Discussion: Democratic and Republican conventions, elections, etc.

As I said, I didn’t watch any of either the GOP or Democratic conventions: the only thing I’ve seen is Sarah Silverman’s speech to the Dems. I already know who I’m going to vote for (Clinton), and I am not happy about that choice—but it’s infinitely better than the alternative. (I’m traveling now, so am not going to argue with those readers who demand that I acknowledge Clinton’s wonderfulness.) I didn’t feel like hearing the inane blather of Trumpish Republicans, nor did I care to watch person after person boost the tepid enthusiasm of Democrats for Clinton. But I don’t fault those who did watch the conventions. To each their own.

This post is designed, as I’m on the road, to allow readers to discuss their take on the conventions, the elections, or anything else related to politics. And be nice: remember that the Roolz prohibit comments from calling each other names.


  1. rickflick
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sub: Notify me of new comments via email.

  2. Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I have long had the firm principle not to pay any attention to what those who are running for office say in the last year of so before the election. Because you cannot believe any of it. I have made an exception this year for Bernie and Tr*mp, but now it’s over. Nothing more until the results come out.

    • steve kern
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Of course, “you cannot believe any of it”. The positions espoused are pretty much empty promises. But you can learn something about the character of the candidates… from the very real and relatively humble Tim Kain to the bombastic con man Donald Trump.

  3. Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The one thing that keeps amazing me is the US elective system. Like the gun laws, it seem to be designed for a Washington-era infrastructure, in which context it might have made sense.
    I don’t know how difficult (and costly) it would be to reform it, but the 2-party winner-takes-it-all approach seems outright dangerous to me, in particular in this election.
    I’m also amazed that there seems to be little (or no) initiative to change that system. Well maybe there is, but you don’t hear about it in Europe (or even the US, for that matter), and of course neither the Republicans nor the Democrats would have any interest to change that system. I haven’t even heard Sanders talk about that. What do “normal” Americans think about that, I wonder?

    • Petrushka
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      We think parliamentary systems are odd also, as are nations without written constitutions limiting the powers of government.

      I say “we”, meaning many or most of us.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure I understand. Yes, parliamentary systems are odd, but works – but they derive their legitimacy from the democratic system, so their powers are limited. That is described in their constitutions, and that is why you see governments step down when they fail.

        “This is in contrast to a presidential system in a democracy, where the head of state often is also the head of government, and most importantly, the executive branch does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.”

        [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_system ]

        Sounds to me US constitution is a lot less limiting on executive power (by being less democratic).

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I think the US electoral system badly needs reform too. The extreme gerrymandering in particular is anathema to democracy.

      However, there’s a combination of people in power who are determined to retain it and a majority that believes that simply because it’s theirs it’s the best in the world.

      I write negative stuff about the US electoral system every now and then on my own bl*g and a majority of USian readers seem to agree on the whole, but they’re also mostly atheists so in no way representative.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I’m also amazed that there seems to be little (or no) initiative to change that system. Well maybe there is, but you don’t hear about it in Europe (or even the US, for that matter),

      (Largely for the USian readership) … whereas the UK has had at least one referendum on voting systems, putting an alternative to First Past The Post onto the table. It got defeated, but it’s definitely now in the conversation.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted July 29, 2016 at 4:58 am | Permalink

        And apart from the UK Members of Parliament (MPs), who get in by being First Past the Post, there are several different voting systems in use in the UK

    • eric
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      In my experience normal Americans are very interested in reforming the electoral college, the problem of gerrymandering, and (broader than gerrymandering) the fact that we have no neutral civil servant organization that runs elections. Well, that is, we’re very interested in it for a couple months every four years…

  4. nwalsh
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Michael “I know a con when I see one” Bloomberg’s speech was worth sitting down for.

    • colnago80
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Billionaire Jeff Bezos (now ranked 3rd in total wealth) has also been doing his part against the Donald. His stable of conservative columnists (Rubin, Parker, Will, and Gerson) have been busily beating up on the Donald for several months, as the Post’s editorial page.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        The rump centrist-wing of the GOP punditocracy — Brooks, Frum, Douthat — has also lined up against Trumpism.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Both Obamas were good, and Bill Clinton wasn’t bad either.

    • Posted July 29, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink


  5. GBJames
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    My take on the difference…

    Republicans: Anger, Fear, and Loathing. All former presidents and most senators stayed away, even the Republican governor of Ohio where the convention was held. It is possible to see this as the last national Republican convention.

    Democrats: Any and every established leader was there. The convention emphasized unity and “togetherness” despite the ranting of a few Busters. If there was a theme it was “Things are better than they were eight years ago. There are lots of problems but we can make life better”.

    • Petrushka
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Interesting that about 700 Sanders delegates walked out last night and were quickly replaced by paid seat fillers, and none of the networks mentioned it. There are photographs of the empty seats.

      Also not mentioned were the rather robust demonstrations outside.

      These underreported events might presage some surprises in the general election.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        I read that they didn’t really know how many left because people were leaving for dinner at the same time.

        • Petrushka
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          It may take some time to sort out the truth, but the vacant seats were mostly together, and there’s reporting that those who left were not allowed to return.

          In itself it doesn’t matter much. What matters is whether a percentage of Sanders voters sit out the election. Two or three percent would mean a disaster.

          • Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            “What matters is whether a percentage of Sanders voters sit out the election. Two or three percent would mean a disaster.”

            Correct. The only way the “we” lose, is if the Dems don’t show up (and vote for HRC).

          • Filippo
            Posted August 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            “Interesting that about 700 Sanders delegates walked out last night and were quickly replaced by paid seat fillers, and none of the networks mentioned it. There are photographs of the empty seats.”

            Can you provide a link to document?

            ” . . . there’s reporting that those who left were not allowed to return.”

            Yep, reveals the political parties to be the private tyrannies that they are.

  6. Paul S`
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I didn’t watch the conventions either. I don’t need to participate in a rally to make myself feel better about my vote.
    If there was the slightest chance that watching the conventions would sway my vote I would have watched.

    • Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

    • mordacious1
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I think it would be good to watch some of the speeches on YouTube, particularly Obama’s and the future First Gentleman’s. They really are master orators and (even when devoid of content) are good to listen to. For contrast, watch a duh um ah GW speech first.

      • eric
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        I think, based on reviews, that I’m going to watch Michelle Obama’s. But that’s because everyone says it was a just plain great speech; I’m not going to watch out of some desire to weigh my options, because (a) as with many other posters, I’ve already made my decision and late-season speeches aren’t going to change it, and (b) Michelle Obama wouldn’t be on my ‘political heavyweight worth listening to” list anyway.

  7. Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I watched Sanders’s speech on Monday and enjoyed his usual honesty about the issues that matter (as opposed to how the media focuses on the politicians’ personal characteristics and misdeeds). A simple line that stood out was that no one who is working full time should be in poverty.

    Immediately following Sanders’s excellent speech a rabbi came on stage and started blathering about how great God is. Quite the contrast between Sanders’s refreshing clarity and this drivel spewing forth from an ancient text.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      The rabbi might have been planned to help tamp down the Sanders is an atheist meme.

  8. BobTerrace
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I didn’t watch any of the Republican convention. The first speech I watched on the DNC was Sarah Silverman, then Bill Clinton. I did watch Wednesday night and saw Bloomberg, Biden, Kaine, and Obama speeches. All four were very good. Obama ended his speech sounding like a Baptist preacher and the crowd ate it up as they did for Kaine’s “believe me” mocking of Trump.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Watching BHO deliver that speech last night was like watching Pavarotti sing Puccini, like watching Baryshnikov dance Balanchine.

  9. Stephen Barnard
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I really liked Leon Panetta’s speech. He went after Trump hard. Panetta and Robert Gates are, I’d argue, the two most influential, experienced, and relatively nonpartisan grey beards of foreign policy. I don’t think Gates has endorsed yet. There’s probably pressure on him to do so, and it’s hard to imagine he’d endorse Trump.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      The entire foreign-policy establishment — especially the old-guard, bipartisan cold-war consensus — knows that Trump is bat-shit crazy.

      I’m looking forward to Colin Powell endorsing Clinton, accompanied by a rousing takedown of Trump.

      • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        “I’m looking forward to Colin Powell endorsing Clinton, accompanied by a rousing takedown of Trump.”

        Oh, please Hank, let it be! 🙂

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          That video — Waiting for Godot reimagined by Quentin Tarantino (starring Mr. Pink and Mr. Orange as Vladimir and Estragon).

      • allison
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        If the polls remain close into the fall, I think not just Colin Powell but at least one of the following Republicans will also endorse Clinton: John McCain, Mitt Romney, George W. Bush.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        The entire foreign-policy establishment — especially the old-guard, bipartisan cold-war consensus — knows that Trump is bat-shit crazy.

        In a world with Boris Johnson prowling the corridors of “diplomacy”, I find that less than reassuring.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Panetta’s speech was excellent. Very substantive and lots of good info points as well as exposing Trump.

  10. Jim Lombardi
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Response to Jerry Coyne

    Professor Coyne says that Hillary Clinton has a history of “duplicity” and is “mendacious, hawkish and in the pocket of Wall Street”. He will vote for her but not campaign for her. It is hard for me to find in Coyne’s prolific blogs much if anything that I do not understand or about which I disagree. Except this, about which I am totally mystified. I invite this otherwise careful and fair-minded man to explain why what he says is no more than a “cartoon” promulgated by a multi-million (billion?) dollar hugely successful campaign to vilify her. Unless Coyne is so insulated in academia that he has been unexposed to the world of politics, his comments smack of uninformed naïveté. Coyne admires Ms. Silverman who says that Simon pure idealists are simply “ridiculous.” Sen. Saunders himself has welcomed his many supporters to the “real world.” As a former Simon pure idealist I was elected to state public office (Maryland) in the early ’70’s and was introduced to the real world of government. I learned that compromise was not duplicitous, that altering a position was not a sell-out and that a half-loaf is better than none. As to Wall Street we are not talking about Hillary Clinton as Gordon Greco or laissez faire capitalism. We should be talking about Wall Street controls that Ms Cinton and the free world supports and that promote regulated capitalism. As to hawkishness, that covers a multitude of sins from boots on the ground (e.g. McCain and Graham) to muscular diplomacy (e.g.Clinton and Wesley Clark). Finally. If there is anyone in active politics who is not secretive and defensive, I will show you a naive person in a Hobbesian world who has not yet learned to be distrustingly skeptical.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


      The Republicans have successfully sold a cartoon-character Hillary Clinton, not only to their gullible base but to the public at large — everything from Whitewater to Vince Foster to Benghazi and dozens of made-up, faux outrage so-called scandals in between. Their strategy, if you can call it that, is that where there’s even of puff of smoke, or even an imagined whiff of smell, there must be a raging inferno.

      I may not be wildly enthusiast about Clinton, but nothing in her record disqualifies her. Trump disqualifies himself every time he speaks.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your post. I don’t agree 100% with Clinton’s stances but I didn’t agree 100% with Sanders, Obama, Bill Clinton or anyone else. My agreement percentage of Trump’s stances is close to 0%.

      • Petrushka
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        All of Hillary’s wounds are self inflicted.

        Trump’s also, but I daresay Trump’s bluster is popular. Nate Silver has him winning now, up about 20 percent from primary season.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          “All of Hillary’s wounds are self inflicted.”

          This isn’t true. Hillary Clinton has been subject to many decades of relentless attack by the right wing. (Psst…. she didn’t murder Vince Foster.)

          • Petrushka
            Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Not really in play this year.

            And Right wingers aren’t her problem this year. It’s her own party that will win or lose it.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

              The incessant hammering for decades… fake scandal after fake scandal… benghazi, benghazi, benghazi…. has affected her approval ratings in general.

              It is simply untrue that her wounds are all self-inflicted. (Note: I’m not claiming that non of her wounds are self inflicted. Some are. It was stupid, for example, to set up a separate personal email server.)

        • mordacious1
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Just two days ago, a Clinton friend and major Democratic fundraiser, Mark Weiner died after battling leukemia for many years. In the comment section on Yahoo, the Trumpsters were spewing how Hillary and Bill had him killed because he knew all the skeletons in the closet. Not only is Hillary a former Sec. of State, US Senator and First Lady, but she’s also a mad scientist capable of giving people terminal leukemia, which kills them two days before the convention. If it were true, she definitely should be president. Imagine someone with her abilities going up against Putin or Daesh.

    • Historian
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Compromise is indeed the essence of democratic governance. I cannot off-hand think of any major domestic legislation, including FDR’s New Deal programs, which was not passed without compromises being made by all interested parties. The “Bernie or Bust” purists seem incapable of grasping how government works and will thus spend their entire political lives moaning about how bad the system is while accomplishing nothing.

  11. Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Obama is a master reframer. His speech Wednesday night countered dystopia:

    Fournier: Obama, tinkerer and poet, whose “American exceptionalism” is weaponized against Tr-mpism.


  12. Historian
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    So far, the Democratic convention has paid little attention to the concerns of the white working class (less educated), except in some of the remarks by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The Democratic Party seems to feel that it could win without its support, particularly because the percentage of the white working class in the electorate has been steadily decreasing. This is a big mistake in an election that appears to be close. There is no way that Hillary will win the majority of the white working class, but if she can persuade as little as 5% more of it to vote for her, her election would be assured. Democratic programs will help the white working class far more than anything Trump would do, but it does not perceive this to be the situation. It feels that the diversity of the Democrats does not include them. The Democrats must do much more to rectify this misperception.

    In the Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein discusses the relationship between the Democratic Party and the white working class.


    • BobTerrace
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      She talks about middle-class jobs all the time. There are several quotes on the topic.

    • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      The GOP has done a brilliant job of convincing the white working class to vote against their own economic best interests since about the 1960s. (Maybe it was the first oil shock in 1973?) I consider this maybe the most salient political fact in the US in the latter half of the 20th century.

      This has mostly been done by waving the flags of: God, Guns, Gays, and Blacks. Trump has taken this and run it to its logical conclusions, without the euphemisms.

      Having quite a few of these folks in my own extended family, I doubt whether they are redeemable. If the last 40 years haven’t convinced them, nothing will.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        A lot of it was due to the1964 Civil Rights Act when whites switched from the Democratic party to the Republican party, particularly in the south.

        • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Yes. And I should have remembered Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” of 1968.

  13. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    The political conventions in modern times have a life of their own. Mostly a cheer leading rally and booze and cruse time for delegates. Since the primaries became the system for nominating the party’s candidate for president, the need for the convention has left the building. Before the primaries the convention was the method and where all the deals were made.

    So maybe the question is – which method is better. By far I would say the convention system was best. It got the job done with far less expense and time. The endless cycle of running for this office, nonstop from election to election is an overkill in preoccupation. No place in the world wastes so much time and effort to do this.

    Besides, the more we vote, the less it matters because today government takes place in a small circle of very rich people and big corporations who don’t need to pay any attention to any of this.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Watching the convention coverage, I’m reminded how John McCain bought a TV ad during the 2008 Democratic convention for the sole purpose of congratulating Barrack Obama on becoming the first African-American major-party nominee. A class act, that. (Unfortunately, McCain blew the straight-talk legacy he had established on the campaign trail against Dubya during the 2000 GOP nomination race, owning to his selection of Sarah Palin as his Veep candidate, and other ill-considered moves.)

    I suppose there’s zero chance of Trump making a similarly classy gesture to congratulate our first woman nominee.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      I suppose there’s zero chance of Trump making a similarly classy gesture to congratulate our first woman nominee.

      Hmmm. What does “classy” mean? I wasn’t following very closely but wasn’t there a recent case of a Big Boss Man telling the Hired Hooters (EN_US ; “breasts” in EN) about their need to perform the occasional vacuum-cleaning duties for his friends. That sort of class – right up against Trump`s wall, knees a-tremble.

  15. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I am constantly bemused by US personality politics. (Not that it isn’t catching on here too, despite parliamentarian systems.) What you want is not the better person, what you want is the best president,

    – Trump is a lying egocentric, without experience. The only nation that could usefully have him would be a dictatorship.

    – Sanders is a Utopian, who has managed to misunderstand Europe’s social democracy. If it is Utopian *and* if it wouldn’t work in Europe, why would it work in US? And I hear some economists say it wouldn’t work.

    – Clinton is a realpolitik politician, Those are the best kind. Amazingly she gets more flak than Bill Clinton did, despite lying just as much as you would expect from a politician. Maybe it is bigotry, females are always more scrutinized and this could be the result.

    Or maybe US political system is going down the drain of populism. The voters seems oddly accepting of such possibilities.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I should also add the obvious, that Clinton is extremely qualified a s president and, bar missteps, would do the best job of any I know of. (Which of course doesn’t say much.)

      You would think that in an election for presidents that would be enough… Can I say “odd” for the third time? =D

  16. Sue Sommers
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I loved the President’s speech last night. It is the America I grew up believing in, that we are free, energetic and optimistic. It is the attitude I want for my grandchildren. Of course there are things that are wrong and it is our right and our duty to stand up and speak out and little by little there is improvement. It is such a contrast to the depressed right.

    • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      This is correct.

      Basically, things are in pretty good shape in the US.

      You can bet your life if the GOP were incumbent (POTUS), they’d be shouting how great things are.

  17. Claudia Baker
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t bear to watch most things related to politics. The name-calling, the bombast, the attack ads and (as Prof. Coyne called it) the “rah-rah” of the US conventions.

    What gets me the most, though, is the fact that American politicians, Rep and Dem, end speeches with “God bless America”. It grates on my ears. It would be unthinkable to hear “God bless Canada” up here. At least, I’ve never heard a Canadian politician say it.

    I had my eyes opened this past weekend, when talking to an American friend from Phoenix, who said he found Bernie’s ideas “shocking”. Really? Pretty mainstream stuff in Canada. And the sky hasn’t fallen.

    He(my American friend) also said he likes Donald and that Trump is only saying what everyone is thinking. And I always thought this friend was fairly liberal. So, *that’s* scary!

    Please get out there and vote people! The thought of, gulp, President Trump, is fucking terrifying.

  18. bluemaas
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    W H Y Mr Michael Moore’s REASON #2 and then

    shortly, in to our Future,

    our having, in reality,

    to utter these two words:

    ” … … President Trump.”



    • Kevin
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      That Youtube reminded me of when I finished a postdoc with no immediate employment opportunities and I told my group advisor “My wife can work.” And his response, “What will you do?” If he had said the same thing to a woman he could have been fired. He turned red as a turnip, knowing full well I had two sons at home and wife who could work.

      In his defense, this is something my father might have said. He would not have meant to be harmful or biased; its just the way that generation thinks: unable to conceive that a man could want what other men perceive as a woman’s duty.

      • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Luckily, this has changed to a great degree. I know many stay-at-home dads with wives who make waaaaay more than they could.

        Mostly they love it.

    • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Here’s something encouraging:


      Of course, by “encouraging” I mean completely disheartening.

      • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Holy shit! That is flipping unbelievable! Please tell me those are phony front pages! 😦

        • Reginald Selkirk
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Meh. I don’t believe Hillary was attending the convention that night, and they know they’re going to run her picture tomorrow, after tonight’s acceptance speech.

          • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            Use a goddamn stock photo. I highly doubt a male nominee would be announced accompanied by a picture of his wife.

      • Kevin
        Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Those are surreal.

        • bluemaas
          Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          O my. My, my, … … my, my, my: they ARE, Kevin, Musical Beef ! Surreal, indeed !

          C R I K E Y ! What .century. in America IS this one ? !

          Yes, Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton will be on the papers tomorrow morning; AND, after 26 July 2016, on the morning of 27 July 2016, her picture d e s e r v e d to be .THE only one. on every single headlining front page in every newspaper (in the World) then as well.


  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Hillary has to be considered the odds-on favorite going in, but Trump has what’s known in the fight-game as “a puncher’s chance.” In boxing, no matter how much more skilled a fighter may be than his opponent, a less-skilled opponent with a big punch always has a chance to stop the bout by a knock-out — even in the late rounds when he’s far behind on points. In the GOP primaries, Trump showed a knack for landing blows that took down opponents like Jeb, and Doc Carson, and Lyin’ Ted.

    In taking on Hillary, Trump is jumping up several weight classes. Hillz’s top-flight organization should be able to stick-and-move, racking up the rounds, while keeping Trump off-balance and lumbering around the ring like George Foreman in Zaire, or Tyson in Tokyo. But given her glass jaw, I’ll be nervous as her cornerman until the final bell has rung.

    • tomh
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      As a fight fan, that’s pretty good.

  20. Jan Looman
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    What I have found to be disturbing over the past several months is the millions (billions?) of dollars that are being spent, simply to identify the candidates that will run in the election. Now that they are picked, many more millions will be spent on the real campaign.

    Just think all the school books or free medical care the campaign dollars could have been used for.

  21. Leigh
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious. What suggestions do you all have for teachers that have to spend Aug, Sept and Oct in classrooms, meeting the adopted social studies standards for teaching about the elections? I am not looking forward to this fall. Teachers do not have the option of ignoring it all.

    • Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Just explain the system and how it works and its history and avoid comment on the current race and candidates.

      My $0.02

      My wife is an elementary school teacher.

  22. Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Sp there’s one more thing I’m encouraged by:

    The DNC hasn’t really begun to roll out the “highlights” reels of Drumpf’s asininity, so thoroughly documented by television over the last 40+ years, as attack ads.

    There has to be a very rich field of opportunity there. And he’s lowered the bar very effectively for them. (Thanks Drumpf!)

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted July 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      They could do a “Trump v. Trump” ad. No need to go back 40 years, he has contradicted himself often enough just during the campaign.

      • Posted July 29, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Yes, that as well! With a background images of flip-flop sandals cascading down behind his image contradicting himself.

        I thinking more on the lines of the outrageous crap he’s uttered before cameras over the last decades. (Like the John Oliver clip Grania linked to this morning.)

        It’s a rich field, ready for plowing.

        • Posted July 29, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          The problem I see with the Trump side is that they have no problem spreading objectively false information. Among friends and family who are staunchly anti-Hillary, I’ve repeatedly pointed out information that is simply not based in fact. Rather than reassess whether they’re evaluating the candidates on the actual merits of their accomplishments and policy views, the best I’ve gotten is a, “Yeah but they still blah blah blah…” response. Most of the time, the response is to ignore the fact that they’re spreading lies and jump to another tu quoque response about Hillary or present some other stream of rumors Gish Gallop style.

          Every election cycle has its share of hyperbole and equivocation and the occasional outright falsehood used to smear candidates, but I’ve never witnessed anything like what the Trump campaign is doing and I’ve never seen the level of pure disregard for facts among supporters. They’re not even interested in debate. That’s a far cry from even the 2012 cycle.

  23. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Has the term “Tangarine Mussolini” started penetrating US publishing speech. Yet.
    I don’t need to attach a real name, do I?

  24. Damien McLeod
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Dr. Coyne, you put it nicely.

  25. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I am a guest author on a politics and commentary page called Mad Mike’s America. Most of what I do is either commentary or satire. A while ago, I used a combination of plagiarism and invention and wrote a piece that appeared in three installments, each one a set of twenty-four one-liners about Donald Drumpf. The first set is here, the second set is here and the final set is here. Posting the links is better than re-posting all 72 of them here. Feel free to use them as needed.

    • Posted July 29, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Your first two hyperlinks don’t work properly.

  26. kieran
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Republican convention seemed disorganised, no real stand out speeches and overwhelmingly the message was fear.

    Democratic had some very good speeches stand out was the first ladies speech. Both VP and President did a very good job at attacking trump.

    Trump is still going to get the Republican vote but I think Hillary will win it because she has developed the best campaign and it’s organised and well funded

    • Posted July 29, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Yes, they just need to make their campaign signs with two words, one above the other in huge bold all-caps:


  27. Posted July 28, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed Kaine’s speech. The “believe me” part about Drumpf was fantastic.

  28. rose
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Maybe if Clinton had mentioned all the women he slept with or when Hilary gave him a black eye . Oh yeah good gossip might of been a little more interesting.

  29. Mike
    Posted July 29, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The only outcome i can see from the mess we have just witnessed is President Drumpf. imaginary friend help us !!

  30. Posted August 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I hope the Bernie or Bust loyalists/diehards will take note; cognitive dissonance cuts both ways:

    If you know that a vote against HRC (even if it’s for a Green party) is a vote potentially for Trump, why would you do it, if you are truly against Trump and all he stands for? Why cut off your nose to spite your face?!

    I love Bernie and hope Hillary will make him part of her team.

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