This is not a close election

millerThere were a lot of good reasons for Monday Night Football to cancel its experiment with Dennis Miller in the booth. Nobody understood his obscure references, he used too many big words, and his shtick was a consistent distraction from the game. None of those factors were what got him in really serious trouble.

In the third-quarter of a pathetic 2001 matchup between winless Dallas and Washington, Miller committed one of the cardinal sins of sports announcing. He spoke honestly about the game. It was hilarious. It was refreshing. It kept me watching that bumbling spectacle of athletic failure for another hour. That kind of candor is what doomed his sports journalism career.

In the press box, the game is always exciting, it is always competitive, and it will probably go ‘down to the wire.’ Cincinnati is trailing 24-3 with 3:28 to go in the 4th, but we’re going to hear how they could pull it out with a Hail Mary and two onside kicks returned for touchdowns. As an announcer, that’s what you’re paid for and by-God, that’s what you’re going to pretend to believe.

As politics descends into entertainment and journalists trip over each other to start earning Hollywood bucks, the same thing is happening in political coverage. Telling the truth about this election would be career suicide. The race is always close. You should always keep watching.

We aren’t going to hear about a historic blowout until a certain Tuesday night in November, and then only around midnight when the eagerly awaited results from hotly contested Oregon are finally, breathlessly tallied. We’ve been hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails for years. They haven’t stood in the way of a primary victory or stopped her from leading every weekly polling average for the entire campaign. Every aspect of that woman’s life has been lived on stage and recorded for microscopic review for thirty years. Nonetheless, day by day we’re going to hear a new, obtuse ‘revelation’ that might decide the election.

This is entertainment. No one is going to tune in to watch a blowout.

There’s nothing entertaining about the GOPLifer blog and there’s no money at stake. So here’s the straight scoop from every remotely predictive data point available. This is not a close race. It has never been a close race. There is no basis on which this could become a close race. There is no credible path to victory for the Trump campaign.

And for good measure, let’s just add this observation. Though Trump is an unusually miserable candidate, he will only be dropping about 4-6 points from what any other GOP nominee might have earned. Depending on how many Republicans decide to hide behind Gary Johnson, Trump should finish somewhere in the 36-41% range nationally. No Republican capable of winning a GOP primary was going to top 46% under the best of circumstances.

In 2020, that ceiling, even for a conventional candidate like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, will probably drop to 44 or 45%. And we’re not going to see any more “conventional” candidates from what remains of the GOP.

From whence cometh this observation? All of the available data. Clinton has held a polling lead in this race since before she announced her candidacy and she never lost it. One daily average in July showed her trailing – by a fraction of a point. She holds solid leads in every critical state, including an astounding 15-point lead in the former Republican stronghold of New Hampshire.

For as long as we’ve had reliable metrics, only two candidates ever consistently polled in the 30’s (in a two party race – note ’92), Walter Mondale and Bob Dole. And note a vital detail – Dole and Mondale were running against incumbents. For the Republican nominee in 2016 to be scraping against these lows heading into Labor Day is almost unprecedented.

Some candidates have overcome summer polling deficits. Perhaps there are quiet factors Trump might leverage toward a comeback? No, there aren’t.

This candidate is so bad that Congressmen and Senators in his own party have refused to support him. You have to go back a very long way to find any precedent for this (’48 & ’64). He has no campaign organization. It appears very much as though his campaign donations are being funneled back to his family businesses. He trails in fundraising, advertising, internal party support and cross-party support. His campaign is supposed to be founded on “expanding the voter pool” but no one seems to be able to find this “silent majority” who supports him.  No major Democratic figures have broken ranks to join his campaign.

Here’s one more helpful tidbit you won’t hear on CNN or MSNBC. Almost nothing interesting happens on Election Day. In a political environment this tribal, this polarized, a good pollster can pretty reliably tell you which party will win not just this election, but the next one. Politics is not a sport. There are no three-pointers or onside kicks. Amazing feats of political aptitude almost never turn an election. The opinions people will carry into the 2020 and 2024 elections are already formed. Unless a party can pivot after a loss to accommodate that landscape, it cannot survive.

One of two things might happen to make the 2020 Election interesting, and neither of them has anything to do with a candidate or personality. Either the GOP will break completely to be reconstituted under a new alignment, or the Democratic Party will follow the Republicans down the road to crazytown. Barring one of those two outcomes, the Democrats will win in 2020 by a margin similar to 2016.

Dennis Miller was right about that Monday Night game, one of the worst NFL performances since the ’87 strike. It is unlikely that we’ll hear any similar outbursts of honesty about this race. It’s ‘a horse race’ that will ‘go down to the wire.’ Entertainment has rules and the entertainers on your cable news station will stick to those rules and collect their checks.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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183 comments on “This is not a close election
  1. Nation-wide EXIT POLL for U.S. PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION via [Available Oct. 10th – Nov. 10th, 2016] Please Do Not take Poll Until You’ve Completed Your Ballot/Vote, thanks! (Launching to accommodate Early Voting, Voting Abroad, Expats, etc.

  2. Kenneth Devaney says:

    I was hoping this article would offer a possible softer post election reaction for the Republican party but instead it confirms what Chris has been saying…not much of anything is likely to change post Trump/2016. We are in for a long transition.

  3. lptrey says:

    I can see its easy to predict a blowout by Hillary. If it came to betting the odds then you would be a fool not to bet with her. However, I feel like Trump is a wildcard factor like we haven’t seen since Reagan. The polls are tightening up and Clinton is stumbling, literally and metaphorically. He still has a chance to win. Check out my page for my current and upcoming political and theological posts. Follow for follow!

  4. objv says:

    Well, that settles it. Feel free to skip voting this November. 🙂

  5. Phyllis Schlafly, one of the most ardent and dedicated supporters of a wretched era, has died today and the farewell could not be more welcome. I actively try to steer clear of speaking ill of the dead, but this is a special occasion because calling this ‘lady’ a mere pain in the ass wouldn’t be doing her justice. You ever met a truly vile cat whose sole existence seemed to revolve around wanting to scratch and tear at your flesh and would even gouge your eyes out if you gave it the chance? That was Phyllis Schlafly to the equal rights movement.

    When just three states were left to make an Equal Rights Amendment reality in the 1970s, Schlafly threw her full political weight behind the effort to kill it and she succeeded, even throwing a party to celebrate afterwards.

    She helped propel Barry Goldwater to the Republican nomination in 1964. And anyone who’s followed this blog or political history in general knows what a debacle that was and how we’re still living with the consequences.

    She actively campaigned against same-sex marriage, despite having a gay son, and having women serve in the military.

    And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, she was an ardent Trump supporter and even wrote a book titled “The Conservative Case for Trump” which, like a one-fingered salute from beyond the grave, is actually set to be released on Tuesday.

    Perhaps most frustrating of all was the sheer hypocrisy to which Phyllis Schlafly dedicated herself. Despite being a self-proclaimed defender of the “traditional housewife” role, she was anything but that. Working outside the home for most of her adult life, she led an incredibly active role as a grassroots activist, making several failed bids for Congress, hosted a weekly talk show and was a consistent voice on several media outlets. In spite of all that, she once told a reporter that when filling out applications, she always listed herself as “mother”. Blergh.

    Rest in peace, you backwards-looking, hypocritical, good for nothing wretch. Know that you spent your life working for a cause that my generation and those with us will throw everything we have into putting in its rightful place into the dustbin of history, along with your name. Good freakin’ riddance.

    • 1mime says:

      You made me laugh, Ryan! To think that the only pain I wished on her was a tango with Scalia in the conservatives section of the great hereafter….(-;

      I admire your unfettered, articulate honesty, Ryan!

      • Griffin says:

        It’s actually funny you mention Scalia because the two were both leaders of the reactionary paleoconservative movement that specifically sprung out from an ultraconservative interpretation of Roman Catholicism, various vague white nationalist sympathies, and right-wing nationalist/authortarian protectionist leanings. Without Schafly’s presence Patrick Buchanan is the last truly prominent member of the paleoconservative old-guard. Without him the movement may give way to full-blown Trumpism, if it hadn’t already.

      • >] “Without him the movement may give way to full-blown Trumpism, if it hadn’t already.

        You’d have a better chance at seeing hell freezing over than having figures like Schlafly or Buchanan stand in any stark distinction to Trump. Figureheads like them, lacking in any real power for a long time now, both bowed down to kiss the gold-painted ring early on.

        All it took was someone to peel back the veneer to hijack the so-called “movement” in an instant. Former “prominent figures” and ‘leaders’ could either fall in line or be cast out into the wilderness. Buchanan chose the former.

      • 1mime says:

        As did the GOPe………So shallow…

      • Griffin says:

        True though Trump does depart from them on some points. He’s less isolationist and religious. But yes the Paleoconservative old guard loves (or perhaps I should say loved) Trump, what I meant wasn’t that the leaders didn’t approve of Trump but that the paleoconservative movement would simply become Trumpism on virtually all issues within a few years. Without the original ideologues around the more religious aspects of it will die out alongside its isolationism in favor of blatant imperialism.

      • 1mime says:

        Imperialism or nationalism?

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        Paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan… Wow.

        I think I am starting to get misty eyed guys. I often wondered how the hell a loathsome man like that is still alive, almost ageless and as entirely malevolent as I remembered him when I saw him on The McLaughlin Group… when I was child.

        I recently discovered he is actually an timeless creature who leads an army of parasitic immortals.

        Who would have guessed it?

        I guess one of the reason Mrs. Schafly passed on was he didn’t get a chance to “turn” her.

      • Griffin says:

        Wait why were a bunch of our comments deleted? I thought there was a discussion under this thread yesterday.

    • flypusher says:

      Phyllis Schlafly, I couldn’t stand her. She was a vile hypocrite who would have taken away my rights to choose my life path if it had been in her power. I will never forgive her for her fear-mongering crap about the ERA. I do take some fiendish pleasure in that she lived long enough to see same sex marriage become legal.

  6. tmerritt15 says:

    Mime and others who have commented regarding the media coverage: Today’s column by Paul Krugman in the NY Times addresses that very topic. You will no doubt find it of interest. The link is:

    • 1mime says:

      Well, it is what it is. If she complains or subconsciously begins to dwell on this problem, she will be worse off. All she can do is plow on. As unfair and unfortunate as this is, once in office, it just gets tougher. I hope she can use it as a learning experience for what lies ahead.
      The closer we get to 11/8, the worse it will get. Get ready.

      There are no Tim Russerts in the media today.

  7. 1mime says:

    There is so much at stake in this election. We forget about the governor races that coincide with our national elections. Governors, as you have surely noted by now, play a critical role in advancing (or stopping) legislation that targets special interests. All of the emphasis over in the blue wall is on the presidency and the Senate. These down-ballot positions in the states are just as important.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      I totally concur and have been watching the gubernatorial races. However, the midterm elections are even more important regarding the gubernatorial races, since most of the governorships are decided during the midterms. That is one of the reasons that in my posts there is so much emphasis on the Ds doing well or at least holding their own. The loss of the governorships during the 2010 midterms was disastrous, because of that. Though 2018 will not be a redistricting year the governors elected in then will be in power during the 2020 redistricting process.

    • Griffin says:

      Meant to say “Wooooah” not “woooow”. I don’t know why it caught me so off guard though given she was 92 but still she seemed like one of those people who would be around forever.

  8. 1mime says:

    A little closer to home, Chris. These “job skills” that are being “taught” in our prisons – it appears they are teaching the wrong lessons about skills….Once again, we are using people badly and hurting other innocent people in the process. We all remember the moms who took up collections to provide their sons with safe combat vests….only to be issued faulty headgear?

  9. Bobo Amerigo says:

    One way I hope to influence potential Trump voters — at least two of them — is to communicate this bit of info I found on Clinton’s website (first time I visited). There are people for whom animals provide great emotional value to their lives.

    The absence of anything even half this thoughty by the Repub candidate might give them pause.

    (It also hits a personal note with me because one of the things I most resent about people who don’t neuter their pets is that I eventually I have to harden my heart, become less humane, rather than try to rescue one more stray. There’s no more room in my inn.)

    Protecting animals and wildlife

    The way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity.

    • 1mime says:

      Speaking from my “venerable” class perspective, it has been proven that pets offer great comfort to the elderly and infirm, especially those who are home bound. I have a friend who is a certified pet therapist who visits assisted living and nursing faciites weekly with her little dog.
      The lights go on in the eyes of people who see far too much dying and physical misery simply through a sweet little dog sitting on their lap or that they can reach out and pet. Contact with life is so important. Thank you for your work with strays.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I hear ya.

        So a candidate so has actually thought about the role of animals in our lives and articulated a vision is worth a vote, right? 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        No, that isn’t a “qualifier”, but it is an “indicator” of a more humane person than Clinton is given credit. I doubt she’d load her dogs on top of the car to transport them (-;

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Sounds very qualifying to me. For example:

        She says: conserve our wildlife, lands, and waters

        I hear: protection of wild areas, including water and air, from the chemicals used in mining. I know I will not see most of our national parks but I love knowing they’re out there. From sea to shining sea, our national lands are so powerful that our founding fathers said being born here in their presence makes you a citizen. Period.

        She says: eliminate the use of antibiotics in farm animals for non-therapeutic reasons.

        I hear: here’s a person who understands the science of overuse of antibiotics and how that affects the health of humans and animals. Sounds like someone who could take on improvements to our current medical system and not get distracted by cameras.

        She says: shut down the U.S. market for illegal wildlife products and combat international animal trafficking and poaching, which harms the environment and fuels terrorist activity.

        I hear: she understands how the marketing of wildlife is used by terrorists to acquire cash; she’s probably smart enough to understand other complex terrorism issues and perhaps develop some fixes.

        We’ll see how it goes…

    • formdib says:

      I mean, go ahead and try it out, but the response I would expect is something along the lines of “Fix America for Americans first and then we’ll worry about pets.”

      Animal rights and welfare tend to be lower on the political heirarchy of needs than human self-interest. One reason why the whole “Preserve the environment to save this one endangered spider” thing doesn’t work very well. Most of the people who really care vote Green or are generally liberal Democrats.

      And whereas the point that Clinton has such far-reaching policy ideas that it even goes as far as animals is part of the argument to be made for her, a) Trumpeters don’t care and b) strictly speaking, some of the more libertarian of such would see wider spread of policy as a bad thing.

      Would still be interested in hearing the outcome if you can report back.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Snowball. A dog who changed American emergency planning.

        A kid being evacuated from New Orleans was denied permission to take his dog, Snowball, on the bus. The boy threw up. Snowball stayed behind.

        When Ike was moving in on Galveston, there were people who wouldn’t leave their homes because they were told they couldn’t take their dogs. Some of them died with their dogs.

        Now there’s a law covering the evacuation of pets because it is humane and saves human lives.

        Click to access PLAW-109publ308.pdf

        I have Trump supporter friends who have pets and are big time supporters of animal rescue groups.

        Like most things in this election, broad assumptions probably don’t cut it.

      • 1mime says:

        We lived for five years along the FL gulf coast and experienced several hurricanes while there. The pet rescuers were deadly serious people. One lady developed a pet survival guide for all pet owners in the area, got it adopted by the county council and distributed throughout the area. She then went on to organize emergency packets for pets that had to be rescued and housed in emergency shelters…It meant so much to her.

        I watched the incredible video of the woman who was pulled from her sinking car in the Baton Rouge floods, who insisted that her dog was in the car and be saved. She wasn’t moving anywhere until that happened. I’m sure you saw the rescue – it was amazing.

        We don’t know what motivates people to vote but we do know how many people love their pets. Somehow, I can’t see a Donald Trump cuddling with a pet….just doesn’t jive……

    • 1mime says:

      From your link: “The best we can do is to motivate everyone else to get out to the booths and check the box that doesn’t belong to a narcissistic nationalist who has the potential to damage the nation beyond repair.”

      For another perspective, please read the Weekly Sift article. It offers a deeper look at the factors that are compelling Trump supporters. Another POV, but real, IMO.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Regarding this article about the Trumpistas neurological functioning. That article is really parallel and similar to the ‘authoritarian’ theory that has been circulating. As I read it, I was struck by the similarities to the neurological functioning of authoritarian personalities. Some people have concluded that Trumpistas tend to have authoritarian personalities. There may be some basis for that.

    • RobA says:

      There’s ton of evidence that for ppl who have rigid ideological beliefs that are not fact based, trying to sway then using facts not only doesn’t work, it makes them dig in more.

      Frankly, Trump is so obviiusly unsuited, and his unsuitabikity has been on such exciting display, that anybody who at this point is a Trump supporter is probably not coming back. The Baby Boomers have had it. They’re sick of the youngsters these days rejecting their world view of religious conservatism and are now seeking to punish us degenerates, what with our black lovin’, gay toleratin’, globalist leanin’, religion rejectin’ ways. They know they can’t win this war, but now they’re just trying to make it as painful as possible to transition into the kind of world we want to live in.

      If there’s any doubt this is a generational culture war, with Trump as the Champion of the Boomers, just look at his numbers among voters under 35. In a 2 person horse race, 64% say they’d vote for HRC compared to 29% for Trump.

      What makes that even more astounding is that HRC herself is not popular among Millenials, and if it were, say, Bernie vs Trump those numbers would probably be upwards of 80%+.

      That’s not the numbers of a sustainable movement. That’s the numbers of a movement that will die out in the very near future. Literally.

      To be sure, I know and respect many baby boomers individually, including many here on this blog. But as a generation, can’t say I’m all that impressed. And its not just the US. Its is the same political dynamic that caused the Brexit vote, one that’s looking worse and worse everyday, and which really is an indictment of this group, IMO.

      Where are all the triumphant Brexiters now? Surely, leveraging their stunning victory into what they had envisioned? Of course not. The day after, Farage, and Boris and all them said “well, that was fun. Anyways, hope it all works out for ya! See ya!”

      That’s what males my blood boil. Anybody can throw bombs and tear things down. Wheres the gd leadership AFTER to try to build something back up? It’s not about “making America/UK great again”. It’s a bunch of bitter elderly ppl who are angry that the new youth are rejecting their way of life, so they’ve decided to destroy the place on their way out. Just like they did with Brexit. Just like they’re trying to do with Trump. That’ll teach us.

      Ok, rants over. I feel better now lol.

      • RobA says:

        Sorry, not quite over yet. 😛 I forgot to add this piece from the article I linked abiv

        “A majority of millennials said they doubted Trump’s ability to keep the U.S. safe from terrorism and to make the right decisions about the economy, while a majority of millennials said they trust Clinton to do both. That’s not to say they’ve thrown their support behind Clinton with great enthusiasm. Most millennials characterized Clinton as lacking honesty.

        While 78% of millennials think Clinton is qualified to be president, just 26% said the same of Trump. (Seventy percent think he is not qualified.) And an overwhelming majority of millennial respondents said the way Trump talks appeals to bigotry.”

        Why is it millenials that can grab these fundamental truths (that Trump has no actual ability to do anything that he says he can, bordering on the absurd. No, Trump is not going to fix crime “immediately”. No, he won’t eliminate the entire nat’l debt within 8 years. No, he won’t start plans to build the wall “the day after” the election) but the older, supposedly wiser generation can’t?

        Why are millenials the ones who can see a snake oil salesmen for what he is, while our parents and grandparents see a fully clothed emperor? What sort of upside down bizarro world have we fell into?

        One thing this cycle has definitely taught me (and many ppl I know) is that the illusion of the “wisdom of a life well lived” has been totally shattered. Everyone my age can see the sky is blue. Why are the older generations believing Trump when he insists it’s orange?

        Ok, NOW I’m done 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know if you have read today’s post from The Weekly Sift, but (you should!) within it is a link to a 5-year research project in LA that offers a great deal of insight from people who are pretty plain-spoken. It’s dismal and it’s why I can’t live in LA again. As for the Boomers – (I fall within the “silent generation”…go figure! Lovin’ breakin’ all those rules!), it’s a fixed mindset that they cannot escape, have no interest in doing so, and really can’t relate to anyone who doesn’t understand where they’re coming from. I do think the situation is more complicated than older people shutting down opportunity for younger people. Trump is the “symbol”, the conditions which allowed his ascendancy are the problem. I can’t think of anything (except maybe combat conditions) where fixed rules don’t stifle progress. I’ve quoted this before, but years ago (the 90s?), the WSJ had a full page ad by Xerox or one of the majors, that said simply: “If it ain’t broke; break it.” That mentality graced our technology contributors and those who followed them. Those who are unable to embrace change will lead very narrow lives. That’s ok with me as long as their narrow views don’t limit my rights to a more full existence. I think that’s where you’re coming from if I’m hearing you correctly, Rob. That’s fair.


      • 1mime says:

        (-; We feel your pain, Rob……

      • RobA says:

        And just to keep it fair, I’ve got a gut feeling that the issue isn’t necessarily one particular generation. I think it might be inevitable that all generations might sort of harden at a certain age. That is, there’s an age when you just decide that you know how the world ought to work, and anything beyond that is an abomination.

        In the above article that started this topic, one of the issues brought up was that as we get closer to mortality, we become more fearful and thus easier to manipulate.

        That would explain what exactly happened to thw BB (seriously, how does one group go from ending the Vietnam war and helping pass the civil rights act, to Fox News loving Trumpistas?)

        So, if that’s true, there’s a good chance that my kids generation will someday need protection from mine. That’s what got me thinking about the “1 citizen, 1 vote” thing the other day, where I suggested maybe parents can get their child’s vote. Seems like a good way to keep the democratic system (more democratic then it currently is, actually) while at the same time skewing political power so that those with the biggest stakes have the most say.

        Frankly, I don’t think it’s crazy to legislate institutional protections from our eldest generations (including me and mine, when the time comes). Maybe there’s just something in our brains that make us poor stewards of society as we age (collectively, not individually, of course)

      • tmerritt15 says:


        I sympathize with your frustration. But, please don’t take it out on us Boomers. As a late WWII baby, I consider myself a Boomer, though some do not. Many of us have lived difficult lives and have had our own share of frustrations. There were some periods when the economy was not very good – though there was never a period when the national economy underperformed over an extended period, like the last decade. Krugman calls it a depression, and by his definition as an extended period when monetary tools do not work, he is correct. As an early Boomer, I also had to face the challenges of Vietnam. I am a Vietnam veteran. Actually the Vietnam GI bill enabled me to get my engineering degree and live a reasonably good life.

        Regarding the Boomers, I have observed two major factors. The first is Vietnam. The early boomers had to contend with that and it created a division in the generation. Some were able to cope with that and some did not. Second is the type of work that an individual went into. If they did not continue their education beyond HS or dropped out before HS graduation and went into factory work, those people have been very much harmed by the changes in the American economy. In many respects, it is almost like there are two generations sharing the same experiences but from different perspectives. That phenomenon has shaped their outlook on life. But that is typical of all generations. The major difference that I see is Vietnam. That was a profoundly disruptive experience for our generation, that was not shared equally across the spectrum. The burdens fell mainly on the less well-off groups.

        Thanks, for hearing me out and please do not tar paper all of the Boomers.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        RobA — I get why you despise Boomers. As a group, we’ve always been an arrogant lot who thought we knew better than other generations & even those of our own generation who disagree.

        But calling Trump “the Champion of the Boomers” when it’s 64% Clinton to 29% Trump? It’s still over 2:1 against him — hardly the “champion” of my whole generation. He’s the choice of far too many of us, sure. And too many of us are religiously intolerant. But A LOT of Boomers are religiously tolerant — we just don’t make as much noise. And a lot of us are just as much in support of racial/religious/gender-sexual equality as we ever were. Though granted, I’ve learned that sexual equality is a lot more complicated than I used to think.

        And… I know I’m not the only Boomer who thinks the Millennials have a chance to achieve things that we didn’t, or that we gained and then lost again. And who is cheering you on for that reason. We’re getting old: you are the ones who have the energy & the future thinking that is needed. And the civic-mindedness that was the opposite of the individualism that Boomers became (in)famous for.

        BTW, I believe that our society — and each of us as individuals — needs both “liberalism” in the sense of giving freely and changing things that don’t work, and “conservatism” in the sense of conserving what one has & keeping things that work from changing. I just don’t see the GOP as embodying that kind of conservatism. Far too often the Democrats don’t embody that kind of liberalism. So the important issues mostly don’t get honestly debated.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        tmerritt1: Excellent points. But even second half boomers like me grew up with the war and draft, even though it ended before I turned 18. I think the education difference is important, as is the fact that there was a student deferrment until the end of 1970, meaning the well-off didn’t get drafted.

        Have you heard of “Generations” by Strauss & Howe? They also start the Boomer generation earlier than the sharp rise in births, since they define generational boundaries by shared experience. For that reason, they start GenX in 1961.

        FWIW, my personal test of who is a Boomer is to ask if they remember Kennedy’s assassination. Nearly always, pre-Boomers say yes, post-Boomers say “no” and Boomers tell me something about how they heard about it (I was in second grade & it was a rumor that none of the teachers spoke about). Is it the same with Millennials and the towers falling?

      • tmerritt15 says:

        TheMeansAreTheEnd – I am very familiar with Generations; I’ve read it completely as well as a good portion of their follow on work. I periodically do a Google search to check on other follow-on work by Howe. Their definition plus my life experiences are the main reason I consider myself a Boomer. If you have followed Howe, you are no doubt aware that in his opinion we are in the midst of a “Fourth Turning” now; it began on 9/11. With that in mind the Boomers will be the top-leaders in a Generational Crisis, i.e. similar to FDR and Churchill. Gen X will be the mid-level leaders, i.e. the “Eisenhowers”. And the Millennials will be the ones that are comparable to the GI Generation. I for one, have been very impressed with the Millennial generation, think many of them are very pragmatic and will have major impacts as time passes. Think about this for a minute, HRC is an early Boomer.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        tmerritt15 — Great! I was aware of the generational crisis pattern, but I haven’t read their more recent books. I should do so.

        I’m also impressed with the Millennials. I remember an interview where a young woman was explaining that the Boomer idea of feminism wasn’t sufficient. Her idea of feminism includes the concerns of poor women & minority women, as well of course LGBT & all the rest. AND… her idea of feminism includes freeing men from gender restrictions, too.

        Chris Ladd — if you haven’t read “Generations” I encourage you to do so. Or one of their more recent books that include Millennials.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        While we are discussing the generations, let us not forget Gen X. It has been much maligned, but in 2013 a group of Gen X software engineers saved ObamaCare, primarily out of a sense of civic responsibility. This came to be known as the Techsurge. Links to articles discussing this are below:

        NY Times –

        Atlantic –

        Let me state again that this is primarily due to a sense of civic responsibility. These software engineers could make much more money working for the various tech companies. Of course the resume is improved, but that is always the case.

      • 1mime says:

        Thank god for their help. I cannot believe to this day that that aspect of the ACA was so botched. It was always going to be in the crosshairs, but we didn’t need to give them the ammo too!

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        Thanks, tmerritt15, I hadn’t heard about the TechSurge. I’ll read up on it. Yes, let’s not neglect the unfairly maligned GenX. And as you know but others may not, Strauss & Howe see WW2 and the Revolutionary War as being helped by generational patterns, with their era’s versions of Boomers for leaders/visionaries, GenX as officers, and Millennials doing the fighting. For the Viet Nam war it was backwards, with the Millenial-equivalent in charge and Boomers as the fighters.

      • 1mime says:

        There was someone in charge of the Vietnam War? That’s strange….won’t anyone admit their role today….another war America should never have been involved in – so tragic so many lives wasted…for what. That is not at all to denigrate the contributions of those who did fight in that terrible war, but meant in criticism of those who wouldn’t let them win.

      • 1mime says:

        One day, I hope someone “in the know” will write a “tell all” book about the launching of the ACA. Obama must have died a thousand deaths at the ineptitude after putting so much on the line for this program….Haven’t heard much from Kathleen Sebelius since she left….

  10. 1mime says:

    Here’s an interesting post from Doug Muder, The Weekly Sift, which takes a deeper look at “who” the Trump voters are and what their real concerns are. He notes in this teaser the phenomenon that Clinton is constantly in the cross hairs for every move she makes while Trump seems to get a pass until he does something so inane that it becomes sensational. Even if Clinton wins, the needs of this group will remain. What can and should be done and what cooperation will a Pres. Clinton receive from Republicans who are already laying land mines to trip her up?

    • Armchair Philosopher says:

      1mime, from the article you posted,

      “You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black — beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you’re being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He’s on their side. In fact, isn’t he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? [2] As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It’s not your government anymore; it’s theirs.”

      THIS exactly sums up those in my family who are voting for Trump. I’ve mentioned here before that my family are successful, college-educated people who are not inconvenienced by immigrants or poor people in the slightest. They’ve played by the rules, made it, and don’t want to give their money to “others” whom they feel aren’t playing by the rules.

      • 1mime says:

        Educated yet they cannot see the dangers in Donald Trump. Guess emotion is a more powerful motivator than reason for some people. At least you broke from the herd mentality. Do they have animus for Hillary or just the “establishment”?

  11. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    At this moment in this election cycle, I find myself asking “What more can I add?”

    How could I possible advocate convincingly to other people “on the fence” about the horrific option of allowing someone like Donald Trump to win the White House?

    I struggle to describe this frustration but I’ll give it a try.

    It is almost like telling stubborn people in a house shaking in California that we are having an earthquake, but they still refuse to believe me.


    Because they do not wish to disturb their assumption that large trucks are passing by on the street outside.

    Do you wait for them to wake up to the peril when chunks of the ceiling fall on their head… or do you try to drag them (kicking and screaming) out of the doomed house before the roof collapses?

    We have a political party committed to a man who speaks at great volumes about the scourge of illegal immigrants… but apparently has had a modeling business that frequently utilized immigrant models whose papers “were not right”.

    In essence we have a person whose public disdain for illegal immigration is tempered by the fact he thinks it is perfectly fine, so long it involves hot Eastern European women worthy enough to screw.

    Even Bill Clinton was never that shallow.

    This is the reality of Donald Trump.The whole infrastructure of his campaign is completely morally barren.

    At what point do the surrogates for Trump (other than his currently furious Hispanic supporters) decide to discontinue aiding this Saturday Night Live skit of a presidential campaign?

    • 1mime says:

      Well said, Crow. A concern most of us share.

    • flypusher says:

      “At what point do the surrogates for Trump (other than his currently furious Hispanic supporters) decide to discontinue aiding this Saturday Night Live skit of a presidential campaign?”

      When their pay checks bounce?

    • 1mime says:

      Antimule, that was a helpful alternative look at the GBI. It is interesting that some of the alternatives include things that seem so “obvious” to me: job skills training that is market relevant; pre-school child care; college access; and one that wasn’t mentioned that I maintain is huge – universal health care. It will be interesting to see where the Y group focuses its monetary experiment.

    • moslerfan says:

      Would UBI be a sellout of the American dream, or an acknowledgment that the American dream (work hard and be successful) is disappearing?

      The article focuses a lot on the dollar cost of UBI. That is the trivial part of the problem. What needs to be examined is how such a society and economy would actually work, and does the social environment needed to support such a society exist, or can it be made to exist.

      I have problems with UBI, I tend to feel it’s bread and circus. I think there’s productive work available for everyone, given a little imagination. And I feel the poet is right when she says “A pitcher cries out for water to carry / And a person for work that is real” (Marge Piercy, To Be Of Use).

      • There is a limitless amount of work that needs to be done. This is very true.

        There is not a limitless amount of work to be done, where that work has a return on capital investment greater than the amount one could get by putting that capital in a treasury account or hedge fund.

        In other words, the situation that moslerfan identifies exists because no investor will directly profit from paying you to pick up litter or care for retired people, and therefore people are not paid to do those things. Because people must eat, this means that work that doesn’t pay is generally not done.

        This is a hard question and I don’t have the answer.

      • 1mime says:

        It is a hard question, but isn’t the problem that we have placed too much emphasis on earning money? The “unpaid” care and jobs that are typically performed out of necessity or as volunteers, are becoming less supported, because earning a living is paramount. Clearly, one has to have enough money to live absent support from someone or some other source. Hence, the discussion on the GBI.
        We see the result in the institutionalization of our elderly, lack of paid family and medical leave, lack of pre-school care for poor working people. What I have found is that Hispanic and Black caregivers (the two groups that typically work in this job sector) have the best skills and attitudes. Their family history regarding care for the sick and the elderly is driven first by their culture, then from lack of financial alternatives. Responsibility rests within the family unit.

        Would a GBI enable more people to perform unpaid jobs? Has our society become so money-driven that we are becoming de-sensitized to humane outreach? Is it a case of being “easier to throw money at the problem rather than solving it?”

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi 1mime
        I agree people want to “do things” – the real couch potato is rare
        With a UBI if you want somebody to do a hard dirty job then you will have to pay him/her well
        But If people don’t need the money then IMHO we will see a LOT more volunteer type work

      • As usual, 1mime, you state the moral position with admirable clarity.

        A basic income would help, I think, to the extent that there are genuinely enough resources for everyone. In places where there are insufficient resources for society to operate – for example, housing in San Francisco or education in London – then a basic income would only raise the price until enough people are priced out of the market, supply meets demand and you can once again not make a living caring for the elderly.

        I think. I’m not an economist.

      • 1mime says:

        The other problem that is “masked” by the GBI, is committing to societal improvements that directly and indirectly address income disparity. Affordable, extensive transportation (so working class people don’t have to have cars); affordable health care; free birth control to control family size; welfare that helps working moms and dads find work and lasts long enough to allow people to get on their feet before pulling lifelines away; pre-school and after school childcare for working moms and dads and avoid the trap of debt and crime; affordable housing in safe neighborhoods. But what of all the “lazy” people? A system that is properly designed and staffed with clear rules should be able to ferret these people out and hold them accountable.

        These societal accommodations make it easier for working people to manage with less income. Of course, this doesn’t touch jobs training that is market-relevant, and re-training for jobs that are becoming obsolete….IF a country cares about all its people, it will commit to prioritize services that speak to their most basic needs. This doesn’t demand a guaranteed subsidy, although it will probably help but not if inflation and competition reduce its benefit.

        I’m frustrated at how adept and ignorant our government has become at understanding how to help people – people who are striving but not succeeding. I believe most people want to work and contribute to their own independence and that of their families, but bad luck, illness, accidents, and yes, progress, can intervene and make this so hard.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi EJ
        The thing about a UBI is that it gives the basic power to say “NO”
        Just now it is very expensive and awkward to move – so locations like LA or London become traps
        With a UBI that trap loses some of it’s teeth
        It becomes much easier to move – you don’t need to worry about getting all of the support you used to get – your UBI just moves with you
        There are still some teeth on the trap – your social support network – friends and relatives

        But with a UBI I would expect a movement of people away from places like London and LA and towards small places in the boondocks – to the benefit of both

      • We already have local councils moving people out of London. It’s a bad thing for those people: not only does it break up communities and disrupt social links, but it also results in the most vulnerable people being isolated. Out in the boondocks there’s less access to jobs, education and health care, meaning that once you’re shifted out of the cities it becomes much harder to recover economically.

        Chris has written multiple times about how people in non-urban areas are simply going to be left behind by the future. It’s difficult to see how a Basic Income can succeed if everyone who receives one is dumped in such areas and can’t afford to leave again.

        It’s also a bad thing for the city as a whole. Urban communities thrive on the intermixing of people with radically different incomes. If cities become the fortresses of the rich, then those cities’ culture becomes stale and decays.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi EJ

        There are two separate issues
        (1) Is shortage of supply – simply because there is limited space
        If a city keeps growing it gets to the limits – further growth is counterproductive

        (2) is Urban v Rural

        Both are seperate
        I am living with most of the advantages of an Urban life
        But on a 1/2 acre section in a “city” of 8000 people on an Island about the size of England with 1 million people

        You can’t actually get as “boondocks” as that in the UK! –
        My access to health care and education is superior to the UK
        Jobs – OK not so many jobs
        But if there was a UBI – that would not be as important

    • RobA says:

      There was a time when the “Cradle of Civilization Dream” (or what have you) was a sheep in every field and a wife for every day (I’m being silly of course, but you get my point).

      Where would we be as a species if we still considered that the ultimate? My point is, if there’s a good idea that solves a lot of problems in a rapidly changing world but it clashes with antiquated notions of what the standard “dream” should be, then in my opinion, you scrap (or update) the Dream, not the other way around.

      Put another way, The American Dream must be changed to fit new and innovative ideas that provide real solutions, instead of trying to tailor solutions to the old Dream.

  12. RobA says:

    Thinking about the whole “hidden Trump voter” meme. Besides being absurd on its face, (admitting your path to victory relies on large numbers of ppl too embarrassed by the candidate they’re ostensibly voting for to admit it to a random pollster they dont know and will never see again) let’s pretend d for a second there is some validity.

    Would not HRC, with her sky high unfavorables, also have a hidden vote? Considering the polarization of the electorate, and the vitriol which HRC is held in sme circles, is it not plausible thaf there are plenty of public and private ppl who would never admit for voting for a Dem, but will in the booth?

    Hard to know for sure. But if this is a real phenomenon for DJT, I don’t see how the exact same dynamic wouldn’t play out foe HRC as well.

    • 1mime says:

      I think you are correct, Rob, but I wonder if the numbers are greater for the silent Trump supporter. Remember, H’s favorables among Dems is high – not many apologists there; whereas, there has already been an emergence of many leaders on the right who are paving the way for HRC as the better candidate. Still, the way we find out is after Nov. 8th when this vote will be broken down into a million pieces and parsed to death. I think there are probably conservatives who don’t want to talk about supporting HRC and may still be trying to decide between voting Libertarian or a write in candidate. As the days wane, and particularly after the debates, I think people sitting on the fence will commit. They might not admit their choice, but I think the debates will be important for this group of uncommitted or those who are considering holding their noses and voting for HRC.

      Short answer? Yes.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        I retract my statement, Trump’s outburst was in June. Regardless, I was aware that Curiel had ordered the case to trial. Maybe, I saw in KOS? Or I saw it in the NY Times or elsewhere. I can’t remember.

      • 1mime says:

        Good catch on your part – I obviously missed the NYT piece. But, doesn’t it seem like Clinton is hammered for every little thing and Trump gets a pass? Maybe I’m being overly sensitive on the point but every day she’s castigated in the papers for one thing or another. I don’t know how she can focus on her campaign.

    • 1mime says:

      On August 2, Judge Curiel (yes, “that” Judge Curiel) ruled that Trump must stand trial in the Trump University lawsuit. Was this reported? I didn’t see it anywhere or hear about it until tonight, online, on Daily Kos. Surely, in the case of fairness in reporting, this ruling should have been front page news. All the focus is on the Clinton Foundation where they’re giving money for charity – keeping none of it, and the emails and all are allegations; whereas, Trump is actually a defendant in a lawsuit brought for criminal charges……I know that he is innocent until proven guilty, but this case has been progressing and he is a presidential candidate. Where’s the coverage?

  13. RobA says:

    So this whole climate change conspiracy is getting awfully big. First it was the scientists and environmentalists. Then it was NASA, the UN, the US Navy, all major insurance companies, as well as all major global governments.

    Now the goddamn OCEAN is getting in on this conspiracy.

    There’s a lot of actors involved in making sure “the scientists” game the system in order to keep getting grant money (which, btw, is the most absurd explanation ever for why thousands of unrelated scientists would sell out everything their profession stands for)

    • tmerritt15 says:

      I just read this article while I was enjoying a latte at our local Starbucks. All I can say is that Mother Nature (Gaea, in my lingo) as a way of increasing the stakes over time. I’m not sure that She calls it a conspiracy, however. I noticed global warming back in the early 80’s when I was still young, fit and bumming around the mountains of Washington, making treks up the volcanoes and other glacier clad mountains. When one sees the moraines from the glaciers continuing retreat year after year, decade after decade, century after century, etc., it is a pretty clear historical record that the climate is warming. It is pretty hard to explain away clear historical evidence like that, with the use of clever statistics. So global warming can be called a conspiracy, if one wishes, but Gaea will have the final say. When She says live in accordance with my rules or the price will be paid, we’d better listen. Generally Gaea is pretty forgiving, but she has certain rules, which humanity had better obey.

      BTW, Rob I know you are being sarcastic.

      • 1mime says:

        What’s really sad is that we are losing valuable time to intervene, and that so much energy is being expended by deniers in a fight that is so dumb. Call it whatever you want – when the road to your house on the shore starts flooding with an increase in wind speeds, and your investments along the coast start costing more to insure because….and when excessive heat and moisture create horrific rain (not just hurricanes) and ultra arid conditions….I don’t care what “title” you give it, recognize it as something we have an opportunity and a responsibility to address – NOW. Semantics and politics can be such a blather.

      • RobA says:

        Mime, in some ways, we may get lucny. if there’s one thing we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s that when outside forces start threatening the assets and well being of rich white ppl, things change REAL fast.

        When million dollar condos along the Florida coast start seeing water regularly, policy changes will happen pretty abruptly.

      • 1mime says:

        Unless they own the penthouse, then they’ll simply say “meh”….(-; If Republicans can’t even listen to the Pentagon and see the actual threat to military installations, you have to wonder how oblivious they’ve become. Normally, one’s vested interests would be motivation enough to protect them…flood insurance anyone? Catastrophic flood insurance? Here’s the rub from a taxpayer perspective. Flood insurance is government backed, but those homes and businesses that are built in flood prone areas? They have infrastructure needs – water, sewer, electric, telecommunications, etc. Guess who pays for the replacement of these services when flooding strikes? We the taxpayers. We are also backing FEMA flood insurance policies but not too many people extend their thinking to the additional costs borne by taxpayers. Except, now underwriters are beginning to take notice. These are the big boys, and when they start factoring in climate change and aberrant weather into their reinsurance premiums, that is when business will start to take serious notice. The poor have always had to live in the worst areas – it was all they could afford. No one in business cares if their homes flood. But, those suburban areas? Town centers? Money talks, just as you said, Rob. Only problem, Republicans aren’t listening – yet.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        An additional comment – I’ve been reading Dark Money, while I work out in the morning. Right now, I’m in Chapter 8 – Fossils, which explains how the Right Wing contributors (Koch.Brothers, Olin, Bradley, etc.) contributed money via tax-exempt funds to think tanks and scientists that were for sale to influence the debate over conservation and the environment. It is depressing. What is extraordinarily galling is that the contributions were used to reduce their taxes, very significantly. Meanwhile, public services, education, infrastructure funding and other essential services have been cut to the bone.

      • 1mime says:

        Yep, the uber wealthy have figured it out coming and going. I have Dark Money but haven’t had time to start it….on the stack….Sara Robinson highly recommends it – hope I have the stomach for what’s reported.

  14. Off-topic:
    Chris, I saw this article and thought you might be interested:

    It’s an interesting view of a social crisis which is not the one that most people foresaw.

    • RobA says:

      Could you tl:dr it for us? I can’t bring myself to read a zero hedge article that long . Zero hedge is to Breitbart what CNBC is to CNN. It’s the financial website for nihilist anarchists.

      It’s pretty ironic to see such a Trump loving website make such a long serious post about the dangers of “Bullshit”.

      • 1mime says:

        I struggled through it and liked it, Rob…..what does that say to my liberal underpinnings (-;

      • I hadn’t come across Zero Hedge before so I wasn’t aware of their reputation. Thanks, RobA.

        The teal deer goes as follows:

        In the modern world, there is value to be gained by telling lies, and the cost of being caught in a lie is often no lower than the cost of not telling a lie at all – anyone who’s seen estate agent listings for a rental flat knows that this is true. However, it is extremely time-consuming to sort the truths from the falsehoods, not least because we then have to start distrusting everything we encounter.

        This is a problem because nowadays we are exposed to vast amounts of information, more than we can ever vet for truth, so it is functionally impossible for us to ever know whether things are true or not.

        The author suggests that this creates a powerful incentive for everybody to lie all the time, because there is no functional benefit to honesty. If you’re a believer in neo-classical economics then you would take this as proof that everybody is already lying all the time, in a Gresham’s Law sort of way, but I am not such a believer and do not take it as such proof.

        He further suggests that this will lead to the downfall of traditional information-based institutions because they’re trading in a commodity which nobody can trust, and points out that society itself is such an institution. He makes some references to Germany in the 1920s and 1930s as being a society in which the trust in one’s fellow citizen had ebbed to the point where democracy became unworkable. In my opinion, Germany in the 1930s failed for reasons entirely unconnected to that, but then I’m not a historian.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, EJ – Here’s more on the Zero Hedge. I did think the BS portion of the piece was on the money…It’s easy to get sucked in to clever writing, however.

    • 1mime says:

      Wonderful piece, EJ…..Had not read it when I posted my liberal diatribe (-; The comments were as pithy as the story….The application of Frankfurt’s BS theory to contemporary politics is right on….He makes the point that a single truth can destroy a lie, but a bullshitter when confronted with incontrovertible evidence, simply spins out another line of BS…making it extremely difficult to hold bullshitters accountable. We certainly have ample evidence of this in today’s political arena.

      “(Harry Frankfurt) argues that lying and bullshit are distinct forms of dishonesty. The liar is trying to present something false as true. But the bullshitter doesn’t actually care whether what he’s saying is true or false, relevant or irrelevant. He represents himself as concerned with the truth, but in fact his only concern is presenting a certain appearance or creating some particular impression in his audience. Frankfurt thinks that this is a much more subtle and powerful strategy, and therefore a much more dangerous one.”

      This is a long read best absorbed in sections….but so interesting….Comments are worth your time as well….

  15. Griffin says:

    An oldie but a goodie: Why even in 2008 John McCain was a conservative and the Republican was/is not. They should have read their Burke. BTW Lifer you should really replace Kirk’s definition of conservatism under that tab with Burke’s you seem to draw more from that line of thought and Burke was such a better writer and orator.

    • Griffin says:

      Ugh meant to say “Republican Party” it’s too late for properly spelling out ideas. Just for fun here’s an extra link for more Republican pundtis attempting to pin the blame of the rise of Trump on random liberals.

      It’s so funny. The “Party of Personal Responsibilty” and “Rugged Individualism” claiming that they can’t be expected to nominate sane people because a few liberals were mean to them. I love it. Their DEFENSE is that their Party can’t cope with a couple mean liberal bloggers but we should still trust them to handle ISIS and Putin cause they’re such tough, rugged “conservatives”. L..O…L.

      • 1mime says:

        Oh geez. Mean? Really? Be still my beating heart……

      • flypusher says:

        ‘This theory holds that Trump prevailed at least in part because liberals blew their credibility by hyperbolically denouncing previous Republican presidential candidates, thereby conditioning Republicans to ignore the warnings when Trump came along. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni gives this theory credence in a column headlined “Crying Wolf, Then Confronting Trump.” ‘

        When you find yourself in a hole, step one is to STOP DIGGING. Here are the cold hard facts- Trump is on YOU, GOP, and no one but you. A plurality of your voters made this choice, and they chose POORLY. As I mentioned elsewhere in these comments, Trump’s history is well documented. He’s a conman, a bigot, an unrepentant sinner, a bully, and a narcissist, and he’s never tried to hide any of that. He’s your albatross around the neck and you righties can either sell out your integrity in the dwindling hope that he blunders into a victory and you might get a scrap of power, or you can cut bait and start figuring out what you might be able to salvage from your party’s wreckage. But no matter what, YOU OWN THIS.

    • Stephen says:

      Good definition of conservatism. McCain, Obama and Hillary are all by this definition conservatives. Which might explain why this conservative has supported all three. Obama surprised me. I thought when he first ran that he did not have the experience to do a good job as president. I was wrong. Hillary is dripping in experience. I expect good performance out of her. I hope she does not disappoint.

      • 1mime says:

        Stephen, Obama is intelligent but was very politically naive when he began his first term. To his credit, he learned on the job. Imagine how much more he could have achieved if Republicans hadn’t blocked him at every turn, which says a lot about the GOP. They’ve become proficient at obstruction to the point that they’ve forgotten what it takes to govern. Voter suppression – check. Bullshit (TU Frankfurt) – check. Gerrymandering – check. Judicial manipulation to advance legislation – check. Suppression of womens’ rights – check. Religious extremism – check…….Payback is so overdue for this group of narrow minded, self-serving people.

  16. flypusher says:

    One thing I can say in Dennis Miller’s favor – he was the most honorable talk radio host I ever heard. Over the years I have sampled the radio shows of many a nationally syndicated host, mostly righties, but a few lefties. They varied in how much they abused the power of the mic on callers with dissenting opinions, but I caught them all doing it at least once. Except for Miller. Every time I listened to his show, he was polite to all the callers and allowed them their say. Of course he is no longer on the radio.

    • 1mime says:

      There are a couple of others on radio who I admire. Diane Rehm and Michael Jackson. Both remain non-partisan and both always offered guests representing multiple viewpoints. Radio is interesting because content matters (excepting the hard right wingnuts – you know who they are) and the format generally lends itself more to a thoughtful discussion. TV is so focused on image that there are few commentators who I feel raise the bar. Charlie Rose is one and NPR has a number of quality commentators.

      After reading the article I linked about Ailes and FOX, it makes you appreciate even more those professionals who consciously avoid sleeze and pandering and do the hard work of good preparation.

      • flypusher says:

        Didn’t include Rehm on my list because I was thinking of her show as a different type, but she just might be the fairest and politest of all. Even the callers who criticize her or the guest hosts as being biased Libby-libs are answered with courtesy. I’m sorry she is retiring, and I so hope the show goes on in some form. So much good solid information and tons of class.

        They recently had one of the alt-right people on, and they kept it civil. It’s a shame that’s now the exception.

      • 1mime says:

        I wonder about Chuck Todd……..He doesn’t hold his guests accountable when they make obvious fabrications and equivocate to direct questioning. On the issue of the Clinton Foundation, he knows better. He has a big program and he should do a much better job than he does. People making statements that are totally false like this should be called out big time. Tim Russert, he ain’t.

  17. While it’s no surprise that Trump’s image with Latinos is something you’d expect to find in a Mel Brooks’ parody movie, one of the genuinely unanswered questions going into November is just how much he’s motivating them. Well, if the results of this new poll are to be believed, it’s nothing to scoff at. A few key mentions:

    – Clinton has a net total of +93 over Trump in favorability. Astounding.

    – A whopping 76% say it’s more important to vote in ’16 than it was in ’12. As for the inevitable “why”, a solid 51% said it was to “stop Trump”.

    – Most significantly of all, 73% of Latinos say that the Republican Party doesn’t care about them and 70% say that Trump has made the GOP more hostile to them.

    Currently, Latinos favor a generic Democrat versus a generic Republican by an overwhelming 67%-19% nationwide.

    • 1mime says:

      I would think that Latinos/Hispanics would be less influenced by all the charges against Clinton than most groups. They are used to being denigrated by Republicans as a whole, (undeservedly), and may empathize with Clinton as a result. Regarding Trump – his record – his taunts, insults, and threats – will not be forgotten. Still, Trump does appeal to some Latinos who buy into his rhetoric about jobs, etc…appealing to their base needs and anger while offering them nothing but empty promises.

      Per 538 registration is up for both Dems and Repubs, so turn out should be huge. Whether that’s a good thing for Clinton or Trump remains to be seen.

      • Fair Economist says:

        High turnout is reliably good for Democrats. Less frequent voters lean hard to the Democrats. Trump’s support comes mostly from better-off whites, just like other Republicans. His advantage among whites without college educations comes mostly from an advantage among old whites, people who grew up before a college educations was expected for most career jobs.

      • Kenneth Devaney says:

        Its interesting when people blurt out the truth…somewhat depressing but interesting none the less. This link is in regards to the photo ID law in North Carolina:

      • 1mime says:

        The difference seems to be that there is a “no holds barred” atmosphere now. Say it out loud. I think Trump has peeled back the covers and they are all just letting it rip. I mean, really: ““It wasn’t about discriminating against African Americans. They just ended up in the middle of it because they vote Democrat.”

        Uh, the net result? Discrimination! Who cares how they got caught in the cross-hairs. It is what it is.

    • 1mime says:

      So many polls….TPM is a fine source. I followed them along with 538 last election. Here’s their update.

  18. 1mime says:

    Thinking about your statement, “No Republican capable of winning a GOP primary was going to top 46% under the best of circumstances.” Hillary wouldn’t have picked up as many conservatives if she were running against Jeb….I don’t know if Johnson would still be running if there were a viable Republican candidate, but assume he wouldn’t. I think there would have been more Dem cross-over if Jeb had won. Marco has never impressed me as anything but a light-weight, and Cruz – well, you know how I feel about him, but Jeb was the man and the GOPe blew it. I think we would have had a whole new contest with the Bush/Clinton match up. We don’t, so it doesn’t matter except to contest your prediction above.

    • >] “ I think we would have had a whole new contest with the Bush/Clinton match up.:”

      True, but irrelevant. If Republicans had a primary base that could’ve nominated a man like Jeb!, the dynamics that have sunk the GOP would be largely turned on their head.

      Also, there wouldn’t have been any significant Dem cross-over. What Bush or Rubio would’ve had to compromise in the process to clinch the nomination would’ve been extremism and pandering that would’ve all but guaranteed to quash any chance of that. It’s precisely why Jeb! said that he had to be willing to lose the primary to win the general.

      • 1mime says:

        What ifs…….What if Chris is correct and there is a Dem landslide…..I want this to happen so that the Democratic Party and HRC can prove what they are capable of accomplishing and have an opportunity to accomplish progress in the areas Fly pointed out plus others ; I want this to happen to provide such an abject humbling experience that the Republican Party cannot ignore it or if they choose to, the world sees them for what they truly have become; I want this to happen because our nation deserves better.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        IMHO, Romney had no chance in the general because he had to go so far right to get the nomination, that there was no way he could come back. Remember, “Self Deportation” and the “47%”. That’s what Jeb! had in mind. Too bad the GOP had left not only the solar system, but even the Milky Way Galaxy during the last 4 years.

      • >] “I want this to happen to provide such an abject humbling experience that the Republican Party cannot ignore it or if they choose to, the world sees them for what they truly have become; I want this to happen because our nation deserves better.

        Also true and I while I wish that would happen, it won’t. Chris has pointed out repeatedly Republicans’ success on the state and local level masking the steady erosion of their competitiveness as a national party and ironically, it’s turning out to be another nail in their political coffin. Unless Dems completely blow them out of the water in November (unlikely, even in the most optimistic scenario), chances are good that Republicans still hold significant power across the country, power that they can use as an excuse to obscure any objective analysis of their failure, let any remedy.

      • 1mime says:

        Sigh, I agree, but one can dream……….

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      I won’t speak for Chris, but my understanding on this point was demographics are dictating outcomes. Trump is an unusually bad candidate, but even a Marco,Jeb or Kasich would have lost…as they will should they get the nod in 2020. The challenge is the republican party is carrying baggage (climate change is a hoax, denial of systemic racism, no immigration reform, and forget about women’s health issues or gay rights). They are a no go for urban voters and the growing millenials.

      Every cycle the white vote is diminished by roughly 2%, by 2022 the millenials will be the single largest voting block. If the republican party sticks to these tribal positions the other tribes will win…more of them. Its just math at this point and while a better quality candidate would be more competitive the hill they will be asked to climb gets steeper.

      I’m more concerned with his point about big trouble if such a sizable population walking around with racial resentments and the belief that others are getting stuff they aren’t and where they go with that anger and lack of voice as they continue to lose in national elections.

      • >] “I’m more concerned with his point about big trouble if such a sizable population walking around with racial resentments and the belief that others are getting stuff they aren’t and where they go with that anger and lack of voice as they continue to lose in national elections.

        No more precedent, impossible to say. Small-scale violence in the wake of Trump’s loss is probably inevitable, though the degree will depend on just how much the right-wing media establishment feeds the nonsense idea that the Clintons and the Democrats ‘stole’ the election and what happens now. And though that’s unfortunate, it does present an opportunity, a real opportunity to expand the national conversation and delve into why those people are angry and what we can do about it.

        Leave that space unfilled and opportunists and panderers will fill the void. Buckle your seat belts in that case, ladies and gentlemen, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m all for trying to reach out to blue collar workers, but the right wing folks can stuff it. I’ve had all I can take from these people. Their “needs” and narrow views have dominated the discussion for a decade and it’s time to focus on the mainstream and getting government moving.

    • goplifer says:

      Kenneth pretty much nailed it.

      As for Gary Johnson, he ran as a libertarian in 2012 too. Might do it in 2020. It’s a career of sorts. He’s not doing it because he thinks he might win.

      Jeb Bush lost his race for the nomination for some good reasons. Republicans won’t vote for him. He’ll lose next time too if he tries. Republican primary voters will nominate someone who cannot appeal to a general election electorate. Imagine a candidate who embraces climate change, acknowledges that Black Lives Matter has a legitimate gripe, takes a hands-off approach to abortion, and respects scientific solutions. That’s what it takes to be nationally competitive now. No one with that profile can win a Republican primary.

      And that’s what the Blue Wall is all about.

      • 1mime says:

        Chris, Democrats have the Blue Wall; Republicans have the Red Moat.

      • >] “Republicans have the Red Moat.

        That is beautifully appropriate, mime. I’m using that from now on.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        Chris, I’d like to hear your thoughts about when these systemic problems started: specifically, before or after Reagan. Out of Kenneth Devaney’s list of baggage — “climate change is a hoax, denial of systemic racism, no immigration reform, and forget about women’s health issues or gay rights” — I recall Reagan being on the bad side of all of those except maybe immigration reform.

        I think an important part of Reagan’s success was that he didn’t ignore reality as rigidly as more recent Republicans. E.g he did raise taxes somewhat, after cutting them too much. But he also had the S&L crisis. Periodic financial crashes caused by Republican economic theories didn’t start post-Reagan.

        The thing you explicitly praised him for — his optimistic message of “morning in America” — was to me just another example of George W Bush’s later belief that one’s thoughts invent reality. Yes, Reagan did create optimism, but that didn’t solve any of the problems, it just caused people to ignore them. And I think this led to the switch from “we’re America so we do the right thing” to “we’re America so whatever we do is right”, e.g. torture.

        So do you think that the Republican Party only went downhill after Reagan, or do you think that he planted or at least watered the seeds of the problems that you see today in the Republican Party?

    • duncancairncross says:

      The man is a Bush – his brother was in the hot seat when the biggest ever terrorist attack on US soil occurred
      The other GOP clowns would not use that but the Donald did and Hillary would have

  19. pedneuro says:

    Well there I was worrying about a possible Trump win in this election, and here you are putting my mind at ease that not only this one, but also the next election dems are going to win. That does put my mind at ease, if nothing else.

  20. 1mime says:

    Where do you begin when issues don’t matter in elections, when identity and demographics dominate? Consider what is happening to America’s coastal areas. When the Pentagon tried to take charge in studying climate change that is impacting naval bases and other military installations, Congress’ House response was to: cut funding. We cannot discuss the current election without recognition of the dissonance within the Republican party on issues that are of great importance to our nation’s safety and economy. It’s not just coffee; it’s ecosystems, highways, military installations, crops – climate change isn’t a game, it is a serious problem that pop tart approaches demean.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      Absolutely correct. Climate change is one of the major issues of this election, but it is subsumed into the other issues. HRC and the Ds get it; that is one of the reasons we desperately need to change the current dynamic in DC. To do that the Rs are going to have to be crushed or totally reorganized. This election will hopefully be a major step in that direction. The urbanization and youth factors, which we discussed in the previous post will hopefully play increasing roles in this and the next election cycle. Sanders was correct in wanting a political revolution, it is just going to take a little while. That is how the New Deal happened – slowly. The saying is that FDR would say “I agree with you, now make me do it.”

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      1mime that worries me too. Chris had a post that fascinated me in which he defined the Next Republican President. One politician that may fit that description is the current Republican Mayor of San Diego. Working towards making San Diego operate solely on renewable energy by 2035. Respected in the latino and gay communities, pro business. Reasonable stand on immigration. The link is to a general fluff piece but outlines why California republicans are also watching this guy. His story maps pretty close to Chris’s definition of the next republican president. It might start with a mayor of a major city delivering effective governance.

      I’m a very concerned democrat, that recognizes the desperate need for a healthy republican party. My party is getting very close (dodged a bullet with Sanders)…but heading for our own crack up. Our folks are winning national elections but not seeing the changes they voted for either and as a result of the long republican melt down trying to accommodate more than our usual cacophony of interests groups and priorities. There are limits on how big a tent can get and maintain any coherent message and manage expectations. I just hope one reputable, reasonable and successful urban republican mayor breaks out and seizes leadership.

      • 1mime says:

        I have read about Mayor Faulconer and he does exemplify the kind of moderate, pragmatic, rational !! Republican leader who is needed. CA is such a unique state – leading on so many fronts, thanks to its people and its leaders (Jerry Brown 2 has done a great job). A Democrat who I am watching is the LT. Gov, former San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom. CA is indeed a fine incubator.

  21. 1mime says:

    This article appears OT but it is not. Within the piece is documentation of the political machinery that has helped reinforce the Republican Party base and its initiatives. It is an amazing, disgusting story.

    ““As of November 9, there will be a bloodbath at Fox,” predicts one host. “After the election, the prime-time lineup could be eviscerated. O’Reilly’s been talking about retirement. Megyn could go to another network. And Hannity will go to Trump TV.”

    The prospect of Trump TV is a source of real anxiety for some inside Fox. The candidate took the wedge issues that Ailes used to build a loyal audience at Fox News — especially race and class — and used them to stoke barely containable outrage among a downtrodden faction of conservatives. Where that outrage is channeled after the election — assuming, as polls now suggest, Trump doesn’t make it to the White House — is a big question for the Republican Party and for Fox News.”

    I see Roger Ailes as one of a few puppeteers of the Republican Party. The language, tactics, people – have become a trickle-down of power at any price through any means. That the Republican Party relished the benefits of association with this media behomoth regardless of decency, is why it needs to die.

    • Mime,

      It will be fascinating to watch Fox battle it out with Trump TV. Trump has already shown that there is no level he will not sink to. Will the new Fox try to win that battle? Who knows. But a changed Fox will not be a GOP puppet. And Trump has already shown he has no love for the Republican hierarchy!

      Get you popcorn ready to watch this play out!!

      • 1mime says:

        Rupert Murdoch has abdicated all responsibility for the businesses in his empire….I don’t care what platitudes he mouths. His sons appear to be fine men and hopefully, when papa goes to that great place in the sky where conservatives gather, they will usher in a responsible business model.

        As the article points out – race, class, religion – were exploited to further promote a political powerhouse. This is shameless. Yet, I wonder if their base, those who have swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker, will ever accept the truth.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      Good article. Thanks for linking it. I too suspect there will be major changes at Faux News – that is not a typo. I doubt that a Trump TV network will really be able to generate critical mass. Faux News came along at an opportune time, but that model is past its “sell by” date.

    • vikinghou says:

      I don’t know. Starting a new TV network from scratch is a daunting prospect, especially an enterprise that requires the resources to produce news reports and live coverage. This isn’t like broadcasting re-runs of Andy Griffith.

      • 1mime says:

        Ailes did depart with a $40M settlement…and a non-compete clause that sunsets….and he and Trump are buds….You know, I really don’t care what either one of them does. They are both despicable people.

  22. irapmup says:

    My sense is we are witnessing the death of political parties which in turn heralds the inevitable death of politics. The idea of elections which we consider necessary in order to accomodate the diversity of our nation is an outdated concept which has never actually existed for anything close to the majority of our citizenry. Elected officials do what pleases their benefactors

    The only guarantee of political parties is that those who invest time and especially money will be rewarded; more to the winner and less, but always some to the loser. The citizenry in general are promised and then provided with services as though favors only guaranteed through the elective process, but societies don’t build needed infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools thanks to elected officials.

    This acceptance of elective offce as necessary has created the illusion that public office which serves the electorate is only guaranteed through voting when in fact governing regardless who controls it or how they get there either responds to public needs or if it tells the citizenry to go fish can expect some adverse consequence such as dismissal.

    Government exists whether the majority of the citizenry vote for it or not. It may not be clear to all, but, if only a handful of voters turned up, those who only a handful elected would be legally empowered under our system of laws to govern all of us. And although more often than not this is what actually happens, our nation has not crumbled, which brings my opening thought full circle.

    We don’t need to hold a popularity/beauty contest every four years to determine the nuances of governing. Policies work for all of us or they don’t and, at this stage of the political game we have been playing for the past couple of centuries, we pretty much know what doesn’t work and can simply toss that baby out with the bath water.

    There are many areas of governing which should be clearly defined as valid while too many accepted as governable are without any actual control.

    A freedom such as public support of any religion through tax abatement, while beneficial to those who are involved at almost any level in any religious belief system, is not a freedom for those who are not believers. The same is true for almost any tax break given to any business. We cannot claim free enterprise when it is subsidized.

    I think most people get the idea that most laws, regulations and needs of our society, at one subject to debate, have been long settled and the question of how to best govern our nation is one of them.

    We don’t need good luck, just good management

    • 1mime says:

      What or who would run things in your scenario, Iramup? Who would “select” them? What method? We don’t have royalty or dictators, so how would this American Board of Directors function? I’m not arguing against change, I’m curious how it will work, and, more importantly, what assurance we have that it would be better than the system we delete.

      • irapmup says:


        I don’t know the process, but am sure one is evolving as we recognize the utter uselessness of electing people to do any, let alone an administrative job. I wouldn’t be surprised if societies evolve to the point where people simply volunteer to fill positions in government.

        There is neither mystery to the way societies function nor any that we are, like it or not, one people throughout the world.

        In our vain attempt to put one group ahead of another how long will it take us to stop denying observable truth and put away the inventions of religious and racial difference?

        I don’t know that answer either, but do know it must occur if we and possibly all life on our planet is to survive. We have after all, proven ourselves capable of massive, and unless we rein in climate change, possibly complete annihilation.

        It isn’t as though nature survives on lies. There is no supernatural life to which any human has been exposed and even though some believe life on earth is a result of an unseen, all knowing god, that myth is planted, nourished and rewarded from birth by those who seek social control.

        Denying death with the empty thought of an afterlife may be comforting to those who live in fear, but that denial will stop as people become aware there is no truth, nor can there be any, in such a fabrication..

        It should be clear, and to many I am sure it is, that we have to put down the weapons and pick up the tools which we need to combat the mess we are making of our planet.

        Regardless how fanciful our imagination, we must succumb to the limits of fiction and deal with life as it exists.

        Only truth can survive.

      • I’m writing this on a mobile phone (whose network access is possible because of competition law regulated by the British government) connecting to a website (which exists because of a research project sponsored by the French government) across a TCP/IP protoco (which was devised by a project funded by the American government) whilst standing in a queue to get into a concert by a Spanish orchestra (which was organised and funded by the Spanish government) playing music by an Italian composer (who was supported by Italian government funds as part of a programme to develop Italian arts.)

        All of these governments are democracies. They seem to be performing their functions admirably well at the moment: so well, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook them entirely and assume that these things just happen automatically. Good infrastructure makes itself unnoticeable, and in this example, democracies seem to be creating good infrastructure.

        When I get inside, I shall turn my phone off, because unlike good government, a mobile phone in a concert hall is not unnoticeable.

      • 1mime says:

        All true, EJ, which is not to say that these governments don’t have problems (Brexit, socialized health care (-; all those open borders….) but what they don’t seem to share with the “exceptional” USA is almost a decade of extreme polarization and obstruction. Somehow, these “lesser” democracies manage to come together and get on with the business of serving the people of their countries….Backward as they may be, in comparison to the USA, people there seem to be, well, happy, and if they become unhappy, they deal with it and move forward as nations. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the USA could learn from these older democracies?

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi 1mime
        The USA is the only country that has managed to make your model of democracy last for any length of time
        Every other country that followed your model has crashed and burned

        All of the new democracies formed after the fall of the USSR went for parliamentary democracies

      • 1mime says:

        America’s democracy hasn’t been working for at least ten years, Duncan. Tell me what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the parliamentary democracy model.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi 1mime

        That is an interesting question
        The main difference is that the Parliamentarian system evolved “to govern” – it is specifically set up to allow a country to be governed

        The US system was designed NOT to govern,
        The “governing” entities were the States –
        the Federal Government was a top layer that was intended to stop the different states fighting each other
        BUT it was designed and intended to be unable to do anything else
        The first iteration of that was a total disaster so it was replaced with something that was a bit better but it was still deliberately set up as a stalemate where a small percentage of the voters could stop everything happening

        You guys managed to make that work for a long time – the failure mode in countries that copied you was
        First stalemate,
        Followed by a “Strong Man” breaking the stalemate and assuming dictatorial powers
        Followed by bloody revolution

        As far as Parliamentarian systems are concerned there are lots of models
        The basic concept is that the party that makes up government can make the laws and rule the country

        There is normally a written or unwritten constitution of things that cannot be changed and a judiciary that can strike down laws that are “unconstitutional” but this is rarely used

        I personally don’t like the First Past the Post systems like the UK and I prefer proportional representation like NZ,
        The argument is that FPP systems provide stronger leadership

      • 1mime says:

        I had never thought of America’s government design in this manner, Duncan, but it makes sense. Possibly one of the reasons it has worked so long, despite its inherent weaknesses, is that those elected within it were willing to adapt – to use consensus to get things done. Now, with the polarization and emphasis being on party over country (not that any conservative will agree with that, of course), that safety feature is no longer holding things together. It appears that there is a strong push to go back to the states rights model without any concern for how the sophisticated, necessary large government functions necessary to a functioning, secure society will be handled.

        I like that in the parliamentary system, the party who is elected at least is given the opportunity to implement the agenda that the voters endorsed. The way things have evolved in the last decade is that neither party can function efficiently and the acrimony is horrendous. This leaves the citizenry in a constant state of confusion, frustration and ever eroding confidence in those who are running government.

        Maybe it’s time for America to try a new form of government. What we have is not working very well when it works at all.

        Thanks for the analysis.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        1mime, I recall once hearing a British conservative MP say that when his party (or our conservative party) screws up, OF COURSE they should lose the next election so that the other side gets to prove whether they can govern. I think that attitude is something we’ve lost as part of the “scorched earth” methods the Republican Party has found so effective.

        One of many reasons I don’t see the Dems sliding toward the Politics of Crazy is the lack of that scorched earth. Consider how Sanders ran against Clinton (e.g. refusing to talk about the “scandals”), and how he used his 43% of the elected delegates to push her to adopt his policies & now supports her. It’s the art of compromise, which he has a lot of experience with. And given that his main policy proposals had majority support (in some cases even among Republicans) it’s hard to see his policies as that far from the mainstream.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m going to make a broad statement that will offend some and delight others. For the record, I don’t care. It must be Sunday when I should be sitting in a pew thinking lofty, kind thoughts. Instead, I offer this personal diatribe.

        Many Republicans, are uptight, unfunny, pompous, frequently hypocritical and flat out mean. If these “qualities” define “success” within the GOP, then I am so very happy to be a liberal. Democrats tend to be tolerant, more collegial, have much more fun, and are interesting, diverse people. Their focus is not on depriving others their opportunities nor enjoying success at their expense. Surely, there is room for us to carve out a little happiness in this great big world we live in.

        Say what you will about the Democrats’ big tent – I like it – in all its confusion and mix of beliefs. I’d much rather spend my time with others within that tent. I do not seek the company of those who practice lock-step ideology, daren’t voice an original thought, and who take pleasure in spending copious amounts of time and revenue devising plans to crush others outside the fold – be it their own or those deviants called “Democrats”. As Fly stated (rather succinctly, I might add) – you own the garbage you create and the rest of us don’t need to pretend it doesn’t stink. Change the diaper or live with the reek. (T U EJ, for that wonderful analogy.)

  23. Fair Economist says:

    I think you’re slightly overstating the case for the election in 2020 as being already decided. Even in the post-1992 era of polarized electorates, there was a 9 point swing from 1996 to 2000. So, with a strong candidate and some favorable events, it’s still possible for a Republican to win in 2020 even though the Democrats are strongly favored. After that, with the ongoing passing of the Silent Generation that is the core of the current Republican bloc, they’ll be too far back to win any “normal” election although even then it’s still possible with a suitable international crisis or a highly smearable Democratic nominee.

    2020 will also have Hillary running as an incumbent, and unless the Democrats win the House this round (plausible, but not too likely) she’ll have presided over 4 more years of gridlock and likely some poorly-handled problems as a result. This will be much more the Republicans’ fault than hers but voters tend to blame the President for problems regardless of whether they’re at fault.

    • goplifer says:

      There has only been one period in our history in which we experienced a solidly regionalized electorate like this: 1848-1860. We have often had smaller regional blocks (the old solid South), but never such generally hardened partisan/regional divides.

      This is unprecedented in modern history. Nothing from the 90’s compares. Unless the Republican Party fundamentally changes, and there is no clear vector from which this could come, that polarization will intensify with the GOP occupying a smaller and smaller portion of the map.

      It should be noted that we cannot sustain this as a country. Look at the event that put an end to our last run of regional stalemate in 1860…

    • goplifer says:

      And by the way, your reference to issues, like poorly handled problems, is antiquated in this climate. There are no political issues that turn our elections anymore. Identity and demographics determines voting patterns now. Until the parties realign (a painful, disruptive process) that isn’t going to change.

      This is bad. Very bad.

      • 1mime says:

        Historically, on a broader world basis, is there any other comparison in Europe or elsewhere that is similar to what we are witnessing today?

      • 1mime says:

        Nate Silver is cautioning against complacency and false optimism. So many sources saying so many different things……..Can’t wait for the “fat lady to sing” Nov. 8th.

      • Lifer,

        I sadly agree with the “very bad” sentiment. Our country has a ton of issues that need attention from infrastructure to education to you name it. And more obstruction is the last thing we need.

        That said, the Republicans are already gearing up for that very obstruction that got us where we are today!

        One bright light in the tunnel is I keep reading that Fox News will be changing for the better. The Murdock sons want to make Fox a real news organization and not the ruler of the GOP. That in itself will make some changes in Republican governance. maybe not a lot, but some!

        As always, a great column!!

      • Fair Economist says:

        There was still party switching in 2006, and there’s always variation in turnout. Substantial swings can still happen – the 2012 Congressional vote was D+2, and then 2014 was R+6. So an event that moved turnout to midterm levels would do it.

        Do you think, if the Democrats nominated Sanders in 2020, that he would win? Even after getting smeared for proposing a 15 trillion tax increase, “honeymooning” in Russia, supporting the Sandinistas in the 80’s, and assorted other issues? (Not saying these are real issues because Sanders is well within the normal range of the Democratic party policywise. But boy howdy there’s a lot of material for nasty ads.)

      • 1mime:
        I would suggest that a good comparison would be in the UK: after the disastrous years of 1977-1979, the Labour Party was defeated by the Conservatives in the election of 1979. Rather than band together to try to become relevant once more, Labour fell to infighting and ideological purity contests, making itself unelectable. The Conservative Party had a stranglehold on power for 18 years, resulting in what Griffin called a “party of government.”

        This led to a steady increase in corruption and regulatory capture, as people realised that they were in effect more accountable to the party than to their electorate. It led to complacency, infighting, empire-building and the politicisation of formerly impartial state institutions. It led to a refusal to exercise due diligence over fast-moving new economic developments and to a lack of oversight of government powers. It also led to some truly horrendous homophobic legislation, which I for one cannot forgive.

        All told it was a bad time, and I’m glad that I was both too young to experience it firsthand and in another country.

        Democracy needs at least two parties to function. One must change one’s government like one changes one’s children’s diapers, and for the same reason.

      • 1mime says:

        Great historical lesson and terrific analogy, EJ!

      • 1mime says:

        Republicans are already plotting their default plan. Her “win” was really due to a worse opponent. As such, they are preparing to obstruct her throughout her term, should she win. As I have stated too many times to count: Republicans have not learned anything. They will double down on more of the same obstruction and dirty tactics that they have spent the last 14 years perfecting. Republicans must lose at every level – local, state, and national before our nation can expect a conservative party that is ready to govern through consensus – which is the basis upon which a democratic form of government operates.

        As you pointed out with your example from the 1970s in England, democracies cannot survive unless there are two viable parties whose principle purpose and focus is serving the people, not the party.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Ej
        I was working during that time as an engineer,
        The 77-79 was not actually that bad – the newspapers (Tory owned) made it seem bad but for every hour lost to industrial action we lost a week to managerial incompetence

        Then Thatcher – she would have been a one term wonder – it wasn’t Labour infighting that kept her in power but two things
        (1) The power of the (Tory owned) press
        (2) (More important) The Falklands war
        Having effectively invited the attack she rode the wave of jingoism back into power

        Another factor was that the Labour party seemed to be suffering from an outbreak of unusual premature deaths – the NZ and Australian Labour parties had a similar problem
        The leaders who were uniting the parties died of “natural causes”
        In a hundred years time when all of the CIA files are opened we may see why

        There was infighting in the Labour party but no more than usual and less than in the Tories

      • 1mime says:

        Want an issue that really, really is the sleeper of this entire election? May I introduce Dr. Mary Beard, University of Cambridge, and her thoughts about womens’ place in society from an historical and contemporary perspective. It is a wonderful, long, interesting piece from a fascinating woman. It speaks directly to the mountains HR Clinton has climbed and may offer more clarity about why her journey was so difficult and remains so. Dr. Beard is one of those people who you are truly icons – who actually influence thought – who, indeed, dare to think outside politically correct lines. Such as, a woman seeking to be POTUS. What an outrage!


        “it is easier to document ways that women have been silenced than it is to find a remedy to their silencing. (Virtuous suicide is not an option.) The real issue, she suggested, is not merely guaranteeing a woman’s right to speak; it is being aware of the prejudices that we bring to the way we hear her. Listening, she implied, is an essential element of speech.”

      • Thanks for that, Duncan.

  24. pbasch says:

    Well, you know more than I do, and I hope you’re right. I don’t know if the race will be close or a blowout, but if people think it’s close, they’re more likely to turn out – don’t you think? I think the narrative of the race as close probably benefits Hillary, though on Monday before Election Day I’m sure Trump will give a terrifying speech about how the election will be rigged and that squads of heavily-armed he-men must patrol polling places, “just in case some funny stuff is going on.” [I know, I’m future-quoting]

    • goplifer says:

      That’s true. Part of the logic behind the ‘horse-race’ coverage on platforms like MSNBC is concern about complacency.

      • Griffin says:

        Say what’s your opinion of MSNBC? I mean why is it that liberals have been far less successful in creating a “Left-liberal media circuit” that’s as succesful, intense, and massive as FOX News and the right-wing media machine is? Even the pro-Democratic channels like MSNBC seem downright tame/boring in terms of the intensity of their partisanship when compared to FOX and other right-wing media outlets.

        Don’t get me wrong they’re still hacks but the liberal outlets seem much less extreme and aren’t as good at connecting with liberals as FOX is with their audience.

      • 1mime says:

        Hacks? I don’t consider Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, and Chris Hayes hacks. I think they do a fine job with their facts and their content. I don’t care for Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell is pretty unexciting and Joe Scarborough is full of himself…Andrea Mitchell is kind of boring but usually well informed. If what you mean is where is the liberal equivalent of Fox, I don’t think they aspire to run that kind of programming. They actually try to report the news, even if they present it with a liberal bias, and sensationalism and titillation are not tactics they depend upon to engage with their viewers.

      • Griffin says:

        Rachel Maddow is good but yeah Chris Matthews, that guy is just… ugh…

      • 1mime says:

        Have you watched Joy Reid? She’s the Black reporter who fills in for several of the regulars. She knows her stuff, speaks up and can hold her own. Steve Kornaki is another good one…He has a kind of freshness about him but not only is very knowledgeable about how campaign numbers work but also has good breadth. Seems like a very nice guy…no smarm or supercilious attitude.

      • Griffin says:

        I haven’t seen Reid yet it’s been a while since I seriously watched MSNBC and back when I did they had sometimes questionable personalities like Ed Shultz and Martin Bashir but I’ll try to catch Reid if I can.

    • vikinghou says:

      Furthermore, if the MSM were to report that an HRC victory was inevitable, lack of Dem voter turnout would hurt down ballot races and make it more difficult for the Dems to retake the Senate or make inroads into the House. The horse race coverage will be beneficial to voter turnout, but that doesn’t mean we have to watch it. I have reduced my domestic news consumption considerably and will wait until the debates to re-engage.

      • 1mime says:

        Chris has been correct about everything (except Trump not being a candidate but we all missed that), but I still feel we have a long way to go til Nov.8th. If things turn out as he predicts, that will be great for Dems, bad for Repubs (unless they were to actually learn from the experience, which they show no interest in doing), and “who knows” for America. As for me, I am going to be holding my breath, expecting a squeaker, and if I am wrong and it is a blow out, shout out how wrong I was……

        No disrespect, Chris. Us “venerable” types take a lot of convincing (-;

      • pedneuro says:

        1mime, I think what you are saying exactly jibes with why Nate Silver, MSM etc. have been harping about a possible close election. Bad as the media people are, playing the horse race narrative, harping on Clinton scandals, deep down I’m sure many, if not most, individually they also don’t want Trump to win. So if this close race narrative helps terrifying the Hillary voters to show up in the election, all the better for them. So your being concerned about a squeaker is not a bad thing at all.

        And yes, I will make sure to bookmark this page and comment on this post on the 9th November when the election does not turn out to be close afterall. 😉

      • 1mime says:

        Nate Silver probably does not want Trump to lose, but he would not sabotage the integrity of his forecasts by being casual about predictions….can’t agree with that….I just still think it will be close…but I’ll be happy to be wrong..

      • pedneuro says:

        1mime, Did you mean Nate Silver probably doesn’t want Trump to ‘win’?

      • 1mime says:

        That’s exactly what I meant, but it is my “opinion” only.

  25. 1mime says:

    Chris, Do you foresee the possibility of investigations of Trump for the many issues that have been raised about him during the campaign? The models, campaign cross-over to family businesses, income tax returns, anything and everything else they could find? IOW, will the GOP make an example of a DJ Trump for the future and forever shun him in Republican politics, or, is he representative of so many of them that they will allow him to fade away?

    • goplifer says:

      No, there will be no investigations. It’s kind of a weird thing, but it is actually much tougher politically to pursue real violations of campaign laws or ethics rules than to grandstand about imaginary ones. The reasons are odd, but it’s a little like the dog who finally caught the car.

      Think for a moment about the way the politics of the Bill Clinton prosecution played out and you get a sense for the logic. Those prosecutions are volatile under the best of circumstances. Almost everyone concerned would prefer to let the voters sort it out and walk away. Trump is going to personally pocket a boatload of his donations while his campaign burns. And no one is going to do anything about it or pursue his other shady dealings.

      • 1mime says:

        So, Trump’s “loan” of $47M is really a long-term investment (-;

        There are some people in the world that are so sleazy that it’s almost enough that they just go away. He’s likely calculated the odds of being charged for improper campaign finance practices and come to the same conclusion you did. People like Trump rarely get caught. They know how the system works, can afford big attorneys and game the system. Forever. They cause a whole lot of turmoil and then walk away….unscathed. Meanwhile, the kid that got picked up smoking pot gets 10 years…..Some justice system!

      • Stephen says:

        “Trump is going to personally pocket a boatload of his donations while his campaign burns.”

        I have gotten several solicitations in my mail box for Trump donations. I have donated to both Republican and Democrat campaigns in the past. Mainly to Republican ones until now. Pretty scummy for my name to be sold to this demagogue. Would never support him and it makes me angry that so many people have used the Republican Party to steal from ignorant fearful people.

      • flypusher says:

        “Trump is going to personally pocket a boatload of his donations while his campaign burns. And no one is going to do anything about it or pursue his other shady dealings.”

        Operating under that corollary of Murphy’s Law that says “It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their $.” I really cannot feel sorry for anyone who gets ripped off by Trump in this election, whether it’s the unpaid campaign staff or the voter who donates because they want to believe that Trump is a straight shooter, or he gives a $&@# about blue collar people, or he’s the ultimate outsider not beholden to anyone. The guy’s whole selfish, dishonest, greedy, bigoted, assholish history is very well documented and available for anyone who pays attention to see. You have no excuses for not knowing the content of Trump’s character.

        I so hope you are 100% right about it being a blowout Chris. I’ve never minded watching them when it is my team laying the wood to the opponent. I’m an Indy, but I’m totally Team Dem this cycle, and the horrid behavior of the GOP is a big reason. I want them severely chastised at the polls for the horrid voter suppression laws they’re trying to pass, the bogus medical reasons on their abortion restrictions, their racist dog whistles (and Trump’s dog trombone), their anti-science stances, and their childish obstructionism.

      • 1mime says:

        As she said!!!

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