Decision 2016

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Greg » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:30 pm

My big worry about Clinton in the general election regards the effects if the country heads back into recession, which it appears it might, especially if it is the result of another bubble bursting, for example, the current tech bubble. Sanders, with his anti-Wall Street campaign, would not be as easily tied as Clinton to Republican shouts of the "Obama recession." Also, if Trump wins the Republican nomination, he would yell about Clinton's Wall-Street money, such as the $6 million her SuperPACS have received from George Soros, all the while saying he cannot be bought while not mentioning that he is a billionaire-real-estate speculator who had done the buying.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:58 am

taki15 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Favorite tweet of the day:
I'm just hoping things don't get too ugly, or drag on too long -- Lichtman's Keys system, which everyone knows I swear by, says one of the few invariably fatal keys is a serious intra-party fight for the incumbent party nomination. If people tell you it'll be good for the party to have a drawn-out contest, ask them to give you an example from history. They're wrong.


There is the example of 2008. And the battle between Obama and Clinton back then was much nastier.
But I agree generally that if Sanders somehow is the Democratic nominee then he would need a miracle to win.

Let me add to what flipp said that he also seems completely uninterested in foreign policy and that his constant trashing of the Obama presidency isn't winning him many friends in the Democratic establishment. Yesterday he tried to fix the latter but it's hard to believe him when his entire campaign is built upon the premise that both parties are beholden to Wall Street and the oligarchs.

You maybe missed the word "incumbent" in what I said. There are plenty of examples of lengthy out-party nomination fights that didn't prevent the victor from winning the general election -- Eisenhower/Taft '52, Reagan/Bush '80, and, yes, Obama/Clinton; back further, it took Roosevelt several convention ballots to get the '32 nomination. For the party that holds the White House, however, such fights are fatal -- as in the flip side of some those years ('52 & '80), as well as '68 & '76, and all the way back to 1912.

A lot of people will tell you "voters get tired if one party after 8 years and want to switch", which ignores plenty of history (like the six straight Republican presidencies between 1860 and 1884, the four straight from 1896 to 1912, and the five consecutive Democratic terms from 1932-1952). What kernel of truth there is to that bromide arises from the fact that it can be difficult for a party to come up with a natural successor after a two-term presidency, and if the fight goes on too long, it cripples the ultimate choice. Sometimes the party coalesces quickly around such a successor -- as the GOP did with Taft in '08 and Hoover in '28 (much to the party's later regret). In recent times, that process has been helped along by the tendency to rally around the sitting VP: Bush in '88 and Gore in 2000 (and, yes, for purposes of this discussion, I view Gore as a winner despite the grisly November outcome). This year seemed like it might not offer Dems an easy path to such a selection, given Biden's age. Hillary's celebrity and general popularity in the party (despite some loud dissenters) is something of a gift, in Lichtman's terms -- a bit like General Grant was to an otherwise floundering GOP in 1868.

A long fight can, as I say, waste that gift -- without even considering Sanders' electoral strength or the lack thereof. For the record, I -- like, I think, many Dems -- like Bernie Sanders and agree with a whole lot of what he says, but I think there are areas (notably foreign policy) where he's a lightweight, especially compared to Hillary, who's as qualified a prospect for the presidency as Dems have put up in my lifetime. I just think a quick verdict in Hillary's favor -- arising from a near-rout on Super Tuesday -- is best for the party's November hopes, and for the country as well.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby taki15 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:50 am

Mister Tee wrote:Favorite tweet of the day:
I'm just hoping things don't get too ugly, or drag on too long -- Lichtman's Keys system, which everyone knows I swear by, says one of the few invariably fatal keys is a serious intra-party fight for the incumbent party nomination. If people tell you it'll be good for the party to have a drawn-out contest, ask them to give you an example from history. They're wrong.


There is the example of 2008. And the battle between Obama and Clinton back then was much nastier.
But I agree generally that if Sanders somehow is the Democratic nominee then he would need a miracle to win.

Let me add to what flipp said that he also seems completely uninterested in foreign policy and that his constant trashing of the Obama presidency isn't winning him many friends in the Democratic establishment. Yesterday he tried to fix the latter but it's hard to believe him when his entire campaign is built upon the premise that both parties are beholden to Wall Street and the oligarchs.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:36 pm

Favorite tweet of the day:

"The guy who finished 3rd won. The woman who finished 1st lost. One guy who finished 2nd lost; another guy who finished 2nd won."

If you wanted someone with no exposure to the American political system to understand the idea of "spin", you could point them to the post-mortems on last night's results. EVERYBODY is spinning madly. Feel free to include me in that, as I offer my take on what went on:

First, the Democrats. The Sanders and Clinton camps have entirely different takes on last night's outcome. For the Sanders folk: he was a deep long-shot underdog, he came from practically nowhere, went up against a behemoth -- a woman who had all the fame, party support and endorsements, and money to spare -- and fought her to (almost) a draw. And surely this close finish will give him momentum for future contests.

For the Clinton bunch: Sanders' only significant following is among white liberals; Iowa happens to be one of three states whose minority population is in single digits (the next state, New Hampshire is another), and where the vast majority of Democrats are very liberal. That he could only manage a close second there suggests he's a severely limited candidate; when he hits more representative states (starting in Nevada and South Carolina, but certainly by Super Tuesday), he'll be road-kill.

I think each group has every right to its perspective; in terms of what happened last night, basically, they're both right. It'll be a few weeks before we know which of them has the right take on the future. I'd incline toward the Clinton view, but we'll have to wait to see. My guess is, the press will heavily pimp the Sanders view, because they're longing for both a prolonged contest and seeing Hillary taken down a peg. I'm just hoping things don't get too ugly, or drag on too long -- Lichtman's Keys system, which everyone knows I swear by, says one of the few invariably fatal keys is a serious intra-party fight for the incumbent party nomination. If people tell you it'll be good for the party to have a drawn-out contest, ask them to give you an example from history. They're wrong.

Over to the Republicans:

Had this vote occurred about a month ago, the result wouldn't have been terribly surprising: Cruz was at that point leading Iowa polling, and the state's history of evangelical fervor made him a logical winner. But, because Trump had taken the lead in more recent surveys, his missing by a few percentage points is viewed as a huge Trump stumble. And let it be noted: there are many in the press longing for a non-Trump/passable-as-human GOP nominee, and they're taking this opportunity to describe Trump as "fatally wounded", as well as to elevate third-place finisher Rubio into the first tier (more about him in a moment).

Some professionals -- including Nate Silver -- have been skeptical of Trump all season, correctly pointing out his support had only come from polling, not from actual voters casting ballots. So, you could say he's failed his first real test. But that might be being unfair. First, he didn't collapse (the way, say, Howard Dean did in 2004): he finished only a few points behind Cruz, in a state where his lead had been shorter-lived than in most others. And caucuses are, as we know, demanding: voters have to be willing to put in a couple of hours to register their votes. So, if his vote count fell a bit short, that doesn't mean the same will happen in succeeding states, where a) he has bigger, seemingly firmer leads and b) all it takes is voters putting in a few minutes at a polling place. So, I'll wait through a few more contests before I decide the whole Trump thing has been a mirage.

Just as Trump's fall is being overstated, so is Rubio's rise. The press has been pushing for Rubio to break through for months now -- they know he's the candidate they can most easily sell as moderate (though he's anything but); they've taken every upward poll-blip as signal his time as arrived. On the day of one debate last year, many left pundits predicted Rubio would be said to have won simply because the media WISHED it to be the case -- and they did it right on schedule. In the same vein, many of us predicted that, whatever the outcome last night, it would be proclaimed a victory for Rubio. Again, it came to pass, but at least this time with some evidence: Rubio did significantly better than his polling (for media pundits, outdoing your polling is the political equivalent of beating the point-spread), and established himself as (for the moment) the leader of the establishment (i.e., not Trump/Cruz/Carson) bunch.

What one might note here is that Rubio was the only one of that subset of candidates to even bother contesting Iowa, because the others knew they had no chance of winning there. Rubio's gamble was, making enough of a showing there would make him the clear establishment choice starting next week in NH. If he gets enough voters to buy into that, it might work, and put him in the top tier with Trump and Cruz. But keep in mind that a number of similar candidates -- Kasich, Christie, Bush -- have been working NH steadily, and, in current polling, no one of them stands out as more likely to vacuum up all the establishment votes available. It's just as possible Kasich has a breakthrough...in which case Rubio's gamble will have given him only one night's bragging rights.

So...for Republicans next week in NH, there will be multiple things to look for for: can Trump, whose leads there have been enormous, hold enough of his support to carry the day? Will Cruz's Iowa win give him a bump from his current position, or is he just another Iowa flash in the pan like Huckabee? And will the establishment vote -- a minority in the party to begin with -- coalesce around Rubio, or flirt with one or more similarly placed candidates and scramble that field?

And, to get back to the Democratic side for a moment: will the NH independent vote lean GOP (going for, variously, Trump/Rubio/Kasich), and will that impact Sanders' showing there? Stipulate that Sanders will almost surely win NH, but, given what he faces in weeks just ahead, he needs to win pretty thumpingly there; losing any chunk of the voters (as Bradley did in 2000, to McCain) could cost him in his margin of victory.

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:38 pm

OscarGuy wrote:I don't know if it's the media playing it up, but Bernie's supporters certainly are.


I'm sure they are, as anyone's supporters would. But the incompetent media shouldn't have opened that bottle in the first place, because there's no way to put the genie back. Now, it's "fact".

Oh look! Here's a video of one of last night's coin tosses. What happens..... will amaze you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyP5msU4lis
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:29 pm

I don't know if it's the media playing it up, but Bernie's supporters certainly are.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:28 pm

Sabin wrote:
If you want a continuation of Obama, a corporate establishment figure who will incrementally ladle progressive policy, then Hillary Clinton is your candidate. If you want the least corporate-funded, most progressive candidate in modern history who promises to reinvent the system, then you're not going to get another Bernie Sanders again for a while.

Oh, god. Every Republican wants to run against Bernie. He's not even a Democrat. He's a Socialist which, since the demise of Communism, has come -- in Middle America-speak -- to mean Communist (and make no mistake about it - that's how he would be painted by a GOP challenger). He has an atrociously tacky New York accent, poor hygiene and disturbing looking lips. He's an atheist. He has an illegitimate kid. He didn't have a job until he was forty. He went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. He trashed JFK. He has very poor minority support (votes that will end up deciding this election). He's UNELECTABLE.

The political ads literally write themselves.

You're right. America will never elect Barack Hussein Obama.

Cool, we disagree. I think the Democrats have two strong choices. In a polite rephrasing, you think they have one. While I didn't unload a laundry list of Bernie's flaws at the end, I do think he's too old to be the President. Which was sort of the point of my whole post. I'm conflicted about both of them even though I think they're both unusually impressive choices. Hillary Clinton's laundry list is pretty long too.

Sabin wrote:]/b]
As his viability as a national candidate becomes greater by the day, the question of whether or not the guy can do anything with a Republican Congress and a Democratic Senate that he remains unaffiliated with has become more pervasive.

Are you envisioning a scenario in which the Senate turns blue if a Democrat is elected president? Because the current Senate is controlled by the GOP.

Yes, I'm clearly envisioning a scenario where the Senate turns blue when a Democrat is elected. It's going to be difficult but it can happen.

[b]Sabin wrote:
I ask myself about her husband's years and how little positive got done then.

Is this some new Fox News talking point? The Clinton Years were some of the most prosperous times for this country in recent history. Many social (even, dare I say, progressive) domestic policy changes were enacted as well.

I'm a Democrat, and I've never watched Fox News. I'm sorry but this Clinton worship is nostalgia for a better period of time. I remember the general impression of the Clinton years in 1999 and 2000 as being economically strong, peaceful, and laden with a lot of wasted potential. Do you honestly want me to list off the many things I don't like about Clinton's Presidency or can you fill that in for yourself?

Sabin wrote:
Hillary is far from perfect and carries mucho baggage, but I really don't see how anyone could think that Bernie Sanders has a chance in hell of winning in a general election. This really isn't the election you want to leave up to chance considering the apocalyptic scenario of any of the current Republican candidates becoming president. The Supreme Court would be destroyed, for one.

The Bernie-bots better line right up behind Hillary once she gets the nomination or we're all completely fucked.

You know what you should do is call them Bernie Bots louder.

To tackle your point, most of them will. I'm pretty split on who I'm going to vote for but I will support whomever the nominee is. Not that it matters because I live in California. But yes, I'll agree that anybody who sits out on election day is just as bad as anybody who said there wasn't a lick of difference between Bush and Gore.
Last edited by Sabin on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:17 pm

Greg wrote:Cruz wins the Iowa caucus on the Republican side. On, the Democratic side, it is more complicated. The democrats don't release vote totals, only "delegate equivalents" of those who will leave the precinct caucuses and, I believe, go on to the state caucus. Of those, apparently Clinton eked out an extremely close win, that was actually made by coin tosses:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... coin-flip/


Wrong. The coin flips she won were for county delegates. There is one county delegate per polling place. In this case, that's over 11,000. If Bernie won those coin tosses, the ultimate outcome (no. of state delegates) would be exactly the same. But since no one understands this, and the media is busy hyping the coin toss angle, people are led to believe those coin tosses made a difference in the race. They didn't.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:48 pm

I don't know about his lips, but everything else would definitely be brought up against Bernie in the general election.

The prospect of a Cruz or Rubio win is no less frightening than a Trump win. People need to get their heads out of the clouds and vote for Hillary.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby flipp525 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:15 pm

Sabin wrote:If you want a continuation of Obama, a corporate establishment figure who will incrementally ladle progressive policy, then Hillary Clinton is your candidate. If you want the least corporate-funded, most progressive candidate in modern history who promises to reinvent the system, then you're not going to get another Bernie Sanders again for a while.

Oh, god. Every Republican wants to run against Bernie. He's not even a Democrat. He's a Socialist which, since the demise of Communism, has come -- in Middle America-speak -- to mean Communist (and make no mistake about it - that's how he would be painted by a GOP challenger). He has an atrociously tacky New York accent, poor hygiene and disturbing looking lips. He's an atheist. He has an illegitimate kid. He didn't have a job until he was forty. He went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. He trashed JFK. He has very poor minority support (votes that will end up deciding this election). He's UNELECTABLE.

The political ads literally write themselves.

Sabin wrote:As his viability as a national candidate becomes greater by the day, the question of whether or not the guy can do anything with a Republican Congress and a Democratic Senate that he remains unaffiliated with has become more pervasive.

Are you envisioning a scenario in which the Senate turns blue if a Democrat is elected president? Because the current Senate is controlled by the GOP.

Sabin wrote:I ask myself about her husband's years and how little positive got done then.

Is this some new Fox News talking point? The Clinton Years were some of the most prosperous times for this country in recent history. Many social (even, dare I say, progressive) domestic policy changes were enacted as well.

Hillary is far from perfect and carries mucho baggage, but I really don't see how anyone could think that Bernie Sanders has a chance in hell of winning in a general election. This really isn't the election you want to leave up to chance considering the apocalyptic scenario of any of the current Republican candidates becoming president. The Supreme Court would be destroyed, for one.

The Bernie-bots better line right up behind Hillary once she gets the nomination or we're all completely fucked.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:31 am

There are only 54 delegates from Iowa. 28 went to Hillary, 21 to Bernie, 2 are uncommitted (presumably O'Malley's) and 3 are unaccounted for.
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Greg » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:48 am

Cruz wins the Iowa caucus on the Republican side. On, the Democratic side, it is more complicated. The democrats don't release vote totals, only "delegate equivalents" of those who will leave the precinct caucuses and, I believe, go on to the state caucus. Of those, apparently Clinton eked out an extremely close win, that was actually made by coin tosses:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... coin-flip/

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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:48 am

This is always worth repeating every four years. Caucuses are bullshit.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... _scam.html
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Re: Decision 2016

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:57 am

I'm more caught up in this election than I'd care to be. Last month, I turned down a position on the get out the vote team for Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire for a host of reasons. From the minute the 2012 election was decided (and truthfully sometime before), it's been lead-up to Hillary 2016. With no meaningful opposition on the Democratic side in sight, it looked to be a steamroller towards coronation, whereas on the Republican side with Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Scott Walker (man, were the prognosticators wrong about that guy!) the Republicans looked like they had a more promising bench of talent than 2012.

Jesus, what's happened? I refuse to spend a minute thinking about the next election until one month before Iowa 2020. It's a waste of time.

Usually, voters aren't given a choice between two radically different candidates. I suppose since my political awakening the starkest contrast between two candidates was Barack Obama and John McCain. That's in the general. I can't remember the last time there was a choice like the Democrats have in the primary. Yes, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was a heated one, but it was fairly cult of personality. This time we have two candidates who have to be considered the most publicly vetted in modern political history. Unless the FBI probe uncovers something, we know everything there is to know about who these two people are...and people could not be more excited.

If you want a continuation of Obama, a corporate establishment figure who will incrementally ladle progressive policy, then Hillary Clinton is your candidate. If you want the least corporate-funded, most progressive candidate in modern history who promises to reinvent the system, then you're not going to get another Bernie Sanders again for a while.

These are two extraordinary choices. One is the answer to the other, and they have remained largely civil throughout the proceedings. The choice for me has been Bernie Sanders and yet watching the last Democratic debate, I found myself largely unimpressed by his rhetoric. As his viability as a national candidate becomes greater by the day, the question of whether or not the guy can do anything with a Republican Congress and a Democratic Senate that he remains unaffiliated with has become more pervasive. I just found myself looking at this admirable figure and asking myself why on Earth would anybody want to work with him when clearly not working is the preferred course of action of the body politic already? Considering how many blue dogs are still in office, they're going to hate him as much as the Republicans. How much can he get done with executive actions without getting impeached by a group of peers he does not affiliate with?

And also, the guy's old. I personally think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are likely too old to be President. How do I reconcile a Bernie Sanders Presidency with that?

And then I looked at Hillary Clinton and found myself fairly impressed with her composure. At this point in her career, she's comfortable enough delivering her talking points. But I found myself wondering have we really gotten to the point where someone like Hillary Clinton is the uniting choice? Anytime I think about not voting for Bernie Sanders in the chance he can't get anything done, I ask myself about her husband's years and how little positive got done then. Hillary Clinton is a big ol' bought out politician. She's a powerful force for sure but I honestly have no idea if she intends to do any of the things she's promising. If there's a single check her butt has written that will be cashed.

And also, she's not lucky. I'm not just talking about blowing her incredible lead over Obama. Assuming that 90% of the scandals that brew around her are false, how ridiculous is it that they've managed to follow her this long? When I look at her, I don't think of her husband. I think of Nixon. I just see a big downfall waiting to happen.

All of this to say, these are two extraordinary choices with extraordinary weaknesses to them.
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Decision 2016

Postby Greg » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:59 pm

I think it is time to start a separate thread for this election year.

1: Ann Selzer, who polls jointly with Bloomberg and the Des Moines Register for Iowa and has the most highly-regarded poll for that state, will release her firm's last poll of both Democrats and Republicans for the caucus this weekend.

2: Even though it is not substantive, I just love this Sanders ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nwRiuh1Cug


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