Bill Maher indicts the liberal thought-and-language police for Democratic losses

This segment of Bill Maher’s “Real Time”, which was published yesterday, blames Democratic election losses on the party’s having gone “from the party that protects people to the party that protects feelings.” Well, I’m not so sure I agree, but it’s a funny piece nonetheless.

h/t: Barry


  1. Posted January 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


    • GBJames
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink


  2. Somite
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Except that this wasn’t the main cause of the dems loss by far.

    The main cause was the relentless conservative hate media disinformation and its effect on Americans that didn’t know any better.

    Which by the way is strengthened by the “free speech at any cost” crowd.

    • Christopher
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I’d assume that the main cause for the loss was the complete apathy of the left after their chosen one, King Bernie, lost the nomination so they sat at home on their asses, whinging about the DNC not being “fair” and thus allowed an equally tepid turnout by the right to take over. After all, had the Bernie babies bothered to turn off tw*tter and vote, the final counts would have been so overwhelmingly in favor of HRC that even the corrupt Electoral College would have had to sit up and take note. And if this wasn’t THE cause, it was certainly one of the top three. Similarly, the lack of support on the left for Obama during the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections allowed the right to set the stage for their current congressional control. If you don’t show up, your voice doesn’t count, no matter how much crying you do on tw*tter and f*cebook.

      • Somite
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Only inasmuch Bernie supporters were bamboozled by republican disinformation. In spite Bernie’s own pleas.

        • BJ
          Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          You seem to think that everybody who disagrees with you doesn’t do so sincerely, they only do so because they’re not as smart and informed as you.

          • Somite
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            It doesn’t matter if they disagreed sincerely. If their thought process led to a Trump vote then their thought process was wrong.

      • Larry
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        So you are blaming Sanders supporters for Hillary losing? In a democratic election, one is allowed to vote for the candidate of his/her choice, or not even vote. One does not have to vote for the less-evil candidate. In what should have been a transparent process, don’t blame Sanders voters for Hillary’s loss, and there is no need to use the derogatory term “King Bernie.”

        And to think that the manipulations by a party’s ruling committee against one of its own candidates is acceptable shows the sad state of affairs of certain voters, and American politics in general. Recall that Hillary received nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Are you somehow going to blame that on Sanders supporters?

        Discloser: I might or might not have voted for Sanders had he been the Democratic candidate. I felt his refutation of being an atheist, without stating support for atheists, did not help the rational cause. But blaming Sanders supporters for Hillary’s loss is incredibly inaccurate and needs to be called out.

        • Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Hello Larry, you wrote “And to think that the manipulations by a party’s ruling committee against one of its own candidates is acceptable shows the sad state of affairs of certain voters, and American politics in general”. The problem with this is that Bernie was never a democrat. Nor was he ever a member of the democratic party. He wanted all the benefits of the party without joining. He was basically asking the DNC to give him the things to use against one of their own members. He should have run as an independant as he always had, or joined the party. He did not even join after getting the support and goodies from the party. For him to ask for all the support, the voters lists, the donors lists would be the same as a republican asking for it, or the green party. So as it was he was treated extremely nice and very fair by the DNC. Hugs

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:10 am | Permalink

            Thank you, I was unaware of much of this.

            • Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

              Hello Diane. I love comments. Lots of times I learn more than I knew, and sometimes I get to share what I have learned over time. Be well. Hugs

          • BJ
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:29 am | Permalink

            He is an Independent in name only. He has caucused with the Democratic party since his election to Congress in 1991, and has run various committees and has been ranked among their members since joining Congress. Regardless of the letter next to his name, he is a member of the Democratic party as a Congressman.

            • Larry
              Posted January 29, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

              BJ: Exactly. Agreed.

            • Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

              Hello B.J. You got some of it correct but it is not the whole story. He is not a member of the democratic party as he is not under the same rules. He does caucus with them and they do give him chairmanships and committee assignments. It is part of the political process where they get some of what they want and he gets some of what he wants. However he is not under the same obligations for fund raising, party dues, party rules, and sharing with the party things his office does. There are a few others I have forgotten but it basically comes down to he holds his independence when it is good for him and he plays nice with the democrats when it is in his favor. He has to caucus with one party or the other to have any speaking time, seniority or membership on any committee. The democrats are closer to what he believes than the republicans are. Plus the republicans would require far more from him party wise than the democrats do. Be well. Hugs

          • Somite
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            None of these things excuse a vote for Trump, or not voting for Hillary.

            • Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

              Somite, this is Scottie. Did you mean to address that last comment about voting for Hillary to me? Because I don’t think I mentioned anything about voting. Thanks. Hugs

        • Walt Jones
          Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          Regardless, in the election, it was realistically between two candidates, and a vote for anyone but Hillary was a vote for Trump. Protest votes (or staying home) would be honorable-if the stakes weren’t so high.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:10 am | Permalink

            + 1

          • Larry
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            Why do force calling it a “protest vote” if one voted for the candidate of his or her choice? It is called “democracy.” Neither the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, or ANY OTHER party are written into the Constitution as being “THE government.” One may vote for one’s sincere choice, one may vote for the lesser of two evils, or one may not vote at all. You pick your own method, I will pick mine. I made absolutely no protest vote, I voted for the candidate of MY choice, as allowed by the U.S. Constitution.

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:47 am | Permalink

              The tiny percent of votes in the battleground states by which Trump beat Hillary was about the same as that of the non-Hillary/Trump votes. So thanks, Larry.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          +1 to what Scottie wrote.

          Also, at the end of the day the way the system works is that it’s a two-party system. In that sort of system, not voting is not some sort of noble deed.

          All those people who would rather have Clinton as president than Trump, but stayed home for some higher reason are a big part of why Trump is now president.

          The electoral system does not take feelings into account, it takes actions. What was it Bill Maher said …

      • Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Where is there any evidence at all that it was “Bernie Bros” what so ever that had any effect at all for Hillary Clinton losing Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and or Florida?

    • Denise
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      We’d better dig a little deeper than that.

    • michael
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      The reasons for Trumps victory are complex but whatever they are Maher has a point and the “Left” needs to take a long hard look at itself in the mirror. The Left has been playing childish games while the Right was filling school boards. You accuse the right of hate but the left hates too (though, of course, they hate the right people) and both are guilty of “disinformation”. The difference while the right ascends to power, the left picks its nose.

      I suspect you may be a Poe, though. The closing phrase in the second sentence near perfectly encapsulates the elitist snobbery of the left.

    • Martin X
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      “Except that this wasn’t the main cause of the dems loss by far.”

      Hmmm, you have no idea whether that’s true or not.

      What percent of Trump voters bought into the right wing crap because they already had contempt for liberals?

      “Which by the way is strengthened by the “free speech at any cost” crowd.”

      You must be part of the “free speech unless it causes my favorite politician to lose” crowd.

      Here’s free speech 101: you endorse it because you don’t want to give the people in power the tools to suppress *your* speech.

      • Somite
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        They might not suppress my free speech but they are in control of all branches of government. Which is worse?

        • Martin X
          Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          What’s worse is breaking the system in order to keep an outcome you don’t like from happening. Once you do that, the system is broken.

          The survival of the system is the most important goal, followed by using the system to get what you want.

          • Somite
            Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            If you could, would you disrupt 1940s Germany system to prevent the rise of the Third Reich?

            Sorry about the Godwin but it applies.

            • BJ
              Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

              You’re using the rise of a government that banned many rights on its way to power, including free speech, for your completely inapplicable attempt at some sort of reductio ad absurdum. Come on.

              • Somite
                Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

                Hitler was democratically elected through free speech

              • Craw
                Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                This is not really right. I do not expect that you know about the Enabling Act, or how Hitler illegally went beyond even the powers it gave him. But readers here should know you are peddling potted history.

              • Craw
                Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

                My reply was to somite.

              • BJ
                Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:31 am | Permalink

                It’s pretty clear you don’t know the history of Hitler and the rise of the Social Democrats and fall of their opposition.

            • Dave
              Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

              Disrupting it in the 1940s would have been a bit late – the Third Reich was established in January 1933.

              Of course, “disrupting the system” to prevent Hitler coming to power sounds like a great idea, but only provided you have the infallible prophetic ability to see the future. Perhaps you think you have that ability, but I suspect few of us believe we have, and even fewer would be prepared to take your predictions on trust.

            • somer
              Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

              You seem to think the solution to everything is dictatorship. But dictatorships are bloody in foreign policy as well as domestic terms.

              The interwar democracy in Germany was still more or less a sham democracy that continued to actively prepare for the war and despite the popular misconception, had its imposed war reparations waived by the US at an early stage whilst the other powers had to pay back what they borrowed during WW1. The inflation and economic crisis was due to this high spending on armaments hidden in the former Soviet Union for Germany under the peace pact that the Germans made with lenin. Prior to that Germany had centuries of essentially medieval government. There was a lot of popular support for Hitler, who consolidated power violently and turned Germany into a dictatorship, but that ground had been laid for him to do that

            • BJ
              Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:34 am | Permalink

              Your answer regarding free speech in these threads always inevitably comes down to “accept what I want/my dictatorship or Hitler/Trump happens.” You’re trying to threaten people into submission to a totalitarian ideology decided by you.

            • Cindy
              Posted January 29, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

              “Hitler was democratically elected through free speech”

              Good point Somite. Perhaps the USA should have banned free speech in the 1950s. Then gay marriage and abortion would *still* be illegal but hey, maybe Trump would not be President now!

            • jeremy pereira
              Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

              As others have said , it was 1933, but also Hitler coming to power and the things he did to keep it [i]was[/i] the disruption of the German political system.

              Your example refutes your position.

    • Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Good luck with censoring the conservative media.

      • Somite
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Right. I don’t think that can happen, even though conservative hate media is what bamboozled a large percent of the population into voting for Trump.

        So what is the solution? How do you fight disinformation that is also willingly accepted?

        • Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          You counter it by information.
          Which of course should not sound like, “Islam is wonderful, Black Lives Matter is wonderful”. If your words clash head-on with facts known to everybody, you will lose the audience.

          • Somite
            Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            But there is plenty of good information out there that is rejected by ideological reasons. Simply having good information doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Carl
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      The “free speech at any cost” crowd?

      That’s an extreme phrasing, but I wager well over 95% of the people commenting here understand that free speech is the most important right Americans hold – one that supports and prefigures all the others. The valid reasons for limiting speech are very limited. To suggest otherwise is the very definition of illiberal.

      • somer
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink


      • Jesus
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        +1 to that as well.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        + 2

    • BJ
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Let’s see, how do we make sure our citizenry is better informed…

      I know! We’ll allow certain types of speech to be banned. Just like drone killings and spying on our own citizens, such a power will never fall into the wrong hands. And it will have definite, logical boundaries that won’t be changed or challenged. And it will be used only for good.

      The fact that they’re so ill-informed (and surely they must be ill-informed, because if they’re not agreeing with me, then they’re just ignorant) isn’t the result of people — and the media in particular — litigating petty fights and protecting the feelings of the most outraged and overzealous portion of the populace while real, important things happen, thus scrapping people’s trust in the media in the first place; no, it’s because of free speech.

    • Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      “The main cause was the relentless conservative hate media disinformation and its effect on Americans that didn’t know any better.”

      If so, how come the Republican strategy didn’t work in 2008 and 2012?

      The Dems lost because they chose a dud as their candidate. Bernie would have slaughtered Trump.

      • tomh
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:50 am | Permalink

        “Bernie would have slaughtered Trump.”

        Easy to say, and just as valid as the claim, “Trump would have slaughtered Bernie.”

        • Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          No its not just as valid. Hillary Clinton had historically low approval ratings. She had every advantage going into the primary and let well Bernie Sanders have a legit shot of beating her and this was after she got beat with many of the same advantages in 08.

          • tomh
            Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Pure speculation. Four states made the difference, and there’s no evidence Sanders would have done better than Clinton in those states. Considering the “socialism” tag he carried, he probably would have done worse in those states.

      • nicky
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        Some truth in that, Obama was such a good and popular candidate that he overwhelmed the gerrymandering and other voter suppression attempts.
        We should not forget that in 2000 those tactics worked (only just).
        In 2016 the US was stuck with the 2013 SCOTUS Selby County v Holder ruling, which widely opened the door to massive voter disenfranchisement tactics by the Republican ruled states. And boy, did they use it!

    • Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, because if we censor the Right, then only the “good” opinions will be heard. I hope you are around for a long time so you can let us know what the “good” opinions.

      Let me guess, you are one of the no-platforming, safe space, and save me from bad things I might hear people. Keep your insecurities away from me please.

      • Andy
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        Do you sense any logical contradiction between your final sentence and the one preceding it?

    • Michiel
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      But, other media (CNN) were decidedly pro-Hillary. I think Maher is right, that through their attitude of compromise and willingness to apologise, even when there is nothing to apologise for, unwillingeness to take a stand for what they believe in (obviously I’m generalising) helps people to believe what the uncompromosing, unapologetic, devoted conservative media have to tell them. It basic psychology. Do you more easily trust and follow the guy (or gal) who seems sure of him (or her) self, or the person who is constantly doubting, apologizing etc…
      Liberals have become the timid kid at the party, not daring to speak up for themselves for fear of alienating people that wouldn’t like them anyway… a fear of losing… what exactly? They already lost everything by now.

      • ascanius
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        cnn was not decidedly pro-Hillary.

        like the rest of the media they made a false equivalence between her emails and all the trump outrages. it was all emails all the time. and they dropped the ball on trump’s russian connections.

    • scottoest
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Rather than argue anything else with you, I’ll just ask you where exactly you think free speech should stop (since “at any cost” implies you think there’s a limit beyond the already existing, narrow one), and what exactly you think should be done, to enforce that limit.

      So let’s allow that conservative “news” sources are spreading disinformation: Do you think that should be illegal? What should the punishment be?

      It isn’t enough to simply whinge about the “free speech at any cost” crowd – who largely don’t exist by the way, as there’s always been limits on incitement to violence, for one example – I want to hear you define what you think the limits should be.

      It sure sounds like you think speech should be regulated, in order to protect the “people who don’t know any better”, from themselves – which is a remarkably arrogant position. And who would you trust, to make them your master in this way? Who would you trust to determine what is allowed to reach your eyes and ears for you? Politicians?

      • Somite
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        At least other countries try

        • scottoest
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          You’re deflecting with Google searches.

          Canada’s law, which wouldn’t even apply to the likes of Bill O’Reilly or InfoWars anyway, is not possible under the US Constitution, because of its expansive protection of press freedom. And as Fox News themselves like to point out, they have “news” shows, and they have “opinion” shows – or do we ban inflammatory punditry too?

          So again: Where is your limit, what should the punishment be for transgressing it, and who would you entrust to determine what you are and are not allowed to hear?

          These are the questions that every person who decries so-called “free speech absolutism”, needs to ask themselves.

      • Cindy
        Posted January 31, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        If Obama would have apointed himself dictator then we’d all be safe now, no Trump!

        Actually it’s kinda funny because RWNJs would not shut up about how Obama was acting “literally just like a dictator” and how can you forget the ever present threat of FEMA camps?

        Obama was also a “commie fascist Marxist” which was impressive!

  3. veroxitatis
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I must say I had never heard the guy before. He was good. But his comments made me wonder what the late George Carlin would have had to say about the tragedy which has befallen America.

    • Filippo
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      If I correctly recall Mr. Carlin’s perspective on the matter, he would sit on his front row seat and enjoy the American “freak show.”

  4. rickflick
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Maher is right on here.

  5. kelskye
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Whether it’s a cause of why the Democrats are losing, Maher highlights a problem that really ought to be addressed. What’s with making everyone apologise over innocuous comments or tweets? It’s not accomplishing anything other than a power trip for those righteous fools who engage in such behaviour.

  6. Gary Yane
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    You might also like this youtube video.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      That was very good. Very embarrassing but good.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      Ha, ha, very good!

    • nicky
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Who said the Dutch have no sense of humour?

    • Michiel
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Yeah great, that video was a big hit here in the Netherlands, but glad to see it went viral 🙂
      Dutch TV has tried to do imitations of “Daily Show” type of programmes for a while but the “Sunday with Lubach” show that this is from is their first succesful effort IMO. It’s more like John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight.” (though probably with a fraction of the budget, but this video was really well done).

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that!

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    The demos for the most part were stale and without a plan. Maher makes comedy but is that the reason or even an important idea – no. If you sit on the east and or west coast long enough you forget there is anything in between or you just ignore it. The republicans took over the country by playing the local politics from Ohio to Nevada. They don’t have to worry about the south because they already got that. As it stands now, the only way the democrats win is for the republicans to really screw up and that will happen as well.

    • ascanius
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      let’s not rewrite the narrative of what really happened.

      hillary won the pop vote by an impressive 3 million. she won areas that represent 65% of the country’s gdp. and yet she is not the president.

      she lost because of knee-capping by russia and a rogue fbi, and because of an out-dated electoral college system that makes a wyoming mechanic’s vote count almost 4 times more than that of a california mechanic’s vote.

  8. Merilee
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


  9. keith Cook ¿
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    That was a laugh and hard out…How’s the rectum this morning America? Sore and getting use to it ? probably not apart from those who like it and not because of sexual orientation and preference I might add, those Trumptiephiles sweet talked to the boudoir for 4years of casual reeming.. it’s going to be beautiful, believe him.
    All the while the whimpering lefties sitting in a pool of wet tissues and snot wondering how far to bend over and the appropriate method not to cause offence.

    • scottoest
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      I’m glad that you’re amused by the policies hurting real, actual people right now, because it lets you laugh at “whimpering lefties”.

  10. Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  11. dd
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Maher was hilarious.

    I wish he had directly named his target: liberal white guilt.

  12. BJ
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Bill Maher is one of the few people on the left I still listen to because he’s one of the few remaining not afraid to offend the most sensitive among us and he’s willing to say what he thinks. I don’t always agree with him (I do agree with him here), but I sure as hell respect him. I don’t expect him to purposefully lie to me or twist narratives to support his agenda (which isn’t to say that he’s never wrong, but when he is, it’s usually his sincerely held beliefs guiding his words), and I like how he tends to lean towards more freedom rather than ever-increasing restrictions.

    A huge number of my friends on the left, including myself, have become centrists in recent years, in direct response to what Maher is talking about here. Whether this was the sole reason for Trump and the Republican’s wins is highly debatable, but it was A reason.

    • Cindy
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      I am rather….Left. I vote NDP here in Canada which is our socialist party.

      But yeah, I too have become more centrist in my views. You might even say that I have become more libertarian…In the classical liberal sense.

      I will continue to vote NDP but I will not approach politics the way one approaches football – “it’s OK when we do it”. Having a specific label over your head does not automatically make you ethically superior to the other guy.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness for “cultural appropriation.” I couldn’t drag myself outta bed most afternoons if there wasn’t anything to eat besides WASPy food, if there wasn’t anything to dance to but WASPy music.

    Hell, if some Brit and American kids hadn’t’ve appropriated the 12-bar blues, there wouldn’t be no Rock ‘n’ Roll. Let’s not even ponder that.

    • Carl
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Objecting to cultural appropriation – using or sharing ideas from other cultures – must be one of the dumbest positions ever devised. I find it hard to believe anyone actually thinks this way, and it’s only a club pulled out to beat on opponents when convenient.

      I’m off to eat at a Mexican restaurant and I’ll play my Samantha Fish (white blues master) CD during the drive.

    • kelskye
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      It was only 20 years ago (at least in Australia) that what would be called cultural appropriation now was essential to the multicultural project. We were encouraged to partake in and to experience other cultures – that they would teach us about their cultures and we’d all be better off as a society for doing so.

      • BJ
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        It was the same way in every country where we now have people accusing others of “cultural appropriation.” They’ve gone from, “let’s all get along and learn from each other” to “we need to segregate all the different identities because nobody can get along with anyone different.”

  14. Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I’d be very skeptical of any claim of finding “the” cause for an electoral outcome, regardless of what country or what year we are talking about. It is the nature of an election between two political blocks that each voter matters.

    If there are sixty million votes on one side and sixty million and fifty thousand on the other, then there are sixty million and fifty thousand data points to examine. Assuming for the sake of simplicity that fifty thousand tell you they voted the way they did because they were offended because somebody on Tumblr called them stupid, and the other sixty million say that they voted the way they did because they liked their candidate’s policies better, which of the two is “the” reason their side won? And in reality there will be twenty reasons given.

    (Also, why conclude that they would have voted differently if the Tumblr guy had been more polite? Would somebody like this suddenly vote left if only nobody would face-palm towards them?)

    (Also, situation even more complicated due to the idiosyncratic US electoral college system.)

    • BJ
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      It’s really two group we’re talking about when we try to analyze why the Democrats lost: the people who went from voting for Obama to voting for Trump, and the people who went from voting for Obama to staying home despite Trump being the other candidate.

    • scottoest
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      At this point, there’s essentially a cottage industry of columnists, pundits, and internet commenters declaring that they know “THE REASON” for Trump’s victory.

  15. nicky
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    I’m loathe to hammering on this again and again, all these reasons mentioned above why Trump won played a role, but the most important reason, the no 1, is the Democrats letting the Republicans get away with electoral fraud. SCOTUS’ 2013 ‘Shelby County V Holder’ is mainly to blame, I guess, but equally the lack of effective state level resistance by the Democrats.
    ‘CrossCheck’ alone would have been enough to give Trump victory. We do not even need to get into gerrymandering, Jim Crow like allocations of voting stations, election day not being a holiday, partisan oversight of counting, etc etc.
    The elections were stolen and Trump & Pence are usurpers.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the vast sea of unenlightened electorate more or less conditioned to authoritarianism by they’re church attendance.

      • nicky
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink


        • rickflick
          Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:46 am | Permalink

          Yes, their. It was 3:15 AM and my brain was still in bed. 😎

    • Andy
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Yes, I think you’re right.
      Crosscheck and removing people from the roles probably flipped the election in a few crucial states. Of course without a proper recount and some sort of investigation to find out how many people were turned away, we will never get the exact number.

  16. nicky
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    I think the only way to go is the “Indivisible” movement. I’m surprised our host did not devote a post to them. (No Jerry, I did not say you should, just that it surprises me you didn’t)

  17. peepuk
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Like all human culture, politics is about feelings.

    What Trump does well is to recognize that the feeling of moral superiority of the American way of live is in decline.

    Globalization tends to make most Americans feel more equal to the rest of the world; it makes a lot of people feel less important.

    I think those people have a point; democrats do make a lot of people feel less good about themselves.

  18. HaggisForBrains
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink


  19. Michiel
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with Maher’s assesment that “liberals”… “get offended for people who themselves would not be offendend”. Although with (many) muslims, I think we can bend that to “get offended for people who should not be so easily offended” (like everybody else).

  20. Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I think there’s something to it that the “Left” has been taken over by a strain of Critical Race Theory that is highly concerned with language and thought policing; with an identitarian and culturalist outlook; and with trying to fortify its ideology under the guise of generic progressivism (even though it comes from an opposite tradition of Rousseau, Horkheimer and Adorno, which is critical of rationality and enlightenment). The tweeting, and all the rest are mere symptoms swimming on that surface, which isn’t the only one.

    This strain of left is highly active on the internet and did influence the decisions of the DNC. But even on the internet, the CTRL Left are rather a bully minority than in charge and they are typically cultish and dogmatic. The right wing mirror image, the Alt Right was more populist and successfully co-oped “freedom of speech” and perhaps muddied the waters enough for many liberals and left voters to not vote for the Democrats, if not outright voting for Trump in protest. In an addition, Clinton left many underwhelmed. Add on top how many felt cheated by the DNC of how they treated Bernie Sanders.

    I observed how comment sections of many left liberals were suddenly populated by pro-Trump opinions, and how counterculture (the misfits, rockers, and punks) made a rightwards shift, repelled by puritanical attitudes oozing out from the CTRL Left. This did have some effect, too.

    Other than that, the Day After rant by Jonathan Pie summed up the reasons nicely.

  21. Stan
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Maher. As I said in my Facebook post this morning by way of introducing the YouTube video Jerry referenced: “Bill Maher indicts the Democratic Party for changing from “the party that protects people to the party that protects feelings”. In a lot of ways he’s right. It’s this Regressive Left that is denying freedom of speech rights on university campuses to right wing speakers and even “classic liberals” like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who focuses on specific problems within Islam which beg for reform within that religion. And refusing to discuss in honest terms the problems associated with religion generally, but especially the problems associated with Islam. These things can be discussed honestly among people of good will, but not if such discussions are denied outright as politically incorrect by authoritarian elements of the left. Most people on both sides of the political isle recognize this, but the refusal of the leaders of the Democratic Party to acknowledge and discuss these issues, probably because they didn’t want to alienate a significant portion of their base, was a key element to the election of Drumpf. It’s time for the Democratic Party to stop being concerned with “safe spaces” and hurt feelings, and stop being protective of the worst elements of religion. It’s definitely time for “classic liberals” on the Left to reassert such classic liberal values as freedom of speech and expression (open discussion of ideas), and definitely time to reassert intellectual control in an effort to save the Democratic Party from itself.”

  22. Somite
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Just trying to gauge to what level some here would defend free speech no matter the consequences.

    Would you agree with censoring online extremism that would radicalize terrorists?

    • tomh
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


  23. Andrei
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Bill Maher is a cuck. Even his “the party that protects people to the party that protects feelings” is only a half truth. Did they “protect the feelings” of, say, Asra Nomani, who voted for Trump for mostly economic reasons and because she felt betrayed by the dems? No, they called her a traitor of her own race/religion/whatnot!

    Because, as everybody knows, the only “feelings” worth their protection are of “moderate” Muslims who scream about “discrimination” because they are not allowed to have their way with Sharia law.

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