May 2, 2016

Andrew Sullivan has a point but it's too hard to see.

He's back — instructing us about the meaning of Plato's Republic and Trump as "an extinction-level event" — but here's the challenge:



I know, I can make the text tinier and the headline box will take its intended place within the illustration...



... but this is like a shop without a wheelchair ramp. You're saying you don't care about people like me.

Anyway, here, I'll excerpt a paragraph — one that's not about Plato or Trump-as-Hitler dramatics. This is some well-stated political analysis about Hillary:
Remember James Carville’s core question in the 1992 election: Change versus more of the same? That sentiment once elected Clinton’s husband; it could also elect her opponent this fall. If you like America as it is, vote Clinton. After all, she has been a member of the American political elite for a quarter-century. Clinton, moreover, has shown no ability to inspire or rally anyone but her longtime loyalists. She is lost in the new media and has struggled to put away a 74-year-old socialist who is barely a member of her party. Her own unfavorables are only 11 points lower than Trump’s (far higher than Obama’s, John Kerry’s, or Al Gore’s were at this point in the race), and the more she campaigns, the higher her unfavorables go (including in her own party). She has a Gore problem. The idea of welcoming her into your living room for the next four years can seem, at times, positively masochistic.
Okay, this is something I've been wanting to talk about — reliance on "unfavorables." It seems to me, we're going to end up with 2 major-party candidates that most people don't like. The election is going to be decided by the people who are going to be stuck voting for one of 2 people neither of whom they like. The question isn't who has higher unfavorability, but which one is more capable of getting a vote from a person who is disgusted by both of them. As Sullivan's paragraph suggests, one is exciting, risky, and entertaining. The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.

138 comments:

Brando said...

The question is also the intensity and immovability of those unfavorables. How many anti-Trumps or anti-Hillarys can be persuaded back into the camp? How many despise both, but despise one more than the other? And among that group, how many are likely to vote and what state do they live in?

But if those unfavorables are accurate, and remain at similar levels through the end, we'll be electing one of the most unliked presidents in modern history. It'd be like putting 1980 Carter up against 1974 Nixon.

I'm curious as to what the third party turnout will be this fall.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.

Not to mention corrupt, incompetent and deceitful.

damikesc said...

I hope it leads to a violent revolution, personally.

rhhardin said...

The Ring. Which one of you do the other two dislike least?

M Jordan said...

The unfavorabl numbers are about to change, dramatically. Trump's will go down, Hillary's up. What's behind these coming changes? The mercurial Donald Trump who drives every single aspect of this election. The man is a narrative-shaper. When he starts whispering sweet nothings in the GOPe ears, they'll melt like butter on a hot knife. Unfavorables fall. When he starts probing Hillary's past like only he can do -- I for one relish a revisit to the cattle futures deal -- Hillary's unfavorables will congeal like day-old gravy in the refrigerator.

It's really over already. Trump wins in a landslide.

AprilApple said...

Andrew cannot stand Hillary, but, like Dowd, won't really ever leave the plantation. The loyalty to the corrupt D party is strong.

David Begley said...

One thing left out of that analysis is that Hillary is a simple criminal. She trades official government acts for money. Big problem!

Brando said...

"It's really over already. Trump wins in a landslide."

Out of curiosity, what's your prediction--Trump by 10 points or more? And which states do you see shifting from the 2012 map?

"Andrew cannot stand Hillary, but, like Dowd, won't really ever leave the plantation. The loyalty to the corrupt D party is strong."

Yeah, I think that's what Hillary has going into this. A lot of people can't stand her but if they hate Trump more she's going to get a lot of default votes. Bill couldn't have set this up better.

Birkel said...

Will the LightBringer be followed by the Unindicted Felon or the Orange Strongman?

Hillary wants to ban criticism of Hillary. Trump wants to expand the law to allow a narrower First Amendment.

Oh, joy!

Phil 3:14 said...

It's not about who you like but more about who you dislike more. And "dislike" can include many other "factors" like hair, clothes etc.

Birkel said...

"Trump wants to expand the law to allow a narrower First Amendment."

And Hillary will increase the chocolate ration from 12 to 10 ounces.

tim maguire said...

At the key moment, standing in the voting booth, we usually go with the dreary and predictable. The devil you know, you know.

That said, I still find it astonishing that the Democratic Party is flirting with making their nominee someone who is under an active criminal investigation with national security implications. What insanity leads them to play with that ticking time bomb? Are they really going to do this? Are they really so pathetic that they can come up with no one better?

Unknown said...

Web sites shoot themselves in the feet all the time. What often works for me is "View==>Page Style==>No Style" from the top menus. That's Firefox, but there's probably something similar for Chrome and IE. Basically drops you back to straight HTML. You may have to page down a bit as the left column will get rendered inline..

Birkel said...

tim maguire:

Better assumes you understand the goals. Are you sure you do?

Sebastian said...

"The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal" Doesn't matter. Economic conditions plus approval rating of sitting prez drive votes. Add a good GOTV effort in FL, OH, and VA, plus Progs sticking to the party line (plus a law prof up in WI who will vote for "who seems best"), and Dems have it in the bag. MSM-fueled Trump-loathing may enlarge margins a bit by driving moderate married women away from GOP.

Brando said...

""The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal" Doesn't matter. Economic conditions plus approval rating of sitting prez drive votes. Add a good GOTV effort in FL, OH, and VA, plus Progs sticking to the party line (plus a law prof up in WI who will vote for "who seems best"), and Dems have it in the bag. MSM-fueled Trump-loathing may enlarge margins a bit by driving moderate married women away from GOP."

Don't worry, if Trump loses you can be sure his fans will say it's all because of conservatives stabbing him in the back, not because they nominated a guy who couldn't win.

Gahrie said...

I agree with his basic premise.

Bring back our republic.

Begin by repealing the remaining three Progressive amendments.

Gahrie said...

Don't worry, if Trump loses you can be sure his fans will say it's all because of conservatives stabbing him in the back, not because they nominated a guy who couldn't win.

Well the Republican elite has given us a great example, because every time one of their stiffs lose, they blame it on poor turnout among the base.

rehajm said...

Favorability ratings reflect a composite of people's feelings about their own current well being, politicians in general and the specific individual. To compare politicians from different time periods is innumerate.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.

Medicinal in the same way that leeches were once considered medicinal.

Brando said...

"Well the Republican elite has given us a great example, because every time one of their stiffs lose, they blame it on poor turnout among the base."

And the Right generally responds that those stiffs have an obligation to appeal to them.

In the end, we can debate whether it's the voters' fault or the candidates'. But it still amounts to a divided group that goes into national elections with a distinct disadvantage.

Michael K said...

It's certainly an interesting year and it will get more so. Riots in Cleveland and a terrorist attack by the Religion of Peace before the election. I just hope it is not a nuke.

Michael said...

If it is not clear to you now, professor, it is not going to be clear until the next 189 days and 14 hours have passed. Then it will be clear as a bell that the pundits have been wrong from the first to the last in the matter of Donald Trump. Hillary will not win. The Senate will not be lost. The House will not be lost. No down ticket candidates will lose.

It is hard to see from where you sit.

M Jordan said...

@Brando: "Out of curiosity, what's your prediction--Trump by 10 points or more? And which states do you see shifting from the 2012 map"

Trump by 7-10 in popular vote. He'll flip Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio -- the Rust Belt in essence -- as well as Iowa, Colorado, maybe Wisconsin Florida for sure, maybe Virginia, Nevada, Oregon, and if things really get rolling, maybe even New York.

This is shaping up as 1980 all over again.

tim maguire said...

Birkel said...
tim maguire: Better assumes you understand the goals. Are you sure you do?


I understand that any sane set of goals will include not having the party implode when their candidate is indicted. That doesn't seem like a close call.

John Henry said...

A year ago when Trump first announced that he might announce, I was pretty cool to the idea. We had Rand Paul running and I thought he was just what the doctor ordered. I thought Cruz would make a pretty good, liberal, prez if it weren't for his citicenship. Trump struck me as competent but something of a blowhard.

Since then I have warmed more and more to Trump and am now a fan. It is not so much that my opinion of him has changed. I still think he is a competent blowhard. What has changed my mind has been the enemies he has made. To coin a phrase "With enemies like these, who needs friends?"

Now Trump is an "Extinction event"? Well, good. Hopefully he will make bullshit like this extinct.

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

The GOP establishment is in the process of throwing away all of the gains they have made with the working class that the Democrats had abandoned.

Brando said...

"Trump by 7-10 in popular vote. He'll flip Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio -- the Rust Belt in essence -- as well as Iowa, Colorado, maybe Wisconsin Florida for sure, maybe Virginia, Nevada, Oregon, and if things really get rolling, maybe even New York.

This is shaping up as 1980 all over again."

My prediction is Hillary by 6%, same states as Obama 2012 but adding Arizona. A lot can change in the next several months though. Usually it solidifies by September.

"Riots in Cleveland and a terrorist attack by the Religion of Peace before the election."

Hard to predict a terror attack, but I don't see riots in Cleveland no matter who they nominate (though they'll nominate Trump). There will be lots of protesters, though, and the cops will need extra backup to deal with that. It'll be like NY in 2004, but more so.

AReasonableMan said...

I was unimpressed with Sullivan's article because I don't take the threat of a president as dictator, or dictator lite, very seriously. Compared with many prime ministers the US president generally has very circumscribed power, particularly if his own party doesn't control both houses of Congress. It is difficult for me to see how this would be an effective launch pad for a dictatorship, as we are now seeing occur in Turkey. Not that this shouldn't be a concern but it seems to fall into the highly unlikely category.

Like Althouse, Sullivan doesn't have much natural sympathy for the working classes, or anyone outside the self-declared meritocracy, so it was to be expected that he would not be enthusiastic about Trump.

John Henry said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...

I was unimpressed with Sullivan's article because I don't take the threat of a president as dictator, or dictator lite, very seriously.

The closest we have come has been President-for-life Roosevelt. Not at all afraid to wield his powers in dictatorial ways.

We are still suffering from him yet.

I think we learned our lesson. I do not see Trump as dictator. I doubt he will have a tame congress/Senate even if majority Repo. He is just too big a threat to their ricebowls.

John Henry

Larry J said...

Nations die when the citizens no longer believe in the rule of law because they see their leaders get away with breaking the law. If we aren't quite there yet, we're close. We hear reports of government employees and politicians breaking the law and nothing happens to them. Why, then, should we obey the law?

As for the US, we were never founded to be a democracy. We were founded to be a representative republic, and for good reason. We're either at or very near a tipping point where a majority of voters vote for the candidates who promise them the most free stuff, to be paid for by everyone else. If we didn't cross the tipping point in 2012, we came very close.

Rae said...

Having to choose between two candidates who make me retch is the story of my adult political life. Actually it was always having to vote for just one that was slightly less rank than the other.

I'm moderately supportive of Trump just out of spite - I want everyone to feel my pain. Yes, I know that's insane, but here we are.

Michael K said...

"What has changed my mind has been the enemies he has made."

Yes, this has also made me far more sympathetic to his cause. That and the respect of several people I think are more knowledgeable than I.

One is this guy, whose blog I read every day. Some of the reasons.

Western civilization is collapsing. We see that as the Islamic invasion of pampered Eloi Europe continues apace, meeting little resistance, and, in fact, often welcomed with open arms and wallets. We see it in the United States where our vastly overfunded higher "education" system produces millions of aggressive, self-centered, ignorant dolts and turns them loose on society as "agents of change." We see it in the triumph of mental illness and the collapse of common sense, e.g., defending our national borders, insisting that there is such a thing as a female sex and a male sex, stopping minimum wage and other regulations and laws that destroy the economy, insisting on voter identification, protecting our borders, etc. If one seeks to defend the values of America and the West, one gets labelled a racist, a xenophobe, a supremacist, a patriarch (see here, for example). The assault on dissent, on diversity of opinion, on individual freedom is unrelenting.

As Peggy Noonan has finally concluded, Trump actually likes America.

I told her I’d been thinking that maybe Mr. Trump’s appeal is simple: What Trump supporters believe, what they perceive as they watch him, is that he is on America’s side.

And that comes as a great relief to them, because they believe that for 16 years Presidents Bush and Obama were largely about ideologies. They seemed not so much on America’s side as on the side of abstract notions about justice and the needs of the world.


I think that is enough to start with.

M Jordan said...

I have been conversing with working class voters -- some new to the process -- and their allegiance to Trump is remarkable. Trump rallies contain a large component of working class and the kind of people you see at a casino. I'm heading to the rally today in South Bend and I'm being told, vine way, way early or I won't get in. The South Bend Tribune said this may be the largest political event in the history of this very Democratic city where Notre Dame dwells. Obama drew 3500 in 1980. They're expecting 12-15,000 today.

There's something happenin' here. What is is ain't exactly clear ... to the pundit class.

MikeR said...

As for the usability of the website, I'm surprised this is the first time you're mentioning such an issue. _Many_ websites have banners that intrude into the text with the screen resolutions I use, so that I can't use the Page Down button, as some of the text will be under the banner. I have no choice on these websites but to scroll down bit by bit.
Many websites have text that is too small to read, and if you increase the zoom the text goes off the screen to the right.
Many websites choose a font color that is gray instead of black so that it's hard to see, or a colored background, or (worst) a dark background and white letters.

John Henry said...

M Jordan said

Obama drew 3500 in 1980.

Too be fair, in 1980 not many people knew who Obama was. Drawing 3,500 was a pretty good accomplishment for someone with no name recognition who was not running for any office.

John Henry

Comanche Voter said...

"Medicinal"? Well I'll agree that a dose of Hillary can be compared to a dose of castor oil--which produces one result. Or perhaps a dose of saltpeter, which sorta tends to dampen enthusiasm among the male members of the electorate.

But November is shaping up to be a voting booth choice replay of Nixon-McGovern 1972. My quandary, as a Democrat raised to believe that Nixon was, to coin a Boehnerism "Lucifer in The Flesh", but who also thought that McGovern would be a disaster as President, was who to choose? I knew that my mortal soul would be in peril if I voted for Nixon [after all my father, a Yellow Dog Texas Democrat, had told me so]--and the country would be in peril if I voted for McGovern.

I live in California. I finally resolved my dilemma by reasoning that there was no way that McGovern would carry California, so I could vote for him. But if I had thought that McGovern might carry California, I would have voted for Nixon in a heartbeat. And then spent the rest of my life doing good works to see if I could somehow make up for that sin.

That was some 44 years ago; I don't have that much time left to obtain absolution for however I cast my vote this November.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I seem to recall that commenters used to insult Andrew Sullivan for calling himself "Iron Glutes" or something like that.

Wasn't he the guy who got sort of famous for arguing that same-sex marriage was consistent with so-called conservative ideology?

I think maybe he's HIV positive or something like that.

John Henry said...

Commanche,

I have a perfect unbroken record of voting for Democrat presidential candidates. I too voted for McGovern. I can only please youth and ignorance.

Then I got out of the Navy and became a Puerto Rican and have not voted for any president since.

John Henry

buwaya puti said...

Part of the problem here, common to all US Presidential elections, is over-concern with the actual person running for the office. It's somewhat important of course, but far more important are the cliques that are aligned with that person. A government the size of the US Federal Government is not going to be run by a single person, not even in very broad policy areas. Decisions aren't made by one person, and the President is extremely susceptible to advisers. Among those coming in with the President are dozens, at least, who collectively will almost completely dominate policy decisions.
One is actually electing many thousands of people, at best represented, very imperfectly, by one.
A well informed vote would take into account the nature of those thousands, their competence, interests, culture and ideology.

buwaya puti said...

It's impossible to tell, so far, who Trumps thousands will be.

It is evident who Clintons thousands are, they are in power and making all the important decisions right now.

Their performance and record are evident, their as yet unfulfilled desires are well known.

From my point of view, having observed this lot in action at the coalface of policy and in their farm system in our state, where they are utterly unconstrained, that if the objective is continued economic paralysis and disaster, they are difficult to beat.

It is hard to imagine a worse clique, among those available in the US with any prospect of gaining power, than the present one.

dreams said...

I don't think Trump is that disliked, don't forget about political correctness and the herd instinct.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: Okay, this is something I've been wanting to talk about — reliance on "unfavorables."

Likewise, chemical reactions are often powered by attraction but steered by repulsion. It's a point I tried to make, calling it the the chemistry of politics.

William said...

Trump's unfavorables are more likable than Hillary's unfavorables. It's like the difference between Falstaff and Richard III........Trump is a blowhard and a jerk, but Hillary is phony and screechy. Trump's negatives have far more entertainment value than Hillary's negatives......That's just my opinion. I don't have a past record of being a bellwether for elections. It's quite possible that Trump will be soundly trounced. She's not th more conservative choice, but she is the safer choice.

boycat said...

Don't worry, if Trump loses you can be sure his fans will say it's all because of conservatives stabbing him in the back, not because they nominated a guy who couldn't win.

And they'd have it exactly right.

AllenS said...

I can hardly wait for my Trump lawn signs to arrive. If someone else would have run against him that the people liked, maybe they could have gathered more support, but they didn't. If Trump loses, he loses. It's not much more than that. Just like Bush I lost, McCain lost, Romney lost. If you lose, you lose. Life goes on. But, please, don't let me stop you from blowing your brains out if Trump gets the nomination. You will not be missed.

Robert Cook said...

"I hope it leads to a violent revolution, personally."

Then you're a fool, unless you think turning the country into a living hell of violence, butchery, mass imprisonments, and so on is a good thing...in which case you're a worse fool.

n.n said...

A constitutional republic, where minority (i.e. individual) rights are protected, and, ideally, there is a reconciliation of moral and natural imperatives.

Democracy is not the goal. Well, at one time, neither was evolutionary dysfunction (e.g. reactive and planned parenthood), selective exclusion (e.g. "="), class diversity (i.e. racism, sexism, etc.), anti-native policies, etc.

It's telling that the response to Obama who promised radical and redistributive change was not nearly as venomous as it is to Trump. They really hate and fear this man.

shiloh said...

My prediction ~ Trump being a birther will be a major issue this election cycle and Obama currently has a 52/45 Gallup approval rating.

The attack ads pretty much write themselves re: Trump's juvenile obsession w/Obama.

If Obama is above 50 on election day, Hillary wins. Plus Dems are just better at GOTV re: presidential elections.

>

Whereas I will agree this has been a strange year of total voter dissatisfaction! But "we" have had voter dissatisfaction for the last ten years ever since Cheney/Bush's Iraq War started going south in 2006 and the economic collapse in 2008.

Although voter dissatisfaction seems to be mostly on the Rep side. Dems are now the party which falls in line and Rep voters are totally pissed at the party establishment/hierarchy as they look at their majority in congress as being totally useless.

Big Mike said...

The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.

@Althouse, since when is "medicinal" a synonym for "personally corrupt"? That's a new one on me.

John Henry said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...

Then you're a fool, unless you think turning the country into a living hell of violence, butchery, mass imprisonments, and so on is a good thing...in which case you're a worse fool.

In a word, "progressivism"

John "Yangchen" Henry

Amadeus 48 said...

I like M Jordan's analysis.
I have been thinking up until recently that Americans would default to the devil they know (i.e., Clinton), but she is a truly awful campaigner. Trump is awful in many ways, too, but he has the ultimate campaign slogan: "Make America great." The long-form version for those who prefer nuance is "Make America great again."
Compare that to the identity group downer that is the Clinton campaign. She is having trouble putting away a ranting old socialist in the Dem party.
In the meantime, anti-Trump forces wave Mexican flags and obstruct Americans going about their lawful business and trying to exercise their rights to free speech. Many voters find the behavior of these anti-Trump boobs both offensive and threatening.
Can you think of anything bad that has not already been said about Trump? And still he closes in on Clinton.
Note Dem crony-capitalist Buffett's anodyne comments on a Trump presidency--nothing to be concerned about from a business point of view. The stars are lining up.

American Liberal Elite said...

I had the obscured text problem when I opened the essay in Chrome, but not in Firefox.

Michael said...

Amadeus 48

Add to the mix the probability that the progs will create such violence and hideous visuals at one or both of the conventions and a Trump victory will be insured.

shiloh said...

"a Trump victory will be insured."

So how much $$$ will it cost to insure Trump's victory?

eric said...

The thing about Trump is, he makes me want to wear a "Make America Great Again" hat. The extreme overreaction people have to it makes me want to buy six of them and have my whole family wearing them out to restaurants and about town.

But, ultimately, I think he loses. It's been my experience Republicans give a lot of thought to their candidate and who they will vote for. Democrats? Not so much. Pro-choice? They've got my vote! Pro welfare? Thyve got my vote! Panders to favorites Democrat group of the week? Thyve got my vote!

Nothing else really comes into it. As long as Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel, and all the TV stars are on board, then it's the right thing to do, vote Democrat.

I don't see how Trump overcomes that. Or any Republican, really.

IntellectuallyCurious said...

Hillary vs. Donald: Who will win?

Demographics is destiny! Everything else between now and November is noise.

buwaya puti said...

Shiloh,
I have seen your ideal future. That which, it seems, you lust for in ecstatic anticipation. That which can only come from the dominance of your friends.

It is Stockton, CA.

Some people, no way around it, have to deal with real things like concrete and steel, with physical problems, with energy and pipes and wires, food and water, money made and spent other than in real-life games of monopoly. These are the people without which you and yours can't live. These people hate you and yours with great intensity.

React to this with honesty, I dare you.

Amadeus 48 said...

eric--
One thing to think about:
Watch Trump go for the Bernie voters when Hillary swats him aside at the Dem convention. Trump is a candidate without a program or ideology--just a big thought slogan--Make America great again. He is not constrained by party loyalty or ideology. He will pick and pick at the short shrift the Bernie voters were given by the super-delegates and the Dem powers-that- be. He has already said that single payer health care might be the solution to Obamacare's problems. Think that will get through the House or Senate? No way. So he is free to campaign on it and then drop it later--"couldn't make the deal."

Wilbur said...

I hold with W.C. Fields: "Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against."

cubanbob said...

Hillary is running as the third Obama term. Considering Al Gore couldn't pull off a third Bill Clinton term in 2000, under better circumstances, I fail to see the inevitability of Hillary. Then there is the matter of the FBI with respects to Hillary.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birches said...

Haha. Colorado will go red for Trump. That's delusional.

Daniel Jackson said...

"It seems to me, we're going to end up with 2 major-party candidates that most people don't like. The election is going to be decided by the people who are going to be stuck voting for one of 2 people neither of whom they like." Madame Althouse

This is the classic Voter's Paradox, suggested famously by Kenneth Arrow, and discussed mightily ever since. The problem in political processes like the US, is that when the process starts, each person has a personal favorite. As a result, none of the personal favorites has a majority.

However, each person has a second, third, or more choices in rank order (pun intended). Hence, in the next round of voting, knowing the first choice will not win, the individual selects lower on their personal list. It is not hard to see that over the iterative process, the lower the rank, the more common that candidate is for others to accept.

We all wind up with a choice that no one really wants, but accepts.

I would suggest that political pundits, in the future, reread (assuming they once did in poly sci class) Arrow's paper and start their analyses looking at the least favorite (the third or fourth choice in common for all) and start their blather at the bottom.

This entire electoral season is paradigmatic of the Voter's Paradox. It was clear from the beginning that Trump was everyone's least favorite choice; it was also clear that when none of the other choices could deliver, people were compelled to select a least favorite candidate.

The rational voter should be more pragmatic in their assessment of not who is the Best choice; but, rather, wake up and listen to the Rooster--"Which dude'll do?"

We all have been (and will be) Trumped.

Sammy Finkelman said...

one is exciting, risky, and entertaining. The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.

In such an election, predictable beats risky, the more important the office is. But theer's teh question of evil.

I think I described the riskiness as follows:

"If we were to make a graph of all possible Trump presidencies and all possible Hillary Clinton presidencies, I would say that the median of Hillary is worse than the median of Donald Trump, and [on top of that] the distribution is skewed bad; but the standard deviation of Trump is larger, and when you get [to] 3 standard deviations away, [from the median] it's worse."

Theer is a somewhat higher probability of really, really, bad black swan events with Donald Trump, but for less severe black swan events, the probability is higher with Hillary, and the probability of anything good is very low..

AllenS said...

American Liberal Elite said...
I had the obscured text problem when I opened the essay in Chrome, but not in Firefox.

This morning I had to update Chrome to do most everything on the computer.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Don't worry, if Trump loses you can be sure his fans will say it's all because of conservatives stabbing him in the back, not because they nominated a guy who couldn't win.

Both are true. He couldn't win because a lot of conservatives won't vote for him. Also people who are not conservatives.

The questions is, in such an election, who is Nixon and who is McGovern? They're both less palatable than either of them, maybe.

JPS said...

Extinction-level event?

I haven't read Sullivan in some years, but it's good to see he's keeping the level head and detached, analytical perspective for which he has become renowned.

Phil 3:14 said...

There's nothing "entertaining" about Donald Trump.

I never liked Rickles either.

Both Donald.....hmmm.

buwaya puti said...

California is Clinton-clique heaven.
It doesn't get better than this.
Unrelieved bad news for anyone not in favored circumstances, or for the 95%.
We are in the 5%, but I'm an aristocrat who can imagine the guillotine.
I also don't see the advantage in a long slow disaster.

Sigivald said...

Andrew Sullivan still gets published?

Huh.

robother said...

After 6 years of "Bushitler! Bushitler! Bushitler!" its now "Trumphitler, Trumphitler, Trumphitler!" Thank God(win) we have Andrew Sullivan to share his highly nuanced views on American politics.

walter said...

Decision 2016

tim in vermont said...

I honestly thought Sullivan was dead and that this was some piece from the past that somebody had dug up that they found applicable. LOL, then I just realized he was dead to me.

walter said...

ARM,
"I won't refuse it. I'm going to do a lot of things," Trump said when asked if he would use executive orders in an interview Sunday on NBC"s "Meet the Press."

“I mean, he’s led the way, to be honest with you,” he added, referring to Obama.

The Republican primary front-runner said his executive orders, unlike the president’s, will be for the “right things.”

“But I’m going to use them much better and they’re going to serve a much better purpose than he’s done,” he said.

narciso said...

it depends what you use them for, in lieu of legislation, if they counteract the will of the people, as robertscare, amnesty, drilling moratoriums have been,

Gahrie said...

I honestly thought Sullivan was dead and that this was some piece from the past

For some reason, he decided to sit out the Obama presidency.

Terry said...

Sullivan is about the worst person you could go to for an analaysis of anything.

Unknown said...

Robert Cook said...
"I hope it leads to a violent revolution, personally."

Then you're a fool, unless you think turning the country into a living hell of violence, butchery, mass imprisonments, and so on is a good thing...in which case you're a worse fool.

5/2/16, 9:49 AM


Your only objection to violence, comrade, is that the correlation of forces is not in your favor. Had you the guns/numbers, it would be the chop, day and night.

You may think the odds are moving in your favor - others might agree, wherefore they should move now - so softlee softlee catchee monkey. The frog in the pot. We all get it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I bet turn out is low, low, low this time around.

Brando said...

"For some reason, he decided to sit out the Obama presidency."

He was right there, cheerleading for the Prez through his reelection. Along with the Daily Show, he was an extension of Obama's press office.

His gushing over Obama reminds me a lot of how a lot of Trump fans gush over Trump--no matter what their guy does, even if it's clearly a blunder, we must understand it was secretly a brilliant piece of ju-jitsu, third dimensional chess, changing the game and totally winning because the hero can never do wrong.

narciso said...

when he's gotten over obsession with anatomy, well directly anyways, back in 2012, he was saying how zaphod opponents were so stupid, so agregious his kramerica intern friedersdorf
had to correct him,

Luke Lea said...

Reading the whole article, I wonder whether Sullivan's fears are justified or is he just suffering from the Trump derangement syndrome. If it weren't for the issues of trade and immigration and their effects on the American worker I wouldn't give a fig about Trump. But because he is the only candidate who wants to address these two fundamental pocketbook issues, I feel that have to support him. He may be our only chance.

tim in vermont said...

So instead of limiting the vote to property owners, or payers of a poll tax, liberals now wish to limit the franchise to the right thinking. Thus endeth the Enlightenment.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Sullivan acknowledges that Trump has to - and will try to - moderate his views, present a more presidential and reasonable face in order to, among other problems, change the 65% negative poll numbers. If he doesn't, he simply cannot win.

So how is this a fascist threat to the republic? If this truly is, as Plato foresaw, the end result of radical democracy succumbing to the dictator, then why is Trump having to present a different, more reasonable face? Why the mask?

Trump is, for Sullivan, a fascist who is appealing to the deep anger in our democracy and yet has to now present a calmer, more reasonable message. Well, which is it?

AllenS said...

I'm a Trump supporter, but I don't gush over Trump. He is addressing subjects that I think are important to all of us, and he's talking about these things, and nobody else will, or has ever talked about them.

Sure wish my Trump law signs would get here.

tim in vermont said...

Fascists need gangs of goons willing to bust up opponent's rallies and shut down opposition speech. Which side is collecting those?

Terry said...

For some reason the people who warn us of the dreaded dictatorship of the majority never feel the need to warn us against the dictatorship of the minority.
Remember, during the Bush presidency, Sullivan was anti-water-boarding? Rabidly anti-water-boarding, even. Irrational. I wondered, then, that he used the same terms to describe water boarding that he used to describe his reaction to anti-gay-marriage laws. They were suffocating, strangling, kept him from breathing, etc.
Then in an unguarded moment, he wrote about his childhood asthma using the same terms. No self-awareness at all. Just needs, and fears that his needs won't be met.

Shawn L. said...

"Extinction Level Event"???

Sheesh. That's laying it on thick.

And yes, "elites" have a role... It's called persuasion. But most of our elites gave up on that for preaching to the choir, or picking faux fights. Not actual debate but pro wrestling disguised as debate.

Andrew's hyperbole doesn't help. It relies on the "Lesser of two evils" argument, requiring him to escalate the threat of a President Trump to ridiculous levels, given the substantial negatives of Hillary.

If they are both as bad as the negatives seem. Then there's a opening for a third candidate without so many negatives. Open it up to a lesser of THREE evils. Yeah, I'm biased, being a Libertarian backing Gary Johnson. But if anyone really thinks both major candidates stink that badly, they ought to at least consider it.

Brando said...

"I'm a Trump supporter, but I don't gush over Trump. He is addressing subjects that I think are important to all of us, and he's talking about these things, and nobody else will, or has ever talked about them."

Yeah, that's why I wrote "a lot of" because at least a lot of the Trump fans I know personally seem to acknowledge his shortcomings but still figure he has the capacity to do some good. Not that I agree with them, but I wouldn't call it hero worship. That's true about a lot of Obama fans too.

shiloh said...

"I have seen your ideal future."

bp, for the past five to six years I have taken care of my mother, who had Alzheimer's, 24/7. She recently passed away. Hence my comment in the Goodbye to Nancy Reagan thread. This is the main reason it was easy for me to stop posting here for 3+ years. Political blogging being so much minutiae ... on a good day.

Yes, I live in the real world.

Interesting my buddy, Ritmo, also made a comment in the Nancy Reagan thread which was deleted because it was so negative/nasty ie lacking any humanity. In Ritmo's world everything is black and white w/no grey area. I digress.

Mention Ritmo as he is a perfect example of a die hard political blogger. Correct on every issue and if you disagree you're a lowlife idiot. So he childishly attacks me because I'm not a big fan of Sanders, his second coming. And he thinks I'm a big fan of Hillary, which I'm not. But as always, elections come down to realistic choices.

>

And re: Sullivan's gobbledygook our political system has been rigged since the Founding Fathers and only got worse the past 40/50 years ie lobbyists/SuperPacs/oligarchy's ~ Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton ~ damn, how did Barack Hussein Obama slip by in a nation run by leaders w/waspy names:

Wilson
Harding
Coolidge
Hoover
Roosevelt
Truman
Johnson
Nixon
Ford
Carter
Reagan
Bush
Clinton
Bush

Again, I digress. As always, America survives despite itself.

And yes, America is in a bit of a pickle ~ Trump or Hillary. What difference at this point does it make?

tim in vermont said...

Shilo, Can you tell me why I am wrong to think that Hillary put her political interests above concerns for the lives of our agents overseas as well as protection of our sources and methods?


Why else have her own server but full control of deletions?

tim in vermont said...

Were Hillary's decisions in Syria and Libya wise? Why is she the way out of this mess?

tim in vermont said...

What Hillary considers Nixon's big mistake was getting caught.

Terry said...

Blogger tim in vermont said...
. . .
Why else have her own server but full control of deletions?


If any American hacked her server, the JD would put them in prison for a long, long, time. The Chinese and Russians hackers are, of course, out of reach of American justice.
Hillary was Secretary of State. She had to know that foreign intelligence agencies had teams dedicated to compromising her communications. She kept a private server anyhow, and apparently took no more care to secure it than any other grandma.

shiloh said...

As one Tim to another, you're not wrong. The Clinton's live in their own little world, much like Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Christie ...

But I don't think Clinton is a compulsive/pathological liar, unless you will say the same re: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Christie etc. There's the rub ie in order to get elected one has to be quite a chameleon.

And gasp, this will make Ritmo happy as Sanders is the most authentic believing most everything he says.

>

The Clinton's are control freaks like most politicians. This is what is driving the Rep heirarchy/establishment crazy as they have no control of what's gonna happen in Cleveland.

It's the nature of the beast re: politics. Controlling the message! But in the age of mass media/cable/internet it's impossible. There are no secrets. wiki leaks, etc.

tim in vermont said...

And you are fine with that? The billionaire boys club picked Hillary and that's the way it is as long as the side you culturally identify with wins?

Hillary thinks she's Maggie Thatcher. She's not,but she does get a kick out of throwing coal miners out of jobs though.

tim in vermont said...

By the way, riots in Cleveland will not play as well as you think outside of Madison, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, and Berkeley. They will play into Trump's hand. Same as they did Nixon's.

tim in vermont said...

These Democrats sure don't sound like us Democrats who went after Nixon! It's almost as if they take their positions based on the political situation. Situational ethics! Naah!

tim in vermont said...

I think Trump is rubbing his hands in gleeful anticipation that Cleveland will drive home his points that leftie goons are killing democracy.

tim in vermont said...

So why did the Democrats force Webb out of the race again?

buwaya puti said...

Shiloh,
You are not really electing politicians only. In the case of the President, you effectively elect a clique, a tribe, a social class. It's not Hilary you push, but the entire current governing structure.
From the ground, from an engineers-eye view of how that social class is running things, it is an utter disaster.
No, I don't think you live in the real world, you are insulated unless you really do have to solve problems with the understanding that the government, in its current form, is a worse problem than a drought or any force of nature.
People are responsible for this. These people are both collectively and individually evil.
Backing Clinton you back the worst evil in government I have seen in 40 years of dealing with governments. Even the Marcos dictatorship wasn't as destructive, as contemptuous, as brutal.

shiloh said...

"And you are fine with that?"

Disagree with your premise.

"Same as they did Nixon's"

What riots are you talking about? Yes, the '68 Dem Chicago convention riots was a positive for Nixon as the Dems were totally discombobulated at the time and even more so (4) years later.

btw, as disorganized and divided as the Dems were in '68, many political "experts" think Humphrey would have won if the campaign had lasted two more weeks. Nixon won 43.4 to 42.7 w/Wallace getting 13.5. 1960 Nixon got 49.55 so he regressed so to speak in (8) years.

Who forced Webb out? The same folks who are forcing Sanders out? Oh wait!

Your negative talk re: the Dem party machine is giving the impression the Rep party machine which apparently no longer exists was a lofty/redeemable enterprise unlike the current Dems.

As mentioned before, just waiting to see how many Rep politicians will be holding hands in a kumbaya moment w/Trump. Some will do so 'cause they have no choice.

Hey, don't blame me that the Rep party imploded before the Dem party. Time will tell if implosion is a good or bad for the party of Lincoln.

A house divided against itself cannot stand!

shiloh said...

"Backing Clinton you back the worst evil in government I have seen in 40 years of dealing with governments."

I get it that you and most of the cons here don't like Clinton, but hyperbolic rhetoric is not a convincing argument.

I could be just as hyperbolic re: Cheney/Bush those pillars of truth, justice and the American Way.

Give it a rest. And no I don't lose sleep at night thinking how Obama and maybe Hillary are destroying America like the majority of Althouse cons do.

>

Again, Reps feel they should win every presidential election regardless.

buwaya puti said...

No you can't.
I am a foreigner, not American, but I have been deeply involved in US manufacturing for decades.
The situation here, not a political matter but a true, tangible one, is a disaster. I can't explain the sky to a blind man, but its there.
It's not as a conservative that I say this, but as a professional, an engineer.

shiloh said...

bp, foreigner or not you fit right in with Althouse cons. Glad you found a home.

buwaya puti said...

Shiloh,
Do you have any wish to understand reality, or are going to insist on being trivial?
Any person can check all the relative statistical trends, if you haven't the "advantage" of seeing them in the field. It's all there, free to view.
Real things are happening around you, that have nothing to do with the silly political games.
Are you willing to put away childish things?

Gina said...

Trump will not win over women. Count on it. And I'm having a really hard time seeing how he beats Clinton without them.

Nichevo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
campy said...

Hillary! wins, By Any Means Necessary.

Emphasis on ANY.

AllenS said...

Gina, next time there is a picture of a Trump rally, see if there are any women present. Ok?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Mention Ritmo as he is a perfect example of a die hard political blogger.

Nope. Just someone with values. Things that you, apparently, lack entirely.

Correct on every issue...

Excuse me for actually putting some thought into the things I think about.

...and if you disagree you're a lowlife idiot.

No, you're in all likelihood a lowlife idiot because you can't respond to the things you assert when challenged, and lack any facility for coming up with a good reason for the things you do support.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

--Isaac Asimov, Column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

So he childishly attacks me because I'm not a big fan of Sanders, his second coming.

What a stupid piece of shit you are. I attack you because you have no cogent explanation for your attacks on Sanders, just recycled talking points that you can't defend.

And he thinks I'm a big fan of Hillary, which I'm not.

Which doesn't stop you from being her most uncritical cheerleader here - at least when she's scrounging up some low-info votes against her much worthier than her opponent.

But as always, elections come down to realistic choices.

Such as... what? Again with the fucking platitudes. You can't explain a single concrete detail or why it matters to you if your life depended on it. These sound, in all likelihood, like other people's priorities, not your own. The priorities of people and organizations much too powerful to need any support from government or the people who make up that government.

But you glom onto them because you apparently have no actual identity or interests of your own. What do you expect me to do? Not attack you when you act like a mindless shield for the powerful organized interests at the center of bringing the country down? Of course you can expect to get it when you serve that function.

It's pathetic. And you must know that. Hence, your need to bring me up out of the blue in the middle of the workday when you must have known I'd be too busy or occupied to respond. But here it comes, just the way you asked for it. And I predict with 90% certainty that you'll come up just as empty in your defenses as always.

And yet, I'm supposed to be persuaded by your political decisions?

Hilarious. Get the fuck out of the party. Like they say, lead, follow, or get out of the way. Option #3 is basically the only scenario you admit to meriting.

Zach said...

I don't want to read an Andrew Sullivan article, but the sub headline "America is a breeding ground for tyranny" is an interesting topic.

By design, America should be very resistant to tyranny. You have an elaborate division of powers which is intended to check the executive. Yet Obama has been quite open about ruling by "pen and phone" for six of his eight years in office.

The issue is whether the two other branches are independent of the executive -- or more specifically, if they are willing to act independently of the executive. This is by no means clear to me. In practice, the executive simply pushes the envelope on legality, and relies on his allies in Congress and the Courts to form a blocking or delaying coalition which prevents those branches from acting to stop him.

Ironically, this is an avenue to tyranny which is closed to Trump -- he has no allies in the courts or in Congress, and has a blustery attitude that invites opposition.

Terry said...

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

--Isaac Asimov, Column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

R&B quotes Asimov . . . why? Because he was another Lefty elite who has nightmares at the thought of the proles actually controlling government? Did Asimov think the cold war was winnable? Because the guy who was sworn into office a year after this was published did. If Asimov was less of an ass he would have written the truth: he didn't like people who disagreed with him, and like R&B, he wanted to believe that he was smart and they were stupid.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No need to "want," beach boy. They are stupid - especially if, like you, they're incapable of taking a quote for what it is instead of getting ADHD-level distractions over who made the statement.

Other than that, thanks for the derailing attempt. I'll make sure to call your doctor and ask if he's ok with increasing your Ritalin dose.

Bay Area Guy said...

I'm not a big fan of Andrew Sullivan. His personal push for gay marriage, in my view, has contributed to the cultural malaise we face as a country.

I'm not a big fan of Trump either. I mostly don't like his tone and his sloppy speech.

But I will vote for Trump in Nov. The reason? Trump isn't the source of the problems that ail America. Instead, Big Government Leftism is, in my view, the source of most our problems. The Left wrecks whatever it touches.

Trump has issues, but he's not a man of the Left. Hillary is purely a creature of the Left.

Faced with this binary choice, I'm going for Trump.

Terry said...

"Hi! My name is Isaac Asimov! The country where I was born was taken over by a bunch of intellectual followers of the philosopher Karl Marx! They quickly set about murdering tens of millions of their fellow citizens, while being given cover by intellectuals in Europe and America!
"And I am here today to warn you about the deep anti-intellectual strain I find in American politics!"

Ken Mitchell said...

"The United States" isn't supposed to be a democracy; democracies always commit suicide. When a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government Congress had given the USA, Franklin supposedly replied "A Republic, madame, if you can keep it."

And it isn't supposed to be "the" United States; it's supposed to be THESE United States. We've been on the wrong track since 1913 and the passage of 16th and 17th Amendments, and the 18th Amendment made possible by the WCTU and the 17th Amendment.

I think we're about at the end of our run. I wonder what comes next? Thankfully, I probably won't live to see it.

Ken Mitchell said...

Zach said: "By design, America should be very resistant to tyranny. You have an elaborate division of powers which is intended to check the executive. Yet Obama has been quite open about ruling by "pen and phone" for six of his eight years in office.

The issue is whether the two other branches are independent of the executive -- or more specifically, if they are willing to act independently of the executive."

No, our Congress is NOT capable of resisting a President who has no shame nor any love for America. That's been obvious for the past 6 years. And the Congress is so polarized that it probably won't be possible in the next four or eight years, either. I _expect_ a civil war, and I _HOPE_ that I'm wrong.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"Hi my name is Terry and I'm obsessed with missing the point on everything!"

Go post your own damn comment, then. You literally fuck EVERYTHING up.

You are so dumb it actually makes me nauseous. Instead of fucking up my own comments, if you really want to defend your friend Shiloh (since that's who it was addressed to), let him know why his rescue of Hillary will be a great way to keep America both stupid (or as you prefer to call it, "anti-intellectual") AND free, uncorrupted and prosperous!

So either you're down with his pro-Hillary agenda or you're actually stupid enough to let your fixations on a science fiction writer's country of origin confuse you to the fact that that's what you're doing.

The Hawaiian dildo has made it official: No Russians (or Ukrainians? What about other Eastern bloc countries?) can ever say anything about America or the supposed wisdom of its incompetent mobs! because a Hawaiian is busy defending some Hillary's supporters' inability to defend her adequately.

Your head should literally be replaced by about 20 medium-sized rocks.

Terry said...

You know, I am greatly saddened by people who don't understand when they are being mocked.
Isaac Asimov would have understood.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Trump has issues, but he's not a man of the Left. Hillary is purely a creature of the Left.

Another dildo.

But I will vote for Trump in Nov. The reason? Trump isn't the source of the problems that ail America. Instead, Big Government Leftism is, in my view, the source of most our problems. The Left wrecks whatever it touches.

So says a dildo living, if we're to believe his profile name, in the "Bay Area".

What a dildo! His right-wing vote in a national election won't matter for shit, yet he feels proud to advertise it, and apparently the "area" he advertises living in is "wrecked" by the people who run it.

You know, I wasn't going to be this curmudgeonly tonight. But we've got a Hillary dildo, a Hawaiian McCarthyist dildo (who actually says Russian writers can't agree with the VERY well-known consensus of the problem of stupidity in American politics because of where they're from) and a confused beyond all sanity Bay Area dildo who is happy to live in a place that was apparently "wrecked" by the ideology of the people living there (not him. He's way too persuasive to be running the government of the "wrecked" hellhole he lives in), and thinks he's making some sort of statement about how the insignificant federal vote he'll cast in November won't sway the his state (or his candidate) in that election.

It's literally The Night of the Three Dildos.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Isaac Asimov would have understood.

Apparently not, according to you.

It's always funny to watch Terry when he forgets which side of his mouth he was talking out of.

Hyphenated American said...

"VERY well-known consensus of the problem of stupidity in American politics"

Are you talking about the party which applauded Obama when he promised to cut premiums by 3000%?

Guildofcannonballs said...


"Some people, no way around it, have to deal with real things like concrete and steel, with physical problems, with energy and pipes and wires, food and water, money made and spent other than in real-life games of monopoly. These are the people without which you and yours can't live. These people hate you and yours with great intensity."

Money and power are real. I think Steve Jobs so and Alan Grayson are horrible assholes, yes I do not conclude from this they couldn't huck a ruck sack many miles if it paid them off as well as the risks they chose did or have have you.

Certain people were taught that because Ghandi and King won forever victories self-defense, even thought about its preperation is racist hatred. Toward the end of eliminating the will for whites to live it is, although lacking any relevance to those understanding what Buckley wrote about the indoctrinated mind (more so than standard or even most) and how it formulates congruent notions of justification.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Was it Mencken that turd who talked about created hobgoblins to prevent understanding leading to change?

I never liked that guy, and I really hate less-than-fully comfortable persons whom make me think maybe it is I fucked and not they.

WHO ARE THEY?

Well in reality they aren't cartoons.

Well wait a minute. Think Columbo here.

They, by that I mean THE the they, are making some cash prodigious producing an art of latent genocide.

Some cartoons are very much so like that, though not the characters in that shitty two dimension conceptualization commonly acknowledged.

shiloh said...

"You know, I wasn't going to be this curmudgeonly tonight."

Ritmo, you can't help yourself as you're totally obsessed w/your juvenile, pathetic name calling.

Indeed, what have you done for the betterment of humanity the past five years except rant incessantly at a con political blog.

Sad!

And how much $$$ have you given to the Sander's campaign?

You and Trump are peas in a pod ie kindergarten boorish rude!

tim in vermont said...

Ritmo, at least, could honestly decry Nixon's crimes while remaining consistent with his current values. Shilo? Not so much. Shilo sounds more like Nixon's press secretary Ron Zeigler.

"Those ethical standards are inoperative"

Hillary's exposure of state secrets to any hacker with a grudge is "a third rate fuckup"!

Shilo, I suggest you do a little reading from the era, maybe you can come up with some more 'convincing' defenses. Pay special attention to explanations of how Rosemary Woods erases 18 1/2 minutes of tapes.

tim in vermont said...

So says a dildo living, if we're to believe his profile name, in the "Bay Area".

What a dildo! His right-wing vote in a national election won't matter for shit, yet he feels proud to advertise it, and apparently the "area" he advertises living in is "wrecked" by the people who run it.


There's good ol' Kerosene Breath. I was starting to worry.

Brando said...

I strongly believe the country would have been far better off if Nixon had beaten Kennedy in '60. Let's take it issue by issue:

1) Nixon was more respected by Khruschev (who'd sparred with him the previous year in Moscow) so less likely to have so many crises (Berlin Crisis, Cuba crisis) as JFK did--JFK was seen as a lightweight and fit into Nikita's plan to rattle us which nearly caused war.

2) Nixon may not have gotten us deeper into Vietnam, but even if he did, he would not have gone nearly as far as LBJ did (and with no JFK, no LBJ). Much of the escalation had to do with LBJ's strategy about everything (push until you get your way--he even courted his wife that way) and fear of being blamed for losing the war by the GOP. Nixon wouldn't have had those pressures as much.

3) Nixon had a better civil rights record than JFK at that point, so it's unlikely he wouldn't have signed the '64 Act. Even in '69-'74, he managed to allow steady desegregation without the drama of the previous decade.

4) As for "what about Watergate?"--Watergate was likely tied to Nixon's fears about the '68 election and his ties to Chenault and the Peace Talks. That wouldn't have happened in '60. Perhaps another opportunity may have arisen that would have given Nixon the chance to do something crooked, but perhaps not--and we may have never found out he had it in him.

tim in vermont said...

Let's not kid. Watergate was tied to the Dems stealing the 1960 election from him.

Brando said...

"Let's not kid. Watergate was tied to the Dems stealing the 1960 election from him. "

How so? What would Nixon have thought he'd find in '72 that was tied to 1960?

The theory I found most plausible was that Nixon may have been tied to Anna Chenault's alleged attempt to illegally derail the '68 peace talks to help Nixon win the election, and in '72 Nixon believed the Dems had some evidence of that at their HQ in Watergate. In any event, whatever his men were trying to find, it must have been something so damaging Nixon feared it would make him lose that year or get impeached.

The irony of course is they (the Dems) really had nothing that year, or they would have used it--so the break in, coverup and ultimate downfall were for nothing.

tim in vermont said...

OK, you could be right about Chenault. I had never heard of her.

tim in vermont said...

To be fair to Shilo, his leader also suffers from situational ethics:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/clinton-flip-flops-on-coal-now-wants-coal-to-prosper/article/2002208

tim in vermont said...

Al Gore and ethanol redux.

Brando said...

Not that there wasn't shenanigans in the 1960 election (both with Daley withholding the Chicago vote counts until he knew how Illinois was going, and Texas with its LBJ machine) but I figure anything unearthed on that would reflect worse on JFK than Nixon.

Most of what destroyed Nixon had to do with the environment of the late '60s and early '70s, which was tied to JFK/LBJ's legacy (Vietnam War, inflation and shortages). Someone of Nixon's temperament may have been ideal for 1961-69 though.

Liberals still exult over JFK's win, thinking the country dodged a bullet that year, and if only JFK lived longer everything would have been better. They give him too much credit on civil rights, not enough blame for Vietnam, and they assume the crises with the USSR were inevitable and not due to JFK's inexperience.

Robert Cook said...

"Your only objection to violence, comrade, is that the correlation of forces is not in your favor. Had you the guns/numbers, it would be the chop, day and night."

Hahahaha! Do you also believe the earth is flat, "unknown"?

Rhythm and Balls said...

"VERY well-known consensus of the problem of stupidity in American politics"

Are you talking about the party which applauded Obama when he promised to cut premiums by 3000%?


Well, Shiloh's wing of it, anyway.

But I should be careful. Shiloh's another one of those folks for whom feelings are more important than facts. And the last thing I'd want to do is to commit the ultimate sin of pointing out another honest fact if we're to sacrifice his much more important feelings in the process.

Shiloh just wants niceness and more niceness. Like his hero Hillary who just recently said that she's "[dealt with men who got] off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak," -- which managed to offend both men and Native Americans. The people who built this country and the noble first inhabitants who taught us how to shepherd it. Boy, she's a real pro at this, isn't she? (And BTW, did I offend anyone by my use just now of the gendered vocative, "boy?" I sure hope I didn't.

But that's just another day in the life of Hero Hillary. Offending everyone while getting to claim how offended she is to be a woman.

This is clearly just the hypocritical and incoherent identity politics grievance festival that is the future of the Democratic party. Nope, none of this skewed economic grievance stuff for them. Doing the right thing: Pushing identity politics to the max.

They won't be satisfied until every American politician's title replaces party and geographic constituency under their name with gender, ethnicity, and religion.

A rainbow of wonderment, representing every color of the human rainbow. Except green, of course. A multicolor human calliope of poverty - except for Hillary and her friends at Goldman and the other banks paying her off.