Breaking the Cycle


Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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446 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    Various points:

    Comey/ stolen e-mails were major issues in the election that had a significant,very likely game changing affect on the election. Those aren’t things that should be forgotten for very obvious reasons regarding national security and the ethics of federal law enforcement.

    People seem really confused by the use of the word “hacking” in the election. It wasn’t tampering with voting boxes or anything like that. It was stolen and leaked e-mails. We all watched it happen and most people were just fine with it. It was mentioned at all the debates. There is no doubt it happened, the only question is who. It happened right in front of us. It wasn’t some hidden plot, which is what some of the quotes were talking about re: hacking. Let me repeat the only thing we don’t know about the stolen e-mail issue was who and the intell community says it was the russians.

    Obama has talked with Trump and Trump said it went well. There is no evidence the gov isn’t being turned over peacefully. Which shows epic magnanimity by Obama given trump was a birther.

    I sincerely hope Trump isn’t as bad as i think he will be. It is always good to try to offer people some good faith.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:


      He’s the people’s servant and it’s HIS JOB to ensure a smooth orderly transition. Or do you expect newly replaced CEOs to burn all their records and throw the keys to the exec washroom out the window too?Report

      • Avatar gregiank says:

        He is doing that. The orderly transition is happening. The magnanimity is about politely working with someone who was a loud birther.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          After the magnanimity Obama demonstrated towards Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

          Now, I’m not saying Donald didn’t deserve every quip and joke of the roast.

          But it does put the later Obama mic drops in perspective.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            To be fair, Obama did call on Hillary to “follow her conscience”, which is weaselspeak for “You’re guilty and I know it.”Report

          • Avatar gregiank says:

            The WHCD is a roast. It’s a company party where everybody lets loose. It is always about joking with the various parties that are there. Nothing new about that. And please, Trump had gone full birther yet Obama joking on him was about Obama being the bad guy??? The birther crap was vicious sleazy and far beyond the norms of sharp elbows in politics.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              Again, I’m not saying Trump didn’t deserve it, and more.

              But Obama was fond of the mic drops earlier this year.

              That celebration, in hindsight, wasn’t excessive. But it was premature.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          I dunno. He seems a little uppity, with all that Russia stuff.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      You pissed at Israel for stealing e-mails now?
      Bibi didn’t do squat other than make sure that Clinton wasn’t planning to stab Israel in the back.
      (Israel had the e-mails ages ago).Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      The intel community that is steadfastly refusing to investigate a targeted assassination of a DNC analyst, who leaked the e-mails?
      That community?

      American hackers are better than Russian hackers, and when the russians get in after someone else leaves the barn door open, well, it’s not exactly clear that it was the Russians that leaked it to wikileaks (particularly when Wikileaks strongly denies it).

      And who the hell are you to say that it wasn’t tampering with voting boxes? (Note Well: this did not actually affect the election. This time around).

      AlsoNote: If your choice is between someone likely to start a limited nuclear war with you (Nicknamed The Mad Bomber, even), and The Crazy Guy — well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that realpolitik says that you ought to involve yourself in the election.Report

  2. I don’t know what “surrogates” means there. First of all, I don’t know of any sane people on the Democratic side claiming that the election was rigged, as opposed to the the usual sorts of complaints that the press coverage was biased, or this year that the FBI overstepped its bounds. Second, I don’t see that the people making these complaints are speaking for or claiming to speak for Hillary. She, in fact, conceded graciously to Trump and has stayed out of the limelight since, precisely as the president predicted. And the president himself has behaved entirely correctly, meeting with and not criticizing his successor. (As did Bush before him, and Clinton before him, and the other Bush before him.)Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Hillary, conceded gracefully? She couldn’t even concede the night of the damn election. She broke an entire penthouse suite, with secret service assistance, before she conceded.

      This is not graceful. This is clumsy and kinda stupid. Also — did you listen to her speech?Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      “First of all, I don’t know of any sane people on the Democratic side claiming that the election was rigged, as opposed to the the usual sorts of complaints that the press coverage was biased, or this year that the FBI overstepped its bounds.”

      Could you define the term “rigged” in this context? I’ve heard strong accusations made against Russia and Comey.Report

      • “Rigged” = voting and counting fraud, which is what Trump was predicting.

        I’ve heard strong accusations against Russia too, from the FBI and the CIA. Trump’s camp is signaling that they may accept them as true.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          Trump used the term far more broadly than that, broadly enough to include bias in the mainstream press. The other side responded as if he meant a narrow definition. This was just another case of two sides talking past each other.

          Maybe the broadest definition of rigging is if any of the neutral parties overseeing it are steering the results. That could include the press and the official structure (from the FEC to the voting machines). I’d call anything else tampering. Either way, we should stop throwing around words, and pretending that we’re all using them to mean the same thing.Report

          • Trump used the word to mean “The only way I can lose is if someone cheats.” Yeah, let’s defend that.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              If you want care over the use of the word “surrogates”, then you have to be more careful with the word “rigged”. You can’t have it both ways.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            Trump used the term far more broadly than that, broadly enough to include bias in the mainstream press. The other side responded as if he meant a narrow definition.

            To interpret Trump this way, we have to a) ignore how the people he was talking to interpreted it, and b) ignore some pretty specific statements he made, like his nonsensical statements about how people, if they had voted absentee, should go and revote in person?

            That sure doesn’t *sound* like complaining about the RNC establishment or the media being against him. It *sounds* like he’s talking about vote tampering being done against him.

            If we lived in some universe where the media deliberately interpreted ‘rigged’ in a way that no one else did, that would be one thing. But we live in a universe where the Republican party has been making up accusations of voted fraud for decades, and the ‘rigged’ was very clearly part of that.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              If you’re implying that Trump used words without maybe thinking them fully through, well that’s just crazy talk.

              The only question is whether we are going to be more coherent.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                This is… weird.

                “Trump said this really bad thing but didn’t mean it. Obama didn’t say a really bad thing but because he’s barking up a tree in the same grove that Trump’s really bad tree is in, he’s equally guilty. Also, ignore that Obama’s statements are based on evidence and Trump’s were not.”Report

              • Democrats have attempted to cast doubt on the election process by complaining about specific action they consider unfair, while Trump more responsibly made only vague accusations.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Close, @mike-schilling

                “Democrats have attempted to cast doubt on the election process by complaining about specific real action they consider unfair, while Trump more responsibly made only vague baseless accusations.”Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Democrats have attempted to cast doubt on the election process by complaining about specific action they consider unfair, while Trump more responsibly made only vague accusations.

                A lot of the problem here, including the original article, is people are co-mingling the *election* process with the *voting* process.

                It is perfectly fine to assert the media behaved in a biased manner. It is perfectly fine to argue who did, or did not, get their support of their party. It is fine to point out the behavior of other actors (Like the FBI, and Russia.) and how they influenced how people voted, especially when those actors *aren’t* supposed to be doing that.

                It’s even fine, as Trump did, to complain about non-partisan actors behaving in a partisan manner. (Well, he nonsensically did it about the debates being on a Sunday, which a *dumb* complaint, but there was nothing *wrong* with it. It didn’t damage anything.)

                Casting doubt on the ballots being fairly counted, or doubt on whether millions of non-citizens are voting, is something else entirely. That is damaging to democratic norms.

                The Democrats did the *former*, and, moreover, did it about *real things*. (We can debate if they really influenced anything, or if said influence was ‘fair’, but they did really exist.)

                Trump did the latter, and he did it about vague made-up things, half-remembered conspiracies from the internet.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                If you’re implying that Trump used words without maybe thinking them fully through, well that’s just crazy talk.

                I do not think ‘Trump is so incoherent that no one can ever know what he means when he uses a word, not even himself’ is a particularly *useful* defense of what he said. Even if true.

                But, anyway, Trump said a lot of things that indicated he thought *illegal* things were happen, or going to happen, to the actual voting process. Hell, he even said that *after* he was elected, in an attempt to claim his popular vote loss was invalid. He often said those things *in very close proximity* to his assertions of the election being ‘rigged’.

                Yes, at no point did he say ‘By rigged, I am asserting illegal behavior’, but that’s a weird goalpost to have, when you think about it.

                Trump harmed democratic norms by asserting that secret, imaginary, illegal actions were altering the outcome of votes. Whether or not that’s the ‘rigging’ he talked about or not is kinda pointless…he *did* talk about conspiratorial secret alteration of votes, and he did talk about conspiratorial secret voting by non-citizens, and he even threw some mud on the Democratic primary voting process, alleging vote alteration there. None of those things happened, and asserting they happened without evidence *does* harm people trusting the voting, and attempts to make the actual voting and vote counting a partisan affair, which it *cannot* be allowed to become.

                Meanwhile, no one on the Democratic side has asserted anything of the sort. They have asserted that *existing and well-known* things that really did happen (And are well-reported in the news) have probably altered *how* people voted, and if those things hadn’t happened, they would have won. Likewise, they are pointing out that laws made it harder for some people to vote. This is not harming democratic norms at all. Those two things aren’t the same at all. (The closest the Democrats are did to that is joining a recount, but a) they didn’t start that, and b) a recount is *part of the process*, and they accepted the outcome of the recount.)

                Hell, even if the Democrats were making stuff up, if there wasn’t any evidence that the stuff that happened changed how people voted…their claim is basically just ‘Stuff happened that made people vote against us’. Aka, they are complaining about *how they think people voted for the wrong candidate*, which is a perfectly valid thing to complain about and isn’t going to cause people to mistrust the system. (Oh no! Hillary supporters think more people should have voted for Hillary!)

                Whereas what *Trump* is complaining about *does* cause people to mistrust the system, it is claiming *the voting system doesn’t work correctly*, which is a problem when those complaints are completely made up.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Outta england:

      What I’ve heard (and I know people who are in these campaigns) is that there was selective removal of people from the voting rolls (I would like to repeat that I am not alleging illegal conduct here. it is perfectly legal to rig the primary).Report

  3. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    I have judged the incoming President and his team on policy. The fact they’re also terrible people who are set on destroying political norms and will get away with it because Democrats get hectored anytime they’ve had a spine since 1968 is just a bonus.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Other than talking with taiwan (as a private citizen, still), what policy has he actually implemented?
      I, like Mike, want to judge him on what he does, not what people think he’ll do.Report

  4. Avatar Freeman says:

    There’s no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time were Hillary’s emails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC

    Really, Obama? Anyone else remember an atmosphere in which much of the focus for the whole campaign was Trump’s latest antics? Anyone else remember the “grab ’em by the [hoo-ha]” saturation-bombing for the entire last month of the campaign? Only focus my hoo-ha.

    Phished DNC emails: As long as the government can read any of yours or mine on demand, and we all know they can and do, I’m not going to get concerned about exposed emails of operatives campaigning to run the government. Either we respect the privacy of emails or we don’t, and it seems the latter is the case.

    Comey: The private email server was always a partisan issue. Powell and Rice both used private servers to get around the many limitations of the government’s secure system, as Powell advised Clinton to do when she took the office. This issue seems to me much more likely to reinforce already existing preferences than convince undecided independents.

    Clinton Foundation: Moot. The Trump Foundation has way worse problems and everyone knows it.

    Lame excuses all, and completely unproductive at this juncture. Time to MoveOn to whatever the future holds, as it seems we’ll likely have much to deal with requiring our attention. The government Trump is assembling makes me nervous in many ways, but I’m with Mike on the wait-and-see attitude and especially the “think of them as People I Simply Disagree With” view. I’m reminded of a favorite saying of an old friend: Things are never as good or as bad as they seem.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Refugees using nuclear weapons to blackmail nearby countries into resettlement.
      Just one of the upcoming attractions!Report

    • Avatar Lyle says:

      Since Podesta was stupid enough to click on a link about changing his mail password, you have to start the blame with him. There have been enough fishing exploits over the years that he should have known better before having to ask the person who mistyped the reply about it. Of course the line I heard about Email 20 years ago that you should not put anything in an email you would not mind appearing on the front page of the New York Times does apply also. It is amazing how many folks don’t honor this. (Given the number of times emails have come back to bite someone on the behind over the years). Anyway the email companies should run a only change you password this way (using their preferred method with a hand entered url starting it off) campaign to educate folks.Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    Move on? LOL. Not based upon personal experienced. Do you know how many dating profiles I’ve read where women has specrticially stated that political views opposite of theirs were “deal breakers” and they woudn’t even consider dating the guy? It’s skyrocked in the last 6 months.

    And some parts of the media aren’t letting go either…

    Trump is set to undermine the things you take for granted in government and public life.

    Donald Trump Is Surrounding Himself With Budget-Shredding Tea Partiers

    The Case for Donald Trump’s Impeachability

    How Trump’s Apparatchiks Are Erasing Russia’s Role in the Election

    How Liberals Got the Electoral College Wrong

    This Time, Obama’s Calm in a Crisis Isn’t Helping
    He has his dignity and his faith in civic norms. Republicans have the government.

    2 Minutes of looking at the top page of Slate.

    Sorry Mike, your wish is already stillborn. But take heart, with China ascendant, perhaps America will fade gracefully into a second or third tier power….self absorbed with internal bickering over keeping the electoral college and whether to drill in the Artic.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy says:

    False equivalency much?

    And people are reacting to Trump and Co.’s stated policy goals. Pay attention.Report

    • Avatar Gaelen says:

      Exactly. Trump preemptively trying to delegitimize our electoral process because he thinks he is going to lose is not equivalent to the quotes from Obama, Clinton, Podesta, and Gates. They all acknowledge that Trump won the election and will be our next President, but bring up the fact that a foreign power actively interfered in our election. Are we supposed to just ignore it because Trump (and his supporters) would prefer it wasn’t true?

      Not to say Republicans are always worse, but can you imagine Trump (and Republicans) reaction if they won the PV, but lost the EC, all while Russia leaked Trump and Republican emails in order to help elect Clinton? I doubt they would have been so magnanimous.

      I might also remind readers that the same President Obama who is now complaining about negative publicity for his chosen successor (as if there is any other kind) said this in October when he thought Clinton would have the White House:

      Clinton did concede, and Obama has is doing exactly what he said he would do. Finally, Obama isn’t complaining about negative publicity, he’s complaining that the press unquestioningly went along with a foreign governments attempts to influence our election.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Wikileaks has a dead leaker on its hands. And claims that Russia wasn’t involved in getting it information.
        I believe wikileaks.Report

        • Avatar Gaelen says:

          I don’t.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Nu. Do you really think wikileaks would point to a dead guy, and say “he was the one who leaked us stuff” without evidence to back it up? It’s one thing to say “we had a source in the DNC” (it could be anyone, after all). It’s a far harder line to toe to say that it was a particular person, now dead.

            At this point, you’re calling them liars, and saying that they are deliberately and intentionally passing on false information.Report

            • Avatar Gaelen says:

              Yes, I do think they have lied. They have hinted (never said) it was the murdered DNC staffer. They have also claimed explosive revelations were coming numerous times. Those revelations never came.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Clinton’s campaign claimed that Wikileaks would have “some whoppers” right before the election.
                Did they lie too?
                Yes, they did. It’s called preinnoculating yourself.

                If you think wikileaks has lied, well, go ahead and throw out everything they say. And then burn your Bluerays, and unsubscribe from netflix, and go tell everyone exactly how much global warming has been made up.

                Because if you’re gonna call someone a liar, you better say that everything he’s attested to is questionable. And I don’t think you got the chops to do the math on x265, let alone the stuff that isn’t open source.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      You’re not cynical enough.

      BSDI is about not having to change you mind based on things like this. Whether it’s because you like to play “above the fray” or “objective observer” or whether you’re a one (or two or three) issue voter who doesn’t want to wrestle with the knotty problems of how much those issues weight against the actual problems, BSDI is a valuable tool.

      Because whatever might otherwise be a real problem with a candidate — a problem that might force an honest man off the fence, or to withhold you vote even those that candidate might be “right” on the few issues you care about — you can handwave it away. If the other candidate is just as bad, you can feel morally safe remaining on the fence or voting.

      Because that bad problem has been neutralized!

      Although I do find the OP somewhat amusing, after all the lecturing about how liberals need to learn to listen. Apparently nobody needs to even bother to listen to liberals. Clearly they just hate Trump with an unreasoning partisan hatred, and can’t possibly object to anything about his policies, appointments, or actions in the last month.

      After all, he’s done nothing Clinton wouldn’t have done, right?Report

  7. Avatar North says:

    While I agree with and applaud the sentiment Mike I do have to echo the complaints of the rest of the lefties. Has HRC not conceded, gracefully, and kept out of the limelight? Has Obama not been cordial and cooperative to the President Elect?Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Conceding gracefully isn’t what I’d call that speech, delivered the next day.

      It’s not like Mitt Romney didn’t expect to win. He didnt have a “what if I lose” speech either. But he got one written the night of, because that’s just what you do.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        It was a razor thin election; you don’t concede until you are certain without a doubt that you’ve lost. Nor was there anything wrong with the speech.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          She should have known after Florida (different from conceding). She should have conceded that night, in a speech.

          Clinton’s goes way off into “Here, I can still give a campaign speech” territory. I mean, I know i said she was kinda out to lunch, but this seemed really out of touch. You Lost. You concede, you thank people, you head home.

          (Gore’s speech ought to be judged on a different level than the above, of course. He had more time to write it, and more to heal).Report

          • Avatar North says:

            There’s not a word in her speech that is ungracious and the timing was not even remotely problematic.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              I’m not saying she was ungracious. I’m saying it was clumsy and awkward, and said things that a concession speech generally doesn’t. Hence, ungraceful. These are actually two different words.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Well I think it was a graceful AND gracious concession, enormously more than Trump deserved and certainly adequate to meet the needs of the country and all reasonable demands of propriety.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                I hardly consider roaming gangs and attempts to dissuade the electoral college from voting as they’re supposed to, to be “gracious in defeat”
                (I have no fucking clue why she continued to implement plans that might have stood a chance if it was really close, when Trump won the election at a walk).

                Paying people to attempt to wrest the election away from the rightful victor is one thing if you gotta chance. It’s just stupid, otherwise. But whatcha gonna do if your life is on the line? Anything possible, huh?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m going to cosign with Kim on attempts to hijack the EC. John Podesta was involved in this effort and he is very close to the Clintons. That doesn’t strike me as accepting the outcome graciously.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Plus, they stole my microwave (along with the truck it was on).
                [Costco, god bless ’em, had a second microwave airdropped to my house the very same day.]Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I’m googling around and all I can find is stuff saying “Clinton’s team and the Democratic National Committee have steadfastly refused to endorse the efforts spearheaded by a group of electors in Colorado and Washington state.” So as far as I can tell they’re doing everything except denouncing these stunts, which – it bears noting- amounted to absolutely nothing when the electors voted.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Clinton must be as bad as Trump, or else some people have made a horrible mistake

                Which, clearly, cannot have happened.

                Therefore, since Trump was questioning the legitimacy of the election, so must Clinton. Otherwise, goodness, we’d have to deal with Trump’s issues without ready make excuses.

                And wouldn’t that be depressing. Better to pretend that Clinton would have been the same, and take refuge in the fact that things could not have really been any better and that it’s all just partisan bickering with no basis in reality.

                Or better yet, pretend reality starts now. I’m sure Trump won’t blow another fresh start.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew says:

          This is way out of date, but the problem here, @north, is that she made the call on the night. Not even that late (like, more like 1 or 2 am than 5 am).

          So I think it really is a breach of precedent not to give the speech until, what, nearly noon the next day?

          It’s not the end of the world, but it was not a good look.

          Everything from her from that point onward has been good, though. But Clintonworld doesn’t always operate primarily through the principals. The “surrogate” question really does matter. But I don’t really know what all they’ve been saying, and even if I did, it would be hard to know how to assess all of it.

          Obama and the administration has been exemplary, though.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      As a rightie, I have to say that HRC and President Obama have acted properly both officially and personally (granting some wiggle room for hurt feelings). The main exception to this statement is her failure to make a concession speech the night of the election, but that was a slight to her own people. Many of the louder voices on the left haven’t been so reasonable.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Her failure to give a concession speech on time was directly due to her staffer’s instincts to hide from an Angry Clinton. (For which I don’t blame them. Shattered glass isn’t exactly what you want to be walking on)

        • Avatar North says:

          Reads like those writers were talking to your cats too.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Clinton’s violent enough without the alcohol.
            Cameras and maids are kinda talkative, ya know?Report

            • Avatar North says:

              You’ve typed “My friend the X told me” followed by some ludicrous assertion so much that it must have worn your keyboard out. The linked article is the same nonsense “My un-named friend a reporter tells me that Clinton was in a drunken rage the night of the election.” Yeah, uh huh.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                It was in the Enquirer. Actually, I think it was one of the crazier ones. I actually saw that blurb at a grocery store checkout and thought “Hey! Now I know who Kim’s friend is”.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                As far as I know, he didn’t actually write the story. As far as I know, at any rate (I do know stories he’s actually written, under a variety of bylines).Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Look, the stuff I hear from my friend is too ludicrous to make up. Like getting a commendation from China because you sent some stalkermail to Hunan Resources instead of Human Resources (misclick) and the Chinese Government got really, really confused.

                Truth is stranger than fiction.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I have seen the reports of Clinton’s behavior on election night on some non-mainstream websites. No idea if it’s true but Kim didn’t pull it out of thin air.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                “You accidentally bugged Clinton’s hotel room?”
                “The bugs were there already. She just didn’t remove them.”
                (Different situation,actually. That one’s a little too easy to track.)Report

              • Avatar North says:

                So have I, but whenever I’ve clicked through the links back looking for sources it always boils down to “My unnamed friend the X told me X”.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                I just look at it as an amusing story that I want to be true. I’ll be the first to admit that I despise HC so now that I don’t have to wish her well as President, I’ll happily believe she’s an angry drunk.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                she’s angry when she’s not drunk, which was the problem and why I couldn’t vote for her.
                Staring at walls and screaming for hours on end is poor form for a President.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Mike, if you want to “break the cycle”, you have to remain skeptical of unsubstantiated reports from obscure websites, especially if you want them to be true.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                TYT had an analyst on who blatantly lied on election night. You should remain skeptical of everyone, as we’re actually letting people lie on Television without calling them on their bullshit.

                Me? I put my trust in the people who were willing to bet real cash that Trump would win.

                They like harvesting the tears of the losers (see white people mourning Romney), so I’m not surprised that they did similar with Clinton.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Kim, I’m trying to make a reasonable point here. Please knock it off with the non sequiturs.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                You are correct, but I really want this one to be true.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Because THIS attitude is how we “break the cycle”!Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                It makes sense if you start from the assumption that Democrats and liberals are anti-American, corrupt, and illegitimate.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                make that neoliberals and neocons (hillary’s coalition) and I might listen.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                (Psst – I just engaged in a bit of fraternal correction. You know what doesn’t help? Someone on the other side trying to score a point off it.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                I did not see your comment but what I will say is that I have appreciated the voice you’ve brought here recently, one I often disagree with but which seems generally up for discussion, fairness, and seeking understanding (and if you’ve been doing that/been here longer than ‘recently’, my apologies… my brain is starting to rot…).Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Silly, @north . Unsubstantiated claims of Hillary having a drunken outlash on what might have been the worst night of her adult life is much worse than Trump outlashing soberly to the public on days ending in Y.Report

  8. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    Let me preface this by saying that I very much appreciate you as a writer and a poster on this site, Mike, so I don’t want you to feel too ganged up upon. This kind of appeal comes from a good place and is a good impulse to have. But here, in this case, it’s dead wrong. These quotes and actions you’re highlighting are all from people that are accepting the results of the election. Trump’s election, and Bush’s before him, are both far more suspect than either of Obama’s victories. And as much as you would like to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he’s not waiting to be elected to trigger a potential diplomatic crises, to convert the presidency into a massive pay-for-play operation, or to empower hacks and conspiracy theories. Giving him the benefit of the doubt is a luxury only available to those confident that they habe little or nothing to lose here.Report

  9. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I have given Trump a chance, and he has demonstrated to me very clearly what he is, and what he stands for.

    His entire campaign is about revanchism, revenge, resentment. I notice how seemingly petty cultural tics loom very large in his supporters minds.
    Things like “Dial 1 for English”, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in schools, “Merry Christmas” traansgender bathroom…these are fighting words, red lines for Trump and his followers.

    But that’s what elevates from from petty to deplorable. The underlying message is clear. Trump and his followers don’t like what America is changing into The multicultural, multi ethnic, tolerant society is horrifying to them.

    This is a rejection, not of policy or issues, but of people. Trump and his followers really don’t accept the legitimacy of their fellow Americans.
    Their enemies are enemies not because of what they do, but who they are. They are enemies of the Trumpists simply because they exist.

    This is what Trump has demonstrated to me, what his followers have demonstrated in their rallies, memes, proclamations, statements and actions. This movement is built on rage and vengeance, of wanting tp punish someone and make them pay.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


    Let me try to expand on the Op a little bit (though it’s pretty clear from the comments that my friends on the Left have already sharpened their swords for the next 4 years). Yes, HC was gracious with her concession speech (as tradition dictates) and yes, President Obama invited the Trumps to the WH and pledged to work together (as tradition dictates). Kudos to them both for following protocol.

    Since the election Clinton’s surrogates (and yes @mike-schilling I do consider her husband and closest campaign staff to be surrogates) have insinuated and bluntly stated that she lost the election due to a combination of A) Russians revealing how shady her campaign was and B) The FBI Director directly costed her the election. And the list of people who are suggesting that the President only won due to these factors include a former and sitting president.

    That last detail is most important. As two men who have gone through the process and should understand that we need our elections to have legitimacy, why make excuses? It’s one thing for the President to be concerned about Russia and want to retaliate for their involvement, but it’s quite another to imply that the results are somehow tainted (and despite claims to the contrary above, that’s exactly what he has done).

    Now, as for Trump…he has been the very definition of Poor Loser since the election, with the one exception of saying very nice things about the President and First Lady since their meeting. He has made policy promises which can be taken at face value and no doubt strike fear into liberal hearts. But he also has a Congress that will have to cosign for much of his agenda and how willing they are to cooperate remains to be seen. I’m personally also inspired by his business-advisory group, which includes some very smart people who like to innovate. And he is very interested in infrastructure investment, which I consider a liberal idea and one I fully support.

    So there’s a lot of different ways we can look at this and maybe i’m just as guilty of being partisan because liberals are pissing me off a lot more than conservatives right now…but we have to start somewhere. I can say with certainty that I kept an open mind for 8 years of President Obama and was often surprised. I just hope some of you can do the same.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      My mind’s more open than usual because Don Trump is a deceitful hypocrite.
      Bluntly, I believe nothing until he actually accomplishes it.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy says:

      Probably the only major way I have differences with your post is that Trump has already done things in the leadup to his assuming office that merit comment. Some of these things are common to all incoming administrations: people have every right to critique or praise prospective cabinet choices and policy declarations. Some of these things seem peculiar to Trump, such as his (apparent) transgression against protocol by accepting a call from the president of Taiwan.

      Another–less “major”–way I see it differently is that many people are very afraid of what Trump might do or what his victory might inspire others to do. On a visceral, emotional level, I share those fears even if I’m not of the demographic to be endangered. I believe these fears are (mostly) sincerely held and beyond the type of disingenuous hyperbole we always get from true believers no matter who’s elected. By saying these beliefs are sincere, I’m not saying they’re necessarily correct. I hope they’re not. But I am saying that these beliefs frame the way I and many others are looking at the transition and that they create the type of environment you’re urging us to resist.

      On the rest of your OP and your comment here, I haven’t much to disagree with, however. I, too, am willing to sign with Tod on the “blank slate” he wrote about shortly after the election. I don’t know if you’re a Trump supporter or not (I assumed you weren’t, but I don’t recall if/when you took a position), but I do hope they are as thoughtful as you are.

      Happy holidays!Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        I was not a Trump supporter and didn’t vote for him, but I guess if anything you could say that I am a fanboy of the office of President. That’s where my optimism and wait-and-see attitude comes from.Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy says:

          Thanks for clarifying. For the record, while I’m not wholly with you in your argument (for the reasons I stated in my comment), I’m mostly with you.

          Maybe mine is a weasel’s, sits on both sides of the fence, position. But that’s where I am now.Report

        • Trump is not a fan of the office of president, at least when someone else holds it. His inserting himself into foreign policy while still a private citizen is unprecedented. (Also stupid and reckless, but I did say “Trump”.)Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      Mike, just what attitude would you expect me to take towards Comey’s behavior? Seriously, he jumped into a political race in an unprecedented way with a complete nothing, but made it look scary. It’s possible that he was averting something even more nasty that was about to be leaked from the NY Field Office. Nevertheless, what sort of response do you expect from me?

      Our country is in a horrible place right now. We agree on that. The amount of distrust and bad faith and relativism is precisely what the Russian cyber-ops team tries to inspire. How do you feel about that?

      Both of these are threats to the democratic process itself. And it alarms me that so many people are brushing it off.

      Results like this, where the popular vote contradicts the electoral vote, also damage trust, and damage norms.

      In spite of this, I did not support faithless electors, because that would further damage us. Trump is as legitimately elected as any president could have been this cycle. He is the winner. Clinton conceded. And there are a bunch of problems that really need to be addressed.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Doctor Jay,
        All due respect, but our country is doing just fine.
        we haven’t even lost MIAMI yet (incoming shitstorm, just you watch and learn).Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        “Our country is in a horrible place right now. We agree on that.”

        I don’t think we do. I actually think we’re not doing too bad.

        “The amount of distrust and bad faith and relativism is precisely what the Russian cyber-ops team tries to inspire. How do you feel about that?”

        I think the best thing we can do is not play along by telling the story that they cost Hillary the election.

        “Results like this, where the popular vote contradicts the electoral vote, also damage trust, and damage norms.”

        The system functioned exactly as it was designed. If the electorate doesn’t understand how the EC works and they thought this was a popular vote, that represents a need for better civics lessons…not a failure of our government. We are about to transfer power, peacefully, for the 44th time. That should be celebrated.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko says:

          Would it bother you if the EC frequently diverged from the popular vote, perhaps every other election or so? Would you support a similar system to elect state governors?Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            If we actually had some real divergence — say, 10% of the country? Maybe. We haven’t seen that, ever.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

              If we get to that level of divergence between rural/urban, the EC is more likely to start reinforcing it as EC landslides in favor of urban rather than continuing on the popular/EC vote divergence path it’s on now. I think we’re in a strange window where that’s going to be common for a while. In the long run, the parties will either stop the rural/urban split or the rural party will stop having any chance at all at the White House.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I think you make a good point here. The EC checks the power of big cities right now, but of course that means conservatives ignore those areas, the same as liberals ignore middle America (broadly-speaking). As minority populations continue to grow, the question is how long that dynamic will last, unless those same minorities move out of urban centers, which they are doing in some places. I could see Republican-controlled states trying to figure out how to create mini-ECs to apportion their votes along favorable lines.

                The cultural shift and the eventual minority status of whites is going to have much broader political implications than anything else we are talking about right now. Ironically though, I have 7 immigrant employees on my team and almost all of them have told proudly told me they voted for Trump. They all basically say it’s because they came here legally and they don’t like all the perks that illegal immigrants get. I find it fascinating and probably the same logic my ancestors would have used. Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Twenty years at most.
                By then, we’ll probably be hitting widespread famine.
                At that point, I don’t lay good odds on anything “elected” lasting — too inefficient and uncooperative.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            I’d actually like to see the EC come out on top more often. It might get Democrats to pay attention to non-urban areas.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko says:

              Why do people who live in rural areas deserve an electoral system designed to weight their votes more heavily than the rest of us?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Actually, it doesn’t weight rural areas more heavily than the rest of us. Rather, it weights small-pop states more heavily than the rest of us. New York has rural Areas. Pennsylvania. California. Texas. The issue isn’t rural areas. It is small-pop states whose voters are disproportionately represented in the Electoral College.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                I know, but Mike said he liked EC/pop vote splits because they worked to the advantage of rural voters.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                And my point is that they *don’t* work to the advantage of rural voters. How does the EC help rural New Yorkers? I mean, the only way we could say that it does is if we assume that the interests of rural New Yorkers are aligned with those of rural Montanans and so the outsized influence of Montanans is a win for rural New Yorkers.

                And if we assume that, what we’re really saying is that the EC is good because it outweighs the influence of that shared ideology (i.e., Republicanism). So let’s call a spade a spade. Defending the EC is not… can not… be about attending to the voice of rural Americans.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                I agree wholeheartedly. I’d add that the Founders certainly didn’t mean for the EC to protect the interests of rural voters because the urban population at the founding was so tiny as to be politically insignificant. The 95% of Americans living in rural areas hardly needed the help, and it certainly didn’t provide anybody with motivation for setting up the EC the way it was set up.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                You also had much smaller range in terms of state population and electoral college representation.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                Yup, plus the case for the pureness of states ended the moment the 1st time state lines were drawn to maximize political results and the 1st time the admittance of states was or wasn’t done to maximize political results.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Ask the Founding Fathers.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                So then there’s no moral theory for why some voters are more equal than others, just the brute fact that doing so was a necessary part of a political compromise reached centuries ago?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                People that live in close proximity tend to be more homogeneous in thought. The EC blunts those effects and gives smaller population centers a more equal voice at the table.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                It’s hard not to read this as motivated reasoning. Rural voters think more like you than urban voters do, so they should win.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                or, to put it another way, do you think that Reynolds v. Sims was wrongly decided, Mike? If not, why shouldn’t that logic apply to the Presidency?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                “People that live in close proximity tend to be more homogeneous in thought.”


              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                “People that live in close proximity tend to be more homogeneous in thought.”


                I won’t pull it up for you but re: homogeneity in political thought, the voting patterns of precincts across the country amply bear out that people voted based on some sorta urban/rural, bigtown/smalltown divide. Eg., smaller towns/ruralia vote overwhelmingly R. Big cities (etc) vote overwhelmingly D. I don’t think that’s a function of density myself, but rather that political orientation (contemporarily defined) is a function of geographical location.

                So it cuts both ways: being open minded constitutes “homogeneity” while rejecting that sort of open-mindedness does too.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                The bigtown/smalltown split is pretty obvious, but I think that there are some practical reasons to believe that some of the political split between them is practical rather than simply cultural. Densely populated areas really do need different government from sparsely populated areas. Broadly, they need more government. There are more pieces of shared infrastructure shared by more people, and things that any citizen does are more likely to affect his neighbors.

                That’s not to say that there isn’t a huge cultural / historical component, but I really do think a lot of it is a perfectly rational response to differences in proximity and how we relate to one another.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                “People that live in close proximity tend to be more homogeneous in thought.”

                Thus, the swing states of Wyoming, South Dakota, and Idaho.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Jesus freaking christ. We only fixed the “one person one vote” thing in 1960’s.
                Before then, I swear to GOD it was worse.
                And way more weighted toward rural areas.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Reframing the question… What mechanism do we have to ensure that Republicans pay attention to non-rural (specifically, urban) areas?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Is “the founding fathers preferred it” really your reason for preferring that outcome?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                The rural/urban split seems as arbitrary as anything else. We could argue that we should have an electoral college of races or by income bracket. Everybody has their interest groups, and the EC happened to encode a set that was important when the Constitution was written.

                I mean, looking at where people campaign, it objectively doesn’t protect “small” states. It takes the “handful of states dominate the election” problem and moves it from one set of states to a different set of states. Unless there’s something particularly awful about states with large populations specifically being the dominant ones, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of justification.

                I’ve been wondering if the rural/urban split in the parties is more of an artifact of the EC than anything else–specializing in one set of interests that are easily mapped onto an EC map seems like a valid strategy. In the absence of the EC, I wonder if we’d end up with two parties with a totally different set of coalitions underpinning them.Report

              • Avatar Catchling says:


                In some alternate timeline, people are arguing that the Electoral College of the Faiths should be replaced with a popular vote. Others are countering that if you did that, then the candidates would only have to appeal to Protestants plus Mormons, neutralizing the influence of smaller religious groups, whereas at the present, Hindus, Muslims, and atheists each get that 2-vote bonus, ensuring their interests won’t be ignored.Report

        • Avatar Gaelen says:

          I think the best thing we can do is not play along by telling the story that they cost Hillary the election.

          What if it’s true that they did cost Hillary the election? On a related note, I’ve seen pretty compelling argument that Comey’s announcement cost Hillary around 2% points, which again, really might have cost her a few of the swing states she lost. If those are even colorably true, why can’t members of her campaign discuss them?

          If they didn’t cost Hillary the election, why not?*

          *Remembering that there can be many causes for an close outcome like this, each one of them probably sufficient.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            This lady didn’t campaign for half of October — and there were reasons for that.
            She fired the people who said she was going to lose if she didn’t campaign in Wisconsin.
            Her trump card — that hoo-ha crap on Trump? Even an October Surprise didn’t work!
            Holy shit, you think the e-mails had much to do with anything?

            Next, you’ll be blaming the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, who is not only DEAD, but Slick willie gave the eulogy at his funeral!Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


            Root cause was HC…not the Russians or Conley. She made the mistakes and her supporters are simply upset that the public heard about it so much right before the election (nevermind that Trump’s ‘grab them by the p*ssy’ line came out around the same time). They both got horrible publicity, which as David Brooks puts it, is the price for being king. One could argue that if the mainstream media had not crucified Trump for 18 months he would have been way ahead in the polls. So wasn’t this really just a level-set?Report

            • Avatar Gaelen says:

              Saying it was HC, as a person, is not an answer to the question.

              As I have said on many other threads over the last few weeks, Hillary made a number of mistakes, some of which, either individually or in combination, cost her the election.

              The above can be true, and the Russia hack (coupled with wikileaks releasing them to garner maximum attention), and the Comey letter to Congress can effect the outcome. If they didn’t, why didn’t those two things have an effect on individual voting decisions?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Indirect effect. Wikileaks massively trolled the clinton operation, which wanted to run like hell away from their massively vengeful leader, and spent a lot of October reading the newspaper to learn about stupid shit that no one really cared about.

                There were really bad e-mails. They didn’t get released.

                Distracted Clinton team bought into their own inevitability and October Surprise lines.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko says:

              If you think the Comey letter mattered because it made public true things about Hillary Clinton, I think that explains why you may have a hard time understanding the liberals you talk to and vice versa.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              @mike-dwyer — You’re smart. I’d suggest this book:

              Anyway, causality is best modeled as an acyclic graph, where each node (“event”) has multiple incoming arcs, which collectively affect the outcome at that node. In any event, trying to say “X was the root cause” is almost always a motivated statement rather than an unvarnished statement about the world, since reality a complex network of cause/effect, and each little bit has its role to play. To focus on one aspect over another is your lens.

              This is obvious, if you think about it.Report

            • Avatar rexknobus says:

              I’ll blame Newt Gingrich and the Republicans of the 90s. Try to imagine (suddenly I hear that deep-voiced movie trailer guy) a world where the 20-year non-stop investigations of the Clintons hadn’t happened. Whitewater, Foster, Benghazi, emails, etc., etc. Non-stop headline-making and very largely fruitless investigations. Millions (tens of millions? Hundreds of millions?) of dollars spent going after the Clintons. Nothing of real import was found, but years of headlines made a tremendous impact. Even Democrats were saying “I’ll vote for her, but I have to hold my nose.”

              Imagine that instead of that, the Clintons were just regular ole politicians. You know, you agree with some stuff, you disagree with other stuff, but there is no scent of brimstone hovering around them at all times. Think: John Kerrey or Mitt Romney — hey, you like or dislike, agree or disagree, but they aren’t *evil*.

              Without the non-stop conservative smear machine working against the Clintons (and again, let’s emphasize the lack of any particular scandalous discoveries of those decades of attacks), how would Ms. Clinton have done in this election?

              It’s hard to imagine a world without that constant attack strategy. (Not to mention imagining a world where anyone would say “20 years and no proof of any crimes? Then obviously they must be pretty clean. Who could stand up to that scrutiny unless they are pretty darn straight!” Did you feel the shiver go down your spine? Even I know they can’t be straight, not after 20 years in the Republican cross-hairs. Cripes!)

              So I take it back to the good old Impeachment days. Imagine (again) the Republican chagrin back then when the slam-dunk of investigating every facet of a Demo gov of Arkansas (Arkansas?!?!) turned out to reveal not much more than (maybe) Paula Jones. They must have freaked. But then they realized, “Hey, even though we found nothing, we’re on to something here. We don’t have to prove anything — let’s just keep hammering. If we don’t, that other Clinton might get elected someday!”)

              Can’t blame Gingrich and his cronies too much for continuing their strategy. It worked. As a strategy, it did its job. This election was close, but think what might have happened if we all weren’t so sure of the evils the Clintons have gotten away with, even though no one seems to be able to actually find them. A different world indeed.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Hillary’s vast rightwing conspiracy was one guy.
                I treated all that dross like the lies that it was.
                Clinton didn’t go corrupt until after they finished the Presidency (well, in a “We made alliances with seriously powerful people” sort of way).

                And, I’ll note, I didn’t mind clinton’s corruption enough to cast my vote for Trump.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Hillary lost the election by the width of our fingernails in a handful of states. This is infuriating simple because that means every single one of her errors and of the things that befell her campaign cost her the election. She suffered precisely enough misfortunes and made enough mistakes to lose the election and pretty much not much more. So yeah, Comey cost her the election. So did not campaigning in the Midwest as much, so did the deplorables gaffe.. any one of them, had she avoided them, or had they not been unleashed upon her would have meant she’d have won rather than losing.

            So, Hillary foes like to focus on the mistakes that were strictly within Clinton’s control because they can say “Hillary’s mistakes cost her the election” and saying so is strictly true. Hillary’s sympathizers, meanwhile, like to focus on the things that were mainly outside of Hillary’s control (the hacks, Comey’s partisan adventure) because they can say “Outsiders violating the norms or interfering cost her the election” and saying so is also strictly true.Report

            • Avatar Gaelen says:

              I totally agree. On other threads I’ve detailed the many ways in which I think Clinton made unforced errors which probably cost her the election. But, just because those things are true doesn’t mean the Russians and Comey didn’t have an effect of the outcome.

              I think it is important that liberals take responsibility for the things in their control, and so a focus on Russia and Comey to the exclusion of all else is not particularly helpful, but to be told that we can’t/shouldn’t talk about it as a reason for the loss is just a little too much. Why? because it’s divisive (read some conservatives don’t want to hear it)?Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              “Comey’s partisan adventure” could have been avoided if his boss had actually, done, like you know, her job….and not had a private chit chat with HRC’s hubby.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                It’s always a special day when the super limited government folks go all in for supporting what was, at best, very sketchy and , at worst, deliberate and unethical conduct by the head of the FBI.

                The feds law enforcement has rules and guidelines about discussing or even taking certain action within 60 days of an election out of fear of having an influence.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Or if Comey hadn’t had a partisan adventure, or if the AG had told the people leaping up and down about the meeting on that plane to go shove it or, granted, if Bill had known better than to stop by for a chat.Report

            • Avatar Pinky says:

              I don’t understand the eagerness to assign blame, when there are so many things that could be blamed. This isn’t an exact science. The situation will never be duplicated. You can learn lessons from the mistakes on both sides, whether you win or lose. But coming up with a formula that allocates blame correctly? Why bother?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Well assigning blame impacts the “therefore:”; the right says “And therefore the left should move more in our direction on policy; the left says “and therefore if we swap out for a better candidate and the intervening actors are punished/denounced then we don’t have to move right on policy.”

                It’s pointless mainly because it’s so simple; every error and the handful of unprecedented interventions were all at fault for HRC’s loss. Had her margin of loss been wider maybe trying to apportion blame accurately would be important but the loss was razor thin so each individual error and each intervention most likely contains within their body the margin of victory.
                Left wingers want to focus on the unprecedented interventions because focusing on team HRC’s own errors recognizes that the she and her team made a number of significant mistakes and those cost them the election.
                Right wingers want to focus on team HRC’s errors because focusing on the unprecedented interventions (primarily Comey) would recognize that outside actors stuck their oars in and those interventions won the right the election (and that the right would be absolutely livid had those interventions occurred impacting in the other direction).

                Both sides are correct though. The left is correct- the interventions were wrong and threw the election to Trump. The right is correct- HRC’s made a laundry list of errors and they cost the left the election and will need to be considered and adjusted for in future contests.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Why should the left de-emphasize the specific mistakes she made? Her mistakes don’t necessarily reflect badly on the ideology. Most of her mistakes were specific to this year, this candidate, this strategy.

                Do Democrats not destroy their own at the first flicker of failure? That’s a very different environment than I’m used to.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Err.. psychology? If anyone, anywhere suffers a failure due to a combination of their own errors and also outside events beyond or partially beyond their control they invariably emphasize the later over the former.

                I grant that I’m only younger/middle age when it comes to American politics (basically my awareness of it dates back to, like, 98 or so) but a Democratic Party that devours its own at the first flicker of failure is not familiar to me. From whence did you get that impression?Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                reply to first paragraph – But it’s not just the campaign staff that’s focusing on the external factors. A lot of the left is focusing on Comey and Russia rather than Clinton’s mistakes.

                reply to the second paragraph – Sorry for being confusing. My point was that Republicans tend to savage their own people after a loss, but maybe Democrats defend theirs and blame their opponents.Report

        • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

          I said that “we agree” because your complaint, at the top, was about the state of discourse, and our inability to talk to each other.

          But now you say “everything’s fine”. Which is it? If everything’s fine, what is it you’re complaining about? You seem to be trying to have it both ways. Yes, we are going to have the 44th peaceful transition of power. We agree on that. So what was the point of your complaint?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


            My bad – I misunderstood and thought you were talking about the country in general. So I think we can both say:

            America = good
            American political discourse = badReport

            • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

              Which brings me back to my questions: How do you feel about Comey’s intervention? How do you expect me to feel about it?

              And how do you feel about the Russian hacking? How would you expect me to feel about it?

              Bear in mind that the point of Russia’s cyberops is to sow discord, and make it harder for anyone to reach any consensus about what’s true. And that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s what you’re complaining about in the OP, as best I can tell.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Comey shouldn’t have been in that position, however a visit by Bill Clinton on someone’s plane put him there. I’m honestly still shocked she was indicted given what happened to Petraeus. In a perfect world she would have been indicted, dropped out, Bernie wins the primary and maybe even beats Trump.

                The hacking only revealed things I already knew. Do I think Russia should be punished for interfering? Yes. Do I think they cost her the election? No.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Petraeus consciously and deliberately gave classified info to a person without clearance. That is very different from what clinton did.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Very different, yes, but it’s like homicide versus depraved indifference. You’ve got to serve time for both.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Erm, except depraved indifference still requires someone to *die*.

                If Clinton’s email server had resulted in classified information being leaked, that would be one thing. It didn’t.

                This is the difference between homicide and…we don’t even have a legal term that means ‘some negligence that didn’t harm any one’. There’s no such thing as *attempted negligence*.

                We don’t *normally* prosecute people for that sort of thing, because it’s not normally illegal. And isn’t here.

                Additionally, the ‘classified’ information was bullshit.

                A good deal of it was talking about how to respond to reports *in the newspapers* about drone strikes, something State *literally knew no classified information about*. So how was the conversation classified? Because the US government claims that their entire existence of the drone program is classified, and thus *talking about a public news report* somehow is classified.

                We do not send people to prison for mentioning the existence of newspaper articles to each other. It is dubious that the government can even *convict* someone of that…even pretending she had *deliberately* mentioned them to someone without clearance, or even that her conversation had leaked. It did not.

                Another was a discussion of what she talked about with a Head of State, which was technically classified…but the fact is, the classification, being originated in State, could have been altered at any time by Clinton. It’s rather idiotic to claim someone committed a crime by talking about something over insecure channels that they could have declassified and announced publicly.

                tl;dr – There is absolutely no possible way that she could have conceivable been convicted, based on what we know of her behavior. For *three* major reasons…one, the information *did not actually get out*, two, the information *was not intended to get out*, and three, the information was not truly classified, even if the government asserts it is.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I get that everyone deserves a robust defense in the court of public opinion. But in my view, Ms. Clinton deserves no such special treatment any more. Which is why I just don’t understand all the effort expended to defend her.

                She lost. Spectacularly. Each of those “thousand cuts” could (and has been) litigated ad nauseum without changing that one basic fact. If it was just one big gash that did her in, I’d be more sympathetic with your argument here, but it wasn’t. Which indicates, to me, that pre-election she was a weak candidate, and post-election showed that to be true.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Did the FBI lie on the search warrant for Weiner’s phone? If they did, that’s a crime. If they didn’t, then “The FBI’s investigation has established that emails containing classified information were transmitted and stored on multiple forms of electronic media”. I haven’t seen the emails in question, so I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible she couldn’t declassify them if they were from another agency.


                “Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
                Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”


              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Didn’t fix this in time – that should be 793(f).Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:



                It doesn’t matter what the law says. The court has said ‘relating to the national defense’ *requires* intent.


                Additionally, at no point does Hillary Clinton appeared to have ‘removed from its proper place of custody’ anything. Removed is currently interpreted to also mean ‘copy’ in the case of electronic documents, but there’s not any evidence she did that *either*. No one was emailing around classified documents.

                WRT to the drone thing, she got information *from public sources*, not classified sources. She neither ‘removed’ the classified documents (Or even accessed the classified documents! She didn’t have access to information about drone attacks!) or gave it to someone unauthorized to have it. Likewise, her discussing her own conversation with a head of state isn’t her copying any documents. It’s stuff she personally knows.

                So, as far as I can tell, to be convicted under this law, even *misreading* it as not requiring intent, it requires *either* classified information (In whatever form) being put in uncleared hands, *or* actual copies of classified information being moved around insecurely. Those are the two ways to break the law, and Hillary did neither.

                There is nothing in the law that covers writing down classified information *you already know*, not as any sort of copy of a classified thing, but you know because you read it in the paper or it personally happened to you, and trading it insecurely, *as long as* no non-cleared person gets it.

                This is because *that* interpretation, the one people are trying to get Hillary with, would make it illegal to talk about classified information almost *anywhere*. If two people are cleared for the same information, and they want to look at a classified document, they have to do that in a secure location, yes,and removing that document without permission is illegal. But if they just want to *discuss* that information, they just need to make sure where they discuss it is *mostly* secure. They do not need to trek to some classified discussion room, and their discussion is not somehow ‘removing classified information’, *and the law reflects this fact*.

                Which brings us to the next problem: You, along with half the damn internet at the time, seems to think this has something to do with a private email server.

                But *no* public email server on the internet is a ‘proper place of custody’ for classified information, even the state department server! No computer *with access to the internet* is a proper place of custody! If you think there was classified documents being exchanged via normal email, you need to go after *the entire State Department*.

                Of course, the problem is, there *weren’t* classified documents being exchanged.

                What *actually* happened is that sometimes discussions over unsecured channels ended up being things that are at the very bounds of classification, hypothetically, if someone carefully pours over every single document looking for that. This has happened in all governments, at all times, in all ways.

                This entire thing is functionally having the police take hundreds of hours of watching Hillary drive, watching her tires occasionally touch the lines when turning a corner, and then being completely outraged the police didn’t arrest her for vehicular homicide. It’s utter nonsense.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Classified information was leaked because of clinton’s private e-mail server. We know the spy that did it too — and who got all the e-mails.
                Was this a big deal? No, not really.

                But if you’re going to go on a jihad about “who did what and why”, well, some people got curious about what the hell was on Clinton’s private e-mail servers.

                This has not materially affected geopolitics in any way shape or form, and I’d be inclined to classify it as a relatively minor incident.

                But, I do say but, someone got classified material because Clinton had a private e-mail server. (read that last line again. It’s important).Report

              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                Was it Mittens who provided proof Clinton’s email server was hacked? Because it certainly wasn’t the FBI, who couldn’t say that definitively, and most definitely didn’t give us the spy who did it.

                It’s also worth noting that we do know the State Department was hacked because we have seen those emails.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Read what I wrote again. I’m not talking about Clinton’s server being hacked.

                There are multiple highly placed spies in the Clinton Machine. This should surprise no one.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                Oh, so it’s even less tethered to reality than I thought. Got ya.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                *shrugs* I hardly buy into the paranoid musings of the right (which will be why I’m not citing public sources on some of the spies in Clinton’s camp.)
                I don’t really care that some nebby spy agency wanted to look at the e-mails.
                But, really — the FBI looked at them afterwards.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                What to make of Comey? There were two controversial moments: in July, when he decided not to indict; and in October, when he went public with the re-opening of the investigation.

                Non-partisans have considered Comey above reproach. Partisans who know him and/or the law believe that he acted entirely correctly except for that moment either in July or October, depending on which partisan you’re talking to. Partisans who don’t know anything consider him bought and paid for either in July or October, but say that he was right on the other occasion.

                Personally, I don’t understand how he could have decided against pursuing Clinton. But I’m willing to grant that the decisions he made in July and October may have been the right moves, both legally and ethically, without any regard to how the moves were seen politically.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                It’s easy to understand Comey. No one should take seriously the thought that he was not under the thumb of exactly the same people that Obama is under. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gotten the post.

                The bit in October was self-preservation, dealing with an unprecedented rebellion by a near majority of FBI agents ready to tender their resignations.Report

              • Avatar KenB says:

                I haven’t wanted to chime in on this, partly because I haven’t put a lot of time into researching it and partly because I’m skeptical that anything productive would result from it, but I was wryly amused at how quickly Comey transmogrified from angel to devil or vice versa.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                An honest person put in a tough spot would experience the same things that Comey did this campaign season. That’s not proof that he’s an honest person in a tough spot, but it’s suggestive. It fits better than the angel/devil theories.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                It fits better than the angel/devil theories.

                What fits even better than that is that Hillary’s behavior *was not indictable*, and Comey knew that, so he decided to take credit for his ‘decision’ not to indict her, instead of just passing it one rung up the chain and having the DoJ’s *prosecutors* refuse to indict her.

                EDIT: BTW, thinking the left thought of Comey as an angel for that is wrong. That entire thing looked like a *political favor* that Comey was doing to get her out of trouble, infuriating people because it *avoided the non-partisan system set up to look at this stuff* that probably would have chosen not to indict her.

                It is entirely possible to *harm* someone by making an obvious and deliberate show of ‘saving’ them from things *they would not have gotten in trouble for if it actually reached a court of law*, or even if it had reached actual Federal prosecutors.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                Why exactly does that fit even better, other than it proves the point that you want to make? Do you have reason to view Comey as some kind of opportunist looking for the spotlight?

                This is a serious question. I’ve not seen anything like this, but I may have missed it.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Do you have reason to view Comey as some kind of opportunist looking for the spotlight?

                I’m not sure the *spotlight* is exactly the right word. As far as I can tell, it’s not the *public* that he wants lauding him as the perfect politically-neutral hero, it’s the DC establishment.

                And I just mention this on my other post, in response you talking about the supposed ‘noble Comey stops evil Bush administration from taking advantage of John Ashcroft’ (And then leaks that he did that.)

                …and then a month later, Comey *signs off on the same program*, with possibly a few minor variations. Wow. It’s almost as if his objection was over some trivial nonsense. And it is weird, that for such a minor disagreement, we got this heroic story of him saying the day from…uh…him.

                But the left fell for it. Hell, *I* fell for it.

                There was also that rather odd time he held a press conference supposedly to say the FBI was not going to ask for an indictment of someone, but spent half the time berating that person’s behavior instead. I forget her name, rhymes with Millary Minton.

                And here’s a fun article from 2013 (Although note it repeated the ‘Bush insurrection mythos’ uncritically):

                “If past is prologue,” says one former Justice Department official who worked with Comey and knows him well, “something will happen in the context of a legal, policy, or operational disagreement where Jim may get on the high horse and threaten to resign or take some other action unless things go the way he believes they should.”

                There is also the fun quote ‘a streak of self-righteousness and a flair for melodrama that has at times clouded his judgment’Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Ughhh. The October move was deeply unethical. The DOJ has strong guidelines saying don’t do anything that might interfere with an election within 60 days of the election. He plopped down a memo a week out. There was nothing to it, the FBI had no idea is there was any incriminating material. Really and truly, the warrant has been released a couple days ago. They had no clue if there was anything new. Yes they threw that out there a week out!!!!!

                It’s amazing that people are okay with this.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                If you comment begins with Ughh, there is a pretty good chance that is is highly emotionally driven. As @pinky points out, those of us who don’t have a dog in this fight questioned slightly the decision not to go further with any prosecutions and questioned slightly the decision to publicly announce the new investigation. Both seem a little off, but at the end of the day it’s pretty clear that Comey was in a situation where no matter what he did, someone could come along and claim that he was trying to influence the election. As far as I know, Comey is a stand up guy. This is the same guy who rushed to John Ashcroft’s hospital bedside to stop Alberto Gonzalez from getting Ashcroft to sign off on Bush’s illegal spying program.

                By the way, the only reason that Comey was running this investigation is because Bill Clinton thought it would be a good idea to have that conversation with Loretta Lynch. If you guys want to keep explaining away all the Clinton campaign’s unforced errors, that’s cool. It’s not very productive, though.

                This thread makes something clearer to me. In the mind of many Clinton supporters, there is no such thing as an independent. You’re either a supporter or you’re part of or victim to the vast rightwing conspiracy to smear her.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Sure, you don’t give the appearance of interfering with an investigation. You also don’t push (at a minimum) the boundaries of security with sensitive information. You also keep a distance from the staffer whose husband has a problem with sex and lying.

                Any good coach will tell you that you shouldn’t lose a game due to bad calls. You hate to get them, but if you’ve done your job, the game won’t be decided on the margins. When the second-in-command makes an unexpected decision about a possible information leak to a campaign staffer’s suspected pedophile husband, you can’t blame the ref.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Huma Abedin is from Saudi Arabia. Tony Weiner leaked the information to another country. (about a year before the FBI got involved).
                You can laugh all you want about the idea of hiring Tony Weiner as a spy, but someone did it.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                questioned slightly the decision to publicly announce the new investigation.

                That was not a *new* investigation. At all. There was no need to announce it. There are, in fact, special rules against announcing it.

                As far as I know, Comey is a stand up guy. This is the same guy who rushed to John Ashcroft’s hospital bedside to stop Alberto Gonzalez from getting Ashcroft to sign off on Bush’s illegal spying program.

                You need to read more about what actually happened there. Comey’s objection to Stellar Wind vanished a month later, and he *authorized the program* after very very minor changes were made.

                In fact, looking back, that specific grandstanding behavior of Comey is actually part of the goddamn pattern of his behavior, where he very publicly and loudly rides to the rescue of things in a blatantly self-promoting manner.

                He also, for all his moral high ground, signed off on waterboarding.

                By the way, the only reason that Comey was running this investigation is because Bill Clinton thought it would be a good idea to have that conversation with Loretta Lynch

                No, it’s *not*. That is clearly just an excuse.

                There is a process for these sorts of things, a process that did not involve Loretta Lynch. It instead involves a special non-partisan committee of career prosecutors at the DoJ. There is a specific committee set up to make determinations about processing with the prosecution of political actors.

                Yes, Lynch would, at the very end, have to sign on off their decision to prosecute, but she had already said she would do that if they came to that conclusion.

                But Comey is always the most important, politically-neutral, and correct person in the room. He made that very clear at the press conference where *he*, magnanimously, decided not to prosecute, despite him making clear that he did not approve of her behavior at all, scold scold.

                You know, normal FBI director stuff where they berate someone for non-criminal behavior.

                To put it another way: The thing you think is a sign of Comey *helping* Hillary…isn’t. Declining to ask for an indictment *sounds* like it helped Hillary…except a lot of people have pointed out it didn’t, because *she wouldn’t have been prosecuted* for that, and the DoJ would have come to the same conclusion!

                If anything, Comey made it look *worse* for her, because he a) made it look political, and b) said a lot of things about her behavior.

                It’s not ‘One thing helped Hillary, one thing hurt her’. Everything Comey has done, from the very start, has hurt Hillary. Every. Single. Thing. Telling people about the investigation. Closing it in a political-looking manner instead of having career prosecutors at the DoJ decline. Holding a press conference to trash her *while* declining to prosecute. Releasing information about another device when there was absolutely no evidence it had anything on it.

                The closest he came to do something that *didn’t* hurt her was announcing, right before the election, that the additional search did not find anything. That’s it. And I suspect we got that only because the Democrats were, at that point, breathing down his neck for that to finish, and he couldn’t stall it. (In fact, someone should check when that *did* finish internally.)Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                So, David, just to be clear, you’d have been just as okay with the FBI running Clinton out of the race exactly how they did Walker, because that would have happened earlier??Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                So, David, just to be clear, you’d have been just as okay with the FBI running Clinton out of the race exactly how they did Walker, because that would have happened earlier??

                I am not sure what your assertions is? That people running for public office should be *immune* to prosecution?

                Scott Walker was handled, as far as I can tell, the correct way. The FBI didn’t do anything immediately before an election, and, just as relevantly, they actually had a sound legal basis and the indictments moved forwards.

                Admittedly, it then was completely squashed by some really questionable court decision, but even if people want to argue it was a *correct* decision, it was not how the courts had interpreted things before (And a pretty odd interpretation.), so the FBI was justified in their theory of a crime until that point.

                Meanwhile, the Hillary investigation, from top to bottom, was entirely bogus. As I’ve said repeatedly, but no one seems to notice, sending classified documents over *any* public email system is not suppose to be done. The entire supposed justification of the cause of the investigation, aka ‘she had her own email server’, is not actually any part of the supposed crime!

                Same with the new warrant. It’s been released, and it’s insane. Apparently, you can get a search warrant because you have a theory that *emails from Hillary Clinton* might be on a device. Nevermind that there’s no evidence she’s ever emailed actual classified documents. Apparently ’emails from Hillary’ is now all the justification you need for a damn search warrant.

                Quick, Hillary! Email Donald Trump! It will be lots of fun!Report

              • Avatar j r says:


                I don’t know. I guess that I just have a different reading of those links. I’ve never thought that the Ashcroft story painted Comey as some kind of principled defender of constitutional freedoms, but as someone preoccupied with maintaining a semblance of sound legal reasoning. Maybe that’s just him being pedantic. And maybe he’s a boy scout prone to getting on his high horse at inopportune moments, but that’s about what I would expect from a DOJ lawyer/FBI manager. And honestly, those are probably the kind of folks that you want in those roles: someone honest enough to stand up to those more powerful, but politically savvy enough not to get steamrolled.

                I think of it this way. To prove HRC guilty of any crimes around the email server, the government would have to prove certain facts about her intentions and state of mind regardless of whatever they could prove about the contents of the email server. That would have been nearly impossible, so the decision not to prosecute was the right one.

                Likewise, to call Comey’s behavior inappropriate or to prove him guilty of violating the Hatch Act or whatever other federal policies about actions around elections, you’d have to demonstrate something about his intent. We can guess his intent all we want, but I haven’t seen anything that remotely comes close to proving that he willfully injected himself in the election. Rather, I just see a guy with a set of equally perilous decisions to make and a bunch of partisans pouncing on the ones that they disliked.

                Anyway, I’ll just keep saying the same thing that I’ve been saying. If you need to turn Comey into a black hat to justify Hilary’s poor decision to run State Department business on her personal server, that’s fine. It doesn’t change the outcome of the election.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                By the way, the only reason that Comey was running this investigation is because Bill Clinton thought it would be a good idea to have that conversation with Loretta Lynch.

                Oh, and BTW, someone is going to have to explain to me how the husband of someone under investigation talking to the AG is some sort of horrible thing.

                Lynch was not a witness or an opposing party in a civil suit that the other side has to stay away from. She is functionally the District Attorney of the entire United States.

                I’ve never heard of any sort of rule that says DAs cannot talk to people under investigation (Or their spouses). At all. That is not any sort of ethics rules.

                Now, as Lynch was someone who could, in theory, stop prosecution of Hillary, and if she did so over the recommendations of her non-partisan panel, that would be a problem, and people would rightfully ask questions. (Of course, Comey decided that *he* was in charge of all that and didn’t let it go to the DoJ.)

                But I’m finding it very baffling she was completely trustworthy in every possible regard *until* Bill Clinton talked to her, thus rendering her judgement completely tainted. What the hell? She is the goddamn Attorney General, I don’t think she’s going to give up all her principles over a ten minute conversation.

                Do people think Bill Clinton *literally* has some sort of mind control power over women?

                This seems like an issue invented out of thin air.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Here’s what Loretta Lynch herself had to say about that.

                The entire link is good but here’s the opener to get you to read the whole thing (pretty much only three paragraphs and a youtube of an interview with her):

                Remember, if not for the tarmac meeting, it would have fallen to Lynch to make the final decision on whether to prosecute Clinton. Because the meeting happened, though, she quasi-recused herself by promising publicly to accept whatever the FBI recommended in terms of charges.


              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                {{I can’t believe we’re still haggling over this liberals are still hanging on to this …}}Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                That article makes a fundamental misunderstanding that a lot of people do that completely ignores what Comey actually did to break the process.

                Lorette Lynch never said she’d accept the recommendations of ‘the FBI’.

                She said she’d accept the recommendations of the FBI *and the prosecutors at the DoJ*.

                Which in practice means that the FBI hands over the information to the prosecutors, and the prosecutors decide. (Aka, it’s a linear process.)

                Everyone keeps misreporting this, asserting she handed over complete control over to Comey. Not only did she not, she *couldn’t*…she has to sign off on the prosecution of Clinton, yes, but additionally an *actual prosecutor* at the DoJ has to move forward on that also. (Individual prosecutors decide what they move forward on. Lynch is just in the loop solely because she has to personally okay prosecutions of politicians.)

                It is *normally* acceptable for the FBI not to pass their evidence along if they think the case is way too weak to even try anything. But in political cases, or if it’s anywhere near possible a real case, the FBI *should* pass it along, pretty much always (At least if it’s reached public attention.), and let the the prosecutors at the DoJ decide.

                To simplify, the people Lynch *actually* was intending to hand the decision over to *prosecutors at the DoJ*, not the FBI. The assumption was the FBI would pass it along, and prosecutors would look at it. The media decided to pretend she meant the FBI, which she did not…and then the FBI went ahead and decided it anyway, without giving the prosecutors a chance to weigh in.

                Of course, this wasn’t the *actual* problem. The case was, in fact, *incredibly* weak, and sorta stupid to start with and shouldn’t have happened in the first place! The FBI director saying ‘This is stupid, stop wasting FBI resources on this’ and not passing it along to the DoJ is entirely reasonable, in a world where Hillary Clinton was not a presidential candidate or there had not been stupid Congressional hearings about this

                In this world, not only did he *not* say the entire premise of the case was stupid, and *not* say it early enough to matter, he chose to berate Clinton for her behavior, which is *completely out of bounds* for law enforcement to do, especially at a press conference, towards a political candidate. And then later he chose to pretend the case *wasn’t* stupid and there was some new evidence in it. (Which, when he made his announcement about, he didn’t even have a search warrant for or any grounds to get one…although somehow he got one anyway. One wonders what sort of meltdown would have happened if that warrant *hadn’t* been issued.)

                And, more to the point of this post, in this world, the place to judge something that had become a *political question* was in front of career non-partisan prosecutors at the DoJ, not the leaky-as-a-sieve and totally-compromised-by-politics FBI.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                I found the 2012 memo online. This seems to be the relevant part:

                “Simply put, politics must play no role in the decisions of federal investigators or prosecutors regarding any investigations or criminal charges. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose is inconsistent with the Department’s mission and with the Principles of Federal Prosecution.”

                Did Comey violate it? I don’t see how.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Did Comey violate it? I don’t see how.

                That is just one of the many guidelines. There are others. Comey actually *asked* the DoJ whether he should make this public or not…and the DoJ said, quite clearly, no.

                I think ‘asking your boss if you should do something and they say no’ trumps any memos your boss may or may not have written in the past.

                Also, slightly-relevant fun fact: FBI agents knew about that laptop, and knew *it had Humi email on it*, at least a month and half before they reported it upward….right before the election.

                I.e., the anti-Hillary cabal operating inside the FBI *withheld* knowledge of that laptop from the higher-ups until exactly the point where knowledge of more emails would become public before the election, but close enough that the search through the emails couldn’t be finished in time. (They thought. And really, were right, even if the search technically finished a few days before.)Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Fine, Kim, we could have both saved time if I realize that was you posting as DavidTC.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I’m trying to be sympathetic Mike but I’m struggling on this. Yeah Clinton’s peeps have said that the Russian hacking (whether or not her campaign was shady) and Comey’s unprecedented intervention were causes of her loss. That’s to be expected since it has the virtue of being true. Comey’s intervention and the Russian hacks were causes of her loss and they were causes mainly (though in the latter’s case ultimately partially HRC’s own fault) outside of HRC’s control so of course they would be blaming those elements rather than the elements that HRC did control which also contributed to her defeat. That is what people do: blame the things they couldn’t control rather than the things they could. Had she not made the deplorables’ gaffe, for instance, or had Bill’s concerns about white working class voters been given serious air time and acted on then Comey or the Hackers would have merely hurt her rather than sinking her.

      Do we need to go back as far as who, Jefferson? Every losing candidates blames stuff for and rationalizes their loss. Everyone tries to emphasize the most unusual and uncontrollable elements and tries to downplay the elements that they could have controlled. That’s not partisan, that’s human.

      I mean what the heck more could conservatives want? All actions and official pronouncements have been studiously proper and cooperative. I understand the right o sphere’s media apparatus takes the fringe lefty screeching and whackadoodle nonsense schemes, splashes them up on the big screen and blames the entire left for it but where is it written that we need to sign onto that crap? If we start googling what the fringe right is advocating for and talking about does that define the entire right? Does Stormfront speak for you?Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        Russian hacking revealed real emails that the Clinton team sent. The subject of those emails is your root cause. Comney’s actions were suspect I agree…but again, he was investigating something that actually did happen. So at the end of the day, folks can complain about who revealed things or the timing of an investigation, but if the bad things hadn’t been done, there wouldn’t be a story.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          The subject of the emails and the spin, yes, and had the GOP been hacked and the emails spun you could have had the exact same results. And yes Comey was investigating something that actually happened, sure.
          The point is grumbling about those things is normal. It is not corrosive to democracy and it’s certainly not bad sportsmanship or ungraciousness in defeat.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            No, you really couldn’t. Not since the FBI got walker out of the race, at any rate.


            … shyeah. Didn’t it seem awful odd that Mr. Walker dropped out before a single person voted?

            FBI does this all the time. “Either quit or we come down on you like a ton of bricks.”

            Rubio had to fasttalk to get out of the same sort of shit that happened to Walker too.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            I don’t have a problem with some grumbling, but I do think the high-profile folks have an obligation to do it in private.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            The subject of the emails and the spin, yes, and had the GOP been hacked and the emails spun you could have had the exact same results.

            Out of curiosity, what do you think could be in hacked RNC emails that could have made Trump look bad? My guess is those emails would say something like “how do we stop this effin’ guy from continuing to win primaries and making a mockery of our party?” or later during the general, “how do we stopp this effin’ guy’s campaign from costing us the Senate and a bunch of seats in the House?”

            That’s the problem with the Russians/Comey/Mercury being in retrograde cost HRC the election: people just as much dirt about Trump as they did about Clinton. And about as many people – more people in the places that mattered – showed up to vote for Clinton over Trump. If there is about as much smear on both sides of the equation, then you cancel it out and solve for what’s left.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              There was generally nothing in the DNC emails that made them look particularly bad either. Some darts thrown at a picture of Bernie on a wall and some unacted on bad ideas for fighting him. It was the fact of the hack and then the subsequent spin that made anything of consequence of them.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                This is why I get so touchy about the casual assertions of “Clinton corruption” and “emails”.
                These are always presented as proven and unchallenged, the assumed starting point of every discussion.

                In fact, these are empty allegations, and have virtually no substantiation*.

                But it is critical to Trump supporters that they be accepted uncritically, and inflated to absurd proportions so as to balance out his own monstrous corruption and lack of character.

                *OK, we DID take Kim’s microwave.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                *OK, we DID take Kim’s microwave.

                Sweet agnostic Jebus! I should not have laughed as hard at this as I did.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                This gets at a question I’ve asked several times…

                If Hillary is so crooked, so corrupt, so untrustworthy… why do we have so few substantiated reports/instances of crookedness, corruption, or broken trust for someone who has been in the public eye for over 30 years now? If she was the monster we are supposed to believe she so OBVIOUSLY is, why wasn’t there a line of former colleagues or employees or victims waiting to say as much on stage or in campaign ads?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Too big to fail. She got a lot of people on her side by armtwisting.
                (This is why no criminal investigation from Trump. too embarrassing to too many people).
                And yes, we do really have people who are willing to say how corrupt she is. They talked with wikileaks. (Hell, my friend worked for Clinton.)
                But, I say again, but, I wasn’t so terribly upset at her corruption or her rigging of the primary.

                I don’t really recall much about her being untrustworthy coming up, though. She pays her bets, even when she bets wrong.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                So, which is it? Are the DNC emails nothing or did the Russians steal the election for Trump? You can try to claim both, but the contradiction there undoes the claim.

                By the way, the whole idea that Russia would intervene in an election on behalf of Trump is a little bizarre. Hasn’t anyone ever watched RT? Their strategy is simply to criticize America and its allies right, left and center. There is no ideology behind it and generally no expressed preference. There’s just a desire to cast aspersions and make us look bad, which yeah, I can see how that is working.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                The motive for Russia to prefer Trump over Clinton has been discussed many times.
                Mostly it is that Russia (meaning Putin) profits both politically and financially from a weakened America, and a divided NATO.

                Notice how important it is for Trump to criticize NATO nations, and remember that Paul Manafort was a lobbyist for Russia and Eastern European countries.
                Notice also how Russia is intervening in European elections in a similar fashion, and remember that Europe’s main supply of natural gas is Russia itself.

                I’m sure there are other reasons, but Russia has a very clear motive.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                I’m sure there are other reasons, but Russia has a very clear motive.

                I think that you have misunderstood the meaning of the word clear. We are very deep in the realm of conjecture here. Theorizing about Russian involvement and Russian motives is one thing, but let’s not convince ourselves that we know the truth of this one way or the other.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Okay, so we don’t all know russian spies. Granted.
                If the American analysts who say that Hillary Clinton had a 1 in 3 shot of a limited nuclear war within the first year of office were right, well, can we really blame russia for intervening?
                (Note: I’m not saying she’d nuke russia. But it’d be one of the top candidates for “holy shit, she ain’t playin’ “)Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Except that Trump is right. Some NATO members aren’t spending the 2% they promised to and are free riding off of those that do, like the US.


              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                No one disputes that. The question is do you signal to the Russians that you aren’t going to defend those NATO members?

                Almost everyone agrees that you don’t.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                The DNC’s emails, plus the spin on them -together- amounted to political damage. The emails alone were pretty bland tea- it took the spin to turn them into anything of consequence. The spin alone would be dismissed as normal noise- it took the hack of the emails to provide them a mote of fact to stand on. How much of a movement in the polls they amounted to I plead ignorance of.

                I’d say that Comey’s antics were by far the more substantive and problematic grey swan event.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Yeah. you go ahead and plead ignorance.
                You want to listen to pollsters?
                They’d rather talk about Obama’s executive order on bathrooms swinging the election rather than the e-mails directly doing bubkus.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                The DNC’s emails, plus the spin on them -together- amounted to political damage. The emails alone were pretty bland tea…

                Apparently not to Bernie supporters. But if you want to blame it on spin, that’s fine. Personally, I can see that the DNC emails might not have mattered so much if the Clinton campaign and it’s extended supporters hadn’t spent so much time banging on the “misoygynist BernieBros” drum.

                Hillary Clinton was the second least liked presidential candidate in the history of polls about who is liked and disliked. You want to blame that on Clinton Rules or the vast rightwing conspiracy or misogyny or whatever? Fine. But then you’re going to have to explain how she got beat by THE least liked presidential candidate in history.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                By the way, the whole idea that Russia would intervene in an election on behalf of Trump is a little bizarre.

                The alternative is that they intervened in our election without any purpose whatsoever. Which makes even less sense.

                My own best guess is that Putin recognized an opportunity to shift the balance of power in Eurasia by keeping Clinton and her hawkish anti-Russianism outa office given the alternative. Eg., if the Clinton alternative was someone similarly hawkishly anti-Russian/pro-projection of US power, then we’da seen no hacking, in my estimation.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                “The alternative is that they intervened in our election without any purpose whatsoever. Which makes even less sense.”

                I see a thread of logic wherein Russia’s primary goal was to say, “We’ll fuck your shit up. Doubt it? Just watch.”

                Maybe they cared who won. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they cared about showing they could impact who won (or, at least, giving the impression they could impact who won).

                Does anyone know what the general internal response in Russia has been to the election and the accusations of Russian meddling? Are they offended at being accused? Or is there a sense of, “Just wait until we’re *really* motivated”?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If that was the case wouldn’t they have hacked and released trash on the GOP/GOPers?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                Maybe? Maybe they did hack the GOP and simply chose not to release it. A flood of leaks on both sides might not get the same attention that a (seeming) targeted attack did. They wanted to show they could put their thumb on the scale and it seems they did exactly that.

                This is just a theory, mind you.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Maybe they did hack the GOP and simply chose not to release it.

                Maybe they meant to hack the GOP server while inadvertently hacking the DNC and shipped the contents to Wikileaks before realizing they made a mistake.


              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Let’s leave the sarcasm aside. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that Russia wanted to flex its muscles and show that they could fuck with a US election without much concern for which way they fucked with it?

                If they leak RNC docs and Trump loses, do we think, “The Russians!” or do we think, “Well, Trump…”?

                If they leak DNC docs and Hillary loses, do we think, “The Russians!” or do we think, “Well, Hillary…”?

                One line of thinking is that the Russians picked Trump.
                Another line of thinking is that the Russians picked “Choosing a winner”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I don’t know how to respond to this without being sarcastic, kazzy. You took away my only tool here!

                If you want me to say “I agree that it’s POSSIBLE”, then I will. It’s certainly not inconsistent with the evidence.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                What if they hacked the GOP and they just found a bunch of emails to DJT asking “WHAT IN THE HELL DID YOU TWEET NOW?” and DJT tweeting back “THAT I AM GOING TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”?Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Then I would wonder why the RNC deleted all of their emails.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Kinda makes you wish that more people had hacked the RNC and made the emails public, so long as the hackers were American.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Because that is clearly the argument Don is making.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Are we *NOT* going for a both sides do it and, thus, it shouldn’t have been seen as a big deal when we had it confirmed that one side did it?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I think Don pretty clearly answered your question below. Why you seemed to intentionally misrepresent his position, I don’t know.

                Wait, hold on… we’re supposed to “break the cycle”.

                Jay, you did nothing wrong. Nothing at all. Nothing to see here.

                Anyone have a sword I can fall on?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Yes, he pretty clearly answered it by saying “well, both sides ought to have done it”.

                (Though, indeed, he doesn’t think that the RNC’s emails should have been brought to our attention given that they’d have been taken out of context.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Both sides ought to have done what?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                To be clear, Don’s point seems to have been, “The RNC deleted their emails which means they probably contained more than what you allege in your hypothetical.” No more, no less.

                From there, you jumped to him wishing that the RNC’s emails were hacked by Americans.

                He denied that.

                Now you’re reframing his position as, well, what exactly are you reframing his position as?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                From there, you jumped to him wishing that the RNC’s emails were hacked by Americans.

                I would like to apologize fulsomely for implying that Don wished that the RNC’s emails were hacked by Americans.

                I regret it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Posted things to email that, if made public, would have made them look as bad as the DNC emails made Hillary look.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                He didn’t say they ought to have done it, he said they probably did based on his understanding that much of what made Clinton’s emails look bad was not the content itself but the lack of context in which that content was viewed.

                You could probably make all sorts of arguments about why it was the content and not the context or why Clinton/the DNC’s emails were somehow unique in how bad they look.

                Instead… you did what you did here.


              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If they had, we might have a president Clinton instead of a president Trump.

                Are you trying to imply that that would be a bad thing?Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Look, If you went through the RNC’s emails and couldn’t find a half dozen staffers saying things that sound really bad out of context, I’d wonder if any work was actually being done over there. One would think that anybody with a work email account would realize that lots of stuff gets thrown back and forth that will look awful if a malicious third party publishes a cherry-picked, curated version of those emails, but then we’re playing with Clinton Rules here, so i suppose that’s not the case.

                So just to make myself as abundantly clear as possible, I don’t think the RNC should get hacked, and if they were to get hacked I would hope that the media would report the hacks with a bit more critical eye than they approached the DNC hacks, because it would be trivially easy to manipulate even innocuous material to create some terrible headlines.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And so we’re stuck with knowing that the Republicans did the exact same thing and, if they didn’t, they were derelict?

                As cold comfort goes, I’ve seen warmer.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                The comfort is that I don’t think anything that came out of the DNC hacks was actually bad, or even particularly newsworthy. Probably the same would be true of a hypothetical RNC hack, although one never knows for sure.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, the stuff that was particularly bad was stuff that everybody already knew.

                The primary had a lot of smoke-filled room stuff going on. Did this get a *SINGLE* Republican who was not inclined to turn out for Trump to say “that’s a bridge too far!”? I can’t imagine. I can only imagine it getting Berniebros to say “I KNEW IT!” and then to forget to vote on election day.

                The Donna Brasile thing? I can’t imagine a single person changing their mind based on that. Now, I can believe that someone might have revisited her answers to those questions and said something like “I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT HER TEAM SPENT HOURS ON THAT ANSWER!” but that’s another complaint.

                These were examples of things that made Berniebros say “I made the right decision” when they forgot to canvas for Hillary or Trumpkins say “I made the right decision” when they replaced the sign on their yard for the third time.

                Hillary supporters? It’s a deflating thing.

                When I imagine Trump emails coming to light, I can see them working their special Trumpian magic of *ENRAGING* Democrats and *INVIGORATING* Trumpkins.

                The worst thing that I could imagine coming to light would be emails discussing which neighborhoods in Ohio need billboards on the outskirts and which Wisconsin cities would be best poised to hold a rally.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Wikileaks didn’t get jack from Russia. They got it from an inside source in the DNC. A now dead guy.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Well, no, I agree with @j-r here another alternative is that they hacked Hillary because in addition to about half the American electorate, Putin himself couldn’t stand her.

                It is possible to say he was helping Trump.
                It is also possible to say that he was tanking Clinton.

                The acid test might be something like this: Could you for a moment entertain the idea that he still tanks Hillary if John-Unleash Southern Ossetia-Arm Ukraine-Shoot down Russian planes in Syria-Push NATO to St.Petersburg-McCain were running against her.

                I think he does.

                Getting the Trump wildcard was just a bonus.

                We’re asserting conjecture about Russian motives that contradict the initial assessments/assumptions of the Clinton team.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                another alternative is that they hacked Hillary because in addition to about half the American electorate, Putin himself couldn’t stand her.

                Heh. I won’t discount that possibility.

                {{As a general theory, it accounts for so much about this election already…))

                Add: tho the “Trump wild card is just a bonus” part seems a little thin to me given what even we know about Trump.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                But aren’t they also intervening in European elections, where Hillary isn’t an issue?

                And didn’t they already have deep ties to Trump, which would make it really really implausible that they just didn’t care who won?

                There is a lot we know, but the only theory that fits all the known facts is that they really wanted Trump to win.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Aren’t we? Sometimes we pick who we want to win, sometimes we pick who we want to lose.

                Also, I am informed on these very pages that running very large sums of money from foreign entities through audited and regulated structures is exactly how politicians are supposed to do it.

                And, isn’t there an old adage that goes something like this: If Trump owes Russian Oligarchs $1M that’s his problem, but if he owes them $1B, that’s their problem. Seriously, we have no idea what we’re talking about… you don’t think its possible that some number of Russians who thought they had Trump by the balls (turnabout is fair play, and all that…) never thought in their wildest dreams that the son of a bitch would become president, and how that fishes their leverage?

                The idea that Trump might have become president is so preposterous that there’s no way he was groomed by the Russians (and if they did see it, then they deserve to win anyway). And, achieving the presidency basically frees him to deal however he wants with his business associates… he’s the opposite of a puppet. He basically drew the inside straight.

                Now, corruption, side dealing, self aggrandizement… of course… he’ll probably even charge outrageous sums to his friends at Goldman-Sachs for speaking engagements once he leaves office. I also expect his foundation will get better legal advice, a makeover, and a slew of very worthy projects that need supporting globally.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Seriously, we have no idea what we’re talking about… you don’t think its possible that some number of Russians who thought they had Trump by the balls (turnabout is fair play, and all that…) never thought in their wildest dreams that the son of a bitch would become president, and how that fishes their leverage?

                How does it do that?

                It certainly *curtails* some of their actions, he’s not going to have people with baseball bats showing up at his door. But I don’t think that’s how billion dollar loan sharks work anyway.

                And it curtails some of his actions, also.

                And it adds a few new actions they have, like threatening to reveal all this to the American people. Trump made financial disclosure statements, and if he lied on any of them, that’s not going to go well for him.

                Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem to add *any* new actions to Trump, except that he can perhaps pay them off in other ways, like by removing sanctions.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                @davidtc Sure, good points. Its a dance of leverage and counter leverage.

                Trump the over-leveraged Hotel guy had X many cards to play, where X was a pretty well known sum. As president he now has X + President cards to play. Russian oligarchs have varied interests that Hotel guys can’t really pull into the pot. The President? He can change the stakes.

                I think baseline corruption is positively something that will be a part of the Trump presidency… In someways he won’t be able to help it… that’s what he does, he trades favors… and those favors are expensive. He’s completely unschooled (I’m assuming – though, maybe not, he claims to understand how to buy politicians…so?) in the art of influence peddling under the written and un-written rules of government. I fully expect him to get tripped up between the two worlds. It suspect it depends on how well he works through experienced hands who can translate his wishes into the proper forms.

                On the Russian side, who knows what “fun” they all had celebrating the closing of big Hotel deals… and what videos of which hookers and what blow (although I guess he’s something of a teetotaler?) he was doing to celebrate. Trump the Hotel guy out with hookers in Russia is probably expected. But at this point, I’m not 100% sure that Trump the president out with Hookers does much either. But that’s the point, its all conjecture.

                On a lighter note… who knows, maybe we’ll like the Russian puppet strings better; goodness knows the Saudi ones kinda suck.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                I think baseline corruption is positively something that will be a part of the Trump presidency… In someways he won’t be able to help it… that’s what he does, he trades favors… and those favors are expensive.

                It is extremely weird to hear people say things like this. Not because I disagree, but because people saying them seem to be operating in a universe where he has not already done that.

                We just got some news about the Trump organization pressuring a Kuwait celebration of their National Day to move to Trump’s hotel. This is the sort of shit going on *without* the power of presidency.

                He might, might, *might*, actually be approaching the presidency *honestly*, intent on doing the best for the country. (Instead of just how much he can rip it off.) I can, perhaps, entertain that idea.

                The problem is, again, he has no boundaries or regard for use of power, *and* absolutely no skill at the job, so is going to make disasters *even if* he’s decided to (For the first time in his life) attempt to accomplish something beside personal wealth and self promotion.

                Attempting to define ‘corruption’ to Trump is like attempting to define ‘moist’ to fish. That is *how he thinks the world works*. That is the entirety of his worldview.

                He *might* attempt to do that ‘for the country’, hypothetically, but that’s not how politics works!(1) (And I think it’s more likely he’s going to use politics to *accrue* favors he can personally cash later.)

                He’s completely unschooled (I’m assuming – though, maybe not, he claims to understand how to buy politicians…so?) in the art of influence peddling under the written and un-written rules of government. I fully expect him to get tripped up between the two worlds. It suspect it depends on how well he works through experienced hands who can translate his wishes into the proper forms.

                HAHAHAHAAHA. Oh, man. The idea of Trump actually listening to an expert in something telling him he needs to do things differently. Funny.

                Trump doesn’t need other people’s advice. He’s made that pretty clear.

                And Trump’s idea of how to buy politicians are so incredibly clever and subtle that he blatantly gave one of them a campaign contribution from a non-profit. He managed to take a form of influence peddling that (for some reason) we’ve decided is legal, and do it in one of the few ways it is completely illegal. Smooth.

                1) The real joke is that, somehow, Trump manages to avoid having any of the actual skills that the business world *could* translate to the presidency. Namely, he doesn’t have stockholders to placate, he doesn’t have dissenting board members, he doesn’t have to deal with a large corporate structure with various divisions competing for resources. All the corporate-head stuff that *could* translate into Presidential experience, and he doesn’t do any of it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Also, March, an election between two candidates is a zero sum game. So, going back to j r’s, comment, actively preventing candidate A from winning is equivalent to acting to ensure candidate B wins.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Gary Johnson wants to have a word with you.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If it’s to ask about Aleppo tell him that Assad won.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                No argument; if you pick a loser you pick a winner.

                So, if the analysis is simply the outcome of the election, then tanking Hillary contributes to Trump winning.

                I’m just trying to tamp down some of the frothy assertions that we know exactly what all this means from the Russian perspective, from Trump’s business perspective, and the near certitude that Putin is some sort of puppet master. We don’t really know shit.

                If Trump is a puppet, he’s just a likely to be Chucky as he is Howdy Doody.

                Honestly folks, give Kimmi her cats back, they’ve done enough for one day.Report

              • Putin himself couldn’t stand her.

                You say that as if it’s an insult.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                You know, that might have been a really good way to handle the episode…

                Though honestly, I’m not sure how much of a political winner the bi-partisan Russia hate is outside the Foreign Policy Blob. So possibly her folks told her that was a political loser. I don’t know.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Well, no, I agree with @j r here another alternative is that they hacked Hillary because in addition to about half the American electorate, Putin himself couldn’t stand her.

                Everyone here seems to have forgotten that Hillary Clinton has been *extremely* critical of Russia and Putin’s behavior since she let office. And Putin has responded in kind.

                So I don’t know why we’re *guessing* at whether or not Putin likes her. He very clearly doesn’t. He’s said so repeatedly. He’s been about as clear as can be. This is not some sort of puzzle we have to piece together to reach the truth. We can just read their damn tweets and newspapers interviews!

                This election was between someone Putin loathes, and someone who admires Putin and is possibly a ‘friend’.

                Trying to figure out ‘which’ of those is the reason for the manipulation is silly. In fact, I suspect that Russia wouldn’t have done anything if *only one* of those was true. But as the sides were so clearly defined, one being a mortal enemy and one being a sycophant that owes Russia lots of money, this was obviously the election to start with. (Or, at least, the election where they did it so much they got *caught*. Here’s today’s nightmare fuel: Would we have noticed *smaller* efforts in past elections?)Report

            • Avatar DavidTC says:

              Out of curiosity, what do you think could be in hacked RNC emails that could have made Trump look bad? My guess is those emails would say something like “how do we stop this effin’ guy from continuing to win primaries and making a mockery of our party?” or later during the general, “how do we stopp this effin’ guy’s campaign from costing us the Senate and a bunch of seats in the House?”

              I agree. I am completely baffled as to what people think releasing the RNC hacks could have done to hurt Trump. As we’re pretty clearly seen, it would hurt the RNC and other elected officials, not Trump.

              Incidentally, this doesn’t mean we don’t need to worry about the hack.

              Let’s assume that, Russia is, at this moment, sitting on (Let’s say) five pieces of email that can cause Trump to fly into a rage at five different Republican Congressentities.

              There’s no way that could have influenced the election, at least not of Trump. But now it’s a *really useful* blackmail tool against those Congressentities, especially when they’re trying to get a bill through Trump.

              Russia goes ‘Be a shame if I revealed these now and got him mad, wouldn’t it? There’s no way he’d pass your bill now, the bill you spent three years trying to get passed. And totally off the subject, but the Russian sanctions are up for renewal…wonder if you’re going to vote for them again this time…’

              Of course, I’m not sure how much Republican Congressentities and the RNC talk privately in email. Or how many of the RNC *are* Congressentities. Someone with a lot more knowledge of the RNC than I have is going to have to look at that. Maybe I’m worried for nothing.

              But you know who I bet *is* in those emails?

              Reince Priebus. (Duh.) I’m *sure* he said some stuff in private at the RNC, especially at the start of the race, that he doesn’t want waved in front of Trump’s face now that he’s chief of staff. Whether or not he committed those thoughts to *email* is unknown, but if he did, he has to be sweating right now.Report

    • OK, let’s talk surrogates.

      Newt Gingrich, who’s been advising Trump for months, on conflicts of interest:

      It is a totally open power, and he could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period.’ Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”

      Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, in his own words made Breitbart “the platform for the alt-right”, that is, for white supremacists and anti-semites.

      To ignore this, my mind wouldn’t be open, it would be empty.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      So how about this: we have a blue-ribbon committee investigate the Russian cyberespionage, chaired by former President George W. Bush. I’d prefer George H.W. Bush (the Elder) but his health recently suggests he doesn’t have the stamina to do things like this. Bush the Younger is a) a former President himself, b) unimpeachably a conservative Republican, c) not particularly trustful of Russia or Vladimir Putin, and d) blessed with a personal track record of keeping his opinions about his successor’s activities to himself (as tradition dictates) as well as no public record of opinion about the DNC cyberespionage.

      Also on the committee should be General Keith B. Alexander, the former director of the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Command under both Presidents Bush and Obama. Add some former officeholders from both parties with experience in technology and foreign relations issues, and have them produce a report similar to the 9/11 commission report.

      Critical to the success of this independent commission would be President Bush’s participation. This will make the formation of the commission as well as any adverse finding palatable to Republicans, and Democrats publicly accepting his leadership of the committee will go a long way towards rebuilding something like comity in our body politic.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        I’m fine with looking into what Russia did, and responding accordingly. That still doesn’t mean they changed the outcome of our election and I think that’s the key point. No one on the Left is really disputing what was in those emails. They just don’t like the timing of it and who was responsible.

        And of course, when we open this can of worms, lots of third World countries are going to want to talk about how many of their elections we were involved with.Report

        • And if a foreign power had intervened to help Hillary, no one on the Right would say a word about it.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Bibi intervened last election.
            Does Weiner count? How about Huma?
            (The right is being hysterical about Huma, by the way. So if you’re really going to try and talk with me on the subject, please be aware that I think she’s not at all about Sharia law)Report

      • Avatar Catchling says:

        I’m pretty sure that Trump and his followers despise Bush, considering him another member of the globalist elite just like they see the Clintons. Hence Democrats accepting him as leader of anything wouldn’t increase unity but decrease it.Report

  11. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I’m going to make a plea here which is likely to be ignored but in the spirit of the season I’ll still try. In the coming months, try your best to evaluate the new President and his appointees based on policy, not on how you feel about them as people.

    My opinion is that while it’s correct to assess that many in the Trump senior circle are bad people, unqualified for the task before them, it’s a tactical and strategic mistake to pursue that line of attack.

    I think I’ve said this before, but ordinarily, the process story is something a Presidential administration tries to squash in order for the press to talk about the agenda. Trump’s agenda, is, though, himself.

    So the paradox of the Trump administration is that the more he tweets (and the media focuses on that), and the more blatantly his family and company try to flout conflict of interests laws (and the media should cover that, but…), the better the ability for the quiet operators, in the executive branch and the legislative, to pass whatever policies they want.

    So, in summary, I agree on your prescription, but not based on magnanimous, ‘stop the cycle’ motives, but on pure effectiveness.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      There’s no reason to repudiate magnanimity, I think. We ought to be talking about what’s best for us, and what’s best for the country. We ought to be talking about what people do, rather than who they are. That’s how accountability works. This is a win-win.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I look at Cabinet secretaries as mostly just figureheads. How many decisions they make actually affect the people at the bottom (I really don’t know). I work for a company of over 400,000 employees and I can tell you that our CEO is basically just a PR guy. His VPs and the Board make most of the decisions and even most of that doesn’t trickle down to me as lower-tier management. So…. if we’re just expecting them to head an agency, to delegate work, to manage…wouldn’t CEOs be good choices?

      Of course, don’t get me started on Ben Carson at HUD. That one was upsetting.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Romney seemed like a really shitty CEO, at least judging by his campaign.
        I dunno whether Trump is making good picks or bad ones, other than his Treasury Secretary was Clinton’s Pick too.

        So, for me, it’s wait and see.

        I think Cabinet Secretaries jobs are to “point and click” (“Hey NASA, let’s do a manned mission to Mars!” or “Let’s downsize defense. What can we cut?”)Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I look at Cabinet secretaries as mostly just figureheads.

        Really? So who do you think at DOJ will make the call on marijuana prosecution in states that have legalized it? Who will make the call at DHHS when states ask for waivers on traditional Medicaid that pushes more of the costs onto the poor? At the FCC on whether to continue supporting the net neutrality rule in the courts, or to drop the whole thing? Some GS-13 no one’s ever heard of?Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

          My understanding is that with DOJ and marijuana, they follow the President’s direction. I wish I knew what Trump was thinking there because I’m on record as being pro-legalization.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            This is an interesting question. The knock on the Obama administration was that he surrounded himself with a bunch of close advisers at the White House and marginalized the Secretaries from a good portion of the policymaking.

            My best guess is that Trump will be the opposite. He’ll have a few areas in which he meddles and micromanages, but the rest will be one big bureaucratic battle royal with lots of entrepreneurial appointees out there trying to make stuff happen in their respective lanes. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is likely dependent on who these Under/Assistant Secretary level appointees are.

            This is all still a big question mark, which is part of what makes all the left’s wailing and gnashing of teeth so counter-productive. There is a chance that everything will go to pot (well, except for actual pot which may be prosecuted out of existence) and you can feel vindicated. On the other hand, the administration and congressional Republicans just may be able to cobble enough of a policy agenda to fix some of the very real problems that we have. If that is the case, then the only thing that goes to pot is your credibility.Report

  12. Avatar Will H. says:

    I like it that Trump won.
    It gives us the opportunity (and not the guarantee, I concede) for something different.
    I am not upset by the prospective mass departure of career civil servants.
    In fact, I believe a vast purge of governmental agencies is long overdue.
    At the state level, the express purpose of governmental employment is to permit one to act in excess of lawful authority.
    Upwards of 10% of all governmental employees would be better off in prison than in continued employment.Report

    • Avatar rmass says:

      That’s just like, your opinion man.

      But be sure to share that venom with every gov employee you meet. It will surely win you friends and influence enemies to focus elsewhere.

      Or you house gets burnt down while pd and fd roast hot dogs on a stick and drink to your health. Cuz hell, everybody has a nobby knobbs in the company, just too necessary for life and entertainment to fire/kill. And nobody likes to think about old nobby doing time, dont ya know.Report

  13. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    I’m going to make a plea here which is likely to be ignored but in the spirit of the season I’ll still try. In the coming months, try your best to evaluate the new President and his appointees based on policy, not on how you feel about them as people.

    I’ll certainly evaluate the actual policies as they come, but my disgust with Trump has a lot less to do with his policy positions than who he appears to be as a person. If another more honorable but conservative person had been elected, I’d just recognize that people have different policy preferences than I do and leave it at that. But Trump seems like a unique problem in that more than any other politician I’ve ever been aware of, he seems pretty clearly to be a transparent con man without any guiding ideological principles or moral center.

    The fact that he has articulated policies that I disagree with is barely the problem at all, partially because I don’t think he cares about most of those promises. Much of his “policy” was clearly made up on the spot with zero thought because somebody asked him about it on camera. What he said was simply what he thought would sound good rather than any articulation of deer principles that I might find off-putting. If I am right, his reasons for running had very little to do with a vision for America that he wanted to see enacted and more to do with self aggrandizement and enrichment. If he could be the boss by eliminating Obamacare, he’d do that. If it took enacting universal health care, he’d probably do that instead as long as he got the power, respect, and opportunities for personal gain he was looking for.

    I’m certainly not wedded to dumping on everything he does like a lot of partisans are. If he starts to kick ass at policy making, I’m happy to acknowledge his wins. I also think that spinning everything he does as nefarious is unseemly. But much of what he has said and done post-election has reinforced my view of the type of person he is and the type of leader he’ll be.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      That seems like a reasonable view.
      I take it that he’s a less skilled operator than Nixon, but that he’s in the same vein, if much much stupider.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        For all his faults, I believe that Nixon had ideas about where the country should be going and wanted to see those visions enacted, just like most politicians. Even among the politicians I find the most distasteful, that always seemed to be a common thread until now. I have a strong dislike for Paul Ryan’s policy preferences and his behavior in service to those preferences, but I have no doubt that he sincerely believes they’re good for the country and is driven by an intellectual/ideological framework to enact those policies and make the world a better place.

        That’s pretty much the minimum you can grant to most politicians you dislike, and I find myself unable to grant even that much to Trump.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          To put it another way, if I could replace Donald Trump with Paul Ryan, I would do it even though Paul Ryan’s policy preferences are almost certainly even farther from mine than Trump’s are.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko says:

            There are two very distinct reasons to be appalled by Trump’s victory. The first is the likelihood that his win means the GOP will get their way on a number of policy fights where you disagree with them. This is certainly a good reason to be appalled if you’re a liberal, but probably doesn’t justify the depth of dismay that is emanating from my side of the aisle.

            The second, though, is mostly specific to Trump: the affection for dictators, the authoritarian tendencies, the sheer personal sleaziness, the sexual assault, the corruption, the explicit racism, and the general lack of knowledge, expertise, or self-control. These things are more disturbing, and they justify a much less trusting or measured response, because they imply tail risks that are just enormously bad. It seems like Mike’s post largely depends upon pretending that the first set of reasons is what matters while ignoring or minimizing the second.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


              I’m still waiting for green, un-experienced President Obama to start looking un-presidential and to take my guns.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Ha! That last one was a liberal bonanza! Ca-ching!
                (you didn’t actually buy ammo from the “jackbooted obama thugs are going to take your guns” commercials, did you? I fucking hope not.)Report

              • Avatar Catchling says:

                I think you and Mike are in accord here, and that his point was to say “Obama will take your guns!” was the breathless hyperbole equivalent to every worry about Trump. Since Obama didn’t and was never going to take your guns, Trump won’t ever [fill in the blank with worst fears about Trump]. And since Obama’s presidency didn’t demonstrate massive inexperience-based incompetency despite his inexperience, the Trump presidency will also be basically competent.

                Of course, the parallel would make more sense if Obama’s rallies always featured him chanting “Take their guns! Take their guns!” in unison with the crowd. Or if the argument for Trump’s incompetency was derived totally from his inexperience.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                @mike-dwyer , he hasn’t been inaugurated and he’s already started a potential diplomatic crisis with China. He’s inviting foreign governments to curry favor with him by doing business in his properties. How much does he have to do between now and inauguration day for us to stop treating him like a child who’s just blowing off steam instead of somebody about to become the most powerful person on the world?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I’m not troubled by the China thing at all. As for the rest, I anxiously await his January press conference to explain how he will untangle himself from his foreign business interests.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Listen to what the man says, Mike. That’s a long wait for a train that won’t come. And as a resident of North Carolina, where the GOP is helpfully illustrating what being a sore loser really looks like, my store of benefit of the doubt juice is running dangerously low.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                I think by the inauguration Trump will have decided that they way too deal with his conflict of interests is to pardon those involved.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I’m with you on the stuff in NC. It’s deplorable.Report

              • That’s an interesting one. You can put assets in a blind trust, but what do you do with debts?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                How many of those debts are personal debt with Trump’s name on them and how many are debts owed by companies counted among Trump’s assets? I suppose we’ll never know.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                I’m not troubled by the China thing at all.

                If you aren’t troubled by the China thing, you don’t understand what happened there.

                There are certainly *grounds* for *possibly* changing how we deal with Taiwan, as long as we understand the harm it will due to our relationship with China, and that China cannot do much about that. (The Chinese’s people belief that Taiwan is part of China is basically a fundamental religious belief, and *even if* the China government wanted to give up on Taiwan ownership, they couldn’t, at least not without years of prep.)

                But it is *possible* to argue that our relationship should change, the careful balancing act we’ve set up with China ad Taiwan should change. Okay, fine. I’m not going to argue any specific relationship should never change.

                But it almost certainly shouldn’t change because some advisers of Trump who don’t like China decided to randomly change it via a diplomatic gesture that China *literally doesn’t understand*. Was this a sudden shift in US policy? Was it some idiot taking a phone call? NO ONE KNOWS.

                This is why China did that drone theft thing. That theft was completely silly and pointless on their part, it accomplished nothing at all. The only reason they did it was they wanted to see what the hell Trump would do. (They always ‘test’ new US presidents, but they normally wait until they’re *in office*.)

                Trump, of course, behaved like a lunatic.

                And China are, basically, completely baffled as to what is going on:

                Note that article isn’t some attempt to undermine the president. China hasn’t told *outsiders* anything. The editorial they wrote appeared in *their own* newspapers and is basically them *warning their own citizens* that Trump is Trump, so expect craziness from the US for a bit.

                It’s not in that article, but there is a hilarious theory that, as Twitter is blocked in China, and China leadership doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the US media, that they *literally* didn’t realize how Trumpy Trump was until that phone call and have sorta been scrambling around in disbelief since then that such an idiot is going to be in charge of America. That the Chinese leadership, the last week, has been sitting there late at night reading the last few years of Trump’s twitter feed, and repeatedly exclaiming the Chinese version of ‘WTF?!’.

                China, lest we forget, is set up where, before someone gets anywhere near the wheels of power, they have spent *decades* training for that. They wouldn’t let someone like Trump anywhere near power. They probably sorta assumed that was the way it worked here, that we wouldn’t let such a person be president. (And to be fair to China, a lot of *us* were assuming that also.)

                And, on top of that…uh, Trump gets to change the diplomatic position of the US *when he is in office*. Even assuming that phone call *was* a sane thing to do, and was a sane way to change US/Chinese relations…he still has to wait until he’s actually in power for that. Signaling is one thing, but taking diplomatic phone calls from a country and government that officially does not exist is another.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Do you know any Chinese diplomats? The whole world hates the arrogance of those Middle Earth folks. And that was actually a planned thing, not a dipshit fucking things just for the ruddy hell of it.

                I dunno, maybe eat some broccoli?
                *Bush-Sama! Bush-Sama!*
                (That is a ReallyBad Diplomatic incident.)Report

              • The whole world hates the arrogance of those Middle Earth folks.


              • Avatar Kim says:

                China == Middle Kingdom.

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Wait wait wait… WHAT?

                Obama never promised to take guns. His opponents invented fears that proved unfounded.

                Trump has promised many scary things. His opponents are afraid of those things happening. Maybe they won’t happen.

                You are seriously making me feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

                You have demonstrated no interest in breaking the cycle. Quite the opposite, actually.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                This kind of thing is all too common and genuinely depressing. Mike’s a smart guy, conscientious, and a good writer. But on this thread it feels like talking to a space alien or somebody who has been paid to carry water for Trump. People are so invested in cramming Trump into the contours of normal politics and despising HRC that it’s incredibly difficult to have a productive discussion.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                It becomes really easy to conclude he’s not arguing in good faith, because his statements feel so bizarre.

                Or possibly in a coma, and just woke up and said “Really? Trump’s gonna be President? Seems odd, but I’ll see how he does”.

                In the same thread that he’s arguing that Trump should get every benefit of the doubt, have his slate wiped clean of everything he’s done and said since throwing his hat in the right, he ALSO talks about how he really wants to believe Clinton trashed her hotel room. He just likes the image.

                And calls it “breaking the cycle”.

                I think the actual title should be “Complete liberal capitulation”. Not on losing the election, which they did, but to the point where they literally wipe their minds of everything Trump has done and said AND agree that all the claims against Clinton (or possibly any Democrats) are just and true. Except maybe the pedophile ring — that might be a bridge too far.

                Gotta stay at least a little in touch with reality, right?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                While I will absolutely admit to hating HRC (she might be the worst feminist ever) the hotel room thing is really just me having fun. Lighten up.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Wait, should we take it seriously or literally?Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                As far as I can tell, the suggestion is that either is fine as long as we take it quietly.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Also, regarding ‘complete capitulation’…I’d love to see a principled, sane and reasonable opposition for the next 4 years. Unfortunately I fear that isn’t going to be the case. I mean, this very site, which I always considered a bastion of reasonable discourse, has invited readers and writers to submit dystopian fan fiction as a response to Trump’s election. So…it appears THAT is how things are going to go.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Would you consider the Democrat response to W. Bush principled, sane, and/or reasonable?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Um. Yes. The Powers that Be have moved up their timelines. When I post a damn dystopia, I intend to cite sources.
                (And this’ll be me taking it light and easy. I could post about 2040.)Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                So, you’ve submitted something to Burt for his Dystopia Week project? ‘Cause I, for one, am looking forward to it. (Mine’s in. I really hope there are enough for this to happen.)Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                I will be. Might submit two.
                My friend’s been editing the doomsday plans again, and the timetables just keep on getting shorter. 2040…Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                Obama never promised to take guns. His opponents invented fears that proved unfounded.

                Yeah, that is what happened.

                Obama was caught in an uncharacteristic moment of loose language. Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

                The comments were seized on by his rival for the Democratic party candidacy, Hillary Clinton, who saw in them the hope of reviving her flagging campaign by turning voters in the important Pennsylvania primary on April 22 against what she classed as Obama’s revealed “elitism”.

                “I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America,” she said on Saturday. “His remarks are elitist and out of touch.” Clinton campaigners in North Carolina handed out stickers saying: “I’m not bitter.”


              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                So Obama wanted to ban their religion too, right? Because if that statement expresses intent to take away guns, which it doesn’t, it’s also a promise to take away the rest of that parallel construction, isnt it?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Obama is on record, multiple times, about making the AWB permanent. There were other quotes attributed to him before he was elected where he talked about a handgun ban or a ban on semi-automatic weapons. This was a large part of why I voted against him in 2008.

                Those fears proved unfounded…or he never saw the political leverage to do it. Either way, my opinion changed. Likewise, he has done other things I like that I never saw coming, like all of the people he has pardoned. Absolutely love it.

                Trump has some things in his 100 Day Plan that even liberals should like. Take a look and then keep an open mind.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Did you notice there was nothing about taking every bodies guns away in that quote?Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                @don-zeko and @greginak

                That was a comment on Clinton, not on Obama.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                So what did it have to do with @kazzy ‘s comment?Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                I went looking for what exactly Obama’s campaign positions on gun control were and realized for the first time that the bitter clinger thing came during the primary and that it was HRC who first deployed it against Obama.

                That is relevant for this conversation about why HRC just lost this election. (Hint: It wasn’t Comey or the Russians. As a candidate, Clinton has no discernible core other than a commitment to opportunism. Loters of voters tend not to like that so much.)Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Well let’s not go overboard with appeals to what the voters do and don’t like when HRC got nearly three million more votes than her opponent.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                Yes, Hillary Clinton got about 4 million more votes in California than Trump did and another 3 or so million in New York and New Jersey. She also beat Rick Lazio (after Guliani dropped out) with 55% of the vote in the 2000 NY Senatorial election and soundly beat… hang on, I have to look this up… John Spencer (not of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, different spelling) with two-thirds of the vote. And she almost beat Obama in the 2008 primary before losing to President Elect Trump (yes, I still laugh uncomfortably whenever I say that out loud).

                You’re right. How could I ever question Hillary Clinton’s track record as a candidate for political office?Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                If the point you want to make here is that you don’t like Hillary Clinton, that’s fine, but I don’t think it has a damn thing to do with Mike’s original post or the question of how Democrats should handle Comey, the DNC hack, or the fact that the Electoral College has once more delivered the Presidency to a Republican who lost the popular vote.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                If the point you want to make here is that you don’t like Hillary Clinton, that’s fine, but I don’t think it has a damn thing to do…

                This is a pretty good comment to illustrate what I’m talking about. I listed a series of facts in support of the idea that maybe Clinton isn’t such a great campaigner. What does that have to do with whether I like her or not?

                As for all the other stuff, I don’t really know what to say. If you are intent on finding everything to blame but the candidate and the campaign, there is no short supply of reasons. You can fail to learn the lesson all you like. It has nothing to do with me. All I say is don’t be surprised when it happens again. I mean, it will happen again and you will be surprised and you will find a narrative to deflect blame, because this is politics and politics does all it can to resist honest self-reflection.

                As a matter of fact, it seems like ever Democratic presidential loss since Carter in ’80 has come with an asterisk, some unfair thing that stole victory from the rightful candidate. Maybe that’s the case, but you’d think if it keeps happening you’d want to try doing something different.

                Or not. Like I said, this has not much to do with me.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                Mike responded to expressed concerns about Trump by sarcastically stating that Obama never took his guns. The implication is that the concern Obama’s opponents had about him coming to take their guns was equivalent to the concerns that Trump’s opponents have about him. But they are not equivalent. Because Obama didn’t run a campaign predicated on taking away people’s guns. That fear was unfounded. That it was never realized in no way delegitimizes the fears people have expressed that are rooted in Trump’s actual actions, worse, promises, etc.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                The fact that Obama had a bunch of things on his record that seemed contrary to what he said while running for President is exactly why so many of us were worried. It all seemed like he was a stealth Far Leftie. Hillary implied that very thing about him in 2008.

                Trump said a lot of ‘scary’ things that I don’t believe he will attempt to do. Many of us believe he’;s basically a Reagan Democrat that used a nationalist/populist message to get elected. So, it becomes a matter of thinking one candidate is actually worse than he sounds and another candidate is not as bad as he sounds.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                As I argued above, you keep acting like the case against Trump’s character and fitness doesn’t exist.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                It all seemed like [Obama] was a stealth Far Leftie. Hillary implied that very thing about him in 2008.

                Well hell, that shoulda given her street cred with all you right wing conspiracy theorists, yeah?Report

              • Avatar j r says:


                As I said above, my comment was about HRC and in the context of the larger conversation on this post. Perhaps I should have broke it out into a different thread.

                That said, the whole reason that I started looking for Obama’s positions is that I wanted to see what he campaigned on. It seems that he has been supportive of an assault weapons ban, which could entail any number of policies. But it’s certainly fair to ask if an assault weapons ban would result in taking away some people’s guns. That’s not a criticism, just a description.

                As for actual actions, between Obama and Trump, only one of them has actually been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians and the deportation of millions of people. I’m sure Trump will do his best when he gets his chance, but at this point I find Trump Derangement Syndrome every bit as bizarre as I found Obama Derangement Syndrome and Bush Derangement Syndrome and Clinton… so on and so forth.Report

              • Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

                Clinton really should have done a better job of heeding Obama’s words:

                But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.


              • Avatar notme says:

                Trump has promised many scary things.

                What has Trump promised that is so “scary?” Enforcing our boarder security? Yep that is down right horrifying.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Banning Muslim immigration, a massive trade war with China and Mexico, libel suits against journalists that displease him, unambiguous war crimes, and abandoning the postwar alliance system to start. Should I add the ones that are basically GOP dogma or that require me to do any googling?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                The war crimes are things obama is already doing, for the most part.
                If he manages any of this except for the trade war (which is a leftie thing, not a rightie thing), I’ll be shocked.

                Yes, he’s come up with a ton of hypocritical lies to spew. Let’s see what he does, and judge him on that.Report

              • You left out repudiating the national debt.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Obama did say that he would try to use his executive authority to implement some gun control measures.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                When? In 2008? Because that’s the context that Mike was discussing.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Let’s cool it down a bit (this isn’t directed at anyone in particular) and try and keep the heat to a minimum and light to the maximum. Granted one can feel like a lot of grey, at most, stuff is being called black but the OP is coming from a more right of center viewpoint and while that does not require that it be agreed with it’s advisable that it be disagreed with in a temperate or even good humored manner. In this Trump era we liberals shouldn’t indulge in the luxury of getting publicly angry.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                I’m not the one who said I wished unflattering reports about Hillary’s election night response were true because of how much I despised her. That was Mike. You know, the guy calling for “breaking the cycle”.

                Mike is responding to pushback by pointing at Obama. How is that breaking the cycle?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Yeah I’m not trying to pick on you specifically, I just hit reply where I did for placement in an area of the treads that’s gettin’ hot.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I hear you, @north .

                The thing, I agree with Mike’s general call to “break the cycle”. A few weeks back, I got into a weird exchange with Damon wherein I said I hoped the Dems engaged in principled opposition to Trump without resorting to knee-jerk obstructionism. From what I recall, I was essentially told that there is no difference between the two and that my calls for principled opposition made me just as bad as the congressional GOPers over the last 8 years. Huh?

                We *do* need to break the cycle. But I don’t think we get there by having Republicans (even relatively non-partisan/non-ideologues as I do trust @mike-dwyer to be) lecture Democrats on just how naughty we’re being.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “From what I recall, I was essentially told that there is no difference between the two and that my calls for principled opposition made me just as bad as the congressional GOPers over the last 8 years. ”

                Who told you that? And what did they (and you) actually say?Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy says:

                I’m inclined to agree, North. I do believe Mike Dwyer has made some mistakes in the comment thread here, as Kazzy has pointed out.

                What I really disagree with are the statements that Mike is calling for “complete capitulation” when by my reading he’s calling for a more reasoned and therefore more constructive opposition. Maybe Trump is indeed so bad that such an opposition is too little, too late, but I’m not sure he’s quite wrong.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

              There are a lot of reasons to think a guy is going to be an OK president, and I haven’t really seen any of them from Trump.

              You could say that he has relevant experience and a good knowledge of foreign an domestic affairs / policy. Trump has neither, but a lot of successful people go into jobs for which they have little experience. They succeed for other reasons. So maybe we give him a pass.

              You could say, “Well, he doesn’t have much experience, but he has a good philosophical framework that will drive him to make decisions that are good and that agree with my preferences.” That’s reasonable. It’s a good reason to vote for a Gary Johnson or a Jill Stein. But Trump doesn’t seem to have that. He seems to say whatever pops into his head that seems like it will sell. There’s no obvious set of bedrock principles beyond, “I’m a winner.”

              You could say, “Well, he has no experience and his decision making framework is arbitrary, but he’s a fundamentally good person who will act in good faith and can be trusted to use power wisely.” I don’t think I’m projecting my own paranoia too much when I say that he does not appear to be a good, well-meaning person. Donald Trump started a fake university to scam his followers out of large sums of cash. And that doesn’t seem to be a particularly isolated incident–just the most obvious and unambiguously sleazy one. If anybody I knew did anything like that, I would have nothing to do with them. It says far too much about character, and I will forgive *a lot* of bad stuff that a politician does.

              Obama had a good command of the materials and came off as a principled, well-meaning centrist Democrat. GW Bush wasn’t a trivia guy, but he had been a governor and came across as a guy with a consistent philosophy with his heart in the right place. And so on. You can pick and choose what’s important, but up until now I could make a good case for each President Elect in recent memory having some obvious combination of those qualities. This time really does feel different.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              the sexual assault would have been worse under clinton. The corruption would have been worse under clinton. the racewar would have been worse under clinton (not saying she’s racist, saying that the Powers that Be want a racewar and she’s beholden to them).
              Clinton has some very real authoritarian tendencies too.

              Trump is not Kucinich, he is unlikely to be allowed to press the nuclear button without the military signing off on it. (The problem with hillary is that the military would cosign what she wanted).Report

  14. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    I’m just a godless coastal liberal elitist, but denying John Bolton a stop in your administration seems like a sign that just maybe, Donald Trump might not be qualified for POTUS. But, I guess we need to “break the cycle” and just give ole’ Donny a chance.Report

  15. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    Jesse Ewiak:
    I’m just a godless coastal liberal elitist, but denying John Bolton a stop in your administration seems like a sign that just maybe, Donald Trump might not be qualified for POTUS. But, I guess we need to “break the cycle” and just give ole’ Donny a chance.

    Keeping John Bolton out of your administration is a great sign. Keeping him out for this reason is basically the only way it could bode poorly.Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird says:

    For a fine “both sides did it” that I think will have to be worked on before a real and honest opposition can be attained (and real and honest support can be built), is the whole “Eff off, we don’t need you!” attitude that, yes, both sides leaned on pretty heavily at different times in the election cycle.

    On the Republican side, the “we don’t need you” went from Team Trump to the #NeverTrump kinda folks. Now, come the election time, this turned into “HEY GET IN LINE” “Nah. You don’t need me” conversations and, wouldn’t you know it, “we don’t need you” kinda turned out to be true. Kinda. It hit the Jonah Goldbergs, the Bill Kristols, and the @Exjons right in the kisser and now the question is to what extent the Republicans feel like they have to make up with each other.

    I mean, we see who was #NeverTrump because they thought he would lose the election (in a landslide!) and those who were #NeverTrump because they cared more about their own principles than their own influence.

    On the Democratic side, I’m looking at the mini-movement to categorize Bernie supporters as “Berniebros” who chose Bernie because of misogyny and thinking “oh my god… that was criminally dumb. Holy crap was that dumb. Who in the hell came up with that crap because that person should never be affiliated with political opinionmaking ever again unless the person who came up with that was on Team Trump.”

    I mean, seriously. That was magnificently stupid.

    The democrats, particularly the activist side, probably wants to go back and see whether they implied stuff like this or this and say “you know what? We should have seen your enthusiasm as something praiseworthy.”

    Holy crap, was that dumb.

    In retrospect, anyway. If Hillary won, they could treat the Berniebros like the Trumpists are treating Kristol. If Hillary won.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      But Jaybird, you don’t understand. It was her turn. After finally showing that America was Not Racist by electing The First Black President, it was her turn to show us that America was Not Sexist by electing The First Woman President. It was her turn, Jaybird. Her turn. And if you didn’t wholeheartedly support that, if you refused to accept that it was her turn, well, obviously you weren’t as progressive as we all thought, and everybody knows what non-progressives are like.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        We’re moving (have moved?) from a society that is saying “we all need to work together” to one that says “we don’t need you!”

        The society that says “we don’t need you!” might be okay if we told the people that we didn’t need that they were allowed to go their own way… but we don’t believe that they ought to be able to do that.

        Which means that winning is really, really, really, really, really freaking important.Report

        • Avatar gregiank says:

          Your belief that we used to be a society where we said ” we all have to work together” and actually meant “all” people is not entirely historically accurate. You know that right?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            It’s not a 0 or 1 thing, Greg.

            It’s a continuum. A vector.

            We’re moving. And we’re moving in a direction that will have been determined to have been a bad one.Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

              Can you point me to the year when it better for everybody?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s one a 0 or 1 thing, Jesse.

                It’s a continuum. A vector.

                We’re moving. And we’re moving in a direction that will have been determined to have been a bad one.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                But if we are moving in a direction that’s worse, then presumably we are moving from a place that was better. He’s just asking when that was. The 1950’s? 1990’s? Last Tuesday?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                A place that was better?

                Well, in the context of political parties yelling “WE DON’T NEED YOU” vs. “Hey, let’s work together despite our differences”, I can point to stuff like Dan Rostenkowski, Tip O’Neill, and Ronald Reagan were all able to work together to pass, for example, the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

                That was reaching across the aisle and bipartisan as heck.

                I also don’t have too much memory of the primaries but, by my recollection, the acrimony between Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, and Jesse Jackson was less intense than that between the Berniebros and the Hillbots.

                “Where’s the beef?”, while it stung, could have been overcome and it was.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Oh, well seems straight forward enough, the high point then was 1990 when Bush Pere and his opponents hashed out the 1990 budget deal and it’s been generally downhill since then.

                Speaking personally as a gay man about turning the clock back to 1990 I’d have to say “yeah we’d probably rather die thanks.”Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Time’s ticking down, not up, you realize?
                I’d take going back to 1990, if only because we might manage it a bit better the second time around.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, on a whole intersectionality level, 2016 is the best we’ve ever had.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen says:

                I’m with you, I just didn’t know what your point of reference.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                But, @jaybird, that wasn’t because people trusted each other more in general. That was because it was harder for crazy people to know that their representatives were being squish cuck RINOs and making deals with the Demoncrats.

                Your average conservative voter in 1986 was just as reactionary as they are now, they just has no knowledge of what their Congressperson was doing, as compared to 2016, when you know your Congressperson is doing primary worthy things like actually talking to a Democrat.

                There are multiple stories about Obama making a deal I personally wouldn’t like with Boehner, but said deal failing apart not because the Republican’s in Congress opposed the deal in practice, but because they were scared of the millions of dollars in primary attack ads they’d have to face.

                When it comes to the American constitutional system, too much knowledge by partisans is a terrible thing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, so now we are finally approaching a truly representative level of representation in Government and prior to 2016, we were just fooling ourselves and/or ignorant?

                We never should have put the Democrats in charge of education!Report

            • Avatar gregiank says:

              Of course, as has been noted, you always think everything is going to hell in a handbasket. Lots of groups who weren’t part of the “all” are now part of the larger society which is good. But if you want to hang everything on , i’m sort of guessing what the heck you are talking about here, some D’s harshing on the WWC then i agree that is wrong. Of course there are plenty of D’s disagreeing with that just as loudly so it’s not like there is just the one voice out there.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Things are going to hell in a handbasket.
                Just a little more slowly, and a LOT MORE THOROUGHLY than most of the idiots think.

                1.2 billion refugees, with their parent country having nuclear weapons.
                How you like the sound of that?
                Got a year, too: 2040.

                Doomsday (by which I mostly mean end of current civilization) is getting closer by the minute.Report

          • Avatar Pinky says:

            Hold it, Jaybird. You need to clarify what you mean by “we all need to work together”. Are you talking about politically, each party should unite behind its candidate? Because that’s what your thread-starting comment indicates. Or are you talking about societally, we should all work together across the aisle and across every other division? I think that’s what Jesse is thinking about. Or are you saying that our current political inability to unite even within our own sides reflects a broader societal disease? Or do you mean that we should be uniting across the aisle politically, and I’m overthinking the whole societal angle?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Are you talking about politically, each party should unite behind its candidate? Because that’s what your thread-starting comment indicates.


              The acrimony between the Berniebros and the Hillbots has only the palest of reflections in the “PUMAs” in 2008 and I’m not sure that we can find meaningful examples prior.

              The #nevertrump thing strikes me as being somewhat unprecedented, though I guess the whole McCain/Bush/Rove thing from 2000 might have a flash of a precursor to it.

              Or are you talking about societally, we should all work together across the aisle and across every other division? I think that’s what Jesse is thinking about.

              I wasn’t really talking about societally… but I suspect that, at some point in the future, I will be.

              At that point, however, the question “are you *REALLY* saying that things were *BETTER* in 2014/2009/2005/2000?” will be absurd on its face.

              Or are you saying that our current political inability to unite even within our own sides reflects a broader societal disease?

              Oooh, that’s good.

              Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

              Or do you mean that we should be uniting across the aisle politically, and I’m overthinking the whole societal angle?

              I’m thinking that that is a lagging indicator, if it’s an indicator at all.Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal says:

          Jay, your being optimistic again. It’s not only that we don’t need you, it’s also, ‘this thing is not yours’. I have started calling this the ‘nacho’ syndrome:

          nacho democracy
          nacho country
          nacho truth

          This works fine if the case were divorce, but there is not going to be divorce.Report

  17. Avatar veronica d says:

    Analogy: a man stands outside my window, tells me he’s gonna rape me, jokes about it, spits in my friend’s face, etc. The cops arrive. The cops insist — for reasons beyond insanity — that I let this man into my house, that I let him sleep there.

    Someone demands I show good faith. After all, he might not rape me.

    Fuck this shit. Trump is a monster. Zero good faith. Fuck it to hell.

    Trying to draw a symmetry between DONALD-FUCKING-TRUMP and literally any other president, Bush, Obama, Clinton, Reagan, even fucking Nixon — doesn’t matter. DONALD-FUCKING-TRUMP.


    This is different, the way a kick in the teeth is different from a smile.

    We elected a sick narcissistic freak. What the fuck! The system might survive (probably not), inasmuch as it’s a system. But seriously, no business as usual.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      “We elected a sick narcissistic freak. ”

      We? I took no part in the election. I didn’t “build that”. And, as I’ve said before, the choice between Satan and Cthulhu is a false choice.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Good news!

      People are doing what they can to make sure that these people know that we’re on to them.

      Sadly, he since deleted the tweet.

      But TMZ is reporting what happened!

      Ivanka Trump just had a bumpy start to her Xmas holiday … an out-of-control passenger on her flight began verbally berating her and “jeering” at her 3 kids.

      Ivanka was on a JetBlue flight leaving JFK Thursday morning with her family when a passenger started screaming, “Your father is ruining the country.” The guy went on, “Why is she on our flight. She should be flying private.” The guy had his kid in his arms as he went on the tirade.

      A passenger on the flight tells TMZ Ivanka ignored the guy and tried distracting her kids with crayons.

      JetBlue personnel escorted the unruly passenger off the flight. As he was removed he screamed, “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?!!”

      BTW … Ivanka, her family and bunch of cousins were all in coach.


      • Avatar North says:

        Yep, the left contains douchebag myopic loudmouth twits just as any large group of people does. I’m dubious this tells us a lot more than that though unless the left or organizations on the left try flipping out at JetBlue for responding the way they did (I certainly hope not).Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          So your choice might be to vote for “business as usual”.

          Luckily, this is a democracy.

          And one man with courage makes a majority.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Uh-oh. The Hunter College twitter mentions seems to be blowing up. People appear to be calling for Matthew Lasner’s job.

            Even though Matthew Lasner didn’t do anything but tweet that his husband was going to be doing this.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              And the Hunter College president either has exceptionally unfortunate timing or an exceptionally *AWESOME* sense of humor given that she tweeted this an hour ago:

              Flying this holiday? Read @Hunter_College's @dietdetective's calorie counts before digging into the in-flight meal!— President J. Raab (@HunterPresident) December 22, 2016


              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Are going to go all in with tracking this story?


                We do have the official OT twitter feed to track tweet insanity.Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                Are going to go all in with tracking this story?


                We do have the official OT twitter feed to track tweet insanity.

                Nah, only the left does bad things.

                I just saw your link a short while ago. Crazytown.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Yeah just nuts. It almost feels like the weirdness of the 70’s but without the terrible fashion.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m pretty sure that *BOTH* sides do bad things, Dave.

                Would we like to start negotiations of who needs to condemn what and in what order?Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Let’s just skip the negotiations on this one. That’s one messed-up story.

                ETA – It looks like nothing happened in this story, though. No names found out, no actual violence, just fear. Still pretty messed up.Report

              • Avatar gregiank says:

                Every group does bad things. People do bad things. I was asking why you are all over one particular story and not on another. Just asking questions about the reporting. We’ll decide.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I was asking why you are all over one particular story and not on another.

                I can’t talk about *EVERYTHING*, Greg.

                But to answer your question, Veronica’s original comment was one that talked about how Trump was a monster. It’s up there. I responded with a news story of some people who engaged their own first amendment rights to tell one of Trump’s most trusted advisors that Trump was a monster and then about the various dominoes that fell after that.

                If you’d like, I suppose I could turn Veronica’s comment into a meditation on how it’s going to play out in various small towns in the coming years…

                Also, the “I want to know why you’re talking about *THIS* instead of talking about *THAT*” is apparently a fun and useful rhetorical device. I look forward to adopting it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Greg, there has been a significant update to this story.

                Philadelphia, PA, December 22, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), like many, read many numerous local and national news stories reporting that a Jewish family allegedly “fled” Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The reports claimed that the family feared retribution after being wrongfully blamed for the cancellation of the school production of A Christmas Carol. ADL investigated, and found that in actuality, the family left on vacation for winter break.

                “News reports alleging that a Jewish family has ‘fled’ Lancaster County are untrue and damaging,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, ADL Regional Director. “We spoke with the family, who explained that they went on a previously-planned vacation for the holidays. Stories like this can sow fear in the Jewish community and beyond, and it is important to stop the spread of misinformation.

                “There is no truth to the rumor that the school cancelled A Christmas Carol at the request of parents. The Hempfield School District released a FAQ clearly stating that the play was cancelled due to the inordinate amount of class time taken up by rehearsals. We commend the district for setting the record straight.”


              • Read what the WaPo has to say:

                a local TV station ran a story suggesting that the play had been canceled because of two parents’ objections to the famous Tiny Tim line, “God bless us, everyone.” The piece reported that Centerville Elementary School officials said the complaint did cause them to give the play a second thought. Fox News and Breitbart picked up on it and ran with it, after which the school received more than 200 calls and emails.

                [Rabbi] Paskoff said the child was being taunted on the school bus by kids saying it was “your fault the play was canceled.”

                “It was getting prevalent enough that the family got concerned,” he said.

                So, “fled” is an overstatement, but a kid was lied about and scapegoated because of his religion. Still, it’s not like he was related to anyone famous.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                While it is of course awful that the kid got made fun of on the schoolbus, I’m not certain that it’s a national story.

                Or maybe it is. The kid was Jewish, after all.

                Ivanka converted to Judaism, didn’t she?Report

              • You’re quire right. Breitbart and Fox repeating a false story that slanders a minority family isn’t news at all.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I feel Jaybird’s really just clarifying his point about empathy and listening to marginalized folks.

                “White working class Christians“.

                We’re really narrowing down which Americans are the real ones, the important ones that matter.

                Or maybe the lesson is only us liberals need to listen? I’m really confused. Who needs to listen and have empathy and who gets to be smug and disdainful of others?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Um, there might be people out there calling for more empathy and listening to marginalized folks, but I’m not one of them.

                I’m the guy saying “we’re going to have a civil war”.

                Or maybe the lesson is only us liberals need to listen?

                You don’t need to listen, you need to buy ammo.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                You’re approaching Kim’s level here. With a bit of Cleek’s Law thrown in.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Let’s go back and take your fake news at face value:

                We’ve reached the point where Christians have started chasing Jews out of town as part of the earliest skirmishes of The War On Christmas.

                You think that the whole “yelling at Ivanka Trump on a plane” thing deserves a good, old-fashioned, “both sides do bad things” story?

                Well, keep up with the names of the married couple at the center of the story in the next few days on Google News. Because, I assure you, you’ll see them in there.

                People are calling for their jobs, you know. Like contacting their employers. They’re being doxed, if they haven’t already been doxed, and we’re likely to hear that something happened to their house/condo/apartment while they were on vacation flying to wherever it was that they were upset that they had to fly with Ivanka.

                Worse than that, the story at the beginning of this comment that we took at face value turns out to officially have “it’s a hoax! Even the ADL is saying it’s a hoax!” as part of its official narrative now.

                What do you think is going to happen?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Lots of ugliness in the next four years. Some real serious incidents and some that are all flash and heat. The arc of history is bending towards more tolerance, more openness to different kinds of people. At least here in the US it is. As much as you guys like to scream about how liberals call everything racism and point out how that is unfair you are actually missing part of your own point. Plenty of Trumpets won’t condone or support overt hostility to minorities. They might vote for Trump and ignore some of his swill but even they wont’ go for the worst of what might happen.

                Like i said i think the next years will suck in a lot of ways but the world isn’t ending, there will be positive reactions to Trump and the R’s and there is no reason to give up hope for a better future. Literally no reason to think there is no hope for better things.

                And you will keep shrieking that the sky is falling because that seems to be all you see.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Plenty of Trumpets won’t condone or support overt hostility to minorities. They might vote for Trump and ignore some of his swill but even they wont’ go for the worst of what might happen.

                Seems to me that they’re going to be arguing over whether or not “the worst of what might happen” actually happened for real like the news is reporting, or if it’s more like that story about the Jews who got chased out of town after they shut down the Christmas Play.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Well yeah, i get how the breitbart and fox news part goes down the memory hole.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Legal weed. That’s the only political position I’ve seen Jaybird be consistent on.

                Everything else? He just stirs the water.

                Um, there might be people out there calling for more empathy and listening to marginalized folks

                Seriously, that? I’d call it gaslighting but gaslighting generally has a bit of finesse.

                Does he think no one here remembers last month?

                It’s not even good trolling anymore. I guess Trump does ruin everything.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m wondering if the cognitive dissonance of being so against gov overreach and oppressive law enforcement yet cheering on Comey got a bit to much.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                In between the lectures on how if Democrats ever wanted to win elections ever, they had to understand and empathize with those Trump voters.

                The conversations I’ve had in the last month have pretty much convinced me that this is a lot less likely than civil war.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I know. Aren’t liberals just the worst?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The only way to defeat fake news is with more fake news.

                What will we find out about this case tomorrow?

                And back to Ivanka, do you think that she might have deliberately staged this in an attempt to get harassed in public so she’d be able to fly on a private jet in the future without being criticized about it by the press?Report

              • We’ll find out that the family has granite countertops, so the kid got what he deserved.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              Matthew Lasner married this guy. Isn’t that enough for the internet to ruin him?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                While I imagine that the whole “people who are opposed to this sort of thing are homophobic” will pop up in places, I am not certain that it will get much traction.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Depends on how you define “business as usual”.
            /Pendant Actually this is a republic.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        God what douchebag.

        If Ivanka would have belted the guy, I’d give witness testimony that I “saw nothing” while starting straight at that asshole so he knew I lying.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @jaybird — I’ve been harassed to a similar degree on public transit, many times. On two occasions this harassment involved physical assault. It is remarkably unpleasant.

        In my case, the verbal attacks were (in a sense) truthful, in that I really am a transgender woman — although I reject the term “faggot” that I often hear. But whatever.

        I would disagree that Donald Trump is “ruining” the country, so much as he is a reflection of something already destroyed. That said, he is a rather loathsome figure. I expect to the degree he has power and agency, he will do horrible things, just as a virus will do horrible things to the body it infects. Hating him is a sound response.

        I have no idea what it would be like to be the kid of a monster. My father is an admirable man. I am proud of him. My mother is lovely and kind. From them, there is no reason for shame.

        Does Ivanka have any agency in terms of her father? What social and psychological constraints must she navigate in her life?

        It seems she supported him. Was that an easy choice?

        I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t attack her on an airplane (or anywhere else).Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Yeah, and just like the angry hateful assholes that harassed you on the train the hateful angry asshole that harassed Ivanka on the plane was wrong to do so in both moral and especially practical terms. I’m glad the crew booted his idiot ass off the plane.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            My ex-g/f’s roommate was harassed literally yesterday, by some angry creep. Fortunately he didn’t physically attack her, only threatened to. (But then, he probably didn’t know that she had been a boxer in the US Navy back in her boy day. He might have been surprised. But anyway.)

            So yeah, I don’t support harassing Ivanka this way. On the other hand, my empathy budget is pretty taxed right now dealing with an ocean of violent right-wing shitheads attacking those entirely innocent. So …

            Poor little Ivanka? Whatever. Sure, throw the guy off the plane. Obviously. People have a right to fly. What else could the flight crew do? Let him be a disruptive jerk the entire flight? Give out free headphones to everyone, so they don’t have to listen to him rave? That seems impractical.

            That said, do I need to care much about this?

            I am certain Ivanka knows exactly what her father is.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Oh I agree! Throw him off the plane, the left collectively snorts and says “Idiot” then dismisses it from their minds. Maybe other douchebags see the reaction and next time they think better of being idiots. That’s all I think should happen, absolutely!

              And I am sorry you and yours get harassed. I would like to think if I was on the train that I’d have the social conscientiousness to intervene and at least engage you or your friend in conversation, add some power in numbers to your side of the scale and fix some cold looks on the harassing pricks.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @north — In my friend’s case, no one really needed to intervene, inasmuch as she can handle a random jerk.

                I assume Ivanka has secret service with her — like if not, that’s fucked up. In any case, I doubt she was in much real danger. It was just irritating and ugly.

                In other words, she experienced what I experience every few days. So it goes.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Oh yeah, not so much that they needed physical protection as much as showing solidarity/sociability would not only most likely send the jerk skittering away but also hopefully make your friends feel better.

                Yeah from the article notme posted the Service was present but elected (extremely wisely I’d say) to let the airline handle it.

                And yeah I totally get what you’re saying about how she experienced, for a moment, what many marginalized people like you (and to a much lesser extent my gay cis white self) feels.

                I do look at this, though, and I see one of our people behaving like the people we hated. Do we want to become like them? Is that what the whole struggle was for; to be the hand holding the whip instead of the back receiving it? Or, on a more pragmatic note, Ivanka is by all accounts pretty liberal. Do we think this makes her more likely to champion our interests to her Dad who, by all accounts, values her opinion enormously? What does this make your low info onlooker think about gay people? I mean these are unpleasant shitty things to consider but we lost the bloody election so the latter ones do have to be thought about; as a practical matter.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                I don’t actually think it’s a bad thing for people to call out powerful advisers of Presidents in person. I mean, let’s be honest here, would this be such a huge deal if somebody started screaming at Newt Gingrich, Rahm Emanuel, or Karl Rove? Probably not.

                But, because Ivanka is a pretty blond woman and a daughter of the incoming POTUS, she’s special.

                As for her being a “liberal”, I see no evidence of that other than a child care plan that is largely a massive tax credit for upper middle class people and that like any rich person from New York, she’s cool with gay people. Ivanka isn’t a secret liberal that’s going to save us from her father –


              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                But was he rich and famous?

                Because I’ve heard when you are rich and famous you can do anything, yell at her, grab her pussy, whatever.Report

              • The other question is which is worse: a stranger yelling at you, or your father telling the world he’d like to date you?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I certainly wouldn’t attack her on an airplane (or anywhere else).

          So *SOME* business as usual, then?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            And, for the record, I am not asking anybody to defend this sort of incivility. It stands or falls on its own.

            I am merely pointing out that entering an era of “Fuck this shit. Trump is a monster. Zero good faith. Fuck it to hell.” comes with a handful of other things.

            I’m noticing the handful of other things.

            Do the people who say “Fuck this shit. Trump is a monster. Zero good faith. Fuck it to hell.” expect further defection on the part of the people to whom they say this sort of thing? Do they expect something else?

            I wonder.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              It’s my estimation that veronica probably just meant, “Ima gonna be a stone cold skeptic on what Trump does. Judging from past behavior, it ain’t gonna be pretty to me and mine.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                But that position is perfectly reasonable.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                So, what, you can’t give her the benefit of the doubt?
                She employed a dash of hyperbole. I do it occasionally too.
                (it’s when I’m not being hyperbolic, like when I reference shitstorms, that you should worry — dysentery and typhoid are not fun diseases).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I give Veronica the benefit of the doubt insofar as I’m certain that she doesn’t support what happened to Ivanka.

                I’m sure that she would give a full-throated condemnation of the act and call it silly and self-indulgent and counter-productive.

                I was more interested in how the sentiments expressed in her hyperbolic comment were showing up in meatspace.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Frankly, I’m not that interested in how shnubs think and berate people stupidly. Targeted assassinations? That gets a lot more interesting.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Again, Jay, it depends on how you define “Business as usual” because the crap like what you’re pointing out is not remotely new or unique to 2016.

              So what constitutes that? Zero good faith could just mean no cooperation and active obstruction on any of the crap that was ZOMGsocialism!! or ZOMGdeficit!! under Obama but is suddenly going to be ZOMGjustwhatthecountryneeds!! as soon as Trump takes office or it could mean “sharpen the pitchforks and light the torches, time to start the Rough Music playing”. So before anyone can answer you we’d have to know what you mean by business as usual?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I was quoting Veronica:

                We elected a sick narcissistic freak. What the fuck! The system might survive (probably not), inasmuch as it’s a system. But seriously, no business as usual.

                My assumption for “no business as usual” was something to the effect of well, that attitude is certainly seeming to manifest itself in the Real World.

                I am absolutely certain that the people who publicly shamed Ivanka for supporting Trump would have agreed wholeheartedly with Veronica’s comment (whether or not Veronica would agree with their decisions to shame Ivanka is beside the point).

                I’m just noticing that these two people exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and right to petition the government for redress of grievances is a narrative that extends past merely the yelling at Ivanka.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                You used the term business as usual in response to me further up the thread too?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It was still in the context of Veronica’s comment then too.Report

            • Avatar El Muneco says:

              From other sites, the feeling I get is that people saying this believe that we’re already at maximum defection within traditional norms of civility. And that those are breaking down, with the next administration leading from the front.
              If this were true, laagering up when you’re down and putting the boot well and truly in when you’re ahead would just be survival.
              It’s kind of funny seeing the commentariat here derided for not being rational and considered enough – hell, here is as good as it gets right now…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                From other sites, the feeling I get is that people saying this believe that we’re already at maximum defection within traditional norms of civility. And that those are breaking down, with the next administration leading from the front.

                The position you describe strikes me as almost laughable.

                There is a *LOT* worse than we can get from here.

                We aren’t even *CLOSE* to maximum defection.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                I know that. You know that. But that’s contemplation. Perspective. Distance.
                Are people overly freaking out about what it means now when that guy sneers “MERRY. Christmas.”? Sure. About the War On Pizza? With you on that.
                Doesn’t mean they aren’t freaking out.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                we haven’t even got to the point were Malia or Sasha gets on a plane and someone starts getting irate saying: “her dad droned my family”

                The kind of norms that tomorrow hold are not the kind of norms that were there yesterday.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                No, we’re at the point where parents pay thousands of dollars to murder their children.
                Civility? How about basic fucking humanity???Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                You’ve mentioned it before, sad days.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Maybe you could try asking Chelsea Clinton what it’s like to be the kid of a monster?Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “We elected a sick narcissistic freak.”

      As opposed to the other choice, who was also a sick narcissistic freak.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        And the last two (or three) narcissistic freaks.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          People write this as if there aren’t different degrees of “narcissistic freak” out there.

          You have to have an ego to think you should be POTUS. But you also have to have enough control over your ego to remember that the decisions you make while POTUS aren’t about you. That second part is where the wheels are starting to really come off the cart.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            Mmm, I tend to spend a lot of time with both sides politically, reading the middle left and middle right. The overwhelming feeling I have gotten from the right (and one I agree with) is the current holder of the office is every bit as narcissistic as the next. I have the feeling that you don’t agree, which is totes cool. Of course you have to have an ego to be POTUS. And you should have enough sense to remember that the decisions aren’t about you. That last bit is where I feel the current holder had lost the plot. YMMV.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              The overwhelming feeling I have gotten from the right (and one I agree with) is the current holder of the office is every bit as narcissistic as the next.

              Now we’re getting down to semantics, seems to me. I mean, each side can one up the other by saying “No, YOU’RE guy is more narcissistic than mine!”

              So, Aaron, what do YOU mean when you use that word in a sentence like the above?” (Does it deviate significantly from TFrog’s definition based on POTUS’s having an oversized ego? If so, THAT’s not narcissism.)

              Or are you just reporting, at a meta level, what you hear people say?Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                I’ve always thought of Obama as having narcissistic personality disorder. Trump too. They both like to write books about themselves, make guest appearances on tv, hang out with celebrities, and stand on grand stages. They both seem to need praise, and have incredibly thin skin.

                Bill Clinton, yes, obviously. Hillary Clinton, no. She’s an introvert. George W. Bush, no. He never really cared what people thought of him. Joe Biden seems to have delusions of grandeur, but he just seems dumb to me. Mitt Romney, no. He’s too much a man of principles (even if one of those principles is that he’s worthy of the presidency).Report

              • To me, someone who’s favorite sentence is “I’m the best” is ipso facto more narcissistic than someone who talks about other things.Report

              • Trump on the massacre in Berlin:

                “All along, I’ve been proven to be right,” he continued. “100% correct. ”
                (Quoted from his fans at Breitbart.)Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                The Berlin attack was an ISIS terrorist attack, so yes, Trump is right.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              That’s interesting; I can honestly say that in my cozy corner of the right wing fever-swamp Narcissism in Obama has never come up. Even among folks who regularly have to deal with his administration’s “Dear Colleague” letters there’s never been a sense that Obama the man is some how unhinged. Unhappy with his execution, interpretation and re-interpretation of regulations they have to live under, yes. But nothing personal. Oh well, the swamp is vast and the feelings varied, I suppose.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          And the last two (or three) narcissistic freaks.

          Why limit it there. Lincoln? Narcissistic freak. Roosevelt (take your pick): narcissistic freak.

          The only one who probably escapes the label is Ford. Poor soul.Report

        • Avatar j r says:

          I don’t really think it is correct to compare whatever narcissistic traits Obama may possess to Trump, who really does represent the ego on steroids. As is often the case, people’s greatest strengths and weaknesses tend to exist in a sort of dialectic. Obama is eminently sensible, which is a good thing. But he also has this way, understated but it’s there, of asserting that his view of the world is the one sensible view and that anyone too far to the right or the left of it is somehow hopelessly out of touch or immature or radical or whatever. That is not such a good thing. Is it based in narcissism? Maybe, but it’s borderline at best.

          Trump has to be the personification of narcissistic personality disorder. He puts his name on everything. Everything he does is the biggest and the best, by his own account. And he has comically thin skin. Of course, we should note that Trump’s narcissism is what allowed him to leverage his family business into a legitimate real estate empire and leverage that into branding and licensing business and leverage that into an entertainment franchise and leverage that into a political career all while, being incredibly successful while not being particularly good at any of it (meaning that it is difficult to imagine that Trump would have achieved the same level of success had he just been quietly working away at these endeavors minus the self-promotion and. Again, our greatest strengths often exist in close connection to our greatest weaknesses.

          One of the things that frustrates me about all these backwards rationalizations and excuses about the Russians and Comey is that much more pressing questions we should be asking is “why were so many American voters were drawn to the poster boy for narcissism?” The answers to those questions are not going to be comfortable, but they need to be explored if we are to move beyond this.Report