The League vs Trump – Super Doomsday Open Thread and Twitter List

If we need a clearer definition of our mission – as I think we do – we could do worse for a starting point than “Negation of Trump,” but that thought also implies that it’s significantly our fault that Trumpism is on the verge of taking over the universe…

anti-trumpAs I was thinking about Super Doomsday (aka “The SEC Primaries” or simply “Super Tuesday”), it occurred to me that Donald Trump and Trumpismo are opposites of just about everything the League of Ordinary Gentlepeople (fka “League of Ordinary Gentlemen”) and its child Ordinary Times have ever done or stood for.

If we need a clearer definition of our mission – as I think we do – we could do worse for a starting point than “Negation of Trump,” but that thought also implies that it’s significantly our fault that Trumpism is on the verge of taking over the universe (just as Trump has lately seemed on the verge of taking over this site).

If it’s true or may be true that we’re the closest thing there is to the pure negation or perhaps the inversion of Trumpismo, including by counting as little as his movement looms large, then we are especially at fault. If we are at fault, in this special way, then we clearly need to do a much better job, lest this project, this so-fine un-Trump thing, dwindle away to nothing as deep darkness settles over the land real and virtual.

For those of you who lack a dialectical imagination – possibly a defect in your education – the idea may seem absurd. How could Trump be our fault!? We’re just us. A lot of us are Democrats and independents of different types. The Republicans among us are appalled, and all of us, even the ones who have openly flirted with pro-Trump crimethink, are just leading our lives – so back off! It’s hard out here for a Gentleperson!

I won’t try to persuade you here and now of our guilt. I’ll just ask you to entertain the possibility as open-mindedly as you are able, and maybe we can discuss it in more detail as time and energy permit. If you agree that what makes us congenitally anti-Trump is our preference for inclusive, reasonable, charitable discussion – in short our commitment to thought and to trying to address ideas, not enemies – then why not deal with this notion within that tradition? If you think I’m wrong about “what we are” – then what do you think the truth is?

I’ll add for now that in my opinion there’s certainly plenty of blame to go around: We’re hardly the only ones who blew it.

As for further practical implications, I think what will be required of us will be difficult, and not purely and simply un-Trump, if purely and simply un-Trump means simply and purely nice and kind and placid and pleasant. Un-Trump would be as inclusively complex as Trumpism is exclusionarily visceral and immediate, and this complexity of the un-Trump would also mean that any mere abstract negation of Trumpism, the #AgainstTrump and #NeverTrump of alarmed Republicans, cannot be a complete description of a viable and sustainable LOOG concept by any means.1 Any mere negation of Trump would be symbiotic with Trump and sustain Trumpismo. Yet even the movement beyond the maximal Trump moment – may it already be over in principle! – will necessarily retain certain higher essences of Trumpism.

I imagine that the thought and work required of us over the next months and years will be both demanding and enjoyable – not to mention huge and beautiful, the best ever, and unbelievable. I think it will be kind of cool and involving, too, kind of like almost everyone thinks an open convention would be cool and involving, except that how we here settle matters for ourselves is obviously more important than whom- or whatever the Republican Party happens to nominate this time around. I also think we can have a much better outcome than they presently seem likely to achieve.

I hear there are things going on with the other big party, too, today.

Please consider this a Super Doomsday Open Thread. Live Tweet or Die list embedded below:


  1. In case you were wondering, we’re working on it! []

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197 thoughts on “The League vs Trump – Super Doomsday Open Thread and Twitter List

  1. I like to throw rocks at people. To me politics is bloody knuckles and spitting teeth. So yeah. Kill or be killed.

    I mean, democracy mitigates this, and I hope that continues, but I know the score. Anyway, whatever. “Reasoned debate” is a lovely pastime. It beats watching crappy TV shows.

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  2. Can we have the League’s version of Captain American, I guess a man in dark suit and wearing a bowler and carrying an umbrella, yell out “Gentleman Assemble” as we rally against Trump?

    Yes, I realize that we changed our name and imagery to suit a more diverse reading and writing public than the original League but Ordinary Times vs. Trump doesn’t sound as grand as the League of Ordinary Gentleman vs. Trump.

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    • Why are we rallying against him?
      I’m all for a new Republican party,and I think Trump might be a decent way to get there.
      [I do not think he’d make a grand president, but he … might be better than Reagan?
      Reagan started a panic in Moscow over a voice test, for god’s sake!]

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        • I agree that an imploded GOP would probably be a good thing. They put it off for about eight years so now it’ll be emphatic. It’d be nice to get a good alternative governing party out of the mess once they sorted out the rubble.

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        • I seriously doubt the party implodes. I think that, as with the Tea Party, Trump’s success (even if he doesn’t win the nomination, because getting this far is a pretty big success) will spawn imitators, and they’ll probably win some local and even state-level elections. One or two might even make it into the House. However, either Trump doesn’t get the nomination and the rest of the party stays intact, he gets it and loses and the rest of the party gets to unify around Hillary hating going into the 2018 midterms (where they’ll likely be successful, which will be hailed by all media as the rebirth of the GOP), or he somehow wins the presidency and the rest of the party negotiates with him to get what it wants.

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          • @chris I know we joked about having a “pro” Trump piece, but I think I actually have some praise for Trump in that he has forced the party to ditch some of its disastrous policies (at least rhetorically). He may have had them take on some other disastrous policies in the process…

            Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am exited to see how well Trump does in the Republican Super Tuesday. Watching the party throw a fit as its core base rejects them is beautiful.

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          • Nominally, the GOP ain’t a goin nowhere.* Substantively, I think a Trump victory means serious change since all the established power structures at the national level – policy/talking points as well as machine – will have in fact changed.

            * Unless {gulp} Trump wins the general as a third party candidate.

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            • I just don’t think that Trump represents a huge departure from the previously existing GOP. Sure, party elites, partisan pundits who fancy themselves conservative intellectuals, and partisan political junkies hate him, but his support comes from a large, decades’ old GOP constituency (or set of them) for whom those groups hold nothing but contempt. It’s the constituency that feels like it’s been told for years that Latin America immigrants are a huge economic and security risk by the same politicians who’ve done jack shit to fix it; who’ve been told that Islam is a serious threat to our way of life by the same politicians who’ve governed as ISIS became so powerful; who’ve been told that there’s a war on Christians in this Christian nation by the same politicians who’ve been impotent in the face of secularist judicial activism; who’ve been told that black people are the ones who make everything about race while white Republican politicians are afraid to challenge them for fear of being called racist. Their anger and frustration was amplified by the economic crisis and the snail’s pace of the recovery, and when the Tea Party did nothing of note, they began waiting for someone else to come along and speak directly to them without cowering in the face of liberal attacks and establishment pressure.

              This is the same old GOP, only the always loyal GOP lumpenproletariat have decided that the elites who’ve treated them as useful idiots need to be taught a lesson. I suspect those elites will ultimately respond by throwing them some red meat, probably on immigration, in the hopes of pacifying them enough to get back to the usual GOP business of ensuring that the right people make a whole lot of money.

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              • I don’t disagree with any of that. In fact, I agree that the dark underbelly of GOP rhetoric, which politicians have expressed because it works with their base!, has indeed come home to roost and the base is rejecting the Establishment that hasn’t delivered the goods. And I agree that the existing political power will be used to maintain current priorities while giving the base the barest amount. Where I see the change coming is that the mechanism by which Trump got elected – the rhetoric, the policies (well…), and perhaps most importantly Trump’s own overt rejection of GOP orthodoxy – will entail changes in the way retail politics is conducted going forward.

                I could certainly be wrong, tho. :)

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              • Ironically, immigration is also the policy front most likely to be successful. The base is (unless I see serious evidence to the contrary) objectively wrong on the security implications of current Muslim citizens, the fact or fiction of persecution of Christians, and the relative merits of the 1st vs. 2nd amendments re: judicial activism. But in terms of immigration policy writ whole, there’s a lot of support on the D side for tightening things as well, and as we’ve seen in another thread, the relative openness of borders and the relative freedom of trade are things we’re no longer at all certain we’re in the right direction on.

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          • @roland-dodds

            I think a Trump victory would change nothing, either about republicans or the nation.

            Think about it. The establishment, of both parties as they are essentially the same thing, will still have control of the house, the senate, and Scotus. Trump has zero down ticket legs, so no spill over there. If D’s take the senate, they will fight him tooth and nail, same with establishment R’s. No Change.

            This is what our system was put in place for, all the checks and balances, multiple veto points, etc., to stop issues like this. FDR put a lot of those C’s and B’s and power balences slightly in jepordy, but they are still there, for reasons such as this. He will be checkmated from day one, nothing on his list will happen. No Facism from him.

            A big nothing burger. And R’s are just showing everone this past week what they will do it in the senate over judges if they dislike them, and with Trump D’s will join in. Everone should be encouraging them.

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  3. I just got this call from my spouse and son:
    Kiddo: Um, we just voted. I think we’re Republicans now.
    Me: What?
    Kiddo: Yeah, Mom and I voted but everyone on the list was a Republican candidate.
    Me: They should have asked you what party you were unless….wait, where did you vote?
    Kiddo: [Gives Address]
    Me: You wanted [another address]. That one was Republican only.
    Kiddo: So…what’s that mean?
    Me: You’re officially a Republican until the next election. Also, you can’t vote in the Democratic primary today.
    Kiddo: Mom voted for Rubio!
    Wife: I feel kind of ashamed, but I didn’t have a lot of choices here. I wanted to vote for Clinton.
    Kiddo: I wrote her in. I thought it’d be funnier than Sanders.
    Me: Seriously, when you saw had the wrong ballot why didn’t you just ask someone? Void it and go vote for the primary you wanted?
    Kiddo: We were committed! It was too late for us.

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    • I suspect it’ll mean very little. Bluntly put, the past is always an alien land if you didn’t live it.

      People who weren’t politically aware back in the 90s get aghast at DADT. It seems a travesty, rather than something Clinton pushed through and paid a huge price for because it was too gay friendly.

      Young voter doesn’t remember 90s. No duh, she might not have even been born in 1996. There aren’t many good ways to say “Honey, I lived that. That bill was heavily backed by blacks, especially inner city blacks. Stuff was out of control. Yeah, crime had peaked — but none of us knew that. We just knew it was seriously out of control.”

      And of course the notion of placing things in proper historical context (DADT as a bold move for gay rights in the context of the time, for instance) is alien to politics and media anyways.

      But what will it mean? It means people don’t always place things in context. In this specific case? It means zilch. The sub-35 crowd is overwhelmingly Democratic and loathes the GOP. Yes, Clinton is older and more removed from them than they’d like — I get that (she’s not exactly of my generation either. But of course their other choice is Sanders, who not only suffers the same problem but can’t get older folks on his side either).

      They don’t exactly vote reliably, and those that do vote will pull the D lever for President in overwhelming numbers because….what’s their other option, really?

      If you’re an activist getting upset over a term used in a 20 year old bill, how exactly do you feel about Donald Trump cozying up to the KKK?

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      • “History has to be understood in context and that’s why the Clinton’s crime bill was OK, that’s why DADT was actually a tremendously huge expression of support for gay rights. But enough about them, let’s talk about that asshole Ron Reagan.”

        People would be less willing to bring up DADT and Clinton’s crime bill if Hillary were not standing at a podium saying “put me in charge, I’ll totally fight for your civil rights, I have a long history of winning victories for the downtrodden and underprivileged!”

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        • I have a long history of winning victories for the downtrodden and underprivileged!”

          Also know as “blacks, especially urban blacks” who overwhelmingly supported the bill in the 90s.

          I mean who do you think that particular line of attack is aimed at — who it’s trying to convince? It’s not you. It’s black voters, especially urban ones.

          There’s a reason it’s not moving the needle and inch, because the people who were hit hardest by it remember exactly why they supported it back in the day.

          It’s like trying to hit her for supporting DADT when her strongest voting segments are people who, in the 90s, thought that was an audacious and massive step forward. Not enough, but head and shoulders above anyone else.

          You can chalk up “the crime bill” as an attack that’s not going to gain traction for pretty simple reasons: Minorities are the only ones that care. Older minorities remember supporting it. And younger minorities (1) don’t turn out to vote and (2) aren’t exactly gonna vote Trump in protest, are they?

          And let’s be honest — it didn’t sway you. You weren’t thinking “Oh, I was gonna vote for Hillary but then I remember in 1996 when she was First Lady she said some things about a Crime Bill that passed with overwhelming support. I mean sure, it had the Violence Against Women act in there and some other stuff, but 20 years later it’s really to blame for…..something? Black incarceration rates? The war on drugs? Something bad, I’m sure. Too bad to vote for Hillary, that’s for darn sure!”

          The bill didn’t sway your stance. Heck, I’d be shocked if you knew even a tenth of what was in it without checking wikipedia first.

          There’s probably a term for it, or a logical fallacy, or something — but it’s a perfect example of an ivory tower attack. From way over here, it looks killer. But the people it’s supposed to resonate with don’t seem to care.

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          • Interesting. Tell me more about how “black people say they’re OK with it, so it’s not problematic!” is suddenly a valid argument now.

            Because, um, it kind of seems like not all the black people are OK with it. And maybe some of the black people who aren’t OK with it don’t actually know how much of it Hillary Clinton was involved with, and would be interested to learn.

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            • It may have been partly a horrible policy, but it wasn’t some bill that the evil Clinton’s passed under the cover of the night as black people protested in the streets against it, as some Bernie fans seem to believe.

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        • Of course. The crime bill attack isn’t a real attack. Nobody cares.

          People might use it as a data point to reaffirm their priors, but it’s not going to sway voters. The only voting block it could hit are the ones that support Clinton the hardest, and who are ALSO probably the most affected by it. (The good and the bad of the bill).

          You can tell by the way Clinton keeps outperforming with blacks.

          I suspect it’s probably 50% well meaning youngsters on Sander’s side (who, apparently, can’t work out that Sanders also voted for it) and about 50% GOP concern trolling, but it’s not an effective line anyways.

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          • I think there’s a tendency to see every awkward moment as if it’s the Dean Scream. But this is like when people thought “Two Corinthians” was going to sink Trump: just fundamentally orthogonal to what their voters care about. It was especially interesting listening to Sean Hannity try to spin the clip as bad news, given that – dude – you *still* think black youths are super-predators.

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  4. Semi-OT but DWS, Sanders hater, is trying to get her fellow Congressional Dems to back legislation that would gut the Consumer Protection Bureau especially regulations against payday lending. This is being done under the guise of extending credit to poor communities.

    DWS is a disgrace to the Democrstic Party.

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  5. Trump’s success is not hard to understand.

    It has been more than twenty years since anyone in American politics did not quail and quiver and cringe and argue when accused of being a racist, sexist, or homophobe. Even the most die-hard bigot will back and fill, trying to explain how they didn’t mean it the way it sounded and they just made a mistake in their speech and look at their record of stuff and you’re cherry-picking quotes and there’s some degree of accuracy and blah, blah, blah.

    Trump’s response to being called racist is “fuck you”.

    Because what it’s really about is that he refuses to be controlled. When someone says to you “that’s a racist thing to say”, what they’re assuming is that A) you’re willing to let someone else define what you are and aren’t allowed to say, and B) you’re willing to let them be that person. It’s being couched in terms of “oh well you should be respectful and not hurtful“, but what’s going on is “do what I say you should, not what you want.”

    Trump’s not approaching it in the manner of someone so confident in his self that he doesn’t need your good opinion; it’s more like “you want me to stop? Hell with that, I’ll do it more, and louder, you’re not my dad!” But it’s actually been quite a long time since there was a major figure in American politics whose response to “let me tell you how to speak” was a flat “no”. And it is obvious how long people have been waiting for someone like that.

    ************

    There’s also the fact that he’s willing to say “hey straight white men, the problems of the world are not all your fault, and the responsibility to fix them is not all yours”.

    This is also Sanders’s act, by the way. It’s why the criticism of Sanders’s supporters turns most often to “they’re all straight white dudes”, because Straight White Dude Appeasement is the axis that Sanders is going for.

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    • Really? There have been plenty of pols who didn’t apologize after saying all sorts of questionable stuff Arapio in AZ, Steve King, what’s his name up in maine. But what you are saying isn’t different from most of the other stuff about trump; he is brash talking, aggressive and appeals to the resentments of a set of white folks.

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      • What DD means is that Trump’s success shouldn’t be surprising because a whole lotta conservative white people think beating down PC cultural norms is the single most important policy item required to make America great again. And, sadly, he may be right.

        That they believe that, I mean.

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      • Hmmn, I think you are all attributing too much positive explanatory force to this one item.

        My sense is more that the expected negative recoil that usually comes with the mere hint of the accusation is not working. That’s novel, but different from what you are suggesting.

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    • I don’t normally agree with you, DD. But, in this case, I think you’re right. I don’t think Trump’s policy proposals, such as they are, differ greatly from most of the other GOP candidates. However, he’s willing to say aloud things most of them only hint at. He’s the GOP id, set loose.

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        • Aaron, the problem with your analysis is that large chunks of the African-American, Latino(a), and Asian-American, and LGBT populations are lower middle class, working class, and/or lower on the socio-economic.

          Do they become snobs merely because they oppose the vulgar and racist language used by Trump? Why are the only working class voices that matter those that belong to the WWC?

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          • In a lot of ways, yes they do.

            The class distinction has very little to do with money, much more to do with the perception of class and where one should be. Also, many African-Americans and Latino/a’s are lower class but many Asian Americans and LGBT are managment class. Again nothing to do with money, but here is a good breakdown. Also, the lower class has always sided with the managerial class due to the working classes fear of ending up like them, and the manager class fear of ending up in the working class.

            The fact that various minorities are not joining in with Sanders and Trump is not suprising, as they have had a fairly secure set of positions secured by the D’s who by and large run the managment class. They don’t want to rock the boat, though their ox will get gored in this no matter how it shakes out. I mean, look how many black people get shot in Managment class run cities like DC, Baltimore, New York and Chicago.

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              • All that is true. Most of the Filipino guys I work with seem to be talking Trump, but that could change, and I could be missunderstanding. As for LGBT, do you know any who aren’t D? I might, but it isn’t something we really talk about.

                Of course I am mostly generalizing. But I think I am pretty close to spot on. Mostly what I am pushing back on is that is some specifically R phenom. Right now both sides are blaming the other, when I really think it is an issue of class, and who feels disrespected. There are a lot of reasons for that. Now he may be vulgar and racist, as you put it, but his voters don’t give a shit about that. As you have also said, money isn’t everything, and these people feel like they are getting less and less while being treated worse and worse. What remains to be seen is if he can make it over the next to finish lines. Everything else is talk.

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                • I can’t deny that Trump’s fans don’t give a shit about his vulgarity and his racism. It might very well be a plus for them.

                  That being said, I am constantly perplexed by the ideas about feelings of disrespect because I am not sure what people want as a response. If you take anti-racism and anti-bigotry seriously, how can you be respectful of the opinions of people who spin conspiracy theories that are well, racist and bigoted?

                  I believe that Democratic policies support the working class (white or not. Urban or not best.) But I also believe in civil rights for minorities and am generally secular. How does this balance? Am I disrespecting the white working class merely by being urban and non-Evangelical or not even Christian?

                  On a more innocuous level, I wonder if the United States is filled with lots of egg-shell people who face an existential threat whenever confronted by someone with different preferences. Sort of an “OMG!! You don’t like NASCAR, comic books, Burning Man, Soylent, rural activities, hunting, whatever…Ahhhhhhhhh”

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        • It’s both – that’s why it’s so powerful. The Id and the Ego are both, for once, pushing in the same direction. And neither of them trusts the Superego anymore since what has it done for either of them lately?

          Thus, Calvinism.

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          • Interesting…

            I will think on that, but my main point is that this really only has to do with the R’s from the point that Trump ran on their ticket. I could see this happening with the D’s if he ran on that ticket. Now, most of the Leftentarial will say something like “no, the R’s set this up over years of talk radio etc.” But first, Sanders is telling me that with some media savvy his message could have gone much further on the left, and that the two big things that seem to be his strengths have been Imigration and PCness, for lack of a better word. Both of the issues as they have been defined, indeed have become the hotbeds that they are, due to pressures on the left.

            The next thought that I have about this is , who are these people voicing for Trump. Well, it looks like they are the people who the left, left behind.

            So, it could be that the left sowed the seeds of its loss, or that the right is much smaller than it thought it was.

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            • Absolutely! It wouldn’t even take that much work – Trump is already pro-choice, anti-gun, and for universal health-care. Just deep-six all his talk about Mexican rapists and dial up the anger at *overseas* foreigners taking our jobs. Then tweak the persona so it’s like it-takes-a-thief: “I know how those Wall Street fat cats work – I used to be one! – and I’ll make ’em pay”. Ideally he would also be Latino but that’s negotiable. He’d poll so well with traditional Dems it would make your head spin. Huge, beautiful crowds at the rallies. All of that.

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                • If you ignore the inconvenient fact that for forty years the D’s have been the party of being responsible even when that’s unpopular…

                  Is this another one of your puns? A sarcastic comment?

                  Like, you mean responsible for an unsustainable fiscal trajectory? Responsible for some of the worst ideas in urban policy?

                  What’s the punchline?

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                  • Like, you mean responsible for an unsustainable fiscal trajectory?

                    The complete disconnect between revenue and expenditure known as “supply-side economics” (you know, the thing GHWB correctly called “voodoo economics”) is exactly what I meant by “reckless lunacy”.

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                    • Two things. One, you said forty years, which puts us back to 1976. The reality is that the Dems owned tax and spend right up until Clinton got elected. And as much as I dislike out bloated defense budget, it’s the unwillingness to face up to serious entitlement reform that poses the most serious danger to U.S. public debt sustainability.

                      Also, I’ll just point out that your defense of Democratic fiscal policy necessitates a condemnation of Republican fiscal policy. If that gives you some consolation, fine, but let’s admit that we are into prettiest girl at the ugly-girl contest here. Or maybe more apropos, most financially responsible at the drunken sailor convention.

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                      • jr,
                        … Obama is fixing the entitlement issues, isn’t he?
                        Granted, I’m not expecting you (or anyone, really) to like the corporate death panels…
                        But, hey! Cheaper entitlements! Bright side!

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                            • “Out of pocket spending is growing at a remarkably slow rate, isn’t it?”

                              We were told that the ACA would make healthcare spending shrink.

                              “There has been a noticeable decrease in the rate of increase!” is not exactly a victorious cry that could rally the masses to your cause.

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                              • >>We were told that the ACA would make healthcare spending shrink.

                                Okay, that’s just bullshit. Obama said “bend the cost curve” so much he was probably mumbling it in his sleep. We were told by Democrats that the ACA would lower premiums *relative to baseline*. We were told by Republicans that premium growth would spiral out of control even before the ACA was fully enacted (and, also, there would not be a change in the uninsured). Which do you think happened?

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                                      • We were told by Democrats that the ACA would lower premiums *relative to baseline*. We were told by Republicans that premium growth would spiral out of control even before the ACA was fully enacted (and, also, there would not be a change in the uninsured). Which do you think happened?

                                        If you can read that and think, “Oh, I see he’s claiming that Democrats never promised savings” I will have whatever you’re having.

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                                        • I think that it’s an easier sell to argue “Obamacare was supposed to make this easier!” in a soundbite than “If you’d actually paid attention to what we were saying at the time, you’d see that we were talking about decreasing the *RATE* of increase!”

                                          To low-information voters, I mean.

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                                          • I love the low-information voters! Misinformation is always an easier sell because you get to define reality in the most convenient terms. So I have zero animus towards people who hear it and for whom it sounds reasonable. What I can’t stand is the pundits who produce the bullshit, and the high-information voters who spread it around to score rah! rah! points with their team.

                                            There was a common prediction on the right that the ACA would not ensure more people; that is, a program which explicitly sets out to subsidize insurance would not be able to find customers. That prediction has proven completely wrong and yet there has been no great correction to that thinking. The WSJ has gone from saying “no one will get insured” to saying “of course we knew people would get insured”. That should be unacceptable to any right-thinking person.

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                                          • And it was those same low info voters that got all confused regarding that unclear statement “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”.

                                            I don’t know why we let them vote, they don’t understand ANYTHING.

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                                              • Yeah, how dare Obama not REQUIRE private insurers to keep offering policies they don’t want to keep offering.

                                                That’s not really an accurate description of what happened. The ACA (sic) added some regulations that made some existing plans either illegal or not economically viable without significant price increases. One that hit youngish people particularly hard was a regulation that limited premium variations based on age to a factor of 3:1, such that if they charged a 20-year-old $100/month, they could charge a 60-year-old no more than $300/month for the same policy. This led to significant price increases for younger people.

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                              • As an actual data point (technically, since it’s only a single point, it’s “anecdote” and not “data”) – 3/1 was my first day on an individual health plan – same provider, the premium is significantly less than my previous employer and I were paying, and the worst the coverage can do is break-even. And it took less than an hour to do all the online “paperwork” start to finish, which is hardly more than my yearly coverage review took.

                                I wasn’t expecting a bad experience going in, and my glass is even fuller than expected. The opposite of “disaster”, I’d say.

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                                • I had individual insurance shortly before the ACA went into effect. By the time it did, I had employer insurance, but out of curiosity I looked up prices and found that the cheapest plan was nearly twice what I had been paying a year earlier, with slightly worse coverage.

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                • In principle I agree with you. I think there’s a huge difference between the parties in that “tax and spend” at least acknowledges that politics has tradeoffs (you want social programs you have to pay for them) whereas “starve the beast” imagines a world where you give the people everything they want and somehow the tradeoffs take care of themselves. For all the talk of Democrats and free stuff, it’s Romney that couldn’t explain how his budget would give you free money now *and* pay off the debt tomorrow.

                  BUT … that doesn’t explain the fact that Bernie is getting >30% of the vote with magical spending and budgetary proposals. Either enough voters don’t care about the conceptual neatness of these positions, or the voters that do would never support Sanders/Trump anyway. My point was not that a Democratic Trump would get the majority of votes (and neither is Republican Trump), it’s that he could easily lead in a three-man race.

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  6. Worked a precinct today in Northern Virginia. Report from the front lines:

    Virginia is an open primary state, doesn’t matter which party you are registered for, or no party at all, as long as you are registered to vote, you can vote in either, but only one primary, and declare which one when you check in to vote.

    We were given 1400 Dem ballots and 500 GOP ballots. We had a little over 800 Dem votes and around 460 to 470 GOP votes by the time we closed.

    Based on the higher number of GOP votes than expected, the larger number of votes for Rubio and Kaisich than for Trump, and from what people just straight up told me, unbidden and unprompted, large numbers of usual Dem voters in Northern Virginia voted in the GOP primary to vote against Trump.

    This also means that Trump, who won Virginia overall, has even more support among usual GOP voters than what is reflected in the statewide vote totals.

    On the opposite side, Clinton’s support in Virginia is probably somewhat understated than the primary vote totals indidicate, as plenty of people think her nomination was a done deal and didn’t bother ‘wasting’ a vote toward her statewide victory.

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      • Gaming large elections is a bit of a fool’s game.

        Also, count me up as someone who didn’t bother voting on the D side. (Texas, what’s the point?). There weren’t even any local or state races I had a firm side on.

        It’s fun watching people try to use primary turnout to forecast general election results. As far as I can tell, primary turnout is driven mostly by “interesting”. Intense conflict, tight race, or something historic or groundbreaking. The GOP has two of the three. The Democrats have zero. (Well, first woman Presidential candidate but to be totally honest — between the fact that everyone thinks she has it in the bag AND in 2008 we had the fun choice of “first black” or “first woman”, it feels a bit like we already did this. First woman President would be a factor in November, not in a primary where the only competition is the usual outsider destined to lose).

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        • … you didn’t bother voting?
          That doesn’t have direct consequences to you, personally?

          We have a water main break down the street. It’ll get fixed in the next three days. That’s because my census tract votes, even in the boringest of primaries.

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          • Not in a primary, no. Neither the major nor the local races had anything I rather cared about. First primary in years I sat out.

            I vote in the actual elections, even the tiny little city ones held on random days in April or June and at locations you can only find if Dumbledore tells you the Secret personally.

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  7. There is a lot of back and forth about who is to blame for Trump and my only contribution to that debate is “why not both?”

    The success of the Trump campaign is very obviously the result of many years of the GOP pivoting away from the more cosmopolitan and economically liberal (in the classical sense) wings of the party and towards populism and nativism.

    But it is also, perhaps less obviously, the result of a larger political culture in which the politically involved have been playing a game for their own amusement and enrichment that is quite disconnected from the reality of most Americans. Further, if you create a cultural milieu in which simply having certain beliefs is enough to make you a bad guy, don’t be surprised when someone pops up to play the ultimate heel and half the crowd starts rooting for him as the anti-hero. Our political system started looking like the WWE some time ago. Trump is just the completion of the thought.

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    • So who was the “heel” for agnostics/atheists, lord knows we are the very wrong set of beliefs. I heard plenty about that from all the tele preachers in the 80’s. Us lefty types have been told we are uber un American by all the good up standing citizens for a few decades, who was teh lefty heel that pulled a trump?

      I’m not saying the labels/groups i’m in are better. Just that the WWE heel is much more likely for some groups than others. Because plenty of groups have been bad just for having certain beliefs, not just disaffected whites. In fact some of the Trumpets have dome pretty well over the years and guys like rush and beck and erickson et al have been doing the heel shtick and raking it in for years.

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      • So who was the “heel” for agnostics/atheists, lord knows we are the very wrong set of beliefs.

        I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I’m sure there are plenty of social justice-ey types who would happily point you towards Richard Dawkins and the New Atheist crowd.

        I’m not saying the labels/groups i’m in are better. Just that the WWE heel is much more likely for some groups than others.

        Yes. Some folks signal with WWE-like behavior. And some signal with erudite pieces in the New Yorker about how upper middle class coastal tastes and preferences are objectively superior to whatever the rubes in flyover country are into.

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        • Dawkins is a heel but not very successful pol. Key diff.

          Exactly. The wwe stuff is a preference not determined by some whites being disaffected. It’s a shame there aren’t liberals in fly over country. We all live on the coasts. I know i do, okay i live in red alaska but we are on a coast so i guess that makes all the libs here coastal elites.

          fwiw i used to love to read the cartoons in The New Yorker as a kid. I didnt’ get a lot of them of course but it was still fun. My coastal elite/ HS grad working class liberal parents read that frickin mag for years.

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  8. Aside from Texas, Clinton’s and Trump’s patterns of wins and losses this Tuesday are the same (win the Southeast and Massachusetts, lose Oklahoma, Minnesota, Vermont (and Sanders is winning Colorado). Not sure what this means, but it seems noteworthy.

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    • Minorities like Clinton better by a wide margin, basically. When it’s fairly close with white voters (older trending towards Clinton, younger trending heavily towards Sanders) any state with large minorities populations are going to break towards Clinton.

      And judging by the wins she racked up, they break hard. Like 80-20 or 90-10 with minorities.

      (Caveat, because people often don’t seem to get this: Polling of Democratic primary voters indicates that, internet screaming to the contrary, that both candidates are highly popular among voters and have similar enthusiasm levels. Minorities seem to like Hillary a bit more than Sanders, young people seem to like Sanders more than Hillary — I haven’t seen cross-tabs of young minorities, but I bet you’d see the split is smaller at the very least. Remember how HillaryIs44 destroyed Obama in 2008? Yeah, same thing here).

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    • Bernie did win Oklahoma and Minnesota (and his home state of Vermont) but he lost Massachusetts which was a state he specifically targeted to win.

      Clinton has opened up a pretty difficult to insurmountable lead in delegates. Since all of the Dem contests are proportional Bernie would need extraordinarily lopsided victories going forward to catch up with her in the delegate count. As the revolution has failed to show and minorities seem to not be feeling the Bern it looks very unlikely that he has a path to the nomination.

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  9. Sanders did not do too badly tonight. The Times has him winning Vermont, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Only four of today’s dates are places where the Democratic Party can win in November even with Trump as a theoretical nominee. Three were won by Sanders but all are whiter than average as states go.

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    • That’s gonna be fun. The rumblings I’m hearing are that the GOP totally flubbed the oppo research on Donald. (Reasons vary from “Not taking him seriously soon enough” to “a lot of the oppo research would backfire among the GOP base”).

      I sincerely doubt Clinton’s organization is making that mistake, and they have no need to do anything with it yet.

      And hey, what’s Trump going to do, accuse her of murder? Extortion? Laundering money? Treason? I suppose one of the few silver linings about Clinton is — literally nothing you’ve ever done can possibly be as bad as the things actual, grown, theoretically sane and sober adults, have accused you of on TV.

      Man, I don’t even bother researching a supposed crime committed by the Clintons unless it carries a death penalty anymore. Anything less has just loss it’s zing.

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      • It will be fun. The GOP candidates have been hamstrung by the need to hit Trump without excessively offending his supporters. The Democratic Party has absolutely no similar impediment and so much material from Trumps’ past and from the contest for the nomination that the adds almost write themselves. It sure seems like Trump will be an easier candidate to beat in the general.

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  10. OK so Super Tuesday is done.
    Democratic side: Clinton is steadily widening her lead over Sanders. There was no knockout blow, she’s going to win on points but at this point unless something goes severely off the rails she has the nomination sewn up.

    Republican Side: Trump had a good night, as the polls predicted but not a blowout night. He’s won a lot and has earned more delegates than the other candidates but he’s far from a commanding lead. Rubio, Cruz and Kasich continue to bounce off each other in their efforts to be the anti-Trump.
    Cruz comes in second place. He won Texas and Oklahoma but this basically was merely slightly more than the minimum required for Cruz to plausibly stay in the race. That he lost all of those friendly social con rich southern states is devastating. In that he’s staying in the race this translates into a win for Trump.
    Kasich didn’t do well but he wasn’t planning on doing well either. Since Kasich has been planning to hold out for Michigan and Ohio there’s little prospect of him quitting. Advantage Trump.
    Rubio had an awful night. He only won Minnesota (to my great chagrin) and as far as I can tell it’s ambiguous as to whether he made the 20% cutoffs in Texas and a couple other states to even get any delegates. This is a terrible body blow. They are not celebrating at the establishment tonight.
    So, Trump had a good but not historic night. Cruz manages a D+ performance and Kasich a mulligan. Rubio takes home an F+. The field remains divided. Kasich is showing notably more oomph than expected and Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich continue to draw oxygen from each other while Trump chugs along. All in all looks like a good situation for Trump eh?
    Overall yes but I’m not ready to concede that Trump will flat out win all the delegates he needs to simply win the convention. It’s looking increasingly likely that there’ll be a floor fight.
    That said, I’m increasing my personal odds of Trump being the GOP nominee to 40%. More than double what it was before. A good night for Trump but an even better night for Clinton and for liberals.

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    • Cruz has got a least a C+ by my standards – he’s now well ahead of Rubio (enough to make him push a plausible case for being the best anti-Trump alternative) and he won three states and over 200 delegates – nearly as many delegates as Trump did. It’s better than he was expected to do.

      I’d still put Trump’s chances of winning the nomination at about 80%, though.

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      • (enough to make him push a plausible case for being the best anti-Trump alternative)

        Well, that’s just it, tho: the vibe I’m getting from conservative Pundits is that Cruz isn’t viewed by the GOP as a better alternative, just not-Trump alternative. Seems to me that the gnashing won’t be over even if the race winnows to two. Well, to those two.

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        • He’s the most conservative candidate. Why do they dislike him so much? The only explanations I’ve heard so far boil down to “he has an abrasive personality” (or, less diplomatically, he’s an asshole). But that doesn’t seem like it would be enough to alienate the GOP power structures by itself.

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          • Cruz is unabashedly solely driven by an (apparently sincere) social agenda, and one which is theologically out in left (okay, right) field. He has no buy-in on the elite’s economic, foreign, etc. policies. He’s every bit as authoritarian as Trump, in his own way – both his religious and cultural traditions enshrine a strict hierarchical worldview. He’s proudly admitted that his oath to uphold the Constitution would be worthless.

            In short, he’s uncontrollable. And he will try from the first day he’s sworn in to push a set of pre-Enlightenment policies that would be unpopular even among the R elite and deeply unpopular to the country as a whole.

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            • That’s what really worries me about this election. It’s not like there’s a moderate, centrist Republican candidate that we should be supporting instead of Trump; they’re ALL like that, it’s just that Trump is the loudest about it.

              If anything, Trump might be better than that lot–at least he doesn’t believe that magic sky ghosts are beaming ideas straight into his brain!

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              • I agree, DD. Policy-wise, Trump is the most moderate of the group even tho (some of) his rhetoric is the most extreme. I sorta miss the old days when GHWBush was viewed as a candidate the GOP could get behind. He was grounded in reality, if nothing else. Which would make him unelectable in today’s GOP.

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          • Well, it could be the way he keeps stabbing them in the back.

            He’s shown himself, multiple times, happy to burn down every other Republican if it gets him another minute in the spotlight. Is it strange that these other Republicans, especially the core group he’s burned several times since he hit the Senate, are alienated?

            And those guys are the establishment. Not all of it, but not only are they a solid power block (Congressional members) but have ties throughout the rest of the GOP power bases.

            The guys with the knives in their backs so Ted could prance around on TV gloating have pretty clear reasons to dislike him.

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  11. It’s kind of interesting that in the 7 states west of the Mississippi that we have results from (sorry, Colorado, you don’t count here), Trump has won only 2, Cruz has won 4, and Rubio has his only win. Even the Arkansas win for Trump was pretty poor by his standards (33-31-25 Trump-Cruz-Rubio), though he had a strong showing in Nevada.

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  12. Here’s my projections going forward on the GOP side:

    I think the general overarching strategy embraced by everyone in the GOP will be for Cruz and Rubio to stay in the race, hopefully guaranteeing a brokered convention, on the premise that Rubio acting against self-interest by dropping outa the race increases the likelihood that Trump gets to 1237. Cruz, who is constitutionally incapable of dropping out at this point, is already lobbying Kasich, Carson and Rubio to “do the right thing” and drop out, but doing so has obvious downside risks re: a Trump victory. (Or a Cruz victory! Yikes!!) So my guess is that everything stays as is (Kasich will drop out if he loses Ohio) with the GOP content to let the remaining four candidates* divvy up delegates and ride that wave to the convention as the least worst option available. Then Jeb! gets nominated and the GOP can pretend the craziness between his announcement and his coronation never happened.

    *Carson ain’t gonna stop grifting.

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    • Carson just dropped out. The grift ran out of blood it seems.

      I wonder if Rubio can stay in if he loses Florida? I sure hope not.

      And if the GOP goes to a brokered convention and hands the nomination to Jeb! … man I would be so happy, it’d be worse than if he’d won it fair and square. The party would be in for a world of pain.

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      • So Carson’s out. Kasich is gonna lose Ohio, so he’ll be out (he’s said as much). That leaves Rubio to hold down the delegate-sharing fort. But you’re right: if he loses Florida he doesn’t really have a legitimate argument to stay in the race (which doesn’t mean he won’t). If my theory is correct, he’ll stay in!! Absent that…

        Trump v Cruz for the heart and soul of the GOP! (Jesus that’s depressing….)

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        • Depressing in that we get an marginal outside chance of an loony or execrable President. Less depressing in that it magnifies the odds significantly that we get to keep adults in charge of the White House (and short of Kasich there wasn’t another adult in the GOP’s clown car).

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          • I hope you’re right about that. My gut’s telling me the enthusiasm gap between the two parties is gonna yuuuge. And Hillary just isn’t the type of candidate to generate enthusiasm. (Well, Cruz prolly isn’t either…)

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            • I don’t think there is much to the enthusiasm gap. At least trying to figure that from the primaries. The dynamics in each party are different. R’s are jazzed up to be done with O and retake the WH. They are have a much more exciting and varied primary. Clinton has been the front runner and assumed winner which is pretty much playing out. There are only here and bernie and omally, but it’s not like anybody cared about omally. So much less excitement.

              I just saw a piece somewhere looking back at past primary vote counts. Apparently the primary where Dukakis won had a huge turnout which didn’t exactly portend how well the Dukakis presidency worked out.

              GOTV and general campaign org matters a lot more to how many people vote. Bernie hasn’t been to good at that.

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              • You’re forgetting that lots of people just don’t like her/her politics. The most recent poll I saw had her unfavorables at 55%, second only to Trump at 60%. Even in liberal circles lots of people don’t like her politics.

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                • She literally can’t win in that regard. I’ve seen – in the same comment thread on a relatively sane site (Scalzi’s blog) – two people who don’t identify as Republicans both say they couldn’t support Clinton. One because she was too far left, the other because she would sell out the left.

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                  • See? There are all sorts of reasons to dislike Hillary! :)

                    It doesn’t matter WHY people don’t like her (if you get trapped in conversation with a Clintonista they’ll explain to you in exasperating detail why every criticism reduces to either a GOP schmear campaign or misogyny) just that they do.

                    To lay my own cards on the table here, I’m apparently one of those dupes who’s fallen for the misogynistic GOP propoganda. I don’t like her politics.

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                      • {{See El Muneco? And so it begins.}}

                        Greg, I had a long comment detailing all the reasons I’m not a fan, but erased it because it seems to me (having gone down this road before) that doing so will only invite further challenges, which, in the end, will reduce to accusations that I’ve either fallen for GOP propaganda or that I’m a misogynist.

                        You apparently like her politics, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to persuade you to change your mind.

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                        • I’m not all that fond of her politics. To hawkish and likely to intervene places poorly. To mushy centrist for me. But all the complaints about suggest she is more a Rorschach that people apply their own set stereotype on her. It’s sort of hard to be a DLC neo- liberal and hard core lefty at the same time. Well of course one of those could be a secret she is hiding of course. Which is just the kind of thing she would do if you were a devious clinton type.

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                          • Well, for some people it’s TRUE that she’s too far to the left, and for other people it’s TRUE that she’s too centrist. Or too hawkish. Or too cozy with Wall Street. Or too insular. Whatever. I don’t see any Rorschach test-results in those judgments. I look at it the other way: there are a lot of things to dislike and she hasn’t been able to disabuse people of those sentiments. She’s bad at retail politics. Which acts, perception-wise, to confirm the negatives.

                            That might be unfair, but she lives in a political world, yo.

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                      • When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being all the things that some people dislike.

                        Anyway, politics is rarely about policy. People dislike Hillary because she is the grown up Tracy Flick, which is like being Leslie Knope without the endearing parts.

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                • People don’t like her. Her polices are centrist which could easily appeal to many middle of the road, independent and soft R’s. Its the liberal who aren’t’ fond of her polices aside from R’s. Plenty of people will vote to keep a loon like Trumpy out, that is enough enthusiasm if the D org and GOTV works.

                  From what i remember her unfavorables are like you said, less then Trumpy’s but not a ton less. But her favorable are quite a bit higher in the polls i believe. His F vs. UNFav is far more negative then hers.

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                  • Some of her unfavorables will work off. It’s a primary, after all. The “honeymoon” after a primary is decided isn’t just PR. It’s primary voters who backed the other horse deciding that, really, the winner isn’t so bad compared to the other team.

                    And as I’ve said many times, polls among Democrats show she has similar favorability and enthusiasm numbers as Sanders.

                    And if you turn to the demographics of a national election — take 2012. Romney hit a high water mark with whites. I don’t think Trump can improve that (especially if there’s any bleed on female whites over to a female candidate). Or Cruz.

                    And I can’t think of a thing the GOP has done to improve their standings with minorities. In fact, they’ve been actively working to antagonize minorities.

                    So the GOP needs what — 2 to 4 point swing from 2012? From where? is the million dollar question. Short of nominating Dubya for a third term, they can’t get a scarier Presidential candidate than Trump or Cruz — who is that going to appeal to? What voters will turn out in greater numbers for Trump than for McCain or Romney? Who will stay home for Clinton? (She’s unpopular as the clap among Republicans, but Democrats and the leaners don’t see her that way. And there is virtually no cross party voting anymore anyways).

                    That’s the core GOP problem. It’s numbers, and while they still have paths to victory, every four years they’re getting smaller and smaller. Something’s gonna have to give, and the GOP just doubled down on “What we did last time, only up to 11”.

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                    • Yes to all of this, which doesn’t even talk about party unity and turnout questions. People point to the Trumpkins and say “See all that energy?” But they ignore the question of all the disaffected Trump opponents who’re going to be turned off of him. Trump, if he wins (which I still don’t think is more likely than not- 40%) will leave a lot of pissed off Republicans in his wake. It’s an open question as to whether the GOP will actually toe the line and fall in behind him. How much energy and time will Hillary have to spend convincing the Democratic Party to unite behind her? Thanks to Bernie’s highly principled campaign very little time indeed, especially since he’s flat out said that if she wins he’ll support her (and vice versa).

                      To say nothing of the fact that as far as attacks people have barely taken the gloves off against Trump. First the candidates wanted to cater to his supporters, then they didn’t want to help their other rivals, and to a degree that’s still going on. Do you think those constraints will hold back the Dems and their allies? I don’t. Hell, Rubio and Cruz are starting to dig out live ammo as we speak. We’ll see if that jaw on Trump is glass or steel soon enough.

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  13. On the day of the election that led to Thatcher getting elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the first time, the Labour oriented Daily Mirror ran an editorial that advised its readers to vote Conservative. If Trump wins the Republican primary, I wonder if any part of the conservative media is going to have the courage to till it’s readers to vote Democratic.

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