February 23, 2016

The political scientist's idea that the reason the GOP elite didn't stop Trump is because they bought into the political science that said Trump couldn't win.

An interesting column in WaPo by Dan Drezner that relies heavily on a (somewhat iffy) analogy to the declining success of pitch framing in baseball. It used to work for a catcher to position himself to make a ball look like a strike, but then baseball analysts observed and explained the phenomenon, and the umpires — made aware — stopped letting the catchers fool them into calling strikes.

How does the analogy work? Political scientists correspond to the baseball analysts. The GOP elite corresponds to the umpires. That's a bit off, because in baseball there really is a strike zone and the umpire knows he's supposed to see where it really is, and the positioning of the catcher's mitt is not a proper factor in the decision. The umpires understood that they were doing their job wrong and managed to exclude the distraction.

In the primary, what corresponds to the truth of the strike zone and the need for the umpire not to be influenced by something that shouldn't play a part in his decision-making? In baseball, the strike zone is the position of the ball as it crosses the plate in relation to the batter's body, so I guess the strike zone is the position of the voter's head on election day in relation to a particular candidate.

But the GOP elite is only trying to predict where that head will be, not calling it as it happens, and it is trying to influence the voter's mind by spending money and making various arguments. Drezner's point is that the GOP elite didn't spend enough and attack Trump enough because they were fooled into thinking the voter's mind on election day wouldn't be anywhere near voting for Trump.

Drezner makes some sense, even though the analogy is off. What if the political scientists had done better analysis and shown that Trump in fact had an excellent chance? The GOP elite would, the theory goes, have seen the need to attack Trump with great force. But the GOP elite isn't like the umpire. The umpire can start to see the ball where it really is and start calling balls and strikes correctly. The GOP elite, with better political science analysis, would know it doesn't like where the voter's head is, but it couldn't solve the problem by stating the correct location. Unlike an umpire, it has a preference in the election/game. It wants to change the location of those heads.

I think if the GOP elite had the power to move those heads, we'd be seeing powerfully effective anti-Trump ads by now. Where are they? 

90 comments:

Brando said...

I think they never had the power to stop him. What could they have done? More ads? It's not like Trump supporters are unaware of the man's defects.

The only thing they could have done differently is embraced Trump from the beginning, so he no longer would have been running against the "establishment". But considering Trump's supporters, they would even see this as proof of how an outsider can take over the establishment.

hombre said...

The GOP elite may fear Cruz more than Trump. With Trump out, the malcontents might go for Cruz. Quite a dilemma.

At least Trump is a crony capitalist, so there is hope there. And then, there is the corrupt Hillary as a backup.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Maybe the GOP elite is having trouble calling balls and strikes because of where their own heads are located. It's awfully dark in there.

Nonapod said...

What the GOP has done or failed to do regarding Trump is a direct result of a bad assumption, that assumption being that the environment (or paradigm or whatever) hasn't changed drastically since 2008 or 2012. In a 'normal' election period, yes, a character like Trump probably wouldn't have had a chance in the long run.

At any rate, I agree with Brando that there's nothing the GOP could do or can do to stop him at this point.

Carol said...

It's rather of unseemly to run ads attacking someone ostensibly running under your own party's banner. 11th Commandment and all.

It's been entertaining listening to the local GOP leaders, first dropping Bush's name, then cagily switching to Rubio. Leadership by conference call, I think.

Last week I overheard a bitter rant about Trump from a local moneybags. He's a bully etc. We politely listen - why argue? I think to myself, this is what we get for being so cavalier about immigration and offshoring. Just deserts!



damikesc said...

I think they never had the power to stop him. What could they have done? More ads? It's not like Trump supporters are unaware of the man's defects.

Yeah. I saw a report that about 7% of PAC spending was used to attack Trump. If 5 times that amount was spent, I doubt anything changes.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

The metaphor is a bit strained (at least as I understand it) but it seems clear that the reason Trump wasn't attacked was because they thought he'd self destruct and/or drop out. Why use resources against someone who will be gone in a month? Nobody - well other than Trump - is attacking Carson for similar reasons.

Instead of attacking Trump they should have tried to co-opt his message, his appeal. But that's hard to do since the man is the message. Plus it's clear they didn't want to alienate his supporters any more than they are already alienated. Going after Trump risks turning his supporters off against you.

Anyway, what kind of attacks can work against him anyway? Nothing works.



robother said...

Political advertising is most effective in trying to brand (or better, attack the brand) of a new product, e.g., a State governor or Senator who is running for national office for the first time.

Trump was immune to negative advertising or media-created "controversy" in a way that other first timers weren't because he had spent decades creating a public brand, a big part of which involved saying politically incorrect things.

Professional political consultants who couldn't see that seem pretty stupid. But remember we're talking about people who have figured out how to get paid $14 million while achieving virtually nothing for Jeb Bush. They obviously have a rare talent for something I could never do.

tds said...

They lost at the moment they laughed off The Wall as nonsense. What are they going to do now? Air ads saying Marco Rubio's wall will be 100ft taller than Trump's? LOL. Ignore voters and this is how it ends

mtrobertslaw said...

Maybe the GOP establishment is convinced that a blizzard of "powerfully" negative anti-Trump ads will only drive his numbers up. So they are left with only two option: do nothing, or rely on the law of opposites and run positive ads hoping they will drive his numbers down.

rehajm said...

Many GOP voter's minds were made up after the last presidential cycle. They lost then because they backed a lousy campaigner, or so they said.

Well, they're backing a great campaigner now.

Paddy O said...

Trump rose almost entirely on a single issue: immigration. The Establishment failed by entirely dismissing the views of their constituents on this issue. They were willing for their own voters to be labeled as racists or such. They were protecting a different constituency, and showed derision for those who actually made up the bulk of the party.

What they could have done was let out the steam of this issue in some key ways. But they chose to let the steam build and then burst, with Trump capitalizing on his entire lack of need to get support from party leaders. He could get called a racist or a buffoon or any number of other names and just keep on going. So, he got to be the scapegoat that rallied many others around him.

The Establishment were dependent on people only being committed to team rivalries, and not being attentive to the owners who are colluding on cheating everyone else for the sake of their own personal gain.

Paddy O said...

The Establishment is also entirely clueless about how the media also conspires to create narratives and magnify those they think will best help the media's goals. The Republican cluelessness in handling the media goes back a long, long ways. The media highlighting, boosting, covering, magnifying Trump is something the Republican's once again underestimated and ignored.

Gusty Winds said...

Political Science has proven itself to be as much of a science as Climate Science and Alchemy.

Brando said...

I also don't think it's up to "the party" to stop any candidate, no matter how repugnant. We have primaries and caucuses instead of party bosses in smoke filled rooms for a reason. The only thing the party should be doing right now is ensuring that campaigns abide by the rules and play fair, and working to build apparatus for the general election. If the voters stick them with a mess like Trump, then that's how the ball bounces.

As for the other candidates and their backers, there's just not much they could have done. You either catch fire or you don't. It didn't help to have over a dozen candidates crowding each other's message though.

damikesc said...

I don't doubt that. I certainly thought he had no chance of doing anything, would get bored, and then quit.

I refuse to underestimate him further.

I view the GOP Establishment as the Allies pre-WW II. They could've stopped the Nazis easily early on, but didn't do so. Then they got overwhelmed.

Rubio does Trump's schtick and he likely wins primaries. As it is, he won't and, should he win the nomination, will get obliterated over his abortion views by Hillary. I asked, for a while, why nobody is trying to mimic his policy proposals. Nobody really did.

Steve Uhr said...

I still think the powers behind the curtain will figure out a way to stop Trump.

Henry said...

Or, writes Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs, "maybe what we’re seeing is just randomness somewhat taking over."

Sebastian said...

"I think if the GOP elite had the power to move those heads, we'd be seeing powerfully effective anti-Trump ads by now. Where are they?" You are correct: they have neither the power nor the desire to "move heads."

Nor do they have a clue: they had no clue about discontent on illegal immigration, nor about media narratives, nor about debate structure, nor . . . Don't attribute to honest miscalculation what you can ascribe to simple incompetence. It is the more parsimonious explanation.

But I suspect the dirty secret is that the elite hate Cruz more than Trump. Trump is slightly to their left and will be willing to deal. Cruz is far to the right and is an "ideologue" etc. Plus Trump's key plank is to force illegals out to let them all back in legally. Supposing Trump will go far, after a little schmoozing with Chamber of Commerce types, the elite will persuade him that the pushing out part is just a cumbersome cost, and he can get legalization more cheaply without the hassle. In return they will give him a down payment on a bigger wall, while they wish him good luck in negotiating with Mexico. Problem solved.

Mark Jones said...

"I also don't think it's up to "the party" to stop any candidate, no matter how repugnant. We have primaries and caucuses instead of party bosses in smoke filled rooms for a reason. The only thing the party should be doing right now is ensuring that campaigns abide by the rules and play fair, and working to build apparatus for the general election. If the voters stick them with a mess like Trump, then that's how the ball bounces."

Good luck with that. The GOPe is peopled with people whose raison d'etre (as part of the "ruling class") is precisely to make decisions for the unwashed masses, because they--by virtue of being in the ruling class--know better. That's how they run the government, which is explicitly NOT supposed to do anything other than play umpire. Why on earth would they show any more restraint in their own party?

Steve M. Galbraith said...

I view the GOP Establishment as the Allies pre-WW II. They could've stopped the Nazis easily early on, but didn't do so. Then they got overwhelmed.

I don't see how they could have stopped him early on. Not without a single leading candidate to rally around or use. And what's the message?

Part of their problem was the splintering of the field. There wasn't - still isn't - a single candidate to use as a foil.

All of the usual tactics simply don't work with Trump. We've seen these absurd statements; if his own supporters won't turn against him I don't see how an outside message would have worked.

rhhardin said...

It's cricket.

Bay Area Guy said...

Good article, basically right. But, it's not just the GOP elite -- that's too easy a bogeyman.

It's also a segment of clueless GOP voters (not Trump voters), who stood on the sidelines, or went from Huckabee to Carly to Carson, and couldn't identify and consolidate around a viable candidate who could win. Trump exploited this splintering very well.

The bottom line is that Trump is winning fair and square. If for whatever you oppose Trump in the General, that just means you're pro-Hillary.

I say this as a Rubio primary supporter, who will vote Rubio, Cruz or Trump in the General without a solitary qualm.

rhhardin said...

There's a hidden hand behind the certain.

John Tuffnell said...

"Donald at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic[an] Primary Sung in the Year 2016"

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Establishment that day;
the score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Christie died at first, and Jeb! did the same,
a sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

Etc etc

rhhardin said...

Trump is winning because the establishment is offering suck puppets.

damikesc said...

All of the usual tactics simply don't work with Trump. We've seen these absurd statements; if his own supporters won't turn against him I don't see how an outside message would have worked.

They could've tried mockery instead of indignation. Nobody cares if a politician has hurt feelings. They don't want somebody demanding apologies since everybody asks for them for everything anyway. They want somebody who will fight back.

That so many of the smaller candidates, such as Lindsay Graham, seemed legitimately upset about what he was doing didn't help the establishment.

When he made his comments about McCain's heroism, instead of being shocked, McCain could've just replied "Apparently, Trump's idea of 'being a hero' involves a deferment".

When he discussed building a wall, having one of the establishment types run with "But he'll have openings for his hotels and properties for the illegals he hires".

"Our negotiators are terrible".
"Yes, that's true. We should hire your bankruptcy lawyers. They've done amazing work for you over the years".

They just saying "you should apologize". Why should he? Because he hurt McCain's feelings? Screw that. They could've mocked him and made him a joke. Instead, they acted like whiny bitches and NOBODY respects whiny bitches. It falls under the "Why can't male feminists get laid?" problem.

damikesc said...

I say this as a Rubio primary supporter, who will vote Rubio, Cruz or Trump in the General without a solitary qualm.

I'm a Cruz guy and I'll happily say the top three on the GOP side would all be worlds better than either of the Dems.

Terry said...

First, a definition.
The GOP elite is the donor class and the GOP politicians and analysts who believe that appealing to the donor class is priority one.

By focusing on the donor class, the GOP elite guarantees that conservatives will always come in second in control of the federal government. And in a two party system, coming in second means coming in last.

Bay Area Guy said...

More likely than not, Trump is gonna clean up on Super Tuesday, just as he did in NH, just as he did in SC.

The GOP should make arrangements, not to try to stop him, but to embrace him and ride the Donald wave.

Whether Trump can beat Hillary in November is a separate question. I think Rubio runs better against Hllary. But, obviously, if Rubio can't beat Trump in the primaries, the point is moot.

Learnin' to Love the Donald! (But, for now, Go Rubio!)

traditionalguy said...

We are talking Negative Ads slandering a candidate here.

As a trial lawyer I can add the missing link to this puzzle. Slander works magic on weak minded scared people who are the majority. But they take signals from Opinion Leaders in the community. And once the opinion leaders know a good man for 30 years it is too late to slander him.

I have experienced trials where expert trial lawyers tried horrible sounding slanders to no effect at all except making the Judge and jury foreman angry at them. Because the man they were destroying was known as a good man.

After the trial the losers said somebody had bribed the Judge and the Jury...they could not see what happened because they believed their own story.

That is my warning not to let the Cruz and Beck super conservatives poison your minds.

Brando said...

"Part of their problem was the splintering of the field. There wasn't - still isn't - a single candidate to use as a foil."

I recall an article suggesting that Jeb Bush is really the reason things went this way. In past years, the GOP has an early front runner acceptable to moderates, who then spends the primary season making nice with conservatives enough to take a majority in the early primaries, suck up the money, and knock out challengers to the right and middle. Normally, this would be a former VP pick, or the last cycle's second place finisher, or (as Ryan didn't run and Santorum was nonviable) a Bush. But Jeb early on was wary of pivoting too much to the right in the primaries, because he was worried that would hurt him against Hillary in the general election, and this limited his appeal so much he left an opening when Trump jumped in.

I don't know if I buy that theory--I think this year there is a groundswell against GOP defeats--sort of a "revolution of rising expectations", not because the GOP was trounced at the polls (like 1964, 0r 1974) but because despite winning Congress could not seem to stop a lot of what Obama did and during the Bush years did a lot that betrayed the base. Hence, two of the top candidates (Trump and Cruz) are rejections of business as usual, and even the "establishment" pick is Rubio, who ran as a Tea Party pick against establishment backed Charlie Crist (who of course Trump supported, but hey consistency is for little people).

damikesc said...

That is my warning not to let the Cruz and Beck super conservatives poison your minds.

Beck is a clown.

Cruz is the best option for President.

Brando said...

"They could've tried mockery instead of indignation. Nobody cares if a politician has hurt feelings. They don't want somebody demanding apologies since everybody asks for them for everything anyway. They want somebody who will fight back."

That hits the nail on the head. I've been repulsed by Trump throughout but the weak-willed responses of his opponents and pundits is very "beta male". Don't complain, strike back with the same mockery he uses. A draft dodger mocks a guy who withstood torture? How can you not mock that? A failed businessman claiming he'll make America great again? A longtime Clinton supporter who brags he got her to come to his wedding? This is the ultimate glass house dwelling stone thrower and all I saw were limp responses. Maybe one good thing to come out of this cycle is teaching candidates to cut the high-minded crap.

Bay Area Guy said...

@damikesc

I'm a Cruz guy and I'll happily say the top three on the GOP side would all be worlds better than either of the Dems.

Cruz is fine, and runs nearly tied with Hillary in the General. He should have gotten more credit in Iowa for opposing ethanol subsidies, yet still winning.

Cruz can win an honest debate against Trump. In a bar fight, though, Trump probably wins.

mezzrow said...

If Drezner is right, in two months we won't be talking about the elite being clueless over Republicans voting for Trump. Instead, we'll making the same argument over Democrats voting for Trump.

If Drezner is right this time. He's been right before and he's been wrong before, just like a lot of other really smart guys who are good with words.

Bay Area Guy said...

Top Responses in Gallup Poll re Sanders and Clinton:

For Sanders, the top response is "Socialist."

For Clinton, the top response is "Dishonest."

I love this!

I just hope the splintered GOP factions can unite, after the internecine battle, against one of these Democrat clowns.

damikesc said...

I recall an article suggesting that Jeb Bush is really the reason things went this way. In past years, the GOP has an early front runner acceptable to moderates, who then spends the primary season making nice with conservatives enough to take a majority in the early primaries, suck up the money, and knock out challengers to the right and middle. Normally, this would be a former VP pick, or the last cycle's second place finisher, or (as Ryan didn't run and Santorum was nonviable) a Bush. But Jeb early on was wary of pivoting too much to the right in the primaries, because he was worried that would hurt him against Hillary in the general election, and this limited his appeal so much he left an opening when Trump jumped in.

I have doubts because I can't think of a MODERATE who was calling for Bush to run. No conservative media outlet was for him. He was filling a need that didn't need filling. When it was obvious, well before he announced, that nobody was really clamoring for him to run should've been the first sign that there was a big problem. I'd also argue getting SO MUCH MONEY hurt him badly --- to get that much money, you have to do things that your base is not going to like.

It was splintered because the party was and is horribly splintered. The donors want one thing, the base does not want that and given that the base seems to lose frequently, payback was inevitable.

Jeb would've been wise to not waste his time running and support somebody. Non-candidate Bush supporting somebody would've given the Establishment way more power than a waste-of-time-Bush-campaign.

tim in vermont said...

The only way to stop Trump, and it is probably too late now, is to clear the field before the voters get a chance to speak, the way the Democrats and donor class cleared the field for Hillary, allowing her to crush Bernie, which she will.

mccullough said...

The best catchers can still fool an ump by pitch framing. Posey and Yadier Molina are masters at it. Unfortunately none of our political scientists or politicians are as good at their jobs as Posey and Molina. Excellence is rare

tim in vermont said...

The problem is that Hillary gets a chance to roll her eyes at a socialist, softening her edge, while not genuinely concerned that he can win, which would force her waay left of where she wants to be for the general.

Gusty Winds said...

GOP Elite Trump Attack Ad:

"Hi. We're the GOP Elite. At the same time we've been looking down our noses at you, and taking your support for granted, we have also had our heads up our asses. Guess we were just to busy enjoying the fruits grown in Capitol city, attending politically incestuous weddings, and getting drunk at the Gridiron dinner.

Sorry about all those jobs we let go over seas, and all the cheap labor and Democrat votes we let flood over the border. The guys that pay our bills can't survive paying people a livable wage so we need some imports. I'm sure you understand and have enjoyed the $5 Wal-Mart T-Shirts.

We promise we have now heard you. We weren't taking you seriously before. If you promise to give us just one more chance, will cut taxes in some symbolically meaningful, but monetarily insignificant way. And we'll send Bill Kristol and George Will over to your house to cut your lawn.

Remember, Trump is an asshole. We're just pussies."

Terry said...

Any conservative who heard Obama's remarks re closing Gauntanamo today and does not believe that Obama and his acolytes must be defeated at any cost is an f'n idiot. The man openly despises democracy and political accountability. Obama seems to think that the argument against closing Guantanamo is fear that the inmates will escape from prison in the United States. The man is a horse's ass. He was promoted beyond his abilities when he was a crooked state senator in Illinois.

tim in vermont said...

That is my warning not to let the Cruz and Beck super conservatives poison your minds.

Don't forget Mark Levin. That guy is doing Cruz more harm than good by far.

Brando said...

"I have doubts because I can't think of a MODERATE who was calling for Bush to run. No conservative media outlet was for him. He was filling a need that didn't need filling. When it was obvious, well before he announced, that nobody was really clamoring for him to run should've been the first sign that there was a big problem. I'd also argue getting SO MUCH MONEY hurt him badly --- to get that much money, you have to do things that your base is not going to like. "

Yeah, I think the theory in the article was that Jeb occupied the position of the front runner but failed to fulfill it. There just wasn't a natural constituency for him.


"It was splintered because the party was and is horribly splintered. The donors want one thing, the base does not want that and given that the base seems to lose frequently, payback was inevitable."

Also, the "base" is really several distinct parts--the religious right, the libertarian right, the foreign policy interventionists, the cultural conservatives--and all of them overlap to some extent. It's rare for someone to cover all of that seamlessly, and usually it means some compromise and pandering to varying effect. But I think the anger over the difference between expectations and results over the past two decades--covering the Bush years as well as Obama's--caused a real boiling point with the usual strategy.

mccullough said...

Only 26% of eligible voters identify as Republicans (29% for Dems).

You'd have to say the national parties for each are doing a bad job.

traditionalguy said...

Damikesc...Cruz is a fine lawyer Texas style. But he is learning the hard way that it is too late to lie about Trump. Everybody knows him by now. And it is also too late to lie about Kasoch in Ohio. Maybe Rubio can be horribly accused of creative slanders.

TeddyBallgame had better restrategize and try the Real Authentic Strategy. But that requires he make friends who have known him for 30 years and will vouch they KNOW him to be a good man.

mccullough said...

W, Delay, Hastert, Boehner, and McConnell ruined the GOP at the national level, just as Obama, Hillary, Pelosi and Reid ruined the Dems at the national level. Some good GOP at the state and local level. And some good Dem as well.

The state GOPs should get together with the state Dems should get together and start pushing a constitutional amendment on term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court. 12 years is long enough term and should apply across all three branches of federal government. Also ban them, their staffs, and their family members and spouses from ever directly or indirectly lobbying ever. And make any federal regulation that imposes a cost of more than $1 billion be subject to a veto by a majority of governors.

Terry said...

Just as Obama runs the United States as though it is Chicago, Cruz wants to run the United States as though it is Texas.

Fabi said...

Gusty Winds for the win! Well done.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Donald at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic[an] Primary Sung in the Year 2016"

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Establishment that day;
the score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Christie died at first, and Jeb! did the same,
a sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

Etc etc

Excellent -- But the establishment wants Trump to lose. It should be Rubio at the bat.

But Cruz preceded Marco, as did also Gov'nor K,
And the former practiced voodoo, while the latter had no play;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Marco Rubio at the bat.

Bruce Hayden said...

Someone above suggested that a big part of this is immigration. And, I think that is part of it. We know why the Dems want a lot of illegal immigration - for the future votes. Indeed, this week DoJ lawyers are in court trying to explain why they are doing a deal with several liberal organizations that are opposing a federal board from agreeing with states that want to make people prove that they are legally entitled to vote there. Instead of doing their job, and supporting the elections agency, they are doing just the opposite, not supporting the agency, not allowing it to hire their own lawyers, etc. Supposedly, they are supposed to answer the judge today on why that isn't a conflict of interest, etc. Sorry for the rant - but turning illegals into voters is a high priority with the Dems right now. The question though is why did the Republican establishment hire onto this scheme to increase Dem voters. And, I think that it turns out that a big part of that is the deal to increase H1B visas along with giving illegals amnesty. But, a large number of Republicans have opposed this. And, this has been going on for a couple years now - as evidenced by the Republican House Majority leader, who was a heavy backer of giving Dems more votes (by agreeing to amnesty, etc.), losing his primary, and, thus, his job. This just doesn't happen - but it did. Even after Cantor's loss, they were still trying to get "comprehensive immigration reform" through Congress.

Trump saw this, and probably Cruz. The more the Republican establishment pushed this, the more Republicans went into open revolt. And, then that establishment tried to push through candidates who were in favor of immigration "reform", such as Bush, and, to some extent, Rubio. Now, Trump has come out and said that he would prosecute her for mishandling classified emails (and hopefully for public corruption, for trading monies to her husband and their foundation for foreign policy) if elected. That is another hot button with the rank and file Republicans, though not so much with its establishment, presumably because if she is prosecuted, then they and their friends risk that if they ever get back in power.

Richard Dolan said...

"But the GOP elite isn't like the umpire."

Yes, including the fact that an umpire is one person, and there is no difficulty in understanding how he makes his call (right or wrong). The "GOP elite" is an amorphous amalgam, and its members (however defined) are all over the lot in terms of interests, ambitions, agendas, etc., and some of them supported Trump. It was a classic problem in group dynamics, where everyone who was against Trump had an interest in attacking him early on but had a greater interest in attacking someone else early on.

"Drezner's point is that the GOP elite didn't spend enough and attack Trump enough because they were fooled into thinking the voter's mind on election day wouldn't be anywhere near voting for Trump."

Yes, indeed, hindsight remains much clearer than foresight.

damikesc said...

Just as Obama runs the United States as though it is Chicago, Cruz wants to run the United States as though it is Texas.

I can think of far worse things than the US being as if it was Texas.

Terry said...

damikesc-
The point is that Cruz is not a big believer in federalism, or if he is, he hasn't shown it.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If the Trump supporters think the Republicans "let the jobs go overseas" then they really are too ignorant to try to be reasoned with.

"Let the jobs go overseas"? Like they belonged to the US government? Manufacturing jobs from across Europe and the West went to Asia; it wasn't just the US. And they didn't go because someone "let them go."



Michael K said...

Professional political consultants who couldn't see that seem pretty stupid. But remember we're talking about people who have figured out how to get paid $14 million while achieving virtually nothing for Jeb Bush.

The GOP has lost its common sense the past 25 years. The Democrats are no better and both will be hit hard by Trump this fall.

I have a 35 year old daughter who is very well educated but not in math or economics. She has been a Bernie supporter. My wife gave her a copy I printed off of this Peggy Noonan column in the WSJ.

She called her mother yesterday to say how impressed she is with that column.

I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms.

Back in the 60s California had elections that allowed both parties to vote in primaries. It was possible to win both primaries.

I think Trump may get a huge number of Democrat votes. The Hillary Democrats are as clueless as the JEB Republicans. He will draw from both parties.

It is certainly an interesting year.

gadfly said...

Well, we still don't know who is right and who is wrong and until Trump first wins the GOP nomination and then the Presidency, we still won't know. But winning isn't everything and we must always remember the old saw: "Be careful what you wish for . . . ."

Terry said...

Steve M Galbraith wrote:
"Let the jobs go overseas"? Like they belonged to the US government? Manufacturing jobs from across Europe and the West went to Asia; it wasn't just the US. And they didn't go because someone "let them go."
And yet the Chinese worked very hard to successfully bring those jobs to China from overseas. I imagine they take full credit for it.
How can Americans complain when their employer makes them train an H1B to take their job? They weren't their jobs to begin with.

PB said...

Political science isn't science.

Anglelyne said...

Michael K: It is certainly an interesting year.

Re-alignment, mes amis, re-alignment. Not the beginning of the end, not the end of the beginning, but the beginning of the beginning.

tim in vermont said...

Michael K: It is certainly an interesting year.

Halloween is going to be epic!

rcocean said...

I've always found Drezner to be a tedious windbag who says nothing that's not conventional and/or elitist.

I doubt many Establishment guys care what Political Scientists say. They're more interested in what Karl Rove and their well paid Consultants say.

And that's why they couldn't stop Trump. They were listening to Karl Rove, Steve Wilson, and Mike Murphy. Out-of-touch experts who are more wrong than right.

Eric said...

Political science isn't science.

That was my first thought. He has a degree in a field which put "science" in the name of its degrees because otherwise nobody would guess it's a science. And nobody really believes it anyway.

Politics is far more complicated than baseball, and anyone who thinks he's going to Sabermetrics his way into office should think again.

Terry said...

Eric wrote:
"That was my first thought. He has a degree in a field which put "science" in the name of its degrees because otherwise nobody would guess it's a science. And nobody really believes it anyway."

The idealist philosopher G.R.G Mure, in a footnote to an observation that some believed the key to entering a peaceful and moral age was the advancement of the social sciences to the level of prestige enjoyed by the natural sciences:

Very distinguished men of science have voiced that view, forgetting that the psychological and social sciences, if they really are sciences, are per se just as amoral as their natural sisters or as mathematics, just as useful a basis of information for brainwashing and the enslavement of men’s minds by propaganda as for the promotion of psychical and social health. Mein Kampf and Das Kapital are full of good hints for the social scientist. If it is morally right that man should take the risk of acquiring all possible power, then the psychological and social sciences, if they can enable prediction and action, have the same claim on our attention as the other sciences; but to suppose that they par excellence can teach us self-control and fortitude, wisdom and compassion, or provide us with some equally effective synthetic substitute, is the very stupidest confusion of the economic with the moral. It is genuinely tragic, though history offers many parallels, to watch science, which in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries was the most powerful of weapons against obscurantism and tyranny, become the dominant superstition of the the twentieth.

Eric said...

The problem with that idea is the "social sciences" don't really "enable prediction and action". You'd learn far more about human nature selling used cars and playing poker for four years than you could every hope to learn in academia.

Terry said...

Eric-
Mure was writing in the 1950s. His point was that even if they could control and predict human behavior, they still could not determine what was and what was not moral.

The Godfather said...

The table was set for Tromp by the Republican leadership in the House and Senate in 2015. The public (mostly Republican) revolted against the excesses of Obama and his minions in Congress and gave complete control of the legislative branch to the Republicans. And the Republicans punted. That was classic business-as-usual politics. "We can't roll back Obamacare and all the other terrible Obamathings we've been bitching about in our election campaigns, as long as there's a Democrat as preident, and if we try we'll be accused of trying to shut down the government, etc. Also, we'll risk our majorities in the next, 2016, election, particularly in the marginal states and districts. So we'll just play small ball until after the 2016 election, and a Republican is elected president, and then we'll go to town."

But the "People", particularly the Republican people, hadn't voted for business as usual: They'd voted for change, and they didn't get it. People who had voted for McCain and Romney, and had been disappointed, weren't ready to vote for someone, anyone, who seemed to represent business as usual. They were looking for someone who shared their revulsion at politics as usual. And into that environment came Tromp.

Our local (Raleigh, NC) paper had a column today or yesterday comparing Tromp to Hitler. I think that was in the fifth paragraph, and that's where I stopped reading. That kind of comparison is incredibly ignorant and offensive. But there is this grain of truth to the idea: The incompetence of the German Weimar Republic Government (read Germany Tried Democracy (available at Amazon through the Althouse portal http://www.amazon.com/Germany-Tried-Democracy-William-Halperin/dp/0393002802/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456287277&sr=1-1&keywords=germany+tried+democracy) did create the environment in which Hitler flourished. People want their government to address their concerns and respect their aspirations -- and to appear to take them seriously. If legitimate government ignores the People's concerns, that creates a vacuum that can be filled by someone who would, in other circumstances, be considered unacceptable.

I believe the best outcome would be for Rubio to rise to the front of the pack and become the GOP presidential nominee. Otherwise, we'll face the choice between Hillary!, Sanders, or Biden, and Tromp.

Lem said...
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Lem said...
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rcommal said...

Oh, for fuck's sake:

Trump's ahead because he's been getting more votes when and where it counted.

Lem said...

The analogy would work better with Trump as a batter whose stance at the plate leads everybody to believe he can't possibly hit a major league baseball safely.

Once in awhile a batter pops up who not only proceeds to hit safely, but above 300, while, again, confounding everybody, analysts and fans alike, by changing his batting stance with distressing regularity. All caught on tape.

Link

That's just not supposed to happen!

rcommal said...

Ironically, though I never voted for Bill Clinton myself, James Carville nailed something when he wrote, "The economy, stupid."

How that got reconciled with shipping endless numbers of jobs, not to mention industries, overseas, I can't see why I ought bother to tell ya. What a waste of time.

rcommal said...

Lem: Make no mistake about it, I am not a Trump-nominee doubter-slash-panicker, and nor have I been for ye a whole number of months now. You are profoundly mistaken if you think otherwise.

Even now, I'm a pretty good reader, especially when it comes to writings on walls.

rcommal said...

I don't buy that sort of "it's not supposed to happen!" sort of crap, Lem. Never have. Still don't. Never will.

That sort of not buying has served me well my entire life, and I expect it will for the rest of my remaining life, no matter how short or not.

rcommal said...

Also, just to give too many here a great glow of inner gratification on account of being right:

Here's how I will and will not vote

Sammy Finkelman said...

that Donald Trump, in fact, got less than 45% or 46% of the vote in Nevada that's being reported.

If you look at the results:

http://patch.com/us/across-america/2016-nevada-gop-caucus-results-donald-trump-still-hot-0

Donald Trump: 46%
Marco Rubio: 24%
Ted Cruz: 21%
Ben Carson: 5%
John Kasich: 4%

You wll see that they add up to 100%.

But they shouldn't!

Eleven (11) candidates were on the ballots that were handed out, and people definitely voted for some candidates who dropped out.

You have to assume Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and others got at least 15% combined. That changes Donald Trump's total of 46% to 40%. He does poll higher in Nevada.

Marco Rubio was on CBS's This Morning and said that 55% of Republicans didn't vote for Donald Trump. That's really more like 60%. That's approximately where we've been all this time.

As for not running commercials - what they need to do is run commercials against are the ideas about immigration and amnesty - and the non-difficulty of screening refugees also - and the impossibility of border control, at least without increased legal immigration - that have been circulating uncontradicted on talk radio basically for the last 42 years, getting worse in recent times. The Democrats aren't really going to help them, at least not until the general election and then they will use bad arguments, just calling it a different name.

The elite may possibly have no idea what's going on in talk radio land, or have no idea how to combat it. They'll suffer until they come up with arguments against it, just like they did until they came up with arguments against socialism, and in favor of low marginal tax rates.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Article from The Atlantic, spring 2014: (2 years ago)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/joe-scarborough-subscribes-to-the-donald-trump-school-of-politics/455592/

As BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins wrote in an excellent profile of The Donald, Trump's political strategy is to toy with the idea of running for president — and milk that free publicity — every election cycle, without ever following through.

"Trump can no longer escape the fact that his political 'career' — a long con that the blustery billionaire has perpetrated on the country for 25 years by repeatedly pretending to consider various runs for office, only to bail out after generating hundreds of headlines — finally appears to be on the brink of collapse," Coppins wrote. "The reason: Nobody seems to believe him anymore."


Sammy Finkelman said...

This is the 2014 Buzzfeed profile:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/36-hours-on-the-fake-campaign-trail-with-donald-trump

His most recent gambit has been to make noise about running for governor in New York, but none of the students, activists, and local politicos he just spent the morning glad-handling seemed interested — a fact he notes with a tinge of frustration as soon as we get in the car.

“They didn’t ask one question about running for governor,” Trump tells his aides, rubbing his hands together as the vehicle fills with the alcoholic scent of hand sanitizer. “They didn’t care.”

There is a tense moment of silence before the driver offers, “They probably think you’re already past that.”

Trump likes this theory. “That’s interesting,” he says, raising his voice so that everyone in the car can hear. “Did you hear what he said? He said they think I’m past that. I can’t tell you how many people have said that to me. They say, ‘What are you doing running for governor? ’” He punctuates the last word with the sort of disgusted tone he might use if someone asked him to trade in his private plane for a Bolt Bus ticket. “It’s a good point.”


..............

Ever since the last presidential election — during which Trump strung along the press for months as he feigned interest in jumping into the GOP primary — many in the media have soured on his political sideshow. Covering Trump’s various stunts and inflammatory comments feels increasingly like a chore, akin to donning a network-branded parka during a snowstorm and shouting into the camera about a predictable phenomenon that viewers somehow still find surprising. Trump’s supposed political aspirations, in particular, inflict upon reporters made to cover them a special sort of journalistic indignity; it’s like hyping the “storm of the century” before a single flake has fallen.



Sammy Finkelman said...

Paddy O said...

What they could have done was let out the steam of this issue in some key ways.

By taking it off the table. But there was no way Numbers USA, the border guard's union and others would let them pass anything.

This is just going to get worse and worse. It's worse than abortion and the Vietnam War. Really the closest thing to the slavery issue since the 19th century. It may become the only issue in national elections. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is being squeezed out.

Until they come up with intellectual arguments against the anti-amnesty position, and by that I mean not just amnesty for those who have come illegally already, but for some of those who are yet to come, things will continue as they are. They get stuck on the idea of total enforcement, which will never happen.

(Cubans have guaranteed amnesty, which no Republican is proposing to overturn - but some half pro-Castro Democrats are - but they don't have intellectual arguments for the "wet foot dry foot" policy)

Sammy Finkelman said...

We can't roll back Obamacare...as long as there's a Democrat as president

Which is absolutely true, until at least Obamacare's finances are a shambles but that won't happen till 2017 or 2018. Marco Rubio actually helped to guarantee it will be shambles by preventing insurance companies from being re-imbursed for losses.

The Republicans also have another problem in that they don't have any idea what they want to do, or at least no agreement. Bernie Sanders at least has a solution - taht creates problems in the long run.

Sammy Finkelman said...

but turning illegals into voters is a high priority with the Dems right now

It's not necessary, at least so long as the claimants in Evenwel v. Abbott don't get their way. Everything except Governor, mayor, and senator is affected by what population counts are used in districting. They are try to irry up the citizenship process a little bit, like was done in 1996. The effect is trivial. Theer may be more effect in future years. The Democrats are not actually trying to get the people here illegally themselbves to vote for them, but people related to them, or who know them. Of course they may in places try voter fraud by preventing any kind of audit.

Interestingly enough, the plaintiffs are not asking for registerd voters, votes cast in the previous election or votes cast in that election to be used for districting but only a statistic nobody has, and which have to be estimnated, U.S. citizens.

Sammy Finkelman said...

If jobs belong to American cituizens, then let them rent their Social Security cards.

Big Mike said...

The problem for those political is the fishbowl effect of faculty lounges and the entire eastern seaboard from Alexandria, VA up to Salem, Mass. If a political scientist wanted to know how people feel about the Republican party, they should go out and ask people. But they only look at polls (often without looking at how the questions are phrased) and they talk to each other.

McConnell is perhaps starting to get it. Ryan, still not so much. Reince Priebus needs to go back to Wisconsin and talk to ordinary people.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Terry said...

Obama seems to think that the argument against closing Guantanamo is fear that the inmates will escape from prison in the United States.

Well, that is the argument, isn't it? Plus the idea that the prison will become a terrorist target, or any court they are taken to.(maybe another idea, I haven't heard but you could say it, is if they are released, they would released into the United States, and people have no confidence that a wrong decision wouldn't be made.)

The other arguments against closing Guantanamo are that it's a perfectly good prison, and there couldn't be anything more suitable for religious, or pretend-religious Moslems, and that actually we should put more people there.

damikesc said...

The other arguments against closing Guantanamo are that it's a perfectly good prison, and there couldn't be anything more suitable for religious, or pretend-religious Moslems, and that actually we should put more people there.

It'd be a great place to send illegals while waiting their hearings on whether they can live in the US.

mikee said...

Althouse forgets that a primary complaint of the base, against the elite and establishment of the Republican party, is that none of those elite establishmentarians can't find their own ass with both their own two hands plus all their legislative aids and lobbyists.

Incompetence at politics is a trademark fully owned by the current Republican establishment, as personified by that elite member Jeb Bush and every person his campaign employed.

Does it make sense now that the Republican establishment couldn't stop Trump? They can't even promote a well known governor with a great brand name, let alone stop an opponent.

Robert Cook said...

"Ironically, though I never voted for Bill Clinton myself, James Carville nailed something when he wrote, 'The economy, stupid.'

"How that got reconciled with shipping endless numbers of jobs, not to mention industries, overseas, I can't see why I ought bother to tell ya. What a waste of
time."


It didn't get reconciled; it was just ignored. Clinton won office by appealing to the real concerns of working Americans. When in office, Clinton sold himself to Wall Street and he danced to their pick hits. (Obama followed the exact same path, both pre- and post-election to office.)

Sammy Finkelman said...

damikesc said...2/24/16, 12:48 PM

Re: Guantanamo

It'd be a great place to send illegals while waiting their hearings on whether they can live in the US.

They did that with Haitians intercepted at sea. There were complaints about it. You know, for one thing, it's isolated.