What variety of cheese would Donald be? The 2016 US election continues.
May 9, 2016 8:58 AM   Subscribe

With only six months left in the all-too-brief election campaign, three candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties remain. In the red corner, Donald has vanquished Ben, Bobby, Carly, Chris, George, Jeb, Jim, John, Lindsey, Marco, Mike, Rand, Rick, the other Rick, Scott, and Ted. In the blue corner, Bernie and Hillary have vanquished Jim, Lawrence, Lincoln and Martin. However, there is pessimism about whether Donald can win the general, with bookmaker odds stabilizing and keeping Hillary as the clear favorite. Elsewhere, Sarah doesn't like Paul, Lindsey is glad he isn't in Area 51, Gary Johnson "could" become POTUS, and Jeb sort-of returns. Meanwhile, Bernie collects more delegates in Washington state, while Hillary wins the Guam caucus. And, on the island of his mother's birth, war has broken out between rival facebook groups for and against Donald.

Recent news on voter ID laws, suppression and machines from Florida, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Delegate count trackers are available at 538, Associated Press and Bloomberg. Primaries in the rest of May for the Democratic and Republican parties are:
May 10th: Nebraska (Republican primary) and West Virginia (Democratic and Republican primary)
May 17th: Oregon (Democratic and Republican primary)
May 24th: Washington (Republican primary)

While a confused nation looks on, one group of people is quietly relieved. Meanwhile, more pictures of cats made to look like Donald, and previously.

Election threadopedia: most recent eight
May 4th - Trump will be the Republican standard-bearer.
April 26th - Crossing the Delaware: five primaries in the US election.
April 19th - Twirling towards freedom: the US election - New York primaries.
April 11th - It's still only April: the US election drags ever onwards.
April 3rd - After this it's the midterms: April's US election primaries.
March 15th - Election 2016: Rubio and Kasich's last stand.
March 5th - Six candidates, eight days, eleven states: Election 2016 continues.
March 1st - Super Tuesday.

Meta: the most recent election MetaTalk thread, and discussions in other MetaTalks here and here about election threads; also, commenting on the dangers of violence to POC. Also, c'mon people - give the moderators a break and make this a more inclusive debating place... [1] [2], [3] and especially [4]. For MeFites not interested in the US election, other elections are available.
posted by Wordshore (2567 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
 
FiveThirtyEight: The GOP Doesn’t Seem To Be Cracking Up In Down-Ballot Races: What I found was a substantial number of experienced, mainstream Republicans leading in their races for major office, which does not suggest a party that is cracking up.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thank you, wordshore. As always, you're doing a superb job on this season's election posts.
posted by zarq at 9:02 AM on May 9, 2016 [24 favorites]


I still can't imagine how long it'll take for me to wrap my head around the fact that the Republicans actually nominated Trump. Insanity.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:02 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Imagine the marketing campaign. Trump VP™.

"Trump VPs are the best VPs in the world and I mean that in every sense of the word and The Sharper Image is the only store where you can buy them!"
posted by Talez at 9:03 AM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]




I don't know, sometimes that Australia election thread goes 15 minutes between comments. Come on, slackers!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:04 AM on May 9, 2016


The GOP Doesn’t Seem To Be Cracking Up In Down-Ballot Races:

That's about primaries, and remember that these are people who have survived at least one Tea Party election cycle already. They know how to walk the tightrope between Establishment and True Conservative, but they might not know how to walk the 3D tightrope between Establishment and True Conservative and Total Fucking Nutjob.

And the downballot races won't be about attracting the mythical independent-but-informed voter -- they'll be about convincing people who desperately don't want to vote for Trump to come to the ballot box and vote for Rep. Smith. GOTV is everything this time around.
posted by Etrigan at 9:07 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


From the "isn't this premature" file: Trump taps Christie to lead transition
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:08 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

a non-edible one, surely. which doesn't mean this post counts, Wordshore.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:10 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


sure to warm hearts, the GOP'Lifer': Why Trump is Worse than Cruz
Yes, Republicans have been pandering to racists since the Sixties. However, in light of Trump’s appeals, complaints of “dogwhistle” signaling from Republican candidates now seem quaint. When Republicans still felt the need to conceal any racism, we could credibly believe (sometimes with good reason) that appeals to racism were no more than empty posturing. Everyone understood that in most cases the dogwhistle was a cynical distraction. It is precisely that ruse, that failure to follow through on the veiled promise of white supremacy, that so many white voters are now rebelling against.
Trump And Trust
The 21st century has unfortunately seen quite a few issues where both parties have struck out. Both parties endorsed the Iraq War, telling the American people it was a good idea. In this election cycle, the only candidate who seemed to still think this was true was Jeb Bush. Both parties (for perhaps different reasons) endorsed immigration reform and then failed to deliver. Both parties wanted more free trade, especially with China, and didn't pay enough attention to the downside. Both parties voted for TARP and then ran for the hills, in effect refusing to explain to the American people why extraordinary actions were necessary to combat the fall 2008 financial crisis. Both parties were responsible at different times for slowing work in Congress to a crawl. And both parties are complicit in different ways in running the system that finances politics in ways that look irredeemably corrupt to the American people. The list of both-party failures is really pretty long. Democrats need the same wake-up call that Republicans just received! And because parties are key elements of our constitutional order, their continuous malfunction puts the legitimacy of that order into serious question.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:11 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


From SNL, the (oh so very hopeful) imagining of a time, just two years from now, where we all enjoy the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. [Hulu link, if that's better]
posted by psoas at 9:12 AM on May 9, 2016


a non-edible one, surely. which doesn't mean this post counts, Wordshore.

Orange, no substance and completely artificial? He's the pack of cheese mix from Kraft Mac and Cheese of course.
posted by Talez at 9:12 AM on May 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Those Onion links prove once again that this election is satire-proof. You could put the exact same articles up on TPM or Politico and no one would notice the difference from the "real" stories.
posted by octothorpe at 9:13 AM on May 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


Trump's Empty Administration:
The lack of interest in serving Trump extends from the energy and financial services sectors to defense and foreign policy. And while the reluctance of former officials to join a Trump administration may spark a good-riddance response from the candidate himself, the absence of experienced professionals at the assistant-secretary level could have profound consequences on the government.

“The bottom line is Trump will be able to fill these jobs because there is a whole class of people who want these titles so badly it doesn’t matter who is president,” said a former senior George W. Bush administration official. “But these are B- or C-level people. They are honorable, but not very good. The A-level people, and there are not that many of them to begin with, mostly don’t want to work for Trump. He will cut the A-level bench of available policy talent at least in half, if not more.”

Building an administration from scratch requires filling more than 3,000 high-level federal jobs, starting with a Cabinet and trickling down to the scores of deputies, undersecretaries and assistant administrators who actually make the U.S. government tick.
posted by sallybrown at 9:16 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


From the "isn't this premature file":Trump taps Christie to lead transition

Scott Adams, MeFi hero and someone who called this for Trump ages ago, would say that's "anchoring" or something -- getting us to see the done deal -- and another example of Trump's off-the-charts Powers of Persuasion.

Maybe that's going too far, but folks gotta stop underestimating the person who just blitzed one of the most powerful political institutions on the planet!
posted by notyou at 9:16 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Best line about Kasich: he came in fourth in a three-man race.
posted by chavenet at 9:17 AM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


He'd be whatever kind this stuff is.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:17 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Delegate count trackers are available at 538, Associated Press and Bloomberg.

The Economist also has a useful (non-paywalled) graphic timeline.
posted by psoas at 9:18 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Confused? You won't be after this week's episode of Soap.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:20 AM on May 9, 2016 [44 favorites]


The Making of an Ignoramus Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:20 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




I assume naming Christie to the transition is just Trump's way of kicking him out of the VP or cabinet running
posted by ckape at 9:22 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best line about Kasich: he came in fourth in a two-man race.

When Nate Silver brings snark, he really brings snark.
posted by zabuni at 9:23 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he’s willing to relinquish his duties as chairman of the Republican convention in July if Donald Trump requests it.

Something something rats something something sinking ship
posted by dersins at 9:29 AM on May 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


The Making of an Ignoramus: Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying.

This is a much better restatement of what I was about to post, re: they may have to rename Dunning-Kruger Trumping-Kruger in his honor. But it DOESN'T MATTER to his followers because they don't WANT someone who understands government, economics and politics to be President. These are people who respond to a proposal of "well, we're going to smash the entire U.S. economy with a sledgehammer right off the bat" with APPROVAL, because they've been fed a Muzak system of "Everything government does is bad (unless it's dropping bombs), abolish all taxes, drown government in the bathtub" for the last forty years.

These people have absolutely no idea that drowning America _also affects them_ negatively.
posted by delfin at 9:29 AM on May 9, 2016 [36 favorites]


Ben Carson is leading the VP search. Amazing. I still feel scared and shook up at the fact that DJT is going to the R nominee.
posted by feste at 9:30 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


they'll be about convincing people who desperately don't want to vote for Trump to come to the ballot box and vote for Rep. Smith.

While at the same time convincing people who do want to vote for Trump to also vote for Rep. Smith. That'll be the tricky part.

Every candidate in every downballot race will eventually have to take a stand on whether they endorse Trump or not -- and no, the wishy washy "support the nominee" non-answers we're getting now will not hold up in September when Trump actually comes to town and wants to campaign with them. How do you run a good Republican race this year while alienating either the Trump primary vote or the Anyone-But-Trump primary vote?

I think that 538 article is missing the point -- there hasn't been a massive primary campaign against R incumbents because the insurrection is a one-man band at this point. But the problem for the GOP is that it won't be for much longer. The schizoid experience of running two separate and conflicting races at the same time is the force that threatens to crack the party up.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


All of this completely ignores the main question on most people's minds: How does Deez Nutz feel about taco bowls?
posted by sexyrobot at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

Cheez Whiz, obviously.
posted by dilettante at 9:35 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think people are underestimating how dangerous Trump could be against Clinton if he cares to tack left and pull some pages from Sanders' book. The people who are with him for xenophobic reasons will stay, but poor and disenfranchised people may be tempted over as well.
posted by corb at 9:35 AM on May 9, 2016 [41 favorites]


The Making of an Ignoramus Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying.

And on Friday, Krugman predicted that the so-called "liberal media"'s need for a close race and "balance" will cause them to give Trump free pass after free pass.

(And why not? This morning NPR ran a story on North Carolina's odious "no civil rights for LGBT citizens" bill that quoted several Republicans but not one opponent of the legislation.)
posted by Gelatin at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I assume naming Christie to the transition is just Trump's way of kicking him out of the VP or cabinet running

The only thing I've enjoyed about Trump's horrible, horrible run has been the way he's exposed Chris Christie as a craven, grasping lickspittle with zero integrity and no true grit behind the cocky bombast and bully boy posturing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2016 [21 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

what's that kind of cheese that is filled with live active maggots continuously eating and pooping cheese
posted by beerperson at 9:38 AM on May 9, 2016 [31 favorites]


So now that Trump is definitely going to be the GOP nominee, can we maybe revisit the idea of giving voters ultimate say in who the nominee is?
posted by Automocar at 9:38 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wish there was a way that Bruce Springsteen could arrange for Christie to never be able to buy a ticket to one of his concerts again. Not even from scalpers.


"I'm sorry, Mr. Governor- I can't sell you this."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:39 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Every candidate in every downballot race will eventually have to take a stand on whether they endorse Trump or not

Every candidate in every downballot race will fall in line because that's how they'll get re-elected, and because Republicans are much better at acting in lockstep than Democrats are.

what's that kind of cheese that is filled with live active maggots continuously eating and pooping cheese

Casu Marzu
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:39 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've always felt that American Cheese is a fraud, so on this one question Donald Trump is a true American.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:40 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


but poor and disenfranchised people may be tempted over as well

May be? They already are! Blue collar Democrats are a rich target for Trump! He's anti-trade! Clinton will go over like a lead balloon with the "less educated."
posted by feste at 9:40 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Casu marzu was the first thing to pop into my mind as well, but I discounted the comparison as being unfair to live wriggling maggots.
posted by ckape at 9:40 AM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


So now that Trump is definitely going to be the GOP nominee, can we maybe revisit the idea of giving voters ultimate say in who the nominee is?

That's kind of a ridiculous notion, because instead of the primaries shitshow it'll be a two-year double Presidential election shitshow. It's an uncontroversial idea that the members of a given political party get to choose who the leader of their party is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:41 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Casu Marzu-a-Lago
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:41 AM on May 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


Not everybody can pull off a Cheney, but Ben Carson would actually make a pretty good VP in a Trump/Carson ticket. He's soft-spoken, religious, and not a white guy. People who only ever vote Republican but don't like Trump's style would find Carson appealing and a sop to their sensibilities. I'm scaring myself thinking about how successful this strategy could be.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:41 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, he's always had a great relationship with The Blacks (tm).
posted by tonycpsu at 9:44 AM on May 9, 2016


This many comments into a political cheese thread and no one wants to make America grate again?
posted by chavenet at 9:45 AM on May 9, 2016 [78 favorites]


That's kind of a ridiculous notion, because instead of the primaries shitshow it'll be a two-year double Presidential election shitshow. It's an uncontroversial idea that the members of a given political party get to choose who the leader of their party is.

A party's presidential nominee isn't really the "leader" of the party though. And anyway this idea that the primaries should be binding is a fairly recent phenomenon.
posted by Automocar at 9:47 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, the VP doesn't have to do much of significance, which seems fine for Ben Carson.

Like, if you were going on a roadtrip with Ben Carson and some other friends, Carson would read out interesting stuff from travel guides and have interesting opinions on where to go for lunch, but you'd somehow work it so that he never actually got his hands on the steering wheel.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:47 AM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


Posted late in the last thread: Where is Trump’s evangelical base? Not in church.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just started imagining a new season of Celebrity Apprentice, where various discredited Republican hawks, ex-boy band members, and Fox News anchors compete for nominations to Trump's first Cabinet. They collaborate on tasks like: wandering into the Libyan desert and randomly shooting at the locals, destabilizing small Latin American democracies, putting together proposals for defense contracts and ... and then I started wondering what cheap bordeauxs are on special at Sainsburys at the moment because I really, really need a drink.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:53 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Some VP pick betting odds are starting to show up. I doubt these are too meaningful just now.
posted by Skorgu at 9:53 AM on May 9, 2016


A party's presidential nominee isn't really the "leader" of the party though.

I had been very much under the impression that the Presidential nominee is, in fact, the leader of the party. Google is equivocal. Cite?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:54 AM on May 9, 2016


Orange, no substance and completely artificial? He's the pack of cheese mix from Kraft Mac and Cheese of course.

You are wrong. His face undergoes the Maillard reaction, so he probably tastes delicious.

Sorry.
posted by clawsoon at 9:57 AM on May 9, 2016


You leave me out of this!
posted by cortex at 9:57 AM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


I think people are underestimating how dangerous Trump could be against Clinton if he cares to tack left and pull some pages from Sanders' book. The people who are with him for xenophobic reasons will stay, but poor and disenfranchised people may be tempted over as well.

Yes, and when he tries, it is a magnificent spectacle of incoherence. From Meet the Press this past Sunday:
CHUCK TODD: Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn't want to touch it. Now you're open to it. What changed?

DONALD TRUMP: Let me just tell you, I've been traveling the country for many months....

I have seen what's going on. And I don't know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I'd rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. ...

CHUCK TODD: Right. You want the fed-- but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states--

DONALD TRUMP: No, I'd rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they're out there. They're working. It is a very low number. You know, with what's happened to the economy, with what's happened to the cost. I mean, it's just-- I don't know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.
The highlighted part is just... what? It literally means nothing. He contradicts himself in two adjacent sentences - he wants to see a minimum wage increase, and he wants to leave it to the states. The follow up question seems to confirm he wants to abolish the federal minimum wage, but by saying "I would like to see an increase" and "I don't know how you can live on 7.25 an hour," he is throwing a bone to economically disadvantaged people who really want to hear that. All while he is getting ready to sell them down the river. Or, best case, do nothing on the issue.

It's really quite incredible. I expect him to continue this way right through to November.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:01 AM on May 9, 2016 [21 favorites]


Trump would be Provel Cheese. Like Provel, Trump is more of a petroleum product than dairy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:01 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


A party's presidential nominee isn't really the "leader" of the party though.

The presidential nominee is the most visible member of a political party (unless there is an incumbent president of the same party). He or she has the most influence on the platform, election spending, and messaging. It takes a fairly twisted and targeted definition of "leader" to say that Donald Trump is not the "leader" of the Republican Party at this moment in time.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

Head cheese.
Pig's head set in jelly. The meat of the head is used, but the brain, eyes, and ears are usually removed. The tongue, however, may be included.
posted by Kabanos at 10:03 AM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


It takes a fairly twisted and targeted definition of "leader" to say that ANYONE is leading the Republican Party at this moment in time.
posted by delfin at 10:03 AM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


Regarding his stance on taxes, minimum wage, etc.: he's going to be all over the place and intentionally so so that he can't get tied down to anything. And his supporters will believe the one they want to hear. Don't worry about his latest statement, attack him on the one most extreme, damaging one.
posted by chris24 at 10:05 AM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


The polls all showed him doing really well, as early as September. He wound up doing really well. The polls all now show him doing really really poorly in November. I predict he will wind up doing really poorly in November. What I want to know is whether the RNC will order another post-mortem, and whether they'll ignore it, like they did the 2012 one.
posted by eclectist at 10:06 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's hard to nail down when there are also those political systems (eg. Westminster systems) where "party leader" has a coherent institutional definition. By that standard, no, you couldn't exactly say that Trump is the leader of the Republicans the way David Cameron is the leader of the UK Tories. Any claim made about someone being a leader of a party in the States is just by necessity a little hazier.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:07 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Head cheese

I think that's the other side of the Atlantic.
posted by acb at 10:07 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The presidential nominee is the most visible member of a political party (unless there is an incumbent president of the same party). He or she has the most influence on the platform, election spending, and messaging. It takes a fairly twisted and targeted definition of "leader" to say that Donald Trump is not the "leader" of the Republican Party at this moment in time.

Except that this isn't how American political parties work. "Leader" is usually a term that is used in parliamentary systems where political parties vote for a specific leader and that leader of the party becomes the head of government if that party gains the most seats in an election.

Which I'm sure you know, I'm just explaining where I'm coming from.

I mean, we have the Speaker of the House openly saying that he's not "ready" to back Trump. American political parties are messy, is my point.
posted by Automocar at 10:07 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


A party's presidential nominee isn't really the "leader" of the party though.

Maybe leader isn't precisely correct, but the nominee is the literal embodiment of party discipline.
posted by odinsdream at 10:09 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


> Trump would be Provel Cheese.

I didn't capture a photo, but I once saw a package of "Shredded Pizza Topping" that included in its labeling "Warning: Keep refrigerated. Contains cheese."
posted by benito.strauss at 10:09 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trump is the little block of American cheese that comes in Lunchables.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:11 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Joey Buttafoucault: The highlighted part is just... what? It literally means nothing. He contradicts himself in two adjacent sentences - he wants to see a minimum wage increase, and he wants to leave it to the states. The follow up question seems to confirm he wants to abolish the federal minimum wage, but by saying "I would like to see an increase" and "I don't know how you can live on 7.25 an hour," he is throwing a bone to economically disadvantaged people who really want to hear that. All while he is getting ready to sell them down the river. Or, best case, do nothing on the issue.

It's really quite incredible. I expect him to continue this way right through to November.


Ditto on taxes:
In Trump’s tax plan, the wealthiest individuals would get a tax break, with the top tax rate dropping from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. But when pressed if he wants taxes on the wealthy to go up or down, he predicted that the top rate would be higher than the plan says. “On my plan they’re going down. But by the time it’s negotiated, they’ll go up,” Trump said.

...

He meant to communicate that he was open to top rates higher than those in his proposal as part of the negotiations to get tax reform passed, but also maintained they would remain lower than the current rate. “Now, if I increase it on the wealthy, they’re still going to pay less than they pay now,” the presumptive Republican nominee said. “I’m not talking about increasing from this point. I’m talking about increasing from my tax proposal.”
Reminds me of:
RICK JAMES: See, I never just did things just to do them, c'mon I mean, what I'm gonna do just all of the sudden just jump up and grind my feet in somebody's couch like it's something to do? Come on, I got a little more sense than that. ...Yeah, I remember grinding my feet into Eddie's couch.
It'll be fascinating to see how one constructs a campaign against someone with no consistent platform and no apparent desire to have one. It'll be a wildcard election.
posted by clawsoon at 10:11 AM on May 9, 2016 [18 favorites]


Trump should pick former London Mayor Boris Johnson as his VP. As Johnson was born in the US and therefore a natural born citizen; he's eligible. Americans are not members of the EU; but the Trump voters don't realize it; so Johnson can even keep his signature issue.
posted by humanfont at 10:11 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Gelatin: "The Making of an Ignoramus Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying. (And why not? This morning NPR ran a story on North Carolina's odious "no civil rights for LGBT citizens" bill that quoted several Republicans but not one opponent of the legislation.)"

NPR has really lapsed in self-parody there: "N.C.'s 'Bathroom Law' Energizes Voters On Both Sides Of The Issue". They're not even trying to pretend that there's an objective reality.
posted by octothorpe at 10:13 AM on May 9, 2016 [24 favorites]


Oh, and as "who's the head of the party", as far back as the 1980s my PoliSci prof was saying that in America at the federal level individual politicians run their own business and the party is more like a professional association. So the party is more like the "Greater St. Louis Restauranteurs Association", and the individual politicians each own and run their own restaurant. It's not so important who is the current head of the GSLRA.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:14 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]




RNC Chair: Trump Should Reassure GOP That He Won’t Change The Party Platform: “There’s a few things that I think can help in this regard,” Priebus told radio host Mike Gallagher on Monday when asked about those who have said they would never vote for Trump. “I think the Trump folks are willing to explore this. Number one, Donald Trump is not wanting to rewrite the platform, OK? So all that anxiety, just take it off the table. So, not willing to do that, but, you know, but, get into that, tell people that. That you don’t want rewrite, that you appreciate and agree with the platform the way it is.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:20 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


What I want to know is whether the RNC will order another post-mortem, and whether they'll ignore it, like they did the 2012 one.

They didn't ignore it, although they could have embraced it harder they had two Hispanics running. They got hijacked. Question now is if there'll be a Republican Party to do the post mortem.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:22 AM on May 9, 2016


ok, wait, folks, I'm not even done with the last 300+ comments in the other thread! I've been reading nothing but that thread during my free time for the past 3 days and I still can't catch up.
posted by numaner at 10:23 AM on May 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


As Johnson was born in the US and therefore a natural born citizen; he's eligible.

Johnson claimed that he would be giving up his US citizenship and would therefore be ineligible.
posted by Etrigan at 10:23 AM on May 9, 2016


Ugh, not editing to add: Plus there's a residency requirement that he doesn't meet.
posted by Etrigan at 10:24 AM on May 9, 2016


What I want to know is whether the RNC will order another post-mortem, and whether they'll ignore it, like they did the 2012 one.

They'll probably conclude that, like in 2012, they lost because they didn't nominate a "true conservative". This belief will likely continue until they do nominate a "true conservative" and (I hope) lose. At which point they will have to conclude something else.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:24 AM on May 9, 2016


Nope, it's a No True Scotsman thing. The evidence that they haven't nominated a True Conservative is that they have lost.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:25 AM on May 9, 2016 [18 favorites]


Hollywood Reporter: "Azealia Banks Endorses Donald Trump, Claims Hillary Clinton 'Talks to Black People As If We're Children or Pets'"

Banks has been such a thin-skinned, homophobic mess for years. She and Trump seem like a good fit.
posted by zarq at 10:28 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


With only six months left in the all-too-brief election campaign

*crushes heavily on OP*
posted by infini at 10:33 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


With only six months left in the all-too-brief election campaign

*crushes heavily on OP*


*wants to crush heavily the OP*

Just kidding, great work with the FPPs, Wordshore
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 10:37 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I Was Crushed Heavily by the GOP, a new novel by Chuck Tingle.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:41 AM on May 9, 2016 [39 favorites]


RNC Chair: Trump Should Reassure GOP That He Won’t Change The Party Platform

Heh. Funnily I think that's one thing he can totally give the RNC. You think Donald wants to officially put his opinions into writing? Hell no, he'd much rather let you guys have your platform and then continue advocating whatever the hell pops into his head at any given moment. Less work for him too.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:42 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


They didn't ignore it. ... They got hijacked.
No, I think the people who nominated Trump are The Republican Party, and that's the problem. The question is, what happens to The Party Formerly Known As The Republicans. Moderate Dems?
posted by eclectist at 10:42 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Azealia Banks is a good reminder that just because you are talented in one area, that doesn't mean you have a brain for a different area.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:43 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


feckless fecal fear mongering: "Nope, it's a No True Scotsman thing. The evidence that they haven't nominated a True Conservative is that they have lost."

Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on May 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


I Was Crushed Heavily by the GOP, a new novel by Chuck Tingle.
posted by Faint of Butt


Faint of Butt being, naturally, how one feels after reading too many Chuck Tingle creations
posted by saturday_morning at 10:44 AM on May 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


“The bottom line is Trump will be able to fill these jobs because there is a whole class of people who want these titles so badly it doesn’t matter who is president,” said a former senior George W. Bush administration official. “But these are B- or C-level people. They are honorable, but not very good. The A-level people, and there are not that many of them to begin with, mostly don’t want to work for Trump. He will cut the A-level bench of available policy talent at least in half, if not more.”

said a former senior George W. Bush administration official
said a former senior George W. Bush administration official
said a former senior George W. Bush administration official
said a former senior George W. Bush administration official
said a former senior George W. Bush administration official....

So, instead of Heckuvajob Brownie, you get some third string guy who can actually run things in government but isn't crazy enough or obsequious enough to rise to the top. It's like the story of the Republican nomination all over again, the "A-level" bench is made up of low-energy idiots.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:44 AM on May 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


Clinton's million dollar trolling SuperPAC.

"It runs the risk of being exactly what their opponents accuse them of being: a campaign that appears to be populist but is a smokescreen that is paid and brought to you by lifetime political operatives and high-level consultants.”

"Super PACs are typically prohibited from working in tandem with candidates, but Correct the Record is doing just that by exploiting a loophole in campaign finance law that it says permits such coordination with digital campaigns."
posted by anti social order at 10:51 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


said a former senior George W. Bush administration official....

I definitely choke-laughed at that part too, but they're really talking how important the under-Brownies are -- not the Cabinet officials that we hear about, but the hundreds of assistants and deputies who actually get shit done. As much as we very much don't want so-called A-level people running departments if they're going to be Rumsfelds and Cheneys, you do need A-level administrators and bureaucrats running the day-to-day within the departments, or else we're going even farther down the "conservatives believing that government can't accomplish anything, getting elected, and proving it" rabbit hole.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:53 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, instead of Heckuvajob Brownie, you get some third string guy who can actually run things in government but isn't crazy enough or obsequious enough to rise to the top.

Except the Heckuvajob Brownies of the world, who are quite frequently political appointees and semicompetent at best, precisely are the ones who "want these titles so badly it doesn’t matter who is president."

The real concern is that the people a level or 3 below that, who are generally at least semi-capable of fulfilling the duties of the positions that keep government even remotely functional, will say "fuck no," leaving a Trump administration populated by Heckuvajob Brownies all the way down.
posted by dersins at 10:55 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


No, I think the people who nominated Trump are The Republican Party, and that's the problem. The question is, what happens to The Party Formerly Known As The Republicans. Moderate Dems?

For the last 30 years, the Republican party has been moving steadily to the right. This has basically given the Democratic party cover to move farther right themselves, adopting more centrist positions and mopping up centrist voters. Certainly Hillary Clinton would have been a Republican when I was a kid. In fact I think she actually was. Without organized labor to hold Democrats' feet to the fire, there's been nothing to stop them from doing this, and they don't really lose significant support from the left because a) where are they going to go? and b) the Republicans have become so extreme that most progressives vote protectively to keep them out.

This year is obviously different. Trump has played the GOP's Southern Strategy organ better than they ever could and effectively taken their party away from them. I don't see how the Republican party becomes anything other than a fringe right-wing weirdo party at this point. (Seriously, what's your path back to legitimacy after you nominate Donald Trump to be President?) The Democrats are already making overtures to the moderate Republicans repelled by Trump on the grounds that their positions aren't really all that far apart anymore.

At the same time, the progressive left is getting more and more upset by this, as the Sanders campaign shows. This is way, way more significant than the Nader fringe split of 2000. If the Republicans retreat into the Party of White Resentment and their electoral base fragments, this removes a lot of pressure on liberals to vote Democrat or else. So I can see a situation where the Democratic party increasingly loses support on the left.

The problem is, I don't see why the Democratic party should care all that much. I'm worried that we're moving from a two party system to a one party system where that one party is the Democrats, defending the center (and increasingly representing the needs of the elites) against right and left wing fringe populist parties that never actually win elections.

I find America's political future, frightening, honestly.
posted by Naberius at 10:56 AM on May 9, 2016 [34 favorites]


What about Condi as Trump's VP pick?
posted by bardophile at 10:58 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I had been very much under the impression that the Presidential nominee is, in fact, the leader of the party. Google is equivocal. Cite?"

Definitely not in the Parliamentary sense. In the same way that we have a multi-polar governmental system, we have multi-polar party leadership. There's the chairman of the RNC (or DNC) -- that'd be Reince Priebus -- who controls a lot of the money, a lot of the staff, and a lot of the data; there's the head of the House and Senate party caucuses -- Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell -- who have the most power in setting the party's legislative agenda. (Ryan is ascendant over McConnell right now, but the House and Senate go back and forth on which house is more powerful and important over time, and the specifics of the situation make it vary which part of the party has more power to set the agenda.) Sometimes there is a president or presidential nominee (here, Trump), who has a vast bully pulpit and (if in office) control of a large bureaucracy and administrative apparatus, but surprisingly little power to set the legislative agenda. These various poles both cooperate but also compete; their desires are frequently not remotely in alignment.

In US politics we don't really talk about the "leader of the party" and the idea of a unitary leadership -- or, for that matter, a party with a highly unified legislative agenda like you have -- is relatively foreign to us. Party platforms and presidential promises are, like, negotiation starting points, people don't view them really as an agenda that will be put in motion, because no single point in our system has that kind of power. Maybe if we go back to Roosevelt in the 1930s? But even then, not Parliamentary in the scope of his ability to set and push an agenda.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:59 AM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


Clinton's million dollar trolling SuperPAC.

So are we now just using "trolling" to mean "saying something I don't agree with?"
posted by dersins at 10:59 AM on May 9, 2016 [19 favorites]


Clinton's million dollar trolling SuperPAC.
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-clinton-digital-trolling-20160506-snap-htmlstory.html

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

[...]

Brock referred questions to Elizabeth Shappell, a spokesperson for the super PAC, who emailed a brief statement saying that Barrier Breakers, as the effort is labeled, "is only engaged in positive content, even when responding to offensive content, and is always identified" as Correct the Record, she wrote.


this article can't point to or identify any verifiable CTR activity that even loosely fits any definition of trolling

I guess people hella trolled reddit pretending to be CTR operatives, but I feel like that's not what they're referring to
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:00 AM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Maybe if we go back to Roosevelt in the 1930s? But even then, not Parliamentary in the scope of his ability to set and push an agenda.

And even FDR was roadblocked by the Supreme Court, thus the court packing scheme.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:04 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The word "troll" here is being used in the same sense as "Russia's troll army", paid online propagandists.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:08 AM on May 9, 2016


By coincidence I spent several hours today going through and transcribing campaign leaflets from the 1927 and 1933 elections in Danzig. Some of them were...depressingly recognizable.

(However, the Social Democrats came up with some pretty amusing doggerel against the NSDAP!)
posted by orrnyereg at 11:15 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The problem is, I don't see why the Democratic party should care all that much. I'm worried that we're moving from a two party system to a one party system where that one party is the Democrats, defending the center (and increasingly representing the needs of the elites) against right and left wing fringe populist parties that never actually win elections.

Never send to know for which party Trump is the nominee. He is the nominee for yours.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:15 AM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, a concerted "well, actually..." campaign of paid propaganda certainly counts as a type of trolling on many parts of the internet.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:18 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


“Clinton’s Sealioning Super PAC”?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:20 AM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


>this article can't point to or identify any verifiable CTR activity that even loosely fits any definition of trolling

Obviously defining 'trolling' correctly as a art is the most important thing here, not the Dem frontrunner using borderline-illegal coordination with a superPAC run by a well-known scumbag to try and manufacture grassroot support online.
posted by anti social order at 11:20 AM on May 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Also, what is with David Brock’s hair in that photograph?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:22 AM on May 9, 2016


When Nate Silver brings snark, he really brings snark.

That last link makes me wonder if all of this is nothing more than a grand product placement opportunity?
posted by infini at 11:22 AM on May 9, 2016


Oh good, we've gotten to the "your candidate is a scumball" portion of the thread. I was worried about things for a minute.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:23 AM on May 9, 2016 [40 favorites]


Yeah, but if your candidate is the Donald Trump/David Duke ticket, then, well ....

Trump/Duke 2016: Scumballs to the Wall!
posted by eclectist at 11:25 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

I don't know, but I put my faith in Blast Hardcheese.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:25 AM on May 9, 2016 [20 favorites]


Man, I miss the days when someone could say "David Duke 2016" and I would know with certainty that they were kidding.
posted by corb at 11:26 AM on May 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

Cheese of the Patriarchy
posted by melissasaurus at 11:31 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?

Possibly not entirely natural.
posted by Wordshore at 11:33 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


It would be interesting to examine actual CTR activity we can link to, instead of just projecting whatever nefariousness we like onto what we imagine it to be.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:36 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


You mean quid pro quo?
posted by kyp at 11:38 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


What variety of cheese would Donald be?
Hell, I don't know. But here's a wee bit of cheesey diversion.
Sailing the Seas of Cheese
posted by dougzilla at 11:42 AM on May 9, 2016


On The Media interviews Libby Watson from the Sunlight Foundation on the "Correct The Record" SuperPac:

Hillary and the Trolls (4/29/16)
posted by kyp at 11:44 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Maybe let's skip jumping into the deep end on the speculative Clinton PAC Trollin' And What Does Trolling Mean Exactly thing here.

More generally, I'll take a moment here to remind folks that the endless "candidate/candidate's supporters that I dislike suck" and more coy or arms-length varitions of same as a dynamic is terrible and has been well overdone at this point already. We're sending folks email and giving time off at this point if we see it continuing to recur. Please help us make these threads less tedious.]

posted by cortex at 11:45 AM on May 9, 2016 [26 favorites]


Yes, PJ O’Rourke Endorsed Hillary Clinton Today

"I mean, this man just can’t be president of the US. I mean, they got this button, it’s in a briefcase, he’s gonna find it."
posted by tonycpsu at 11:46 AM on May 9, 2016 [27 favorites]


It would be interesting to examine actual CTR activity we can link to

Does anyone know what reddit handles they're using? If they're actually self-identifying as CTR like Shapell is claiming, it seems like finding out what they're up to should be pretty easy.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:47 AM on May 9, 2016


roomthreeseventeen: From the "isn't this premature" file: Trump taps Christie to lead transition

Something something building closing bridges
posted by filthy light thief at 11:49 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


reddit went a little crazy with the CTR accusations and parody accounts and ironic self-identification as shills so I don't know if that'd be the best place to try and make any sense of this
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2016


NPR: In November, People Could Be Voting Against — Not For — Trump And Clinton (May 4, 2016)

More: Republican Backlash Continues To Build Against Donald Trump, and GOP Has Yet To Unify Around Donald Trump (May 9, 2016). Transcripts up online later today, but in short, politicians aren't a great marker for national opinions (shocking, I know).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The real concern is that the people a level or 3 below that, who are generally at least semi-capable of fulfilling the duties of the positions that keep government even remotely functional, will say "fuck no," leaving a Trump administration populated by Heckuvajob Brownies all the way down.

But we're not really talking about "career government" people, people with classifications who actually do things. Besides the Heckuvajob Brownies, we're talking about the think-tank clone army that ran the Emerald City in Baghdad and various other Republican hangers-on, biding their time in fake jobs waiting for a change of tide in DC.

That's the whole assumption in voting for someone like Trump, that all those "A-level" people are useless and you're better off with a bunch of nobodies. I'm not saying that's going to turn out great, but a vote for Trump is very much a no confidence vote in all those people, who imagine they are the competent, sensible ones but 8 years of Bush proved otherwise. Remember how the reconstruction of Iraq was going to be a demonstration project for the A-level ideas and talent of the Republican party?
posted by ennui.bz at 11:56 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


What about Condi as Trump's VP pick?

Rice is way too intelligent to fall for his shit. Yeah, ok, she had her place in the Bush Administration and carried water for a lot of bullshit, but (as much as it galls me to say) Bush the Lesser was still a better and more intelligent President than Trump ever could be.

Alternatively, and less charitably, Rice was part of the cabal that recognized Bush was a useful patsy and would do as he was bidden. Trump is neither of those things.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:01 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


The word "troll" here is being used in the same sense as "Russia's troll army", paid online propagandists.

Troll has become the internet version of "enemy combatant" or "insurgent", in any political context.
posted by emptythought at 12:03 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't know, but I put my faith in Blast Hardcheese.

Trump/Calgon 2016: Buckle your seatbelts: We're going to reach speeds of three!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:03 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


CNN (video, autoplay): Time editor Nancy Gibbs says "we have been serially surprised" by the Trump campaign. She urges reporters to "turn the cameras around" and concentrate on where Trump's support is coming from.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


(also, somehow I bet those "A-level" people aren't actually going to turn down a job in a Trump administration. No one is going to choose to spend another 8 years at some bullshit think-tank or commission or, dealing with uppity university faculty, out of "principle" when there's a chance to get your grift on in DC)
posted by ennui.bz at 12:07 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Condoleezza Rice accepting the veep role would be a nasty slap in the face to the Bushes. Not sure if she would want to do that.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:10 PM on May 9, 2016


So, if Trump defaults on the national debt, we all get to default on our student loans, right?
posted by melissasaurus at 12:10 PM on May 9, 2016 [30 favorites]


ah, ha ha ha, melissasaurus
posted by pyramid termite at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Renegotiate, melissasaurus. Renegotiate.
posted by clawsoon at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Just trying to find the silver classy-gold-and-marble lining.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:14 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


The kids today are saying "renege". It's like "refi", it's just short for the whole word. "I'm gonna refi my house." "I'm gonna renege the full faith and credit of the United States."
posted by cortex at 12:14 PM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


It's a new dating strategy. Negging is so last year. 2016 is all about reneging.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:16 PM on May 9, 2016 [25 favorites]


reddit went a little crazy with the CTR accusations and parody accounts and ironic self-identification as shills so I don't know if that'd be the best place to try and make any sense of this

Reddit is a terrible place to make any sense out of anything given the way "conversation" is structured there--specifically, downvoting that leads to posts and comments being hidden.

Any model of discourse that is predicated on the literal silencing of dissent is fundamentally broken.
posted by dersins at 12:24 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think you mean SILENCED ALL MY LIFE.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:25 PM on May 9, 2016


dersins: Any model of discourse that is predicated on the literal silencing of dissent is fundamentally broken.

FLAGGED!

Kidding.
posted by clawsoon at 12:27 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I want to talk about how tacky and gauche Trump is. I know we don't really talk about class taste judgments in the US, etc etc, but OMG YOU GUYS he's so tacky and gauche and could that money BE any newer?

Even if he were not a dumpster fire of a human being, the level of gaucherie would be just really offputting. In addition to his total unfitness to serve, can we not make a judgment as a society that there is simply a level of tackiness that precludes one from being allowed in the White House where one might make taxpayer-funded decorating decisions that the country has to live with for 200 years? Is there not a level of gaucherie where we don't allow you to meet foreign leaders?

Actually I do think this is kind-of an interesting question historically, given the US's lasting inferiority complex about its upstart status as a nation and its lack of cultural sophistication, and the sorts of demands we therefore place on our Presidents and First Families, the ways it's acceptable to express culture and class in the White House -- like, it's okay to be uncultured but you have to be sort-of self-consciously Puritan/plain in your tastes so it's more like "I reject the fripperies of frivolous European culture" and not like "I'm a dumb American from the frontier." (It's also okay to be cultured, but not the frivolous kind of cultured, you're supposed to be too republican to be truly aristocratic in your tastes.) There was a whole national chattering-class panic when Lincoln was elected centering around Mary Todd Lincoln's perceived gaucherie and how embarrassing it would be to introduce her to ambassadors and how Lincoln himself was perceived as simple and republican in his tastes but she was viewed as a tacky jumped-up frontier farm girl aping her betters. (Which was enraging to her as she was from a gentle, well-bred family; she was considerably better-educated and more cultured than Abe; and she had spectacular taste, as evidenced by her renovations to the White House that still set the tone for its decor 150 years later.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:28 PM on May 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


I'm not sure there has ever been a First Lady truly treated well by the press/chattering classes.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:29 PM on May 9, 2016


Final four bracket of cortex's worst nightmares in this thread:

reddit sucks vs. that's not really trolling
your candidate sucks vs. no, your candidate sucks
posted by Existential Dread at 12:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [26 favorites]


I want to talk about how tacky and gauche Trump is. I know we don't really talk about class taste judgments in the US, etc etc, but OMG YOU GUYS he's so tacky and gauche and could that money BE any newer?

Trump is basically a theater person or artist in the wrong career path. He’s obsessed with a certain kind of style, and doesn’t give a toot for substance. Imagine Trump in art school. Imagine a Trump exhibition going up after a Keith Haring show. Imagine.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:33 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure there has ever been a First Lady truly treated well by the press/chattering classes.

Michelle Obama and Jackie O have made out pretty well. So did Nancy Reagan, I thought?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:34 PM on May 9, 2016


Michelle Obama and Jackie O have made out pretty well.

Hold on, we're talking about someone who received untold fury for trying to get American kids to eat their fucking vegetables.
posted by Talez at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


reddit sucks

I want to be very clear that I am not saying "reddit sucks" or "redditors suck."

What I am saying is: I believe that institutionalizing the silencing of unpopular opinions is in direct opposition to democratic ideals of free speech, and thus, if our goal is to have a free and open exchange of views and ideas (which I believe it should be), the model of discourse upon which reddit's structure rests is fundamentally unable to achieve that goal.
posted by dersins at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


So did Nancy Reagan, I thought?

Eh, not so much.
posted by Etrigan at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2016


Imagine Trump in art school.

"Once the Polish Muslim question is settled, I want to end my life as an artist."
posted by Etrigan at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I want to talk about how tacky and gauche Trump is. I know we don't really talk about class taste judgments in the US, etc etc, but OMG YOU GUYS he's so tacky and gauche and could that money BE any newer?

That's a really interesting subject. It reminds me of what Veblen said about good taste and manners being the ultimate advertisement of-and-for a ruling class. It's the perfect conspicuous leisure, because it takes both a lot of time and exposure to all the right social connections to truly perfect one's good breeding. And you can show it off simply by opening your mouth.

It's a great advertisement for the ruling class because one of the things you learn is how to be perfectly proper and polite and polished. You learn how to never offend anyone - not if you don't want to, anyway. You learn to be gracious and charming. And even if the education part of your education doesn't stick, you learn how to seem educated anyway. You certainly know what not to say.

That works wonderfully for a ruling class, whether it's Viennese aristocrats or Ivy League graduates.
posted by clawsoon at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


So did Nancy Reagan, I thought?

She was retrospectively pilloried by some people for "Just Say No", anyway.
posted by clawsoon at 12:43 PM on May 9, 2016


Hold on, we're talking about someone who received untold fury for trying to get American kids to eat their fucking vegetables.

My impression of the presses thoughts on Michelle Obama are perhaps filtered by my getting my FLOTUS news from MetaFilter and a few people who are irked by her, so do please correct me. As is, my understanding has been that she’s been roundly praised for having brought a certain, very defined style back to the White House (a la Jackie O), and that her “Let’s Move!” etc., initiatives hadn’t gone badly. But I guess… they did?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:45 PM on May 9, 2016


She was retrospectively pilloried by some people for "Just Say No", anyway.

And (rightly) for her views on astrology and people with HIV.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:46 PM on May 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


Some VP pick betting odds are starting to show up. I doubt these are too meaningful just now.

It's missing Governor Brian Sandoval, who has affirmed support for Trump. Trump claims Hispanics love him, Nevadan Republican Hispanics did vote for him, so he could continue conflating the two by picking a Latino specifically from the latter subgroup.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:48 PM on May 9, 2016


Hating on First Ladies for what they do or say (or married) is different than hating on them for being inadequately classy, though. Michelle Obama, Jackie O, Nancy Reagan, have not really had their classiness (whether of the high-classy WASPy sort or the down-to-earth hail-fellow-yeomen sort) questioned, except by highly partisan press who were gonna do it anyway. I can't really think of a modern First Family that's been persistently attacked for tackiness (leaving aside a few small pockets like Jimmy Carter's brother Billy, or racists who refuse to believe the Obamas can be cultured because they're black). Certainly First Families have been criticized because people don't LIKE them, or their policies, or what they represent about America, but I'm specifically interested in tackiness and what expressions of class and culture are broadly acceptable in the Oval Office and I REFUSE TO BELIEVE that this nation will accept Trumpist gaucherie, which is like, let's find the UGLIEST American stereotypes and put a tacky, obviously-gilded crown on them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:51 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump claims Hispanics love him, Nevadan Republican Hispanics did vote for him, so he could continue conflating the two by picking a Latino specifically from the latter subgroup.

But everybody loves Trump. Tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people! Highly educated, pretty well educated, and poorly educated! And the women!

Too many people who love him to choose from.
posted by clawsoon at 12:52 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump is basically a theater person or artist in the wrong career path.

Oh no not again
posted by officer_fred at 12:55 PM on May 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


My impression of the presses thoughts on Michelle Obama are perhaps filtered by my getting my FLOTUS news from MetaFilter and a few people who are irked by her, so do please correct me. As is, my understanding has been that she’s been roundly praised for having brought a certain, very defined style back to the White House (a la Jackie O), and that her “Let’s Move!” etc., initiatives hadn’t gone badly. But I guess… they did?

Lets take a trip back to 2009:
NYT - Michelle Obama Goes Sleeveless, Again
HuffPo - Up In Arms: Michelle Obama’s Sleeveless Style Sparks Controversy
Maureen Dowd - Should Michelle Cover Up?
USA Today - Michelle Obama: The right to bare arms?
WaPo - The Right to Bare Arms

They tried to shame her for her style, it just didn't work.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:56 PM on May 9, 2016 [28 favorites]


Too bad all that love is not translating into anything like good poll numbers. RealClearPolitics blew my mind with a poll showing Trump leading Clinton by one point for the Presidency in Georgia. I still think we may see Arizona and Texas go blue in November.

Also, good HuffPo piece via News Republic pointing out that Hillary Clinton is a Progressive Democrat, Despite What You May Have Heard.
posted by bearwife at 12:57 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I REFUSE TO BELIEVE that this nation will accept Trumpist gaucherie, which is like, let's find the UGLIEST American stereotypes and put a tacky, obviously-gilded crown on them.

Didn't a Cruz supporter already try an attack on Melania Trump's classiness, and it backfired?
posted by clawsoon at 12:57 PM on May 9, 2016


Melania is much less tacky than Donald! It is Donald's gaucherie that concerns me.

(Perhaps the Mary Todd example has led my point astray, which is not really about First Ladies but about GUYS TRUMP WANTS TO PUT THE WORD TRUMP ON THE WHITE HOUSE and CAN YOU REALLY IMAGINE THIS GUY MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS? Berlusconi-esque, what a nightmare.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't really think of a modern First Family that's been persistently attacked for tackiness (leaving aside a few small pockets like Jimmy Carter's brother Billy, or racists who refuse to believe the Obamas can be cultured because they're black).

The Clintons caught some "hillbilly" shit too (yeah, the Rhodes Scholar and the lawyer from Chicago got that). But sure, if you leave out the instances of First Families being attacked for tackiness, then no First Family has been attacked for tackiness.
posted by Etrigan at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but there's a gulf between catching some shit and being the living embodiment of tackiness.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:03 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


They tried to shame her for her style, it just didn't work. It never does. Good thing my FLOTUS news tends to emerge mostly from African sources.

CAN YOU REALLY IMAGINE THIS GUY MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS?


The Queen? OMG I would want to be a fly on the wall for just that moment to catch the tone of her voice
posted by infini at 1:04 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Trump is basically a theater person or artist in the wrong career path. He’s obsessed with a certain kind of style, and doesn’t give a toot for substance. Imagine Trump in art school.

I think I've made it abundantly clear for months now that I have no trouble imagining Trump as a failed artist. None at all.
posted by Naberius at 1:05 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


CAN YOU REALLY IMAGINE THIS GUY MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS?

The Queen? OMG I would want to be a fly on the wall for just that moment to catch the tone of her voice


I got $20 that says she shows up to their first meeting with a translator.
posted by Etrigan at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Using the wikipedia "Statewide opinion polling for US presidential election, 2016, I made this map, using the latest polls, if available. 319 EVs for Clinton, 87 for Trump, with 132 EVs either not polled yet or too close. Of course, it takes 270 to win.
This is extremely crude, but fun!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:09 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Old money only beats new money if new money wants to be old money. Trump is so beautifully sure of himself that he wouldn’t care. (I imagine Putin would be savvy enough to send him some gratis gold plating as an inauguration gift.)
posted by Going To Maine at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Extremely crude" is perfect for Trump.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd add Washington and Oregon and Colorado to that map as blue, regardless of polling to date.
posted by bearwife at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2016


infini: The Queen? OMG I would want to be a fly on the wall for just that moment to catch the tone of her voice

She would tell him that she finds his work very interesting.
posted by clawsoon at 1:16 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Melania Trump would be our first First Lady who has posed for nude photos. Well, I'm sure some of the previous First Ladies may have on a private basis, but Melania would be the first to have done so for publication. I personally don't care, but it will be interesting to see if that exacerbates the evangelical / social conservatives split over Trump. Not to mention the whole "trashy" argument. Clinton herself won't attack on this, but I could see her surrogates, some that are degrees away from the candidate, trying to make this an issue as part of the divide&conquer strategy.

She'd also be our first foreign born First Lady in a very long time. Which is interesting considering her husband's platform of xenophobia.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:20 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]




She'd also be our first foreign born First Lady in a very long time. Which is interesting considering her husband's platform of xenophobia.

Yeah, but, y'know, not one of those kinds of foreigners.

/dogwhistled
posted by Existential Dread at 1:22 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Clinton herself won't attack on this, but I could see her surrogates, some that are degrees away from the candidate, trying to make this an issue as part of the divide&conquer strategy.

Trump would love that. "Oh, my spouse is fair game? Has she been impeached?" And then his surrogates get to talk about how ugly and anti-woman the Clinton campaign is being. Going after Melania in any way is a losing proposition, and I bet that Clinton knows that and is putting the word out.
posted by Etrigan at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


> can we not make a judgment as a society that there is simply a level of tackiness that precludes one from being allowed in the White House where one might make taxpayer-funded decorating decisions that the country has to live with for 200 years? Is there not a level of gaucherie where we don't allow you to meet foreign leaders?

... like, it's okay to be uncultured but you have to be sort-of self-consciously Puritan/plain in your tastes so it's more like "I reject the fripperies of frivolous European culture" and not like "I'm a dumb American from the frontier."


Sometimes on MetaFilter you get a moment of "Oh, person X doesn't know about this thing I know about and I'm the one who gets to introduces them to it."

EMcG, meet Richard Nixon’s Palace Guard.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:25 PM on May 9, 2016 [24 favorites]


I personally don't care, but it will be interesting to see if that exacerbates the evangelical / social conservatives split over Trump.

Never underestimate the Jesus-finding power of Republican politicians, nor how much that forgives.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:25 PM on May 9, 2016


In case y'all were wondering why elections matter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:27 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


She'd also be our first foreign born First Lady in a very long time. Which is interesting considering her husband's platform of xenophobia.

What's the difference between Melania Trump and every race Trump is vilifying?

I feel like it starts with "w" and rhymes with "height".
posted by Talez at 1:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


EMcG, meet Richard Nixon’s Palace Guard.

Wow, TIL. In general, we're much more servile to authority now, especially if it is in a uniform. If Dubya had done it, they would have stayed.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump would love that. “Oh, my spouse is fair game? Has she been impeached?”

Trump has already gone after Clinton as an enabler for Bill, so I’m pretty sure the spouse box has been opened. That said, I’d agree that it’s both gross and a bad idea to go after Melania Trump.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What's the difference between Melania Trump and every race Trump is vilifying?

I feel like it starts with "w" and rhymes with "height".


Is it "ladyparts"? I can't make "ladyparts" rhyme with "height."


Eyebrows McGee: Even if he were not a dumpster fire of a human being, the level of gaucherie would be just really offputting. In addition to his total unfitness to serve, can we not make a judgment as a society that there is simply a level of tackiness that precludes one from being allowed in the White House where one might make taxpayer-funded decorating decisions that the country has to live with for 200 years? Is there not a level of gaucherie where we don't allow you to meet foreign leaders?

The thing is, he's seen as "my kind of people" by a significant number of voters. He's racist and bigoted and misogynistic, but SUCCESSFUL, so he's clearly doing something right. And I'm just like that, except the successful part, so screw your P.C. Patrol, I got me a president who says what he thinks (even/especially when it's without consideration for others).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


re: tackiness in the White House - can you imagine if Cuomo the Younger ever got in there with Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee? Tablescapes and Kwanzaa Cakes as far as the eye can see...
posted by sallybrown at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I want to talk about how tacky and gauche Trump is. I know we don't really talk about class taste judgments in the US, etc etc, but OMG YOU GUYS he's so tacky and gauche and could that money BE any newer?

clawsoon: That's a really interesting subject. It reminds me of what Veblen said about good taste and manners being the ultimate advertisement of-and-for a ruling class.
My theory is that this is precisely Trump's appeal. Republicans have been absurdly attacking "elitists" for years because Americans love that message. George W. Bush (2 Ivy degrees, son of a president and grandson of a senator) attacked elites. Ted Cruz ("I wil only study with Harvard, Yale or Princeton grads") attacked elites. And it was obviously phony.

But Trump doesn't criticize elites, he IS non-elite, and he does non-elite. Nouveau riche is the American dream, getting rich without having to conform, having enough money to do whatever the hell you want. People loved it when Sam Walton drove a pickup.
posted by msalt at 1:37 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


What's the difference between Melania Trump and every race Trump is vilifying?

I feel like it starts with "w" and rhymes with "height".


"Wight"?

Are we talking about a "reanimated corpse, either human or animal, raised from death by the White Walkers to act as their minions"?
posted by happyroach at 1:41 PM on May 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


What about Condi as Trump's VP pick?

"Ummm...I believe the title was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States.'" It was all just historical information.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:45 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


When was the last time that the US had a truly old-money President? FDR? I'm going through names in my head, and only Kennedy (hooch smugglers) and the Bushes (up from the ground came some bubblin' crude) were anywhere close to old money since then.
posted by clawsoon at 1:46 PM on May 9, 2016


But Trump doesn't criticize elites, he IS non-elite

You do know that Trump is not a self-made man, right?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Yeah, Trump inherited millions in NYC real estate right before a huge boom in NYC real estate. The human embodiment of the Waterbury Tire Fire of 1981 could have made itself obscenely wealthy in that situation.
posted by dersins at 1:53 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Now that I think about it a bit more, the Melania photos will probably be revealed by some tabloid / TMZ style thing. It's true that the Clinton campaign will want nothing to do with it, not even at some great distance. Still wondering how the religious right will feel about it. They love to 'forgive' the right people but they also like their slutshaming. Have no idea how it will play out.

Speaking of the religious right, Trump's problems with evangelicals continue. Russell Moore, a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, renewed his attacks on Trump. Clinton too, but that's to be expected. Trump fired back.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:55 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


In case y'all were wondering why elections matter.

Yeah, just in case anyone's entertaining "no difference between the two parties" thoughts about November, this is a pretty big reminder that, well, actually there is indeed a gigantic fucking difference.
posted by dersins at 1:56 PM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


Bush money is way way way older than the money GHWB made in Texas.
posted by notyou at 1:57 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, Bernie collects more delegates in Washington state

Clarification: He was really taking final delivery of his Washington delegates. He did gain, it looks like, a couple additional delegates out of Washington. But other than those two, these weren't any different from the delegates he was expected to get in March at the caucus.

Washington has a three-stage system -- local caucus, district caucus, state caucus. The delegates are divided in about eleventy million ways through the process, mostly by little districts and precincts.

It was getting reported he picked up 74, but in reality he'd always had them since March. They just weren't confirmed until the nitty-gritty numbers got done over the weekend.
posted by dw at 1:58 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are we talking about a "reanimated corpse, either human or animal, raised from death by the White Walkers to act as their minions"?

Yes. Melania Trump is a Wight, and Donald Trump is a Lich King, with a particularly good phylactery in the shape of a hairpiece.
posted by eclectist at 1:58 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


You do know that Trump is not a self-made man, right?

You say that like facts matter in this post-Dubya world.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Re: cheese, Trump is Cheeto powder.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 2:02 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]




You do know that Trump is not a self-made man, right?

Trump's celebrity is self-made, though. Just as God gave Hulk Hogan a great body*, he gave Trump money. Each man had to turn their God-given gifts into celebrity all by themselves, by the size and force of their own personalities.

*Okay, God and steroids, I assume.
posted by clawsoon at 2:03 PM on May 9, 2016


Trump's celebrity is self-made,
You needed to already have plenty of money to put your name on tall buildings. Thirty years ago, would we have had any clue that he was doing a massive-scale equivalent of candidate lawn signs? The man was thinking ahead.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2016


Trump is self-made in exactly the way that Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian are. Like... kind of. They started with a ton of advantages and then leveraged that to make money on their own.
posted by Justinian at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


As for what cheese Trump is, I am very, very disappointed that not one of you suggested Velveeta. It's orange-ish. It's not even "cheese" but "pasteurized process cheese food." It's essentially plastic, just like Trump's beliefs. It's offensive to the idea of cheese, and I swear it's fascist tho I'm not exactly sure how.
posted by dw at 2:15 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Velveeta is so Trump, it's even liquid gold. GO ON GIT!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:20 PM on May 9, 2016


You do know that Trump is not a self-made man, right?

Of course. The whole point of this populist appeal is to stay non-elite despite getting rich, and if you can do it through generations, so much the better. For a less easy-to-pick-on example in literature, look at the Stampers in Sometimes a Great Notion. The rebel boss is the archetype of an American leader.

Elite is about class, not money. Key difference. Goes back to Veblen, one of the most unsung geniuses of American history.

Trump is self-made in exactly the way that Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian are. Like... kind of. They started with a ton of advantages and then leveraged that to make money on their own.

You say that like it wouldn't resonate with white voters in a rich country who are fearful of losing their undeserved privilege.
posted by msalt at 2:22 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Velveeta's greatest quality is its 'smooth melting' ability that it can improve the meltability of Real Cheese when mixed together without losing much of the flavor of the good stuff (I use some for mac-n-cheese and queso dip). I don't see Trump melting or mixing with much of anything. Maybe 'generic Velveeta' (Have you SEEN that stuff?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:22 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


chavenet: This many comments into a political cheese thread and no one wants to make America grate again?

dw: As for what cheese Trump is, I am very, very disappointed that not one of you suggested Velveeta.

(Ahem.)

posted by Atom Eyes at 2:25 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Atom Eyes wins the thread. Would he be interested in being Trump's running mate?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel strongly that a cheese's running mate should be macaroni.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


well I have the same reaction to the maggot cheese and DT as nominee: 'well that can't possibly be real wait seriously' and then vomiting that is kind of vomiting where your body just rejects the thing immediately without any nausea prelude
posted by angrycat at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's even a song already about putting a feather in your hat and calling it macaroni.

They're all set
posted by sio42 at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Because he's the cheese and she's the macaroni

His VP selection will be a woman according to that oracle we know as the Beastie Boys.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:37 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Would he be interested in being Trump's running mate?

I'll take the bucket of warm spit instead, thanks.

posted by Atom Eyes at 2:42 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


What kind of cheese?

Dick cheese.

Isn't it obvious?
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


no wait I've got it, Trump is a line of ground annatto snorted through a rolled up $20
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:46 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Richard Cheese. Please. Let's not be vulgar.
posted by clawsoon at 2:46 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Once the Polish Muslim question is settled, I want to end my life as an artist."

The Polish Muslim question is a live one.
posted by klangklangston at 2:48 PM on May 9, 2016


Okay, Gawker has collected 21 recent analyses for "People, Places, and Things You Can Blame for Donald Trump, Ranked". Me, I blame Gawker, just because I can (and isn't Gawker responsible for EVERYTHING bad today?)

And I understand, Atom Eyes, and I happen to have some warm spit in 2-liter bottles. Where would you like it sent?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I once had to get a quote for an anonymized mixture of human saliva for a grant proposal. It was surprisingly expensive.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


In case y'all were wondering why elections matter.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83
Anthony Kennedy is 79
Stephen Breyer is 77
Clarence Thomas is 67
Samuel Alito is 66
John Roberts is 61
Sonia Sotomayor is also 61
Elena Kagan is 56

All of the women on the Supreme Court were born in New York City.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


i could just leave a six pack of budweiser outside overnight

oh ... warm SPIT ....
posted by pyramid termite at 2:51 PM on May 9, 2016


Eyebrows McGee: I want to talk about how tacky and gauche Trump is. I know we don't really talk about class taste judgments in the US, etc etc, but OMG YOU GUYS he's so tacky and gauche and could that money BE any newer?

clawsoon: That's a really interesting subject. It reminds me of what Veblen said about good taste and manners being the ultimate advertisement of-and-for a ruling class.


Rich people, as a rule, have terrible taste. Occasionally, they can pay someone who has good taste to do things for them. But, usually not. And this is a rule that goes back in time. Good taste for a well-to-do Victorian meant decorating your mansion like a bordello in hell. Also, wrt manners, with enough money you can spit into any bowl...

If you could only see how tacky the really rich live. Trump is not such an outlier for his social class...
posted by ennui.bz at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2016


> I'll take the bucket of warm spit instead, thanks.
> posted by Atom Eyes


/b.strauss has mild trivia orgasm.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:08 PM on May 9, 2016


If there is one meme that NEEDS to be spread about Trump is that he is the Poster Boy for the .01%, NOT an outlier at all. Not to mention that he inherited wealth, then built his we-don't-really-know-how-much fortune on the economic trends of the last 40 years. If you're getting poorer, a few cents of your money is in HIS pocket, and he'll never give it up. He can't provide any solution if he's spent his adult life being Part of the Problem.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Good news in that Uncle Cortex has put a message up about Eurovision and the Eurovision Club on FanFare. I'm hoping that Bernie, Hillary, and the Orange Buffoon will do the decent thing and suspend all campaign activities from 3pm to 6pm EST this Saturday to allow the USA to watch this most important of votes in 2016. As a bonus, Justin Timberlake is apparently the interval act, fuelling speculation that the USA will be allowed to enter in the near future.
posted by Wordshore at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What, oh what will Brexit mean for this most crucial of international relationships?
posted by Existential Dread at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2016


Not to derail (because I often derail intentionally), the US channel for Eurovision, LOGO, does a 3-hour-delayed feed to the West Coast and will not be overriding it Saturday. And you think Exit Polls are spoiler-heavy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:16 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Make America Grate Again!
posted by kirkaracha at 3:22 PM on May 9, 2016




Donald Trump doesn't know what the GI Bill is, thinks "trade" will help veterans. Somehow.
posted by mmoncur at 3:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


How would one even grate Velveeta? It's way too squishy.
posted by peeedro at 3:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to see large numbers of completely silent protesters get into Trump rallies and take off their shirts/sweaters/blouses to reveal t-shirts that simply say:
America IS great.

No gestures, no booing, just stand there.

Would Trump or his supporters be dumb enough to attack people for proclaiming that America is great? We can only hope.
posted by msalt at 3:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


The thing is, I think the appeal of Trump is the idea that you would be such a big, powerful dude that you wouldn't have to follow any rules. You wouldn't have to clean your room or eat your dinner before dessert or pay the debts that you committed to paying. It's not a political philosophy: it's a childish fantasy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:34 PM on May 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


Former 'stop Trump' megadonor switches sides

In an interview on Monday, Hubbard said he was still no fan of Trump, but he said that he viewed him as a better choice than Hillary Clinton. And he called on the party’s donor class, much of which remains deeply skeptical of Trump, to get on board.

“All of my favorite candidates dropped out one by one. We’re down to my least favorite candidate. And my least favorite candidate is better than Hillary Clinton in terms of what’s best for the country,” said Hubbard.

posted by futz at 3:36 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have no mouth and I must scream.
posted by corb at 3:41 PM on May 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


That podcast is going to be capital-A Amazeballs.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:42 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I want to see large numbers of completely silent protesters get into Trump rallies and take off their shirts/sweaters/blouses to reveal t-shirts that simply say:
America IS great.


they should be carrying flags, too
posted by pyramid termite at 3:45 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Military Times survey: Troops prefer Trump to Clinton by a huge margin

In a new survey of American military personnel, Donald Trump emerged as active-duty service members' preference to become the next U.S. president, topping Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin. However, in the latest Military Times election survey, more than one in five troops said they’d rather not vote in November if they have to choose between just those two candidates.

But given only those choices, 21 percent of the service members surveyed said they would abstain from voting.More than 54 percent of the 951 troops Military Times surveyed said they would vote for Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, over Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. Only about 25 percent said they would vote for Clinton in that matchup.

posted by futz at 3:47 PM on May 9, 2016


You have to remember that when a George W. Bush appointee talks about "A-list people" he's not talking about what most of us consider competence. He's talking about people who belong to the insider's club, who went to the right schools and belonged to the right clubs and have the right contacts in their Rolodex. He's probably enough of a tool himself to think those people are more competent and effective, and they probably are at advancing the interests of their little inbred class.

People who are otherwise educated and experienced get onto the B and C lists mostly because of where they haven't played golf and who they don't know. They will do fine at running the government, probably better than the A-listers because they will actually be interested in doing their jobs. Considering that he's gotten quite a few large projects completed (even if he failed to make money at a few of them) Trump probably understands that you don't need to hire members of your own social class to run the business. He probably even knows that doing that isn't as good an idea as hiring munchkins who have put more effort into knowing their job.

This isn't to say that Trump should be within a thousand miles of the Presidency, but the quality of his likely appointees is not one of the reasons for that.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:47 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Republican members of Congress/RNC staff/etc. getting behind Trump I'm not surprised by. They have to be loyal to the party. The donors doing it is more confusing. They owe nothing to the party (and perhaps the party owes them for allowing Trump to win in the first place). Do they actually think Trump will be good for the economy? I'd guess not. But they hate the Democrats above all else like any other anti-Trump Republican bowing to Trump's inevitable nomination. Money can't buy common sense.
posted by downtohisturtles at 3:51 PM on May 9, 2016


You wouldn't have to clean your room or eat your dinner before dessert

Or eat broccoli...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:55 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


i wish that I had Trump friends and family. Well, not like, I wish I had ties to the Dark Side, but I am deeply fascinated with the state of mind of a person who votes Trump. What is it like in their house? Are the shelves full of weird tchotchkes? What are the dinner conversations like? What are gender relations like? Are there books on the shelves, and if so, what are they like?

It feels like an essay DFW would write, getting to know The Trumpians. RIP man, you went out before some truly weird shit went down
posted by angrycat at 3:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


My [close relative,] who collects guns and ammo and gold, and thinks Barack Obama was born in Africa, and who was claiming to support Trump back a few months ago, is either going to be voting 3rd party or abstaining, because even he thinks Trump is horrible now.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


They're the exact same people who support the Tea Party, Cliven Bundy, etc.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Do they actually think Trump will be good for the economy?

If you own some credit default swaps on treasury bonds, you could make bank (just make sure you take delivery in euros).
posted by melissasaurus at 4:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


the Trumpeters I have personal knowledge of are mostly the sort who don't really engage with politics and governance and policy crafting on a granular level and basically picked their team (GOP) a long time ago and more or less accepted all the bad shit they heard about Clinton as fact and can't stand her and will vote for Trump because he's on their team and he's not Clinton. If they have any specific positive feelings towards Trump, it's that they like that he's a loose cannon, shake things up, not a politician kind of guy. These aren't dumb or malevolent people, but their approach to politics is basically my approach to baseball: I'll pay attention if we're in the playoffs, and I sure as fuck don't want the goddamn Dodgers to win anything ever, but I'm not super up on who's having a good year or whether that was a slider or a curveball or why this trade is a big deal, etc.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2016 [35 favorites]


You have to remember that when a George W. Bush appointee talks about "A-list people" he's not talking about what most of us consider competence.

Say what you like about neoconservative foreign policy, but at least it’s an ethos.

Let us consider Trump’s foreign policy team, which is eclectic and terrible. Let us consider his inability to find a VP. Let us consider Trump’s association with the thuggish & fawning Corey Lewandowski.

As noted upthread by saturday morning and dersins, it isn’t that we should be happy that overlooked, intelligent wonks are going to emerge from the woodwork. It’s that serious wonks, of whatever flavor, will promptly disappear to be replaced by a bevy of incoherent sycophants.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:09 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Military Times survey: Troops prefer Trump to Clinton by a huge margin

To be fair, they admit their polling mechanism is wholly unscientific and non-representative of the overall military.

I really need to believe this, because I really need to believe that if Trump became POTUS he wouldn't have military backing.
posted by schroedinger at 4:16 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'd hate for us to become Turkey, with the military having the final word.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:26 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


i wish that I had Trump friends and family. Well, not like, I wish I had ties to the Dark Side, but I am deeply fascinated with the state of mind of a person who votes Trump. What is it like in their house? Are the shelves full of weird tchotchkes? What are the dinner conversations like? What are gender relations like? Are there books on the shelves, and if so, what are they like?

My parents and extended family voted for Trump in the NY primary. My aunt even went to a rally. They've been listening to Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Michael Savage for years and buy every O'Reilly and Coulter book. They liked Sarah Palin and thought that McCain shed his "maverick-ness" in 2008 and lost because he went too establishment. They liked 2008 Romney, but not 2012 Romney. They legitimately think that Hillary Clinton will be worse for women -- some of these relatives are more religious than others, but all adhere strictly to traditional gender roles even in the absence of religion. They legitimately think that PC has run amok. Some are anti-choice, some are more libertarian leaning and think the religion-and-social-injustice-motivated GOP policies of the past decade-ish have undermined the party's fiscal platform. Most liked Carson before he dropped out, then liked Trump not as an actual candidate but because he was tearing down the establishment Rs they virulently hated, they think he's the best chance to beat Clinton precisely because he won't shy away from misogynistic attacks (though they wouldn't concede that these attacks are actually misogynistic). They like him because he's destroying the system they've been conditioned to see as the root of all of their problems for the past 30 years.

Dinner conversations are a string of dogwhistles connected by "truths" they've heard on FoxNews. It is impossible to counter anything with facts, evidence, history.

According to my brother (a NeverClinton person who will probably vote Trump, unless Gary Johnson gets super popular) -- "Trump will either be the best president ever or destroy the entire world" --- this is actually a remarkably high degree of awareness for a Trump supporter, to recognize that his election could have catastrophic consequences.
posted by melissasaurus at 4:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [45 favorites]


On first pass, it sounds like that expected value would be zero, which could be better than Clinton for some folks. Then you realize that Best President Ever is like 1,000 and “destroy the world” is -∞, and you get all sad.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:51 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


(And that’s not even weighting values based on probability…)
posted by Going To Maine at 4:52 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The donors doing it is more confusing. They owe nothing to the party (and perhaps the party owes them for allowing Trump to win in the first place).

Especially considering how JEB! blew through his warchest with so little to gain. Perhaps they're just making noise for Trump but will put the bulk of their money to the downticket* candidates, where (presumably) they will get a much more reliable ROI. It's so weird: after Citizen's United, I figured the phrase of the day forevermore would be 'follow the money', but that certainly hasn't been the case in this mindbender of an election. Trump largely coasted on free publicity and Bernie blew up the small-donor racket.


*-love that word
posted by eclectist at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


It would seem that Citizens United’s biggest effect has been making everyone mad about the status quo.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:04 PM on May 9, 2016


dw: "People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt — these people are crazy. This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK? So there's never a default," Trump said on CNN's "New Day."

To be fair, he's just quoting Alan Greenspan.
posted by clawsoon at 5:04 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Angrycat said: It feels like an essay DFW would write, getting to know The Trumpians. RIP man, you went out before some truly weird shit went down.

I was friends with Bill Hicks, I missed him during Bush redux, then Palin, then Binders Filled With Women, but I think the Presumptive Trump might have just given him a stroke. Speaking of, has anyone checked on Lewis Black lately?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I feel like the Nixons and the Fords were sneered at on aesthetic grounds, but I think that was more for squareness, and less for gaucheness specifically. But isn't that basically the 70s version of tacky, anyway?

I also remember people talking a lot about the Bush twins and what drunken sorority girl trash they were, but I was running in hardcore leftist circles at the time so who knows whether that was a part of the main narrative about them.
posted by Sara C. at 5:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


dw: "People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt — these people are crazy. This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK? So there's never a default," Trump said on CNN's "New Day."

To be fair, he's just quoting Alan Greenspan.


More on Trump and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).
posted by triggerfinger at 5:12 PM on May 9, 2016




On Trump's tackiness:

I visited Graceland once and didn't see a lot of people changing their mind about Elvis based on his lack of taste. [although to be fair, Graceland isn't gold-and-marble tacky, it is shag-carpet-on-the-walls-tacky, and reminded me of how everybody's house looked in the 70s, only more so). I also visited a Trump casino once, and people seemed to want a casino to look exactly like that- it was what they were paying for. I can only assume a really Ritzy White House will get the thumbs-up.

In summary: I doubt he is too gauche for today's America.
posted by acrasis at 5:17 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Watching Sherrod Brown on Chris Hayes' show. I wish he would get a VP slot. He's just great.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:24 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Military Times survey: Troops prefer Trump to Clinton by a huge margin

To be fair, they admit their polling mechanism is wholly unscientific and non-representative of the overall military.

I really need to believe this, because I really need to believe that if Trump became POTUS he wouldn't have military backing.



Yeah, here's the methodology:
Between May 3 and May 6, Military Times conducted a voluntary, confidential survey of subscribers who include verified active-duty, National Guard and reserve component service members. More than 59,000 subscribers received e-mail invitations to participate. In total, 951 respondents completed the survey.
This is about as scientific as someone posting "Hey do you like Trump or Clinton?" to Facebook, and then counting the responses.
posted by dersins at 5:40 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wow, a 1.6% response rate? That's sure something.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:43 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


that is not good at all. my bad.
posted by futz at 5:44 PM on May 9, 2016


This, from the methodology section, is pretty fucking hilarious as well:
Statistical margins of error commonly reported in opinion polls that use random sampling can't be calculated for this survey.
And, to be clear, by "hilarious" I mean "HOW FUCKING IRRESPONSIBLE DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO PUBLISH A HUGE SPLASHY HEADLINE AND LENGTHY 'ANALYSIS' OF 'POLL' RESULTS WITH PIE CHARTS AND EVERYTHING IF THIS IS YOUR FUCKING METHODOLOGY? CHRISTING FUCK WHAT THE GOD DAMN FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, MILITARY TIMES?"
posted by dersins at 5:54 PM on May 9, 2016 [28 favorites]


Has Nate stopped trying to make Rubio happen? Does he once again see why polling data might be better than punditry?
posted by asra at 5:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


"HOW FUCKING IRRESPONSIBLE DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO PUBLISH A HUGE SPLASHY HEADLINE AND LENGTHY 'ANALYSIS' OF 'POLL' RESULTS WITH PIE CHARTS AND EVERYTHING IF THIS IS YOUR FUCKING METHODOLOGY? CHRISTING FUCK WHAT THE GOD DAMN FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, MILITARY TIMES?"
the numbers
are meaningless
like dust
and suffering
we hope
fondly
you'll appreciate
the subtle texture
of these finely crafted graphs
please taste them
as nectar
in the shade
posted by an animate objects at 5:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


And, to be clear, by "hilarious" I mean "HOW FUCKING IRRESPONSIBLE DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO PUBLISH A HUGE SPLASHY HEADLINE AND LENGTHY 'ANALYSIS' OF 'POLL' RESULTS WITH PIE CHARTS AND EVERYTHING IF THIS IS YOUR FUCKING METHODOLOGY? CHRISTING FUCK WHAT THE GOD DAMN FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, MILITARY TIMES?"

I'm guessing this comes from the high school lab report school of science. You totally didn't let your compound boil off enough, then your partner accidentally dumped God knows what in there, then it fell in the sink and you had to scrape it out, but you're gonna write it up anyway because that is what you do.
posted by schroedinger at 6:00 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


As you know, ah, you go to press with the survey results you have---not the survey results you might want or wish to have at a later time.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm willing to believe that the military poll isn't ridiculously far off. I'm basing this on nothing but the reaction that John Stewart got when he made a Trump joke at a military event recently. He wasn't booed off the stage, but he did have to act quickly to keep the room on his side.
posted by clawsoon at 6:08 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't believe it took so long for someone to say Velveeta-- after all it is bright orange, tasteless, and bad for you.

I'm sure Sarah Palin would turn down the V.P. slot if it was offered, don't forget she hates to work. She might take an ambassadorship though if it was a plum position with little actual responsibility. Monte Carlo or the Bahamas, maybe? Somewhere where they speak English and have a lot of parties but no scary terrorists. Even with an easy position she would probably quit after 18 months.

The trumpiest choice for V.P. would be Ivanka. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:08 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm basing this on nothing but the reaction that John Stewart got when he made a Trump joke at a military event recently.

Daily Show Jon Stewart? That's a shame, because he's done a lot for 9/11 survivors and cares very deeply for military folks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:09 PM on May 9, 2016


The thing about the Military Times is they can only survey subscribers- and the only people who subscribe to it are people checking their name on the promotion lists, or people who don't want to get their news elsewhere.
posted by corb at 6:15 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The problem Trump is going to have filling VP is that it's a mostly powerless position that is only worth taking if you have aspirations of your own for the Oval Office, and nobody is going to believe being Trump's VP is a path to being President yourself, because Trump's great power is Trump's ego.

I don't think he will have a problem filling his cabinet with mostly competent people, though, because there are a lot of people who are very qualified who will jump at those positions no matter who the President offering them is. Besides, could he really pick a Secretary of the Interior worse than James Watt?

I really don't think Trump wants to burn the country down. He's going to try to find people who are qualified if only so that people won't laugh at him and so that he won't have to work too hard himself. Some of those people (including most likely interior) are going to be business cronies but a lot of them are likely to be C-list suggestions Trump will solicit because he doesn't know anybody personally and the A-listers won't return his team's phone calls. Of my worries about Trump his cabinet is far down the list.

The much bigger risk is that the wrong person will laugh at him in public and he will take it personally. This is someone who really does still send a journalist glosssies of himself with his hands circled to show how small they aren't. The problem isn't that his advisors will be poor, it's that when all of them tell him not to start a war he will pull a Dubya and start it anyway because his ego is bruised.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:18 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Watching Sherrod Brown on Chris Hayes' show. I wish he would get a VP slot. He's just great.

As an Ohioan who's a big fan of Sen. Sherrod Brown.... I don't want him within 100 miles of VP consideration as long as "moderate yet super anti-choice and anti-union" Kasich has the ability to replace him. We really, really, really need him to keep repping the best of Midwest Rust Belt progressivism in the Senate. I'm not at all confident that (Republican) Sen. Rob Portman is going to be replaced by Ted Strickland this election, y'all aren't allowed to take Sherrod from us!

I'm holding out for MN Senator Amy Klobuchar for my favorite Senator for VP slot (who happens to be good buds with Sherrod Brown). And while I don't know how Senate replacements work in Minnesota, if they are also replaced by a governor, looks like Minnesota has a Dem (DFL) governor.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:18 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


I suppose Trump's supporters are probably thinking "YAY, HE'S GOING TO PRINT US MORE MONEY!" now.

Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless.
posted by mmoncur at 6:18 PM on May 9, 2016


As an Ohioan who's a big fan of Sen. Sherrod Brown.... I don't want him within 100 miles of VP consideration as long as "moderate yet super anti-choice and anti-union" Kasich has the ability to replace him.

Good point I had failed to consider.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:23 PM on May 9, 2016


I'm sort of appalled at Michael Moore, Robert Reich, and these other Sanders surrogates still talking about national polls against Trump as a way to prop Sanders over Hillary. It really makes no sense and it has to be continually pointed out that that's a hypothetical match up and the 25 year campaign against Clinton has got to be a part of this.

Also, she still beats Trump in that polling! Just...stop.
posted by zutalors! at 6:23 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm sort of appalled at Michael Moore, Robert Reich, and these other Sanders surrogates still talking about national polls against Trump as a way to prop Sanders over Hillary.

Well, you can talk about the accuracy of polls this far out on either side, but promoting the one with the bigger lead isn't crazy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:28 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I actually do think it's a little crazy. That plus super delegates is their only message these days.
posted by zutalors! at 6:30 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Journalist Julia Ioffe has filed a police report over antisemitic harassment she received after she wrote a profile of Melania Trump. (Think GamerGate, but with a lot more references to gas chambers.) It'll be interesting to see if anything comes of it. I sure as hell don't envy any woman covering the Trump campaign.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:31 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Right. I'm not appalled at that. It's the only card they have left to play unless there is a deus ex machina. I just roll my eyes and move on. My dismay is reserved for things like statements coming out of the Trump dumpster fire.

I also spent a while trying to figure out if "appalled" had an equivalent noun. Like "dismay" for "dismayed" or "shock" for "shocked". But I don't think so? Appall is a verb...
posted by Justinian at 6:32 PM on May 9, 2016


could he really pick a Secretary of the Interior worse than James Watt?
First requirement: be a Climate Change Denialist. So, maybe.

I really don't think Trump wants to burn the country down.
Only parts that his companies couldn't get a contract to rebuild.

It's becoming more and more clear that Trump had seen that one episode of Mythbusters when Adam said "I reject your reality and substitute my own" and embraced it as his life calling. (maybe more like "I reject your reality and have the money to buy my own") It's getting to the point where I'm ready to assume that any press reporting of him that he DOESN'T complain about must be totally inaccurate.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:42 PM on May 9, 2016


I am still not entirely convinced that Trump isn't deliberately throwing the election, by saying and doing increasingly outrageous things that are at odds with his previous, admittedly unclear, positions. "What we need to do is default on the national debt!" "No, I need to start taking campaign contributions!" "Welp, we might have to raise taxes on the rich people!" This is, of course, in addition to continuing to double down on the outrageous positions previously staked out. I think it's been mentioned here before, but it really looks like the (poor - ha!) guy has gotten in way over his head with a vanity project/publicity stunt that went way out of control. He never expected to actually get this far, and now he has, and there's no way out other than setting himself up to fail, but while also setting up a narrative of "this/that/the other thing conspired/cheated me out of it!" as a face-saver.
posted by yhbc at 6:42 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm willing to believe that the military poll isn't ridiculously far off. I'm basing this on nothing but the reaction that John Stewart got when he made a Trump joke at a military event recently. He wasn't booed off the stage, but he did have to act quickly to keep the room on his side.

I knew more kids in college during the Iraq war who hated Jane Fonda than could name a single one of her movies. Outside of command, the average age of American service members hovers around the mid-20's, aka an generation of kids literally raised their entire lives on knowing mostly that Donald Trump is a TV star and jokes about how Hillary Clinton is a terrible person. I am not surprised by the leanings they have, which largely could be a result of their entire life culture, at all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:44 PM on May 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


From Trump's "We can just print more money" statement:
"You know, I’m the king of debt. I understand debt probably better than anybody. I know how to deal with debt very well. I love debt..."
And also:
"In business, that happens all the time. I bought mortgages back when the market went bad, I bought mortgages back at tremendous discounts. And I love doing it. I mean, there’s nothing like it. Actually, it gives me a great thrill,"
So he's the "king of debt" and taking advantage of people with mortgages "gives him a great thrill."

How is Trump still a thing? You'd think even the crazy racist Trumpers would be jumping ship now.
posted by mmoncur at 6:45 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Senator Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman in Conversation from September 2014 (an hour and 15 min (skipped 5 minutes of introduction stuff)). While not exactly related to the current election many of the issues are, so I found it to be a nice policy talk without any horse race noise. Plus, Sen.Warren!!!! all passionate and brilliant and funny has great answers and stories of Senate workings, so Krugman doesn't detract too much.
posted by phoque at 6:46 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


In medieval terms: Principles, consistency, logic: Monk. Winning: Soldier.
posted by clawsoon at 6:47 PM on May 9, 2016


Senate workings

There's a phrase that should really be deleted from the lexicon.
posted by zachlipton at 6:49 PM on May 9, 2016


There's a phrase that should really be deleted from the lexicon.

Don't throw it away! Put it over there with the rest of the oxymorons.
posted by an animate objects at 6:51 PM on May 9, 2016 [6 favorites]




could he really pick a Secretary of the Interior worse than James Watt?

Jim Inhofe.
posted by dw at 6:53 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


also spent a while trying to figure out if "appalled" had an equivalent noun. Like "dismay" for "dismayed" or "shock" for "shocked". But I don't think so? Appall is a verb...

I think it's "pall" as in pall-bearer and "casts a pall."
posted by msalt at 6:54 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders no longer has a chance and should be focussing on strategies that build a down-ballot movement and nudge Clinton leftward. That said, as was discussed in the previous thread, Sam Wang at Princeton Election Consortium presents data showing that current head-to-head polls are sufficiently predictive at this point to be useful, and by his formula (using current head-to-head polls) Clinton has an 88% chance of beating Trump, while Sanders has (would have had) a 97% chance of beating Trump. It's all moot now, and in any case there's a lot of error in these things, but you can in fact talk about current head-to-head polls meaningfully now.
posted by chortly at 6:57 PM on May 9, 2016


Well, I'm appalled, ajohnned, ageorged and aringoed... especially aringoed.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:57 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think so, the roots of the words "appall" and "pall" are different. One (appalled) is from an old french word for pale while "pall" is from an old english word for a covering.
posted by Justinian at 6:58 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


But ceterum censeo Trump esse delendam.
posted by Justinian at 6:59 PM on May 9, 2016


Military Times survey: Troops prefer Trump to Clinton by a huge margin

As I've mentioned before:

I gave up on Military Times surveys meaning anydamnthing in 2004, when a nonzero percentage of servicemembers (I forget whether it was 2 percent or 8 percent, but somewhere in the single digits) said that George W. Bush's military service (the... let's say "casual" nature of which had already been widely publicized) made them more likely to vote for him.

More likely.

Let me say that again. Some servicemembers in a Military Times poll claimed that they were more likely to vote for George W. Bush based on his experience in the Texas Air National Guard -- which, regardless of whether you believe in the famous memo that cost Dan Rather his job, was undeniably not a Formative Experience in any sense of the words. That's not even "Well, 34 percent of people think Bigfoot exists." That's just willfully fucking with the poll questions.
posted by Etrigan at 7:00 PM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think so, the roots of the words "appall" and "pall" are different. One (appalled) is from an old french word for pale while "pall" is from an old english word for a covering.

Oops, you're right. No such noun. There is an obscure meaning of pall where it is a verb mean "to make someone appalled."
posted by msalt at 7:06 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


A new Miami Herald poll in Florida’s Miami-Dade county finds Hillary Clinton trouncing Donald Trump in a general election match up, 52% to 25%, with 23% undecided.

Key finding: One-fifth of Republicans said they back Clinton.

posted by Chrysostom at 7:09 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think he will have a problem filling his cabinet with mostly competent people, though, because there are a lot of people who are very qualified who will jump at those positions no matter who the President offering them is. Besides, could he really pick a Secretary of the Interior worse than James Watt?

I don't think Trump wants to burn it all down, but I think he won't be able to help himself. If his campaign team and his foreign policy "experts" are any indication, he is not good at picking subordinates. I would bet you anything that Trump places a high value on the "is this a man's man, can I have a beer with this guy" factor.
posted by schroedinger at 7:18 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


My Trump VP prediction is that he'll want someone who is even more blisteringly incompetent and incoherent than he is. Spectacularly so.

He'll want someone so awful that Congress will be hesitant to impeach him over his inevitable high crimes. "Oh yeah? Impeach me? You really want President Palin?"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:20 PM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oops, you're right. No such noun.
Maybe pallor? I'm pretty sure they all derive from the same IE root.
posted by eclectist at 7:31 PM on May 9, 2016


Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger criticized the tone of today's political discourse, as well as those who confuse "extrication" from wars as strategy, at a Pentagon ceremony honoring him on Monday.

The former secretary of state and national security adviser recalled anti-war protestors making it hard to enter the Pentagon, adding that the U.S. was returning to another difficult political period.

"Now we are again in an extremely difficult period," he said.

"We are entering a presidential campaign and it seems to be the habit of political figures now to contrast themselves with the evils of their predecessors and of aspirants to office to contrast themselves with the evils of the incumbent," he said.

"But the fact is, we were involved for good causes," he added.

While the ceremony for Kissinger — where Defense Secretary Ash Carter awarded him the Pentagon's top civilian honor, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service — drew some criticism on Twitter, it was attended by more than 30 of the most distinguished foreign policy figures in Washington.


WTF Obama Administration.
posted by futz at 7:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [31 favorites]


Jon Stewart on the Axe Files, discussing the election and American politics in general. (An hour long video, but totally worth watching.)
posted by jacquilynne at 7:51 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


While the ceremony for Kissinger — where Defense Secretary Ash Carter awarded him the Pentagon's top civilian honor, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service — drew some criticism on Twitter, it was attended by more than 30 of the most distinguished foreign policy figures in Washington.

Is this part of that whole "Obama Don't Care" thing I've heard so much about?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:14 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Make America Great Again

America IS great.


It always reminds me of:

"Let America Be America Again"
Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
posted by sallybrown at 8:15 PM on May 9, 2016 [65 favorites]


NYT: Donald Trump, in Switch, Turns to Republican Party for Fund-Raising Help

Donald J. Trump took steps to appropriate much of the Republican National Committee’s financial and political infrastructure for his presidential campaign on Monday, amid signs that he and the party would lag dangerously behind the Democrats in raising money for the general election. Mr. Trump, who by the end of March had spent around $40 million of his fortune on the primaries, has said that he may need as much as $1.5 billion for the fall campaign ... he has no fund-raising apparatus to resort to, no network of prolific bundlers to call upon, and little known experience with the type of marathon, one-on-one serial salesmanship and solicitousness that raising so much money is likely to require.

This is surprisingly delicious. But unfortunately, all that donor money probably has to go somewhere, and I can just picture it squirting into the downticket races...
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:16 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


If he tries to "appropriate much of the Republican National Committee’s financial and political infrastructure", won't it take away from what's available for downticket races? But with all the SuperPACs, is the Party all that important for campaign financing anyway? I confused.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:38 PM on May 9, 2016


Jon Stewart on the Axe Files, discussing the election and American politics in general. (An hour long video, but totally worth watching.)

This should almost be it's own FPP, or merged into an array on the natures of media and satire.

It would be a good thing for example to discuss the natures of public discourse without the need to mention the candidates with every exhale. Or to talk about bringing young people into the political infrastructures, or what that might require or entail.
posted by an animate objects at 9:22 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart on the Axe Files, discussing the election and American politics in general.(An hour long video, but totally worth watching.)

He's become so powerful after being allowed to grow gr(a|e)y hair.
posted by Peccable at 9:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


For those of you who were paying attention to Updates From the Front - I think the rebellion is over. I'll write a postmortem later. But sans the Hail Mary of all Hail Marys - we need to find another way to fight.
posted by corb at 9:33 PM on May 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


I thought about posting the Jon Stewart link as a standalone post, but wasn't sure it was a good idea given the candidate specific content.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


If anyone wants to hear incoherent ranting about the cowardice of various supposed NeverTrumpers, I'll be on chat until the weeping makes it hard for me to see the screen.
posted by corb at 10:03 PM on May 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


nobody is going to believe being Trump's VP is a path to being President yourself

Unless of course you're betting on him getting impeached.
posted by ckape at 10:03 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Watching Sherrod Brown on Chris Hayes' show. I wish he would get a VP slot. He's just great.

We really, really, really, really don't need to take sitting Democratic Senators away from the Senate when the majority is there for the taking. Do you want to to never see another Democratic Supreme Court pick confirmed? Or never see a Clinton budget passed? Clinton should not appoint a Senator to ANY position, they're much too valuable where they are, and the Democratic bench is deep enough that they're not really needed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:04 PM on May 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


PolitiFact released Truth-O-Meter scorecard updates for the candidates today.

Sanders and Clinton are basically the same, within 1-2% points of each other. They each have roughly 50% True/Mostly True statements, 20% Half-True statements and 30% False/Mostly False statements

Trump has 9% True/Mostly True statements, 15% Half-True statements, and 76% False/Mostly False Statements
posted by pocketfullofrye at 10:17 PM on May 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


nobody is going to believe being Trump's VP is a path to being President yourself

Unless of course you're betting on him getting impeached.

Well, you’re betting on him being elected and impeached rather than him losing and your own national career being forever tainted. So, long odds.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:26 PM on May 9, 2016


Sanders and Clinton are basically the same, within 1-2% points of each other. They each have roughly 50% True/Mostly True statements, 20% Half-True statements and 30% False/Mostly False statements

Politics!
posted by Going To Maine at 10:27 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


This piece by Max Fisher was mentioned in the article bearwife linked to upthread about Clinton's claim to being identified as a progressive. I have been struggling to articulate why the picture of Clinton as bloodthirsty hawk rings false for me. This quote captures some of the nuance that I had been unable to describe, but the whole piece is worth reading.

They reveal Clinton as someone who is exceptionally enthusiastic about the merits and potential of American engagement in the world. She is indeed, more than any other candidate in the race, a true believer in American power.

But Clinton's policies and past record suggest that her vision of power includes military force as well as diplomacy, so that while she is more likely to act in foreign affairs, she is also more likely to do so peacefully.
posted by bardophile at 10:29 PM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


The picture is also great, albeit for (I suspect) stereotypical weird patriarchal dynamics of seeing a bevy of government suits and uniforms swarming about a small, well-dressed woman at the center.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:55 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


In Virginia, Clinton Calls For Health-Care Public Option, Medicare Buy-In - "Clinton has endorsed a public option on her website, though it seldom comes up on the campaign trail."

Sanders: Clinton's Medicare Buy-In Proposal 'Not Good Enough' - "Secretary Clinton's proposal to let the American people buy into Medicare is a step in the right direction, but just like her support for a $12 minimum wage, it is not good enough."

go bernie :P
posted by kliuless at 10:56 PM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


But unfortunately, all that donor money probably has to go somewhere, and I can just picture it squirting into the downticket races

Seems like that would be a decent strategy for Republicans. Work hard to maintain a majority, and perhaps let Trump's fortunes fall where they may. If he doesn't get elected, elected Republicans can go on obstructing government. If he does happen to win, they either get to enact their policy changes or make a good case that he was never one of the true faith to begin with. It seems like a potential way to make a win out of what would otherwise look like a difficult situation on the surface.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:01 PM on May 9, 2016


The decent strategy for Republicans at this point is to burn their party to the ground and crown someone king of the ashes. Then turn out the lights.
posted by corb at 11:36 PM on May 9, 2016 [29 favorites]


WTF Obama Administration
Every so often, the mist clears just enough to give Democrats a glimpse of how the Northern Strategy works.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:25 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Quinnipiac just released some swing state polls. They have Florida at 43-42 Clinton-Trump, Pennsylvania 43-42, and Ohio 39-43(!). What is this I don't even.

I can maybe buy Trump doing well in Ohio. But I can't buy what amounts to a tie in Florida and Pennsylvania. I just can't do it.
posted by Justinian at 3:55 AM on May 10, 2016


so basically half the usa is evil racist fascists?
posted by andrewcooke at 4:03 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Based on my years of experience, I'm surprised it's not higher.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:06 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Someone talk me down from the ledge.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Every so often, the mist clears just enough to give Democrats a glimpse of how the Northern Strategy works.

yes, yes, Clinton is a evil hellbeast bent on starving our children to feed the rich, we get it

and a Republican, oh, we can't forget calling her a Republican
posted by schroedinger at 4:17 AM on May 10, 2016 [15 favorites]


The decent strategy for Republicans at this point is to burn their party to the ground and crown someone king of the ashes. Then turn out the lights.
posted by corb at 2:36 on May 10 [8 favorites −] [!]


corb, I want to give you a hug and a stack of cupcakes, the hopelessness is melting my screen :(
posted by schroedinger at 4:18 AM on May 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


Here is that new swing state poll.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:20 AM on May 10, 2016


PA is Philly and Pittsburgh with a red state in the middle. I'm surprised we're not even more Trumpy than the polls show.
posted by sio42 at 4:27 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Someone talk me down from the ledge.

I find that when a poll makes me go "WTF?!" like that, it usually emerges there's something seriously off about it. If we get a bunch of polls from reputable pollsters saying the same thing, then we worry more.

Also, you know, first debate isn't until September, Bernie hasn't yet ended his race, and meanwhile Bill Kristol is continuing to divert the Morning Joe crowd with talk of a (hopeless) third party run.
posted by sallybrown at 4:33 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is gonna be a long damn 6 months.
posted by Justinian at 4:35 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, the election feels imminent right now, but it's not even Memorial Day.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:36 AM on May 10, 2016


Justinian, read the last few tweets from Dana Houle.
posted by overglow at 4:38 AM on May 10, 2016


Someone talk me down from the ledge.
Here is an article about how hard it's going to be for Trump to win. It already had Ohio and Florida as pure tossups and Pennsylvania as "leaning Dem," which is the weakest category. So that analysis already assumed what the new polls are showing.

Having said that, nobody should take a thing for granted. Trump could win this. If you care about your country and your fellow citizens, even if you are extremely privileged and know that you will be just fine in a Trump administration, you should do everything in your power to make sure that doesn't happen.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:49 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]




Someone talk me down from the ledge.

They seem to believe that PoC will vote less than they did in 2008 and 2012, and are 5+ points down from poll averages. Or, as one of the people from Larry Sabato's site points out: "Here's my advice on Quinnipiac - if you're gonna write a story citing its polls and no other polls, don't."
posted by zombieflanders at 4:53 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


sio42: "PA is Philly and Pittsburgh with a red state in the middle. I'm surprised we're not even more Trumpy than the polls show."

Fortunately, hardly anyone lives in the middle of the state. Philly and Pittsburgh can usually carry the day for Democrats almost by themselves. Look at this map from 2012; it's a big sea of red with only the two big metro areas plus Harrisburg and Erie colored blue and yet Obama got 52% of the vote.
posted by octothorpe at 5:20 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Even if the new polling is whiter than we expect the electorate to be, I think it's scary enough that people need to take GOTV and voter suppression way more seriously.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:21 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


For those who are interested, if you look up the Stop Trump National Network on Facebook, they have links to events and groups in different states and are also offering to help anyone get organized. The event in my area hasn't happened yet but is organized (in part) around voter registration efforts and coming up with some kind of a plan for the local area.
posted by sallybrown at 5:27 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Right, I buy that the polling sample is wrong (though of course we should keep in mind the right-wing "unskewing" fiasco from 4 years ago) but I am appalled that you wouldn't see Trump getting his ass kicked in those states even if your polling sample was 100% white people. Don't be dummos, white people!
posted by Justinian at 5:30 AM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


Guys...I just want to warn you that you're about to read the best article published so far this cycle:

Hillary Clinton, the First 'E.T Candidate,' Has U.F.O. Fans in Thrall
posted by sallybrown at 5:43 AM on May 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


Good luck to everyone voting in West Virginia today. Let us know how it goes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:51 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't help but wonder if the reason we aren't seeing much downticket damage for Republicans due to Trump yet is simply because the campaigning season hasn't really started so there haven't been many efforts to tie Representative whoever to Trump yet.

Surely any Democrat who wantsto win will make their local elections all about Trump.
posted by sotonohito at 5:53 AM on May 10, 2016


Hillary Clinton, the First 'E.T Candidate,' Has U.F.O. Fans in Thrall

I'm a big Sanders guy, but if she gets an endorsement from Fox Mulder, I'm All Hillary All the Way.
posted by dis_integration at 5:54 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Omg sallybrown why does that delight me so? Man if Gingrich wasn't total scum on basically every other issue I'd be like: Unity ticket! UFOs/MoonBase 2016!
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:21 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!


Tell us, Langston, how should we do that, exactly?

Put one more S in the U.S.A.
To make it Soviet.
One more S in the U.S.A.
Oh, we’ll live to see it yet.
When the land belongs to the farmers
And the factories to the working men–
The U.S.A. when we take control
Will be the U.S.S.A. then.

(full poem)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:22 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Forecast calls for some shade.
posted by sallybrown at 6:24 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


octothorpe: "Fortunately, hardly anyone lives in the middle of the state. Philly and Pittsburgh can usually carry the day for Democrats almost by themselves. "

Fun fact - in 2012, Philadelphia County alone had more votes than the 35 smallest PA counties combined.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:27 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


acrasis: "In summary: I doubt he is too gauche for today's America."

He's just being gauche to attract the left.
posted by chavenet at 6:33 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Every so often, the mist clears just enough to give Democrats a glimpse of how the Northern Strategy works.

Anytime someone's thesis is predicating on equating compromise (what that article winkingly calls "the Northern Strategy") with racism (you, know, like the actual Southern Strategy), it's reasonable to pretty much disregard the rest of their disingenuous sophistry. It's the left-wing equivalent of "both sides are bad."

Plus, this phrase: "Hillary Clinton is a Republican in all but name" is basically an instant tab-closer for me, as it reveals the author as either rhetorically dishonest or incapable of reasoned analysis.
posted by dersins at 6:34 AM on May 10, 2016 [35 favorites]


Anytime someone's thesis is predicating

(I am apparently incapable of writing grammatically--or even coherently--while I am still working on the day's first cup of coffee.)

posted by dersins at 6:58 AM on May 10, 2016


From a new PPP poll of registered voters:
 "Do you have a higher opinion of Donald Trump or..."

Hemorrhoids        -- Trump, 45-39
Cockroaches        -- Trump, 46-42
Nickelback         -- Nickelback, 39-34
Used car salesmen  -- Salesmen, 47-41
Traffic jams       -- Traffic, 47-40
Hipsters           -- Hipsters, 45-38
DMV                -- DMV, 50-40
Root canal         -- Root canal, 49-38
Jury Duty          -- Jury duty, 57-35
Lice               -- Lice, 54-28
Though it should be noted that Trump loses to hemorrhoids and cockroaches among women and non-anglos.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:00 AM on May 10, 2016 [16 favorites]


Nickelback!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:03 AM on May 10, 2016




Another "fun" point from the PPP poll -- \me heartsymbols PPP -- is that only 13% of Republicans agreed that Obama is Christian. They also asked about Ted Cruz being Zodiac but hardly anyone bit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Dems totally missed their chance of a dream Hipsters/Lice ticket this year. Would have cleaned up against Trump on those polling figures, too. Damn you, closed primaries!
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:11 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


WHAT ABOUT BEDBUGS
posted by dersins at 7:12 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, I would vote for Trump before bedbugs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:15 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


In today's episode of Tucker Carlson is a tool:
CARLSON: [Trump] won the majority of women. I mean, he won the plurality of women in a number of these races against...

ROBERTS: Well, Republican women...


CARLSON: Yeah, of course.
Because Donald Trump has a well-documented problem with women - as seen in two handy graphics from Washington Post, and in more detail from Gallup.

And Hillary's campaign made an official Woman Card, playing off of Drumpf's comment that Hillary only has the support she does because she's a woman, which has helped drive $2.4 million in campaign contributions ... to Hillary.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wait, does that suggest that people have a higher opinion of lice than cockroaches? I think I prefer either to Trump, but I would definitely take cockroaches over lice.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:18 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


The truth about Donald Trump’s angry white men: they're not a new group, but have been identified as a political "bloc" back a few decades. That piece doesn't go as far as to align Trump with MRA, but this other Salon article does.

In this morning's NPR piece on gender and the Presidential election (no transcript up yet), they mention a poll where men are asked about how much their lady-partners make compared to them, which instantly skews the male respondents to be more favorable to Trump, who is all about being a macho man, as seen when he mocked Jeb(!?) for bringing 'his mommy' to help him campaign.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


You know, this may be the only time I ever say this in my life, but Trump is correct here:

It is only the people that were never asked to be VP that tell the press that they will not take the position.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:30 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


The increasingly apoplectic Nate Silver is tweeting about polls and the US election just now. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7].
posted by Wordshore at 7:37 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Final four bracket of cortex's worst nightmares in this thread:
posted by Existential Dread

Eponysterical!
posted by Gelatin at 7:41 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


'In a widely anticipated move, President Hipsters today officially expunged every Animal Collective release after Strawberry Jam from the band's discography, declaring the group "over." Controversially, Hipsters also used the executive office to personally fire bassist Devin Ruben Perez from DIIV, based on anonymous comments Perez made on 4Chan in 2013. Anyone still listening to the band should be "ashamed of themselves," Hipsters declared in a prepared statement released on Tumblr'—AP.
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:42 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wait, does that suggest that people have a higher opinion of lice than cockroaches? I think I prefer either to Trump, but I would definitely take cockroaches over lice.

Lice are much easier to get rid of, but roaches, like Trump, are bizarrely difficult to eliminate completely.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:47 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


That piece doesn't go as far as to align Trump with MRA

"Make America Great Again--Let Men Be Men Again!"
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]




I can't tell parody from real articles anymore.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:11 AM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I know. This story is parody, right?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:13 AM on May 10, 2016


Nope.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:13 AM on May 10, 2016




“Budweiser Renames Its Beer ‘America’ [until the election]”

Best drunk while wearing your patriotic sexy eagle’s head crotch underwear.
posted by Wordshore at 8:16 AM on May 10, 2016


BRB guys I'm gonna go on an America run

My bro's hitting the gym to work off his America gut

Do you really like him/her or is it the America goggles

I hear Paul's really into the craft America movement
posted by zutalors! at 8:17 AM on May 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


Poll: Clinton, Trump run tight races in key swing states

See above: Q poll swing state samples show smaller Hispanic and black electorates in 2016--this is highly unlikely. Q Poll Ohio sample is 4 pts. more white than 2012 Ohio exit poll; PA sample is 3 pts. more white and FL sample is 2 pts. more white.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:21 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Or in other words, "pollsters are going to be intentionally fucking around with their data for the next six months in order to drive pageviews aren't they, fuck my entire life"
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:22 AM on May 10, 2016 [28 favorites]


I hear Paul's really into the craft America movement

You can't buy beer on Etsy.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:36 AM on May 10, 2016


Going To Maine: "Mark Wilson at FastCoDesign: “Budweiser Renames Its Beer ‘America’ [until the election]”"

Nothing says America like a Belgian owned beer.
posted by octothorpe at 8:37 AM on May 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


“Budweiser Renames Its Beer ‘America’ [until the election]”

Hard to see that as anything other than a corporate Trump endorsement by AB-Inbev. What kind of beer would Trump be? A shitty "domestic" water-lager with a tacky relabel slapped on the front to "class it up", that's actually owned by a foreign conglomerate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:39 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


The Q poll also understates college grads, another demo that favors HRC. And skews older than the electorate. Which I guess is not surprising given that they only call land lines. Older, whiter, less educated. No wonder this poll shows Trump closer.
posted by chris24 at 8:39 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Turned on the TV news here in England. A clip of Trump, with that utter cumberworld Chris Christie standing beside him, just ... doing nothing. The whole time. Yet again, my immediate reaction is "What is the point of Chris Christie?"
posted by Wordshore at 8:40 AM on May 10, 2016


He's tremendously useful as ballast.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:43 AM on May 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


Okay, I need to do something besides hate everything forever. How does one find the phone number to local Clinton campaign offices?
posted by corb at 8:44 AM on May 10, 2016 [28 favorites]


Okay, I need to do something besides hate everything forever. How does one find the phone number to local Clinton campaign offices?

https://forms.hillaryclinton.com/contact
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hillaryclinton.com makes it pretty straightforward, corb.
posted by zutalors! at 8:48 AM on May 10, 2016


oh jinx
posted by zutalors! at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2016


"What is the point of Chris Christie?"

you remember in Aladdin, when Jafar gets the lamp and takes over and transforms the ex-Sultan into a capering jester in order to humiliate him
posted by theodolite at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I said phone number. I know how to get my name on their lists, I want to actually talk to a human.
posted by corb at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's at the bottom of the contact form. 646-854-1432
posted by zutalors! at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, sorry, it wasn't displaying on my mobile. I think I'm extra cantankerous today because I am busy despising all the never trumpers who just want to talk about hating him and not actually do anything about it.
posted by corb at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2016 [15 favorites]




Best reaction to Ted Cruz possibly (shakes head, disbelievingly) restarting his campaign.
posted by Wordshore at 8:58 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, sorry, it wasn't displaying on my mobile. I think I'm extra cantankerous today because I am busy despising all the never trumpers who just want to talk about hating him and not actually do anything about it.

Take care of yourself, corb. I know it can be terribly difficult and frustrating to compromise your beliefs and hold your nose in order to serve the greater good.
posted by zarq at 8:58 AM on May 10, 2016 [27 favorites]


Alexander Hamilton is appearing to me in dreams begging me to stop Trump.

Enemy of my enemy and all, but that dude is fucking despicable:
...the economically preposterous notion that the minimum wage must be a living wage.
What a complete and utter waste of human genetic material.
posted by dersins at 9:03 AM on May 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


I am busy despising all the never trumpers who just want to talk about hating him and not actually do anything about it.

What exactly are the #NeverTrump-ers supposed to do without a candidate? If Cruz had stayed in the race, they could have made a credible show at back-room rules-making to deny Trump the nomination, and maaaaaybe in that scenario the party big-wigs would have allowed that to happen. But now that Trump is unopposed and probably headed for a first-ballot victory or something very close to it, you're asking a lot of GOP delegates to rally around a dotted line cardboard cutout with the words "NON-TRUMP CANDIDATE HERE" inside.

The simple fact is, the moment Cruz dropped out, Hillary Clinton became the new face of #NeverTrump. I don't expect much of the GOP electorate to accept that as you seem to have, but you can't be surprised when you find out they're actually more #NeverHillary than anything else.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:10 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


this post is so offensive, to cheese lovers everywhere, to the entire dairy industry, to innocent ruminants across the nation

for shame
posted by poffin boffin at 9:10 AM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


HRC's campaign emails have moved to Stop Trump stuff, which is disappointing to me as it's less inspiring than her previous messages.
posted by zutalors! at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Cruz had stayed in the race, they could have made a credible show at back-room rules-making to deny him the nomination, and maaaaaybe in that scenario the party big-wigs would have allowed that to happen.

Yeah, but Cruz might be coming back, now that we’ve all realized how much we miss him.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:16 AM on May 10, 2016


I would say they are trying to get people like me, but given the complete and utter failure of her call center to be useful when I am trying to volunteer for them, I am not sure.
posted by corb at 9:18 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Enemy of my enemy and all, but that dude is fucking despicable:

On the one hand, it’s a very informative view of what folks are thinking through the looking glass, though. On the other hand, I feel like I couldn’t make his arguments for opposing Trump because they’re at least partly hinged on “he’s a secret liberal!” and not entirely on “this man might literally blow up the country and the current global order without regard for anyone’s safety.”
posted by Going To Maine at 9:18 AM on May 10, 2016


Considering Hamilton was definitely the "strong government" guy, interesting choice of founding father.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:21 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


this post is so offensive, to cheese lovers everywhere, to the entire dairy industry, to innocent ruminants across the nation

Maybe he's cheese made out of rat milk, like in that one episode of The Simpsons
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:22 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's cheez made out of malk
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:24 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would say they are trying to get people like me, but given the complete and utter failure of her call center to be useful when I am trying to volunteer for them, I am not sure.

For what it's worth, the Obama call center(s) were similarly useless in both 2008 and 2012, despite the historically effective ground game.

Your best bets are to inquire with your local (county or state) Democratic Party as to the location of the nearest campaign office, or to use the event tool on the campaign web site to find volunteer opportunities near you.
posted by dersins at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


yea just use the internets to find opportunities.
posted by zutalors! at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2016


Yeah, I think corbs point is that the website really makes it difficult to do much but either spend money or get on a list. There is no easy access to actionable action.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:31 AM on May 10, 2016 [14 favorites]


The event tool seems okay for finding local stuff? Sample size of one, but I threw in my zip and got back a link to a local phone banking operation.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:33 AM on May 10, 2016


Once you get on the list, though, the campaigns are fairly aggressive about asking you to phone bank or do other volunteer work. I think they use the email lists as primary contacts.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:34 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's kind of bizarre looking to me coming from the R side. I think it's more democratic maybe, is the best thing I can say for it? I think offices have more autonomy in R-ville, and the authority to send something up the chain if they don't understand it.
posted by corb at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it's unrealistic to expect to get a task on the campaign like, immediately with one phone call. There are already mechanisms in motion at this point and it's better to join one of those - phonebanking, local events, etc. If you join the mailing list you will start getting them, and then you meet people, and go from there.
posted by zutalors! at 9:36 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


There is no easy access to actionable action.

There absolutely is, though. "Events" lets you not only easily search for phone banks, canvasses, etc., but also create your own. It is one of only six options in the main site navigation bar at the top of each page.
posted by dersins at 9:36 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Democrats DISORGANIZED? That's crazy talk.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2016 [32 favorites]


It's kind of bizarre looking to me coming from the R side. I think it's more democratic maybe, is the best thing I can say for it? I think offices have more autonomy in R-ville, and the authority to send something up the chain if they don't understand it.

I would be interested in this podcast as well.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


You may be several steps ahead of me here but there's a 'volunteer' section on the website and if you put your info in there you will almost certainly receive a phone call from a nice local person within a few days.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:43 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


as a liberal, I'm gonna say that the conservatives crossing over the aisle to defeat Trump are the last people we should be dogpiling, or even giving the impression of dogpiling

Because Donald Trump has a well-documented problem with women

In the Washington Post article filthy light thief links, it says watching that campaign ad of women reciting horrible things Trump has said about women shifts women 19 points against Trump and men only 1 point. The quotes in that ad are really bad. I am very disappointed in what it says about our society that knowing he said that basically didn't affect dudes' opinions of him at all.
posted by schroedinger at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2016 [37 favorites]


Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Democrats DISORGANIZED? That's crazy talk.

To be clear, the "it's not easy to just call up and start doing stuff" thing does not stem from disorganization, and is not an accident.

Quite the contrary, in fact. It is a core principle of community organizing that people who are brought into a movement through a more deliberate and intentional process--usually one that begins with a one-on-one, sit-down conversation with an organizer--are more likely to become productive, committed, long-term members of that movement.

This obviously all goes out the window during the utter chaos of final-days GOTV when hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of volunteers suddenly come out of the woodwork. However, this early in the process, building the organizational structure and capacity to be able to absorb those legions of last-days volunteers and use them productively is more useful than just throwing people into random busywork tasks.
posted by dersins at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


I am very disappointed in what it says about our society that knowing he said that basically didn't affect dudes' opinions of him at all.

I think it's of a piece with the Trump-as-Rorschach-blot thing that's happening with so many of his positions. Many if not all of his supporters decide he means the things they like, and doesn't mean the things he does. I'd wager that the lack of shift in male approval rating is basically them going "No way is he sexist, look at the beautiful women he marries, he's just saying that to piss off the liberals amirite."

Which doesn't make it any less disappointing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you are interested in reading a very accurate picture of precisely how the Obama campaign used these community organizing principles to a scale (and level of effectiveness) unprecedented in electoral politics, Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han's "Groundbreakers" is a great resource.
posted by dersins at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


On the topic of Trump being an MRA, he literally says "All of the men, we’re petrified to speak to women any more -- the women get it better than we do, folks" in this clip.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 9:57 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Op-ed by WSJ's Bret Stephens: Hillary: The Conservative Hope.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2016


Many if not all of his supporters decide he means the things they like, and doesn't mean the things he does.

I'm even finding that this is the case among my Bernie supporter friends who are thinking through the calculus of who to vote for in November. I just spent a weekend trip with a few diehard Bernie supporters and heard over and over "He would never really set up a registry for Muslims", "He would never really default on the national debt", "He would never really nuke Syria," etc.

And, I mean, maybe not? But they weren't saying "this wouldn't be feasible via the system of checks and balances" or "keep in mind that American politics are incremental by their very nature, so he wouldn't really be able to usher in sweeping changes like that by fiat*". They just think everything he says is pretend and thus probably he and Hillary are the same and probably it would be fine if he were president.

*But of course they do believe that Bernie, if elected, would have an unprecedented mandate to enact those exact types of sweeping changes, but in their preferred direction.
posted by Sara C. at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2016 [15 favorites]


Sorry if I missed this above, but:

Cruz Won't Rule Out Jumping Back Into Presidential Race

What? Really? What?
posted by saturday_morning at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]




Op-ed by WSJ's Bret Stephens: Hillary: The Conservative Hope.


"The stain of a Trump administration would cripple the conservative cause for a generation."

But then as has been prophesied Lisa Simpson will be President.
posted by zutalors! at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


"The stain of a Trump administration would cripple the conservative cause for a generation."

Does anyone even know what a metaphor is
posted by beerperson at 10:02 AM on May 10, 2016 [37 favorites]


It is a core principle of community organizing that people who are brought into a movement through a more deliberate and intentional process--usually one that begins with a one-on-one, sit-down conversation with an organizer--are more likely to become productive, committed, long-term members of that movement.

You're right, but this is not what is going on. In fact, what you are describing sounds much more like how the Republicans, in my experience, have organized - triaging volunteers, and arranging to make personal phone calls or have sitdowns with people they think can be effective force multipliers.

What it looks like, admittedly from the outside, is that either the Clinton campaign thinks they have it all sewn up and thus need nothing but a horde of worker ants who can ask for money, hold signs, and call existing Democrats.

I don't know how this looks to existing Democrats, because I'm not one, but to a Republican, this is intensely offputting. It seems to say "I won't be able to make use of any talents you have, because I don't care, and won't use you effectively: I will just slot you in somewhere, eventually, when I get around to it."

You want to make it easy for people to come over to your side, and you want to make it especially easy for people who you don't have to train at what they want to do. And though this doesn't really apply to me, you want to make it easy for people who are not comfortable on computers. If your campaign essentially requires you to be online, you're leaving out a large swath of the population.
posted by corb at 10:03 AM on May 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


A stain could cripple if you slip on it.
posted by zutalors! at 10:03 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


However, essentially requiring people to get online means your volunteers will skew younger, and likely much more passionate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:09 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


London's Mayor-Elect, Sadiq Khan, rejected Trump's offer to exempt him from the ban on Muslim visitors should the former visit the U.S after the latter is elected President. He also expressed hope that Hillary "trounces" Trump. It's the same sort of jujitsu Ryan employed by volnteering to abdicate his role as Convention Chair should Trump request it. The best way to mock Trump and expose his ridiculousness is to take him seriously.
posted by carmicha at 10:10 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I have received calls for volunteering for the Clinton campaign from people who are much younger and maler (possibly whiter) than the media would have you believe.
posted by zutalors! at 10:10 AM on May 10, 2016


Does anyone even know what a metaphor is

If we hit the bullseye on this election, the rest of the Republican Party should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2016 [30 favorites]


Checkmate YOUR MOVE
posted by zutalors! at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2016 [18 favorites]


need nothing but a horde of worker ants who can ask for money, hold signs, and call existing Democrats.

Well, I mean, yeah.

What do you think Republican "in off the street" volunteers do?

It's a lot of phonebanking, canvassing, and getting out the vote. Which means more phonebanking and canvassing. (And to an extent other things like driving vans of elderly people from nursing homes to the polls, mass mailings, tabling on college campuses, etc.)

The lists of people you canvass or phonebank comes from the rolls of registered Democrats as well as previous donors. This makes sense, since these are likely voters and/or donors. Also, it would be a complete waste of time to just go through the phonebook or whatever other option you're imagining. The great thing about phonebanking as a Democrat is that everyone you call is a Democrat, and it's much more a reminder that election day is next week than it is a political debate.

I've always assumed that since I don't ever get calls from Republican phonebankers, it's probably done similarly on the Republican side. Find your likely voters and put a bug up their ass to vote.
posted by Sara C. at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Someone talk me down from the ledge.

Keep in mind that, as Paul Krugman pointed out, the media is going to report on this race as a squeaker all the way thru November, regardless of the reality on the ground.

(Krugman also considers the media's tendency to create a sense that the outcome is in doubt less harmful than its likely unwillingness to call Trump on his serial prevarication; Charles Pierce seems to agree.)
posted by Gelatin at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


What it looks like, admittedly from the outside, is that either the Clinton campaign thinks they have it all sewn up and thus need nothing but a horde of worker ants who can ask for money, hold signs, and call existing Democrats.

"I won't be able to make use of any talents you have, because I don't care, and won't use you effectively: I will just slot you in somewhere, eventually, when I get around to it."


The Clinton machine has been rolling for over a year officially, and unofficially for a long time before that. Volunteer management is a profession and they are already staffed with enthusiastic and committed disciples who are already thinking six months out. At this point, if they need an individual with specific talents for specif types of outreach, they've already got the name in their rolodex.

At this point it is a numbers game, get as many people as you can on the list and through the door, then have your volunteer coordinators look out for committed people who can come back for more intensive training. No one has the time to do a proper intake to assess your strengths and slot you accordingly.
posted by Think_Long at 10:13 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Remember how we were supposed to calm down and trust Nate Silver in 2012? I still think there's a case to do that, but the point was that the data didn't bear out the media lunacy.
posted by zutalors! at 10:14 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]




zutalors!: "But then as has been prophesied Lisa Simpson will be President."

No, I've done the calculations, and the next president has to be named Yelnick McWawa.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:17 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


The data doesn't bear out the media lunacy now, either.

I am so disappointed in our media, which holds no one to account, fact checks nothing, and remembers nothing. And hypes anything, no matter how tiny. Collectively they remind me of the dogs in "Up" that could not stay with anything when they caught a whiff of "Squirrel!"
posted by bearwife at 10:18 AM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


if they need an individual with specific talents for specif types of outreach, they've already got the name in their rolodex.

Well all I can say is, I hope their confidence that they've got everything totes under wraps and need no help from anyone new bears out in the general election. Because if we face even just four years of President Trump because they thought they had it, I am going to be intolerable in the camps.
posted by corb at 10:19 AM on May 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


there was an article that predicted that the media would tear down Hillary Clinton while raising up Trump and then proceeded to do that IN THE ARTICLE.
posted by zutalors! at 10:19 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


and need no help from anyone new

But they do need help from new people. They just have most of the specialists locked in already. What they need is grunt work.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


fact checks nothing,

HOLD ON THERE / Pedant alert! The media has fact-checked the hell out of Trump. What they don’t do at this point is straight-up label him as a serial liar, or demand that he account for his lies if he wants airtime, which is damned depressing.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


Is it really "fact checking" if they refuse to state the only possible conclusion?
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Firstly, I wish I could believe that - I wish that Clinton had a team ready, willing, fully staffed to the extent of their capacity, and able to reach across the aisle and get Republicans to vote for her. I can't, but that would be great! I wish I could.

Secondly: I have never met a campaign, ever, where the problem was too much skilled labor. If Clinton's campaign is like that, that's...unprecedented and great! But I just have never seen it happen even for more popular candidates.

Thirdly: Even if this is 100% the truth, and they only need people for very, very limited work - the way they interact with potential volunteers still needs some work. You should never, ever, ever, when interacting with potential volunteers, act like you couldn't give a fuck if they volunteer or not. Even if you think it's all sewed up, you should never act like it's all sewed up, because you never know, and it turns people off and alienates them for no purpose.

Fourthly: look, I have deep, personal reasons for hating everything Sanders stands for, and the way I just interacted with the Clinton campaign gave me a bad enough taste in my mouth that my immediate thought was regret that Bernie Sanders showed no sign of being able to clinch the nomination. That's a problem.

It's okay to support Clinton! Look I'm even supporting her! But her campaign does not appear to be being run optimally.
posted by corb at 10:30 AM on May 10, 2016 [12 favorites]


You do know that Trump is not a self-made man, right?

But he's well known to play one on TV . . .
posted by flug at 10:31 AM on May 10, 2016


No, I've done the calculations, and the next president has to be named Yelnick McWawa.

That's the stupidest name I've ever heard.
posted by zarq at 10:31 AM on May 10, 2016


[Couple comments deleted. corb, I'm sorry you've been frustrated in your effort to volunteer today, but that point has been made and I'm gonna suggest the thread move on from there?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:35 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


New Trump campaign commercial

I think I need a shower.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:38 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Any polling organization posting about a Trump/Hillary general election should also be required to remind us what they were predicting a year or so ago about Trump getting the nomination.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:39 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


New Trump campaign commercial

I cant even tell if that's a campaign commercial, or a cartoon evil campaign commercial.

Also, does it seem weird to anyone else that they chose a shot of her with longer hair to open? It seemed very emphasizing her gender, but I might just be looking for reasons to hate.
posted by corb at 10:41 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think I need a shower.

You'll be showering constantly until election day. This is a serious health risk, and even the Guinness Book of World Records no longer records record attempts in the "longest shower" category. Please reconsider.
posted by clawsoon at 10:41 AM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]






That Trump commercial is incredibly weak, unless the goal is purely to grab diehard Republicans. If that's where he feels he has to spend his money, things are going well for the Democrats. The laughing is so obviously put out of context I can't imagine how anyone could be persuaded by that.
posted by msalt at 10:51 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


How a third-party ticket could fix the GOP’s Trump problem

Ben Domenech lol

there's pretty much no way to fuck up punditing so bad that they won't let you pundit anymore, is there?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:51 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


...they've already got the name in their rolodex...
...No one has the time to do a proper intake to assess your strengths and slot you accordingly...


This is for reals not what is happening. I know it feels like SHIT ITS ALL HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, but the fact is that primary season is just wrapping up, and the Clinton field effort is probably just now beginning to fully ramp up for the general.

Building capacity properly needs to be a deliberate, intentional process, and it absolutely begins with a one-on-one meeting. Right now those one-on-one meetings are probably happening with known quantities-- people on the list who volunteered in 2008 and/or 2012 (or even 2010 or 2014). You bring those people back, get them back up to speed, and then reach out to the new folks.

you want to make it easy for people who are not comfortable on computers. If your campaign essentially requires you to be online, you're leaving out a large swath of the population.


For what it's worth, in 2012 a huge percentage of volunteer leaders and core volunteer team members were older folks who were, let's say, not exactly digital natives. (My mom, who calls me at least once a week with some random, basic, computer question, was one of them--a "Neighborhood Team Leader" in the suburbs of Boston.)

Over the course of the 2012 cycle, all these folks became perfectly comfortable navigating barackobama.com (and the other digital organizing tools) to find, sign up for, and/or create volunteer events. The Clinton campaign website seems to be structured almost identically to barackobama.com, and I guarantee you that those veteran volunteers, however computer-averse they may be in other areas of their life, are able to use the event, volunteering, and donation areas.

The priority right now is going to be on reactivating those very same veteran volunteers. Once they are back in the fold, retrained, and prepared to organize their own teams of volunteers, outreach to others who want to be involved can begin in earnest.

One reason you (corb) are finding it difficult to get involved right away is that they're not ready for you yet. If they bring you in now, and give you some random busywork, the statistics say you're likely to kind of drift away well before things kick off in earnest. If they want to keep you, they need a meaningful place to put you, and right now they're building those places.

Now, if you want to help build those places, especially as someone who hasn't been involved in Dem politics, you're going to need to walk in the door and talk to someone. It might feel difficult to locate that door on your own, but the tools to find it are absolutely on the website.

Please note that this also very much depends on where you are located, which I don't know. If you are in particularly conservative area, that door will likely be harder to find, or may not be located particularly close by. This is a thing that I have some--though not a ton--of experience with, and I'm more than happy to try to answer any specific questions via memail or email (which is my username at the gmail thing).

I know that this is the internet and I'm a dude, but if don't have the answers, I promise I won't make shit up. (Not about this.)
posted by dersins at 10:53 AM on May 10, 2016 [37 favorites]


From yesterday: Clinton back on the air with TV ads
After taking a brief break from primary season television advertising, Hillary Clinton's campaign went back on the air in Kentucky with a reservation Monday of roughly $180,000 for the final week before the state's May 17 primary, according to media buying sources.

The move comes on the eve of Tuesday's West Virginia primary, likely to be Clinton's second straight state loss to Bernie Sanders.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


My experience of working for Democrats is that it works like this:

First of all, they have a structure. They have paid people who do a lot of the high-level strategizing, and they don't need volunteers to do that stuff. In fact, one of the biggest pains in the ass is that a lot of volunteers want to reinvent the wheel and come up with their own ways of doing things, and they really just need people who will be very efficient and effective at playing their assigned role.

So it was actually kind of a pain in the butt for me to get involved initially. I had a really hard time figuring out how to sign up in 2012. Finally, I saw an announcement for an event for team leaders, which I was not at the time, and I crashed it. That got me on the list of people to be called to volunteer. When I was called, I said yes if I could do it. I went and did what they told me to do, which typically was knocking on doors. If I took a packet, I finished it. If I said I would be there, I came. If I couldn't make it, I called and cancelled.

After not very long (maybe a month) of basically just being a responsible grunt worker, a staff member called me and asked if we could have a one-on-one meeting. We did that, and she said that they'd noticed that I was involved and reliable, and would I be interested in a leadership role. I said no. I said that I had social anxiety and was kind of a disorganized mess and didn't think I would be good at that. They said they thought I would be fine and should reconsider, but it was ok if I didn't want to do it.

About a month later, they asked for another sit-down. They basically said they were desperate, and would I try it out temporarily, and if it was really awful, I could quit. So I said ok, I'd try it out. They made me neighborhood team leader, which basically means that I was in charge of organizing weekly canvassing events and recruiting volunteers. Again: they told me what doors we were knocking on, gave us a basic script, etc. I did things like finding someone who would let us use their house as a staging location, calling up potential volunteers, making confirmation phone calls, and figuring out who would train new volunteers.

I've done other stuff since then, but it's basically all been organizational and interpersonal. I don't think that those are particularly my talents, although it turns out that I can fake it when I really need to. That's what they need volunteers to do, so that's what I do.

There are a lot of people who find this structure really frustrating. They don't like that the people in charge are typically very young. They don't like that your brilliant ideas are mostly not going to be implemented. It sometimes is really annoying when you have local knowledge, and someone in an office a hundred miles away is telling you to do something stupid. (For instance, it was really hard to convince the central office people that we needed to canvass on Sundays rather than Saturdays during football season. They believed that people in the hinterlands were very religious, and they weren't buying that football is as much of a religion as church, even though I promise you that's true.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:54 AM on May 10, 2016 [30 favorites]


i think it also depends where you are. There are a lot of volunteers in New York, for example, her headquarters is here.
posted by zutalors! at 11:00 AM on May 10, 2016


First of all, they have a structure. They have paid people who do a lot of the high-level strategizing, and they don't need volunteers to do that stuff. In fact, one of the biggest pains in the ass is that a lot of volunteers want to reinvent the wheel and come up with their own ways of doing things, and they really just need people who will be very efficient and effective at playing their assigned role.

That's been my experience as well, and it kinda sucks feeling under-utilized but I think it's just the nature of the beast, especially the extremely large beasts.
posted by Think_Long at 11:00 AM on May 10, 2016


Is it really “fact checking” if they refuse to state the only possible conclusion?

See, I find this interesting. I mean, The Fact Checker is part of the Washington Post, and Glenn Kessler has complained about the news media’s handling of Trump. I don’t read the WaPo thoroughly enough, but my impression is that it’s doing an okay job of calling out Trump. What I’m less clear on is the interface between, say, the CNN’s headline news team and its editorial board. Or the editorial team at MSNBC and powerful buffoon Joe Scarborough’s Caffeine & Crap. What is the power balance between the news room and the news/entertainment shows that seem to be the bread and butter of daily programming?
posted by Going To Maine at 11:03 AM on May 10, 2016


zarq: "That's the stupidest name I've ever heard."

No, no. That's Joey Jo-Jo Jr. Shabadoo.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:04 AM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I wish I could believe that

I don't really understand why you can't believe that.

Hillary Clinton is a real grownup professional politician.

She has been elected to the US senate multiple times.

She has previously run a presidential primary campaign and come extremely close to winning, ultimately being beat by an unprecedented ground-game run by Barack Obama (who went on to win the general by a landslide and also be re-elected by a landslide).

She has run an immensely successful primary campaign this year, learning from the mistakes of her previous run.

Once nominated, she will have the full resources of the entire Democratic Party at her disposal, a party which has trounced the Republicans to almost a hilarious degree in 4 of the last 5 elections. Again, Obama won by a landslide in two successive Presidential elections.

Not to mention she's a character in one of the most famous books ever written about a presidential campaign, Primary Colors.

Why do you assume she has the campaign organizing skills of a seventh grader running for student council?
posted by Sara C. at 11:04 AM on May 10, 2016 [14 favorites]


there's pretty much no way to fuck up punditing so bad that they won't let you pundit anymore, is there?

Nope.
posted by Gelatin at 11:05 AM on May 10, 2016 [12 favorites]


So, I've actually never volunteered for a campaign before. corb's experience has at least made me curious to see how things are on my corner, being in a deep red county bastion of a solid blue state. Maybe I should take the jump?
posted by FJT at 11:06 AM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm interested too. As I'm not needed in Illinois I can maybe take a fall vacation to a state that needs boots on the ground. Iowa? Indiana? Wisconsin?
posted by readery at 11:09 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I volunteered for the 2012 Obama campaign by going door to door in New Hampshire. I went with some of my other fellow Americans who were living in Canada. And you know what? There wasn't a problem. We were warmly greeted, told what to do and where to go, and I didn't expect them to throw me a ticker-tape parade. I crossed a border to do it when all it was was knocking on doors and talking to people.
posted by Kitteh at 11:12 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have friends who did that (vacation to purple states) during the Obama election. I think it's a great idea.
posted by zutalors! at 11:12 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]



Why do you assume she has the campaign organizing skills of a seventh grader running for student council?


hey Tracy Flick ran a very savvy campaign
posted by zutalors! at 11:14 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Readery, in my experience for the most part outreach from staunch blue states to swing states is done more via phonebanking (I called PA and Ohio A LOT as an Obama phonebanker in 2008). Though people who have the ability to travel often do. I think it's more regionally, or to places that are within an easy drive of your home turf.

The real question is what the DNC is going to consider their key swing states this year. It sounds right now like a lot hinges on Florida, which means there might not be a ton of opportunities for out-of-state blue staters to put boots on the ground. But maybe not?
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on May 10, 2016


Go for it, FJT. And come back here and tell us what happens.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:31 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


The One Man Who Could Stop Donald Trump
Curly Haugland loves the rules. The stubborn 69-year-old pool-supply magnate is North Dakota’s top Republican gadfly, its rule-mongering crank, its official state pain in the ass. On the national GOP’s standing rules committee, he’s been the pedantic curmudgeon, the stubborn speed bump who for years has raised points of order only to watch establishment Republicans stampede over him. . . .

There is one article of faith in the Republican Party: On the convention’s first ballot, bound delegates are required to vote for the candidate to whom they’re bound. What you need to know about Haugland’s radical vision is this: He insists that’s not the case. Haugland has been trumpeting this nuclear option for months. In March, he blasted out a letter to fellow Republican National Committee members with the subject line: “NEWS FLASH: All Republican Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention are Unbound!” He’s on a mission to let all the delegates at the convention in Cleveland to vote however they’d like on the first ballot, no matter whom their state’s voters chose. . . .

Haugland won’t say what else he’ll propose to the rules committee. “The element of surprise is important,” he says. But he’ll likely challenge his least favorite rule: Rule 16, which binds delegates to their state’s primary and caucus results. . . .

Haugland’s argument is a lot like Ted Kennedy’s at the 1980 Democratic convention, Kamarck says. Kennedy thought he could snatch the nomination from President Jimmy Carter if he could unbind the delegates. He even mocked the binding rule as the “robot rule,” creating programmed delegates with no free will. On the first night of the convention, the robot rule became the test vote that revealed the candidates’ strengths. Carter was in control of the convention, so the robot rule was overwhelmingly upheld.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:34 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


As I'm not needed in Illinois I can maybe take a fall vacation to a state that needs boots on the ground. Iowa? Indiana? Wisconsin?
I've actually campaigned in all three! In October and November, someone will definitely be arranging to send people from the Chicago area to nearby swing states. I would wait until closer to the time to make plans. They'll let you know where they need people the most.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:36 AM on May 10, 2016


He’s on a mission to let all the delegates at the convention in Cleveland to vote however they’d like on the first ballot, no matter whom their state’s voters chose. . . .

If this is the case, there is literally no reason whatsoever to have presidential primaries.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:39 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


If this is the case, there is literally no reason whatsoever to have presidential primaries.

So people know. But I'm definitely supporting the effort to unbind them after this debacle.
posted by corb at 11:41 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


They just think everything he says is pretend and thus probably he and Hillary are the same and probably it would be fine if he were president.

Honestly, I'm also seeing a lot of that online from leftists, where there's been a lot of "Hillary's a Moderate Republican" and "Trump can Run to the Left" rhetoric. It's just so frustrating to look at reviews and statements and STILL see people doing the equivalent of eve "We're not so different, you and I." line. It's still feels like there's a faction that is trying to set things up for going Nader, and that depresses me.

But I had to research alpha-holes this morning, and then I read this, and I want to go kick a concrete wall for a couple hours. So maybe I'm not in the best state to think about this election.
posted by happyroach at 11:43 AM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


If this is the case, there is literally no reason whatsoever to have presidential primaries.

Unless you're treating them like the Founders intended the Electoral College, in which you are picking Wise Men to Go To Cleveland and Choose A Candidate.
posted by clawsoon at 11:43 AM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


If this is the case, there is literally no reason whatsoever to have presidential primaries.

The rest of the article talks about how this guy has been on the unbound delegates train forever and hates primaries and wants them to go away (North Dakota, where this guy is from, doesn't have a Republican primary or caucus and doesn't bind delegates, which I didn't realize before). He's been shot down every previous election year when he proposed it, but thinks that there might actually be enough support for it this year.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2016


I took the arduous step of clicking on the volunteer button. I'm in Kansas, which is almost certainly a lost cause, but Missouri will be in play and that's not far away. Iowa as well.

Even though registering as a volunteer was a dead simple 2 second process, it's not set up very well. Clicking on 'submit' sent me to a "donate!!" page with no acknowledgement. I understand the desire to convert potential volunteers into donors too, but there really needed to be something which said: "Thanks for registering as a volunteer. We're gearing up for the General and will contact you soon." I had to check my email to see if the registration went through.

If anyone here has a contact on the campaign, get them to change that quickly. The donation page is fine but have the acknowledgement / confirmation in there too. Some people are just going to think their volunteer submission was ignored.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


"I'm guessing this comes from the high school lab report school of science. You totally didn't let your compound boil off enough, then your partner accidentally dumped God knows what in there, then it fell in the sink and you had to scrape it out, but you're gonna write it up anyway because that is what you do."

You go to print with the data you have, not the data you want.
posted by klangklangston at 11:45 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]




Good that Clinton is getting back on TV in Kentucky. She can win there, disrupt the Bernie narrative, and put her perilously close to clinching if you count the superdelegates who've come out for her (and if you trust those numbers).
posted by dw at 11:55 AM on May 10, 2016




Also, NRO is going after Rick “Donald Trump is a cancer on conservatism” Perry for flipping on him.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:59 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


"After selecting a list of names for the team to vet, Ben Carson has stepped away from the vice presidential selection team."

Ben Carson: Here is the list Mr. Trump requested. I think you'll be very pleased with the level of work I've put into it.

Campaign Manager: [perusing list] Why, this is just an alphabetized list of the names of popular Pokémon characters!

Ben Carson: Welp. Gotta go! [vanishes in a puff of smoke]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:05 PM on May 10, 2016 [47 favorites]


Which Pokemon character would make the best Trump running mate, and why?
posted by clawsoon at 12:07 PM on May 10, 2016


It seems like both conventions have the potential for at least some spectacle, but it's hard to topthe GOP. I'm waiting for the moment after the delegates are unbound when it goes full on pro wrestling and we get to witness a core overload/reactor eject meltdown as Mitt Romney or whoever drops down out of the rafters as the new nominee and chairs just start flying. That said, if enough people who might form the backbone of any alternative skip the convention, it'll be Trump's show to run. Who ever thought they'd be looking back on Dole/Kemp as the good old days of Republicanism?
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:08 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Squirtle, because its name is Squirtle.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:09 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I can't get this song out of my head...

Trump lingered last in line for brains
And the one he got was sorta rotten and insane
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:11 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


If this is the case, there is literally no reason whatsoever to have presidential primaries.

It's hard to come up with things more disgusting than Trump, but asking party members to come out and indicate their preference before completely rejecting it... that qualifies in my book. It has the advantage of not being overtly racist, like Trump himself, but that level of hostility towards the most basic of democracy's actions is just breathtaking.

It certainly feels to me like it has a lot in common with doing things like refusing the Klan permission to have a march in the public square - the right choice in terms of basic decency, but absolutely opening the door for what will be inevitably and more commonly used against everyone else by the powers that be.
posted by phearlez at 12:17 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ben Carson Is Off Trump’s VP Vetting Team
that article (or at least, selected quotes it contains) couldn't sound more like a sales pitch for carson as vp.
posted by andrewcooke at 12:17 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Which Pokemon character would make the best Trump running mate, and why?

Herman Cain.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [12 favorites]


but absolutely opening the door for what will be inevitably and more commonly used against everyone else by the powers that be.

Uh no actually. Everyone likes to trot out that slippery slope nonsense and no.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Squirtle, because its name is Squirtle.

Trump/Squirtle.

Sounds about right. Sounds like a euphemism for a shart.
posted by daq at 12:23 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


No you don't think speech limits should be content-neutral? (You can skip elaborating in that case; I would need a lobotomy to care less what a non-US resident thinks about how our first amendment works) Or no you don't think a party leadership that had rejected the will of its voters once would then go on to reject them in other ways? Because personally I think it's clear they absolutely would; Trump is running their playbook from the last twenty years with regards to othering and immigration, they just don't like that he's doing it in a blatant way that harms their overall power.
posted by phearlez at 12:36 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hillary Clinton Targets Republicans Turned Off by Donald Trump

How Donald Trump is running to the left of Hillary Clinton

This is was is traditionally called "pivoting from the primaries to the general", correct? It'll be interesting to see if either of them succeeds to any degree in peeling off opposition party support.
posted by clawsoon at 12:38 PM on May 10, 2016


oh wow it's like happyroach is comment psychic
posted by sallybrown at 12:42 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm enjoying the really in depth accounts of campaign volunteering. I've never done it before but probably will for Hillary this year. What is an approximate weekly time expectation?
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:44 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


That "to the left of Hillary Clinton" headline is just junk - as is almost anything trying to boil most nationwide politics down to a pure left-right place on a number line - but it does have some interesting and/or scary shit. For me the top would be this one:
But Trump’s populist pitch may be seriously hampered, even among voters skeptical of Clinton, by his controversial statements on women, Muslims and Mexican immigrants.
Personally I think it's a huge mistake to underestimate the average white american's willingness to overlook awful racist/othering statements. The majority of the population may reject what they can identify as overtly racist statements but what it takes for them to see things as racist is a pretty high bar. If they can find a way to shrug it off as accidental or claim to themselves it can be seen in a non-racist manner (because as long as you can weasel it out into a certain interpretation who cares if an entire group of people identify it as offensive, rite?) then they will do so.
posted by phearlez at 12:46 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ben Carson Is Off Trump's VP Vetting Team

I'm sad this election is just so chock full of crazy twists that we'll probably never find out the backstory of this in the innumerable tell-alls that will come out after, there's just so much to cover.

Do you think he tried to stab Donald or pray with him?
posted by sallybrown at 12:46 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Trump running to the left of Clinton isn't quite the standard pivot, though my impression was that her husband w on in part by swiping Republican talking points.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:48 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


No you don't think speech limits should be content-neutral? (You can skip elaborating in that case; I would need a lobotomy to care less what a non-US resident thinks about how our first amendment works)

As your nearest neighbour, we have such restrictions in place and haven't descended into a hellscape of government censorship. It takes a lot of privilege to say that all opinions deserve equal time. And I know how your First Amendment works, I just disagree with it. Mainly because absolutists like (apparently) yourself fail to understand that it's not absolute there, either.

I agree, however, that it would be both fantastically stupid and fundamentally undemocratic for the RNC to ignore the will of the voters in the primaries. If nothing else, since the RNC cares neither about stupidity nor democracy except in the Athenian "only the right people get to vote" sense, it gives Trump HELLA ammunition for his inevitable third party run.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:49 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


"I'm even finding that this is the case among my Bernie supporter friends who are thinking through the calculus of who to vote for in November. I just spent a weekend trip with a few diehard Bernie supporters and heard over and over "He would never really set up a registry for Muslims", "He would never really default on the national debt", "He would never really nuke Syria," etc. "

Why, that charismatic Austrian gentleman would never actually invade Poland — he just wants to get us out from under the thumb of the elite bankers!

"Ben Carson Is Off Trump’s VP Vetting Team"

The vetting team achieved its mission of convincing Trump to name Ken Barson his VP.
posted by klangklangston at 12:51 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Personally I think it's a huge mistake to underestimate the average white american's willingness to overlook awful racist/othering statements. The majority of the population may reject what they can identify as overtly racist statements but what it takes for them to see things as racist is a pretty high bar.

Yeah, Trump's populist support is overwhelmingly among White people, especially men. Who don't care so much about the racism and sexism, apparently. Thankfully it is no longer possible to win elections just on White men, and that's only getting more true with each passing year. The GOP appears to be intent on heading down the fast track to irrelevance.
posted by schroedinger at 12:54 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Do you think he tried to stab Donald or pray with him?

Knowing Carson, probably a little of both.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


i don't know how to say this without sounding like a psycho, but does anybody have weird after-images of pictures of Trump sort of floating through their mind? It's like I can instantly summon his visage, starfish hand waving, snub nose sort of upturned, eyes squinting, hair doing that indescribable thing, small smile? I can't summon that mental image of Clinton. I assume this is because some or all of the following:
a) I'm losing my fucking mind
b) Trump is striking a Mussolini pose in every shot and that shit works on your mind
c) Clinton doesn't scare the bejeezus outta me and thus I'm less haunted by her visage
posted by angrycat at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


pretty sure the trump campaign is trying to make c) happen
posted by zutalors! at 1:04 PM on May 10, 2016


"This is was is traditionally called 'pivoting from the primaries to the general'"

Traditionally, the candidates knew the orientation of the axis about which they needed to pivot. This year, the one who figures out the new compass points wins.
posted by klarck at 1:05 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, he is nightmarish, angrycat. I'm totally with you on that. I've said before and will repeat here that my mental image of him is an amalgamation of Mussolini and Hitler with sneery lips.
posted by bearwife at 1:05 PM on May 10, 2016


does anybody have weird after-images of pictures of Trump sort of floating through their mind? It's like I can instantly summon his visage, starfish hand waving, snub nose sort of upturned, eyes squinting, hair doing that indescribable thing, small smile?

This is classic babadookery. Hie thee quick to your nearest house of the holy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:11 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


My mental image of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip and Trump keep merging. The Trump campaign has guaranteed I can't stop thinking about that book. If there's anyone here who hasn't read It Can't Happen Here, this is probably a great year to read it.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:13 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


NYT: Clinton, in Shift to Left, Favors Wider Access to Medicare

This kind of thing makes me think the "pivot to the center" might not happen this time.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:14 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Wait ten minutes and hit F5. It'll self-adjust.
posted by delfin at 1:17 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It would be great if this turns out to be an election where everybody goes left, the way that everybody went right in the early '90s. Margaret Thatcher talked about her greatest achievement being the right-leaning "New Labour". Maybe Clinton and Sanders' greatest achievement will be a left-leaning Republican Party.

One can dream, right?
posted by clawsoon at 1:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [12 favorites]


Well, Trump is certainly the pandering and self-serving non-ideologue who can enable that from his side of the aisle.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:21 PM on May 10, 2016


I'm enjoying the really in depth accounts of campaign volunteering. I've never done it before but probably will for Hillary this year. What is an approximate weekly time expectation?

Generally, whatever you want it to be, with a realistic lower limit of one 3-hour shift per week. Upper limit? In 2012 there were Obama volunteers who put in well over 40 hours/week--mostly retired folks who treat campaign volunteering as their "full time job" every 2-4 years.

Do know, though, that you'll have to draw your own boundaries and stick to them: field staff and volunteer leaders will absolutely ask more and more of you as time goes on, unless you set firm limits.
posted by dersins at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Cruz, you unmitigated ass. "If I win Nebraska I'll come back in the race" indeed. Now I'm getting FB messages from my mom, a one-issue voter, about making sure I vote for him and that I don't let "your lib colleagues" sway me. Now I must continue the delicate tap dance that does not reveal I am now a registered Dem that has already caucused here. At least I can tell her truthfully that I'll be voting tonight; there's a school board race that I want to make sure I vote in.

In other terrible news, the Philippines has elected somebody far worse than Trump and Cruz smooshed together into one writhing ball of hate. Nngh.
posted by PussKillian at 1:29 PM on May 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


Also, thanks Cruz for making me listen to Glenn Beck for that pearl of wisdom.
posted by corb at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2016


Yeah, Trump's populist support is overwhelmingly among White people, especially men. Who don't care so much about the racism and sexism, apparently. Thankfully it is no longer possible to win elections just on White men, and that's only getting more true with each passing year. The GOP appears to be intent on heading down the fast track to irrelevance.

I don't think they're intent so much as they're just trapped. They have spent much of my lifetime claiming one thing - we want limited spending! - while doing the other - opening the door on previously unprecedented deficits. They threw in with certain blocks that were obsessed with things like abortion and other cultural issues and ran off folks who might have been economically conservative but who couldn't stomach the culture war.

I'm sure that with 20-20 hindsight there's plenty of folks who wish they could go back and avoid signing on to the absolutist issues and ceding an economic middle groud, but at this point they're just stuck. If they drop those positions they lose percentage points they can't spare.
posted by phearlez at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]




The Medicare program currently covers Americans once they reach 65. Beneficiaries pay premiums to help cover the cost of their coverage, but the government foots the bulk of the bill. Mrs. Clinton’s suggestion was that perhaps younger Americans, “people 55 or 50 and up,” could voluntarily pay the full cost to join the program.

Why not younger people? The article offers no explanation, other than "it might lower costs for younger people on private plans". That's a pretty weak opening negotiating position.
posted by indubitable at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2016


However, there's also this awesome news: Philippines elects first transgender woman to congress
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Democratic focus groups reveal warning signs about Donald Trump "Trump has a very simple economic message: The elites have screwed you with trade deals that have sucked jobs out of the country. He’d bring them roaring back by kicking the asses of other countries, international bureaucrats and elites, CEOs who ship jobs overseas, and immigrants who are eating out of American workers’ lunch buckets."
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]




Will Trump be able to effectively deploy that attack, given that his businesses are often dependent upon the very things he's decrying? It seems like an easy counter that can be brought up every time he tries to paint himself that way.

"I feel the X, Y, and Z is wrong when it comes trade and will fight to change it, but I will also note that I don't currently own and operate businesses that hypocritically take advantage of the very things I decry."

Then Clinton can name the businesses one after the other.
posted by defenestration at 1:47 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I remain convinced this is all puffery to put Christie in place for a spectacular, humiliating fall, as punishment for his putting Jared Kushner's father in jail.
posted by sallybrown at 1:47 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Indubitable, one thing that occurs to me is that the 50-65 age group is basically the remaining Baby Boomers who aren't already medicare age. So that's a gigantic cohort of Americans. Maybe the idea is to roll it out to a large demographic sector, see if it works, and then open the floodgates?

50-65 is also a population that is more likely to have pertinent medical needs, and is a somewhat vulnerable population in terms of things like forced early retirement, underemployment, and other situations that may result in a lack of employer-provided insurance.

More cynically, people who are 50+ are much more likely to vote.
posted by Sara C. at 1:51 PM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]




Christie on Trump's VP shortlist: report

I mean, why?


Well, they may both be oldish asshole blowhard white guys from the NY area, but Christie brings the all-important "married to someone age-appropriate" demo to the table.
posted by dersins at 1:53 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pointing out that Trump is a hypocrite is a bigtime losing strategy. It only works with people who claim some kind of moral purity. Trump is attractive because he breaks rules - being exempt from his own rhetoric is just another facet of his power. See also: every cult leader ever
posted by theodolite at 1:54 PM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


But like who else? Who else would be Trump's VP?
posted by zutalors! at 1:55 PM on May 10, 2016


you know, if the polls that show Ohio/PA/FL close are some bullshit I feel like I might have a legal cause of action for damages related to emotional distress
posted by angrycat at 1:56 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Omarosa reads every morning's VP speculation, and laughs quietly to herself...
posted by sallybrown at 1:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, why?

Because Christie was, IIRC, the first of the contenders to lick Trump's jackboots.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


kicking the asses of other countries, international bureaucrats and elites, CEOs who ship jobs overseas, and immigrants who are eating out of American workers’ lunch buckets.

Sure, but this is classic red meat for the Republican base. If Democrats were likely to be swayed by this, they would already be voting Republican.

I would be much more worried if Trump was taking a sheet from the Sanders playbook, talking about organized labor, or some third idea that has not been seen previously but feels more lefty/populist than "IMMIGRANTS R STEALIN R JOBS LETS BOMB EM"
posted by Sara C. at 1:57 PM on May 10, 2016


"No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby"
-H.L. Mencken, who is becoming my spirit animal this election year.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


you know, if the polls that show Ohio/PA/FL close are some bullshit I feel like I might have a legal cause of action for damages related to emotional distress

They are, you're fine.

Pennsylvania hasn't gone R since freakin' 1988.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


In other terrible news, the Philippines has elected somebody far worse than Trump and Cruz smooshed together into one writhing ball of hate. Nngh.

It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Neoreactionaries and other troglodytes decry the death of democracy, then elect candidates that most showcase the failings of democracy. Those strongmen then proceed to dismantle democracy from the top and institute the monarchy they so crave. What an ouroboros of shit.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:00 PM on May 10, 2016


But like who else? Who else would be Trump's VP?

Any of them would, he's 69. And there's only a few that have gone full #nevertrump. Rubio, Jindal, Christie all have basically stalled out or failed careers at this point, any of them would accept if Trump offered no matter what they're saying now. Ok Mitt wouldnt, probably. And others in powerful positions like Walker, Ryan, even Huckabee; but the opposition is already inching towards acceptance, they all hate libruls FAR more than they care an iota about putting a madman in control of the nuclear weapons. 8 or 9/10 Republicans would accept being Trump's VP, make no mistake, just like 45-47% of the country is going to vote for him anyway in November, literally no matter what he says between now and then, or how manifestly dangerous and unqualified he is for the job. Hatred of Democrats is all that matters, and they all have plenty of that.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know who's from Ohio?

Omarosa.
posted by sallybrown at 2:04 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


entropicamericana: "H.L. Mencken, who is becoming my spirit animal this election year"

Keep in mind he was basically a proto-Libertarian who was vehemently anti-FDR.

He was a really funny guy, but politically - eh.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:04 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think Jindal would fly with the racists, Rubio doesn't seem to want to, Walker, Ryan, definitely not at this point.

Acceptance is one thing, but being his VP pick? I mean I know Republican names too, but that wasn't my question.
posted by zutalors! at 2:05 PM on May 10, 2016


Well ok, you asked, the answer is, "all of them, no matter what they're saying publicly today".
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:06 PM on May 10, 2016


Yeah, I disagree with that. I actually think it does matter what they're saying today.
posted by zutalors! at 2:07 PM on May 10, 2016


TRUMP/BUTTAFUOCO 2016
posted by Lyme Drop at 2:08 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


And others in powerful positions like Walker, Ryan, even Huckabee;

Huckabee has actually liked Trump for quite some time - see, e.g. this article from March. This actually gives him a fair bit of credibility that many of the other “likely” veeps you’ve mentioned can’t pull off. Unlike a Perry or a Rubio (who I really don’t see accepting), it wouldn’t come across as at all hypocritical for Huckabee to jump on the bandwagon. Incoherent, perhaps, but not hypocritical.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:09 PM on May 10, 2016


TRUMP/DEFINITELY NOT JUST ALSO TRUMP BUT WITH A FAKE MUSTACHE 2016
posted by cjelli at 2:10 PM on May 10, 2016 [20 favorites]


Jindal also managed to single-handedly destroy Louisiana's economy during his tenure as governor there (something that just came out and is very fresh in the minds of locals), so he's not really the best choice for "but no really this is not going to be a tire fire at all". Assuming they're looking for a VP choice that signals legitimacy and experience.

Not to mention that Louisiana is a red state, went handily for Trump in the primary, and Louisianians are not pleased with Jindal right now to say the least. Putting him on the ticket potentially turns a red state purple.
posted by Sara C. at 2:11 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apocryphon: Neoreactionaries and other troglodytes decry the death of democracy, then elect candidates that most showcase the failings of democracy. Those strongmen then proceed to dismantle democracy from the top and institute the monarchy they so crave. What an ouroboros of shit.

I wish I could remember who said something to the effect of, "The difference between a dictatorship and a democracy is one man." It has stuck in my head for years. The alternative that was being contrasted was an aristocracy or oligarchy, and I don't remember which of the options the author was in favour of. Their point, I think, was that it's much easier to get to democracy by removing one man than by rooting out thousands of aristocrats/oligarchs.

From the sound of that article, the oligarchy is strong in the Philippines, with most politicians coming from the same wealthy political families that have been running things for decades. That's another way for democracy to die. It's a slow death, not nearly as dramatic as a strongman taking over, but it's still death. A terminal illness.
posted by clawsoon at 2:11 PM on May 10, 2016


In retrospect, Jindal would also have had made for an excellent VP for Cruz.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I see the VP slot going one of two ways: (a) a non-white and/or non-male person, outsider or semi-outsider, "speaks their mind" but worships Trump like a cult leader (Omarosa, Carson, etc.) or (b) not-extremely-disliked establishment person that Trump hasn't insulted yet that Trump acquiesces to behind closed doors as a compromise for the party not unbinding his delegates before the first ballot.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2016


Keep in mind he was basically a proto-Libertarian who was vehemently anti-FDR.

Yes, Mencken's politics were, uh, problematic, to say the least, but god damn, he could write.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I saw some chatter today about Sen Bob Corker of TN as a VP candidate. He came out for Trump pretty early.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:14 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]




Omarosa worked in a nominal role in the Clinton Administration, and (taking into account her tendency for hyperbole and running miles ahead of the truth) that would make for an interesting attack surrogate.
posted by sallybrown at 2:15 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, that's just what we need: a Trump corker.
posted by rocketman at 2:16 PM on May 10, 2016


WV starting to come in, by exit. Noteworthy (but not surprising) from WV Dem exit poll: Just 27% want to continue Obama's policies -- lowest % I can remember of any state

Not surprising indeed. The "War on Coal" narrative is stronger in WV than perhaps anywhere other than Kentucky, and Joe Manchin has basically a free hand to vote against every White House policy initiative without repercussions from the party because it's the only way he keeps his job.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:18 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jindal also managed to single-handedly destroy Louisiana's economy during his tenure as governor there

Right, that's the thing, it's hard to think of a Republican who is:

a) Popular (among Republicans)
b) has unreserved support for Trump and isn't "falling in line"
c) Represents a problem demographic for Trump.

Even Christie fails that test, but someone like Rubio fails even harder IMO.
posted by zutalors! at 2:18 PM on May 10, 2016


Gov. Sandoval is not attending the RNC, so that's that.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:19 PM on May 10, 2016


I mean, it still could go to Kasich, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:20 PM on May 10, 2016


MSNBC's Steve Kornacki:

Mischievous Trump supporters in WV?
9% of Clinton voters would back Trump over her
39% of Sanders voters would back Trump over *Sanders*

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:22 PM on May 10, 2016


Well, bless their wild and wonderful hearts.
posted by sallybrown at 2:26 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


And some people wonder why the parties prefer closed primaries.
posted by dersins at 2:28 PM on May 10, 2016 [15 favorites]


39% of Sanders voters would back Trump over *Sanders*

I do (non-political) survey data analysis for a living. This is the point where we would switch gears from "what does this data mean" to "how did we screw this one up"
posted by theodolite at 2:31 PM on May 10, 2016 [16 favorites]




Yeah, when both parties have competitive primaries it doesn't matter too much, but once you get into a situation where only one party's contest matters there is a much higher chance of spoilers.

(Although this year I considered whether I would want to do that in the Republican primary if Clinton didn't need my vote, and decided it was too complicated --- because the seemingly "less electable" ones like Cruz or Trump were also the most horrible options to me, and when you end up in a general election there's always a _chance_ they could be president...)
posted by thefoxgod at 2:32 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Interesting that Johnson will be a Republican delegate even though he is actually the leader of a "rival" political party ( American Freedom Party, which is basically the White Power Party and whose nominee was "known for coining the phrase “White Genocide” to describe the declining percentage of Whites in the United States" ).

Although they already changed that: In March, in an effort to be “more diplomatic” with the media, the AFP Board decided to replace the term “White Genocide” with “physical, administrative removal of Americans of European extraction.” In addition, it asked members to use the terms “white advocates” or “advocates of European heritage” in lieu of “White Nationalists.”
posted by thefoxgod at 2:36 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I actually think that the 39% of Sanders voters thing could be an artifact of closed primaries, not open ones. (West Virginia's are semi-closed, I think: independents can vote in either primary, but registered Democrats can't vote in Republican ones or vice versa.) Basically, if you're a Democrat who favors Trump, you still can't vote in the Republican primary. So you might vote for your preferred Democrat, even if you'd rather vote for Trump than either of the Democratic candidates.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:37 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump Selects a White Nationalist Leader as a Delegate in California
Johnson got the news that he had been selected by Trump in a congratulatory email sent to him by the campaign's California delegate coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino. "I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views," Johnson tells Mother Jones. "I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody."
Regardless of how the election turns out, this could be the true legacy of the Trump campaign. *shudders*
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:56 PM on May 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


Its also true that WVa is one of those places with lots of registered Democrats who usually vote Republican for President. They have more Democrats registered than Republicans, but Romney won 62% of the vote in 2012 for example.

Probably a holdover from the days when lots of Southern Democrats were more conservative, so you had people who registered Democratic and voted for local Democrats but voted for Republicans for national office. Which is still true in a few places but mostly have been replaced by Republicans at the local level as well.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:56 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


In other terrible news, the Philippines has elected somebody far worse than Trump and Cruz smooshed together into one writhing ball of hate. Nngh.

A friend of mine who is not only pin@y, but has spent lots of time there and worked in relief/activism posted a gigantic rant today crapping super hard on the western reporting of this and basically decrying it as the worst kind of not only uninformed, incomplete, and inaccurate but also just sort of that standard western media "lol look at these ZANY foreigners!" stuff.

I'd take this one with a huge grain of salt, is what i'm saying. They made a fairly strong case for this being shitty skewed reporting. And not to say this guy is good, just that he's being misrepresented as superrr evil for clicks and to make that lazy comparison.
posted by emptythought at 2:58 PM on May 10, 2016


Any links showing which parts have been misrepresented, emptythought? Absent an incorrect translation, some of Duterte's statements sounded unambiguously horrible. If your friend has any English-language reading on where the media went wrong on the guy, I'd love to read it.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:03 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's sort of interesting that the founder and one of the commanders of the separatist Moro National Liberation Front endorsed Duterte for president... and the son of Ferdinand Marcos for vice president.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2016


This was linked early on in the conversation. When i can actually sift through it all later at home, i'll try and grab some more.
posted by emptythought at 3:06 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


John Oliver showed video of Duterte going to pains to make sure people understood that shitty things he said weren't a joke. You can say, "Well, yeah, but John Oliver," but that doesn't change the fact that no, Duterte wanted everyone to know he was absolutely serious about the shitty rape commentary he'd made.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:06 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


"For many, many years, when I would say these things, other white people would call me names: 'Oh, you're a hatemonger, you're a Nazi, you're like Hitler,'" he confessed. "Now they come in and say, 'Oh, you're like Donald Trump.'"

In case you didn't make it to the end; there's a sweet nugget there.
posted by eyesontheroad at 3:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


This was linked early on in the conversation.

The thesis there seems to be that it's not fair to compare Duterte to Trump because the former has a lot of political experience and the people of Davao view his tenure as mayor positively, whereas Candidate Trump is more of a cipher.

The thing is, though, I kind of thought the point of the comparisons was not that they have similar resumes, but that they both present themselves as huge assholes (and both revel in their reputations as huge assholes).
posted by dersins at 3:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Plus, one of them already has operational roving death squads, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:26 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


"...campaign volunteering... What is an approximate weekly time expectation?"

Most campaigns I've been on, they'll take whatever you can give, and they will ask for more. I'm a pretty experienced Field Organizer, and in my experience across many campaigns, there was always so much work to do that anyone who wanted to help out was put to work pretty quickly. I've worked with volunteers who had 30 minutes a week, and with (not nearly as many) volunteers who could put in 30 hours.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:28 PM on May 10, 2016


Trump is a raging asshole but I don't think he has openly admitted to murdering at least three people with his own hands...
posted by Justinian at 3:30 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


His own hands are too tiny for murder
posted by saturday_morning at 3:32 PM on May 10, 2016 [51 favorites]


he has something else he likes to choke people with
posted by pyramid termite at 3:34 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Their own bile?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:34 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's okay, Justinian. Don't think of Trump destroying America. Think of him offering us an exciting opportunity to role play living in Westeros!
posted by corb at 3:36 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Surely he chokes people with a gold, glitter-encrusted rope with big cubic zirconia crystals at each end.
posted by phearlez at 3:38 PM on May 10, 2016


For me, it's really just the idea of him that sticks in my craw.
posted by dersins at 3:40 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


is there anyway that we can sneak a pair of ruby red slippers on him and get him to to click them 3 times while chanting "there's no place like home?"

i have it on very good info that the emerald city is missing its village idiot and the cowardly lion is missing his twin brother
posted by pyramid termite at 3:43 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


PMURT!

Nope, the Mxyzptlk method doesn't work either. Any other ideas?
posted by delfin at 3:49 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


he has something else he likes to choke people with

⬇⬊➡ Ⓐ : Donald’s Yuge Hair Whip : choke opponent for two seconds, then drag into uppercut range. CAUTION! If opponent breaks free, your scalp flies off.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:51 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Clinton: Kraft Singles. This smooth and friendly product of industry is a classic all-American cheese.
Sanders: Swiss Cheese. This cheese from socialist Europe is seen by some as being of a distinctly higher level of quality than the others, but look closely and you might spot some holes in its story.
Trump: Cannon Rush. That's the one where you build a wall around some cannons in the enemy base and make your opponent pay for it.
posted by sfenders at 3:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Donald’s Yuge Hair Whip

COMB OVER HERE!
posted by FJT at 4:00 PM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Probably a holdover from the days when lots of Southern Democrats were more conservative, so you had people who registered Democratic and voted for local Democrats but voted for Republicans for national office. Which is still true in a few places but mostly have been replaced by Republicans at the local level as well."

In WV, there are still people registered as Democrats to protest Lincoln.
posted by klangklangston at 4:16 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I knew the Republicans skewed older, but damn.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:20 PM on May 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


"Pointing out that Trump is a hypocrite is a bigtime losing strategy. It only works with people who claim some kind of moral purity. Trump is attractive because he breaks rules - being exempt from his own rhetoric is just another facet of his power. See also: every cult leader ever"

Right. The argument that he does one thing and says another isn't persuasive — but you can pretty easily frame that into an attack on his credibility. How can you trust him to do the things he says he'd do if he benefits by not doing them? That attacks his strength — his anti-elitist claim — and forces him to come up with more concrete examples of policy, where he's weaker.

The strategy I'd pursue is calling out bullshit on his claims (rather than, like many of his opponents, getting bogged down in trying to argue against them — just dismiss them as bluster and move on) and pointing out that he's another elite telling people what they want to hear while doing whatever serves him best. It's easy to turn that into a broader anti-Republican message too: Trump's right that the GOP is screwing you, but he doesn't want to stop — he just wants to jump the line and screw you first. He's right that the GOP is screwing you — but he ran in the GOP primary to make sure he's the one in charge of the screwing, not to stop it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:25 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


West Virginia counter-seceded out of loyalty to the Union, that doesn't even make any sense
posted by Apocryphon at 4:25 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


In WV, there are still people registered as Democrats to protest Lincoln.

Which is super weird since WV exists as an entity distinct from Virginia due to it siding with the Union during the Civil War.
posted by indubitable at 4:26 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


WV called for Sanders and Trump.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Probably a holdover from the days when lots of Southern Democrats were more conservative, so you had people who registered Democratic and voted for local Democrats but voted for Republicans for national office. Which is still true in a few places but mostly have been replaced by Republicans at the local level as well.

Kim Davis was a Democrat until after her SSM tantrum.
posted by Etrigan at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Has there been much Oregon polling? Because a 15 point Clinton lead sounds like a big outlier.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:46 PM on May 10, 2016


27% of Democratic voters would vote Trump in the fall, including a lot of the Sanders voters.
posted by zutalors! at 4:49 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do you always have to bring up Sanders supporters? What is the source for the 27% number? I am happy to be corrected. I find that number extreme so far out from the election.
posted by futz at 4:54 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


"West Virginia counter-seceded out of loyalty to the Union, that doesn't even make any sense"

Not to belabor a throw-away joke, but West Virginia provided about equal numbers of troops for Confederate and Union Armies, the secession vote (from Virginia) was taken while the state was occupied by Union soldiers, and West Virginia reverted to virulently anti-Reconstruction Democrats immediately after the war, and elected a former Confederate as Senator in the 1870s (right about the time that the SCOTUS told Virginia they couldn't have WV back).
posted by klangklangston at 4:55 PM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


futz, MSNBC reported the number.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:56 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I didn't say Sanders supporters, I said Sanders voters. It looks like there's a number of people who voted Sanders this primary to vote against Clinton but wouldn't vote for him in the general.

It's just interesting, it's not to take away anything from a Sanders win.
posted by zutalors! at 4:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


From a poll or?
posted by futz at 4:57 PM on May 10, 2016


From CBS:

"Almost half of Democratic primary voters in West Virginia (47 percent) identify as liberal, among the lowest we've seen in exit polling this year. More than four in 10 Democratic primary voters in West Virginia want to see the next president actually change to policies that are less liberal than President Obama's--the highest in the primaries so far."

This is interesting, since both Democratic candidates are more liberal than Obama. I'm guessing those 40%+ that want "less liberal" politics are the bulk of the "registered Democrats" who are considering voting for Trump.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:59 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


They asked people to answer in an exit poll who they would support in the fall.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:59 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeebus. WV seceded from Virginia? Where was I that day in High School history?

How did I miss that episode of Ken Burns' Civil War?
posted by notyou at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2016


More on white nationalist William Johnson's selection as a Trump delegate: Trump Camp: 'Database Error' Led To White Nationalist On CA Delegate Slate:
“A database error led to the inclusion of a potential delegate that had been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016,” the Trump campaign said of William Johnson’s inclusion on the delegate list, which was released Monday night.
...
The New York Daily News' Cameron Joseph said that Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told him the report was "totally false" before the campaign sent the statement ascribing Johnson's inclusion to a "database error."
This story makes increasingly little sense.
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fun fact from the West Virginia exit polls: Sanders led overwhelmingly (62 to 29%) among Democratic primary voters who said they wanted less liberal policies than President Obama's.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Jeebus. WV seceded from Virginia? Where was I that day in High School history?

Check it out. Super interesting. Especially given where the state's politics have gone since then.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK here is the main exit poll data

If you scroll down:

If these were the candidates in November, would you:

1) Vote for Clinton -- 47% (among these voters, Clinton won by 36%)
2) Vote for Trump -- 33% (among these voters, Sanders won by 66%)
3) Not Vote -- 18% (among these voters, Sanders won by 75%)

If these were the candidates in November, would you:

1) Vote for Sanders -- 54% (among these voters, Sanders won by 30%)
2) Vote for Trump -- 30% (among these voters, Sanders won by 46%)
3) Not Vote -- 13%
posted by thefoxgod at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Since we already trotted out Mencken, how about some W. C. Fields?

"I never voted for anybody. I always voted against."
posted by box at 5:04 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


somehow this is like one of those nightmares where something horrible is chasing you and you have this knowledge that this nightmare will go on for years or until you wake up
posted by angrycat at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


So the vast majority of Democratic primary voters who said they will vote for Trump (which is 30-33% depending on who wins the Democratic primary) voted for Sanders.

But yeah, the "weird" part is even if Sanders is the candidate, many of those who voted for him today say they will vote for Trump. Which is probably some combination of conservative registered Democrats who don't like Hillary and Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary for the one they consider less electable.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary for the one they consider less electable.

I'm not sure this is allowed in WV.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:06 PM on May 10, 2016


WV called for Sanders and Trump.

The NYT seems to have tentatively called it for Clinton? And NBC’s numbers, despite the call for Sanders, have Clinton in the lead as well. Strangeness.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:10 PM on May 10, 2016


Yeah I'm thinking Republican-leaning independents, not registered Republicans. I don't know about WVa but I know a lot of Dems/Republicans in general are not officially registered as such (by which I mean they are technically independents, but always vote R or D, so I don't consider them "real" independents). By many measures more independents don't actually switch back and forth and thus are independent in name only.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2016


I'm not sure this is allowed in WV.

It is. Both parties allow unaffiliated voters, sez ballotpedia.
posted by klangklangston at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


roomthreeseventeen is right that actually registered Republicans can't vote in the Democratic primary, however. According the the registration stats I posted earlier, though, there are a lot of independents in WVa, and most of them vote Republican in Presidential elections, so it's not unthinkable many chose to vote in the Dem primary now that the GOP one is over.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:13 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


MSNBC reported there's a somewhat competitive Democratic primary race for Governor, so perhaps the Trump fans turned out to vote for that and either didn't want to leave the Presidential part blank / didn't know they could / wanted to stick to to Hillary.
posted by sallybrown at 5:15 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


they're saying on MSNBC that there's a Democratic primary for governor or something that might be driving independent turnout for Democrats.
posted by zutalors! at 5:15 PM on May 10, 2016


Ha, jinx except sallybrown said it better.
posted by zutalors! at 5:15 PM on May 10, 2016


The NYT seems to have tentatively called it for Clinton?

The colored box simply means Clinton has the lead currently (1% reporting). They put a check next to the name when they call it for someone.
posted by Justinian at 5:16 PM on May 10, 2016


Ha, jinx except sallybrown said it better.

You owe me a Koch Coke!
posted by sallybrown at 5:18 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Pundit Man on MSNBC just predicted the first Trump/Clinton debate will have the largest global television viewership since the moon landing.
posted by sallybrown at 5:19 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


sallybrown, that's Steve Schmidt, who ran the McCain/Palin campaign.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:20 PM on May 10, 2016


If you saw that HBO movie about the Palin VP pick, Schmidt was the main character (played by Woody Harrelson).
posted by Justinian at 5:22 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm really surprised by the Oregon polling showing a big Clinton lead. I'm an Oregonian, and I figured this was Bernie country, because of the demographics and because of how extremely liberal some of our cities are.

An unusual thing about Oregon is that all ballots are cast by mail, and consequently we have high voter participation rates. I wonder if this is the reverse caucus effect.
posted by chrchr at 5:24 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


You're thinking of Haymitch.
posted by beerperson at 5:24 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't know who this "Haymitch" is, that guy is Woody the bartender.
posted by sallybrown at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2016


Pundit Man on MSNBC just predicted the first Trump/Clinton debate will have the largest global television viewership since the moon landing.

At one point I fantasized about seeing that. Now it just gets me all tangled up in knots of worry.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Rest of the PPP poll results beyond the Hemorrhoids: 42% Clinton 38% Trump

The poll has 9% of democrats voting for Trump and 7% of republicans voting for Clinton.
"Although much has been made of disunity in the GOP, it is actually just as unified behind Trump as the Democrats are behind Clinton."

Still early days for polling, but I vividly remember driving home on election day 2012 and listening to right wing talk radio which was so utterly convinced that all the polls were wrong and Romney would win big.
posted by joeyh at 5:31 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


In WV, there are still people registered as Democrats to protest Lincoln.

Speaking of that AND the White Nationalist Trump Delegate in California, the "U.S. Senate Candidate Statements" in the California Primary Voter Guide has some interesting content. For background: a California initiative a few years ago required that all Primaries EXCEPT the Presidential be non-partisan open primaries, so there are 34 candidates for the open seat, a mix of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, two parties left over from the 60s - Peace & Freedom and George Wallace's American Independent, and No Party. And 21 of them paid extra to include their Candidate Statement in the Voter Guide. Because it's charged by the word, some are mercifully short, but others range from standard-boilerplate platform to very wacky to kinda scary.

Then there is "Herbert G. Peters | Andrew Jackson Democrat. Our first 70 years; our county grew and flourished. We had no income tax. Motto: Manifest Destiny. Democrat Presidents; were most wise: Andrew Jackson balanced budget seven of eight years. Franklin Pierce vetoed a federal welfare bill. To reverse downward spiral of last II8 years: balance our budget, resist war, reduce costs, reduce taxes, repeal welfare and minimum wage so all can find jobs. Churches and Charities help needful. Reduce oppression: replace income tax with sales tax. Goal: Better life for all. "

Yep, an "Andrew Jackson Democrat". Probably hording current-design $20-bills. And "Our first 70 years", yep that was until that damn Republican freed the slaves... But "downward spiral of last II8 years" would that be specifically anti-Teddy Roosevelt, or include McKinley? But there he is, on the California statewide ballot as a Democrat.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:36 PM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh wow, I don't watch MSNBC; is Pundit Man an actual thing??

I'm imagining superpowers like Conventional Wisdom and No Career Consequences For Being Wrong.
posted by indubitable at 5:37 PM on May 10, 2016 [16 favorites]


Pundit Man on MSNBC just predicted the first Trump/Clinton debate will have the largest global television viewership since the moon landing.

I can only assume he was being facetious or kidding or something? The moon landing brought in something like half a billion viewers worldwide; the last world cup final doubled that.
posted by dersins at 5:43 PM on May 10, 2016


no it is not an actual thing
posted by zutalors! at 5:43 PM on May 10, 2016


So Paul Manafort called the election "the ultimate reality show."

Dude. Even if you believe that's true, you're not supposed to celebrate it.
posted by schroedinger at 5:45 PM on May 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, there are some crazy (in both amusing and also scary ways) candidates for Senate in the California primary.

But the interesting (and kinda neat) thing is that given the way it works, there's a good chance that the general election for Boxer's Senate seat in California will be between two Democratic women of color (Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez).
posted by thefoxgod at 5:50 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


West Virginia reverted to virulently anti-Reconstruction Democrats immediately after the war, and elected a former Confederate as Senator in the 1870s (right about the time that the SCOTUS told Virginia they couldn't have WV back).

Copperheads out!
posted by Apocryphon at 5:50 PM on May 10, 2016


Who's the "other" (or others?) that's currently getting about 9% of the vote in the WV Democratic Primary?
posted by kyrademon at 5:55 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Surprise! Trump Supporters Celebrate Birth of Shapiro’s Second Child With Anti-Semitism, Racism
Conservative icon and Daily Wire Editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro took to Twitter on Saturday to announce the birth of his baby boy. “With infinite gratitude to God, we’re overjoyed to welcome to the world our new baby boy, who arrived at 10:30 this morning!” wrote Shapiro.

Naturally, the Trump-supporting altright trolls came out in full force to celebrate the occasion by wishing Shapiro and his son to the gas chambers, along with other racist vile tweets.
This is a conservative columnist. It's not like there's even the pretence of being hateful-for-political-reasons.

I know a lot of people here don't care for the Republican Party, but it's scary to watch it being consumed by the monster it nurtured. Also, I'm worried that the Republican Party is so embedded in the USA's electoral structure that it can't be replaced: that the USA will retain a two-party system even after one of them has literally become fascist.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:57 PM on May 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


Well, Shapiro quit Breitbart after it wouldn't stand up for Michelle Fields (so he says anyways). Thats the reporter who was assaulted by Trump's campaign manager.

So I suspect Shapiro is pretty unpopular with Trump supporters. Combine that with their over the top racism and antisemitism and those tweets are sadly unsurprising. But there is a somewhat political angle to it as well.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:05 PM on May 10, 2016


Nebraska called for Trump. There will be no Cruz resurgence.
posted by kyrademon at 6:05 PM on May 10, 2016


Also, I'm worried that the Republican Party is so embedded in the USA's electoral structure that it can't be replaced

That's a real concern, and the blame hangs equally on both parties.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:06 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who's the "other" (or others?) that's currently getting about 9% of the vote in the WV Democratic Primary?

Politico's returns map has the full breakdown. Right now it's 6.8% for WV attorney Paul Farrell, 1.5% Keith Judd (the inmate that beat Obama in a few counties in 2012), 1.4% Martin O'Malley, and 0.4% Rocky De La Fuente.
posted by peeedro at 6:11 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know a lot of people here don't care for the Republican Party, but it's scary to watch it being consumed by the monster it nurtured. Also, I'm worried that the Republican Party is so embedded in the USA's electoral structure that it can't be replaced: that the USA will retain a two-party system even after one of them has literally become fascist.

There was a nice 538 column a few days back: “The GOP Doesn’t Seem To Be Cracking Up In Down-Ballot Races” In brief: outside of the massive freak event that is Donald Trump, the party is functioning normally. The party infrastructure persists, and there are no hordes of white supremacists rising up to seize every office. So I think there’s a lot of dying left in the party, even if this year is going to force it to introspect like never before.

My impression is that the US is kind of doomed to two parties at a national level no matter what - the electoral calculus of first-past-the-post makes the idea of splitting your interests with a third party a mug’s game. However, I’m not at all sure why there couldn’t be third parties at the local level representing “true conservative” interests (& eventually replacing the old R party). But given that in local races the Republican brand has gone to crazytown (by everyday standards, not those of MetaFilter) except in isolated pockets, I’m not sure that state-level Republicans need to worry so much.

And -perhaps most interesting- if heavyweights really do start thinking that they need to split the party- I’m pretty sure that the conservatives who are vested in doing so will have the financial resources to make it happen. I mean, heck, what is a party but a coalition of folks who can get onto all of the state ballots, get over 5% of the vote, and then manage to persist beyond one election? A lot of what that requires is money and organization, and there are plenty of dedicated party hacks who would be glad to provide their skills.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:14 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


> There will be no Cruz resurgence.

I'm just glad there still hasn't been a Santorum resurgence.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


I need to take a break from Maddow, she's freaking me out
posted by zutalors! at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


the party is functioning normally

Where "functioning normally" = trying to destroy the entire federal government in service of the 1%. Really, Trump is nothing different than the standard Republican platform, only, let's call it, "classier".
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:21 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


In brief: outside of the massive freak event that is Donald Trump, the party is functioning normally. The party infrastructure persists, and there are no hordes of white supremacists rising up to seize every office.

There are no American tanks in Baghdad, this is an infidel lie! etc.
posted by indubitable at 6:23 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


The party infrastructure persists, and there are no hordes of white supremacists rising up to seize every office

ya because they're already in office
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:26 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nebraska called for Trump. There will be no Cruz resurgence.

With 10% of the votes in? Bleargh. Let me dream for another 90%.
posted by corb at 6:31 PM on May 10, 2016


Again, Trump won, at his best showing, 60% of the primary votes in an evenly divided electorate - 60% of 50% is 30%, which is close to the crazification factor: we knew these people are out there, they just happen to be yawping particularly loud this time. I'm focusing on getting progressives on the ballot so that they can take advantage of what could be a wonderful opportunity to take back local governments.
posted by eclectist at 6:31 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


> "Trump won, at his best showing, 60% of the primary votes in an evenly divided electorate ..."

That's not really meaningful either way.
posted by kyrademon at 6:36 PM on May 10, 2016


Where “functioning normally” = trying to destroy the entire federal government in service of the 1%. Really, Trump is nothing different than the standard Republican platform, only, let’s call it, “classier”

Without a doubt, the Republicans have cultivated a contempt for the workings of government that is coming home to bite them (and the country) in the rear. But to pretend that Trump’s rabid, anti-trade position is the standard Republican platform is dumb. You can talk about how Trump is ‘in service of the 1%’, but that doesn’t explain why the Koch brothers hate his platform. The attacks coming at Trump from the Right are about how he plans to expand government, not shrink it. Let us never forget that Trump completely bombed at understanding how pro-life/anti-choice folks think about their own movement so badly that he had to do a 180-spin in twenty four hours, and who was happy to praise Planned Parenthood.

Trump has no positions. He is all white working class anger, racism, and chaos. The Rs got him because they decided to ride that train, but he’s not their candidate. (This would also be how he can go after Clinton from the left: because he has no positions.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:44 PM on May 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


A friend of mine who is not only pin@y, but has spent lots of time there and worked in relief/activism posted a gigantic rant today crapping super hard on the western reporting of this and basically decrying it as the worst kind of not only uninformed, incomplete, and inaccurate but also just sort of that standard western media "lol look at these ZANY foreigners!" stuff.

I'm getting most of my stuff from my cousins there, plus philstar.com. My relatives are not happy, although some of them who were part of the People's Power demonstrations are almost more upset about another Marcos getting into power. None of them have said anything about Duerte being a better person than he's been painted.

(Should I put up an FPP about this?)

Anyway, I voted for my school board person today. And Trump won handily so my mom will have to figure out what she's going to do about this election because she'll never vote for Clinton but Trump is not the religious hardliner she wants for a president. I wonder what she'll end up doing.
posted by PussKillian at 6:47 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


(Should I put up an FPP about this?)

I would read such an FPP and carefully be sure not to be all #butwhataboutAmericanpolitics about it
posted by zutalors! at 6:51 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I predict that Ben Carson is obviously going to be Trump's pick because Carson is cool with enhancing the size of people's hands in portraiture.
posted by TwoStride at 7:04 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Bridgegate update:

If you recall, there's a secret list of "unindicted co-conspirators" (people who were part of Bridgegate but weren't indicted) the media has been asking the court to force the feds to turn over / make public. Today, the court ruled the feds do have to turn over the list - and as part of its reasoning, the court cited a particular precedent: the case in which Christie put Trump's son-in-law's father (Kushner) in jail.

"The ruling in the Kushner case stated that a public official 'cannot claim a right of privacy with respect to the manner in which they perform their duties. Where a criminal trial allegedly involves violations of the public trust by government officials, the public's need to monitor closely the judicial proceedings is perforce increased,' according to Judge Wigenton's decision Tuesday."

That is some expert-level trolling by the judge.
posted by sallybrown at 7:15 PM on May 10, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm looking at the Oregon poll... but I can't find the actual breakdown. They did talk to likely voters, but was it landline?

The GOP numbers look similar to a Hoffman poll that was land and cell, so perhaps it was phone.

I don't trust the poll, anyway. Oregon has a strong progressive streak, especially in Portland and on the coast. No way Bernie could lose this, closed primary or not.
posted by dw at 7:16 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow...Both CNN and MSNBC are giving Bernie's rally in Oregon significant airtime. Shocking. Bernie won handily too.
posted by futz at 7:17 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


the court cited a particular precedent: the case in which Christie put Trump's son-in-law's father (Kushner) in jail.

Just so you know, the word is "mechutan" (meh-KHOO-t'n).
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:33 PM on May 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I predict that Ben Carson is obviously going to be Trump's pick because Carson is cool with enhancing the size of people's hands in portraiture.

He definitely adheres to the Trump school of interior design.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:33 PM on May 10, 2016




Bernie won handily too.

If I were Sanders, not sure I'd be super pumped about winning on the strength of votes from Trump supporters, tbh.
posted by dersins at 8:21 PM on May 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


Jeebus. WV seceded from Virginia? Where was I that day in High School history?

How did I miss that episode of Ken Burns' Civil War?


Is...is this a joke?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:48 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


West Virginia did indeed secede from Virginia.
posted by bearwife at 8:55 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's no joke. I learned something new today.
posted by notyou at 9:07 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


West Virginia did indeed secede from Virginia.

...yeah, I know...
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:08 PM on May 10, 2016


And with that information, you can convince some gullible fools that North & South Dakota were once a single state (but don't try it with North & South Carolina; that's just going too far).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:13 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


And with that information, you can convince some gullible fools that North & South Dakota were once a single state

It's a little harder to fool them if they know that Montana was originally called West Dakota, though.
posted by dersins at 9:21 PM on May 10, 2016


If I were Sanders, not sure I'd be super pumped about winning on the strength of votes from Trump supporters, tbh.

Oof. That article reads like an op-ed.
posted by iamck at 9:51 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]




@NateSilver538: “Reminder: Cubs will win the World Series and, in exchange, President Trump will be elected 8 days later.”
posted by Going To Maine at 10:30 PM on May 10, 2016


MSNBC reported that 34% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would for trump over hillary in the general. That is a problem if that translates nation wide and continues up to the election. But i think people are pissed off right now and I think that number reflects that.
posted by futz at 10:44 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Silver should be a has been after this primary season. But alas, the nyt will keep him on for the clicks.
posted by futz at 10:49 PM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nate Silver has melted down. Okay Trump, pull it, you have my permission to retire.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:03 PM on May 10, 2016


Actually, Nate Silver sold 538 to ESPN/Disney about 2 or 3 years ago. I'm still waiting for his Disney Infinity figure.
posted by FJT at 11:12 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Silver should be a has been after this primary season. But alas, the nyt will keep him on for the clicks.

Nate Silver works for ESPN, not the NYT. (If you listen to this week’s Elections Podcast, you can hear him vent a bit about how 538 was generally not treated very well at the NYT in response to a big ol’ hot take from an NYT reporter on how data journalism is dead. Journalist beef!)

But more importantly -and I guess I’m pretty heavily in the 538 tank here- it seems really weird to say that Silver -who has done a crazy good job predicting Senate race outcomes and Presidential election results for the entirety of the Obama Presidency (and the Senate race before?) should hang up his hat for having bought way too much into the “party decides” model -something that had played out pretty darn well in the previous year’s primaries, when a succession of Republican candidates burst like bubbles. (And certainly, it’s not like the 538 polling models for the primaries have been particularly off, I don’t think - just the general discussion of Trump.) Essentially, 538 seems to be getting treated as the whipping boy because they’ve been totally aces before this. Now, having whiffed on Trump -along with every other pundit- they’re getting all of the grief because they’d been taking everyone else to school.

So yeah, data journalism forever, some elections go wrong, other punditry can go die in a garbage fire. (Except for Ron Elving and Ken Rudin, who are wonderfully folksy and charming and in love with weird political trivia.)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:13 PM on May 10, 2016 [22 favorites]


Actually, Nate Silver sold 538 to ESPN/Disney about 2 or 3 years ago. I'm still waiting for his Disney Infinity figure.

Er, about that...
posted by zachlipton at 11:15 PM on May 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nate Silver predicts that Trump will either win or lose the general election.

This is the same professional statistician who effectively used a fair coin to decide whether Trump would win or lose his nomination.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:23 PM on May 10, 2016


MSNBC reported that 34% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would for trump over hillary in the general. That is a problem if that translates nation wide and continues up to the election. But i think people are pissed off right now and I think that number reflects that.

That's like saying that Clinton won 71.3% of the vote in Georgia and that's a problem for the Republicans if it translates nation wide. It's both true and irrelevant. West Virginia is nothing like the nation as a whole.

Note that 39% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would vote for Trump over Bernie in the general.
posted by Justinian at 11:27 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Here's my prediction for the Trump Veepstakes: Trump floats/hints that Sanders is on his VP shortlist. Of course, Sanders probably won't even dignify it with an answer. But it gives Trump another news cycle, makes him appear as a "post-partisan" outsider, and continues his wooing of Sanders supporters.
posted by FJT at 11:42 PM on May 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


MSNBC reported that 34% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would for trump over hillary in the general. That is a problem if that translates nation wide and continues up to the election. But i think people are pissed off right now and I think that number reflects that.

WV is specifically pissed at Hillary because she said out loud that the coal industry is dead and fucked. It doesn't translate nationwide.
posted by rifflesby at 11:43 PM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sanders would absolutely respond and I suspect the response would be scathing. Trump isn't stupid enough to invite that... I think.
posted by Justinian at 11:43 PM on May 10, 2016


Sanders would respond; his response would be scathing; Trump would claim that Sanders begged him to be veep and Trump said no. CNN would report that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 AM on May 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


"Speaking of that AND the White Nationalist Trump Delegate in California, the "U.S. Senate Candidate Statements" in the California Primary Voter Guide has some interesting content."

The day after I had to file my candidate statement for neighborhood council, I got the primary guide in the mail. My first thought: "Maybe I should have clarified that I also oppose mind control slavery."

"Note that 39% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would vote for Trump over Bernie in the general."

Bernie has more supporters in VWs than WV.
posted by klangklangston at 12:17 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump, GOP nomination virtually in hand, is planning a general election campaign that banks heavily on his personal appeal and trademark rallies while spurning the kind of sophisticated data operation that was a centerpiece of Barack Obama's winning White House runs.

AP Interview: Trump says big rallies his key campaign weapon
posted by honestcoyote at 2:23 AM on May 11, 2016


Okay, this reassures me that Trump isn't going to be any more practical or any less egomaniacal for the remainder of his campaign. What drove some white Republicans to his "personal appeal" will drive the rest of us toward Mrs. Clinton. Then again, if he stages enough "trademark rallies" outside polling places on election day, it could be the most effective voter suppression strategy the GOP has ever had.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:51 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, but when your 'offhand remark' can crash markets, you have to moderate your tone. What is he then? If he can't be Donald 'The Bombastard' Trump, what else does he have? It's the only trick this pony's got!
posted by eclectist at 4:06 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


hey, you know who else had big rallies as his key campaign weapon?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:42 AM on May 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


MSNBC reported that 34% of WV Bernie supporters said that they would for trump over hillary in the general. That is a problem if that translates nation wide and continues up to the election.

For what it's worth, based on the exit poll data either Trump supporters were voting in the primary, or Bernie supporters in WV are a conservative, bizarre outlier. Or the exit polls happen to sweep all the most conservative Bernie supporters.

Calculations from the CNN exit poll breakdown. When I refer to voters, I'm just talking about voters in the Democratic primary.
  • Only 56% of voters in the Democratic primary identified as Democrat, and that's in a state where Democrats tend to be more conservative anyway.
  • 55% of voters identified as moderate/conservative.
  • 27% of all voters in the Democratic primary were moderates/conservatives voting for Sanders. Only 17.5% of all voters were moderates/conservatives voting for Clinton.
  • If we incorporate the ideology breakdown from the MSNBC poll breakdown (don't know why CNN didn't, they're using the same dataset), we find 7% of all voters were conservatives voting Sanders, only 1.8% were conservatives voting Clinton.
  • A full 41% of voters wanted the next president to be less liberal than Obama. Within this group, 51% voted for Sanders, only 27% voted Clinton.
  • That means 20% of all voters both voted Sanders and wanted a less liberal president. Only 11% of voters wanted Clinton and a less liberal president.
  • Given a choice between Clinton and Trump in the general, 35% of voters planned on voting for Trump and 18% chose neither. Of the Trump group, 63% of these voters voted for Sanders, only 10% Clinton.
  • OK, so a total of 22% of all voters in the Democratic primary were people who voted Sanders and would prefer Trump in a Trump/Clinton matchup. Doesn't reflect well on Bernie fans, right? BUT WAIT.
  • Here's the kicker: given a choice between Sanders and Trump in the general, 33% of all voters still wanted Trump! And of that 33%, 53% voted Sanders in the primary. Only 18% Clinton! And 14% of all voters still said they'd pick neither Sanders nor Trump!
  • Let's calculate: that means 17.5% of all voters in the primary, both voted Sanders and would vote Trump in the general even if given the choice of Sanders. Note that only 3.5% of voters fell into the category of "voted Clinton, but would vote Trump in the general given the choice of Clinton."
So I think that contingent of Sanders voters who would pick Trump over Clinton is probably not an accurate representation of the true feelings of Sanders voters, because based on the breakdown that group almost certainly contains undercover Trump voters. Now, if we look at Sanders voters who would vote neither Clinton nor Trump, then we know at least 14% of all voters are #NeverClinton Bernie diehards, plus whatever Bernie fans wanted to vote Trump (which I can't imagine is a significant number).

obvious caveats apply: I'm using basic probability multiplication, this doesn't account for polling error, this could all be wrong.

----------------------------------

Silver should be a has been after this primary season. But alas, the nyt will keep him on for the clicks.

A ton of people have been coming down on Silver this election, and I am not sure why because his models are just as excellent as ever. The major mistake Silver made was expecting Trump to lose steam, despite his polling analysis saying otherwise. But to be fair, it was the same mistake every pundit made. The data said he was doing great, but nobody, even the data journalists, believe the Republicans would truly end up with an orange clown as their nominee. Shit, it's clear even the Republicans didn't expect this outcome. 538 in general has been pretty open and thoughtful about the mistakes they've made.

Nate Silver predicts that Trump will either win or lose the general election.

This is pretty clearly Silver expressing frustration with this election season's overwhelming obsession with pouring over the minutest day-to-day poll changes, and how this shitty data analysis attempt at data analysis is substituting for the campaigns discussing actual issues and the media doing anything resembling journalism.

(yes, I am frustrated with it too)
(yes, data journalism 4-evar)

posted by schroedinger at 4:51 AM on May 11, 2016 [25 favorites]


NYT: Trump is not planning to release his tax returns before November
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:01 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


West Virginia's electorate does not match the national electorate. As pointed out above, Hillary said that she would put the coal industry and coal miners out of business. The Sander's campaign hammered her for it. All the while his team his attacking her in California for secretly being in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry.
posted by humanfont at 5:05 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump is not planning to release his tax returns before November

He can't do it. He'll never do it, because it will reveal what's been an open secret for a long time: he's not that rich and he reports negative income in order to pay no tax. I think the not that rich thing is what he's really concerned about. He's no billionaire. Without billionaire status he's just an orange asshole.
posted by dis_integration at 5:33 AM on May 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


hey, you know who else had big rallies as his key campaign weapon?

Bernie Sanders.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


He's no billionaire. Without billionaire status he's just an orange asshole.

With car doors that open like this. Not like this! Or like this!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:35 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


A ton of people have been coming down on Silver this election, and I am not sure why because his models are just as excellent as ever.

It's weird how if a pundit who goes by their gut gets it wrong, people shrug and book them again for the next round of Sunday morning shows. If Silver gets it wrong, it suddenly puts the whole notion of data-journalism in question. Like, have people never heard of the error term before?
posted by Think_Long at 6:41 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Thanks for that excellent breakdown, schroedinger. I was looking at the exit poll breakdown and my eyes started to cross.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:43 AM on May 11, 2016


Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he intended to enter the 2016 presidential race but his son’s death changed his plans. “It’s an awful thing to say—I think I would have been the best president” out of the current contenders, he told Good Morning America.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:02 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


So ... do any of the rest of you ever just stop in the middle of the day and think, "Holy shit. Donald Trump is the Republican Party nominee."
posted by kyrademon at 7:08 AM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Only when I'm sober.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:15 AM on May 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he intended to enter the 2016 presidential race but his son’s death changed his plans.

He and Clinton would have split the votes and Sanders would have won in a landslide.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:15 AM on May 11, 2016


He and Clinton would have split the votes and Sanders would have won in a landslide.

I think it would've come down to Biden versus Clinton, actually. I think inherent dislike of Clinton got a lot of people to give Sanders a second look, one they might not if Diamond Joe was there being wacky.
posted by schroedinger at 7:22 AM on May 11, 2016 [16 favorites]




Wow...Both CNN and MSNBC are giving Bernie's rally in Oregon significant airtime. Shocking.

Equally shocking, NPR led with Sanders' message that "we deed an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%." The narrative is supposed to be that Trump and Sanders voters are protesting the political establishment, not the economic inequality that establishment protects.

Also from NPR, How The Media Failed In Covering Donald Trump. ("Most egregiously, the media did not subject Trump's record to the kind of scrutiny other major candidates should receive.")
posted by Gelatin at 7:46 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]




He and Clinton would have split the votes and Sanders would have won in a landslide.

I think it would've come down to Biden versus Clinton, actually. I think inherent dislike of Clinton got a lot of people to give Sanders a second look, one they might not if Diamond Joe was there being wacky.


I agree, not sure there would have been a Sanders candidacy at this point with Biden in the mix.
posted by zutalors! at 7:48 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Honestly, I think that neither the Clinton nor the Sanders camp wants to admit how much of Sanders's success is basically based on his being a white man. There are a lot of people who would literally vote for any white man over a woman who is seen as the successor to a black man. Admitting that is a problem for Sanders and his supporters for obvious reasons, but it's also a problem for Clinton and hers, because it points to the fact that misogyny is going to be a very serious problem for her going forward.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:00 AM on May 11, 2016 [17 favorites]


Can we not do this again, please and thanks?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:02 AM on May 11, 2016 [24 favorites]


The major mistake Silver made was expecting Trump to lose steam, despite his polling analysis saying otherwise. But to be fair, it was the same mistake every pundit made. The data said he was doing great, but nobody, even the data journalists, believe the Republicans would truly end up with an orange clown as their nominee. Shit, it's clear even the Republicans didn't expect this outcome.

That's the thing- they should have followed the data if they were true to their ethos. 538 should have been the lone voice in the wild, calling out a black swan while the rest of the pundits naysayed. But they didn't, and Nate Silve didn't. So he's lost his wunderbar status. He's another conventional thinker for that mistake.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:02 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Populist" Trump is Revising His Economic Plan to Make it Even More Typically Republican
Politico reports that Donald Trump is revising his economic plan. Given how many times we've been told that Trump is an "economic populist," I was curious to learn which experts he's asked to help him do the revising. Piven and Cloward? Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein?

Um, no. These guys:
... the campaign last month contacted at least two prominent conservative economists -- Larry Kudlow, the CNBC television host, and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation and a longtime Wall Street Journal writer -- to spearhead an effort to update the package....

Kudlow and Moore are well known voices in conservative economic circles. They are two of the founders, with economist and former Ronald Reagan adviser Art Laffer and former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes, of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, established last year to advance for conservative economic policies.
Oh. Well then.

[...]

That's what the Trump-Kudlow-Moore economic plan will be like (assuming Trump agrees to Kudlow and Moore's suggestions) -- no specificity, inevitable huge cuts to domestic programs, and Trump angrily insisting that none of that is true and he won't cut anything important.

And even if that's true, even if the plan looks just like every other GOP plan, the press will still call Trump an economic populist.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:04 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


They basically said that on MSNBC - Hillary won WV in 2008 because people didn't want to vote for a black man, now they'd rather vote for a white man than a white woman tied to a black man's policies. I kind of groan when people are like THEY'RE HEARING BERNIE'S MESSAGE because to me it's like...maybe? I think the sincerity of Sanders support varies by region/demographic etc.
posted by zutalors! at 8:05 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think the sincerity of Sanders support varies by region/demographic etc.

I wouldn't describe it as a lack of sincerity. A different priority, and one that we personally might find pretty abhorrent, but not necessarily insincere.

I think recognizing the sincerity of the beliefs of our ideological opponents is the only way to win this thing in the long term.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:08 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look: I think that's the most plausible way to read the West Virginia exit poll results, in which Sanders did super well among people who thought that Obama, who is way to the right of Sanders, was too liberal. I think it's a pretty plausible explanation for why Sanders consistently does better among people who identify as moderates than he does among people who identify as leaning liberal. (He does well among people who identify as very liberal, which makes sense. He does better among moderates than among people who identify as pretty liberal.) I don't think that it makes any sense to see the appeal of Sanders as purely ideological, which is not to deny that many, many people like him for purely ideological reasons.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:09 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think that's fair, showbiz_liz.
posted by zutalors! at 8:09 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really disagree that we should not be allowed to talk about race and gender wrt support in this Democratic primary. It's not "doing this," it's important.
posted by zutalors! at 8:10 AM on May 11, 2016 [13 favorites]




For what it's worth, based on the exit poll data either Trump supporters were voting in the primary, or Bernie supporters in WV are a conservative, bizarre outlier.

It's been mentioned that West Virginia is a latecomer to the conservative shift from the Democrats to the GOP. Oklahoma and Kentucky have similar things happening -- lifelong Democrats who are very conservative but unwilling to make the leap to the GOP. Thus Kentucky and Oklahoma have elected Democratic governors in the last 15 years and West Virginia has had numerous Democratic leaders, but you'd never mistake them for progressives.

I think people on the left forget that the Democrats are not a single, monolithic set of lefties, and this is why you see so much anger at Hillary being center-left. People want to pull the party left, but the consequences of that strong pull mean giving up more rural states. As a long term strategy it makes sense given the drain of electoral votes away from rural states, but it also just reinforces the coastal nature of the Democrats. And it means when you have an opportunity like you do in Kansas and Oklahoma, where the electorate is now fed up with their state leadership, you can't capitalize on it by seizing state legislatures.
posted by dw at 8:15 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honestly, I think that neither the Clinton nor the Sanders camp wants to admit how much of Sanders's success is basically based on his being a white man. There are a lot of people who would literally vote for any white man over a woman who is seen as the successor to a black man.
Well, the logic you've outlined above to malign Sanders supporters as crypto-racists could easily be applied to Clinton voters in the 2008 primaries. And if they were racists in 2008, why would anyone think they've changed their stripes in 2016? Seriously, just stop it.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:21 AM on May 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


[There's a tension here between talking about demographics and ideology in the election and dipping back into another cycle of "but let me tell you what candidate x's supporters really think" and at this point probably almost everyone who has been reading some of this long string of threads has some level of allergic reaction to the latter. Taking extra care than would normally be needed to avoid falling into that kind of conflated framing will help stuff stay workable in here.]
posted by cortex at 8:21 AM on May 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think a lot of Clinton supporters in 2008 were crypto-racists, for what it's worth.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:24 AM on May 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Well, the logic you've outlined above to malign Sanders supporters as crypto-racists could easily be applied to Clinton voters in the 2008 primaries.

I hate to invoke what's become a cliche, but in all seriousness: Not all Sanders supporters. Not even a plurality of Sanders supporters. Specifically the Sanders supporters who are voting for a self-declared socialist while stating that Obama is too liberal.

Also, Clinton this year is winning the states that she lost in 2008, and losing the states that she previously won. Her voters in 2016 are in large part not the people who supported her last time.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:26 AM on May 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think it's possible that there's a range of motivation behind people who vote for Sanders, which I consider somewhat separate from "supporters" and I think people can talk about some of those motivations without people in this thread feeling personally maligned.
posted by zutalors! at 8:26 AM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


they should have followed the data if they were true to their ethos.

They did follow their data, and their data said that polling early in primaries is unreliable. Silver and Co. needed to find a model that predicted Herman Cain's fade in 2012 and Trump's sustained poll numbers in 2016. Maybe you can do it in retrospect, but I'm unaware of any empirical evidence that readily distinguishes Trump from the pretenders of 2012. "You should have predicted a black swan" isn't how any of this works.
posted by chrchr at 8:31 AM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


We've had less than 50 presidential elections. Only about 25 since the invention of Television, and only 6 since the Internet became a thing. They're all black swans.
posted by mmoncur at 8:39 AM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


It shouldn't have been this hard to figure out that we were in uncharted waters. Fringe candidates fade out historically, but they also historically don't display the total dominance Trump did in this race. Cain and Romney regularly traded places at the top of the polls during that surge, while if RealClearPolitics poll reports are to be believed nobody but fringe candidates (i.e. Trump and Carson) led national polling after July 7 -- except for one poll in one week of February that gave Cruz a 2% lead.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:40 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm unaware of any empirical evidence that readily distinguishes Trump from the pretenders of 2012. "You should have predicted a black swan" isn't how any of this works.

But he just kept winning. No one's saying Silver should've called it in July, but by November it was a bunch of articles about why the data SEEMS like it's SAYING Trump will win, but...

(I didn't believe it either, because I didn't WANT to believe it either, but I'm also not a professional political statistician)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:41 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's hard to believe apocalypse will come. I'm not mad at Nate Silver, but I have stopped making DrunkNateSilver jokes.
posted by corb at 8:44 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ehn, it's also the case that Trump was only getting 30-35% of the vote in most of the early races that he won. It was plausible at the time to suggest that most of the rest of the votes would go to another candidate if it was a two-person race, and that once it became a two-person race he'd hit a ceiling.

You can see the same analysis in this very thread: Once it becomes a two-person race with Clinton, surely Trump will hit a ceiling and lose.
posted by clawsoon at 8:50 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


For those waiting with bated breath, Trump has finally unveiled his nickname for Sanders:

Crazy Bernie.

The collection so far:
Low-Energy Jeb
Liddle Marco [Trump has explicitly requested this spelling, not a joke]
Lyin' Ted
Crooked Hillary
Goofy Elizabeth Warren
Crazy Bernie

He really hit his stride with Marco and Ted but seems to be running out of creative juice since then, imo. Crazy Bernie is not half-bad, but Goofy Elizabeth Warren is a flub for sure. Sad!
posted by sallybrown at 8:50 AM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


> Clinton has an 88% chance of beating Trump, while Sanders has (would have had) a 97% chance of beating Trump.

Trump surges in support, almost even with Clinton in national U.S. poll - "Donald Trump's support has surged and he is now running nearly even with Democrat Hillary Clinton among likely U.S. voters, a dramatic turnaround since he became the Republican party's presumptive presidential nominee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday... 41 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, and 40 percent backed Trump, with 19 percent not decided on either yet, according to the online poll of 1,289 people conducted from Friday to Tuesday. The poll had a credibility interval of about 3 percentage points."
posted by kliuless at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, a literally deadly meme targets Sanders supporters. It's easy to say that this is just the work of a single sociopath on the internet but this shit is only going to get worse.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


Really, he pales compared to Dubya. I mean, "Lyin' Ted" and "Crooked Hillary" are not nearly as euphonic as "Pootie-Poot" or "Turd Blossom."
posted by entropicamericana at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, OverlappingElvis.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:55 AM on May 11, 2016


Crazy Bernie.

I feel like now you can do a proper parody of Sondheim's "Someone is Waiting."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:56 AM on May 11, 2016


The latest on the Ryan/Trump rift.
posted by Wordshore at 8:59 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump surges in support, almost even with Clinton in national U.S. poll

Online polls are basically worthless.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:00 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


They're all black swans.

Sure. But you can't base your punditry on WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST LEAST PREDICTABLE THING, I'M GOING WITH THAT.

It would have been neat in a hindsighty sort of way if, as a complete fluke, Nate Silver had leaned toward a Trump candidacy in the absence of good numbers. But he didn't, because that seemed like a completely nutty tack to take. And if you want to keep being a sober and reliable statistics journalist, you probably shouldn't opt for the nuttiest possible prediction in the absence of data. You should probably tack pretty (small c) conservative. Which is exactly what happened.

Nobody saw this coming. Nate Silver isn't a fucking shaman. Cut the dude some slack.
posted by Sara C. at 9:11 AM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


OK, here you go:

Someone is winning,
Wrong as Donald,
Stubborn and dogged as Hill’ry...
Marco...
Someone is winning,
Firm as Hill’ry,
Social and lefty as Bernie...
Barack...
Would we vote them even if we met them?
Did I miss them? Is the campaign done?
A Hill’ry sort of Donald,
A Marco-ish Barack.
Vote for me, I'm ready now,
The summer’s just begun
Someone will vote them,
Lost as Marco,
Sudden, unlikely as Bernie...
Hill’ry...
Someone will wake me,
Comrade Bernie,
Bullish and take charge as Hill’ry...
Barack...
Can we vote now? Must we wait for so long?
Maybe so, but who will this one be?
Our angry Donald, new Barack,
Small Marco, Lady Hill’ry, crazy Bernie,
Vote for me!
I'll hurry!
Vote for me!
Hurry!
Vote for me!
Hurry!
Vote for me!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:13 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Nate Silver has just basically become this guy, and no one should really begrudge him for that.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:14 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I saw it coming. I am the new Nate Silver, 538 is MINE!

But to be serious, the NPR article posted above on media failure to cover Trump mentioned an NYT article in March that asked various reporters when they thought Trump was actually serious and might win. A lot of them said somewhere around November/December. For me it was probably around the first or second debate when I actually saw him on stage where I developed that feeling in the pit of my stomach.
posted by FJT at 9:19 AM on May 11, 2016


Quite honestly, I can't take ANY polls seriously anymore. If it's a phone poll, there's a significant part of likely voters that they aren't talking to. I have a landline that I don't even answer and the ringer is muted. If I get a call on my cell from a number I don't recognize, I let it go to voice mail. So, nobody has ever, not once in 22 years of voting, polled me. Or my husband, or my parents or actually anyone I know in person. Where do they get the contact information for these people? I really want to know exactly who they're asking.

(I've also never been exit polled either, which is odd because I vote in every single election I can.)
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:24 AM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


hollygoheavy, you're obviously the margin of error.
posted by sour cream at 9:26 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


For me it was probably around the first or second debate when I actually saw him on stage where I developed that feeling in the pit of my stomach.

For me it's when he called POWs losers, and went up in the polls instead of down.
posted by sallybrown at 9:27 AM on May 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Trump surges in support, almost even with Clinton in national U.S. poll

This poll has the same problem as the Rasmussen poll everyone wrung their hands about last week -- it offers a third party alternative but doesn't name names. Thus, it's not "undecided" but "mythical third party candidate come and save us!"

If you force a choice without a third party safety valve, it's generally Hillary +6. That number hasn't changed much.
posted by dw at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


OverlappingElvis: Meanwhile, a literally deadly meme targets Sanders supporters. It's easy to say that this is just the work of a single sociopath on the internet but this shit is only going to get worse.

Well, he did say it was "Bernie sander's glowstick", presumably referring to some euphemism for sanding Bernies?

(I joke because it's just too depressing for words otherwise.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2016


So, basically, Trump's economic team is from the same ideological base as that which wrecked the Kansas economy. Awesome.
posted by eclectist at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2016


Quite honestly, I can't take ANY polls seriously anymore.

You should never take individual polls seriously. You should always take a macro view while taking a micro view on methods.

On a macro level, polls are very predictive. On a micro level, they're snapshots of a moment in time of a particular group of people you were able to round up into a box.
posted by dw at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


If it's a phone poll, there's a significant part of likely voters that they aren't talking to.

They can undo this on the back end by weighting people according to the inverse of their response probability -- each respondent from an unlikely-to-respond set of demographics counts more than the typical respondent. Each polling house will have their own secret sauce and some of them will work better than others but the basic principle is very much Not Rocket Surgery.

Where do they get the contact information for these people?

They don't need contact information. They can just dial random numbers from the universe of potentially-valid phone numbers.

Or my husband, or my parents or actually anyone I know in person. ... (I've also never been exit polled either, which is odd because I vote in every single election I can.)

It's not odd that you've never been polled about political stuff or exit-polled. Hardly anyone is, and hardly anyone needs to be because sampling math is glorious and wonderful and almost as good a proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy as beer is. Short answer: 1000 people is a very good sample of 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 or a million billion trillion kazillion schmillion. Population size doesn't matter and is usually assumed to be infinite anyway.

But yeah, you want to pay more attention to polling averages and aggregators like Silver, Wang, or RCP than to any individual poll.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see how many of the remaining #NeverTrump holdouts change their tune if it looks like he'll win.
posted by clawsoon at 9:35 AM on May 11, 2016


And if you want to keep being a sober and reliable statistics journalist, you probably shouldn't opt for the nuttiest possible prediction in the absence of data.

But that's the thing, isn't it? There was far from an absence of data. There was a surplus of data that was dismissed and discarded because it went against conventional wisdom. And instead of taking that fuzzy-looking data seriously, going, "hmm, the polls seem to indicate people really in favor of this nutty celebrity, let's examine that scenario and see where it leads us", Nate Silver and Co. opted for conventional wisdom that claimed that it was unthinkable. And in doing so, he became no worse or less than a conventional thinker.

But we already have plenty of conventional thinkers in punditry. In times of uncertainty, we need unconventionalists and iconoclasts who can safeguard the republic by being dissenters against conventional wisdom, as the mythical tenth man. This election, with its surfeit of sensationalists and trolls, I'm going with the Diggler.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:35 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Quinnipiac poll people were worried about showing Trump/Clinton basically tied also had an overrepresentation of white people.

I basically think ALL discussion of this election takes into account an overrepresentation of white people. Unless widespread disenfranchisement comes into play, and I mean real disenfranchisement, not "closed primary," minorities are not going to vote Trump or third party in large numbers. We need to focus on making sure that disenfranchisement doesn't happen.
posted by zutalors! at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


Also, it's not just the Cubs surge; it's the Mariners off to their third best start ever and leading the AL West.

It's not just a Cubs series; it's a Cubs-Mariners World Series. I mean, that practically guarantees the End Times. As in during Game 7 the bullpen door will open up and Jesus will literally come in to save.
posted by dw at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Analysis of the Democratic primary electorate in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma, even Oregon, has less than 0 applicability to the general election. Neither does either of the two polls this week showing a Trump "surge", where the whiteness factor is 3-4 points off of the 2012 turnout, or the options stacked with a 3rd candidate to be named later, who won't be on the ballot. I'll start saying the sky is falling when Clinton polls down 2-4 points in Florida to Trump in a head to head matchup across 3 or more polls, and not before. The electoral map is still TERRIBLE for Trump. He could win the popular vote by 1% (which remains HIGHLY unlikely) and still lose in the electoral college by Obama numbers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not just a Cubs series; it's a Cubs-Mariners World Series. I mean, that practically guarantees the End Times. As in during Game 7 the bullpen door will open up and Jesus will literally come in to save.
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, the crowd in the stadium saying, Come and see.

And I saw, and beheld a dugout: and he that emerged from it had a ball; and a cap was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
posted by Gelatin at 9:41 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


We need to focus on making sure that disenfranchisement doesn't happen.

Yeah, can this be the election where we focus on ending voter suppression once and for all? What can we as volunteers do in order to fight against it?
posted by Apocryphon at 9:46 AM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


The cooler guy has won pretty much all the US Presidential elections since at least Carter. The nerd has always lost. Trump is not a cool guy, but he's a bully. In the American political schoolyard that may be close enough.
posted by clawsoon at 9:50 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, but also, the more positive campaign usually wins, and I think Clinton's is much more positive than Trump's, which is an engine running on anger.
posted by zutalors! at 9:52 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the Democratic leadership still nicknaming Trump "Dangerous Donald"? Because they should watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster and knock that off. Ahem.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:53 AM on May 11, 2016


can this be the election where we focus on ending voter suppression once and for all

As campaign volunteers? Nothing aside from the GOTV operations of each campaign. Which I'm sure people at the campaign will know a lot more about than I would.

However, if you really want to be useful at preventing voter suppression in general, become a local poll worker! My guess is that a LOT of suppression comes down to the individual gatekeepers at each polling place.

On the macro level, my guess is that this would be a completely separate activity from electoral-cycle volunteering, and is probably more about preventing voter ID laws from being passed (or initiating legislation to remove them), or on a more local level getting involved with whatever committee sets polling places and determines their hours, etc. I'm also curious if groups like the ACLU, or other orgs, are doing this work.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


There's so much complexity and misinformation. In the NY primary, I went to my regular polling plac and they tried to tell me I had to go to a completely different place. Turns out you had to line up my address with my polling place number on this sheet, and the woman had lined it up wrong.

This only worked out for me because I insisted I was in the right place and the polling official came to investigate my frustration, and found the error. Once I went in to the actual voting area, of course they had all my info, but they at first weren't even going to let me in.

Even more troubling is that my street is the same name as a number of projects, and I think part of the original poll workers issue was that people in the projects vote in the further location. I had to bite my lip to not say "I don't live in the projects... I know I vote here."

This is the kind of thing we're up against...also why do the people in the projects have to go so far?

I think lots of GOTV with a lot of "here's what you do if they say no" added in, plus advocacy for making the whole process a lot easier.
posted by zutalors! at 10:00 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


The thing about voter suppression is that people really need to pay attention to state-level races, because that's where a lot of that stuff gets determined. I am sure the Democrats are going to put a huge amount of effort into counteracting attempts to stop people from voting, but boy would it be more effective just to elect people who didn't have that agenda in the first place.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:05 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, can this be the election where we focus on ending voter suppression once and for all? What can we as volunteers do in order to fight against it?

Register voters.

Also, you can register voters.

After that, register some more voters.

Then, maybe participate in more voter registration drives.

Finally, when you're sick of registering voters, register some more voters.

After you do that, go out and register more voters.

Do this every week between now and the registration deadline in your state.

But do get training from a campaign (or other reputable organization) so that you make sure you're doing it both legally and effectively.

Finally, if you are an attorney, work with a campaign or a poltical party to volunteer as a poll watcher on election day.
posted by dersins at 10:05 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I think my Trump spoiler theory in the Democratic primary pans out. Check it out:

Ideology & Candidate Preference Weirdness
Percent who voted Sanders and want a less liberal president: 20%
Percent who voted Sanders and would pick Trump over Clinton: 22%
Percent who voted Sanders, and would Trump over Sanders: 17.5%

Basically, no matter what direction you come from you're getting the same answer: ~20% of the voters in the Democratic primary were uncommonly conservative Sanders voters.

Demographic Weirdness
AI noticed something weird about the age distribution of Trump voters in the WV Republican primary and Sanders voters in the Democratic primary.

Check the age demographic breakdown of Sanders voters, per usual his share drops with age--and then at 65+ it jumps 8%, from 39% of voters age 50-64 to 47% of voters age 65+. This really wouldn't mean anything if it wasn't for the fact that this is not seen in any other state exit poll. Literally, in every other one you get a decrease, even if it's small.

Check the Trump share of those age groups in the Republican primary. He gets 63% of 17-29, 78% of 30-44, 83% of 45-64--and then drops to 69% in the 65+ category. In every other state, Trump either has had the same share of every age group, or his supporters lean older. You can count on his share of the 45-64 and 65+ age groups being within a few percentage points of one another. A 14% drop is cray.

OK, now look at the age distribution of all voters in the Republican Party: 17% were ages 17-29. 26% 30-44. 41% ages 45-64. And then 17% ages 65+.

In what other state has the percentage of Republican primary voters aged 17-29 tied the percentage of primary voters aged 65+? If you laughed your head off and said that would never happen, you're right, none of them.

In what other state has the percentage of Republican primary voters aged 30-44 been higher than the percentage of primary voters aged 65+? Only one: Indiana. They were also tied in Maryland.

Does the 65+ age group just not like voting? No, because if you look at the Democratic side you look at a more normal age distribution: 15% 17-29, 22% 30-44, 37% 45-64, 25% 65+. Though that is curious in its own way, because normally the Democratic side skews younger. Save in West Virginia.

Summary
Basically:
- ideology results indicate a large percentage of Trump voters went for Sanders
- Sanders had an unusually high percentage of 65+ supporters
- Trump had an unusually low percentage of 65+ voters
- An unusually low number of 65+ voters voted in the Republican Party


In conclusion: DID THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN RAID RETIREMENT HOMES TO SPOIL THE PRIMARIES?!

Seriously though--there are apparently a bunch of pissed-off conservative grandparents who want to screw over Clinton.
posted by schroedinger at 10:06 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Republicans can't vote in Democratic primaries in West Virginia, schroedinger.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:07 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think that a better conclusion is that a lot of 65+ people in West Virginia are lifelong Democrats who won't switch their party affiliations but are actually quite conservative. And they voted for Sanders for reasons other than ideology.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:09 AM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


According to Snopes - the Sanders Glowstick Meme originated at 4Chan (this is my surprised face), and some people who were actually ON 4Chan have already forwarded it to the FBI (now that REALLY is my surprised face).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:12 AM on May 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


I edited my comment to replace "Republican grandparents" with "conservative grandparents".

And now that I wrote all that up I'm finding a whole bunch of news agencies are coming to the same conclusion. And here I thought I was special. :(

(though nobody documented the age distribution weirdness)
posted by schroedinger at 10:12 AM on May 11, 2016


But that's the thing, isn't it? There was far from an absence of data. There was a surplus of data that was dismissed and discarded because it went against conventional wisdom.

Well, not really. There's an important difference between Silver this year and the usual punditry.

The usual punditry is the same old shit every year, and we know that most of it is wrong, but they just don't give a shit. We'll be hearing yet again about how you've got to win the independents because they're the most important, even though we know that most independents are just closet partisans and the remainder of actual independents are too fractured, ignorant, and unmotivated to be appealed to as a coherent group. We're be hearing yet again how gerrymandering causes polarization when we know that that isn't so (or is at most a very minor contributor). That's the conventional wisdom.

Silver didn't discount the early poll results because of conventional wisdom. He was pretty explicit that he was discounting the early poll results because there were good reasons to do so drawn from an actual no-shit theory drawn from real-life, actual, no-shit political science*, that was as well corroborated by actual no-shit data as any theory of the current nomination system could be. It's these parts -- drawn from real theory that was backed up with real data -- that separates Silver's decision from just following the conventional wisdom. The other big difference is that the UCLA crowd are, right now, trying to figure out where they went wrong and what happened.

*As opposed to the crap by George Will or whoever that you find in the horrifyingly mislabeled "political science" section in B&N.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:16 AM on May 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


According to Snopes - the Sanders Glowstick Meme originated at 4Chan (this is my surprised face), and some people who were actually ON 4Chan have already forwarded it to the FBI (now that REALLY is my surprised face).

yeah this is the special US election edition of a "classic" 4chan ruse
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:18 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Really disappointed that I didn't find "hand cheese" anywhere in this post - It's a really fetid and slightly translucent cheese made from sour milk that most people will not voluntarily eat if they see it - it typically gives people gas, but it's strangely popular with a subset of people for inexplicable reasons, and those people really love it.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:33 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


a "classic" 4chan ruse

"Ruse" seems a bit on the mild side for something that is in many ways tantamount to attempted murder.
posted by dersins at 10:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, you can say that ideology didn't play a part, but the fact remains that a disproportionate number of conservatives (especially Trump voters) voted for Sanders in the primaries compared to Clinton voters. 17.5% of Democratic primary voters who voted Sanders in the primary would choose Trump in the general. Usually candidates see ~3% of their primary voters state they'll vote for the opposition in the general. Indeed, Clinton pulled 3.5% in West Virginia. So that really is an aberration.

Another tidbit: this is the most male Democratic primary of any in the exit polls. Normally you're looking at 10% more women or more (over 20% in some states). In this case, there's only a 6% difference. Given that Trump voters lean towards men, this adds further weight to the Trump-voters-voting-for-Sanders hypothesis.
posted by schroedinger at 10:44 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


but the fact remains that a disproportionate number of conservatives (especially Trump voters) voted for Sanders in the primaries compared to Clinton voters.

Do we know these people are conservatives, rather than people who just want to burn shit down?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:46 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it's true that Trump voters are voting for Sanders. That's what they said in exit polls. It's not obvious to me that it's some sort of effort to spoil the primary. I think it may be that Trump voters just prefer Sanders, because voters don't vote solely based on candidate's positions on issues. And it seems blindingly obvious to me, as someone who has done a whole lot of direct voter contact, that voters do not choose candidates based solely on the candidates' positions on issues.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:48 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, can this be the election where we focus on ending voter suppression once and for all? What can we as volunteers do in order to fight against it?

If you're a lawyer, paralegal, or law school student, you can volunteer with Election Protection, associated with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. You will need to go through training before you can man the hotlines that are run on primary days and on Election Day in November, so don't wait until the last minute to volunteer. You can sign up to be contacted here:

https://connect.lawyerscommittee.org/volunteer-opportunities-with-election-protection/


Or you can email volunteer@866ourvote.org or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:55 AM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Reuters/Ipsos: In the most recent survey, 41 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, and 40 percent backed Trump, with 19 percent not decided on either yet,
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:57 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: I think it's true that Trump voters are voting for Sanders. That's what they said in exit polls. It's not obvious to me that it's some sort of effort to spoil the primary.

I'd agreed. But:

I think it may be that Trump voters just prefer Sanders, because voters don't vote solely based on candidate's positions on issues.

It also depends on which issues are important to you. If trade and Wall Street are your hot-button issue, and you could care less about social issues, a preference for Trump-then-Sanders makes reasonable sense. If you're casually racist and hear that Sanders listens respectfully to brown people, there's a chance you'll say, "Whatever, I hate hedge fund managers more than Mexicans."
posted by clawsoon at 11:01 AM on May 11, 2016


"That's the thing- they should have followed the data if they were true to their ethos. 538 should have been the lone voice in the wild, calling out a black swan while the rest of the pundits naysayed. But they didn't, and Nate Silve didn't. So he's lost his wunderbar status. He's another conventional thinker for that mistake."

… you really don't understand how probability and prediction works, do you?
posted by klangklangston at 11:01 AM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Reuters/Ipsos: In the most recent survey, 41 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, and 40 percent backed Trump, with 19 percent not decided on either yet,

Yeah, that got posted upthread an hour ago. They include an imaginary third party candidate in the question, which is probably why it disagrees with the aggregate polls showing Clinton +6.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:04 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that got posted upthread an hour ago.

Oops, sorry, thread is moving too quickly.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:05 AM on May 11, 2016


Do we know these people are conservatives, rather than people who just want to burn shit down?

From the exit polling, yes. That's what my previous comments have been about. Those are all calculated using exit poll data.
posted by schroedinger at 11:06 AM on May 11, 2016


… you really don't understand how probability and prediction works, do you?

Who needs to know, when Carl "the Dig" Diggler eats stats for breakfast and churns out gut calls- that are right! Probability and stats, like economics, presume human beings are rational actors who make rational decisions. And this is a season for extra irrationality.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:08 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fortunately we aren't actually responsible for reading every comment in these threads, r317. God that job would really suck.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:09 AM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


Interestingly, that article is written by one of the Diggler guys, who while admitting that both are amateurs and are "neither statisticians nor political scientists", goes on to attack 538's methodology and data models in detail. I hadn't heard of Benchmark Politics, either, but good to hear that there's more competition in the data journalism space.

Despite the pretense of scientific detachment, Silver’s models are hardly unbiased. The moment you decide to weight some data sets over others, you’ve introduced bias. Silver’s failed Polls-Plus model incorporated indicators that had virtually no predictive value this year, like endorsements and fundraising totals. Why? Because of Silver’s dogmatic adherence to “The Party Decides,” a thesis in political science that says nominees are chosen by party establishment elites. That theory is currently buried under a pile of Trump signs. Silver’s sanctimonious claims that Trump could never be the nominee — complete with FiveThirtyEight’s invention of an “Endorsement Primary” — were a pretty clear case of using Diggler-style gut, not science, to guide your predictions.

If it seems I’m being too hard on Silver now, that’s because I am. But we should all feel bamboozled. If the quants had not ignored Trump’s soaring popularity all last year, perhaps the GOP establishment would not have sat on their hands as he waltzed to the nomination. And if the same pundits had not been writing Sanders’s obituary before any votes were cast, perhaps that race would be even closer. Maybe a more subjective form of analysis, such as going out and listening to voters, would have understood their passions better than the data journalists’ models.

posted by Apocryphon at 11:15 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Re WV, I also wonder whether there isn't a problem with the exit polling data in terms of people self-identifying as "conservative". I'm from a red state and have lived in blue states for my entire adult life. In my experience, most people who don't explicitly consider themselves on the opposite end of the political spectrum from the status quo in their state (liberal in red states, conservative in blue states) will self-identify as whatever the going label is in their area. Even if their actual beliefs aren't consistent with that.

There are probably a lot of "conservatives" in West Virginia who have no idea that their internal political compass is more blue than they entirely realize. Could that explain the "conservative" Sanders voters?
posted by Sara C. at 11:23 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ad spending in Oregon:
Team Sanders: $123,000
Team Clinton: $0

And in California
Team Sanders: $555,000
Team Clinton: $0
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:29 AM on May 11, 2016


and Kentucky:

Team Clinton: $178,000
Team Sanders: $93,000
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:30 AM on May 11, 2016


I mean, I guess that's an option, but these are people who vote Sanders and then explicitly say they'd vote Trump in the election. So wherever their compass is, it's pointing towards that.

I have been reading more articles that say West Virginia has a disproportionate number of people who are conservative registered Democrats but mostly vote Republican. It is a legit conservative state, also. I don't think these are secret socialists.
posted by schroedinger at 11:33 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


That makes sense, roomthreeseventeen: this is Sanders's last stand, and Clinton is conserving resources for the general election.

Washington Post article: Trump's candidacy sparking a surge in citizenship, voter applications.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


and Kentucky:

Team Clinton: $178,000
Team Sanders: $93,000


So what's going on is:
Clinton doesn't need Oregon. And she doesn't need to start spending until Bernie actually takes a lead on California; he's still averaging 10 points back.

Kentucky is close, and I think that's a case where it's a cheap enough state from an advertising market perspective that it's worth putting money into to disrupt the Bernie "winning streak" narrative.

Sinking $178K into Kentucky is nothing compared to the millions that Bernie will have to dump into California to even get a win, much less turn it into the blowout he'll need to have a real argument about the nomination.
posted by dw at 11:36 AM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


it's possible that a lot, maybe the majority, of Sanders voters are not staunch zizek-quoting socialists, but random registered democrats pissed off at Clinton/"Washington"/everything
posted by theodolite at 11:43 AM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


Interestingly, that article is written by one of the Diggler guys, who while admitting that both are amateurs and are "neither statisticians nor political scientists", goes on to attack 538's methodology and data models in detail.

This entire editorial is a series of cheap shots. Silver & Co. have spent plenty of time in articles and their podcast discussing where they went wrong, how their model failed during this election, and how they were trying to improve it. This dude is digging up articles from last summer and acting like it's something Silver believed until recently, when he had basically disavowed them by December. He says nothing they haven't already said months ago.

But to be honest, based on his website and social media he has really got some personal feelings against Silver. Like, 50% or more of what this guy posts is directed towards Silver. It is really bizarre, especially since I am not sure Silver has ever responded or even acknowledged he exists.
posted by schroedinger at 11:45 AM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


If the quants had not ignored Trump’s soaring popularity all last year, perhaps the GOP establishment would not have sat on their hands as he waltzed to the nomination.

I feel fairly confident that the following conversation never happened at the RNC:
"We've gotta do something about Trump!"
"Relax, Nate Silver says he won't last."
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM on May 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


> "Do we know these people are conservatives, rather than people who just want to burn shit down?"

Trump Voters For Sanders: Because Some Men Just Want To Feel The World Bern.
posted by kyrademon at 11:51 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think these are secret socialists.

That's not really what I'm suggesting. What I am suggesting is that you probably have some self-identified conservatives who lean more towards Sanders because he's the white guy, or because he's for the 99% as opposed to Big Business, or he's an "outsider", or whatever weirdo rorschach reason that doesn't directly correspond with his politics (which, it should be mentioned, aren't particularly socialist, they're reformist liberal).

Those people are probably politically moderate or even slightly liberal, but because everyone they know calls themselves a conservative, they've always called themselves conservative, they usually vote Republican, and they have some conservative beliefs, they will ALWAYS self-identify as conservative no matter what they actually believe deep down.

I've seen the same thing happen with people from blue states, who all think of themselves as liberals despite having a lot of conservative political beliefs and actually being quite reactionary. Sanders has captured basically 100% of those folks, too. And many to most of them are in the #NeverHillary camp now, because they can stomach the idea of Trump because they're actually much further to the right than they self-identify.
posted by Sara C. at 11:54 AM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Has anyone yet heard if anyone is gonna run with the fact that Trump was apparently named in hte Panama Papers?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:55 AM on May 11, 2016


Has anyone yet heard if anyone is gonna run with the fact that Trump was apparently named in hte Panama Papers?

Any publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


But to be honest, based on his website and social media he has really got some personal feelings against Silver. Like, 50% or more of what this guy posts is directed towards Silver. It is really bizarre, especially since I am not sure Silver has ever responded or even acknowledged he exists.

I think it's more like Nate Silver and 538 have been the king of the hill for quite a while, and everyone loves taking potshots at the king, and especially loves it when they occasionally fail to miss. The other co-creator of the Dig alluded to other purveyors of data journalism in a different interview, not just Silver itself. And it's not even the Diggler guys only who like to attack 538- even before he took to parody and calling Trump the winner back in September, Matt Bruenig was cautioning against the promises of the 538 project back in 2014 - far before the Trump debacle.

On a meta-note, it's interesting how there seems to be a general faith in data journalism for predicting political results here, while it tends to be looked at with skepticism and scorn in other fields such as business, or criminal behavior. Shouldn't the buzzword-laden, sexy field of data science be critiqued in all forms, not just when Web 2.0 brogrammers and Minority Report-cosplaying police departments do it? Why do data pundits get a pass? Is it just because the alternative- the conventional, gut-based pundits, are just such awful blowhards? Well, I guess in a world at the verge of being taken over by trolls, it's good that satirists like Carl Diggler and Matt Breunig are able to fight chaos with chaos. (I mean, this was presaged for over a decade with the rise of The Daily Show and news satire in general as a replacement for real news. The jesters are holding court.)
posted by Apocryphon at 12:07 PM on May 11, 2016


I think it's true that Trump voters are voting for Sanders. That's what they said in exit polls. It's not obvious to me that it's some sort of effort to spoil the primary. I think it may be that Trump voters just prefer Sanders, because voters don't vote solely based on candidate's positions on issues.

Seems to me you can explain a lot of these results with garden-variety sexism.
posted by phearlez at 12:08 PM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


Watching CNBC, it's been pretty obvious that Larry Kudlow has been kissing up to Trump for a few months.
"There is no recession. Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S economy continues moving ahead — quarter after quarter, year after year — defying dire forecasts and delivering positive growth. In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom….

There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen … Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told. "
- Larry Kudlow, December 2007
posted by malocchio at 12:40 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, can this be the election where we focus on ending voter suppression once and for all? What can we as volunteers do in order to fight against it?

I would love to see some independent group take on a non-partisan effort against voter suppression. For example, a service where they will verify whether you are currently registered in good stead, way in advance of the deadline, to avoid New York type problems.

Could pull in Sanders voters voters especially, Latino and African American groups, but also Corb-type Republicans and of course independents. The organizational efforts could form the basis for ongoing advocacy and mobilization on this issue. I would volunteer for this in a second.

Is the League of Women Voters still around? That name might be problematic this year though.
posted by msalt at 12:53 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The League of Women Voters is very much still around and I think is pretty active on this issue. They also do a lot of candidate forums and the like.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's not just a Cubs series; it's a Cubs-Mariners World Series. I mean, that practically guarantees the End Times. As in during Game 7 the bullpen door will open up and Jesus will literally come in to save.

For which team?
posted by saturday_morning at 12:59 PM on May 11, 2016


I would love to see some independent group take on a non-partisan effort against voter suppression.

An increase in voter turnout tends to correlate with an increase in vote share for a Democratic candidate over a Republican one.

So there's at least some aspect of voter suppression that is inherently partisan.
posted by dersins at 1:09 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


League of Women Voters is still around and in many areas is by far the largest and most active group for voter registration, voter access, and governmental transparency in general. It's an excellent group to volunteer with if you care about vote suppression. They also host probably the greatest number of candidate forums/debates (maybe behind the NAACP in some places), including for local candidates, and they are often the only group sending observers to every public meeting of every obscure little local government body and ensuring sunshine laws are obeyed. (If sitting through local water board meetings every other week all year long is your idea of fun, they definitely could use you as an observer.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:10 PM on May 11, 2016 [19 favorites]




Mitt Romney: It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service.

What an utterly unsurprising lack of self-awareness. Hilariously, one of the people that urged Mittens to release his tax returns in 2012 was--please try not to fall out of your seats here--Donald Trump.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:25 PM on May 11, 2016 [18 favorites]


You're not wrong, Walter Willard, you're just an out-of-touch plutocratic asshole.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:27 PM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


I greatly prefer Romney hypocritically calling Trump out than the pathetic, squirming dance of quasi-endorsement Rubio did on the Today show this morning.

I don't care if Republicans found their principles five minutes ago. Trump is running and Romney isn't. Go fuckin' get him, Mittens.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:30 PM on May 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


Yeah why do we always need to be giving Donald Trump credit for things? "Well, ya gotta admit..." do we gotta?
posted by zutalors! at 1:35 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


While I think we can all enjoy laughing at Romney suddenly discovering the courage of his convictions, the bigger reason this is dumb is because nobody voting for Trump is going to pay attention to a sentence like "It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


so? it's a decent point generally. Do we need to tailor every message to the small percentage of the American voting public that has voted for Donald J Trump?
posted by zutalors! at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


If your message is "don't vote for Donald Trump," then yes! Yes you do!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:40 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


FEC requests clarification from Sanders campaign over donor irregularities. 639 pages of donors who have given more than the legal limit.
posted by humanfont at 1:41 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Putting further to bed the rumors of life in Cruz's Presidential campaign, he just filed for reelection in his 2018 Senate race.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:41 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Perhaps there's a donation to the Small Hands Foundation in his return that Trump doesn't want disclosed.
posted by localhuman at 1:42 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


If your message is "don't vote for Donald Trump," then yes! Yes you do!

that doesn't make sense as a response to Do we need to tailor every message to the small percentage of the American voting public that has voted for Donald J Trump?
posted by zutalors! at 1:42 PM on May 11, 2016


These messages aren't going to sway the people gadding about in MAGA hats, but for people who mainly vote Republican because they have investments or whatever, I think it's really helpful to have Romney types affirming that maybe it's okay if Trump doesn't win
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:45 PM on May 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


For example, a service where they will verify whether you are currently registered in good stead, way in advance of the deadline, to avoid New York type problems.

I don't know about every state, but California has this as part of the state government web infrastructure. It's the most wonderful and user-friendly thing. You input your info and it will tell you if you're registered, where you're registered, what your polling place is, what your party affiliation is, and even upcoming elections you're eligible to vote in. Which is amazing since that means you can easily check whether you registered in time to vote in a particular election.

You can also register to vote online in CA, and the url for it is fricken registertovote.ca.gov for chrissakes, and it's the first google hit for "register to vote California".

One thing I think would help with GOTV and anti-voter suppression would be to make this information widely available. People here know you can make an appointment for the DMV, but I'm not sure people know you can register to vote online or quickly and easily confirm your registration.
posted by Sara C. at 2:01 PM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


New York has a similar thing to check if you're registered and where your polling place is. You can also check your voter registration status by calling 1.866.VOTE-NYC (1.866.868.3692).
posted by chris24 at 2:07 PM on May 11, 2016


Before one of the last two presidential elections Google had up some sort of tool for this. Did it get EOLed like everything else Google does (no I'm not bitter about Reader shut up) or does it still exist?
posted by phearlez at 2:16 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Links I found for checking your registration:

"Can I Vote?" National Association of Secretaries of State (canivote.org)

National list of links (Headcount.com)

Vote.org starts with a big web form for you to fill out, which feels sketchy, but lower down has a list of links.

Rockthevote.org has a web form and no list of links. Don't like that approach.
posted by msalt at 2:32 PM on May 11, 2016


Given the tenor of the season, PPP will be including Gary Johnson in its polls. I'd love to see the United States move towards a more pluralistic party system than the current two-party behemoth, but first-past-the-post has to go before it's a plausible potentiality.
posted by stolyarova at 2:48 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't know about every state, but California has this as part of the state government web infrastructure. It's the most wonderful and user-friendly thing. You input your info and it will tell you if you're registered, where you're registered, what your polling place is, what your party affiliation is, and even upcoming elections you're eligible to vote in. Which is amazing since that means you can easily check whether you registered in time to vote in a particular election.

Virginia has this too. That's online registration and online voter information tailored to the individual's precinct.
posted by indubitable at 3:16 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


As usual, though, there are problems having to do with not everyone having internet access and not everyone having internet access at home. Are the websites optimized for people who are using phones? That would be really important.

A big part of Get Out the Vote is helping people make a plan to vote. So you tell them where their precinct is, and then you ask them when they're going to go. Do they go before work or afterwards? Will they drive, walk, or take the bus? Do they have to line up child care? What will they do if there's a line? There's research that suggests that people are significantly more likely to vote if you just take five minutes and talk this stuff through with them so they've thought about it and made a plan.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:23 PM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


In Oregon, we only have vote-by-mail. There are no polling places. It's so much easier than all this stuff you guys are describing.

You register to vote. Your ballot is mailed to you a few weeks before the election. You fill out the ballot at your leisure, sign it, seal it in the VOTER PRIVACY envelope, and drop it in the mail. Or you can drop your ballot off in a drop box, situated in libraries and post offices and places like that.

We have turnout north of 80% in presidential years.
posted by chrchr at 4:07 PM on May 11, 2016 [18 favorites]


Has anyone yet heard if anyone is gonna run with the fact that Trump was apparently named in hte Panama Papers?

And local faves Stanley Kubrick and Emma Watson, too. Tsk tsk. Though it does seem the news and electoral impacts of the Panama Papers leak have been minimal, to say the least. Outside of Bernie Sanders, no other politician has called for tougher regulations on banking as a result. It just embarrasses too many high-profile celebs and people we all like to even rate a mention.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:12 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Has anyone yet heard if anyone is gonna run with the fact that Trump was apparently named in hte Panama Papers?

My favorite shell corporations include:

TRUMP OFFSHORE INC
LONG TRUMP DEVELOPMENT LIMITED
TRUMP DRAGON INVESTMENTS LIMITED


and last but most certainly not least,

MEGA TRUMP LIMITED
posted by stolyarova at 4:34 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Since we seem to be doing this: Maryland State Board of Elections
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:55 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Clinton pointed out that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had put out more than three decades of tax records. "You've got to ask yourself why doesn't he want to release it," she said.


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for calling out Donald Trump for not yet releasing his tax returns, calling it "ironic" that Clinton was pushing for transparency.

"I find it ironic that Hillary Clinton is talking about transparency to anyone, given that she had her own email server that she used constantly and had her colleagues in the State Department use in order to avoid [Freedom of Information Act] requests and any transparency to the public," Christie said, according to ABC News.

"So I hardly believe that Hillary Clinton is in any place to be giving a critique on transparency."

posted by futz at 4:56 PM on May 11, 2016


Christie is such a fucking douchebag.
posted by dersins at 4:58 PM on May 11, 2016 [20 favorites]


"So I hardly believe that Hillary Clinton is in any place to be giving a critique on transparency."

Says the guy who lied about shutting down an entire massive bridge for petty revenge
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:01 PM on May 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


it's tu quoque all around
posted by indubitable at 5:09 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


What I find interesting is that it is traditionally the VP nominee's role to launch attacks like that. I am betting that Trump makes Christie his VP pick. And I think that is a terrible choice, not least because it puts two bloviating bullies on the same ticket.
posted by bearwife at 5:11 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Saves time.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:12 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


it's tu quoque all around

But I think the investigators have Clinton’s emails, and everyone has her tax returns? No one has Trump’s tax returns.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:22 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm going to go with the wild guess that Trump will try to pick the unlikely rational moderate candidate- Jon Huntsman, and create a Faustian dilemma where establishment/mainstream conservatives are forced into a situation of being tempted to support that ticket. Yes, the choice would be contradictory to Trump's radical reactionary bluster, and Huntsman has far more an informed and nuanced view on Far East relations than Trump could ever have, but his base will eat it up. Trump has already done and said many self-contradicting things and his base has gone along with it anyway. Picking the unlikeliest choice of a rational Republican to balance out the ticket would be a game changer in terms of appealing to independents.

This makes too much sense of a strategy, so Trump will probably not do it, now that I think about it further.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:24 PM on May 11, 2016


I don't know much about Huntsman. Do you think he has too much self respect to agree to be Trump's running mate?
posted by gaspode at 5:25 PM on May 11, 2016


(although it doesn't seem likely that Trump would pick him anyway, agreed.)
posted by gaspode at 5:25 PM on May 11, 2016


Has this been posted yet? TPM, The True Life Adventures of a Democratic Superdelegate. Interesting "inside baseball" chat about why superdelegates came about and what they do and how it works. Obviously the superdelegate is defending the superdelegate system, but it is interesting to hear about the logistics and how they think about their role.
What was the instigation for the Democrats to create the superdelegate system in the first place?

It was the very contentious 1980 convention where it came down to a floor fight between President [Jimmy] Carter and Senator [Ted] Kennedy. It was a wake up call. After that, the senators and governors and party chairmen said, ‘Hey, we’re not on the floor! We have to get a guest credential to decide who’s going to be on the top of the ticket that we run on?’ The rules had opened up the delegate selection process to anybody, as long as they were a Democrat. It meant that officials who wanted to be delegates would have had to go to their district conventions and run against their own constituents. Not surprisingly, congressmen said they didn’t want to do that. So they realized they needed some means of having a voice, because their fates were intricately linked to the nominee — they had to run on the same ticket, and they had to govern with that person.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:32 PM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Including Gary Johnson is going to do some really interesting things to the poll numbers. Now instead of "Mythical Third Party Savior!" you have a real name, one familiar to conservatives of a libertarian bent. But. We also know third party candidates rarely hit the numbers the polls say they will. It's going to really gum up the predictions, that's for sure.
posted by dw at 5:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I don't know much about Huntsman. Do you think he has too much self respect to agree to be Trump's running mate?"

The guy from No Labels, who thinks that one of the biggest problems is a lack of cross-partisan civility? Yeah, no, just because some extremely improbable things have happened doesn't mean that all the other extremely improbable things will.
posted by klangklangston at 5:38 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Former Ambassador to China Huntsman has already endorsed Donald "negotiate U.S. debt and get tough with China" Trump. One of the most blatant kissings of the ring yet. He definitely fooled me last cycle (into thinking he was somewhat reasonable.)
posted by sallybrown at 5:41 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Including Gary Johnson does ensure that PPP will have polls with sufficiently different results from everybody else throughout the cycle, getting them lots of free press.
posted by zachlipton at 5:42 PM on May 11, 2016


I think the interesting question is whether including Johnson has a push effect: will more people vote for Johnson because his name will be out there in the polling? I can't believe that he won't hurt Trump more than Clinton, but maybe people will just vote for him as none-of-the-above.

I cannot in a billion years see Huntsman accepting the VP nod. I'm hearing chatter that it might be Joni Ernst, but I think that might just be Iowans wanting to be important.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:43 PM on May 11, 2016


Trump would never pick a "unlikely rational moderate candidate" as running mate, because if he won, it would make it so much easier for him to be impeached...

But his refusal to release his tax returns just backs up my theory that he is only doing this for the money... the nearly unlimited Federal Funds that he could channel into his own companies (blind trust? when your NAME is on everything you've invested in?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:44 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I learned a bit about Huntsman from this thing.

tl;dr: Romney beef
posted by box at 5:47 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pigs are flying...icicles are forming on the gates of Hell...Donald Trump has given in and said he'll release his tax returns before the election.
posted by sallybrown at 6:19 PM on May 11, 2016




Donald Trump has given in and said he'll release his tax returns before the election.
“So, the answer is, I’ll release. Hopefully before the election I’ll release,” he said. “And I’d like to release.”
Yes. Hopefully. I'd like to. Not sure the headline is quite accurate there.
posted by zachlipton at 6:40 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


I imagine we'll get a letter from his accountant, probably saying that his returns are the best of anyone that's ever held the office. It'll kinda read like he wrote it himself.
posted by box at 6:42 PM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


I just saw him say that his tax returns will be really great, really really good.

I mean...what?
posted by zutalors! at 6:45 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


You've really got to hand it to Trump though. He wants to convince us he's such a tough negotiator, so he takes a strong position on not releasing his tax returns, then promptly, sort of, reverses himself after receiving a rebuke on Facebook from no less powerful a force than Mitt Romney. What's he going to do if the Chinese leadership criticizes him? Hand over the nuclear codes and offer to buy them a new island in the South China Sea?
posted by zachlipton at 6:47 PM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


The best tax returns the IRS has ever seen, believe me, you're gonna love them.
posted by stolyarova at 6:48 PM on May 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


the most beautiful tax returns
posted by zutalors! at 6:53 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see the United States move towards a more pluralistic party system than the current two-party behemoth, but first-past-the-post has to go before it's a plausible potentiality.

We'll need waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better options than Jill Stein or Gary Johnson before I'll be interested in going down that path.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:55 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Heidi Cruz Likens Husband's Campaign to Efforts to End Slavery

Unless that slavery is to a mythical homosexual agenda I think she's off by a couple of orders of magnitude.
posted by Talez at 6:56 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tax geek David J. Herzig writes to Forbes on What If Trump Becomes President While His Tax Returns Are Under IRS Audit?, in which we learn the interesting tidbit that the President and Vice President's returns are always subject to mandatory audit by the IRS. Maybe that will make Trump change his mind about all this?
posted by zachlipton at 7:01 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


He'll release his returns, as long as the IRS isn't "unfair".
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:15 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Canada and the UK have FPP voting, and yet have more than two major political parties.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:26 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't Canada and the UK also have proportional representation?
posted by stolyarova at 7:27 PM on May 11, 2016


Westminster doesn't; Scottish Parliment and Welsh Assembly do. Can't speak for Canada.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:30 PM on May 11, 2016


Canada does not have proportional representation. It's occasionally floated, but I don't think it has ever made it even so far as a vote in the House of Commons.
posted by clawsoon at 7:32 PM on May 11, 2016


Don't Canada and the UK also have proportional representation?

Canada has first-past-the-post. That might change.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:33 PM on May 11, 2016


Canada and the UK have FPP voting, and yet have more than two major political parties.

In the '90s, we had five major parties. Look at this colourful pretty map! Red provinces and blue provinces and orange provinces and green provinces and a different colour of blue provinces!
posted by clawsoon at 7:38 PM on May 11, 2016


According to Twitter, Trump said on Greta Van Sustern that he'll appoint Rudy Giuliani to lead whatever unconstitutional piece of shit commission Trump forms to figure out how to enact the ban on Muslims.
posted by sallybrown at 7:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I want a map with more colors dammit.
posted by bongo_x at 7:41 PM on May 11, 2016


We'll need waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better options than Jill Stein or Gary Johnson before I'll be interested in going down that path.

You get better options after reasonable, competent people see that it's possible for them to win enough seats to have a voice. As long as there's no possibility, third parties will only give you true believers who enjoy tilting at windmills.
posted by clawsoon at 7:42 PM on May 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


An interesting thing that might end up having an American parallel if Paul Ryan and others don't get into line: Three of those five parties were the result of the breakup of our right-wing party.

(It didn't save us from '90s austerity, though, since the Liberals dutifully followed our American neighbours with slash and burn budgets. That's one reason our left-wing NDP has survived: Everybody knows that the Liberals will go whichever way the wind blows, so they need a strong conscience in a party that threatens them on the left to pull them back left sometimes.)
posted by clawsoon at 7:53 PM on May 11, 2016




"Former Ambassador to China Huntsman has already endorsed Donald "negotiate U.S. debt and get tough with China" Trump. One of the most blatant kissings of the ring yet. He definitely fooled me last cycle (into thinking he was somewhat reasonable.)"

Huntsman said in February that if he was the nominee, Huntsman (as a loyal Republican) would "tend to gravitate to him" and praised some things that Trump said. That's not endorsing Trump the way a VP would, that's peddling self-interested bullshit about party unity and trolling Mitt Romney.
posted by klangklangston at 8:02 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


According to Twitter, Trump said on Greta Van Sustern that he'll appoint Rudy Giuliani to lead whatever unconstitutional piece of shit commission Trump forms to figure out how to enact the ban on Muslims.

Step 1: Appoint a justice who is basically Scalia 2.0.

Step 2: Instruct the state department to deny all visas to passport holders of muslim majority countries except for people seeking EB, E and whatever other appropriate visas for the connected and powerful to use.

Step 3: When challenged by anyone adopt a strict "these countries have proven security risks and we're keeping our borders safe".

Step 4: Let your hand picked pieces of shit rubber stamp your new policy as passing strict scrutiny because the "security risk" is entirely relevant and for the executive to determine. The fact that it looks racist and has racist overtones is merely conincidence.

Step 5: Anyone with a shred of empathy watches with horror as we get our generation's McCleskey v. Kemp.
posted by Talez at 8:07 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, Huntsman was Trumpcurious in February, but he went all in as soon as Cruz dropped out. He'd absolutely be the VP pick, just like all of them would if asked. #neverTrump is just as big a joke as No Labels, Jon Huntmans' other rightwing extremist front masquerading as a Very Seriously Moderate Policy Option.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:11 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


How odd. The NYT fucked up something. Even the links on google news are borked. Here is the correct link.
posted by futz at 8:33 PM on May 11, 2016


"While Mrs. Clinton has characterized the investigation as a “security inquiry,” Mr. Comey said he was “not familiar with the term.” The F.B.I.’s case began as a security referral from the inspectors general of the State Department and the nation’s intelligence agencies, who were concerned that classified information might have been stored outside a secure government network. But multiple law enforcement officials said the matter quickly became an investigation into whether anyone had committed a crime in handling classified information."

God, this is such frustrating bullshit. Real reason to be concerned: U.S. government transparency is an opaque morass that's only gotten worse since Obama took over, and abuses the deference national security receives to the detriment of the public interest.

The "scandal" narrative of the GOP is that Clinton had "classified" info on her private servers — but most, if not all, was classified after Clinton had them, evaluated after the fact. Anyone who has requested classified documents through more than one agency knows that what is deemed classified can be pretty arbitrary and capricious, and that you would get two different answers from two different reviews isn't surprising.

It's naked partisan fishing, just like Benghazi, just like fucking Vince Foster and fucking Whitewater.

"Well, Huntsman was Trumpcurious in February, but he went all in as soon as Cruz dropped out. He'd absolutely be the VP pick, just like all of them would if asked. #neverTrump is just as big a joke as No Labels, Jon Huntmans' other rightwing extremist front masquerading as a Very Seriously Moderate Policy Option."

That Hill article sources Huntsman to Politico, and the quote is practically the same as his from February — that the traditional Republican coalition isn't going to work, but that Trump has been able to put together a non-traditional coalition.

But hell, I was wrong about Trump becoming the nominee, so maybe I'm wrong about this. I still don't see it as the endorsement of someone who's going to hitch his career to Trump's star, and I don't see a Utah governor picking up any more electoral votes, but at this point his campaign seems plotted like a Murdock two-parter on the A-Team, so maybe it's just crazy enough to work.
posted by klangklangston at 8:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Huntsman would win Trump Utah, which doesn't mean much. More importantly I think if there was a "sane" person as VP it would give the mainstream republicans an excuse to vote for Trump. I think that's the biggest danger we face right now -- someone sane and reasonable like Huntsman or Romney or Ryan adding legitimacy to Trump's ticket. That's what Trump will do if he wants to win.

I hope Huntsman doesn't do it, though, I still see him as someone with a bit of integrity.

As an aside, I have to mention that I've seen Jon Huntsman perform with REO Speedwagon at the Utah State Fairpark. He plays a decent piano and apparently used to be in an REO cover band. And that would be about the least bizarre fact about a Trump/Huntsman ticket...
posted by mmoncur at 8:45 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Huntsman would win Trump Utah, which doesn't mean much.

Well, given it's suddenly a swing state....
posted by dw at 8:47 PM on May 11, 2016


Can we please stop the "lol #neverTrump is a joke"? The constant pushing that we're all just joking and are going to vote for NewHitler in November is really upsetting. No, I'm not voting for Trump, and neither are lots of us, because "don't vote for Hitler" is pretty much baseline even in Republican Flag-Waving Patriot Land. Some people may not see it, and those people are Wrong As Wrong Can Be, but those of us who do are not going to budge.
posted by corb at 8:48 PM on May 11, 2016 [19 favorites]


are we doing that?
posted by zutalors! at 8:51 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


In context, it's clear that the "#neverTrump is just as big a joke" comment is referring to prominent Republican politicians who said they would never support trump flipping once it became clear he was going to be the guy, not demeaning the larger movement that undoubtedly has some people who actually won't vote for him, but who also don't have anything to gain professionally by backing him.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:54 PM on May 11, 2016 [16 favorites]


In case anyone gets their hopes up from Trump's ambiguous statement on his taxes, don't. There's a huge logical flaw in his argument that he gets audited every year.

And that is, why doesn't he release tax returns from previous years? By his own account, the IRS has already seen them, year after year. Fine, skip 2014 and 2015 taxes until the audit's done. Just show us 2008-2013.
posted by msalt at 8:55 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


he said those were old
posted by zutalors! at 9:00 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


he's gonna build new returns and they're gonna be even bigger
posted by klangklangston at 9:08 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Giant, beautiful returns. You're going to be amazed! He knows accountants.
posted by dw at 9:16 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


His accountant is his own brain, and he is very smart at accounting.
posted by mochapickle at 9:19 PM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


For that, the returns just got 10 feet taller.
posted by dw at 9:21 PM on May 11, 2016 [14 favorites]


In context, it's clear that the "#neverTrump is just as big a joke" comment is referring to prominent Republican politicians who said they would never support trump flipping once it became clear he was going to be the guy, not demeaning the larger movement that undoubtedly has some people who actually won't vote for him, but who also don't have anything to gain professionally by backing him.

That's what I was referring to. I'm sure there's some small percentage of rank and file Republicans who will sit home or even vote Clinton, and 87% vs 95% of otherwise unshakable Republican votes nationally is the difference between a small win and and a blowout.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I heard the Mexican government pays his accountant's bill.
posted by dersins at 9:23 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]




Thanks for the clarification. Sorry if I'm a bit touchy - Trump's very existence is starting to wear on the spot where the last nerve used to be, and there's definitely a lot of pressure on people who are involved at all with the local party to just suck it up and go Trump.
posted by corb at 10:19 PM on May 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


Trump In 2011: I’ll Release My Tax Returns When Obama Releases His Birth Certificate

Please, people in the press: ask him about this. Every time. Ask him every time.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:32 PM on May 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Or, you know, just start calling him a huckster. Every time. That’s great too.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:32 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


You know, I don't miss much about the 80s, but man, right about now, I really miss Spy Magazine, and the valley of No fucks given from which it published.They constantly ridiculed Trump. Constantly. Cut him down to size and made him a laughable little clown. He's like poison ivy, this guy. If you can't get to the protest first, you have to just keep whacking it down until you can uproot it. He's just been allowed to grow unfettered, fertilized by the bullshit of talk radio, and photosyntheticly feeding on the media spotlight. He needs to be ridiculed to be kept in check. I miss Spy.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:43 PM on May 11, 2016 [12 favorites]


“Gingrich doesn't rule out Trump VP role,” Steve Holland, Reuters, 11 May 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 11:35 PM on May 11, 2016


Or, you know, just start calling him a huckster. Every time. That’s great too.

Closer. I think there's a perfect slogan closer to "Trump is not a man of his word." His brand is having the guts to say the non-PC thing. The truth is, he panders rights and left, he's actually weak and calculating, the opposite of what he claims to be. And I think enough of that might really undermine the sense that he's something new.

He's just another politician, and not a very skilled one at that.
posted by msalt at 11:40 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


NEWT
posted by chrchr at 11:44 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


there's definitely a lot of pressure on people who are involved at all with the local party to just suck it up and go Trump.

I feel for ya. It's just...
If this situation were reversed, and we were forced to choose between a relatively predictable, middle-of-the-road, don't-burn-the-world-down Republican or a plainly unqualified, batshit, destructive loon of a Democrat, I wouldn't even blink at jumping ship. Seriously.

The whole notion of party loyalty is appalling. Party platforms shift over time, and the character of the party changes with its leadership. Given that, I can't understand devoting one's lifelong loyalty, y'know? At that point, you're only choosing a flag and no longer assigning it any real meaning. Mindless tribalism.

Presumably we have a lot of differences, corb, but I'm really glad to see you sticking to your senses and your independence in the face of all this madness. I hope to God we see a lot more of that out of more Republicans as this mess goes on.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:50 PM on May 11, 2016 [23 favorites]


NEWT GINGRICH IS GOING TO MAKE THE MEXICANS PAY FOR A MOON BASE
posted by XMLicious at 12:01 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Donald & Newt are going to make the Mexicans pay for their mistresses.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:38 AM on May 12, 2016


On the rural white suicide/overdose epidemic, and Trumpism: "Unnecessariat"
(Warning: very dark)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:07 AM on May 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


You can go ahead and add Dan Quayle to the list of Trumpettes
posted by sallybrown at 4:33 AM on May 12, 2016


If this situation were reversed, and we were forced to choose between a relatively predictable, middle-of-the-road, don't-burn-the-world-down Republican or a plainly unqualified, batshit, destructive loon of a Democrat, I wouldn't even blink at jumping ship. Seriously.

The problem is that the predictable, middle-of-the-road, don't-burn-the-world-down Democrat in this scenario has been built up by Republicans for decades as the Embodiment Of All Liberal Evil. When I look around social media I see as many Republicans talking about holding their noses and voting Trump to stop Hillary from destroying the republic as I see Democrats who are resigned to backing a candidate they're not enthusiastic about.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


In an election season where I was wrong so much, I'm rather depressed about the one thing I was right on: #neverTrump turning out to be nothing. All the Republican leaders are now lining up to kiss his ass, the pundits who were previously saying he was a vile scumbag Fascist are now singing his praises, and in general it's exactly as I predicted. A few days of upset, followed by the Republican machine fully getting behind him, and most voters following.

I'm sure there are some who meant it, but nominating the most obscenely unqualified, authoritarian, openly racist, clearly unfit for the job candidate since, well, ever, has not turned most Republicans, either voters or elites, away from the Party.

#neverTrump has morphed into #voteRepublicanNoMatterWhat, and that's that. I wonder how many *actual* #neverTrump Republicans existed vs the (obviously much larger) number who just had a brief snit and then fell into line like the obedient Party types they always were?
posted by sotonohito at 6:18 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


#neverTrumpexceptagainstHillary
#ohorexceptagainstSanders
#andIguessexceptagainstBidenifsomethingweirdhappens
#alsoofcourseexceptagainstObamabutwedontreallyneedtosaythatdowe
#fuckitIguessalwaysTrump
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Misogyny, racism allegations against Trump 'not true', Republican spin doctor says

TAKE THE TRUTHINESS, AMERICA.
TAKE IT!
posted by Mezentian at 6:27 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Man, that Unnecessariat piece has just made me understand why someone might vote Trump. I never will, but I can at least look at someone doing it without flailing and wanting to hurl things.

I wish that someone else would address the issues of rural poverty, but that's not where the votes are these days.
posted by corb at 6:27 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


#NeverTrump really needs to get out from behind their gilded desks and find a 3rd candidate if they want to amount to anything. Not next month, now.
posted by aramaic at 6:28 AM on May 12, 2016


[A few comments deleted. Please don't use racial slurs, even in an effort to show how gross people who use racial slurs are; please don't do "I hope that guy gets shot"; and please don't act like if one cares about race issues, one thereby can't care about class issues.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:58 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


So Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential candidate, just said in a Reddit AMA (thread) that between Trump and Clinton it is hard to tell who is the 'lesser evil' based on their actions and comments. Image link of comment. There is some good follow up for a reddit thread pointing out some flaws in that opinion, but it again points to how much the those on the left dislikes policies of the center/right Clinton Dems.
posted by anti social order at 7:01 AM on May 12, 2016


What makes Clinton center/right?
posted by defenestration at 7:06 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Read every other one of these threads for multiple conversations about that.
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have. What makes her right of center?
posted by defenestration at 7:10 AM on May 12, 2016


Fighty things.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


And I am honestly not sealioning or trolling or something. I have honestly not seen the reasoning behind her being right of center; just the assertion.
posted by defenestration at 7:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Handwave Handwave donors WallStreet Iraq Handwave Handwave
posted by happyroach at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ah, so support of the mess in Iraq, you mean? OK, that makes sense I guess.

I dunno if I agree that it pushes a candidate to the right of center overall, though.
posted by defenestration at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016


What makes Clinton center/right?

Hawkishness, corporate-and-trade-friendliness.

There are also many things which make her left: Support for women and minorities, support for abortion, support for universal healthcare.

We need at least a four-square grid to describe the wingedness of the remaining candidates in the race. The one spot that's empty is a candidate who loves free trade but hates minorities. Trump hates trade and hates minorities. Sanders hates trade and loves minorities. Clinton loves trade and loves minorities. No-one is left who loves trade and hates minorities.

Does that clear anything up?
posted by clawsoon at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


My guess: because the 'centre left' in the developed world are more Thatcher than Lenin.
And they are in the pocket of big business, and are not prepared to upset the status quo.
posted by Mezentian at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016


Do Sanders's views on and history with guns push him rightward on the spectrum?

If not, who decides what views on what issues determine that push toward past centrism to the right?

Is it that, regarding the political spectrum, that economics and war affect your standing above all?

Don't get me wrong: I don't think of Clinton as way to the left or something , and do consider Sanders to be more so, but I would classify Clinton as more centrist of center/left than center/right. Thanks for sharing why you see it differently.
posted by defenestration at 7:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


seriously, read the old threads, man
posted by angrycat at 7:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


OK, I have but I am obviously bothering people so I will stop trying to talk about this.
posted by defenestration at 7:25 AM on May 12, 2016


You've really got to hand it to Trump though. He wants to convince us he's such a tough negotiator, so he takes a strong position on not releasing his tax returns, then promptly, sort of, reverses himself after receiving a rebuke on Facebook from no less powerful a force than Mitt Romney. What's he going to do if the Chinese leadership criticizes him? Hand over the nuclear codes and offer to buy them a new island in the South China Sea?
I want an ad that's nothing but Hillary Clinton reading zachlipton's comment and then saying "I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message."
posted by Gelatin at 7:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have honestly not seen the reasoning behind her behind right of center; just the assertion.

There's no objective "center" in politics like there is in math. You can pick the "center" to be wherever you want along the political spectrum, and most people will pick a "center" that is relatively close to their own views. (There are various methodologies which attempt to quantify political positions and may be able to define a center within that methodology, but the choice of methodology itself is not an objective one.)

So, for some definitions of "center," Clinton is right of center. Personally, I am pretty far left of "center" as it is often used in wider political discourse in the US, but I am a bit right of "center" as it tends to be used on MeFi.

seriously, read the old threads, man

That's over 25000 comments. I understand that for those of you who have read every one of those comments, seeing the same discussion rehashed can be tedious, but I don't think it's fair to demand that MeFites who haven't read every single comment in every single previous election thread bow to the will of those who have.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:31 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


> "So Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential candidate, just said in a Reddit AMA (thread) that between Trump and Clinton it is hard to tell who is the 'lesser evil' based on their actions and comments."

I hate to say it, since I agree with a lot of her positions, but that's pretty much the end of my respect for Jill Stein.

Anyone equating Clinton and the actual, no-shit-not-kidding crazy person running against her pretty much goes on my "I can safely ignore your thoughts on this" list.
posted by kyrademon at 7:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [47 favorites]


To repeat:

"Clinton is not now nor has she ever been a member of "the conservative wing of the Democratic Party." She's not even a centrist. She's not a free-enterpriser, either, although she's given her opinion at length about the positive effects of free trade. DW-NOMINATE rated her the 11th most liberal member of the Senate in each of the 107th, 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. "That places her slightly to the left of Pat Leahy (-0.386), Barbara Mikulski (-0.385) and Dick Durbin (-0.385); clearly to the left of Joe Biden (-0.331) and Harry Reid (-0.289); and well to the left of moderate Democrats like Jon Tester (-0.230), Blanche Lincoln (-0.173), and Claire McCaskill (-0.154)."



From the link:

"Some more numbers from the 110th Congress, to further help put things in perspective:

Most liberal Dem         1   Sanders     -0.523                         11   CLINTON     -0.391 Median Dem              33   Biden       -0.331 Most conservative Dem   51   B. Nelson   -0.035 Most liberal Rep        52   Specter      0.061 Median Rep              76   McConnell    0.409 Most conservative Rep  101   Coburn       0.809
Oh, and a certain junior Senator from Illinois, Obama I think his name was? At -0.367, he ranked 23rd in the 110th Congress.""
posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [27 favorites]


Again, this is why I wish we had a wiki page where we could summarize the thinking across the 25K comments.
posted by dw at 7:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have honestly not seen the reasoning behind her being right of center; just the assertion.

I don't really understand how, if you have read the old threads and seen the assertions but nothing that you consider sufficient reasoning, that you cannot draw a conclusion from that. Will bullet points help?
  • Some people assert HRC is right of center.
  • They have shared what they consider proof of this fact
  • You consider their proof incorrect or unpresuasive
  • This has been discussed to death multiple times
  • It is reasonable to conclude that after a half-dozen threads with thousands of comments each that there is not new information to be presented on the matter
So can we not simply draw from this that you consider this assertion wrong? Quite frankly it's hard for me to see how you're not trolling when you ask for more discussion of this.
posted by phearlez at 7:36 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, regarding Clinton's position on guns, Politifact looked into that in depth in December.

In 2008, she backed off her 2000 call for a national licensing and registration plan because it would "preempt" cities and states’ initiatives. But she also called for reinstating the assault weapons ban and better background checks for potential gun purchasers. This change in her stance led then-Candidate Obama to call her "Annie Oakley." (Conservative media has been making a big deal about this lately.) However, she has never been anti-gun control in her political career. She's been much more aggressive on the issue since Sandy Hook.

And yes, she's rated F by the NRA. She has a lower rating than Sanders.
posted by zarq at 7:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


but I don't think it's fair to demand that MeFites who haven't read every single comment in every single previous election thread bow to the will of those who have.

Especially when people ignore someone who has clearly stated they HAVE read those threads and just continue on berating them to do so.
posted by agregoli at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I do think the Unnecessariat makes some good points, but also misses something important.

For all that there may be some quiet, mostly behind the scenes, generally very wonkish and obscure, work being done to address the problems in the financial industry by Democrats, there isn't much being done to actually talk about economic issues in any realistic or narrative driven terms.

Clinton, whether or not it is factually true, is generally perceived as being on the side of Wall Street because she, like Obama, is very reluctant to actually name the enemy. And that is helping build the right wing populism we see today.

When the right is out there telling poor people that they know the source of the problem and will fix it, the fact that they're lying about the cause of the problem is largely irrelevant. The point is that the Right has a narrative here.
Things were good for you decent white Real Americans until the nefarious enemy showed up and stole your prosperity.
That's it. Nice and simple. It's seldom stated quite so bluntly, but there's the core narrative that Trump and the other right wing populists use.

The nefarious enemy is liberals, environmentalists, feminists, immigrants, people of color, gay people, Muslims, atheists, etc. Anyone, basically, who isn't a cis, white, straight, man, though the focus on exactly which nefarious enemy is at fault may shift daily they're all to blame ultimately.

The problem here is that there's no counternarrative. The Democrats are so terrified of being called Communists, and often so tied up with Wall Street and in agreement with wall street, that they won't produce a workable counternarrative.

Because any workable counternarrative will require truth. The only counternarrative that can possibly work is the honest one:
Things are getting worse, wages are down, healthcare costs more, and all expenses are up, and this is because the billionaires are hoarding all the money and stealing all the gains you have made in productivity.
Again, it doesn't have to be quite that bluntly stated, but it'll work because unlike the lies from the Right this narrative is actually true. It can be demonstrated with facts and figures and graphs, but ultimately that's less important than the narrative simply existing.

Look at how, in Greece, the Golden Dawn was (temporarily) blunted and their voters scattered by Alexis Tsipras getting out there and speaking the truth. That the people of Greece were being economically abused, but that it was the fault of the billionaires.

I am convinced that the American people are desperate to hear an actual call to class war. Trump, ironically, is sounding that call and he is being rewarded with votes and fervent support.

Every right wing populist/nationalist movement in all history has come about in an environment where the billionaires of the day were stealing all the money and the political Left lacked the will to clearly identify the enemy and do something about it. So the racist Right was able to identify a false enemy, mobilize the forces of populism, and take power.

While the Southern Strategy and the naked racism of the Right has been a large part of their power and growth, it has also been fueled by a total lack of narrative and action from the Left. The Southern Strategy only works if the Left is silent about the true causes of economic pain and thus allows the Right to take the field unchallenged.

I don't think the Democrats can bring over all the racist Republican votes. But I do think that by opening up a genuine counternarrative, they can take away the populist leaning but not deeply committed to racism votes. And I think there's a large number of those.

One huge part of what's the matter with Kansas is that those on the Left tend to take it as a sort of vague, nebulous, given that Democrats stand for economic progress, but it's always vague and nebulous rather than presented in a nice simple narrative.

That, much more than any actual policy, is why Sanders has such support and such fanatic support. Even if he and Clinton were completely identical when it comes to economic policy, Sanders shows that he understands narrative and that on a fundamental level he is recognizes that people need to be reassured that their political leaders recognize who the bad guys are and that they will call out the bad guys as such.

Clinton, even if in terms of policy she is pretty good, fundamentally shows that she likes Wall Street and doesn't want to admit that they're the enemy.

Trump couldn't have built the nationalist/populist movement he did without the total paralysis of the Democrats, their utter refusal to build a narrative and name the true villains of the economic catastrophe.
posted by sotonohito at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [48 favorites]


So, I like the Greens conceptually, but Jill Stein is wackadoo, pants on head, insane. Can we all agree on this?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:54 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Clinton, even if in terms of policy she is pretty good, fundamentally shows that she likes Wall Street and doesn't want to admit that they're the enemy.

Clinton was also the senator for New York, which happens to represent Wall Street; it would be really strange if her career had been built on completely destroying it.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:57 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Going To Maine It doesn't even require a commitment to destroying Wall Street, just an open recognition that they're the problem.

And if that's a hard and/or impossible thing for a Senator from New York to do, then I'd say now is not the time for a Senator from New York to be the national face of the Democrats.

This year she'll win. Things aren't quite bad enough yet for nationalist populism to really win. Yet. In 2020 I'd be a lot more worried about Trump or someone like him.
posted by sotonohito at 8:00 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, the right is running on xenophobia and fear of the other. I almost feel like there's some desire on the left to make "people who work at banks" the other, in the same slot as minorities/foreigners/LGBT on the right, and that doesn't really work. The enemy can't really be "banks" on the left the way it's "others" on the right.
posted by zutalors! at 8:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


>rated her the 11th most liberal member of the Senate

That's like being the 11th biggest shrimp.
posted by anti social order at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2016


That's like being the 11th biggest shrimp.

OR LIKE THE 11TH MOST CRAYONY CRAYON IN A BOX OF THINGS THAT AREN'T CRAYONS AMIRITE
posted by dersins at 8:10 AM on May 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


zutalors!: The enemy can't really be "banks" on the left the way it's "others" on the right.

That seems like an odd thing to say, and I'd be curious to know how I'm misunderstanding you. "The banks" have been a reliable "enemy other" for pretty much the entire history of populist leftism, from William Jennings Bryan through FDR to Occupy Wall Street. (They've also been a reliable "enemy other" for populist rightism and racism.) Why can't they "really" be an other?
posted by clawsoon at 8:11 AM on May 12, 2016


sotonohito: "Going To Maine It doesn't even require a commitment to destroying Wall Street, just an open recognition that they're the problem."

She has. Her financial plan was released last October. Here's a NY Times analysis. She's also discussed her plans to make changes to regulation and oversight of the financial industry. She mentioned some of those points in the Daily News interview. And the Newsday interview. And has discussed it in multiple speeches and other interviews. And in answers to debate questions. There's a page on her site about her plan.

If you disagree with its specific points or think it doesn't go too far etc., then by all means make those arguments. There are arguments to be made!

But for fuck's sake how many fucking times does the fucking candidate have to talk about her fucking financial plan before we fucking drop the fucking canard that she doesn't fucking have one or is somehow afraid of taking on fucking banks?
posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


Because working at a bank is not an ethnic identity. It's not a one to one replacement. And there are actual issues and policies at work wrt bank regulation, and people who work at banks are often interested in discussing those.

It's not like Muslims are out there being like 'Yeah, what is really going on here?' despite what Trump says.
posted by zutalors! at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2016


Clinton, whether or not it is factually true, is generally perceived as being on the side of Wall Street because she, like Obama, is very reluctant to actually name the enemy.

I get that people like "naming enemies" but I think this fundamentally misunderstands Clinton's (and Obama's) politics. Not their specific positions but how they approach politics. Both of them at their core believe in plurality and that all Americans are Americans. This includes "Wall Street robber barons". They don't generally demonize or essentialize in that (negative) way because it's not helpful or fair (no wealthy financier is going to see the error of their ways because you called them evil). They are also fundamentally structuralist thinkers. People are all similar and react to the incentives provided. You change the structure - the incentives - not shame individuals.
posted by R343L at 8:18 AM on May 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


Jill Stein is wackadoo, pants on head, insane.
Is she really? Or do you just disagree with her on this one particular issue? Because if I were asked to come up with a list of things I would consider "wackadoo, pants on head insane," it would include: targeted drone assassination, mass surveillance, endless war in the Middle East, bank bailouts, pointing thousands of nuclear warheads at other nations, wanton water wastage, and a consumer-economy and fossil-fuel-led sixth extinction that may indeed see the end of human civilization as we know it.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


Jill Stein's comment about Hillary Clinton on Mother's Day was out of line and ridiculous.

Also, Bernie Sanders supports the drone program.
posted by zutalors! at 8:21 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ew
posted by angrycat at 8:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is she really?

Kinda, yeah. But, as you point out, a lot of people are kinda wackadoo, so
posted by dersins at 8:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


zutalors!: Because working at a bank is not an ethnic identity. It's not a one to one replacement. And there are actual issues and policies at work wrt bank regulation, and people who work at banks are often interested in discussing those.

Hmm. That's a good point. But I'm not sure that the Othering is typically about the individual people who work at banks (with some notable exceptions). It is, in a roundabout way, a recognition of the corporate personhood of banks: Even if most of the people who work at banks are decent people, the Vampire Squid has an evil, otherable being of its own, separate from most of the people who work there.
posted by clawsoon at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2016


More people seem to care about Clinton as a symbol than about what Clinton actually has to say. She represents this or she represents that, but her actual voice is more or less erased from a lot of these conversations.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2016 [30 favorites]


angrycat: Ew

Welp, that didn't take long.
posted by clawsoon at 8:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I was just talking to someone about this today, who was like "it'll be great when she starts talking about policy."

I was like - what? she has been talking about policy.

Also, she is the only candidate who has mentioned equal pay and other rights for women in every single post primary vote speech, win or lose.

Women's rights still feels like a very far left position to me, though I know it doesn't seem that way to a lot of people, and I appreciate her steadfast commitment to it.
posted by zutalors! at 8:30 AM on May 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


Even if most of the people who work at banks are decent people, the Vampire Squid has an evil, otherable being of its own, separate from most of the people who work there.

I agree with you, but what I'm saying is that putting Banks in the position of a demonized Other doesn't work as well as putting minorities in that slot does for the right - it's a less strictly emotional and simple seeming idea.
posted by zutalors! at 8:31 AM on May 12, 2016


For those on the very very far left, the Clinton record would indeed look like it's to the right. However, this actually isn't so much about Hillary Clinton's own record so much as it's railing against the party itself; my friend in the Green Party was saying things like this about Obama. He's one of my best friends, but we have learned that he and I simply cannot discuss politics, because the two worst fights we've ever had have been on the topic of "WHAT INSANE TROLL LOGIC ARE YOU USING TO ARRIVE AT THE CLAIM THAT OBAMA IS JUST AS BAD AS MITT ROMNEY", and we've just permanently tabled that. It is what it is; he's just super, super left, and I'm not.

But this really is about the party perspective itself, and not about Clinton personally. You could have, like, a potted plant running on the Democratic ticket and these same arguments would still be put forth.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


zutalors!: I agree with you, but what I'm saying is that putting Banks in the position of a demonized Other doesn't work as well as putting minorities in that slot does for the right - it's a less strictly emotional and simple seeming idea.

A good point, partly because banks are only widely hated during economic crises, while minorities stay minorities all the time. Is that part of what you were driving at?
posted by clawsoon at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


> is somehow afraid of taking on fucking banks?

This is wrong. She's proposing some moderate regulatory increases. She is not pushing for them to be broken up or to re-implement glass-steagall. That would be "taking on the fucking banks".
posted by anti social order at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I had an unpleasant surprise recently when I was chatting to some old lefty buddies about my fight against Trump, thinking it'd be nice common ground, and got hit with "Are you insane? Trump is way better than Clinton" and then I pulled my parachute ripcord and exited the conversation.
posted by corb at 8:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


"Hillary Clinton says she called for Wall Street regulations early in the financial crisis" Politifact rating: True
"While the financial crisis came to a head in summer 2008, problems with housing started to bubble up in 2007 during Clinton’s ill-fated presidential primary campaign. On the trail, Clinton addressed these nascent issues -- particularly the mortgage crisis -- as early as March of that year.

Clinton, still a senator at the time, delivered a speech on the volatility of the subprime mortgage market on March 15, 2007. She said too many people were ignoring warning signs.

"The subprime problems are now creating massive issues on Wall Street," Clinton said. "It's a serious problem affecting our housing market and millions of hard-working families."

She gave specific proposals for addressing subprime mortgages, including expanding the role of the Federal Housing Administration, more borrowing options for underprivileged and first-time homebuyers, more safeguards against predatory lending practices and policies intended to prevent foreclosures.

In August that year, she delivered a similar speech about dealing with problems from subprime mortgages. There, she reiterated earlier proposals, and also suggested laws establishing national standards and registration for loan brokers, as well as regulations on lenders.

"I think the subprime market was sort of like the canary in the mine," she said. "You know, it was telling us loudly and clearly, ‘There are problems here.’ "

It didn’t become law, but Clinton sponsored a bill to implement these policies in September 2007.

The first time she mentioned derivatives was in a November 2007 speech in Iowa.  (A derivative is a financial product that allows investors to hedge against price fluctuations in an underlying asset.)

"We need to start addressing the risks posed by derivatives and other complex financial products," she said. "You can't let Wall Street send the bill to your street with the bright ideas that just don't work out. Derivatives and products like them are posing real risks to families, as Wall Street writes down tens of billions of dollars in investments. Companies are taking the loss of a billion here and a billion there simply because the securities they own are worth less than they thought."

In the same speech, she spoke again of the risky lending that led to the subprime mortgage crisis, adding that she called on then-President George W. Bush to convene a conference to find a solution.

And she also pushed for more oversight of financial markets: "So as president, I will move to establish the 21st-century oversight we need in a 21st-century global marketplace. I will call for an immediate review of these new investment products and for plans to make them more transparent."

This November speech angered some of Clinton’s Wall Street donors, according to the New York Times.

At the tail-end of her campaign, in March 2008 -- still before the financial crisis hit a peak later that summer -- Clinton released a six-point plan to increase financial regulation. The plan included, in part, more oversight of derivatives and other new financial products, establishment of mortgage standards and strengthened some consumer protections.

After becoming secretary of state in 2009, Clinton made noticeably fewer comments on domestic policy and financial regulation. But the record shows that establishing policies to address the then-nascent financial crisis was a key point of her campaign platform in 2007 and 2008.

posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


... putting Banks in the position of a demonized Other doesn't work as well as putting minorities in that slot does for the right - it's a less strictly emotional and simple seeming idea.
I don't know. For those deep in debt, paying extortionate interest rates, humiliated by running out of credit, being pursued by letters and phone calls and bailiffs, that is to say, an ever increasing number of desperate people—I think banks (and the finance industry in general) are perfectly capable of assuming the role of a frightening, demonised other.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:41 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is wrong. She's proposing some moderate regulatory increases. She is not pushing for them to be broken up or to re-implement glass-steagall. That would be "taking on the fucking banks".

I completely agree that the larger banks should be broken up and that Glass-Steagall should be re-implemented. I also think we need to stop subsidizing them. But that's not what I was addressing in my comment.
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't know. For those deep in debt, paying extortionate interest rates, humiliated by running out of credit, being pursued by letters and phone calls and bailiffs, that is to say, an ever increasing number of desperate people—I think banks (and the finance industry in general) are perfectly capable of assuming the role of a frightening, demonised other.

This is missing the point. It's not working as well as demonizing minorities works on the right. A lot of those people you describe are perfectly happy to blame minorities for their financial problems.
posted by zutalors! at 8:45 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The whole notion of party loyalty is appalling. Party platforms shift over time, and the character of the party changes with its leadership. Given that, I can't understand devoting one's lifelong loyalty, y'know? At that point, you're only choosing a flag and no longer assigning it any real meaning. Mindless tribalism.

But that's basically what most Republican support is. As driven from the top of the RNC, it's not about a sober contemplation of the issues, and it's certainly not about people voting for their own self-interest (or the interests of society at large). For the past several decades, Republican ideology has been built on ignoring facts and stoking fear of the Other. It's been about mindless tribalism for the most part for my entire life.

#neverTrump has morphed into #voteRepublicanNoMatterWhat, and that's that.

I think everyone predicted that. Some outliers who actually won't vote for him, sure, but the vast majority of the party will fall into line.

Again, this is why I wish we had a wiki page where we could summarize the thinking across the 25K comments.

Mefi Wiki
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:46 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Again, this is why I wish we had a wiki page where we could summarize the thinking across the 25K comments.

In sum: butts lmao
posted by entropicamericana at 8:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I had an unpleasant surprise recently when I was chatting to some old lefty buddies about my fight against Trump, thinking it'd be nice common ground, and got hit with "Are you insane? Trump is way better than Clinton" and then I pulled my parachute ripcord and exited the conversation.

Were these lefty buddies male perchance?
posted by Talez at 8:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


they usually are, in my experience.
posted by zutalors! at 8:48 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think it's complicated, because Wall Street is an actual system of financial institutions that are regulated (and not regulated) in particular ways, but Wall Street is also a kind of code for "scary outside influences over which I have no control" in a way that does not simply refer to those particular financial institutions. I was talking to a relative recently who was convinced that Bernie Sanders was an anti-Semite, which was totally perplexing to me. (And to be honest, it remains totally perplexing to me, but my relative's politics are kind of a mystery as far as I'm concerned.) But where he lives, "Wall Street" is often used as a synonym for "the Jews." That language doesn't come from the left, typically, and it doesn't come from people who have actual proposals to reform the financial system. It comes from the kind of people who used to put up David Duke signs in their yards.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


I am convinced that the American people are desperate to hear an actual call to class war. Trump, ironically, is sounding that call and he is being rewarded with votes and fervent support.

From a certain perspective I can see it, but that's the thing with Trump. The guy's lenticular. One angle it's class warfare. But you turn your head, walk a couple of feet, it's xenophobia. Then it's anti-establishment/anti-government. Anti-political correctness. White Nationalism. Men's Rights.

There's an extent of people projecting what they want to see. I guess it's another way to put that people think he's not going to do certain things, but believe he will do others. For me, the only thing I think that Trump is proof of is that charisma, anger, and the finger of blame are a winning combination.
posted by FJT at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Welp, that didn't take long.

this is my surprised face i had no idea the party would unite behind trump like that because they're all honorable men
posted by lord_wolf at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: For those on the very very far left, the Clinton record would indeed look like it's to the right. However, this actually isn't so much about Hillary Clinton's own record so much as it's railing against the party itself; my friend in the Green Party was saying things like this about Obama.

I'd be curious to know if this is a disagreement about which dimensions of "left" are most important to someone, rather than "how far left" someone is. Are you more left-wing than your friend about one or two things?

Your point (and others) about the image people have of Clinton that's divorced from what she actually says is a good one. It worries me for the election, since Clinton is great at details and Trump is great at getting people to ignore details.

(Also, is it just me, or does every single president since Reagan go further to the right the instant they're elected? It's like they take them into a briefing room, pin their eyes open and show them the world collapsing in chaos, and they come out ten points to the right.)
posted by clawsoon at 8:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]



I'd be curious to know if this is a disagreement about which dimensions of "left" are most important to someone, rather than "how far left" someone is. Are you more left-wing than your friend about one or two things?


Yeah, this is my question too generally - for me something like abortion rights blows any thought of supporting a Republican to watch the world burn or even demonizing Democrats a whole lot right out of the water.
posted by zutalors! at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is missing the point. It's not working as well as demonizing minorities works on the right.
Again, I don't know about that! One of the most bizarre black swans of this election was seeing a previously obscure 70-something politician hoover up a ton of the Democratic vote and run the establishment candidate rather closer than expected on the basis of just such an argument. And polling suggests he would've comfortably seen off Trump's nativism in the general as well. The point for me is that, the New New Deal, anti-bank, anti-finance-industry argument has only just started to enter the mainstream and it appears to have a remarkable degree of potential cross-party support (among actual voters, that is, rather than party representatives). Why not pursue that programme further and see where it leads?
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:57 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


Has any serious thought been given to the idea that the protests against Trump had the exact opposite effect than was intended? This has been bothering the hell out of me lately. It's like the political equivalent of "Parental Advisory" stickers on Gangsta Rap albums.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Why not pursue that programme further and see where it leads?

sure, let's do that.
posted by zutalors! at 9:02 AM on May 12, 2016


zarq My point was that when it comes to rhetoric, not action, Clinton is failing.

It'd be nice to think that policy was the real important part, and you certainly have to have good policy on the back end to make things work. But when it comes to drumming up support and getting out votes, rhetoric and narrative are critical. They aren't everything, but they are critical.

And Clinton is fundamentally incapable of weaving a narrative about the billionaires being at fault for the economy. She may well have a perfectly fine plan and policy that addresses the problem, but that's not going to get anyone fired up.

This is why, despite Sanders falling down in interviews when he tries (and fails miserably) to talk specifics he's perceived as the better candidate on these matters. Because it isn't the policy that's most important when it comes to that perception, it's the narrative and the rhetoric.

Sanders is out there saying that the economy is messed up because the billionaire looter class is stealing all the money. Because of that his weakness when it comes to talking actual policy is largely irrelevant.

Clinton is out there saying, literally, "Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild." That narrative, that Wall Street is basically ok and just needs some wonkish policy adjustments, is simply not an effective counter to Trumpism.

People think in terms of stories. And the Right has a really easy, simple, story to tell about the economy. The story is total fiction, but that's not hugely important.

The Left needs a story, a true story, to counter the Right's story and Clinton won't, or can't, produce that narrative. Policy proposals aren't what I'm talking about here.
posted by sotonohito at 9:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'd much rather see a campaign that focuses on policy and GOTV. The liberal "narrative" is never going to be able to compete with the right-wing narrative, because the latter can go for the gut and lizard brain in a way that the former can't without chucking out the principles that make them liberals in the first place. And lord help us, the answer here isn't to find the right people to "demonize."
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:08 AM on May 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Sonny Jim: Why not pursue that programme further and see where it leads?

After FDR was elected, banks (and rich people in general) freaked out about what they feared he was going to do and pulled their money out of the economy even more dramatically than they had done after the 1929 Crash, crippling the economy even further and extending the Depression. Some of it was fear, and some of it was calculated spite.

They'll do that again if they're threatened seriously enough. That's the power they hold. They know it, and we know it. People aren't willing to go through that in order to reduce the power of the banks unless things are already so unbelievably shitty for a majority of the population that living through another plutocrat-enhanced Great Depression seems like a reasonable long-term option. Right now there is a sizable chunk going through shittiness that bad, but, like farmers in 1896, there just aren't enough of them.
posted by clawsoon at 9:08 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I actually kind of liked 2008's "Hope & Change" and even 2012's "Forward".
posted by FJT at 9:09 AM on May 12, 2016


I'd much rather see a campaign that focuses on policy and GOTV. The liberal "narrative" is never going to be able to compete with the right-wing narrative, because the latter can go for the gut and lizard brain in a way that the former can't without chucking out the principles that make them liberals in the first place. And lord help us, the answer here isn't to find the right people to "demonize."

Exactly. I'm not sure what was so hard to understand about what I was saying, but it was pretty much this - the right uses xenophobia to control and convince, and the left seems to want to use that model but insert banks, and that doesn't really work and despite BUT BERNIE SANDERS it still hasn't really gotten any traction.
posted by zutalors! at 9:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


In another victory for #neverTrump, Paul Ryan is coming around to Trump, as long as Trump drops his opposition to Ryan's reason for existence, slashing Social Security and Medicare. Which, cmon, of course Trump will cave on.

We're going to get the worst of all worlds, a Trump who will agree to literally everything proposed by the hate radio fever swamp, as well as the long time goals of the donor class he needs to fund his general election. Personhood and bathroom bills, means tests and budget cuts, oh my.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:14 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


prize bull octorok I would argue that narrative and GOTV are inseperable. I'm a total politics geek and I'll get out there in November and vote Clinton no matter what because while she's hardly perfect from my view she's not awful and I'll vote for just about anyone with a D after their name simply due to the Supreme Court.

But people who are like me are few and far between and the majority need a narrative to get them off their lazy butts and to the voting booth.

And it isn't as if Clinton or the Left in general have a problem weaving narratives on non-economic matters. Look at how successful they are with talking abortion rights narratives, or gay rights narratives, and using those to drive GOTV efforts.
The Right wants to bring us back to a time of dangerous back alley abortions that kill women
Now there's a narrative that works. It gets people off their duff and into the voting booth.

I'm not arguing that the Democrats should abandon policy and wonkery and go for nothing but narrative. I'm arguing that they need a narrative to hang that policy and wonkery on so it has an emotional appeal for the less policy motivated people.

Even if the narrative can't match the Right's for sheer visceral appeal, it needs to be there and it needs to be towards the front.

You've got to have a solid basis in policy, but without some narrative to sell it the best policy will just languish.

If Clinton would get out there with some fighting words it'd help tremendously both in terms of the general election and in terms of the perception (regardless of its truth) of her as someone weak on billionaires.
posted by sotonohito at 9:18 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


In another victory for #neverTrump, Paul Ryan is coming around to Trump, as long as Trump drops his opposition to Ryan's reason for existence, slashing Social Security and Medicare. Which, cmon, of course Trump will cave on.

“cave” is not the right word for describing Trump changing a stated position, especially since he is beyond capable of having both all and none of these positions at the same time.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


zutalors!, it's gotten enough traction that Sanders came within a smidge of winning the nomination. Seriously, how the fuck is this not obvious?

Sanders, a dude with no charisma at all, with no looks or TV presence at all, with very little money, came out of fucking nowhere and came within 200 delegates of winning the Democratic nomination.

All that he had against the entire might of the Democratic establishment, and a politician like Clinton who ran a fantastic campaign and who has a lot of support and political clout, was the narrative. And it was **ALMOST** enough to win. Not quite, but so close it should shake the Democratic establishment to its core and have them falling all over themselves figuring out how he did it and how they can copy it.

And instead they, like you, are trying to pretend that somehow it didn't happen. That some how, despite decades of steady loss in the Senate and House and state and local elections, doing more of the same will turn things around.

Look, I'm not here to scream that Sanders is the best and that Clinton sucks. Forget about that, please.

I'm here to say that there are extremely valuable lessons to learn from the Sanders campaign, and one is that narrative is critical, so critical he came amazingly close to beating Clinton, and that if the Democrats in general want to win for a change they need to learn the lesson of Sanders.

Because let's face it, Sanders was a shitty candidate. He had exactly one thing going for him, and that was his narrative. And if a candidate as awful as Sanders can come so close to victory with that narrative, just imagine what it can do with a candidate as good as Clinton.

My point here is not that Clinton is awful or in bed with the banks or that I hate her. My point is that there is a giant fucking learning opportunity here and that she, and you, and the Democratic establishment in general seems perversely obsessed with missing it.

And I am fucking terrified by this because I see a Fascist future looming, and I see the Democrats as the only possible chance we have of avoiding it, and I see them pissing away every opportunity they have to avert it. I see, in fact, the Democrats perversely fueling the Fascist future by steadfastly refusing to provide what I think is the single hope we have: a class war based narrative which acknowledges the truth that the billionaires are stealing all the money.

Look at the rise of the Golden Dawn in Greece, and how quickly they were scattered and defeated by a person wielding a true narrative of class warfare.

Mussolini, Hitler, Trump, and all the others like them rise because a large number of people feel (justifiably) economically hopeless and they offer a false, racist, hope.

I want Clinton to win, I want her to succeed, not just now but in 2020, and I want the Democrats in general to win and succeed, and I do not think that repeating the same bloodless, empty, wonkish bullshit they've been losing on for my entire life is going to suddenly start winning.
posted by sotonohito at 9:30 AM on May 12, 2016 [44 favorites]


She represents this or she represents that, but her actual voice is more or less erased from a lot of these conversations.

Which you know, happens all the time to women. And the men who do it, generally don't even consider themselves sexist.


If Clinton would get out there with some fighting words it'd help tremendously

Why bother, when what she actually says, will be replaced by what men think she said? You might as well go ahead and invent that narrative yourself.
posted by happyroach at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'd much rather see a campaign that focuses on policy and GOTV.
Well, I'm sorry, but that sounds like a recipe for ... November 2000. The Gore campaign showed what happens when you go up against proudly stupid with "now here's a detailed policy breakdown."
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


“cave” is not the right word for describing Trump changing a stated position

That's true, and why I think Mitch McConnell's vision of the Trump presidency is probably the right one. It doesn't really matter what he says, he'll sign/support whatever crap comes out of the GOP Congress, including every repeal of the New Deal and drowning of [insert agency here] on the billionaire wishlists; plus he'll wield the 'bully pulpit' to flog whatever insanity is the topic of the day on FOX/hateradio and create a direct pipeline from Alex Jones and Rush to duly passed legislation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:35 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump couldn't have built the nationalist/populist movement he did without the total paralysis of the Democrats, their utter refusal to build a narrative and name the true villains of the economic catastrophe.

and

The Left needs a story, a true story, to counter the Right's story and Clinton won't, or can't, produce that narrative. Policy proposals aren't what I'm talking about here.

I think you can look at that "Unnecessariat" piece and see a lot of the issue that dems are going to have going up against the republicans on the economic issues. The folks who are hurting and being sucked in by this nationalism/othering stuff have bought into decades of narrative that painted any government assistance as giveaways and signs that you're a horrible person (never mind that you paid for that help with your taxes).

I mean, this is a message from someone who is nominally leftish but was conflicted on their primary vote and included chunks like this:
Over at hipcrime they’re blaming automation, but in my experience in flyover country, white folks are predictably blaming everyone of color for their plight. That’s a bigger issue than I can talk about here, but in brief I disagree with (and hate) the argument that a white sense of economic disenfranchisement is somehow separable from a racial narrative. It isn’t. Rural white people, in my (ethnographic) experience, see their economic circumstances as a result of the rich/the government taking “their” stuff and giving it to the “undeserving,” which is as racially marked a definition as exists in the American vernacular. We can talk about this later.
Put aside the fact that this is kind of a big thing to talk about "later" in the subject of the piece. This is basically the core issue in reaching these voters - communicating who actually wants to do some things for them. From my perspective it's pretty clear which party is, overall, interested in doing things for the poor. (Even if it requires some higher earners paying some more, that is, which seems to be the differentiator; I do not remotely doubt all republicans would love to help the poor, just so long as it doesn't actually cost anyone any money.)

The facts on the ground are pretty hard to dispute. The last sane-ish person standing in the republican primaries was someone who slashed a bunch of other programs in Ohio, a non-negligible number of them benefiting white folks. I'm not sure how democrats stay true to their values and drop pointing out when this stuff disproportionately impacts PoC, even if that likely is harming them. But even if you made that racist impact go away, how do you counter this erroneous belief that people at that level are suffering because the government is transferring their wealth away?

What narrative based on truth - and I am assuming we care if it's truthful - counters that? Because it really feels like the problem is that these folks consider programs to help them being floated to be an offensive/insulting one because they've been told it's filthy dirty welfare, and for some non-zero number of them it's offensive because PoC benefit from it too. So on the one side we have real programs that actually exist, but are tainted. On the other we have magical faerie dust that's never going to actually accomplish something because immigration and welfare programs aren't what actually harms these folks.

I would love to hear the narrative that counters this without policy proposals. I'm not sure there is one beyond "those people are lying to you."
posted by phearlez at 9:36 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mitch McConnell's vision of the Trump presidency is probably the right one. It doesn't really matter what he says, he'll sign/support whatever crap comes out of the GOP Congress

I agree with this prediction.
posted by Gelatin at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2016


sotonohito, you said you want a simple narrative like the right has a simple narrative. And I guess you think Sanders had success making Banks as scary for his voters as Trump made Muslims/Mexicans? I disagree with that. I'm not pretending or anything.

I think that the reason policy and details is the strategy Democrats go with is that it's more successful for change at all levels within our structure. I don't see why we need to emulate the low level fear mongering of the Right but with different targets.
posted by zutalors! at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, I'm sorry, but that sounds like a recipe for ... November 2000. The Gore campaign showed what happens when you go up against proudly stupid with "now here's a detailed policy breakdown."

You're not going to flip the proudly stupid by being proudly stupider.

And a little more GOTV on his campaign's part might have put Florida in the bag.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


>Has any serious thought been given to the idea that the protests against Trump had the exact opposite effect than was intended?

The alt-right is all over that angle, and videos like this one of people violently attacking Trump supporters is absolute gold to them. I've not seen the issue mentioned by the left.
posted by anti social order at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


And a little more GOTV on his campaign's part might have put Florida in the bag.

One factor from the 2000 election that won't apply to this race is that Gore distanced himself from Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton won't do that; while this narrative might not appeal to the more idealistic voters, she will indicate her presidency will continue Barack Obama's legacy. And Obama will no doubt campaign for her, and be welcomed, not shunned, by the Clinton campaign.

And why not? Obama is wildly popular among Democrats, and indeed popular generally.
posted by Gelatin at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Michael A. Cohen: Dear liberals, stop panicking over Trump
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have to say I don't really like that kind of protest generally, whether against Trump or Sanders or Clinton or Obama.
posted by zutalors! at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2016


Does anyone else feel that we've entered a post-truth world? Ten, fifteen years ago, the sorts of factual errors (and outright lies) that Trump repeats incessantly would have been called out by the press. But there's a sick relationship between network television and the Trump campaign - they're afraid to alienate him because Trump means ratings, and if they call him out on his shit, he'll freeze them out. No more interviews, no more press at his events. So all the other networks will suck up their viewers because CBS or whoever can't deliver first-degree Trump anymore.

How does this get fixed?
posted by stolyarova at 9:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Mitch McConnell's vision of the Trump presidency is probably the right one. It doesn't really matter what he says, he'll sign/support whatever crap comes out of the GOP Congress

Basically what Norquist said four years ago, "All we need is someone who can 'handle a pen'"
posted by octothorpe at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ten, fifteen years ago, the sorts of factual errors (and outright lies) that Trump repeats incessantly would have been called out by the press.

I remember George W. Bush's presidency, and Ronald Reagan's. I disagree.
posted by Gelatin at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


(That said, the point about Trump being good for ratings is a solid one, and the mainstream media is deathly afraid of being accused of liberal bias, despite the fact that they inevitably will be whenever they report facts inconvenient to the conservative narrative.)
posted by Gelatin at 9:54 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sometimes simple narratives are true. The message that corporations and rich people financing elections and getting away with wrecking the economy has proven to be effective in galvanizing a lot of people in this country on both sides of the aisle. The Democratic party needs to recognize that and embrace it, rather than doubling down and saying things like "America is already great".

And let's not start equating the demonization of Wall Street to the demonization of minorities. They are in no way equivalent.
posted by kyp at 9:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


zutalors!, it's gotten enough traction that Sanders came within a smidge of winning the nomination. Seriously, how the fuck is this not obvious?

I think we should maybe be able to agree that this is a contested notion.

Proportionality of delegates has kept things dragging out, but to go on 538’s projected per-state delegate targets, Clinton has hit 33 out of 46 of her marks, while Sanders has hit 20, and he has garnered effectively nil establishment support in the form of endorsements.

Without a doubt, Sanders has changed the tone of the conversation, has set a new high-water mark for the impact of small donors, and has got a bunch of fresh hot blood into toe process. He’s succeeding in many ways despite the lack of support rather than for it. But it’s going to be hard to argue that despite those amazing successes he was actually close to winning. Outperforming expectations, even amazingly, doesn’t mean that you’re close to the winner’s circle.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Reagan was known as the "Teflon President" for good reason.
posted by Superplin at 9:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders, a dude with no charisma at all, with no looks or TV presence at all, with very little money, came out of fucking nowhere and came within 200 delegates of winning the Democratic nomination.

Emphasis added. I am very much not saying "Sanders supporters are misogynist," and I am very much not denying that a lot of people have very real policy/political objections to Clinton's platform and record, but it is an enormous error to pretend this is just a coincidence.
posted by dersins at 9:57 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


You're not going to flip the proudly stupid by being proudly stupider.
No, but you might have a better chance if you don't talk to them like you think they're stupid, irredeemable bigots. Counter-intuitive, I know! This is something Azealea Banks was getting at this week, but we decided to disregard her too apparently because she's a homophobe. But this is the issue: you can't pre-emptively sift your potential voters into deserving and undeserving categories, target only the deserving ones, and expect to win a sizable constituency. People understandably resent seeing a set of moral calipers come out. The great advantage of economic arguments is that you get beyond moral disagreements and can start putting together larger coalitions based on shared needs and interests. Start with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and build from there.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:58 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I remember George W. Bush's presidency, and Ronald Reagan's. I disagree.

Maybe the problem is that I haven't lived long enough to see those administrations as a functioning adult. I was still in high school when GWB got elected the first time, and only got interested in politics around 2008, after Obama's election.

That said, Nixon was impeached for the kind of wiretapping that the NSA now does routinely, to everyone, not just official political opponents. Dan Quayle basically exploded his political career by misspelling "potato." Lesser sins have sunk greater men than Trump.
posted by stolyarova at 9:58 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


One thing about policy details is that they're not sexy or interesting to a lot of people. They are to us, but we're here on a website discussing these things precisely because we're interested in those things and more importantly, we mostly understand them. A not insignificant amount of our country don't really care about the details, they just want to feel like they're being heard and sympathized with. Trump is doing that, both by what he says but also by how he says it. When Clinton talks, a lot of people just hear the "whom whom whom" voice of adults in Peanuts cartoons.

I think what Clinton has to say is SO important, but if you're not terribly interested in how the sausage is made, just whether you get some or not, you're going to stop listening to her and will listen to the guy who just barfs out whatever he feels.

I really hope somehow she is able to find her voice that is able to hit those emotional spots in the less informed voter, because that's really where I think this election is going to be won.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:00 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is something Azealea Banks was getting at this week, but we decided to disregard her too apparently because she's a homophobe.

I would disregard Azealia Banks because she is a fool. But then, perhaps that’s the point.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


One factor from the 2000 election that won't apply to this race is that Gore distanced himself from Bill Clinton.

Yeah, from my perspective as a 2000 voter that was my issue with Gore. I was someone who voted for Clinton both times but was - hey this sounds familiar - repeatedly disappointed by what I felt like were failures to stand up for liberal principles I cared about. I'd been angry about DADT and the failure to enact any health care reform. While I'd been happy with some stuff I wanted more. So when Gore distanced himself from Clinton in the other direction, and picks a running mate who has just recently shook his sabre at Hollywood telling them to clean up their act or we'll clean it up for you - bringing back all those PMRC memories - well no surprise you lose the people who wanted more left, not less.
posted by phearlez at 10:02 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Also, Sanders has no charisma? WTF? He's hella likeable! I like him! His supporters LOVE him!

you can't pre-emptively sift your potential voters into deserving and undeserving categories, target only the deserving ones, and expect to win a sizable constituency.

Okay? This is pretty far from any argument I was making. I just think it's a mistake for Clinton to try to out-demagogue Trump. It's not her wheelhouse, and I think she's much better off firing up and turning out the people who vote in favor of stuff like, say, good policy, and not being a horrible racist, instead of trying to find One Cool Trick to peel off some of the resentful white people. I will be happy to see her implement policies that will benefit those people once she's president, but I don't think she needs to pander to people who are rallying to Trump because they think Mexicans are stealing their jobs and PC culture has run amok.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


When Clinton talks, a lot of people just hear the "whom whom whom" voice of adults in Peanuts cartoons.

She is much better one on one, and has lots of videos on her FB of her hearing people's individual stories and engaging with them. She makes sure to drop some policy in her answers as well.

It's the introvert approach to campaigning.
posted by zutalors! at 10:04 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is basically the core issue in reaching these voters - communicating who actually wants to do some things for them. From my perspective it's pretty clear which party is, overall, interested in doing things for the poor. (Even if it requires some higher earners paying some more, that is, which seems to be the differentiator; I do not remotely doubt all republicans would love to help the poor, just so long as it doesn't actually cost anyone any money.)

This is so fucking heartbreaking, because it's not just about "communicating who actually wants to do some things for them." If it were that easy, don't you think it'd already be done? The problem is that no one wants to do things that they personally find value in for them.

It's not just about higher earners paying more. It's 100% not. It's about what is being done, and whether it falls into the category of "help" or "charity", which is a function that from my perspective, Democrats in particular have shown zero interest in differentiating, because they just don't care. It's not a meaningful axis to them, so they don't bother explore it, so you have people suffering, agonizing, in grinding, awful poverty, because they can't be arsed to offer a lifeline people will actually take, and then they sit smug about what idiots the sufferers are.

And then we get Trump, because no one is bothering to offer a program people will actually take and feel good about. You can't just give people what they perceive to be charity and then tell them to feel good about it. You have to offer a way they can still contribute and feel they're bringing in the food.
posted by corb at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


People understandably resent seeing a set of moral calipers come out.

But isn't that what the Republicans do now and have been doing for my entire generation? The morality police have taken over and set the narratives about who is deserving according to certain pull quotes from the bible. That's pretty much been the basis of all the othering going on, that some people are morally righteous and deserving and the rest of you don't meet those standards so go fuck yourselves.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


So, I guess my concern is if the Democrats match the anger in hating banks and billionaires as much as the Republicans and their hate on women, minorities, etc. Are we actually harnessing that anger and energy annd redirecting it, or are we simply going to add to it and see it slowly build up like that slime in Ghostbusters 2.

One of my old thoughts back in the early primary days would be a candidate or platform in the future that combines parts of the Trump and Sanders platform. Because as ridiculous as it sounds, I don't see it inherently incompatible to hate government AND minorities. To hate billionaires AND women. Trump is already in some ways like that.
posted by FJT at 10:07 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I actually kind of liked 2008's "Hope & Change" and even 2012's "Forward".

definitely better than 2016's "1000 Years of the Fourth Reich"
posted by poffin boffin at 10:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


zutalors!, it's gotten enough traction that Sanders came within a smidge of winning the nomination. Seriously, how the fuck is this not obvious?

We actually know two things.

We know that Sanders did far better than expected, and that he said those things.

But it doesn't follow, without more evidence, that he did far better than expected because he said those things. Unfortunately, even looking at what people said motivated them won't be much help, because people tend to rationalize their choices after the fact. We won't really have a good handle on what the actual attraction to Sanders was until we have access to the individual-level data and can start ruling out theories on the basis of their other observable implications.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's not just about higher earners paying more. It's 100% not. It's about what is being done, and whether it falls into the category of "help" or "charity", which is a function that from my perspective, Democrats in particular have shown zero interest in differentiating, because they just don't care. It's not a meaningful axis to them, so they don't bother explore it, so you have people suffering, agonizing, in grinding, awful poverty, because they can't be arsed to offer a lifeline people will actually take, and then they sit smug about what idiots the sufferers are.

Plenty of us on the left care about this categorization, but the people you have supported for the last twenty years have deliberately muddied the definition, making it a battle not just to keep the programs alive but also to define them accurately. Unemployment insurance is something people pay into - they buy it with their own wages. It is inherently not a handout or charity. Yet you constantly have people who want to insist they'll never take it. Why? Because the definition has been tainted.

I agree, this is a tragic and frustrating thing. But if you're really not on board this party-above-all support-Trump thing then maybe you want to stop also buying into this narrative of sneering liberals who just don't care and call people dumb thing. Trump is offering magical do-nothing pixie dust for these people's problems. You're complaining about the language someone is using in inviting people onto the lifeboat.
posted by phearlez at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


It's not just about higher earners paying more. It's 100% not. It's about what is being done, and whether it falls into the category of "help" or "charity", which is a function that from my perspective, Democrats in particular have shown zero interest in differentiating, because they just don't care. It's not a meaningful axis to them, so they don't bother explore it, so you have people suffering, agonizing, in grinding, awful poverty, because they can't be arsed to offer a lifeline people will actually take, and then they sit smug about what idiots the sufferers are.

Uh no actually, it is the party that you support that has been steadily chipping away at benefits that everyone pays into, and that has been tainting the social safety net with notions of being a 'freeloader.' Stop pretending that anyone except Republicans are responsible for those things.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:18 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Unemployment insurance is something people pay into - they buy it with their own wages. It is inherently not a handout or charity

It's not a job. It's money they give you for doing nothing. Even if you did pay into it in roughly equivalent amount to the amount you would use, there's no pride in taking unemployment insurance. You can't come home at the end of the day and say "My sweat, my brain power, bought this meat on this table."

You could do that with a jobs program that paid the same as unemployment insurance, but worked you 30 hours a week with an additional 10 spent job seeking. It could even cost the same, and bring productive things to our country. It could even be funded the same. But it would be worlds apart. Just like having a daycare, a physical daycare, where your kids can go for free, while you are in this jobs program, is worlds apart from them giving you money for daycare.

Because someone opposes handing out money, doesn't mean they oppose services for the poor. For many people, the act of receiving actually money without labor in exchange is inherently a handout or charity. That's not because of 'Republican messaging', it's because of structural cultural differences.
posted by corb at 10:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


it's because of structural cultural differences

No it is not. It's because of a profound misunderstanding of the purpose of those benefits.
posted by zutalors! at 10:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


It's money they give you for doing nothing.

It's cashing in on a bet that you wouldn't lose your job.
posted by Etrigan at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [28 favorites]


I'd be curious to know if this is a disagreement about which dimensions of "left" are most important to someone, rather than "how far left" someone is. Are you more left-wing than your friend about one or two things?
--
Yeah, this is my question too generally - for me something like abortion rights blows any thought of supporting a Republican to watch the world burn or even demonizing Democrats a whole lot right out of the water.


I've been thinking about this, actually, and I think it's actually only partly left-v.-center; my friend was actually bemoaning not being able to vote in the NY Democratic primary, because he would have voted for Sanders. And we both agree on just about every liberal social policy.

Where we differ is more a matter of zeal, I think. I'm less than impressed with Clinton's economic record too, to be honest (okay, yeah, she supported penalizing the banks at first, but didn't do quite enough to advance that cause as I would have liked before giving in), but I'm willing to accept an imperfect candidate that supports most of my causes, and my friend is more of an all-or-nothing sort of guy. He and I also absolutely agree that having more than just two parties would be a much, much better thing for the country all around; but I've accepted that this is the kind of sweeping change that just plain isn't going to happen overnight, and you need to also watch out for things in the short-term, even if that means voting for an imperfect candidate so as not to prevent, like, Satan from getting in. But here, too, my friend is more all-or-nothing.

So it may be more about that. My willingness to sacrifice a few battles in order to win the longer war definitely puts me in more of a centrist place than his all-or-nothing nature puts him. But the world needs both kinds of people, I think, so it's fine.

I also tend to look at my primary vote as a way of influencing the general tone of the party; I don't think a single one of my primary choices has made it to the candidacy ever. I voted for Sanders this time, and in 2008 I voted for Chris Dodd; hell, I think in 1992 I voted for Tsongas in the primary. If they'd gone on to win, it'd have been great; but I was reasonably sure that the odds were long for all of them, and I was seeing my vote as a message to the eventual winner that "this guy's message is important to me, so consider that fact when you are preparing your own policy in the future." So I'm a Sanders supporter as far as the primary goes, because I greatly prefer his stance on the economy; but when it comes to a Clinton V. Trump match, no fucking contest.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's not a job. It's money they give you for doing nothing.

I've been on unemployment, and actively seeking employment -- and being able to prove it -- is a precondition for it, at least here in Indiana.

Furthermore, it's insurance that is paid for as a benefit of my actual employment, just as sick leave and medical insurance is. If I were to take a sick day in order to get treatment under my employer's health insurance plan, that wouldn't be "money they give you for doing nothing." Neither is unemployment.
posted by Gelatin at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


I think arguing the liberal case for social welfare programs is kind of missing corb's point here
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


So why haven't the Republicans created just such a jobs program? Also, unemployment insurance means that someone lost their job and it wasn't their fault. A lot of people put their pride away when it comes to feeding their kids while they look for another job.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


So why haven't the Republicans created just such a jobs program?

Because a) It would have to be funded by taxation and 2) still be perceived as a benefit going to the undeserving. But mostly a.
posted by Gelatin at 10:27 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Just like having a daycare, a physical daycare, where your kids can go for free, while you are in this jobs program, is worlds apart from them giving you money for daycare.

I totally agree with you, but this also sounds like worlds away from anything the Rs have ever proposed to anyone. That daycare is state-run, and the money can be used to get your kids into daycare in the private sector.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


So, I guess my concern is if the Democrats match the anger in hating banks and billionaires as much as the Republicans and their hate on women, minorities, etc. Are we actually harnessing that anger and energy annd redirecting it, or are we simply going to add to it and see it slowly build up like that slime in Ghostbusters 2.

I think if that sort of populist anger can be used to push the party elites into adopting policies in order to appease that anger, then it will not be for naught. Say what you want about the Tea Party, they forced the Republican establishment to respond. It's about time that a similar anti-neoliberal agitation movement forced the same against the Democratic leadership. People shouldn't be afraid of their party. Parties should be afraid of their people.*

*Well, in theory the people and their party should be one, but we live in a representative democracy so there's always going to be a separation between the political class and the people they claim to represent. So the latter is preferable to the former.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's not a job. It's money they give you for doing nothing. Even if you did pay into it in roughly equivalent amount to the amount you would use, there's no pride in taking unemployment insurance. You can't come home at the end of the day and say "My sweat, my brain power, bought this meat on this table."

Do those same people also object to earning interest or dividends or capital gains on their investments? How about life insurance payments, or their health insurer paying (part of) their medical bills? Because those are, in most significant ways, functionally equivalent to unemployment insurance.

In the case of unemployment insurance, your investment is both your labor (the sweat of your brow!) and what you effectively pay into the system out of your wages (an insurance premium!); the fact that the return on that investment is available to you only if your opportunity to earn is taken from you out of no fault of your own, does not change this.
posted by dersins at 10:30 AM on May 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


It's about time that a similar anti-neoliberal agitation movement forced the same against the Democratic leadership

I'd love to be wrong, but since the online narrative seems to be "Bernie was only as successful as he was because sexism," I don't see the Dems doing a lot of soul-searching or shifting to the left. Again, I'd love to be wrong.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's not a job. It's money they give you for doing nothing. Even if you did pay into it in roughly equivalent amount to the amount you would use, there's no pride in taking unemployment insurance. You can't come home at the end of the day and say "My sweat, my brain power, bought this meat on this table."

Would you say that to someone who is taking disability? Because disability insurance works on the exact same principle. You're hedging against economic dislocation.

The conservative angst about unemployment is bizarre -- if you're a capitalist, you should SUPPORT it, because it gives companies much more elasticity in terms of labor costs. Without unemployment benefits, you end up destroying spending power by driving down wages. This is why cutting taxes on the rich alone (and giving tax incentives to large corporations) never makes sense -- it's better to give everyone an extra dollar they can spend than to give $300M to a person or a company. Those dollars get spread widely across the economy.
posted by dw at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think arguing the liberal case for social welfare programs is kind of missing corb's point here

I would be 100% for a comprehensive employment program that recruited armies of people to fix up our nations decaying infrastructure, engage in socially useful construction products, staff all those free day care centers and just pick the freaking litter off the streets. Sort of like a WPA on steroids.

One caveat is that there would still need to be, on some level, money going to support people who can't work -- children, the elderly, and the infirm -- and another is that Republicans, who opposed the initial incarnation of the WPA, would never go for it now, because of the reasons I outline above, and equally importantly, because it would utterly torpedo their decades-long marketing effort to push the narrative that government can't ever do anything right.
posted by Gelatin at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


it’s because of structural cultural differences

No it is not. It's because of a profound misunderstanding of the purpose of those benefits.

Misunderstandings of the purposes of benefits can be due to structural cultural differences.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:33 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure how I missed corb's point. She said that Dems don't differentiate between help and charity which somehow makes people feel bad. So semantics is the problem? Because frankly, I don't see a difference between the two words. The definition of charity even has the word help in it:

Charity

Simple Definition of charity
: the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.


If I'm still missing the point, please let me know.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:33 AM on May 12, 2016


The only reason Republicans oppose unemployment insurance is because it is in the interest of rich people to always keep poor people held over a barrel.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Misunderstandings of the purposes of benefits can be due to structural cultural differences.

...those differences being decades of conservative messaging.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


So why haven't the Republicans created just such a jobs program? Also, unemployment insurance means that someone lost their job and it wasn't their fault. A lot of people put their pride away when it comes to feeding their kids while they look for another job.

Again, I'm not saying - though I think people are hearing - 'People who take government benefits are lazy/bad/wrong/at fault'. When I say 'Unemployment benefits doesn't usually make the people we are talking about feel pride', I'm not saying 'People are wrong for taking unemployment benefits'. I am talking about specific, emotional, cultural feelings of worth that are centered in differences.

And that kind of illustrates how difficult it is to talk about this and other similar cultural barriers - because it's really hard to say 'this is a thing that is not a culturally appropriate offer, find a different offer' without people hearing 'and anyone who does take it/feel it is appropriate is BadWrong'. And once you get into that mode, people are already fighting and not hearing each other, and they double down on their positions, and so you have people straight up attacking people over any cultural difference. And yes, you have people on both sides doing it - judging people by their own cultural perspective. Democrats thinking anyone not willing to take money is an idiot, and Republicans thinking anyone willing to take a sack of money is a moocher.

But to bring it back, that's what the article is talking about, and that's also why people are falling for suicidal things like the Trumpocalypse. Because Trump isn't offering a lot of hope, and his plans are shit - but he's offering hope in the form of jobs. Trump has figured out the cultural need of these people. He's not saying, "I'm going to give you a sack of money." He's saying, "I'm going to make you an earner again. I'm going to give you cultural relevance again. I'm going to let you hold your chin high again."

If you want to counter Trump, you have to understand that - because no one else is offering that. No one else is offering that hope, is saying, "I'm going to bring jobs back to the places they have gone away from." Even if it's a lie.
posted by corb at 10:35 AM on May 12, 2016 [20 favorites]




If by 'messaging' you mean 'flat out lying,' sure.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:36 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Do those same people also object to earning interest or dividends or capital gains on their investments?

In many cases, dividends and capital gains are money earned by the sweat of other peoples' brows.
posted by Gelatin at 10:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm finding the entire idea that this is "cultural" to be kind of gross. You'll often find people with the same cultural heritage, raised in the same place and in the same way, seeing two different sides of this coin. That's not a culture, that's an ideology, and conflating the two misses the point entirely.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


corb, I believe you and I said the same thing. I said that Trump is hitting people where they feel, even though he's lying and that Clinton uses facts which don't hit people emotionally. I also don't know any Democrat who thinks someone not taking public assistance is stupid, do you have a cite for that?
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2016


And let's not start equating the demonization of Wall Street to the demonization of minorities. They are in no way equivalent.

Well...I have to remember the discussion I've gotten into where, when pressed for actual names behind "The rich people bought and own America, the same old names started popping out. It's really easy to develop an intersection between "Wall Street owns everything" and "Jews own everything". With strong runner-ups in "Arabs" and "Chinese" and earlier, "Japanese".

That's why I think Sanders & Co. have been careful to avoid attaching actual names to their Wall Street messaging (not to mention it's easier to other someone without a face or name). It's also where Trump could do his "Steer to the left" tactic while still appealing to the racism of his base: "It's not the real American entrepreneurs and job creators I oppose, but those not quite Americans who drain our wealth!"
posted by happyroach at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


some people value hard work and earning their keep, while other kinds of people value mooching and freebies. No moral judgments here, it's just two different cultures!
posted by theodolite at 10:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


It's really easy to develop an intersection between "Wall Street owns everything" and "Jews own everything". With strong runner-ups in "Arabs" and "Chinese" and earlier, "Japanese".

Buh? I'd nominate the Koch brothers and the Sam Walton dynasty well before any others. Not only are none of those people Jewish, there's much more evidence that "they own everything" would actually be true.

I can't recall as I've ever heard any anti-Semitic implications in the Wall-Street-Owns-Everything quarters.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:45 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


No one else is offering that hope, is saying, "I'm going to bring jobs back to the places they have gone away from."

A lot of candidates running would disagree with that. Some people just want to listen to the orange guy about jobs and deliberately ignore what the other candidates say about jobs, even if those candidates all want the same end result — i.e., more jobs.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:46 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


dw: if you're a capitalist, you should SUPPORT it, because it gives companies much more elasticity in terms of labor costs. Without unemployment benefits, you end up destroying spending power by driving down wages.

Tragedy of the Commons. You're 100% correct, it would be better for all capitalists if they all paid higher taxes with the result of dependable consumer spending power. But as soon as one of them makes excess profits by weaseling out of their tax obligations, it puts pressure on all of them to turn into anti-social tax weasels lest they lose their investment capital to the weasels.
posted by clawsoon at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


And that kind of illustrates how difficult it is to talk about this and other similar cultural barriers - because it's really hard to say 'this is a thing that is not a culturally appropriate offer, find a different offer' without people hearing 'and anyone who does take it/feel it is appropriate is BadWrong'. And once you get into that mode, people are already fighting and not hearing each other, and they double down on their positions, and so you have people straight up attacking people over any cultural difference. And yes, you have people on both sides doing it - judging people by their own cultural perspective. Democrats thinking anyone not willing to take money is an idiot, and Republicans thinking anyone willing to take a sack of money is a moocher.


I mean, I think you have a point that Trump is exploiting a very particular kind of ideological programming, but people are not pointing out the role of conservatism or Republicans in creating that programming just to get their hate on. Trump didn't "figure out" shit. Republicans laid the foundation for that "cultural need" decades ago, and have been milking it ever since.
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:48 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Democrats thinking anyone not willing to take money is an idiot

I am a registered Democrat, and I am not aware of anyone, least of all any Democratic politician, who holds this attitude. I do believe there's a certain amount of frustration that people aren't aware of the benefits they could take advantage of, and often there are too many hoops to jump thru (many of which are centered around proving one is, in fact, eligible, to prevent "waste, fraud, and abuse").

Republicans thinking anyone willing to take a sack of money is a moocher

I don't think this attitude is a caricature at all; Mitt Romney just about said as much in his infamously leaked comments, and you have the likes of Paul Ryan and Rand Paul who are hardcore Ayn Rand devotees.
posted by Gelatin at 10:49 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


There's so much hand-wavey special pleading going on with this argument that Democrats aren't offering anything to help the poor. Sure, if you cast any objection to the myriad programs that do exactly that as "cultural" differences, of course you can rule out many of those programs.

By that same logic, however, even if Republicans actually pushed for their theoretical solution to poverty (tax cuts targeting lower-income people, e.g. payroll taxes, expansion of existing tax credits, etc.) which they never seem to do without a much larger handout to the wealthy (c.f. the two sets of Bush 43 tax cuts) liberals should just, instead of ruling them out empirically as they usually do, they should simply say "I have a cultural objection to tax cuts." Boom, argument is over, as we're at first principles.

Of course liberals don't do that, because they don't willfully conflate economic first principles with cultural identity in order to win arguments.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:49 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Which is why I think it's even more vital for the Democratic party to acknowledge the anger people feel towards corruption and Wall Street and build on it constructively with a progressive platform that address that anger, rather than let it be co-opted by fascists and racists.
posted by kyp at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I also don't know any Democrat who thinks someone not taking public assistance is stupid, do you have a cite for that?

We don't call them stupid, but we frequently express bafflement at people 'voting against their own interests' and where those sentiments are viewed across the aisle I think it often can come off as a 'we, your betters, know what's good for you' kind of mentality

corb is absolutely right: there are huge swaths of people to whom anything that the right wing would classify as a "handout" is absolutely anathema, even though they and their families would benefit from them, and explaining 'no it's okay it's just like other kinds of insurance' isn't going to square that circle

telling corb we disagree with her and her fellow Republicans about the value of social welfare programs -- well, duh. But she has some useful information about how the other side is looking at things here.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


people are not pointing out the role of conservatism or Republicans in creating that programming just to get their hate on. Trump didn't "figure out" shit. Republicans laid the foundation for that "cultural need" decades ago, and have been milking it ever since.

About all kinds of things. As I've said before, Trump just says the quiet parts loud.
posted by Gelatin at 10:52 AM on May 12, 2016


there are huge swaths of people to whom anything that the right wing would classify as a "handout" is absolutely anathema, even though they and their families would benefit from them

Or even though their families do benefit from them. cf which states take more money in Federal aid dollars? Which states have higher percentages of people on welfare? States that consistently vote Republican.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


some people value hard work and earning their keep, while other kinds of people value mooching and freebies. No moral judgments here, it's just two different cultures!

So, I've actually really changed a lot of my views since I, Catholic-Hispanic culture, married someone raised WASP, and realized how ridiculously different a lot of basic cultural views are and how much the things we take for granted as norms are not actually universal norms. Particularly around work. My husband and his family tend to think "work must be done before any enjoyment happens". If there's, say, a full day of work, and two days of weekend time, they must do the full day of work the first day and then rest the next day. For me, and with my family, as long as you worked things out so the work would get done in the time allotted, it's totally okay to, say, work both mornings and play both evenings. It's not even a thing. But to his family, that's anathema. You are lazing while there's work to be done. Bizarre to me! But real. And this isn't because they listen to too much talk radio or whatever. This has been their opinion for hundreds of years before the Republicans even really got going.

So for some people, it doesn't actually matter whether work in the past brings money in the present, or whether it's work in the present that brings money in the present. It's just irrelevant and bizarre to consider that. You worked, and now you're reaping the benefits. But for other people, it is absolutely a cultural difference - it matters that you are presently working.

That's stuff we need to look at with nonpartisan eyes if we're ever going to get anywhere and avoid fascism. Which for me is really, really important! Fascism is the enemy and it must be defeated! And fascism grows when you have people who feel completely unheard and disenfranchised. Which means we need to not have those people. We need to find a way to bring everyone in, or our country is going to go down in flames.
posted by corb at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


Because Trump isn't offering a lot of hope, and his plans are shit - but he's offering hope in the form of jobs.

More he is offering hope in restoring jobs that have long ago left our economy. The whole "bring back the Pittsburgh steel industry" was a great example -- Pittsburgh long ago moved on from steel; now they're an education, healthcare, and tech hub. Birmingham has done a similar thing. But Trump is arguing for restoring those industries, even as we're the most educated this nation has ever been.

Trump's argument is for 55 year olds who think America used to be great. Sanders' argument is for 25 years old who feel betrayed. Oddly, they both want the same thing -- the return of blue collar jobs. But most of those jobs are never coming back, not even if you threw up a tariff wall. The ones that are here are actually pretty well-paid and because it makes perfect sense to make it here, e.g. Mercedes and BMW plants in the South.

We've suffered an immense dislocation as a result of the WTO/NAFTA era as well as the rise of the Internet. But neither party seems to really get that. The GOP wants to bring back 1950. The Democrats either want to just play this skein out or they want to bring back FDR. But between crap infrastructure, shitty education in poor areas, and a general distrust of government, we are struggling to make the leap. And when we do, we end up with these empathy deficits like we see in Silicon Valley.

I live in an absolutely booming Seattle. Value of my house is up nearly $100K in a year. We have thousands of people moving here every month. We have money. And then I go back to Tulsa to see the family, and I see the Warehouse Market (think Aldi with even more dented cans and institutional grade meat) and its packed out parking lot. I hear about their immense teacher shortage because they're now 50th in pay and Texas is offering incentives to move south. And, of course, the stories about expensive operations and oxy addictions to deal with pain they can't afford to treat.

Out here on the coast, we write off the South as "dumb" or "backward." But I get why Oklahoma voted for Sanders and Trump -- they are hurting, and neither party is offering more than bromides, but they'll take them. I appreciated that Sanders is thinking about the economic problems even as his plans are Underpants Gnome level of detail. But the GOP... it's trans people in bathrooms, the evil IRS, and Planned Parenthood anger.

Oklahoma may not be able to open their schools this fall with enough teachers even as they've cut thousands of positions, and there just aren't enough private schools for "vouchers" to even come close to working. But let's talk about that border wall again because that solves a real problem.

We're in a lot of trouble. And it's not about pride in being on the dole, or that a person assigned male at birth is pooping in the stall next to you. We are in the midst of a huge dislocation. Tax cuts, tax increases, free college all fix NOTHING. I'm voting for Hillary because she seems to get at least a little piece of this. But I don't even think she gets it. None of the finalists get it. Jill Stein certainly doesn't, I know that.
posted by dw at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: Buh? I'd nominate the Koch brothers and the Sam Walton dynasty well before any others. Not only are none of those people Jewish, there's much more evidence that "they own everything" would actually be true.

I can't recall as I've ever heard any anti-Semitic implications in the Wall-Street-Owns-Everything quarters.


The error you're making here is assuming that antisemitism is logic-based. And also ignoring a rich history going back years/decades/centuries of 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'-based (and other) antisemitic tropes of Banker Jews who control the world, media and other powerful institution.
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Well, I've been on SocSec Disability for ten years and I know I can't do half of what I used to be able to... in fact, my last two years of employment were pretty much a gift from an employer I'd given a decade of good work to (and the accumulated knowledge I had of what the company was doing, but even that was wearing thin toward the end). In fact, strong support from that employer helped me qualify for Disability, for which I will be doubly grateful. Of course, my monthly stipend was determined based on my work history... similar to what I'd have gotten 15 years later from Social Security Retirement. So I'm living on my 'early retirement' and I absolutely so NOT feel ashamed.

In fact, I never felt ashamed collecting Unemployment between jobs, because it meant that the System had my back when the companies that I worked for and laid me off didn't.

I do feel a LOT of shame over one job I had, and it was the highest paying job I ever had, working for a financial firm in the middle of the "Junk Bond Bubble" of the late '80s. There was no honor working for those barely-legal crooks, and the facts of the situation were drilled into me when the company stopped paying out on the annuities it carried, and the volume of phone calls to the home office was so high they had to take everybody there off their regular duties just to answer those calls a couple hours a day. And what were we told to say to the people who had lost what was for some of them their only source of income? "I'm sorry, we can't do anything at this time, and we don't know when we will".

Maybe I should have told them to get jobs so they could have some Pride.

There is the saying that "nobody's greatest dying regret is that they didn't work more hours". Well, maybe nobody. Only people who think that Jobs are the only thing that can give you Pride.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


You could do that with a jobs program that paid the same as unemployment insurance, but worked you 30 hours a week with an additional 10 spent job seeking. It could even cost the same, and bring productive things to our country. It could even be funded the same. But it would be worlds apart. Just like having a daycare, a physical daycare, where your kids can go for free, while you are in this jobs program, is worlds apart from them giving you money for daycare.

You are suggesting a system that is completely at odds with the current republican philosophy. I have too much respect for the value of my own time to google up for you the countless attacks on pre-school systems, which could serve a portion of what you say would be an acceptable service to offer in lieu of these other programs. Further, it is at odds with what recent research says about the superiority of simply giving the needy money and letting them spend it - research that has been embraced more by the republicans than democrats.

You are welcome to your own ideology and I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. But I am absolutely not going to sit and let And then we get Trump, because no one is bothering to offer a program people will actually take and feel good about stand. That's horse hockey. Trump running as a republican and being welcomed by self-identified republicans with that rhetoric is on republicans and on the republicans who have defined what is and is not acceptable within that party.

You're welcome to think that there's been a failure of the democratic party to really speak to folks in the middle of the country in a way that is acceptable. I think it's an open question as to how unwelcome these folks have actually been made, versus their attachment to things offered them by the party, but whatever. But don't you dare lay the fact that Trump found fertile ground for his message within the party on anyone outside the party.

telling corb we disagree with her and her fellow Republicans about the value of social welfare programs -- well, duh. But she has some useful information about how the other side is looking at things here.

Useful for understanding reactions, perhaps, but I am unsure how useful it is to be told that nothing that can be offered will be considered welcome. There are times in a conflict where the only reasonable thing to do is to ask the other person what can I do to make this better? And sometimes the only sensible way to react to their answer is to say that is not a thing that can be done.

Trump is instead saying yeah sure, we'll change that. We know he won't and mostly can't. I didn't need special insight to know that he's getting traction with fiction. Okay, you lie too is not useful.
posted by phearlez at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


But to corb's point about pride: I get it. I spent a lot of time trying to convince my mother to file for bankruptcy to get some debt relief, but she refused to, because DAMNIT being bankrupt is SHAMEFUL. So she sold the house and moved in with my brother. If she'd filed for bankruptcy, she might have been able to keep the house and get considerable debt relief. I still shake my head.
posted by dw at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


explaining 'no it's okay it's just like other kinds of insurance' isn't going to square that circle

I mean, think about why that is, though. Most people who aren't hardcore libertarians have no big objection to the concept of insurance, and nearly everyone who has conventional, purchased insurance (car/home/whatever) doesn't hesitate to use it when they need it. It's not viewed as a "handout." There is a reason why social welfare--which all taxpayers pay into--is viewed very differently, and that reason is decades of conservative propaganda.
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:57 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


So for some people, it doesn't actually matter whether work in the past brings money in the present, or whether it's work in the present that brings money in the present. It's just irrelevant and bizarre to consider that. You worked, and now you're reaping the benefits. But for other people, it is absolutely a cultural difference - it matters that you are presently working.

I'm genuinely curious, corb -- are you saying there are people who will refuse to retire, and forego their Social Security benefits -- to which they contributed all their working life -- because it would feel like a handout, because they aren't presently working?
posted by Gelatin at 10:57 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think if that sort of populist anger can be used to push the party elites into adopting policies in order to appease that anger

Populist anger is also quite volatile, as the current election proves as well. And at worst, populist anger seems better tuned for candidates that are better at the publicity or performance aspects of being "angry" or fighting whoever the enemy of the populists is (like Trump). I will admit, based on my family's history and my own viewpoints I am a bit bias against populism itself so this is totally a personal observation.
posted by FJT at 10:58 AM on May 12, 2016


You could do that with a jobs program that paid the same as unemployment insurance, but worked you 30 hours a week with an additional 10 spent job seeking.

Maybe this is coming from work stress, but here's why this doesn't work.

I currently work a job that requires me to be in the office 10 hours a day, with no lunch break. It's an unbelievably stressful job where, to be perfectly honest with you, I do the work of three people, and extra as needed. Most weeks I work a little over that 10 hours a day, too, not to mention the emails I get after hours and on weekends. For this labor, I make just barely over minimum wage (with no overtime for the time I spend over 10/day and no compensation for off-hours work). This is just about enough money to eek out a living.

If I were to get laid off from this job, the idea that I would ALSO have to provide free labor that I would not be compensated for -- most likely in a capacity that is not related to my career or likely to provide any benefit to me -- WHILE looking for a new "real" job, IS FUCKING INSANE. Especially since unemployment insurance is just that, INSURANCE, compensation provided to me on the off chance that I lose my job. You know, my incredibly stressful job where I work 50+ hours a week for just barely enough money to get by.

The idea of throwing people into a workhouse for being laid off is fucking dystopian, sorry.
posted by Sara C. at 11:00 AM on May 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


The error you're making here is assuming that antisemitism is logic-based. And also ignoring a rich history going back years/decades/centuries of 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'-based (and other) antisemitic tropes of Banker Jews who control the world, media and other powerful institution.

oh, I agree, I just haven't heard that the people who are arguing "the Jews own everything" are the same people who are saying "Wall Street owns everything", or even that they're talking about the same people. At least, it's not anything I've come across; in the "Wall Street owns everything" quarters, I've always sensed that "Wall Street" is a stand-in for "rich white WASP dudes" instead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


yeah idk what the solution to poverty and unemployment would be in the perfect world but i do know that "bring back the poorhouses/workhouses" is definitely not it
posted by poffin boffin at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


there are people for whom not being engaged in productive work feels like a devastating existential crisis, and whatever the reason they feel that way, it's not something they're going to get splained out of

this is not an argument against disability/unemployment insurance, food stamps, social security, or anything else, it's just a good thing to know about your fellow humans and how they operate
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Wall Street owns everything" quarters, I've always sensed that "Wall Street" is a stand-in for "rich white WASP dudes" instead.

well I have definitely heard it as Jews
posted by zutalors! at 11:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jill Stien on Reddit;

First off I agree with the comment below that it's hard to say which is the greater evil. …

The politics of fear says you have to vote against the candidate you fear rather than for the candidate who shares your values.


Oh, that's rich.
posted by bongo_x at 11:04 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


there are people for whom not being engaged in productive work feels like a devastating existential crisis, and whatever the reason they feel that way, it's not something they're going to get splained out of

do you think that the people who feel that way beyond any kind of reasoning make up the majority of the "populist anger" being described?
posted by Krom Tatman at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know about all you guys but I've definitely heard of Jews
posted by beerperson at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: oh, I agree, I just haven't heard that the people who are arguing "the Jews own everything" are the same people who are saying "Wall Street owns everything",

That must be nice.

I swear, I don't mean that rudely. But your comment does sound privileged.
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


there are people for whom not being engaged in productive work feels like a devastating existential crisis

Sure, and I'm one of those people. I spent six months of last year unemployed, and it was devastating. I'm honestly happy to have the kinda-ridiculous job I currently have, because it's better than the alternative.

I'd be for an "unemployment work program" if it actually took the form of meaningful work that was compensated on top of unemployment insurance*, could be done on a flexible and voluntary basis, and stood a chance of developing career skills or being personally fulfilling. But I think we all know that this isn't what it would turn out to be, at all.

*Fun fact, unemployment money is only about half your regular pay at the job you got laid off from.
posted by Sara C. at 11:08 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


We've all been watching the cognitive dissonance on the right play out for years, nothing that corb is saying is new to us. The issue is that now due to that cognitive dissonance, we stand a real chance of electing a completely unqualified wizard of oz to be our President. How do we stop that from happening?

zutalors! said upthread that Clinton is much better at communicating her message one on one. Since that's obviously not an option and there are millions of people who aren't going to see her videos, it's up to us to spread that message one to one. We have to figure out how to hit people where they feel like Trump does.
posted by hollygoheavy at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


there are people for whom not being engaged in productive work feels like a devastating existential crisis, and whatever the reason they feel that way, it's not something they're going to get splained out of

I wish - deeply wish - that there were some kind of way that we could have divergent benefits for people with different cultural interests - that there were a way we could have 'light work' jobs for the elderly or for employment seekers who wanted to find better jobs, while still having 'traditional' unemployment insurance for those who preferred it. I wish we could do this, so that everyone could benefit in the way that best suited them, while not taking away from other people.

But I don't think we'll get that when people are so deeply resistant to the other ideas having any support or prominence at all - when work programs are dismissed as 'workhouses' and insurance is dismissed as 'freebies'. And that means that people will struggle for dominance, and whoever is on top will feel justified in it, and whoever is on bottom will feel ignored and resentful. And that's a real problem.
posted by corb at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think a lot of basic human psychology is informing odd looking political choices. If having a job and good economic circumstances were based on personal qualities and work ethic, not uncontrollable things like race, gender, and luck, then of course the people who are fortunate economically are the good people, and anyone who isn't doing well must be bad, meaning their situation is their own fault. And government shouldn't reward those slackers for their failures. This thinking alone informs a lot of politics these days, and supports the whole R edifice.

Another really common belief is that demonizing and tearing down the "other" is a solution all by itself. With all due respect to those MeFis who champion tearing down "Wall Street," a lot of this animus is frankly fueling both Trump's blunt appeals to hatred and anger, and the Sanders campaign.

Clinton in traditional political terms is a liberal, who thinks government can and should solve social problems, that social justice is a critical goal, that institutions are made up of people who can be negotiated with, reasoned with, and regulated, and that human intelligence and compassion when deployed via government can make things better. She's definitely right of anarchists, but her background and goals and detailed policy plans could never be confused with those of a Republican.

One dangerous result of the thinking we are seeing in politics these days is that opting for extremism results in deadlock, and we cannot afford deadlock. We will inevitably see another recession in a few years, our relentless drift toward economic inequality is destroying our prosperity, global warming is having huge and irreversible impacts already, and social justice cannot wait.
posted by bearwife at 11:10 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Because I don't want to inadvertently vilify OWS to prove a point: Cries of Anti-Semitism, but Not at Zuccotti Park. Also: When Did the Occupy Movement Start Hating Jews?
posted by zarq at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Another really common belief is that demonizing and tearing down the "other" is a solution all by itself. With all due respect to those MeFis who champion tearing down "Wall Street," a lot of this animus is frankly fueling both Trump's blunt appeals to hatred and anger, and the Sanders campaign.

please do not use social justice language to defend the elite.
posted by Krom Tatman at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I would be 100% for a comprehensive employment program that recruited armies of people to fix up our nations decaying infrastructure, engage in socially useful construction products, staff all those free day care centers and just pick the freaking litter off the streets.

And pyramids. We totally need more pyramids in this country.

Damn it, the Egyptians managed to work out a nation-wide make-work program...

Of course my downer friend who does job placement pointed out that a lot of the infrastructure projects can't just use anybody like they did 80+ years ago, it's much more technically defending. Even those guys doing highway repair have certification requirements now. So there would have to be a large training and testing infrastructure as part of the program. Unlike we just have them dog ditches.

Hmm....you know, California COULD use a water channel to bring down all that extra water Washington has....
posted by happyroach at 11:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't know about all you guys but I've definitely heard of Jews

"urban youths" oh right, like the kids on Friends, they lived in new york city
posted by poffin boffin at 11:13 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Out here on the coast, we write off the South as "dumb" or "backward."

Yeah thanks but no, we do not. This is just yet another example of conservative messaging that everyone picks up and plays along with and thus makes it "true." Yes, we don't always understand each other and we sometimes disagree with other people's priorities or even flat-out think they're wrong. It doesn't mean we have disdain for each other. My wife and I manage to disagree about things without thinking the other is a dope.

It is not an accident that this is a description of disagreement that only flows one way. It is a construct built by the people whose interest it serves for midwesterners to believe they are thought stupid. Don't play along.
posted by phearlez at 11:14 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: in the "Wall Street owns everything" quarters, I've always sensed that "Wall Street" is a stand-in for "rich white WASP dudes" instead.

And I'm not even sure if "rich white WASP dudes" captures it, either; it's someone of any colour or culture who's willing to serve the beast.

zutalors!: well I have definitely heard it as Jews

And that happens, too, and is the most dangerous way for this to go.

This makes me think: An interesting thing about Trump is that he's made specific ethnic attacks on poor people, and non-ethnic attacks on rich people.
posted by clawsoon at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2016


phearlez: It is a construct built by the people whose interest it serves for midwesterners to believe they are thought stupid. Don't play along.

I've read enough "they are stupid" on Salon and Slate and, yes, Metafilter to know that the belief is not completely made-up. It's not universal, but it's out there. Yes, you're right, it unfairly gets amplified into a universal once it enters an echo chamber.
posted by clawsoon at 11:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


As we like to say on the Blue, intersectionality is important. Income inequality hurts us all and people manifest that anger in different ways across the spectrum of ideology.

That Trump and Sanders are the beneficiaries of this volatility and anger does not mean that we can dismiss the source of the malaise that ordinary Americans feel.
posted by kyp at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Of course my downer friend who does job placement pointed out that a lot of the infrastructure projects can't just use anybody like they did 80+ years ago, it's much more technically defending. Even those guys doing highway repair have certification requirements now. So there would have to be a large training and testing infrastructure as part of the program.

Which would be a bonus, as we'd have a larger trained work force.

That said, I am not sure how much specialized skill it takes to use a paintbrush, and there are plenty of park benches and facilities that could use a fresh coat of paint.

I should emphasize that I, for one, and in no way advocating "workhouses" -- I already said there would need to be a robust alternative for those who can't work, for example -- but rather a robust program to ensure that everyone who wants a job can have one.

(I'd imagine that if, as a result, the nation gets to full employment, private sector wages would naturally rise, because someone could quit their lousy Wal-Mart job and go do useful public service work instead.)
posted by Gelatin at 11:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would wager you a week's salary that "they think you're stupid for" was uttered by folks trying to appeal to that constituency before it ever became a part of liberal punditry.

BUT, regardless - it is incumbent on us, if we all supposedly care on both sides about this gap, to stop saying it in the present tense as if it's true. Say that people are called stupid. Describe it and call it out when it happens. But accepting it as fact and repeating it is against everyone's interests except those who would divide us.
posted by phearlez at 11:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


So for some people, it doesn't actually matter whether work in the past brings money in the present, or whether it's work in the present that brings money in the present. It's just irrelevant and bizarre to consider that. You worked, and now you're reaping the benefits. But for other people, it is absolutely a cultural difference - it matters that you are presently working.

So I was pretty snarky about the "culture" thing but I think that's a good point. There was some book I was assigned to read in middle school (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, maybe?) where Poor Family Dad refuses to accept any charity, even though his kids are starving and dressed in rags, and I remember just not getting why he doesn't take the money! I couldn't comprehend it, at all. And I get, now, that this sweat-of-your-brow pride thing is real, but it's inconsistently applied to some benefits but not others, and there's a racial/tribal element to which entitlements are a patriotic god-given right for every American (society security, Medicare) and which are for, you know, those people (food stamps, Medicaid). And your suggestion to have respectable workfare for the proud sweatbrow folk and cash benefits for the rest will just reinforce that division.
posted by theodolite at 11:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


All this talk about JOBS and nothing about what what will really help (although it will be nearly impossible to institute here): Universal Basic Income. There are a lot of jobs that are never coming back NOT because they've been exported to where people work for less but because they've been automated out of existence. And Apple is not going to pay the people who build iPhones as much as Ford paid the people who built Mustangs. And speaking of cars, autonomous vehicle technology will likely put 75% of those who drive for a living out of work in the next twenty years. If we somehow were able to build a "full employment" society with the technology we're developing now, it would require either massive amounts of 'make work' or hand construction of pyramids or massive factories that can't operate on energy that wouldn't speed up climate change... anyway, WORK IS NOT THE ANSWER.

And wasn't the Jetsons future supposed to have one guy with a 3-hour-a-day job supporting a family of four with a live-in robot maid? Well, it also had flying cars and we know how wrong THAT would be.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:24 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Out here on the coast, we write off the South as “dumb” or “backward.”

Yeah thanks but no, we do not.

If someone has some real regional-attitudes-about-other-regions data, I’d love to see it.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:29 AM on May 12, 2016


But I don't think we'll get that when people are so deeply resistant to the other ideas having any support or prominence at all - when work programs are dismissed as 'workhouses' and insurance is dismissed as 'freebies'.

Well, corb, again, from my perspective, I fully accept that many Republicans dismiss legitimate and useful social programs as "freebies" (although that perception does not seem to extend, among many voters, to Social Security and Medicare, which are viewed as having been earned, hence "keep your government hands off my Medicare).

But I would disagree liberals are "deeply resistant to other ideas" -- we love policy proposals! I would just caution, though, that we've been burned by, for example, Bill Clinton's willingness to adopt Republican framing and Republican priorities in the past. Hillary Clinton is getting a certain amount of heat because her husband signed so-called "welfare reform" and criminal justice bills that are widely regarded as harmful failures, and much of the disillusionment over Obamacare stems from it at least partially originating in a proposal by the freaking Heritage Foundation.

As some of the responses in this thread indicate, many Republican frames are regarded by many liberals as utterly bogus, and with good reason. I won't apologize for at least being skeptical when people like Sam Brownback are even now bringing Kansas to economic ruin by once again enacting the supply-side, trickle-down fantasy that George H. W. Bush rightly dismissed as "voodoo economics." 36 years ago.
posted by Gelatin at 11:32 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Out here on the coast, we write off the South as “dumb” or “backward.”

There was a lot of writing off of Southern minority voters who voted for Clinton.
posted by zutalors! at 11:36 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


a lot of writing off of minority voters who voted for Sanders, too.
posted by Krom Tatman at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


[Stop it.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


See, here's the bottom line about this alleged Republican desire to help poor people. Well, two bottom lines:

1) They have done absolutely nothing but slash programs that help poor people, for decades. And the ones they don't slash they put a million roadblocks in front of getting them.

2) The only way to pay for those is through taxes. Specifically, taxes on non-poor people.

So forgive me if there is literally not one iota of evidence to support this notion that Republicans want to help anyone

Another bit of evidence: single-payer healthcare would eliminate medical bankruptcies. And yet.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


The last couple of dozen comments have had some great, detailed, respectful exchanges of ideas. Not perfect, but not bad for an election thread! :-)
posted by clawsoon at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




my nation states country has a 76.6% income tax rate and all 11 billion of my citizens are super happy about it

also everyone in the army is gay
posted by poffin boffin at 11:42 AM on May 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


a robust program to ensure that everyone who wants a job can have one.

The problem with that is that (just to use myself as an example) is that I work in the entertainment industry. I'm not a bench-painter. Being required to spend 30 hours a week painting benches because it makes some billionaire Republican sad to think that somebody might be getting something for nothing (especially when, in fact, said somebody is NOT getting something for nothing, and that something is barely enough to avoid homelessness) is an "are there no workhouses?!" situation, even if we vehemently deny that it is.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [16 favorites]


Which would be a bonus, as we'd have a larger trained work force.

I'm not disgusting, just pointing out that administration, training and placement costs could be non-trivial problem. As a professional bureaucract myself, I can appreciate that.
posted by happyroach at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2016


Damn you, poffin boffin! %-\
posted by clawsoon at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2016


i am recalling my ambassador to clawsoontopia
posted by poffin boffin at 11:48 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am spinning my centrifuges faster.
posted by clawsoon at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Being required to spend 30 hours a week painting benches because it makes some billionaire Republican sad to think that somebody might be getting something for nothing (especially when, in fact, said somebody is NOT getting something for nothing, and that something is barely enough to avoid homelessness) is an "are there no workhouses?!" situation, even if we vehemently deny that it is.

But I already said there should be alternatives; the sticking point here seems to be required, and I never said it should be. Simply creating the jobs, and setting the compensation such that it's, say, more attractive than working 30 hours a week as a greeter at Wal-Mart -- and definitely more than enough to avoid homelessness -- should suffice.

just pointing out that administration, training and placement costs could be non-trivial problem.

I don't disagree, but administration, training and placement are also legitimate jobs and valuable skills, so in some ways a jobs program would be self-sustaining -- it could also employ people in these roles.
posted by Gelatin at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I agree that the Democrats need to work on messaging. People more or less believe in Occam's razor - the simplest explanation is usually the best one. Democrats need a simple explanation for people's current pain -- even if the policy wonkery for the solutions behind the scenes is actually complex. Are tax rates the reason for tax complexity? No, but if all you really know or care to know about taxes is that there are tax rates, then you might think the various rates are what make it complex. It's Dunning-Kruger all over the place. And if you're inside of the policy wonk bubble, I think it's easy to forget that most people don't know enough about these issues to know how much they don't know. Trump gets branding, he gets "middle America" (whatever the f that means) - he's been looking at ratings and demographic information for reality tv shows for years - he gets how to deliver a simple message, over and over, until it sticks. Republicans have been really good about this since at least the Bush (Rove) years -- get a catchy phrase, have every single person with an R next to their name repeat that phrase until it's part of the common discourse -- you have to control the conversation if you want to win.

"America's already great" - when people are living in poverty, can't afford or access health care, are being killed by the government's police force, are being forced to give birth, etc. - is not a winning message. I'm not sure what the message should be, but "it's complex, there are a lot of factors, we have to weigh all of the competing interests and look for a solution that blah blah blah" is boring, even if correct. It's not that people are too dumb to get the complex answer, it's that laws and regulations are not high on their list of interests (whether because of preferences or because their life circumstances don't leave room for that) -- you have like 15 seconds to get them to absorb your message before something else takes priority. Yes, there are "cultural" differences, and no, you're not going to win over people whose primary or sole motivation is racism and/or sexism and/or xenophobia. But you could win over the people who are hurting and who are looking for a simple explanation for their problems. "But there is no simple explanation!" --- it doesn't matter.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I swear, I don't mean that rudely. But your comment does sound privileged.

Nah, it's an entirely fair comment. I was trying to qualify my comment with more "I'll grant this has only been my experience and my experience may indeed have been limited" messaging, which is the case, but I grant I didn't do a good enough job of saying that; my apologies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


But she has some useful information about how the other side is looking at things here.

But this is the whole false-equivalency thing again. Just because a group of people holds certain opinions about things (in this case, that collecting unemployment is tantamount to some sort of freeloading)--no matter how large or small that group of people might be--doesn't mean those views are necessarily correct, or even valid. It is perfectly possible for a quite large cross section of a society to simply be wrong.
posted by dersins at 11:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


talking about made up bench painting jobs as better than unemployment insurance is really making the case for Universal Basic Income to me
posted by zutalors! at 11:55 AM on May 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


"unemployment insurance is bad for individuals and the economy" can be an objectively wrong belief; "having access to gainful employment is my top priority" is not
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: Nah, it's an entirely fair comment. I was trying to qualify my comment with more "I'll grant this has only been my experience and my experience may indeed have been limited" messaging, which is the case, but I grant I didn't do a good enough job of saying that; my apologies.

That's fine. No problem. Thanks.
posted by zarq at 11:59 AM on May 12, 2016


[One deleted. Maybe not so much with the rape metaphors, you're resourceful, find a different metaphor.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


talking about made up bench painting jobs as better than unemployment insurance is really making the case for Universal Basic Income to me

I suppose we might as well; Republicans have made it clear they aren't willing to spend money on America's crumbling infrastructure, so as long as we're blue-skying we might as well go large.

But I wouldn't sniff at "made up bench painting jobs;" there are still lots of useful public facilities that were built in the 30s by the WPA. Employing people to add value to this nation, value that everyone can enjoy, and in addition to, not rather than, unemployment insurance and the like, makes sense to me.
posted by Gelatin at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


talking about made up bench painting jobs as better than unemployment insurance is really making the case for Universal Basic Income to me

I think a jobs program would be great, but people don't have jobs because there are already not enough jobs. An entire industry works every day to make ensure that current work can be done with fewer and fewer people.

So, where would these jobs come from? The government could create public works projects again, but those are largely viewed as "artificial" and not market-driven. Would these jobs just be thought of as unacceptable big government welfare? Because that would be big government welfare, which I personally think is good, but if we're talking about people that hate welfare that don't have skills useful to the shrinking labor market, then that's not going to make them happy, either.
posted by ignignokt at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wish - deeply wish - that there were some kind of way that we could have divergent benefits for people with different cultural interests

We basically do have your wish fulfilled by our interconnected system of federal, state, and local governments. Someone who hates the PPACA can move to a state that rejected the Medicaid expansion, or vote for governors who will fight that and other provisions of the law. Likewise, the details of unemployment insurance programs vary by state.

Only programs paid for and administered purely at the federal level are in this zero-sum "we can have only one set of policies" state you're talking about. Of course liberals support more of these things being at the federal level and taking power away from the states, but the status quo is very conservative-leaning because it lets state governments control many of the details of programs that help people, and it turns out that many of the rural poor that you're worried about live in states where their cultural values have led to past versions of themselves taking funds away from present versions of themselves.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


"That must be nice.

I swear, I don't mean that rudely. But your comment does sound privileged.
"

I'm surprised that anyone toward the left of the Dems hasn't had that awkward moment when you realize that the person who has been agreeing with you about the abuses of the banking industry is really just an anti-Semite.

("Why do you keep saying it Goldman Sachs? And why is 'BDS' part of this?")
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 PM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


the reason I said the bench painting was made up was because that was the premise - corb said maybe we could have some structure where the people who want to work can get some made up job, and the people who don't wanna work can get them some unemployment insurance because "culture" and all.

Personally I think plenty of benchpainters would consider it a skill.
posted by zutalors! at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2016


"unemployment insurance is bad for individuals and the economy" can be an objectively wrong belief; "having access to gainful employment is my top priority" is not

In theory, I totally agree with you. In practice, however, the latter view seems generally to be expressed through the former.
posted by dersins at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2016


I like having a job even on the days I do no useful work because I get to be where all the people are.
posted by clawsoon at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


In practice, however, the latter view seems generally to be expressed through the former.

That's the rub, innit?
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2016


Personally I think plenty of benchpainters would consider it a skill.

Also they're already working for the parks department and probably don't want their hours or wages cut.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't get why some conservative leaning folks think giving unemployment insurance is a handout, but also won't give anything (sometimes not even basic medical care) to undocumented immigrants who are actually employed.
posted by FJT at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


[One deleted. klang, check your mefimail and if you need to yell at me do it there.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2016


I don't get why some conservative leaning folks think giving unemployment insurance is a handout, but also won't give anything (sometimes not even basic medical care) to undocumented immigrants who are actually employed.

WALL
posted by dersins at 12:07 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


corb said maybe we could have some structure where the people who want to work can get some made up job,

That is - I think with the best of intentions - a misread of my position. I am not suggesting that people get made up jobs that don't benefit people. I am saying that we have many unmet needs in our society, both infrastructure wise and otherwise. Tutors for struggling kids, WPA-style projects, cleanup of urban and rural decay, etc. I think we can make some space to pay people for that.
posted by corb at 12:08 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


It would also have the benefit of giving work experience for resumes. I have a lot of friends who have been out of work for years because no one wants to trust they won't just burn down the office on Day 1 or whatever it is they think the long term unemployed are a danger for.
posted by corb at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've heard "we need a new WPA" from left-leaning people for years
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


corb, what you're saying is that defunding public schools, defunding other public services, has killed a lot of jobs, and maybe we should raise taxes and pay for those jobs again.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


The government could create public works projects again, but those are largely viewed as "artificial" and not market-driven.

But the government should provides services that the market can't, or won't. Another benefit I see of this program is that it'd provide yet more objective evidence against the "only the free market works and government never does any good" hogwash the Republicans have been spewing for decades. Which is another reason they'd never vote for it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am saying that we have many unmet needs in our society, both infrastructure wise and otherwise. Tutors for struggling kids, WPA-style projects, cleanup of urban and rural decay, etc. I think we can make some space to pay people for that.

I mean, I don't disagree with you that something like that could have a lot of benefits , but I kind of feel like it's unlikely that you'd get a lot of Republican signoff on a new New Deal. Because that is pretty much literally what you are talking about.
posted by dersins at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


And that would require raising taxes to pay for. Which Republicans won't do.

And since you've been going on about pride... I'm a trained professional in a specific, demanding career. If I couldn't get a job I sure as shit wouldn't feel much pride 'cleaning up urban decay' instead of using the skills I actually have.

So we're back to what I told you when you asked what to do to stop Trump: Stop. Voting. Republican. Because Republicans are never going to participate in this scheme.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


just come to the other side and blame it on metafilter
posted by angrycat at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


Gelatin, I agree – I just don't think that is something that is accepted by people who hate welfare and want jobs and yet are not going to get them from the free market.
posted by ignignokt at 12:16 PM on May 12, 2016


please do not use social justice language to defend the elite.

Please don't try to silence people who disagree with you. I could add, please don't reinforce bullshit Republican attacks on anyone with education or rational arguments or successful real world experience as "the elite," but let's stick with defending free speech for now.
posted by msalt at 12:17 PM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


And that would require raising taxes to pay for. Which Republicans won't do.

To be fair, it's also something most Democrats won't do either.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:17 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


If I couldn't get a job I sure as shit wouldn't feel much pride 'cleaning up urban decay' instead of using the skills I actually have.

Obviously not every profession is going to be represented, but we've discussed in this thread how many infrastructure jobs will require engineering skills, and there would also be considerable administration and project management expertise needed. A jobs program wouldn't simply be armies of bench painters; there would be all kinds of room to provide professional jobs as well.
posted by Gelatin at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


something like that could have a lot of benefits , but I kind of feel like it's unlikely that you'd get a lot of Republican signoff on a new New Deal. Because that is pretty much literally what you are talking about.

Sometimes I feel like we have Parties and Shadow Parties, because this is not even like a new idea in conservative circles, privately. I think you'd need to make sure the jobs and funding are plainly non-ideological, and the program would need to be evenly geographically distributed rather than concentrating in cities, but I think it'd be easy to do if you could avoid the pit traps.
posted by corb at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2016


Actually, I would pay hard money to get Ds and Rs in a room to talk "here are the policy proposals we would make if we weren't worried the other side would make hay of it."
posted by corb at 12:20 PM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


You may say corb's a dreamer, but she's not the only one.
posted by clawsoon at 12:23 PM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm surprised that anyone toward the left of the Dems hasn't had that awkward moment when you realize that the person who has been agreeing with you about the abuses of the banking industry is really just an anti-Semite.

I think I might have some kind of sixth sense that unconsciously steers me away from getting into conversations with complete buttwads.

This does lead to weird "wait, I've never run into people who said that..." moments like I just had with zarq, and a more pollyanna-ish-than-usual perspective on human nature, but it also spares me from having to scream and chew people a new asshole more often than I do. (It also saves my energy for things like testifying at TLC hearings about the cabbie from hell, though.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on May 12, 2016


"here are the policy proposals we would make if we weren't worried the other side would make hay of it."

I literally can not imagine, given this Presidential campaign, any Republican keeping mum about any policy proposal out of fear Democrats would make hay of it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


So if in private conversation some conservatives think that something resembling the New Deal is a great idea, why won't they stand up and say it in public? Why do they still vote the party line instead of actually working towards a compromise? Are you talking about elected officials or private citizens that you know?
posted by hollygoheavy at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


the program would need to be evenly geographically distributed rather than concentrating in cities

No, it should be evenly distributed based on need of citizens. Over 70% of Americans live in cities or metro areas, punishing them for that is unnecessarily cruel.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


(Now, out of fear of a primary challenge from even-more-conservative Republicans, maybe.)
posted by Gelatin at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I feel like we have Parties and Shadow Parties, because this is not even like a new idea in conservative circles, privately.

And it's not public because? I don't believe for a moment there's much more than a few people in the Republican party--that is, elected officials and their apparatus--who are in favour of a new WPA. You're going to have to provide proof for your claim that this is a thing.

but I think it'd be easy to do if you could avoid the pit traps.

Like, y'know, paying for it?

I mean, there are approximately 7.9 million unemployed people in the USA. Let's call that 8M for roundness' sake. Let's say 25% of those people would take part in a WPA-style scheme.

So. 2M people. The average recipient of social assistance in the USA gets about $9K a year--that's welfare, social security, etc. 9k x 2M = 18 billion dollars.

But you'd have to pay people more than average social assistance income, otherwise why bother? I'm certainly not going to work full time for $9K a year. $18K/year = $1.5K/month, which is slightly more than I received when I was on disability as a single person.

So that's $18 billion over and above what's already being spent on social assistance. Plus training costs, plus administration costs, plus materials costs.. let's say, I dunno, another couple billion on top.

Where is that money coming from? Raising taxes? That's a no-go for Republicans. Maybe shave off some of the military budget? It would be a drop in the bucket, but nope, that's a no-go too.

There is no way in hell the Republican party is going to endorse a WPA, and everyone knows it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:27 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'd also like to point out: 30 hours a week is a full time job. Yes, I know people like to count it as part time, but that's because we like to punish people. I pay for unemployment insurance to make sure that in case I lose my job, I will have a comfortable time to get a new job in my field. The idea that I would manage to do that while working 30 hours a week and commuting and everything else while magically fitting all my job search into 10 hours is both cruel and nuts.

For example, I've learned that it's not a good idea to schedule more than one interview a day, especially in-person ones. I need to focus on the interview as I prep, and then once it's done I'm drained, because it's a performance and being on like that exhausts me. This is especially true for modern interviews in the tech field -- you usually talk to 4 to 6 people.

And I need to be available for interviews at any time, especially when they want to call you back for a second round. Hell, even filtering through the recruiter calls and emails for the high quality ones takes tons of time -- and I'm lucky enough to be in a field where they come looking for you instead of having to hunt everything yourself.
posted by tavella at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I sometimes wonder how many of the political arguments on Metafilter are between people who grew up rural (even if they now live in big cities) and people who grew up in cities. I see some hints of that in this thread, but it would be interesting to know if that bears out. I wonder if it's sometimes just as important as left-vs-right.
posted by clawsoon at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


evenly geographically distributed rather than concentrating in cities

Acres don't fill jobs, people do.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:30 PM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think it'd be easy to do if you could avoid the pit traps.

I think you are overestimating the ability and willingness of Republican politicians to do the right thing--even if it is the only smart, effective option.

The last time something like this came up was Obama's stimulus package. The pit trap there was that exactly zero House Republicans voted in favor of it, and only three Republican Senators (one of whom switched parties not long after).

The only way that trap was avoided was that there were Dem majorities in both chambers, and a Dem president to sign it into law.
posted by dersins at 12:30 PM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Sotonhito's point about narrative is a good one, and an obvious Hillary weakness, though I disagree on the Wall Street diagnosis. Wall Street goes where the money is, and follows the incentives that government sets up.

I think Hillary's critique of quarterly capitalism is a lot more likely to lead to useful reforms than Bernie's approach, which seems to be "We'll let big banks figure out how to restructure themselves to meet some arbitrary dollar or market share threshholds." Because one thing Wall Street is really good at is restructuring companies for monetary advantage.

But Bernie's approach makes a much better narrative, and that's more likely to win the election than good policy. At least among a big chunk of the population. If it was everybody, though, Sanders would be winning the primaries.
posted by msalt at 12:31 PM on May 12, 2016


Out here on the coast, we write off the South as “dumb” or “backward.”

Yeah thanks but no, we do not.


When you're an Okie married to an Alabamian, you hear it ALL THE DAMN TIME. As pointed out, the trivialization of Southern voting for Hillary or Midwestern red state voting for Bernie. The "why didn't we just let them go instead of fighting the Civil War?" talk. My Facebook feed that's full of well-meaning liberals who just shit all over Flyover Country every chance they get (but with a "I'm not talking about Southerners, but those people..." caveat that is not).

It's not everyone. But that starts turning towards a #notallmen sort of line of thinking when you get dismissive of a consistent prejudice like that. It's there, it's stupid, and we need to stop trivializing it.
posted by dw at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


Same pit trap with ACA. And now the Republicans in the House keep trying to repeal it, removing healthcare from how many millions of people?

Republicans do not care about poor people, period, and it's sickening that anyone--not just corb--can pretend they do. That's a level of cognitive dissonance I cannot understand.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I sometimes wonder how many of the political arguments on Metafilter are between people who grew up rural (even if they now live in big cities) and people who grew up in cities. I see some hints of that in this thread, but it would be interesting to know if that bears out. I wonder if it's sometimes just as important as left-vs-right.

I'm sure it does. After all, that division affects threads on certain other topics, such as cars vs., bikes.
posted by zarq at 12:35 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


it should be evenly distributed based on need of citizens. Over 70% of Americans live in cities or metro areas, punishing them for that is unnecessarily cruel.

Aaaand this is why Trump is cleaning up.

You cannot say, "70% of the people in need are in the cities (let's generously say 5% geographically) so let's put 70% of the offices in the cities, and 30% in the rural areas (95% geographically)" and have it be a useful program for rural areas. This is how we do social services currently, and it's one reason rural people think social services are failing them and siphoning their aid to the cities. When someone has to drive four hours to get to an office, that is just plain not useful to them.
posted by corb at 12:36 PM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trumps refusal to release tax returns is starting to heat up. If he isn't consistently hammered on this by mainstream media, then I will start to worry that this is going to be a completely post-empirical election, and that the Empire has already won.
posted by skewed at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2016


But that starts turning towards a #notallmen sort of line of thinking when you get dismissive of a consistent prejudice like that. It's there, it's stupid, and we need to stop trivializing it.

It's a two-way street, though. There are a lot of people who romanticize rural life and culture and put down urban culture. It's not just racism, either (although that often plays a big part). It's not unusual to see people claim that people who live in cities just don't have the bonds that the good salt-of-the-earth folk do, that they are unfeeling or uncaring or always angry.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:39 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd like everyone to keep their word and release everything they said they would.
posted by futz at 12:39 PM on May 12, 2016


The real problem with the US economy is not banks, or trade deals, or the tax rate.

It's that we're on the downslope after an insane and mostly unearned period of excessive wealth, built on avoiding WW2 attacks, grabbing a huge chunk of resource-rich land, having the world's strongest army and best weapons, cultural domination, and foreign policy aggression (both IMF type soft aggression and CIA/Army direct aggression.)

it can't last. It shouldn't last. it only worked with 3/4ths of the world's population prevented from joining the world economy by tariffs and their own government's policies (India as well as China). There's a reason that Republicans champion "American Exceptionalism" and dogwhistle racism, because there is no other way to justify the easy wealth we've had or say we deserve to continue it.

This is not a very good campaign narrative though. Trump's idiocy and Bernie's bank-bashing win because they offer scapegoats for America's inevitable decline, and (irrationally) promise to reverse it.
posted by msalt at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


You cannot say, "70% of the people in need are in the cities (let's generously say 5% geographically) so let's put 70% of the offices in the cities, and 30% in the rural areas (95% geographically)" and have it be a useful program for rural areas. This is how we do social services currently, and it's one reason rural people think social services are failing them and siphoning their aid to the cities. When someone has to drive four hours to get to an office, that is just plain not useful to them.

The logical step, then, is to remove many of the hurdles the Republicans have put into place w/r/t getting social assistance. Not to ignore where most of the needy people actually are. Nor to spend more money on inefficient staffing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


You cannot say, "70% of the people in need are in the cities (let's generously say 5% geographically) so let's put 70% of the offices in the cities

D