April 4, 2016

How do you vote for Cruz as a way to stop Trump without adding to the appearance of support for Cruz?

Let's say you're trying to figure out how to vote in the Wisconsin primary tomorrow, and either you don't have the option of voting for someone you actually support (because you support no one) or you want to use your vote strategically in the way that you believe is most effective.

It's an open primary, so you can vote for any of the 5 remaining candidates. You could simply pick the least objectionable person in the 5, perhaps John Kasich. But you've seen the analysis that says to vote for Kasich is to help Trump, because — based on polling — only Cruz has a realistic shot at beating Trump in Wisconsin. By helping Cruz get Wisconsin delegates, you advance the cause of keeping Trump from closing in on the 1237 delegates that will get him the nomination on the first ballot at the convention.

And you don't want Trump to get the nomination. You'd like to see the convention get to the second ballot, with the delegates released to begin voting for other candidates. But you're picturing Cruz at that point arguing strenuously that he's the one with the second most votes nationwide, so he's the obvious choice as the alternative to Trump. He'll point at all those votes he got, and all the votes for him will look the same — the people who love him and want him to be President and the people who voted for him only to stop Trump and never liked Cruz at all.

You can't mark your vote to register in a particular way. You can't make it say: Cruz, but only as a device to stop Trump; don't take this to mean I support Cruz. And what if you could? What if Cruz were asked to fight on, undercutting Trump, because he's the only tool available for the job, but he needed to understand that he will not get the nomination. He's not wanted. He's really fighting for someone else — Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or (I've even heard it said) Scott Walker. If Cruz knew that's what he's really doing, could he accomplish the designated task and take down Trump? Shhh. Don't tell him. He's just our tool.

But many of us voters would like to be able to mark our ballot: Cruz, but only as a means to the end of defeating Trump. Don't take this as any kind of an indication of support for Cruz.

And I realize that this is an iteration of what is always true: The vote is inarticulate. You're only able to vote for someone, not qualify it in any special way. You can't make it say: I don't like half the things you're proposing, but you seem like an honest man. Or: I don't believe a thing you've been saying, but I think you'll be a savvy pragmatist once you're in office doing the job. Or: These candidates are all disgusting, but you're the least disgusting.

187 comments:

Birkel said...

It might be easier just to support Cruz directly.

Ann Althouse said...

"It might be easier just to support Cruz directly."

Yeah, it's easier for the people for whom it is easier. What is your point? What about the rest of us?

Meade said...

"You don't have a way to say: I don't like half the things you're proposing, but you seem like an honest man. Or: I don't believe a thing you're been saying, but I think you'll be a savvy pragmatist once you're in office doing the job. Or: These candidates are all disgusting, but you're the least disgusting."

Don't I know it. And yet I voted for McCain and Romney anyway.

rhhardin said...

Vote for Trump as a way to say that political correctness has to stop in public debates.

rhhardin said...

A vote against Trump is virtue signalling.

Meade said...

"It might be easier just to support Cruz directly."

That does it, Birkel. I shall now be giving Cruz the dreaded "Meade Endorsement."

Happy?

AprilApple said...

If you like your candidate endorsed by a sleazy check-out-stand tabloid, vote Trump.

Meade said...

"A vote against Trump is virtue signalling."

Want to see political correctness in action? Watch Trump revise his position on abortion 5 times in 48 hours. What a liar. Lyin' Don.

ellamentary said...

Ann, I share your frustration. I agree that Cruz is a blunt instrument needed to head off Trump, but I am only marginally more enthusiastic about him as the Republican candidate in the fall than I would be to have Trump. (Okay, the margin is fairly wide, but he is easily my second-least-favorite candidate.)

This is why my adult son has been grumbling for months that American should adopt second choice or instant run-off voting. I know that would have been helpful to me in my own state earlier in the year, when there were more active candidates. I had a first choice and a few folks I considered close second in acceptability. Those I know who are anti-Trump were divided in their loyalties, but NONE of them would have listed Trump as their second choice or chosen him if their favorite did not fare well. the aggregated effect in a different voting system would have been, I think, to allow the "not-trump" candidates to triumph, since, like in all the other states (but not one territory, as I have been reminded), Trump has failed to gain 50% of the vote.

Henry said...

Can you do write-ins for primaries? Of course a non-Cruz protest vote is meaningless. You have to vote for Cruz.

I'd vote for a noisy waterfall before I'd vote for Trump.

I've voted several times for a second-rate candidate because of the sheer awfulness of the opponent. In retrospect I'm still okay with those votes, though I'm not sure a President Kerry would have been as awful as I projected. In the end the Kerryish foreign policy has been the disaster I expected in 2004. But I'm inclined now to think that the Obama-Clinton-Kerry dove-drone disaster was inevitable and maybe we'd be better off now just to have pushed through it sooner.

You never know.

AprilApple said...

Write an essay and staple it to your ballot.

Bob Boyd said...

Write in Les De Scustin

Meade said...

The only hope for those of us who are Anybody But Clinton, is for Sanders to snatch away from her the Dem nomination. The only other hope is that the FBI report comes out.

rhhardin said...

My father always voted for the socialist. I think this protest never registered.

Meade said...

@Bob Boyd, sir, I served with Les De Scustin. I knew Les. Les was a friend of mine.

pm317 said...

Bible thumping adulterer Cruz will be out by April 26. Thank the stars for it.

David Begley said...

If one doesn't have a real favorite, then one's vote is all relative. Vote for the least worst candidate or the candidate who can best beat Hillary. That's Ted.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

A vote against Trump is virtue signalling.

A vote for Trump is virtue signalling. Just different virtues for a different audience.

Ann Althouse said...

"A vote against Trump is virtue signalling."

What are people who say "virtue signaling" signaling? It rubs me the wrong way. I've put some effort into trying to understand what it's supposed to mean and didn't learn anything useful. It seems to be guys who think they're onto something winking at each other. Seriously, what do you think you're doing with that phrase? I know Glenn Reynolds uses it. It's not working on me. Are you trying to say that other people are focused only on looking virtuous? That's unlikely to be true. Are you trying to say that other people, along with everything else they are trying to do, care about whether they are regarded as virtuous. That's so common that it's not worth saying.

Also: How many Ls in "signaling"/"signalling." The double letter issue in words like "traveling" has annoyed me for a long time.

rhhardin said...

On abortion Trump forgot how PC women were. A bit of a panic happened while he rejected mansplaining to win them back.

A hypothetical is a hypothetical. Abortion is illegal. A syllogism is used by guys, feelings are used by women. If you violate the law you get pubished, vs it's not fair.

The latter rejecting the important part of the hypothetical for a guy, and a detail for women.

If you want logic, ask a guy. If not, ask a woman.

Lyssa said...

These candidates are all disgusting, but you're the least disgusting.

I feel a lot more comfortable with people voting on this basis than any other. Liking politicians is just a stone's throw away from trusting politicians and allowing them additional power, and there lies madness.

rhhardin said...

Virtue signalling is a safety in herds effect.

"As you can see, I'm not a bad guy."

The opposite is figuring it out for yourself and saying what you think.

A reflex blowback is: don't figure it out for yourself.

rhhardin said...

The doubled l makes it easier to speed-read. Otherwise you look for a root verb ending in e.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ann Althouse said...

What are people who say "virtue signaling" signaling? It rubs me the wrong way.

Complaining about being called out for "virtue signaling" is another form of virtue signaling.

*ducks*

Brando said...

If the convention decides not to nominate Trump because he doesn't have a majority of the delegates, then it is no more bound to vote for Cruz simply because he has the second-most delegates. At that point the two candidates have leverage (the idea that they did better than anyone else in the primaries) but by the RNC rules the delegates are free to choose whoever they think can unite the party, represent the platform, and beat Hillary.

I think it's understood that a lot of Cruz's support from here on out is "anti-Trump" votes just as Newt and Rick votes four years ago became "anti-Romney" votes. To "stop" Trump (and this assumes the party doesn't nominate him even if he has more delegates than anyone else) at this point is to back whichever alternative is more likely to win the remaining state delegates.

Though at this point it looks like the GOP is going to lose this year and lose badly. The Trump and anti-Trump forces may be irreconcilable. The party's decision now is whether to lose with Trump or lose without him.

pm317 said...

In last night's townhall. Trump was asked by a student (ahem.. doctoral) about free education.. and he laughed that there is no such thing as free anything and Bernie could promise it but someone else is paying for your free anything. That moment should be highlighted and go viral. But it did get me to read a bunch of articles on college education and student loans and what I found was disturbing. How could the 'system' saddle the students with big loans (by raising tuition indiscriminately) just because the loans are there for the picking?

Bob Boyd said...

Les De Scustin
Like Wisconsin, he's rustin'
He'd love to be used
Don't get Trumped or Cruzed

Anglelyne said...

Lot of cogitatin' and cipherin' and figurin' goin' on in the service of trying to avoid a dread something that isn't going to go away regardless of who wins the nomination or the election.

The year(s) of thinking magically.

rhhardin said...

Maybe virtue signalling as an activity doesn't seem special to women. Instead, it's saying something important about her feelings.

To a guy, it's idiotic.

Meade said...

If you violate the law you get pubished, vs it's not fair."

Calling Dr. Freud.

Bob Ellison said...

We really ought to be using the Survivor system: vote candidates off the island, one by one, until we have a winner.

Trump and Hillary would already be drowning or on a boat.

Franklin said...

I TOTALLY get what you're saying, Ann. Cruz's nose is SOOO big - and his eyes?! They're sooo downward sloping! It means he can't be trusted.

Also, I've heard his skull has lumps in the area that indicates phoniness!!

Being cruelly neutral, like you, I've decided to vote for the candidate that has the most attractive face!

bridgecross said...

"The vote is inarticulate. You're only able to vote for someone, not qualify it in any special way."

And that's just the way it should be. You can't make political expression any cleaner or simpler than any other method of navigating society.

Brando said...

"I feel a lot more comfortable with people voting on this basis than any other. Liking politicians is just a stone's throw away from trusting politicians and allowing them additional power, and there lies madness."

We need a healthy skepticism of our leaders. Keep them in check.

"A vote against Trump is virtue signalling."

Or it could be an unwillingness to support a man who embodies lawlessness, ignorance, cruelty and pessimism. In a year when the Dems seem ready to nominate a woman who embodies those same traits, some of us would like to have an actual choice. But there I go, virtue signaling again!

Ann Althouse said...

"Virtue signalling is a safety in herds effect. "As you can see, I'm not a bad guy." The opposite is figuring it out for yourself and saying what you think. A reflex blowback is: don't figure it out for yourself."

So when you say "virtue signaling," you mean to say: I believe that person didn't think for himself. Or: That's a fearful, lesser human being who's just saying what he thinks he's supposed to say to get along.

That's a useful thing to say sometimes, if that's what you really mean, but I don't think the phrase is a very effective way to say that. I hear the dismissiveness but not any serious criticism. It sounds prissy and, actually, unthinking to me, so it just doesn't work expressively, unless what you're really trying to do is be off-putting. Maybe all you really mean to express is: Those are the other people. Which makes you a herd animal too.

rehajm said...

Where do I cast my vote for what Lyssa said?

Meade said...

"My father always voted for the socialist. "

Your father was a woman?

MaxedOutMama said...

The polling has not been particularly good lately, so I would suggest that this hypothetical person vote for Kasich. You never know - a lot of other voters may be thinking the same way as you are.

It's never a good idea to vote for a candidate that you personally do not want!



Bob Boyd said...

Or if you want to vote for a woman, write in Shirley Surtunly.

Maybe we'll wind up with both on the same ticket.

Surtunly De Scustin 2016!

AprilApple said...

I'm voting for the adult. Perfection isn't on the menu this time. (is it ever?)

Trump is the man who says "But he started it!" like a 2 year old. Do we really want a 2 year old?

rhhardin said...

[Trump] embodies lawlessness, ignorance, cruelty and pessimism

And fun.

Brando said...

"A vote for Trump is virtue signalling."

Yes, but what "virtues" would that vote be signaling?

rhhardin said...

Soocialist was the best my father could do for "none of the above."

His plan was that that ought to be on every ballot, and if "none of the above" wins, "none of the above" gets it, and you don't have one of those for the next four years.

Brando said...

"[Trump embodies] And fun."

Ok, that's true. I can't say any of this isn't entertaining.

Curious George said...

"But many of us voters would like to be able to mark our ballot: Cruz, but only as a means to the end of defeating Trump. Don't take this as any kind of an indication of support for Cruz."

Maybe you could hold your breath or throw a tantrum until the world changes into the exact thing you want.

MadisonMan said...

On the Democrat side -- The Bern certainly has Madison held in thrall. I see exactly zero signs supporting Hillary-> but Bernie signs are all over the place.

So the Hold Your Nose And Vote (HYNAV) syndrome extends to both sides of the aisle.

tim maguire said...

Choosing among the lesser of evils is hardly a new problem in our democracy.

Anglelyne said...

rhhardin:

Maybe virtue signalling as an activity doesn't seem special to women. Instead, it's saying something important about her feelings.

To a guy, it's idiotic.


Seem to be a lot of non-guy males around these days. Or they think it's idiotic but still do it for other reasons.

traditionalguy said...

Trump has won too many times. He was supposed to be as clown that contrasted to Establishment governmental control
to continue Donor needed destruction of the American middle class. And the feisty warrior has championed the losers instead.

Like the over achiever that Pittsburgh is named for, Trump Cannot Win anymore. It is STOPPED.

Thus Sayeth Lord Walker, Lord Ryan and Lord
Priebus.

Laslo Spatula said...

Girl with the Pony Tail on the Treadmill:

It's not that I don't like Hillary.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

She's a woman, I'm a woman.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

A woman President would be Important.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

My Boss HATES Hillary.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

It'd be fun to see her win, just to watch his misery.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

But Hillary reminds me of my Mother.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

She just keeps harping about things.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I'm like "Mom, OK, let it go, Okay?"

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I love my Mom, but...

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

If Bernie got rid of my college debts I could afford a new car.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I think I'd get an Audi.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Au Audi would MEAN something.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Mom would have to respect that.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

No she wouldn't.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

If i run an extra two miles I can treat myself to a Latte.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I won't even have to feel bad about it.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I know I'd feel bad about it.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I'd really like an Audi.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I am Laslo.

Bob Boyd said...

Virtue signaling is when you wear your chastity belt over your pants.

Henry said...

RH wrote: Virtue signalling is a safety in herds effect. // "As you can see, I'm not a bad guy." // The opposite is figuring it out for yourself and saying what you think.

But accusing others of virtue signaling is a way to avoid figuring them out. It is an attempt to void their position by attacking their motivation. It is a kind of back-patting know-nothingism paraded as tough-mindedness.

The "virtue signaling" smear is par with a lot of the boilerplate that comes out of Instapundit (the SJW shorthand being another). It's a relentless attack on other people's motivations. "We are virtuous and believe in what we say. You are depraved and don't." The very lack of evidence makes the smear that much easier to deploy.

Althouse wrote: It seems to be guys who think they're onto something winking at each other.

That's what it seems like to me. A bunch of head-nodders pretending they're the original thinkers. The winking imagery reminds me of this:

To follow foolish precedents, and wink with both our eyes, is easier than to think. -- William Cowper.

Meade said...

@Bob Boyd, sir, I served with Shirley Surtunly. Surely you should know Shirley wasn't a she.

tim maguire said...

I never vote for winners, so tell me who you hate most and transfer $50 into my bank account and I will make sure that person is eliminated from contention.

Meade said...

"Soocialist was the best my father could do for "none of the above.""

Your father was the original virtue signaler.

AprilApple said...

Someday, after 8 years of corrupt Hillary, the private ballot will be history. Our one-person/one vote system of voting will be replaced with something more fair, like they have in a socialist dictatorship. It's for your own good.

rhhardin said...

but I don't think the phrase is a very effective way to say that. I hear the dismissiveness but not any serious criticism

It's effective for a guy. Serious criticism would be mansplaining and rejected.

The rhetorical idea would be nobody can believe what they're claiming to believe. They're doing it for some other reason. They can't have thought it through, though they can well have feelinged it through, in which case it's laziness or estrogen flooding.

Megyn Kelly and the war on women would be a nice emblem for the effect. She challenged him to virtue-signal, and Trump doubled down instead, drawing cheers from guys and a gender divide from women.

Bob Boyd said...

"Surely you should know Shirley wasn't a she."


But.....she was coming out of the Ladies room....Oh!

rhhardin said...

Seem to be a lot of non-guy males around these days. Or they think it's idiotic but still do it for other reasons.

In my day, NOW meetings were places to be sensitive and pick up babes. Who knows what guys are up to today.

Meade said...

Bob Boyd said...
"Virtue signaling is when you wear your chastity belt over your pants."

LOL. (Another datapoint that makes me think Bob Boyd could be a reincarnation of our beloved erstwhile commenter, Bissage.)

Bob Boyd said...

Who?

tim maguire said...

Henry, that can be said of all labels. Labels are shorthand, used for picking up the conversation where we left off last time. The fact that they are not defined and supported each and every time does not negate them. If you want to claim the term SJW or virtue signalling is being misused in some instance (which they undoubtedly are, as any widely used term is), then tell us how you think it is misused in this instance.

You're not going to get very far claiming they are not a thing, when they obviously are.

rhhardin said...

But accusing others of virtue signaling is a way to avoid figuring them out. It is an attempt to void their position by attacking their motivation. It is a kind of back-patting know-nothingism paraded as tough-mindedness.

You keep an open mind but you put screens on the windows, as a colleague said to a boss who was pushing telekinesis. I myself just kept bent spoons in my office.

Or Wittgenstein:

52. If I am inclined to suppose that a mouse has come into being by spontaneous generation out of grey rags and dust, I shall do well to examine those rags very closely to see how a mouse may have hidden in them, how it may have got there and so on. But if I am convinced that a mouse cannot come into being from these things, then this investigation will perhaps be superfluous.



Levi Starks said...

Maybe you just aren't a Republican....

Lauderdale Vet said...

I voted for Cruz here in Florida because I just couldn't vote for Trump in the primary.

I'm prepared to vote for him in the GE, however.

At this stage I don't really like any of the lot that remain standing, so "Not Hillary" and "Frack You, GOP, for not doing what you said you promised to do for so many years" are the only things motivating me.

If Trump makes even one of his promises come true, he's ahead of the GOP.

rhhardin said...

If somebody accuses you of virtue signalling, perhaps you ought to say why you believe the popular thing that you believe.

Take it as meaning "there's no reason to believe that."

Meade said...

"Who?"

AhHA!

Tank said...

Ironically, pointing out people for virtue signaling seems like exactly the kind of thing Althouse does here every day.

Meade said...

"If somebody accuses you of virtue signalling, perhaps you ought to say why you believe the popular thing that you believe."

Why did you add the word popular? And shouldn't you add the word purported in front of the second believe?

AllenS said...

I keep hearing how Hillary! will beat Trump by millions upon millions of voters, so, why not vote Trump, then Hillary! will keep him out of the White House. Isn't that what a lot of you want?

Tomorrow I will vote for Trump. Vote for whomever you want to. It isn't complicated.

Michael K said...

"A vote against Trump is virtue signalling."

Only if you brag about it.

Explained.

"Virtue signalling is a safety in herds effect. "As you can see, I'm not a bad guy." The opposite is figuring it out for yourself and saying what you think. A reflex blowback is: don't figure it out for yourself."

Saying what you think, if you really think, is not safe anymore. Better to repeat what you hear, especially from the left. Of course, if you are in the National Review building, repeat what Lowry or Williamson says.

rhhardin said...

If Trump has wanted to be clever, that women should be punished if abortion is illegal ought to have been pointed out to be an argument against making abortion illegal.

Rather than trying to explain how a syllogism works, explain the contrapositive.

It's easier to explain something that women agree with.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
On the Democrat side -- The Bern certainly has Madison held in thrall. I see exactly zero signs supporting Hillary-> but Bernie signs are all over the place.

So the Hold Your Nose And Vote (HYNAV) syndrome extends to both sides of the aisle."

Maybe in the General if Hillary prevails, but not in the primary. They can simply vote for Bernie.

Birkel said...

Althouse:

It is cute that after voting for Obama (or against McCain who never had you to lose you) you think I need a point about supporting Cruz.

I want a smaller centralized government. You voted for a guy who increased government employees by 12%, gave us at least $9,000,000,000,000 in debt, increased the budget by nearly a trillion, decreased our defensive capabilities and used a pen and a phone to govern through executive actions.

What could I offer you?

grimson said...

That person's best bet would be to vote for Cruz (to stop Trump), but then try to be selected as a Wisconsin delegate to the GOP convention (to cast their real vote among the potential candidates following the first ballot). If this person were a blogger, think of all the material to be mined from the 2016 GOP convention.

Henry said...

tim wrote: Henry, that can be said of all labels. Labels are shorthand, used for picking up the conversation where we left off last time. The fact that they are not defined and supported each and every time does not negate them.

Of course. But excessive reliance on labels indicates lazy thinking. And when Instapundit's lazy shorthand broadcasts here, I already know the upshot.

And this particular label -- virtue signaling -- is exactly what I said it is: an attack on one's opponents motivations to avoid dealing with their stated ideas.

Sometimes it's useful to figure out people's motivations, but as shorthand it's almost always tedious and self-serving.

Beaumont said...

For me, I have to have a rationale for voting that I truely believe in, regardless of how it might be perceived by others. Those who are vehemently opposed to Trump and select Cruz as a way to get to a contested convention (the Lindsey Graham rationale) still need to deal with the republican electorate as currently constituted. What policies and governmental activities have Republicans put forth over the past eight-years that address the real concerns of many of their constituents. Until the party establishes meaningful policies and actions that are perceived as addressing the real tangible interests of their constituents, the national Republican party will remain in turmoil.

Birkel said...

Meade:

We both recognize you would only anti-endorse Cruz. Your heart is not in it.

Points for effort.

Brando said...

"I keep hearing how Hillary! will beat Trump by millions upon millions of voters, so, why not vote Trump, then Hillary! will keep him out of the White House. Isn't that what a lot of you want?"

Er, maybe if you're addressing this to people who support Hillary or can even stand the idea of her as president. It's those of us who think she'd be a disaster who would rather the GOP nominate someone who could beat her, not Trump.

M Jordan said...

The thing about Trump that I cannot get past is his supporters. Here stands -- and I means stands -- a group of people willing to be tarred and feathered daily by the pricks in the media and in pop culture in order to support the man. Do you know how tough it would be in my small Indiana town to be seen standing in a Trump line? For anyone with any kind if social standing, very tough. Yet millions do it. Perhaps they are the ones with no social standing. If so, I like them all the more.

But to stand in a Bernie Sanders line for a rally, talk about virtue signaling. At least in my small, somewhat hipster Indiana town (I know, hard to believe one exists, but it does.)

rhhardin said...

What we want is virtue that is more manly.

Michael said...

It all comes down to the Supreme Court. If you want the court to remain basically conservative, vote for Cruz. If you would like to change to a more progressive court, vote Trump or Monica's ex-boyfriend's wife or the socialist...

Terry said...

Henry said...

Of course. But excessive reliance on labels indicates lazy thinking. And when Instapundit's lazy shorthand broadcasts here, I already know the upshot.

But isn't it their goal to be a warrior for social justice? How is Instapundit smearing people with a label that means that they do not believe in free speech or free association when they do not believe in free speech or free association? Can you you give me an example of where you think Instapundit was smearing a person by using an inaccurate label?

rhhardin said...

Of course. But excessive reliance on labels indicates lazy thinking. And when Instapundit's lazy shorthand broadcasts here, I already know the upshot.

Labelism.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M Jordan said...

Virtue signaling, as defined by Jesus:

"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."

tim maguire said...

Henry said...And this particular label -- virtue signaling -- is exactly what I said it is: an attack on one's opponents motivations to avoid dealing with their stated ideas.

Sometimes it's useful to figure out people's motivations, but as shorthand it's almost always tedious and self-serving.


I agree, but would cite different examples. The current Instapunditism that drives me nuts is "snowflakes." Human nature hasn't changed, the kids are what they were raised to be. Going after the kids for being too fragile misses the real issue that they are fragile because certain power centers find it useful to raise them that way.

The SJWs are two things: motivation and tactics. Taking motivation off the table precludes a useful discussion of what they are about and how to respond to their claims. It's also worth noting that many SJWs proudly embrace the term--they think it's a virtue, and the fact that it's an insult on the right just goes to show how soulless conservatives are.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

How has no one made a meme with John Goodman's character in Big Lebowski berating "Donnie" into a slam on Trump yet? Does that exist and I've just missed it so far?

EDIT: Ok, there is one, from last October, I feel better.

Damn, if Cruz could drop a "you're out of your element, Donnie" at a debate--boom!

Anglelyne said...

AA to rh: "Virtue signalling is a safety in herds effect. "As you can see, I'm not a bad guy." The opposite is figuring it out for yourself and saying what you think. A reflex blowback is: don't figure it out for yourself."

So when you say "virtue signaling," you mean to say: I believe that person didn't think for himself. Or: That's a fearful, lesser human being who's just saying what he thinks he's supposed to say to get along.

That's a useful thing to say sometimes, if that's what you really mean...


Virtue signaling is a way of marking and maintaining status, and avoiding loss of caste, in the herd. Showing that "I'm not a bad guy" is just one example of how it's done in certain herds, not its definition. So "virtue" is a bit of a misnomer, since goodness (as in having an ideal of goodness and striving to be a virtuous person) has nothing to do with it.

I hear the dismissiveness but not any serious criticism. It sounds prissy and, actually, unthinking to me...

You probably wouldn't be very comfortable in the sorts of places where the concept is hashed out unprissily.

...so it just doesn't work expressively unless what you're really trying to do is be off-putting. Maybe all you really mean to express is: Those are the other people. Which makes you a herd animal too.

Yes, the phrase has become an over-used tribal marker, but one that's still has considerably more explanatory oomph than "bigot" or "hater".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Meade said...
The only hope for those of us who are Anybody But Clinton, is for Sanders to snatch away from her the Dem nomination. The only other hope is that the FBI report comes out.


1.) I think you mean "Anybody But Clinton or Trump."
2.) Moderate Meade ain't got no hope, then, based on those possibilities!

Welcome aboard.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: Or: These candidates are all disgusting, but you're the least disgusting.

That's routinely what a vote means. No further comment possible—or required.

rhhardin said...

SJW used to be single Jewish woman.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's time for cruel neutrality. What you are getting at is that you may have to vote for Hillary Clinton come fall, so why not start now?

I get it, you're only up to the bargaining stage. If only there were some way you could effectively express your true desire for some Republican other than Trump or Cruz. Perhaps you'll try Sanders next.

Paul Snively said...

The phrase "virtue signalling" is isomorphic to the phrase "follow the money." It just recognizes that the currency involved is reputation rather than cash. If you don't believe this is true, or even believe this understanding is somehow too reductive, I offer you the LambdaConf affair.

rhhardin said...

Stanley Cavell on labels, an explication of Wittgenstein against "words are labels for things."

Amusing.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I listened to some audiobook on economics where the professor guy said, pretty much, that casting an informed election ballot is a very dumb thing to do.

Maybe it's difficult to measure virtue.

Tank said...

rhhardin said...

SJW used to be single Jewish woman.


Pretty much still accurate.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I've complained that "hypocrisy" is the just about the only analytical framework we use to criticize anymore and "virtue signalling" follows that trend. It's an attack on the sincerity and depth of a stated belief (combined, usually, with a charge either of inconsistency of belief/action or outright hypocrisy in holding the belief).

The distinguishing characteristic of an accusation of "virtue signaling," I think, is that the accused is getting or trying to get PRAISE for their hypocrisy. Thus when Leonardo DiCaprio is lauded for his environmental stances while personally contributing greatly to environmental

It's accusing someone of not really believing what they're claiming they believe, not actually caring about what they claim to care about, and/or adopting a particular position (without thought, consideration for consistency of beliefs, etc) only out of a desire to win praise for holding that position. An example might be someone who vigorously speaks out against fracking because they know it's something the "wrong people" support (despite not otherwise knowing anything about the issue/topic, nor acting in ways that are objectively pro-environment, etc)>

I guarantee the same idea is defined and used by the academic Left in some esoteric way (political positioning as performative communication, maybe, or the false semiotics of consensus-building in a pseudo-democratic society). Maybe a deliberate false consciousness, something like that?

Anglelyne said...

Henry: But accusing others of virtue signaling is a way to avoid figuring them out. It is an attempt to void their position by attacking their motivation.

And sometimes you figure them out and recognize that they're virtue-signaling.

People are always skeptical of other people's motivations (and should be). Heck, most "political discourse" seems to consist of attempts to void positions by attacking motivations.

But sometimes the attribution of motivation is stupid and sometimes it's correct. Political life isn't a debating club of disinterested members, and understanding it requires understanding human motivations.

Everybody gets pissy about being psycho-analyzed in this fashion, but we all do it in our turn to other people, and we'd have a very poor understanding of human behavior if we refused to do it at all.

Big Mike said...

Or: These candidates are all disgusting, but you're the least disgusting.

There's what we mathematicians call a partial ordering. Kay-sick is less disgusting than Clinton or Sanders. Trump is less disgusting than Kasich (in my opinion, anyway). Cruz is less disgusting than Trump or Ryan.

@Althouse, at the end of another post you wrote "get your damned blog." Here, the sad reality is that a strategy of waiting around to see who would be on the ballot when it came your turn at a primary backfired, and apparently badly so from your perspective. If you wanted someone else, you had to work for that someone else.

Unless you felt that everyone in the race was bad, including Bush, Rubio, Fiorina, and the rest of the folks who've dropped out.

Anyway, the question isn't who raises your "disgust" meter the least; the question is of the remaining candidates who would be the best President of the United States. Clinton was not particularly successful as a senator and sponsoring an unnecessary war in Libya is (or should be) a huge mark against her. She voted for the invasion of Iraq, then voted against the surge (which worked, so at that point she's 0 for 2) and then she got the US involved in Libya where to the extent that the US had a national interest it was in preserving the status quo. Then there's her personal corruption to consider, along with her utter cluelessness in putting extremely sensitive data on an unsecured server. So she's out. Sanders is clueless about how economies work, mostly because he's clueless about human behavior. So he's out. Trump needs to learn how to think before he speaks. He's out unless he changes dramatically. Kasich, not bad. We've elected worse (Grant, Harding, Obama). So that leaves Cruz, with a razor sharp mind and a grasp of how government works. Yes, vote for Cruz.

Meade said...

"2.) Moderate Meade ain't got no hope, then, based on those possibilities! "

Excellent use of the double negative, HooDood!

Michael K said...

"Blogger Tank said...
rhhardin said...

SJW used to be single Jewish woman.

Pretty much still accurate."

Pretty much interchangeable.

Terry said...

"Clinton was not particularly successful as a senator . . . "
Voted for the Iraq War, which she said, later, was a mistake. Voted against the surge, which was successful. Voted to bail out the Wall Street banks with taxpayer dollars. Yep, she'll get the brain dead vote.

Ann Althouse said...

Henry @ 8:27 AM

Thanks!!

chickelit said...

Michael said...It all comes down to the Supreme Court. If you want the court to remain basically conservative, vote for Cruz. If you would like to change to a more progressive court, vote Trump or Monica's ex-boyfriend's wife or the socialist...

Cruz is the conservative extreme and Sanders is the liberal extreme as far as the Court goes. Trump and Clinton are the likely moderates as far as appointments go.

Ann Althouse said...

The topic in the post needs to be distinguished from voting in the general election. That's the last step in a long game, and someone must be President. Pick the least bad. Right. That's always all I feel I am doing.

But the primary stage is different, because it's a middle stage of the game, and you're trying to affect a later but not last stage, the convention. That makes voting for the least bad a possibly bad choice. That would, as noted in the post, be, for some moderates, voting for Kasich. But voting for Kasich empowers the person you may think is the most bad.

So please address this angle.

Ann Althouse said...

I know my last paragraph invites the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow.

Birkel said...

chickelit:

Clinton as a moderate in Supreme Court nominations? I am flabbergasted.

Birkel said...

Query:
Have you demonstrtaed prowess identifying the least bad previously? How could that be measured?

Given what we know, so far, McCain would have to have been worse than Obama and re-elected. Or he would have needed to be twice as bad in a single term. That seems unlikely.

JHapp said...

If you know that Hillary is going to indicted, then a vote for her is the best anti-Trump vote.
If you know that Hillary is not going to be indicted, then the best anti-Trump vote is a vote for Bernie.
So I am voting for Cruz, and I am hoping to vote for Paul Ryan in the general. My primary vote is basically a Hail Mary.

Michael K said...

" the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow."

What you are discussing is strategic voting that concerns the general election.

You either don't want to be represented by Trump or you think he would lose.

Meade said...

"Given what we know, so far, McCain would have to have been worse than Obama and re-elected. Or he would have needed to be twice as bad in a single term. That seems unlikely."

In which Birkel outs himself as a RINO lover.

Henry said...

@Anglelyne -- Everything you write makes sense, and yet the result of calling out people's motives most often is a tedious projection of motivational sins onto the desired scapegoat.

I recently found myself in two small political discussions in which motives were used this way. One was a discussion among friends about the Iraq war in which someone offered the deep motivational analysis "well of course Bush and Cheney did it for oil." Another was one of Shaun King's idiot smears -- against Hillary Clinton of all people. Apparently, because she once stumped for Goldwater who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and because, in a 1990s interview she failed to disown that experience, she's a racist. So I found myself defending Hillary Clinton's motives.

Motivations are as tangled and complex as human psychology. Group motives may seem to average out to a reductive core, but groups are made up of individuals and individuals do not reduce so easily.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...I know my last paragraph invites the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow.

Inspired by your blog, I wrote some years ago:

*Voting for a candidate because you are against his or her opponent is unethical.

*A vote for candidate A because you dislike candidate B is electorally indistinguishable from an enthusiastic support vote for candidate A. They count the same at the ballot box.

*A vote for candidate A sends a message of support to candidate A. If you didn't support A, don't send them a confusing message. You cannot easily walk back a protest vote. Link: On Negative Voting

I was forced to defend each point by commenters and still stand by what I wrote in response.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I know my last paragraph invites the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow.

First I should congratulate you for struggling over the decision--I for one appreciate it when people actually put thought into a position or vote.
Next I'd say you should put the emotional aspect of your decision aside for a moment if possible and consider that mathematically your individual vote is highly unlikely to make much of a difference, even in terms of the signal it sends. You can therefore relax a bit about the consequences of unintentionally sending the wrong message--right or wrong your vote won't matter much and won't send much of a signal at all (most likely).
Since your state has an open primary I think you'd need to start by deciding for which party you'll vote. Have you made it that far? It sounds like you're actually considering Cruz but have you ruled out voting in the Dem. race?

Bob Boyd said...

"I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow."

If you can't vote for any of the three Republicans without feeling like you are helping the wrong candidate then vote for Bernie. That way you might help get the Dems to a brokered convention and wind up with a candidate better than Hillary.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Meade said...In which Birkel outs himself as a RINO lover.

I started to type "A RINO's still better than an AINO (American In Name Only)" but that's too harsh.
We all want to be FOR something but there's just so darn much to be AGAINST.

chickelit said...

@Althouse: Another way to cope with tomorrow's choice is to focus a bit more on all of the rest of the choices before you. POTUS is not omnipotent. There are built-in checks and balances, if people would only take them seriously.

Birkel said...

Meade:
Do try to make sense beyond the poor efforts at snark. I did not vote for McCain. I also managed to accurately identify what Obama would be.

Welcome to the Lost Decade of America.

Bay Area Guy said...

AA gently admits:

I know my last paragraph invites the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow.

Here's my gentle advice. Vote for the candidate whose tone and temperament you prefer and whose policy preferences are closest to yours. That probably means Kasich. Full stop.

David Aitken said...

What you need is Approval Voting, where every voter can vote once for any, some, none, or all of the candidates. That way you could vote for everybody but Trump, thus expressing equal support for Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, and anyone else who is on the ballot. Too bad they don't have a "None of the Above" also.

Henry said...

Bob Boyd wrote: If you can't vote for any of the three Republicans without feeling like you are helping the wrong candidate then vote for Bernie. That way you might help get the Dems to a brokered convention and wind up with a candidate better than Hillary.

Arguably, Sanders would be a better candidate than Hillary in the general (and thus able to stop Trump is that is one's prime focus) and arguably (for a social liberal), a better president than any of the remaining candidates.

But he's a socialist! Yes and he'll have to deal with a) a Republican Congress and b) reality. That could lead to better outcomes overall than either the interaction of Clinton with Congress (and reality) or Trump and Congress (and reality).

Brando said...

"I know my last paragraph invites the easier discussion of voting in a general election, but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow."

In the Democratic race, go with Sanders as a vote for Hillary is to excuse the constant lying, pandering, triangulating, Bill-protecting, corruption and incompetence that she has never faced consequences for. Sanders may be a socialist, but he's squeaky clean (if he weren't, you better believe Clinton's allies would have exploited that). A vote for him is a vote against the rot (though it is a vote for economic naivete, Sanders hardly has the monopoly on that this year).

In the GOP race, unless you somehow believe Trump would be a good president, the best bet in Wisconsin is a vote for Cruz. If Trump gets stopped in Wisconsin, the rest of the primaries have a different narrative and embolden the argument of those who want to nominate someone other than Trump. A vote for Cruz doesn't necessarily mean approval of him, any more than every vote for Newt in 2012 meant support for Newt (instead of disapproval of Romney). The fact that Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush came out for Ted signals that this is about more than Cruz--it's about giving the party a chance for a do-over.

Darcy said...

What a liar. Lyin' Don.

Well. He's certainly bad at it.

We usually have a lot of good liars to choose from! Damn it.

Birkel said...

Henry:
You think reality will intrude on a socialist when the narrative must be maintained?

Point to one example of that, please.

Brando said...

I'm going to be voting in the Democratic primary when Maryland votes April 26, because that's how the mayor will be chosen (we get a GOP mayor sometime after hell freezes over or blacks start voting Republican) so I'll be casting a protest vote for Sanders over Hillary. I think she has the primaries sewn up, and I'm not fond of Bernie's economic ideas, but voters need to send a signal to the DNC that their preferred candidate is bad news.

Brando said...

"What you need is Approval Voting, where every voter can vote once for any, some, none, or all of the candidates. That way you could vote for everybody but Trump, thus expressing equal support for Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, and anyone else who is on the ballot. Too bad they don't have a "None of the Above" also."

I think for primaries a "none of the above" option should be included, with the idea that "none" can win a percentage of delegates who are free to nominate anyone except any of the other choices on the ballot.

Henry said...

@Birkel: You think reality will intrude on a socialist when the narrative must be maintained?

Here's one, and I've kept it close to home:

Sanders' administration balanced the city budget and drew a minor league baseball team, the Vermont Reds, then the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, to Burlington.[13] Under his leadership, Burlington sued the local television cable franchise, winning reduced rates for customers.[13]

As mayor, Sanders led extensive downtown revitalization projects. One of his signature achievements was the improvement of Burlington's Lake Champlain waterfront.[13] In 1981, Sanders campaigned against the unpopular plans by Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau to convert the then-industrial[69] waterfront property owned by the Central Vermont Railway into expensive condominiums, hotels, and offices.[70] Sanders ran under the slogan "Burlington is not for sale" and successfully supported a plan that redeveloped the waterfront area into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public space.[70] Today, the waterfront area includes many parks and miles of public beach and bike paths, a boathouse, and a science center.[70]

* * *

This may not be the platform you would have supported, but it does show a pragmatic approach tied to specific context.

OTOH, Sanders indulged in some lefty 1980's style anti-Contra stuff, but in the current international climate, I can't say I trust him less than Clinton or Trump.

As for reality, reality always intrudes.

Birkel said...

"As for reality, reality always intrudes."

Timing is everything. Reality intrudes very late in the game for committed Leftists.

How does "free" college fit your narrative?

Did Burlington, VT have p printing presses available like a president does?

Be serious.

Henry said...

Birkel. To assert that a President, any President, can fulfill a campaign promise like free college or instantaneously redefine the Fed is to not be serious.

If a President Sanders wishes to offer everyone free college tuition he will have to have Congress pass some legislation for him. Then the fun will begin.

Remember that the only way that President Obama passed the HCA was by having a supermajority in the Senate and even that supermajority had to use every legislative trick in the book.

For all the complaints on the right about President Obama's use of executive orders, he's still just working the margins of existing law. A president can't unilaterally engage in massive budgetary redirection. That requires Congress.

damikesc said...

In the GOP race, unless you somehow believe Trump would be a good president, the best bet in Wisconsin is a vote for Cruz. If Trump gets stopped in Wisconsin, the rest of the primaries have a different narrative and embolden the argument of those who want to nominate someone other than Trump. A vote for Cruz doesn't necessarily mean approval of him, any more than every vote for Newt in 2012 meant support for Newt (instead of disapproval of Romney). The fact that Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush came out for Ted signals that this is about more than Cruz--it's about giving the party a chance for a do-over.

Also, and this is not a usual thing, you can have some faith that Cruz will do what he is campaigning on. He has a track record of pursuing those goals. He is the devil you do know. Everybody else is the one you do not.

Brando said...

"For all the complaints on the right about President Obama's use of executive orders, he's still just working the margins of existing law. A president can't unilaterally engage in massive budgetary redirection. That requires Congress."

This is worth keeping in mind. Enforcement discretion and executive orders can be abused by an overreaching president, but ultimately the purse strings come from Congress. This is why any down-ballot cascade of losses for the GOP could be devastating. Imagine Hillary as president, and then imagine her with Schumer and Pelosi savoring their new majorities.

Brando said...

"Also, and this is not a usual thing, you can have some faith that Cruz will do what he is campaigning on. He has a track record of pursuing those goals. He is the devil you do know. Everybody else is the one you do not."

He is consistent, and unlike Trump or Hillary he seems to recognize limits on executive authority. Even if you don't like his politics you at least know there will be checks on his actions.

Michael K said...

"The fact that Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush came out for Ted signals that this is about more than Cruz--it's about giving the party a chance for a do-over."

No, it's about rice bowls. Theirs need filling.

Trump would blow up all the cozy relationships with donors and lobbyists.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Michael K said...Trump would blow up all the cozy relationships with donors and lobbyists.

Cruz wouldn't? Maybe Cruz would--maybe that's part of why they didn't support him until now (under duress). Isn't the Repub. line against Cruz that he's not a team player, not willing to go along w/the group (and too much of a grandstander, etc)?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Henry said...For all the complaints on the right about President Obama's use of executive orders, he's still just working the margins of existing law. A president can't unilaterally engage in massive budgetary redirection. That requires Congress.

On the one hand, yes, and that's comforting. On the other hand try to imagine President H. Clinton or President Trump declaring that they have a "pen and a phone..." and tell me that's a pleasant thought!

mccullough said...

Not voting is an option.

Theranter said...

I know progressive grad students in another Midwestern state w/an open primary that are voting for Cruz to knock out Trump, as they, the brainwashed fools, cannot and do not think independently, and are easily bring swayed to believe Hillary will be the D nom, she doesn't need your primary vote, but 'we' need to defeat Trump as he could possibly beat Clinton, ergo, vote for Cruz in the primary.

THAT is where the virtue signaling comes in on campuses--to say that you were one of the savvy 'be the change' types that helped usher the first female president in. Its similar to the reason many go to protests, just to say they went, and were 'a part of something.' It's rather sad--everything they do is based on maintaining an appearance of being 'in' when in reality they are being manipulated as they blindly follow what is essentially a scheme created by wealthy, old, Soros-ish persons, which is then pushed down through the thousands of "Youth Advocacy" groups, whom then, appearing as peers, convince these tools what to do.

Bay Area Guy said...

I doubt Cruz can get a majority of delegates before the convention.

So, this means there are two options:

(1.) Trump wins or (2.) Contested convention, where Trump must win on the first ballot, or probably slides downhill from there. Don't know if Cruz wins the contest or Kasich or Ryan/Romney from the sidelines.

Not voting is not an option. That just dodges the decision.

mccullough said...

Cruz has no chance at the nomination. If Trump doesn't get the majority of delegates, then he's not getting the nomination. But Cruz has no argument that he should get it coming in with the second most delegates. And he would lose a general election to Hillary even worse than Trump. And what are Cruz supporters going to do, stay home? They'll fall in line and do what they're told and Cruz will tell them to support Ryan or Romney or whatever other trickle down idiot is going to preserve the GOP brand of losing with dignity to Hillary so as to keep Paul Ryan as speaker while watching the Senate turn Dem. This election is about saving Paul Ryan's job for a few more years because Paul Ryan doesn't want to work for a living.

Brando said...

"No, it's about rice bowls. Theirs need filling.

Trump would blow up all the cozy relationships with donors and lobbyists."

How is Trump more a threat to the donor class than Cruz? By Trump's own admission he has long been tight and close in the graft game. Cruz on the other hand has long proved he marches to his own drum as far as the leadership is concerned.

If anything, the preference has to do with their belief that supporting Cruz now may give them a chance to exert leverage at the convention. Beyond that, the other benefit of Cruz for them is that they know what they're getting with him--he's a reliably conservative politician. Trump on the other hand has been erratic, all over the place, and his friendship with the Clintons must give them pause.

"On the other hand try to imagine President H. Clinton or President Trump declaring that they have a "pen and a phone..." and tell me that's a pleasant thought!"

That's what I find scary about them--they reject any limit on their power. I could picture either of them asking the Supreme Court how many divisions they have.

mccullough said...

A GOP candidate is not going to be president. Not voting in a GOP primary is a way of spending your time efficiently.

Althouse is a pragmatist. She will vote for Hillary because Sanders would be an existentially horrible president and she knows the GOP candidate, whoever it is, is not going to win.

Brando said...

"Cruz has no chance at the nomination. If Trump doesn't get the majority of delegates, then he's not getting the nomination. But Cruz has no argument that he should get it coming in with the second most delegates. And he would lose a general election to Hillary even worse than Trump. And what are Cruz supporters going to do, stay home? They'll fall in line and do what they're told and Cruz will tell them to support Ryan or Romney or whatever other trickle down idiot is going to preserve the GOP brand of losing with dignity to Hillary so as to keep Paul Ryan as speaker while watching the Senate turn Dem. This election is about saving Paul Ryan's job for a few more years because Paul Ryan doesn't want to work for a living."

Cruz could get the nomination if Republicans determine that they have to nominate either him or Trump (and his appeal to Trump voters might make him the only person they could nominate besides Trump and still cobble most of the party together). And at the very least, Cruz will have leverage going into the convention if he is the only thing keeping Trump from getting a majority of delegates.

Don't be so sure Cruz couldn't win a general election--one benefit he'd have over Trump is his right flank would be protected, and as unpopular as he would be among the Left there are a lot of people who will vote just to vote against Hillary.

mccullough said...

Independents aren't going to vote for Cruz. His personality alone makes Hillary electable, not to mention his positions don't align with even the majority of voters in 10 states.

But he is not getting the nomination. He can't win it outright and has no argument that he should get it after Trump gets passed over because he finished second in delegates. His voters, unlike Trump's, will fall in line because that's what they do. The GOP is the only game in town for them. Cruz is a useful idiot for the RNC at this point and he knows it. But they'll throw a lot of private wealth business to his wife at Goldman so he'll toe the line and tell his supporters to vote for Romney or Ryan or Kasich so that the GOP can hold the house.

chickelit said...

This should be obvious to anyone: Hillary is the super-delegated choosen DNC candidate already so there is no need to vote for her in the WI primary or any other primary unless one believes that Hillary is the best candidate outright. In other words, Democrats can safely vote for Sanders as a "protest" and still get to vote for Hillary in the fall. The only contest of consequence is the Republican one.

tim in vermont said...

Teddy Cruz
Will eventually lose
Married not a flooze,but a frump
And he might just dump Trump

The Cracker Emcee said...


"At this stage I don't really like any of the lot that remain standing, so "Not Hillary" and "Frack You, GOP, for not doing what you said you promised to do for so many years" are the only things motivating me.

If Trump makes even one of his promises come true, he's ahead of the GOP."

Exactly is that so hard to understand?

"We usually have a lot of good liars to choose from! Damn it."

Brilliant. And for those who profess to be baffled by Trump's popularity, what reality are you inhabiting? I've been following politics since I was 8 years old and it's been an endless parade of shitheads. I'm supposed to be horrified by Trump because you think he's boorish? Grow the fuck up.

Bay Area Guy said...

I think Cruz does have a shot in the General, as Brando postulated.

RCP average has Clinton beating Cruz by only 3 in the General.

His right flank will be shored up. The drama over Trump will slowly subside. Maybe the Trump supporters bolt, but maybe those with sense go for Cruz. The strong dislike for Hillary will begin to percolate again. Cruz picks Kasich as VP to win Ohio -- maybe the GOP ship is righted.

Hey, I can still dream, can't I?

StephenFearby said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

"...That makes voting for the least bad a possibly bad choice. That would, as noted in the post, be, for some moderates, voting for Kasich. But voting for Kasich empowers the person you may think is the most bad.

So please address this angle."


OK.

Club for Growth $1 mil TV ad buy started March 26:

"Math [Illustrated by a simple bar chart]"

"...A VOTE FOR KASICH ACTUALLY HELPS TRUMP, BY DIVIDING THE OPPOSITION.

IT’S TIME TO PUT DIFFERENCES ASIDE.

TO STOP TRUMP, VOTE FOR CRUZ.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T95DqjUwEKo&feature=youtu.be


It makes perfect sense, except that it doesn't account for all the complications.

The last poll out for Wisconsin (Emerson) mirrors the second from the last (CBS News/UGov) showing a tightening of the race...since Cruz is now ahead of Trump by only 5 points instead of the 10 points previously reported by Marquette. (Reputedly the most reliable pollster in its home state):

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/wi/wisconsin_republican_presidential_primary-3763.html

PPP seems the be the outlier, giving Cruze only a 1 point lead.

Since Wisconsin is a hybrid winner-take-all state, the most conservative voting choice for someone who wants to make absolutely sure Trump doesn't get the 18 delegates awarded to the
state-wide winner is to vote for Cruz. The other 24 will be divided up and awarded to the winner of each of the Wisconsin congressional districts. (I guess that means 3 each.)

It may be unlikely that Trump could capture whatever district U Wisconsin / Madison is located in...except perhaps if Cruz & Kasich split the anti-Trump vote there.

Trying to game the system by voting for Kasich in that particular district...in the hope he would win it...might possibly come true, but it would definitely equate to a vote for Trump in the race for the 18 state-wide delegates. (Which Kasich has absolutely no chance of winning.)

The only hope for Kasich to be the Republican nominee is if Trump doesn't get enough delegates to win on the first ballot. By splitting the anti-Trump vote, Kasich is working against that goal.

(As everyone knows by now, there aren't enough delegates left in the remaining primary states for Kasich to win on the first ballot.)

This is perhaps explained by the nebbish factor. FWIW, the whining "Why can't we all get along?" Kasich both looks like and has the mannerisms of a nebbish.

Which Trump hasn't found it necessary to describe him as such yet.









mccullough said...

How is the GOP contest of consequence when they can't win a presidential election? The RNC should just pick whichever candidate polls best against Hillary. All they want is to keep Trump from getting enough delegates to win the nomination so they can install someone who will save them the House. That's all Romney's candidacy was.

That's their only goal this election cycle. If they keep the House, then taxes won't go up and their benefactors will be satisfied. Status quo achieved and handshakes all around.

tim in vermont said...

It's not that I think he's boorish, but try talking to a woman about him. It's not worth it, he will lose.

Birkel said...

mccullough the moby says what?
The moby wants everybody to give up, to give in, to quit and let Hillary do her worst.

Some refuse.
Now what?

mccullough said...

Which state can Cruz win that Romney didn't? Hillary can win North Carolina and Georgia against Cruz and not even have to campaign in Florida or Virginia or Colorado against him. Cruz will be spending time trying to hold Indiana and Arizona.

But it doesn't matter because Cruz can't win the nomination outright. And Cruz is as unacceptable to the RNC as Trump. And his supporters will toe the line for any nominee other than Trump. Cruz job is to keep Trump from getting the nomination. He's doing his best. Favors will be returned to him down the line.

Birkel said...

A moby says what?

damikesc said...

Independents aren't going to vote for Cruz. His personality alone makes Hillary electable, not to mention his positions don't align with even the majority of voters in 10 states.

You keep acting as if Hillary has some advantages in any of these areas. She is PROFOUNDLY unlikeable. Her "Fetuses have no rights" comments are going to be rough to explain (few "pro-choicers" are as pro-choice as her comment seems to think). And her positions also do not align with the majority of voters in most states.

His voters, unlike Trump's, will fall in line because that's what they do. The GOP is the only game in town for them. Cruz is a useful idiot for the RNC at this point and he knows it. But they'll throw a lot of private wealth business to his wife at Goldman so he'll toe the line and tell his supporters to vote for Romney or Ryan or Kasich so that the GOP can hold the house.

Why would anybody want to deal with the brain-dead rabble you believe Trump supporters to be?

Trump would lose MARRIED women, a group the GOP has substantial support in and has voted Republican for years.

Aren't Trump's constant "changes" in "policy" (see abortion) at all troubling? Cruz is incredibly consistent. You can hate him all you wish, but you know where he stands on anything important.

Only one candidate ran in Iowa against ethanol. That somebody was not Trump, who was happy to back the status quo there.

damikesc said...

Which state can Cruz win that Romney didn't?

Which ones can Trump win? Which ones? Surely you won't attempt to argue he has a prayer in CA, NY, NJ, etc.

damikesc said...

Mcculloch, if everybody seems to feel your preferred candidate is a bit of an asshole...there is a chance that he might actually BE an asshole.

mccullough said...

Birkel the cultist can't face reality so he retreats to his safe space of delusion. But the cracks are starting to show.

Birkel knows that the demographics are what they are. He's trying to fight the obvious. The GOP is losing support not gaining it. And is bad as Hillary is, she is more acceptable to the voters in Dem presidential states than Trump or Cruz or Romney. Kasich might have had a chance against her if he won the nomination outright through the primaries and caucuses. But independents don't vote much in GOP primaries or in Dem primaries.

But Trump has broken off enough former Republicans that now the GOP will be trying to maintain the state's Romney won and they won't even be able to do that without Trump's supporters. And Trump's core supporters are done with the GOP at the presidential level. So now the GOP, instead of being 25% of the electorate, will be less than 20% of the electorate.

Birkel is upset that the cult is getting smaller. That's all his posts are about. He's raging against the machine. He can't accept reality.

Birkel said...

A moby types what?

rhhardin said...

It's the boor war.

Birkel said...

I had you pegged a while ago, mccullough the moby.

I called you a Leftist before it became cool to do.

Hey, try to sour everybody on this election. It's the only way your goal wins.

Birkel said...

...your gal wins.

Brando said...

"It's not that I think he's boorish, but try talking to a woman about him. It's not worth it, he will lose."

I think Trump fans listen to some of the pettier reasons people have a problem with Trump, and so assume all criticism of Trump comes down to things like that--he's "boorish" as though we can only tolerate a fancy man who uses the right fork, and Trump is too much like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.

The thing is, most of us really don't care about the boorishness--outright rudeness of course is a political liability, but we'd tolerate that if the candidate was otherwise in the right and would make a good leader. Instead, our problem with Trump (or mine, anyway) is that his general nastiness, insecurity, ignorance and fondness for abusing power suggest a personality that should never be put in charge of this country's government. If he were a master of etiquette it wouldn't make a difference.

mccullough said...

Trump can't win those states either. Trump's not my candidate. None of them are. But he's put the stake through the GOP's heart and a clove of garlic in his mouth at the national level.

It's time to accept reality. Ted Cruz is the tea party candidate and he can't beat Trump. So blue collar whites were a bigger part of the national GOP coalition than those who favor symbolic small government and the few who actually favor small government who don't vote libertarian. But most of Trump's voters are only Trump people now. In other words, they are never GOP again. The GOP platform offers nothing for them. Tax cuts for the rich don't help them and gay marriage and abortion aren't issues for them either. And who cares about national defense when you think your country was sold out from under your feet by the people who claimed they were on your side.

They won't vote for Hillary but they aren't voting for the GOP nominee unless it's Trump.

But the Cruz tea party Never Trump people aren't leaving the GOP. Some other symbolic small government candidate will come along in four years and they can vote for him. Maybe it will be Cruz again. It doesn't matter who it is. That person will never be elected president. And you would think that the people who say they are Never Trump would understand the tenacity of the people who are only Trump. Just like many in the GOP would never vote for Trump, Trump's supporters would never vote for whoever the GOP stooge might be.

Brando said...

"Which state can Cruz win that Romney didn't?"

Ordinarily, if the Dems nominated a decent politician with better favorables, I'd agree that Cruz would have a near-impossible task to do better than Romney. But Hillary is profoundly unpopular and has a lot of weaknesses that Cruz doesn't (or at least that are much smaller than hers). Cruz would probably start with the same states Romney won, and if he made overtures to moderates and sold his vision he could pull in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, then need one more electoral vote for victory (probably in Nevada or Colorado).

With Trump, though? He's already got evangelicals and Mormons bleeding support from him--he even loses Utah against Hillary right now--and when your support among white women is under 25% (keep in mind this is a demographic that Romney won), suddenly Arizona, North Carolina and even Georgia are in play. Trump might still win those states, but if he has to fight there he's already losing.

Birkel said...

This country cannot sustain itself on the current course. That is foreclosed by reality. The question is whether this election or some other in the near-term changes things.

The changes will be less predictable the longer we wait.

mccullough said...

Birkel,

The comment section here couldn't swing a student body election at a small college. You are an even bigger cultist than I thought. We are all just bullshitting here as a form of entertainment. You appear to be the only one who thinks your comments could swing a national election.

But if you think my comments here have the power to swing the election to Hillary because I point out what is obvious to the non brainwashed and that you are the one person on the planet who can stop me, then enjoy your delusions of grandeur. That's why you're here. Delusions of grandeur are your form of entertainment.

But try and make it more entertaining. You come off as someone who tries to make conservatives look ignorant and insulated. Many of them are very well informed, thoughtful, and engaging. You are not.


mccullough said...

The country cannot sustain itself on its current course. Birkel, you've finally made an accurate statement. That wasn't so hard was it?

Now, just accept that your cult masters are also to blame for a lot of the problems and that their tired solutions have failed again and again and just lead to huge deficits and declining economic opportunity for more than half of America. And that they also are the party of endless war. You can excuse McCain for his spread freedom through the sword approach because he and his sons actually fight but the rest of the GOP didn't serve and their kids don't serve anymore than most Dems.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

mccullough said...Now, just accept that your cult masters are also to blame for a lot of the problems and that their tired solutions have failed again and again and just lead to huge deficits and declining economic opportunity for more than half of America.

I mean, I get it; troll on troller, but this is a line I've actually heard lately. The party of Sanders and Clinton are clucking their tongues about their opposition supporting "tired solutions?" Let's...let's not fold space-time in on itself with the gravity of irony present in such assertions, now. Also? Ya' guy's been Pres for 7 years, 2 of those with control of both House & Senate. The instinct of the Left to keeping going back to the "but, but, Bush!" or even "but, but, Reagan" well is wearing a bit thin, no?

Birkel said...

I wonder which moby-B-gone spray will work.

Michael K said...

No time to read all the comments so...

How is Trump more a threat to the donor class than Cruz? By Trump's own admission he has long been tight and close in the graft game. Cruz on the other hand has long proved he marches to his own drum as far as the leadership is concerned.

The donor class is using Cruz as a stalking horse to beat Trump. Then Cruz's support among will evaporate. That quote also suggests that Trump knows where all the bodies are buried.

Think about this.

What happens when a mustard gas attack kills 500 in Europe ? Or worse, when one occurs here ?

Mr Khiame's Bureau Central d'Investigations Judiciares team, believed the group - which was caught in February - was trying to create mustard gas.
He also claimed it was just one of 25 plots it had smashed within the country in the past year alone.
Last month it emerged U.S. Special Forces had captured ISIS's chemical weapons chief - and he admitted the group was planning to use mustard gas in future attacks.
The operative's capture was confirmed by an American official, who said the interrogation had yielded 'good things'.
He was captured by special forces that the Pentagon recently deployed to conduct raids against ISIS. He is current detained in Iraq, one of the officials said.

According to CNN, the US military has conducted airstrikes against 'targets it believes are crucial to ISIS's chemical weapons program'.

Al-Afari, an expert in chemical and biological weapons, had formerly worked for Saddam Hussein's regime.
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis declined to confirm that US forces had captured an ISIS chemical weapons expert.


At least Obama has not let him go yet.

The election will go on but the candidates might have to address some of Trump's points. Are any going to ?

Does anyone think Ryan is up to the task ? Trump is a loose cannon but nobody else has addressed the existential crisis coming like a freight train.

Michael K said...

Intersting. I seem to be in moderation now.

StephenFearby said...

A new Wisconsin Republican primary poll out today by American Research Group (ARG) shows Trump with a 10-point lead:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/wi/wisconsin_republican_presidential_primary-3763.html

However, 538 only gives ARG a rating of C- for reliability.

Still, the Cruz Real Clear Politics lead over Trump has now shrunk to a mere 4 points.

538 also sez that late momentum is one of the most important factors in interpreting primary poll results.

Variables for Ann Althouse to consider when she votes tomorrow.


StephenFearby said...

A new Wisconsin Republican primary poll out today by American Research Group (ARG) shows Trump with a 10-point lead:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/wi/wisconsin_republican_presidential_primary-3763.html

However, 538 only gives ARG a rating of C- for reliability.

Still, the Cruz Real Clear Politics lead over Trump has now shrunk to a mere 4 points.

538 also sez that late momentum is one of the most important factors in interpreting primary poll results.

Variables for Ann Althouse to consider when she votes tomorrow.

shiloh said...

"but I would appreciate some help for those of us who are struggling over what to do in Wisconsin tomorrow."

To quote this 95/5 con blogs favorite pin cushion, What difference does it make?

The best "help" would be to move to another state as WI is solid Dem come Nov. as always in higher turn-out presidential elections.

And Cruz vs. Trump? Seriously, flip a coin ...

Quite the pickle Reps find themselves in.

mccullough said...

Hoodlum,

The Dems have fired solutions as well but more people actually vote for their candidates for President.

But in fairness, let's take some of the fervent recent cult predictions of Dems and GOP. The GOP not voting to extend the 99-week unemployment benefits so that it lapsed to 26 weeks will raise unemployment and cause a recession. That didn't happen. The GOP imposed sequestration that Obama agreed to will raise unemployment and cause a recession. That didn't happen. So spending constraints actually don't lead to the apocalypse. The GOP said that raising the top two ordinary income tax brackets would raise unemployment and cause a recession. That didn't happen. (It also didn't happen in 1993 either despite the cult predictions. It also didn't happen in 1983 when Reagan and the Dems agreed to jack up Social Security taxes. But the cult is immune to reality).

But the GOP caved anyway at the end of last year and agreed to lift a lot of the spending constraints. So the GOP isn't serious about constraining spending. Obama knew they would cave because the GOP loves military spending. Defense contractors employ their spouses and kids as consultants to keep the gravy train rolling. So Obama got his tax hikes and his spending increases. The GOP is useless.

Snark said...

Strategic voting is usually a crapshoot that leaves a commensurate taste in the mouth and is wholly dependent on what everybody else does. Use your vote for the person left in the field who you would most like to see become the Republican nominee, or if no such person exists, spoil the ballot. A novel approach, I know.

Michael K said...

One of the better explanations of where Trump came from that I have seen.

The federal government’s reach has become so vast that it suffocates informed debate and political accountability. No one in the Obama administration has been held accountable—as Richard Nixon’s operatives were—for using the IRS as a mechanism to punish dissenters. Nor have the administrators at the Veterans Administration been held to account for their criminal conduct in running the VA in Arizona. GSA bureaucrats held a lavish conference in Las Vegas, complete with clowns and psychics. They have not only gone unscathed; they’ve also been rewarded with bonuses.

Blowing up the ruling class is popular, although it is only virtual blowing up as yet. The other may come.

chickelit said...

If you think foreign governments shudder at the thought of Trump presidency, you haven't thought through what they think of a Cruz presidency.

Foreign governments overwhelmingly hope for a Hillary presidency. They have paid for her candidacy. As an Althouse commenter recently wrote here: she wears their flags like sponsors on a NASCAR jacket.

Sayyid said...

If you live in Madison, you vote for Kasich in that situation. Cross-tabs that are congressional district specific have him winning there (and only there), and the statewide vote doesn't look to be close -- Cruz should secure the statewide delegates. And let's face it, no one is ever going to misinterpret a vote that says "Kasich" as actual support for that man.

Or am I misinterpreting the nature of this thread when I assume the hypothetical voter being described isn't actually hypothetical and is actually a professor living in Madison?

wildswan said...

T would vote for Cruz but ?what if he wins and this helps keep Trump from getting 1237 delegates? Then Karl Rove and others snatch the convention from Trump AND they will snatch it from Cruz also. But then in that case, even if Paul Ryan or Walker both of whom I truly support, is nominated, I would not feel good. It would feel like cheating. If we the people have nothing to do with it all then, Karl Rove, nominate your own damn candidate and run him on your own. Get rid of primaries. In fact, replace the whole thing - get rid of elections too. Have the two anointed candidates fight each other in their underwear.

And then I think that Donald Trump has hired a delegate-grabber of his own and I don't think the convention will find it easy to steal from him. Cruz also is maneuvering and I think he is the most brilliant candidate I have seen in my lifetime and a true conservative. Then there are the figures slinking about in the shadows - used to power, concerned to keep it. I don't want them to win - so back to the question - how then should I vote tomorrow?

But why think? - undoubtedly I will just vote for the one I support. And see what happens.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

All Hillary will have to do is play Glenn Beck preaching Cruz in commercials. Play Play Replay.

Turn it into a Religious Divide.

Which it very might well be.

But most Voters will turn against it.

(Argue whether they should: yeah yeah yeah)

I am Laslo.

StephenFearby said...

Sayyid said...

"If you live in Madison, you vote for Kasich in that situation. Cross-tabs that are congressional district specific have him winning there (and only there), and the statewide vote doesn't look to be close -- Cruz should secure the statewide delegates...."

The statewide winner's delegate yield is 18, compared to only 3 for a district winner.

As I noted above, the most recent RCP average of Wisconsin Republican primary polls has shrunk to only a +4.1 point lead for Cruz over Trump:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/wi/wisconsin_republican_presidential_primary-3763.html

Voting for Kasich instead of Cruz in any district increases the chances that Trump comes away with the 18 delegates awarded to the statewide winner.

It hardly matters if Kasich might come away with 3 delegates from the Madison district if Trump is the statewide winner.



Ken Mitchell said...

I support Cruz. He's one of the few politicians I've given money to since I sent $50 to Fred Thompson, only for him to drop out within a week. I'm glad that Ted is proving more durable. I'm a bit concerned with his pandering to the Evangelical movement, and I'm hoping that's more tactic than honest preference. Not that it would matter; he would STILL be better than any other candidate.

But frankly, Trump was my second choice. I hope that Cruz wins. I hope that Trump destroys ALL the RINO candidates before self-destructing, and I'm quite pleased by the last couple of weeks of Trumpisms. But if Trump gets the nomination, I'll vote for him in the general.

You've seen this before....

I'm a Cruz supporter, but I'm going to paste in this tweet every chance I get:
Jeff @EmpireOfJeff tweets:
"You "conservative" "pundits" still don't get it: Trump isn't our candidate. He's our murder weapon. And the GOP is our victim. We good, now?
12:25 PM - 14 Aug 2015 "

Ken Mitchell said...

StephenFearby said... "Voting for Kasich instead of Cruz in any district increases the chances that Trump comes away with the 18 delegates awarded to the statewide winner."

Wisconsinites should vote for Kasich ONLY if they want a RINO-dominated convention that pukes out somebody like Paul Ryan as their Presidential nominee, followed by the utter disappearance of the Republican Party. If the convention nominates somebody other than Trump or Cruz, the GOP will become the new Whigs; only a bad memory. By 2020, IF the United States still exists after 4 years of Hillary, there will be a new second party. Who knows? Perhaps it'll even be the Libertarians.

Beaumont said...

Voting is a forced choice exercise, like some of Professor Althouse's multiple choice test questions. You cannot know, just by looking at the test results whether someone chose the correct alternative because they knew the answer or were guessing. Maybe voting should be an essay or short answer test.