What Does The Success Of Brexit Tell Us About Donald Trump’s Chances? Pretty Much Nothing

Many pundits are arguing that the victory for 'Leave' presages good news for Trump in November, but there's no reason to believe that.

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Inevitably, the narrow victory for the ‘Leave’ campaign in Thursday’s Brexit vote has led some to wonder what, if anything it presages for politics elsewhere, and specifically in the United States, where we are headed into a Presidential election that pits Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, who has spent the better part of the past year making many of the same arguments against globalization, immigration, and international trade, as well as tapping into arguably similar populist themes as the ‘Leave” forces had been appealing to throughout their own campaign. In his own reaction to the Brexit vote yesterday, Trump himself clearly argued that the ‘Leave’ victory presages that he will prevail in November, and James Hohmann at The Washington Post seems to agree and makes note of the fact that the ‘Leave’ campaign has much in common with Trump’s campaign in the manner that it relied on factors such as the resentment of elites, xenophobia, opposition to immigration, and other themes as well as in extent to which, at the beginning, it was underestimated by pollsters and political analysts. Katty Kay at the BBC, meanwhile, cites five reasons why the victory for ‘Leave’ could point toward good news for Trump in November, and Brian Kaller at The American Conservative seems to agree:

The UK has often been just a little ahead of the USA; Thatcher preceded Reagan, and Corbyn preceded Sanders. Moreover, Brexit supporters share a lot in common with Trump supporters, in both demographics and frustrations.

The UK and USA are global powers somewhat in decline, with the UK obviously some decades ahead. Both powers saw a flood of Third World immigrants in recent decades—in Europe especially, with millions of refugees escaping the war-torn Middle East—competing for jobs and causing tension among working-class natives. Both countries took part in the same Middle East wars and suffered the same Great Recession—which are supposedly over, but with loved ones still dead and many working people still unemployed.

Both populist movements promise to make their country great again, toss aside foreign entanglements, reduce immigration, and bring back local industry. Both movements are called “far-right,” but are more about class—and in both countries, the elites of both major parties, along with the media, opposed and underestimated them until the last moment. In both countries the debate turned venomous, even violent, with protesters clashing with Trump supporters in the USA and a pro-EU member of Parliament shot and stabbed to death last week in the UK.

Kim Soffen at The Washington Post and Ben Jacobs at The Guardian, meanwhile, push back against the temptation to draw conclusions about American politics based on the results of this referendum. As Soffen notes, the demographic makeup of the United Kingdom in general, and the largely English population responsible for putting ‘Leave’ over the top in particular, is far different from the General Election electorate that Trump will be facing in the fall. Particularly,  the United Kingdom as a whole is 87 % white, while the United States is 74% white, and while Trump rode his support among white working class voters to a win in the Republican Primary, even the preliminary polling of his race against Hillary Clinton is making clear that this likely won’t be sufficient to help him win in November. Additionally, the fact that Trump is intensely disliked by virtually every significant minority group means that he faces a significant uphill battle if he is going to have anything resembling a reasonable chance at victory in November. None of this is to say that Trump can’t win, but as Soffen suggests the significant differences between the American and British electorates does argue strongly against drawing conclusions about what might happened here in November based on the outcome of the Brexit vote.

Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at The New York Times cite other reasons why the success of Brexit doesn’t really tell us much about the fortunes of Donald Trump:

There are crucial distinctions between the Brexit vote and the 2016 presidential election.

In the United States, there is no recent history of electing nationalist presidents hostile to immigration, and even recent Republican presidents have celebrated new arrivals as integral to American prosperity and identity.

American presidential elections are largely decided by a diverse and upscale electorate, anchored in America’s cities and suburbs. These communities more closely resemble London than Lincolnshire. Minorities made up more than a quarter of the electorate in the last presidential campaign.

And while Britain decided to leave the European Union through a popular vote, the White House race will be determined by the Electoral College, which is tilted toward the Democrats. Some large states with significant nonwhite populations have been out of reach for Republican candidates for much of the last three decades; California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania have voted for every Democratic nominee since 1992. Mr. Obama also won Florida twice, and Mrs. Clinton has a lead there now in part because Mr. Trump is unpopular with Hispanics.

Together those six states offer 166 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Mr. Trump is at an even greater disadvantage than other recent Republican presidential nominees because of his dismal standing with nonwhite, college-educated and female voters. Unless he can reverse the deeply negative views such voters have of him, he is unlikely to capture the voter-rich communities around Philadelphia, Denver, Miami and Washington that are crucial to winning the White House.

Joe Trippi, a Democratic political strategist who was a consultant for former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, said he expected the Brexit vote to embolden American conservatives. But their excitement, Mr. Trippi said, would be largely “a false read” of the results.

“There are some very similar things — a polarized electorate, nativism, nationalism were clearly big factors, and Trump exemplifies them here,” Mr. Trippi said.

“But there is a difference in the multiculturalism and diversity of the United States, versus nowhere near the same factors in the U.K.”

Perhaps more importantly, polling shows that a majority of Americans continue to oppose many of the policy proposals that are at the center of Trump’s still rather policy-free campaign:

Despite high levels of concern about immigration and foreign trade, polls show that most Americans have so far recoiled from Mr. Trump’s specific policy proposals, such as deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants.

A survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution on Thursday found that while Americans were closely split on the benefits of immigration and mostly said global trade was harmful, strong majorities rejected Mr. Trump’s promises to build a wall on the Mexican border and ban Muslim immigration.

Further, the vote in Britain was a referendum on a European entity that was easy to rally against, while the presidential vote here is increasingly becoming a referendum on a polarizing individual.

“Americans will be asked to vote for or against a person: Trump,” said Tony Fratto, a former press secretary for George W. Bush.

“And that’s a higher hurdle. If you want to express yourself with a protest vote, you’ll have to vote for Trump, and he is singularly unattractive and even offensive to a large majority of Americans.”

The effort to draw parallels between what happened in the United Kingdom with the Brexit vote and what might happen in the United States in November is hardly new. If anything, it’s a practice that goes back decades to the time when the victory of Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party in the 1979 British General Election started to be cited as some sort of precursor to the victory of Ronald Reagan in a landslide victory in the 1980 General Election, Similar efforts to analogize the outcome of elections in foreign countries with completely different political systems have included citations to election results from nations as diverse as Canada, France, Germany, and Israel. Interestingly, when these analogies are drawn the people making the argument seem to ignore other cases such as the Conservative Party victory in 1992’s General Election that was followed by Bill Clinton’s victory that same year in the United States, the Labour Party victories in 1997 and 2001 that bookend George W. Bush’s victory in the 2000 election, Tony Blair’s third consecutive win in 2005 just one year after George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, or the victory of David Cameron and the Conservatives in 2010 which came just two years after Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election. In fact, there are as many examples of seemingly opposite election outcomes in the United States and nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and Israel as there are correlations. Given the significant differences between the political systems in all of these nations, this is hardly surprising of course but the fact that is that pundits, along with the general public, continually do it even when common sense tells them not to, and in this case, for the reasons stated by Soffens, Martin, and Burns as well as others, common sense seems to clearly argue that trying to correlate the outcome of the Brexit vote to what might happen in the United States in just over four months is a waste of time.

Donald Trump has wrapped his arms around the ‘Leave’ victory in the apparent belief that it will somehow boost his own campaign here in the United States. The evidence, though, seems to show that it’s not likely to have any impact at all, and there is even a chance that it could have a negative impact in the impression it leaves with American voters. By the time Americans are ready to go to the polls, for example, we could already start seeing many of the consequences and difficulties likely to grow out of the ‘Leave’ victory. If that’s the case, then voters who might have been inclined to join Trump’s nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-globalization movement could begin to think twice about the idea of taking a risk with an unproven radical like Trump. Even if that doesn’t happen, though, it seems unlikely that American voters are going to care nearly enough about the European Union to give what happened on Thursday much mind at all when they are making their own choice in November.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, 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. stonetools says:

    I think you can say that both the Trump voter and the Leave voter for the same profile: white, older, less well educated , nostalgic for the 1950s.

    I think too, that it’s a wake up call for Democrats who think that Clinton is somehow fated to with Until a couple of weeks ago, the Remain position was thought to be a slam dunk, with polls showing the Remain vote leading and every expert rooting for and predicting a Remain victory. Well, things can happen. Always important to remember that polls and punditry doesn’t decide elections: actual votes do.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    It’s good to see some pushback against this fatuous idea that the success of Brexit somehow predicts the success of Trump in the November…

  3. CSK says:

    The Trumpkins are beginning to remind me of inept entrail readers: Everything presages a Trump landslide in November.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    I would suggest that Hillary needs to look at the failure of a campaign built solely on negatives. Cameron and his crew failed to terrify voters and offered no positive vision. People need hope. Hating on Trump won’t be enough, and it won’t give her a mandate even if she wins. She needs a vision. Something more than free child care and a minimum wage bump.

  5. Pch101 says:

    I would say that the pundits are correct in linking the sentiments of the UKIP with the Trump wing of the GOP. The motivations — some combination of xenophobia, nationalism gone awry, fears of economic security, the clean house/burn it down mentality, etc. — are very much the same and have made headway elsewhere in Europe (much to the joy of Pat Buchanan.)

    The difference is in the numbers. I’m going to guess that the US popular vote for the president will be close to the inverse of the Brexit vote, with 52-48 for the Dems, give or take a point. That’s not much of a difference, but it’s enough to change the outcome of the respective votes.

    At the end of the day, the US election will probably be a party-line election that was similar to 2012. This won’t be a realignment election, and no Republican was in a position to change this for 2016.

  6. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “More Hope!More change!”
    “A bridge to the 22nd century!”
    “10,000 points of light!”
    “A shining metropolis upon a mountain!”

    What do you think of those vision-y statements?
    I will admit that it would be nice if Hillary came up with a nice, catchy slogan. But I suspect you want more than that. The thing is, Im not sure Hillary can offer much of a vision. She is really a policy wonk , through and through. I don’t see her offering much more than a steady hand on the tiller, and a thoughtful, left of center program that, if it can be implemented, will help lots of Americans in practical ways.Considering she is going up against an unstable, incompetent buffoon, that might be enough. I do want her to curb stomp Trump, though , and bring at least a Senate majority with her.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    It seems like an interesting topic for a bull session to speculate on the amount the economic markers such as the Dow would fall if Mr Trump did actually win. Not sure I want to put my head in that space, however.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:
    Hillary is the handyman you call to fix a few things around the house. Which is good, we need some things fixed. But she’s not the interior designer who can knock down a wall and make that whole kitchen/dining room/living room space suddenly seem big and airy.

    She needs, and the Democratic Party needs, a narrative that goes beyond repair jobs. The whole country needs that. We have no plot. The American story ran out of steam a long time ago and now we’re in a sequel no one is dying to see. It doesn’t have to be a slogan, maybe a Top 10 list. Or a Top 5 so Letterman won’t sue. Something that aims a bit further ahead than what the headlights show.

    Maybe she’s got that and will roll it out for the convention. But I’ll tell you right now if all she’s got is “I’m not Trump” she’ll be in danger. That’s handing the initiative to the enemy, and you don’t want to do that.

  9. Jenos Idanian says:

    Obama went to the UK to campaign against the Brexit, and even threatened trade consequences (which he, naturally, has had to walk back) if the British dared defy his wise counsel. (This was yet another example of “the Obama Effect,” when Obama’s backing is often the kiss of death for a candidate or referendum.)

    Trump made sure he was in England when the votes were cast and counted.

    Who seems better in tune with the mood of the British electorate? And while the British aren’t Americans, there just might be enough parallels…

  10. An Interested Party says:

    She needs a vision.

    Hidden in plain sight

    Who seems better in tune with the mood of the British electorate? And while the British aren’t Americans, there just might be enough parallels…

    Keep hoping, sweetie, keep hoping…

  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: While I agree with your basic point, I would suggest that since you are the award winning author (or the spouse thereof, I keep getting confused on that point), perhaps you have some suggestions as to what the plot is or should be. As I look at the country, I do see a lot of things that need fixed (as we say in my corner of the world) but I find them to be things that can only be fixed by better people than the ones we seem to have. I have loooooong given up on the notion of the President as transformational figure leading us out of whatever Egypt we imagine ourselves to be in, but even if I did believe, most of the work I see to do is basic carpentry, not transformative design.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Your Trump, so in tune with the British electorate, went to Scotland, and congratulated them on voting for independence from the EU, when the Scots voted quite heavily to stay in the EU.

    This is not actually what is meant by “in tune”.

  13. Pch101 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump made sure he was in England when the votes were cast and counted.

    You can add geography to the long list of subjects that you don’t understand.

  14. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Clinton has a vision, but it’s a complicated vision of incremental change.

    She needs a slogan. She needs a way to quickly say “a steady hand taking the status quo forward, with increased protections for women in the workplace and more family friendly policies and modest reforms to Obamacare and a thousand tiny changes around the edges.”

    “Not a racist carnival barker” doesn’t quite do it. “We don’t need to make America Great Again, we need to stop scoring own-goals” doesn’t quite do it.

    “The Presidency isn’t an entry level position” has a little bit of a ring to it, though, and I would be delighted if that was actually said frequently, but she needs an overarching positive definition for her vision.

  15. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    Don’t forget that Trump also mentioned how the collapse of the pound would result in more visitors to his resort.

  16. HarvardLaw92 says:

    I particularly enjoyed the Twitter response to Trump from various Scots. Nobody in the world swears better than a Scotsman 🙂

  17. An Interested Party says:

    While it’s true that Hillary is no Obama, maybe she doesn’t have to be, particularly considering who her opponent is…she can run on using her experience to continuing the progress Obama has already made…that’s not a horrible message when the alternative is a blowhard who is making promises he can’t keep and who has no clue how to work in government…

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Um, well, I’ve won some tiny awards. My wife has the big award. But that’s only because she’s the far better prose stylist. I however, am the acknowledged God of Plot. Unfortunately my stories generally involve lots of bloodshed and occasionally the end of the world, so I’m not sure I’m the guy to try and write a utopian future.

    To be a bit more serious, I know my limitations. I’m an excellent counterpuncher and critic. I have a world class imagination and (to the surprise of everyone who knows me) I actually understand humans fairly well. (Not sure if misanthropy helps or hurts with that.) I have excellent work habits and can appear charming in small doses.

    But I’m not a visionary.

    I tried at one point to conceive of a utopian as opposed to dystopian book series, but that whole notion runs counter to any writer’s professional instincts which are always to seek conflict. I don’t really know how to write “happy.” Terrified, I got. Enraged, no problemo. Ruthless? Yeah, baby, I got your ruthless right here. But happy? WTF is “happy” in practical terms? I am not Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love.) I’m much closer to being Stephen King. (Eat the person Praying, Love the screams!)

    Nope. Not my thing. I can write you from Trump to bloated realty TV stars eating human flesh in the White House, but from here to Happytown? That’s someone else’s gig. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know when the plot has petered out. People need a narrative and at the moment we don’t have one.

  19. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gustopher: Yes, I misspoke. Trump was in the UK, not in England, and he was in the Scotland part because that’s where he had a valid reason to be.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    “Witless fwcking cocksplat.”

    “Toupéd Fwcktrumpet.”

    “Clueless numpty.”

    “Mangled apricot hellbeast.”

    In case people were wondering.

  21. CSK says:

    Let’s go back to the late 17th century: “Stinking poxy bastard.”

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Sure, but how hard would it have been for him to ascertain that the Scots voted overwhelmingly against Brexit. I knew that yesterday morning. How could my knowledge be superior to that of the savior?

  22. Slugger says:

    Brexit is not a success. It won one vote. In the first twenty four hours, there have been serious declines in stocks and many currencies. Brexit might turn out successful, or historians might consider it a failure in a couple of years. I am reserving my judgement. The declines that we have already seen might not reverse by election time in which case Trump will not appear to have made a smart call. Right now if I were a Clinton ad maker, I’d be putting together a video of him crowing about Brexit while a stock ticker shows a DowJones collapse. Brilliant businessmen don’t cheer declines.

  23. Gustopher says:

    @Slugger: And it won that one vote very narrowly.

    As the chaos created by that vote continues, many people who voted for Brexit may come to wish they hadn’t, and many who didn’t bother to vote at all may come to wish that they had.

    I don’t see Brexit as a done deal until it’s done — does anyone really want to be the party of “We implemented the results of the referendum, despite the fact that these results were increasingly unpopular as we implemented them, so suck on that you miserable little git”? Of course not, it would be political suicide for all involved.

    I expect them to slow walk this process, and if the polling turns against it along the way, find an excuse for another referendum. And, of course, declare victory whatever happens.

  24. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    She needs, and the Democratic Party needs, a narrative that goes beyond repair jobs.

    Yabbut…

    Obama had the kind of vision you’re talking about. It didn’t even survive to his first inauguration; instead the economy crashed and the credit market imploded and he got to try to deal with that as best it could be dealt with, given a Congress that was willing to take the nation down in flames rather than work with him on anything.

    It wouldn’t matter what kind of vision Hillary had if she gets to “work with” the same kind of Congress. I’ll settle for a decent plumber and electrician, and save the reno for when the kiddies have stopped scribbling on the walls and trying to flush plush toys down the toilets.

  25. rachel says:

    @Slugger:

    Brilliant businessmen don’t cheer declines.

    Brilliant statesmen (and semi-competent politicians) certainly don’t, especially not when it is the decline of long-standing allies and possibly their own state’s economy.

  26. Jenos Idanian says:

    Let me explain the common theme between Brexit and Trump, and it’s something that’s too simple that you’ve all seemed to forgotten about it.

    Democracy is a game of numbers.

    You don’t win by being smarter, or having better ideas, or being better educated, or better credentialed, or being morally superior. You win by getting the most people to agree with you.

    Telling large numbers of people that they’re stupid, they’re hateful backwards bigots, and that they have no business even talking about lofty matters of state is not a good way to get them to support you.

    A whole lot of people got tired of being treated like that, looked around at the huge mess the soi-disant “elites” have made of things, and said “FU” in the clearest way they could find. Some of them voted for the Brexit, some voted for Trump. (And some may have done both, but that’s gotta be a really, really, really small number.)

    Hillary Clinton will really bring Wall Street to heel. She’s taken millions and millions from them over the past few years, so we can count on her to take even more of their millions when she’s elected — but this time it won’t be given to her willingly. She served as the Secretary of State, the Mideast got even worse than before (and I wasn’t sure that was possible, but she did it). And she did a great job of making sure Republicans couldn’t get their hands on her private emails. They’re almost certainly in the hands of the Russians and the Chinese and who knows who else, but the GOP won’t get it.

    …which ties into my other comment about how Democrats see their political opponents as a greater threat than actual foreign powers. Hillary didn’t care about her server getting hacked by foreign powers, as long as the GOP didn’t get their hands on it. She put her own political security ahead of national security.

    Finally, Trump hit on another key theme in his savaging of Hillary this last week (which, like the attempt by an illegal alien to assassinate him, was studiously overlooked here): while many Americans have seen their own personal economic state decline over the past few years (I went from one full-time job with benefits to two part-time jobs with no benefits in the wake of ObamacCare), Hillary has raked in millions in barely legal bribes. The correlation between foreign nations giving big donations to the Clinton Foundation and getting favorable treatment is astounding.

    OK, I’ll say one more thing: I think that Trump and Hillary are most likely to be disasters. I think that Hillary’s more likely to be a disaster, but Trump’s disaster would be likely worse than Hillary’s. Further, I think that Hillary’s disaster would be painful and irritating and grating and annoying, where Trump’s would at least be more entertaining.

    If we’re going straight to hell, I would prefer to go laughing.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Obama had the kind of vision you’re talking about.

    He got elected. Twice.

    Her eventual policies can be small beer, but to get elected she needs a story. People need a positive reason to go to the polls. A vision also protects a pol against shocks. A vision gives you momentum so your bike doesn’t fall over.

  28. Pch101 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump was in the UK, not in England

    This is akin to saying that someone was in the United States, not in Florida.

    Your previous point made as much sense as claiming that an evangelical politician demonstrated his ability to connect with his Bible Belt supporters by hosting a press conference in Santa Cruz, California. Which is to say that your point made no sense at all.

    What would be honest is if you would admit that you were trying to be clever, but that you fell flat on your face instead. Again. Still.

  29. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: you did notice that Trump was in Scotland, didn’t you? And that Scotland voted decidedly against Brexit?

    Based on the commentary I saw on British news sites, the only impression Trump has made is that of a 100% prat. “Jaundiced ball-sucker” was one of the kinder epithets used.

  30. Grumpy Realist says:

    P.S. And I’m quite positive that the after effects of Brexit won’t dissuade Trump supporters for voting for their hero, but based on a thread over at Jezebel (!!) it looks like it is dissuading a few Bernie supporters from a protest vote. They’re terrified of the possibility that a protest vote might result in Trump.

  31. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Obama went to the UK to campaign against the Brexit

    What??? , Oh I forgot you just make this stuff up.

    @Jenos Idanian:

    OK, I’ll say one more thing

    Please don’t

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    That’s the kind of piece that gets you laughed at, Jenos. The next president will have command of the nation’s conventional and nuclear forces, and you conclude that the unstable toddler should be given the trigger, because: fun!

    And your case rests on Hillary’s Wall Street speaking gigs, a spurious attack on the Clinton Foundation, and the server. What, no Benghazi? No Vince Foster? Wasn’t she off with Ted Cruz’s dad shooting JFK while planting Obama’s fake birth certificate?

    Trump is a fraud on a massive scale, notorious for ripping off contractors, as well as ripping off students at his bogus university, as well as a serial bankrupt who profits by screwing others over, and you fixate on Hillary’s Wall Street speeches because those are dishonest? Right.

    Trump has literally no notion of the constitution, proposes government surveillance by religious affiliation, and proposes that judges should be disqualified by ethnic group, and you fixate on the Clinton Foundation? Right.

    Trump sucks Putin’s dick, celebrates the probable break-up of the UK, talks about encouraging a nuclear arms race in the far east, and suggests he could use nukes in Europe, and you’re all about the email server? Right.

    Look, if you want to pass yourself off as someone who should be treated seriously, try being serious.

    I agree that the Left is smug and often sourly intolerant. But that doesn’t excuse that kind of dishonest thinking. Even if we are the nasty, condescending, hypocrites you think we are, that does not add even a single IQ point to your side or your positions.

    You don’t want to be labeled a racist? Stop apologizing for a candidate and a party that even Republicans now admit are racist. You are now way to the right of the GOP establishment. You’re supporting a man so toxic that no living GOP ex-president or presidential candidate will appear with him; a man so foul that Brent Scowcroft and George Will are throwing him under the bus.

    If you support a child molester, you’re a pedophile. Right? This isn’t hard to figure out. Go ask a room full of 100 people how many would vote for a child molester, and the one guy who says, yes? He’s a child molester himself.

    And right now you’re baffled because you don’t know why I bring up child molesters. See, you think “racist” is kind of like, “scientologist,” certainly out of vogue, but hey, who can keep up, right? You think racism is just one of the many ways a person might see the world, just a sort of a spin on things, just a harmless, maybe anachronistic, but not really very serious thing. The problem is that people who think that way are racists. Normal people don’t think racism is a lifestyle choice. Normal people when they hear the word ‘racist’ think of strange fruit hanging from southern trees and trains to Auschwitz. Most people see ‘racism’ as every bit as serious as ‘pedophilia,’ but to you it’s just this mean thing people keep calling you. You think it’s like being called a nerd by the kids at the cool table.

    It’s your complete lack of seriousness, your lack of intellectual integrity, your locked-shut mind that people find so objectionable about you, Jenos, precisely because you’re actually not an idiot. You’re coherent, you’re witty, I’d guess you have an above average IQ. But you are very much like Trump in that you have literally zero respect for truth or fairness, you just fight your corner without any notion of intellectual consistency or integrity.

    So, yeah, Jenos, people treat you like a racist and have no respect for you because you either are a racist or you’re just so trivial you don’t understand the word, and you have zero standards of intellectual integrity. You choose to present yourself this way. It’s no one’s fault but yours.

  33. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Obama did speak on behalf of Remain…because Cameron and Remain supporters asked him to do it.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/how-barack-obama-came-to-david-camerons-rescue/

    The Remain team felt good about the results.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/22/cameron-could-not-have-asked-for-more-from-obamas-brexit-warning

    But now Nigel Farage is crediting Obama for the Leave win. Which is an odd argument; if parochial petty resentments of the outside world are the best thing that the UKIP has to offer, then it hasn’t got much.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: I would vote for a child molester over a Republican for many offices. How many children will a Republican President screw by cutting health insurance to children and funding for school lunches, WIC, and countless other policies? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions. How many children will the child molester screw while in office? Not as many — they just don’t have the time.

    It would be a hold-your-nose election, to be sure, and I would be delighted to see articles of impeachment as soon as possible.

    I wouldn’t be excited to vote for a child-molester. I wouldn’t be excusing his behavior. And I would rather vote for a dead person, or someone who set up a private email server while Secretary of State, or murdered Vince Foster, but sometimes you have to make hard choices.

    A child molester over a Republican, of the current Republican Party — for President, yes, for Senate, maybe, for Representative… No (the House is not in play, probably). For governor? Maybe. Lt. Governor? No. city council? No.

    Policy failures can outweigh even the most disgusting personal life.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: it’s possible that if I had children, my views would be different. Or if I was actually presented with the choice in real life.

    But, as a hypothetical? Go with the least damaging.

  36. MBunge says:

    The Trump campaign continues to be very educational. In this case, it’s one of the more corrosive aspects of our discourse (and one I’ve been guilty of plenty of times). It’s not enough to be right. The other guy has to be wrong. All the time and in every way.

    Of course the Brexit vote is good news for Trump. It’s a victory for a Trumpian message against overwhelming elite opposition and in spite of poll number indicating a defeat. Does it guarantee his winning in November? Of course not, but the knee jerk response that nothing can ever be good news for Trump has already gotten pretty funny.

    Mike

  37. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Also, if someone genuinely believes that abortion is murder, I can understand them forcing themselves to vote for Trump, hoping his Supreme Court choices will overturn Roe v Wade, and that the dangers of his instability and his flagrant racism will be less worse than the benefit of limiting abortion.

    I cannot see a reason to favor Trump over any of the other primary candidates other than embracing racism or nihilism though.

    Hatred of Ted Cruz, maybe. But there were other options!

  38. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    while many Americans have seen their own personal economic state decline over the past few years

    Yea, let’s go back to those happy days shortly before Obama took office and wrecked everything – you know when many Americans were seeing their own personal economic state undergo a catastrophic meltdown, and quickly, with the entire economy not far behind.

    Look, Republicans got the economy they wanted. It rains money on the 1% 24/7/365. The next 9%, people in my group, are doing fairly well to pretty darned well serving the 1%. Everybody else is getting hosed. The Trumps of the world are busy pitting the have littles against the have nothings while they build themselves palatial vacations homes & buy 400K cars and private jets.

    You guys got hoodwinked into thinking only “the others” would get screwed. Welcome to reality. You are less than a disposable part to the people who you give your votes to.

  39. Pete S says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Yes, democracy is about numbers. It is not a game, it is much more important than that. That “FU” vote in Britain will have some real world consequences.

    But about the numbers part. Trump is doing his best to alienate 60% of the population even though some of these people will vote for him because of the R after his name (probably used to be in pencil but written in stone now). He is doing this to get 40% of the population who seem to really love him to love him even more. This is crazy and this type of decision making helps explain the serial bankruptcies.

    He is truly dangerous and there is no excuse for Democrats to be anything less than fully engaged in trying to keep him out of office. Part of that effort can be to sit back and hope he stays lousy at math.

  40. Jenos Idanian says:

    @michael reynolds: You know, michael, even though I have no interest in young adult fiction, I am tempted to look up some of your works. Because if you’re this good at blending fact and fantasy for money as you demonstrate you are for free, they could be entertaining.

    You say that I have no business defending Trump, and I have to agree. I don’t defend Trump. I point out when people here lie about him, but you even admit that my saying I’ll vote for him purely for the entertainment value. We’re facing two potentially catastrophic candidates, so we have to choose going to hell miserable or going down laughing.

    You won’t admit it, but your argument for Hillary is the exact mirror of mine for Trump. You don’t defend Hillary, you simply scream “Trump’s worse!” I don’t defend Trump, I just say Hillary’s worse.

    Hillary was a horrible First Lady. So many of the things she tried to do were either miserable failures, or just plain corrupt.

    Hillary was totally ineffective as Senator. The one thing anyone can remember about her tenure there was voting for the Iraq invasion.

    Hillary was a total disaster as Secretary of State. The world got significantly worse, our relations with other nations went down the toilet, and a lot of people died because of her actions, her counsel, and her negligence.

    But on the other hand, she raked in millions (both personally and through her family), so she’s got that going for her. And she kept her secrets safe from the Republicans by hiding them with foreign powers like China and Russia, who we are lucky are principled and won’t use whatever they hacked out of her server should she become president.

    But back to you… nice move attempting to link Trump to pedophiles. Very subtle, but not quite good enough. For me, it reminded me of two things: 1) Hillary laughing about how she got a child rapist off, and 2) Hillary spending years attempting to punish women who caught her husband’s attentions, even when they were unwanted. So if you’re going to bring sex offenders into the campaign, remember that Hillary has promised to turn the economy over to her admitted sexual predator husband.

    So go on accusing me of defending Trump, and I’ll go on laughing at it. Go on refusing to defend Hillary or saying anything positive about her, because that’s your tacit admission that she really doesn’t have any positives to push.

    I can be a slow learner, especially when it comes to grasping dishonesty. It took me a long time to recognize that the standard debating style here is “always attack, refuse to defend, because when you’re defending, you’re losing,” and I occasionally backslide, but sticking that Post-It on the monitor to remind me has helped.

  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My personal favorite was “tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing sh*tgibbon”

  42. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That may be the finest insult I’ve ever seen leveled at anyone.

  43. Moosebreath says:

    Somewhat OT, but wowza:

    “Hillary Clinton surged to a broad advantage against Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, capitalizing on Trump’s recent campaign missteps. Two-thirds of Americans see him as biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims, and a new high, 64 percent, call Trump unqualified to serve as president.

    These and other doubts about Trump have produced a sharp 14-point swing in preferences among registered voters, from +2 points for Trump in mid-May, after he clinched the GOP nomination, to +12 points for Clinton now, 51-39 percent. That snaps the race essentially back to where it was in March.”

  44. JohnMcC says:

    @Gustopher: Not to forget that the R-party made a child molester Speaker of the House of Representatives because Pres Clinton 42.

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Dude, again, if you want to be taken seriously, don’t get your “news” from Breitbart. And stop pretending you’re not a Trump voter – yes, it’s embarrassing, but man up and admit it.

    Simple choice: who is better qualified to handle a thousand nuclear weapons? Hillary or Donald? You know, I know, absolutely everyone knows the answer is Hillary. Giving Trump nukes is like handing an AK to a teething toddler. (Which of course the NRA is happy to do.)

    Brent Scowcroft knows the answer, why don’t you? He’s a real national security expert and somehow he doesn’t think Hillary’s email server justifies giving nuclear weapons to a deeply ignorant, stupid old con-man with impulse control issues.

    There is a reason why George HW Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney all refuse to attend the convention. There is a reason why Mitch McConnell can’t answer the simple question, “Is Donald Trump qualified?” There is a reason why GOP Senators refuse to talk about Trump. They all know the same Breitbart/Limbaugh bullsh-t you “know,” but they all also have some actual knowledge of the realities of foreign policy, and they all clearly think Trump is dangerous.

    So, Jenos, ‘splain to me how it is that people on your team who actually understand something about the office of president, and understand something of the demands of the job, are running away from the guy you pretend not to support while of course supporting.

    You ranted about Benghazi for what, two years? And now that’s come to nothing, so without so much as a pause to reflect on how wrong you were, you hare off after the next piece of Breitbart crap.

    Like I said: no intellectual integrity, no honesty, you just fight your corner without any concern for the facts or the consequences. And that’s why no one takes you seriously.

  46. Barry says:

    @JohnMcC:

    “It seems like an interesting topic for a bull session to speculate on the amount the economic markers such as the Dow would fall if Mr Trump did actually win. Not sure I want to put my head in that space, however.”

    Yes. The USA would experience a radical crash, which would accelerate the UK’s crash.
    Given the fact that the right in both countries are insane whackos, they would undoubtedly screw it up, resulting in a depression.

  47. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Yes, I misspoke. Trump was in the UK, not in England, and he was in the Scotland part because that’s where he had a valid reason to be.”

    Where ‘valid’ meant ‘another Trump rip-off’.

  48. Barry says:

    @DrDaveT: “It wouldn’t matter what kind of vision Hillary had if she gets to “work with” the same kind of Congress. I’ll settle for a decent plumber and electrician, and save the reno for when the kiddies have stopped scribbling on the walls and trying to flush plush toys down the toilets.”

    More like ‘neighborhood psychos trying to burn down the place’.

  49. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: Jenos doesn’t need people to take him seriously. He just needs them to pay attention to him. That way he can be sure he exists, since apparently he has no other way of making his mark on the world.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I noticed in one poll that she’s within four points of him in Texas.

    In Texas. Let that one sink in for a few minutes.

  51. motopilot says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Frankie Boyle at The Guardian says “Donald Trump has the manner of an arrogant televangelist suspected of murder by Columbo.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/04/donald-trump-arrogant-televangelist-clinton-sanders-frankie-boyle

  52. NW-Steve says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hillary was a total disaster as Secretary of State. The world got significantly worse, our relations with other nations went down the toilet, and a lot of people died because of her actions, her counsel, and her negligence.

    A few questions for you:

    – If Hillary was a “total disaster” as secretary of state, that implies that it could be done better. So which secretary of state during your lifetime made things better in the Middle East?

    – Which other nations (by name) have seen relations with us “go down the toilet”, and what is the measure of that in each case?

  53. gVOR08 says:

    @anjin-san: Thank you for mentioning something that is a real pet peeve of mine. Everybody says we’re on the wrong track, wages are stagnant, the economy collapsed, whatever. Then they blame Democrats. How do you not recognize that conservatives/GOPs have pretty much dominated politics and policy for the last generation?

  54. gVOR08 says:

    @motopilot:

    Trump has the manner of an arrogant televangelist suspected of murder by Columbo.

    Nah. Columbo’s villains were always good liars. Trump can’t lie well enough to convince any but the gullible 27%. And parts of the supposedly liberal MSM.

  55. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Pch101: Absolutely accurate to say that Obama spoke in favor of “Remain”, even accurate to say that he did so while in Great Britian. Even accurate to say that he spoke favorably of “Remain” while in the US.

    What Jenos said was that he went to UK to campaign (for Remain), as if Obama was there exclusively for that purpose.

    —- that’s what I was objecting to —- Jenos’ protrayal of the purpose of Obama’s trip to the UK.

  56. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    I would vote for a child molester over a Republican for many offices.

    Fortunately, in the real world, you wouldn’t have needed to. You could have voted against the child molester AND the Republican at the same time! How convenient is THAT?

  57. Tyrell says:

    @Moosebreath: I have a bag of clothes pins that I will give to the people on election day.

  58. An Interested Party says:

    @motopilot: Even better is his description of Ted Cruz:

    …a cross between a permanently disappointed sitcom vampire and the high school yearbook photo of every serial killer of the modern era.

    Spot on…

  59. An Interested Party says:

    @motopilot: I do wonder if Boyle realizes, while he is giddily trashing all of our major presidential candidates, that the political situation in his own country is just as screwed up…hell, at least our country isn’t going to break up based on the results of the upcoming vote…

  60. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    in the Scotland part

    When it comes to unintentional comedy gold, Jenos is the gift that keeps on giving…

  61. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Given the itinerary and the timing, I think that it is fair to say that the purpose of Obama’s trip to the UK in April was to support the Remain effort. He spent a few days there and basically hung out with Cameron and the royals.

    What’s silly is for the right wing to pretend that Obama was trying to bully the Brits or that he bumbled into this. The reality is that Obama was invited there because (a) he is popular in the UK while (b) Cameron is not and (c) the polling at the time indicated that there was a large percentage of undecided voters.

    Typically, the White House would remain publicly neutral on the internal elections of other nations, but this was an exception because the Brits asked for his help. I’m sure that Jenos and his fellow semi-literate Breitbart readers don’t understand this, particularly the idea that a conservative would actively seek out the help of a pinko lefty commie such as Obama.

    We’ll see what the number crunchers conclude about the vote, but as far as I can tell, Obama’s visit didn’t impact the outcome either way. This was divided along class and urban lines, including working class traditional Labour voters who shifted right in the last election, so it would seem to be more of a continuation of the 2015 parliamentary election that included considerable popular vote gains for the UKIP. (The Tories and UKIP collectively won about 50% of the vote.)

  62. Blue Galangal says:

    @michael reynolds: I agree with everything you’re saying. I do. I liked Hope and Change. Obama presented as someone with a vision. But right now I also see that “I’m not crazy” is really a good selling point. And the “I’m with her” is a good solid slogan and graphic. My daughter got her Woman Card last week and she’s been carrying it everywhere and showing it to people. She’s so genuinely delighted with it. That’s not an overarching vision. But on some level she is reaching a 21 year old college student.

    Unless Trump is really in some stage of dementia, one assumes at some point this crazy will get reined in. (Poll numbers today… Ouch.) And she WILL need a story then. And if Trump really is in some stage of dementia, I don’t know what will happen to be honest, except that HRC isn’t, and it shows.

    (Also what does it say about the current state of the GOP base if he is in fact in some stage of dementia? Double ouch.)

  63. grumpy realist says:

    It’s especially amusing watching the British politicians run around in circles: “migod, we never expected anyone to take us SERIOUSLY!!!”

    About the only politician lunatic enough to take on the burden is Boris Johnson. And I think the rest of Europe is basically tired of the constant sturm-und-drang and just wants the whole thing to be over. OK, you voted out. File the paperwork guys, and let’s get started on the details of the divorce. No, you don’t get to stand n the doorway and dither.

  64. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hillary was a total disaster as Secretary of State. The world got significantly worse, our relations with other nations went down the toilet, and a lot of people died because of her actions, her counsel, and her negligence.

    You must have her confused with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice. Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State was solid and unspectacular. But she didn’t have a disastrous foreign war costing 4000 American lives on her watch

    Hillary was totally ineffective as Senator. The one thing anyone can remember about her tenure there was voting for the Iraq invasion.

    Who was the President who led us into that invasion again?

    Her Wikipedia page indicates she did quite a lot-so much so that the state of New York re-elected her. So , not totally ineffective.Then there is this:

    Clinton has enjoyed high approval ratings for her job as Senator within New York, reaching an all-time high of 72 to 74 percent approving (including half of Republicans) over 23 to 24 percent disapproving in December 2006, before her presidential campaign became active;[103][104] by August 2007, after a half year of campaigning, it was still 64 percent over 34 percent.[105]

    Huh. Seems her constituents -the people who were best able to judge her work as Senator-thought she did just fine.
    But right wing pundits at Reason and Brietbart said she was ineffective, so Jenos regurgitates that here. Jenos , you aren’t talking so much about Hillary Clinton as a right wing caricature of Clinton. you need to read news sources that aren’t right wing propaganda, mate.

  65. rachel says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Unless Trump is really in some stage of dementia…

    His affect and behavior really make me wonder about that.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @NW-Steve:

    If Hillary was a “total disaster” as secretary of state, that implies that it could be done better. So which secretary of state during your lifetime made things better in the Middle East?

    James Baker leaps to mind — he was also blessed with timing, as people in the Mideast actually wanted peace and were willing to make some sacrifices for it. He wasn’t able to achieve peace, but he was there during the high point.

    I don’t see how Clinton or Kerry could have done well with the disaster they inherited. The Iraq War destabilized the region, and the reconstruction of Iraq was a complete clusterfvck. It was a disaster our policy decision that will be paying dividends for decades to come, and has spilled far beyond the borders of Iraq.

    Kerry did succeed in getting a lot of chemical weapons out of the region, so that was a positive. We wouldn’t want ISIS to get their hands on them, or the “moderate rebels” we support.

  67. Dumb Brit says:

    If a blond mopped upperclass English Buffoon ( who was a relatively successful two term mayor of London) can just hoodwink a smidgen over 50% of the population in a relatively short Brexit campaign ( just over 3 months), I am not yet too concerned that a ginger comb-overed blithering idiot with no political experience & questionable morals stands too much of a chance at the end of a gruelling 15 month introduction to your electorate (n.b. I was wrong on the Brexit outcome!).

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Dumb Brit: I don’t think our electorate is all that better than your electorate, but our “tiny-fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon” is very, very special — he’s a very dumb man with two convictions: he knows he’s the smartest man in any room, and he knows gold toilet fixtures are classy.

    He’s a very American hero: the self-made man who inherited a crapload of money; the successful businessman who has gone bankrupt time and time again; the man who says what is on his mind, even though nothing is.

    In a Shakespearean play, he would be comic relief, not worthy of tragedy. In America, we will build him up, wait for his inevitable fall, and then tear him apart like a pack of vicious weasels on a guinea pig. I just hope it happens before the election.

  69. Jenos Idanian says:

    @michael reynolds: Simple choice: who is better qualified to handle a thousand nuclear weapons? Hillary or Donald?

    Dude, you’re making a national security argument in favor of a woman under criminal investigation for violating national security laws, who sold a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (which deals with nuclear weapons policy), and whose secret correspondence is most certainly in the hands of hostile foreign powers?

    At least we know that if Hillary gets elected, we know that the nuclear launch codes will be safe from Republicans. The Russians, Chinese, and God knows who else will have them, but they’ll be protected from Republicans.

  70. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @anjin-san: After my mother died, my father spent his last years obsessed by the fear that Obama would somehow take away his wealth (in the seven-figure range), because his friends fed him that line from Fox News and The Blaze. It didn’t help when I tried to explain reality, based on my analysis of his holdings. Belief prevails.

  71. An Imterested Party says:

    …whose secret correspondence is most certainly in the hands of hostile foreign powers…

    And the proof of that…

  72. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Considering that the launch codes seem to be variants on “0000000000”, I don’t think you have to worry about Republican access….

    Hell, any half-decent hacker could probably set them off.

  73. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Imterested Party: If a Romanian “lone wolf” like Guccifer can get them, you really wanna bet the Russians and the Chinese don’t have them, too?

  74. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State was solid and unspectacular.

    Yeah, she did a great job with our relations with other nations. Well, except for Russia. Well, except for Russia and China. Well, except for Russia, China, and Libya. Well, except for Russia, China, Libya, and Syria. Well, except for Russia, China, Libya, Syria, and Iran. Well, except for Russia, China, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Well, except for Russia, China, Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Well, except for Russia, China, Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the UK.

    Hey, there’s gotta be somebody with whom we have better relations than what we had in 2008. Throw me a bone here.

  75. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: Hell, any half-decent hacker could probably set them off.

    I don’t accept that, because if that was the case, it would have happened already.

    There are a lot of disaffected hackers out there who have no sense of morality or responsibility, and a strong sense of nihilism and anarchy. One or more of them trying to set off a few nukes purely for the luls is something I find depressingly plausible.

  76. An Interested Party says:

    If a Romanian “lone wolf” like Guccifer can get them…

    Either you’re desperate or gullible, or perhaps both

    U.S. officials also dismissed claims by a Romanian hacker now facing federal charges in Virginia that he was able to breach Clinton’s personal email server. The officials said investigators have found no evidence to support the assertion by Marcel Lehel Lazar to Fox News and others, and they believed if he had accessed Clinton’s emails, he would have released them — as he did when he got into accounts of other high-profile people.

  77. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Here’s an alternate possibility: you’re willfully blind.

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did break her department’s rules by setting up her own secret email server, the inspector general concluded in a report sent to Congress on Wednesday that says she failed to report hacking attempts and waved off warnings that she should switch to a more official email account.

  78. An Interested Party says:

    …you’re willfully blind.

    Or maybe you’re just full of shit…you made a false claim about a hacker and when called on it, moved the goalposts to something else…I hate to break it to you, sweetie, but not only is Clinton not going to be indicted, but this email business is not going to stop her from cleaning Trump’s clock in November…better luck next election…

  79. anjin-san says:

    …whose secret correspondence is most certainly in the hands of hostile foreign powers…

    Well sure. And it’s most certain that George Zimmermann is a decent, stand up guy who only wanted to keep his neighborhood safe.

  80. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: The hacker’s been making the claim for some time, and the challenge was very recent and I missed it.

    But that’s a wonderful position on national security. “We don’t know for absolutely certain that they don’t have her e-mails, so unless they tell us or something we’ll just assume they don’t.”

  81. An Interested Party says:

    But that’s a wonderful position on national security. “We don’t know for absolutely certain that they don’t have her e-mails, so unless they tell us or something we’ll just assume they don’t.”

    That’s rich coming from someone whose position is: “I hate this bitch so much that I’m willing to believe any fantasy peddled by any random loser about her…she simply must be guilty no matter what!”

  82. Matt says:

    @An Interested Party: I like how in his quote it even says Clinton only broke department policy. The department that she was the head of. Yet a few posts earlier he was screaming how she broke the law. Department policy isn’t law brah…

    Just moving them thar goalposts again and again.