Thread: Good King Trump
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:09 AM
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erimir erimir is offline
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Default Re: Good King Trump

You know... most of the DNC staff HAS been replaced. So... I mean... But either way, I don't think of Clinton's campaign as an abject failure.

We can look at what the campaign did and evaluate not just based on the final outcome...
  • Clinton and the Democrats put on an excellent convention (in my opinion), much better than Trump's. Both the polls and the news coverage seemed to support this.
  • Clinton dominated the debates. Again, this was supported by polls and much coverage (and my personal view - particularly the first debate). She set a trap for Trump in that first debate that had him flailing for a week.
  • Clinton had many good policy proposals. While people still whine that Democrats need to move to the left, on the whole her/the DNC's platform was the most progressive ever run by a Democrat.
  • She had a fundamentally competent and professional campaign (it did not leak damaging info like a sieve, like Trump's). This is not to say it was amazing, it wasn't as good as Obama 2012, say, but compared to campaigns generally it seems to have been fine. We've seen plenty worse.
  • She won the popular vote by 2% and only barely lost in the tipping point states. As far as "losers" go,
    only Al Gore can really claim to have lost by less.

There were plenty of mistakes, of course. She is not the greatest speechifier, and her ads may have focused on the wrong issues, resource allocation was probably not optimal (although spending more time in Wisconsin would not have saved the election - she spent plenty of time and money in PA and FL, and without those two WI was irrelevant). Clinton's baggage in combination with a ratfucking campaign by Russia, Wikileaks and elements within the FBI (building off years of work by the GOP to smear her) and a feckless both-sides media that amplified those efforts was enough to BARELY deliver the election for the GOP.

This in a year that should've favored them anyway: the Democrats were seeking a third term and the economy was just ok. You can also see that political polarization (tribalism) has steadily increased over time - a clue being that the GOP surely should've lost in 2008 by more than a measly 7 pts! They imploded the economy, failed disaster response, lied us into a war and then bungled it, tried to destroy Social Security and had many, many scandals. In a sane country, it would've been a rout. Yet nobody argues that Obama and the 2008 DNC were hopelessly incompetent.

Tribe trumps rational evaluation of the parties for enough voters to keep it close by historical standards, even when they have completely screwed the pooch (2008) or are running a bigoted, ignorant, impulsive, pussy-grabbing narcissist.

Also I think you're underselling the appeal of Trump's racism and misogyny. It was the continuation of a trend within the GOP, sure. But it was a significant difference from McCain and Romney. Surveys found a significantly stronger correlation between sexism/racism and support for Trump than for Romney, for example. I'd also see this:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
the Republicans have been running candidates on a policy of racism, sexism, and blaming the poor and middle class for their own problems (while doing everything they can to stack the deck against the poor and middle class and in favor of the wealthy) for decades now.
As evidence that beating Trump shouldn't have been a gimme. Republicans won quite a few elections with that formula, after all! But where Trump differed (although an informed reading of his history and statements would've revealed it to be obvious bullshit) was that he promised not to cut the social safety net and ran a significantly more economically centrist campaign. It was all lies, given his statements elsewhere, and his behavior being in contradiction to much of it, and the media should've made that clear. But instead it was Clinton's emails and unfiltered footage of Trump's podium.

Anyway, it doesn't look like an abject failure to me. There wasn't a magic formula to get an LBJ-style landslide, IMO, given the political and media environment. Utterly destroying Trump was not an easy lift, as disturbing as that conclusion is.

Which isn't to say they don't need to think about a lot of things and make changes. But I don't see why you would conclude that they need to be razed to the ground. That relies on basically viewing the election as a gimme, and I really don't think it was. And crucially, the Russian ratfucking campaign only began after the primaries were over. In hindsight we can say that Sanders was less vulnerable to Russia's attacks/they may have been less motivated to attack him, but there was no hint of that during the main part of the primaries.
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