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Trump Is Very Unpopular And Can Be Made Even Less Popular

[ 281 ] January 29, 2017 |

aptopix-campaign-2016-trump

Based on some comments — as well as royal stenographers declaring that Trump WON THE WEEK, which I might return to later — I think it might be useful to go back to Yglesias’s typology of Trump voters:

Roughly speaking, vague references to “Trump voters” tend to end up falling into one of three buckets:

  • Trump’s primary voters: These are the true Donald Trump fans. The people who decided to throw tradition to the wind and turn out and vote to nominate a person who didn’t have the basic attributes of a traditional presidential nominee. That amounts to about 14 million people who voted for him — only 45 percent of Republican Party primary voters.
  • The typical Trump voter: This is a very boring but numerically large group of people — basically Republicans. Most Republicans didn’t vote in the 2016 GOP primary, and most 2016 GOP primary voters didn’t vote for Trump. But most of these Republicans who weren’t especially enthusiastic about Trump did what they do every four years and voted for the GOP nominee, just as Hillary Clinton coasted to easy wins in states like Vermont and Washington where the primaries showed her to have few enthusiasts.
  • The marginal Trump voters: Typical Republican Party voters are a much larger group of people than swing voters who defected from the Democrats to vote for Trump. But winning the votes of people who always vote GOP isn’t enough to make you president. The converts were small in number, but they made the difference between winning and losing.

[…]

Indeed, exit polls show that a staggering 60 percent of voters said they had an unfavorable view of Trump on Election Day. Clinton’s problem was that she only got 77 percent of the votes of Trump-disapprovers, likely because her own favorable ratings were also terrible.

Trump pulled off the impressive feat of crushing Clinton among voters who disapproved of both candidates, while another large chunk of them opted to vote for a third-party candidate.

The marginal Trump voter — and the median American — already doesn’t like him. He was able to win in 2016 thanks to a combination of third-party voting, Clinton’s unpopularity, and the quirks of the Electoral College. Under the circumstances, keeping up a drumbeat of criticism that “Trump supporters don’t care about” is actually a perfectly reasonable strategy.

There’s no particular need to find a magic formula to lift the scales from the eyes of Trump’s biggest supporters or to shatter his stranglehold and Republican Party loyalists. Democrats don’t necessarily need to convince a single Trump fan to stop liking him. What they need to do is find a way to convince the people who don’t like Trump to support their nominee instead.

It is, of course, true that even as disgusting and poorly implemented a plan as Trump’s racist immigration ban won’t damage and might even mobilize support among his base. But those voters are permanently beyond reach anyway. Some ordinary Republican voters might find it distasteful but will always pull the GOP lever anyway, and Trump has proved that these voters are also largely unreachable. But the key are the smaller but crucial number of voters who didn’t like Trump and considered not voting for him but decided they liked Clinton even less. How exactly to apportion the blame between Clinton herself and the influential media members who relentlessly hyped inane bullshit about Hillary Clinton — in many cases, despite being well aware that a Donald Trump presidency would a political, constitutional, and moral crisis — and opened up the field for the FBI to throw the election isn’t important — what matters is that Trump got a crucial number of marginal voters who didn’t like him even when they voted for him.

So what matters going forward is how actions like the racist immigration ban affect group #3 — and, as Dave says here the reaction is likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Another thing that matters gong forward is mobilizing potential Clinton voters who stayed home, and Trump’s actions are also likely to mobilize these voters for the same reason that John Kerry was the one Democratic candidate of the millennium Cornel West decided to endorse.

And, finally, remember that groups 1, 2 and 3 still weren’t a majority coalition — he still needed to draw an inside straight in the undemocratic mechanism that selects the president. One of the favorite factoids of the don’t-bother-nothing-matters left is the fact that Sam Brownback won re-election despite being an unmitigated disaster. Well, yes, but in his first election Brownback won by won by 29 points and in his second he won by less than 4, despite the advantages of incumbency. Trump, to put it mildly, doesn’t have that kind of margin of error to work with. He’s already unpopular, and can be made more unpopular. And while nothing will stop the Republicans from passing upper-class tax cuts, the more unpopular Trump is the harder it will be for the clown car to proceed with ACA repeal. Trump is very unpopular, and despite this is marginal support is very soft. This matters, and not only for 2018 and 2020. That Trump’s base will like what he does is beside the point.

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  1. DamnYankees says:

    Here’s my problem when I see numbers like this – how does this compare to actual, previous demogogues and autocrats?

    I fear we lack comparisons to know if this number is meaningful. Like, if you made a list of the 20 most odious political leaders of the last century, and you polled their populations at a similar point of their leadership – were those people more popular than this?

    If every other autocratic assholes was also staggeringly unpopular at the outside, but still was able to maintain power and cause horror, then this sort of stuff just isn’t comforting at all. Like, not at all.

    I realize this is impossible to figure out – there are no polls of Cambodians or Rwandans or Soviet citizens at the relevant time periods. But it seems to me that Trump’s unpopularity is almost irrelevant. He’s already elected. He already controls the military, the intelligence services and has the devotion of the overwhelming amount of state and local law enforcement officers.

    That’s enough, if they use it the way we’ve seen such things can be used.

    I realize I’m being pessimistic here, but, well, I’m pessimistic. We let the wolves in.

    • sigaba says:

      Hard to say things about levels of support, most of those other situations there was no independent press. In the US situation the press may be quite lazy and incurious but it still does straightforward polls and isn’t afraid to show demonstrations.

      • humanoid.panda says:

        Yeah. to look at first week of the administration and to conclude that The media is afraid to report on Trump and the opposition is cowed is simply masochism and nothing else

        • DamnYankees says:

          That’s not what I’m saying. I don’t fear the opposition will be cowed. I fear it won’t matter. As I said above, the people with the guns are the ones devoted to him.

          • Aimai says:

            Oh, come on, the number of people with guns is decreasing all the time–the number of those with lots of guns is increasing. But the gun owners are far, far, far, from being ready and able to do anything more than shoot their own fingers off accidentally, or let their toddlers get shot. Most of the mass shootings are by teenagers, not adult men. And the adult men who fetishistically buy these guns are, for the most part, fantasists, preppers, paranoids, and hysterics who are so afraid of the world that they spend their time hunkered down at home prepping for disaster. They are not coming out to do Trump’s bidding. They pay taxes to have the police do that for them.

            • Captain Oblivious says:

              Also, too, the various right-wing militia groups that might actually try something stupid are run by morons and don’t get along with each other.

            • Derelict says:

              I’m pretty sure that DY meant the police and the military, not the average firearm-fondling NRA jackass.

              Much depends on whether the police and the military decide that the road to true liberty is to do away with free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, etc. If law enforcement and the military decide to go along with whatever Trump and Bannon decree as necessary “for the safety of the country,” we’re all pretty much screwed.

              • Swordsmith says:

                He’s been going out of his way to convince the military and intelligence apparatus, regardless of their conservative nature, that he’s a dangerous loon. Demoting the chairman of the JCS in favor of Bannon (and justifying it on the basis that Bannon was a naval officer)? That is going to leave a mark.

            • rhino says:

              I have read that there is almost parity on gun ownership between the left and right, What is heavily dominated by republicans is *number* of guns. In other words, the numbers are skewed by classic gun nutz, who are indeed republicans mostly.

              If anyone can link to the truth on this question, that would be nifty, but at least up here in Canada I know as many left as right who shoot, but the gun nutz I work with are trumpistas, and preppers, and idiots, but I wax redundant.

          • Junipermo says:

            We can either be paralyzed by worry and fear and overthinking, and definitely lose our country, or we can fight back and maybe get to keep it. Seems like the choice is pretty clear.

      • efgoldman says:

        it still does straightforward polls and isn’t afraid to show demonstrations.

        And crapping all over the press is one of the best ways to poke the hornet’s nest. Sure, some will be intimidated, but many will not.
        Bannonazi, by taking on the NYT, may have energized them. Of course, they don’t have HRC to kick around ny more….
        Plus social media, which didn’t exist before.

        • Fiddlin Bill says:

          The model may be Tiananmen Square and China’s successful repression of dissent more generally. Note that China has been able to repress social media and access to the internet. Watch out for coming efforts to suppress free speech on line. Labelling websites as “soft on terrorism” can be a wedge in this battle/argument. This is going to be a very long battle, because the Trump regime is very radical and aims to destroy the US as we’ve known it.

          • efgoldman says:

            The model may be Tiananmen Square and China’s successful repression of dissent more generally.

            China was already a totalitarian society, with no tradition of free movement, free speech, or a free press, where the military was the state organ of repression and not under civilian control. They’d gone thru a huge upheaval (Great Cultural Revolution) which made things worse, not better, within recent living memory.
            Not saying it can’t happen here, or that Bannonazi won’t try. But we start from a very different baseline.

            • rhino says:

              And they also have very vigorous and robust subversive systems operating over social media using code words and phrases and similar things.

              China isn’t nearly as all powerful as a lot of people think, although it’s a major ongoing battle. Tianamen square hasn’t been forgotten by either side of the democracy question.

      • fernando says:

        The next elections are for the House and Senate. Reasonable people will vote for a democrat as long as the candidate has solid credentials and focuses on what counts for independent voters (people like me). This means the candidate should focus on issues such as employment at decent wages, a decent foreign policy which reduces tensions with other nations, reducing crime, legalized marihuana, and income tax averaging.

        Climate change, Kowtowing to Israel, Subsidizing football stadia, and building a wall on the Canadian border should not get much attention.

        • Phil Perspective says:

          Climate change, Kowtowing to Israel, Subsidizing football stadia, and building a wall on the Canadian border should not get much attention.

          Climate change is probably the biggest and most looming threat, as everything else might not matter in 30 years.

          • joel hanes says:

            Climate change is the biggest threat

            I seldom agree with Phil P. on anything, but on this we are as one.

            The graphs from 2016 appear as if we finally hit one or more of the feared “tipping points”, beyond which the trends become strongly self-reinforcing. The Arctic temperature curves are completely unprecedented, qualitatively different than anything we’ve seen before.

            If you can find a way to short barrier-island real estate, that’s looking like a sure thing.

            • rhino says:

              So what I am hearing is the climate change battle is lost, so why bother fighting it.

              Incidentally, I DO think it’s lost, and the only possible way out now is global climate engineering to keep us from actually reaching uninhabitable levels. I don’t actually think there is any actual way to do it by cutting production. Not considering political reality.

          • sibusisodan says:

            Yup. If you’re willing to ignore the largest existential threat of our times because it might not poll well, either your judgement should be returned to the shop for a tune up, or your political system is fubar’d.

            • Captain Oblivious says:

              Well, he did say he was an “independent” and favors “income tax equalization”, so I’m guessing he’s a libertarian nutjob trolling us.

              • fernando says:

                Income tax equalization refers to income tax averaging. This means one can take earnings from several years and average them. This is important for some people. For example, let’s say you finish college, get a nice job making $100,000 a year, but prior to that you were making $3000 over the summer. The tax equalization would allow you to lump say up to 7 years, and pay an equal amount of tax over that period of time.

                The same applies to unemployed persons, or those receiving a lump sum payment for accepting early retirement. It also helps artists who have been sucking wind washing dishes for several years and then sell a painting for $200,000.

                My suggestion regarding climate change is very pragmatic. People simply don’t care that much about the subject. In my case I devote at least ten hours a week studying it, and I truly don’t think it’s as important as other subjects. By the way, the temperature anomaly dropped over the last few months, check the REMSS satellite data time series for the lower troposphere. The 2015-16 El Niño is over.

                • Ithaqua says:

                  I’m convinced! A trend that’s showed up for over sixty years is over now because of a few months of temperatures not going up!!!

                  Clearly statistics is not your strong point.

              • (((Malaclypse))) says:

                Per his webite

                I’m an engineer, born in Cuba, educated in a USA university before they degenerated in the early 21st century

                so not at all a crank.

            • rhino says:

              Ignoring climate change policy wrt carbon emissions is reasonable under one fairly likely framework: That it’s too late to stop. It’s a complex question, but the one person I know who is competent to hold an opinion thinks we are past the point of no return. The poles are going to melt, the equator is going to become essentially uninhabitable, and that’s best case.

              If it’s too late to stop runaway global warming, not focussing on carbon emissions and starting crash projects to figure out global level climate engineering is the smart (and likely only) move. That or not having kids and giving up.

              • fernando says:

                Ignoring climate change is reasonable for political candidates who want to win elections. This isn’t about pleasing you. It’s about focusing on the top 3-4 issues that people worry about and explaining what you would do about it.

                Touting climate change is only important in places like California and the northeast. Those areas don’t seem to have real everyday up on your face worries like being unable to pay the rent.

                • Ithaqua says:

                  Right… everyone in California is rich, no poor people here!

                • fernando says:

                  Evidently there’s a disconnect between California and the North East versus the rest of the country. The disconnect is even more pronounced as we move towards rural areas.

                  I happen to reside. In Europe, so I get a sense of what’s going on from family and friends, but I also look over statistics, poll results, vote distribution, etc.

                  Climate change doesn’t have traction in elections because voters don’t sense any changes. The temperature is rather nice, the ocean is still in the same place (no wonder, it goes up at 3 mm per year), hurricanes and tornadoes aren’t increasing, polar bears are still there, and so on and so forth.

                  To the typical swing voter climate change ranks with foreign aid and the space program. A very minor issue. Candidates that emphasize it over other topics are simply not going to get votes in mid America. If they win it will be because their district is focused on somethng else and they connect on that issue.

                • MyNameIsZweig says:

                  California and the northeast … don’t seem to have real everyday up on your face worries like being unable to pay the rent.

                  Are you for real with this uninformed shit? Just look at the ridiculous rents in California – there are *thousands* of people in my city, San Francisco, who are constantly at very real risk of eviction in the face of skyrocketing rents. Boston and New York are also highly unaffordable.

                  At least now I know not to take anything you post seriously.

        • rhino says:

          And here we have captain tone police himself. The way to react to a fascist takeover of your country is to be moderate and not rock the boat.

          Sweet jesus, is your last name Quisling?

        • Hogan says:

          Reasonable people will vote for a democrat as long as the candidate has solid credentials and focuses on what counts for independent voters (people like me).

          Wow, you don’t often see such a pure example of pundit’s fallacy in the wild.

          • fernando says:

            I won’t vote for Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, or politicians like that. I’ve been living in Venezuela and saw first hand what communists/populists do to a nation. I’d rather work to enhance chances for moderates. And I suspect the typical swing voter thinks like I do. There’s a 10-20 % of the population which really decides elections. That’s those of us in the middle.

            I have no interest whatsoever in seeing the Democratic Party destroy itself, because Trump has to be stopped in the House. And that’s a tall order unless you guys get your act together.

    • djw says:

      It’s certainly possible we’re entering a period of rapid de-democratization and there’s no effective means to prevent it. But that’s hardly the only possible future. This could go a number of different ways. You don’t not bother to try to score score runs just because you’ve got a shitty pitcher going against a good offense.

      • chris j says:

        Continuing the baseball analogy, small ball can win games. Don’t need home runs. Just keep at it.

      • NewishLawyer says:

        I concur but from what I’ve read, Customs/DHS officials are currently following Trump’s order and denying the Court’s injunction.

        This makes me worry that we are in a period of “Mr. Roberts made his order, let him enforce it.” We will have a free press and protests and Democratic politicians making noise but Trump and Bannon and Co will still run steam-roller over everything with their lackeys.

        • DocAmazing says:

          The apparatus of government has always been riven by factions, and different people gravitate toward different agencies. The FBI, for example, had for decades a right-wing, button-down, seriously Mormom-influenced culture, and that shaped a lot of how they did business. The CIA has several factions within itself, notably a fascist-friendly operations clique and fairly liberal-minded analysts and researchers. Well, DHS and ICE always attracted the Border Patrol crowd. I don’t know if you’ve ever interacted with la Migra or Border Patrol agents, but my experience with them has been uniformly revolting. There are undisguised Klannners at ICE.

          Factionalism may yet provide a safety valve, combined with the Citrus King’s ability to piss off those in the highest levels of power. He made few friends at CIA, and that’s not a group of people I want mad at me. He’s marginalizing the JCS, and that’s going to make assembling a Praetorian Guard tricky. There’s no sabotage like self-sabotage.

          • ΧΤΠΔ says:

            I know the LDS church has a corporate structure, but h/t/h did it influence the FBI?

            Also, wasn’t an (at least nominal) tenet of the Praetorian Guard to perform ajusticiamiento on the caesar if he was/became a danger to the Republic?

          • NewishLawyer says:

            Not me personally except when coming back from abroad and this has been in SF and NYC where customs agents can likely be people of color.

            My girlfriend had an incident with boarder patrol in Texas when she went down to Marfa without her passport/work visa and this was during Obama.

            But yeah, it makes sense that people who do DHS stuff are not likely to be immigrant friendly.

        • efgoldman says:

          Customs/DHS officials are currently following Trump’s order and denying the Court’s injunction.

          Until the first regional manager gets hauled into court and threatened with contempt.
          Federal judges don’t like being fucked with

          • Phil Perspective says:

            Again, who is going to enforce their order? The federal marshals?

            • lizzie says:

              Court issues a summons to a hearing to show cause why the defendant should not be held in contempt. If the defendant doesn’t appear at the hearing, the court issues an arrest warrant. Marshals execute the warrant, bring the defendant into custody. Then the defendant appears before the judge for the contempt hearing.

              ETA: The tricky thing here is the distinction between criminal and civil contempt. Civil contempt, which does not require as many procedural protections and can basically be imposed by the judge on his own, cannot be punitive. It can only be to coerce compliance with the court’s order. Well, if the defendant defied a court order not to send people back, there’s no way to coerce compliance anymore. It’s too late. So criminal contempt is the only option left.

        • willstamped says:

          Do you have any links? What I’ve seen is a vague declaration by dhs and a lot of panicking. I have no problem believing it if it’s true, but the rumor mongering and panicking (eg this thread) is ridiculous. It makes it harder to figure out what is going on.

          For real, if you’re going to say dhs is ignoring the courts how about taking 30 seconds to link to what you’re talking about.

          https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/department-homeland-security-response-recent-litigation

        • Hogan says:

          This, by the way, is exactly why the order was issued at 6:30 pm on a Friday for immediate enforcement. Create as many “facts on the ground” as possible before the courts open Monday morning.

    • Chavez, Putin, Orban and Erdogan were all more popular than Trump when they were first elected. Each of them had a majority coalition of support. Perhaps more crucially, in all cases the opposition was discredited, or divided, so that even when the autocrats become less popular their opponents were unable to mobilize significant support.

      • Brautigan says:

        Perhaps more crucially, in all cases the opposition was discredited, or divided, so that even when the autocrats become less popular their opponents were unable to mobilize significant support.

        Uh oh . . .

      • fernando says:

        The opposition in Venezuela united, won the National Assembly elections in December 2015, got 112 seats to the socialists (Chavistas) 55. The Reds were surprised by the outcome, because they had planned on doing electronic ballot stuffing, but this was defeated by signal jamming devices the opposition installed near the polling stations.

        However by then, after 16 years of chavista rule, the Reds had the armed forces, the secret police, and a very tough contingent of agents sent by the Castro brothers which control all the key levers. So now Venezuela is being destroyed and even though the opposition has the clear majority they are unable to do much against what amounts to a terrible criminal totalitarian regime.

        Obama didn’t help stop this gradual descent into hell, because he legitimized the Cuban dictatorship, and this gave a signal to the Chavista gang and Castro to put pedal to the metal and morph the Maduro regime into the monster they have become.

        Lesson learned: don’t take too much time to get your act together, and don’t expect help from the outside, because when things go bad other nations look the other way and ignore it. Some even help the emerging dictatorship as they seek business, or because they have similar tendencies.

        • SIS1 says:

          FYI

          By definition, Totalitarian regimes do NOT allow for the existence of opposition parties – they most certainly don’t let them participate in elections, and even if those two principles are breached, they wouldn’t let those individuals take control of any of the branches of government.

          So the fact that the opposition currently controls the Legislature is basic proof that the Maduro regime can’t be classified as totalitarian. Authoritarian, yes, Totalitarian – absolutely not.

          • djw says:

            Yes, of course. The giveaway we’re dealing with a live one in the comment you responded to was this:

            Obama didn’t help stop this gradual descent into hell, because he legitimized the Cuban dictatorship

        • rhino says:

          Buy bottled water, somebody is putting something in the stuff you’re drinking.

          Or add another layer of tin foil.

    • AMK says:

      I’ve said it before, but I think if we are being realistic, the ultimate extreme consequence of Trump’s misrule will be fragmentation of the Union–some kind of modern Articles of Confederation or EU of America model. I put the risk of blue state secession at 5% after Trump’s election and it’s probably higher after the actions of the first week.

      The Calexit question was just cleared to make a bid for being on the ballot in 2018/2019. Inital polls show less than a third of Californians support it–but that was before the refugee fiasco, and it’s only been the first week. What happens if the whole GOP wish list is enacted and implemented in full? If Calexit passes (which of course would not actually result in immediate secession, but would increase political pressure) the same things will be proposed in the Northeast. What happens then? If you look at, say, the dissolution of the USSR, these kinds of events can snowball very quickly in a way people don’t anticipate or control. And information drives events 100x faster than in 1989-91.

      • Aimai says:

        If Calexits then the country is screwed because right wing states will have even more power. If California went then for sure I’d want the Northeast to withdraw–but would we be allowed to? No, of course not.

        • NewishLawyer says:

          I highly doubt that even California would be allowed to withdraw.

        • Nobdy says:

          Calexit will never happen. The red states need the tax money to shore up their budgets since many of them have A) no real economies and B) no real taxes.

          If they lost California and the north east they would be left with more or less a petro-state, and way too much state for the petro to support.

          • LosGatosCA says:

            This type of analysis should be done and published not to justify Calexit, but to highlight why it’s a bad idea for the rest of the country. Pound home, non-judgmentally, how dependent the Confederate states are on blue state subsidies.

          • Origami Isopod says:

            Also, California is highly dependent on other states for water, and desalinization on a large scale is very expensive.

            • MyNameIsZweig says:

              Yes, this exactly. It’s something that many of my neighbors don’t seem to realize – they think we get all our water from Hetch Hetchy, and forget about how dependent SoCal especially is on water from out of state.

        • ASV says:

          California won’t leave without a shooting war. The only relatively bloodless way any state leaves is if we repeal and delay the entire Constitution, in which case we all leave.

      • NewishLawyer says:

        I just don’t see the United States allowing any state secede easily. This is probably doubly so for California because of our importance to the American economy and also because we are the gateway to the Pacific.

        The Articles of Confederation example is more plausible to me but just barely.

        • Linnaeus says:

          As I recall, the US fought a very bloody war the last time some states thought that they could secede.

        • AMK says:

          Of course no state will be “allowed” to secede, any more than the Soviet Republics were “allowed” to. The point is that the country is already divided enough by ideology and geography that “permission” will be a meaningless concept.

          Look at what just happened. On paper a very minor thing: temporary travel suspensions for refugees and seven failed states/longtime state terror sponsors that account for maybe a 20th of a percent of travelers to America on any given day. But the symbolism and the incompetent way it was executed have roiled the country. What happens with something that’s not minor….like, say, Jeff Sessions enforcing a national voter ID law or a Pence “religious freedom” law, and the GOP’s pet Supreme Court letting him do it? How are the West Coast and the Northeast and the blue urban enclaves elsewhere going to react?

          • David Allan Poe says:

            I’m not sure ideology and geography are actually enough, though. The South only seceded when they perceived that their economic basis for existing was threatened directly by Lincoln’s election and so stepped outside the accepted norms of the nation. Plus, there were real questions back then as to whether people identified more strongly with their state or with the nation as a whole.

            I mean, I have no idea, though, really. We’re obviously getting into uncharted territory.

  2. Steve LaBonne says:

    More vertebrates among Democratic Senators would really help with this.

    • NeonTrotsky says:

      If we want Democratic politicians to act like Republican politicians then Democratic primary voters need to start voting like Republican primary voters

      • LosGatosCA says:

        Not sure what your point here is, I want to have the Democratic politicians reflect the principles of the Democratic Party at all times. Know your mission and stick to it, that’s the only way Democratic politicians should emulate Republicans.

        You never see Republicans looking for the ‘Grand Bargain’ or giving the Daddy jobs in their administrations to Democrats, ever. EVER. It’s really not that hard.

      • Jean-Michel says:

        The primaries are more than a year away. By then the possibility of a true opposition party will be gone. If the Dems don’t step up now they’ll be the U.S. equivalent of the German Centre Party.

    • Gee Suss says:

      This is what I’m hearing from my circle. What is the Democratic PLAN? Why isn’t there a coordinated effort on this?

      • Nobdy says:

        Coordination is the effort more than spine. Lots of Democrats have said strong things in opposition or showed up at airports. Great! But there needs to be a united official response that gets out there and circulated.

        McConnell was out there all the time during the Obama administration pressing the Republican line. Schumer needs to do the same. You love microphones and cameras so much, Chuckie, get the fuck in front of one and read off a strong, united, condemnation of Trump’s actions, support for protesters, and a plan of opposition.

        Tell George Stephanopoulos “After this unprecedented assault on religious liberties and the basic principle of racial equality that underpins this nation it is more important than ever that Jeff Sessions not be confirmed as attorney general. He is the wrong man to apply the rule of law to this outrageous administration that has attacked the constitution and the underpinnings of our society within the first 10 days of being in office!”

        Or if you can’t do it send John Lewis to do it as a formal representative of the Democratic party!

      • howard says:

        The short answer is that the GOP has adopted the norms and behavior of a parliamentary party and the dems have not.

        • LosGatosCA says:

          Bingo.

          Parallel to that, the Republican base/leaders unfailingly believe they are in an existential battle every minute of every day and acts accordingly. They even come up with bullshit like the War on Christmas to keep the rubes riled up.

          While Democrats, very clearly, don’t understand that if your opponent believes they are in an existential battle, then you are, too. I mean if your opponent believes they fighting you to the death, you need to take that seriously and act accordingly.

          I fail to see any signs that Democrats understand the game they are in (see exhibits A & B, filibuster, judicial holds).

          • AMK says:

            This. Too many Democrats–because they haven’t been personally affected, because they’ve taken demographics for granted–have seen politics as a salon instead of war by other means. I think there are hopeful signs that’s beginning to change, but it won’t happen wholesale until a critical mass of them realize that (1) substantive compromises with Trump/GOP will not actually happen and (2) sawing off their own limbs to seem “reasonable” does not win votes.

            I actually think you could make much of the same argument about the mainstream media, where reporting has actually broken out with greater frequency since the election and there seems to be less complacency.

            • Phil Perspective says:

              Too many Democrats–because they haven’t been personally affected, because they’ve taken demographics for granted–have seen politics as a salon instead of war by other means. I think there are hopeful signs that’s beginning to change, but it won’t happen wholesale until a critical mass of them realize that (1) substantive compromises with Trump/GOP will not actually happen and (2) sawing off their own limbs to seem “reasonable” does not win votes.

              You do realize this was one of the argument of the BernieBros and Brocalists, right? How they were pissed when it was revealed that Clinton was trying to woo “moderate Republicans” instead of Democratic base voters.

              • joel hanes says:

                Oh, good, let’s re-hash this. Reciting our fraternal grievances and revisiting grudges will certainly help the Dems resist the fascism that threatens the rule of law in our country.

                • Lord Jesus Perm says:

                  I’ve been told by wise commenters here that such behavior is necessary. Healthy, even.

              • FlipYrWhig says:

                The Democratic base is women 40 and over and people of color of all ages. Bernie Sanders lost because he failed to connect with the Democratic base.

                • Origami Isopod says:

                  No, no, old hags and PoC are too dumb to know what’s good for them! Better leave that to the Jackoff Bin crowd.

              • efgoldman says:

                Check this statement by senator McCain

                As we’ve noted before, talk is cheap – let’s see the votes.
                And that goes for Collins, Sasse, and Flake, too.

                • Well, they may have a chance to vote soon:

                  Schumer: Democrats will try to undo Trump ban

                  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed Sunday that Democrats will push legislation to unravel President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order barring certain immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations, which prompted mass confusion and chaos at airports nationwide.

                  The Democrats’ bill is currently being drafted, a spokesman for Schumer said.

                  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is also preparing legislation to overturn Trump’s far-reaching executive order.

              • howard says:

                so i read the whole thing and nowhere did i see the words “we call on president trump to withdraw this executive order.”

                so as usual with mccain and graham, when they actually cross their party, i’ll take them seriously: right now they are blowhards, pure and simple.

                • LosGatosCA says:

                  Harry Reid had the best take on Arlen Specter before he switched parties-

                  He’s always with us when we don’t need him.

                  McCain, Graham, Collins, etc – start voting your ‘conscience’ or stop pretending you have one.

    • DrDick says:

      And actual progressives on the DNC would, as well.

    • jam says:

      Call them on the telephone and tell their staffers what you want them to do.

  3. C.V. Danes says:

    Is it possible to get his approval rating so low that we happily hand him over to the Hague? I think we should target that.

    • LosGatosCA says:

      If we can’t get Cheney, a self-admitted war criminal, or Bush, to the Hague, this really isn’t an option worth any one’s time.

    • Nobdy says:

      Or we could, you know, get the rating low enough that he doesn’t actually end up committing war crimes?

      What happens to Trump after he loses power is much less important than what he is able to do in power and making sure he’s out as quickly as possible.

      • LosGatosCA says:

        Much better.

      • DamnYankees says:

        Or we could, you know, get the rating low enough that he doesn’t actually end up committing war crimes?

        I don’t think I see a causal connection here. I don’t think lowering his approval makes him les dangerous at all.

        • Nobdy says:

          Lower it enough that the Democrats can break off some Republican senators to vote against his worst policies and he can be contained. It won’t stop everything bad but it could stop a significant amount.

          • LosGatosCA says:

            Correct. Fewer allies or accomplices or even fewer folks who can dodge the issues on the sidelines helps in the margins.

            Politicians are the most self-interested people in the world and don’t want to be associated with losing/losers.

            • efgoldman says:

              Politicians are the most self-interested people in the world and don’t want to be associated with losing/losers.

              While Dems should keep fighting and protesting at every turn, I don’t see congressional/senate RWNJs turning (and most never will) until early next year.
              For now they’re at least as afraid of primaries from their even kkkrazier elements, since the True Believers are the people who vote in primaries, especially in off years.
              If it looks like they’re in trouble in the general elections, they’ll turn on him out of survival.

          • Moondog von Superman says:

            The reverse is true as well. As Trump is weakened by Russia stuff etc, there goes any hope that he’ll block Republican measures on healthcare and social security.
            Of course, that was always a pipe dream. Never mind.

  4. Nobdy says:

    Trump pulled off the impressive feat of crushing Clinton among voters who disapproved of both candidates

    Yes. Trump did it. It was Trump. Trump with his fall of Saigon feeling funereal final days of his campaign.

    Obviously the media and Comey were more responsible for Clinton’s dismal performance among the “not a dime’s worth of difference” crowd, and this is important because while Comey will still loyal to Orange Julius Caesar, the media can and will turn on him.

    Trump benefited from three things with the media that he no longer has.

    A) He wasn’t going to win so they didn’t take him seriously.

    Oops. But this explains part of (though not all of) why the media focused on Clinton’s deficits over Trump’s. She was going to be president so her scandals mattered, while he was just a historical footnote so his didn’t. Obviously no longer the case.

    B) They didn’t think he’d actually do what he said he’d do (or “principled Republicans” would stop him.)

    This was an obvious miscalculation at the time, but there were plenty of wizened old Washington hands who thought Trump was all talk or that the party would control him. This clearly hasn’t happened, and it was obvious to anyone paying attention to Republicans that it never would happen, but it was a real advantage for him, because all his policy ideas were bonkers.

    It’s also easier to criticize policy once it’s implemented than before, when you can hide behind hazy predictions and obfuscation.

    Reporters are very bad at saying “X will happen if you do Y” when partisan hacks are shouting “Z will happen if you do Y” even if X is the obvious outcome. But once you do Y and X happens, they are reasonably good at reporting “X has happened.” So stupid plans that were a “partisan” issue when proposed (Democrats say repealing the ACA will be bad, Republicans say it will be good, opinions vary) are different when implemented. The media was awful on the run up to Iraq, but somewhat better (though far from perfect) at reporting what a debacle that war actually was, for example. The same with the Muslim ban. Didn’t get enough attention during the campaign, but once they were detaining Iraqi translators at the airport that got a lot more coverage.

    C) Trump was an “outsider”, and the media likes outsiders.

    So does the public. Trump is no longer an outsider and he doesn’t get that bump anymore.

    I think that all this has a chance of really hurting Trump with mid-information voters who were swayed by the Email stuff and the Trump defenses and hagiographies. Pressure must be kept up on the media to do its job, report the bad stuff, and treat Trump with the same skepticism that other presidents have received. Protests obviously help because they make strong visuals, but so do letters to the editor and the like.

    A few Republican politicians stepped away from the herd on Saturday to oppose Trump’s policies. The more they feel their own electoral futures are at risk aligning with him the better. It will only take a few senators breaking from McConnell’s grip to give the Democrats a chance to block significant legislation (not all the bad stuff, but some of it.)

    • Gee Suss says:

      B) They didn’t think he’d actually do what he said he’d do (or “principled Republicans” would stop him.)

      What’s funny is probably each Trump voter had at least one thing they thought he wouldn’t do, but what that thing was was different for each. He was the perfect vessel for their beliefs.

      • LosGatosCA says:

        As someone(s?) have pointed out, presidential candidates are always evaluated by what their fans project on to them.

        Like that, sorry to be judgmental, stupid, ignorant woman in Kentucky who worked to sign people up for KYNECT and voted for Trump explaining that it was just campaign rhetoric to get elected. He’d never actually take away their health insurance.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          I just don’t know what to do with people like that.

          Proudly, aggressively ignorant, nasty, self-sabotaging, will never admit that they were wrong. Yet some think we need to use kid gloves on their dumb asses. I’m tired of coddling ignorant white racists.

          A deeply held belief of mine, which comes from upbringing and just my general approach to life-when you’re wrong, especially when you are EMBARRASSINGLY wrong, you admit it. I’ll have no truck with groveling for the votes of people who can’t admit they were wrong. It’s just gonna keep happening.

      • humanoid.panda says:

        I’d add D: there were two candidates so media felt a need to report about both of them in roughly equivalent terms. What this meant in practical terms is not that media was nice to Trump- it’s that it was brutal on HRC. And anytime the media spotlight shifted to him, his numbers crashed

      • econoclast says:

        I think this is how “incumbancy fatigue” plays out. People were sick of Democrats in the White House, so they believed everything Trump said that they liked, and disbelieved everything they didn’t like. I bet the phenomenon was reversed in 2008. (Anecdotally, people seemed weirdly surprised by things Obama did that he explicitly promised to do, such as push for universal health care.)

        • jim, some guy in iowa says:

          that’s one of the weird things about being in this polarized era: both sides are subject to the whims of people in the mushy middle who pretty much roll the dice when they vote

        • SNF says:

          Another big thing is how much you’re able to promise.

          Two terms in the White House usually results in the other party becoming dominant in Congress. So that means that the party out of power can promise much more. They know their ideas will likely be passed by Congress. The White House party can’t promise that. Another issue is that the out of power party actually can change a lot of stuff just by reversing the previous administration’s executive orders.

          Trump could promise big things because he had a Republican Congress and a lot of Obama’s policies he could reverse. Hillary could not honestly promise big things, because she knew legislation would be dead on arrival. And Obama had already done all the easy executive orders, so she couldn’t promise much there either.

          The other thing is enthusiasm. When you’re out of power you become very aware of how much it would mean to win an election. You become much more forgiving of imperfections in your candidate. But for a party with two terms under its belt, supporters become demoralized and complacent. They don’t realize how much they have to lose, and they focus on being annoyed at how having the White House hasn’t led to a utopia.

    • Solar System Wolf says:

      The media was setting up for a gleeful four years of reporting on every potential wrinkle of Hillary’s unprecedented corruption, like teenagers who mouth off to mom because they know she’ll never actually kick them out of the house.

  5. Davis X. Machina says:

    If there’s no way that Trump can win another election, Steve Bannon has a really neat idea how to address that.

  6. MacK says:

    Question – at what point does the “have you met my jewish son in law?” “my daughter married a jew/converted and I didn’t disinherit her,” “some of my best friends are jews like Bibi Netanyahu” cease to provide a dispensation from being considered an anti-semite?

    Hanging round with Steve Bannon? Winking at the alt-right? Doing a ‘white/all lives matter’ on holocaust memorial day?

    • efgoldman says:

      at what point does the… cease to provide a dispensation from being considered an anti-semite?

      For those of us who hang around here, that point was passed long, long ago. Certainly no later than his adoption of Bannonazi.
      For most people? I think that particular problem is pretty far down the list.
      Frankly, I don’t care why people come to hate him, as long as they do, and as long as they feel that he’s fucking us over.

  7. USGrant says:

    Scott — Your link to the Yglesias piece seems to be the wrong one. Also, your CV link on the LGM site no longer works and I can’t find you in the College of St. Rose faculty directory. Did you leave there? Thanks.

    • Ruviana says:

      I found him by putting his name into their search engine, but the whole College site has been made very opaque and names few people. Just fyi.

    • Linnaeus says:

      [too late in this case, but information about my professional venue given to anonymous commenter deleted]

      • USGrant says:

        Ah, yes. I see that now. Thanks.

        • USGrant says:

          Scott — Nothing insidious. I often send links to your various articles (e.g., from The Guardian.com) to friends and family, and when I do so I like to include a screenshot the author’s credentials blurb, for emphasis. Your current credentials shown on Guardian.com and The American Prospect website are apparently out of date. I was simply trying to make sure they are current for a link to an article of yours that I was about to send to my niece, who is agonizing over Trump, etc. Sincerely — Roy Campbell, Laporte, CO

          • Scott Lemieux says:

            Sorry — didn’t mean to cast aspersions on you personally, just wary given the blacklisting that Erik has already been targeted with! Thanks for reading and you can always get in touch with me via the site email.

  8. DrDick says:

    Clinton’s problem was that she only got 77 percent of the votes of Trump-disapprovers, likely because her own favorable ratings were also terrible.

    And this is one of the reasons I have said all along that she was a poor candidate. Regardless of whether this was deserved (while I think much of it was not, some was), this was always going to be a major hurdle to overcome and one she did not seem to address. In selecting a candidate, this is the kind of thing you have to consider. It was also clear from the very beginning that the media would not treat her fairly, they never have.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      shut the fuck up about the goddamn primaries. They’re over and 2020 isn’t going to be a replay of ’16. tired of whiners everywhere I look

      • urd says:

        Make one little change to your statement:

        shut the fuck up about the goddamn general election. They’re over and 2020 isn’t going to be a replay of ’16. tired of whiners everywhere I look.

        Funny that I don’t see anyone advocating that position; yet is it okay to treat the the primaries in such a fashion.

        If one counts, so does the other.

        • efgoldman says:

          tired of whiners everywhere I look

          Tired of feral cats whining all nite long. Let’s go hunt some.

        • rhino says:

          Urd, just shut the fuck up entirely. I am heartily sick of you, and your sock puppets, and your sneering banal evil. I’m tired of your righteous posing, perched as you are on a dais of shit and the spilt blood of the innocent victims of the nazi creeps you enable.

          You’re an odious and distasteful shitsmear, Urd. Here on this blog, you aren’t wanted, you aren’t needed, and you certainly aren’t respected and never have been. Nobody cares about your takes, because they’re ridiculous, and nobody wants to argue with you because you’re too pig-ignorant to ever admit how ludicrous your positions are. We also don’t care about *you*, because your personality is every bit as unpleasant as your bankrupt morality. I know nothing about your actual physical appearance, but your behaviour here causes my mental picture to be that of the diseased Baron Harkonnen, but without the thin veneer of a classical education, and a much smaller penis.

          In short, Urd, you have no redeeming features at all, and many MANY vile points against you.

          If only I could doxx you, and drag you kicking and screaming from your squalid bed-sitting room with it’s stacked pizza boxes, Scatological porn dvds, and inflatable sex dolls, and sling you shivering out into the light of day… Just the pleasure of watching daylight sear and blister your pallid flesh would make the effort worthwhile. Evil hates the light, after all, and your stupid smarmy selfish evil is especially distasteful. You don’t even have the stones to stand up and proclaim your nazi sympathies, you just hide them behind your ‘concerned’ facade. Shit, at least Jenny has balls… You’re just sad.

          I wouldn’t hurt you otherwise, though, Urd. Instead I would simply drag you to the nearest islamic enclave, complete with printed dossier of your posts here, and leave you in their tender mercy. I don’t know what they would do to you, Urd, but since they’re the ones your repellent existence has helped to imperil, I would respect their judgement.

          Personally, I hope for slow impalement, but since the persecuted often understand mercy far better than their oppressors, I would likely be disappointed and find them gently correcting the error of your ways with mere whips and cattle prods. Still, the pain might last longer, so perhaps there is wisdom after all.

          The only possible explanation for your continued presence is masochism, combined with narcissism, causing you to seek out our loathing. I can only assume it fuels your masturbatory fantasies, along with the pictures of dead cats. I’m sure I need not add that the merest mention of your sexuality, solitary though it surely will always be, is nauseating to me, and caused a brief bout of nausea before I could complete this paragraph.

          At the risk of redundancy, go Die In A Fire.

        • MyNameIsZweig says:

          Funny that I don’t see anyone advocating that position; yet is it okay to treat the the primaries in such a fashion.

          The difference is, when we’re talking about the general election, we’re trying to identify the reasons why it happened and how we can avoid such an outcome in the future.

          On the other hand, when you re-litigate the primaries, it’s nothing but you smugging about and saying “I told you so.” Which is far, far less than useless.

      • DrDick says:

        I am not talking about the primaries. I am talking about why she lost the general election, something you true believers refuse to admit.

        • Nick never Nick says:

          Oh Jesus, this is stupid. Do you have a personality disorder?

        • Aimai says:

          This is why I don’t post here that much anymore. I am SO FUCKING SICK of men telling me that one of the potentially greatest presidents of my lifetime was a terrible candidate when she won 3 million more votes than the guy who got in. I wanted her to win. We fought for her to win. Against a shit tide of misogyny from the left. An endless, carping, flood of bitchery and white male entitlement about this election. She won 3 million more votes than Trump and only the combined weight of the FBI, Putin, and a corrupted and lazy press prevented her from winning. Because voters are stupid, crappy, lazy, people and democratic voters heard nothing but bitching and moaning and whining from their leftist friends about how voting for her was a chore and a bore and she was gonna win so why bother.

          I am so fucking sick of this shit I can’t tell you. Get back to me when democratic men pull off a massive men’s march two days after Trump’s inauguration. Get back to me when you crawl over broken glass to vote for your candidate, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to fighting for the next century instead of whining about how you preferred white toast to whole wheat and you didn’t want to have to eat vegetables contaminated with girl cooties.

        • Sure, let’s learn lessons about why Clinton lost the general election. But in that case, let those of us who wanted Bernie to win the primary practice what we preach. Bernie lost to Hillary.

          If we want a really progressive candidate to win next time, what are the lessons we must learn? I think that is going to be much more productive than getting into slanging matches with Clinton supporters. After all, if your only explanation for Sanders’ loss in the primary was “most Democratic primary voters were/are deluded fools”, you can’t have much hope of doing any better next time round.

          • Swordsmith says:

            My “lessons,” which have nothing to do with relitigating the primaries, but a lot to do with recent conversations with a former student of mine who was working (professionally) for downballot Democratic candidates in a number of states.

            1) While I can understand that clearing the primary field makes a lot of sense from a candidate’s point of view, it’s not conducive to producing the strongest candidate and uniting the party behind that candidate. Candidates hate nominating fights like 2008, but you know what? We win those elections.

            2) There was a lot of confidence that Democratic ground game would make the difference in this election, but it was pretty invisible in some (as it turned out) key constituencies. When downballot candidates are forced to help out the presidential campaign (instead of the other way around) it’s a problem. I don’t think that was the case here in Connecticut (though I rarely encountered any Hillary staff, mostly local and congressional in events I was working) I was hearing it from Michigan and Wisconsin, places were I thought we had more GOTV help. If that system is not working right, now is the time to fix it.

            3) I’ve heard complaints about a certain amount of shuffling the same people around in some jobs where we really need new, 50-state-strategy type thinking. Like the day-to-day leadership of the anti-gerrymandering group Obama and Holder are spearheading. I’m not sure to what extent that’s true, and I think there is a huge value in institutional memory, but I think we really need to be doing something like an updated version of the 50-state strategy or Obama’s incredible organizing for 2008. If Trump is going to hand us a wave election, we need to be ready to ride every one of those wavelets, down to the local board elections.

            4) Speaking of local elections, I’m hearing lots of talk of 2018, but we need to be organizing and fighting hard for all the local offices that come up in 2017. Not only is it important in its own right, those elections build our bench for bigger elections later, and let us try new tactics in (usually) low cost local elections. Let’s not wait until 2018 to test out what we can do to get Democrats to show up in force for non-presidential elections.

            Anyway, that’s my list (as a local officeholder who is active politically, but far from a national insider) of what we can look at not that’s productive and helpful in winning the next elections, in ways that relitigating the primary is not.

    • LosGatosCA says:

      This actually leads to another problem the Democrats have –

      They need new blood, but because they do so miserably at the state level the options are few. And then, from a succession level planning view point, the two states that are more than capable of producing national figures are blocked.

      Cuomo in NY doesn’t get it done.

      Jerry Brown would be fine if he wasn’t 76 years old.

      Governors of CT, RI, DE, HI aren’t going to be national figures unless they are exceptionally charismatic.

      The next generation is going to have to come out of the Senate. I hope they can get it done.

      ETA – I like Brown’s combative stance against Trump. He needs to mentor some of the other, younger folks to get into the game, too.

      • Nobdy says:

        I know that this blog HATES Cuomo, and I’m not really trying to defend him, but he did order that train service to JFK be restored for the express purpose of getting protesters to the airport so they could protest. He also gave that “If you’re going to deport with immigrants start with me” speech.

        Whatever you may think is in his heart he’s come out pretty strongly against Trump’s anti-immigrant behavior.

        This is one of the reasons why even a bad democrat is MUCH better than a ‘moderate’ Republican.

        • nixnutz says:

          That was encouraging and he deserves full credit for it. But two weeks ago he had that plan where lottery winners who had collected public assistance would have to repay any winnings above $600. That’s a pure fuck-the-poor move with no real budget consequences. You’ll get whiplash following that guy.

          • Scott Lemieux says:

            Look, everyone, if you’re looking for the New York politician who might be the Democratic nominee in 2020, the answers are 1)Gillibrand, and 2)that’s is and 3)period in the non-Spicer sense.

            Cuomo is not happening. Gillibrand may not be the Democratic nominee but Cuomo has zero chance of finishing ahead of her if he runs. Gillibrand could compete with Cuomo among moderate Democrats and would destroy him with liberals.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          Yeah I know Cuomo can be dragged kicking and screaming to do what’s right if you keep the pressure on, but I was actually surprised to see him do that. Good.

      • NewishLawyer says:

        The Atlantic had an article on why young people don’t want to run for office largely:

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/millennials-running-for-office-shauna-shames/514493/

        The big issues seem to be money (the amount you need and the process for getting it) and privacy (what reasonable person would want to participate in the constant attack culture of modern politics.)

        I think this issue hurts the left more than the right. The right-wing seems better at developing their farm leagues. I think LeeEsq is right that a lot of left-leaning people seem to prefer career thinktank work because it is more safe and abstract and you don’t need to deal with the messy, boring, and extremely practical nature of retail politics. It is much better to write white papers on “I think education or transportation policy should be X” than dealing with angry constituents who disagree and want to know why the potholes on their street are not getting fixed.

        • Hob says:

          That’s not an article about “why young people don’t want to run for office.” It’s an article about why twenty-somethings who decided to go to graduate school for law and public policy don’t want to run for office. The person doing the study made no effort to figure out whether this is in any way a new thing related to “millennials” – it seems like the assumption was just “Lots of people who went to Harvard or Suffolk have gone into politics in one way or another, so if these grad students I talked to don’t plan on running for office themselves, something must be wrong (and I’m going to say it’s due to such-and-such stereotypes about millennials).”

        • vic rattlehead says:

          Well, if I were a Republican I’d run for office. Because being a Democrat means getting constantly slagged for bullshit, while the media at WORST holds Republicans to a much lower standard, but usually handles them with kid gloves.

          I wouldn’t mind running for some small local office where I could do some good. I am comfortable speaking in public although I am no obama. And a local office as opposed to Congress or mayor or something would probably invite a lot less scrutiny. But I still like my privacy. I also have an extremely foul mouth and have a bad tendency of going off on profanity laced tirades. Which may not be a hindrance in New York City, actually.

      • Origami Isopod says:

        This may be a good place to drop a link to Run for Something, a new organization trying to help progressives under age 35 run for office. It’s run by some seasoned political people, both operatives and activists.

        One of the top people is Amanda Litman, who introduces herself as “Hillary Clinton’s email director. (The other emails.)” LOL. Of course, that will undoubtedly turn off True and Valid Leftists® like [t]urd and Ghostshit, but it’s not like they were going to get off their asses and do anything anyway.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          This is cool. I feel like I should probably try to accomplish more in my professional life first-I am not a campaign strategist but I see this as a weakness. I will talk to my wife about this – something to work towards for her as she is much more charismatic.

    • FlipYrWhig says:

      If only there had been a series of elections staggered over time to see how much the Democratic Party supported her candidacy over someone else’s!

      • urd says:

        Yes, a series of elections staggered over time staged by a completely impartial organization.

        Sadly, that’s not what we got.

        • Rod Serling says:

          Imagine if Bernie had joined the Democratic party before running for President as a Democrat?

          • Linnaeus says:

            Mr. Serling, I really like your show, but can you end this episode soon?

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              The fact that Clinton dropped substantially in the polls every time Comey intervened is completely meaningless, but Clinton finding out that a debate held in Flint would feature a question about poison water was worth at least 4 million votes in the primaries! Just ask urd, kindergarten Social Scientician.

              • urd says:

                And the fact you can’t provide direct evidence the drops were directly tied to Comey’s actions is always a source of amusement.

                Keep beating this drum Scott! I’m sure it will prove useful in solving the democrats’ real issues with the electorate.

                • Nick never Nick says:

                  Do you have a personality disorder?

                  The strongest evidence that exists supports the theory that Comey’s interference was conclusive. There is no stronger evidence, because we’re talking about opinion polls and voter preferences, not chemical reactions or ballistics.

                • brad says:

                  Whereas your claims the DNC’s “influence” caused 4 million+ votes worth of difference is just based on obvious common sense.

                • urd says:

                  So now when someone disagrees with you you imply they have a personality disorder?

                  strongest evidence that exists supports the theory that Comey’s interference was conclusive

                  Offered without any evidence of direct causation.

                  Maybe you should stick to the ad hominem attacks.

                • urd says:

                  Whereas your claims the DNC’s “influence” caused 4 million+ votes worth of difference is just based on obvious common sense.

                  Hardly; I’ve provided evidence multiple times about the less than impartial and stacked deck the DNC had put in place. I’ve yet to see such documentation for what Scott keeps going on about.

                • brad says:

                  No, you haven’t. You’ve essentially repeatedly implied that black and women voters are easily bamboozled and don’t have the deep and nuanced understanding of reality that you do, and been mocked for the blind arrogance of that.

                • Nick never Nick says:

                  Nope, many people here disagree with me — but I don’t think they have personality disorders. I think you do.

                  I rarely argue with ad hominem attacks, because they aren’t arguments. However, I’ve learned that when dealing with someone who has a personality disorder, that needs to be discussed, not the issue that that person is fixated on. So, I brought it up. I imagine that if you want to try and get help for it, people here will be glad to offer their advice; if, on the other hand, you’re determined to remain obsessed with the procedural details of a primary election more than a year ago, most people here will be more interested in having you fuck off. You won’t care, because you have a personality disorder.

                • urd says:

                  You’ve essentially repeatedly implicitly implied that black and women voters are easily bamboozled and don’t have the deep and nuanced understanding of reality that you do, and been mocked for the blind arrogance of that.

                  Really? Odd that you fail to actually back up that rather broad statement.

                • efgoldman says:

                  And the fact you can’t provide direct evidence

                  And the fact that you can’t provide any evidence at all that feral cats have value and should be allowed to live is always a source of risibility.

                • brad says:

                  I realize you don’t have the courage to admit to yourself what you’re saying, yes. But it’s clear to everyone else here, and one of the core reasons no one takes you even vaguely seriously.
                  Your sense of self regard doesn’t obligate anyone else.

                • urd says:

                  Nope, many people here disagree with me — but I don’t think they have personality disorders. I think you do.

                  Well this thread does not support your position. You’ve disagreed with two people, and implied both have personality disorders.

                  So to justify your ad hominem statements, you presume to know who does and does not have personality disorders.

                  I think you should contact the medical community because they would love to know how you do it without using any of the current diagnostic methods.

                  And yes, I’m mocking you. Your excuse on why it is okay to behave the way you do towards certain commenters is pathetic.

                • efgoldman says:

                  So now when someone disagrees with you you imply they have a personality disorder?

                  Well you certainly do, You value the lives of vermin feral cats above humans.
                  Gravity is just a theory, too. Maybe you’ll float away because you don’t have “evidence.”

                • sibusisodan says:

                  I’ve provided evidence multiple times about the less than impartial and stacked deck the DNC had put in place.

                  Alas, offered without evidence of direct causation, so worthless…

                • urd says:

                  I realize you don’t have the courage to admit to yourself what you’re saying, yes. But it’s clear to everyone else here, and one of the core reasons no one takes you even vaguely seriously.
                  Your sense of self regard doesn’t obligate anyone else.

                  It being clear to everyone else here is not much of an argument, especially when no facts have been presented.

                  Let me know when this site determines reality.

                • Urd believes in coincidences. “Sure, every time x happened, y happened, but I demand proof it wasn’t a complete coincidence”. Maybe Trump’s celebrity became more compelling the exact same times that Coney made public statements casting a shadow on Clinton? Maybe hordes of feral cats descended upon the polling places causing frightened voters to turn to an angry old man to protect them? I’d be very interested in urd coming up with a plausible rival theory other than sheer coincidence that explains the correlation between x and y.

                  And then we can ask him to provide absolute proof that his theory is correctm

                • Ithaqua says:

                  I assume you don’t watch TV or use a monitor, because quantum physics and nobody can actually explain why.

            • Rod Serling says:

              Just solving one problem at a time,.. in the Twilight Zone!

            • wjts says:

              Mr. Serling, I really like your show, but can you end this episode soon?

              Yeah, the one about the petulant, vindictive child with unfathomably vast power was much more enjoyable when it was only 30 minutes long and safely contained inside my TV.

          • urd says:

            I can; he would’ve been useless.

            He got the bulk of his support by being an independent that wasn’t beholden to the DNC or lobbyist groups which have sway over the party.

            • efgoldman says:

              I can; he would’ve been useless.

              Not more useless than feral cats, which should all be disposed of.

              • Gregor Sansa says:

                I appreciate your attempt to make this blog a more hostile place for inadvertent trolls like urd. However, I worry that bringing in inflammatory bits from old threads may make this a hostile place for worthwhile commenters too. So please don’t advocate killing kittens as a rhetorical strategy.

                (I am not taking a position on the morality of feral cat policies, so please do not confront me on that basis.)

        • brad says:

          The DNC doesn’t run the fucking primaries. The states do. Just shut the fuck up.

        • EliHawk says:

          Indeed. All those Republican Secretaries of State who were administering the primary elections were so pro-Hillary it was completely shameful. Thank goodness Bernie was able to get through those totally unbiased, Democratic Party run caucuses.

          • urd says:

            Are you sure you understand how primaries really work, and how voters are influenced? Because your response tends to imply you don’t

            There are multiple aspect of influence the DNC had over how the primaries were organized, how voters were informed, how the meetings were run, etc. The fact the DNC couldn’t be impartial and neutral on the matter is a key issue and problem.

            • Nick never Nick says:

              No, it was a small problem last year.

              A key issue and problem is our current fascist President. Are you one of the people who, as Hitler began rounding up Jews, insisted on going back and relitigating mistakes made under the Weimar Republic?

              At this point, there are really two possibilities, not mutually exclusive:

              1) you have a personality disorder.
              2) you don’t care about any of this, and are writing in bad faith.

              • urd says:

                Yes Drumpf being our current president is a key issue and problem. So is failing to understand and learn how we got here.

                you don’t care about any of this, and are writing in bad faith.

                Says the person making multiple ad hominem statements. Good job on undercutting yourself.

                • Nick never Nick says:

                  You don’t understand bad faith — it refers to an argument that a person doesn’t believe in, and only throws up as a form of distraction. I do believe that you have a personality disorder (see longer discussion above).

                • urd says:

                  I do actually, and some consider ad hominem attacks to fall into that category, depending on how they are used. In this case, I think it fits as you use the “personality disorder” to justify your lack of engagement on the topic at hand.

                  You claim to believe this; if so I can only come to the conclusion you are an extremely arrogant and foolish person. Please note that this is not an ad hominem argument:

                  However, in some cases, ad hominem attacks can be non-fallacious; i.e., if the attack on the character of the person is directly tackling the argument itself.

                  Well done!

                • brad says:

                  And after all, what you think, and what you think about yourself, is what really matters.

                  If you come here meaning to give anyone any reason at all to listen to you then you’ll have to start learning other people really do exist.

                • urd says:

                  And after all, what you think, and what you think about yourself, is what really matters.

                  If you come here meaning to give anyone any reason at all to listen to you then you’ll have to start learning other people really do exist.

                  Why is it several people here have such a hard time staying on topic?

                  By such statements, you’ve made it so much harder for me to listen to you. Maybe you should take a little of your own advice.

                • brad says:

                  You haven’t been listening to anyone here. You never have. You comment to see your own words on the screen.

              • efgoldman says:

                At this point, there are really two possibilities

                They are not mutually exclusive.

                • urd says:

                  You’ve made a comment that was at least somewhat related to the current discussion!

                  I’m so proud of you!

                • And I’m so proud of you for your persistent trolling. A work of art! The needling of people to get a reaction. The demands that other people provide ironclad proof for their theories to explain events while not offering any credible alternative theories, let alone backing them with any evidence, even as you explain piously that you simply wish for us to learn the lessons of history.

                  Of course those lessons are for others to learn, not you, and the lesson is simply this: “urd was right, urd told you so, urd is always right, urd is a martyr braving slings and arrows trying to teach fools at LGM”

            • Hogan says:

              There are multiple aspect of influence the DNC had over how the primaries were organized, how voters were informed, how the meetings were run, etc.

              So what did they do exactly?

        • efgoldman says:

          Sadly, that’s not what we got.

          Sadly, there are still feral cats alive and allowed to run free.

        • MyNameIsZweig says:

          Sadly, that’s not what we got.

          Because no such thing exists.

    • TopsyJane says:

      , this was always going to be a major hurdle to overcome and one she did not seem to address. In selecting a candidate, this is the kind of thing you have to consider.

      Yes, she did. She consistently made adjustments as needed in this election season. She demonstrated considerably more flexibility than her chief rival in the primary. On more cosmetic matters, she was instructed to stop raising her voice, so she did that. She released all of her tax returns. Etc.

  9. Alan G Kaufman says:

    As we consider the efficacy of these protests, keep in mind that the latest polling shows that our president has an 81% approval rating among republicans. His over all approval rating is 36% at last report (before the immigration orders)…..but 81% of republicans approve of him.

    What does this mean? These are the voters who elected him and gave our country a republican House of Representatives and a republican Senate, and soon, a republican Supreme Court. In addition, many, many other federal court judicial vacancies will soon be filled with republicans.

    And these republicans are answerable only to the voters who elected them – which are republican voters – and, in their gerrymandered districts, those voters are the same 81% republicans who approve of the president.

    The point is this: there is no political consequence to any elected republican from pursuing these policies, unpopular as they may be writ large, because they are doing what the people who elected them want them to do. If any oppose the president, they will not be re-elected.

    The republican voters who voted for Trump own American government, which is now government of the republicans, by the republicans , and for the republicans.

    And the republicans approve what the president they elected is doing to our country

    Yes, the people who voted for him and elected him like what he is doing. They approve.

    Until these 81% of the republicans who approve of our president change their minds, nothing will change, and this American carnage will continue.

    This is a republican president running a republican government for a republican America. And republican America approves.

    Think about that.

    We are being ruled and held hostage by a minority who neither speak for, nor represent, nor listen to or hear, nor care about the majority. But they hold all the levers of power and are capable, because of that, of continuing to do so indefinitely. How do we fix that?

    • nasser says:

      This is what really scares me. Just look at Dulles right now – the CBP is defying a clear court order in deference to the Tangerine Emperor.

    • chris j says:

      The key is at the state level. There’s a 2020 census coming and the national democratic apparatus should go all out at the state level. Sure, the 2018 House races need vigorous support, but democrats have no chance of taking the house back until they can undo the gerrymandering. So the 2018 state legislative contests are crucial.

      • TopsyJane says:

        Sure, the 2018 House races need vigorous support, but democrats have no chance of taking the house back until they can undo the gerrymandering.

        Which I suspect will be harder than many seem to think. The Democrats were blindsided by the Republican gerrymandering strikes; the Republicans won’t be.

    • humanoid.panda says:

      1. there are multiple republicans in districts HRC won that won reelection easily because they separated from him. Might not apply in 2018.
      2. gerrymanders are spread thin: a wave can knock them off easily.
      3. W had 80 percent support from republicans in 2007/8.
      4. there is a whole bunch of governorships that can be won in 18 and help reverse gerrymandering
      5 none of this matters because we are doomed and anyway trump is going to import 3 million Cossacks to kill us all

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        none of this matters because we are doomed and anyway trump is going to import 3 million Cossacks to kill us all.

        No imports necessary — they’re already here.

        • Nobdy says:

          Trump is dedicated enough to hypocrisy that he’ll import workers from some other country to do the job at cut rate prices.

        • humanoid.panda says:

          You really are an idiot, aren’t you ?

          • Davis X. Machina says:

            One of us is. Only time will tell.

            There are enough angry white guys with guns around here — and they’re not all confined to mobility scooters — to make it interesting even w/o organized intervention by the state.

            Military service was the only job a lot of them could get out of H.S. so they’re semi-trained.

            And if they’re like the students we take into our school’s law enforcement vocational programs are anything to judge by, they’re not going to be motivated by a desire for public service.

            They want to harm, and if possible, shoot people, in a context where it’s legal.

          • Gator90 says:

            @humanoid.panda — I was a little bit moved by your apology yesterday for insulting people who are having a difficult time in the dawning of the Age of Trump. I’m rather less moved now.

          • econoclast says:

            It’s one thing to encourage people to buck up. It’s another to be insulting. Some people are going to predict the worst. You’re just going to have to bear this burden with dignity.

          • Origami Isopod says:

            Could you please stop being a fucking dick to people who are understandably nervous and need to vent?

    • EliHawk says:

      Even at their worst, Presidents retain support from most of their Party base. Think about it: Bush had approval ratings in the mid to low 30s to upper 20s at his worst in the financial crisis. In 2004, 30% of the country IDed as Republican, though that dropped later in his term. But at the very least, he still had subsantial majority support from Republicans, and was still in ‘Final Days’ Nixon approval ratings with the result that Dems elected Obama in a landslide, got 60 votes in the Senate and a 50 seat majority in the House.

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        That Senate majority was padded by last-of-their-kind Dems in the Plains and South.

        • rhino says:

          If Trump and his codefendants fuck up as badly as I expect them to, We are going to see ‘first of their kind’ democrats elected in a bunch of places that are red today.

          The next election, IMO, will reduce the republican party to nothing but dixie, and some of that tenuously. The problem is the enormous human suffering it’s going to take to wake up the hypnotized humans living in the republican monster herd. 25% of the US population is unreachable. Our only real hope is that number has been dropping every year for decades. When MLK was marching it was *much* higher, but they started waking up… It’s crises like Civil Rights, like Viet Nam, Like second Iraq, and now Trump that are tearing the guts out of the republican party: Each time, a new set of people wake up to the evil in their midst and reject it.

          Or that’s my best optimistic take, at least.

          • Alan G Kaufman says:

            How does that happen? Gerrymandered destricts mean that can only happen if republicans vote for democrats… And why would they do that given that they approve of what the POTUS and his republican henchmen are doing?

            • Lurking Canadian says:

              That’s not how gerrymandering works. The whole point of gerrymandering is to smear your voters over the largest possible area. Party A wins three races 52-48. Party B wins two races 90-10. Party A controls the legislature despite being outvoted 324-176. That’s gerrymandering.

              The risk is that if Party B can get a handful of extra voters to the polls in some A districts, B can run the table.

          • vic rattlehead says:

            Whatever Dems we can get in 2018. All hands on deck. I’ll take Zombie Howell Heflin in Alabama. I’ll take Zombie Fritz Hollings out of South Carolina.

        • EliHawk says:

          There were a lot of those (our WV/AR/LA and MT/ND/SD/NE losses stick out). But the point was a lot of those red staters sailed to reelection in states that went for W and McCain. Given that we’re defending incumbents in IN/ND/MO/MT/WV next cycle, the experience stands true. If Trump is under 30 nationally, he’s not going to have good coattails even in very red states that he’d probably win for reelection.

    • Gizmo says:

      I think we last resolved this at Appomattox. Hopefully we can do better this time, or at least with less bloodshed.

      • rhino says:

        I really don’t care how many Nazis die. In fact, solutions which maximize the number of casualties on the fascist side have my favour. I will agree those solutions need to be assessed against danger to decent human beings.

        Maybe we could round up the red hats and concentrate them in camps?

    • M. Bouffant says:

      “Yes, the people who voted for him and elected him like what he is doing. They approve.”

      Trump was elected by the Electoral College. That’s only 538 weasels.

  10. vic rattlehead says:

    That is by far the best Trump photo I have ever seen.

    Whoever said that a picture is worth 1000 words, was talking about that. Perfect.

  11. Latverian Diplomat says:

    Did Yglesias really have to go to the false equivalence well?

    just as Hillary Clinton coasted to easy wins in states like Vermont and Washington where the primaries showed her to have few enthusiasts.

    Clinton won Washington’s (admittedly meaningless) primary. Sanders did win the caucus in a “landslide”, though he did best with the caucus format across the country. The idea that Washington democrats supported Clinton only out of inertia or party loyalty is silly, and Washington (and Vermont for that matter) were never in play.

    If something is true about Trump, just say it, there’s no need to force a “Clinton was similar” comparison in there for “balance”.

    • efgoldman says:

      there’s no need to force a “Clinton was similar” comparison in there for “balance”.

      Apparently it’s like quitting smoking: Even if you’re successful, it can take years before the craving goes away completely.
      Somewhere down the road, HRC will be out of their consciousness, and they’ll leave her out of their stories.

      • brad says:

        The national media has had a burr up their ass about her over 2 decades now, closer to 2 and a half. The derangement is so bad you have brocalists like ghostship acting like a mentally ill crony klepocrat fascist is a better outcome than she would have been, while others have decided Trump is basically her fault because mediocre geographic distribution of her votes proves she was impossibly unpopular. Blaming HRC will remain a tic for some well into the next decade, sadly.

  12. Davis X. Machina says:

    Provided the courts are still issuing orders that are actually carried out in August:

    Tufts: Geometry of Redistricting Summer School

    A 5-day summer school will be offered at Tufts University from August 7-11, 2017, with the principal purpose of training mathematicians to be expert witnesses for court cases on redistricting and gerrymandering.

    Online application at https://sites.tufts.edu/gerrymandr/

  13. Manny Kant says:

    Not related to the main point, but Yglesias saying Washington is a state where the “primaries” showed Clinton to have few enthusiasts is ridiculous. The caucus had very few Clinton voters, but she easily won the beauty contest primary.

  14. RPorrofatto says:

    I would hope the press start bringing Bannon and Miller out of the shadows. These people are true fascists, through and through. Political junkies might be aware of them, but I don’t think ordinary people do. I also doubt if most Americans want the Joint Chiefs replaced on the National Security Council by a right-wing propagandist nutjob with zero experience who wants to foment chaos, and has said so. Bannon’s a megalomaniac who thinks that he can reshape the entire globe according to his own whims, and he has a compliant idiot in the authoritarian narcissist he “advises”. In some ways, Miller is even scarier, a true believer who is a living embodiment of the Peter Principle; he’s not only risen to his level of incompetence, he’s never actually experienced any actual competence at something other than political extremism.

    • mnuba says:

      Regarding Miller, this from CNN today, while actually doing a good job at “bringing him out of the shadows”, is not particularly reassuring:

      Amid the chaos and confusion of President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration and refugees, sources tell CNN that White House policy director Stephen Miller spoke with officials of the State Department, Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security and others to tell them that the President is deeply committed to the executive order and the public is firmly behind it — urging them not to get distracted by what he described as hysterical voices on TV.

  15. M. Bouffant says:

    Boy howdy, words sure have lost meaning rapidly under Trump.

    Trump’s racist immigration ban

    Is Islam now a racial group? I’m sure right-wing droolers believe that, but this is an explicitly religious ban, not racial. The to-be-favored Xians are of the same ethnicity as the not-to-be-favored Muslims from the very same nations.

    • Gizmo says:

      Lets go with ‘Bigoted’…

    • Hogan says:

      Is Islam now a racial group?

      Now? Yeah, pretty much.

    • rhino says:

      I’m a little sick of hearing people quibble about this. It’s racist because it specifically targets ethnicity. Religion is often a defining part of ethnicity, There are christian Arabs who, as a result, are ethnically different from Islamic arabs.

      The ban is racist because it discriminates against people who are usually brown. It’s also racist because it was conceived, promoted, and is being enforced by fucking racists.

      It’s a racist ban in the same way that you get duck meat from ducks: You can’t get anything but racism from racists.

      Also most of the people who are brightly remarking ‘islam isn’t a race’ are libertarian fuckstains or nazi trumpistas who think they just made a clever point that eviscerates an argument against bigotry because someone used the ‘wrong’ word. I am aware that you are not a fuckstain, and that you are not attempting such disingenuous derailment, but it still sticks in my craw.

    • LosGatosCA says:

      Thanks for the link.

      Confirms my commitment to only liking family pictures on Facebook and known associates on LinkedIn.

      Trump talked openly about depressing turnout – now we can see how he did it.

  16. e.a.foster says:

    his executive/exclusion order certainly seems to be making him unpopular with thousands of American citizens who are out protesting at Airports. The airport c.e.o.s aren’t happy with Trump. In the State of Washington he would appear to be definitely unpopular and that’s with Republicans.

    Trump most likely didn’t stop to think State Republicans were going to have to cope with the back lash. They won’t be happy with Trump and Bannon. Those Republicans will be getting “in touch’ with their House republicans who in the end aren’t going to be happy either.

    Corporations and Universities aren’t happy with Trump, they just lost some of their best and brightest. Now with the Academy awards you can bet there are going to be a lot of speeches about this exclusion order.

    It could get interesting if other countries start to exclude Americans. That might not work so well for those in the oil industry.

    well good luck with your exclusion order there Turnip. this isn’t going to turn out well. there is no proof this will improve American security because there haven’t been any attacks by foreigners recently from the named countries in the U.S.A. if ever. if Turnip and Bannon are concerned about security in the U.S.A THEY might want to start arresting younger white males with high powered arms. From what I’ve seen on the news, they were the ones responsible for killing a lot of people in mass shootings. Must make Trump feel good though at some level.

    Talk about out of touch politicians, Turnip truck Trump. that’
    s what they act like, politicians who came in on a turnip truck.

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