November 3rd, 2016

Hillary: it’s the chaos, stupid

James Comey’s letter informing Congress of new and possibly relevant emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation was most likely at least one of the reasons the polls have tightened during the last few days.

Polls usually tighten anyway close to Election Day, but it’s hard to escape the idea that the Comey announcement has at least something to do with the development this year. There is absolutely no way to tell who will win this election, but my sense is still that—in part due to the Electoral College breakdown—Clinton remains on track to become the next president, although it is indisputable that Trump’s chances have improved significantly.

If that sounds hedge-y, so be it. I don’t know what will happen, you don’t know what will happen, even Nate Silver doesn’t know what will happen.

For a very long time, Trump supporters have been trying to convince people in the middle and on the right who are very hesitant to vote for him—or are even against voting for him—that there’s a very good reason to vote for Trump despite their huge reservations, and that reason is named “Hillary Clinton.” Their argument usually goes like this: we know what Hillary will do, and it’s bad; we may not know what Trump will do, but there’s at least some chance that it will be better. That’s one of the more convincing arguments to vote for Trump, but for many listeners it has had a fatal flaw, which is that it doesn’t take into account what I would call the chaos factor.

In general, different people have very different tolerances for unpredictability and possible chaos. Some thrive on it and others would choose predictability and stability, even of a negative sort, over what they see as the possibility of a chaotic and perhaps even worse result. During the past year I’ve talked to and/or read the opinions of a great many people who are politically in the middle or on the right who would ordinarily have voted for the Republican candidate this year (or perhaps any other year), but who’ve been having extreme difficulty wrapping their minds around voting for Trump, because they don’t accept the premises of that pro-Trump argument I just described. They are put off and even frightened by the possibility of greater chaos around the world if Trump is elected president.

You don’t have to agree with them to understand the idea. For these people, “burn it down” is not a reassuring slogan. Nor do arguments such as “well, if Trump is elected and he does something really awful, he can always be impeached and convicted” help a bit. That sounds to them like a recipe for chaos and upheaval and uncertainty, as well.

And of course, such reasoning is even greater among liberals, who very often see Trump as equivalent to a madman or a Hitler, and as a potential agent of enormous chaos and change. They were unlikely to vote for any Republican in the first place, but they might have accepted the victory of any of them with relative equanimity. But the prospect of Trump terrifies them, and this terror is very real, whether you think it justified or not.

How does this relate to the polls, and to the tightening of the race lately? One of Hillary’s major selling points in the past has been stability versus what are perceived as Trump’s erratic qualities, and she tailors many of her political ads around this idea. But the Comey announcement introduces a significant element of instability and possible chaos into the notions people have about what a possible Clinton presidency would look like, even for some people who might have otherwise turned to her as an alternative to the possible chaos they envision with Trump. The vagueness of Comey’s letter in terms of what the new information might be is not reassuring; it may even increase this feeling of uncertainty about Hillary rather than decrease it.

Now the very real possibility of a post-election indictment cannot be dismissed, and it puts us in uncharted waters. How would this work for a president, before or after inauguration? Would it involve the necessity of impeachment as well? What other revelations might be forthcoming, and how serious would they be? What do we really know about the workings of a woman many people already didn’t like, but at least thought they knew? How does all of this stack up with what we know or don’t know about Donald Trump, and what many people fear from him?

120 Responses to “Hillary: it’s the chaos, stupid”

  1. Ira Says:

    What can be more chaotic than living under both (i) a SCOTUS that rewrites MAJOR laws (see the SCOTUS decision in the second Obamacare case) and (ii) a president that in connection with her prior service as a PUBLIC official brazenly broke the law with complete confidence that all people associated with her would protect her?

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Possible chaos versus certain corruption? Yes but that only considers the candidates.

    Possible alt-r fascism versus a continued March toward the Collective is the far more serious threat.

    Can alt-r fascists take over? I’m highly doubtful of that scenario. Will a continued March toward the Collective result at some point in an irreversible tipping point? IMO, of that there can be no doubt.

    I see no alternative to betting on the odds. People who fear chaos are not gamblers. But however you slice it, taking a gamble is the only game in town because however you vote, it’s still a gamble.

  3. T Says:

    ” They are put off and even frightened by the possibility of greater chaos around the world if Trump is elected president.” [Neo]

    Neo,

    I recognize that you use the qualifier “greater” chaos if Trump is elected. IMO we are in for greater chaos regardless of the result of the election. I think it is a given result of the growing extreme partisanship which we see in our culture.

    Further, I don’t think this is any kind of “developing” partisanship, it think it has always been there, it’s just that it is becoming unleashed and less controlled as the mandates and manners of Western civilization continue to decay. The hippies of the 1960s were no less uncouth and abusive; it’s just that they usually did not engender an equally abusive reaction in return.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    T:

    The “greater” in that sentence does not mean “greater chaos than there is now.” It means “greater chaos than there would be if Hillary were elected.”

  5. T Says:

    “Will a continued March toward the Collective result at some point in an irreversible tipping point? IMO, of that there can be no doubt.” [Geoffrey Britain @ 3:34]

    GB,

    My fear all along is that we have reached precisely that point, or will with a Hillary presidency. Is it any wonder that greater chaos can be posited as a viable alternative?

  6. T Says:

    “It means ‘greater chaos than there would be if Hillary were elected.'” [Neo @ 3:41]</b}

    . . . because she has such a fine track record establishing international stability as secretary of state! (Pardon the sarc)

  7. Vanderleun Says:

     If we Clintons have offended,
     Picture this, and all is mended—
     That we have but campaigned here
     While all our felonies did appear.
     But such a weak and idle meme,
     Threatens us no more than a dream,
     Gentles, do not reprehend.
     When Obama pardons we will trend.

     And, as Hill doth deeply suck,
     If Clintons have unearnèd luck
     Now to ’scape the Donald’s tongue,
     We will shoot you schmucks ere long.
     Else the Cankles a liar call.
     So go f**k unto you all.
     Give me your votes if hate Trump,
     And Bill shall all you give a hump.

  8. T Says:

    Neo,

    Off topic but noteworthy. Have you seen Sarah Hoyt’s recent essay about the election? It was notable to me because in her exposition she admits grappling with many of the same issues that you have written of here. Although she has come to a tentative decision about her vote, like you she retains her right to change that decision until it her vote is actually cast, so one can clearly not say she is, even now, definitive.

    The link:

    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/11/02/last-night-i-dreamed-again/

  9. Frog Says:

    Gosh! News! We can’t predict the future.
    But we can estimate the future.

    The future under the corruptocrat and treasonous Clintons is easy to estimate. The Democratic collective, amoral as it is, will hunker around her, nuclear option, etc.,
    A Hillary indictment? That assumes a vigorous prosecutor seeking same, and a grand jury made up of conservatives. Ain’t gonna happen, is my estimate.

    As to Trump, both parties in the House and Senate will put his every move under their microscopes, and hem him in at every turn. My estimate.

  10. Bill Rudersdorf Says:

    I take comfort when friends and associates vote for Clinton. I do this less because of their varied reasons than for remembering a note from P.J. O’Rourke a few months past about his reasons for voting for Clinton. He used much the same line of thought which Neo advanced, and said that Clinton was corrupt, but within the usual parameters. Ok. Well framed. Understandable. But – drip, drip, drip. A lot of revelations have dripped out since, and I think that Clinton has far exceeded the “usual parameters”, but other folks seem to stretch their parameters to match the latest revelations. Mine can’t stretch that far. This is way past Nixon, getting positively South American. It’s always the Most Important Election Ever. And this is what we’ve got. God bless us each and every one.

  11. Vanderleun Says:

    Frog notes: “As to Trump, both parties in the House and Senate will put his every move under their microscopes, and hem him in at every turn. ”

    Wasn’t that the plan in the primaries?

  12. Meh Says:

    They are put off and even frightened by the possibility of greater chaos around the world if Trump is elected president. [Neo]

    And yet we know that Clinton in her capacity as Obama’s SOS advocated for regime change policies that led to the current “chaos” in North Africa and the Near East. This along with other decisions/statements that she’s publicly made have garnered her a reputation as an unrepentant warmonger.

  13. Beverly Says:

    NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON.

    Fifty-two years ago, John Stormer wrote the book “None Dare Call It Treason,” about the extensive communist infiltration of our government, during the Goldwater/Johnson election. This was a scorching best-seller, and the forces of the Left, then as now, closed ranks and leveled broadside after broadside against the patriotic Americans trying to hold the line against them. This was also behind the campaign of unprecedented slander of Barry Goldwater, who deserved none of it.

    Check it out: the book is more timely (and scary) than ever: http://preview.tinyurl.com/jvy7xhg

  14. huxley Says:

    Wasn’t that the plan in the primaries?

    Vanderleun: Not that I recall.

    Maybe you can actually make an argument and support it (mirabile dictu!) rather than continue injecting one-liners into this blog.

  15. huxley Says:

    Gosh! News! We can’t predict the future.
    But we can estimate the future.

    Frog: But gosh! What if we estimate the future differently?

  16. Meh Says:

    Dear Neo,

    Here’s an idea for a post tomorrow:

    Trump: it’s the child sex ring, stupid.

  17. Frog Says:

    hux: estimates by their nature have fuzzy margins. Your estimate and mine could overlap, even if different.

  18. huxley Says:

    Frog: However, endeavoring to be honest, I don’t think our estimates overlap much.

    Now, each of us has his own special gift
    And you know this was meant to be true
    And if you don’t underestimate me
    I won’t underestimate you.

    –Bob Dylan, “Dear Landlord”

  19. J.J. Says:

    Well, there seems to be a bombshell about to explode. Is this story an alt-r plant?. I got it from an e-mail correspondent.

    “New York Police Department detectives and prosecutors working an alleged underage sexting case against former Congressman Anthony Weiner have turned over a newly-found laptop he shared with wife Huma Abedin to the FBI with enough evidence “to put Hillary (Clinton) and her crew away for life,” NYPD sources told True Pundit.

    NYPD sources said Clinton’s “crew” also included several unnamed yet implicated members of Congress in addition to her aides and insiders.

    The NYPD seized the computer from Weiner during a search warrant and detectives discovered a trove of over 500,000 emails to and from Hillary Clinton, Abedin and other insiders during her tenure as secretary of state. The content of those emails sparked the FBI to reopen its defunct email investigation into Clinton on Friday.
    *********************************
    NYPD sources said these new emails include evidence linking Clinton herself and associates to:
    •Money laundering
    •Child exploitation
    •Sex crimes with minors (children)
    •Perjury
    •Pay to play through Clinton Foundation
    •Obstruction of justice
    •Other felony crimes
    ************************************
    NYPD detectives and a NYPD Chief, the department’s highest rank under Commissioner, said openly that if the FBI and Justice Department fail to garner timely indictments against Clinton and co- conspirators, NYPD will go public with the damaging emails now in the hands of FBI Director James Comey and many FBI field offices.”

    It seems too over the top, but then this election has been way over the top.

    Read it all to see if it passes the smell test: http://truepundit.com/breaking-bombshell-nypd-blows-whistle-on-new-hillary-emails-money-laundering-sex-crimes-with-children-child-exploitation-pay-to-play-perjury/

  20. Meh Says:

    Neo,

    I know my last comment was a bit OT, but you will probably feel obligated to blog about that child sex ring eventually.

  21. Meh Says:

    Thank you for that J.J.! I tried to comment about that earlier, but Neo deleted my original comment.

  22. Mike K Says:

    This falls under the old principle that the game is crooked but it’s the only game in town.

  23. Meh Says:

    Thank you for that J.J.! I tried to comment about that earlier, but Neo deleted my original comment.

    Sorry Neo, I was mistaken. My original comment is still there. I don’t know how I missed it.

  24. Frog Says:

    huxley: folks who quote Dylan (or Simon or Joplin or Garfunkle or Hendrix or the Beatles or the Stones or…) for guidance or reference need to dig a bit deeper.

  25. huxley Says:

    Frog: Dylan and Simon were remarkable social observers in my book. The Beatles to a point.

    Hendrix and Joplin were troubled souls. Decent people wish them well. Perhaps not you.

    You got a better point to make?

  26. huxley Says:

    I have feuded with neo over Dylan in the Nobel Prize topic.

    Dylan is one of the guys who opened the door to me. He is far from perfect, as Dylan himself would readily admit. In fact he has spent much of his life since 1966 trying to admit that — he was raised up to such absurd heights in those days.

    He was far out, folks. He was one of the few geniuses we’ve had in popular music. He uppped the game to a whole new level, as most of the top players in that world will attest in words or the changes in their music.

    God bless Bob Dylan.

  27. Richard Saunders Says:

    The argument that “Hillary may be a criminal, but at least she’s predictable, while Trump could create chaos” reminds me of a comment I used to hear in South Philly — “The Mob’s okay — at least they keep street crime down in the old neighborhood.”

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.:

    Right off the bat, any site calling itself “truepundit” doesn’t pass the smell test.

    In general, there are very few stories that break in that way that turn out to be true.

  29. expat Says:

    This is somewhat OT, but it does make me feel that Trump has a better team than Clinton:

    http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2016/11/03/trumps_right_its_time_to_turn_our_inner_cities_around_1766.html

    It’s definitely more than what the Clintons accomplished for Haiti.

  30. JK Brown Says:

    Camile Paglia lays out why the DC crowd, Republican,Democrat, media are losing their minds over Trump. He is their Destructor

    ‘This idea that Trump represents such a threat to western civilisation — it’s often predicted about presidents and nothing ever happens — yet if Trump wins it will be an amazing moment of change because it would destroy the power structure of the Republican party, the power structure of the Democratic party and destroy the power of the media. It would be an incredible release of energy… at a moment of international tension and crisis.’

    The Spectator, Oct 29

  31. JK Brown Says:

    The NYPD “story” does seem a bit overwrought to be true. But it does hint at possibly why Comey had to send the letter sooner rather than later.

    When this all fell into Weiner’s lap so to speak, it ceased to be a solely federal matter that the DOJ could suppress. There are state/local investigators and prosecutors in on the sexting case and they have not investigatory reason not to report on the email cache but may have seen the metadata.

    Tricky trying to run a cover up with non-federal actors in NY and NC. We know how ambitious those local prosecutors can be.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    JK Brown:

    Yes, I read from several ordinarily reliable sources that Comey was convinced the info was going to be leaked and that’s why he had to announce it.

    But it didn’t fall into Weiner’s lap. It fell out of Weiner’s lap, in more ways than one.

  33. physicsguy Says:

    My fit to the 538 probability data is still described by a quadratic, and with the last few days of data now predicts a 50/50 split by November 8. TIghtening indeed!

  34. Vanderleun Says:

    Huxley: “Maybe you can actually make an argument and support it (mirabile dictu!) rather than continue injecting one-liners into this blog.”

    Make an *argument*? At this point in this general subject area simmering around Election 2016? I think not.

    I understand that many like to go round and round in this roundtuit, but when it comes to this particular election and the series of “arguments” it has produced, they have long since become mere opera librettos of the Comedia Del Arte flavor.

    Indeed, someday I may boil them down to a libretto for my new opera “Orlando Tediouso”….

    As to the initial statement, Huxley, you will notice that I merely remarked that the two parties during the primaries combined to take down Trump and it did not work.

    Seems pretty clear to me and a pretty good, if perhaps too concise and lacking in blather to make an “argument.” Nevertheless Res ipsa loquitur

    As for the compulsive need to post an “argument” concerning 2016 I would only observe that we left Plato’s beloved Athens of the election long long ago… and have been, for over a year, in an election about which the best that can be said is “MADNESS? NO. THIS. IS. SPARTA.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZeYVIWz99I

    Or, should you prefer the William Carlos Williams version of introducing Ginsberg’s “Howl,”

    (Am I referencing too fast for you?)

    “Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we are going through hell.”

    As for one-liners, I respect them. In fact I once wrote of 365 page book of them. So I can do them all day, week, month, year long….

    And now back to the election of which it has truly been said:

    “Election 2016, Is there ANYTHING you CAN’T do?”

  35. Big Maq Says:

    Aside from RCP which takes poll averages, there is also Princeton Election Consortium which also uses averages.

    However, they are also like 538 in that they try to identify the odds.

    Here is their current “distribution of outcomes” around the 270 electoral vote mark (the red line):
    http://election.princeton.edu/todays-electoral-vote-histogram/

    And here is their current outlook on the electoral map, given their individual state based odds:
    http://www.270towin.com/maps/princeton-election-consortium

    The race may be tightening, but trump has a lot of distance to make up. And over a quarter of the votes have already been cast:
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/voters-already-cast-quarter-expected-2016-ballots/

  36. Big Maq Says:

    According to PEC, there are really only three states that trump has a reasonable chance to claim, beyond the ones already solidly for him:

    NV, IA (sorry parker) and maybe FL (>60% chance for clinton).

    http://election.princeton.edu/electoral-college-map/

    The rest are >70% for clinton – a tough reach for trump with only a few days to go.

    Their lowest prediction of EC votes for clinton is at 270 (second chart, bottom of yellow band – note where the red band is and what it means):
    http://election.princeton.edu/history-of-meta-analysis/

  37. Big Maq Says:

    “The argument that “Hillary may be a criminal, but at least she’s predictable, while Trump could create chaos” reminds me of a comment I used to hear in South Philly — “The Mob’s okay — at least they keep street crime down in the old neighborhood.”” – Rich S

    You forgot to complete your analogy.

    The Mob vs what/who?

    Since you are analogizing to the extreme, how about …

    Joker (Heath Leger version)?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppKkYkM0apI

    Alex Delarge (Clockwork Orange)?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP–jbVeJ8M&list=PL8flXNbQZ-xNs3jAbqZvQdUvnUymUzp2d

    Warning: Adult Material.

  38. Bill Says:

    I had a thought today – there are only five more days until we’ll (maybe, hopefully?) know who won.

    Doesn’t that seem like an eternity? There are fifty more things that could happen between now and then.

    Even after Trump and Hillary won the nominations I never would have guessed this election could be as bad as it’s turned out. And two years ago the reality we’re in would have been laughably unrealistic.

    Funny how things go.

    I went from thinking Trump had no chance to a few months ago beginning to think he was going to win it all, then slipping back into doubtful about his chances, to now thinking he’ll probably pull it out.

    This doesn’t make me happy, by the way. Having Donald J. Trump in my face 24/7 and an exultant, ascendant alt-right peeing in my cornflakes every morning is a nightmare.

    Hillary’s a nightmare too. The only enlightening thing about what’s going on is it helps (I think) put the lie to the “all powerful left in control of the levers of everything” conspiracy theories that keeps getting bandied about here in these threads. Look at what’s happening, right before the election.

    If Trump wins, I sincerely hope all my Trump-supporting friends here are right, and that he will be a good president. I can’t see that happening, and I can’t imagine this will help the GOP in the future, but I’ve certainly been wrong quite a bit over the last year, so we’ll see.

    Maybe Jesus will return and I won’t have to find out 🙂 I’d be down with that.

    Five more days . . .

  39. Bill Says:

    I’ve also noticed as the polls tighten that people aren’t talking about rigged polls near as much. . . Funny.

  40. Richard Saunders Says:

    BigMaq – Hunh? You don’t get this? Let me explain it to you in good ol’ SAT style:

    The Mob is to street crime as an orderly criminal regime is to chaos.
    Clinton is to an orderly criminal regime as Trump is to chaos.
    Therefore:
    Clinton is to Trump, as the Mob is to street crime.

    And what’s with the fictional characters? Are you implying that the Mob’s not real? Or is it Hillary and Trump that aren’t real?

  41. Bill Says:

    Clinton is to Trump as a corrupt politician is to a proto-fascist.

    This election has done a lot of things to be. Now I find it has me at least temporarily agreeing with Andrew Sullivan. Dang it…..

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/andrew-sullivan-trump-america-and-the-abyss.html?mid=twitter-share-di

    Yes, she has shrewdly deployed fear against fear — but she is running against the master of fear. The Democrats, with the exception of Obama, have long been unable to marshal emotion as a political weapon, advancing a bloodless rationalism that has never been a match for the tribal national passions of the right. Clinton’s rallies have been pale copies of the bloodthirsty mobs Trump has marshaled and whipped into ever-higher states of frenzy. In every debate, she won on points, but I fear she failed to offer a compelling, simple, and positive reason for her candidacy. Only a party utterly divorced from half the country it seeks to represent could have made such a drastic error of hubris and complacency.

    Some — including many who will be voting for Trump — will argue that even if the unstable, sleepless, vindictive tyrant wins on Tuesday, he will be restrained by the system when he seizes power. Let’s game this out for a moment. Over the last year, which forces in the GOP have been able to stand up to him? Even his closest aides have been unable to get him to concentrate before a debate. He set up a policy advisory apparatus and then completely ignored it until it was disbanded. His foreign-policy advisers can scarcely be found. He says he knows more than any general, any diplomat, and anyone with actual experience in government. He has declared his chief adviser to be himself. Even the criminal Richard Nixon was eventually restrained and dispatched by a Republican Establishment that still knew how to run the country and had a loyalty to broader American institutions. Such an Establishment no longer exists.

    Interesting, depressing and alarming essay.

  42. Big Maq Says:

    @Richard S – well, you liken clinton to the Mob (rather extreme, even if she and bill are corrupt), in a halfway baked analogy.

    Now you want someone real, as the other equally extreme trump counterparts for chaos wasn’t enough?

    Okay, how about the movie character Amon Goeth? He’s even got the sniffing down. Real enough?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKie_34cpJI

    Sick isn’t it, to analogize the extremes?

  43. Big Maq Says:

    “If Trump wins, I sincerely hope all my Trump-supporting friends here are right, and that he will be a good president.” – Bill

    Some are saying he would be a rotten, awful president, but that would be “better”, even if he achieves the worst.

    Others see that he probably would turn for the worst, but hope that the Constitution, Congress, SCOTUS, the MSM, and other people of good principle and resolve are all sufficient firewalls to keep him from achieving his worst, and that all this is “better”.

    I’m not sure there are many who see trump as being a “good” POTUS on his own right. Few are articulating a positive case for trump whatsoever. And, those that are, are somehow able to block all the counterfactuals out of their mind.

  44. Big Maq Says:

    trump seems to be a mix of the “cluster B” personality disorder
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder#Cluster_B_.28dramatic.2C_emotional_or_erratic_disorders.29


    – Antisocial personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, lack of empathy, bloated self-image, manipulative and impulsive behavior.

    – Borderline personality disorder: pervasive pattern of abrupt mood swings, instability in relationships, self-image, identity, behavior and affect, often leading to self-harm and impulsivity.

    – Histrionic personality disorder: pervasive pattern of attention-seeking behavior and excessive emotions.

    – Narcissistic personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.
    .

    Folks would rather ride that horse because, hey, it might work out to be good! What could go wrong?

  45. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – “Folks would rather ride that horse because, hey, it might work out to be good! What could go wrong?”

    If the dam is about to break and your only way to get to higher ground is an unreliable horse; are you going to look at the horse’s unreliability and give up and drown, or are you going to take the chance?

    That’s the way I feel about this election. Telling me my choice is less than perfect, by no matter how much, means nothing if the only alternative is guaranteed failure.

    Telling me how bad Trump is is irrelevant unless you think Clinton would be better.

  46. OM Says:

    Beating the dead horses. He ain’t she and versa visa. ;0

  47. Big Maq Says:

    @Bill – finally got around to reading the article you linked.

    Chilling! Even if we think clinton is a criminal.

    Still, he loses me when he goes off the rails with things like…

    “The Republicans in Washington complemented this picture of crisis by a policy of calculated obstruction to every single measure a Democratic president has attempted, rendering the Congress so gridlocked that it has been incapable of even passing a budget without constitutional crisis…”

    His first example can be traced back to Sen reid not introducing a budget to the Senate for a vote – so, who is obstructing?

    Besides, in general, I think it a good thing that less gets “done” in DC rather than “more”, as most of the “more” is not what I’d call “good”.

    Still, he doesn’t hold back on the dems or clinton either.

    Most resonating…

    “Maybe the worst won’t happen on Tuesday. Maybe this catastrophist possible reading of our times is massively overblown. Maybe this short essay will be ridiculed in the future, as either Clinton wins and prevails in power, or if Trump turns out to be a far different president than he has been as a candidate. I sure hope so. But the fact that we may barely avoid a very deep crisis does not mitigate my anxiety. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we live in a republic, if we can keep it. And yet, more than two centuries later, we are openly contemplating throwing it up in the air and seeing where it might land.

  48. Big Maq Says:

    “Telling me my choice is less than perfect, by no matter how much, means nothing if the only alternative is guaranteed failure. – Irv

    That’s just it… it ain’t “Flight 93”!

    We WILL have a friggin election in 2020.

    But, if you convince yourself that nobody new can possibly be persuaded that conservative principles are worthy, then of course all is lost, as it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    And, backing a man like trump, itself makes our ability to persuade others just that much harder.

    And, that is all aside from just how much trump really would stave off the G-march you so fear. Fact is, he is more likely to accelerate it, but y’all don’t want to recognize that possibility, as you are desperate for a “WIN!!!” in 2016.

  49. Bill Says:

    Big Maq – yes, I agree that Sullivan missed the point on some of the good gridlock we’ve gotten.

    Overall good article, didn’t agree with everything. Mainly it just depressed me 🙂

  50. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – Which is what I said. If you don’t think Clinton would be worse then that’s fine, that’s your evaluation. But if you are only against Trump, without any consideration of the alternative, then you aren’t fully analyzing the situation.

    That’s Clinton’s strategy. Make the election solely about Trump. It’s a dishonest way to look at an election in my mind. There are two sides and each has to be considered to make a competent decision. No intelligent decision has ever been made looking at only one side of a complex problem.

  51. Brian E Says:

    I commented on another post about this, but this is what chaos looks like if Hillary is elected.
    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431676/obama-administration-enabling-noncitizen-voting
    “Several well-funded organizations — including the League of Women Voters and the NAACP — are fighting efforts to prevent non-citizens from voting illegally in the upcoming presidential election. And the United States Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is helping them.”
    Basically the fight is over the rights of states to include proof of citizenship requirements on the Federal voting registration form. The EAC has allowed three states Kansas, Alabama and Georgia to require proof of citizenship, which prompted the League of Women Voters to file a suit to prevent it just like they did in 2013 to prevent Arizona from including proof of citizenship on the form.
    “On September 9, the D.C. Circuit preliminarily enjoined the EAC from changing the federal voter registration form to allow Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia to require documentary proof of citizenship. That means documentary proof of citizenship is not on the federal form.”
    The case is proceding in district court.
    https://www.brennancenter.org/legal-work/league-women-voters-v-newby
    The Brennan Center is representing the League in this case.
    In all liklehood this case will end up before the Supreme Court again. If Scalia vacant seat is filled by a progressive justice, then it is a very real possibility that no state will be allowed to require proof of citizenship on the voter registration form.

  52. Meh Says:

    Breitbart is now reporting that sources are coming forward saying that Hillary was involved in a child sex ring and that Obama’s DOJ is trying desperately to prevent this stuff from coming out before Tuesday.

  53. DNW Says:

    I’ve been on and off sampling some of the threads here and want to say that I am pretty impressed by Irv’s and Ira’s steadiness, focus, and commitment to their arguments.

    Whatever one imagines concerning the prospects of one day recovering the rule of law through successfully propagandizing a law-breaking immigrant replacement population to embrace the very values they have rejected in the first place while seeking to benefit themselves, it is clear that we are already over the rule-of-law precipice, and that a sizable portion of the “native” population, long-time Democrats in particular, simply do not care.

    And too, as was most valuably illustrated in these very threads, a non-negligible portion of self-identified conservatives, would given the choice, sacrifice law and good order on the altar of their altruistic sensibilities.

    What point there is in making social agreements and establishing laws with people who feel morally entitled or compelled to subvert them, is a question I have not seen convincingly answered.

    It appears to me, as a personally conservative, but politically non-conservative man, that what the compassionate conservative envisions is a kind of social abstraction called “we”. This “we” as they envision it, has a life, claims, and moral standing of its own. It possesses a justification as they apparently see it, which transcends either any overt agreements of contracts, or imperatives of explicable natural law, but which establishes bonds of interpersonal solidarity and mutual recognition as fellows on some other principles

    Which leaves one with only faith, fiat, and emotion …

    When then, valued life-ways are revealed as contradictory as they are now revealed and have become; and when the actual costs whether financial (as in the exorbitant and destructive Obama Care harrowing of the independent middle class – about which the beneficiaries care nothing) or in terms of actually lost personal liberty, the predicate of the association itself is – or should be for the rational man – called into absolute question.

    But it seems that for religious conservatives [say, passive fideists* for example] of a certain stripe, or for conservative leaning beneficiaries of government sinecures or institutional largess, this calculation seems absurd: as for them, the demonstrably lost freedom becomes a rather abstract question compared with the preservation of “society”; when it is not their futures and livelihoods, or really felt interests and future prospects that are being attacked and actively devoured by this “society’s” political administrators and clients.

    When men will not even in principle stand up for the absolute rule of law and self-government, but content themselves with the wan hope that perhaps someday in the future the law breakers can be argued out of their current life-way strategies and to instead embrace the very principles which they undermined with their self-seeking subversions in the first place, we have demonstrably already gone over the edge: and from a state of republican self-government and the rule of law to a state of administrative discretion and dispensation.

    What the term “conservative” can possibly mean with regard to liberty and law, when applied men who tolerate and even enable such a state of affairs, is anyone’s guess.

    Note:*I refer to fideists as representatives of a class of “Christian” believers who do not generally fall within the natural law tradition and who are in large measure attuned to conceiving of moral obligations and relations in terms of a fiat which transcends any justifiable moral calculation of rational self-interest.

    Well, regards …

  54. Big Maq Says:

    ” But if you are only against Trump, without any consideration of the alternative, then you aren’t fully analyzing the situation.” – Irv

    When you say “the only alternative is guaranteed failure”, that is an “all is lost”, “Flight 93” argument.

    clinton may be awful, but as president, we are going to continue the G-march into something like Canada, the UK, or other European model. They are several years, if not generations “ahead” of us down that path.

    Good for our country? Absolutely not!

    Country irreparably lost? Absolutely not!

    It is only so, if we continue to believe that only certain groups of people can “understand” the values we hold, and that nobody else can possibly be persuaded, simply because they belong to “other” groups.

    That thinking leads to behavior (I’d say continues the behavior) that cedes ground to the left. That belief becomes self-fulfilling, BY OUR INACTION.

    Ultimately, this is what the “preservation of society” comes to, if we want to live under democratic (not party) processes.

    The only alternative is force. And, y’all seem to hang your hopes on that route without having sufficiently even tried persuasion.
    .

    AND, you have this false underlying assumption that trump will do what you wish or hope he will (your personal interpretation out of his chaotic messages) and save us from all you fear.

    Crap! He’s going to take us down that path even faster, given his liberal inclinations and how he gives all kinds of indications that he is likely to expand executive powers well past what obama has.

    Is that a good thing for 2020 and beyond? Well, if you want force and end elections after this one, I suppose it is. But, if there are elections and a dem eventually holds office, clinton and obama will look like a chump in comparison.

  55. Brian E Says:

    Continued chaos is guaranteed with Hillary.

    “…Non-citizen voting is likely growing at the same rate as the alien population in the United States; but because of deficiencies in state law and the failure of federal agencies to comply with federal law, there are almost no procedures in place that allow election officials to detect, deter, and prevent non-citizens from registering and voting. Instead, officials are largely dependent on an “honor system” that expects aliens to follow the law. There are numerous cases showing the failure of this honor system…”
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/07/the-threat-of-non-citizen-voting

    This article was written in 2008!

    As states have attempted to gain control of the voting process, ensuring the integrity of the elections, they have been thwarted by left-leaning advocacy groups, the federal DOJ and federal courts.

    But hey, 4 more years of this won’t hurt. We can fix this in 2020! At what point will this strategy by the left to undermine voting give the left their permanent majority?

    I guess we’re going to find out.

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    Les Déplorables, Les Miserables

    Distinctions without a difference?

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Timothy

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” – John

    “The power-hungry individual follows a path to his own destruction.” ― Adler

    Margot Adler was a good friend of mine when i was younger… never did find out if her popcorn diet worked.. she died in 2014… Blessed Be Margot, Blessed be… (she was a Gardnarian – see Gerald Gardner / my other friend who is also gone, Gwyddian / Isaac Bonowitz… )

  57. Bill Says:

    Still talking about me DNW?

  58. Brian E Says:

    “The only alternative is force. And, y’all seem to hang your hopes on that route without having sufficiently even tried persuasion.”- Big Maq

    No, the alternative is a return to the rule of law.

    Do you really believe what you wrote at 12:57pm.
    I have to assume you were engaging in some hyperbole”

    “Crap! He’s [Trump] going to take us down that path even faster, given his liberal inclinations and how he gives all kinds of indications that he is likely to expand executive powers well past what obama has.
    Is that a good thing for 2020 and beyond? Well, if you want force and end elections after this one, I suppose it is. But, if there are elections and a dem eventually holds office, clinton and obama will look like a chump in comparison.”

  59. neo-neocon Says:

    Meh:

    And I hear she is part of a Satanic ring that tortures little puppies and then eats them raw

    You heard it here first.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv Greeberg:

    You write “Telling me how bad Trump is is irrelevant unless you think Clinton would be better.”

    Not so.

    If a person thinks Clinton would be just as bad as Trump, it’s also relevant how bad Trump is.

    And even if a person thinks Clinton would be worse than Trump, and decides therefore to vote for Trump, it still is relevant how bad Trump would be, because it’s only by comparing Trump’s badness to Clinton’s badness that a person could come up with a decision about their relative badness.

  61. sdferr Says:

    Of natural right, as distinct from “natural law”, one may look for some guidance at an article titled “The Right to Arms and the American Philosophy of Freedom” by Nelson Lund published at the Heritage Foundation website, and linked yesterday in an article at Powerline written by John Hinderaker, which Hinderaker piece was in turn titled “Gun Control, Circa 1780”.

    Natural law, properly taken, I believe, is a fundamentally Roman Catholic doctrine developed by Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.

    Modern natural right doctrine — a so-called contractarianism — was primarily developed by Thomas Hobbes, then taken up by John Locke who modified Hobbes’ vision.

  62. Brian E Says:

    An Open Letter to the NeverTrumpers from a Sympathizer

    https://ricochet.com/385888/an-open-letter-to-the-nevertrumpers-from-a-sympathizer/

  63. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian E – I don’t look at that as “chaos”. Our election processes have problems, but they are far closer to “fair” than “chaotic”.

    That is just another segment of the hyperbolic “Flight 93” case.

    Seriously, you must believe that elections are way more “fair” than “chaotic”, that you are relying on this process to get your favored candidate in power.
    .

    For all the grousing that these are overwhelming issues, there is relatively d*mn few cases the GOP have brought forward, and we have 30 states led by GOP governors!

    Take one issue: out-dated voter rolls – nobody’s stopping them from cleaning those up! Why not, if there are “millions” of dead people on them?

    Could it be that it isn’t really that much of a problem?

    Or, could it be that it is more valuable as a wedge issue than as a resolved issue – something to rile up support for?
    .

    “No, the alternative is a return to the rule of law.

    Do you really believe what you wrote”

    But, Brian, it matters how you “return to the rule of law”.

    For starters, are we talking all laws, or specific laws?

    AFAIAC, for the vast majority, we do have a law abiding society, probably as much so as any other nation on earth.

    Is it perfect? NO!

    So you have to articulate which laws are really the ones most flagrantly flouted, and their impact.

    Second, picking a man who specifically isn’t beholding to the Constitution, nor the separation of powers, etc. is that our idea of maintaining the “rule of law”?
    .

    It comes down to just what do you think trump is going to do.

    And, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that you have some very specific things in mind, that you “KNOW” he will do.

    But, what I am telling you is that you and others are putting faith in him on things you have *selectively* focused on, ignoring all the rest that may be counterfactual to that.

    AND, that there is a VERY serious risk that trump may well backfire on all you say you want and expect from trump.
    .

    Against the false, “Flight 93” case, everything else looks like a “reasonable” option.

    That case is a lie.

    It stems from some truths, but it extrapolates them toward a false dystopic view of the world.

    The real outlook, though not good at all, is far less dire.

    Saying that does NOT mean we need to sit still for it, but it does mean that if we continue to lose the next several elections (perhaps in good part because our beliefs drive us to inaction) then, indeed, dire consequences await.

    Doubling down by backing such a risky choice, ignoring all the issues with trump as a leader, as the personification of our values and principles, as a competent driver of the change we seek, as a moral human being, (and, dare I say, as a normally behaving human being) is a desperate gamble with heavy downside risk that doesn’t even measure up the real downside we face with clinton (not in any way, shape, or form saying she is anywhere close to angelic either).

    He fails on all those counts – yet we have expectations that he will deliver to us what we hope, even if it is only the imagined and overly broad felt loss of “rule of law” returned?

  64. Meh Says:

    And I hear she is part of a Satanic ring that tortures little puppies and then eats them raw [Neo]

    Is this your way of changing the subject because that’s not what the relevant FBI/NYPD sources are saying.

  65. neo-neocon Says:

    Meh:

    It’s called sarcasm.

    It’s also my way of saying that I only report stories that are from reputable sources. Breitbart, alas, hasn’t been a reputable source for quite some time now, at least not for sensational stories connected with Trump or Hillary.

  66. Bill Says:

    This is an interesting video put together by conservatives. Not expecting to change anyone’s mind here, but it’s worth the 49 minutes

    https://youtu.be/NIL0w4BkHQU “The Sociopath” by Ben Howe

  67. Bill Says:

    Four more days . . .

  68. Brian E Says:

    I wrote:
    “If Scalia(‘s) vacant seat is filled by a progressive justice, then it is a very real possibility that no state will be allowed to require proof of citizenship on the voter registration form.”

    I should have said it will be a certainty that no state will be allowed to require proof of citizenship on the voter registration form ever again.

    Now couple that with a DOJ signaling they won’t investigate or prosecute illegal immigrants for registering to vote and there are plenty of leftist groups already working to register illegal aliens.

    Is this a tipping point?

    A 2014 National Review article estimated that 6.4% of all non-citizens voted in the 2008 election.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391474/non-citizens-are-voting-john-fund

    What do you suppose the get out the vote effort for illegal aliens is this year? Now if you think illegal voting is a feature to our system, you’ll no doubt vote for Hillary.

    Trump has made this a central theme of his candidacy.

    If Hillary is elected and a left-leaning justice is named and we have a DOJ that will not enforce immigration law and illegal aliens become a voting bloc (though small) it may be sufficient to guarantee a democrat majority for…a long time?

    Of course, we can educate these new voters why voting for a conservative candidate is in their interest and bring them into the tent.

  69. huxley Says:

    Make an *argument*? At this point in this general subject area simmering around Election 2016? I think not.

    Vanderluen: I didn’t think you could make an argument, just the usual nasty spleen which is par for the course from fervid Trump supporters in my experience.

    Or, should you prefer the William Carlos Williams version of introducing Ginsberg’s “Howl,”

    (Am I referencing too fast for you?)

    I’ve ready plenty of poetry, perhaps more than you have, including WCW and Ginsberg–even some of yours for that matter. You can pull off rhyme when others can’t or won’t, but mostly you are derivative and cute in your acerbic, egomanical way.

    Don’t flatter yourself that you are some kind of savant in this blog.

  70. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Neo – I’m confused. What you said seems to me to say the same thing I said.

    What I was trying to say was that it’s irrelevant to consider the qualities of either candidate in isolation. It is only in relation to each other in the context of the election, that these qualities matter. Except for the election, I couldn’t care less about either one of them.

  71. Richard Saunders Says:

    BigMaq — could you please explain to me how the Gramscian march to the right gets going after four or eight years of open borders, a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, evisceration of the First and Second Amendments, national health, free college tuition, more ant-business regulation, reduction of energy production, higher taxes, progressive federal judges and Justices, etc., etc., etc.?

    As to natural law, there is only one — humanity’s oldest and most widely practiced law: “The strong do what they can, the weal suffer what they must.”

  72. Richard Saunders Says:

    “anti-” not “ant-“

  73. Big Maq Says:

    @Brian – Well, I read Paul Rahe some time ago. He is not exactly “sympathetic”.

    I do credit him with seeing through some of the issues with trump…

    “Can we trust the man? If you think so, I believe that you are deluding yourself. His record in affairs both public and private shows that he does not keep his word. He will make a commitment for the purpose of getting what he wants, and he will break that commitment the moment he has what he desired. In the end, he will betray everyone who relies on him. He always has. “
    .

    However, he has long talked about how our situation parallels the fall of Rome, and how the Constitution is “inadequate” to our circumstances.

    That is curiously close to the “Flight 93” lines of argument.

    Someone else here argued very much the same thing as Rahe in their support of voting for trump.
    .

    I don’t deny the problems he outlines that we face today, but I do note two things:

    1) Not sure those conditions don’t already exist in other western nations – doesn’t make it right, but not uncorrectable either.
    2) That he hardly gives us reason to go from the above quote to this…

    “If Trump is elected President, this (all the problems he outlined) is apt to end. The man has been burned. This campaign has been an education for him. … But Donald Trump is apt to do less damage”

    This is almost all he says of trump!

    IOW, he is articulating a “not clinton” case, and we are to take it on faith that even though we “cannot trust” trump and that “he will betray us”, we are somehow to believe it is less risky a choice, oh, and forget all the other things we know about or have seen from trump.

  74. Meh Says:

    It’s also my way of saying that I only report stories that are from reputable sources. Breitbart, alas, hasn’t been a reputable source for quite some time now, at least not for sensational stories connected with Trump or Hillary. [Neo]

    Lol. Like the NYT, WaPo, and other alphabets who regularly try to pass off misinformation and propaganda as news?

  75. sdferr Says:

    heh, I apologize for this proposed jest aforehand but that’s why it’s called the “Commonweak”.

  76. neo-neocon Says:

    Meh:

    I have certainly done my share of criticizing those news sources when they err, which is frequently.

    So your point is irrelevant.

    In sum, please stop pushing this story on this blog until it is authenticated in some way. You’ve certainly already alerted people to it.

  77. huxley Says:

    Williams Carlos Williams isn’t well-known outside poetry, sadly, but he changed American poetry as much as Hemingway changed American literature and Dylan changed American music.

    His influence was key for the Black Mountain poets, the Beats and the New York poets.

    He was another far out artist, beautifully human and accessible. His day job was family doctor.

    God bless William Carlos Williams.

  78. Brian E Says:

    “But, Brian, it matters how you “return to the rule of law”. – Big Maq

    How so? If we have a president that will enforce the laws passed by Congress, isn’t that sufficient?

    Or are you arguing that not returning to the rule of law, continuing Obama’s selective enforcement, is not objectionable enough to do anything about it.

    And I’m specifically talking about immigration law.

  79. huxley Says:

    My previous comment was in response to Vanderleun’s earlier self-backslapping because he knows William Carlos Williams and imagines no one else here does.

  80. Bill Says:

    Huxley

    Didn’t he write “the red wheelbarrow”? I may have that title wrong – wouldn’t have known who he was but I took an American Lit course a year or two ago at the local community college.

  81. Vanderleun Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

    Man: Ah. I’d like to have an argument, please.

    Receptionist: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?

    Man: No, this is my first time.

    Receptionist: I see. Well, do you want to have the full argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?

    Man: Well, what would be the cost?

    Receptionist: Well, It’s one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

    Man: Well, I think it’s probably best if I start with the one and then see how it goes from there, okay?

    Receptionist: Fine. I’ll see who’s free at the moment

  82. Big Maq Says:

    “What do you suppose the get out the vote effort for illegal aliens is this year? Now if you think illegal voting is a feature to our system, you’ll no doubt vote for Hillary.

    Trump has made this a central theme of his candidacy.

    If Hillary is elected and a left-leaning justice is named and we have a DOJ that will not enforce immigration law and illegal aliens become a voting bloc (though small) it may be sufficient to guarantee a democrat majority for…a long time?” – Brian

    See, now that is very much the type of thing I’m talking about.

    How does trump solve this problem?

    Chances are high you are assuming something on what trump will do, but will he?

    There are many things we can point to about trump’s “position” on this.

    I wrote a detailed post wrt illegal immigration, here…
    http://neoneocon.com/2016/10/20/is-trumps-refusal-to-say-hed-accept-the-results-of-the-election-the-only-thing-that-happened-on-earth-today/#comment-1800114

    That is sitting in “awaiting moderation” for some reason – so, might not be visible to you (let me know). It is three posts down from this…
    http://neoneocon.com/2016/10/20/is-trumps-refusal-to-say-hed-accept-the-results-of-the-election-the-only-thing-that-happened-on-earth-today/#comment-1800105

    However, all the positive assumptions about trump seem to be rather *selective* (ignoring a great deal of what trump has said and done in the past) and require that trump is believable on following through on that assumed (and, often, an interpretation of a) “promise”.
    .

    “…you’ll no doubt vote for Hillary.”

    BTW, don’t know how many times I need to say this… I’m NOT voting for clinton. You seem to think awful trump means I think angelic clinton – BOTH are awful!

    Not sure how you missed that in all the posts of mine you would have “read” here.

  83. OM Says:

    Van:

    The champion of gain say? “Yes you are. No I’m not.”

  84. DNW Says:

    Richard Saunders Says:
    November 4th, 2016 at 2:22 pm
    BigMaq — could you please explain to me how the Gramscian march to the right gets going after four or eight years of open borders, a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, evisceration of the First and Second Amendments, national health, free college tuition, more ant-business regulation, reduction of energy production, higher taxes, progressive federal judges and Justices, etc., etc., etc.?”

    Good luck with that question.

    “As to natural law, there is only one — humanity’s oldest and most widely practiced law: “The strong do what they can, the weal suffer what they must.” “

    I had not intended to start a debate over the validity of the concept of natural law per se, and defined as a set of developed legal inferences concerning rights and duties which are ultimately derived from an assumed human teleology.

    I introduced it only to suggest that certain fideist type Christians (which I bracketed with quotes since fideism is considered by Catholics to be a heresy of sorts) would not use natural law suppositions and inferences in order to extract what they consider to be moral conclusions.

    The tracing of the Founders’ particular or controlling conception of natural law with the subset (under one interpretation) of rights as the predicate of and for valid law, is another matter.

    Sdferr’s comments regarding the radical disjunct between Hobbes’ conception of “natural right”, and conceptions of natural law and rights as developed and passed on by the Scholastics are apposite enough and traditional; but the question of just how important Hobbes’ anti-teleological redefinition of the concept was for the founding, is on my readings unclear, given the infiltration of the traditional scholastic concepts into the Founders’ conceptual framework.

    For those interested in just how Locke’s or the Founders’ views fit in with either the Scholastic or Hobbesian concepts, or straddle or meld them, there is plenty of reading available …

    Hooker as source and ….

    Which view is Locke’s

  85. sdferr Says:

    If I recollect correctly James Madison was a practicing Presbyterian. Reading Madison’s great Federalist 10 and 51, it is for me, anyhow, all over a gentle restatement of Hobbes’ view, recast, of course, in opposition to monarchism.

  86. sdferr Says:

    Hobbes’, by the way, translated Thucydides History for the English speakers. In some sense, Hobbes’ reading of the Melian dialogue — which is altogether about that ugly natural law cast as the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must — traces throughout Hobbes’ thought. It never seems to leave the foreground of Hobbes’ aims.

  87. Big Maq Says:

    “”it matters how you “return to the rule of law”” – BM
    How so? If we have a president that will enforce the laws passed by Congress, isn’t that sufficient?” – Brian

    But, see, again, you are assuming something of trump that he’s had different positions on.

    Just because you think clinton will go one way, even if it were all true, does NOT mean trump is the antidote to that.

    THAT is what I am talking about when I say it matters how!

    There is too d*mn much about trump that points to the opposite of all the “good things” people assume (wish) we will avoid from clinton if only we were to vote for trump.

    trump has simply said (or failed to say) and done too many things to be taken credibly on any one thing. So, where is one’s basis for saying anything will be resolved with trump?

    Give it a good honest examination, and you might find we would be just as likely to be headed towards the same d*mn kind of ditch as clinton would drive us toward.

    Worse, he’s libel to get us into a whole lot more trouble just from his sheer lack of knowledge and his penchant for getting even on the smallest of slights…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/final-days-awful-choice/2016/11/03/bd052402-a1dd-11e6-a44d-cc2898cfab06_story.html

    That is why guys like Paul Rahe are so thin on the positive case for trump – they know there are too many counterfactuals to credibly make the case – so, all they are left with is “not clinton”.

    And for “not clinton” to work, it has to be something terrifying… say, a “Flight 93” scenario?

  88. DNW Says:

    sdferr Says:
    November 4th, 2016 at 1:35 pm
    Of natural right, as distinct from “natural law”, one may look for some guidance at an article titled “The Right to Arms and the American Philosophy of Freedom” by Nelson Lund published at the Heritage Foundation website, and linked yesterday in an article at Powerline written by John Hinderaker, which Hinderaker piece was in turn titled “Gun Control, Circa 1780”.

    I have attempted to slog through Hobbes’ writings and make sense of them. The problem for me is not the somewhat antique language but the pathetic reasoning and annoying substitution of pronouncement for argument.

    Many of us were “turned on to” Hobbes and Locke as high schoolers or undergrads as they were the so-called canonical sources and sacred texts for our supposed Enlightenment Experiment in self-government and rights. Plus they were written in English – more or less – and therefore accessible.

    The problems with Hobbes, who seems to have been a Beta version of a troll before there was an Internet, is that one has to make so many excuses for what he is saying, to issue so many indulgences, to assume so many provisos, and to ignore so many contradictions or incoherences in the overall body of his work, that the reading does not seem worth the effort on any but strict intellectual history grounds.

    The ahistoricity of his starting point anthropology is just one example noticed by everyone including as I recall, Sumner Maine, long before we were born; and was reframed by Strauss as a kind of thought problem, in order apparently, to save the day.

    I have Strauss’ The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, and despite the explanations he provides, it merely leaves me more hostile to Hobbes than when I had read him without any guidance.

    Hobbes is the kind of guy you would be tempted to kick in the neck, after you had punched him to the ground. Though one would not, of course.

  89. sdferr Says:

    It’s only a bit funny that I often wish Ben Franklin had replied to that nice woman on the street “A commercial republic, if you can keep it”. Y’know, not merely on account of completeness, but just to hold things on the up and up.

  90. DNW Says:

    sdferr Says:
    November 4th, 2016 at 3:51 pm
    Hobbes’, by the way, translated Thucydides History for the English speakers. In some sense, Hobbes’ reading of the Melian dialogue — which is altogether about that ugly natural law cast as the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must — traces throughout Hobbes’ thought. It never seems to leave the foreground of Hobbes’ aims.

    That is an interesting comment, and if I remember correctly Strauss repeatedly mentioned how Hobbes’ historical anthropology and moral framework was derived from Thucydides.

    I spent long hours in the stack reading the (Cambridge, I think it was) Histories, and was impressed by the complete amorality of the Greeks described and the utter lack of human sympathy and identification they engendered in a reader – or at least in myself. One might as well have been reading about chimp wars.

    Not to say that that world view might not prove out to be true in some sense. But if so … shrug at the dead Athenians on the beach.

  91. Big Maq Says:

    “BigMaq — could you please explain to me how the Gramscian march to the right gets going after four or eight years of open borders, a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, evisceration of the First and Second Amendments, national health, free college tuition, more ant-business regulation, reduction of energy production, higher taxes, progressive federal judges and Justices, etc., etc., etc.?” – Richard S

    How about you explain to me what your “plan B” is should / when trump loses?

    Unless you are thinking it needs to be armed revolt, I have to believe it would be rather similar.
    .

    I know I’ve had no luck getting an “adequate” answer from others here who claim a rather high standard for such a question, but cannot deliver to their own standard. Instead, they rather avoid it than expose the reality of that gap.

  92. Richard Saunders Says:

    BigMaq — your logic is peccable. I ask how your plan for the Gramscian march to the right works after four or eight years of Hillary, and you ask me what I’ll do if Trump loses. I haven’t been the one saying everything is going to be all right, we can fix the country after Hillary, blah, blah, blah.

    I don’t have to defend my plan for a complete change of course after Hillary, because I don’t have one.

    Oh, wait, I do! What am I going to do if Hillary wins —

    I’ll put my head between my legs and kiss my *ss goodbye!

    Okay, I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours!

  93. Richard Saunders Says:

    DNW at 3:38pm: You were, of course, right.

  94. Bill Says:

    Richard

    ” I’ll put my head between my legs and kiss my *ss goodbye!”

    Really?

    Trump may win, but if he doesn’t you’re just going to check out?

    What if conservatives lost their apocalyptic edge and victim complexes and began fighting the good fight, and fighting well and winsomely and with perseverance and courage?

    Even if you think there’s really no hope, won’t it be better to go out honorably than just slink away?

    I think there’s lots of hope. What are the chances if HRC wins that Tim Kaine ends up being President, or that she’s ineffective (I mean, she’s been a pretty ineffective candidate). What if conservatives find a spokesperson who can convey the conservative message in an effective manner? None of us can see the future.

    I know emotions run high right before an election, but I don’t get the despair.

  95. Brian E Says:

    “What if conservatives lost their apocalyptic edge and victim complexes and began fighting the good fight, and fighting well and winsomely and with perseverance and courage? ” -Bill

    ____

    Well Bill, that’s what some of us have been doing, trying to get the better candidate elected.

  96. huxley Says:

    Didn’t he write “the red wheelbarrow”?

    Bill: Yep.

    so much depends
    upon

    a red wheel
    barrow

    glazed with rain
    water

    beside the white
    chickens.

    Which may seem odd or inconsequential to today’s readers, but Williams wrote it in the 1910s when most poetry was far more ornate. It was part of Pound’s “petals on a wet black bough” Imagist school but with an American homeliness, which Williams pushed farther.

    I encourage anyone curious to look up William Carlos Williams.

  97. huxley Says:

    Vanderleun: I know the Monty Python catalog cold too.

    Maybe you can cut and paste a Goon Show excerpt or Firesign Theater as a faux response.

    (Am I referencing too fast for you?)

    A pity. I remember you as something of an intellect as well as being facile with words. Apparently I was mistaken.

  98. Big Maq Says:

    “I’ll put my head between my legs and kiss my *ss goodbye!” – Richard Sanders

    Well, about what I expected. Really, nothing.

    I haven’t been the one saying everything will be all right, either!

    Crap, like you think I want effing clinton!!!!

    That is what is so goofy about your position – all is lost, so there is nothing possible to do to change course.

    So, our last Hail Mary is a guy who cannot even manage a competent campaign, nor sound like he has his head on straight, nor is capable of explaining the whys and hows of his proposed policies, nor keep his own friggin hands to himself – he feels so effing entitled.

    Not to mention his credibility, as he lies on matters big and small, with nary a blink.

    You so believe the world ends with clinton, that you want us all to take a highly volatile risk with someone like that, who is
    so far from “our” principles, in exchange for what?

    All the things you say we want to avoid with clinton, doesn’t seem that he is taking us in any much different direction.

    Well, no thank you. Not convinced in the least.

    You assume a lot about what trump will do, but have you really examined that? Or, are you just buying his latest version of what he says?

    Y’all can be smug about how “I” don’t have any better plan, when the reality is that neither do you. Voting trump is not a “plan” – it’s a friggin wild*ss gamble on a 5 high hand.

    Furthermore, it is I sitting here who has been extending a hand to say let’s figure it out.

    Slap it away if you want and laugh, but at the end of the day, when trump loses, will you come back here and help be part of the solution, or will you slink into a corner with your fouled lips and crooked neck, executing your plan B?

  99. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – You just don’t seem to be able to do anything but rage against Trump. Sometimes you sound like Obama and Clinton. Don’t you have anything to say about her? Is there no area in which she might be worse than Trump?

    You assume that Trump won’t do what he says he will do and then accuse us of not having examined our assumption that he will. Isn’t it at least possible that we have examined that and have come to a different conclusion than you? Isn’t it at least possible that voting Trump is a plan? You may not agree with it but we have thought about it and have decided that there’s a reasonable possibility that either Trump will do as he says or he will be forced to by a combative congress.
    Either of those cases seem reasonable to us.

    We also don’t just assume or assert that he might turn out to be a reasonably good president. We’ve seen that his ego is very strong and he does everything he can to make himself popular with the public. If the economy or foreign policy fails then it would be a real blow to his ego and he will do what he can to avoid that.

    He has a history of running off his mouth but he hasn’t done it enough to make him fail at his business endeavors. In fact it’s one of the things that has made him so popular on television. You may think he has poor business ethics but they’re not so bad that it’s affected his success.

    He’s certainly learned a lot about politics during his candidacy. You might claim that it’s just others having him under control but that would be a good sign too, that he listens to others at important times and follows their advice.

    I assume I’m wasting my breath with all this but I decided to give it one more try before the election. If Trump loses I hope you’re right that we will be able to reorganize and fight the good fight in 2020 and if you are right we will join you. Unfortunately I just can’t convince myself that your plan is workable. My evaluation of all the evidence is that that won’t be an option if 4 years.

    At least we’re on the same side in one thing….we both hope you’re right!

  100. neo-neocon Says:

    huxley:

    Many people have been driven to tear their hair out by this election.

    Perhaps Vanderleun is one of them.

  101. neo-neocon Says:

    huxley:

    William Carlos Williams—the Bob Dylan of his time 🙂 .

  102. Big Maq Says:

    “Don’t you have anything to say about her? “ – Irv

    Plenty.

    “We also don’t just assume or assert that he might turn out to be a reasonably good president”

    Well, your “we” might be all inclusive, or just a subset.

    Fact is there are those who believe (assert) he WILL be good.

    Those who believe (assert) he MIGHT be good.

    Those who believe (assert) he WILL be bad, but by the grace of Congress, SCOTUS, MSM, and the fortitude and resolve of good people, he would be limited.

    Those who believe (assert) that he will be bad, or be destructive, and that is needed or preferred.

    Some of the “cheers” you might have received from others are not all coming from the same place.

    As far as I can tell, the ones in the comments section of this blog who “rage against trump”, all think clinton awful.

    Few here in support of trump have a positive case for him, and when they do, they point to policy positions where it is not at all clear that trump truly supports those or will deliver on those, and, furthermore, they fail to answer the question, why should we believe that version?

    The case has been almost entirely based on an apocalyptic vision of what happens with clinton elected – a “Flight 93” case.

    I heard similar cases in 2008 and 2012 vs obama. Yet, here we are with another election, and chance to change direction.

    I am told, NO, that is just eight years, and the next four are the clincher, the time when we fall over the “precipice”.

    I doubt that very, very much.

    We will head in the absolutely wrong direction, with an awful POTUS, but it will be more towards Canada or Europe than Venezuela, or the Soviet USA.

  103. Big Maq Says:

    And, yes, I will get rather passionate when

    a) some one(s) clearly don’t have a “plan” (voting trump is NOT a “plan” – that’s a gamble dressed up as a hope, given the lack of a believable positive case for trump), and

    b) are smugly dismissive about my not having a fully fleshed out (to their standard) alternative.
    Like I / we should have such a “plan” in our back pocket, all in the case that someone, and a minority, who are his supporters, somehow pirates the GOP!?

    c) use that smugness to avoid answering the question on their “plan B”, which, in most ways, MUST resemble something along the lines of the same alternative “plan” they are demanding of me, and

    d) without that fully fleshed out “plan”, which they hypocritically demand of me, the conclusion is necessarily that trump must be the choice?

    Utterly ridiculous!

    Anyway, I’m rather confident trump loses.
    .

    The real problem is what now?

    Will the people who have become so vested in the “Flight 93” case, in the smugness that there are no alternatives, in the face of a loss and loss of face, would they even come to the table to figure out those next steps?
    .

    If, for some reason trump were to be elected, these comments sections would be unbearable with the gloating be some.

    If clinton wins, I won’t be cheering whatsoever.

    To me, it would be like mourning after having to put down a sick pet.

  104. Big Maq Says:

    @Irv – forgot one category

    Those who believe that trump has “learned” or “changed”, or will do so while in office, when he realizes any “economic or foreign policy fails”.

    If I could believe that, it would be enticing.

    But, first, he’d have to be believable in expressing a coherent set of principles, and in expressing the whys and hows for what he plans.

    He hasn’t, and I doubt he will “learn to” in a way that would be credible to any who are not already bought into trump.

  105. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – There is nothing that Trump could say that would be believable to you if the things he’s already said aren’t.

    I don’t depend on what he says even though I do believe quite a bit of it. What I depend on is my assessment of his character and his ego. I firmly believe, and the evidence is clear at least to me, that his ego will not allow him to do the stupid things you seem convinced he will/might do.

    Also, I’m convinced that he will allow business to develop our resources and thereby greatly improve our economy.

    I’m convinced he will negotiate trade deals that are much more in our favor and that tariffs are negotiating tools, not policies.

    I’m convinced that he will, as much as possible, do away with political correctness.

    I’m convinced he will allow school choice by attaching the money to the students instead of the schools and that he will get the federal government out of education.

    I’m convinced he will cut off all federal funds to sanctuary cities and to schools that don’t allow ROTC.

    I’m convinced he will take most veterans out of the VA system and allow them to use local healthcare as much as possible.

    I’m convinced he will make deals with adversary countries and not make war with them, except for radical Islamists who will not negotiate. With them I think he will allow the military to become effective again by allowing them to win.

    I’m convinced he will do away with Obamacare and take us back to the insurance system we had except he will do away with a lot of the red tape and the restrictions on state lines. For people without insurance he will put them on a program like medicare, which they will not like because it’s not as good as insurance, but it will be better than what they had before Obamacare.

    I’m convinced he will close the border and free up the INS to deport illegal alien felons. Then, when things have settled down, he will allow the people choose what to do with the millions here who have not committed crimes.

    This is only a partial list but it seems to me that all these things are in his interest to do and don’t depend on any political philosophy other than practicality and desired outcome.

    I’m also convinced he will be a blowhard and a jerk and make a number of stupid political mistakes. But, since everyone expects that, they will be mostly inconsequential.

    Trump has said he would do all of those things. If he does even one or two of them then he will be more of a success than Clinton could ever be.

    I didn’t pick Trump but now he’s my guy. He may lose and we may continue the downhill slide at an even faster pace with Clinton, but it won’t be because I didn’t try to stop her.

  106. Big Maq Says:

    “There is nothing that Trump could say that would be believable to you if the things he’s already said aren’t.” – Irv

    The strange thing is, he had plenty of opportunity to.

    I wanted him to!!

    He even promised he’d “look so presidential” we’d effectively be bored with it.

    Sorry, it is on trump that I am not convinced.

    Is there something he can say or do now three days away from election day – absolutely not. He had his opportunity.
    .

    Nothing that I see from trump has provided a firm basis to be so convinced that he’ll do all those things you list.

    “I’m convinced he will close the border and free up the INS to deport illegal alien felons. Then, when things have settled down, he will allow the people choose what to do with the millions here who have not committed crimes.”

    Gosh. I can find trump supporters just as convinced he is going to deport ALL the illegal immigrants, as he will “enforce the laws”. You seem to be convinced of a different version. Huh?

    That’s just one example, from your list.
    .

    Had trump long been consistent on all these, and could credibly discuss the details (the why and hows), then he’d have me on board.

    I have no idea how one can be so solidly convinced.

    Take politics out of it and imagine it is a business you are buying, sinking your life savings in, and trump is asking you to be his silent partner.

    You’d actually be so very convinced he would live up to recent things he’s said to you, even though you have seen him say the opposite across several items, and seen newspaper articles quoting him so? And, when you press him for details on how he is going to deliver results, he cannot consistently give you much other than the high level?

    You speak bravely, but sorry – I find it a stretch.
    .

    If he were to win, though I’m confident not, I’d be willing to see what he actually does from election day up through the end of the “first 100 days”.

    If he were to surprise us all and deftly navigate the political processes and gains the support needed to push through conservative reforms – he’d definitely earn my gratitude.

    If I were to see the f up and chaos that he’s set my expectation on, I have a feeling the same folks arguing for trump here today would find excuses to explain all that away, assigning blame – and, ultimately, largely, rationalize it as “well it’s not clinton!!”.
    .

    No matter the outcome, this is an election that nobody but the burn it all down and alt-r crowd can be happy about.

  107. Big Maq Says:

    Correction: He may have me on board – I still want specifics to see if he actually is following conservative policies.

  108. Richard Saunders Says:

    Well, BigMaq, you’ve proved DNW’s point — no matter how many times you’re asked, you can’t answer my question. It’s just “Bad Trump! Bad, Bad Trump! Bad boy!”

    Let us know when you come up with your plan to right the country after Hillary. I won’t be holding my breath.

  109. Bill Says:

    Richard

    Here’s a plan

    – purge the alt right and white supremacist wing from the Republican party

    – learn from the yuge unforced error that was 2016

    – get rid of our conspiracy theory victimized apocalyptic doomsaying. Put some lead back in the Republican pencil

    – fire Reince Priebus and hire someone wise, good and effective in his place

    – hold Congress

    – form an effective loyal opposition to Hillary Clinton

    – “effective” means compromise where we must and hold the line where we must

    – search the party for communicators and leaders who can effectively communicate what Republicans believe

    – repudiate Trumpism

    – come up with the “replace” plan in repeal and replace for Obamacare. Convince the public of the wisdom of the replace plan

    – come up with a viable strategy and legislative proposals to solve our immigration problems

    – come up with a viable plan to solve our debt crisis.

    – engage with minorities , the young, women. A ton of work to win them back

    – quit listening to the ratings-whores on “conservative” media

    – we can’t learn how to defeat our adversaries until we understand them. We can’t learn a thing in the fever swamps of the “conservative” media bubble

    – never elect these people to anything, and quit listening to them: Chris Christie, Rudy G, Newt, Mike Pence, and the spineless Trump-captives in Congress.

    – believe in what we believe. Don’t assume others won’t just cause they come from traditional Democratic constituencies.

    That’s a start. If Trump wins this will be moot. If Hillary wins why don’t we consider this conversation?

  110. Bill Says:

    Why don’t we *continue* this conversation?

  111. Brian E Says:

    Bill,
    I started to reply somethin like I see you’re planning for a permanent minority status.

    But here’s my take on a few of the items you listed.

    – come up with the “replace” plan in repeal and replace for Obamacare. Convince the public of the wisdom of the replace plan
    – come up with a viable strategy and legislative proposals to solve our immigration problems
    – come up with a viable plan to solve our debt crisis.

    There are several plans to move away from Obamacare, centered around HSA’s, which when properly understood is a good option for middle class and up. Price transparency. Allow insurance carriers to offer plans across state lines. Of course, repealing Obamacare would remove the list of required coverage that, in part, has affected premiums.
    You do know that if Hillary is elected, the left has boxed conservatives into “fixing” Obamacare until it is de facto Medicare for all.
    It goes like this. Obamacare is falling apart. Congress passes reforms, Hillary vetoes them and the MSM, day after day, proclaims that their premiums are skyrocketing, access is declining because Congress refuses to accept the reasonable alternative that Hillary has offered to fix it. It’s essentially the government shutdown play and Congress will fold, like they have in the past.

    Demographics are not on our side. While we’re convincing immigrants why they should adopt conservative principles, Hispanic immigrants that were too young to vote in the 2000 and 2004 elections are now voting age. Couple that with the continued “normalization” of illegals into the voting process and amnesty will become irrelevant, though that will be the outcome. If you were thinking of amnesty as part of your solution, well you’re plan is going to work.

    We could seal the border, enforce existing immigration laws, deport the worst of the lot, allow a yellow card status to existing illegals that gives them the right to stay in the country, but no path to citizenship short of returning to their home country and applying like every other immigrant. Repeal motor voter laws– since that is where the abuse of our voting laws begins. End early voting.

    None of that will happen if Hillary is elected, and with a couple of leftist SC justices won’t ever happen.

    Solve the debt crisis. It’s called haircuts for all. OK, I’m kidding– maybe. There is only one solution to this problem. We can’t cut budgets enough to make up for this crisis. We must grow the economy. At a rate we haven’t seen since the 50’s and 60’s– in the 4% range. End defined benefit pension plans and move to defined contribution. As city, state, and federal pension plans fail– haircut.

  112. Brian E Says:

    Bill,
    I haven’t read how the democrats intend to fix Obamacare, but re-instituting the provision to cover the insurance companies losses would do it.
    This has the added benefit of allowing the left to rail against the subsidies for those evil insurance companies.
    The obvious solution to that is cut out the middleman by adding a public option.
    I read somewhere that Hillarie’s proposals, if enacted would add another $20 trillion in debt if she served 8 years.

  113. Bill Says:

    Brian E

    Nothing in my list of steps said become a permanent minority party. It was in fact a series of steps that would help the GOP regain the Presidency in 2020

    Unless you believe HRC is going to preside over a great economy and wonderful Obamacare for the next four years, she should be eminently beatable in 2020. Why don’t we figure out how to do that?

    Unless the ONLY plan, the only hope is a DJT win, it’s good to think about how we’re going to get back

    If he wins, then toss my plan in the trash. If he doesn’t, I would counsel against despair.

    Regarding the MSM. We need more conservative news outlets that aren’t just echo chambers for conservative paranoia. We don’t have any now (Fox news doesn’t count anymore).

    Can we quit being victims and do something about that?

    If Obamacare isn’t fixed because HRC vetoes all reforms, it doesn’t matter what the MSN says about Republicans. Everyone knows Obamacare belongs solely to the Democratic party.

    Regarding actual non-citizens voting. I am completely against that, just like you. But the Republican party seems to be more focused on trying to get certain segments of our country’s actual citizens to not vote. Like all the Hispanic citizens you mentioned that weren’t old enough to vote in 2004. You know, they are Americans too, just as much as you and me.

    Is that really the strategy? That’s both stupid AND immoral.

  114. Big Maq Says:

    “Well, BigMaq, you’ve proved DNW’s point — no matter how many times you’re asked, you can’t answer my question.” Richard Sanders

    I didn’t prove your point – I SAID I don’t have a great plan.

    And, I told you WHY. Who anticipated a takeover by someone like trump that we should suddenly have a great plan for what to do if he loses?

    Last time I answered that question, I admitted I had no great expertise on this, but I got scoffs in return for it’s lack of detail / depth.

    OTOH, in the face of that honesty, ask those who support trump what their “plan B” is, should he lose to clinton?

    Crickets! And, more smug scoffs to avoid answering – rather like this quote above of yours. It’s all an avoidance to being honest and saying you don’t have a great plan either.

    It’s rather obvious, as it doesn’t take much thought to conclude that it should be pretty much the same plan.

    It seems that kind of goofy posturing is part of what got us to trump to begin with.

    Time for some honest conversation on what next, don’t you think? Or, do you truly think “all is lost” and nothing can be done?

  115. Big Maq Says:

    “There are several plans to move away from Obamacare, centered around HSA’s, which when properly understood is a good option for middle class and up. Price transparency. Allow insurance carriers to offer plans across state lines. Of course, repealing Obamacare would remove the list of required coverage that, in part, has affected premiums.” – Brian E

    I think the GOP finally settled on one (actually, IDK if the GOP has all bought into it yet – especially while trump is running), but still a little high level.
    http://abetterway.speaker.gov/_assets/pdf/ABetterWay-HealthCare-PolicyPaper.pdf

    This is far from the idea market based approach I’d want, but it does address some serious concerns citizens have (e.g. pre-existing conditions with a 5 to 1 – older to younger – max ratio on premiums) – see pg 20.

    I haven’t fully reviewed it, but that might be a starting point for what to advocate.

    I don’t know if the feds can mandate cross border insurance, as you suggest, as that gets into the fed vs state responsibilities to regulate.

    If we want it to be more market based, one of the issues is price transparency. I don’t think it is addressed, but will need medical services publishing their prices to enable real shopping… like this hospital:
    http://surgerycenterok.com/pricing/

    However, you have it right. clinton in the WH probably means “fixing” the ACA, or adopting something like a “universal” hc insurance system, if she has her way.

    How we navigate towards what we think is a better way, despite this, will require much more focus.
    .

    Anyway, thanks Brian! This is more along the lines of what we need to be discussing now, IMHO.

  116. Brian E Says:

    “… Everyone knows Obamacare belongs solely to the Democratic party.”

    “… the Republican party seems to be more focused on trying to get certain segments of our country’s actual citizens to not vote.. ” -Bill

    ____

    Bill,
    When peoples premiums are skyrocketing in double digits annually, they won’t care whose fault it is, they will want it fixed. And the MSM can make the fault seem to lie with the Republicans in Congress that refuse to fix it.

    I really don’t understand what you’re saying in the second quote. How are Republicans trying to prevent legal voters from voting?

  117. Bill Says:

    Brian E – I disagree that people don’t care who’s fault it is. When an economy is tanking or a disaster like ObamaCare is happening, people definitely place blame. This has been proven over and over again – it’s really hard to win an election when your party has presided over bad times. That’s one reason McCain didn’t have a chance in 2008 (even though I think the housing bubble/crisis was caused by Democrats, Republicans had the presidency at the time). This year Obamacare’s tanking, along with about a million other things, should have helped the GOP win. But we nominated Trump, and so all bets are off (although he still may win and if he does trust me what’s happening with Obamacare will be cited as a reason).

    The MSM is less powerful every year, due to alternative forms of media. If the Republicans could raise up some solid communicators they could speak more loudly than the MSM.

    Regarding my second quote – I didn’t state it right, and I apologize. I’m not accusing Republicans of voter suppression. It’s more that it seems (as I’ve stated a ton of times) a real desire for the GOP to somehow survive as a whites-only party. Your comment about hispanics coming of age to vote now (and the implication is that’s a bad thing) – well, I don’t think the GOP hoping non-whites don’t vote is a winning strategy.

    I hope that makes sense and I apologize for implying anything beyond that.

  118. Bookworm Beat 11/6/16 -- the "Election Countdown" edition Says:

    […] Will chaos theory still control the election? With Hillary being buffeted by Wiki- and Weiner-leaks, is she the chaos candidate in this election? And in that regard, I don’t think Comey’s reiterated decision not to recommend her for prosecution matters. Once he created an entirely fictional “lack of intent” standard and read it into the controlling statutes, unless there was an email standing, “I, Hillary Clinton, intend to violate national security laws because I’m stupid, for my convenience, and to hide the flow of illegal cash into my false charity and my very real deep pockets,” there was no way Comey could ever find anything that would justify referring her to the DOJ. That’s why he was able to get his team to “review” 650,000 emails in just a few days. But back to chaos theory. Neo-Neocon thinks that as Trump begins to look like the more stable candidate, the crown that Hillary managed to wear for much of the campaign season, he seems like the safer bet. […]

  119. Ymarsakar Says:

    Last time I answered that question, I admitted I had no great expertise on this, but I got scoffs in return for it’s lack of detail / depth.

    One of the problems with Americans talking about national election is that their IQ starts dropping due to the lack of accountability.

    It’s much easier to hold people to account for the organizations and tasks they have done in their life, rather than hypothetical “plans in DC” that they will never get the chance to carry out. As a result, no matter how many plans people make here, there is no way to settle the argument, because they won’t be the ones who implement any such plan.

  120. Ymarsakar Says:

    But if you are only against Trump, without any consideration of the alternative, then you aren’t fully analyzing the situation.

    My alternative to American liberty is the might of arms through the Lord of hosts. In refusing to consider that alternative, people get stuck in the Left’s catch 22 trap with NY Democrat vs another NY Demoncrat.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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