No, The Democratic Party Is Not ‘Decimated’

Reports of the demise of the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated.

Democrat-Donkey

In the months prior to the Presidential election, polls continued to point toward what seemed like an inevitable victory by Hillary Clinton that amounted to either a narrow victory or a landslide equal or greater than George H.W. Bush’s win over Michael Dukakis in 1988 that would result in a loss of Republican control of at least the Senate and possibly even more down-ballot damage. This led many pundits and analysts, including yours truly, to speculate about the future of the Republican Party and what would happen to various factions of the Grand Old Party after it suffered what seemed would be its third consecutive loss in a Presidential election and its fifth loss out of the last seven such elections since 1992. That didn’t happen, of course, and the reasons why it didn’t happen and why the polls and the prognostications ended up being so wrong have been one of the primary focuses of political coverage since Election Night right along with the predictable coverage of Trump’s first days as President-Elect, his choices for Cabinet positions, White House Staff positions, and the Supreme Court. Seemingly inevitably, these discussions have been joined with claims about the supposed ‘decimation’ of the Democratic Party, which seem to have instantly replaced all the speculation about the fate of the Republican Party that was so prominent prior to the election. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, for example, provided charts showing what he called “The decimation of the Democratic Party” on Election Night. Bump’s Washington Post colleagues John Wagner, Ed O’Keefe, and Karen Tumulty wondered “What’s next fo Democrats?,” Slate’s Jim Newell argued that “The Democratic Party establishment is finished.” Speculation is already turning to what kind of bench the Democrats will have to challenge President Trump in 2020.

Speculation such as this is, of course, inevitable to some extent, and we’d be dealing with similar headlines about the GOP right now if Trump had lost even by a narrow margin. As Eugene Volokh notes, though, any such reports of the demise of the Democratic Party are greatly exaggerated:

It might be a bit early to talk about “the party’s carcass” just yet, or to dismiss its appeal to racial minorities, to women, or, under the right circumstances, to the poor — or the rich:

  1. The Democratic Party won a plurality of the popular vote.
  2. It dominates California, the most populous state; it has huge power in New York and Illinois, two of the next four states by population.
  3. It won the last two presidential elections before this one, by substantial margins.
  4. It would have won the electoral vote in this election if there had been tiny swings in a few states.
  5. The mainstream media, which continue to be extremely influential (though less so than before), overwhelmingly lean Democratic.
  6. The incoming Republican president — though undeniably, if surprisingly, effective at getting elected — has shown himself quite capable of unforced errors.
  7. Precisely because the party will have control of the presidency, the Senate and the House, as well as a Supreme Court that will be seen as sympathetic to Republicans, it will be held responsible if it fails to adequately address the nation’s problems — and those problems, foreign and domestic, are going to be very hard to address.

There’s no “carcass” of the Democratic Party — there is a powerful force which commands the allegiance of much of the nation’s population, and which is likely ready to capitalize on the Republican Party’s inevitable missteps. It was let down by a candidate who proved to be weak, and a party establishment that (along with most of the rest of the country) badly erred in evaluating the political mood of a substantial chunk of swing voters.

Volokh is right, of course. In addition to completely forgetting about the strengths the Democrats have outside of Washington, D.C., the arguments of those who are speaking and writing about the decimation of the Democratic Party and even suggesting or hinting that losing one Presidential election spells doom for the Democrats are incredibly naive and short-sided. For example, the Democratic Party has won four of the last seven Presidential elections, that it was won the popular vote either by a plurality or majority in that time in every Presidential election since 1992 with the exception of the 2004 contest between George W. Bush and John Kerry (and in that election lost the popular vote by only 2.4 points), that the party gained seats in the House and Senate even though they fell short of taking control of either body, that they have suffiient numbers in the Senate to control a filibuster and therefore maintain a voice in drafting legislation and Supreme Court nominations unless the Republican leadership in the Senate takes the atypically radical step of eliminating the filibuster altogehter, that they continue to dominate in garnering support from minority groups such as African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans, and that that the party maintains substantial political power in many parts of the country including, as noted above, California and New York.

In addition to the actual facts about the political power of the Democratic Party even after November 8, 2016, history alone should demonstrate just how overwrought these predictions of doom actually are. Going as far back in American political history as 1928, there have been numerous occasions where one party or the other suffered a devastating defeat only to bounce back later. In 1928, Democratic nominee Al Smith was crushed by Republican Herbert Hoover in a huge landslide, only to see Hoover similarly defeated in a landslide election in 1932, an election that also saw Republicans lose Congressional and Senate seats in massive numbers.  From that election in 1932 up to and including the Election of 1948, Republicans lost five Presidential elections in a row and didn’t win control of Congress back until the mid-term elections in 1946 when they won back control of the House and Senate. Despite those loses, Republicans came back and won huge victories in both 1952 and 1956 and only lost the Election of 1960 by a narrow margin. Republicans again suffered setbacks with a devastaing landslidge for President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, only to come back and win successive elections in 1968 and 1972, after which they lost in 1976 by a narrow margin and then came back and won three straight landslide Presidential Elections from 1980 through 1988. Since 1988, as I noted above, Republicans have only won three of the last seven elections since 1992, and only one of those victories came with a majority of the popular vote. The other two have come in the historically rare occasions of candidates who won the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. In what may be examples of the two most stark Presidential droughts in American history, the period from 1800 to 1828 saw the Jeffersonian ‘Democratic-Republican’ Party win all but one election, and that one loss came when the election was thrown into the House of Representatives because the party Jefferson built was represented by two candidates and nobody had an Electoral College majority and in the twelve Presidential Elections from 1860 through 1908, Democrats lost all but two before they regained power with the election of Woodrow Wilson. Finally, Democrats lost control of at least one House of Congress for the first time since the 1950s, in the 1994 House and Senate midterms, then regained control in 2006  and expand their majorities in the House and Senate elections of 2008, only to see them lose control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.

Given all of that, the idea that the Democratic Party is decimated because it narrowly lost one election, or because it lost three Presidential elections over the last twenty-four years — with two of those being under the historically rare circumstance of winning the popular vote but losing the Presidential election — is utterly silly just as it was silly to speculate or panic about the demise of one or the other of the two major political parties after the elections I note above. If we’ve learned nothing from the past, it ought to be that American politics can be very cyclical and that a political party or ideology that appears to be down at one point will most likely bounce back in the future, whether that future is as close as two years away or as far as twenty-eight or thirty-two years in the future. Additionally, it’s worth noting that most of the history I recounted above occurred between 1860 and 2016 and that the two major parties have remained the Republican and Democratic Parties. This contrasts with the period from 1788 through 1860, when the identity of the “main” parties in American politics only changed twice (from Federalists to Whigs to Republicans) or possibly three times if you contend that there is an appreciable difference between the Democratic-Republican Party and the Democratic Party that took shape after the election of Andrew Jackson. This tells us that the two party system we have will, more likely than not, continue long into the future absent a realignment unlike anything we’ve seen since the 19th Century ended.

None of this is to say, of course, that the two political parties can’t or won’t change. To argue that position would also be to ignore history. Changes in party ideology and the identity of party coalitions have changed too many times to recount for purposes of this post. Indeed, the results of the just-concluded election could indicate that we are at the dawn of an ideological realignment between the parties that arguably hasn’t occurred for at least the last thirty years or more. Whether the changes that appear to be coming from both parties will be positive or negative depends on your view on the issues and on factors that aren’t fully known just yet. Those are the subject of a different nature best addressed in future posts. For the time being, though, you can largely safely just ignore the predictions of doom and gloom for the Democrats. They may be changing, just as the Republicans probably are, but that’s a common part of the American history.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Congress, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, Politics 101, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    He’s wrong and so are you.

    There is no one at the head of the Democratic Party. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are ancient apparatchiks. They command zero allegiance from anyone but their fellow Congresspeople and not much of that. They don’t have an idea between them.

    The GOP will eliminate the filibuster which will eliminate the last vestige of Democratic power in DC. The justice department will be run by a hack, the Supreme Court will soon be dominated by justices with no concern for the interests of anyone but the white-right power structure. Voter suppression rules will go into effect all across red America, further reducing Democratic power.

    Anyone who becomes prominent as an opponent of the white-right will be hacked and attacked on-line. Expect to have your emails show up online. This fact alone will cow the media and many would-be activists. But of course the media will lie down for Trump, any other expectation is silly. They will want “access” which will mean norming the white-right.

    The direction of the Left generally will come from the streets. Protests will inevitably either peter out or grow and become violent. Either way the result will be the same: a further loss of support for Democrats.

    The reality is that unless Cheetoh screws up so spectacularly that even the imbeciles who support him manage to look past their spite and unite with . . . but of course by then the Democrats will be seen as either completely impotent or as rioters. So yeah, that’s not happening, either. They will follow Cheetoh right down the crapper.

    The GOP as the small-government party is in fact dead. They’ve kept the nameplate but the guts of the party are gone and replaced. The GOP is now the official racist party, and the Democratic Party is some old people ranting about the good old days. Both parties died on election day.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m not concerned about the survival of the party. You can’t possibly live in Chicago and think the Democratic Party is a spent force.

    The Democrats are out of power, though, more so that at any time in the last 80 years. I am concerned about the party’s direction.

    I think that Michael is right in one particular. The DNC really screwed up. If you’re looking for where to lay the blame, that’s the place to start.

  3. Rodney Dill says:

    The Democratic Party is YUUUUUGE.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @Dave Schuler:
    No, Dave, the blame does not lie with the DNC or the RNC. The blame lies with the American people.

    If this was just about parties I wouldn’t be worried, I wouldn’t be trying to convince my wife we need to pull our daughter out of school and leave the country. This is a democracy for now, and the blame inevitably lies with voters. Close to half the American population voted with the KKK for an unmistakably unqualified strong man. This wasn’t a hard choice, this wasn’t Bush the Elder vs. Clinton, or Romney vs. Obama II, this was 2 + 2 and the voters came up with 3.

    *edited to correct DLC to DNC. Freudian slip.

  5. John Peabody says:

    “Decimated” means ‘split into ten’… most states and most Democratic politicians are still whole.

  6. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: When has the GOP ever been the party of small government except in name only? Even when Reagan’s commission for reducing the size of government came up with their famous 200 some examples of available cuts, Reagan never once suggested any of those cuts in the budgets that his administration proposed. That’s because he didn’t want to have small government, he only wanted to want small government. And so followed the vox populi.

  7. Jc says:

    Not decimated, but will continue to disappoint if they don’t show up for elections. MI, WI and PA could have easily been won this year had many Democrats not sat out the election. Until all Democrats fully participate at the state and local level and the mid term elections, this will continue to be the trend.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Forget the Democratic Party.
    The Republic will be decimated in the next four years.
    Global recession at the hand of failed Republican economic theories.
    Record numbers of un-insured.
    Privatization of SS and Medicare.
    War at the hand of a thin-skinned narcissistic CinC.
    Trade wars.
    Voter suppression run rampant.
    Roe v. Wade overturned.
    Environmental progress reversed.
    The list of damages the radicals running the Republican Party will inflict on this nation is long.

  9. @John Peabody:

    I think “decimated” means 1/10 of the mebers being executed.

  10. Pch101 says:

    The Democrats have about three years to find a presidential candidate or two, and to groom him/her/them into viable contenders.

    That isn’t a very long time, which means that they need to start yesterday. You would have to go through the roster in order to figure out how likely that is. The priority should be on finding a charismatic figure who can inspire and communicate empathy, i.e. a younger version of Bill Clinton.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats specifically and the left generally need to go to war against the GOP just as the GOP has been at war with them. Treat them as they would have treated you had they lost, i.e. as badly as possible.

  11. KM says:

    Liberals fall in love, conservatives fall in line.

    This kind of BS bit us HARD – how many people decided to “vote their conscience” or stay home with the assumption that enough others would vote Hillary and they’d be safe in their protest? Fell for the false equivalency of Cheeto Jesus and that somehow Hillary’s flaws made her just as bad as him? Was so pissed Bernie didn’t win they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her? How many people went “Meh”, didn’t vote, went to bed and woke up horrified Trump has nukes? How many of those protesters are out there trying to assuage their guilt of not giving a crap 5 days prior?

    A common accusation against liberals is they’re airy-fairy, head in the clouds, disconnected to reality. Idealism is great but unless it translates out to results, it’s useless. Everyone is angry now but will they show up for midterms? Is there going to be a constant pressure on this Administration to not ignore half the country? Make this our Come to Jesus moment: liberals need to have the same passion cons have, the same turnout, the same determination to bite the bullet if it means getting the job done. The DNC needs to make it clear that without constant engagement, 4 years of sporadic attention and 5 mins on Nov 8th do NOTHING good and can cost you everything.

  12. george says:

    Parties that lose elections are always decimated, doomed for at least a decade to wander the wilderness.

    Until they suddenly aren’t. Typically that happens pretty fast. The Republicans were just decimated too after Bush. Didn’t last nearly as long as was predicted.

  13. JKB says:

    It appears the problem is that Democrats all want to live in the same neighborhood and to drive out anyone who might vote different. Now the Democrats have little or no farm team from which to groom new national players.

    These 3 maps show just how dominant Republicans are in America after Tuesday

    Before Tuesday, Republicans controlled so much of America’s state governments that we — and other smart people — predicted they were going to lose least some of their grip, simply because Democrats were so far down they had nowhere to go but up.

    Like most of our predictions about the 2016 election, we were wrong. Republicans are still the dominant party in America and likely will be for some time.

    No one ever expects…..the Tea Party

  14. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Actually I think Michael Moore was correct in saying that for a significant subset of Trump voters this wasn’t about anything but giving the elite the big FU.

    Trump’s particular talent was in convincing them that a billionaire wasn’t part of the elite. I’ve read a few articles which suggest that’s because “elite” means attitude as much as anything – if you insult people or speak condescendingly to them that means elite, if you speak as if you understand their pain then you’re not. That worked for good in the case of FDR (who was very much part of the elite), and for Bill Clinton. Its worked for bad in the case of Trump.

    So suppose its 20% of Trump voters who were about the big FU. What do the Democrats have to do to get those votes back? Some of them voted for Obama (using the same exit polls as are used to get all the other demographics) previously, wanting to believe in his hope and change, many of them were the union people and old school Democrats who voted against NAFTA in the 90’s. Get them back and suddenly the Democrats are back in business and the GOP is on the outside having this kind of conversation.

    I note in passing, looking at both left and right wing web sites, that the more intelligent ones on both sides are talking about deep causes for the vote for and against. And the less useful ones are talking about racism/sexism on the one side, and people voting for freedom/liberty on the other. Whereas I think Bill Clinton got it right – its the economy for most people. And talking about median incomes is meaningless in elections which are decided by a few percentage points. Median is meaningless unless the frequency distribution of income is almost flat, and it isn’t. Its not even a bell curve.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    The DNC does not ‘make things clear,’ the DNC raises money. That’s it. In answer to the question, will liberals suddenly become disciplined and show up? The answer is no, they won’t.

    Democrats need a leader, and we don’t have one, nor do we have one on the horizon. A big part of the problem – one I occasionally wrote about to a lot of la-di-da it’s all-fine scorn from some here – is that the Left ran out of ideas some time ago. So did the Right but they had their fascist roots to fall back on. What many Democrats – Bernie people – will want and will push for is to create the ideological counterpoint to GOP fascism: anarchism or communism.

    The Left will veer hard left, the Right will settle into its white supremacist role, and since 2/3 of voters are white, that’s where we will sit for the next decade.

    Democrats need to figure something out, here. We just had a war. We lost. They won. And we have neither generals nor reliable troops to launch a counterattack. So this will devolve into low-intensity warfare which will exacerbate tension and division and probably strengthen the white-right even further.

  16. Kylopod says:

    Argh! Why are there always commenters crawling out of the woodwork to complain when words aren’t used exactly the way they once were? Don’t they realize that if they followed this principle consistently, we’d all go mad?

    Silly originally meant “blessed.”

    Snob originally meant “shoemaker.”

    Computer meant “person who computes” (the word existed in the 1600s).

    Language changes. There are no eternally correct rules or definitions, never have been, and never will. Get over it.

  17. JKB says:

    It remains to be seen what kind of Republican Mr. Trump will be, but he has already shown his is one of the most effective republicans in the last 50-100 years.

    12. He (Mr Trump) is, it should be said, a dangerous republican. He has already eliminated two political dynasties, within the USA (both the Bushes and the Clintons). Monarchists in Europe take note. Do not invite this man into your castles.

    1. How easily the college-educated go barking mad.

    2. The most reliable “safe space” is a padded cell. The least reliable ought to be on campus.

    3. The new administration might want to consider “transitioning” several Ivy League universities into mental homes to serve an urgent public need.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @george:
    No, sorry, it’s not the economy stupid. Not this time. It’s the future stupid.

    Look, this is happening all over the Western World. We have divided into people who look to the future and welcome globalization, integration, tolerance, etc…, and those who look to the past, to nationalism, repression, nostalgia etc….

    In the United States that visceral rejection of the future expresses itself in racism, just as it expresses itself in nationalism in Europe. Same maker, different models.

    This is not about economic self-interest, if it were then white working class voters would vote with black and Latino working class voters. The white working class does not want ‘more’ they want ‘better.’ They want status. That’s what they feel they’ve lost, that’s why there’s so much focus on ‘political correctness.’ PC is not about economy, it’s about social status, social acceptability, coolness.

    The notion that white working class voters are voting their economic self-interest is refuted by the election itself.

  19. S. Fields says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Take a deep breath, michael.

    The entire West Coast is more progressive than ever and the Northeast remains solidly blue. You’ll note that’s where most people live. The “country” will not be defined by this anomalous election.

    There is a rural/urban divide in the US and the electoral college plays into that. But, change is led by the culture, not the politicians. And people drive the culture.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @S. Fields:
    A High School principal in Los Altos – right in the center of Silicon Valley – was just fired for correctly comparing Trump to Hitler. And Cheetoh hasn’t even taken office yet.

  21. KM says:

    @george:

    So suppose its 20% of Trump voters who were about the big FU. What do the Democrats have to do to get those votes back?

    We don’t. The FU was predicated on lying to them: the wall, coal coming back, high-paying low-skilled factory jobs, a return to the imagined past. Previously blue places that went red bought the bullshit because they *wanted* to buy the bullshit. Somebody that really really really wants the coal mine to reopen isn’t going to be interested in job retraining or economic migration. They don’t want a viable alternative, they want what they want. That anger isn’t going to abate in 4 years; it’s most likely going to get worse when the promised relief never arises.

    Unless liberals are willing to jump on that bandwagon, we’re not going to get them back with anything we do. They have to choose to come back. They have to choose the truth over the comforting lie. Dems are out of power and can’t help them in any sort of legislative fashion. Voters are going to have to realize a middle finger towards “elites” does jackshit; nice emotional venting, little real gain. You cannot reason with someone running on their feelings; you can only offer them reasonable alternatives to the dreck they favor and hope they’re feeling you at the moment.

  22. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There’s much of that in the election, sure. But to think 60 million people voted for identical reasons is a pretty stark stereotype – I’m kind of surprised you think people are that uniform in their motives.

    My observation of real people – and I’m an engineer mind you, so I’ll admit I’m not the best analyst of people – is that they will do the same thing for wildly different reasons. In fact, one of the most amazing things about humans is how diverse they are, how varied their reasons, both good and bad, for doing almost anything. So I’m rather doubtful that they’re nearly as uniform as you believe them to be.

    I suspect there are a number of significant sub-populations among Trump voters, just as there are among Clinton voters (voters who loved her, who disliked her but quite reasonably thought she was much better than Trump, voters who were more worried about the Supreme Court than anything else, voters who liked her economics but worried about her past views about the military etc).

    People really are diverse. The older I get, the more I see it. Sometimes I think it’d have been interesting to have studied neuro-biology rather than physics when I was younger, the brain is fascinating in how variable it is.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    The mainstream media, which continue to be extremely influential (though less so than before), overwhelmingly lean Democratic.

    Bwahahaha. Good one, Volokh.

    Good piece in the Guardian this morning, Rebecca Solnit, Don’t call Clinton a weak candidate: it took decades of scheming to beat her

    It took the long Republican campaign to blow up the boring bureaucratic irregularity of Clinton’s use of a private email server into a scandal that the media obediently picked up and reheated.

    It took James Comey, the director of the FBI, using that faux-scandal and his power to stage a misleading smear attack on Clinton 11 days before the election in flagrant violation of the custom of avoiding such intervention for sixty days before an election. It took a compliant mainstream media running after his sabotage like a golden retriever chasing a tennis ball.

  24. JKB says:

    @S. Fields: There is a rural/urban divide in the US and the electoral college plays into that.

    I just learned today that Hillary’s rural outreach was run out of Brooklyn, surely they could have at least set up on Staten Island if they were scared to venture into New Jersey? Hell, The Hamptons are more rural than Brooklyn.

  25. Andrew says:

    @Kylopod:

    How Liberal used to mean:

    open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values

    Now it represents more political meaning than anything.

    Or how Ignorance used to just mean lack of knowledge. Now it’s even used to represent Rude.

    On topic:

    The Republicans will go back to the same playbook as they did under Bush. The ACA will not go the way of the Dodo. Not when the largest voting block for Republicans is also the largest block of insured voters. We may get into a war in the Middle East. Tax breaks are coming, but the Federal government will be expanded. Like it was under Bush, and Reagan. (Not Obama)
    The Democratic party may not have a shining star at the moment. That could change next week for all we know.
    It just takes a focused effort by the party to vault a new face into the area with the backing of the party. The party may not have a legacy candidate, yet. Like Trump however, a new face not experienced with a decade or more in Washington, that will bring back the party. Just like President Obama.

    It’s all a wheel, and we are all going around it. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  26. george says:

    @KM:

    I agree Trump was lying to them. But there has to be another solution, a way to help them; telling them to suck-eggs, tough to be you, should have been born and raised to go into high-tech or finance is just lousy government as well as being bad politics.

    Worse, the Clinton campaign simply ignored them. A lot of them seem to have reacted to that as much as anything else – what would it have cost to at least show some sympathy? All her ads were against Trump, having even a few talking about their plight might have made a big difference even if it didn’t have a solution. You see this in counselling all the time – sometimes its not about being to fix people’s problems, just listening to them seriously is enough.

    Crap, Clinton couldn’t even be bothered to campaign in much of the rust belt. How often did she go to Wisconsin, or Michigan? What in the world was behind that? What message did that send, if not “I don’t care about you at all”?

    Trump is a lying conman who won’t do a thing to help them. But the con trick is to pretend to care. That’s a lot easier to pull off if the other side is simply ignoring them.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @george:
    I’m not in any way suggesting that all white-right voters know why they’re voting, or what they want, or what they feel. I never believe in single motives precisely because I do know how strange and disorganized are the workings of most minds.

    But it’s irrelevant. The white-right lives in an insulated bubble, divorced from consensual reality. They are gone. Lost. Over.

    There’s 5-10% of the Cheetoh supporters who are even remotely persuadable. Will we turn them around by street demonstrations? Of course not. So, how will we turn them around? With our own Big Liar? With our reasoned editorials in publications they don’t read? With our promises of. . . what, exactly? Because what they want is the past, and no one can give it to them, and that will make them angry and anger means scapegoats. Who do you figure will do a better job of identifying scapegoats, us or Cheetoh?

  28. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @george:

    . Median is meaningless unless the frequency distribution of income is almost flat, and it isn’t. Its not even a bell curve.

    This! The bifurcation of the middle class–according to the IRS, 50% of all wage earners earned $30,000 or less in the last year for which statistics are available–is why the argument that the economy recovery doesn’t really resonate with many of the voters. They aren’t part of the recovering economy. Trump used that to his and the GOP advantage.

    Now you can go ahead and talk about how these people are losers who have done this to themselves–as James and Doug, and now HL92 and Reynolds do–but it’s not going to win you elections.

  29. R.Dave says:

    @C. Clavin: Global recession at the hand of failed Republican economic theories.
    Record numbers of un-insured.
    Privatization of SS and Medicare.
    War at the hand of a thin-skinned narcissistic CinC.
    Trade wars.
    Voter suppression run rampant.
    Roe v. Wade overturned.
    Environmental progress reversed.

    Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!

    😉 Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    Part of the problem is that with the internet and the splitting of the media into so many different channels, it’s very easy to surround yourself with purveyors of “news” who tell you what you want to hear and provide you with all the rationalization to discount all the “bad data” you don’t want to admit exists.

    Then we’ve got the continued stirring of the pot by the unholy alliance of Russian meddlers and 4chan idiots putting out totally false stories “for the lulz.”

    I wonder when these brain-damaged idiots will realize the mess they have made of our culture. (The Russians, of course, are counting on it.) A country can’t run when none of the information passed around can be trusted and all “news” is nothing more than spin hurled out by one group looking for power over another group.

    Unless we quickly develop an appreciation for truth and a willingness to penalize those who peddle false stories, I’m afraid we’re sunk. Completely. We’re probably already sunk, what with the inability of people on the right to admit to the existence of Global Warming.

  31. Argon says:

    I remain a bit surprised that the Senate is split 50/50 given that for the Presidential elections there are more red than blue states. That means a number of otherwise red states are splitting votes for Senators. This suggests that the Democrats will remain fairly strong and united, now as an opposition party.

    Judging from the Presidential advisers being selected I suspect the GOP is about due for a major internal clash.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    So, what’s your solution? What do you propose to do about the fact that we do not happen to have a bunch of $80k a year jobs for uneducated people in rural areas?

  33. S. Fields says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There are pockets of regressives everywhere, even in Silicon Valley.

    Pockets, however, will not hold against the tide of cultural progress. Homosexuals coming out to their families and communities led to Obergefell not the other way around.

    This not to say it will be easy, as the election of Trump shows there is significant resistance to progress in the country. This is not to say it is inevitable, as progress must be fought for. I’m more than a little disappointed that you are thinking of leaving the country, since artists have always held the line against ignorant authoritarianism. If Havel could stay in Czechoslovakia, we can stay here and resist Trumpism.

  34. SenyorDave says:

    What was turnout in this election, about 53%? My guess is if turnout had been 60%+ Clinton would have won in a walk. This really was a perfect storm in many ways. Clinton had probably a 6 – 10 point lead after the sexual predator tape came out, and could only go down,and then the Comey announcement broke and really hurt as it reinvigorated the emphasis on the emails. Without Comey I believe she wins without much trouble.
    I think some of the biggest emphasis needs to be on expanding the base through messaging and education, and getting future turnout. A massive registration effort has to take place, and it will cost a lot of money. The other piece is going afte the state houses.
    I don’t see focusing on the WWC, anyone who self-identifies as WWC is probably unreachable. The people in WV have tons of job training opportunities, they get a huge amount from the federal gov’t. But apparently the lie of coal coming back was just too appealing. I live in MD, and there are whole parts of the Baltimore metropolitan area where people seriously believe the old Bethlehem steel plant will now be viable under Trump.
    One last thing, there are a couple of bomb throwers who regularly post (JKB, Guarneri, Jenos, etc.), but do not engage in honest dialogue. I notice when you post a fact that seals the argument they switch to another topic. My post election resolution is to ignore them and hope they just disappear. I love intelligent discourse/arguments with opposing views. There is a concept in Jewish tradition called sacred arguing. It implies honest, civil discourse (and a host of other concepts). These folks simply don’t play by those rules.

  35. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What do you propose to do about the fact that we do not happen to have a bunch of $80k a year jobs for uneducated people in rural areas?

    Show them empathy and make promises that you can’t keep.

    Break the promises, but keep up the empathy.

    A lot of this will fix itself via demographics. Much of rural America is already depopulating. There are a lot of small towns that are fading away as the younger people bail out and don’t look back. Their populations will keep plummeting as the old die off and there are fewer young people to create replacements.

    If I was president/czar/chief social engineer, I would be speeding up this process. We have dying cities in the Rust Belt that should be re-homesteaded (to coin a phrase), building those cities up with refugees from these dying little towns that have no future without heavy subsidies. Literally pay people to move, give them property that they can keep if they make a go of it, and provide job opportunities that give them a sense of hope. Being stuck and waiting to die in Sh*tsberg Ohiovania where the factory closed down thirty years ago is no way to live.

  36. wr says:

    @KM: “How many of those protesters are out there trying to assuage their guilt of not giving a crap 5 days prior?”

    I’m so tired of this lazy canard, which of course is being used to deligitimate anyone protesting.

    Where are the majority of the protests happening? New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts. These are places where Hillary won by 30, 40, even 60 percent.

    These are not the people who lost the election by not voting. These are the people who turned out en masse, helped their candidate win the popular vote, and then were told again that because they weren’t out of work white folks in the midwest, their vote doesn’t really matter.

    And yes, I know, the system, constitution, blah blah blah. If the system is consistently arranged to keep all power in the hands of a minority of voters, the other side is going to get angry.

  37. S. Fields says:

    @JKB:

    Instead the rural vote went to the NYC billionaire whose own insularity is only outweighed by his ability to sell fantasies to the desperate. But as michael reynolds has noted above, those factory jobs and family farms are not coming back in significant measure, so the Trumpkins will figure out soon enough what every other customer of Trump through his business career has discovered – the Trump brand is just gilded shite.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    Show them empathy and make promises that you can’t keep.

    Break the promises, but keep up the empathy.

    Right, so we lie to them, Cheetoh lies to them, who’s the better liar? It ain’t us, we have our little addiction to realty as a handicap.

    And when they realize they still aren’t getting any of what they’ve been promised by the white-right, what do you think they’ll do? Open their eyes and go, “My God, we’ve been tricked?” No, they’ll say, “We were robbed! Stabbed in the back!”

    Which is why Cheetoh is staffing up on rabid anti-semites. Because you really can’t get a good ‘stab-in-the-back’ narrative going without Jews.

  39. Gustopher says:

    @S. Fields: “If Havel could stay in Czechoslovakia, we can stay here and resist Trumpism.”

    For at least part of the time, Havel was in prison, which made his staying pretty easy.

  40. KM says:

    @george :

    But there has to be another solution, a way to help them; telling them to suck-eggs, tough to be you, should have been born and raised to go into high-tech or finance is just lousy government as well as being bad politics.

    Except that’s not what was *said*, that’s what they *heard*. Not to be indelicate but there was quite a lot of inferiority complex projecting onto her campaign – that’s were the accusations of “smug” come from. What was said was the simple fact that they need to change, that their preferred way of life is over and here’s some options to fill the void. Nobody said they had to be “born and raised” to anything other then the will to work. Economic migration is as old as the country: Go West Young Man, Hillbilly Highways, Heading for Cali-for-ni-a, etc. Gold towns died when the sole employer – the mine – dried up but somehow coal or the factory should be different?

    What’s happening is a relatively new 20th century phenomenon: the entitled rural voter. They don’t want new industry, they want the old one propped up against all economic sense. They don’t want to pay the higher taxes a low-pop tax base needs to have the infrastructure they want. They want government intervention to protect the high-pay, low-skill jobs of yore but can’t qualify for the modern equivalent of them and won’t accept globally competitive wages.

    Trust me, I come from a place like this. It’s been dying by inches for decades but keeps looking for the magic bullet that will put it back on top. The One Industry that will take the place of the previous One Industry, where everyone can get a $70K starter job regardless of education, talent or skill. Meanwhile, the population is a third of what it was in my parent’s time, the roads are falling apart, Main Street is empty, a “good” job is $30K for a college grad and most of the few higher-end salaried positions are unfilled because they can’t attract qualified candidates to a one-horse town. All you hear from the residents is longing to return to the glory days, how life screwed them over and if they can just attract a one more big box chain to anchor downtown, it will come alive again. Nothing changes but the decay slowly creeps in.

    Worse, the Clinton campaign simply ignored them. A lot of them seem to have reacted to that as much as anything else – what would it have cost to at least show some sympathy?

    It would have been misconstrued as pity, patronizing or “looking down”. There’s an interview out there of Scranton voters who complained she only shows up at election time. Her family’s from there and the turnout for her visit was like, what, 4 people? Literally, 4 people. If the hometown folks feel this way, I’d imagine Milwaukee feels the same.

    Hillary didn’t spend a lot of time campaigning in New York or California and you don’t see them complaining they’ve been ignored. You campaign in battleground states… which, to be fair, they just made themselves into. They were listened to, they just weren’t prioritized. And that’s what stuck in white rural middle America’s craw – that they weren’t seen as the automatic priority anymore. Micheal’s right in that a poor rural voter cast their FU to the collation that was seen as over-prioritizing the poor urban voter. When they say “jobs”, they mean jobs for them. If a million of excellent manufacturing jobs were created in NY and CA alone, the screaming wouldn’t stop. If all the factories were built in major cities, the bitching would be epic.

    They’re tired of just being listened to – that’s the point of the FU. They want results. They’re not going to get them.

  41. KM says:

    @wr:

    I’m so tired of this lazy canard, which of course is being used to deligitimate anyone protesting.

    Interviews with some protesters have confirmed it. Maybe it’s not a significant percentage but those people are there. Listen, I’m down with the protesting. I’m not trying to de-legitimatize anything or invalidate their anger. I’m pointed out johnny-come-latelys are in the fold and deserve to be scolded for giving a shit too late. Anyone who’s now “passionate about politics” after the major event is over needs to get the side-eye at least.

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    They’re tired of just being listened to – that’s the point of the FU. They want results. They’re not going to get them.

    Bingo, and about 10 up-votes if I could.

    They want X. They aren’t getting X. The world is changing and they don’t like it. West Virginia, Arkansas, Michigan, the old industrial heartland of the UK, the backward east of Germany, Putin’s entire incompetent nation, they all want an imaginary past. And there is no way to get there. That’s why we won’t get those voters.

    And this being America, the leaders of those people will increase the attacks on racial, religious, sexual identity and class scapegoats because they will have no practical alternative way to cling to power.

  43. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It isn’t possible to win elections without telling people what they want to hear.

    People claim to be angry about politicians being dishonest, but politicians have learned that they need to lie if they want to win and remain in power. I can’t fault them for having survival skills.

    Bill Clinton did an outstanding job of displaying empathy. Obama wasn’t quite as talented in that regard, but his charisma helped to make up for it. Joe Biden would have probably been the best choice in this regard, and it is unfortunate that he didn’t want to run.

  44. JKB says:

    @S. Fields: went to the NYC billionaire

    Are you upset that the Marxist playbook is being used for non-Marxist purposes? That a “person of bourgeois origin” would move to the lead is a common expectation. A NYC billionaire was someone who had both the means to avoid the party apparatus, but also the experience to deal with the hostile media. As the Wikileaks revealed for the Democrats, the people are not generally permitted to choose whom they will support for President in the general election.

    Perhaps this from Orwell’s ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ will offer enlightenment on this matter:

    This business of petty inconvenience and indignity, of being kept waiting about, of having to do everything at other people’s convenience, is inherent in working-class life. A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that ‘they’ will never allow him to do this, that, and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that ‘they’ would never allow it. Who were ‘they’? I asked. Nobody seemed to know, but evidently ‘they’ were omnipotent.

    A person of bourgeois origin goes through life with some expectation of getting what he wants, within reasonable limits. Hence the fact that in times of stress ‘educated’ people tend to come to the front; they are no more gifted than the others and their ‘education’ is generally quite useless in itself, but they are accustomed to a certain amount of deference and consequently have the cheek necessary to a commander. That they will come to the front seems to be taken for granted, always and everywhere.

  45. JKB says:

    @t:

    You might note that I did not say that, but rather quoted someone humorously making an observation.

  46. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    Hillary didn’t spend a lot of time campaigning in New York or California and you don’t see them complaining they’ve been ignored.

    It’s a different mindset. The smaller states and towns hate to be ignored. Compare the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries (small but loud and early) to California (big, but late and practically irrelevant) for one example of the difference.

    Did you know that New Hampshire has a law that requires it to have the first primary in the nation? Good luck trying to ignore the place, even though the total state population is about the same as the metro area of Memphis.

  47. An Interested Party says:

    There have been several elections in the past 24 years where a political party was declared dead and yet that same party made gains in following elections…whenever either party has complete control in Washington it never goes well…they overplay their hand, get sloppy, and are defeated later…especially with Trump in the lead and with the fighting dynamic between the establishment GOP and the alt-right crowd, this isn’t going to end well for Republicans…so for all of those who are gloating now, enjoy…your victory will be fleeting…

  48. Franklin says:

    I’m going to cast my lot with the optimists here. One can’t say the GOP is dead one day and then say the opposite the next, and vice versa for the Dems. We’re still the same country of differing, conflicting interests that we were a week ago. As Nate Silver points out, if you take 1 out of every 100 total votes cast and switch just 1 from Trump to Clinton, the electoral college gets almost exactly swapped.

    The main trouble is that progress goes stagnant for the next 4 years, and maybe some is reversed. And to be honest, there’s may be some advantage to playing good cop (Obama) bad cop (Trump) with the rest of the world.

    I understand this was a deeply disappointing result. Give it a few months, and I think the foul stench will dissipate a bit. We’ll still complain about this and that, and we’ll get to vote again in another four years if you still don’t like what you smell.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    according to the IRS, 50% of all wage earners earned $30,000 or less in the last year for which statistics are available–is why the argument that the economy recovery doesn’t really resonate with many of the voters. They aren’t part of the recovering economy. Trump used that to his and the GOP advantage.

    And yet we’re told the average Trump supporter has an income over 70K. How is this possible? (Trump voters are older and whiter.)

    In WAPO E. J. Dionne has a column, Against Trumpian triumphalism.

    When exit pollsters asked voters to name the most important issue facing the country, he won among those who listed immigration or terrorism; he lost among those who cited the economy. Trump’s hard-edged social conservatism, not just a general anti- establishment appeal, drove up white turnout in many key counties.

    Yes, Dems should recycle Bill’s “It’s the economy, stupid” and pursue a platform of economic populism that will benefit poor whites in Methland fly over country and minorities in cities. Maybe they should avoid stressing the help to minorities. And maybe that will peel off the few percent of “blue collar whites” Dems need to win. But let’s not, among ourselves, pretend that’s what support for Trump is all about.

  50. JKB says:

    @KM: All you hear from the residents is longing to return to the glory days, how life screwed them over and if they can just attract a one more big box chain to anchor downtown, it will come alive again. Nothing changes but the decay slowly creeps in.

    That’s because socialism always fails eventually. Many of these town and cities (see Detroit) road the wave of unionism and government interventionism. But then the economy changed and those cities, ensnared in socialist interventionism and cronyism, were unable to adapt. Some cities have been able to gain some freedom, but many are just bleeding out.

    And yes, it is socialism even as the people declare their hatred of socialism. Such is the world of creeping interventionism on the path to the Zwangswirtschaft (“compulsory economy”). The direct socialization of the means of production as in the Soviet Union has been avoided, but the increasing control of production by regulation and government interventionism begun by the New Deal has proceeded apace. The time has arisen to deregulate as happened with Reagan so that wealth can be generated across a wider swath of the population.

  51. An Interested Party says:

    …we’ll get to vote again in another four years if you still don’t like what you smell.

    Well of course by then the smell will be quite rancid…it may seem counterintuitive, but perhaps it was better for Democrats to lose this year so that they can come back in the census year of 2020…

  52. SenyorDave says:

    @Franklin: I understand this was a deeply disappointing result. Give it a few months, and I think the foul stench will dissipate a bit.

    I don’t think so. We’ve never had a completely amoral person as president. I’m talking about amoral in all facets of life, personal and professional. I defy a person to name a positive about the life of Trump. Don’t give me business or that he employs a lot of people, because that is canceled out by the small businesses he’s ruined by cheating them out of contractually owed money and the job losses due to his various documented scams. Admitted sexual predator, racist, anti-Semite, mocks the disabled, steals from charities.
    The character of our president does matter, it mattered with Bill Clinton, and Trump seem like Mother Theresa.

  53. JKB says:

    @gVOR08: Trump’s hard-edged social conservatism,

    Wait, is Dionne talking about Trump’s belief that same-sex marriage is a settled issue and that Roe v Wade being overturned would at worst move abortion to the states rather than ban it nationwide? That “hard-edged social conservatism”.

  54. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Because what they want is the past, and no one can give it to them, and that will make them angry and anger means scapegoats.

    Throw them Wall Street. Occupy and Bernie showed us that can work. And besides being politically workable, blaming Wall Street for their problems has the virtue of a lot of truth and facilitates good economic decisions (regulation, shoring up the CFPB, killing carried interest, progressive taxation generally. Maybe even a Tobin tax.)

  55. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    The Democratic party today is as dead as the GOP was in 2008.

    Which is why this is not the time for the GOP to offer compassion and compromise and sympathy. It’s time for “we won” and ““They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back” and “elections have consequences.”

    But the screaming and whining and lamentations of the women and the womanly… it’s giving me such a wonderful schadenboner.

    What so many fail to realize that all these riots, all these assassination threats, all these rape threats, all these howls of Nazism and Klans, all these “safe spaces” and whatnot… all these things remind us Trump voters this is why Trump had to win, and, more importantly, why Hillary had to lose.

    Oh, and mr. reynolds? Give my regards to the sheep. And reassure them that wr won’t be coming by any time soon, so their virtue will be safe.

  56. JKB says:

    @SenyorDave: We’ve never had a completely amoral person as president. I’m talking about amoral in all facets of life, personal and professional.

    Assuming that is true about Trump, all that means is that not having an amoral person as president really wasn’t an option this election. You do remember the choice was between Hillary or Trump?

    I defy a person to name a positive about the life of Trump.

    Have you seen his kids? Accomplished in their own rights. All, from three different mothers, and Barron seems likely to achieve to the level of his siblings as he grows into an adult.

  57. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB:

    No. But thank you for the example of arguing from whichever of Trump’s widely ranging statements on any particular policy that you happen to like at the moment.

  58. Pch101 says:

    Note to conservatives: George Orwell was a socialist, so quoting him at length as an authority when he would have despised everything that you believe only proves that you aren’t particularly knowledgeable.

    When Orwell took liberals to task, it was because he thought that they were too far to the right. Oh, the irony…

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: Yes, we have to get used to the concept of “rehousing.” Of destroying and clearing away parts of cities when the population drops.

    One of the problems Detroit has had is that the drop in population did not occur in just one area of the city, but all over it, so that even as the tax base dwindled, the city was still on the hook for providing the standard utilities (street lighting, running water, electricity, etc.) to the entire geographic area. That’s the problem–street lighting is the same fixed amount whether you have one person living on a street or a hundred. If Detroit had been able to force a geographic shrinking of the city to go along with the drop in population, the financial hole it found itself in would have been far less painful.

    I’m not sure how to deal with the problem. It seems to me that you either have to go for forced moving, or reclassify the location as being “outside the city” and tell the local inhabitants they’re on their own now and better start digging a well.

  60. SenyorDave says:

    @JKB: @JKB: Last time ever I address a troll, but it took me about one minute to find out about Donald Trump Jr. (yes, the one who has the picture holding the severed elephant tail, fine young man he is) and his fascination with the alt-right. He might actually be worse than his old man. He’s a racist, anti-Semitic POS like his father.

    Eric Trump – he has a foundation that spends most of its charitable funds at, surprise, Trump-owned properties.

    That’s two for three of adult children (at least the ones he acknowledges).

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: I doubt it was “socialism” that caused the demise of the Rust Belt cities, dearie. More likely cheaper steel and production abroad.

    But keep banging the drum against that nasty socialism. I’m sure that will fix all matters.

  62. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You pretty much nailed it with Detroit.

    It would take a combination of what I am calling re-homesteading, enticing people and businesses to relocate, combined with urban farming to fill in the gaps. (The primary point of urban farming is to fill up large amounts of empty space with something other than a field of weeds or a pile of debris.) This would have to be combined with specific efforts to reduce crime and improve the schools so that people have reasons to go there and to stay.

    Much of rural America is propped up with federal money. I would say that the subsidies have to be more selective, as some of those places are simply hopeless and will eventually become ghost towns. Pay them to leave instead of paying to keep them there.

  63. Franklin says:

    @grumpy realist: Thank god for someone who at least partially understands that the downfall of Detroit wasn’t because of socialism. Good luck educating the people who treat that as gospel, though.

    I’ve lived in the metro Detroit area my whole life. The main causes of its decline were white flight (especially after the riots) which aided in Grumpy Realist’s listed cause, shitty Big Three (previously Four) management, and yes, definitely some corruption (which isn’t specific to any type of government).

  64. Anonne says:

    The Sanders wing is already making strides to clean house in the DNC. I am hopeful that they will win. There are still a lot of delusional people inside the Democratic Party that want to blame Comey, but it doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people couldn’t connect with Clinton and write her name in.

  65. Kylopod says:

    @SenyorDave:

    We’ve never had a completely amoral person as president

    To call Trump merely “amoral” seems an understatement. The country can survive an amoral president. I’m not sure it can survive one who openly admires despots.

  66. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds: If he indeed made the comparison in his official capacity he should have been fired.

    To compare Trump to Hitler is idiotic and in many ways evil.

  67. Davebo says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’m not sure it can survive one who openly admires despots.

    We survived Reagan and Bush 1 and compared to them Trump is a piker on the subject.

  68. Hal_10000 says:

    While I agree that the Dems are not decimated, they are in serious trouble. They have minimal presence outside of California, Massachusetts and New York. The Republicans dominate state legislatures and governorships. And this has the trickle up effect of depriving them of a potential Presidential candidate in 2020. There was a reason Clinton was the default nominee in 2016.

    Think about this: had Trump lost, the GOP had a deep bench of potential 2020 candidates: Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, etc. Now who do the Dems run in 2020? Warren will be 71 and is not terribly popular outside her own state. Sanders will be 77. Brown will be 82. Cuomo could run, but he doesn’t have a national presence right now. Booker maybe?

    So no the Democrats aren’t decimated. But they are in very serious trouble. The success of Obama concealed a nationwide collapse of the party at the state and local level. They don’t seem to grasp this.

    I’ve been telling Democrats that if they want to oppose Trump and the GOP agenda, to do it at the state level. LGBT protections, environmental protections, etc. can be all be accomplished at that level. And doing so would build up the kind of machine they need if they want to take back the govt.

  69. Davebo says:

    @JKB:

    Have you seen his kids? Accomplished in their own rights.

    Yes, those kids are indeed a chip off the old block. They too would be no where without their Daddy!

  70. Jen says:

    The Democratic Party might not be dead, but it’s sure doing a heck of a job pulling itself apart right now.

    Republicans will likely overplay their hand–I think we’re already seeing signs of this with Ryan’s idea to stick turn parts of Medicare over to private insurers in with Obamacare repeal/revisions.

    Democrats risk doing the same thing in their reorg. If they pull too far to the left they will absolutely lose elections. It’s too easy to scare voters on pocketbook issues, particularly the tax increases necessary to support programs.

  71. Scott F. says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And this being America, the leaders of those people will increase the attacks on racial, religious, sexual identity and class scapegoats because they will have no practical alternative way to cling to power.

    I guess this is why I’m still hopeful Trump’s election isn’t some harbinger for the country’s decline but rather a dark tunnel we must go through to come into the light.

    The “attacks on racial, religious, sexual identity and class scapegoats” have always been there, though the GOP has been quite adept at dog-whistling those attacks in the past. But, with Trump, there’s no mincing words and the racists, xenophobes and homophobes have been emboldened to let their freak flags fly. Subtle anti-semitism can be ignored by the masses, but swastikas not so much.

    The vulnerable will need to be protected both physically and legally, but there remain champions willing and eager to do that.

    Then, before the end of Trump’s term, when the small town factories remain closed and produce costs more because there are fewer people to harvest it, at least some of those who held their nose for Trump instead for Clinton will figure out that maybe, just maybe, the state of their lives aren’t the result of people not being able to say “n*gger” or “f@gg@t” out in public without being scorned.

    Remember who won the popular vote and nearly enough electoral votes. It won’t take much to tip the balance the other way.

    Of course, I live in California, not Kansas, so it’s easier for me to glimpse a positive future. I am reconsidering the potential for Trump’s wall, though I’d put it along the Rockies and not the Rio Grande.

  72. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Definitely the steel. Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna NY just burned down a few days ago. The site was so massive that fire in only part of it shut down a major traffic artery and caused a shelter in place order. Despite being decrepit as hell and probably toxic to boot, it seems it was being used as a storage facility. It’s suspected a hot lightbulb falling on cardboard caused the fire.

    This building should have been torn down decades ago, the land cleaned and re-purposed. But the death of steel was a stake in the heart for Lackawanna and this behemoth lingered to pose a safety hazard to the city. Socialism didn’t kill that plant, capitalism did.

  73. Scott F. says:

    @JKB:

    It’s beyond cute that you think Trump is not one of the ‘they’ keeping down the masses. He is the poster boy for ‘they’ – just ask those contractors he’s stiffed and the foreigners who make his brand name goods.

  74. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    Tell me some times when white Americans voted along class lines. And I’ll show you ten times as many cases where they voted by race. We are not communists, or populists, or admitted socialists, we are racists.

  75. john430 says:

    @michael reynolds: The Republicans won the trifecta…The Presidency, The Senate and The House. Republicans will appoint one, possibly two Supreme Court Justices affecting the next 20-25 years AND the GOP controls the same trifecta in over 30 states. Great news for redistricting after the census. Additionally, Democrats will have to defend over 20 some seats in the Senate come 2018.

    In other news, Michael Reynolds and fellow Trotskyites in the Democrat party are licking their wounds and rereading Lenin’s treatises on advocating violence.

  76. john430 says:

    @Kylopod: Dunno about that. Bill Clinton was and is a sexual predator. We (and he, unfortunately survived .)

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @john430: And your side is going to have to deliver. No more excuses. You’ve got the Presidency, Senate, House, and can stuff SCOTUS with as many ideologues as you want. So there’s absolutely no excuses you guys will be able to throw up in the future. You’re going to have to bring back all the jobs you’ve promised, give us all those wonderful tax breaks, pay all that money on infrastructure, AND balance the budget at the same time.

    Because you promised. And now you’re going to have to deliver it.

  78. Davebo says:

    @john430:

    The GOP won the senate and the house? Two bodies they already controlled but now control by fewer votes?

    No, the GOP kept the senate and the house while losing seats in both. Perhaps a distinction without a difference, but still a distinction.

  79. Franklin says:

    BTW, one other point in my optimistic worldview:

    I think it will hit home, at least for the next few election cycles, that you actually have to *vote*. Too many people thought it was in the bag. There’s enough blame to go around, but suffice it to say that many of the demographics who didn’t vote would generally be helpful to Democratic causes.

  80. SenyorDave says:

    @Scott F.: He is the poster boy for ‘they’ – just ask those contractors he’s stiffed and the foreigners who make his brand name goods.

    That was just Trump showing what a shrewd business he is by screwing small businesspeople.

  81. Scott says:

    @Hal_10000: Yes, I believe the Democrats bench issues belongs to Obama. He made a mistake right off the bat by taking Sebelius and Neapolitano out of Kansas and Arizona, two red states. Second, having Wasserman-Schultz pulling double duty as Representative and DNC Chairman was a disaster as she was not very good at either. BTW, they didn’t learn their lesson by going with Ellison. All too focused on Washington. Not too promising.

  82. Kylopod says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And this has the trickle up effect of depriving them of a potential Presidential candidate in 2020. There was a reason Clinton was the default nominee in 2016.

    I’ve been beating this drum for a while now, but a major reason the Dems had such a weak field this year was that many Dems who could have run didn’t. Such as:

    Andrew Cuomo
    Deval Patrick
    Kirsten Gillibrand
    Tim Kaine
    Evan Bayh
    Sherrod Brown
    Elizabeth Warren
    Cory Booker
    etc., etc.

    Now, I’m not saying all on that list would have been fantastic candidates. I’m sure at least some would have disappointed. But they were all conventional candidates with conventional resumes, and they were all younger than Hillary.

    In the end, the only alternatives to her who actually entered the race consisted of a septuagenarian socialist, two mavericky ex-Republicans who were anything but standard liberals, and an obscure Maryland governor. Because of this, lots of people concluded the Dems had a weak “bench” compared with the GOP, where a hoard of senators and governors actually ran, only to be bested by an orangutan throwing its feces at them.

    People have this weird blind spot where they don’t “see” potential candidates except among those who actually have run before. If you want to know who’s available for 2020, just consult a list of current and recent senators and governors. Keep in mind that the Dems have a recent history of nominating candidates who rose from obscurity. The last three Democratic presidents–Obama, Clinton, and Carter–were virtual unknowns at the national level four years before running.

    I’m of two minds about Hillary. On the one hand, she’s been demonized way beyond any of her actual faults, and one of the great failings of this election was the media’s persistent attempt to present her and Trump as more or less equivalently flawed.

    On the other hand, I think her political skills have long been overrated. Everyone’s saying that now, but I was saying it more than two years ago, at a time when she was actually popular.

    And I believe that’s one of the reasons so many standard Dems chose not to run in 2016. It seemed almost like there was a kind of seniority thing going on, that everyone felt it was her “turn” and that they had to pay deference to her because of who she was and who her husband was. It was short-sighted, and it’s a point that people miss when they get bogged down in the “Would Bernie have beaten Trump?” debates.

  83. bandit says:

    @michael reynolds: we are racists.

    Speak for yourself. But keep going full nutjob and blaming the peeps. That’s a big winner – just ask President Hillary 🙂

  84. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: Well, maybe at least this has knocked some of the silliness out of the DNC and its inhabitants.

  85. An Interested Party says:

    But the screaming and whining and lamentations of the women and the womanly…

    How, exactly, does one act “womanly”? And how is that a negative thing? Also, who are the people who are acting “womanly”…

  86. SenyorDave says:

    @An Interested Party: If you hate women, womanly is a pejorative. If he could figure out a way to act blackly, that would be a negative too. If you defend racists and sexists, pretty good chance you are one yourself.

  87. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Agreed with all of that and will add one more salient point: in addition to the “her turn” thinking, she also left office with an approval rating in the mid- 60% range, and given her tenure in politics and run in 2008, she had basically “kept warm” a field organization. Anyone thinking of running would look at that and think “dang, I’m not going up against that.” (Forgetting that George H.W. Bush had a sky-high approval rating after the first Gulf War and lost to Bill Clinton.)

    Like the campaign itself, everything looked so damn thought-through and organized, people figured she had it locked down. If the DNC learns anything from this, it should be: let the process work on its own. I wouldn’t want to see a primary field 17 people deep–we’ve seen what can happen there. But mostly, no more of this “oh, it’s so-and-so’s turn.”

  88. Monala says:

    @Pch101:

    Joe Biden would have probably been the best choice in this regard, and it is unfortunate that he didn’t want to run.

    I agree with this. I think he’s probably the only person who could have won on the Dem side. Sanders, despite what his supporters think, would have been demolished at the tax-raising socialist. Elizabeth Warren would have been hit with a fair amount of the same misogyny as Clinton, and while passionate, she’s too wonky and not charismatic enough to overcome that.

    Biden, otoh, has the genuine working class cred to draw the Rust Belt folks, a stronger connection to Obama than Hillary Clinton to draw Obama supporters, and the likeability and charm to draw the undecideds/independent. Some have pointed to his failed presidential runs in the past as evidence that he wouldn’t have been effective, but I disagree. Because of being President Obama’s VP, he’s much better known now than he was when he ran for president, and that publicity has mostly been positive.

    The timing sucked, though. He was grieving for his son about the time that he would have needed to put his hat in the ring.

  89. Pch101 says:

    @Monala:

    Some have pointed to his failed presidential runs in the past as evidence that he wouldn’t have been effective, but I disagree. Because of being President Obama’s VP, he’s much better known now than he was when he ran for president, and that publicity has mostly been positive.

    I have to agree. These days, Biden is coated in Teflon. He can be a bit goofy at times, but it doesn’t seem to do him any harm; if anything, it just adds to his regular guy charm. He passes the have-a-beer-with-him test.

  90. Zachriel says:

    @Monala: I think he’s probably the only person who could have won on the Dem side.

    Clinton was within 30,000 votes in Wisconsin, 80,000 in Pennsylvania, and just 20,000 in Michigan. There’s little doubt that the Comey letters depressed Democratic turnout.

    When elections are close, there are any number of factors that could have made the difference. Republican politicians have engaged in scorched earth for a generation, and have wallowed in truthiness so long they no longer know the difference. But the ultimate responsibility belongs with the voters. They chose an unrepentant bigot as their president.

  91. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    The Democratic party today is as dead as the GOP was in 2008.

    Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, in 2008, John McCain did not win the popular vote.

    It is interesting that the guy who preemptively claimed the election was rigged, lost the popular vote. How did that happen?

  92. SenyorDave says:

    @Pch101: Goofy? We have a POTUS who makes everything up, pulls statistics out of his ass (crime in the cities was at record level, even though it was about half of the record level, at a 30 year high, 93 million unemployed, which includes my 87 year old mother and all full time college students). There no longer is any standard for knowledge and truth when your president is a lying, racist, sexual predator.

  93. Monala says:

    @Zachriel: I agree with you, but with a caveat. I think Clinton had been through so many decades of Republican demonization, such that it spread to the country as a whole (many independents and liberals believe the stuff Republicans say about Clinton, and it was aided and abetted by the media), that it was very hard for her to overcome it. I know she was much more popular as SoS, but there were still two decades of slander about her, and that hurt. Biden doesn’t have that long history of being slandered. Yeah, the Republicans would have tried, but I think they would have had a harder time succeeding.

    I remember reading a post-mortem article in 2012 that talked about the impact of the 47% video on Romney’s chances. It made the point that when there are already strong narratives about a candidate, new information sticks or doesn’t stick based on those narratives. Romney was already considered a wealthy, out-of-touch corporatist, and the 47% video reinforced that. That’s why it stuck.

    Clinton, often unfairly, has been painted as corrupt, so the emails and Comey’s announcement stuck because they reinforced the existing narrative. Gallup did a word bubble chart based on what the public knew and thought about the candidates. The words in Clinton’s chart were more likely to be negative than those in Trump’s, and the largest word – representing the idea most associated with Clinton – was “emails.” I blame the media for that, because they covered that topic over and over again while ignoring many worse things that Trump was involved in. Nevertheless, the point is, the media narrative had an effect. IMO, the biggest effect was in depressing Democratic turnout.

    And regarding Sanders, yes, he doesn’t have a long history of being slandered by the Republicans. I still think they would have demolished him, based on the existing narratives about Democrats as a whole (tax and spend socialists, etc.), and there would have been very little Sanders could do to refute it, since he actually was planning to raise taxes a great deal, at all income levels, in order to increase government spending significantly, and calls himself a Democratic Socialist (the distinction would be lost on most people). In my mostly blue community, several Democratic challengers tried to upset some local Republican incumbents and lost. The overwhelming print and TV ads about these Democrats had nothing to do with them personally. Instead, they all focused on, “So and so will raise your taxes and waste the money!”

  94. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Knock down drag out with the bottle last night?

  95. Hal_10000 says:

    @Scott:

    Agreed on DWS. She and Kaine took the Democrats from total control of the federal govt to being completely out. Say what you want about Howard Dean, but he understood the idea of running candidates who could win their districts.

  96. bill says:

    lame “journalists” who seem to get paid by the clicks usually start this stuff. they said as much about the gop and it’s imminent collapse when trump loses……but then, here we are again!

  97. Kari Q says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Barring Trump being shockingly competent, there is a blue wave coming that will astonish with its breadth and depth. But we have to survive till it gets here, and that won’t be easy.

  98. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds

    A High School principal in Los Altos – right in the center of Silicon Valley – was just fired for correctly comparing Trump to Hitler.

    More people will lose jobs, or maybe just friends, over this sort of thing. And conservatives accuse liberals of political correctness.

    I expect we’ll see a few references to Hitler in these threads. I see in the WIKI page on Godwin’s Law,

    In December 2015, Godwin commented on the Nazi and fascist comparisons being made by several articles on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying that “If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician.”

    So comparisons to Hitler and Nazis are not Godwin’s Law issues if the comparison is apt.

  99. The era when you could make a good living doing a job that requires no specialized skill is over. That´s the problem in Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia. If you want to have a job in manufacturing you´ll need specialized skills.

  100. wr says:

    @JKB: Shorter JKB: “If you won’t let me dump my raw sewage and chemical waste in public waters you’re a commie!”

  101. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Ooh, the little Brownshirt has a woody!

  102. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Don’t got one. You’re right in that WE did this to ourselves. Sometimes, seeing the problem is all that’s available. Enjoy your new life in NZ; I was just there visiting relatives and it’s a nice place to be if you can get a visa to live there as a permanent resident and can afford it.

  103. Katharsis says:

    Emmy Mears creates a more nuanced map. Alaska and some close call counties still counting votes withstanding.

  104. An Interested Party says:

    I expect we’ll see a few references to Hitler in these threads.

    How could we not when one of the president-elect’s key advisors is an anti-Semite…

  105. Jen says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Correct. And this interesting piece notes that areas hit hardest by the recession are the areas that now have seen the most “upskilling” — with new jobs requiring much more highly skilled workers than before. If this persists, the skills gap will become a chasm.

  106. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    This “Trump the anti-Semite” is becoming the latest Big Lie. Keep repeating it, and maybe you’ll convince yourselves it’s true.

    Trump is a big supporter of Israel, and has a great relationship with Netanyahu.

    Trump’s daughter married a Jewish man, converted to Judaism, and a couple of his grandchildren are Jewish.

    And here’s a former colleague of Steve Bannon who doesn’t agree (to put it mildly) that he’s an anti-Semite. And he calls himself “the Yid with the Lid.”

    But this is penny-ante stuff. Trump isn’t just an anti-Semite, he’s another Hitler.

    So which one of you will have the courage of your convictions and do the human race a great service by killing him before he starts the next Holocaust?

    Come on, people. If Trump is JUST LIKE HITLER, you have no moral choice but to stop him in any way possible. And that means killing him.

  107. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Trump’s daughter married a Jewish man, converted to Judaism, and a couple of his grandchildren are Jewish.

    This point always comes up in discussions about Trump and anti-Semitism, but there’s one little detail that rarely gets mentioned: Donald wasn’t happy about Ivanka’s conversion when it happened:

    “In fact, Ivanka has acted against her father’s wishes on only a handful of occasions. One of them, a few sources told me, came when she decided to convert to Judaism. The Trumps are nominally Presbyterian, but have never been particularly religious. Still, Donald didn’t like the idea of Ivanka switching faiths, according to one of his close associates. The power dynamic made him uncomfortable. His feeling, the source said, was: Why should my daughter have to convert to marry Jared? He should have to convert to marry her.”

    Now, I should make clear at the outset that I’m not suggesting there’s anything anti-Semitic about this reaction per se. But it does drive home the point that Ivanka’s conversion wasn’t his choice. He accepted it after it happened, and he’s maintained a close relationship with her and her husband, but that doesn’t really tell us anything about how he feels about Jews in general–or, more pertinently, what he’s willing to do and what types of people he’s willing to court in his quest for power.

    Richard Nixon was strongly pro-Israel and had several Jewish advisers and friends. He was also a pretty unreconstructed anti-Semite. Is that a contradiction? Of course. Is it really news to you that humans aren’t always 100% consistent?

  108. grumpy realist says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Which is why we’re probably not going to get out of this until the chunk of the population raised on 1950s TV ideals finally dies off.

    It does look like unfortunately they’re being replaced by the alt-right loonies–the young men with no skills aside from playing computer games who think they have a God-given right to sex with supermodels. I don’t expect them to reproduce themselves or have families, however. From what I’ve seen they’re more interested in making sure they keep “playing the field” and swapping out female arm candy for newer, blonder editions rather than being good fathers and husbands.

  109. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: You’ve probably read this article.

    I especially appreciated the following:

    Change has not been kind to the Midwest and rural America.

    And rather than embrace it, rural and white working-class Americans are twisting and turning, fighting it every step of the way. We will never return to the days where a white man could barely graduate high school and walk onto a factory floor at 18 and get a well-paying job for life. That hasn’t set in for much of the Midwest.

    (Stupidity should hurt. In spades. It looks like America is going to have to learn that the hard way. AGAIN.)

  110. rachel says:

    @gVOR08: Nevertheless, comparisons with Hitler are so weighted that they’re less than helpful. And it’s not like there aren’t a whole pack of other demagogues throughout history you can compare him to; ones that Trump fans would have to study up on before they can decide to be offended. How about if I compare Deadbeat Donnie to Cleon or McCarthy instead?

  111. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Kylopod: There are quite a few problems with that argument.

    1) It’s the Puffington Host, and their credibility and impartiality is… questionable.

    2) Your own source shows that anti-Semitism was most likely not a factor in that disagreement. In fact, it spells out two other factors, that explain it far better.

    A) Trump saw Kushner as a social inferior, marrying into the Trump family, and should be the one to make any concessions, not Trump’s daughter. She’s the princess, he’s the commoner (OK, noble, but still not royalty), he should adapt to the royals.

    B) It’s pretty obvious that Trump doesn’t hold any strong religious beliefs. He’s nominally Christian, and makes the right noises, but it’s just not that important to him. (Much like Obama and the Clintons.) Such people (you see a hell of a lot of them here) tend not to understand just how important faith is to those who do hold their religious beliefs very seriously. Trump’s a negotiator; he pushed that one with Kushner, saw it wasn’t something he was going to win on, and capitulated on that point — and, quite probably, won some other concession. Note she still goes by “Trump,” not “Kushner.”

    Just for the hell of it, I Googled “Trump Zionist.” The results were… interesting.

  112. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is not about economic self-interest, if it were then white working class voters would vote with black and Latino working class voters. The white working class does not want ‘more’ they want ‘better.’ They want status. That’s what they feel they’ve lost, that’s why there’s so much focus on ‘political correctness.’ PC is not about economy, it’s about social status, social acceptability, coolness.

    Again, I’m struck by how uniform you believe people are in their motives and desires. What you say is true for some of the white working class. On the other hand, there are others of it who voted for Obama, often twice, and now voted for Trump. Who backed Sanders for the primary, then switched to Trump. People really are far too complex for such a generalization.

    Consider some of the variables. Understanding of what is in their best interest. Disbelief in any establishment politician (note that many of the Trump voters also went against the established GOP candidates in the primaries, who were as strongly against political correctness and as racist as Trump is – why didn’t some vote for Romney, who was criticized for being racist and sexist much like Trump was, but instead voted for Obama). Why not pick any of the other anti-political correct, racist and sexist GOP candidates … as you yourself have pointed out in the past, the whole party is openly racist and sexist, so why choose Trump? I’d argue that for many its because Trump was the only one that delivered the big FU to the establishment. Voting against people who are associated with NAFTA (that would be Clinton and the current Democratic Party outside of Sanders – ironic given that the Democratic Party was mainly against NAFTA at the time, even Bill Clinton couldn’t get most of them to vote for it).

    Cruz is as racist, sexist and anti-PC as Trump. But he’s establishment, so they didn’t choose him, even though at the time he was considered to have a better chance of winning the Presidential election. For many wasn’t about putting a racist, sexist anti-PC in office (Trump was a long shot), it was about sending a message.

    And of course, I’ll immediately add the caveat that what I say probably also only applies to some of the Trump voters – there’s just no way to meaningfully generalize 60 million people. If a bloody engineer knows this, how can a writer like you not know it?

  113. SenyorDave says:

    You surround yourself with bigots, you are a bigot. Bannon promotes white supremacy through Breitbart, that’s undeniable. Jeff Sessions is being considered for AG? Read up on him, he’s a virulent racist from way back. He didn’t become a judge because he praised the kkk, and was only upset with them because some of the boys smoked marijuana. Trump ran on white nationalism because HE IS A WHITE NATIONALIST!

  114. SenyorDave says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: This “Trump the anti-Semite” is becoming the latest Big Lie. Keep repeating it, and maybe you’ll convince yourselves it’s true.

    But his hand-picked senior adviser is an anti-Semite. So that.

  115. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @SenyorDave: But his hand-picked senior adviser is an anti-Semite. So that.

    You mean this guy?

    I’m not saying isn’t, but I’m not saying he is. I’m saying that the case is far from proven.

  116. bandit says:

    @grumpy realist: we’re probably not going to get out of this until the chunk of the population raised on 1950s TV ideals finally dies off.

    Y – go full nutjob and wish death on others!!! What’s that saying again ‘Liberals are open minded until they find out there are other ideas’ ???

  117. KM says:

    @george:

    Understanding of what is in their best interest.

    You realize your whole argument is self-refuting right? Trump is most decidedly not in their best interest but they went balls to the wall to make a stupid point.

    – They voted against the establishment only to put in a guy who’s recycling politicians from as far back as the 90’s. Drain the Swamp sounds anti-establishment until you refill it with extra-brackish water.

    – They voted for a literal wall… and will maybe get a fence. To secure borders and keep immigrants from stealing their jobs. Those jobs were gone decades ago and aren’t coming back. Trump’s known for outsourcing in his own business so why in the world would he not believe the same as President? Instead of doing the capitalist thing and becoming competitive enough to attract jobs, they’re going entitled and demanding jobs be brought to them. If your town can’t support a Walmart on its own, how do you expect to attract industry? What are your selling points, why would a business want to set down roots there?

    – Its about sending a message that they matter…. by doing something that ensures they will matter even less in the future. This won’t increase their political clout because the economic damage will drive even more of them out of the small towns they value. The Census could end up seeing some drastic changes if people need to start fleeing to blue states for jobs instead of going to red states for tax breaks. If its enough to affect the electoral college (711,000 is one electoral vote), all that pretty red on the map becomes less meaningful. If the oil boom pop of the Dakotas flows into Colorado, if Virginia gets a ton of Kentuckians who need healthcare….

    – Worse then that, it’s taught the only party not actively lying to them about economic futures that maybe peddling horseshit is what they deserve. If telling the truth gets you a loss to someone like Trump, you’ve guaranteed a future of having smoke blown up your ass by every politician for the rest of your life. Those who hurt them get rewarded again and again. The message is feeling disrespected matters more then being disrespected and left for dead. Rural America just guaranteed the whole establishment spectrum will unashamedly treat them like rubes to be used and discarded for a long long time.

    The simple, increasingly irrefutable fact is these people got conned HARD. They didn’t listen to the warnings, often from those in their own party, that this would bite us all in the ass. What you want =/= what’s best for you.

  118. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @KM: Your comment is a wonderful summation of why so many voted for Trump. And I bet you don’t know why.

    What you want =/= what’s best for you.

    So, for a very large swath of the American people, “what you want” is not overly relevant. You need other people — people who don’t understand you, don’t want to understand you, and just wish you’d shut up and let your natural superiors decide “what’s best for you” run things. Just shut up, work hard, pay your taxes, and don’t get too resentful about how you’re being taken care of.

    The argument used is “facts.” The people who have declared themselves the elite will have loads of “facts” at their disposal, all of which will show you you would be better off if you didn’t think too much about Big Issues, because you won’t understand them properly and will just screw things up for yourselves. (And the elites, too, but that’s not important.)

    One of the most brilliant observations I’ve ever encountered is that “in a democracy, the people get the kind of government they deserve.”

    There’s an attitude of “we need to protect people from the consequences of their decisions by not letting them make bad decisions.” And the way to do that is to not permit them to make decisions — or limiting their choices to those options the authority figure limits. “Do you want carrots or corn with dinner?” limits the choices to acceptable ones, “neither” or “chocolate pudding” are off the table.

    There’s a term for that. The kindest one I’ve seen is “paternalism.”

    The soi-disant elites tried a different approach this election. “Do you want to eat your vegetables, or do you want to go to bed without any dinner?” This translated as manipulating the primaries on both sides of the aisle, working like hell to make sure Hillary won the Democratic primary (sorry, Bernie) and pushing like hell to get Trump the Republican nomination. The plan was, given the choice between eating our vegetables (Hillary) or going without any dinner (Trump), we flipped the table over and told you to stuff your vegetables.

    We’re going out to get our own dinner. You can sit here in the mess you caused.

    Oh, and we don’t need Daddy to make our choices for us. We’re grown adults, we can make our own choices. And we want the freedom to make our own mistakes and learn from them.

    Now you’re whining that you have to live with the consequences of our mistakes, too? Welcome to democracy. We’ve been living with the consequences of yours for the past few years. You’re coming along on the ride, but you’ve gotta sit in back.

  119. SenyorDave says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: I’m not saying isn’t, but I’m not saying he is. I’m saying that the case is far from proven.

    But he might be, and by the way he does manage a website that is undeniably racist. This is the president-elect’s hand-picked guy! Trying to think of a comparable hire for Obama, nobody comes close. Van Jones maybe, and he was run off almost immediately. Now our tax dollars will pay for the guy who runs Breitbart. com, even you must think that’s pretty bizarre. Spend one minute on that website, you’re sure to read some comments about Obama or African-Americans in general that are pretty damn sickening.

  120. KM says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    There’s an attitude of “we need to protect people from the consequences of their decisions by not letting them make bad decisions.”

    And I bet you don’t know why.

    Oh please I know why. I’ve lived the why. No, my attitude is ” You and only you should suffer for the consequences of your bad decisions”. Don’t crash the rest of the country because you need to rage at Washington.

    What I’m sick and tired of is people who can’t move on in this world forcing everybody else to crawl at their pace. So many of these places want to the country to halt and adjust to their glacial pace for their own comfort. An entire generation has passed since the new millennium – they’ll be voting age in a year! But the same sob story is heard every election year: the factory’s gone, bring the factory back. The town’s dead without it. What do we do? Oh woe is us!

    You know what you do? Change. Leave. Get the F* out of town. It’s over. Be marketable. If that means learning to drive a truck, fix a pipe, code computers. hawk jewelry, wheel and deal, whatever! When that position finally opens up and require Skill X, have Skill X and be sure to have Skill Y so you’re a more attractive candidate. Your way of life is gone just like a lamplighters, cobblers, haberdashers, telegraph operators, Pony Express rider, and window knockers. I’m truly sorry the place your family has lived for generations can’t sustain you anymore. But you can’t eat my sympathy and my condolences won’t pay the bills. Smug satisfaction that ain’t nobody the boss of you won’t do those things either. Pride is worthless when your belly’s empty. You’re not too good for a job when it’s all there is.

    Right now, rural America is riding on resentment. They got left behind. They’re right to be pissed about that. But they decided to put in charge somebody who’s been screwing them and theirs for a long time now. Outsourcing is a major source of pain and they just gave the keys to Wall Street. Trump’s going to put Gingrich – He Who Pushed for NAFTA – into a position of power again. They’re going to get screwed again and bent over for it.

    The plan was, given the choice between eating our vegetables (Hillary) or going without any dinner (Trump), we flipped the table over and told you to stuff your vegetables.

    We’re going out to get our own dinner. You can sit here in the mess you caused.

    I love this analogy because it just goes to show how little you don’t get why “elites looked down on you”. The kid who flips the table? Not only doesn’t get dinner but gets other negative things like being grounded or losing privileges. That rage quite of STFUDon’tTellMEWhat toDo is temporary, benefits nobody and the next day? Vegetables. To be eaten with fingers on the floor since Whiny Brat Jr broke all the dishes. Veggies aren’t going away because you don’t like them. Veggies are a part of life and since it’s a communal table, there’s gonna be vegetables no matter what your bitchy self wants. Unless you can contribute, be the chef and make the meal meat-only, all flipping the table proves is you should be seated at the kiddie table along with the other toddlers. It’s not paternalism treat one like a child when one is proudly acting like a child.

    Going out for dinner in this case means leaving the USA since there’s only one table the Constitution allows. Unless you want take-out Chinese. It might be all you get to eat if the economy tanks and their star rises. But hate those veggies! Hate being told they’re good for you! Rage you can’t have chocolate pudding all the time! Flip that table then complain everyone ignores you in serious matters! You’re an adult dammit and FU carrots!!!!!

    **seriously, good analogy. It really encapsulates why things are the way they are. Pointless rage and all **

  121. george says:

    @KM:

    You realize your whole argument is self-refuting right? Trump is most decidedly not in their best interest but they went balls to the wall to make a stupid point.

    Actually that’s my point; how many people know what’s in their best interest, let alone follow it? This comes up not only in politics, but in much simpler things, even trivial things like diet and exercises, in things like what purchases to make (what car if any, what house), to things like career and relationship. Assuming that people knowingly voted against their best interest is a pretty big assumption.

    Its even worse, because so many best-interest points are conflicting. Best interest for good taste is probably not best interest for healthy food. We often have conflicting desires, but its usually put forth as a binary in politics: candidate A meets all your best interests, candidate B is against all your best interests. Its rarely, if ever, that simple.

    The simple, increasingly irrefutable fact is these people got conned HARD. They didn’t listen to the warnings, often from those in their own party, that this would bite us all in the ass. What you want =/= what’s best for you.

    I agree; I said numerous times in other posts that Trump conned many of them. Others didn’t believe him, but since they didn’t believe anyone else either they didn’t care – he was the chance to tell the system off. This shouldn’t be surprising, people often do things which they know is harmful simply because its convenient (drunk driving) or feels good (smoking, overeating). And for many people, the consequences of voting poorly is less than some other decisions they make along these line (substance abuse, becoming extremely obese).

    I stand by my argument; people do things for a large variety of reasons, some of which make sense, some don’t. You can’t look at 60 million Trump voters and decide they all voted for the same reason. People just aren’t that simple. Anyone with kids should know that, or anyone who works with people, or plays on a team with people, or even just has friends.

    And the way for the Democratic Party to limit Trump’s power is to take back the Senate in 2018, and to do that we need to listen to people who voted for Trump, rather than to decide we know what they had in mind. Every even moderately successful business in the world listens to customers, and especially people who they want to win over to become customers. Why can’t political parties do the same?

    In 2008 and then 2012 the GOP decided people vote Democrat because they want free handouts. It probably felt good to say it to themselves, but it was nonsense for most Democrat voters (there were of course some it’d apply to). They would have been blown out of the water again – their standard candidates did even worse against Trump than Clinton did. Now the Democratic Party is doing the same thing, projecting onto voters in various rants about racism and sexism, and its just as pointless.

    If you’re an engineer and a bridge falls down, you don’t waste time blaming builders and suppliers; you go out and analyse what went wrong, find out how you screwed up (choosing the wrong builder and suppliers might be part of that). The trick isn’t to feel better about losing, its to make sure your next bridge doesn’t collapse.

  122. grumpy realist says:

    @bandit: Hey, it’s not MY chunk of the population that is killing themselves off with lousy diets, too much drinking, and meth overdoses. You don’t want to eat your veggies, fill yourself up on sugar-laden drinks, and pig out on junk food. Then you whine and wail when the consequences of diabetes and morbid obesity come home to roost.

    I’m just doing the equivalent of watching the law of gravity take its course. You’re the ones who threw yourselves off the building.

  123. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @SenyorDave: Spend one minute on that website, you’re sure to read some comments about Obama or African-Americans in general that are pretty damn sickening.

    “read some comments?” Just read some comments on this site. Trump is Hitler — didn’t you hear?

    And that was from a favored commenter, Dave. Just scroll up.

    So, does that make OTB a psycho far-left site, because several commenters — including one that’s been singled out by moderators as an especially valued member of the community — are calling Trump Hitler?

    After all, the people who run this site allow Mr. reynolds to repeatedly call Trump Hitler, and they’ve made it quite clear that they’re proud of their association with him.

    Here’s a guy with his own Wikipedia page and, even more impressively, his own TV Tropes page, so I can understand why the authors like having him around. But by the standards you want to propose, they also own him calling Trump Hitler. Especially on their own site, where they let it stand.

  124. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @KM: The kid who flips the table? Not only doesn’t get dinner but gets other negative things like being grounded or losing privileges.

    You missed the point. Hard.

    We aren’t kids any more.

    And you aren’t the parent. Oh, you might claim the parental role, but the kid’s grown up. You postponed it as long as you can (even extending childhood to age 26 for ObamaCare), but the “child” is now an adult.

    You’ve lost the opportunity to control them because they’re just a child. Your only other option is to get a court to declare them incompetent, and yourself appointed as guardian.

  125. KM says:

    @george:

    If you’re an engineer and a bridge falls down, you don’t waste time blaming builders and suppliers; you go out and analyse what went wrong, find out how you screwed up (choosing the wrong builder and suppliers might be part of that). The trick isn’t to feel better about losing, its to make sure your next bridge doesn’t collapse.

    According to Jenos, what went wrong is people don’t want to hear from engineers about bridge failures. They want the choice to drive on unsafe bridges and it’s paternalistic to make it so safer bridges must be built. Instead, we shouldn’t condescend to those who want the option of an unsafe travel experience since “elites” don’t know what’s really going on in day to day travel. You also need to let them kick the rubble for a while (probably can’t flip any of the girders).

    Blame is an intrinsic part of the process now, rage flips the new norm. We’ve normalized a primary and election process filed with anger, insults, and threats instead of policy. An entire generation has grown up with this as their basis for America civics. When Dems rebuild, this will get worked into the formula since it’s clearly the only winning formula whole swathes of the country accept. Thanks Dumpster!

  126. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    It’s the Puffington Host, and their credibility and impartiality is… questionable.

    It’s actually an investigative article by a mainstream journalist who has written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, among others. To my knowledge, none of the Trumps have disputed any of the article’s claims.

    On the other hand, it’s really rich to hear this kind of skepticism coming from a commenter who quotes from a Breitbart piece, and after being presented with undeniable proof that the piece lied about one of its sources, promptly am-scrays from the discussion and never brings up the matter again.

    One word of advice: don’t make this about credibility. It won’t end well for you.

    Your own source shows that anti-Semitism was most likely not a factor in that disagreement

    That’s what I said. I wrote, “I’m not suggesting there’s anything anti-Semitic about this reaction per se.” Did you bother to read my entire comment before churning out a reply?

    You seem to have no conception of the fact that anti-Semitism exists along a spectrum. To you, people are either wearing a swastika armband and declaring their fervent desire to wipe every last Jewish person off the earth, or they are completely untainted by this prejudice. You also appear not to grasp the distinction between political and personal bigotry. Your understanding of this subject is about as cognizant as that of a creationist who says “If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys today?” In short, you aren’t even close to having a clue what you’re talking about here. If you had any intellectual integrity, you’d admit your knowledge on this topic was limited and agree not to opine on it until you’ve learned a bit more of the history. But no, you just carry on as if your points are so obvious they don’t require a broader perspective. Not that I particularly care–you’re just one single troll on one single forum. But I know from experience that your view is alarmingly common in the general populace.

    Just for the hell of it, I Googled “Trump Zionist.” The results were… interesting.

    Trump has received high praise from David Duke, the American Nazi Party, and even Louis Farrakhan. And they’ve all stated explicitly that one of the main things they like about him is that he stands up to Jewish power in America.

    Now, I do not automatically hold candidates responsible for the views and remarks of all their supporters. That would be madness. All I’m doing is pointing out how amazingly elastic your reasoning is, that you think the fact that some anti-Semites see Trump as part of the world Jewish conspiracy is proof of his non-anti-Semitism, yet the many more anti-Semites who have been warmly receptive to his message do not constitute evidence in the other direction. You’ve stacked it so that your argument can be proved but never disproved. Now that’s impressive.

  127. KM says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    We aren’t kids any more.

    No shit Sherlock. We’re all ADULTS sitting at the same table. Some of you are just acting like children and get mad when it’s pointed out. Fun fact: normal adults don’t flip tables, people have anger issues do.

    What’s pissing “Real America” off is that they aren’t the main Chefs of the American Meal. We all contribute towards it but if more people are bringing veggies (blue state money, population, etc) then your hamburger, it’s gonna to be a veggie-heavy meal. Even “going out for dinner” is just moving to a different piece of furniture with the same damn ingredients. There is one true meal and every few years, we get together to decided what recipes we can make with the mis en place we have. We all have to eat what served but for some reason, y’all feel the need to throw silverware and ruin the meal if your recipe isn’t picked.

    So you put in charge a new Chef who’s never cooked a day in his life because you think it means meat lovers paradise. You got a few veggie-bringers to have a meat craving as well. Great. Steak’s gonna magically appear in place of asparagus. Whoops, doesn’t work that way. Veggies are still the main contribution even if everyone’s grumbling about wanting some cow. You can not participate by not eating dinner but it doesn’t change the ingredients the Chef has to work with nor does it change you’re still at the table. All it does is make for a sour group meal and an inclination to tell the table flipper to go sit somewhere else. At worse, it ends in food poisoning and that recipe not being chosen ever again.

    When we ask what “Real America” brings to dinner, it gets pissed. What ingredients do you have, what recipes do you want to try? When they moan the cows were stolen, we offered to help plant a garden so they wouldn’t go hungry. But damnit, they want that steak and we should let them cook because steak is awesome. We should just believe them, it’s gonna be YUUUGGGEEE. So when the steak inevitablely fails to turn up, do we all sit and starve or are you gonna learn carrots aren’t evil, just not as tasty as you like?

  128. gVOR08 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    You surround yourself with bigots, you are a bigot.

    Yes. This morning NYT is dancing around Bannon, in at least two stories referring to him as a “nationalist” rather than as a “white nationalist”. Apparently they’re tied up in whether he really, personally, deep in his heart is racist and anti-semitic or was maybe lying about it to promote his career.

    During the W Bush years there was a fair amount of discussion as to whether W was really stupid or just did stupid stuff because of laziness, ideology, Cheney, whatever. At some point you have to recognize that no matter what his IQ, if he keeps doing stupid stuff he’s “effectively stupid” and will predictably continue doing stupid stuff. There’s no point to agonizing over what’s really in their hearts, it’s unknowable. Trump and Bannon are effectively bigots.

  129. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    It seems that Republicans define “racist” as someone who has attended a cross burning in the last six months and/or has been the commandant of a death camp. Therefore, virtually no one is a racist.

    Well, that is unless you’re black, in which case you are a racist because you don’t want the cops to shoot at you.

  130. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    We aren’t kids any more.

    You’re effectively adolescents now, acting out in fits of angst motivated by little more than pique. Like adolescents, you tend to engage in self-destructive behaviors.

    What’s interesting, however, is the possibility that the actual adults in the room are transitioning from a protective attitude to one of “if he wants to go driving around drunk, more power to him. He’ll learn …” and understandably so. You’re convinced that you’re ok to drive, and will probably remain to right up until the moment when you slam the car into the utility pole.

    Whereupon you’ll waste no time in calling out for help from your parents.

    Truthfully, the best friends that rural America have – the best friends that it has ever had – are Democrats and organized labor, yet it rejects both of them. Instead of finding glee that Democrats lost, you should be worried about what losing the only ally your situation really had implies for you going forward.

    You’re likely to see a shift in Dem strategy which casts rural America as the enemy of suburban (white) economic interests in order to peel those voters away from the Republicans. It’s by far the most logical position for them to adopt, and if they do, you’re even more screwed than you already are.

  131. restlessness says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    What’s interesting, however, is the possibility that the actual adults in the room are transitioning from a protective attitude to one of “if he wants to go driving around drunk, more power to him. He’ll learn …” and understandably so. You’re convinced that you’re ok to drive, and will probably remain to right up until the moment when you slam the car into the utility pole.

    Which sounds like a great learning experience, except when instead of a telephone pole he plows into a mom walking her stroller across the street…

  132. JKB says:

    Even more good news, this time from very DemProg Oregon:

    Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State went down to defeat, marking the first GOP victory in a statewide election in 14 years. More significantly, the loser of this race was known to many as the infamous bully who led the charge to fine a Christian-owned bakery $144,000 for declining to provide services to a same-sex wedding:

    Oregon political analyst Rob Kremer told Independent Journal Review that Avakian campaigned on the idea that he would use the Secretary of State’s office to further his progressive political agenda and — surprisingly — that turned off a lot of Oregon’s liberal voters.

  133. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You’re effectively adolescents now, acting out in fits of angst motivated by little more than pique. Like adolescents, you tend to engage in self-destructive behaviors.

    What’s interesting, however, is the possibility that the actual adults in the room are transitioning from a protective attitude to one of “if he wants to go driving around drunk, more power to him. He’ll learn …” and understandably so. You’re convinced that you’re ok to drive, and will probably remain to right up until the moment when you slam the car into the utility pole.

    Whereupon you’ll waste no time in calling out for help from your parents.

    Adolescents in your eyes, maybe, but not in the eyes of the law. Just because you think someone can’t take responsibility for themselves doesn’t mean you can just take that responsibility away from them and take it upon yourself.

    You lost the election. You don’t get to play “responsible adult exercising authority over reckless adolescents,” Pops. The kids are all grown, and don’t want to listen to you any more. Without the law to back you up, the only tool you have is intimidation — and the kids aren’t intimidated.

    Get used to it. Or, as you’ve alluded to, get the hell out.

  134. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    Just because you think someone can’t take responsibility for themselves doesn’t mean you can just take that responsibility away from them and take it upon yourself.

    We don’t want responsibility for you – we want you to actually act responsible and not just be pleased with all the “adulting” you think you are doing all day. Responsibility requires looking at facts and reality, unpleasant or not.

    Tell me, Miss On Her Own, shouldn’t all the angry voters complaining there’s no jobs in their area not be responsible for packing up and moving to where the jobs are? Why do they expect dying industries to be propped up against all free market sense so they can continue to live the lives they are accustomed to? Adults accept change – children throw tantrums to get their way. What’s their plan for when the tantrum doesn’t work? Gonna tell the whole world you don’t have to listen to them anymore – the factories are coming back now or else?

    Great! China welcomes all the business you drive away. Russia will be more then happy to step in and serve as protector for some trouble spots. America can’t just assume because we were the only game in town for so long we’ll *always* be top dog. Our economy is going to have to adjust to the fact we’ve got stiff competition and it will only get worse the more nations are able to elevate themselves to the global stage. This is going to get worse before it gets better…. if it ever does.

  135. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Just because you think someone can’t take responsibility for themselves doesn’t mean you can just take that responsibility away from them and take it upon yourself.

    Farthest thing from my mind. You’ve handed complete control of the federal government over to the Republicans, which sets them up for a resounding crash & burn while absolving us of any responsibility for pretty much anything that goes wrong over the next two to four years. If anything, politically speaking it’s a gift.

    Say, for example, the looming explosion of the deficit / debt, and the impending trade war, among other gems. Piss off China enough to motivate them to stop buying US debt, or better yet, motivate them to engage in economic warfare – which we would lose on a biblical scale. Toss in the likely social conservative BS, which they will not be able to resist grabbing for, as well. Now, none of this will affect me much, if at all, but it’s going to bodyslam people like you.

    So, long story short – your guys are about to blow up the economy, while making me richer and giving us two years, minimum, of things to hang around their necks for the midterms in the process.

    Thanks 🙂

  136. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “We’re going out to get our own dinner. You can sit here in the mess you caused.”

    And then when we get food poisoning because our leader has eliminated all those paternalistic regulations about food safety, we’ll go the hospital, then we’ll run away without paying because we’re adults!

    What a pathetic little man you are.

  137. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “We aren’t kids any more.”

    Yes, nothing conveys the sense that you are mentally an adult more than an endless screed whining “You’re not the boss of me!!!!”

  138. george says:

    @KM:

    According to Jenos, what went wrong is people don’t want to hear from engineers about bridge failures.

    Yeah, but consider the source. If someone who is consistently wrong about bridges says something I’m not likely to take it seriously.