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On The Accept-No-Responsibility, Blame-Everyone-Else Posture

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Amazingly, Glenn Greenwald has gone back to this well a second time:

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it

I mean, Paul has already been through this, but this assertion couldn’t possibly be more wrong. It is astoundingly wrong. It’s so obviously wrong that when I tweeted about this after Paul’s first post I was accused of arguing against a strawman. Perhaps you’ve heard of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell? They’re the Republican establishment, two of the three most powerful elected officials in the United States. They supported Trump. And they will have very wide latitude to gut the Great Society and New Deal because most of the Republican conference supported Trump, with any opposition melting away as the campaign proceeded. (He called Ted Cruz’s wife ugly and accused Ted Cruz’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. He endorsed Trump anyway, and please spare me the bullshit about how a public official announcing who he plans to vote for isn’t an “endorsement.”) And if we extend this beyond elected officials, the American establishment is firmly in support of Trump — he was sent to the White House by rich white people.

And even among the parts of the American establishment that nominally opposed Trump, we have to question how serious and effectual this opposition was. Yes, virtually every newspaper op-ed page came out against Trump. But far more important than this was their coverage of the candidates, and here their obsessive focus on EMAILS! to the exclusion of discussions of public policy were a huge benefit to Trump. Trump did receive a fair amount of negative coverage, but because his scandals didn’t receive the kind of sustained attention Clinton’s pseudo-scandals did, the result was at worst a wash for Trump that allowed this to play out essentially as a fundamentals-and-partisanship election. And it was possible for him to win that election…because the Republican Party was united behind Trump.

…and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well.

There’s something rather important being left out of the analysis here — namely, that the Democratic candidate for president won the popular vote by a margin likely to exceed two million votes, and Democrats also got far more total votes for the Senate. The Democratic Party certainly has serious problems, particularly in relatively low-turnout state elections, but they also have to deal with the fact that the Constitution massively over-represents the conservative rural and suburban interests represented by the Republican Party.

We then get to a monocausal explanation for Clinton’s defeat:

Quite the contrary, Democrats have spent the last 10 days flailing around blaming everyone except for themselves, constructing a carousel of villains and scapegoats – from Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin, James Comey, the electoral college, “fake news,” and Facebook, to Susan Sarandon, Jill Stein, millennials, Bernie Sanders, Clinton-critical journalists and, most of all, insubordinate voters themselves – to blame them for failing to fulfill the responsibility that the Democratic Party, and it alone, bears: to elect Democratic candidates.

I do agree that it’s wrong for the DNC to focus solely on external factors as a way of ducking responsibility for mistakes they made. But this cuts both ways — it’s equally wrong to deny responsibility to other actors who affected the election results because you want to make the strategic decisions of the DNC the One True Cause of losing the election. The idea that we shouldn’t criticize James Comey’s massively inappropriate intervention into the election is absurd. The idea that we should ignore Comey’s intervention even though Clinton lost a substantial amount of support after the letter was released is absurd. (And if you want to say that we should ignore this because we can’t prove to an absolute certainty that any of Clinton’s accelerated loss of support was caused by the extraordinary amount of coverage given to Comey’s letter about nothing, OK, but then you certainly can’t turn around and make inherently unfalsifiable assertions about how Clinton lost because of “bad messaging” or whatever other Halperinism.) It is absurd to say that we shouldn’t criticize the media for treating Clinton’s EMAILS as more important than Trump’s racism or to deny that this had a significant effect on the race. I agree that Stein probably did not materially affect the outcome in the end, although how much of a pass she deserves because her campaign, whose only possible effect would be to put Trump in the White House, failed to be consequential because she failed to attract enough support is questionable.

But of course, the key people Glenn asserts have to be preemptively cleared of any responsibility for the catastrophe are “Julian Assange” and “Clinton-critical journalists.” The Intercept, during an election campaign between a competent, moderate liberal and an unprecedentedly unfit and corrupt candidate who ideologically represents a cross between George Wallace and Calvin Coolidge, devoted a substantial amount of resources to analyzing hacked emails from the campaign of the former. And rather than admitting that they had been sent on a snipe hunt by an Australian libertarian who was plainly trying to throw the election to Wallace/Coolidge, they decided to hype up inane trivia (“Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a PUBLICIST!” “Candidates say snarky things about opposing candidates in private emails!”) as if they were revealing the Pentagon Papers. And, as Paul says, they did this in the context of media coverage being dominated by the coverage of Clinton non-scandals that revealed no significant misconduct, drowning out coverage of the countless examples of Trump’s actual misconduct. I can’t blame Glenn and his publication for wanting to be preemptively absolved of any responsibility, but it won’t fly. It is absolutely true that The Intercept — like mainstream publications — also published coverage critical of Trump. Both Sides Do It was perfectly good enough for Trump, and while that it helped Trump in itself doesn’t condemn the press coverage the fact that this effective false equivalence is utterly ludicrous certainly does.

And, appropriately enough, we finish with Glenn being far more generous to the Republican Party than is remotely merited:

This Accept-No-Responsibility, Blame-Everyone-Else posture stands in stark contrast to how the Republican National Committee reacted in 2012, after it lost the popular vote for the fifth time in six presidential elections. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Mitt Romney’s loss “a wake-up call,” and he was scathing about his party’s failures: “there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement . . . So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.”

The RNC’s willingness to admit its own failures led to a comprehensive 1oo-page report, issued only a few months after its 2012 defeat, that was unflinching in its self-critique.

Whoa, whoa, are you shitting me? The RNC is getting credit for its SEARING SELF-EXAMINATION about its perception of being too close to plutocrats and unfriendly to racial minorities before the election in which they nominated Donald Trump? Fortunately, Glenn saves me the trouble of further critique:

One irony of 2016 is that the candidate who won the GOP nomination, and ultimately the presidency, not only ignored many of the autopsy’s core recommendations but embodied everything it warned against.

Uh, yes, that’s one hell of an irony — indeed, one can say that it completely destroys the underpinning of Glenn’s entire take. But to a lot of the media, Both Sides Do It But Democrats Are Worse is always an essential truth irrespective of the facts.

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  • Lord Jesus Perm

    Glenn’s head is so far up his ass that his fucking scleras are brown.

    Between him, Zaid, Sirota, and Lee, I think I’m ready for the meteor.

    • Drexciya

      I know people have to think I’m crazy about some of this by now, but Lee Fang favorably shared that repugnant, borderline evil “End of Identity Liberalism” piece on the NYT. This is where at least some of the left is going, and is where a lot of them either already are or can easily transition to in the near future.

      And consistent with my thesis about “populism” being an inherently raced term, he goes on to say that the reason why Democrats lost control of North Carolina was because of an absence of populism. But if populism is a deracialized term, which it isn’t, then certainly William Barber and Moral Monday qualifies, right? That’s one of the most sustained, promising left movements in the past 5 years at least, and straight out of the south. If that’s not populism, then how are you not defining populism by whether or not racists react favorably to it? And if Moral Monday can be populist without gaining sufficient democratic support to overcome systematic voter suppression (e.g without getting election results), then the presence of populism alone is not what white people are turning out for or want to turn out for.

      • aturner339

        At this point any liberal using the phrase “identity politics” can be at least compared to the category of people who use the phrase “white guilt.”

        These “racially anxious” democrats should be a genuine cause for concern.

        • ThrottleJockey

          We all practice ‘identity politics’…what the hell do they think the Big Sort was about?

          • aturner339

            The Iowa Straw Poll is my favorite. No “identity” to be found there…

      • ThrottleJockey

        I think populism is generally a de-racialized word. He’s using it in a racial way though.

        I do think Dems failed adequately emphasize economic arguments in this last election, choosing to emphasize Trump’s racism, sexism, xenophobia, mental instability, and general unfitness for office. But that’s only 95% of a winning coalition. That other 5% needs the economic messaging to vote Democratic.

        • aturner339

          Hillary hit the high notes. Rich pay their fair share. Debt free college. Trump would have ripped off my curtain maker dad.

          She went to the mat on the economics. That 5% just voted their own identity.

          • urd

            Please. She “hit the high notes” mostly because of Sanders. Her significant shift on these issues was seen, at best, as suspect. At worst it was seen as a cheap political tactic.

            She didn’t go to the mat for economics. Not even close.

            • aturner339

              Yeah, Hillary Clinton has never advocated for working class families before Bernie Sanders spent six months as a democrat.

              • urd

                Advocating for them and actually doing something substantial to help them are actually two different things.

                • aturner339

                  Someone has a CHIP on his shoulder….

                • cleek

                  Sanders’ list of legislative accomplishments is pretty fucking modest.

                • urd

                  Considering his position, this should not be surprising.

                  As for Clinton’s? It’s almost non-existent.

                  Makes it an easy choice, especial with her record on other matters.

                • cleek

                  Considering his position, this should not be surprising.

                  yes, if only there was some position he could occupy that would give him a chance to push legislation to help working class families.

                  instead, he wasted his time as a member of Congress since 1991.

                • urd
                • cleek

                  wtf.

                  those scores reflect positions on issues, not actual legislative results.

                  it’s the difference between “Advocating for them and actually doing something substantial to help them”

                • urd

                  wtf indeed. The first link is referencing actual voting records.

                  Are you that clueless?

                • (((Hogan)))

                  You’re treating voting for something as an “accomplishment.” You don’t get to use the word “clueless.”

                • Scott Lemieux

                  As for Clinton’s? It’s almost non-existent.

                  Ah, yes, clearly Clinton should have used her position as junior senator from New York to force a Republican House to pass and George W. Bush to sign transformative economic legislation. Between this and your assertion that it was highly unusual that a Republican candidate carried white women, I’ll take this as a long-overdue hint to ignore your comments.

                • Jackov

                  Sure SL. Much like the Congressman who in his second term had two years when his party controlled the Senate and Presidency.
                  According to Volden and Wiseman, Sanders was notable for his success with amendments while in the minority.

          • Ghostship

            And how many would have trusted her to do what she said? On past experience only a few hardcore HRC supporters? I think it was the other e-mails, the ones from Podesta, that did her more harm. They reinforced the view that she like most career politicians is duplicitous and venal and as far as I know none of the e-mails were faked regardless of the claims from the DNC.

            • Howlin Wolfe

              How many people? More than 60 million voted for her. Most probably did trust her to. More than voted for Trump, Bubble Boy.

              • (((Hogan)))

                “Hardly anybody likes Clinton.”

                “She won the popular vote.”

                “That’s not the system we have–only the electoral college counts!”

                • urd

                  You must have some polling data I didn’t see; I don’t remember any breakout of Clinton voters based on “likes”.

                  And yes, the electoral college is all that counts, at least when it comes to electing the president.

              • urd

                How do you know they trusted her? Voting for her and trusting her are not the same thing.

                With all the talk of voting for the lesser of two evils, and vote for her even if you hold your nose, how do you come to the belief that “most probably did trust her”?

                • Howlin Wolfe

                  You’re the one who made the assertion that nobody trusted her but a small hardcore. You presented no evidence, yet used it as a premise in your argument. So you base your purity on a fairly spurious foundation.

                • urd

                  I made no such statement; I asked you to back up your statement:

                  Most probably did trust her

                  The burden of proof falls on you.

              • Ghostship

                More than voted for Trump

                That’s irrelevant. For a lot of Republicans, I’d think that Trump was the lesser of two evils, so in true red states where Clinton had no chance, I wonder how many Republicans weren’t willing enough to hold their noses and vote for him. If it had been a national poll, I’m certain a lot more Republicans would have put up with olfactory discomfort and voted for him.

                BTW, Howlin Wolfe, it’s me wot said it, not urd.

          • ThrottleJockey

            How many commercials did you see pushing the economic message? How many of her surrogates pushed the economic message on Cable News? She did a good job in her stump speech of discussing economics, but that didn’t manifest itself in other mediums.

            • aturner339

              At some point we have to blame cable news for cable news. Sure Hillary could try and play up the fact that here opponent was a pampers trust fund baby but if cable news won’t cover her actual message that’s their fault.

            • cleek

              i saw few Clinton commercials about economic issues. i saw zero Trump commercials about economic issues. all of the Trump commercials i saw were simply anti-Clinton. (i’m in NC, i saw a lot of commercials)

          • Simeon

            One key part of Democratic post-mortem has to be “Who are the Obama-Trump voters, how did we lose them, and how can we get them back?”

            Because (a) you know those voters are gettable and (b) you know they’re gettable without regressing to a “whites-first”-tinged platform, because that’s not what Obama ran on or represented.

            We know that Trump got a big swing in his favour in low-income brackets (even as Clinton retained an overall majority). I think it’s crucial for the Democratic Party to try to appeal to and build its base among low-income people, so that swing is pretty concerning to me.

            It’s just a fact, one repeated many times by several of the bloggers here (Loomis is the big one on this issue), that, in many ways, the Democrats have failed the people who used to work middle-class union jobs with decent benefits and decent pensions. They’ve promoted trade and economic policies that replaces those jobs with slave-labour (or near to it) in crumbling buildings in Bangladesh or Cambodia. They’ve failed to protect the unions that stand up for good jobs. Now, I know and you know that the Republicans are manifestly and unarguably worse on all of these issues. But there’s an elite policy consensus that’s dominated Washington for decades in favour of free trade and market liberalisation at the expense of many struggling people. The Clintons were big NAFTA boosters, remember.

            I think that, in many ways, Donald Trump talked a good game on trade and jobs: end the trade deals that rip off Americans; bring back decent jobs for Americans. I think his messaging strategy here really helped with that swing among low-income voters.

            And that’s something that Democrats can adopt without having to compromise on any of the core issues important to progressives. Democrats can adopt real policies to get struggling Americans into employment, policies Republicans are incapable of proposing because of the nature of their party, and they can make that central to their future campaigning. I really think that would be helpful (if it’s not, then, well, fuck) and it doesn’t require moving backwards on racial issues or pandering to white-identity politics at all.

            What I would love to see is a policy of guaranteed employment — a job for every American who wants one — but I don’t know how likely top Dem policymakers would be to sign on to something like that.

            • JR in WV

              Trump voters were wealthy people who didn’t fear the election of a venal bigot. People below the poverty line by-and-large stayed away from a threatening candidate. They were smart enough (or cynical enough) to know they were vulnerable to any upsets in the financial system status quo.

              But well-off suckers were ready to go with putting their feet in the face of people of color along with Trump, who ran on 25 years of Republican propaganda about Clinton.

              I must admit I was a little surprised to see how vulnerable supposedly educated Americans were to the Big Lie as invented by the fascist movement and perfected by Roger Ailes and Lee Atwood. The lies about the Clinton family were unsophisticated and debunked as falsehoods over and over, to no avail.

              And now we have Trumpism as a ruling philosophy. And people who have been watching politics for decades wonder if American democracy will ever recover from it.

        • Drexciya

          I think populism is generally a de-racialized word.

          It really isn’t. Washington Post called Steve Bannon a populist, and is used as shorthand throughout the article to describe who voted for Trump and what they voted for. How often have you seen BLM called a populist movement?

          • ThrottleJockey

            I generally think of “populism” as an economic message, not a ‘political’ one so I wouldn’t think of BLM as being a populist movement even if its a ground roots movement (The Minutemen were not a populist movement either). Sanders ran a populist campaign in ’12, as did Obama in ’08.

            Obama’s Victory, Never Much in Doubt, Based on Populist Appeal to Swing Voters

            This he did primarily by making a populist appeal to working class voters, more populist than any major party presidential nominee in decades. In his last debate, which was supposedly about foreign policy, he repeatedly referred to Romney as someone who wants “to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules” as everyone else. Throughout the campaign, his team attacked Romney for being a rich, unscrupulous politician who didn’t care about working people. Of course it helped that Romney fit the stereotype – a rich corporate raider, a private equity fund C.E.O who said he “like[s] being able to fire people,” and paid less of his income in taxes than millions of working Americans. His infamous remark dismissing 47 percent of Americans as moochers – “my job is not to worry about those people,” was a gift from God, and became one of the Obama campaign’s most effective TV ads.

            • aturner339

              Populism and politics are dang near the same word. How can populism not be political?

              • ThrottleJockey

                Scare and Care are darn near the same word too but differ a lot in usage :-D

                Without a strong economic component we don’t usually think of poltical movements as being “populist”.

                Jesse Jackson also ran a populist campaign but he did it by expanding beyond his historical civil rights focus to discuss things like health care, jobs, and urban investment. So, unless you’re talking about economics broadly you’re not going to get the populist title–but if you do you will. Just my 2 cents.

                • aturner339

                  I don’t mean they rhyme I mean that from etymology to denotation they are quite nearly identical.

                  I think you’re kinda making Drex’s point here is what I’m saying.

                • UserGoogol

                  No they aren’t. Populism comes from the Latin word populus, meaning a people, politics comes from the Greek word polis, meaning the city. (And in their context, the city-state, more to the point.) The two concepts are undeniably related, in so far as they’re both forms by which people are organized, but they aren’t the same thing at all.

        • Emmryss

          Economic arguments? Like that’s what won Trump the election? He didn’t make a single economic argument. He did make a lot of totally delusional wishful-thinking-magical assertions of all he would accomplish through his omnipotent will. Seemed to work, though.

          • ColBatGuano

            Right. The idea that Trump ran a economically populist campaign is absurd.

            • Scott Lemieux

              And Clinton did run an economically populist campaign. But she must not have run an economically populist campaign because an economically populist campaign cannot possibly lose. (Collapses from dizziness from running around circles.)

              • PhoenixRising

                Thank you; this circular firing squad can now disband. Populism, like true conservatism, cannot fail to move the masses, therefore a campaign that lost the EC wasn’t a true Scotsman.

                Good night Gracie.

              • ThrottleJockey

                Whatcha talking’ bout Willis?

                I’m not even sure its possible for THE establishment candidate to run a populist campaign. Especially so when its only grudgingly that she’s forced to her left.

                Raising taxes on the rich is a populist theme, but it hardly makes for a populist campaign.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  what is this “grudgingly” shit? does it never fucking occur to any of you hardcore leftists (ha) that anyone running for president has to appeal to multiple constituencies at once and isn’t going to always be using your particular set of magic words?

            • ThrottleJockey

              Did you hear all his talk about ‘throwing the bums out’ because they’re ‘rigging the game’ through unfair trade agreements and shipping plants overseas stiffing workers back here?

              That’s a quintessentially populist message. Even his anti-immigration was populist in tone and nature. He made it seem like the only people for immigration reform was the Chamber of Commerce. While he was Conan the Vulgarian there to burn the place down.

          • ThrottleJockey

            He didn’t have to make an economic argument. He started the race with a lead in the area because most people assumed–wrongly–that because he’s a *successful*–for some definitions of successful–businessman he must know how to fix the economy.

            In fact his 3 point lead on the economics front is roughly what it was when the race started. To borrow from Karl Rove’s playbook, you attack your opponent’s strength–Like Obama did Romney. Unfortunately Clinton failed to do that adequately enough and never dented his lead on the economics question.

      • Scott Lemieux

        I’ve been meaning to write about that Lilla piece but a can’t get beyond the first graf.

        In addition to your point, I’m endlessly amused by the twin assertions that it’s impossible that press coverage couldn’t effect the election and that we can be sure that the Democrtas lost North Carolina because they’re not left-wing enough.

      • DrDick

        Have to agree, at least in general. Anyone agitating against “identity politics” is actually agitating to maintain their privilege. I do not agree that “populism” is inherently racist, though it is often used that way by many. I do not think Sanders’ call for populism is racist, though he does not have a well thought through stance on racism as yet.

        • Drexciya

          I do think Sanders defines what’s effectively and usefully populist by how a slice of the white population reacts to it, however, which makes his lens inevitably raced. His description of how the working class voted, and his lack of qualifiers with regard to the slice of the working class that Trump appealed to is extraordinarily telling. He goes on to concede, in defiance of non-white/white poor working class support, in defiance of Clinton winning the popular vote (which he acknowledges at the interview’s outset), that Clinton could not connect to the working class better than Trump. He effectively boxes Clinton voters and those who promoted her into the wrong/unfair description of “liberal elite,” before personalizing the Democratic party’s appeal based exclusively on how a slice of the white working class in a slice of one part the country voted. He says that the Democratic party can’t talk to the people from where he came from…but the people from where he came from (Brooklyn) overwhelmingly voted for Clinton by upwards of 80%. I apologize if this comes off as a correction, as that’s not what I intend. But race is central to how Sanders understands both his own populism and future populism, and his post-election statements make no sense without it.

          • postmodulator

            He says that the Democratic party can’t talk to the people from where he came from…but the people from where he came from (Brooklyn) overwhelmingly voted for Clinton by upwards of 80%.

            I presume that he means the Brooklyn of his youth, rather than present-day Brooklyn, which differs from the Brooklyn of sixty years ago in rather substantial ways. I don’t think that detracts from your larger point, though.

          • DrDick

            I would not generally disagree with that and agree that Sanders’ perspective is clearly racially biased, though he has shown signs of trying to overcome that. This is part of what I was alluding to at the end.

            • ThrottleJockey

              How is Sanders racially biased DrDick? I’m afraid I don’t really see that. Or, at least, he’s no more blind to racial issues that the typical white Democrat of his generation.

              Where he might be *blind* is in his knowledge of black cultural artifacts and behaviors. I have a number of ‘granola’ type white liberal friends. They, too, have a hard time relating to black culture, but they’re not racially biased. That’s how I see Sanders. My 2 cents.

              • DrDick

                His bias is based in his racial blindness and is not conscious. His bias largely reflects a lack of awareness of racial dynamics independent of economic factors. In that regard he is “the typical white Democrat of his generation,” and that is the problem. I am quite sure I would be the same if I had not experienced it first hand while married to a full blood Cherokee in Oklahoma and spent the last 30 years studying the topic.

          • a.monkey

            But race is central to how Sanders understands both his own populism and future populism, and his post-election statements make no sense without it.

            Not really disagreeing with you, but I don’t think race is central. It just isn’t part of it. His, and far too many leftist’s, problem is the lack of focus/will/empathy/etc or ignorance. Once you get past that, it’s all about “class”.

      • And consistent with my thesis about “populism” being an inherently raced term,

        You will keep saying that, and GG and others will keep saying the opposite.

      • LifeOntheFallLine

        All of this.

        And not only is it raced, but that it’s raced has led to populism becoming an increasingly incoherent descriptor (not that it was terribly coherent to begin with). I know the 90s died on Sept. 11, 2001 and everything, but how in the Hell did we get to the point where the inheritance baby son of a slum lord become anything other than “the elite?” The fact that so many white people in the Midwest and in the news business feel comfortable casting a man who personifies The Establishment and who bragged about openly buying politicians as somehow an anti-establishment choice who represents true populism is so intellectually dissonant that the only explanation that makes any sense is that populism = white discontent.

        As a said note, you are among the very best commenters here and every time I see your name I know something thoughtful will follow.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Greenwald was very effective in documenting civil rights abuses during the Bush administration. I wonder what role he’ll play during the much, much worse Trump administration. I’m sort of expecting that his articles will be of the nature of “Look at the pathetic response of the Democrats to the latest Trump administration outrage”.

    • addicted44

      Yup. He shifted to that late in the Bush administration.

      I figured he didn’t have a clue about politics when he started his campaign against blue dog Democrats.

      The fact that he didn’t understand that putting resources against a slightly right of center Democrat, in an extremely right wing area, who nonetheless largely caucuses with Democrats, would have the effect of pushing our politics even further to the right proved to me that he didn’t have the slightest clue about how politics actually work.

      He’s done nothing since to disprove that impression.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Sometimes, when all you have is a ball-peen hammer, everything looks like your forehead.

      • CrunchyFrog

        Yep. Look, he spends a lot of time praising the fact that the RNC created a detailed what-went-wrong report, and he’s comparing that report – which came out months after the election – with the immediate reaction of people in the Democratic sphere of influence. That’s apples-to-oranges. I’m sure the DNC will have their own report and recommendations sometime in 2017 – it’s a normal thing to do. But for apples-to-apples you have to compare the immediate reaction of Republican leaders in 2012 to the immediate reaction of Democratic leaders.

        I’m also suspicious of his attacking Democrats for saying mean things about Trump voters. For a guy who’s spent a large part of his life documenting authoritarian abuses of civil rights he sure has a surprisingly warm and fuzzy feeling about the authoritarian followers who frankly would love to see those civil rights flushed down the toilet. Especially given how most of those people would if given the option take away all his rights related to his sexual preference. Or maybe he doesn’t really like those people – and having lived outside the US for so long no longer worries about their impact on lives of people like him – but instead just is trying to find ways to stick it to Democrats.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          And of course, Greenwald and his ilk would never say anything mean about Clinton voters.

      • ASV

        Not having a fucking clue about how politics works their eyes closed to how politics really works has long been a major point of pride among agitators and activists on the left.

        • urd

          Based on past performance, it appears most democrats don’t really understand how politics works, either.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I think his line will be that Obama will be responsible for anything Trump does because of the precedents he set. Because if anything defines the Republican Party in general and Trump in particular, it’s their scrupulous adherence to precedents and norms.

      • XTPD

        Indeed, they’ve already started (found this as a Shafer retweet).

        • urd

          And on this point how is this not a true statement?

        • Scott Lemieux

          Jesus Christ, the idea that anything Obama did could have stopped Trump from doing anything he wanted to do is just pathetic. It’s like these guys started paying attention to politics 6 months ago.

      • Joe_JP

        precedents he set

        I repeatedly see “Obama” precedents that turn out to be long term executive power trends such as the national surveillance state. One troubling thing about Trump is that once things are put into place, it’s hard to totally alter them, especially by the often more institutionally conservative Democratic Party.

    • ghkozen

      Attack him? Please. Glenn’s angling for either press secretary or ambassador to Equador in a Trump administration. This election turned out EXACTLY as Greenwald wanted.

  • ThrottleJockey

    Trump got a shit load of negative press attention. The counter to Glenn’s argument seems to be, ‘But he should have gotten even more negative press coverage.’

    That’s a little unrealistic. Clinton had the opportunity to steer her anti-Trump messaging to his failures–4 Bankruptcies–as a businessman. She could’ve asked ‘Do you want you and your family to join a Reality TV show?’ She could’ve run a thousand “You’re Fired!” commercials. Instead she focused on his bigotry & misogyny to the exclusion of everything else. This overlooked the historical reality that millions of Americans will overlook bigotry if its in their financial best interests.

    Its fine to blame Comey if you wish. But the question should be, why was 1 letter sufficient for her to lose Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida when the most divisive, hateful, vulgar language ever put forth by a presidential candidate was insufficient to cost Trump the election?

    Blaming Comey–fair enough–really just hides the weaknesses in Hill’s campaign.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      I dont think this is quite right. I think the formulation is moreso that Hillary’s “scandal” should been given context, particularly compared to Trump’s very real ones. The volume of his bad press–though I’d contend that the composition of the press prevented them from grappling with Trump’s open racism–isn’t so much the issue here.

      • XTPD

        For what it’s worth, HuffPo’s Sam Stein has a solid autopsy of the Clinton Rustbelt collapse. I don’t hold any illusions that the Clinton campaign was perfectly run, but I largely agree with Scott that BOFF SIDES was one of the prime factors in her defeat (and that given the campaign data they had, the Rustbelt strategies were risky but not really dumb).

        Additionally, I’m not aware of anyone from the Clinton camp pointing to “fake news” and Facebook as a culprit – that seems to be coming from technocratic liberals (e.g., Oliver, Hayes & Vox) who use that as a partial alternative to working the refs.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Thanks for sharing. Great article.

      • ThrottleJockey

        There are only so many hours in the day. Was Trump U not covered enough? Did the press not cover his refusal to share his taxes?

        Didn’t Mitt Romney get up on stage and castigate him for failing to disclose his taxes? And say that Trump was nothing but a finagling, fleecing fraud?

        • Tom in BK

          No, Trump University was not covered enough. Nor was his refusal to release his taxes.

          The fact that there were even stories being written about Clinton’s emails after it became clear that it was a nothing-burger, five months ago, is a stain on the Fourth Estate.

          • Manny Kant

            It was pretty clear it was a nothing-burger from the very beginning – not a single actual legal expert ever thought there was any chance of her being charged with anything. Comey’s original report, if anything, revived it as an issue by calling Clinton “extremely careless” and all that.

        • petesh

          There are only so many hours in the day.
          Yup. That’s why hours and hours of complaining about trivial or completely fictional Clinton “scandals” crowded out (a) policy discussions and (b) Trump’s real scandals.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Given that he had the highest negatives in polling history, and that Hill won the popular vote, I doubt it would’ve mad much difference to be quite honest. You reach a point of saturation. Majoritiesof Americans thought he was: Unfit, Racist, Sexist, and Dishonest. And yet chose to vote for him anyway.

            Eventually in messaging and marketing you reach a point of saturation. To say more contextualization was needed is to say more nuance was needed, and there was nothing nuanced about this choice. Diminishing Marginal Returns is a thing. Instead of doubling–tripling–down on ‘Unfitness’ Clinton would’ve been better served hitting the economic message more forcefully:

            *Nearly two-thirds of voters said the nation’s economic condition is poor or not so good, according to CNN exit polls. And these folks voted for Trump by a 2-to-1 margin.

            *Some 49% of those who went to the polls said he’d do a better job, while 46% selected Clinton. [Given his 4 bankruptices & history of saying, “You’re Fired!” and pissing on vendors he should never have led here.]

            *And in Pennsylvania, 53% of the electorate agree that trade is bad for jobs. They heavily favored Trump. Among the 34% who feel trade is a job creator, the reverse was true.

            • petesh

              Not much of a difference was needed, and the polls show that voters who made up their minds in the last week broke for Trump. Every little bit hurts, though I do agree that Clinton could have pushed her proposals a little more forcefully (and they should have been reported, which is not her fault).

            • The nature of the scandals the press covered for Trump and Clinton were radically different. If you imagine a voter whose political news consumption is primarily headlines, chyrons, snippets of TV and radio panel discussions, & pop culture references — a substantial portion of voters — the messages would be:

              TRUMP: Loudmouthed, bragging, sleazy, racist uncle who does what he pleases and takes shit from nobody; rich guy who maybe doesn’t pay taxes, nobody knows

              CLINTON: Grasping, cold-blooded schemer with tens of thousands of secret emails; sold access to foreign governments for millions of dollars; somehow involved in Benghazi

              • John Revolta

                Dude, don’t forget the speeches.

                She gavespeeeeechhhesssssss!!!!

              • Emmryss

                The hardest thing for me to get my head around is that it wouldn’t have mattered what scandals the media had come up with. Just about the only true thing Trump said whole campaign was how he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and it wouldn’t matter. Looking back, who can doubt him? I read something somewhere about how, once a voter had made a basic commitment to Trump, each new scandal only meant he/she had to double down on that commitment to avoid the otherwise unappealing psychic strain. (I paraphrase, no doubt poorly.)

        • brewmn

          They barely covered his foundation scandal, Tump University, or history of failure as a businessman. The only “scandal” they covered with anything like the saturation coverage they gave Clintons emails was “Pussygate.”

          The basic media narrative was that Trump was an unconventional candidate that says unconventional, sometimes outrageous things, while Hillary Clinton is a secretive, power-hungry shrew who won’t come clean about her damn e-mails. I really don’t know which campaign you were watching, but the argument that the media gave the same effort to making a case against Trump that they made to making a case against Clinton is fiarly ridiculous, IMO.

    • addicted44

      Why was 1 letter from the head of the FBI sufficient to change the outcome?

      Really, you wonder why that is the case? There’s a reason the justice department has a long standing rule that explicitly prevents people under them from doing what Comey did. Because smart people a long time ago already predicted the effects actions like those of Comey’s would have. Ahead of time.

      I’m amazed you cannot figure this out in hindsight when people figured this out in advance and setup rules that should have stopped Comey from doing what he did.

      • ThrottleJockey

        my understanding is that the ‘long standing rule’ was implemented by Eric Holder 4 years ago. So we operated for a couple of centuries without such a rule.

        Suppose the FBI withheld an announcement shortly before the election that they were investigating Putin’s infiltration/bribery of the Trump campaign. Had he gone on to win the election, I’d find that incredibly outrageous. As I imagine everyone here.

        Its not that I don’t understand the problem presented by Comey’s actions, its that the ax swings both ways. I’d say Comey’s problem was that he didn’t thoroughly vet the ‘new’ evidence before releasing his letter.

        • addicted44

          i don’t get what you’re trying to say. The fact that Comey decided to keep quiet about the investigation of relationships between Putin and Trump but chose to create something out of nothing in the EMAILZ case is exactly the problem. Breaking the rules is one thing. Breaking the rules I am obviously partisan way is worse.

          • ThrottleJockey

            I’m saying I don’t think Holder’s policy is the correct one. There is ethical jeopardy in either case. If the FBI sits on information that may criminally implicate a politician you have one kind of error. If it releases information which misleads voters about a potentially impending criminal action you have a different kind of error. Prior to this election I’d always thought the “greater” error was the first. The greater error may in fact be the latter, but that’s a debate not a certainty.

            I haven’t read enough of Comey’s decision with respect to the Putin-Trump associations. I know the DNI said Putin was trying to influence the election. It notably didn’t link Trump and Putin.

          • Ghostship

            The fact that Comey decided to keep quiet about the investigation of relationships between Putin and Trump

            Actually he didn’t -after being pressured by Harry Reid the FBI made an announcement that there was no visible evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin. So there Comey did the right thing and Harry Reid fucked up by shutting down the ridiculous allegations from the Democratic Party that Trump was Putin’s “unwitting agent”
            With the deleted e-mail case, the FBI needed a warrant to examine Weiner’s laptop and as soon as they applied for it, the situation would have become public knowledge. But it all comes back to the point that if HRC hadn’t deleted those 33,000 e-mails the FBI would have had no reason to reopen the case so the fault lies with HRC and her advisers.
            BTW, why has there been little mention of Edward Klein’s article in the Daily Mail:

            Blow up! Days before losing the election Hillary and Bill had a screaming match over who to blame for her flagging campaign – the ex-president so angry he threw his phone off the roof of his Arkansas penthouse

            * Hillary blamed FBI Director Comey for reopening investigation based on Anthony Weiner’s shared computer with Huma Abedin for her slump
            * Bill faulted Robby Mook, John Podesta and Hillary HERSELF
            * He claimed the three were tone-deaf about the feeble economy and its impact on millions and millions of working-class voters

            OK, I know it’s the Daily Mail and I know it’s Edward Klein but has anyone denied the story, and Bill Clinton unlike Hillary Clinton does know how to win presidential elections.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              With the deleted e-mail case, the FBI needed a warrant to examine Weiner’s laptop and as soon as they applied for it, the situation would have become public knowledge.

              Which is exactly why they had a rule against doing that sort of thing immediately before an election. But after making the announcement, there was no point in not going ahead with it.

              And why would the Clintons bother to respond to the Daily Mail?

              Do you also wonder why Trump had to bring up the National Enquirer JFK / Rafael Cruz story before Ted Cruz would respond to it?

              • Ghostship

                But this comes back to the point that doing nothing having been made aware of the deleted e-mails is interfering in the election process. If, for instance, the FBI had come up with evidence that Trump was collecting instructions from Putin via a dead drop during the campaign, I’m sure you would be among the first to complain if the FBI failed to reveal that information until after the election. As it is, I think that HRC is looking for any hook to hang her responsibility for her own defeat on and Comey is an easy one to sell to her supporters even though I suspect the impact on the result was trivial.

                And why would the Clintons bother to respond to the Daily Mail?

                You do understand English libel law?

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  The problem is that the public trusts the FBI a lot and does not differentiate between “under investigation” and “guilty”.

                  While cases like Trump being a Manchurian candidate look like they justify making such announcements, the fact is that we also need to be wary of law enforcement influencing the election, particularly under the influence of partisan officials. I think the latter is more concerning.

                  But regardless of whether you think she should’ve won despite Comey, or how well you think she would’ve done if she had taken XYZ position or focused on economics or whatever, the left doesn’t need idiots out there validating GOP ratfucking.

                  You think that the Trump FBI won’t try to ratfuck the next Bernie Sanders in 2020? You think they’ll make an exception for someone more progressive?

            • there was no visible evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin… shutting down the ridiculous allegations from the Democratic Party that Trump was Putin’s “unwitting agent”

              • Ghostship

                Please explain how you can be an “unwitting agent”?

            • Taylor

              OK, I know it’s the Daily Mail and I know it’s Edward Klein but has anyone denied the story,

              Jesus Christ, are you really that stupid, or are you just a troll (but I repeat myself)?

              • ColBatGuano

                Yes.

    • aturner339

      Trump got a lot of “both sides coverage” in the media. Very little was openly negative. Few doubts were raised about his core character

    • Ask Me Gently

      She was done in by non-voters, that’s my belief. How someone could look at Trump and plainly see what a Trump administration will mean, and still decide not to vote Clinton in order to prevent such a calamity; that’s the story of this election.

      Even if you accept that she’s somehow “corrupt”, or that she’s in bed with Wall Street, or she’d be bad for the working class or she’s just too familiar and boring, Donald Fucking Trump is the only other possible winner on the ballot. And he only loses if Clinton gets enough votes to knock him off.

      How should her team have campaigned for this? That a non-voter would withhold a precious vote because the conventional wisdom was shaped to paint Clinton as unworthy, and thereby help usher in Trump’s victory, is a failure of personal civic responsibility. Given the consequences, it’s an insane attitude.

      Maybe it was naive not to foresee significant numbers of voters adopting this position and costing the election, but what could the Clinton campaign have done to get the votes of people who had decided against Hillary and felt pretty good about it?

    • ASV

      For reference, take a look at the NYT’s placement of the Trump U settlement story today.

  • GG actively worked for HRC’s defeat by Trump. He can pretend otherwise all he wants. He’s one of the deplorables.

    • Mark Field

      Agreed.

    • urd

      Facts not in evidence.

      He didn’t like either one of them.

      • John Revolta

        Bothsideswhatnow?

        • urd

          Hardly. You might want to apply that concept in the proper setting and not just throw it out as a knee-jerk reaction to issues you don’t understand.

          • John Revolta

            Oh, I’m not saying that you’re saying both sides do it. I’m saying that you’re defending GG on the grounds that HE said both sides do it.

            Try to keep up. Or better still, don’t.

            • urd

              Yeah, because

              Bothsideswhatnow?

              isn’t ambiguous at all.

              Try writing coherent sentences. Actually, try writing a sentence instead of spitting out a word jumble.

      • Rob in CT

        A lot of people felt that way and were nonetheless capable of noticing that one was much, much, much better than the other.

      • Mark Field

        You don’t seem to understand how elections work. Maybe Glenn doesn’t either, though I’m not sure you speak for him.

        Elections aren’t purity challenges for the voters. They’re choices between, in practice, two people. Saying “I don’t like either one” is just a way to say that you don’t care if the winner (in this case, “winner”) actually wins. It’s a zero sum game. Glenn, like everybody else, had the civic obligation to pick the least bad. Anything else is self-righteous pretense.

        • urd

          Bullshit. Get off your self-righteous soap box and stop telling people what their civic obligation is.

          If you want people to vote for a candidate, give them a better reason than fear. It’s not a predictable motivator.

          No wonder Clinton lost.

          • Mark Field

            I’d respond, but every single sentence in your comment is either false or nonsensical.

          • Bruce B.

            A lot of people in this country never get the chance to vote without fear: fear of what the cops and courts do to people like them, fear of dying because people in power don’t think they deserve to live, fear that the lies they must tell about themselves to survive in public may someday crack, fear of the mobs who feel empowered to destroy their possessions and take their lives without reprisal, fear of losing whatever shelter they have and being left destitute while being blamed for America’s woes, and more. They are perfectly sensible in voting on the basis of those fears, too.

            Trump won on the strength of two groups:

            #1. People so filled with hate for other kinds of Americas that they eagerly swallowed every kind of lie in hopes of getting someone who will go make the Other suffer.

            #2. People who are high enough in society that they expect to avoid major trouble regardless and therefore voted for their personal interests without regard for anyone else.

            None of this has anything to do with the shit you’re talking.

            • fledermaus

              So, if those are the only two groups of trump voters, which should the Democrats woo in 2020? Because you’re gonna need some of them to win next time. Or maybe elections and the electorate are not just that one dimentional?

              • Bruce B.

                There are at least two other groups of potential voters, both better targets but I won’t insult your intelligence by acting as if you don’t know they exist.

          • Sly

            “If you don’t help stop a crooked, incompetent bigot from holding the most powerful political office in the history of the human species, then you’re nothing more than a piece of shit collaborator.”

            Water can climb up that soapbox.

  • JMP

    How the hell does Greenwald have such an oversized ego that he actually is willing to show himself in public after this shit, anyway? Look, asshole, you’ve destroyed every single bit of credibility you’ve once had, and proven that no one with an ounce of brains should ever listen to a single thing you have to say.

    • Tom in BK

      He just blocks anyone who doesn’t agree with him on Twitter. He’s the ultimate Bernie Bro, except much, much louder.

      • Phil Perspective

        He just blocks anyone who doesn’t agree with him on Twitter.

        LOL!! You know who else blocks everyone and their mother on Twitter? A lot of the HRC dead-enders. Also, too, media figures(Jake Tapper and a number of the Drudgico crew) do too when you call out their bullshit.

        • Tom in BK

          Yeah, that’s fair. I mean, it’s kind of a fundamental problem with Twitter that you’re basically encouraged to create echo chambers and tell each other what a great job you’re all doing.

          As you said, it gets kind of gross with journalists in particular, though there are some who are still willing to engage. For the most part, though, I’m amazed that any of these people can get any work done with the amount of time they spend there.

        • Origami Isopod

          Lemme guess, you’ve been blocked by a lot of people, Phil. And “call out their bullshit” is a euphemistic turn of phrase.

          • Excitable Boy

            Are these other people free speech absolutists assholes? Do the HRC supporters harangue anyone that doesn’t suck up all their BS as Manna? Neera Tanden blocks someone for being belligerently rude right out of the gate. I can’t speak for the rest, but apparently you can for “a lot.”

            Did they blow $2m trying to primary out Blanche Lincoln with Bill Halter in a wave election for Republicans? Did they scrub the Internet of their early 2000s reactionary Republican writings?

            Keep up PePe.

            • Origami Isopod

              Given the shit that the Jackoff Bin crowd put Tanden through this year, I fully support her blocking people at the first hint that they’re going to go off on her.

              Keep up PePe.

              Like an IMAX that can’t capitalize correctly.

            • XTPD

              Check out his response to Drexciya downthread.

              • Origami Isopod

                I’m not seeing any other comment by “Excitable Boy” in this thread. Unless you mean to say he’s a sock of Phil’s or one of our other delightful guests.

                • XTPD

                  I was actually telling him to look at the response to Drex (I’m fairly certain EB is being sharply critical of Phil, given his past commentary)*, and your comment hadn’t shown up when I started typing.

                  Point is, even for Phil this is low, going from his standard purity-pony bullshit into straight-up UNCUCKED territory.

                  *On Erik’s “Burn Down the Media” post, he’s extremely incensed at Wong’s articles, while I considered them well-intentioned but stiff rather off-base.

                • Excitable Boy

                  My response was for Phil Perspective, Hence PP, PePe. The questions were for Glen Greenwald’s politically “astute” actions of the past.

                  How did it read any other way?

                • Origami Isopod

                  My apologies, EB, it was threaded directly in reply to me. Now that I’m re-reading it I see I parsed it incorrectly because I assumed you were jumping down my throat. Argh, sorry again.

    • Ben Murphy

      Glenn Greenwald, sentient ego of the white purity pony “left”.

      • cleek

        they’re not even of the ‘left’. they’re just people who mistake their own defensive cynicism for objective detachment.

        • urd

          Amazing that you are able to determine what people’s true motives are without even knowing them.

          You might want to stop projecting.

          • cleek

            Amazing that you are able to determine what people’s true motives are without even knowing them.

            You might want to stop projecting.

            you might want to try being less of a hypocrite.

        • Ben Murphy

          That’s why I was attempting sarcastiquotes. Maybe it should have been left.

    • urd

      Look, asshole, you’ve destroyed every single bit of credibility you’ve once had, and proven that no one with an ounce of brains should ever listen to a single thing you have to say.

      Really? Care to back that up? It’s clear you feel that way, but your statement hardly reflects reality.

      • Ask Me Gently

        “Reality” meaning there are many, many people such as yourself who thought it better to dump all over Clinton rather than do whatever it took to prevent a Trump victory and who still think Greenwald is the bee’s knees.

        Yeah, you might have a point.

        • urd

          Totally non-responsive to what I asked JMP.

          I guess when you’ve got noting else, evade.

          • Ask Me Gently

            How about you define the reality that JMP’s statement apparently does not reflect. I’d like to know what I’m “evading”.

            • urd

              The fact that it takes less than fives minutes on the Internet to find people that still find him quite credible and worth listening to. Maybe most people here feel the way JMP does, but that doesn’t support the claim that was made.

              You evaded the issue by going on a rant about people dumping all over Clinton and how I felt about Greenwald. None of which dealt with the issue at hand.

  • AdamPShort

    Only the very shallowest of analyses could possibly conclude that the Democrats list the 2016 presidential election because of bad PR tactics.

    If 2016 has any benefits at all (and I’m not one of these “everything happens for a reason” people so i don’t think it’s a given there are any) it’s to liberate us from this modem corporate idea that there is nothing that can’t be accomplished with slick branding.

    For many reasons the Democratic party has many serious disadvantages in American electoral politics. None of them are about the state of the Democratic “brand” or any other PR buzzword.

    • urd

      Actually, yes, the democratic “brand” is a large part of why the democrats are having issues. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t have had a relatively unknown independent/socialist candidate from Vermont give Clinton such a hard time during the primary.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        The Democratic Party has a net favorability rating 20 pts higher than the GOP.

        Their “brand” could be doing better, but the GOP’s is in the shitter.

        Your argument needs to account for the fact that the Democratic brand is a lot more popular.

        • urd

          If people could only choose between these two then I would agree with you.

          Your argument fails to take into account that people can ignore both parties.

          • Cheap Wino

            And your argument needs to account for the fact that people chose between those two parties.

            • urd

              Except that a rather significant number of voters didn’t do that. Pity that your response isn’t grounded in reality.

  • urd

    Here we go again.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time, however. Not only did you manage to go after Greenwald, whose core points you really don’t manage to disprove, but you bring up Comey again.

    I know Greenwald isn’t popular around here, and he has his faults, but he was one of the few voices that was consistently raising issues about the expansion of the security state under Obama. I find it curious that on such a critical matter this site was largely, quiet. And when it was raised it was often hard to tell if was criticism or a defense. But now that Drumpf is going to hold the reigns, I’ve seen a few posts about how horrible it all is. A little too late to care now.

    This issue you have with Greenwald seems strangely…personal.

    I also find the reference, again, to the popular vote sadly misplaced. Sorry to tell you, but no, it should be left out for two reasons. First, you have to win the electoral college, not the popular vote to become president. Second, Clinton had issues in that she won states with lower voter turnout.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/voter-turnout-fell-especially-in-states-that-clinton-won/

    This points to an inability of the democrats to motivate their base in a clearly critical election. So, instead of this being a positive, it’s actually a negative. It further shores up Greenwald’s point of a party in massive disarray that can’t even get its base out.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      what are you going on about? you wanted Trump, you got him. too bad you aren’t on a desert island together

      • urd

        No, I wanted Sanders.

        Try to get at least the basics straight. Oh, and it might help if you actually addressed the argument at hand, instead of making shit up about what other people said.

        • DrDick

          What argument? You present no evidence and provide no kind of logical argument (much like everything you write here). All you have is that you like Greenwald and everyone else should too or else they are just big meany stupids!

          • urd

            Please. I’ve provided link after link that was relevant to the discussion at hand. I’ve rarely received links or data in return to dispute my evidence; often I receive responses like yours.

            All you have is some incoherent rant about me wanting everyone to like Greenwald. Not exactly an argument…

            • DrDick

              I already had read the linked material before and it does nothing to actually support your assertions. Random links that you do not understand does not constitute evidence or make for a coherent argument.

        • At least Trump will help accelerate your desire for human extinction. Unfortunately I don’t think the feral cats will benefit from nuclear winter, either. You win some, you lose some, right?

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          no, you voted third party in November- or at least said you were going to- did you choke? if not, you wanted Trump. end of the story

          • urd

            I voted for Sanders in the election as a write-in candidate.

            • Bas-O-Matic

              So you voted for Trump, then.

            • Ask Me Gently

              I voted for Sanders in the election as a write-in candidate.

              Wow. There it is.

              That will be a fitting epitaph after you die prematurely from a Trump-related calamity.

              Smart guy like you, you must be familiar with the term “useful idiot”.

            • rhino

              So, you voted for Trump, as we thought. Nice work! This shit is your fault.

        • veleda_k

          No, I wanted Sanders.

          Oh please, no you didn’t. What you wanted was a magical socialist unicorn to wave their magic wand and make all the bad things go away. You just projected that onto Sanders, a career politician with a history of FEC violations and a connection to the NRA that would have had the left screaming in incoherent fury had his last name been Clinton. Not a bad person, but not the second coming of Karl Marx and Pete Seeger rolled into one either.

          • urd

            Yes, please tell me what I was thinking and what I wanted. That doesn’t come off badly at all.

            You might be the one with a projection problem.

        • Bruce B.

          Since you couldn’t get Sanders, you at least wanted to not get Clinton. And you didn’t. Since you presumably knew that someone would become president and it would be one of the two leading candidates, and since you put such effort into making it not Clinton, one should presume that this is a outcome more acceptable to you than Clinton winning.

          Even now, you’re putting all your effort – literally, all your effort – into explaining why it shouldn’t have been Clinton along with how she deserved it, and so did the rest of us. You can stop anytime. We get the message, we just disagree.

          You’ll harrumph about it, but you won’t be able to show us any particular pattern of noting in any way that, no matter how awful she might have been, Clinton would have been a better, more deserving president than Trump.

    • (((Hogan)))

      So the electoral college is the only thing that matters, but turnout in states Clinton won anyway is very very important.

      I don’t see how both those things can be true.

      • Ben Murphy

        Does it reflect badly on Hitlery? Then it's true.

      • urd

        Of course not because you are too busy ignoring what I said.

        The electoral college is all that matters, sadly. I’m not for it, but currently it’s the method in place.

        The low turnout level in states that Clinton won also matters because it points to the serious weakness in the democratic party.

        It’s not that hard to figure out.

    • delazeur

      This issue you have with Greenwald seems strangely…personal.

      Freddie deBoer and Greenwald get a disproportionate amount of flak around here. What do they have in common? They have both responded to criticism of their positions by showing up in the comments and lobbing insults at front-pagers and random commenters alike.

      Your contention that Greenwald is a wonderful person being unfairly ridiculed by this blog is laughable.

      • petesh

        Where is GG anyway? He’s catching some well-deserved flak here, and not responding? Seems unlike him.

        • Taylor

          Who do you think this Urdish troll is?

          • petesh

            Deep linguistic analysis — OK, word count — strongly suggests that Urdperson is not Glenn. Not enough irrelevant factoids (plenty but nowhere near enough) and far too few digressive and long-winded disparagements.

            • Origami Isopod

              Yeah, GG writes walls of text. Also, [T]urd’s … output, while aggressive, stupid, and aggressively stupid, lacks the perpetually peeved tone of an unrecognized savior of humanity who is not being given the adulation he so obviously deserves.

            • delazeur

              Urd reminds me of the sorts of people who think Sam Harris is really cool, hang out on Reddit/LessWrong/Star Slate Codex, and believe that arguments can be won by crying “ad hominem,” “you have the burden of proof,” and “you’re being illogical.”

      • urd

        Facts not in evidence; where did I say he was a wonderful person?

        hey have both responded to criticism of their positions by showing up in the comments and lobbing insults at front-pagers and random commenters alike.

        This is your justification? Please tell me you are kidding. If that is truly your position, then you must have issue with about 1/3 to 1/2 of people who comment here as lobbing insults is hardly a rare thing and not exclusive to Greenwald.

        • delazeur

          Do you really not understand the difference between private citizens hurling shit under pseudonyms and public “intellectuals” doing the same under their own names?

          • urd

            No, why don’t you explain it to me?

            If nothing else I find people doing it anonymously actually worse because there are no repercussions. And please tell me why when Greenwald does this it’s horrible, but when some of the public posters here do the same thing it’s okay.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Repeating your silly, evidence-free assertions at greater length doesn’t make them any better.

      • urd
        • Slothrop2

          Thank you for demonstrating that sophisticated liberals are just as likely to reject perception-challenging facts in order to retain ideological purity.

          Shitty politician who lost to a complete fraud. It’s also worth noting over and over again that she lost the election because she underperformed among minority and young voters.

          People who voted for HRC in the primaries have only themselves to blame for Trump.

  • Cheerful

    On the general topic of responses, I was at a meeting in Seattle last night of about 300-350 people organized on the topic of How to Respond. The panel was a set of local journalists, The Stranger, the Emerald, Crosscut. The audience was overwhelmingly composed of progressives anxious to find some solution to all this.

    And the statements by the panelists, and the audience was composed nearly in its entirety in examining privilege, thinking of ways in their personal life to challenge privilege, diversifying journalism, reaching beyond an informational bubble and reaching out to Trump voters.

    There was not a single word spoken from the dais, or from the audience (at least until I piped up) about how to oppose the nomination of Sessions, or Flynn. How, practically, to oppose, the legislation that is going to crash down on January 20th. There were no representatives of the Democratic party there, and no mention (until I piped up) of working with the Democratic party on ways of opposition.

    Introspection is great. Empathy is a good long term strategy. Examining the failures of the Clinton campaign & the weaknesses of the Democratic party must be done to do better in the future.

    But it kills me that all this interest and energy in resistance is not being lead by a political organization that already exists, has offices in every state and many people in a position of power. The Democrats have to reach out, and do it soon. And those who are angry and energized should start packing Democratic party meetings.

    As for Greenwald. Fuck him. There doesn’t seem to be the slightest chance he will play a productive role in opposition.

    • urd

      I was with you until the personal attack on Greenwald. If you think he will not play a productive role going forward you either don’t bother to read what he has posted lately on Twitter and ignore the work of the Intercept in general, or you are being intellectually dishonest and dismissing his role because of personal bias.

      • Cheerful

        Fair enough. I would be delighted if he plays a productive role. Tell me what he has posted lately on Twitter that is productive and I will praise it.

        I also do, it is true, ignore the work of the Intercept in general because life is short.

        ETA though to be clear my malediction contre GG is specific to the post noted above and as further discussed by Drex below. For the reasons they note.

        • XTPD

          Sam Biddle and Liliana Segura are by-and-large solid columnists, but for the most part the rest of the Intercept is too VICE-bro toxic to make it worth reading.

        • urd

          I do appreciate the honest response.

          There are several tweets today that I think would demonstrate this; it would be easy enough to check it out.

          Can I ask why you find the work of the Intercept not worth the time? While far from perfect, their coverage of the security state is work no one else is doing.

          • Cheerful

            I don’t tweet and I don’t spend time following tweets unless they are brought to my attention. I am just old school I guess.

            So if GG has said something productive recently please tell me. And by productive I mean actually producing an effective response in January.

            I don’t follow the Intercept because until recently I was not aware of it. When I did become aware and glanced through it, it’s primary editorial attitude seemed to be how equally terrible Clinton and Trump were, and how equally terrible Obama and Bush were, and how equally terrible the future would be under Republicans and Democrats. A broad brush, true, but I am reporting only on the tone.

            Since I find that level of analysis sophomoric, I wasn’t too attracted to keep reading. If there are particular items of substance, my guess I will seem them in other venues.

            • liberalrob

              Glenn Greenwald’s career stretches out many years prior to The Intercept even existing. He gets a bad rep here because he criticizes Democrats for not measuring up to their stated principles.

              On many civil liberties issues, Obama has been equally terrible to Bush. Obama has continued (and ramped up) the drone operations begun by Bush. Obama has not reined in the NSA. Obama has prosecuted whistleblowers at an alarming rate. In most other respects Obama has been a vastly superior president to Bush and to any of the GOP alternatives in 2008 and 2012. And if he’s asked I’m sure Glenn would agree.

              Now, about this:

              And by productive I mean actually producing an effective response in January.

              This is unrealistic. Glenn Greenwald is not (yet) a journalist with the influence of an Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. In fact no such journalists exist anymore. Glenn is just one small voice in the cacophany; but it’s a voice I and many others like to hear.

        • liberalrob

          Tell me what he has posted lately on Twitter that is productive and I will praise it.

          Nothing posted on Twitter, by anyone, is in the least bit productive.

          Not. One. Thing.

          • geniecoefficient

            Nah. For example, some Twitter jackass will bray at Greenwald, “You luuurve Trump!!!1!”. And he answers, “You love Pol Pot and the Nazis, plus you have posters on your wall of Idi Amin.” It makes me smile every time, not least because you can hear the nitwit sputtering and hyperventilating straight across the intertubes. 60% of them miss the point and keep blubbering away in confused outrage.

            So there’s that! More seriously, your statement about Twitter is wrong, wrong, so very wrong.

      • Dr. Waffle

        Bernie lost by nearly four million votes, and got his ass handed to him in open primaries. Candidates who ran on platforms similar to Bernie’s (Feingold, Teachout, and Crumpton) all lost their respective races.

        Hillary lost for many reasons, but NEEDS MOAR SOCIALISM isn’t one of them.

        • Dr. Waffle

          Whoops. Meant to post this upthread in response to urd.

        • urd

          Yeah, so clearly the freak out by the DNC and the Clinton campaign about Sanders’ popularity was nothing.

          It also helps when the DNC is being far from impartial. While I have no idea if he would’ve beat Clinton if it were a level playing field, I do know that the deck was stacked against him. And not because of who he was, but because it was “her turn”.

          • delazeur

            It’s time to move on, whiner.

            • urd

              Time to wake up, denier.

              • Taters

                because the Jewish Socialist would have clearly faced no head-winds besides Hillary. I don’t know how to do sarcasm font, but you could probably tell.

                • XTPD

                  The code icon

            • RonC

              delazeur, one goes back to the way the primaries were run simply as a response to people who keep saying that: Well Clinton won the popular vote there, so that shows that she would have done better than Bernie in the general.”

          • (((Hogan)))

            By “level playing field,” I assume you mean “Clinton doesn’t spend any time before the Sanders announcement getting ready to run for president by raising money and asking for endorsements.”

            • urd

              No, by level playing field I mean:

              1. Not having the DNC actively working to make Clinton the nominee.

              2. Isn’t working with the MSM to promote Clinton over Sanders.

              3. Isn’t feeding debate questions to Clinton before the event.

              • Dr. Waffle

                There’s not a shred of evidence that mean DNC emails cost Bernie a single vote. And Bernie was mostly successful in winning caucuses, over which the DNC has more control. Hillary was mostly successful in winning primaries, which the DNC has less control of.

                Fucking elections, how do they work?

                • urd

                  And there’s not a shred of evidence it didn’t. My point was the process was tainted so we will never know. Yes, lets look at the caucuses vs argument and ignore the general tenor and backdrop of what the DNC was doing.

                  Fucking logic, how does it work?

                • veleda_k

                  And there’s not a shred of evidence it didn’t

                  Oh, is that how we’re playing it?

                  Well, can anyone prove that Bernie Sanders wasn’t actually an alien monster wearing the skin of a senator from Vermont, who would have devoured our hearts had he won the nomination? Can anyone prove that negative?

                  Myself, I assume it to be true based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

              • 1. Not having the DNC actively working to make Clinton the nominee.

                You are a liar.

                • urd

                  Hardly, feel free to look at the info Wikileaks released on the matter.

                  Otherwise great rebuttal.

                • Brien Jackson

                  I think most of us are familiar with it. You’re just a pro-Trump crybaby.

                • There’s nothing in the DNC leak that shows they worked to make Clinton the nominee. You’re the one making an unproven claim; the burden rests on you to produce evidence from it.

                  You cannot do this because there is no evidence, and you are lying.

                • urd

                  From your response it’s fairly clear you’re not familiar with it. Pro-Trump…really? Once again, when arguments fail, resort to personal attacks.

                  An oldie, but goodie.

                  Once again not true. The Wikileaks dump has several items that do support the DNC position as pro Clinton and I’ve posted links before.

                  If you choose not to read, it hardly makes me a liar.

                • The Wikileaks dump has several items that do support the DNC position as pro Clinton

                  actively working to make Clinton the nominee

                  “Some DNC staffers were openly pro-Clinton/critical of Sanders” is not the same thing as “actively working to make Clinton the nominee.” Thank you for conceding the point.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  The Wikileaks dump has several items that do support the DNC position as pro Clinton and I’ve posted links before.

                  I can deal with this trouble, friends, with a wave of my hand, this very hand! Please observe me if you will. I’m Professor Harold Hill, and I’m here to organize the River City Boys’ Band!

                • urd

                  Actually, in this case being pro Clinton and working towards her winning the nomination are equally bad. Read the emails, you might actually learn something.

          • Dr. Waffle

            urd on the results of the Democratic primary: “Bernie lost because of a CONSPIRACY!”

            urd on the results of the presidential election: “No outside inference here, nosiree.”

            • delazeur

              Well, yeah, that’s because urd’s preferred candidate won the presidential election.

              • urd

                I notice you completely fail to back that statement up.

                My preferred candidate was Sanders.

                • cleek

                  Sanders never ran for President.

                  he ran for the Democratic nomination, which was a completely different race. and he lost.

                • urd

                  And I was completely free to vote for him in the presidential election, which I did.

                  So he was still my preferred candidate and I voted accordingly.

                • delazeur

                  So he was still my preferred candidate and I voted accordingly.

                  You voted for Trump, you fucking deplorable, and you share responsibility for the consequences of his election.

                • urd

                  Reading comprehension – please give it a try. I voted for Sanders.

                  Don’t presume to lecture me, I share no responsibility for him being elected. I voted in a state that went for Clinton as soon as the polls closed. If anything, you act more like a fucking deplorable in how you engage people that don’t agree with you.

                • Cheap Wino

                  If you don’t understand that your vote for Sanders in the general was effectively a vote for Trump then you are indeed a very stupid person.

                • urd

                  And if you don’t understand how the electoral college works then you are far more stupid than I.

              • urd

                Misplaced comment – relocated.

            • urd

              No, my point was there is no way to know what the outcome would have been. It was tainted from the start, pure and simple.

              As for the presidential election: No, not enough to matter when compared to the self inflicted wounds and political mistakes that were made by the Clinton campaign.

              • Darkrose

                Love the way you’re dismissing the choice of the Dem voters who chose other than Bernie I didn’t vote for Hillary because the DNC mind-controlled me into it. I voted for Hillary because I thought she was the better candidate, based on the available evidence (what both of them said).

                • cleek

                  purity as performance art.

                  it’s all the rage these days.

        • RonC

          During the primaries the entire Democratic establishment backed Clinton: that includes the Black leadership, Hispanic, union, and women’s leaders, not just the politicians. I would suggest that this does explain at least some of the votes cast.

          As far as the fact that progressive/liberals lost, that could well be explained by claiming that they are too far left for the people. Although when the head of the party crashes and burns you gotta figure on some collateral damage.

          • urd

            Really? It might be news to these people:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bernie_Sanders_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2016

            And in any case, the DNC is not the voting public. In fact that is one of the current problems.

            • (((Hogan)))

              Ah, Noam Chomsky and Bill Maher, longstanding members of the Democratic establishment.

              • urd

                Ahh, so I guess you skipped the first part of the page that had elected democrats listed?

                Your confirmation bias is showing.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  Yes, I did notice there was one former cabinet member, two senators (one current, one former), ten or so representatives, seven international unions (only one of which had more than 250K members and four of which had more than 50K), etc. I was trying to spare your feelings.

                • urd

                  Spare my feelings? Doubtful.

                  I think you just got sloppy; RonC said:

                  the entire Democratic establishment backed Clinton

                  which I proved to be false.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  He got endorsed by six of the 250 or so members of the DNC. I think RonC’s mild hyperbole was within acceptable limits.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Six? Why was the DNC trying to rig the primary for Bernie?

        • efc

          Well clearly the Democratic Primaries were very indicative of the general electorate Clinton needed to win. It’s not like Sanders won the primaries in states Clinton lost.

          Anyway. With the level of political polarization the idea the losses of Feingold and Teachout say anything other than Clinton had no coattails is a stretch. Teachout lost by ~9 points but most of the counties in her district went for trump. Some by double digits. Feingold was in a state that went for trump. Is there any state where non-incumbent Dem candidates outperformed Clinton? It’s a genuine question. I really don’t know.

          I had to look up Crumpton. Do you mean the AL senate candidate? Oh my god, a Democratic senate candidate in Alabama lost to an incumbent republican. What a meaningful result.

          If this election shows anything, it’s the electorate in important swing states is begging for more training schemes and tax deductions that require one to shop around a marketplace and fill out 6 forms while dancing in the moonlight during the 3rd Saturday in May for exactly 7 minutes. And trade deals with promises of some unspecified sweetener for workers in the future. Lots more of those.

          • Dr. Waffle

            Wait, I thought the secret to unlocking the economically anxious/secret socialist bloc was to give them left-wing populism? They must have rejected Feingold, Teachout, and Crumpton because they there weren’t left-wing *enough*. Yeah, that’s definitely the reason.

            • efc

              Or… they rejected the dem party as a whole because practically no one splits their ticket anymore. And Clinton really brought out the troops! Especially in states that matter. But who cares about states? It only matters Clinton got more votes overall because there is some sort of super secret consolation prize you get for winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college. Ask Al Gore!

              But keep on punching. Yeah, that’s it. The Democratic Party needs to keep doing what it’s doing since it controls so many levers of power in the United States. To the barricades…for complicated means tested market based tax credit welfare programs! And trade deals where the winners will talk about compensating the losers a whole lot but never actually do it.

              • Dr. Waffle

                You’re right. From now on, the Democrats should embrace the deeply inspiring populist message espoused by a certain Donald J. Trump. We were so silly to believe that Hillary’s platform, what with its proposals for raising taxes on the rich and strengthening collective bargaining rights, could beat such stirring appeals to the proletariat like “American workers make too much money” and “I would not raise the minimum wage.” If only she had embraced the progressive rhetoric of the Trump campaign . . .

                • efc

                  Totally dude. The vulcan like electorate assimilated the platform information like a computer without considering any other information. That’s why there haven’t been any articles about Comey, white people, Clinton as a candidate and her decades of baggage, which candidate was “trusted” by the voters, etc.

                  If people don’t like the messenger it must be the content of the message. That’s the only possible explanation.

                  In all seriousness (because this snarky bullshit is fucking tiring), people apparently didn’t compare and contrast the specifics. In the places where it mattered (areas of great lakes states which voted for Obama at least once if not twice) people were not parsing the fine policy details or even the off hand remarks. They looked at the headline and trump was successful in making his headline “I’m on your side” no matter what the details of the actual “story” revealed.

                  That your take away people were looking for a more “centrist” economic message is mind boggling. Or you were just making a pissy remark to egg on your internal political enemies. Nice job, you rock!

                • Who is saying Clinton should have run on a more centrist message? As far as I can tell, the only claim being made is that running a more overtly left-wing campaign would not have led to victory, despite claims to that effect from certain internet lefties.

              • Or… they rejected the dem party as a whole because practically no one splits their ticket anymore.

                So an economically progressive platform is insufficient to actually win elections, because there are overriding electoral effects more powerful than policy preferences. Thanks for the confirmation.

                • efc

                  Yes, by itself not sufficient. Is that supposed to be some “oh, snap!” insight? That’s kind of a big part of the “Sanders could have won argument” (regardless of if it is correct). Sanders could have been, for various reasons, a better vessel for the Democratic party platform on mostly due to the appearance of consistency and “trustworthiness”.

                • Yes. Sanders may have done better than Clinton, but not because of his policy positions. If you agree with that, I think everyone in this thread is just shouting past each other.

                • liberalrob

                  It was highly unlikely that Sanders was ever going to be the nominee. It was a miracle that he did as well as he did.

                  It’s useless to argue about whether he would have done better against Trump. He wasn’t running against Trump. He was running against Hillary, and he lost. That decision was made by the voters. Trump winning was also a decision made by the voters, not a majority of them overall, but a majority of them in enough states for Trump to win in the Electoral College. Going back and re-fighting the primaries endlessly is not going to change that.

                  I think everyone in this thread is just shouting past each other.

                  “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!”

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            They lost by larger margins than Clinton did. I looked at the data for Teachout, and although I can’t know the exact Congressional district split at this time (since that district contains partial counties), it seemed very unlikely mathematically that Teachout could’ve outperformed Clinton.

            I’m sure that if Clinton had won their states/districts, they would’ve done better, because of the lack of ticket splitting. But if their message was a winning message, then they ought to have at least done better than Clinton did, even if they couldn’t win.

            You know which Democrats did better than Clinton? Jason Kander in Missouri. By a huge margin (15 pts better). Roy Cooper in NC, by about 4 pts. It was not impossible to outperform her. But those candidates were definitely not running Bernie-style campaigns.

            Jim Justice in WV outperformed her by 50 pts! But he was running the opposite of a Bernie-style campaign.

            At the very least, this presents a problem for the hypothesis that Clinton lost because of insufficient leftism.

            Perhaps you can explain why that is.

            • petesh

              Hmmm, no response. Wonder why. Thanks for the data; and do you have any conclusions to draw from in?

    • delazeur

      There were no representatives of the Democratic party there, and no mention (until I piped up) of working with the Democratic party on ways of opposition.

      I think there is a strong leftist element in Seattle, epitomized by Kshama Sawant, that cares more about ideological purity than practicality.

      • Origami Isopod

        Seattle, Portland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Cambridge…

        • petesh

          Hey, a word for “Santa Cruz for Bernie,” to whom I do not belong and with some of whose members I have strong disagreements. To their credit, they fully committed to a slate of progressive candidates in the City Council election (which I strongly support), and it looks like two of the four won. It’s a tight race and vote counting is not complete.

          • Origami Isopod

            Oh, I’m not saying that nobody in those cities takes a practical approach to politics. But they’re pretty well known for their white lefty purity wankers.

            • petesh

              Oh, yes! :-)

        • cleek

          Seattle, Portland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Cambridge…

          … the internet.

    • Origami Isopod

      How were your comments received? I’m curious.

      • Cheerful

        There was applause, though of course that was true of other remarks. I made my comments in the portion of how we were all committing ourselves to act in the future – my commitment was to keep calling my senators (others commitments tended to be along personal lines of not being as racist, or being open about who they were, or about trying to reach out to Trump voters).

        I wrote down questions for the panel along the same lines, but the question was not read. Afterwards, one other guy came up to shake my head, like me a citizen, and I told him some ideas of who to call and how.

        ANd afterwards I approached a couple of the journalists, one from The Stranger and the other from Cross cut to urge them to ask the Democratic party to hold forums, and to generally declaim my point. They received me sympathetically and politely and perhaps oe or the other will actually ask a Democratic party official at some point why they are not holding forums, but then again it did not seem to be highly interesting to either journalist.

        So, yeah, not negative, but not highly positive. Like hitting wet tennis balls against a wall.

        • Origami Isopod

          Sigh. Well, it’s better than hostility, and you got one person who’s interested in doing things.

  • Drexciya

    Greenwald has an extended interview with Scahill where he elaborates on his thoughts, and as with all of Greenwald’s post election takes and descriptions so far, it’s quite telling:

    I was particularly disturbed by the way that they were casting and maligning essentially all of the people who had committed the sin of voting what they regarded as the wrong way by simply dismissing them all as primitive or troglodyte or racist or misogynist. Even though of course many of them are, many of them are not, and even for the ones that do have that as part of their motive, there are independently of that a lot of long, deep trends that have destroyed the welfare and economic security of tens of millions of people and put them into a mindset where they want to destroy this system of authority that they blame. I think that is what caused Brexit and I think to a large degree that’s what’s caused Trump.

    BR: But at a broader level, we need to keep in mind as context the fact that she did win the popular vote in the country. So this is an important discussion about the Rust Belt and these economically punished communities and I think we have to reckon with that, but at the same time, the popular vote showed how there’s large support in this country for a politics of tolerance, of progressivism, around culture issues, around gender and race, and we should keep that in mind because that coalition is going to be an important bulwark against the hate that Trump represents.

    GG: Yeah, she did win the popular vote; I think she probably will end up winning the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes or so. So a relatively small margin. A big reason why she’s going to win the popular vote is because the number of votes she received in places like New York City and California increase significantly over what even Obama received in large part obviously due to fear and horror over the prospect of a Trump presidency. But I think that that’s really cold comfort for a couple of reasons. Number one is because campaigns don’t cater themselves to the popular vote but to the Electoral College. Who knows what the popular vote total would have been had Trump spent time in California or New York trying to increase his vote total in those places. He instead ignored those as he should have done and we have an Electoral College system, that’s where the campaigns devote themselves to winning.

    And then, the other aspect of it is that it isn’t just this election. If you look at like the Democratic Party’s problems, it isn’t just the fact that Hillary Clinton just lost to Donald Trump. They are also a minority in the House, a minority in the Senate. They have a record low number of governorships. And then on the state level in terms of state legislatures and even like county commissions and city councils and school boards Republicans are completely dominant.

    So it’s really a systemic failure on the part of the Democratic Party. So yes, Hillary Clinton won a couple hundred thousand more votes because a lot of people in Manhattan and Los Angeles and San Francisco turned out.

    I don’t even really know where to start. I’m just going to say it’s interesting that he only gives narrative and democratic legitimacy to the party and candidate that won by a “couple hundred thousand votes” (give or take two million). I think it’s interesting that he defines populous, diverse cities and states by their richest, whitest centers, and overlooks the progressive sensibility/support of the working class and minority people who reside in them and voted overwhelmingly for the candidate he says garnered no excitement or support. I think it’s interesting how fully he discounts racist appeals and the racially distinct responses to those racist appeals from his analysis of what people voted for and, indeed, frames it as condescending to actually describe that dynamic accurately. I think it’s interesting how he uses “elite,” as many have begun to, in a dangerously broad light that groups the preferences of the non-white working class with that of the the establishment and wealthy in an act that’s intended to both obscure white agency, immunize it from moral judgment, present what people of color support as outside of the consensus of “Real Americans” (which never includes them) and to extricate all parties from moral accountability and introspection for those decisions. I don’t understand how a healthy left can form or how a healthy left exists if any of this is acceptable.

    • aturner339

      Yes GG was defending a whole lot more than his perogative to shout “DRONEZ” at Hillary.

      This was a full on defense of white backlash.

      • Drexciya

        This was a full on defense of white backlash.

        Which, it must be said, a hefty portion of the white left is doing right now. There isn’t a single imposition of the “economic anxiety/they’re mad at elites/they’re being condescended to” narrative that isn’t marketing the legitimacy of white backlash by using the language that’s been popularized and mainstreamed to obscure its centrality.

        • Phil Perspective

          Which, it must be said, a hefty portion of the white left is doing right now.

          You do know that there is more to the left than a bunch of white guys, right?

          • McAllen

            Which mught be why Drexciya said a hefty portion of the white left.

          • Drexciya

            Yes. That’s why I’m being specific about who my criticism is directed toward.

            • Phil Perspective

              LOL!! I’d be curious to know the percentages. I doubt white guys make up a great deal of it. But what ever makes you feel good.

              • McAllen

                How many do there have to be before they’re worthy of criticism?

                • Excitable Boy

                  All of them plus a few more.

    • McAllen

      I was particularly disturbed by the way that they were casting and maligning essentially all of the people who had committed the sin of voting what they regarded as the wrong way by simply dismissing them all as primitive or troglodyte or racist or misogynist.

      This isn’t unique to Greenwald by any means, but it’s still outrageous. It’s not like we were voting for our favorite flavor of ice cream. Millions of people choose to vote for a man who’s stated desire is to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, is to refuse entry to muslims, is for the state to execute five innocent black and latino men. Either they wanted those things as well, or they just weren’t important enough for them to care, and we’re all going to be faced with this man as president. That deserves anger, that deserves condemnation, and fuck Greenwald for acting like their vote is beyond reproach.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’d be interested to know his basis for the claim that increased mobilization of voters in New York and Califirnia would help Trump. That couldn’t possibly make less sense.

      • efc

        I’m not really understanding your interpretation of what GG said. He seems to be saying trump may have done better in the popular vote if he had campaigned for votes in the more populous areas and big cities if there was an electoral incentive for trump to do so.

        If you look at this 3d map from Buzzfeed it shows there were huge swings to trump in places like Long Island. Maybe there were more trump voters in the NYC area, for example, who would have voted if we used a popular vote rather than the electoral college system. I don’t think the idea people in strongly gop or Dem states are disincentivized from voting because their vote “won’t count” if they don’t vote for the most powerful party is particularly novel or controversial.

        • Cheerful

          What is annoying about this analysis is not recognizing that if Clinton was going after the popular vote she’d have been in California and New York (and Texas) too. What is to say she couldn’t have increased the number of votes received in those locations?

          • efc

            Of course, so?

            Both candidates were running a campaign to win the electoral college because that is the system by which we choose the president. If they were running for the popular vote they both would have run different campaigns and received different amounts of votes from different areas.

            But only one candidate or their supporters are saying winning the popular vote when the popular vote doesn’t decide anything nor was the object (ostensibly) of either campaign is somehow meaningful.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            The better argument to make, if you were so inclined, is that Trump was hurt in California by the absence of a Republican senatorial candidate on the general election ballot (altho that’s not guaranteed to goose GOP turnout, since the GOP candidate might be a sure loser). That could explain why turnout was down and Clinton did better than Obama in California without relying on such a silly argument. It doesn’t explain turnout in other blue states, however. (Also, they’re not finished counting in California, and turnout looks like it will end up pretty similar to 2012 in the end.)

            But it’s total speculation to say that Trump would’ve won the popular vote without the Electoral College. Given the suboptimal distribution of Democratic voters, it seems unlikely that boosting turnout nationally would be a benefit to him.

            I grant that it wouldn’t be guaranteed. Still, the default assumption has to be that she would’ve been in a stronger position based on the fact that she did win it.

            • Epsilon

              Agreed with all this.

              It’s really fucking annoying listening to all the Electoral College devotees spouting nonsense like “It’s a consitutional republic, not a democracy!” before devolving into “Everyone plays by the same rules!”

              It’s like nobody wants to actually grapple with the fact that we have an utterly absurd anti-democratic mechanism by which to decide the one representative that every citizen of the country is responsible for. Whether it’s just bizarre ex-post facto justifications that the Founding Fathers must have done this for a good reason, or even worse, seeing these specific circumstances as somehow proof positive of the system’s wisdom (Of course an unprecedentedly unqualified white supremacist sexual assaulting fraudster and unrepentant con man reflects the choice of REAL Americans.)

              Your point “the default assumption has to be that she would’ve been in a stronger position based on the the fact that she did win it” can’t be emphasized enough. It really seems like people think that the fact that Trump managed to squeak out a total margin of 150,000 votes across three particular states means that his brilliant campaign would OBVIOUSLY have made up over 2,000,000 votes across the country if every vote counted the same no matter what state it came from.

            • efc

              I’m not arguing for anything. I just didn’t understand what Scott was complaining about. It seemed like GG was making a pretty anodyne point about how Clinton won the popular vote at least in part because trump had no need to try and get votes from the most populous states because those states were never going to vote for him even if he spent all his efforts there.

              I certainly wasn’t saying trump would have won the popular vote if he had concentrated in maximizing the number of votes he got.

              I agree Clinton would probably win the popular vote if the popular vote decided the election and both candidates were trying to maximize their raw vote totals regardless of which states provided the votes.

              • ForkyMcSpoon

                But GG’s point isn’t anodyne, because saying she won it “in part” because Trump didn’t campaign in states like California assumes that it would’ve been closer if president was done by popular vote.

                I don’t grant that. It’s also plausible that her popular vote lead would’ve been larger if we had a popular vote system. Noting that Trump would’ve campaigned in more states doesn’t in itself suggest that he would’ve done better, because Clinton also would’ve campaigned in California, and New York and Texas and Illinois, etc. The campaign would’ve been different, which doesn’t in itself suggest that it would’ve been more favorable to either side.

                You have to make an argument about turnout variation between red and blue states, how voters in those non-swing states would’ve reacted to their campaigns, and who had more upside in those places overall and how it might affect strategic voting.

                Absent any such argument, I would default to it being neutral overall.

                One argument I could make that it would favor Democrats is that blue states would have stronger incentives to increase voter turnout by passing things like automatic voter registration.

                • liberalrob

                  But GG’s point isn’t anodyne, because saying she won it “in part” because Trump didn’t campaign in states like California assumes that it would’ve been closer if president was done by popular vote.

                  That’s not what he said. He said Trump didn’t campaign in states like California because he wasn’t going to win them anyway. He said we have no idea what the vote totals would have been had he campaigned there, but it’s irrelevant because the electoral college system pushes campaigns towards “battleground states” and California is not one. Hillary could have gotten 100% of the vote in California and it would not have made a difference.

                • Little Chak

                  The fact that the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, are adamantly against having the President be elected by a popular vote, makes me lean toward it not being neutral.

                  There is one group that benefits from voter suppression, voter ID laws, and the like.

                  There is one group that always does better in elections with lower turnout.

                  There is one group that has an out-sized influence in Congress because they took gerrymandering to a whole new level in 2010 and ratfucked the House into partisan oblivion, packing Democrats into fewer and fewer hyper-Democratic districts in a brazen display of open hostility to democracy.

                  Bottom line: there is a reason that it is red states and swing states that aren’t joining the blue states that want to pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.

        • Scott Lemieux

          I’m not really understanding your interpretation of what GG said. He seems to be saying trump may have done better in the popular vote if he had campaigned for votes in the more populous areas and big cities if there was an electoral incentive for trump to do so.

          I understand the point you and Glenn are making just fine; it’s merely transparently wrong. In an election with a national popular vote, more voters in the large states (NY, CA, TX) not being contested would have voted because both candidates would have been competing in them. The idea that this would have helped Trump is insane. In a national popular vote system Clinton’s margin almost certainly would have been greater, and the idea that Trump could have gained a net 2 million votes is silly.

          • liberalrob

            It’s kind of a long journey from

            Who knows what the popular vote total would have been had Trump spent time in California or New York trying to increase his vote total in those places.

            to

            …the idea that Trump could have gained a net 2 million votes is silly.

            Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. We do not know, and we will not know, because

            …campaigns don’t cater themselves to the popular vote but to the Electoral College.

            Glenn was not saying Trump might have done better in an election with a national popular vote. He never mentioned a national popular vote system at all. He said Hillary winning by large margins in California and New York are cold comfort because she still lost the other states she needed to win. I don’t see anything transparently wrong about that.

    • Just by using the word bro we condemned all men as sexist and racist, and therefore we threw the election. Nostrā culpā.

  • The RNC’s willingness to admit its own failures led to a comprehensive 1oo-page report, issued only a few months after its 2012 defeat, that was unflinching in its self-critique.

    GOP: Hey, everyone thinks we’re assholes. [Continues to be assholes.]
    GG: SUCH BRAVERY!

    The bar is so low it has giant tubeworms growing on it.

    • Ben Murphy

      The bar is so low it has giant tubeworms growing on it.

      Is it too late for Trump to be replaced by Leto II?

      • McAllen

        At this point I might take Vladimir Harkonnen.

        • Excitable Boy

          I saw his variety show in the late ’80s or the early ’90s at the Father Coughlin-Irene Ryan Dinner Theater in Branson, MO. The chicken fried steaks was scrumptious, but the Borscht was subpar.

    • liberalrob

      Well, let’s see what the DNC’s comprehensive report on the 2016 defeat looks like. There will be one, right?

  • Memphis Jay

    Just dropping in to point out that, though Greenwald effusively praised the RNC autopsy, he conveniently leaves out the action plan to enact voter suppression measures unprecedented since the enactment of the VRA. Real man of the people, that. It’s funny how True Pure Leftists completely ignore history and institutions in their analysis.

    • guthrie

      Strangely, I thought leftists did almost nothing but consider history and institutions in their analyses, especially Marxists. The logical conclusion is that GG is not a leftist…

      • petesh

        GG is an advocate. His political philosophy (if he has one) seems to be an incoherent mishmash of positions on issues.

        • Origami Isopod

          Didn’t he say once he never really cared about politics until Bush II’s first term? When he was in his mid-30s, I think? That’s kind of late in life to start building a foundation of knowledge about politics in general.

          • liberalrob

            I think there’s some leeway between “building a foundation of knowledge about politics in general” and “really caring about politics.” And what is your basis for thinking mid-thirties is late in life to get serious about politics?

    • Scott Lemieux

      he conveniently leaves out the action plan to enact voter suppression measures unprecedented since the enactment of the VRA.

      Well, since the only variable that determines the outcome of elections is the campaign tactics of Democratic candidates, I don’t see why a little racist vote suppression is worth worrying about.

  • Well, Greenwald is insulated from anything Trump does by a vast number of factors. He certainly doesn’t have to worry about being affected by any of Trump’s future policies — he’s white, he’s rich, he doesn’t even live in the United States anymore, and he can present plenty of evidence that he’s a longtime supporter of Trump and Putin.

    So Trump’s policies will cause gay kids to commit suicide, Hispanics and Muslims to die in concentration camps, and unarmed black kids to be shot by cops? Greenwald can comfort himself that they weren’t ideologically pure enough. He’ll probably save the videos so he can watch them over and over.

    • Phil Perspective

      He certainly doesn’t have to worry about being affected by any of Trump’s future policies — he’s white, he’s rich, he doesn’t even live in the United States anymore, ….

      I love how assholes bring this up. You do know why he ended up in Brazil, right? Also, too, Brazil isn’t exactly heaven on earth for someone like him at the moment considering what a mess the government is.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Agreed. GG is stupid, but not because he’s in Brazil.

        (As I understand it, he moved to Brazil to be with his boyfriend, before they could get married in the US. As someone who was an exile for 10 years because of my SO’s visa issues, I sympathize. But I also note that the original issue is no longer a thing, so if he’s in Brazil now, it’s basically because he wants to be for some reason.)

        • urd

          Umm, that reason would be his partner?

          And considering the treatment his boyfriend got in the UK, I’m not sure either one of them want to risk what might happened if they moved to the US.

          • Gregor Sansa

            Right, but you said “Brazil isn’t exactly heaven on earth for someone like him at the moment”, as if he had no choice. At this time, he does have a choice. I absolutely agree that whatever choice he makes, we have NO standing to criticize or even opine. I agree with your main point 100%. But I don’t agree with your “heaven on earth” wording.

            • urd

              I said no such thing.

              But I would say that between living in Brazil and living in the US, Brazil is likely the lesser of two evils. Would seem to be a good enough reason.

              • Ask Me Gently

                Just as long as someone doesn’t vote for “the lesser of two evils” it’s all good, right?

      • Bruce B.

        A bunch of us wouldn’t bring up his moving to Brazil on account of wanting to share his life with the person he loves if it had led him to show any interest in the well-being of people who are also in love with someone whom society thinks they ought not love but lack the opportunity to move away. It turns out that poor people, sick people, non-white people also want to share life and love, but don’t get to, and this seems not to matter to him – certainly not enough for it to weigh in the balance when it’s time to assess how much of a creep Clinton is and why it doesn’t matter if she loses to Trump.

        • Origami Isopod

          Agreed.

          He reminds me a lot of Andrew Sullivan in this way.

  • Phil Perspective

    Scott:
    How is the Democratic Party not a mess? Have you looked at the party at the state level? Have you not noticed what has happened the past 6 years? Do you not watch any of the commercials Democratic candidates put out? The ones put out by candidates in the state I live in were dreadful. A waste of money.

    • petesh

      For candidates, etc, we have to work from the ground up. At a broader level, I offer you California. It’s not so long since we elected a Rep strongman (literally!) with no experience to replace a Dem bureaucrat. Dems now have Sacramento nailed. Certain counties vote Rep, but the majority is secure — in fact so secure that I can imagine it fracturing. My point: This too shall pass.

      • urd

        CA is a bad example; it has been locked down for a while now and is fairly unique.

        To Phil’s point, this is why the democrats should be concerned:
        http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/306736-dems-hit-new-low-in-state-legislatures

        It may indeed pass, but it’s not like there is a lot of time left.

        • petesh

          No, CA is an excellent example. This was Reagan’s state. And Schwarzenegger was governor from 2003 to 2011. Yes, it’s locked down now (for the moment) but that hasn’t been so long.

          • urd

            No, still a bad example. It’s been locked down for almost 15 years, which with term limits in play makes a strong statement. And Schwarzenegger wasn’t a typical GOP candidate, who got elected on a bullshit recall vote.

            • petesh

              Gee, what do you think “locked down” means? That the recall vote didn’t count?

              • urd

                It didn’t. Just because the democrats had control didn’t prevent them from being their own worst enemy. Cruz Bustamante ran against Davis which was one of the key factors in his loss.

                So once again, the democrats had it “locked down”. They screwed themselves in the recall.

            • Michael Cain

              California is the example for the West — win the suburbs and you win it all, lose the ‘burbs and you lose.

              In the almost 30 years I’ve lived in Colorado, the state has shifted substantially left (hell, this year they weren’t even calling us a swing state). Because the Dems started doing better in the ‘burbs. In my suburb west of Denver, call it a seven percentage point swing.

              It’s unclear to me whether the western model can be applied to the rest of the country. It’s not clear to me that the national Democratic Party is interested in trying.

              • urd

                Sorry, I don’t agree with this. It is not the example for the West US. There are some similarities among the Pacific states, far less so for the rest for the West US (and really: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming?)

                I’ve lived in all three Pacific states and it is risky to simply apply the CA method to WA and OR (especially OR) without some modifications.

                • Michael Cain

                  California is the model for the parts of the West with significant people. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho together are about the same population as the Colorado Front Range. Utah is pretty clearly headed down the same path as Colorado, as the Wasatch Front grows its dominance and shifts left (I put them about where Colorado was 20 years ago).

                  You really think the Dems win in Oregon and Washington w/o the suburbs? Seattle, Portland and Denver are all almost exactly the same size. The suburban issues may differ, but you don’t win without them.

                  As my friend the anthropologist who studies them says, all of the suburbs in the metro areas of the American West are more like each other than they are like anything east of the Great Plains.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I would recommend reading the posts before commenting.

    • Gwen

      Not sure which state you are in… But I was thoroughly unimpressed by how bland and boring Deborah Ross’s ads were when I visited NC in September.

      Roy Cooper’s campaign made specific credible attacks on Pat McCrory. But Ross seemed content with generic “Burr is a crooked politician” ads. I pretty much knew she was gonna lose based on those. If you are gonna use “pay for play” as an attack you need to be able to show the quid and the quo.

  • anonymous

    KiThe real reason for Democratic weakness can be summed up as “Political White Flight”.

    How did the Deep South go from Solid Dixiecrat to Solid Repug? Because as Dems became the Party of Civil Rights, Repugs became the Party of White Supremacy. The strategy worked because there are more Whites than PoC. Whites there vote Repug 9:1 and will always do so regardless of policy.

    This strategy is now working in the Midwest, especially OH, and it will go the way of the Deep South.

    Only hope is that more States go the way of VA and NV to make up for the loss of OH WI MI and PA and possibly MN due to Political White Flight. But this will take decades.

    • Origami Isopod

      And, once again, “anonymous” is concern trolling about that pesky Democratic fixation on diversity.

      It looks like you’ve learned to tone down the “Fuck it, put on the white sheets again” message a little, so maybe you’ll get more people taking you seriously.

  • Gregor Sansa

    The Democrats got more votes for president, and more votes for the Senate, in 2016. What about the House? They got about 49% of the two-way popular vote, and about 45% of the seats. Proportional representation would mean 4% more Democrats, before accounting for the effect of increased turnout.

    • Cheerful

      Does that 49% mean the Republican congresspeople got 51%, or are third parties part of the percentages?

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

      The Democrats got more votes for president

      As has been repeatedly pointed out, here and elsewhere on the web, this is a meaningless statistic. Complaining that our candidate should have won because she had more votes is like complaining that our team should have won because it had more yardage or time of possession. That’s just not how the game is played.

      • (((Hogan)))

        No, but it goes to the question of whether she ran a disastrously bad campaign.

        • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

          Obvious things are obvious.

          Although it is an unpopular position here, I am of the opinion that this election can mostly be summed up by the fact that – Hillary was a horrible candidate who ran a horrible campaign.

          • XTPD

            As evidenced by the fact that she won the popular vote by 1.67 million votes, in a political climate where the only purple states – in any circumstance – are the Rustbelt, Iowa, Florida & North Carolina.

            On a related note, it’s nice of you to let King Goat post using your account.

            • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

              OK, let’s assume she wasn’t a horrible candidate.

              Well, she lost to the most unpopular person to ever run for president (at least since we’ve tried to gauge these things) despite a huge war chest of money and a whole party machine behind her. I guess we could upgrade her to a mediocre candidate, but I don’t see how we can get all the way to good given the circumstances.

              • Excitable Boy

                You are looking at it through a narrow prism of hindsight bias that appeals to your already strong confirmation bias.

                Votes are not yardage in a football game, they are points. An Electoral College victory is like the Colts beat the Bears 31-30 in the final score, but the Bears are the SB champs. Why? They scored more points in the second quarter, because as everyone knows that is the most important quarter. Sports analogies don’t work, because sports outcomes don’t take away vast numbers of people’s rights, access to healthcare, and destroy their economic prospects.

                The EC has been an obstacle to Democratic representation since its inception. The electors are supposed to use their judgment to deny a Trump like figure, but that is never acknowledged. They were supposed to take the mood of the country from the vote, and then make a moral judgement. Not really sure why we keep it, if they are expected to lock in an arbitrary voting process that allots representation on states and land as more important than people. Just do away with it and have the votes awarded automatically, if they are not going to function as they were originally intended.

              • Excitable Boy

                On the mediocre contention. She was opposed by the media like Gore was in 2000. They put their thumb on the scale to ensure a close race no matter the 2 candidates’ qualifications. With assists from foreign leaks and Comey’s lose lips that is how we got where we are. She made numerous mistakes, but so did her husband and Obama. Dems get restless every 8 years, because they are frustrated with the slowness of change and want to take it out on their predecessors. They aren’t big enough to overcome the loss of a few percentage points from people not voting or going 3rd party.

              • liberalrob

                OK, let’s assume she wasn’t a horrible candidate.

                No, let’s stipulate that she wasn’t. She was a perfectly good candidate. She won all the debates, she won the popular vote, she was the most qualified person…the only reason she was perceived to be a horrible candidate is because the GOP kept shouting how horrible she was. Is that going to be part of how we evaluate our candidates now, how acceptable they are to the Republicans?

                • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

                  the only reason she was perceived to be a horrible candidate is because

                  she lost to Trump!

        • ASV

          It is also directly implicated whenever anyone refers to the election’s outcome as being “the will of the American people.”

          • brewmn

            Yes, this is when I call out the [suddenly] pro-Electoral College advocates, when they tell us “the people spoke, and Clinton lost.” Um, if it’s the people speaking that matters, than Clinton won.

      • Epsilon

        It’s worth pointing out that deciding football games based on Yards From Scrimmage or Time of Possession is exactly analogous to what the Electoral College does.

        Just like a football game only makes sense to decide based on points scored, a national Presidential election only makes sense to decide based on the number of votes cast.

        The fact that everyone knows how the system works doesn’t make it any less of a preposterous sham that would have been abolished long ago if it didn’t benefit certain already over-represented and privileged states/groups.

        • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

          Well, we are really getting into the weeds now. But no, you are wrong. The football analogy – as originally used – is actually an almost perfect metaphor for the Electoral College. Each time you have possession of the ball is like each time you contest a new state. Yardage and time of possession are relevant to whether you actually get the score (win the EC votes) but they do not guarantee a result. And the yardage and time of possession (like actual votes) will vary a lot between possessions – sometimes they will be high and you will not score, sometimes they will be low and you will. So even though a team had high yardage and time of possession numbers, they might not win.
          QED

          • sibusisodan

            The Presidential election result is like losing a game after you’ve scored 49 points and your opponent 47 because your opponent kicked one more field goal than you from the Midwest part of the pitch.

            Those are the rules, but it’s a little galling that some points apparently count much more than others.

    • ASV

      The Senate total vote is meaningless and people should stop talking about it as if it’s the same phenomenon as the presidential or House total vote. It’s a function of which states happened to have Senate elections this year and the weirdness of California’s race. It’s also a function of the nature of the Senate as an unequal institution, which is bad, but has been bad for 225+ years.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        It was my impression that usually when people refer to that, they refer to the popular vote taking into account all winners + incumbents who weren’t up for reelection. When I’ve seen it, they usually remark that they’re not including Sanchez’s votes in California.

        But I could be wrong. But generally the people who would be compiling those numbers (which are not generally displayed on news sites election results pages) would be savvy enough to recognize those issues.

        • ASV

          That’s not what Scott’s link does — it’s votes cast in 2016, and if you assign Sanchez to the GOP total things come out about even.

  • sleepyirv

    It doesn’t help that Greenwald is basing his argument on one hell of a false equivalence: comparing Democrats reaction 9 days after the election to the Republicans autopsy 90 days after. IIRC, the Romney campaign wasn’t really in the confessing mood right after the election either.

    (I will say, the Clinton campaign probably made a strategic mistake reaching out to “decency” Republicans who were more likely to be put off by Comey’s October Surprise. However, that’s mainly of interest to campaign hacks. What should be of interest to VOTERS and CITIZENS is Comey making statements that manipulated the election, intentionally or unintentionally.)

    • Gregor Sansa

      “Unintentionally”? How could he “unintentionally” go against his boss’s orders and two well-established rules? Even if it was more stupid than evil, which I’m not willing to grant, “unintentionally” is not the word for what happened in any plausible universe.

  • Crusty

    Wasn’t the election very close? Why are people like gg acting like trump won a 47 state electoral college victory and a 65-35 popular vote. He didn’t. Some slightly different allocation of resources, a slightly more charismatic candidate and a less hackish fbi director and we’d be writing stories about the disarray of the Republican Party and whether it has any viable future at all.

    • urd

      Some people are reacting this way because it was a close race, that Clinton lost, to a political nobody, clown, and buffoon. It would be one thing if she lost to an actual GOP candidate. But she didn’t.

      That is the reason for concern.

      • Crusty

        I see, but honestly, that makes me less concerned. Most of the country is pretty set as either blue or red. There’s a small sliver in between. That that small sliver went for the guy playing. To their basest desires and telling them that he alone could save them doesn’t seem that alarming. I mean, I’m alarmed he won, but that that strategy won, and fueled turnout in his favor doesn’t seem like it indicates a crisis.

        • PhoenixRising

          The win for the carnival barker who took over one of our 2 parties by exploiting its racial appeals over the past 5 decades is indeed a crisis.

          But not for the Democratic Party or the Left or progressives. For all of us.

          This thread and your comment perfectly summarize my concern: Smart people who are in a position to carry out acts of opposition and resistance are instead bickering about the causes of a multifactorial tossup that was an extremely close loss.

          We don’t need more explanations for the proximate cause of the oncoming catastrophe nearly as badly as we need strategies for opposing the worst of it.

          And with that…good night and good luck, y’all.

      • stonetools

        What that proves is that a can of paint could be the Republican Presidential nominee , and it would be get most of the Republican votes and establishment support. That would be so regardless of who the Democratic nominee is or what the Democratic message is. By definition, that means the contest was never going to be a blowout.
        The Democrats arte different. Apparently, the left doesn’t unite and vote for the Democratic candidate unless that candidate is their special snowflake. Some on the left apparently felt that it was be better to sit out the election, rather than sully themselves with voting for the less than perfect candidate. Indeed, I had a Twitter dialogue with someone who said that he preferred that Trump win over having to vote for Clinton , because Clinton was sooo corrupt. Not to worry, he would be happy to fight for minorities and others if Trump came for them. Why, he even increased his giving to the ACLU! Such are the ways the the non voting far left salve their conscience for the failure to vote sensibly.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          Not to worry, he would be happy to fight for minorities and others if Trump came for them.

          Is that for real?

          I mean, I’m sure they’ll be comforted to know that random white dude claims he will help them if the shit hits the fan. They can totally trust him to be reliable. And help from a white dude is preferable to not having the brownshirts coming for you in the first place, of course.

        • efgoldman

          a can of paint could be the Republican Presidential nominee , and it would be get most of the Republican votes

          As long as it’s white paint.

          • PhoenixRising

            There’s a joke about the 3 meanings of ‘base’ in there, but I’ve been worn down by this thread.

      • stonetools

        What that proves is that a can of paint could be the Republican Presidential nominee , and it would be get most of the Republican votes and establishment support. That would be so regardless of who the Democratic nominee is or what the Democratic message is. By definition, that means the contest was never going to be a blowout.
        The Democrats are different. Apparently, the left doesn’t unite and vote for the Democratic candidate unless that candidate is their special snowflake. Some on the left apparently felt that it was be better to sit out the election, rather than sully themselves with voting for the less than perfect candidate. Indeed, I had a Twitter dialogue with someone who said that he preferred that Trump win over having to vote for Clinton , because Clinton was sooo corrupt. Not to worry, he would be happy to fight for minorities and others if Trump came for them. Why, he even increased his giving to the ACLU! Such are the ways the the non voting far left salve their conscience for the failure to vote sensibly.

      • Snuff curry

        It would be one thing if she lost to an actual GOP candidate. But she didn’t.

        How many actual GOP candidates lost to the buffoon before her?

    • DamnYankees

      People are acting this way because to liberals who pay attention to politics (e.g. 10% of the population by 98% of people on LGM and similar blogs), Trump was so clearly unfit that there was a baseline assumption that anyone should beat him 70-30.

      Not saying that was a reasonable assumption – it’s not – but that when you start with that assumption, losing like this is not a “close loss”. It’s “underperforming expectations by 20 points”.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        when I was in town yesterday I got talking to a guy I’ve done business with for twenty five years who in a lot of ways is a friend of the family. The first thing he started talking about was how stupid it was for people to be protesting Trump’s election (“go back to their jobs- if they have them”) and later he slid into describing the women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct as “dumb teenage girls”

        what I’m getting at is the world we who comment here live in is only part of the whole country and the election was a really rude reminder that for practical purposes there are more of them

        • Origami Isopod

          and later he slid into describing the women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct as “dumb teenage girls”

          There’s a guy I would not want to be alone in a room with.

  • DamnYankees

    Democrats are engaging in a huge amount of introspection. What Greenwald isn’t complaining about is the lack of introspection – he doesn’t like the results.

    Glenn Greenwald spent basically the entire campaign season acting as though Hillary Clinton was going to win. Which, fine – most people expected it. And the result was that Greenwald spent almost all his time reporting on Clinton’s flaw – some legit, some not. The result of that (not just him, but basically the entire media doing this), was that Clinton was running with a lot of drag on her. And in an election this close, that was clearly the difference. Now, to be clear, in an election this close, *lots* of things made the difference. You can pick 100 different things that happened and said “if this hadn’t occurred, Hillary would have won.” Greenwald just doesn’t want to face up to the fact that the reporting on this election – and the people and things he mentioned in this headline – are some of those things.

    Putin and Assange clearly wanted Hillary to lose, and actively attempted to cause her to lose, in a way completely unprecedent for a Presidential election. No candidate in history, as far as I’m aware, has had to run against a headwind like she faced on having all her and other emails hacked and leaked. It’s a bit absurd to say we can’t point to that as a reason she lost. Democrats lost the House, the Senate and White House, true. And they need to introspect about why. But at the same time, they got *more votes* for the House, the Senate and the White House. Self-flagellation and bowing to Greenwald’s hobby horses are not the answer. The answer is institutional.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      And the result was that Greenwald spent almost all his time reporting on Clinton’s flaw – some legit, some not.

      I question whether Greenwald would have behaved differently if he thought Trump was going to win.

      Has he begun publishing lots of negative Trump stories in the 10+ days since the election? It’s not like there’s not a lot of new material during this time.

    • cleek

      Glenn Greenwald spent basically the entire campaign season acting as though Hillary Clinton was going to win.

      which is deliciously ironic since one of the Purity Caucus’ biggest myths is that the media’s acceptance of Clinton’s inevitability was part of the great conspiracy to keep Sanders down.

    • liberalrob

      Greenwald just doesn’t want to face up to the fact that the reporting on this election – and the people and things he mentioned in this headline – are some of those things.

      He’s written numerous columns criticizing the media. This column is criticizing the DNC.

      The answer is institutional.

      One of those institutions being…the Democratic Party.

  • pzerzan

    I always find the statement “Clinton is a neoliberal” amusing. Maybe her policies on trade count as neoliberal. However, politically, it doesn’t match up. Hillary Clinton isn’t Tony Blair. She didn’t win power in a political party created by unions and then dismiss them. Quite the opposite. She won the primaries because she had long standing connections to key communities and organizations in the Democratic Party. She didn’t say we need to listen to dispassionate technocrats over leaders of key groups in the party. Leaders of key groups in the party backed her enthusiastically. This has always been what eats away at Greenwald and “the left”-groups and communities they claim to speak for don’t vote their way or hold their views.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Agree 100%.

      Clinton spent a lifetime forming alliances. To act surprised that those people supported her in the primary, and to claim this was some sort of conspiracy is a fundamental misunderstanding of politics.

      • cleek

        a fundamental misunderstanding of politics.

        it’s GG’s MO.

    • nemdam

      You forget that the real meaning of “neoliberal” is “someone I don’t like.” It has the same meaning as “establishment” and “elite”.

      For example, Glenn Greenwald is an establishment neoliberal elite.

      • pzerzan

        +1

      • Scott Lemieux

        You forget that the real meaning of “neoliberal” is “someone I don’t like.” It has the same meaning as “establishment” and “elite”.

        You’ve got it.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      She was also campaigning on expanding the welfare state, not shrinking it; increasing regulations* on business and Wall Street, not deregulation; not campaigning on privatization; making taxes more progressive; and she did not campaign on privatization. Her platform was not moving the US in a neoliberal direction.

      As you say, the strongest case for her being neoliberal is on trade. But even there, she campaigned on promising to oppose the TPP. Ok, so you don’t trust her. Well, her voting record was not uniformly in favor of free trade either. It’s not obvious why people would assume there’s no way she would give up on the TPP when she voted against CAFTA and other trade deals in the past. There was reason to be vigilant, but I don’t think she was about to crawl across broken glass to get it done. If it was political poison, why wouldn’t she drop it like she dropped other deals?

      (On TPP, a potential factor in Clinton’s loss is that Obama wouldn’t drop it. The fact that Obama was still advocating for it probably hurt her credibility in claiming that she would oppose it after the election.)

      *The fact that her critics didn’t think she went far enough, or claimed that she wouldn’t fulfill her promises doesn’t change the fact that more regulation is not moving in a neoliberal direction

      • pzerzan

        I agree on the policy end of things as well. Just pointing out how it doesn’t make sense politically.

        I’m not a political scientist but my understanding of the term “neoliberal” in that field (as opposed to economics) is when parties dismiss their base for technocrats. My understanding is it mainly applies to Europe, where political parties would represent a particular group (Catholic parishioners for Christian Democrats, union members for Social Democrats, shopkeepers and small business owners for Liberals, etc.) and they then stopped paying attention to them for those “smartest men in the room” types. What ever else you want to say about Clinton, she didn’t run her primary campaign like that. She didn’t lecture unions on modernization and globalization, like the Blair government did in the UK (the epitome of neoliberalism, is my understanding). She used her existing relationships with various groups and leaders in the party to get the nomination. Maybe not the most inspiring or flashy, but still effective. And not neoliberal.

        This is a trend I do notice with the GG types-they claim to speak for a particular group yet their particular group clearly doesn’t side with them. However, I guess it’s easier to hurl insults than actually listen…

      • Scott Lemieux

        She was also campaigning on expanding the welfare state, not shrinking it; increasing regulations* on business and Wall Street, not deregulation; not campaigning on privatization; making taxes more progressive; and she did not campaign on privatization. Her platform was not moving the US in a neoliberal direction.

        Right. The idea that Clinton was running her husband’s 1996 campaign is just idiotic, and shows how much Wednesday morning quarterbacking is just pure tautology. If Clinton lost, she was therefore neoliberal. That’s it.

    • liberalrob

      Who said “Clinton is a neoliberal?” I’ve never read anything from Greenwald calling her that.

  • Gwen

    Personally I’ve tried to err toward the “accept responsibility / don’t blame others” POV. But this is more strategic politeness than a sincere belief that external factors don’t matter.

    It’s kinda like a postgame press conference when a reporter asks the losing team’s coach “Do you blame the refs/fans/deflatedballs/EasterBunny”? Most every sportsball coach would say something like “No, we made some coaching mistakes and we didn’t play as hard as we could.” That’s considered good sportsmanship and also keeps the focus on the things the coach *can change* which is mentally healthy. Still, I highly doubt most coaches would forget getting screwed by a bad call by the refs or cheating opponents.

    So rather than blaming Johnson voters or Comey or voter suppression… I’ve been saying “We Democrats made some mistakes and didn’t do a good job of showing enthusiasm and turning out our people.”

    I say this largely because I don’t think it helps our cause if we look like crybabies or offend Independents.

    (This is why I’ve mostly been ignoring local Trump protests, with the exception of the one I attended last weekend that was a rally/march FOR immigrant civil rights rather than AGAINST any particular Manhattan real estate mogul).

    That said I won’t forget how we got screwed by structural factors… The Electoral College, gerrymandering, first-past-the-post voting, and voter suppression (both legal and otherwise). I want reform. But I know that we’re gonna need to win over Independents and Republicans to fix our broken democracy. So I don’t want to make these overly-partisan causes.

    Also… I won’t forget how the media spent 30 years tearing down Hillary Clinton… As well as scurrilous fake news. This “trust deficit” is in part Hillary’s fault.. In part the fault of scandalmongering Republicans… A tiny bit the fault of Bernie Sanders. And in huge part a structural pathology with the media. It’s not an easy problem to fix. But I’m not going to deny it exists.
    Even if I want to keep the focus on improving the Democratic Party (something I can control) rather than blaming everything else.

    Tangent: Glenn Greenwald is a self-righteous, self-important twit. He’s not wrong about the Dems needing to be introspective. But I’m glad Scott called him out for Greenwald’s own noxious lack-of-self-awareness.

  • dalew

    aside from all the usual post-election back and forth we need to keep at the forefront the intervention by the Russians, WikiLeaks, and the FBI. Those are the new and outstanding aspects of this election.

    • Brien Jackson

      And Greenwald defended Wikileaks and Putin at every turn.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        He still defends Trump’s embrace of Putin.

        For him it’s all about rapprochement with Russia. He seems to pay no mind to the fact that Trump praises Putin for his authoritarian strongman tactics.

        • Bruce B.

          And it’s another way Greenwald tossed his fellow LGBT people under the bus.

          Thanks to friends who have much more interesting lives than me :), I’ve become aware of LGBT emigre communities – people from Russia, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and beyond who would often face misery and death if they tried to return home, who are hated by bigots here simply for being foreign even before their orientation and identity comes up, and who are often outright ignored by other LGBT people…like Greenwald.

          But there are a growing number of queer Americans who also know about them, care about them, and want to work with them for better lives all around. There was a lot of Clinton enthusiasm in those circles, for a) Clinton’s demonstrated willingness to learn and change her stance [1] and b) Obama’s excellent record of using executive power on their behalf. They just won’t ever matter to Greenwald and his ilk as anything but more obstructions to that glorious day.

          [1] Why the hell do people so readily jump on a consistent pattern of evolving awareness and judgment of what’s necessary/desirable? It’s like they want candidates to never improve, for all the support changes of heart get.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            I’m gay, and my roommate is a gay guy from Bangladesh who is married.

            Not clear to me whether he’ll be allowed to become a citizen. And if Pence and the rest of the GOP get their way, his marriage will be annulled.

            And if he were sent back, they’ve had terrorist attacks killing atheist bloggers, gay activists and Westerners/Westernized Bengalis. So you can guess he doesn’t want to go back.

            So yeah…

            • Bruce B.

              Agh. Yes, exactly. :( I hope he gets a break somewhere along the line. In my version of America, he’s as welcome as everyone else….

  • Glenn has turned into a bitter old man — even if he is a youngish expatriot gay man. It’s both stupid and unattractive.

    No circular firing squads. We have work to do. Even the Left is showing more sense.
    http://inthesetimes.com/article/19648/a-call-to-the-left

    • urd

      I agree there shouldn’t be any circular firing squads. But we also need to honestly analyze what went wrong, and replace those who were responsible.

  • TopsyJane

    Unfortunately, there is some truth to that. I will miss Obama but this was a fail. Not that I think anyone else would have done better.

    It is hard to know how much of this stark vision for throwing off constraints on the exercise of national security power was merely tough campaign talk. But if the Trump administration follows through on such ideas, it will find some assistance in a surprising source: President Obama’s have-it-both-ways approach to curbing what he saw as overreaching in the war on terrorism.

    • Kerans

      Republicans: Ronald Reagan was the biggest league human of all time. He was a saint.
      Democrats: Barack Obama was a great President but here’s why he wasn’t perfect…

      Republicans: #NeverTrump Donald Trump will be the best President of all time
      Democrats: Hillary will be a good President but here are all her flaws:…

      TopsyJane, I completely agree that was a fail, so this isn’t exactly a criticism of you, just a frustration with this entire thread. Maybe we find someone who isn’t a fascist, who cares at least a little (hopefully a lot more) about the poor and minorities and the less powerful and who won’t bomb a country over a Twitter burn and just replace our benevolent leader with anything better, perhaps a uniquely emphatic cheese. Wensleydale 2020!

      Also, that Lilla article is an abomination.

  • stonetools

    One of the features of this race is that Hillary was the frontrunner from start to finish. She was also expected to win, by everybody ( including the Trump pollsters) That meant she got the frontrunner treatment, which was to focus relentlessly on her flaws, because these would be issues in the Clinton Administration which would surely start in January 2017.
    The result was no one in the media-including GG-gave serious thought to what a Trump Administration would be like. Easy example: until last week, no one gave thought to what it would be like to have an Administration guided and staffed by right wing extremists.
    Now Clinton tried to warn people about this. In the summer she gave a speech by Trump and the dangers of him being under the sway of the alt right. The media chewed it over a couple of days, agreed it wasn’t a serious issue ( because Trump wasn’t going to win anyway), and moved back to EMAILZ! and FOUNDATION OPTICS!
    Had the media took seriously the possibility that a white supremacist would be Trump’s chief policy advisor and that an anti drug racist would be the DOJ head, media coverage of Trump in the fall would have been a LOT different. I also think that such coverage would have moved the Bernie Bro type leftists to vote ( blacks would have voted more too.)

    • Rob in CT

      Yes.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Right. One of the lessons I take is that we need a candidate who is adept at manipulating the media to focus attention on things that are favorable for our side.

      Clinton was able to do that mostly only during the campaign set pieces (conventions and debates) where the media was forced to play along. And she legitimately did a good job with those opportunities. But it wasn’t enough, we needed to be able to set the media agenda at other times.

      And people who are complaining about her messaging aren’t generally offering concrete ideas for how she should’ve done that. They’re just complaining that she didn’t succeed at it. Of course, many of these same folks complain about a media blackout on Sanders…

      One idea I had is that maybe she should’ve come out for marijuana legalization or decriminalization. Based on those photos of her from the 60s and 70s, I’m guessing she smoked some weed in her day. Admitting that would’ve been a way to get the media to pay attention to it.

      • (((Hogan)))

        But then her efforts at trying to set the media agenda were treated as proof of her corruption and aggravated insideryness.

    • efgoldman

      media coverage of Trump in the fall would have been a LOT different.

      Assers facts not in evidence.

  • Rob in CT

    And I was completely free to vote for him in the presidential election, which I did.

    Urd, who presumes to now tell us what we ought to be doing.

    Fuck you, Urd.

    -Rob, who voted Sanders in the primary.

    • stonetools

      Now that I have confirmed that Urd voted in a manner that allowed Trump to win, I feel free to ignore his comments from here on in. Meanwhile, over at the Outside the Beltway blog, James Joyner and Doug Mataconis, two Clinton hating conservatives, did the right thing because they correctly saw Trump as an danger to American democracy.
      Thanks for nothing , Urd, you moronic lefty asshat.

      • Brien Jackson

        I don’t believe for a second that urd didn’t vote for Trump.

        • urd

          Whatever helps you sleep at night. Your belief does not make it so.

      • urd’s unseemly fantasies about human extinction and executing people who don’t fix their cats are more than enough reason to ignore him.

      • Rob in CT

        Wow, I haven’t been over to OTB in a while, and I have to say: holy shit, Joyner finally voted Dem? And Mataconis too?

        We’re through the looking glass, people.

        Good on them, seriously.

      • urd

        Really? Maybe you need to review how the electoral college works as I voted in state that almost immediately went for Clinton once the polls closed.

        But please, educate me on how I helped Drumpf into the White House.

        • Rob in CT

          Fuck you.

          • urd

            Great argument.

    • urd

      Really, when I tell you what to do?

      Fuck yourself, Rob in CT.

      • Rob in CT

        You’re all over this thread, spewing bullshit about what should’ve been done/what should be done.

        Here’s the thing: you’re a shit. Whatever, you were in a “safe state” and so your vote didn’t directly help the know-nothing conman fascist. But it also accomplished nothing at all, except making you feel good about your purity.

        Fuck you.

        • urd

          I’m providing views/thoughts on the matter just like everyone else. I’m not telling anyone what to do; but I’ve noticed dealing with reality isn’t working for you right now.

          What a great argument. I might actually give it some consideration if it wasn’t a rant that seemed more appropriate coming from a drunken idiot.

          No thanks.

  • libarbarian

    he was sent to the White House by rich white people.

    I know you are only a lawyer, but you are too educated to be this innumerate.

    The % of $50K/yr white people who did. The raw # is larger too. A larger % of a larger # is bigger than a smaller % of a smaller #.

    The only reason Hillary “won” < $50K/yr people in general, by a sliver, is because she won big among the ones who aren't white. The WashPo house didn't break income down by race. If they had, you'd see that "whites < $50K/yr" went for Trump.

    Break income down by race you would see that, while Trump “won” rich whites by a sliver, he won poorer whites by LARGE majorities.

  • shah8

    This thing annoys me so much. We have a lot of very stupid hot takes on Clinton’s failures taking up all the oxygen, and I think there were some real issues with the campaign.

    It still should be said that the primary factors are basically longer terms structural issues, most importantly voter suppression and weak state parties. And yes, both are effectively because of liberal racism.

    They couldn’t give a damn enough about the black vote to vigorously and publically stop voter suppression. How much of the Virgina victory was based on the confidence generated by the Governor pardoning all the felons? I bet a real fraction–people have confidence that voting will be possible, won’t take forever, and be free of intimidation–and they come out, in surplus to all the people who were only just now allowed to vote! Why didn’t the Democratic Party do that for *all* of the battleground states, on a systemic level, not just North Carolina, and not just via lawsuits seeking a stay of such practices?

    And again, how much do you want to bet that in many areas, the lack of good local candidates for local elections, PARTICULARLY in Florida had a reverse coattails effect? Not too many people getting feaked out by vigorous local campaigns enough to have added motivations to go to the polls? I’ve said this before, but I think that *the* major reason that the Democratic Party doesn’t have vigorous local and state parties is because they simply do not want strong, but minority dominated caucuses. They certainly don’t like how it is in Hawaii, and California is its own thing, separate from the National party, but still full of comfortably white projecting minorities. Georgia and Alabama certainly should be able to have a successful black party that attracts metropolitan whites, rather than this perpetually sad attempt at centering a small group of urban whites. Florida, likewise with a hispanic Dem party. Texas, like California, is probably inevitably going blue given the obviously increasing weight and solidarity of various Democratic Party factions with genuine roots. Too big to push around to national preferences.

    • Brien Jackson

      1. What exactly were Dems supposed to do to prevent GOP governments from passing laws?

      2. Florida has a weak Dem field because Dem voters don’t show up for midterms. That means legislative districts get drawn to benefit Republucans who end up with stronger candidates.

    • Yeah, I mean… the felon re-enfranchisement in Virginia was possible because they have a Dem governor. Republicans control the government in virtually all the swing states.

    • shah8

      Oh, lookie here, nerp, nerp, nerp. Unpossible to do anything!

      Unpossible to win, then.

      • Brien Jackson

        I mean, you do generally need to control some lever of power to stop the other side from passing laws. This just strongly suggests that you don’t have any idea how your preferred action is supposed to happen.

        • shah8

          Nah…

          Take a look at the current total of votes that trump leads with in the states that make up his victory. It’s about 60k, very much within the impact of voter suppression tactics.

          Put simply, dude, no matter how much you and others like you are adverse to any sort of centering of people of color as party members or as constituents, there is, for all practical purposes, zero alternative to managing this transition. Just because you can make a demand that full-fledged plan be sprung out of Zeus’ head doesn’t mean that this reality change things one whit.

          • Brien Jackson

            This isn’t an explanation of how Democrats are functionally supposed to stop GOP state governments from passing laws.

  • Fortunado

    I spent about 15 minutes reviewing Greenwald’s articles from the beginning of the year and this is what I saw:

    – 1 poorly received article that explored how the Clinton campaign worked the media, which explicitly acknowledged that it was not illegal for them to do so.
    – 2 pieces (one was a chat with Naomi Klein) that defended journalists who decided to report on stories in the Podesta emails.
    – One article that defended critical reporting of Clinton, in particular defended the NYT investigation of the Clinton Foundation. I believe there was also a Democracy Now segment on this that was perhaps 5 minutes long.

    I didn’t count, but there appeared to be more pieces criticizing her policy on Israel than all of the above articles combined. Did those sway peoples opinion of Clinton?

    My point is that I don’t think the comments in articles about Greenwald are reflective of the relatively minor body of work he did.

    • XTPD

      Granted, Greenwald’s writings themselves might not be especially unfair to Clinton (and I’ve long argued, as other LGMers are aware/likely sick of, that Shafer’s Clinton coverage was at least as bad), but he’s both the editor and cofounder of the Intercept, which indeed have been fucking the NyooLibrul KillDevil$HILLBOT 3000 and DEEPLY TROUBLING EMAILS chickens this election cycle – while for the most part lacking similarly critical coverage of Trump [and at best, being only mildly critical of Assange and Putin].

      Also, he has a helluva lot of baggage – and wet-toilet-paper-thin skin – as a brief review of LGM posts will show.

      • liberalrob

        Granted, Greenwald’s writings themselves might not be especially unfair to Clinton

        Well, hey, that’s mighty white of you…

        but he’s both the editor and cofounder of the Intercept, which indeed have been fucking the NyooLibrul KillDevil$HILLBOT 3000 and DEEPLY TROUBLING EMAILS chickens this election cycle

        The difference being the “deeply troubling emails” actually did reveal activities that should be deeply troubling to anyone concerned about how campaigns are able to manipulate the press, as opposed to the private email server crap that was a complete nothingburger but which led to Comey being able to drop his October Surprise right when early voting got underway.

        Also, he has a helluva lot of baggage

        You know who else has a helluva lot of “baggage?” Hillary Clinton. Her “baggage” was bullshit from start to finish, inventions of partisan enemies who will stop at nothing (literally) to smear her reputation and discredit her…and so is Greenwald’s.

        • XTPD

          1: I’m not white,
          2: I was using DEEPLY TROUBLING EMAILS mainly as reference to the private email server, and
          3: Explaining the antipathy isn’t endorsing it.

        • Brien Jackson

          The difference being the “deeply troubling emails” actually did reveal activities that should be deeply troubling to anyone concerned about how campaigns are able to manipulate the press,

          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no. But keep fucking that chicken.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      As XTPD says, it’s also about the Intercept as a whole, not just Greenwald’s articles.

      But I would say that his Twitter feed is also part of the analysis.

      • XTPD

        Twitter, incidentally, is how my opinion of Shafer went from a starting point “grumpy jackass” and ended up at “fucking nihilistic monster.”

        Suffice to say that it’s not a place you go to for columnists you dislike.

        • liberalrob

          Twitter is not a place for anyone to go.

  • I am richly sick and tired of self-declared leftists claiming that Clinton would have won if she had run further to the left, and then willfully misinterpreting challenges to that claim as arguing that Clinton should have run a more centrist campaign, or that the Democrats shouldn’t have a more progressive platform, etc.

    Just because left-wing policies are good doesn’t mean that they win elections. It also doesn’t mean that they lose elections. It just means that the pool of votes that are motivated by the ideological alignment of policies is very small.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      I am leaning towards thinking that Clinton could’ve won if she had moved her platform somewhat to the center (on a few key issues) if not for the fact that the purity ponies would’ve stayed home. Appealing to Republicans’ common decency was blown out of proportion and portrayed as a betrayal. If she had even said that she was supporting an $11.75/hr minimum wage instead of $12, they would’ve really lost their shit.

      As such, I think she was kind of stuck. Moving to the left would’ve cost her votes from the center, but the Sanders flank viewing her as a lying harpy successfully blocked her from even a tiny amount of moderation after the primaries concluded.

      Funny thing is that when I tried to make that argument to them, they refused to believe it. If Hillary knows that you all will lose your shit if she betrays the left once in office, demographics in the country and in the Democratic Party are moving in the left’s direction, and she’s not going to win over “Trump that bitch” voters over by, I dunno, fracking everywhere and gutting Dodd-Frank, what exactly is her motivation for doing so once in office? Rarely did I get an answer.

      • efc

        Which issues? Have we not already established the “moderate” gop weren’t going to vote for Clinton for various reasons including political polarization and the decades long, incessant anti-Clinton campaign the right wing has run with assistance from a compliant media? Or are you arguing the Obama voters in the upper midwest would have voted for her if she was just a little more X or a little less Y? I can think of some issues she could have moved to the center on and maybe successfully picked up some votes but from the conversations which has been happening here lately I don’t think it would be the “Sanders flank” who would have been “blocking moderation”.

        Jesus, she tried to appeal to the republicans “common decency” for months! Actually, when did she even stop? It was only her surrogates (like President Obama) who even started to broach the idea trump might have reflected poorly on the republican party rather than some aberration unrelated to otherwise “good hearted” republican sisters (and brothers).

        I love the “purity ponies” jibe! Because it’s not like some people have now claimed moving an inch, even rhetorically, on certain issues regarding race or gender or sexuality is a betrayal of the party’s core values. We all know the issues you care about deeply are no compromise, foundational, and not up for discussion. But those other guys, they are inflexible purity ponies who would rather feel good about themselves than win power.

        • “Purity ponies” is a good term for people who insist that it is impossible for an experienced politician to “credibly” run a progressive campaign because she had traditionally advocated for positions in the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

          It’s not about ideological consistency, it’s about drawing lines, policing in-groups vs. out-groups (“(neo-)liberals” vs. “leftists”), demanding particular symbolic stances on issues ($12 vs. $15 minimum wage being a good example), declaring existing institutions and people to be irretrievably tainted and worse than useless as partners, and insisting that tactical disagreements cannot be in good faith but are instead evidence of perfidy and corruption.

      • stonetools

        We need more data on the 2M fewer voters who stayed home than who voted in 2012. My hypothesis is that these were lefty voters turned off by the “Clinton corrupt ” meme cleverly planted by right wing groups such as America Rising and repeated by the anti Clinton left. I could be wrong, though. Those voters woulld have definitely turned off by a move to the center( more proof of corruption).

    • efc

      You’re richly sick and tired of talking to yourself? Because the argument some make isn’t that Clinton should have run further to the left. It’s the Democratic party should run further to the left and not had Clinton as the candidate because she couldn’t credibly run that campaign.

      Seriously, who has argued Clinton would have won but for her too-centrist campaign?

      • That claim is equally baseless. But I’m glad at least someone is admitting that there is literally nothing Hillary Clinton could have done to satisfy the “neoliberal centrist shills!!!” crew, and that it was her person, not her policies that they despised.

    • Matt McIrvin

      I think this needs to be talked about with at least two dimensions, maybe more. The people arguing that Democrats would win working-class whites if they ran further left on economics usually either mean explicitly or implicitly that they need to de-emphasize race/sex/identity issues. With Bernie Sanders it wasn’t explicit; I don’t think he thought the Dems needed to yield ground, he just thought of these issues as slightly further from his heart than income inequality. The Jacobin/Intercept lefties will often speak of racial politics as a distraction. It was explicit with Thomas Frank, and then you get people like Jim Webb for whom giving up on feminism and affirmative action so we can get back the Scots-Irish salt of the earth is really the primary concern.

  • bratschewurst

    Democrats won the popular vote for Senate by a similar margin in 2012. In 2014, Democrats lost the popular vote for Senate by around 1,000,000 votes. Add the three elections together and there is a much wider difference in total popular vote for Senate between D and R than there was between Clinton and Trump.

    But federalism.

  • Bloix

    Agree with everything in the post except Wallace/Coolidge. Mussolini/Peron, more like.

    • IM

      Evita or Juan?

  • MarkP

    Shorter Glenn Greenwald: “If the Democrats want to win the next election, they need to be more like the Republicans and produce a 100-page unflinching self-critique. The fact that the Republicans then totally ignored said critique and won the next Presidential election anyway is central to my point.”

    • Kerans

      The only 100-page report any republican read was “100 reasons the Democrats stole the election. # 69 will SHOCK you!”

    • liberalrob

      He did say

      One irony of 2016 is that the candidate who won the GOP nomination, and ultimately the presidency, not only ignored many of the autopsy’s core recommendations but embodied everything it warned against.

      And then he said

      Nonetheless, the reaction of Republican officials after 2012 was to accept responsibility for their loss, admit their own fundamental errors, and vow to fix what was wrong with themselves: the exact antithesis of the instinct Democrats have thus far displayed in the face of a much more sweeping and crushing defeat.

      Maybe it’s too soon to expect the DNC to be working on a comparable report to what the RNC made after 2012. But I think it’s pretty much the case that most Democratic analyses have focused on almost anything other than the Democratic Party itself.

      • Brien Jackson

        Where “Democratic Party” means “Democratic primary voters.” This would be less annoying if you all just came out and admitted this is who you’re mad at.

      • Folks on the left seem to think the lesson the Democrats would take from losing to a far right wing party would intuitively be that they should have run more to the left. Strange logic, that.

        Now, Democrats have done such post mortem reports before. As I recall, during the Reagan years- the era of the “Reagan Democrats”, the last time Republican presidential candidates won Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania- the Democrats did a report in which they concluded that too many “white working class” voters saw them as the party that coddled minorities and wasn’t sufficiently strong on good-old-American mythology and national security.

        If anyone wants to understand why Bill Clinton’s politics was what it was, and why the Democratic Party of the 1990’s was what it was, they would do well to start there.

  • Rob in CT

    A probably not original thought:

    Clinton was a poor candidate who ran a good campaign and lost because a large minority of the American electorate are fucking morons/assholes.

    • I mostly agree with this, although I’d say that her primary flaw as a candidate was her inability to counter the GOP’s sustained media campaign against her re: Benghazi and emails. (And it really was a GOP campaign; a lot of the FOIA requests resulting in the various non-Wikileaks email releases came from Judicial Watch.)

      I know I’ve seen people say she should have done this or that to defuse the email story, but I don’t think we’ll ever know. It’s possible there was nothing she could have done.

      (Incidentally, her approval rating only started going negative after she announced, and it swung HARD — 10 points on both approval and disapproval.)

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        A lesson for the future is to keep our frontrunner a secret.

        The GOP intiated the ratfucking years in advance, and will do the same next time if they know who to target.

      • (((Hogan)))

        One of the shocking findings of the DNC email dump was that the Clinton campaign actually tried to influence how journalists covered them. Just another example of sleaze and corruption.

    • stonetools

      If the electorate (in certain states anyway) is simply too racist / sexist to vote for a woman who ran on a moderately progressive platform of empowerment for everyone, including women and minorities, them maybe there is nothing she could have done?
      I guess this is not a happy or morally satisfying conclusion, which is why we opt for nitpicking and second guessing her and her campaign.
      I have noticed that the media is doing everything it can to forget that Trump ran an explicitly race baiting campaign and was a racist, sexist pig. We are heating that Trump voters picked him out of “economic anxiety”. Seems there are some hard truths about America that the media and many on the left don’t want to face

  • jpgray

    Glenn Greenwald is stupid. But so is the above commentary.

    No sane person denies that external factors like Comey, “both sides” media, Assange, etc., played a role.

    But by the same token no sane person should deny that Clinton was a terrible choice. Certainly she was chosen by primary voters. But pretending she wasn’t ALSO the choice of an incumbent presidency, and therefore the party establishment, is intensely stupid. Like it or not, those entities are enormously powerful actors in the process. They have agency. They are not neutral ephemera. Their poor judgment deserves criticism.

    And their judgment was poor. It isn’t that Hillary was a bad or inept politician. When given a clear contrasting view of both candidates, after the conventions or during the debates, she always grew or maintained a strong lead. Denied that view, the enduring frame of Clinton as a corrupt, crooked, establishment robot won the day.

    That she was vulnerable to this effect was not down to Comey, or Assange, or this cycle’s media. She lost to the ugliest, most unqualified, and most squalid candidate of the modern era. Why?

    Because millions upon millions were primed to despise her in these terms; because thousands of pundits and journos were primed to dive in to all the familiar narratives; because a fair view of Clinton should have been seen as proverbial in its fragility, ESPECIALLY given the anti-establishment mood of the western democracies.

    That’s not remotely fair, but it was foreseeable, and many in our party establishment ignored the danger. We ran a pre-Gored, pre-Swiftboated candidate. The media and the entire electorate were prepared to treat her unfairly, and they did.

    • Kerans

      I find the best way to avoid the appearance of stupidity is to not malaprop a thesaurus.

    • Bloix

      She lost because (1) the Republicans ginned up fake scandals against her and the press ate it up (we saw this before with the swift boaters against Kerry) and (2) Trump is a reality TV star whose TV presence makes rating go up (small percentage of the population are watching but the increased ratings are very valuable to the cable networks) and MSM coverage is driven by what’s on cable.
      Trump’s victory results from a catastrophic failure of the free press.

      • I am fairly confident that the single biggest thing allowing Trump to win — possibly enough to affect whether he won the nomination, almost certainly enough to flip the general — was that the press (and much of the public) didn’t take him seriously. If he had been treated like any other GOP candidate, he wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much free airtime. He would have had very different treatment from comedians. He wouldn’t have been on SNL. There simply wasn’t any concerted effort to vet him like any other candidate until it was already too late.

        Look at Fox News — they gave him an incredible amount of free airtime. But I don’t think Ailes, Murdoch, etc. wanted him to win. If they’d taken him seriously, he wouldn’t have gotten the celebrity treatment.

        A similar major decision was by the GOP candidates, who all seemed to have decided to follow the motto “you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the other campers.”

    • DAS

      Because millions upon millions were primed to despise her in these terms; because thousands of pundits and journos were primed to dive in to all the familiar narratives

      But that would be true of ANYONE the Democrats would have nominated.

      • liberalrob

        No. They would have had to come up with new narratives for anyone else. For Bernie, the likeliest one would have been “he’s a Communist!”

    • stonetools

      And your better, purer, unable to be slimed by fake scandals choice would be….
      Generally, this is where you would hear about Sanders or maybe Biiden, but from all reports the RW media machine would have been ready for them too.
      I do agree about one thing. Obama and the Democrats should have started doing some succession planning after 2012 or 2014 at the latest. They should have decided on who the candidate or group of candidates would be and how they were going to run. If that sounds like the smoke filled room, then so be it.

      • liberalrob

        They did that. The choice was Hillary. Why else make her Secretary of State?

  • DAS

    Yes, virtually every newspaper op-ed page came out against Trump. But far more important than this was their coverage of the candidates

    In fact, those op-eds only amplified the impact of anti-Clinton coverage. It’s one thing for Fox to attack Clinton but when “even the liberal media, who support and endorse Clinton” are “troubled” and “concerned” by her “scandals”, then voters are more likely to buy into Clinton scandals.

  • Compare and contrast these two claims:

    That she was vulnerable to this effect was not down to Comey, or Assange, or this cycle’s media. She lost to the ugliest, most unqualified, and most squalid candidate of the modern era. Why?

    Because millions upon millions were primed to despise her in these terms; because thousands of pundits and journos were primed to dive in to all the familiar narratives; because a fair view of Clinton should have been seen as proverbial in its fragility, ESPECIALLY given the anti-establishment mood of the western democracies.

    So here’s a question. Primed by whom, exactly, if not the very people let off the hook in the earlier claim?

    I understand that the point being made here is that it would have been better to have nominated a politician less vulnerable to this kind of character assassination- that, however, does not make it “stupid” to point out that it was character assassination and that those who engaged in it bear great responsibility for the outcome. I will not give them a pass on the grounds that “it’s only to be expected” from them. No. That doesn’t make it acceptable, not at all. They made the choices they made, and they are responsible for the consequences.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      The important thing is not to let them off the hook for it.

      Sure, we would do better to pick someone squeaky clean. But we would also do better to find ways to prevent this kind of ratfuckery as well.

      Step 1 is never appointing another Comey.

    • ASV

      One would think the lessons of 2000 and 2004 would include the fact that there is no candidate that won’t be smeared in a way that the national political press finds cloud-raising. People talk about Clinton’s history of -gates, but her favorability as Secretary of State and leading into the 2016 campaign cycle was just fine. The old stuff never played; it was a main course of emails with Clinton Foundation and John Podesta’s risotto on the side.

      • TopsyJane

        At some points her favorability rating was higher than Obama’s.

        I do think the old stuff hurt her, particularly the old stuff relating to Bill’s wanderings from his marriage vows. From the right (and from Michelle Obama, sorry to say, back when) she was the woman who couldn’t hold her man and keep her house in order; from the left, she was an “enabler.”

  • Raven667

    Both Sides Do It But Democrats Are Worse

    I wonder how much of this sentiment is from people who don’t expect any better from the deplorables but are very disappointed when truth and justice does not win the day.

  • liberalrob

    Any LGM post about Glenn Greenwald is good for 300+ comments.

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