Tuesday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. gVOR10 says:

    You may remember that Rep. Comer (R-Lalaland) had a whistleblower with the goods on Hunter Biden, but the whistleblower was inexplicably missing. We just found out why. He jumped bail after being charged by SDNY with being an unregistered agent of the Chinese government. Also arms trafficking, violating Iran sanctions, and the usual afterthought, lying to the feds.

    The showrunners are jumping the shark in each new episode. And Comer is so dumb.

    Oh, and the whistleblower allegedly bribed, on behalf of the Chinese, a so far unnamed Trump admin official.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Well, the Washington Post’s Department of Data has pretty much settled the question of which states get more in federal aid than they put in(no subscription needed), and the results are no surprise. Kentucky leads with almost $3 in return for every $1 they put in, and eight of the top ten states are red. One of the exceptions, Virginia, is an outlier in that its proximity to DC means an unusual number of government facilities are located there. Nine of the ten states that get less than they put in are blue states. (Why aren’t there more? Deficit spending.)

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10: The Hunter Biden “investigation”! It’s almost like the boy who cried “Wolf!” And then, “Bear!” And then, “Lion!” And then, “Ogre!” And then, “Vampire Unicorn!” And then…

  4. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Thanks for the (unintentional) laugh. Luddite surey needed it this am. Speaking of which, it’s 4am at Casa Luddite. Ugh.

  5. Jen says:

    @gVOR10: Good lord. That is jaw-droppingly insane.

    What a sh!tshow. Yes, Sen. Johnson, let’s DO have this nitwit testify before Congress.

    JFC. I’d ask what is wrong with the GOP that they keep buying into these scam artists, but they seem okay with being duped over and over and over and…etc.

    So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  6. CSK says:


    As anyone could have predicted, the MAGAs are screaming that this man has been framed by the evil/Communist FBI and DOJ.

  7. Jen says:

    @CSK: Of course. In the Party of Personal Responsibility (TM), absolutely nothing, ever, is the fault of the idiots who break the law. IOKIYAR

  8. Daryl says:

    I’m so proud that we here in CT make it possible for KY to survive.
    And that doesn’t even include my monthly bourbon budget.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl: For me, the interesting question is “why are the red states so skewed?” Taking a closer look at the data gives a possible answer, since it is not red states in general that make up the bottom of the list, but predominantly the Deep South. And those states have historically done everything to keep wages low, keep publicly funded health care to a minimum, and to provide the least oversight on employers with respect to safety, workers comp and disability benefits (the article states, “we found that nothing predicts a state’s receipts from the federal government better than its share of working-age adults with disabilities”). So the Feds become the provider of last resort, while those states maintain their serf class.

  10. Bill Jempty says:

    The Sports headline of the day- Northwestern fires football coach Pat Fitzgerald amid hazing claims

    Hazing is a big problem in college and high school sports. The worst part of it may be the so called adults aka school officials and coaches who turn a blind eye to this abuse.

  11. Bill Jempty says:
  12. Bill Jempty says:
  13. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill Jempty: I don’t know much about this, but I did read one article and there is some evidence that not only did Fitzgerald know about it, but actually signaled to the players which under-performers should get hazed.

  14. just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I was awake at 4 am, top, but managed to go back to sleep until now. Woo hoo!

  15. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Sure. But this is the type of stuff that shows how important sports are in building character. This, and Coach Tuberville’s antics in DC.

  16. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Whoever said “sports build character” clearly never attended a public high school.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Still, doesn’t that depend on what one is looking for when they say “character?”

  18. Daryl says:

    They are now calling him “Comer Simpson.”

  19. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Well, of my two favorite examples of good character, one played a game called “kick the cripple,” which entailed tripping kids on crutches. The other was an appalling bully who graduated from high school to make a career of getting arrested after barroom brawls.

    Since these guys were football stars, they got away with everything. The male faculty groveled to them.

  20. JKB says:

    An interesting examination of the collapse of the urban cores

    After decades of self-celebration and relentless media hype, the great “urban renaissance” predicted by the New Urbanists—a vision of cities built by and for the creative class—has come crashing down. Where the smart set once proclaimed that mayors should rule the world or that economic growth would increasingly cluster in a handful of super cities, now even The New York Times bleakly warns of an “urban doom loop.”

    The very impressive blocks of skyscrapers that housed many of the world’s leading corporations have gone from harbingers of the future to something resembling the abandoned factory towns of the Industrial Revolution. Transit systems critical to the old urban model are in free fall. In great cities like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, criminals and the homeless, many of them mentally disturbed and unstable, lurk on the streets, in the parks, and in the stores.

    At the same time, residential neighborhoods in places like New York, Boston, and even much of San Francisco have retained their streetwise vitality.

    Kill Off the Old City so New Cities Can Be Born
    Urban centers are being hollowed out while their peripheries are booming. This is the emerging shape of the American city.
    BY JOEL KOTKIN. JULY 02, 2023

  21. MarkedMan says:

    Suburbanites and rural folk have such strong opinions on what it’s like to live in a city. They are usually laughably wrong, but that won’t stop them…

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: Oh, and the whistleblower allegedly bribed, on behalf of the Chinese, a so far unnamed Trump admin official.

    Tim Miller of the Bulwark among others thinks, “Individual-1 (the person getting the payments) was former C.I.A. Director James Woolsey”. Time will tell.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s all a caricature to them, a place they would never actually go to because “it’s just so unsafe” ie, black people live there. Keerist, people have been predicting the collapse of cities for decades and yet they are still here. And always will be.

  24. CSK says:

    Trump and his lawyers are demanding that the documents trial be delayed until after the 2024 election because he’ll be too busy campaigning to be a criminal defendant.

    I did not make this up.

  25. Kathy says:


    It’s like this: nothing in law requires benito to campaign for the White House or any other office.

    A lot requires him to answer the formal accusation known as an indictment.

    I see no trouble making a law-based fair decision.

  26. CSK says:


    I think Trump is gambling on three things. The first is that he wins the nomination. The second is that he can delay the docs trial till after the November election. The third is that he wins the 2024 election.

    He can probably pull off the first two, but the third…?

  27. Kylopod says:


    The third is that he wins the 2024 election.

    Or succeeds in overthrowing Biden’s victory and getting himself installed as president.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: “Yer honor, I move that the criminal charges be dismissed because I want to apply for a job and it may take a while”

  29. Kathy says:

    I spent the past few days catching up on podcasts. Funny how without a serial, linear podcast like Duncan’s Revolutions, I feel less compelled to pause my audiobook reading pile…

    Anyway, I began by bingeing on Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales. One that got me thinking was The Dark Money Behind Mother’s Day.

    Specifically the story of one Anna Marie Jarvis, who had a lot to do with popularizing the holiday.

    What caught my eye was that Ms Jarvis had a definite idea of what Mother’s Day should be, and it definitely did not involve spending money on flowers, candy, and presents. She intended it to be a quasi-religious tribute to one’s mother, as she very much loved her own mother, and very much missed her once she passed away.

    Of course, once people got a hold of it, and especially once merchants got involved (florists were there right from the start), her solemn holiday became a commercialized fest, as has happened to most other holidays.

    Harford goes on to detail how Ms Jarvis tried to fight back and hold back the tide. She was about as successful as you might suppose, especially given what Mother’s Day looks like now.

    The lesson I learned is that no holiday, website, fictional universe, invention, and more, will ever remain or be what its creator intended it to be, once other people get involved in it. an exception might be if someone creates a holiday to commercialize stuff, like Prime Day.

    The reason we don’t hear much about this, is that the lone creator, or small group of creators, usually have little power, or are not that invested in their intentions. Like how Edison wasn’t too upset that the phonograph took off as a means of reproducing music, rather than a means of sending recorded letters back and forth (he made his bundle, right?)

    Straying from the creator’s intentions might be a good or bad thing, depending, IMO, largely on the consequences. Bell intended the phone as a means to broadcast music (or so I’ve learned). While that would have been good, and not too different from radio, arguably as a communications device between distant points, it’s far better (especially in emergencies). On the other hand, I doubt either Zuk or Jack Dorsey intended their social media to become founts of misinformation and partisan division.

  30. CSK says:


    Do you think that’s likely to happen? What concerns me more is that when Trump loses in 2024, he’ll inflame his psychotic fan club into a rage that will make Jan. 6, 2021 look like a beach picnic.

  31. DrDaveT says:


    In the Party of Personal Responsibility (TM), absolutely nothing, ever, is the fault of the idiots who break the law. IOKIYAR

    No no, you have misconstrued the algorithm. When Republicans break the law, it’s because they are either (1) the Party of Personal Responsibility and Doing the Right Thing Despite the Law, or (2) the Party of Laissez Fair Free Market Capitalism. When Democrats break the law, they become the Party of Rule of Law. The switch to flip back and forth is installed in their navels; they spend a lot of time looking at it.

  32. Jay L Gischer says:


    In great cities like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, criminals and the homeless, many of them mentally disturbed and unstable, lurk on the streets, in the parks, and in the stores.

    Trend stories are kind of garbage even with their best foot forward. And the sentence I quoted above is so slanted in the language it uses it makes me suspicious of the rest. There are lots of homeless in SF, yes. But the sentence quoted equates them with criminals, and uses words like “lurk”. And yes, many of them are mentally disturbed. Here’s the thing. I’ve spent a lot of time around many people who are mentally disturbed or, as we might say, non neurotypical. That doesn’t make them dangerous or violent.

    “lurk” is a laughable word to describe the homeless in SF. “Lurk” implies they are hiding, sneaking around, ready to pounce. Wow. The homeless in SF are not hiding. They are living in tents pitched on the sidewalk in some neighborhoods.

    Yeah, that’s less than ideal, for sure. But “lurk”? Nah.

    Also, the post had the claim that transit systems are in “free fall”. That’s an empty claim that means nothing. I’m not seeing that one either. The Muni is good, the Caltrain is good, BART is good, the Santa Clara Light Rail is good. Where’s this “free fall”? What is meant by it?

    I really wish you would stop falling for this crap about California and big cities. You are a smart person, I can tell. I have worked on developing a sense of when the left media is shining me on, I wish you would do the same for the right-leaning media.

  33. Kathy says:


    It might be post-2016 over-correction, but I don’t think it’s impossible for El Cheeto to win a second term if he gets the GQP nomination.

    Call it the Carville-Bitecofer paradigm: how is the economy perceived to be doing, and how many people turn out to vote.

    The main problem right now is inflation. Wages don’t appear to growing enough to catch up. Therefore people lose purchasing power. For those with credit card debt, or any other debt that adjusts to current interest rates, payments are going up to boot. This makes “the economy” look bad, regardless of how much investment goes into manufacturing and construction, or how many more new jobs are created.


    Think of the millions in jail who were too busy earning a living and supporting a family to defend themselves at court.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: And he might be able to pull it off because the Biden DoJ* is going to be averse to having the story become Trump is being prosecuted to diminish his chances of winning. Which will be the story as on Fox News and OANN and NewsMax and the National Review Online and the American Spectator
    and WaPo
    and FTFNYT

    *And campaign for that matter

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who tried to overturn the 2020 election, is now auctioning off company equipment amid multiple lawsuits, plunging sales, and rejections from top retailers.

    They “did cancel culture on us,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

    Fucked around, he did. Finding out, he is.

    @MarkedMan: “Your honor, I want you to delay my trial to december 2024 because I just washed my hair and I can’t do a thing with it.”

  36. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    For some while now, Trump has been telling his fans that “they’re not coming for me, they’re coming for you–I’m just in their way!!”

    This accomplishes two things: Trump can cast himself as the only defender the MAGAs have left, the only one who speaks for them, and it enrages and terrifies the MAGAs, because who knows what horrible torments the evil Biden Communist Regime has in store for them?

  37. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I hate to think anybody’s stupid enough to buy this bullshit.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And he might be able to pull it off because the Biden DoJ* is going to be averse to having the story become Trump is being prosecuted to diminish his chances of winning

    2 words: Jack Smith.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Just out of curiosity, why do you think “gullible” rather than “troll” (in the original sense)? FWIW, I don’t have a strong opinion either way.

  40. Kylopod says:


    It might be post-2016 over-correction, but I don’t think it’s impossible for El Cheeto to win a second term if he gets the GQP nomination.

    I don’t even think it’s astronomically unlikely. Off the top of my head, I’d give it maybe 35% chance. Way too high for comfort.

    There is, however, one factor about 2016 that I don’t see, under any circumstances, being repeated, and that’s the lack of urgency. Back then a lot of people said they disliked Trump, but it was little more than a snort of disapproval. Part of the problem was that so many people didn’t believe he would win. But I think a lot of people also managed to convince themselves that even he did somehow win, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. You saw versions of this attitude on both the left and right–the Bernie-and-busters on the left, and the Never-Trumpers on the right. They all would concede that Trump was a crappy candidate. But then they’d go on to argue that Hillary was also a crappy candidate. Even if they admitted Trump was worse than Hillary, they didn’t treat the possibility of Trump winning as some kind of impending historical catastrophe we needed to do our utmost to prevent.

    The attitude drove me up the wall. I didn’t accept the claim that Hillary was some massively corrupt goon. But even if she had been as bad as they made her out to be, I still would have considered it an absolute moral imperative to make sure she defeated Trump. Their attitude never made sense to me even in theory. It was the equivalent of there being a big fire and you hand them the phone to call the fire department and they tell you, “Meh, the fire may be a problem, but have you seen the corruption from those guys?” They chose to depict their role as voters as if they were doing nothing more than making a moral judgment on the candidates, rather than using their power to confront an emergency.

    Remember the old Louisiana gubernatorial race between David Duke and that other guy who went on to spend several years behind bars, and there were bumper stickers declaring “Vote for the crook–it’s important”? They had way more sense than the 2016 “meh” bloc. And I don’t even think Hillary was a crook.

    The “meh” bloc all but disappeared after Trump’s surprise win. Of course some of them remained, and are still around today. But they’re like the people who continue to maintain that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea: they’re well-hidden, because they know they’ve been overwhelmingly rejected by history. In 2020, most of the lefties, while not necessarily considering Biden their favorite choice, came out strongly for him once the primaries were over. The same was true of the anti-Trump Republicans. They treated the possibility of Trump winning again with the seriousness it deserved. And this has largely continued, and is among the reasons the Republicans didn’t enjoy the red wave they expected in 2022.

    I’m not being complacent. Trump could still win again. But I don’t believe there is widespread complacency about 2024 (and I’ll repeat what I said in 2020–confidence is not complacency) and I don’t think there’s a chance in the world we’ll see the return of anything like the cavalier attitude existing in 2016.

  41. CSK says:
  42. Sleeping Dog says:
  43. Daryl says:

    To those who disagreed that the 303 Creative vs Elenis SCOTUS ruling was going to lead to de facto discrimination…the line for apologies starts to the left.

  44. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Given sea level rise and political changes in progress, moving to Florida is the intellectual equivalent of climbing up onto a roof so that comet Hale-Bopp can carry you off to paradise.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: So do I, but certainly, the MAGAts will believe it, so, just as with BUTTER EMAILS!!!!!, there will be enough c0ver for the lamestream media* to be “even handed” in their reporting.

    *yes, I’ve decided to steal Sarah Palin’s term

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you think it will help, I’ll pray for him.

  47. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Oh, of course the MAGAs will believe it. They believe anything Trump says. They’ve merged their identities with his. First it was Sarah Palin. Now it’s Trump.

  48. CSK says:
  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: The thought that occurred to me just now about the “many of them mentally disturbed and unstable” part of JKB’s assertion is why does that fact matter in the context of the usual “pull yourselves up by your bootstraps” whinging about “those people” that makes up the argument against the homeless? (Are the mentally ill supposed to pull their tin foil hats down lower around their ears to block out “the voices” in order to seek housing or something?)

    Certainly, if JKB wants to make the argument that “liberalism has failed” for this particular cohort, I’ll certainly agree with him. But I’ll also follow up with wondering why conservatives decided that the solution was to close down the asylums (a “good” idea????) and NIMBY and economically starve communuity mental health clinics for the sake of tax breaks. I was there. Conservatism was neither for sheltering the homeless mentally ill nor for treatment in appropriate facilities. All we were in favor of was pwning the libs about all the smelly unwashed crazy people they were letting run around loose. The fact that liberals were willing to be complicit in exacerbating the problem is shameful, but we led the charge.

  50. Kathy says:


    Trump think…

    Objection! Assuming facts not in evidence.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Sure. But “Trump will use the DoJ to “destroy his their* enemies” is a feature to the MAGAts, not a bug.

    *The fact that whatever actions he takes/attempts will be without regard to the needs/goals of the MAGAts will be lost on them also. They’re easily as singularly minded as he is. That’s why they think he “gets” them.

  52. Daryl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Moving to Florida in the midst of a ridiculous housing market, and fleeing insurers, and the resulting inflation at double the national average, doesn’t make much sense to me. But DeSantis IS battling the woke mind virus…so there is that.

  53. CSK says:


    I meant to write Trump “thinks,” but in any case, you are right.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Oh, of course it’s a feature. He’ll protect them and their way of life. They’ll never believe that he holds them in utter contempt.

  54. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: Everything’s a guess, right? Everything.

    I’ve read a lot of JKB’s comments and no, he doesn’t seem stupid. AND, he keeps coming here for some reason. I’m willing to accord him the good faith that I think he’s sincere, since he’s been quite consistent on these notes. I’ve also read a few comments from him that were quite interesting, even adding to my knowledge of the world. So yeah, I think it’s in good faith, even though that’s a guess.

    AND, on the off chance that his postings aren’t in good faith, it disrupts the expected script. The trolls usually don’t know what to do with it. Often, as described in a repost by @charon2 just the other day, right wingers enjoy being “dunked on”. They expect it. They use it.

    My natural inclination is to not do that, since I am a bit socially anxious and just kind of avoid doing things like that in general. But it also works well in this context.

    Remember, though. My assessment of JKB, honest to God, is that he posts here in good faith, not bad.

  55. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I have nothing to add to that. The consequences of those decisions have definitely been in my field of vision, though. It’s a big, hairy, difficult problem that can only be managed, and not really solved. Most of the improvements we can think of cost a lot of money, often in a form that could be called a “handout” which might well lead to cheating.

    Of course, this is one of the reasons I favor UBI. If every one of those homeless was getting a UBI, getting them off the streets at night would be a lot more workable. But, ya know, that’s a handout.

  56. gVOR10 says:

    @Daryl: @DrDaveT: We moved here before DeSantis. Family and climate. Bought on what amounts to high ground here. 15′ ASL. The sea won’t arrive for many generations. The city will have water and sewer here before the well and septic become a problem. I expect city water will be expensive. Insurance already paid for a roof from Ian, and our premium’s gone up 30%. It’ll go up more, but not to unaffordable. Our kids and grandkid are past public school age. The surface temp in the Gulf is 90 def F, but that still moderates our air temp to a lot less than Phoenix.

    That leaves DeSantis. He’s term limited to next year as guv, so one way or another he’s going away. The alternative was staying in Ohio, which has also gone nuts politically, and where the nearest decent beach was a day away, not 30 minutes. And I haven’t once missed the snow shovels I gave away in Cincinnati.

  57. DrDaveT says:


    The sea won’t arrive for many generations.

    Dude, it doesn’t have to. Sinkholes. Just sayin’.

    The alternative was staying in Ohio

    OK, that’s somewhat more understandable, though I personally value “proximity to beach” way less than you do.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: 2 things: Hillary is not running (notice how all the misogyny is being aimed at Kamala Harris?) and secondly, James Comey is no longer head of the FBI (not that there isn’t a whole new band wagon of ratfuckers but as long as they are the caliber of Gym Jordan and James Comer…. Hmmm that name bears a certain resemblance to somebody else, it’s right on the tip of my tongue…. )

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in prayer. Besides, god is a f’n asshole. If I am wrong and there is a god.

  60. Kathy says:


    I’ve trouble getting past how many more votes Benito got in 2020 vs 2016. After he left no doubt he was lazy, incompetent, and couldn’t even have a stable cabinet. And he’s still the favorite of the GQP.

  61. CSK says:


    I think Trump is far from the favorite of the GOP, but they’re terrified of the MAGAs.

  62. Gustopher says:


    JFC. I’d ask what is wrong with the GOP that they keep buying into these scam artists, but they seem okay with being duped over and over and over and…etc.

    So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    So, I’m bisexual or pansexual or one of those various “attracted to a wider variety of people” things*. But, when I eat a lot of bacon, I veer towards straight.

    I tend to think it’s a terrifying indictment of all the weird hormones in processed meats (Probably what makes them so delicious), but I can see a potential for a tour through the wing nut welfare circuit about how processed pork products are the answer to the entire LGBTQIA+ problem.

    If I didn’t hate people so much, and these people weren’t all diseased with covid and hatred to the point where I fear them, I’d be selling out and prosteletizing pork. I wonder if Hormel would sponsor me.

    *: I’m not big on labels. Defining yourself seems like limiting yourself.

  63. Kylopod says:


    I’ve trouble getting past how many more votes Benito got in 2020 vs 2016.

    But that just goes to highlight the importance of voter engagement. What enabled Biden to win wasn’t that enough of Trump’s 2016 voters soured on him (I’m sure that did happen in some cases–according to CNN’s exit polls, 7% of Biden voters said they’d backed Trump in 2016, whereas 4% of Trump voters said they’d backed Hillary four years earlier), but that a lot more people came out to vote for Biden than had come out to vote for Hillary. (Metaphorically of course, as many did not literally go outside to cast their vote.) Trump gained votes relative to 2016, but Biden gained more.

    What I think causes your (and a lot of other people’s) incomprehension is that you expected that his 2016 vote represented some kind of ceiling on the support he conceivably could get, and that it should have only gone down from there as more people saw how awful he actually was while in office. I think part of that stems from a belief among many liberals which I don’t believe is entirely correct, which is the idea that after Trump secured the 2016 nomination, the party got fully behind him. I think the support he received in 2016 from Republican politicians as well as the right-wing media was very lukewarm. They didn’t outright reject him, they did make some effort to get him elected, but I don’t think their heart was in it, and I think they were focused to some degree on preparing for how to rebuild the party after their supposedly inevitable defeat. After he surprised everyone by actually winning, and after they saw how much he was able to get done in office in the service of their desired goals, their enthusiasm for him increased, and they spent the next four years building Trump up among the faithful as a god-hero. The message was communicated at length through conservative media and the Republican industrial complex. This in turn reinforced the GOP’s dependency on the most extreme elements in the party, as the Never-Trumpers were cast out in favor of the most aggressive cultists. So for that bloc of Republican-leaning voters who may not have been so on board with him in 2016, they were now receiving a fairly constant barrage of pro-Trump agitprop from sources they trusted. It was based on tendencies that had been in the party for years, including their surrounding themselves in a bubble of misinformation, and the difference was only a matter of degree. It’s only a small step from questioning the reality of global warming to questioning the reality of Covid, from crying about voter fraud to claiming the election was stolen. They weren’t going to “see” the disaster of Trump’s presidency if they were being told it wasn’t a disaster but a paradise. The people feeding them this info simply had to take that final step of remaking reality for these voters to Trump’s benefit, something they had not taken full advantage of in 2016.

  64. Kathy says:


    Maybe that’s so of the party establishment, if there’s any of that left. But the voters have him ahead in the polls.

    BTW, Benito just got great news today. The DOJ says it can no longer conclude El Cheeto was acting in his official capacity when he defamed and libeled E. Jean Carroll, and will no longer defend him.

    Surely he’s happy now that he’ll have to spend his own (donor) money on more lawyers, instead of depending on a corrupt deep state weaponized agency. Congratulations, Mr. Cheeto. You deserve this.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I yam’s what I yams.

    eta: or is that apostrophe in the wrong place?

  66. Kathy says:

    A little bit of lighthearted irony to close the day: Corvids use anti-bird spikes to build their nests.

    Cats work way better at keeping birds off buildings.

  67. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I miss our late, great @Teve, with his concentration on apostrophization. Is it a word? I don’t know.

    But I miss him.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: As much as engagement of the base made turnout higher, it’s worth remembering that 2020 also saw a lot of temporary reforms to voting that made it easier — not just for Democrats, but Republicans too.

    2022 vote totals were higher than normal for a midterm, so it’s possible that people got a taste of voting and want to continue.

    i think it would be very hard to tease those effects apart from hatred of Trump boosting Democrats and Trump bringing open white supremacist society into the most active parts of the Republican coalition.

  69. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: I miss putting in the occasional apostrophe atrocity just to troll him. I’m pretty sure it brightened his day. Might have just annoyed him, hard to say.

    And I miss “shitty people with shitty values.”

  70. Kylopod says:


    As much as engagement of the base made turnout higher, it’s worth remembering that 2020 also saw a lot of temporary reforms to voting that made it easier — not just for Democrats, but Republicans too.

    2022 vote totals were higher than normal for a midterm, so it’s possible that people got a taste of voting and want to continue.

    2018 was the cycle that first showed record-breaking turnout for a midterm. Then 2020 broke records for a presidential election. 2022 showed higher turnout than expected, and was still greater than average historically, but was a drop from the previous two cycles.