Three Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

This post is not an explainer about why and how Clinton lost (and Trump won). I think we’re going to be sorting that out for awhile. Rather, it’s a simple debunking of common talking points by Clinton loyalists and Democrat Establishment operatives; the sort of talking point you might hear on Twitter, entirely shorn of caveats and context. For each of the three talking points, I’ll present an especially egregious version of the myth, followed by a rebuttals.

Realize that Trump’s margin of victory was incredibly small. From the Washington Post:

How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states

Of the more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in three states [Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania] effectively decided the election.

Of course, America’s first-past-the-post system and the electoral college amplify small margins into decisive results. And it was the job of the Clinton campaign to find those 107,000 votes and win them; the Clinton operation turned out to be weaker than anyone would have imagined when it counted. However, because Trump has what might be called an institutional mandate — both the executive and legislative branches and soon, perhaps, the judicial — the narrowness of his margin means he doesn’t have a popular mandate. Trump has captured the state, but by no means civil society; therefore, the opposition that seeks to delegitimize him is in a stronger position than it may realize. Hence the necessity for reflection; seeking truth from facts, as the saying goes. Because the following talking points prevent a (vulgar) identity politics-dominated Democrat Party from owning its loss, debunking them is then important beyond winning your Twitter wars. I’m trying to spike the Blame Cannons!

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Racism

Here’s a headline showing the talking point from a Vox explainer:

Trump’s win is a reminder of the incredible, unbeatable power of racism

The subtext here is usually that if you don’t chime in with vehement agreement, you’re a racist yourself, and possibly a racist Trump supporter. There are two reasons this talking point is false.

First, voter caring levels dropped from 2012 to 2016, especially among black Democrats. Carl Beijer:

From 2012 to 2016, both men and women went from caring about the outcome to not caring. Among Democratic men and women, as well as Republican women, care levels dropped about 3-4 points; Republican men cared a little less too, but only by one point. Across the board, in any case, the plurality of voters simply didn’t care.

Beijer includes the following chart (based on Edison exit polling cross-referenced with total population numbers from the US Census):


Beijer interprets:

White voters cared even less in 2016 then in 2012, when they also didn’t care; most of that apathy came from white Republicans compared to white Democrats, who dropped off a little less. Voters of color, in contrast, continued to care – but their care levels dropped even more, by 8 points (compared to the 6 point drop-off among white voters). Incredibly, that drop was driven entirely by a 9 point drop among Democratic voters of color which left Democrats with only slim majority 51% support; Republicans, meanwhile, actually gained support among people of color.

Beijer’s data is born out by anecdote from Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

Urban areas, where black and Hispanic voters are concentrated along with college-educated voters, already leaned toward the Democrats, but Clinton did not get the turnout from these groups that she needed. For instance, black voters did not show up in the same numbers they did for Barack Obama, the first black president, in 2008 and 2012.

Remember, Trump won Wisconsin by a whisker. So for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that black voters stayed home because they were racist, costing Clinton Wisconsin.

Second, counties that voted for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump in 2016. The Washington Post:

These former Obama strongholds sealed the election for Trump

Of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump.

The Obama-Trump counties were critical in delivering electoral victories for Trump. Many of them fall in states that supported Obama in 2012, but Trump in 2016. In all, these flipped states accounted for 83 electoral votes. (Michigan and New Hampshire could add to this total, but their results were not finalized as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.)

Here’s the chart:


And so, for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that counties who voted for the black man in 2012 were racist because they didn’t vote for the white women in 2016. Bringing me, I suppose, to sexism.

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Sexism

Here’s an article showing the talking point from Newsweek:

This often vitriolic campaign was a national referendum on women and power.

(The subtext here is usually that if you don’t join the consensus cluster, you’re a sexist yourself, and possibly a sexist Trump supporter). And if you only look at the averages this claim might seem true:

On Election Day, women responded accordingly, as Clinton beat Trump among women 54 percent to 42 percent. They were voting not so much for her as against him and what he brought to the surface during his campaign: quotidian misogyny.

There are two reasons this talking point is not true. First, averages conceal, and what they conceal is class. As you read further into the article, you can see it fall apart:

In fact, Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent, with white women without college degrees going for [Trump] two to one.

So, taking lack of a college degree as a proxy for being working class, for Newsweek’s claim to be true, you have to believe that working class women don’t get a vote in their referendum, and for the talking point to be true, you have to believe that working class women are sexist. Which leads me to ask: Who died and left the bourgeois feminists in Clinton’s base in charge of the definition of sexism, or feminism? Class traitor Tina Brown is worth repeating:

Here’s my own beef. Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary’s demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump’s gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland.

These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump’s unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he’d be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill’s.

Missing this pragmatic response by so many women was another mistake of Robbie Mook’s campaign data nerds. They computed that America’s women would all be as outraged as the ones they came home to at night. But pink slips have hit entire neighbourhoods, and towns. The angry white working class men who voted in such strength for Trump do not live in an emotional vacuum. They are loved by white working class women – their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, who participate in their remaindered pain. It is everywhere in the interviews. “My dad lost his business”, “My husband hasn’t been the same since his job at the factory went away”.

Second, Clinton in 2016 did no better than Obama in 2008 with women (although she did better than Obama in 2012). From the New York Times analysis of the exit polls, this chart:


So, for this talking point to be true, you have to believe that sexism simultaneously increased the male vote for Trump, yet did not increase the female vote for Clinton. Shouldn’t they move in opposite directions?

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Stupidity

Here’s an example of this talking point from Foreign Policy, the heart of The Blob. The headline:

Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally

And the lead:

OK, so that just happened. Donald Trump always enjoyed massive support from uneducated, low-information white people. As Bloomberg Politics reported back in August, Hillary Clinton was enjoying a giant 25 percentage-point lead among college-educated voters going into the election. (Whether that trend held up remains to be seen.) In contrast, in the 2012 election, college-educated voters just barely favored Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Last night we saw something historic: the dance of the dunces. Never have educated voters so uniformly rejected a candidate. But never before have the lesser-educated so uniformly supported a candidate.

The subtext here is usually that if you don’t accept nod your head vigorously, you’re stupid, and possibly a stupid Trump supporter. There are two reasons this talking point is not true.

First, even assuming that the author’s happy but unconscious conflation of credentials with education is correct, it wasn’t the “dunces” who lost two wars, butchered the health care system, caused the financial system to collapse through accounting control fraud, or invented the neoliberal ideology that was kept real wages flat for forty years and turned the industrial heartland into a wasteland. That is solely, solely down to — only some, to be fair — college-educated voters. It is totally and 100% not down to the “dunces”; they didn’t have the political or financial power to achieve debacles on the grand scale.

Second, the “dunces” were an important part of Obama’s victories. From The Week:

Not only has polling repeatedly underplayed the importance of white voters without college degrees, it’s underplayed their importance to the Obama coalition: They were one-third of Obama votes in 2012. They filled the gap between upper-class whites and working-class nonwhites. Trump gained roughly 15 percentage points with them compared to Romney in 2012.

So, to believe this talking point, you have to believe that voters who were smart when they voted for Obama suddenly became stupid when it came time to vote for Clinton. You also have to believe that credentialed policy makers have an unblemished record of success, and that only they are worth paying attention to.


Of course, Clinton ran a miserable campaign, too, which didn’t help. Carl Beijer has a bill of particulars:

By just about every metric imaginable, Hillary Clinton led one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history. It was a profoundly reactionary campaign, built entirely on rolling back the horizons of the politically possible, fracturing left solidarity, undermining longstanding left priorities like universal healthcare, pandering to Wall Street oligarchs, fomenting nationalism against Denmark and Russia, and rehabilitating some of history’s greatest monsters – from Bush I to Kissinger. It was a grossly unprincipled campaign that belligerently violated FEC Super PAC coordination rules and conspired with party officials on everything from political attacks to debate questions. It was an obscenely stupid campaign that all but ignored Wisconsin during the general election, that pitched Clinton to Latino voters as their abuela, that centered an entire high-profile speech over the national menace of a few thousand anime nazis on Twitter, and that repeatedly deployed Lena Dunham as a media surrogate.

Which is rather like running a David Letterman ad in a Pennsylvania steel town. It must have seemed like a good idea in Brooklyn. After all, they had so many celebrities to choose from.

* * *

All three talking points oversimplify. I’m not saying racism is not powerful; of course it is. I’m not saying that sexism is not powerful; of course it is. But monocausal explanations in an election this close — and in a country this vast — are foolish. And narratives that ignore economics and erase class are worse than foolish; buying into them will cause us to make the same mistakes over and over and over again.[1] The trick will be to integrate multiple causes, and that’s down to the left; identity politics liberals don’t merely not want to do this; they actively oppose it. Ditto their opposite numbers in America’s neoliberal fun house mirror, the conservatives.


[1] For some, that’s not a bug. It’s a feature.


You will have noticed that I haven’t covered economics (class), or election fraud at all. More myths are coming.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Knot Galt

      “No, you are ignorant! You threw away the vote and put Trump in charge.” Please, it will be important to know what derogatory camp you belong in when the blame game swings into full gear. *snark

      1. Bev

        It was election rigging, not Jill Stein that made a difference.

        Clinton should flip and testify about these methods, and/or Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Johnson, Senate Democrats.

        The Election was Stolen – Here’s How…
        Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

        Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the VotingRights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.

        The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
        “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.

        Crosscheck in action:
        Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107
        Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922

        Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257
        Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824

        Trump victory margin in North Carolina: 177,008
        North Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393

        On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted.

        Trump signaled the use of “Crosscheck” when he claimed the election is “rigged” because “people are voting many, many times.” His operative Kobach, who also advised Trump on building a wall on the southern border, devised a list of 7.2 million “potential” double voters—1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls by Tuesday. The list is loaded overwhelmingly with voters of color and the poor.

        This is exactly what a racist would do to win, because they do not have enough like minded voters to give them power.

        1. Bev

          RED SHIFTS in the Presidential race & in nearly every Senate race in states with exit polls
          By Jonathan Simon

          Thank you for being among the frustratingly small population of people willing to question the official story after an election.

          As I did in 2004 and have done in every federal election since, on election night last week I downloaded the exit poll results as soon as the polls closed and results were posted. As you may know, those exit poll numbers later get changed to match the vote counts. So those initial poll results are crucial, and I have them.

          My comparison between the exit poll results and the announced vote counts is all too familiar: it shows a red shift in the Presidential race and in nearly every Senate race in states where exit polls were conducted. (We call a shift towards Republicans a “red shift,” and a shift toward Democratic candidates a “blue shift.” We are seeing very, very few blue shifts in this election, and none outside the polls’ margin of error.)

          This data calls into question whether or not Trump really won in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan. These six states have a total of 108 electoral votes.

          We’re told that Trump won the Presidency with 290 electoral votes over Clinton’s 228.

          If the exit poll findings are accurate, the numbers should show a Clinton electoral college landslide to go with her popular vote victory. We’d be looking at Trump with 182 electoral votes and Clinton with 336!

          As for the Senate, in three states — Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the discrepancy is enough to indicate the wrong candidate may have been declared the winner.

          Reversal of these three elections would change the majority in the Senate from Republican to Democratic.

          Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation (or independent voter status), these results should concern you. If we expect to be able to change anything through the election process ever again, we cannot afford have an election system where votes are tallied in secret by computer software vulnerable to hacking from outsiders and rigging from insiders.

          Exit polls are the best way we have — and are trusted throughout the world, even by the U.S. government in regards to elections elsewhere — to get an immediate indication of the likelihood of election fraud.

          What can you do about it?

          Help more people get access to this information. Share these two blog posts of mine:

          Exit Polls from November 8 Election Show Patterns Indicating Possible Electronic Election Rigging in Favor of Republicans

          19 Big Myths About Our Elections That the Government and Media Want You to Believe

          Sign and circulate this petition from demanding an audit of the 2016 Presidential election:
          • Encourage people who want to learn more to purchase CODE RED: Electronic Election Theft and the New American Century. An excerpt is available free at my website.
          • If you’ve already read CODE RED, post a review on Amazon. This will help with the book’s visibility to people beyond the circles of those we know. (Simply click on the “Write a customer review” button here.) Your review can be as short as a few words!)
          • Use your reach, connections and skills where they’ll do the most good. Circulate this information to all of your communities. Reach out to influencers. Be the media.
          Correct misinformation where you see it. There’s a ton of it out there!
          Start or get involved with an election integrity/voting rights group in your area or online. Here are a few resources to get you started:

          Leaders in the election integrity movement and related movements are making plans now for other responses to this likely fraudulent election. Watch your email box for more information in the coming days.

          Thank you for your interest in electoral integrity.

          Jonathan D. Simon
          Author, CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century

            1. Bev

              I thank all the election integrity people who work to rebuild our democracy.

              While during the primary, Hillary was helped by these right wing owned voting machines, purging of Bernie voters, etc., she was robbed by them during the general, as planned, I would bet.

              Hillary owes the right wing nothing. She with many others should save our Democracy now and then promote Bernie’s and Jill’s Green New Deal which will help many people and the planet. This approach would maintain the popular vote needed when you have a Democracy. We must forgive the original sin of silence or culpability of both major parties and move to save Democracy together. Let those voters who were purged, vote. Count the ballot images where they may have been saved. Request that the electoral college save Democracy.

              The purging of Legal minority voters while lying and calling them illegal double voters was election theft by Trump and the GOP. No wonder racists back him, but, even more, big money via all that free media, paid by whom.

              Help us stop the “Lynching by Laptop”
A petition to release the names of voters on the “Interstate Crosscheck” Purge List


              Why isn’t Hillary contesting Trump’s weird “win”? (Is it because she stole “her” nomination?)
              (MY Note: I think it may have been stolen for her during the primary with her knowledge. However, Hillary was not in control of the methods and personnel who then stole it from her during the general election…as planned. Despite this sordid, long history, she with others should save Democracy now, then she would surely deserve to be President.)

              Considering the outpouring of anger from Hillary supporters over the result and their many efforts to challenge the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s win, it would appear a given that the Democrats would pursue these exit poll anomalies which, if proven correct, would almost certainly give Hillary the presidency.

              The silence about this avenue of pursuit from the Hillary camp is deafening.
              “Have they ever pursued fraud like that? I don’t think they ever have; they all back away from it,” Dr. Stein told Inquisitr. “It’s only the Greens who take up these cases you know and just for the sake of election integrity, and we’ve been losing them anyhow, but I think it’s very important for the public to have our guard raised about this stuff.”

              The Green Party are campaigning for ranked voting and hand-counted paper ballots among other measures to bring up the standard of American elections.
Dr. Jill Stein, Green party candidate and vocal campaigner for fair elections is also voicing her concerns. She told Inquisitr “These discrepancies have come to our attention and we have some people who are looking at them, so stay tuned.”

          1. Bev

            from Jonathan D. Simon:

            The  primary link is to my CODE RED website, EDA (above) has been in hibernation for some time — the interest and support levels sink so low in the long periods between elections; then comes something like this, as we in California say, THE BIG ONE–but it takes more that ad hoc fury to sustain a working organization.
            I have been focusing on trying to get my book read and passed around and on blogging, analyzing, telling the horror story–leaving the organizing to others like VerifiedVoting and


            …. I really believe–and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have dawned on enough of us–that this is our Stalingrad. We are overmatched, but if we don’t make a stand–irresistible mass pressure for a full investigation, with recounts of suspect tallies, and a hold on the inexorable coronation process.
            The full weight of the media/govt Guardians Of Order is set on blocking this, so for any chance it will take people exiting their comfort zones and going to the mat for it. Not sure whether the leadership is strong enough to build this that fast, but hoping and working at it.  Many thanks again for your continuing commitment. — Jonathan

        2. fajensen

          This is exactly what a racist would do to win, because they do not have enough like minded voters to give them power.

          Someone we might not like very much gaining authority and then gaming the system (or in this case, maybe the other way around) – As good a reason as any to place limits on “our own” power, removing easily abused laws like asset forfeiture, thought-crimes like blasphemy and in general cleaning up our own affairs.

          While we are in a position to do so. No good to go a-whining After.

        3. DarkMatters


          I did read Palast’s report after getting his em, but I don’t think we can/should ignore O’Keefe’s Project Veritas exposures that led to the resignations of Scott Foval and Bob Creamer. This really should come as no surprise: The irregularities of the pro-Hillary DNC that suppressed the Bernie Sanders vote in the primaries should have led us to expect something like this.

          Also, I haven’t seen any discussion on computerized vote manipulation, so I don’t know how extensive and in whose favor that was, though you won’t lose money betting it was active.

          I’m neutral on this issue: I’m disgusted with everybody.

      2. Michael C.

        Hearing Rachel Maddow blame those who voted for Jill Stein being the reason Clinton lost surely made me rethink the prestige I once gave to a Rhodes scholar.. She really drank the Clinton Kool-Aid, and I am beginning to think Jim Joneses must have brewed a better batch. At least his ended any chance of self-reflection.

        1. fasteddiez

          People who voted for Jill Stein in non competitive states did not alter the EC results one iota. Shrillary won by over 2 million votes in California. Orange County, where I live, was carried by the Democrats, for the first time since the Roosevelt administration (not Teddy). Besides, the precious snowflakes who deplore 3rd party votes as wasted are in denial over the right to vote for anyone on the ballot ,or not , nor for the affirmation of a protest vote. Deal with it! By the way No 1. Jill Stein said that Hillary would be more likely to start another war than Trump. By the way No 2. I was going to pencil in Eldridge Cleaver (inventor of the Penis Pants), until I realized that he was no longer with us. BTW No 3. I am not an African American (or Black), as it matters not in the great scheme of things, since there was a healthy contingent of black Trump voters.

        2. different clue

          Perhaps you should proudly CLAIM the Green Party’s responsibility for Clinton’s defeat.

          Let them hate you, as long as they fear you.

        3. LapsedLawyer

          Not drank so much as mainlined. Her show was all but unwatchable — as was most of that network’s programming this election.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Yes, I’m a misogynyst for voting for Jill Stein over Hillary Clinton.

      P.S. I love how I’m usually the only one, or one of a few, to share Naked Cap articles on Faceborg.

      1. Lee

        I just did that linking this article and How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul.

        I signed up with FB maybe ten years ago and I doubt that I’ve made 20 posts over that time. Most of my friends there were actual friends and activists in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. I may start engaging there a bit more.

    3. Daryl

      We need a hashtag to summarize this dangerous group of people, whose misogyny is so insidious that they vote for women in order to oppress other women, most of whom are probably Bernie Bros. #JillJerks.

    4. harryb

      Don’t forget “racist” – Ajamu Baraka was also on the ticket.
      Nice to know that, as a 48 yr old female, my vote for the Green Party was the vote of a racist, sexist Bernie Bro. Amazing!

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        I even voted for Hillary and I catch this crap from the halo polishing identitarian ‘left’. Thing is, I’m old enough to remember when a leftist cared about unequal access to power more than access to powder rooms

  1. IdahoSpud

    Is it sexist, racist, and/or stupid to conclude that one awful candidate is less likely to betray you than a different awful candidate?

    1. Quade

      Is it sexist, racist, and/or stupid to conclude that one awful candidate is less likely to betray you than a different awful candidate?

      I voted for Hillary but I don’t blame my wife for voting for Trump. I was torn too. The Dems ran a damaged candidate and now they’re paying for it. Wife and I would have both voted for Bernie. Lets say I think I could have convinced her to. With the two that ran it was a toss up. Criminal lying man or criminal lying woman. Wasn’t much choice there.

      1. animalogic

        I’m not an US voter. If I was, I would have voted Trump (or Green, maybe) for only ONE reason: HE wasn’t talking about no-fly zones in Syria. HE appears to not hate Russia. It would have been a vote against war.

        1. disc_writes

          I am not a US voter either, so my opinion does not count. However, I was absolutely against Clinton for her anti-Russianism, to the point of not minding even someone like Trump.

          The first time in my life I preferred a Republican to a Democrat in a US election, so good job Hillary.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Same with me. Trump stands for everything I hate, but if I was in the US I still would not have voted HRC. I don’t think I could have brought myself to vote for him, I’d have probably voted Green. It says everything about the rottenness of the Dems and the Clintons that millions of left of centre people were (as I was) delighted that he beat her.

            All we can do is hope the next 4 years is not a complete catastrophe. My hope is that it will be a catalyst for a real, genuine progressive party to arise and challenge the traditional right and neolib centralists. If Sanders health holds up, I’m optimistic this can happen.

        2. EoinW

          Exactly! Around 1am Wednesday morning I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized I no longer had to worry about nuclear war. I’ve been celebrating ever since then!

        3. Bluto

          I voted for Jill Stein. What I found most repugnant about Hillary Clinton was her bellicose, warmonger policies. Clinton wants to overthrow the Assad government in Syria, regardless of the very real possibility tha the Russians might support Assad to the point of ending up in a nuclear confrontation: The US versus Russia.

        4. different clue

          Well, I AM a US citizen, and those were my primary reasons for voting Trump.

          To keep the antiRussianitic racist antiRussianite Clinton out of office.
          And to keep the war-seeking no-fly-zone-promoting War Pig Clinton out of office.

          Basically, I voted Trump to stop the Clintons before they kill again.

    2. Bev

      All political parties moved more and more rightward, because it is the right who owns those machines and so counts those votes. If we had real evidence like hand counted paper ballots, then politicians would owe their attention to voters not the right wing machines owners.

      Clinton should flip. She may know what is going on, but does not control it. What worked for her in the primary was used against her in the general. If she flips and testifies and so saves Democracy, she will deserve to be president, so long as she serves the public, the common good.
      Hillary Clinton Tells Donors It’s Comey’s Fault She Lost
      Sidney Blumenthal: “Cabal Of Right-Wing FBI Agents” Took Down Hillary In A “Coup D’Etat”
      by Tyler Durden

      After weeks/months of the Hillary campaign bashing Trump for “irresponsibly” questioning the legitimacy of the election process, Clinton-insider, Sydney Blumenthal, is apparently making the media rounds in Europe attributing her loss to a “coup d’etat” organized by “a cabal of right-wing agents of the FBI in the New York office attached to Rudy Giuliani.”

      “It was the result of a cabal of right-wing agents of the FBI in the New York office attached to Rudy Giuliani, who was a member of Trump’s campaign.”

      “I think it’s not unfair to call it a coup. Yeah, a coup d’etat.”
      Attorney Cliff Arnebeck Lays Out Details Implicating Rove, Borgia and Comey
      July 24, 2016 electionnightmares
      Tags: Cliff Arnebeck, James Comey, Karl Rove, Stanley Borgia

      ­­This letter from Attorney Cliff Arnebeck that is BEYOND ANYTHING you’ve probably ever read about the rigging of elections in the US. permission to release it is in the last line of the letter.

      I warn you, it is probably the most shocking expose you will ever read- and most people cannot wrap their heads around the level of corruption in the US. You may have to “come up to speed” to learn about Mike Connell, who is mentioned. There are movies on Youtube that show what happened to him.

      From Cliff Arnebeck on July 23rd,

      In my July 7, 2014 letter to AG Lynch I describe FBI Director Comey as a bought and paid for agent of the criminal global corporate cabal engaged in the subversion of democracy in the United States:

      “Since July 17, 2008, when I issued document hold notices for: 1) Karl Rove’s White House emails carried over Republican Party private servers at SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee and 2) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce documents relating to the corruption of the judicial system of the United States through its coordination with the Republican Party of illegal corporate expenditures, I have been serving in an acting private attorney general capacity, in waiting, under the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act. My status was “in waiting” because I could not file such empowering litigation until we could acquire testimony of the essential cooperating insider witness who could bring together the full range of this election racketeering conspiracy.

      Arnebeck was describing the primary election, but, I think it also holds true to the general election. Clinton got duped by benefiting in the primary. Clinton should flip now for being had in the general. Think of her legacy if she an insider actually saves Democracy. Big legacy.

      1. Ptolemy Philopater

        As “Uncle” Joe Stalin said, “It doesn’t matter who votes, it matters who counts the vote.” I am paraphrasing the Russian. Likewise as with the “Heads I win, Tails you lose” elections in Stalin’s Soviet Union, the elites win whether Clinton or Trump won the so called election, so all this whinging about who won and how, ignores the fact that there is no democracy in the United States, it is all a massive Dog and Pony Show to mesmerize the useful idiots and keep them off the streets to demand their rights.

        1. apber

          It amazes me that so many still buy into the fact that there is a real difference between D’s and R’s, most especially in the last 30 years. Bush Jr was supposed to change Clinton’s policies, and Obama was supposed to change everything when he was elected. But nothing changed in the inexorable march to totalitarianism. It doesn’t make a difference if the method is Marxism or Fascism, the end result is the same. All 3 branches of government have been bought and paid for by entities seeking the destruction of America to further the goal of one world governance. That too many thought that the war mongering, banker owned corporatist Hillary was a Liberal Dem or represented the left is laughable. When Trump announces just another Goldman Sachs alumnus as Treasury Secretary, his supporters will understand that nothing really changes.

      2. DarkMatters

        Thanks for the splash of cold water: I needed that. Sometimes I forget how deep the rot has already gone, how little is known, and how weak has been the reaction.

        Re Comey, I’m still trying to understand the actual motives behind his behavior, but he’s no straight shooter. A revolving-door politico whose corporate positions were on boards of HSBC and Lockheed? Please!

  2. Steve H.

    : Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Stupidity

    ‘Stupid’ was the word I got very tired of in my social net. Two variant targets: 1) Blacks for not voting their interests. The responses included ‘we know who our enemies are’ and ‘don’t tell me what to think.’

    2) Mostly it was vs rural, non-college educated. iirc, it was the Secretary of Agriculture, pleading for funds, who said the rural areas were where military recruits came from. A young fella I know, elite football player on elite non-urban HS team, said most of his teammates had enlisted. So they are the ones getting shot at, having relatives and friends come back missing pieces of body and self.

    My guy in the Reserves said the consensus was that if HRC got elected, they were going to war with Russia. Not enthused. Infantry IQ is supposedly average-80, but they know who Yossarian says the enemy is, e’en if they hant read the book.

    Maybe not so stupid after all.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      The irony is that one of the reasons I joined the Army in early 2011 was Obama having been elected.

      Of course I was “smart” to turn down the 11B, 13F, and 25C MOSs in favor of 94D.

      1. Steve H.

        That fits well with “They were one-third of Obama votes in 2012.” McCain clearly pro-moar-war, while Obama said “What I am opposed to is a stupid war.”

        Oops, sorry. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war.”

        I’m not educated enough to know those codes, but I think I can read behind the lines.

    2. Felix_47

      Good point. On the active duty side very few people seemed to favor Clinton and it was over her perceived aggressiveness with Russia and in the Near East as well as Africa. Another group of soldiers that were not eager to see her elected were the Africans who came over and joined to get citizenship and to bring their families over. Quite a few voiced concerns that were were going to foment more war in their homelands or that they would be sent back as spear carriers. And the usual such recruit is not uneducated because only the wealthiest and best educated can even get a visa out to get to the US to enlist.

  3. Paid Minion

    A sexist pig like myself might say that this election also illustrates the fact (ignored by the media and feminists) that women can mismanage an election just as well as men.

    We kept hearing about Hillary’s vast “experience”. Yeah, experience making poor/mediocre decisions. Us veterans of the corporate management wars recognized her type a mile away. A “Ticket Puncher”.

    A mediocre decision maker, from the get-go. But, like many others living in the “let them eat cake” class, they discovered that it’s better to have good PR than good management skills.

    It also doesn’t take much intelligence to do the bidding of the people who are paying you.

    1. TK421

      Frankly, most men only get one chance to bungle an election this badly. Hilary got a second chance, after 2008. Uh…yay for progress?

  4. barrisj

    All three talking points oversimplify. I’m not saying racism is not powerful; of course it is. I’m not saying that sexism is not powerful; of course it is. But monocausal explanations in an election this close — and in a country this vast — are foolish

    Umm, ye-e-e-s, but taken collectively, one surely can make the case that factors other than “class”, e.g., could be taken as determinative; as you say, though, this election awaits further (objective) analysis, and deeper drill-down. Admittedly, correlative is not causal, and the fact that so many white voters in “battleground” states won by Trump may very well share sexist, racist, or “low-information” qualities masks huge voter discontent with their lot, as distinct from that of the bicoastal Demo strongholds. Trump’s campaign quote, “I love the poorly educated voter” contrasts dramatically with Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” , and surely suggest that “class”, i.e., socio-economic status was indeed a factor in how at least white people perceived the candidates and subsequently divided their votes.
    Big question is: who is going to convince the Demo elites and the national Party to disabuse themselves of such comforting myths, and square up to the elementary fact that their bullshit “strategy” failed them miserably, and will continue to do so irrespective of “future favourable demographic changes”?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      One word: Ka-ching. Unemployed voters do not pay nearly as well as Monsanto and Goldman and Raytheon and the Saudis, so the Dem elites will stick with “the beatings will continue until morale improves” by figuring out how to move even further to the right

    2. j84ustin

      I agree. Add them all up and for many it was not necessarily class but encouraged them to pull the lever for Trump.

  5. Chromex

    I am from Michigan and was interested in the election and stayed up until a winner was declared. Hillary conceded the election to Trump well before any major outlet I monitored- including Fox and the Times, both of whom were rather quick on the draw compared to others, had called Michigan. Trump had 270 electoral votes in hand before Michigan was called. Does not seem like Michigan explains much then.

  6. EGrise

    If you choose not to decide, does that still make you a sexist racist/racist sexist?

    Case in point:

    87,810: Number of [Michigan] voters this election who cast a ballot but did not cast a vote for president. That compares to 49,840 undervotes for president in 2012.

    My calculator shows that Clinton lost MI by a little more than 13,000 votes. As well as being an apathy election, this also seems like a pretty good example of a “pox on both their houses” election.

  7. MLS

    Trump almost certainly is some combination of a bigot, a misogynist, a racist, and generally an asshole. We sorta knew all of that already.

    Thing is, he won this election in spite of those qualities, not because of them. And that possibility seems to escape seemingly everyone in the media and those that voted for Clinton.

    1. TK421

      But which would you rather have: a president who drops bombs on non-white people without feelings of racial animus, or a president who doesn’t drop bombs on non-white people and would prefer they not date his daughters?

  8. DWD

    I am from Michigan and I just don’t think it is that complicated.

    At this time 33% of the children of Michigan live in poverty.

    I just read that manufacturing jobs in Macomb County (white flight area of Detroit) – probably where this election was won or lost – went from 102K in 2000 to around 60K now. That is one hell of a hit.

    I think there are three factors worth discussing.

    One is that for better or worse the Clintons are associated with globalization and people wanted more nationalism.

    Second: the Clintons have been on the public scene for more than 25 years and people are simply tired: call it Clinton Fatigue

    Third: the negatives (whether these are right or wrong doesn’t matter) that Hillary brought to the campaign could not be overcome.

    The other factors that are comfortable for us to use: racism, misogyny, and hatred are present as well but they always are: they do not explain how Macomb County went from supporting Barack Obama to supporting Donald Trump.

    1. Ptolemy Philopater

      What is underestimated in this election is the profound disappointment with the Obama administration. America was willing to give a Black “Leftist” a chance and he simply shilled for the elites, subverted civil rights, relied on murder as policy ever bit as much as Bush II, showing that the color of one’s skin does not prevent one from selling out. Clinton represented a third Obamanation term. The “ignorant rabble” unlike the hapless liberals well understood Einstein’s definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results and decided to do something else. When they finally realize that participating in the same old tired electoral process is “INSANE” then maybe we will see some real hope and change. Some will point to Obama’s inflated popularity ratings as contradicting the above, but his popularity is more likely reflecting the fact that he is leaving.

      1. Jeff W

        What is underestimated in this election is the profound disappointment with the Obama administration.

        I agree, if, by “disappointment,” you mean that people were still looking for the change they had voted for eight years before. My implicit time line is:

        Roughly 30 years of decline and “crapification¨ culminating in
        2008 – the financial crisis; President Obama elected on a “Hope and Change” “platform”

        Following three years of “more of the same”—or worse (it takes people time to figure out they are not getting what they thought they vote for):
        2011 – Occupy occurs, then peters out/is put down in a coordinated effort

        2012 – Obama is re-elected because, well, the alternative is Mitt Romney

        2016 – two anti-establishment figures emerge: the one on the left [Bernie Sanders], despite obvious popularity, is actively opposed by the party establishment and does not become the nominee, leaving only the one on the right [Donald Trump] to run against the establishment candidate [Hillary Clinton]. We know how that turned out.

        That does not mean the anti-establishment candidate was “destined to win”—it just means that, given the “pent-up demand” over three election cycles, the anti-establishment candidate—even a pretty awful one like Donald Trump—was more likely to win. (That one could not pick a more establishment candidate than Hillary Clinton, who was a terrible campaigner besides, made the election of the anti-establishment candidate even more likely.)

        I see President Obama’s approval rating as really more a combination of the following: (1) whatever policy failures he has had, he hasn’t had a major scandal that has “defined” his administration, (2) his bland equanimity invites reassurance on the part of (some) voters and, related to that, (3) by comparison to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, he looks pretty good. I had had the theory that Obama got elected in 2008 largely because he avoided gaffes and mistakes that his opponents could use against him—in 2016, a much more anti-establishment year, gaffes and mistakes would be taken by Trump supporters as a positive indication that their guy was anti-establishment—and that same sort of absence ended up buoying Obama’s approval rating at the end. It’s not an approval of his policies—it’s that he’s managed to avoid awfulness (in most people’s minds).

        1. jrs

          Good point, how many liberals horrified at the election of Trump, not that it’s good, understand it took putting down the left at least twice to get there (Occupy and Bernie Sanders). Why do we always lose? And then they answer: it must be something inherent in the evil voters to choose Trump or at any rate make it close enough he lost the electoral college. Well you um keep crushing the left and it is the Dems that keep crushing the left themselves (they don’t even need the Rs to help out). But f-ism has always been thus, when leftism is made it impossible.

          1. Jeff W

            “it took putting down the left at least twice to get there”

            Well, really, the left didn’t get what it wanted three times. Obama wasn’t quite the anti-establishment candidate in the same way Bernie was but he had a little of the same rhetoric:

            Because at a time when so many people are struggling to keep up with soaring costs in a sluggish economy, we know that the status quo in Washington just won’t do. Not this time. Not this year. We can’t keep playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expect a different result – because it’s a game that ordinary Americans are losing.

            It’s a game where lobbyists write check after check and Exxon turns record profits, while you pay the price at the pump, and our planet is put at risk. That’s what happens when lobbyists set the agenda, and that’s why they won’t drown out your voices anymore when I am President of the United States of America.

            It’s a game where trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart. That’s what happens when the American worker doesn’t have a voice at the negotiating table, when leaders change their positions on trade with the politics of the moment, and that’s why we need a President who will listen to Main Street – not just Wall Street; a President who will stand with workers not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.

            That’s Obama, 12 February 2008, running against the establishment candidate Hillary who was supposed to be sailing to her coronation.

            And you’re right—I also view the establishment Democrats as a lot more to blame for this débâcle than anyone else by treating the base with utter contempt—the base, after all, in their minds, had “nowhere to go.” You didn’t need Wikileaks to tell you that—the email messages merely confirmed what people already knew. At what point, when people do not get, time after time, what they want, do they vote for some other candidate (the mainstream one or third party) or not vote at all? Well, it seems like, for many people, 2016 was that time.

            And, really, the presence of Bernie Sanders exacerbated the dynamic because, for once, it wasn’t some hypothetical, more progressive candidate that you wished you had, it was a real, flesh-and-blood candidate who (1) was not tainted by scandal or corruption (2) actually called himself a “Socialist” and did not run away from the term and (3) was supported by—well, isn’t that something?—half the party (at least)! And the guy was treated like a skunk at a garden party. As I said back in June, I think loss aversion—being forced to give up something you thought you could have had—and, worse, being faced with the prospect of, in effect, “endorsing” the very establishment that caused that loss—played no small part in this campaign.

  9. Greg T

    To me, Trump was clear on three main issues: trade, employment, and anti-aggressiveness in foreign affairs. He said China cleans our clock in trade, we have too many people who don’t have good jobs and that these facts are cause-effect. He also said we can’t afford the costs of empire-building. NATO has outlived its usefulness and Europe should pay for its own defense. He also said it wasn’t a good idea to antagonize Russia.
    Hillary’s answer: I supported trade deals in the past, but I oppose them now. I’m going to give you Obama’s third term ( looking forward to spending another four years of depression with you! ) and America is so exceptional so we can keep creating chaos in the Middle East and antagonizing Russia.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      The ones who would know best are the people on the ground in Milwaukee. That is where HRC came up 400,000 votes short of BHO levels. Possible explanations:
      1. Replacing Patrick Ewing with Neil Patrick Harris
      2. Disappointment with Obama – there was hope but no change, not sure we are really better together with people who can’t stand us
      3. Trade/jobs – what exactly was HRC pitching to the inner cities?
      4. Lack of ground game, inability to get out the (friendly) vote
      5. Voter suppression

      It’s possible that voter suppression was larger than the margin of defeat. But in my list above, my guess is that it is the fifth most important reason she lost the state.

      1. Feelintheberninwi

        I think you mean 40,000 votes short in Milwaukee.

        I’m in the middle of Wisconsin. My city went for Obama in 2012. In 2016, Hilly lost every ward but one and she barely won that one. All the down ballot Democratic candidates out performed her. This NEVER happens. Oh, this city is 95% white.

        In the ward numbers, the Republican turnout in 2012 almost perfectly matches 2016. Not so for the Democrats. Democrats just didn’t vote in the same numbers as 2012. I talked to lots of targeted Democratic voters. Almost no one was excited about Hilly. Me included.

        I even went to a house where the woman told me she didn’t like Hilly, I told her I knew it was a difficult choice. We talked a bit, then she invited me in to show me pictures of her daughter with President Obama. She was deeply involved in the Obama campaign and worked at the White House. Case closed. We had the wrong candidate.

  10. fresno dan

    “Of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump.”

    I have mentioned before that for several years I did not have access to broadcast TV. Only about a year ago I got satellite TV and it just had FOX. I was astounded by how much it had declined (YES, it was’t great to begin with) in objectivity and at least used to have passing reference to the counter arguments – but now not even a token liberal commentator – or if they did have one, not able to speak for more than 3 seconds – on several of their talk shows.. So just a couple of weeks ago after moving I got cable TV and was able to see MSNBC for the first time in several years – again, bad to begin with but it has declined incredibly…. TOTAL mirror image of FOX – an obstinate, obdurate refusal to see anything other than the BLUE dogma – to even be aware of counter arguments.

    Its like our corporate media is a massive non-truth machine. In the main links, the article from Jacobin about how Obama strengthened and expanded the security state, which is factually as indisputable as the Sun rising in the east, is ignored/denied because it benefits both parties. Which just goes to show that 99% of the media content people are exposed to is not independent, not critical, and not useful.

    How many people do you see on TV “news” or “commentary” that are simply shills for an agenda?
    All we get is two sugar water salesmen, one for coke, and one for pepsi, and no one, NO ONE, EVER , EVER, bringing up the indisputable fact that SODA is harmful crap…

    1. RUKidding

      This is why I don’t own a tv.

      Fox is just horrid. I saw just a tiny bit of their “news” this summer while visiting relatives, and I honestly couldn’t stay in the room for more than few minutes. It’s just the pits, but my family members were enthralled as usual.

      But I also gave up on MSNBC quite a long time ago. Here and there, I’ve seen clips of someone or another, and they tend to offer a somewhat more intelligent viewpoint on specific issues. But I agree that they’re all sell outs and only occasionally are somewhat decent.

      There’s no point, imo, in attempting to glean information from the tv, especially in regard to what we call “news.” Radio and print, with few exceptions, are no better. Online is the way to go, and even here one has to exercise extreme caution. Caveat Emptor.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Speaking of print, the unrepentant NYT is back to its old tricks today, lynching Trump appointee Stephen Bannon at the top of the page.

        Until yesterday I had never heard of Bannon. The NYT labeling him as “racist,” “nationalist” and “fringe” is of zero use in forming an opinion.

        What upsets and offends the NYT is a member of the “fringe” press being treated as their equal. It never occurs to Sulzberger et al that their abandoning all professionalism and publishing slanted, partisan, wholly speculative articles is the very definition of “fringe.”

        Given a choice between the NYT and the National Enquirer, I’d place a bit more confidence in the latter.

        1. Carolinian

          The Post too. I don’t know much about Bannon either, but seems there are some MSM claims about him being anti-semitic so perhaps that has something to do with it, dogwhistle wise.

          FWIW Pat Lang–no supporter of the Post and NYT–also said Trump should stay away from controversial figures like Bannon. Since Lambert called Bannon’s site a cess-pit in links perhaps he’d like to expand for those of us who know little.

        2. Ptolemy Philopater

          Not to mention the New York Times beating the drums of war in Iraq and spreading the lies that involved us in the “stupidist” of all wars; sitting on the story of national surveillance for a year till after Bush II’s election and finally beating the drums of war again with regard to Syria & Russia. How dare Putin arrest an oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Doesn’t he know that oligarch’s are above the law by definition. What is the world coming to when money cannot buy freedom from prosecution, the neo-liberal business model.

        3. Felix_47

          Of Course.the NE pays good money for stories and they are not about to throw their money after stories that are not true.

        4. tony

          Their faction has been calling Trump Hitler, Voldemort, nazi and everything bad under the sun for months.

          Whether Bannon is those things is going to be irrelevant to most people at this point.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Crazy. Even if you believe Trump is Baby Hitler, you’ve got nowwhere to go after you make that charge.

            It’s like they fired off their heaviest weaponry at the start of the battle, the target was still standing, and then what do you do? Break out the pop-guns?

      2. EoinW

        I’d say CBC was worse than any of the US networks. Even after the election they still haven’t changed their tune. But let me tell you, putting the CBC on late Tuesday night and seeing all the commentators acting like someone had just died was priceless.

  11. bob k

    i shared the Mark Blyth quote where he said that in 2015 bonuses on Wall St totaled $28 billion compared to total compensation for EVERYONE ELSE of $12 billion. that’s JUST BONUES! i asked if he thought that had anything to do with Trump’s win. he said “A rational intelligent person might be angered by that fact. Trump’s supporters…don’t even know how to ask those questions.” to which i responded “so the millions who lost their homes to foreclosure never heard of bank bailouts?”

    but ideas are prisons and he’s in one of he has built…

    1. Joe R

      I think Blyth said, $28 billion was paid out in Wall Street bonuses versus $14 billion in total compensation for everyone in the country who worked at a minimum wage job.

  12. crow magnum

    When I told my friend’s millennial son, who is otherwise thoughtful and intelligent, that I would vote for Jill, he said that I’m immoral for voting my conscience!

    Hey, at least I voted for a woman.

  13. Arizona Slim

    I’ve been a full-time freelancer since October 1, 1994. We’ve had three presidents since then.

    I had exactly one good year under Presidents Obama and Clinton. Under President Bush, I had five good years.

    So, there you have it. Two good years under the Ds and five under the R.

    Tell me why I should have voted D this year. I didn’t. I voted for Stein and have no regrets.

    PS: I never voted for Bush. Ever. But I will ‘fess up to voting for Obama and Clinton. Twice. Fat lotta good those votes did.

      1. Yves Smith

        The management consulting business imploded. McKinsey shrank by 50% in the US between 2001 and 2003. It was back to sorta normal by 2005 and I believe doing pretty well right before the crisis thanks to the merger boom. But the next tier firms moved further down market and stayed there.

  14. Altandmain

    The Democrats and the mainstream media seem to be looking for scapegoats.

    In other words, they don’t want to take responsibility for their own failings. They served the rich and thought the Establishment would save them.

    1. MojaveWolf

      I don’t think the goats care anymore whether someone wants to scape them. Been wearing my Bernie hat whenever I can since the election, keep getting people in the 18-30 range who I’ve never met before coming up and fist-bumping me. Actual conversation with about a 20 year old female college student, typical of the reaction I’ve been getting: “Is that a Bernie hat?” ::fist bump:: “I voted for him in the primary too!” / “I voted for him in the general also.” / “I voted for Stein” (2d fist bump)/ I was going to but I still hadn’t filled out my mail ballot when Bernie-Tulsi qualified as an official right in.”/ “Awesome. I would’ve voted for him to except I didn’t know about that.” No shame, guilt, or worries about whether we get blamed, much less freaking out and calling for an ambulance, in sight.

      And honestly, if we have that much power, that we get to decide the elections, hey DNC–maybe try giving us candidates we actually want to vote for?

      1. Portia

        the party duopoly needs to go, but the control freak establishment will fight to the death to keep their strangle hold. I really think the establishment got what they wanted–a president unlikely to trouble them in their nefarious M.O.

    2. Ohnoyoucantdothat

      Couldn’t agree more. But I’m flabbergasted by the utter incompetence of Hill’s campaign. Case in point: she had just finished the convention which was a reasonable success. What did she do afterwards? Took a few days off and then went on the most damaging whirlwind tour of every rich enclave she could find, raising obscene amounts of money from the very people she was trying to convince us had absolutely no influence over her. She’d already lost me by then but really – how stupid could she be? What ever happened to the big bus tour through the battleground states? Talk about pissing away the bump.

      That leads me to the other realization I’ve had. One of the big Clinton gifts to their party has been the complete degradation of the core campaign operatives who know how to win. Where was Carville in all this? Their answer- Brazile and DWS. Really? So incompetent they couldn’t steal the nomination from Bernie without leaving a trail even blundering Inspector Kluso could follow in his sleep. I’m not surprised they are covering their tracks. Admitting to this disaster loses them their cushy positions in the party. Until someone competent takes control the party will continue to flounder.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Carville is joined at the hip to the Clintons. Please. The guy is and always has been a clown. If Carville thought Brazille was a clown, Brazille would be gone. Peas in a pod. The incompetent loyalists of the Clintons.

        The Clinton campaign was incompetent in 2008. For all Bill’s political mastermind reputation, they managed 43% in 1992 and then turned around and lost Congress.

        It’s a simple rule, but if a person has ever been a regular CNN’s Crossfire, they should never be listened to, even if they are folksy.

        Then of course, there is the 2004 election when Carville was feeding info to his wife who in turn gave it to Rove. Maybe, the Clintons keep morons around because they have no where else to go.

        Even in 2007, Carville had a stronger presence, and those effin’ clowns on Team Clinton didn’t even understand delegate allocation rules. They won more votes than Obama and managed to lose the super delegates out of sheer incompetence.

      2. RUKidding

        Nailed it. Clinton’s super obvious pandering to the rich elite really did her in. I forgot about the Big Bus tour through the Battleground states, but now that you mention it: what happened to that?

        Maybe Clinton’s health is worse than she lets on. Perhaps not up to the weirdness espoused by Alex Jones, but Trump did point out more than once that she was not really “out there” campaigning all that much. Mostly it was $1000 plate dinners with various celebs in tow.

        As I said below, she ran a shithouse campaign. When I hear on the radio about how great her campaign was or what a great “ground game” she had, I just have to shake my head. Talk about propaganda!

        And yes, all the usual suspects are running around attempt to blame anyone and everything else other than their lousy choices in how they ran this campaign. No self-introspection, that’s for sure.

        1. Another Anon

          Yes, Clinton’s health may well be worse than they let on.
          A friend who is a neurologist pointed out to me
          that some of the videos of her show what looks like a dyskinesia known as Chorea
          Athetosis, which is a common side effect of the medication taken
          by people who have Parkinson disease.

      3. neo-realist

        Speaking of bus tours through the battleground states, or lack thereof, Obama took a subtle swipe at Clinton for not getting out there among the people in the battleground states and “going to every small town, and fair, and fish fry, and VFW hall.” Was Hillary too ill for that, or conceited?

        Criticize Obama’s lack of good policies for the people, but he like his predecessor, Bush, was a terrific campaigner who could turn on the charm and connect with people.

  15. flora

    Thanks for this post. Political sanity instead of the identity-politics blame game.
    adding:“… this pragmatic response by so many women was another mistake of Robbie Mook’s campaign data nerds. They computed that America’s women would all be …”
    So, true AI *still* isn’t here? The real world is still analog? How can that be? /s

  16. MojaveWolf

    Thank you for the awesome post! I fully intend to use it as a reference when arguing.

    Especially liked your pointing out the whole subtext crap–“you think like we do and vote like we do or you are a (pick a pejorative)”

    Or you can be like John Scalzi and completely ditch the subtext– If Trump’s administration indulges in the racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries that Trump and his people have already promised to engage in, we can assume it’s because his voters are just fine with that racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries — even if they claim to have voted for him for other reasons entirely.

    Forgetting all my issues with the basic components of this statement (and I didn’t vote for Trump!), this is like me saying that everyone who voted for Hillary voted for both war-[profiteering and a war with Russia, since I think her proposed Syrian no-fly policy along with her general anti-Putin rhetoric amounted to a clear desire for war with Russia, or at least a couple of shots fired on the ultra-idiot assumption that this could be somehow be contained and not escalate in unpredictable and possibly horrifying ways. There, I can assume Scalzi also is fine with us getting in a shooting war with Russia, even if he claims to have voted for Hillary for other reasons entirely.

    Uh, no. I can’t assume this. If I said so it would be deliberately intellectually dishonest. I dunno what he is being. I just went looking around the internet for different opinions on the election and this is one of the things that drove me nuts.

    It’s perfectly fine to point out to people who voted for racism, that indeed, this is what they voted for. And also that if owning up to the fact that they voted for racism is uncomfortable for them, they should take a moment to think about how bad it is for the targets of that racism, and how bad it has yet to get.

    I should point out to him and all other Hillary supporters that he/they voted for the strong possibility of nuclear war, and the near certainty of greater war in general, and that therefore he/they should take a moment to think about the all the suffering that would have brought about, and that he did indeed vote for all of this? Again, no. That clearly isn’t what he thought he was voting for.

    I’ve been wanting to make this argument at his blog since I saw it a couple of days ago, but I keep thinking “don’t go into other people’s homes for purposes of yelling at them, people say stupid stuff on the internet all the time, let it go”, but it really is emblematic of how a lot of people think.

    As for me, while I am truly concerned about some of the possible directions Trump might go in with regard to domestic policy and hoping for the best or at least better while bracing for the more unpleasant possibilities, here is why he was my preferred choice among those two (again, didn’t vote for either, but probably would’ve gone Trump if in a swing state), and what the results of these have been so far:

    (1) Avert almost certain war with Russia, end the already begun continued renewal of the Cold War, and take nuclear war back of the table. I thought these worries were long gone from my life, and have not been happy that our fearless leaders have brought them back. Hillary seemed amongst the most ardent anti-Russia warhawks. Mission accomplished. We already appear to be de-escalating.

    (2) Stop the TTP (and TISA and TTIP and other such). Mission accomplished. We’re 2 for 2 and he hasn’t even taken office yet.

    (3) Punish/don’t reward (these things go together, either entails the other, there is no neutral outcome in this particular instance) the Dem establishment for their behavior during the primary. Hillary winning would have assured the Dems kept putting up their corporate conservadems and cheating to make sure they won. 3 for 3. Hopefully the success of this will at least lead to not-cheating as the default behavior of the Dems in the primary, especially if you look at what SHOULD be an obvious lesson–R leadership didn’t want Trump, but didn’t cheat to stop him. Then won outperformed all expectations and at least in the electoral college, won an election they should have been destroyed in. Dem leadership didn’t want Bernie, committed unprecedented levels of disenfranchisement at the least (and I personally think obvious outright election fraud that only the willfully blind could not see) and their candidate who was expected to win in a romp lost the electoral college and won the popular vote by the skin of their teeth (fwiw, I still favor ditching the electoral college in the future and think it shoulda been scrapped long ago). 3 for 3, and not even in office yet.

    And 3 leads to

    (4) Set things up to give us the best chance of electing people in the future who will actually work on the welfare of the planet and the greater good of the people living on it, as opposed to our current strategy of electing people who will say the occasional good thing in speeches and enact the occasional minor reform to point to whilst working hard hard hard to help keep making lives better at the top and worse at the bottom. And since I started this list with existential threats to the whole biosphere, gotta point out that Clinton and the dem establishment had given NO indication they were going to take sufficient actions to even give us a chance to stop runaway global warming. So Trump being awful on this and admitting it vs them being awful on this and lying about it is kind of a wash (I’ll grant you, he’s worse, but their policies will leave the biosphere just as damaged and/or dead, depending on how things work out). Now we have a chance to start putting in people who actually take the issue seriously, and maybe save the world.

    So 3 for 3, jury still out on 4. No racism or sexism in sight. OTOH, does this mean I should ponder whether all Clinton voters wish to encourage cheating, turn national sovereignty over to multionational corporations, and end terrestrial life as we know it?

    1. jrs

      Yea the thing is voters who ACTUALLY think like that, that voting for someone is an approval of everything they do, tend to vote 3rd party (or write in or don’t vote). Because it’s hard to approve of everything a Obama or a Clinton or for some a Sanders would do, but easier to approve of most everything a Jill Stein would do. And most people do not think like that of course and vote duopoly. So other than create 3rd party voters what does that argument actually accomplish?

      1) racism is a unique category unlike loss of sovereignty, corruption, war, drone bombing whatever. Hard to get on board with this at all, war alone is horrible.
      2) yes Obama or Hillary may be for all these things, but at least they don’t campaign on them like Trump does on racism. Fair enough for the most part, but it’s very hard to see this as better…

      1. Ptolemy Philopater

        Are not war and murder the ultimate racism? The true mark of civilized behavior is not how one treats one’s friends, but how one treats one’s enemies. Moses,. Hillel and Jesus are turning over in their graves. (Yes I know Jesus already left his). Moses says, “This is what I gave up being Pharaoh for?”

    2. jim mckay

      excellent post! 2 comments…

      1) AFAIC, on all your points not just HRC but dems as a whole: the institution, the lawmakers and (since H. Dean) DNC leadership.

      2) WRT to your point 4 (AGW): at this point in time that’s my #1 priority. I voted for Stein not as protest, but her platform deals with all you mention AND AGW intelligently and comprehensively. Big disappointment to me dis-affected Dems did not give her a good hearing.

      1. MojaveWolf

        If she’d had any chance at 5% would’ve voted Stein. Like Bernie/Tulsi on this as well tho & overall more in sync with them.

        Agreed re DNC leadership.

        1. aab

          For the record, I think she had a chance at the input level — meaning, I think a lot more voters voted for her than the votes that ended up being counted for her. I realize it would be arduous to do privately, but is there any way to force states to check that sort of thing? Yes, the election is over, and both major parties assuredly cheated, so they both don’t want that stuff investigated. But there’s a lot of money and access on the line for the Greens, if they HAD reached 5%. And it would have the additional benefit of forcing all that other rotten behavior into the light.

          1. MojaveWolf

            This is why I keep going on about hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballot to the point where the mods here who have to see all my comments are probably sick to death of me bringing this up (apologies to whoever is stuck doing this!)

            I’m as clueless as you are about how to check this, but most of the experts I’ve read all say there is no way to prove after the fact cheating except by inference (i.e. not anything our parties would count as proof), unless whoever did the tampering was incompetent.

            Wouldn’t be entirely surprised if you were right, tho. (Cali mail votes should be checkable, fwiw)

  17. Chris

    It’s my understanding via Michael Rivero that Trump went for and ran his campaign (his staffers ostensibly) for the electoral college, period. They did not run to win the popular, they ran the campaign to win the electoral college. Which is the final decider, no? If so, then they ran a brilliant campaign.

  18. visitor

    fomenting nationalism against Denmark and Russia

    Clinton fomented nationalism against… Denmark?

    Can somebody point out what Carl Beijer is referring to?

    1. Joe R

      I’m guessing this was in reference to Sanders cheerleading various scandinavian countries health care systems and that the US should look to emulate them. Clinton shot all of that down saying it couldn’t be done. I could be wrong but that’s my guess

    2. bob k

      i think it was clinton in response to bernie re single payer. to the effect of clinton saying “i love denmark too, but this is america..” in the first or second debate.

    3. GWJones

      HRC said that the US can’t have social welfare and healthcare like Denmark, cause we’re big and they’re small. Something to that effect.

  19. RUKidding

    Thanks for the post. I agree with what you wrote.

    I think sexism and racism played a role in this election. The issue with ignorance perhaps not so much, although I wobble a bit on ignorance becuase I do feel that most US citizens (no matter how they vote) are pretty ignorant, overall, about what is actually happening in Wash DC. And even if they DO discover something factual that’s not really kosher (for lack of a better term), they often excuse it under the rubric of IOKIYAR or IOKIYAD (depending on how they usually vote).

    One thing stands out for me, and that’s that Clinton ran a shithouse campaign. I don’t like the Clintons anyway, but I was surprised at how crappy her campaign was given how driven, apparently, this woman was to become President. Much as one might despise the con-man, Trump, he got his ass in gear and really went out to the voters. He even pointed this out numerous times, and he was correct on that score. He worked his ass off and made many many campaign stops and rallies and really focused his energy on the rust belt. All I heard Clinton doing was holding rallies with big name rock & rap stars and maybe some Hollywood types.

    I don’t own a tv (haven’t in years), but I read in many places that Clinton’s ads were mostly negative against Trump – running clips of some of the more admittedly vile things he would say and then saying: do you want THIS man to be President? Vote for ME!! Most people said Clinton offered next to nothing as to why people should vote for her, other than she wasn’t Trump. I cannot say because mercifully I saw almost no tv ads. But if that’s the case (and it seems it was), that’s really stupid. So who’s really the stupid one? The voters? Or Clinton?

  20. MED

    My vote was to get back to the Clinton’s for what they did to me personally in 1995, changed my life. Paybacks was 30+ years and a B***h. I am sure there are a few NAFTA voters also. Emails was icing.

  21. Brad

    FYI. Race-gender privilege more than class. Where this was exceptionally not true was precisely in the region that pushed Trump first past the post, the deindustrialized Upper Midwest. Yeah, yeah off-base pollsters. I think polls overestimated turnout. But this one doesn’t call the election


    Explaining nationalist political views: The case of Donald Trump
    Jonathan Rothwell, Gallup
    Pablo Diego-Rosell, Gallup
    Last revised November 2, 20161
    “The 2016 US presidential nominee Donald Trump has broken with the policies of previous Republican Party presidents on trade, immigration, and war, in favor of a more nationalist and populist platform. Using detailed Gallup survey data for 125,000 American adults, we analyze the individual and geographic factors that predict a higher probability of viewing Trump favorably. The results show mixed evidence that economic distress has motivated Trump support. His supporters are less educated and more likely
    to work in blue collar occupations, but they earn relatively high household incomes and are no less likely to be unemployed or exposed to competition through trade or immigration. On the other hand, living in racially isolated communities with worse health outcomes, lower social mobility, less social capital, greater reliance on social security income and less reliance on capital income, predicts higher levels of Trump support. We confirm the theoretical results of our regression analysis using machine learning algorithms and an extensive set of additional variables.”

    1. KnotRP

      Might as well quote Cooter: “The roof isn’t leaking. I have a study that proves it.”

      BTW, I am sadly not impressed to see the tech equivalent of lame-claim-to-fame name
      dropping arrive on this blog (“regression analysis, “machine learning algorithms”,
      “extensive set of additional variables”)….and the “extensive” phrase nearly caused an iced latte to spray all over my keyboard. Where is the machine which goes “Ping!”? GIGO

  22. Carolinian

    People Vote Their Pocketbooks–just made that up. With the addendum that the personality of the candidates certainly does make a difference since people are going to see them in their living rooms for the next four years. Obama’s Joe Cool persona has probably won over a lot of whites.

    As for

    By just about every metric imaginable, Hillary Clinton led one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history.

    Somebody tell Michael Moore and Lena Dunham. The pity party is beyond belief.

  23. craazyman

    A racist, a sexist and a dumb-ass walked into an election booth . . .

    (I’ll try to make something up here, if people are willng to suspend their disbelief and imagine three idiots together in an election booth)

    The racist said “I’m gonna vote for the white candidate”.
    The sexist said “I’m gonna vote for man.”
    The dumbass said “Youze guys are both right, I’m voting for Clinton.”

    They both looked him and said “You Dumbass, that’s Hillary Clinton and she’s a woman!”

    The Dumb-Ass said “Yeah but she’s not a black woman.”

    hahaha hahahhaha OK, it’s not that funny but it’s sort of funny.

    Identity politics I think is on its last legs. I don’t know where it started, maybe Willie Horton?

    1. integer

      A racist, a sexist, and a deplorable (non)person waited in line to vote.
      The line was one person long.
      And therefore was not a line.
      He said to himself: “I thought there would be more people here by now.”
      Then a group of liberals arrived and told him how stupid he was.

  24. John Zelnicker

    @Carolinian – “People Vote Their Pocketbooks–just made that up.”

    But, it’s true. Research has been done that indicates that a person’s economic status and more importantly, their neighbors’ economic status, at approximately 90 days prior to the election has a strong effect on whether they will vote for the incumbent party or for the challenging party in a Presidential election. Status meaning whether or not they feel like they are struggling to maintain their position or not. If they are struggling, they are more likely to vote for the challenger.

    Of course, character can make a big difference, but still.

    1. Carolinian

      Wasn’t being sarc. Of course there are other reasons but cliches have truth. In fact it seems Bill tried to get his wife to make more of an economic pitch but she listened to other advice.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @Carolinian – I didn’t think you were being sarcastic. Perhaps my wording misled. I was supporting your comment; there is empirical evidence of it.

        As to Bill’s advice, I commented elsewhere that there was inside info (from the emails, IIRC) that Bill tried to get the campaign to reach out to the working class voters who had elected him but the campaign leaders rejected the idea. They felt that Bill was not recognizing the new “demographic map” and that, as good as he had been in the past, he just wasn’t “getting it” these days.

        I opposed many of Bill Clinton’s policies, but he is one of the savviest politicians of the past 50 years.

  25. Brad

    Don’t understand why it can’t be seen that people with unconscious white supremacist biases (because racism is a Q of social structure, not individual morality), and who are disaffected, would “vote for the black guy” *precisely* because “black” == something different.

    Look at the cluster of counties in the Upper Mississippi Valley that flipped to Trump. Will bet you that these fit the bill of the Gallup study I posted: “On the other hand, living in racially isolated communities with worse health outcomes, lower social mobility, less social capital, greater reliance on social security income and less reliance on capital income, predicts higher levels of Trump support”.

    If you live somewhere where everyone is white like you, then of course you are “colorblind” to racism. Easy to do when POC are far away from you. But I’ll bet you if Trump had been stacked against Obama in 2012, even 2008, they would have never flipped in the first place. They would have gone with the “crazy-acting” Trump. He must be an alternative (and he’s white like me to boot!). That’s how white supremacy works.

    1. a different chris

      Maybe we don’t understand because that was one of the most incoherent posts I’ve ever read on this site?

      Try this: “I have a flat tire, two iMac computers and postage for a large box. That’s how a banana split works!”

      Did you understand that? Well it’s not any more screwed up than what you said.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Except the reminder of the existence of banana splits is lovely. Maybe with nuts sprinkled on top. And fake whipped creme.

  26. TheCatSaid

    Thanks for this post. On election night, TRNN producer Kim Brown disappointingly wound up the panel discussion with “This election was about racism and sexism”. Uh, no.

    The elephant in the room: we don’t know what the vote counts actually are! We only know what we’ve been told, yet we’re all trying to make sense of these unverified results–results that have as much value as rumor. Maybe they’re true, maybe not.

    This, despite Ballot Images being available even for possible inspection, even for the paperless machines. (We only discovered this possibility in the last few months.) Altering only a small percentage of results can change election outcomes. If no one bothers to inspect the Ballot Images we can’t confirm the results we were told are true.

    Analysts will turn discuss this presidential election result and “why” voters voted the way they supposedly did, without ever raising the issue of the actual vote counts. It’s taboo.

    Gore concedes–turns out election was stolen electronically & procedurally. Kerry concedes, turns out that election was stolen, too (OH was manipulated in a several ways that flipped the results, proven in Richard Hayes Phillips’ book). Same tactics continue to be used, similar red flags show up in the 2016 election.

    A few good recent links: Lee Camp with Mark Crispin Miller; Greg Palast on the impact of Crosscheck; Fraction Magic widespread secret software hidden on the central vote-counting computers in most of the USA–6 Reports and Video.

    Election Justice USA and Richard Hayes Phillips each have important information about the Democratic primary irregularities–important because we can see that the same tactics may have been used in the general election.

    Last but not least, what anyone can do about it.

    I don’t accept the accuracy of the election results. I would not have accepted the results if different people had won, either. So far we have no reason to accept the validity of the results as there is no objective reason to believe them.

    Election counts should be handled in such a way that neither “trust” nor “confidence” is required–because everything is visible and verified. Given the extensive history of election fraud in USA, until this happens I remain skeptical about reported election results.

  27. David

    Isn’t there a simple logical error at the back of all this? If you decide to vote in an election, you can only vote for one of the candidates on offer, irrespective of your precise motivation in voting. So we see a false syllogism that says:
    – some people have extreme racialist views
    – some of those people voted for Trump.
    – therefore Clinton lost because racialism.
    which is to get the argument the wrong way round, and to assume that people vote for only one reason. The fact is that you can be angry at the stupidity and venality of elites, unemployed, poor, repelled by Clinton personally and, incidentally a white supremacist, but also, incidentally many other things instead. The only way to really find out would be to have a large number of candidates, such that peoples’ votes exactly expressed their opinions and affiliations, or at least those they thought most important.

    1. Rhondda

      What’s with the “white supremacy” meme?
      It’s like all the rest of this identity crap — inflated.
      Has ‘white privilege’ now been bumped up to “white supremacy”?
      Where does old skool racism fit in? I’m so confused.
      I’d better check Facebook and see what to think.

      1. Vatch

        What’s with the “white supremacy” meme?

        I don’t know, but it seems to be important to Ajamu Baraka.

  28. curlydan

    I’m not sure what to make of Beijer’s percentages.

    For example in 2016 in his age segmentation, he shows 65+ aged voters have the lowest combined vote %s for Democrats and Republicans at 37% and then 63% of 65+ voting Other or not voting, right?

    So not only do 65+ vote less for a Democrat or a Republican than any other age group, but they’re Other/Non-Voting % at 63% is also higher than the Other/Non-Voting percentage for 18-29 year olds who are at 60%?

    Something seems off. These turnout rates are more of what I’d expected to see (data only through 2014 unfortunately)…

  29. shinola

    How about ” many of those who voted for Clinton are sexist, ignorant and/or corrupt”

    -Sexist: voting for/against anyone because of their gender is inherently sexist (and rather stupid)

    -Ignorant: as in unaware of just what neo-liberalism is and what it’s doing to this country & the rest of the world; and/or willfully blind/ignorant regarding Clinton’s criminal activities (again, rather stupid)

    -Corrupt: as in being in on the neo-liberal scheme to loot the U.S. (& rest of the world) or profiting from warmongering. (The only not-stupid reasons)

    So, Clinton voter, are you sexist or ignorant (i.e. stupid) or just plain corrupt?

    See, anyone can play this game

  30. John

    “It’s the economy, stupid!” Despite all the happy talk about the economy, Hillary was unable to understand the one thing that Billy Bob Jeff Clinton, the best Republican president since Eisenhower, understood about the Daddy Bush era. The economy sucked for a lot of people.
    A beat down burnt out female cashier at Walmart on her third part time job of the day does not care about glass ceilings. Go check it out sometime. That’s why more white women voted for Trump than Hillary. And why a lota black women didn’t show at the polls. The stench of too much Grift. No one believed Hillary’s minimum wage support.
    This is America’s unique blend of class and identity politics. When the times are good and there is plenty of money to go around, people care less about identity. When money gets scarce, any excuse to hate is good. Oligarchs have known that for a long time. Easy to divide and conquer.

  31. Karen

    Generally a good piece. Two comments:

    “So, for this talking point to be true, you have to believe that sexism simultaneously increased the male vote for Trump, yet did not increase the female vote for Clinton. Shouldn’t they move in opposite directions?”

    Um, there is plenty of research showing that women and men are BOTH sexist. In other words, that women (mostly unconsciously) buy into the same harmful stereotypes about women as men do. Particularly the belief that women should be nice and not bossy (but when men are “decisive” that’s OK).

    “Of course, Clinton ran a miserable campaign, too, which didn’t help.”

    She didn’t have the nerve to turn on her paymasters after taking their money. So of course that left her with no better strategy than to try to distract voters from HER by vilifying HIM and by trotting out all those celebrities.

  32. TarheelDem

    I don’t know about Wisconsin or Michigan and their voter ID laws, but in North Carolina it was difficult for voter election protection lawyers to keep up with the state and local tactics to suppress the vote. Even after getting a court order to restore registrations, early voting sites, and election day voting sites, individual counties tried to nullify the court order, requiring legal action against each one individually.

    Your dismissal of racism is a little bit too easy.

    By far the most important reason is that “none of the above” won.

  33. Balakirev

    I voted for Jill Stein. A friend of mine, a professor who teaches religious ethics, is a Democrat who told me I had no business voting my conscience.

    It was the old “greater evil” vs “lesser evil” argument. When, though, does a lesser evil become big enough that it can be perceived as a greater one? Answer: never, in the minds of voters who see everything in terms of desperation to prevent the horrors of an opposing party get into office.

    1. a different chris

      And point out to this professor that if you keep voting lesser evil it doesn’t take too many cycles until your voting for somebody worse than the first “greater” evil you voted against. At some point you have to say stop.

  34. bmeisen

    “Ignorant” is pretty hard. I prefer: unable to see self-respecting alternatives. Maybe some of the pathology of victimhood is involved. Odds are that those who put Trump in the White House will suffer more abuse more intensely in the not too distant future, abuse emanating from peak predators heeding the call from the Trump family to join them for the slaughter at the White House. Bush Jr, our last Potus with substantially less than the electoral 12-inch, barely hesitated to send his cheering supporters to war.

    The self-respecting alternative was not Hillary. To their credit, Trump supporters saw this. They saw neither beyond Hillary nor Trump thanks to the ideology of American exceptionalism – a propaganda campaign embraced and promulgated by both the Dems and the GOP – which they swallowed hook line and sinker.

    The play has amazingly long legs. America is great. This assertion is the bedrock of the American identity. It fences out any notion to the contrary. A degree of ignorance is required to believe it though the system does precious little to correct the error beyond allowing Michael Moore to fund and market his documentaries.

    I think change is dependent on voters abandoning the belief that America is great. Hillary was the first that I know of to publicly formulate an important premise, that the country is great because it is good, though of course many have expressed the same notion with other words. The argument starts with the claim that American culture is the synthesis and manifestation on earth of 3 universals: freedom, capitalism and democracy. Alternatives to freedom, eg solidarity, alternatives to capitalism, eg democratic socialism, alternatives to democracy, eg a democracy other than a 2-party first-past-the-post system, these alternatives are under American exceptionalism unimaginable.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Alternatives to freedom, eg solidarity, alternatives to capitalism, eg democratic socialism, alternatives to democracy, eg a democracy other than a 2-party first-past-the-post system, these alternatives are under American exceptionalism unimaginable.

      Beautifully stated.

      We’ve been fed & exposed to a tightly limited range of options for so long that it’s hard to escape the influence of the Kool-Aid, even if it’s just the fumes.

      Our options are infinite. But we’ve grown accustomed to choosing from binary options that others have pre-selected.

  35. craazyman

    whoa. my joke got mod-ed. it was the funniest joke evah. if the joke was a wall it would be bigger than the US Wall. To be built. If the joke was an asteroid it would be bigger than the asteroid that never hit anywhere between 2008 and now. Everybody who posted here said an asteroid would hit the economy and the market would crash and the euro would crash and the world would crash. Well how did that work out for ya? Now Trump’s the next Asteroid and the Liberulls are all whining and whinging and wailing. It’s incredible how funny the are.

    That’s how funny my mod-ed joke was. Jeez. What a waste of time (I mean writing dumb jokes for the PG, not reading the excellent posts) and what a double waste if you get mod-ded

    1. craazyman

      Oh never mind I just saw it! haha. It showed up! What a triple waste of time in that case. I’m heading for a 10-bagger here if I keep going.

      1. TheCatSaid

        That’s ok, keep going. It led to a banana split reference so that’s success. For example, it led to what is probably the only mention so far of banana splits in an election thread/joke. Maybe you’ll start a trend. Election + joke = banana split. Yum. Can I have one?

  36. What Elephant?

    To the list words in the English language, the use of which morphed into completely different meaning than the original (sometimes the complete opposite, e.g. “awful”) add the following: “Blame” = “SQUIRREL!!”

  37. ian

    I wonder what the number of illegally cast ballots was. I think about that and which of the two major candidates would have been more likely to be the beneficiary every time I hear the “but she won the popular vote” line.

  38. Rhondda

    Lambert, you are the man. I really appreciate your perspicacious eye, clear head and true voice. Bring on the debunkings! Give ’em hell!

  39. funemployed

    Historical constants can’t be assumed to cause historical change. Really that simple. I guess you need to be stupid to think such simple thoughts.

    1. Rhondda

      Here’s the Guardian’s pitch at the end of that Abramson screed:

      “When politicians defy belief … you need journalism that defies politicians. President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to weaken first amendment protections for reporters. He has said he will sue news organisations. He has labelled the press “dishonest” and “scum”. At times like this, free and fearless investigative journalism is never more important. The Guardian is not for dividend. We have no billionaire owner. All proceeds are reinvested in our independent journalism, which over the next four years will continue to uncover the truth, sort fact from fiction, and hold the new administration to account. Fund our journalism and together we can keep the world informed.”

      Amazing. Utterly cluelessly amazing. Please tell me it’s not going to be like this for 4 or 8 years.

      Also, their fundraising pitch sounds like it was heisted from Common Dreams.

    2. pretzelattack

      i think it was linked to, but it’s hard to remember enough to tell one vile guardian piece from another. they all blur together.

  40. Rhondda

    Just went to the Graun to see that ridiculous Jill Abramson piece and saw this: “Appointment of ‘white nationalist’ Steve Bannon must be reversed, critics declare”

    Ahh. Now I see what’s up with the “white supremacy” oogie-boogie meme above. Trolls! The question is what flavor. I’m guessing Soros or DNC. Has CTR been shut down or just re-purposed?

    Also, isn’t Steve Bannon Johnny Quest’s dad?

    1. RMO

      Roger “Race” Bannon was the pilot/bodyguard assigned to Jonny Quest’s dad (Dr. Benton Quest).

      That reminds me, I have to get the newest Venture Bros. season on DVD soon… Too bad one of the options in the election wasn’t for a Doctor Girlfriend/The Monarch White House. They would have been better choices than the GOP/Dem candidates.

  41. Richard

    None of you people seem to realize that you dodged the bullet of the most evil, corrupt, hideously malicious human being ever to run for office in the history of the United States. It’s time to forget about her and move on…

    1. different clue

      Well, I worry that she is thinking of grooming young Chelsea to run for Congress so as to keep Clintonism around for a few more decades . . . stinking up the joint and permitting the Clinton Foundation to raise more millions of dollars.

  42. GregoryA

    Frankly, you worry to much about what you think Clinton thinks. She knew she sucked as a candidate and never thought she would have a big win. Outside Ted Cruz, Trump was her best shot to win. I doubt however, she thought the single issue abortion voters could tolerate Donald Trump to vote for him in the numbers they did. If they don’t, “he” loses. Period.

    That is why she tried to expand the electoral map down south . I am sure she knew some states up north were vulnerable, but Florida and NC were going to be small, but iron victories in her campaigns minds. The economy as focus this election fell from 67% to 52% from 2012. Supreme Court voters were his largest and most vocals supporters. Even up north, they came out more than usual, why Clinton’s base up north was already not very pumped up. Turnout in Wisconsin and Minnesota was just awful. Ohio was probably unwinnable even if the labor coalition stays intact.

    Give Trump credit for not putting Christie on board. If he does, he loses. Putting Pence on there satisfied the Supreme Court voters wishes and they held their noses when they filled in “Trump”. I personally think Democrats got lucky as this cycle will be toast by 2020. Having Clinton in there would have sucked. 2008 and 2012 told me one thing, people have a tendency to cling to Democrats when the economy goes bad. That is the only way I could see Barack getting 66 million votes in 2012 and having a 54% approval rate.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Where am I worrying about what Clinton thinks? I’m worried about what the die-in-the-last-ditch Clintonites — who include major Democrat donors — are thinking. And doing.

  43. Erelis

    Going around various democratic party sites, the discussion is running about 3-to-1 that it was sexism and racism that caused Trump to win. One black commentator on CNN called it a “white lash”. The other view points are poor candidate and economic class. I would say that the identity politics version was triumphant. But there is a problem electorally which I saw starting with Bernie’s campaign which was accused of being racist and sexist by Clinton supporters. The idea took hold that “white votes don’t matter”. The view became that a coalition of “identity groups” could beat the gop without in particular white Sander supporters or white progressives. Well, we see the result. White Obama supporters declined in their support of Clinton. Hillary lost white women, and among working class women, gave Trump a 28 point edge. Sort of insane really. Trump won the class and gender war.

  44. charles leseau

    I really dislike the “don’t care” and “apathy” judgements as catchalls for people who don’t vote. If one chooses either not to endorse or legitimize a system they feel is corrupt and thus boycotts it, or feels neglected and unrepresented and withholds their vote out of disgust, these aren’t the same things as indifference. I boycott several corporations because of their odious global hanky panky, and it’s not because I’m apathetic about them.

  45. dpfaef

    The truth is that Clinton was picked to run for President 8 years ago. Bernie should have gotten the nomination. Our memories are short after the 2008 primary Clinton came off as bat sh*t crazy, She should never have been allowed to run.

    Donald Trump is also bat sh*t crazy but he told ppl he would drain the swamp. Anyone who has any sense knows that will never happen. He is just going to fill the swamp with his creatures. And stop trying to tell me he is.

    Accept the fact that only half of the voting public voted and of that only a quarter of the people either voted for Trump or Clinton which is not a mandate. 50% of the people don’t give a damn why should I?

    We are so disrespectful of what we have, I am ashamed to be an American. I don’t care why Hilary lost, I sort of care that The Donald won, but I sure don’t want to spend anymore time trying to figure out way she lost,

    1. different clue

      ” Not allowed”? “Not allowed” by whom? Since she was THE voice of Wall Street Obamanism after Obama, who would dare “not allow” her to run for nomination?

  46. Michael C.

    I agreed with most of the article, but not this:

    “The trick will be to integrate multiple causes, and that’s down to the left; identity politics liberals don’t merely not want to do this; they actively oppose it.”

    The trick will be, first, not to rely on tricks; and, second, to actually stand for something, something that benefits the mass of Americans, the working, class and the poor, and no longer holds them in a patronizing contempt.

  47. us

    As a great experienced political fighter, Hillary Clinton was focused on early knockout on Nov 8 by early poll closing on east coast. Pgate agenda was used since Billy Bush tape release in many Clinton Ads till Nov 8. Comey impact awash at best, no real data to support it. Best to blame Comey and not Pgate Ads for loss. Turnoff kicked in towards Hillary !
    Total PC on her part. Sorry Comey… Bye 2017? KISS for DC.

    1. Yves Smith

      Huh? I suggest you get a better handle on facts before theorizing.

      The first poll to close was Indiana, a red state, and North Carolina, a key swing state where results were expected to be close, was next.

      Even though Eastern states have a time zone advantage, the ones with large blue cities have 9PM poll closing times.

  48. dw

    so some black people may not have voted. could mean they couldnt vote (rule changes made it so that they no longer. could also be that they didnt believe they could and that was based on what was in the media). so if they didnt vote, it could be because they didnt have an interest or because they werent allowed to,

  49. DJ

    Thanks for the article. I am, have been for decades and will always be opposed to Trump and Trump values (or worthlessness, depending on how you define ‘values’) and will never acknowledge him as a “real” president. Just like more than half the country that does not and will likely never support him, I too dream big, in fact I dream huge, that something, anything, no matter how silly it may be, may cause him to not be a president. Regardless of who you voted for, people pretty much fall into two groups, either for Trump or against Trump. As for those of us who are against Trump, the fact is we read these articles in hopes to find some tiny ray of hope that he will somehow turn out to be a bad dream, even if it’s silly to think that would actually happen. Of course if I won the lottery, was stuck by lightning or Trump doesn’t become a president, I would initially be very happy but then must face the scary thought of who would take his place – I have to give him credit for making sure he is probably the lesser of the evils that could be in power for the next four years, at least through the eyes of those like me that want to use Adam Sandler’s remote control from the movie ‘Click’ to fast forward. The truth is humans learn from our mistakes and if Trump turns out to be a mistake for all those that support him, it’s something the rest of us just have to go through with them until the lesson is learned. As for many of us that don’t support him, we never will, even if he brings jobs and does other things that may be positive – to many of us that oppose Trump it isn’t about Democrats vs Republicans or political differences, it’s simply that the guy is a violation of our moral beliefs and values and we simply cannot and will not give an once of loyalty to something like him just like you would never tell Christians to personally perform abortions or to tell a heterosexual man to marry another man.

    I didn’t have to write all of this but felt it necessary to adequately thank you for the article. By providing some details of my views it will hopefully shed light on where I’m coming from and where I hope we are headed and that the approach you’re using is going in that direction. I haven’t fact checked your information but at the very least I can appreciate that we need to stop talking about myth and start looking for facts so we are all very educated to make rational and positive decisions in the coming years because we all want the same thing, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that includes Trump as a citizen but I prefer not as president!

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