                But the *Trump* supporters are, basically, still just jeering at Hillary and her supporters and yelling obscenities. None of them have moved to any sort of policy talks at all.

                I have never, in the entire history of elections I have observed, seen the *supporters* of a winning candidate start talking *less* about the candidate’s goals and policies *after* winning than before! That’s crazy!Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

                David,
                That’s first because people didn’t vote FOR trump, by and large. they voted against the influence peddling clintons (ooh! see, tact!).

                Second, that’s because the ones that actually were stupid enough to believe Trump ARE flipping the fuck out, and being trolled into oblivion.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DavidTC says:

                Look no further than Breitbart’s front page.

                The list of current articles above the fold:
                “Kerry Attacks Israeli Government, Defends UN Resolution”
                “…OBAMA ADMIN BLASTS BIBI’S GOV’T AS ‘EXTREME,’ IGNORES PALESTINIAN REJECTION OF PEACE, LIES ABOUT DEMOGRAPHICS…”
                “…KASSAM — USEXIT: THE CASE FOR BOOTING U.N. OUT OF U.S. GROWS STRONGER”
                “20 MOST EPIC CELEBRITY TRUMP MELTDOWNS OF 2016”
                “COTTON URGES TRUMP TO PUSH WAGE-RAISING IMMIGRATION REFORM THROUGH CONGRESS”
                “CHRISTIANS MOST PERSECUTED RELIGIOUS GROUP IN THE WORLD, STUDY SAYS”
                “BLOOMBERG: AS POPULISTS WON 2016 BALLOTS, WORLD’S RICHEST MADE $237 BILLION”

                So I’d say 1 (Immigration reform), maybe 2 (USExit), articles regarding policy pursuits and the rest attacks on liberals, victimization, and… well, I’m not sure what that last one has to do with anything.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                From the USExit piece:
                “In his lame-duck attempt to undermine the State of Israel with a diplomatic knifing in the front, President Obama has created fertile ground for a campaign to lead the United States out of the United Nations. Or as I call it: USexit.
                A Usexit (pronounced: you-sex-it) movement has rarely ever taken hold, with the last attempt to encourage such a move dying in committee in 2015.”

                That’s… not how I pronounced that word in my head. Also, I will remove that from the list of articles about serious policy proposals.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

                I would second this, that for most Trump supporters, Cleek’s Law holds sway.
                They are animated mostly by rage and hostility not to specific policy so much as the overall tectonic social and economic change happening around them.

                Its like how actual policy was dwarfed by cultural ephemera like the Pledge of Allegiance, Merry Christmas, and PC victimization.

                They really are angry, see themselves as victims of evil enemies who they want punished.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You forgot to mention animated by racism as well. How could you forget that?Report

              • “He’s a dangerously ignorant buffoon with no impulse control. It’s like you just sent a chimp with a flame-thrower into a munitions dump.”

                “Maybe. But I really hate Hillary!”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                That’s a perfect analysis of this election.

                The problem is that “both sides” think they’re right.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Frankly I’ll believe the GOP actually has the stones to take a run at those two when I see it and not before.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                I believe it was Thoreau, or maybe Jane Austin, who said,
                “I wish a mutherfucker would!”Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It would clarify a lot of things. I can’t imagine Ryan would be dumb enough after Trump got elected to try. I can’t imagine even Trump would be dumb enough to go along with it if Ryan did.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’d just as soon they didn’t. It’s anybody’s guess what Trump will actually do, but what he ought to do is get a good judge through the Senate to SCOTUS, and build the wall. If he does that, he keeps the mainstream GOP and Trump-base onside, at least for a while.

                Libs will complain, but I don’t think they’ll get much traction. The world really doesn’t need libs.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Koz says:

                koz,
                I hope you live in Miami, then. And I definitely hope you enjoy shitstorms and the subsequent ecoli infestations.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No thanks, we will stick with our destructive policy of embracing Medicare and Social Security, health care reform, and the minimum wage…

                Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you on the other side of the fiscal cliff. A lot of people are going to get hurt in the fall, though, so I’m going to find my own way down.Report

              • Avatar joke in reply to Koz says:

                The Republican base may have wanted Republican obstructionism. But the American people? That’s a stretch. Not even a stretch. Its just not true. Obama won two terms, and polls repeatedly show dissatisfaction with Congress, saying Washington doesn’t work.

                Unless, of course, one subscribes to the notion that liberals aren’t American, which is a sentiment I see expressed on the internets more and more frequently, and which I feel is one of the most dangerous.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to joke says:

                Yes the American people, who didn’t know that Obamacare was going to take the shape that it did. But the bigger problem is all the emphasis on “obstruction” in the first place, which is a corrupt framing of the situation by libs. (Or the bit about “white supremacy”, which is an even more toxic version of the same thing.)

                Or to put it another way, the rationalizations about GOP obstruction are almost always oblivious self-serving bullshit. That said, they’re largely derivative. The bigger corruption is the libs’ framing of early Obama Administration as a partisan trench war, which underlies those rationalizations.

                The real problem for the libs at that time was the American people, not the GOP. The GOP got into the game because the American people needed representation (that they thought they were going to get from the Dems) and found out that the GOP was the only game in town.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North says:

                With the Trump win what exactly does the GOP have now?

                Depends on what Trump does, rather than what he says. If he tries to implement White Power (which I assume he won’t), then he’ll go down in flames and the GOP will suffer.

                Someone on this board described the GOP as a selection of people who care about Guns! Moats! God! & Money!

                He ran on the first three, but it’s easy to picture him as a Money! guy.

                If Trump takes the Presidency seriously and devotes himself to Money! (i.e. economic growth) and good governance, then that’s enough to build a party on even if Trump himself has serious personality problems.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Dark Matter says:

                If I were betting I’d assume Bush W redux. Definitely a lot of tax cuts with no commensurate spending cuts, probably plenty of military spending. I dunno about foreign adventurism or not.
                I’d assume the God! element will be benign neglect; Trump doesn’t strike me as being very into the abortion or social questions.

                It really depends on who he’ll be.. is he just going to be a rubber stamp for Ryan? Or does he have an agenda of his own. I’m more inclined to expect the former than the latter.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I strongly expect Money! will be a big part of it, but I’m not optimistic that it will be in the “economic growth” sense so much as the “money for Trump and his associates” sense. With luck, the two sets of interests will align and we’ll get some decent policy out of the mix. But if the two don’t align, I’m not optimistic.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                From his picks, he seems to be taking his “gov is a problem, lower its burden” talk seriously. There’s certainly a lot of low hanging fruit.

                I’m starting to get hopeful.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Well, if you can’t pass legislation to, say, eliminate the DOE, you can always just run it into the ground.Report

      • they’re seriously not ready for Trump being much better than Obama at the nuts and bolts of the Presidency,

        No, we try to stay away from the brown acid. But you guys have fun,Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Koz says:

      It’s like Homer Simpson protesting the handgun waiting period – “But I’m angry now!” There will be plenty of chances to make legitimate stands against Trump, but they won’t start until he takes office.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

      I have missed your circular readings of history. The irony of you sitting in a thread on an article, a core point of which is that elections and electoral votes are the only legitimate expressed will of the people, and laud McConnell’s decision post 2008 to oppose everything the newly elected Democratic President proposed in hopes of paralyzing him and earning him the ire of the same electorate is so intense I can hear all the fridge magnets rattling in the kitchen.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

        You’re confusing a couple of things here I think. Elections (and Electoral Votes) are the legitimate way we determine who gets to occupy federal office, in this case POTUS. The Demo’s, in their usual bad faith, are trying to undercut that in the hope of gaining some political advantage.

        The problem with President Obama wasn’t how he got office, it’s what he did when he got it.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

          All argument which would potentially fly except that we know from the GOP’s own words that the GOP opted to adopt a total opposition strategy before they even knew exactly what Obama was going to propose.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

            You seem to be misinformed. The libs’ current brainstorm is the attempt (or more likely wishful thinking) to prevent Donald Trump from assuming office, which is illegitimate, especially on the grounds that they are arguing.

            Frankly for the moment I don’t care what the Demo’s plans are for obstructing President Trump, there’s some chance they can be bulldozed anyway.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

              Meh, that’s just nonsensical wankery on the further lefts part. Trump will assume office obviously. He did win the election and there’s no reason for the Dems to try some dramatic intervention when the only realistic outcome, as Scotto observes, would be to replace Trump with a more 2000-2008 version GOP candidate. What would be the point of that?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

      In order for us to make ourselves into better people, what better role model could there be than Trump himself?Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Well let’s face it, President-Elect Trump is marginal at best as a role model so he’s probably not the one to look to for that. That said, even without any kind of direct authority the Demo’s do have a role in helping to bolster our legitimacy, solidary, mutual goodwill and all of that, in support of the United States of a whole, even if the other party is in power.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

          No, no, don’t be modest!

          Donald Trump is the quintessential Republican!
          His mannerisms, his speech, his behavior- they are all the very epitome of what Republicans hold dear.

          Who can forget that stirring speech, of how to grab a woman by the pussy?

          Whose heart is not stirred to patriotic fervor when he told us Mexicans are all rapists and murderers?

          What better example of nobility is there than informing the world how his daughter is a great piece of ass?

          Even Cary Grant himself never was charming enough to mock a disabled person with such wit and cleverness.

          No, sir, we liberals cannot lay claim to this. Donald Trump is yours, and you are his people, forevermore.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Au contraire lib. Donald Trump is the President-Elect of America, and thereby of all Americans. In short, he’s your guy too.

            Whereas it can be said that some of his behavior in the past could be described as less than gentlemanly, and for that matter some of ideas might have been less than fully formed.

            Be that as it may, we should hope that he is successful as President of the United States when he assumes that role, to the benefit of America and all Americans.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

              Whereas it can be said that some of his behavior in the past could be described as less than gentlemanly, and for that matter some of ideas might have been less than fully formed.

              I may just have this framed, it is so delightful.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

              On that last part you are entirely correct.
              I hope he does well as President and I hope he succeeds in reshaping his party in his image. I don’t think it’s very contestable that he embodies what the GOP electorate stands for and believes in far more than his GOP peers.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

          So basically the Dems have an obligation to behave the opposite of the way the GOP did when they were out of power?Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        what better role model could there be than Trump himself?

        Before the election, I was in the habit of comparing the Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump match-up as the Bernie Madoff / Howard Stern face-off.

        About a week before the election, I realized that I actually preferred Stern out of the four of them (i.e., Clinton, Trump, Madoff, & Stern), and that made me sad.
        I stopped talking about that shortly thereafter.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Koz says:

      koz,
      Mistaking “hillary’s last ditch campaigning” for “what the left really thinks” is just plain idiotic. The left doesn’t think theft is actually okay. Hillary’s “anti-trump” protestors stole my microwave (and the truck it was on). Yeah, these paid protestors aren’t exactly making the left look good.Report

  7. Avatar Pinky says:

    The left has a reputation for respecting the will of the people up until the moment it turns against them, then putting their faith in institutions. Rioters are fine – but call the cops on anyone wearing a tricorn hat. The Supreme Court must be granted latitude – except for people like Roberts – wait, he voted with us? He’s ok then. The only reason that the public could accept for overturning the election results is fairness. It’s like using the appeals system to take another swing at a pitch. If you can’t make the argument that the process failed, then you don’t get a redo. If someone could make the claim that the results of this election don’t reflect the will of the people (and the Russian hack isn’t close to being enough), then they’d have a chance. They don’t.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

      This would make more sense if Trump won the popular vote. He did not. He lost it by three million people.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq says:

        This would make more sense if Trump won the popular vote. He did not. He lost it by three million people.

        Meaning the GOP in California didn’t turn out because both “past the post” candidates for their election were Dems and they knew there’d be no point in voting for the Presidency.

        If the rules were set up to care about the popular vote, there’s a good chance Trump would have still won.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

          That trump could have won the PV is an assertion without any evidence. None at all. In fact since he lost the PV by 3 mil assuming he could have made up 2% of the vote is waaaay out there. Did R’s in Cali not turn out: maybe, but did every D in Cali turn out knowing the D’s would get the EV’s there or in NY or in any other blue state. The “didn’t turn out due to first past the post” argument cuts both ways and offers no advantages to either. Trump lost the PV with all the obvious implacations.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:

            @greginak

            Ah but when have facts ever gotten in the way of our anti-Democratic partisans.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

            greginak: That trump could have won the PV is an assertion without any evidence.

            He won where he wanted to win, where it was important for him to win, even in places like Michigan and various other members of the Blue Wall.

            You tell me the rules, I’ll tell you my actions. Telling me you could have won with different rules? That also has no evidence because everyone would have changed their actions.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Yeah both side played by the rules. Clinton lost the EV so Trump is prez. Trump lost the PV by almost 3 mil. You want to complain about the one that doesn’t favor you. You can cope since you got Trump. They both played the game as given and Trump lost the PV solidly. You don’t like the obvious implications…oh well.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Yes, if you ignore a full what — 12th of the nation — that does tend to change the totals. Seems a bit odd to single out California.

          But California clearly isn’t really America, despite holding all those Americans and being what — one of the top ten world economies all by it’s lonesome?Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Meaning the GOP in California didn’t turn out because both “past the post” candidates for their election were Dems and they knew there’d be no point in voting for the Presidency.

          Why would that phenomenon be unique enough to Republicans that it would bias the results?Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The Demo protestations around the popular vote is an example of the libs’ fundamental illegitimacy.Report

        • Avatar Francis in reply to Koz says:

          “libs’ fundamental illegitimacy.”

          gee, thanks. I do wonder how far I could push my response without drawing the wrath of the proprietors of the blog.

          So instead of responding in the manner that the comment deserves, let me point out instead the indisputable fact that if the Blue States split off, the Red States would be immediately impoverished.

          Pacifica (California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico) would control the West Coast ports and have a top 8 global economy. New New England (the North Atlantic states down to VA) would control the world’s financial center and have its own sophisticated high-tech economy.

          In return, you get the expanded Confederacy. How are the economies of Kansas and Louisiana — proud emblems of conservative governance — doing these days?Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Francis says:

            This is a silly thought experiment, because we live in a world of federal supremacy, and the Republicans control the federal government (or at least they will when President Trump is inaugurated). That’s the United States, where are supposed to have some loyalty toward.

            That means if we insist on dividing us by geography, it’s the Republicans who get Oregon and Massachusetts and California and Virginia. The libs get, I dunno, Venezuela or somewhere similarly ideologically compatible for them.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Koz says:

              I can see how getting slightly less than half of the votes across the board could lead Republicans to the obvious conclusion that no ideologies other than theirs exist at all except in far flung foreign countries.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                They exist all right. But maybe they’ll be ignored when Donald Trump becomes the undisputedly legitimate President of all 50 states.

                What a country, I tell you.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                I certainly acknowledge that Trump will be the legitimate President of all these United States. It is clarifying in many ways- the man truly does embody the true nature of Conservationism these days. It gives me no small amount of consolation to think about how he may well remake the GOP in his orange image. I certainly don’t think the USA deserves Donald Trump, but his party? They deserve him in spades.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                I certainly don’t think the USA deserves Donald Trump, but his party?

                Why not? If libs don’t want to be ruled by Willard, they can certainly be ruled by Trump.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Err, maybe you missed it but Trump is a Republican.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                Well sort of, but that’s kind of ancillary anyway.

                The point being is that, contrary to your earlier suggestion that libs deserve a better President than Trump, I say “No, lib, Trump is exactly what you deserve.”Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                Why? Because they didn’t elect a Republican last cycle?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                Because of the essential corruption of the Demo base as participants in a Republic (and constrained by that) for the two terms of President Obama.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Koz says:

                “the essential corruption of the Demo base”

                Winning a few key states by a tiny number of votes has given DJT the Presidency.

                It is also true, however, that the Demo base delivered the key economic powerhouses of the West Coast states, New England and some of the mid-Atlantic states and Illinois, among others, to HRC.

                Calling that losing electoral coalition corrupt, as opposed to unsuccessful, may feel great but it’s unlikely to lead to a productive conversation here.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Francis says:

                It was unsuccessful, but that’s not the reason it’s corrupt.

                The reason it’s corrupt is because it enabled, nay, it instigated the failures of accountability and (lower-case r) republican citizenship during two terms of President Obama, especially but not including Obamacare.

                And furthermore, the apotheosis of these corruptions was the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. And it is a failure of the base to acknowledge her corruptions and the corrupt associations that prospectively, she would empower and would be empowered by.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                I have absolutely no idea what that means . . .Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                Sorry, it wasn’t meant to be obscure. See my response to Francis for clarity.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                Thanks for the clarification. I disagree, but then again I would, wouldn’t I 😉Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                You may want to reread the comment in question. I mused on whether the GOP (Trump’s party) deserved him (I think it does since he embodies its principles and culture) and indicated I don’t think the country deserves Trump (because I love the ‘ol US). I didn’t comment on whether the Democratic Party deserves Trump though by losing to him there’s really little argument that they don’t.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                No, I got that part. My point is that, given the lib corruptions of our political culture, we should expect our leaders will be colder, less responsive, less cultured, and reactive to challenges of ego and authority, relative to what we might expect under the leadership of a citizen-sovereign Republic.

                Ergo, Trump. Yes, the Demos absolutely deserve it.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz says:

                Ah yes, Liberals created Trump. Yet another thing they have inflicted on hapless republicans and conservatives. I rather like that conceit though, makes losing the election to him by a hair slightly less galling.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to North says:

                The GOP is the party of personal responsibility, after all.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Indeed. There was a problem, so conservatives took personal responsibility for solving the problem, and elected Trump.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                The juxtaposition of these two comments is fantastic.*

                * comment right below at this moment says

                No, libs didn’t create Trump. They’re just responsible for getting him elected.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                I’m not getting it. Trump was there the whole time, libs created a world where he was the best option. Conservatives successfully executed on that option.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                If you use qualifying language both statements can certainly make logical sense. My comment was more because there were comments back to back putting responsibility on liberal and conservatives. I found it funny.

                I do reject that liberals bear any but the most passing sliver of responsibility for Trump. If liberals ‘created’ some undefined problem they are repsonsible for the natural and probable outcome of their actions. Republicans decision to nominate and elect a reality tv star is not one of those things.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                It’s typically puzzling for me the extent to which libs find such things difficult or obscure. It shouldn’t be, to my mind.

                The Obama Administration, and the libs that enabled it, are the primary cause for the lack of cultural and economic agency for many Americans. And in fact, that’s become an increasingly explicit endgame for the libs.

                Yet they stand there noncomprehending slackjawed idiots when it turns out the American people actually are willing to put Trump in the White House to prevent that. Well, yeah.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

                Which Americans would these be, who lack “cultural and economic agency”?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                PPACA opponents, for starters.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

                Apparently “lack of agency” means “we lost a vote in congress 218/217”.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Right. They lost a vote in Congress they really really really really really really really didn’t want to lose, by people a significant number of them had voted for, both at legislative and Presidential level.

                Those people weren’t necessarily politically active, but they figured out fairly soon that they had a lot less control over the political process than they thought.

                Ergo, loss of agency.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                We are just going to disagree on ‘libs’ being the primary cause of most Americans lack of economic and cultural agency. You asserting it repeatedly hasn’t changed my (or anyone else’s) mind.

                On Trump. Did they not have other options? I seem to remember at least a few other Republican candidates. Did ‘libs’ force Republicans to pick the most obviously unqualified grifter running for office?

                This is the argument a child makes. Another kid does something they don’t like, and they try and blame their self destructive, infantile response on the other kid. “If he would have let me use the toy I wouldn’t have had to take it and throw it in the river. It’s his fault.

                The left, and those sane enough not to have voted for Trump, bear little responsibility for the choices others make.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                On Trump. Did they not have other options? I seem to remember at least a few other Republican candidates. Did ‘libs’ force Republicans to pick the most obviously unqualified grifter running for office?

                I was thinking more of the general election. And in that context, I don’t think the decision to vote for Trump was the remotest bit infantile or self-destructive.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Koz says:

                Well he got to the general by winning one party’s primary.

                For now let’s agree to disagree that it wasn’t self-destructive. Time will tell.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Gaelen says:

                I certainly thought the primary was self-destructive at the time, maybe I still do.

                Then again, part of the reason for that was that Trump was supposedly weaker than the other GOP candidates. There’s some dispute over that now, of course, but I still think that Hillary would have lost to any other GOP candidate.

                But given that Trump actually did win, it’s at least credible to think that I was wrong on that score.

                One thing to bear in mind about the primary that might mitigate the perception of self-destruction (or not; didn’t for me): there is a tremendous religious/secular divide inside the GOP that wasn’t apparent until Trump. The reason why it flew under radar for so long was that the factions weren’t necessarily opposed to each other. They just had radically different priorities.

                The church people had all the social capital so that’s why all the candidates before Trump were predominantly religious. Trump had to be parachuted in from outside. Once that happened, and the seculars had their own candidate, they just wouldn’t let go of him, come hell or high water.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North says:

                No, libs didn’t create Trump. They’re just responsible for getting him elected.

                And btw, I suspect that contrary to a couple of your earlier comments the establishment GOP will have a significant amount of Teflon pertaining to Trump gaffes or mistakes (depending on the responses). Which, if I’m right will really blow your gasket.

                The Trump Administration might do something that’s significantly unpopular on the Left. It might stick or it might be overturned. But if it’s something that’s more important to the activist base and not as important to mainstream voters, it won’t necessarily stick. It won’t stick to the GOP, maybe not even stick to Trump himself.

                The Demo’s are going to want to associate Trump with the GOP and leverage his gaffes or offenses against the party as a whole. But I don’t expect that to work.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Koz says:

                The point being is that, contrary to your earlier suggestion that libs deserve a better President than Trump, I say “No, lib, Trump is exactly what you deserve.”

                I can’t really disagree with this. There are a lot of people who really don’t deserve Trump, but I would say that number is probably less than half of us.Report

          • Avatar Dave in reply to Francis says:

            @francis

            gee, thanks. I do wonder how far I could push my response without drawing the wrath of the proprietors of the blog.

            Oh, I don’t police comments anymore so if you want to rip that stupid ass comment and the person who said it a new asshole, have at it. I’d do it myself but I filled my monthly quota of dealing with douchebag deplorables when Hanley and I dealt with a couple on his FB page. It got more amusing as time went on.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Koz says:

          @koz

          I will bite.

          Why are liberals fundamentally illegitimate? Do you think you will ever have a nation where 100 percent of the population agrees with everyone of your political preferences, priors, or ideologies?

          The idea that a political viewpoint/ideology is fundamentally illegitimate is what tears democracy and republics apart because if a plurality or half sincerely believes that than they can do anything to stop the other.

          “Reasonable people can disagree” should be a fundamental aspect of liberal democracy. The demand for perfect lockstep will always fail and always be dangerous.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            “Why are liberals fundamentally illegitimate?”

            In this context it’s because libs are trying to undermine the results of an election that they lost based on a heuristic which they themselves (for the most part at least) already know perfectly well that it doesn’t apply.

            “Reasonable people can disagree” should be a fundamental aspect of liberal democracy. The demand for perfect lockstep will always fail and always be dangerous.

            That’s true enough most of the time. Reasonable people can disagree about the proper level of the minimum wage (or if there should be one at all), health care policy, our diplomatic stance toward Russia, etc. But in spite of that, reasonable people don’t disagree that the popular vote is determinative of the Presidency. Those on your team who believe that (and let’s face it it’s a lot of them) are either ignorant or malevolent (most likely malevolent).Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

          the libs’ fundamental illegitimacy

          “We finally one one! That makes us the real winners forever!”

          Pathetic.Report

          • Avatar Dave in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            @mike-schilling

            It takes a certain sort of person to use the results of an election as a means to self validate or feel good about themselves. I think you hit it on the head there.

            Sadly, I see it all too much on Facebook.

            Maybe I’m just a dumb meathead that doesn’t feel the need to use an election to validate my feelings.

            Some of these Troompas remind of the most obnoxious vegans and CrossFitters I’ve dealt with.Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Koz says:

          As much as I believe if someone wins under the rules, then they’ve won, and as much as I believe that there’s no way we’d really know what the result of a straight-up popular vote would have been in Nov. 2016, and as much as I find it tiresome to keep hearing the “but she won by 2million/2.5million/3million votes”–I think it’s legitimate for Dems/Liberals to bring up the fact that HRC won the popular vote. Part of having our EC system means that people get to bring up the fact when there’s disjuncture b/w the popular vote and the EC vote.

          (For the record, I’m probably opposed to electors taking the winner of the popular vote into account, unless we’re talking about something like the state compact idea.)Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

            Gab,
            she won a plurality. If she had actually won a majority, then I’d be a little more patient.
            People are butthurt about democracy.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

              Indeed….

              Had dinner last night with my actress and self described VERY LIBERAL friend. She was working herself up into a frenzy over the “deplorables” who voted for Trump. She used the words “stupid” and “lost their minds” but what she really was thinking was “racists nazi-like rednecks” who just need to “get over the missing jobs”. Then she defended her bubble by claiming she didn’t live in a bubble–as if someone who lived 5 minutes outside the capital beltway, and has never had to work a hard day in her life, didn’t live in a bubble. I just kept smiling…..Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                Damon,
                Wish I could have been there. I’d have enjoyed asking her about the pharmacies that put up signs in their window to prevent people from robbing them (“no we do not carry *drug of the week*”).

                Of course, that’s just the bait. The switch is “what about all those unfortunate rural people whose pharmacy won’t carry their prescription anymore.”

                [Or, to take the easy way out, “you realize all these folks voted for Obama?”]Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                Careful, she’s on her last nerve, and it’s fraying 🙂Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                Damon,
                So you wait until dessert, and serve something with a spoon.
                Everyone loves a good pudding fight.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                Haha…

                While I wouldn’t mind that, and she def needs to blow off some steam, she’s not a “pudding throwing girl”. She doesn’t throw things, she just condescends and preaches. And although she is attractive, certain aspects of her personality are a bit difficult to endure……..Report

            • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Kim says:

              That’s true.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

            Remember the 90s? Bill Clinton didn’t have a mandate, and in fact was only President through a technicality, because he didn’t even get 50%+1 of the popular vote.

            It was important to remind Democrats, constantly, that they only held the Presidency through a “fluke” (Perot) and didn’t represent the “Will of the people”, because Bill didn’t get that 50%.

            It’s amazing how the goalposts have shifted since, although it makes sense if you realize that Democratic Presidents are fundamentally illegitimate. That makes things like “Didn’t get 50% of the vote” and “Didn’t also win Congress” and “Didn’t win a filibuster proof majority in the Senate” as just data points.

            They’re not reasons the Democratic President is illegitimate. That’s already known. Those are just further proof.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

            I think it’s legitimate for Dems/Liberals to bring up the fact that HRC won the popular vote.

            I don’t, at least in the context of who gets to take office (instead of a more subjective thing like the mandate for such-and-such policy).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Lee,
        Clinton also lost the popular vote. more people voted against her than with her.Report

        • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Kim says:

          *according to Kim’s unique definition of winning the popular vote.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Gaelen says:

            I actually think Clinton losing has made Kim crazier than her winning. I suppose it’s because Trump’s turning out to be so awful even before he’s taken office, that she’s having to turn the knob up until it breaks to continue to scream “BUT CLINTON WOULD BE WORSE”.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

              morat20,
              What’s he really done — aside from that call to Taiwan (oh, the horrors!)?
              Private citizens can’t generally do all that much.
              I’ll start grading the idiot when he takes the reins of power.

              I’m saying exactly what I said before the election, although I pretty much maintain that you probably don’t understand how much of what I’m saying is in the bin of “Bad, but I can vote for that.”Report

            • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Morat20 says:

              Yeah, we’ll never know. Though I have a feeling that Clinton’s election might have resulted in some pretty crazy ramblings. What’s even funnier is this thread from last year where Kim sounds like a Clinton supporter.

              I don’t adore her, but she’s a brassy, smart woman who knows how to work a crowd, be that the US Senate or Ireland.
              She’s far too close to being the Senator from Wall Street, though distance does make the heart grow… fonder.

              And

              She is a pretty damn good candidate, though, dammit!
              She got us bin Laden, for christ’s sake, and that takes organizational insight just as much as it takes brains. (She saw that we had too many people on the task, and that the taskforce was swiss cheese. She cut it down to a trusted, targeted group of folks, who managed to find the needle in the haystack. Then call in the troops, and bam.)

              She’s worked as a senator, and did a good job as Secretary of State (a good deal of the Iran groundwork is her doing).

              And, this (just because it cracked me up).

              Dundicuts anyone?
              I daresay I’ve probably met more spies than you have.
              (remember, I do live in Pittsburgh).

              Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Gaelen says:

                Gaelen,
                I might have mentioned Clinton’s declining sanity, at some point?

                It’s one thing to vote for someone who’s corrupt.
                It’s another to vote for someone with a 1 in 3 shot of bringing us to limited nuclear war (Yes, I do realize clinton’s always been a hawk. this is different — more the inability to back down or to choose proportionate responses).

                It’s one thing to legally fix an election (primary, obviously). It’s another to fire the only people who were brave enough to tell you that you needed to campaign in the Midwest. (they panicked later as some of his predictions started to come true). The latter indicates a closemindedness to facts that is detrimental to being a president.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20 says:

              …Trump’s turning out to be so awful even before he’s taken office…

              Eh? Other than being a Conservative and his personality, what’s he done that is so awful?Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Pinky says:

      Really all this applies just as much to R’s as the left. The electoral college shouldn’t overturn the election but of course the results don’t reflect the will of the majority of voters. I’d get rid of the EC since i don’t see a role for it overturning elections. None of that makes the Russian hacking, and apparent Repub acquiescence, okay.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

      There are two opposite arguments being made. (I’m not accusing anyone of hypocrisy when I say that; it’s just the nature of the internet. A lot of people are arguing and they have different opinions.) Argument One is that the popular vote is fair and the EC is unfair, so the EC should be done away with. Argument Two is that the state-by-state winner-take-all system is unfair and the EC is fair, and designed to intervene in exactly this scenario. Argument One is always around, and it doesn’t seem to be gaining any traction. This year it’s Argument Two that a lot of people are pushing. It looks like Lee and Greg are supporting One, but undermining Two.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Pinky says:

        To be clear, I don’t like the EC but that is the rules we have. I don’t see the EC overturning the results of an election no matter how problematic it is. If it was ever to do that then there should have been specific and extensive rules about how and when to do that before hand. I’m for national PV. I don’t think there should be empowered electors in between the voters.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

          The potential downside of that is pretty extreme.

          Imagine a recount, not limited to just Florida or some backwards place, but covering all of America. Now picture Chicago magically “finding” just enough votes to swing the election.

          I like the EC, but I don’t see why we need people in it. Force them to vote the way they’re supposed to vote and call it a day.Report

        • Avatar Peter Moore in reply to greginak says:

          I’m not sure of your point here. It sounds like you (reluctantly) support that the EC chooses the president because “that is the rules we have”, but then don’t accept the EC electors making their own choices (as the current rules allow) until new rules are made? You can’t have it both ways.

          To put it more crudely: if someone wants to say “The EC not PV is how the rules are written, so stuff it Libs’ then they also need to accept “The constitution alllows the EC electors to choose whoever they want, so stuff it Repubs”Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Peter Moore says:

            This.
            There is a lot of confusion between the “rules” which is really just what the Constitution says and how the courts have interpreted it, and “norms” which are the unwritten things just everybody does.

            For example, the “norm” is that the Senate gives the President an up or down vote on his SCOTUS choice, but the rule is they don’t have to.

            The Republicans right now are plumbing all the ways in which norms can be abolished and the bare minimum rule followed.

            And as has been mentioned, once you start crossing boundaries of norms, everyone gets to play that game.

            I think most of us would ,and will, be surprised to see just how much of what we consider settled democracy to actually just be traditions and norms which no one ever thought to cross.Report

          • The law is that the EC vote is what matters. The norm is that Es vote as they pledged to, or at least that few enough of them change that doing so is only a curiosity. Violating the law is different from violating a norm, but they both have consequences.

            1824 is instructive. The EC didn’t arrive at a majority, and the vote in the House went exactly as one would expect: a coalition was formed that did have a majority and thus elected a president. But because the norm was that the candidate with the most EC votes won, a perfectly normal and praiseworthy political act got labelled a “corrupt bargain” and stained JQA’s presidency for good.

            Of course, 2000 didn’t have any consequences, but that’s because Democrats have no balls.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

      The left has a reputation for respecting the will of the people up until the moment it turns against them,

      Oh! Just like the reputation of GOPers didn’t respect the people’s choice for NC Guvna?

      Or Senate GOPers didn’t respect the people’s choice for who gets to appoint Scalia’s successor?

      (We could to this all day, dude.)Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

        We could do this all day, but you’d lose. Anyone who was alive in the 1960’s knows that the left will do anything to gain or hold onto power. You may want to have the moral high ground; you may even think that by doing this all day you can pretend to be on morally even ground. But I’ve seen you guys make up laws in the courtroom and burn down cities. Your side is still making up laws in the courtroom and burning down cities.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

          Continuing with the game we could play all day:

          Unlike the right, which has a history of murdering blacks, denying people’s civil rights, and engaged in a four year war to defend the right to enslave black people.

          {{Your turn…}}Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

            If you need to point to events which happened 50+ years ago, it’s an indication of the weakness of your argument, not its strength.

            If my city (or even “a city”) burns, the way to bet is it will be because some group of the left doesn’t like something.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

              the way to bet is it will be because some group of the left doesn’t like something.

              Hmmm. You and I have talked about this before.

              I guess we’re talking about Rodney King here and the burning of LA, right? If so, then your argument appears to be that the anger within the black community resulting from the beating Rodney King took at the hands of LA cops was “the left” getting pissy because they “don’t like something”?

              At that point, the definition of “the left” reduces to “anyone the right disagrees with”. And then we’re back to playing a game which literally could, as I said, go on all day.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Violence is the tactic people use when they don’t have the law and the police to enforce their will.

                Its the reason small powerless groups use suicide bombings, instead of dispatching a squadron of bombers.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                At that point, the definition of “the left” reduces to “anyone the right disagrees with”. And then we’re back to playing a game which literally could, as I said, go on all day.

                Race riots enflamed by BLM’s lies (Mike Brown didn’t have his hands up).

                Union violence (the worst incident in living memory would be burning down a hotel’s worth of people because they crossed picket lines, but less extreme happens whenever someone seriously tries right to work).

                And right now members of the Electoral College are getting death threats because the left doesn’t like Trump and is looking for ways to get the EC to move against him.

                This isn’t “anyone the right disagrees with”, this is “pretty mainstream left”.Report

              • Which reminds me, I’m way behind on my death threats.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                And in each case there’s an analysis which blames “the right” for similarly atrocious acts. Hence my saying that this game could go on all effing day.

                Now, if you wanna move past a trivially self-serving analysis which reduces things you oppose as being from “the left” because your ideological identity is “the right”, then a real discussion about events and states of affairs could take place. But until then, all this squabbling amounts to … well … a game, which could be played all day.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater says:

                But if you define “the left” as “throwing trash cans through store windows because they’re angry at businesses and want the government to redistribute wealth and discriminate on the basis of identity” then the definition holds pretty constant for the past 50 years. Of course, that’s not all the left does. They throw cinder blocks sometimes too. Back to my original point, they’re fine with the cinder blocks until public support turns against them, then they’re opposed to the will of the people, and they’re in court or the chancellor’s office or the editorial meeting. And people are not going to look at the EC option and say “that’s unusual to see the left going to extreme measures to try to get their way, maybe they’re onto something”.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

                Too bad we don’t control the Supreme Court.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky says:

                But if you define “the left” as “throwing trash cans through store windows because they’re angry at businesses and want the government to redistribute wealth and discriminate on the basis of identity” then the definition holds pretty constant for the past 50 years.

                Sure. If you define it that way there’s nothing more to talk about. {{Except the definition, of course.}}Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                It’s kind of interesting how others have a ‘trivially self-serving analysis’ that is inaccurate and confusing. Where yours is accurate and resolved.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Funny, that. I haven’t actually offered a definition of “the left”. Or “the right” for that matter.

                For the purposes of this thread, my “definition” amounts to this (trigger warning: we’re going meta): any definition of “the left” which is reduced to things “the right” disagrees with is functionally useless for anything other than playing a partisan, identity-based game. A game we can play all day long. And even into the night!Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                What is your analysis?
                How do you define left?
                How do you define right?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                I don’t, actually. I look at the policy proposals on the table, evaluate them according to my considered judgment, and make a decision on what’s good or bad given the evidence.

                I have historically voted Dem because I think the social safety nets and worker protections and the environment (some others, etc.) are worth protecting and defending. I’m also pro-choice!

                Add: more to the point, anytime anyone casts our political discourse as an antagonistic battle between The Left and The Right, I know I should stop listening to them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                Btw, @joe-sal, when I say

                I have historically voted Dem because I think the social safety nets and worker protections and the environment (some others, etc.) are worth protecting and defending. I’m also pro-choice!

                I do so out of inherently conservative motivations.

                The world is a funny old place, no?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Oh, jeez! I wanna play!

                The “Left” is the side interested in “Progress”. “Progress” is defined as change into something new or novel. It doesn’t have to be actually new or novel, it can be something that we used to do in the 1800s or 1600s, but it has to be new or novel to the “Left”.

                The “Right” is the side interested in *NOT* doing that. It pretty much exists in opposition to “Progress”. Now it tends to manifest in two different ways. The first is some variant of “Everything is great the way it is and we shouldn’t change!” and the second is some variant of “We ought to change, but we need to change *BACK* to the way we used to be before we got all this Progress.” (Note: this doesn’t necessarily mean that we used to be the way this latter type says we used to be. It is quite possible that no society has ever been the way that this second type imagines the past as having been. But the emphasis is on changing *BACK* to this thing.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Compare your definition of “the left” to Pinky’s.

                Sighs all around.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                He was going object level.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                “For “the right”, a trash can is a garbage receptacle which you pay a private company to remove the contents of. For “the left”, it’s a tool to destroy capitalism and private property rights.”Report

              • “For “the left”, a trash can is a tool to destroy capitalism and private property rights.” “For “the right”, a trash can is the proper receptacle for dissenting votes.”Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                Fellas I don’t see this at all.
                It appears about three hundred years ago Hobbes defined the vector of political models. He wrote it not long after the dark ages when social order was in a state of anomie. It was fairly easy to frame conditions as a war of every man against every man.

                His model proposed security above freedom. It appears to have evolved into a ideology that freedom comes from giving up freedom to obtain security. As it turns out, that model really works well for the rulers of social constructs.

                I think the left and right evolved naturally as polar opposites. The left prefer social or collective and formal law and constructs. The right developed individual and non-social constructs.

                The left will prefer security, the right will prefer freedom.
                The left will prefer socialism, the right will prefer individualist capitalism.

                There continues to be prolems in the framing of premodernism, modernism, and post modernism.

                Subjectivity was lost in the jump from modernism to post modernism. This was a disassociation of subjective consent to install rule by law. Those laws were supposed to be based in a science and reason objectivity, but since the people who were deciding the facts came out of academia the social objectivity leans heavily ‘social’ or for ‘security’.

                In a way it messed up the rights ability to believe in science, reason, or facts proposed by the left. And the weird doesn’t stop there. The new social justice warriors and reasoning supporting those positions really smacks of ‘Ultimate Truth’ or ‘Universal Truth’, which creates the full circle twerk back to premodernism.

                For obvious reason the left values all the social goodies, and doesn’t appear for a moment to really reflect that those goodies mean very little to the right without individual freedom remaining intact. For many a dangerous freedom looks better than a basket of social goodies, the cost of which is to obey the rule by law standard.

                I don’t know how ‘we’ are going to unwind all that without a lot of dead people on a lot of defended hills.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Hobbes is one of the giants whose shoulders we stand upon.

                Please understand that if I am saying “eff (giant)”, I am saying “eff Rousseau”. Maybe “eff Locke”.

                Anyway, there is hella overlap between “security” and “stasis”. The way things are today ought to be the way they are tomorrow. No change. No surprises. Security.

                Capitalism is one of the most disruptive forces humans could have possibly come up with. What will tomorrow look like? No idea. I’ll tell you this, though: it ain’t gonna look like today.

                Some vague communitarian socialism that has an emphasis on homogeneity is the system that has tomorrows that look most like today.

                You want capitalism? Then you are on the side of Progress.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                I would have to disagree with the capitalism/socialism outlook.

                History for the most part were humans have been able to produce tradable goods has looked like individual capitalism. Only until social constructions were built to facilitate rent seeking did that era of capitalism see vast changes to market development and destructions.

                Further disruptions were also caused by the destruction of competitors or competition. This was basically the development of social faction constructed capitalism, or shorter social capitalism.

                Communitarian socialism has never really stuck the landing. I pretty much adopt Warrens reason:
                “It seemed that the difference of opinion, tastes, and purposes increased just in proportion to the demand for conformity”

                Added to that I think capital formation never really develops in a way that meets the preferences of the workers involved.

                What you see in socialism is a period of centralizing capitalistic constructs and eventual cratering when the capital formation declines to unsustainable levels.

                The day to day may look slow changing but it typically changes for the worse.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                “It seemed that the difference of opinion, tastes, and purposes increased just in proportion to the demand for conformity”

                It was information. Pure and simple. We are all Pandora.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                I am not sure the layers at which your trying to unpack Locke and Rousseau, but that is still in the realms of social contract, which as most discussions with the left will clearly point out that the people will, if need be by force, give up their freedom for security.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                This is weird, Joe. A distinction between property and possession is an important one. Otherwise that distinction reduces to “force”. So I don’t know why you’re railing on those guys for putting in effort to tease it out.

                I mean, consider this: what grounds the right to property? Prior holding? Current possession? Legal transfer of deed? (Well that one ain’t gonna work.) Labor theory? Social convention?

                Oooh. That last one! I’d go with that, if I were you.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                It appears your making the same assumptions Hobbes made out of a state of anomie.
                It lends to ‘assume anomie’, and it boils down to how individuals interact and the associated conflicts that arise. It’s not so much teasing it out as making specific assumptions, that are leading to specific analysis outcomes.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Well, the specific assumption is that property, as a concept, requires a justification. It could be force, or divine right, or a dispensation from above, or an emotional commitment with white-hot intensity, or the labor theory, or government decree, etc and so on.

                That’s the only thing being assumed here. So when you say my thinking about these issues relies on assumptions I really don’t know what you mean except that maybe you’re thinking that property is such a clear concept only a social constructionist could possibly be confused about it.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                As an individual what is your interaction with property?
                What is your interaction with other people about property?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                There are things in the world that are my property, there are things in the world which aren’t.

                My interactions with other people’s property are varied and wide ranging. On the highway, I navigate safe passage at a high rate of speed thru em. At a store I pay for acquiring them. Sometimes I even sell property to other people.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                Do you often intentionally act upon someone elses property with force or aggression?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                No. Rarely. If ever. Well sometimes.

                Add: to move the conversation along, I’ll go with “No”.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater says:

                What’s your expectation if you do?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Joe Sal says:

                What, move on other people’s property?

                That I’ll get away with it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                I never know if we’re arguing “ought” or “is”.

                Which are we arguing?

                Because, seriously, I have some totally smackdown points to make.

                But they won’t work unless I know which we’re using beforehand.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                I am not one of those finicky people who has to have it in one reference, so lets see how both is and ought unpack.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Okay. Fair enough.

                I’m drunk enough to tell you to listen to the following songs.

                Here.

                That’s Our Lady Peace: Clumsy, It’s a really good song.

                This is Petra: The Coloring Song. I won’t condescend to you by thinking you don’t already know it by heart.

                Now, I will condescend to assume that you’re not familiar with Michael W. Smith. As such, I’ll make you listen to Rockentown.

                Good stuff.

                Anyways. I’ll be sober tomorrow. I’ll deal with these arguments then *OR* I will have them be stuck as a thorn in my side until this topic comes up again.

                Which, knowing us, will be a week and a half.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                “You can’t trust freedom when it’s not in your hands”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                that is still in the realms of social contract, which as most discussions with the left will clearly point out that the people will, if need be by force, give up their freedom for security.

                Is:
                Yes. People will always trade all sorts of things for security. Sure, you get a handful of individuals here or there who would prefer the two birds in the bush to the one in the hand, but people, as a whole, will always take the safe and secure option.

                Ought:
                People should prefer their own liberty and the liberty of others even if it’s scary. Two birds are worth so much more than one bird! If you play your cards right, you’ll even end up with three birds! Heck, with three birds, you could probably start a bird farm.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                The ‘in the hand’ reference in the song was about conscription.

                “to know the right time, and the manner of yielding, what is impossible to keep”

                “We learnt to respect the rights of others to govern themselves in their own ways”

                Her ancestors thought there were only a handful of individuals. The cost of the next lesson will be 80 fold.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Stillwater says:

                As was wisely said in a different thread, if someone has put up a wall between us blocking communication, it might be that the only way forward is to try to find a way to establish enough trust to talk about the wall itself, why it’s there, and maybe how to lower it.Report

              • And how to make Mexico pay for it.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to El Muneco says:

                El Muneco:
                As was wisely said in a different thread, if someone has put up a wall between us blocking communication, it might be that the only way forward is to try to find a way to establish enough trust to talk about the wall itself, why it’s there, and maybe how to lower it.

                Why do that when you can talk through a crack in the wall, then kill yourself when you jump to conclusions attempting to finally meet face to face.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I agree with you on the electoral college. I am largely dismayed by the amount of wishful thinking for an electoral college “coup” is receiving among my friends on social media.

    It would also be a huge constitutional crisis. That being said, I think Trump’s administration is going to be an epic disaster of corruption, graft, and petty vendettas at best. At worst, his team of nut bars and yes men is going to ruin American standing for decades and possibly destroy the economy in ways that will make the 2008 fiscal crisis look like a small recession.

    The recent power grab by the North Carolina GOP is rather concerning as well in terms of decaying norms and civility in American public. I think Michelle Goldberg has it right. Obama believes in civil norms and this good belief caused him to lose a lot to a party that believes in no such thing.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/12/obama_s_final_press_conference_of_the_year_was_infuriating.htmlReport

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      It seems like it would be a crisis in terms of public outcry, but what’s your definition of a constitutional crisis? As far as I can tell, it would be pretty clearly within the bounds of constitutional rules.

      If it weren’t for the fact that Trump supporters who are now perfectly happy to say, “That’s how the Constitution works!” to anybody moaning about the popular vote would probably start rioting, I think it would be kind of a hoot if the EC flipped it. I mean, that is how the Constitution works, and we really shouldn’t be all that attached to mere vote counting when there’s a much more complex and beautifully conceived machine at work. Maybe with an amendment or two, we could add a sudden death hockey shootout and a designated hitter to the process.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        @troublesome-frog

        It is constitutionally permissible but it would be even more shocking than Trump’s narrow electoral college victory because it would be even fewer people going against the will of many. There is no one they can pick.

        Also as we have seen in this thread, our right-wing loves norms when it hurts the opposition but hates norms and constitutional rules when it hinders them.

        I would worry about things getting really violent if the electoral college voted for anyone other than Trump.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        It seems like it would be a crisis in terms of public outcry, but what’s your definition of a constitutional crisis?

        As an aside, here’s a constitutional crisis for you: Trump will be in violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution on day one of his presidency, and yet will not be impeached over it because his party does not want to cause their voters to look like total fucking idiots for electing someone who cannot be president due to his finances.(1)

        The majority party electing someone who is going to break the constitution literally every second in office, and their obvious unwillingness to do anything about that, *seems* like a constitutional crisis to me.

        1) *Cannot*. Not ‘shouldn’t be’, not ‘is a bad choice’, not ‘has bad policies’. The president basically cannot have overseas business interests, at least not any that are large enough to have negotiated with governments. That is a violation of the emoluments clause. Period, end of story.

        The fact that the *Republican Party* did not explain this to people and have some way to keep him off their ballot exposes a major flaw in our system. (What happens when some 25 year old idiot runs and wins a nomination? Does the party have to accept *them*, despite the fact *they* can’t be president?)

        The fact the Republican Party will not *now* do anything about it because it makes their voters look like morons exposes a major flaw in the Republican Party.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

          A 25 year old is automatically disqualified, someone with business interests is only disqualified if he doesn’t get Congressional permission. IMHO getting Congressional permission won’t be that hard. Whether or not it’s a good idea is a different matter.Report

  9. Avatar North says:

    Frankly I don’t think deposing Trump is worth the effort just to put in an alternative more likely to work cheek to jowl with the GOP’s congressional critters. The GOP created Trump, I don’t see why the Dems should be responsible for saving them from him.Report

  10. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    Stillwater: That’s statistically IMPOSSIBLE!

    For Chicago? Probably… although the PV was only 1% away from a tie in 2000, and Chicago probably did (corruptly) swing the election in 1960. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1960#Controversies

    However California is in a position to wait and see how much they’d need to move the needle to move the election, and that’s a pretty tempting power to abuse. I don’t want to be in the business of trying to make every part of the US non-corrupt for the Presidential election when we have Bush v Gore showing even the Supremes can be moved.Report

  11. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    Troublesome Frog: Why would that phenomenon be unique enough to Republicans that it would bias the results?

    Every state votes for President, but a third of the Senate isn’t up for election at all that cycle. The House often is Germandered enough so that it’s only the Primary that’s interesting.

    None of this is “unique” to the GOP, but California is enough to move the needle and California (from the GOP’s standpoint) was the odd duck out this cycle because there was nothing of interest for a GOP voter. The GOP vote there was sharply down from previous elections (and even in a typical election a GOP vote there wouldn’t count much).

    So in a different year California’s GOP would have had an extra million or two voters (not 3), and with different rules we need to infer what would happen from what did happen this election in the battleground states.

    Trump’s people turned out in really high numbers where it mattered (HRC’s did not), so make California and other states matter and I don’t see why we’d think she has a cakewalk.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

      So you’re giving an estimate of a 50% increase in Republican votes in this thought experiment? That seems… optimistic. Going back to the 2012 election, Romney got about 4.8 million votes compared to Trump’s 4.5 million this time around. I’m not seeing where the millions of extra voters are coming from. Maybe everybody who voted for Johnson?

      And even that assumes that Republican apathy toward an all Democrat Senate election is something like an order of magnitude higher than Democratic apathy toward the same. I’ll grant that more Republicans may have stayed home in frustration, but you have to assume you’d lose some Democrats for the same reason–there’s no party change at stake and the race is only interesting to the few who are informed enough to have an opinion on the two Dems. On top of all that, Republican voters tend to be more consistent about showing up to vote than Democrats.

      All of this seems very much like wishful thinking. It seems a lot more likely that the vote outcome more or less reflected the average preference of the voting public. You can come up with just so stories for every state, but a significant systemic bias that would give Trump the popular vote is a really tough case to make. It seems like Trump voters should be happy that they ran the table according to our peculiar rules rather than than trying to come up with reasons why Trump was more popular than the votes made it look.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

        Well written, and very believable… but I heard really similar statements on why Trump couldn’t win the Primary, and again on why he couldn’t win the election (heck, I made them myself and believed them at the time).

        Now I think Trump is a lot better at this than we thought, that the media under counts him significantly, and with different rules he would have played his cards differently. He’d have told different lies, picked different outrageous fights, shown himself to be a total ass**** in different ways…

        …and in this alternate universe, we’d be talking about how under EC rules he wouldn’t have won.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

          The people who say that Trump would have campaigned differently under a popular vote system (which is surely true) seem to think that Clinton would have kept her strategy the same rather than both of them simply campaigning in different places. That seems kind of unlikely.

          In general, I’m seeing a major trend of reasoning that goes, “Trump was an unlikely one-time event that nobody predicted, which means that from now on, there’s no reason to do any grounded analysis. We can just substitute our own hopes and wishes when we’re trying to figure out what’s likely to be true.” Yes, there are clearly limits to predicting the behavior of voters, but I really don’t think that means that anything goes in terms of likely outcomes. Trump lost the popular vote pretty clearly, so it takes a lot of motivated reasoning to come up with an explanation for why that doesn’t actually reflect any underlying reality.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            Good point. In that event, she might have actually campaigned in the rust belt!

            Add: I have no confidence in a counterfactual the relies on HRC’s political acumen. In all the worlds I imagine, she and her team are similarly clueless.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

            …seem to think that Clinton would have kept her strategy the same…

            I think she would have doubled down on the things which didn’t work for her, including ignoring her husband’s advice.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Are you saying she would have done more of the same thing that got her the popular vote, thus screwing up? This is where things get unclear. “Didn’t work” sort of implies that the burden would be on her to fix something that wasn’t working, but it seems like in terms of getting more people to vote for her, it did work just fine. It’s quite possible that doubling down on it would have worked as well. But as you note, there’s also good evidence that she isn’t very good at this stuff.

              The problem I have here is that there are a lot of people who seem to be saying that:

              1) That Donal Trump won the EC tells us a tremendous amount about the American public’s preferences across the board.

              2) That Hillary Clinton won the popular vote conveys absolutely no information.

              To believe both of those things simultaneously requires a high confidence in an alternate reality popular vote outcome for which there really isn’t a lot of evidence. I certainly wouldn’t reject it out of hand, but if we were doing a popular vote do-over and I was one of Trump’s advisors, I would not ignore November’s results.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Are you saying she would have done more of the same thing that got her the popular vote, thus screwing up? This is where things get unclear. “Didn’t work” sort of implies that the burden would be on her to fix something that wasn’t working, but it seems like in terms of getting more people to vote for her, it did work just fine.

                She won what wasn’t important by focusing on what wasn’t important. She spent time, money, and other resources ineffectually. She had no clue she was in trouble because her bubble was so thick even her husband’s advice was ignored.

                Further, this is the 2nd time in 8 years she’s lost to an underfunded opponent because she had organizational, informational, and mismanagement problems.

                I don’t see why any of these issues go away if the rules are different, especially because when the rules were different she still managed to turn lots of money into defeat. Change the rules a third time and I fully expect we’d see her manage the same trick again.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Your take on her ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is pretty reasonable.

                I will defend her strategy at least a little bit, though: The fundamental problem with most of the wrongness in this election came from the polling results being off. Given the historical accuracy of the polls and given what they said about the state of things, I don’t think her strategy was particularly unreasonable. It looks like even Trump and his team were surprised that he won.

                There’s a lot of baggage that cost her that’s entirely her fault (private email server), but I don’t think that trusting the best available data and allocating resources based on it was really an avoidable mistake. Your only real alternative is to “go with your gut” which is usually a great way of having your lunch eaten by people who have data.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                tf,
                http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/study-excluding-cellphones-introduces/
                Six years late, and you don’t say that there’s a problem???

                She had better polling than the publically released stuff. She fired that guy, though.

                Besides, half of October she wasn’t even out at public events. Plain irresponsible, that.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                Faced with “Mr. Deplorable”, the election was her’s to lose…and she did.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                …I don’t think that trusting the best available data and allocating resources based on it was really an avoidable mistake…

                I strongly question whether she’s using “the best available data” when we see results like this. It seems more likely she paid for yes-men who told her what she wanted to hear, and she fired anyone who didn’t. The stories we’re hearing are of that and too much central planning.

                She (twice!) had three amazing resources, time, money, and the backing of the establishment… and she still blew it twice. I have to think we’re looking at serious management issues.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I strongly question whether she’s using “the best available data” when we see results like this. It seems more likely she paid for yes-men who told her what she wanted to hear, and she fired anyone who didn’t.

                Who had better data, and why did nobody seem to know about it until after Trump won? Unless she had polls that differed significantly from the publicly available ones and chose to ignore them, I don’t see how you’re reaching that conclusion.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                tf,
                The people she fired from her campaign had better data. They invested in their bets, and are now rather rich. So, dude, yes, people did fucking know about this before Trump won. Hell, i fucking posted about it before he won.

                Who had better data? Polling the internet (social media, roughly). And yes, these were people (and ai) working for Clinton — a friend of mine.

                (please note: polling the internet hasn’t been wrong yet. All elections possible, polled and predicted.)Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Dark,
                cosign this. of course, I know the dude she fired for being right.Report

  12. Trump is not Clinton’s fault. Trump is the fault of the people who voted for him. They’re going to lose their Medicare, health insurance, and Social Security, they’re not seeing their outsourced jobs coming back, and at best a pittance of the yuge tax cuts are going to end up in their pockets. Let them eat wallboard.Report

    • Well, if so, let Democrats be the ones who can say “We opposed cutting your Medicare. We opposed cutting your Social Security. We opposed taking away your health insurance. We always wanted you to have those things no matter who was President, and we will give you those things back if you vote us into power again.”

      And maybe while they’re at it, let them say, “We opposed giving corporate welfare to employers who lied about keeping your jobs here and used the money to automate your job so that they could lay you off later and shut down your plants entirely.” And, “We opposed the protectionism that closed off the markets for your company’s products, because we wanted your company to have customers who would buy the products you make so that you could have a job making them.” And, “We opposed diminishing the quality of the schools you send your children to because we wanted them to be smart.” And, “We opposed relaxing environmental standards because we wanted you to have clean water to drink.”

      Maybe I’m just a specimen of the libera-bubble, but these seem like pretty persuasive claims to make, if they’re true, and especially persuasive if they accurately describe the situation then in reality.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I honestly think a lot of the working class GOP voters vote that way because they have never yet experienced GOP economic policies.

        A person can vote for saying “Merry Christmas” and saying prayer in schools, because those are abstract symbols.
        A person can vote to “cut government regulation” but their milk will still be pasteurized. They can vote to cut “welfare” but when they are laid off they know they will still get unemployment benefits.
        They can vote for a balanced budget, but still plan their life around getting Medicare and Social Security.
        They can vote for a “tougher military” but be safely assured that they, their son, or their father will never be put in harms way.

        I know people who voted this way, at a point in my life I voted this way. I mentioned my relatives who are sick, nearing retirement age, and banking on Medicare and yet are enthusiastic Trump voters. They literally refuse to believe that Medicare will be taken away, and they adamantly refuse to believe that their insurance company will be allowed to dump them for their pre-existing conditions.

        They envision a world in which GOP policies have no harm to themselves or their loved ones, where it is all upside without cost, an endless free gravy train of benefits.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Will Truman coined a term – reverse partisan (I think that’s it…) – which captures my thinking pretty well about what’s going on right now. It’s not the entire analysis of “what’s going on” but captures a large part of the dynamic pretty well. Something like “identifying oneself as opposing X more than as supporting Y”, which takes place at the meta level (or at least, one level above (scare quotes!) “normal” political discourse).

          I don’t think there’s any coming back from where we’re at in that regard, actually. We’re going to find a new cultural/political equilibrium or we won’t. (And if we don’t, I eagerly look forward to Michael Cain’s posts about the best way for seceding countries to divvy up the spoils.)Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

            Politics is always changing and moving from one state of being to another.

            The issues and points of conflict of 1936 were different than 1976, and different than 2016.

            Which is why its impossible to peg exactly where Teddy Roosevelt would fit on today’s partisan divide, or where to place Obama within the political world of the New Deal.

            I see Trump as an aberration, like a short backeddy in a changing tide.

            He doesn’t have a message or vision other than a vague nostalgia for a day when people said “Merry Christmas”.

            What is important, is the sentiment of being betrayed by some ill-defined “elite” and the sense that the new economic structure is not working as it should.

            Its too early to tell where the various political factions are going to align, but I think its a tremendous shift, in that when you read rightwing blogs like Gateway Pundit or Powerline, you will hear people talking like grad students just leaving a Noam Chomsky lecture, dropping phrases like “crony capitalism” and “global elite”.

            Trust me, in the 1980’s, Republicans would smirk and snicker at people who talked like that, because I sure did.

            But the old differences of pro-market versus anti-market don’t really hold anymore Trump’s Carrier deal, and how his people reacted to it, demonstrate that pretty conclusively.

            So where this ends up, I have no idea.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Yeah there is a lot of ambiguity to this “win” for the right. For instance they’re flat out waving the white flag on SSM. Back even half a decade ago they’d be talking about constitutional amendments to screw the ‘mo’s. Now the majority just talk about religious freedom and even the punchy ones just want to try to beat up on the Trans folks and maybe let businesses discriminate.
              Really just about the whole social conservative project seems to be going under the bus next to the flattened corpses of the defense hawks and deficit hawks.
              When Clinton won in the 90’s and moved the party right on economics that was a brief political loss for conservationism but a titanic policy win for market rightism. I wonder if this election is a similar event.
              It really depends on what Trump does and doesn’t do and what the right wing base pitches a fit over and what they let slide.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to North says:

                The defense hawks are reinflating. The talk of the mil blogosphere is giddyness over the 350 ship US Navy.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe says:

                Yeah well I’ll believe it when Trump actually delivers on that.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North says:

                Yeah, given how much Navy ships cost, and the total lack of a need for that big a Navy, and the fact that his whole schtick on the military seems to be someone who once saw a WWII movie and hasn’t thought about things since…..

                His love of surprise attacks is pretty funny. Nobody has cell phones or satellites in his world, I suppose.

                Not to mention the current Navy is going to become obsolete for much the same reason the Air Force will — autonomous vehicles.

                Ballistic missile subs will still have a place, but aircraft carriers will transition to drone carriers (which completely different requirements) and possibly something akin to a submarine drone carrier.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Morat20 says:

                Ya gotta admit though; a submarine drone carrier would be hella cool!Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                Yep, Trump is never associated with overpriced obsolete stuff that most people don’t need or want anymore.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to North says:

                Yeah well I’ll believe it when Trump actually delivers on that.

                Same here.

                I was in total shock the other day when Trump actually made a coherent point that the F-35 was extremely wasteful. A stopped clock is right twice…no, wait. New expression: A clock that loses five minutes a day is right every 144 days.

                And the thing is, our military spending a jobs program that keeps Senators reelected. They can claim that they brought jobs to their state with each new program.

                No party has been willing to walk that back. It threatens their own Senators.

                Trump…does not give a flying f*** about Congress and their reelection chances.

                That is, oddly, a somewhat good thing. Not just in this, but in a lot of things. There is a lot of things that have been rendered politically untouchable due to both parties wanting to be reelected, but really should be looked at.

                I mean, it’s absurd we got in the package of *Trump*, but I can see him wandering through the bloated military budget, randomly cutting things. And that budget is *so* large, and *so* bloated, that even an idiot like Trump can find a lot of actual waste and cut it.

                And Congress is going to shit bricks.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to DavidTC says:

                But David, can he just cut stuff by himself? Stuff that’s already been appropriated for? I mean hell, I’d be delighted if Trump could kill the F-35 but can he actually kill it or will he just add lawyers fees onto its existing cost?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to North says:

                North,
                It’s one thing for Congress to refuse Obama.
                Trump? Well, they’ll need to lawyer up for that.
                And I’m wondering who the public will support if it comes to lawyers.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to North says:

                But David, can he just cut stuff by himself? Stuff that’s already been appropriated for?

                Interesting question.

                The first obvious answer is no.

                Buuuut….to counter that, I suspect most appropriations are written as optional, because Congress doesn’t want to *force* the executive and the military to spend money it doesn’t have to.

                I.e., if Congress writes a check for a million dollars to do X, and X gets done for $900,000, no one’s going to assert some sort of fiscal mismanagement happened!

                However, back to the other direction of ‘he can’t cut stuff’, a lot of military spending is actually *third party* stuff anyway that the president has no control over. The F-15 is being made by Lockheed-Martin, and the purchase orders are written by Congress.

                Neither the president, nor anyone *under* the president, is in charge of any of that at all. (The military submits what they want, but Congress actually orders them.)

                However, going back to ‘he could cut them’,there is currently all sorts of military *oversight* in the development process, and the president could create weird hangups in that. It is entirely possible that the current appropriations, as written, have some sort of weak spot where the president can hang them up forever, by having the military refuse to certify some test results or something. (I think, actually, almost all that has finished at this point for the F-35.)

                Of course, what that would *actually* result in is the government being *sued* by Lockheed-Martin. In fact, any attempt to back out of the F-35 contract *at this point* would result in that. The F-35 contract is one that shouldn’t have been written (Having a *VTOL* and a *jet fighter* as the same plane is so utterly idiotic it should have failed the ‘run this plan by a eight year old’ test), and should have been canceled a decade ago because of all the numerous problems, but at *this* point in time, we’re pretty well legally committed to paying all that money, even if the planes are utter crap that do not do anything better, and often do worse, than what they are replacing.

                But he could cause hang-ups in *other* stuff. There is a lot of completely useless proposals in front of various military testing and concept people, and he certainly could order them to reject them all.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

                Are you looking for a cat? I hear DARPA has some that need a home… (failed experiments)Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                I recall the Pentagon trying to cancel a program once (it was rather remarkable) because they neither needed nor wanted whatever it was, after having a few years under their belt in Iraq.

                They were…not able to. Congress just kept allocating funding to buy quite a few more than the Pentagon wanted.

                Not sure what happened to them. I think it was a lightly armored vehicle (Striker? Something like that maybe? ) that the Army just welded plates onto — same as they did with their unarmored hummers — to make them marginally workable in an IED environment and avoided using them when possible/Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

                Are you thinking of the V-22 Osprey? The military has made use of them, although my impression is that it’s been sort of unenthusiastic outside of things like Delta Force insertions. Which, while decidedly cool and useful when you’re trying to do things like take out Osama bin Laden, are somewhat uncommon.Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to North says:

                The F-35 did an incredible thing by being the principle fighter-bomber accross all the services. It became impossible to cancel because that would leave an irreplaceable gapping void in the purcurement of the next generation of fighters.

                Ironically the F-22, which was derided for being an expensive luxury item, looks to be much better value for money. The savings of the F-35 compared to the F-22 was the old trick of comparing a mature project that was ready for production to a future one without accounting for the inevitable and costly cost over-runs between now and actual production.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North says:

                Unless Congress changes things, Trump will be in the same three-part bind that Obama was: (a) he can’t spend except as appropriations are made by Congress; (b) he must spend everything that Congress appropriates (with narrow exceptions and the F-35 program certainly doesn’t qualify); and (c) total debt has to stay below the ceiling set by Congress. Most people seem to think that (c) will go back to the way it was for W, and be raised routinely as necessary. (b) dates back to Nixon. And (a), of course, is in the Constitution.Report

              • I see no particular reason to see that (c) will become a matter of course. Republicans were able to leverage that even when they were in the minority. IIRC, Democrats did that once too back in the George H.W. Bush (the Elder) Administration. All it takes is for the executive to have a significant difference of opinion about something with Congress.

                On the one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, we have Donald Trump. On the other, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. I doubt it’ll take too long before a rift forms over something.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to North says:

                Thank you all, that jives with my general vague understanding but adds plenty of clarity.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @burt-likko

        The one thing I wonder about is suppose the GOP die-hards are successful beyond their wildest imaginations and do damage to gut the welfare state and end Social Security, Medicare, and the ACA as we know it. Can the Democratic Party merely revive those once they get into power again? Replace them with better safety net programs?

        I suppose it depends on the length of time of repeal and when Democrats recontrol Congress and the Executive. If we are talking 2020 for both, reinstalling the welfare state will be easy. If we are talking 10-20 years before, we are in a very different world.

        The problem for the American left is that the American right has always opposed even the barest measures of a welfare state with the fierceness of a trillion tigers. This has been true since the New Deal and only seems to get worse with every passing year.

        A big issue for the left is what @chip-daniels said. The American public has never felt the full pinch or power of the GOP’s anti-welfare state fanaticism and the GOP is very clever about making sure their core voters don’t feel the pinch but more likely Democratic voters will. According to LGM, there was a study during the early Obama years where people were shown the Ryan/GOP plan and they simply refused to believe GOP sincerity on these issues. The attitude of the group was “The GOP can’t be this extreme.”

        This puts the left at a serious disadvantage because we are screaming about how horrible the GOP plan is and a lot of the Republic refuses to believe it.

        So the Democratic Party is forced to work hard to make sure things don’t become rubble and we receive no credit for it.

        I also think Chip is right when he says that this was an election for people whose country felt alien to them.Report

        • I suppose it depends on the length of time of repeal and when Democrats recontrol Congress and the Executive. If we are talking 2020 for both, reinstalling the welfare state will be easy. If we are talking 10-20 years before, we are in a very different world.

          My favorite quote from a politician this week was Gov. Brown on climate research: “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

          With my conspirator hat on, imagine a future where California tells the oldsters in Arizona and Montana, “If you’ll support an amendment for the peaceful partition of the US we favor (California plus the western states supplying it with water and energy go their own way), the new nation will restore Medicare and Social Security.”Report

          • The more of the transition I follow, the more appealing #CalExit looks to me.

            I’m honor-bound by my oath as an attorney to oppose it. Which leaves me looking at the notion the way a married man looks at an attractive woman not his wife.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

              @michael-cain @burt-likko

              A lot of my friends are posting rehases of the maps that came out in 2004 where the blue states join with Canada and the Red States remain together. The new map is not perfect because it isolates a lot of 2016 blue states away from Canada like Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Colorado, New Mexico, and Minn.

              That being said, I don’t see a peaceful patrition happening. The only way states are leaving is Civil War II, “now with aerial bombing and chemical warfare!!!” Why would the US give up access to the Pacific or the state that would be a G10 nation on its own?

              Red States would collapse economically if the blue states leave.

              *This also ignores that Canada is a lot more different than Blue States legally and culturally than many liberals would like to think about or admit. Yes, I am a cranky killjoy.Report

              • They think Canada will accept a bunch of new “provinces” whose total population is much larger than Canada’s current total? And believe the new provinces, with that overwhelming population advantage, when they say that they’ll accept Canada’s current federal/provincial relationships? I don’t see Canada signing on to a suicide pact like that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                “What do you mean that your country only accepts immigrants who have a certain score or higher based on some kind of point system? Wait, it says here that you also accept refugees… we’re Trump refugees!”Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Refugees don’t usually bring their states of origin with them. They’re hard to fit in a suitcase.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Now *THAT* is something that you’d think would be a selling point.

                They’re not making more real estate, after all. If Canada wants to get bigger, this is pretty much the only way to do it.

                Tired: Relitigating the 2016 election
                Wired: Relitigating the 1844 electionReport

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

                Global warming makes southern US land not worth the price of maintenance, especially if the rising latitude of the tree and grow lines makes was swaths of already Canadian territory more densely habitable.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                If Canada wants to get bigger, this is pretty much the only way to do it.

                Trudeau: “Thank you! Thank you! We’re gathered here on this auspicious day so I, WE!, can introduce all you hosers to our newest Province: Dakotasota!”Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Stillwater says:

                If we’re going to be a wholly owned subsidiary of a popular leader famous for being photographed shirtless, I’d much rather it be Trudeau than the one it’s actually going to be next year.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Plus from what I know of my Canadian friends, they like Americans, but not “like” like them, if you knowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:

                @michael-cain

                Honestly they probably are not putting much thought into it at all and if you pressed them hard enough, they will say it is not going to happen. It is a bit of wish thinking that annoys me because I am crank(y) and prefer accuracy and realism.

                A lot of people might be partisan but they are still inchoate in their politics.Report

              • …now with aerial bombing and chemical warfare!!!

                And nukes. Denver on a day when the wind is blowing from the west, so that there’s 300+ miles of basically empty territory downwind, would make a fine example…Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Saul Degraw: Red States would collapse economically if the blue states leave.

                Blue states are going to do great when the food and energy price spikes and/or shortages hit a few months after the split.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Kolohe says:

                Globalism, Kolohe, they could import the food easily enough. The energy would be trickier but not that much trickier.

                It’s all nonsense of course. Texas threatens to secede every time a liberal wins an election somewhere and this set of threats doesn’t even rise to that level of seriousness.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to North says:

                Does the Bear Flag Republic have enough capability and will to keep the sea lanes open? The current world superpower is having issues keeping in hand its own underwater robots.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North says:

                Show me your hypothetical partition and say whether it’s peaceful or not. Then we can discuss energy resources. A violent separation would be filled with demonstrations of just how fragile long-distance energy transport systems can be. In a peaceful separation, the obvious first choice for “globalization” would be to trade with each other.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Well, first off it’s nonsensical because I don’t think it’s going to happen. As you know better than anyone, of course, there’s a lot of energy and especially water questions. California can’t leave unless they take their entire water basin with them which means they’d need the entire Colorado watershed. That means Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Like I said, Texan secession talk is more substantive and Texan secession is as likely as pigs flying.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North says:

                Yep. I cheerfully say that my partition scenario sounds lunatic-fringe today, because we’re 22 years away from the important fault lines becoming clear enough for people to talk about them (I used to say 25, but try to keep my clock ticking down). And another 10-25 years before it could actually happen. It’s a long, slow thing and in all likelihood I won’t live to see it occur.

                I’m quite sure that in 1830, most people thought the idea that in 30 years, they would kill 750,000 people (latest academic estimates on US Civil War dead) to settle the question of unilateral secession was lunatic fringe.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Michael Cain says:

                It might help the discussion if a resurgent Russia swells up like the USSR then goes flaccid like the USSR. Lending traction to the idea that nation states past a certain size aren’t necessarily optimal in the modern era, so there might be advantages to a peaceful partition.
                And, really, can’t it be argued that one of the lessons of this past November is that in many senses we’re already multiple nations shipping food in one direction and cheap Chinese clothing the other? Kind of like the Eurozone, only without the French?Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

              @burt-likko

              What in the oath requires you to oppose it?

              And what does opposition look like/require?Report

            • Which part of the oath bars supporting an amendment that allows for a peaceful partition? Violent secession is a silly notion, outside of political thrillers. If the federal government decided to be moderately nasty, they could shut down the power lines from the Columbia and Colorado River dams, from Arizona’s nukes, from the Intermountain power plant in Utah, assorted facilities in Nevada, and close the gas pipelines from New Mexico, Wyoming, and Canada. IIRC, at that point, about 75% of California’s electricity supply is gone, along with a corresponding share of its economy.

              The really interesting part of the whole problem is figuring out a scheme that 38 states would agree leave them better off. That would seem to be entirely within the letter of your oath.Report

              • @michael-cain and @kazzy
                I’m sworn to protect and defend the United States Constitution. That law provides for no means of secession. The preamble of that document, which announces its purpose, includes the objective of creating a “more perfect union,” which may mean several things but cannot mean a political configuration in which disunion is facilitated. Prior attempts to raise issues of ambiguity regarding the ability of a state to secede were resolved on the battlefield at the greatest cost our nation has yet known, in blood, treasure, and harm to posterity.

                Simply put, once you’re in, you’re in. There is no secession. There is no leaving. Not without an amendment to the Constitution itself.

                And there is no possible scenario in which 38 of the other states (actually, wouldn’t the number need to be 37?) would think themselves better off with California a politically independent nation, even if it is closely-allied. We have too much money, food, and three of the west coast’s five workable Pacific ports. In turn, as @michael-cain points out, California is dependent on the inland states for power and water.

                We are a commonwealth. We are a single nation. We are in this together, even if we don’t always get along as well as we could.Report

              • …actually, wouldn’t the number need to be 37?

                37 is less than three-quarters.Report

              • Do we count the seceding state?Report

              • Is the 13th Amendment precedent? The southern states got conventions and voted on it. Granted that Andrew Johnson loaded at least some of those conventions (and successfully managed to keep Congress out of the question of whether the southern states were in some non-state limbo and would have to be re-admitted).Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

                You said a good oath. At least you haven’t signed contracts that disallow you from “interfering” in local elections (not me. friend of mine).Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Burt Likko says:

                It’s a death pact, no divorces. Someone let Jaybird know it’s not divorce OR war. It’s only war.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal says:

                So we jump to war.

                I’m doing a quick tally of the two warring sides and some quick math in my head about who has more troops, etc, and looking at Team Union vs. Team Exit, I’m seeing a majority of the technological and propaganda skills favoring Team Union and Team Exit has, primarily, the whole “knowing how to use a rifle” thing.

                How Many Divisions has Team Union?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird says:

                Let me help with the math:

                1 million police state actors
                vs
                8 million active free staters
                8 million non-active free staters

                15 million shoot whoever comes

                (there is dispute about whether 20-50% of the police state actors will defect.)

                Unless we see a pretty big turnout and escalation from the police state actors, this war is over before it really starts.
                (moderate escalation could increase to 27 million free staters against 27 million police staters)Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Don’t forget that most secessionist movements seek out foreign assistance, and usually require it in order to be successful.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Kolohe says:

                Please correct me if I’m wrong, but we have not seen a free state movement of any size in modern times. To assume anything in historical context probably only goes so far.

                How would the letters of secession be worded at this point in history.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Joe Sal says:

                I failed to mention that the US has been the world police state for awhile, so external countries will just as likely be having free state issues amongst themselves when our police are busy.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I don’t support secession, but I fail to see how an amendment enabling secession, and therefore implicitly amending the preamble, would be contra-constitutional. (Alsotoo…..isn’t the preamble usually regarded by the courts as just an aspirational statement? Could I ever sue the government in court based on its failure to live up to some aspect of the preamble?)

                I tend to see the US as a historical contingency. It won’t last forever. The union will fall apart someday. I don’t want to be around when it does, but I don’t feel any ironclad attachment to “more perfect” unionism. The US is just a country/nation/nation-state. It happens to be my home–and I care about its wealth and prosperity and the wealth and prosperity of its citizens and denizens–but it’s still just something under the sun.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                Hasn’t it already been established that “you can’t secede” from the union? I seem to recall some trouble a while back about that.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Damon says:

                If there’s a constitutional amendment permitting it….maybe not.

                And again, while I don’t support secession and while I believe secession in 1860-1861 was attempted for a particularly illegitimate and unjust reason, I find the appeal to the Civil War as resolving the issue to be one of those “might makes right” arguments. The Civil War showed secession to be wrong because those who opposed it were strong enough to force the secessioners to come back. (I know you’re not saying the Civil War resolved the issue–just that it happened—but I hear people say that occasionally.)Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                True enough…but…well, even the gov’t didn’t bother to use the constitutional amendment process when they wanted to get rid of drugs other than alcohol. I think the CA ship has sailed as a process of making change. Too hard and everyone wants easier solutions, regardless of their legality. After all, the constitution is just a “scrap of paper”. Can’t let it get in the way of progress.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                Reagan almost got them to make a constitutional amendment. That was the last time it stood a chance of actually working.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                Here’s a weird question: Everyone is assuming that the civil war shows that secession was not possible.

                Did it really?

                Not to get too far into the weeds, and not to sound like one of those hypothetical ‘It was a War of Northern Aggression’ people that I’m informed my state has but has never run across in real life, but is it not entirely possible to understand as what happened during the civil war as *secession* and then *conquest*?

                I know, at this point in time, legally, we act as if secession didn’t happen. But it’s also worth pointing out that the US government did a lot of things in those states during Reconstruction that, logically, would be disallowed under the constitution, like deny them certain representation in Congress, or the right to elect the government they wanted. It’s sorta hard to square the circle here…if those states had continued to be some of the ‘United States’ that entire time (Despite their own insistence otherwise), what ability did the Federal government have to deny them certain rights of statehood afterwards?

                Additionally, the CSA clearly *did* exist, as a nation. A surrender was signed with them. This doesn’t mean that the states of the CSA *couldn’t have* been in the USA at the same time, but that’s a somewhat strange legal situation. (EDIT: To clarify, states cannot sign treaties, or, presumably, surrenders, which are just single-purpose treaties. It seems very odd that a entity created *by* states could sign a treaty *with the US*?!)

                All evidence points to the interpretation, instead, that those state *actually did* secede, and then were forcible rejoined as territories of the US, were treated as conquered nation(s) under Reconstruction, and *then* they regained Statehood and the normal ‘partial sovereignty’ that States have when that ended. That’s not how *history* interprets it, that’s not how the law treats it *now*, but it seems to be what *actually happened*.

                But thereupon rises a problem: In 1860, it was entirely legal to declare war and conquer a neighboring nation and forcible join it to your own. In 2016…it’s not. It is, in fact, a war crime.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

                David,
                A war crime? tell that to Russia.

                Taiwan is in the same situation as the CSA. It happens, just a little different in Palestine. “Contested Territory” sometimes manages to secede (speaking of which, my friend who helped Eritrea secede from Ethiopia apparently didn’t realize Eritrea existed, and thought he was playing a video game. These are the people I know. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories so much as I believe my friends are capable of some really strange shit).Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to DavidTC says:

                The winner rights the history books and war crimes are aren’t important unless you loose. The victor’s war crimes are not punished. This excludes obliviously small countries that have little power, not large rich ones.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Damon says:

                The winner rights the history books

                Except after the Civil War, oddly enough. The Southern apologists with their BS about the War being about tariffs rather than slavery, Reconstruction being a disaster, and Lee the fine gentleman out-dueling Grant the drunken butcher all became the conventional wisdom.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Riiiiiight I very clearly remember reading all that in my american history classes in high school.

                Nope..it was how the EP freed all the slaves. I think if you did a survey you’d find that the “conventional” history is more aligned with what I recall than your statement.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to DavidTC says:

                Domestically, the Civil War was an insurrection, an armed uprising that interrupted the functions of civil government. While it was going on, at least for a while, Representatives and Senators from Southern states cast votes in Congress. Most of the issues involving logical discrepancies in the Union position involved international law and the threat of Britain and France intervening to secure commercial rights.

                I am not aware that the CSA ever signed a surrender treaty. Generals surrendered, some governors directed their militias to go home. Jefferson Davis and his cabinet dissolved the CSA and fled.

                The point of Reconstruction was that civil government had been disrupted by wide-scale insurrection, and there needed to be some process to bring the country back into a normal condition. There were a lot of theories about how to go about this, but the solution was largely to recognize civil government restored when indigenous movements (or the fiction thereof) had been created by sufficient people who had sworn oaths to the federal government and agreed with the 13th Amendment.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to PD Shaw says:

                While it was going on, at least for a while, Representatives and Senators from Southern states cast votes in Congress.

                Uh…not in any history book I’ve ever read. Most of the Congressmen from CSA states left, most ones that tried to stay behind were expelled.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/37th_United_States_Congress#Members

                The only people allowed to remain in Congress didn’t accept secession.

                I am not aware that the CSA ever signed a surrender treaty. Generals surrendered, some governors directed their militias to go home. Jefferson Davis and his cabinet dissolved the CSA and fled.

                You may be right there.

                The point of Reconstruction was that civil government had been disrupted by wide-scale insurrection, and there needed to be some process to bring the country back into a normal condition.

                I understand what the *point* of Reconstruction is. Hell, I wish it had lasted longer, at least parts of it. (Actually, I wish that the behavior of the former CSA states toward former slaves and other blacks had made the Federal government realize it would need to set up some sort of Federal *civilian* authority to enforce civil rights, and transitioned smoothly to that from the military. Instead of just having the military clomping around for years and then suddenly leaving.)

                What I don’t see is how to square it with the *Constitution*.

                There were a lot of theories about how to go about this, but the solution was largely to recognize civil government restored when indigenous movements (or the fiction thereof) had been created by sufficient people who had sworn oaths to the federal government and agreed with the 13th Amendment.

                This assumes that state government had ceased to exist, and needed restoring. This would be entirely reasonable if, for example, state governments had been wiped out by a nuclear bomb or something.

                The problem was…state government *hadn’t* ceased to exist. They were in open insurrection, yes, but they still clearly *existed*.

                The elected members of a state government *allegedly* committing crimes (Remember, no one actually got tried for anything.) is not a valid reason for the US government to start altering the composition of state governments!

                I can see some means by which this process could have made sense under the constitution. Perhaps Confederacy politicians could have been offered a chance to not be charged with treason *in exchange* for resigning from office and not holding office in the future, of example. Either explicitly, or as a gentleman’s agreement.

                Or the 14th could have actually been used in a *constitutional* way, as in, convict and then pardon people of their crimes, thus barring them from office.

                The problem is…that isn’t what the process was. Instead, the US government barred people, people who had never actually been convicted of a crime, from serving in their state government or serving in Congress representing their state.

                I’m not sure why we decided to interpret the 14th amendment as ‘If the government just asserts you “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion”, it can bar you from state or Federal office’, but that was a pretty damn stupid interpretation and it’s pretty lucky that no one has actually tried *using* that for anything except the Civil War stuff.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to DavidTC says:

                You said that the U.S. government denied the South “certain representation in Congress.” For the most part they forsook representation. They gave speeches withdrawing and their seats were declared vacant. Andrew Johnson retained his seat in the Senate. John C. Breckinridge retained his seat until he enlisted in the Confederate army and was expelled. States were not denied representation, members who supported an armed insurgency against the U.S. government were expelled. Expulsion has happened before and since the Civil War and it does not mean the state has seceded.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to PD Shaw says:

                I was talking about denying them specific representation during Reconstruction, not during the war. Supposedly via the 14th amendment, which apparently has no due process at all. (It’s a good thing no one has used it since, there is no check on it as far as I can see.)

                I didn’t realize you were responding to my comment about representation after the war with what you said about representation *during* the war or I would have cleared that up earlier.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Damon says:

                You can’t secede from the union. It might be an open question as to whether a supermajority of states within the union can dissolve the union itself.
                And, frankly, at that point, is it worth fighting? If you can get 75% support – regardless of the Constitutionality of the action – the marriage is dead, and staying together for the sake of the children is likely to, at best, work as well as that ever does.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to El Muneco says:

                So all the murmurings of Cali leaving the union is just a bunch of liberals butthurt over the election fantasying? Good to know.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Damon says:

                You didn’t know that? It’s just Texas with the partisan affiliations reversed.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to North says:

                Well, I assumed it was.. Perhaps my snark isn’t coming through 🙂

                After checking the “Clinton archipelago” I see you’re pretty much spot on.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Any realistic discussion about agreed separation would most likely involve dividing California any way, probably with San Diego anchoring an inland region. Not that any of this is realistic anyway. Any agreement that got close to 38 state support would more easily be resolved by negotiating anything that would reduce the underlying concerns, such as creating more limits on federal power.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

              I’ve read some things that say Democrats should actually start an inter-state compact of blue states, so that as Republicans lower taxes, they raise state taxes and send them to *that*.

              Obamacare is repealed? They set up their own exchanges.

              Medicaid is cut? Well, hell, they were already paying a higher percentage of that than other states were.

              Social security is cut? They set up their own multi-state retirement program.

              Social security is privatized? Set up special bonds that only citizens of those state can purchase, that pay off and behave like social security. And they can even stop people from opting out…I bet the privatization law will not let states regulate what bonds can be put in these ‘privatized’ account, but the states sure as hell can, for example, tax the income if people buy the wrong ones.

              Granted, each state could do that on their own, but having multi-state retirement plans, for example, would be great.

              Note I say this as someone *in a red state*, one that would not be participating.

              But the thing is…there is already a fairly clear economic divide between red and blue states, and an inter-state compact of blue states that helped each other out *would make this even more obvious*. At some point, the reality of the situation cannot be denied.

              And if there is some *very public* inter-state compact that *automatically* is set up to, basically, raise state taxes to collect any tax cuts that the Federal government makes(1), and the obvious result is things are better off in those places, a lot of our debate about taxes would change.

              And it would give Democrats a hilarious negotiating advantage. ‘Sure, we can cut taxes by 3%, and, uh…we can cut all highway funding to cover that cut. Our compact will just automatically raise the state taxes by 3%, which is way more than enough to cover *our* highways (We were basically subsidizing you guys) and so we’ll do the ‘matching funds’ ourselves. Sound good for us. And do you guys really *need* highways?’

              1) This would be complicated to do in practice, but not impossible. The best universe would literally have people fill out their Federal taxes under the old system, and then under the new system, and pay the states the difference (Which is then forwarded to the compact.), but in reality it would probably be a bit simpler than that so not match the tax cuts *exactly*. But as long as they get, on average, the amount of the tax cut, they will come out ahead, like by 10%. (Because, as I said, right now they’re subsidizing the red states.)Report

              • Avatar North in reply to DavidTC says:

                Couldn’t people in red states bordering the compact states exploit the hell out of that though David?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                We’ll build a wall.
                And make Texas pay for it.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to North says:

                Couldn’t people in red states bordering the compact states exploit the hell out of that though David?

                I’m not sure how. This would be funded by state income (As it’s intended to be a near identical replacement reduced Federal income tax.) and it’s mostly to replace programs where the recipients are *known*.

                Living in a nearby red state might get you access to better *roads* when you drive into a nearby blue state, but it’s not going to get you health insurance on their exchanges.

                Or do you mean that poor people in red states might move across a line to blue states to get Medicaid or food stamps or whatever? Well yeah…and they could do this *right now* to get Medicaid!

                But this doesn’t seem to happen for a lot of different reasons, including the fact that poor people are some of the least mobile people there are, and don’t have time for that sort of clever bullshit.

                And, yes, rich people in blue states might move across the line into a red state to avoid higher taxes, except a) no they won’t, a bunch of states don’t *have* income tax currently, and yet all the rich do not live there, and b) the places where wealthy people in blue states live tend to not be anywhere near state lines with red states.

                The wealthy on the west coast live too close to the Pacific, and depending on how much of New England joins, there might not be any nearby state lines at all, unless the idea is that the wealthy people in New York City move to Cleveland or Washington DC! If Pennsylvania doesn’t join, maybe some of NYC and Jersey decamp to Philly, I dunno, but that’s a hard sell.

                But more to the point…it doesn’t matter if some people leave. Right now, blue states are subsidizing red states to a huge extent. I.e., if blue states do this, and the Federal government cuts taxes by 5% so the compact states raise their income tax by 5%, they now have that *entire* 5% to spend on social services, whereas before probably a third of that went to subsidize red state’s stuff. In addition, that’s assuming that 5% cut went straight into 5% reduction in social services, whereas in reality it probably reduced military spending and border defense and all sorts of things that states do not do.

                So blue states could probably retain all their previously Federally-subsidized social services by raising their income taxes only by *half* the amount that the Federal government cuts income taxes. The reason I said it should be *the same* (at least by default) is that is an easy principle to get across and makes a strong statement and can sorta be the moral basis of the compact:

                We believe that a higher tax and a strong social net rate results in economic success, and we believe that this is not a zero-sum game, and we believe this so strongly that if the Federal government reduces those things, we’ll build *our own* ‘Federal government’ to do that for us.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to DavidTC says:

                I’m probably missing something fundamental David because what I was thinking in terms of “exploit” was more along the lines of live and work in non-compact states when young and healthy then move to compact states when getting older or sicker.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to North says:

                @north
                I’m probably missing something fundamental David because what I was thinking in terms of “exploit” was more along the lines of live and work in non-compact states when young and healthy then move to compact states when getting older or sicker.

                That…doesn’t help them any.

                The compacts version of social security, just like our current one, would surely require people to pay into it before getting any money from it.

                In fact, I was assuming that US social security would be ‘privatized’, aka, people are expected to purchase stocks and bonds to put in it…and the way the compact’s social security works is they *provide special bonds* for you to do that with, bonds that are non-transferable and provided at a large discount to citizens of those state, or possibly other bonds are taxed. And some trick makes the entire thing progressive, somehow, not exactly sure of that.

                Basically, I’ve imagining a system of social security build inside the dumbass framework of privatized social security. Where the state issues bonds (only to its own citizens, and non-transferable) that they can put in those private accounts, and those bonds do not operate like normal bonds, but instead are a magical way to just give the citizens money in (presumably) the tax deferred way that ‘privatize social security’ works.

                You don’t have any of those bonds, you don’t get any ‘compact Social Security’.

                Incidentally, I literally made up the idea of ‘states issuing special bonds to subvert privatized social security’ last week, soon after reading about the idea of compacts. It is entirely possibly that there is some huge fatal flaw in it. (I’m not 100% sure how ‘privatize social security is even supposed to work.)

                And as for health care…I guess, in *theory*, those states might have a slightly sicker population, if sick people *in* those states have access to a health insurance market and can buy insurance without pre-existing conditions, whereas we have, presumable, reverted to pre-ACA insurance everywhere else…

                …but, again, various states *were already doing this*. Massachusetts, for an obvious example. Did all the sick people move to Massachusetts?

                Likewise, there are states, *right now*, where poor men can get Medicaid. There are also states, like my own, where poor men *cannot* get Medicaid at all. And, yet, poor men continue to exist here.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

                Prove things out at a state level, figure out what works and what doesn’t, then after that argue the Feds should be copying it. Sounds really good, and it’s how the system is supposed to work.Report

              • Except that w’re getting GOP economics after they’ve destroyed Kansas and Louisiana.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                How many years of 2% growth do we need before we conclude there’s a problem?

                If Obama had given us growth (via the Stim, or Obamacare, or anything really), then HRC would be in office. Her not being in office is a reflection of that more than anything else.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dark Matter says:

                And of course the fact that no other large industrialized country is producing consistent growth that is substantially higher just shows that everyone else is also screwing up their economies, right?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Don Zeko: And of course the fact that no other large industrialized country is producing consistent growth that is substantially higher just shows that everyone else is also screwing up their economies, right?

                Possibly! Otherwise Brexit wouldn’t have passed, Abe wouldn’t be PM, Italy wouldn’t have jus rejected constitutional reform, Le Pen wouldn’t be a viable candidate, and we wouldn’t have literal Nazis coming out of the woodwork all over the place.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                And the policies of Kansas and Louisiana have demonstrated what, exactly?

                Where has this magic of tax cuts and deregulation produced any effect?

                Its the Great Pumpkin of politics, first promised in 1980, and every year since, but never yet appearing.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Kansas and Louisiana have the disadvantage of having their own unlimited line of credit (and their own currency).Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                @don-zeko

                Where has this magic of tax cuts and deregulation produced any effect?

                The United States after Reagan.

                Further all this talk about advanced economies having a low rate of growth was popular right before he took office, and we’ve seen non-advanced economies suffer low rates of growth from over regulation (India for example).

                We have a tax code which isn’t humanly understandable, it’s not a reach to think it’s causing economic distortions. The marginal corporate tax rate is the highest in the world and businesses flee the country via inversion on a regular basis, it’s not a reach to think that costs jobs.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                The United States after Reagan.

                No, I don’t think so.

                What happened in 1980-92 was a massive New Deal scale explosion of federal deficit spending, which in true Keynesian fashion, pumped money into the economy.

                But, as a famous person once said, eventually you run out of other people’s money.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                1980? Looking at the graphs, I see a more-or-less constant 3% deficit from 1974 to 1995.

                http://www.eucitizens.eu/pictures/Government%20budget%20surplus%20or%20deficit%20as%20percentage%20of%20GDP%201970-2010.jpg

                in true Keynesian fashion, pumped money into the economy.

                If that worked the economy should be just screaming along right now. Even adjusted for percentage of economy we’re doing two or three times what we used to.

                http://www.heritage.org/~/media/InfoGraphics/2012/10/SRfedspendingnumbers2012p4chart4_600.ashxReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                As a percentage of GDP?

                Oh dear, thats liberalism right there, comparing stimulus to the thing it is stimulating.

                As those Bolsheviks over at the Mises Institute noted:

                The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight.

                https://mises.org/library/sad-legacy-ronald-reagan-0

                Now, mind you, I am not opposed to deficit spending to goose the GDP; I just think we should not confuse it with “fiscal conservatism”.Report

              • If we could have 2% annual growth, say plus or minus half a percent, perpetually, in exchange for not ever again having stagnation or recession — well, I’d make that bargain. Growth is better than shrinkage. Anyone else with me on that?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Burt Likko says:

                We can do better. If we’re interested in not handing power to people like Trump we need to do better.

                One way to think of it is over 105 years 4% growth means an economy which is 8x bigger than 2%.

                And if you’re willing to settle for 2% you’ll get that “with” recessions and depressions and not “without” them.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I’m always the one minute to midnight guy on exponential growth. If you can maintain a vibrant economy for several years at no growth and no shrinkage you have my attention. Unfortunately, there aren’t many models that can do just that sort of thing, only one that I know of.Report

  13. Terry Pratchett was, for all his gifts, less imaginative than real life. It never occurred to him to make the Archchancellor a baboon.Report

  14. My decision about my Presidential vote this year was determined well in advance, based on my fear of the Republicans in Congress. At least IMO, they’ve lost their collective mind. YMMV, and I acknowledge that there are people who disagree with me for various reasons, but I think they’ve gone crazy. So I was voting for the (D), regardless, as the only means of protection post-2018 (when I expected the Republicans to retake both houses of Congress). I didn’t care for either Hillary or Bernie, but would have voted for either of them. The weeks since the election have done nothing to relieve my fears of Congressional Republicans.

    For me, an EC strategy that boils down to “the (D) and some number of (R) electors should agree to elect a ‘moderate’ Republican” is no better than Trump. Maybe Trump would veto a bill that guts Medicare*, maybe not. Maybe a ‘moderate’ Republican would withstand the pressure from Congress and veto such a bill, maybe not. Since I’m on record predicting that the filibuster will be dead as soon as the (D)s settle into resistance mode, and that any Republican President will eventually be pressured into signing bills sent to him/her by a Republican Congress, I’m really hoping my record for lousy predictions holds up.

    *My retiree health coverage, and most employee group plans, state clearly that Medicare becomes the primary insurance plan the instant that the retiree/employee becomes eligible (first of the month in which they turn 65). I’ve already asked one friend who said “It’s okay if they gut Medicare, I’ll just keep working and stay on the company plan” to go read the fine print. “Oh, sh*t!” was the result.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I agree in general. Though subsequent events appear to suggest that the filibuster has considerably stronger legs than we suspected. It turns out that the idea of gutting medicare and social security after campaigning on preserving them is not an appealing one for the GOP and the filibuster presents a very convenient “well we can’t pass those bills, the darn Dems filibuster them.” Line.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Michael Cain says:

      My retiree health coverage, and most employee group plans, state clearly that Medicare becomes the primary insurance plan the instant that the retiree/employee becomes eligible (first of the month in which they turn 65)

      If medicare is overturned, then a retiree will never be eligible for it. Or is there something in the fine print that says the retiree will lose the company plan regardless? (Or is it unclear enough that something like losing the company plan coverage will be the likely result even if there is no medicare?)Report

      • Idle speculation, in order of likelihood (IMO):

        (1) Once told by big business how many private plans the word “Medicare” appears in, any privatized voucher plan like that favored by Speaker Ryan will still be called Medicare.

        (2) Most contemporary employee group plans say that the employer may change the plan at any time (those subject to union contracts a sometimes exception). “Medicare” could be replaced by whatever the new name is.

        (3) If the employers can’t dump oldsters from their group plan, they will either find a way to dump oldsters as employees or get out of the group health insurance plan business. They certainly won’t pay the premium increases needed to cover the oldsters.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird says: