Home / General / Another Post-Mortem

Another Post-Mortem

Comments
/
/
/
1016 Views

 

After getting over the worst of the shock from the results of the ’16 election, I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts and take some lessons from it.

1.) I’ve learned that R’s will beat feet to the polls for literally anyone. It doesn’t matter if candidate is a cranky Crypt-Keeper (McCain), a blundering, over-privileged automaton with good hair (Romney), or a sentient yam with bad hair–R’s and R-leaners VOTE. It’s why the past 3 elections–which had no business being close–were close. Angry white people vote en masse. Because they are motivated by spite, and, as I’ve learned, that’s pretty much the most powerful motivator there is. Until Dems and D-leaners vote with such passionate unity, we will be at a disadvantage.

2.) D’s and D-leaners obviously expect a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama to be at the top of the ticket each election. D-leaners clearly expect whipsmart men who employ soaring rhetoric to inspire their constituencies. So those of us work with the Dems (because as progressives that pretty much what we have) obviously need to offer up consistently (politically) sexy candidates (who–sad to say–should probably be men) or we can expect a dangerous number of liberals to sit at home with their thumbs up their asses, making smug, ironic podcasts.

3.) The breathless coverage of Trump’s scandals, especially the Access Hollywood misogyny was silly and naive. We live in a country awash in misogyny–even lots of women don’t give a shit about the kind of lechery and disrespect Trump exhibited. Until we fix our enormous sexism problem, we can probably expect more Trumps to perform well. As a smart tweep noted, the AH video probably did more to hurt Hillary’s campaign than Trump’s, because she took eye off the ball (a progressive economic message) and focused on something lots of Americans simply don’t give as a crap about (treating women shittily).

4.) My husband noted that the mood probably just wasn’t right for a Hillary candidacy. While he supported Hillary, he–rightly, I think–noted that Bernie Sanders came across as a fighter. And the American people were clearly spoiling for a fight. And a fighter. I think Hillary simply came across as dignified, compassionate and boringly competent. And a boringly competent continuation of the Obama administration was simply not something that was going get asses in booths.

5.) As I mentioned on twitter, I counted on a sort of latent, self-preservational snobbery kicking in with potential Trump voters. It’s not that I thought we’d get many switchers. But I thought a fair number of R-leaners might find him too vulgar, too stupid, too buffoonish to vote for in the end. I’ve learned that that was wildly naive…and this loops around to my first point–R’s will LITERALLY vote for anyone who runs with an “R” after his name. Literally anyone. Even a Nazi!

In summation, fuck you all, and I hate everyone.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Mike in DC

    We basically need the insurgency to become the establishment, and vice versa. I deeply dread an “overcorrection” which quasi-panders for the elusive white voter while slighting the interests of the party’s non-white base.

    • CP

      We basically need the insurgency to become the establishment, and vice versa. I deeply dread an “overcorrection” which quasi-panders for the elusive white voter while slighting the interests of the party’s non-white base.

      Yeah, so do I. Especially since the popular notion that the primary was rigged in Clinton’s favor is going to lead a lot of Sanders supporters to believe that they have a bigger support base than they actually do.

      • Uneekness

        Yep. All of the rigging talk completely obliterated the reality that Sanders did not connect with minority voters.

        SO in the pretend version of the 2016 general, when Sanders did OK in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania and Michigan, keeping him close with the outpouring of first-time or nearly-never racist voters that turned out for Trump in those areas, but he gets hammered by much lower than average turnout in minority communities. Then we could be spinning our just-so stories about how the Dems screwed up by not nominating a centrist that the ‘normal’ GOP voters could’ve felt comfortable voting for, especially when Hillary’s campaign probably had research that showed suburban GOP women were gettable, etc, and post election interviews would be full of GOP voters saying “Well, with both parties nominating crazy radicals, it just made sense to go with the devil I know rather than the devil I don’t.”* Yadda yadda, and equally BS to the the just so stories now.

        The only lesson to be learned is that R’s vote R. Stop chasing them. People in the hinterlands require strong rejection of multiculturalism and reaffirmation of white hegemony as a prerequisite, and even the best Dems on economic issues (Russ Feingold!) will struggle to overcome that.

        Any Dem strategy moiving forward needs to start with the bucket of eligible voters (100 million!) that don’t vote or almost never vote and begin the process of turning them into more reliable voters. In the short term it could flip the rust belt and states like NC back fairly quickly, and in the long term (10-20 years) could bring some parity back to state level races and state legislatures everywhere but the deep south. It still means advocating for policies that will ultimately help the “deplorables”, but without needing them to win, or bank on the expectation that they will credit Democrats for policies that help them (or recognize the the GOP never will help them.)

        tl;dr – we need to find voters that are actually receptive to our message, not chase those who will always have a reason to not to.

        * In this alternate universe ‘the devil you know’ would’ve been the du jour phrase, rather than ‘lesser of two evils’

        • wengler

          Sanders connected with minority voters. It’s just that they were in the north and younger. If anything he needed to start his campaign much earlier because by the point many people had heard his name they had already made up their minds.

          • Uneekness

            If you are talking about having Cornell West slagging on Obama at campaign appearances, then we may have differing views as to what “he connected with minority voters” means. Clinton won African-Americans in the Michigan primary 68-28, and the “working class” (at least as defined by high school education or less) 61-37.

          • Bugboy

            Sanders could have started earlier by being an actual member of the Democratic party, instead of switching to Democrat just before announcing his candidacy. His followers didn’t even realize that they couldn’t vote in most state primaries, after all. Rigged and all that…

            Do note that he dropped back to Independent as soon as he could. It isn’t going to help commitment to support him as a Democratic candidate if he can’t commit to actually being a Democrat.

            I say this as a Sanders voter: He didn’t play the long game. And they would have hung “socialist” around his neck like a millstone.

            • Davis X. Machina

              Do note that he dropped back to Independent as soon as he could.

              Such a move is demanded by consistency, and to avoid complicity in all the corruption.

              You walk with the Devil only for as long as it takes to cross the bridge.

              • ThrottleJockey

                Don’t tell me he switched back. Asshole. And I voted for him too! I feel n like such a schmuck. Pols are all the same. No loyalty.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              (sniff) Technically, they would scream “COMMUNIST” at Bernie Sanders.

              /pedant mode

              • ForkyMcSpoon

                If Obama is a radical socialist, then surely Sanders is an outright Stalinist or Maoist.

        • rewenzo

          I really don’t understand the basis for the assumption that Bernie “didn’t connect with” minorities, and therefore, they wouldn’t have voted for him in a general election.

          The primaries are the primaries. Clinton unquestionably won that demographic in the primaries, but she also won the states of New York and Texas. New York would have voted for Bernie, and Texas did not vote for Clinton.

          It’s not like Bernie was running around yelling ALL LIVES MATTER and promising to crack down on the inner cities. Opposition to Hillary Clinton does not mean you are hostile to diversity or that people of color are hostile to you.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            No, the great part for the Busters is that when they say “her primary voters would all have turned out for him!” they are correct. Because marginalized people don’t get the option to just withhold their vote out of spite.

            Hearing the exact same people say “Hillary didn’t earn my vote!” and “Her primary voters would vote for him anyway!” is ever so slightly infuriating.

            • Uneekness

              One would hope. But after Obama, there was a thought that astronomically high African-American turnout was the new normal. Clinton’s team worked extremely hard to maintain it, using carefully tended human capital in those communities, and she merely got extremely high turnout. If Bernie can’t keep that machine humming – and considering that he had no relationships there, he might not have been able to. Or if the GOP managed to put a wedge between him and the WWC voters by making sure they knew how much he was “pandering” to black voters, yada, yada… anyway, they are many easy ways to see a drop off of 100,000 minority voters in PA, or 50,000 in MI (or VA, or NV)

              tl;dr – the stakes were arguably even higher now for minortity voters than in 2008/2012, yet there was still drop off with a candidate with longstanding ties to and relationships within the minority communities. It’s not unreasonable to expect Sanders would’ve done worse.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Because marginalized people don’t get the option to just withhold their vote out of spite.

              Whatcha talking bout Willis?

              Lots of people did stay home instead of voting.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      I deeply dread an “overcorrection” which quasi-panders for the elusive white voter while slighting the interests of the party’s non-white base.

      And the rest of us have no fucking choice but to vote for the Dems anyway.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      I deeply dread an “overcorrection” which quasi-panders for the elusive white voter while slighting the interests of the party’s non-white base.

      Except that if you think voter suppression is a serious problem and that it is going to get worse for the foreseeable future (which I’m certain most people around here do), then the “overcorrection” strategy is the one that should be pursued until the Democratic party can get back into power on a widespread basis and reverse the voter suppression measures. To put it another way, you need to win with the electorate you have, not the electorate you wish you had.

    • PJ

      dup

    • PJ

      I deeply dread an “overcorrection” which quasi-panders for the elusive white voter while slighting the interests of the party’s non-white base.

      Considering that pandering to the squishy white middle is what got us
      – welfare “reform”
      – the crime bill
      – DADT
      – the War on Terror, including drones
      – deportation to the tune of 2 million and NO actual immigration reform
      – consistent benefits horse trading and cutting

      I have no idea* why the so many of the leftists who earnestly wailed about the democrats’ failure on these issues are now earnestly calling for them to DO IT AGAIN. Presumably expecting different results than the one we just had and have been having since Nixon.

      *This is a lie: they are incoherent tools.

      • mojrim

        It depends on what group you mean by the “squishy white middle” and what policies you think would attract them. I’m thinking of the downwardly mobile working class and policies that address economic anxiety.
        – Prosecuting the bankers and rescuing home ownership (would have been…)
        – Large scale and ongoing infrastructure projects.
        – Trade and industry protection.
        – Restricting capital mobility.

        If this election (particularly the GOP primary) showed anything it’s that the working class and even the petite bourgeoisie are existentially terrified. Enough to elect a sapient yam or, among D and D-leaners, just to sit it out in frustration.

        • PJ

          OK fine.

          Some people want to talk ad infinitum about #notallwhitepeople. But to the extent that you begin subdividing, you need to show your work about how many votes that’s gonna get us and whether it’s gonna be worth all the damn work we have to do to “massage” our propaganda properly vs doing the equally hard but probably less crazy-making process of making non-white people be more consistent voters and political participants.

          Otherwise here’s the fact that except for the actual lower income whites and some college-educated white women, a bunch of white people across class and gender lines voted for a racist/sexist campaign. Which clearly signals that they are either in favor or not particularly concerned with racist/sexist ideas. Which is how you get your dreaded “imperialist/racist” policy because that’s the trade off for even half-assed social welfare policy to get passed.

          Gov’t support of good jobs are great, unless
          – it’s choosing winners and losers (sustainable energy vs. coal)
          – it’s over-regulating (corporate earnings)
          – PORK! (name any example)
          – NIMBY (name any example)
          – I don’t want my taxes paying for that shit (name any example)
          – it’s attracting the wrong set of people (Any benefits program)
          – Good money after bad (the auto bailout)

          Muslims here are great, but we’ll continue to spy on them AND bomb the ones overseas just to make you feel better!

          Black people are great, but we’ll shoot the dangerous ones!

          We’ll give you health care, but we promise it’s for you and not illegals!

          We’ll put restrictions on welfare benefits just to make sure we don’t have any of the lazy moochers!

          The most successful talking points against the ACA were not because it was “neoliberal” wonkery, it was: pro-slut pills/abortion, unfair “taxation”, and the broccoli mandate analogy.

          All of which come from the same poisonous root of states rights/Southern Strategy/trickle down economics of conservative dogma ever since they couldn’t be obvious racists anymore*.

          *Except now they can.

          • PJ

            – Good money after bad (the “moral hazard” of helping underwater homeowners or whatever the fuck that concern trolling conversation was about)

          • kped

            This is the best post by far. It perfectly sums up what would be said in each case. Thanks for this!

  • N__B

    I think Hillary simply came across as dignified, compassionate and boringly competent.

    That this is a negative is the saddest idea in the post-mortem.

    • Karen24

      I endorse this sentiment. The worst part of this entire election for me was reading all those articles articles by lefty men complaining that Clinton was not inspiring. Being competent is meaningless unless you’re sexy. So, since no woman is sexy past age 25, no woman will ever be good enough for high office.

      • N__B

        since no woman is sexy past age 25

        Ivanka libel! Re-education for you, comrade.

        • Karen24

          So long as it’s in a camp with no access to national news I think I’ll be okay with it.

      • tsam

        he worst part of this entire election for me was reading all those articles articles by lefty men complaining that Clinton was not inspiring.

        I’m a bit of a cynic, (NO, SERIOUSLY, I AM YOU GUYS) and to me the idea of being inspired by anyone who wants that job is bit scary. I kind of feel like that feeds the cult of personality that makes candidates above reproach or beyond acceptance.

        To me, Hillary Clinton was a technocratic, competent person who had the experience, knowledge and brains to do the job and do no harm, and even make improvements where she was capable. I’ll admit to being ultra jacked to see a woman get elected president. Anyone who has the ability to objectively observe anything would understand that Hillary Clinton would have done just fine or better as president. This is why the attacks she got from the left (huge surprise, all snotty, arrogant white males) make me much angrier than the dimwitted fuckasses that voted for Trump. Trump voters are a known quantity. They lack logic skills, believe anything their radio gods tell them is true, think they’re allowed to have an opinion about scientific facts, and hate the idea that some black kid somewhere might be getting something to eat and it might have cost them 1/100,000th of a cent in taxes. The Kool Kidz Klub shares common cause with Trump voters, but their fake liberalism leads us to believe they should fucking know better. That’s why I hold much more antipathy for them than I do for the nazi assholes that voted for Trump.

        • Karen24

          This is perfect. Thank you.

          • tsam

            Thank you back. And boy do I owe you an apology for trying to say your fears were misplaced. I hope I was never insulting about it. But you were one of the only people (my mom was with you and get in a well-deserved “I fucking told you, boy, don’t question yo momma” on Thanksgiving) I met who seemed to have a premonition that something was really wrong.

            • Karen24

              You were always nice.

              • rea

                Cassandra was right, too.

            • efgoldman

              And boy do I owe you an apology for trying to say your fears were misplaced.

              Dunno’ (don’t remember) if you were around election nite, late, but I wrote Karen a heartfelt apology for mocking her throughout the election. Hell, we all didn’t/don’t feel badly enough, right?

              ETA: mrs efg, too. She makes most pessimists look like optimists, and I dismissed her for not knowing much about politics.

              • tsam

                That’s when I bailed out of here for a couple of weeks–right when our resident Kook Kidz Klub fucks showed up and were positively giddy that a fascist just won the presidency of our nation.

              • kg

                Mrs G knew Trump was going to win too and she doesn’t follow politics at all. “He’s a celebrity”

                • tsam

                  Funny how such a small, intractable truth about human nature becomes the only thing we needed to predict the outcome. I feel pretty dumb after hearing this. THANXALOT, MRS G

              • kped

                I wrote an apology too! we had some egg on our face. And I refuse to do the bullshit “I was wrong for the right reasons, you were right for the wrong reasons” that too many people do. I was wrong, i have to take it like an adult.

        • sappymallow

          Yeah, the majority of my remaining anger is directed at the “brogressives” in my various social media feeds too. My favorite was the one that kept going on about how demeaning the system was and he wouldn’t participate and kept up the negative Clinton shit until the very end, now he’s amazed at all that negative energy out there, man, where did it come from?

          • tsam

            I’m guessing it’s 99% chromosomal. Plus, brogressives like to be seen agitating norms and being contrary, adolescent shits. They equate that to the appearance of intelligence, which is…wow.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            This made me stand up and cheer.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            My Facebook friend/old school chum who went on and on about how he was voting for Stein because Clinton was just as dangerous as Trump sure made an amazingly fast pivot to “Trump is a unique danger to democracy.”

            I’ve kept my mouth shut because fighting these battles now seems pointless and even counterproductive. But damn. The lack of self-awareness…

            • efgoldman

              But damn. The lack of self-awareness…

              Hell, the lack of ANY awareness…..

            • Redwood Rhiadra

              Unfortunately, all the Bernie-or-Busters on my Facebook feed were like “Yeah! Trump will be so bad that the proletariat will finally rise up to overthrow our capitalist oppressors!”

              Which is why I ended up leaving Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

              • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                Yeah, many of them remind me of Discworld’s Reg Shoe character.

        • sam

          Yes to all of this and yet…

          I WAS inspired in the end. I didn’t think I was going to be – 18 months before election day, one of my parents’ friends asked me if I was ‘ready for Hillary’, and i sort of groaned and said I was more ‘resigned to Hillary’. But as election day grew closer, and I actually paid attention to HER, and her story, I saw so much of my life in her life – not just the fact that I’m a woman lawyer, and a giant nerd, and a bad dancer, and have a weird laugh, but the many compromises I’ve had to make that my male colleagues and friends haven’t.

          I was also incredibly proud to vote for Obama in 2008, but you know what? I didn’t get dressed up in an all white outfit to vote for him (or end up high-fiving the other ladies at my polling place who had done the same thing).

          • artem1s

            I felt that way too. I think a lot of the post election anxiety is all about this. Finally discovering we were excited about who were supporting, starting to dream about the possibilities and having it smashed so harshly. Too many equate campaigns with sports and react the same way they fair weather candidates do when their teams lose.

            So many were just tired of the election and wanted to get to the real work. This was not the work we wanted to be doing. But they are really still the fights we wanted to fight. It just means going back a lot of steps first. Of course it feels awful. It doesn’t however, change how I feel about my vote and who I voted for. I was voting for diversity and a real commitment to all Americans. That vote did win. It’s stinks that there is no SuperBowl Ring for the popular vote. But I know the majority are done with homogeneous white bread land and that trend is moving in the right direction. we just need to get more of them spread around.

          • Tom in BK

            I was pretty inspired in the end, too. The Pantsuit Nation group had an air of “Finally” about it that was just infectious, in a good way.

            Of course, I recognized that Clinton would have continued the things I dislike about the Obama Administration, but I really did feel pretty darn good about my vote when I cast it.

          • Lasker

            I was a Bernie supporter and I actually ended up feeling the same way.

            It took awhile but the combination of the DNC (despite all my frustrations with much of the messaging) the debates, and talking with to my sister about how much Hillary meant to her and yes, voting AGAINST Trump, meant that this vote ended up meaning a lot to me. I’ve voted very practically in the past (Like voting Cuomo on the WFP line last year . . .) and would of course have voted Hillary in any case this year but for all my talk about practicality it felt important. ANd this of course, was in New York, where it objectively was not, whatsoever.

          • I went through exactly the same thing, and I observed the same dynamic with a lot of people I know. But having said that, I think the reason for this shift is also the reason she failed to connect with so many voters.

            I mean, the entire last month of the campaign was basically most women’s nightmare writ large, right? Here’s this woman who is smart, competent, hardworking, devoted, and decent. She’s done the work, she’s paid her dues, she’s more than qualified for the job (as so many people noted, Clinton was probably the most qualified presidential candidate ever). And she’s being forced to compete for it with an incompetent buffoon who has had everything handed to him, who has failed upward his entire life, and who is so incapable of grasping the notion that he might be beaten by a woman that the only way he can engage with her is through childish goading and misogynistic taunts. And she handles it like a pro, lobbing every one of his attacks back at him, staying cool (because of course getting angry at being belittled and humiliated by someone who isn’t worth a tenth of you is the worst crime ever), and destroying every one of his paltry, irrelevant attacks. It was what so many women dream of being, and of being able to do, and the idea that the end of it would be her election was, yes, absolutely inspiring.

            But of course, the very fact that this dynamic was so familiar should have clued us into the fact that many people wouldn’t see it that way. We live in a world that repeatedly hands jobs and opportunities to incompetent men over highly-qualified women. What I and so many others saw as a victory lap, was seen by a large percentage of voters as the way things are meant to be. Trump winning was like the entire US getting up on its hind legs and telling women: “Yeah… no. You’re really never going to be good enough.”

            • sam

              Yes – and that is why, between getting up and going to work every day and trying to figure out what issue I’m going to focus my time on (aside from giving money to many groups – I know how much capacity (both in time and emotion) I personally have for actual extra work, and I’m trying to find a good group to dedicate actual TIME to that can use me and my lawyer brain), I also still shut my door and break down and cry almost every day.

              I might be crying right now, thinking about this. Not because I’m a girl. Because it’s so fucking depressing.

            • Rob in CT

              I mean, the entire last month of the campaign was basically most women’s nightmare writ large, right?

              Yeah, and I was angry about it even when I thought she was gonna win (because that win looked like it would be fairly narrow and by rights it should’ve been a total blowout). I think about my super competent wife and other women I see in the corporate world, and the blowhard dudes who often get promoted faster (though my wife has done well, I can’t help but wonder if she was a dude – say a tall one with a deep voice – if she’d be halfway to CIO by now)…

              Watching the electorate treat the race as essentially the same as “generic Republican versus generic Democrat” was horrifying, and would have been so even if she’d managed to hang on to win the EC.

              What a total shitshow.

            • lizzie

              Yes. Thank you for putting into words so much of what I’ve been thinking and feeling.

          • nemdam

            So many good comments, but the thing that bothers me that isn’t talked about much is that not only was it vitally important to stop Trump, it’s that after watching Hillary all campaign, it became blindingly obvious that she was so obviously prepared and ready to take over that the country has been deprived of arguably the most qualified person to ever run for president. It would be bad against anyone, but especially against Trump, the loss our country has suffered for not electing someone so obviously fit for the job is nothing short of an injustice. By the end, there was no doubt in my mind that she would be a good president and leave the country better off in four years. And really, what else can you ask for in president? If that’s not enough, what is?

            Another aspect is the idea that Hillary’s run and presidency would inspire young girls to think bigger about their ambitions and to aspire to the highest leadership positions in whatever field they work in. But after watching a woman who is arguably the most qualified person to ever run for president, lose to a man who is the least qualified person to ever run I cannot help but think that no single event has done more to dampen the ambitions of women in recent history. I mean, if Hillary can’t win this job against that man, what woman can? Why would any young girls aspire to be ambitious if no matter what your qualifications or talents, you will just lose to a man who is so obviously unfit for the job? This election is a nightmare in so many ways, and we may never fully come to grips with the damage it has done to our country.

            • tsam

              Great comment. This election loss hurt in profound ways, to be sure.

            • liberalrob

              This may seem like an easy prediction to make, but I am certain (assuming the nation survives) that a woman will be elected president before the end of the century, and possibly in the next 20 years. I mean, look at this election. Hillary won everywhere but the scoreboard, and that was only because of stupid, antiquated rules.

              Hillary didn’t lose to Trump because she was a woman. She lost because she was a Clinton. I firmly believe this.

              • BartletForGallifrey

                I can’t imagine why any woman would want to run.

                • liberalrob

                  I would imagine getting 4 years with the “bully pulpit” would be attractive…

                • tsam

                  I would imagine getting 4 years with the “bully pulpit” would be attractive…

                  The road to it looks like a gauntlet though. Have to admit that the mental toughness it would take is impressive to me. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t believe I possess that kind of drive and guts.

                • I can say without hesitation I don’t.

                • tsam

                  I can say without hesitation I don’t.

                  Fuck. I guess I’ll cancel this order for 100k bumper stickers and t-shirts.

          • UncleEbeneezer

            Great OP, and these comments here are absolutely gold. I was very excited to vote for Obama, but I was THRILLED to vote for Hillary. Most of it due to the fact that I’ve been paying far greater attention to sexism/racism/LGBTQ-phobia etc., in the past few years and especially since my wife helped open my eyes to what life is like for people who are not cis/het/straight/white men, such as myself. I was far more heavily invested in this election, and at every step of the way my admiration and appreciation for Hillary grew in leaps and bounds. By the end I was and still am rejecting the idea that HRC lacked charisma or personality or whatever. I think several here have nailed it: HRC has plenty of those, our society is just so blinded by dick-colored-glasses to see/appreciate them. I think history will view Hillary much better than she is viewed now. And yes: charisma is absolutely a gendered concept. I’m trying to think of a woman who people generally consider charismatic but not because of sex appeal/conventional attractiveness and I’m struggling to think of a single one, which I think speaks volumes.

            The other day we were walking our dog and we went up the road the way that we walked on the morning of election day, and even just that was enough to trigger a damn-near breakdown for me. That day. God, that fuckin day… We got up early, walked to the polling place, discussing where we would get tacos to celebrate. I was already thinking about how I was going to break protocol of no-politics-talk with my students to celebrate with the little girls the moment I saw that the election had been called for Hillary etc. As the numbers started coming in my wife was texting me starting to freak out. I tried to console her. As much as I wanted HRC to win for America and the marginalized people and SCOTUS etc., I also really wanted that victory for my wife who has dealt with so much sexism and body-shaming and bullying etc. I wanted her to have her moment, and to share it with her.

            Hillary’s campaign was not only one of the most progressive, it was also possibly the most inclusive of Black, Muslim, LGBT, Disabled, Women etc. I was so excited to see that message, Stronger Together, endorsed by America. I hoped that people were FINALLY starting to get it. Which made the loss all that much more of a gut-punch.

            Anyways, I’m SO proud to have voted for Hillary and it’s both comforting and inspiring to see others here who felt the same way speaking up about it. I’m proud to be on your team. Thank you for continuing to push back on the anti-identity-politics screeds. You all constantly give me new things to think about and alot of my growth in awareness comes directly from learning from your words here.

            PS- I too am more disappointed/angry at Bernie Bros than Trump supporters. Trump supporters are who we thought they were, though I under-estimated their numbers and devotion to White Supremacy. BB’s could have and should have known and done better. Fuck ’em, to the Nth degree, in perpetuity.

        • Dilan Esper

          What do you think Hillary’s foreign policy was going to look like?

          I never criticized her on style. Not once. I don’t care if she didn’t inspire me, and I liked that she inspired lots of liberal women. (Heck, she even inspired conservative women. Nikki Haley credits her with inspiring Haley to get into politics.)

          My problems were that she and her husband were ethically questionable and that she made a ton of mistakes, especially on foreign policy issues where she claimed to be some sort of expert. And she didn’t learn from them.

          And I voted for her anyway and repeatedly urged others to do so, because she was better than her opponent nonetheless.

          Hillary didn’t lose because of sexism on the left. The Bernie Bros who didn’t vote for her mostly voted for Jill Stein, another woman. She lost because she ran against a celebrity candidate and lots of Americans will vote for a celebrity no matter what he says or does.

          • Denverite

            My problems were that she and her husband were ethically questionable

            shhhhhh you’re not supposed to say this on here

            • Murc

              No, you’re not, because it isn’t true.

              Or, rather, its not any more true of the Clintons than of anyone else. In fact, it is far LESS true.

              I didn’t vote for Clinton in the primary because of my dissatisfaction with her substantive policies. In terms of garden-variety ethics, both she and her husband appear to actually be cleaner than most.

              • kped

                Truth. I mean…Bernie was so ethically pure that he ran out the primary clock and didn’t release his taxes! And I bet there was nothing shady in them…nope…nothing at all. He and his wife are 100% pure, they just couldn’t figure out that tax program, they’re old, isn’t that cute?

          • Morse Code for J

            If “ethically questionable” refers to the Clinton Foundation from which she drew no salary and no quid pro quo could be identified, or the speeches she made to monied sponsors, would it surprise you to learn that many former presidents and cabinet members have done one or both to no comment?

            If it doesn’t surprise you, why was it something especially worth noting in her case?

            • Dilan Esper

              It refers to more than 25 years of different scandals, actually.

              • Denverite

                shhhhhh we’re supposed to ignore those

                • Tom in BK

                  C’mon, dude. Her scandals were so milquetoast as to be nonexistent in the world of politics. You could find more “scandalous” shit in my work email from the past two years than in her 25 years of being in the public eye.

              • DiTurno

                Can you name one “scandal” that wasn’t mostly or completely BS?

                Bill’s pardon of Mark Rich was a genuine scandal. That’s all I can think of.

                • Dilan Esper

                  1. Johnny Chung
                  2. Hillary’s trashing of Monica as a delusional stalker
                  3. Cattle futures
                  4. The speeches
                  5. Chelsea’s no work job with NBC
                  6. The Clinton Foundation

                  That’s six just off the top of my head. And six more than Obama, notably.

                  (There’s also a lot of political dishonesty, like the 10 different explanations for her Iraq vote, and the TPP flip flop, which also speak to their ethics, but I am putting those in another category.)

                • farin

                  So you don’t have any, then?

                • 2. Hillary’s trashing of Monica as a delusional stalker

                  This needs to be supported with evidence. The only thing I’m aware of Hillary ever saying about Monica is a secondhand quote from a conversation with a personal friend.

                  5. Chelsea’s no work job with NBC

                  Are you fucking kidding me?

                  This is, of course, unsurprising from the guy who said Hillary won her Senate race because of Monica Lewinsky.

                • Dilan Esper

                  Stepped:

                  1. There’s plenty of evidence and multiple CONTEMPORANEOUS reports that Hillary both went herself and sent her people to reporters to trash Monica as a delusional stalker. Most of it occurred off the record, but that’s not the same thing as it not happening.

                  2. Stepped, I don’t care how many times you say it, Hillary could never have jumped the line and displaced Nita Lowey with her pre-Monica popularity. The public hated her until the scandal. She had NO political trajectory.

                  I’m sorry you have to lie to yourself about this.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  Hillary could never have jumped the line and displaced Nita Lowey

                  I assume you never complained this year about Hillary being “coronated” or “having the field cleared” or “feeling entitled” or only getting the nomination because it was “her turn” or any similar nonsense, right, Dilan?

              • Are you referring to the Vince Foster murder, haircut-gate, hanging condoms on the White House Christmas tree, drug running in Mena Arkansas, firing of incompetent and/or corrupt staff at the WH travel office or murdering those people in Benghazi and then lying about it. There are so many, which ones trouble you the most?

                Also what tsam says down thread.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  She vented to friends about the woman her husband stuck a cigar up!

                • Taters

                  You forgot the Socks the Cat scandal.

                • tsam

                  Also what tsam says down thread.

                  Except without the horrifying apostrophe abuse. Jesus–I must have a head injury or something.

              • Nick056

                Hillary can’t fail. Can only be failed. No better way to put the problems than by noting Sid Blumenthal wrote a very good book trying to defend both Clintons. It was about 700 pages, and it is indeed pretty persuasive. However no one will ever need to write a book defending Obama against 700 pages of accusations, because there won’t be a need. Solyandra? Rezko?

                • Just_Dropping_By

                  Yes, this is one of the things that seems especially silly when people are running around claiming that Republicans would have smeared any Democratic candidate — the Republicans tried to do it with Obama numerous times and failed miserably. Why? Because there was nothing there to start with. I don’t believe one-tenth of the negative stories about Clinton, but it’s ridiculous to act as though she wasn’t already damaged to a serious degree (although I still thought she would win).

                • rm

                  The Republicans convinced voters that John Kerry was a coward who lied to get his medals, and that W was a brave military man. Since Obama can’t run again, who was available that they would not have swiftboated? Please do not answer, this is too depressing a conversation to keep up with. Let’s all please stop with the rending of garments over an election we won by more than two million votes.

            • Denverite

              would it surprise you to learn that many former presidents and cabinet members have done one or both to no comment?

              And all zero of them that were the prohibitive favorites in their party’s next presidential primary should be heartily chastised for their actions.

              • Murc

                “Made optical mistakes” isn’t the same as an ethical failing, tho. The speeches were jaw-dropping tone deaf but weren’t actually an ethical lapse on her part.

                • farin

                  Their content, though, was remarkably sensitive to tone. Her comments on the uncomfortable feeling of alienation from her middle-class upbringing should have been taken as evidence of her easy thoughtfulness about class, but of course by then “warmongering harpy” had already been cemented as the only true Hillary among the people who matter.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            Hillary didn’t lose because of sexism on the left. The Bernie Bros who didn’t vote for her mostly voted for Jill Stein, another woman.

            They’re always happy to support a woman who doesn’t actually have any chance of getting power.

            But only as long as she says exactly what they want. Watching the brocialists go from “I’m not sexist! I would vote for Warren in a heartbeat!!” to “Fucking cunt shill!!” when she endorsed gave me whiplash.

            And women don’t get the benefit of the doubt, ever. While an alarming number of them went to great lengths to justify when Bernie finally endorsed (“he was threatened! blackmailed!”), I never saw a single one of them say the same about Warren.

            • Dilan Esper

              Do you think Nader voters gave Gore the benefit of the doubt?

              Leftist purity wasn’t invented when they put a woman on the ballot.

              • BartletForGallifrey

                “X was not due to sexism therefore Y was not due to sexism”

                • Dilan Esper

                  X, the exact same thing, happened with no sexism, therefore people itching to say that Y is because of sexism are seeing what they want to see rather than what is.

                • Tom in BK

                  And this, Dilan, is why people think you’re an asshole. That you can be so blind to the obvious sexism in the campaign is stunning.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  people itching to say that Y is because of sexism

                  You know, this brings to mind a pin I saw once: “The problem isn’t that I see racism everywhere. The problem is that you don’t.”

          • tsam

            What do you think Hillary’s foreign policy was going to look like?

            A mixed bag, like Barack Obama’s.

            shhhhhh you’re not supposed to say this on here

            Nah–the Clinton’s do things that have the outward appearance of being slimy. I get that. And when a reporter wouldn’t let up on her about whether or not she “wiped a drive” from her private server setup, she got annoyed and said “What? like with a cloth or something?”. That was a head slapper for me. The entire idea of that private server with the people’s property on it was wrong as far as I’m concerned, but I compared that to the Bush admin’s emails being stored on a the RNC (!) servers, manipulated beyond accountability and scrutiny, and collective shrug from the American people.

            The point is that the Clinton’s seem to do all the same shit everyone else in that thug life does, but they seem to be the only ones to get the intense scrutiny for it. I’m one of those generalizing asshole cynics who believes that anyone who wants that job has to be a narcissistic asshole by nature as a prerequisite, if only to assure any success at it. So yes, I perceive impropriety by the Clinton’s, and yes, I’m spoiled by the boringly clean appearance of Obama’s administration, but I don’t feel like zeroing in on the Clinton’s as some kind of extraordinary circumstance is justified.

            • tsam

              A mixed bag, like Barack Obama’s.

              And Bill Clinton’s, Jimmy Carter’s, Lyndon Johnson’s, Harry Truman’s, Franklin Roosevelt’s….

              You’re never going to get that dove who can make other nations do what they want them to, and you’re never going to see any national leader not use deadly force to protect business interests in other nations, or ignore genocides for the same purpose. It’s an ideal that should shape how we pressure the party, but the presidency isn’t an autonomous job that allows for unlimited latitude in foreign policy.

              • I think there is a belief among some on the left, because mostly they talk to other international leftists, that other countries want an end to militarism and we’re forcing it down their throats. So a president who “listens to others” would naturally wind down overseas bases, etc. This probably is not the case.

                • tsam

                  There are also economic considerations with closing bases (which affect the hosting nations), there are allies that more or less rely on our presence for their own security (real or perceived), and there are real threats out there. I’m just looking for a president with a cool head who cares about the historical context of international conflicts and alliances and doesn’t think that foreign policy is a binary between ignoring the problem or killing it with fire. I think Clinton would have been at least adequate in that regard.

                • LFC

                  The U.S. is not forcing its base in, for example, Djibouti down the throat of the govt of Djibouti; rather, the U.S. is paying that gvt a rather substantial sum every year as rent for the base. Some host countries get paid a fair amt; others don’t; the arrangements vary.

                  Question is whether the U.S. base network (some 800 bases all over the world) is, in its present extensive form, actually serving the U.S. ‘national interest’ (rough translation: is it a good idea?) and IMHO the answer, to oversimplify grossly, is no. Prob need at least some bases, but not the current #.

                  This issue, the base network, didn’t come up at all in the HRC/DJT debates, as I recall, nor do I recall either candidate ever mentioning it in a speech. Will be interesting to see what, if anything, Trump does to change it (i.e., the number of bases, etc.). My guess is not much, but we’ll see.

              • Dilan Esper

                ignore genocides

                I think American presidents ignore mass ethnically-charged violence all the time, so long as our allies perpetrate it.

                All I ask is that they also ignore it when countries which are not our allies perpetrate it. (Or, to be more accurate, not even that they ignore it, but that they simply resist the urge to bomb and murder foreigners in our name in response to it.)

            • Here is what I’m thinking, which assumes things more or less don’t fall apart: For whatever reason, people still want to elect a kind of person who’s actually thin on the ground. They like GHWB. They want Walter Cronkite with a political machine behind him. Lately they’ve gone for “guys you can have a beer with,” but really they want someone who gives off that patrician, above-it-all-vibe. They were willing to to for GWB because he had enough of that in spite of having something goofy about him. They were willing to go for BHO because he had enough of that in spite of his being black. But people like that either don’t exist anymore or don’t rise to presidential prominence frequently enough for future presidents to be from that group. And the alternative is people who’ve gotten their hands a little dirty. Maybe it’s true and the Clintons really did get their hands dirtier than average–and maybe that’s why the process that got rid of everyone else with slightly less dirty hands didn’t get rid of them–or maybe they’re the same as everyone else, only more politically talented. But maybe DJT has broken through that barrier and we won’t all be pining for RR or GHWB anymore. Hopefully the paradigm that comes after him won’t be a Paul or a Rubio, much less a Cruz. But on the D side, what do you have if you insist on both that kind of clean hands, that kind of above-it-all attitude and broad personal appeal?

            • MDrew

              “when a reporter wouldn’t let up on her?”

              Are you being fucking serious right now?

              • tsam

                Ok, asked the question again after she refused to answer it? Can you define being fucking serious?

                I get the feeling you’re taking issue with my claim that the media was obsessed with proving that Clinton stole all the emails and now the intergalactic empire has all our secrets so vote Trump or else…

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Voting for a woman who is sure to lose is substantively different than voting for one that has a chance to win.

            I’m not saying that those leftier-than-thous who voted for Stein were sexist, but I am saying that a vote for Stein doesn’t prove much.

            (The people who voted for Sanders and then Johnson, on the other hand…)

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          Over the years the Democrats have frequently nominated presidential candidates without much charisma, but with lots of intelligence and experience. And these candidates have lost: Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry…and Hillary Clinton. Yes, it’s worth interrogating the extent to which qualities of charisma are marked by gender. There’s no discounting misogyny when thinking about people’s responses to Hillary Clinton. But this is not just about misogyny. And whether or not you think being inspirational is a good criterion for a presidential candidate, I think it actually has made a crucial difference and divides the more successful Democratic candidates from the less successful ones. Then again, this is a very closely divided country politically. Everything counts and has an effect on the election. And two million more voters preferred Clinton than preferred Trump.

          One last thing (and I know this is a dead horse, but I’ll beat it anyway): not all critics of Clinton from the left were white men. There were plenty of Jill Steins, Susan Sarandons, and Cornel Wests. Which is not at all to sing the praises of any of them (far from it), but simply to point out that stupid critiques of Clinton from the left were not entirely driven by misogyny.*

          * There were also reasonable critiques of Clinton from the left; Clinton had many, many voters who nonetheless supported her critically.

          • Uneekness

            Wait, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were charismatic and inspirational?

            • farin

              They won, right? So they were good and charismatic!

            • Just_Dropping_By

              “Charismatic” and “inspirational” are relative terms and thus you need to consider the opponents of the candidates, not measure them on some absolute scale.

              • efgoldman

                you need to consider the opponents of the candidates

                You also need to consider the ratfuckery on the winner’s side.

                • Just_Dropping_By

                  If the election isn’t close, “ratfuckery” doesn’t matter (see, e.g., Obama in ’08 and ’12).

            • Murc

              GHWB was running against another charisma-free nerd. When GHWB ran against someone who was actually charismatic and likable he got his ass handed to him.

              GWB actually was charismatic to large numbers of people. I found him repellent, but I’m weird and distrust charisma. The actual existence of it seems pretty settled, tho.

              • XTPD

                GHWB was running against another charisma-free nerd

                Assuming “nerd” simply denotes uncoolness independent of intelligence.

                • Murc

                  … you think either Dukakis or Bush the Elder weren’t intelligent?

                • XTPD

                  Dukakis was smart; my comment applied more to HW, who wasn’t really the sharpest knife in the spoon.

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  Would GHWB count as a dork or dweeb, perhaps?

                  He had a sort of nasal uptightness to him (or particularly the Dana Carvey impression of him) that is similar to certain stereotypes of nerds.

            • mds

              You obviously overlooked something, so let’s review:

              Over the years the Democrats have frequently nominated presidential candidates without much charisma, but with lots of intelligence and experience. And these candidates have lost

              (Emphasis added)

              What’s the saying? “Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.” Charisma is much less relevant when your base is a bunch of stupid old selfish bigoted white assholes wanting to put the boot to the godless leftists like it’s 1972. Or when they have a checklist consisting solely of banning abortions, stomping queers, and blocking any attempts to reduce the mass slaughter of kindergartners with firearms. Which is why 81% of white evangelicals crawled over broken glass to vote for a promiscuous, irreligious sack of shit who was aided and abetted by the Russian government.

              Meanwhile, Democrats apparently don’t bother to show up at the polls unless (1) it’s a presidential election, and (2) the presidential candidate makes them all goddamned tingly in their areas.

              • Rob in CT

                Yup.

              • Preach.

              • Schadenboner

                You say this like it’s supposed to be an indictment of our voters, but it’s a diagnosis of why we didn’t win*. And this was hardly an unknown fact.

                *: For values of “winning” including not stripping 20 million Americans of health insurance, and appointing a plurality (or more) of SCOTUS. You know, actually winning.

          • farin

            I think the definition of “without much charisma” is already granting plenty of sexist premises. Hillary Clinton is someone who by all accounts is not just liked and respected but adored by nearly all the people who’ve worked with her and who comprehensively dominated three debates. Those are demonstrations of immense charisma, just not of the man-shouting-from-lectern sort that is accounted “presidential.”

            It’s also true that the popular idea of her prickly unpleasantness comes from a press corps that decided early on they hated her and resented her for not just taking it.

            • It’s also worth remembering that the reason she’s so reserved with the press while apparently being incredibly warm and friendly in private is that she spent most of her early political career being raked over the coals for any expression of personality. There’s no right way to be a woman in public, and Hillary Clinton learned that lesson the hard way.

              • DiTurno

                Exactly, Abigail.

              • Yup.

            • BartletForGallifrey

              I think the definition of “without much charisma” is already granting plenty of sexist premises. Hillary Clinton is someone who by all accounts is not just liked and respected but adored by nearly all the people who’ve worked with her and who comprehensively dominated three debates. Those are demonstrations of immense charisma, just not of the man-shouting-from-lectern sort that is accounted “presidential.”

              I missed this. Yes. There are endless stories of how kind, caring, and thoughtful she is. How engaging she is in person.

              “Charisma” is gendered.

            • FlipYrWhig

              It’s also true that the popular idea of her prickly unpleasantness comes from a press corps that decided early on they hated her and resented her for not just taking it.

              Sports reporters do this to famous athletes a lot. If they’re difficult with the press, they assholify them. If they get along with the press, they lionize them, even when they’re assholes.

              • tsam

                And sometimes they inexplicably flock to hear from people like Bob Knight. At once lionizing and villainizing–or something. I don’t even know what to make of that one.

                • farin

                  Because he’s a real Manly Man doing Manly Things like abusing young people in his charge and being unable to control his temper. You know, not weak womanly stuff like discussion or compromise.

                  Unsurprisingly, Knight was a prominent Trump supporter.

                • tsam

                  Unsurprisingly, Knight was a prominent Trump supporter.

                  Yeah–and boy does he represent the core of what makes a Trump voter. Abusive, self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, a perception of being special, mouthy, arrogant, stupid, angry, values winning over morality, and just plain fucking ugly.

        • libarbarian

          That’s why I hold much more antipathy for them than I do for the nazi assholes that voted for Trump.

          OMG! A progressive who directs more hatred at impure fellows than at open and committed enemies.

          Such a thing has never been seen before. It’s a completely new phenomena … and can probably only work out well.

          :p

          • BartletForGallifrey

            A progressive who directs more hatred at impure fellows than at open and committed enemies.

            It’s not because they’re “impure”. Because they are fucking over the entire country.

            Wastes of fucking oxygen.

            • libarbarian

              It’s not because they’re “impure”. Because they are fucking over the entire country.

              Oh, well in that case … it’s not like this is the same thing said by every single heresy-hunter everywhere ever! :p

              • PhoenixRising

                My issue isn’t that they are impure. My issue is that they had all the information, understood it, and chose to destroy my child’s future anyway.

                They knew that failing to vote for the only candidate who would stop GOP congressmen from taking my insurance away raised the risk that I will DIE in the coming 10 years, and they didn’t care.

                They deserve to be shackled to an anchor and thrown overboard, not because they are heretics, but because they committed an act calculated to injure me and 20 million other Americans who need health care.

                They are worse than the people who did not understand that Trump would create actual catastrophe in their own daily lives, because they are immoral in an entirely different way.

                If you find it uncomfortable that the people who are going to be hurt and perhaps killed by indifference plus hostility aren’t being nice enough to the indifferent, please go find a rusty farm implement with which to mate.

                That isn’t a game. People are going to die. I may be one of them. You’re not cute, funny or useful.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  My issue isn’t that they are impure. My issue is that they had all the information, understood it, and chose to destroy my child’s future anyway.

                  They knew that failing to vote for the only candidate who would stop GOP congressmen from taking my insurance away raised the risk that I will DIE in the coming 10 years, and they didn’t care.

                  They deserve to be shackled to an anchor and thrown overboard, not because they are heretics, but because they committed an act calculated to injure me and 20 million other Americans who need health care.

                  They are worse than the people who did not understand that Trump would create actual catastrophe in their own daily lives, because they are immoral in an entirely different way.

                  If you find it uncomfortable that the people who are going to be hurt and perhaps killed by indifference plus hostility aren’t being nice enough to the indifferent, please go find a rusty farm implement with which to mate.

                  That isn’t a game. People are going to die. I may be one of them. You’re not cute, funny or useful.

                  QFT.

                • MDrew

                  QFT.

                  Especially the part about murdering those you have political differences with?

                • libarbarian

                  They knew that failing to vote for the only candidate

                  How do you know how they voted? The original subject was the people who “attacked” her from the left. Not people who didn’t vote for her. The plain meaning of that phrase means people publicly attacked her from the left and is not limited to those who pulled the lever for Stein or Abstained. Furthermore, the original point stipulated that everyone who “attacked” her from the left were “all snotty, arrogant white males”, which is just a pathetic and provable lie.

                  If you find it uncomfortable that the people who are going to be hurt and perhaps killed by indifference plus hostility aren’t being nice enough to the indifferent, please go find a rusty farm implement with which to mate.

                  I’m sorry for your situation, but the idea that the only people who didn’t support (or even vote for) Hillary were those with nothing to lose under a Trump presidency doesn’t even pass the smell test. 30% of Latinos voted for Trump for chrissakes. More than for Romney. 13% of Muslims voted for Trump. Also .. more than for Romney. I don’t get it, but there it is. No serious attempt to come back from this can afford to ignore this and cling to outdated ignorant stereotypes that everyone who rejected Hillary was a straight, white, male who only cared about shit that effected straight, white, men.

                • Thank you for this

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  Especially the part about murdering those you have political differences with?

                  People I have political differences with? No. People who are actively choosing to cause others to suffer and die? Fuck them. Fuck. Them. I hope they lose every nice thing the Democrats have worked hard to bring them. And I hope they realize what they’ve done and live long lives crushed under the weight of that guilt.

                • Bruce B.

                  This, right here.

                  It’s not that they all know any of us by name…but they each often know some of us, and know about others. They did decide that our lives aren’t as interesting or valuable as whatever it is they think they’ll get from Trump. We are not bad people for taking that seriously and holding it against them.

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  I don’t want to murder the purity ponies who refused to vote for Hillary.

                  But if the day comes when the contradictions are truly heightened, I hope that they personally experience it in lieu of those who are more vulnerable.

          • So being a misogynist is merely an impurity. Good to know.

            News flash: for many women, this kind of behavior is a sign that the people engaging in it are not, and were never, fellow travelers. That they will happily throw us under the bus the minute our agenda mildly inconveniences them, or even makes them feel as if they aren’t the center of attention.

            • libarbarian

              So … every progressive who didn’t like Hillary was misogynist?

              So … you can’t work with people who aren’t “fellow travelers” to achieve specific things?

              Jeez. It’s almost like leftwing infighting like this is so tragically stereotypical that it is the subject of parody. Almost.

              • BartletForGallifrey

                So … every progressive who didn’t like Hillary was misogynist?

                Whee!

                So … you can’t work with people who aren’t “fellow travelers” to achieve specific things?

                No, buddy, don’t worry. We–women, minorities of all sorts–will work with the people who throw us under the bus. We’ll take the crumbs they toss us. We don’t have a choice.

                And when they fuck us over, we’ll sigh and try again.

              • tsam

                You’re right. The people who called themselves progressives and spread Tea Party memes about Clinton and refused to vote for her should escape censure. All is forgiven. I mean shit, she’s just as bad as Trump, so we’ve suffered no net loss here, right? I also shouldn’t be mad when they say “I toldja so” because my one vote for Bernie (in a fucking caucus) ruined it for them.

                • libarbarian

                  spread Tea Party memes about Clinton

                  I thought that the idea that internet memes won Trump the election was a self-congratulatory masturbatiory fantasy of the alt-right …. but apparently some progressives actually agree with them on this.

                  Go figure.

                • tsam

                  There must be an invisible part of my comment where I blamed memes for Trump’s victory. Maybe you can point me to where I said or implied any such thing?

              • Rob in CT

                You’re aggressively missing the point.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  You’re aggressively missing the point.

                  Who is?

                • Rob in CT

                  libarbarian.

          • tsam

            Yes, the people who make our coalition of different needs and wants degraded because of some uninformed assholes makes me madder than the resignation that right wingers are just assholes by nature. There are people who should fucking know better, but choose to be wrong. They’re worse than people who are unconditionally committed to being fuckasses. YMMV, though.

            • efgoldman

              There are people who should fucking know better, but choose to be wrong.

              And aren’t these the same know-it-all-but-above-the-fray types who keep going on about how the selfish old boomers’ time is over and we/they should just fuck off and die?
              [Technically I’m not a boomer – born a year too soon]

              • tsam

                That seems to overlap, thought I couldn’t definitively say it’s unique to them. I feel like they are always on the lookout for some specter that rationalizes their droning about how we’re all powerless and all politicians are the same.

      • TopsyJane

        In fairness, I think Palin’s sexy-librarian look was part of her appeal and after her convention speech she looked to be an Obama-type sensation, which is what McCain & Co. were hoping for. Didn’t last for obvious reasons and also Palin benefited from being a Republican woman and a conservative, and not the head of the ticket. (And then being a woman did hurt her in other ways unrelated to her knowledge or competence.)

        I actually did find HRC to be a generally inspiring candidate, if only because she didn’t start out with the some of the personal qualities that grease the way for candidates like Obama and her husband and which are easier for male politicians to exploit than their female counterparts.

        I would be surprised if a woman leads the Democratic ticket next time around. She can hope for the second spot.

      • ThrottleJockey

        To be fair I heard that from more women than I did men, and it goes toward her personality not her femininity. Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi are all inspiring. Hill is just an introvert at heart and, unlike Obama who is also introverted by nature, never learned to enjoy campaigning.

      • Brad Nailer

        I’ve always thought she was pretty, for what that’s worth.

    • Yeah. I was really looking forward to compassionate, boringly competent leadership (from a woman!!!) but apparently I was in the minority (but not really, I guess?) I’m confused and angry.

      • liberalrob

        You were in the majority, just not in a state where that mattered.

    • DiTurno

      I also think that’s demonstrably wrong. As polls *repeatedly* showed, voters thought she was more dishonest and less trustworthy than Donald F’ing Trump.

      No Wikileaks and no Comey letter and she wins the election comfortably.

    • Dilan Esper

      I think 4 is incredibly unfair to Hillary. She not only fought hard (especially in the debates), but even Trump noticed it and praised it.

      There are other things that Hillary did that have been discussed to death, but she fought hard.

    • DamnYankees

      One thing I’ve thought about recently was one of the emails that came out in the email dump was, I think, from Hillary to Huma or maybe Cheryl Mills. She mentioned she saw Malala (I think?) on some TV show, and she just emailed to see if there’s any way the government could help.

      Just…thoughtful. Compassionate. Interested in helping. This wasn’t for public consumption.

      And no one cared. We actively voted for the most cruel, selfish, thoughtless person I can possibly imagine over someone who would send emails like that. All in full view – nothing was hidden here. I don’t thing I’ll ever get over it.

      • liberalrob

        No, “we” didn’t. Never lose sight of the fact that Hillary won the popular vote comfortably. A quirk of our electoral system allowed Trump to win. That’s all.

    • mojrim

      If you expect and want a war, you want a war chieftain.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    re: #4. I’m not sure how anyone who watched the debates could *not* think she was a fighter, unless the only definition of fighter is “wave your arms around and shout a lot”. I was *damn* impressed with her then and it still makes me sick that people could have seen the two of them side by side and *still* vote for Trump

    otherwise, yeah, especially your last line

    • Agreed. I’m on board with all of this except #4. That’s not to say I’m right and bspencer/her husband are wrong. I just can’t get behind it.

    • yet_another_lawyer

      Now there’s a question I hadn’t thought of: I wonder if Hillary did better, worse, or about the same among people who watched the debates. A quick google didn’t turn anything up, but maybe there’s an exit poll out there somewhere?

    • (((Hogan)))

      Agreed. She’s a fighter; she’s just not a brawler, and that’s what Trump voters were looking for–someone who’ll kick over the table, throw chairs around, and bite ISIS’s ear off.

      • tsam

        The most mystifying thing was hearing all these people say “Trump is saying exactly what I’m thinking!”, after he rhetorically asks why we aren’t using all these nukes we got laying around.

        I suppose the most difficult pill for me to swallow after this election was being forced to admit that I was wrong about Americans. After all of the progress we’d made in the last few years, the election of a black president, nationwide same sex marriage, etc…I started to get some misguided notion that people aren’t moronic savages who act like abused fighting dogs. I thought more people had started to come to terms with the idea that an inclusive and just society was going to come someday. Guess they showed me a thing or two about how depraved they really are.

        • Karen24

          More people did come around, they just didn’t live in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Florida.

          • tsam

            I still say this election stinks like rotting garbage. Too many things just ain’t adding up. Right now I’m talking shit because there’s no evidence, but every single poll, even the ones bearish on Clinton’s chances were DEAD WRONG. Weird. Add Russia’s sabotage, Trump’s constant claims about the process being rigged….

            • Denverite

              The polls were closer to the actual result in 2016 than they were in 2012.

              • tsam

                Closer, but not the same. In 2012 the leader in the polls won. In 2016, the leader in the polls lost the EC by a nauseating margin. What makes it stink to me is the Russian influence and the fact that the winning candidate is STILL making claims that the whole process was rigged. This is me making a claim that cannot support in any real way. I know that, and I’m OK with it, even if I’m being a dumbass about it.

                • lizzie

                  I’m right with you on this, tsam. I know it’s pointless. But I can’t help thinking it.

            • liberalrob

              It does stink, undeniably. We had a maximal failure of our electoral process, producing the exact opposite result of what was intended by the Founders.

              • farin

                Well, it allowed a white-supremacist rapist to defeat a more-qualified woman who supported racial equality, sooo…maybe like kitty-corner from what the founders intended?

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Flip 200k votes across WI/MI/PA and I’d be happy to have President Clinton and a narrow Democratic Senate (until 2018 anyway)…

            But the fact that Trump got even within 3% of popular vote victory would still be disturbing. 46% of the voters in this country still would have picked him.

            In a sane world, he would’ve been beaten in a 1964-style landslide, or worse.

        • Linnaeus

          I’d say that social progress has never really been a straight line, as it were. It’s come in fits and starts, with backlashes and reversals along the way.

          • tsam

            But I don’t WANT IT TO BE. This is my tantrum face.

            • Linnaeus

              I don’t either, but if I had two slices of bread and a slice of ham, I could make a ham sandwich.

              Mmmm..sandwich.

              • tsam

                Sandwiches…Is there ANYTHING they can’t do?

            • liberalrob

              You are quite justified in throwing a tantrum. There should be a national tantrum.

        • efgoldman

          The most mystifying thing was hearing all these people say “Trump is saying exactly what I’m thinking!”, after he rhetorically asks why we aren’t using all these nukes we got laying around.

          In the end, while all of the Republiklowns primary smurfs had foreign policy views that ranged from abhorrent to holy shit he doesn’t mean that, it was a tertiary or lower thing for most voters, way, way below hey let’s fuck the brown people.

    • Taters

      In summation, fuck you all, and I hate everyone.

      Hear, hear!

      • liberalrob

        “Nineteen twentieths of [mankind is] opaque and unenlightened. Intimacy with most people will make you acquainted with vices and errors and follies enough to make you despise them.”
        ― John Adams

        “I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.”
        ― Bill Hicks

        “By four o’clock, I’ve discounted suicide in favor of killing everyone else in the entire world instead.”
        ― Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard

        • Schadenboner

          Transmet is what I’m prescribing to most of my friends and family these days. Grim.

    • mojrim

      Because few voters actually watch the debates, and the majority of those who do aren’t looking at specifics. Also, very few people actually chose Trump over Clinton. Republicans voted Republican, it was never a choice. Democrats were given a choice between Clinton and the sofa and, sadly and predictably, too many chose the sofa.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        “Democrats were given a choice between Clinton and the sofa”

        ?

        Donald Trump was the Republican candidate on the presidential ballot. I read this as you agreeing with the republican line on democrats- that we’re lazy and want things spoon fed to us, and if we don’t get exactly what we want we quit. I wish I didn’t think there is a lot of truth to that

  • cleek

    1. Clinton won the popular vote.

    2. “need to offer up consistently sexy candidates”. there is no “offer”. nobody is appointed to run. no organization exists to “offer” people. Clinton won by appealing to Democratic voters. want better candidates? get better primary voters.

    3. better candidates have been sunk by scandals 1/10th as lurid as what we learned about Trump. his numbers were in freefall after that tape came out. there was no reason at all, at the time (and even now), to think she should’ve backed off on the fact that he said he feels free to grab women by their pussies. it hurt him, badly. but, it turns out that he had enough time to recover from it.

    4. even Trump said she was a fighter, during a debate.

    5. “Literally anyone. Even a Nazi!” Trump is literally not a Nazi. we’d do well to remember that words have meanings.

    • Your word-parsing is excellent, but c’mon.

      1. PA, WI, and MI flipped on the narrowest of margins. In those states, Rs voted. Ds stayed home/didn’t vote for the top of the ticket.

      2. I don’t think she meant to be taken literally here. Perhaps “organize around and support” would have been a better way of putting it, but others have made this point. Charismatic men – or men portrayed as such – win the presidency.

      3. True, but in the end it didn’t matter. Lots and lots of white women voted for Trump.

      4. 100% agree.

      5. Fair enough, but to paraphrase the Simpsons: “not a Nazi, but #1 with Nazis.”

      • I get what you’re saying re: #4. I think Hillary’s a fighter, too. I don’t think many voters saw her as one.

        And, yes, Trump may not literally be a Nazi, but he gives aid and comfort to literal Nazis. So…

        • MDrew

          They don’t see her as a fighter for what they want her to be – that is to say, their pocketbooks and jobs. Unless you fit particular demographic criteria (because she always emphasized that part of the fight, whatever her white papers said. That was a rhetorical strategy, and it simply didn’t win her the election.)

          They do see her as a fighter on her own behalf – dogged on the topics of email servers, how a quid pro quo regarding her speeches couldn’t be proved, why it really didn’t matter what happened in Benghazi even thought we should find out, etc. I’m pretty sure that is the nature of the fight Trump was acknowledging in the debate.

          • mojrim

            Bingo!

      • tsam

        1. PA, WI, and MI flipped on the narrowest of margins. In those states, Rs voted. Ds stayed home/didn’t vote for the top of the ticket.

        Yeah–well this whole thing stinks. I’m not sure I believe these things really happened. I have zero actual evidence, but this election fails the smell test miserably.

        • Doesn’t it, though? So I’m not crazy?

          • tsam

            Well, I have no evidence you and I aren’t crazy, but I’m with you.

          • mojrim

            You don’t have to be crazy, just a little too earnest and wanting to believe. We all share a tendency to see things as we want them to be.

    • XTPD

      Semi-OT, but given that Trump didn’t strain at all to offer that praise makes me think “not prosecuting Clinton” is the only thing he’ll actually follow through on.

      • No Longer Middle Aged Man

        I hope you are mistaken abut this. Prosecuting Clinton should (I originally wrote “will” but honestly that may be too hopeful)
        1. enrage many of the 50+ million people who voted for her. I am hopeful that it would stimulate mass demonstrations in opposition
        2. stiffen the spine of the many Congressional Democrats who desperately need it and get them to turn House and Senate sessions into a continuous show denouncing the political persecution being undertaken by the Trump regime
        3. demonstrate that the the email server bullshit is precisely that as the case gets dismissed in court or, maybe better, rejected by a jury. Since the events occurred in Washing D.C. presumably the trial would be there. You tell me that a jury of Washington residents will vote to convict. It would be a very direct rebuke of Trump and his AG.

        • tsam

          1. enrage many of the 50+ million people who voted for her. I am hopeful that it would stimulate mass demonstrations in opposition

          And get another, louder round of neeners from the Alt-Left (I’m calling them alt-left because they’re racist and sexist just the like the alt-right) crowd that says they’re liberal and bashes Clinton with talking points they stole from Michael Savage. “Even the liberal HA Goodman sez Hillz need to be in jail because emails”…

        • mojrim

          Not a chance on #1 and the other two are irrelevant.

      • Murc

        Semi-OT, but given that Trump didn’t strain at all to offer that praise makes me think “not prosecuting Clinton” is the only thing he’ll actually follow through on.

        Really, if the Republicans are smart they will encourage Trump to prosecute Clinton and then make a deliberate hash of it.

        They should do that because it would completely de-legitimate prosecuting political candidates even when they deserve it. Like the Clinton impeachment de-legitimized impeachment, turned it into just another partisan tool.

        Impeachment and prosecution being seen as political tools rather than extraordinary solutions to extraordinary malfeasance helps Republicans far more than it helps us. If they’re smart, they’ll hold a big, sexy, completely botched show trial of Clinton that distracts everyone from them murdering people.

        • mojrim

          Wow. Excellent analysis.

    • michael8robinson

      “5. “Literally anyone. Even a Nazi!” Trump is literally not a Nazi. we’d do well to remember that words have meanings.”

      Sorry to interrupt your smugness, but Adolf Hitler in 1932 was a more conventional and credible candidate, with far greater levels of recognition and support from the political establishment than Donald Trump in 2016.

      Looked at from that context (i.e. what was known at the time before handing over leadership of the nation to the individual), Republican voters have elected, and Republican politicians have lined up behind, A MAN EVEN WORSE THAN HITLER.

      If the Republicans had had a politician on the ticket in 2016 with the platform, agenda, charisma, intelligence, drive, and political and organizational skills of Hitler in 1932, that politician would have kicked Trump’s ass.

      The fact that Trump is not actually another Hitler only means that we just got lucky that another Hitler didn’t happen to show up.

      This time.

      If or when another Hitler does show up, the Republicans will elect him.

      Don’t fool yourself.

      • cleek

        Sorry to interrupt your smugness, but Adolf Hitler in 1932 was a more conventional and credible candidate, with far greater levels of recognition and support from the political establishment than Donald Trump in 2016.

        that’s fantastic.

        Trump is still not a Nazi.

        • tsam

          I feel like that distinction resembles “He’s a conservative, not a Republican.”–maybe not worth the quibble?

          • mojrim

            That’s a pretty big quibble to so blithely overlook.

            • tsam

              Well, what are the differences between Trump and Nazis? You got your wounded national pride, racism, authoritarianism, promises to cleanse the homeland of the “other”, a blatant disregard for political norms and the rule of law as it exists, conspiracy theories about people conspiring to humiliate the true citizens…there are more that I’m forgetting because it’s exhausting to think about.

        • liberalrob

          Stalin wasn’t a Nazi either. Nor was Mussolini, or Franco, Tito, Pol Pot, Amin…

        • michael8robinson

          The claim is not that Trump was a Nazi. The claim is, quote: “R’s will LITERALLY vote for anyone who runs with an “R” after his name. Literally anyone. Even a Nazi!”

          Trump, as a candidate, presented a much weaker proposition than an actual Nazi, and the Republicans voted for him anyway, therefore, a fortiori, Republicans will vote for an actual Nazi.

          And THAT’S the point we all need to focus on. The entire planet dodged a bullet that, of all the possible demagogues that could have shown up at this point in time, the Republicans got stuck with Trump.

          Our luck may not hold; a demagogue with actual intellect, discipline, and vision may turn up before this is all over.

          What’s the plan then?

    • BartletForGallifrey

      Trump is literally not a Nazi. we’d do well to remember that words have meanings.

      There are literal Nazis literally showing up around the literal country literally because of him.

      Figuratively bite me.

      • cleek

        those literal Nazis have literally been here since the 1940s.

        Trump is, most likely, a garden variety American racist. but not every racist is a Nazi. that Nazis are racists and will therefore likely be supportive of racists does not make every racist a Nazi.

        so, go bite yourself, literally.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Forget it, cleek. It’s basically impossible at this point for anyone on the left to imagine a form of right-wing authoritarianism that isn’t called fascism/Nazism.

  • Karen24

    Thank you for this. I think that women are going to have a very ugly four years, and probably a very ugly time for the rest of my life. People talk like the racism was the worst part of this campaign but completely ignore the sexism, even liberals. The amount of grief I got from BernieBros was every bit as toxic as the sewage fountaining from the neonazis, but I had to be nice to the former. We need to have a long and painful discussion on the left about why stupid assumptions about “charisma” hurt women, and we need to have it, like, yesterday.

    • Yeah, this year had the dubious honor of making me despise men on the both left and right of the political spectrum. No one will EVER convince that if Hillary had a been man there would have been the narrative that she was “fatally flawed.”

      • Karen24

        Oh, indeed. I expected sexist crap from the right, that’s quite openly their doctrine. When it comes from my supposed allies, that’s when it pinches.

      • sam

        There was a good episode of the Hidden Brain podcast that came out before the election, featuring Carol Mosely-Braun (http://www.npr.org/2016/10/26/499409051/double-bind-explains-the-dearth-of-women-in-top-leadership-positions)

        She talks about facing both racism and sexism when she got to the Senate – but that if she had to pick which was palpably “worse”, it was the sexism.

        Obviously you can’t truly separate the two, and it’s not something to be made into a competition, but she brings a fairly unique perspective, given that she was the first African-American female Senator.

      • Dilan Esper

        Really? You don’t think any male on the left was honestly pissed off about her hawkishness? About her taking so much money from bankers for speeches? About her closeness to corporate donors?

        How did Al Gore lose voters to Nader? Was that sexism too?

        There is ALWAYS a segment of the left that doesn’t like the candidate. With both Clintons and with Gore, that segment grew because they are DLC Democrats.

        Sorry, this isn’t a big sexist conspiracy. I know several feminist women who voted for Stein (granted, in California where it didn’t matter). The Clintons come from a different sector of politics than Bernie does. It’s pretty obvious why lots of leftists don’t trust them.

        • cleek

          About her taking so much money from bankers for speeches?

          it was the fact that she took so much more from The Gap, the International Deli Association, various groups of realtors and scientists, tourist boards and … the Jews (!!) that made me hate her so much.

          • Dilan Esper

            That’s a straw man.

            First, why take money from any of them? They were clearly paying her because they knew she was running for president.

            Second, she still should have turned down finance types, if only for the reason that it was politically stupid and because of their role in 2008.

            • cleek

              First, why take money from any of them?

              because speakers get speaking fees. look it up.

              They were clearly paying her because they knew she was running for president.

              *tweet* mind reading. 10 yard penalty. loss of down.

              she still should have turned down finance types

              no, she shouldn’t have. she should take them for every fucking cent they’re willing to pay her.

              • Breadbaker

                Well, the fine thing is that for all the whining about Hillary not releasing the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches, you’re ending up with a Secretary of the Treasury from Goldman Sachs. So how did your purity work out for you?

              • FlipYrWhig

                The “SPEECHES!” thing is so transparently stupid I’m amazed that people still talk about it. No one would think it was a scandal on its own. They latched onto it as a scandal because they _already think_ she’s “corporate.”

                • cleek

                  yep.

                  find someone who still complains about THE SPEECHES and you’ve found someone who hated Clinton before THE SPEECHES became a thing.

                • Rob in CT

                  They latched onto it as a scandal because they _already think_ she’s “corporate.”

                  Which is why I think it was dumb of her to make those speeches. It played into a pre-existing narrative about her that hurt.

                  I know that in the absence of the SPEECHES they’d have tried to gin up something else (or just gone on about the emails even more – dear god, how? Somehow!). It still looks, to me, like an unforced error.

                  It’s not fair, but the Clinton Rules aren’t fair.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  Nah. She made speeches to dozens of groups, very few of which were in any way “corporate.” It’s like a double bank shot to make this scandalous. I’m a little surprised Bernie Sanders even pulled it off. (BTW, I just about guarantee that thousands, maybe millions, of Berniacs think that Hillary Clinton went on a speaking tour devoted entirely to sucking up to Wall Street, rather than that she was a headline attraction/newsmaker/celebrity talking about her life and opinions. And some of them were led into utter revulsion because of it. Great job, left media.)

                • Dilan Esper

                  At some point, it’s just clear that to some of Hillary’s fans, she has no flaws and everything she ever did is excusable.

                  Unfortunately, the election is not decided by such people.

                  Out in the real world, a lot of people were disgusted by her speeches. EVEN if you think that was totally unfair, it is nonetheless true and you need to ask yourself whether in the future it would be a good idea for Democratic presidential candidates not to be so damned greedy and to stay away from the corporate money.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  It wasn’t “corporate money,” dude. That’s just a slimy lie. A slimy lie spread by the supposedly anticorporate left in the greater service of kneecapping a candidate they already thought was too close to Wall Street because of old arguments about Bill, Rubinomics, etc. It was disgraceful, and I’m not going to get over it.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  At some point, it’s just clear that to some of Hillary’s fans, she has no flaws and everything she ever did is excusable.

                  You know, if you ever talked with us rather than at us, you would know how completely laughable that assertion is.

                  There was a candidate in the Democratic primary whose supporters couldn’t find any flaws, but it wasn’t Hillary Clinton.

                  (It was Lincoln Chafee.)

                • farin

                  find someone who still complains about THE SPEECHES and you’ve found someone who

                  never bothered to look at the speeches after Russian agents stole them.

        • lizzie

          So unless the election result is entirely, 100% attributable to sexism, sexism had nothing to do with it. Also, you know some women who voted for Stein. Ooooh kaaay.

          • Dilan Esper

            I didn’t say that.

            I said there’s no evidence that the left’s dislike of Hillary is any different than their dislike of Gore was.

            • lizzie

              You don’t think any male on the left was honestly pissed off about her hawkishness?

              is what you said. ANY MALE.

              ETA: And because of the possibility of a SINGLE MALE who honestly disliked Clinton for non-sexist reasons, you’re all, “Sorry, this isn’t a big sexist conspiracy.”

              • Dilan Esper

                It was a rhetorical question.

                The point is there are tons of explanations for left wing non-support of HRC that don’t involve sexism and are consistent with what the left did to male candidates.

                • lizzie

                  Yes. And then there’s the fact that we are all marinated in sexism from birth. The idea that sexism didn’t have anything to do with Clinton’s loss is ridiculous.

                • efgoldman

                  The point is there are tons of explanations for left wing non-support of HRC that don’t involve sexism

                  Actually, there’s one big one: stupidity.

                  We all recognize that Will Rogers was right, and he’d still be right if he were alive today. But there comes a point where you have to shut the fuck up, suck it up, and do the right thing for yourself and the country.

                  There’s a lot wrong with the RWNJ Republiklowns, but they have two examples we must emulate: they started from the local and state ground up, rather than the top down; and on election day, they show up and fucking vote for their asshole candidate, no matter how big an asshole s/he is.

                • Schadenboner

                  The parties are not symmetric and neither are the voters in the parties. You go to the polls with the voters you have, not the voters you might wish you had.

                  If your candidate has to be A, B, C to get your voters to the polls (and if by doing this you stand a better-than-average chance to win the election) then you have to find an ABC candidate. Refusal to recognize and work within these constraints (even as we acknowledge that this is a bad situation and might try to change them in the long run) is insane at best and collaborationist at worst.

                  If electing a good-looking man is the cost to preserve Roe and the ACA, and losing Roe and the ACA are the costs of not running a good-looking man then you have to make a choice. And Hillary represented the wrong choice, and vae victis.

              • MyNameIsZweig

                Oh, never mind.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            So unless the election result is entirely, 100% attributable to sexism, sexism had nothing to do with it. Also, you know some women who voted for Stein. Ooooh kaaay.

            Bingo.

        • liberal

          You don’t think any male on the left was honestly pissed off about her hawkishness?

          White male here. The #1 thing I didn’t like about her was her hawkishness.

          As for sexism, I strode into the voting booth thinking it was a twofer. I get to vote down a f*cking fascist, and help put the first woman into the oval office! Whoops.

        • DamnYankees

          Really? You don’t think any male on the left was honestly pissed off about her hawkishness? About her taking so much money from bankers for speeches? About her closeness to corporate donors?

          Pick a male candidate who has those same flaws. So, I don’t know, Bill Clinton. You don’t think he beats Trump? You think he loses white working class men by the same margin?

          • Dilan Esper

            Well are we talking about Bill Clinton with 2 presidential terms, or Bill Clinton as political unknown from Arkansas? Because I think the latter loses to Trump.

            • farin

              How about Bill with a term as a liberal senator and a popular, successful SoS under a beloved President?

    • N__B

      We need to have a long and painful discussion on the left about why stupid assumptions about “charisma” hurt women, and we need to have it, like, yesterday.

      It’s not like any woman has ever had hair as glorious as Romney’s or Trump’s.

      Also, too, not just “charisma.” “Toughness,” “experience,” “humor,” and “appearance” as well.

      • Karen24

        Yep.

      • Pete

        Don’t forget “stamina.”

        • N__B

          Yeah, thanks for the addition.

      • tsam

        I actually read something on Facebook from a scumbag FORMER friend of mine. It went like this: When that 3AM phone call comes in, will Hillary being crying in the bathroom with a box of ice cream? I LOST IT on his dumb ass for that one. He assured me that it was just a joke and that he really is a liberal. By the way, did you know that Bill Clinton signed NAFTA?

        (He was a “both sides do it” “I’ll never vote for Hillary she’s just as bad as Trump because liar”–our friendship ended in a drunken shouting match that very nearly got violent in a rather quiet and very small tap house).

        • N__B

          When the 3AM phone call comes in, DJT will be on the gilded* shitter, rage tweeting.

          * Nothing publicly seen of his is gold. Some of it is badly gilded, most of it’s bronze or bronze-anodized aluminum. I really wish people would stop feeding his Midas obsession.

          • tsam

            most of it’s bronze or bronze-anodized aluminum.

            All of my hardware vendors offer a “gold” finish. It’s anodized aluminum. It’s gross and nobody ever buys it. I think it’s only available because OF the Trump empire.

          • Rob in CT

            Hell, the “3AM phone call” if it comes, will happen because of Trump getting into a twitter fight with somebody.

            • kped

              “Mr President…can you please stop tweeting at that handicapped child? It’s 3AM, go to sleep”

          • Origami Isopod

            Tweeting to all of us.

          • Breadbaker

            Aide: Mr. President, Putin is invading Ukraine. We need to go to the Situation Room.
            Trump: When I’m done with this absolutely perfect takedown of Rosie O’Donnell’s latest tweet, I’ll figure out if I need to go there.

        • JR in WV

          This. The odious nature of the candidate convinces me that there was major installed Republican vote fraud in small rural counties where that kind of thing is easy to do, easy to conceal, and hard to prosecute. The fact that they turned those machines on for Trump is no surprise at all.

          IF we had a real Federal Bureau of Investigation (as opposed to the shitty Republican excuse for a real FBI) they would be confiscating voting machines, interviewing county-level voting staff and lower level managers, under oath, and determining how many people really voted. Like visiting the list of voters individually, asking if they really did vote absentee or not, etc.

          If you started finding voters who were enrolled as voting, but who did NOT vote, well, things would be a little bit different, wouldn’t they?

          In West Virginia, there used to be wide-spread voter fraud in many counties. It has by and large been stamped out, except for occasional misuse of absentee voter ballots. It often only takes a few dozen votes to turn a local election.

          In the plea deals for elected officials in WV, they make them obligate to never run for elective office again, because many were re-elected

          • nemdam

            In Wisconsin, most of the discrepancies found so far were in rural counties that over counted Trump votes. Russia has hacked our elections to get Trump elected. Trump, the king of projection, says the vote is rigged. No ones polling in either party or in the public showed Wisconsin as a close race. NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS.

            I know this is tin foil hat stuff, but given how tin foil hat this whole election has been, the chance of an actual rigged election is nonzero in my mind.

          • tsam

            IF we had a real Federal Bureau of Investigation (as opposed to the shitty Republican excuse for a real FBI) they would be confiscating voting machines, interviewing county-level voting staff and lower level managers, under oath, and determining how many people really voted. Like visiting the list of voters individually, asking if they really did vote absentee or not, etc

            I feel like this should be SOP in any election. Massive spot checks and audits…

            • N__B

              UN observers, preferably from countries familiar with election fraud.

    • lizzie

      Yes. As the horror of election night was sinking in, I thought to myself, I will not live to see a woman become president. The backlash will be too great. “See, you forced this woman on us, and she fucked it all up!”

  • Nang Mai

    She’s a scrappy debater but no fighter. She couldn’t even make a statement of support for citizens trying to enjoy first amendment privileges at the Dakota Access Pipeline. As a result, hundreds of people have been hurt and the most serious injuries have been born by women: 2 seriously maimed, many strip searched and one held naked overnight in a dog kennel because when her car was illegally stopped on a highway the police didn’t like her attitude. She was a passenger.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      I’ll take your point that Clinton should have made a statement of support and in return I hope you’ll take mine that even if she had there isn’t much reason to believe those people wouldn’t have been hurt *anyway*

    • YOu’re in the wrong thread.

      • Nang Mai

        Jim, etc: Nobody would have been hurt if the Democratic party and Federal government had respected Treaty law and indigenous sovereignty to decide what happens on their land. They should have said no to the pipeline in 2014 when the council said it was not welcome.

        bspencer: I think I am in the correct thread unless you only want people to agree 100% with you. I appreciate your points but I disagree with some of your post-mortem. Her loss was not primarily about her gender. People were fed up with the Democratic Party/Clinton because they knew/suspected that she would not fight for them no matter how scrappy her debates looked. In the lead up to the election the writing was on the wall, clearly illustrated by her silence on Standing Rock. She showed no intention to fight for human rights or the environment meaning a vote for Clinton looked like a vote for the status quo. As a result many stayed home, some switched.

        • You sound like a single-issue voter and Clinton-hater. If so, this thread is not for you. Also, if you don’t think her gender cost her votes you are too naive to be posting here.

          • Nang Mai

            Attacking my perceived character flaws doesn’t bolster your argument. I care about many issues. I am certain that gender contributed to her loss; I don’t think it was the paramount cause. I used that one issue to highlight the weakness present in Clinton’s run because it is topical. Social media was freaking out about it a lot more than they were about the emails yet even now MSM keeps pointing to the issue they wanted to talk about (emails) instead of what was really riling people up (the pipeline).

            Many of these post mortems I see don’t address voter turnout. Why do so many people stay home?

            • cleek

              Why do so many people stay home?

              compared to Obama?

              because Clinton isn’t Obama. nobody is.

              • Nang Mai

                In general. I don’t know the answer to the problem of poor voter turnout but I have a suspicion it is because people don’t trust the process or the candidates.

                • tsam

                  We’ve all been conditioned to believe that our one vote doesn’t matter, they’re all bought by special interests, they’re all the same, and a whole host of other shitty excuses that secure political inertia for the ruling classes.

        • Pete

          I believe I detect a Stein supporter?

          Clinton was no doubt too moderate and too politically cautious for some on the left, but anyone who stayed home and did not support HRC because she allegedly showed “no intention to fight for human rights or the environment” was both factually wrong and apparently incapable of evaluating risk and the comparative value of the two contending candidates.

          Your analysis also suggests that you believe supporting the protestors would not have cost HRC anything — not an assumption easy to make at the time or prove now.

          I doubt you will enjoy the Trump Presidency that your attitudes helped bring about, but perhaps you and those who think as you do will do better in 2020, having learned a bit more about how politics work in America.

          • Nang Mai

            Not a supporter of any party or politician, Pete. I totally agree with you that America under a Trump presidency is going to be a scary place. My hope is that people will go beyond electoral politics and do the work that needs to be done to protect our most vulnerable people.

            • Arla

              Unfortunately the greatest threat to those marginalized groups comes from elected officials right now, and the work that needs to be done to protect our most vulnerable people does include engaging in electoral politics.

              You’re welcome, of course, to focus your energies on other avenues of protecting people. Community support organizations matter enormously; legal advocacy groups, which seem to straddle the line between community support and electoral sphere, matter too. There are lots of fronts to fight on.

              But I’m not entirely sure why you’re coming into a thread about electoral politics and changing the subject to other forms of engagement.

              • Nang Mai

                Yes. We need allies in power. But the work of a citizen ought not end with a vote once in awhile. I am not trying to twist this conversation. I was explaining my point of view to someone who suggested I was partisan.

                • Arla

                  [T]he work of a citizen ought not end with a vote once in awhile.

                  In this you and I are in complete agreement. But electoral politics doesn’t end with a vote either.

            • BartletForGallifrey

              Not a supporter of any party or politician

              Well aren’t you special.

              • Taters

                There’s the giveaway.

              • Origami Isopod

                She’s been here before. She’d fit in better over on Crooked Timber, that’s all I’ll say.

    • DiTurno

      I’m not following this. Do you really mean to say that if Hillary had made a statement of support, no one would have been injured at the DAP?

      • (((Hogan)))

        The same way we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq if she hadn’t voted for the AUMF.

      • Nang Mai

        DiTurno : Sorry if I was unclear. Nobody would have been hurt if the Federal Government respected the Treaties they signed, In 2014 the band councils clearly stated they did not want this pipeline running through their land. It could have ended before it began.

        I am saying that thousands and thousands of people were upset with Clinton because she didn’t take a stand, I think it was much more of factor than the email scandal. All those people who might have been on the fence just stayed home.

        • (((Hogan)))

          Many many more people know about the email “scandal” than know about DAP. The fact that it looms large in your political consciousness doesn’t translate to the entire country.

        • rea

          I am saying that thousands and thousands of people were upset with Clinton because she didn’t take a stand, I think it was much more of factor than the email scandal

          With all respect, I think you drastically overestimate the number of people who have even heard of DAP.

          • DiTurno

            Agree, rea. If Hillary’s non position on DAP cost her a hundred votes, I’d be surprised. Also, anyone who thought “I’m going to do nothing to stop the election of Donald Trump because Hillary said nothing about a pipeline” is in Juggalo territory.

            • BartletForGallifrey

              Agree, rea. If Hillary’s non position on DAP cost her a hundred votes, I’d be surprised. Also, anyone who thought “I’m going to do nothing to stop the election of Donald Trump because Hillary said nothing about a pipeline” is in Juggalo territory.

              I spoke to numerous people who said they were voting for Jill because HRC didn’t issue a sufficiently strong statement about DAPL. I truly do not know how they manage to keep from walking into walls.

              • ForkyMcSpoon

                I’m guessing DAPL was just the latest reason and they likely would’ve come up with a different reason if she had made a statement of support.

                For example, I know a 3rd-party voter (he was too pure for Stein tho, he voted Socialist Party) who talked about Flint as a reason for not voting for Clinton because she was just pandering and using black people for votes.

                Now, based on what was happening in the primaries to my recollection, I don’t really see how you could’ve said that Sanders’s approach to Flint was all that different or better, but he would’ve gladly voted for Sanders and I’m guessing not made one negative comment about Sanders and Flint, despite the fact that he didn’t exactly focus on Flint once the Michigan primary was over.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  I’m guessing DAPL was just the latest reason and they likely would’ve come up with a different reason if she had made a statement of support.

                  I’m sure. It would of course be an equally bullshit reason.

          • Nang Mai

            It isn’t reported in the mainstream news but people know. I believe there are more than 1500 people living at the camp itself. More than 2000 veterans are deploying this week to join them to protect free speech. My feeds show that thousands of people around the world ARE talking about it on social media.

            • Arla

              I’m going to guess that your feeds probably involve a pretty self-selected group of people–as do mine. I agree that she should have made a statement in support of DAPL protestors as a moral issue but I see precisely zero evidence that it made any difference electorally speaking.

              Thousands of people around the world did not hand Trump the presidency. A hundred thousand voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (combined!) did that.

              • Nang Mai

                That self selection thing is a scary part of modern media and I do try to look for differing opinion. My point was that even if mainstream media is blacking out the issue it is being discussed. The #NoDAPL hashtag is so busy that it is impossible to read in real time.

                • Arla

                  Yeah, self selection is a difficult problem to solve and I’m not sure how to address it.

                  My point is simply that the activity on a hashtag doesn’t necessarily reflect the relative salience of an issue to the electorate generally, since that’s also a highly self-selecting group. Of course that’s no reason not to engage with it (I’ve done my best to keep up, solicit donations for them, etc. etc.) or to push the Dems to support the protestors and the Standing Rock reservation as a normative matter. I’m saying I am skeptical of whether it would have helped electoral outcomes as a descriptive matter.

                  I wish those two things overlapped more.

                • PhoenixRising

                  Thank you for demonstrating so clearly that the problems created by everyone being their own front page editor cross party and belief lines.

                  Your claim–that a failure to speak out on an issue everyone you follow on social media cost Hillary the election–is utterly ridiculous, and it’s hard to believe that you don’t realize that.

                  You don’t really think that DAPL resisters outnumber black voters in WI, MI, OH and PA who were (legally) disenfranchised by GOP state officials in the 4 years leading up to 11/8, because no one thinks that.

            • brewmn

              See my comment re my nephew below. This was really his argument.

    • rea

      She couldn’t even make a statement of support for citizens trying to enjoy first amendment privileges at the Dakota Access Pipeline. As a result, hundreds of people have been hurt

      You think a statement of support from her would have prevented that? Weren’t the injuries inflicted by state and local police rather than federal law enforcement?

      • tsam

        She was in the Senate, why didn’t she fix it?

      • Nang Mai

        A statement of support might have mobilized fence sitters into believing she was interested in human rights and the environment. I have heard a rumour that she was nervous about angering labour. There was a solution to that. Instead of defending temporary jobs she could have pointed out that more jobs could be created through clean energy and from repairing old pipelines.

        Yes. The injuries have been inflicted by state and local forces. At any time the Federal Gvt could have deployed the National Guard to protect their rights.

        • Arla

          She couldn’t even make a statement of support for citizens trying to enjoy first amendment privileges at the Dakota Access Pipeline. As a result, hundreds of people have been hurt.

          You made a statement about actual harms to actual protestors and tried to lay the blame on Clinton’s silence. Changing the subject to voter mobilization doesn’t address that.

          Instead of defending temporary jobs she could have pointed out that more jobs could be created through clean energy and from repairing old pipelines.

          “Sure, you might lose your job, but you’re going to lose it eventually anyway and besides you can get a better job if you’re willing to wait just a little bit for us to establish better clean energy infrastructure!” does…not seem like the best move for a campaign.

          Further, even setting aside that you’re completely ignoring the downside risk, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that those particular fence-sitters you mention would turn around and claim that she was just being an opportunistic politician who didn’t mean it and was just trying to get people to come to the polls and it’s too late anyway. I base this on the fact that they did precisely that on her position against TPP and pretty much any other way her positions have moved to the left.

          And I’m having a very, very hard time seeing how someone who wasn’t motivated by preventing the enormous risks posed by a Trump administration (when Trump is actually invested in the DAPL!) in concert with a pliant Congress would have turned out if only she’d issued a statement on the DAPL protestors.

          I also find it extraordinarily difficult to support the proposition that there are more people who care deeply about indigenous sovereignty than sexists in this country. I mean, I certainly wish that were the case…but I somehow doubt we’d be in this situation if that were the case.

          Finally, those lefty fence-sitters are being more than a little disingenuous when they’re agnostic as between the harms that will be done by a Trump Administration and the risks of a Clinton Administration. It’s simply not a defensible position, especially for someone who claims to care about the rights of vulnerable communities.

          • Nang Mai

            I wasn’t laying the blame on Clinton’s silence. I was suggesting that her silence contributed to her loss. The blame for the injuries besides going to the people who actually caused the harm goes to the Federal Gvt. for 1. Not respecting the Treaties they signed with the people of Standing Rock and 2. Not offering to protect free speech

            We can all speculate on the motivations and aspirations of fence sitters. I mean I have some opinions but I am only guessing based on random samplings of people I have talked to. I do think they voted against their own interests.

            I understand she was in a difficult situation regarding labour unions. I was suggesting she could have tried to control that narrative. A risky thing to be sure and I understand her reluctance.

            • Arla

              I mean you’re right that ultimately we can only drive ourselves so crazy with the might-have-beens. But the one lesson I take from this election is the triumph of appeals to the electoral id over substance.

              Obama unfortunately confounded a lot of us–including me. The “problem”, such as it were, is that he was both a relatively progressive, whip-smart politician with a genuine depth and breadth of mastery of the issues and a boatload of charisma and ability to turn a phrase. I think that I, at least, overestimated the importance of the former and underestimated the importance of the latter.

              • Nang Mai

                Arla: Someday I suppose historians will explain what happened behind the scenes. I hope everyone was well intentioned. Meanwhile, the cognitive dissonance created by hearing his beautiful speeches say one thing while his actions did the opposite on so many issues has been pretty uncomfortable.

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  Well, Clinton did mostly stay away from beautiful speeches with extravagant promises. She promised incremental* change on a number of issues but didn’t say everything would be free or that we’d be tired of winning or she’d repeal the bad stuff and replace it with something fabulous or that we’d transcend party politics.

                  Yet she’s the one everyone calls a liar.

                  The other politicians actually lie just as much if not more… they’re just better at lying. And it’s pretty frustrating to see that reaction to her if you’re one of the people who sees through the lies put out by the politicians who are seen as more honest.

                  *In actuality, her platform if accomplished in toto would’ve been pretty large change. Just mandatory paid family and sick leave and universal pre-k would’ve been pretty big fucking deals.

            • She couldn’t even make a statement of support… As a result

              Your words. Choose them more carefully if you don’t mean what you say.

          • FlipYrWhig

            “Sure, you might lose your job, but you’re going to lose it eventually anyway and besides you can get a better job if you’re willing to wait just a little bit for us to establish better clean energy infrastructure!” does…not seem like the best move for a campaign.

            Indeed that’s almost exactly what she said about coal miners, which is why that remark played out so well for her among working-class white people in and around coal country! :P

        • BartletForGallifrey

          A statement of support might have mobilized fence sitters into believing she was interested in human rights and the environment.

          This is just precious.

          • mds

            The notion that people who genuinely hadn’t yet made up their minds between Clinton and Donald Fucking Trump care all that much about “human rights” and “the environment”? Or the notion that people who care about those things couldn’t already tell the difference between Clinton and Donald Fucking Trump?

            • BartletForGallifrey

              +both

              Also, the notion that people who were fence-sitting in October actually base their votes on anything real and important.

  • Thirtyish

    Very well said, spence.

  • brewmn

    This pretty much sums up how I see it too. All these (mostly white and male) people running around voting for Johnson or Stein, telling us we rigged the primaries just to put up another boring “establishment” candidate (all while comparing Clinton unfavorably to Obama?!) miss the implacable truth of elections: the most votes wins.

    I may have ruined the holidays by my treatment of a nephew who was all over Facebook praising Jill Stein and saying he could never vote for Hillary for an ever-shifting host of reasons (rigging the primary, not being Bernie Sanders, fracking, not standing with the Native Americans, etc., etc.)

    • gratuitous

      Make that “the nearly implacable truth of elections: the most votes wins.” Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Clinton polled in excess of 2 million more votes than the winner. Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that Republicans were organized from top to bottom to suppress large swaths of votes. There may be quibbling over how many suppressed votes might have gone to each party, but the fact remains that Republicans back policies that will sacrifice 50 Republican votes if they think it will cost the Democrats 100 votes.

      The other thing I keep circling back to is enthusiasm. Yes, the vote counts the same if you pull the lever while you sigh in resignation or shout “America, fuck yeah!” but enthusiasm can be contagious. The Obama campaigns were enthusiastic. The Clinton campaign was noticeably glummer. We should have been energized about the first woman president, but we let the media and the Republican noise machine dictate our mood. Democrats should have won in PA, WI and MI, but we lost each of those states. Voter turnout was not only suppressed (by Republican machinations), but depressed (emotionally).

      • BartletForGallifrey

        The other thing I keep circling back to is enthusiasm. Yes, the vote counts the same if you pull the lever while you sigh in resignation or shout “America, fuck yeah!” but enthusiasm can be contagious.

        Which is why I had and have no patience for nose-holders.

      • brewmn

        Point taken. But I’m pretty sure that there were enough votes amongst the somewhat politically engaged to flip WI, MI and PA. The fact that so many could feel entitled to vote third party or sit home in protest while facing the prospect of a Trump presidency just baffles me.

        And, like others have noted upthread, my Stein-voting nephew posts multiple times a day about how horrible Trump’s actions and appointments have been to date. I just don’t get why the simple lesson that you should vote for the viable candidate most in line with your political preferences is so hard to learn.

        • Arla

          I just don’t get why the simple lesson that you should vote for the viable candidate most in line with your political preferences is so hard to learn.

          Voting as a consumer product rather than a civic duty to prevent, yanno, sick people/poor people/black people/brown people/muslims/jewish people/lgbt people/women/literally anyone who’s not a healthy well-off straight white christian male from suffering?

          That said I wouldn’t actually give your nephew a hard time over it as he continues to post about Trump’s actions/appointments. Not because he doesn’t deserve to be given a hard time, but because it’s precisely by actively writing about how awful Trump’s appointments are that he might finally come to realize–and maybe even convince other people–of the importance of, as you put it, voting for the viable candidate most in line with your political preferences is so hard to learn.

          We can’t afford to turn away any allies now, including the endlessly frustrating individuals who didn’t vote for Clinton.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          The fact that so many could feel entitled to vote third party

          Yeah, how dare people think that they live in a democracy and have the right to vote for the candidate whom they think best represents their interests! Don’t they know they’re supposed to shut up and vote for whomever their betters tell them to vote for?

          • Arla

            The fact that so many could feel entitled to vote third party or sit home in protest while facing the prospect of a Trump presidency just baffles me.

            Yes, actually, how dare someone get to the polls only to then knowingly and deliberately make an affirmative choice to effectively disengage with the actual process of selecting the president and thus knowingly increase the likelihood of a Trump presidency while pretending to care about their or anyone else’s interests?

            • Just_Dropping_By

              Except that Democrats literally simply insert the name of whomever the Republican candidate is in that sentence every four years (while Republicans literally do the same with the name of whomever the Democratic candidate is), so your statement isn’t any kind of argument. If a third party candidate best represents your interests, you should vote for them even if it means your second choice loses because it sends a message that the losing major party should move your direction. There’s no other mechanism to communicate that.

              • Taters

                Sounds good in theory, but as a callow lad, I voted for Nader “to send a message”. At least I learned my lesson albeit the hard way.

              • Arla

                O noes, people never get to be agnostic as to the entirely predictable consequences of their actions. How unfair of me.

                If a third party candidate best represents your interests, you should vote for them even if it means your second choice loses because it sends a message that the losing major party should move your direction. There’s no other mechanism to communicate that.

                Yes, that’s why Gore’s loss led to a PROGRESSIVE REVOLUTION and the Democrats didn’t nominate a milquetoast senator who’d supported the Iraq war in 2004. Also, Sanders’ primary challenge did not move the Dems’ platform to the left.

                • Harry Hardrada

                  I’d be very slightly more inclined to believe the theory that “catastrophic losses move the party sharply left” if its proponents hadn’t spent most of the past eight years calling the guy who’d ostensibly be a part of that leftward movement the neoliberalest neoliberal who ever neoliberaled.

              • FlipYrWhig

                it sends a message that the losing major party should move your direction. There’s no other mechanism to communicate that.

                Wha? Why would that mechanism “communicate that”? If you voted for Stein and Clinton won, would you expect your vote to be interpreted as a message for Republicans to be more like Stein? Wasn’t it more likely to have been cast as a message for _Democrats_ to be more like Stein? But all the vote-counters get is a final number, not a personal essay for what it means. Judging by vote count alone, how could anyone tell?

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  There’s no such thing as a protest vote:

                  People who believe in protest votes do so because they confuse sending a message with receiving one. You can send any message you like: “I think Jill Stein should be President” or “I think David Duke should be President” or “I think Park Eunsol should be President.”

                  Similarly, you can send any message you like by not voting. You can say you are sitting out the election because both parties are neo-liberal or because an election without Lyndon LaRouche is a sham or because 9/11 was an inside job. The story you tell yourself about your political commitments are yours to construct.

                  But it doesn’t matter what message you think you are sending, because no one will receive it. No one is listening.

              • tsam

                I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this.

                Two political parties vie for 100% of the legislative, judicial and executive power in the USA. Those two parties are the only access we have to power. You don’t have to like it. I don’t like it. But this is the reality for the forseeable future.

                Each of these parties has built a coalition around competing, cooperating and coexisting ideals and goals. The Democratic party has a very wide range of interests. Some of them are terrible, most are good. Every candidate has to find some way to pander to address the wants of all of these groups. You can get involved and help to build a coalition, and understand that your wants will sometimes be shouted down by more powerful interests, or you can send your vote to someone who isn’t going to win, and send a message that nobody is going to hear to people who don’t give a fuck even if they do happen to hear it. Your power is exercised through the actions of the party. That’s an inescapable reality, and all of the protest votes and other shenanigans won’t change that, whether you care to accept that fact or not.

                This particular election gave us a no-fucking-brainer of a choice. That anyone would defend the choice to not vote for a competent candidate with some genuinely good qualities when the election of a fascist is at stake is baffling, to say the least. It just makes no sense, no matter what personal justification you throw at the wall. It won’t stick, I promise.

                • sam

                  Not only that – it’s theoretically possible for a third party to gain some traction in local/state elections, and even possibly in non-presidential national office elections (senate, house), where they could form coalitions with one of the two majority parties. But other than our one or two independents (Bernie forever and that other guy whose name I’m forgetting right now), they generally don’t do that (I say generally, because once in a while you do see a Zephyr Teachout or another WFP candidate in NY or another one-off third party candidate run for office, but there’s no large-scale move by the third parties to become serious, nationwide, institutional parties that can run candidates across the country).

                  Because for the most part they just want to jump into the presidential race every four years and be spoilers, rather than do the gruntwork of building a REAL party infrastructure.

                  The ONLY race where a third party makes ZERO sense is the one they run in regularly – the presidential race, because the electoral college winner-take-all system makes it literally impossible for them to be anything other than a spoiler.

              • Bruce B.

                Sure there is. There’s running as a lefter candidate, and supporting lefter candidates, at local and state levels. There’s building support for lefter candidates in national offices. There’s using that support as the basis for promoting lefter candidates for the presidency.

                None of this is rocket surgery. The Goldwater wing did it to the Republican Party. It took twenty-odd years, but then they had a majority of state governors and legislatures, solid power bases in both Houses of Congress, and the Presidency. People have been commenting about it as a thing Democrats could do since the late ’70s, and the closest anyone’s yet come is Act Blue, which is great but not the equivalent.

                People who are prepared to put in some time and effort get their messages heard.

            • BartletForGallifrey

              Yes, actually, how dare someone get to the polls only to then knowingly and deliberately make an affirmative choice to effectively disengage with the actual process of selecting the president and thus knowingly increase the likelihood of a Trump presidency while pretending to care about their or anyone else’s interests?

              Thank you.

          • tsam

            Well, you might consider doing your part to keep a guy like Trump away from the office, but then maybe that’s just too much to ask?

  • leftwingfox

    I think we also have to start looking seriously at 6) The mainstream media is becoming rapidly irrelevant in favor of conspiracy-driven fake news. The racist uncle chain e-mails have been institutionalized through Facebook, Reddit, Drudge, InfoWars, and Fox News.

    At this point, I think we have to start asking just how many people consider The National Enquirer a trustworthy source of news.

    • leftwingfox

      Whoops, almost forgot the role of right-wing churches who have already unshackled themselves from science.

    • Linnaeus

      I mentioned this on another thread, but I’ll say it again here, because I think it’s germane to your comment. One long term problem the Democrats have to deal with is that institutions that they have relied upon to provide political education for potential Democratic voters have been in decline for decades. That’s left a vacuum that right wing media, right wing churches, think tanks, etc. have filled, to the Democrats’ detriment.

      • leftwingfox

        That’s a very good point.

    • PhoenixRising

      ^^^^also see ‘Everyone I Follow On Social Media is Worried About [_____]’, conveniently located above.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Clinton definitely should have been more vocal about whether the dress was blue and black or white and gold. Failing to take a stand must have cost her tens of thousands of votes!

  • Brett

    4. Hillary was a fighter, too*. And Bernie wouldn’t have been as strong as some folks on the leftward spectrum seem to think – just look at his primary campaign. He won mostly caucus states, didn’t win most of the swing states in said race, and only became really popular in national polls after he was no longer a contender (like Al Gore).

    5. I didn’t think they would switch (fewer people switch partisan allegiance these days), but I figured a lot of them would stay home while many more Democratic voters would show up to vote in order to show their disgust for Trump. I was wrong on both counts.

    * Or so I thought.

    • Yup, me too.

    • Denverite

      I didn’t think they would switch (fewer people switch partisan allegiance these days), but I figured a lot of them would stay home while many more Democratic voters would show up to vote in order to show their disgust for Trump. I was wrong on both counts.

      Do keep in mind that Clinton will end up winning by 2.5 million votes — about half of Obama’s 2012 margin.

      Trump is president because of a stupid demographic quirk. Swing voters in a handful of swing states happen to be uneducated racist white idiots.

      • Karen24

        And I really really really really HATE having to make nice-noises about uneducated people. There is no reason a plumber should get a pass abou thinking “spirit cooking” is a real thing or ignoring blatant crookedness because the other candidate does not have a penis. Just because you didn’t go to college doesn’t mean you’re stupid and it doesn’t mean you get a pass for doing a good impression of stupid.

        • Denverite

          There is no reason a plumber should get a pass

          Hey! Plumbers are educated, just not in the same way you or I am. Their apprenticeship is nearly as long as college plus law school.

          The uneducated people that I’m referring to generally have no specialized training or skills because they’re too lazy or stupid to commit themselves to a multi-year process of learning how to do something.

          • XTPD

            “Whitey-ass titty babies” or “whiny-ass Trumpie babies,” if you will.

          • Karen24

            Master plumbers and electricians spend six years studying and have to pass a six-hour math test, so yes, they are educated, and should be treated as though they are, including the expectation that they have critical thinking skills.

            Same for the no-special-skills people. Unless someone can show me a medical diagnosis of cognitive impairment, I expect them to understand the difference between facts and bullshit.

            • Pete

              I understand your desire to expect people to distinguish between facts and bullshit, but there are hosts of studies showing how and why people very often don’t. (Not limited to poorly-educated people.)

              So, perhaps your expectation of rationality and critical thinking is itself just a different kind of “faith-based” thinking.

              • leftwingfox

                These people aren’t uneducated, they’re miseducated.

                • Simple Mind

                  Actually they are half-educated. Sister and in-laws voted for sentient Yam and all have university degrees, with holes.

          • Rob in CT

            It goes deeper than this. I know someone who is both very smart *and* highly educated (PhD). But when it comes to politics? He’s a fucking idiot. Not a right-wing idiot. A leftist “HRC is basically Reagan” who never votes.

        • I want to “This” this ’til the end of time.

          • Karen24

            Thank you!

        • Linnaeus

          And I really really really really HATE having to make nice-noises about uneducated people.

          You don’t have to, though. Although it should be kept in mind that plenty of fine, educated white folk (most of them, in fact) have voted Republican for years.

          • farin

            Well, maybe not fine white folk…

          • Jackov

            Including this year
            Trump won white college grads by 3 points

            What does this say about America’s elites? If you define elites as high-income non-Hispanic whites, the elites vote strongly Republican.
            If you define elites as college-educated high-income whites, they vote moderately Republican. — Andrew Gelman

        • Dilan Esper

          Plenty of uneducated people vote Democratic too. I am fine to trash the beliefs of uneducated people (e.g., organized religion), but I don’t think anyone should be saying non-nice things about people simply because they have less schooling.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            I am fine to trash the beliefs of uneducated people (e.g., organized religion)

            l missed this earlier, but wow.

            • Dilan Esper

              So you think that beliefs such as talking snakes, Noah’s Ark, everyone who gets resurrected (not just Jesus) in the Book of Acts, etc., need to just be respected and deferred to?

              Sorry, they are bad, untrue ideas. And they should be condemned as bad, untrue ideas, and fought, until less people accept them.

              And that’s totally separate from whether we should disrespect people who hold those beliefs (we shouldn’t).

              • farin

                “Organized” and “fundamentalist” mean totally different things.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Trump is president because of a stupid demographic quirk. Swing voters in a handful of swing states happen to be uneducated racist white idiots.

        I always trade in my car when there’s a headlight out — consequently I suggest blowing up the institutional Democratic party and starting over.

        • farin

          What kind of sucker gives you credit for that kind of trade in? I’ve just been crashing mine into lakes!

      • Steve LaBonne

        I keep wanting to point this out. What can possibly be learned from a “post-mortem” of a campaign that actually won by a substantial margin? This was a perfect storm and all we can learn from it is that we need to get rid of the Electoral College (not that that will happen).

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Well, since you admit that we’re not getting rid of the EC, perhaps Democrats could learn how to win within the structure of the EC? Because otherwise you’re basically in the position of saying a baseball team that scored the most runs in the World Series, but lost the World Series (something which has actually happened, BTW), couldn’t learn anything for the future either.

          • kped

            “Can learn to win”…yeah, because they never do that…gosh, the past 8 years just didn’t happen I guess…

    • TopsyJane

      If there is one thing pretty much everyone on all sides agreed on, it was that HRC is a fighter. (“…she does fight hard and she doesn’t quit and she doesn’t give up.” – Donald Trump)

      Sanders never even had to cope with an attack ad.

      • RonC

        What’s the point of this? She lost, the democratic party lost. Could a Sanders lead democratic party have done worse?

        • PhoenixRising

          hahahahaha yes.

          See results from Russ Feingold, Zephyr Teachout for data.

          • Severian

            Damn, you beat me to it.

          • Rob in CT

            Re: Feingold, 46.8% vs. 47% doesn’t strike me as meaningful.

            What Feingold/Teachout show, IMO, is that the argument that running Pure Progressives will result in a surge of support is bunk. It doesn’t prove that Pure Progressives do worse, either, IMO. Well, Teachout might be a data point there, but I can’t figure out how NY-19 voted for President this cycle. It went for Obama in 2012, but it seems to maybe lean slightly R otherwise? Teachout’s ~45% might be normal there too.

            Candidate quality matters, but I’m starting to believe that the qualities that matter have basically nothing to do with the things we care about.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              Regardless, it is plausible that a Sanders-led ticket could’ve done worse. With even a slight decline, we lose NH-Sen and NC-Gov. A larger decline puts NV-Sen and CO-Sen on the table.

              But I would probably grant that Sanders would’ve done better in the Midwest relative to the national vote and probably significantly better in New England, meaning he might’ve saved Feingold, McGinty, NH-Gov, maybe even VT-Gov. Given that single payer lost in CO by 60 pts, I’m not sure that Sanders would’ve done any better out west, seems plausible he would’ve done worse (and worse in VA/NC/GA/FL seems plausible too).

              BUT if Sanders were to win the popular vote by 2 pts, he probably would’ve won the whole thing. But if he does worse in the popular vote, there were more races to lose. Things could’ve been worse.

              Of course, if we could run it again, I’d easily say go with Sanders and risk those seats for another chance at winning.

  • Linnaeus

    As I mentioned on twitter, I counted on a sort of latent, self-preservational snobbery kicking in with potential Trump voters. It’s not that I thought we’d get many switchers. But I thought a fair number of R-leaners might find him too vulgar, too stupid, too buffoonish to vote for in the end.

    I suspect that the Clinton campaign was also banking on this. That would be one explanation why her campaign advertising emphasized so strongly Trump’s badness and portrayed him as sui generis as Republicans go.

    • AMK

      They (and everyone else) were certainly assuming that way more college-educated white women would vote for her (or at least not vote for Trump) than turned out to be the case.

  • Gregor Sansa

    On the subject of “Sanders was the man for the hour”:

    I voted for Sanders, but I hold no truck with the stupid fingerpointing from the Bernie bros. Hillary won, and “you (southern Black people) should all have listened to me while you had the chance” is fucking stupid.

    But. I happen to have in my hand polling data from the last week before the election, with a seriously well-drawn random sample of over 2000 eligible voters. (Way, way better than a telephone poll… over 50% response rate). I used this data to make a demographic model, and then used state-by-state demographics to project that to outcomes in each state. My model gets 42/50 states right and gets the popular vote to quite close. (My methodology was basically what Andrew Gelman calls “Mr. P”, for multilevel regression and poststratification).

    And the poll included “how would you have voted under score voting”. And I made a model of that too. And in state-by-state Score voting, with 9 candidates (Clinton, Johnson, Stein, Trump, McMullin, Sanders, Cruz, Bloomberg, Castle), my model says Sanders would have won 390 EVs (!!!!). The only fingers I have on the scale in the model-building there are in favor of Trump (to help better match the actual outcome).

    Real life score voting may well not match how it works in a low-stakes poll. And Sanders never faced down the Republican wurlitzer. But still, it’s clear that Sanders had a breadth of enthusiasm that Clinton couldn’t match (for all the unfair, sexist, media-centric reasons that we know), and that non-plurality voting methods might have been able to unlock that enthusiasm and get a better result.

    Voting methods matter.

    • Dilan Esper

      Why do you assume the preference for Sanders was sexist?

      Seriously, you preferred him in the primary. Were you sexist?

      Sanders had a better issue set than Clinton (trade, going after concentrations of wealth).

      I do want to note I agree with you that I have no truck with the “I told you so” people. Hillary did a very good job as a candidate and probably lost because of Trump’s celebrity more than anything else.

      • Gregor Sansa

        I guess I wasn’t clear.

        I’m saying that the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton in the general was partly for sexist reasons. There were plenty of non-sexist reasons not to be enthusiastic about Clinton, or to be more enthusiastic about Sanders. But I think that if Clinton had been a man, and not married to Bill (say she was his chief of staff or press secretary instead), she would have gotten broader enthusiasm than she did.

        • BartletForGallifrey

          I’m saying that the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton in the general was partly for sexist reasons.

          Yes. It goes back, too, to how horribly enthusiastic women were treated in the primary. Many hid it by the general. I was a vocal Clinton supporter, and I constantly got messages from friends saying how much they love her, how excited they were, but they didn’t feel like they could say it publicly.

    • PhoenixRising

      Sanders never faced down the Republican wurlitzer. But still, it’s clear that Sanders had a breadth of enthusiasm that Clinton couldn’t match

      Sorry, that fine Oriental rug doesn’t quuittte cover up the pile of shit your hobbyhorse left on the floor.

      Tell us more about the random sample of voters who never heard about Bernie’s years evading the draft, stealing electricity, in which it was more important to him to meet with Commies the US was at war with than to get the first job of his life to support his own son.

      I am glad for Levi’s sake, and for the sake of Jane’s children from her first marriage, that no one ever opened up on Bernie Sanders. He seems like a grandpa with good intentions, and since there is no way he would ever have won an election outside New England, that was a potential evil avoided.

      I’m certain there are no errors in your methodology, aside from assuming a can opener so YUUUGE it could open the Great Lakes.

      • Gregor Sansa

        I did not skew these results in any way, except to bring Trump’s numbers up in line with reality. So we asked 2000+ people how they would rate the 9 options if it were a score voting election, and where you’re saying I went wrong is in believing their answers. Which is definitely a defensible position for you to take, but wouldn’t seem to merit the venom you put into it.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Clarification: it’s defensible for you to say I shouldn’t believe people’s claims about “would have” because they are not good at estimating all the consequences of what would have happened. I’m not saying they’re lying, and I don’t think it would be defensible if that were what you were saying.

          • PhoenixRising

            No, I have no objection to your believing what people said about something that didn’t happen.

            I object strenuously to anyone of your obvious statistical literacy, who could be contributing to any workable solution, bringing your hobbyhorse into the living room instead, and then asking us not to observe that it has taken a crap.

            What people think they would do after a campaign that would be the messaging equivalent of a roller derby, in which Bernie Sanders would have been attacked from every front, not just the ones I named…is as relevant as what unicorns eat for breakfast.

            They are not lying, but you are wasting your time.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      But still, it’s clear that Sanders had a breadth of enthusiasm that Clinton couldn’t match

      Breadth? Pardon?

      • Gregor Sansa

        Yes, breadth. Including non-Democratic voters. Clearly Hillary had more breadth among Dem primary voters, but that is not everyone.

        • BartletForGallifrey

          Ah, misread that. I thought you meant *during the primary* he had greater breadth.

    • cleek

      I happen to have in my hand polling data from the last week before the election, with a seriously well-drawn random sample of over 2000 eligible voters.

      ask President Clinton about the accuracy of polling

      Voting methods matter.

      no, they literally do not matter because we only have the voting method we actually have. hypothetical electoral votes do not get a say.

      • Gregor Sansa

        ask President Clinton about the accuracy of polling

        You are comparing polls with an average of around 9% response rates, to a poll with over 50% response. Yes, the latter is not perfect, but neither is it comparably bad to the former.

        no, they literally do not matter because we only have the voting method we actually have.

        By your logic, nothing in the future matters, and probably nothing in the past either, because we only have today.

        • cleek

          By your logic, nothing in the future matters, and probably nothing in the past either, because we only have today.

          no, by my logic hypothetical voting methods do not matter because we do not use them.

          the hypothetical results of races that were not run, campaigns that did not happen, attacks that were not made, press that did not poke and pry and hype and decry, have no effect on the world; they have no significance, are of no consequence, do not matter.

          it’s an interesting poll, no doubt! but you can’t claim Sanders would have won because without the four months of actual campaign, you don’t know what the state of the actual race would have been.

          • Gregor Sansa

            Sure, if we’d actually used a different voting system, the result probably wouldn’t have been the one from the poll, for all the reasons you cite. What the poll does show convincingly, however, is that different voting systems give different results. I mean, sure, if you’re Trump, you can tell a story where all roads lead to Trump. But without that kind of motivated reasoning, it’s hard to maintain the pretense that the answer of who voters prefer doesn’t depend on how you ask the question. And so, in that sense, voting methods matter.

          • liberalrob

            Adding in agreement, the future only matters if it is a future susceptible to change…which in the case of our electoral system, seems not to be the case. Similarly, the past only matters if it was different from today…which in the case of our electoral system, it is not.

            • Gregor Sansa

              The National Popular Vote has well over half the EVs it needs. Maine recently adopted IRV statewide, and there are movements to follow suit in several states. California switched to top-two primaries, and in general experimentation with primary systems is common. Over 2 dozen US cities used some form of Bucklin voting in the Progressive era. The 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 26th amendments all deal with voting in some way; that’s almost half of the post-bill-of-rights amendments.

              Clearly, there’s no way our voting system could ever change.

              • PhoenixRising

                You know what, I am more pissed off about this than I have any right to be, and I’ll admit that. I have a shitty cold and am possessed with rage toward many, many kinds of Americans, but that’s not why this annoys me.

                There are marginal changes to our systems, such as jungle primary or national popular vote, that realistically could happen in a reasonable time frame to effect whether we have a decent government again in my likely lifespan.

                Ranked-choice voting isn’t among them. It’s too complicated and no one who can understand it can sell it. Why not put your shoulder behind reforming the EC while the iron is hot on that issue? Instead of playing with the margin effect of something that isn’t going to happen?

                Again, the irritation is coming from the simple fact that this is not a game.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  I am putting my shoulder behind reforming the EC. If you search for NPV and its synonyms on LGM, I bet that my nym will be the top mentioner. (That’s merely a supporting example, not by any means the totality of what I’m doing on the issue.)

                  Our side is a big tent. People will have their own pet issues. We have to find a way to make that a strength and not a weakness. In fact, it’s one aspect of that precise search which happens to be my pet issue, and which happens to be the thing you’re complaining about me mentioning. But even if that weren’t the case, “shut up about those divisive dreams of yours and be depressed in unity with the rest of us” is not a winning message.

    • kped

      I’m sorry…but this is utter horseshit. I can’t even begin…

  • RonC

    I’d suggest that we should have learned #3 in the 90s after Bill. The one allegation that did stick was between consenting adults, but there were a number of allegations (that they couldn’t prove) that involved much more caddish behavior and that didn’t matter at all to the general population.

    Also these trade deals that Sanders and Trump were against and Clinton kind of sort of maybe favored was real policy and I suspect didn’t help her at all.

  • We love Grumpy Cat in our house!

    I finally got the makeup right on the last try. You don’t need as much brown as you think–kids have small faces. And for the mouth, you need pink lipliner with eyeliner over it. My daughter was right and everyone on Pinterest was wrong: her mouth is pink.

    And we’re grateful to the Scholastic Book Fair for giving the option of coming home with a book of memes!

  • Morse Code for J

    Also, fuck white people in Michigan. Enough voters simply LEFT THE PRESIDENTIAL SPACE BLANK to tip it for Clinton.

    Remember when, in 2009, the party who nominated Trump was happy to let GM and Chrysler be sold in pieces on the fucking courthouse steps if nonexistent private capital didn’t come to their aid? Anybody who works in a UAW bargaining unit, or runs a business that would be badly hurt in the event of a GM or Chrysler liquidation, and did not turn out to vote for the party who kept the lights on seven years ago? Fuck you in the ass. Enjoy a newly re-great America. Especially the part where there are no racial preferences for the benefits that this Congress will slash out from under you.

    • rea

      Also, fuck white people in Michigan

      Sorry, I’m in a committed long-term relationship

    • kped

      Michigan is the worst. Fuck anyone who says it isn’t about race. Democrats fucking saved the state. The Republican’s in power in the state have literally poisoned people (black people) in the state with their mismanagement. But they see a guy with no experience in Trump…and they vote for him? And I’m supposed to pretend that’s not a racial thing?

      Fuck that noise.

  • BartletForGallifrey

    My husband noted that the mood probably just wasn’t right for a Hillary candidacy.

    I mean except for…it clearly was. Since under any other circumstances we would be referring to the vote as a landslide for her.

    • farin

      The mood of allegedly neutral institutions willing to abandon their duties to smear her, which, after all, is the only mood that really counts.

  • NewishLawyer

    1 and 2 are really key to me.

    Republicans/Right-wingers figured out strategic voting. For whatever branch of right-winger they are, they will vote for the candidate that gets them there. Evangelicals will vote for anyone with an R next to their name, even amoral and non-religious people like Donald Trump because he will appoint conservatives to the Judiciary. The corporate/anti-welfare state types are getting what they want with his Wall Street picks, and the law and order types are getting what they want with Sessions as AG.

    Too many people on the left refuse to get strategic voting and when you bring it up, they get angry and act like you are just a sold-out corporate hack (even if they have corporate jobs themselves.) Too many people on the left seem to think that the ballot is an expression of their moral purity and they just can’t make a trade-off on anything.

    • Dilan Esper

      I suspect it is more what bspencer said. Trump lost a lot of Mormons in Utah. That suggests that some conservatives are more offended at his treatment of women than others.

      • farin

        Mormons also are, understandably, much more sensitive to threats of religious repression than most conservative christian groups (not enough to actually support the opponent of such measures, but whatever).

        • BartletForGallifrey

          That’s why I do actually hope Mittens has some influence in the new administration.

  • djanyreason

    I don’t think #4 is quite right:

    * As others have noted, Hillary won the popular vote by a substantial margin. Hard to say the American People wanted someone or something else, when she won the American People

    * Also, given Obama’s current approval ratings, I think “boringly competent continuation of the Obama administration was a bad strategy” has some significant hurdles to overcome before being accepted as an explanation for the election’s outcome

  • wengler

    I would add a sixth point. The TPP and trade in general killed Clinton’s chances here in the rust belt. Obama could’ve stopped it but was willing to throw his entire legacy away on it(and did). Nobody, not even Clinton supporters thought she was genuine in her opposition and it likely cost her the margin of votes she needed to win.

    I just don’t get why anyone here isn’t pointing to the TPP and yelling ‘It was that! God dammit it was that!’

    • PhoenixRising

      I’d suggest that the reason is simple: People who understand what the TPP is know, as Obama does, that the Rust Belt workers are going to be far worse off without it than with it.

      Your suggestion that a convincing threat to destroy trade agreements, even at the cost of strengthening China’s power in the Pacific and leaving US workers worse off, would have brought white unlikely voters away from the guy who offered that PLUS restoring their right to be rude to black people is…tenuous. And in need of further exploration.

      • MDrew

        Let’s just be clear what the implication of that last sentence is.

      • MDrew

        If it’s true that TPP would have helped U.S. workers, then Obama was magisterially incompetent at explaining to them how this would have been so.

        And if that is also Clinton’s conviction, then she only compounded the problem for herself by punting on the issue (in the most typically her way possible), and completely giving up on Obama’s explanatory project, indeed rushing to put distance between herself and it, even while generally running as his successor (just as she did with one of his only remaining political assets in 2016, his still-perceived-as-relatively-dovish foreign policy), rather than getting in there to help him out, and thereby better her’s the party’s political position on this (obviously, all through the campaign) crucial issue.

        Oh well.

      • RonC

        Well no one that I saw was able to make the case to the rust belt workers that TPP would make their lives Less Bad(?) and I’m not sure that would be much of an argument anyway.

        Let’s not forget that people in these states have been screwed with these kind of deals before. Why should they buy it that: “this time it’s going to be different.”

        • MDrew

          Therefore?

          (To whom/what are you responding?)

          • RonC

            Phonexrising

            • MDrew

              Ah, okay.

        • PhoenixRising

          It wasn’t going to be different this time. They were going to be less worse off than they will be now. It’s not complicated, it’s just hard to swallow: Trump was lying, Democrats are resistant to lying, he conned them into voting for him.

          Your suggestion that Democrats should con workers more effectively is certainly being widely debated.

    • MDrew

      I have to agree with this. I think the crucial voters that Clinton lost/couldn’t get almost certainly were going to vote for their preference of whoever was saying things about trade like what Sanders and Trump were saying (even though it wasn’t exactly the same).

      You can think that their preference between Sanders and Trump would still have been Trump (I think Sanders wins a close race there, but then I would). But between Clinton and Trump, there was no contest. Only one was remotely telling them what they wanted to hear on trade.

      I think that’s a huge part of why she lost.

      • Davis X. Machina

        A huge part of 150,000 is….

        • MDrew

          A huge part of 150,000 can actually be millions, but I suspect it’s more like one million across de-industrialized America, including the electoral deficit you ask about. (150,00, not to say a million, net votes is actually not that easy to come by, though I think this did it.)

          I mean, our goal isn’t for her merely to win those states that lost her the election by one vote each, is it? If my answer (whether Clinton convincingly explaining why her not-recanted TPP support was good because it would be good for workers (I admit that’s a bit of a fantasy, but that’s the only play she had from what I can see) – or Sanders convincingly offering opposition to it) would have garnered more than the deficit she suffered in each of the crucial states, that would have been okay with us, right?

      • PhoenixRising

        I’m absolutely convinced that given a clear choice between a white populist offering ‘tear up trade agreements and be in charge again like you should be!’ and a white Jewish atheist Commie deadbeat dad who’s never had a job…well, the burden is on those who claim that this niche of identity politics wouldn’t have reacted to the attacks.

        I don’t think any of those are bad things, to be clear, it’s just that I’m not any of my HS classmates or cousins who live with job scarcity in the Great Lakes, and I don’t live there because of how they would have behaved during a Sanders-Trump matchup, let alone how they would have voted.

        You can be right that this played a huge role in a close race that did happen, while being painfully naive about the counterfactual.

    • AMK

      Absolutely. All this talk of how the Democratic Party needs to totally reinvent itself yada yada yada misses the point. We need someone who can go to these 3 states and talk more convincingly about trade than HRC. That’s an absurdly low bar we should be able to clear.

      And yes, there’s nothing on trade the Hillary was doing in 2016 that Obama wasn’t doing. I’m sure Obama hates himself for spending his last year shilling for a trade agreement that half the Dem Party doesn’t want, the other half doesn’t care about and nobody understands. Huge, huge, huge unforced error.

    • nemdam

      I still see no evidence that trade had anything to do with anyone’s vote. Rob Portman, the king of free trade, did like 15 points better than Trump in Ohio. I know his opponent wasn’t great, but Strickland did attack him on this. Also, Russ Feingold did worse than Clinton. And Pat Toomey did the same as Trump. Also, someone needs to explain to me why Iowa, rural Minnesota, and rural Wisconsin went hard for Trump when those are agricultural regions that benefit from free trade. Especially Iowa. It shifted to Trump by 16 points even though it’s a free trade beneficiary. I’m also skeptical because even though free trade has been an issue for decades, it just now becomes relevant when unemployment has fallen to 5%? It seems like Republicans became free trade skeptics because that’s Trump’s position, not that they supported Trump because he’s a free trade skeptic.

      • MDrew

        Fair points. Not dispositive IMO, but we would need to get into the weeds to try to pull out the different drivers. It’s really complicated, because genuine feelings on trade can push a person to empbrace the broader MAGA message, either with or without awareness of of the racist implications. And either way, trade views can in some cases have been a prerequisite or contributing initial condition. You never know which voters might have responded t Bernie rather than Trump given the option. And I still really don’t know what’s up with Clinton doing better than Feingold, etc. That certainly goes beyond any one issue.

        But I still think it’s equally unfounded to dismiss genuine feelings on trade as a driver of voting as it is to say they’re alone simply the reason she lost the electoral college.

        • nemdam

          Oh, I agree with all of this. I’m merely arguing against the idea that economics was a big issue for Trump voters and that free trade was the big economic issue they cared about. I simply find no evidence for this, and it seems like it’s merely a way to not confront the fact that bigotry was the driver of Trump.

          But, this does not mean free trade shouldn’t be examined as an issue. First, if it’s bad on the merits, it should be abandoned. Second, even if it only delivers a small number of votes in the Midwest, that still helps. Third, advocating for free trade doesn’t seem to be gaining any votes, so there’s no reason to be attached to it. I ultimately think this is why Hillary opposed TPP. Probably no downside to supporting it, but certainly no upside. Ultimately it is hard to tease out the political effects of free trade, but that doesn’t mean the effects it had on this election shouldn’t be thoroughly examined.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      I don’t know what her Real True Thoughts on trade are.

      But I did think she would genuinely not pass it, because she made more and more forceful statements about it. That makes it more and more difficult for her to flipflop on it, and I don’t see any reason to believe she’s so committed to free trade that she would blatantly break a campaign promise and piss of her base just because she loves the TPP so much. The fact that she has voted against trade deals before (CAFTA, most notably) should suggest that her commitment to free trade is not ironclad.

      So maybe she was in favor of TPP in her heart… but I did genuinely believe that it wasn’t important enough to her that she would’ve broken her promise about it. Somehow it became an article of faith among the left-wing Hillary haters that she would walk over coals for the TPP.

      I do agree that Obama undermined her on the issue though. I’m not sure whether that cost her the election, however. He would seem to be more committed to free trade than Clinton is. The strange thing is how many of the Clinton Derangement sufferers don’t hold that against him to anywhere the same extent.

  • MDrew

    making smug, ironic podcasts

    A-ha.

    Long-time listener, then, or is that New Yorker piece having its intended effect of giving the Clinton crowd their scapegoat?

  • Anonymous in LA

    A popular research design in social science is regression discontinuity. For example, we can learn a lot about the effects of incumbency by comparing those who barely win election and run for re-election to those who barely lose election and run for re-election, because in a 50.01-49.99 election, the result itself is basically “randomly assigned” like a lab experiment and we would not expect there to be significant differences between almost-winners and almost-losers. Given that the election was decided by 50,000 votes, I would say the outcome is as-if randomly assigned.

    I mention this because I think a lot of postmortems take the outcome as granted and significant and use that to backfill everything they think might have went wrong. Whereas a good postmortem of this election is one that would be entirely true and applicable if Hillary had won narrowly (for example, imagine Michigan and PA are narrowly flipped to D, or Michigan and Florida). How much of this analysis would you have advanced two weeks into president-elect Clinton? Granted most of us wouldn’t write post-mortems at all if we weren’t in grief.

    It seems to me that 1 and 2 and maybe 4 would be applicable still, while 3 and 5 would not be. I don’t think we’d be fixated on Access Hollywood as distraction if Hillary had won. I think we’d have pointed out that in spite of 1 and 2 and maybe 4, Trump’s low favourables held him back, and that was driven in part by his endless parade of personal scandals and low character.

    It might be more readily obvious why my approach is better if you consider the other side — the Times and other outlets have began to basically ignore that the president is a sexual abuser and possibly a rapist because the fact that he won is retroactively viewed as evidence that those are not relevant facts. In reality, they may have been highly relevant, but not sufficient, only because of chance variation in vote allocation and the EC.

    • MDrew

      Excellent comment.

    • Davis X. Machina

      + some very high value of ρ

    • Rob in CT

      How much of this analysis would you have advanced two weeks into president-elect Clinton? Granted most of us wouldn’t write post-mortems at all if we weren’t in grief.

      I, for one, think that a narrow Clinton (EC) win was still a kind of failure (by the Country, not just Democrats), because this should have been a total blowout.

      It seems to me that 1 and 2 and maybe 4 would be applicable still, while 3 and 5 would not be.

      I don’t know. People might still have critiqued her tactics but those critiques would likely be less convincing in the wake of a win.

  • MDrew

    she took eye off the ball (a progressive economic message)

    She had the proposals to back up keeping her eye on that ball in terms of message, had she wanted to do so, that’s definitely true.

    But, in campaigning, was her eye ever convincingly on that ball? Maybe, now and again. But was it even the ball she was trying to keep her eye on?

  • sapient

    I did a search on this thread and there’s no “Putin”. Hillary won the popular vote despite significant interference by a foreign dictator who is known to have interfered with (and possibly thrown) elections in many places elsewhere.

    Why we aren’t prosecuting Trump for espionage for conspiring with these people is crazy. And he is not the first Republican to win by colluding with foreign powers. See Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

    This has to stop.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Why we aren’t prosecuting Trump for espionage for conspiring with these people is crazy.

      Because there’s no actual evidence of Trump committing any espionage or even conspiring with someone to commit espionage? Trump publicly saying that hackers should try to steal Clinton’s e-mails would almost certainly fail to meet the standard of material assistance.

      • sapient

        Supposedly there has been an investigation of some kind, but we don’t know any details. Why not? Of course, the FBI only spills the beans about Clinton investigations to sway people’s views with innuendo about her alleged criminal behavior.

        We do know that Trump’s campaign people had incredibly shady relationships with Putin, and that he has business interests that may be significant. No, he shouldn’t be prosecuted without evidence, but what has been done with the very strong indications that he had a relationship with Putin, and encouraged his assistance?

        • RonC

          Clinton Rules? But until something is provided it’s just the same organizations that told us there were WMDs in Iraq, or Soviet spies under every bed in the 50s.

        • Linnaeus

          Murc makes a good point upthread that could be applied here. An investigation of Trump would have to justified enough to dispel the notion (at least among enough people) that it wasn’t being used as a political tool to get rid of an elected leader.

          • sapient

            Ummm, no. I’m a citizen too, and I demand to know why the person I voted for, the popular vote winner of the United States Presidential election, isn’t president. And if one of the reasons for that is that Trump colluded with a foreign president, I demand to know that. The “common people” are morons and racists and they won. Fine. I want to know to what extent their candidate is actively an agent of a foreign government to whatever extent that can be known.

            • Linnaeus

              I’m making a descriptive comment, not a normative one. An investigation of Trump has a high bar to meet because of the context.

              • sapient

                I wonder why the investigation of Clinton didn’t have to meet that bar.

                • tsam

                  I wonder why Comey didn’t get fired that day by a lame duck president who let a top agency official defy his superior agency in a naked attempt to sway an election.

                • sapient

                  Honestly, it’s not so much about Comey getting fired, but about what the hell is being done now, and why are Democrats MIA about it? I’m furious at this, and I’m the biggest Obama supporter on the planet. Perhaps there’s something I don’t know, but I think we are all owed an explanation.

                • tsam

                  Right there with you

                • farin

                  My hope is Comey didn’t get fired because his preening self-important fuckery makes him more likely to pass summary judgment on the new tsar.

                  Or maybe the CIA is going to quietly have all the Trumper agents murdered, who’s to say?

                • Linnaeus

                  I wonder why the investigation of Clinton didn’t have to meet that bar.

                  Well, there’s the rub. The investigation(s) of Clinton are good examples of abuse of the process for attempted political gain. So, you might ask, if all one needs is the vaguest suspicion that someone has done something wrong, why wouldn’t this apply to an investigation of Trump?

                  That’s a reasonable question. What enters into the calculation is that we just had an election in which, under the rules everyone accepted, Trump was the winner. This grants him, prima facie, legitmacy as Obama’s successor, and perhaps Democrats don’t think there’s enough there right now to warrant an investigation that calls into question the legitmacy of the winner of an election and that they risk delegitimizing themselves if they were to pursue it.

                  Add to that the Democrats’ greater inclination to adhere to norms of political behavior, relative to the Republicans as of late, and those reasons may be why the Democrats aren’t talking about it.

                  Again, I’m not saying there isn’t anything there, that this situation is fair, or that it’s right – I’m just offering a view on why the Democrats might be leery of opening an investigation based on what we know now.

                • tsam

                  his preening self-important fuckery makes him more likely to pass summary judgment on the new tsar.

                  I feel like he’s more likely to submit to the will of his daddy and use his office to do the illegal bidding of daddy. Hoover was a scumbag, but a self-preserving and narcissistic scumbag. I feel like Comey sees himself as an important spoke in the wheel and will ignore the law to protect Trump. He’s already walked that line.

                • sapient

                  Linnaeus, I understand this, and it makes sense, of course. However, this is the third time in my lifetime that I know of that some Republican proto-fascist has done some dirty deal with a foreign government just days before the election, and won partly because of it.

                  Nixon and the Vietnamese Peace Talks. Reagan and the Iran hostage deal. (Bush v. Gore separate awfulness). Now this. I mean, that’s most of the time that Republicans win the Presidency they’ve done it by pulling this crap. They’re rewarded every time. At some point, something needs to be done. Especially in this case, where the whole planet appears to be doomed.

        • rea

          My recollection is that, in the run-up to the election, Comey decided not to reveal the FBI’s conclusions, in accordance with the longstanding FBI policy of not interfering with elections.

          • sapient

            Right. That worked out well.

    • tsam

      Hey–I’ve mentioned Russia’s sabotage no less than twice here. I’m still not giving the smell test on this election a pass.

      • sapient

        Sorry, tsam. The thread has gotten long, and though I read some of your (wonderful) comments, I didn’t notice the Russia portions.

        I’m just saying that we don’t know enough about what happened, and if we wait until Trump gets into office, we’ll never know. Any collusion by Donald or his agents with Russia should be treated as a serious problem, possibly a crime. The fact that these things (as with Nixon and Reagan) are just rumored, and only confirmed years after the fact, is really crappy.

        And then we do post-mortems about what Hillary did wrong? Please.

        • tsam

          I wasn’t taking issue with what you said–

          I’m just as baffled at the collective “meh” over a foreign frenemy interfering in our elections and broadcasting emails for the media to read like an episode of “Real Housewives of…”.

          • farin

            But the media have always wanted to be “Real Housewives,” so they’re not going to complain, and if complaints are never reported then they never happen, right?

  • Murc

    I’m gonna be honest; the more time I spend mulling this over, the less I’m sure that the Democrats did anything wrong per se or need to do much different in the future, and I say that as someone who has been participating enthusiastically in Erik’s economic anxiety threads and posting very wrought “no more nerds, rock stars only!” comments.

    I mean… Clinton lost three vital states by less than the population of some relatively small towns. I realize that our instinct is to look for actual controllable variables here, things we did wrong that we can actually correct next time. And those do exist.

    But it might just be that this is one of those situations where the 1-2% of swing that a candidates personal qualities brings to any normal election came into play. And that’s pretty shitty if true, but being that Clinton won’t be running in 2020, it might actually be self-correcting.

    The bigger problem is that I’m more sure than ever that the Republicans have solved politics in America through adopting a strategy of only caring about a few things and to hell with anything else. You can wreck things up for eight years, then kick back and obstruct for eight years, then resume the wrecking. People don’t, in fact, actually LEARN anything.

    Now, we could adopt the same strategy, replacing “wreck things up” with “fix shit” but the problem there is that, best-case, it results in things like “Medicare only exists some of the time.”

    • BartletForGallifrey

      I’m gonna be honest; the more time I spend mulling this over, the less I’m sure that the Democrats did anything wrong per se or need to do much different in the future

      This.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Except that if Republicans enact large scale voter suppression measures (as numerous people here anticipate), you can’t rely on Democratic turnout bouncing back to prior levels.

      • farin

        I used to be a lot more facetious when I said Democrats should begin closing suburban and rural polling locations and moving them out of conservative churches where they’re able.

    • MDrew

      I feel like you need to work on synthesizing these two takes.

      Why be a party if you’re willing to resign yourself to barely eking out electoral college victories (albeit ones you need to win the PV by 3-4% to be assured of) that depend on replenishing the most mercurial commodity in politics: effective inspirational candidates?

      In other words, why do you want to say that a result in which a candidate who gets that 1-2% personality boost that Clinton didn’t and thus wins this election – against Trump – by 3-4%, wins 290 electoral votes, barely ekes out a number of traditional Democratic firewall states, or loses some, and wins none of Congress or maybe, just maybe the Senate on a highly favorable map) – why do you want to say that’s just fine? That would be a narrow victory against a generic Republican for a candidate who was heralded as the Democrats’ strongest in a generation. And the actual opponent was an utter joke candidate.

      Why not just say, as a matter of political principle, that that isn’t good enough for a party that thought it was on the path to a durable governing majority just eight years ago, and that things were done wrong – whether in this cycle, or over longer timeframes? Maybe the candidate didn’t provide that needed spark and the party, not just because of that one candidate, is down the wrong path in terms of message and policy. (Maybe because you’re (not you, but some people) are ideologically wedded to the policy and messaging path that’s been adopted. Which is okay, if you’re clear there might be trade-offs.)

      But basically, why is this result okay if we could just pump 1 or 2 percentage points into the Dem POTUS candidate’s column via personality? Is that really what you’re seeing?

      • MDrew

        …if the answer is that a 3-4% win would have been 300+ EV and a sure Senate majority, then, okay. That’s your answer. I tend to think that’s neither a sure result, nor good enough. It would have been better, though.

      • Murc

        Why be a party if you’re willing to resign yourself to barely eking out electoral college victories (albeit ones you need to win the PV by 3-4% to be assured of) that depend on replenishing the most mercurial commodity in politics: effective inspirational candidates?

        If we could do that consistently, why would it be a problem?

        There’s also a fact that this applies to the Republicans as well. They are also dependent on effective inspirational candidates, because when they deploy someone who isn’t one of those against one of ours who is, they lose.

        That’s not a Democrat problem. That’s an electorate problem.

        In other words, why do you want to say that a result in which a candidate who gets that 1-2% personality boost that Clinton didn’t and thus wins this election – against Trump – by 3-4%, wins 290 electoral votes, barely ekes out a number of traditional Democratic firewall states, or loses some, and wins none of Congress or maybe, just maybe the Senate on a highly favorable map) – why do you want to say that’s just fine?

        This isn’t fine, per se, although if we could do it consistently it probably would be, but correcting it runs afoul of structural issues that existed before this election and still exist now.

        There’s also the fact that a 4% win qualifies as a solid win these days. The country is legitimately highly polarized. Changing that is the work of decades.

        That would be a narrow victory against a generic Republican for a candidate who was heralded as the Democrats’ strongest in a generation.

        … people were heralding Clinton as the Democrats’ strongest candidate in a generation? Stronger than Barack Obama? Who were these idiots? I don’t recall encountering them even amongst die-hard Clintonistas.

        Why not just say, as a matter of political principle, that that isn’t good enough for a party that thought it was on the path to a durable governing majority just eight years ago,

        Anyone who thought that was a fool. Durable governing majorities are massively rare in America. I can only think of one; the New Deal coalition. And even that had eight years of Eisenhower to contend with.

        and that things were done wrong – whether in this cycle, or over longer timeframes?

        Things are always done wrong, in any campaign, even winning ones. I address that directly in my original post: “I realize that our instinct is to look for actual controllable variables here, things we did wrong that we can actually correct next time. And those do exist.”

        Maybe the candidate didn’t provide that needed spark and the party, not just because of that one candidate, is down the wrong path in terms of message and policy.

        This is entirely possible, but if so this is a problem that isn’t specific to this election, which is of course what most of these post-mortems are concentrating on.

        • MDrew

          The ‘strongest in a generation’ was a bit tongue in cheek. But she was certainly thought to be strong. The strongest available. (I hope.) And also, good point on the durable governing majority. I didn’t mean without any breaks, though – I guess I meant nearly always a share of power, more often unified control than not (or certainly the other side having it), and no moments like this save an extremely rare outlier. Which I suppose all remains in play theoretically, that being your point I suppose.

          Otherwise, your responses are mostly fair. I guess.

          I would say, though, that the message-and-policy critiques promulgating from the left almost all point exactly at the generational direction of the party, not at just the dynamics of this election. They also make candidate and campaign critiques about this election, but very often those too are tied to the broad-sweep policy critique.

          • BartletForGallifrey

            I only ever heard people say most qualified. Not strongest.

            • MDrew

              Oy.

            • Murc

              My recollection jibes with yours, Bartlet. And that’s accurate; in terms of formal qualifications for doing the job, she was certainly that; more qualified than Obama in 2008, I would say.

              Problem is, the venn diagrams for “excellent President” and “excellent Presidential candidate” don’t entirely overlap.

            • MDrew

              If the field was cleared for a candidate that no one was even saying was the party’s strongest, then I don’t even know what.

              • Murc

                Your contention was “strongest in a generation.” That’s different from “strongest this particular cycle.”

                Plenty of Democrats (over 40% of them) did not think she was the strongest possible one in this particular cycle… but that just means more than 50% did think she was.

                Also, the field was not “cleared.”

                • MDrew

                  I already backed off “in a generation.”

                  People may have been voting… for a person they wanted to be president? Not who they thought was strongest? (THough by that time much more of her continuing weakness had also been exposed.)

                  Yes, it was cleared. If it wasn’t, what the fuck was it that actually happened? What would you call that? Martin O’Malley? That’s it? What do you call that?

                  As I say, whatever we call it, if party elites (and that’s who I was speaking of suggesting she was a very strong candidate) didn’t believe she was the strongest available candidate, then, whatever we call it, what they did – how they directed resources to control who would run – that’s a fucking massive problem.

                • Murc

                  Yes, it was cleared. If it wasn’t, what the fuck was it that actually happened? What would you call that? Martin O’Malley? That’s it? What do you call that?

                  What I would call that is “some people looked at Hillary Clinton, and decided either ‘yeah, she’s probably better than I am’ or ‘I don’t think I can beat her and trying would be a waste of time.'”

                  This is not the same as “clearing the field.” Clearing the field implies that that the Democratic Party took active measures to force people who otherwise would have run from running.

                  And that just did not happen.

                  If “clearing the field” only means “people are reluctant to run against a prohibitive favorite” then every single incumbent President who runs for re-election has “cleared the field.” I don’t recall bitching about the 2012 or 1996 primaries.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  I don’t remember anyone saying the Democrats “cleared the field” in 2000 either, or complaining that Bill Bradley got screwed by THE ELITES AND THEIR UNFAIR SYSTEM.

                • MDrew

                  Clearing the field implies that that the Democratic Party took active measures to force people who otherwise would have run from running.

                  Well, we agree on that at least. At least, major, powerful figures therein. And they absolutely did.

                • MDrew

                  FYW,

                  Fair, but then again, not. My perspective is this: that is customary for a VP. You know what you’re likely to get when a VP not obviously disqualified for some reason (age, health, self-removal) is about to complete a second term in office.

                  Clearing the field for some other figure in the party (when indeed there is a sitting VP who’s interested, if perhaps on the edge of disqualified for age – but really not, and in any case, that wouldn’t change the point) – that is a totally different, elective choice that needs to be affirmatively made by actors in the party. There is no on-its-face reason why this should have been effectively a closed race (as closed as Gore-Bradley) in anyone’s favor other than Biden’s – not according to custom. And custom matters because it shapes stakeholders’ expectations. What if every nomination fight proceeded like a VP coronation, whether there was an eligible sitting VP or not? The rank-and-file wouldn’t and shouldn’t stand for it. Too many factions would be systematically cut out.

                  Anyway, this is one time. Sometimes parties do party things. I get that. I’m not saying t absolutely shouldn’t have happened. I’m just saying that citing VP coronations compares like with unlike. This is an expansion of the VP custom into a situation in which it actually wasn’t precedented. It wasn’t without meaning for many Obama supporters that Obama *did not* choose Clinton for VP.

                  None of which I am actually looking to test the propriety of here, exactly. My point is just that it was an elective choice by the party in a way that allowing a VP to have the inside track he normally can expect isn’t. And the point was, it was apparently the contention of my two interlocutors that this was done in the service of a candidate that people weren’t even willing to say was the strongest available. Except I apparently misunderstood at least one of them to be saying that.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  But like Murc said, I don’t see how it’s a case of some entity “clearing the field,” rather than the field clearing itself. Did anyone think the Republicans “cleared the field” for Romney in 2012? That was a pretty similar situation: flawed frontrunner, veteran of a past cycle, money and campaign pros in place. I don’t remember anyone saying that we could tell how unfair the RNC was because Romney obviously sucked, so obviously someone had to have had his thumb on the scale or else he’d have had better-than-second-rate competition. But a whole lot of the DNC “rigging” arguments are just like that. What’s the line between “rigging” and just plain having advantages?

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  They let someone who isn’t a Democrat run for the nomination. That’s pretty much the opposite of clearing the field.

                • MDrew

                  You people are delusional and also just willfully deflecting on this, but that’s okay.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  Stay woke, bro.

                • MDrew

                  Good one. Don’t tell me you think I’m not woke! That would bum me out.

                  You’re telling me you don’t think the party had its top people telling major donors, It’s Hillary, don’t think you can get anyone else started in earnest?

                  You all are just delusional on this. Or stuck on a term. It’s entirely possible, as I covered with Murc, that we think roughly the same thing happened, it’s just that I would term it clearing the field. And I would. But I really don’t care about the term.

                  And no, clearing the field doesn’t mean literally preventing someone from filing the papers and running. (Wtf.)

                  If you want to describe in detail exactly what you think happened (No Labels!), be my guest. Maybe we actually agree!

              • MDrew

                …It’s retconned bullshit what you two are saying, though, of course. Of course people said it. If they didn’t it was only because it was simply assumed to be believed (which is different from everyone individually agreeing with it in the privacy of their own minds).

                It was the basis of her candidacy, and the basis for the way the Democratic establishment approached and structured the primary. If significant parts of the party thought there were stronger candidates, how did early support not divide at least enough to allow for some of them to run, even if briefly? Why didn’t it?

                Anyway, it didn’t, and you two are saying she wasn’t even strongest candidate – or at least no one was willing to say she was. But clearly no other candidate nearly as strong (or at least expected to be – Sanders was a surprise) was able to or wanted to (and I just don’t buy none wanted to) run.

                All strong opposition was preemptively choked off and the party united from the start behind a candidate you two are saying people wouldn’t say was the strongest available.

                Isn’t that a yuge problem? Just by the terms of what you two are contending?

                • Murc

                  It’s retconned bullshit what you two are saying, though, of course. Of course people said it.

                  Said what? That Clinton was the strongest candidate in this cycle?

                  Of course they said that. Many people said that. I never, ever said they didn’t.

                  It was the basis of her candidacy, and the basis for the way the Democratic establishment approached and structured the primary.

                  Uh, no. The primary was not structured, in any way, around that basis. If it had been Sanders probably would not have done nearly as well.

                  Anyway, it didn’t, and you two are saying she wasn’t even strongest candidate.

                  … of course I don’t think she was the strongest candidate, I voted for Sanders.

                  What I think only matters for the worth of one (1) vote. I was outvoted. To the tune of three million or so. Many more people thought she was the stronger candidate.

                • MDrew

                  Come on, dude.

                • MDrew

                  –The ‘strongest in a generation’ was a bit tongue in cheek. But she was certainly thought to be strong. The strongest available.

                  –I only ever heard people say most qualified. Not strongest [available] [this cycle] [this was the clear meaning].

                  –My recollection jibes with yours, Bartlet.

                • Murc

                  Er?

                  Bartlet said that he only ever hear people say “most qualified,” with an implied “in a generation in there.”

                  My recollection jibes with his. I do in fact recall lots and lots of people saying that Clinton was the most qualified Democrat and probably the most qualified candidate in a generation, period, where qualified means “formal qualifications to be a good President.” I recall a lot of people saying that.

                  That is entirely separate from her strength as a candidate. Two separate discussions.

                • MDrew

                  Well that was after I conceded the point on ‘generation.’ So I thought BFG was contesting what I was still contending – strongest available. If BFG was still addressing ‘generation,’ then indeed this was pure misunderstanding. I guess it was anyway.

                  If you concede many people said she was clearly the strongest (not most qualified!) available, then we’re in accord here.

        • MDrew

          There’s also the fact that a 4% win qualifies as a solid win these days.

          I would like to see how that translates in any given electoral arrangement, but yes, it probably does, and you can recognize that. But you don’t have to accept it as your ceiling, or for god’s sake set it as your goal.

      • djw

        for a party that thought it was on the path to a durable governing majority just eight years ago

        Huh? It was obvious to anyone with half a clue that the 2006-2010 Democratic majorities were a product of Bush’s failed presidency. With a more normal recession they might have survived a bit longer, but this exaggerates any vaguely realistic assessment of the medium to long-term political prospects of the Democratic party when Obama took office.

        This comment seems to be saying something like this:

        “The Democratic party should choose to be the kind of party that wins elections comfortably, regardless of the political skills and strengths of whomever the candidate happens to be.”

        On the one hand, this is banal-but-true; too obvious to bother saying. *If* some strategy is available that allows them to do that, of course they should choose it. But that’s an utterly banal observation. The implication seems to be that such a strategy is surely just lying around for the taking, but I don’t see any particularly good reason to believe that’s particularly likely, and the comment doesn’t even attempt to suggest that it is. (The main argument you see in this vein relies on the assumption that there’s some formula for left-populism that would magically Trump the racial dynamics at work in American politics, which I don’t understand how anyone who understands much of anything about this country can take seriously.)

    • Linnaeus

      I’ve been wondering this myself. I’ve been collecting articles, blog posts, etc. that have post-election analysis, with the idea of producing some kind of coherent analysis myself (that’s one way that I’m “dealing with” this election) and the more I collect, the more difficult it seems to be able to do (or perhaps the fault is with me, which I will leave to others to decide). This has gotten me wondering if this election really is, as another commenter put it, a perfect storm from which Democrats can’t really learn all that much, because there’s just not much there that we didn’t already know.

      • ASV

        If one county in Illinois moved into Wisconsin and three in the Florida panhandle moved into Alabama, HRC wins the electoral college without changing a single person’s vote. She still has a ~2% popular win. Trump still gets ~1% less of the total popular vote than Romney did. There’s no way to make a singular narrative out of that, because a wide variety of unrelated explanations can account for the relatively tiny number of votes that actually accounted for the EC outcome. But it’s a great opportunity for opportunists.

  • MDrew

    Can we please remember that the implication of saying that the political meaning of Clinton losing WI, MI, and PA is tightly circumscribed by her having lost them by “only” a total of 150,000 votes is that it would not be a matter of concern- all would be well, roughly – if she had won each of them by one or ten or a thousand votes each.

    No one would have said that before the election, and I don’t think anyone believes it. It would be a big, big, er, topic of conversation (flashing red light) in strategic Democratic circles even as Clinton prepared to take office. There would rightly be discussions about lost de-industrialized voters, trade, racism vs. economic anxiety, etc., etc. All rightly greatly fueled by her disastrous showing in that part of the country. (Frankly, even if the results in those states had been exactly flipped.)

    They just would have been somewhat covered over in public (but not in private) by the coming of a new Democratic administration, and the election of the first woman president.

    • Murc

      I disagree with little here, but the analyses might not actually change much; it might come down to candidate personal popularity again.

    • FlipYrWhig

      People have been wringing their hands about white working class people trending towards Republicans for 36 consecutive years. I’m frankly surprised anyone still thinks it’s interesting.

    • PhoenixRising

      if she had won each of them by one or ten or a thousand votes each.

      If it had been that close, we’d be starting the 3rd week of GOP lawyers explaining why certain early votes or absentee votes had been miscounted and therefore Trump had an equal claim in the EC.

      Or are you not old enough to remember 2000?

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    Circular firing squads are so much fun.
    But I think I think it is time to move on.

    • tsam

      But I’m not finished with my temper tantrum. WHAT NOW, JAKE?

    • PJ

      Better to see the people aiming for your face than to be surprised by those who shoot you in the back.

  • Linnaeus

    Jamelle Bouie had a good piece in Slate (YTS) a few days ago:

    As it stands, the debate among Democrats is torn between a moderate approach that disdains all “identity politics” (except those for white Americans) and one that hasn’t absorbed the deep ties among race, gender, place, and class. Both may win over some Trump voters, but one would do so at the cost of accommodating Trump’s white nationalism and the other at the risk of being blinded by its patina of populism. At the same time, there are thinkers who want to deny the reality and force of Trump’s white nationalism, full stop. This is despite the fact that Trump intuitively sees the interplay between economic interest and identity, pandering to white workers as whites and workers, who want racial hierarchy and economic revival, who see the weakening of the former as a threat to the latter, who exist in a society where economic advantage often follows the isolation and segregation of nonwhites.

    But the history of the Democratic Party contains a model for moving forward, with an approach, honed by Jesse Jackson, that bridges the divide. And thinkers in the political and policy world have crafted solutions that reflect this approach. It respects the reality of the modern Democratic Party: a formation that represents—and depends on—the votes of women, young people, and people of color.

    • Murc

      Depending on the votes of young people has, historically, not worked out so great.

    • postpartisandepression

      19% turnout for young people- can’t build anything on 19 especially when the white ones voted for Trump

  • Rob in CT

    So Trump can now crow about keeping that Carrier plant open. Great.

  • BradP

    The vast majority of people outside of this little bubble did not see her as “boringly competent”. For as much of a witch hunt as they were Benghazi and the following private email scandal were very public moments of incompetence. And even if it was inconsequential to the primary results, the DNC scandal gave the appearance of the party establishment bailing her campaign out. I believe most people saw her as at least somewhat incompetent, yet impenitent due to her established status.

    • I think this is fair. I saw her as boringly competent because that’s what she was, but most people aren’t me. Most people are morons.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        BradP certainly came in with a sharp edge on his axe

    • FlipYrWhig

      I don’t think the “DNC scandal,” i.e., people who work for an organization getting mildly annoyed, affected anything among Republicans, and outside of a narrow circle of obsessives I don’t know how many people would even know what the “DNC scandal” was. More to the point, the others as presented weren’t really matters of competence vs. incompetence per se but, rather, shadiness.

      • Murc

        I don’t think the “DNC scandal,” i.e., people who work for an organization getting mildly annoyed, affected anything among Republicans, and outside of a narrow circle of obsessives I don’t know how many people would even know what the “DNC scandal” was.

        This is true, but I would say I’ve met a whole lot of people who are politically aware enough to vote in primaries but aren’t what you’d call news junkies who have a vague but unshakeable sense that the DNC rigged the primary.

        It’s out there as an idea.

        And that kind of pisses me off. I was as mad as anyone about the DNC’s behavior, but they weren’t sending operatives to pour ballots into boxes in New York.

        • MDrew

          That would be stealing an election, not rigging it.

          (I’m not saying they rigged it, either. Not the DNC, anyway. They couldn’t rig a [what’s easy to rig?].)

          • PhoenixRising

            Yacht?

            • MDrew

              Yeah, I was going to say sailboat.

              We’ll go with dinghy.

        • FlipYrWhig

          There are a lot of people on the left and right who are primed to believe the worst about Hillary Clinton. The actual facts from episode to episode seem secondary.

        • BartletForGallifrey

          but they weren’t sending operatives to pour ballots into boxes in New York.

          The graffiti in Brooklyn informs me otherwise.

    • postpartisandepression

      What crap- how was Benghazi a public moment of incompetence?

      Benghazi was investigated 10 times with no fault found in Hillary Clinton , nor does ANY secretary of State have influence on security of embassies or diplomatic compounds. That would be handled by the same republican house that ran 10 investigations and refused to allocate more money when they were asked.

      And the email scandal – as Matt Yglesias so brilliantly put it the real scandal is that a bullshit story was allowed to dominate the campaign – and that can be laid directly at the feet of the main stream media. Colin Powell used private email (though he didn’t have a server)but he admitted to using his unsecured lap top to conduct his business and he never turned over ANY of his emails when asked. The White house conducted official business on an RNC server that it had installed in the White House under Bush and “lost” 22 million emails when they were being investigated. The Clintons don’t get away with things they are simply always held to a different standard.

      The saddest thing is we have a country that prefers to elect people who have no idea how to run a country and then they are surprised when they do a fucked up job.

      We had Dubya who was too dumb to make a decision without his nanny Dick Cheney. That made us miss the 9/11 attack , took us to war on a lie and the worst recession since the great depression. And because the democrats are so disjointed somehow that did not result in the republican relegation to the wilderness for decades. Instead we nominated Mr. Hopey changey (barely) who also had so little actual experience or even a job it was frightening. What it did mean was that instead of coming to office with a real agenda or ideas of his own that he had to learn on the job wasting precious time. And it gave us people like Timmeh who thought more about banks than the people losing their homes, in contrast to Hillary who proposed the re-institution of a HOLC. The main lesson Obama finally learned was that no matter how any concessions he tried to make to the republicans even to the extent of proposing cuts in social security that the KOOL KIDS were never going to let him in to their club. At least Obama was interested in learning.

      If Mr. Hopey Changey had really been inspirational or even the great communicator that he was supposed to be, how is it that so many americans had no idea how good they had it. If he had really had a successful presidency they would have been clamoring for a third term for democrtas? If Hillary made any mistake it was not making clear distinctions between what she would do instead of promising more of the same. THAT is what we lost – a real policy wonk with years of experience ready on day one. The possibilities were endless and that is why this is so devastating.

      The damage that will be done with another unfettered republican government is enormous. If Kansas is bad you ain’t seen nothin yet.

  • mojrim

    I’ve had a lot of disagreements with you, bspencer, but your post-mortem analysis is the best I’ve seen.

It is main inner container footer text