Greg Mayer: Why I’m voting enthusiastically for Hillary

JAC: The title above and sentiments below are those of Greg alone, and do not represent the Official Views of This Website™ nor of Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus), who has repeatedly said that although he (PCC[E]) already voted for Hillary, he is not one of her more enthusiastic supporters. With that disclaimer, I present the views of Professor Mayer, adding the note that you’re encouraged to either agree or disagree in the comments.

by Greg Mayer

Hillary Clinton will be a good president. In some ways she will be a transformative president. As the first woman president, she will lead the United States into the company of many other liberal democracies–the UK, Germany, Australia, and others–in having a female head of government. This will have a major impact in helping to enlarge our views of what it is possible for women to do. I think this will be most important for the younger generations, for they will grow up without the blinkers of never having lived with such a high level female leader. Rather, they  will see such a leader as a normal and unexceptional state of affairs. I don’t want to overstate the immediate effect of her election–while Obama’s election has had many salutary effects, it has not by any means led to the end of racism–but it will be of real value.

She will also, soon after taking office, appoint a Supreme Court Justice, which will lead to the Court not having a conservative majority for the first time in decades. (Unless, of course, the lame duck Senate confirms Merrick Garland, in which case Obama gets the honor. Some Republicans are hinting at a four or eight year filibuster to prevent any Court vacancy from being filled, but I think this is a bridge too far, even for today’s Republican party.)

But apart from these two areas she is unlikely to have a transformative effect, primarily because it is unlikely that the Democrats will gain control of the House, and it is highly unlikely that a Republican House would ever vote for anything that she proposed. Achieving a Democratic Senate is within reach, and worth striving for for “advice and consent” reasons. But any achievement that requires legislation will elude her. But she will prevent a Republican Congress from doing bad things–and given the number of bad things a Republican Congress is apt to want to do, that is no small good.

In those areas which are more fully in the control of the president, I would trust her to do more or less the right thing, essentially continuing what Obama has tried to do. The most important of these areas is foreign policy, where, having been Obama’s secretary of state, she can be expected to follow the same broad lines of policy. This is critical. The greatest excursion in American foreign policy since World War II was the utterly disastrous policy of Bush 2. His policy– recklessly aggressive, proudly unilateral, dismissive of our oldest and deepest alliances– was a startling repudiation of decades of consistent policy. (Reagan, despite his many shortcomings, was still following the basic policy laid out by Truman in the 1940s, and followed by all subsequent presidents.) It was also a startling repudiation of his own father’s, Bush 1’s, successful adaptation of post WW II policy into a post Cold War policy. Clinton followed Bush 1’s policies– a key element of which was broad, multilateral consensus-building (see the list of countries contributing to the First Gulf War). One of Obama’s greatest achievements has been to return to the Bush 1/Clinton foreign policy.

When Hillary ran for president in 2008, I did not support her, and eventually supported Obama, because I thought that she could only exacerbate the “Clinton derangement syndrome” that had afflicted the Republican party from 1992 to 2000– the insane refusal to accept that Bill Clinton had been elected president, leading to a bizarre range of crazy conspiracy theories. The “Whitewater scandal” was one of the less crazy of these accusations, but just as baseless, which included the claim that the Clintons were murderers.

It turned out, though, that I was wrong–“Clinton derangement syndrome” was not limited to the Clintons. The full force of the syndrome hit Obama as soon as he took office: he wasn’t a citizen, he was a Muslim, he was a terrorist sympathizer, he hated America. The Republicans weren’t deranged by the Clintons– they were just deranged. This derangement was expressed most self-damningly by the current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, shortly after Obama took office, said that Republicans’ job was to stop everything Obama wanted, so as to insure that he would be only a one-term president. It is this continuing derangement that has prevented Obama (many of whose policies are pretty much those of the Republican party ca. 1992) from being as transformative as the euphoria following his 2008 election seemed to promise. And this continuing derangement will limit what Hillary can do as well.

But in voting for a woman who will be a good, and in some ways transformative, president, but not perhaps a great president, we must look at the alternative. And in Donald Trump, the Republican party’s slyly racist, economically delusional, and proudly jingoist chickens have come home to roost in spades. His failings are legion. Here are three: he proposes religious tests, says he will order the American military to commit war crimes (e.g., deliberately killing the families of enemy combatants), and derides our most important alliances a protection racket. He is so dangerously unqualified– at the very best a more vicious Berlusconi, but likely much worse– that, just as Germans would later ask themselves what they did in the elections of 1932, Americans will have to ask themselves what they did in the election of 2016.

As you can tell from the verb tense I have used to describe Hillary’s election, I am confident of her victory– I am not a “nervous Nellie”. But as good people, we cannot do nothing. As David Leonhardt wrote yesterday about Hillary’s impending victory, “So breathe deeply. And do what you can do between now and Tuesday.”

353 Comments

  1. Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I will admit that I am a bit of a nervous Nellie on this one. As Yogi put it, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” The wagering market still has Clinton winning, but I continue to be amazed at the widespread anti-Clinton sentiment.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      “I will admit that I am a bit of a nervous Nellie on this one.”
      I am as well, but I don’t know that I’d call it that. Given the stakes, a one in ten chance of Trump being elected, is enough to justify being nervous.

      • Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Not that it matters much, but I was just echoing Greg’s use of the phrase. Apprehensive curmudgeon would be more accurate🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        One in ten? Yes, I’m nervous too. I don’t like those odds.

        Would you play Russian roulette with a ten-shot revolver? Go for a drive if you knew there was a one-in-ten chance of being hit head-on by a truck?

        Me neither.

        cr

        • Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          “Would you play Russian roulette with a ten-shot revolver? Go for a drive if you knew there was a one-in-ten chance of being hit head-on by a truck?”

          Yes, and fivethirtyeight now has the odds at one-in-three.

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            There is nothing reassuring about polls that now show less than a 5% spread between the two candidates. Turnout differences can wipe that out very easily. I think Democrats have repeatedly underestimated the scope of Clinton-hating, and anti-Obamacare sentiment. I have yet to see any effective Dem ads countering the Republican ads highlighting the increasing costs of Obamacare. Do Dems not realize how strongly this resonates with a large segment of the population?

            • Carl
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

              What do you think could be said to counter those adds?

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

                At the very least the Dems should be explaining that the rise in costs of Obamacare will be offset by increases in subsidies and tax breaks (if that is indeed the case, as some websites suggest). Also HC’s current ad campaigns are purely negative. Why not mix these with inspirational ads about the positive things HC could do?

              • Carl
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink

                Lou, you don’t even sound convinced. No one who isn’t with her already will me moved one inch.

                Those against her will note the money for tax breaks and subsides has to come from somewhere, and see only deceit in such an approach.

              • Tim Harris
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                Ah, Hayek, chapter 3, verse 24, yes… – the bible hawked & thumped for so many years by the small governmentists with such religious fervour, as well as by Carl. Good antidotes include Tony Judt (who, being European and a historian, understands where Hayek is coming from), Pierre Bourdieu & Thomas Piketty.

            • Joona Tena
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:36 am | Permalink

              This is where Americans and Europeans differ the most, politically. What the hell does it matter, how much Obamacare costs? A universal health care is a moral obligation, not a business proposal. Without it, there are perhaps millions of children living outside the protection of medical help, as well as many adults with pre-existing conditions. Your Obamacare might not be as tax-efficient as it could, but there can be no moral argument against the idea. A decent society just needs certain things freely available, such as schools, police, fire departments and health care — whatever the costs. Only the most insane ultra-right wing people in Europe would deny this, and their argument amounts to the idea that the “lesser human material” deserves to die. It’s frightening how mainstream this fascist idea is in the US.

              • HaggisForBrains
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

                +1

              • Tim Harris
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

                +2

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

                Yes, it seems to be the feeling of about half the US population.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

                I’d like to see what would happen if we had mandatory voting. If not that, if we at least embraced some of the many suggestions to make voting easier for everyone.

                Remember, the polls are usually based on “likely voters.” Those most likely to vote are those with bees in their bonnets. Also, despite the law very many churches exhort their congregations to vote Republican. If we could just get more of the youth vote out I think the results would reflect far better on us.

              • Carl
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

                The idea that Americans don’t want Obamacare because they don’t care about their fellows is a mean spirited, emotional, and incorrect view.

                Obamacare is well intentioned, but the result is not happy. The approach should have been much more cautious – addressing the problems that applied to a relatively small portion of the people and leaving untouched a gigantic system that worked quite well. Instead, we are heading toward a system that works more poorly, costs more, and has a shortage of trained personnel, equipment, and facilities.

                As to “What the hell does it matter, how much Obamacare costs?”: Spoken like one who thinks these costs will be paid by someone else. How immoral is it to think other people’s money is yours to do with as you please, as long as you in your ignorance think the cause is worthy? You might as well have asked, “What the hell does it matter if the levels of care are low, as long as it’s the same for everyone?”

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                “The idea that Americans don’t want Obamacare because they don’t care about their fellows is a mean spirited, emotional, and incorrect view.”

                Why would you imagine that the same people who oppose social welfare in most of it’s forms, would oppose Obamacare for different reasons? The clearly see Obamacare as the first step towards the worst possible end… universal healthcare.

              • Carl
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

                Mike, your divination of motive is just false. It’s equivalent to reasoning someone like you opposes gun rights because you don’t care if people (victims who might other wise defend themselves) are raped and murdered. I wouldn’t do that. I would see that a false and stupid argument only undermines my position. Plus, I have the intellectual cleanliness not to stoop so low.

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

                Very poor analogy. No one would imagine that I oppose gun rights because I don’t care about safeguarding people’s lives, because that position is inconsistent with my position on things like social welfare. The position of the people I’m describing concerning Obamacare is entirely consistent with their position on things like social welfare.
                There are certainly many people who oppose Obamacare because they want free universal healthcare, and some who think what Obamacare does could be done better, but the largest group are those who don’t care, or care little for those who need it most.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

                Perhaps, Carl, you can support your position by providing a handful of examples of Republicans advocating for universal healthcare.

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

                “Perhaps, Carl, you can support your position by providing a handful of examples of Republicans advocating for universal healthcare.”

                Of course republicans would never admit that their reason for opposing universal healthcare is because they don’t care about their fellow man.

              • Carl
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

                Mike and GB, Continuing to label your opponents’ motives as uncaring shows your lack of intellectual integrity. Is it simply that your education is so impoverished that you can’t imagine any other reason? If you are truly interested why compassionate people think central planning (the main fault of Obamacare’s implementation) is a terrible idea and destined to fail, read “The Fatal Conceit” by F.A. Hayek. It’s a slim volume. In return, I’ll read something you suggest.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

                That’s a stupid insult, Carl. And no substitute for a list of Republicans advocating for universal health care.

    • eric
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      As of now, Trump is just a normal polling error behind Clinton. And over the past week or so, it’s been all gains for him and all losses for her. I expect her to win, but I don’t have anywhere near Greg’s confidence that she will win.

  2. Tom Brewster
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Well said Greg

    Tom

    >

  3. GM
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    If we go with what the candidates have said, and believe them, we can expect WW3 with Hilary, while that is much less likely with Trump.

    If the choice is between:

    A) WW3 and the possible extinction of the human species
    B) Covering all women in burkas, denying them all human rights and treating them as sex slaves

    The choice is clear — B).

    And this is not even the choice, the choice is between WW3 and BAU with respect to women’s rights (BTW, what sort of rights are there that men have and women don’t? I am not aware of any. Which means there is no issue to be resolved) and BAU alone.

    Thus none of this “first woman president” crap matters, and it’s all a smokescreen.

    • Rita
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      I think you’re wearing Trump glasses if you don’t see that the risks are much higher with Trump. When you listen to the candidates, maybe you listen selectively. Not to mention, I personally don’t want see all women covered in Burkas and being treated as sex slaves. Seriously, I don’t see how any woman could support Trump.

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Once again, I am giving an extreme example to make a point.

        Let’s do some more:

        Is implementing a Pol Pot-type of regime worldwide better than having WW3? Yes, it is.

        Is worldwide Sharia law better than that? Yes, it is.

        Would Hitler winning WWII and exterminating all jews, blacks and asians worldwide have been better? Yes, it would have been.

        The most horrible things you can imagine, they are all preferable to having WW3, because the consequences of WW3 are worse then them.

        And we are not talking about anything of the sort with Trump, we are talking about a buffoonish pathological liar, who, however, looks a lot less likely to start WW3 than the alternative.

        The problem is that all the talk about sexism and racism is diverting attention from the more important issues, and people can’t dig their noses out of the silly stuff and think on a grand enough scale.

        People outside the US, who pay attention to both the election and the geopolitical situation, are truly scared that a war is coming. They would absolutely like to have someone more reasonable than Trump in office, but they see Hilary as a much bigger threat. Trump’s sexism is not an issue for them, and rightfully so. And it shouldn’t be an issue for US voters either. As I said in a previous thread, how is Trump being a serial groper that going to affect the average woman in the US? He is going to go on tour through the states, line up all women in every town and touch the crotch of each? Really?

        • Reginald Selkirk
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          … who, however, looks a lot less likely to start WW3 than the alternative.”

          I disagree with you about that.

          It’s hard to have any certainty about what Trump would do regarding foreign policy, because he spews constant nonsense and frequently contradicts what he has said previously (regardless of the video documentation).

          But supposing that we can take a few things seriously, Trump appears much more likely to start a war with Iran. He calls the Iranian nuclear deal, lauded by every nuclear proliferation expert, the worst deal ever. He would weaken international defense treaties such as NATO, turning military alliances into protection rackets (no pay, no play). This would encourage international adventurism by such countries as Russia and China. He has explicitly endorse Russian belligerence in Ukraine and Syria. He promises to order US forces to commit war crimes, such as torturing prisoners. That is going to **** away any moral argument we might ever have had. He criticizes other people’s plans, but has none of his own to offer. He tries to cover this up by claiming that it is necessary to maintain an element of surprise. He would alienate large swaths of the globe, such as the entire Islamic world, through his anti-Islamic bigotry. At the same time, he says he would rely on Islamic countries to do our bidding, so that we don’t have to risk US troops and treasure to accomplish the international military goals he sets.

          So if you are going to maintain you stance that Trump is less likely to start WWIII, I think you need to get a lot more specific, and i think you need to reconsider the assumptions you have made.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            None of the stuff you listed means Russian missiles shooting down US planes or US missiles being sent on course towards Russian targets.

            Also, none of it is a continuation of the encirclement of Russia, which is certain to escalate under Hilary.

            I am not sure you have a good grasp of the geopolitical situation.

            • somer
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

              Interesting the sudden sympathy for dictatorship Russia and the willingness to sacrifice Eastern European countries. Russia is doing exercises that blatantly feature reconquering the Baltic states and possibly Poland. Meanwhile China has military bases in the south china sea already and plans to extend this first on islands near Japan and then not far from the west coast of the US – probably harmless but probably a future way of demanding concessions for free passage, we don’t know. And if Trump enraged them by slapping tarriffs all over Chinese goods I can well imagine at least economic payback from China.

              Some would not care if eastern europe was guzzled up again by Russia … but after the first few bites cutting off the Atlantic and coming after the US when its economy intrudes eventually does come – as shown in BOTH world wars.

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

                Once again, what an astonishing lack of understanding of the geopolitical situation…

                You really think Russia is a belligerent actor lead by a power-mad Putin who is out to reconquer the Soviet Union and even more than that? And this a good (us) vs evil (them) kind of situation? Really?

                Then you are completely brainwashed and ignorant about history, politics, culture and a lot of other things that you need to understand well to be in this discussion. I apologize in advance if you feel insulted, but that does not make it any less true.

              • John Harshman
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

                One might almost wonder if GM is one of those paid internet trolls employed by the Russian government that have been mentioned in the news so much lately. Anyone see Full Frontal this week?

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

                + 1! People say fear is a bad counselor, and I am amazed how afraid of Russia are some people. As for the result of US appeasement of dictators… Obama was soft on Putin (as was Bush Jr. before him, for that matter) and now Putin is emboldened and challenges the USA.

            • Reginald Selkirk
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

              I am not sure you have a good grasp of the geopolitical situation.

              This from someone who apparently thinks Russia is the center of the universe.

              • Helen Hollis
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:24 am | Permalink

                My mother was born in Finland. After what the Russians did to take our family land, without any help from the USA I would think many still have a “healthy respect” for what kind of evil they can cook up.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:21 am | Permalink

              Enlighten me oh grand one. Making claims about a WW3 to happen if Hillary is elected.
              Give me some kind of basis to entertain this idea you have using more than your say so.

            • Reginald Selkirk
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

              List of countries by population
              Russia is #9, behind Nigeria and Bangladesh.

              List of countries by GDP
              Russia is #12 by IMF, #13 by World Bank, #10 by the UN, but you can move them up one sport on each list since the EU is ranked as a single entity.

              Russia has some technological development as a remnant of the Cold War, which it has never managed to translate into well being for the bulk of its residents. It did find a new source of wealth in oil discoveries, but then the floor dropped out of the world oil market.

              If Russia does not enjoy the sanctions imposed on them, perhaps they could behave better. They could stop sending troops and munitions to eastern Ukraine, for example.

          • somer
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            +1 and Trumps providing the preconditions for Russian (and possibly also Chinese) adventurism by abjuring Nato and pleasing Putin would be dangerous – especially as his responses to date, to military setbacks are to say things like – nuclear weapon use would always be on the table as part of the “deal”. So when things suddenly get nasty for the US whats his game plan? Shoot? As he said regarding an Iranian vessel so much as insulting a US vessel – shoot it.

        • Carl
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          That WWIII is more probable under Clinton than Trump is not my judgement. You have it exactly backward. Trump’s thin skin and vindictiveness combined with his lack of self control make him much more dangerous in my view. Add to that a number of stupid policy ideas and a public personality that should embarrass patriotic Americans and you have a toxic mix even worse than Clinton – something I didn’t think possible until I turned my attention to Trump.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            That WWIII is more probable under Clinton than Trump is not my judgement.

            If it’s not your judgement, then it’s someone else’s imputation that you have blindly absorbed.

            I prefer to listen to the candidates themselves and to look at their actions.

            P.S. I am not a Trump supporter, perhaps I should say that. Both parties are equally corrupt and out for their own betterment with little regard for the common man or the future of the planet. But if I could vote, I would be a single-issue voter — no WW3.

            • Carl
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

              I haven’t “blindly absorbed” anything. I started off with an “anybody but Clinton” view. Observing Trump over the past year, my reasoned judgement is “even Clinton is better than Trump” – in particular, as related to starting a world war.

              You have shown an inability to assess the facts and reason about them. You are hoisted on your own keyboard for all to see. That doesn’t seem to bother you, and I admit there are many here on herbivorous left that wouldn’t bother me. But there are some of us who see more than one dimension along which political views may vary. (Any one who hasn’t noticed a fairly strong alignment between some views of Sanders and Trump hasn’t been watching.)

            • darrelle
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

              The claim that both parties are equally corrupt is a clear indicator that you are too ignorant of the past and current political and economic realities of the US to bother having a conversation with. How cliche.

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

                And your post is a sign of tribalist thinking, not of cool rational assessment of the situation.

                Obama’s terms were essentially Bush’s terms 3 & 4 (and in many ways Bush’s two terms were Clinton’s 3rd and 4th). There isn’t a single policy that I can think of and that was substantially altered once Obama was elected (even the much celebrated healthcare reform was originally a right-wing proposal, and the main thing it did was to make sure that the private insurance model remained entrenched).

                On foreign policy Obama has been worse than Bush (only president in history to have spent his entire term at war, and it’s not as if he couldn’t do anything about it, whether that was against his wishes or not).

                And if you think the couple of examples of anti-corporate politicians who run on a Democrat ticket make the Democrat party substantially different from the Republican, you are deeply deluded. The main purpose they serve is to keep fools complacent and voting Democrat. The policies implemented are not affected by that.

                Which is what happened this year again — Bernie was the useful idiot, who almost got out of control, but in the end nothing came out of that and we are back to business as usual. Now Trump is playing the role of the other useful idiot who is there to scare people into voting for Clinton.

              • somer
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

                Sounds troll like. Heather Hastie made many points that indicate how much further to the right Trump is on various issues that you obviously can’t absorb. And one could go on and on about how right wing he is on an economic front too – plainly you would rather a Republican regime of minimal tax to rich much more proportionately to poor and slashing government services. Obama care – and every Democrat proposed health care plan is sabotaged by Republican congress until it can’t work if its passed at all, to provide minimal benefit. The Republicans see it as their duty and right to sabotage Democrat governments who they don’t believe should ever be in power a la white anting of Clinton that I fear will go on after if she is elected. The Republicans need to be taught a lesson though – and their demographic base is withering so they’d better get on board in the longer run. Im sure Putin is extra keen Trump gets in now because he wont later.

                The stuff about the first clinton government is fantasy – Bush was much more aggressive. Bill Clinton was viewed as gutless for not going after Bin Laden enough for Republican taste, for pulling out of Somalia, forestalling involvement in Rwanda (bad idea). The Sanctions on Iraq were no more than Bush Senior was doing. Who knows whether Milosevic would have abandoned the war or not without US intervention the fact is Nazi like atrocities were going on in Europe and they wanted to do something without getting ground troops involved.

                Actually I think the Clintons were wrong and foolish to push full on capitalism and fast change at Russia during the Gorbachov/Yeltsin era – it was humiliating, unnecessary and actually pushed a state a very vulnerable stage of transition into asset stripping, poverty, lawlessness and totally delegitimised democracy. Tho given Russias totalitarian history maybe Gorbachev would have been overthrown by people with dictatorial and kleptocratic leanings anyway. Neither Yeltsin nor his powerful friend, Putin were/are remotely democratic. Putin is just as corrupt but has a clear sense of national power and creating some sort of order but his had become a dictator.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink

              You want us to look at the candidates actions. Tell me which actions I have overlooked that Hillary’s opponent has made that I should be aware of but am not because of this rigged election process forbids it.

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            ” Trump’s thin skin and vindictiveness combined with his lack of self control make him much more dangerous in my view.”

            + a large number.

    • geckzilla
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      An unsubstantiated opinion from someone I can only presume is a troll.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        My frequently stated view of GM. Let’s not feed him.

        • Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          “My frequently stated view of GM. Let’s not feed him.”

          Isn’t GM a long time poster who used to make reasonable comments, or am I confusing him/her with someone else?

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            I am a long time poster, and I think I am still making reasonable comments.

            I really don’t see what is unreasonable about what I posted above.

            Offensive to overtly sensitive people’s sensibilities? Possibly.

            But we’re here to have a rational conversation….

            P.S. I do not live in the US and I cannot vote. The position I am expressing is shared by many outside the US.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

              It is Trump who talks of of increasing the size and strength of the military at every turn, not Clinton.

              It is Trump who talks of bombing DAESH plus anyone in the vicinity, not Clinton.

              It is Trump who talks of reintroducing torture, and telling fellow citizens to carry it out, not Clinton.

              It is Trump who talks about stealing the assets of other nations, leading them to distrust the US, not Clinton.

              It is Trump who says he won’t come to the aid of the NATO allies, thereby making it possible for Putin to invade the Baltic States, which he wants to do.

              It is Trump who has advocated nuclear proliferation.

              While Clinton has admitted that her vote on the Iraq war was wrong, Pence hasn’t, and Trump has said he’s okay with that.

              It is Trump who lacks an understanding of foreign policy, not Clinton.

              It is Trump who has displayed a reckless disregard for alliances and praised leaders like Putin, Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi, and Kim Jong Un.

              Clinton’s line that, “A man you can bait with a tweet cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes,” is effective because it’s true.

              Foreign leaders need to be able to rely on the diplomatic and policy position of the US. Donald Trump changes his position as often as daily.

              There is a good reason that most foreign affairs experts have come out publicly in favour of Clinton and in opposition to Trump, including most Republican ones – they do not trust Trump when it comes to foreign policy.

              It is Trump who is most likely to lead the world into WW3 via his incompetence and lack of knowledge.

              And anyone who can so casually dismiss the kind of society he would turn the country into – one dominated in every way by straight white men instead of one where everyone has equal opportunity and treatment – really needs to take a good hard look at their values.

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

                Yes, and none of those things are a direct path to WW3. While the other candidate basically promised it on multiple occasions, including the presidential debates.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

                She promised no such thing. Her idea about a no-fly zone in Syria was part of her plan for protecting civilians in Aleppo.

                When asked about his plan for Aleppo in the debates, Trump did not have one. Instead he pivoted to Mosul, which is a completely different situation, hundreds of miles away, in another country. And he embarassed himself with his obvious lack of understanding of the situation with his ridiculous talk of a surprise attack. Despite his earlier assertions, he clearly doesn’t know more than the generals. He ignored all attempts to get him to declare his plans for the refugee crisis. One can only assume he doesn’t have one.

                On past occasions when talking about Syria, he has also shown his lack of understanding of the foreign policy and diplomatic issues. He makes statements like, “Why don’t we just join with Russia and let them bomb.” FFS! Because Russia aren’t just bombing DAESH, they’re bombing civilians, including directly targeting schools, and they support the murderous regime of Assad. Assad would be long gone if it wasn’t for the weapons and other support from Putin. The hundreds of thousands of deaths and the refugee crisis are a direct result of Putin’s interference, and Trump wants the US to ally with him! Trump wants to do what Obama and the US military are refusing to do – provide the Russians with the locations of the rebels. Trump believes Putin when he says it’s so he knows where not to bomb. The US military and Obama know the truth – it’s so they CAN be bombed.

                Trump’s consistent belief in the lies of Putin and support for him ahead of his own country’s military should be troubling to everyone.

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

                “{HR Clinton} basically promised [starting WWIII] on multiple occasions, including the presidential debates.”

                Quotes and references, please?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

                You go, girlfriend.

              • somer
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

                Yes Trump actually supports Assad, but I didn’t know he is so dumb he believes Putin saying he wont bomb the Free Syrian Army – what else has he been bombing except FSA and civilians in the areas they are – recently 20 hospitals in about 10 days deliberately to cut off sunnis where FSA is. Moreover as I’ve given links for on this site elsewhere (and wont use that space again) ASSAD AND IRAN HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING TERRORISTS INCLUDING ISIS TO WEAKEN THE SUNNIS. ISIS DO NOT ATTACK ASSAD – AND RUSSIA VERY SELDOM ATTACKS ISIS – NEARLY ALL ATTACKS ON US allied and other Sunnis.

              • Mark R.
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

                +1

                GM isn’t very hard to take down, but you really whittled down his argument to a toothpick.

            • eric
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

              I really don’t see what is unreasonable about what I posted above.

              You don’t see anything unreasonable about claiming Hilary Clinton will start WWIII?

              Her debate comments regarding the no-fly zone concept were actually quite reasonable (if terse). Did you listen to them for content or are you just assuming she means to immediately start shooting down Russian planes?

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

                “Did you listen to them for content or are you just assuming she means to immediately start shooting down Russian planes?”

                That seems to be what he assumes, and it’s a ridiculous assumption, which is why it sounds trollish.

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

                The Russians are in Syria, perfectly legally (the legitimate government invited them officially). Everyone else is there illegally (Has there been a UN resolution that allows it? No.).

                A no-fly zone means that NATO air planes will have to ensure nobody else flies there. Otherwise it would not be a no-fly zone. Which indeed means shooting down Russian air planes. It also means the Russian air-defense systems, installed in Syria, shooting down US planes

                I did listen to the debates, there were no reasonable additional statements that would make me think anything else.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

                Turkey has already shot down a Russian plane that strayed into their airspace. The Russians didn’t retaliate. Turkey are members of NATO and they know they were in the wrong.

                The point is Russia backed down.

                If Trump was in charge, Putin might not back down because you can’t rely on him to back his NATO allies. NATO knows they can count on Obama and Clinton.

                It is the strength of NATO that prevents WWIII, and it is Russia that is the most likely to provoke it.

                For that reason, Trump must be kept clear of the White House.

            • darrelle
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

              Oh come now. Unless you have some sort of bona fide disorder, in which case I will be the first one to apologize and then completely ignore you in the future, you are very much aware of why people are responding as they are to you. Namely, because it is crystal clear in several of your comments that you made, purposefully, an effort to be personally insulting in as self-pleasuring a way as possible.

            • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

              The opinion that the West, led by the USA, should capitulate to every Russian or Islamist dictator to prevent an imagined WWIII is hardly reasonable in my book.

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

                And neither is reasonable that the current Syrian government is “legitimate”.

              • nicky
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

                Chamberlain?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                Just ask the Russians manning all those missile silos in Cuba.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:50 am | Permalink

                Cuba happened because the US installed missiles in Turkey, right on Russian border.
                A forgotten detail.
                The US was the aggressor then as it is to a degree now, in expanding NATO and pushing toward and around Russia
                Listen to someone like Dan Carlin on it.

                GM has quite a few things correct.

              • Posted November 6, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

                The USA is not the aggressor. It is true that NATO is expanding and pushing toward and around Russia, but this is because nations in these places, who have suffered much from Russia/USSR, want it. You can say that you would prefer the USA to let all these countries to be attacked, subdued and maybe engulfed by Russia, but I do not think you can call “aggression” the defense of freedom by the USA.

                GM apparently lives at a (currently) safe distance from Russia. I don’t. Let me repeat: leave us at Putin’s mercy if you like, but do not claim that you are doing it because you are the good guys.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:36 am | Permalink

              Thankfully your opinion does not and will not count for anything other than venting. I will no longer waste time thinking you are an able bodied voter in the US. Whew. Come and live here for a while before you become so passionate about how our country will be run.
              Pay taxes if you want representation or just keep venting for whatever reason you do to feel better.

              • Helen Hollis
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:11 am | Permalink

                Oh, how ironic. We the people wanted to be represented while being taxed.Taxation without representation was a thing you know. Someone wants to be President and represent all of us without being taxed. If this was just a nightmare I would not be so passionate about this. This is worse than a nightmare. This is the way a whole system of democracy as we know it could fall prey to a large group of people (he is bigly loved in Appalacia) that has no idea they are supporting a candidate that actually hates their very fact they exist.

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Maybe he has posted reasonable comments, but I remember him for his recent statement that a discussion of sexual abuse of women should not be held because it is “smearing of all men”.
            Of course, most people post strange stuff from time to time (I often do), but there is a limit.

            • GM
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

              Way to put words in my mouth…

              Which I bitterly complained about in that very same thread you are referring to.

              I never said such a thing

              • Mark R.
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

                I remember like mayamarkov…no words were put in your mouth. I don’t want to waste my time citing your many misogynist comments. You have revealed that you are oblivious to your male-centrist worldview. I’m done commenting with you on this site. No one here agrees with you…that doesn’t strike a chord with you? Oh yeah, I forgot, here we’re all tribal and brainwashed, and you’re the uber-rational, clear-thinking expert on all things political.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

                I agree with a lot GM has to say. Especially about the villinizing Russia and patting the good old US of A, defender of freedom (Ha)on the head.

            • Diane G.
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

              Thanks, Maya, I was trying to remember at least one post of GM’s trolling…was hoping someone who did would step forward. Yes, I remember the one you mention!

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                “I remember the one you mention!”

                I did as well which is why I asked the question. It seemed to me I’d seen his comments here for almost as long as I could remember, but I never recalled any being notably bizarre, and then all of a sudden we have two instances nearly back to back.

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        What exactly is unsubstantiated?

        Let’s take the candidate at their word.

        Hillary is on record, repeatedly, that she wants a no-fly zone over Syira. Which means that US planes will be shot down by Russian air defense systems. Which is a direct path to WWIII.

        She is also on record, again repeatedly, that she will use military force against Russia.

        What part of that is unsubstantiated?

        If we are to believe Trump when he says sexist stuff, we should also believe Hilary when she is being a war hawk, shouldn’t we?

        Alternatively, if we are going to dismiss what she says with “she doesn’t really mean it”, then we should apply the same standard to Trump, shouldn’t we?

        And once again, what is more important? The extinction of the human species or women’s rights? Whoever think it’s women’s rights is a blinkered idiot, simple and plain.

        • geckzilla
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          As a woman, it’s extinction either way for me. It’s not enough to survive. But your apocalyptic fork makes no more sense to argue over than Nostradamus or Biblical Numerology.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            I rest my case

            • geckzilla
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

              One can only hope you rest it.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                Beat me to it.😀

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            + 1

        • Reginald Selkirk
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          If we are to believe Trump when he says sexist stuff, we should also believe Hilary when she is being a war hawk, shouldn’t we?

          Alternatively, if we are going to dismiss what she says with “she doesn’t really mean it”, then we should apply the same standard to Trump, shouldn’t we?

          Trump has a history of never admitting to mistakes. Look at his statements about Japan and Saudi Arabia getting nuclear weapons as just one example. He denies what he said, despite the video evidence. NO, Hillary Clinton does not have a record of behaving the same way. She has admitted to past mistakes and apologized for some of them. So your simplistic “treat both sides the same way” argument will not withstand any sort of serious analysis.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            OK, so then we are to take it that she really means it when she says that she will start WW3 (she does not say that explicitly, but promises to do things that are the equivalent of it)?

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:42 am | Permalink

              Citations are your friend. Use a citation that is credible that shows your “she” will start WW3, or promise to do things that are the as you say equivalent to it (whatever that means)

        • eric
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          Hillary is on record, repeatedly, that she wants a no-fly zone over Syira [sic]. Which means that US planes will be shot down by Russian air defense systems. Which is a direct path to WWIII.

          She also said that you don’t develop that in a vacuum, that doing so involves a lot of discussion with the Russians. Seems pretty clear to me she wants a “see plane, pick up phone, use proportional response” system, not the straw man “see plane, pull trigger” system the right likes to imply.

        • Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Just so you know, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane a few months ago when it’s strayed into Turkish airspace. There were some very harsh words from Russia, some economic response, but not WWIII.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            There were some very harsh words …

            Well, that’s almost the same as triggering the launch of our nuclear triad (which refers to our bomber, missile, and submarine based nuclear arsenal, in case Mr. Trump is trying to follow along🙂 ).

    • jeremy pereira
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Your argument fails at this line: “If we go with what the candidates have said, and believe them”.

      The difference between the candidates is that Hillary sometimes lies whereas Trump sometimes tells the truth…

      … oh wait, he never tells the truth.

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        OK, so if he never tells the truth, then he isn’t a sexist and racist? It follows logically…

        Then why are you against him for being a sexist and racist, if, in your own words, he is neither?

        • Another Tom
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          That’s not it. To say that Trump lies implies that he knows what he’s saying isn’t true. Trump does not have the intellectual capacity to lie. He just spouts off racist and misogynist things without any awareness. You’re giving Trump too much credit.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            OK, so them we can fully believe him that he will follow a politics of good relationships with Russia and will not start a global war?

            Which brings us to my original point — what is worse? High potential for WW3 or very low such chance?

            • Another Tom
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

              I’d go for low, which means Clinton. Clinton actually thinks, Trump is pure id. A president Trump is, by far, more likely to cause global catastrophe.

              You don’t seem to actually know much about the politicians involved or geopolitics. I’m gonna go with troll.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:46 am | Permalink

              What is your agenda?

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

                Gms agenda is to create drama and draw attention to himself. He is what he is accusing others of being: a theatrical histrionic. Gm has been posting irritating and annoying comments for a long time. Hopefully, this present spate of dramatics will be the grand finale. Histrionics take a kernel of truth and embellish and embellish and embellish it until it become a stinking turd until everybody holds their nose and leave. But does the histrionic learn? Nope. They find a new audience.

        • jeremy pereira
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          I’m against him because he is totally unfit to be president of the USA.

      • Carl
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        That Trump never tells the truth is false. I saw a detailed analysis a day or two ago showing his statements are false or mostly false only about 75% of the time. With Clinton, that measure drops to 25%.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      WTF you talkin’ about, World War 3? You’re saying Hillary would lead the nation into nuclear war? As in Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most cautious politician ever to strap on a pantsuit one leg at a time? I musta missed that plank in the Democratic national platform.

      Whatever chance there is that this election could lead to nuclear conflagration, it comes with letting the short-fingered vulgarian get his grubby little pussy-grabbing paws on the the nuclear football, start punching in codes like it was a crazy 3 am tweet to Miss Universe.

      You’re just spewing perfervid paranoid fantasies from the right-wing fever swamp.

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Did you listen to the debates, to her interviews, etc.?

        She has repeatedly said “no-fly zone over Syria”, and she has said she is will use military force against Russia

        That is how you start WW3.

        • Reginald Selkirk
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          She has repeatedly said “no-fly zone over Syria”, and she has said she is will use military force against Russia
          That is how you start WW3.

          Your unstated assumption is that Russia will not back down, and if their international aggression is challenged, they would continue to the point of starting WWIII.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            OK, so let’s assume Russia backs down, Putin is overthrown, and a US puppet regime is installed there.

            Can you follow the consequences of that for the world as a whole?

            I doubt it

            • GM
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

              Also, are you really going to roll the dice on playing chicken with the Russians just because Trump says offensive to your liberal sensitivities things?

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

                He wants to dismantle NATO, plain and simple. You may like it, but there are others who do not.

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

                Give me one reason why NATO should exist other than to encircle Russia?

                The verbal deal made with Gorbatchov was that the Soviets dismantle the Warsaw pact, while NATO will stay within its then current boundaries.

                You know what followed (or probably you don’t, if you did, you wouldn’t be posting such nonsense).

              • Helen Hollis
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:50 am | Permalink

                Yes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

              If Donald Trump were elected, he wouldn’t know whether to shit or go blind when it comes to foreign policy (or to any other function of government). He would engender zero confidence among US allies. He has himself also engaged in much more bellicose saber-rattling than Hillary.

              It’s ridiculous to claim that anything Hillary has said indicates a plan to launch “Word War 3.”

              • GM
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

                It’s not necessarily a plan for that specifically, it’s just a consequence of the reckless foreign policy that is going to be executed if she is elected.

                Again, almost everyone here seems to be a blinkered “liberal” living in a bubble somewhere in the USA or the UK and not very well educated on global issues.

                Which makes the reaction to what I am saying not unexpected.

                That does not make it any less wrong.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

                No candidate to aspire to the US presidency this year (or in any other recent election) has been more likely, by dint of both qualification and temperament, to continue what has been the steadfast, bipartisan policy of the United States toward Russia ever since the days of the “wise men” who advised Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, than is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Period/full stop.

                All you’ve done in your comments here is wrench a couple comments of hers completely from their context. You, GM, quite clearly know nothing of United States foreign policy and United States politics.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:04 am | Permalink

                Don’t forget the US provoked and started the Cuban missile crisis.
                It was a big propaganda loss by Khrushchev to agree to suppress the US part.

                It wasn’t the bad naughty aggressive Russians being stared down by good ol USA at all.
                It was Russia defending itself, like now.

              • Ken Phelps
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

                “…he wouldn’t know whether to shit or go blind…”

                This is the heart of the matter. He is an empty vessel that would be piloted by others. The sort of “others” that can gain the confidence of a narcissist are not likely to be good advisors.

            • eric
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

              So, you think those are the most likely options? Just to reiterate, you think these are the most likely outcomes of her being elected:

              A. Hilary imposes a no-fly zone. The US shoots down a Russian plane, precipitating WWIII (even though Turkey did exactly that a few months ago and…no WWIII).

              B. Russia becomes a puppet empire controlled by the US, all the other countries don’t like this, resulting in some terrible but unstated consequneces.

              Really? Really really? You deem it extraordinarily unlikely that she’s just going to be a moderate, mediocre President who’s most significant legacy will be to nominate a couple of left-of-center supreme court justices?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Well, we’ll see if there’re the 40 Republican senators needed to sustain a filibuster with the brass gonads to try such a move. I doubt it, especially coming on the heels of an election in which the fractured GOP has just taken a beating.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

              Comment posted to wrong thread.

        • Voltaire
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          Hillary Clinton.

          “Well, my relationship with [Putin], it’s—it’s interesting. It’s one, I think, of respect. We’ve had some very tough dealings with one another. And I know that he’s someone that you have to continually stand up to because, like many bullies, he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can unless you do.
          — Jan. 17 debate in South Carolina »

          • Diane G.
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Very nice. Sounds much like her relationship with Trump, without the “respect” part.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Or how you get Rooskie nukes outta Cuba.

          • Michael Waterhouse
            Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:10 am | Permalink

            Better way would be to stop putting nukes all around Russia.

    • somer
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      At this point, Quotes from Revelations – perhaps featuring the Whore of Babylon – are appropriate … but wait aren’t they all psychedelic Apocrypha?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Excuse me, but what in the name of fuck are you talking about? How have you managed to convince yourself that HRC will/is likely to/may possibly/is even remotely likely to start WW3? What is wrong with you right-wingers? All I hear is this desperate, desperate attempt to convince yourselves that voting for Trump is the lesser of two evils, and the only way you can do that when Trump is quite clearly a dictator-in-waiting is to just blow the most absurd paranoiac Fox News fantasies about Clinton up to Times Square poster size.
      It’s utterly ludicrous, and the sad thing is it tends to come from those Trump sympathisers who are intelligent enough to realise that they’re voting for the unjustifiable. The rest couldn’t give a shit about justifying themselves, which I think I probably prefer.
      You cannot bullshit your way out of this. It is delusional to make out that one of the safest pairs of hands in US politics(say what you like about her e-mails, she’s been in high-level politics for a long time now and the worst the right and the pond-dwelling left could throw at her are nothing more than the kind of routine human errors that take place from time-to-time in US government.) is more likely to push you into a war with Russia than Donald Trump. That’s Donald Trump, the American equivalent of every tinpot African dictator we’ve been hearing about on world new for the last forty years. The most frivolous, thin-skinned, ignorant, aggressive candidate in living memory and a man who has proposed multiple warcrimes before he’s even tasted the slightest political power.
      As for the Russophile apologetics, the ubiquity of which is truly, truly bizarre to see on the American ‘patriotic’ right, there are two actors in any potential conflict and the idea that Russia should feel persecuted or ‘encircled’ after eight years of Obama’s foreign policy and Putinist aggression is absurd.
      Some decisions cannot be rationalised – a vote for Trump is one of them.

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        What is wrong with you right-wingers?

        I am not a right-winger, I am actually a very left-leaning person.

        Which reminds me — what exactly is “left” about HRC?

        • somer
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          One word. Horseshoe

          • GBJames
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            Exactly the word that occurred to me.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Gives a whole new meaning to “I can see see Russia from my porch.”

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Whether you’re on the right or on the left my point remains: the only way anyone intelligent can rationalise voting for Trump is by massively exaggerating Hillary’s flaws. There is no other way. Saying she’s going to start WW3 is just the reductio of your position. It’s painful to watch reasonable people crafting shadows in their own minds all in order to wash the stink off their choice of candidate.

          Re. your question: I don’t remember calling Hillary a left-winger at any point. I’d categorise her as a centrist liberal. Much like myself.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        As I have mentioned above, it was the beloved JFK, a democrat, who brought the world to the brink of WW3 then.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Well, case closed then.

    • Somer
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      This is what someone who once worked with ICBMS, and is a senior security expert says about Trump and nuclear – i.e. He says the whole point of Nuclear weapons is they are NOT part of a deal to be used as some negotiation point – they are not to be used.

      http://www.businessinsider.com.au/natsec-expert-john-noonan-tweets-against-trump-nuclear-plans-2016-8?r=US&IR=T

      And this is what Trump said on MSNBC Town Hall talk about Nuclear

      http://info.msnbc.com/_news/2016/03/30/35330907-full-transcript-msnbc-town-hall-with-donald-trump-moderated-by-chris-matthews?lite

      MATTHEWS (THE MODERATOR): OK.
      Your most controversial suggestion was don’t take nuclear weapons —–off the table.
      —– (Trump Obsfucates but doesnt deny this)
      TRUMP: I don’t think I — well, someday, maybe.
      MATTHEWS (THE MODERATOR): When? Maybe?
      TRUMP: Of course. If somebody…
      MATTHEWS: Where would we drop — where would we drop a nuclear weapon in the Middle East?
      TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain.
      Somebody hits us within ISIS, you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?
      MATTHEWS: No. To drop a nuclear weapon on a community of people that are…
      TRUMP: No, no, but you can’t say — first of all, you don’t want to say, “Take everything off the table…”
      MATTHEWS: No, just nuclear.
      TRUMP: … because you’d be a bad negotiator if you do that.
      MATTHEWS: Just nuclear.
      TRUMP: Look, nuclear should be off the table. But would there be a time when it could be used, possibly, possibly?
      MATTHEWS: OK. The trouble is, when you said that, the whole world heard it. David Cameron in Britain heard it. The Japanese, where we bombed them in ’45, heard it. They’re hearing a guy running for president of the United States talking of maybe using nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to hear that about an American president.
      TRUMP: Then why are we making them? Why do we make them? We had (inaudible).
      MATTHEWS: Because of the old mutual assured destruction, which Reagan hated and tried to get rid of.
      TRUMP: (inaudible) I was against Iraq. I’d be the last one to use the nuclear weapon.
      MATTHEWS: So can you take it off the table now?
      TRUMP: Because that’s sort of like the end of the ball game.
      MATTHEWS: Can you tell the Middle East we’re not using a nuclear weapon on anybody?
      TRUMP: I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off the table.
      MATTHEWS: How about Europe? We won’t use it in Europe?
      TRUMP: I — I’m not going to take it off the table.
      MATTHEWS: You might use it in Europe?
      TRUMP: No, I don’t think so. But I’m not taking…
      MATTHEWS: Well, just say it. “I will never use a nuclear weapon in Europe.
      TRUMP: I am not — I am not taking cards off the table.

      • somer
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Note the equivalence between some conventional attack by ISIS on US forces or a terrorist attack at home and a nuclear strike.

      • chris moffatt
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        IIRC President Obama has also declined to take the nuclear first strike option off the table. Can we assume that would then become part of a President Clinton policy?

        • somer
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          “TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain.
          Somebody hits us within ISIS, you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?
          MATTHEWS: No. To drop a nuclear weapon on a community of people that are…
          TRUMP: No, no, but you can’t say — first of all, you don’t want to say, “Take everything off the table…”
          Neither Obama or Clinton would EVER say something like that.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      I am trying to decipher this incoherent comment.

      – When did Clinton call for WW3? (And when didn’t Trump’s appeal for war crimes and ignorance for nuclear weapons not threaten the same?)

      – What is “BAU”? Business As Usual? (What is it with US and communication barrier acronyms anyway?)

      • GM
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        When did Clinton call for WW3?

        I said this several times above, I am tired of explaining it again and again.

        If you are so low-information on these issues that you are asking such a question, we have almost no ground for having a conversation about them.

        • GM
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          P.S. I really really hope that all of you are correct and I am wrong.

          We will see what will happen, the future will tell.

          • Helen Hollis
            Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:21 am | Permalink

            The fact is I have asked you for citations to prove your accusation against Hillary Clinton. For whatever reason, or reasons you have not provided any citations to prove your accusation. You do not have to have hope that anyone is correct or incorrect in rejecting your personal opinion that is not backed up with a sliver of fact. The future will tell us what it should. The voters in this country will speak. Your posts here will have no effect on the outcome of this election process.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          You are rationalising your support for Trump in the only way you can: by constructing a vast edifice of apocalyptic hysteria based on nothing.
          Clinton’s statements on Russia and Syria were routine, necessary foreign-policy announcements – what she said was firm but reasonable. You have to be truly desperate for anti-Hillary ammunition to convince yourself that in her words you have discovered the seeds of the next world war.

          I also think there’s something very morally…creepy…about the idea that by enforcing a multilateral no-fly-zone over Syria(a country in which America is already militarily involved) it’s actually Clinton who’ll have precipitated WW3* rather than Putin.
          It’s the same denial of agency that far-left groups pull on Hamas and Hezbollah every time they hang someone from a crane or blow up a schoolbus: ‘look what the west made them do’, only this time it’s done on Putin; poor, backed-into-a-corner, what-else-could-he-possibly-do Putin.

          *This is all assuming your deeply dubious hypothesis makes sense, and Putin is desperate for the slightest excuse to start WW3…
          Which in itself rather suggests this is someone we should be interested in getting rid of rather than appeasing doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t suggest we should be letting him slip in the White House back door along with his orange BFF.

          • GM
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            1) I am not a Trump supporter, I do not like the prospect of Clinton and the associated forces taking over. Obama was somehow able to restrain them a bit for 8 years, and yet they still made such a gigantic mess. Giving them full power is terrifying.

            2) If you think Putin is the main problem with geopolitics, then this is very depressing to know, but it is not surprising.

            Propaganda works. Otherwise it would not be such a huge industry. It is what it is.

            • Tim Harris
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

              And only our heroic Genetically (un)Modified GM, magically unaffected by the propaganda that controls everyone else (particularly those who disagree with him and give reasons for doing so) can see clearly what the future will bring…

            • somer
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

              “Propaganda works. Otherwise it would not be such a huge industry. It is what it is.”
              David Icke and Lizard people territory

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:21 am | Permalink

              GM
              I am not a Trump supporter, I like Hillary, even before and despite all this,but while I think you are over stating the concern for WW3 a bit much, in essence you are right.
              Putin is being pushed.
              Just as the US has pushed before.

              I mentioned above, listen to someone like Dan Carlin on this.
              He seems to be able to see it from the other side quite well.

            • Helen Hollis
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:24 am | Permalink

              Putin is a nothing. Maybe he is Bigly with the one with the orange skin and the thing that may need vaccines on his head. That is the only guy wio will give Putin a shake. No one is scared of Putin. He is impotent. Much like his supporters, I mean that literally.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:49 am | Permalink

              You haven’t dealt with anything I’ve said. All you’ve done is snarked and wriggled away onto another thread.

              And you are a Trump supporter. At least bite the bullet and admit it. Every one of your posts here has been centred on trying to rationalise the fact. If you had the guts to say ‘I like him – he’s got my vote’ then there’s precisely nothing anyone could say. That would be up to you. But you don’t; you know he’s an appalling human being, and you can’t admit that what he says actually appeals to you, so you have to scrawl fingerpainted disaster scenes on the wall involving little-boy-lost Putin finally being pushed into starting WW3.

            • Tim Harris
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

              The trouble is that GM, if he is not simply trolling, supposes that merely being contrary necessarily shows that you have considered something seriously and (or) that you are intelligent.It doesn’t.

        • Ken Phelps
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          “said” =/= “explain”.

  4. Rita
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Pretty much agree, except where he says “Some Republicans are hinting of a four or eight year filibuster to prevent any Court vacancy from being filled, but I think this is a bridge too far, even for today’s Republican party.” NOTHING is “a bridge too far” for Today’s Republican party. And, I’m not exactly enthusiastic about Hillary due to her Wall Street ties and possibly too eager for more war. But, she is FAR better than the alternative, which is unthinkable.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      As far as court appointments, I think there are some limits to how far the foot dragging can go. It can be argued, and probably would be, that the constitution requires the Senate to act on judges within a reasonable time. If they don’t a simple remedy would be for the president to simply approve his own nomination. It would probably have to be decided by the Supremes, but that might work out OK.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        I think so too. Someone like John Roberts will be far more concerned with how he goes down in history and perfectly cognizant of how negatively the present incarnation of the GOP will be assessed in the long run.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          If the GOP senators wanna play that game, our new president should exercise her Article II recess-appointment power to force her nominee onto the Court.

          • Reginald Selkirk
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            The Senate plays tricks these days to thwart recess appointments.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

              Well, let’s see if there’re the 40 Republican senators needed to sustain a filibuster with the brass gonads to try such a move. I doubt it, especially coming on the heels of an election in which a fractured GOP has just taken a beating.

              • tomh
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

                The Senate can be kept in session with “pro forma” sessions, which keeps the Senate open by simply having a single member gavel it open, read a short announcement, and gavel it closed. Takes thirty seconds, twice a week. Republicans used this when the Senate went into recess shortly after Garland was nominated, to prevent a recess appointment.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

                The Republicans aren’t going to engage in such bullshit tactics unless a solid majority of the members of the senate Republican caucus approves it. They won’t.

              • Reginald Selkirk
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

                Ken Kucek: “The Republicans aren’t going to engage in such bullshit tactics unless a solid majority of the members of the senate Republican caucus approves it. They won’t.

                They’re already doing it.
                How the Senate Foils Obama Even When It’s in Recess

              • tomh
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

                They’re doing it even today. Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia spoke with reporters Monday after presiding over a brief “pro forma” Senate session held one day before the election. He spoke on something else, the pro forma sessions are so routine now they’re not even news.

      • tomh
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        “As far as court appointments, I think there are some limits to how far the foot dragging can go”

        Actually, there are no limits. For instance, during Tyler’s administration, the Senate refused to fill a vacancy for well over two years, and it was only filled after a change in administrations. They could easily have gone on another two or four years, for there is nothing in the Constitution that imposes any time restrictions to their “advise and consent.” If the Republicans hold on to a majority in the Senate, Democratic hands are pretty well tied.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          We’ll see about that. I don’t believe the nation, or the Supreme Court itself, will tolerate that kind of bullshit. If the Republicans want a constitutional showdown, they’ll get it, and we’ll see who blinks first.

          • tomh
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know what part of the Constitution you think prevents them from rejecting any and all nominations. The only thing preventing this would be public opinion, but they have already shown this doesn’t really concern them much.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

              Article II, Section 2, clause 2 of the US Constitution requires that the US senate give its “Advice and Consent” on the president’s judicial nominations. I’m confident that, if squarely presented with the issue, the US Supreme Court would give this clause a reasonable interpretation that would not permit the Senate to abdicate its role in perpetuity.

              I’m also confident it will never come to this. Even extremist Republican senators are not that foolhardy. The talk to the contrary is being fomented by those running for reelection (like John McCain) who need to shore up their hard-right support in very conservative constituencies. Once a new congress is seated in January, they won’t do more than pay lip service to this nonsense, while steadily backing away from it.

              • tomh
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

                Well, I think you’re right that it’s a political question, though I think you’re wrong that the courts would get involved with the internal workings of the Senate. It’s called separation of powers for a reason.

              • eric
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

                AIUI the 2018 Senate (class I) elections look very different and very, very negative for the Dems. This year most of the vulnerable seats are held by GOP, but in 2018 it will be the reverse. So they probably don’t have to hold out ‘indefinitely.’ If they can hold out 2 years the Senate may give them a majority again and then Clinton would be forced to compromise (even moreso than Garland) to see any seat filled.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

                The interpretation to be given the US Constitution is neither an internal senate matter nor a “political question.” As Chief Justice John Marshall wrote for SCOTUS way back in the early days of this Republic in Marbury v. Madison, “[I]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”

        • rickflick
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Tyler’s failures to confirm involved many nominations who were considered but rejected, not just one that was ignored.

          • tomh
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            A distinction without a difference.

            • rickflick
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

              It makes all the difference. If the Senate refused to consider, the executive branch has a good case against them and should prevail. If they consider but reject a candidate, they then have to try to justify there actions. Big difference.

              • tomh
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

                So they consider it and reject it. The only people they have to justify it to are their constituents. Not too difficult, considering they’re the ones who elected them in the first place.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

                Tell that to Republican senators in purple states. You don’t hear this bogus posturing coming from them.

              • tomh
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

                Which shows that it’s a political issue. There’s no way to force the matter except at the ballot box.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

                The senate’s continued refusal to advise and consent on judicial nominations would certainly have political implications. But that does not perforce make it a “political question” in the strict legal sense (thereby requiring the courts to abjure). Many Supreme Court cases have political overtones, which is why many people pay attention to them.

              • tomh
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

                Well, you have your opinions, though I think you’d have a hard time finding a Constitutional scholar to agree with them, for the simple reason that neither the Constitution nor any federal statute nor even any Senate rule imposes an explicit obligation on the Senate to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee, nor to take a vote on confirmation.

              • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

                Voting up or down is a public political commitment.

                Refusing to consider a nominee is a weasely, dishonest, avoidance of duty. They can be made to fry on that. (And they probably are going to be, this election.)

                The immediate question (that they should be hammered with over and over again) is: Why are you afraid of a vote on this? And: Why do you refuse to accept the results of the elections?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

                This is a nice question for the scholars — since it’s completely academic — i.e., it’s never gonna happen.

                But if the Republicans want to try, I say bring it on. If the Trump candidacy hasn’t permanently fractured the Republican Party already, such a damfool strategy will, by forcing any Republican senator from a purple state with even a pretension to moderation — what the hard right derisively refers to as “RINOs” — to abandon the GOP (the way Arlen Specter was forced to abandon the GOP in Pennsylvania). If that happens, the GOP will cease to be a force in national elections.

                Also, there is a huge distinction between voting against a nominee’s confirmation and refusing to give that nominee a hearing. That’s precisely why Mitch McConnell so obdurately held the line on conducting hearings for Merrick Garland. McConnell knew that, were such hearings to be held, he could not keep the more “moderate” GOP senators from pealing off. If hearings are held on a qualified Democratic nominee, no way can the Republicans muster the 40 votes necessary to sustain a filibuster (let alone the 51 votes needed to defeat confirmation).

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      If Democrats win the majority in the Senate – which has a good chance of happening this year, they could change the filibuster rules to disallow the filibuster for all judicial nominees, including those for the Supreme Court. They only need the majority, not 60 votes, and they have done exactly that for judicial nominees – but excluding the Supreme Court – back in 2013 or 2014 when they had a small majority.

      • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        To clarify, Senate only needs a majority to change their internal rules, that include the filibuster.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          aka “the nuclear option”

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes – I just didn’t want to use that word, since certain commenters on this post will take it as yet more evidence that Democrats want to start WWIII.

            • Steve Gerrard
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

              Lol.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              Same thing occurred to me, but I don’t have your compunction over fueling their delusions.🙂

          • Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Not top worry — it’s the nucular option (at least according to W).

  5. geckzilla
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I’m quite agreeable with this post, but with one exception: I’m nervous. I’ve got more than my fair share of peers who see Trump and Clinton as equally bad candidates. This false equivalency has a tremendous impact on public opinion. While Trump supporters obviously have never given a care what people think, Clinton supporters I imagine are far more easily intimidated by social pressure to vote for an alternate candidate or even not vote at all. I don’t know. It could be a close race. Between this and the announcement of potential terrorist activity in NYC (I live in Queens) I’ve got more than one reason to be nervous.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I saw comments the other day (I don’t remember where) that reflect how this false equivalence seems to me. I think it reflects pure laziness on the part of those who assert it. It makes the person feel like they are wise and jaded but really just illustrates that they haven’t paid close enough attention to realize that there simply is no equivalence.

      • geckzilla
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I agree. A very lazy… no, to them, I think it is safe. They feel morally safe.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      The GOP is about to lose Utah for the first time since LBJ (1964, and before that, FDR).

      This should tell one a lot.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Well, not exactly. If Trump loses Utah it will be to a Republican Mormon running as an alternative to Trump. It would be nice, and amazing, if Clinton won the state, but that isn’t likely.

        • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Of course, not to a Dem.; however, they’ve won it consistently, even in years with strong 3rd party candidates like Perot and Wallace.

          It will be a historic loss for them.

          I guess I should have said the nominated GOP candidate will lose Utah.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, it will be a historic loss. And I expect it will also be the kernel from which the Republican Party fractures in half, one part being the Mormon-ish and “establishment” types and the other being the Alt-Right faction.

            Couldn’t happen to a nicer party, IMO.

  6. GBJames
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’m with him. (Professor Mayer, that is.)

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I love your description of Trump as “a more vicious Berlusconi”. I think he’s probably a more stupid Berlusconi as well, which makes things even worse.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Added to that, a bad president of the US is simply a lot more consequential than a bad one elsewhere. The world can cope with the many bad leaders we already have, but we only have one superpower, and it’s important that it’s led by someone competent.

      • Helen Hollis
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:33 am | Permalink

        This is the best thing I read on this entire thread and I can’t help but smile that it is the most wise advice any US voter should take to heart on the way to their respective polling place. It’s not just about us, and it never has been in our history as a country. We don’t build walls, we break walls down. We break barriers down and have from the start. It’s a slow process but we keep at it. Bit by bit. We are a great country and do not need to make it “great again” beacause damnit it is the great country it has always been and it is not in despair now, nor has it been in our lifetimes.

  8. rickflick
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Mitch McConnell just recently came out enthusiastically for Trump. But let’s not blame the poor bastard for being a rethuglican, no-nothing, reality-denier. He’s been reelected many times by his fellow citizens of Kentucky and his last win was by a huge margin. The blame is all theirs. And of course this reasoning applies as broadly. If you have to demonize anyone, I’d have to say Roger Ailes, the Koch brothers, etc.

  9. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Very good Posting. I always have to lean over a bit because of the bad habits I have. The best way to say it is to leave personalities out and lets talk about these two parties. The Republican parties is finished in my opinion. It has run it’s course and shown to be a complete failure in every sense, domestically and internationally. There is nothing left that is good about this party and it needs to RIP. Maybe something good will come from the ruins.

    The Democrats have a long way to go and Hilary gets the first step. We will hope she does not blow it and gets it moving in the right direction. Eventually, if we are to survive things like economic reality must be found in this country because it currently does not exist. Our tax structure and spending situation is a full blown disaster. Our military spending must be overhauled and reduced and new energy must be a priority one policy. What is left of the conservative right must be overcome to get where we need to go and that is the job of future presidents.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      …who will need a mandate, which means it’s actually our job. Those of us who are just too comfortable to give anything but lip service to traditional progressive causes need to put our money & efforts where our mouths are.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Yes but by mandate you mean control of both houses of congress. That does not come right away as the death of this republican party must continue. Maybe by 2020 it can be had.

        But the Democrats have to create a plan and then stick with it. Running around with the social issues is fun for the lip service crowd but that is not the priority. The Economic system must be the main priority or nothing else matters. Everything done in this country over the past 40 years was done without a price tag and with no one responsible for paying. This has to be fixed and I don’t mean paying off the huge debt, I just mean lets start paying for what we do. Either that or don’t do it. We know social security is going broke in X number of years so lets fix that. Same for medicare. Don’t go to war without taxes to pay for it – wow, what a crazy idea. None of the progressive causes will mean a thing if you do not fix the financial mess this country is in.

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Very true.

          The Dems could work to change the composition of their own delegations, however. Much of the important work actually lies well below the office of the presidency, while some of us only tune in when that’s at stake. Every two years most incumbent Representatives are re-elected in some of the smallest-turnout elections imaginable.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            You hint at the other really big problem and I think that can only be fixed with Public financing of our elections. The private money must be removed. That is the real mandate issue we need here. It would eliminate much of the sleezy politicians and lobby at the same time. The idea or theory of representation of the people would be re-invented. But the public financing must be total. All private money removed. If I was thinking about starting a new party in America this would be the issue.

            • Diane G.
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

              I couldn’t agree more!

            • Mark R.
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

              Yep, and why we need a President who says she’ll appoint SCOTUS justices that understand the damage that citizen’s united has done and will continue to do. Not a President who wants a bunch of Scalia’s maintaining and/or worsening the status quo.

            • somer
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

              +1

      • rickflick
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of money, Clinton is still accepting donations, but for how long I don’t know.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      The Republican party is finished? The party that holds the Senate, House, 31 of 50 governorships, around two-thirds of state legislatures, and is by far the preferred political party among the members of the law enforcement and the military. Finished? I wish Democrats were that “finished”.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Some are slow to come around. Stick around and count the votes for us Tuesday.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Sob!

      • Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        X – maybe we can thus agree with Trump that it’s time to drain the swamp!!

      • Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I could easily see the GOP split into two: The “old-style” moderate conservatives of my childhood and youth (e.g. Gerald Ford, Mark Hatfield, David Durenberger, Charles Percy, Bob Dole, Nancy Kassebaum, Nelson Rockefeller, etc.) and the far right teabaggers, I predict them calling themselves the “Patriot Party” (or maybe the “Liberty Party”).

        • GBJames
          Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Your “old-style” examples are all dead or near dead. (Also… fwiw, Bob Dole is on board the Donald Trump train.) If the tea-baggers leave, whose really left?

          David Frum and a few Bush II-era refugees, I suppose.

          • Posted November 8, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            Yes. I hope they can grow some new ones. If they have a new “tent” that will accommodate sane people, maybe more will come out of the closet. I can’t believe they’ve all drunk the neocon koolaid.

            I was discussing with my wife this morning. Her plaint was: Are there really that many stupid people in the US? (To which my reply is always: Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.)

            I said that I think the Trump coalition, such as it is, is made up of a few groups:

            1. Teabaggers. People who wish they could turn the clock back to the 1950s, when men were men and everyone else stayed in “their place” including foreign governments who were supplicants to the US in the aftermath of WWII. (“Make America White Again!”)

            2. The “never a Clinton” crowd.

            3. People who will always vote GOP because they think it will lower their taxes. (Boy are they fooling themselves about Trump!)

            4. Single issue people: Religion, Abortion, Guns. (Boy are they fooling themselves.)

  10. Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  11. Christopher Bonds
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    It’s the lack of consensus-building and bipartisanship and willingness to compromise and tit-for-tat that have destroyed (or at least badly damaged) the political process. Fear and ignorance are the main things that are driving the polarization, which is a national thing, and the makeup of congress is a reflection of that. But if Congress were to buckle down and do their job, the country would come around. At least I think it would.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I think the current GOP is doing just fine for its constituents, the oligarchs. It’s scary to think about just how bad conditions are going to have to get before progressive politics–strong unions, decent wages, tax reform–once more make sense to the downtrodden.

      Of course, there’s always the fallback political solution–war.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:34 am | Permalink

        It is strange how that seemingly simple message (or position) struggles to gain prominence with the downtrodden.

        Someone mentioned propaganda above, it does seem to work.

  12. eric
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The greatest excursion in American foreign policy since World War II was the utterly disastrous policy of Bush 2.

    In terms of US fatalities, both Vietnam and Korea separately were about an order of magnitude worse than Iran plus Afghanistan combined. Both in terms of absolute number of deaths and in terms of percent of the US population killed.

    Though I believe in the last year or two we just passed Vietnam’s record for length of time at war, so you can certainly say that Bush’s Afganistan+Iraq wars have been the longest excursions in American foreign policy since, well, ever.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I think he means excursion in policy. The “Bush Doctrine”: Preemptive “Self-defense”. (IIRC, “we” were invited in by the governments of S Korea and S Vietnam.)

  13. Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Greg chose a poor opening argument for his first paragraph since it would be equally valid as an argument to elect Sarah Palin.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Au contraire, I think it goes without saying that a Clinton presidency will only be transformative because she has the intelligence, experience, and political ability to govern well. To conclude that he’s saying it’s just about a woman and not this particular woman is to imply Greg hasn’t a brain in his head.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s not my country and not my vote – but I too cringed at the opening argument.

      If HRC wins, and *if* she is indicted or impeached over security issues, or turns out to be a poor President, then she damages the prospects of other women by the same argument.

      It’s not impossible that she could be a marvellous President – but still brought down by the activities of her close associates.

      However, I wish the USA well.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        I understand your argument, but why are the same arguments not used to oppose electing any more men?

        And what would people say if anything Obama got wrong was used as a reason not to elect any more African Americans?

        That sort of casual sexism that no one even notices is problematic in the whole world.

        • eric
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          It is a problem, and it is casual sexism, but I think Discovered is right in describing the US public. I think many (male) voters would take a HRC bad presidency as a reason not to vote for a woman in the future, no matter how fallacious that sort of reasoning is.

          And I think the risk *was* there for Obama, too, and if another African American democrat ran for President they *will* use the “you don’t want another Obama, do you?” argument. However in Obama’s case, I think they have a hard time making the ‘incompetency’ charge believable to anyone outside of right-wing circles.

          Clinton might hypothetically be impeached in the house. I don’t think that’s likely but its possible. But the Senate won’t remove her. And what conservatives don’t appear to think about is that even if this were to happen, Tim Kaine would be President, and be eligible to run for the presidency for another 8 years as an incumbent.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            You of course know your country better than I do. We’ve had two female prime ministers, one of whom was elected to three terms. They were criticized in ways a man wouldn’t be, and were subjected to things man aren’t, but I also haven’t noticed their gender being used as an excuse not to elect another woman, and I don’t think that will happen in a major party has a female leader again. Two of our parties in parliament (Greens and Maori party) always have co-leaders – one male and one female, and the Greens are the third biggest party in parliament.

            It shows some parts of the US must have a long way to go in terms of equality if race and gender are still such a big deal.

            We have multiple lesbian and gays MPs as well who have served very senior roles including Attorney General, and had a transgender MP for three terms, though she’s resigned now.

            • eric
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

              I think some conservatives engage in what you might call convenient bigotry or perhaps mercenary bigotry. They are intent on beating the Dems using any mud that sticks. If the Dem candidate is an African American, they’ll attack using racism. If the Dem candidate is a woman, they’ll attack that person using sexism as much as they can. Of course if the GOP candidate is an African American or woman, then it’ll be ‘how dare we suggest the party is anything but pure and noble?’

              People who would do this – who use bigotry as a tactic – are nasty a**holes who should never get a vote from any decent person. But that aside, you are right in saying that the fact that it works says a lot about Americans, and none of it good. Yes I fully agree, some if not most of us still need a lot of growing up in regards to race, sex, orientation, gender, etc. On the plus side, I think history will judge these decades pretty positively in that respect. I look at the rapid acceptance of SSM, the war on dope losing a few states at a time, and particularly the overwhelming acceptance of these things amongst our teens, and I’m pretty optimistic.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

                Yeah – young people are pretty amazing. Wherever you look, they’re generally pretty accepting of everybody. It’s great to see..

        • DiscoveredJoys
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          I understand your argument, but why are the same arguments not used to oppose electing any more men?

          Because America has had plenty of good and bad male Presidents already. HRC, good or bad, if elected, will be a female example of size one.

      • Carl
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think a poor or even disgraceful Clinton presidency will be held against women aiming at the Presidency going forward. Most prejudice along those lines will have been there anyway, but will continue to diminish. Likewise, I hope biases supporting a woman solely because of her sex will also fade away.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Greg chose a poor opening argument for his first paragraph since it would be equally valid as an argument to elect Sarah Palin.

      That would only be true if it were his only argument. It’s not.

      • Dr. I. Needtob Athe
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        What? I said he chose a poor opening argument. His subsequent arguments have nothing to do with the quality of his opening argument.

  14. Frank Bath
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s said ‘Politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose.’ So I wouldn’t worry too much what Hillary has said about a Syrian no-fly zone. It’s called looking for votes.
    Not sure about Trump though.

  15. Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have already voted for HRC, happily.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Me too! 🙂

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        And I’m in a battleground state.

        (Man, it was discouraging to drive by all the Trump/Pence yard signs today…)

        • Mark R.
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          I’m glad I’ve only seen two Trump/Pence yard signs, one bumper sticker and one T-shirt. I love living in a blue state. But I must add that I haven’t seen a lot of Clinton signs/stickers/T-shirts either. I’ve heard some people are scared their homes or cars will be vandalized. Wouldn’t surprise me.

          I voted for HRC and all Dem. down ballot candidates yesterday.

          • Diane G.
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

            MI is technically a blue state, too, due to Detroit & Ann Arbor. (& East Lansing, to be fair.) But beyond that…

            Means we usually always have 2 Dem. senators, but the Representative delegation is always skewed Republican.

            • Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

              Much like Minnesota; but maybe MN is a little more blue.

  16. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Good luck America, I’m rooting for you.

    In the event that the worst happens I was wondering if we could set up the equivalent of a French-exchange trip at school, only involving America and Britain, and between the Hillary voters and the Leave voters. It’s a bit cramped over here but we can make it work!

  17. Jim Lombardi
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Greg hits all the right buttons and I welcome his effort to comfort those who (recently) think the FBI’s October surprise may upset a certain electoral vote and probable landslide popular vote for Clinton. He didn’t address all the shiboleths like the false equivalency and “she’s untrustworthy” arguments but how can anyone in a few words hope to effectively debunk a full years’ relentless media drumbeat financed with unlmited (Citizen’s United) money?

  18. Historian
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Some conservatives, who would in normal times never consider voting for Hillary are doing so. David Frum, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, is one such person. Make no mistake: Trump is a threat to American democracy. A very large minority, if not majority, of his supporters care nothing about democracy and its institutions, assuming they know what they are. For them it is a means to gain power for the purpose of establishing an authoritarian regime that will crush the opposition in alliance with the cowardly Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Their goal is to establish a white, Christian, racist state. Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker refers to the Trump movement as American Fascism. He concludes his article with this paragraph.

    “Not long ago, I had occasion to write of the divide in virtue that separates us from Shakespeare, making the point that Shakespeare believed in fate, order, and forgiveness, whereas we believe in history, justice, and compassion, and that, superior though our moral progress may seem, there are bitter truths in the old trinity. For, as Shakespeare would have grasped at once, there is no explaining Trump. He is one of those phenomena that rise regularly in history to confound us with the possibility—and black comedy—of potent evil: conscienceless, cruel and pathologically dishonest. That evil magnetizes followers of all kinds is another permanent truth. Overexplaining its rise is as foolish as pretending that it can be easily defeated. The threat it makes to an order that, however imperfect, is worth sustaining and defending reminds us of that order’s fragility. As to forgiveness, much will be demanded, even if the best happens—or the worst, at least, is avoided.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/why-trump-is-different-and-must-be-repelled

    If Trump wins the country will experience the greatest catastrophe since the Civil War. If he loses, his minions will do their best to disrupt the normal democratic processes and may succeed. The times are perilous, indeed.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Much of your comment is true but I think you under-play where the republican party has been headed. They don’t give 2 cents for the average citizen or much of anything but their own agenda. The only thing that counts is destruction of the opponent and crushing all liberal ideas. So without Trump and his egomaniac ways, the party was on a long path to nowhere. Trump simply takes the cloves off of everything they stand for and puts it out front. Trump only cares to keep the Trump name in lights, keep the plates spinning at all times. Promote, Promote.

      Already the conservative group in the party are ready to dump Ryan in the House. He is way too moderate for them. The republican party will either blow apart or divide. One side might retain the name and the other will have to invent something else. The future for the old party is that there is no future. For the Trump Train, the gravy is just about gone and he will just go back to promoting Trump because that is all he ever did all along.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Rumor has it that Dubya himself is voting for Clinton.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Well everyone else in his family is. So it is probably true.

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Hooray for the Bushes!

          • pali
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            Never thought I’d be agreeing with that sentiment…

            • Diane G.
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

              😀

              It’s like Gail Collins of the NYT remarked about Trump: “I never thought I’d be nostalgic about Sarah Palin.”

  19. Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s ironic how Rudy Giuliani worked to take down John Gotti while, years later, fervidly advocating for a man who is virtually indistinguishable from Gotti. The FBI has unfurled its motivated bias to undermine democracy while inadvertently undermining its own executive powers. When Trump said the election was rigged, he wasn’t kidding.

    Anything for the donor class.

  20. tubby
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” is one of the reasons why I would have preferred another candidate, since sadly I think her term will be marked by Congress acting out constant Benny Hill sketches. But you may be right that this is triggered by not having a Republican in office. Or heck, it could be triggered by just not getting their way and we could see the same circus happen to Trump and Pence if they get elected as revenge for not picking Cruz during the primaries.

  21. Craw
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I am not a voter. If I were I would vote for someone else, neither of these two.

  22. W.Benson
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    “With blistering wit and meticulous documentation, Hitchens masterfully deconstructs Clinton’s abject propensity for pandering to the Left while delivering to the Right, and he argues that the president’s personal transgressions were ultimately inseparable from his political corruption.” This is the blurb from Amazon-com’s page for Christopher Hitchen’s book on Bill Clinton, originally published in 1999, “No One Left t Lie To.” With minimal editing, the words apply equally well to Mrs. Clinton. Make no mistake, Hillary is a right-winger or worse, intent on enriching herself and her cronies (at the expense of women, minorities, children, and whoever), and causing mischief in the world.

    I fear America is in for perilous times no matter who is elected.

    • Carl
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Hillary is not a right winger, not even one in disguise. You were doing great until you threw that in.

      • Historian
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Of course, Hillary is no right winger. If this were so, do you think the Republican lunatics would be threatening to impeach her before even taking office? Would Bernie Sanders now be campaigning for her? Too many people have no idea what this election is about.

        • GM
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Oh, how naive can people be…

          Those people do not perceive themselves as “right-wing” or “left-wing”, those are just tribal labels, as in team “Cherry” vs team “Strawberry” in the kindergarten.

          The reality is that one oligarchic faction is fighting another oligarchic faction for control. Of course they will impeach her and her policies have little to do with it. As a matter of fact, they do happen to be right-wing in essence aside from what is basically cosmetic issues.

          Would Bernie Sanders now be campaigning for her?

          I am sure you are extremely close to Bernie and you know his motivations directly from the source…

          • Historian
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I guess Bernie is also an oligarch campaigning for another one. In my naivete I had no idea. Thanks for enlightening me.

          • eric
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Hilary, like Bill before her, is likely going to support wall street interests. Like Obama, I expect she’ll be pro-government when it comes to the government’s powers to seach and seizure, basically ignoring the 4th amendment like many presidents of both parties have done before her. Third, there hasn’t been a viable foreign policy dove amongst the Dems in any from since Carter. But do those three things qualify her as right wing? That label ignores the many many other policy positions she holds. None of these are ‘right-wing’:
            -For SSM
            -Pro choice and in favor of universal access to birth control
            -For universal health care
            -For expanding SNAP and other programs for low-income families
            -For an increased minimum wage
            -For lower college costs/increased access to education
            -Will nominate liberal justices
            -For environmental regulations on businesses
            -Accepts that climate change is happening, supports working with other countries to try and reduce human contributions to it.
            -Supports humanitarian treatment of illegal immigrants and pathways to citizenship that don’t necessarily involve deportation.
            -Intends to make the federal income tax more progressive (i.e. shifting the burden more onto the wealthy).

            Now again, are you telling me those are right-wing policies? They sure don’t sound like it to me.

            • GM
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

              Before I reply to your list, let me note that I was talking about the parties when in power, not so much about Clinton on the campaign trail. So there is bait and switch that you are playing here, because what is said on the campaign trail is completely irrelevant, what matter is policies enacted while in power.

              Anyway, let’s go over the list:

              -For SSM

              I am not sure what you mean by that. If it is social security and medicare, it is perhaps worth reminding that the main reason Obama was not able to gut social security was republicans’ obstructionism

              Also, it was Clinton who did welfare “reform” in the 1990s.

              -Pro choice and in favor of universal access to birth control

              Yes, this is one of the cosmetic issues I had in mind above. Also, it is conveniently one she has to do nothing about because the current federal legislation is generally fine.

              -For universal health care

              Really? After Obama, I would think nobody would be so naive to believe that. The only reason she said that was because of Sanders. Since the end of the primaries, it hasn’t really been mentioned much. And once in office, we know what will happen. Again, let’s recall recent history — it wasn’t the republicans who killed the public option, Obama did it. And that was a lousy public option, not a single payer system, that we were talking about.

              -For expanding SNAP and other programs for low-income families

              Great. She will be reversing some of the damage done by her husband.

              This is another quite minor issue though.

              -For an increased minimum wage

              Not anywhere near what people want and Sanders promised.

              -For lower college costs/increased access to education

              See above regarding health care and Sanders. She wasn’t really for that before the primaries.

              -Will nominate liberal justices

              Translation: will increase the power of the oligarchic circle associated with the democrats relative to the one associated with the republicans.

              -For environmental regulations on businesses

              Complete BS. See below:

              -Accepts that climate change is happening, supports working with other countries to try and reduce human contributions to it.

              This is why what I see here today is so depressing. And why the so called liberal class is digging its own grave while sending e-mail messages/blog comments about how good the democrats are from its MacBooks while sitting in some Starbucks on one of the coasts.

              Complete detachment from reality.

              Climate change is a physical issue.

              As in laws of physics dictate what has to be done, and if it’s not done, no amount of political rhetoric will help solve it.

              If you are not proposing to do what has to be physically done to solve the problem, then what you will achieve is the same as those who deny that there is a problem in the first place.

              And it’s not as if she proposes to do much, even what she talks about is basically equivalent to doing nothing (the Paris agreement that Obama signed was an agreement to carry on with BAU), and even then, she just talks. Meanwhile she has been a proponent of fracking (all that leaking methane is soooo good for the climate, I wish I had known that before), and all of that is a matter of public record.

              Again, talk vs action.

              -Supports humanitarian treatment of illegal immigrants and pathways to citizenship that don’t necessarily involve deportation.

              In other words, benefits corporations who exploit the labor of those people and undermines the wages of the working class.

              Sure,

              -Intends to make the federal income tax more progressive (i.e. shifting the burden more onto the wealthy).

              Translation: we increase the nominal rate (which nobody with a good accountant pays anyway) by a couple percentage points while keeping all the loopholes, and that is our promise, not necessarily what we’re going to do once in power.

              Which is where your list ends.

              In it, there was no mention of corruption and cozy relationships with corporations, no mention of trade policy, no mention of foreign policy, etc. etc.

              Which, curiously, are some of the things that matter the most.

              • W.Benson
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

                😉

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:58 am | Permalink

                Still, they are policy and I think she is pro union too.
                She, they, will try and implement their policies.
                Left wing policies. Of course she will.
                That there may some compromise, of course but that’s politics.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:05 am | Permalink

                Just in case you think you dealt with that long list: you really didn’t. I might as well have been reading some fourteen year old sneering at his mum when she lists ‘all the things we’ve done for you’. Lame stuff mr Modified.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Hitch almost certainly would have voted for Hillary. People who knew him very well have noted this, including Sam Harris.

      • Carl
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        If one of the other contending Republicans had been chosen, I wonder who Hitchens would support. Not Carson, and maybe not Cruz, but any of the others, I think there is a good chance.

        • Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          Yes, could well be. Not Cruz (Craze) however — he’s far too religious.

          Hi might have gone for Kasich I suppose.

          But there really wasn’t a single candidate in the GOP this year who wasn’t a religious nut.

          • Carl
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            That the Republican nominating process produced Trump should tells us something about the religious wing of that party, but what I’m not sure. The possibilities that come to mind are not flattering since Trump knows as little about religion as he does about foreign policy and probably cares even less.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

              Is there non-religious wing of the party? I don’t think that the Alt-Right wing is non-religious. What other wing is there?

              As for the religious wing… enjoy this little bit of video where the Faithful explain why Donald Trump is just what God wants.

              • Carl
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

                Yes EB, (I mean GB, somehow a Deadwood image passed through my mind), that’s a very funny video, and it will make many Republicans and Democrats wince, as well as non-aligned atheists like me. (In truth, I could only bear to briefly sample the video – I don’t like to gawk at traffic accidents either)

                But I don’t think people like these make up the entire Republican party, and I hope the actual makeup is fairly small, but I don’t have the actual numbers. I’m sure the percentage is far below where your overactive imagination puts it.

                Just as I hope people with your views, as eric pilloried in another comment here, are only a small part of the Democratic party.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

                Overactive imagination? Really?

                Of the slate of Republican candidates in the primary, how many are not creationists or don’t support teaching creationism in public schools?

                Ted Cruz
                Jeb Bush
                Ben Carson
                Chris Christie
                Carly Fiorina
                Jim Gilmore
                Lindsey Graham
                Mike Huckabee
                Bobby Jindal
                John Kasich
                George Pataki
                Rand Paul
                Rick Perry
                Marco Rubio
                Rick Santorum
                Donald Trump
                Scott Walker

                Jeb Bush is the only one who accepts evolution. And even he said he didn’t think it should be taught in schools.

                Maybe you can provide us with a list of all those Republican leaders you think are so sensible.

                You should watch the whole video. It is very entertaining.

              • Carl
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

                No need to watch the whole video. I prefer watching more enlightened subject matter.

                And I’ll agree your candidate list is truly depressing.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

                ‘enjoy this little bit of video …’

                Thanks, GB, but for the sake of my keyboard I think I’ll pass.

                (Wouldn’t be coffee this time, it’d be breakfast)

                cr

              • merilee
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

                JFC! Could only watch about 30 seconds of it. Love all the supplements and other woo spread across the front of the podium;-(
                Is this a different planet??

              • rickflick
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

                George Pataki was governor of NY. Not a part of the country that breeds many creationists. In Oct. 2015 he said, ““We can’t question evolution, and we have to recognize that human activity is contributing to climate change,…”

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

                @merilee

                I stood about 50 seconds of it, mostly because I was trying to see what that colourful choker / necklace thing she was wearing, was. It looked kinda New Age woo-ey, to me.

                As a compensation, Youboob linked on the sidebar to John Oliver skewering multi-level marketing, which repaired my sanity for me.

                cr

              • GBJames
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

                I guess George Pataki is the exception. A living Republican politician who isn’t completely poisoned by fundamentalist religious faith.

          • Diane G.
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Do you think Jeb is? I mean, all GOP candidates have to pretend they are; for that matter, all Dems have to suck up to religion, too, maybe just not quite as much as the R’s. But I can’t help but think there are a lot of dissemblers.

            • merilee
              Posted November 7, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

              Fwiu Jeb is a fairly strong Catholic. He converted when he married his Mexican wife eons ago.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

                Ah, yes…

      • somer
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Clinton is a Very uninspiring candidate, particularly on the economic social justice front. But the stuff about WW3 is ridiculous and all round Trump is far worse.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Despite any eyebrow-raising spectrum of duplicity foisted by the Clintons (that may have sometimes been necessary to move the dial politically), we can only speculate how much more scathing a critique of Trump would have been had Hitchens lived long enough to witness this historic tragedy of invidious errors.

  23. stuartcoyle
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    It was good to read this article and get a point of view that dealt with the actual policy outcomes of the election rather than the muck-raking personality politics that seem to have taken over the U.S. political game.

    To an outsider like me, the presidential race looks like a big crazy celebrity game show. It is easy to draw the conclusion from what we see and hear that americans are crazy.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      As a USian, I can’t help but agree with your comment, in its entirety.

      Seems that way to me too!

    • Historian
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      We have to avoid the false equivalency fallacy. Hillary is a very conventional candidate and would have run a conventional campaign if it were not for Trump. Trump is a danger to democracy since the concept seems alien to him.

      If Hillary is elected, she will attempt to be a conventional Democratic president, i.e., center-left on most issues. However, the Republican lunatics have already signaled that they will oppose everything she will attempt to do and may even try to impeach her.

      So, we have one party that adheres to the norms of a democracy. The other, dominated by people who see their mythical world of the past coming apart, are intent only on destruction. The Republican party may come apart after the election, but regardless of what happens cooperation with President Clinton seems unlikely.

  24. Carl
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    It would be more accurate to say our nominating process is crazy. The Democrats picked one of the worst candidates in history and the Republicans nominate perhaps the only candidate who can’t beat her.

    • Carl
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      This was meant as a reply to #23 from stuart coyle.

  25. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I mostly agree. Clinton will make a good president for US. Trump is a human catastrophe which shouldn’t be allowed to make a catastrophe for humanity.

    Trump is easily pegged. My own analogy is with Mussolini. An addition could be that I think Trump’s idea of stealing from the vanquished (oil et cetera) is also a war crime, and would place US on the level of IS.

    Clinton faces a peculiar push back. She may be corrupted, but there is little evidence. The evidence that comes out is that she is realpolitik and adapt to the environment. That is usually a taboo among ideologists, which may explain some confusion in these areas.

    As a final note, if Clinton wins the election the curious response from the appallingly-never-had-a-woman-leader Sweden is that feminists embrace here despite her being a hawk. That is the problem I foresee in that case – and maybe some push back for free trade – since already Obama instituted the most aggressive US policy so far. (Murdering most people with air attacks of various kinds.)

  26. Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    In the meantime, the Trump voting bloc prepares for Ragnarok. I thought the militia mentality was bad when Obama was elected, but now we have folks that make Robert Jay Mathews look like Richie Havens.

  27. ToddP
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Greg. I agree and share your sentiments.

  28. Mary Sheumaker
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed- and agree with this well written post. I am also nervous though- there is a lot of hate and political ignorance in our country. And just think of the prevalence of religion in America, the literalness of the bible for example- which requires a complete divorce, (a cognitive dissonance?) from rational critical thought processes.

    However, I am really commenting to say how much I especially enjoyed the clarity of thought in the responses from many regulars here to the unsubstantiated claims in the posts from GM. Heather Hastie, eric, Ken Kukec, Saul Sorrell-Till, jbillie, and Torbjorn Larsson to mention a few. Wow, it makes for some great reading!

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Seconded on all counts!

    • rickflick
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Your right. GM is a troll and might best be ignored, but as you say it forces commenters to clearly state their case – which is great reading.

      • Carl
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        I think calling GM a troll goes too far. He has an opinion and argues for it. His manner of argument is straightforward and doesn’t descend into name calling or other low behavior.

        • GM
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          My concern is that this is one of the generally most sane places on the internet and yet I still see most people voting because of tribal allegiances and because of fixation on what is in essence trivial issues or because of being scared by what sounds offensive to them instead of thinking about the truly important stuff.

          Not only that, but when I point it out, they then assume I am a right-winger, a troll, a Trump supporter, and all the other things I got called in this thread.

          None of which describe me in any way.

          I wish the choice was not between HRC and Trump, but it is what it is. I would have voted Sanders, although with a bit of suspicion regarding what he was actually going to do (the man has spent too much time in politics without much problems). But that option was taken away (curiously, there were a lot of revelations about how exactly that happened in the last few weeks, I saw no mention of them here, which is telling).

          The liberal coastal elites (which is the class that most posters here belong to, whether they live on a coast or not) need to be able to properly understand their existence with respect to other people outside of their class, and to also understand their own ideological biases and blind spots and get rid of them. If they cannot do that, they are dooming themselves. I will not be sorry for them when that happens, but I will definitely be sorry for the many good things associated with them that will also disappear as a result.

          • Carl
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            The right and left wing labels are almost useless anymore. There is more than a single dimension to politics. You strike me as having a lot of populist and activist-progressive views, which are pretty much the opposite of mine.

          • Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            “My concern is that this is one of the generally most sane places on the internet and yet….”

            My concern is that this is one of the generally most sane places on the internet and yet you are here with arguments that are a dime a dozen from Trump supporters on Youtube, or Facebook. The only thing you have over them is that you haven’t litterally called her killary yet, and yes I know you claim not to be a Trump supporter, but you can’t blame anyone for finding that claim dubious.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            “liberal coastal elites”

            Oh, FFS. I guess I qualify. After all, Milwaukee is on the coast. I am proudly liberal. And whoopie! I made it to elite status! Wait until my kids find out!

            • Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

              “Oh, FFS. I guess I qualify. After all, Milwaukee is on the coast. I am proudly liberal.”
              I’m in Alabama which is on the gulf coast, does that count?

            • Craw
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

              Google “affirming the consequent.”

          • eric
            Posted November 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            I wish the choice was not between HRC and Trump, but it is what it is. I would have voted Sanders

            Well, that explains why you would make the ludicrous claim that Clinton is right-wing. Sure, she’s right of Sanders. That doesn’t make her right of the US center.

            I still see most people voting because of tribal allegiances and because of fixation on what is in essence trivial issues or because of being scared by what sounds offensive to them instead of thinking about the truly important stuff.

            For a guy complaining about ‘liberal coastal elites’, you seem to be extremely elitist yourself. This being a democracy, “GM” doesn’t get to decide for all of us what is a trivial issue and what is ‘truly important;’ each voter decides that for themselves. I get that many of the issues on which HRC clearly leans left are not important issues for you, while other issues on which she’s not left enough for your tastes are the ones that *are* important to you. What you don’t seem to get, however, is that not everyone shares your priority list, and its extremely elitist of you to think they ought to.

            To take one example, I get that abortion law may not figure as high on your priority list as trade policy. That, however, doesn’t mean other people ought not value it highly. It doesn’t mean its a bad indicator of whether a politician is left or right. And implying that other people who value that issue are not ‘thinking about truly important stuff’ is showing exactly that sort of elitism you claim you’re against.

            • Diane G.
              Posted November 7, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

              Well said.

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          “… His manner of argument is straightforward…”

          And includes such rational points as that a vote for Clinton is a vote for WWIII.

          • Carl
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            He laid out his reasons which seemed straightforward – honestly held and argued without deception, however unconvincing they were.

          • Craw
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

            So according to you we should judge by how much we agree with a conclusion, before we even hear an argument? That’s the logic implicit in your comment.

            Clinton advocates some very forceful military policies. This is why true neo-cons like Bill Kristol support her. One of those positions, at least, risks armed conflict with a nuclear power. It may be a risk worth taking but it IS a risk and it’s not irrational to weigh that risk.

            Reading this thread I notice a considerable amount of abuse or speculation about motive aimed at GM. I saw none of that from him.

    • Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      .. and kudos to Historian too. I’m sure we’ve omitted many names. You people keep me from having life-threatening conniptions.

  29. Posted November 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I am voting for Hillary because if Trump wins, Mike Pence will be a bullet or heart attack away from being my President. Case closed.

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of your first option–I’ve been rather worried that the insanity being stoked by the Trump campaign might result in assassination attacks on Hillary…

  30. Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Voted for HRC? Yes! Enthusiastically? Not really.

    • Carl
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I would have voted for Clinton, but the only reason for that would have been to block Trump. I live in a dark blue state, so it wasn’t necessary. I want Clinton to win, but not be able to claim any sort of “mandate.” I voted republican down the line on everything but President.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Just an observation from a different political view but Trump is nothing more than more vocal, less political in his manor because he is no politician, just a spoiled rotten old man who is in love with himself. But most of his views are in line with republican views. Voting republican but not voting for Trump is little more than a personality issue. He can’t wait to throw out Health care, lower taxes on everyone but mainly himself, throw women under the bus and back to the 19th century, increase the debt because they never pay for anything and make sure it’s GOP (God only Party) for Christians only. Oh, and bomb the hell out of them, whoever they are. That enough republican lines for you?

        • Carl
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          My reasons for not wanting Trump extend far beyond personality. Heather Hastie ticked off a pretty good list above that, with few exceptions, I and many Republicans hold to. But I do think his personality – his temperament – is the main reason to oppose him.

          Trump is a Republican only by accident. Had the path been easier, I can easily picture him making his run as a Democrat. His populism, trade, and jobs ideas have great appeal to the Sanders wing of the party, but not to me.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Well, you can say it is by accident if you want to believe that but as I recall, he beat a whole flock of Republicans to get where he is. It was not even a contest really. He could not have run for dog catcher in the Democratic party unless he was the dog.

            The republican party wants to throw 11 million people either under the bus or on buses and ship them to Mexico I guess, even though a lot of them are not from Mexico. They would like to start a 401K free for all and trash social security and we all know what they think about health care including medicare. In many republican states out here thousands get no help because the republican governors and legislatures refused federal money for medicaid. The republicans love large blotted military but they refuse and always have to pay for it.

            All that Trump does is take it one step further and there are tons of true-blue republicans ready to take that trip with him. If they did not we would not be where we happen to be.

            • Carl
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

              Since you missed the point, I’ll spell it out in more detail. Trump is not ideologically driven. He doesn’t care what party he is in, or the policies of that party. He picked the Republicans, because he saw an easier path to the nomination. If he thought an easier path was in the Democrat party, he would have had no qualms about going that way. He’s an opportunist.

              The fact that so many Republicans and Conservatives have publicly denounced him should tell you something about his fit with their principles. Nothing like this rejection has ever been seen before.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

                You are welcome to paint Trump any way you want. And you can throw him off the republican bus if you desire but what I hear him saying when he says anything we can comprehend it is down the line republican values. Give me some Democratic values please. You said you were, other than for president, voting republican. I just thought you maybe had forgotten some of their main core believes — especially when you think he could have run in the Democratic party if he wanted to.

                I believe you are right when you say Trump doesn’t care what party he is in but the fact remains he is in the Republican party. I do not think he is particularly interested in winning. His primary mission in life is promoting Donald Trump and what better way to keep your name in lights than doing this. But he did crush the competition in the Republican party and what are we to take away from that? Crying over the spilled milk comes to mind.

              • Carl
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

                You nail it saying much of what Trump says is not comprehensible. But much of the little I can gather makes Republicans cringe. His cavalier attitude about nuclear proliferation. Advocating torture. His attitude toward NATO. His stated beliefs about Russia and Putin. His pro-tariff, anti-trade views. The whole wall/deportation business.

                Trump’s disapproval of the Affordable Care Act is one of the few areas where Republicans largely agree with him. But then few Democrats can fail to see now how massive its problems are.

                I’m really hard pressed to think of much about Trump that most Republicans would actually like. His positive stance about gun rights would be one. But mainly, he is not Hillary Clinton. Take away the anti-Clinton vote, and those who like Sanders style populism and Trump doesn’t win a single state.

              • Craw
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

                Aside from Bush II, who has stated no position but who was attacked and called a liar by Trump, and who clearly disfavors him, and Dole, who endorsed Trump, DJT has been disavowed by every other living republican nominee. Has there been anything like that? That’s the sort of thing Carl means.

                And Mr Schenk to mention just two of Trump’s positions hostile to conservative and republican orthodoxy of recent decades: protectionism and limits on gun rights.

                Carl is not “portraying” Trump, in your loaded phrase, he is explaining reasons why he, a republican, will not support Trump.

              • Carl
                Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for your support Craw. One small correction, I am not a Republican, or a Democrat, or a Libertarian, or a Neo-Conservative, or a Conservative. I have affinities with certain aspects of all these groups. Mainly though, I favor liberty and our constitution – which is a limitation on government powers and protects the rights of the sovereign – we the people as individuals.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

                “…makes Republicans cringe.”

                Some, certainly. But not that many he is, after all, their nominee.

                Back in August 75% of Republicans supported Trump. The number is now 83%.

                These are people who will vote for (but not endorse) the most unqualified and temperamentally unstable candidate in history. Whether they cringe is beside the point.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

                Okay, you folks can go on all night, I had to sleep. Democrats sleep while republicans and or others twist in the wind. I’ll just mention buyer’s remorse and let it go. I see the conversation as further proof the republican party is in the ditch and cannot get out. The old white guy’s party is coming a part and their anointment of The Donald is as good a proof as any. They have made a career of bashing Hilary Clinton because they got nothing. Bashing Obama for eight long years because they got nothing. So now you say they denounce him while still voting mostly for him. Boy do they got nothing.

              • eric
                Posted November 7, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

                Carl what you’re saying is somewhat true, but also somewhat misleading. Yes, Trump is something of a political mercenary. He has supported Dems in the past. He’s also considered running for president as a Reform party candidate in the past. However, he’s been registered Republican for the last 35+ years (remember, he’s 70), since before Reagan was elected.

                I don’t doubt that if he thought a Dem run would have been easier, he would’ve considered it. However, if you look at his time out of politics, when choice of party really didn’t matter to anyone but him, its pretty clear that in those times he chose to identify as GOP. What we’re seeing now is probably as close to the real, non-mercenary Trump as we’re likely to get.

  31. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Greg.

    I’m not a fan of Hilary’s, but she does at least appear to be sane.

    cr

  32. Kevin
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I do like Hillary. I think she is funny and smart. I do think Trump if funny and not as scary as most people think he is. He would be, on an internal level, the most atheistic president of the US, however he would also act like a tyrant. I suspect he may not even make it to office. Not that someone would take him out, just that he may actually become so disgraced by so many people that he will have to abandon his post. People in the government may actually refuse to do anything for him.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      “People in the government may actually refuse to do anything for him.”

      I wish…

      But how d’you suppose Hitler was able to do what he did? He had the weight of custom and established order behind him. People used to doing their jobs and following orders.

      “he may actually become so disgraced by so many people that he will have to abandon his post.”

      That would actually require The Donald to have a sense of shame, an inkling of decency. A recognition that there may be things more important than his ego.

      cr

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      I think you are quite drastically underestimating the dangers. He’s got enough power brokers behind him that even elements in the FBI are prepared to risk their careers to break protocol and possibly laws to support him. If he’s elected it will take several generations to repair the damage, and that is the rosiest possible scenario.

      • somer
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. A lot of powerful people still back him – even vocally – now. All the indications are that he has a disturbing amount of support from across the socioeconomic spectrum, and still with the religious, at least amongst (male) whites and a surprising amount amongst minorities.

        • Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          Conservative Christians abandoned their “deeply held values” to support a racist misogynistic bigoted loon as soon as he offered to kick their enemies for them.

          • somer
            Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            Yes they don’t care about millions of deportations, or it seems the vaunted family values – given Trump now promises to appoint the sort of Supreme court justice they want and amend/destroy Roe vs Wade. Even (some at least) Amish people have been saying they’ll vote for him

            • GBJames
              Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

              Amish people vote?

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                Indeed, many Amish vote, and for reasons I cannot fathom, many support Trump. It is likely that they see Trump as a social conservative, and are generally not particularly informed about his personal imbroglios.

              • Carl
                Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                Hard to fathom indeed:

                Some of [America’s “faith community”], their crucifixes glittering in the television lights, are still earnestly explaining the urgency of giving to Trump, who agreed that his daughter is “a piece of ass,” the task of improving America’s coarsened culture.

                – George Will

              • Posted November 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

                Evangelicals for Trump = Toxic Christianity

  33. Mary Drake
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I have been coming here much less often lately. Maybe after the election is over, and I am over my irritation with Prof Ceiling Cat, I will start coming back. Only for the cat stuff though. If Hillary loses, I don’t think I will be back at all.

    • Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      “I have been coming here much less often lately. Maybe after the election is over, and I am over my irritation with Prof Ceiling Cat, I will start coming back. Only for the cat stuff though. If Hillary loses, I don’t think I will be back at all.”

      Is that because he’s not an enthusiastic Hillary supporter or because of his “Trump has lost” it’s time to relax attitude. If the latter I sympathize. While that attitude by him in this context isn’t going to have a meaningful impact, if it had been expressed publicly by significant numbers for as long as he’s expressed it, and given the latest email hullabaloo, there’s a significant chance Trump would be elected.

      • merilee
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        +1 to Mary and Mike

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Umm, yes.

        cr

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Keep the faith Mary. I mean don’t keep the faith religiously speaking but there is no need to say IF Hilary loses because she is not going to lose and you will be back. She may not win as big as we wish but it will be big enough. I’ll guess that Prof Cat is more enthusiastic about beating the republicans than even he think. Give it a few days…

    • Posted November 5, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      I know where you’re coming from.
      I’m sick of the apparent hand-wringing of people ‘having’ to vote for Hillary.
      (Sorry, Bernie lost, guys; try to get over it with some grace.)

      There’s a lot to be said for the proverbial inscrutability of the Chinese.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        What really drives me up the wall is this overriding idea that the choice on offer is so mind-numbingly awful that people are intellectually justified in spaffing their vote up the wall on third-party candidates.

        It’s so intensely lazy, so entitled, it makes me want to scream; somehow there’s this idea that the incremental, meliorist advance of the last sixty years – sixty years of incomparable societal, scientific and economic progress – just didn’t happen quick enough, and only someone who promises the moon on a stick is really going to get anyone’s interest.

        There are millions of disgruntled voters all of whom believe that the candidates should focus on their particular gripes, that the election should be personalised specifically for them, and if it’s not they can treat it like a product that they can return and demand their money back. The level of entitlement is incredible and very frightening.

        It’s beginning to leak into Britain as well, with millions of Brexit voters now furious that the facile right-wing vision that led them to vote Leave has turned out to be a bit more complicated.

        They’re not happy, because politicians have for years now been treating the electorate like demanding children, pussy-footing around them, and cringing and scraping when in their presence as though the electorate are slave-masters whose every opinion carries with it the imprimatur of common-sense and legitimacy.
        Well, no – a lot of people are stupid, and a lot of people are ignorant, and a lot of people are both ignorant and stupid. That’s the reason why we are a parliamentary democracy rather than the kind of country that has a referendum every time something comes up.
        It should not be seen as ‘arrogant’ or ‘talking down to the people’ if it’s pointed out that politicians do their job because they generally know more than the average Sun-reader does about the workings of the country’s political superstructure; and yet if anyone went on TV and made that point, if anyone dared to go on Question Time and say that, yes, politicians do tend to know better than the public, and that’s why we have them in the first place, that person would get excoriated in the press and on social media.

        This colossal sense of entitlement and arrogance among so much of the electorate plays a big part in what’s going on at the moment.

        • Merilee
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          +++

        • GM
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          if anyone dared to go on Question Time and say that, yes, politicians do tend to know better than the public

          The politicians know more than the public.

          That is true.

          But it does not mean that they know much.

          It is kind of hard to be well informed when you spent most of your time begging for money…

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            How could you possibly know?

            You are part of the problem. Perhaps you were a politician, perhaps you have a detailed level of insider knowledge and you can provide evidence of your belief that the average politician’s day(not the worst of the worst’s but the average politician) is spent mostly “begging for money”. But I doubt it. I think you’re one of the legion of entitled voters on both the left and the right who genuinely look at politicians not as people with expertise who voters should work alongside and have a certain degree of respect for(within reason), but as useless scammers who, apparently, know only a fraction more than the average person about how to run a country. Self-satisfied and devoid of the capability of auto-analysis, it’s voters like you that are deranging the Anglophone political system.

        • Posted November 5, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Excellent points, and thanks. I couldn’t agree more.

          It’s a dangerous (and in the end, a selfish) thing to put one’s ego before the good of one’s country, under the guise of some ethical imperative and principles. This is one case where those who think they’re being principled by voting for a third party candidate are really fooling themselves.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          +1000

          cr

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            P.S. –

            “that person would get excoriated in the press and on social media.”

            Shouldn’t ‘social media’ (ugh!) be retitled ‘sociopathic media’ ?

            cr

        • eric
          Posted November 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          I have no problem with people who vote third party to express a sincere political preference. I.e., if someone really thinks Stein would make the best president of the four, vote for Stein. I do, however, feel a bit vexed at the thought of people voting third party as some sort of ‘protest vote’, because they don’t like the main two party candidates. That seems so immature to me. Its the ultimate form of political ‘cut of your nose to spite your face.’ Awwww, the system didn’t give you a candidate you really really like? Too bad. Put on your big boy and big girl pants and make the best of what’s on offer.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      My mum always told me never to discuss politics or religion in polite company or you’ll end up losing friends.

  34. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Not that it counts a damn with the US voters but I should imagine every foreign leader and diplomat is crossing their fingers and shuddering at the thought that, should things go hideously wrong, they might one day have to try and make polite diplomatic conversation with The Donald.

    Can you imagine it? Me neither.

    cr

    • somer
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 4:40 am | Permalink

      👽👻💩!!

    • GM
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Hmm, Putin is on record saying that he doesn’t know what either of the candidates will do if elected, but that he finds Hillary’ warmongering disturbing.

      Thus your “every foreign leader” claim is easily falsified, and not just by the president of Burkina Faso or something of the sort, but by the one foreign leader that matters the most…

        • GM
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Thank you for making my point even more forcefully — Putin clearly wants to avoid having to deal with Clinton.

          • somer
            Posted November 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            My take is like what Heather Hastie said – Trump wants to seriously undermine NATO. Turkey’s membership of NATO is why the plane shoot incident a few months ago was OK. Reducing/removing NATO creates great uncertainty and opportunities for Russia – given Putin is a dictator who must stay in power and given Russia’s current economic difficulties and the situation its in re Ukraine and Syria – not very winnable – it will be inclined to really push the boundaries before a weak/ absent NATO – even spilling to serious disturbance.

            And democracy in Russia now has become a Sham, like it was in Suharto’s Indonesia

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        You know, I don’t think that really counters my (slightly facetious) comment, and considering the source, I really don’t care.

        The US media love to make fun of Putin’s rather bizarre antics. I suppose if The Donald gets elected, the US will once again have upstaged Russia… 😉

        cr

        • GM
          Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          You know, this blog is called “whyevolutionistrue”, and the main subject is creationism and the battle of science with religion, superstition, sloppy thinking, etc.

          So when a creationist says “The Earth is 6,000 years old”, we usually proceed to ask him “How do you know that? The evidence tells us otherwise”. The creationist then says “My Bible says so”, to which we reply “Well, how do you know you can trust the Bible?”, and then we proceed to dismantle the claims of the religious in detail from there.

          Why is it that people are unable to apply the same kind of level-headed rational thinking to, for example, what the mainstream media in whatever country they live in tells them?

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            Every single one of your generally quite comical claims has been dealt with on multiple occasions by multiple posters here.

            Just so you know, when you say things like “Hillary Clinton will start WW3” it’s you who is the creationist in the room.

  35. Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for a great post, Greg. It’s a breath of fresh air.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Somehow or other, I conclude they’re not fans of The Donald.

      I think it was the mention in paragraph 2 of a ‘racist, change-room-creeping, morally and serially bankrupt reality-TV-sourced clown’ that gave me the clue.
      😉

      cr

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      To our Canadian friends: you will be greeted as liberators.

  36. Dale Franzwa
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you Greg. Hillary’s negatives are nothing compared with Trump’s. I also agree wholeheartedly with Heather’s comments above.


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