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Hillary Clinton Blames Everyone For Her Election Loss, Except Herself

Hillary Bored

Hillary Clinton is back on the lecture circuit, and she’s blaming everyone for her loss when she probably should be looking in the mirror:

Hillary Clinton says she takes full responsibility for her decisions.

There’s just one catch: She says her decisions weren’t the reason that she lost to Donald Trump.

At Recode’s Code Conference in California on Wednesday, the former Democratic presidential nominee was reflective, quick to crack jokes — and eager to cast blame. The more than hour-long question-and-answer event marked the latest in a series of public appearances for Clinton in which she explicitly took on the actions of those around her and other external circumstances in explaining why she lost on Election Day.

“I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost,” Clinton said.

Perhaps Clinton’s most fresh and savage criticism on Wednesday was directed at the Democratic National Committee. She went as far as to say that when she became her party’s presidential nominee, she inherited “nothing” from the committee.

“I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” Clinton said. “It was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. I had to inject money into it — the DNC — to keep it going.”

The sad state of things at the DNC, Clinton continued, was only exacerbated by numerous efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election. As she has now said many times, the ex-secretary of state again alleged that former FBI Director James Comey’s decision on October 28, 2016, to send a letter to Congress about her email controversy was simply devastating.

“I can’t look inside the guy’s mind. He dumped that on me on October 28, and I immediately start falling,” she said.

And while she repeated that it was a “mistake” to use a private email server during her time at the State Department, she also said that plenty of others — including the media — were complicit in fanning the flames.

In the new book that she is currently working on, she said: “I’m just using everything that anybody else said about it besides me to basically say: This was the biggest nothing burger — ever.”

Watching the story about her private email server explode was a “maddening” experience, Clinton said, as she specifically called out The New York Times for its coverage of the issue.

“They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor,” she said.

Clinton also described the attention around her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs as having been blown out of proportion. Asked why she insisted on addressing the big bank, she challenged the moderators by asking: “Why do you have Goldman Sachs here?”

“Because they pay us,” a moderator answered.

“They paid me,” Clinton responded.

(…)

Something else that worked to her disadvantage? The widespread perception that she would win.

“I also think I was the victim of the very broad assumption that I was going to win,” she said. “I never believed that. I always thought it was going to be a close election.”

In a separate part of the interview, Clinton also blamed Russian interference, which she believes was guided by the Trump campaign:

Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she suspects President Donald Trump’s campaign gave guidance to Russian government propaganda efforts during last year’s U.S. presidential campaign, levelling her most serious charge yet against the person who defeated her.

The former Democratic presidential candidate, appearing at a tech conference near Los Angeles, said propaganda spread on sites such as Facebook helped cost her the election, and she urged Silicon Valley firms to move faster to stop false stories.

Trump has said that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Echoing assessments of U.S. intelligence agencies, Clinton said the Russian government wanted to spread disinformation about her. But she added they “could not have known how best to weaponise that information unless they had been guided.”

“Guided by Americans?” asked Walt Mossberg, a technology journalist interviewing Clinton on stage.

“Guided by Americans and guided by people who have polling and data,” Clinton responded.

She was pressed by another journalist on stage, Kara Swisher, who asked: “But you’re leaning Trump?”

“Yes, I think it’s pretty hard not to,” Clinton said. She said there had been a “marriage” of people who spread false stories with Republicans who had detailed voter data.

It appeared to be the first time Clinton had accused Trump of collusion with Russians. Earlier this month, she blamed Russian hackers and then-FBI Director James Comey for costing her the election.

So, let’s see what she have here. In the course of a single interview, Clinton managed to blame the DNC, and by extension President Obama, James Comey, and The New York Times for the fact that she lost an election she should have won. While it’s hardly surprising that a losing candidate is willing to admit to their own mistakes, the extent to which Clinton and her supporters have engaged in this blame game since the election has really been rather pathetic to watch unfold. In addition to the factors that Clinton cited yesterday, all of which have been relied on as a target for blame in the month since the election, her supporter have also blamed Russia due to its alleged interference in the election and the rest of the American news media, apparently because they paid attention to negative stories about Clinton such as the investigation of her use of a private email server and the relationship between her actions as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation during the time she was at Foggy Bottom.

Almost nowhere in the post-mortem discussions of the campaign is any mention of things that can and should be placed squarely at Clinton’s feet and the feet of the people who ran her campaign. I’ve mentioned several of the mistakes that the campaign made in the past, but perhaps the most notable was the decision to pull resources out of traditionally Democratic states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in favor of trying to flip traditionally Republican states such as Arizona, North Carolina, and even Utah, where polling in the weeks prior to Election Day was arguably showing that Trump was underperforming past Republican nominees and could be vulnerable. This decision was made notwithstanding warnings coming from people on the ground in all three states, as well as in states like Ohio, that Clinton was in serious danger of losing the state to Trump thanks to what was beginning to look like stronger than expected turnout by the white working-class voters that formed the basis of Trump’s coalition. In Pennsylvania, for example, former Governor Ed Rendell, a Clinton supporter, was openly saying in interviews on MSNBC during this time that his home state was not as firmly in Clinton’s corner as Democrats would like to believe. Other post-election reports indicated that some forces inside the campaign, most notably former President Bill Clinton, were growing increasingly frustrated at the campaign’s reliance on data models that told them that the Midwest was secure when there was plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

This isn’t to say that the other factors cited by Clinton didn’t play a role in the election, of course. Notwithstanding the fact that it had managed to elect a Democrat to the White House and get him re-elected, the national Democratic Party was apparently in pretty sorry shape by the time the 2016 campaign rolled around. Much of that, of course, can be attributed to the fact that, outside of those two races for President, the second decade of the 21st Century has not exactly gone well for Democrats. They lost control of the House of Representatives only four years after winning it back after twelve years in the 2006 elections. Those elections in 2010, as well as subsequent elections after that, also saw significant setbacks for the party at the state level that gave Republicans dominant control of a large number of states, which in turn gave them control over redistricting after the 2010 census. In 2014, they lost control of the Senate and gave up further seats in the House. By the time the 2016 campaign rolled around, the party was in such a state that their Presidential bench was nearly vacant except for Clinton herself. At the same time, throughout his time in office, many Democrats were frustrated that President Obama seemed reluctant to help build the party, preferring instead to rely on his own network of supporters to win the White House and then re-election.

Additionally, it’s likely true that all of the other factors cited by Clinton had at least some impact on the race. Elections don’t occur in a vacuum, after all. They are influenced by everything from the state of the economy to the news that has dominated the headlines during the campaign to even the weather in particular parts of the country on Election Day. In that sense, I suppose, Clinton is correct to the extent that the factors she cites were likely among the many that influenced voters. At the same time, as CNN’s Chris Cillizza notes, Clinton’s continued refusal to admit the mistakes that she and her campaign made is a reflection of why she lost in the first place:

The truth of the matter is this: Hillary Clinton’s name was at the top of the campaign and signed on the checks her staff received. It was her decision to set up a private email server and exclusively use it for her communications as secretary of state — the first person in her position to do that.

She was the one who kept giving high-paid speeches to the likes of Goldman Sachs even after it was clear she was going to run for president. (“They paid me,” Clinton explained Wednesday.)

She was the one who struggled to grasp — despite the repeated warnings of her staff — that the email issue was causing her major image problems on questions of honesty and trustworthiness.

She was the one who struggled to put away a once-quixotic challenge by Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

She was the one who premised her entire general election strategy on the idea that once voters knew who Trump was and what he said, they would have no choice but to vote for her.

She’s the one who decided against visiting Wisconsin even one time between the Democratic convention and the general election.

All of those things played roles — you can debate how big or how small — in her loss. And Clinton had control of every single one.

There’s a tendency — and this is the most human of traits — to revise your own history to make yourself look as good as possible. And Clinton’s revising is aided by a large swath of Americans who simply can’t believe a) Trump won and b) Trump is carrying himself as president in the way he is. There’s also the fact — as Clinton has become fond of noting — that she won the popular vote over Trump by almost 3 million votes.

But take away everything else and you are left with this: Hillary Clinton was the candidate. We pick presidents via the electoral college not the popular vote. Trump won. Clinton didn’t.

While Clinton says she takes full responsibility for her defeat, everything else she says about the election belies that rhetoric. What taking the full blame and responsibility actually means is saying this: There were lots and lots of circumstances outside my control that hurt my chances. But at the end of the day, it was my campaign and my name on the ballot. And that means I lost and I own that.

On some level, I believe that Clinton’s refusal to acknowledge the role that her own mistakes and those of her campaign are reflective of the same arrogance that we saw from her during both Presidential campaigns. When she entered the race for the nomination in the 2008 election, the media immediately branded her the frontrunner and it obviously was something she truly believed. Once Barack Obama got into the race and polls started reflecting the fact that her nomination was far from being as secure as it had appeared to be, the Clinton campaign entered combat mode similar to what we saw from the Clinton White House when it was under attack by Republicans in the 90s. Obama and his supporters were mocked by Clinton loyalists. Perhaps the most memorable example of that came during the South Carolina primary when former President Bill Clinton got in hot water for suggesting that the main reason Senator Obama was leading his wife in the state was due to of his racial background. In reality, of course, both Clinton and her campaign vastly underestimated Obama’s appeal and were unprepared to counter it effectively. The same thing happened in 2016, when Bernie Sanders to be a far more challenging opponent for the Democratic nomination than anyone had suspected he would be. Additionally, it now seems rather obvious in hindsight that Clinton and her campaign had woefully overestimated the extent to which the negative favorability that followed Donald Trump into politics would be a problem for him while vastly underestimating the extent to which Clinton’s own favorability problems would impact the campaign. All of this played a role in why she lost, and until she recognizes it, Clinton going to continue to be refusing to see reality for what it is.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Let

    It

    Go

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  2. @HarvardLaw92:

    Perhaps she’s hoping to get paid six figures to give speeches blaming other people for her election loss.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 22

  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    For at least the next few years, she could give a talk about how to eradicate mildew in your bathroom and they’ll pay her six figures to do it. Cantor would have paid Obama $400 grand to read the phone book.

    Nobody much cares what she (or most any other speaker) actually talks about. They’re there to put butts in seats, and at least for a while, she does.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I tend to agree…in spite of Comey’s and Russia’s out-sized influence on the election she still could have won if she had paid attention to areas like Wisconsin and suburban Philadelphia. She was warned that those areas were problematic for her and she, or her campaign, ignored it.
    But look…if I lost any kind of competition against Don the Con I would probably be rationalizing too…human nature. Losing to a failure like that fat orange blob has to sting.
    Democrats have to look forward in order to figure out how to save the country from someone who has clearly sold out to the Russians. These kinds of self-serving postmortems won’t help.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    At Recode’s Code Conference in California on Wednesday

    I’m sure the attendees appreciated the insights gleaned from Clinton’s long career in software development.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  6. Pch101 says:

    She’s wrong and she’s right.

    On one hand, her team made mistakes that hurt her. I can only hope that they have privately owned up to them.

    She also wasn’t an ideal candidate, and someone such as Joe Biden (although not Bernie Sanders) could have fared better had such a candidate been available.

    On the other hand, there were also other factors are work here, and the eagerness to sweep those under the rug is as just as bad, if not worse. Clinton’s errors were procedural; the actions taken by Comey et. al. were treacherous. Why should everyone shut up about that?

    And it is smart for Democrats to stoke up feelings of resentment. (After all, it helped the Tea Party.)

    Democrats need to follow suit and find ways to motivate their base with a combination of anger and hope instead of the fear that was the basis of Clinton’s 2016 message. Frightened voters are more likely to feel apathetic and give up, when they should want blood from the other side.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 2

  7. Stormy Dragon says:

    In the new book that she is currently working on, she said: “I’m just using everything that anybody else said about it besides me to basically say: This was the biggest nothing burger — ever.”

    It’s only a nothing burger because the political class as a whole has gotten used to routinely flouting the law. As long as they remain politically popular, there’s no consequences for things that would be life destroying for regular people.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

  8. Jay Gischer says:

    @stormydragon

    The Bush Administration “lost” 22 million emails, but you want to take that out on Hillary Clinton? Karl Rove and others in the Bush43 WH routinely used email addresses provided by the RNC, but you’re angry at Hillary?

    The Trump WH is doing exactly the same thing. Mike Pence used Yahoo. But somehow you want to wreak your anger with this system on Hillary? She is the sole focus?

    What is that about?

    And as HarvardLaw92 said upthread: Let. It. Go.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  9. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jay Gischer:

    How does “Political Class as a whole” suggest wanting to take that out on Clinton?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  10. JKB says:

    Goldman Sach paid her. Well, the Russians paid her as well as part of the uranium deal among other things.

    Side note, Goldman Sachs just moved to prop up the corrupt socialist Venezuelan regime. They’ll be needing a Clinton or two to prop them up, especially if those fighting for freedom in Venezuela win and go through with their promise to default on the bonds Goldman bought.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 33

  11. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Hey Doug, you had a post a few weeks ago about Obama getting $400K for a Wall Street speech. Want to do a follow-up about Obama giving away $2 million to summer jobs program in Chicago?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-obama-summer-jobs-donation-0505-biz-20170504-story.html

    I don’t think anyone could claim “both sides do it” on this one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    @JKB:

    especially if those fighting for freedom in Venezuela win and go through with their promise to default on the bonds Goldman bought.

    I’m sure a lot Argentinians thought something similar about NML Capital.

    It didn’t end up going very well for Argentina.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  13. pylon says:

    a. She’s already acknowledged the mistakes in her campaign several times.

    b. Nothing she said was incorrect. The effect of Comey’s interference, as well as the media’s poor reporting on EMAILZ , is well-documented and it’s statistically very meaningful. Now that it’s pretty clear that Russia and the Trump campaign had a lot to do with initiating and continuing that process, she’s supposed to do what – shut up about it?

    c. Also: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/06/john-mccain-refused-adhere-tradition-republican-party-never-won-election

    d: Also http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/hillary-clinton-life-after-election.html; http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/great-moments-self-refutation

    And quoting Cillizza? He’s such a hack that he said this: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/why-were-cillizzad

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  14. Davebo says:

    All of this played a role in why she lost, and until she recognizes it, Clinton going to continue to be refusing to see reality for what it is.

    I’m pretty sure she doesn’t really care. She’s out of politics, it doesn’t matter anymore.

    Hillary lost to be sure. However no other presidential election in modern history had the twists and turns of this last one and the results have already been pretty horrific.

    We should find out shortly from the Mango Mussilini what was in Al Capone’s vault and we can probably look forward to dozens of these made for TV stunts in the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. @Not the IT Dept.:

    (1). If you remember the byline, you’d remember it wasn’t my post.

    (2) If you read the post, you’d know that it wasn’t critical of Obama. To-wit:

    “Overall, I’m squeamish about ex-presidents cashing in. But, aside from the singular instance in which he was married to someone working to succeed him in office, I’ve never thought it rose to the level of grave public concern. In the particular case of Barack Obama, I’m confident in his personal integrity. And, if he parlays his eight years in the White House to amass the wealth of, say, an NBA star, a Hollywood leading man, or, heaven forfend, Oprah, I’m not sure why I should be outraged.

    (Emphasis mine)

    To answer your question, though, I don’t think a “follow-up” is necessary. I certainly won’t be posting about it since the charitable work of former Presidents doesn’t really interest me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  16. reid says:

    This is just more proof that the many deep-seated biases that people have about Hillary are still there and aren’t going to change. In a way, I feel sorry for her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    You seem to want to ignore the fact that the Cheeto Administration is made up of a yyuuuugge number of Goldman Sachs alumn…most of which had to be granted ethics waivers.
    Not that you are hypocritical, or anything.
    Moron.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  18. the Q says:

    No wonder Hillary lost. Now she is throwing Debbie Wasserman Useless under the bus when the DNC originally scheduled only 6 debates held at odd times. (Sunday 3 PM?) to help the witch out. They enacted procedural rules (super delegates, caucus changes) to completely help her block out any Dem opposition. And it worked. Only Bernie ran against her really.

    The shrew should do a W and slink back into the background and not be heard of again.

    Methinks she will run again – such is the ego, vanity and arrogance of the woman.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 25

  19. Mike in DC says:

    To add to one thing that Pylon already wrote, the article that the LGM post is based on is this:
    http://theweek.com/articles/702218/why-are-people-still-losing-minds-over-hillary

    There’s also an Ezra Klien article from Vox that addresses this:
    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/1/15721854/defense-hillary-clinton-2106

    And one last thing, the reason a lot of liberals believe that it was the Comey letter that Donald’s favorable rating jumped up 10% and his unfavorables dropped 10% right around October 29th. Even if you believe that the polls are wrong (either due to one or more mistakes by the pollsters or if they were deliberately trying to help Clinton), there is obviously something happening right at that date, as illustrated by the Huff Po poll aggregator.
    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/donald-trump-favorable-rating

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  20. Andre Kenji says:

    1-) Hillary should not be talking about FBI, Emails or the Election Loss. She should talking about her legacy and about her future. that what people expect from a Public Figure like her.

    2-) One of Hillary’s main problems is that she did not feet comfortable around White Male Voters, and White Male Voters did not feet comfortable with her(That’s was palpable during that NBC Townhall with veterans).

    That’s a problem that she shares with many Democrats, and that something that should solved. She also lacked a economic message, and that’s something that Democrats should be looking.

    Democrats should be looking for candidates for 2018, 2020, not looking into the past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  21. Andre Kenji says:

    No one denies that the Comey Letter cost Clinton the election. But many people think that she shouldn’t be even close.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  22. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    she still could have won if she had paid attention to areas like Wisconsin and suburban Philadelphia.

    Also, not lied about having pnuemonia, not made the Basket of Deplorables comment, picked a better running mate, etc etc.

    @Pch101:

    And it is smart for Democrats to stoke up feelings of resentment.

    No, this is a bad idea. The resentments are of different qualities. Republicans run on resentment because a lot of their policy ideas don’t have majority support.

    It’s the opposite for the Dems. They have majority support on some policy ideas, but they when they resent the actual majority, they lose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  23. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Republican presidential candidates consistently win a majority of white male voters.

    The only to change this would be for the Democrats to out-Republican the Republicans. And that would damage the Democrats because they would lose their own base AND fail to win over those white male voters, given that the Republicans will do a better job of being Republican.

    This quest to win over the majority of white male voters who will predictably reject a centrist/ left-of-center message is a fool’s errand. That would not only fail, but it would backfire.

    Democrats are stuck with boosting turnout among their base while winning over a substantial minority of independents. You may as well expect Burger King to win market share by selling Big Macs; the consumer will reject the imitator in favor of the real thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  24. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    If you think that it’s a bad idea, then it is certainly a winner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  25. James Pearce says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    No one denies that the Comey Letter cost Clinton the election.

    I do.

    The Comey letter by itself would have doomed no one. It was Travelgate + Iraq Vote + 08 superdelegate shenanigans + Benghazi!!! + the pneumonia fiasco + “basket of deplorables” + the Comey letter that doomed her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  26. Davebo says:

    @James Pearce:

    Travelgate? Seriously? Pneumonia “fiasco”? And Benghazi???

    So what your saying Jim Bob, is that idiocy cost Clinton the election. If only she’d gotten the Duck Dynasty endorsement!!

    Why not just cut to the chase and say ignorant voters cost Clinton the election? That I could get behind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  27. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    If you think that it’s a bad idea, then it is certainly a winner.

    If you want to substitute rational thought for braindead contrarianism, why not just be a Republican?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  28. john430 says:

    She is about to run out of names and situations to blame for her loss. I’m surprised that she hasn’t got around to blaming Bush. Oh, wait. That’s on next week’s Blame List.

    Is it true that she’s had all the mirrors removed from her home?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  29. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Your “advice” typically sucks because you base your positions on the faulty premise that white males are the only constituency that matters.

    Which is to say that you aren’t analyzing a damn thing. You’re simply projecting. That may make you feel good about yourself, but it’s pretty worthless to anyone who wants to know something about politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  30. Yank says:

    No, this is a bad idea. The resentments are of different qualities. Republicans run on resentment because a lot of their policy ideas don’t have majority support.

    It’s the opposite for the Dems. They have majority support on some policy ideas, but they when they resent the actual majority, they lose.

    No, Pch101 is 100% correct.

    Many on the left just don’t get it. But elections aren’t about policy, it is about emotions. The Democrats took power in 2006 and 2008, not because of policy, but because of pure resentment of the Bush administration and GOP congress.

    Also the media is woefully inept when it comes to covering public policy. They strictly see things neutrally, which hurts Democrats and helps the GOP. This is why the Russia stuff is far more helpful to the Democrats then healthcare, tax reform etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  31. Mike in DC says:

    @James Pearce: Except that but for the comey letter, she would have won.

    Having said that, I agree with Andre’s statement that a stronger candidate either wouldn’t have had that problem in the first place or would have been able to weather it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  32. Stormy Dragon says:

    @pylon:

    a. She’s already acknowledged the mistakes in her campaign several times.

    In that “I fully accept the consequences of X, by which I mean there will be no consequences for X for anybody” way politicians have of acknowledging their mistakes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  33. pylon says:

    @James Pearce:

    Benghazi (or at least her performance in the hearings) boosted her. Travelgate didn’t matter.

    The problem with Comey/emails/the Russians is that not only did it feed into the RW mind-set about her, it fed into the story the Bernie campaign was selling – that she was corrupt, that the fix was in for her. This despite the Foundation being virtually squeaky clean, and despite the emails containing nothing of substance. This wasn’t Bernie in particular, though he did almost nothing to squelch it, but certainly his supporters.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  34. pylon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Umm, no, by acknowledging that her campaign wasn’t perfect, and that there were mistakes made.

    BTW, check out all those acknowledgements of campaign mistakes by Gore/Kerry/McCain/Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  35. James Pearce says:

    @Davebo:

    Why not just cut to the chase and say ignorant voters cost Clinton the election? That I could get behind.

    That wouldn’t be the way I would put it, but it’s not wrong.

    Voters who were so eager to nominate her despite reams of bad oppo, some of it going back to the 90s, could be called “ignorant,” I suppose.

    Voters who supported Trump because of Travelgate/Benghazi! could also be called ignorant.

    But like I said, that’s not the way I put it. Maybe I’d put it this way: Hillary’s supporters were so blinded by her upsides that they couldn’t see her downsides. (The same dynamic works for Trump supporters too.)

    Now, caveat, I personally don’t think Travelgate and Benghazi and half the overblown controversies were much of a downside for her, but I am one man and I do not make the mistake of thinking everyone agrees with me. Those things still go in the downside category, though, because they would have –and did– cost her votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. Franklin says:

    There are several well-known reasons why Hillary lost. But unless I missed something, I think this post and the comments have almost completely ignored something significant. Something that we (including me) didn’t understand while it was happening.

    That something is that Trump won. He “surprisingly” won the primary, and then “surprisingly” won the election. Doug barely brushes this by mentioning larger than expected white working-class voters. Trump was the outsider who would fix politics-as-usual, these people thought. Trump spoke to the people getting left behind. There is some overlap with Bernie here, by the way, which is why Sanders “surprisingly” did so well.

    To this end, Hillary lost largely because she was the establishment. Her policies wouldn’t have been significantly different than the previous administrations, and to blunt it further she didn’t quite have the personal appeal that Obama did.

    I was actually past the election about 1.5 days after it happened, but you made me speak my peace. Now let’s be done talking about Hillary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Lying hypocrite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  38. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Trump announces the withdrawal from the Paris Accord with a speech completely divorced from reality.
    So…nothing new today…
    Dumbfoundingly stupid, Republicans are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  39. Jack says:

    the extent to which Clinton and her supporters have engaged in this blame game since the election has really been rather pathetic to watch unfold

    Flatulent emissions coming from the emasculated pajama boys so prevalent on the left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  40. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pch101:

    Republican presidential candidates consistently win a majority of white male voters.

    They do, and they control both chambers of Congress, the Presidency, most of the governorships and State Legislature Chambers and they have a majority in the Supreme Court. The same people that said that everything was fine in October 2016, that Trump was too dumb to win, are saying that everything is fine now and that Clinton only lost because of Comey.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  41. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    There are certain constituencies that Democrats cannot win unless they go back to supporting a wing that favors racist regressive policies.

    You don’t get to win over the combined bloc of minority voters/urban women AND white males with the same party. You can choose one or the other, not both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  42. Scott says:

    I really can’t care any more about why Hillary lost. She lost and that”s that. There cannot be a definitive answer, only opinions, even informed ones. What I can’t stand now is that every time she shows up, all the oxygen in the public sphere is sucked up and attention is diverted from the all out assault by Trump and the right wing on the middle and working classes. We are fighting a rear guard action hoping to slow down the disaster enough to regroup. Hillary needs to put her talents behind the scenes supporting the next generation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  43. Todd says:

    @HarvardLaw92: It would be easier to let it go if/when Hillary Clinton stops acting like she may actually be thinking about trying to run for President yet again in 2020. She had two shots and blew it both times.

    At this point, the more that Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) are in the spotlight and acting like they want a “redo” on 2016, the worse the prospects are for Democrats (and the country) going forward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  44. Andre Kenji says:

    I lived in São Paulo when the second female mayor of the city was running for reelection. I remember people talking about his divorce(His ex-husband was a popular Senator), and it was easy to note lots of sexism in the debates(The FIRST female mayor of São Paulo was elected when I was seven years old, but it’s easy to see the sexism at the time). I also remember the two elections that Dilma Roussef ran and her subsequent impeachment.

    Sexism is always a factor on politics and unfortunately the rules for Women Candidates are completely different.

    On the other hand, if you want Women being elected for Public Office they need the support of Men. Woman Candidates need to talk and listen Male voters TOO. You don’t win elections with the minority of less than half of the voters that identify themselves as “feminists”. Hillary is comfortable doing speeches for women, I don’t feel that she is comfortable talking to a audience of Men.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Your “advice” typically sucks because you base your positions on the faulty premise that white males are the only constituency that matters.

    Points for effort, but HUGE miss.

    My “premise” is that white males still matter, as human beings if nothing else, and in the context of national electoral politics, they matter a whole lot. They’re 31% of the population, and while they’re not all alike, they’re going to notice if a particular political faction is incessantly bitching about them.

    That’s why I counsel NOT racializing this stuff.

    @Yank:

    But elections aren’t about policy, it is about emotions.

    I don’t have time to look for it now, but I read a piece this morning that argued persuasively that the primary emotion of last November was “F that B,” and they weren’t talking about Melania…

    So maybe don’t just go for the emotions…go for the right ones.

    @Mike in DC:

    Except that but for the comey letter, she would have won.

    I might have believed that at one time, but I don’t anymore.

    Comey wouldn’t have been looking at her e-mails if she hadn’t tried to circumvent SOP over at State.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  46. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Male Democratic presidential candidates don’t win majorities of white male voters, either.

    US party identity is largely cultural. The gender of the candidate does not change this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. Yank says:

    I don’t have time to look for it now, but I read a piece this morning that argued persuasively that the primary emotion of last November was “F that B,” and they weren’t talking about Melania…

    So maybe don’t just go for the emotions…go for the right ones.

    Yes, you have to go after the right emotions and in IMO the Russia stuff, along withe aura of corruption is the way to go for Democrats. The media can actually cover that stuff and you can pull enough independents from Trump with that strategy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jack:
    Another comment…and your IQ seems to have dropped another couple points.
    Why not go back to one of the extremist right wing sites, that you copy and paste your opinions from? At least then you will be amongst idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  49. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pch101:

    There are certain constituencies that Democrats cannot win unless they go back to supporting a wing that favors racist regressive policies.

    DEmocrats don’t need to win White Male voters without a College Degree in Alabama. They need to control their losses among White Voters in General.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  50. James Pearce says:

    @Yank:

    IMO the Russia stuff, along withe aura of corruption is the way to go for Democrats.

    I dunno. I’m not comfortable with “the Russia stuff” either, but I have to acknowledge that while anything Trump did with the Russians prior to the election may indeed be criminal, anything he’s done with the Russians afterwards is just diplomacy.

    Corruption is concerning, but I’m cynical enough to suspect that most people aren’t against corruption per se. They’re against corruption that benefits someone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  51. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    You seem to be determined to not understand this.

    So fine, I’ll play along: Tell me how this is supposed to happen. Be specific.

    And one should note that Democrats cannot say the things that those white male voters want to hear without losing their own constituents. If you win over guys like “Jack”, then you will necessarily lose other people such as some of the other posters above — they will not peacefully coexist within the same party.

    And one should also note that it would be necessary to not just win over those voters but to take them away from another party that is already saying what they want to hear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pch101:

    Male Democratic presidential candidates don’t win majorities of white male voters, either.

    Yes, It’s a matter of reaching to them, not of having vaginas. There is a reason why there is no Democratic Sarah Palin.

    US party identity is largely cultural. The gender of the candidate does not change this.

    It’s a matter of economics. You dont win elections on “culture”, you need an economic message.

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/hillary-clinton-blames-everyone-for-her-election-loss-except-herself/#ixzz4imljWJzc

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  53. Todd says:

    I don’t begrudge Hillary Clinton’s desire to latch on to all of the outside factors that contributed to her loss; that’s simple human nature. But objectively, there’s only one reason why a candidate as awful as Donald Trump was even in a position to benefit from events such as the Comey letter: Hillary Clinton’s “likeability” and “honest/trustworthy” numbers were already upside down even before we heard anything about her email server (basically as soon as it was obvious she intended to run for President). Even if we concede that a lot of Clinton’s problem was a result of 3 decades of Republican smears, the fact remains that she was a damaged candidate. But a majority of Democrats decided that since her likeability/trustworthy problem was “unfair” it somehow wouldn’t matter in the election … despite her record of losing one primary to Barack Obama and having a much tougher fight than anyone could have conceived against Bernie Sanders.

    Sadly, Hillary Clinton almost certainly would have been very good at the job of being President. But in America, you have to win the election first if you want to do the job … and she was never effective at the task (campaigning) of trying to sell herself to the electorate. lol, ironically, the other choice the Democrats had at the end would have likely been just the opposite: a better candidate in a general election against Donald Trump, but almost certainly an ineffective President.

    To move forward, Democrats need to first admit that they dealt themselves a weak hand in the years leading up to 2016, which cost them/all of us dearly in the general election. Playing the victim only increases the chances that the same sort of mistakes will be made again in upcoming elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  54. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    You dont win elections on “culture”

    The Republicans have used the cultural wedge strategy to some extent since 1964 and have been fully committed to it since 1980.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  55. Yank says:

    I dunno. I’m not comfortable with “the Russia stuff” either, but I have to acknowledge that while anything Trump did with the Russians prior to the election may indeed be criminal, anything he’s done with the Russians afterwards is just diplomacy.

    Corruption is concerning, but I’m cynical enough to suspect that most people aren’t against corruption per se. They’re against corruption that benefits someone else.

    It is about perception, more so then actually guilt.

    It is the same thing that did Hillary in with the email scandal. Technically she didn’t do anything wrong and yet it damaged her severely. (people forget that Clinton was pretty popular prior to this whole email debacle).

    And voters care about corruption, especially independents. It was a major reason why the Democrats won the house in 2006. Scooter Libby, Mark Foley etc. these scandals hurt the GOP just as much as the Iraq War and Katrina.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  56. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pch101:

    And one should note that Democrats cannot say the things that those white male voters want to hear without losing their own constituents.

    These voters want to listen about jobs and the economics, the same thing that Black voters want. That’s why when the Democrats have losses on their share of White Vote voter turnout among Black Voters is smaller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  57. Yank says:

    It’s a matter of economics. You dont win elections on “culture”, you need an economic message.

    No offense, but this is bull****.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  58. Pch101 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    You simply don’t understand American politics.

    You cannot win over white male majorities unless you also attack minorities.

    If you want black and other minority voters, then you will lose a lot of white male voters and some white female voters in the process.

    If you want those white voters, then you will necessarily alienate those minority voters and urban women.

    You don’t get to win them all. You must choose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  59. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: What a shock that everyone who made OH MY GOD THE EMAILS!!!!! the only thing they could talk about now finds it so distasteful when Ms. Clinton has the gall to mention that their insane focus on OH MY GOD THE EMAILS!!! had something to do with the election of the horror show who has just moved from trying to destroy the country to trying to destroy the world.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  60. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “It’s only a nothing burger because the political class as a whole has gotten used to routinely flouting the law.”

    Of course she was running against a man who was apparently committing treason every day, but you’re right, those emails were TERRIBLE. Quick, my fainting couch!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  61. EddieInCA says:

    Jesus….

    Fact 1: Hillary Clinton “won” the election in that more people voted for her.

    Fact 2: Hillary lost the electoral college, and therefore is not President.

    Fact 2 doesn’t negate Fact 1.

    Fact 3: More people voted for Hillary than Donald Trump.

    Fact 4: More people voted AGAINST Donald Trump than voted for him. By. A. Lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  62. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “Democrats should be looking for candidates for 2018, 2020, not looking into the past.”

    Jesus F. Christ. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read or heard this bullshit…

    Hillary Clinton was giving a speech. She was talking about the election she’d just gone through. This has nothing to do with “Democrats looking for candidates.” Democrats ARE looking for candidates. But unless you choose to have her exiled or executed, then erased from history, she’s got a right to exist for herself, even if that troubles some people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  63. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “In that “I fully accept the consequences of X, by which I mean there will be no consequences for X for anybody” way politicians have of acknowledging their mistakes.”

    Consequences? She lost the election — I think those are the consequences. What do you want her to do — send herself to bed without supper? Fire herself?

    Sorry, but there comes a point when it’s clear that the only thing Hillary could do to win over a certain element is to stop being a woman. Then everything she did would be just fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  64. wr says:

    @pylon: “BTW, check out all those acknowledgements of campaign mistakes by Gore/Kerry/McCain/Romney.”

    Yes, but they all had penises, so it was all good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  65. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: So, let’s see. In your country, the corrupt right wing party of the vice-president impeached and removed the slightly less corrupt but left wing president. Then the congressman leading the impeachment charge was convicted and jailed for corruption, and now the current president is hiding behind laws your lawmakers have passed to keep any sitting politician from going to jail while they continue to loot the country.

    Yeah, I can see why you spend your time talking about how much Hillary sucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Well, to quote another Clinton: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  67. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “I don’t have time to look for it now, but I read a piece this morning that argued persuasively that the primary emotion of last November was “F that B,” and they weren’t talking about Melania…”

    Ah, that explains why “that B” won three million more votes than Melania’s husband.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  68. bandit says:

    Pass the popcorn – LOLZ! – Watching the backstabbing witch fight it out with the pajama boy bitches is too funny – it would take a heart of stone not to laugh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  69. Mike in DC says:

    @James Pearce: I guess I don’t see the two statements as necessarily mutually exclusive, and that’s why I’m confused.
    1) Hillary was a lot more vulnerable than other potential candidates to scandals, whether or not her supporters believed they were legitimate or not.
    2) Hillary was on her way to win until Comey’s letter was published.

    Is your argument essentially: “if it wasn’t comey’s letter, something else would have derailed her campaign.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  70. bandit says:

    @wr: You’re a fucking idiot – winning the popular vote is like how the Falcons won the Super Bowl because they were ahead the whole game – I laugh at your tears – LOLZ!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  71. Pch101 says:

    Here’s an exercise for some of you: Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    Not “or”, but “and.” All of them.

    (Here’s a hint: You won’t be able to do it.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  72. al-Alameda says:

    @Jack:

    Flatulent emissions coming from the emasculated pajama boys so prevalent on the left.

    Let me fix this for you:

    Flatulent emissions coming from the Putin’s emasculated pajama cabana boys so prevalent on the left at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  73. Yank says:

    @john430: If it was about the economy then Trump wouldn’t be president and Bush wouldn’t have won in 2000.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  74. Scott says:

    Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    I think this is where a lot of people go wrong.

    One, you don’t have to win everybody’s vote. But you got to respect everybody and try anyway.

    Two,

    she was never effective at the task (campaigning) of trying to sell herself to the electorate.

    She once knew how to do this. When she ran for New York Senator she spent a lot of time cultivating upstate NY. Upstate can be quite Republican. By respecting them, two things happen. You might win some of the oppositional votes and you give hope and enthusiasm to the rest. By and large, she stayed in her safe zone.

    Three,

    Sorry, but there comes a point when it’s clear that the only thing Hillary could do to win over a certain element is to stop being a woman.

    Again, no. She had to be herself, declare what she believed in, and talked to those who may disagree. She spent too much time trying not to win over a voter but get that voter not to vote for Trump. There is a big difference. Again, I see it as a matter of respect. Which is big with all people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  75. dmichael says:

    I have become irritated at the post election comments of HRC. This is from someone who voted for her and saw through the email kerfuffle generated by the media and the NYT and was outraged by Comey. HRC is displaying the very qualities that led, in part, to her unfavorable ratings: arrogance and tone deafness (I believe that they are related). I don’t care if she feels she needs to make several more hundreds of thousands of dollars in speeches and appearances. I do care about her causing additional rifts in the Democratic Party and reopening old wounds. HRC should STFU about politics and restrict herself to platitudes and then do good work through her foundation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  76. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Ah, that explains why “that B” won three million more votes than Melania’s husband.

    Who exactly is supposed to be comforted by that fact?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  77. pylon says:

    @wr: “Hillary Clinton was giving a speech. ”

    Not even that – it was a question and answer session.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  78. george says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    No one thing cost the election, it was a perfect storm of issues, some from outside like the letter and Russian hacking, some self-inflicted like the “Deplorable” comment and not campaigning in states where the people on the ground were begging her to come, and some just from the situation – its very rare in modern times for the same party to hold the Presidency for three consecutive terms; the odds were against the Democrats doing so from the start, especially since the general mood was anti-establishment throughout the political spectrum.

    And even then Clinton would have won except for the extremely close margins in a few states. You could argue that she did better, coming as close as she did, than would have been expected. It was the Repubs turn, and she almost took it from them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  79. pylon says:

    @Pch101:

    I agree with you about creating a candidate that would win everyone’s vote, and would add a couple things:

    a. HRC ran on a platform very similar to her husband, only slightly more liberal. Yet he won in those white rural/suburban areas she didn’t. I wonder what could have been the difference 😉

    b. HRC was a little too honest for her own good. She wouldn’t tell coal miners “I will save your jobs” because it ain’t gonna happen. She wouldn’t say “I alone can save you from terrorists” because she knows that it doesn’t work that way”.

    c. Basically everyone who discounts Russia/emails/Comey because it shouldn’t have been close ignores how close every election is, voting percentage wise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  80. Yank says:

    She once knew how to do this. When she ran for New York Senator she spent a lot of time cultivating upstate NY. Upstate can be quite Republican. By respecting them, two things happen. You might win some of the oppositional votes and you give hope and enthusiasm to the rest. By and large, she stayed in her safe zone.

    This is wrong.

    Clinton spent a ton of time campaigning trying to win over GOP voters. She won 24 reliably GOP districts in 2016 (this is one reason why I am bullish on the Democrats chance of winning the house). She did get out of her safe zone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  81. Hal_10000 says:

    Clinton was handed a Senate seat on a silver platter by a very popular outgoing Senator and a worshipful press. She won by 12 points … in a state Gore won by 25. And she might have lost had Lazio not turned out to be a twerp.

    She was then handed the 2008 election — supporting press, establishment at her back. And she proceeded to lose to a half-term senator with a funny name.

    The DNC cleared the field for her in 2016 and she struggled to put away a cracked socialist from Vermont. She then went on to lose an election where she got the plurality of the popular vote. Lost it to a dingbat ignorant cheetoh-faced baboon who was the most unpopular Presidential candidate in history and is setting records for unpopularity as President.

    At some point, maybe she has to admit that she’s not good at politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  82. Jeremy says:

    Clinton lost primarily because she acted like she was entitled to the presidency, and that this entire election business was a waste of time. She came off as full of disdain for the entire process (why else would she just completely ignore the Rust Belt, if she didn’t think they were guaranteed wins?), and the email thing cemented her image as one who thinks she’s above the law. Not to mention, I can’t remember a single policy proposal from her campaign — did she ever talk about what her campaign was about, other than getting her in the White House? I don’t think so. She has the charisma of an android, her positions have to go through twelve focus groups before they are published, and again, to reiterate, she came off as being arrogantly above it all.

    THAT’s why Clinton lost. Blaming the DNC and Jim Comey is just whining. She would do everyone a great deal if she just took her loss and stayed out of the public view, at least for a year or two (or maybe three.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  83. frogger says:

    Why even care about what she says? Clinton lost, she’s out of politics for good, done. If there’s debating to be done then do it about the potential candidates in the next election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. Andre Kenji says:

    @wr:

    Yeah, I can see why you spend your time talking about how much Hillary sucks.

    I did not write that Hillary sucks. In fact, Hillary reminds me of Dilma Roussef, and I voted twice for her. Besides that, I’m trying to be respectful to everyone here, I’m not being the arrogant foreigner.

    @wr:

    Hillary Clinton was giving a speech. She was talking about the election she’d just gone through.

    She can talk about losing a close election without sounding like a sore loser. She has a legacy as a US Senator, First Lady, Secretary of State and as someone that was involved with public policy in her whole life, she should take care of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  85. An Interested Party says:

    Pass the popcorn – LOLZ! – Watching the backstabbing witch fight it out with the pajama boy bitches is too funny – it would take a heart of stone not to laugh

    As opposed to the Trump Administration, whose members leak like a sieve to multiple media outlets? Bannon, Kushner, Conway, and all the other real deplorables stabbing each other in the back, the front, and on the sides is far more bloody, far more of a mess, and far more entertaining than anything going on in Hillaryland…

    Blaming the DNC and Jim Comey is just whining. She would do everyone a great deal if she just took her loss and stayed out of the public view, at least for a year or two (or maybe three.)

    Perhaps she should be packed off to a nunnery located in some really obscure part of the world…after all, she’s a loser, right? How dare she say anything in public…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. MBunge says:

    The reason why it’s important to talk about his is that the perverse relationship with the Clintons that has consumed the Democratic Party and liberals for a quarter-century is one of the things that has led us to this point.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  87. An Interested Party says:

    The reason why it’s important to talk about his is that the perverse relationship with hatred of the Clintons that has consumed the Democratic Party and liberals Republicans and conservatives for a quarter-century is one of the things that has led us to this point.

    Happy to be of help…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  88. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101: Andre’s from Brazil, if I remember correctly. It’s true, he doesn’t experience American politics like we do, but he understands US politics better than a lot of Americans I know.

    Maybe…just maybe…you could deploy some of that good faith we keep talking about?

    @Mike in DC:

    Is your argument essentially: “if it wasn’t comey’s letter, something else would have derailed her campaign.”

    I don’t know if I would state it as such, but that’s close and succinct.

    The “something else,” I would argue, would be Hillary Clinton herself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  89. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: And of course the perverse relationship the GOP has had with the Clintons for just as long is irrelevant, right?

    What a transparent little shill you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  90. Mikey says:

    The fact remains Clinton lost key states because she chose to de-prioritize them. She took them for granted, and the voters picked up on that pretty quickly. And nobody likes being taken for granted.

    Had her strategy been strong in the right places, and had she heeded the calls of Democratic leaders in those states, she could very well have overcome whatever other factors contributed to her loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Here’s an exercise for you: Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    Not “or”, but “and.” All of them.

    (Here’s a hint: You won’t be able to do it. Then again, you’re one of those who believes that a “racist” is a minority who complains about racism.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  92. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Yeah, I know what you mean. Back in the day when I was a blue collar worker, when people used to talk to me about the corruption in the Teamsters, I used to reply, “well right now, they’re stealing more for me than they are from me; when that changes, come back and we’ll talk.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  93. Guarneri says:

    Another bad week for bitter, bitchy old hags. Maybe she and Angela should get together for a Jaeger or two and chill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  94. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    To win the Rust Belt, Clinton would have needed to generate more enthusiasm.

    That would have required lying through her teeth, telling them what they wanted to hear and then failing to give it to them once she was elected, since it would have been impossible to keep those promises.

    I’m not a Democrat and I can appreciate that politics are nasty, so I would have been fine with that sort of dishonesty. (The voters can’t handle the truth, and that’s their problem.) But there are some Democrats who would have probably objected to such blatant pandering.

    Democrats also need to stop banging on about “green” jobs. Sounds way too pie-in-the-sky for the average grunt who has a better feel for mines and automaking than solar panels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  95. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Todd:

    Hillary Clinton’s “likeability” and “honest/trustworthy” numbers were already upside down even before we heard anything about her email server (basically as soon as it was obvious she intended to run for President).

    And THIS is yet another part of the problem. The polls didn’t show the shift right away, but soon enough. There was a research study done of this phenomenon as it relates to Hillary in late 2015 or early 2016, but I’m too lazy to look for it. Basically, it showed Hillary as Senator was great, well liked whereas Hillary for Prez (2008) goes into the tank. And the same phenomenon comparing Secretary of State Hillary to Hillary for Prez (2016).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  96. Jack says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Are you talking to me? I couldn’t hear you through all of your wife’s thigh fat.

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  97. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    No worries. James Pearce has a surefire plan to get you and your illiterate buddies to vote for Democrats. (He knows you better than you know yourself.)

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  98. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @bandit: You have such a cute dog. Does he ever try to run away?

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  99. Andre Kenji says:

    @James Pearce:

    I dunno. I’m not comfortable with “the Russia stuff” either, but I have to acknowledge that while anything Trump did with the Russians prior to the election may indeed be criminal, anything he’s done with the Russians afterwards is just diplomacy.

    If it’s diplomacy, it’s the worst kind of diplomacy because Trump talks like if Russia has lots of things to offer to the United States. Russia is a Low to Middle income country(It’s GDP per capita is basically the same than Mexico) that likes to play the superpower, but that could have all it’s warm water seaports blocked either by the United States or one of its allies.

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  100. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Pch101: A lump of the coal that we’re no longer mining as much of as we used to knows Jack better than he knows himself. And has more class and dignity, too.

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  101. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    To give “Jack” credit, he knows exactly why he votes for Republicans.

    There are some other posters who are in complete denial about those reasons. Their “analysis” should be ignored.

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  102. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    No one denies that the Comey Letter cost Clinton the election. But many people think that she shouldn’t be even close.

    It’s unfortunate the way you phrased this comment. Many people deny what you claim nobody denies. Still, I think you came close to a nice summation of the debate.

    There’s a good case to be made that the Comey letter cost Clinton the election. And all that means is simply that if the Comey letter had not happened, Clinton would be president now. It emphatically does not mean she would have beaten Trump in a landslide. Probably it would still have been close, and probably neither candidate would have reached 50% in the popular vote.

    In other words, when people bring up all the mistakes Clinton made as if those serve as a rebuttal to the claim about the Comey letter, they are missing the point. Yes, those mistakes mattered, and it’s a fair point that the election shouldn’t have been close enough that something like the Comey letter could have made a difference. Nevertheless, all those mistakes, in themselves, weren’t sufficient to cause her to lose. The Comey letter was very likely necessary in order for Trump to win narrowly instead of losing narrowly.

    And if he had lost narrowly, most of us wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Instead, the attention would turn to the Republicans and how they could have nominated such an awful candidate as Trump. Yet the basic fundamentals of how people voted wouldn’t be any different: Hillary would still have done a weak job of turning out the Obama coalition, and Trump would still have shown disproportionate strength in the Rust Belt compared with his Republican predecessors.

    I also think–and I know this will get me accused of blame-shifting–that people overestimated the impact of Trump’s problems because they didn’t understand how the American system works, and in particular, they didn’t understand the depth of partisan polarization today. The idea that Trump was destined to lose in a Goldwater-level blowout was always a fantasy, for reasons that have nothing to do with Hillary. You could have nominated any candidate under the sun, from Obama to Zombie FDR, and the race would still have been relatively competitive–because most Republicans will vote for anyone with an R after their name, and will be persuaded by the infotainment complex at Fox, talk radio, and right-wing websites to see any Democratic nominee as the anti-Christ.

    If you don’t believe me, remember that in 2012, one of the most popular figures in politics was none other than Hillary Clinton. She had a 66% favorable rating at a time when Obama was struggling to reach 50% in his own job approval numbers.

    That’s not to deny she was a weak candidate; she most certainly was. Her 2008 run should have made that very, very clear. Not only does she have a likability deficit, she has a real knack for acting as the hare to her opponent’s tortoise–taking her impending victory for granted so that she isn’t paying attention as he inches forward.

    Still, we need to realize that no matter who was running as the Democratic nominee, once Trump won the GOP nomination he was automatically a plausible general-election winner, because it was inevitable that at least the Republicans would fall in line, no matter how self-evidently awful their candidate was. It wasn’t all Hillary’s fault.

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  103. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod:

    It’s unfortunate the way you phrased this comment. Many people deny what you claim nobody denies. Still, I think you came close to a nice summation of the debate

    You get what I was trying to say. 😉

    If you don’t believe me, remember that in 2012, one of the most popular figures in politics was none other than Hillary Clinton. She had a 66% favorable rating at a time when Obama was struggling to reach 50% in his own job approval numbers.

    These pre-Election Polls are a little bit misleading because name recognition counts a lot in these polls. There is probably no politician in the whole world with higher name recognition than Hillary Clinton and usually US Presidential Elections have candidates with very low early name recognition.

    In Brazil(Where there are no Party Primaries and where there is a runoff) it’s not unusual to see a candidate with high name recognition leading the early polls that stands no chance in the general election – savvier political observers learnt to look at the rejection rate of these candidates.

    If do you remember I was a little skeptical about Hillary precisely because of that: she had enormous name recognition, but she did not manage to reach 50% of the votes against Chris Christie.

    In some sense Hillary’s greatest strength was her greatest weakness. Everyone knew her. I knew her since I was teenager, and I did not know how to read a newspaper article in English at that time.

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  104. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    These pre-Election Polls are a little bit misleading because name recognition counts a lot in these polls.

    Yes, but it’s more than that: it’s also the fact that when you’re not actually running, you’re less likely to be seen through a partisan lens.

    First of all, I think the position of Sec. of State tends to garner a respectability that transcends partisan boundaries. For example, even many people who absolutely loathe Bush still have a lot of respect for Condaleeza Rice, despite her role in the Iraq fiasco.

    More to the point, though, the fact that the Clintons weren’t the ones in charge anymore put the whole industry of Clinton Derangement Syndrome on hold. The right had a much more immediate boogeyman: Obama. Indeed, I actually saw pieces by conservatives waxing nostalgic for the Clinton years, in contrast to the horrible radical Obama.

    So it was pretty much inevitable that her ratings would sink as soon as she entered partisan politics again. But it was a surprise the depths to which they sank. It required not just that Republicans would start hating her again, but that they’d manage to convince a significant chunk of voters outside their coalition that she was as awful as they claimed. And that, I admit, I did not anticipate.

    And I say this as someone who was never a huge fan of hers. I not only voted for Obama in the 2008 primaries, but I was pretty pissed off during her late-primaries meltdown, when she more or less insinuated assassination and compared the results to the the fraudulent elections in Zimbabwe.

    But over the years the hysteria against Clinton has reached such extremes that I have little choice but to become one of her defenders. As far as I’m concerned, email-gate was a nothing-burger. Republicans turned it into a massive scandal, but more importantly, the mainstream media enabled it every step of the way, largely because they can’t stand the thought of a slam-dunk election. But it was a slam dunk, not because she was a terrific candidate, but because she was a mediocre candidate placed against the worst candidate in history, something which should have been utterly self-evident regardless of one’s partisan leanings. The media somehow managed to convince the public that her flaws were comparable to hers.

    The fact that people could call the sort of analysis I’ve given here “blame-shifting,” even though I have never been blind to Hillary’s flaws, shows how hard it is to have a rational discussion of this matter.

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  105. Ben Wolf says:

    Last week, I reread all of my notes. There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/11/21/understanding-undecided-voters/9EjNHVkt99b4re2VAB8ziI/story.html#comments

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  106. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    Step #1: Emphasize common areas of interest.

    We were talking about how a junior senator with a funny name –a black guy, no less– beat Hillary Clinton Inc back in 08. He did it not with divisive talk about deplorables or how privileged white people are but with his famous “no red or blue states, we’re the United States” stuff. Yeah, maybe that rhetoric was a little too optimistic.

    But that’s how you build a coalition of disparate people with divergent views. Emphasize common areas of interest.

    @Andre Kenji:

    If it’s diplomacy, it’s the worst kind of diplomacy because Trump talks like if Russia has lots of things to offer to the United States.

    100% agree. And I’m not sure the Republican party has reconciled themselves to this fact: If Trump isn’t an outright Russian stooge, he is, at the least, “soft on Russia.”

    All this for a wall and a tax cut?

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  107. Mikey says:

    @Pch101:

    To win the Rust Belt, Clinton would have needed to generate more enthusiasm.

    That would have required lying through her teeth, telling them what they wanted to hear and then failing to give it to them once she was elected, since it would have been impossible to keep those promises.

    I don’t agree with this at all. She didn’t have to lie to them, she only had to pay attention to them.

    A common thread in the statements from “rust belt” voters after the election was “at least Trump acknowledged we exist.” Clinton should have gone to those states, not to lie to anyone, but to do what her husband did: acknowledge them and offer them some hope.

    She lost by such slim margins in key states–she didn’t have to bring everyone on board, just enough of them, and ignoring them sure as hell wasn’t gonna get that done.

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  108. Ratufa says:

    @Pch101:

    If you want black and other minority voters, then you will lose a lot of white male voters and some white female voters in the process.

    If you want those white voters, then you will necessarily alienate those minority voters and urban women.

    The last time the Democrats won a majority of white male voters was LBJ, in 1964. As you’ve said, trying to win that demographic is not what Democrats should be doing. But, they should be trying to minimize their losses within that group. The main issue Democrats can use to appeal to the white male demographic is the economy. In the past, you’ve argued that making such appeals would further alienate some white voters because they don’t want the benefits to also go to minorities. That may be true. But, voters who would react that way are unlikely to vote for a Democrat in any case. A better criticism would be that economic appeals would motivate some white males to vote against the Democrat, instead of staying home and not voting, and the number of votes gained would not offset that. Personally, I don’t think that would happen, though it would depend on the specific economic proposals. YMMV.

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  109. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey:

    She lost by such slim margins in key states–she didn’t have to bring everyone on board, just enough of them, and ignoring them sure as hell wasn’t gonna get that done.

    While I agree, it should be noted that her margins were so slim that she didn’t need to reach out of her natural coalition at all; she just needed slightly better turnout. For instance, a mere 1% increase in the African American vote as a share of the electorate in the three crucial states of Penn., Wisconsin, and Michigan would have made her president. (I’ve calculated this from the exit polls.) Her support from white working-class voters could have been exactly the same, and she’d still have won.

    Now, you might object that I shouldn’t be setting the bar this low, and that she ought to have tried to expand her appeal to all these groups. And I agree. For that matter, if she’d won Florida and North Carolina, all those Rust Belt states wouldn’t have mattered. The point is that people tend to focus so much on her failure among the white working-class voters in those states they lose sight of the fact that there were still multiple paths to victory, and that those voters aren’t the be-all, end-all of a winning electoral coalition.

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  110. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    I’ll rephrase: If she had wanted a decisive victory, then big bold lies would be needed to offset all of Trump’s false promises.

    If a slim margin would have sufficed, then less action would have been needed. But that would have been a riskier proposition.

    Had I been advising Clinton, I would have made a big stink about various plant closing announcements and done a lot of grandstanding with strong rhetoric delivered to the media in front of those plants.

    It would have been complete BS, but that’s what they want to hear. They don’t want to hear that it’s called the “rust belt” for a reason and that the federal government is unwilling to do much more than to provide random Bandaids that don’t address the region’s systemic problems.

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  111. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Emphasize common areas of interest.

    This is the sort of naive Miss America world peace nonsense that I would expect from a high school kid.

    One more time:

    Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    Not “or”, but “and.” All of them.

    Be specific. I want you to outline what could get those four guys onto the same page.

    Here’s a big hint: Two of those guys want to hurt particular categories of people who the other two want to help.

    Neither side is willing to accept a third way of neglect because one wants to hurt while the other wants to help. For two of those guys, neglect creates too much pain while for the other two, neglect doesn’t cause enough of it.

    There is an element of white working class voters who want to HURT people who are not in their tribe. If you don’t promise to inflict pain, then they will be unhappy. A program that helps people who they don’t like will be rejected because they want to inflict the pain.

    That worked perfectly well when minorities were effectively prevented from voting, but that doesn’t work anymore. Now candidates have to make a choice.

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  112. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    Figure out how you would possibly create a Democratic party with a presidential candidate who would win the votes of “Jack” AND “John8675309” AND “HarvardLaw92” AND “Daryl’s other brother Darryl”.

    Jack and John have been dropping comments here at OTB for years, and from all available evidence they’re just as anti-Obama as they are anti-Hillary. In short, they’re nothing more than standard right-wingers who parrot anything they hear on Fox or talk radio or WND or Facebook. Why would any Democrat want–or need–their votes? Obama seemed to do pretty well without them.

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  113. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Actually about 10% of them, more than enough to give her the midwest states she needed, say they just needed to think whoever was President cared about their problems. The biggest con Trump did was pretending to care about their problems. Most didn’t believe their jobs were coming back, but they thought he at least sympathized (as I said, he ran a con).

    That’s why her ‘deplorables’ comment was so unfortunate (and if you read the context it wasn’t that bad at all, but it made a horrible sound bite, and a politician at that level should know better – it was a real rookie mistake); many swing voters thought she was talking about them (ie thanks to creative GOP spin, they thought she was talking about mid-west blue collar workers in general). It, along with thinks like not even bothering to campaign in their states (and this is a big deal for a lot of people in small states), made them think she didn’t give an F about their problems.

    The irony is, as you suggest, her plans for them are far better than Trumps. But a big part of politics is getting the message out. Bill Clinton was able to do it. Obama was able to do it, getting many blue collar votes that had voted for Bush, then switched to him, then switched back to Trump. Clinton (or perhaps her campaign team) was unable to get her message out, and not only did’t offer hope, but was so uninterested in their problems that she coudn’t be bothered come talk to them in their home states; Obama spoke about how important that process is, yet she and her campaign team ignored him.

    Overall, Obama campaigned and won on hope. Bill Clinton campaigned on the same – concentrating on the economy. Hillary Clinton campaigned on fear of Trump. The results show which worked better. If you’ve nothing to lose anyway (and for the 10% of midwest voters she needed that’s the case), fear has nothing to latch onto. 90% of voters in either party are never in play, they vote for their team no matter who that team runs. Its the 10% you go after, and she never did.

    She’d have made an excellent President, but she’s a lousy campaigner, and arrogant enough to ignore the advice from two excellent campaigners, her husband Bill and Obama.

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  114. Janis Gore says:

    @Kylopod: And no matter who was the Democratic nominee the odds were stacked against them because it’s unusual for either party to win a third term.

    It was the Republicans turn. That’s how it goes.

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  115. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    What the white guy brigade doesn’t want to concede is that the Democrats are actually more dependent upon minority turnout.

    If Clinton had simply won the votes in Milwaukee that Obama had won, she would have won Wisconsin.

    Clinton was hurt by the fact that even though Trump lost votes in Cleveland in comparison to Romney, Clinton lost even more of them.

    Trying to appeal to the “Jacks” of the world is a complete waste of time for Dems. If the Dems went full blown Nazi so that it could win over Jack, then you can bet that they would lose other people such as HL92 and Daryl in the process.

    And why would Jack want to switch when the GOP is already giving him the fix that he wants? You may as well spend your effort marketing Kobe beef to vegans.

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  116. Kylopod says:

    @Janis Gore:

    And no matter who was the Democratic nominee the odds were stacked against them because it’s unusual for either party to win a third term.

    There’s a lot of truth to this theory, but it’s overstated. In the past 30 years there have been four elections in which a candidate was running for their party’s third term (1988, 2000, 2008, and 2016). In three of them, that candidate won the popular vote.

    Looking farther back to elections like 1976, 1968, and 1960, while those were all examples of a party failing to win a third term, they were all pretty close elections, too.

    And farther back than that, you had the 20-year period of Democratic rule with FDR-Truman, which itself followed a 12-year period of Republican rule. Before that, Republicans had held the White House continuously for 16 years at the turn of the 20th century, and 24 following the Civil War.

    All we can really say is that, in modern times, it’s harder for a party to hold onto the White House for three terms than two. But I’m not sure it’s quite the Herculean task people make it out to be. It’s true that it has happened to occur only once in the last half-century (1988), but it came very, very close to occurring several other times in that period, including in this election.

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  117. Janis Gore says:

    Just a factor among many.

    Just after I wrote the comment I thought again about Bush vs Gore.

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  118. gVOR08 says:

    Enough already. Martin Longman has a post on what really happened. More educated voters are more likely to respond to polls, less educated less so. This results in undercounting of less educated voters. Pollsters have known this, but as the under educated vote split pretty evenly it didn’t make any real difference. In 2016 they went fairly heavily for Trump and the pollsters undercounted it.

    Hillary ran a very data driven campaign. This is normally a good thing. The data was wrong. Not her fault. And had she won MI and IA and lost IL and the election, we’d be seeing the same Monday morning quarterbacking and the same stories about some on the ground guy in IL telling the campaign they needed to spend more in his state.

    This alienation of the white working class, or whatever we’re calling them, probably goes back years. After the ’08 crash, it was swamped by resentment of W and Rs in general. And no working class person could possibly have identified with Mitt the Twit. But somehow they identify with Trump, possibly his lack of education shines through.

    And this in no way lets Comey off the hook. We now know that Comey made his stupid “extremely careless” statement because of a supposedly hacked email claiming collusion between Loretta Lynch and the Russians, clearly suspicious at the time, and since confirmed to be fake. So I trust any further posts at OTB on Comey will be on how effective Russian hacking was in influencing the election, not the old ‘did his best in a difficult situation’ line.

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  119. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    I want you to outline what could get those four guys onto the same page.

    Well, look, dude….

    I have one of those right-wing uncles we always hear about. We disagree politically on everything. Everything. But we agree that the Denver Broncos are the best team in football, that the Doors were a great band, and that Full Metal Jacket is better than Platoon, which is better than Apocalypse Now. And that’s just the superficial stuff I could theoretically share with anyone.

    Since probably Obergefell, the left has been waging this culture war, ostensibly to correct certain problematic elements in the culture, but with the added side effect of increased factionalization and partisanship. Is it really worth it?

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  120. Not the IT Dept. says:

    @Doug Mataconis: (1). If you remember the byline, you’d remember it wasn’t my post.

    Well, obviously I didn’t remember the byline or I wouldn’t have attributed it to you, would I? I sincerely apologize, and re-direct the question to James.

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  121. Janis Gore says:

    @Janis Gore: A let’s classify that as an Emily Litella moment. Never mind.

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  122. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    So as I noted, you don’t have an answer.

    Your unwillingness to acknowledge race-based resentment from your precious bloc of white voters blinds you to some very basic truths. You want to blame blacks for Jack being a prick.

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  123. S. Fields says:

    @Todd:

    Sadly, Hillary Clinton almost certainly would have been very good at the job of being President. But in America, you have to win the election first if you want to do the job…

    Right there is the rub and this truth makes the rest of this entire discussion sort of pointless. The skill sets best suited for campaigning and governing are not the same. So, our system, with a prolonged campaign that lasts nearly half the length of the term in office itself, mountains of dark money and a numbing advantage to incumbency, results again and again in dysfunctional government. When will we get wise to the evidence that says these results are less about the participants than the process?

    Election reform is needed now and badly. There may actually be bipartisan appetite for it considering the broad discontent with our government these days.

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  124. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Your unwillingness to acknowledge race-based resentment from your precious bloc of white voters blinds you to some very basic truths.

    See….that’s the difference. I do acknowledge race-based resentment.

    In fact, I consider much of the SJW ouvere to be little more than an expression of pure, unadulterated race-based resentment.

    Your average racist conservative knows he’s going to have to dogwhistle. He can’t say, “There are too many black men on that football team.” He might say, “That football team is nothing but thugs.” He’s been conditioned by decades of post-Civil Rights liberal condemnation to be discreet about his true feelings.

    Modern day SJWs….they have no such restraint. They will come out and say, without shame, “There are too many white men in that room.” And when you point out how that’s not only kind of racist but also really stupid, what’s the response?

    “How dare you say that, you privileged white man?”

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  125. Monala says:

    @Pch101: As an African American, I often disagree with James about race issues, but I think you’re missing his point. There are people who voted for Trump because they agree with his racism. You’re right, it’s unlikely a Democrat will win those people–those are the Jacks and JKBs of this world.

    Then there are the people for whom Trump’s racist appeals weren’t a deal-breaker or those who tried to tell themselves he didn’t really mean it but thought Trump would shake things up in Washington. I think some of those people could be winnable.

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  126. george says:

    @gVOR08:

    Hillary ran a very data driven campaign. This is normally a good thing. The data was wrong. Not her fault.

    Except that both Bill and Obama told her the data was wrong, that she should be spending some time going door to door in the blue collar sections of the mid-west. She chose to believe her experts, rather than two guys who had already proven abilities to campaign.

    As leader you certainly cannot be expert on everything, or in fact much of anything. However, your job requires great skill in knowing which experts to follow. She made her choice, and it turned out badly.

    Yes, it was very close, but all these elections are close, because 90% of the population is voting for their team irregardless who is running. The two big party candidates could have been Pol Pot and Caligula, running against an independent George Washington, and each would still have gotten 45% of the population because of the team vote.

    That’s why you campaign like Obama did, going to each district – you’re playing for that 5%, and that 5% isn’t going on issues, they’re going on charisma and personality, and you go door to door and local so people can see you are in fact a decent person. Everything I’ve read said Hilary is much better in small groups than in front of large ones. Why didn’t she play that strength?

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  127. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod:

    But over the years the hysteria against Clinton has reached such extremes that I have little choice but to become one of her defenders. As far as I’m concerned, email-gate was a nothing-burger.

    I don’t think that it was a complete nothing-burger because of FOIA requests. And these Federal Records Law is something that I really envy in the American Political System. Hillary was unpopular among people that had to work under the FRA precisely in part because of that email system, and I imagine that pressure coming from the rank-and-file from the FBI can partially explain the Comey Letter.

    @Kylopod:

    While I agree, it should be noted that her margins were so slim that she didn’t need to reach out of her natural coalition at all; she just needed slightly better turnout.

    Democrats win elections when there is higher turnout among minorities and when they win a larger share of the White Vote, and these two things are correlated. Barack Obama was close to winning Montana and Missouri in 2008.

    Working Class people of Color have more common interests with White Working Class People than with Minorities that are White Collar Professionals.

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  128. Pch101 says:

    @Monala:

    I’ve already said that Democrats should kiss the ring of the working class.

    But that will add only a modest percentage of voters to Democratic rolls. That will not deliver a majority of the white male vote to Democrats.

    The Democratic platform is incompatible with winning a majority of white voters, which is why it never happens. When the Democrats became the party of civil rights and the GOP moved in to capitalize on that Democratic shift, it became impossible for the Democrats to win with white majorities.

    Hence, Democrats have no choice but to get their base to show up. It is a basic math problem. The alternative is for the Democrats to renounce its civil rights position, which would create a whole new set of problems once its base feels betrayed and abandons it.

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  129. Mikey says:

    An interesting and relevant to our discussion piece at Politico:

    Democrats’ Secret Weapon: Romney Voters

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  130. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod:

    The point is that people tend to focus so much on her failure among the white working-class voters in those states they lose sight of the fact that there were still multiple paths to victory, and that those voters aren’t the be-all, end-all of a winning electoral coalition.

    I’ll go as far as to say Clinton’s failure to make late-campaign appearances in these key states resulted not just in lost votes from white working class voters, but from ALL working class voters.

    Sure, African-Americans will vote Democratic, but they don’t appreciate being taken for granted any more than whites do. And maybe they felt ignored, too. They were never going to vote Trump, but they might have just stayed home.

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  131. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Pch101: Would you just declare yourself the winner and move on to your next hobbyhorse FFS? Jeez…

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  132. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Perhaps I should sing Pearce’s white victimhood anthem. It’s off key, but it has a beat that you can dance to.

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  133. gVOR08 says:

    @Pch101:

    There are people who voted for Trump because they agree with his racism. You’re right, it’s unlikely a Democrat will win those people–those are the Jacks and JKBs of this world.

    Then there are the people for whom Trump’s racist appeals weren’t a deal-breaker or those who tried to tell themselves he didn’t really mean it but thought Trump would shake things up in Washington. I think some of those people could be winnable.

    Right. Politics, like economics, happens at the margins. I see figures that the (White Working Class (WWC) are about 30% of he electorate. A lot of them voted for Obama twice. They should be gettable by Dems. If Dems can turn 5% of the WWC from R to D that’s a swing of 3% of the electorate. Hillary won the popular vote by 2%. Add 3% and you get 5%. That is a freaking landslide in modern America. Almost Comey proof. (And actually she was up by 6% pre Comey. But I expect the GOPs will find a way to ratfwck the next Dem. What else can they do? Run on policy?)

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  134. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ve said a bazillion times that the Dems should say nice things about white working stiffs.

    But it won’t produce a white majority for the Democrats. It would barely move the needle. The needle might move far enough, but it won’t move very far. The notion that the Dems could create a seismic shift among white voters has absolutely nothing to support it.

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  135. Lit3Bolt says:

    Doug clickhates on Hillary Clinton. News at 11.

    To all the “HRC SHULD ACKCEPT RESPONSIBILYTY” crowd, I can’t help but notice that once again, the Clinton Rules are in play.

    And none of you will do even a moment of self-reflection of WHY you hate Hillary Clinton.

    You were programmed that way. You just don’t want to admit it.

    And you never will.

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  136. pylon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Right. Politics, like economics, happens at the margins. I see figures that the (White Working Class (WWC) are about 30% of he electorate. A lot of them voted for Obama twice. They should be gettable by Dems. If Dems can turn 5% of the WWC from R to D that’s a swing of 3% of the electorate. Hillary won the popular vote by 2%. Add 3% and you get 5%. That is a freaking landslide in modern America. Almost Comey proof. (And actually she was up by 6% pre Comey. But I expect the GOPs will find a way to ratfwck the next Dem. What else can they do? Run on policy?)

    Obama got more WWC votes than Clinton but he was running against Romney and McCain, who are the very definition of establishment politicians. Trump is a rich man, but because of his crassness and his lies comes across as non-elite. Clinton couldn’t do anything about her background as a First Lady, Senator and SoS. I just don’t think some show-ups in Rust Belt states would have moved the needle enough. Not to mention that Clinton did better than down-ticket Dems in those same states.

    BTW:

    What’s more, the evidence that Clinton lost because of the nation’s economic disenchantment is extremely mixed. Some economists found that Trump won in counties affected by trade with China. But among the 52 percent of voters who said economics was the most important issue in the election, Clinton beat Trump by double digits. In the vast majority of swing states, voters said they preferred Clinton on the economy. If the 2016 election had come down to economics exclusively, the working class—which, by any reasonable definition, includes the black, Hispanic, and Asian working classes, too—would have elected Hillary Clinton president.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/hillary-clinton-working-class/509477/

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  137. pylon says:

    Sorry, I gotta learn how to block quote better.

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  138. KM says:

    @James Pearce :

    I have one of those right-wing uncles we always hear about. We disagree politically on everything. Everything.

    So what does it matter that you share a love a sports team if he will never ever vote the way you need him too? I’m all for emphasizing commonality but in practical terms, you’re arguing against your own point. Unless your shared team camaraderie can be converted over into solid political capital, its just useless fee-fees. Politicians are not here to validate the feelings of their voters – it that’s just their schtick to get elected which necessitates getting elected. What you call the 2nd place guy in the governor’s race? Joe, that dude you shared a beer with but voted for Governor Steve.

    I can chat with someone about how much we love coffee all day long but that’s not going to make them try Starbucks if they’re convinced its a liberal bastion of cultural deviation. We need to close the sale, not just build the brand. Pch101’s question is awkward but valid: how do you get disparate voter groups to actually cast their votes for you when they have vastly conflicting objectives and no reason to give you a chance?

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  139. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    On Planet Pearce, minorities and those who love them are always to blame.

    A basic rule of thumb: Never take seriously anyone who uses the term “SJW” in earnest.

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  140. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “She can talk about losing a close election without sounding like a sore loser”

    It’s not a matter of not sounding like a sore loser — it’s a matter of not sounding like a sore loser TO YOU. Because “sounding like” is entirely a creation of the listener. And I can’t speak for you, but there are a lot of people here, from Doug down, who would say if Hillary proclaimed “Trump won because he was in every way a better campaigner than I was,” oh, there she goes whining again.

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  141. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    As an African American, I often disagree with James about race issues, but I think you’re missing his point.

    Thank you. Respectful disagreement is actually a good thing.

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Ha! Pch101 makes me go to “FFS” levels too sometimes. I tend to power through it, but sometimes….I’m like, “Nope, gotta go outside and look at something green.”

    @Pch101:

    sing Pearce’s white victimhood anthem

    Please…..The point I keep trying to make is that when the social justice types go full anti-white, in a country that’s still 70% white, it’s not the white people who get victimized.

    @KM:

    Unless your shared team camaraderie can be converted over into solid political capital, its just useless fee-fees.

    I disagree. Think about all the people you encounter in your day to day. Are they so clearly delineated into “teams?” No, they’re not.

    That’s a zero hour exploit. We should take advantage.

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  142. wr says:

    @James Pearce: Well, yeah, but you and crazy uncle can also bond over the idea that white men are the only ones who count in this country. A Democratic candidate can’t take that position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  143. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “I do acknowledge race-based resentment.”

    Acknowledge it? Dude, you wallow in it.

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  144. Pch101 says:

    @wr:

    Pearce doesn’t do irony. Not intentionally, anyway.

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  145. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Well, yeah, but you and crazy uncle can also bond over the idea that white men are the only ones who count in this country.

    I don’t think you’ve ever seen me argue that “white men are the only ones who count in this country.”

    I have argued that if you think white males are a big problem in this country, you’re not being anti-racist\anti-sexist. You’re being racist and sexist.

    I have also argued that after 11-9-16, the idea that Dems will prevail thanks to the votes of women and POC needs to be put to bed. Half of the white women voted Trump, and no, it’s not because they’re racist, and turnout among POC was down, and no, it’s not because they’re lazy.

    Pch101 is very concerned that if the Dems retool to appeal to white men, then they’ll lose support among POC and women. Well guess what? POC and women already don’t support Dems. Did you know there’s not a single Democrat in statewide office in Alabama and Alabama is the blackest state in the union? WTF?

    So yeah, I’m going to push back on the “F white men” stuff, not only because I’m a white man, but because it has pushed our common goals further out of reach.

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  146. KM says:

    @James Pearce:
    Except the whole point of voting is there ARE “teams”. You get one vote and may cast it for whomever you chose – thus, you align yourself with that “team”. To steal a meme, you cannot be Team Hillary and Team Trump at the same time. I understand your concept but you are not taking it to its conclusion. You bond and bond and bond with your uncle over what you DO have in common but if it isn’t enough to override what you DON’T, he’s not going to vote the same as you. I’m not saying the effort spent bonding isn’t important or will not pay off in other ways or times. What I’m saying is the specific goal is to get these people who explicitly DON’T WANT to agree with you to ACTUALLY agree with you in this specific instance (casting of the ballot). Therefore the bonding must take place on relevant topics. In your example you said you and your uncle bond over football. Is his vote going to be influenced by a candidate’s beer choice or team? Or is he gonna care more about said candidate’s feelings on SSM and jobs?

    So many Republicans SAID they were NeverTrump then went and pulled his lever. Why? Because in the end, it was Team Hillary or Team Trump and they were very much not Team Hillary. Pick your alignment, no going back. No amount of acknowledgment from her would have made them chose her. That’s the story they tell themselves to justify their choice. They picked Donald freaking Trump because they felt she didn’t pay them sufficient attention – that’s not an indictment of *her*, that’s an indictment of *them*.

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  147. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’m going to push back on the “F white men” stuff

    Yes, black people have no reason to complain about being beaten by the cops because that hurts your little feelings. It’s all about you.

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  148. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    They picked Donald freaking Trump because they felt she didn’t pay them sufficient attention – that’s not an indictment of *her*, that’s an indictment of *them*.

    Republicans have 247 seats in the house and 54 seats in the Senate, the biggest majority they’ve has since the 30s.

    There are 33 Republican state governors versus 16 states with Dem governors.

    There are 32 Republican controlled state legislators versus 12 that are controlled by Dems.

    Perhaps it’s time to re-examine our approach? Our “team” isn’t doing so hot.

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  149. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    black people have no reason to complain about being beaten by the cops because that hurts your little feelings.

    Oh, they have every reason to complain.

    They just have no reason to think they’re the only ones getting beaten up.

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  150. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Your consistent efforts to ignore, dismiss and denigrate the experience of minorities is duly noted.

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  151. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    Perhaps it’s time to re-examine our approach? Our “team” isn’t doing so hot.

    Oh I absolute agree – I’m just pointing out your logic is crap.

    You are a large proponent of the concept that we need empathize more with those that went Trump under the theory that, since we can bond with them on some stuff, we should be able to persuade them to vote for us. You cited an uncle with whom you are 180 with on politics but down with on sports. Fine. I pointed out that irrelevant bonding time is irrelevant – he’s not gonna be pro-lib unless there is something compelling to make him change his mind and trivialities do not supersede hot button issues. You countered that people are really teams in real life or on the street. Fair enough. I clarified that voting is very much a singular team concept – there can be only one and again, there must be a compelling interest to override the negatives. You come back with the fact that liberals have less seats as evidence we need to change our approach instead of addressing my issue.

    Look at Donald Trump. Look at Mr Covfefe and understand he was the preferred option to these people. Mind you, not “best” as a lot of them held their noses but the preferred one nevertheless. Now substitute him with the inane brain-dead celebrity of your choice like Kim Kardashian. No amount of trivial bonding or reach out from Dems is going to counter the fact that an admittedly-flawed candidate was seen as less then a walking trainwreck solely due to political and cultural BS. Anyone who looks at him and thinks Bingo! never gave their opponent a serious chance. Honesty is important in this process, James – we can’t fix something if we don’t understand its a problem.

    I’m not Pch101. I don’t see this in terms of race or gender or even class. I see this purely in terms of culture and tribalism. Do you know how you stop being perceived as an Outsider? They start viewing you as part of the tribe. That’s where you’re going with the bonding and that’s where I’m pointing out your logic flaws. We will *never* be one of the tribe. At best, we will be the deal with the devil or the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If that’s what you want to achieve, go for it my friend. Just remember, the end goal is their *vote*, not their friendship. What is the point of getting someone to agree with you on a subject if they consistently and reliably vote in people who do the complete opposite?

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  152. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    In this country, race is just one form of tribalism.

    It’s an important one because the country was born with faulty constitutional attempts to deal with it and a dysfunctional culture to match. Within a century, it had a war over it that didn’t completely resolve the issue. Just part of the baggage that we’ve been carrying for four centuries.

    It is an inescapable feature of American politics, and pretending that it doesn’t matter only makes it worse.

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  153. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101: I see we’ve reached the point where you just sputter and mutter about what an awful person I am….

    @KM:

    Look at Donald Trump.

    I have. I’m looking at him going, how can you prefer that to this? Then I see Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Brenda Lawrence protesting Trump’s travel ban on the Supreme Court steps with tea lites and I I think I have an idea.

    Dems have gotten all the votes they’re going to get for having pure hearts. Now they need some muscles and a skeletal structure to put them on.

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  154. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    You’re not a horrible person, just a dim bulb who won’t acknowledge his own ignorance and petty insecurities. A brave and bold thinker you ain’t.

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  155. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    You’re not a horrible person, just a dim bulb who won’t acknowledge his own ignorance and petty insecurities.

    I’m content to leave all of your personal insults towards me as the last comment of any thread.

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  156. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @KM:

    but that’s not going to make them try Starbucks if they’re convinced its a liberal bastion of cultural deviation

    It’s not the liberal bastion part (although I would say “hipster” instead); it’s that the coffee always tastes burnt. Burnt coffee flavor doesn’t add to a mocha and Starbucks’ chocolate flavor isn’t good enough to warrant buying a plain cocoa.

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  157. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Perhaps you should consider the possibility that when you are talking to pch that the conversation will eventually evolve into a discussion comparing apples to, say, car doors and only continue it to the degree that you are interested in trolling him. (Or are you, in fact, pigmy baiting?–feel free to choose not to answer)

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  158. george says:

    @James Pearce:

    They just have no reason to think they’re the only ones getting beaten up.

    I doubt any think they’re the only ones getting beaten up. In the first nations community (and we have the same relationship with the police as blacks), all of us are quite aware that the cops will happily beat up and shoot anyone – any white that thinks they’re safe because they’re white is deep in denial, you’re all just one cop having a bad day away from the hospital or worse. Only the rich and powerful don’t have to worry about that.

    However, we will also correctly say the police are three times more likely to beat us up. We’re not stupid, we can do math – three to one per capita means a lot of whites are beaten up and shot too. But its still at a lower rate.

    And the thing I find curious is how many white people will justify police brutality, even against themselves. I swear many could come across some cop beating up their grandmother for jay walking and take the cop’s side.

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  159. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    when you are talking to pch that the conversation will eventually evolve into a discussion comparing apples to, say, car doors

    True.

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  160. James Pearce says:

    @george:

    In the first nations community (and we have the same relationship with the police as blacks)

    That’s putting it kindly. It’s my understanding that in the police brutality sweepstakes, Native Americans (I like First Nations too) are the hands down winners. They’re killed at shockingly higher rates –“proportionally”– than whites, blacks, Hispanics, or Asians.

    And you’re right, it’s pretty sad how our society is so tolerant of police brutality. It just seems like it’s more intolerant of crime and lack of control.

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  161. Monala says:

    @Pch101: I’d have to go back and check, but I don’t think anyone else on this thread is arguing that we need to win a majority of white male voters, or even a majority of white voters overall. People are saying that since white people are still the majority in this country, Democrats need to win more of them than we are currently winning, and that some Trump voters (certainly not all, or even a majority) may be winnable with a different message–one that focuses more on common economic concerns but without dog whistles or otherwise pandering to white racists.

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  162. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    What george said is the problem with virtually all of your arguments on this front. You are seemingly constitutionally unable to internalize statistics when it comes to matters of race. You seem perfectly capable of understanding them in other contexts. Why the stark difference?

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  163. Matt says:

    @Jeremy:

    I can’t remember a single policy proposal from her campaign — did she ever talk about what her campaign was about, other than getting her in the White House? I don’t think so

    That’s probably because you were relying on the mainstream media and you never actually attended one of her rallies. The media was generally too busy covering Trump’s latest stupidity or the latest “controversy” involving Clinton that they never really touched much on actual policies. The media’s bias for sensationalism went into over drive once Trump started…

    Clinton covered her policies and plans for the future extensively at her campaign stops and on her website. I couldn’t stand watching the debates so I don’t really know if she laid her plans and policies out there. Trump’s manner of speaking annoys me and I already knew their positions so there was no point for me to watch.

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  164. Pylon says:

    Fun fact: Clinton was ” more trusted” on the economy in polls in the rust belt states. By a healthy margin, too. She didn’t lose because of an economic message or lack thereof.

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  165. Pch101 says:

    @Monala:

    Clinton needed more Democrats and a few more independents to show up.

    Her primary problem was with minority turnout. Too many voters in cities such as Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland didn’t vote at all. She got the percentages from those groups, but not the numbers.

    She wasn’t going to win those white guys over, and she didn’t need to. She faced the same challenge that all Democrats need to tackle: Getting Dems to the polls.

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  166. george says:

    @Pylon:

    It doesn’t actually work that way – the total percent trusting isn’t a direct factor in this, just as voters average income isn’t a factor. The only people who count in this are the swing voters; you can have 75% people trust you more, but if you only have 40% of the 5% of the population who are actually in play (everyone else is voting team, voting for the same party they always vote for), then you’re going to lose on economics.

    There were a lot of people who always vote GOP who trusted Clinton more on economics but who voted the way they always vote (that’s pretty clear from conservative sites like National Review, or just talking to people); their vote was never in play, no matter how much they disliked Trump. You vote for your team’s quarterback, even if you think he’s an asshole who couldn’t hit a wide open receiver five yards away … that’s part of the tragedy. Trump only got 40% in the GOP primaries, and he was constantly attacked by the other 60% during those primaries, but in the end they voted for the team, because that’s what people do.

    Statistics are extremely misused in politics; no one would build a bridge using the generalizations thrown around in politics. Who cares if 80% of your material is good; if the 20% that is substandard is in key places, then that bridge is coming down. Same with elections.

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  167. James Pearce says:

    @Monala: Yes, thank you. You said it better in one sentence than I did over several contentious comments. I knew I was making a point that could be understood, if not necessarily agreed with.

    @Grewgills:

    You are seemingly constitutionally unable to internalize statistics when it comes to matters of race.

    No, a close look at the numbers led me to this place. Take a look at this.

    That map tells the story, but look at the numbers. Only 4,027 African Americans in Montana versus over 3 million in Georgia. 37% of America’s black population are concentrated in just 5 states.

    In the states of MT, WY, VT, ND, ID, SD, NH, ME, HI, AK, UT, NM, WV, OR, RI, NE, IA, KS, DE there are fewer than a million black people total. Put another way, these 19 states account for about 2.3% of the total black population.

    Total population of these 19 states: 29,175,341
    Total black population of these 19 states: 934,055

    Now my point isn’t to say that the black population is so small that we can safely ignore them. Not my point at all.

    My point is that if your electoral strategy is “time for white people to take a haircut and black people to get theirs,” you should be prepared to lose. Not because of racism, per se, but because it’s not necessary for white people to take a haircut in order for black people to get theirs.

    This is not a zero-sum game. If we can de-racialize the issue of police beatings (circling back to that issue) we can possibly reduce the number of police beatings: for white and black people.

    Did you ever see that movie The Big Short? Remember this part?

    When you come for the payday, I’m gonna rip your eyes out. I’m gonna make a fortune. The good news is Vinnie, you’re not going to care cause you’re gonna make so much money. That’s what I get out of it. Wanna know what you get out of it? You get the ice cream, the hot fudge, the banana and the nuts. Right now I get the sprinkles, and ya – if this goes thru, I get the cherry. But you get the sundae Vinny. You get the sundae.

    Yeah, so some white people would get the sprinkles and the cherry.

    But minorities would get the sundae.

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  168. Tyrell says:

    The leadership of the Democratic party wrote the south off. If they want to become relevant again, they will need to listen to the middle class working people.

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  169. Blue Galangal says:

    @James Pearce:

    Since probably Obergefell, the left has been waging this culture war, ostensibly to correct certain problematic elements in the culture, but with the added side effect of increased factionalization and partisanship. Is it really worth it?

    Stupid LGBTQs, wanting equal rights and stuff. They should just shut up and go to the back of the bus. Obviously the Constitution only applies to white male property owners.

    The upside of Trump? Now those white male property owners don’t have to pretend to believe in equal rights under the law for everyone.

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  170. Pch101 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Pearce would tell you that those minorities should feel lucky that they got to ride the bus.

    I do hope that those other posters who refuse to acknowledge that Pearce is a mild bigot are starting to get a clue. Give him a shovel and he just keeps digging, he can’t help himself.

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  171. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    The leadership of the Democratic party wrote the south off. If they want to become relevant again, they will need to listen to the middle class working people.

    I think the working middle class white people of the South began to write-off the Democratic Party after LBJ secured passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts in 1964-65.

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  172. James Pearce says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Stupid LGBTQs, wanting equal rights and stuff.

    My point about Obergefell is that prior to the ruling, the culture wars were primarily being waged by conservatives: A bunch of church ladies picketing Marilyn Manson records and Martin Scorsese movies, complaining about how Will and Grace and public schools were ruining the moral fiber of our youth with their liberal decadence.

    Post-Obergefell, it’s the left who have taken on this role of culture police. They’re not complaining that Martin Scorsese dared to show Jesus with a wife; they’re complaining about Tilda Swinton playing the Ancient One.

    And you know, we were talking about teams. Well, I’m not on Team Church Lady.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  173. James Pearce says:
  174. Pch101 says:

    Quiz question:

    A woman begins to try to explain what she experienced from a sexual assault.

    A dude named James covers his ears and indignantly interrupts her: “Be quiet. Men get raped, too. Now woman, l am going to tell you how you are supposed to feel.”

    How you would describe James?

    A. An open-minded and generous spirit who cares about people of all genders.

    B. A narcissistic schmuck who cares more about the sound of his own voice than he does about any woman.

    (Hint: There is a right and a wrong answer to this question.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  175. Andre Kenji says:

    @James Pearce: .

    If we can de-racialize the issue of police beatings (circling back to that issue) we can possibly reduce the number of police beatings: for white and black people.

    The issue is not police beatings per se, it’s the fact that Blacks in the United States don’t trust the police(A basic institution) – the same cops that beat innocent people in East Saint Louis are can’t protect these neighborhoods from violent crime. That’s not a coincidence.

    Low Income White Neighborhoods may have crappy police departments, but they have a higher trust on police than Blacks have.

    It’s not a problem of culture, it’s a policy problem. And many cities and counties with crappy Police Departments are controlled by Democrats.

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  176. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @george:

    I swear many could come across some cop beating up their grandmother for jay walking and take the cop’s side.

    Yeah, but it would only be because the cop’s grandmother was talking to him with “that tone,” so she’d have it coming.

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  177. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Monala: Well yes, but ummm… car doors

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  178. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Matt:

    That’s probably because you were relying on the mainstream media and you never actually attended one of her rallies.

    In our little corner of the woods, she didn’t have a rally–she had a dinner for supporters. I didn’t get to hear her because my invitation didn’t show up in the mail (and because I don’t have $10,000).

    Bernie had a rally though. It outdrew the Blazers.

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  179. Ratufa says:

    @Matt:

    Clinton covered her policies and plans for the future extensively at her campaign stops and on her website. I couldn’t stand watching the debates so I don’t really know if she laid her plans and policies out there.

    Having watched the debates, I don’t recall her saying anything particularly memorable wrt her stands on the issues. Too often, she said that had a policy for that, and to see her web site for details. Outside of of diversity and discrimination issues, one didn’t get a sense of the specific issues that were most important to her.

    She certainly didn’t talk much about policy in the televised campaign ads I saw. Almost all of them were negative ads about Trump. Just from watching ads, I got the impression that Trump’s ads were more about policy (though, bad policy and lies about what he’d do) than were Clinton’s ads. Apparently, there’s some basis to that impression:

    http://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/blog/2016-election-study-published/

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  180. Kylopod says:

    @Ratufa:

    Too often, she said that had a policy for that, and to see her web site for details.

    I cringed whenever she said that. She didn’t just do it for policy, but also as a fact-checker against Trump’s lies. And that was really unfortunate. It brought to mind when Herman Cain was doing the same thing at the 2011 Republican debates in response to criticisms of his “999” snake-oil tax plan. He kept telling viewers to go to his website for rebuttals. Now, of course, I don’t think she was peddling snake-oil at all–she was being largely accurate. But why didn’t she once cite a source such as FactCheck or Politifact? The answer is obvious: because those sites, while going after Trump a lot more than they went after her, did sometimes go after her. She even got Pants on Fire a couple of times. And she knew it. The problem was that her reluctance to mention these more-or-less reliable sources blunted her criticisms of Trump as an abnormally terrible candidate and made her seem artificial and self-serving. It just goes back to her habit of playing it safe, which hurt her a lot before and hurt her now.

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  181. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    You are arguing against something I didn’t say. My point is that you frequently dismiss the point that george made, that African Americans and First Nations’ people are harassed and killed at a higher RATE than are white people. You insist on looking at raw numbers and since ~70% of the population is harassed/killed at greater numbers than ~14% and >1% respectively of the population that there isn’t a racial component to the problem worth mentioning. Everyone with a passing understanding of statistics understands that it is the RATE that matters much more than raw numbers when looking at populations of disparate size. You for some reason ignore rate in favor of raw numbers here. That was my argument with your position.
    I fully understand that democrats have to have at least a substantial minority of white voters to win. That doesn’t mean we have to appeal to strong bigots, but we do have to appeal to weak bigots that can be won over by other arguments, along with the more or less non-bigoted populace. I don’t disagree on this point, tho I do disagree on where exactly the problem there is and how to address it.

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  182. Grewgills says:

    It’s probably too late in the thread, but…
    Doug (and those with similar arguments), let’s assume you lost a race by a split second. In that race you didn’t start as well as you could have and you stumbled due to your own inattention. In that same race supporters of the other runner tossed gravel in your lane and tried to trip you on the home stretch. Do you have a right to complain about the gravel and attempted tripping, or do your errors mean that you have to accept all of the blame for your loss?

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  183. Andre Kenji says:

    Before the election I pointed out whether we were going to discover whether Hillary was Nixon(In the sense of being a uncharismatic politician that could trounce a weaker candidate) or Al Gore/John Kerry/Michael Dukakis.

    She really reminds me of the latter group.

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  184. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji: I don’t think you can draw broad conclusions based on election outcomes this narrow. Nixon ascended to power by a very narrow margin (with just 42% of the popular vote, less than a percentage point ahead of Humphrey). Gore, Kerry, and Hillary lost by narrow margins (and in Gore and Hillary’s case, won the popular vote). I don’t think the essence of these candidates can be determined by the fortuitous shifts of a relatively small number of voters.

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  185. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    African Americans and First Nations’ people are harassed and killed at a higher RATE than are white people.

    We’ve been over this before. Whatever “higher rate” you’re seeing, it’s a result of population clustering.

    Every day, someone in America is getting killed by the cops, and on most days, that person is a white man. That’s not controversial. It’s a fact.

    And look, I get it. It seems like there’s a barely concealed interest in claiming police shootings as a unique and crucial problem for the African American community. And my point is this: Crucial, yes absolutely. Unique? Not so much.

    Which goes back to my “common areas of interest” and “de-racializing” things. We could treat this as a problem for all people, or we could treat it as a problem unique to minorities. The more we treat it as a problem unique to minorities, the worse it gets.

    How many dead white men thought the police wouldn’t shoot them? How many police shootings could we prevent if we convinced the good white liberals of the 19 states I mentioned before that this is a problem for their communities too, not just some problem in the South?

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  186. Pch101 says:

    They don’t teach statistics classes on Planet Pearce.

    Some of you need to realize that this guy is a clown and that you should deal with him accordingly.

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  187. Ratufa says:

    @Grewgills:

    Do you have a right to complain about the gravel and attempted tripping, or do your errors mean that you have to accept all of the blame for your loss?

    You have a right to complain and you should accept the blame for your loss, if there is strong evidence that you would still have won if you hadn’t made those mistakes (e.g. there’s no reason to accept blame if a spectator ran into the track and tackled you). One can argue whether Comey was that spectator.

    Assuming that you would have won if it weren’t for your own mistakes:

    You have a right to complain because the gravel and tripping (which I assume correspond to actions by Comey and the Russians) are outside interventions that are normally not part of a race.

    You should take responsibility for the loss because you want to avoid making the same mistakes in future races, and you are responsible for your own actions. Also, shirking responsibility.for one’s actions is not a positive trait.

    In Clinton’s case, it’s unlikely she’s going to run for office again. The reason Democrats should analyze her campaign strategy and decisions is to help future Democratic candidates avoid making the same mistakes. It is not to make Hillary feel bad or point fingers so that other people involved in this fiasco can avoid responsibility.

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  188. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    There are about 5 times as many white people as there are black people in the US. That more of them are killed by police doesn’t disprove racial disparities in enforcement and police violence no matter how much you want it to. No one outside the racist fringe buys your dismissal of the differences as entirely explained by population clustering, no one. Your bedfellows in this argument should give you pause. As I’ve shown you before, the disparities exist in the areas where there are more African Americans, population clustering cannot explain that. The disparities exist when income is factored in. Your facile explanations do not work. I’ve gone through the trouble of linking evidence of my above assertions before and will dig for it again when I have more time if you can’t remember.

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  189. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    Pearce makes arguments that are remarkably similar to the claims of white slavery that are made by the alt-right.

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  190. Kylopod says:

    @Ratufa:

    You should take responsibility for the loss because you want to avoid making the same mistakes in future races, and you are responsible for your own actions.

    The problem is that there’s no objective way of determining what exactly a candidate did wrong to cause them to lose, and there are always going to be a mass of conflicting opinions on the matter. Furthermore, there’s a risk of overthinking it by assuming we have to avoid anything the losing candidate did or any qualities he or she had, even things that may not have had anything to do with why the candidate lost.

    An excellent example of this problem is the electoral victories of Hillary’s husband in the 1990s. Much of the conventional Beltway narrative is that the Dems had erred by nominating candidates too far to the left, and that they finally won when they nominated a centrist. The problem with this narrative is that it fails to consider other reasons why these elections turned out the way they did. Clinton was running against an unpopular president facing the effects of a recession, whereas Mondale and Dukakis were attempting to unseat a party presiding over a burgeoning economy. Yet because Clinton won whereas those other two lost, their differing ideologies provided a convenient explanation that suited the centrist-friendly media, a lesson that was soon written into the history books and which greatly influenced the future direction of the party–for better or worse.

    After an election happens, people have a tendency to just assume that whatever qualities the winning and losing candidates and their campaigns possessed were responsible for their victory or defeat–regardless of how narrow the election turned out to be. This tendency is illustrated by that anecdote where shortly after the 1960 election someone told Bobby Kennedy he was a genius, and he replied, “Change 60,000 votes and I’m a bum.”

    This fallacy is something we should be particularly alert to now, since by all accounts Trump really was a lousy candidate. For one thing, he had scarcely much of a campaign apparatus at all. Too many people, from what I’ve seen, are concluding that because he won, campaign operation must somehow be irrelevant. But that doesn’t follow. If not for Hillary’s superior ground game, she may well have done worse. (Among other things, it helped her win Nevada, one of the few states where she significantly outperformed her polls.) In trying to assign blame to her, it’s easy to take for granted the things she did right, which may lead us to overlook them the next time around. Just because she lost doesn’t mean the best strategy for the future is simply to examine whatever she did and do the opposite.

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  191. george says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    The issue is not police beatings per se,

    Actually the number of police beatings per se is also an issue – its insane. Why does anyone put up with it?

    Its worse for minorities (three times worse in fact), but its bad for everyone. The part I don’t get is why whites, 750 of which were killed by police in America last year, aren’t up in arms about this too.

    And conservatives, the ones who supposedly distrust big gov’t, are the worse. How can you distrust gov’t and simultaneously trust the police, which are the enforcement arm of that gov’t?

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  192. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod: Yes. But Nixon was probably the last person that could be described as a introvert to be elected President of the United States. And Hillary by all accounts is a introvert. She also sounded like a technocrat, exactly like Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. Maybe it’s because it’s difficult to navigate between conservatives, moderates and liberals/progressives in the Democratic Party.

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  193. Andre Kenji says:

    @george:

    Actually the number of police beatings per se is also an issue – its insane. Why does anyone put up with it?

    Police beatings IS an issue – but I think that the complete distrust among Blacks of the Police and the Judicial System is a much bigger issue.

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  194. george says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    I disagree. I’m first nations, and we’re targeted as much as blacks, and have the same or worse level of distrust. But if the system was straightened out, so there was no beatings, no killings, and no harassment or imprisonment for trivial things then our distrust would dissipate fairly quickly.

    Get rid of the problem and the distrust goes with it. We wouldn’t care why the system is fixed, so long as its fixed.

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  195. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji: All I’m saying is that there is no singular quality of any of these candidates that guaranteed victory or defeat. With the exception of Dukakis, all those elections could easily have gone either way. Their outcome wasn’t inevitable based on the particular personalities of the candidates. Nixon didn’t have some special quality the others lacked which allowed him to eke out an EC victory while the others fell short. It’s particularly ridiculous to think so when two of those examples–Gore and Hillary–actually got more votes than their opponents.

    You might counter that Gore and Hillary should have done a lot better than they did. That’s a fair point. However, it’s worth mentioning that nobody ever makes that argument about candidates who reach the White House. Nobody ever says, “Well, this candidate won, but he should have won by more. What a crappy candidate!” The fact is that the stories we tell about elections are impressions foisted retroactively on the candidates based on whether they won or lost–even if “winning” entails losing the popular vote, or even, as in 2000, if the electoral college victory itself is questionable. The mere act of successfully making it to the White House automatically means people will start to interpret the “winner” as having possessed exemplary campaign skills and the “loser” as having lacked them–and that’s the story that will get written in the history books, too.

    That’s why nobody focuses on the fact that Trump very nearly blew a very winnable election. Instead, they focus on the fact that he did in fact win when most people said he couldn’t. From there people go on to conclude that he must possess at least some traits worth emulating–maybe the Dems need more “populists,” maybe they need to run their own celebrity billionaire with no political experience (Mark Cuban?), maybe they need to forget about minorities and work on blue-collar whites. In all this, nobody seems to consider the possibility that Trump won despite his qualities.

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  196. Andre Kenji says:

    @george:

    I disagree. I’m first nations, and we’re targeted as much as blacks, and have the same or worse level of distrust. But if the system was straightened out, so there was no beatings, no killings, and no harassment or imprisonment for trivial things then our distrust would dissipate fairly quickly.

    Exactly. Specially because then the police would do their job, to protect their communities. My point is that White, even if they are subject to beatings, at least have some level of trust for cops and institutions, unlike many POC.

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  197. Ratufa says:

    @Kylopod:

    The problem is that there’s no objective way of determining what exactly a candidate did wrong to cause them to lose, and there are always going to be a mass of conflicting opinions on the matter.

    Yes, this sort of analysis is hard and requires good judgment. Framing the problem as “determining what exactly a candidate did wrong to cause them to lose” is asking for too much. One goal is to identify decisions that, in retrospect, were mistakes, and also to debug the reasoning that lead to those decisions. It’s possible that some of the decisions were reasonable, given what was known at the time. In those cases, it may be worthwhile to identify what information would have lead to a better decision, and have future campaigns gather that info, if possible. Another goal is to identify what worked, and why.

    That is admittedly an idealized view. Reality is messy, with lots of unknowns and disputed “facts.” People will have strong differing opinions, and there are too many factors and decisions to make it feasible to analyze everything. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t do what one can.

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  198. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod:

    All I’m saying is that there is no singular quality of any of these candidates that guaranteed victory or defeat. With the exception of Dukakis, all those elections could easily have gone either way. Their outcome wasn’t inevitable based on the particular personalities of the candidates.

    Yes, I do agree. But I think that’s interesting about how losing Democratic Candidates are similar in temperament and in ideology. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe we’ll never know.

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  199. Pch101 says:

    It’s a basic logical error to presume that the path for Candidate A to win an election is to take voters that went to Candidate B.

    Much of the challenge in American elections, particularly for Democrats, is getting your own people to show up.

    Many of those voters, including the supposed independents, are already leaning to one of the parties. The question often isn’t whether they’re going to vote for the other guy but one of whether they are going to bother voting.

    A lot of the people who voted for Trump would have never voted for a Democrat, period. Some of those voters would have been up for grabs, but many of them would not have been.

    While Clinton may have been able to have chipped away at the margins (and perhaps just enough to have made a difference), no Democrat would have been able to win most of those allegedly blessed white working class votes. Democrats won’t be able to tell them what they want to hear, particularly after having held the White House for the two preceding terms. (It’s tough to run on hope and change when you’re the incumbent.)

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  200. James Pearce says:

    @george:

    The part I don’t get is why whites, 750 of which were killed by police in America last year, aren’t up in arms about this too.

    White people would be more concerned about this problem if they knew the scale which they were being killed. To truly understand that scale is to disbelieve arguments about “white privilege.”

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  201. Andre Kenji says:

    I remember pointing out to Democrats that Hillary would be in a real trouble against Rubio or Kasich. I think that the problem is the opposite, Trump’s problem made Democrats forget about Hillary’s vulnerabilities.

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  202. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Democrats won’t be able to tell them what they want to hear, particularly after having held the White House for the two preceding terms. (It’s tough to run on hope and change when you’re the incumbent.)

    That’s a very good point. It also explains the problem with getting out the Democratic vote – when you’ve been in power for eight years, the people who lean towards your party but who have been having real problems are going to be very hard to inspire – it sounds like “four more years of hard times.”

    What could Clinton say to people who were still suffering after eight years of hope and change? They’d been through hell with Bush, had hoped for change with Obama, had enthusiastically voted for him – and then nothing improved. Just saying Trump was going to be worse (true that it was) doesn’t do much, especially given that if you’re desperate (and a lot of people of color are financially pretty desperate since 2007) – if you’ve nothing to lose you care less, and might even be willing to gamble on an idiot … he might shake things up enough that something better can be build out of the wreckage. I heard variations on this regularly from the community. Most wouldn’t go as far as voting for Trump, but a many didn’t bother voting at all because they thought it just wouldn’t make a difference.

    And truth be told, for the ones who are really poor, who’s lives are filled with their kids lack of hope and the gangs and drugs that come with it, Trump being elected hasn’t changed anything. Nothing from any politician ever changes it.

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  203. Monala says:

    @Andre Kenji: Eh, President Obama is also an introvert and a technocrat. He is also funny, charming and charismatic, so he had some strengths that other recent Democratic nominees did not.

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  204. Monala says:

    Here is a big question I have for the universal messaging vs. messaging targeted to specific groups debate:

    One reason why a lot of African-Americans distrust “universal” messages is not because they don’t consider universal concerns, such as good jobs, education, and like, important. It’s because historically, such messages have often excluded them, or targeted them for the worse. For example, the original Social Security Act specifically excluded domestic and agricultural workers, professions in which a majority of African-Americans at the time worked, and this was done purposely in order to get Southern legislators to vote for it. There are many such examples: FHA loans that built white suburbs but barred African-Americans due to redlining; sentencing discrepancies regarding powder vs. crack cocaine; even current concerns about the opiod epidemic as a public health crisis deserving compassion rather than a criminal justice crisis deserving harsher punishments the way the crack epidemic did.

    So while yeah, I see Michael Reynolds and James Pearce’s points about the necessity of Democrats not just needing to pursue policies that are universal (which hey, they already do), but messaging them so that white people know they are being considered in such policies. But I also see PCH’s point that overt inclusiveness of people of color often drives away white people, and a lack of overt inclusiveness of POC generates concern (at least among African-Americans, I can’t speak for other groups) that POC will be excluded from whatever policies are being enacted. And you know, if you look at actual history, people of color are the ones who have actually experienced such exclusion; white people only think they do.

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  205. george says:

    @Monala:

    And you know, if you look at actual history, people of color are the ones who have actually experienced such exclusion; white people only think they do.

    That’s true on a race/cultural level. The problem is most people vote on an individual level, and many people from every background have been excluded as individuals, for reasons going from everything from personal characteristics (physical, mental, emotional), education, birth place, religion, beliefs, personality.

    Some people identify primarily with their group, but most people react stronger on family and individual lines. And to that majority talking about group exclusion goes in one ear and out the other – they’re only interested in what affects them. As one poor (white) friend of mine says, what does he care if a lot of billionaires are white – Bill Gate’s well stocked fridge does nothing to fill his or his family’s empty stomachs. I point out that a starving white man has it easier than a starving aboriginal. They reply that starving white man is still starving.

    The point is, these things aren’t mutually contradictory. POC have definitely been treated horribly (we like to joke that it’d be a good thing if all immigrants and their decedents were sent home, because the coming of immigrants a few centuries ago has been a disaster for us). But I simultaneously want a stronger economy, a future for my kids and grandkids in a time when in the next decades most white and blue collar jobs will be done by expert systems. Its simply nuts to concentrate on only one of race and economics, like an engineering company going for better steel in its bridges saying that means its going to keep using substandard concrete, because you can only improve one aspect at a time.

    Work on racial justice? Work on an economy that helps everyone? Yes to both, and simultaneously. There’s zero reason they can’t be done in tandem.

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  206. Pch101 says:

    If you don’t tell black voters that you are looking out for their interests, they will assume (probably correctly) that you aren’t and many of them won’t bother to vote for you.

    If you do tell black voters that you are looking out for their interests, they are more likely to vote for you but the white residents of Planet Pearce will have a hissy fit.

    Ergo, the issue. It shouldn’t be that tough to understand.

    The resentment is coming from the white voters who dislike hearing that blacks are getting any help, not from the black voters who simply want some reassurances that they haven’t been forgotten. The black voters don’t mind if white voters benefit, but the reverse is not the case. It’s the Pearces who are the problem.

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  207. Monala says:

    @Pch101:

    The resentment is coming from the white voters who dislike hearing that blacks are getting any help, not from the black voters who simply want some reassurances that they haven’t been forgotten. The black voters don’t mind if white voters benefit, but the reverse is not the case.

    Bingo! But what do we do about it? I’ve been Googling, but I can’t find an article I read shortly after the election, about three women Democrats in a red county in Texas who helped get several Democrats elected locally by doing door to door and targeted outreach to increase the minority share of the vote. So what you said might be true about not going after the white vote and focusing on getting more POC to the polls might sometimes work. But it won’t always – in too many parts of the U.S., there are not enough non-whites for this to work, and you have to increase the white vote for Democrats to win.

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  208. Pch101 says:

    @Monala:

    But what do we do about it?

    As I said above, you choose one constituency or the other, knowing that you can’t have both.

    If you’re a Democrat and you’re in a district with black voters, then you should probably opt for the black inclusion comment because you need their votes. (Those whites who are most offended probably weren’t going to vote for you, anyway.)

    If you’re a Republican, then you should almost certainly say nothing nice about blacks because you are sure to be punished for making such statements.

    You can’t have both. That’s just how it is. We need the Pearces to die off and be replaced by smarter, less resentful people.

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  209. Monala says:

    @Monala: ETA: “red county,” meaning that it had long had Republican elected officials, but they also had a large but largely non-voting Latino populations. The Democratic activists made it their mission to reach out to the Latino community and find out why they weren’t voting, and what would motivate them to vote.

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  210. Monala says:

    @Pch101: Yeah, but like I wrote, that won’t work everywhere, because many districts (and states) don’t have a large enough minority population.

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  211. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    I remember pointing out to Democrats that Hillary would be in a real trouble against Rubio or Kasich. I think that the problem is the opposite, Trump’s problem made Democrats forget about Hillary’s vulnerabilities.

    I think you were right the first time. If Hillary couldn’t beat Donald Trump, the presumption should be that she’d have done even worse against a Rubio or Kasich, neither of whom suffered from record-shattering unfavorability numbers. That’s not to say your point about Dems becoming too complacent against Trump is invalid. But they were overly complacent and oblivious to Hillary’s flaws long before Trump came along.

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  212. Pch101 says:

    There is only one candidate who has received more votes in a presidential election than did Hillary Clinton, and his name is Barack Obama.

    Trump got a slightly lower percentage of the white vote than did Romney.

    This is not as simple as some people would like to think.

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  213. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101: It wasn’t whites per se where Trump did especially well. He did worse than Romney among whites with a college degree, but substantially better than Romney among whites without one.

    Trump’s margin among whites without a college degree is the largest among any candidate in exit polls since 1980. Two-thirds (67%) of non-college whites backed Trump, compared with just 28% who supported Clinton, resulting in a 39-point advantage for Trump among this group. In 2012 and 2008, non-college whites also preferred the Republican over the Democratic candidate but by less one-sided margins (61%-36% and 58%-40%, respectively).

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  214. The best way to understand this election is to imagine Hillary running against Rubio or Kasich. If you consider that her lead in the early polls was due to name recognition then it’s easy to see her vulnerabilities. She was not managing to reach 50% of the polls against Chris Christie, Establishment Democratic candidates that have to fend off candidates like Sanders generally don’t win elections.

    I could not imagine someone being elected as governor in the North or the Northeast of Brazil after being filmed saying that he would grab women’s vaginas, imagining this kind of person being elected to the White House is even more difficult.

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  215. Pch101 says:

    If some other Republican had run, chances are good that the GOP would have had more urban/suburban voters and fewer losses to the Libertarians, but fewer rural votes. So the net result may have been a higher popular vote count with fewer electoral votes, i.e. the usual.

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  216. Would we be imagining in September that Hillary would be the clear winner against Rubio or Kasich? As I commented at the time, *I* would not.

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  217. Pch101 says:

    If you replace one candidate with another, then you will gain some voters and lose some other ones. It’s not all upside.

    Trump alienated many voters, but he also increased turnout among a certain kind of voter. So he got fewer voters but those voters were better positioned to deliver electoral votes, at least this time.

    Clinton needed more minority voters to show up. Running a campaign based upon fear of Trump instead of anger against Trump was a bad move.

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  218. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    Would we be imagining in September that Hillary would be the clear winner against Rubio or Kasich? As I commented at the time, *I* would not.

    One consequence Trump had on the race is that the polls were swinging wildly throughout the year, much more than in previous elections in modern times. There was an unusually high number of undecided voters, probably consisting disproportionately of Republicans who disliked Trump, who were reluctant to vote for him but who largely did in the end. That’s one factor I don’t think you’d have seen if the GOP nominee had been a conventional Republican like Rubio or Kasich. The race would have been more stable. Most voters would have decided early on who to vote for and stuck with their decision, much like in 2012. So whoever would have been leading by September or October, the final results would probably not have turned out substantially different, and I doubt you’d have seen movement in the polls by more than a few points.

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