November 11, 2016

After Trump shockingly won Pennsylvania, we should remember that when Obama talked about "bitter clingers" back in 2008, he was talking about Pennsylvania.

Here's the Huffington Post article by Mayhill Fowler, originally published in April 2008, about a fundraising speech by the candidate Barack Obama. He was speaking in San Francisco, but he was talking about Pennsylvania. And Fowler describes Obama's interactions with people in town hall meetings in Pennsylvania:
In Harrisburg two weeks ago, one person called on by Obama chose not to ask a question. Instead a man who introduced himself as only Dennis told Obama, “Make a speech on patriotism because the Republican Party does not own the flag.” In Wilkes-Barre a few days later, Obama fielded a similar comment from a man who said, “I believe that this nation now has dangerously low levels of patriotism and national pride.... My question to you is How are we going to reestablish America’s reputation to Americans?” 
In other words: Can we make America great again?

At the link, you can read the full text and listen to the audio of what Obama said to the elite-donor types in San Francisco. I'll excerpt some of it and do some boldfacing. The idea is to understand how the Democrats lost Pennsylvania this year:
So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government.... [I]n a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it...

[O]ur challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Back in 2008, Hillary Clinton — challenging Obama for the Democratic Party nomination — tried to take advantage of the leaked speech, which seemed most damaging because it characterized guns and religion not as real loves of the people but as symptoms — along with hostility toward outsiders — of economic despair. Hillary's response, detailed in this contemporaneous NYT article, was to flaunt her own religious roots:
“I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith,” she said at a rally in Indianapolis. “The people of faith I know don’t ‘cling to’ religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich.”
And she grew up with guns too. Her dad taught her to shoot, and she understood that gun rights were believed in like religion:
“Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a constitutional right; Americans who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith.”
Clinton and her surrogates were spreading doubt "about whether a young, African-American candidate can persuade white, working class Democrats that he represents their interests," as the NYT put it.

And, in fact, Hillary Clinton did go on to win the primary in Pennsylvania later that month. She got just over 54% of the vote, and that's about exactly what Obama got in the fall when he beat the GOP candidate John McCain in Pennsylvania.

So how did Hillary Clinton lose Pennsylvania, which had not gone Republican since 1988? I can't pretend to know the answer. I'm just pointing back to what Obama said in 2008 to those donors in San Francisco. He knew the Democratic Party had a problem in Pennsylvania, and he thought it was economic. His idea was: We need to show that progressive government can bring these sad people good things, personal economic benefits.

But as Mayhill Fowler said in her article, those people were asking for patriotism. And Trump was sharp enough to see the power of the message "Make America great again." How many rallies did he hold in Pennsylvania over the course of the primary and general election seasons? How many thousands of Pennsylvanians heard, directly, his message of patriotism and national pride?

And, of course, the people of Pennsylvania had experienced 8 years of Barack Obama trying to show that progressive government could bring them personal economic benefits. How — at this point — could Hillary win with an offer of more of the same? It seemed that her main idea was just to get out the votes of the urban demographic and overwhelm the bitter clingers.

The deplorable bitter clingers.

134 comments:

rhhardin said...

What makes Americans American is not flag, anthem, origin or even citizenship but agreement on American rules. Called the constitution, as Bridge of Spies puts it.

That agreement is broken by invention of new rules and trashing of old ones.

The Americans who grew up with the rules revolt.

It isn't free to win gay marriage via wise Latinas, for instance. They'd understand voting it in, but not imposing it against every vote.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

I think this is the important part of the quote:

I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government...


It was less about personal economics, than being ignored, deplored, and having to live by rules that the elites ignore.

rehajm said...

Outsider take: it didn't take 8 years for the bitter clinger message to sink in (Obama beat Romney by over 300,000 votes in 2012). Have we seen the demo results for 2016 in PA yet? Is there support for the idea that old black guys are never going to vote for an elitist white gramma.

MikeR said...

No point in quoting what Clinton said about it. By the time of the election, anyone who was listening knows that she says whatever she thinks will work at the time. No relationship to truth. Ignore completely.
Probably the people of Pennsylvania had just tuned her out. The question before them was simple: keep things or break them and try again.

AprilApple said...

[Obama's] His idea was: We need to show that progressive government can bring these sad people good things, personal economic benefits.

But as Mayhill Fowler said in her article, those people were asking for patriotism.


Patriotism? Sure - and access to good American jobs. Dignity.

Democrats insist the welfare state is best. You do not need a job, you just need to fill out this paper-work and get yourself a slice of the American Dream with food stamps and tax payer funded subsidies for all you basic needs.

The nanny state. You don't need a job, you just need access to progressive social programs where you can live off of someone elses money. In exchange, you shut up and vote for the D. oh and, we Democrat progressive socialists would like you to give up God and replace your religion with us. Is that too much to ask?

Rick said...

That comment was specifically about Democratic primary voters who supported Hillary. Obama cost Hillary her own supporters because they (correctly) presume Obama's attitude is widely shared among Democratic elitists including Clinton. And she weakened her counterargument by admitting she has public and private positions meaning everyone understood her guns and god talk were marketing rather than true.

Obama and Clinton hate each other - I wonder if he considers this a delightful silver lining.

Oso Negro said...

@ April - And college degrees! Be the most educated waitress.

mockturtle said...

I saw several protest signs that said, "America was never great". The sentiment of these protesters does not run to patriotism. They hate America. They've been taught in school that America is a bad actor and must be destroyed for the sake of the planet.

T said...

In Pennsylvania, 2,909,958 votes Trump; 2,9841,280 votes Clinton. Hillary Clinton tried to win PA by offering more of the same and the sad truth is that she almost succeeded in doing exactly that. What does that say about the electorate?

tcrosse said...

Re those protests of Trump's win. Who are the Bitter Clingers now ?

Bay Area Guy said...

Anything you want to know about Western Pennsylvania can be found in the first half of the great flick, The Deer Hunter (Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken). Not the Russian Roulette part, the pre-Vietnam part!

I always end a comment with "Vote Trump-Pence", but I don't need to do that anymore.

Chuck said...

There is way, way too much talk about Trump's "white, male, non-college" vote. I've seen numbers that Trump got 53% of the white women vote. Trump did slightly better than Mitt Romney among Latinos (by 2 percentage points) and among blacks (also by two percentage points).

I think that the reason Trump won is so obvious. Trump won, while Romney lost, because Barack Obama was not on the ballot. And without Obama, the Democrats lost their magic turnout numbers. Absolutely, the reason Clinton lost Michigan (VERY narrowly) was because of vastly lower turnout in Detroit/Wayne County. I expect much the same happened in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This is the story, and the numbers bear it out. I had expected Hillary to pick Cory Booker for VP. Dems won't make that mistake again.

Darrell said...

T--You have an extra "9" in the Clinton vote.

ganderson said...

"Cling, me back home
a song I used to hear...."

Darrell said...

Blacks, by staying home, were voting for Trump. I heard that explanation from Blacks in Chicago and assume it applies elsewhere.

bagoh20 said...

"Trump was sharp enough to see the power of the message "Make America great again." "

Yea, pure genius.

Look, I voted for the guy, and I'm very happy he won, and I love the message, but the truth matters. A lot of people seem to have missed the fact that Trump got less actual votes than Bush, Romney, McCain, Obama twice, and even Hillary, and that's with many more registered voters available. I have great hope in a Trump Presidency, but Trump didn't win America over. They both lost votes to all the recent previous winners and even the losers. Hillary just lost more, and The Founders saved us through the Electoral college. I'm happy about the outcome, but I don't see the need or value in being blind to what really happened. These facts blow in the face of all expert punditry going on now. They were wrong before the election, and now they changed their tune, but they're still wrong.

Mark Nielsen said...

An excellent example of the insight that brings us all to this blog. Thanks, Prof. Althouse!

mockturtle said...

Trump also got more white college graduate votes than did Hillary. But, then, we always knew those 'analyses' by the MSM were meant to demean Trump supporters. Like everything else the MSM tried during this election, it failed and, just as importantly, the MSM as a news service failed! This is something we should ALL celebrate. We are no longer the pawns of CNN, NBC, CBS or NBS----or FOX, who told its viewers for over a year that Trump was not a viable candidate.

rehajm said...

A lot of people seem to have missed the fact that Trump got less actual votes than Bush, Romney, McCain, Obama twice, and even Hillary,...

We don't know all this yet

rehajm said...

Even the winner of the popular vote is TBD...

coupe said...

I had a laugh this morning when I looked at the Transition Website.

Trump isn't planning on cutting government spending. He's posted a message that there are 4000 presidential appointee jobs available. The same 4000 from the previous 21 trillion debt.

bagoh20 said...

"Even the winner of the popular vote is TBD..."

Not in the previous 3 elections I also mentioned. and even if he somehow eaks out the popular vote this time, it's hardly the landslide being trumpeted. Except for the times when there was a strong third party candidate, Trump got the lowest percentage win going back at least 50 years. Like I said, I voted for him, but I like forming opinions with facts when they're available.

khesanh0802 said...

Before I read the early comments I want to try to answer Ann's question: "Why did Clinton lose PA?" We don't have solid analysis yet but here's my take: Trump was able to appeal to enough Blacks in Philly that he got an increased % of their vote; that, coupled with lower black turnout ( a natural phenomenon in this campaign ) meant Hillary was in a serious mathematical quandary with the working class whites in the rest of PA; then she was stupid enough to say she wanted to shut down the coal industry ( easily interpreted as an anti-energy stand ) when it looks like fracking may be the next steel industry for PA's working class; finally, according to early analysis, (see the WSJ) Clinton did not appeal to working class white women (look at the rally photos, there were a lot of them in attendance - as Mick pointed out).

The qualitative issues of course count as well. She is clearly ill; she is a lousy candidate; her campaign was no where near as good as those running it thought it was (I expect to see Robbie Mook hanging from a lamppost somewhere soon!); she had more baggage than anyone could carry and it was all hers; she is a congenital liar and a despicable power seeker; we have had 8 years of garbage time from the Obama administration and people wanted change ; and, finally, the Gods were against her as well they should have been.

AllenS said...

The possibilities of Hillary growing up shooting guns is zero. File that with her claim of trying to join the Marines. Two lies.

Nonapod said...

@bagoh20

Pretty much this, yeah.

While I believe it's certainly fair to say that the Democrat party has lost touch with a lot of America, I think there's a danger that the Republicans are missing what really went on this election.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans nominated a deeply flawed candidates. As a result, many Democrats didn't bother to show up, and the Republicans found the Dem candidate so untenably heinous that they made sure to show up and vote against her. That's not to say that there weren't lots of people who genuinely liked Trump, but I think it was more a case of one side being united against a terrible alternative and another side feeling unenthusiastic about their candidate.

rehajm said...

Not in the previous 3 elections I also mentioned. and even if he somehow eaks out the popular vote this time, it's hardly the landslide being trumpeted.

Did I miss the part where you admitted you didn't know Trump's vote total wasn't final?

khesanh0802 said...

Just to,clarify T's point: Trump 2,912,941; Clinton 2,844,705.

Owen said...

Do you know what rhymes with Trump?

Chump. That was the word that his voters were sick of hearing. They believed in their country, in the rules, did their jobs and raised their families. And in return they were mocked and reviled by credential-waving elitists who all went to the right schools and worked at the correct think tanks and investment banks.

Their reaction was entirely predictable. What's interesting about the 2008 quotes is that Hillary had the answer, the key, in her hand. And she threw it away.

Martha said...

CLINTON, HILLARY
(DEM)
47.68%
Votes: 2,841,280
Runningmate: TIM KAINE
TRUMP, DONALD J
(REP)
48.76%
Votes: 2,905,958
Runningmate: MICHAEL R PENCE

traditionalguy said...

I beg to differ.

It's all about a Leader who can be trusted in a fight not to turn on his own troops like a General Benedict Arnold once did for money and power. And it took a verbose Billionaire and former NYC Playboy, complete with orange hair and a red face, over a year of repeating the same message of loyalty over and over with an authentic commitment in his voice to gin up this response we saw in Pennsylvania.

So it was a personal to Trump and a one time event. The issues, as Scott Adams says, were never the issue.

Peter said...

Today the media seems to be doubling-down on the "Trump is racist" meme. And how does a "journalist" prove such a thing? Why, by finding at least one racist who supported Trump.

It's such a fine exercise of logic. As if any enterprising journolist couldn't find at least one racist who supported any candidate.

Somehow I was hoping the media establishment might examine its execrably biased campaign coverage of this election, and take steps to reform itself. Yet as yesterday's NYT headline (and today's stories) show, it's just not about to do that.

So, may we now refer to these stubbornly biased reporters as "deplorable"?

Mark said...

So how did Hillary Clinton lose Pennsylvania?

She grew up in a church-going family. She grew up with guns. And she "ain't no ways tarred."

Pennsylvania, like the rest of the country, knows that Hillary is also totally and completely FOS.

bagoh20 said...

I voted for him technically, but my motivation was to deny her. I bet people like me are a sizable block of Trump's win. I think it's true that these two candidates were the only people who could lose to the other, and the Dems chose more poorly. Trump's slight increase in percentage pull with minorities is also just Hillary losing them, in my opinion. I want Trump to do much of what he said he would, and he certainly can if he chooses, but I was very dissatisfied with the only package that change came in. I'm hoping to be impressed, and I'm behind him until and unless he goes off the rails. Do it, do it right, do it smart, do it strong.

Mac McConnell said...

Why did Hillary lose, because she did. Well that and God. ;-)

Fabi said...

Glad to see Chuck here! We don't know the final breakout of the demographics, but unless the exit polls are as bad as the election polls -- and they could be -- you're probably correct. In the interest of party unity, however, I choose to concede without further data. Congratulations! Please email me at batcanalytic @ yahoo . com with your preference and we'll get that settled.

Michael K said...

Trump isn't planning on cutting government spending. He's posted a message that there are 4000 presidential appointee jobs available. The same 4000 from the previous 21 trillion debt.

Did you miss the 4000 Obama appointees that will be fired ?

Come on. It's early to be attacking the guy for imaginary things. Wait at least until he is sworn in.

bagoh20 said...

Did I miss the part where you admitted you didn't know Trump's vote total wasn't final?"

Yea, I said it won't be a landslide. The country did not make a big move for Trump, it made a big move to not vote, especially for Dems.

Chris N said...

A billfold of deplorables.

William said...

I did an eye roll where Hillary talked about her deep religious faith and commitment to the 2nd amendment. It's was hard for her to build trust and confidence because she's so overtly manipulative. Trump said some stupid and offensive things, but they don't inspire eye rolls. His loutishness inspires more connective tissue than her pieties.

Dude1394 said...

One thing you see here is that Hillary is one nasty little campaigner. She seems cool and all while she is being as dirty or dirtier than anyone. As Scott Adams said she certainly was successful in painting Trump as Hitler or Blackbeard.

Her minions went out and re-enforced it for her, in the political sphere and on the streets.

We really, really dodged a bullet with that crook.

MadisonMan said...

How can you expect to win Pennsylvania by attacking coal?

Anglelyne said...

Well, it is kinda hard to appeal to patriotism when you believe that patriotism is tantamount to racism/nazism, and that "who we are" doesn't have jack shit to do with "who we were".

Mark said...

In trying to interpret the numbers and reasons, you cannot leave out the large number of people that are not in the Trump vote column and thus do not figure into why he was elected -- the vast number of Republican Establishment and conservative types who were Never Trumpers or voters of principle who did not believe their conscience would allow a Trump vote.

Trump won without a very large proportion of people who otherwise would naturally vote Republican.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Obama and Clinton hate each other - I wonder if he considers this a delightful silver lining.

If Hillary had won she would have been the leader of the Democrat party. Having failed to gain the presidency that task would seem to fall to Obama. Who has already stated that he intends to stay in DC after leaving office.

My thoughts on the matter is that Obama could not be perceived as acting against Hillary, but he is probably pretty happy about the outcome. I also think he will not pardon her for various reasons, one of which being that continuing investigation of her corruption reduces what little influence she still has. Of course, she could have something on Obama bad enough to blackmail him, but I doubt it. He strikes me as a true believer, not the hack Hillary is.

rhhardin said...

I'm listening to the 40m ham band, and a guy from Baxter, TN just started a conversation with a guy in Geneva, AL. I'll see if any bitter clinger things are discussed.

mockturtle said...

The possibilities of Hillary growing up shooting guns is zero. File that with her claim of trying to join the Marines. Two lies.

And don't forget that she claimed to have been named for Sir Edmund Hillary, who didn't summit Everest until 1953. Hillary was born in 1947. Lies are her native language.

paminwi said...

Ed Rendell, former Gov of Pennsylvania and former DNC chair, told Clinton & her team that they needed to get out of Philly & Pittsburgh to make their pitch for Hillary. The smart people told him you're wrong. Only appearances in big cities for Hillary. Russ Feintold in WI told Clinton & her team he needed help in WI. He needed $ and he needed some big names here to make some stops. The smart people told him you're wrong. No appearances in WI by Hillary or big name surrogates-we got Chelsea.

The campaign insiders were in their own bubble & did not listen to those who knew their states best.

mockturtle said...

Well, it is kinda hard to appeal to patriotism when you believe that patriotism is tantamount to racism/nazism, and that "who we are" doesn't have jack shit to do with "who we were".

Exactly, Anglelyne!

AprilApple said...

@ Bagoh --- I voted for him technically, but my motivation was to deny her.

Amen to that.

Fabi said...

The best part of Trump's election? Laslo giving us the notional play-by-play of Donald and Melania's first night in the White House bedroom. I really hope it involves some real kink, but I'll leave that up to him.

rhhardin said...

Yes! The Baxter TN guy is using an old Heathkit radio. There's bitter clinging for you right there.

traditionalguy said...

Funny thing on BBC this AM was the panel discussion on how much Trump will slow down the move to Globalism, that they all assumed was the real measure of success for all civilized people.

Trump and Bannon are not conspiracy theorists after all. They are truth tellers. And the Globalists really are crafty European Aristocrats who want control over their North American colonies back.

cyrus83 said...

I think the reason she lost PA can be summed up in one word: NAFTA. Whether rightly or wrongly, it is an article of faith among many in the old rust belt that NAFTA was responsible for a major loss of jobs and Trump's opposition to it was likely decisive as close as PA was. Given Hillary's share of the union vote decreased to just 51% this year, Trump's being anti-free trade was a winner for him.

Don't forget that PA is also home to a lot of coal and fracking jobs, and the environmentalist nuts that have the ear of the Democratic party probably spooked a fair number into either not voting for her or voting for Trump (see union vote again, as a lot of these jobs are probably represented by unions).

Mark said...

With respect to the overall popular vote totals, they are highly misleading if you are trying to gauge the mind of the country --

In 49 states collectively, Trump WON the popular vote by more than 2.2 million votes. In one state, Hillary won by 2.5 million.

That state -- where Republicans have little reason to turn out because it is largely a waste of time -- is not representative of the rest of the nation and only skews the real state of affairs in the country.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
The best part of Trump's election? Laslo giving us the notional play-by-play of Donald and Melania's first night in the White House bedroom. I really hope it involves some real kink, but I'll leave that up to him.


Hey Fabi!

Congrats on the election results! I know that you are generally very happy, as you should be, although it would seem that our bet on black voter turnout went my way.

For my part, I am much more relieved and at peace with the Trump win than I had previously felt. Looking forward to judicial selections. And now, looking forward to a nice bottle of something thanks to the (predicted) pathetic black voter turnout.

rhhardin said...

The Geneva, AL guy starts a sinister discussion of weather. He says it's nice out today.

Mark said...

Do you suppose -- I do -- that there were more than 200-300,000 Republicans in that one state (California) who might have turned out, but did not this election, if it was not such a one-party state and if they thought that their vote might actually count for something?

rhhardin said...

The Baxter TN guy used to be a field engineer and is 73 years old.

These are all clues.

Fabi said...

Agreed Chuck! My contact info is posted at 9:31 above -- congrats, again!

Owen said...

Bagoh20: "I voted for him technically, but my motivation was to deny her. I bet people like me are a sizable block of Trump's win. I think it's true that these two candidates were the only people who could lose to the other, and the Dems chose more poorly."

Word.

Matthew Sablan said...

"For my part, I am much more relieved and at peace with the Trump win than I had previously felt."

-- His victory speech did that for me too. I still think he isn't going to be amazing, but I feel more comfortable that he truly was the lesser disaster in waiting now.

bagoh20 said...

The numbers show that they both did terrible getting people out to vote for them, but someone still wins. Yes, I think a lot of Republicans who live in big blue states didn't bother to vote. Luckily, Hillary didn't enthuse many Democrats either.

chickelit said...

I think it's possible to put a link on when and where the DNC turned against white voters. There was a moment a few years ago when it was announced. I think Althouse may have blogged it (or not).

And NRO's Keven D. Williamson took up that cause for Republicans in his "let them die" piece.

rhhardin said...

The Geneva AL guy has faded under the noise but the Baxter TN guy can still hear him and says thanks for the nice chat and best regards, so apparently all the topics to be discussed have been covered.

Fabi said...

Chuck -- I know we came at this from different angles and may have had a mild disagreement or two, but in the last 48 hours I've seen some real excitement and fine diplomacy from all corners of the party. That's all that matters. I think Paul Ryan is more excited than Trump -- which I would think is hard to do.

alan markus said...

A common theme that seems to be emerging as blame is being assigned is "lack of listening". Trump was savvy in recognizing what slice of voters needed to be listened to in this go around.

Here is what a Democrat in Michigan had to say: I said Clinton was in trouble with the voters I represent. Democrats didn’t listen.





rhhardin said...

Oh wait, here's the Geneva, AL guy 2 kHz higher now talking at much higher speed to a guy in Madison, AL. The Madison guy remarks on the nice weather. Is it an Alabama code?

AprilApple said...

Oso

And college degrees! Be the most educated waitress.

Yes!

Worthless over-priced college degrees from "Howard Zinn U- I hate America U- Progress on the road to socialism U" - paid for by the dwindling number of bitter saps who actually work for a living.

Chuck said...

Hey Fabi -

Check out this paragraph from a Kim (AlmostNeverTrump) Strassel in today's Wall Street Journal:

"The nascent talk of firing Paul Ryan is as counterproductive an idea as they come. From the perspective of getting things done, Mr. Trump has an almost ideal team: a House speaker who is the ultimate policy wonk; a Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who is a master tactician; a vice president-elect, Mike Pence, who has great relations with both men, knowledge of Congress and the ability to serve as a go-between."

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-secret-weapon-obama-1478824383

gadfly said...

Neither "we" nor Trump can make America great again. It is now time to get off this euphoria kick that somehow the new gunslinger will eliminate the "elites," add 25 million new jobs over ten years and make America right for conservatives.

First there is this:

“There were early efforts to run a more standard form of general election debate-prep camp, led by Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chief, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J,” they report. “But Mr. Trump found it hard to focus during those meetings, according to multiple people briefed on the process who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.”

"Art of the Deal" ghostwriter Tony Schwartz comments after spending 18 months with Trump:

. . . Schwartz believes that Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” He said, “That’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source — information comes in easily digestible sound bites.”

Chuck said...

Fabi we had talked about a hundred-dollar-plus bottle of scotch. But I am not worth that. I am unilaterally declaring that my tastes run to something far less expensive. I hope you won't mind my changing the terms of our bet in that regard.

rhhardin said...

I have a short attention span myself.

boycat said...

Discussing the popular vote as if it means something is Kabuki. Yes Hillary won California bigtime. How many millions of illegals voted in California alone? How many dead people? How many fraudulent ballots were manufactured to stuff ballot boxes?

Birkel said...

Remember, any other Republican would have beaten Hillary. And Trump hurt down-ballot races.

Whoops.

Sorry.

Wrong Chuck thread.

GWash said...

i'm so tired of the voter fraud argument... if someone could please offer solid proof that it's rampant i would like to see and agree with you... if not can we please stop offering this up as a vintage whine? thanks.

Mark said...

Democrats claim the popular vote count as positive at their peril.

Chuck said...

alan markus -

Please don't give too much credence to what Debbie Dingell (D) of the Michigan Twelfth says.

She is a Dem Superdelegate. She was a Clinton loyalist all along. If she said something to the Clinton campaign, they didn't listen to her. And if that is true, she should be hammering the Clinton campaign staff now. But she isn't. She is in the fourth-safest Democrat House seat in the state. She's rarely said anything worth listening to. She'd like to come off as some sort of above-politics moderate. Her aged husband was the pro-union, pro-auto industry, pro-gun Congressional fixture, John Dingell. The longest-serving member in U.S. House history. And yet she has no trouble in trotting out garbage like "voter suppression" for blame in the Clinton loss.

EMD said...

"Have we seen the demo results for 2016 in PA yet?"

In eastern-most Ohio, outside of Youngstown, Obama beat Romney like a rented mule in 2012. By 22 points in one county and 28 in the next. Those horrible racists gave the same county to Trump by 8 points (a 30 point swing)

GWash said...

why peril... fact is the majority of americans (i'm going to use that noun until get the proof that 'illegals' are voting in numbers) voted NOT TRUMP... so whatever happens next will happen without the majority approval of the voting populace... nicht wahr?

TosaGuy said...

Bagoh20: "A lot of people seem to have missed the fact that Trump got less actual votes than Bush, Romney, McCain, Obama twice, and even Hillary, and that's with many more registered voters available. I have great hope in a Trump Presidency, but Trump didn't win America over."

Completely true. However, Mrs. Clinton was not only expected to win, but to expand the permanently the electoral map. That did not happen. What has happened, is that several states that had not voted GOP since the 1980s flipped, such events alter the electoral math and strategies of future campaigns. WI, MI and PA may very well flip back, but depending on events the GOP may expand their map to another state or two. The electoral status quo has been changed for now and nothing is yet set in stone. That is perhaps the most exhilarating part of Mrs. Clinton's defeat.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And NRO's Keven D. Williamson took up that cause for Republicans in his "let them die" piece.

In the run up to the election I often pointed out to Chuck that telling disaffected people who were hurting because of free trade to "go out in a field and die you losing loser" was just not an election winning strategy.

Guess I was right.

Mark said...

Boycat -- there was that report last week about two stacks of ballots, 83 total, with different names all being delivered outside the same address, a two-bedroom apartment where an 89-year-old woman lives.

Mark said...

Go ahead -- put ALL your hopes in that one state, which has only 55 electoral votes. A lot yes, but 270 is needed to win.

Chuck said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
And NRO's Keven D. Williamson took up that cause for Republicans in his "let them die" piece.

In the run up to the election I often pointed out to Chuck that telling disaffected people who were hurting because of free trade to "go out in a field and die you losing loser" was just not an election winning strategy.

Guess I was right.


I don't know how the results of the election proved that.

All Republicans won, up and down the ballot. There wasn't anything like "Throw the GOPe bums out!" The GOPe was maybe a bigger winner than Trump! We held the House and Senate. Here in Michigan, they were talking about Republicans perhaps losing the Michigan House; we actually picked up a seat!

2016 was a lot like 2010 and 2014. Completely unlike 2008 and 2012. Obama at the top of the ballot was a historic-proportion winner for Dems. And every time, without Obama, they got shellacked.

I don't think any differently about Kevin Williamson's column; good or bad.

chickelit said...

I don't think any differently about Kevin Williamson's column; good or bad.

Of course you don't, Chuck. Because you are Chuck. We know you.

chickelit said...

@Chuck: Early on you indicated that you were a crack deponer.* It's amazing how you got through this election season and managed to meet your billable hours. Congrats!

_______________
*One who deposes. Not to be confused with a "depooner" which is Laslo's bailiwick.

Todd Galle said...

As a Pennsylvanian (born and bred) I think the answer is the turnout in Philly's collar county of Bucks, north of the city. Think Levittown in particular. I live in Cumberland County but work across the state in Bucks County (long story), and work with a fellow who works the polls in his district. Incredible turnout, with lines forming at 0645 for a 0700 opening. I voted in Cumberland before I started my commute, at 0720 I was voter #48. I'm in a small town, knew about half of the folks either working or waiting in line. Never saw the like, nor could anyone there. Thankfully, we vote in a library building, so plenty of books to peruse during the wait.

Birkel said...

Let's see how quickly Republicans win if John McCain and Lindsey Grahamnesty have their way on illegal alien importation, Mitch McConnell folds to the Democrat minority on Supreme Court nominations and Paul Ryan pushes for omnibus spending packages while keeping Obamacare largely in place.

Those rat bastards need to be disciplined.

jr565 said...

Obamas "they bitterly cling to their guns and religion" and HILLARYS "basket of deplorable" perfectly encapsulates why Hillary lost. It's not that simple of course. There is also a rejection of globalism and economic consideration. The left has routinely ignored states like Pennsylvania putting thigns like global warming above people you can always argue that global warming is a threat at some point in the future, but the dems always ignore thst their draconian suggestions actually will impact people who are suffering now. And instead of acknowledging this they dismiss those considerations with a wave of the hand and a sneer. And call such complaints racist or sexist. And Biden acknowledged only a few weeks before the election that democrats had lost working class whites and f they didn't try to get them back into the fold they were facing trouble.

Primarily though, so many people are just sick of always being called racis and sexist. And told that while their town is losing coal plants thst feed their families that they have white privielege. The alt right, as represented by People like Milo Yianopolus who was one of Trumps biggest supporters has tweaked social justice warriors, not beciase he doesn't think women should have rights. But rather becaise they are such odious people who have been lecturing white people and white men for their flaws, as defined by their rigid adherence to femmst ideology. And all the leftist groups have pushed all their advances the exact same way. Instead of arguing on the merits they instead call their opponents racists and then try to shame/bully them into silence.

I think a lot of the trump support is simply rejecting this once and for all and giving such Sjw's a thorough spanking. They realized that white working class actually represents an interest group and constituency, and THE BIGGEST one. And they acted accordingly. Note, I don't think it white race itself that was the catalyst for this. Most trumpers are not kkk members or even care about race in any mewnimglful sense. But they found themselves ostracize by left and turned Int. the bogeyman for systemic racism and patriarchy simply because of their skin tone and sex. And they suddenly realized that it represented a huge voting block.

Of course the same lefties double down on this and assume that the only reason those whites voted for Trump is racism. So they end up only creating even more blacklash against themselves by how they react to Trumps victory. Which is great, if you want them to be marginalized further.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

So, if you think free trade is the cause of your woes and one candidate is the wife of the president that negotiated NAFTA, and is touted as the third term of the current president, who is negotiating another massive free trade agreement, and you look at the news and Caterpillar is moving to Mexico, and Ford is moving some plants to Mexico, and those "computer jobs" you are supposed to retrain for don't really exist because the news says Disney is bringing in people from overseas to fill those and forcing the citizens who had those jobs to train their replacements.

And the jobs they can't outsource, like coal and fracking and natural gas, are being eliminated because of regulations.

And the people who run things all look down on you your kids are being taught that the country you were taught to love is evil.

Well, who do you think you are going to vote for?

The question was never if these people were going to vote for Trump. The question was always, "are there enough of them to get Trump elected?"

Ron Winkleheimer said...

All Republicans won, up and down the ballot. There wasn't anything like "Throw the GOPe bums out!" The GOPe was maybe a bigger winner than Trump! We held the House and Senate. Here in Michigan, they were talking about Republicans perhaps losing the Michigan House; we actually picked up a seat!

So, got your talking points from David French then?

No need to change, Hillary was a lousy candidate, everybody loves the GOPe, and the guy running as our party's presidential nominee and won had no effect on the party's fortune, whatsoever.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The GOPe and the Bourbon dynasty restoration.

Forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

Chuck said...

Birkel said...
Let's see how quickly Republicans win if John McCain and Lindsey Grahamnesty have their way on illegal alien importation, Mitch McConnell folds to the Democrat minority on Supreme Court nominations and Paul Ryan pushes for omnibus spending packages while keeping Obamacare largely in place.

Those rat bastards need to be disciplined.


You're so worried about Republicans making deals with Dems.

What if Trump makes an immigration deal with them? It will be the great test of, "If I shot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue, my supporters would still vote for me..."

Even more likely: Trump makes a deal with Democrats and the UAW and a very few Republicans to set up some non-treaty trade protections for U.S. union jobs.

Rusty said...

GWash said...
i'm so tired of the voter fraud argument... if someone could please offer solid proof that it's rampant i would like to see and agree with you... if not can we please stop offering this up as a vintage whine? thanks.

This was addressed in another thread.

Chuck said...

Ron Winkleheimer I don't know what you want, or expect, to change. Paul Ryan runs the House. Mitch McConnell runs the Senate.

The House districts, thanks to overwhelming control of state-houses, are as safely Republican as they have ever been in U.S. history. And the Senate, with a current Republican majority, is set to greatly expand it with a very favorable map in 2018. As long as they play it smart. As Mitch McConnell directs.

Birkel said...

No, Chuck, you dumb son of a bitch. I am worried about GOP politicians selling out their voters as they have repeatedly. After the historic loss suffered by Trump, you are dumb as fucking ever.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I've always thought those comments demonstrated that Barack Obama understood the bitter clingers, but his Democratic Party didn't. I'd say I've been proved right. The gaffe was that he got caught explaining why they should be understood and not feared. As with most mansplaining, the lesson was never learned.

Birkel said...

Chuck, the Hillary Clinton supporter, just used Mitch McConnell and smart in the same sentence.

That is weapons grade stupidity.

Seeing Red said...

How about they lost PA because

Of the bitter clingers comment and

In their arrogance they thought it was locked up so they didn't need Philly or jacked up Philly voter fraud?


And


They didn't put up the right candidate. Their wasn't a reason to turn out for her. Live by the tribe, die by the tribe.


Fabi said...

I'm a big fan of Glenmorangie, Chuck -- maybe one of their more exotic offerings. You are gracious to suggest a more modest payoff, and I look forward to sending it your way!

Great article about Ryan. I've expressed that I'm not a fan, but he earned the job and he gets to enjoy the fruits of that victory as part of the bigger team. He's a smart guy -- and I think he has as much energy as Trump -- and they're all going to need to tap that reserve.

Cheers!

Seeing Red said...

We r dealing with The Stupid Party.

Nothing us set in 2018 stone.

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

What evidence is there that Paul Ryan is smart? I see evidence of savvy but savvy is not smarts.

Paul Ryan will 'give in to' (READ: pretend to disagree and then fold to his pre-determined wishes) Democrats.

Birkel said...

I remember a few days ago when "lifelong Republican" Chuck assured us that Hillary would carry Michigan.

Good times. Good times.

Seeing Red said...

The US Presidency is not a consolation prize for the choices she willing made over the past 40ish years.

The Oval Office is not the reward for someone who deliberately covered herself in access and dragged herself thru the racist, patriarchal, xenophobic homophobic mysogenist totalitarian trailer parks of the world. For cash and power.






Chuck said...

Birkel said...
I remember a few days ago when "lifelong Republican" Chuck assured us that Hillary would carry Michigan.

Good times. Good times.


True. And I was wrong. She lost Michigan by what is probably the narrowest margin of any state. About 13,225 votes, from more than 5 million cast. Trump 47.6% Clinton 47.3%. Real Clear Politics polling average had Clinton up by 3.6% on election eve.

The difference was what I suggested would be the Clinton problem all along; rotten, dispirited black turnout. That was going to be the case no matter what. I thought that Trump might energize black voters negatively. But that didn't happen.

C Stanley said...

@Fabi and Chuck- it is great to witness the peaceful transition (of money or bottles of liquor or whatever) between you two!

Chuck said...

Oh I never doubted Fabi. He was always going to man up. It was actually an interesting, provocative wager on his part. I respect him for it. I took the boring history-repeats-itself position.

In the end, the black vote is truly the story of the election. But not in the way of our wager, which was on a percentage of how the black vote split. What was startling, was the lousy overall black turnout.

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

Paul Ryan will 'give in to' (READ: pretend to disagree and then fold to his pre-determined wishes) Democrats.

It's a new world. Rumors I'm hearing are we could see swift and unequivocal action. 'Blitzkrieg' is definitely the wrong word, but...

I'd suggest we wait and see before jumping to conclusions.

mccullough said...

Chuck,

Trump got more votes than 2012 Obama in the following states: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He also
got more votes in NC than Romney. Romney ran up the white vote in states that are either solidly Republican or solidly Dem. Trump increased the white vote in the states he needed to win to become president.

As far as the black vote, it needs to be understood how much of the lower turnout in the swing states was because Obama was on the ticket and how much because Trump told blacks that the Dems do nothing for them which encourages them not to vote. Obama told working class whites in the 2012 swing states that the GOP does nothing for them and many stayed home because they knew Obama was right so they weren't going to vote for Romney. Look at 2012 Obama's share of the white vote compared to Romney in the swing states.

Trump outperformed Romney significantly where it mattered.

mockturtle said...

I was surprised--but pleased--to hear Paul Ryan acknowledge that the GOP rode to victory on Trump's coattails. Maybe he HAS learned something.

mockturtle said...

Like what side his bread is buttered on.

Lydia said...

So how did Hillary Clinton lose Pennsylvania, which had not gone Republican since 1988?

The Catholic vote, and especially Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, who was very, very upset over the WikiLeaked comments by Podesta and other Democrats about Catholics and wasn't quiet about it.

Rick C said...

"Instead a man who introduced himself as only Dennis told Obama, “Make a speech on patriotism because the Republican Party does not own the flag.”"

Not the best advice to a guy who won't wear a flag pin.

southcentralpa said...

As one of the people he was attempting to diagnose, I can tell you that people STILL remember that comment around here and have NEVER forgiven him. What put Trump over the top is that Obama's War on Coal finally overcame the SW Pa voters who think that FDR is part of the Holy Trinity.

Gahrie said...

Let's see how quickly Republicans win if John McCain and Lindsey Grahamnesty have their way on illegal alien importation, Mitch McConnell folds to the Democrat minority on Supreme Court nominations and Paul Ryan pushes for omnibus spending packages while keeping Obamacare largely in place.

I prefer to be optimistic. I am hopeful that the GOP Establishment recognizes the opportunity it has here.

I am hopeful that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will meet with Trump and his people and come up with a 100 day plan that they can agree on:

Repeal Obamacare
Reform/abolish the IRS
simplify the tax code
build the Keystone pipeline
enforce immigration law
Begin deregulating the country


Fabi said...

I've hassled Chuck as much as anyone here, and we've cussed each other out on more than one occasion. So what. We're both adults with the same political goals. I'd even like to play golf with him and/or drink a beer with him if we're ever within a few miles of each other. We certainly differ on tactics -- or we did so a week ago -- but we both recognize the once in a century opportunity for the right and this is the time to drive forward as a single force. There will be ups and downs as it moves forward but it will go forward.

@Birkel -- I'd argue that Ryan is more smart than savvy but he's probably some of both. You sometimes have to dance with who you brung.

Chuck said...

I am hopeful that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will meet with Trump and his people and come up with a 100 day plan that they can agree on:

Repeal Obamacare
Reform/abolish the IRS
simplify the tax code
build the Keystone pipeline
enforce immigration law
Begin deregulating the country


They can't sensibly repeal Obamacare without replacing it. I predict v-e-r-y slow incrementalism. National tort reform (ironic, for the litigious Trump) will be part of it.

The IRS needs a 501(c) housecleaning. And will get it. Complete tax reform.

We need a fast reversal of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights' "Dear Colleague" letter from 2011. But that might carry too much baggage-weight for Mr. Trump. A tough one! The Harasser/Abuser In Chief, President Trump, rolling back the Obama Administration's over-the-top higher education dictates on campus sexual harassment and abuse.

WE NEED ANOTHER SCALIA. That is JOB ONE.

The Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline should get fast-tracked the same day. Like, Day Two.

Immigration will be really interesting. The first filibuster.

mockturtle said...

Trump wants to abolish the Dept. of Education. And rightly so.

Chuck said...

mockturtle said...
Trump wants to abolish the Dept. of Education. And rightly so.


At some point, are the people who voted for Trump going to get disappointed with the few promises and pronouncements that he will actually keep?

Trump is not going to abolish the Department of Education. Trump is not going to deport 11 million, or 9 million or 2 million people. Certainly not in his first two years. Mexico is not going to pay for a border wall. And Trump is not going to bring steel plant jobs or coal mining jobs or auto assembly jobs back. At least, not more than token amounts.

Trump could wreck Obamacare; but that may be more politically costly, than helpful. Trump could undo hundreds of Obama executive orders and that might be a pretty wonderful thing. Trump will do a personnel re-org of the Department of Justice, but even that is a tall order. Trump will definitely nominate lots of good new conservative judges; but the credit there will go to the Senate Judiciary staff.

Trump will be "Not Clinton." And that's very good. But what will be the signature piece of the first two years of a Trump presidency?

Matt said...

I'm pretty sure the voters of PA didn't vote for Trump due to what Obama said during the 2008 primaries. Many probably want the economy to get better and felt Trump would do a better job. Or more to the point; Trump told sweeter lies than Hillary. That usually tends to be the case.

Birkel said...

The idea that it is only 11 million illegals is pig-ignorant. The number is much larger than that. And those workers depress unskilled labor prices and lower the standard of living.

But somehow "lifelong Republican" Chuck thinks the political will to deport illegals does not exist. And neither does McCain or Grahamnesty. So Chuck is as Republican as those two "centrists" who want to sell out the base.

Neat.

Scott said...

Chuck,

Your analysis strikes me as both reasonable and well-targeted, but let me offer a few minor quibbles:

1) While the whole 'mass deportation' thing isn't likely (though one never knows), Trump can rather easily make immediate steps on restricting immigration from MENA and taking aggressive steps to push some sort of real enforcement on the various laws covering hiring of illegals. He might also decide to pick a fight with Mexico on the wall issue by starting off with soliciting bids, and (very publically) putting together whatever needs to be done to take the costs out of remittances. Even if this doesn't work out (the odds might be better than you think, but I am prepared to be convinced otherwise), he has moved forward on his initial promises, and forces the Dems to play defense. Mexico will freak out as well, which would play very well in Trump country.

2)Obamacare might not be destroyed immediately, but by stopping Obama's stealth funding of the exchange's insurers through risk corridors, Trump can accelerate its death by natural causes. Some of the other exec orders Obama has used to prop up this corpse can be vaporized, which should put more pressure on it as well. I absolutely agree that the GOP has to put something together in its place, and there have been plenty of proposals out there for some time. Start passing a few (the votes are there) and let the Dems play defense again....

3) Wiping out Obama's exec orders is an unalloyed good, particularly if he is smart enough to publicize it as he is doing it. Focus on some of the 'culture war' ones first, then quietly ignore that issue for a while if at all possible.

4) Budgets will become an issue reasonably quickly, and revenge against the DOJ, the IRS, etc. should be high on the list. Yes, lots of it is theatre, but that is a big part of marketing, and I suspect it will sell well. Some very unsubtle pressure on some of the 'civil servants' to spend more time with their families might help as well. Ideally serious civil service reform would be best, but that is for year 2 or 3...

5) Some high profile state visits to Great Britain, Japan, Israel, etc. would be terribly useful, and in all of these cases, he is likely to get a reasonably warm welcome. Seeing about building a few bridges with Canada (Trudeau is a twit, but a vain one, and I suspect that Trump might be able to roll him with a little skill) wouldn't be a bad idea, especially as it might give some momentum to a move towards renegotiating part of NAFTA.

6) Most important though is the courts. Nominate conservatives...real ones... if the Dems try to block them, kill the filibuster as soon as possible (the votes are there) and let the Dems deal with the consequences. My guess is that Schumer (a capable man, but a glory hound) is likely to succumb to a chance for a big handshake in front of the camera if approached properly.

7) I don't think that Trump can do this, but if he is smart and careful, let the dirty rhetorical work be done by surrogates....he can spend his time entertaining, buying immensely tacky things for the White House, and saying as little as possible of substance. PLEASE....keep KellyAnne Conway around to help make this happen!

mockturtle said...

Trump is not going to abolish the Department of Education. Trump is not going to deport 11 million, or 9 million or 2 million people. Certainly not in his first two years. Mexico is not going to pay for a border wall. And Trump is not going to bring steel plant jobs or coal mining jobs or auto assembly jobs back. At least, not more than token amounts.

You've got it wrong, Chuck. If you think Trump is all talk and no action, you don't know much about his career.

Gahrie said...

But what will be the signature piece of the first two years of a Trump presidency?

deregulation

chickelit said...

But what will be the signature piece of the first two years of a Trump presidency?

"A rising tide lifts all boats" instead of "an ebbing tide strands the yachts first."

chickelit said...

"A rising tide lift all boats"

Heh. Who knew JFK had an opinion on Climate Change?

Paul Ciotti said...

Bay Area Guy, what was it you liked about the way The Deer Hunter portrayed Western Pennsylvania (where I grew up)?

Achilles said...

I am going to point out that just using raw vote totals Trump would have defeated Obama in Pennsylvania in 2012. And Florida, and Ohio, and several other states.

Trump would have defeated Obama in 2012.

And using the "popular vote" totals that include the millions of illegal votes in California and New York and Illinois for Clinton to say she won the popular vote is a joke.

kentuckyliz said...

The popular vote is meaningless in an electoral college system, because people in safe states change their voting behavior--by not voting, or changing their vote to a third party (like I did), by just voting down ballot (like 90,000 Michigan voters did). The popular vote is not a usable metric because the concept of the popular vote did not shape voter behavior.

If Dems are so upset about the geographical maldistribution of their voters, perhaps they should start a movement to move a critical mass of them to the most important swing states. Now taking volunteers.

kentuckyliz said...

Can't wait until WikiLeaks releases the e-mails showing Hillary and her team blaming Blacks for not voting for her. No one is talking about this because it would interfere with the national healing.

Kirk Parker said...

rhh:

"The Baxter TN guy is using an old Heathkit radio"

Surely not with all the original electrolytic capacitors!



Chuck,

"They can't sensibly repeal Obamacare without replacing it. "

Sure they can; the status quo ante was better.