Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Shocking, Totally Gross Victory Of Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump won the 2016 election 306-232, which leads to a Nate Silver postmortem on why the polling data turned out to be so wrong in predicting a Hillary Clinton win. The only interior states Clinton won were Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Clinton's home state of Illinois, Minnesota, and Vermont. All the others went to Trump. She won the coastal states, but no states of the old Confederacy save Virginia.
  • The Los Angeles Times/USC outlier polls turned out to be right, and most of the others wrong, predicting a surge of support for Trump. Polling is increasingly difficult for a number of reasons, so it's no surprise a lot of the pollsters clanked. (And see also.)
  • Given the vile nature of Trump's very public remarks ("grab them by the pussy" particularly), it seems reasonable to assert this was less a victory for Trump than a categorical rejection of Clinton; despite those incredible remarks, she couldn't win over white women without a college degree. It appears that Obama's coalition was never the Democrats' categorically; Clinton lost a sizeable number of black, Hispanic, and female voters, which should not have been surprising, considering Obama's historic status for blacks especially (source).

    Especially surprising: the uptick in Hispanic female voters. Clinton lost a lot of white Obama voters, too.
  • My Own Two Cents: Hillary was a terrible candidate, and her flaws were the flaws of an inexperienced campaigner. She is the worst public speaker of any major party candidate of my lifetime not named Donald Trump, with the demeanor of a third grade teacher talking down to her class. Her "basket of deplorables" remarks, idiotic and inflaming (which Hillary-supporting site Slate still excuses as a nothingburger in context, even after the election), amount to public virtue signaling and spleen-venting. That is to say, it's the kind of tyro mistake one expects of a candidate for a school board seat, not President. Her contempt for everyone who disagreed with her, and disagreed with the left more broadly, risked a ferocious backlash, as suggested by Robby Soave in Reason:
    I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing. And ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries, I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.
    Clinton had none of her husband's political acumen, had no real history of stumping for office amid a possibly skeptical electorate, and historically negative ratings. Only running against Trump would she even begin to make sense. And even then she couldn't pull it off, despite getting a thin majority of the popular vote.
  • Maybe Salon will want to rethink shaming blue-collar Americans for even thinking about voting for Trump?
  • Making Arkansas Proud (Not): Lest anyone think I am stumping for Trump: Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is pushing to eliminate proscriptions on waterboarding, and might end up with a cabinet seat.
  • The problem for those thinking Trump will attack political correctness is that he conflates it with politeness, and could easily inflame it by presenting such a large and polarizing target.
    When a man who behaves this way is held up as a fighter against political correctness, it lends credence to the leftist fallacy that the alternative to PC is unabashed bigotry and male chauvinist pig-erry.
  • Don't look to coastal elites to figure out what they did wrong anytime soon:
    By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny.
  • Amanda Marcotte Is Still A Horrible Person:
    No one should be surprised that it was men, especially white men, who handed Trump this election. It’s been exhaustively established that the majority of white men in this country are consumed with resentment at being expected to treat women and racial minorities as equals, though of course some liberal journalists — usually white men themselves — kept valiantly trying to claim that it was “economic insecurity” that somehow drove the most prosperous group of Americans to kick angrily at those who objectively make less money and have less status than they do.
    Wow, you mean telling people they're horrible just because of an accident of birth and then expecting them to vote for your candidate doesn't produce the desired result? Imagine. 
Update 11/11:
  •  An interesting postmortem from Annie Karni at Politico (as always, emboldening mine):
    And some began pointing fingers at the young campaign manager, Robby Mook, who spearheaded a strategy supported by the senior campaign team that included only limited outreach to those voters — a theory of the case that Bill Clinton had railed against for months, wondering aloud at meetings why the campaign was not making more of an attempt to even ask that population for its votes. It’s not that there was none: Clinton’s post-convention bus tour took her through Youngstown, Ohio, as well as Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, where she tried to eat into Trump’s margins with his base. In Scranton and Harrisburg, the campaign aired a commercial that featured a David Letterman clip of Trump admitting to outsourcing manufacturing of the products and clothes that bore his logo. And at campaign stops in Ohio, Clinton talked about Trump’s reliance on Chinese steel.

    But in general, Bill Clinton’s viewpoint of fighting for the working class white voters was often dismissed with a hand wave by senior members of the team as a personal vendetta to win back the voters who elected him, from a talented but aging politician who simply refused to accept the new Democratic map. At a meeting ahead of the convention at which aides presented to both Clintons the “Stronger Together” framework for the general election, senior strategist Joel Benenson told the former president bluntly that the voters from West Virginia were never coming back to his party.
  • I Know, Let's Be Even More Polarizing:
    “The Democratic establishment had their chance with this election,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “It’s time for new leadership of the Democratic Party — younger, more diverse and more ideological — that is hungry to do things differently, like leading a movement instead of dragging people to the polls.” 

  • File Under, Things That Haven't Aged Well: Hey, you guys, Ezra Klein in Vox thinks Hillary is an extraordinarily talented politician
  • ... And, Things That Have: Ross Douthat in the NYT, September 21:
    On late-night television, it was once understood that David Letterman was beloved by coastal liberals and Jay Leno more of a Middle American taste. But neither man was prone to delivering hectoring monologues in the style of the “Daily Show” alums who now dominate late night. Fallon’s apolitical shtick increasingly makes him an outlier among his peers, many of whom are less comics than propagandists — liberal “explanatory journalists” with laugh lines.

    Some of them have better lines than others, and some joke more or hector less. But to flip from Stephen Colbert’s winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers’s class-clown liberalism to Bee’s bluestocking feminism to John Oliver’s and Trevor Noah’s lectures on American benightedness is to enter an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape.
  • A nice apologia from Frank Bruni:
    Donald Trump’s victory and some of the, yes, deplorable chants that accompanied it do not mean that a majority of Americans are irredeemable bigots (though too many indeed are). Plenty of Trump voters chose him, reluctantly, to be an agent of disruption, which they craved keenly enough to overlook the rest of him.

    Democrats need to understand that, and they need to move past a complacency for which the Clintons bear considerable blame.

    It’s hard to overestimate the couple’s stranglehold on the party — its think tanks, its operatives, its donors — for the last two decades. Most top Democrats had vested interests in the Clintons, and energy that went into supporting and defending them didn’t go into fresh ideas and fresh faces, who were shut out as the party cleared the decks anew for Hillary in 2016.


  1. "grab them by the pussy" WAS NOT A VERY PUBLIC REMARK (until NBC released, most-likely illegally*, a private conversation).
    *According to the Wiretap Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 2511.), it’s illegal to secretly record any oral, telephonic, or electronic communication that is reasonably expected to be private.

    1. Expecting privacy at an NBC studio is a bit of a stretcher, though.