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The Electoral College Option

As the Electoral College prepares to convene, it is worth taking stock of how we got to where we are today, what awaits the electors, and what would be required to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

First, how we got here. Electoral coalitions are contingent and (partially) based on the choices of political actors. Effective political actors devise their coalitions in the context of the system in which they operate. Inadvertently or not, Donald Trump recognized this, making an aggressive play for the Rust Belt, with his bombastic anti-trade rhetoric and a tendency to hold huge rallies in depressed parts of the country. This was, in fact, the exact opposite of what Republican candidates have done for the last 25 years, when they have struggled in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump’s coalition ended up being very different than a conventional Republican coalition. For example, compare Trump’s performance against victorious Senate Republican candidates in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Trump won by mobilizing rural voters, a fair number of whom voted for Democratic Senate candidates. Although “conventional” Republicans Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson outperformed Trump in metropolitan areas, Trump returned the favor elsewhere.*

Unfortunately for Democrats, Hillary Clinton failed to respond to this play from Trump productively. Clinton’s campaign seemingly assumed that Trump’s Rust Belt focus wouldn’t matter or was not something they needed to challenge directly. They can blame Jim Comey or emails or Russia or whoever, but they did not do what was necessary to win the election under the well-established rules of the game. Even if they had won the election, it would have been an extremely close run thing. After all, Trump was closer in Minnesota than Clinton was in any of the Romney states she tried to pick off. (Trump may well have won Minnesota in the absence of spoiler Evan McMullin.)

The rules for winning the presidency were exactly the same on November 7 as they were on November 9. The campaign and electoral strategy should have been designed in that context. Winning the popular vote with less than 270 electoral votes is the equivalent of losing a baseball game but getting more hits than the winning team, or losing a football game but gaining more yards than the winning team. In the end, it is irrelevant: hits, yards, and votes are mere means to an end, not the end itself. As such, because of her poor Electoral College performance, Hillary Clinton will not be president. The sooner that Democrats accept this, the greater their chances are of preventing Donald Trump from becoming president.**

Trump has 306 prospective electoral votes. Democrats need to peel off 38 to prevent him from being president. (If Trump gets exactly 269, he’ll win in the House.) Their misgivings about Trump aside, very few Republican electors are going to do anything to enable Hillary Clinton to become president.

Which is why, if the Democrats are serious about preventing Trump from becoming president, they need to make Republican electors a better offer. Republicans have demonstrated that they do not see it as their responsibility to prevent their unfit candidate from becoming president; if they did, they would have scuttled his nomination in Cleveland. Democrats can play tit-for-tat by also refusing to do what is necessary to prevent Trump (through legal means) from becoming president, or they can act to try to shift the odds against him.

If you truly believe that Trump is unfit for the presidency, then extraordinary measures through the Electoral College may well be justified. But such measures will not be taken by Republican electors. They would need to be taken by the Democratic electors. In short, the Democratic electors must throw their support to a Republican other than Trump. This would be the truly “Hamiltonian” thing to do: after the 1800 presidential election, the Federalist Alexander Hamilton “endorsed” his arch-rival, the Republican Thomas Jefferson, in order to ensure that Republican Aaron Burr did not become president. How fitting that, in the Year of Hamilton, Clinton and her supporters have the opportunity to emulate him.

Right now, the choice for Republican electors is “prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president,” or “prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.” That will not be a difficult choice for most of those electors. However, if the choice were “prevent Conventional Republican X from becoming president,” or “prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” that would present a much more challenging decision for the GOP’s electors.

Rick Perry is probably the ideal choice for this, because Texas has so many electoral votes. If every Clinton elector voted for Perry, and Texas’ delegation did the same, Perry would get the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president. Mitt Romney is worth considering, though, because of his national profile, and because he can at least lay claim to a bunch of votes to be president based on his 2012 showing.

If Clinton wants to prevent Trump from becoming president, she should ask her electors to vote for a Republican she designates. Of course, the logic of this only makes sense if you truly believe that Trump is substantially worse than other Republicans. If he is merely an extension of a pathology that infects most of the party, as some have argued, then such steps do not make sense: you’re trading one disaster for another, and causing a crisis of legitimacy in the process.

Make no mistake: this would be an enormous, risky course of action. It would be a shock to the political system that the country might not be able to recover from, a flagrant violation of long-established and evolved norms surrounding what governs the votes of presidential electors. It would set off a million lawsuits across the country over faithless electors. And, frankly, it might cause riots and violence from disgruntled voters who feel that they’ve been sidestepped by a procedural trick, the “rigged” system defending itself in the face of an existential threat. For these reasons, it is not what I would counsel, if I were advising Democrats. Better to wait for Trump to do something impeachable, and go from there. But this is what would be required if they want to stop Trump now.

*These points are worth a fuller discussion than this article includes. A couple of great examples, though: in Wisconsin, Trump ran 4.5 points behind Ron Johnson in crucial (suburban) Waukesha County, but 5.9 points ahead of Johnson in rural Juneau County. In Pennsylvania, Trump ran 4.7 points behind Pat Toomey in wealthy, suburban Montgomery County, but a staggering 14.1 points ahead of Toomey in rural Schuylkill County (just west of Allentown). I’ve been publishing maps demonstrating these disparities on my Twitter feed.

**It is worth recalling is that Hillary Clinton made comparable errors in her 2008 presidential bid. Although she and Barack Obama essentially came to a draw in the popular vote of the primaries and caucuses, Obama’s campaign focused meticulously on delegates in lieu of simply looking for votes, and built an insurmountable delegate lead in the process.

Feature Image by Cornell University Library


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Dan Scotto lives and works in Oregon. He has a master's degree in history, with a focus on the history of disease and the history of technology.

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569 thoughts on “The Electoral College Option

  1. “Winning the popular vote with less than 270 electoral votes is the equivalent of losing a baseball game but getting more hits than the winning team, or losing a football game but gaining more yards than the winning team. In the end, it is irrelevant: hits, yards, and votes are mere means to an end, not the end itself.”

    Brilliant analogy.

    “Which is why, if the Democrats are serious about preventing Trump from becoming president, they need to make Republican electors a better offer.”

    “I’ve heard Hollywood is suggesting John Kaisch as a reasonable alternative. Clearly they don’t understand how this works.”

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  2. My offer: Gary Johnson.

    I think that we’d be able to get National Review on board and they might be able to get Kristol and the Weekly Standard guys on board.

    The offer to make to the Democrats is that they can go back to complaining about Libertarians being selfish and FYIGM types instead of complaining about the Alt-Right and Pepe.

    We could reset the clock to 2012, more or less.

    Everybody’s happy.

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      • How about we get Obama and Biden to officially apologize for making fun of Romney’s foreign policy emphasis on Russia, officially apologize for mischaracterizing the 47% thing and say that while it’s true that both sides do it, it wasn’t as bad as the “basket of Deplorables”, and say that Romneycare was something that would be a reason to vote for him.

        Maybe we could get Romney in there and really pretend that it’s a do-over for 2012.

        No harm done, all is forgiven.

        I think that we could even get the Clintons on board with this.

        Do you think that we could get Hillary Clinton to give a televised speech supporting this solution?

        Also, the ’98 Broncos.

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        • 47% was worse than “basket of deplorables”. I’m pretty sure the Ds would agree that Romneycare was a good thing to run on. The issue was that the Romney-Ryan campaign wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

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          • 47% was worse than “basket of deplorables”.

            Not in my view. For one, Romney’s comment was about the incentives that motivate people to vote for a certain party (which is structural politics), for another, it wasn’t inflammatory to the undecided middle who may have flipped either way as a result of his saying that (retail politics).

            Hillary’s comment was devoid of structural content issues (moral politics) and inclined those in the undecided middle to move in the opposite direction (retail politics).

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            • Except the sheer inaccuracy of Romney’s comment made it inflammatory to the middle. That 47% included some deployed military, retirees, war widows and the disabled. A lot of those folks already voted for Republicans. So it had the same inflammatory effect as the basket of deplorables comment, while being less accurate at the same time.

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              • I think the difference is this as far as the undecideds go: Romney’s comment was a (perhaps mistaken…) critique of structural politics, Hillary’s comment was a critique of the moral character and social value of Trump supporters. One strikes me as a lot more moving than the other.

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                • I think Stillwater has this right.

                  I’ll go a step further and say that both the 47% and Deplorables comments were ultimately devastating not for what they said about the *other* team, but for what they said about their own. They were actually Own Goals.

                  Much of the 47% vote republican, and decided not to; however, a number of the Deplorables vote Democratic, and decided to actually vote Republican.

                  Both may have cost them the election, but if we’re ranking them in order of magnitude, Deplorables was the far more costly mistake.

                  Romney may have lost an election he could have won; but Clinton lost an election she should have won.

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                  • I’m just not buying this argument that it was Clinton’s election to lose.
                    As Will has pointed out, and which I have to reluctantly accept, even if she had won, it was never going to be a blowout landslide.

                    We kept hoping- we all wanted Trump to get the nomination, assuming that would seal the deal.

                    We assumed when he mocked that reporter, the election was ours.

                    We assumed after the debate, we had it in the bag.

                    We assumed after the “pussy grab” comment it was time for champagne.

                    Except each time he just got more popular. The daily swings went up and down, but overall the more the GOP base saw of Trump, the more they liked him.

                    The efforts to pin the election on One Weird Trick that failed, the single moment that could have turned the tide, is contradicted by all this.

                    60 million Americans saw all that, knew everything about Trump, and decided they preferred him, because something emails.

                    That is a devastating indictment of the 60 million, not Clinton.

                    This argument being presented is naive cynicism, of attempting to be detached and know the truth, while shrugging it off as unimportant.

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                    • “Clinton could have easily beaten the person that kicked apart the entire GOP field!”.

                      It’s just another method of holding Republicans blameless for Trump.

                      “It’s all CLINTON’S FAULT he won. Not the GOP’s fault for nominating him, not all the people that voted for him. Just one person. one hated, hated person. HER FAULT ENTIRELY. Even though she won more votes. Maybe especially because she won more votes”.

                      It’s just more Trump denial, really. The American people clearly couldn’t have voted FOR Trump. That’s unthinkable. Therefore, they must have voted against Clinton. Voting against Clinton is understandable. Voting for Trump is crazy and horrifying, and America isn’t full of people who thought it was a good idea. Can’t be.

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                      • It’s just another method of holding Republicans blameless for Trump.

                        While it’s certainly true that Republicans ought to have done more to lose the election gracefully, they needed a lot more help losing than Clinton was giving.

                        She didn’t even campaign in Wisconsin, for Christ’s sake!

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                      • I see this shift-blaming, among highly educted politically aware people as part of the contamination of our national discourse by Beltway pundits.
                        Everyone wants to be detached and be all at once knowing but uncaring.

                        The argument is like populists themselves, in that it flatters the people even as it holds them in contempt.

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                      • morat20,
                        anyone other than clinton could have easily beaten trump. (except biden. because biden).

                        Clinton got Trump through the primary (oh, sure, it wasn’t only her, but when you’re throwing that much money and influence around).

                        The people who voted for trump are getting trolled into oblivion right now, because they thought he was the racist everyone said he was. And they’re pissed that he’s walking it back.

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                      • Morat20: “Clinton could have easily beaten the person that kicked apart the entire GOP field!”.

                        Clinton *should* have beaten a guy that got the nomination because he got enough bare plurality of votes in a crowded field in first past the post contests.

                        There have been very few politicians that have not been able to take advantage when the opposition was so visibly divided.

                        The vast underperformance of Trump in Texas and Arizona compared to Romney, McMuffin getting a quarter of Utah votes, demonstrate that the traditional Republican vote was still not unified down the stretch.

                        All she had to do was maintain Obama numbers with non-traditional Republicans.

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                        • “So visibly divided”??

                          Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                          Trump is the Republican Party, true and united.

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                          • Can’t be. That’s unthinkable. All data to the contrary will be discarded.

                            There’s a lot of Trump denial left.

                            Did you know he’s already pressed countries to move events to his hotels? That’s good old fashioned GOP businessman right there.

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                          • Chip Daniels: “So visibly divided”??

                            Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                            *After* he won. Because it’s a stroke of luck that was unimaginable two months ago, having GOP control in both chambers of Congress, the Presidency, and the (aging) Supreme Court – and at that President that is hands off on the details. So you can chose your own adventure, if you’re in power right now.

                            eta – like the worst thing for the Democrats and the best thing for the Republicans is that Trump is just too darn lazy and too interested in existing in the current moment to properly plot revenge and settle scores.

                            Like, the early adopters, Christie, Giulanni, Gingrich? They’re getting bupkis. But Paul Ryan, who was a best, luke warm, is gonna clean up. So is McConnell, who is still hated by the talk radio guys that got Trump in.

                            I do agree that Romney shouldn’t have met with Trump twice. Once, as a public service, was fine. Twice is feeding the beast.

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                          • Have you missed the spectacle of the Never Trumpers crawling back one by one to kiss the ring?

                            Never Crazy Trump or Racist Trump or Anti-Growth Trump. However even when I voted against him I wasn’t sure this wasn’t an act.

                            If he runs things as CEO Trump (and we may be looking at Money! Trump), then I’m fine with him being an ass and wanting to entertain the masses. It’s probably worth a point or two of growth to have competent management of the government in a way that doesn’t kill business.

                            If he walks back the Crazy/Racist/AGrowth then the only problem is the intrinsic lack of dignity he brings to the office.

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                        • Ah yes, he under-performed in two states — he must have been awful. Didn’t he overperform in other’s? Oh wait, that’s Clinton. Gotta be Clinton.

                          Sure, he beat the whole Republican field hollow — but it wasn’t a real win. Barely counts. Structural issues or something. Definitely no sign he had real support or anything.

                          The alternative is unthinkable.

                          Seriously, the excuses and cherrypicking to try to excuse Trump is pathetic.

                          Trump was exactly what the GOP wanted, and in the end they fell in line hard. They backed him to the hilt. And the honorable GOP Congressmen are tripping over themselves to kiss his feet now.

                          But keep blaming Clinton. Maybe that’ll change the outcome.

                          Denial

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                          • morat20,
                            The Republicans wanted a lifelong democrat from New York?
                            … really?
                            No, they didn’t. They wanted someone to kick Washington in the balls, and that’s what Trump promised to do.

                            Unlike you, I listen to pollsters.

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                          • They backed him to the hilt – to the point he was nearly out of money in September, and raised third as much overall as Romney did in the last cycle.

                            They are certainly basking in, and taking full advantage of, the victory now, to be sure. But opportunists gonna opportune.

                            It behooves the Democrats very much to identify parts of the loss that were purely Clinton’s fault, and those that were not, to see if the Democrats need to change systemically.

                            I happen to think they do not, insofar as the only systemic change is to keep Clintonworld at arm’s length from the core decision makers of the party.

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                          • Look M I sympathize but both the GOP and HRC can both be at fault. I actually think Kolohe is pretty on point below. It is definitely the GOP’s fault that Trump got the nomination and now Trump is going to be the definition of their party. All that principled stuff the GOP pretended to care about? We know, now, that it was either disingenuous, or not shared by their voters or has been abandoned. Deficits? Yeah everyone knew the GOP didn’t actually care about it and I’d say the good money is that they’ll soon prove it again? Small government? Definitely a liability and they’ll doubtlessly turf it. Social conservativism? The social cons basically are waving the white flag. Trumps the equivalent of bombing their own trenches to buy time for themselves while they retreat into the hills. So yeah the GOP has Trump and in exchange Trump gets the GOP. That isn’t a bargain I’d wish on our own side.

                            But HRC is indisputably responsible. Yeah she ran a tolerably good campaign, it wasn’t an idiotic clusterfuck like her 2008 primary campaign, there isn’t a Mark Penn sitting around being an imbecile. To lose Hillary needed to roll a yatzi of 1’s and lo and behold she did it. The deplorables screw up, letting themselves focus on Trumps idiocy too much, a casual jog paced campaign, polling mistakes (made by everyone sure but this was their one job), the horrible complacency of assuming she didn’t need to campaign for white rural votes and that it would be made up with suburban women, that’s on her ultimately. Yeah that didn’t by itself make her lose, Comey’s unprecedented intervention and the hackers merry games definitely provided the final needed edge but had HRC not made her own errors then Comey and the hackers would have just narrowed her margin rather than putting her below the threshold.

                            HRC will always be the person who lost the chance to be the first woman President to an orange charlatan. I feel bad because I like her and that will be a heavy thing for her to live with. The GOP will always be the party that gave us Trump in the first place and that’s potentially going to be a far bigger stigma.

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                            • To lose Hillary needed to roll a yatzi of 1’s and lo and behold she did it.

                              I don’t exactly disagree, but I’m not sure how to square this with the evidence that Trump rolled several 1s for every one of Hillary’s, or however the metaphor works. What I’m saying is, how could it have been her race to lose all along if Trump was allowed (it would seem) to do everything she was accused of, daily, six times before breakfast?

                              I think it’s a fundamentally paradoxical situation with both perspectives being true. Perhaps like this: Trump’s floor and ceiling were extremely close together, whereas Hillary’s sandwiched both by a wide margin: It was her race to lose, but also hers to win.

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                            • You know… this might be the best description of my tribe in this election that I’ve seen. Plus, bonus points for recognizing the shells are falling (or will fall) on both sides of the trenches. Golf claps all around.

                              Social conservativism? The social cons basically are waving the white flag. Trumps the equivalent of bombing their own trenches to buy time for themselves while they retreat into the hills. So yeah the GOP has Trump and in exchange Trump gets the GOP. That isn’t a bargain I’d wish on our own side.

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                    • Except each time he just got more popular. The daily swings went up and down, but overall the more the GOP base saw of Trump, the more they liked him.

                      IMHO Trump wasn’t voted in because of his personality, he was voted in despite it. It’s up there with Bill Clinton’s womanizing, and Reagan’s forgetfulness.

                      Election day polls had 4%(ish) of the GOP voting against him, and that’s supposed to be the wrath of god. Trump could have had a blowout election if he were “sane Trump”.

                      60 million Americans saw all that, knew everything about Trump, and decided they preferred him, because something emails.

                      Something emails. Hundreds of millions of dollars of mysterious money. Billions of dollars in her own personal charity. Fixing the primary. Deplorables.

                      And being offered four to eight more years of the same.

                      The same economic growth (is it Obama’s economy yet?). The same putting the green agenda in front of job creation. The same level of employment. The same watching health care costs go up. The same watching everyone connected to the government advance at your expense.

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                      • Whether they voted for Trump because of, or in spite of, his appalling behavior is almost irrelevant.

                        None of it was disqualifying to them. They were willing to put this man in the Oval Office with the red button, to give him power over thousands of judges, appointees, to have him sign bills.

                        They knew exactly who he is, how he behaves. And still, none of this was enough to disqualify him.They could have voted for Johnson, or Stein, or McMullen, but they didn’t want to.

                        They wanted to vote for Trump. Something something emails was the excuse.

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                        • None of it was disqualifying to them.

                          Pot. Meet Kettle.

                          Your chosen champion runs a Billion dollar pay-to-play scheme, and now that she’s not going to be President I expect Blackwater, the Saudis, and Russian Politicians known mostly for torture will reduce their level of “humanitarian” giving.

                          That was the actual choice.

                          IMHO being a total flaming ass isn’t disqualifying for being Prez, nor is marrying models, divorcing your wife because of money, etc.

                          Which leaves racism (i.e. not being a Democrat), insanity (and he and his family seem amazingly functional for nuts), and anti-immigration / anti-free-trade.

                          That last one did it for me, but we’ll find out how serious he was.

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                          • Id just like to see any of hilldawgs “pay to play” proven. Just to trump standard mind ayou where a foreign country moved their event to the principles location, on his aides suggestion.

                            And her charity does actual charity. But good strawwoman. If shame was still a thing the media would all commit seppuku, to wash the stain away

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                            • Id just like to see any of hilldawgs “pay to play” proven. … But good strawwoman….

                              So you’re saying you expect Blackwater, the Saudis, and Russian Politicians who engage in torture to continue to give Billions of dollars to her charity now that they’re not dealing with the secretary of State and future President? No reduction in funding at all?

                              Personally I think their haircut will be so extreme they’ll find some excuse to close the charity.

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                              • Rso she conned those bad people out of money to do good charitable acts and has given them nothing?

                                Golly she’s clever.

                                But by all means, show where a donor got a quid pro quo. Im waiting.

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                                • Rso she conned those bad people out of money to do good charitable acts and has given them nothing?

                                  Some of these bad people are governments we need to deal with.

                                  You, an HRC supporter, are suggesting that she’s “only” shaking people down. So how does that work? Is she threatening to have the gov do things or is she threatening to have the gov not do things?

                                  There really is no good answer for this.

                                  But by all means, show where a donor got a quid pro quo. Im waiting.

                                  If we couldn’t show that for a donor who gave a million dollars to HRC in exchange for Bill giving her husband a Presidential pardon then we won’t be able to prove that there was a relationship between the tens of millions that Russian gave TCF and the mining contracts he received.

                                  But the lack of agreeing to an explicit price and putting it in writing doesn’t make the transaction ethical or less obvious, just impossible to prove in court.

                                  However now that she can’t “bundle” the government’s political power to her personal “charity”, I expect the talk about how great a charity it is will fade and it will go bust.

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                                  • No, dark one, I was just playing with your framing. I believe that bill and Hillary have a big enough and star studded enough rolodex that people will write large checks just to be at the right social party with queen bae bae, and that the clinton foundation has done vast amounts of good with that money.

                                    I am sure some of the people who donated did so to curry favor. And even when it was her state department, no favors given. So, less than trump got from bondi.

                                    And brilliant bit there, “we can’t prove these things we say they did before, we can’t prove this one either, QED she’s a crook.” Incandescent sir, truly.

                                    And we’ll see on the charity. But im sure if she needs to, she can still get fat $250,000 checks for speaking events.

                                    Speaking as a capitalist, she’s still won. She’s rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and is free to live the best possible life.

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                                    • rmass,
                                      We are putting some odds on her being assassinated by the people she made promises to. These are NOT people you want to fuck with.

                                      And as for quid pro quo? Saudi Arabia, and her signing off on weapons deals as Secretary of State.

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                                    • No, dark one, I was just playing with your framing. I believe that bill and Hillary have a big enough and star studded enough rolodex that people will write large checks just to be at the right social party with queen bae bae, and that the clinton foundation has done vast amounts of good with that money.

                                      Then you don’t expect a massive haircut and I do. That’s why I think it will be an interesting year for that point and I’m looking forward to picking this matter up again in about 16 months.

                                      And brilliant bit there, “we can’t prove these things we say they did before, we can’t prove this one either, QED she’s a crook.” Incandescent sir, truly.

                                      People like her are supposed to be operating to avoid the appearance of impropriety, i.e. the appearance of being unethical. Accepting tens of millions of dollars from torturous Russian politicians who you’re helping get mining contracts isn’t even close to that.

                                      Her operating (I won’t call it “ethical”) standard appears to be “avoiding what she can be convicted of”, as opposed to “being ethical”, or even “appearing to be ethical”.

                                      So I don’t think she can be convicted for running her pay to play scheme, but this doesn’t prevent me from pointing out that she is apparently running one.

                                      But im sure if she needs to, she can still get fat $250,000 checks for speaking events.

                                      She and Bill will take a big haircut there too. Bush only gets $100k-$175k.

                                      But what’s more interesting than the amount is the frequency. Two years ago, if Bill Clinton wanted to give you a speech for $300k, could you realistically say “no” if you were a high level CEO?

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                            • I don’t think we can reasonably claim the head of a multi-Billion dollar organization is personally responsible for *everything* which happens in it. Someone in the Army committed rape/murder/terrorism last year (and see BLM for other lists), it’s not useful to think Obama was personally involved without lots more evidence than we have.

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                              • Multi-billion dollar organization? I mean it may be, but I can’t find any information on it. Did you?

                                And come on, comparing it to the Army? On size alone, that’s preposterous. But more importantly, with Trump U, we are not talking about an organization that had a bad actor or two, are we? We’re talking about what was, from top to bottom, a scam.

                                Do you not see that distinction?

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                                • Forbes thinks Trump is worth about 4 Billion, unlike Scrooge McDuck the bulk of that is going to be in his companies and not gold coins. Trump owns roughly 300 companies. His person involvement in any one of those has to be pretty small.

                                  If you want to claim “Fraud” is a problem then you need to find lots of other companies, otherwise this smells like a quality control issue.

                                  What does the worst McDonald’s look like? The worst Wal-Mart? The worst Shell? And those companies put a lot of effort into having them all be the same while Trump does not.

                                  Wal-Mart occasionally has to pay fines because local stores break laws, owning lots of stores and/or businesses means it’s a cost of doing business.

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                                  • Quality Control?

                                    If Mcdonalds has issues with 1 out of every hundred burgers it sells, or with 1 out of every 100 stores its franchisee’s run, then yes, quality control. But If every burger they claim has beef and cheese actually came with no beef and no cheese, that’s not a quality control issue, thats a scam. If half of them have no beef and cheese, thats a scam.

                                    And I know that you know this. Despite your protestations to the contrary.

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                                    • If Mcdonalds has issues with… 1 out of every 100 stores its franchisee’s run, then yes, quality control.

                                      Agreed.

                                      But If every burger they claim has beef and cheese actually came with no beef and no cheese, that’s not a quality control issue, thats a scam. If half of them have no beef and cheese, thats a scam.

                                      Agreed. So are half of Trump’s businesses like this, or is it just that one?

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                                      • Agreed. So are half of Trump’s businesses like this, or is it just that one?

                                        You seem to be under the extremely odd impression that Trump has people under him *setting up business*, and he might not know about it.

                                        This is…not how anything in the Trump Organization even vaguely work. Trump makes all that. Every piece of it, he created. There are no other people who can do that, with *perhaps* the exception of Ivanka and her semi-independent brands.

                                        Once the business *exists*, of course, it could go off the rails. It is entirely possible that there’s some hotel manager ripping people off and he doesn’t know about it.

                                        But the problem is…the place was a scam from the start. It not only made a lot of blatant lies, but those lies were *personally recorded by Donald Trump himself* in videos. Lies that included *meeting him personally*, so presumably he was aware that those were lies. (Or he was, perhaps, hallucinating meeting people.)

                                        Have you actually looked at how Trump U. worked? It was setup as levels, the first free, and each level almost entirely operated as a sales pitch (And convincing you to take out savings and even get loans) for the *next* level. There was no actual school there, no actual education of any sort.

                                        At best, if you went through the thing, you got some generic information about real estate you could get from books, and, basically, got to listen to a crappy motivational speaker. Granted, I think motivational speakers are a bit silly to exist at all, but if someone wants see one, they can get a crappy one for $1000 for *an entire room of people*, or a super-high end famous one for $30,000.

                                        That part of Trump U cost $1500. A person. For a *three day seminar*. That was, again, some information about real estate that you could get out of a book, and, basically, a motivational speaker.

                                        How much did Trump University cost if you made it to to the end? $35,000. For all that above, plus some ‘mentors’ would spend a couple of hours one-on-one with you. Supposedly a ‘year-long’ mentor-ship, but appears you got about six hours of interaction total.

                                        $35,000 is a *semester at Harvard* with money left over. Also included in a semester at Harvard: More than 6 hours of personal interaction with professors.

                                        This isn’t something that somehow transmogified into a scam. It was always, from the very start, an extremely large scam. I’m not sure how much it was *illegal*, but it, at no point, was any sort of honest business.

                                        Edit: Of course, most of his businesses *are* scam in a very particular way: They stiff contractors *all the time*. They are also absurdly overpriced and very poor quality, comparatively speaking to actual high-end places, although I guess that’s not really a ‘scam’.

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                                      • Ok – So imagine I own Mcdonalds. Now imagine I sell burgers with no meat and cheese despite marketing them as coming with meat and cheese. It sounds like you (Dark) would agree I am running a scam.

                                        But….

                                        If i happen to own a bunch of other business, not related to hamburgers at all, that aren’t demonstrably a scam, then I am excused from my McDonald’s scam? At least according to you, right?

                                        I always knew diversification was a good investment strategy, I just never knew it was a liability mitigation strategy.

                                        I’m sure Trump used this line of argument to drive that $25 Million settlement. And it looks like it made the Plaintiffs run scared. Or not.

                                        Or even simpler – by your standard, one who owns lots of business can’t be a fraud, unless all of his businesses are a fraud.

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                                        • If i happen to own a bunch of other business, not related to hamburgers at all, that aren’t demonstrably a scam, then I am excused from my McDonald’s scam? At least according to you, right?

                                          Excused? No. Just like Walmart isn’t off the hook when one of their store managers prevents employees from having bathroom breaks or steals their money.

                                          However large numbers means this sort of thing is expected to happen.

                                          The question is what are we looking at here? Clearly he doesn’t have day-to-day control (or even ‘vision’ control) over 300 business. Is this bad local managers? Another possibility is this was a bad idea, badly implemented. That Trump over promised and under delivered so badly that it actually did rise to the level of Fraud (although at the moment what we’ve got is allegations and lawsuits).

                                          The original question was whether it “disqualifies” him for office? The issue is was this an anomaly, or the way he does business? At the moment it looks like the former and not the later.

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                                          • The question is what are we looking at here? Clearly he doesn’t have day-to-day control (or even ‘vision’ control) over 300 business.

                                            Trump supposedly has 500 companies, but looking at that number causes people to vastly overestimates the number of *functioning* businesses he has. He is in the habit of creating corporate entities for pretty much everything.

                                            About half of his corporate entities are clearly labeled as some sort of investment scouting operation, and more than half of those close without doing anything at all, and the other half maybe pay for some surveying or hire some consultants to do feasibility things.

                                            Of the remainder, a good number of Trump’s companies are merely licencors to other people. There are properties with his name on them that he has no interest in, so he creates an entity to license to the property. One license, an entire company.

                                            Trump only has, at most, somewhere about 50 companies that actually *do* anything. And many of them, being real estate, basically run themselves…he hires a property management company to actually manage tenants. Likewise, golf courses and hotels…he turns over to a manager.

                                            But building a supposed university to present *his* knowledge, that claimed *personal interaction* with him? Either a) he was involved in setting up the multiple levels system that operated solely to pull money out of people and not teach them anything, thus he set it up to defraud people, or b) some underling set that up, thus he wasn’t involved anywhere near the extent *he promised*, thus he was knowingly defrauding people when he promoted it.

                                            Is this bad local managers?

                                            This isn’t some poorly run hotel. With Trump University, Trump *made videos telling outright lies*, things he had to know some of were lies, because they promised things *about himself*.

                                            If you make a video promising that Gold Elite level students will meet you, and then, somehow, you never happen to *meet* any of those people, despite them obviously existing based on corporate returns, you are an active participate in the scam, period.

                                            Likewise, the curricular was supposedly *personally designed* by Trump, and the instructors *personally elected* by him, and he has *repeatedly said this*, both in ads and interviews about it. That…is not true. He presumable would *know* that that isn’t true. (Unless we’re going the ‘dementia’ route.)

                                            The original question was whether it “disqualifies” him for office? The issue is was this an anomaly, or the way he does business? At the moment it looks like the former and not the later.

                                            You *are* aware of the allegations he constantly, repeatedly, does not pay contractors, right? There’s dozens of stories about this.

                                            You are also aware that he has failed to pay back American banks so often they literally will not do business with him anymore, right?

                                            Trump has burned his way through the American business world so badly that he basically is *forced* to operate overseas at this point. No one here will do business with him. (That is, no one *a decade ago* would do business with him. The calculation obviously has changed now, although I’m not sure which direction.)

                                            Hell, Charlie Sheen has a story (Yes, yes, Charlie Sheen has emotional and addiction problems, but he’s not generally a pathological liar.) about how Trump *gave him a fraudulent present* for no literally reason. Like, Trump gave Sheen a ‘wedding present’ of his own cufflinks (Despite not being invited to Sheen’s marriage or needing to give him a present at all) and *lied* about the cufflinks being diamonds and platinum. It’s a completely insane story. (Although I guess it’s not *technically* fraud.)

                                            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/18/charlie-sheen-trump-is-a-charlatan-who-gave-me-fake-jewelry-as-a-wedding-gift.html

                                            None of this, of course, disqualifies him from office. The foreign *and* domestic emolument clauses do, however. (Yeah, there’s a domestic one, the one everyone forgets about, stopping state and local governments from bribing the president. I hope, next year, that New York City just ups and yanks every single one of his tax breaks.)

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                                            • Its funny, since if we were talking about the hiring of a night manager for a burger joint, the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                                              How many times have we heard stories of HR managers who notice something awful on an employee’s Facebook feed that causes their termination, and which practice is staunchly defended by those who insist that employers have every right to terminate or refuse to hire any employee at will, for any reason or no reason whatsoever?

                                              Yet here we have people ardently defending him for the position of the world’s most powerful person, where character is the number one job description.

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                                                • Conservatives are responsible for the Clintons.

                                                  You should do a lot of soul searching on what you could have done differently to prevent them from attaining power.

                                                  Maybe if you had only reached out to liberals, and listened to their concerns…

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                                                  • Conservatives are responsible for the Clintons.

                                                    You should do a lot of soul searching on what you could have done differently to prevent them from attaining power.

                                                    Maybe if you had only reached out to liberals, and listened to their concerns…

                                                    I don’t know exactly who you were attempting to throw paint on with this particular attack but you appear to have gotten it everywhere.

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                                              • …the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                                                You mean as opposed to HRC?

                                                …character is the number one job description.

                                                It’s not. I couldn’t care less about Bill’s sex scandals, Trump’s marriages to women who (one assumes) are marrying him for his money, Trump being an ass, or HRC reportedly being a fairly unpleasant person to work for.

                                                I assume I’ll never meet any of them or interact with them personally.

                                                Policy and Competence greatly outweigh any/all of that.

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                                                • HRC, whose husband was the target of repeated investigated his entire term, all of which went nowhere except for one that didn’t involve corruption?

                                                  Or HRC who was the target of repeated investigated her entire term and afterward, none of which led anywhere involving corruption?

                                                  Ot HRC whose family foundation is a highly-rated charity with no evidence of corruption? As opposed to the Trump foundation, which has been fined for making political contributions and repeatedly used as a personal piggy bank.

                                                  It may be a tenet of your religion that the Clintons are corrupt, but I’m an agnostic.

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                                                  • HRC, whose husband was the target of repeated investigated his entire term, all of which went nowhere except for one that didn’t involve corruption?

                                                    Let’s just quote Jimmy Carter about the Clinton pardons: “A number of them were quite questionable, including about 40 not recommended by the Justice Department.”… “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in [Rich’s] pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.”

                                                    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/carter-rich-pardon-disgraceful/

                                                    Or HRC whose family foundation is a highly-rated charity with no evidence of corruption?

                                                    Let’s quote Bernie Sanders about Clinton’s conflict of interest: “Do I have a problem when a sitting secretary of State and a foundation run by her husband collects many, many dollars from foreign governments — governments which are dictatorships? Yeah, I do have a problem with that. Yeah, I do”

                                                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation%E2%80%93State_Department_controversy

                                                    Further that “highly-rated” aspect is troubling. TCF was given unfavorable ratings until December of 2015 because of it’s highly unusual structure and secrecy. Since then it’s been given really high ratings. Higher even than the red cross. What changed?

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                                                      • So, no evidence of wrongdoing, just quotes that something looks fishy. And from political rivals, exactly the sort of thing you dismiss downthread.

                                                        I picked Jimmy Carter because he wasn’t a political rival, certainly not to a fellow Dem and brother retired President.

                                                        I don’t think it’d be useful to detail all the “evidence of wrongdoing” to everything the Clintons have done over the years (I’m sure people have written books). A good summation is they do (sometimes extremely unusual) favors for people wearing their political hat, money/power is transferred to their personal control, and we can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one had anything to do with the other.

                                                        Then people like you insist that “not provably criminal in court” is exactly the same as “innocent”.

                                                        After we repeat that process with many ethical adventures, I get what’s known as “Clinton Fatigue” and you insist that all these attempts to prove wrongdoing reveal more about the Clinton’s opponents rather than the Clintons themselves.

                                                        Against Trump, a $25 million dollar judgment.

                                                        Actually that was a “settlement”, and I already linked to how he works. Getting sued is expected, it’s part of the plan. Like the Clintons he doesn’t care what people think and he can sleep well at night no matter what he does.

                                                        If TrumpU made a profit after subtracting that $25 Million, then it was a success. If that $25 Million means it didn’t make money, then it was a failure. He over promised, under delivered, and probably hurt people but whatever. He assumes he’s going to get pulled into court (maybe even constantly), he assumes he’ll lose every now and then, typically he settles.

                                                        The difference is pretty clear.

                                                        Amoral self seeking behavior resulting in personal profit by ignoring the usual societal norms in how that job is supposed to function. Doing just enough to keep yourself out of jail and simply not caring about ethics or even the appearance of ethics.

                                                        I don’t see a difference. Trump is to business what the Clintons are to politics.

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                                                          • To those paying attention, false accusations say more about the accuser than the accused. Unfortunately, so few people do.

                                                            False? Marc Rich’s wife really did give more than a Million dollars to the Clintons (mostly HRC’s senate campaign fund), and then Bill really did ignore all sorts of standards to give Marc a pardon. And since there’s no bill of sale or other signed contract between the four of them, apparently this doesn’t quite rise to the level of “provably criminal”.

                                                            There’s no reason to pardon him other than the money, but the legal system can’t prove an actual transaction… and that’s apparently the ethical standard the Clintons use.

                                                            That the Clinton’ actions aren’t “provably criminal” doesn’t mean the accusations are “false”, and we could do this dance on multiple other ethical adventures they’ve been on. But I don’t see the point as long as you’re going to insist there is no difference between “not provably criminal” and “innocent”.

                                                            AFAICT, most politicians don’t insist on living this close to the edge, the only other one I can think of who does is Trump.

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                                                        • “… he can sleep well at night no matter what he does. He over promised, under delivered, and probably hurt people but whatever.”

                                                          Just a reminder, the ‘he’ here refers to PEOTUS.

                                                          U-S-A! U-S-A!

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                                              • Its funny, since if we were talking about the hiring of a night manager for a burger joint, the steady stream of corruption scandals surrounding this man would be so obviously disqualifying as to not even be worthy of discussion.

                                                He’s qualified because he won like a trillion votes and the election. If he didn’t have those things we wouldn’t have to worry about it.

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                                            • You *are* aware of the allegations he constantly, repeatedly, does not pay contractors, right? There’s dozens of stories about this.

                                              Your post, and the background research I had to do to respond to it was an eye opener. Lots of things have been brought into focus (Thank you).

                                              I’d assumed this was a repeat of what happened with Romney, large numbers mean political opponents can pick the worst outcome and represent it as the normal. (Note having cried wolf with Romney meant this was much less believable).

                                              I withdraw that argument. What he’s doing is a deliberate business ploy. He pays his bills when it’s to his advantage and doesn’t when that is to his advantage. http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/donald-trump-stiff-contractors/

                                              IMHO we’re deep into “Charming Sociopath” territory.

                                              Sociopaths are a lot more common than commonly known, something like 1%-4% of population. Lawyers, CEOs, and Politicians are seriously over represented. I’ve considered HRC to be one for quite a while so IMHO the country was going to be enjoying this no matter who won.

                                              Moving back to “does it disqualify him”, the answer is “no”, we already knew he was a total bastard… but I will double down on saying he’s a “high risk, high reward” gamble.

                                              It’s possible to view him in his entirety and say “I don’t want him anywhere around me, he’s a total bastard”. It’s also possible to say “Wow what a bastard! That’s who I want as my agent!” We just had an election proving the later.

                                              None of this, of course, disqualifies him from office. The foreign *and* domestic emolument clauses do, however.

                                              We’ve talked about this. He’s not disqualified if he gets Congress’ blessing. Given that he’s popular and got the American People’s blessing, IMHO Congress will fold.

                                              It does occur to me that if he gets totally out of line, Congress may decide they’d be better off working with Pence. And the Supremes who he’s said he’ll put into office are the sort of “restrain the gov” types who’d hamstring him.

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                                              • At any point, when you typed “He’s a sociopath” then followed it up with blithe reassurance about how this is perfectly fine, did you pause, maybe to go get a drink of water or something stronger, and have even a moment’s reflection?

                                                Could you do that? I really do recommend it.

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                                                • 1st, I didn’t vote for the guy.

                                                  2nd, HRC has a lot of those indications as well.

                                                  3rd, I seriously doubt he’s the first or the last sociopath we’ll have as Prez. I’d feel a lot better with Romney in office, but that’s not an option.

                                                  I’ll support him when I think he’s doing a good job and oppose him when he’s not. Thus far he’s at least shown that he’s taking the job seriously. It’s possible we’re actually seeing “Pence in charge” and Trump is just rubber stamping everything but whatever.

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                                                • At any point, when you typed “He’s a sociopath” then followed it up with blithe reassurance about how this is perfectly fine, did you pause, maybe to go get a drink of water or something stronger, and have even a moment’s reflection?

                                                  Well yeah, that’s something that a lot of us have thought of already? And considering that a lot of us thought that he was the best choice among the credible alternatives available, that’s something that should be giving you more than a moment’s reflection.

                                                  In the meantime, libs are in a very important position now, in that they will have a lot of obligations and situations to demonstrate loyalty and very little actual power. Let’s see if they can rise to the occasion.

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                                                • That is, when Obama said that Trump isn’t someone who should have the nuclear codes, he was 100% correct.

                                                  It’s possible Obama was right.

                                                  However Obama would have said that against whoever HRC was running against.

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                                                  • It’s possible Obama was right.

                                                    Which is a factual question worth considering.

                                                    However Obama would have said that against whoever HRC was running against.

                                                    Given that his comment was politically motivated, the factual issue can be dismissed as not worth considering.

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                                                    • Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility… even as to whether HRC would have been better on this issue.

                                                      Note that Wolf scream probably means HRC and Obama shouldn’t be in office. If everything is racism, or a nuclear crisis, then nothing is. If everyone is a threat to the world’s survival, then no one is.

                                                      If their claim to HRC being the better candidate comes down to fear, then maybe they don’t actually have a claim.

                                                      If we’re going to be serious about this, I think the odds of either of them pushing the button are remote, but it’s slightly higher with her. Short of alien invasion he’s not burning down his assets.

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                                                      • Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility…

                                                        Generalize it to all politicians.

                                                        No politician has any credibility except for their own team.

                                                        Iterated cynicism is a zero sum game where everyone loses.

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                                                        • Iterated cynicism is a zero sum game where everyone loses.

                                                          True, but at the same time, that cynicism has been earned and is deserved.

                                                          The way to bet is Trump doesn’t use nukes to burn down his hotels, and he doesn’t build death camps for his daughter and grandchildren.

                                                          That I can put it that way should show just how bankrupt the entire argument is, and should also show just how deserved my cynicism is.

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                                                      • Since he would have screamed Wolf no matter what, he has zero credibility

                                                        It’s a good thing the Obama in your mind would make such a disqualifying argument.

                                                        For whats it’s worth, he didn’t make the argument against either of his previous opponents, and I doubt he makes it against most of the rest of the field.

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          • As far as gaffes go (I’m being generous here…) “the deplorables” ranks right at the top of the list of incomprehensible stupidity engaged in by a politician seeking office. Unbelievable, really.

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            • I suppose it depends how we are defining “worse”.

              “Worse” in terms of political strategy?

              “Worse” in terms of, well, worse… more objectionable… false…

              I understand why both matter but I’m really done with pretending that the former is the same as the latter.

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                  • “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49… he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5–10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

                    This is factually inaccurate. It is false. Untrue. Evidence of either his own misunderstanding of voting patterns or an outright lie. We shouldn’t pretend this isn’t the case.

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              • “Worse” in terms of, well, worse… more objectionable… false…

                Yes, the deplorables thing was objectionable. Specifically, that the voters are sovereign and it’s not Mrs. Clinton’s place to speak negatively of them.

                And it’s compounded by the fact that the substance of her complaint is untrue, and also compounded by the fact that it’s Mrs. Clinton who shouldn’t be making negative ethical judgments about anybody.

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                • Romney spoke negatively of voters, questioning their values and intentions. AND HE WAS WRONG!

                  Clinton’s comments came on the heels of a poll that showed about half of Trump’s supporters* held clearly racist views. Raciam is deplorable. Now, I concede there is a problem with conflating the holding of a horrible view with being a horrible person. But that tendency is not unique to Clinton. One of the problems is how universal it is.

                  So, you have Romney saying something demonstrably false and which impugnes the character of nearly half the electorate. Let me remind you what it was:
                  “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
                  No. The 47% of people who do not pay income tax (which may include Trump!) do not all vote for Obama. And that number? Ain’t 47% unless you exclude state income tax. AND we ain’t giving Mitt credit for what he might have meant unless we do the same for H-dawg. ANd Mitt has *no idea* how each of those people feel about government, the welfare state, what they feel entitled to, how personally responsible they are, or HOW THEY VOTE AND WHY. Oh… and if he had won, yea, it would have been his job to worry about them. He. Was. Wrong. Demonstrably so.

                  The only way to see HRC’s comment as more false and more offensive is if you apply different rules. If you can do a side-by-side comparison with identical standards and reach that conclusion, I’ll buy you a sandwich.

                  * And, yes, a sizeable share of Clinton’s.

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                  • The only way to see HRC’s comment as more false and more offensive is if you apply different rules. If you can do a side-by-side comparison with identical standards and reach that conclusion, I’ll buy you a sandwich.

                    Not at all. Romney shouldn’t have said what he did, maybe he’d have been President instead of Donald Trump in that case, and presumably you’d be happy.

                    Romney criticized the incentives of Obama voters who don’t (or didn’t) pay federal income tax. He didn’t criticize their character, though it was too close for comfort on that score. Most importantly, he didn’t try to pretend that he wasn’t accountable to those people.

                    That’s the biggest problem with Hillary’s speech. That, presumably because of racism or whatever, that Trump’s voters were illegitimate, and somehow shouldn’t count. But that’s horrible. Racism or not, we as voters sit in judgment of Hillary, and not the other way around. Ordering those priorities correctly is more important than anything that can be said about racism. It’s not Hillary’s business to make definitive proclamations about racism anyway.

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                    • No… he didn’t criticize Obama voters. This is where you are playing fast and loose with facts. He said that the 47% of the population that does not pay income taxes (wrong) is already going to vote for the President… when we have ample stats to show that the population of folks who do not pay federal income tax vote for both parties.

                      And I struggle to see how you can argue that Hillary’s comments were judgmental and Mitt’s were not. Mitt questioned their motives, questioned their ability to care for themselves and take responsibility for themselves… how is that not judgmental?

                      Again, different rules.

                      And, again, what Mitt said was objectively false. We have numbers to show it. And that is before we get into the weeds of whether a retiree drawing social security should be considered unable to care for herself or unable to be convinced to take personal responsibility for himself. I mean, that isn’t objectively provable but I bet a whole bunch of people — when viewing such a situation in a vacuum — would come to a very different conclusion than Mitt did.

                      Thus far, the objection to Hillary’s comments are not so much that she was wrong but that she was mean.

                      ETA: Mitt was wrong AND mean. But you want to ignore that he was wrong and focus only on Hillary’s meanness. Again, different standards.

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                      • And I struggle to see how you can argue that Hillary’s comments were judgmental and Mitt’s were not. Mitt questioned their motives, questioned their ability to care for themselves and take responsibility for themselves… how is that not judgmental?

                        It doesn’t seem that hard to me.

                        1. Romney criticized the voters circumstantially. Ie, that they are the beneficiaries of government programs who won’t want to vote against them. Which let’s note, has been the cynical lib idea toward Obamacare from the beginning. Ie, even if we don’t like it ourselves, it will still permanently collectivize health care, hopefully toward something we libs like better in the future.

                        Whereas Hillary was directly criticizing the Trump voters motives.

                        2. Romney explicitly conceded that the people who are not paying federal income tax are legitimately voting against him, whereas HRC strongly implied otherwise wrt the deplorables, which is the key point for me.

                        3. The context that HRC talked about the deplorables was much worse. Specifically, that Hillary and especially her most ideologically committed supporters were inclined to double down on the deplorables thing instead of walking it back. And for that matter, that the ethos behind her campaign was to insulate herself and her supporters from democratic accountability.

                        And for that matter, I don’t know what Mitt said that was particularly inaccurate. I think that 47% of voting age Americans don’t pay federal income tax, and as far as I know he was right on that score. But frankly, that part is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned anyway.

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          • When/how did Obama and Biden mischaracterize the 47% thing?

            Why/how was “basket of deplorables” worse?

            It’s a moot point now, but I was trying to come up with a compromise that might get Texas’s electoral votes to swing for the fences and vote for Mitt Romney instead of Donald Trump.

            And it would have had to get the Democratic electors, yes, all of them, on board.

            If you’re not crazy about the deal, well, maybe you should come up with one that would get the Texas electors to change their minds.

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  3. As far as I can tell, Team Trump, probably with direct assistant of the leadership of the RNC, did a decent job of making sure Trumpistas were selected for the elector slates. (and maybe better than Team Clinton, who maybe still have one or two #neverHillary electors in Washington state and somewhere else)

    So the electors in the states Trump won are going to dance with who brought them.

    And as stated here elsewhere often by others and myself, the Conventional Republicans are poised to get everything they want, except for some trade agreements and a continued cold war with Russia. But they’ll have everything else – judges, tax cuts, deregulation, cold war with China and Iran, a Merry Christmas, and more. So why upset the apple cart?

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  4. I agree that this would be a horrific shock to the system. Therefore, I’m not really interested in such discussions.

    I think that for me, a lot of the discussion around the popular vote is to underline that Trump is not that popular, and does not have much of a mandate at all. In fact, his approval rating at inauguration will probably be the lowest for any president at that point. And that’s after an upsurge.

    I think he is unlikely to finish this term. I can see possibilities of death by natural causes (he’s over 70, and doesn’t take that good of care of himself, as I understand), resignation, impeachment, and invocation of the 25th amendment are all possibilities. The fact is, he wants the prestige, but he doesn’t want to do the job of president.

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    • I’m over the “shock to the system” issue.
      Charlie Pierce stated it pretty well, that repeatedly we have been told that the American public is not ready for such shocks as prosecutions of war crimes, of torture, as he put it, the assumption is that we are such fragile glass creatures that a constitutional crisis would be too much for us.

      I think that if one is able to nod calmly at the idea of a hostile foreign government having its lobbyists within the Oval Office, there really isn’t anything left that can shock us.

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      • Are you talking about Huma? Weiner? Or are we talking about exclusively Trump’s lobbyists because we aren’t willing to talk about both sides doing it?

        Petroeconomies are no longer our friends.

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  5. Can she ask her electors to vote for someone else BUT ONLY this particular someone else?

    Because I can see 10-20 of them voting for Bernie which means that Rick Perry will need even more Republican defectors.

    What could Hillary reasonably offer to get Republican electors to defect?

    Oh! I know! Two more justices on the Supreme Court. I’d prefer Breyer and Kagan, but I understand how she might say Breyer and Sotomayor are the only ones she’d be willing to trade.

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    • The electors are, depending on who you talk to:
      1. Free agents able to vote for whomever they want (who is 35 and natural-born);
      2. Agents able to vote for whomever they want (who is 35 and natural-born) so long as they’re willing to pay a nominal fine for not voting for the candidate whose slate made them electors;
      3. Ceremonial vessels through which their state’s votes go to their sponsoring candidates, and if they deviate from the slate, their votes become nullities.

      It seems to me that faithless electors in the past have not been sanctioned in any way and their faithless votes have been counted as cast. So I think the answer is about 1.25.

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      • I’m guessing here that what we have is a co-ordination problem.

        Let’s agree, just for the sake of argument, that we could convince all of the democratic electors to *NOT* vote for Hillary, for the good of the country.

        So let it be agreed upon. Done.

        Now the very idea that we can move from that point, conceded for the sake of the argument, to “therefore Rick Perry” (or maybe Mitt Romney) is unthinkable.

        I mean, come on now. I feel like I’ve been taking crazy pills.

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          • My argument is that it is easy to concede, for the sake of argument, the premise that we can break the norm/convention that electors vote for the person the state asked them to.

            It is not easy to concede, for the sake of argument, the step that follows.

            Remember: we’re talking about getting all of the blue electors to vote for Rick Perry or Mitt Romney instead of for Clinton in the hopes that we could get Texas to vote for Rick Perry or Mitt Romney and thus keep Trump out of the White House.

            We’re not in “if I had some ham, we could have some ham sandwiches, if you had some bread” territory.

            We’re in “If I had some ham, and you had some bread, and he had some tomatoes, and she had some mustard, and he had some lettuce, and she had some onions, we could have ham sandwiches with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions!” territory.

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            • I think it’s more like “how do we *make* these people do this”.

              Even assuming Trump EC delegates were picked for loyalty to the GOP and not loyalty to Trump (which btw I don’t think is correct), Trump has been on a massive “sanity” show recently.

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              • Dark,
                Bribery. But Clinton’s cash isn’t going to get spent to get a Republican (or any other Democrat) elected.
                The alternative is blackmail, but I don’t think Clinton has much on the Republicans (I sincerely hope not, at any rate, because I DO have an idea as to what sort of blackmail the Clinton Machine might have on someone who ought not to have political ties to them).

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      • Technically, electors do not have to vote for someone who is 35 and a natural-born citizen. It would be *stupid* to vote for someone who cannot assume the office, but they can.

        And interpretation #3 is just factually wrong. The slightest bit of historic knowledge disproves that.

        I also find #2 a bit dubious. The courts have said, repeatedly, that states cannot impose rules on Federal elections, which, I assume, include fining people who don’t vote how they want!

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      • And the reality turned out to be a little bit of column 1 and a little bit of column 3. A total of eight faithless electors, but two of them (one in Minnesota and one in Maine) were substituted at the last minute when it became clear that they were casting their ballots for someone other than their pledged candidate.

        Trump suffered two faithless electors. Clinton suffered four. Read into that what you will: what I read into it is that the Republicans are better-disciplined than the Democrats, but we all knew that already.

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  6. Yeah, sort of. On the nuts and bolts level, it seems to be a lost cause. I’ve heard that one GOP elector is planning on voting for somebody other than Trump, but no traction from anyone else. But the entire thing seems to be under the radar, and not in a good way for the likelihood of it happening.

    I think the time for effective political manipulations is over for a while, and the Left should accept the fact that Trump is going to be President, and figure out how it wants to orient itself toward Trump-era America, especially in a spiritual sense.

    I suspect that they might be making mistakes in this direction. Ie, first of all, that the Left base energy is for the moment at least geared toward preventing Donald Trump from taking office. Then after that, they presumably intend to go intend to obstruction mode, taking as a model the early Obama administration of 2009/2010.

    This is a situation I fear where the libs have corrupted themselves through their own lies to the extent that some years later they have actually come to believe them. The Republican opposition to President Obama was successful not because Mitch McConnell is brilliant, it worked because the Republicans were doing what the people wanted, and doing it in a circumstance where there didn’t seem to be any other representation.

    That may or may not occur in the Trump Administration. If it does happen, it will be the result of something Trump does, not the D’s.

    The D’s should focus on being better people than what they have been during the Obama Administration, and create the possibility of regaining some trust that has been lost. There will be plenty of circumstances where Trump does something that is believe by the libs to be against America’s best interest, and they will have plenty of opportunity to say so. But they also have a responsibility to help restore America’s legitimacy (especially as how they have been so grievously guilty of drawing it down), and that will be a much harder obligation for the Demo’s to fulfill, especially if Donald Trump is President of the United States. So that is where they should be concentrating their efforts.

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    • Agree with all of this… but I’m not sure it matters.

      The Left is going to stay in denial for a while. Worse, they’re seriously not ready for Trump being much better than Obama at the nuts and bolts of the Presidency, and that’s looking more and more likely.

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      • I for one won’t believe that until I see it. But that’s ancillary anyway in my opinion.

        The D’s haven’t internalized that in today’s reality, there’s no need for them. Therefore their intended obstruction is simply a measure of their own character issues: pettiness, antagonism, inclination towards destruction, etc., etc.

        But that could change very quickly. Americans are going to look towards the Republicans for leadership. If they don’t like what they see, the Democrats can come back very quickly.

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            • As if the GOP didn’t literally get their ideology and leadership jettisoned en toto by their base. I mean sure, the Dems lost the election to Trump by a fingernail based on both a series of mistakes by HRC and some lamentable other events. The GOP you’ve been carrying water for since 2008, at least, lost to Trump in their primary too; and it wasn’t even remotely close.
              I don’t see much reason to think that with a better candidate the Dems core ideas don’t have a lot of mileage left on them. With the Trump win what exactly does the GOP stand for now? Oh, is it folk Marxism?

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              • Well then if there’s anything that the D’s have to say, presumably they’ll mention it when Trump is President and the establishment Republicans did very well in the downticket races.

                Whatever the Dem core ideas are supposed to be, it’s pretty clear that America is willing to live without them at least for the moment.

                Given that, it’s up to the D’s to put away their antagonism, inclination towards destruction, and parochial political interests in favor of the betterment of America as a whole.

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                • Or, following the GOP’s playbook they could opt for total obstruction as Trump and the GOP try and sort out what exactly they’re going to do to try and fulfill Trumps enormous promises. It’d certainly serve them right.

                  Now I don’t think that’s a good choice, if Trump tries to do something sensible the Dems should probably cooperate with it. My own money, though, is that we’re going to see a return to the icecream party from Bush W’s era.

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                  • Name That Tune, kemosabe.

                    Really, this is just a horribly corrosive attitude for which the Dems can’t be punished enough, no matter all the elections they have lost so far.

                    If there’s anything I do in the wayback machine, politically speaking, America would be so much better off if President Obama had folded on Obamacare around Thanksgiving of 2009 or January of the following year or whatever.

                    I don’t think we’d see nearly so much sleazy lib innuendo on race if the Dems had to deal with the failure of health care reform internally instead of writing it into their imaginations of Republican racism of Mitch McConnell’s maneuverings.

                    I’ve stated this several times before, and IIRC stated it several times to you directly, North, but somehow you won’t take responsibility for the substantial unpopularity of health care reform of that era, and its consequences.

                    Somehow, according to libs, the American people are denied their ability to meaningfully influence policy once the election is over if a lib wins. It’s long long past time to give up the Mitch McConnell bullshit and accept the blame that’s your due for the deep partisan division of America the policy failures of the Obama Administration.

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                    • You keep singing that tune, and no one buys it because no one forgets what happened back then. McConnell opted for total obstruction long before the ACA hit the floor and everyone is well aware of it. Yes, Pelosi and Reid (more than Obama) made a decision when the chips were down to not allow the GOP to repeat healthcare reform history and the GOP has been pitching a hissy fit about that ever since but the fact remains that they were marching in lockstep opposition prior to the ACA which blows this story you keep peddling entirely out of the water.

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                      • Why do you care about what Mitch McConnell thought, who let’s face it represented 40 or 41 Senators at that time, in the context of ignoring the plain strongly expressed wishes of the American people?

                        At the end of the day I can’t think of any of Obama’s bigger agenda items that were successfully filibustered during that time period. Obamacare wasn’t obviously. The stimulus package had two or three GOP votes IIRC, and there was one or two other things he got done as well.

                        Why can’t the American people have the opportunity to express themselves against the collectivization of American medicine and have the libs hear it, and be constrained appropriately by it?

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                        • It sure would have helped if Obama had campaigned on healthcare reform so the electorate could have weighed in on the matter. Maybe running against some candidate who said letting Obama and his party take a shot at healthcare reform was a bad idea. Oh, wait, he did.. and McCain did say that and then the electorate voted for Obama and his party in overwhelming numbers. I can’t imagine where Obama and the Dems got the idea that they had a mandate to enact healthcare reform.
                          Oh and then after the enacted healthcare reform Obama had to face the voters again. How did Romney do in that election? As I recall not particularly well.

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                          • But those people voting for Obama and his healthcare law weren’t expressing the will of the American people, in fact I think a lot of them lived in California and New York.

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                            • Certainly not. Are you claiming that Obama and his Party didn’t campaign on reforming healthcare in 2008?

                              Trump, and the GOP are in power imminently. At that point they can either try to repeal the ACA without anything to replace it and see how much the electorate likes that or they can do what the GOP should have done in 2009 and add their own policies to the mix in exchange for their votes and then support it. I admit I’m being madly overgenerous at the moment since the GOP’s had almost a decade now and they still haven’t made up their mind what the replace portion of their repeal and replace schtick is but it is the holiday season.

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                              • Dark Matter: Are you claiming Obamacare was popular when he passed it and that the Dems didn’t pay a political cost for supporting it?

                                North: Certainly not. Are you claiming that Obama and his Party didn’t campaign on reforming healthcare in 2008?

                                Your 2nd statement doesn’t pass the “so what?” question.

                                The Dems knew Obamacare was deeply unpopular and passed it anyway. We live in a democracy, the people’s response was to punish the Dems and reward the GOP.

                                At that point they can either try to repeal the ACA without anything to replace it and see how much the electorate likes that…

                                We’ll see. They could just repeal it and then “negotiate” with the Dems on what to replace it and gamble that the voters blame the Dems for any problems.

                                or they can do what the GOP should have done in 2009 and add their own policies to the mix in exchange for their votes and then support it.

                                The reported price for adding their own policies to the mix was supporting single payer.

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                                • My 2nd point remains that the GOP’s base throwing a fit doesn’t pass the sniff test for outweighing the electorates expressed preference as shown in the elections. Obama ran on reforming heath care- he won. He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again. The Dems have had to struggle with a lot of trouble on health care and I have no doubt it’s been part of their general electoral problems, but the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                                  We’ll see. They could just repeal it and then “negotiate” with the Dems on what to replace it and gamble that the voters blame the Dems for any problems.

                                  The GOP have majorities in Congress and the Presidency. If they look back at the past eight years and think that blame will fall to the minority party without the Presidency if they repeal the ACA with nothing to replace it that’d be an… extraordinary leap to say the least.

                                  The reported price for adding their own policies to the mix was supporting single payer.

                                  Nah, the price for them adding their policies to the mix was their having to offer some votes in support and give Obama a bipartisan win. An outcome they decided, well in advance, that they would not permit no matter whether it helped the country or not.

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                                  • …the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                                    The GOP’s “base” wasn’t the group that took Ted Kennedy’s seat from the Dems and handed it to the GOP, for the express and specific purpose of blocking Obamacare. Similarly Obamacare got every Blue dog dem thrown out of office.

                                    He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again.

                                    Which was fine for him, less fine for everyone else who needed to run on voting for it. Lesson to be learned here is big changes/programs are big political risks if they only have narrow majorities.

                                    Obamacare was passed with the political gamble that it’d be popular no matter how unpopular it was. Obamacare’s various promises turned out to be happy marketing talk which raised expectations higher than could be met. Healthcare costs went up, not down as promised. You couldn’t keep your doctor as promised, etc.

                                    The GOP have majorities in Congress and the Presidency. If they look back at the past eight years and think that blame will fall to the minority party without the Presidency if they repeal the ACA with nothing to replace it that’d be an… extraordinary leap to say the least.

                                    This is the same group which repeatedly shut down the gov thinking “this time” they wouldn’t be blamed.

                                    BTW this kind of shown incompetence is one of the reasons I doubt they were super-competent when dealing with Obama in “denying” him various victories and “preventing him” from having bipartisan wins. IMHO it’s a lot more likely he’s just not good at this sort of thing (probably deal making here, although coalition building and reaching out to the other side also are part of it).

                                    A really thin resume should be read for what’s not on it as well as what is. Keeping politicians unified and preventing them from doing what’s in their own selfish interest is like herding cats…. and the Minority head of the House/Senate have a lot less power than a Popular President with sky high approval ratings.

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                                    • Yeah Martha Coakley was a liberal paragon and it was an astonishing upset that her plank rigid terrible campaign was beat by Browns aw shucks campaign. Especially since back then when the GOP said “We’ll negotiate a better deal” they actually could still be believed.

                                      In the case of the GOP’s blanket opposition it was rather easy to organize since the party’s naked immediate interests and political welfare were both aligned so it didn’t take a lot of work. The right wielded primary threats reliably, the right wing media sphere whipped up the politically energetic base and Obama’s initial campaign (tripled down on bipartisan rainbow new kind of politics talk) promises basically put the power to make him succeed or fail on that measure alone in their hands.

                                      Early Obamaism also made it very easy to oppose Obama because he preemptively gave the GOP most of their asks without forcing them to offer votes to get them. For instance his 2009 stimulus bill was absolutely larded with tax cuts under the assumption that doing so would get the GOP to vote for it. They pocketed the cuts and voted en masse against it except for, like, three moderates. The ACA was basically the GOP’s final offer from the previous time health care reform had been debated. They pocketed that gain then screamed that it was socialism redux and voted against it en masse again. Obama offered the entire farm on the sequester negotiations and the only reason the GOP didn’t get it is they were so gone into rejectionism that they couldn’t countenance trading tax increases for spending cuts on a ten to one basis in their favor. Sure, they lost any pretence of being bipartisan and reasonable and Obama retained his personal cred outside the right-o-sphere but policy wise they did pretty well (unless you’re a defense hawk or a deficit hawk, those constituencies got thrown under the bus, but lo and behold it turns out that the voters don’t give a crap about either of those issues).

                                      This is the same group which repeatedly shut down the gov thinking “this time” they wouldn’t be blamed.

                                      Sure, but they were, and they will be. If they pass some kind of “repeal now, replace later” and the exchanges promptly and almost immediately collapse (which they would) then there’s no way they’re going to be able to pass that buck onto the liberals.

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                                      • In the case of the GOP’s blanket opposition it was rather easy to organize since the party’s naked immediate interests and political welfare were both aligned so it didn’t take a lot of work.

                                        True, but this deserves a lot more detail. If Obamacare was in the country’s best interest, why was opposing it popular?

                                        Obama was amazing popular and respected while the GOP weren’t. The obvious move for Obama was for him to explain to the American people how this Bill was in their interest and have them put pressure on the GOP until they caved. Reagan was a master of this, others could make it work.

                                        So Obama explained… that you could keep your doctor (the lie of the year), and costs would go down, etc. Lots of people recognized that these were lies and decided that Obamacare wasn’t in their best interests. That the Bill was thousands of pages long (and thus unreadable) didn’t help, nor did the fact that most Congressmen didn’t understand what was in it (meaning the public couldn’t).

                                        The ACA was basically the GOP’s final offer from the previous time health care reform had been debated.

                                        And yet no Dem, no matter how far to the left, voted against it because it was too far to the right. And with a super majority it’d be very odd behavior to write a right-leaning bill. The way it was presented at the time was the left negotiated with the far left in terms of what they’d do.

                                        Obama offered the entire farm on the sequester negotiations and the only reason the GOP didn’t get it is they were so gone into rejectionism that they couldn’t countenance trading tax increases for spending cuts on a ten to one basis in their favor.

                                        Was this when they were using 10 year accounting with the offered spending cuts happening in years 9 and 10 (i.e. after Obama left office)?

                                        …then there’s no way they’re going to be able to pass that buck onto the liberals.

                                        I think that’s a reasonable statement, but given how many times the GOP has been wrong about who the voters will blame, I don’t think a serious miscalculation on their part is unlikely.

                                        Rather than think the GOP is stunningly competent in spite of all the evidence, I’d rather believe that they’re every bit as disorganized, short sighted, and selfish as their actions suggest. They’re JV High School, not Pro. Most of them would sell out their “principles” for a loose dollar. All of them are for whatever will get them elected.

                                        Which means keeping them unified and opposed needed huge amounts of “help” from Obama himself. When the Grandmaster Chess player loses, repeatedly, to some High School Schmuck it’s worth checking out his record, and if that record doesn’t actually have a noted history of success, then why am I supposed to think he’s a Grandmaster?

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                                        • why was opposing it popular?

                                          It wasn’t “popular”. That confuses the issue, since popularity is something that emerges naturally, outa krisma or talent, etc.

                                          Opposing the ACA wasn’t popular in that sense at all. It was the result of a concerted partisan effort, embraced by every mouthpiece of the right, and was very consciously intentional at the lowest levels of cynicism irregardless (as North said earlier) whether it was good for the country or not.

                                          The polling reveals that. Most folks like every provision in the ACA except the mandate. Cuz FREEDOM!

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                                          • The polling reveals that. Most folks like every provision in the ACA except the mandate.

                                            Then why did Obama have to go out and give the lie of the year (among others) to get it to pass?

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                                            • Two different things, Dark. Obama may in fact be a lying devious asswipe, and people may in fact like the provisions in the ACA.

                                              I know you want to reduce this whole discussion to a simplistic rejection, but the evidence just doesn’t back that up. Most folks – the majority of folks – like guarantee issue, community rating, no rescission, Rule 26, caps on insurance co. profits, etc, etc.

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                                              • Most folks – the majority of folks – like guarantee issue, community rating, no rescission, Rule 26, caps on insurance co. profits, etc, etc.

                                                Free benefits are always popular. Whether they’re popular enough to pay for is something else.

                                                Healthcare reform has often been a story of the Dems (or the public) wanting Universal Coverage (or in this case, to expand coverage) but flinching away from how much it’d cost.

                                                Calling it “simplistic rejection” ignores that dynamic.

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                                                • Sure. Now you’re talking about something else, but that’s OK. I’m used to goal posts moving on the internets. And in real life, too.

                                                  Add: this reminds me of a conversation I had with a commenter who no longer posts here who effectively said, upon challenge to the factual claims he was making, that “she meant a truth deeper than facts, something truer than facts.”

                                                  And that, unfortunately, is where we’re at in our political discourse.

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                                        • Dark, you know very well and Lord(Lady?) knows I’ve said it a million times that Obama’s greatest weakness has always been his disdain for the more retail elements of politics. He seems to honestly believe that being high minded would win the hearts and minds in the end without him demagogue any given matter. Nor are you ignorant of the fact that the GOP members that remained in 2009 were in no position to fear electoral consequences from the left- they feared getting primaried from the right if they cooperated. No amount of Obama’s bully pulpit was going to sway them and you know it. Especially since, as I’ve repeatedly noted, the GOP had already resolved that whatever Obama proposed they would oppose.

                                          And yet no Dem, no matter how far to the left, voted against it because it was too far to the right. And with a super majority it’d be very odd behavior to write a right-leaning bill. The way it was presented at the time was the left negotiated with the far left in terms of what they’d do.

                                          I know that you’re well aware of what went down but in the interest of comity I’m going to play along with the disingenuousness. The left wingers didn’t vote against it because any form of health care reform was preferable to none at all and they were keenly aware of it. Also because despite the right wings’ hysterical screeches to the contrary actual hard left wing politicians are rare as hell among the Democratic Parties ranks of elected members of Congress. The negotiations that went down, as you obviously are aware, was between the Democratic Party as a whole and their center/right wing hold outs like Liberman. I know you know about this since the right was shrieking like fruitbats about all the things the Dems did to cajole and whip their blue dogs into line.

                                          I have never claimed Obama was a Grandmaster chess player. In fact I was an adamant Hillary supporter in ’08. Keeping the GOP minority united in opposition was not really that hard: the Republicans left in office were predominantly from safe right wing districts and had the Right wing Media and Primary challenges to fear; not left wing opponents. McConnell had only a handful of potential defectors to worry about and had them intimidated into compliance once the ACA went down.

                                          For fish’s sake, this isn’t some great secret; the GOP bragged incessantly after the fact about how they’d resolved to oppose whatever Obama proposed.

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                                  • My 2nd point remains that the GOP’s base throwing a fit doesn’t pass the sniff test for outweighing the electorates expressed preference as shown in the elections. Obama ran on reforming heath care- he won. He passed the ACA and ran again- he won again. The Dems have had to struggle with a lot of trouble on health care and I have no doubt it’s been part of their general electoral problems, but the idea that the GOP’s hissy fit during the end stages of the ACA constituted the ACA being deeply unpopular doesn’t pass the laugh test.

                                    North, I don’t believe that you believe that. I think we’d be substantially worse off if you did.

                                    Health care reform was a second-tier issue at best in 2008. Among other things, IIRC Obama’s plan during the election cycle explicitly repudiated an individual mandate (which Clinton supported).

                                    The fact is, the American people can don’t give up the right to oppose President Obama’s policies just because the election season is over. I expect our antagonism and cultural alienation will continue to escalate until you can appreciate that.

                                    Nah, the price for them adding their policies to the mix was their having to offer some votes in support and give Obama a bipartisan win. An outcome they decided, well in advance, that they would not permit no matter whether it helped the country or not.

                                    North, there was no reason to them to think that collectivization of health care is supposed to be good for the country. The American people certainly didn’t think so.

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                                    • Happily, Koz, you (nor I for that matter) are not the arbiter of what the American People did or do want. You and I went round and round on this back in the 2008-12 period up until Romney went down in flames on this very issue. You never did present a clear explanation for how what was functionally a copy of the Republican healthcare reform plan suddenly was transmuted into a horrific collectivization of health care.

                                      But let’s try another tack. In your version of history what did the GOP propose in 2009 during the health care reform negotiations. What did they offer to vote for? As I recall the answer was nothing, hell, they barely have anything to offer as an alternative eight years later.

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                                      • No North, the American people speak for themselves. Most of the time, it’s a muddy hodgepodge but sometimes it isn’t, and it wasn’t in the case of ACA.

                                        The horrificness of ACA isn’t because of policy. As policy, it’s bad, but plausibly bad policy. The real problem with ACA is that it’s creation is fundamentally illegitimate for a free people

                                        Romney emphatically did not lose in 2012 over ACA. He won fairly clearly among voters who voted on that issue. Obama’s campaign that year ran away from the significant acts of his first term (ACA, the stimulus package, his handling of the debt crisis, etc), in favor of mindless crap like Julia, Sandra Fluke, binders, 47% etc. It was frankly a disgrace.

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                                        • It’s creation was fundamentally illegitimate for a free people? Legislation, approved by both a majority in a duly elected Congress and a supermajority Senate is signed into law by a duly elected President then vetted repeatedly by the supreme court which (with some small twiddles) gives it their constitutional stamp of approval. Such a scandal, I can feel the foundations of the republic quaking.

                                          And in that you ignore the main point I’ll take that as a concession on that point. The GOP had no alternative, they were simply going to block whatever the Dems proposed. Well now they’re in the driver’s seat; their options are to try to undo what the Dems enacted, try to modify what the Dems enacted or try to replace what the Dems enacted. Here’s hoping they do what they should have done in 09.

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                                          • Such a scandal, I can feel the foundations of the republic quaking.

                                            Oh, the sarcasm is just so cute. After all, nobody could really believe that foundations are shaking in 2016.

                                            And in that you ignore the main point I’ll take that as a concession on that point.

                                            Main point? Main point of what, lib?

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                                            • Calling people you disagree with by a derogatory name (at least in our mind), does little to make anyone predisposed to your ideas.

                                              He won fairly clearly among voters who voted on that issue.

                                              Or not. Pre-2012 election polling on the issue showed the opposite.

                                              An average of current polls shows that 44% approve of the ACA and 45% disapprove. . .

                                              A majority of likely voters who say that “health care and Medicare” is the most important issue in their vote self-identify as Democrats (59%) rather than as independents (25%) or Republicans (14%). Meanwhile, a majority of likely voters who say that abortion is the most important issue identify as Republicans (56%) rather than as independents (20%) or Democrats (20%). . .

                                              Among likely voters who said “health care and Medicare” was the most important issue in their choice, 41% said they were much less likely to vote for a candidate who supported repealing all or part of the ACA; 14% said they were much more likely to vote for such a candidate.

                                              But again, those were probably ‘libs’ that voted for the ACA, and thus don’t count.

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                                              • Calling people you disagree with by a derogatory name (at least in our mind), does little to make anyone predisposed to your ideas.

                                                That’s a great point, specifically the context that I’m hoping that my political worldview finds increased favor among the commentariat here. Yes, that would be a good thing I suppose, but how important is it, really? Maybe I should wish that my political opponents are simply punished instead.

                                                More than any time in my life, the real meaning of solidarity for Americans as countrymen to each other is up in the air. The resolution of that is going to be a critical issue for America going forward. Specifically, public finance is going to be very very difficult in a world where we cannot rely on solidarity among Americans, since it’s as Americans that our taxing authorities can operate and collect revenue.

                                                As far as the rest of the stuff goes, I didn’t go through the New England Journal of Medicine, and it seems to me to be an odd source to cite. What ever it says, it seems to me to be much less credible than RealClearPolitics or the like, but then for the point isn’t really obscure anyway.

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                                            • Sarcasm or no you still haven’t explained how the passing of the ACA was illegitimate beyond that it made conservatives aghast that they weren’t able to replicate their 1994 two step. Sure Brown got elected; that was assuredly a warning sign though not a very big one considering how much of a lemon his opponent was.

                                              As to the point you either missed or ignored, you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support. I’ve noted, repeatedly, that they were pursuing a strategy of pure obstruction, you claim they weren’t and yet as far as I recall the GOP never said “here’s what we think would be a good reform and we’ll give you X number of votes if you incorporate it into your proposal or pursue it instead. I would assert, of course, that the GOP didn’t say any such thing because they had no such policies and were pursuing a strategy of total obstruction.

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                                              • …you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support…

                                                Assume it was actually “nothing”, as you’re claiming. Why is this a bad thing? Would the country have blown up without Obamacare? The bulk of the country was happy with their insurance, and only unhappy with the cost, and they wanted what Obama promised which was to lower costs.

                                                Obamacare was designed to expand coverage, i.e. pulling people into the system… and getting the rest of us to pay for it. That’s a worthy goal, but not what was advertised and “worthy” is not the same as “popular”.

                                                Opposing this, while proposing (by implication) that we don’t change the existing system, is perfectly legit.

                                                Obama took ownership of the health care system, this was a high-risk, high-reward move. If he’d actually done a good job and fulfilled his promises, then Dems would be getting elected bragging about the great job they did.

                                                Instead prices have continued to go up (not down), and we got a website that showed a stunning lack of competence, and the coverage isn’t that great.

                                                Bush got punished for mishandling the war(s).
                                                Obama has gotten punished for mishandling healthcare.

                                                Yes, the GOP made it harder for him. But he’s an adult and the Dems chosen leader. He’s supposed to be up to the job of being President, and a big part of that is handling the opposition.

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                                                • I think you’re stuck in a bad place, here, Dark. You think there’s a way to get universal coverage that doesn’t require a mandate, lowers costs, guarantees issue (at community rating?), etc and so on, without healthy people “paying for it”.

                                                  Part of this, seems to me, is that you’re stuck in the concept that for 85% of Americans health insurance aint no thang, since they get via their employer.

                                                  But that’s actually a really big part of the problem here. Not to mention that every healthy employee’s premium subsidizes the sick and infirm. And that shouldn’t be a surprise, if you think about it, since that’s how insurance works.

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                                                  • I think you’re stuck in a bad place, here, Dark. You think there’s a way to get universal coverage that require a mandate, lowers costs, guarantees issue (at community rating?), etc and so on, without healthy people “paying for it”.

                                                    No, I understand the economics of this just fine (and agree with what you said), but what we’re talking about is the politics.

                                                    Universal Coverage is a fine policy choice, but it has costs. Explaining those costs and getting support anyway is what was suppose to happen. What did happen was outright lies and determined defiance of popular opposition.

                                                    Somehow there this effort on the left to present Obamacare’s political and economic problems as the GOP’s doing, not Obama’s. Similarly there’s an effort to present Obamacare as popular no matter how unpopular it is, and approved by the public no matter how many Dems got voted out of office for supporting it.

                                                    I don’t understand all the determined blame shifting. Obama came into office with very little experience, being President is hard. The first painting you do is unlikely to be a masterpiece. The politics (and imho the economics) of this was mishandled.

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                                                • You have changed the subject Dark. In debate was the legitimacy of the very attempt which I submit was entirely legitimate. Obama campaigned on health care reform, he was elected along with sizable majorities to enact healthcare reform and his reform bill passed Congress correctly. Nowhere, anywhere, is it written that if you lose a special election to replace a single Senator that you then are required to shelve your agenda.

                                                  Also in debate was whether the GOP had adopted a partisan strategy of total obstruction* which is what the bit you quoted was about. The GOP’s intended outcome was for the Dems to muddle around with healthcare, then fail to produce anything a la Clinton in the 90’s. Their shock, horror and outrage that the Dems learned from and declined to go along with that history never fails to warm my heart.

                                                  As for the success or failure of the ACA? Sure, coverage has increased which is no small thing and premiums have continued to increase though at a slower rate and from a lower baseline than pre-aca. Oddly the electorate are not huge fans of the ACA, about 50/50, but they’re also really not fans of the pre-ACA situation, so that’s a circle Trump and the GOP are going to have to either try and square or leave be. They don’t have the option of just opposing anymore.

                                                  *Which is completely legal, note, but it makes right wingers subsequent bleating about how Obama should have sold the plan more or reached out more or whatever just empty bleating.

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                                                  • Obama campaigned on health care reform, he was elected along with sizable majorities to enact healthcare reform and his reform bill passed Congress correctly. Nowhere, anywhere, is it written that if you lose a special election to replace a single Senator that you then are required to shelve your agenda.

                                                    All of this is true, none of it changes that he rammed through an unpopular bill in the face of determined popular opposition, nor that because he abused his super majority it was taken away from him.

                                                    it makes right wingers subsequent bleating about how Obama should have sold the plan more or reached out more or whatever just empty bleating

                                                    Sold it to the GOP? Sure. Sold it to the American people? Now that’s more than empty bleating. Somehow you seem to think the GOP had the responsibility to back a bill sold on lies in the face of general opposition from the population.

                                                    GOP’s intended outcome was for the Dems to muddle around with healthcare, then fail to produce anything a la Clinton in the 90’s. Their shock, horror and outrage that the Dems learned from and declined to go along with that history never fails to warm my heart.

                                                    Haven’t you lost enough elections yet? Telling the GOP to get lost is fine, doing the same to the American people is much less so. That’s very high risk, whatever you’re trying had better darn well work without extreme goal post moving.

                                                    premiums have continued to increase though at a slower rate and from a lower baseline than pre-aca.

                                                    Witness the goal post moving. Victory conditions were rates going down as promised, and people keeping their plans if they liked them.

                                                    that’s a circle Trump and the GOP are going to have to either try and square or leave be. They don’t have the option of just opposing anymore.

                                                    Yes. Being President is hard. Ideally we’d have someone in there with a proven track record of success and experience.

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                                              • As to the point you either missed or ignored, you so far haven’t laid out what the GOP proposed in 2009 and offered votes to support.

                                                This line of thought is more or less stupid. The GOP opposed all versions of Obamacare. But bigger than that, the GOP (and the American people) didn’t care very much about the issue in general, which is a big part of the reason why it ended up being so politically damaging for the Dems.

                                                Specifically, the American people wanted jobs and wages. After that, they wanted less deficits. Growth was in there somewhere. Libs wanted healthcare reform. The rest of the country was perfectly fine without it.

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                                              • Sarcasm or no you still haven’t explained how the passing of the ACA was illegitimate beyond that it made conservatives aghast that they weren’t able to replicate their 1994 two step. Sure Brown got elected; that was assuredly a warning sign though not a very big one considering how much of a lemon his opponent was.

                                                And this part is just ignorance or amnesia or both. The issue completely rocked the American political world from like Apr 2009 – Mar 2010. Scott Brown was pretty late in the game even. For pretty much a solid year, the Dems tried to rally support for their various plans but couldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it inside Washington, couldn’t do it outside Washington. Until finally they had to rely on naked political power and even that was a close-run thing.

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                                                • Yes, the Dems failed to drum up bipartisan support for HCR on account of the GOP having resolved prior to that to oppose health care reform whatever form it took. The Dems ended up having to pass it on a party line vote (as you concede by noting that the GOP had no policy ideas of their own on the subject). Having campaigned heavily on health care reform and having won the election with a super majority and the presidency the Dems were entirely in their rights to pass health care reform and thanks to the GOP’s thinly veiled all out obstruction the dems ended up having to negotiate between their own wings to sort out the parameters. The ACA was the result; a lawfully passed piece of legislation openly campaigned upon and entirely legitimate despite the fact that Scott Brown won a special election for his Senate seat.

                                                  So, when you say the bill was partisan it’s disingenuous. As you note the GOP had no policies of their own and as you concede they were committed to opposing whatever Obama proposed for health care reform. So the options were to pass a partisan bill or not pass one at all. No surprise that the left elected not to simply concede the matter.
                                                  And when you say the ACA was illigitamite you mean only that it’s something the right really didn’t like and didn’t want to lose on.

                                                  And if you’re right that the entire public hates the ACA then Trump and the GOP can simply repeal it (well as much as they can through reconciliation) without a replacement and reap the praise of a grateful polity. For some reason I’m skeptical that it’ll turn out that way.

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                                                  • If ACA universal coverage couldn’t have existed in the market, why assume the government making it mandatory is legitimate.

                                                    At least in the market you can say, I will or will not buy this product because it meets the value threshold I put on it.

                                                    People politically making it mandatory that you value the product more than you actually do looks the opposite of legitimate.

                                                    It may have looked like the right thing to do, but when people felt it, that side took considerable damage.

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                                                  • It is true that bipartisan support for Obamacare would have greased the skids quite a bit, but still, that’s ancillary, like I mentioned before it’s a corrupt frame of reference.

                                                    The Dems were elected to represent their voters and America as a whole. But instead they implemented they implemented their own ideological priorities against the judgement and interest of America collectively. That has had profoundly negative consequences for America political culture (and the D’s politically for that matter).

                                                    Anything that talks about what the GOP did or didn’t do in that circumstance is willfully or obliviously evading that.

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                                                    • But instead they implemented they implemented their own ideological priorities against the judgement and interest of America collectively.

                                                      As divined by you entirely from the entrails of Martha Coakley’s defeat in the contest against Scott Brown. You can assert it all you like but that doesn’t make it true. It also doesn’t sync up with the timelines since the ACA was passed after the GOP had already embarked on their obstruction stratagem. Nor did the electorate fire Obama for having the temerity to pass the ACA against, what you say was, their collective will even when presented with a man you enthusiastically supported as representing conservativism in 2012.

                                                      In any event if, as you say, the ACA is an unmitigated bane upon the country then no doubt Trump, who I think does very capably encapsulate conservativism as it is in this day and age, and the GOP will have no qualms repealing as much of it as they can and there’ll be celebration across the land. Somehow, I suspect it will not turn out that way.

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                                                      • As divined by you entirely from the entrails of Martha Coakley’s defeat in the contest against Scott Brown. You can assert it all you like but that doesn’t make it true.

                                                        Au contraire lib. It is true whether or not I argue the point. That is the point. It’s got nothing to do with me (or the GOP). Anything that’s emphasizing what me or Mitch McConnell or the GOP was or wasn’t doing in 2009 is a corrupt frame of reference. They aren’t the key players.

                                                        Btw, I mentioned like three comments ago (in response to you), Scott Brown was late in the game anyway.

                                                        As far as repeal of Obamacare under the Trump Administration, that remains to be seen but you may be correct. If you are correct, that speaks so much worse for the libs since intention for their advocacy for Obamacare was not merely to repudiate America’s view of the situation but also prevent them from unwinding it at a later date.

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                                                        • Well I can’t argue faith based assertions from you so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that since I think the passage of the ACA was quite in keeping with the campaign Obama won on.

                                                          If, as I suspect, the GOP and Trump balk or feel compelled to offer a replacement for the ACA when/if they take a run at it, well that’d be a strong indicator that it isn’t the universally reviled and destructive policy you present it as. Legally the GOP could have it gone in the next month or two: A quick run over the Senates’ presiding officer to change the rules to axe the filibuster; then a brisk passage of a simple repeal through the House and Senate then the ol’ John Hancock from Trump. If the millions of people in the electorate and especially among Trumps supporters flipped out at being heaved off their health care that certainly won’t reflect badly on liberals or Dems. I mean how dare they craft legislation that people like!

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                                                          • Hopefully we’ll have an honest bipartisan reform effort.

                                                            Alternatively Trump could just get have a bipartisan effort to get rid of the unpopular parts (the mandate) and let the death spiral destroy the popular parts.

                                                            Politicians always fold against the public. IMHO there’s no way the Dems could remain solid against the public for keeping the unpopular parts of the bill, no matter what the long term consequences are.

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                                                          • Well I can’t argue faith based assertions from you so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that since I think the passage of the ACA was quite in keeping with the campaign Obama won on.

                                                            What are you taking to be faith-based here?

                                                            My point in this train of comments has been that during that period President Obama, the Dems in Congress and the libs enabling them manifestly and egregiously failed their duties of representation, especially their representation of weakly political Demo voters.

                                                            (And of course now, those voters are much fewer because most of them went over to the GOP, as voters for sure and maybe even registered party members).

                                                            In any event, none of this looks to be faith-based to me.

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                                                      • Why are you arguing with him? You’re a lib, he’s not going to listen to you. You’re illegitimate and wrong by default.

                                                        I mean you can hear the scorn and contempt in the word “lib” every time he says it.

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                                                        • You’ve been here quite some time Morat20 but I don’t recall if you were here back in Koz and I’s heydays. Him and I going round and round, on ol’ George W. and the W era GOP’s hypocrisies; folk Marxism; grand times!

                                                          I’ve been arguing with Koz for ages here except for his hiatus after Romney went down in flames in 2012. Also, I don’t need to persuade Koz himself; I’m content to let his words and tone speak for themselves to everyone else in the conversation.

                                                          And as for “Lib”? It’s a compliment and I take it as such. I am a liberal after all and happy to be identified as one.

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                                                          • How you take it doesn’t change how it’s meant. And what that usage implies.

                                                            Strangely, the people urging us libs to learn to listen, and stop being so smug, and to break the cycle seem to gloss over that.

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                                                            • As much as it pains me, the lib might be right. Not that I have any particular animus against you or North or any of the other libs here, but why are we talking to each other?

                                                              I’d like to think that we have some commonality as Americans to build on, but I fear that’s becoming less and less important every day. There’s at least one thing in the stew today that I think is important but doesn’t seem to be mentioned very much: in contrast to the Reagan era, where the partisan antagonism was also very bitter, a lot of the issues under contention aren’t really differences of opinion in any meaningful way.

                                                              So, back then, even when the issues were contentious, the antagonism associated with them would dissipate once it was resolved and new information came to light. As things stand now, the libs’ primary loyalty is to disparage typical Americans and their agency to act in our political culture, ie multiculturalist balkanization.

                                                              If I’m right, in this context one or the other of us just has to lose. Hopefully it’s you.

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                                                            • Morat, I used to go to Marriagedebate.com and debate SSM with Maggie Gallagher and her crew in the early aughts. Compared to the shit those people said Koz is a fluffy internet kitten. I’m pretty sure I never convinced any of the people I directly argued with there but occasionally other people not directly involved in the scuffles would chime in to comment that I’d swayed them- often as much by my manner as by my arguments. If I thought I harmed my causes with what I say online then I’d stop; I don’t think that so I still do it.

                                                              Also I argue with Koz because it’s fun.

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                • No thanks, we will stick with our destructive policy of embracing Medicare and Social Security, health care reform, and the minimum wage, against the GOP’s wildly popular policy of eradicating them.

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                  • Well yeah, it remains to be seen if those are in fact the Republicans’ prospective policies. Certainly the libs are well within their rights to oppose any or all of them if they are.

                    But for now at least they are sleazily and groundlessly attempting to prevent Donald Trump from assuming the office to which he was very clearly elected.

                    So the immediate spiritual priority for the libs is to reverse that, to the best interest of America as a whole and its legitimacy.

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                          • I’ve read about that a little bit but to be honest I haven’t followed it that closely. Seems like typical political football from here, but the libs are still upset.

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                              • I don’t, necessarily. Like I said, I haven’t followed in that close. From what I’ve seen, it’s been a bunch of libs clutching pearls without actually bothering to state a case.

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                                • without actually bothering to state a case.

                                  Read: I haven’t bothered to read\listen to what those ‘libs’ had to say.

                                  I mean, they have taken a bunch of Republican political appointments and made them permanent employees (among other things).

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                                  • I have, but not exhaustively. What I have seen doesn’t persuade me as conclusive. Ok, the GOP is taking away powers from the governor before a lib takes assumes that office.

                                    Why am I supposed to think this is bad? It gets back to some earlier comments. What is our common interest as Americans (or Carolinians in this case) and how do we suppose that should govern the actions of the various players here?

                                    As things stand, I think the libs are simply in shock that Trump won. And compounding that doesn’t seem to be any kind of cagey manipulation to protect their political or ideological interests. Libs just seem to be waiting that Donald Trump will do something stupid enough to bring the libs back in from the cold. And there is certainly some chance that will happen. But if it doesn’t, libs are going to have to come up with some real answers.

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                                  • According to this, not so much guys

                                    I’m not surprised. Doesn’t change that it is “same old, same old” however… or maybe political payback. Go back more than a decade and you’re looking at the Dems pulling that kind of crap on the GOP.

                                    This is how NC has been doing things for a long time. It’s a vile political culture, but that’s a different problem.

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                                  • Let me state the psychology of this:

                                    1. If the GOP did something like that, it would be disqualifying. Most grown up adults would say “No, that’s not how it works, they should be punished for that, that’s not how democracy works, I’d have to vote against them.
                                    2. People don’t like to switch parties. They have a lot invested in them.
                                    3. The only way to make (1) acceptable is if it’s universal — if Democrats are just as bad, it’s no longer disqualifying as you would be supporting such behavior no matter how you voted. As such, you’re free to vote on other concerns.

                                    So, there is a very, very, very strong bias to believe that whatever negative thing one party does — and the more awful the thing, the more powerful the bias — that the other party must do at least as badly, if not worse.

                                    This is not a matter of research, it is a matter of low level cognitive processes.

                                    How bad it is varies, but currently there’s a nasty strain all throughout the right in America. I think it came out of the weird post-ideology 90s with the double dose of culture warriors and obstructionists that came out of Texas.

                                    When a good chunk of your party ideology is “We’re against whatever Democrats are for, updated daily” then you’ve basically invited that little mental tic in. After all, if the Democrats are wrong in all things, any Republican wrongs must be — by definition — lesser than Democratic wrongs. Ergo, any horrible thing a Republican did is — at best — no worse than average for a Democrat.

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                                    • So, there is a very, very, very strong bias to believe that whatever negative thing one party does — and the more awful the thing, the more powerful the bias — that the other party must do at least as badly, if not worse.

                                      Resulting in the obvious end result of believing that the opposing party has somehow done actual criminal things that should result in jail time.

                                      When a good chunk of your party ideology is “We’re against whatever Democrats are for, updated daily” then you’ve basically invited that little mental tic in.

                                      Along with the mental tic of not giving a damn about policy.

                                      There are a few Facebook pages for the town I live in. One of those is pretty Republican meme-ist. About a month ago, I noticed something about that page, and even posted a question that was something like this, except probably a bit more circumspect and respectful:

                                      You know, traditionally, after your side wins an election, you’re supposed to be discussing *what you want to happen*. At this point in time in 2008, the left was busy discussing health reform (did happen) and winding down the wars (didn’t really). We stopped carrying about the Republican that lost to Obama, ole what’s-his-face, immediately.

                                      In fact, *so did you*. So did both of us forget about Al Gore. Everyone, in every election, at least ones where we got a *new* president, since 2000 (Can’t speak to what happened in 1992), has immediately started focusing on the new president, and what he’s going to do, and the loser instantly disappears into history books. And same with incumbent reelection, except we already have a baseline so ideas are less extreme and the discussion calmer.

                                      The left is doing it right now. (I mean, I’m sure you guys think the left is blowing Trump out of proportion and are wrong, but you have to admit, we are in fact talking about what Trump is going to do.)

                                      But this time, you Republicans…seem to be still posting memes about how bad Hillary is and how she is a criminal (Which hardly seems relevant at this point), and how stupid liberals are.

                                      Heck, there seem to be *less* ‘Build the wall’ and ‘Get the government out of health care, repeal the ACA’ memes and other stuff like that *now*, than before the election. And no one seems upset that promises are being backed off of.

                                      Do…you guys have any policy goals at all? Things you actually want the Republicans to do, as opposed to just punching liberals, or specifically Hillary, in the face? Can you please *list* some of those goals?

                                      You guys do know the point of the election system isn’t to *win*, right? Winning is just something your candidate has to do so they can *implement your preferred policy goals*?

                                      I…didn’t get a lot of responses to this, at least not on topic.

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                                      • Resulting in the obvious end result of believing that the opposing party has somehow done actual criminal things that should result in jail time.

                                        Yes, witness 8 years ago all the cries to arrest Bush and his crew for Guantanamo etc.

                                        Do…you guys have any policy goals at all? Things you actually want the Republicans to do, as opposed to just punching liberals, or specifically Hillary, in the face? Can you please *list* some of those goals?

                                        Reform the tax code so it doesn’t punish job creation. Inversions are basically us paying US companies to relocate.

                                        Stop using “fighting global warming symbolism” to justify destroying jobs and the environment.

                                        Switch to using parents to fight educational system disfunction (school choice) and not command/control.

                                        Rollback growth destroying regulations.

                                        Healthcare reform that actually reforms healthcare.

                                        And I could go on but that’s enough for now I think.

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                                        • Yes, witness 8 years ago all the cries to arrest Bush and his crew for Guantanamo etc.

                                          I think you mean for *torture*, something that a) actually did happen, and b) actually was illegal.

                                          Also, not to get into your comments about what *you* want to happen, but I will point out that *you* are not a Trump supporter posting memes on Facebook.

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                                      • You know, traditionally, after your side wins an election, you’re supposed to be discussing *what you want to happen*. At this point in time in 2008, the left was busy discussing health reform (did happen) and winding down the wars (didn’t really). We stopped carrying about the Republican that lost to Obama, ole what’s-his-face, immediately.

                                        I don’t read facebook very much, but this isn’t tracking for me at all.

                                        From what I can see, the GOP is talking about the upcoming Trump Administration and what it’s going to do (the wall, judicial nominees, Obamacare, even taxes and entitlements). To the extent that the GOP is talking about the D’s at all, it’s because of the anticipated obstruction to getting his nominees in to staff his Administration (something that really ought to be a gimme here).

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                                        • I don’t read facebook very much, but this isn’t tracking for me at all.

                                          From what I can see, the GOP is talking about the upcoming Trump Administration and what it’s going to do (the wall, judicial nominees, Obamacare, even taxes and entitlements). To the extent that the GOP is talking about the D’s at all, it’s because of the anticipated obstruction to getting his nominees in to staff his Administration (something that really ought to be a gimme here).

                                          I am not talking about the *GOP*, as in, the *Party*.

                                          I am talking about the Trump supporters on Facebook, who spent the last six months trashing Hillary and demanding a wall be built and the swamp be drained and ISIS be destroyed by magic and whatever else.

                                          And who are now…reduced to trashing Hillary and liberals for losing. The wall talk is gone. The swamp talk is gone. Foreign policy is gone. The repealing-the-ACA talk is gone. The stuff the Republicans in Congress are talking about doing, social security reforms and stuff…never even was on their radar, but it’s not there now, either, and it should have appeared there.

                                          In the entire history of elections that I have observed, the supporters of the winner have always said ‘Woo! Our candidate got elected, maybe they’ll really do Campaign Promise.’ and the supporters of the other side said ‘Crap, their candidate got elected, maybe we can stop them from doing Campaign Promise’. That’s how it plays out after the election.

                                          No one gave a *damn* about the losing candidate the second it became clear they had, in fact, lost. Well, I lie. There’s always some faint cheering, some ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ stuff…but it’s like a week of stuff, maybe two.

                                          Losers *and* people leaving office get that. In a weird normality, it’s just started for Obama, exactly on schedule, and will *presumably* ramp up until he leaves office, and then die off within a week…unless it happens weirdly for *him* this election cycle also.

                                          But Hillary lost *seven weeks* ago. Seven. Weeks.

                                          At *this* point, in fact, well before this point, the people who supported Trump should have pivoted from ‘Hillary sucks, we’re glad she lost!’ to ‘What are the awesome things that Trump is going to do, and how can we hold him to his promises?’. That’s how it happened every other election.

                                          And the left pivoted as expected, saying ‘Crap, Trump got elected, maybe we can stop him from doing Campaign Promise’. (With added worried about a Republican Congress, obviously.)

                                          But the *Trump* supporters are, basically, still just jeering at Hillary and her supporters and yelling obscenities. None of them have moved to any sort of policy talks at all.

                                          I have never, in the entire history of elections I have observed, seen the *supporters* of a winning candidate start talking *less* about the candidate’s goals and policies *after* winning than before! That’s crazy!

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                                          • David,
                                            That’s first because people didn’t vote FOR trump, by and large. they voted against the influence peddling clintons (ooh! see, tact!).

                                            Second, that’s because the ones that actually were stupid enough to believe Trump ARE flipping the fuck out, and being trolled into oblivion.

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                                          • Look no further than Breitbart’s front page.

                                            The list of current articles above the fold:
                                            “Kerry Attacks Israeli Government, Defends UN Resolution”
                                            “…OBAMA ADMIN BLASTS BIBI’S GOV’T AS ‘EXTREME,’ IGNORES PALESTINIAN REJECTION OF PEACE, LIES ABOUT DEMOGRAPHICS…”
                                            “…KASSAM — USEXIT: THE CASE FOR BOOTING U.N. OUT OF U.S. GROWS STRONGER”
                                            “20 MOST EPIC CELEBRITY TRUMP MELTDOWNS OF 2016”
                                            “COTTON URGES TRUMP TO PUSH WAGE-RAISING IMMIGRATION REFORM THROUGH CONGRESS”
                                            “CHRISTIANS MOST PERSECUTED RELIGIOUS GROUP IN THE WORLD, STUDY SAYS”
                                            “BLOOMBERG: AS POPULISTS WON 2016 BALLOTS, WORLD’S RICHEST MADE $237 BILLION”

                                            So I’d say 1 (Immigration reform), maybe 2 (USExit), articles regarding policy pursuits and the rest attacks on liberals, victimization, and… well, I’m not sure what that last one has to do with anything.

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                                            • From the USExit piece:
                                              “In his lame-duck attempt to undermine the State of Israel with a diplomatic knifing in the front, President Obama has created fertile ground for a campaign to lead the United States out of the United Nations. Or as I call it: USexit.
                                              A Usexit (pronounced: you-sex-it) movement has rarely ever taken hold, with the last attempt to encourage such a move dying in committee in 2015.”

                                              That’s… not how I pronounced that word in my head. Also, I will remove that from the list of articles about serious policy proposals.

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                                          • I would second this, that for most Trump supporters, Cleek’s Law holds sway.
                                            They are animated mostly by rage and hostility not to specific policy so much as the overall tectonic social and economic change happening around them.

                                            Its like how actual policy was dwarfed by cultural ephemera like the Pledge of Allegiance, Merry Christmas, and PC victimization.

                                            They really are angry, see themselves as victims of evil enemies who they want punished.

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                      • I’d just as soon they didn’t. It’s anybody’s guess what Trump will actually do, but what he ought to do is get a good judge through the Senate to SCOTUS, and build the wall. If he does that, he keeps the mainstream GOP and Trump-base onside, at least for a while.

                        Libs will complain, but I don’t think they’ll get much traction. The world really doesn’t need libs.

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                  • No thanks, we will stick with our destructive policy of embracing Medicare and Social Security, health care reform, and the minimum wage…

                    Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you on the other side of the fiscal cliff. A lot of people are going to get hurt in the fall, though, so I’m going to find my own way down.

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                • The Republican base may have wanted Republican obstructionism. But the American people? That’s a stretch. Not even a stretch. Its just not true. Obama won two terms, and polls repeatedly show dissatisfaction with Congress, saying Washington doesn’t work.

                  Unless, of course, one subscribes to the notion that liberals aren’t American, which is a sentiment I see expressed on the internets more and more frequently, and which I feel is one of the most dangerous.

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                  • Yes the American people, who didn’t know that Obamacare was going to take the shape that it did. But the bigger problem is all the emphasis on “obstruction” in the first place, which is a corrupt framing of the situation by libs. (Or the bit about “white supremacy”, which is an even more toxic version of the same thing.)

                    Or to put it another way, the rationalizations about GOP obstruction are almost always oblivious self-serving bullshit. That said, they’re largely derivative. The bigger corruption is the libs’ framing of early Obama Administration as a partisan trench war, which underlies those rationalizations.

                    The real problem for the libs at that time was the American people, not the GOP. The GOP got into the game because the American people needed representation (that they thought they were going to get from the Dems) and found out that the GOP was the only game in town.

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              • With the Trump win what exactly does the GOP have now?

                Depends on what Trump does, rather than what he says. If he tries to implement White Power (which I assume he won’t), then he’ll go down in flames and the GOP will suffer.

                Someone on this board described the GOP as a selection of people who care about Guns! Moats! God! & Money!

                He ran on the first three, but it’s easy to picture him as a Money! guy.

                If Trump takes the Presidency seriously and devotes himself to Money! (i.e. economic growth) and good governance, then that’s enough to build a party on even if Trump himself has serious personality problems.

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                • If I were betting I’d assume Bush W redux. Definitely a lot of tax cuts with no commensurate spending cuts, probably plenty of military spending. I dunno about foreign adventurism or not.
                  I’d assume the God! element will be benign neglect; Trump doesn’t strike me as being very into the abortion or social questions.

                  It really depends on who he’ll be.. is he just going to be a rubber stamp for Ryan? Or does he have an agenda of his own. I’m more inclined to expect the former than the latter.

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                • I strongly expect Money! will be a big part of it, but I’m not optimistic that it will be in the “economic growth” sense so much as the “money for Trump and his associates” sense. With luck, the two sets of interests will align and we’ll get some decent policy out of the mix. But if the two don’t align, I’m not optimistic.

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    • It’s like Homer Simpson protesting the handgun waiting period – “But I’m angry now!” There will be plenty of chances to make legitimate stands against Trump, but they won’t start until he takes office.

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    • I have missed your circular readings of history. The irony of you sitting in a thread on an article, a core point of which is that elections and electoral votes are the only legitimate expressed will of the people, and laud McConnell’s decision post 2008 to oppose everything the newly elected Democratic President proposed in hopes of paralyzing him and earning him the ire of the same electorate is so intense I can hear all the fridge magnets rattling in the kitchen.

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      • You’re confusing a couple of things here I think. Elections (and Electoral Votes) are the legitimate way we determine who gets to occupy federal office, in this case POTUS. The Demo’s, in their usual bad faith, are trying to undercut that in the hope of gaining some political advantage.

        The problem with President Obama wasn’t how he got office, it’s what he did when he got it.

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        • All argument which would potentially fly except that we know from the GOP’s own words that the GOP opted to adopt a total opposition strategy before they even knew exactly what Obama was going to propose.

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          • You seem to be misinformed. The libs’ current brainstorm is the attempt (or more likely wishful thinking) to prevent Donald Trump from assuming office, which is illegitimate, especially on the grounds that they are arguing.

            Frankly for the moment I don’t care what the Demo’s plans are for obstructing President Trump, there’s some chance they can be bulldozed anyway.

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            • Meh, that’s just nonsensical wankery on the further lefts part. Trump will assume office obviously. He did win the election and there’s no reason for the Dems to try some dramatic intervention when the only realistic outcome, as Scotto observes, would be to replace Trump with a more 2000-2008 version GOP candidate. What would be the point of that?

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      • Well let’s face it, President-Elect Trump is marginal at best as a role model so he’s probably not the one to look to for that. That said, even without any kind of direct authority the Demo’s do have a role in helping to bolster our legitimacy, solidary, mutual goodwill and all of that, in support of the United States of a whole, even if the other party is in power.

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        • No, no, don’t be modest!

          Donald Trump is the quintessential Republican!
          His mannerisms, his speech, his behavior- they are all the very epitome of what Republicans hold dear.

          Who can forget that stirring speech, of how to grab a woman by the pussy?

          Whose heart is not stirred to patriotic fervor when he told us Mexicans are all rapists and murderers?

          What better example of nobility is there than informing the world how his daughter is a great piece of ass?

          Even Cary Grant himself never was charming enough to mock a disabled person with such wit and cleverness.

          No, sir, we liberals cannot lay claim to this. Donald Trump is yours, and you are his people, forevermore.

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          • Au contraire lib. Donald Trump is the President-Elect of America, and thereby of all Americans. In short, he’s your guy too.

            Whereas it can be said that some of his behavior in the past could be described as less than gentlemanly, and for that matter some of ideas might have been less than fully formed.

            Be that as it may, we should hope that he is successful as President of the United States when he assumes that role, to the benefit of America and all Americans.

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            • Whereas it can be said that some of his behavior in the past could be described as less than gentlemanly, and for that matter some of ideas might have been less than fully formed.

              I may just have this framed, it is so delightful.

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            • On that last part you are entirely correct.
              I hope he does well as President and I hope he succeeds in reshaping his party in his image. I don’t think it’s very contestable that he embodies what the GOP electorate stands for and believes in far more than his GOP peers.

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      • what better role model could there be than Trump himself?

        Before the election, I was in the habit of comparing the Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump match-up as the Bernie Madoff / Howard Stern face-off.

        About a week before the election, I realized that I actually preferred Stern out of the four of them (i.e., Clinton, Trump, Madoff, & Stern), and that made me sad.
        I stopped talking about that shortly thereafter.

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    • koz,
      Mistaking “hillary’s last ditch campaigning” for “what the left really thinks” is just plain idiotic. The left doesn’t think theft is actually okay. Hillary’s “anti-trump” protestors stole my microwave (and the truck it was on). Yeah, these paid protestors aren’t exactly making the left look good.

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  7. The left has a reputation for respecting the will of the people up until the moment it turns against them, then putting their faith in institutions. Rioters are fine – but call the cops on anyone wearing a tricorn hat. The Supreme Court must be granted latitude – except for people like Roberts – wait, he voted with us? He’s ok then. The only reason that the public could accept for overturning the election results is fairness. It’s like using the appeals system to take another swing at a pitch. If you can’t make the argument that the process failed, then you don’t get a redo. If someone could make the claim that the results of this election don’t reflect the will of the people (and the Russian hack isn’t close to being enough), then they’d have a chance. They don’t.

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      • This would make more sense if Trump won the popular vote. He did not. He lost it by three million people.

        Meaning the GOP in California didn’t turn out because both “past the post” candidates for their election were Dems and they knew there’d be no point in voting for the Presidency.

        If the rules were set up to care about the popular vote, there’s a good chance Trump would have still won.

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        • That trump could have won the PV is an assertion without any evidence. None at all. In fact since he lost the PV by 3 mil assuming he could have made up 2% of the vote is waaaay out there. Did R’s in Cali not turn out: maybe, but did every D in Cali turn out knowing the D’s would get the EV’s there or in NY or in any other blue state. The “didn’t turn out due to first past the post” argument cuts both ways and offers no advantages to either. Trump lost the PV with all the obvious implacations.

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          • greginak: That trump could have won the PV is an assertion without any evidence.

            He won where he wanted to win, where it was important for him to win, even in places like Michigan and various other members of the Blue Wall.

            You tell me the rules, I’ll tell you my actions. Telling me you could have won with different rules? That also has no evidence because everyone would have changed their actions.

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            • Yeah both side played by the rules. Clinton lost the EV so Trump is prez. Trump lost the PV by almost 3 mil. You want to complain about the one that doesn’t favor you. You can cope since you got Trump. They both played the game as given and Trump lost the PV solidly. You don’t like the obvious implications…oh well.

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        • Yes, if you ignore a full what — 12th of the nation — that does tend to change the totals. Seems a bit odd to single out California.

          But California clearly isn’t really America, despite holding all those Americans and being what — one of the top ten world economies all by it’s lonesome?

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        • Meaning the GOP in California didn’t turn out because both “past the post” candidates for their election were Dems and they knew there’d be no point in voting for the Presidency.

          Why would that phenomenon be unique enough to Republicans that it would bias the results?

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        • “libs’ fundamental illegitimacy.”

          gee, thanks. I do wonder how far I could push my response without drawing the wrath of the proprietors of the blog.

          So instead of responding in the manner that the comment deserves, let me point out instead the indisputable fact that if the Blue States split off, the Red States would be immediately impoverished.

          Pacifica (California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico) would control the West Coast ports and have a top 8 global economy. New New England (the North Atlantic states down to VA) would control the world’s financial center and have its own sophisticated high-tech economy.

          In return, you get the expanded Confederacy. How are the economies of Kansas and Louisiana — proud emblems of conservative governance — doing these days?

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          • This is a silly thought experiment, because we live in a world of federal supremacy, and the Republicans control the federal government (or at least they will when President Trump is inaugurated). That’s the United States, where are supposed to have some loyalty toward.

            That means if we insist on dividing us by geography, it’s the Republicans who get Oregon and Massachusetts and California and Virginia. The libs get, I dunno, Venezuela or somewhere similarly ideologically compatible for them.

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            • I can see how getting slightly less than half of the votes across the board could lead Republicans to the obvious conclusion that no ideologies other than theirs exist at all except in far flung foreign countries.

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                • I certainly acknowledge that Trump will be the legitimate President of all these United States. It is clarifying in many ways- the man truly does embody the true nature of Conservationism these days. It gives me no small amount of consolation to think about how he may well remake the GOP in his orange image. I certainly don’t think the USA deserves Donald Trump, but his party? They deserve him in spades.

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                      • Well sort of, but that’s kind of ancillary anyway.

                        The point being is that, contrary to your earlier suggestion that libs deserve a better President than Trump, I say “No, lib, Trump is exactly what you deserve.”

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                            • “the essential corruption of the Demo base”

                              Winning a few key states by a tiny number of votes has given DJT the Presidency.

                              It is also true, however, that the Demo base delivered the key economic powerhouses of the West Coast states, New England and some of the mid-Atlantic states and Illinois, among others, to HRC.

                              Calling that losing electoral coalition corrupt, as opposed to unsuccessful, may feel great but it’s unlikely to lead to a productive conversation here.

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                              • It was unsuccessful, but that’s not the reason it’s corrupt.

                                The reason it’s corrupt is because it enabled, nay, it instigated the failures of accountability and (lower-case r) republican citizenship during two terms of President Obama, especially but not including Obamacare.

                                And furthermore, the apotheosis of these corruptions was the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. And it is a failure of the base to acknowledge her corruptions and the corrupt associations that prospectively, she would empower and would be empowered by.

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                        • You may want to reread the comment in question. I mused on whether the GOP (Trump’s party) deserved him (I think it does since he embodies its principles and culture) and indicated I don’t think the country deserves Trump (because I love the ‘ol US). I didn’t comment on whether the Democratic Party deserves Trump though by losing to him there’s really little argument that they don’t.

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                          • No, I got that part. My point is that, given the lib corruptions of our political culture, we should expect our leaders will be colder, less responsive, less cultured, and reactive to challenges of ego and authority, relative to what we might expect under the leadership of a citizen-sovereign Republic.

                            Ergo, Trump. Yes, the Demos absolutely deserve it.

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                            • Ah yes, Liberals created Trump. Yet another thing they have inflicted on hapless republicans and conservatives. I rather like that conceit though, makes losing the election to him by a hair slightly less galling.

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                                  • The juxtaposition of these two comments is fantastic.*

                                    * comment right below at this moment says

                                    No, libs didn’t create Trump. They’re just responsible for getting him elected.

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                                      • If you use qualifying language both statements can certainly make logical sense. My comment was more because there were comments back to back putting responsibility on liberal and conservatives. I found it funny.

                                        I do reject that liberals bear any but the most passing sliver of responsibility for Trump. If liberals ‘created’ some undefined problem they are repsonsible for the natural and probable outcome of their actions. Republicans decision to nominate and elect a reality tv star is not one of those things.

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                                        • It’s typically puzzling for me the extent to which libs find such things difficult or obscure. It shouldn’t be, to my mind.

                                          The Obama Administration, and the libs that enabled it, are the primary cause for the lack of cultural and economic agency for many Americans. And in fact, that’s become an increasingly explicit endgame for the libs.

                                          Yet they stand there noncomprehending slackjawed idiots when it turns out the American people actually are willing to put Trump in the White House to prevent that. Well, yeah.

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                                          • We are just going to disagree on ‘libs’ being the primary cause of most Americans lack of economic and cultural agency. You asserting it repeatedly hasn’t changed my (or anyone else’s) mind.

                                            On Trump. Did they not have other options? I seem to remember at least a few other Republican candidates. Did ‘libs’ force Republicans to pick the most obviously unqualified grifter running for office?

                                            This is the argument a child makes. Another kid does something they don’t like, and they try and blame their self destructive, infantile response on the other kid. “If he would have let me use the toy I wouldn’t have had to take it and throw it in the river. It’s his fault.

                                            The left, and those sane enough not to have voted for Trump, bear little responsibility for the choices others make.

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                                            • On Trump. Did they not have other options? I seem to remember at least a few other Republican candidates. Did ‘libs’ force Republicans to pick the most obviously unqualified grifter running for office?

                                              I was thinking more of the general election. And in that context, I don’t think the decision to vote for Trump was the remotest bit infantile or self-destructive.

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                                                • I certainly thought the primary was self-destructive at the time, maybe I still do.

                                                  Then again, part of the reason for that was that Trump was supposedly weaker than the other GOP candidates. There’s some dispute over that now, of course, but I still think that Hillary would have lost to any other GOP candidate.

                                                  But given that Trump actually did win, it’s at least credible to think that I was wrong on that score.

                                                  One thing to bear in mind about the primary that might mitigate the perception of self-destruction (or not; didn’t for me): there is a tremendous religious/secular divide inside the GOP that wasn’t apparent until Trump. The reason why it flew under radar for so long was that the factions weren’t necessarily opposed to each other. They just had radically different priorities.

                                                  The church people had all the social capital so that’s why all the candidates before Trump were predominantly religious. Trump had to be parachuted in from outside. Once that happened, and the seculars had their own candidate, they just wouldn’t let go of him, come hell or high water.

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                              • No, libs didn’t create Trump. They’re just responsible for getting him elected.

                                And btw, I suspect that contrary to a couple of your earlier comments the establishment GOP will have a significant amount of Teflon pertaining to Trump gaffes or mistakes (depending on the responses). Which, if I’m right will really blow your gasket.

                                The Trump Administration might do something that’s significantly unpopular on the Left. It might stick or it might be overturned. But if it’s something that’s more important to the activist base and not as important to mainstream voters, it won’t necessarily stick. It won’t stick to the GOP, maybe not even stick to Trump himself.

                                The Demo’s are going to want to associate Trump with the GOP and leverage his gaffes or offenses against the party as a whole. But I don’t expect that to work.

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                        • The point being is that, contrary to your earlier suggestion that libs deserve a better President than Trump, I say “No, lib, Trump is exactly what you deserve.”

                          I can’t really disagree with this. There are a lot of people who really don’t deserve Trump, but I would say that number is probably less than half of us.

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          • gee, thanks. I do wonder how far I could push my response without drawing the wrath of the proprietors of the blog.

            Oh, I don’t police comments anymore so if you want to rip that stupid ass comment and the person who said it a new asshole, have at it. I’d do it myself but I filled my monthly quota of dealing with douchebag deplorables when Hanley and I dealt with a couple on his FB page. It got more amusing as time went on.

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        • I will bite.

          Why are liberals fundamentally illegitimate? Do you think you will ever have a nation where 100 percent of the population agrees with everyone of your political preferences, priors, or ideologies?

          The idea that a political viewpoint/ideology is fundamentally illegitimate is what tears democracy and republics apart because if a plurality or half sincerely believes that than they can do anything to stop the other.

          “Reasonable people can disagree” should be a fundamental aspect of liberal democracy. The demand for perfect lockstep will always fail and always be dangerous.

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          • “Why are liberals fundamentally illegitimate?”

            In this context it’s because libs are trying to undermine the results of an election that they lost based on a heuristic which they themselves (for the most part at least) already know perfectly well that it doesn’t apply.

            “Reasonable people can disagree” should be a fundamental aspect of liberal democracy. The demand for perfect lockstep will always fail and always be dangerous.

            That’s true enough most of the time. Reasonable people can disagree about the proper level of the minimum wage (or if there should be one at all), health care policy, our diplomatic stance toward Russia, etc. But in spite of that, reasonable people don’t disagree that the popular vote is determinative of the Presidency. Those on your team who believe that (and let’s face it it’s a lot of them) are either ignorant or malevolent (most likely malevolent).

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          • It takes a certain sort of person to use the results of an election as a means to self validate or feel good about themselves. I think you hit it on the head there.

            Sadly, I see it all too much on Facebook.

            Maybe I’m just a dumb meathead that doesn’t feel the need to use an election to validate my feelings.

            Some of these Troompas remind of the most obnoxious vegans and CrossFitters I’ve dealt with.

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        • As much as I believe if someone wins under the rules, then they’ve won, and as much as I believe that there’s no way we’d really know what the result of a straight-up popular vote would have been in Nov. 2016, and as much as I find it tiresome to keep hearing the “but she won by 2million/2.5million/3million votes”–I think it’s legitimate for Dems/Liberals to bring up the fact that HRC won the popular vote. Part of having our EC system means that people get to bring up the fact when there’s disjuncture b/w the popular vote and the EC vote.

          (For the record, I’m probably opposed to electors taking the winner of the popular vote into account, unless we’re talking about something like the state compact idea.)

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            • Indeed….

              Had dinner last night with my actress and self described VERY LIBERAL friend. She was working herself up into a frenzy over the “deplorables” who voted for Trump. She used the words “stupid” and “lost their minds” but what she really was thinking was “racists nazi-like rednecks” who just need to “get over the missing jobs”. Then she defended her bubble by claiming she didn’t live in a bubble–as if someone who lived 5 minutes outside the capital beltway, and has never had to work a hard day in her life, didn’t live in a bubble. I just kept smiling…..

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              • Damon,
                Wish I could have been there. I’d have enjoyed asking her about the pharmacies that put up signs in their window to prevent people from robbing them (“no we do not carry *drug of the week*”).

                Of course, that’s just the bait. The switch is “what about all those unfortunate rural people whose pharmacy won’t carry their prescription anymore.”

                [Or, to take the easy way out, “you realize all these folks voted for Obama?”]

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