Choice for Dem Loyalists: Eat Crow and Change or Drink Kool-Aid and Stagnate


The explanations for Clinton’s loss by Dem loyalists abound. It’s the third-party voters, the no shows, the misogyny, the fake news, the false equivalency pushed by the mainstream media, or some combination of those factors that swung the election in the wrong direction.

I read an excellent piece in Raw Story about the Christian right: The dark rigidity of fundamentalist rural America: a view from the inside. It is an absolutely searing critique of rural America, well worth the read. But it doesn’t in the least explain the election results. Those people vote that way in every election. Yet Obama was able to overcome that problem, while Clinton couldn’t. And the demographic winds over the last few years blew in Clinton’s favor. Those rural voters posed less of a problem to her than they did to Obama.

When you look closely, it’s hard to deny what really happened, and the music  Dem loyalists simply do not want to face. The Dem loyalist with whose thinking I’m most familiar is our own BlueMeanie. So, I’ll use BlueMeanie, who I’ll refer to as Blue for short, for purposes of analysis.

My purpose here is not to single Blue out. Blue’s view is I believe representative of the Democratic establishment view and the many, many foot soldiers in the Democratic Party. So, he’s an example, not a punching bag.

Let’s start with an observation about the 2012 results: If you went state-by-state in 2012 and reduced Obama’s vote total by five percent of the total vote in each state, he still would have won. That would be a total of over six million votes, enough to reduce Obama’s vote total to less than 60 million. And he still would have won. He would have lost three states he actually won — Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, but he still would have won.

With that as background, let’s consider the problem with turnout in 2016, as explained by Blue in The 2016 election: the year of the missing voters. There, Blue noted how “democracies die from indifference and neglect.” But were the voters really missing? In 2012, the vote totals were Obama, 65,915,795 to Romney, 60,933,504, a total of just under 127 million. In 2016, the vote totals, with some still uncounted, are Clinton, 64,156,255 to Trump, 62,238,425, for a total of over 126 million. When the 2016 vote tally is finally complete, it will exceed the 2012 tally and Clinton’s vote total will be in the vicinity of Obama’s 2012 vote total.

So, considering that Obama could have shredded ballots cast for him equal to 5%  of the vote total in each state and still won, was the problem really missing voters?

Was it misogyny? Before considering that question, consider what it wasn’t: racism. Then consider the vote totals in 2012 and 2016 and how close they really are. Then consider that Clinton actually outperformed Obama in entire states, Arizona being one. Finally, consider that Clinton won the popular vote. Could misogyny have been a factor? Maybe. Could it have been a decisive factor? Hardly.

Was it fake news or false equivalency? Logically, no. If fake news or false equivalency were the decisive factor at play, one would expect the impact to be more universal. But Clinton outperformed Obama in many areas and underperformed in others. There’s no correlation between the changed voting patterns and the impact one logically would expect fake news and false equivalency to have.

I random selected states from the electoral maps of 2012 and 2016. The differences were not large. Until I got to the upper midwest. There, the changes were dramatic. In Michigan, for example, a ten point Obama win turned into a virtual tie. In Wisconsin, a seven point Obama win turned into a one point Clinton loss, for a total swing of eight percent. In Pennsylvania, a swing of almost seven percent. The swing in Minnesota, by the way, was in the same range, but Clinton managed to eke out a win there.

You don’t get swings like that from voters staying home. Those sort of swings come only from flipped votes. A flipped vote is twice as impactful as a stay at home vote. Say for example Blue beats me three votes to one in an election. If one of his voters stays home the next time, he still wins two to one. But if I flip one of his three votes, we end up tied, two to two. See the difference?

The WaPo, in The Daily 202: Rust Belt Dems broke for Trump because they thought Clinton cared more about bathrooms than jobs, provides the gory details. And gory they are. The Post focuses on the Youngstown, Ohio, area, but the story would be the same in the other hollowed out rust belt towns of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It was Democrats, post writer James Hohmann explains, who delivered the rust belt to Trump:

Youngstown is the county seat of Mahoning County, which is home to about 232,000 people. The population was more 300,000 in the 1970s, but then the steel mills closed and the area has never really recovered. Obama won the county by 28 points in 2012, a larger margin than he had won it by in 2008. Clinton wound up carrying Mahoning by just three points. That is largely thanks to a sizable African American population. She lost neighboring counties that had not gone Republican since 1972. Even amidst his 1984 landslide, Ronald Reagan lost Mahoning by 18 points.

Got that? Clinton did stunningly worse in Mahoning County than even Walter Freaking Mondale did against a very likable Ronald Reagan. Sorry, Blue, but a 28 point edge doesn’t get reduced to a three-point edge in a measly four years because of “missing voters.”

Remarkably, Clinton actually outperformed Obama in Republican strongholds like Cincinnati and Columbus. Hohmann cites this statistic from the exit polls to show how upside down voting patterns were:

Kasich, who refused to support Trump and traveled to the White House before the election to evangelize for TPP, was viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters on Election Day and unfavorably by 40 percent. Clinton actually won among those who viewed the Republican governor positively, 51 percent to 43 percent. But Trump won the voters who viewed Kasich negatively, 58 percent to 37 percent.

The bottom line? It was all about trade, and the Clinton camp was told about it in advance.

Back in May, the longtime chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party sent a private memo to leaders in Hillary Clinton’s campaign warning that she was in grave danger of losing not just Ohio but also Pennsylvania and Michigan unless she quickly re-tooled her message on trade. His advice went unheeded.

“I don’t have to make the case that blue collar voters are, to put it mildly, less than enthusiastic about HRC’s positions on trade and the economy,” David Betras wrote in his 1,300 word missive, citing her struggles in recent primaries.

“More than two decades after its enactment, NAFTA remains a red flag for area voters who rightly or wrongly blame trade for the devastating job losses that took place at Packard Electric, GM, GE, numerous steel companies, as well as the firms that supplied those major employers,” Betras, a practicing attorney, tried to explain to the Clinton high command. “Thousands of workers in Ohio … continue to qualify for Trade Readjustment Act assistance because their jobs are being shipped overseas.”

The local chairman feels very strongly now that Clinton could have won Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan if she had just kept her eye on economic issues and not gotten distracted by the culture wars.

“Look, I’m as progressive as anybody, okay? But people in the heartland thought the Democratic Party cared more about where someone else went to the restroom than whether they had a good-paying job,” he complained. “‘Stronger together’ doesn’t get anyone a job.”

“Given the fact that this is a contemporary issue, the HRC campaign should disabuse itself of any notion that it can convince voters that trade is good,” Betras wrote at the time. “Clearly, HRC lacks credibility on the issue—at least in the minds of blue collar voters. Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA and HRC changing her positions on the TPP will make it easy for Trump to paint her as a flip-flopper on this critically important issue.

Focus, if you will, on the passage highlighted in bold and underlined. You didn’t have to be an organizer in Mahoning County, Ohio, to get that. Here’s yours truly  a year ago in Carefully Scripted Debate Answers Don’t Cut It, Part V:

The bottom line on TPP is that Hillary’s change in position itself is not troubling. Minds change. Thinking evolves. But this is a change of position that screams of political calculation, which leads us to wonder whether there exists any issue on which Hillary’s position is driven by her actual beliefs, as opposed to political calculation.

That was early on in the primary campaign, when Clinton was trying to protect her left flank against Sanders. The subject came up again in a mini-debate Blue and I had in the comment section of his post from June, Democratic Party platform is coming together (Updated):

Me: You quote the AP:

“Sanders, a vociferous opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was unable to get language into the document opposing the trade deal. As a result, the party avoided an awkward scenario that would have put the platform at odds with President Barack Obama.

Clinton and Sanders have opposed the deal. Committee members backed a measure that said “there are a diversity of views in the party” on the pact and reaffirmed that Democrats contend any trade deal “must protect workers and the environment.””

Shouldn’t we at least question what’s going on there? If Clinton truly opposed the TPP, why the hell would her surrogates not be willing to have the platform say so?

Call me cynical, but I think this is the first betrayal, as the Common Dreams piece suggests.

Blue:The reason is stated in the article: a party does not adopt a position diametrically opposed to the policy of a popular sitting president of that party. You don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain. Platforms are only broad policy statements, and the language is always carefully parsed so as not to offend and to get it approved at the convention. Once it’s been approved, it is quickly forgotten. Much ado about nothing.

Much ado about nothing, huh? Hardly, Blue. The “ado” was about the election, and whether Team Clinton was committed to addressing her lack of credibility in the minds of Democratic blue-collar voters in the rust belt, about which they’d just been forewarned weeks earlier by organizers in Mahoning County, Ohio. Focus, if you will, on the passage I quoted from Common Dreams:

Shouldn’t we at least question what’s going on there? If Clinton truly opposed the TPP, why the hell would her surrogates not be willing to have the platform say so?

In other words, what you and countless other Dem loyalists were quick to write off as a sop to Obama (as if he really needed it, or cared), those blue-collar, rust belt voters interpreted differently. They thought it was a cynical hedge, from a candidate who lacked credibility in the first place on an issue of monumental importance to them. Was it a cynical hedge? I don’t know, but I do know that it walked like a cynical hedge, talked like a cynical hedge and quacked like a cynical hedge. So, whether it actually was a cynical hedge is entirely academic.

All of which raises the questions: Does the Democratic establishment get this and are they willing to take corrective action? I think the answers are actually yes and no. Members of the Dem establishment are not as obtuse as their loyalist followers. They know what happened. But I suspect they have a different plan for the future. Hohmann makes this astute observation:

Is the Mahoning Valley ever coming back to the Democratic Party? Will Ohio be a swing state in 2020? These are questions many Democrats in D.C. are pondering. Both before and since the election, scores of liberals have complained about how much attention the 202 has given to the Rust Belt; they argue privately that these blue-collar, non-college-educated, white-working-class Democrats are dinosaurs. The future of the party, they think, lies in the Sunbelt, and they think Trump’s win has only accelerated this realignment. Colorado and Nevada were relatively easy holds for Clinton. Trump won Ohio by 8.6 points and Iowa by 9.6 points. But he won Arizona by 4.1 points, Georgia by 5.7 points and Texas by 9.2 points.

Heck, you really don’t even need look as far as Arizona, Georgia and Texas. Had Clinton won North Carolina and Florida, she would have won, despite losing Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. So Hohmann is spot on. The Dem establishment is planning for demographic changes they know are coming. My guess is that in this election they either thought rust belt states still were out of reach for Trump, or Florida and North Carolina would go their way, or both. One thing was clear, their strategy was geared towards the Sun Belt. I remember reading a Nate Silver post about the wisdom of Trump campaigning in Michigan, which many so-called pundits had questioned. Silver made the point, incredibly prescient given the ultimate result, that Trump spending time in Michigan made a lot more sense than Clinton spending time in Arizona. Seems so obvious now, huh?

Will the Dem establishment strategy work? I don’t think so. The strategy is a long-term play on identity politics. The Republicans are the party of racists and nativists, the logic goes, so they’re doomed by the coming demographic change, which will place White voters in the minority. The Republicans, however, have always been the party of nativists and it’s never doomed them. Why? Because as immigrant groups  assimilate, the nativism stops concerning them. Indeed, some come to like it. Already, some Latinos identify as White. By the time 2042 arrives, when Whites reach minority status, the Latino vote will have transformed just like the Greek vote, the Irish vote, the Italian vote and the Jewish vote before it. Will they still favor the Dems? Probably, but not by anywhere near the margins they do now. Indeed, despite his horrific remarks during the campaign, Trump actually outperformed Romney among Latinos. You see, many Latinos are not wild about job-killing trade deals either.

But I digress. I’ll end where I began, in the title: Choice for Dem Loyalists: Eat Crow and Change or Drink Kool-Aid and Stagnate. Keep your eyes on my friend (and I really do consider him a friend), the BlueMeanie and his future posts. If his worldview changes, it will signal a change in the worldview of thousands just like him, and there will be hope. If he stagnates, hang on for what will be a very rough ride.


    • Based on the charts shown in your attachment, I am supposed to be a steadfast liberal. Based on education and income, I should have voted for Hillary instead of Trump, as I wound up doing, specifically because I didn’t want Hillary elected President. It is sort of cool being a statistical abberation…it makes me feel so “bad boy”. ;o)

  1. Good post Bob but here is my short version of why the Democrats lost.
    – HRC should have let her surrogates attack Trump.
    -HRC should have embraced something. Even being a third term of Obama would have won if she EMRACED it. She stood for nothing.
    -Uneducated whites are, for the most part, not smart enough. HRC should have kept it simple and made it about their pocketbooks. “We are at 4.9% unemployment and I will not rest until we move the needle to zero”

    • “HRC should have let her surrogates attack Trump.”

      As you seriously suggesting that they didn’t attack Trump? What election were you watching?!?!? About 80% of what I saw were attacks against Trump, to say nothing about the nightly news coverage which attacked him constantly. It is hard to imagine Hillary’s minions doing much more. Even President Obama attached Trump relentlessly and you don’t get a better “surrogate” than that…

      • I interpreted Eric’s statement to mean that attacking Trump should have been left solely to the surrogates. Her TV ads relentlessly attacked Trump and, of course, the ads end with “This is Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.”

        I think Eric is suggesting that a more positive message from the candidate would have been more effective.

  2. I know quite a few people who were once very active in Arizona Democratic Party politics. They were precinct committee people, they canvassed, they phone-banked. They worked on campaign. Some of them served on the Democratic State Committee. They burned out and gave up when they discovered that their dream of reforming the AZ Democratic Party from within would never be allowed to happen by the big money donors. And yes, Blue Meanie, they still complain, even though they aren’t willing to help a party machine that doesn’t want reform. They earned the right to complain. If you have a problem with that, too bad.

    • Yep. Been there, done that.

      I just asked Google what percentage of the electorate is registered as independent. Response:

      “In January, Gallup announced that those who identify themselves as ‘Independent’ now make up a full 42 percent of the voting electorate. In March, Pew showed that Millennials increasingly see themselves as independent from a political party.”

      I kind of think that “anonymous commenters” might also be considered voters. And “complaints” might also be considered feedback. And people who show up every four years to help out in a presidential election might be considered supporters.

      When you look at the composition of the electorate with so many independents, it would seem that the opinions of those no longer / never actively engaged as “foot soldiers” might be interesting. Listening to others might, in fact, be a way to avoid the kind of groupthink that so often occurs within these political organizations.

      The goal is to win elections, isn’t it?

      • I tried to say the same thing in my response to AZBM, but you phrased it more eloquently.

        What’s interesting here is that the treatment of the foot soldiers by the establishment is reflected in the treatment of “anonymous commenters” by the foot soldiers. Just as the HRC campaign basically ignored the warnings it received from the foot soldiers in Ohio, foot soldiers here openly ignore the input from anonymous commenters.

        Which means the groupthink occurs at the establishment level and never is tested in broader-based groups, right?

        • I believe that is absolutely true, certainly in my experience. The “party” is most definitely a hierarchical structure (perhaps composed of lesser hierarchical structures) that seems to have the kinds of communication problems inherent to hierarchies.

          “Hillary is Inevitable” was most definitely the product of the establishment groupthink. And they tested it in the general election.

  3. Wow, Bob. I have been deathly ill with a severe case of bronchitis for the past week, and the first time I read the blog is this post (thanks for asking how I am doing).

    I am your example of an “establishment” Democrat? There are any number of people you could have spoken to with whom I have worked over the years in the Democratic Party that would have dismissed your notion.

    The “establishment,” as most Democrats understand it, is the DNC, DCC, DSCC, and various iterations of the DLC/New Democrats/Third Way organizations, all of whom I have battled with for many years. All you had to do was ask.

    What I am is one of the “many foot soldiers in the Democratic Party,” i.e, the grassroots that do the day-to-day work of the party. I am a long-time elected Precinct Committeeman, I have served on the state committee, county committee, and/or legislative district committee for many years. I have helped establish several Democratic clubs in Southern Arizona, and I have served on several boards and committees. I have registered hundreds of voters over the years, and walked more petitions and literature than I care to recall.

    This is what the many grassroots members of the Democratic Party do. They are to be respected, not held in low regard as the tone of your comments and caption suggest. You may want to reconsider offending these hard working people, especially when using my name to do it.

    Recently I have taken a step back from party duties for health reasons, but also because I have grown so damned tired of those who constantly complain about the Democratic Party, but who offer no solutions and who are unwilling to do the day-to-day grassroots work to make the changes they demand happen. How many of the regular commenters who cheer your posts are active grassroots members of the Democratic Party? I doubt very many. These people love to complain about the Democratic Party, but do they put their money where their mouth is and actually volunteer to do the hard work of grassroots party activists?

    Since Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy to build state and local Democratic Party grassroots organizations ended, there has been a dramatic drop-off in the participation rate in Democratic Party organizations nationwide. More and more I run into self-described “progressives” who like to complain about the Democratic Party, but who are unwilling to volunteer their time and effort to do the work necessary to achieve the changes that they demand from the party. If they are unwilling to give of their time, no one is going to listen to their complaints.

    Lastly, your single-minded fixation on Hillary Clinton in your election analysis is misplaced. This does not explain why the GOP now controls 69 of 99 state legislative chambers, 33 of 50 governor’s mansions, 238 House seats (a 24 seat advantage), and 52 Senate seats, a process that began in 2010 (three election cycles). There are many reasons too numerous to list here that offer an explanation, but a simplistic Hillary Clinton (and Barack Obama) supported TPP is not the magic bullet that you imagine.

    • I had no idea about your illness. Sorry about that, and hope you’re feeling better.

      I was viewing you not as an establishment Democrat, but as a loyalist — i.e., a foot soldier.

      Here’s the thing: You can counterpunch all you want, but that gets in the way of changing. I wasn’t attacking you in my post. I was trying to help you see what’s going on here. And I think Liza and For Sure Not Tom with their many comments to your posts are trying to do the same.

      Being a foot soldier is a really good thing, generally. I salute you for it. But what I’m suggesting here is that you and the other foot soldiers collectively have a lot of power to effect change, if — if, if, if — you are willing to place conditions on your soldiering. But if you’re willing to do the hard grass roots work no matter which crappy candidates are on the ticket, it becomes counter-productive.

      • As you know, these decisions are made within the party between elections. These decisions are not made by fair-weather supporters who show up every four years for the flavor-of-the-day candidates, and who have no active role within the party. They all too frequently disappear immediately after the election.

        If these complainers you encourage are not within the party making the case for the changes they want and actually doing the hard work to achieve them, their complaints are just shouting in the wind. It’s not my responsibility to take what some anonymous commenter on this blog says and to do the work for them (too frequently they just complain and offer no viable solutions to pursue). I have advocated for reforms in the party in the past and, surprise, I achieved them. I had a plan, I did the work, and I got shit done. We can’t say that about the commenters to this blog because, in most cases, we know nothing about their actual contributions. You give them too much credit for their complaining at face value.

        This constant complaining about the Democratic Party does not encourage new blood to join the party and is counter-productive. When you start discouraging people like me who actually do the work because they are sick and tired of the constant complaining and lack of volunteers willing to step up and do the hard work, who is going to be left to do the work? It hollows out the party. To what end?

        There are county reorganization meetings and a state reorganization meeting in January. You seem to think you have the answers. I suggest you put together a platform of reforms and to run for one of those state party positions. Run with a slate of candidates who agree with you. Let’s see what you’re proposing, and let’s see if you can get the votes to win. Of course, one has to be an elected PC to run and to vote in these elections, which means you can’t rely on our anonymous blog commenters for votes.

        • “It’s not my responsibility to take what some anonymous commenter on this blog says and to do the work for them.”

          That’s true, but meaningless. If you consider seriously and analyze the point the “anonymous commenter” makes and conclude it is valid, it becomes part of your worldview and you do the work because it is then in your own interest to do it.

          Unless of course you think the views of commenters are not even worthy of consideration. But what’s the point in writing posts if you consider commenters to be worthless pieces of garbage whose opinions don’t count?

          Commenters here, both on the right and left, share insights. I learn from them. Yes, I have to separate the wheat from the chaff, and there’s a lot of chaff, but it’s worth it. And there’s plenty of chaff in my posts, so who am I to judge?

          I think it’s folly to reject out of hand the opinions of readers, simply because they don’t do grass roots level political work. They still make valid points. We still can learn from them.

          Moreover, it the point of blogging is to have influence, don’t you dilute it by not respecting the views of commenters? After all, openness to influence is a two-way street, or so it seems. My ability to influence Steve or Liza or the Captain depends in some part on whether I allow them the chance to influence me.

          • First, you make an assumption that is flatly false that I “do not respect the views of commenters.” I assume this is because of our disagreement over our obvious troll captain*arizona aka censored, whom you seem to enjoy because he frequently agrees with you. The point I was making is that most of these comments are simply complaints and offer no solutions to the complaint. There frequently is nothing to consider seriously and analyze to determine whether it is valid.

            Second, if you all want the “revolution” that Bernie Sanders represented for you, you first need a plan and you need the leaders of the revolution. If you want to change the Democratic Party, the law requires that you be a voting member of the party to effect change from within. It’s time to take individual responsibility to step up and to lead. It’s not good enough to complain about what’s wrong; you all need to demonstrate that you have a plan to fix what you think is wrong. That is not too much to ask. As the Beatles sang in Revolution, “You say you got a real solution/well you know/We’d all love to see the plan.”

        • “If these complainers you encourage are not within the party making the case for the changes they want and actually doing the hard work to achieve them, their complaints are just shouting in the wind. ”
          THESE are 99.5% of the voters and they need the people like yourself to do their biddning.

        • Or…

          I’m a 6′ 4″ middle aged slightly balding white guy who looks pretty silly doing sparkle hands, but I was downtown in 2011 with Occupy doing just that.

          Where was the Democratic party when CNN and CBS news crews literally shoved me out of the way to get to the most tie-dyed long hair they could find to get on camera to paint Occupy as nothing more than a bunch of hippies?

          There were vets downtown in wheelchairs, middle class folks who lost jobs/homes even thought they did everything right. Where was the Party?

          Occupy Phoenix was hosting foreclosure workshops, resume workshops, a committee formed to clean up the park and the blocks around the park.

          Some bunch of dirty hippies. I’d have hired half of them for 6 figure jobs based on their focus and drive alone.

          Meantime, the media was painting Occupy as vandals and criminals, and most Dems said nothing because they’re owned by Wall Street.

          Occupy would seem to be the heart of the party, but Dems helped bail out Wall Street and hung Main Street out to dry.

          Then we got Bernie, and the exact same thing happened.

          And yes, that is a chip on my shoulder.

          It’s not that we don’t show up for the Party, the Party is too busy giving speeches to Wall Street to show up for us.

          I have donations taken from my bank monthly for the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Environmental Defense Fund, groups that I don’t think I should need to donate to if the Democrats were actually doing their jobs.

          Next, I pay taxes to cover Corporate Welfare and to guarantee profits for prisons, to make defense contractors rich, money that should be going to better use if the Party was working for the middle class.

          Hope Blue Meanie feels better. Don’t let us anonymous commenters get you down. Thanks for hosting the site and letting us express our opinions.

  4. This election was stolen by the Electoral College that should have been dismantled ages ago. We are the ONLY modern first world country that does not elect our leaders directly by popular vote. Furthermore, if the Supreme Court had not taken away the Voting Rights act we would have won this election even in the Electoral College because there were clear violations that would have been nipped before they were able to interfere with the elections. Finally, if FBI Director Comey had not BLATANTLY interfered with the election both in July but most especially less than two weeks before Election Day the outcome would also have been different. There was clear election manipulation and voter suppression by the Republicans affecting the outcome. Anybody who attempts to say otherwise is ignoring the facts. Trump will NEVER be this country’s President. He is illegitimate in every sense.

    • “There was clear election manipulation and voter suppression by the Republicans affecting the outcome.”///”…if the Supreme Court had not taken away the Voting Rights act we would have won this election…because there were clear violations that would have been nipped before they were able to interfere with the elections.”

      Instead of just hurling accusations hither and yon, how about about providing specific examples of what you are talking about. It would be easier to discuss them if we knew what you were talking about. I know the Clinton Campaign people would LOVE to have honest examples of any of the things you claim so they could contest something in the election. If you are keeping genuine, legitimate examples of fraud and violations to yourself, you are doing Hillary a disservice.

      “Trump will NEVER be this country’s President. He is illegitimate in every sense.”

      I don’t know how to tell you this any clearer except to point out Trump is the President-elect and is legitimate in EVERY sense. He will be taking the Oath of Office in January.

      “Finally, if FBI Director Comey had not BLATANTLY interfered with the election both in July but most especially less than two weeks before Election Day the outcome would also have been different.”

      What do you base that on? What is your proof? In making that statement, aren’t you implying that Hillary lost and Trump won?

      • Incompetence. Stupidity. Fantasy. 2 million. The tragedy is that lives will be lost because of these. Make my words.

        • Was this intended to be answer to something? If so, what were the questions?

          “The tragedy is that lives will be lost because of these.”

          Whose lives in particular? The victims of leftist rioters acting out while pretending Trump wasn’t properly and duly elected? The people surrounding Trump (his staff, advisors, family, protective details, etc.) by an nutcase spurred on by leftist actions and rhetoric? Trump himself?

          If you are going to take the time to post a message, it would be nice if it was understandable because we could then discuss it…

    • Two quick remarks:

      “We are the ONLY modern first world country that does not elect our leaders directly by popular vote. ”

      Provably false. In pretty much every parliamentary system that I’m aware of, leaders aren’t elected at all, let alone by the popular vote.

      Or, I know that in at least Canada and the United Kingdom, their respective Prime Ministers are elected (appointed?) by the party / governing coalition who can amass a governing coalition in Parliament. Voters only get a say in their respective MP, and do not elect their leader beyond that MP.

      In that respect, the United States is actually more representative in that the people indirectly get a voting say through States choosing to allocate presidential electors tied to the winner of the popular vote within that state.

      “Trump will NEVER be this country’s President. He is illegitimate in every sense.”

      How is this tantrum-throwing any different or better than what the GOP has been saying about Obama since November 2008?

  5. Politicians say things they don’t mean, and thus, their position “evolves” (I am old enough to remember when Doonesbury decided the Bill Clinton icon would be the waffle).

    HRC lost the 2008 Democratic primary to BHO, but got the SecState job in his administration. There is little doubt this included a backroom “support me now and I’ll support you later” quid pro quo. So when HRC said that the TPP was the “gold standard” to Australia in 2012, then in 2015 says she no longer supported it, well, politicians gotta politic. She couldn’t give Bernie that much room on her left with an issue that was already resonating.

    But, IMHO, it’s how she said it. “I hoped it would be the gold standard…it was just finally negotiated last week” was her explanation to Anderson Cooper when he called her on this in the primary debate. Well, no, that’s not what you said, and I’m sure you remembered what you said. But rather than say “Hey, I was on team Obama then, and it’s his baby”, you implied well, they were still working on it, I hoped they would get it right, but they screwed it up.

    Pressed on whether Clinton would reverse her position, McAuliffe told Politico: “Yes. Listen, she was in support of it. There were specific things in it she wanted fixed.”

    Note: This comment was edited, not because of any issue with the substance or the language used, but simply because it was far too long.

  6. An excellent post, Mr. Lord.

    I fully believe that Hillary Clinton could have won both the electoral and popular vote if the right people had been running her campaign. God knows they had enough money.

    In the weeks before the election, I noticed that almost all of Hillary’s TV ads being aired here in Tucson were of the “Trump is a Monster so Vote for Hillary” brand. I remember wondering if her campaign believed this was the best they could do for Arizona or if this was also being done in the real battleground states.

    Even so, I went into shock on November 8 watching Trump flip those “blue” states. My sister who lives in Ohio had warned me that Trump could win, and she even talked about the rust belt voters. But I didn’t believe it could happen until it started happening.

    At this point, all I can do is ask what in the blazing hell did Hillary’s campaign do with all that money?

    As one of the two major political parties, they had a responsibility to their supporters and to the country to develop and execute a winning strategy. God knows that Hillary with all of her flaws was still a better choice than Trump, and she should have won the election. However, as the failures of her campaign keep stacking up, the logical conclusion appears to be that systemic incompetence and arrogance prevailed despite their having the monetary advantage to access the best resources available. It is unforgivable.

    • It was a poor campaign strategy. Hillary fundamentally didn’t give people anything to vote for – it was an electorate pining for change, and she was campaigning in large part as a third term for Obama and another term for her husband. I saw little in the way of campaigning from her supporters other than ‘Trump is scary, Trump must be stopped, vote for Hillary because she is a Democrat and is therefore entitled to all votes from people who don’t want Trump”. Of course, I saw little in the way of campaigning from her at all – I think I got all of one text message; didn’t have the heart to tell the volunteer that I was voting for myself and not the Democrats (Chabin & Mundell excepted).

      There’s a saying – “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.” DNC insiders were expecting the Bernie supporters and left-leaning independents to fall in line; a lot of them stayed home because they didn’t give a damn about her.

      I’ll just leave this quote from Truman:

      “When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don’t want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

      But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are–when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people–then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.”

  7. Time to shout down neo-liberals without mercy, no “thanks for your service Hillary/Bill/Debbie/Donna”, no “we know you meant well”.

    Just a loud and clear “Be out of town before sundown”.

    It wasn’t racism, misogyny, Whitelash, Russia, James Comey, gerrymandering, the alt-right, corporate media, or the weather that lost to a corrupt reality TV game show host.

    It was all Hillary Wall Street Kissinger and her friends. They own the damage Trump is doing.

    Good riddance to the neo-liberals. Too bad we can’t make them clean up their mess before they go.

  8. since 2010 the democratic party has lost the white working class who are more interested in jobs then transgender bathrooms. the house and senate are still republican despite clintons 2.4 million more votes. jill stein is leading the wisconsin recount not clinton. we want democrats fighting for us not goldman sax!

    • It is very difficult to change directions when your philosophy remains the same. The democrat party will continue to be run by the same people who have the same old plans and cannot imagine that they were wrong. It has to be the stupid voters, the duplicity of the opponents, corruption in the voting process, anything except them and their bad judgement.

      Don’t expect things to change anytime soon. The democrat party is still run largely by white men and women who know whats best for the rest of you. They want you to have the courtesy to realize that and to remain quiet and subservient while your betters take care of things.

      • I have to disagree with your assessment in this sentence: “The democrat party is still run largely by white men and women who know whats best for the rest of you.”

        I see it a bit differently. I see the Democratic party as one run by elites of all races and genders who think that if we just get more diversity in corporate board rooms and political offices while doing nothing to challenge corruption in the same, that we’ll all be better off somehow.

        About the part of ‘knowing what’s best for you’, I think there’s a temptation by educated folks of all backgrounds to want to take their knowledge and what they’ve learned in school out into the world and try to do good with it, for whatever values they hold as ‘good’. I think running for office has wizened me in at least one respect – even with all the formal education and training that some of us have, we have to remain innately aware of our cognitive biases, how our experiences have shaped our values and viewpoints, and express a willingness to entertain viewpoints we may not agree with. Sometimes you are right, and it’s necessary to explain why and try to change hearts. Sometimes you’re wrong, and things can be done differently another way, and it’s necessary to be open to policy positions which go counter to your ideological underpinnings. And sometimes, the answer is a synthesis, or something completely different.

        I think the most disappointing thing about American politics, or perhaps politics in general, is that:

        1) People are quick to turn off on the basis of superficial traits; just think about how many straight-ticket, party-line voters there are, and;
        2) People aren’t willing to seriously question their beliefs.

        Let it not be said that we are similar ideologically, but I do enjoy these conversations nonetheless.

      • And the Repub party? Same old white men. Tax cuts solve all problems. Even crazier. Will long for the days of at least repub competence. Jerry Ford, Ike. Even Nixon wasn’t completely inhinged.

        • The main reason I didn’t discuss the GOP was because the GOP wasn’t the subject. But since you bring it up: I believe the GOP has some soul searching to do, as well as the democrat party.

          It is of a different nature, though. It was determined early on in this election cycle that what the GOP had to offer was not acceptable to the rank and file voters. The mainstream GOP candidates were roundly rejected by the voters, and the GOP leaders were rejected right along with them. I suspect the leadership is going to change, though not dramatically or quickly. It is new ground for the GOP, but I think it will easily survive. After all, it is doing fairly well in elections from the President on down to the state level.

          I also think that the left will announce the GOP as “dead” on many more occasions in the future…sort of wishful thinking, I guess. The GOP has some things to correct, but it is basically healthy, is arguing the problems amongst themselves, and is more or less willing to change. Slowly, perhaps, but willing.

  9. My money is on the democrats stagnating for the next few years. It is very hard to eat humble pie and the democrats are just arrogant enough that they won’t be able to do it. They will continue to view this election as a “win” that was stolen from them and see no reason to change anything. Further, they see conservatives as being so inferior to them in every way possible (as reflected in several of AzBM’s recent postings where he laid out the superiority of liberals over conservatives) that they will not be able to accept losing to such pathetic adversaries. Given time I think democrats will come around, but not in the near future. Hubris is tough to overcome…

    • My money is on the Repubs exploding. Trump has no actual philosophy except his own ego. His Trump U settlement is how he will “govern”. Wait until the hard right doesn’t get their way? He doesn’t care about building a coalition to support an actual policy, and doesn’t know how in any case. Never had to. Bombast and ego can solve anything, can browbeat anyone. He doesn’t care who supports his policies, if anyone. He believes his ego will plow any barrier under.

      • The GOP exploding? Not gonna’ happen. The Party is too strong for that to happen. It will change in the future because it has to change, but it has changed many times in the past and will do so in the future.

        Trump is not the GOP and his impact on the Party is going to be limited. He is serving as an example of where the Party should start moving because the demographics of the members are changing. He is also demonstrating that traditional democrat constituencies are no longer necessarily democrats. All of these lessons will make the GOP stronger and better.

        As to Trump’s bombast and ego being a negative characteristic: He seems to have done well with it. He did what many people thought was impossible when he took the Union vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania away from Hillary. It appears he had a sound campaign plan and it paid off for him.

        As far as the 2,000,000 more votes Hillary received, so what? She lost the election. She and her people obviously did not have a good plan and, through pure hubris, they thought they had the election in the bag. They didn’t. It obviously makes you feel better citing the 2,000,000 figure as if it actually meant something so, by all means, keep doing so. But don’t fool yourself into thinking it really means anything.

        • I’m not so sure about your first three paragraphs, but I do agree with the last one. The electoral college is a poor system, but everyone knew the rules going in. It’s easy to say the electoral college sucks — it does — but most who make that point seem to think going to a pure popular vote would be a perfect system. I question that premise. Yes, if forced to choose between the two, I’d take the popular vote as the system, but not without hesitation. I’d actually prefer a parliamentary system over either one.

          What the national popular vote enthusiasts seem to gloss over is that our country is a union of states. That entails compromise. I’m not so sure how well it would sit with residents of other states if Californians were given an outsized role in presidential elections. And could it have a corrupting impact on policy? For example, would a first-term President favor populous states in policy making? After all, if you can run up the score in California, it would be awfully hard for an opponent to best you in the national popular vote.

          • (chuckle)Well, Bob, I am not all too sure about the first three paragraphs, either. I may be whistling past the grave yard. But I am certain of the third. Your comments about the Parlimentary system struck a note with me that I had never considered. It has a lot of merit as a better system for running a government, but it would never work here because we are used to electing our Presidents through our round-about electoral system. Perhaps the electoral system is outdated, but perhaps not. The Founders were pretty smart about things like that and sometimes the cry of the mob does not give the best answers. There is an Amish saying, “Before you tear down a fence, be sure you understand why it was put up in the first place.”

          • The electoral college was a compromise with the southern states, who feared a populist POTUS may want to end slavery.

            I think the 17th Amendment addresses that issue.

            Anyway, maybe California and New York should get a little more love from the Republicans.

            California gives a dollar to DC and gets 84 cents back, even with all the defense work done there, while a state like Idaho gives a dollar and get back a buck-twenty.

            Idaho gets a 20% ROI, and still whines about taxes!

            Red Taker States basically steal from Blue Maker States. Maybe a popular vote would address that and be more fair to the tens of millions of people who live in them.

          • I have read and heard a lot of theories about why we have an electoral system and, like those, yours makes sense. I think the decision may been based on a large number of factors and perhaps it doesn’t make sense today. If we want to change it all we have to do is pass an Amendment to the Constitution. If enough people think it is outdated, that’s all it takes.

            If the transfer of wealth really you, blame the democrats and FDRs New Deal. That laid the groundwork for wealth transfers many years ago. Given the way the whole process is embedded in the system, I seriously doubt any President, know matter how popular, could undo it. And it certainly would never be a democrat President.

          • From James Madison (who preferred a popular vote):

            “There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.”

            It’s not a “theory”, it’s history.

            There were a whole bunch of other reasons given as well, mostly having to do with preventing corruption.

            I think we can all agree that the electoral college has not prevented corruption. The reasons the founding fathers gave 200 years ago no longer apply.

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