The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Now We Know: Hillary Was A Great Candidate

    There are many more details to come out of our continuing political saga, soap opera, meltdown, but at this point we have enough details to know what should have been suspected all along: Hillary was a great candidate.

    This doesn't mean she didn't make a bunch of mistakes - whom among us has not?

    We already knew some of the pressures Hillary faced by being an older woman instead of a young cool male cat like Obama - look at the traction Beto got despite having huge skeletons in his open closet vs. the "what designer clothes do you wear?" she got as Sec'y of State - or the inevitable problems of having a track record in politics vs. the clean slate of a newbie - sausage making turns ugly over decades.

    We also knew of the unprecedented moves of calling a presidential candidate in front of Congress to try to derail their candidacy, to subpoena their emails to look for any dirt or slightly controversial phrasing, the FBI's ignoring standard procedure but instead ad libbing a damning condemnation on a closed case, and then late in the campaign publicly opening the case only to quickly shut it down again as an unearned present to her opponent.

    We also learned that a rogue cell of New York FBI agents were leaking through Giuliani, which also resulted in various "Hillary will be indicted" speculation picked up by the NY Times, even as they grossly & prematurely publicly quashed the possibility that Trump was or would be investigated over Russian ties [and this pressured Comey to give his 2nd ill-advised notice to Congress which was immediately illegally leaked by Republican congressman Nunes].

    We knew Hillary's campaign chairman's emails were hacked (but not hers) along with the DNC's, and released by Wikileaks with a steady drip-drip-drip and heavy spin through the last months of the campaign. We now know that Republicans' and varous newspapers' emails were stolen by Russians as well, but not released (whether they were used for extortion is unconfirmed). [we also know Hillary's primary targeting database was temporarily made open & downloaded by her opponent & potentially released to others - details remain unknown]

    We knew Hillary's health had been attacked as early as 2014 via Roger Stone's disinfo campaign, in Jan 2016 by Stone's colleague Jerome Corsi, in May by Bernie Sanders' supporter Susan Serandon, but it wasn't until late July 2016 that a full-court press started combining with supposed content in an upcoming Wikileaks selected release of stolen emails - by Assange, by Corsi, by Stone, by Infowars, by Drudge, by Fox which was soon repeated by the rest of the news media - and then Assange released an anodyne email on "decision fatigue" pumped up to a health crisis, followed by a poll asking for audience input on what Hillary might be suffering. [Pretending to be a journalist holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange faced no legal constraints at that time.]

    We also now know Corsi & Stone knew the scandalous "Hillary killed Seth Rich" was false from the beginning, a story that helped instill distrust of Hillary in Bernie supporters during the critical convention unity time, while freeing Wikileaks and Russia of their role in the episode.

    We now know the NRA used its connections with Russia to funnel even more illegal money then usual into the pro-Trump campaign, and through the arrest & deal negotiations with Butina and those she recruited, the amount of influence her circle, including the odd participation of British figures like Nigel Farage in Mississippi politics and other states.

    We also learned that Cambridge Analytica played a powerful background role in analyzing stolen Facebook data sets to give the Trump campaign an advantage on targeting ads, but over the following year we've learned of the involvement of other suspect actors, including AggregateIQ (a small opaque Canadian firm illegally involved in Brexit as well). And we've step-by-grudging-step learned just how much vast internal support & special API access Facebook gave to both the Trump & the Brexit campaigns (partially assisted by the UK confiscating Facebook's records on their last unhelpful appearance before angry MPs).

    And as of yesterday's filing by the Special Counsel we now know for sure that Trump's long-time lawyer under the illegal instructions of candidate Trump illegally paid off 2 of Trump's mistresses to bury a story that would have harmed him in the election - abetting a felony.

    But there's so much more - we've learned of 2 long-term Trump Tower-in-Moscow deals still ongoing through 2016 - both the Rozov deal and the oft-ignored Agalarov deal that Seth Abramson keeps focusing on (and it was further revealed that the female Russian "lawyer" at that mysterious June 2016 Mayflower meeting Donald denied knowing about - but his kids attended - was actually a GRU agent). And these were tentative sweetheart deals tied to getting Russian sanctions lifted (saving Russia billions) and helping get revenge against Hillary for an earlier set of sanctions on Russia as SoS. Quid pro quo, something of vast monetary value, enough for Trump to offer Putin a $50 million penthouse.

    Meanwhile the press gave Hillary a wicked time over the Clinton Foundation's supposed transgressions, while Trump's Foundation was found to be engaging in self-dealing & illegal practices and shut down by New York state including a criminal investigation, with the board members - all of Trump's kids from Ivana - prohibited from engaging in any similar non-profit work, while the students ripped off in Trump's scam university were already paid off in a multi-million dollar settlement.

    But likely the most important point is realizing actors and intelligence from Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Britain and Israel are avowed to have worked together to help Trump in multiple ways by hacking and spreading disinformation, all illegal assistance by foreign parties, much of the quid pro quos already acknowledged with others (like Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions) becoming clearer all the time. Many of these details are revealed already in court filings by Mueller & SDNY; more will come out as the full extent of plea and cooperation deals comes out from Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Felix Sater, Maria Butina.

    It should be remembered that Rick Gates & Paul Manafort used similar kinds of intrigue against Yulia Tymoshenko to discredit her and put her in jail - the "lock her up" chants were no coincidence.

    And none of this addresses voter intimidation & disenfranchisement, and other irregularities in specific key states (such as Scott Walker's mysterious contacts with Russians before the surprising Wisconsin primary). But 2018's damaged vote-rigging North Carolina results, Georgia's corrupt behaving Secretary of State, and the once-again unbelievably incompetent and/or crooked results in Florida give an idea that the thwarted recounts in 2016's tight Midwest states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania might have easily divulged enough malfeasance to reverse the counts.

    So after all this - but certainly not the end, but only a scary preliminary accounting *still*, we can recognize that Hillary's popular vote lead of 3 million votes was next to miraculous compared to the obstacles most candidates face.

    The idea that Hillary should have easily defeated a crooked & annoying, but quirky & oddly appealing candidate who wiped the GOP slate clean with little effort is a meme that for some reason refuses to die. And knowing to what far-reaching ends he had illegal help in persuading the electorate and shutting down the opposition, we can put to bed the idea that he fairly garnered 50% of the electorate's support - a heavily crafted international propaganda scheme carried out with lots of intelligence assistance and huge amounts of dark money tunneled all over the place (see charges & convictions for Deutsche Bank, Cyprus Bank, et al,) makes a mocker of the contention that Hillary "outspent" Trump.

    When Obama was running and while in office, people congratulated him on the poise and lack of drama he exhibited under duress. It's about time we acknowledged the same with Hillary - Hillary Clinton ran an impressive campaign and came very close to winning (including a vast popular vote advantage), except for the massive efforts to steal the election from her.

    Because we've maintained this illusion that Clinton was such a bad candidate, we've yet to consider what's proper recompense for the election theft that's happened. Let bygones be bygones? Let Pence assume the Presidency after the slow-mo impeachment? Take it out on future candidates?

    Sometimes great isn't good enough; sometimes atrocious isn't bad enough. If we think these latest electoral successes are enough, we haven't addressed the tilted playing field that led to this quandary. We've seen a couple of admired leaders pass on this Fall, but in honoring them, we continue to dishonor the one still among us, the one we keep telling to "just go away", and perhaps, like often with women, to "smile" a bit more - maybe then she'd be more "likable" and "authentic". Let's ask the new Republicans whether that'll make them start playing fair. 2018 should make that answer clear.



    Excellent summary. One could add, we now also know:

    1.The president can threaten (or start) a war of nuclear annihilation for political gain.

    2. The president can call opposition Party members traitors for not applauding his speeches.

    3.  He can bankrupt the Treasury while cutting the taxes of rich donors and his own taxes.

    4. The president can keep his tax returns, business deals and finances secret.

    5. The president can control our international trade, and the trade of our allies through banking system boycott decrees.

    6. The president can be impeached, but not charged with a crime while in office, up to and likely including shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.

    7. The president does not have to conscientiously do his job, read national security reports, or become familiar with his Constitutional duty, or the nation's law. He sets his own hours, and can watch hours of obsequious shills on Fox News, while indulging in conspiracy theories.

    8. The president can openly stoke hate, fear and racism to divide Americans as an election strategy. 

    9. ICE can cancel passports, and deny reentry of natural born citizens, due to the employment status of whoever signed their birth certificate. They also can detain for deportation, a US citizen.

    10. The president can appoint the worst shameless lying grifters to top positions, people whose goals are to live rich and destroy the mission of, and the agency or department, they lead.

    11. The president can attack the free press, reward those who commit violent acts against reporters, while labeling the press "disgusting enemies of the people."

    12. The president is free to publicly and personally attack his former appointees, private businesses, private citizens, judges, reporters and foreign leaders and nations.

    13. The president can employ undocumented workers to clean his own residences, while stoking fear and hate by targeting immigrants as dangerous violent drug pushing criminals.

    14. The president can side with hostile despots and murderous dictators against our national interests and democratic principles.

    15. The president and his family can use their government positions and power to better enable personal business deals, regardless of the expense to national interests, and oblivious to any defense of basic human rights. 

    16. The president and his family can openly claim friendship and "love" for murdering despots.

    17. The president can lie many times a day, and reinforce his deceptive propaganda and lies at rallies of his cult like supporters. He can dismiss facts about him, his administration, and economic, scientific or intelligence reports as "fake news."

    That's a pretty good starter for rejecting the "both sides do it", "Hillary would have been just as bad" meme.Though it's a list that grows by bounds every day.
    Here's another example of Trump violating the emoluments clause with the Saudis' largesse:

    Of course here's Jared's "economically distressed zone" scam -

    Kushner might offload some of that "distressed" NJ real estate to pension funds or his Saudi friends. Before the inevitable Trump crash cuts demand for the like of $2,780 month one bedroom NJ apartments. It may become Jaredville.......bars, "title loans" and pawn shops on every corner.

    She's not President?

    Also, on Comey big picture hindsight, where the FBI was coming from, naivete:

    Much as I love her, she was not a good candidate.  This one never should have been as close as it was.  We should certainly get rid of the electoral college and maybe even the 2 senators per state rule, but Clinton should have run away with 2016 and that she failed is on her and her team.

    That's my point - this is irrational. Obama could take a crap and the press would flash excitement around the world. Hillary could present some fairly exciting idea and they'd talk about her emails or how inauthentic she was. Obama could not do anything and he was the cool "no-drama Obama". Trump with his many helpful illegal fingers on the scale could do much of anything to a botful of fake magnified approval. Whatever - I listed just *some* of what she faced. No, she should not have "run away with it" because it was a continual shitstorm that has continued for 2 more years even without her. She endured, she won the popular vote, they rigged enough of the electoral vote to slide their candidate in. And yes, Trump was always a very effective, nasty opponent, not a pushover as 13 GOP candidates can attest. Remember how Bernie got played by him with their brief encounter over a California debate? Imagine that happening again and again over months. Yeah, Hillary did pretty well. Time to accept that the majority of problems weren't hers, and weren't fair or legal. Look at what Stacey Abrams confronted in Georgia and multiply by 5. It was the vast right-wing conspiracy gone global, with 4 foreign powers helping.

    Clinton was essentially hacked twice in the campaign, & blamed both times - once with a supposed glitch where Bernie's team downloaded her marketing database, and the 2nd where her campaign head Podesta + the DNC/DCCC were hacked, which divulged all their strategy planning. In both cases Clinton was somehow at fault - in the 1st case for ties with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (an Obama appointee, not her friend), for being too much a stickler about rules, & for possibly setting up Bernie with an open honeypot (she might have been wearing a thong as well); in the 2nd for not being open enough about her speeches and deserving it (plus the DNC was blamed for not giving the FBI access to their "server" when most of this was on the AWS cloud).

    She was also dogged throughout the primaries for somehow not playing fair with her opponent, who didn't announce his candidacy until 2 weeks after she did with a much less national recognition & a much smaller war chest. To put in perspective, when the unknown Jimmy Carter was interested in running, he got involved with national Democratic committees 4 years before, and announced his campaign for the presidency 2 years before in Dec 1974, at a time when the typical campaign was much much shorter, and spent the 1 1/2 years before Iowa & New Hampshire making himself known.

    I can just imagine people telling John Kerry "quit running on being Irish - we're past identity politics - and stop parading your ties to the Kennedy's - it's too elite". One day there will be a reckoning.

     when the unknown Jimmy Carter was interested in running, he got involved with national Democratic committees 4 years before, and announced his campaign for the presidency 2 years before in Dec 1974, at a time when the typical campaign was much much shorter, and spent the 1 1/2 years before Iowa & New Hampshire making himself known.

    Makes a good point, but one that is not necessarily conducive to your argument.

    This made him in control of building a narrative about who he was, along with his known history in Georgia

    Hillary had high negative baggage with a significant segment of the public that could be played many ways to benefit opponents. It's a much steeper hill to climb to win people over. She did a yeoman's job of that by winning the majority. But with micro-targeting available now, that may not ever be enough again. Anyone can use it, not just Russians, and candidates that already have significant negative reputations got to learn how to deal with that.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I for one think the whole "deplorables" thing was a major mistake in the situation of running for president,especially when you have a long-term unfair label of representing a certain segment stuck to you like glue.  it's signing off on an "us vs. them" thing when I think "there's no them, them and them, only us" of Bill and Obama is a better way to go (cavaet: with a national position that is). Leaves you open to losing swings and undecided in certain important districts, there is no uncertainty about who you are, that maybe the labeling by others isn't true.

    As much as I loved the "deplorables" comment, it has definitely gone down as a mistake.

    I'll note to both of you that when you're boxed in you gotta do something, mistake or not. People would say she wasn't cutting through, she'd prepare something, and then they'd talk about her emails or health or make up shit about the Clinton Foundation. Several times she built her lead up to 40 points or so, only to have it come crashing back down.

    Now, compare her campaign to Al Gore's, John Kerry's. Compare it to Bill Clinton's - without Ross Perot siphoning off votes from Bush, all that "I feel your pain" bit wouldn't have meant shit. Not to mention Bill and Obama got a healthy bump just by being younger, good looking, same as Beto. And playing that folksy bit like W - the guy who bought a ranch 2 years before he ran so he could be authentic on it.

    Not to mention Bill and Obama got a healthy bump just by being younger, good looking, same as Beto. And playing that folksy bit like W - the guy who bought a ranch 2 years before he ran so he could be authentic on it.

    But that's the difference between a decent candidate and a great candidate, doncha see? You can't be same old same old anymore, and unfortunately for her, the old brand stuck to her like glue and she wasn't very good at ditching it..

    Bush senior was same old same old and he didn't get re-elected.

    "We want something else!" is what's been going on for quite some time now.

    Perot is a good example, actually, he was something else and he was quite hot for a while. You don't have to be young and attractive, you have to be something else.

    Men can be old and attractive; women less so. Ask any middle-age actress vs say Michael Caine and Sean Connery. Which one still gets good roles?

    But still Hillary tied Obama for the popular vote and beat Trump by 3 million, so yes, she ditched some of the old brand even if the media was happy to pimp for Trump.

    well, what about pretty short, big ears, on the ugly side, but looking like a savior from politicking nonetheless:

    • "Attractive" doesn't have to mean "good-looking". Men get to be frogs.

    in Germany, so do wimmin it's a U.S. problem. we're behind, I have no doubt we'll get there with the further dominance of the millennial generation. look at the 80's bimbo style babes Fox News still uses. Then switch to MSNBC. You see faces like Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid. It's a generational divide, it strikes me like flowerchild boomers as youngins vs. babes on Lawrence Welk, parents saying "why don't you fix yourself up and look pretty once in a while" 

    Meantime I really don't think current U.S. voters would go for having someone that looked like a Fox News bimbo as president. No Melania spike heels either. They would expect a woman president to look like: Angela Merkel. Or Hillary Clinton. I think she got teased about her looks because: she was seen as a pill. The good girl high school president thing. Same with Ted Cruz! BOTH TOO EARNEST. It strikes as phony.

    folksy bit like W 

    I would argue that was his only saving grace as the dynasty thing hurt him more than it hurt her. She didn't have something similar. She ended up losing crucial swings.  He ended up having to be appointed by the Supreme Court.

    (Comes to mind Florida is the place to look at this. Gore vs. Bush a wash, as they appeared: basically the same thing, dynasty hires. 2016 Trump 49.02%, Hillary 47.82%..2008 Obama 50.91% McCain 48.10% Where lotsa Hispanics, for example, are the crucial swings, hence long time courting of Cuban diaspora by both parties to absurd levels as if they held the keys to the kingdom. I would argue where to whom neither Yankee schoolmarms nor WASP naval royalty need apply. Hip centrist black guy with African/white heritage: something new!)

    While I agree with you that she didn't get the fairest of shakes, it's still on her that she never connected with people.  She never had a credible "I feel your pain," moment.  She ran the kind of campaign you run for class president -- everybody knows you're the right person for the job so they roll over and vote for you.  Doesn't work to be the consummate insider during an election that was, in some respect, a tantrum against insiders. 

    I agree with this from my own anecdotals. It was indeed a "class president" thing, the smarmy insincere thing.I was constantly surprised by people I knew voicing dislike and distrust. Not just types who judge on emotions but "elite educated" liberals saying things like "she just lies so much." As in: someone who is viciously ambitious but hides it by pretending to care for the fate of others. I am not talking Trump fan types, I'm talking people disgusted by the choice they had, they just didn't trust her. And as far as my anecdotals of this kind, I don't think sexism has much to do with it, either, they'd mock a man that they saw like that, too.

    Edit to add: I had more than a few friends say "he's gonna win because she's so awful!" And I'd go "no way, c'mon". They'd be reading the WSJ every morning along with listening to NPR and I was in my liberal media cocoon.

    No, that was the smear campaign, one of many - that she felt it was owed to her.

    She connected with me - much more than Obama. That by itself means nothing, but she kept winning primaries, yet after each one we got to hear she wasn't sincere, was cackling, etc. 

    BTW, how long was Bernie in Washington? how long before you're a consummate insider?

    FWIW, this part of this comment today by Haberman strikes me as getting at something related.  I think this is how he got many of the crucial swing votes, dissing playing party politics, they were open to him because he does that, being as he only cares about Trump, he seemed non-partisan:

    Trump over two years has tried to claim any opposition is a “Dem” to fit in a false and reductionist prism to delegitimize everyone as simply playing politics.

    It was not just her personality, it is a combination of it with her background making her the classic Democrat going all the way back to being the supposed more liberal, more identity politics feminist spouse of good ole boy candidate for Prez. Bill, who was a new third way face at the time he ran (just as Carter was a new face), she is an old one, no matter how hard she tried/tries to be centrist, she (unfairly) represented a stereotype of the party that lost a lot of votes starting with Reagan, a classic Dem stalwart..

    You rarely heard nor do you hear now Trump waxing party faithful about the GOP. (When he went on the stump for 2018, even then he praises the individual guy or gal.)

    Swings and independents are where it's at with the big national race, not partisanship. Especially with micro-targeting now. You get solidarity against, not solidarity for something. The "for" is all individual priorities. (This is where I think Wolraich errs in thinking "Dems need a strong message" No, all you need to know is figure out what single issues resound with a majority, or with the right swings, and pander to that).

    Peracles is correct in pushing that Hillary's policies and practice would make a majority happy, she isn't actually the type to "play politics" or have a closed partisan mind, but but but: that's not her brand and she didn't shake that brand. The "deplorables" thing just one example that fed it.

    Obama conversely really sold bi-partisan hard and never let it go. (Comes to mind in 2008 primaries how he often appeared to the right of her while holding nearly identical policy positions.)

    I think "great" candidates now cannot have the taint of being party faithful for decades. Perhaps the nightmare Trump turned out to be will convince some not to vote for an individualist again, but I doubt it.

    NYC has long been showing the way. Supposed blue city with GOP leaning mayors for 16 yrs. and now growing pretty damn unhappy with a party faithful hack. Ocasio-Cortez won against a party faithful hack, etc.

    More to it than that - Reagan kneecapped Ford; Kennedy kneecapped Carter. No way Hillary could have played mean like that and still be forgiven - she would have been the bitch from hell. Look at the shit she got for not conceding before California (and then they flipped it to pretend she was suggesting Obama get 2nd amendmented). Little of this analysis accepts her playing field was very tilted and contradictory. She got blasted for not releasing her taxes quicker. Her opponent gets away with not releasing his at all. Sure, she could have played folksy, thoughshe did seem to get along quite well with female audiences - and again, imagine a Democrat telling Obama "don't expect me to to vote for you because of you have more skin melanin", to not mention race, but they did do that with Hillary and her uterus, being female.

    Anyway, enough. One day there'll be a reckoning.

    The conspiracy out in the open

    BTW - Citizens' United made the dark money problem much worse than for her predecessors.

    Hillary was not a great candidate because even if the election worked out for her, there would still be the constant attacks on her that would resound with enough swings. She would be constantly smeared and stymied. Supremely attackable, supremely vulnerable to quickly losing the support of many swings for anything she might try. Bill hanging around wouldn't have helped that much, he couldn't have done the empath wonk thing that he did so successfully for himself when attacked, his immediate impulses to defend her usually don't work out so well for some reason, not as well as they did for him. The Republican Congress would have ended up in a much stronger place.

    There'd even be trouble with the left. As in #Metoo,-Hollywood-Bill connection, Bernie acolytes yelling about Wall St, etc.

    Conservatives always attack. Bernie would have been labeled a Socialist, and Republicans would have blocked his every move.

    Yes, and there are more ideal and less ideal targets for them. With Hillary, it would have worked out very well for them. Trump and Sean Hannity are still doing it, it works so good, they can't let go and move on to anyone with actual power.

    Democrats are going to have to draw lines. Hillary was the best alternative in 2016. Conservatives demonize everybody on the Left. The only option is to defend the Democrat. Nancy Pelosi is the best option for Speaker. Obviously she gets demonized as well. They fear Pelosi. Schumer is an afterthought.

    I was addressing Peracles' point which is Now we know: Hillary was a great candidate.

    You are addressing something else.

    I was addressing your point about greater and lesser targets.

    Edit to add:

    Hillary was probably safe until Comey entered the picture. Her pols numbers sank

    I do not know.

    I kind of liked Clinton because she was a crappy candidate.

    I knew ( and still know, for anyone checking) about some of the crappier things she did as Secretary of State.

    Nonetheless, and despite my many antipathies, she would have been the better choice for dealing with all these arrangements with other nations.

    Just at the time they are happening now.


    yes would be perfect right now for the U.S. to have the last Sec. of State as president, if for the continuity alone

    We all get sucked into thinking that the president has a lot to do with domestic policy, when actually they don't, Congress does. They have the power in foreign policy and appointing federal judiciary, including the Supremes for life, and maybe a few other things like enforcing civil rights with the DOJ.

    I've been thinking that the one thing that may crack with Trump is the idea that the president is head of the political party he runs on, that it's all that unified on domestic policy. It's not, Congress is becoming more factionated. They've been pretending to "follow the leader" when they don't all agree with the "leader" and now it's gotten them in hot water.

    Pollsters over the last few decades have pointed out that voters like gridlock. I wonder what happens when they get mother-of-all-gridlock starting in January. With a President Pence, maybe even bigger of mother-of-all-gridlock?

    Popped into my head that Colin Powell would be an example from the other side of the aisle.

    Don't overestimate what I am saying in my other comments on this thread.

    Change your title to Now We Know: Hillary Clinton was a good, not great, candidate and I am with you on all the rest.

    She was all there was, the others were worse. And she would have done a good job despite all the resulting attacks and horrors we'd have to deal with because: she works like a dog and doesn't care if people like her.

    Just don't run her again if you can help it! Like it or not, running for U.S. president is partly a popularity contest and the simple fact is she has never been that popular as a personality! All of your arguing is not gonna change that, you can't force people to like someone. I don't get why you continually bring it up as if that is going to magically change with facts. It has nothing to do with facts. It's like Obama said in the one debate you're likable enough. Just enough, as in: no extra allowance for other fails there, like: smearing, a scandal or two, vote stealing or manipulation by the other side or foreign entities.
    Once you make it there, you're more judged by what you do, so there's the chance to be re-elected without being a popular personality, but first you've got to win a popularity contest. Unless we decide to have poll testing to disallow voters who vote on whether they'd like to have a beer with the candidate.

    Well, the emphasis upon her being the only choice is not just about her or the political machinery that was said to be manipulated by her.

    Sanders was figuring the contest was just between him and Clinton. As an outsider in space with no interest in the outcome, one might say that one group of people had no idea about  what another group of people were about to do.


    This conversation always seems to veer towards Sanders, as if he did something wrong by mounting a credible primary challenge.  But this very notion that Clinton shouldn’t have had to endure such a challenge is the Clinton weakness. She lost the electoral college by a handful of votes in each of three states.  This was a failure of her GOTV operation.  Why did that fail?  Lack of enthusiasm.  Why was their a lack of enthusiasm?  I’d blame Clinton’s inevitability, going back to the primaries.   There are always people who are more excited for the underdog and they get disappointed when the underdog loses. Then she went into the general election, facing a guy that a lot of people on the left thought couldn’t possibly win. Seems like a recipe for some people to stay home.  She should have known.

    Things were good until Comey. He went against agency policy.

    I'm starting to wonder if the Comey thing was just cover and there was more to throw the election than Comey. Will see eventually I suppose.

    Russians played a more important role than many want to admit, but without Comey, she still would have survived.

    Oh bore me, Michael - who the fuck said she shouldn't have had to "endure" such a challenge. It's that she wiped the floor with him, and people kept insisting it was a tense close match. She never claimed she was "inevitable". She tried to make things as exciting as she could, and people kept dropping these unwarranted turds in her lap.

    And yeah, the caucus system really sucks for pretending that someone's really popular with a handful of supporters. I like that it can draw in new blood that wouldn't be viable, but yes, it also gives a pass to people who don't know what the fuck they're talking about. My favorite is Bernie's attempt to halt fracking, period - as if the major revolution that makes us free of the Mideast and should be making the EU free of Russia is something to shut down, and ignores that >50% of oil & gas at the time was being extracted by fracking.

    But the unforgivable was relitigating Obamacare. Now you've got me pissed off. The whole 2010 election was a disaster because the public hated Obamacare and Obama did a poor job of marketing it and overcoming the conservatives FUD. But it was done - still complaints about not actually keeping your own insurance, a tempest in a teapot over the launch of the website, and a really really really dreadful announcement a week before the election about insurers pulling out of the health insurance exchange. But Bernie ran the whole primary on "we have to go single payer" just to keep the goddamn issue front-and-foremost and keep the Democrats from moving on. Did that kill enthusiasm? You betcha. And then the fucker & his fans just wouldn't let go after the convention, had to go mope up in the Dakotas over a pipeline rather than engaging with the elections. Well fuck 'em.

    I’m sorry... he’s a fucker fof supporting single payer? Whole lot of fuckers in our party, then. Funny thing, during the Obamacare debates, people kept telling the left to shut up because this was just “incrementalism” that would eventually get us to the goal of real universal health care. When was the appropriate time to make a campaign issue out of the next step?

    And, sure, she won the primary handily. Then she lost a close General, by a few votes in each of three states. That ain’t Bernie’s fault.  Had she done more to inspire just a few of his supporters who stayed home, Hillary woulda won.


    I agree but you are both wrong in obsessing about it so much because: she would have won with a Republican Congress ready and willing to lock er up and a Trump troll with his own Fox TV show attacking her every night. The problem in this country right now would not have disappeared with Hillary as president, Trump and Trump supporters would still be out there. The baggage that Hillary carries, much through little fault of her own, made her: not not "great" candidate. Hillary hatred would not have disappeared, it may even had grown with Trump out there pushing it. There is no single savior from this situation we are in. Fresh faces without so many ties to the past are needed more than ever and they probably need to have some charisma to distract the low info. voters as well.

    Like they'll have trouble targeting Ocasio-Cortez & Beto? think again - just fresh meat, not as experienced in dealing with the bullshit as Nancy & Hillary, as we saw yesterday, not that we aren't long overdue for a new team. But yes, the Hillary Hate would have just escalated as well. We simply have a Fox problem, and we don't yet know how to wean people off it.

    Here's Fox yesterday:


    I'm sorry - Bernie was on the singlepayer bandwagon in 2009, 2011, busting Obama's balls? He doesnt give a shit about it - he just needed a stinkball to keep front and center. I imagine this was the logic of his Dec 2013 bill/proposal. Not fix Obamacare, but to toss it and start over. Easy if you're an independent and don't need votes to lose.

    Yes, it was a cimpletely unworkable plan that flew in the face of legal precedent, introduced at a time when we were struggling to get even the watered down delayed bits of ACA finally implemented. When was the time for the pro-Medicare-for-all criwd ti protest? When you had a woman who actually had an idea of workable coalitions in office, someone who'd made healthcare her signal issue.

    I remember the odd point in 2008 when Obama would supposedly be a better torchbearer fir women than Hillary. And there they pulled the same shit with Bernie - 3 page docs w no detail, no workable funding plan,, let's feel the Bern. That's the kind of hope-and-pray that elected Trump, the blank slate approach. Yeah, I'd like health care to turn into a right - but it's shitty, messy politics to ddo so, and pretwnding it isn't was just a free lunch program for the unserious.

    Whatever the case, it was a perfect issue to keep the opposition's tiki torches enflamed for a year.

    Consider your comment about Pelosi soft talking vain men on the other thread, think bout her performance in 3 debates (and one long-ass Benghazi hearing) and I'll split the difference between good and great. She even had to tiptoe around Bernie's inflated ego cuz she needed his voters, whereas it was just assumed she'd be a sport with Obama and all her bases wud belong 2 him.

    [oh yeah, she was so certain she had the nomination that she still went out and locked up all the endorsements and superdelegates early, so they could change the rules and say they didn't count. Which prompted her opponent, an independent, to wage war against the DNC while unbeknownst she was lending it money to prop it up, since Obama's appointee was doing such a shitty job fundraising. Life's full of ironies - I'm checking them twice - Bad Santa, no cookies and milk for me]

    Debates are supposed to be debates, an actual fight with words, for "manly" men and women. Congressional grilling is prosecutorial, also an adversarial system. I didn't watch any of the last presidential debates, I was otherwise engaged 24/7. But I did see parts of Benghazi grilling and I more than once watched Hillary grill Pentagon guys on the other side ot the podium during the Bush years when she was my Senator. She's trained as attorney and she appears to love prosecuting.and adversarial type situations.That's very "male". I think all the way back to the way she said  I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas and it's angry and combative, challenging the listener: don't you even try to counter me.

    With Pelosi, I was pointing out the diplomacy and negotiation skills of like a classic royal court situation. Where in contrast, Schumer just started swinging at Trump.  And then fell back to let Trump be Trump.The former is considered more of a "female" art.

    We never really got to see Hillary work that style so much, though she must have as Sec. of State.

    It is how coalitions of all kinds are built (it's how families stay together, it's what marriage counselors train people to do, it's how to use human resources in a big business smartly, etc.)

    Aggressive debaters are not considered charming people, same for prosecutors and trial lawyers.

    I haven't thought of how this applies to presidency. Off the top of my head, I think of how neither Bush presidents were good at debating and Sr. was certainly great at diplomacy and building coalitions. Bill Clinton was far better at town hall feel their pain than attack dog, "female" traits. Carter was mild mannered and measured, had a skill of waiting to respond to attack, preaching too much some times but mostly did it well. Gore oh geez he tried to be a tough debater but it came off as holier than thou: you're so stupid. Obama was very cuttingly sarcastic, and he is the one that still amazes me that cool cucumber act could get him the presidency. Still I think he'd not be a good prosecutor, well okay maybe at the chess game plea bargain part of the job.

    I don't know what to say except maybe this: everyone thinks Oprah could be president if she wanted it. She's no attack dog prosecutor, she tries to understand people, get them to calm down and think. That I think your continual claims that Hillary was hurt by sexism are too simplistic. Yes maybe but not in the way you think. It's because her public persona is way too "male," too "unlikable", too in your face. and most men who are popular enough tone that "male" warrior edge down and display more of a balance. Hillary often appears very combative and aggressive, very male (and aside: yes, some guys like Bill find this exciting in a female partner.)

    Trump is especially frustrating in this regard because his maleness is phony, everyone but his fans see him as an angry little terrible two boy, and he remains popular with all the other angry little boys out there.

    I understand that health issues prevented you from watching the debates.  You really missed out though.  I honestly think you would have a different take on HRC if you had seen her command of the issues and the actual structure she planned to put into place to achieve the goals she had.  

    I cant imagine a sentient being voting for the donald after watching those.  

    Somehow around women and kids she came across much softer, at least to me. But I don't really have the double standard that wimen have to be demurring to men (tho why I brought up the debates was an almost Nurse Ratched, "oh Donald, this is going to disappoint your mother so much" feel - yeah, the manly ballcutter nurse I s'pose, except that's in thr arena). Still amazing how Trump behaved in those debates and was accepted by many, including bringing Bill's "mistresses")

    moving on:

    Elizabeth Warren forges a 2020 machine

    The Massachusetts senator’s aides have been quietly shopping for presidential campaign headquarters space in the Boston area.

    @ 12/10/2018 05:13 AM EST

    There it is, the fractured parties meme, I'm seeing it a lot:

    She was guilty of the besetting   failure  to be new.

    The  " Abe  for  # 4th  " campaign" in 1872 would have encountered the same head- winds against  Custer, G. Cleveland, Sitting Bull or whomever the Dems had nominated.Pinkerton?

    Just as there was  wide spread enthusiasm  for that  young Corporal Hitler, There's a  a fresh face to put up against  a tired old Weimar retread like  Bruning in 1928 .Good thing Hindenberg  has an eye for new thinking.  And all that Brown Shirts vitality!

    And Isabella was clearly  feeling  the same in 1494 about Colimbio or what's his name : That "round earth" story  was so 1492.  "Another nine month sail.? How many boats this time?

    " Let's talk Christy. I hear there are some merchants in Prades who  might have an appetite for "precious" oinments .And  unintelligible people wearing no clothes. 

    Lord knows, I haven't. Nor do  the tax payers around the  Plaza Mayor." 


    Columbus did wear out his welcome, time as governor of Hispaniola didn't go so well, spent a few years in jail, Isabella stopped receiving him.. not 1494, but soon enough. Worth a read...

    [he was imprisoned after the 3rd voyage, but only for 6 weeks - seems I've muddled the tale after only 30 years]

    Oh well. If he'd turned back before reaching the Western Hemisphere his incompetence as a Colonial Governor would never have been discovered. Talk about being your own worst enemy. 

    (Reminds me or the venerated , racist, Senator George of Georgia whom.FDR failed at attempting  to  purge.

    Some time later someone remarked that FDR was his own worst enemy. "Not when I'm alive he isn't" George said.)




    Russian bots for vote suppression - " aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans" -

    According to the Oxford team, African Americans were the single group targeted most heavily by the IRA—and it wasn’t even a close margin....

    “Messaging to African Americans sought to divert their political energy away from established political institutions by preying on anger with structural inequalities faced by African Americans,” the report states. “These campaigns pushed a message that the best way to advance the cause of the African American community was to boycott the election and focus on other issues instead.”

    If Hillary got another 1 million votes, including enough to cover the 73,000 in those 3 midwest states, would that make her a "great candidate"? Was her problem not appealing to enough fly-over country white voters, or losing her message to black voters (who seemed to support her just fine in the primaries, much to Bernie's chagrin)?

    As noted yesterday, CIA estimated Russia was spending $1.4 billion a year as far back as 2013/2014 to influence global opinion on Syria, et al. That dwarfs US campaign spending (Hillary spent what, $500m?), and Clinton was on the receiving end of much of this vast oligarch conspiracy machine that successfully pushed Brexit as well.

    The argument has gone from "Hillary could have used Facebook better too!" to "Hillary could have used Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Reddit *illegally* too!"

    PS - was the Michigan primary a practice session for Muchigan, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in the Niv 2016 general election? We now know how much they are willing to cheat in Michigan and Wisconsin and North Carolina and Flirida and Georgia in Nov/Dec 2018


    FWIW, Nate Silver is clearly strongly skeptical. It is interesting to me big picture because he seems to be dissing the current abilities of micro-targeting. And seems to feel memes spread by big media were vastly more important?

    If you wrote out a list of the most important factors in the 2016 election, I'm not sure that Russian social media memes would be among the top 100. The scale was quite small and there's not much evidence that they were effective.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 18, 2018

    What fraction of overall social media impressions on the 2016 election were generated by Russian troll farms? 0.1%? I'm not sure what the answer is, but suspect it's low, and it says something that none of the reports that hype up the importance of them address that question.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 18, 2018

    he also retweeted this

    A reminder that news outlets have something of a vested interest in hyping Russian influence on voters, as it lets them off the hook for their terrible editorial decisions to treat email server management practices as an existential threat to the Republic.

    — Nick Beaudrot (@nbeaudrot) December 17, 2018

    and this

    Seems like a good day to re-up my @UpshotNYT on unsupported claims about online influence: The Russian influence operation is hugely worrisome as a threat to our democracy, but it's easy to hear big numbers and extrapolate beyond what the data can support

    — Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) December 17, 2018


    And many women were shamed off of social media into not supporting Hillary... they just shut down rather than take abuse.

    There is nothing new here. That's why voting is private. It's not like some husbands didn't harass their wives in the past about who they need to vote for.

    Apart from the gender thing, it's not like there was never anything like peer pressure to do things one doesn't feel comfortable with. And then there's that some people like to debate, and some people like to debate really viciously, and when they can do it anonymously, they feel free to be even more vicious.

    Women have long had the role of keeping a family together and holding the Thanksgiving dinner, and then there's Uncle Donald who seems bound and determined to ruin it all by forcing his persona on the whole group. That's usually because he's failed at being a true alpha.

    I don't have a problem with people withdrawing from social media situations they don't like and finding one that they do. Just like I didn't have a problem with people withdrawing from social situations they don't like and people they don't like. I think it's a good thing. Actually, I would tend to admire women who have a political opinion differing from most in their tribal unit who aren't into forcing what they think on everyone else. I tend not to like the Uncle Donald's myself, the narcissists.

    The "new here" is foreign states paying to intimidate same women & organizing the shoutdown.
    Yes, you're right - otherwise it'd just be another day in America. But again Russia was spending >$1.4 billion a year on this vast social media effort to target any & all perceived enemies, including of course Hillary, yet we act as if her decline in popularity were organic and that Trump just ran a better campaign winning over hateful white females among others. The truth is quite a bit more complex.

    And did Facebook really make its hidden APIs available to both campaigns? or was it a partisan choice of undeclared but immense value, i.e. an illegal campaign contribution worth millions or even a $billion (including their Instagram subsidiary, of course). For 2+ years I"ve been hearing how Hillary outspent Trump, but that's actually not true - we just haven't come close to counting all the support.

    There are major differences between social media situations and social situations. On social media a small minority of voices can harass others in such vicious and vile ways that drive some away without there being any means to effectively confront them. In social situations that vocal minority is unlikely to reach the depths of viciousness one sees on social media and when it's in fact a tiny vocal minority the majority will shut them down in most social groups. I've seen people shut down by the group in social situations when they were disruptive. I've seen a few disruptive people destroy social media groups.  Sometimes when a social media group is destroyed there is no corresponding space for those who leave to go.

    Again, I'm talking about a) foreign intervention in US elections, which is illegal but hard to control (especially with no will to do so), and b) Facebook giving preferential treatment (including to Cambridge Analytica and what would also be illegal, their Canadian partners AggregateIQ). Sure, Citizens United led the way to unlimited money, but the rulling didn't legally open the doors to using foreign agents to assist in campaign efforts.

    I know what you're talking about but that wasn't what arta addressed and it wasn't what my comment addressed. We venture into side issues all the time here and you're as likely as anyone else to bring them up and engage in them.

    I'm not scolding you for going off-topic - I'm noting we have a standard social media behavior - bad, but common enough for millennia, only enhanced by the internet - but weaponized through bots and a foreign government in a new way to drive off female supporters or silence them en masse in an election through various intrigues and muddying the waters and shaming/annoying. Imagine a candidate rally where gangs of men would go around to women yelling "STFU, bitch, sit your ass down" with relative impunity or even backslapping approval. It gets amplified, but in grossly unequal ways for a female candidate and female supporters - expressing enthusiasm is limited by paybacks from the online Huns, and women in general dislike this type of obscene juvenile arena more than men, so it's a big multiplier for silence-inducing disgust. With male candidates there wouldn't be such a differential in support.

    useful reminder that when "the masses" come out to vote for president, popularity as a person matters uber alles, including over ideology, not to mention it also probably effects quite a bit whether they get off the couch to vote at all (i.e.,certain urban Wisconsin districts)

    These early polling results are of limited ultimate relevance, especially with so many people in the field who simply aren’t well-known at this point. But the fact that Warren and Bloomberg are both unpopular while Biden and Sanders are both popular is a useful reminder that mass opinion does not feature an enormous amount of ideological consistency. 

    from Yglesias 12/19  Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both way more popular than Donald Trump; Biden, in particular, is popular with everyone.

    Further, this really important, the numbers there cut against the ageism narratives about Biden and Sanders and

    All things considered, these actual numbers cut against a lot of online narratives. Sanders is more popular with women than with men, and more popular with people of color than with whites — it’s the normal pattern of support for progressive politics in America and no sign of “Bernie Bros” running amok.

    If someone really really likes a candidate, what a Russian trollbot or James Comey says is not going to hurt. There first has to be doubt about whether one likes and trusts them for such things to have much effect.

    Yeah whatever I don't think these numbers mean anything.

    Biden, I know that guys name. Wasn't he Obama's vp? I liked Obama.  Approve.  Then it's the campaign and he says something stupid. It's a face plant moment and the news gives a dozen examples of face plant moments from his history. Oh yeah, I remember Biden now. Seems like a nice old guy but what a dumb ass. disapprove.

    Warren. Never heard of her. Wait, didn't she claim to be and Indian and she's not? She's a woman and I have an unconscious bias against a woman with power so I'm gonna say    disapprove    even if I can't really say why. But who knows? Maybe in the campaign she explains some issues in a good way that makes me like her.   approve

    We're not normal people here. Most normal people aren't paying attention in the slightest yet and don't have a clue. The polls this far in advance reflect the most superficial reasons of people who haven't even begun to care at all about it. When people begin to care and think about it those poll numbers can flip in a heart beat.


    But the point is I think they thought they pretty well knew Hillary since at least around 1996 when they got sick of hearing the word "Whitewater" along with her name on the news, even before Paula and Monica and vast right wing conspiracy  against her husband. If they were older, they know about baking cookies or not in Arkansas. For younger people it's since 2008, when she got to be known as "likeable enough." Baggage, I believe they call it. Someone like Biden only has baggage to beltway insiders and sophisticados like us. Hillary only needs her first name and she's got baggage.

    She had 64% favorability in 2013,  2 years after Benghazi, 20 years after Whitewater, 15 after Monica, 5 after a brutal primary with Obama. Baggage indeed, but it didn't seem so fatal in 2013 - what amplified it, made it stick? That she carried hot sauce in her purse? Her "cackles" and "cankles"? Obama hired in Goldman Sachs and Citibank execs as top advisors during a meltdown, including using one to restructure the Big 3, and was easily re-elected - what made a paid speech to Wall Street trump Obama's obeisance to Wall Street on the bailout, tax cuts and broker bonuses? What made those speeches more important than Trump's dodgy Deutsche Bank loans and crooked "University" and scammy "Foundation" tied to bankruptcies, being a slumlord and the worst kinds of real estate fraud just 6-8 years after banks' robosigning mortgage scandals, popping the real estate bubble, and the introduction of "poison assets"?

    "If someone really really likes a candidate, what a Russian trollbot or James Comey says is not going to hurt." - respectfully speaking, that's perhaps the most bullshit line you've ever uttered. What was Rove's whisper campaign in Alabama about but to destroy an admired judge by making people think his children's charity work was really paedophilia? An overt attack probably wouldn't have worked  - a sneaky gossipy line of innuendo did.

    Oh cmon, opinions of nearly every single person in this country were formed about her long before she ran. It was to suppress the turnout of those who didn't think much of her to begin with. I.E., oh she hates black men like me, not surprised, I always suspected, never liked her to begin with, never did, why bother, same old same old.

    What did the Obama campaign do with the Russians to make her lose the primaries to him in 2008? Obama was more exciting. That kind of mania/popularity contest turns me off about the electorate, but it is what it is, that's what you get when everybody votes.

    She deserves credit for doing a yeoman's job of getting the majority precisely because she was not as popular as a presidential candidate should be. That's actually what I took away from the horror show of 2008: you can't convince them to change their minds if they already know him/her well for many years. She wasn't a "great candidate" as far as being able to win. Easy to take down.

    This Masha Gessen piece from yesterday is really good on understanding what the bot program did and didn't try to do, based on the newly available reports. You seem to think it was highly specifically targeted at Hillary, it wasn't:

    Why the Russian Influence Campaign Remains So Hard to Understand

    [....] Russian propaganda is cacophonous. This is its single most important distinguishing feature, and it is the one that never fails to confound Americans. Americans assume that propaganda serves a clear, actionable objective: campaign propaganda is intended to make you vote a certain way, and war propaganda is intended to make you hate the enemy and support the troops. The same assumptions, Americans think, hold for totalitarian propaganda: it is probably intended to make everyone support the regime. In fact, the purpose of totalitarian propaganda is to take away your ability to perceive reality. To their credit, the writers of the New Knowledge report understand this. The Internet Research Agency’s effort, they state

    was absolutely intended to reinforce tribalism, to polarize and divide, and to normalize points of view strategically advantageous to the Russian government on everything from social issues to political candidates. It was designed to exploit societal fractures, blur the lines between reality and fiction, erode our trust in media entities and the information environment, in government, in each other, and in democracy itself.

    Totalitarian propaganda is overwhelming and inconsistent. It bombards you with mutually contradictory claims, which often come packaged in doublethink pairs


    The task of the New Knowledge report was clearly difficult: to make sense of a thing that at its core had no meaning; to identify the objectives of activities that assumed that nothing is the function of anything else. Both the New Knowledge report and the other, prepared by Oxford University researchers, observe that troll efforts targeted specific groups, including African-Americans, right-wing conservatives, and L.G.B.T. people. Their messaging to likely Democratic voters seemed aimed at discouraging voting altogether; messaging to conservatives was purely incendiary and trafficked primarily in the fear of immigrants. They also observe that the trolls amplified messages that were already circulating among these audiences. Indeed, the trolls’ messaging solidified before Trump emerged as the front-runner, and their activities intensified after the election. A lot of what the trolls did seemed to have no political import at all—it was noise, from which the authors of the reports isolate certain comprehensible messages. But, to a large extent, pure noise was the point 


    I buy Nate Silver's arguments a lot more after reading it.

    Strange again - Gessen influenced me quite a bit on this - and it's easy to shake the tree, get all the rowdy monkeys shrieking, and many of the females drop out. In this case you don't really have to target much - it's an easy equation even w/o specificity. Took a pussyhat march afterwards to get women to fight back in droves - fairly unusual.

    Simple chaos monkey map of America:
    (via Russian page, )

    I was immediately reminded of the above Masha Gessen piece on Russian/Orwellian propaganda by this Greg Sargent tweet today on "a core truth about Trump":

    It hit me spot on like this: when Trump really really wants something, as opposed to just his usual looking for narcissistic strokes, he ventures above just lies, "stories" and hyperbole into the land of purposeful disinformation, purposefully confusing people about the truth. It is intentional rather than knee-jerk, at the same time it is yet another childlike trait, it's: torture you until you cry uncle.

    Somewhere it's prolly in NLP lit. It'd be interesting to know his targets and success rates.

    A Hillary hot sauce run down,because like Drudge (and Fox) still rules our world.

    Obama or his followers framed her as a racist and denying a black man his people's turn at last. There were other lines, but I suspect it was the most effective as well as the most shallow - there was little resentment towards her among blacks after the campaign, and despite the thought that suppressing the black vote was a major intention, for some reason black women were fully committed to her in both the 2016 primaries & generals - black men perhaps not as much, but 82% vs Obama's 87% seems as close as you'd expect for a non-black candidate.

    Instead, most of the effect was forcing those unsure to be "holding their nose" and then to give up completely. The question is whether those were valid reasons to hold their nose. With Seth Rich, apparently not, as an example.

    My only point was: those who would fall for those kind of things didn't really like her in the first place and this method can now be used by anyone to discourage voting.

    It really is the same story as when people, espec. Dems, didn't vote in mid-terms: nothing excites them about it, and they think it doesn't matter. So we would always get a GOP wave because the only people voting are old retired conservatives.

    My quibbling is really just about your title, semantics; to me a "great" candidate for president excites turnout. She was a good candidate. But to make it clear what I am saying, let's take it out of this era: she wasn't JKF, offering a new paradigm, a new generation, not to mention Camelot for the low-info wimmin bored with Ike and Mamie.. She . Instead, so many negatives to pick on and remind people about, to discourage those who were not big fans, piled up after decades of admittedly unfair attacks.

    New point after considering how Masha Gessen's piece helped me refocus on what Russian bots actually did. Everyone and anyone can do this now. It is the situation we have now with social media. It is no longer just about Russia. This president is far better at doing it than Russian bots! Every day he creates a new "reality" and no one knows what reality is anymore. Water over the da. What the hell happens next? Is there a counter-reaction? I think already there is, in the turnout against him. People just don't like living this way, with a new reality every day. It may be that the new "great" candidate never ever gets caught spinning much less lying? Another "Honest Abe" but even more honest? I think: maybe many old "war room" rules out the door?

    An important point: I am addressing only the Russian bot system thing here. There are so many other things the Russians did to try to hurt Hillary, as the new Treasury story you just posted shows. We don't know all of it yet. Maybe things even someone who I would consider a "great" candidate could not overcome.


    My biggest point was: things add up to suck the wind out of even the best, death by 1000 cuts, and if done illegally by foreign agents or funneled improper money - IT'S ILLEGAL. If the Republicans were allowed to get away with crass illegality of funds - prolly well over $1 billion in effective spend - & Russian/Saudi/Qatari/Israeli support against OBAMA? illegal NRA money & effort, illegal Mercer/Cambridge/AggregateIQ money & effort... how would it have looked?

    Obama only won in 2012 by 3.9%, 5 million votes - 74,000 votes in Florida, 68,000 in Nevada, 80,000 in New Mexico, 40,000 in New Hampshire, 74,000 in Delaware, 92,000 in Iowa, 138,000 in Colorado, 150,000 in Virginia, 166,000 in Ohio -

    I told you I'd split the difference between good & great - certainly I had my frustrations with her tepid messaging - *BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY* she felt the need to be so cautious at times - though I know how even good news got twisted - and considering Obama made a career on being cautious and there were several times when Hillary was up by 40%, so even there I can't condemn her strategy. It's easy to crow from a win and point fingers from a loss.

    Plus it's frustrating that so much of the malfeasance that went on *WAS UNDER OBAMA* - ffs, his Treasury department was communicating with Russian intelligence on gmail accounts against the rules - even after several high profile phishing & catfishing exploits and our own use of viruses against Iran and *HILLARY'S EMAIL SERVER!!!*. The slow-mo Russian investigation was Obama's DoJ. That doesn't even get into all the Democratic failures that can be laid at his feet - the collapse of the DNC & the gutting of the Democrats' ground organization, the dismal pushback against states' voter disenfranchisement, the poor marketing of Obamacare (including the disastrous news a week before election), the failure of Obama to crow about the success of the bailout & recovery, his alarming failure to fight for his stolen Supreme Court slot... There's only so much a campaign can do to counter years of dismal-sounding news (and heavily entrenched Fox/Sinclair/National Enquirer propaganda) - especially when she's required to still be a "team player" or risk alienating the thin-skinned.

    And again, she played her game and worked to lock up most of the congressional and *union* endorsements way early in the game - and instead of that buying her something, it turned into "she feels entitled" and a rash of "well, Bernie has the Nurses Union" and "she only has the crooked leadership, not the members" caveats as well as the Left largely abandoning & pissing off the unions' support for the election (including killing their traditional role of organizing & mobilizing their members, a huge force in previous elections). Yeah, there's nothing illegal about the Democrats inviting in a non-Democrat to destroy their party ideals to help lose the election, so I shouldn't be adding this as a point...

    PS - and we're just getting to how vast & illegal Facebook's partisan support was. Very little of this gets calculated into the flippant responses to how good a candidate Hillary was - an exit poll here, a "deplorables" comment there...

    Just still trying to make the one point about her. I never condemned any strategy.  Just that she wasn't a "great" candidate from the getgo because of both personality and decades of branding as something else.

    You are puzzled by what I say,and I am just as totally puzzled that you and other fans like C'Ville can't see it!

    Look, despite the fact that we have a gazillion Senators that are looking to run for president, the usual line is: Senators can't win. And Secretaries of State, how many of those run and win? She's just not the type, she's uptight, comes off elite and uptight, not a people person. And "the masses" who vote in presidential, there's a lot of them that don't like that type, they are suspicious they are up to no good, and when they get accused over and over with no good things, those that didn't like the brand to begin with tend to start to believe some no good must be correct. You see a common touch there, I know. I don't, not at all. Anytime she tries it looks phony. She an elite type, the ruthless class valedictorian, not the kind you'd want to have a beer with.

    She'd be a "great" candidate if the only people who were allowed to vote were "elite educated" people like me. Lots of other types just don't trust her type that much. She's got to sell hard and then it comes off as phony and "lying".

    Try again - she was a good+/great- candidate because she came with the resume, the hard work, the grasp of the issues, the experience, the grasp of political compromise and humility when needed, and time spent defending against & beating down the opposition.

    She wasn't a bravado male like Beto or Bernie, so she couldn't sit on a public panel and back new legislation that crassly favored his father-in-law's real estate practice without someone noticing, or spout off super unrealistic figures of revenues diverted to health care without companies & media complaining. Yes, lots of people don't trust "her type", including my mother who's doubtful she could support a woman in office because of "that time of month" (yes, likely irrelevant now, but I'm sure the feeling hasn't changed). Beto can play in a band, and people forget his well-connected judge father put him through Columbia and he basically fucked around in NYC for long periods of time until he used his connex to back an internet startup - Hillary on the other hand did back her husband's career nearly full-time, made the family money as a lawyer, baked cookies/raised a kid, and pissed off Republicans - certainly at 69 not as good a CV as having a dick and being young & "charismatic" and the whole fresh blood thing. [yeah, Trump's older, but he's still grabbing-em-by-the-pussy & is a self-made billionaire(tm), so the male virility/wolf on the hunt thing still works). Yeah, her idea of daring is a few shots of whiskey & some hot sauce, not stage diving or flying a fighter jet, so she won't get the thrill up the legs like others.

    Anyway, the biggest reason she isn't trusted is there have been a fuckload of lies told about her over decades, and she's a woman in politics. So considering that & facing a ton of unrestrained illegal money & marketing & foreign coordinated political machinations, she did pretty damn well. Backwards & in heels, as the line goes - but this time tap-dancing through a pool of shit.

    Lots of people don't like me and I don't think that it's unfair, it's because I'm not their type. You argue about this like someone arguing that you must like this or that painting or this or that movie. You can't force people to like someone or something they don't like. You might be able to convince them with things like marketing and peer pressure that they should like it. But deep down, they still don't really like. He spoke the truth: you're likable enough Hillary. Just enough. Not a lot. It's not sexism! Really it's not. It's just taste in people. You've got to deal with that more the more you get out the vote, the more people who vote with their gut on whether they like, and not rationally. And the most people, the biggest mass, is the presidential vote. And guess what: when there's someone highly likeable among many demographics, turnout grows. Even with mediocre like, as in: eh, he/she's okay, as opposed to active dislike: they might stay home.

    My mom adored JFK, just adored him and Jackie. She didn't know shit about policy. She hated Ike and Mamie because they were dull and grey and she felt they stifled the spirit of the country.  She never told me when she first voted, but I bet it was when JFK ran. She was all excited reading about him and her: a new paradigm, a new era. Not same old same old.

    Yes, 40ish-year-old male, good-looking, athletic, comes from wealthy well-connected family, Ivy League - I like him already.

    Then there's my daughter vs the son of the headmaster - people make up stories about her, but they believe him no matter what. He seems to be more "likeable" - a coincidence? Objective?

    (ps - under 1- child policy they'll drown a female born. Having a boy's pretty special, dontcha think?)

    Now let's try paid lies. Let's try lies paid by foreign governments. Let's try illegally tunneled cash payments from foreign banks andgovernments to tell even more lies...


    Want to share this twitter thread and don't know where to plop it except here. Unemployed Jewish guy explains the Bernie vs. establishment Democratic party problem exceptionally well, mho. I especially like the summary Democratic policies are way more popular than Democrats are. If you have to be a proud “Democrat” to lead the country, you’re at a disadvantage. If everyone you know is a proud Democrat, you’re in a bubble.

    Hillary got more votes than Bernie or Trump

    Democrats won 40 House seats

    Democrats flipped state legislatures 

    The 2020 Senate race is more favorable for Democratic Party members

    Oh those poor Democratic Party members

    Of course democratic policies are more popular than the party. If 60% of democrats favor policy x and 60% of democrats favor policy y it doesn't mean it's the same 60% that favor both policies. If the party passes policy x some of the people who favor policy y don't support it and are going to be pissed at the party for passing it. The party is a diverse coalition with divergent interests and priorities. Everything it does will piss off some members of the party.

    People aren't criticizing Sanders for not being a proud democrat. They're criticizing him for not being a democrat at all. Because of that and his purist stance on his policy issues he has never led on any policy accomplishment in his time in the senate.

    Oh please, more horseshit to flush down? 1 commenter says, "universal healthcare...[is] only issue because Bernie pushes them" - as if Hillary wasn't pushing universal healthcare when this guy was sucking on his mommy's titty. I mean, since when did college students give a shit about healthcare to start with, especially guys? I can name 3 doctors' visits over 20 years, including 1 for girardia from India, 1 from a broken collarbone where they just handed me some pills, and a round of vaccines for the Balkans. How put all these young dudes up to a sudden craving for health care they don't use, yet they never figured out that affordable housing was a much more pressing need for their demographic?

    How did these "popular Democratic policies folks decide that it was ok to label a rare female contender "voting your vagina/uterus" and dismiss about 10 states carried by the party's important black votes because they were in the South? [let's fathom the irony of that one - Bernie said the South wouldn't matter in the general election, but crowed about his wins in 15 of the 16 least populated states - 9 as caucuses - while Hillary won the 7 most populated states and 13 of the top 15 (with Bernie's Washington win being in a tiny caucus, while Hillary won the non-binding primary with 52% of the vote).

    In short, I don't see why when a candidate wins decisively she has to hear this kind of magical revisionist crap for the next few years.

    Read Bernie's non-concession concession speech - - he's as Trumpian as Donald - he took on the whole Democratic "establishment", and only a few of them had the "courage" to stand with him. Not preference - "courage". Kinda like those standing with Donald and his wall. And his paradoxes "we started out w no organization, no money, no name recognition, & the media decided we were fringe" - like duh, you just described yourself as fringe.

    Now read Hillary's magnanimous speech the day of the last primary ("late" according to many critics) -

    Yes, I and many others were fine with pressure pushing Democrats to be more liberal. I'm not fine with this niche just being dicks and ruining chances of success, and tired of the constant magical thinking that defies gravity. We won the midterms both through organizing and through a reaction to just how bad everyone screwed up in 2016 (including letting fake social media screw up their voting decisions).

    Yeah, after 2000 and 2016, I am tired of the portion of the left wing - in and outside the party -  playing its games of chicken to not only not get their way, but kneecap the chances of the party as a whole. Sure, they hate us - there has to be a better driving force than hate?

    [PS - looks like not participating in TPP is having its negative effects too...

    CNN has more:

    Mitch McConnell is less popular than hemorrhoids but for some reason we never see articles about him being “unlikable” and how that could limit his political future.

    Paul Ryan also too:


    Pretty impressive - beat out Son of Sam and the Antichrist this year

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