Home / General / Why Vote For Nixon When You Can Just Vote For Wallace And Skip The Middleman?

Why Vote For Nixon When You Can Just Vote For Wallace And Skip The Middleman?



Bouie on the devolution of the Republican Party from what wasn’t a particularly high point to begin with:

The Donald Trump who won the presidency on Tuesday is the Donald Trump who demanded execution for five boys, wrongly accused of a crime. He is the Trump who ran on a platform of “law and order.” The age of Trump will be an age in which police can act with impunity. And as an officer of color, he knew, perhaps better than anyone, that it’s people who look like us—who are brown and black—who will face the brunt of that impunity.

Pundits and observers will attribute Trump’s win to “populism” or his “anti-elite” message. This is nonsense. Trump ran for president as a nationalist fighter for white America. He promised to deport Hispanic immigrants. He promised to ban Muslims from the United States. He refused to acknowledge Barack Obama’s legitimacy, casting him—until the end—as a kind of usurper of rightful authority. When faced with the fetid swamps of white reaction—of white supremacists and white nationalists and anti-Semites—he winked, and they cheered in response. And for good reason.

More than anything, Trump promises a restoration of white authority. After eight years of a black president—after eight years in which cosmopolitan America asserted its power and its influence, eight years in which women leaned in and blacks declared that their lives mattered—millions of white Americans said enough. They had their fill of this world and wanted the old one back. And although it’s tempting to treat this as a function of some colorblind anti-elitism, that cannot explain the unity of white voters in this election. Trump didn’t just win working-class whites—he won the college-educated and the affluent. He even won young whites. Seventeen months after he announced his candidacy, millions of white Americans flocked to the ballot box to put Trump into the White House. And they did so as a white herrenvolk, racialized and radicalized by Trump.

One of the many things I was thinking about today was Trump’s comments about the Central Park 5. Trump literally called for the lynching of 5 innocent African-Americans. Think about that for a bit. Then think about the fact that the ratio of stories about that to the stories about Hillary Clinton’s EMAILZS! was…what, 1:500? 1:1,000? One thing that enables white nationalism is that journalists don’t see flat-out, straight-from-Jim Crow racism being expressed by a major party candidate for president of the United States as a scandal, or see it was a scandal that pales next to the Secretary of State’s email management practices.
This is a serious problem for American democracy.

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  • Murc

    K-Drum has some numbers that, if true, make me wonder what the fuck is going on.

    Apparently, Trump did less well with whites than Romney did. That is, white people, as a group, voted less for the Republican and more for the Democrat than they did in 2012. But he more than offset that with gains among latinos and blacks.

    Trump lost share among whites and gained among latinos and blacks compared to Mitt fuckin’ Romney.

    Polling has been so fucked up this election that I want to take that with a huge grain of salt and wait until more solid numbers are in from other sources. But if that’s true… is that a good sign?

    I think it might be, because that would mean this wasn’t actually a huge white backlash at all. I mean, don’t get me wrong. This is still a colossal failure on us as a nation. But it would mean Trump didn’t actually win by running up the score with white racists and swamping us; it just means we have a turnout problem. And turnout problems are a lot more solvable than braying, racist mob problems. Bringing Obama voters who sat home back out is an easier lift.

    • Vance Maverick

      It seems, for instance, that it ought to be possible to persuade Colin Kaepernick that there was a vote’s worth of difference between the candidates on his signature issue.

      • Brien Jackson

        Well Kaepernick is a really rich guy who thought Hillary Clinton should be in jail because of EMAILZ. So probably not.

        • Manny Kant

          We probably needed the vote of a bunch of people who thought Clinton could be in jail because of EMAILZ. I was at a bar on election night, and I got the fun of overhearing a bathroom conversation of the “I would be fired…and in jail…if I’d done what she did with the emails” variety from a couple of dudes who were horrified that Trump was looking like he might win.

          Clinton was certainly not a perfect candidate, but the media deserves a ton of blame here.

    • erick

      That is % though that, you have to look at turnout. Trump got less votes than McCain, but even though she is still winning the popular vote Hillary will likely end up 5-6 million below Obama in ’08.

      So the minority turnout was down, how much of that was voter supression and how much was enthusiasm we don’t know.

      • Manny Kant

        Stop saying Trump got fewer votes than McCain! There are still several million votes left to count!

      • Brett

        Suppression is a big potential problem, and it’s hard to measure. Turnout only includes people who cast a ballot, not folks who got turned away at the polling station.

    • Craigo

      Insert my usual comment about not drawing conclusions from unreliable exit poll data.

      • yet_another_lawyer

        What dataset should we be drawing conclusions from instead?

        • madmonk

          That is a really good question!

        • Manny Kant

          Actual, complete, election returns would probably be helpful. The voter files,when they become available.

        • ASV

          I feel reasonably confident that ANES data will be a much better source.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I don’t see anyone factoring in how many voters the third party candidates drew from Democrats vs. Republicans.

      • Matt McIrvin

        I think third-party votes are probably a lot like non-turnout, only more emphatic.

        • madmonk

          2012 Share for Jill Stein
          Penn: 0.4%
          Mich: 0.4%
          Wisc: 0.2%

          2016 Share for Jill Stein
          Penn: 0.82%
          Mich: 1.06%
          Wisc: 1.05%

          For Michigan (an 11,837 vote margin) especially, this is the difference between a win and a loss.

          • Manny Kant

            Of course, Michigan alone is not good enough to do it.

            And on the other side, there’s the fact that Johnson got more votes in several western states than Clinton’s margin. But Johnson voters were probably pretty evenly split between Clinton, Trump, No Vote if he’s not in the race

            • Bill Murray

              why do you seem to think Stein’s votes weren’t pretty evenly split? Nader’s were, Perot’s were, Johnson’s were

          • wengler

            Let’s please not mentally assign Stein votes to Clinton. I certainly don’t want to assign Johnson votes to Trump. There comes a certain percentage level that people are going to have to figure out that these third party voters were never going to vote for a major party ticket.

            Many of these third party percentage are also lower than polling indicated, so likely in the end the ones that were casting anti-Trump or anti-Hillary votes switched to the major party candidate.

    • Ghostship

      Stop dicking about trying to blame others for this monumental fuck-up. This is all down to the Democratic Party and its elite. The Democratic Party has always recently relied on black and hispanic voters to get elected but what has it ever done for them. And what in particular has HRC done for them except accusing them of being super-predators and wiping out welfare. Clinton and the Democratic Party seemed more concerned about conflicted transgenders and the cunts on Wall Street than blacks and latinos.
      What did Obama ever do for black Americans? Did he do anything to substantially reduce their over representation among the prison population. Did he do anything to reduce violence in the communities in which they live? Did he do anything about segregation in northern cities or the institutional racism that plagues America?
      What did Obama ever do for Latinos except expel about two million of them?
      The DNC rigging the primary system in favour of Clinton was always going to have a price attached and that has now been paid with bells on, and any one who subsequently supported that corruption of he primary system should now be suitably ashamed of themselves.
      As for Clinton, her stupidity, arrogance and venality just compounded all the other fuck ups and made Trump electable. The Democratic Party and its supporters have no-one else to blame than themselves and the sooner they wake up to that, get over their version of Clinton Derangement Syndrome and liquidate the Clintonite holdouts in the DNC ,and start planning to put a far better candidate in place for 2020 election the better.

      • Democrats are at fault for not winning an election rigged against them in numerous different ways. Film at 11.

        If this had been a fair election, you might have a decent point, but it was patently not fair in countless different ways. And the idea that the Democrats did nothing for racial minorities is laughable. Doing things like trying to get the DREAM Act passed, fighting for minorities’ voting rights where possible, and publicly supporting minority victims of shootings apparently counts for nothing now.

        Clinton started out the election with a favourable rating well above 60%. The media decided to spend more time focusing on her email faux-scandal than all policy issues combined. This is apparently all her fault.

        • efgoldman

          If this had been a fair election, you might have a decent point, but it was patently not fair in countless different ways.

          Did you get a purity pony in your back yard, so the sun shone every day and it only rained between 100 and 500am? How about the unicorn that craps platinum ingots?
          Funny, I didn’t either.
          Nor did someone drop the perfect, unbeatable, loved by 99% of the electorate, candidate on my doorstep.
          So I voted for HRC; an excellent choice.

          • Ahuitzotl

            You lost your platinum unicorn? well, dont come crying to the Republican Party

      • madmonk

        In a word, Bullshit.

        Clinton, on the stump and in (widely watched!) debates, talked about the importance of protecting the rights of women, immigrants and people of color. She openly talked about confronting systemic racism for Christ’s sake! She was opposed by an unapologetic white nationalist who got his Rednecks to come out in droves. Many of the voters she was pledging to fight for couldn’t be bothered.

        I will guarantee you to that her refusal to “tack right” cost her some percentage of votes in the Suburbs. Was it enough to make the difference? Who knows?

        What her embrace of these issues (or of Bernie Sander’s platform for that matter) didn’t do was to sufficiently turn out the Democratic vote.

        • Ghostship

          Talk is cheap but action can often be expensive. Would she have done anything? I doubt it. As for picking up on any of Bernie Sander’s policies, she might have talked about but that was mere platitudes to keep the Sandernistas on side but she would have done nothing as it would have upset her Wall Street paymasters far too much.

      • Scott Mc

        I know, right? If only the dems had someone like Zephyr Teachout or Russ Feingold to run in their respective places, they would have cleaned up! What was the party establishment thinking?

      • brad

        If only a white man would set them free.

      • wengler

        Obama’s justice department investigated corrupt police departments that were killing black people. Obama issued an executive order to prevent the deportation of adults that had been brought over to the US as kids.

        Honestly, what the hell are you talking about?

    • Ronan

      Matt baretto at Latino decisions (who consistently track and measure the “Latino vote”) is saying that he’s pretty sure the Latino vote did come out strong, and did so in favour of Clinton, and this will be shown in the analysis done over the next few weeks. I don’t know, but he’s worth listening to

    • LeeEsq

      Slate had similar statistics that I posted on the previous post and people misinterpreted it. Romney got around six percent of the African-American vote and twenty-seven percent of the the Latino vote. Trump seemed to have gotten eight percent and twenty-nine percent respectively. I suppose that the increase was because Trump’s populist campaign appealed to enough working class people of color to get them to vote for Trump. If they live in the rust belt de-industrialization effected them to.

      Another thing is that solidarity between different groups of people of color in the face of white racism might be lower than we think or want it to be. At least according to a friend of mine who is married to a Mexican-American, what his wife’s family says about African-Americans, and this is from Mexican-Americans living in the Bay Area, could not be repeated in polite company.

      I think your basically right about the turn out problem. Its the one that seems least emotionally satisfying to Clinton supporters and anti-Trump people. Hoards of white racists and voter suppression provides the emotional satisfaction of “its not our fault” but low turn out does not. This means it is more likely to be correct.

    • LeeEsq

      Some more evidence that Clinton’s problems was a turn out problem more than anything else:


      Most of us on this blog will agree that even without considering specific politics and policies that Obama was a much more inspiring candidate than McCain and Romeny. He was a much better orator and debater than his Republican opponents. He was more youthful, energetic, and vibrant. We can also agree that Trump has dark charisma and a populist flair even though he is a thief, a serial sexual assailant, and worse. He still has charisma.

      It seems that many Americans regardless of their race or politics needs to feel inspired by a candidate to get out and vote. The candidate more inspiring to his or her voters is going to be the one that most likely wins the election. Trump and Clinton were not well liked among the electorate but Trump had enough populist flair to get enough of his voters out in key states to vote.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Politics 101. The Democratic Party needs some remedial work.

        • I was thinking last night, what if in 1988 the party had said to Biden and candidates of his stripe, so Joe, we appreciate your enthusiasm and hard work, but we’ve read the tea leaves and we’re going with Gary this year (and the sex scandal hadn’t happened, of course, or not in the same way). Win or lose, in 1992 they have a larger slate to choose from and they try out this New Democrag thing and see how it goes. Instead they had a series of enormous primaries that damaged the careers of everybody participating in them and ended up with no clear point of view. The media is largely to blame for how that plays out too.

          • Manny Kant

            There’s no such thing as “the party” especially in a party that’s been out of power for eight years.

        • LeeEsq

          Thats my primary diagnosis. The Democratic Party should go back to the basics and build from the ground up. This is why Obama and Holder’s decision to focus on the state level after Obama’s Presidency ends is a good thing. It will create and deeper Democratic bench and put Democrats in places where they can do good. With a deeper Democratic bench, finding charismatic politicians for federal office would be easier.

          • efgoldman

            The Democratic Party should go back to the basics and build from the ground up.

            Of course it is. That’s the only way we’ll ever take congress and lots of state houses. It’s what the Republiklowns have been doing since Goldwater. Their bench, down to the state legislative levels, is full of bozos who can’t tie their own shoes, but there sure are a lot of them.

            • madmonk

              How much do Democratic voters care about ideology? Republican voters seem to care very deeply about theirs (notwithstanding the fact that their ideology is an instantiation of Cleek’s law).

              City machines worked pretty well for Democrats at one time, but are they good partisans as a rule? Is there some way to make people better partisans?

      • I believe there were voters, at least in MA, who found Romney charismatic.

      • wengler

        I thought Clinton was a better debater than Obama, but much poorer orator. In the end I think it was the 20 year anti-Hillary Clinton industry that did her in.

        Also, you have to remember that Democrats haven’t been in Presidential office over 8 years since FDR-Truman. This country seems to have a fetish for switching parties back and forth, even it appears, when one party is fucking psychotic.

    • cpinva

      sure, but how did he do with Log Cabin Republicans? though they repudiated him publicly, any bets on how many of their members voted for him anyway, having caught a whiff of eu de lower marginal rates/capital gains taxes?

      anytime you wonder why people, members of a marginalized group, would vote for those doing the marginalizing anyway, just follow the money. always follow the money.

    • Connecticut Yankee

      The actual election results showing Clinton doing better than Obama ’12 in urban areas and far, far worse in rural areas with huge white population percentages suggest the exit poll is not correct. They rarely are! We don’t know about total turnout yet either – it was low for sure but Trump almost certainly got more votes than Romney, not fewer. Likely not as many as Bush ’04 though

      • Manny Kant

        But they don’t really show her doing better in urban areas, at least in the crucial states. She got a slightly lower vote share in Philadelphia and in Wayne(MI) and in Cuyahoga (OH). She got a slightly higher vote share in Milwaukee, but considerably fewer total votes in all those counties. She did do slightly better in Allegheny (PA).

        She did improve in urban areas in the sun belt (Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix). But it’s absolutely not true that she did better than Obama in urban areas where it counted.

    • it just means we have a turnout problem.

      No. The problem is that our democracy has been purposely twisted such that the will of the majority can be superseded by the will of a focused minority. The majority no longer rules in America.

    • rea

      wasn’t actually a huge white backlash at all.

      I don’t know how comforting it is to find that instead of a white backlash, it was a male backlash.

      “Once Trump is sworn in, all them girls will have to have sex with me”

    • Manny Kant

      Vote share alone doesn’t tell us anything without turnout information.

    • Brett

      We have a turnout problem. Yastreblyansky did a similar post to Kevin Drum’s, and pointed out that the turnout this time around was the worst in a presidential election since 2000. Worse than the 2012 race, which was so determined that they called the results in polling a year in advance. Worse than 2004, when Democrats nominated good Secretary of State and notable haunted tree John Kerry against Bush Jr.

      Turnout, turnout, turnout, turnout. We’ve got to do better on turnout – it’s been the bane of the Democratic Party both this election and in mid-term elections.

  • lawtalkingguy

    Trump did better with POC than Romney.
    So yes, white people suck but minorities need to explain how against an existential threat so many of them didnt care enough to show up
    If an extra 140,000 Democrats voted across WI/PA/MI, Clinton would have won with 300+ EC.

    • shah8

      no, we fucking don’t.

      You guys really should be happy with 88% instead of whining about that lovely, lovely 95%.

      Maybe boost the percentage of white women who vote Dem?

      Lower hanging fruit, I’d say!

      • econoclast

        We get to blame every single person who didn’t turn out, or who voted for Trump. So it’s fair to point out that Latino voters who voted for Trump are out of their fucking minds. But it’s crazy to single them out when it’s like 15% of Latinos, and white women voted for “grab ’em by the pussy” by 51%.

        • cpinva

          “and white women voted for “grab ’em by the pussy” by 51%.”

          this I do not now, and never have, gotten. what the hell is the problem with these women? are they so clinically depressed, by years of abuse, their sense of self-worth so minimal, having been told all their lives they’re useless except as breeders, that they automatically vote for the “Daddy Party”?

          I realize that none of the isms are gone. at best, we’ve just started to legitimately recognize that they’re wrong, and work on ways to ameliorate the problems they’ve caused, and continue to cause. that said, I honestly did believe that with that major breakthrough, individuals would snap out of their societally induced comas, and start voting for their own best interests, not those of their abusers.

          clearly, I was wrong.

          • Ronan

            Because they have other priorities they rank above trumps sexism. Or they don’t care. Or they are less shocked by the rhetoric. Or they didn’t even pay enough attention to.the campaign to be aware of it. Or, many other reasons…

            • efgoldman

              Because they have other priorities they rank above trumps sexism. Or they don’t care.

              Or they’ve got two sparrows – AND a pigeon – on their coathanger, so fuck you.

              • Ronan

                What the hell is the fuck you in aid of? Saying they have other priorities (preferences, social obligations) that they rank, politically, above sexism is an explanation for their voting behaviour, not a judgement on the importance or not of sexism.

            • As a group, women are just as dumb as men. The idea that there is some terrible idea or concept accepted by some percentage of men, that won’t also be accepted by some percentage of women-even if it is bad for them individually or collectively, is fantasy.

          • Some women deal with that every day. If they’ve learned it’s no big deal, maybe they think of it as legitimate sex play, or maybe that’s how they cope with the reality of it. Either way, blaming people for not constantly disagreeing with everyone they know, and telling them they’re victims of abuse whose thinking can’t be trusted, is just a little condescending.

            • Quaino

              Half of American white women have learned that white men in power grabbing their pussies at will is sex play. Great. Glad we drew all the right conclusions.

              • Just as some people have learned that snark on the Internet is all in good fun, while others think it’s proof we ought to nuke the whole thing.

          • veleda_k

            Plenty of them are sure it would never happen to them, but they can think of whole bunch of bitches and sluts who deserve it. Internalized misogyny is a hell of a drug.

        • Ronan

          It’s much too early to say anything definitive about black and Latino voters, and even if there’s a small increase (1-2%) to trump, I don’t see it as all that notable (genuine question, can you even measure such relatively smAll sub populations without a similar margin of error?)
          What might be the case is that “people of colour” and women weren’t as full of dread and driven to vote by this election as a lot of the liberal media liked to.claim.

          • Schadenboner

            Sadly, the next four-to-eight will fill them well-full.

          • ASV

            Exit polls don’t provide the precision to tell the difference between 27% in 2012 and 29% in 2016.

        • I don’t get the reasoning behind thinking there are statistically significant numbers of women who will vote for any level of misogyny short of “grab her by the pussy” but that will flip ’em.

          You know what I bet helped though? The online allies making fun of women who don’t use the word “pussy” in their actual lives, and calling them hopeless prudes because of course whatever word they do use is less edgy than my own. “She asked do you want to grab my crotch ha ha”. Great work!

        • Manny Kant

          30% of Latinos, actually.

      • Charles S

        Seriously, if somebody has to answer for decreased black and Latino support for Clinton, or to answer for losing Midwestern white voters without college degrees, that somebody is the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign.

        Really though, the Press has to answer for the most. Looking at exit polls, the clearest feature is that most everyone treated this as a generic republican vs generic democrat race, but with candidates no one was very enthusiastic for (except the white Evangelicals, they love Trump).

        • econoclast

          The composition of the white vote is completely different in general, though it seems to have netted out.

          But you’re right that it’s crazy to spend too much time on minorities voting for Trump. If you’re looking for someone to blame, the group that voted 92% for your candidate is not the place to look.

          • NeonTrotsky

            With the possible exception of Florida, Trumps increased performance among minorities seems to be mostly the product of a larger gender gap

        • Darkrose

          Please keep in mind that this was the first post-Shelby County election. Even with judges slapping down North Carolina, they still managed to a great job of suppressing the black vote–just as they said they would. Same in Wisconsin, and Arizona with the Latino vote.

          And before you blame Clinton for being a flawed candidate, please keep in mind that white people voted for Trump regardless of gender or income bracket. White people voted for Trump because he told them what they wanted to hear, which is that they could go back to a time when their whiteness made them the best. They voted for the racist because he spoke to their racism.

          • Pennsylvania and Michigan also seem to have had significant voter suppression. In short, Trump wasn’t lying when he said the system was rigged. He was just lying about in whose favour it was rigged.

            • Manny Kant

              What’s the basis for voter suppression in Pennsylvania?

              • wjts

                In PA, the first time you vote at a particular polling place, you need to provide some form of ID (photo or not). But this regulation has been in place for a while; I have dim memories of bringing a paystub to my polling place in 2006.

          • cpinva

            “And before you blame Clinton for being a flawed candidate,”

            I was tired of hearing this shit during the primaries. show me a candidate who isn’t flawed, and I’ll show you a product of fiction. everyone is flawed in some way. the question is, are these flaws you can live with or not? clearly, the democratic party as a whole felt HRC’s flaws were livable, Sen. Sanders’ weren’t.

            white trash (white trash/redneck is a state of mind, not income level) in general thought Trump’s flaws weren’t flaws at all, but positive features, that they had been waiting for one of their own to admit to out loud. that’s why the other 15 lost in the primaries, they continued saying the quiet parts………..quietly. Trump, having not been part of the republican party “popular crowd”, hadn’t been vaccinated, and said those quiet things out loud and proud (and yes, of course he knew what he was doing), knowing the prols would love him for it.

      • paul1970

        Yes, how did Trump not lose 90-10 among women?
        That was why I wasn’t worried. I just couldn’t see women of any race and class (Ann Coulter excepted) wanting this ogre in the White House.
        But it seems that racial identify trumped every other factor. Hugely depressing.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Ugh, I just realized that there are xenophobic women whose logic centers are just as mangled as male right wing authoritarians, concluding that foreigners = coming to rape us. RWA’s are very, very upset about stranger rape, when it’s across racial lines. Lots of other rape and assault does not agitate them much at all.

      • Murc

        You guys really should be happy with 88% instead of whining about that lovely, lovely 95%.

        You know what, I’ve gone round and round with you before, shah8, and will again, but you’re fucking dead right about this.

        The Democratic Party has maxed out among minority voters, for reasons that should be very obvious. There’s going to be some swing in there, but it’s going to be small and still represent a crushing, brutal supermajority.

        There’s not much we can do there. That last five to ten percent is literally completely beyond our control. We need to think about the actual, you know, swing voters, the low-hanging fruit.

        I do agree that on an individual level, people who stayed home or voted for Trump deserve some opprobrium, but that doesn’t really translate into a strategy in this specific case.

        • Brett

          That means we need more white voters. To the tune of peeling off at least 10% of the white electorate, or getting 10-20% more white folks who lean liberal (which is actually many of the people who don’t bother to vote – the link in my post points out that non-voters are more liberal than voters) to show up at election time.

          • Murc

            We managed that in 2008 and 2012. Entirely possible to do again.

    • Thom

      How much of that was due to more men (of color, as well as whites) voting for him?

      • YRUasking

        All of it.

    • Rob in CT

      I don’t think we actually know that yet. Exit polling, particularly right after the election, is not super reliable. Though I do think it’s likely we’ll see that turnout was down. Then we get to try and figure out how much of that was suppression and how much of it was lack of enthusiasm.

      Another group to wonder about is white women. But there too… yes, but white dudes were even worse. Apparently (based on the same questionable exit poll data) the specific worst group in turns of swing was single white men (+10 to Trump vs. Obama). Some of the data (though not the single dude bit I mentioned):

      Clinton – Trump

      White men 31% 63%
      White women 43 53
      White women college graduates 51 45
      White women non-college graduates 34 62
      White men college graduates 39 54
      White men non-college graduates 23 72

  • shah8

    If you want turnout, you have to offer people goodies. Of course, you have to offer that in a way that doesn’t offend people’s dignity, but you still have to offer goodies.

    Clinton, for all of her micro-targeted proposals, wasn’t really offering the things that blacks, latinos, etc, truly needed. The Democratic Party as a whole, as clearly evidenced by Bernie Sanders behavior wrt to reparations discussions and his approach to black outreach, does not view the goals of minorities as either priorities or legitimate, particularly when it even just *might* come at the expense of white people. The right to vote (or even to just live as valued people) included. They pretty much thought that the gun to the head was sufficient, even with voter suppression, busy lives working multiple min-wage jobs, and no goodies. It was not.

    Odd note: I’ve been seeing a lot of comments about the quality of Clinton’s ground game in various places, Noel Mauer’s place being the most thorough, where apparently, on the ground, it was indeed not Obama’s ground game.

    Lastly, as with brexit, you’re seeing a bunch of pundits/businesspeople think that everything will be just fine, as they basically do not understand how this is going to work. We have sufficient examples of how a Trump presidency will work, most recently from South Korea, if we don’t want to use Bush during 9-11. It’s sort of fine, if horrible feeling when everything is going normally (until the lack of a firm hand shows up in the disorderly collapse of Hanjin shipping), but when the Sewol went down, the leadership of South Korea was basically not able to function credibly, not least because Park prioritized being with her damned cultist. In Japan, 3-11 was marked by intense infighting between the gov’t and Tepco and internal factions besides, and it feels like (I’ve only read summaries, will read a full book treatment soon) the government was only *barely* able to do even the minimum. Norioka Kan had to swing major dick to get anything done, including preventing Tepco from fleeing Fukushima Daiichi like rats from a sinking ship (I think, this is twisted up history and full of lies). If something should happen in the US, it’d be a lot worse than Bush reading My Pet Goat. A serious market crisis? Trump will almost certainly not be able to credibly show any sort of mastery/progress of the situation, and Trump will not be able to handle the coordination and ass-kicking roles needed too. Never mind a serious riot! And this is all before the inevitable Enron/Hanjin type blowups.

    It’s not just going to be our civil liberties in the toaster…

    • shah8

      Oh shit, I should have used the housing bubble instead of Enron, huh?

    • heckblazer

      After tearing up the Iran agreement and re-instituting sanctions, what does Trump do if Iranian gunboats start harassing American ships transiting the Straight of Hormuz? What does he do if an American spy plane makes an emergency landing in China and the Chinese hold the crew prisoner? Can he restrain himself from escalating the fuck out of those situations?

      • Craigo

        He’ll be receiving prudent, sober advice from Flynn, Bolton, Sessions, Cotton, Manafort…what could go wrong?

        • Calming Influence

          Flynn, Bolton, Sessions, Cotton and Manafort will be lucky to get a word in edgewise over Bannon, Putin, and David Duke.

      • Scott Mc

        Putin will offer some sage advice.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          You’d think Donald of all people would remember how that Hitler-Stalin pact worked out in the long run.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      What are some examples of goodies?

      I personally thought that raising the minimum wage, subsidized childcare and paid sick and family leave, reinforcing Social Security, and expanding Obamacare sounded pretty damn good for people working multiple minimum wage jobs. Perfect? No. But if they all passed, it would’ve been a very meaningful improvement in people’s lives.

      She also had proposals for racial justice that, if not complete, were meaningful.

      • Schadenboner

        But shah8 wanted a sparkly pink blowjob pony and didn’t get one. Therefore your argument is invalid.

      • SamChevre

        Will any of those policies help a 2-parent, 1-income family with a wage-earner making $12-$20 an hour and a stay-at-home parent? There are a lot of women for whom that’s either a reality they’d like to keep, or an aspiration.

        • Rob in CT

          Raising the minimum wage would. Paid sick & family leave would. Reinforcing SS would. Expanding Obamacare would.

          I mean… really? I can think of scenarios for each and every one of those policies that could potentially assist a 2-parent, 1-income family. Not each and every one of them in every circumstance, but shit that’s the way it works.

          I really don’t think this was about policy.

      • shah8

        Trump said: Build That Wall! KKK members, I feel your pain and concern!

        When we talk about goodies, they have to cut through noise and reverbrate through society. In other words, they had to be *controversial* and *credible*.

        What if Clinton said that: When I am President, I will ARREST and JAIL every cop who kills, automatically! When I am President, I will close down ICE and prosecute vigilante border militia to the fullest extent of the law! When I am President, I will create a *FEDERAL* police force for all of America’s urban areas, who will *solve* crime and get rid of all the gangbangers shooting up the streets!

        Ideally, she needs to be more of a blank slate to say anything like this credibly, and she has to say it, campaign on it in a way that works.

        Clinton basically campaigned like a rock band who thought bass-lines are passe.

        People like good governance, but people also never vote on good governance, guys. You see?

      • Brett

        What are some examples of goodies?


        The black unemployment rate is persistently higher than the white one, and poor black areas have very high unemployment rates. Jobs would really help, and really establish a connection between the Party and bread-and-butter gains. One of the most popular programs that Marion Berry did as Mayor of DC IIRC was a summer youth job program.

        There’s even precedent for it! Public employment has been a big helper for folks who aren’t white men traditionally, and especially for black folks (where public sector workers make up a significant chunk of the black middle class).

    • paul1970

      I think one thing that gets underestimated is people’s desire for control of their own lives. Although he gets (IMO) a lot of unjustified abuse, this is one thing I think Matt Yglesias, for example, gets totally wrong, when he writes about how big business is better for everyone – owners, workers and consumers. But people prefer to own their own crappy business than work for a multinational. People even prefer to have their 30 year passive-aggressive relationship with the psychopathic owner than to feel just like a cog in the wheel.
      None of this is new, one the great album titles of the 1990s was Blur’s “Modern Life is Rubbish”, this is doubtless on the foundations of conservatism over the ages. But the left needs to have a message that is not Luddite, but which promises people a measure of control, rather than just the story “leave it to the experts and we’ll deliver the best of all possible worlds”.

    • LeeEsq

      shah8, if the Democratic Party did as you suggested than it would be a rump party than a minority party. We all agree that the Republican Party is generally seen as the White Party and the Democratic Party as the People of Color Party. If the Democratic Party goes even further down the Identity Politics path as you suggest than one result is going to exasperate this trend and get even more White people to vote Republican. The majority or plurality identity is going to be politically stronger than minority identities as Identity politics becomes more prominent. Whites are still the majority identity.

      • I think the idea has been to include parts of white America that don’t engage in racial politics: professionals who see the Democrats as defenders of liberal, enlightened values; rich people who want to give back; people who are concerned shout social justice. People who are engaged in politics to help others, or who are ideologically committed to liberal policies. The thing is this requires things to be going well enough that they don’t have demands for themselves, and for everybody in the party to at least tacitly agree to those policies (intra-elite conflicts mess it all up). And it requires that those groups are big enough to make a difference, yet without getting in the way.

        • efgoldman

          the idea has been to include parts of white America that don’t engage in racial politics: professionals who see the Democrats as defenders of liberal, enlightened values; rich people who want to give back; people who are concerned shout social justice.

          I thought we did that. Are there enough such voters in the closely lost states to matter?
          Arithmetical, not psychological question.

          • Sounds like you think you know already….

            • madmonk

              Sounds like the results of this election have something to say about that as well.

              • If the Sanders/Jacobin movement pulls people of color away from that consensus, the coalition could fall apart. Because it’s unlikely to pull all of them away as long as most of the consensus remains intact. It’s actually not false that white liberals take minority support for granted, or that at times we ignore criticism of our policies because having black votes means we must be on the side of the angels.

        • LeeEsq

          I think way too many people on liberal side have an overly broad definition of racial politics that translates as “any white person who doesn’t automatically agree with us on every issue pertaining to race is engaging racial politics and is a bad person.”

          This isn’t helping strategically or ideologically. Like efgoldman said, there aren’t enough White people who think that way. Calling every white person who isn’t on board for say reparations for slavery to be the equivalent of a KKK member is just going to irritate people at best.

          • Rob in CT

            Who is doing that, though?

            I mean, hell, I agree with you when you put it that way. But I didn’t see that happening. Are we talking about some twitter warriors here?

            • LeeEsq

              I actually think that we do have posters on this site who do that or at least the way I read them. Shah8 for one. There are a few other examples. Many posters are doing so implicitly at least from my reading. Its just also a general trend I’m seeing in liberal commentary.

              • shah8

                You’ve always been a sort of tendentious fool on topics that involved the rights on nonwhites, but do go on…

                • LeeEsq

                  More evidence for my Jews are stuck between rock and hard place on this topic thesis.

    • Drexciya

      Clinton, for all of her micro-targeted proposals, wasn’t really offering the things that blacks, latinos, etc, truly needed. The Democratic Party as a whole, as clearly evidenced by Bernie Sanders behavior wrt to reparations discussions and his approach to black outreach, does not view the goals of minorities as either priorities or legitimate, particularly when it even just *might* come at the expense of white people. The right to vote (or even to just live as valued people) included. They pretty much thought that the gun to the head was sufficient, even with voter suppression, busy lives working multiple min-wage jobs, and no goodies. It was not.

      Since no seems to be giving this any credence, my silent “seconded” will become a loud one.

      The strategic mistake, rooted in a moral abdication, is that the Democrats and Clinton, reflecting the blindspot of both white liberals and the white conservatives she sought to attract, assumed that the appropriate challenge to racism was not-being-racist. They addressed that through policies like those mentioned by ForkyMcSpoon, which would provide trickle down liberalism through universalism and the hope that given that since black people and other minorities are most affected, they would most benefit from their inclusion. If they worked as stated, perhaps that would be the case, but we also face the problem of racial disparity, and we face the problem of Republican obstruction that racializes access to (and thus the positive impact of) even unambiguously progressive policy like the Medicaid expansion, which will now die without me ever having access to it.

      Which is why the response to racism isn’t not-racism, it’s anti-racism. That means tackling racial disparity head on and not being afraid to say “I want a black program, to help black people, and to respond specifically to the ways they’ve been excluded over the course of decades and centuries.” It means noting that disparate effect occurs on multiple spectrums simultaneously (through both civil rights and class), and that responsiveness is defined through not merely holding yourself to the standard of merely opposing the racially disparate effect, but providing restitution in the spirit of legitimate anti-racist correction.

      What we needed was open-antiracism; we needed reparations, we needed a direct police-antagonistic platform that pursued their disempowerment, we needed the adoption and embrace of black activists, what we needed was an expansion of black civil rights, conceived as such and argued as such, what we needed was continuity in ticket-representation (Obama should not have been followed by an all-white ticket, as the head of a multiracial coalition). What we got instead was equivocation. We had an acknowledgement of racism married to a deflection from actually tackling racial disparity through racial specificity. We got the mothers of people murdered by the police followed by speeches from supposed Good Cops and broad condemnations of anything that smelled like a riot. We got proposed immigration reform and a “pathway to citizenship” but not protections and not restitution for Latinos ethnically cleansed and targeted in states (like Alabama) that fiddled with punitive immigration laws. We got that pathway to citizenship, but always married with the dogwhistle that she still believed in a secure border and a reminder that she voted in protection of it. We got an acknowledgement of disparate impact for things like mass incarceration and even the stock market crash that catalyzed the Great Recession, but we got no political or utopian movement toward expansive pardoning (despite its present impossibility), and no promise to restore the wealth of black people who were disproportionately targeted. The limits of what Hillary and Democrats could and did argue was colored at every turn by the presumed limits of what white people could support. In an election where POC turnout should have been emphasized and focused on, the Democrats led with the premise that non-whites are and should axiomatically be in their corner, while she courted the very people who helped facilitate our suppression, so long as they voted against Trump. This was, again, a mistake.

      This isn’t to say her policies wouldn’t and couldn’t help, they would have. This isn’t to say that many of her policies weren’t good, many of them they were. But the response to white nationalism isn’t “good whiteness,” it should have been a challenge that represented her base by problematizing the political basis of Trump’s existence and his supporters’ legitimacy. Our empowerment should have been central to her pitch, instead of an incidental benefit of her existence, and telling us how, as shah8 put it, her micro-targeted policies would “help us too” was unresponsive to how many black people understood their needs. She seemed to grasp the presence of urgency, but that urgency wasn’t reflected in what she proposed or how she proposed it. We deserved both better and more, and Democrats should have felt an obligation to provide that. There’s nothing wrong with saying so, and our political and moral imagination shouldn’t be limited by white people’s policing of the same.

      • LeeEsq

        Do you have any evidence that this will appeal to the majority of African-Americans? It sounds a lot like an African-American version of what the Bernie bros were saying about needing to eschew free trade and go back to our New Deal/Great Society roots to attract whites without college degrees back to the Democratic Party. We all know that this strategy wasn’t particular successful. There isn’t much evidence that African-Americans want what your advocating for any more than whites without college degrees want a return to the New Deal?

  • Lt. Fred

    If anyone ever asks why anti-Americanism is a thing, this election is the answer. The US automatically trends towards petty evil.

    • Calming Influence

      Every disaster is an opportunity in disguise. I’m starting a Canadian Accent Training School for U.S. overseas travelers, eh?

      • At this point I think I would be willing to enroll in such a school. I can do a British accent that would probably convince non-Brits, but I doubt actual Brits would be fooled by it.

        • Calming Influence

          Enroll? Hell, you can be an instructor! And I promise to pay you huge amounts of money unless I have to declare bankruptcy, which could never happen, trust me.

      • econoclast

        Right around the Hong Kong handover, I met a guy from Hong Kong who’d moved to Canada and taken one of those classes. It was hilarious how often he would say “eh”.

        • Calming Influence

          We live close to the border and spend a lot of time in Vancouver, and I grew up close to the border in upstate New York and spent a lot of time in Toronto. Pro tip: the easiest and most foolproof way to fake a Canadian accent is to begin your sentence with “I’m Canadian…”

          • Schadenboner

            Pro tip: the easiest and most foolproof way to fake a Canadian accent is to begin your sentence with “I’m sorry…”


      • Thom

        I can say OOT and ABOOT!

  • Lit3Bolt

    “Pfft, who cares if minorities are lynched and gunned down in the streets? My prison stock portfolio is GREAT, and best of all, it’s now all tax-free!”

    –Rich White America

    • cpinva

      “Pfft, who cares if minorities are lynched and gunned down in the streets? My prison stock portfolio is GREAT, and best of all, it’s now all tax-free!”

      notice that so many potential “guests” wind up dead, before they fill a bed (and you can bill it out) in your lodgings? this might well have a negative impact on earnings & profits; empty beds/cells generate no revenue.


    The biggest winners from this election, other than the Trumpian right (who will lose in the long term due to having promised the moon) will be left-wing secessionists. Secessionism has, for good historical reasons, long been the sole province of the nut-ball right in the USA. No longer.

    I don’t think you’re going to see actual secession any time soon, but eventually? Well, eventually anything is possible.

    • Gareth

      The entire West Coast has voted for Democratic presidents for 28 years. I’ve heard worse suggestions.

    • It won’t work w/ Calif. alone; our family members, friends & neighbo(u)rs from the great states of Oregon, Washington & Hawai’i, the great estado of Baja California & the great province of British Columbia have to join us in building a wall between our Coast & Ocean & those sad places where the jet stream blows our trash & debris.

      • N__B

        building a wall between our Coast & Ocean

        What are you talking about? You’re fully three thousand miles from the ocean.

    • cpinva

      “Secessionism has, for good historical reasons, long been the sole province of the nut-ball right in the USA.”

      actually, that’s not true at all. during the war of 1812, a group of politicians/businessmen (from the New England states most adversely affected by the cotton embargo) went to Washington, with threats to secede if something wasn’t done to help them. during this time (but before the delegation had had an opportunity to meet with their congressmen about it), word came of Jackson’s (post hostility’s ending) victory in the Battle of New Orleans. the group quietly made their way back home, and not a word was spoken of it afterwards.

      so no, it’s not just a crazy southerner’s/right wing lunatic’s thing.

      • Matt McIrvin

        There was anti-slavery New England secessionism in the pre-Civil War period. I think Garrison was one of them.

        • Manny Kant

          So secessionism hasn’t “long been” the province of the nut-ball right because the Federalists in 1814 and pre-Civil War abolitionists also flirted with secession. Got it.

      • Bill Murray

        so your evidence that secessionism has not long been the sole province of the nut ball right is to give data from before the nut ball right’s actual secession. Or I guess, you think long means ~200 years ago but not 166 years ago.

  • sonamib

    Semi-OT, but here‘s Nate Silver explaining that a 2 percentage point error in the polls is all it took to give the victory to Trump. No poll claimed to have a better accuracy than that. We got unlucky, but the USA isn’t fundamentally different than what it was 4 or 8 years ago.

    We’ll have more to say about the polling in the coming days. But to a first approximation, people are probably giving the polls a little bit too much blame. National polls will eventually miss the popular vote by about 2 percentage points, which is right in line with the historical average (and, actually, a bit better than national polls did in 2012). State polls had considerably more problems, underestimating Clinton’s complete collapse of support among white voters without college degrees but also underestimating her support in states that have large Hispanic populations, such as New Mexico.

    • jamesepowell

      No, the USA is fundamentally different. Trump will be president. Norms have been tossed aside. What was allowed during this campaign is no small thing.

      I can’t get over the fact that the director of the FBI used an investigation that he himself called a “no-brainer” to slam one of the candidates at two important moments: right before the conventions, right before the election.

      And the whole of the press/media bends & twists to talk about how much integrity he has. Bullshit. He’s an anti Clinton and he used his position and the FBI to defeat her.

      • sonamib

        What I meant was that the USA’s population is not fundamentally different. But yes, the leadership is now very different, and almost unimaginably worse.

      • cpinva

        “I can’t get over the fact that the director of the FBI used an investigation that he himself called a “no-brainer” to slam one of the candidates at two important moments: right before the conventions, right before the election.”

        given the results, I expected either Obama to fire him, or him to tender his “resignation” yesterday. who cares if it looks “politically motivated” or not. were I the Pres., his sorry ass would have been gone right at 12:01am on 11-9.

        • jamesepowell

          Can’t do it now that Clinton lost.

          • NeonTrotsky

            He’s still being investigated for violating the Hatch act is he not? The law is the law.

            • madmonk

              We’ll see if that’s still the case after January…

            • Murc

              President’s can’t face criminal prosecution. That’s established constitutional precedent. Only civil suits.

        • Ghost of Joe Liebling’s Dog

          I’d like to see Comey receive a pardon for any Federal crimes he may have committed between 7/5/2016 and 10/28/2016 (inclusive), and watch the grammarians of Our Fair Nation’s Great Media diagram that sentence.

          Edit: spelllinng

        • Xenos

          Under the new regime Comey’s FBI may be the most independent part of the law enforcement apparatus left (aside from the NY branch office).

          For example, now that we are learning that, indeed, Trump’s campaign was in regular contact with the Kremlin, who else will be left to do anything about it?

          I suppose if Comey helped lay the groundwork for the constitutional coup, he ought to be around to deal with the consequences. He may be a Republican, but his behaviour during the W. administration indicates that he fancies himself an honest man, and will want to protect his reputation.

          • vic rattlehead

            Now I don’t want Comey to be fired. I may not like him but his replacement is going to be chosen by you know who.

          • Bill Murray

            He may be a Republican, but his behaviour during the W. administration indicates that he fancies himself an honest man, and will want to protect his reputation.

            He was in the end, more like a fuss-budget who wants to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed correctly before taking action. He did after all eventually sign off on the material he stopped Gonzalez and Libby from getting Ashcroft to sign in the hospital, after a few changes were made.

      • vic rattlehead

        Tossed aside? Norms have been lit on fire. The media has abdicated its responsibility.

        Trump and Co are going to scoot their bare asses across the constitution just like the second Bush Administration. Except: 1) we don’t know if we’re going be lucky enough to get a once in a generation preternaturally charming political talent like Obama to wipe our asses after it’s over in 4-8 years, and 2) even if another Obama comes along, whether there will be anything left to clean up.

        I love Obama but if democratic voters are going to demand someone as gifted as him to be bothered to show up and vote we’re fucked.

        I just hope he sticks around in the public eye and helps recruit and groom future leaders of the party. And to remind us that he’s still out there somewhere so we don’t let the despair overwhelm us.

        A lot of us knew that the Bush administration was going to be bad, but in 2000 I don’t think anyone had a sense of how bad it was going to get. This time we don’t have the blessing of any ignorance-we know what that was like, how long and miserable those years were, and how much worse this is probably going to be.

        Obama needs to help find us another Obama for 2020. One term of…I can’t say his name…this guy is going to suck, but if we can limit him to one, maybe we can pull through. Maybe.

  • aturner339

    I’m aware of the mathematical implication of margin of error and that low probability events are not no-probability events.

    That said until we have a better explanation for how pre election polling was uniformally biased towards Hillary in every key swing state I am going to stay skeptical of exit poll based reasoning. (I know they are different sampling methods still wary)

    I’m team Bouie. It will be the near irresistible temptation of liberals to say this can’t be about race. This country cannot be that far gone.

    We must resist. For once we must look white supremacy in the eye and call it by name. If not now then never.

    • Schadenboner

      There is a rumor I’ve heard (unsourced as of yet, and I’m unsure if this is true, or if it wholly/partly explains the near-universal wrongness of polls) that the Clinton camp may have encouraged over-optimistic reports of polling in an effort to depress GOP turn out to help down-ballot races.


    • yet_another_lawyer

      I’m skeptical of exit poll based reasoning as well, but that doesn’t mean we should just indulge in guesswork. Van Jones talk of a white lash and similar appear to be based on speculation divorced of any data, exit polling or otherwise. Data that corroborates this narrative may come out, but does not appear to have done so yet.

      • aturner339

        “The president in a Kenyan and Mexico is send rapists”

        Is not guesswork. We all lived through this campaign. It’s time to act like it.

        • yet_another_lawyer

          Okay, but Trump also proposed declaring China a currency manipulator and bringing back manufacTuring jobs. Abent data, we really have no way of knowing what motivated the various subsets of the 60 millionish who voted for Trump. The exit pollingdata doesn’t seem to back up a white lash theory: http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/11/there-was-no-apparent-whitelash-year

          If there’s data which shows there was, I would love to see it. But so far it does appear to be speculative. Sure, some number of people voted out of racial animus because that always happens, but as of now we have no data to show the race was decided by that.

    • xq

      It will be the near irresistible temptation of liberals to say this can’t be about race.

      Large segments of the liberal media, including this blog, insisted that race was almost all it was about in the months leading up to the election.

      I also don’t trust exit polls. But I think you are totally wrong about liberal instincts. If there’s a way to explain this with race, many will do so. We almost all got this wrong, and now we need to be open to all possibilities.

  • Woodrowfan

    I was Precinct Chief in my minority-majority district. We use scantron voting (you filled in the little ovals to vote). When people spoiled their ballots they brought them back to me, I voided the ballot, and got them a new one. So I often could see how they voted. The Trump votes from minority tended to be be from the elderly, especially the Vietnamese. Spoiled ballots for Hillary tended to be younger, and from people who filled the oval by her name, but also wrote her in for emphasis.

    A lot of people filled in multiple ovals so you could not tell who they wanted.

    Note, we are not supposed to look at the ballots. We had them a big fat marker and ask them to fill it in to hide their vote. But many times they put the ballot in front of you and ask “What did I do wrong.” You can’t not see it. And no, I never, ever lobbied or commented. I took my oath to be impartial very seriously. If they asked help voting for trump I smiled and did so.

    • rea

      On the balloting day for an ostracism, an illiterate man from the countryside handed Aristides a potsherd, asking him to scratch on it the name of the man’s choice for ostracism. “Certainly,” said Aristides; “Which name shall I write?” “Aristides,” replied the countryman. “Very well,” remarked Aristides as he proceeded to inscribe his own name. “But tell me, why do you want to ostracize Aristides? What has he done to you?” “Oh, nothing; I don’t even know him,” sputtered the man. “I’m just sick and tired of hearing everybody refer to him as ‘The Just.’”

  • Marc

    The strategy of trying to shame and bully people into voting for Clinton failed. Politics is about the art of persuasion. If defeating Trump was so damned important – and it was – then maybe people could have refrained from self-righteous personal attacks on reluctant allies. Or maybe they could have tried to figure out how to appeal to Trump-curious supporters, rather than insulting and demonizing them.

    The Clinton campaign didn’t seem to notice, for example, that if their support was tanking in Ohio and Iowa it might also be a problem in the rest of the Midwest. If they had any outreach at all to working class or rural whites it sure wasn’t obvious.

    Clinton’s support collapsed in Rust Belt areas where Obama scored comfortable wins four years ago. She did worse across the board than Obama in 2012 – including with minorities. Blaming this on white supremacists is in line with the Clinton team blaming everyone and everything but themselves.

    Telling yourself stories like that feels good. But we have work to do, and honest self-assessment is going to be needed to get anywhere.

    • aturner339

      Recognizing the political power of racism is not “bullying”

      No one is advocated taking a bus to Scranton and yelling “racists” out the windows.

      But let’s not buy into the alt rights faux victimization narrative either.

      I know it hard but we have to deal with it.

      • Marc

        Obama won Ohio by 3. Clinton lost Ohio by 9. If racism is an explanation for the difference you have to explain this.

        We were hearing, over and over, that there were no Obama voters switching to Trump. There were. Compare these maps


        with this one


        Northeast Ohio has been a D stronghold forever. It isn’t any more. I know that we never had a chance at the 27 percent. We convinced a lot of people to vote for Obama and not for Clinton. That’s a problem that we have to solve, and dismissing them as racists won’t solve it.

        • LeeEsq

          There were similar switches in Michigan and Wisconsin. Suburban and urban counties that voted for Obama switched to Trump. Both Clintons are just too associated with NAFTA and off-shoring in the Rust Belt. Obama was able to do well against Romney because he could paint him as “Off-Shorer-in-Chief.” Clinton could not present herself as an enemy of off-shoring because of NAFTA.

    • madmonk

      I was personally very pleased when she did not “tack right” after the primary. Politically, maybe she should have…

    • LeeEsq

      Exactly. Its like attacking men who didn’t vote for Clinton as being misogynistic. Its a comforting explanation but not a true one. Many Republican men have voted for Republican women politicians who they agreed with and found persuasive. If they were really so staunchly misogynistic.

      The way that people on this site have been treating this election lost does not bode well for the Democratic Party if it translates into the entire liberal and Democratic side. it shows that most liberals are just going to retreat into a “we’re right and everybody who disagrees with us is an evil meanie” school of thought.

      • Murc

        Its like attacking men who didn’t vote for Clinton as being misogynistic. Its a comforting explanation but not a true one.

        No, this is absolutely true. A large number of men did not, in fact, vote for Clinton because they’re misogynists. That happened.

        • Marc

          And there were women who voted for her because they wanted the first female president. What, precisely, does this insight tell us to do? If we assume that people are motivated by prejudice, we also implicitly assume that there is no reason to bother trying to reach them (because bigots are evil.) If you just define misogyny as “not voting for Clinton”, for example, you’ve nicely devalued the word and antagonized people that you insulted without bothering to ask them why they did what they did.

          • TopsyJane

            And there were women who voted for her because they wanted the first female president.

            One of these things is not like the other thing. (Leaving aside the fact that most of those women would probably not have voted for Clinton if she did not also promote policies they support, however much they wanted to see a woman in the White House.)

          • Murc

            What, precisely, does this insight tell us to do? If we assume that people are motivated by prejudice, we also implicitly assume that there is no reason to bother trying to reach them (because bigots are evil.)

            Yes? This is correct.

            There are a certain segment of voters who are unreachable, and effort shouldn’t be wasted on trying to reach them because effort is finite. Identifying that segment as precisely as possible seems therefore to be valuable.

      • TopsyJane

        Its like attacking men who didn’t vote for Clinton as being misogynistic.

        Many men who voted against Clinton were misogynistic. I get not blaming hostility to an assertive feminist Democratic woman for everything, in this case a woman who has been to many a symbol of overbearing feminism for decades, but pretending it was a minor factor or meaningless, or plain didn’t happen doesn’t bode well for people lecturing others on their blinkered outlook. Women speaking for conservative values have always been more welcome in the public square, relatively speaking, than women who upend the status quo or who are perceived to do so.

    • Murc

      The strategy of trying to shame and bully people into voting for Clinton failed.

      This was not the Clinton campaigns strategy. At all. In any way, shape, or form. The fact that you seem to think it was makes me take anything else you say way, way less seriously.

      The Clinton campaign didn’t seem to notice, for example, that if their support was tanking in Ohio and Iowa it might also be a problem in the rest of the Midwest.

      Nobody noticed this. Literally nobody. Nobody had numbers suggesting she’d do that bad in the rust belt. How was the Clinton campaign supposed to divine this?

      • Marc

        Because there was copious polling that demonstrated that Clinton was well behind in Ohio and in Iowa? And, instead of noticing that similar areas vote in similar ways, they just insisted that they had a bulletproof firewall in the Upper Midwest? We saw Bayh and Feingold plunge in the Senate races in the last week. There was plenty of evidence of serious regional problems. They were ignored.

        The Clinton campaign ads were repetitive as hell here in Ohio and they were completely negative. I suppose that I was just imagining what I was seeing, or just imagining that left-leaning opinion people were spending an awful lot of energy berating “bernie-bros”, calling all Trump supporters as being motivated by racism, dismissing all claims of economic anxiety as bogus, insisting that the economy was fine, and so on. My son was furious at the condescension of being told that he had no choice but to vote for Clinton.

        Go here or at lefty blogs or read opinion pieces in papers like the NYTimes or the Washington Post or MSNBC and you got the same monoculture. Being against something sometimes isn’t enough.

        • Brett

          The “secrets of the 2016 campaign” post-mortems should be really interesting, especially Clinton’s. She did not come out well in that regard back in 2008, but I was hoping her campaign would have done much better this time.

        • Murc

          Because there was copious polling that demonstrated that Clinton was well behind in Ohio and in Iowa? And, instead of noticing that similar areas vote in similar ways, they just insisted that they had a bulletproof firewall in the Upper Midwest?

          They insisted on this because that’s what the polling showed.

          What were they supposed to do, exactly? Let’s game this out. You’re in the Clinton Campaign HQ. You say to Clinton “Iowa is gone and Ohio is trending against us. We should assume that the other Rust Belt states are also in trouble.”

          Across the table, another advisor says, “Marc is wrong, and I can prove it. Here’s our polling data. We had to back up a forklift to get it all in the door. It says we’re ahead by between 3-5 percent in MI and WI and have been since the start of the race. This lead is solid and has never been in peril; see the data here, here, here, and here. We’re good in the Rust Belt.”

          Your rebuttal?

          My son was furious at the condescension of being told that he had no choice but to vote for Clinton.

          If your son becomes furious upon being told the truth, the problem is with him, not the person doing the telling.

  • FMguru

    I’d like to offer one other explanation for the election result: it’s just really, really hard for a party to hold onto to the Presidency for three straight terms. Of the last seven efforts for a party to extend their stay in the White House for more than eight years, six have failed (60, 68, 76, 00, 08, 16). It’s happened only once since 1950 (1988*).

    I know that small sample size makes it hard to make definitive claims about patterns in election outcome, but 6 out of 7 seems like pretty strong evidence that this is a real thing. Third terms are tough.

    • Thom

      And even so, HRC won the popular vote.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        As did Gore. It didn’t matter a fucking bit, did it?

    • Rob in CT

      This was likely part of the story, sure. There are a lot of factors here, from racism, sexism, the media being awful, Clinton not being a great candidate, Trump landing some hits when he ranted about trade/jobs, vote suppression measures, asshole voters (both Trumpers and people who were just too special or lazy to vote Clinton), to this.

    • Brett

      The generic polling was against Democrats, IIRC. All other things being equal, a Republican was slightly favored to win (as in by like 2-3% points).

  • twbb

    95% of what Trump said is pure bluster that he has no intention of following up on. The remaining is pretty bad, and the next four years are going to be very bad at a federal level, but let’s not overstate things; this is not Nazi Germany and this is not the end of the Republic. Racists will be “emboldened,” but we are not going to see the rise of the SS. A good chunk of Congress hates Trump, and enough are in purplish districts that he won’t get the votes to do anything insane like abolish the EPA. So what we will have is a couple of years of gutting regulations to the best of their ability, hopefully bogged down by lawsuits. We will get 1-3 conservative justices, which will suck but the current conservative wing are not 20-somethings, and the court will swing back eventually. We will get terrible foreign policy decisions, but hopefully his stated isolationism reigns it in somewhat. In the meantime the right-wing base is getting older – Democrats repeatedly winning the popular vote but losing the electoral one is something new in this country and it heralds an important change.

    The Democrats don’t need to do a lot of soul searching, but we do have to do a little. We will have to engage with economic anxiety in rural and suburban areas. There are some very legitimate grievances that we, and I include myself in this, have ignored because we conflated racist tea party suburban men whose “economic anxiety” is that “the black/Mexican family down the street is doing alright and that somehow takes something from me” with “I am stuck in a town with a 50% unemployment rate, a meth problem, and no foreseeable way out of it.” We certainly can’t take the demographic advantage for granted, as others in this thread have noted.

    Trump will do a terrible job. More importantly, he will not bring manufacturing back to small town America or whatever those low information voters thought. With the right candidate, e.g. Sherrod Brown (and no I don’t care that we lose a Senate seat) and Trump’s incompetence, 2020 should be an eminently winnable race, and with enough mobilization over the next four years the demographics really look good. Maybe, just maybe, the Democrats have finally learned their lesson that you need someone who can electrify crowds rather than command policy. And if we’re really lucky they’ve finally realized that there needs to be coordinated state-level organizing.

    I am annoyed by a lot of Democrat decisions, but Clinton’s unbelievable attempt to run out the clock on the email issue, when she had Kerry’s swiftboating example as to how that doesn’t work. So no more of that.

    By the way, LGM better not just be in perpetual despair mode forever. I was one of the most pessimistic posters during the campaign, and got mocked viciously for it, but apparently now I’ve switched to being one of the more optimistic.

    I don’t want to go overboard. Like I said, this will be a very bad four years. But it’s hard to see how Clinton would have held onto the White House in 2020. In the long run, there is even a small chance that we might come out of this better than if Clinton won. We need long-term planning. And we should take as a template the right-wing think tanks of the 1960’s-1970’s that slowly and patiently laid the groundwork of not just Reagan but the tea party as well. Our disadvantage is the Democrats have tended to be terrible at this, and don’t have the intuitive connection right-wingers have with low-information emotionally-driven voters. Our advantage is we are better than them and our ideas are better.

    And one last unsolicited rant: we can’t do the usual “let’s all move forward” even if we do win in 2020. We have to connect the GOP to their past incompetence again and again. “The party of Trump” should be repeated until people are sick of hearing it.

    • XTPD

      POLITICO’s Bill Scher offers hope (Point #3 in particular is particularly salient; with good luck & organizing, we can take back the senate by 2006).

      • twbb

        “we can take back the senate by 2006”

        That’s right, we keep forgetting to use Obama’s time machine!

        (kidding, kidding, good link!)

        • XTPD

          typo; i meant 2018

        • vic rattlehead

          The senate may be shot in 2018, but thanks to the narrow margins gerrymandering gets you we could have a good chance in the House. If we can contest those seats hard and people show up.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Our disadvantage is the Democrats have tended to be terrible at this, and don’t have the intuitive connection right-wingers have with low-information emotionally-driven voters. Our advantage is we are better than them and our ideas are better.

      Alas, because we keep trying to communicate with them in the world of logos/facts/laws/history, instead of just yanking their chains and using a stick to poke their lizard brains.

      Also, I feel we need to try to think of and try to do something along the lines of telling our “story”, and educate people about what has happened, what’s going to happen, what we’re trying to do, what bad things are coming up the pike from those jerks over there… but man, low information voters are often low info because they want to be.

    • les

      All well and good sorta, but not really. He won’t abolish the EPA, he’ll just give it to American Enterprise Institute to run. Even 1 more conservative justice means full on minority vote suppression–there’s noises out here that Chris Kobach, author of Arizona’s “brown people need papers” law and vote fraud shyster extraordinaire, is in line for a big place in the administration. And maybe Brownback, to duplicate the Kansas Miracle. Ballooning deficit, weakened safety net, punitive tariffs, yet more people in jail…may not be the end of the republic, but it’ll be a shit pile no Dem presidency can clean out. And blowing off the Paris Accord may not be reversable.

      • twbb

        “He won’t abolish the EPA, he’ll just give it to American Enterprise Institute to run.”

        Bush did that and it was terrible, but Obama managed to fix most of that.

        “And blowing off the Paris Accord may not be reversable.”

        It might be. Even if we are not officially part of the Accord, a Dem president can tell the world we will still follow the obligations Obama signed on to, since they were all within the authority of the EPA to implement anyway.

    • BeyondTheRiversOfEthiopia

      Seriously. I live in an actual dictatorship. Not to minimize the horror, the horror, but some people really need to get out into the world to countries where there are no institutional checks or history or at least some respect for minority rights. Trump will be a truly unmitigated disaster for a lot of things. He won’t turn the country into Eritrea.

  • jpgray

    The problem with this is:

    (1) Many, many white people who had no problem voting for Obama in Scranton, PA, in Youngstown, OH, in WI, in IA, giving him huge margins of 10-20 points, did not care to vote for Hillary.

    (2) Trump did significantly better among minorities than Romney.

    It’s odd for people obsessed with maintaining white authority to disproportionately vote for an actual black guy, and this would therefore seem a dubious explanation of events.

    In my experience speaking with Midwestern Trump voters, most are simply not racists so much as willing to enable a racist if otherwise agreeable. When confronted with Trump’s racism, they offer deflections of “he doesn’t mean it” or “he can’t really do it,” etc., and that they strongly disagree with him. Just not enough to vote for Clinton.

    So the tale of this election is that people are willing to ignore racism for something else. That something else, more signaled than laid out in detail, was a grandiose vision of returning unskilled people and their America to a lost glory. That this is compelling in spite of being totally fact-free and supported with anecdotal bigoted ghost stories means to me that we had no grandiose vision to counter it. Having such a vision makes a candidate apparently resistant to accusations of racism among both whites and minorities.

    And if you think Trump’s racism went unheralded in the media, that’s just ridiculous. Voters knew what he was, but apparently didn’t care.

    What was HRC’s competing vision? Some very good and useful dial-adjusting and incrementalism, but little grandiose inspiration. Compared to Trump she had little to forgive, but that little voters forgave not at all.

    • Rob in CT

      Part of the issue here is the 3rd term thing… grandiose vision (even if it was something Clinton was capable of selling) is hard to do if you’re the “incumbent” party (even though the GOP held congress, voters don’t care. They look at the WH). Bernie had the insurgent thing going and a grandiose vision… or at least a raft of fairly radical (for the US) policy proposals. He also had a nefarious enemy (bankers) to snipe at, which is a big part of Trump’s appeal too.

    • brewmn

      Good comment. The thing that pisses me off is that there are so many voters out there (esp. younger voters, by my unscientific sampling) who blame the Democrats for things not getting big things done, and decide the best way to punish them is by withdrawing their support and giving the Republicans even more power to obstruct the change these voters claim they want.

    • TopsyJane

      Some racists did vote for Obama, which we know because they’re on the internet. People who take a generally dim view of the capacities of black people but voted for Obama all the same because he seemed better than the alternative at the time.

      Also, being willing to “ignore racism” on the Trumpian scale is pretty, uh, racist, seems to me (?)

      • jpgray

        But the set of people who ignored Trump’s racism to either not turn out or ignore it and vote for him includes minorities. So do we call them racists?

        There’s unquestionably a solid and large chunk of racist/white supremacist voters that turned out for Trump, and turned out to support his racism. That’s easy to call.

        There’s also a solid and large chunk of the Obama coalition that either stayed home or voted for Trump, white and not white, and they did this despite his racism. This requires a better explanation than Bouie et al are offering.

    • Cheap Wino

      “In my experience speaking with Midwestern Trump voters, most are simply not racists so much as willing to enable a racist if otherwise agreeable.”

      So, they’re racists. Gotcha. Hint on the tipping point between racist and not racist: You empower the person who is blatantly racist, you’re a racist.

  • aturner339

    I suppose I’m just wondering if there exists abundant of circumstances under which liberals could reckon with the implications of a political movement that is founded on white identity politics.

    This campaign showed us that conservatives will not. The closest we got was Avik Roy.

    Is it possible or as TNC said yesterday is the problem of whiteness still insoluble for the time being even among the left?

    • aturner339

      “A set of circumstances” sorry commenting whilst subwaying

  • twbb

    The problem of whiteness is insoluble as an overall moral and philosophical issue.

    The problem of whiteness is absolutely soluble as an electoral issue.

    • aturner339

      Provided there is a critical mass of people who want to solve it. Where are those folks?

      • twbb

        They were around in 2008 and 2012. It’s not an easily-soluble problem, but it can be done. White identity politics won’t always win.

        • aturner339

          Were they though? I think this is my major problem with a lot of the reasoning in this thread. The notion that a people or a nation that voted for a black president cannot also be motivated by white supremacy. Call it a weaker firm of the post racial argument.

          I think that’s just wrong. I think (in fact I know) that quite a few white racists voted for Obama if only to prove to themselves they aren’t racists.

          • twbb

            When a white racist votes for Obama to prove to themselves they aren’t racism, that is not solving the philosophical problem, but it is solving the electoral problem. That’s what I’m saying; solving the underlying white supremacy issue may not be solvable now. But getting the political institutions changed is possible.

            • Buggy Ding Dong

              Also, 49 percent of Americans did not vote AND 6 million fewer Democrats voted in 2016.

              I know we will eventually blame it all on Hillary for being a “bad candidate” just like Al Gore, John Kerry, Mike Dukakis and every other D who “loses”, but the problem is in the Party and how it operates. No consistent message, no concentrated effort to tout how we have helped, nothing that carries over from election to election.

              Republicans have always had that. It is like having good offensive and defensive lines. You may not have the talent to win every time, but you are never going to be blown out.

              Ds have great skill players, but no lines so it is harder every election.

              • TopsyJane

                This. You’re not going to get a genius like Bill Clinton or a star like Obama in every Democratic generation. However, you are going to get solid, decent candidates who don’t necessarily incite Beatlemania. The Party has to work with that and Democratic voters have to work with that.

  • Mike Toreno

    see it was a scandal that pales next to the Secretary of State’s email management practices.


    That’s the opposite of what you meant. What you meant was:

    See it was a scandal next to which the Secretary of State’s email management practices pales.

  • Buggy Ding Dong

    Racism exists, but apparently only in the abstract. Every single incident is actually Not Racism. It is something else. It always has been, and it always will be.

    White Americans (not all whites) simply are incapable of coming to grips with America’s original sin and our education system and journalists do not want to. Slavery ended in 1865! Yay us! Segregation and racism ended in 1965! Yay us! Racism ended again in 2008! Yay us!

    Wait a minute. If Slavery ended in 1865, why did segregation and racism end in 1965?

    Um, uh.

    And if racism ended in 1965, why did it end again in 2008?

    Um, uh.

    And if it ended in 2008, how did Trump happen?

    Uh, uh. Economic uncertainty and deficits!

  • anonymous

    It looks to me that the Democratic Party is facing an existential crisis similar to what is happening to the UK Labour Party. Both took progressive turns and are now losing badly. Truth us that Third Way style politics such as Blairism and Bill Clintonism works, explicit progressivism fails.

    Unlike the Repugs, the Democratic coalition is very unwieldy and fragile and breaking apart. Winning overwhelming majorities of PoC won’t work now that Whites continue fleeing the Democratic Party. Jim Webb was right!

    The Midwest is clearly now going the way of the Deep South towards Deep Red status. Combining those two means the Repugs have the electoral college advantage. The only hope is to flip AZ NC and such but Midwest is gone for good.

    • Rob in CT

      Why is it gone for good?

    • Murc

      The Midwest is clearly now going the way of the Deep South towards Deep Red status. Combining those two means the Repugs have the electoral college advantage. The only hope is to flip AZ NC and such but Midwest is gone for good.

      What is this based on? Clinton losing by tiny margins in MI and WI?

      • Buggy Ding Dong

        And it is wrong. Progressive works just fine. The problem is that there was a big fucking donut hole in progressiveism. All the fire and attention is to much needed social progressiveness, but the economic part — Occupy Wall Street to Bankruptcy Reform to Foreclosure assistance to Student Debt relief — takes a backseat to gay marriage etc.

        Economic progressiveism/opportunity needs to be the trunk of our tree, with social issues as the branches.

      • BeyondTheRiversOfEthiopia

        It’s incredibly stupid. There are a lot of issues, but a loss by Michigan of .3% means its gone forever?

        Wisconsin almost went for Bush in 2000 (the margin was under 1%), in the a similar election after 8 years of a popular Democratic president, the Republicans came out with a narrow win, instead of a narrow loss. But now this is some sea change that means the state is gone for a generation?

        The thing is, you can run a Brownback style “reacolution” in Kansas and people will keep voting for you because its a deep red state and there just isn’t much of a Democratic party. You have a lot less ability to do this comfortably at the presidential or federal level in actual swing states.

        I remain mildly optimistic that the Republicans, with unified control of government are going to do a lot of stupid things vis a vis the political center. Abortion, gay marriage, and tax hikes on the rich are broadly popular. They’re going to go against all of this. Furthermore, while the working class may not return to the Democratic part en masse, at least some of them will wake up to the fact that 4 years of a Trump presidency hasn’t brought back the 1950s. I expect the Democrats to gain seats in the House in 2018 and maybe hold or lose a few in the Senate because of the horrid map, which actually might be a “blessing” in disguise (minus the Supreme Court and whats going to happen in those two years) , since the Republicans will keep unified control of government and then 2020 rolls around and its in a redistricting year…

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