Sixty-Five Million Cracks

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Will Truman

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

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  1. Avatar Les Cargill
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    Bill Clinton provided a stay of execution for the arc of American politics beginning with FDR. I am never sure exactly what Obama did[1] ( it looks like Nixon with much better stage direction ) but the programme is exhausted. Hillary took several for the team. She also continued to try to win a debate after, with nobody in particular. She managed to make earnest striving look like a sucker bet.

    [1] forgive me please, but parallels to “Blazing Saddles” are impossible to avoid.

    There is not a lot of there there. Fortunately ( in terms of symmetry ) , a similar erosion of the Republicans is in play. With the Republicans, the gaping maw of nihil at their core is unfortunately visible now. Such are the wages of consumerism in ‘values’.

    Perhaps we’re leaving the stage where the word “politics” means “willfully choosing ‘values’ which allow me to be belligerent in the face of facts.” Its is much more likely that the essential mix of policies now in play are simply on autopilot. It’s all left to the directors and generals.

    We appear to be utterly incapable of investing the legislature with any sense of vigor. The American people have spoken, and they are saying “No”.

    Given what I see, I don’t know what people are tired *of*, but they seem most certainly to be tired.

    I have heard two things in the autopsy of the 2016 election that landed punches.

    One, Matt Taibbi’s description of the mix of sheer boredom and terror of the actual .. logistics and show business of campaigning points to a sort of breaking point. Taibbi doesn’t exactly channel Hunter Thompson but the same comedic tones show through.

    Two, PJ O’Rourke’s description of the loggers bedeviled by thick regulatory tomes certainly seems like something worthy of exhaustion.

    I got nothing else. I feel a nap coming on.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
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    “She apparently believes that she has twice now been failed by her own campaigns. It becomes pretty obvious early in the book, however, that she created the very environment that failed her. ”

    Yeah, this is a big problem. Her campaign failed HER. No way it could have been her that failed. Gee, that kinda sounds like something a lot of people would attribute to our current president.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Damon
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      No it was the Russians and the fbi. Just keep saying this while holding your fingers in your ears. She needs to retire and become a crazy cat lady except that might be cruel to the cats.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to notme
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        With the margin she lost by it was the Russians and the FBI. Or anything else. Basically any one of her assorted failures and mistakes was the tipping point. Had she done one less thing wrong or suffered one less trick then she would have won.
        So assuredly it’s on Comey for throwing the election, sure, but it’s still on Hillary, above all else, for letting herself get into a position where some tricky Russians or a cringing FBI director could provide the final straw. Sad as I am for her there’s no denying she’ll always be the politician who lost to Trump and it will haunt her to the end.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to North
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          Yeah, but if 62,000 votes had been cast differently, she would have lost another 3 states and 20 more electoral votes.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Pinky
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            Er, yes, but so what?Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to North
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              If it’s relevant to say that she was one break away from winning, it’s relevant to say that she was one break away from losing worse. Every campaign depends on situations as they break, and not every break went against her.Report

              • Avatar atomickristin in reply to Pinky
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                A lot of potential Trump voters stayed home or cast protest votes because they had had it drummed into their heads that she was winning in a landslide. If your vote doesn’t matter, why not vote for Evan McMullin or Jill Stein? If Hillary has it locked up, why even bother to vote for HER?

                I think the media coverage may have hurt her badly, but it also may have helped her greatly. We’ll never know.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to North
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          The bright side is that she lost to Trump. Had she been elected, her terms surely would have been a continuous series of serious scandals, much like her entire life. She was going to keep the Clinton Initiative active, and said she saw no reason to shut it down. She was going to keep Chelsea in charge of it. Rampant opportunity for graft and corruption, anyone? Talk about putting US foreign policy up for sale to the highest bidder, that would have turned us into the average banana republic. And of course she’d already sold out to just about everyone on Wall Street, and those donations would’ve kept pouring in. And of course no one in the mainstream press would dare call her on any of it, so the corruption would become rampant.

          As it stands, the Clinton Initiative closed down. Her influence peddling operation ran out of inventory.Report

          • Avatar trizzlor in reply to George Turner
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            She was going to keep the Clinton Initiative active, and said she saw no reason to shut it down. She was going to keep Chelsea in charge of it. Rampant opportunity for graft and corruption, anyone? Talk about putting US foreign policy up for sale to the highest bidder, that would have turned us into the average banana republic. And of course she’d already sold out to just about everyone on Wall Street, and those donations would’ve kept pouring in.

            Whoa, I’m so glad we avoided all that!Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
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    That’s a good review of a book I’ve no interest to read, but some interest in what it said. Thanks.

    Since we’ve trod this ground before, I’ll only add as a new thought (I think) that American politics is in a weird spot vis-a-vis Parties and Candidates: One part Avatar and One part Leader… we can’t decide if we want the elect the person or the party… and it seems that when we elect the one, we get the other.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine
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      That’s a very astute observation.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
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      I’m also grateful to Will but uninterested in reading the book. It’s very rare that a post-event report will be more than gossip and feud-settling, at least in my experience. Maybe years later the people involved can be more objective, but by then a narrative will have taken over (maybe even one unrelated to the initial reports), so it’s still hard to sort through the stories.

      It’s easy to believe that she had a Nixonian level of openness in her campaign, but I suspected that already.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine
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      And this is why we should bite the bullet and switch to a parliamentary or semi-Presidential system of government.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to LeeEsq
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        Well, I’m all over the map when it comes to electoral systems… parliamentary sounds fun – until you realize you’ve elected a 6-yr (soft-)dictatorship. In one world you could say that Trump couldn’t win a Parliamentary slate, in another you marvel at how he controls the destinies of all the little people whose votes he needs.

        Proportional representation sounds great too, until the massive factionalism and single issue parties presents problems for governance.

        Plus, there’s the simple fact that as willing as *I’d* be to rolling the dice on some shiny new electoral systems, there’s no real way to get there from here.

        In my atrophied Political Science muscles, I’d imagine a new party that is a sort of data modeled set of factions… Imagine the three legged stool of the republican party, but with a much clearer set of policy agenda items where factions trade support upto a certain point and no further. Imagine as well factions shopping both (or multiple parties) I could see that as an out-of-the-blue paradigm shift of how to build a political faction… but absent the controls of electoral systems to impose discipline, it would be easily manipulated or co-opted. But still, perhaps a model worth experimenting with.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Marchmaine
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          The positive of a x year soft dictatorship is both sides can go, “we did this, isn’t it great” or “they did that, isn’t it terrible” and have an election based on that instead of “hey, we really want to do y, but inane rules you don’t understand meant z can stop us.”

          After all, nobody in the UK is confused about the the Tories have done over the past five or six years for the most part.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jesse
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            Agreed; that’s certainly a positive dynamic. We just have to get used to fewer vetoes. We say we want fewer vetoes, but we really want the other team to have fewer vetoes; our vetoes are in the best interests of the country.Report

            • Avatar Jesse in reply to Marchmaine
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              I’ve been consistent in my hatred of the Senate, the filibuster, and the many veto points of the US structure when the Democrat’s held the Senate, when Republican’s have held the Senate, or even if space aliens held the Senate.

              I could be guaranteed 100 clones of myself in the Senate, and I’d still want it be wiped from the face of the earth.

              Majority rules seems to work in the rest of the Western world. I don’t see why we’ll collapse if things can actually pass via this weird way of one side having more votes than the other.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jesse
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                Fair enough; 1 consistent vote for fewer vetoes hereby noted.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jesse
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                Makes it easier to push through on a razor-thin margin the kind of cockamamie laws Congress is always trying to push through on razor-thin margins. The law should be biased in favor of stability, because changing the law is a big deal. Why shouldn’t it require broad consensus, rather than the barest of majorities?

                Count me as a consistent vote for more vetoes, regardless of who’s in power.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Brandon Berg
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                Shit, now we’re tied. I’d hate to have to put this up for a vote.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Brandon Berg
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                If it’s a cockamamie law and it’s so obvious, the people will turf out the people who voted for this obviously cockamamie law and overturn it.

                I’d also argue parliamentary republics in the Western world are more stable than the US. After all, Europe doesn’t have a party that still has a party that wants to disassemble large portions of the welfare state or the sexual revolution.

                The Republican Party is far more radical than any center-right party in Europe.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jesse
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                True. Europe has had 200 years of political and social stability. Nothing interesting ever even happens there.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Marchmaine
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          In one world you could say that Trump couldn’t win a Parliamentary slate…

          It seems hard to imagine Trump pulling off the same thing he did this cycle if the UK rules were used: (a) he would have had to be supported by enough Republicans already in Congress to get on the slate sent to party members, (b) party membership as a percentage of voters is very small (less than 2% of all UK voters actually belong to a party, IIRC), and (c) the campaign and voting schedule for leader is greatly compressed.

          I am woefully under-informed about historical parliamentary details in the UK or Canada. Are there any famous cases of parties picking someone who is as much an outsider as Trump as leader?Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain
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            Right. President Cruz it is.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Marchmaine
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              Given how many people in Congress Cruz seemed to piss off, I was thinking President Ryan. Wonder if failing to pass repeal-and-replace would count as some sort of no-confidence trigger.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain
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                It should!

                But yeah… it all depends on how the new hypothetical regime is set up. You can have parliamentary systems with weak parties (typically fptp) and parliamentary systems with very strong parties (typically slate voting)… so some (all) of these questions are begged by what route we take and why.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine
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                In a parliamentary system they probably mightn’t have campaigned on it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Will Truman
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                In a parliamentary system Trump would be absolute monarch.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to George Turner
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                In a parliamentary system, whoever sat in his chair would probably have been chosen by the ruling party members rather than the public, so I’m pretty sure it would be someone other than Donald Trump.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                Parliaments don’t get to pick the royal family. At most they get to decide whether Princess Ivanka can ascend the throne instead of Donald Trump Jr. Given Title IX, the answer will probably be “yes”.

                And did you notice that yesterday six-year old Princess Arabella brought a plate of donuts to the Secret Service agents who guard her parents? That’s so Machiavellian that it makes Machiavelli look like Pee Wee Herman. Arabella is playing the long game, and building key relationships with the allies she’ll need when it’s time to make her move.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to George Turner
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                Sorry, I thought somebody wrote “parliamentary system” rather than “absolute monarchy.” I totally agree with you that if we were an absolute monarchy and Trump was the monarch, he’d be an absolute monarch.

                I also have little doubt that he’d be the type people write about centuries later.Report

          • Avatar Brent F in reply to Michael Cain
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            As big of outsiders as Trump have tried to run for leadership of a major party in Canada, since the ill-considered move to make party leadership subject entirely to vote by everyone with a party membership rather than support by caucus. Nobody has come close to winning the position though.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
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        In my Western States of America proposal (coming eventually to an Ordinary Times near you) I advocate a bicameral parliamentary system (but assume the suggestion would be ignored).Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
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          Which, the Western States of America or the bicameral parliamentary system?

          Because as far as regime changes go, the former is a prerequisite for the latter.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Will Truman
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          If the Upper House of your WSA has a Senate like the US does, good luck getting California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado to agree to be ruled by the whims of a couple of states with less people in them than some of their suburbs.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jesse
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            Huge state size differentials is one of the toughest nuts to crack. To get everybody to sign on, Wyoming would probably not have equal representation as Washington, but also would also probably have more than 1/12th.Report

  4. Avatar Kimmi
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    People who pine for the Clintons didn’t know them very well.

    It’s hard to keep a campaign running when everyone sane wants to run for the hills.

    “Bad Luck” is a truly funny way to describe the reason why Clinton didn’t campaign for half of October.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe
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    Since I’m talking about it elsewhere, does the book cover the pre-season – i.e. assembling the campaign, getting the survey of the landscape, assessing the competition? basically the period between November 2012 and February 2015?Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    Hillary Clinton: “I’m now back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance.” https://t.co/f9vXuVKGFE https://t.co/SChoV3nbbL— CNN (@CNN) May 2, 2017

    this clip demonstrates everything that’s wrong with Hillary Clinton

    “I can’t be anything other than who I am” – oh, only if that were the case

    “I spent decades learning what it would take to move our country forward” – you really should have said something about this last year, then

    #shebringspeace – whu-whu-whuht? Hillary Clinton, who never met a war she didn’t love at first sight?

    “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of The Resistance” Well, as long as you don’t attend any more of Donald Trump’s weddings, I guess you’ll do a decent enough job in your new line of work.Report

  7. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    I remember all the stories about how disorganized Bill Clinton’s White House was, but that didn’t seem to have much of an impact on his overall performance as president – it just seemed to annoy certain people. Mind you, I don’t like to be so disorganized.

    There are so many different lenses you can use to look at this election, and this one is perfectly valid, but it’s only one. You could look at fundamentals, too, and say she outperformed them. You could look at Obama-Trump voters (about 8 percent of the electorate) and say she underperformed. You could look at the poll trends the last 2 weeks of the election and note how she crashed right after the FBI interfered in the election. You could look at Trumps approve-disapprove numbers now and say she underperformed. In some sense, all of those things are true.

    I especially appreciate your description of her as trying to solve real-world problems pragmatically. Yep, that was the appeal. I kind of agree with your conclusion, too.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Doctor Jay
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      Clinton’s white house wasn’t nearly as chaotic as people think. He liked a lot of opinions (remember him calling in all sides on the issue at hand?), and would make up his own mind at the end of the day (often after his staffers had made a different decision).Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
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    A presidential campaign is essentially a long, ruthless job interview. And like all interviews, you really need to both be on your game, presenting the best side of yourself possible, and understand the lay of the land, IE what that set of interviewers is specifically looking for.

    HRC showed she did neither. And thus didn’t get the job.

    One of the things that has come out of the reviews of Shattered is that there was no central message as to why vote for her. No MAGA, so to speak. And couple that with all the management failures, investigations, hacking, etc., it showed that she. wasn’t. presidential. material.

    At best, she would have been an HW after Reagan. A zombie candidate running on fumes, elected due to coattails and opposition party failure.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Aaron David
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      Clinton would not have won the popular vote if your analysis was correct. She did win the popular vote and won it by a whopping three million votes. I’m tired of anti-Clinton people acting like Trump won the popular vote.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq
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        How does my opinion led to that, the idea that by winning in small but populous areas (and not even winning a majority, I might add) she would be more that HW? HW won the popular vote, won the electoral vote, but still got there with no specific reason for voting for him than “I Was With Him!” And was gone in 4.

        And again, not being able to take into account the need for an electoral victory speaks to her not understanding the lay of the land. And I never said that Trump won the pop vote, only that he won.

        Face it, she wasn’t competent enough politically to get there. Even against Trump.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq
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        She won the popular vote by campaigning in New York and California, over and over and over again. Take away just California and she lost the popular vote.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to George Turner
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          Again this is pure right-wing crankery, you are basically saying that New Yorkers and Californians are not real Americans and people of color are not real Americans.

          So fish you very much. Geographic distribution does not cancel whether someone was an American citizen.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
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            People in California and New York were allowed to vote. Their votes were counted. Their states’ votes in the electoral college were counted. Hillary came up short, badly short.

            Shall we review the election rules again, even though those haven’t changed in centuries?

            I guess it’s easier to accept that the Russians hacked the election.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw
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            How is he saying “you are basically saying that New Yorkers and Californians are not real Americans and people of color are not real Americans.?” Did he say that Trump took away their votes? No, they got to vote. Is he saying that the votes didn’t count? No, they counted in tallying California’s electoral votes.

            But those votes were a given. And under the system that is in place to elect the POTUS, well, you need to get as many other states as possible. There is no popular vote election for POTUS. And much like the world series, you need to win a majority of the contests, not just enbiggen the ones you like.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David
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              It’s just a repeat of “But the Broncos got more offensive yardage!”

              A campaign generates a ton of statistics, but the goal is 270 to win. There’s even an election website named “270toWin”.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to George Turner
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                Well, it’s more like acting like a soccer team was terrible even though it got more goals than the other team because in the American version of soccer, the only thing that mattered was how long you had the ball on your side of the field.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jesse
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                Unfortunately I am compelled to point out that Trump literally and figuratively scored more goals in the game he was playing… the possession argument is the one being made on the Clinton side.

                But Analogies are fraught with danger, like swift rapids full of sharp blades.Report

            • Avatar gregiank in reply to Aaron David
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              If GT suggests taking away one state gives Trump the PV why not suggest taking away Texas or Florida and see what that does. Trump won in the score column that matters. But he lost the PV which has such obvious implications for his actual popularity that R’s are pretty bent about it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to gregiank
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                But again, Hillary only won 48% of the popular vote, and the popular vote doesn’t matter not just because we don’t use it, but because it’s not a good measure because we don’t use it. By that I mean we don’t know how the turnout would have been in a hypothetical popular vote contest. Once one candidate is assured of victory in a state, many voters don’t go to the polls because they already know how their state’s EC vote will go. And states vary in turnout for other reasons, such as what else is on their local ballots.

                It’s back to claiming that the Broncos won more offensive yardage. But if games were decided by offensive yardage both teams would have played very differently, and the yardage stats would have come out completely different.

                Trump didn’t bother campaigning in New York, New Jersey, California, and many other places. Many Trump supporters likely didn’t bother turning out in those states. Hillary didn’t campaign in Wisconsin. She didn’t campaign in a lot of places that turned out to be crucial.

                But then she couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t 50 points ahead.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to George Turner
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                If Trump had won the pop vote you would be touting that as proof he has a mandate. If it didn’t bother him he lost the PV he wouldn’t have lied about it. You don’t like the implications of winning the EC while losing the PV so you blow smoke around it. If he wins the PV and EC in 2020 you will tell us all how great it was he won the PV.Report

            • Avatar atomickristin in reply to Aaron David
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              I’d also like to point out that in California (just like my home state of Washington) a LOT of conservative voters don’t even bother. You know your vote will not matter, so it’s easy to stay home because you know your state’s electoral votes will always go blue. I don’t think we can know what might have happened had the vote been popular instead of electoral. There are a lot of voters in California and not all of them live in San Francisco.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to atomickristin
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                Trump got more votes in California than any other state but Texas and Florida!Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Will Truman
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                Though this was the first time in a long time (1968, I think?) that the California loser got more votes in another state.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to atomickristin
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                This works in all directions… Dems in Blue States who see it as an easy win, Dems in Red States who see it as a lost cause, GOPers in Red States who see it as an easy win, and GOPers in Blue States who see it as a lost cause.

                I agree that trying to make sense of the popular vote when the rules are other has limited usage.

                But what I struggle with is folks (not you!) who take the position that, “We have no idea what would have happened if it was a popular vote… SO OBVIOUSLY MY GUY WOULDA WON!”Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq
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        I’m tired of anti-Clinton people acting like Trump won the popular vote.

        And this comment, right here, is why Democrats can’t have nice things. Moral victories.

        As the saying goes, Hillary had just one job: to win the EC vote. She didn’t. Why should anyone give a rats behind that she won the popular vote?Report

        • Avatar gregiank in reply to Stillwater
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          You’re letting the Clinton hate get in your eyes. She lost the EC true enough. But PV tells a lot about whether the actual population supports the prez and their priorities. It should matter, but it doesn’t, regarding the parties trying to cooperate. It’s a descriptive stat that people always look at after ever election to try to understand what happened. Why should we not use that descriptive stat in this case when we have after every past election. All of C’s failures are not the answer to that.

          Or put it another way, if Clinton won the EC but lost the PV would R’s ever stop talking about it. It would be a rallying cry, a reason to fight everything, a powerful motivator for the next election and it would be shot of energy they would never put down. Heck the hyper sensitivity of Trump and the Trumpets to the fact he lost the PV should tell you that is has an actual meaning.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
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            Or put it another way, if Clinton won the EC but lost the PV would R’s ever stop talking about it.

            I don’t understand this logic at all. (Or maybe I do but find it baffling nonetheless). The purpose of a campaign is to win an election. Clinton lost. And she lost for some very identifiable reasons, including but not limited to her tactics and strategy in the Rust Belt states.Report

            • Avatar gregiank in reply to Stillwater
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              True and of course Comey and the Russians. If the R’s had lost with the PV on their side and meddling by the FBI and the Russians we would be hearing about forever and the conservatives on this site would be telling us how tainted Clinton’s victory is and the energy from their loss would be used to propel them in 18 and 20. D’s damn well should be harnessing all the energy they can get for 18 and 20 and part of that is rallying their folks with the very true line that a majority voted for Clinton ( even with all her faults).Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to gregiank
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                greg,
                How often do you think the FBI meddles?
                Really? Can you name the politicians that didn’t throw their hat in because of the FBI?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to gregiank
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                greg,
                a majority didn’t vote for clinton. she won PV on plurality alone.
                And every time someone says that they can’t do math, I lose respect for them.

                You know, like Krugman.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to gregiank
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                But if the Democrats keep that as their focus, they’ll probably run Hillary again in 2020, because Hillary is all about loyalty.

                The Democrats haven’t been doing any productive soul searching, and they face multiple dangers.

                1) Anti-Trump anarchists are becoming the public face of the “resistance”, throwing fireworks at cops, knocking out windows, and setting fires. Normal people don’t like that, and that’s how you go from 51-49 to 40-60 or 30-70.

                2) The focus on Hillary and the Presidential election removes the focus from winning state and local elections, except perhaps in the tiny blue urban areas, which again, are shoe-ins for Democrats so they don’t generate much interest. The Democrats lost a thousand seats because Obama and Hillary sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Democrats have been doing especially poorly in off-year elections.

                3) Hillary is all about loyalty, and her minions, the ones who utterly failed Democrats in 2016, still have tremendous influence in the party. They’ll be ready to purge any Democrat politician who dares to suggest that Hillary was a horrible candidate or that the Democratic primaries were rigged, and a disaster. So the rot will continue, and more Democrat voters will defect, either to the progressive/anarchist wing (see 1) or to Trump.

                4) Hillary supporters are often seen lashing out at “Bernie Bros” and others they suspect of disloyalty, and they’re so hysterical that they think Hillary’s loss is the crisis of the age. So they are quick to declare other Democrats as enemies and traitors. Well, people don’t like being the target of hateful, vicious attacks, and the progressive insistence on political and ideological purity, and their propensity to attack their own, will drive former supporters into the Republican camp.

                Some of this has been going on for a while, and it results in the 2016 precinct map, where there are tiny blue islands in a sea of red.

                The over-the-top, deranged vindictiveness, hatred, and violence will just shrink those islands, as if they’re sinking into the sea.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to George Turner
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                “Normal people don’t like that, and that’s how you go from 51-49 to 40-60 or 30-70.”

                Heck, look at 1972.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                George McGovern with the exact same coalition in 1972 would’ve either won or narrowly loss the election last year. I forget the actual numbers.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
                Ignored
                says:

                The 1972 version of George McGovern would have had the 2016 primary rigged against him.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s important to remember that McGovern was not at all a done deal. If Wallace hadn’t been shot then we might well have not even had McGovern.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary is GONE. She has no more fucking influence, the DNC is getting rid of her patsies, and I know at least one Clinton operative that’s happier ‘n hell to see her go.

                She’s too busy trying not to go to jail (or be murdered/assassinated) to have any influence to get back in with the Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                True and of course Comey and the Russians.

                Comey, in my view, is a non-starter since the whole email mess was just series of unforced Hillary errors. She brought that all on herself.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If someone hadn’t left the barn door open, there’d have been no Russians.
                If someone hadn’t botched security, there’d have been no Wikileaks.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                No Still. Just no. Clinton made plenty of errors and had plenty of faults. But that doesn’t in any way mean Comey’s behavior wasn’t inappropriate and affect the election. I think even the Official OT Numbers Guy said Comey likely had an affect and could have swung the election. We can’t just give a pass to the FBI putting a pallet of thumbs on the scales because of a flawed candidate. That is a non sequitur. The FBI needs to be better and do better or else we may end up with more thumbs on the scales again. Same thing with Russian meddling, that really is a bad thing on its own and no matter what flaws Clinton had. This is where i mentioned the Clinton hate blinding people. No matter she was, Russian meddling and the FBI are BFD’s and can’t just be ignored.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I am reminded:

                There is a scene in C.S. Lewis’s _The Great Divorce that has been sticking in my craw in the last month or so. It’s the scene where they talk about Napoleon. If you haven’t read it (you should, it’s good) it’s a discussion of Hell. Hell, Lewis explains, is a place where one’s wishes are immediately granted. The problem is that people wish for things that make them feel better without actually helping them. The narrator talks to a couple of folks who say they looked up Napoleon. They spent a year spying on him and they said that all he did was pace back and forth saying “It was Soult’s fault. It was Ney’s fault. It was Josephine’s fault.” That’s all he did. For an eternity.

                Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                greg,
                Yeah, well, fuck walker and the horse he rode in on.
                or –wait, you’re NOT talking about the elephant in the room?
                Whyever not?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I think even the Official OT Numbers Guy said Comey likely had an affect and could have swung the election.

                Comey’s letter most certainly had an effect on the election. But if not for Hillary’s unforced errors re: the private server and subsequent efforts at “damage control” – including Bill’s tarmac talk with Loretta Lynch – Comey would never have had to write it.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                See, that’s the thing. Clinton didn’t not do those things. She didn’t not have a private email server, she didn’t not collude with the DNC and the media during the campaign. The reason Comey’s letter changed anyone’s mind about anything was not Russian hacking or Republican misogyny.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                Ahem. A majority voted against Clinton. The Not Clinton vote beat Clinton by a wider margin than Clinton beat Trump.

                That’s just because of third parties of course. Obama didn’t have Johnson and Stein to contend with.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Trumwill
                Ignored
                says:

                A majority voted against Clinton. Isn’t that just a re wording of “a majority voted for Trump”? Assuming a 1 for 1, it’s effect is the same.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                No more than “a majority voted against Trump” is a re-wording of “a majority voted for Clinton”Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Autolukos
                Ignored
                says:

                But in the statement you made, neither was true, EC wise. I’m not talking about the popular vote.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Will, it wasn’t clear from the nested threads to me that you were.

                But on a side note, why? the PV doesn’t matter

                This was discussed ad nauseum post election..Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                But the post-election isn’t over yet.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                But on a side note, why? the PV doesn’t matter

                How come everybody who points out that Trump won the EC keeps falling back on this canard?Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                I certainly hope that Trump takes to heart the lesson that 46% is a reliable path to victoryReport

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Trumwill
                Ignored
                says:

                Johnson also ran against Obama in a presidential election. (And looking it up, so did Stein)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                {{Speaking of … I wonder what Jill Stein did with the $7.5 million she collected for the Wisconsin vote recount… Hmmmm….}}Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Who won Jill Stein’s money?
                Lawyers.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                You mean Ben Stein’s money?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                No, Tom won Ben Stein’s money.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              I think I get it… it’s mostly an argument about what to do next. If we could run the election 100 times, Trump might in fact only win 2 or 3 of those times. That’s shocking bad luck. The next election will require slight adjustments and better execution on solid fundamentals… and should be quite winnable.

              If your hypothetical election simulator generates victories 95% of the time, why panic, why change? Stay the course.

              As a non-Democrat, I can’t really argue with that logic.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I get that part: the platform is fiiiine.

                The part I don’t get is that the national PV total isn’t (or shouldn’t be…) part of the analysis you just presented re: what to do going forward. Vote totals in relevant swing states, on the other hand, is.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I hear you… but that’s the touchy part of the “platform is fiiiiine” part. Do you redo the simulation with 2 visits to Wisconsin or do you start to adjust the message. If I’m reading the subtext right (and quite likely I’m not) there is a lot invested in the former being the answer.

                In the real world it will be both, of course… but I’m sensing disproportionate angst about touching the messaging. Which, incidentally, links back to the DCCC stuff and the illuminating comments I received about trust and fear of the Democratic party center and peripherals.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem with using the PV is it mischarachterizes the fundamentals. There is a sleight of hand in looking at Clinton’s total vote margin over Trump because it assumes a two person race and neither major party candidate got half of the vote. The increase in third-party votes was clearly a result of problems with the candidates personally, and not the harbinger of increasing non-aligned ideological strength.

                I calculate the fundamentals of the election as follows:

                RPresFundamentals = #TrumpVotes, plus #Johnson(2016)Votes, minus #Johnson(2012)Votes, plus#McMullin Votes

                DPresFundamentals = #ClintonVotes, plus #Stein(2016)Votes, minus #Stein(2012)Votes

                (If’s not clear what I’m doing there with Johnson and Stein, I’m considering the 2012 vote totals as Greens and Libertarians that shouldn’t be expected to vote for either major party going forward)

                Totals:

                RPresFundamentals = 66,929,863
                DPresFunadmantals = 66,791,105

                Close enough to be considered a tie, but I think this shows two things. Clinton’s popular vote margins are mostly built on third-party defections on the right and these defections might be from voters least available to Democrats. In any event, even if the Democrats could gain these votes, they are most located in noncompetitive states like Utah. Republican votes are more efficiently spread in the electoral college system, as is its internal split.Report

            • Avatar atomickristin in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Again, additionally we can’t know what would have happened if the media would not have been SO emphatic that she had it buttoned up, and also if the vote was popular and not EC. Everything would have changed. People who didn’t bother to vote would have come out of the woodwork (and many of them very well may have been Hillary voters) and others who live in blue states would have voted or voted differently.

              There is absolutely no way to know and I think the assumption that Hillary would have still won the popular vote is not proven.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to gregiank
            Ignored
            says:

            “Or put it another way, if Clinton won the EC but lost the PV would R’s ever stop talking about it.”

            And they would be wrong to do so. So what?Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          @stillwater

          I agree and disagree. But it is a strong point. We are at a strong demographic sea change in the United States. The nation is becoming less white, less male, and less rural. But maybe not at a fast enough clip to give the Democrats an edge in elections now.

          But I don’t know how to read George’s comments in any way other than stating blue states don’t count and even more insidiously, people of color are less American than white Americans.

          I am not anti-Bernie but the truth is that Bernie had a hard time connecting with the real base of the Democratic Party which is women in their 30s-50s and people of color of all ages. The Bernie base of the Democratic Party is still just a large minority within the party and probably not a plurality, certainly not a majority.

          Even if HRC did not win, Bernie would have a hard time against a more mainstream Democrat like Booker or Brown or Gildebrand.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            This is a person who quotes a 12C differential due to the urban heat island effect. And then says the EPA is alarmist for saying so.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kimmi
              Ignored
              says:

              EPA.gov/heat-islands/heat-island-impacts

              Air temperatures in cities, particularly after sunset, can be as much as 22°F (12°C) warmer than the air in neighboring, less developed regions.

              Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, george, I read exactly what you said. That’s fine, in so far as someone has a thermometer somewhere that measured that.

                It’s not “the heat island effect is 12C on a climatological basis.”

                When questioned on this,you could have simply said “radiative heating effects from blacktop” — in which case I’d have said, “okay, sure.”

                PS. Heat Island doesn’t always exist. Take Arizona for one.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Bernie had a majority of the people who wanted to vote in the primary. Whether you like it or not.

            Base doesn’t mean “not terribly interested sheeple” unless you really want to just Fucking Say It — The Democrats are A Machine, and You’ll Like Who We Tell You To.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            But I don’t know how to read George’s comments in any way other than stating blue states don’t count and even more insidiously, people of color are less American than white Americans.

            I don’t think George is suggesting anything quite so extreme, myself. I think his point about the PV vote argument is that it constitutes a bit of goal-post shifting on the part of Hillary supporters. The metric by which victory is determined is number of EC votes, so both campaigns’ strategies were to win EC votes in specific battleground states at the expense of racking up higher PV numbers in solidly red/blue states. And personally I agree with that view.

            On the other hand, tho, and bringing this back to Trumwill’s OP, one of the arguments presented in Shattered is that the Clinton campaign made a tactical decision during the primary to align her campaign more closely with the interests of black and hispanics (on the premise that doing so would knock Bernie outa the race early in the run) which backfired by alienating white voters. And that dynamic persisted throughout the general. The conclusion is that she made a very poor tactical decision which revealed either that she didn’t understand the political dynamics in play or was incapable of overcoming that dynamic given her political commitments and history. In any event, Hillary herself made a strategic choice to value black/minority votes more than white votes, a decision which bit her during both the primary (Michigan) and in the general (Michigan again!).Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              That is one of the best analysis of the whole thing @stillwater Bravo.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              I do think that HRC should have campaigned more in the states Will mentioned above and made a mistake by not doing so.

              I do think there is a tension because blacks and Hispanics are the base of the Democratic Party and I do think a lot of people voted for Trump because he said the quiet parts loud and lots of people do want the GOP to be the party of white identity (which binds more than money for millionaires and billionaires).Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Happy to hear you sticking up for the pro-torture wing of the Democratic Party.

                Judging by your comments on other threads, you consider them despicable for corporal punishment (apologies if I’m exaggerating a touch), but we need to cater to them anyway.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Well said.

                Of course Trump and all the others, IIRC, were all in the same camp, to various degrees.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Damon,
                I believe in helping people. That may make me a leftie, sure, but if helping someone means slamming a door in their face, well, sign me up!Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              I think that both the Republican and Democratic Party have issues regarding their base not exactly matching up to the general electorate. The Republican base is older, white, more Christian, and and less urban than the general electorate. They increasingly need to rely on constitutional hardball tactics to win elections. The Democratic base is women between their 30s and 50s and people of color like Saul said but this group is not really reflective of the general electorate either.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              On the other hand, tho, and bringing this back to Trumwill’s OP, one of the arguments presented in Shattered is that the Clinton campaign made a tactical decision during the primary to align her campaign more closely with the interests of black and hispanics (on the premise that doing so would knock Bernie outa the race early in the run) which backfired by alienating white voters.

              This is a great comment. The only thing with which I would quibble is that the Clinton campaign made less a decision of align with the interests of blacks and Hispanics and more a decision to appear to align with those interests. That is, they chose to align with the interests of a certain kind of left-of-center, intersectional, cosmopolitan brand of progressiveness. And that brand of progressiveness is incredibly alienating to people who aren’t a part of it and not just white people.

              And that leads to the uncovering a paradox at work here. The Republican agenda is increasingly exclusive, but their messaging has become increasingly populist. On the other hand, the Democratic agenda is more inclusive, but it’s messaging is increasingly exclusive. The Clinton campaign was emblematic of this, from its bizarre choice of slogan to the tendency of its surrogates to simply assume the moral high ground and condemn anybody who criticized HRC as some kind of reactionary misogynist.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                There seems to be some tension here between your point about HRC’s campaign only appearing to align with minority voters and the second half in which you suggest a disconnect between Democratic messaging and policy. What policy difference would there have been between a Sanders and Clinton administration, after all? Other things being equal, I would think that Sanders would be more dovish while making bigger domestic policy promises than Clinton’s domestic policy promises, neither of which would get anywhere with a GOP House.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                My comment wasn’t about the difference between Clinton and Sanders. My comment was about how Democrats presume what black and Hispanic interests are versus what they really are. And the first step in resolving that tension is to realize that there simply is no such thing as “black and Hispanic interests.”

                My go to example of this sort of thing is always school choice. The interest groups that make up the Democratic base, the teachers’ unions, the NEA, the left-of-center education policy wonks, even the NAACP are all anti-school choice, many going so far as to claim that supporting school choice is always nothing more than a disingenuous exercise in giving tax breaks to rich people, handing over education to corporate profit-mongers, or providing backdoor public funding to churches and other religious groups. And yet, the majority of black voters and black parents support school choice.
                Once you get past the level of slogan, there is an inherent contradiction in the official Dem position on this issue.

                When you find yourself in that sort of position, you generally have two choices about how to resolve that sort of contradiction. One is to construct a “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” story that says the folks who disagree have been hoodwinked into going against their own interests (which just happen to be your own interests, but that couldn’t possibly be important). The other is to see that there are nuances in play that are not fully captured by your own position and undertake an honest assessment of that position. The Dems have continued to do the latter. And I believe that it has been to their detriment.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                POC’s are represented throughout the D’s and have a lot of voice. They actually have a say in what the D policies are. They are actors not just the acted upon. Of course the D’s have problems with listening to the various voices in their coalition and listen to far more of the corporate ones then i would wish. And lord knows D pols are far far far from perfect. But there are POC pols in the D’s so the general D establishment does sort of know what a lot of POC’s want.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                All of that is completely orthogonal to the points I made in my comments.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                On other blogs the Democratic Party is seen as being too supportive of school choice. My take is that the Democratic Party is between a rock and a hard place with school choice. Many parts of the Democratic base support school choice and other parts are deeply suspicious of school choice and believe it doesn’t work. Most Democratic politicians have to walk a line between the two groups.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                Up until this past year or so I could understand the complaint. Then some switch flipped and now Cory Booker et al seem to have been put on notice.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                The institutional Democratic Party does seem to be turning against school choice as a matter of policy even though parts o the base might still want it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                I would dispute that the Democrats agenda is more inclusive. They have become increasingly intolerant, and lately said all Democrats have to support abortion. Well, they can kiss lots of very Catholic Hispanics goodbye. They’re inclusive of people who agree with them on all issues.

                The contradictions in progressive thought, it’s fixation on not just first world problems, but elitist first world problems, has left them blind to a great many problems. On the hierarchy of needs, they’re working on free tuition (paid for by taxing working people who don’t go to college), trans-fat bans, an end to plastic shopping bags, a letting women with penises use the girl’s showers. Trump was out talking to working class Americans about why their factories closed, why their main street businesses got boarded up, how their kids are getting hooked on heroin and Oxycontin, and how they are constantly having their religious rights walked on while Democrats insult them and insult them and insult them.

                The Democrats respond with more out-of-touch virtue signalling, pretending they care when they don’t, and that has rotted their party and their “movement”. They can’t keep calling ordinary people bigoted racist misogynists and then turn around and expect those people to vote for them. And this doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest, because they’d rather not be supported by racists.

                They are perhaps in a behavior death-spiral, like a sorority girl who spends so much of her time sanctimoniously berating everyone else that she fails to notice she’s running out of friends. But the media and Hollywood are so cocooned in their safe little bubbles, seemingly surrounded by like-minded people, that they don’t see that bubble contracting, and it will keep contracting until it ends somewhere in the Bronx or Van Nuys.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Are there any pro-choice R’s? I have no idea.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Lots. Many Republican governors are pro-choice, as are quite a few Republican Senators, such as Senators Collins, Capito, and Murkowski, who are members of various “Republicans for Choice” groups. Most of the Republicans I know are pro-choice.

                I’m actually anti-choice but pro-abortion. I think we already have too many kids, little punks who are always looking to take our jobs. Frankly, we can import all the kids we need, and import them after they’re finished with school in their home countries, so American parents start getting a pay-in instead of getting hit with the staggering costs of child care. It’s basically the Angelina Jolie method of reproduction.

                But nobody listens to me.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh it’s very understandable not to listen to you. If most of the R’s you know are pro-choice then you live in an odd bubble.

                And there have been personally anti abortion but pro choice D’s. Like lots of them. So what do the parties actually do on choice? One pushes for more choice and one for less.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I just don’t currently hang out with all that many highly religious Republicans.

                I think one good way to push for more choice is to give the father the right to terminate the pregnancy, along with perhaps siblings, parents, and close friends. That would multiply the number of choices being made.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                On the hierarchy of needs, they’re working on free tuition (paid for by taxing working people who don’t go to college), trans-fat bans, an end to plastic shopping bags, a letting women with penises use the girl’s showers. Trump was out talking to working class Americans about why their factories closed, why their main street businesses got boarded up, how their kids are getting hooked on heroin and Oxycontin, and how they are constantly having their religious rights walked on while Democrats insult them and insult them and insult them.

                On the hierarchy of needs, Trump was working on more tax cuts for millionaires (paid for by shredding healthcare subsidies and blowing up the deficit), having to press 1 for English, people not saying “Merry Christmas”, letting pharmacists withhold prescriptions from people they don’t like, and how you can’t make gay jokes anymore without people thinking you’re an asshole. Hillary was out talking to working class Americans about why their factories closed, how they can get retrained and get their kids taken care of long enough to look for a job, how a whole generation of college students is drowning in lifelong college debt, and the abysmal state of relationships between minorities and police. Isn’t this fun?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary didn’t speak to a single working class American, unless of course you count Omar Mateen’s dad, but I’m not sure if he’s working class or just a Taliban supporting welfare leech. The reason their factories closed was that Hillary sold them to the Russians in return for ten million or so in donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. The wouldn’t need retraining if she hadn’t thrown them in the unemployment line to get a bunch of bribe money to pay for her private jet or her four mansions, which is an amazing amount of wealth considering that neither she nor her husband has ever had a real job. They’re just grifters.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                @george-turner

                You are either completely disingenuous, live in a fantasy land, but this is pure hackery.

                Anyone can say anything but their actions speak louder.

                Did Trump and Bannon say some anti free trade and factory closing down stuff? Sure. But their actions and plans are basic bog standard Republicanism with super tax cuts for the rich that never worked at said goals.Report

              • Avatar NoPublic in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary spoke to me. So there’s one lie.
                And a few hundred other folks in Wisconsin.
                Where she never campaigned (yeah right).Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Elections now, or possibly elections in the future. As whites become a minority they may begin voting as a bloc. Or Hispanics could become “white” as time progresses. The urbanization could be made moot if Democrats alienate suburbanites and people who live in smaller metropolii.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
              Ignored
              says:

              Democrats do well in smaller cities too. Even small cities in red states tend to swing blue like Boise or Missoula.

              I suspect it will be a while before Hispanics become white. Right-wingers seem okay with letting Asians be “white” but that doesn’t seem to be working right now especially with younger Asian-Americans.

              Suburbs is such a vague term but it seems to me that there are blue suburbs and there are red suburbs. Blue suburbs tend to be closer to the cities and more educated/professional. Republicans alienate plenty of suburban women with their talk too especially regarding abortion, birth control, and women’s health. How many GOPers have blown their own feet off by making a comment on women’s issues like this is 1942?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re just sure that every one of those eggs is going to hatch, aren’t you?

                That Democrats are doing okay with certain groups now is no assurance that this will continue to be the case. I remember when Democrats did fine with WWC outside the South!

                Elections are won and lost in the suburbs. That some are red (those in red states) and some are blue (those in blue states) is an indication that the suburban vote is not locked up.

                Florida has seem quite the demographic sea change and it’s more Republican than it was 16 years ago.

                The future can unfold in more than one way. Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Precisely…

                My hunch is that Trump will set-back realignment from a Republican perspective; but that realignment is up for grabs. Whether the Democratic party pivots out of the Left/Right Identity strategy and into an Up/Down economic strategy is to be determined.

                I think the party that can execute that pivot first and effectively will make us wonder what politics used to be. Who will do it first? No idea. On this I think Douthat and Millman are both ahead of the curve.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Saul Degraw
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            says:

            We are at a strong demographic sea change in the United States. The nation is becoming less white, less male, and less rural. But maybe not at a fast enough clip to give the Democrats an edge in elections now.

            While this is true, a couple of other shorter-term trends seem likely to me to be more important for the next 20 years. Clinton didn’t suddenly lose in WI, MI, and PA out of nowhere. Over the last dozen or so years those state have become less reliably blue at lower levels. If you consistently lose ground in the state legislature, governor’s seats, and Congressional delegation, you’re likely to eventually lose the EC votes as well.

            The (D)s did well in two parts of the country this last time: the NE urban corridor and the West. I expect any DNC postmortems to ignore the West, or at best ignore it except California as a source of dollars, rather than asking if the (D)s growing clout in the West* indicates things the party should be trying nationally. Small but worth noticing, the current numbers for reapportionment after the 2020 census suggest to me that the (D)s will gain three House seats in the West and at best hold their own in the NE urban corridor.

            * When I talk about gains in the West, I include things done by ballot initiative measures that the (D)s should favor: independent redistricting, marijuana liberalization, vote-by-mail, minimum wage.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain
              Ignored
              says:

              @michael-cain

              I know you are on the West cri de Coeur but I don’t see the Democrats as ignoring the West. Thought the Democrats always seem to be the party of can’t do right in the eyes of everyone. The thing about the states we lost in 2016 is they are going in the opposite direction and becoming whiter, older, and more Evangelical than the nation overall.

              We did better in some red states than normally but not enough to turn those states purple or blue yet.

              I don’t think Marijuana legalization plays as well in Iowa as it does in Montana.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe not more evangelical!

                Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                What does reasonably mean in this context? It is doing a lot of heavy lifting.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                My read is that he means it’s not the driving force behind their politics the same way that it is in other regions. (Well, one region in particular.) Or, put another way, Trump’s lack of religiosity may have actually helped him rather than hurt him with the WWC in the region.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think Marijuana legalization plays as well in Iowa as it does in Montana.

                Montana voters have approved medical marijuana — not recreational — twice through ballot initiatives. The second time was after the legislature pretty much gutted the first initiative. MM polls at about 80% favorable among Iowans — if they had ballot initiatives, it would be a shoo-in. It’s apparently not important enough to get the voters to kick enough Iowa House Republicans out of office, though; an MM bill passed the Iowa Senate this year by 45-5, but is expected to die in the House.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Saul,
                PA is old, sure. White? Sorta kinda. But evangelical? wtf? Quaker State, and if not Quaker, Mennonite.And if not Mennonite, Catholic.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                If you use “evangelical” as a synonym for “anti-women’s right to choose her own sexual destiny” and “magical sky fairy”, then evangelical, quaker, mennonite, and catholic (why did you use capitals on those?) are all pretty much the same thing.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Mennonites and Quakers aren’t prolife (or at least they’re softly enough that it doesn’t matter).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Quakers famously escort women into Family Planning clinics but they still believe that they have a peace obligation or whatever the crap they believe toward the fetus. It’s just not as great as the one they have to the woman (which is great enough that they are obliged to protect her on her way into the clinic).

                That peace obligation? Pro-life right there.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jay,
                Quakers are strange ducks, sure. (Is there any denomination that’s truly willing to balls out say they are pro choice?)Report

          • Avatar atomickristin in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Honest question – why do you assume that minorities are, by their very nature, and forever more shall be Democratic voters?Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to atomickristin
              Ignored
              says:

              @atomickristin

              Anecdote, reading, and observation.

              I generally agree that in a sane and/or ideal country issues of minority status would not effect where one is on the political status but we don’t live in a sane and/or ideal political country. We live in a country where the GOP has gone so far to the right on social issues and/or courting the Religious Right regarding religion, that it is hard for them to court minority members who are otherwise fiscally conservative.

              Jesse said this above, a secular and fiscally conservative party could do very well in a lot of blue cities. I could see a European Center Right party doing well among college graduates and professionals in cities. But as Jesse also noted, the European center-right parties have generally given up on trying to reverse the social changes of the 1960s and are generally cool with secular lives.

              The late Julian Bond famously noted that the GOP would be competitive with African-Americans if they just moderated their stance on affirmative action somewhat because there is a natural conservatism in the African-American community.

              But none of this has happened. Instead you have a GOP that courts the Religious Right endlessly for policies regarding science (climate change and evolution denialism), sex education (abstinence-only), and minority rights in general are approached with disdain and stepping on landmines and a knee-jerk reaction to defend offensive and mocking statements as anti-PC.

              The GOP has largely decided that they will be the party of white identity and as long as this is a strong faction, it does and will repel many women and minorities include minorities who are well-to-do financially.

              I know people who are minorities who are not super-liberal when it comes to economics and the welfare state. They might even be skeptical of the Welfare State but they don’t vote GOP because they see the GOP as constantly embracing people who want to discriminate against them or worse.

              There is also the issue that a lot of GOP policies might be racially neutral on their face but have a disparate impact of minorities re criminal justice and the war on some people who use some drugs or cutting the welfare state.

              There is also the fact that people who have faced discrimination in the past tend to have long memories that makes them sympathetic to other oppressed groups. Jewish-Americans are one of the wealthiest group of Americans but they are also Democratic loyalists because of our history of discrimination has created a firm commitment to civil rights for minorities and the importance of a welfare state is deeply rooted in Judaism. The only other group that is more loyal to the Democratic Party is African-Americans.

              California is an app example here. The GOP used to be dominant in California and they controlled the Governorship of California for most of my life on earth. Now they are a rump party because they moved to the right and did not understand or care to adapt to the demographic changes occurring in this state. Pete Wilson’s campaign against undocumented immigrants was successful at the time but more or less soured Hispanics on the GOP and now the state is basically a Democratic super-majority.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                +1

                The reason why Hispanic’s and Asian’s vote 70-30 and African-American’s vote 90-10 isn’t because the Democrat’s are great, but because of the actions of the GOP to viciously slap away any chance at minority votes consistently.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      HW? Do you not know who that man was?
      He’s our closest analog to Putin, for god’s sake!Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      “she was actually looking for pragmatic solutions for real-world problems”. That was her message. The message was received. By me. By Will. By millions others. There is not sharpening that message. That message is, to me, a really good message.

      I don’t think she does well in media. She has baggage and if this book is to be believed, she’s not a great administrator. There have been presidents with bigger flaws.

      If you are unhappy that she lost, I think the people most responsible for that are the people that voted for the other guy.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Mistakes and misconceptions made go uncorrected. In some cases because the people on the campaign themselves miss it, but in others because they follow incentives where loyalty is conflated with support for a given course of action.

    To the extent that those who polled “undecided” were not, in fact, undecided seems to indicate that this particular problem has bled out into the wider culture.Report

  10. Avatar Autolukos
    Ignored
    says:

    Good Dave Weigel piece on a case where Clinton loyalists seem to have a point in blaming others.

    Looking forward, while I think that Generic Democrat would probably have beaten Trump 2016 comfortably, I’m not sure that Incumbent Trump will be particularly easy to unseat.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Autolukos
      Ignored
      says:

      The media is full of people that believe in dog whistles, its not what is said but what should be inferred.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Autolukos
      Ignored
      says:

      The DNC had best do a public autopsy and *SOON*.

      If they don’t, it’ll be left in the hands of enthusiastic amateurs.

      The closest thing that I’ve heard about wrt an autopsy is that article we read the other day that did an autopsy on how and where money was spent… but that’s it. If they don’t know why it happened, it’s a hell of a lot more likely to happen again.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        How would you go about doing a meaningful public autopsy? You’d need the experts who got it wrong to interview the others who got it wrong, admit they got it wrong, write it down, then implement it. This kind of thing may be better argued out around a million dinner tables and chat rooms.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          The Republicans managed a surprising autopsy in 2012.

          Of course, Trump sort of knocked the autopsy out and made it wake up in a cheap hotel room in a bathtub full of ice and missing a kidney… but they did it. It pointed fingers. It pointed out that “So and so made a mistake!” rather than “mistakes were made…”

          It’s theoretically possible to do and theoretically possible to do well.

          I don’t know how expensive it would be but, surely, it wouldn’t be *THAT* expensive.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The full quote as originally reported was

        I think President Obama, like many others in both parties, talks about a set of big national statistics that look shiny and great but increasingly have giant blind spots,” she says. “That GDP, unemployment, no longer reflect the lived experiences of most Americans. And the lived experiences of most Americans is that they are being left behind in this economy.

        Which is a different thing than saying Barrack Obama doesn’t understand the lived experience of most Americans.

        Now, you can still say that, a few weeks after the March For Science, are we supposed to ignore hard data and time series statistics, and instead go with anecdotes and our guts?

        But she’s not quite painting Obama as out of touch, like Twitter is thinking she did.

        (This kind of media malpractice is how we got Trump)Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          Hey, I’m not even intending to argue about the coverage of what Warren said as much as pointing out that she’s sort of wandering off of the reservation. So to speak.

          If the DNC does not do a dispassionate analysis of what went wrong, which Cassandras ought to have been listened to, which Cassandras were right to have been ignored, and where the process itself broke down and failed, it will be left in the hands of those outside of the process.

          And *THAT* is the thing that is most likely to result in another 2016 in 2020.

          “But we won the popular vote!”, people can scream.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            In one of my previous lines of work, a main part of the job was sitting around a table and saying ‘OK what went wrong’.

            So I’m a fan of that process and that mindset.

            But there’s also the thing about fighting the last war. The players, the characters, the terrain are all going be different in 3 years (just as they were different 5 and 9 years ago) so there is indeed limited value in dissecting the corpse, if you’re trying the prevent the next casualty. Everything is going to be different.

            Which is a different thing than saying it’s satisifying to dissect that corpse – it’s just probably not an efficient use of the time of the professionals. And we way overestimate the power of amateurs in the narrative, despite what Trump seems to have wrought.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
              Ignored
              says:

              if you’re trying the prevent the next casualty. Everything is going to be different.

              While it’s certainly true that all of the players will be different (except for the consultants, for some reason), if the *PROCESS* is not analyzed, the same process mistakes will be made again.

              Something as simple as a rumpled guy in front of a whiteboard saying “Lessons Learned” as he writes the same is an important part of avoiding the biggest eff-ups next time.

              Hell, I’m not even saying that everything has to be perfect. I’m just saying that if we find ourselves tempted to give a “Basket of Deplorables” speech in 2019, we should have someone on the team whose job it is to clear zher throat and say “we should *NOT*, in fact, do that.”

              Or whatever example you feel I should have given there that would have been more incisive.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kolohe
              Ignored
              says:

              The most likely problem is that the Democrats won’t due a proper autopsy because the people doing the autopsy should be the corpses on the table.

              Hillary’s inner circle, along with Pelosi, Schumer, and the rest, will make sure they’re still in charge, even though they were the root and heart of the failure.

              The same people who rigged the primaries for Hillary will still be in place, and will still do the same things, and still make the same mistakes. Their messaging will still be tone-deaf and alienating. They will still rely on personal attacks against Trump. They will still rely on identity politics. They will still fail to offer anything but condescension to middle America, including the Rust Belt.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jay,
        Well, I know the guy what did the autopsy of the funding chains for Clinton’s “After the Election” protestors. I don’t think he’s exactly an amateur, of course.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Autolukos
      Ignored
      says:

      For what it’s worth, I think a lot of Clinton complaints involving the media are legitimate. Especially the handling of the Comey matter. But… (and of course there’s a “but”)… my views can be summed up in this three-tweet thread:

      I plan to make no predictions about 2020 until we get closer in, except to say that I think the outcomes are more-or-less limited to Trump winning re-election, Trump losing re-election, or Trump not being on the ballot. One of those three seems very likely.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s a good thread.

        Mostly, I find it frustrating how hard it can be to get people to acknowledge two things that seem obvious to me (Clinton was a bad candidate, and not everything that determines the fate of a campaign is in the hands of the candidate).Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Autolukos
          Ignored
          says:

          I dunno. I think everyone acknowledges the latter, and failure to acknowledge the former seems like a good litmus test.Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Autolukos
          Ignored
          says:

          [I agree] Not everything was Clinton’s fault:

          1) Not campaigning in Wisconsin made no difference to the outcome because winning Wisconsin would not have changed the outcome.

          2) In many states, Clinton got more votes than the Senate Democratic candidate, including Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

          3) The hollowing out of the Democratic Party at the local level mainly occurred in 2010, and that’s not on her.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            If we can’t blame Clinton for everything, how can we feel smug and correct?Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            1) The thing about #1 is that it wasn’t about the specific fact she didn’t go to Wisconsin. It was about the fact that she ran a campaign that didn’t put her there. It’s an indicator.

            2) The senate candidates weren’t running against Donald Trump. People look at the bad breaks she might have gotten, but she got the mother-load of good breaks. Lost anyway. (Also, those races each featured incumbents.)

            3) Agreed, depending on what we’re talking about. There were (allegedly) resources on the grounds to be deployed, but no direction given (even things as simple as having fliers to hand out). One of the more quizzical aspects of the thing was how tight-fisted the Clinton campaign was. For a fundraising juggernaut, they couldn’t seem to afford to do much. It intimated early on that this was an HRC hangup – feeling like she spent too much in 2008 – but there wasn’t a smoke-em-while-you-got’em rush at the end like I was expecting.Report

          • Avatar atomickristin in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            Not everything was Clinton’s fault #2:

            1)The smugness of the media and celebs was huge and should not be underrated. Freddie DeBoer was begging John Oliver and Lena Dunham to STFU just before the election, and this mattered to people more than many realize.

            2)Cultural liberalism, bordering on licentiousness, has gone too far too fast for quite a few people. It’s at least in part why some minorities voted Trump and others simply stayed home and didn’t vote at all. Quite a lot of voters actually do care about things like family, hard work, and religion and are personally socially conservative even if they have always voted Democrat. This includes quite a few people in cities, it is not a rural/urban divide. People see self-professed liberals glorifying things they find kind of icky and are responding to that, because the Democrats have seemed to move SO far to the left there is no place for those who are more old fashioned.Report

            • Avatar Jesse in reply to atomickristin
              Ignored
              says:

              1.) Freddie DeBoer should stick to education policy instead of his seemingly endless cause to decide who is and isn’t a real leftist. There are smug liberals, there are smug conservatives – I point to noted socialist Conor Friesendoef’s recent article in The Atlantic –
              (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/what-the-smug-liberals-critique-leaves-out/525189/)

              2.) Sure, and the Pill was too far for a lot of people in 1962. Then, those people died off. Economic justice without social justice isn’t justice. I’d rather the party be too quick rather than too slow when it comes to the individual rights of people to act as they wish in their own homes and bedrooms.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jesse
                Ignored
                says:

                Jesse,
                2) Yeah. But you ain’t talking about the rights of people in their homes and bedrooms when you’re talking about transsexuals. You’re talking about their rights in public spaces. That’s a hell of a lot more “in yo face”Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            Serious question:

            Why does campaigning in a given state matter? This is 2017… why do you need to see a candidate in person? How many people even goto these events? Or is this even more about feelz and signaling? Does going to Wisconsin actually convince Wisconsinians that Clinton is a superior candidate? Or does it make them feel like she cares about them and their interests?Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Hillary’s people no doubt wondered the same thing.

              Trump knew it was about listening. He also filled stadiums and had people lined up outside.

              Hillary did a morning event in a Florida bar and only about three people showed up.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Which doesn’t really answer my question.

                I’m not arguing whether it does or doesn’t matter. I’m answering *why* it matters. The closest you came to answering that is because Trump (pretended to) listen. Okay, I get that.

                But let’s not pretend like that isn’t all about feelz and signaling. It’s okay. You can say that. You won’t turn to stone.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                For one thing, Trump constantly brought local people up on stage and lets them tell their stories. He also delivered a unique speech every time. He’d just start talking and roll with it. Few candidates can do that, and Hillary certainly can’t. Heck, the Podesta dump showed that large teams of people would debate the inclusion of almost anything she said.

                The result was that lots of people felt Trump had their back. That he cared deeply about the devastation in their communities. Then Hillary referred to half the country as irredeemable, a basket of deplorables, and that was pretty much game over.

                But take heart, because some genius just posted the best thing on the Internet, a mash up of Star Wars and Sgt. Peppers. Someone should probably write a review of it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “All Politics Is Local” is a quote from Tip O’Neill.

                That said, let’s go back to the triad we used prior to the election.

                There are three types of people.
                1. People who, if they vote, will vote for you no matter what
                2. People who, if they vote, will vote for your opponent no matter what
                3. People who, if they vote, could go either way

                Showing up and campaigning in person helps to energize the #1s and make sure that more of them show up to vote than would otherwise. Sure, some of them will show up and vote for you no matter what, but you want to maximize this number.

                If the other guy doesn’t show up and your guy does, you have the ability to argue “your guy doesn’t care about you but my guy cares about me.” That can carry a sting and get the other guy to be too busy on election day to show up to vote for his guy. Too many things to do. “I live in a state predestined to go a certain way anyway.”

                As for the third group, someone who could go either way could be impressed by the candidate who showed up and unimpressed with the candidate who failed to show up.

                All in all, showing up to campaign is a great way to nudge all three groups in the direction you want them to go in.

                But let’s not pretend like that isn’t all about feelz and signaling. It’s okay. You can say that. You won’t turn to stone.

                I think you fail to embrace how important feelz and signaling are.

                It’s like saying “X is a social construct”. That doesn’t mean that X is now something that is gone. That doesn’t mean that X is ephemeral. It can be very, very real indeed.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                Oh no… I’m not in any way denying the importance of feelz and signaling. Instead, I’m trying to draw attention to the fact that Trump and the GOP won by leveraging things they lambasted Dems and liberals over for a long time. You don’t get to call other people snowflake and then turn around and vote for Trump because he made you feel warm and fuzzy. At least not without being a hypocrite.

                People can and should vote based on whatever criteria they want to. I won’t argue for a second there is a “correct” way to vote. But I think we should be honest with ourselves about why we are voting for particular candidates and what a particular candidate’s success means.

                Trump was good about making people feel heard. Very good. And Hillary was terrible.

                Which tells us nothing about the desirability or rightness of their policy preferences.

                But it does tell us how important feeling heard is to the voters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you misoverestimate how horrible “hypocrisy” is, as sins go.

                Sure, sometimes it’s a knockout punch. Those Republican religious leaders who were found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl? Absolutely hilarious!

                But, sometimes, it’s a distraction. The “Al Gore is Fat” kind of distraction. It doesn’t matter if Al Gore has a 14,000 square foot house and a power bill that costs more than mortgages in a lot of parts of the country.

                Global Climate Change can remain an important issue even if Al Gore’s house is 4 times the national average. It’s about the issue, it’s not about the spokesman.

                It’s important to not treat something like the second example as if it were something like the first example.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I have no problem with how these people behaved. I just hope that the next time someone who isn’t them talks about hardship, they don’t respond with comments about “snowflakes” or “feelz”.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              It at least shows the people that are working on your campaign that you care, which probably helps keep them focused and motivated, which in turn should reflect better results come game day.Report

            • Avatar KenB in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Some ideas of effects besides mere signalling:
              * The people who get to see the candidate live likely get much more pumped than they would from a video (assuming the candidate is reasonably good at getting people excited), just like a live concert is a much different experience than a recording.
              * Some of those people are or will be campaign workers who’ll then be that much more enthusiastic and motivated to do the grunt work door-to-door stuff.
              * When a candidate visits a state, s/he tailors the message to that state. So the folks there are hearing something likely more relevant to their wants & needs than a national speech would be (not to mention a speech that was delivered a different state and tailored to that one).Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              You’ve been to a live game, right? Or a concert, comedy show? That feeling you are in the midst of it, that you personally are bringing the magic, that cannot be replicated on Vid. And when the band calls out your town name “Toledo!” or “Yonkers!” or… you get it.

              But, when you are in Toledo, and they call out Yonkers…Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                @george-turner @aaron-david @kenb @kolohe

                I don’t disagree with any of that. I’m not saying that campaigning in a given area can’t have an impact.

                My argument is that campaigning as it is being described here is about much more “other stuff” than it is policy, governance, and all that jazz.

                Trump was, undoubtedly, better at the “other stuff”. No argument there.

                The problem is that we are now being told that Trump and the GOP have the right policies and the right form of governance and leadership for the American people because the American people chose their policies and leadership and governance style.

                Only… they didn’t. They chose Trump’s “other stuff”.

                Do the American people want Trumpcare? Or do they want more Trump Rallys? Right now, the data suggests the latter. But we may end up with the former.Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                we are now being told that Trump and the GOP have the right policies and the right form of governance and leadership for the American people because the American people chose their policies and leadership and governance style.

                We are? By whom?

                Sounds like your original question was rhetorical and we misintepreted it as genuine — you were just complaining that Trump won because of all the stupid people who fell for his campaign stuff.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KenB
                Ignored
                says:

                Ummm… by Trump? And many GOP supporters?

                My question was genuine indeed. I thought maybe there was something happening at rallies beyond what I understood. Maybe there was more policy talk than the soundbites showed.

                That does not seem to be the case.

                Which means that people — on either side — who vote based on whether or not a politician visited their area are likely voting on factors other than policy. Which is totally their right and in no way a mark of intelligence.

                It just means that the criteria voters are deciding on and the things we’re tasking our elected leaders with are misaligned.Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Ummm… by Trump? And many GOP supporters?

                Well sure, that’s what the winning party does. You said “now being told” as if there were someone here or some putative authority saying this, thus my question.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KenB
                Ignored
                says:

                Got it. But given that that is a very real feeling in the country today and it is being leveraged to enact policy, we can’t exactly ignore it because it hasn’t taken hold here.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem is that we are now being told that Trump and the GOP have the right policies and the right form of governance and leadership for the American people because the American people chose their policies and leadership and governance style.

                Only… they didn’t. They chose Trump’s “other stuff”.

                Democracy is horrible, it’s only saving grace is it’s better than all alternatives.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                it’s better than all alternatives.

                A lot of people think that, but only because we haven’t tried slaughtering everyone else, and me living alone on a mountaintop with a bunch of cats.

                Works for me.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            PD Shaw,
            Of course 2010 is on HER. Obama installed her picks for the DNC, and they were ALL Clinton Shills. Clinton installed people who didn’t fucking CARE about redistricting, so long as Clinton WON.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Somewhere out there there’s a commission for a donkey shaped locket with the inscription
        “278-260 love WJC”Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Autolukos
      Ignored
      says:

      @autolukos

      I do think one of the legacies of the 2016 election is that liberals and Democrats are going to distrust big media organizations as much as the right-wing does.

      A lot of liberals see the horse race style of journalism as very lazy and they think it is rich that people making six and seven figure salaries are calling HRC and the Democrats out of touch while going around on yachts with Donald Trump and posting similing pictures on facebook.

      Add to this George’s steadfast commitment to deny blue-America is their Americanness (which is common on the right and always has been) and you have even more distrust building.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that you’re right about both things, and neither one is encouraging.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        If blue-America is so American why do they keep trying to start ballot initiatives for secession?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          As if the red Americans haven’t been doing it for decades. Texas secession is so standard it doesn’t even excite comment any more.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          The only quasi-serious ballot initiative was started by a Russian funded idiot whose fled the country. I bet if you polled every single state, you’d get California-ish numbers about seceding.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          Sometime during the Obama administration, following an acrimonious debate over something, the petition part of whitehouse.gov reached a point where there was a petition demanding an Amendment to allow state X to leave for all 50 values of X. Out of curiosity I downloaded the signature counts at some point in order to make a signatures-per-capita cartogram of the states. The states that had the highest values were overwhelmingly from the Deep South and the northern part of the Great Plains (plus Delaware, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, for some reason). The top five highest-population states as of 2010 — California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas — had low values compared to their neighbors.

          All of which, both then and now, IMHO as the resident lunatic actually planning a partition, are unserious whining. None of them appear to have given any thought to critical questions about making a partition work. The same critique applies to all of the proposals by areas that want to partition individual states (eg, Colorado’s 51st State movement or the State of Jefferson group in California/Oregon). None of those that I have seen have done the first thing I think would make them semi-serious: draw up an outline for the first year’s budget for the new state.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            Any state would be insanely stupid to secede without retaining a sizable stockpile of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. The Ukraine made that mistake and look what it got them.Report

  11. Avatar Francis
    Ignored
    says:

    “A lot of liberals see the horse race style of journalism as very lazy “. Yes, and …

    What else is there? Trump had no coherent policy on any major topic from one day to the next, and b*llshitted constantly. How many times can you tell that story, when the story isn’t changing?

    HRC had a policy binder that would fill a filing cabinet but no one cared. Voters don’t vote on policy; they vote on how candidates make them feel. And she made even me cringe. But how many times can you run the story: Clinton lectures voters?

    The entire point of journalism is to point to what’s new, that day. For the American presidential campaign, the only thing that’s new on any given day is a: polling, b: travel plans, c: gaffes, and d: what some guy in a diner said.

    btw — I live in California. HRC campaigned here virtually not at all. She did fund-raise quite a bit, though.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      California and New York are too blue for campaigning but perfect for fundraising which is another problem of the electoral college.

      The horserace problem existed long before this election and I think a lot of liberals dislike it because it also means that policy does not get covered and journalists like it because who is winning is easy. Actually discussing substantive differences between the parties is hard.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        I have a play theory that if we had a NPV Hillary Clinton would have lost it because analytics and Dem conventional wisdom would have told her not to bother trying to get votes anywhere outside two coasts and Chicago.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          Will,
          Thing is, my friend told her team that she was going to lose if she didn’t campaign in the midwest. (That got him fired, no surprise).Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          Maybe against a conventional Republican but not against Trump.

          The GOP is in a tricky spot as Greg says above. They have the majority in Congress but and the White House but they also lose the popular vote again and again and this is a sore spot for them.

          It is also a problem for the Democrats and the nation overall because I don’t know how many elections we can take where one side receives the most votes but the other side gets the most seats.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      How many times can you tell that story, when the story isn’t changing?

      You can tell it once or twice, but if you tell it every time he bullshits and reminds us that he has no coherent policy, you end up looking like you’re in the tank for Clinton. Trump’s strategy from day one seems to be to have so many scandals that people start believing they’re all manufactured because, hey, nobody could possibly have that many scandals.

      If you suggested that to me a year ago, I would have laughed.Report

  12. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    Comey says classified Clinton emails were forwarded to Anthony Weiner

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-director-james-comey-begins-testimony-to-congress/2017/05/03/9e3244bc-3006-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html?utm_term=.c61b4fab6d27

    That is unpossible b/c there were no classified docs on her system.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to notme
      Ignored
      says:

      notme,
      And here you thought only Trump had spies out his ass.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to notme
      Ignored
      says:

      “Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.”

      Read that. Read it again. Then take a few seconds for it to sink in.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        “Somehow”

        “Somehow!”

        They know damn well HOW or the FBI is incompetent.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Strangely enough, the Israelis were able to get their hands on those documents.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Believe me, I did and was shocked. I shouldn’t have been but I was. I want to see her defenders rationalize this one.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
          Ignored
          says:

          {{crickets}}

          Maybe , MAYBE!, this is enough to get Clintonistas to take a deep breath, reflect on the state of play and consider what’s actually at stake, and refrain from defending Hillary on the emails anymore.

          Hahaha!Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to notme
          Ignored
          says:

          “I want to see her defenders rationalize this one.”

          They won’t; they’ll just tell us how a focus on something that may or may not have been a crime is a distraction from the real issues, like exactly what punishment is appropriate–firing or straight to jail–for school administrators who say that boys who think they might actually be girls but still dress and act like boys aren’t allowed to go pee in the girls’ bathroom.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Wait… I’m confused… we want Hillary defenders to rationalize what sounds like pretty egregiously irresponsible behavior on the part of Abedin and Weiner?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              “Hillary cannot fail, she can only be failed.”Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I kind of agree with @kazzy here. Of the various things I would ding her for, this is pretty low on the list. She didn’t do it, it wasn’t a product of her private server (could just as easily have happened on a government one), and I suspect in the overall this sort of thing is generally not that unusual and was discovered more as a matter of scrutiny than recklessness.

                The only way this dings Clinton is that Abedin was apparently not very popular with most of the campaign, people thought she was unqualified (or too influential given her qualifications) etc and this could be indicative of why they were right and Hillary was wrong. That’s pretty weak sauce.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Will,
                while it is probably the case that spies exist in the SoS office, generally they aren’t smuggling data to other spies.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, if Abedin was sending them to Weiner for him to print out so she could show them to Clinton, I’d have to assume that they weren’t being sent to/from Clinton. I don’t understand why you’d send any document to your husband to print out so you could show it to your boss, though. Or where you’d be when that made logistic sense. Were there times that Clinton was closer to Weiner’s office than she was to her own? But even that wouldn’t explain why Abedin was having her husband print them out for her. No, this doesn’t make enough sense for me to even understand it as a criminal violation.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t understand why you’d send any document to your husband to print out so you could show it to your boss, though.

                Your boss insists on having her emails printed out because she’s not good with technology and is paranoid about leaving an electronic paper trail or having electronic records.

                You, the boss’ #1 assistant, are also not good with technology.

                There are lots of people who don’t enjoy working with technology and printers. My wife has our daughter print stuff out all the time. The printer is wireless and has to be turned on and set up.

                This is a social situation rather than a technology one. It’s easier to ask someone to do something than it is to learn how to do it yourself. So… how many years do we think it went on? Presumably it lasted until the divorce or whatever.

                It’s very, very hard to picture HRC not knowing this was going on (if documents need to be printed by the assistant’s husband, then it’s an issue which will come up in conversation). She apparently didn’t care because it can’t be proven illegal in court.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                Um. Yeah. Right. Full truth is illegal as fuck, and both Abedin and Weiner would go to jail for it (Clinton too if she had knowledge… which maybe she did, and maybe she didn’t. Irresponsible, sure).Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Various things like having classified info on non secure network and then emailing those classified docs to another person’s non secure computer and accepting receipt of classified info that had been printed off on a non secure printer? Just minor stuff that would send people like us to jail for a long time? Just recently I heard about the case of a poor enlisted kid that forget about his phone and brought it inside the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility on base. They are trying to decide if they will let him reclassor just kick him out of the army since he lost his clearence. But hey it’s just a minor thing right?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Criticize Hill for the multitude of sins she did commit, not the sins of others.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I wouldn’t call any of these email-related things “sins” Kazzy. They’re all of a piece, tho, and ultimately entirely within Hillary’s control and responsibility.

                The only reason Comey didn’t bring charges against Abedin was because (para) he found no evidence that Abedin was aware that what she was doing was against the law. Which, given that Abedin had security clearance herself, is patently absurd.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me remind, for the millionth time, that the Horrible Very Bad No Good Awful Server of Sin, was a replacement for Clinton’s non-secure State email. (Something she shared with her predecessors, and until they’re raked over the coals I’m going to dismiss this as partisan BS for the obvious reason that it was very clearly okay until a Democrat did it).

                As such, Abedin undoubtedly expected all such emails to be non-classified.

                And indeed, a massive review of all 30,000 of Clinton’s emails found, what, 110 emails (or was it 110 chains?) that contained classified information at the time it was sent. The most dreadful, horrible, flagrant one being, of course, the mere act of talking about a NYT story on drones. (You can tell it’s the worst thing there, because it was what the GOP leaked to damage her).

                (Fun story: I’ve actually been on the recieving information of emails that stated, very clearly, that emailing a link to a given newspaper article would be considered ‘passing on classified material’ due to the public contents of the article).

                Quite a bit of it was things like…Clinton’s call schedule for the day. The rest were, per various testimonies, either similar to the NYT story (referencing newspaper articles that references classified subjects) or similarly low-level things.

                So, to sum up her perfidy: Over her years at State, she sent or received (mostly the later) 30,000 emails. Of which 0.36% contained information classified to, roughly, the same level as “Hey, check out this NYT article on drone strikes in Pakistan”.

                Which is, by the way, why Comey wouldn’t recommend charges. Because even the most hardened, partisan prosecutor would look at that and say “You want me to what now?”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary cannot fail, dude. I know.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                God forbid you look to your own biases.

                For the record, I voted for Obama in 2008 and didn’t want Clinton to run in 2016. Doesn’t mean I’ll swallow every piece of BS passed my way though.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                morat20,
                Do you know why the Democratic Party burnt Sanders? Why they’d rather Trump win than Bernie?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                morat20,
                not at all concerned that Israel had the e-mails a year before the FBI did?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “Hillary could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and she wouldn’t lose any of her supporters.”Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Clearly only the most blinded of partisans could disagree with you.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                …because she doesn’t have any to lose.
                She had ONE job.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                And yet…if I did that, I’d likely face a lot more legal hassle than she ended up with. I’d AT A MINIMUM be fined. You know, ‘case she was the secretary of state and I’m just a peon. Rules are for the peons.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Even that is probably not true, depending on how the material was marked and how it got to you. Unmarked classified information leaks like this from time to time because of the sheer amount of information going back and forth (which is why stuff is supposed to be clearly marked and segregated). It gets investigated, root-caused, and then somebody gets something between a talking-to and suspension of clearance / termination.

                I’m not seeing anything particularly egregious in this case. Just the usual stuff from a large organization moving lots of information around. The State Department is especially well known for leaking like a sieve, probably because of the types of people it employs and the fact that its job mixes very public work with very sensitive work.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                No you wouldn’t. *shrug*. Not that I can prove it to you, I only took training every year for a decade about classified information, and the penalties for mishandling.

                Without intent, a huge breach would get you fired. It’s unlikely you’d even be fined if you didn’t have intent. (Intent can be defined several ways).

                For instance, the email server: The intent, which no one has disputed, was to replace her non-secure State email with a non-secure private server. (“Non-secure” as in “not fit for classified material”).

                There was leakage. 0.36% of her emails contained classified data. Given the day-to-day amounts of classified email she looked at, that pretty much proves there was no intent to use it for classified data.

                So you’re looking at administrative side now — where you start with two questions “Who sent it” and “How bad was the breach?”. In general, the “sender” tends to get the vast majority of the fallout — they’re the ones who violated the firewall between systems. (As far as I can tell, Clinton was almost always the recipient of emails with classified material). That means administrative sanctions would fall mostly on others.

                At most, Clinton would be on the hook even for lesser punishment only if it could be shown she should have realized the data was classified. (When you receive classified data on a non-secure system, you’re supposed to notify security. There’s generally a reasonableness kind of standard to it, and even then the sanctions are far less than the one who sent it.)

                Second is “how bad is the breach”. Well, here we run into the fact that “it’s classified”. Luckily, we had a leaky committee during an election year. One would presume that, as they were clearly using the committee for political damage, the leaked the worst they could find.

                Which was the NYT story.

                So, to sum up: If you worked in the State department, suffered a full audit of 30,000 emails on your non-secure system, found only 110 chains (mostly with you as the recipient) with data that were deemed “classified” or better, and the worst breach was discussion over an NYT article that was “classified” because the NYT article itself was over a classified program…..

                You wouldn’t be fined, reprimanded, or even made to retake training. Whomever sent you those emails might get an audit to see if it was minor leakage or they were ignoring the rules.

                But clearly Clinton is the worst, so keep believing you’d have been fined or thrown in jail or beheaded or something. Whatever confirms your priors, right?

                Feelz before realz!Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                No. Your training never covered anything on this scale, because there’s never been anything on this scale conducted by anyone other than foreign agents or Bradley Manning. Quantity has a quality all its own, and there would be no presumption that 30,000 emails were routed to a private server in good faith.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, yes it did. We covered much larger data breaches.

                You keep using “30,000”. That was the sum total of her emails as SoS, not the sum total of ones containing classified information.

                That private server was not only [i]absolutely legal[/i], but was the sort of setup her immediate two predecessors used. Well actually more secure, because Powell used gmail.

                And I don’t see you trying to claim Powell and Rice were massive traitors who should be in jail.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                @pinky

                You keep using “30,000”. That was the sum total of her emails as SoS, not the sum total of ones containing classified information.

                According to wiki: 31,000 emails is the number she *deleted* because they were “personal”.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s always nice to let criminals clean up after themselves.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                @pinky I’m curious what you think of the recent revelation that Trump transition team was copying and removing highly sensitive documents from a SCIF. What course of action do you think would be appropriate for the GOP oversight folks to take?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                That article doesn’t seem to match your comment. I don’t know the specifics of the story, but if Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, he should be impeached, and if he’s guilty of criminal breaches of security, he should be imprisoned. Why wouldn’t I support that?Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                trizzlor: “Trump transition team was copying and removing highly sensitive documents from a SCIF”

                AP: “After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House”

                Where’s the mismatch? I’m not asking what you think should happen *if* Trump is guilty of high crimes. I’m saying that we now have a claim that the Trump transition team was acting on par or worse to the Clinton/Abedin behavior that left you in shock, and asking what you think the government should do about it.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                Bad reading skills on my part. I was pretty sleepy by the time I got to the story last night. But I still don’t see why you think it constitutes a “gotcha”. I’m not pro-Trump, and even if I were, I’d be much more pro-security. Any investigation should be done properly, and any chips should fall where they may.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s an implication to the emails narrative that Clinton did something so far beyond the pale that the voters simply could not trust her. Presumably if Trump was found to have been running a private server for classified documents it too would be the end of him. And yet we now have TWO instances where senior Trump members are grossly violating security protocol in a comparable way: at Mar-a-Lago where the president was clearly looking at classified information over dinner and the White House refuses to disclose it; and now during the transition where classified documents were being copied and removed. You would think that if the issue was proper document handling then the public would be pretty upset about this; some prominent Trumpers would criticize him like they did after Syria; there would be some kind of national conversation going on. And yet these instances have left zero mark on the news. To such extent that when you read about Abedin mishandling documents it *stopped you short*, but when you read about Trump doing it you didn’t even notice.

                My point is that maybe the public doesn’t actually care at all about document handling or email policy. Maybe Clinton has a deeply unlikeable public persona that is unlikeable in ways that voters react to; and Trump has an unlikeable persona that voters have a very easy time overlooking[1]. And if it weren’t the emails being dredged up at the last minute it would’ve been something else – Benghazi, or the Global Initiative, or Bill’s dicking around, or whatever. Or maybe she would’ve even won it by a percent or two! But that this was fundamentally going to be a close race because voters looked at the two candidates, decided who they liked with their gut, and then either excused or were outraged by their behavior to match that gut decision. I can tell you for damn sure that Justin Trudeau — who has all of Hillary’s policies without any of her experience — would have been able to shake off an email scandal in a weekend.

                [1] Not to mention the fact that these two personas line up almost perfectly with traditional sexist tropes: the venal misogynist is able to skate by on “boys being boys” excuses; the experienced, detail-oriented woman can never quite get over the impression that she’s a shrill harpy – somehow simultaneously boring and enraging.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                The Hillary email scandal magnified her biggest weaknesses and vulnerabilities. First, that she is fundamentally unlikeable and probably more important, that she was also perceived to be selling out the self-determination of the American people. That perception existed because it was true, of course.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                For instance, the email server: The intent, which no one has disputed, was to replace her non-secure State email with a non-secure private server. (“Non-secure” as in “not fit for classified material”).

                This intent is great, very benign, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard HRC claim this. Instead she had layer after layer of obfuscation, evasion, and proven false explanation… like whatever the truth was, it was so bad she couldn’t fess up.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                She didn’t want to carry two devices. State couldn’t integrate their security into her Blackberry and she really didn’t want to part with her phone.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                She didn’t want to carry two devices. State couldn’t integrate their security into her Blackberry and she really didn’t want to part with her phone.

                If that’s the extent of the situation, then Obama was correct when he said “political malpractice”. There was a drip, drip, drip of shifting stories from her, many of which turned out to not be correct.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                So rex tillerson could give up a multi million dollar retirement package but Hillary couldn’t give up a phone? Cry me a river.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                This is supposed to be a joke, right?

                Or let me ask, what leads you to believe that if in fact you do, given the extensive accounts of her history with email?Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Probably the fact that the incredibly intensive investigation of the email issue turned up evidence corroborating it and failed to turn up evidence of some other sinister motive, but obviously you’re not going to find this persuasive and will most likely insult me for seeing things in this way.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Ya’ll, it’s a matter of public record that Hillary didn’t use the State.gov email address governed by State security because they couldn’t guarantee security on her Blackberry (I think it was a Blackbery) so, because she didn’t want to give up her phone, she went with a private server and her own security.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                >>because she didn’t want to give up her phone, she went with a private server and her own security.

                One little thing happened in between: she contacted Colin Powell about how awful communication is at State and asked him what he did, and he told her that yes, indeed communication is so behind the times that it actually prevents you from doing your job as SoS and effectively responding to threats, to the extent that Powell himself just started using GMail for comms – i.e. his secure emails were literally stored and analyzed by a private company for their analysts to do with whatever the hell they wanted – and then after his tenure he just plain deleted his whole account and every single ostensibly FOIA-ble communication therein. And so Hillary went with a private server and her own security.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                And of course what Powell did was ok because he wasn’t about to run for President.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                And of course what Powell did was ok because he wasn’t about to run for President.

                Less “ok” and more like “risky”. He eliminated a safety net. That’s fine as long as there are no complications and/or nothing goes wrong.

                If he faces, or creates, additional issues (say, he’s the head of a charity that’s accepting money from Russian gangsters while doing favors for them in his public office), then his email situation would look like a way to avoid controls and defeat investigation.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                trizz,

                Absolutely. Well, sorta absolutely. I don’t think Clinton engaged in any illegal activity by having her own server. She didn’t even violate established norms at the time. My criticism of her, from the beginning of this whole mess, is restricted to the political aspects of how she handled it. For example, her total answer when initially asked about why she didn’t use the State.gov email system was because State couldn’t guarantee security on her Blackberry, a phone which she wanted to keep, and that she didn’t want to carry two devices. (Turns out she actually DID carry two devices – her phone and an Ipad, but whatevs.)

                So, put that answer in context. She’s already perceived by the right and lots of moderates as dishonest and secretive, there’s an issue regarding the possibility of either being hacked or illegally sharing classified information, and her total justification for a system which by its very existence confirms people’s worst beliefs about her, is that she didn’t want to carry two devices. That smacks of evasion (for those disinclined to believe her) and being patronized to (for those who might have been inclined to support her).

                If the fact that State security sucked fully generally was the actual reason for her actions then why didn’t she express that view when initially quizzed by reporters about the topic? Wouldn’t that have been a more politically palatable explanation, in part because it’s (presumably) true? At every turn in the development of the scandal her actions and responses to straight forward questions reinforced and often amplified the perception that something elicit, if not illegal, had transpired, or that she viewed voters and the public generally with a high level of disregard.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                At every turn in the development of the scandal her actions and responses to straight forward questions reinforced and often amplified the perception that something elicit, if not illegal, had transpired, or that she viewed voters and the public generally with a high level of disregard.

                Well, maybe, but she certainly viewed the press with a high level of disregard, and no wonder. That was her critical weakness. Not generalized unpopularity, not bad campaign management, not email server management follies—two decades of incredibly toxic, two-sided metaphorical warfare between her and the Washington press corps.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re gonna have to disagree on that. Her antagonistic relationship with the DC press corp is of a piece with her generalized unpopularity, her incompetence at running a political campaign, her inability to get in front of or even minimally defuse the email scandal. She’s a bad politician. (She’s not all that good on policy, either, in my opinion.) Which isn’t her fault, of course. Just who she is.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah I agree.

                I think we’re in “I’ve always tried to tell the truth” territory here. At some point during the race both candidates were asked if they were honest people, Clinton wavered and said that she always tried to tell the truth but one cannot really know. Trump, as he does, said that he was the most honest person in politics and lots of people tell him so. To me, the latter is the obvious bragging of a liar and the former is a thoughtful answer. But to voters it just fit into a larger cloud of lying and deception that hung around her; to the extent that “I’ve always tried to tell the truth” was an oft repeated criticism of Clinton on AM radio and such.

                I’m guessing, based on Powell’s extreme measures, that the system really was extremely unwieldy but that Clinton decided to circumvent it for a spectrum of reasons: (a) it’s annoying, (b) she didn’t want to use two phones, (c) she couldn’t get what she needed done, (d) the internal sys people were unhelpful, (e) she was careless and didn’t think about it, and (f, not the least) that it was a convenient way to keep things out of FOIA just in case. And during the campaign she essentially deployed all of these (except for FOIA) in some mixture, which – if you were Hillary telling me a long story over beers – is probably the most honest response, but it was – yet again – the one that fit into the cloud of lying and deception.

                Anyways, I have very little doubt that this whole fiasco would have been a non-issue if Clinton had simply come out, right from the beginning, and said “Let me be clear, my job was to keep America safe and when the antiquated government bureaucracy prevented me from doing that job I found a solution that maximized security and communication in the way I felt appropriate, just as my predecessors had done. [*West Wing theme starts to swell*] I will not be releasing any emails from the server, as is entirely consistent within State Dept regulations, and I will answer with the previous sentence verbatim every time I am asked this question“. But then, if she had done that she wouldn’t be Hillary. At the very least, I would hope that someone smart at her side had said “Look, you cannot simultaneously release some of the emails and delete the others – whatever the reason – they will eat you alive with speculation”. But then, if she hired smart people who told her “No” in times of crisis she wouldn’t be Hillary.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, trizz. Exactly this. Well said.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a disappointing response. Not that it’s not true at some level, but still it’s either ignorant or bad faith or both.

                “It’s a matter of pubic record that George Zimmerman has no animus toward African-Americans or other racial minorities.”

                “It’s a matter of public record that Microsoft has achieved a market dominant position through technological innovation and has not now or in the past relied on anti-competitive practices.”

                Even if you believed the underlying assertions, I venture that you would never actually say those things without any credible attempt to justify them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, there was actual, real, objective reporting at the time of the meeting between Clinton and State Dept officials regarding integrating their security system into her Blackberry. The upshot was that State said they couldn’t guarantee that the device would be secure and wanted her to switch to a different brand of phone for which they could guarantee security. At the end of the meeting Clinton said, right out loud to the staffers, that she wanted to keep her phone. So she kept her phone, ditched State.gov entirely (she didn’t want to carry that extra device, man) and hired a guy at $6000/month to maintain her own private server and security.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                To be specific: This was all about her non-secure State.gov address and her non-secure work email.

                I’ve got to say, in terms of security, it’s better than using gmail like Powell did. (I have no idea what accesses Google’s sysadmins have to individual mailboxes).

                Leakage between secure and non-secure email is an entirely different conversation than the one about her private server versus her state.gov address, despite people conflating them constantly.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, and ……?

                Presumably she is innocent, or lacks criminal motive, or is only guilty of negligible offenses, right?

                Again, the implicit logical path from here to there seems to be either ignorant or in bad faith given the avalanche of alleged facts printed in multiple outlets over a period of many months. Many of the alleged facts, it should be said, which were never seriously disputed either by the Clinton campaign or the mainstream media. Facts which indicate obvious criminal liability for Mrs Clinton demanding a legitmate arm’s length prosecution.

                And compounding that, there were own obvious evasions about yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding pictures, etc., etc.

                Is there some reason why you don’t accept the relevance of this information, instead choosing to believe a useful, politically convenient front story?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Presumably she is innocent, or lacks criminal motive, or is only guilty of negligible offenses, right?

                I think that’s how it works in this country, right?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                How what works?

                That she is innocent or guilty only of negligible offenses? Or taking that as a premise, she is not punished?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Make your case Koz. I’m all ears. Whatcha got on Hillary that will result in charges and conviction?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Following up on that, Koz, I certainly don’t you expect to provide that evidence. Hell, the GOP spent 2 1/2 years looking for exactly what you’re saying is obvious and couldn’t find anything substantive. So there’s a point at which the assertion that a person has enagaged in illegal activity requires some supporting evidence. And I say that as someone who isn’t a Hillary supporter.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It seems that we have a completely different understanding of what the reasonably well-known public information on that score is. It is my contention that over the course of many months, there has been many many accounts in the media, presumably from many many sources, alleging facts which easily support criminal charges and convictions against Mrs Clinton.

                Here is one, but you could easily paper your walls with others.

                From my point of view, if there is one thing at all that does not apply to this particular episode of Mrs Clinton’s misconduct, it is a lack of evidence.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, we’re about to find out if you’re right. With Lynch and Comey gone, replaced by Trump loyalists, we’ll see if Clinton indictments shortly follow.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t anticipate they would be imminent. That was the story shortly after the election, and I don’t know what has happened since then to change things.

                To me, your prior comments were more interesting anyway, precisely because they so inexplicable. So do you concede that in fact there were plenty of media reports in the public domain asserting facts which if true would constitute evidence of significant criminal liability against Mrs Clinton?

                And beyond that, where the idea came from that Mrs Clinton’s preference for one or two mobile devices was the operative consideration?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                To be honest, Koz, the topic just isn’t interesting enough for me to pursue it. Whether Hillary committed crimes or not is not for me to decide, and given that I haven’t seen the relevant evidence nor am I able to to determine if it rises to the level sufficient to recommend prosecution I’ll have to refrain from making a judgment. I have heard lots of people say that she should be locked up tho. Rudy Guiliani, for example, the first person in the article you linked to. He may get the opportunity to act on his judgment in the near future and actually lock.her.up!Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                To be honest, Koz, the topic just isn’t interesting enough for me to pursue it. Whether Hillary committed crimes or not……

                Right, but I think you are missing the angle here.

                Right now, the point isn’t about whether or not Mrs Clinton committed crimes, what they were, etc., but the state of your knowledge, what you believe to be relevant or determinative and why.

                Here we have, as I see it, compelling evidence of Mrs
                Clinton’s guilt plastered all over the press for months. Pertaining to this, you asserted that she preferred to carry one device instead of two (Presuming this to be true, that was a fact I did not know. And now that I do know it, I don’t see why I should consider it to be important).

                There’s some reason why your instinct was to suppose that preference was supposed to be dispositive. Well, what was it?

                I’m glad to tell you where I’m going with this if you care, but it seems pretty clear to me.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, let’s skip to the end. Where are you going with this?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                With Lynch and Comey gone, replaced by Trump loyalists, we’ll see if Clinton indictments shortly follow.

                I hope not.

                I suspect she deserves it, but this country does not. It will be seen by far too many as something that happens because she lost. And arresting someone because they lost the election raises the stakes way too high.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I suspect she deserves it,

                So do Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfy, Abramy, Gonzy, etc etc.

                I mean, if we’re just using “deserve” as a metric.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Very good, that sums up what I was groping for. You should never arrest someone for legit policy opinion differences, and what people consider “legit policy opinions” differs.

                Clinton is to corruption what Bush was to torture. We think they’re guilty, but proving it would be painful, maybe impossible, and it’d be handing a brand new club for the powers-that-be to use on the powers-that-not-be and everyone else.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                morat20,
                Question: How bad is it that she had known spies at top levels of her organization? Spies passing data to spies?

                (also, Weiner is the worst spy ever. Spies are supposed to be low profile, not public jokes and nuisances).Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, if my organization had that shitty a security audit, THE ENTIRE COMPANY would likely have to taking retraining, cleared and uncleared.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                No they wouldn’t. The level of leakage into the non-secure system was negligible, and none of it was truly sensitive data. Compared to the volume of truly sensitive data State deals with on a daily basis…

                A handful of senders might have received a minor smack on the wrist, at worst.

                I know Clinton has to be the worst ever, but this email thing was bluntly BS from the get-go. You had a private server subbing for her non-secure email, the same system her predecessors used, and after the equivalent of a full security audit, down to the bones, all that was found were a handful of small leaks of minor data.

                The worst of which was, as noted, discussion of an NYT story. Others were things like the day’s call logs (classified until the end of the day by State themselves, which means they’re the authority on how to treat it).

                This from a group dealing, daily, with large volumes of much more critical data.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Damon,
                Rules are NOT for Clinton peons.
                “You can do anything you want, so long as at the end of the day you’re mine.”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Those were the 30,000 e-mails that she didn’t erase. The ones she thought were okay to release to the State Department.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Ah yes, the nefarious “We know she’s bad because she erased all the evidence that she’s bad”.

                How compelling! The very absence of evidence is proof positive!Report

            • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Kazzy,
              oh, my lord, irresponsible is NOT the word!
              So not the word. A solar system away from being the right word.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        I did.

        Abedin would sometimes forward unclassified emails, from the unclassified server, to her husband’s device so they could be printed,

        There’s no reason to think she was forwarding anything sensitive. The FBI was, before he was fired, trying to find a wsay to correct Comey’s misstatement without making him look too bad.Report

  13. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Interesting essay from CBS on why everyone thinks that they are losing:

    http://multimedia.cbs.com/news/commentary-everybody-thinks-theyre-losing/Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s something for the “Lessons Learned” whiteboard:

    In defending his decisions, Comey offered some new details about what FBI agents found last fall, after they realized a laptop belonging to former New York congressman Anthony Weiner (D) contained thousands of work emails involving Clinton. At the time, Weiner was married to Huma Abedin, who was a senior aide to Clinton. Agents were looking at Weiner’s laptop because he was under investigation for possibly inappropriate communications with a minor.

    “Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,’’ Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.”

    Report

  15. Avatar Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    You’d think running SOS would have fixed this… unless she’s turned State into a dysfunctional mess? I’ve heard she did a good job, but I suppose it’s possible that’s happy talk from a fawning press.

    We the people really should be filtering Presidential candidates on “history of successfully running a large organization”, which weirdly Trump passes.Report

  16. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Yikes.

    President Obama’s team sought NSA intel on thousands of Americans during the 2016 election. That resulted in thousands of NSA reports being circulated all through government, with the names unredacted, which is a felony.Report

  17. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    What follows is predictable to anyone who has worked in a dysfunctional, low-trust office environment. People close to her don’t come to her with problems, don’t voice their concerns, and don’t tell her when she’s wrong. People further out have to circumvent the campaign apparatus to do so. Mistakes and misconceptions made go uncorrected. In some cases because the people on the campaign themselves miss it, but in others because they follow incentives where loyalty is conflated with support for a given course of action…. Clinton was not being told what she needed to hear…. Combine all that with a fluid-non-hierarchial command structure and bad decisions are simply inevitable.

    The end result was not only mistakes being made, but what turned out to be some of the biggest ones… were left without any sort of correction mechanism. And even when a problem was recognized,… there wasn’t a chain of command or any real way to pivot and make a change…. [T]hey bet the entire farm on analytic models that didn’t pan out, and even after they lost were left feeling like there was nothing else they really could have done.

    These issues appeared over and over again, in one form or another.

    A structural issue. Not really news there.
    These issues are all symptomatic of single-loop feedback organizations. Feedback is a very important part of the communication model, and is central to modern scientific management principles. Chart here.

    A horizontal management structure is preferable in a definable set of circumstances.

    These things are not new. It was known since the mid-1960’s that the post-war success of American business was grounded primarily on an environment where it was practically impossible for business to fail.
    A more competitive global environment has led to the need to address deficiencies in management; e.g., there is now sufficient data to determine that Vroom’s normative decision model does in fact produce more high-quality decisions than any other available model.

    I find it somewhat ironic that those in oft-voiced support of innovations in energy, transportation, telecommunications, etc., are prone to death-grip clinging to obsolete human resource concepts.
    For all practical purposes sake, the hacienda-style of personnel management never goes out of style.Report

  18. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Is there room to say…

    “Clinton ran a bad/flawed campaign which would probably still have been just good enough to win but for the actions of Comey.”

    and/or

    “If Clinton had run an even halfway decent campaign, she could have overcome whatever impact arose from Comey’s actions.”Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      I suppose there is an argument to be made that an increase in decibel level does, indeed, result from flatulence occurring while a crowd cheers.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      This is the problem with something being overdetermined.

      Sure, this happened, this other thing happened, this other other thing happened, plus the passing out right in the middle of the media arguing that questioning her health was a dirty trick… but if it wasn’t for Comey, she still might have won, probably!

      This only has but so much persuasive power.

      I mean, why not lean into something like “sure, she had the Comey letter, but if she had not given the speech in which she relished putting coal companies out of work, the basket of deplorables speech, and specifically found a way *OTHER* than email to get the town hall questions before the fact, she probably would have won. If she hadn’t done all that dumb and avoidable crap, she could have withstood a lot more stuff like the Comey letter”?

      Isn’t that just as true?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The allure of the Comey letter is that it accounts for Hillary’s loss without ascribing any blame to her.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          And aren’t you doing the same?After all, the allure of ascribing Hillary’s loss entirely to her is to know exactly who to blame.

          No complexities, no outside factors. Just someone to point the finger at and say “THEIR FAULT”.Report

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            I mean, at this point, Putin could actually come out and admit he worked with Trump to rig the voting machines (note, I don’t think this actually happened in any way) and Stillwater would still find a way to blame it on Clinton’s campaign.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse
              Ignored
              says:

              The only thing I blame Hillary for is running a terrible campaign. I don’t even blame her for being a terrible candidate: the blame for that falls on the Dem Party establishment.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            Morat,

            Upthread I said that the Comey letter negatively effected her chances of winning the election. That doesn’t mean I can’t also criticize and hold her accountable for multiple self-inflicted political blunders including the scandal which resulted in Comey writing his Oct 28 letter to congress.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            “Just someone to point the finger at and say “THEIR FAULT”.”

            Doesn’t it make Clinton look like a worse choice, if a letter about some emails was all it took to make 3/4 of the country not choose her last November?Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          @stillwater

          Is that really how you read my comment?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Not sure I follow you on this. I was responding to Jaybird’s comment, noting that (ahem) the allure of the Comey letter is that Hillary’s failure to win can be pinned on events outside of her control thereby absolving her of any personal responsibility for that loss.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Jaybird’s comment was in response to my comment discussing the impact of the letter.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m aware of that. 🙂

                Do you want me to comment on your comment?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I suppose the implication of your comment was that discussing the Comey letter is done by folks who want to alleviate Hillary of any blame.

                I do not want to alleviate Hillary of any blame. But I do think the Comey letter had an impact.

                So… either…

                A) Your comment does not imply what I think it implies.
                B) Your comment does imply it and you think I do want to alleviate Hillary of any blame.
                C) Your comment does imply it but you are wrong in that regard.

                Or maybe something else?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy, I was responding to Jaybird’s comment. He made an argument about theories overdetermining the evidence. I agreed with him by noting the role The Comey Theory plays in certain accounts of Hillary’s failure to win.Report

            • Avatar gregiank in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Plenty of people have been saying it was “all of the above” that led to her loss. Comey, stolen emails, her own failures and mistakes.

              The allure of ” it was all Hillary’s flaws” is it absolves people who are normally suspicious of law enforcement and the security state of their own “get er, get er….drip drip drip….the fed’s are gonna get er this time” lust.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                The allure of ” it was all Hillary’s flaws” is it absolves people who are normally suspicious of law enforcement and the security state of their own “get er, get er….drip drip drip….the fed’s are gonna get er this time”

                No, it doesn’t. Or at least I don’t agree that it does. Those folks think she engaged in illegal activity and should be tried and convicted, not that she lost the election due to her tactical, strategic, retail political, etc, flaws.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It more seemed like the security state/ cops are to be held in suspicion, by some, except in this one case where the cops are completely trust worthy.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “This only has but so much persuasive power.”

        Who do you think I’m trying to persuade and what do you think I’m trying to persuade them about?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Yourself.

          That the emphasis of the overdetermined loss should be placed on stuff that wasn’t within Clinton’s power rather than on the stuff that was.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m not trying to persuade myself of anything. I’m looking at the data I’m privy to and drawing what strikes me as a reasonable conclusion: Clinton lost, in part because of the Comey letter and in part because she ran a bad campaign.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              What we’re wondering is whether this line of inquiry isn’t about turning thought from “Clinton lost because of the Comey letter (unspoken ‘on top of the many other reasons which made voters rightfully consider her unfit’)” to “Clinton lost because of the Comey letter (unspoken ‘and no other meaningful reason, therefore our focus should be on the influence of partisan thoughtcrime in the bureaucracy’)”.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                DD,
                Which is idiotic. The FBI had Walker out, and Rubio so busy covering his tracks he couldn’t run (for years, not this time round).Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                “The FBI had Walker out”

                You know, you keep saying this. Maybe explain to us Muggles what it’s all about?

                No, I don’t mean “post a link to an unrelated article and expect us to do the wall-with-string thing on our own”, I mean spell it out. And if you can’t, then shut the hell up. Unverifiable evidence is fictional.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                @densityduck

                The line of inquiry is to see if what strikes me as the most accurate assessment — as quoted fully in my initial comment — is one either side is willing to here, but in particular Hillary detractors.

                It increasingly seems like certain folks will accept nothing less than a pound of Hillary’s own flesh branded with a giant L-for-loser and torn from her spat upon body presented as penance from her supporters before listening to them.

                If there’s no room in the conversation for nuance or an “All of the above” type answer, I’m out on the discussion.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, but there’s a lot that can be covered up by a change in emphasis.

                We’ll start with the assumption that Clinton’s loss was overdetermined.

                There were a dozen things that happened that caused her to lose. If each of the dozen things hadn’t happened, she would have won the White House in a walk.

                We can totally list them here but we don’t have to. We all know them by heart.

                That said: which of the things that happened were avoidable to the point where Hillary Herself had direct control over them?

                Sure, there were a lot of things that Clinton didn’t have control over… but there were a lot of things that she did. And it makes sense to point out that Clinton’s blunders were sufficient to make her lose.

                If Comey hadn’t done the letter, would she have lost? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.

                If Clinton hadn’t given this speech, or that speech, or that other speech, would she have lost? 100,000 votes in the blue wall ain’t *THAT* many votes.

                It’s certainly true that the email thing wasn’t in her power and the Comey thing wasn’t in her power and the Weiner thing wasn’t in her power and all sorts of things weren’t. Sure.

                A good candidate would have been able to overcome even those thumbs on the scale.

                She was running against Trump. *TRUMP*. And she lost.

                That her failure was overdetermined ought to be a searing indictment of the system that put her there.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                This is all fine until the last three sentiences where you seem to dismisses the thumbs on the scale. I agree a better candidate *MIGHT* have been able to overcome those thumbs. But what does it say about the people who keep going to back to her admitted failures and breeze over the thumbs. What happens in the next election when thumbs are assumed and if a candidate didn’t win then they just weren’t good enough. It’s very possible, and true imho, that the thumbs are a major major issue that is corrupting our process and need to punished and that Clinton was a very flawed candidate who made plenty o’mistakes. Those thumbs on the scale are corroding the democratic process.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                And so we are back to “quit talking about how awful of a candidate she was, we need to talk about the Comey letter!”

                I am not confident that if the Democrats choose a crappy candidate next time that you will be able to tell.

                It’s media’s fault!
                It’s the government’s fault!
                It’s the education system that isn’t teaching critical thinking to voters!

                “Maybe the Democratic party shouldn’t have run Stewart/Colbert in 2020?”
                “QUIT SHILLING FOR TRUMP!”Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’re being too specific. It’s actually really hard to tell if a candidate is a good or bad candidate in any rigorous way. I’m pretty sure that Obama and Bill Clinton are better politicians than John Kerry, but if we start discounting everything with effects of the opposing candidate, the macroeconomic conditions, etc in an impressionistic way, then it’s not like we can actually prove that that’s the case.

                So I think that HRC was a weak candidate and made more mistakes than a hypothetical replacement-level Democrat would have. I’m not sure how one would go abou proving that in any rigorous way, though. If you believe the strong version of the Comey hypothesis that says Comey cost her 3-4 percentage points and then she only lost by -2 percentage points, I don’t think anybody would consider that hypothetical 6 point PV win and comfortable EC win a bad showing in a normal election to follow up a moderately popular two term incumbent. So to argue that she’s a bad candidate we need to assert that Trump was an extremely bad candidate and that HRC would have lost badly to a hypothetical replacement-level Republican, and around and around we go.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s actually really hard to tell if a candidate is a good or bad candidate in any rigorous way.

                “Did this candidate lose to mother freaking Donald Trump?”

                Can I prove it in a rigorous way? No.

                But, like you, I can look and say “I’m pretty sure that Obama and Bill Clinton are better politicians than John Kerry”.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                we need to assert that Trump was an extremely bad candidate

                I used to believe that, now I’m not sure.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                If you believe the strong version of the Comey hypothesis that says Comey cost her 3-4 percentage points

                As DD has mentioned a couple times on this thread there’s a reason the Comey letter cost her some support, and the what, why and how she was in the political place where a late October FBI Surprise could cost her the election isn’t given nearly enough attention, seems to me. She handled the whole affair incredibly badly from beginning to end and Comey’s letter obviously hit a chord with people skeptical about her character, motives and honesty.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I have a hard time imagining any candidate that wouldn’t take a substantial hit in the polls if the FBI director publicly implied that he found evidence that that politician was a crook and the entire media gave it saturation coverage for the last two weeks of the campaign. It fit into existing criticisms of HRC well, but come on.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                “I have a hard time imagining any candidate that wouldn’t take a substantial hit in the polls if the FBI director publicly implied that he found evidence that that politician was a crook and the entire media gave it saturation coverage for the last two weeks of the campaign.”

                Welp. CNN was a 24-7 loop of “grab ’em by the pussy” for about a week there and it didn’t seem to do a damn thing to Trump’s numbers. So.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                It did have an effect, though. After the Access Hollywood tape and the debates, the polls suggested that Arizona and Georgia were in play. Then Comey happened.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                CNN was a 24-7 loop of “grab ’em by the pussy” for about a week there and it didn’t seem to do a damn thing to Trump’s numbers. So.

                CNN (and others) proved Trump is a terrible person. If he can make my life better, then he gets a pass on that.

                Hillary being for sale hurts her a lot more than Trump being vulgar.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Depressingly, just enough Americans agreed with that for him to win, never mind that Trump is obviously far more corrupt and that the problem isn’t vulgarity, it’s that he was bragging about committing sexual assault.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                …Trump is obviously far more corrupt…

                Laughable untrue on the face of it.

                Trump’s money comes from the Trump Brand, building stuff, shafting his business partners, and so forth. A corrupt Trump before 2016 would be purchasing political influence, not selling it.

                HRC started with nothing and made her hundreds of millions by selling political influence and access.

                and that the problem isn’t vulgarity, it’s that he was bragging about committing sexual assault.

                It’s problematic to take literally someone talking about their sex life. It’s even more problematic if they’re on the Howard Stern Show.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                THe bragging occured when Trump thought he was off-air.

                And… laughably? Only your bald face denial of the truth.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                And… laughably? Only your bald face denial of the truth.

                Definition of corruption (google): dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

                What is it that you are suggesting Trump has been bribed to do? Or bribed to do? Hopefully something more than just being a NY real-estate developer.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                (and, notably, Comey didn’t say word one about his investigation into Trump being for sale — or, more accurately, already bought and paid for)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                (and, notably, Comey didn’t say word one about his investigation into Trump being for sale — or, more accurately, already bought and paid for)

                Wasn’t that Obama’s call? Or am I misremembering that Comey asked to and Obama said no?Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d not heard that before (and it would seem to be contradicted by his discussion of when and why he disclosed the Trump investigation here).

                That said, I’m open to being convinced otherwise.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                …the thumbs on the scale.

                The FBI clearly did what was best for the FBI. I’m not sure that’s “thumbs on the scale” because they weren’t trying to make her lose or win.

                On a side note the gov consistently following its own best interests and not the peoples’ or the rules is one reason I think the pro-gov advocates are wrong.

                Be that as it may, the reason the FBI was calling the shots was Bill Clinton got caught meeting with the AG. If we’re going to talk about “thumbs on the scale” that really should be in there somewhere.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, I genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about. You keep using the term “overdetermined” and I don’t even know what it means but you seem to want to ring that bell so have at it.

                Here is what I offered:
                ““Clinton ran a bad/flawed campaign which would probably still have been just good enough to win but for the actions of Comey.”

                and/or

                “If Clinton had run an even halfway decent campaign, she could have overcome whatever impact arose from Comey’s actions.””

                And I offered that specifically in regards to Comey, which seems to be a pretty hot button issue in this discussion here.

                If you asked me more generally why Hillary lost or why Trump won or why the 2016 Presidential election went the way it did, I’d say that it was due to a combination of factors include her appeal as a candidate, the campaign she ran, the campaign Trump ran, and outside factors including the role of the media, Comey, and the hacking and release of DNC-related emails… with a caveat that many of these interact with and feedback upon each other.

                I feel in no way confident that I can put a percentage on each of those factors in the ultimate outcome.

                If you asked me specifically about Comey, the data I’ve seen (538 recently had a piece on this very topic) says that Comey’s letter seems to have moved polls enough to tip the outcome from a narrow Hillary win to a narrow Trump win. Now, the fact that the difference between the two was small enough to be tipped by something that moved polls 1-3 points is primarily the result of Trump, Clinton, and their respective campaigns.

                I would analogize it to fans who point to a last second call not going their way as the reason they lost the game. Accurate to a point, but ignoring the fact that the game was in doubt in the final seconds because of everything the teams did up to that point.

                But, please, tell me that I need to tattoo “Hillary Sucks” to my forehead if you must.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Here is what overdetermined means:

                Here are our premises:
                P -> T
                Q -> T
                R -> T
                S -> T
                P
                Q
                R
                S

                What conclusion can we reach?
                Well, assuming that all of those premises are true (and, hey, for the sake of explaining “overdetermined”, they are), then we know that we can conclude T.

                For T to *NOT* happen, we know that we are going to not need P, Q, R, and S. (And given the state of the world, there’s probably a U -> T and, on top of that, a V -> T as well so just getting rid of P, Q, R, and S is not necessarily sufficient to prevent T.)

                I would analogize it to fans who point to a last second call not going their way as the reason they lost the game. Accurate to a point, but ignoring the fact that the game was in doubt in the final seconds because of everything the teams did up to that point.

                Sure… but how do we measure Trump, the opposing team in this example?

                Is he the most canny and insightful politician our country has seen in decades? If so, it might explain how he was able to beat Clinton.

                If he is, instead, a buffoon and a charlatan, what conclusion about Clinton can we reach about her?

                And why in the hell is “Clinton Sucks” not a perfectly reasonable conclusion for those inclined to see Trump as a buffoon and charlatan?

                To go back to your analogy about the game, we’re talking about a team who lost to the Warshington Generals. If you’re going to explain to me that the team was, seriously, really good, it’s just that the refs were biased and especially in that last call… well, it makes a lot more sense to ask whether it isn’t the case that the other team just kinda sucked?

                Especially in light of all of the sports journalists writing essays about how the other team is today’s Golden State Warriors mixed in with the 90’s Chicago Bulls and the 70’s Boston Celtics all rolled into one.

                They lost to the Generals, dude.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It seems like the other position is using the argument:

                (P & Q & R & S) -> T

                If R is false, then (P & Q & R & S) is false, and therefore (P & Q & R & S) -> T would be false.

                Which is a sound argument.

                And yet.
                And yet.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “And why in the hell is “Clinton Sucks” not a perfectly reasonable conclusion for those inclined to see Trump as a buffoon and charlatan?”

                It is. But as soon as we allow conclusions to be based on inclinations as opposed to, well, facts, we’re not really talking about conclusions.

                Folks can champion that conclusion all they want. And, hell, they may be right! But will they let me champion my conclusion? Or must I fully bow at the alter of Hillary Sucks to be taken seriously? Because, again, I’m out on a conversation that has such conditions.

                I also don’t think Trump was the Generals. I think Trump is a truly terrible human being. But he was highly effective at reaching the particular segment of the population he needed to reach to win the election. Whether that was because of excellent planning or dumb luck or Hillary Sucking (TM), I simply reject the premise that Trump could only win because Hillary was historically awful.

                Just out of curiosity, why do you think Hillary lost/Trump won?

                Also, your ‘overdetermined’ theory falls apart if none of those variables in isolation can cause the outcome but rather the outcome requires a variety of factors. Maybe not all, but at least one of several configurations of them.

                I don’t think there exists a single explanation for the outcome of the 2016 election.

                Though if it’d help your argument, I can just say, “Racism,” and we can call it a day.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think there exists a single explanation for the outcome of the 2016 election.

                This is a good definition of “overdetermined” too.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Only… that’s the exact opposite of how you defined it above.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me say it again.

                P -> T
                Q -> T
                R -> T
                S -> T
                P
                Q
                R
                S

                Do you really think that this is the “opposite” of “I don’t think there exists a single explanation” for T?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It says to me any of these individually could cause it. Is that not what you meant?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Not only that could any of them individually have caused it, but that multiple ones of them happened.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But I’ll grant that it’s probably more likely that it required multiple ones to happen rather than *ANY* one thing.

                Did it require *ALL* of them? I don’t know… but if it did, it seems odd to focus as much on the Comey letter as on the whole “stepping on rakes” issues. The Comey letter wasn’t exactly under her control (unless you count the whole Huma thing as being under her control). But there were things that were under her control.

                And, get this, enough of them to change “all 8 or 9 things happened” to “only 4 or 5 things happened” and that difference could well indeed have been enough to not topple the Blue Wall.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Who are you talking to at this point?

                You are only engaging enough of what I’ve said to continue your own talking points rather than the meat of my actual position.

                Have fun with that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The meat of your actual position seems to be that we need to take the stuff that wasn’t under her control as seriously as the stuff that was when it comes to judging whether or not she sucked.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t realize the proposition was, “Does Hillary suck?”

                I’m going to leave that to you.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                If you leave judging whether your candidate sucked to others, you can probably expect to not be able to tell whether your next one does.

                After Kerry and Clinton, I think we might have enough ground to start suspecting that “not being able to tell if a candidate sucks” could be a problem.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I will again point out that it is rather evident you have not been reading — or understanding — my comments. Here… let me point you to exactly where I address this very issue:

                “Some things suck inherently. Some suck in context.

                Hillary had some of both.

                Trump and Hillary could run the exact same campaigns in different election cycles and have produced a different outcome. Thing is, one of Hillary’s inherent sucky things was that she didn’t seem to read the temperature in the room. So she ran a campaign designed to win in a different context and failed. The DNC was complicit in this.

                The DNC and their candidates need to do a better job of meeting people where they are, hearing them, and tayloring both message and policy based on that without abandoning core values.”

                If you think I’m unwilling to consider and/or acknowledge ways in which Hillary and/or the DNC sucked… you haven’t been paying attention.

                See… you’re answering “Whether or not Hillary sucked?” I don’t think that gets us anywhere really.

                I’m trying to figure out in what ways she and the DNC sucked and what they (the DNC) need to do differently next time.

                But, again, I’m being treated as if I have some unexamined position because I’m not all, “HILLARY SUXZXX!!!!11!1!”

                So, yea, until you answer my post at the very bottom here, I’m going to bit you adieu and wish you luck in this little circle jerk you’re having so much fun with.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                If we’re putting emphasis on how the FBI released a letter saying that they had re-opened an investigation into Clinton (or one of her employees) sharing classified data with uncleared people and seeing that that indicates a problem with the *FBI*, then I think that this little circle jerk has plenty of people in it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which one of us is putting that emphasis on things?

                You said “we” so I assume you mean it was one — or both — of us.

                If it was someone other than you or me, I suggest you take it up with that person.

                I really implore you to respond to the actual words I write and the actual statements I make and the actual beliefs I purport to hold.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I also don’t think Trump was the Generals. I think Trump is a truly terrible human being. But he was highly effective at reaching the particular segment of the population he needed to reach to win the election.

                He certainly won the election, all right.

                But that’s how we measure whether a team is good or not. Or, at least, better than the team they played against.

                Trump was a better political campaigner than Hillary Clinton. A guy with 0 political experience. A guy who has appeared at WrestleMania and helped shave Vince McMahon’s head. A guy who said something about grabbing the means of reproduction.

                This basketball team defeated the other basketball team.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird, your issue is that you’re a elitist like the rest of us on this website.

                Sure, to you, all of those sound like those not great things. But, to a large chunk of the population, people either don’t care about those thnigs as long as taxes get cut and conservative get put on the Supreme Court or they actually like those things.

                The truth is, we all overestimated how much people care about sexual assault, appearing at Wrestlemania, or saying really dumb things if the opponent is somebody that 40% of the country is convinced is the Devil herself.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
                Ignored
                says:

                The truth is, we all overestimated how much people care about sexual assault, appearing at Wrestlemania, or saying really dumb things if the opponent is somebody that 40% of the country is convinced is the Devil herself.

                This tells me that it’s tied into our own egos, then. If Hillary sucks, then we sucked for not being able to tell.

                And since we know that we don’t suck, we know that Hillary didn’t suck.

                It was Comey. All day.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump has tons of political experience. He is big business man and real estate developer. That is intensely political. Also he had tons of media experience. He ain’t no waif or innocent.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You seem hellbent on the “HILLARY SUCKS! SAY IT! SAY IT!!!!!!” narrative so I’m just going to let you do you on that front. This isn’t a conversation. You’re delivering a sermon. Enjoy that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                And I’m pretty sure that if the next time Democrats lose an election, you won’t be able to say whether the candidate sucked or not.

                “There was so much bad luck!”, you can say. “If the ref hadn’t made that bad call so late in the game!”, you can say. “Can’t be helped.”, you can conclude.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends.

                Some things suck inherently. Some suck in context.

                Hillary had some of both.

                Trump and Hillary could run the exact same campaigns in different election cycles and have produced a different outcome. Thing is, one of Hillary’s inherent sucky things was that she didn’t seem to read the temperature in the room. So she ran a campaign designed to win in a different context and failed. The DNC was complicit in this.

                Some of Trump’s inherent suckiness — namely being a monstrous lout — was actually sorta good in context. Some segment of the electorate wanted to see strength and change and hold a finger to the establishment and Trump represented that. Whether he knew that and leveraged his loutishness or just lucked out, I don’t know.

                The DNC and their candidates need to do a better job of meeting people where they are, hearing them, and tayloring both message and policy based on that without abandoning core values.

                And yet, it’s possible that despite her inherent suckiness and unique brand of Twenty-Sux-teeniness, Hillary might have won absent Comey.

                But, please do tell me that I have some sort of unexamined position here while you’re demanding I say, “HELLARY SUXXXXXXX!!!!1!!”

                ETA: You still haven’t offered your actual analysis for why what happened happened which returns me to you’re Making A Point(TM) and not actually seeking dialogue or understanding.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Trump was a better political campaigner than Hillary Clinton.”

                In 2016, yes. Where have I said otherwise?

                I think we’re in that zone (again) where for you to make the points you want to make, you want me to make certain points and despite not making those points you’re proceeding as if I did, even going so far as to insist that me saying Not-A is evidence of me saying A. I’m out on all this.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And why in the hell is “Clinton Sucks” not a perfectly reasonable conclusion for those inclined to see Trump as a buffoon and charlatan?

                Yeah, this. Of course, the argument is that she didn’t suck – or more generously, I guess, that she didn’t suck nearly as bad as Trump – and that if not for the Comey letter she woulda won, thereby demonstrating that she didn’t suck. But she lost. She didn’t beat a person Hillary’s defenders think is walking scum. So where does that leave us?

                Maybe with this: that we’re not haggling over whether she sucked as a candidate but whether she sucked worse than Trump.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                @stillwater
                You’re clearly not reading my comments.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Like before, Kazzy, I was responding to a comment Jaybird made and not yours. Tho I would suggest you read the Wiki page on overdetermination if you actually want to understand the specific p Jaybird is making here.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                YOu seem to be arguing that no one is making exactly the point that I’m making.

                Also, I’m cool to let Jay define overdetermination in whatever was is convenient in the moment.

                Again, who is here to discuss and who is here to admonish?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Well geez, let me be here to admonish. There’s a lot of libs in America whose motive for participation in politics and support for the Demo party in particular is to express their antagonism toward Republicans.

                Let’s get some accountability for rectifying that fundamental moral error and after that we can worry about the whys and wherefores of Hillary.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, I’m cool to let Jay define overdetermination in whatever was is convenient in the moment.

                Overdetermination is not only a thing that exists, it happens to be a thing that exists that you asked me to define.

                I am 100% with being told that my definition is wrong (or even “convenient”). Do you have a different, better one than the one I gave?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, like admonishing libs is something we can’t do. It’s tedious, it’s contentious, it amplifies partisan antagonisms at the expense of common interest. But when push comes to shove, what else is there?

                I get the Comey letters were a bad break for Hillary. But to actually complain about it, it’s shameful.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not trying to admonish libs. I’m trying to hammer out how things went as wrong as they did.

                But before we even get to how wrong things got, it feels like the argument turns to “well, technically, do we even know whether anything at all went wrong?” at which point I find myself harping on, among other things, Trump winning the presidency in the most recent one (I’ve given up on pointing out the 1000 lost elected positions over the last 4 election cycles).

                We can’t even agree that something has gone wrong. Which means that we can’t discuss how they went wrong.

                I’m not admonishing, I’m frustrated.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah I get that. Kazzy isn’t buying it though. You can say, Hillary lost because of X, Y, Z, or some combination thereof, but he thinks you’re just trying to blame libs.

                I don’t know if that’s true or not but it’s irrelevant anyway. Libs really are the problem, we ought to be blaming libs, for things that go much deeper than HRC’s failure to win the Presidential election.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                @koz

                Please point out where I’ve said that Hillary and the libs bear no accountability for losing the 2016 Presidential election.

                Please point out where I said that no one can admonish liberals for anything.

                Please point out where I’ve shown antagonism for the GOP.

                Please point out where I’m complaining about the Comey letters.

                If I haven’t done those things, why are they in any way relevant to my own personal consideration of the 2016 election?

                My point is that after the admonishment, we should move on to something more constructive.

                I’ve said it. Hillary sucks. The DNC sucks. They ran an awful campaign and blew a very winnable election.

                Now, let’s consider the specifics of what they did wrong and what they can do different/better the next time so as not to repeat these mistakes.

                Can we do that now? Or do I have to say “Hillary sucks!” again?

                This is my entire point… anything OTHER than shouting, “HILLARY SUCKS!!!” is being taken as some sort of great denial. This is a textbook example of making the perfect the enemy of the good. The perfect demand “HILLARY SUCKS!” be the entirety of the analysis and anything — even an examination of her suckiness — is insufficient because the point is “HILLARY SUCKS!”

                ETA: And, hey, if you want to admonish liberals, be my guest! Go for it. But I’m not going to participate in that. I thought folks here were interested in a conversation but if they want to beat the drum, do it. Just leave me out of it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                ““Is there room to say…”

                Sure there is! I wouldn’t even consider those statements particularly controversial.

                These are, however, not at all the same as saying “Comey’s letter made Clinton lose!” There is a difference between A reason and THE reason.”

                See here… I’m being told that my statement does not support a particular narrative… a narrative I’ve never supported. And yet, somehow, I must answer for it. What the fuck?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Please point out where I said that no one can admonish liberals for anything.

                I dunno, maybe right here:

                ETA: And, hey, if you want to admonish liberals, be my guest! Go for it. But I’m not going to participate in that.

                In any event, the idea of what’s a constructive discussion is different than you think. Specifically, we can if we want take your narrower point of view to focus on Comey contra Jaybird’s argument that the whole thing is pointless because of so many other independent contributing factors.

                But in that context the idea of the Comey letters as just some random bounce of a ball through a pachinko machine isn’t grokking their power anyway. In fact, the Comey letters are symptoms of the central moral failing of libs in America today.

                I think it might have been you who pointed out that Trump or people associated with him could very well have their own sins pertaining to lack of email security or whatever. But the reason those incidents didn’t get any traction, if in fact they occurred, is precisely because Trump is not compromised by the libs’ moral errors and therefore no one is likely to care.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                [joining in…]

                What do you mean, “we”? You’re frustrated because you’re (again) arguing counterfactuals that very few of the people participating here agree with.

                e.g., “Hillary would have won in a walk.” Both Vox and 538, not exactly conservative publications, pointed out early in the campaign that winning a third presidency is tough. The economic status of the country also pointed toward a difficult campaign for the incumbent party.

                You also seem to start your analysis at the Republican convention. By that time Trump had defeated well-funded establishment candidates like Bush, Rubio, Cruz and Kasich. Clearly Trump was enormously popular with blue-collar Republican votes hungry for a message of [white?] nationalism. If Hillary was uniquely terrible, what about all the people he beat to get there?

                So why did Hillary actually lose?

                a. Her opposition created a message that was very popular to a plurality of the country.
                b. She had no message to campaign on except a long list of policies on how she planned to govern. But good government doesn’t get people to the polling booth, as Bush discovered.
                c. She had been in the public eye so long that many Democratic partisans were tired of her and went for Bernie and then stayed home.
                d. She had been accused of so much wrongdoing over the years in the public eye that plenty of people bought into the slanders.
                e. The press had no idea how to handle the Trump campaign. By trying to be even-handed they ended up exaggerating the negative stories about her.
                f. Comey.
                g. She’s a terrible public speaker.

                The lesson to draw? Run a youngish highly-energetic politician who can take and deliver punches and who can generate enthusiasm through their personalities. The policies of the parties are pretty well defined by now; what matters is personality.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      “Is there room to say…”

      Sure there is! I wouldn’t even consider those statements particularly controversial.

      These are, however, not at all the same as saying “Comey’s letter made Clinton lose!” There is a difference between A reason and THE reason.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        @densityduck

        I suppose that’s partly my point. Some folks are saying, “IT WAS ALL THE LETTER!”
        Others are saying, “THE LETTER MEANT NOTHING!”

        My sense is the letter was one of many things that contributed to her loss and probably had a large enough impact that without it, we probably have a different result. Other — but not all — contributing factors would share that.

        In a way, I’m trying to get at what @j-r says below, namely identifying what actually (or was likely to have) happened.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Is there room to say…

      “Clinton ran a bad/flawed campaign which would probably still have been just good enough to win but for the actions of Comey.”

      I’m not sure what you mean when you ask, “Is there room to say…” We can say whatever we want, and this thread is a testament to that, but that is all superfluous to the question of whether it is true or not. People really want to discuss the Comey question in relation to how they or others feel about the campaign. That makes sense, but it also makes no sense at all.

      Whether or not Comey’s actions had an influence on the election and to what degree they swayed votes one way or the other is an empirical question. How we feel about it has absolutely no bearing on the phenomenon itself. Reading this thread, it is striking how many people want to start with an answer and backsolve the conditions to fit that answer.

      After the election I saw a lot of people sharing so-called proof that Comey swayed the election, but all that proof showed is that there was a negative shift in the polls that roughly corresponded to the timing of Comey’s letter to congress. That’s something, but it ain’t proof. I’m not even sure that it’s particularly compelling evidence considering that shift in the polls was something that had been happening independent of Comey. This is precisely why counterfactuals are hard. Sometimes the world gives us the perfect conditions for a natural experiment, but most of the time it doesn’t.

      My own view is that Hillary lost the election. That’s what we know unequivocally. There are a bunch of factors that likely contributed. But we simply have no real idea which, if any, of those factors were necessary or sufficient. Of course, I may be backsolving, as well, because the other thing that I believe is that the only person who had the power to negate or mitigate against all of those factors was HRC herself.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Roo knows. When you get enough data together, it’s a ton easier to tell what caused someone to lose the election.
        … of course you have to Find Roo to ask Roo.Report

  19. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    @jaybird @stillwater

    Let’s try again:

    “Clinton ran a bad/flawed campaign which would probably still have been just good enough to win but for the actions of Comey.”

    Do you think this is correct? (Yes or no)
    Do you think reasonable can believe this is correct? (Yes or no)

    Aftrr you answer these two questions with direct yes/no responses, we can discuss the rest.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      “Clinton ran a bad/flawed campaign which would probably still have been just good enough to win but for the actions of Comey.”

      I think it is a proposition, a theory. And the correct way to deal with theories is to submit them to some test. That test can be empirical or that test can be in some way based on pure logic. Different tests will give us answers at varying degrees of certainty. Personally, I think it is possible that, all other things being the same, had Comey not sent that lest letter to Congress, HRC would have won the election. It’s possible, but I’ve seen no convincing evidence that’s what happened. And as I pointed out above, almost all of the arguments in favor of that theory tend to come down to she was obviously the better candidate who should have won; therefore her loss is proof that something nefarious happened. If there is other evidence, I’m happy to be proven wrong. And yes, I read the Vox article. The theories are inconclusive at best without some decent empirical work to weed out the effect of the Comey letter from everything else happening in the final weeks of the election.

      There is a deeper problem, however, with the question. It is a flawed question in that it does not significantly take into account Clinton’s existing weaknesses. Think about Pizzagate. What are the chances that it had a significant effect on the election? Very low. Why? Because there is a very low chance that anyone considering voting for HRC changed their minds based on a bizarre, poorly sourced rumor. If you believed that Pizzagate was a real thing, there was almost no chance that you would have ever voted for Clinton in the first place. The email story is another animal. It had legs precisely because it aligned with concerns about Clinton’s ethics that some people already had.

      Some will say, but those ethical concerns are all BS and nothing more than the result of a long smear campaign from the conservative media. Maybe they are, but here’s the thing: if you know that people are going to be attacking you on your ethics, why wouldn’t you do everything possible to make sure that you are above reproach?

      @kazzy, above you took @jaybird to task for:

      You seem hellbent on the “HILLARY SUCKS! SAY IT! SAY IT!!!!!!” narrative…

      I will ask a rather naive question and ask , what’s wrong with that narrative? Or put another way: where is the evidence that HRC was a particular good candidate or particularly adept at running a campaign? Her previous campaign record doesn’t suggest that she is particularly strong campaigner. She doesn’t have any of the obvious innate political charm of Bill Clinton or of Obama. She always struck me as a bit of the “take your medicine candidate.” And I say that as someone who thinks that political candidates should be more that way and less Slick Willie. But I’m not the median voter. The median voter wants to catch feelings for a candidate.

      All during the election I pointed out that HRC’s campaign (both the actual campaign and the larger network of official and unofficial surrogates) was under-performing in some very obvious ways. They were slamming the “BernieBros long after it made political sense to do so. They were running a campaign that was crafted to make those already disposed to vote for her more likely to vote for her (which is good), but that was also doing a whole lot to alienate those who might be on the fence for a variety of reasons (including those worried that she was not progressive enough). They were over-estimating the number of Latinos who would be offended by Trump and over-estimating how much Trump’s misogyny would deliver women’s votes to HRC. And all through the election, I was still pretty sure that Clinton would win, just that all those unforced errors would make it closer than it needed to be.

      I made those points and folks here repeatedly came back at me with “why do you hate Democrats?” or “you don’t sufficiently understand women and minorities and how much they hate Trump.” Well, turns out I was wrong. Just not for the reasons that I suspected I would be.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        I made those points and folks here repeatedly came back at me with “why do you hate Democrats?” or “you don’t sufficiently understand women and minorities and how much they hate Trump.” Well, turns out I was wrong. Just not for the reasons that I suspected I would be.

        This is a great point. It’s important to emphasize, this is a subtle though profound moral error widespread among libs, ie, it’s not merely an error of opinion or judgment.

        The intent is to justify their antagonism and ultimately dehumanize the other side. The disparagement of people like you is just a little collateral damage here and there.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          … error widespread among libs…

          I am going to go ahead and say that this was neither my meaning nor do I agree with it. This has little to do with being a “lib.” The tendency of someone to disparage or dehumanize ideological others is located on an entirely different continuum than any left-right spectrum.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to j r
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah it wasn’t your original conclusion of course but I’m going to stand behind it anyway.

            It is true that the desire to dehumanize one’s ideological adversaries is not unique to American libs. But the libs’ cultural environment does tend to amplify this malign tendency in ways that don’t apply in other situations, in particular to the American Right.

            Among other things, the Right and Left in America have profoundly different imaginations as it pertains to the role of politics and government relative to every other aspect of life. Because libs want the government to control so much (and have succeeded in that to a substantial extent), the idea of the Right taking over is a much deeper psychological/spiritual threat. Therefore it’s easier to refuse to be constrained by the ordinary norms / laws / conventions of decent behavior.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              It is true that the desire to dehumanize one’s ideological adversaries is not unique to American libs. But the libs’ cultural environment does tend to amplify this malign tendency in ways that don’t apply in other situations, in particular to the American Right.

              Yeah, that’s nonsense as well.

              The American right has long been involved in the project of enforcing a rigid, hierarchical. traditionalist conception of who gets the full recognition of human rights in this country. And that tendency has only accelerated since the contemporary American right has set about jettisoning all its moderate and libertarian elements to focus more squarely on nationalism.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I was right the first time.

                My guess is that you are relying on dubious conclusions pertaining to motive and continuity among those supposedly representing the American Right.

                The Right as we know it dates roughly to 1955 with the founding of National Review and the debate between the Taft / Eisenhower wings of the GOP. But even before then, what you wrote wouldn’t apply to Coolidge, Hoover or TR anyway.

                My guess is, what you’re trying to do is draw a line between John C Calhoun and Donald Trump and ignore everything that happened in between. If that is your line of thought, I hope you could appreciate that it’s historically ridiculous.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Koz
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                says:

                My guess is, what you’re trying to do is draw a line between John C Calhoun and Donald Trump and ignore everything that happened in between. If that is your line of thought, I hope you could appreciate that it’s historically ridiculous.

                It’s great to guess. But your guess is wrong. First of all “the Right as we know it,” is your statement, not mine. I said the American right, which is part of a line going back to Calhoun and further, is something different from the contemporary conservative movement. And my go to historical source on the history of the contemporary conservative movement is George Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, which is summarized as follows on Nash’s Wikipedia page:

                He argued that postwar conservatism brought together three powerful and partially contradictory intellectual currents that previously had largely been independent of each other: libertarianism, traditionalism, and anticommunism. Each particular strain of thought had predecessors earlier in the twentieth (and even nineteenth) centuries, but they were joined in their distinctive postwar formulation…

                We can put aside consideration of the libertarian tradition and obviously, the anti-communist tradition can only go back in history as far as there was communism to be against. But there is very obviously a history of the traditionalist right that goes back to before there ever was a US of A and strains of which still animate part of the current conservative coalition. Now, if you want to claim that traditionalist right was somewhere at the forefront of desegregation and women’s rights and generally expanding the full franchise of rights in this country, by all means bring on the citations.

                And before you start calling other people “historically ridiculous,” maybe first, you ought to get your own understanding of history up to snuff.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to j r
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                says:

                What are you getting at here? There were possibly strong libertarian strains in the ‘regulators’ before and around the declaration of independence. (read ‘a well regulated militia’ in that context, ha)

                If you consider where communism is harbored in modern times, consider where it would have been harbored back then. Isn’t it interesting over time the desire to control by a particular form of social control.

                Calhoun had incentive to take the position he did as did those who voted the way they did on the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. So history is a mixed bag.

                To analyze the republican/conservative/traditionalist of the current time is to analyze the environment it is swimming in. This didn’t happen in a vacuum. The continued escalations/entrenchment of social constructs of any faction doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

                The weaponizing of social constructs is blatant:

                “I’ll have those ******* voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

                So we are supposedly up to which snuff, by which measure?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                @joe-sal

                I honestly have no idea what you’re asking me in that comment.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                It sounded like you had a narrow view of:
                “The American right has long been involved in the project of enforcing a rigid, hierarchical. traditionalist conception of who gets the full recognition of human rights in this country.”

                Then you went on to ‘put aside’ that libertarian tenets don’t intermesh with the current right as they have periodically for nearly 250 years. It is not clear that you endorse Nash’s position that the libertarianism was meshed with traditionalism. But that was your historical cite.

                Maybe we are cherry picking history past each other, but your cherries tend to paint the right as the enforcer of a rigid, hierarchical order, when it is just a faction in a war of factions. I would ask if enforcement of rigid hierarchial order is systemically a symptom of that war than the nature of a faction.

                I know you are quick to dismiss the right and left on terms, but do you recognize that there could exist in both the left and right a division. A division based on degree of authoritarianism.

                Because what it looks like you are doing is calling the whole of the right-conservatism/traditionalism as authoritarianism as if there weren’t a considerable historical existance of those outside of the authoritarianism you are conveying.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                We can put aside consideration of the libertarian tradition and obviously, the anti-communist tradition can only go back in history as far as there was communism to be against. But there is very obviously a history of the traditionalist right that goes back to before there ever was a US of A and strains of which still animate part of the current conservative coalition. Now, if you want to claim that traditionalist right was somewhere at the forefront of desegregation and women’s rights and generally expanding the full franchise of rights in this country, by all means bring on the citations.

                Sure. In this context, we have the idea that any contemporary explication of the flaws of Hillary Clinton or her campaign is understood to be undermining the interests of Democrats or the Democratic Party. You and I agree on that part, I think.

                My point is that this isn’t some kind of ad hoc argument but instead is an illustration of crucial moral failure of libs in America today. This woman is distraught and not completely rational, but even above the theatrics what she is doing is immoral in a subtle but important way. Ie, that her intent is that the Trump supporter is not allowed to participate in meaningful American political culture, or in an extreme case isn’t even allowed to board an American commercial airline flight.

                So, your aspersions against the traditional Right in America, which are dubious in historical terms, are even more clearly irrelevant in this context.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t like to be dismissive, but I’m having a hard time believing that you’re a serious person.

                If you want to make an argument, about either the larger historical traditions of the left or the right, that’s based in source material or substantial than a goofy YouTube video, I’m all ears. Otherwise, these are not the kind of conversations that I find of great value.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to j r
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                says:

                The YouTube video may be goofy but it’s not insubstantial. In fact, it’s kind of crucial really.

                In particular, the direct argument is not about the larger historical traditions of the Left and Right (though they are relevant) as much as the contemporary mentality of the Left (and Right).

                In the present case, the American Left/libs are motivated to oppose the Republicans and conservatives as such. Any idea that Hillary Clinton might be a bad person or a bad candidate or running a bad campaign is a threat against this posture of antagonism and libs feel the need to close ranks against it, ergo the situation of a few comments above.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Koz
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                says:

                In the present case, the American Left/libs are motivated to oppose the Republicans and conservatives as such.

                Hah! The creation of a new meme: Liberals are the REAL Cleek’s Lawists!Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Forgive me for asking to you to explain that. I’m sure I’m supposed to know what that is, but I don’t.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Liberals have so few ideas that they tend to name them.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The Law is a human institution……haReport

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I believe the meme is: Kleec’s law.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                The American right has long been involved in the project of enforcing a rigid, hierarchical. traditionalist conception of who gets the full recognition of human rights in this country.

                That’s the Left’s take on the Right. The Right’s take is it’s worth questioning whether various issues are important enough to merit a federal gov take over. Federal take overs are often expensive, have massive side effects, involve dueling rights with the Libs deciding to use one to crush the other, and are often excuses for the exercise of political power and/or pandering.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                That’s the Left’s take on the Right. The Right’s take is it’s worth questioning whether various issues are important enough to merit a federal gov take over.

                That is my take and I am not particularly of “the Left.”

                And yes, it is worth questioning things like whether the federal government should have sent in the national guard to force schools to comply with federal desegregation laws. And yes, how you answer those questions tells me a lot about how you feel about traditional hierarchies and who gets the full recognition of human rights.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                And yes, it is worth questioning things like whether the federal government should have sent in the national guard to force schools to comply with federal desegregation laws.

                Desegregation is the best example of gov success. The war on drugs and prohibition are examples of failure.

                And yes, how you answer those questions tells me a lot about how you feel about traditional hierarchies and who gets the full recognition of human rights.

                Ah yes. If I fail to support “X” I’m a racist (i.e. don’t want “full recognition of human rights” for minorities). I’m even a racist if I question whether some policy is worth the price because everything the gov does has the same value as desegregation, and things are just as bad now as they were back in the 1950’s.

                For example it would have been racist to oppose expansion of the drug war because minorities were supposed to be “helped” the most.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        @j-r

        The thing is… I’ve said several times over that Clinton ran a shitty campaign and had major flaws as a candidate. No where have I denied this. Like, literally no where.

        What I’m objecting to is this notion that Hillary supports must engage in some form of self-flagellation in order to participate in this conversation.

        If you have the time, read the entirety of my exchanges here with Stilwater and Jay. I’ve repeatedly acknowledged the problems with Hillary’s campaign, including noting very specific failures of both her and the DNC. But it isn’t enough. I have to champion her suckitude. I have to scream it from the rooftops. Any attempt to generally examine the suckiness and put it into any context and attempt to learn any lessons from it — which is what Jay CLAIMS Dems/libs ought to be doing — comes back to, “OMG HILLARY SUX SO BADLY!”

        So, yea, that isn’t a conversation. More importantly, it isn’t fruitful. I’ve already conceded that the answer to the question of, “Did Hillary suck during the 2016 Presidential campaign is?” is “Yes.” But I am consistently being told that I haven’t gone far enough.

        To circle back to your question, which I don’t consider naive: “…what’s wrong with that narrative?” There is nothing wrong with a narrative predicated upon the notion that Hillary sucked. In fact, I’d argue that any narrative that denied any suckiness on Hillary’s part is wrong. The problem with the ““HILLARY SUCKS! SAY IT! SAY IT!!!!!!” narrative…” isn’t the “Hillary sucks” part… it’s the “SAY IT!” part. It’s the notion that the intention of this conversation is to spike the ball on Hillary’s rotting political corpse and rub her supporters noses in the goo that gets squeezed out. “HILLARY SUCKS!” is an incomplete examination of the 2016 campaign. “SAY IT!” is an attempt to limit the conversation to an incomplete examination because it feels viscerally good to dance on the defeated’s grave.

        Maybe I’m taking crazy pills, but here is how the conversation has felt.
        “Hillary sucks. Her suckiness combined with other factors led to her losing the election.”
        “Say, ‘Hillary sucks.'”
        “I did. And I think that her suckiness was exacerbated by the specific circumstances surrounding the 2016 election, including an electorate particularly bothered by her suckiness.”
        “No no no… say, “Hillary sucks!”
        “Um… I said that already. Furthermore, I think her suckiness needs to be addressed by the DNC by these steps.”
        “Stop pretending Hillary doesn’t suck. I mean, she sucks so bad! Like, SO BAD! Why won’t you say it? Why won’t you learn from her suckiness? You can’t learn from it until you say it.”
        “I’ve said it. Hillary sucked. But that isn’t the full story.”
        “SAY IT!”

        Hillary sucked. She ran a highly flawed campaign. I said shortly after the election, “Why didn’t she just do blah-blah-blah?” with blah-blah-blah having been something that would have been very simple to do and which might have won her the election. She didn’t do it. Why? Some combination of her own and the DNC’s suckiness. Even then, I was more than willing to examine her own failings and their role in the election. But because I am considering factors beyond her inherent suckiness as a life form, I’m being treated as if I am unreasonable and unwilling to be reflective and critical. Which is the exact opposite of the roles of the participants in this conversation as I see it. So, yea, I’m pretty much out on this point.

        I’m more than willing to examine and learn from Hillary and the DNCs screw ups during the 2016 election. I have no intention of bending over and spanking my own ass while Hillary haters jump up and down with joy while cluck clucking that I’m not doing it hard enough.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          @kazzy

          Honestly, I think what’s happening is that you are having a conversation with Jaybird and Stillwater and I guess now with me. But other folks are coming in to comment with the strong version of the it was Comey position. And while it’s not your position per se, you’re getting caught up in it, because it seems like you’re caucusing with them. But honestly, no, it’s not fair to hold you to their position.

          Now personally, I am not trying to do that. If I thought that was your position, I wouldn’t even be having this exchange. There are people who are wedded to the Hillary did not fail; she was failed position. And I don’t really see much value in engaging with that. Likewise, I’m not trying to make you admit anything.

          What am I saying thought, is that I think that the way that you asked the question is flawed, for the reasons that I stated above. Clinton wasn’t damaged by a series of random attacks. The things that hurt her were the things that corresponded exactly to the concerns that undecided voters had: her trustworthiness and her insularity.

          The bottom line for me is that you cannot even begin to appreciate why Hillary lost until you start with her flaws. And that’s not because her flaws or so glaring or so disqualifying. It’s because Clinton’s flaws are directly related to why she lost. Her campaign did all sorts of things to play into her negatives and simply not enough to highlight her positives. That’s not the media’s fault. That’s not the Russian’s fault. And that’s not the American voter’s fault.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r
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            says:

            I agree.

            If you remember, I began not by asserting an opinion but by asking if there was “room for” a particular position. Now that was weird phrasing but I meant whether a particular middlish-ground position would be considered.

            Several respondents (not you) indicated it would not be. Which is cool for those folks. But I’m not entering into that dynamic.

            The reason I even mentioned Comey was because that seemed to be a primary topic so, were I to venture into the Comey debate, I’d need to know if there was room for middlish-ground positions or if people just wanted to yell at each other from opposite extremes.

            Above, I analogized the situation to a basketball team losing a close game in which a debatable call went against them in the final minute. Not an obviously wrong call… a debateable one. Because I’m not convinced Comey was obviously wrong but that his actions are debateable. Comey’s actions — like a debateable call — have an impact. They put points on or off the board.

            But the only reason that situation existed was because of the 200ish possessions leading up to it. Clinton had myriad opportunities to secure a lead that would have been insurmountable. And she didn’t. She played the wrong game. Her strategy was terrible.

            Then layer on top that… well, maybe she wasn’t that good and maybe couldn’t mount a huge lead and we were wrong to consider her a vast favorite.

            We can wring our hands over the call. It’d be emotionally satisfying but ultimatey fruitless in planning for the next game. I personally consider self-reflection and all that comes with it (including guilt and shame) only as useful as what you do with it to improve growing forward. Dems should feel guilt and shame and much more for what occurred in 2016, primarily because their own incompetency caused them to fail those they (claim to) care about. So let’s learn our lessons, identify Hillary and the DNC’s very real failures, and not only think about what she/they should have done differently in 2016 but what they need to do differently in 2018 and 2020… it’s highly likely the 2016 playbook will fail in future years.

            At the same time, we shouldn’t pretend the call never happened. It did. And ideally the refs (Comey) would engage in similar self-reflection and make any adjustments — if any are needed — to help provide cleaner processes.

            If you notice, I pretty much stopped discussing Comey after my initial comment because I agree with you (and Jay and Still!) that focusing on him is a distraction from the real work Dems need to do.

            I just won’t accept denial of reality as a condition for participating in a conversation.

            As to the specifics of Hillary’s failures, I think chief among them was how woefully out of touch she was, and how out of touch with being out of touch she was.

            It wasn’t just that Hillary ran a bad campaign. It’s that she seemed to think she was running a good campaign despite ample evidence to the contrary.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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              says:

              maybe she wasn’t that good and maybe couldn’t mount a huge lead and we were wrong to consider her a vast favorite.

              The one remaining question I have is why it seemed necessary to put “maybe” in there.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I put “maybe” in there because I still think there is work to be done to determine the inherent strength of Candidate Clinton and the inherent strength of Candidate Trump. I think it is really difficult to separate out how much of the result was due to the candidates themselves, how much the campaigns they ran, and how much was the context*. Trump did a better job of trying to win the 2016 election as evidenced by, ya know, the fact that he won the 2016 election.

                There was data suggesting Hillary was that much better than Trump and that she was a huge favorite and that she did mount a huge lead. There is also data demonstrating she lost (i.e., the election results).

                So, yea, I’m still putting a maybe in there because I think there are still some unknowns there.

                And, frankly, I don’t think there is all that much usefulness in doing a full Hillary autopsy. The Dems need to figure out how to win in 2020. That means doing their homework on what the likely context will be and then developing a strategy to maximize their ability to garner support within that context, which includes selection a good candidate. Given some of Hillary’s failings (out-of-touch, dismissive), it is a good bet they should avoid those qualities in the next candidate. But some of the other things that made her sucky (the Clinton name, corruption smoke) are either so specific to her or so obviously something to avoid that I don’t think we need to suss out exactly what whispers of corruption doomed her. The goal shouldn’t be, “Choose a differently corrupt candidate!” It should be, “Let’s choose someone who doesn’t have that stink on them.” Hillary had the stink. I think acknowledging that is enough.

                Now… what’s funny is you note that that was your one remaining question. Which implies you had other questions that I answered. Yet… you simply ignore that. Do you realize how frustrating that is in a discussion? Do you realize that peppering people with an endless list of questions — many “Gotcha!” in nature — and avoiding or only obtusely answering questions put to you is like, kind of a dickish thing to do?

                If you are trying to teach people a lesson or serve as some Mirror From On Atheist High… please spare me. If you are trying to engage in a discussion, at least offer the other party the respect to, ya know, discuss things.

                * Note: When I discuss context, I don’t mean Comey or Russia or Wikileaks. I mean the mood in the country and the general feelings of the electorate, which vary from election to election.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                And, frankly, I don’t think there is all that much usefulness in doing a full Hillary autopsy. The Dems need to figure out how to win in 2020.

                My position is that if they don’t know that they did anything wrong in 2016, they’re not likely to know whether they’re doing anything wrong in 2020.

                And just as likely to be blindsided by bad luck that came out of nowhere when the FBI announced that they were re-opening their investigation or something equally implausible.

                I think acknowledging that is enough.

                There’s acknowledging it after the fact (somewhat useful) and acknowledging it before the fact (very useful indeed). If someone acknowledges such a thing before the fact next time… what will the general response be? “You’re just another Zuckersucker!”?

                Now… what’s funny is you note that that was your one remaining question. Which implies you had other questions that I answered. Yet… you simply ignore that. Do you realize how frustrating that is in a discussion? Do you realize that peppering people with an endless list of questions — many “Gotcha!” in nature — and avoiding or only obtusely answering questions put to you is like, kind of a dickish thing to do?

                How frustrating it is? I I admit that that question doesn’t make sense to me.

                As for the “gotcha” and avoiding/obtusely answering questions put to me, I try to answer questions as precisely as I can and if someone expresses to me that they’re not familiar with one of the concepts that I mistakenly assume that they’re familiar with, I try to break the concept down.

                I can appreciate that I can be a difficult sparring partner, though.

                If you are trying to teach people a lesson or serve as some Mirror From On Atheist High… please spare me. If you are trying to engage in a discussion, at least offer the other party the respect to, ya know, discuss things.

                What does “discuss things” mean in this context?

                “I think X”
                “I disagree with X and here are my reasons.”
                “Isn’t there room for someone to have the opinion of X?”
                “Um… sure? But I still disagree with X and here are my reasons.”Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                My position is that if they don’t know that they did anything wrong in 2016, they’re not likely to know whether they’re doing anything wrong in 2020.

                And just as likely to be blindsided by bad luck that came out of nowhere when the FBI announced that they were re-opening their investigation or something equally implausible.

                This is good as far as it goes, but this assumes that there’s some reason why we should want the Demo’s to be successful in 2020. And unless something changes radically between now and then, we don’t.

                The opposition to Trump has blinded libs to their own bad faith. Before libs worry about anything else, libs should come to grips with their own intentions as it relates to solidarity with America and Americans. Their failure on this score is a strategic error besides, as you have pointed out.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
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              says:

              “The Comey letter was a factor in Clinton’s loss” is a position so trivially true that it seems hardly useful to bring it up except as the lead-in to a just-asking-questions-here thing that ends up being an argument that the Comey letter was the only reason Clinton lost–and, therefore, Comey is the bad guy and the focus of the Democrats, going forward, should be to ensure that the Executive-branch bureaucracy is filled with people smart enough to keep their mouths shut at critical moments.

              I mean, if you want to say “the Comey letter was a factor that swung the needle enough to make the difference”, sure, you’re right. So was “basket of deplorables”, so was taking the Rust Belt for granted, so was marginalizing Sanders, so was strong advocacy for a Syrian intervention, so was fainting on national TV and thinking that she could no-sell it.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Exactly…small gov conservatives and libertarians admitting the FBI was part of swinging an election and of course there is nothing wrong with that. Conservatives and libertarians have always been fine with that kind of thing, they are small gov folks who fear federal power. They love big gov doing things they like and want more power. That’s what i’ve always heard them say.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                “small gov conservatives and libertarians admitting the FBI was part of swinging an election and of course there is nothing wrong with that.”

                Yeah, see, this is why I think it’s worth pushing back on this just-asking-questions just-establishing-whether-it’s-reasonable thing. Because the tool that you build can be used so many ways.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                I have no idea what that means.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                Exactly…small gov conservatives and libertarians admitting the FBI was part of swinging an election and of course there is nothing wrong with that.

                It depends on the “why” of things.

                If Obama orders the FBI to investigate his opponents, we have a big problem. We also have a big problem if Obama (or his minions) is just taking advantage of other (legit) investigations and mining the information.

                Similarly if Comey is a Trump supporter and did his thing just to mess with HRC, then we have a big problem and this was a stunning misuse of the power of the gov.

                But what apparently happened is HRC (expert in politics and the law) painted herself into a corner where she was expressly using the FBI’s endorsement of her actions/ethics as a reason why she should be in office. She also did her best within the law to obstruct that investigation (deleting 31k emails, using layers of lawyers to slow things down). She also apparently attempted to put her finger on the scale with Bill’s meeting with the AG.

                So the FBI found, or thinks it’s found, some of the evidence that HRC destroyed.

                The FBI must either withdraw its endorsement (thus affecting the election) or suppress that it’s endorsement is now void (thus affecting the election). The rules never envisioned this situation and the AG wasn’t available because of Bill.

                If they’d suppressed and then, one week after her election victory, announced that they’d found something and oh by the way, they’d lied when they’d said she was clean, it would have been really ugly.

                If they’d attempted to suppress and the media found out anyway it would have been worse for both HRC and the FBI, possibly affecting HRC’s election.

                It’s possible to read what the FBI did as an effort to minimize the damage to both themselves and HRC. If the “why” of all this is, “HRC put the FBI in this situation and they didn’t have any good options”, then it’s hard to care. Maybe it was the wrong call… but I doubt it occurred to them she’d lose any more than it occurred to anyone on this site.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                ahhh the smoke bomb and run away approach to dealing with facts you don’t like.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                ahhh the smoke bomb and run away approach to dealing with facts you don’t like.

                Difficult decisions have to be made without perfect information.

                Assume you’re Comey and it’s 3 weeks before the election. You don’t know if the emails you found show criminal mis-doing. You’ve vouched for her. You’ve promised Congress to keep them informed. The AG (whose job this should be) left you in charge because she got caught with HRC’s husband. It may be impossible to suppress this info because of how many people already know about it, which would mean rather than it coming out weeks before the election it could come out days before.

                What do you do to keep the FBI out of the slime pit?Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                ” caught with HRC’s husband” wow, talk about a slime pit.

                You want to stay out of the slime, don’t stir it up w/o evidence. Don’t have evidence, then shut up. Blaming sleaze monger leakers for official smears is sleazy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                greg,

                He’s referring to Bill’s private meeting with Lynch at the airport which was widely reported at the time.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Still, i know that is what he is referencing. That is a primo sleazebag way to frame that. It was widely reported and not exactly some secret.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to greginak
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                says:

                No, it WAS”T a secret. But the AG rescuing herself after a hour long chat with the former president, that officially, “was a coincidence” that ended up with the two talking “about their pets” or whatever smacks of GRADE A BULLSHIT. It doesn’t even come into range of a sniff test. And that’s for folks without Bill Clinton’s history.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
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                says:

                Still, i know that is what he is referencing. That is a primo sleazebag way to frame that.

                When we talk about ethical violations large enough to force the AG to recuse herself, “Sleazy” is hard to avoid. I could have said “illegally”, “unethically”, and/or “corruptly”.

                As usual, the cover up causes a lot more problems than the crime. It’s surprising how often we need to relearn that.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                It wasn’t a violation. And you framed it in a sleazy manner to suggest something that didn’t occur.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                It wasn’t a violation. And you framed it in a sleazy manner to suggest something that didn’t occur.

                The AG is going to decide whether or not to pursue charges (or just announce things which could trainwreck HRC’s Presidential run) in a few hours or (at most) days.

                The AG meets HRC’s husband for an hour in a secluded spot where no one but them knows what was said. The meeting is described as “social” (about grandchildren and golf)… on a private airplane sitting on the tarmac.

                HRC, if she wins, and she *will* win if the AG gives her a pass (because Trump), will be in a position to help the Lynch the AG.

                Just days later, FBI Director James Comey called Hillary Clinton’s actions “extremely careless” but declined to recommend charges.

                The most innocent spin we can put on this is the Clintons are such close personal friends of Lynch that Bill inviting himself aboard her airplane is reasonable (and he’s so amazingly confident that HRC will be cleared that he’s not thinking about it)…

                …which only raises the issue of how is it that up until that point Lynch was supposed to be the one making the call on what to do about HRC.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                ……the Comey letter was the only reason Clinton lost–and, therefore, Comey is the bad guy and the focus of the Democrats, going forward, should be to ensure that the Executive-branch bureaucracy is filled with people smart enough to keep their mouths shut at critical moments.

                This. There’s quite a lot of value in not prosecuting losers of elections so you can see why it happens but it doesn’t come free. As it stands we’re missing out on a righteous prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her manifold criminality.

                If such a thing did happen, it would suck the oxygen out of the room in terms of dominating the discourse, but it would be a salutary occasion for libs in America to take stock of their culpability for corrupting the machinery of our politics.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                @densityduck

                I mentioned the Comey letter because people were arguing about the Comey letter.

                Saying that any mention of the Comey letter is essentially poisoning the well is exactly the sort of mindset I reject.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Saying that any mention of the Comey letter is essentially poisoning the well is exactly the sort of mindset I reject.

                DD doesn’t think it poisons the well either. In fact, he thinks the exact opposite. Here’s what he wrote: I mean, if you want to say “the Comey letter was a factor that swung the needle enough to make the difference”, sure, you’re right. So was [list of other causes]…

                The issue is the role the Comey letter plays in an explanatory account. You keep insisting people are disagreeing with you at some fundamental level when they aren’t, seems to me. Everyone on this board concedes that the Comey letter – considered merely as an event that occurred in the world – contributed to Hillary’s failure to win the election.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I think Noah Smith recently said something like, “As the spread in the polls approaches zero, the number of deciding factors in the election approaches infinity.”

                I don’t get why so many smart people don’t get this. There were probably several factors that were individually enough to flip the election to Clinton. The fact that more than one such factor exists doesn’t mean that the others weren’t also decisive. We needed a whole lot of starts to align to end up with President Trump.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                says:

                Sure, but it obscures more than it illuminates when those causes are different in scale. We know that Comey was very likely responsible for a 1-2% slide in the polls and possibly a 3-4% slide. We can’t even measure whether a few campaign stops in Wisconsin would have done anything at all.Report