Steven L. Taylor
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
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).
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The person of the hour is Chuck D.
Yo! Bum Rush The Show and It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.
Tens of thousands of heartfelt op-eds, and Chuck D kills it all in three minutes.
1989. Another number.
Fight The Power!
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.
Headline at the Guardian: Seattle: one teen killed and another injured in shooting in police-free zone
Some recent headlines from STL:
19 shot, 4 killed in St. Louis during violent Memorial Day weekend | ‘A sad, tragic beginning to summer’ in Policed Zone
Five people killed in four shootings Sunday in St. Louis in Policed Zone
13 injured, 2 dead in shootings over the weekend in St. Louis in Policed Zone
and of course,
Huey, The Rapper Behind ‘Pop, Lock & Drop It,’ Killed In St. Louis Shooting in Policed Zone
Oooopps, my bad, the non bolded above? Yeah, nobody said that. I wonder why?
I wrote a short essay the other day which I’ve posted to several forums. Here it is:
CONFIDENCE IS NOT COMPLACENCY
Let’s cut to the chase: Joe Biden is likely to be the next president.
It seems that the moment I say this, I get a bunch of smug responses bordering on concern trolling, “Remember 2016!”–along with the warning not to be “complacent.”
The thing is, I don’t see anyone being complacent. And I think 2016 hovers over most people’s minds. Betting markets currently give Biden about a 55% chance–a modest favorite, but nothing compared to the 75+% they were giving Hillary four years ago, even though Biden’s poll numbers are better than Hillary’s.
I also think a lot of people are forgetting why there was complacency in 2016. It wasn’t the polls. First of all, the notion that 2016 represented a massive polling error is a myth. The polls slightly underestimated Trump, but not to an abnormal or unprecedented degree. (A few days before the election, 538 ran an article titled “Trump is just a normal polling error behind Clinton.”) Moreover, it’s not exactly true that Dems have always treated polls as gospel. If you look back to a lot of the commentary during the 2008 cycle when Obama led the polls most of the time, sometimes by a substantial margin, there was still a great deal of anxiety among Dems that he might somehow still lose. If McCain had managed to win despite what the polls had said–which would have required a much greater polling error than in 2016–most Dems would have been surprised, disappointed, and depressed. But it would have been nothing remotely approaching the blinding shock and disbelief on Election Night 2016.
It wasn’t the polls that caused that feeling. It was the overwhelming sense that there was no way a man like Donald Trump could possibly be elected. Hillary’s (modest) polling advantage contributed to people’s confidence that this assumption was sound, but the assumption itself, not the polls, is what drove people’s refusal to believe a Trump win was possible.
This seems utterly obvious, and yet it’s like people have forgotten. The very words “President Trump” were nothing more than a joke to most people before 2016. His political rise may well be the single most bizarre turn of events in US history. But once he won, and the initial shock began to wear off, people gradually started to process it as “normal” and to blame their previous overconfidence on polling failure.
Nothing like that is happening now. You can argue if you like that Biden is in a weaker position than the current polls seem to indicate, but you cannot seriously suggest anyone is being “complacent” the way they were four years ago. Everyone realizes a man like Trump can win, because everyone has seen it happen once already. Just because many people are confident about Biden’s chances doesn’t mean they’re being complacent about it. And just because you may think Biden is in fact the underdog doesn’t mean those who think differently are planning to sit out the election or something, like so many did last time. The best antidote to complacency is simply to vote, and to encourage others to vote–it is not to commit yourself to the position that Trump is the favorite no matter what the facts may suggest.
I almost want to move to Tupelo MS just so he can be my mayor.
Elijah McClain: police use pepper spray to disperse violin vigil
An “illegal gathering”, the one size fits all crime for every protest.
This might be true, but in the absence of corroborating evidence, I have no reason to believe it, and plenty of reasons not to.
I’m dead. I am a cadaver. If I ever stop laughing, I will proceed straight to rigor mortis.
@sam: “These people vote.”
Been to Tupelo. Been to Graceland.
Day I took the Graceland tour some folks were visibly moved at the the gravesite.
Graceland is crazy. A big ass house designed to be a man cave. A very 1970s man cave. My lord, the carpeting!
I gotta lot a love for the man. His early stuff is almost unparalleled. His later stuff; not so much. (Except for Suspicious Minds – that song kicks so much ass)
The tour ends at the graves. A few people in my group were visibly moved. Were taking solemn photos. I mostly did the tour for irony – it is pretty hilarious. I quietly walked away because I found myself judging them and it wasn’t my place to.
None of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.
But for some, they do.
Do highly recommend the Sun Records tour. That was really cool.
If in Memphis, do that.
That and ‘que.
I hear the Republican Senators are crafting a response to the news about the Russian bounty on American soldiers….
Brexit hasn’t been in the news that much but the timeline is still slowly grinding on, with the EU updating their Notes to Stakeholders and the Brits doing very little in the way of preparation. The people over at EUReferendum are resigned to the U.K. economy dissolving in a chaotic mess (read the comments as well–very good points being made.)
Ever heard “the devil is in the details”? Unfortunately, the U.K. seems to be being run at present by a bunch of clowns who think that all problems can be solved by windy rhetoric and a few Latin tags. They don’t even seem to realise the existence of Non-Tariff-Barriers.
‘I’m high as a Georgia pine’: Dock Ellis’s no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on
@de stijl: If you ever find yourself driving across South Dakota on I-90 (I know I know, why would you? To go to Sturgis?) make a stop at Wall Drug for the truest slice of Americana at it’s tackiest. I can almost guarantee you will walk out of there with a souvenir of some type, just because.
It’s now official…US citizens are banned from travelling to the EU.
Also banned; Brazil and…who’da guessed it…Russia. Heck of a job, Trumpie.
Countries judged safer than the US?
Carl Reiner has passed.
The world is a little less funny today.
RIP sir…you will be missed.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: Shit.
And yes, I checked, he really did write this.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: @OzarkHillbilly:
Reiner was a tremendous talent.
@Teve: I see things in the same vein as Rather– What people are experiencing real-time is the process of creative destruction which is necessary to maintain the pliability required for the Country to maintain its place in the world.
Frankly, if America could be destroyed by 1 administration–it wasn’t fit to save anyway.
America is being given an opportunity to focus itself on what really matters..which should be…its commitment to equality for all, freedom to pursue life/happiness–all appropriately bounded to allow the best environment possible to maximize “winners” and minimalize the number of marginalized.
The talent is in the Country to lift it to the next octave on the scale of humanity. The question is: When will the American people demand leadership vice entertainment. Leadership has no entertainment value–it simply does a great job solving problem, anticipating future problem, and posturing the organization to meet those future challenges. For the past 40 years-the country has prioritized entertainment over competence in the POTUS. Perhaps this current Administration will mark the low-tide mark for this trend.
Been there. Wall Drug was cat nip.
Until you get there and it is nothing. A store with a petting zoo. Some knick nacks.
I recommend Rapid City. It is a good town. My ex is from there. Black Hills adjacency.
There is a road in northern Montana. A road of blissful nothingness. Along the border.
You go sixty, eighty miles between towns. In between is the most nothing imaginable. It is heart-breakingly empty. Profoundly empty. Intriguingly empty.
Driving that road is serious business. You will question yourself in ways you could not have predicted. It is so awesome!
That road changed me.
The Golden State Killer just pled guilty. Thanks again, Michelle McNamara and everyone involved.
@de stijl: i’ve driven from Florida to Seattle And back several times. Going through Missouri Kansas Nebraska Montana Idaho South Dakota Utah etc., you realize that there is a shit ton of people on the East Coast, a shit ton of people on the West Coast, and in between just thousands of miles of corn and wheat and soy beans and rocks. Just desolate.
According to NBC, the reason Trump left the white power video up on his Twitter feed for 3 hours was that he didn’t have his phone with him while he was golfing in Virginia and no one could get in touch with him. No one could reach Dan Scavino either.
When asked if he noticed the #FireFauci hashtag in something he retweeted, Trump replied: “Yeah, I notice everything.” If that’s true, then he certainly noticed the person yelling about white power. Right?
A temporary restraining order has been granted against Mary Trump’s book about her revolting uncle.
Apples and Oranges. Obviously you do not appreciate seeing American consumerism at it’s… smallest? Worstest? Tackiest? It’s the people who go there that made it so fun for me. Just sit and people watch. And laugh. Oh yeah, laugh. Maybe you just weren’t there on the right day.
Rockin’ Rapid… I won’t say I hated it but I wouldn’t go back there for any reason other than to get to the other side of it. I love the Black Hills and I’ve spent a lot of time in WY and Montana, in the empty places.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. And only one of those events a situation that is considered “out of control.” Hmmm…
@sam: WA! That is soooooooooooo sad. [ROFLMAO emoji here]
“Their entire practice tenure as counsel (has) been addressing the needs of the downtrodden, for whom the fight for civil rights is necessary,” Watkins said. “My clients, as melanin-deficient human beings, are completely respectful of the message Black Lives Matter needs to get out, especially to whites … (but) two individuals exhibited such force and violence destroying a century-plus old wrought iron gate, ripping and twisting the wrought iron that was connected to a rock foundation, and then proceeded to charge at and toward and speak threateningly to Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey.” [Source]
I’ve traveled through the Dakotas and Montana several times, only once using I90 or I94. After you’ve seen one Jackaplope, you’ve seen them all. The Badlands National Park is worth the trip though.
Nevada claims that the loneliest road in America is US 50, it’s not the true loneliest road in the US is Montana 200 Sidney to Lewiston and the biggest town along the way is Jordan, which is maybe 500 people.
Hey, it’s my ex. I have to represent.
No fooling, I like Rapid City full on.
Plus the Black Hills is the place I got my shroom on regular.
Favorite obscure campground tourists don’t visit.
Cold lake. That shit will wake you up fast if you choose to dip in.
Empty places are good places.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
@de stijl:..Empty places are good places.
Unless it’s my bank account or Trump’s head.
I’m with you there. Unless you need to skedaddle quick, the interstates are boring.
County roads are better than SRs as a general rule.
Also, highly recommend Theodore Roosevelt National Park in NoDak. You will likely be the only visitor in your campground.
We’ve camped at the Roosevelt Nat’l Park, which is the location of is second ranch in North Dakota, we also have camped at the Roosevelt State Park which is the location of his first ranch.
If you’re at the Nat’l Park and are looking for haute tackiness, I suggest Medora.
I’ve been ranting on Facebook about how stupid it is that wearing masks has become a political issue in our screwed up partisan age. My uncle came back with a great concept:
“I wonder what would happen if we said that everyone had to wear masks -except- conservative Republicans. They would be forbidden to wear them under penalty of arrest.
-I- think they would wear them just to prove they could.”
As we say around here, modern conservatism is basically nothing more than being against what liberals are for, updated daily.
@Just Another Ex-Republican: Cleek’s Law.
Check The Regrettes.
Bummed I didn’t know until last week.
@CSK: on what grounds?
It’s not clear to me, but it seems Robert Trump and Charles Harder found a friendly judge in Dutchess County (where Robert lives) who agreed with the contention that Mary Trump violated the NDA she signed.
@sam: The thing that killed me was they started filming *after* she’d already done it once.
I swear, this administration…
Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers
I am now officially obsessed with Haim.
I was always in but a light stepper.
The truly pissed off drumming at the end of The Steps convinced me.
@Sleeping Dog: I always take the back roads. I’m not in a hurry and you never know what your gonna find, spend nights at state parks if at all possible. My wife desperately wants to go to Yellowstone. I will bite my tongue and take her there but I don’t think I’m going to enjoy it much.
Nothing wrong with that, it just doesn’t suit me.
I’m not one for bucket lists as I’d much rather see stuff I didn’t even know was there to begin with, but right now I think I’d like to spend a month (or 2) fishing the upper Missouri thru the Dakotas and Montana.
@CSK: Here’s what I don’t get: The book has not yet been published (released I would say) so she has not yet violated the NDA. I would think the NDA only gives them grounds to sue after she discloses something. But Ianal.
GO: You will love Yellowstone. Go after Labor Day and avoid the crowds and bring warm gear. We were there in mid-Sept and the temps fell into the mid teens at night. One night we tent camped and the wife zipped her Boxer into her sleeping bag to keep them both warm. My Great Pyrenees was just happy.
Approach the park from Cody and take the Chief Joseph Highway up to Cook, then take the Beartooth Highway down to Red Lodge. The go back up the Beartooth and enter the park through the north gate.
As a follow-up to my previous post, I ought to confess something: I don’t particularly believe the current polls showing Biden with a double-digit lead over Trump. I expect the race to tighten by November. I actually think a Trump reelection is likelier than a double-digit Biden victory.
Why? Mostly gut feeling. It isn’t just 2016 PTSD, though that no doubt is a part of it. There are several other things to consider. First of all, the country hasn’t seen a double-digit presidential victory since 1984; it hasn’t happened to a non-incumbent since 1952; and an incumbent hasn’t been defeated by double digits since 1932 (though Carter came close). Could we be in for another one? Maybe, but every time I think about it, my BS meter starts to go off. It just somehow doesn’t seem plausible.
I tend to think we live in an extremely polarized age that precludes the super-landslides of the past. The 2008 election stands as the high water mark of presidential victories in modern times, and by historical standards it was quite modest. Most of the presidential elections in the 20th century were won with over 400 EVs.
Then there’s the fact that Biden is such a bland, low-energy candidate. You usually think of the candidates who win, especially those who win big, as being formidable personalities–people like FDR, Reagan, or Obama. I suppose George H.W. Bush was a pretty blah candidate, but he was faced against an even more blah one in 1988. The theory is that this election should be a referendum on Trump, and that the challenger is almost irrelevant. I’ve defended this theory before, but I’ve never seen it so clearly put to the test.
There are also some things that concern me. I’ve already discussed the issue of voter-suppression and the wild-card of how the pandemic will affect voting, so I won’t rehash it again here. If Biden is ahead by a sufficiently large amount, all the cheating in the world won’t be able to overcome it. The question is what happens if the race tightens. And that brings me to some other concerns I have.
I’m baffled that Trump continues to get positive approval on the economy, even while his overall approval rating is in the toilet. For whatever reason, the public does not appear to be blaming Trump for the recession (though his ratings are a lot lower than they were before it began). Perhaps they process it as a black swan event he didn’t cause. Of course it has always been true that presidents have limited control over the economy, yet that’s not how it’s typically perceived by voters. If you look historically at presidents who have run for reelection, the economy seems to be the #1 factor determining the outcome; when they preside over a growing (or at least improving) economy, they win, and when they preside over a recession or economic crisis that struck on their watch, they lose. And yet there are signs that’s not going to be the #1 issue this year.
And that’s concerning, because Trump throughout his presidency has faced temporary lulls in his support in reaction to certain events, only to see it bounce back after the events in question pass. That’s what happened during the 2019 government shutdown. The past several weeks have been an absolute shitshow, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. We probably won’t be talking about George Floyd or upside-down Bibles in November. And it’s quite possible that the pandemic, as terrible and mismanaged as it has been, may finally start to fade from attention a few months from now.
I just don’t know. Trump could be in for a true walloping as the polls seem to suggest he is. But part of me just can’t believe that’s what’s going to happen.
@sam: I think it’s clear that she’s high.
@Kylopod: Rachel Bitecofer showed data that I saw this morning that showed that the vast majority of Trump voters are voting for Trump instead of against Biden, and the vast majority of Democratic voters are voting against Trump, not for Biden.
Well, that’s why Simon and Schuster is arguing that this amounts to prior restraint. The company said it would appeal this decision right away, and presumably they didn’t waste any time.
The Trumps must be terrified of what they think is in the book.
This should not be surprising. Given a choice between wormwood and mustard greens, the people who want wormwood will vote for wormwood and the people who don’t will vote for mustard greens.
That the Democratic Party couldn’t find anything in the pantry to put on the menu that was more appealing than mustard greens is a separate problem.
@DrDaveT: Well….we had plenty, any one of which would’ve been better than wormwood with a side of death cap mushroom tea, but we’ve got a whole segment of the voting population who have been convinced that wormwood and death caps are actually what they WANT to vote for, sooo….we had to find someone “non-threatening” to the people who already voted for wormwood but are kind wavering on the death caps. 🙁
I continue to think that bland may be working in his favor.
@DrDaveT: Black voters voted overwhelmingly for Biden. I would’ve preferred Warren, but I think maybe they trusted Biden because Obama picked Biden. And the most important thing on the Democrats’ mind right now is getting Trump out of office and Biden is a good pick for that.
There are several obvious bad things about getting old, but at 44, I’m discovering there are some good things about getting old. If a 30-something and his teenage son ask me a question, and I tell them the answer, they just go “oh OK”. They just assume I know what I’m doing. Which is good, because half the time I don’t.￼
There’s the old Napoleon line about not interrupting your enemy when he is making a mistake, and Biden is not interrupting his enemy.
@DrDaveT: there was an analysis I saw a few days ago about how Biden is a person who has been touched with loss and grief, and right now America probably needs somebody who has empathy and has been touched by loss and grief.
Does anybody else see Kayleigh McEnany and think she has gotten tutorials about hair and makeup and tanning from pornhub.com?
@grumpy realist: Something that clip reminded me of is how so many Trump partisans like to make fun of Biden that he has these sparsely attended press conferences with all the reporters spread out, but like he said in the clip, he is following what medical professionals are telling him, that he is trying to be a responsible person and that he would be jeered for that, just like all these idiots who don’t want to wear masks, points to how many foolish and stupid people there are in this country, not to mention the foolish and stupid person they follow…
I think the flip side of that may apply here…that rather than having a candidate in this race with a formidable personality that many people want to vote for, we instead have someone who is so repulsive that he generates revulsion that makes many people either want to vote against him or not vote at all…
Voters need to be strongly reminded that Trump has only been really “successful” as a businessman on a reality TV show but that his business deals outside of that haven’t been all that great, particularly with all his bankruptcies…
44 isn’t old. Believe me.
You probably still have teeth you didn’t buy.
Thank you, sir.
Red Lodge is one of my favorite little towns.
I spent the last few hours listening to various cover of Under Pressure.
It’s really interesting because so many folks from different genres cover it.
My Chemical Romance is not normally my cup of tea, but why the hell not. Give it a go.
It was really quite good. I prefer the version when they teamed up with The Used.
It is an interesting way to expose yourself to new to you artists.
I did the same trick with Game Of Pricks by Guided By Voices.
Plug the name of a song you really like in the search bar and append with cover and just see what comes up.
At the very least you get to hear a new version of a song you love.
At the very best you discover someone new to you and dig into them.
Got no problem with Joe. Not my first choice or second choice, but I am not the electorate, thank Odin.
In this upcoming election we just have to rid ourselves from Trump sitting in the big chair.
Per SLT, dude is more bland and incrementalist for my taste, but I will take it any day of the week.