2016 Politics open thread, December 18-24

What’s on your mind this week?


79 thoughts on “2016 Politics open thread, December 18-24

  1. My sister’s neighbors are featured in the NY Times!

    I will always remember her colleague I never met, nicknamed Booger and so-called by everyone but human resources.

  2. Does your sister actually know anyone in the article? Not that it matters, it just adds human interest.

  3. No, and the article isn’t specific enough for me to know if it’s the low-employment rural Michigan county she lived in for a while.

  4. Re: raising the SS age – I think 65 for early and 67-68 for everyone is probably the right age. 70 seems a little too late.

  5. Someone will be along shortly to point out that the Clintons sold access to the Lincoln Bedroom in exchange for donations.

  6. So given the sheer number of awful nominees and policy initiatives, how should the Democrats practice triage? I say they should hold the line on healthcare – don’t go along with anything that is weaker than the ACA ( and yes, high risk pools are much weaker because they are known to not work), and fight Flynn because he is the looniest of the loony nominees. Maybe that nominee for ambassador to Israel too.

  7. “I say they should hold the line on healthcare – don’t go along with anything that is weaker than the ACA”

    There are nine Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 from states in which Trump beat Clinton: Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida. They were elected in 2012 along with Obama, and in less than two years they’ve got to face their state’s more-conservative midterm electorate.

    They’re not necessarily going to be champing at the bit to filibuster.

  8. Lean on them how? The only threat would be getting “primaried.” But Democrats don’t have a Tea Party.

    More likely, they’re going to look at the fact that since ACA was passed, their party has suffered three absolutely devastating elections (2010, 2014, 2016) with Obamacare being used as a weapon against them.

  9. Also, there is no filibuster right now for executive or judicial nominees, with the exception of Supreme Court nominees. So there’s not going to be any triaging there.

    That was a gift from Harry Reid.

  10. My Facebook feed is pretty full of progressives actively studying the tactics of the Tea Party and trying to see if we can replicate them. They may or may not be galvanized enough to actually do something.

  11. It will certainly be fun to watch, and I’m not being sarcastic. Nobody predicted such a dramatic reversal of fortune between 2008 and 2016. I was a freshman in high school when Newt Gingrich won the House with Contract with America, and I didn’t understand why my Civics teacher thought it was such a big deal. But it had been under one party for 40 years.

  12. I cannot believe that Newt has crawled out from under his rock! He is such a terrible person. Smart but truly terrible.

  13. The Democrats best bet is to fight changes that are likely to be unpopular. Keep in mind that Trump lost the popular vote. And I think most Trump voters did not bargain on cuts to Medicare and SS – he promised he wouldn’t, after all. There is such a thing as overreaching.

  14. “Keep in mind that Trump lost the popular vote.”

    Oh for Christ’s sake, how could anyone forget?!

    Unless a whole bunch of Californians are fixing to move to the Rust Belt, it’s irrelevant.

  15. Trump vacillates between saying that he won the popular vote and saying that he could have won the popular vote if that is what mattered. It seems to matter quite a bit to Mr. NPD that he did not. Or maybe it is just our fact-free zone that we all now inhabit.

  16. And Kate, if Bill hadn’t pushed his way onto Lynch’s plane (to talk about his grandchildren, of course), then she would have been in a position to be the one deciding on what charges to bring, which is how it normally works. It was only through the Clintons’ maneuvering, which backfired, that they needed Comey in that position.

    One takeaway from the whole mess is, if your preferred candidate is under criminal investigation throughout the primaries, it might be prudent to nominate someone else, regardless of whose “turn” it is.

  17. I think he probably could have if that was the game he was playing. Apparently the rallies had a big effect on attendees, and so rallies in CA and NY could have paid big dividends.

  18. It is also possible that Hillary could have won the popular vote by an even greater margin if that were “the game” she was playing. She did zero campaigning in NY and California and made zero effort to get out the vote in those states, but still won by huge margins. One can imagine that actual efforts to get voters to the polls in the population centers of those states would have resulted in even bigger wins. The bottom line is that Trump knows he has a shaky mandate at best. That’s why he keeps obsessing about this issue. Can you imagine what Republicans would do if Hillary had won the EC but lost the popular vote by almost 3 million? They would be rioting in the streets, just like Trump said they should do when he thought Romney would win the popular vote in 2012.

  19. If I acknowledge (as I have) that Hillary’s voice was kind of grating, will one of you conservatives please acknowledge that KellyAnne Conway’s voice and demeanor are grating? Jeez, nails on a chalkboard.

  20. Perhaps Trump wouldn’t obsess about the issue if Democrats were able to accept the loss rather than engaging in their own endless obsessions about the evils of the Electoral College and taking to the streets with disgraceful “not my President!” tantrums. Trump doesn’t seem to “know” that he has a shaky mandate. With Republicans in control of Congress and dominating state governments as well, it’s hard not to see at least some form of “mandate” in his favor.

  21. Perhaps Trump wouldn’t obsess about the issue if Democrats were able to accept the loss

    Yes, just like the conservatives gracefully accepted Obama.

  22. No, I actually like Kellyanne a lot. And my mom adores her.

    In the spirit of harmony, I will acknowledge that I really don’t like Trump’s kids all that much. I don’t have anything specifically against them, but they just come across as sooo rich and entitled, and it’s not really a great look. Sure, you can say they’re hard workers and they seem to have flown the straight and narrow, which is no small feat for kids of a thrice-married and philandering billionaire, but they’re not exactly endearing, either. Trump is only endearing (to me, somewhat) because he’s so decidedly unpolished and uncool with bad hair, and because he’s willing to wear a dorky hat. It all signals “I’m not better than you. The elites make fun of me all the time, just like they look down their noses at you, too.” But Trump’s kids have none of that self-deprecating image.

    But Kellyanne, I like her. And she’s always willing to put herself out there and be attacked mercilessly on totally unfriendly shows, like with the raging bitches on the View. She’s so sweet.

  23. After 8 years of Trump leading the birther movement (“you’re not going to believe what my investigators found out”), I don’t have any issue with the “not my president” protesters. He certainly did nothing to model respect for the office while Obama was president

  24. “Yes, just like the conservatives gracefully accepted Obama.”

    I don’t recall “Not my President” or the like. I could just be mistaken. With any politician that someone doesn’t like, there will inevitably be comparisons to Hitler, so I know that there are occasional bumper stickers and Facebook memes along the lines of “Guess what Hitler’s first action was — take away all the guns! Just like Obama wants to do.” But that was always more from the fringe. Now we have the same Hitler analogies, only from the NYT.

    And it’s stupid to debate mandates. Presidents accomplish whatever they’re able to. It depends on Congress, their personalities and leadership and persuasion abilities, their approval rating and “capital,” world events, etc. But it never depends on the percent of the popular vote.

  25. I honestly don’t remember young conservatives rioting in the street after Obama won, as “progressives” did in some 25 cities for days after the election. (After, of course, having warned Trump’s supporters that they needed to accept the results of a free and fair election.) “Not my President” is actually a lousy slogan, because it is contrary to reality.

  26. Trump is self-deprecating?????????? Huh? Clearly we are seeing a very different person. He is the most arrogant, self obsessed, ill humored person I have ever seen in the political arena. Trump, of Studio 54, Interview magazine, the Howard Stern show. The guy who threw his weight around the NYC social scene, desperately trying to prove that he was a bigger, better, richer, playboy, with fancier babes surrounding him, than the other celebs. This is a man who definitely thinks he is better, and more celebier too, than the rest of us. He looks down his nose at anyone who isn’t rich or gorgeous.

  27. Trump was utterly disrespectful to Obama. I am amazed that Obama can be so gracious to him now. I wouldn’t have even been able to have met with him

  28. “After, of course, having warned Trump’s supporters that they needed to accept the results of a free and fair election.”

    yes, and it was “horrifying what [Trump] said” in the third debate indicating that he may not accept the results of the election. “We are a country based on laws….One of the powerful marks is that we accept the results of the election…”

    And this is the best part: “whenever he is losing, he always blames something else, or blames the system.”

  29. Anthony Bourdain, another New Yorker who remembers the Trump of the 80’s and 90’s, on Trump
    “But I’m a New Yorker, Donald Trump is a New Yorker. And the New Yorkers I know, we’ve lived with this guy for 30 years. I’ve seen Donald Trump say things one day, and then I saw what he did the next. I’ve seen up close how he does business. Just like if you lived in a small town, you’d get to know the sheriff, the guy who runs the hardware store, the guy who runs the filling station — Trump comes from that era of guys you followed, guys you knew about every day: Trump, Giuliani, Al Sharpton, Curtis Sliwa. I’d see him at Studio 54, for fuck’s sake. I’m not saying I know the guy personally, not like I’d hug him, but I’m saying that as a New Yorker, we pretty much are neighbors. And my many years of living in his orbit have not left me with a favorable impression, let’s put it that way.”
    from an utterly delicious interview posted on Eater yesterday

  30. “He is the most arrogant, self obsessed, ill humored person I have ever seen in the political arena.”

    It’s an act. It’s such an act that it’s clear how the opposite is true. He’s always been a kid from Queens who never felt accepted by the Manhattan elites.

    And to me, it’s the refreshing opposite of the “We were dead broke!” or “We’ve dedicated our lives to ‘public service'” or, to go after my own party, Romney’s wife talking about how they were so poor they subsisted on canned tuna over the ironing board.

  31. Also in 2009, at tea party protests
    “Demonstrators waved signs saying, “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for the American””

    I don’t see a lot of acceptance of Obama as President when I read about the Tea Party protests. Obviously, they were completely within their rights to protest and complain, just as progressives are within their rights now.

  32. Look. This is not a political view. KellyAnne Conway is physically hideous and has an annoying voice. I’m amazed Donald “No Ugly Chicks” Trump can put up with her presence in the same room. If pressed I can find Democratic women who are also ugly. This is just a fact about the universe. She’s grotesque.

  33. “He is the most arrogant, self obsessed, ill humored person I have ever seen in the political arena.”

    He may well be all of those things, but he has plenty of company in the political arena. Before he had accomplished anything at all, Obama wrote not one but two memoirs. He famously commented that “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters, I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.” His speeches are so laden with self-references that websites keep track of them.

    The difference is that you like Obama.

  34. Milo, it is not an act. He has always worked on the assumption that having the biggest mansion, the hottest babes, the best access to the nightclubs, and the most coverage in the celeb mags makes him the classiest guy in the room. And he looks down on everyone who lives a plain, normal life.

  35. MM, I had mostly forgotten about the tea partiers. So I went to your link, which described a fistfight at a single tea party protest, which fight appears to have been provoked by an anti-tea party organization.

    “Tensions surrounded the Fort Lauderdale protest even before it began. A Florida chapter of ANSWER sent out an e-mail in the days leading up to the event, saying the Tea Partiers were racists:

    “Racism is like anything else in this world: in order to make it fall, you must smash it!” the e-mail notice read. “That is why we are calling on all people to come out tomorrow, to organize a militant confrontation with the so-called ‘tea baggers.’ Beating back these forces will require us to organize together, take the streets, fight the racists wherever they show their faces, and drive them out of every community.” ”

    Not really comparable to the anti-Trump protests already held and those planned for Inauguration Day.

  36. Trump was a spoiled rich kid with lots of connctions from Queens. Peter King on Trump’s Queens bonafides
    “As a guy who grew up in Queens, to keep hearing Donald Trump referred to as a Queens guy,” the now-Long Island-based congressman said on AM970 The Answer. “He grew up in Jamaica Estates. Jamaica Estates is like Park Avenue. There’s no tough guys from Jamaica Estates. That’s where all the rich kids were.”

  37. Mooshi – I do understand what you’re saying on one level. But there is another level where he so egotistical and absurd that you start to believe it must be an act in some way. Or maybe we each just see what we want to see. And that doesn’t mean one is correct and the other is wrong, they can both be true simultaneously.

  38. Scarlett, I remember the Tea Party rallies very well. They were numerous, loud, and angry. They had a lot of press coverage as a result.
    And I somehow doubt the women’s march planned for Jan 21 is planned to be violent.

  39. We walked by Trump Tower twice this past weekend, once while he was thanking the voters of Alabama, and another time when I think he was upstairs. In each case, there were only two protesters that I saw on all of Fifth Avenue.

    On the other hand, hundreds of people were taking happy selfies with the Tower in the background.

  40. Scarlett, you said “disgraceful “not my President!” tantrums. ” I would argue that signs saying “Don’t blame me I voted for the American” and showing Obama as an African witch doctor are pretty darn similar

  41. Trump needs to stop with the popular vote stuff. He won. Continuing to harp on it makes him look weak and stupid, particularly after all of the stuff he said about the electoral college. Kellyanne needs to manage that message a little better. I am hoping they SNL signs up Patrick Stewart to play her. When dressed as a woman it is a little crazy!

  42. Donald Trump Jr. goes all out on Twitter to be Regular Dad:

    I don’t know how I feel about it. Trying to see it from the other side, if it were Chelsea, I might be sick.

    But that doesn’t answer how people in the middle feel — swing voters.

  43. The least offensive thing about Donald and his family are the grandkids. Much better to be tweeting about them than the nuclear capability that is apparently going to be increasing now.

  44. We walked by Trump Tower twice this past weekend, once while he was thanking the voters of Alabama, and another time when I think he was upstairs. In each case, there were only two protesters that I saw on all of Fifth Avenue.

    On the other hand, hundreds of people were taking happy selfies with the Tower in the background.

    Were there many people going through security to 56th street to try to support the businesses that are going under?

  45. Denver – I’m having a hard time connecting that to Trump, with his Jewish son-in-law as a top adviser. Or are you also someond who blames Obama for the murders of police officers by BLM extremists?

    And you need not be concerned about Tiffany&Co.’s flagship store. When we strolled through, it was as crowded as ever.

  46. “But the parents said their child was “harassed by classmates” since the play’s cancellation was announced in November. They told LNP they’ve left Lancaster County out of concern not only for comments made about the play, but the pizzeria shooting incident in Washington, D.C.

    They hope to return and keep their child in the school, said LNP.” http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/12/school_says_cancelling_a_chris.html

    This is pretty thin evidence. An local website reports that a family allegedly decides to flee Lancaster for safety overseas because of a dispute over a school play, but also because a nutcase shows up at Comet Pizza in DC with a gun. He didn’t actually shoot anyone, btw. But they hope to return. And this is somehow the responsibility of Trump? Because Steve Bannon was at Breitbart, which published a contested version of the reasons for the school play cancellation?

    Meanwhile, in France, some 8000 Jews left for Israel in 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo attack. THAT is evidence of fear. This? Not so much.

  47. Looks like FADA is coming back to life. No, the LGBT community has nothing to worry about under Trump (please note disgusted sarcasm). And P.S., our PEOTUS supports FADA. So, yippee. Soon pharmacies can refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and hospitals can refuse to treat great people. I guess this is what Trump meant by MAGA. Lovely.

  48. Buzzfeed reported Dec 9 on Mike Lee and Ted Cruz’s plan (Mike Lee’s spokesman was the reported source) to reintroduce FADA in the new congress. Cruz was quoted as stating it will pass easily. NBC News in its subpage (NBC Out) for the LBGQT community ran an opinion piece yesterday, so the liberal outlets picked it up.

  49. Lancaster County is incredibly Mennonite. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting two of ’em. Here endeth what I know about Lancaster County.

  50. The ADL is absolutely right. Maybe next time the usual suspects will pause before passing along these kinds of stories.

  51. So now the Democrats are the anti-Israel party? Very strange that Breitbart and major US Jewish groups seem to be speaking with one voice on this issue.

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