Balkinization  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Re Connecting the dots: Why I continue to despair

Sandy Levinson

The new issue of The Nation, a magazine to which I've subscribed for at least 35 years (and have published in over many of those years) has a "special convention issue" with the overall title, on the cover, "We Still Need a Future to Believe in:  How to Build the Political Revolution," which involves relatively short pieces by 24 "activists and leaders."  Today's New York Times Magazine has a very interesting article about what sounds like an altogether admirable group pushing a left-wing agenda on Hillary Clinton.  The key document of the group, the Roosevelt Institute, is a document "Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy," one of shoe major authors is the completely commendable Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stieglitz.  So far so good.

But, as anyone familiar with my screeds over the past years could now readily predict, I am left in near despair by the fact that none of the twenty-four gurus brought to us by The Nation or the plan for "Rewriting the Rules..." seems even to consider the fact that among the rules very much in need of writing--or at least of what Alexander Hamilton called "reflection," perhaps on our way to "choice" regarding changing them--are those of the Constitution itself.  Instead, The Nation devotes the margin of the very first page of the response to Norman Lear's "We liberals are the true conservatives.  Don't mess with our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, those words that guarantee to all equal opportunity and equal justice under the law."  Norman Lear is also a commendable person, but this kind of mindless veneration of the Constitution is precisely what sends me into paroxysms of despair.  The right, for all of its professions of constitutional devotion, is actually willing to suggest that constitutional amendments might be desirable.  Jeb Bush has recently made this argument in the Washington Post.  All the left can do, apparently, is profess absolute horror that anyone might even think of "mess[ing] with our [perfect] Constitution."  Certainly the original 1787 Constitution said nothing at all about "equal opportunity and equal justice under law" even for all American citizens, let alone all American residents.  The former included women who were not allowed to vote (and the Constitution didn't care), and the latter included slaves whom the Constitution noticed only to give unjust benefits to their "owners."  Obviously, things got better, in part because of a war that killed 750,000 people, but one has to be optimistic indeed to believe that the Reconstruction Amendments are enough to "guarantee to all equal opportunity and equal justice under law."  One obvious problem is that realizing this wonderful visions requires the passage of a great deal of legislation, and the Constitution was rigged in 1787, and remains rigged now, to prevent any such radical developments from taking place save in those astrological years when all planets align for a brief period.  As I've been writing recently, it simply doesn't matter, with regard to achieving the sorely needed progressive agenda, if Hillary Clinton is elected and the Democrats take the Senate if, at the same time, the egregious Paul Ryan continues to remain the Speaker of the House because of illegitimate gerrymandering and a pernicious system of single-member districts sorely in need ion change.  All of the programs for "rewriting the rules" will be of nought.  This is one reason that honorable Republicans are rapidly deserting their sociopathic candidate for President and placing their energies on maintaining even one house of Congress, because they realize that Hillary simply can't do that much without having working majorities in both the House and the Senate.  It's as simple as that.

Will Berne Sanders take his time tomorrow night, when I think he speaks to the Convention, talking about what a truly serious non-violent "political revolution" would require, i.e., rethinking our Constitution?  Don't hold your breath.  Instead, we will hear lots of commendable people saying lots of commendable things in terms of wish lists for the future, even as they say nothing whatsoever about an egregious constitutional system that makes their realization difficult to the point of near impossibility.  That is why I continue to despair, even if I am relatively confident that the sociopathic Mr. Trump will not in fact become our next President.

Comments:

Seventy something Bernie Sanders, who has one of two Vermont senate seats a constitutional fix would ideally replace (if for reasons that go back to Madison), is comfortable working within the current Constitution. This might be somewhat shortsighted, but so it goes. Sanders focuses on the power of money/special interests & some history will show that there are amendments in place in part to address that sort of thing. He is open to an amendment to address the Citizens United issue but as Rick Hasen has argued, misguided.

I understand the felt need to amend the Constitution to address certain structural fixes. On on blog, e.g., a person's major issue is changing our voting/apportionment system. Don't agree with various ways SL expresses the point, but the basic argument that various constitutional structural issues particularly warrant change is fair enough.



 

Discussion of the matter is fundamentally limited by the fact that the Constitution is enormously more popular than the people holding the discussion. As an academic, this isn't a great concern of your's, (Hence "that's academic" being a dismissal of a consideration.) but it has to be a consideration for anybody actually hoping to achieve something.

Attack the Constitution, and you immediately lose something like 3/4 of your potential audience. I'm personally of the opinion this is justified, but even if you don't think it is, it's still true.
 

The word "despair" is in the headline of this post and within it. Sandy's not quite the geezer I am but might remember from the glorious days of "The Fitch Bandwagon," with Phil Harris and Alice Faye its jingle. Here's a link:

https://www.otrcat.com/fitch-bandwagon

The lyrics touting Fitch Shampoo are toe-tapping and uplifting. Alas, if only Fitch Shampoo were available when Brett was growing up.
 

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Sandy's:

"The right, for all of its professions of constitutional devotion, is actually willing to suggest that constitutional amendments might be desirable. Jeb Bush has recently made this argument in the Washington Post. All the left can do, apparently, is profess absolute horror that anyone might even think of 'mess[ing] with our [perfect] Constitution.'"

is a form of false equivalency. What might the right suggest by way of constitutional amendments that would be acceptable to the left? The left is not claiming the Constitution is "[perfect]," far from it, including many on the left in agreement with Sandy that the Constitution as undemocratic provisions. At some point a second constitutional convention may be in order but the current political dysfunction is not the correct time. The right doesn't speak with the same voice nor does the left. Such a second constitutional convention would have to be more transparent than the first in 1787. Consider the difficulties in the designation of delegates to such a second convention. And assuming a second convention, consider the difficulties with ratification procedures in the now 50 states. The horror, both on the left and the right, may be making more of a mess of an imperfect Constitution. Can we expect the delegates to such a second convention, with the political hindsight of the workings of the Constitution, to have objective foresight that will better function in the future than the foresight of the Founders, Framers and Ratifiers had?

Perhaps Sandy might gather together a balance of legal scholars from the right and left to take a crack at what they might consider what a revised Constitution might look like, assuming they can come to an ad hoc agreement.
 

Sandy:

Your compadres at the Nation are far more interested in further gutting the Constitution to expand our budding executive dictatorship than in amending the document to create a small "d" democratic parliament.
 

I don't have " ... compadres at the Nation ... " but instead of "interesting" I assume SPAM I AM! meant "interested." Based upon SPAM I AM!'s critique of the Nation:

" ... than in amending the document to create a small "d" democratic parliament."

SPAM I AM! would seem to have a preference for such a parliament - perhaps with the current Brexit experience to include a provision for SEXIT, permitting a state to opt out.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], SPAM I AM!'s compadres are all in Hell, except for Lucifer in the Flesh temporarily on assignment in the Senate.

 

The left scarcely ever proposes amending the Constitution, because the left does not intend to be constrained by it. Rather, they simply intend to appoint Justices who will reliably declare anything they want to do Constitutional. So they have no need to actually alter the text.

But, though they actually have nothing but contempt for the Constitution, they can't express this contempt, because where doing things by legislation looks politically dangerous, they do them by having the suborned judiciary claim the Constitution mandates them. And so they actually need the public to care about the Constitution enough to comply with these mandates even where the public doesn't like them.

So, the left actually needs the Constitution it despises to be revered. Sandy is wasting his time expecting them to ever denounce it.

 

"because the left does not intend to be constrained by it"

I'm curious, what are examples where the Right feels constrained by the Constitution? Something they think would be great policy but they also think the Constitution does not allow it?
 

"our budding executive dictatorship"

Yeah, our 'budding executive dictatorship' that in recent years has seen significant rulings against two of what our executive would otherwise have considered to be legacy achievements (the ACA and the DACA). Nothing says 'dictatorship' more than the supposed 'dictator' being thwarted in what he wants to do again and again.
 

Shag's 9:01 comment is perceptive. To me, SL's proposal of a new convention is misguided. Also, I have repeatedly seen concern about various structural issues, some of which would need constitutional fixes (e.g., the natural born citizenship provision).

Others, including apportionment, isn't something that arguably requires amendment -- Congress has the power to alter how we apportion and partisan gerrymandering has been argued to have constitutional problems (in one case, four justices wanted to decide the question; a fifth said there might be standing in the future). Amendments sometimes clarify what the document already is deemed by many to already say. For instance, the 9A wasn't necessary for unemumerated rights. It underlined the point. So, might still be useful.

The left scarcely ever proposes amending the Constitution, because the left does not intend to be constrained by it. Rather, they simply intend to appoint Justices who will reliably declare anything they want to do Constitutional. So they have no need to actually alter the text.

Both sides want to appoint Justices that will reliably promote their view of the Constitution and this was true since the beginning. Brett's singular focus on "the Left" (let's say using the mode* of his comments) is misguided if the concern is not partisan.

though they actually have nothing but contempt for the Constitution, they can't express this contempt

not shown -- this translates to "I disagree with what they say." Some -- like Brett and Sandy Levinson -- don't like certain aspects of the the Constitution. But, "nothing but contempt" is hyperbole. Some on "the Left" use it too -- I think SL does at times.

---

* It's summer vacation, so to remind from math class: "the value that occurs most often."
 

By the way, I have to apologize to Bernie's supporters. I've been blaming the criminal riots at Trump rallies on them. Now it turns out, via Wikileak, that the DNC was coordinating them, and arranging for it to look like it was Bernie's supporters rioting, so as to make Bernie look bad. It was just part of the internal campaign to make sure Hillary won the primary.

Sorry, Bernie supporters. You're idiots, but apparently not after all violent idiots.
 

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Brett: "because the left does not intend to be constrained by it"

Mr. W: I'm curious, what are examples where the Right feels constrained by the Constitution? Something they think would be great policy but they also think the Constitution does not allow it?


There are totalitarians on both he left and the right.

Folks like Cruz and Paul would feel constrained by the Constitution.
 


Folks like Cruz and Paul would feel constrained by the Constitution.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:22 AM


That does not answer his question.
 

BD: "our budding executive dictatorship"

Mr. W: Yeah, our 'budding executive dictatorship' that in recent years has seen significant rulings against two of what our executive would otherwise have considered to be legacy achievements (the ACA and the DACA). Nothing says 'dictatorship' more than the supposed 'dictator' being thwarted in what he wants to do again and again.


The Obama bureaucracy has been rewriting or providing dispensations from a wide variety of laws of Congress. The only significant action the judiciary has slowed so far is DACA, and the bureaucracy provided amnesty to over 100,000 illegals anyway despite the court order. If Clinton appoints Scalia's replacement, the Supreme Court will reverse the trial court and rubber stamp DACA.
 

There is an article in today's NYT that provides evidence that the current leak might have been enabled by Putin/Russia. Putin/Russia also (as I noted in a past thread) has connections to Trump. This seems more of a concern that what was "considered" etc. but for those already inclined to feel something (as John Oliver noted last night, this is a big thing for the Trump campaign), the emails "reaffirms" it.

Brett said in the past that he overall respected Bernie Sanders' integrity but I assume he apologizes for that too, since Sanders ridiculed caring about the email issue. This being a sign one doesn't care about the law in his eyes, Brett surely doesn't respect him at all now.
 

Edit: "a concern than what was"

This might be deemed non-germane to the OP but structural checks do help prevent the wrong people from coming into power. Also, dealing with such issues often takes up so much energy that the wider non-partisan points are clouded out.
 

Joe: There is an article in today's NYT that provides evidence that the current leak might have been enabled by Putin/Russia. Putin/Russia also (as I noted in a past thread) has connections to Trump.

The far more likely threat is that Putin could blackmail Clinton with the emails he hacked from her private server.
 

Clinton will be able to get legislation passed, but it will be the same sort of Republican legislation (and "trade" deals) that Bill Clinton was so good at signing into law.
 

Clinton on the legislation front is more of a rear guard action with a Republican House. That's not nothing. Existing law also gives wide discretion to the executive, executives have wide control of foreign policy & especially if the Democrats win, the courts.

Reports are that the government's accounts generally need to be more secure and this is a longstanding problem, one of many that shouldn't be clouded by some single-minded partisan focus. Putin has financial controls to influence Trump & Trump is already sympathetic to the guy. Net, that sounds more of a concern to me. At best, if I'm worried about HC's emails in that respect, TRUMP isn't going to seem to be on balance a good bet.
 

"The only significant action the judiciary has slowed so far is DACA"

He's had what would probably be considered two of his three signature achievements largely circumscribed by the judiciary (the ACA had its medicare extension largely undercut and a hole big enough to drive a truck through in Hobby Lobby, and then DACA), that's as far from dictatorship as Pluto is from Earth.


"The far more likely threat is that Putin could blackmail Clinton with the emails he hacked from her private server."

More likely than Trump being an actual agent of Putin's? Increasingly appears not so.

"That does not answer his question."

Yup.

 

"it turns out, via Wikileak, that the DNC was coordinating them, and arranging for it to look like it was Bernie's supporters rioting"

Do you have a cite for that? If true it seems odd, the protesters being ascribed to Bernie was something of a badge of honor for his campaign among the Dem base. Odd way to undermine him in a Dem Primary...
 

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BD: "The only significant action the judiciary has slowed so far is DACA"

Mr. W: He's had what would probably be considered two of his three signature achievements largely circumscribed by the judiciary (the ACA had its medicare extension largely undercut and a hole big enough to drive a truck through in Hobby Lobby, and then DACA), that's as far from dictatorship as Pluto is from Earth.


Congress enacted the Medicaid expansion as part of the ACA. This was not an Obama decree.

To the extent that standing rules even allowed them to rule, the judiciary rubber stamped every single one of the HHS and IRS rewrites of and dispensations from the ACA legislation.

BD: "The far more likely threat is that Putin could blackmail Clinton with the emails he hacked from her private server."

Mr. W: More likely than Trump being an actual agent of Putin's? Increasingly appears not so.


Why would a billionaire ego maniac agree to be Putin's agent? What is in it for Trump?
 

SPAM I AM! asks:

"Why would a billionaire ego maniac agree to be Putin's agent? What is in it for Trump?"

Moscow on the Hudson or Trump Towers in Moscow? Also a reward for Paul Manafort?

What's in it for SPAM I AM! being an enabler for Trump? Being spared for the former's fascist accusations?
 

A taste:

Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”


And, Trump is otherwise by sentiment inclined to support Putin and Trump's own remarks show as well as a general examination of each other's tendencies.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-yes-it-s-really-a-thing

This isn't really a response to BP. This is one of those things that need to get more attention as does things like this (the person is a reporter who is an expert on Turkey etc.):

Zeynep Tufekci ‏@zeynep 8m8 minutes ago North Carolina, USA

Wikileaks dumped addresses of millions of women in Turkey. Hundreds murdered each year by exes, stalkers, etc. Now, they've an address book.


Wikileaks is something that some on the left deems in a positive fashion. I personally continue to be very wary about it, including for just this lack of a filter concern. There are limits on things for a reason. Anarchy is not a great thing.
 

Joe:

Overseas investors are now assumed to be the agents of the governments of the nations where the investments are located?

I guess that makes a large part of the American business community and even more of our financial industry foreign agents of China and Russia.

:::rolls eyes:::
 

"Why would a billionaire ego maniac agree to be Putin's agent? What is in it for Trump?"

Money, which billionaire's rather like. Putin essentially controls the Russian economy, and many of Trump's recent ventures seem to be intertwined with, if not rely on, actors there.

"Congress enacted the Medicaid expansion as part of the ACA."

So what? The fact that Congress passed and then Obama signed the measure and *then* the Courts gutted it demonstrates this is as far from a dictatorship as Kalamazoo is from Timbuktu. Ditto the courts turning the administration's 'decrees' away in Hobby Lobby and the recent DACA case.

 

And SPAPM I AM! is assumed to be an agent of the foreign Cruz Canadacy? I assume SPAM I AM! would make a President Trump's enemies list.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted}, note SPAM I AM! has mastered electronic colon eye rolls: That's where his head is most of the time.
 

Mr. W:

A dictatorship is an executive which decrees law.
 

Certainly not always, Hitler, Stalin, etc., often had their wishes go through the Nazi and communist party controlled legislatures first.

But what didn't happen was for the initiatives they strongly supported to be slapped down by other bodies. And that's happened regularly to Obama.
 

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Mr. W:

Both Hitler and Stalin ruled by decree both personally and through their bureaucracies. The fact that their one party legislatures occasionally rubber stamped a decree for emphasis does not change that fact.

Our Congress enacting a law is not a dictatorship and the Supreme Court reversing part of that law on constitutionally questionable grounds is not checking a dictatorship.

Just admit your analogy was baseless and move on.
 

"The fact that their one party legislatures occasionally rubber stamped a decree for emphasis does not change that fact."

You concede they went through the 'forms' of their legislature regularly. Real world actual dictators would sometimes rule by decree, sometimes by signing legislation they wanted which had gone through other bodies (which, to be sure, were dominated by them). So, again, there's no difference that makes a difference between Obama pushing legislation through Congress and then signing it and that legislation being undercut by the judiciary (the ACA) and him issuing an executive order or regulation and having it be swatted down by the courts (DACA). Both are evidence that we are nowhere near your silly hyperbolic 'dictatorship.' Baseless is what your hyperbole is.
 

Mr. W:

Are you really claiming that Hitler and Stalin were not dictators when their "legislatures" rubber stamped some decree in order to argue that Obama did not operate a "budding dictatorship?"

Just when I though you could not provide me with a bigger belly laugh than when you tried to explain that Hillary was not really a liar or a crook...
 

Huh? Bart, this started with you mentioning our 'budding executive dictatorship.' I replied with, how can we have a dictatorship when Obama gets slapped down on what he sees as his signature achievements, (examples the ACA medicaid and contraception parts and DACA). You then said 'the medicaid thing is different, it was a law not a decree.' To which I replied 'dictators exercise their will both by decree and signing measures the legislatures they dominate pass, witness Stalin and Hitler' And then you replied 'yes, Stalin and Hitler sometimes signed legislation their legislatures passed, do you think they weren't dictators?'

???

Er, it was my point that they were dictators. Dictators get what they want (they 'dictate'), whether it be by executive 'decree' or by signing legislation from bodies they dominate. I gave an example of each where Obama has had his will thwarted. Not much of a dictatorship.
 

To be fair, he did say "budding", not "full blown".

During the Hillary administration, with a Democratic majority on the Court to approve of anything the President wants to do, dictatorship will truly blossom.
 

During the Hillary administration, with a Democratic majority on the Court to approve of anything the President wants to do, dictatorship will truly blossom.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 8:51 PM


Elections have consequences, tough guy.
 

"During the Hillary administration, with a Democratic majority on the Court to approve of anything the President wants to do, dictatorship will truly blossom."

Eh, the House is almost certainly going to be GOP still, and the GOP is going to at least have the filibuster available. The true potential for one party dictatorship would actually be if your guy wins, then they'd have all three branches of government. And the concern there is Trump's personality. Apart from his lack of control in his comportment, which I think can signal an overall impulsiveness, his quick vengeful nature is concerning. When people have crossed him, criticized him, he tends to sue them, verbally attack them, etc. Just recently when Cruz had the temerity to not endorse him he suggested he'd form a SuperPac to oppose him in Texas. Do you really want the NSA and the Justice Department in *those* hands?
 

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Watching Bernie Sanders speak, he says Citizen's United was a terrible decision and says endorsing Clinton is important because she will nominate a justice to reverse the decision. Say what you want about that decision (and I think there are powerful arguments on both sides of it), that speech shows you that claims of a 'imperial judiciary' are overblown. The political branches know how to tame a wild judiciary just fine, thank you, and our Founders had the wisdom to create a system where that's an option.
 

Even if Trump wins it's only a dictatorship if there aren't any more elections after he wins.
 

Elections do have consequences but even Trump winning (and people concerned neutrally about one party controlling things should be most concerned about that ... but some aren't) will not likely be a "dictatorship" given the checks in place. Still a very worrying possibility.
 

Yes, as Prof. Balkin noted in the past, the judiciary is not completely independent -- by appointments and the advise/consent power, the political branches over time affect who fills that branch. [There is also the impeachment power & some power over jurisdiction etc.]

And, various elections are about conflicting constitutional visions. This has been a theme as well for Prof. GM in two of his books. Lincoln, e.g., was likely to appoint justices who challenged Dred Scott v. Sandford. This doesn't mean the Constitution had no meaning. It means that it has different possible ones and elections is one way to influence what one wins out.
 

"Even if Trump wins it's only a dictatorship if there aren't any more elections after he wins."

For the most part, I agree.

"This doesn't mean the Constitution had no meaning."

I don't mean to say that, just that the judiciary is not imperial.
 

No, that was for those more inclined to use hyperbole.
 

Mr Wiskas, Hillary Clinton promises to reverse a court ruling that it's legal to spend money criticizing Hillary Clinton, and this doesn't suggest she has dictatorial tendencies?

Meanwhile Trump catches flack, instead of being lauded, simply for suggesting that celebrities should be able to sue for libel on the same basis as everyday people.

I notice a disconnect here. It seems that Hillary is much, much worse on freedom of speech than Trump, and yet the Democrats like to think of themselves as better on civil liberties, not worse.
 

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Brett's disconnect is his simpletonian logic. Consider how Brett's:

"Meanwhile Trump catches flack, instead of being lauded, simply for suggesting that celebrities should be able to sue for libel on the same basis as everyday people."

might be used by other celebrities suing The Donald for libel for the Donald's insults.

NYTimes v. Sullivan has been around a lot longer than Citizens United. Brett supports the uncivil liberties Trump takes with his insults. I guess Brett is biased because he shares a disability with The Donald.

 

Mr. W: Er, it was my point that they were dictators. Dictators get what they want (they 'dictate'), whether it be by executive 'decree' or by signing legislation from bodies they dominate. I gave an example of each where Obama has had his will thwarted. Not much of a dictatorship.

You are playing the purist game again. If we do not have a 100% dictatorship, it is not a dictatorship.

I noted that we have a budding dictatorship where the president is increasingly ruling by decree by rewriting and providing dispensations from the laws of Congress, while an opposition Congress and the courts do next to nothing to stop him.

The next step will be the president issuing emergency laws.


 

SPAM I AM! being the impurist that he is might take a crack at quantifying his claimed percentage of dictatorship. Maybe it's at the 1% level like income/asset inequality. SPAM I AM!'s "dick-tater-head" efforts have gone beyond 5:00 o'clock shadow to full beard, in the manner of his comment photo.
 

Hillary Clinton promises to reverse a court ruling that it's legal to spend money criticizing Hillary Clinton, and this doesn't suggest she has dictatorial tendencies?

HC is concerned about the general issue of campaign finance (following historical practice of regulation), not specifically about the subject of the court ruling. Obviously, especially in the face of Sanders supporters concerned she isn't doing enough, she might say "hey, that ruling was about me," but that isn't really her main issue.

Trump repeatedly has spoke about how people that directly criticize him should be punished by such things like stronger libel rules and other means should be in place for that. He made it about him. His litigious habits show this as well.

Meanwhile Trump catches flack, instead of being lauded, simply for suggesting that celebrities should be able to sue for libel on the same basis as everyday people.

Trump is not merely a "celebrity" -- he is a candidate for POTUS and hopes to be POTUS. If the test for criticizing them "on the same basis as everyday people" was the same (changing the whole basis of the "public figure" rule), it would significantly alter free speech.

Brett cries CENSORSHIP repeatedly, but when TRUMP is involved, crickets. A significant limit on speech -- the threat of monetary penalties and other things [Amazon purchase somehow illegitimate] warrants a "simply" as if it is a decent idea. Trump can say things like "negative and horrible and false articles" (using his loose terms) against him can be subject to looser rules. Mix his views on aliens, is he pining for the Alien and Sedition Acts?

I notice a disconnect here. It seems that Hillary is much, much worse on freedom of speech than Trump, and yet the Democrats like to think of themselves as better on civil liberties, not worse.

How? If so-called "negative and horrible" articles that a candidate alleges is "false" can be subject to the same test as for a private figure & people who buy media platforms like Amazon have to be careful, it's a rather serious thing. CU is about use of "general treasury funds to make independent expenditures" [to quote the majority] of corporations.

The video still could be released, just funded somewhat differently. It can be funded by corporations, if falling under various exceptions. It can be funded by for-profits if done via a separate PAC. It even could be funded if it wasn't shown during a certain 30 day window.

OTOH, NO MATTER when or WHO funds the speech thin-skinned billionaires -- even those running for POTUS -- find "negative and horrible" and "false" can be subject to expensive libel suits that chill speech. Plus, purchases of media platforms will be controlled more. At the very least, people who are truly concerned about "censorship" should see the problem, if only "both sides."
 

I quoted this article: http://www.cnet.com/news/donald-trump-threatens-jeff-bezos-amazon/
 

"You are playing the purist game again. If we do not have a 100% dictatorship, it is not a dictatorship."

No, I'm saying that whatever else a dictatorship might be one thing is isn't is when the supposed dictator has their most sought after and prized policies thwarted again and again. That is light years from a dictatorship.


 

Just to supplement Joe's points, I'd add that relaxing defamation laws would have enabled Hillary to "shut down" Citizens United by the far more efficient process of suing them. No need to get elected president, appoint a Justice, wait for Senate confirmation, etc.
 

The Donald's entrance for his acceptance speech at the TRUMP FAMILY VALUES CONvention reminded me of my radio days that included Bulldog Drummond that would open with "Out of the fog, out of the night ...." Here's a link to an episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-GxGuiT4RM
 

Brett, the precedent in Citizen's United would of course apply to criticism or support of anyone running for office, not just Clinton, and it didn't restrict all criticism of such people, just criticism coming from certain types of organizational forms in certain periods (as I've said, that of course still might be wrong and/or unconstitutional in itself, I think there's good arguments on both sides of that case). And on the other side, if the principle you say Trump is pushing were generalized it would stifle quite a bit of speech-including a lot of the type of criticism you and Bart regularly engage in about 'public figures' such as politicians. I think First Amendment advocates are concerned pretty equally about both.
 

I see Mark has made my point, and more succintly!
 

I don't think relaxing defamation laws would have helped Hillary all that much. She'd still have to prove knowing falsity or reckless disregard for the truth, and such a lawsuit would certainly invoke the Streisand effect.

Her problem, essentially, is that the truth about her is pretty awful, without making anything up. People in that position are rather ill advised to bring libel suits.
 

Brett, your comment mis-states the standard law of defamation. You can find the elements at, e.g., FindLaw:


First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff.

Second, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made an unprivileged publication to a third party.

Third, the plaintiff must prove that the publisher acted at least negligently in publishing the communication.

Fourth, in some cases, the plaintiff must prove special damages.
 

Based on this, I don't believe I misstated it. At most, the difference if Trump got his way, is that she could sue on the basis of their having been careless about their facts, while as things stand now, as a public person, she'd have to prove that they were reckless, IOW, had good reason to doubt their facts.

Hillary's basic problem, aside from the Streisand effect, is that if she could sue Citizens United for libel, their defense would be the truth. They'd likely win the suit on that basis. In the US, public or private, you can't commit libel by stating the truth.

The approach she actually took to trying to censor CU didn't rely on their not being truthful, and that was critical, because she was trying to prevent them from publicizing truthful things about her.
 

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The worst thing about being a partisan or ideologue is not that you set yourself on the road to be wrong a lot, it's that you become so boringly predictable. Did anyone not see Brett's response coming? When I wrote my last one I thought I should just go ahead and write his response, and my guess was spot on. 'I'm not worried about what I'm advocating to be generally applied and it coming back to bite those I support, because those I support are good and it's those I don't like that are bad and what I'm advocating is for the bad people.'

You can just see the Clinton v. Bellemore case going down:

Clinton lawyer: Your honor, we've got all these defamatory allegations by Brett, let's focus on how he calls Ms. Clinton a 'felon' all the time. We've got Ms. Clinton's record, no offenses on it.'

Brett: Your honor, that can't be defamatory! I looked up defamation law online this morning and I'm protected by the truth, everyone knows Ms. Clinton is a felon, she sent those emails and there's a felony with no mens rea and what do you think she was doing with those emails!

Clinton lawyer: Your honor, we've got a line of career federal prosecutors, including life long Republicans, to testify that Mr. Bellemore doesn't know what in the same hell he's talking about, but yet went around confidently asserting this claim, showing a reckless disregard for the facts.

Jury foreman: Your honor, we've heard enough, we find for Ms. Clinton for full damages. We'd also like to tack on some punitive damages just because, you know, this guy is so retarded.

Brett (being carried out by bailiffs): Tyranny!!!!!!
 

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. also discusses the different constitutional line for "an individual who is neither a public official nor a public figure."

Brett said "knowing falsity or reckless disregard for the truth" was the test even for private persons (per Trump's desire to blur the rules). But, the link says this:

knew that the statement was false and defamatory, or acted with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the statement in making the statement, or acted negligently in failing to ascertain whether the statement was true or false before making it.

It then notes the stronger rule for public figures:

If the person defamed was a public figure, the person making the defamatory statement can only be held liable for defamation if he/she knew that the statement was false or if he/she acted with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of the statement.

NYT v. Sullivan et. al. showed the breathing space particularly needed for criticism of public figures. As Gertz noted, private individuals have more grounds to be concerned and there is a lesser public interest in such a strong test. Brett, however, is relatively sedate about weakening the test, which in practice will lead to more censorship. Given past rhetoric from him, this is ... interesting.

The "truth is a defense" rule is quite important but it has been readily shown, especially with deep pockets, libel lawsuits can be quite a deterrent for people. And, the rule isn't just going to be applied to Hillary Clinton or "the Left," though that is some people's generally focus.

OTOH, CU leaves open the group in question, without sanction, the right to release the video or discuss its contents in a range of ways. It even can be funded by for-profit corporations in certain ways.
 

ETA: overruling CU, of course.

Query: will Shag come out of retire to defend Brett and quote Voltaire?
 

Strange to bemoan the gerrymandering of Ryan's House, seeing that it is by far the most democratically representative organ of the Federal Government by far. The Presidency depends on the undemocratic electoral college, the Senate on the undemocratic filibuster and the assignment of two Senators to each state regardless of population, and the Supreme Court is made up entirely of appointed lawyers from the same small sample of elite law schools who are largely humanities majors ignorant of STEM and economics.
 

An amusing scenario, of course, but my argument would actually be that, per several law dictionaries, the definition of "felon" is "someone who has committed a felony", not, "someone who has been convicted of a felony". And even Comey conceded that she'd violated the law, he only asserted that she'd done so in a way that wouldn't normally be prosecuted. ("If the President had your back." being left unstated.)

So, I would expect based on just dictionary definitions of "felon" and Comey's statements, to prevail. Wining the SLAPP case would be problematic, given my jurisdiction, so I might not recoup my legal expenses. But I expect I could find several outfits willing to front me them, just for the delight of putting all this back in the news.

The Streisand effect. People as awful as Hillary live in fear of it. Which is why she would likely not sue in the first place.
 

Way to miss the point there Brett. Wow. How many of those who sat in prison under prosecution of the Alien and Sedition libel laws near our founding really, really thought what they said about Adams and other Federalists was true?

"even Comey conceded that she'd violated the law,"

Where and when did he do that? Cite?
 

"The Presidency depends on the undemocratic electoral college"

It hasn't acted undemocratically though, so I think your point loses a lot.
 

jimbino's comment seems divorced from the actual implementation and performance of the various branches.

my argument would actually be that, per several law dictionaries, the definition of "felon" is "someone who has committed a felony", not, "someone who has been convicted of a felony".

Fine, but then you'd have to prove, using only admissible evidence, that she committed a felony. Good luck with that.
 

Brett's efforts with law are comparable to an engineer (which Brett claims to be) intent on building a bridge to nowhere with Legos.

At Joe's suggestion I have been channeling Voltaire and have come up with a quote that he would have probably used if he listened to what Brett has had to say:

"I disapprove of what Brett says and will defend anyone who is sued by Brett claiming he has been defamed, for a hole in the ground cannot be defamed."


 

"Where and when did he do that? Cite?"

The press conference that was televised, that I watched and you apparently didn't.

Comey was quite clear that she had, in fact, transmitted classified information to people who lacked security clearances, over unsecured systems, and that anybody in her position would be expected to know it was classified information. He denied she intended to break the law, but as we've extensively discussed here, the relevant statute doesn't require intent. Only handling the information carelessly, which he confirmed she did.

He also has confirmed that she lied to federal officers on numerous occasions, which, yes, is a crime, even if you're not under oath.

I'd be shocked if, in the context of a libel suit, evidence that the statements were true would not be admissible.
 

While Brett professes he would " ... be shocked if, in the context of a libel suit, evidence that the statements were true would not be admissible."

a lawyer trained in defamation law might be "shocked" only in the manner of Captain Renault in Casablanca..

Brett continues to ride this pony on his trip to nowhere. Now what was the song Paul Simon sang at the Convention last night?

i wonder if Brett has tackled Wigmore [rather than Bellmore] on Evidence to give himself a new look.




 

Brett:

1. You continue to misinterpret what Comey said, and you continue to misunderstand the law.

2. Even if you were right about what Comey said, his statements are not admissible evidence.

3. You and your lawyers would have very little chance of proving the case if for no other reason than that you would not be able to gain access to the classified material at issue, nor be able to obtain the evidence necessary to prove the numerous other issues involved.
 

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

-- Mark Twain
 

Mark, yours is minority opinion. Most Americans, and even 31% of Democrats, ended up thinking, after his press conference, that she should have been prosecuted. Comey might have given in to administration pressure to recommend no charges, but he only did so after detailing how guilty she was.
 

You're dodging. The question we were discussing is whether you could prove, in a court of law, that Hillary committed a felony. An opinion poll doesn't affect that. Nor does the reaction of the population at large change the fact that you can't introduce Comey's statements into court in your defense. Nor does it change the legal analysis that she was not, in fact, guilty.


 

It feels true. So it must be.

 

Trumpiness
 

What, you're saying I won't be entitled to a trial by jury? And that I'd have to convict her to acquit myself, rather than just demonstrate it was a reasonable and widely held belief?

You're missing my point, too: She wouldn't sue for libel, because people don't rationally sue for libel when the facts about them are awful.
 

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Brett's:

"You're missing my point, too: She wouldn't sue for libel, because people don't rationally sue for libel when the facts about them are awful."

neglects to mention the tinfoil he is wearing on his pate that blocks any points he might have. No, Hillary will not sue Brett, but not because of what Brett claims are facts. How many people sue The Donald for defamation? Rather, it is The Donald who sues for defamation - and loses. Rational people don't sue pisspots like Brett, who like the snake in the Garden of Eden did not have a pit to hiss in. So Brett's real point - obvious behind the tinfoil - is that he can be irrational in claiming "facts" about Hillary in performing his troll-role at this Blog.
 

"She wouldn't sue for libel, because people don't rationally sue for libel when the facts about them are awful."

Yes they do, especially when "are awful" is only understood as such by some people.

And, again, this isn't just about her. A weakening of libel laws would affect a range of people. This includes those (like Streisand herself) that won't act totally rationally as people tend not to do so at times.

People who care about liberty evenhandedly often point this out -- even if you think it doesn't matter here, it will in other cases. Thus, the problems with Trump's position.
 

What, you're saying I won't be entitled to a trial by jury? And that I'd have to convict her to acquit myself, rather than just demonstrate it was a reasonable and widely held belief?

Yes, you'd get a jury (assuming you ask for one) if the case went to trial. However, it's at least probable that you'd never get to present your truth defense to that jury because you lack the evidence. The judge could rule it out because you have an evidence problem, or because you're wrong on the law.

You don't have to "convict" her, at least not technically. You would have to present admissible evidence that she committed a felony. The fact that there's a widely held belief is not admissible evidence. In fact, that could be used to increase the damages against you if the jury found that your statements were false and that those statements contributed to the widely held belief.

As for not suing, you underestimate this. Yes, people more often than not decide not to sue for defamation. But if lots of people are saying false things about someone, that person may well decide to pick out one of them and try to win damages just to shut the others up. That's pretty much what Sullivan did against the NY Times, with the added benefit there of favorable state law and a biased jury. But don't worry -- you'd never run into either of those.
 

"Yes they do, especially when "are awful" is only understood as such by some people."

Good grief, look at that poll. Even 31% of DEMOCRATS thought, after Comey's press conference, that Hillary should be prosecuted. I'm not some fringe lunatic in thinking that Hillary is a criminal.

I am right in the mainstream.

It's mainstream opinion that Hillary is a criminal. The contrary view is only at all common among people who have a strong ideological reason for not accepting the evidence.
 

The contrary view is also common among lawyers and others who can evaluate the legal and factual issues.
 

I imagine any mainstream that Brett is in may be polluted. And is Brett now channeling Charlie Brown with his "good grief" as a grown up who actually has not grown up? I can picture that. Brett, watch out for Lucy.
 

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Brett continues to want to make this about Hillary Clinton.

"She wouldn't sue for libel, because people don't rationally sue for libel when the facts about them are awful."

My ultimate concern here is not one person. It is "people" -- who is "awful" there is a mixed thing with varying opinions. That's why I said "they do" -- THEY. I'm not just talking about one single person here. And, yet again, loosening libel laws there will be a big deal. As Mark Field notes, libel suits are used to silence people. Loosen the rules for public figures, it will be a bigger problem.

===

The above is the basic point. The minor point is applied to one case. Mark Field shows here -- no matter what popular sentiment might be, sometimes based on your level of confusion on the law -- lawsuits here will be based on different criteria.

Second, there are levels of "awful" -- Democrats and others are still going to vote for her. Gary Johnson et. al. (including as Mr. W. noted, various conservative experts) also didn't even think she should be prosecuted. Your disgust here in part is a result of a belief of some general suppression of what should occur.

This is part of what libel suits do -- they provide a chill on people to write what many might think in black/white with specific details, some of which might be harder to prove. That's more powerful and powerful people are much more worried about that than some general sentiment. Looser standards especially without deep pockets to defend would chill such speech.

This might even be true with Hillary Clinton, depending on the specific factual matter. So both big picture and this one incident shows yet again that Trump's proposal is a big deal. A person consistently concerned about free speech should not belittle it or shift gears to focus on one singular hobbyhorse.
 

To follow up on Joe's point, the Trumpistas claim to be angry about "PC". But that's just social pressure. Weakening libel law, as Trump has proposed, is a way of using the state to chill what we now accept as free speech. It's far more dangerous.
 

So, you prefer the BCRA's dose of liquid nitrogen, where the truth isn't even a consideration, to the "chill" of libel law? If the CU case had gone the other way, they'd have been silenced no matter how true anything they had to say was! Whereas under Trump's proposal, you'd have to prove they were lying, or at least that what they were saying wasn't true.

Sure, Trump's proposal is a big deal, and I don't favor it. Hillary's proposal to reverse the CU decision is a bigger deal.
 

I covered this already.

Citizen United did not require the material in question to be "silenced." It was about requiring for-profit corporations being required to use separate funds to help pay for it, particularly when it is release at a certain time.

Libel law is different. It generally chills the group in question from saying something, no matter who pays for it, no matter when, no matter how. And, you don't really have to "prove" anything realistically -- the costs of litigation alone will deter. Such is the case with lawsuits generally, which the consistent person uses as an argument against them in the libertarian community.

Finally, after all the time, you finally say it "is a big deal," but your actual tone was otherwise. There are loads of things that people find unpleasant. The telling thing is their priorities. And, even there, your stance is misguided.
 

AFAIK, the only proposal Hillary has made to reverse CU is to call for a Constitutional amendment (I might have missed some statement, of course). Assuming that's correct, she's just throwing red meat to the base. For one thing, Presidents have no role in the amendment process. For another, the votes aren't there in either Congress or the state legislatures to pass such an amendment. It's a way for Hillary to take a position popular with her base without committing herself to anything.
 

Just saw an article on that very issue.

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2016/07/constitution-check-will-the-citizens-united-decision-be-overturned/

She also focuses on picking justices to overrule it (or cabin it) & Rick Hasen in his book argues that is the most reasonable approach.
 

Thanks for that cite. Hillary was pretty careful not to commit herself to appointing Justices to overrule CU. Her actual words were: "I will also appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that this decision was a disaster for our democracy". One can read that multiple ways, which I suspect was her goal.

The article rightly notes that the Dem platform calls for "overturning" CU (it doesn't specify whether by amendment or by SCOTUS decision), and that other Dems have claimed that Hillary will appoint Justices who will do that. But AFAIK, she herself has been pretty careful not to make that commitment.
 

You Democrats do not get Trump at all.

The Donald pushed the Democrats' buttons with his faux appeal to the Russians to turn over Hillary Clinton's hacked and illegally erased emails to the FBI, the Democrats and their media predictably went berserk calling Trump a Russian spy, and now the news cycle in the middle of the Democrat dowager queen in waiting's coronation is dominated with discussions of her emails.

Trump will win this game every day until you ignore the provocations and stick to your script.
 

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!
 

Blankshot, did you have any great advice like this for Ted Cruz?
 

bb: did you have any great advice like this for Ted Cruz?

My recommendation really only applies to the Democrats because they have an allied media who will minimize or spike stories of Trump provocations if Team Clinton tells them to do so.

During the GOP primaries, the Democrat media not only provided wall to wall coverage of Trump's provocations, but attempted to bait the other Republicans into responding in order to start a brawl. This allowed Trump to dominate the news cycle even if a candidate like Cruz stayed largely on message.

Once again, misunderestimate Trump at your own electoral peril.
 

SPAM I AM!'sadvice to Democrats:

"Trump will win this game every day until you ignore the provocations and stick to your script."

might be why, under the direction of SPAM I AM!, the Cruz Canadacy failed, with the Evangelicals for Ted Cruz being converted to the Revengicals for Trump. And Cruz was so angry he created a Cleave-land at the TRUMP FAMILY VALUES CONvention.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], what exactly was the message Cruz stayed on that made him the most hated candidate on the Republican side?

Consider what SPAM I AM!'s advice garnered for the Cruz Canadacy and how ineffective it was. Maybe John McCain took the advice of SPAM I AM! SPAM I AM! remains a Trump enabler.
 

OOPS! I forgot to put up this link:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEV71MRZlXhVIAETQnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0NWs4M2p2BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDRkZVSTJDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw--?p=George+W.+Bush+Misunderestimates&fr=yhs-mozilla-003&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-003

regarding SPAM I AM! channeling George W with "misunderestimate" although he may have done so intentionally to show that at times he has a sense of humor.
 

Once again, misunderestimate Trump at your own electoral peril.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 7:18 PM


It's practically impossible to underestimate an imbecile like you.

 

You are right. Nothing to be concerned about.

Trump is a know nothing buffoon.

Anyone who questions the dowager queen in waiting is an imbicile.

Barking every time Trump whistles Is a BRILLIANT campaign strategy.

Arguing over Hillary's emails during her convention is a GOOD thing for her election chances.

What me worry?
 

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!!
 

SPAM I AM! left out the comma, but here is a link to the many faces he projects:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVv2KZJlX5AgAnW8nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0amprcWNiBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZVSTJDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw--?p=What%2C+Me+Worry%3F&fr=yhs-mozilla-003&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-003

behind the beard.

Here's a shout out to Michael Bloomberg, originally from Meffa, MA. "Thank you."
 

bb:

Have you seen the Dem leaning registered voter horserace polls between Trump and Clinton?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/
 

Blankshot, try not to panic. The Democratic convention isn't even over yet.
 

I agree in part, sort of, with Bart. I think you can misunderestimate Trump, he's a silly bufoon generally. But the Democrats have in my opinion vastly overestimated Clinton. She doesn't have her husband's charisma, she's seen as too 'inside' and establishment at a time when that is not playing well to the electorate, and the relentless attacks on her by conservatives for decades have made her somewhat the beneficiary of any single attack being taken too seriously but also created an air of general suspect-ness about her. Let's face it, while I don't think it can be arm-chaired judged to be a crime the email thing was at least a foolish, self inflicted wound. It should have been a huge red flag that the rather obscure, extreme, underresourced Sanders gave her such a run for the money. The Democrats have chosen time and again to play the 'we will appeal to competence and professionalism' rather than energizing their base, they did this with the politically foolish Garland nomination and they did it by choosing Kaine as VP.

Having said that, the Democrats have some reason not to panic too much. Clinton remains ahead in most battleground states (a better measure than national polls). And candidates usually get a bump from their conventions. If Trump's lead persists or starts to spread to some key states, then they will have some cause for panic.

I'm not sure Trump's latest comments about the email play the way Bart and all conservatives everywhere are saying they are (it's amazing how uniform the conservative response is, from blog commenters to media figures). I'm sure Clinton doesn't want the emails discussed, but that's not going away, and a lot of MSM press is about Trump's alleged ties to Putin, which this story of course feeds into. Remember when Republicans attacked Obama for being too accommodating and not standing up to Putin? Now their candidate suggests recognizing Crimea, reneging on NATO duties (to be fair, he says to renege when other's have also done so by not paying their fair share) and more, yet we here little fuss from them. I think their hatred for Obama and the Dems is really the only unifying thing left for them. Having said that, the Democrats have their own problem: being in power (in theory as it's just the executive) has spoiled them into not thinking they have to be politically astute. I guess that's why it's historically difficult to win third presidential contests in a row!
 

What is there to overestimate? She is a better option than Bernie, and she is better tHan batshit crazy. If she loses it says more about this country than it does about her.
 

Democrats realize Trump isn't just some buffoon. The Clintons have been in politics, sometimes against buffoons for decades. Not naive. Like Biden said "come on." But, it's obviously a weakness of him, something that even people who might vote for him feel uncomfortable about. It's silly not to take some advantage. WHILE the Democrats do other things too. Clinton nearly won in '08. Didn't know Trump would be the candidate, so no, Sanders would not be a good bet. Biden had personal reasons and in the past, even if likeable, repeatedly didn't turn out to be a great candidate. Who else?

I don't know how they are "vastly overestimating" Clinton either. On balance, Democrats realize she has issues but that she is a good smart qualified choice in various ways. Some, especially women, are ecstatic about her. As to "energizing their base" ... who is their base? Women? Blacks? Kaine has many things going for him as a whole. He has had support over the years from "their base" in various respects down to an ability to speak Spanish. Elizabeth Warren works better as a senator, even beyond letting a Republican replace her for at least a few months. Plus, she still can go out there and campaign and taunt Trump. The other choices had issues too.

If it wasn't the emails, it would be something else. She sometimes has problems. Who the hell doesn't? That's the charm with newbies -- they have less of a record. OTOH, you get people like Trump. I already disagreed with Mr. W. on Garland too. His nomination shows the Republican are obstructionists who want to block the Supreme Court from operating even when someone they themselves said was a decent choice is chosen. This very well might help in one or more close races. Picking some sacrificial lamb minority would benefit Clinton how much? Women need more of a reason? Blacks? The leading choices were not Hispanic.

Not thinking they have to be politically astute? When? Obama has repeatedly so. Clinton ran a good campaign. Sanders was very astute, playing things quite well while the Democrats (all this drama about emails -- the vapors! nothing much is there as Mr. W. already said -- not changing this) provided a means to satisfy him & obtain convention unity. The base is energized. Women. Blacks (on Clinton side since the '90s). Hispanics (against the wall etc.). Gays and lesbians. Plus professionalism, positive message & a horrible opponent.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

"a huge red flag that the rather obscure, extreme, underresourced Sanders gave her such a run for the money"

He was a great campaigner who addressed a discontent and appealed to the left of the party. But, Sanders isn't a likely choice to win the general. Trump won a plurality. Finding someone to ride a majority that unites all branches of a party is pretty hard.

Like Bloomberg et. al. think should, however, odds are sanity will win anyways.
 

I guess that's why it's historically difficult to win third presidential contests in a row!

Only if you limit history to the period since 1952. Before that, it was very common indeed: it happened 17 times before that. Since that year it's happened twice if you only count the popular vote. Not really rare at all.
 

"Clinton remains ahead in most battleground states (a better measure than national polls). And candidates usually get a bump from their conventions."

Trump is actually ahead right now. Silver says it's not quite time to panic, but that it's getting close to that time, if Hillary doesn't get a significant convention bounce. Two, three weeks from now, if Trump is still ahead, start panicking.

The reason Hillary has been dogged for decades with complaints about her ethics isn't that conservatives inexplicably decided to target her for smear campaigns. It's that her ethics suck big time. Basically she's a moral horror show who's a grand master in avoiding legal consequences.

By now, of course, dismissing any complaints about her ethics has become a spinal reflex for Democrats, so apparently none of that matters to Democrats. But it gives her a rock solid ceiling. Worse, that ceiling has been gradually creeping down.

Trump has a ceiling, too. But being of recent vintage, it's more squishy. He might be able to move it.
 

Good grief, Brett comes up with more doozies:

"Trump has a ceiling, too. But being of recent vintage, it's more squishy. He might be able to move it."

Who built that ceiling? How recently? What does it consist of that's squishy, Play Doh? Does it bear the "TRUMP" gold logo? How does Trump's ceiling compare to the "glass ceiling" that's been around for centuries" Is the ceiling that of a poor rich kid who is not as rich as he thinks he is? As to Trump being able to move his new fangled ceiling, can this be difficult compared to that Mexican wall he said he would build and make Mexico pay for? No, it's not the ceiling, but Trump's floor that is squishy. Mike Bloomberg described Trump quite accurately. How does tThe Donald feel being put down by a real billionaire? Mike knows a con-job when he sees it. It was on full display at the TRUMP FAMILY VALUES CONvention for all to see. And we learn today that the Melania website has been taken down, as it was exposed about claims of education that were exposed. No, it's not the ceiling but the Trump foundation that is squishy. Even a wall needs a strong foundation - but not the tax-free foundation operated by his son.

We are witnessing Brett as a grumpy middle-aged Charlie Brown. Good grief!

 

I'm not suggesting that this thought is original, but thinking back of The Donald's opening salvo as a candidate against mexicans, it was aimed at the strongest GOP candidate at the time, Jeb Bush. Trump just knew that he could get into Jeb's mind this way because of Jeb's marriage to a Mexican woman, a point that Jeb had made during his political career. Trump soon disposed of Jeb with bullying tactics that Jeb could not respond to other than descending to The Donald's level. This was extended to other candidates who challenged Trump. One by one Trump picked them off. Ted Cruz laid back for much of this time. But eventually Trump picked off Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. Trump bested the best and the brightest the GOP had to offer under the GOP big tent featuring the not so best not so brightest Clowns. Trump had several side shows going on as he converted the GOP with his base of older undereducated white males. Now it's one on one. Hillary has broken a ceiling and the floor is sinking for Trump, the titular head of the new Republican Party that was openly cleaved in Cleveland.

Hillary and The Donald are about the same age. I'l like to see a side-by-side comparison of the two of them from the public records of their careers, their contributions to the public good, their failings, their successes. Much about The Donald's career has been spelled out by WaPo investigative reports. Hillary has had her political career. Mike Bloomberg summed up The Donald's business career quite well. Such a side-by-side may address The Donald's claim that "I alone can fix it." What has he ever fixed that might serve the public good? Trump's "Believe me" is too unbelievable even. for his base to really believe this narcissist.
 

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"Hillary has broken a ceiling "

Gallup: Clinton's Image at Lowest Point in Two Decades

"Clinton is one of the best-known politicians in the U.S., with almost a quarter-century of national public exposure as a first lady, a U.S. senator, a secretary of state and now a candidate for president. While Americans' positive views of Clinton have moved up and down over the years, she now is on the verge of accepting the Democratic Party's presidential nomination with an image that is as negative as it has ever been."

Yeah, she's broken the ceiling. It's falling onto her right now.
 

It will be interesting to see how much of a post-convention bounce she gets. Hillary's popularity tends to drift up as she stays out of the news, and then plummet as people are reminded about her. It's quite possible, in light of that, that she's not going to get a bounce, thanks to the convention putting her more in the news.
 

So far as the polls go, wait until the likely voter polling in September. I will be looking in the cross tabs for the following information:

1) Among those choosing a candidate, look to see if there is any crossover voting. Are Bernie supporters going Trump? Are #nevertrump Republicans going libertarian? Etc.

2) Among the "undecided," I am looking at the race, wrong direction, anti-establishment, immigration and foreign trade stats. If the undecided are heavily white anti-establishment types who think the nation is going the wrong direction and oppose illegal immigration and foreign trade deals, there is a potential Brexit-style "Shy Tory" vote there for Trump. The question will be whether these folks will come out and vote like in 2010 and 2014 or stay home like in 2012.

We are living in interesting political times.
 

I will be looking at 2 things:

1. What does Nate Silver say. Go with that.
2. What does Bart Depalma say. Go opposite of that.

If Blankshot and Silver agree, it means Trump is winning and I will start moving my assets into gold and guns.
 

In the Chinese sense, yes, we are.

At this moment, Bartbuster, you probably want to make a trip down to the pawnshop then. As far as I can tell, they're in close to perfect agreement. Not about Hillary's alleged merits, but about what's going on.
 

Brett, you're my Blackshot backup. Your political instincts appear to be about the same.
 

Great Balls of Fire! We can call Brett "Pawnshop" for his source of knowledge of what's going on. (No Bob Hope joke, please!)
 

bb: I will be looking at 2 things:
1. What does Nate Silver say. Go with that.
2. What does Bart Depalma say. Go opposite of that.
If Blankshot and Silver agree, it means Trump is winning and I will start moving my assets into gold and guns.


Start moving your assets.

Even when Clinton was leading last month, Silver was hedging his bets by warning that Trump could win.

Today, Silver is explaining why his model has Trump doing better than competing models.

Where I disagree with Silver is his model splits the undecided vote down the middle. This worked for Silver in 2012 when a chunk of the undecided stayed home, but he missed the GOP waves in 2010 and 2014 when the undecided broke heavily red.
 

You two seem to be missing something: DePalma doesn't like Trump.
 

Brett:

I loathe Trump, but I take him very seriously as presidential candidate.

Most Democrats live in a bubble and are arrogantly oblivious to the threat the Donald presents.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Like the popular song of my youth, SPAM I AM!'S lips say "NO, NO" but there's "YES, YES" in his heart for The Donald. What serves as a "model" for SPAM I AM!? A Paper Doll?
 

Now, personally, I don't loath Trump. He's no Hank Reardon, sure. He's a successful businessman in a mixed economy, who hasn't been shy about taking advantage of that. That means he's not some libertarian hero-figure. But it doesn't make him a monster, either.

The problem is he's running against Wesley Mouch in drag. And I don't have Galt's Gulch in my GPS. She drags the country down, where am I going to take my family?


 

I think this thread is about done.
 

Brett:

If Trump gets his way on trade (and he can accomplish most of what he wants by executive order), we slide deeper into economic depression.

If Clinton gets her way on regulations, taxes and nearly everything else she promised, we slide deeper into economic depression.

In short, we are royally screwed.
 

You two seem to be missing something: DePalma doesn't like Trump.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 10:49 AM


I'm not missing anything. Blankshot might have the worst political instincts on the planet. He's going to spend the next few months pimping for Donald Trump, whether he likes him or not. Silver's "polling plus" model is pretty heavily weighted in favor of Clinton. They're not even close to being in the same place.
 

bb:

Warning you about the threat Trump presents is "pimping" the Donald?

You are utterly hopeless.
 

Bart, I agree with your summation, I only think it leaves some important things out, such as Hillary being more likely than Trump to do serious damage to our civil liberties. And Trump being likely to face much more push-back from the political establishment and bureaucracy than Hillary.

If she wins, the Democrats will undoubtedly improve their position in Congress, and possibly take one or both chambers. And the Republicans haven't been an effective opposition party even with control of both chambers!

Whereas if he wins, the GOP will probably retain control of the Senate, and certainly the House, and Trump will find he lacks allies in either chamber. If he goes too far, a successful impeachment is not out of the question, as it is for any Democrat.

Further, I'd say there's a significant chance he'll actually do something on illegal immigration, while the only thing Hillary would do is open the borders further, and double down on Obama's importation of potential Islamic terrorists.

My assessment of Trump is that he's a largely ideology free narcissist, (Who runs for President who isn't that last?) whose driving motivation is to be seen as a winner. His best bet of getting that, should he be elected, is to be a reasonably good President. And with a Republican Congress, working with them would be the path of least resistance.

Hillary? She'd probably list ambassadorships on Ebay.
 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...
bb:

Warning you about the threat Trump presents is "pimping" the Donald?


Blankshot, everyone is aware that Trump is a threat. You're cheering for it.

 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...
Brett:

If Clinton gets her way on regulations, taxes and nearly everything else she promised, we slide deeper into economic depression


Remember when you thought the same thing about Obama? He's done better than what Mittens was promising to do 4 years ago.
 

Wow, Bartbuster, you really aren't paying attention. DePalma is terrified of Trump winning. True, he thinks Hillary not much better, but that doesn't make him a Trump booster.

Heck, I plan on voting for Trump, and I'm not a booster. Bart is probably going to vote for a couple of RINOs running on the Libertarian ticket, if I'm following him right. LINOs, as it were.
 

Brett: If she wins, the Democrats will undoubtedly improve their position in Congress, and possibly take one or both chambers. And the Republicans haven't been an effective opposition party even with control of both chambers!

Can't disagree that the GOP Congress has been as useless as tits on a steer because the GOP leadership has been voting with the Democrats on everything that counts. However. I see no evidence in the polling data that the Democrats are going to take Congress or the states. 2016 appears to be a status quo down ticket election much like 2012.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/senate/2016_elections_senate_map_no_toss_ups.html

This presidential race is taking place in its own extremely alternative universe, with neither candidate having any discernible coattails.
 

Blogger Brett said...
Wow, Bartbuster, you really aren't paying attention. DePalma is terrified of Trump winning. True, he thinks Hillary not much better, but that doesn't make him a Trump booster.


I'm definitely paying closer attention than you are. His constant denigrating of Clinton and promoting Trump's political skills definitely makes him a Trump booster. I understand that he's trolling, but trolling for Trump makes him a Trump booster.

 

bb:

Obama turned a recession into a depression and is the primary reason Donald Trump is able to run a successful fascist campaign.

GDP growth has been 1/3 to 1/2 of a historical economic recovery and is currently a hair above a second recession. Manufacturing has been in contraction for over a year.

The percentage of Americans with any sort of work is at its lowest since women worked at home. Only a little over a third of Millennials have full time work.

The average household income is down since its last high under Bush and poverty is up.

2/3 of the electorate properly believes that the nation is going in the wrong direction.
 

bb: His constant denigrating of Clinton and promoting Trump's political skills definitely makes him a Trump booster.

Recognizing the reality that Hitler had better political skills than his socialist competition does not make one a booster of Hitler.

A pet rock has better political skills than Hillary Clinton. The more the public sees or hears about Clinton, the more her poll numbers go down.
 

lol

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!

http://www.nationalmemo.com/5-republican-campaign-promises-president-obama-fulfilled/


 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...

A pet rock has better political skills than Hillary Clinton.


Something that you and Clinton have in common .
 

bb:

You are posting spin.

The official U3 unemployment number is completely unhinged from reality because millions of able bodied Americans have stopped looking for work and are not counted in the calculation. The percentage of Americans with any sort of work has relentlessly fallen during the Obama administration.

Gas prices fell because of the private fracking revolution, which the Obama EPA is working diligently to reverse.

The average GDP growth since the end of the recession in early 2009 has been around 2%. The 5% growth rate the GOP was talking about is actually low average for post WWII recoveries.

During the Obama administration, the annual deficit dropped from an utterly insane trillion under the Democrat Congress to an awful half trillion dollars under the GOP Congress. Total public debt will double by the end of this administration.


 

bb:

You are posting spin.


# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 12:36 PM


Lol. Physician, heal thyself.

 

Apparently Trump's e-mail hack comment was such political brilliance that he spent the last 24 hours desperately walking away from it.

#politicalgenius
 

bb:

Trump was obviously taking a sarcastic shot at Clinton's illegal destruction of her emails and has since underlined for slow Democrats that he was offering sarcasm.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-sarcastic-wanting-russia-find-hillary-clintons/story?id=40955437

Taking shots at your opponent is hardly political genius.

Overreacting to those shots is political malpractice.
 

Remember the first Trump/Pence logo?

https://mobile.twitter.com/FullFrontalSamB/status/754005058786910208/video/1

How can Clinton possibly compete with these political geniuses?
 

Blogger Bart DePalma said

Overreacting to those shots is political malpractice.


Dude, the person you supported, and were convinced would be supported by the majority of Republicans, was boo'd off the stage at the RNC. Shut the fuck up.

 

Has anyone spotted this bumper sticker:

"TrumPutin 2016"
 

OK, let us assume the Clinton campaign is unadulterated genius while the Trump campaign is stupidity incarnate.

What precisely is your explanation for Trump gaining on and now passing Clinton in Democrat heavy registered voter polling run by the Democrat media?

Your alternatives are the voters increasingly disapprove of Hillary Clinton and/or her proposals.

I suspect you would claim that the voters are stupid.

Has it ever occurred to you for even a nanosecond that you progressives are not as smart as you think you are and everyone else is not as stupid?
 

Blankshot, I think you're that stupid because you've spent many years proving that you're that stupid.

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!
 

Hell, you've created a monument to your own stupidity.

https://thecitizenpamphleteer.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/my-2012-election-prediction/
 

Blankshot, how has your gold investment done over the last 4 years?
 

"your explanation for Trump gaining on and now passing Clinton in Democrat heavy registered voter polling run by the Democrat media?"

You still think the polls are biased and skewed? You had that line down pat when you were proven spectacularly wrong the last time around, why would you still cling to it?

Today's Rasmussen poll has Clinton up by one. I guess it's 'run by the Democrat media' too now.
 

"Gas prices fell because of the private fracking revolution"

What? Fracking is facing an end due to the fall of prices (in fact, many think that's exactly what the Saudis et al., are trying to do).

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/saudi-arabia-is-winning-its-war-against-the-u-s-oil-industry/

But more generally, this is typical of Bart's Austrian cherry picking. When something good happens, you just look to find what can be explained as a non (or anti) governmental answer, when something bad happens, it's the opposite. Since there's always a bunch of stuff going on in either direction you can always find something for your 'just so' story. If gas prices were high Bart and other conservatives would be blaming it on Obama's policies, they're low so now we're told its *despite* those policies.
 

Incredible to peek into the comments after a few years' absence and find the same characters enjoying a good shout at each other.

I'm shocked (not really) by the about face on executive orders; before 2008, certain Trump supporters here were AOK with the idea. I suppose everyone wants to feel like their viewpoint has had a chance to be expressed at some point in the political process.


If there were a constitutional convention--and leave aside whether one should occur or not--would you want to add text that restricts or removes the executive order altogether? Or do you think it's better handled as it is now with a pendulum swing: ça balance et rebalance?
 

Certain types of executive orders are acceptable and are going to be applied. Not sure how you remove them altogether especially in the modern administrative state realistically. It's a matter of the specific rules in place.
 

Executive orders are simply how Presidents do things. They're the Executive, they issue an order, it's an "executive order". The issue here isn't the executive issuing orders, it's whether those orders are constitutional, and whether they further the cause of the law being faithfully executed. (Which is, after all, the job the President swears an oath to perform.)
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W:

No pollster thinks that registered voter polling is accurate and all agree that it overcounts Democrats. That is why they all shift to likely voter polling in the fall.

The Saudi decision to increase production and lose money in the process was in reaction to the fracking revolution threatening their market share, which decreased prices even more. Fracking has not disappeared and will return when Saudi get tired of losing money.

The Austrians and classical economists are correct that governments cannot efficiently direct economies because of corruption and a lack of operating knowledge. An excellent book on the subject by a non-Austrian James C. Scott is Seeing Like a State.
 

Brett simplifies thing a tad -- "executive orders" is a term that usually applies to certain types of orders, not anything the President orders someone else to do something. The basic idea is okay, but he repeatedly uses words in confused ways, so it's an issue.
 

SPAM I AM!'s:

"The Austrians and classical economists are correct ...."

demonstrates that time marches backwards in his mind. SPAM I AM! shares with The Donald making America great again with some undesignated time in the past. Alas, SPAM I AM! merely grates on reality. What a Maroon. And SPAM I AM! is such an absolutist with this:

"No pollster thinks that registered voter polling is accurate and all agree that it overcounts Democrats. That is why they all shift to likely voter polling in the fall."

this from a swallower of any poll that favors his view. No, BB, this is not a cue - unless you think some out there need a reminder.
 

Registered Voter Polls Will (Usually) Overrate Democrats

"...

That was a long windup, so here’s the pitch: Polls of so-called likely voters are almost always more favorable to Republicans than those that survey the broader sample of all registered voters or all American adults. Likely voter polls also tend to provide more reliable predictions of election results, especially in midterm years. Whereas polls of all registered voters or all adults usually overstate the performance of Democratic candidates, polls of likely voters have had almost no long-term bias."
 

"And there’s another reason to adjust registered voter polls to a likely voter basis. As the election gets closer, a higher and higher proportion of pollsters will release likely voter results exclusively or in conjunction with registered voter results. A model that’s ambivalent about the distinction might misinterpret the switch between registered and likely voter numbers as reflecting “movement” toward the Republican Party."

But, hey, it's just Nate Silver, nobody liberals consider a reputable source on polling.
 

Brett critiqued Nate Silver (to me, helped by selectively quoting what he said) and now wants to use him against liberals. NS has Clinton favored at the moment if not some sort of lock.

Perhaps, poll dynamics is not something any here is great at (and it's July, not October) though the bottom line that a certain person for multiple election cycles has been bad has been shown. Or, Brett can be spinmeister Brett, which seems to be something he likes to do.

Anyway, Mr. W.'s ticket gave an interview with Reason:

http://reason.com/archives/2016/07/25/libertarians-pitch-trump-hillary-bernie/
 

It's just standard, everybody in polling does understand, as Bart asserts, that likely voter polls are more accurate at predicting election outcomes than registered voter polls. They're also more trouble to run. So most pollsters do the cheap and dirty registered voter polls until the election gets close, (The ones who show you the everybody polls aren't even serious.) then switch to the more expensive and accurate likely voter polls because they need to be accurate then, because people will ask embarrassing questions if they predict the wrong winner a week before the election, while getting it wrong three months before is no big deal.

Silver isn't saying anything controversial above. If you want a poll to tell you how the election is going to come out, you need to poll people who are going to vote. The rub there is in figuring out who is going to vote...

My complaint about Silver was that his work was under-predicting Trump all along, so that there was no reason to be confident that he was suddenly getting it right.

This is a black swan election, and some of the virtues that make you a good pollster in ordinary elections make you worse in unusual elections.
 

Brett doesn't define what constitutes an ordinary elected and what constitutes an unusual election. I first voted in the 1952 elections and everyone since them. At the time of an election it may appear to be an unusual election. But that's the currency of just about everything in life. History may distinguish, with the benefit of hindsight, the ordinary from the unusual election. But Brett's:

"This is a black swan election, and some of the virtues that make you a good pollster in ordinary elections make you worse in unusual elections."

is a simplistic absurdity because it does not indicate how to judge a good pollster nor the factors that may make him/her worse. Does Brett think that 2008 and 2012 were ordinary or unusual elections? How about 2000? That "black swan" is apparently the Donald whose base is primarily older undereducated white males, who don't understand sarcasm. But what's clear is that this base of The Donald
's Republican Party is not the Republican Party of Lincoln.
 

Shag:2008 and 2012 were ordinary or unusual elections?

In 2008 and 2012, Obama drew historically high levels of minority and young participation which have not show up during other elections for other Democrats. This is unlikely to repeat in 2016 for Clinton.

In 2012, several million white, largely working class voters stayed home. Who knows what they will do in 2016, but Trump needs them to win.


 

Blankshot, when you say something is unlikely, that means it's very likely.
 

SPAM I AM!'s 1:07 PM comment repeats a question I raised in my 11: 48 AM comment. But he does not seem to answer it, perhaps because like Brett he can't define what is an ordinary election and what is an unusual election. But he makes a prediction for 2016 about his description of voting in 2008 and 2012:

"This is unlikely to repeat in 2016 for Clinton."

BB has taken note of this and surely will follow up after the election as appropriate. SPAM I AM! has embarrassed himself on polls at this Blog for years. And Brett has newly proclaimed himself as an expert on polling, adding to his ignorance on the law.
SPAM I AM! and Brett seem to be partners in poll-dancing.
 

It is amusing to have my election predictions criticized by those too ignorant and cowardly to offer any of their own, beyond mindless cheerleading for their team.

Given that 2012 is my only miss (recall who noted the coming 2010 and 2014 wave elections a year out), this is also the ultimate exercise in cherry picking.

Those who can - do. Those who can't - criticize.

Carry on.
 

Using the "the other side is wrong" test, I guess, this is not a good thing:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conservatives-agree-dnc-was-disaster-for-gop

Or, maybe the Democrats sort of know what they are doing. As to black swans:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ohDyI43u1rc/maxresdefault.jpg

We shall see. Still, might want to leave polls to more expert hands.
 

I don't feel any urge to declare the Democratic convention a disaster. There's little question the Democratic Party was more unified going into and out of that convention than the Republicans were.

Of course, you've united behind a felon, but if that doesn't bother you, it isn't a decisive handicap. Might even help your prospects in Virginia, given what McAuliffe is up to.

I'm going to be interested to see the polls next week, to see how much of a bounce Hillary gets. I would say at this point she's the favorite, but not a sure thing. Having most of the media in the tank for you is a powerful advantage, but Trump has repeatedly outperformed expectations.

And, who knows, maybe the Russians really will release the emails she thinks safely erased. There's no love lost between Hillary and Putin, clearing the way for them to buy up our Uranium deposits was just business.
 

It is amusing to have my election predictions criticized by those too ignorant and cowardly to offer any of their own, beyond mindless cheerleading for their team.

Given that 2012 is my only miss (recall who noted the coming 2010 and 2014 wave elections a year out), this is also the ultimate exercise in cherry picking.

Those who can - do. Those who can't - criticize.

Carry on.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 4:22 PM


Numbnuts, predicting elections doesn't require any special skill. Just go to Nate Silver's website. That is what makes your "unskewing" from 2012 and your "these are GREAT poll numbers for John McCain" so stupid, and amusing. You spent a great deal of effort desperately searching for things that supported what you wanted to happen, and desperately ignoring the overwhelming weight of the things that made it clear you were going to lose.
 

It seems Bart's mission in life to defy the aphorism 'fools rush in where angels fear to treat.' Since false, over confidence is my critique it's silly to reply 'well, where's your overconfident predictions!'

As to Brett's point, sure likely voters is generally going to be more accurate, I was mocking the 'unskewed polls' movement, characterized by taking what should have been a reasonably warranted insight and morphing it into a blindly partisan tale intertwined into the larger 'MSM conspiracy against us' victimology, that took the conservative movement by storm last Presidential election.
 

Brett is spinning again.

It is not that the convention was supposed to be "a disaster" or that they had "unity." It is the MESSAGE was so well crafted that it even appealed to people who would otherwise be inclined not to support them. Plus, these people are reminded about how Trump is not advancing the traditional view of what the Republican Party stood for. That's what the link says.

Since winning the election involves getting swing voters and having as many usual Republicans as possible to vote for Trump, this matters. Brett spins past the point of the link (which focuses not on his hobbyhorse about what I or 'the left' think but on CONSERVATIVES etc.) and tosses in the repeatedly refuted "felon" thing which the Libertarian candidates (who might matter in certain states) don't support either.

Of course, that is why he can't support them, but it underlines more than his usual suspects disagrees with him. OTOH, conservative experts in the field also don't think she's a "felon." This is not a "decisive handicap" though since it feels right. Trumpism.

Trump's connections to Putin makes the Putin reference ironic, but Brett picks and chooses there to attack his white whale (to use animal metaphors), Hillary Clinton.
 

Mr. W:

Have you ever known me to be shy?
 

I have tried to resist commenting on SPAM I AM!'s:

"Have you ever known me to be shy?"

with the punchline of an old joke: "I told you I was too [sic] shy."

".

 

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Online Reputation Management

 

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With the Republican and Democrat conventions now history, Larry Wilmore on the Nightly Show last night, featured the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. But prior thereto was a segment featuring pole dancing at a Philly club. I thought I might see our very own "poll dancers," Brett and SPAM I AM!. Alas, if they were there, it mush have been in the shadows. But there was an interesting discussion contrasting pole dancers and politicians, who engage in poll dancing. But back to Libertarian Johnson, a soft speaking man with a sense of humor. I noted how different are SPAM I AM! and Brett who from time to time claim libertarian roots. Alas, libertarian roots do not readily take hold, except for the Ganja liberty movement. (Smoke if you got 'em.) Johnson stated libertarian principles, which may make some sense approached individually, but not as a nation of 300+ million as part of a world with 6+ billion. Stopping wars is a great goal but that principle was apparently lost back in the Garden of Eden, as there is always a snake in the grass (aka The Donald). A few years back, I asked, rhetorically, what is the difference between a libertarian and a libertine. A sage answered: "The libertine actually gets laid." (Wasn't that demonstrated in the Libertarian bible by the libertine Ayn Rand? But her Atlas Shrugged acolytes were not as successful.)

The Libertarian Party has not fared that well in the past. Some of its leading lights are now more interested in gold. But casting a vote for the Libertarian Party is not an answer to the current political dysfunction. It is a distraction. There are few pure libertarians, as demon-strated by SPAM I AM! and Brett who spew hatred. Johnson may be a decent man, but even a pure libertarian cannot herd cats like SPAM I AM! and their ilk who dwell in the chaos of The Donald.

I aprove this message.
 

The libertarians could replace the GOP if they became a classically liberal party as that term was known in the US, learn to compromise so long as the compromise is in the direction of limited government, and recognize that we are a trading super power which needs a military to protect that trade and help protect our trading partners.
 


learn to compromise so long as the compromise is in the direction of limited government
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:39 AM


Numbnuts, compromise doesn't mean moving in the direction of what you want, it means accepting something you don't want to get something you do want.

 

bb: compromise doesn't mean moving in the direction of what you want, it means accepting something you don't want to get something you do want.

Hardly.

The Democrats routinely compromise by making a proposal to dramatically expand the reach of government and then settle fora lesser expansion. In the end, though, they always achieve expansion.

Reagan is the only Republican since Coolidge to employ that strategy to limit government.

The Libertarians need to think less like all or nothing purists and more like Reagan.
 

The spending to GDP ratio during Saint Ronnie's term was actually well above average. National debt also spiked.
 

SPAM I AM!'s:

"The libertarians could replace the GOP if they became a classically liberal party as that term was known in the US, learn to compromise so long as the compromise is in the direction of limited government, and recognize that we are a trading super power which needs a military to protect that trade and help protect our trading partners."

should be compared to the current Libertarian Party platform. SPAM I AM! proposes impurities to that platform. Maybe the Tea Party can make the change just as they made the change in the Republican Party that produced the 2016 TRUMP FAMILY VALUES CONvention.
 

bb;

Reagan increased military spending as a percentage of GDP until 86, we won the Cold War, and Reagan's successors were able to cut defense spending to less than half of Cold War levels as a percentage of GDP.
 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...
bb;

Reagan increased military spending as a percentage of GDP


More military spending is bigger government, you imbecile. It had NO impact on Soviet military spending.
 

bb:

The military buildup was temporary, won the Cold War and led to a nearly 30 year peace dividend.

The military is not an immortal entitlement or bueacracy.
 

Blogger Bart DePalma said...
bb:

The military buildup was temporary, won the Cold War and led to a nearly 30 year peace dividend.


Dumbfuck, whether or not you think the spending was worth it (it wasn't) is completely and utterly irrelevant. More military spending is bigger government. Period.
 

And SPAM I AM!'s desire to "liberate" the Libertarian Party would expand America's military power as did Reagan.
 

Sandy Levinson is sad about these last few comments.
 

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