We Deserve Donald Trump

Vikram Bath

Vikram Bath is the pseudonym of a former business school professor living in the United States with his wife, daughter, and dog. (Dog pictured.) His current interests include amateur philosophy of science, business, and economics. Tweet at him at @vikrambath1.

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129 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    Donald J. Trump is the same man he has last year, 4 years ago and ten years ago. His behaviors are well known and nothing he has done – procedurally anyway – is the least bit surprising. and roughly 27% of America’s voters – distributed in the “right” electoral states – decided that was good enough for president. 3 Million voters – geographically in the wrong place – voted for someone else because they knew what we were getting. The remaining 45% of voters either couldn’t vote or though it was pointless.

    We are where we are because a minority of US voters managed to inflict their will on the nation. That they are now (finally) feeling pain from that decision is sad, but entirely unsurprising. Even so – as a Blue guy living in a Red state – they will not abandon him because they have bought the lie that as bad as it may be for them, its worse for people they want to hurt. They also will not abandon him because doing so means they have to admit they were wrong – and just like a certain Georgia school district they will literally die before doing so.

    That is the electoral landscape we face – with closed polling places in Red states, a lack of national mail ballot guidelines, a collapsing Postal Service, and a less then inspiring candidate on Team Blue. While both national and state level polling shows that Biden may well get the chance to start putting the car back together (we are a long way from reinstalling the wheels), its not a done deal yet.

    We as a Nation have the President we (sadly) deserve.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

      “We are where we are because a minority of US voters managed to inflict their will on the nation.”

      We are where we are because, somehow, for some strange reason nobody can seem to articulate, the Democrats couldn’t get anyone to show up to vote for the President.

      Some weird thing happened in 2016 that so many Democrat voters looked at the options and said “you know what? I’m just not interested in going and voting this year.”

      Like, the Democrats couldn’t manage to get the voters to turn out to vote against Donald Freaking Trump, not even in states that had voted Democrat since before they were states.

      Maybe it’s worth looking into that. But I can understand how it’s more comforting to blame it all on Racist Republicans, because that’s not a problem that Democrats have to solve.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Maybe it was here, or on another blog I saw an anecdote about General Pickett, where after the war in his retirement was approached by some enthusiastic Lost Causers who wanted to press him on his famous charge and why it was a disaster.

        Was it this other Confederate general who failed to come to his aid, or was it the lack of supply from the Confederate government, or some Confederate major under his command who failed?

        Gen. Pickett apparently sighed, and said, “I believe the Yankees had something to do with it.”Report

      • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

        3 million more people voted for Hillary then voted for the President. So I don’t think your argument about showing up really holds water. They were not in the “right places” with respect to the electoral college, and I have said repeatedly on multiple threads here that is on her campaign. Many other liberals have said that. Columnists in the MSM have said that. Its one of the things we still worry about with respect to Mr. Biden.

        It also does not change the fact that we have Mr. Trump as President because our system of voting enabled 27% of voters to determine who our president is, and they chose the most inept, narcissistic, corruption prone person they could. I do lay the blame for their choice squarely on them – Republicans started out with 15 other contenders if you recall, any one of whom would have been more competent then the current Baffoon in Chief, all of who could just as easily based on a swift, sure, and effective response to the have defeated Clinton, and most of whom would be coasting to a smooth reelection pandemic.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

          “3 million more people voted for Hillary then voted for the President. ”

          Not where it mattered, though. And where it mattered, for some strange reason people didn’t show up.

          Like, you’d think it wouldn’t have been hard to get people everywhere in the country excited to the same degree, and yet there were all these places where that didn’t happen. Isn’t it worth asking why the voters in Louisiana were so much more willing to get up and go out and vote for Hillary Clinton than the voters in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania?Report

          • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

            Not where it mattered, though. And where it mattered, for some strange reason people didn’t show up.

            I agree with you

            They were not in the “right places” with respect to the electoral college, and I have said repeatedly on multiple threads here that is on her campaign.


            • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

              You agree with me, you say, but then you also say that “…a minority of US voters managed to inflict their will on the nation.”

              And I’m thinking that you mean the latter thing more strongly than you mean the former thing.

              It was the Democrats’ campaign to lose and they lost it good and hard, blaming things on some idiosyncrasy of the American electoral process is a distraction.Report

              • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

                The president received the support of 27% of voters. That’s a minority any way you slice it. He also received that support in a differing set of geography then Secretary Clinton. That’s how he won the electoral college. Secretary Clinton could well have done better in those states, but even reporting at the time showed she wasn’t putting her emphasis where she needed to. the President benefited from that idiosyncrasy.

                I have also long said that the 45% of Americans who didn’t bother to vote, or were prevented logistically from voting – are a huge part of the problem. Funny how no one on the right ever dives into that subject.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Has any president received support from the majority of voters?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                There are numerous presidents who have received true majorities of the votes cast. GWB was that last one. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1034688/share-electoral-popular-votes-each-president-since-1789/)

                And we have historically had way over 40% of voters vote, though the statistics become challenging as you go farther back in history because we added women and people of color and lowered the voting age over the last 100 years.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

                Over at Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell has a good essay on a review of a book discussing the conservative dilemma:
                Hacker and Pierson argue that modern US conservatives as represented by the Republican Party face their own version of this dilemma – how to attract mass support for an agenda of cutting taxes for rich people?
                Furthermore, the dilemma has gotten ever more vexing as US economic inequality has increased, so that the interests of the Republican party’s clients and ordinary voters clash ever more. This, then is the engine that they argue has driven US Republicans ever further to the extremes. If they want to get their agenda through, they need popular support, and the best way to generate that support is through fostering division and extremism, amplifying the beliefs of a sufficient number of voters that their way of life is under threat from un-American, irreligious people who want to destroy their traditions. Plutocratic populism – the key phenomenon that they set out to analyze – is precisely a welding of a plutocratic agenda with populist rhetoric.

                Or as Donald Trump says, “Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything,” Trump said, standing behind a podium with the presidential seal. “Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Hold on. You raised the issue of non-voters. I assume, based on what you’ve said, that you were referring to candidates receiving a number of votes greater than 50% of the total number of registered voters. Do you have data on that?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                There doesn’t appear to be any broken out that way. Frankly I’d love to find it but so far google is not helping me. You can get total voting (which has been as high as 80% of the eligible population back when it was all white men) and you can get reliable breakdowns by gender once women start voting (And by race beginning in the 1950’s). But I have yet to find anything that just has total % of registered voters. Heck even the numbers for the last election require construction as you have to take total actual votes and work that against total registered to get the basic percentages.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                So, do we agree that it’s unfair to complain that Trump got a minority of total registered voters?Report

          • I still say that the Democrats — and also a lot of pundits — missed/ignored that going into the 2016 election, Wisconsin had a Republican trifecta state government, Republicans in 5 of 8 US House seats, and one Republican US Senator. MI was almost as bad. The “great blue wall” in the Midwest beloved by the pundits had been looking increasingly shaky for years. The voters that didn’t turn out to vote for Hillary there in 2016 hadn’t been turning out for some time. More likely, they are increasingly not there at all in a relative sense.

            The Republicans/pundits are making the same mistake in the Mountain West. The Republicans have lost New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, and are quickly losing Arizona.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

          HRC didn’t get a majority of the popular vote, she simply gathered a slightly larger plurality of it. That we have had the same voting system for centuries, one of regional representation hasn’t changed, and in the actual contest that matters, the fact that Trump slaughtered Clinton is what matters.

          And I highly suspect that all the people gnashing and wailing that Trump didn’t WIN the popular vote would be perfectly content with her nibbs being in the catbird seat despite this. And as we see in a post bemoaning the fact that only 27% of voters determined the election, well, that is what happens some years. You have to get the vote out, and if some people didn’t vote, then they cast their vote for the status quo.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

          3 million more people voted for Hillary then voted for the President. So I don’t think your argument about showing up really holds water

          Four years later and some Democratic voters *still* can’t bring themselves to admit the obvious: that Hillary Clinton was a widely despised (not merely disliked) candidate. Honestly, I just don’t get it. When she won the nomination she had the highest disapprovals in Presidential campaign history. People – including Dems – *really* didn’t like her.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

            They were not in the “right places” with respect to the electoral college, and I have said repeatedly on multiple threads here that is on her campaign.

            3 Million more people liked her then Donald Trump. She and her campaign assumed that the Blue Wall would hold in those swing states, and wrote them off. It was bad tactically and bad strategically. I and a great many others have said so. Not sure what else you want . . .Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

              She and her campaign assumed that the Blue Wall would hold in those swing states, and wrote them off.

              You’re identifying Hillary’s problems in the rust belt as a tactical mistake, an oversight, but it wasn’t. Her support in the rust belt was low because lots of rust belt voters didn’t trust her and she was unable to change their minds, in particular, because of conscious choices she made during the primary (doubling down on the southern black vote during the primary).

              Look, Donald Trump is one of the most odious, disgusting, repulsive human being American society is capable of producing, yet she *lost* to him. Pinning that loss on a tactical mistake ranging over 6 states, trivializes the catastrophic decision-making not only during her campaign but which led to her being anointed as the nominee. To repeat, going in to the general she had the highest disapprovals in Presidential campaign history. Everyone in politics knew she had weak support, even among Dems voters.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

                You keep talking about her unfavorables . . . yet it seems the record of the day shows Mr. Trump have equal or worse unfavorables:



                Trump, of course, has long been the more unpopular of the two presidential nominees, and he remains so; 35 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of him, compared to 63 percent unfavorable.


                Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, putting her on par with Donald Trump among registered voters.


                So yeah, her unpopularity doomed her . . . but not him . . . gee, I wonder why?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

                So yeah, her unpopularity doomed her . . . but not him . . . gee, I wonder why?

                Why didn’t it?

                I honestly have no idea where you’re going with this.

                Add: arguing that Hillary’s unpopularity had “reached a new high” and was equal to Trump’s sorta gives up the game doesn’t it?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

                it means that either way, we were bound to get a candidate that was hugely unpopular. The winner still is.

                But again, talking about only her unpopularity and not his as THE thing that DOOOMED her campaign is disingenuous at best.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

                it means that either way, we were bound to get a candidate that was hugely unpopular

                In 2016 Joe Biden wasn’t hugely unpopular. Nor was Bernie Sanders!

                You’re arguing in circles now. Hillary was *uniquely* unpopular among prospective Dem candidates at the time. Yet she’s who the establishment and DNC coalesced around.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

                Donald Trump was deeply unpopular among prospective Republican candidates and yet he is who Republicans coalesced around.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

                {{Philip, were not talking about Trump we’re talking about Hillary who lost to Trump why do you keep talking about Trump instead of the person who lost to him}}Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                I have to side with Philip here.

                Imagine a football game where both teams had lousy quarterbacks.
                Both teams score 3 TDs.
                One team goes for 2 each time and gets it 2 out of 3 teams.
                The other team take the XP each time and nails it.
                The former team wins 22-21.

                Wouldn’t it be silly to say that the losing team lost because they had a bad quarterback?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                If the quarterback actually is bad – bad at leading the offense, bad at completing passes, liable to take the big hit, prone to fumbling – then yes. It’s a perfectly valid complaint.

                That Hillary was a really lousy quarterback is my argument, though, not Philips. He thinks she made some tactical mistakes (ie., that its the coaches fault) that she lost the game.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                Is it your position that, “Hillary was a bad candidate and this contributed to her loss?”
                Or is your position that, “Hillary was a bad candidate and that is the reason she lost?”

                If it is the former… it doesn’t really stand up.

                Again, to my analogy: BOTH quarterbacks were bad. They were bad at all the things you mentioned. One team won because it got that extra point, which really had nothing to do with the badness of the quarterbacks. Yes, if the team had a better quarterback, they would have won. But that was true for BOTH teams.

                The deciding factor was not that one team had a bad quarterback. The deciding factor was that one team had a tactic that got them the win.

                Would a better candidate have beaten Trump? Almost certainly. Would a better Democratic candidate have beaten a better GOP candidate? Who knows.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                My problem is that there were a handful of people, at the time, saying “this is a bad quarterback!” and the arguments were of the form “she’s not *THAT* bad of a quarterback” or “we can’t really know whether she is a bad quarterback”.

                “She threw an interception.”
                “Lots of good quarterbacks throw interceptions.”

                That sort of thing.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sure. But that is a different thing than what is being discussed.

                Phillip isn’t arguing any of that. Philip has conceded that she was bad, but that her being bad isn’t the sole reason she lost.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                Kazzy, Philip called Jaybird a troll who doesn’t argue in good faith because he criticized Hillary as a politician. He called me those things too!

                And all I did was say things you’re claiming he already agrees with. 🙁Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy says:

                You touch on the point I find more important which is that the election was going to be razor close no matter who did what.

                What is pertinent to 2020 is that even if we were in year 4 of a Generic Democrat administration, about half the statehouses would still be in Republican hands, Fox News would still be the most popular network, Mitch McConnell would still control the Senate and we would have a SCOTUS with maybe a 5-4 liberal tilt.

                George Floyd would still be dead and we would still be having the protests over BLM.

                America is deeply divided, and deeply entrenched.

                Even if Trump loses on November, the GOP will almost certainly continue its slide into ethno-nationalism and crankery, and whoever is the GOP nominee in 2024, it will almost certainly be a Trump variant.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You touch on the point I find more important which is that the election was going to be razor close no matter who did what.

                This is something that we know *NOW*.

                At the time, it was a lot more universally known that Clinton was going to win and anyone who said that she might not was being contrarian.

                Here’s a representative essay from what we knew at the time:

                Can We Please Not Spend the Next Five Months Pretending This is Going to Be A Close Election?

                Seriously. That’s what everybody knew back then.

                Remember Sam Wang? He was the numbers guy. He said “If Donald Trump gets more than 240 EVs, I’ll eat a bug.”

                Seriously. That’s what we knew at the time.

                Pretending that everybody knew that it was going to be razor thin doesn’t recall what happened at the time.

                Indeed, there was even a point at which that I pointed out that Nate Silver said that it was going to be close and I was challenged on the point and asked why I wasn’t using Sam Wang’s numbers instead.

                This happened.

                Here’s another thing we all knew:

                Repeat after me. Donald Trump is not winning the election.

                He has certainly tightened the polls. This is something Democratic voters should be concerned about but he is not winning.

                All the major polling and aggregate sites give HRC a 60-something percent chance of winning (538 on the low end) to an 80 something percent chance of winning (Princeton/Sam Wang on the high end.)

                Yet you are still here saying Trump is going to crush it and based this off vague feels from seeing MY and Gamergate on the Internet over polling and statistics. This is just as much a hot take as Peggy Noonan’s feels for Romney in 2012.

                What the hell is it gonna take for white guys to admit that they are no longer the center of gravity, especially in the Democratic Party and that is okay.

                I think way too many white guys are in full existential threat mode because they lost to a Black guy twice and now there is a pretty decent chance that an old white guy loses to a woman.


              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                The best explanation I’ve heard is that the numbers were right, but no one could bring themselves to believe it.

                In 2016 “Everyone knew” that there were certain taboos in American politics, guardrails and norms which Could Not Be Broken.

                I don’t think very many people grasped just how radicalized the GOP base had become, how disconnected they are from the their financiers, and how willing to discard old beliefs and creeds which had seemed unshakable.

                Which is the central issue facing us in 2020 and beyond. Even if Trump is crushed in November, the GOP base will be exactly as they are now.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “The best explanation I’ve heard is that the numbers were right, but no one could bring themselves to believe it.”

                As one of the people, at the time, who saw the numbers and said “hey, look at these numbers” and got a surprising amount of pushback, lemme tell ya:

                There were people who believed what they saw at the time.

                The argument that says “no one could bring themselves to believe the numbers” seems to be a psychological defense mechanism.

                Given that we’re talking about a situation where our explanation of what happened then was “everybody was engaged in psychological defense mechanisms”, I don’t find tripping across more psychological defense mechanisms particularly comforting.

                It actually makes me wonder if things aren’t actively avoided being seen once more.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

                There’s an Interesting article in The Tablet that you and other folks here might enjoy digging into.

                How the Media Led the Great Racial Awakening

                Years before Trump’s election the media dramatically increased coverage of racism and embraced new theories of racial consciousness that set the stage for the latest unrest

                It has graphs of the media’s use of terms related to current racial panic, like “systemic racism” . For example, that term skyrocketed in 2014.

                I haven’t read the article yet, because I’m mainly thinking about what to eat for lunch, but the graphs are certainly interesting. 🙂Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                What things are being avoided, and by whom?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, for one thing, I’d look at whether someone who was given evidence that people at the time were saying “look at these numbers, these numbers are bad” ignores looking at the evidence and then says something like “The best explanation I’ve heard is that the numbers were right, but no one could bring themselves to believe it.”

                And that’d be an example of a whom and a what.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So, what things are being avoided?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                In this case, I’d say the whole issue of whether the numbers were seen at the time.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                The issue being avoided in 2020 is the numbers in 2016?

                I’m not following the logic.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The issue being avoided is whether an avoidable mistake was made at the time. Sure, I got it wrong… but everybody got it wrong! We all got it wrong together.

                Nothing to be done about it.

                “Um, there were people at the time who saw things that you’re claiming that nobody at the time saw.”

                “What’s the issue here?”

                Chip, if I asked you in 2016 whether you had any major tells for whether you were deliberately not seeing something, what would you have told me at the time?

                If you want to know what the deeper issue for right now, 2020, is…

                I’d ask “do you look around and see anything that reminds you of your headspace in 2016?”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So this is all just an elaborate “Chip needs to admit he was wrong about 2016”?

                Sure, I was wrong. As I alluded to above, I failed to grasp how radicalized the GOP electorate was, and how powerful their type of resentment was especially in the Rust Belt.

                Are we good, and can we talk about what’s going on in 2020 now?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, it’s not an elaborate “Chip needs to admit he was wrong”.

                It’s a “holy cow, I don’t know that Chip recognizes that it was possible to act differently than how he acted or to think thoughts other than the ones he thought”.

                “I failed to grasp how radicalized the GOP electorate was, and how powerful their type of resentment was especially in the Rust Belt.”

                So the only mistake you made was thinking that your enemies weren’t as bad as they are?

                If you’re hoping to disabuse me of the notion that I’m seeing psychological defense mechanisms, you’re failing.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ah, those old psychological defense mechanisms.

                You realize you aren’t actually even making any sort of assertion here about events of 2020, other than that only Jaybird can clearly see things, while everyone else is blinded by crippling psychological mechanisms.

                And our psychological mechanisms make it impossible for you to even share your superior viewpoint. You can’t even describe it for us, that’s how bad it is!

                Man, its almost like I am in a cave, watching shadows on a wall or sumpin.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, Chip. That’s not my argument.

                It’s not even that I can clearly see things.

                It’s that you were arguing that no one could bring themselves to believe that the numbers were close. And I pointed out multiple people who did believe that.

                Were the mistakes that were made in 2016 mistakes that it’s possible to learn from?

                Only if they’re looked at, I suppose…Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I said ” numbers were right, but no one could bring themselves to believe it.”

                Which I think is accurate, since most of the major pundits thought a narrow Clinton victory was certain.

                But what do you think that says about 2020?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                As I alluded to above, I failed to grasp how radicalized the GOP electorate was, and how powerful their type of resentment was especially in the Rust Belt.

                In hindsight, was it a mistake for the Democrats to nominate Hillary?

                Sure seems like an obvious “yes!” to me….

                “No, in hindsight the Dems just needed the GOP to have been less radicalized…..”Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip, this is a tired old game. But look at it this way: if you don’t understand how identifying mistakes made in 2016 is a necessary part of improving the chances of winning in 2020, then you’re making Jaybird’s point for him: that Dems don’t want to learn from their mistakes and will continue to only clap louder.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, when you elaborate on the scenario like that I reject it. The only reason it was close is because Hillary was chosen as the starter, fumbled repeatedly, threw incomplete passes and interceptions galore, took massive hits for huge losses, didn’t understand blocking schemes or how to get stops on defense…

                The Dems had better QBs on the roster. It was her turn I guess. I mean, that’s what people said at the time anyway… Hell, North said it as recently as today.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

                I missed Philips attacks. My apologies. I would not endorse him saying that about you, Still.

                “The Dems had better QBs on the roster. It was her turn I guess. I mean, that’s what people said at the time anyway… Hell, North said it as recently as today.Report”

                Wouldn’t that really make it the GM’s fault? Or the coach? Some combination therein? Along with the QB, of course.

                None of what I am saying here should be misconstrued as a defense of Hillary or a claim that she should have won or did win or anything like that. Believe me, I have lots of criticism for Hillary and the Dems for how 2016 turned out.

                But if your takeaway is simply that, “Choosing a bad, unlikeable candidate means you will lose,” then you are ignoring that the GOP *also* chose a bad, unlikeable candidate. So, obviously, you CAN choose a bad, unlikeable candidate and still win! The GOP did that in 2016!

                Now, a takeaway of, “It doesn’t matter if you choose a bad, unlikeable candidate… You can still win!” would be an even worse one. So if anyone is deluding themself into thinking that choosing Hillary *didn’t matter*, they are also wrong… and wronger than the perspective I noted just above.

                This is where we have to look at process vs outcome.

                Fact 1: The Dems process was a bad one; they selected Hillary as their candidate.
                Fact 2: The GOP process was a bad one; they selected Trump as their candidate.
                Fact 3: The GOP won.

                Fact 3 does not negate Fact 2. And that holds true even if Fact 3 was “The Democrats won.”

                Here is another way to think about it: heads up blackjack

                The GOP and the Democrats are both players at the table. They both get dealt a 20. These are strong hands. This represents their advantage in the 2-party system. It does NOT represent the strength of their candidates; just the strength of being Democrats and Republicans in a system that is only going to elect a Democrat or a Republican.
                Both players hit. HOLY CRAP THAT WAS DUMB!!!!!!! Hitting on 20 is phenomenally stupid. It all but ensures you lose. Hitting on 20 is selecting Trump for your candidate. Hitting on 20 is selecting Trump for your candidate. It is a really bad and dumb thing to do that almost ensures you will lose.

                The Dems pull a 2. 22. You bust.
                The GOP pulls an Ace. 21. Holy smokes. You win!

                Both players were dumb and played poorly. It worked out — against all odds — for the GOP. But they should not repeat that strategy. They will lost almost every other time they do it.

                The Dems should also not repeat that strategy. They will lose almost every time they do it.

                The problem here is that some Dems aren’t focused on, “Holy crap! We turned a winning hand into a loser! Don’t do that again!” They’re looking at the final ‘score’ of 22-21 in a closest-to-21 contest and thinking, “Man! So close!” No… no…. nooooooooooooo. Not so close.

                Why did the Democrats lose? Because they chose an unlikeable candidate AND she/they committed some massive strategic errors.

                Choosing an unlikeable candidate *alone* does not explain their loss. Why? Because the GOP also chose an unlikeable candidate. It contributed massively to their loss. But it wasn’t the sole reason for it.

                Coming back to football, here is how we can summarize the two TEAM’S approaches to the game:
                Democrats: Start a bad QB and play a conservative scoring strategy that costs you a fraction of a point over time.
                GOP: Start a bad QB and play an aggressive scoring strategy that gains you a fraction of a point over time.

                The scoring strategy, on average, is worth less than a point per game. On this particular day, it created the margin of victory. But, to your point, either team could have changed their odds dramatically by selecting a different QB. A different QB moves the expected scoring margin by many points, perhaps more than a touchdown.

                Multiple thing scan be true.
                The Democrats positioned themselves to lose because they chose an unlikeable candidate.
                The Democrats positioned themselves to lose because she/they employed a bad strategy.

                Changing one of those might have changed the outcome. Which doesn’t negate the truth of the other.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

                I missed [the] attacks. My apologies. I would not endorse him saying that about you, Still.

                I didn’t mention it as a sympathy plea or to get an apology, but to show that the argument you’re making isn’t the argument he and others are making. Saul referred to people who criticize HIllary’s campaign as being alt-right trolls. Your view is that Philip (maybe Saul too…) agree with the negative critiques of Hillary. But they don’t.

                My argument – going back to 2015-16 – is that Hillary was a deeply flawed candidate, that the flaws were widely recognized by lots and lots of people, yet the Dem political establishment anointed her anyway. She was out of step with the times, had a terrible voting record while in Congress, was investigated for 4 years for decisions made while Sec of State, had just massive unfavorability in the electorate. The list goes on.

                My point about that isn’t to run her down – I’m sure she’s a wonderful person who loves her kids a lot – but to highlight that all the problems which emerged during her candidacy were entirely predictable and predicted. Most of us who watched the 2016 general election roll out also watched the 2008 primary. Yet the party insiders somehow decided that it was her turn *even though* the Dem base and the electorate at large didn’t like her very much. The expectation of the liberals here at the OT, however, was and continues to be that pointing out any of the structural, institutional, or personal mistakes/flaws was evidence of alt-right trolling rather than expressions of the obvious.Report

              • North in reply to Philip H says:


            • KenB in reply to Philip H says:

              3 Million more people liked her then Donald Trump.

              I’m looking forward to Trump’s likely imminent departure, mostly because I’m really ready to see him gone, but also a little because maybe then I won’t have to see this stupid line of argument continue to be repeated anymore.

              If the national popular vote was what mattered for winning the election, then both campaigns would’ve done things differently, and voters would’ve made different choices about whom to vote for and whether to vote. People who lived in a solid red or blue state would’ve been more likely to vote, and to not vote 3rd party. We have no way to know what the result would’ve been — likely Hillary would’ve won, but I say that because of the national polls and not because of the actual results under a different set of rules.

              Both the candidates and the voters are actually smart enough to understand how the current system works and make decisions based on that. So Hillary’s getting a plurality of the vote is just as significant as a football team gaining more yards but still losing, or a hockey team getting more shots on goal but still losing — i.e. not significant at all, just something for the losers to console themselves with for a little while, but really after a few days it’s a little pathetic to keep talking about it as if it mattered.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to KenB says:

                Both the candidates and the voters are actually smart enough to understand how the current system works and make decisions based on that.

                I’m pretty sure that ‘Trump is smart enough to understand…’ requires citation.

                I think perhaps his _campaign_ was smart enough.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

          Don’t bother arguing this fact with bad faith trolls who try to hide their alt-right sympathies unconvincingly.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Hillary Clinton entered the general election in 2016 with the highest disapprovals in presidential campaign history, Saul.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

              Here’s a lovely little essay about “red teaming”.

              A lot of people don’t think that red teaming is important.

              Or worse, they see it as trying to do damage.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                Can you ever just make a clear point?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Eh, I when I try, I generally say stuff like what Stillwater said. “Hillary Clinton had bad favorables and worse unfavorables”, that sort of thing. I go into the gaffe that she made in front of the coal miners or the whole “deplorables” thing.

                And the argument comes back that something must be wrong because I’m not clapping loudly enough.

                I suppose that this might be fair enough… I mean, hey, I’ve argued that I always vote 3rd Party and whatnot so it’s not like I’m on Team Blue or anything like that.

                But the assumption isn’t merely that I’m wrong, it’s that I’m *TROLLING*.

                And that might be fair as far as it goes but it not only applies to me (and Duck), but it applies to Stillwater who is pretty firmly on Team Blue.

                It ain’t about disagreeing. It’s about how what we’re saying is assumed to not be said in good faith.

                So I’m stuck doing things like posting essays that discuss the concept of Red Teaming. And you can read that and agree with it, or disagree with it… whatever. But at the end of it, you’re probably not going to come to the conclusion that the very idea of Red Teaming is Trolling. It either is, or is not, a way to explore Unknown Unknowns.

                And apply that concept elsewhere.

                I mean, I’ve gotta say, the people who, at the time, were saying “Clinton is screwing this up” were the ones who were accurate in their assessments of whether Clinton was screwing things up.

                The ones who said “anyone who isn’t clapping loudly enough is a troll” ought to have taken a good long hard look at what they got wrong and why… not because their opponents would get some weird pleasure out of rubbing their nose in it, but because it’s important to look at the world and see it.

                Rather than imagine it and get pissed off at anyone who says “that thing you say is there, ain’t there… and the thing you say ain’t there, is there” as being a “troll”.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                “You’ve fallen for right wing propaganda.”

                “You’d never vote Dem anyway.”

                “You’re an anti-Dem troll.”

                “You hate Hillary because you’re a misogynist.”

                “Who cares what you think, you’re not the type of person the Dems want in their coalition.”Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                Thank you. At least I can see where you and I agree or disagree with a response like this.

                Tossing out one lines about a read teaming essay or reading it for yourself comes across as trolling because you don’t set any context. You are throwing something that may or not be related into the mix and failing to give us any direction as to why or how. makes it hard to follow since all we have are the words.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                If you find yourself bored, you can check out a couple of threads from 2016 (a couple months before the election) and see if you see any echoes.

                I mean, only if you’re bored, though. No reason to read them otherwise.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:


              • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:


              • CJColucci in reply to Philip H says:

                Many of us share your bewilderment. Lots of people out in the world beyond this blog discussed Hillary’s mistakes, just not so much here. And even out there, truly weird events crowded out the discussion of mundane errors, which would have been forgotten if Hillary had won, which she almost did. We weren’t talking enough here about what Jaybird wanted to talk about then, though I think the statute of limitations has run on that grievous offense.
                The national polls, incidentally, were largely correct, but only about what they measured. Trump filled in an electoral college inside straight, which few people predicted. Which is not surprising.
                Given how close the vote was in the key states, anyone who wants to can claim that his particular hobbyhorse was responsible for the result. By now, however, the poor horse has been flogged enough.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                We weren’t talking enough here about what Jaybird wanted to talk about then

                But we *WERE* talking about Clinton at the time. I linked to the threads.

                The problem wasn’t that “we aren’t talking about what I wanted to talk about”. I wanted to talk about the election and the candidates and we couldn’t stop talking about that. Even if we wanted to. (Which, thankfully, we didn’t.)

                But, at the time, the discussion wasn’t about Clinton’s “mistakes”, it was about whether they were mistakes at all. Hey, she was telling the truth! The questions came “why are you against people who tell the truth?”, as if that were the criticism. I was even asked if I was a Trumpet because I kept noticing things.

                It was never about whether that thing that got pointed at was there… it was about whether only bad people would notice.

                And, yes, the national polls were largely correct.

                Just like the protests have been mostly peaceful.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I appreciate the reminder, but I know full well that Density, Stillwater, and even Jay are not arguing in good faith. I know they are being trolls – just like i know George is being a troll. They seem to enjoy it.

            But they are wrong on the facts, and questionable on the policy, and that really shouldn’t be let lie. Chip rightly points out down thread that we are grappling with the next battle in the fight to make the US a truly representative democracy, and I for one don’t intend to let the trolls have the last word.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

              But they are wrong on the facts, and questionable on the policy, and that really shouldn’t be let lie.

              Well, sticky fact here is that you persist in holding the false belief that Hillary was well-liked by the electorate. A quick google search on her favorability ratings should change your mind about that. But alas! it wont.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

                I have yet to say she was well liked. I actually have a great post (which appears to still be in moderation) that pulls together reporting form the day on that – one link of which says her unfavorability had finally caught up to Trump’s going into the general election.

                You introduced her unfavorability as an interesting deflection away from my statements both about her campaign’s bad decision making (which likely ignored that polling data) and her getting more popular votes then Trump.Report

        • superdestroyer in reply to Philip H says:

          Trump is the only Republicans who would have beat Hillary Clinton. Someone like Jeb Bush would have lost in a rout because any other Republican would have operated inside the normal constraints and the normal constraints means that the Democrats always win.Report

          • Philip H in reply to superdestroyer says:

            Democrats don’t always win, otherwise Al Gore would have succeeded Bill Clinton.

            I think Mitt Romney actually would have won – he could have taken the ACA, and said “I fixed all this in Massachusetts and I can fix it nationally.” and he would have been right about that.

            Jeb Bush might not have won, but even he could have rested on his brother and father’s laurels.Report

            • superdestroyer in reply to Philip H says:

              Al Gore lost 20 years ago. Since then the demographics of the U.S. has changed enough that GW Bush would have no chance of winning. The game is being fixed to ensure that the Democrats always in and people keep thinking that the U.S. has the same population it had in the 1950’s.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Must be nice to be so young that events from 2000 aren’t counter-examples to “the normal constraints mean the Democrats always win.” Hopeful Democrats have been waiting for the long-promised demographic revolution, which has been two elections away for the last six.Report

              • superdestroyer in reply to CJColucci says:

                If the Democratic Party establishment would not have clear the board for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Democrats would have nominated someone who could win in a rout. I thought that Kerry would be the last white male to be nominated by the Democrats because the Democrats get no advantage from nominating a white male. Yet, the Democrats decided in 2020 to nominate one white male, Biden, to keep from nominating another white male, Sanders.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Left to an open and fair competition, who, other than Joe Biden, who had strong personal reasons not to run that year, would have stood a chance against Hillary in the primaries? She certainly had her weaknesses as a candidate, which nobody seems to be denying, but you can’t beat somebody with nobody. Or “anybody.”Report

              • Philip H in reply to CJColucci says:

                Bernie sure gave it a go that year.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    I’ve looked at us.

    We probably deserve him for another 4 years, honestly.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

      This, sadly…Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Who is this “we” who deserve it, and who pays the price for “our” self-flagellation? My material interests have not been damaged by the Trump presidency so far, and I am no more likely to be killed by the cops now than I was under Obama. A lot of things I care about are going to hell, but the pain is likely to be felt by people not very much like me. We haven’t gotten into, and probably won’t get into, a shooting war that puts me at risk. My niece’s fiance is another matter, but I don’t like him that much. There’s no sign of rampant inflation coming back and I can ride out any short-term swings in the market, even as I approach retirement.
        So I’m pretty well insulated against whatever Trump might do, as are lots of people like me. But it would be, at least, in bad taste, to sneer at those who are at risk and tell them they deserve it.Report

  3. George Turner says:

    The problem with getting Trump out of office is that the alternative is Joe Biden, a wildly corrupt (Ukraine, China, etc) senile old man who is the last remaining major politician who supported segregation, and amazingly, is apparently still proud of it.

    Yesterday Biden boldly weighed in on race, saying “And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.

    Of course one of the reasons for the staggering lack of diverse attitudes in the African-American community is that anyone who doesn’t support Biden isn’t actually black. ^_^

    This is adding to a growing problem that showed up in a battleground survey.

    Only 47% of those Black Americans under 30 years old that we surveyed plan to vote for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. That’s roughly the same percentage who have anything positive to say when asked what “one or two words come to mind” about the former vice president.

    So, among the few notable successes Democrats can point to this election, they are managing to turn blacks into swing voters.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to George Turner says:

      “wildly corrupt”? George, if he wasn’t a public figure, those words would get you a libel suit. Seriously.

      This is politics, you have a right to your preferences. People are conservative for quite honest reasons.

      However, I am tired of the constant spreading of oppo smear crap about political “enemies”. (For the sake of clarity, I do not think you are doing this in bad faith, I think you believe it) This is a behavior that is both widespread (and yeah, BSDI) and destroying our ability to talk to each other and work together. Take a look at your media stream and how it’s inciting you and using you by pushing this stuff. This isn’t good for you. Seriously.

      Furthermore, the more of this we see, the less we believe any of it (which is kind of a purpose that some make use of).

      I often enjoy your comments here when they are on other topics, but this kind of remark is really toxic. It worries me.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        Obama sent Biden to China to pressure them on the South China Sea. Biden decided to let the Chinese stake their claims while his alcoholic drug-addict son, who accompanied him on the trip, was given control of over a billion dollars of Chinese investment money. That is both the appearance and reality of corruption. Much the same happened with Biden’s dealings in Ukraine. The deeper you dig, the more of it you find, such as his brother joining a construction company and very short while later landing a billion dollar US government Iraqi reconstruction deal.

        The things the left constantly assumed Dick Cheney was doing regarding Haliburton? Joe Biden actually does those things.Report

  4. superdestroyer says:

    Trump was never the favorite the win. Trump is going to lose the popular vote by more than 5 million votes and was depending of pulling off the same electoral college narrow victory that lead to victory in 2016. AT the same time, voters, then given the chance of rejected Republicans up and down the ballot. There is not reason to believe that Trump will win again other than he pulled off an upset the last time.

    However, the long term consequences of the Trump Administration will be the ending of the two party system of the U.S. There is no way that the Republican Party is going to recover from Trump’s failures along with the Democrats victory in November. It will not take long for the Democrats to pack the supreme court, pass a voting rights act that make it impossible for a conservative party to win in the U.S. and passes enough entitlements to ensure that more than 50% of the voters will be automatic Democratic Party voters.

    Instead of focusing on Trump or the irrelevant Republicans, why not focus on what happens when the Democrats can do anything they want and not lose at the ballot box.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to superdestroyer says:

      Instead of focusing on Trump or the irrelevant Republicans, why not focus on what happens when the Democrats can do anything they want and not lose at the ballot box.

      Well, I tell you why. Because *articulating* what Democrats will do once they have the Powah to pass legislation *creates* Republican voters. Every time a progressive says “we’re gonna pass the Green New Deal!” Republicans gain a vote.

      Sorry to say that, but I didn’t make the rules.Report

    • They’re the Democrats! They’ll screw it up.Report

      • superdestroyer in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        DC elected Marion Barry mayor four times and yet, gave 94% of 2016 presidential vote to Hillary Clinton. To find a juristidction that gave Trump 94% of the vote, one would have to go to Miami Txas, population 1000. There are many jurisdiction where the Democrats cannot screw up enough to lose (See Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, PHily, NYC, etc).

        Considering that fewer than 50% of the children in public schools are white and considering that the more conservative party will always be considered racist, the U.S. is on the path to being a one party state where elected Democrats win a once a generation primary race and then stay in office as long as they want.Report

        • 1974: Nixon resigns in disgrace, Senate 62D-38R, House 292D-143R.

          1980: Election of Ronald Reagan

          It only took 6 years to go from the permanent Democratic majority to the most right-wing administration since Hoover.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            This is kind of a vast simplification of the demographics, history, and politics that gave rise to the Reagan right and the ending of the New Deal coalition. Carter’s victory in 1976 was narrow and mainly helped by Reagan going all out on Ford and Ford saying the Soviet Union was not a threat in a debate or something that can be interpreted as such.Report

          • superdestroyer in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            As has been pointed out many times. Ronald Reagan could not be elected president today. Ronald Reagan only received 55% of the white vote in 1980. That level of support would lead to the Democrats winning in a rout.

            There are not enough white voters to sustain the Republican Party beyond 2020 and conservative politics will always been seen as racist. Thus, virtually all non-white voters will automatically vote for the Democrats and give the Democratic Party an unbeatable majority. See California today to see what the U.S. will look like in the future. Ronald Reagan could not get elected dog catcher in California today.Report

  5. Chip Daniels says:

    Even assuming Trump loses in November, the sobering fact is that it will still be relatively close, maybe a 55%-45% sort of election.

    This is an astounding statement about America and one that needs to be taken seriously.

    Even with the most corrupt and incompetent President in history, even with a pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of people, even with a collapsing economy, even with hundreds of videos showing out of control cops beating protesters, the party of white supremacy will still garner about 45% of the electorate, and still hold about half of the state and local governments.

    Hillary Clinton didn’t do this. Joe Biden can’t fix it. A year from now, two years from now, a decade from now, we will still be grappling with the problem of how to create a truly representative democracy in America.Report

    • superdestroyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      A good way to learn how someone sees politics, ask them about gerrymandering. Almost everyone will answer that gerrymandering is bad. However, then ask them if they want geographically congruent districts, competitive districts, or districts drawn to represented communities of interest.

      If the Democratic Party has its way, districts will be drawn to represent communities of interests and conservative will have zero chance of winning a majority. How will the U.S. be a truly representative democracy when most people do not vote in a single competitive election and only changing demographics will have any effect on incumbents.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to superdestroyer says:

        Yes this is true, but my focus is a bit broader.

        Americans, even liberal Americans, have a very hard time grasping unpleasant truths.

        Things like inequality, racism and misogyny are easily batted around as buzzwords, but solutions to them tend to cause discomfort all across the spectrum.

        Which is why I made the comment, that even if Trump loses, these things will still be deeply embedded in our society.

        Even after Nov 3, a black man driving a Mercedes will stand a good chance of being pulled over and interrogated, beaten or shot. Women in many parts of the country will still be effectively unable to manage their own reproductive affairs.And immigrants will still live in fear.

        Which I think is Vikram’s point. The fact that Trumpism will still rule one of our national parties should be deeply troubling to people of goodwill.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I don’t think anyone likes to confront unpleasant truths. People with ideological bents don’t even like to confront when one deeply held belief might hamper another deeply held belief.

          The problem as you note is that racism, especially and maybe totally, anti-black racism, is so entwined and rooted in American history and society that it taints everything including people with good intentions or values that should otherwise be considered neutral or good.

          I am getting depressed to the point as to whether there is an answer for this.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I’ve come to look at racism as just one of the many ugly behaviors that religious people call sinfullness.

            And like all the other ugly behaviors, it isn’t a binary and most importantly its never defeated once and for all. It is always there, lurking in our deep subconscious waiting for an outlet. And it gets worse when we tell ourselves that we aren’t susceptible to it.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              This is a fur piece away from the “privilege + power” formulation.

              Indeed, it even implies that people who aren’t wypipo might, in theory, sin.

              That’s a dangerous thought. A lot of bad people might agree with it.

              (*I* agree with it, for the record.)Report

          • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            There is an answer! Ignore it because it’s not a real thing. The “unconscious bias” theories totally failed replication. Some SJW professors just made it up.

            For one, the theory doesn’t produce consistent results. The same test may declare a particular person a racist on Monday but a non-racist on Tuesday. Inconsistent results generally render a psychology test invalid. Secondly, the results didn’t correctly predict who would discriminate even in tiny, subconscious ways (the imaginary micro-aggressions).

            The left’s crazy obsession with racism is probably closest to hard core primitive Christians searching for signs of Satan or demonic influence lurking in people’s hearts.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change

          The Democratic party has a lot of splainin to do!Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

            Yes, very true.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

            I don’t think that that article is very helpful.

            White Liberals aren’t the problem here.

            Why aren’t you complaining about Donald Trump instead of trolling people with alt-right-friendly narratives printed at the same newspaper that printed Tom Cotton’s pro-genocide editorial?Report

          • North in reply to Stillwater says:

            She has many points but in the Dems defense, genuinely liberal zoning change was forced through in Minneapolis well prior to the current crisis and Minneapolis is moving towards dealing with their police pretty toughly at the moment. So progress is being made.Report

        • superdestroyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I take you reply as being that you believe that politics should be about communities of interest and that having competitive elections or using the ballot box to punish bad politicians is something that should not occur. That to too many people, the term a truly representative democracy is short hand for by party gets to win everything and we can ignore things like elections or the Constitution when we want to ignore them.Report

    • What if roughly 45% of America is, while maybe not actively racist and corrupt themselves, more or less indifferent to the racism and corruption of those who hold power? Which is to say, they expect people who have power to do corrupt things, they expect that people who have power will be racist, and they expect that this will never change, so they instead look for some other kind of value or quality in a candidate rather than the absence of things that they believe are inevitable?

      Worse, of course, is the possibility that roughly 45% of American voters are, in fact, racist and approve of corrupt activities.

      In either event, it would seem that we actually do have a representative democracy, a democratic process that accurately reveals all of the ugliness in the body politic as a whole.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yeah, bad choice of words on my part.
        I should have said “liberal democracy” instead.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Or, Burt, perhaps 45% of the country has a different definition of racism, and after the last admin and the reporting on it, do not trust the current reports of corruption. Especially after the joke of impeachment, in which the Dems brought forth zero criminal charges.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Aaron David says:

          If 45% of the country can conjure up definitions of the terms “racist” and “corrupt” that somehow exclude Trump’s behavior, then that 45% is using Doublespeak, not standard American English.Report

          • Aaron David in reply to Burt Likko says:

            At the end of the day Burt, what you, Chip, and the other leftward commentators are doing is assuming what you feel regarding the concepts of racism and corruption are correct and morally right, but not everyone shares those ideas, not everyone has bought into those ideas. Further, we hear the lefts cry in this regard and we look at the racists feted by the left, such as Louis Farrakhan, TNC, Joe Biden, and the corruption the left casts a blind eye too such as Hunter Biden, and the charges lose all sting. Doublespeak indeed.

            But what they do convey is hubris, and the thickness of the left’s bubble. And that more than anything shows why Trump was elected.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Who is this we that deserves Donald Trump? The majority of Americans voted against Trump. The majority of Americans have always given Trump a negative review. The only people who make the argument against Trump losing the majority vote are posters here and elsewhere who have basically expressed nothing but antagonism towards the Democratic Party and often towards minorities. They are right-wing reactionary Republicans in effect if not intent even those that will jump up and down and insist that they are libertarians and not Republicans,. They also tend to delight in bad faith argumentation.

    The polls both nationally and on a state by state basis look pretty good for Biden so far. 538 has Biden up by 7.8 in Michigan, 6.1 in PA, 7.5 in WI, and 3.6 in Arizona. Biden is well within the margin of error in Texas and Georgia as well. The only people who can’t stand this are:

    1. Libertarian/Republican die-hards;

    2. Rose Twitter lefties who are still seething that Bernie is not the nominee;

    3. Professional media who loathe reporting on anything but a nailbiting horse race.

    The polls could narrow. Trump could theoretically get another strike of lightening and lose the popular vote but win the electoral college. But it will take a lot during a Pandemic combined with a recession combined with bad faith Republicans fucking up the relief because they are too ideological to get rid of priors and save their skins.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Don’t you know Saul, Reality has a liberal bias and can’t be trusted?Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H says:

        It’s true that reality has a liberal bias, but a lot of people incorrectly believe that this means that reality has a left-wing bias. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s fiction that has a left-wing bias. Reality has a specifically neoliberal bias.Report

        • For instance, markets remain undefeated as a way of serving humanity’s needs. We saw this in the early 2000s when they were able produced an unprecedented number of highly profitable power outages in California, and again in 2008 when they didn’t even break a sweat meeting the high demand for non-performing mortgages.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    Did my comment get eaten?Report

  8. LeeEsq says:

    Trump is President because somewhere between 80K and 100K people in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin decided to vote for Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. You can make a good faith argument that the Democratic Party primary voters should have realized that Hillary Clinton was unpopular in key states needed to win the Presidency and should have gone with somebody else. What you can’t argue is that Americans deserve Donald Trump because that assumes a sort of political karmic mysticism that doesn’t exist. More Americans voted against Donald Trump than for him. During the subsequent elections, areas that were reliably Republican since the Civil War switched to the Democratic Party on the local, state, and federal levels. Republicans started taking hammerings in special and general elections ever since Trump was voted into office. Most Americans did not and do not want another Donald Trump as President.

    Another problem I have with the we deserve Donald Trump as President is that the Americans and the Americans to be who are going to suffer most are the ones who don’t deserve it all. The Americans who actively love and support Donald Trump and all his malice, cruelty, vulgarity, and corruption have not suffered anything until Covid-19. If Americans really did something bad to deserve Trump, this bad act seems to be taking out more punishment on the most innocent of Americans.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq says:

      “Trump is President because somewhere between 80K and 100K people in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin decided to vote for Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.”

      Wait, nobody in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska, Florida and all the other states that went Red, voted for him? No, we have Trump because the Dems nominated the most Hubristic candidate in several generations. Someone who couldn’t be fucked to campaign in such Dem strongholds as Michigan and Wisconsin. Someone who didn’t understand that in many parts of America, Obama is not regarded as a good president, but as a rather stinky POS.

      A person who didn’t understand how a speech she made could be sliced and diced into a sound bite that would come back to haunt her? Because the Dems nominated someone who took a speech that called one-quarter of Americans Racists Idiots and gave that speech with a smile on her face?

      No, Lee, the Dems lost because they spent eight years clearing the path for someone so tone-deaf that she could make Donald John Trump look better to enough people.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

        No, Lee, the Dems lost because they spent eight years clearing the path for someone so tone-deaf that she could make Donald John Trump look better to enough people.

        You left out the part where she spent two plus decades being the subject of right wing derision and active smear campaigns for everything from sticking with him after Monica Lewinski to her support for universal healthcare as First Lady.

        Democrats real problem – all the way back to Clinton – is they thought if the moved the party right (its now a center-Right party economically and only slightly left of classic center socially) and thus claimed money from the 1% that would ensure their power.

        Clinton’s failures in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan (tactical errors) are directly attributable to that hubris (hence a strategic mistake) because Democrats have been traditionally supported there by organized labor, and there’s nothing a good neoliberal hates more then organized labor. Had she done the traditional thing (again tactical errors) and campaigned hard there she would have won. Texas was not (and probably is not) in play for a Democrat. Ditto Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska, or Florida.

        But Secretary Clinton is no longer campaigning. And contra George’s wild fantasies, Biden is not likely to repeat her mistakes. Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska and Florida are still not in play for President, but for Senate and Congress they definitely are.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

          I guess I did leave out that she was a politician or involved in politics for two decades.

          Kinda thought that could go unsaid…Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

          Had she done the traditional thing (again tactical errors) and campaigned hard there she would have won.

          This isn’t right. The book Shattered describes the decision-making within the campaign, and it had nothing to do with taking the Dem vote for granted. Instead, it was informed by a peculiar feature of Hillary’s popularity: the more she campaigned in Michigan the worse she polled. From the book: “One of the lessons Mook and his allies took from Michigan [in the primary] was that Hillary was better off not getting into an all-out war with her opponent in states where non-college-educated whites could be the decisive demographic… Mook’s clique looked at the elevation of the Michigan primary as a mistake that shouldn’t be repeated.” So she stopped aggressively campaigning in those rust belt states – never once appearingin Wisconsin! – because *her own data expert* thought doing so would decrease her chances of winning. That’s how much people liked her in 2016.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Stillwater says:

            And I would argue that her data expert made a tactical error in as much as he told her to not try and repeat a primary approach in a general election. In the Michigan primary she was running against Bernie Sanders. He always polls well in primaries. Did this time around too. But he wasn’t the nominee and she wasn’t campaigning against someone to her left – she was campaigning against someone o her right whose unfavorables were at worse then hers. She acted on bad advice by people who incorrectly read the room. And it cost her the election. Because they were wrong, not because she was less popular the Trump.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Philip H says:

              And I would argue that her data expert made a tactical error

              In his defense, he had data. The more she campaigned in those states, the worst she polled. If she rejected his advice she might have lost by an even wider margin.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater says:

            The thing that happened with Clinton was that she needed six to eight months of being The Democratic Nominee For President to get people used to the idea that they were going to be voting for her in November 2016. Instead, she had to go all the way to the convention with that undecided, with Well Maybe It’s Gonna Be Bernie floating around, and she didn’t get the run-up necessary to…rekindle the voters’ enthusiasm, let’s say.

            So it’s true, actually, to say “Bernie screwed her”; she knew damn well people hated her and she had a plan to deal with that, and he goofed it all up–and, honestly, I think he was aware of this, he just didn’t realize how willing the DNC was to spend juice on getting her in there anyway. This doesn’t mean she was a good candidate done wrong, but the Dolchstoß is not entirely legende in this case (and, really, the knife points both ways.)Report

  9. Slade the Leveller says:

    Sweet Jesus, do we need to relitigate 2016 yet again?

    No one deserves Donald Trump, not even him. Some people have Donald Trump inflicted on them, and for the last 3.5 years those people have been all of us.Report