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Open Thread 62.25

This is the twice-weekly hidden open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever.

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937 Responses to Open Thread 62.25

  1. @Deiseach

    Oh wow, the Symbionese Liberation Army, that takes me back!

    Hands up all the old people on here who know who Patty Hearst was

    Yes, I remember. She is only a little older than me. When she was kidnapped, at 19, I was 18.

    I was so annoyed by the whole episode, and the months-long media circus it engendered, because it was such an absurd distraction from real (i.e., political) issues.

    I know, now, what I did not recognize at the time: the prosecution, trial, conviction and imprisonment of Patty Hearst was a horrific miscarriage of justice.

    The Stockholm syndrome was barely known at the time. She was regularly beaten and raped, but the psychological impact of all that trauma was discounted, not just by prosecutors, but by the public at large. Prisoners of war are (typically) hardened, trained military men, but she was held to the same standard.

    The void of public compassion toward her puzzled some even at the time:

    Actor John Wayne, speaking after the Jonestown cult deaths, said it was odd that people had accepted the fact that Jim Jones had brainwashed 900 human beings into mass suicide, but would not accept that a group like the Symbionese Liberation Army could have brainwashed a kidnapped teenage girl.

    She was sentenced to 35 years in prison, later reduced to “only” seven years. She was released by President Carter in 1979, but finally pardoned only in 2001. Bill Clinton waited until his last day in office.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      I never had that reaction, although I had not heard of the Stockholm syndrome at the time. I am still somewhat skeptical. Yes it is very difficult to resist psychological assault when your captors have total power over you. But is that truly what happened? I did not follow the trial at all. Did the court take into account the psychological effects of her captivity? Maybe the SLA just happened to kidnap a fellow traveler?

      As a thought experiment, what if someone was kidnapped and explicitly brainwashed into the idea that a certain person was evil incarnate. Then they let you go and you killed that person. Are you guilty? I would tend to say “yes,” although the brainwashing needs to be taken into account. How about if you grow up in a hateful family that says Jews are all evil. As an adult you take a machine gun and shoot everyone at a synagogue. Are you guilty? Again I think the answer is “yes.” But it is complicated. My point is that Patty Hearst’s captivity should be taken into account, but not used as a out-of-jail free card.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      Larry — although I expressed my skepticism, I really don’t know much about that case. Maybe you know more, and the court did totally ignore the issue of her captivity and brainwashing. If so, then I agree with you.

  2. Tekhno says:

    Crazy thoughts [Seriously I’m just making this up as I go along and this shouldn’t be taken as a position I endorse so much as me throwing darts at the wall.]

    Is fear an effective regulator of markets? The problem with fixed and formal regulations is that you can game them or even engage in regulatory capture. Could organic regulations like unleashed union power be superior to fixed regulations like laws precisely governing what practices are allowed and what aren’t? I mean, the anti-inductive nature of markets makes it very difficult to know whether a given regulation was behind a given outcome. Maybe its better to treat things in terms of pressures that need release valves.

    So, instead of regulating Wall St heavily with loads of formal rules, the government just chops the heads off bankers when there’s a financial crisis. The financial sector then prices this risk into its activities and avoids being overzealous in growth vs risk decisions. The point here isn’t to engage in any sort of socialism or overthrowing of the system, but to dangle the sword of Damocles over those in the executive positions of large financial interests.

    If something goes wrong and we have a recession, instead of bailing out Wall St, we bail-out the public for the value of lost services, and chop the heads off the people we’d otherwise be giving a government lifeline and allowing to continue the same practices with out any Darwinism occurring. This also helps avoid socialism since Occupy gets to enjoy banker heads being thrown ceremoniously down steps. Catharsis occurs. People feel like they’ve won.

    Now you might say that this would mean that when there’s a financial crisis, we’d suddenly lose all those industries, but that’s what is supposed to happen in a free market anyway. The only other alternative (besides nationalizing everything) is the bail-outs that allow the behavior that led to the crisis to go unchecked. You can throw on some regulations, but the same reckless people are in charge because they were saved from market failure. On the other hand, if you just went full free market then there would be nothing to tide the public over in the gap between failing institutions and their replacements. You need to both satisfy the physical needs of the public but also their sense of justice, so that means “bail-ins” rather than bail-outs and punishment for the vague shadowy bankers (regardless of whether they are actually responsible in some universe where we had perfect market information to evaluate fault in the first place) instead of golden parachutes.

    It’s also not enough to just have the fear of financial risk, because when you are already rich, losing lots of money doesn’t have as much impact. Just tens of millions and you are set for the rest of your life, so there is a definite recklessness that comes when playing with billions. The market itself may be able to punish with failure, and the organizations that randomly find the optimum point between growth and risk may one day arise, but we don’t live in the long term, and we don’t know if there’s really going to be any learning going on if we let them take the hit. We need to invoke some true animal spirits by tapping into instincts. Fear is a way of feeling the possibility of failure in a way that is fundamentally unlike the detached mathematical perception of failure that abounds in the modern world. We need to reintroduce that element that strikes straight at the primitive reptile brain. If there looks to be a downturn, bankers need to start clutching apprehensively at their necks. Down goes the economy? Down comes the blade.

    Okay, so you don’t actually need to kill them because that would probably mean no one would want to be a banker, but can’t we at least fine them loads and publicly beat them with reeds?

    • baconbacon says:

      So, instead of regulating Wall St heavily with loads of formal rules, the government just chops the heads off bankers when there’s a financial crisis. The financial sector then prices this risk into its activities and avoids being overzealous in growth vs risk decisions. The point here isn’t to engage in any sort of socialism or overthrowing of the system, but to dangle the sword of Damocles over those in the executive positions of large financial interests.

      One issue is always who does the chopping? Regulatory capture often (always?) happens because people from the industry are the experts so they go and work as regulators or regulators who work their way up to become experts move over into the industry. How does this system work if the regulator isn’t an expert? How do you get an impartial expert who is going to actively fire/fine powerful CEOs in a way that alters their behavior prior to them causing the crisis?

      • Tekhno says:

        One issue is always who does the chopping? Regulatory capture often (always?) happens because people from the industry are the experts so they go and work as regulators or regulators who work their way up to become experts move over into the industry. How does this system work if the regulator isn’t an expert? How do you get an impartial expert who is going to actively fire/fine powerful CEOs in a way that alters their behavior prior to them causing the crisis?

        You don’t. You brutally punish them if there’s a banking crisis, and let the fear of that brutal punishment modulate their behavior organically. The entire point is to avoid setting specific rules or putting in place fines for breaking regulations we don’t have good grounds to understand in the first place. We remove the need for industry experts that results in regulatory capture in the first place.

        What I’m proposing here is of course profoundly illiberal. The idea is that if a crisis like the subprime mortgage crisis happens, the guys at the top are simply assumed to have been responsible and punished brutally. Since it’s hard to craft regulations that even work, the idea is to make them less reckless by putting animal like fear into them about slipping up. This way their behavior can’t remain technically on the books while being calculated to twist regulations to their benefit. There are no rules to lawyer.

        Basically assumption of innocence becomes something for normal people, and those at the heads of large powerful organizations get assumption of guilt instead, and this is well understood by all in advance. This makes sure they try their absolute hardest not to fail. Of course you need to not make the punishment so severe that you get shortages of labor, so going full guillotine is somewhat hyperbolic. Obviously there’s a limit case.

        • baconbacon says:

          You don’t. You brutally punish them if there’s a banking crisis, and let the fear of that brutal punishment modulate their behavior organically.

          Who is “you”? How does that “you” know enough about the banking sector to know who to brutally chop?

        • Tekhno says:

          “We” being gub’ment. The people who get the “chop” could be majority shareholders and also the appointed top executive figures (CEOs and so on). With shareholders who have controlling shares, you could redistribute their shares as well as giving them humiliating public beatings on live broadcast.

          • John Schilling says:

            The people who get the “chop” could be majority shareholders and also the appointed top executive figures (CEOs and so on).

            “And so on”? Don’t you kind of need to be more specific than that?

            Pretty sure that if you have a rule that says “The CEO gets chopped if the bank fails”, the people actually in charge will arrange for the CEO to not be any of them. And if you have a rule that says “Punish the Wicked, don’t bother me with details, it’s obvious they are!”, the wicked will wind up deciding who gets punished.

          • Aapje says:

            The Gervais Principle suggests that the clueless will end up on the chopping block.

          • Nancy Lebovitz says:

            John Schilling, you’re probably right.

            “Pretty sure that if you have a rule that says “The CEO gets chopped if the bank fails”, the people actually in charge will arrange for the CEO to not be any of them. ”

            However, I have a perverse interest in seeing how compensation gets arranged so that the people who nominally aren’t at the top get the sweetest deal.

        • Jaskologist says:

          Is this kind of what Kings used to do with Jews? They’d keep them around to have somebody to borrow money from, and then if they got deep in debt it was time for a pogrom. How’d that work out for them?

          (No, seriously, how’d it work out for them? Bad for the Jews, obviously, but what of the countries that booted them?)

          • Rowan says:

            -2 diplomacy and -10% global tax rate, IIRC

          • Chevalier Mal Fet says:

            yeah, I’d usually wait until my ruler was at a ripe old age before kicking the Jews out. Then either just wait for him to kick off on his own, or practice the Uriah gambit if he wouldn’t die.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          I seem to remember reading something similar regarding the chinese government; when the economic crisis hit, they actually executed a head banker or two.

    • Stefan Drinic says:

      All this really requires is for bankrupcy to demand the complete destitution of whomever manages to bankrupt their company, no? If you strip people down to the last penny and kick them out with the common folk when recessions like these happen, you have your justice right there.

      • John Schilling says:

        Again: How do you know who those people are once you’ve given then a powerful motive to conceal that fact and they have long since captured your banking regulators? It’s not like “let’s punish the banksters!” is this really clever idea that nobody has ever come but with before. It just turns out that the details of implementing it are really hard, and you’re not even addressing that part.

        • Stefan Drinic says:

          Oh, no, I absolutely agree it’s a terrible idea, I just think my suggestion would be the least terrible way of actually implementing it.

  3. Moon says:

    I must admit, a part of me is pleased that Trump won. Toward his supporters, I feel like saying: You asked for it. Let’s see how you like the crazy things he will do.

    • Sandy says:

      If I voted for Trump in part to drive the Clintons and Bushes out of Washington once and for all, I probably already like the crazy things he’s done.

      • CatCube says:

        I love that she’s been driven out too, but that runs into the same problem as people who voted for Obama as the first black president, or who voted for Clinton as the first woman president: they accomplish that goal on the first second of their presidency, and then they’re president for the next 126,143,999 seconds.

        I think that Trump is going to be dishonest and scandal prone, plus he isn’t really conservative. I always got the impression that he felt like taking a standard liberal position, and then at the last second he’d remember, “Oh, yeah, I’m stumping for votes from people on the Right.” Then what would come out of his mouth is a garbled, sort of right-wing position that he would just think would satisfy us.

        It’s funny to see gays and left-wing women freaking out about his election, because I don’t think he’ll actually do what they’re worried about. If I thought that he’d actually work to overturn Roe vs. Wade and Obergefell, well, I can’t for sure it still would have outweighed his (Bill) Clintonian transparent dishonesty or lack of respect for women, but it’d have made the decision to vote third party a lot harder. As it is, I think he’ll roll over and show his belly to the Left on those issues in short order, and most everything else besides.

        However, now that he actually won, he gets my cautious optimism. The fact that he seems to actually be appointing Pence as power behind the throne is a good sign. If he follows through, and even more importantly, keeps his hands clean, I might actually vote for him in 4 years. I don’t think the 70-year-old leopard is going to change his spots, though. He’ll get caught with his hand in the cookie jar and disappoint me, I’m sure.

        • The Nybbler says:

          Then what would come out of his mouth is a garbled, sort of right-wing position that he would just think would satisfy us.

          Yes, I definitely got that impression on the abortion questions in the second debate. This man is not pro-life, not at all. Oddly, he was much more convincing talking about the Second Amendment; I don’t believe he’s personally a friend of gun rights, but it may be that he has no personal conflicting views.

          • psmith says:

            I don’t believe he’s personally a friend of gun rights, but it may be that he has no personal conflicting views.

            For what it’s worth, his son is a serious gun guy, and this video assuaged a lot of my worries on this score early on. (Tangentially related, see also!)

        • Sandy says:

          My worry isn’t that Trump will take inconsistent positions, but that he won’t take positions at all — that he’ll wind up being content with the power and be a rubber stamp for Ryan and McConnell. This might already be happening — one thing in Trump’s platform that I liked was his pitch for infrastructure development, but McConnell has said that’s not a priority for the GOP. I hope Trump and his people push stuff like that rather than just sitting back and letting the party do whatever it wants. I feel fairly confident that the Supreme Court has been won, and it was probably worth it just for that. The cherry on top of this all would be Trump putting Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court — it would drive the Dems into a frothing rage and I would love him forever for it.

          • BBA says:

            To steal a line I saw on some other blog, Cruz is so personally repellent, the rest of the Senate would instantly confirm him 99-0. But then the Supreme Court would find itself with eight empty seats instead of one.

          • Sandy says:

            @BBA: That was actually a joke Biden made.

            Ted Cruz? An inspiration to every kid in America who worries that he’ll never be able to run for president because nobody likes him. He’s running. And look, I told Barack, if you really, really want to remake the Supreme Court, nominate Cruz. Before you know it, you’ll have eight vacancies.

          • Jaskologist says:

            Yeah, I don’t think he’s pro-life at all either. But if he’s willing to appoint a judge who is, he might as well be. Those are the ones who actually have a vote on such matters.

          • Deiseach says:

            Any opinions on the view I’ve seen floated that Mike Pence is the real one to worry about, that Trump will be all show and that Pence is going to be the Sinister Power Behind The Throne?

            Before you all remind me “He’s only the Vice President”, I know that, but I’ve seen “No, no, you don’t understand, he’ll be really powerful as Vice President”. How much of that – okay, apart from the 99% fear-mongering about compulsory gay conversion therapy camps (genuinely saw someone hyperventilating over Pence wants to torture gay kids by electrocuting them into being straight), how much of the 1% is “Yeah, might be kinda true”?

          • The Nybbler says:

            Any opinions on the view I’ve seen floated that Mike Pence is the real one to worry about, that Trump will be all show and that Pence is going to be the Sinister Power Behind The Throne?

            Shows a distinct lack of understanding of the way the US system works. The VP is a spare, and little more. He’s got the tiny bit of power of breaking ties in the Senate, but no other power.

            If someone is going to be the Sinister Power Behind the Throne, it’s likely to be one of Trump’s close advisors, someone he’s known and trusted for years, not Mike Pence. Position would be White House Chief of Staff (except not Priebus, because he’s not a longtime Trump associate), or one of the Cabinet, or perhaps no official position (as with Andrew Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet”).

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            Pence will have as much power as Trump gives him. And for all his faults, Trump doesn’t really seem like a weak personality that could end up under Pence’s thumb. Almost the extreme in the other direction, really.

          • Aapje says:

            Dick Cheney had huge power as VP, mainly by taking advantage of the willingness of bureaucrats to be led by a forceful micromanager, despite him not having any formal power. Of course, Bush let it happen.

          • onyomi says:

            My biggest worry (as in, worry I imagine is most likely to come true, not most severe) about a Trump presidency is that it will be the Schwarzenegger governorship on a macro scale.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            As an outsider, the governator didn’t seem that bad to me. Nice centrist leadership. What did I miss?

        • keranih says:

          but that runs into the same problem as people who voted for Obama as the first black president, or who voted for Clinton as the first woman president: they accomplish that goal on the first second of their presidency, and then they’re president for the next 126,143,999 seconds.

          Can I steal this? This is a brilliant way of putting it.

          I’m stealing this.

          • CatCube says:

            It’d be pretty hypocritical of me to object, seeing as I paraphrased (stole) it from Jonah Goldberg, when he was talking about why voting for Clinton running on the “first woman president” thing was stupid:

            It’s perfectly fine to want a woman to be president of the United States. All things being equal, I guess I might prefer it, too. But the question before the country isn’t, “Should we elect a category?” It’s, “Should we elect Hillary Clinton?” And these are wildly different questions. She’d “accomplish” being the first female president in the first second of her presidency. She’d then be Hillary Clinton for the next 126 million seconds of her presidency (Someone will check my math, I’m sure). When someone asks, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a female president?” the correct answer, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, to be sure, is “Yes.” When asked, “Wouldn’t it be great to have Hillary Clinton as president?” The correct answer, again with varying degrees of enthusiasm, is “Oh, dear God, no. No, no, no. No.”

    • FacelessCraven says:

      Convince me that your candidate will be less disastrous, and I’ll vote for them instead. Bernie could have done it.

      • keranih says:

        I would have voted for Bernie, had it been him running against Trump, even though I think Bernie’s economics are wack and that his nominees to the Supreme Court would have locked in elective abortion and tried to overthrow Heller.

        Had it been Jim Webb running against Trump, I would have been recruiting friends, family, and random people on the street to vote for Webb.

        • Humbert McHumbert says:

          I’m trying to imagine what combination of political views could possibly make this a sane preference ordering.

          • hlynkacg says:

            Rejection of the Clinton/Bush political machine coupled with a preference for rural populism.

            Until recently such views would have gotten you labeled a “Blue Dog” Democrat.

          • keranih says:

            In an electorate that was claiming it was gender treason to vote against Hillary if one was also in possession of a uterus; where being in possession of a uterus at some point in one’s life was discarded as a necessary requirement for being regarded as a woman; where a fellow (no matter how decent and competent) named Bush actually thought he had a shot at the nomination, not to mention the office itself; where the D’s claimed to represent minorities w/o having a single non-Caucasian in their field (and the R’s at least three); where Russia was, in all seriousness, named as a viable threat to the integrity of the American elections; where people on both sides were ready to lynch the head of the FBI because of political treason…and where we did, finally, elect a man with a gold elevator more or less because he successfully appealed to the common working man…

            …all that, and you’re giving me gruff because I wouldn’t have voted for Hillary if she’d promised me three wishes, a pony, *and* a plastic rocket.

            Fine. Off to the crazy house I go.

            On edit: My top three were Rubio, Walker, and Fioriana. Webb was maybe evenses with Fioriana.

          • suntzuanime says:

            Does “strong antipathy for political corruption” count as a political view? Or is it more of a personal moral standard?

          • Vorkon says:

            To paraphrase Hamilton:

            The people are asking to hear Keranih’s voice,
            For the country is faced with a difficult choice,
            And if you were to ask her who she’d promote,
            Sanders has her vote.

            She has never agreed with Sanders once,
            They have fought on like seventy-five diff’rent fronts,
            But when all is said and done,
            Sanders has beliefs; Trump has none.

            Feel free to add a chorus line yelling “OH!” In between each of those lines, if it helps.

            Clinton, on the other hand, is somehow even more like Fictional Musical Burr than Trump, while, unlike any of the others mentioned, Webb actually represents at least some of her actual beliefs. At least, that’s what I’m assuming, since I feel more or less the same way about each of the aforementioned candidates, so I can defeinitely see how that order of preference would work. Plugging her name into the lyrics just seemed like more fun. :op

          • BBA says:

            I was just thinking about that. I wouldn’t have once said this before the election, but of course Clinton has no beliefs. I can easily imagine a parallel universe where she’s Hillary Rodham Scaife, the fieriest anti-feminism activist since Phyllis Schlafly, and she’s no different at all as a person. “She has beliefs” is not a valid defense of her candidacy.

            She does, however, have shame.

    • Deiseach says:

      Can he top the crazy things the protesters have already done? Let’s see!

      I’m seeing a lot of pettiness (which I suppose is to be expected) but also a lot of stupidity. Like the calls for miring the new administration in so much red tape, it cannot function.

      And I’m face-palming, going “This is the same public service that administers and pays out the things you like, such as government programmes for single parents and health care and a lot of other stuff. And you are making plans for nit-picking, nuisance law cases, and gumming up the works. So some single parent doesn’t get her food stamps and her kids go hungry, because your self-righteous little ass preferred to make a nuisance of yourself and hold up the system. Way to go, ‘we are the caring people who want to help the needy’!”

      I’ve seen a gleeful post about how Obama is dropping Trump in at the deep end, not making the transition of power easy, and guaranteeing that Trump is going to be sweating in terror. And again, I’m thinking “You want the guy who is going to be in charge for the next four years to get off on the wrong foot? You want him to make mistakes that could have been avoided? Ever heard of cutting off your nose to spite your face?”

      • Brad says:

        Can he top the crazy things the protesters have already done? Let’s see!

        Yes, of course. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t but can certainly top anything almost else on the planet could do.

        He is going to be the leader of the most powerful country on the planet and you are comparing him to some kids breaking windows and causing some traffic jams.

        I get that only one of those two is annoying you by posting things you don’t like on tumblr, but some perspective is probably in order.

        • hlynkacg says:

          …some perspective is probably in order.

          I could say the same thing. For all the talk about the GOP being violent and abandoning democratic principals, it’s not the GOP rioting in the streets or demanding that the results of the election be overturned.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            And some of the most widely-shared stories of Trump-inspired hate crimes turned out to be fictitious, too.

          • Brad says:

            What are you talking about?

            Yes the GOP isn’t rioting in the streets. Nor are the Democrats.

            Nancy Pelosi isn’t out there signing a petition ask the electoral college to overturn the election. Hillary Clinton isn’t exhorting her supporters to go into the street and overturn the election. The Times is not coordinating assembly points and printing directions for making moltov cocktails. Barack Obama is inviting Trump to the White House and making speeches about how he is going to do everything he can to help the President-elect succeed.

            Some hotheads are being hotheads. Treating this tiny riot in Portland as some sort of massive turning point event is exactly the lack of perspective I was talking about. For better or for worse the election results are such a turning point. It will appear in every history book for 100 years. The riot won’t even be a footnote. That’s the perspective I’m saying is in order, what were you referring to?

          • Deiseach says:

            Some hotheads are being hotheads. Treating this tiny riot in Portland as some sort of massive turning point event is exactly the lack of perspective I was talking about.

            I agree, it’s mainly a bunch of idiots (the reporting I’ve seen makes me want to go “I’m going to drink your tears”) being nuisances and thinking somehow they’re heroes standing up against tyranny. I’m seeing a lot of uncritical admiration and no thought as to the effects.

            But the thing is, I’d be willing to put it down to idiots, people making hay, and others jumping on the bandwagon for both sides if it were treated like that. Except it isn’t.

            There were all these dire warnings about the extremists who would be rioting in the streets after the election results – these extremists would be Trump supporters, we were told. The neo-Nazis, the haters, the racists, would be emboldened by his victory/enraged by his loss and come out and attack women/Muslims/immigrants/LGBT.

            Somebody (I don’t know who) went around spraying swastikas in various places. See, we told you! It’s the KKK! It’s the Nazis! These are Trump’s guys! I have seen (though thankfully finally the hysteria is starting to die down) a post about Trump’s Lion Guard in an anecdote on Tumblr about someone allegedly meeting a guy recruiting for a branch of this, and the uncritical acceptance when he allegedly said that the Trump administration would give them backing and set them up as an official force.

            I’m not seeing anyone on the losing side saying “Calm down, all this suicide line reblogging and safety pin campaigning is an over-reaction, there are some bigots and tiny groups out there who will piggy-back on the publicity but the Third Reich has not risen again”.

            Okay, I saw one guy on the losing side talking about the safety pin campaign, which was refreshing in its “get your heads out of your asses” tone but fell back into the whole “Trump voters will terrorise the streets!” part.

            I am seeing who the rioters are, and they’re the progressives and leftists and some extremists who reliably come out to shake up society whenever they get the excuse, but a lot of college students (well, yeah, what else did I expect?) and sore losers who are mourning Hillary’s loss.

            I’m not seeing any calls for “For the love of God, stop smashing windows, beating up people, and running into traffic, then patting yourselves on the back for being the guardians of liberty”. I’m not seeing anything about Obama making the transition easy, I’m seeing gloating over “Obama dropped Trump right in it and is making it hard and boring so he’ll realise how tough it is and get scared”.

            “Some kids breaking windows and causing some traffic jams”? Well, that’s just the way those apple-cheeked little scamps get up to mischief when they’re young and full of beans, isn’t it? When it turned out not to be the Nazi Trumpists re-enacting Kristallnacht that the breathless Cassandras told us was happening, but rather Hillary’s babies. Had it been a bunch of drunk young Trump voters, would you dismiss it out of hand so easily?

            I’d like evenhandedness in how the stupid over-reaction and mischief-making is being reported and interpreted. If the Chicken Littles would restrain themselves from warning about blood in the streets because Trump voters would now be out beating up women and ripping off hijabs and dragging off gays to forcible conversion therapy camps, I’d be glad to see any Lion Guard idiots get ridiculed. Will that happen?

          • Deiseach says:

            Hillary Clinton isn’t exhorting her supporters to go into the street and overturn the election.

            No, she’s blaming the FBI. “I didn’t lose, you stabbed me in the back!”

            I’m actually beginning to think she may try running in 2020 because her ego, ambition and hubris are so great. She cannot seem to accept she lost because people didn’t want her. The black vote which turned out for Obama didn’t turn out for her. White women didn’t turn out for her. She won the popular vote by a slim margin, I will concede that. But where she needed to win, she didn’t, and her whole team is acting like it’s a huge surprise.

            They got it wrong, she got it wrong. Had there not been any emails in the first place, had Anthony Weiner not been a hound and had his wife not let work-related material on his laptop, the second email coverage would not have happened.

            I am frankly astounded Trump managed to vin 45 or 46% of the popular vote. He should’t have. Some of that undoubtedly was “Okay, he’s the only Republican candidate, I am not voting for Clinton” and that’s what her campaign should be dissecting – probably they are, I hope they are – how much of the vote was “I can’t and I won’t vote for Clinton”?

            Because she wanted this ever since 2008 (and before). She built a career to get her into the place for the nomination, she used all her pull, all her connections, all her allies, to get it. And she did. And she couldn’t get enough voters in the right states to vote for her, and someone everyone in the world thought was a joke managed not alone to beat off real competition to win the Republican nomination, he beat her where everyone analysing the race said she had the upper hand: she can pull in more money, she’s got the rich donors, she’s got media support, the people who voted for Obama are going to vote for her, she has an experienced and highly qualified staff while Trump has to take whomever he can get, she has the experience of being in power while he’s just a businessman, she has Big Data, the demographics are in her favour because the white vote is all Trump has and the white vote is shrinking, etc etc etc.

            And she still managed to lose because people don’t like her, don’t trust her, don’t believe her.

          • Brad says:

            No, she’s blaming the FBI. “I didn’t lose, you stabbed me in the back!”

            I’m actually beginning to think she may try running in 2020 because her ego, ambition and hubris are so great. She cannot seem to accept she lost because people didn’t want her.

            We get it, you loath Hillary Clinton with ever fiber of your being. So you are very happy she lost. That’s nice for you, but there’s no need to belabor over and over and over again how terrible a person you think she is, the election is over.

            I have to say I would not have guessed that you would be the most unpleasant sore winner in the aftermath of this election, given that it wasn’t even your election.

            I’m seeing a lot of uncritical admiration and no thought as to the effects.

            I have seen (though thankfully finally the hysteria is starting to die down) a post about Trump’s Lion Guard in an anecdote on Tumblr about someone allegedly meeting a guy recruiting for a branch of this,

            When it turned out not to be the Nazi Trumpists re-enacting Kristallnacht that the breathless Cassandras told us was happening, but rather Hillary’s babies.

            It is a big internet and you are specifically seeking out the worst, least mature elements of it. Over and over and over again. I can conclude nothing else but that you enjoy seeing it. You are indulging in outrage porn.

          • Matt M says:

            “how much of the vote was “I can’t and I won’t vote for Clinton”?”

            Honestly, I hate Hillary as much as the next non-Democrat, but I don’t think it’s this. I don’t think the people who failed to show up for her were morally opposed to her and saw supporting her as violating their conscience or any such thing. (Nor did this seem to happen to any noticeable extent for Trump, despite vast predictions that it would)

            She’s just boring and not exciting and not inspiring and people just said “meh, I’ll just stay home”

            One of my predictions going into this was that Trump could win because he was simply more interesting than she was. You can do a whole lot worse than predicting “The less boring candidate will win” When’s the last time that didn’t hold? Bush 41/Dukakkis?

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            I think it’s even simpler than that: the people who failed to turn out for Clinton are people with a history of failing to turn out for anyone except Barack Obama. His numbers were the fluke; this is a return to normalcy.

          • Deiseach says:

            I’m just boggled that the accusation of being too nice to the Russians is being lobbed against the Republican candidate, and one of the selling points for the Democrat candidate was “We’ll stand up to the Reds Putin!”

            2016 is a very topsy-turvy year!

          • Deiseach says:

            It is a big internet and you are specifically seeking out the worst, least mature elements of it. Over and over and over again. I can conclude nothing else but that you enjoy seeing it. You are indulging in outrage porn.

            Like I said – not having to seek it out, getting my nose rubbed in it. But you are right that by now, between safety pins and fake trans kids suicides posts, I am at the stage of “I DRINK YOUR TEARS AND LAUGH WEEP BABY-MENS AND GIRLS WEEP MORE I THIRST!!!”

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            We already knew it was going to be topsy-turvy: the Democrats are supposed to nominate The Untested New Guy Everybody Suddenly Gets Excited About, and the Republicans are supposed to nominate The Person Whose Turn It Is.

          • Tekhno says:

            @Deiseach

            2012:

            Romney: “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe!”

            Democrats: “Hahaha! Watch Rocky IV too many times? Still think its 1985, Grandpa? Bwahahahaha!”

            2016:

            Trump: “I dunno. Maybe we could be friends with Russia and fight ISIS together?”

            Democrats: “OMG Are you serious having sympathy for a dictator? WTF is wrong with you? We need to get tough on Russia! We need to treat cyber attacks like real attacks!”

            You could explain it as being because Russia is right wing now rather than commie, but Russia was right wing in 2012 too.

  4. CatCube says:

    Something I didn’t realize until seeing it pointed out on Twitter: the Republicans are one state legislature away from being able to amend the Constitution.

  5. onyomi says:

    Recently everyone on my Facebook is either calling to eliminate the electoral college or else to have it somehow select Clinton in defiance of the process. I’m trying not to complain too much about the complaints of Clinton supporters right now, since I can understand their disappointment and frustration, but I feel like these particular complaints are really barking up the wrong tree on a number of levels.

    Namely, besides the contradiction between “abolish this old institution because it’s insufficiently democratic!” and “let’s use this old institution to overturn a democratic outcome!” I don’t think people would like the results even if they got their way.

    Setting aside the idea of somehow still electing Clinton, which is a. not going to happen and b. would be intensely damaging to faith in American democracy if it did, there are at least two major problems with this idea of abolishing the electoral college:

    The electoral college shaped how people campaigned. Trump barely campaigned at all in NY and CA because he knew it was pointless. Clinton barely campaigned in TX, TN, or LA. Having no electoral college would mean a different style of campaigning, so you can’t just hold the current results constant and assume no electoral college=HRC win.

    For example, Trump was clearly better at drawing big crowds and riling them up with a populist message. Because of the electoral college, he largely declined to campaign in many of the country’s most populous areas. Had he done so, he might have motivated more Trump voters in total, not fewer.

    Eliminating the electoral college would mean, instead of everyone focusing on swing states, everyone would only focus on cities. This would only make the current urban-rural divide worse. Moreover, it would seemingly reward the populist demagogue more than the thoughtful, quiet, policy-oriented HRC type.

    • Brad says:

      This business about the electoral college picking Clinton anyway is just people that haven’t finished the grieving process. It isn’t going to happen and it shouldn’t happen.

      The point that keeps on being raised about how the popular vote isn’t necessarily what the popular vote would be if the popular vote were decisive is a decent one. But only decent, not a slam dunk. How the popular vote turned out with the EC is *weak* evidence of how it would turn out without the EC.

      Finally, on the merits, I can’t see any justification for the electoral college in a world where federalism has essentially ceased to exist and the states are little more than administrative units. If someone want to return to federalism, and actively advocates for it, he gets to defend the electoral college. Otherwise it is not defensible.

      • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

        If someone doesn’t want to see the 2000 Florida recount re-enacted on a national scale, he also gets to defend the electoral college.

        • BBA says:

          That’s my main objection, as a card-carrying Democrat who otherwise thinks the malapportionment of the EC and Congress is a travesty.

          That, and there are 56* sets of laws around who can and can’t vote, and no national standard. How long do you have to live in your current residence, when do you have to register, do you need to show ID, and the big one – felon disfranchisement, which works very differently in each jurisdiction, from Maine where there’s no disfranchisement and felons vote from prison, to Kentucky where you need an individual pardon signed by the Governor. How can you have a “national” vote like that?

          *Of course the territories should get to vote for President. DC and Puerto Rico should have seats in Congress too (the other territories are too small, but might be able to share a House seat). They’re subject to our laws and taxes, after all, and what was that I remember about taxation without representation?

        • Edward Scizorhands says:

          It’s more important that the results be clear than that they be accurate.

          This will make you flip your lid the first time you see it. How could you tolerate inaccurate results? But when you ponder what an incredible disaster an unclear result would be it will take form.

        • Brad says:

          I don’t buy it. The EC is not a good fit for the problem you identify. It both doesn’t prevent the problem altogether (because Florida did happen) and has lots of impacts that have nothing do with fixing that problem.

          This just looks like an post hoc excuse to avoid having to defend the real reason is — whether that’s liking disproportional political power, status quo bias, or something else, I don’t know.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            With a national vote count, instead of just focusing on 4 Florida counties with lots of people from both sides available to watch, you would have 10,000 absentee ballots in Texas suddenly appear, and 40,000 provisional ballots in San Francisco magically found in a closet, and there is nowhere near the manpower available to watch that many spots at once.

          • Brad says:

            Yes, I understand the issue. Are you really claiming that the electoral college as it stands is a well tailored solution to that problem?

            Suppose each state had a number of electoral college votes (including fractional votes) equal to its percentage of the national population, this would be significantly more democratic than the current system but would be identical with respect to the problem you describe.

          • hlynkacg says:

            I would suggest that it’s more like having watertight bulkheads on a ship.

            It doesn’t “solve” the problem of a ship taking on water and sinking, but it does do a lot to make potential failures less catastrophic.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            OK, then: the Electoral College doesn’t completely eliminate the problem it was designed to solve, and it has side effects. Which puts it on a level with practically every real-world solution to anything, anywhere. As for my real reason for supporting it, I’m too devious to tell you what it is because: evil, but you can take my word that it’s evil, because: evil.

          • Brad says:

            OK, then: the Electoral College doesn’t completely eliminate the problem it was designed to solve, and it has side effects.

            Wait, now you are claiming that the EC was designed to minimize the need for large scale recounts?

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            Careless choice of words. It solves the problems it solves, about as well as you can reasonably expect anything to solve them.

          • Brad says:

            So would you be indifferent as the the change I suggested (i.e. modifying the formula for the weighting of states in terms of electoral college votes in order to better reflect the states’ reflective populations)?

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            I’d be OK with it. The symbolic affirmation of federalism provided by the current scheme would be a pity to lose, but we could still have a return to federalism without it (and I say the sooner the better).

            Edit: I’d be surprised, though, if many people who want direct election by popular vote would have much interest in it, unless you went to proportional representation within each state (which would do away with most of the “firewalling” benefit I’ve identified): the accidental gerrymandering produced by winner-take-all would still be in place.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            Addendum to my last: the scheme proposed by Brad would have made no difference to the outcome this time. The states Trump won have a combined population of about 174 million; Clinton, 135 million.

      • keranih says:

        I can’t see any justification for the electoral college in a world where federalism has essentially ceased to exist and the states are little more than administrative units.

        Fair enough. What if we don’t see that world as existing just yet, and have hopes –

        -buoyed by the sudden leftist interest in state-level administration of laws that are only locally acceptable –

        – that the level of federalism can be increased, even if 1776 is never going to return?

        I think supporting the electoral college is justifiable then, too.

        • Brad says:

          You don’t have to be some sort of federal maximalist, but you do have to think that states are in a very real sense independent entities that can succeed and fail on their own. Sure we’ve agreed to work together on some narrow set of common interests but fundamentally we are separate peoples in separate sovereigns.

          If we are all in this together, all one nation, all one people, then we should each have equal say.

          • NIP says:

            >If we are all in this together, all one nation, all one people, then we should each have equal say.

            That’s the big “if”, isn’t it?

          • Brad says:

            It’s up to each person whether or not they see it that way. If they do, the conclusion follows. If they don’t, then it doesn’t.

            Could you draw your state flag from memory?

          • keranih says:

            Could you draw your state flag from memory?

            Yes. And do a passable job on about half of the previous versions that have flown over the state.

            How could one not do this?

            I think this is one of those things where we don’t understand that people who don’t agree with us on something, have no clue that other people disagree.

          • Machina ex Deus says:

            @Brad:

            Could you draw your state flag from memory?

            Yes, but only because I live in DC. In a previous life, I lived in the much more vexillologically-challenging state of New Jersey; I’m not sure more than a hundred people could draw that sucker from memory (“How many plows again? Which side is Liberty on? Why is there a diving mask on this thing? And what’s the RGB for Buff?”). Upon closer inspection, I kinda wonder if the horse’s head is a Godfather reference….

            Summing up: I have no idea what your point was, but it was fun replying.

          • Nancy Lebovitz says:

            I used to live in Delaware. It’s got an ugly flag with a lot of detail. I can give you an off-yellow diamond on a blue field, but that’s about it.

            I could do better with Maryland, though I’m sure I’d miss a lot. Their flag is simpler, but hideous.

            I have no idea what the Pennsylvania flag looks like, and it took me years to get past the habit of thinking I lived in the state of Philadelphia.

          • Montfort says:

            I could do better with Maryland, though I’m sure I’d miss a lot. Their flag is simpler, but hideous.

            You’re just jealous.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            You’re just jealous.

            Looking at the flags listed there, I’d say Quebec is by far the best. Can’t go wrong with the fleur-de-lys. 😉

        • One argument for the electoral college is that it reduces the incentive for vote fraud. Fraud is easiest in a one party state, where the Republican poll watchers are quite likely to be Democrats (or vice versa). But with the electoral college system there is no incentive to steal votes in a state where you already have a comfortable majority.

          There is still an incentive in a swing state where one party controls one area and the other another. But with a straight majority system there is an incentive to steal votes everywhere.

      • onyomi says:

        Well, I am definitely in favor of federalism and decentralization in general, and I think this ties into previous discussions of secession, ancap experiments, and national sovereignty.

        The complaint about the Electoral College, I think really boils down to rural voters’ votes counting for more than urban voters’ votes. Undemocratic as it sounds, I think this is very appropriate for at least two reasons:

        As mentioned above, each urban vote counts for less in some sense, but each marginal urban voter is also easier to reach with campaigning and gotv-type efforts. No electoral college just means don’t even bother to court the votes of rural people because the marginal effort will never pay off like campaigning in NYC, LA, and Chicago.

        Second, there’s the issue of territorial, geographic sovereignty. As currently understood, territorial sovereignty is an important aspect of government power. Alaska may not have a lot of people living there, but it doesn’t change the fact that the federal government’s claim to sovereignty over Alaska is, in some sense, a bigger claim of government power than a claim of sovereignty over more populous Rhode Island. The 700,000 people living in 600,000 square miles of territory should get a little more say, per person, in who leads that government than the 1 million people who only represent 1,200 square miles’ worth of sovereignty.

        Put another way, government is a claim of power over people and land. The price the leaders pay, in a democracy, for demanding the allegiance of the people, is a vote. But for claiming sovereign control over land, some price must also be paid. Making each Alaskan vote count for more not only addresses the problem of it being otherwise pointless to campaign in Alaska (still mostly is, I think), it addresses the issue that there is a lot more land, on average, per Alaskan, control of which they are somewhat conceding by abiding by a federal system, than per Rhode Islander.

        • Brad says:

          Second, there’s the issue of territorial, geographic sovereignty. As currently understood, territorial sovereignty is an important aspect of government power. Alaska may not have a lot of people living there, but it doesn’t change the fact that the federal government’s claim to sovereignty over Alaska is, in some sense, a bigger claim of government power than a claim of sovereignty over more populous Rhode Island. The 700,000 people living in 600,000 square miles of territory should get a little more say, per person, in who leads that government than the 1 million people who only represent 1,200 square miles’ worth of sovereignty.

          I don’t accept the premise. I don’t even really understand where it is coming from. I didn’t when we discussed something similar in one of the ancap threads and still don’t.

          I do appropriate, however, that starting from it the EC makes a lot of sense. So I acknowledge that it is consistent for you to support the EC.

      • Reasoner says:

        Advantages of the Electoral College:

        * Makes vote fraud harder, since the key vote counting happens in swing states. (If it was the popular vote that mattered, California could invent lots of extra Democrat votes and it would be hard to catch.)

        * Increases the importance of the votes of people in swing states. This incentivizes them to actually understand the issues at hand instead of just signalling political affiliation. Additionally, swing state voters are exposed to both Democratic and Republican ideas. Contrast with many states that are echo chambers for one party or the other.

        • Matt M says:

          “Additionally, swing state voters are exposed to both Democratic and Republican ideas. Contrast with many states that are echo chambers for one party or the other.”

          Can we not suggest that this might be something that is caused by the EC? Once a state gets a critical mass of Dems/Repubs it is no longer worth putting any effort into and it goes ignored – but without the EC, this would not be the case.

          I’m kind of neutral on the EC but I think for entertainment purposes, abolishing it would make elections FAR more interesting because there would be much more strategy involved. Everyone seems to assume it would mean “both candidates spend 100% of their time in New York, LA, and Chicago” but I’m not so sure. I could totally see the D candidate doing that while the R one crisscrosses the country trying to make sure the rural vote turns out. But it opens up the strategic possibilities by like, an order of magnitude.

    • rlms says:

      Yes, the idea of changing the electoral system and electing Clinton is silly wishful thinking. But from a non-US perspective, the electoral college system does seem quite stupid in its current form.

      • onyomi says:

        Why does it seem stupid? What would you change?

        • rlms says:

          Why should there be large differences in power between voters based on arbitrary state boundaries? I think an initial improvement would be to divide electors equally, rather than have winner takes all. Then there would actually be some point in campaigning in safe states.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            Individual states can make that change. Maine and Nebraska aren’t winner take all.

            Of course, each safe state loves to cram down their minority, and each swing state likes getting lots of attention, so neither has incentive to change.

            EDIT Also, the US isn’t founded with democracy as a terminal goal. Freedom and liberty are. The system was set up to protect minority viewpoints. So little Delaware gets a boost when compared to Pennsylvania.

          • onyomi says:

            What about these reasons?

            Setting aside the whole “a claim to sovereignty over the territory of Alaska is a bigger deal than a claim to sovereignty over a geographically smaller/less resource-rich/less strategically important area with more people,” thing, why would it be better to give candidates an incentive to campaign in safe states, but at the cost of taking away nearly all incentive to campaign outside major urban centers?

          • Brad says:

            EDIT Also, the US isn’t founded with democracy as a terminal goal. Freedom and liberty are. The system was set up to protect minority viewpoints. So little Delaware gets a boost when compared to Pennsylvania.

            Under this reasoning shouldn’t black people have 20% of the electoral college set aside for electors selected only by them?

          • rlms says:

            I don’t see why the incentive to campaign in rural areas would change much. Currently, candidates focus on swing states (because winning the extra 1% that gets you all 29 of Florida’s votes is worth infinitely more than the extra 1% that slightly reduces your huge loss in California or Wyoming), and presumably on cities within those states if that is the most efficient thing to do. If all states divided their electoral votes proportionally, efforts would be spread equally between them. The efficiency of campaigning in urban vs rural areas wouldn’t be affected. Low population states would still get a small boost from having a disproportionate number of electors.

          • Jaskologist says:

            The system is set up to protect minority viewpoints, not to protect minority viewpoints. One could adapt the system towards the latter, but it would involve abandoning certain principles about the equality of man.

          • Iain says:

            @onyomi:

            1. It is already the case that, within most states, it is more efficient to campaign in the urban centers than the rural areas. Nevertheless, political campaigns still spend time and money in the rural areas. Why would that change at a national scale?

            2. As Brad says in the reply to your linked post, your whole sovereignty thing seems to reside on axioms that I don’t understand. First, not all land is created equal; there is lots of territory in Alaska, but lots of it isn’t particularly liveable. Hypothetically speaking, if governments were still in the habit of trading bits of land back and forth, it’s not clear to me that the “market value” of Alaska would be higher than Rhode Island. Second, I also don’t see how you justify the leap from a piece of land being important to giving an increased say to the people who happen to live there. Having access to good deep-water ports is more important to government sovereignty than miles of frozen tundra; does that mean that the people who live in Boston, New York, and San Diego should get an extra boost to their vote because they happen to live next to important bits of water?

          • Brad says:

            The system is set up to protect minority viewpoints, not to protect minority viewpoints. One could adapt the system towards the latter, but it would involve abandoning certain principles about the equality of man.

            There’s no more or less good reason to belive that giving disproportionate political power to Delawareans will protect minority viewpoints than giving the disproportionate political power to black people or college graduates or left handers.

            Proponents of the “protecting minority viewpoints” justification need to explain why one particular type of minority needs a special mechanism that isn’t applied to any other minorities created by all the other cleavages.

          • onyomi says:

            “The efficiency of campaigning in urban vs rural areas wouldn’t be affected.”

            It would, because, currently, once you’re confident you’re going to win or lose, say, Texas, California, New York State, or Illinois, there is no more value to doing big campaign rallies or ad buys in Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago.

            But if a marginal vote from NYC counts the same as a marginal vote from Nome regardless, then it makes sense for everyone to focus more intensely on NYC, since it’s easier there for any given ad or campaign event to reach more people. Of course, there will always be a point of near-maximum saturation, beyond which diminishing returns set in, but the winner-take-all aspect causes that point to arrive much sooner.

            There is also a sense in which having campaigns focus more on swing states is good because swing states more nearly reflect the ideological makeup of the whole nation than say, California or Texas. The fact that swing state voters’ votes are, in some sense, more important right now, probably reduces polarization.

          • Brad says:

            The politicians would only campaign in big cities argument seems strange to me. It looks like it is criticizing the national popular vote idea using a rationale under which the EC does even worse.

            While there may well be ignored voters under a NPV, there are far more ignored voters under the EC. Huge swathes of red country are being ignored just the same as the big cities are.

          • onyomi says:

            If the goal were simply to take into account the views of the maximum number of people possible, then we’d be wasting our time talking about EC, when the biggest problem by far is our failure to institute compulsory voting like Australia.

            But I’m against compulsory voting for the same reason I cast no vote on races and ballot measures I knew nothing about when casting my vote for president a few days ago. I will pick a libertarian I’ve never heard of over an (R) or a (D) based on the heuristic that anyone in the LP probably more nearly reflects my views than the average Republican or Democrat, but if the choice is between two (R)s or two (D)s, neither of whom I know anything about, I’d sooner my good-as-random vote not count, since it can only serve to dilute the votes of people who have an informed opinion.

            Similarly, I don’t think the goal should be or is to maximize the degree to which everyone’s choice “counts” equally (nor do I agree with Edward Schizorhands that freedom and liberty are our terminal goals, though I wish they were; for that purpose appointing Ron Paul dictator for life would probably be best). I think the de facto goal of the current system is to balance between populism and federalism in such a way as to get everyone, winners and losers, to basically accept the result as legitimate.

            There are more people currently protesting the legitimacy of Trump’s win than at any time since Al Gore’s defeat, yet I’m still pretty sure it will be accepted in due course, and probably sooner than many might hope.

            But eliminating the EC, for reasons stated above, would give more power to the voters in ideologically polarized areas and further exacerbate the rural-urban divide.

            If you want the US to balkanize as I do, this may be a good thing, but most people claim to want more unity and compromise than we’re currently getting. It seems to me eliminating EC would take us in the opposite direction.

          • Brad says:

            Again this seems post hoc. People accept the result as legitimate, despite the non-democratic and frankly somewhat odd nature of the system because of their reverence for tradition and the constitution. That pro is already baked in to whatever the status quo is and would be equally valid almost no matter what it looked like.

            If a new NPV rule got put in place and given a generation or two for people to come to believe “of course that’s how it should be, America fuck yeah” it would produce at least as much acceptance of its results than the current system. Probably more because there would be no cognitive dissonance between tradition on the one hand and the basic intuition of fairness behind majority rules.

            As far as swing states being a stand-in, that strikes me as about as persuasive as the virtual representation argument made by Loyalists in response to the No taxation without Representation slogan. People don’t want virtual representation.

            And anyway OH & FL don’t reflects the reflect the ideological makeup of the whole nation, which is a much richer tapestry than can be projected onto a single dimension. To give just one small example, neither of them have significant numbers of mountain west style libertarians which is a significant strain of American political thought.

          • Fahundo says:

            As a resident of Oklahoma, my vote for president doesn’t matter at all. My state has voted the same way in presidential elections for the last 50 years, so there’s no point in me ever casting a vote for president. I don’t agree with the idea that rural voters will count for less if the Electoral college goes away. The way I see it, I would go from 0 votes to 1.

          • Machina ex Deus says:

            @Brad:

            Under this reasoning shouldn’t black people have 20% of the electoral college set aside for electors selected only by them?

            If every African-American moves to the smallest states (including D.C. and Puerto Rico), displacing the existing population, they can get 92 electoral votes, or 17% of the total (1.36 times their 12.5% of the population as a whole).

            Swap in Oklahoma instead of Puerto Rico, and that adds 4 Reps and 2 Senators, taking you to 98 electoral votes, 18.2% of the total number (1.45 times population %).

            Anyway, it’s not guaranteed to be mathematically possible to over-represent every minority. And it’s going to be hilarious in a couple decades when there is no racial/ethnic majority.

            Edited to add: Of course, if every single African-American voter turned out to vote, and everyone else stayed at about 50% participation, that would give about 100% overrepresentation, to 25% of the electorate. It seems a little strange to be worrying about non-representativeness of the Electoral College when (all) voters are leaving so much representativeness on the table with low turnout.

          • gbdub says:

            What of the argument that the electoral college makes for a more centrist candidate? With the EC, you need to win some of the swing states, but with the popular vote you could be incentivized to run up the score among your most fervent supporters. Not sure we want to always be Texas vs Los Angeles.

          • hlynkacg says:

            Not sure we want to always be Texas vs Los Angeles.

            I don’t, but I think a good number of the people pushing to abolish the EC do.

          • Brad says:

            @Machina ex Deus

            Anyway, it’s not guaranteed to be mathematically possible to over-represent every minority.

            Exactly. So why is this one particularly way of defining a minority so special?

            And it’s going to be hilarious in a couple decades when there is no racial/ethnic majority.

            For cleavage we are talking about here there already is no majority. Californians aren’t a majority. New Yorkers aren’t a majority. Even if you want to invent the artificial category “big staters” CA + TX + NY + FL + IL + PA + OH + GA are still not a majority.

          • Brad says:

            @gbdub

            What of the argument that the electoral college makes for a more centrist candidate? With the EC, you need to win some of the swing states, but with the popular vote you could be incentivized to run up the score among your most fervent supporters. Not sure we want to always be Texas vs Los Angeles.

            You need to win swing states, yes, but what about inside those swing states? Either you don’t need to attract the swing voter in either case or you do in both. Under your argument you can just replace running up the score in LA with running up the score in Detroit or Philadelphia. In either case, I don’t think that’s a winning strategy, candidates currently go after swing voters in swing states and I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t do likewise nationwide in an NPV election.

      • Deiseach says:

        I am seeing some desperate calls that the Electoral College does not have to vote according to the popular vote of the state, so that Hillary could still be elected president if the Electoral College all agreed to vote for her, so sign this petition now please!

        That seems like wishful thinking, to say the least.

        I don’t know if the Electoral College system is good or not. Right now, a lot of people are unhappy with it, but the calls to scrap it because it’s undemocratic are plainly motivated reasoning: if things had swung the other way and Trump had the greater share of the popular vote but not the electoral college votes, the same people would be demanding the electoral college prevail in order to protect the nation and democracy from the Hitler de nos jours.

        • John Schilling says:

          That seems like wishful thinking, to say the least.

          Do these people not understand that the Electoral College is, A: as of Wednesday morning mostly Republicans chosen for their loyalty and B: not limited to Hillary and Trump?

          If we do get 37 faithless electors or whatever it takes, that might get us President Mike Pence but it won’t get us President Hillary Clinton.

    • Trofim_Lysenko says:

      I’m not so sure that “without the EC, Trump could never have won” is true, but I don’t much care one way or the other.

      Given the current scope of federal power, I would far prefer doing away with the EC to retaining it. Now, mind you, I’d Rather switch plurality vote to some sort of Condorcet method or at least Instant Runoff.

      …And a pony. Made of Diamonds.

    • Philosophisticat says:

      It’s true that you can’t infer from the fact that Clinton won the popular vote in the present system that she would have won the popular vote if the electoral college had been abolished. And it would be wrong to endorse an electoral system based on whether it would make your candidate win, and even wronger to endorse overriding the results of an existing, roughly democratic system to make your candidate win.

      That said, it’s simply false that eliminating the electoral college would mean that people would focus only on cities, and I see absolutely no reason to think that a populist demagogue would be more successful if the electoral college were demolished – that would depend on contingent questions like whether the population of swing states is more or less susceptible to populist demagoguery than Americans in general. Given what the swing states happen to be here in the US, my guess is they’re more susceptible, but I can’t be confident of that.

      The electoral college is one of those obviously indefensible ideas that because of politics gets somebody trying their darndest to defend every election. I find it kind of gross intellectually.

      • hlynkacg says:

        Seeing as several defenses have already been offered you must be operating on a different definition of “obviously indefensible” than the rest of us.

        • Philosophisticat says:

          You caught me. In my idiosyncratic use of “indefensible”, something can be indefensible even if defenses have been offered for it. For instance, the claim that the earth is a flat disc is, in my sense, indefensible,

          Snark aside, I retract my use of “obviously”. Things are not equally obvious to everyone.

          Sorry for being unhelpfully dismissive – I’ve had this debate multiple times already. I’ll just mention a few things about onyomi’s rationale (and most people who try to defend this position) – “but politicians would only focus on cities!”

          -If most people are in cities, then it’s not, at least prima facie, a bug that more attention is given to people living in cities – it would be a bug if disproportionate attention is given to those people. Onyomi will say that disproportionate attention will be given, because e.g. in-person campaigning and get out the vote efforts can reach people more efficiently in cities. But:

          – this is a distant secondary sense in which politicians pay attention to voters. The most important sense in which they pay attention to voters is by catering to them policywise. And even if they don’t have community GOTV organizers in small rural towns, as long as people in those towns vote, politicians will cater to them policywise. Actually, because people in rural communities tend to have higher turnout than people in urban communities, politicians will tend to give them higher consideration already.

          -the EC doesn’t help protect minority viewpoints, in general. If the EC gives more attention to rural areas over cities, then it will give less voice to minority viewpoints that are concentrated in cities. If it gives more attention to swing states, it will give less voice to minority viewpoints that are concentrated in states that aren’t swingy.

          – The biggest problem with these debates is a lack of sense of proportion. If you really try, you can find some advantages to just about any crazy vote allocation system, at least in some hypothetical world. Whatever (small) weaknesses a simple popular vote has, these have to be weighed against the obvious weaknesses of weighing peoples’ votes by historically arbitrary boundary-drawing. Moreover, the tiny degree to which increased presence of GOTV-type efforts in cities might disproportionately favor urban interests is absolutely dwarfed by the degree to which disproportionate attention is given to swing states and its effects.

          • onyomi says:

            “historically arbitrary boundary-drawing”

            These boundaries may not be historically arbitrary for “Albion’s Seed” type reasons, geography…

            I’m not going to go to the mat defending the EC, since I’m against democracy in general, and only have somewhat vague opinions about which variation of it is more practically or ethically defensible.

            That said, being against democracy, I am very positively inclined toward any number of conceivable ways of diluting its direct exercise, and EC seems to be one such compromise.

            Above, Brad says “If we are all in this together, all one nation, all one people, then we should each have equal say.” To which NIP replies, roughly “big if.”

            I would say, rather, that “being one nation” and “all in this together” don’t necessarily have to be binary propositions. There is an extent to which, on the common understanding (here I am describing my understanding of how the current system works and is justified, not justifying it myself), we are “one nation” and “all in this together,” but there is also an extent to which we are autonomous individuals with differing loyalties to family, community, city, and once-sovereign state.

            The US system was designed, at least in theory, at least as I understand it, not to maximally reflect “the will of the people” (of “one nation,” “all in it together”), but to balance between competing loyalties, priorities, understandings, authorities, etc.

            Put another way, it’s a compromise between populism and oligarchy, individualism and collectivism, etc.

            To my mind, the EC, like the fact that each state gets two senators, regardless of population, is a compromise between such competing demands. (By the way, if we’re worried about some peoples’ votes counting more than others, isn’t it way more unfair that Wyoming and California both get exactly two senators?)

          • Philosophisticat says:

            By the way, if we’re worried about some peoples’ votes counting more than others, isn’t it way more unfair that Wyoming and California both get exactly two senators?

            Yes, this is even worse.

  6. johnjohn says:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-administration-gives-up-on-pacific-trade-deal-1478895824

    Trump most effective president ever? Not even inaugurated yet and one of his campaign promises already getting fulfilled.

    • Deiseach says:

      I thought Hillary had switched positions on TPP as well recently? So someone explain to this idiot (a) what was it about and (b) why was it so good/so bad that the two candidates decided “No” after the incumbent decided “Yes”?

      Yeah, I know I should just google it, but I get better, more informed and more understandable replies from you lot – is the flattery working? 😉

    • BBA says:

      It’ll be back. Trade deals always pass.

      (This one was more about intellectual property than trade, but IP laws also always pass, especially when they’re disguised as trade deals.)

      • onyomi says:

        Ugh, never do I recall Congress so blatantly defying the obvious will of the actual voters as a sop to special interests than with the continual repackaging of SOPA/PIPA. Voters overwhelmingly demand it not be passed? Just repackage and hide somewhere else.

  7. CatCube says:

    I stumbled over this video from a comedian, who’s schtick is that you’re watching the taped footage between “takes” where he argues with his producer (Tim, I gather) about what he’s going to say for the actual news story or discuss the implications of the content.

    I (being a right-winger) obviously don’t agree with everything he says. I definitely agree with his admonition to Clinton to “be a better candidate!” even if I don’t agree with all the issues he identifies with her. However, he captures something that we’ve thrown around here regarding how destructive it can be to push popular views out of the public sphere, and how this contributed to the rise of Trump. The entire video is worth watching, but the real meat of it for this discussion starts at 3:46. I typed a transcript of the relevant part. I apologize for the length, but it really captures very well my biggest issues with the current culture war, and it’s nice to see someone on the other side agreeing.

    The Left has decided that any other opinion, any other way of looking at the world is unacceptable. We don’t debate anymore, because the Left won the cultural war. So, if you’re on the Right, you’re a freak…you’re evil, you’re racist, you’re stupid, you are a basket of deplorables. How do you think that people are going to vote if you talk to them like that?! When has anyone ever been persuaded by being insulted or labeled? And now, if you’re on the Right, or even against the prevailing view, you are attacked for raising your opinion. That’s why people wait until they’re in the voting booth…no one’s watching anymore. There’s no blame, or shame, or anything, and you can finally say what you really think, and that is a powerful thing.

    The Tories in charge…Brexit…and now Trump. And all the polls were wrong! All of them! Because, when asked, people can’t admit what they think. They can’t admit what they think, they’re not allowed to! The Left don’t allow them to! We’ve made people unable to articulate their position for fear of being shut down. They’re embarassed to say it. Every time someone on the left has said, “You musn’t say that!” they are contributing to this culture.

    It’s time to stop moaning, it’s time to stop crying over spilled fucking Brexit, it’s time to stop ignoring your opponents, or worse, trying to silence them. It’s time to stop banning people from speaking in universities, it’s time to stop thinking that reposting an article on your Facebook feed is political engagement, that banning a gymnast from doing what he’s good at because he insulted someone’s religion somehow achieved something! And, sorry, when did the Gymnast Association start thinking it was appropriate to start enforcing blasphemy laws?!

    • keranih says:

      Jimminie Christmas, that was a thing of beauty. And I hope he felt better after that.

      I think I’m going to need to push back on the prevaling attitude of “leftists/progressives/D’s shout down and ignore dissent” (if only because it seems close to everyone is saying that.)

      Firstly, while I largely agree that there is a gravitational center of, of righteous refusal to deny legitimacy to evil thought on the left, and particularly on the part of the loud activist left, this isn’t universal. There are people – in my personal life, on this board, elsewhere on the intertubes – who are living alongside unpalatable ideas, engaging in debate where they can and agreeing to live and let live where they can’t. They don’t submit to those wrongthoughts, they don’t support them, and they stand against them – but against the specific thoughts/words/actions, not the whole person expressing them.

      Secondly, and this is the larger point, there is some justification for that kind of ‘with us – completely – or against us’ pov. The people you are with shape you to be more like them. You tolerate people with a habit of using obscenities, and soon it’s very tempting to start dropping f-bombs. Hang out with people who read romance novels, and you start ‘sampling’ blue-toned paperbacks with muscular male torsos and indecipherable fonts on the cover. Work with people who assume that anything negative said about a class of people has evil intent, and you slip into hearing “ship them back to Africa” when some says “and I can’t get *any* of them to show up on time”.

      Actively choosing an action is a lot more work than going by instinct or habit. Whether it’s making a utilitarian calculation or asking WWJD, choosing moral actions is work. If the ‘right’ choice is one of several, then random choice is going to lead to a lot of error, a lot of picking ‘the wrong path’. And it’s a really common perspective to say that bad & evil choices are “easy” while “right” choices are hard.

      And humans are lazy sobs.

      If we make ‘right choices’ the default, we lower the amount of work that has to be done to pick that option. If we-as-a-group immediately and vigorously correct bad/wrong choices, we keep reminding people that the right choice is the only one, so no consideration goes into other options, and we don’t have to work at picking. But group defaults are only as good as the group acceptance of the culture – soon as a couple people start being bunch quitters, the options in choice open up again, and the potential for failure in judgement expands.

      So for a group of people, with variable ability to accurately calculate utility or understand the will of God, presenting pre-defined choices keeps more people on the straight and narrow.

      For those of us who see that we have faulty judgement – we have excessive sympathy, or greed, or a short temper, or aren’t too smart, well, then it *makes sense* to let other people make up rules for us to follow, that will yield the best utility, or the closest adherence to the will of God.

      And, as brought up earlier, the fewer decisions to be made, the faster the response time. A group who must debate everything will always act slower than a group obedient to a single leader. The race is not always to the swift, but that’s where the safe money should go.

      So. I hate the intemperate and intolerant style of the left, both for substance and form, but I get, I think, why it’s used.

      And I can’t even say that it is a losing strategy in the long medium run.

      • John Schilling says:

        If we make ‘right choices’ the default, we lower the amount of work that has to be done to pick that option.

        And if they make ‘wrong choices’ the default but it turns out there are more of them than us? Has Trump now lowered the amount of work that has to be done to pick the ‘loudmouth boor’ option?

        What if we make ‘right choices’ the default but it turns out we were wrong?

        Sorry, but this plan only works if you are both actually right and in the majority. If, as the comic points out, you are certain you have won a decisive and righteous victory in the Culture War already. There’s no justification for that, not now.

        • keranih says:

          What if we make ‘right choices’ the default but it turns out we were wrong?

          Yes! This! If it appears that I am disagreeing with you on this, then I have expressed myself poorly, my apologies.

          Utility calculations, understanding the will of God, representational democracy, insert-your-decision-making-matrix-here – there are errors all the time.

          Anti-heresy standars are an attempt to reduce one (some?) kinds of errors, which leave the process open to other sorts of errors. The environment being what it is (chaotic and imperfectly predictable) some errors are going to be a bigger risk at certain times than others.

          I’m not saying I support thought purity stances, I’m saying I (think I) understand why some people do, and that it’s not crazy/stupid/irrational that they do so.

          Is this a part of utilitarianism? Trying to figure out what is the optimal amount of time to spend thinking about the options, vs just going with a (pre-written) checklist? I feel like a lot of the practical parish work of the Church takes place in this tension – how to understand the will of God in time to actually take action to impact the sick and broken before you.

          (Sorry for babbling, I feel like I’ve just understood how I don’t know something big, and my brain is a little blown.)

          • Jugemu says:

            >Is this a part of utilitarianism? Trying to figure out what is the optimal amount of time to spend thinking about the options, vs just going with a (pre-written) checklist?

            This is sometimes referred to as the explore/exploit tradeoff. There’s also the concept of “Value of Information” which is about how to calculate the value of spending time/money researching various options.

  8. rlms says:

    Today in “using ‘quantum’ as a buzzword for fun and profit — Want to understand how Trump happened? Study quantum physics. It is pretty clear that the author knows very little about physics, and is under the impression that quantum mechanics is all weird and complex, whereas classical physics is predictable, boring and simplified. But you can get chaotic effects perfectly well with plain old Newton!

    • Tracy W says:

      Great, someone else saw that article and thought it was ridiculous. I was particularly struck by the bit where they asserted Newton’s Laws just required arithmetic. (Wording may not be right, I can’t be stuffed rereading that insanity to check.)

      • rlms says:

        You are probably referring to the bit saying “Newton describes the observable world in ways that are logical. But long ago, scientists showed the underlying physical world can’t be explained with algebra”. But worse is the bit beforehand, where they state Newton’s 2nd law as “force equals mass plus acceleration”…

  9. mwk24 says:

    Can anyone figure out if there is actually a rise in racism post-election (and post-brexit)? If so, what is the magnitude? Have other events had similar effects? etc etc

    • Randy M says:

      Step 1. Come up with a non-controversial definition of racism.
      Are you concerned with thoughts? words? violence?
      Step 2. Find a reliable way to separate hoax hate from non-ironic hate.
      These are a non-trivial portion of at least the well publicized incidents.

      If you’ve done that, we could consider further steps, but that’s a fairly hefty prerequisite.

    • keranih says:

      I’d be interested in a study of this sort, but I doubt we could get a decent study, because our measures are so bad.

      What is “racism”?

      How do you propose to measure it? Did you use those measurements on the US/UK prior to the election? If not, explain how you’re going to get a decent measure *now*. If so, explain what confounders you will control for, in order to account for how you won’t be measuring the same people or the same river.

      I think it’s fairly unarguable that racial equality is higher (and racism, regardless of the definition, is lower) in the US than it was decades ago, but Farai Chideya, of Nate Silver’s team, said Wednesday that “people of color no longer feel safe in America.” This is not, evidently, a fringe theory, but I am not at all confident that the numbers actually support it.

      • The Nybbler says:

        “people of color no longer feel safe in America.” This is not, evidently, a fringe theory, but I am not at all confident that the numbers actually support it.

        As you probably know, to “feel safe” nowadays, a member of a minority group must never hear any opinions contrary to those which are central to the progressive agenda.

      • Sandy says:

        I feel pretty safe, but then again I supported Trump so by Advocate rules I’m no longer a “person of color”.

      • Well... says:

        As a researcher, here’s how I’d measure racism while avoiding, as best I can, the controversy awaiting me if I try to first define it:

        First, I’d use two definitions and measure both of them. Maybe more than two definitions. In fact, I might list dozens of distinct things that could get you called a “racist” and see whether there was more or less of each one now than at a previous point in time (say, before Trump announced his candidacy). That way, it doesn’t matter what your definition of racism is: look up the one I measured that’s closest to your definition and see whether it increased.

        Second, I’d also measure how much of each of those kinds of racism there was at an even earlier point in time. So, if one measurement was in November 2016 and another measurement was from July 2015, a third measurement might be from January 2014. I’d try to look further back than that, too, to get a better picture. That way I could show whether the change in racism from 2015 to 2016, if it exists, was just a continuation of an ongoing trend.

        Third & onward is the standard stuff about controlling other variables.

        • Aapje says:

          Unfortunately you cannot go back in time. A lot of research keeps using 1 definition merely due to that one having been picked decades ago, regardless of whether it makes the most sense. If new research uses a different definition, they severely compromise their citation scores.

          • Well... says:

            Huh? I don’t have to go back in time, just look at what people said/wrote while keeping the definition constant. And of course doing this for a bunch of different definitions.

            For example, I use definition 1: explicit calls for the extermination of another race. Then I see how much of that there is now on, say, NYT comments sections, then I look at how much of that there was in NYT comments sections a year ago, two years ago, etc.

            Then I do the same thing with definition 2: negative attitudes toward racial diversity policies.

            Etc.

          • keranih says:

            @ Well…

            just look at what people said/wrote while keeping the definition constant

            On the one hand, I love the idea of multiple definitions/metrics. On the other hand, “comments which have been choosen for publishing by the NYT” has such a bevy of confounders that I’m not sure at all that it would be useful over a length of time.

          • Aapje says:

            @Well…

            You are highly dependent on constant sensitivity in your sources though. I highly doubt that (for example) newspaper didn’t become more eager to report racist incidents after BLM became popular…or after Trump started running.

      • The original Mr. X says:

        I think it’s fairly unarguable that racial equality is higher (and racism, regardless of the definition, is lower) in the US than it was decades ago, but Farai Chideya, of Nate Silver’s team, said Wednesday that “people of color no longer feel safe in America.” This is not, evidently, a fringe theory, but I am not at all confident that the numbers actually support it.

        People might not feel safe, but that might just be because they’re overly fearful rather than that the actual threat level has increased. There often seem to be a lot of irrational fears swirling around during handovers of power: cf. the people who thought that Bush would impose martial law and make himself dictator, or that Obama would send his political opponents to the gulags, or the people now who are worried that Mike Pence is going to send gay people to torture camps.

        • Deiseach says:

          For all the scare stories about Kristallnacht, who were the ones actually in the streets smashing windows and spraying swastikas around?

          Yes: the representatives of tolerance, acceptance, diversity and loving-kindness.

          • The Nybbler says:

            It having been done on Kristallnacht increased my credence that it was actual neo-Nazis, because who in America remembers the anniversary of Kristallnacht other than neo-Nazis (and a very few now very elderly Jewish emigrees)?

            However, only slightly, because being just after Election day seemed far more relevant.

          • Deiseach says:

            Having your national elections so the result gets announced on the anniversary of Kristallnacht just proves AmeriKKKa is fascist, doesn’t it?

            I’m only waiting for someone to make that observation in reality 🙁

          • Nancy Lebovitz says:

            “who in America remembers the anniversary of Kristallnacht other than neo-Nazis (and a very few now very elderly Jewish emigrees)?”

            There are a lot of Jews (I’m not one of them) who remember the date of Kristallnacht. They don’t need to have been alive then.

            You’re underestimating how much attention Jews pay to the Holocaust. That kind of shock doesn’t go away in a generation.

    • ThirteenthLetter says:

      I can guarantee you that we will be told there is such a rise, whether it actually happens or not.

    • The original Mr. X says:

      FWIW we no longer hear anything about the supposed post-Brexit hate crime wave here in the UK, so even if there was a spike in racist incidents (which I doubt) it seems to have dissipated by now. I suspect he post-Trump racism will turn out much the same.

  10. Le Maistre Chat says:

    In other political news, the Bern, Elizabeth Warren and Charles Schumer want to promote Muslim Keith Ellison to DNC chairman.

    This is either extremely clever because it’ll keep him from running in the 2020 primaries, or SJW lunacy.

    • The Nybbler says:

      Maybe Bernie’s pissed at the DNC and wants to destroy it?

    • Iain says:

      Would you care to explain what specifically about Keith Ellison would make his elevation as DNC chairman “SJW lunacy”? Is there some rule that says Muslims can’t hold political office? I’m sure that would surprise the Constitution.

      Edit to add: Ellison is an up-and-coming youngish Democrat who has no ties to the Clintons and was the second congressman to support Sanders in the primary. He seems like exactly the sort of person who the Democrats would want to elevate to a position of greater prominence.

      • suntzuanime says:

        Yeah, this seems bizarre. The most charitable explanation I can come up with is that LMC thinks promoting a Muslim will be a turnoff to the actually-Christian parts of the country, but party chairperson is not a public-facing role. Who even knew who Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was until she started rigging the primary? What you want is someone who will actually be good at their job, and act strategically to secure victory for the party. I have no real knowledge of how good Ellison will be at that.

      • hlynkacg says:

        I’m with Iain on this one.

        I didn’t know anything about Ellison beyond that he was a Congressman who’d supported Sanders in the primary. But given the circumstances, “youngish up-and-comer who has zero ties to the Clintons” seems like precisely the sort of person the DNC ought to be promoting.

        • Deiseach says:

          I’m heartened that in politics, a guy my age is referred to as a “youngish up-and-comer” 🙂

      • nyccine says:

        Do you really not get the optics? In an election season in which cries of “Islamophobia!” were a staple, pushing a Muslim into such a visible role smacks of doubling-down on the hysterics; a sort of “well, let’s see those racisty racists think about this!”

        • suntzuanime says:

          Well, we’re seeing what the racisty racists think about it, I guess. To the extent that conservatives think that Muslim faith should disqualify this fellow, it doesn’t seem like cries of “Islamophobia” were hysterics at all.

          • Deiseach says:

            Mmm, having a quick look at the Wikipedia article, Ellison is not what people would expect usually from “And this guy is Muslim”. He’s African-American, was raised Catholic, and (reading between the lines) was more influenced by Nation of Islam type “This is what African-Americans should be, rather than the white man’s imposed Christianity” political thought.

            He’s definitely on the liberal side of Muslim thought, I imagine; 100% approval rating from NARAL and all for gay rights. So fits in very nicely with the Democratic Party line on progressive values, but I have no idea how he fits into mainstream American Muslim culture (that is, beyond the particular version adopted and promulgated as predominantly for African-Americans via the Nation of Islam; what about immigrant Muslims and their views?)

            So you couldn’t really compare him to the Trump version of “moratorium on permitting Muslims to immigrate” of what Muslims are or are taken to be.

          • Iain says:

            @suntzuanime: Totally agree.

          • Jugemu says:

            It’s clear that “Islamophobia” is real, it’s just easier in current society to deny it than to argue that it’s more-or-less correct/rational (which is what I believe*).

            edit: Also, Islam is religion, not a race.

            * Here I’m using Islamophobia to mean belief that Islam is dangerous and that we shouldn’t want Muslims to have more numbers/influence in the West, not in the sense of irrational hatred or egregiously poor treatment of Muslim individuals. Obviously the Left likes to portray these as the same thing, but they’re wrong.

            That said, I’d be against appointing an open-and-proud Muslim (regardless of him being a perfectly decent individual AFAIK) to this kind of position because it risks increasing the influence and prestige of Islam in the West – perhaps especially since he’s a convert and can’t plausibly say “oh I was raised this way but I’m not a hardcore believer”. I wouldn’t want it to be illegal to do so however.

          • suntzuanime says:

            America is a nation founded on pluralistic tolerance, and that’s a good thing. We don’t want to have to constantly refight the Thirty Years War. If a fellow actually supports sex slavery and the murder of apostates, fine, that’s the sort of thing that should be disqualifying. But if he follows the sort of watered-down Islam that is compatible with our secular society, I don’t see any reason that should be treated any differently from similarly watered-down Judaism or Protestantism.

          • Jugemu says:

            My feelings on this are influenced by the observation (both via polls and real-world consequences of previous and ongoing Muslim immigration in Europe) that supposedly moderate Muslims often aren’t so moderate in their actual beliefs, and are often willing to turn a blind eye to terrorists in their midst (and/or blame them on the West), to say they support Sharia, etc. People say the same about Christians, and I wouldn’t vote for a super hardcore Evangelical either, but Islam seems much worse.

            To put it another way, I’m wary of supposedly moderate Muslims in the same way I’m wary of supposedly moderate Communists – I can be friendly with an individual example, but I don’t want them to rule over me because moderate or not, both subscribe to an inherently totalitarian belief system.

          • rlms says:

            What consequences of Muslim immigration to Europe are you talking about, precisely? Also, what do you mean by “inherently totalitarian”? Islamic theocracies today are pretty repressive and awful (and that seems likely inherent to having a theocracy that isn’t the Vatican City in a globally connected world) but that has not been the case historically, where arguably repressive Islamist states were the exception rather than the rule.

          • Jugemu says:

            > What consequences of Muslim immigration to Europe are you talking about, precisely?

            Rotherham, the Belgian attacks, the Dutch immigrant kids talking about how infidels should be killed, sharply rising rape rates in Sweden, etc.

            >Also, what do you mean by “inherently totalitarian”? Islamic theocracies today are pretty repressive and awful (and that seems likely inherent to having a theocracy that isn’t the Vatican City in a globally connected world) but that has not been the case historically, where arguably repressive Islamist states were the exception rather than the rule.

            The “tolerance” of historical Islam was by the standards of the time, not what most modern people would consider tolerance so I don’t really consider that a strong counterpoint. At any rate, even if it’s not truly “inherent”, Islam as widely interpreted nowdays tends to the totalitarian (much more so than eg Christianity), and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

            edit: And even if Islam is going to have a counter-revolution where everyone will start believing a watered down version, equivalent to mainstream Christians ignoring much of the Old Testament, I’d want to see that happen *before* they come to the West, not hope that it will happen after.

          • ThirteenthLetter says:

            The problem with Ellison isn’t that he’s a Muslim at all; it’s that he smooches up to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, a seriously destructive bunch. That said, the DNC can nominate who they want, and we’ll see how that works out for them.

          • rlms says:

            @Jugemu
            Rotherham, the Belgian attacks, the Dutch immigrant kids talking about how infidels should be killed, sharply rising rape rates in Sweden, etc.

            I think those issues are a lot more complex than you realise. There have been several cases of British-Pakistani gangs grooming white girls, but the fact that most of the perpetrators were Muslim does not seem particularly relevant there. Even within these cases, not all of the abusers were Muslim (or South Asian) and those that were nominally Muslims were generally not observant (they drank alcohol and took drugs). Incidentally, the man who successfully prosecuted the Rochdale groomers was a British-Pakistani Muslim.

            Likewise, Islamist terrorists frequently do not come from a religious background. Generally they are petty criminals in search of a purpose/outlet for violence/whatever. The idea that there is a sliding scale of Muslimness with secularism at one end and terrorism at the other is mistaken.

            I think your analogy with communism is flawed, because most Muslims don’t want an Islamist theocracy. I don’t think the problem with communism is that communists have abhorrent ideas which they would love to put into practice if only they had power, it is that they have misguided ideas that tend to work poorly if put into practice, and that revolutions tend to bring out the worst in people/the worst people. To find out Muslim ideas, I suggest you go out and ask some.

          • houseboatonstyxb says:

            the DNC can nominate who they want, and we’ll see how that works out for them

            Driving by on a tangent….

            I hope they do nominate Hillary in 2020. If so, I get to vote for her for POTUS three times in my life, not just two.

        • Do you really not get the optics? In an election season in which cries of “Islamophobia!” were a staple, pushing a Muslim into such a visible role smacks of doubling-down on the hysterics; a sort of “well, let’s see those racisty racists think about this!”

          Or, assuming he is otherwise the best candidate, choosing NOT to appoint him, specifically due to his religion, based on the assumption that Midwestern voters are prejudiced and would be offended — that strikes me as awfully condescending too.

      • Le Maistre Chat says:

        I can see it two different ways: insofar as it’s an administrative job, it’s very clever. Being seen as the party of Islam is a negative for the Democrats, and promoting the few Muslims in Congress into administrative jobs in the party rewards them while keeping them away from the 2020 primary.
        OTOH, if they’re going to make him the face of the party on the news networks for the next 2-4 years, it’ll look like SJ virtue signalling rather than trying to expand their coalition.

        • Deiseach says:

          As I said above, he’s not (what is thought of as) the typical Muslim. He’s an American citizen, African-American, born and raised in the USA, of a non-Muslim background (he was Catholic before his conversion in college) and is a convert.

          He’s not the “foreign-born radical bombers/terrorist sympathisers who want to impose sharia law” that the stereotype of the Trump campaign (or what is perceived as the stereotype adopted by the campaign) refers to.

          So if he is going to be the “face of the Democratic Party” in the public eye, the Democrats are eating their cake and having it: see, we like Muslims! Nice American-version of Muslims, that is, not Pakistani/Malay/Turkish/Moroccan born or heritage Muslims. If I’m being cynical *coughcough*, it’s quite clever; since he’s African-American any critics of the DNC under his chairmanship can also be accused of racism as well as religious bigotry and impugning this American-bred-born-and-buttered man’s patriotism.

          All this being contingent on him getting the job, of course, if he’s even in the running apart from the media speculation.

          • Mark V Anderson says:

            Keith Ellison is my Congressman, so I know a bit about him. In my opinion, being Muslim was a big part of the reason he got the Democratic nod for Congress in the first place, because far left Minneapolis felt so good about electing a Muslim to Congress. Now he may be riding his religion to higher national prominence.

            But yeah, he isn’t the kind of Muslim Trump was talking about keeping out. He grew up in Detroit. Although Detroit now has a lot of Arab immigrants living there, I think he moved to Minnesota before that happened. As one person, said, it is more the American grown Nation of Islam we are talking about, not African or Middle East Muslim.

            But he is far left. When he was first elected, a speech was publicized from a few years previously when he was calling the attack on the Symbionese Liberation Army as racist. For the youngsters in here, that was a group in California in the ’70’s that robbed banks and killed a few folks “for the revolution.” He has moderated, but that is his background.

          • Deiseach says:

            Oh wow, the Symbionese Liberation Army, that takes me back!

            Hands up all the old people on here who know who Patty Hearst was 🙂

          • FacelessCraven says:

            The eternal Thompson Gunner
            Still wanderin through the night
            Now it’s ten years later
            But he still keeps up the fight
            In Ireland, In Lebanon
            In Palastine and Berkley
            Patty Hurst
            Heard the burst
            Of Roland’s Thompson Gun
            And bought it.

          • anonymity says:

            @Mark V Anderson

            Keith Ellison used to be my congressman as well. I don’t live in his district anymore, but I did for a long time. I even went to high school with his son at South High School in Minneapolis.

            From my interactions with his son, I don’t get the impression that he’s very religious (or if he is, he has not done a very good job of passing it on to his kids). His son Elijah wore normal clothes to school every day and I don’t recall him ever mentioning Islam or religion in general. He mostly talked about music, movies, the stuff we were learning in our classes, etc. He was a very normal American high school boy.

  11. Le Maistre Chat says:

    So, my qualms with our untested president-elect, as a social conservative:

    1) No record of public service.
    2) That line about “Second Amendment people”, which I can’t believe would count as protected speech.
    3) “Trade war” with China. Outsourcing may suck, but scapegoating a nuclear power for it and using the W-word is a bad idea.
    4) That he’ll rubber stamp hurtful Ryan-McConnell plans like stripping tens of millions of Americans of health insurance.

    • suntzuanime says:

      1) I agree that it would be better if he had a proud record of public service, but I think you can go too far with this; people were pointing to Clinton’s experience in knocking over random Middle East/North Africa countries for fun as though it were a point in her favor. Better a businessperson than someone with a record of public disservice.
      2) Believe it, friend. One of my favorite things about America is its strong protections for free speech, even speech that might allude to things the government doesn’t like. The key precedent in this case is a guy who said “If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J.”, which is a whole hell of a lot more direct than what Trump said, and he got off, and that makes me proud of my country. Now, as to whether it was an appropriate thing to say, friend, why do you think we have a Second Amendment? Armed resistance to tyranny is as American as apple pie, and that’s clearly the context he was speaking in. The media read it as an assassination threat, because their job is to misinterpret things, but Second Amendment people aren’t assassins. They’re militiapersons.
      3) Trade war with China might be unpleasant, but I think you have the consequences a little overblown. “Trade war” is a term of art in international economics, it’s not an actual act of war and everybody on the diplomatic stage knows this 100%. The fear is that they’ll retaliate with tariffs, not nukes. Personally I think trade is by and large a good thing, and I am not looking forward to paying increased prices for cheap plastic crap, but that’s the sort of consequence you should be thinking about, not “W-word with a nuclear power”.
      4) This, on the other hand, seems to me like a very real fear. Trump did talk during the Republican debates about how important it was to provide people with healthcare, and he rebuked the other candidates for being willing to let people “die on the streets”, but it remains to be seen how much he will be able to lead the party on this and other key policy issues. He may be more focused on immigration enforcement and trade exchange-of-high-tariffs-referred-to-using-martial-metaphor, and let the Republican congress get its way on other issues. This is my main worry with Trump’s presidency.

      • Le Maistre Chat says:

        This, on the other hand, seems to me like a very real fear. Trump did talk during the Republican debates about how important it was to provide people with healthcare, and he rebuked the other candidates for being willing to let people “die on the streets”, but it remains to be seen how much he will be able to lead the party on this and other key policy issues. He may be more focused on immigration enforcement and trade exchange-of-high-tariffs-referred-to-using-martial-metaphor, and let the Republican congress get its way on other issues. This is my main worry with Trump’s presidency.

        Agreed. And thanks for the LBJ-era fact.

      • Iain says:

        I agree that #4 is concerning.

        There are some areas where it seems plausible that Trump on his own could actually do some good. For example, American infrastructure is crumbling, and it is at least conceivable that – in an “only Nixon could go to China” sense – Trump could be the person to break the gridlock. If he selected sane aides who kept his worst tendencies in check, maybe America could limp through the next four years.

        The fact that America also gave the Republicans complete control of Congress gives me pause on that, though. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan still have the same plans to slash taxes and repeal Obamacare, and now there is nothing standing in their way. The Republicans have demagogued Obamacare so heavily that I’m not sure they’ve left themselves room to do anything other than a full repeal, which would be a disaster.

        America is plausibly heading for a replication of Brownback’s Kansas on a national scale.

        • Schibes says:

          American infrastructure is crumbling, and it is at least conceivable that – in an “only Nixon could go to China” sense – Trump could be the person to break the gridlock.

          He’s got his work cut out for him, considering that the Senate Majority Leader is already openly opposing his infrastructure plans:

          From NPR:

          “On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell mostly made nice with Trump but also shot down or expressed little enthusiasm in some of his plans. On Trump’s proposal to impose term limits on Congress, McConnell said, “It will not be on the agenda in the Senate” … McConnell also threw some cold water on Trump’s infrastructure plans, calling it not a top priority.”

      • Edward Scizorhands says:

        Repealing Obamacare is going to be hard. It has “good parts” and “bad parts” which are better called, respectively, “the parts people like” and “the parts necessary to make it work.”

      • Deiseach says:

        I think Obamacare, whatever its intentions (and they were probably good) is such a steaming mess of a tangle that whoever got the job – even Hillary, even a different Democrat, even a different Republican – would be left with the job of sorting it out and that’s something that may actually be best done by razing the entire thing, filleting out the skeleton of a coherent scheme from it, and working with that.

        Obama is leaving that legacy for his successor to deal with; were it Hillary, as everyone expected, I think he would have been content that if she managed to make it work, he’d still get the credit and if she had to hack it to bits, she’d get the blame from the unhappy. Now it’s Trump’s baby. He might decide not to touch the whole damn mess with a ten-foot bargepole and leave it as he found it, but even then I think he’ll still be blamed for the flaws inherent in it and the growing dissatisfaction with the price hikes and “no you can’t keep your plan after all” and the rest I’m reading in the news headlines.

  12. Tyrant Overlord Killidia says:

    Since Presidential debates have been filmed, has the more charismatic (or livelier) candidate lost to the more “stiff” candidate?

    In my personal memory, Reagan was more lively than Carter/Mondale, Bush I was more lively than Dukakis, Clinton was more lively than Bush/Perot/Dole, Bush II was more lively than Gore/Kerry, Obama was more lively than McCain/Romney.

    I remember mentioning this fact to someone back in August, and she was like “Oh, it looks like Trump will be president… we’re fucked!” Is it really just a matter of whichever candidate that has a reputation of being “stiff” is going to lose?

  13. Dr Dealgood says:

    Hey guys and gals, long time no see.

    The last few days have been pretty nuts. I had resigned myself to a definitive loss and watching the numbers come in with my progressive friends was equal parts heartening and surreal. Trying to cheer everyone up here and at work afterwords while hiding my powerlevel was a tightrope.

    Anyway, to fellow Deplorables: if you have progressive friends family and/or coworkers, try to help them to take their minds off things for a while. It seems like a lot of people feel guilty having a beer or grabbing pizza when they’re ‘supposed’ to be mourning and/or fighting. Letting them know that it’s alright to relax and enjoy life is important.

    Localism is meaningless if it entails abandoning the people close to you in favor of partisan sniping.

    • keranih says:

      On that note – Progressive rationalist types, what has an anti-Hillary/pro-Trump person said to you in the last couple days that has made you feel better?

      For one friend, who was disgusted with having to vote for Hillary, it seemed to make her feel better to know that I agreed with her on everything about the two candidates except that which one was worse.

      Another made the helpful observation that we should expect different people to have different priorities, and that’s okay. This one is gay, and concerned about the future of their family, but also agreed that no, it wasn’t really likely that they would wake up tomorrow (or in January) with their marriage bonds dissolved.

      I’m not a mindreader, but they seemed to be mostly coping.

      Other thoughts?

      • andrewflicker says:

        I’ll let you know when one of the Trump-supporters I know says or does something kind to me, or to my more progressive shared friends. So far, I’ve only seen gloating and “elections have consequences” type stuff.

        I have seen several Republican friends and family make peace-overtures and empathetic posts- but they’re all Republicans that voted against Trump.

      • dndnrsn says:

        My Tory friend – not a Republican, but feels a weird (and I think mistaken) kinship with Republicans – is gloating a lot less than I expected he would, to me, and to people who are more left-wing than I am.

    • Iain says:

      This is the kind of post we could all use more of. Thank you.

    • Trofim_Lysenko says:

      I actually linked Scott’s monday article to a few, and that helped. Other than that I’ve mostly just been trying to point out that unless multiple justices die or retire, the one appointment he has will most likely maintain the previous balance of power, not shift it towards a new one, and thus things like Gay Marriage and basic GLBT rights are not really in danger, and similar procedural and structural safeguards.

      • Iain says:

        To be fair, Ginsburg is 83 and has had cancer twice. It’s not an unreasonable concern.

      • John Schilling says:

        Based strictly on the Social Security Administration’s actuarial tables, a one-term Trump presidency can be expected to appoint 2.11 supreme court justices, 1.22 replacing reliably conservative justices and 0.61 replacing reliably liberal ones. That’s a net 0.75-justice shift in the balance of power. Round it up to one justice to account for nonlethal retirements.

  14. Deiseach says:

    Talking of statistical models, this guy was calling Trump the winner back in February:

    A New York professor whose formula has proven accurate in every presidential election but one since 1912 says Donald Trump has a 97.6 percent chance — or better — of taking the White House if he’s the Republican nominee.

    • Iain says:

      The criticism of Scott Adams applies equally here. Given how close the vote ended up being, predicting a 97.6% chance of a Trump victory is significantly worse than 538’s 70/30 prediction.

      • Deiseach says:

        Given that everyone was saying Hillary had it sewn up and no way Trump could get within spitting distance of a win, saying “No, by my model he’s gonna do it” is impressive enough for me.

        It does all depend how you break down the figures, and the linked story doesn’t go into it, but I don’t think he was predicting a landslide or anything like that, just that if Trump was the nominee, he could indeed beat Clinton.

        EDIT: Okay, going to the source the article was lifted from, he says this:

        “Trump beats Hillary 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent [of the popular vote]. This is almost too much to believe.” Norpoth said, with a few members of the audience laughing nervously. “The probability of that [outcome] is almost complete certainty, 97 percent. It’s almost ‘Take it to the bank.’ ”

        Granted, he got it wrong: the breakdown of the popular vote was not 55% Trump to 45% Clinton; to date, it looks 47.5% Trump to 47.7% Clinton, astonishingly close. But had you said back in February it would come this close, would anyone have believed it? He seems to have been at least using something that turned out nearer than the other predictions.

        • Iain says:

          No. That’s not close at all. The standard polling got the numbers closer than that. Being way off in the correct direction is not better than calling it close and getting the direction wrong. It is easy to come up with a simplified model that fits 15-20 datapoints reasonably well. Lots of people do it. Every four years, roughly half of those models get weeded out.

          Despite getting the answer wrong, this 538 article is a significantly more accurate assessment of the state of the election.

      • Brad says:

        The criticism of Scott Adams applies equally here. Given how close the vote ended up being, predicting a 97.6% chance of a Trump victory is significantly worse than 538’s 70/30 prediction.

        I don’t think that’s correct. Norpoth just predicted a win, not the margin of victory and gave a confidence for that prediction. Silver predicted a win and gave a confidence for that prediction. Scott Adams predicted both the direction and the margin of victory, and gave a confidence for that prediction.

        Of the three, only what Norpoth predicted actually came to pass. Clinton didn’t win and Trump didn’t have a landslide.

        We can’t figure out whether Norpoth was overconfident without re-running the election many many times.

        • Iain says:

          Clinton won the popular vote. (Once they are done counting California, her margin will likely be pretty big.) An extra 12,000 votes in Michigan and a <2% shift in Florida would have given her the election. There is no plausible way that the actual odds of Clinton winning were only 2.4%.

          Flip two coins. If they both came up heads, you've just experienced an event less likely than Trump winning the election, according to 538.

          Flip five coins. Did they all come up heads? If so, that's still more likely than Hillary winning the election, according to Norpoth.

          One of these predictions is significantly more plausible than the other.

          • Brad says:

            One of these predictions is significantly more plausible than the other.

            Yes but that was as true on Monday as it was today. Since we are talking about binary prediction with confidences, not a magnitude prediction (unlike Adams) I don’t see how Tuesday can cause you to update against the guy who called the binary in the correct direction and towards the guy who called it in the wrong direction.

          • John Schilling says:

            The confidence and the magnitude are not uncorrelated; calling an election with high confidence and real data requires a high expected magnitude.

          • Deiseach says:

            Clinton won the popular vote. (Once they are done counting California, her margin will likely be pretty big.)

            I’m not seeing that, Iain, and I’m looking up the results fairly recently: 47.7 percent to 47.4 percent is what I’m seeing to date. Now, maybe in the end, she’ll bump that up to 49% or even 50%, but that’s still not a “pretty big” margin. 50% to 47% is only 3% of a difference; to me “a pretty big margin” would need to be at least 10%. But as ever, YMMV.

            As for Norpoth, the fact that he wasn’t a Trump supporter and wasn’t looking for “how can Trump win?” makes his honesty look more believable to me. That is, that he wasn’t fudging figures or tilting his model or cherry-picking data to make it come out in his preferred result. Everyone was sure Hillary had it; a result that said “No, Trump is going to do it” was like saying “No, the Martians are going to land tomorrow”.

          • rlms says:

            @Deiseach
            The last person to win by more than a 10% margin was Reagan (when re-elected). I think anything above a 5% counts as impressive (Obama vs McCain, both Bill Clinton runs, Bush Sr, Reagan being the most recent examples).

          • Iain says:

            The estimate I’ve seen is that once they’re done counting California, Clinton will probably be up by 1-2% in the popular vote. That wouldn’t be a huge margin of victory, but it is a historically large win given that she lost the election: by contrast, Gore only beat Bush in the popular vote by .5%.

            And again, for what must be the tenth time: no, “everyone” was not sure that Clinton had it. 538 had Hillary as roughly a 2:1 favourite. If there’s a 30% chance that Martians land tomorrow, let me know.

          • Deiseach says:

            And again, for what must be the tenth time: no, “everyone” was not sure that Clinton had it. 538 had Hillary as roughly a 2:1 favourite.

            Now, little Susie, I’m going to ask you some simple maths problems.

            Here are three apples. Donnie has one apple. Hilly has two apples. Who has more apples?

            Here are three dollars. Donnie has one dollar. Hilly has two dollars. Who can go to the grocery store and buy more candy?

            If you answer “Donnie”, most people are going to tell you that is the wrong answer, little Susie. 🙂

            What I do find interesting is that projections are for her to win the popular vote by around 1.5%. So that’s something like 48.9% to 47.4%. That’s a definite win, but not by what I would consider a huge, substantial or even impressive margin.

            Yet that’s how it’s being spun: she won by a heap! The Dems just have to hang on, because demographics are on our side! All the working class whites will be out-bred by the working class black/Hispanics, and we’ll keep the middle- and higher class whites!

            What I really want to say here, and I really want the Democrats to be a party that cares about economic equality and that, unfortunately, means looking at class, is “Lay not that flattering unction to your soul”. If they don’t take a long, hard look at what they want and instead console themselves with “it was white racism, it was sexism, we’re on the right side of history, all those brown babies will grow up to vote for us” – they are going to keep getting unpleasant surprises.

            There was plenty of talk about the Republicans splitting and fissioning after a Trump loss. What about the Democrats? What about all those angry black feminists and Latina opinon columnists denouncing white women for putting the colour of their skin and their power interests before solidarity with the sisterhood by voting for Trump?

            Why couldn’t black/minority activists take a look at the demographics and say “We can build our own Democrat party, we don’t need the white power-brokers at the top”? Why not split off and found their own party, the Real Democrats or New Democracy? If the percentage white vote is shrinking, it’s also shrinking for the Democrats. What if people think there are two Democratic parties: one for the middle-class and better-off college-educated professional and technocratic whites, and one for the working-class/middle-class small business-owner minorities/women/LGBT+ who are not college lecturers running queer theory courses but sex workers and the likes? And that the power lies with the numbers, and the numbers are with the non-white members?

            Democratic-leaning groups are generally growing, and Republican-leaning groups are shrinking. The share of the non-white vote continues to grow each year. As terrible as the Democrats’ current situation is, its political future remains pretty bright, so long as it retains the loyalty of those growing groups.

            And why should they be loyal to well-off old white cishet women who declare they love real billionaires, instead of breaking away and taking care of their own interests?

          • Iain says:

            Yet that’s how it’s being spun: she won by a heap! The Dems just have to hang on, because demographics are on our side! All the working class whites will be out-bred by the working class black/Hispanics, and we’ll keep the middle- and higher class whites!

            That is not a fair summary of that link, which is explicit about the need to find new ways to win white working class votes while continuing to earn the support of minorities. If you want to continue tilting at strawmen and patting yourself on the back for your splendid efforts, you can do so without my help.

          • DrBeat says:

            Those were fivethirtyeight’s odds — everyone ELSE was, up until the votes came in, yelling at Nate Silver on Twitter for how stupid bad terrible wrong dumb punish punish he was in having Trump’s odds be so high, because everyone else KNEW that Hillary had at least a 98% chance of victory.

          • dndnrsn says:

            Yeah and now people are yelling “NATE WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN US HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

          • Deiseach says:

            Iain, you warm the cockles of my wizened, stony heart. A True Believer toiling thanklessly in the fields of the ungodly to enlighten us.

            Just for you – a fellow-feeling from Ethan Cohen. He feels your pain as you feel his.

  15. Deiseach says:

    Sad news: Leonard Cohen has died.

    Lux aeterna

  16. Mark says:

    What do you think about that grub hub?

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/11/contrary-to-reports-grubhub-ceo-never-called-for-trump-voters-to-resign/

    Turns out the CEO has sold most of his shares and now only owns about $100,000 worth. That strikes me as quite unusual, given that he is the founder.

    I wonder if he was planning on getting out anyway.

    • Deiseach says:

      “I am totally committed to diversity and I want the resignation of anyone who does not think exactly the same about everything as I do”.

      Well, nothing problematic there!

    • The Nybbler says:

      Please. Fox News, to their credit, included the email in its entirety in their reporting. It doesn’t say Trump voters should resign in so many words, that much is true. But it comes damned close. Two paragraphs from the letter:

      Further I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigramt and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can. As we all try to understand what this vote means to us, I want to affirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I and everyone else here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States.

      If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.

      I for one would not “feel comfortable” applying for a job at Grubhub after that, and if I worked there, I’d be looking elsewhere because it would be clear those with my opinions would not be tolerated.

      • Mark says:

        Yeah – I’ve not seen anyone explicitly say, “resign if you don’t agree with my political beliefs” before, but over the last few years I’ve definitely seen an increase of “Here is my opinion, let’s discuss” —-> “shut the fuck up you monster”, if you step a foot out of line.

        So, yeah. Pretty clear to me where he is coming from.

        The right wingers are definitely the new left wingers.

        • Deiseach says:

          “Feel perfectly free to express your opinions openly. We don’t tolerate an atmosphere of fear and mistrust here.

          Except not those opinions. Those are hateful attitudes.

          Call in to HR and hand in your resignation.”

      • Trofim_Lysenko says:

        I pretty much guarantee you that the first two e-mails he got after that were from his Director of Human Resources and from his Counsel, saying (probably in so many words) “You IDIOT!”.

        I’m pretty low on the totem pole as front-line management in a company (low enough that I’m going back to an hourly wage instead of salary in two weeks because no way are they paying me 12K more a year to comply with the incoming FLSA rules change), and we would be lucky to get off serious disciplinary warnings and threats of termination for talk that even looked like it hinted at approaching the thought of something like that, for fear that down the road some totally legitimate firing of a terrible employee will suddenly become a court case about viewpoint-based discrimination as the terrible employee smells blood (and money) in the water.

        • Deiseach says:

          some totally legitimate firing of a terrible employee will suddenly become a court case about viewpoint-based discrimination as the terrible employee smells blood (and money) in the water.

          The cynical part of me says that will only work in the employee’s favour as long as they’re not male, white, straight or all of the above. “You didn’t fire Bob Johnson because he was taking three-hour lunches and taking money out of the petty cash box, you did it because he’s black. We can demonstrate that three-hour mealtimes are part of his cultural heritage, so this is discrimination!” versus “You fired Bob Johnson because his licence plate contains the letters T and P? Good riddance to the racist sexist homophobe Trump supporter!”

          And yeah, of course they’ll put you back on wages not salary when the new regs come in. Though you may do better, after all; sometimes they give you a job title and a ‘promotion’ in order to pay you a salary not wages, because they’d have to pay overtime on hourly wages but salary means getting you to stay late five nights a week for no more money than you got when you were an hourly wage-earner. That happened me in my first Real Job: congratulations, you’re now the line“department” supervisor! Which means you’re earning less after tax and deductions than when you were on the line! That’s when I figured out why nobody else in the section was taking the job, even when they had seniority over me 🙂

          we would be lucky to get off serious disciplinary warnings and threats of termination for talk that even looked like it hinted at approaching the thought of something like that

          Again, the cynical part of me says this is the whole story with Hillary and the emails; you, me and the other peons would be hauled on the carpet, over the coals, and out the door for this kind of carelessness. Da Boss and their cronies? Nothing to see here, move along, folks!

  17. I’m hoping that Trump is going to be something like Chester A. Arthur — a small and woefully unprepared man, a local political-machine functionary, who was thrust into the presidency when Garfield was assassinated in 1881.

    Arthur wasn’t great, but he was better in office than the people of that time had any reason to expect.

    That being said, I was startled recently to see Chester Arthur rated as one of the highest IQ men to have served as president. That is completely at variance with my understanding of the man, but who knows? I doubt Trump has that kind of advantage.

      • Jiro says:

        I’m not sure what you’re suggesting by quoting that. I don’t think it’s fake just because he said it without evidence and in a boasting manner–that’s his style. It’s entirely plausible that he actually has a high IQ.

        • Brad says:

          How likely is it that he ever had a professionally administered IQ test? It’s possible that he took one he was 13 and got kicked out of private school as part of his admission to military school, but on the balance I bet that military school admission back in 1959 probably didn’t work that way.

          There’s probably an SAT score from either 1964 or 1966.

        • Urstoff says:

          Not just a high IQ, one of the highest! He can parley that into a weekly column in Parade Magazine after his term as president.

  18. Sandy says:

    So I was reading an article about Netanyahu’s (largely joyful) reaction to Trump’s victory, and it turns out Trump’s counsel on Israel and Jewish issues is a man named David Friedman! Stunned, I immediately Googled this man and learned that no, he is not our David Friedman but another who shares the name.

    • Deiseach says:

      Those Davids Friedman, they get everywhere 🙂

    • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

      When our next military aid shipment consists of broadswords, chainmail, and the number of a good protection agency, you’ll realize that you’ve fallen for a cover story.

      • Randy M says:

        Don’t forget medieval icelandic cuisine.

        • Dr Dealgood says:

          If the Trump administration tries to feed foreigners Hákarl, would the military refuse to carry out the illegal order?

        • Unfortunately we have no medieval Icelandic cookbooks. There is one manuscript which was part of an Icelandic medical miscellany, but it appears to be one of several daughter manuscripts of a lost original, probably from southern Europe.

          We do have a description of what not to feed to Egil Skallagrimsson.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            “We do have a description of what not to feed to Egil Skallagrimsson.”

            …You’re not going to leave us hanging, are you?

          • Machina ex Deus says:

            @David Friedman:

            Unfortunately we have no medieval Icelandic cookbooks.

            I’m afraid I’m going to need a citation for that. (The “unfortunately” part, I mean.)

  19. CatCube says:

    Looks like the protests here in Portland are a full-on riot now: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/11/anti-trump_protests_held_for_f.html Apparently, a bunch of car windows in dealerships have been broken, along with other assorted vandalism. I’m glad we had the 59 minute rule today before the holiday, so I was able to get out of town early.

    Can somebody help me try to understand what these people are trying to accomplish? Admittedly, I’m speaking as a right-winger who voted third party. However, if every single person they’re inconveniencing by shutting down Interstates, bridges, and mass transit voted for Hillary it wouldn’t have made a difference. Oregon is a very, very safe state for the left wing.

    I’ve always heard that the (bullshit, to my ear) rationale for violent protests is to make your problem a wider one, so the people you’re forcing to sit in traffic or make insurance claims will move over to your side to make the violence stop. That doesn’t seem to make sense here.

    • suntzuanime says:

      “Hundreds of people moved into Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette River, carrying signs and chanting, ‘Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.'”

      It seems like these people are trying to show us what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.

      • Sandy says:

        “Hundreds of people moved into Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette River, carrying signs and chanting, ‘Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.’”

        The left now seeks to persuade the country to embrace Moldbuggian thought. Amazing

      • Reasoner says:

        Damn son.

    • They are angry and want everybody to know how angry they are. With property damage, it is about as counterproductive as it could possibly be, but if I tried to reason with the people who are doing this, I’d probably be punched in the mouth.

      • Deiseach says:

        The irony is, this is exactly the kind of behaviour the breathless warning posts I mentioned were talking about re: Trump (whether he won or lost, his supporters would rampage).

        I’m so glad the progressive inclusivists showed the mature way to respond to a set-back, aren’t you?

        • nimim.k.m. says:

          Yes, the media commentators in my small EU country were so sure “oh surely Clinton supporters will not turn into violence, only those awful Trumpists maybe could but they won and are happy and celebrating so they probably don’t either, so I’m sure the aftermath will be remarkably peaceful.”

          48 hrs later: BBC reports “Protests against Donald Trump turn violent in Portland, Oregon”.

          • Trofim_Lysenko says:

            Eh, I wonder if a lot of the violence out of those protesters isn’t coming from the same left-anarchist types who have been destructively violent in quite a few earlier protests in Portland and Seattle.

            Am I misremembering that a lot of the violence from the ’99 WTO protests was blamed on a hard core of career rioter/looter/agitator types who hailed from the Portland area?

          • Well... says:

            If the protesters in ’99 were mostly at least 18 years old then–and likely many of them were older than that–they’d be in their mid-30s now. Many would be over 40.

            How old do these anti-Trump protesters look?

    • Deiseach says:

      Looks like some of the protesters don’t know enough not to run into traffic:

      At about 11:45 p.m., a group of demonstrators gathered at 14th Street and Broadway and marched downtown. At about 12:20 a.m., the group walked onto eastbound state Highway 24 between Telegraph and Claremont avenues.

      As the protesters walked into traffic, a woman was hit in the second lane by a Honda Element, California Highway Patrol officers said.

      The driver pulled over on the right-hand shoulder, but protesters turned on her and vandalized her car, breaking the back window, CHP officers said.

      So they caused their own injury but instead of helping the injured, they attacked the person they held responsible when it was their fault in the first place. Sounding kinda like a metaphor for the entire Clinton/Democrat campaign, come to think of it.

    • Nancy Lebovitz says:

      It seems to me there’s been a shift in protests from the at least potentially practical (that is, a demand for a possible change in policy) to emotionally expressive (a statement of being opposed to something that happened). The latter includes being opposed to murders and terrorism– there’s no one who’s clearly supposed to be influenced, though in some cases (ethnic violence) it could be worth saying “not in my name”.

      Has anyone else noticed this shift? If so, what’s the timeline?

      • Anonymousse says:

        I’ve noticed a lot of reaction to undesirable outcomes rather than support of desirable ones, though I haven’t noticed a shift (probably haven’t been paying attention long enough). Anecdote: Local University is holding a demonstration against the election of Trump, but held no demonstration in support of Clinton. I understand that not wanting Trump != wanting Clinton, but for practical purposes, there was no other way to preclude a Trump presidency. Of course, Local University is in a very blue state, so I don’t think there would have been tangible benefits in any case.

        In any case, I think the post-event protests require reduced effort and have lower activation energy. For a support demonstration, you are required to support ONE position out of X possibilities. For a opposition demonstration, you need only oppose one position out of X possibilities (this election being a nearly-binary situation is possibly an important distinction). That means you have a narrow range of people available for your support demonstration, and a wide range available at your opposition demonstration.

        Have there been any studies regarding whether people more readily complain about a situation or express their pleasure at/support of one, given roughly equal magnitudes for both emotions?

      • keranih says:

        Ehhhh.

        I think that the more recent “emotional reaction” is more like a “reversion to the mean” after the (long, slow) decline of the impact of MLK & MG. American history is full of riots painted, post-facto, as righteous political expressions of the will of the people.

        MLK very successfully put a lid on emotional expression and insisted on clear communication of grievances/proposed ways ahead, and (because, like MG before him, he was protesting against rational brit-descent people with a history of strong self control) it worked.

        And it went on working, to the point where we weren’t arguing so much against “injustice” but something more like biology, and Mamma Nature don’t give a fuck. At the same time, the cultural emphasis on Enlightenment faded. So as those protests failed, the (ever present) impulse to use emotion raised its head again.

        An absolute demarkation of a timeline would be difficult, imo, because we have to contend with measurement error on multiple levels (rates of protests, racial/cultural demographics of protests, accurate reporting of intents and actions, etc, etc) but I would put the inflection some time after the end of the Vietnam draft, and before the LA riots.

        (The LA riots are maybe a good point, because they were an emotional expression that had a practical effect, showing that meeting goals didn’t depend on rational practicality.)

      • John Schilling says:

        It seems to me there’s been a shift in protests from the at least potentially practical … to emotionally expressive

        I noticed it with Occupy Wall Street, but I haven’t looked back to see what earlier signs I missed. I think it is a great loss, because practical protests are a clear force for good in American history, and they become harder if the general perception of protest is one of pissed-off losers causing trouble for no good purpose.

        • dndnrsn says:

          OWS was like that on purpose – a feature, not a bug – wasn’t it? I recall seeing people making statements like “making a list of demands would require prioritizing some people over others” or “making a list of demands and having somebody negotiate it would require having leaders”.

          A riot seems like a much more organic thing.

  20. Some personal news: I was re-elected on Tuesday to my fourth 4-year term as Washtenaw County Clerk and Register of Deeds. I was unopposed, so I won by default without campaigning, but I did get more than 135,000 votes (versus about 1,700 who wrote somebody in). Many thanks to those who supported me.

    Washtenaw County is located in southeast Michigan, immediately west of the Detroit area; its main cities are Ann Arbor (the county seat) and Ypsilanti.

    • CatCube says:

      Congratulations!

    • FacelessCraven says:

      Gratz, sir!

    • S_J says:

      Congratulations and best wishes, sir.

      (From a resident of neighboring Wayne County.)

    • Deiseach says:

      Congratulations on extending your tentacular grasp on the levers of power into a fourth term, sir!

    • keranih says:

      Congrats.

      (And let me add my thanks to you for being part of the community. I have found your observations occasionally flavored by regional/cultural differences, but quite valuable despite this. Please keep doing what you’re doing.)

    • John Schilling says:

      First Washtenaw County, then Ypsilanti, then the world!

      I, for one, would welcome our new Democratic overlords if I felt more of them were in your league. Until then, please keep hanging out here when you aren’t too busy protecting the good people of Washtenaw from unregistered deeds.

    • BBA says:

      A fine result, but I’m told it’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes. Well, you’re the one who counts the votes, so you tell me.

      Seriously, congrats. I visited Ann Arbor a bunch in the ’90s when my grandparents lived there. I suspect that if they were still there (Grandpa is deceased; Grandma is living elsewhere) they might have been among the ones to vote a write-in.

  21. keranih says:

    Slightly different thing:

    I’ve talked before about “based on a true story” movies, and how much I value those which take the least possible license with reality, esp with recent history.

    (Not that I don’t appreciate artistry in storytelling, but I deeply resent having my perspective of reality altered.)

    Two more recent movies which I recommend:

    Deepwater Horizon (directed by Peter Berg, who did The Kingdom) is a great old-fashioned disaster flick, in the tradition of Grey Lady Down and various naval movies (many staring John Wayne.) This one hammers the heck out of BP for cost cutting, and is pretty confusing when southern blue collar guys get to talking technical details (with greater or lesser success in capturing the accents) and omg Kurt Russel has gotten old howinthehelldidthathappen – but in capturing human action and heroics in the face of the dangers of the planet, it’s awesome. Additional sound track: Corb Lund’s Roughest Neck Around.

    Secondly, and I just saw this tonight, so am still processing…

    Hacksaw Ridge (directed by Mel Gibson, who did Apocalyptic and The Passion of the Christ is the most brutal and gory film I have seen in a long time. For reference – many people have seen Saving Private Ryan and many were shocked at the violence and horror of the opening scenes during D-Day. Veterans I have spoken to, and topical historians, emphasized that Spielberg toned down the actual carnage of that day.

    I am not sure they would say that about this film.

    I am not sure what rationalists would think of this film, as it was pretty much a testament to actions taken in defiance of the logical conclusion. I found it more uplifting, and personally not as emotionally affecting as Lone Survivor. By various reports, the protagonist of Hacksaw Ridge was two or three times as much a bad ass in real life as described in the movie.

    I’m disappointed with the escalation of the “disobeying a lawful order” portion of the film, as it (apparently) greatly exaggerates the conflicting moralities. For those interested, MEDIC! describes much of the same struggles in the Viet Nam era.

    It’s evidently being talked about as an Oscar contender. I think that Deepwater Horizon is a tighter, more compact story, but I’m not sure which I would pick.

    • Well... says:

      I’m one of the biggest movie snobs I know but your recommendations make me want to watch those movies. I’ll try and check them out.

      I thought Peter Berg made the best sports movie of all time (Friday Night Lights), and I consistently like what I’ve seen of Mel Gibson’s work in front of and behind the camera.

    • Aapje says:

      I wasn’t too happy with the overt bias and transparent manipulation in We Were Soldiers (another war movie by Mel Gibson), but perhaps this one is better.

  22. I have used a variety of GPS systems including Magellan, Garmin, and the one that comes installed in a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. It’s great technology. Even knowing this town as well as I do, the GPS will sometimes teach me a non-obvious quicker route to get from A to B.

    I often use the GPS to keep track of my expected time of arrival. And that brings me to my chief criticism.

    The projected travel time for any trip is apparently measured as being in ideal weather, with zero traffic and no traffic lights. On expressway trips, you can easily beat the GPS time by going a little faster than the speed limit. But on urban streets, the expected times are wildly, almost comically optimistic.

    When you embark on a trip across town, using the GPS, the ETA will be very encouraging, and your unreflective lizard brain will immediately think, “wow! I’ll be on time for the meeting!” If you incautiously tell someone that you’re going to arrive someplace by the time indicated by the GPS, chances are they will be waiting quite a while.

    As you encounter normal traffic and normal waits at traffic lights, let alone any serious congestion, the ETA will tick little by little into the future, dancing away as you sit in traffic.

    I find it a little puzzling that the GPS database records the exact lane configuration of every freeway exit and interchange in North America, but seemingly has no idea which intersections have traffic lights. If there are 40 traffic lights between you and your destination, statistically, you’re going to sit waiting at some of them, but your GPS assumes a world where you always have the right-of-way.

    Even without knowing the peculiarities of each traffic signal’s turn cycle, the GPS could surely figure a time penalty. If you sail through a series of busy intersections without stopping, you have gained some time, and the GPS could update the ETA to be a little earlier. Instead, as you sit in the queue, it updates to later and later.

    I have noticed this effect on Uber as well. When you open the Uber app, it indicates how many minutes you will have to wait before a car arrives. I have no complaints about the service, but those time estimates are invariably a lot lower than the actual experienced wait time. The estimates would probably be perfect if it’s 4:00 am and the streets are empty of traffic. They’re pretty much bullshit at other times.

    GPS systems have been around long enough that I’m sure many people have noticed this issue, but new ones continue to behave in exactly the same annoying way. Is this what consumers actually prefer? Or would the extra programming and data gathering (beyond what they already do) really be that onerous?

    • Iain says:

      Google Maps does some of this. They even take advantage of all the people using their phones in their cars to help determine where traffic is currently bad. If you check Google Maps at rush hour, it will often show several routes, with an indication of how traffic is affecting each of them.

    • The Nybbler says:

      I find it a little puzzling that the GPS database records the exact lane configuration of every freeway exit and interchange in North America, but seemingly has no idea which intersections have traffic lights.

      There are publicly (if not easily) accessible GIS databases which have the lane configurations, average traffic volume, and speed limits, but not the traffic lights (and certainly not traffic light timing information).

      • CatCube says:

        I’m surprised that the GIS systems don’t have signal locations. I’d have thought the GIS systems are created by the DOTs to manage their own inventory, and providing the information to the public is a cheap bonus on top of that. I can’t imagine that the source data doesn’t have the signals, and I don’t know why they’d strip it out.

        Further, the average intersection delay is a pretty fundamental property of a signalized intersection, as minimizing it drives a lot of the effort in signal timing. The DOT absolutely has that information for every signalized intersection, but they aren’t making it public? Maybe it’s to avoid nitpicking on design, or something. Nobody has demanded the information, and they’re not going to put it out there and have another thing they need to defend.

        I don’t know much about the public GIS systems from DOTs, and I’m a structural engineer in heavy civil works, so I’m going from traffic classes I took as part of my civil engineering degrees. Signal timing was really fascinating, but I never really did manage to wrap my head around how it’s done.

    • odovacer says:

      I’ve noticed that GPS will often times route me through residential neighborhoods or off of a highway, only to get back onto it, because it calculates that will save a small amount of time or distance. It’s really annoying because I have to slow down or navigate more difficult intersections that way.

      • CatCube says:

        The place I grew up (and where my parents still live) has issues with GPS because of the standard pathfinding algorithm.

        The two major highways in the area form the main line of communication. The north-south highway ends at a T-intersection with the main east-west route. The road my parents live on is a back road that clips off the corner of this intersection, forming the hypotenuse of a right triangle some 8(ish?) miles on the other legs.

        The back road is winding but, critically, doesn’t have a speed limit posted on it, so the database that GPS maps draws from has it listed as 55 mph, the same as both highways. The shortest-time pathfinding algorithm then sends people down this road. It’s hilarious when obvious out-of-towners stop to ask for direction, and as they get out of the car, you can tell they expect to hear “Dueling Banjos” in the distance.

        Another road in the area is a snowmobile trail in winter and an ATV trail in summer that I think is administratively listed as a county road so it can be maintained with some specific pot of money. However, it’s not traversable in summer with anything less than 4WD, and it isn’t signed in any way. However, it shows up on Google Maps as a regular road with a standard road designation, and GPSs will sometimes tell you to turn down it.

    • hlynkacg says:

      So this is professionally relevant to me but I work the hardware/signal analysis side so, pathfinding, timing, etc… all happens down-stream of me. I don’t have much to say.

    • onyomi says:

      I have just recently had trouble with even the Googlemaps app, which normally serves me well. I want it to have a feature called the “just take me the normal way even if you calculate I can save a tiny amount of time taking a weird, complicated way,” and “no, I can’t go that way due to construction so please find me a wholly alternate route as opposed to just trying to make me go back to the construction site” button.

  23. Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Anyone know of a good impartial listing of hate crimes?

    • Sandy says:

      I generally disbelieve any claims made on Twitter. Now it seems I can’t even believe anything claimed by the New York Times, because they reported that a Muslim woman in Louisiana was assaulted by Trump supporters who stole her hijab and now that same woman has admitted that she made the whole thing up.

      • Chevalier Mal Fet says:

        Can I get a source on her retracting it? I’ve seen the hijab thing going around Facebook.

        • keranih says:

          Try here, at the Washington Post.

          I have no doubt that some bigotry-motivated attacks happen in the USA every day, against every race. I grow very weary of finding out that those which gain the most media attention are fabricated.

          • hlynkacg says:

            Well that’s the thing about toxoplasma isn’t it? Unambiguous cases aren’t controversial, and thus fail to generate sufficient outrage to feed the beast.

            “Bad guy gets busted for doing bad things” just doesn’t have the same legs as “frog-Nazis under the bed”.

          • Machina ex Deus says:

            I plan to eliminate the frog-Nazis the minute they’ve eaten the last bedbug.

          • keranih says:

            I done seen the dust-bunnies under my bunk. I’m giving them two-to-five odds against any frog-Nazis.

          • Reasoner says:

            Toxoplasma is one explanation. Another explanation is that fakers craft stories that are as outrageous/newsworthy as possible, or otherwise seek press attention in a way that real victims don’t. It’s also possible that real victims are a minority. I would imagine that hate crimes that rise to national attention receive more scrutiny.

          • hlynkacg says:

            fakers craft stories that are as outrageous/newsworthy as possible, or otherwise seek press attention in a way that real victims don’t.

            I don’t have any data, but anecdotally this fits. I’m reminded of the old saw about how those who’ve “seen the elephant” don’t go looking for it.

    • Trofim_Lysenko says:

      For the United States, the UCR is the only one I would put any credence in. Absent police report and investigation you have no effective way of separating “hate crime” from just plain old “crime” and from reports that later turn out to be something else entirely.

      EDIT: So, if you’re asking for for something that tracks in anything like “real-time” or even “recent news” fashion, then the answer is most definitely no.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        What I want is a list that’s good on both real and fake hate crimes so I have some idea of the odds.

    • Deiseach says:

      Just seen the first “Transgender people who killed themselves because of Trump” post and hit up Snopes to see if that were true, after Googling the names alleged and finding nothing on them (if a 13 year old trans girl killed herself, that would surely be in local news). Snopes says it’s “unproven” and I’ve pushed back on Tumblr about that, so I expect any minute now to be denounced for hatecrime and demands to unfollow them 🙁

      For any what’s interested, names of alleged suicides; if you see this floating around or something similar, I’d be interested to see if any names are the same or if further facts (such as addresses or at least states) come out:

      Chasity Rose – 19, sister, friend. Heart of gold. With hands of steel. Talented; she could sing anything. Artistic; she could draw anything. Murdered by the Donald Trump movement.

      Kyla Reeves – 13, Transgender girl with a trans brother. Felt it was necessary to take her own life so that her brother could have his transition after her parents told her that, with this election, they can only afford to focus on one child’s transition.

      Tyler Morgan: 16, Nonbinary. Took his own life after being told to do so by his community (a town full of white supremacists and Trump supporters.)

      Michelle Earnest: Transgender woman of color, wife, and mother of two children.

      Lorie Murrano: Transgender woman of Latin decent, girlfriend, and civil rights activist.

      Alex Murrano: Transgender man of Latin decent, brother to Lorie, and civil rights activist.

      Madigan Alvarez: Transgender woman of Latin decent, cousin to Lorie and Alex, and communist revolutionary activist.

      Aiden Baxley: Transgender son of two white supremacists; boyfriend, brother, father of one son, and civil rights activist.

      Reyan Fletcher: Transgender son of two highly supportive and very amazing fathers, fiance, father (fiance is 7 months pregnant), and communist revolutionary activist.

      Ituha: A Native American two-spirit, beloved tribes councillor, and mother of three.

  24. Tekhno says:

    How can we even begin to have a rational discussion of politics if people don’t first lay down what consequences they are okay with?

  25. historyfile says:

    First of all: this is Le Maistre Chat. WordPress wouldn’t let her register any variant of that name, nor her preferred version of this one, “Historyphile”. 🙁

    Now then: wow. This election shocked me. I had 90% certainty that Hillary would win. The most important prior for that belief was the conviction that elective office in the United States is something you buy. Hillary had outspent the Donald more than 2-1. She could throw at him every dirty trick Johnson used on Goldwater (literally!) plus he gave her the ammunition of sex scandals and no public service record. She was the candidate of Wall Street and the donor class.
    To sweeten the pot, Republicans were rescinding their endorsements.

    He still won. The RNC didn’t want him. Wall Street and the donor class didn’t want him. Every news channel except FOX hated him. Social media corporations discussed rigging the election against him. He. Still. Won.

    I have qualms about our completely untested president-elect, but he proved that the United States is a representative democracy. The ruling class is a sham.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      To change the name displayed on your comments, go here and change the “Nickname.”

    • Tekhno says:

      The most important prior for that belief was the conviction that elective office in the United States is something you buy.

      I seem to remember Scott writing an article with evidence against this idea at some point, but I can’t remember the title or when.

      • seem to remember Scott writing an article with evidence against this idea at some point, but I can’t remember the title or when.

        I don’t remember Scott discussing it, but it’s long been a hobbyhorse of mine that money is overrated as an independent force in electoral politics. No doubt I bloviated at length about it in past comment threads.

        Disclaimer: I’m a practitioner, not a political scientist.

      • lvlln says:

        I remember the 1st Freakonomics book had a section on this where they concluded that it’s far more likely that popular candidates get more donations, thus spending more, than more spending make candidates more popular.

        That’s just one source, of course. But from what I recall in the past decade or so since I read that, there haven’t been many studies looking into this, and all the studies that did look into it came to a similar conclusion. Based on that, my belief has generally tended to be that spending in election is highly overrated. My pet theory is that it’s somewhat like the relationship between income and happiness – it has a huge effect at certain levels, but beyond a certain threshold, the effect is so small as to be negligible.

        Was a good reminder to me that human intuition is an absolutely terrible tool by which to determine reality.

        • it’s far more likely that popular candidates get more donations, thus spending more, than more spending make candidates more popular.

          Exactly! This is what I have observed.

          Based on that, my belief has generally tended to be that spending in election is highly overrated.

          More precisely, if two competing candidates both have a threshold amount of money (or pre-existing recognition) that enables them to be plausible candidates, additional money spent on one side has little impact.

          There is a partial exception for offices that the public has no idea about, like drain commissioner or library board member. A judiciously applied sum of money could radically increase a candidate’s chances.

          My rule of thumb: the more money a political campaign has, the larger the percentage that is wasted. Think of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, and the fortune that was frittered away on catering and creature comforts.

          My pet theory is that it’s somewhat like the relationship between income and happiness – it has a huge effect at certain levels, but beyond a certain threshold, the effect is so small as to be negligible.

          Good analogy.

      • Le Maistre Chat says:

        My prior was that Trump would get stomped in the electoral college. I was using the state polls to do Bayesian updating from the debates through Tuesday morning, and I never came to Scott’s conclusion that the effect of a rainstorm on voter turnout could make the difference. So what if Trump flipped Pennsylvania? All the polls were saying she’d hold Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, flip North Carolina…

        I admit that my belief about plutocracy was unjustified, but the idea that the result should change absolutely nothing about the narrative is wrong. Polls were epistemic garbage, and that does change things.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      This is a good example of Scott’s Tuesday shouldn’t change the narrative. Whatever you thought about, say, the role of money last year, Trump’s standing on Monday already showed that it was false. If you believed the betting markets that he was 90% doomed on Monday, it was because he was a few points down. But he was only a few points down. If a half billion dollar advantage bought only a 4 point lead, that is a pretty small effect of money.

      • suntzuanime says:

        It’s possible that polarization means that 45% always vote left, 45% always vote right, and you’re squabbling over the last 10%. So then even if money only buys you 4 percentage points, if it buys you 40% of the vote that’s actually up for grabs that’s a big deal.

        • Douglas Knight says:

          If that were the case, then I shouldn’t say “a pretty small effect,” but it’s still just normal variation. It’s losing like Romney, not even like McCain.

      • Randy M says:

        This is true and I liked Scott’s post, but what he meant was that “Tuesday shouldn’t changes the views you held on Monday (assuming you had been constantly updating).”
        There may be lessons to take in general from the entire campaign + results, however.

  26. Controls Freak says:

    At work today, I was talking to a co-worker about the possibility for a major party reorganization. He brought up Bernie Sanders’ statement on Trump. He’s in camp-Hillary more than camp-Bernie, but he takes Bernie’s statement as a serious olive branch to work with Trump on the populist items they have in common.

    This made me really wonder… is there a chance that Trump could actually be relatively effective in getting things done (whether you like those things or not)? He’s not really hamstrung by ‘duty’ to a party that was often on the spectrum between running away from him to openly sabotaging him. His personal platform does have a fair amount in common with a wing of the opposition party. What is the chance that he just works with anybody who is willing to do the types of things he wants… and is relatively successful?

    Perhaps we operationalize this as, “What probability do you give to Trump having two significant legislative victories with bipartisan support (including the case of mostly one party on one bill and mostly the other party on another bill) within his first two years?” I know a lot is buried in “significant”, but I can’t think of a better way to do it.

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      I don’t think it’s very high simply because Republicans will control Congress up and down and they determine what bills will go before Trump. The Hastert Rule ensures the House will be conservative, and in the Senate I don’t think they’ll have any hesitation in going nuclear and removing the filibuster; the friendly 2018 election map ensures they’ll be free from consequences for at least four years.

      • Controls Freak says:

        Right, that’s a possibility… but I don’t really know how I allocate the probability of scenarios. Honestly, I have a very poor sense at all of how this is going to go. It’s not as if the Republican party is a monolithic block at the moment. Both parties have major tensions between establishment/populists. What is actually going to happen when Trump proposes a very populist bill that actually appeals to about half of ‘his’ party and was a big part of what he ran (and won) on? We kind of joked about a major party reorganization before, but with President Trump instead of Clinton, it seems even more likely that the fault lines within both parties will be tested.

        I’d give maybe 10% that he’s impeached or forced to resign; another 5-10% that health issues or death end his presidency; beyond that, I really don’t know what to expect.

        I imagine the Republicans in Congress will have some extent of, “Let’s just pass shit we want and dare him to veto.” But they have to manage an ego, not an opposition president. If they totally cut him out and just do shit they want, there’s no way he’s above saying, “Fuck you guys,” and doing whatever he can to strike back or work in other ways. Does this lead to total gridlock? Does Trump get out in front by picking off the populist parts of both parties? I have no bloody clue.

  27. Wander says:

    From the Guardian:

    Jeremy Shapiro disclosed the Obama team before the 2012 elections had considered imposing such constitutional checks on the US president’s ability to order killings fearing Obama was about to lose the presidential elections to the Republicans.

    Speaking in London, Shapiro, a former special adviser an assistant secretary in the State Department, disclosed the Obama team in the State Department “in the run-up to the 2012 election the Obama thought might lose and there was some thinking – ‘Gee, we have created the most awesome assassination machine ever known to man whereby we can, with very little oversight, basically kill anyone in the world outside of America.’”

    He added the Obama officials thought “We are using that responsibly because we are good people,” but it was not institutionalized. “When people looked at it they thought, ‘Christ this is scary, what if we give this to the Republicans?’”

    Just… Wow.

    • S_J says:

      Maybe not directly on-point, but related:

      “Democrats have been arguing for years that President Obama should have the power to get a lot done on his own, without going through Congress: executive orders, going to war, etc. If President Trump exercises similarly broad powers, remember: Trump didn’t build that!”

      From the blog of Ann Althouse, law professor. Quoted from her son.

      • S_J says:

        More on-point: if a President is involved in a War on Violent-Non-State-Actors…er, War on Terrorist Extremists…there are two known ways of doing things.

        (A) The George W Bush way, which involves invading a country that shelters Terrorist Extremists, destroying that government, and putting a military occupation in place…

        (Followed by invading and overthrowing another rogue nation that was suspected to support terrorists, and had been in the habit of thumbing its nose at international efforts to restrict Nuke/Bio/Chemical weapons programs.)

        This has a side-effect of pulling lots of Terrorist Extremists and their support network into hot-spots on the other side of the world. Which may reduce their ability to engage in operations inside rich Western nations.

        (B) Or the Barack Obama way, which involves fewer invasions, but more Special Forces attacks. And lots of death-from-above-by-drone.

        This version has lots fewer headlines, but also results in many more actions which blur the boundaries of nations…and have the U.S. doing extra-judicial execution by remote control.

        It also doesn’t draw the Terrorist Extremists into action in a particular spot, which might give them more freedom/ability to operate outside of their home turf.

        I’m not sure which method I prefer. But I’m fairly certain that most rhetoric about Presidential actions has politely ignored this dichotomy.

        • rlms says:

          I think your assumption that the Iraq invasion actually reduced the number of terrorists is very dubious. But even if it is granted, I think the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the invasion would probably express a strong preference for the Obama method (and I expect the same applies to the thousands of American soldiers also killed).

    • Deiseach says:

      That’s the attitude that I’ve been harping on about on here: it’s okay if we do it, because we’re the Good Guys, but if those guys get into power instead it’ll be terrible!

      If you’re ordering political assassinations, you are not the Good Guys. I don’t care what party you are, I don’t care what your reasons are, I don’t even care “but we’re only killing foreigners/those of our citizens who used to be foreigners and are in foreign countries right now”. Murder is murder.

      • John Schilling says:

        However, if you are killing enemy leaders in wartime, what you are doing is not political assassination.

        It is therefore very, very important that we be clear on whether we are at war or not. This is something both our political parties have rather deliberately fucked up, over several consecutive administrations and through major shifts in the political balance of power. Sadly, while there are a few places where I think Trump might make a positive difference, this isn’t one of them.

    • John Schilling says:

      Jeremy Shapiro disclosed the Obama team before the 2012 elections had considered imposing such constitutional checks on the US president’s ability to order killings

      OK, how does a Presidential administration impose Constitutional checks on, well, anything?

      • Randy M says:

        Could be read as “imposing checks that are constitutional” but I think you are right, a president can’t really bind a future president except by the fragile bonds of precedence or with cooperation from another branch.

      • Dr Dealgood says:

        “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

        That is, the Constitution is just so much yellowed paper without enforcement. And the executive is the branch of government tasked with enforcement. Even if Congress impeached him over some unconstitutional act, it would be his own subordinates in the DoJ expected to remove him.

        Really, the President is the only one who can set constitutional checks.

  28. Randy M says:

    The site has an ad from Triplebyte on the right hand side of my screen. The logo really bothers me; it’s a hexagon with three s shapes inside along two edges each, with one end attached to the hexagon of each, but the odd thing is that two of them go clockwise, one counter clockwise, in terms of attachment point to loose point. Any of a few small changes could have made it symmetrical, but no, it’s hanging out there, making me wonder if there is some significance to it.

    • Well... says:

      Interesting. I looked at that logo for about 2 seconds and realized it’s not a hexagon, it’s a 2D line drawing of a 3-dimensional cube, seen edge-on and slightly tilted downward. The cube is sort of missing its front corner, like it’s been carved out. That hanging bit you mentioned helps add depth to the carved-out portion. Also, the asymmetry might make your eye linger on the shape a bit longer, which of course is what the company wants your eye to do.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        “Also, the asymmetry might make your eye linger on the shape a bit longer, which of course is what the company wants your eye to do.”

        Maybe. I wonder if that logo might annoy some fraction of conscientious people enough to drive them away.

      • Randy M says:

        Oh, I actually hadn’t seen the cube before. That makes sense.

  29. Jaskologist says:

    Been kicking around several possible narratives for the Trump win. Not sure which is most likely, and it’s not like I correctly predicted it, so I’m interested in feedback, and maybe fleshing them out later.

    1. You meddle and you haven’t the right. Democrats have been pushing a lot of unpopular policies. Pushing a massive, and massively unpopular, thing like Obamacare through on a strict party-line vote (and using shady procedures at that) broke the system, and mobilized the opposition like nothing else could have. Without that, you don’t get the Tea Party, and you don’t get the subsequent Republican sweeps. When Obamacare didn’t work, the stimulus didn’t work, and the promised hope and change and transparency didn’t materialize, Democrats turned to SJ to prove to themselves that they were the good guys. This meant pushing gay marriage on everybody, picking fights with people over their bathrooms, and just generally lecturing everyone to their right. This was unpopular. Voters vote against unpopular things.

    2. SJW’s did it. They changed the rule of politics so that it was not safe to be on the losing side. Heck, Proposition 8 and Eich showed that it wasn’t even safe to be on the winning side, because the left would simply declare the vote null and void and then fire you. Evangelicals felt very uneasy about Trump for a number of reasons, and could have been split from him or convinced to stay home if it hadn’t been made very clear to them that if they didn’t hang together they would surely hang apart.

    3. Put your points into Charisma instead of Corruption next time. Hillary was basically the worst possible candidate that could have been chosen, corrupt in just about every way you could come up with. For every Trump scandal, she had something equivalent or worse; she couldn’t even hit him on treatment of women without looking like a hypocrite. She is unlikable. She has never managed to win a contested race. Anybody else would have won this.

    4. Nobody cares about all that. It’s the economy, stupid. That economy has been crappy, and Hillary was promising more of the same. Plus (and I suspect this is extra important) Obamacare hit a whole lot of people with huge rate increases (up to 80%!) a week or two before the election. Everybody had to know exactly who was responsible for that, and it had to be fresh in their minds when they entered the voting booth.

    • nancylebovitz says:

      There’s also the idea that America tends to not give the White House to the same party too many times in a row.

    • hlynkacg says:

      My personal sense is that it was mostly 1 and 4 that won Trump the primary, but it was 3 (along with Nancy’s observation above) that got him through the general.

    • Earthly Knight says:

      That economy has been crappy

      No, it hasn’t. Before attempting to explain what factors caused Trump’s election, it might help to have a picture of the nation that’s minimally grounded in reality. A better candidate for #4 is that vast numbers of rightists who should know better were somehow deluded into thinking the economy has been crappy, when, in fact, it has not. Trump’s incessant lying about unemployment probably contributed to this.

      • Iain says:

        538 had an interesting article about this today. There isn’t a clear correlation at the county level between Trump support and unemployment, but there is a significant correlation between Trump support and the percentage of “routine” jobs: “those in manufacturing, sales, clerical work and related occupations that are easier to automate or send offshore”. Part of that is clearly because they included farming as a routine job, but it’s the most compelling evidence I’ve seen so far for the “economic anxiety” hypothesis. More good data at the link.

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        Just as a minor point, near the election, I’d seen Hillary supporters say that the economy had come roaring back.

        There’s been a good bit of recovery, but “roaring back” is nonsense.

      • Jaskologist says:

        “When you talk about the economy we also have to have an honest assessment of unemployment in America. Once a month the government publishes a set of figures, and the last figures they published said that official unemployment was 5.4 percent.

        But there is another set of government statistics, and that the real unemployment if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5 percent.

        -Bernie Sanders, rightist, 2015

      • Earthly Knight says:

        “Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

        Ol’ Grab-‘Em-By-the-Pussy

    • Well... says:

      I don’t think it’s any of that.

      First, Trump is a recognizable figure.

      Second, he picked up the $100 bill lying on the sidewalk: immigration restriction.

      Third, he successfully convinced people that because he’s rich he isn’t in anyone else’s pocket.

      Fourth, he was good enough at smearing his opponents, recovering from their smears, and hogging the news cycle to win the primary.

      Fifth, he managed to consolidate support and start making himself look a little more serious. Hillary did some of the work too by insulting his supporters and being generally divisive and offputting. And the less-left talk shows (talk radio, Fox News, etc.) worked overtime to convince everyone that Hillary would bring the apocalypse.

      The economy (distinct from “jobs”), Obamacare, etc.–these were also-rans as far as influencing factors on the election.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      The maximally boring narrative: all the Republicans who voted for Romney voted for Trump too, because Republicans. All the Democrats who voted for Obama voted for Hillary, except some fraction of blacks who were just in it for Obama personally. That made the (tiny) difference that pushed Trump over the edge.

      I think the existing exit polls support this story, but I’m waiting on more data.

      • Trofim_Lysenko says:

        I was considering this as at least a partial explanation, but I’ll be surprised if it gains much traction as a public narrative or is pushed hard by democrats.

        One, suggesting that some people only voted for Obama because he was black is a very Republican thing to do, and thus unpopular/unpalatable even if this may provide evidence that it’s at least partially true.

        Two, the last thing democrats are going to want right now is to risk alienating an important voting bloc that they consider fully captured and “theirs” by making it look like they’re blaming that bloc for their recent failure.

        • Deiseach says:

          What is happening is that white women are getting a hefty share of the blame. Saying “Black people turned out to vote for Obama because, but they’re not going to make the same effort for a white woman” is – as you say – evil racist Republican victim blaming. They’re using the figure that 94% of black women and 84% of black men voted for Clinton, as well as 68% Latina women.

          But castigating white women because of the figure that 53% white women voted for Trump is going on briskly (as well as the circular firing squad about Sanders supporters; blaming third-party voters; invoking racism, sexism and homophobia). Plenty of white feminists happy to hop aboard the blame train and condemn other women for voting Trump.

      • Jaskologist says:

        The polls I’ve been seeing (and I haven’t reviewed them systematically yet) are showing both of them getting fewer total votes than their predecessors and Trump beating Romney’s numbers (percentage-wise) with both blacks and Hispanics, which seems like it undercuts that narrative. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some weird statistical trick that can make it all tie out.

        • Brad says:

          Percentage can be deceptive.

          Suppose there were 100 eligible black voters in the country. Romney got five and Obama got sixty. In that case it would be reported that Romney got 7.7% of the black vote. Now if Trump got those same five voters, but Clinton only got fifty, Trump got 9% of the black vote. That’s a higher percentage than Romney but doesn’t mean that he actually had more support.

          • keranih says:

            Anecdata time – I never personally met an anti-Obama African American, despite working in a relatively conservative field with a relatively high number of African Americans.

            (I know several who – had Romney or McCain been running against anyone else – would have readily supported the R ticket in 2008/2012. But I know no AAs who actually voted against Obama.)

            I met *multiple* African Americans *casually* who were out and proud for Trump. And several closer friends who “no way in hell I’m voting for that woman.”

            So, yes, I would *really* like to see the numbers.

      • It’s never as simple as that.

        (1) The population is churning, and only around half are showing up to vote in each election. At most around 80% of the people who voted in 2016 also voted in 2012. Probably it’s closer to 70%.

        (2) Moreover, among people who voted in both 2012 and 2016, probably less than half accurately recall what they did four years earlier: whether they voted at all, or who they voted for. That might seem ludicrous to the highly aware folks here, but most people think much less about politics than we do.

        (3) Polling that I cited in a recent thread found that an sizeable proportion of pre-identified strong Republicans voted for Clinton and other Democrats, and a sizeable proportion of pre-identified strong Democrats voted for Trump and other Republicans. The experienced pollster who revealed this to me had never seen this pattern before.

        (4) There are some articles about places like Ashtabula County, Ohio, largely white, which voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but for Trump in 2016. Meanwhile, in highly educated areas like my county, Trump’s vote was about the lowest ever seen for a Republican presidential nominee, lower than Romney and McCain and Dole, lower even than Goldwater.

        (5) Voter turnout across all communities varies from election to election. Some of that is affected by the candidates and campaigns, but most of it is not. Turnout does not correlate with the amount of money spent by campaigns. “Ground game” (generally called GOTV, for “get out the vote”) is worth a few extra votes, but a lot less than most people assume. Plus, GOTV is usually conducted in ineffective ways prescribed by political folklore.

        So, yes, the decline in voter participation in black areas was a factor in reducing Hillary’s vote. But the shifts among white voters involved far more people.

        See also this article which demonstrates that Republican efforts to minimize black turnout (strict ID laws, reducing polling places, and the like) are plainly NOT to blame for Clinton’s loss.

        • CatCube says:

          I’m interested in hearing more about the ground game/GOTV efforts and what folklore says. I never thought about it much, but I always had a vague idea of just making sure people were aware that the election was occurring, and providing literature and talking to likely voters for your side to ensure they made some time in their day to go to the polls. In some places, I understand they provide rides to polling places?

          What makes the current efforts ineffective, and can it be made more so?

          • I’m interested in hearing more about the ground game/GOTV efforts and what folklore says. I never thought about it much, but I always had a vague idea of just making sure people were aware that the election was occurring, and providing literature and talking to likely voters for your side to ensure they made some time in their day to go to the polls. In some places, I understand they provide rides to polling places?

            The folklore says there’s a certain way to do it. You find out who your supporters are (or you just assume that all these college students or black people or union members or poor people are your supporters), put their names on a list, have a pollwatcher check them off when they come to vote. And then, around 6:00 (polls close here at 8:00 pm), you go around to the ones who haven’t showed up yet, remind them that it’s election day, and maybe offer a ride to the polls.

            Well, that might work in a school board election or a village primary or something, but today, in even-year Novembers, EVERYBODY already KNOWS it’s election day, and if they haven’t voted by 6:00, they don’t wanna. Or maybe they moved away, since your lists are out of date. The six o’clock “vote pull” is a desperate exercise in futility. If you find the guy on your list, he’s hostile.

            And nobody needs a ride to the polls these days. Almost everyone has a car, and if they’re disabled, they vote absentee. And besides, if the voter is at home, the polling place is likely to be right nearby.

            On Election Day, every campaign is beseiged with volunteers, since this is their very last chance to help, they’ve awoken to how important it is, or they feel guilty for having done nothing until then. And everybody wants to drive voters to the polls.

            To some extent, GOTV is make-work for all those surplus volunteers. You don’t want to just send them away.

            What makes the current efforts ineffective, and can it be made more so?

            More ineffective? I assume you mean more effective?

            But this post is way too long already.

          • Randy M says:

            This is interesting and might explain that Trump won despite observations beforehand about how bad his “ground game” was compared to seasoned/connected politicians of either party.

          • Jaskologist says:

            Larry,

            Do you think there was any truth to claims about Obama’s vaunted GOTV? I seem to recall that general idea being that they integrated in Big Data in such a way as to make it much more effective. But presumably that would have been passed on to Hillary.

          • Deiseach says:

            I seem to recall that general idea being that they integrated in Big Data in such a way as to make it much more effective.

            I saw some articles analysing this and going on about Hillary’s amazing data and analytics teams that were inspiring and guiding every moment of the campaign and how it was run.

            I would love to know the fall-out from her loss there; who got their ears ripped off for misleading her? Hey, has anybody seen Elan Kriegel since?

        • Deiseach says:

          See also this article which demonstrates that Republican efforts to minimize black turnout (strict ID laws, reducing polling places, and the like) are plainly NOT to blame for Clinton’s loss.

          What, you expect to convince people by fact and reasonable argument? What kind of crazy talk is that?

          I’m afraid too many people are consoling themselves with the thought that the reason for Clinton’s loss was the evil Republicans deliberately targeting poor/minority people and making it too hard for them to vote so their votes never happened. The “truth” is being consolidated in their minds and any argument to the contrary is not going to penetrate.

          I have no idea why they’re assuming the poor/minority people who didn’t vote would have voted for Hillary anyway; “But she’s the Democrat!” Yeah, and? As far as they’re concerned, she’s a rich white woman running against a rich white man so why bother with the effort for her? First female president means nothing as against first black president.

      • Douglas Knight says:

        2004 vs 2008: 10% of blacks came out who didn’t normally vote and 5% of blacks switched from R to D. Together these two things are worth a 2 point swing. But there was a lot more than a 2 point swing. In 2016, blacks are voting back like in 2004, but that’s only a 2 point swing back. And some of that swing back happened already in 2012, I think half.

      • The Nybbler says:

        This was basically the reason I gave for predicting a Trump victory on election eve, and I think it holds most everywhere but Pennsylvania and Michigan, where voters did actually move from Obama to Trump. Luzerne County PA, for instance:

        Obama: 77,029
        Romney: 66,091

        Trump: 77,058
        Clinton: 51,593

        • Yes, another excellent example. I doubt this was confined to Michigan and Pennsylvania. At a minimum, there was Ohio, located right between those two states, and scattered reports of similar shifts around the country.

    • cassander says:

      >Put your points into Charisma instead of Corruption next time.

      Given how few votes either of them got, this seems inarguable in both directions. On absolute vote counts they both did worse than Romney despite there being several million more eligible voters.

  30. Deiseach says:

    Never mind the election results, the real shock and fury is over the change to the Toblerone.

    American confectionery company Mondelez – why are you doing this to us? It’s undeniable that since they took over Cadburys, the taste of the chocolate has changed, and they keep introducing new flavours that are quirky but not as good as the old reliables.

    • fivemack says:

      And they didn’t even issue the press release in time to encourage bulk-buying; I happened to be in Tesco that very morning, and all the Toblerones there were already the 360g kind.

      The problem is that removing half the triangles means the bar now consists of half as many pieces each of twice the size, so if you eat it one piece at a time, which is the obviously psychically satisfying thing to do, it lasts half as long and you’ve eaten nausea-inducingly-much chocolate.

  31. nimim.k.m. says:

    Something else:

    Aftonbladet: Feminist Snow-Removal Does Not Work in Stockholm

    For this winter, the City of Stockholm introduced new, more “feminist” or “equal” snow clearing policy. This week there was a record-breaking November snowfall, and the whole city is currently described as “paralyzed”.

    • hlynkacg says:

      What the hell did I just read?

      • Deiseach says:

        Presumably this is to go with the feminist glaciers? Okay, the translated page said something along the lines that some party majority on the city council decided (1) women fall more often in snowy, slippy conditions than men because women walk/use public transport more and men drive (2) clearing the roads for cars, which gets done first, is privileging men over women (3) so instead, this time they gave priority to pedestrian walkways and bike paths.

        Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t get the feminism memo and there were severe snow falls in Stockholm which, with the new ‘clear the footpaths first but not the roads’ policy meant that everywhere was impassible and things ground to a halt.

        And this is how you make feminism, which at its basis is not ridiculous, into something stupid and inconvenient for everyone.

        • John Schilling says:

          Don’t the walkways and bike paths get cleared faster if you can expeditiously deploy truckloads of men(*) and machinery to the snow-covered walkways as needed?

          Yeah, yeah, focusing on logistics rather than optics and the right -isms, clear sign of STEM nerd thinking. Sorry.

          * Or women, theoretically.

        • fivemack says:

          What a very odd way of looking at the world, when they could just say they were prioritising pedestrians.

          “Clear the roads and the pedestrian walkways at the same time” makes a lot of sense; “take care not to clear snow from the roads onto the bike paths and pedestrian walkways” is common civility but might be worth codifying.

          I’d have expected Stockholm to be a rich cold city like Montreal and to have small battery- or propane-powered snow-clearing machines that drive along occupying and clearing half a pedestrian walkway.

      • nimim.k.m. says:

        >What the hell did I just read?

        Some genuine Börk Börk.

        In all seriousness, Daiseach’s summary is correct as far as I can tell (Swedish is my fourth language). However, as funny as this news is, I’m not sure how much the feminist policy is to blame, maybe they were unlucky that they got the snowfall of the century the precise same winter they changed their snow-removal strategy. On the other hand, while 30-40 cm of snow (most of it coming down in around or under 24 hrs) in November in Stockholm is exceptional, they were bound to have other snow-heavy winter months (January), anyway, so it boggles belief they couldn’t deal with it without a major transport chaos.

    • Brad says:

      Google translate is telling me that this new snow policy involved prioritizing the pedestrian and bike paths above automobile paths. Is that accurate?

    • The Nybbler says:

      A policy that’s crazy on two levels, that’s novel. Usually it’s zero, one, or infinity, right? First that the policy was terribad, second that it’s crazy to think it was somehow “feminist”.

    • nimim.k.m. says:

      Update. Dagens Nyheter: The city official responsible for snow removal, Daniel Helldén (of Miljöpartiet / Green Party), says that “pedestrian walkways and bike lines have not been cleared to the extent the priority order required”.

      A bit of understatement. Only thing missing is stating the problem clearly was that the policy was not feminist enough!

  32. GS says:

    I just finished reading the post on “Somewhat against Psychiatric Conditions”

    While reading about Williams Syndrome, with the recent political events fresh in my mind, I wondered how different the world would be if we were all born with the same gene deletion. Everyone would be nicer and less mean to each other.

    But on thinking deeper, it seemed likely that there might have been some small groups in history who had this syndrome common in their gene pool. And they must have been wiped out as they were outcompeted for resources by either a mutant in their group or by cunning mutants in other groups (read: ‘normal humans of today’). Maybe the system does eventually settle to this ‘not overly friendly and slightly suspicuous/distrustful of others’ equilibrium.

    PS: Long time reader, and finally registered to make this comment. I tried commenting on the actual post but it seems like I couldn’t. Is there a policy on closing comments after a certain time has elapsed, or am I incompetent in finding response boxes?

    • hlynkacg says:

      First off, welcome to the party.

      With that out of the way, I’m not sure about the comment issue as the system was recently overhauled and I’m not quite sure how the update effects legacy posts. In regards to the body of your post, it seems like a solid logical theory to me, but I suspect someone will be along in a bit to dismiss it as a “just so story”.

    • Brad says:

      Re: old posts
      I seem to recall a post from Scott saying he closes them because long tail comments are overwhelmingly spammers.

      In any event, it is unlikely many people would see your response. The recommended way to engage with them is exactly what you’ve done here, post in the newest open thread.

    • jaimeastorga2000 says:

      Comment threads auto-close after a month to prevent spam. Standard etiquette if you want to discuss an old post is to make a post on the latest open thread, as you have done.

  33. Deiseach says:

    Oh, boy. I’m not American, not a Trump supporter, not a Republican, but reading this “New York Times” article, mmm-mmmm! Schadenfreude tastes so delicious! 🙂

    They have a rather sheepish “how did we get it so wrong?” article up, but this one is hilarious in hindsight: President Clinton’s first 100 days in office!

    She’ll have women as half her cabinet! She’ll be drinking buddies with Republicans (apparently she can put it away some, which is a surprise to me)! She’ll have a choice between “keeping her boot on the neck” of the demoralised and frazzled Republicans, or trying to get them to work on compromises with her! She’ll be able to do all kinds of everything via executive orders (yes, because that kind of precedent of autocracy is not at all liable to abuse or would not be an equally potent weapon in the hands of a non-Democrat president, amirite?)

    Deeply confident that she would perform better as the president than as a political candidate, Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

    Oh yeah: I think we can all agree, “deeply confident” is the mot juste here for Hillary’s opinion of herself. I also get the impression there’s a lot of very, very disappointed Democratic party insiders who had their measuring tapes ready to buy new curtains for their swanky offices when they got the top jobs during the division of the spoils 🙂

    She hopes to reassure progressives with her executive actions, which would also include new protections for undocumented immigrant parents, as well as her personnel appointments. Having women make up half of her cabinet would be historic (in recent years, a quarter to a third of cabinet positions have been held by women), and Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation’s first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015.

    These Democrats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations with Mrs. Clinton and her advisers, said that Mr. Podesta, her campaign chairman, would have the right of first refusal on becoming her chief of staff, a job he held under Mr. Clinton. If he turns it down, Mrs. Clinton would look at appointing a woman to that job, which has been held only by men.

    “There’s that old saying, ‘Nothing about us without us,’” said Jennifer Granholm, a former Democratic governor of Michigan who supports Mrs. Clinton. “I mean, a woman as chief of staff, Treasury secretary, a woman at Defense — it would be incredible.” (Ms. Granholm is often mentioned as a possible cabinet pick for the Energy Department or another post, but she waved off a question about her interest.)

    • beleester says:

      Oh, boy. I’m not American, not a Trump supporter, not a Republican

      “I’m not a Trump supporter, I just spent this election cycle angrily posting about Clinton’s emails, accusing her of being arrogant and above-the-law, and mocking every comment about Trump as ‘left-wingers clutching their pearls and swooning’ because it was fun.”

      I get it, your favorite candidate won and you’re happy. But this constant stream of posts from you making fun of doomsaying left-wingers is really, really, getting on my nerves. There’s a difference between doing your victory lap and kicking someone while they’re down.

      (If you keep this up, I can start looking for Trump supporters who were frantically cleaning their guns as they saw the polls turn against them. But I’d rather not turn the post-election thread into a game of “Which side has the bigger lunatic fringe?”)

      • The original Mr. X says:

        But this constant stream of posts from you making fun of doomsaying left-wingers is really, really, getting on my nerves.

        Nobody’s forcing you to read them.

      • Deiseach says:

        I’m not a Trump supporter, I thought he was a terrible candidate and I think he’ll be a mediocre (at the very best) president who is not going to bring back jobs to the Rust Belt and change the trend of economic currents.

        But what I am is conservative, from a rural background. Like the half of America that was being written off as merely all bigots: Hillary’s deplorables, who were motivated solely by racism and xenophobia and sexism and hatred.

        Nobody took their concerns seriously, nobody wanted to look at why they had concerns, nobody cared. And then Trump came along and suddenly they had a voice. And all the reaction to it was that he was the natural fit for the white bigots, not that if the only person who was willing to listen to them was a loudmouth narcissist, any port will do in a storm.

        Hillary is not flawless, and it’s not sexism or trying to silence women or witch-hunting to point out the places where she’s weak or unappealing as a potential president (for one, I think she’s too hawkish on foreign policy and has maybe painted herself into a corner with Putin).

        But what really has annoyed me is the reaction: all the wailing and headless chickens running around, messaging each other about how it’s Kristalnacht all over again, how women/minorities/immigrants/LGBT are all going to die (not metaphorically, they literally mean ‘will be killed under his presidency by his supporters and the policies he enacts’) and how this is going to be the end of the world.

        It’s not. It’s going to be four more years of the same kind of thing. There will be some conservative gains, some progressive losses, a lot of fudge and compromise and muddling through.

        So yes, I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it. And I’m going to laugh at the thought leaders and opinion formers who couldn’t see two inches past their noses and had Hillary as President-Elect and were planning out her administration and actions from the moment she declared her intention to run.

        • Brad says:

          So yes, I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it.

          It’s not exactly brave to come to a conservative stronghold to mock people that annoy you in a liberal one. Why don’t you do your gloating on tumblr where the people you are mocking will actually see it?

        • Incurian says:

          FWIW, I think basically any level of gloating is both justified and hilarious. This comments section is not without its own melodramatic hysteria (though to be fair, with much less frothing at the mouth).

        • Stefan Drinic says:

          I’m going to mock the hysteria every where I see it.

          You’re being accused of explicitly not doing this, of only mocking it when your opponents get hysteric. Someone who mocks both side is someone easily amused, someone who ignores one is a soldier.

          • Deiseach says:

            Someone who mocks both side is someone easily amused, someone who ignores one is a soldier.

            Well, all I can say is that I was outraged when our Minister for Finance took the opportunity to do some arse-licking when Trump visited on the occasion of looking over his purchase of an Irish golf course, and I believe I mentioned that on here.

            I don’t go looking for Democratic party/left-wing over-reaction, but the point is that I don’t have to – it is so ubiquitous that even though I am not searching out people of a progressive viewpoint, I find myself associating with them anyhow online, and right now I have seen nothing but gloom, woe, misery and despair about Trump. Not even “Oh hell, we lost, okay let’s buckle down and rebuild” but posts about “here’s the suicide hotline numbers, please reblog”.

            Yes, seriously.

            So I either blow a gasket or I come on here and mock the worst of it, because otherwise I would be plunged into despair about the future of society and that we are a bunch of idiots who can’t see past the ends of our noses but fall into line for the partisan politics.

            As I said, if anyone on here wants to scoff about my own party (Fianna Fáil, God between us and all harm), go right ahead. They’re a craven, sell-the-gravestones-of-the-patriots bunch of no-hopers and chancers, so anything you say will probably be merited.

          • Stefan Drinic says:

            please reblog

            Sheeeeeesh, this is about tumblr? No wonder. You’re right, then; you don’t need to seek out dumb people on the left if that’s where you get your big fix o’ internet. If I were to idly browse /pol/ on off hours, I’d not need to seek out dumb people on the right either.

        • Incurian says:

          Did many national level conservative news reporters break down and cry on television when Obama was elected (serious question)?

          There is kind of a constant stream of hysteria from weird, extreme places all the time, but this hysteria seems to have infected a much broader and formerly respectable range of people aside from the usual crazies.

          If the answer to my question is “yes,” then I am mistaken and withdraw my second sentence.

          • hlynkacg says:

            A lot of people made fun of Speaker Boehner for crying on various occasions, but I don’t remember if Obama’s reelection made the list.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            It’s the upsets that, err, upset. Obama was expected to win, both times. Even if you didn’t like it, you knew it was coming and could tough it out.

      • Edward Scizorhands says:

        “I’m not a Trump supporter, I just spent this election cycle angrily posting about Clinton’s emails,

        I am going to miss the “you don’t like Clinton? You must watch Fox News / support Trump!” idiom not one bit.

        • The Nybbler says:

          As far as I can tell, Fox News was in fact the most “fair and balanced” of the mainstream media this time around, though that’s a low bar. The liberal MSM was basically part of the Clinton campaign (thank you Wikileaks). Breitbart was part of the Trump campaign (openly), but they’re less mainstream than the Huffington Post.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            As far as I can tell, Fox News was in fact the most “fair and balanced” of the mainstream media this time around, though that’s a low bar.

            Those were certainly some fair and balanced campaign infomercials Hannity did for Trump.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

      Wow the NYT was starting the honeymoon even before the election. They should keep in mind what happens to this kind of promiscuity before marriage.

      I remember almost identical comments about the ability of the new president to be bi-partisan at the beginning of both the GW Bush and Obama terms. She would’ve had about the same chance as them.

  34. nimim.k.m. says:

    What happened to the “Hide”-button? That was the most useful feature of the blog over e.g. Reddit or other blogs…

  35. arunbharatula says:

    I started a collaborative a directory of psychological skills from all disciplines.

    I want to create a comprehensive yet parsimonious list of things that can improve some desirable psychological dimension, whether or not they are psychological tools in and of themselves.

    Please comment on what to add or change so that I can improve it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1volqtmogP8fssih-m8cy_gbSf6l2Y3TtRR3O7erBGOw/edit?usp=sharing

    Thank you!

  36. Well... says:

    For some reason, errors or better ways of saying something don’t pop out at me as well until after I see my writing in read-only form. I’ve noticed this is true not just in comments sections like this one but in other places too, such as on my blog, or even at work when I’m using Trello or Slack–platforms that allow you to go back and edit what you’ve written after you’ve already sent/posted it.

    But is it rude or antisocial to do this? Is it a form of “cheating”?

    I see other commenters here sometimes add postscripts that begin “Edit: …” as if it’s gentlemanly/sporting to make it clear that you didn’t manage to come up with whatever that thought was the first time. Am I misinterpreting?

    (And yes, I know sometimes what follows “Edit: …” is a response to a later comment that happens to be one level up in the hierarchy; I’m not talking about those instances.)

    • FacelessCraven says:

      My rule is editing is legit until someone posts a reply. if it’s a contentious argument, it’s better to use an edit tag to make it clear what’s being changed. Otherwise, the edit tag is useful for adding thoughts to a post while waiting for replies, rather than writing a new post entirely.

    • CatCube says:

      For whatever reason, the text box is harder to proofread than my actual post, so I’ll often discover typos or hanging sentences after hitting Post. If I notice it immediately, (with a few minutes or less) I’ll sometimes just make the corrections. Any more than that, I’ll usually make some sort of Edit acknowledgement, to avoid leaving somebody responding to the original post hanging.

    • nancylebovitz says:

      I think “Edited to add” is polite because it means that people aren’t left doubting their memory of the earlier version.

      • Brad says:

        Exactly. I really dislike going back and seeing an entirely different post without some sort of acknowledgment that there was a change. Even with acknowledgment I’d prefer an append only rule for substantive changes. And you can’t judge by no replies. Someone could be typing up a reply while you are making edits.

        Typos or minor wording changes are another matter, but there are posters that wipe out the whole post and start over.

    • Mark V Anderson says:

      I almost always change something after I post a comment. I really love the ability to do this. I don’t know why I don’t see the errors until after I hit post, but it constantly happens. But it is almost always a grammatical fix. I have never added the “Edit” piece. But I do my edits within a few minutes of my initial post. As far as I know, no one has seen my post before I change it, but how would I know? I don’t see the replies until after I make my change.

      Edit: But just for the heck of it I will try it this time. Nah, I like the other way better.

  37. Zombielicious says:

    Something that is kind of apropos and interesting and 100% only obvious because of hindsight bias, is how incredibly poor strategy Scott’s arguments for a Clinton vote as the lesser evil were. I mean this community talks about Scott Adams and the effectiveness of appealing to emotion over complex logical reasoning, and the MSM has taken tons of well-deserved ridicule for thinking “she’s better qualified” would be a winning case for Clinton, but then the argument here fell into literally the exact same trap…

    Go back and read some of his best posts, like Outgroup and Untitled (chosen from memory as personal favorites), and these are great appeals against the groups being described – social justice is “literally Voldemort.” Read the one against voting for Trump and it’s that Clinton is the lower variance candidate? And I’m not just giving Scott a hard time here (seriously not intended as a personal attack, just those two posts), just that I totally missed the obvious at the time and now it seems like the most clearly ineffectual argument anyone could have made, in the same direction as, but even worse than, “she’s just more qualified.” Not that there were many better ones out there coming from the vaguely-LW-diaspora areas; from memory, the other S.A.’s and Terence Tao’s were basically “lol it’ll never happen, cheer if you agree with me.” EY’s was more of “you’re stupid if you don’t already know the obvious.” At least one mistake I didn’t see Scott Adams make – he’s wrong about the landslide victory, but dead on with the kinds of arguments people find appealing.

    But my point is that my loss of faith in most institutions is somewhat tempered by noticing that the most notable blogger of the “rationalism” community (as well as probably most of the other ones) fell into basically the same trap as the mainstream pundits who are getting lampooned for their obliviousness. And also myself for having completely failed to notice it at the time (like I said, obvious hindsight bias).

    I guess you can say it’s hard to make a great defense of supporting Clinton. But it’s not hard to make one against hating Donald Trump enough to vote against him either. I think it’s more likely it was just a complete failure by all above, mainstream pundits, rationality bloggers, and math geniuses alike, to actually pick the rational strategy for being convincing.

    Obvious counterargument in that the case for Trump being awful and scary was the basis of the entire Clinton campaign and it failed, but (hopefully this doesn’t need to be stated) I’m not really claiming that Scott threw the election for Trump either. I doubt SSC is popular enough with the approx. 4 million Democrats who apparently voted for Obama but didn’t show up for Clinton to have remotely come close to causing that – if anything this blog is just a minor data point in broader sociopolitical trends. But I think they were closer to being on the right track than the above people were, particularly the example here. It’s just that Trump made the same arguments about Clinton, and for whatever reason, they were more convincing (among the bajillion other factors that led to this outcome).

    • FacelessCraven says:

      I think you’re dead wrong about this.

      Scott’s posts, and particularly the comment threads they spawned, came the closest to getting me to stay home or vote for Hillary of anything I saw or heard the entire election cycle. They did an excellent job of engaging with my existing beliefs and caused me to stop and think. EY’s posts were laughably easy to dismiss; while I spent nearly 72 continuous hours engaging with Scott’s and spent the next two weeks deeply depressed and conflicted over the election. Ironically, during those three days of debate, the pro-Trump arguments did the most to make me want to vote against him, particularly the racial ones, and the pro-Hillary arguments did the most to make me want to vote for him.

      There are some holes you just can’t dig out of, and nominating Hillary over Bernie was one of them. “Literally Voldemort” isn’t the persuasive part of Untitled, the quotes and examples that back it up are. The punch just encapsulates them. Trump didn’t win because the punches against him couldn’t be properly encapsulated, he won because those punches got used up on all the wrong fights over the last two years, among other reasons.

      • Zombielicious says:

        Fair enough, I could be totally wrong. It just seems like the arguments made on here took the exact opposite strategy as anything remotely similar to the master persuader theory, or even most literature on persuasion, now that I think about it.

        The “literally Voldemort” thing was just exemplary because I didn’t want to quote extremely long posts and psychoanalyze them line by line. My point is that they’re very persuasive appeals on an emotional level – they’re funny, they make fun of people’s enemies without seeming vicious (Star Wars parallels, Michelle Obama’s lukewarm love of ‘murica, etc). They mix that stuff seemlessly with tons of evidence and illustrative examples to make the case. They’re incredibly persuasive which is why they’re repeatedly cited as examples of his best posts, compared to less referenced ones on the same topic. They’re examples of why people read SSC as opposed to any of the other thousands of blogs they could be spending their time on. The arguments for #NotTrump are not that, and when the best ones this blog has ever produced are so much more effective at showing her evils rather than Trump’s, they’d have extra work to do anyway to make a case that, no, she really is a lesser evil.

        And again, to try and emphasize that I’m not “darkly hinting” about anything, Trump’s election, for those who consider it a disaster, was truly a bipartisan fuck up that took the combined efforts of many different groups to accomplish, just as Clinton’s would have been. It just seems like, in retrospect, changing the minds of people who don’t already agree with you is hard (as your own comment shows), maybe usually impossible, and I’m looking back thinking how things that seemed good at the time weren’t really a different strategy from what 99% of newspaper editorials or beltway pundits tried, but just came from people I was already kind of predisposed to agree with anyway.

    • Mark says:

      According to the master persuader filter, fear is one of the better persuasion themes.

      I think the problem with fear and Trump is that Donald Trump isn’t very scary.

      If you try and turn me against someone using fear, you are going to have to be very subtle about it. Raise some suspicions. Declaring that he is a witch will only work if I already hate him.

      So, I think that Scott’s persuasion was good – it’s just that there were so many other people screaming that Trump was a witch, it made the whole thing easier to ignore.

      On the other hand, I found the “Clinton child abuse devil worshipper” stuff quite convincing. But I imagine that it would have just undermined more subtle attempts at persuasion if I was more inclined towards Clinton.

      So, key takeaway – you don’t want to make an argument with some theme, where other people are making stupid (or too extreme) arguments using that same theme.

      Or maybe you want to really emphasise that you reject the extreme parts: “There is lots of stuff going around about Clinton being a child abuser. That’s complete nonsense. She’s corrupt and secretive but what she is hiding is…”

      Then again, I think “high variance” is bad here.
      I would say, best argument against Trump is that there is no upside. He won’t improve the economy. Because he is the *same* as the establishment. So you have no upside, and a bit more risk on the downside.

      • nancylebovitz says:

        I’m seeing a lot of people (LGTB, Muslim, Latino, dependent on the ACA, probably not a complete list) *terrified* of a Trump presidency.

        • Deiseach says:

          I’m seeing, right now in my news feed, an “Irish Times” article with a list of (I’m tempted to say ‘the usual suspects’) nice middle-class professional women clutching their pearls and swooning over the dreadful prospect of the Trump presidency.

          And I’m thinking to myself “What the hell is it to them? Unless they’re all going to pack up to live and work in America in the morning, then it’s no skin off their nose. Are they afraid President Trump is going to fly over and hide under their beds to get them in the night?”

          It’s pure virtue-signalling as far as I can tell, so I’m going to take the “I’m a gay Latinx Muslim and I’m terrified I’ll be murdered in my bed” posts with a grain of salt as well. So far the only riots and protests I’ve seen have been the left refusing to accept the result. Remind me again how it was horrible and undemocratic and unthinkable if Trump and his supporters refused to acknowledge the election result or disrespected the President-Elect?

          • JulieK says:

            Remember, the Red Scare was unjustified, but the Redneck Scare is totally reasonable.

          • Deiseach says:

            Nancy, I’m remembering all the talk about Bush was going to refuse to hand over to Obama and he’d declare martial law and seize the presidency and invoke all kinds of special powers, because of course he would, he was Chimpy McHitler and the Republicans were the KKK and the Nazis and no way those white bigots would hand over power to a black man, the big scary bogeyman of right-wing fever dreams.

            So hearing all this “Trump’s victory has emboldened his supporters to run riot and he’s going to start rounding up the gays and the minorities in the morning” panicking – well, people may be genuinely fearful. And things have gotten worse and more polarised since Bush and Obama. But this level of scare-mongering is always out there at some level about a Republican president, in every election.

            Obama actually revved up deportations of illegals, but somehow that never gets touted in the “this time for sure, they’ll be dragging women and children away in chains” worrying. Will Trump put his money where his mouth is on this? If he does, he won’t be the only president to oversee a crackdown.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            I realize the left overreacted to Bush, and the right overreacted to Obama.

            I’m not even sure that Trump will deport more Hispanics than Obama did.

            I don’t think people are crazy to worry about an increase in hate crimes.

          • Edward Scizorhands says:

            If there’s one good lesson from this election, it’s that you should consider the other guy’s fears seriously.

            Their fears may be imagined or incorrect, but they will still act based on them. Telling them they are stupid and wrong will do the opposite of calming them down.

            Both sides should consider this carefully. Even if your opponents’ fears are completely in their heads, what can you do to ease them?

          • hlynkacg says:

            @ Edward Scizorhands

            Good point.

          • Mark says:

            Lots of these fears are engineered – and if you acknowledge, or pander to them, you make the strategy more appealing.

            My policy is to absolutely reject and ridicule baseless fears, in the hope that people will stop trying to generate them.

            Edit: The best way to prevent people from being scared of imaginary things is to provide a better story.

          • Asclepius' Viper says:

            @Mark

            But doesn’t a strategy of rejecting and ridiculing those fears have the side-effect of coming across as unfeeling and condescending towards the people who are afraid?

            Don’t get me wrong, I understand the utility of preventing engineered fear, this just seems a particularly ineffective vector to do so

          • Mark says:

            @Asclepius’ Viper

            Yeah, you’re probably right, though I think there might be a difference between ridiculing a fear and ridiculing a person. I suppose that distinction doesn’t really exist when the ideas you are mocking have become a central part of someone’s identity.

            I remember, a few years ago, I was convinced that the government was evil because they were running up the national debt. It really worried me – I just couldn’t understand how these incompetent wastrels could keep getting into power.

            Then someone remarked that I must also be against net private sector savings, if I was opposed to government debt. That was a big shock to me – I realised that I was basically just afraid of the word “debt” and that I (and many like me) had been manipulated into supporting policies implemented by a government with ulterior motives. I realised I had no understanding of the real issues (obviously there is a real debate to be had, but my fears were not based on those questions).

            But, yeah, ‘ridicule’ probably isn’t normally helpful and I would guess that very few fears are completely baseless.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          @Nancy – Of course their terrified. The question is, should they be?

          • nancylebovitz says:

            I wish I knew. I think Muslims and Hispanics have good reason to be worried. (If there’s mass deportation, I don’t expect it to be meticulous about who gets exiled.)

            People dependent on ACA have reason to be worried, though things were already starting to get bad for them. The pre-Trump combination of increased rates and increased subsidies made it very likely that more people would fall through the cracks.

            An increase of hate crimes is plausible.

            I’m not panicking, but this is about a mile from where I live. Fuck. I just knew about the vandalism on the wall. It’s been updated with vandalism on cars. I’m not quite panicking, but I’m not as calm as I was.

            A look at what Trump will actually be able to do.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @nancylebovitz – “I’m not panicking, but this is about a mile from where I live. ”

            …are you under the impression that is Trump Supporter graffiti?

            [EDIT] – “Trump rules” very well might be. I would be astonished if the Swastikas were, though. My prior is that’s blue tribers protesting the election of Literally Hitler.

            [EDIT EDIT] – looks like they have a suspect.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            Thanks for the update.

            It might be anti-Trump graffiti, but there are a lot of white supremicists who like Trump. I don’t think Trump especially hates black or Jews (not compared to how he feels about Muslims and Mexicans), but I think he’s solved some coordination problems for neo-Nazis.

          • Randy M says:

            nancy, Faceless has only challenged, not refuted, your evidence, but based on seeing recurring examples of hate hoaxes in the past, his challenge may well pan out; the nazi graffiti may well be either an anti Trump smear or a frame up.

            If it does turn out that way, however, inasmuch as it was evidence of danger from Trumpian nazis, do not use it as an opportunity to update in the “fake but accurate” direction.

        • The Nybbler says:

          And what exactly has Trump said against LGBT? He was against gay marriage (like most mainstream politicians at some time), but that issue’s effectively settled for a generation at least; the Supreme Court is not going to reverse itself liberal-to-conservative that quickly, because it wouldn’t be conservative. He’s opposed to the bathroom bills, which are a tempest in a toilet and are playing out at the state level anyway.

          Same for Latinos here legally; unless their fear is about it being harder to bring foreign family members in because of tight immigration policies, there’s no reason to believe Trump has anything against them.

          The ACA was dead either way. The massive increases of premiums doomed it. Whoever won was going to change it beyond recognition, though it would be styled something other than ‘repeal’ under Clinton (probably ‘reform’). There’s some hints in the wikileaks that Clinton people deliberately sabotaged attempts to control cost, BTW.

          Muslims (especially non-citizens, even if here legally) probably have a stronger case for fear. Mostly of being thrown out.

          • Stefan Drinic says:

            He’s opposed to the bathroom bills, which are a tempest in a toilet and are playing out at the state level anyway.

            I am this close to figuring out a way of DDOSing the blog just for this.

          • 2181425 says:

            Do you have a cite on the wikileaks emails on cost-control sabotage on ACA? I’ve not heard that.

            2 things I don’t understand that I keep seeing about the fear of a Trump planet are: the threat to LBGT folks and the threat to Jews. He had Peter Thiel as a major supporter and even had him speak at the RNC which seems like a pretty big deal. Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish and his daughter converted to be married in a Jewish ceremony (per wiki). I’m no expert, but these hardly seem like convincing datapoints that he would be anti-gay and anti-semitic. Am I missing something?

          • Jiro says:

            He had Peter Thiel as a major supporter

            In politics, being a member of class X often means “being a member of class X and having the correct political beliefs”, so Peter Thiel doesn’t count as a homosexual for the same reason that Republicans with dark skin color don’t count as black people.

          • Randy M says:

            Debbie, it’s no secret that I have been singlehandedly undermining all
            efforts to cut the cost of health care in America.

            That does not sound like something said in sincerity.

          • 2181425 says:

            Thanks for the link, is there more than that? That seems to me to be more of a tongue-in-cheek “I’ve been in the hospital a lot racking up bills” than a sinister plot. Not sure who he is, but a possible hit Richard C. Leone died of prostate cancer the year following that email so it could be the same guy. I’d have to see more evidence than that.

          • Iain says:

            There are a number of anti-LGBT groups who are pretty excited about the Trump win: here, for example, is NOM’s press release, which predicts the reversal of Obergefell and the repeal of a number of Obama’s pro-LGBT executive orders. To Trump’s credit, this is one issue where he hasn’t spent a lot of time pandering to the Republican base. I suspect that Trump will be mostly fine on LGB issues, and not abnormally rotten for trans people. (Mike Pence is pretty bad on LGBT issues, though.)

            For anti-Semitism: here’s a good example of the argument. He’s done a very good job of sending encouraging signals to avowed anti-Semites; whether or not he is personally anti-Semitic is to some extent beside the point.

          • 2181425 says:

            So “dogwhistles” and an anti-gay group was happier about him being elected than Hillary? Both of these seem like pretty weak tea though given the dramatic “fear for our lives” rhetoric I’ve seen from some quarters.

            As an aside, I don’t necessarily disagree on Pence, though I think the RFRA fight in Indiana was more of a failed attempt by him to pander to a socially conservative state than outright hostility.

          • The Nybbler says:

            @Iain

            That article is the kind of anti-Semitism article that makes accusations of anti-Semitism look stupid. So Trump attacks the #1 leftist millionaire bogeyman (George Soros), the Federal Reserve chair (Janet Yellin, who I didn’t know was Jewish), and the man who is the head of a bank whose name is a metonym for “evil banksters” (Goldman Sachs), and because those three people are Jewish, Trump is an anti-Semite?

            Note that Bill Clinton and President Obama are also bad guys in there (“disastrous trade deals”), but noting that would ruin the “He attacked Hillary Clinton and three Jews” storyline.

          • Iain says:

            I agree that Trump’s antisemitic dogwhistles are not directly life-threatening. But there are enough of them that it is unlikely to be a coincidence, and I hardly begrudge Jews the right to get a little bit antsy when the president-elect is playing footsie under the table with antisemites.

            In other words: I think there is room for legitimate concern. If you just want to complain about how the loudest elements of the Other Tribe are blowing that concern out of proportion, I don’t think that we have anything interesting to say to each other.

          • Daniel says:

            @The Nybbler

            That article is the kind of anti-Semitism article that makes accusations of anti-Semitism look stupid.

            I personally tend to agree. But please note that you’ve wrote this on the same thread where you mistook an obvious inside joke (turns out, a cancer victim’s self-deprecating humor) for admission of guilt. Sorry, but your critical reading skills are currently too damaged by partisanship. Correctly deciding what is a dog whistle and what isn’t is too hard in such a situation, please start with easier tasks like disproving conspiracy theories around Podesta emails.

        • Trofim_Lysenko says:

          I’ve been using it as a chance to discuss gun rights and responsible gun ownership. As in:

          If you are truly frightened that either A) private citizens emboldened by Trump’s win will engage in lawless violence against GLBT people ethnic minorities and the police can’t or won’t protect you or you fear that B) the EinsatzTrumpen are going to kick down your doors and start digging the mass graves, then maybe it’s time to DO something proactive about protecting your life and those of your loved ones. This is America, and there’s this little thing called the 2nd Amendment.

          There are plenty of gun stores out there happy to sell to you, and plenty of people who would be happy to teach you how to properly and safely employ them. Hell, I’ve volunteered to personally hit the range with them to teach basic AR-15 pattern safety and marksmansmanship, since that’s the main platform I know.

          EDIT: Although among the social circle of my friends, the liberals, progressives, and commies are already at least familiar with guns. In the broader circle where I’m making that suggestion in public forums to people I know casually online or in person, I’ve gotten mostly sneering and insults in return. Still, I figure it’s worth a shot, and sometimes the “Headology” method of dealing with anxieties and fears is more helpful than trying to reason them away.

          • BBA says:

            I’ve read that story before, and it ends with getting bombed by the Philadelphia Police. No thanks.

            (In all seriousness, I considered this, but where I live the gun laws are strict enough that it’s not worth the time and effort to get a rifle just to prove a point. If I lived in Vermont I might take you up on it. I hear Vermont is pretty this time of year…)

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @BBA – “I’ve read that story before, and it ends with getting bombed by the Philadelphia Police. No thanks.”

            This really isn’t the 50s-60s any more. The RKBA is your right too, and pretty much anywhere you live, a Mosin is going to be legal. If arming up makes you feel safer, and it very well might, arm the hell up. I trust democrats enough to not worry about actual death squads, and I’m pretty sure the police aren’t going to get away with murder the way they used to any more.

            One of the best things I saw at the BLM protest in Dallas was the BLM guy open-carrying an AR15.

          • Trofim_Lysenko says:

            @BBA

            If they legitimately believe that the death squads are coming for them with the passive blessing and/or active backing of the state, they have nothing to lose.

            That said, my point of view is that it’s an outreach thing. I think the people talking about being in fear for their lives and safety are overreacting in most cases. BUT, if they aren’t, then better they be able to protect themselves.

            And if they are overreacting, then maybe when things calm down we can have a few more liberals and progressives with a more nuanced view of firearm ownership and the individual right of self defense as separate from and prior to civil laws.

          • Brad says:

            I wonder if anyone ever told John Crawford III and Tamir Rice that the RKBA is their right too.

          • BBA says:

            @FC: I was making a joke about the MOVE bombing, which happened in 1985. You can substitute Ruby Ridge or Waco if you’d like.

            I’m fairly pro-gun for a left-liberal Jew, but even a Mosin requires a permit from the police here in NYC, and unless you’re a police officer yourself they’re pretty hard to come by. Besides which, I just don’t trust myself with a gun.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Brad – Someone should have; if they had, Rice in particular might still be alive.

            More generally, irresponsible and unaccountable policing is not an argument against RKBA. If you can’t trust your PDs to not shoot law-abiding black people if they, say, open-carried responsibly, guns are not your problem.

            [EDIT]
            @BBA – Yeah, I was thinking MOVE as well, but I got the decade wrong apparently. And yes, Waco and Ruby Ridge are much the same problem, but I’d like to think the authorities have gotten a little more cautious. The Bundy standoff involved less bloodshed, at least.

          • John Schilling says:

            In this context, having guns isn’t going to do you a damn bit of good. Once the Jack-Booted Stormtroopers(tm) come for you, if you pull a gun you’re dead. If they came for an innocent man wrongly accused, you’re a dead cop-killer nobody but the lunatic fringe cares about. If you win the first firefight, they’ll bring ten times as many stormtroopers for the second, plus armor and air support. If by some chance you manage to negotiate a surrender in the meantime, you’ll get a worse deal than you would have if you surrendered straight off. If you manage to actually escape before the second wave arrives, you’ll be hunted far more intensely than you would have been if you had ran early. Pulling a gun on the cops only ever makes things worse.

            For you. It does make it bloody expensive for the cops/stormtroopers to have come for you in the first place, in terms of both dead cops and bad press. It means that the next time they think about doing that, they will think twice about whether it is worth the cost. Even if they decide it is worth the cost, the need to send a full squad just to be safe, reduces the number of times they can do that sort of thing – and makes opsec more challenging, so it is more likely that some of the people they do go after will be able to bug out early.

            So your arsenal is either a waste of money or it gets you killed, but may save some other people from the same fate. Their arsenals may do the same for you. I won’t say this isn’t worth doing – but understand what you are getting into you go down that route.

      • Deiseach says:

        On the other hand, I found the “Clinton child abuse devil worshipper” stuff quite convincing.

        I thought that was pure tinfoil hat territory. The scariest thing there was that the Podesta brothers apparently are fans of an up-her-own-backside modern artist, which means paying huge sums of money for “art” that you wouldn’t otherwise put down on a muddy floor to wipe your feet on 🙂

        • Mark says:

          On one level, yes, absolutely.

          But, I spent the weekend reading r/The_Donald, and there was enough ambiguous stuff they’d turned up that it began to make me seriously worried about the prospect of Clinton winning.

          Like, they do worship Moloch out in the woods each year – Alex Jones filmed it. And sure, if I’ve got my sensible hat on, it’s just a bit of fun and games. But if you’re inclined to think ill of them, it can become something scary.

          Same with the ‘pizza’ emails and the spirit cooking. There are perfectly sensible explanations. But the sinister ones are pretty good, too. So we have the fact that they’re into weird occult rituals – all of a sudden the other stuff becomes more convincing.

          I saw this ‘documentary’ on youtube a few years ago called ‘Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told’. Basically, they said stuff like ‘Adolf Hitler won a medal in the war’ as if it was some kind of incredible revelation. But judging by the comments it *was* an incredible revelation for some people, people for whom the word ‘Hitler’ means ‘EVIL’ (just literally ‘Hitler’ is a synonym for ‘evil’.)
          Hearing a fact that contradicted their initial impression, a surprising fact like “Hitler won a medal”, or “Hitler was nice to dogs” made it really easy to convince them that whatever else you might say about Hitler (and the makers thought he was a great guy) was true.

          I think that’s how conspiracy theories start.

          • Deiseach says:

            The “pizza” emails sounded to me like the kind of dumb injoke that only those who were there when it originated understand, and to outsiders it’s meaningless or bizarre. It’s group bonding via stupid stuff, like memes 🙂

            The Spirit Cooking was just eye-rolling upper middle-class tomfoolery; “I’m a transgressive hard-hitting artist who challenges the comfortable mediocrity of bourgeois society with shock tactic performance art that utilises the power of taboo – oh hello, darling, you simply must come to my little dinner party so I can thank you for being so scrumptious to me!”

          • dndnrsn says:

            @Mark

            The whole “Podesta has a DARK SECRET, no wait, DARK SECRETS, plural” thing was pure confirmation bias. If someone took all your texts and emails, they could probably find stuff that could be spun to look sinister.

            The idea that there’s a super-secret clique of ultra-powerful child molesting Satanists (who use insecure email to communicate, codewords that can easily be deciphered by people on the internet, and drop hints as to their proclivities via the shops they frequent (I saw claims that the logos of restaurants they mentioned are symbols child molesters use to identify each other) and the art they buy…

            Why exactly would this shadowy netherworld of elites committing one of the most hated acts in the world advertise it, exactly?

            If it’s anything beyond some dumb in-joke, it’s coded references to drugs, illegal drug use being far more common than child molestation.

            I agree with Deiseach that the Abramovic stuff isn’t proof of some dark religious affiliation. It’s proof of Podesta having pretentious taste in paint-by-numbers oh-so-edgy performance art. Abramovic has a considerable ability to absorb pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, but she’s not an athlete or an actor, where those qualities are most positive. She’s honestly really boring.

            Also, how is it not common knowledge that Hitler was a decorated Great War veteran and fond of dogs?

          • Deiseach says:

            who use insecure email to communicate

            Excuse you, Hillary’s email was very secure so there were no problems about using it and anyone who says differently is a Trump supporter! What are you, some kind of FBI stooge? 😉

          • Mark says:

            “Also, how is it not common knowledge that Hitler was a decorated Great War veteran and fond of dogs?”

            Many people hate history.

          • Creutzer says:

            I’ve never heard of him being a war veteran, but that he was fond of dogs I’ve heard several times. People (in Europe?) like to make a point that someone can be very nice in a particular context and still be a complete monster.

          • dndnrsn says:

            I guess this must be typical mind fallacy. I definitely have more historical knowledge than the average. I guess I figured that “Hitler was a war veteran” was really basic, though. I am fairly certain I have seen it in high school textbooks and such.

            While it’s understandable that the average person nowadays hasn’t been exposed to period Nazi propaganda (which made a big deal of his decoration for front-line combat service, his being wounded, and that he was a common soldier – holding a rank equivalent to corporal at most, and probably something closer to a lance corporal type rank) pretty much every photo we have of him has him wearing his Iron Cross.

            I guess history should be better taught. “He won a medal in the previous war” is hardly a moral statement. Bravery is a morally neutral quality, by and large. It is weird to me to think that anyone could interpret “Hitler was a decorated WWI veteran” in a way that would seem like any sort of recommendation.

          • rlms says:

            I think that Hitler being a veteran is relatively common knowledge, on about the same level as other Hitler facts such as his vegetarianism and rejection from art school.

          • John Schilling says:

            I’ve never heard of him being a war veteran,

            Not just a war veteran, but a war hero of the highest order (at least on the record). Repeatedly wounded in action, repeatedly decorated for valor, including the approximate German equivalent to the US Medal of Honor.

            Served mostly as a regimental courier, so his heroic acts would have been in delivering messages through severe danger and adversity rather than direct combat with the enemy. But you can see how, for a common enlisted man, the sort of military career where you get to both demonstrate valor and hang around chatting with senior officers might be a stepping stone to a political career.

          • dndnrsn says:

            @John Schilling:

            The Iron Cross, 1st class, was not anywhere near the Medal of Honor.

            For one thing, the German military tended to give out medals for successful leadership and for bravery. Medals like the Pour le Merite (highest decoration in WWI) and the Knight’s Cross (higher version of the Iron Cross in WWII, with higher versions for multiple awards – someone would be issued the Knight’s Cross, then with Oak Leaves, then with Oak Leaves and Swords, etc) got awarded to military commanders who did not necessarily face personal danger, based on their performance as commanders. For officers, decoration was more or less required for advancement, with the corollary that decoration came along with advancement.

            For another, in WWII at least, the Germans were far more generous with awards in general – there were 7,000 unique recipients of the Knight’s Cross in WWII, versus under 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients over its entire history. This was due to their involvement in military advancement for officers, and for reasons of morale – they were giving out more Knight’s Crosses when the war was going disastrously than when they were winning major victories early on.

            An Iron Cross, 1st Class, was impressive, but over 200,000 were issued during the Great War. Hitler was also issued the 2nd Class, and over 5 million of those were issued during the war.

        • The original Mr. X says:

          I thought that was pure tinfoil hat territory.

          On the one hand, yes.

          On the other hand, I’d also have considered the idea of the Democrats setting up front organisations to try and subvert the Catholic Church to be “pure tinfoil hat territory”, were it not for the fact that some of the leaked e-mails showed that they were doing exactly that.

          • Deiseach says:

            Eh. The Catholic stuff was just par for the course; after Nancy Pelosi trying to teach the bishops Thomistic theology proving she was right about supporting abortion, I just shrug about the Dems and Catholicism 🙂

            The only thing I was surprised about was this:

            Podesta responded that the campaign had created the groups Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United “to organize for a moment like this.”

            That “Catholics United” and “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” were the same old left-leaning/progressive voices and faces calling for the same old concessions was nothing new, nor that they were in the tank for the Democrats.

            But that the Democrat campaign had set them up was surprising; not just encouraged them, stroked their egos or even bunged them a few quid, but created the “grassroots popular movement of ordinary Catholics who demand this progress” organisations out of whole cloth. Ah, well: the State is always trying to co-opt the Church in some form or other to fall in with its plans, whether the State is right, left or murky middle 🙂

          • The original Mr. X says:

            But that the Democrat campaign had set them up was surprising; not just encouraged them, stroked their egos or even bunged them a few quid, but created the “grassroots popular movement of ordinary Catholics who demand this progress” organisations out of whole cloth. Ah, well: the State is always trying to co-opt the Church in some form or other to fall in with its plans, whether the State is right, left or murky middle ?

            Well, the Dems have already shown themselves quite hostile to First Amendment freedom of religion stuff, so on the one hand it’s not that big of a surprise, at least in retrospect, that they’d do something like this. On the other hand, I do find it worrying, not to mention more than a little hypocritical — normally the Democrats are the ones pressing the panic button over “theocracy” and “people getting politics and religion mixed up”, and now here are some very high-profile Democrat operatives deliberately trying to turn a religious organisation into a wing of the Democratic party.

    • You speak as though there was a better argument they could have used, but don’t say what it was.

      You speak as though good arguments and convincing arguments are the same thing. But a good argument in the rationalist sense looks boring and incomprehensible to most people.

      You speak as though convincingness is just one thing, as though it is not the case that what convinces one person will not convince another.

    • Deiseach says:

      Read the one against voting for Trump and it’s that Clinton is the lower variance candidate?

      To be fair, that was the argument: “With Hillary, you know what you’ll get” and the answer was “Yes, and that’s exactly why I’m not voting for her” 🙂

    • BBA says:

      What good is an argument if nobody will listen to the speaker? (I addressed this to other other Scott, but it applies just as well here.)

    • ShemTealeaf says:

      I think it was an argument that was fairly well constructed to appeal to the kind of people who read this blog, if perhaps not the larger public. Speaking as someone who was no particular fan of either candidate, Scott’s piece definitely moved me toward the Clinton camp.

      Also, Scott may not have called Trump ‘literally Voldemort’, but being the higher variance candidate is a pretty strong condemnation if you’re talking about likelihood of causing a ‘major blow to world functionality’ or ‘World War III’.

    • Reasoner says:

      If you look at Scott Adams’ own essay written in support of Trump, it strikes me as essentially factual in nature.

    • Rebel with an Uncaused Cause says:

      I found it effective, but I agree that it’s not the sort of thing that plays well with a wider audience. It convinced me that Clinton was the one I feared less, although I wasn’t swayed enough to vote for her instead of Johnson.

  38. sflicht says:

    I was expressing this as a joke to my colleagues at work today, but upon reflection I am serious about it. Milo would be an extremely effective Press Secretary for President Trump.

  39. shakeddown says:

    Colbert’s response was interesting.
    When he first moved to the late show, he mage a genuine attempt to avoid partisanship. And he managed that for a while (e.g., “Ted Cruz is my guest here, and I will not have him booed”.) And then Trump got the nomination, and he fell off the wagon pretty hard.
    But here he is, trying to put partisanship behind him. Trying to say that politics is the mind-killer and we shouldn’t let it get between us. And this is really him at his best, it reminds me why I used to enjoy watching his show.

    • Matt M says:

      Easy to say when your side loses. I wonder if he’d have been so gracious in victory…

      • shakeddown says:

        Maybe not. But being a bad loser is also pretty easy – I can’t remember any republicans acting like this when Obama won (though to be fair, I wasn’t following things closely back then).

        More to the point, when someone does something right, you should encourage them. It should be “thank you for making the right choice”, not dismissing them with “you’re just doing it because it’s easy”. A lot of people are scared right now, and may be vulnerable to shifting their views. We need to do as much as we can to reduce partisanship while we can. Not to mock people when they make overtures.

        • Matt M says:

          1. There ARE no Republicans who host talk shows that are ostensibly non-political in nature, so a comparison is not possible.

          2. I’m unconvinced this is someone really “doing something right” if it’s not genuine. I am questioning whether this is genuine. If he’s not being genuine – if deep down inside he really IS convinced Trump voters are irredeemable racists who must be defeated at all costs – I do not consider it morally good for him to go on TV and say otherwise.

          • shakeddown says:

            1. Bill O’reilly? Some more casual Fox show, maybe? Someone with a newspaper column?

            2. It seems pretty damn genuine, TBH.

          • Matt M says:

            O’Reilly and other fox shows (casual or not) are blatantly and unapologetically political in nature.

            And of course it seems genuine, he’s a professional actor.

            I don’t mean to be overly cynical, but the media (including this guy) basically spent the year shitting all over Trump and people who supported him, calling us the worst names and ascribing us the worst motivations imaginable. And now that they lost, they want to just say “whoops let’s make peace and get on with it”? They’re the schoolyard bully who beats up weaker kids until finally one of them stands up, gets the better of him, and starts beating him down only for him to immediately run off and hide behind the teacher.

          • beleester says:

            I’m disappointed that you think 2. Genuine or not, we shouldn’t witch-hunt people for private views if they aren’t affecting their public life. There are a ton of people on this site who fear that leftists will accuse them of thoughtcrimes for whatever right-wing beliefs they hold, and attacking Colbert because he might still secretly hold leftist views in private sounds like an exactly parallel situation.

          • hlynkacg says:

            I’m with shakedown on this one, when someone does something right, you should encourage them. It should be “thank you for making the right choice”, regardless of what you think their motivations are.

            @ Matt M, and pretty much any other “right leaning” commenters on this board…

            You don’t have to trust them, and you sure as hell don’t have to like them, but you should acknowledge them, when they do something right because that’s what niceness community and civilization requires of us.

            As I said to Deiseach in the other thread, I would like to avoid the scenario where “my side” turns into the same sort of smug asshats that I’ve spent the last decade complaining about. To that end let’s try to be a bit more gracious in victory than our erstwhile opponents have been towards us in the past.

    • Deiseach says:

      I know very little about Stephen Colbert, but I will always be sympathetically inclined to him because of this 🙂

  40. Acedia says:

    A majority (53%) of white women voted for Trump, along with 42% of all women. Fascinating. Idpol campaigning really didn’t work at all.

    • Matt M says:

      I’m sure they’ll learn from this and never try it again.

    • sflicht says:

      There’s a wealth of Heartiste interpretations of that result to explore. I don’t think I buy those. But there’s a slightly softened albeit still redpill, Milo-esque view somewhere in there that’s probably closer to the truth. Some key elements probably involve

      * a fundamentally true component of the counter-feminist, Christina Hoff Summers narrative,
      * women identifying more strongly with their tribe than their sex, hence reacting negatively to vilification of the men they associate with,
      * a subconscious backlash against the cynical ways in which the Clinton campaign exploited feminism/women’s issues.

      To elaborate on the third point, if we see little or no hardhitting investigative journalism and followup lawsuits based upon the sexual harassment allegations against Trump, isn’t that tantamount to an admission that those were completely fabricated narratives, just as the alt-right media claims? The proof will be in the pudding. When Alicia Machado fades back into vaguely distasteful obscurity, will the MSM acknowledge that the whole ordeal was a cynical ploy, that the somewhat unseemly objectification inherent in beauty pageants should really be weighed against the entertainment value and self-affirmation that a not-insignificant portion of our country (male and female) finds in this strange slice of Americana?

      I could go on. Many times this cycle the media argued to women that *as* women they *must* vote against Trump. A lot of these arguments were dumb, in my view, so I see it as unsurprising that (at least in demographics with fewer supporting narratives) they failed to win overwhelming support. But I suppose only time will tell how the intelligentsia digests the narrative of women voters in 2016.

      • FacelessCraven says:

        @sflicht – “To elaborate on the third point, if we see little or no hardhitting investigative journalism and followup lawsuits based upon the sexual harassment allegations against Trump, isn’t that tantamount to an admission that those were completely fabricated narratives, just as the alt-right media claims?”

        And to add a bit of punch to this point, they should absolutely be followed up on. We’ve seen how hard the press can push a story when they want to; we saw it with the UVA rape hoax. If Trump is an actual rapist, I will be delighted to see him impeached.

        • Iain says:

          Most or all of the sexual assault allegations are past the statute of limitations at this point. Here’s a document summarizing the laws by state. (I think this is weak evidence in favor of the accusers. If you were going to make up a fake sexual assault, wouldn’t you claim that it happened recently enough to at least leave your options open?)

          • Randy M says:

            No! Think about it, if I was making it up, the last thing I would want is to be cross examined under oath. If I set the date before it is actionable, I get to say whatever I want without having to answer any hostile questions, and point out that the fact that I am unable to get “justice” is evidence of rape culture.

          • Iain says:

            No matter when you set the date of your pretend assault, Trump can always take you to court for slander. The only thing the statute of limitations affects is whether you yourself can threaten legal action.

          • Randy M says:

            And, if you are lying, you don’t want to be able to threaten that, unless you are able to manufacture convincing evidence.
            Trump doesn’t have to sue for slander (which takes time), he can say “Yeah, if you’re honest, take it to the police. Oh, not doing that? Guess you are lying.”

            If the accuser can say “I would, but I was too traumatized until I was able to heal, I just wish you didn’t have this statute of limitations to protect you!” that’s more convincing than “I would, but I’m too traumatized to go public with this, also, catch my interview on 60 minutes next Sunday”.

          • Iain says:

            I hope that you are equally confident in the ability of the justice system to weed out false accusations of rape in every other context.

          • Randy M says:

            That depends on what the goals are for the other accusations. Assuming I am trying to throw some dirt on a famous person at a critical moment, I’d do it in a way that wouldn’t logically compel me to bring criminal charges and face scrutiny in a court of law. (Though, this isn’t something I’m likely to do, so maybe I just don’t understand the motivations).

            If I was trying to hurt someone in another context, the incentives might be different. (Or I might be deluded, like the lass behind the Rolling Stone story)

      • shakeddown says:

        I think this is true in a sense. But those pleas weren’t completely ineffective – Trump lost women pretty hard compared to men (the gender gap was smaller than expected but still pretty damn big). So while those kind of attacks weren’t the knock-down arguments some liberals thought, they were reasonably effective at convincing a lot of women on the fence.

        • Matt M says:

          But relative to Obama/Romney he only did worse by a couple percentage points. So the “gender gap” is not logically explained by Trump’s unique personal idiosyncrasies or scandals. By all accounts Mitt Romney was a morally upstanding gentleman and women still voted for Obama over him in significant numbers.

          • Anonymous says:

            So far as I know, the gap is easily explained by Clinton being the more socialist candidate, and women tend to vote for socialism more than men.

          • Matt M says:

            Right, which goes against shakdeown’s assertion (and common wisdom) that Trump’s anti-woman remarks and behavior (rather than their natural political preference for Democrats) convinced women to note vote for him. There is no evidence this is true.

  41. max says:

    What should be done to ensure that the opposition to Donald Trump takes the form of sane, kind, liberalism and left-libertarianism, and not reactionary hard-leftism and leftist populism? In Britain the center-left lost an election and then they got Jeremey Corbyn and Brexit.

    Is there any way we can avoid that here, or is it inevitable?

    • sflicht says:

      I think you’re fundamentally misreading the politics of the situation, in a manner I’m having a hard time pinning down. It seems somehow inevitable to me that the Democrats will veer hard left and populist. And the notion that “left-libertarianism” (in the sense of Will Wilkinson or people who proudly call themselves neoliberal) is a coherent ideology still strikes me as absurd, and I think Trump’s victory is evidence for not against this proposition.

      Maybe I’ll feel differently in a few days, who knows.

      • max says:

        I agree that a hard left or at least very populist veer seems inevitable. I just think that’s a pretty bad thing and would rather the existing center-left coalition in the U.S. not move ideologically, even if it didn’t win the election this time around.

        Is there a message that wins votes that includes things like climate change acceptance and liberal supreme court justices but not Bernie Sanders-style “Lock up the crooks on wall street” rhetoric?

        Edit: note this is a real, non-rhetorical question I’m wondering about. I suspect the answer is “no” though? HRC tried identity politics instead of economic populism and that didn’t seem to work against literally the perfect target.

        • sflicht says:

          I consider myself a pretty well-informed, scientifically literate lukewarmist. I have read large parts of various IPCC reports. I understand the concepts of equilibrium climate sensitivity, transient climate response, etc. I know what parts of climate change science go back to Arrhenius and what parts are based on general circulation models. I can tell you that unless and until “climate change acceptance” means something other than “acquiescence to a fairly radical, ‘progressive’ interpretation of the scientifically robust conclusions from publicly vetted research programs with verifiable predictive skill and the robust, evidence-based, policy-relevant consequences thereof”, there will be a surprisingly (to progressives) large number of people like myself who will object to any agenda that requires “climate change acceptance” and pretends to speak on behalf of “science” or the “reality-based community” against “deniers” and “Koch-funded conspiracy nuts in the pay of the oil sector”.

          • shakeddown says:

            You don’t have to accept those kind of politics to think that we need to do more about pollution and climate change than we are now, any more than you need to accept David Friedman style hardcore-libertarianism to think we should probably work harder on removing obstructive regulations.

          • sflicht says:

            @shakeddown: You might be correct, but insofar as argumentation over such issues is based primarily upon perspectives that are “out there in the zeitgeist”, a sensible Bayesian deduction is that either one side or the other is actually completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions. (Since, after all, the two sides have fundamentally incompatible public perspectives on how empirical evidence supports their views.) I haven’t done the math, but I doubt that in such a situation one should “typically” conclude that some sort of weighted average of the extreme views on either side is (from a rationalist perspective) an optimal policy interpolation. More likely is that one side’s arguments overwhelm the other’s in terms of credibility.

            In my case, I’ve *definitely* revisited my views on global warming many times, simply because the “consensus” on the other side is so strong. I’ve updated based upon such reflection. But it is emphatically *not* necessarily rational to adopt “compromise” policy positions, or mean estimates of the 50-100 year impact of AGW, on the basis of such updating. Rather, such reflection has refined my sense of just how confident the Left would really need to be in its assessment of the scientific evidence for imminent CAGW, in order to justify its radical policy prescriptions. And in my view they’ve fallen far short of such thresholds.

          • John Schilling says:

            a sensible Bayesian deduction is that either one side or the other is actually completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions.

            Both of them are completely full of shit in terms of the fundamental justifications for their positions. One of them just happens to gave stumbled onto the correct answer anyhow. And to include within its ranks a statistically insignificant number of good scientists and educated laymen who can reason their way to truth but not make their voices heard above the general din.

      • shakeddown says:

        It could go that way. But I’ve talked a lot to my ivy-league liberal friends over the last couple of days. And I’ve been surprised that most of them rejected identity politics and hard left populism, even those I thought would be super into that.
        I don’t know if my friends are more or less representative than the loud people on Tumblr. But there is a nontrivial chance that they are, that we get a moderate leftism focused on technocracy to oppose Trump.

        • sflicht says:

          Without replying to the content of your comment, I’d like to point out that “the lound people on Tumblr” is probably not a meaningful demographic. I don’t even know the relevant statistics and I’m still quite confident that Tumblr is down there with Twitter in terms of fundamentally not mattering at all as a meaningful social media platform. That is all.

          • shakeddown says:

            I meant to point it out as a stereotype for where I’ve seen the most hard-left populism, not a serious demographic. I don’t know where exactly the demographics of left-populism are – but my point was, they might surprise you, since a lot of the ivy-league liberals you’d expect to be in it aren’t.

          • sflicht says:

            I guess I find it… slightly unsurprising? … that smart people aren’t *deep down* as completely brainwashed as they are required to pretend because of social desirability bias.

            But my own experience in ivy-league academic settings was certainly that such forces are quite prevalent, one factor among many that led me to remove myself from such settings.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            The question isn’t whether Tumblr is a relevant social media platform, but whether it presents a representative sample of the american population. Given the apocalyptic response to the election, I think we have reason to believe that it’s a lot more representative than a lot of posters here would like to admit.

          • shakeddown says:

            Out of curiousity, which field were you in? I’m in math/cs, and it sounds like it’s worse in some of the humanities (especially is anything like gender studies).

          • sflicht says:

            I was in math, but I left academia in 2013.

          • Brad says:

            I’m still quite confident that Tumblr is down there with Twitter in terms of fundamentally not mattering at all as a meaningful social media platform.

            I like the way you phrased that. Tumblr is irrelevant, but at least everyone knows it is irrelevant. Twitter has this weird thing going for it where the media is absolutely in love with it and so likes to pretend that it is far more relevant than it is.

            When the media says “social media” they mean twitter. When almost anyone else says “social media” they mean facebook.

    • Well... says:

      What makes you so sure opposition to Donald Trump, from now until 2020, will take the form of liberalism/libertarianism at all? At least in ideological terms, I mean. In my opinion, the Trump White House’s likely policy outcomes will be much closer to liberalism than they will be to any kind of conservatism.

    • The Nybbler says:

      Sane, kind, liberalism has already lost in the political sphere to pure cynical cronyism, and in the marketplace of ideas to identity politics/SJWs. It’s already beaten. Before it can oppose Donald Trump, it needs to retake some territory on the left.

      Note that I’m speaking as the kind of hard-hearted right-libertarian the bleeding hearts warned you about. We don’t have much territory either.

  42. DrBeat says:

    Let’s forget about that divisive voting conflict by making a new one.

    Kefka or Sephiroth?

  43. Wander says:

    I said it in the other thread as well, but I find the responses of supposed non-partisians quite interesting. A lot of people who had been very relaxed and unwilling to say much about the election have suddenly come out as quite extremely against Trump. Lots of people were apparently trying to give off the image of them being above such things, but secretly just wanted and expected Clinton to win. I’ve definitely seen this among some of the few rationalists I interact with. The rules against arguing with emotion seem to have been dropped in some cases.

    • sflicht says:

      Opposite of my experience. I see a lot of barely concealed glee among libertarian Johnson-voters like myself who were able to use their third party vote to avoid having to confront the socially undesirable fact that Trump was their second choice. Personally I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d voted for Clinton. Probably if the L.P. hadn’t nominated anyone I would have either stayed home or filed a protest vote (reluctantly) for Egg McMuffin. But in my heart of hearts, gun to the head, Trump v. Clinton, I’d have voted for Trump every time, and I feel pleased by the outcome.

      • blacktrance says:

        I know almost no libertarians for whom Trump was their second choice. In my libertarian social circles, by far the most common sentiment was “Johnson is obviously the best, so if you’re going to vote, vote for him, but Clinton is definitely better than Trump”, followed by “Johnson would be the best if he had a chance, but since he doesn’t, you should strategically vote for Clinton”, with a few “Trump is more libertarian than Johnson” from alt-right types.

        • Incurian says:

          My small circle of libertarian friends is excited at the prospect of having a wildly unpopular president, on the theory that it will lead to a scaling back of the executive branch.

        • Trofim_Lysenko says:

          I wouldn’t ever have voted for him and have voted Libertarian pretty consistently recently, but I consider him getting elected president less catastrophically bad than Hilary getting elected president. I’m not exactly a truly doctrinaire Libertarian though. I’ve voted Reform Party before when there was no libertarian on the ballot, and would probably have voted for someone like Barry Goldwater in a heartbeat if I’d been alive when he was active in politics, possibly even if he was running against a Doctrinaire Libertarian Party candidate.

      • Winter Shaker says:

        a protest vote (reluctantly) for Egg McMuffin

        Is that a jokey garbling of ‘Evan McMullin’, or is that an actual well-known idiom in the US for writing in a non-candidate as a protest vote?

      • orangecat says:

        I see a lot of barely concealed glee among libertarian Johnson-voters like myself who were able to use their third party vote to avoid having to confront the socially undesirable fact that Trump was their second choice.

        Being in a non-swing state I gladly voted Johnson. If I had to choose between Clinton and Trump, I would probably go for Clinton and then take a shower and donate to Reason and FIRE. Nevertheless I’m getting immense schadenfreude from the hysterical reactions by the left, so for the moment I’m happier than I would have been had Clinton won.

    • Schibes says:

      A lot of people who had been very relaxed and unwilling to say much about the election have suddenly come out as quite extremely against Trump. Lots of people were apparently trying to give off the image of them being above such things, but secretly just wanted and expected Clinton to win.

      This describes me to a certain extent. After putting my faith in the polls (they were right in 2012, remember?) I felt “safe” voting my conscience for Johnson yesterday. Such arrogance! To my complete horror, very shortly thereafter Clinton lost my Rust Belt swing state, and closely enough that the absence of Johnson and Stein from the ballot could have easily flipped the state to her.

      If America enters a new depression or starts another stupid war under Trump, you’ve got me to thank for it in some very small part. It’s nice to see that there does seem to be a good deal of faith among the commenters here that he is going to (somehow be forced to?) learn some modicum of restraint once he is inaugurated, and that these horrors will never become real. I wish I could share in that feeling with you. After yesterday though, I think I’m done with faith for a little while.

      • Alex Zavoluk says:

        ” the absence of Johnson and Stein from the ballot could have easily flipped the state to her.”

        My impression of most polls was that Johnson seemed to be drawing from both candidates roughly equally (though those were the same polls that predicted Clinton winning). Stein is mostly a leftist candidate, but also significantly smaller even than Johnson.

        My impression is that libertarians tend to be former Republicans more often than former Democrats, and there was a notable “neverTrump” movement among Republicans which probably resulted in more Johnson (and Clinton) voters than the democrats who disliked Clinton (it looks like they mostly stayed home).

        • Alex Zavoluk says:

          According to the data I saw today, only one state (Michigan) could have been flipped if Johnson and Stein weren’t on the ballot, and that would not have been enough electoral votes. The breakdown was something like: 25% of Johnson and Stein voters going to Clinton, 15% to Trump, rest not voting (if GJ+JS weren’t on the ballot). Which highlights the real issue: turnout was atrocious. Trump won with something like a million fewer votes than Romney got! If the dems had managed to find a candidate who wasn’t so awful, and hadn’t so blatantly tried to corrupt the whole process, they could have won easily.

          • hlynkacg says:

            If the dems had managed to find a candidate who wasn’t so awful, and hadn’t so blatantly tried to corrupt the whole process, they could have won easily.

            I agree completely.

            As an aside, I was actually quite pleased when Webb announced his intention to run and would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat had he been the DNC’s nominee.

          • Schibes says:

            [I] would’ve voted for [Jim Webb] in a heartbeat had he been the DNC’s nominee.

            Wow, Jim Webb, there’s a name I haven’t heard in a few months. And yeah, I would have been really happy to vote for him on Tuesday too. Check out this unintentionally poignant New Republic article about Webb from last year if you have a few minutes. The author has Webb framed as a “ghost”, a total has-been, a relic of some bygone era inside the Democratic Party that vanished with the rise of Obama. But now, when re-read through the lens of this week’s news and the Brand New Conventional Wisdom Und Weltanschauung of America under President-Elect Trump, it gives Webb an eerie sort of Jeremiah/Cassandra doomsayers’ vibe.

  44. sflicht says:

    There was a short moment in March when the dominant media narrative about Trump involved testimonies from former employees about his micromanagement.

    It strikes me that we probably have not had a (policy) micromanager in the Oval Office in a long time. (I specify policy because actually running the government is what I care more about than political machinations, for the most part, and political micromanagement is probably more common.)

    Obama is famously “aloof”; the main arena in which he is known for breaking with the policy preferences of his closest advisors is foreign policy, where (at least after Libya) he felt the need to act as a restraining force against Clinton and Kerry’s more interventionist instincts. But I don’t think this ever crossed the threshold into micromanagement.

    Bush II’s administration actually had some problems arguably directly attributable to micromanagement, but probably more accurately described as “mismanagement”. I’m thinking of allegations of “stovepiping” of intelligence in the run-up to Iraq, and to FEMA’s role in the Katrina response. But in both cases the management errors weren’t actually Dubya’s, but his appointees’ (Cheney, Brown).

    I can’t attest to Bill Clinton’s management style since I was too young to be paying attention at the time. But my working model for the Clinton administration is that it was a more lurid and politically compromised version of Jed Bartlett’s White House. (As in, I expect Sorkin did research for the West Wing by talking to Clinton staffers.) Bartlett had some micromanaging tendencies with regard to economic policy and the conduct of direct diplomacy with foreign leaders. The first was an endearing character flaw that I expect Sorkin made up completely. The latter might have been an expedient of the medium, since real diplomacy is probably too boring for TV.

    I’m sure we have had presidents who, in certain areas, felt free to tell their senior advisors “I know how to do your job better than you do and here is exactly how you’re screwing up”. Such feedback wouldn’t be weird, for example, coming from George H. W. Bush to his Director of National Intelligence, or from Eisenhower to his Secretary of Defense. It would be at least a little weird coming from Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton to any of their policy (as opposed to political) advisors.

    Now Trump is an interesting case. In real estate, he could credibly claim expertise in “what sells”, for example, that even a highly skilled architect under his employ might lack. So his micromanaging tendencies, if real, might have been quite valuable. As president, he probably *does* have policy-relevant business experience — for example in negotiation, or corporate tax policies, or getting infrastructure built on time and under budget, etc. — which could inform not just his agenda but lower level aspects of how best to implement it. “Micromanagement” (i.e. his getting directly involved rather than just setting broad goals) in these areas could actually be helpful, at least if you share his objectives. OTOH we have to hope he’s smart enough not to micromanage, pointy-haired boss style, in areas where he has little value to add, like, say, setting monetary policy.

    • FacelessCraven says:

      what is your case for the desirability and/or efficacy of expert opinion in national policy? What have the experts achieved in your lifetime?

      • sflicht says:

        I actually have almost no positive case for that. I was privileging it as a null hypothesis mostly for the sake of argument.

    • shakeddown says:

      Bartlett had some micromanaging tendencies with regard to economic policy and the conduct of direct diplomacy with foreign leaders. The first was an endearing character flaw that I expect Sorkin made up completely.

      Was it a character flaw? Bartlett was a nobel prize winning economist, presumably he had the domain expertise to do this.

      • sflicht says:

        Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning economist. Need I say more?

        • shakeddown says:

          Krugman’s actual economic predictions (putting aside his political rants) tend to be pretty spot-on (he predicted the short-term impact of brexit pretty accurately, for example). I’d trust him micromanaging economics, if not on much else in government.

        • suntzuanime says:

          Yes? You can say “qualifications are untrustworthy”, but then it’s not clear who you expect to be more qualified.

    • Brad says:

      I can’t attest to Bill Clinton’s management style since I was too young to be paying attention at the time.

      Bill Clinton had a reputation a micromanager. Stories came out about him staying up until all hours of the night discussing arcane policy details with relatively low level staffers. This was eventually contrasted with GWB’s more hands off approach and there was some debate about the pros and cons of each.

  45. haltingthoughts says:

    So apparently the emDrive works (again?)? Why is it special? Isn’t a flashlight also a reactionless drive? Doesn’t mass-energy equivalence mean that you can run a spaceship on electricity/energy instead of mass?

    I guess I feel like I’m missing something here.

    • Andrew G. says:

      A flashlight is a reaction drive; the photons emitted have mass. It obeys conservation of momentum.

      A flashlight emitting a 300 kW perfectly collimated light beam would exert a force of 1 milliNewton, and lose 3.3 picograms of mass per second. (You can get twice the thrust by keeping the flashlight stationary and reflecting it off the spaceship, since reflection is double the momentum change compared to emission or absorption.)

      The latest emDrive claim is for 1.2 milliNewtons of thrust at one kilowatt, so that’s 360 times more than simple photon emission could account for.

    • bean says:

      EmDrive, if it works, is supposed to be much, much more efficient than a photon drive, to the point where we could more or less hook it up to current-generation power systems and it would be useful. Of course, almost certainly it doesn’t work.

  46. rlms says:

    Election predictions that were wrong:
    Clinton would win.
    Trump would win in a landslide.
    Johnson would poll at above 5%.
    Clinton supporters would be violent following a Trump victory (at least, wrong at this time).

    • paulmbrinkley says:

      According to Deiseach, calls for assassinations have occurred. That was seen on Tumblr, though; someone over there calls for assassinations often enough that I think they schedule bingo games around it.

      • rlms says:

        Calls for assassination are very different from actual assassination attempts.

        • Anonymous says:

          These youngsters, so impatient.

          He hasn’t even gotten to move into the White House yet! Do you realize how much of a bother it is to set up a political assassination that doesn’t lead straight back to you? You need at least a few levels of separation and people not knowing who they work for, and to find someone crazy enough to take the suicidal mission too.

      • Iain says:

        On one side you have randoms on Twitter and Tumblr calling for assassination; on the other hand, you have speakers at Trump rallies fantasizing about Hillary’s death and this lovely little nugget from the top of the ticket:

        If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.

        Glass houses, and all that.

        • FacelessCraven says:

          People are scum.

          Calls for Secession and assassination don’t prove that Blue Tribe were evil all along. They prove that we’re really not so different from each other after all.

          • Iain says:

            Agree and disagree.

            I agree that there are scummy people on both sides. My (admittedly biased) impression is that, while both sides will spout violent rhetoric, the Republicans have a worse habit of electing their violent nutjobs to office. See, for example, Joe Walsh. I’m not aware of any equivalent nonsense coming from elected Democratic officials.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Iain – “I’m not aware of any equivalent nonsense coming from elected Democratic officials.”

            I would take elected Democratic Officials saying they’re going to grab their muskets, over stuff like this.

            I do not think it particularly matters how you get to the point of having your supporters rioting in the streets and physically attacking people for their political opinions.

  47. ADifferentAnonymous says:

    Assuming that one is convinced Trump is awful, does leaving the country make sense? How does it depend on what kind of awful one expects?

    I think it makes sense if you expect Trump’s America to be an actively evil player on the world stage: even with dual citizenship you can mostly avoid US tax (depending on a few things); the surplus of all your transactions basically accrues to the nation they take place in; and being in the country gives the government more hypothetical access to your resources in extremis, further bolstering its international power.

    If you’re mostly worried about domestic policy harming your fellow citizens, all you get by leaving is a costly signal of protest… Worth something, but I kinda doubt it’s worth a lot.

    Of course, if you think Trump is going to harm you personally, the case for leaving is pretty clear.

    • FacelessCraven says:

      Speaking as someone who fled the US for Canada under Bush, it was probably the worst decision of my life. The biggest threat ordinary Americans face from politics is buying into the drama and doing something disastrously stupid as a result.

      • Matt M says:

        Out of morbid curiosity, why was it a bad decision?

        • FacelessCraven says:

          It massively disrupted my life, postponed my starting a career, delayed my accumulation of savings by about a decade, and cost me a massive amount of time with people I care a lot about, all in the hope of avoiding a variety of dire scenarios that never had a snowball’s chance of actually happening.

          • Matt M says:

            Do you mind if I quote this (anonymously) and show it to friends?

            Edit: Also, what was the #1 thing you were afraid of, if you don’t mind discussing it…

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Go right ahead. My primary function in life is to serve as a cautionary example. If they have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

            “Also, what was the #1 thing you were afraid of, if you don’t mind discussing it…”

            Bush suspending the constitution, probably under the pretext of a nuclear false flag attack, re-instituting the draft and widening iraq/afghanistan into a general Mideast war.

    • BBA says:

      This is no time to quit. This is our country, dammit! I was born here, and I was raised here, and dad gum it, I am gonna die here, and no sidewindin’ bushwackin’, hornswagglin’ cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter! …sorry, slipped into frontier gibberish for a minute there, but the point stands.

    • keranih says:

      Hon, where you gonna go?

      It’s not just about the personal upsides of leaving, it’s about the downsides of going somewhere else as well.

      (I do find it striking, the number of people who want to move to Canada or Spain, but who decline to shift south of the border. That’s…interesting. Like, maybe they don’t want to live next to Mexicans or something.)

      Frankly, most places that one would want to go, won’t take you, and their immigration police are more efficient than ours.

      As you say, if one thought that Trump was going to hunt down one-eyed, one-horned, purple-people-eaters, and one was a people-eater of any color or eyeball count, then certainly flight would be in order(*). But having lived through the hysteria of both the 2004 and the 2008 election, I am dubious of the comparative merits of other nations.

      (*) I was taught that if one looked at the history of most locations of the world, at the county level, it was quite rare to find an area with a 70 year span of peace and tranquility. In other words, one should live ones life being prepared to unass your home – even for a short weather driven period – at short notice at least once, and to plan on having even odds of losing everything. Such, I was told, was how the world turns.

      I think the odds have gotten much better since WWII. Not sure how much the decline of Pax Americana is going to impact that calculation.

  48. Acedia says:

    The emerging narrative in online leftist communities is that this election result is about racism, but I really think the data doesn’t support that. Blacks went for Trump at 5 points more than they did for Romney, Hispanics 2 points more. Asian Americans a whopping 11 (!) points more. Many white areas that voted Trump voted for Obama in 12.

    So if there’s an idpol angle to Trump’s victory it’s not about race, at least not any more than previous elections. It could’ve been gender. I wonder whether Biden would have beaten Trump won running on the exact same platform as Clinton.

    • shakeddown says:

      Interestingly, there’s the theory that Trump won because working-class whites started voting like a minority group.

      • the anonymouse says:

        In other words, the Democrats wanted to make everything about identity politics and the white working class said, “Okay, sure.”?

        • Urstoff says:

          That’s been my working theory since Trump won the primary. Instead of fighting against identity politics, certain sections of the Republican electorate embraced their own white identitarianism. Which is terrible, of course, because all identity politics (and all identities period) is terrible.

          • Anonymous says:

            Which is terrible, of course, because all identity politics (and all identities period) is terrible.

            Meaning that all nation-states should be ~95% monocultures, or otherwise use a system of disenfranchisement and/or considerable control over free expression?

          • Aapje says:

            I certainly heard some people argue: I prefer to vote for my ideals, but if you are going to make it a choice to discriminate against me or in favor of me, I’ll pick in favor of me.

          • Urstoff says:

            Meaning that all nation-states should be ~95% monocultures, or otherwise use a system of disenfranchisement and/or considerable control over free expression?

            No, meaning that people should recognize that each individual is a very complex set of preferences, behaviors, interests, anxieties, etc., and adopting an identity is just a way to great a poisonous ingroup/outgroup dynamic.

      • alfredthenotsogreat says:

        Could you link to such a thing, or perhaps explain what that would mean? Not being USian, I don’t actually know what ‘voting like a minority group’ means (as opposed to voting like any other group).

        I ask not necessarily because I don’t think that’s right, but because it sounds too much like something I would want to believe: that identity politics have thoroughly backfired, in such a predictable way.

        • Randy M says:

          Steve Sailer could probably recommend something he’s written on the topic.
          Or, look at the fraction of the vote of minority groups the Democrats get. Ask yourself if you think they do it because the Democrats have the best policies for all Americans, or for their group. Then ask, what if the white males did the same?

          • Spookykou says:

            I have a hard time imagining any significant number of Americans vote based on a good understanding of policy and how it will impact their life.

            I assume the ‘vote like a minority’ is saying they are voting like a solid coalition, and in larger numbers.

          • Randy M says:

            Yeah, I was trying to imply that.
            But why/how would an entire (or 90+%) ethnic block vote the same way?

          • Wander says:

            Because ethnicity is closely bound with culture and basically every other part of someone’s life. Issues and concerns relating to one person are likely to relate to everyone else in their circle, which is generally the same ethnicity as them (outside of metropolitan centres, which is another story).

        • keranih says:

          An attempt at an explaination:

          At about 12 to 35-40% of a given population, a group is large enough to self-segregate and self-identify as “minority group A” rather than as “slightly odd individual members of majority group”. At this level, though, they can’t swing a vote on their own, and if they heavily identify as Group A, they are likely to repel majority group members who would join w/them. As a result they are a permanent minority – large enough to enforce their own rules internally, too small to enforce their rules on the larger society. It makes for frustrated and unhappy people.

          Members of the majority group can afford to be generous and accepting towards fractional, <10% groups, because those numbers are never going to matter. At the larger numbers, though, Group A is contentious and unrestful, and resented.

          African-Americans are, nationally, at the lower margin of effect, but tend to cluster in areas where they are locally majorities. They are slipping in overall percentage, though, while Hispanics are increasing, as are Asian and other non-Caucasian ethnic groups. We are heading towards a time when all groups are in the 12-40% range, which is going to be…contintious, unless a common culture can be fabricated between one or more groups.

          Right now, some activist groups are attempting to forge a common cause between AA & Hispanic cultures, with some success on college campus & courts, but with much less on the street. OTOH, there is reason to suspect that the whole mess is only stable and wealthy because of the impact of the Caucasian WASP culture, and as that declines, so does the hope for government by, for, and of the people.

          • Winter Shaker says:

            Assuming this population threshold effect is a real thing, what would be the effect of a vast wave of intermarriage, so that the overwhelming majority of the population a few generations hence had ancestry from all the current large racial groups?

            A lot of Latin America, as far as I can tell, is populated mostly by people with strong fractions of both European and indigenous (and in the case of Brazil, also African) ancestry, and while those societies have their problems, we don’t seem to hear much these days about discord associated particularly with racial resentment. Though that could be because I just plain get less news than I do from the US, being based in the UK … where, as it happens, we haven’t had any specifically Saxon-vs-Norman hostility in a long time 🙂

            And assuming that large amounts of intermarriage would actually serve to form a large enough ‘mestizo’ culture to significantly tamp down on racial tensions, how might a society go about incentivising that?

          • dndnrsn says:

            12% seems far too high. There are several minority groups that make up a lower % of the population than that.

  49. sflicht says:

    Here is evidence that the Trump transition team has looked to none other than Greg Cochran for guidance about how to staff the FDA!

    Talk about a 180 degree turn from political correctness…

  50. Randy M says:

    I’d like to go on record, despite the national vote being more to my liking than the state vote, of being firmly in favor of federalism and localism.

    “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others” is as sound a principle today as it was when Jefferson, iirc, first formulated it.

    • shakeddown says:

      I agree about some things (The interstate highway system, for example, is one thing I wish was done at the state/local level). But pro-life advocates care about protecting baby’s lives, not just babies in their districts (especially when anyone in a district can just hop over to another one where it’s more legal).
      Also, even if you believe in federalism in general, I don’t see how you apply it to the presidential election: it’s an office that affects all people pretty equally.

      • suntzuanime says:

        You can make it a crime to leave your region to commit some crime and then come back. If you’re saying that people who want to commit crimes will go where it’s legal and stay, well, that’s sort of the point of localism. Ideally your region will have something more attractive than the crimes they want to commit.

      • Randy M says:

        Well, duh, obviously there is only one president. But over the generations he and the national congress have gotten more power. The liberals who think Trump is an end to “reproductive rights” (spit) or LGTBQetc. rights, in my ideal world, would be able to assuage themselves that the federal government has little to do with these. I am taking this opportunity to point it out because at the moment it cuts against my interests both ways, as I am in a Democrat state but there is national control by Republicans. I would rather see the rulers devolve power back down, but I don’t think this is particularly a Republican idea, if it ever has been.

        I wish to see abortion illegal in every state, and do not sincerely wish for “abortions for some”. But it need not be a national issue and local communities should be able to set their own standards on a wider variety of issues than which they do, which is counter to the trend I observe.

        • shakeddown says:

          One thing that seems pretty unequivocal is that Washington should be in charge of national defence. That one worries a lot of people about Trump, and doesn’t seem to have a good solution by localizing.

          • Randy M says:

            Granted.

            But, rethinking it, I’m not sure that it would have a unifying effect or not. At the moment we are riven with disputes about important issues; if CA and TX were able to decide these on their own, would people in each state be able to live with people “over there” allowed to actually do those wicked things?

      • CatCube says:

        For the Interstate system, it depends exactly what you mean by wishing it was local. If you mean not one nickel from a state is used in another state, it’s definitely not local. However, in the system as-is funding comes from the Federal Government, but routes are set by State DOTs and the standards to which the highways are built are set by AASHTO, which is technically a private body. You can quibble with the “technically,” since it’s an organization who’s governing board is composed of the leaders of the 50 state DOTs, plus Puerto Rico, DC, and FHWA. The FHWA member is non-voting.

      • JulieK says:

        But pro-life advocates care about protecting baby’s lives, not just babies in their districts

        Half a loaf is better than none.

    • NIP says:

      Hear hear! I agree, and I think it’s probably the only way to have peace in a large and culturally diverse nation. You simply cannot have large cities dictating their values on everyone else, or vice versa, unless you are in favor of the “politics as perpetual low-level war” model.

  51. Mark says:

    If white males agree to have lower pay than women/other ethnicities, can they be counted as an underprivileged minority?

    I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

    All white males must pay an additional 10% tax, but in return, nobody can ever mention “white privilege” “patriarchy” or “racism” ever again?

    • Incurian says:

      Your demand for a quick and easy way out of being made to feel uncomfortable for your evil heritage only serves to highlight your privilege.

      • Mark says:

        Yagh!

        It really is the societal equivalent of a domestic argument about cleaning up bread-crumbs or something.

      • Well... says:

        Do demands for reparations therefore also serve to highlight the privilege of the people making them?

        • Incurian says:

          They don’t highlight the privilege of the people making them because they don’t have privilege.

          • Well... says:

            So, demands for a quick and easy way to redress some bad thing you think you’re experiencing do…not…?…highlight your privilege?

            Honestly man, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not; maybe your replies were all meant to be trollish jokes.

            My frank opinion is that “privilege” is one of those moving-goalpost terms that people just use to demonize other people any way they can.

            My liberal friends and coworkers can discuss their honest opinions at work, or could write about them online using their real names, and not suffer any serious consequences–even when their opinions include bashing someone or some group of people. I could gripe that this is a kind of privilege they enjoy and I (as a conservative) don’t, but the truth is it’s really just one of many natural imbalances in the universe that can never be brought into equilibrium. I create workarounds (such as being honest among carefully vetted friends, or anonymously online) and make do with what I can, and try to enjoy everything else life has to offer.

            And I do. Life is great. I wouldn’t trade places with my liberal friends for anything. My wife (who is black) and I talk about this too: how she’d never want to be white and I’d never want to be black. Apparently privilege, if it’s a thing, isn’t actually that important.

          • Incurian says:

            I was going to keep this up indefinitely, but I’ll just admit they were trollish jokes and I’m sorry that we live in a world where what I said can be reasonably mistaken for the thoughts of an actual human being.

    • Aapje says:

      White men already pay additional tax and get less benefits (than women, not necessarily black men), that doesn’t prevent them from being called privileged.

      • Nadja says:

        Hmm, what do you mean by that? Not questioning, just genuinely asking. Do you mean they statistically pay more? In such case, do Asian men pay even more while receiving even fewer benefits?

        • Aapje says:

          Men work more hours and have higher salaries, so pay more taxes. Healthcare spending is a pretty big part of the budget and men use substantially less of that than women.

          Women live longer and thus get more Social Security for the amount they pay in. Depending on the pension system, you can have the same there (if it’s not personal, but pooled).

          There are also some government services for women that don’t exist for men or are much less extensive for men, while the opposite is much, much rarer.

          So there is a substantial wealth transfer to women, purely at the government level.

          In relationships there is also a big wealth transfer towards women, of course, but that is a separate issue.

          • Nadja says:

            Thanks for elaborating. I thought you probably meant something along these lines. I was somewhat surprised women use more health care than men, but a brief Google search seems to confirm that’s right.

          • Aapje says:

            By living longer, women have more years where they get to use medical care. Women also more likely to seek health care for similar health issues (men are conditioned to ‘be tough’). It’s likely that women also have a bit more health issues if you factor out these things (‘the fetus growing inside your body’ thing tends to involve more medical needs than ‘squirt,’ for example).

            Interestingly, men do pay more for car insurance, where they cause more costly accidents (mostly at a young age); but women don’t pay more for medical insurance. This is one of these remnants of female coverture that must be addressed if we are to get equality.

          • Nadja says:

            Well, so from the little I read when I Googled, women use more health care even if we don’t factor in pregnancies. (I don’t think it’s fair to count the cost of a pregnancy against women. Both parents are on average equally responsible for a child’s conception, so the cost should be attributed to both.) The interesting part ties in with what you say about accidents. Apparently, since men get into more fatal accidents, they end up being cheaper health care-wise, because we use the most health care dollars in our old years, slowly dying from natural causes. That, plus women live longer for other reasons, so they have more of those expensive old-age years.

            Additionally, women apparently (and not really surprisingly) use more preventative services. The interesting part is that it used to be a common belief that if you do more preventative stuff, you will end up paying less in the long run. From what I understand, that belief has recently been challenged, with articles popping up all over the place about how routine physicals haven’t been shown to do much good, etc.

          • Aapje says:

            90+% of workplace accidents happen to men (in no small part because men almost exclusively do the really dangerous jobs). They also tend to do the most ‘body destroying’ work, which ages them prematurely, but a lot of these damaged people use relatively little healthcare (probably due to them being mostly lower class & relatively poor & these people being relatively macho (which I think is a coping mechanism for dealing with their assigned gender roles) ).

            As for attributing things to the other gender, it sounds nice, but opens a huge can of worms. You can pretty much attribute everything to everything, in a world where the partners often divide labor between them. The choice of what you attribute tends to be mostly based on what things you can come up, which tends to reflects your own bias.

            As for preventative care, a big problem is that a lot of that care results in treatment of healthy people due to false positives which itself compromises health. For example, a colonoscopy has a high risk of complications. I can come up with only two types of preventative care that seem to have major benefits: dental care and beta blockers. I suspect that these types of preventative care have the smallest gap in usage between men and women.

            I think that most people really want preventative care to work, but often, it works a lot better to just wait for symptoms to manifest.

    • Brad says:

      Move to Hereford, Texas. Don’t travel and stay off the internet. Send 10% of your income to me.

    • Deiseach says:

      No, Mark, you see: even if you’re an unemployed ex-miner in Virginia with black lung, an eviction notice, and a prescription opioid habit, you as a white man are still in a position of privilege relative to, say, Oprah Winfrey.

      Because institutional racism means you get the benefits of living in a society that for generations privileged white men over women, people of colour, and other minorities, and you have the benefit of that still as explained here.

      See? Now get down on the floor and grovel and flagellate yourself to expiate your horrible racist sexist privilege, you monster!

    • Earthly Knight says:

      I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

      Calculate the balance of goods you will earn over the rest of your life, subtract those goods you would still have earned had you been female/black/gay (holding everything else fixed) and contribute the difference to charities supporting women/black folk/gay folk. Privilege consists in those excess goods you acquire by virtue of belonging to the favored class in an unjust society. Because they are unjustly acquired, you have an obligation to return them to their rightful owners; discharging this obligation relieves you of your privilege.

      • Robert Liguori says:

        Huh.

        If I’d been able to leverage that sweet affirmative action preference, I could (holding my academic history and interests constant) gone to a much more prestigious school, and much likely landed a much higher starting salary, with according knock-on lifetime effects.

        Since that amount actually exceeds the balance of goods I’m likely to earn in my lifetime, I’m obligation-free, and therefore, unprivileged, and anyone who calls me privileged is objectively wrong according to Earthly Knight. Good to know.

        • Earthly Knight says:

          The counterfactual we’re considering is one where you spend your whole life being black, which would almost certainly have affected your academic history, and likely would have led to your having different interests as well. The idea is that we pour your genes (excepting those which code for skin color) into a black infant’s body and use that person’s life as a basis for comparison.

          There’s no a priori guarantee that your life would have been worse, but it seems quite likely.

          • Mark says:

            How is this.

            We have some sort of basic income guarantee and agree to view conspicuous consumption as a signal of mental weakness rather than social strength.

            Would we be able to cut down on the old identity politics a bit, then?

            As a Bernie-Bro that’s all I really want.

          • Aapje says:

            @EK

            There’s no a priori guarantee that your life would have been worse, but it seems quite likely.

            Group effects cannot just be assumed to hold for group members.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            That’s why I say that there’s no a priori guarantee but it’s nevertheless quite likely.

          • Robert Liguori says:

            Is there a reason you’re assuming black skin inherently makes people less interested in and capable of academics?

            I mean, if I still get my parents, my culture of origin, and so on, then I don’t see what your argument here is, unless it’s that black skin literally makes you dumber.

            Is there a specific effect path you’re considering here? To my knowledge, no one’s actually tried to randomly darken and lighten the skin of infants to see how it affects them while holding everyone around them constant; we can look at closest-possible-analogue situations (like looking for specific subcohorts of black or dark-skinned brown people whose cultural values and average IQ match that of my own group), but that would end up ridiculously narrow.

            Plus, you don’t actually know anything about me. For all you know, I’m operating under a pseudonym, am actually Indian-American, and can pass for black when heavily tanned.

            I can certainly consider the argument that mass cultural forces beyond that of individual parental upbringing is strong enough to push people of various ethnicity towards various destinies in the average case. I’d need to be shown some strong evidence of it, but I could consider it.

            Proposing such an effect in the weird counterfactual you propose to specifically apply to my life, with such confidence, and with no proposed justification other than repeating that it seems quite likely, however, doesn’t seem to merit that kind of consideration.

          • Aapje says:

            @Earthly Knight

            It depends very much on how you choose your groups. For example, choose white vs black people and suddenly a Appalachian white person is logically rich (but realistically poor). This seems obvious underfitting of your model. A more realistic model would subdivide white people into a few groups.

            If you divide black people into ex-slaves vs more recent African immigrants, you see a huge difference in income. So again, your simplistic model is underfitting and would give the wrong answer for an African immigrant.

            BTW. The income differences between black and white immigrants being far less than the difference between black and white natives strongly suggests that the theory that all differences are due to oppression is false.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Robert

            I mean, if I still get my parents, my culture of origin, and so on, then I don’t see what your argument here is, unless it’s that black skin literally makes you dumber.

            Really? The possibility that black people are less likely than whites to succeed academically because society constantly sends them not-so-subtle hints that they’re intellectually inferior and might wind up in prison isn’t even on your radar?

            Proposing such an effect in the weird counterfactual you propose to specifically apply to my life, with such confidence, and with no proposed justification other than repeating that it seems quite likely, however, doesn’t seem to merit that kind of consideration.

            I’m mostly just interested in giving a correct definition of privilege.

            @ Aapje

            The income differences between black and white immigrants being far less than the difference between black and white natives strongly suggests that the theory that all differences are due to oppression is false.

            The definition I gave is designed to separate privilege from the effects of differences in natural talents.

          • Aapje says:

            The definition I gave is designed to separate privilege from the effects of differences in natural talents.

            AFAIK, migrants tend to be culturally different in ways that improve their success rates. So I don’t think that you can ascribe the entire difference to natural talent.

    • Nadja says:

      How I wish it were this simple. Wouldn’t it be great (it wouldn’t) if there existed some objective formula to calculate your privilege tax based not only on gender or race, but also on the quality of parenting you received, your IQ, your religious affiliation, your family’s social standing, the community you grew up in and the value of your traits as assessed by that community, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I want to know the quickest way to get rid of my privilege, so I never have to hear the word again.

      What you could do instead is OWN the word. When they accuse you of being privileged, take pride in the fact! When they ask you to check your privilege, say it has never been better.

  52. dndnrsn says:

    It looks like Trump did the same as Romney among Hispanic voters, female voters, and black voters. This is not what I expected would be the case, win or lose. Does anybody have any ideas as to why it happened like this?

    (hlynkacg above has a possible explanation for the Hispanic voters, and I can see why black voters would turn out less for Clinton than Obama or Bill, but I’m flummoxed as to female voters).

    • Jaskologist says:

      Usually the important female division is married vs unmarried. How did that shake out?

      My guesses:
      1) Women don’t identify with other women in the same way that ethnic groups do.
      2) The Clintons are hardly squeaky clean on treatment of women. Bill has done as badly as Trump, and Hillary covered up for him.

    • Eltargrim says:

      Which data are you looking at? The NYT applet appears that Trump did marginally worse among women than Romney, both of whom are in proximity to McCain, as well as Bush Jr.’s first run. Only Bush Jr.’s second run appears to even beat Romney.

    • Sandy says:

      I think last night clearly indicated that Obama was the glue who held the newfound Obama coalition together, and they weren’t interested in turning out when he wasn’t on the ballot.

      • paulmbrinkley says:

        If that’s true, it’s not exactly clear to me what was so special about Obama that wasn’t present in Clinton for coalition building. Obama had “black” on his dinner card; Clinton had “female” on hers. Both had the party machinery and the press. Obama had oration, I suppose; I know a lot of people liked Clinton’s poise in debates, but maybe that was only because she was next to Trump. I know she has a cold reputation, but that isn’t hitting me that hard for some reason.

        • shakeddown says:

          Obama is nearly supernaturally likable. And I think black people have a much stronger group identity than women, so Obama’s gains there outweighed Clinton’s.

          But yeah, “shouldn’t change the narrative” applies: This was a minor shift in vote percentages. Hillary was only a couple of percent points behind Obama; this isn’t that big a shift.

        • Sandy says:

          Obama is charismatic. Hillary is a damp brick by comparison. He was also a guy who came out of nowhere, not exactly an establishment candidate, whereas the only thing that says “entrenched aristocracy” in America more than the name “Clinton” is the name “”Bush”.

    • Deiseach says:

      It may be that women just don’t like Hillary. I mean, I’m a woman myself, and she strikes me as cold (which is not necessarily bad) but arrogant, despite all the photos of her laughing (actually, those are terrible: big, head thrown back, mouthful of teeth wide open shots, like one of the Visitors from the mini-series “V” swallowing a small mammal. Or like she’s been coached by her team to ‘humanise’ her – “Okay, Madame Empress, today we’re going to practice the concept called “humour” where you do this action called “laughing”, which involves opening your mouth and uttering noises of hilarity. Yeah – not quite like that – oh, well. Close enough”).

      I’m not sure if older women voters are excited about her as “our first female president!” but I think for younger women, she’s so thoroughly entrenched in the establishment for so long, it’s no big deal – she’s practically been president already with her two stints as First Lady, there’s nothing exciting or novel about “a woman in high office” with her.

      • Randy M says:

        In one of the Foundation books (the prequel I think, Foundation’s Foundation or something), there was a rumor that the leading candidate for galactic emperor was a robot, which was unfortunate slander as was true. His campaign manager (Hari Seldon?) gave him the optimum response to the question being posed–laugh at it.
        Took some practice, though.

        • AlphaGamma says:

          I thought it was a story set much earlier- Evidence and its sequel The Evitable Conflict, both short stories which are part of the I, Robot collection and therefore set well before Foundation. It’s never explicitly stated whether the successful candidate (for mayor of Chicago rather than Galactic Emperor, though he later becomes leader of a unified Earth government) is a robot or not, but it’s strongly implied that he is.

          There is a disguised robot Prime Minister in the Foundation prequels, so you may be right as well- it’s been a while since I read them.

          • Randy M says:

            I’ll accept the doubt being thrown on the details of my recollection as it accurately reflects the reliability of my memory at this remove.

    • Tracy W says:

      Megan McArdle has a suggestion: traditional Christians (including women) were turned off the Democrats by things like the Hobby Lobby or that pizza place controversy or transgender bathroom rights. Donald Trump might be immoral, but they didn’t regard him as a threat to their businesses. (Note: I’m not Christian or an American.)

      • FacelessCraven says:

        Think bigger. Take a look at how Clinton’s supporters are talking about Trump’s supporters.

        • the anonymouse says:

          May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. Our lovely host has noted this frequently before: you get demonized enough, you eventually shrug and quit trying to appease.

          It is my understanding that “I’m going to call you names until you decide to vote for me” is not a particularly effective tactic.

          • Zombielicious says:

            I don’t know, my take away after 24 hours is that it worked great for the Republicans, why not us? Democrats elected the first black president, running on a generally centrist platform, by the widest margin in years, and Republicans immediately promised to obstruct everything he tried to accomplish and dedicate themselves to making him a one-term president. They called him a Kenyan Muslim socialist and now have elected the guy who ran, and was representative of, that entire campaign. It’s well documented how he tried to get Republican votes for healthcare reform, they refused to cooperate in any way, and now gaslight liberals for their own strategy dating all the way back to Newt Gingrich. They said that by systematically making government dysfunctional, the party that was ideologically against government would win, and they seem to have been right. Now you have people sharing photos of the KKK literally celebrating in the streets (false, thanks Snopes), retweeting every racist celebratory thing his supporters have sent them, asking how long until their families are deported, until they lose their healthcare and can’t get it back, etc…

            I know almost everyone on this site will disagree with me, but it seems more like the biggest loser here was any strategy remotely involving centrism and compromise. The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists. These self-fulfilling prophecies swing both ways. Not really sure enough to bet what exactly will happen with the Dems, but if they have any sense whatsoever they’ll toss out everyone who had anything remotely to do with the Clinton dynasty, have their own Tea Party moment, and embrace the same strategy of obstructionism and populism that worked so well for the Republicans. And now they have more reason to than ever.

            Like I said, I know we basically live in different realities and few on this site will ever agree to any of this, but the “I’m going to call you names until you decide to vote for me” strategy is not what has been repudiated here. The entire establishment wing of the Dem party has, as it should have been, but the tradeoff for that is likely going to be two Tea Parties fighting each other tooth and nail.

          • Tracy W says:

            @Zombielicious: the difference between calling Barack Obama names and calling Trump supporter names is that Barack Obama only has one vote.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Zombielicious – “I don’t know, my take away after 24 hours is that it worked great for the Republicans, why not us?”

            Why not you? Feeding the Republicans exactly what they’ve been feeding you is the obvious smart move. It’s going to be harder to do effectively without majorities in congress or the senate, but this is the obvious best strategy to employ, and the Repubs have no room to complain without highlighting their own massive hypocrisy.

            “The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists.”

            You say that like it’s a bad thing.

            Seriously, though. If you recognize that the Democratic establishment had to go, what’s the problem with getting Warren and Sanders to the fore? That they can’t win? I’m a Trump voter, and I like Sanders quite a bit. As in, if he or someone like him is the next Democratic nominee, he probably has a better chance of getting my vote than Trump or a Repub does.

            “The entire establishment wing of the Dem party has, as it should have been, but the tradeoff for that is likely going to be two Tea Parties fighting each other tooth and nail.”

            At least it will be an honest fight between people with some sort of coherent vision, not the Bush vs Clinton stage-managed stagnation shitshow we’ve been living under for near on to thirty years. Nor does this have to mean endless gridlock. The downfall of our respective establishments means a shakeup of the consensus. Trump is not a conservative, and in fact the conservative movement may be dead. Nor is he a standard-bearer for the Moral Majority. It’s entirely possible that with the deadwood out of the way, we can find more room for compromise, not less.

          • Sandy says:

            The Dem establishment has been eviscerated, good riddance, but now you’ll be left with Sanders and Warren and their supporters. Some of whom are, you know, actual socialists.

            Natural alliance between Marxists and Trumpists — “grab them by the pussy” secretly code for “seize their means of production” — not many can see this for what it is

          • Earthly Knight says:

            the difference between calling Barack Obama names and calling Trump supporter names is that Barack Obama only has one vote.

            Trump constantly insulted women and Mexicans. Look where that got him! Zombielicious is right, Trump won by abandoning all standards of decency and truth. I think I’m going to spend the next four years calling Trump supporters human garbage and child rapists, see how well that works out.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Earthly Knight – “Trump constantly insulted women and Mexicans. Look where that got him! Zombielicious is right, Trump won by abandoning all standards of decency and truth.”

            A shame the DNC kneecapped Bernie, ain’t it?

            “I think I’m going to spend the next four years calling Trump supporters human garbage and child rapists, see how well that works out.”

            You do what you gotta do, sir. Sooner or later, though, we have to find a way to live together, or living together won’t happen.

            In my opinion, the real takeaway is that we really aren’t all that different. Dems are now proposing assassination and secession when they lose, just like repubs did. Bernie’s populism was damn similar to Trump’s. There was a great deal of support for reigning in police abuses before BLM made the issue strictly about “racism”. Get the bullshit narratives out of the way, and we might actually be able to get things done again.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            There’s no more living together. Niceness, community, and civilization lost this election.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            You know, now might not be the very best time to double down on the notion that standing between a president and whatever he wants to do is inherently wicked.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Charity isn’t just for when you’re winning.

            Contemplate that maybe, just possibly, unlimited vilification of your opponents is why you’re in this situation in the first place. Bet hey, your call. Mosin crates are an economical method for arming up in bulk, if that’s more your speed. You may hate us, but should we care if you are us?

          • Earthly Knight says:

            unlimited vilification of your opponents is why you’re in this situation in the first place.

            I’m sorry, but if unlimited vilification were a bad policy, I do not see how Trump could have won the election. Society is, as Hobbes taught us, an enormous iterated prisoner’s dilemma, and 48% of society just defected in the clearest way possible. And, once a population has been invaded by defectors, the only way to reinstate a norm of cooperation is by employing retaliatory strategies. This shouldn’t involve any violence or law-breaking, we just need to misplace the naloxone when making house calls to rural areas.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Well, that’s a hell of a thing to say.

            We all think our retaliation is justified and the other side’s is rank villainy. It does boggle me a bit that you think that level of rage is justified before Trump even takes office, though. Talking approvingly about letting people die, because other people voted for a rude asshole?

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Perhaps if I say more things like it someday I will become president.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            Or maybe you’ll just embarrass yourself. Which seems more likely?

          • JulieK says:

            @Cerebral Paul Z:

            Also wicked: Dedicating oneself to making a newly-elected president a one-term president.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Julie K – Is that wicked? I don’t think that’s wicked. That seems like fair play to me, and I voted for Obama the first time around. It’s what I expect the Dems to do versus Trump now, and more power to them.

          • Cerebral Paul Z. says:

            Forgot about that! I hereby call on Democrats to dedicate themselves to making Trump a two-term President.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            What is there to be embarrassed about, any more? Not bragging about sexually assaulting women, that’s okay now. Mocking people with disabilities is okay, too. Pledging to murder innocent people is fine. Open racism and sexism are fine. Telling insane lies is fine. Spreading wild conspiracy theories is fine. Promising retribution against your political opponents is fine.

            This is the world the Trump supporters have brought us. If you have any objections, I suggest you take it up with them, society no longer has the moral authority to make me feel any shame or self-doubt.

            I mean, what if Donald Trump wanted to comment here? Is Scott going to say no to the president-elect? Of course not. There are no norms any more, not here, not anywhere else.

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @Earthly Knight – Well, as it happens, I am a trump supporter, so I guess I can take it up with me? Except I straight-up disagree with quite a bit of your list. You do not get to declare your subjective viewpoint as objective reality, and temper tantrums aren’t persuasive. Get a grip on yourself. I’ve debated you before, and you’re better than this.

            I went into last night expecting for Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States, for her to secure a liberal Supreme Court, and for the Republicans to never win a presidential election again in my lifetime. I have spent the last two years coming to grips with the possibility that my values might never be politically viable again, and that I need to spend the rest of my life concealing them from everyone around me to avoid being singled out for the witchburning routine. I have people I work with that are vocally enthusiastic about finding witches to burn. I went into last night expecting total defeat, and was prepared to greet it with composure.

            Do you not realize that other people see things differently than you do? Do you not realize that you can’t win every round forever?

            Don’t take it from me, though. Here’s a massively popular writeup from the Deplorable Hive itself.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            Society is, as Hobbes taught us, an enormous iterated prisoner’s dilemma, and 48% of society just defected in the clearest way possible.

            Yes, I agree, the Dems clearly don’t care for democracy, we need to crush them utterly to make sure they can never threaten America’s constitutional stability.

            ETA: More seriously, a lot of the pro-Trump sentiment comes from the fact that a large segment of the governing class has written off a sizeable chunk of the country, completely ignoring their problems and remembering their existence only when they need somebody to mock. You don’t think that counts as “defection” on the part of the governing class?

          • FacelessCraven says:

            @The Original Mr. X – If you’re being facetious, it’s not terribly helpful. If you’re serious, see above.

            People are scum. Hypocrisy is the default. That doesn’t mean we can’t be better than that, or that they can’t either.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Except I straight-up disagree with quite a bit of your list.

            You helped make someone who did everything on that list president, though. That’s enough, I think, to undermine any future moral criticism you might make, of me or anyone else.

            Yes, I agree, the Dems clearly don’t care for democracy, we need to crush them utterly to make sure they can never threaten America’s constitutional stability.

            You don’t yet understand: committing crimes is a good thing now, it makes you qualified to be president. Petty vandalism and larceny aren’t going to cut it, though, the protestors would need to start sexually assaulting and threatening to murder people to earn your vote.

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight – the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree with your opinion that Trump is racist or sexist, that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women” or that he openly mocked people with disabilities. In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them. They might be wrong or you might be wrong, but don’t assume most people voted Trump because/in spite of him doing/being these things.

          • Leit says:

            Wow. Earthly Knight is really going to be embarrassed when he sobers up.

            Trump won by one side consistently abandoning standards of decency and truth… in favour of calling others deplorable -ists, and those so accused getting sick of it. Oh, and getting sick of the fact that they’re labelled -ists excusing anything done in the name of standing against them.

            Trump won on a positive message of “Make America Great Again”. The democrats lost on attempting to vilify the opposition. Feel free to go ahead and keep doing it, though.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            @ Nadja:

            the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree with your opinion that Trump is racist or sexist, that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women” or that he openly mocked people with disabilities. In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them. They might be wrong or you might be wrong, but don’t assume most people voted Trump because/in spite of him doing/being these things.

            And even among those who did think the accusations about racism, sexism etc. credible, the overwhelming attitude I saw was “Sure, he’s a jerk, but a Hillary presidency would be even worse, so I guess I’ll just have to hold my nose and vote for Trump anyway.” Which is still a long way from saying “I’m going to vote for him because he’s a racist and sexist.”

            Really, if we’re going to go down that route, we might as well say “Hillary supporters voted for her because she’s a crook who endangers national security and covers up for rapists,” it would be equally (un)true.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            @ Nadja

            the majority of Trump supporters don’t agree […] that he “bragged about sexually assaulting women”

            This was captured on tape. We have all heard the tape.

            or that he openly mocked people with disabilities.

            This was also captured on tape. We have all seen the tape.

            In fact, such accusations sound ridiculous to them.

            Maybe so, but the evidence is unmistakable and readily available to all. Ignorance does not excuse wrongful action if the ignorance was caused by self-delusion.

            @ Leit

            Trump won on a positive message of “Make America Great Again”. The democrats lost on attempting to vilify the opposition.

            See above point about self-delusion.

            @ Mr. X

            , the overwhelming attitude I saw was “Sure, he’s a jerk, but a Hillary presidency would be even worse, so I guess I’ll just have to hold my nose and vote for Trump anyway.” Which is still a long way from saying “I’m going to vote for him because he’s a racist and sexist.”

            Murdering innocent people was actually part of Trump’s platform.

            But it doesn’t matter. Even holding your nose and voting for someone who brags about sexual assault and promises to murder people robs you of your standing to ever make any moral criticisms again.

          • Mark says:

            I used to have a flat mate who was incredibly obnoxious. I tended to meet my friends down at the pub rather than inviting them back to my house.

            Same principle at national level. Out of consideration for foreigners, you need a moratorium on immigration until you can figure out what is going on with American racists.

          • nancylebovitz says:

            Arguably, Trump framed assaulting women as a hypothetical rather than something he actually did. On the other hand, he made it saound as though assaulting women was a cool thing to do.

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            No, what was captured on tape is him saying women *let* you do these things if you’re a celebrity, and then him going on to elaborate on those things the women let you do. It absolutely doesn’t sound to me like Trump saying he’d do these things by force against women’s will. You can disagree with my interpretation. But the whole point is that Trump supporters look at the same reality you look at and interpret it differently. You call them deluded, and they’d probably think you’re deluded.

            [Edit: an even bigger point here should be that Trump is clearly joking around here. He’s trying to be amusing. And judging by the reaction of the guy laughing, he’s succeeding in that context. The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.]

            As to the disabled reporter, Trump has made the exact same gesture on many occasions, for example when referring to Cruz avoiding answering a debate question, people who run banks handwaving about regulators, some general on TV talking about ISIS. Additionally, Trump claims he didn’t know or remember the reporter was disabled, and I have no idea if that was true but I find it believable. Especially that he has a history of using this gesture to refer to clueless handwaving. Again, you can argue against my interpretation of the facts, but that’s the whole point. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. And Trump supporters’ opinions on these subjects are different from yours.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            Arguably, Trump framed assaulting women as a hypothetical rather than something he actually did.

            No, what was captured on tape is him saying women *let* you do these things if you’re a celebrity,

            Nope! Trump explicitly states that he starts kissing beautiful women without waiting, then brags that if you’re as famous as he is they also let you grab them by the pussy. It is difficult to see how he could know that beautiful women let men as famous as he is grab them by the pussy if he had never actually tried doing it himself. Of course, we know now, from the testimony of numerous women, that he often does exactly what he bragged about doing.

            “Remember, men, if you go around grabbing women by the pussy, you could become president someday!

            Remember, women, to be careful criticizing men who grab you by the pussy, they might become president someday!”

            This is the message that Trump supporters have sent.

            As to the disabled reporter, Trump has made the exact same gesture on many occasions, for example when referring to Cruz avoiding answering a debate question,

            I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Trump held his hands the same way the disabled reporter is forced to as a result of his disability, while imitating him, while making jerky movements. Do you have a video of Trump performing a similar routine while imitating someone without a disability?

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            Here’s one such video of Trump doing the gesture:
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M4604reEqk0

            There are more linked in the video description.

            Trump does say he starts kissing women first, but he never says he does it against their will. He says he makes a move on them, and then later clarifies it’s because they let him. Anyway, let me paste my edit from above:

            An even bigger point here should be that Trump is clearly joking around here. He’s trying to be amusing. And judging by the reaction of the guy laughing, he’s succeeding in that context. The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.

            As to the women who came forward accusing Trump of abuse, they should absolutely report it and the police should absolutely investigate it, and if evidence emerges any of the accusations are true, then Trump should be condemned and punished by the law.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            The fact that the media and Trump detractors insist on taking Trump’s words literally when he’s being sarcastic or fooling around is probably the biggest part of why Trump supporters and Trump detractors see the man so differently.

            It’s a lot less funny when it turns out he frequently does the thing he “joked” about doing.

            and if evidence emerges any of the accusations are true,

            The evidence is already overwhelming– as we all know, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without consent. The statute of limitations has run out on many of the incidents, and I don’t think police devote much in the way of resources to investigating groping allegations in any case. But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.

            Wait, did you seriously vote for someone who, by his own admission and according to the testimony of numerous women, goes around grabbing women by the pussy without their consent? Are you pro-non-consensual pussy-grabbing? Would you appreciate it if a celebrity grabbed you by the pussy without waiting? Or did you think that Trump’s many other virtues as a presidential candidate make up for his pussy-grabbing habit?

          • Nadja says:

            @ Earthly Knight

            “But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.”

            I disagree. Especially given the context in which these accusations have been made.

            I don’t believe Trump goes around grabbing women without their consent for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Again, I understand if you disagree. What I don’t understand is how you could be genuinely asking if I’m a pro-non-consentual pussy-grabbing after I made my points, so I’m just going to assume you’re being sarcastic at this point and will leave it at that.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I see. So you voted for a sexual predator because you deluded yourself into thinking that his victims are all liars and that he was joking when he confessed. I hope that if, God forbid, you our any of yours is ever sexually assaulted, someone will take the crime against you more seriously than you have taken the crimes Trump committed. I hope that they will at least not make your assailant president.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            The evidence is already overwhelming– as we all know, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without consent. The statute of limitations has run out on many of the incidents, and I don’t think police devote much in the way of resources to investigating groping allegations in any case. But the testimony alone is enough to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump is a sexual predator.

            Plenty of people have also claimed that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, that she helped to cover up her husband’ sex scandals, that her attitude towards e-mail security is cavalier, reckless and quite possibly illegal, and that a normal person without her connections would have been sent to jail for some of the things she’s done. I take it, therefore, that you likewise think the evidence is “overwhelming” that Hillary is a corrupt, dishonest liar, and furthermore that the 59.9 million people who voted for her have no standing to make any moral criticisms again after trying to put such a person in the White House?

          • The original Mr. X says:

            Murdering innocent people was actually part of Trump’s platform.

            What a coincidence; it was part of Hillary’s, too.

          • Earthly Knight says:

            I take it, therefore, that you likewise think the evidence is “overwhelming” that Hillary is a corrupt, dishonest liar,

            Trump’s corruption and dishonesty far exceed Hillary’s. If you really thought these traits were disqualifying for a presidential candidate, you could not have voted for Trump. As character flaws go, though, being corrupt and dishonest isn’t in the same ballpark as routinely sexually assaulting women. Or is that not obvious to you?

            Actually, I’m curious now what other Trump supporters thought about the sexual assault allegations. Did you, like Mr. X, judge that being a sexual predator in no way compares to the awful crime of circumventing public records laws? Or did you decide, like Nadja, that it was easier just to lie to yourself and pretend Trump is innocent? Because I know that the message most of my female friends heard is that half of the country doesn’t think sexual assault is a big deal.

          • Zombielicious says:

            Earthly Knight at least gives a pretty good impression of the exact kind of stuff you can expect to hear from your now humbled, defeated SJW enemy in the future. Except the median one is probably far less eloquent than he is, so maybe something more like GRRM’s new President Pussygrabber slogan (apparently). Wait, he’s still a world-famous author. I guess the bottom of the barrel might sound more like: “Privileged White Males: We’ve got to go after their families.” or “Waterboarding: Good enough for us, good enough for them.” That’s before a Trump-controlled NSA and militarized police end up clashing with the kind of protests you see today and we maybe get another Kent State style incident, and who knows what from there.

            My original point before it got sidetracked into exacting proof of Trump’s past sexual predation, though, was that in vindicating the Republicans they’ve also vindicated basically everything this community (or at least the blog author) claimed to be against. It’s a huge blow to rationality and civility, niceness, whatever – and not just because I disagree with the guy.

            I used to have long arguments with some of my most liberal best friends, giant George Lakoff fans who think liberals lose because they’re too nice and Bernie isn’t socialist enough, that Republicans were digging their own grave and it’d be self-defeating and short-term to sink to their level rather than trying to educate people and actually win in the battle of ideas. Boy am I going to be embarrassed having to admit I was completely wrong on that one. Lies, conspiracy theories, and baseless insults of the worst kind are the most effective strategy. Republicans did it for eight years while Dems tried to cooperate and just lied more blaming it all on us. And it didn’t even get us a third Bush or a terrible Cruz, no, we got stuck with racist xenophobe authoritarian Trump. The far left was right, the moderate “grey-tribe” I-read-SSC-and-like-free-markets-and-open-borders-and-think-libertarians-are-pretty-cool left was completely, 100%, utterly wrong.

            Seriously, at least try and apply the same psychology you use to justify your own attitude to the left to how