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AvatarComments by Jaybird

On “Reality Comes and Brings the End for Bernie Sanders 2020

And I have seen my first attack ad.

Get your counter-arguments ready. We are going to have approximately one million years of this sort of thing.

On “Lawrence Lessig and Clickbait Defamation

I admit: I did not see this coming.

On “Burnt Ends: The Fast History of Low and Slow Life

NYC doesn’t have a style of its own

Au contraire!


In that actual data you mention, do they compare Biden's numbers (that are better than Trump's) to the numbers that Clinton had (that were better than Trump's)?

Because I'd really, really, really want to know that Biden is doing better in those categories than Clinton was.

I mean, if Clinton had similar numbers in 2016, I could easily see holding them up, in 2016, as why Clinton would win.

But if I held them up, in 2016, as why Clinton would win, I'd then look to see how they translated in practice.

Should I bother clicking on the link?


If I could think of anything that might blunt Biden's advantage with women against Trump that 2018 didn't have but 2016 did, it would be the whole #MeToo thing.

In 2018, it was Trump against #MeToo.

in 2020... well, you have to understand. There are a lot of women out there who just make things up. Look at Amber Heard.


Again, I'm not talking about the .16% that voted Libertarian in 2012. They will, unless they are dead*, vote for the Libertarian candidate in 2016.

It's the ones who made that number jump by more than an order of magnitude that I am thinking about and asking myself "how many of their worst fears have been realized?" versus "how many of their worst fears have been avoided?"

Plus, on top of that, you've got The Culture War in full effect and if your main measure of who is winning the culture war is "who is screaming the loudest?", Trump is the greatest culture warrior we've ever seen.

*If they are dead, they will vote for Biden.


It is hard to imagine that those libertarians who refused to vote for Trump when his opponent was HRC are going to suddenly give Trump their vote when his opponent is Biden.

For what it is worth: I don't find it difficult to imagine that. The question, for me, is whether the vote ends up being 50/50 for Trump vs. Biden or if those regressing-to-the-mean find themselves lopsidedly finding the same answer to the question "Who do I hate more?"

And on one side is Trump and his ilk... and on the other side is Biden and his eminently qualified associates.


Here's one *HUGE* thing that has changed since 2016: Donald Trump has moved from being an unknown quantity to being a known quantity.

Given Trump's actions in office, and given not only the promises he's broken but the promises he's more-or-less kept, is that enough to win back the non-true 2016 libertarians that got added onto the top of the 2012 numbers?

I don't know. I don't know how many of those people were Anyone But Clinton voters (who now heave a sigh of relief that Biden is running and they can, finally, vote for a Democrat that they don't hate). I don't know how many of those people would have voted for Trump if they knew he'd be a president like the one he's been for the last 4 years.

But I do think that there is room in the 1.5-3% in those three states for Trump to court and mine and otherwise try to get to vote for him (or stay at home or vote for Vermin Supreme instead of voting for Biden).

It's the overconfidence I'm warning against.

Because the libertarian numbers for those states is going to regress to the mean, and hard, come November.

On “Tiger King: America’s Newest Obsession

His presidential campaign ad shows his strange charisma. (Maybe it's the Gen-X in me but a guy saying "I ain't cuttin' my hair" as he's running for office hits me in just the right spot.)


it seems strange to me to hear the complaint that we have judged them, but negatively

The only complaint that we have wrongfully judged someone negatively that I've seen in these comments involve Carole Baskin's judgments that appear to be based in socially acceptable sexism.

Pretty much every single take I've seen about this show is that it's similar to a pro wrestling match where everybody is a heel. There's nobody to root for which means that there's nobody to really root against. I don't think that anybody has actually been criticized for saying "they're all different archetypes of malignant narcissism".

Now, I *HAVE* seen people say "Oh... I would *NEVER* watch that show" in the same way that I enjoy saying "Oh... I would *NEVER* go to Wal-Mart"... but that's a different kind of criticism, don't you think?


Saul, I would *LOVE* to have a discussion of the importance of watching movies like God's Not Dead 2 instead of Deadpool 2.

Would you be willing to have that conversation, if we started it?

On “Reality Comes and Brings the End for Bernie Sanders 2020

The genuine legions of libertarians make up that .99%.

It's the 2.something% of 2016's libertarian voters that *MAY* wander back.

The question is "did they jump to the libertarians from the Dems or from the Reps?"

Or, I suppose, from the "never voted befores"?

Remember, I'm not talking about the Vote Gold! No matter! Bold! people. I'm talking about the 2% that Gary Johnson picked up that, surely, Vermin Supreme won't pick up.

In Michigan, Johnson/Weld got 3.59% in 2016. In 2012, the Libertarians got .16%. (That's one sixth of one percent.)

In Wisconsin, Johnson/Weld got 3.58%. In 2012, the Libertarians got .67%.

In Pennsylvania, Johnson/Weld got 2.38%. In 2012, the Libertarians got .87%.

Two states gave an additional 2% (or more!) of their vote to the libertarian party. PA only gave an additional 1.5%.

(All numbers taken from here and here.)

On “Tiger King: America’s Newest Obsession

Okay, fine. It's my turn. The entertainments I enjoy are morally superior to the entertainments enjoyed by others. My entertainments indicate that I am sophisticated. Part of this is that I disdain the entertainments of others as being beneath me.

I also didn't watch Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Stranger Things.

These shows also signal low status and, seriously, I am not low status.

I have instead been watching Rick and Morty. You have to be intelligent to watch this show. If you haven't received at least a strong STEM education, you'll miss half the jokes. A strong background in philosophy and history will help you truly get the other half. I find that if someone doesn't like Rick and Morty, they're pretty much just saying "I didn't get the jokes."

Which tells me that they're either not educated, not very smart, or both.


On “Reality Comes and Brings the End for Bernie Sanders 2020

Well, my main arguments for Biden beating Trump have always been Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

My Trumpy friends have been Trumpy since he won the nomination (one of my bosses explained to me that a vote for Gary Johnson was a vote for Hillary, if you want his mindset). So I don't think I have any Obama-to-Trump friends. They're all either Vote D diehards or Vote R diehards. (I suppose I have a couple of "I don't even know who's running... No, that wasn't an invitation for you to tell me" friends.)

The main dynamics I'm looking out for are:

Will Trump inspire his base to turn out again?
Will Trump's excesses over the past however many months/years instead depress his base?
Will Biden inspire his base to turn out?
Will Biden's campaigning and past record over the past however many months/years instead depress his base?
How many people could go either way? Who will do the best job of inspiring those people?

And, of course, the ever-popular: Will there be a Bradley Effect again?

And that's it. I see a bunch of stuff out there for people who are looking for an excuse to vote for Trump to latch onto.
I see a bunch of stuff out there for people who are looking for an excuse to vote *AGAINST* Trump to latch onto.

But then I put Biden in there for those two statements and... I'm not having trouble with the latter. The former? Yeah, I need some help with the former. (Maybe this is where the people we have no visibility to come in.)


Speaking as someone who is friends with Trump supporters (and I define "friends" as "I have cooked for them, they have cooked for me"), they are capable of naming policy outcomes they like. Urusigh points out judges and immigration, my friends mention Israel (they *LOVE* the embassy move) and they like that he's skeptical of free trade with China (if not free trade in general).

A quiz I saw on twitter that I thought was interesting: "What's your favorite Biden policy?"

Quick! What is it!

The point isn't to get you to google something and answer me, the point is to dig around in your head and find one and notice how long it takes you.

Another fun question I saw on the twitters: "What has Biden done to earn your vote?"

Run that around your head and see what you get.

(The answer I saw to the second question was, paraphrased, "He won the primary." For what it's worth, I don't see that as a particularly GOTV kinda answer but... hey. Biden appeals strongly to a number of people that we have no, absolutely no, visibility to. Which means that we have to rely on people that we have no visibility to being energized enough to get out and vote in November.)

On “Tiger King: America’s Newest Obsession

Looking forward to Sexy Joe Exotic and Sexy Carole Baskin Halloween costumes.

On “Reality Comes and Brings the End for Bernie Sanders 2020

(Technically, he has *ONE* place where he might make gains. In 2012, Gary Johnson almost got 1% of votes. It was, like, .99%. That's *REALLY* close to 1! In 2016, he got over 3%. I read that 2% as being protest votes.)

On “Burnt Ends: The Fast History of Low and Slow Life

I first discovered burnt ends back around 2005. The little place around the corner had all kinds of BBQ available for $X for a quarter pound... but, for burnt ends, you got a *THIRD* of a pound for $X.

So I got burnt ends. AND OH MY GOSH I WAS NOT SORRY.

I think the name puts people off. That's the only thing I can think of.

Well, as time went on, burnt ends got more popular. It became $X for a quarter pound for everything. Now, the original little place closed but the other really good place now charges *MORE* for burnt ends than for everything but brisket.

On “A Clusterfark in Wisconsin

I'm not seeing how "vote by mail" will necessarily resolve any of the problems that were mentioned in the Wikipedia page.

Not that they necessarily *NEED* to be, of course... I mean, 1960's documented voter fraud wasn't fixed by requiring voting in person.

But I'd like to see arguments for how to address the voter fraud that we know exists in the people very high up the chain that have political machines at their disposal.


There is a wikipedia section devoted to the controversies and irregularities from the 1960 election.

Like, there were election workers who were convicted of voter fraud and the names of dead people showed up on the voter rolls.

Texas also had irregularities... stuff like 6000 ballots showing up to be counted from towns with only 5000 people.

This stuff is documented.

Not that it matters.

On “Reality Comes and Brings the End for Bernie Sanders 2020

Sure. You're going to see people attacking Biden both for being way too left and way too right.

But there are three groups of voters.

I think that Biden will have a (minor) issue where he will have to shore up his support of the left. He'll have to make some acknowledgments of some realities and talk about how some of the things they want are doable and he's the guy to do them.

And he's going to have to talk to the swayables about how they shouldn't have to worry about the other stuff his base wants because, hey, he knows that what they want is a return to sanity.

And not have a health incident. He needs to not have a health incident.


To the point where, if I believed in conspiracies, I'd believe that the photos of 2015 were leaked by Trump's team.

I know that nobody is that good at this crap, of course, and it was just an example of goldfish memory on the part of the media.

But if I believed in conspiracies, I'd boggle at how effectively the most biting of criticisms of Trump were embraced by Trump's most vicious enemies for a year or so before Biden got nominated.

And how "THIS IS A POINT OF PRINCIPLE!" pivots, overnight, to "well, you have to understand..."


“Yeah, Joe Biden also put kids in cages, so I guess he’s as good a choice as Trump!”

While I'd phrase it differently, I'd appeal to something like that. Here's a mini-speech that I think would work.

"Now, folks. The last four years have been crazy. Don't you want to put all that behind us? And don't worry about the stuff you've heard the 'woke' kids talk about. If you vote for me, I'm not going to abolish ICE. We're still going to enforce the laws that are on the books. You don't have to worry about me doing something radical or crazy on gun control or instituting some sort of crazy European Socialized Medicine program. Obamacare was pretty good! We're just going to make it better. And that's what you're going to get when you vote for me. Stuff you had before Trump. We're just going to make it better. BIDEN: MAKE IT BETTER."

There. That's the speech I'd put forward for him.

And the whiny pissbabies who care about shit like "children in cages" can learn that, hey, sometimes you've just got to compromise.

On “Protecting Workers Is How We Protect the Economy

(A fun retrospective on Citizens United is available here!)