White Dudes, Trump, and America

Original by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 2.0). Click on photo to go to the original.

Dear other white dudes:

Last night on the Las Vegas debate stage Donald Trump, for whom statistically speaking most us white dudes are planning to vote for, refused to say whether he would concede the election if it went against him, as it almost certainly will. He says he’s doing that because he believes the election is rigged — it’s really not — but in point of fact the reason he said it is because he’s a petulant man-child who can’t believe his manifest destiny to be president is being thwarted by a woman who he doesn’t even find sexually attractive, which means that to him she’s hardly a woman at all. “Inconceivable!” he cries, like Vizzini in The Princess Bride, while Clinton, in the guise of the Dread Pirate Roberts, comes to take what he’s rightfully stolen (who is Princess Buttercup in this scenario? Why, the US, of course).

Now, as a matter of procedure, it doesn’t matter if Trump decides to concede or not. Unless the vote in any individual state is so close as to trigger a recount (usually within half a percentage point), the individual states will tally up and certify the votes, and then in December the electors for each state — i.e., the people who actually vote for president in our wacky political system — will meet and cast their votes, and that will be that. There’s nothing in the constitution about our election system hinging on the candidates conceding.

Legally speaking, if Trump loses, he can stomp his feet and hold his breath until he turns blue, and Hillary Clinton will still be President of the United States. So this is literally a question about whether Donald Trump wants to be a yutz when he loses. And he might! The track record for Trump being a yutz when he loses anything — primaries, Emmy votes, probably a game of Yahtzee — is pretty significant. And each of those times, his being a yutz didn’t change anything. He still lost. He was still a loser.

That said, the presidential election isn’t the Emmy for Best Variety Show (or whichever category Trump’s show lost in), it’s the actual Presidency of the United States, and the people who are voting for Trump — that’s largely us, white dudes! — are invested in his winning. And if he doesn’t win, and again it’s really unlikely that he will, and he doesn’t concede the election, the question then becomes: What will the white dudes do? Will we break with Trump, decide to honor the two centuries of constitutional transfer of power from one administration to the other, or do we stick with Trump and also stomp our feet and hold our breath until we turn blue because we just didn’t get our way? Because in point of fact, if we decide to do the latter, and certainly Trump appears to be down with that, we could do real damage to concept of peaceful transfer of power here in the United States.

So, as a white dude, let me speak to all y’all other white dudes, particularly the ones of you planning to vote for Trump, and especially the ones of you who might be giddy at the idea of Trump not conceding the election if Hillary Clinton wins.

1. No one candidate is more important than the peaceful transfer of power. If you want to claim to be a real American — and I know you do, it’s kind of a cornerstone of the white dude self-image here in the US — respect for the constitutional process of transferring power from one presidential administration to another is more important than any particular candidate. Dudes, do you think I was happy when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush on a 5-4 Supreme Court vote that in my mind was fucking specious in terms of its reasoning? No! And yet when the decision came down, that was that — the constitutional process had ground out a decision that handed the election to Bush, and it was time for Gore to go home, which to his eternal credit, he did, publicly conceding the election to Bush. And I was fine with that. Not happy, mind you. But fine.

(Before anyone compares what Trump is saying with what happened with Bush/Gore, unless the actual electoral college vote in 2016 comes down to a single state that has an automatic recount procedure, there’s no actual comparison, and in any event, that’s not what Trump was asked.)

Now, maybe Trump is just being coy about having respect for the constitutional process of selecting a president, but then, he’s a thin-skinned whiner with the manners of an angry toddler, so that’s not surprising. But what about you? Will you also act as unto a screaming pre-schooler told he has to share his toys? Or will you sack up and be more gracious than the man you are statistically likely to vote for? Will you actually be the grown-up adult male that your age heavily implies you are?

For the record, if at this point the absolutely improbable happens and Trump wins the election for President, you know what I will fully expect Hillary Clinton to do? Concede the election! And here’s the thing: She will! Because that’s how it’s done. And because she, at least, is a grown-up.

2. The election isn’t rigged. Now, I know what some of you will say there — but Hillary’s a cheater! The election is rigged! The fix is in! Look at this video I found on the Internet! The media is complicit!

Guys, no. The election isn’t rigged — see the link above, which explains why it’s almost impossible to actually rig a presidential election. Your willingness to argue that the election is riggable is a good indicator of how susceptible you are to privileging your own sense of entitlement over actual and verifiable fact, something Trump, that glorious tangerine-hued ignoramus, knows all about. Be better than Trump in this regard. He doesn’t want you to be, because he doesn’t want to admit he’s losing fair and square. But you don’t have to indulge him.

As for the media, if you come at me with the latter-day rationalization that what “rigged” really means is that the media is in the tank for Hillary, I’m going to laugh at you for two reasons. One, during the primaries, Trump got so much press and used it to his advantage so well that he spent eight times less on ads than Jeb Bush, and five times less than Marco Rubio, and won the candidacy. Trump still dominates the press, because he’s a walking garbage fire of a candidate, and — here’s a news flash! — political garbage fires are good for media company bottom lines. Mind you, the press didn’t make Trump a garbage fire; he was a garbage fire all on his own. The press is merely pointing to Trump and saying: Hey, look at that garbage fire! If Trump wants better press (I mean, aside from the sycophantic bunghole tonguing he receives from Breitbart), maybe he should consider not being a garbage fire.

Two, if you want to argue that Clinton got a free ride from the press, I’ll be happy to match you up with a liberal who will be delighted to argue with you for years about how the press went after the alleged email scandal far longer than the story warranted, not to mention all the various Wikileaks and so on. You two will have fun yelling at each other!

What is true, I’d argue, and especially in recent days, is that every time something potentially damaging to Clinton comes out, Trump has to go out and do or say something stupid, like, oh, I don’t know, say he won’t fucking concede the election if he loses it. Why does that get more play than something in Clinton’s email? Because Clinton’s email is small beer, and fucking not conceding the election is actually a pretty big deal. If you think the two are equivalent, pull your head out of your asshole, please, wipe yourself off, and get a grip.

3. Donald Trump isn’t worth fucking up the US of A for. No one is, to be clear, but especially Donald Trump, who is an honest-to-God piece of shit human being who no one should ever have supported. He’s a bad businessman whose business model actively includes cheating little people out of what he owes them, which makes his support from small business people just plain mind-boggling, since they are the very people he screws out of their money for his gold-encrusted sink faucets; he’s ignorant as shit; he’d grope your wife, sister or daughter if he thought he could, and you left the room; he’d lie to your face and call you an asshole when you pointed out he was lying; he’s easily provoked into doing stupid things; and if he were a character in Red Dawn (the classic version, not the inessential remake), he’d be the one sucking up to the Russkies. He’s every boss who makes you work overtime and doesn’t want to pay you for it; every landlord who won’t snake the toilet or fix the radiator but raises your rent like clockwork; every schmuck who cuts in line in front of you and dares you to make something of it.

He’s a fucking asshole, in other words, and you’d maybe want to go to the constitutional mat for him? Why? Because he’s rich? Dudes, he’s not that rich, and the way he got rich was by fucking over other people, and if that’s all right with you, it’s time for an examination of your own sense of morality. Because he “tells it like it is?” He doesn’t tell it like it is, he tells it like he wants you to believe it is, and bullies any one who says otherwise. Because he’s not “politically correct”? Well, that’s because he’s a goddamn bigot, my friend, and it’s a bad look on him and on you. Because he’s an outsider? Aw, bullshit. He’s been a grasping social climber for years. There’s nowhere he’d rather be than inside.

Because he’s fighting for you? Oh, son. Just, no. Donald Trump never “fought” for anyone other than himself — look at his decades-long track record for confirmation of that. And when it comes down to you or him, he’ll go him every time. Just ask the GOP, who is currently living in regret. You might be signing up to be the willing tool of a dude who would kick you to the curb the moment you weren’t useful to him, and who would call you a loser when he did. It’s not if he’ll do it. It’s when.

Why the fuck would you toss everything you possibly claim to believe in as an American for this absolute cocknugget of a human being?

Well, there’s an answer, but you’re not going to like it.

4. If you’re okay with Trump not conceding, you’re signaling you’re possibly a racist, sexist piece of shit who would rather tear everything down than not to let a white dude have his way. Now, you can rationalize this any way you like, but at the end of the day, this is what it looks like, because to a very large extent, this is what it is. There will be no legitimate reason to contest this election if Clinton wins it; the way we’ve set up our elections assures she will win it fair and square. There is no legitimate reason for Trump not to concede should he lose — it really is the absolute minimum he can do, and if he doesn’t then he proves without a single shadow of doubt that he didn’t deserve the office he contested for, because he fundamentally did not understand what it was about.

If Trump doesn’t concede, there is no legitimate reason for you or anyone else to fight for Trump’s shitty little tantrum except because you’re having a shitty little tantrum right next to him. Because you don’t want to share, basically. Because a woman, who was voted into office by basically everyone who wasn’t a white male, beat out a white dude and as a white dude, you just can’t take it.

And I get that! We’ve been here before, you know — like, oh, the last eight fucking years, when the GOP dined out on the latent and no-so-latent racism of white dudes like us to illegitimize the current president of the United States as much as it possibly could. Every flower of GOP obstinacy, from birth certificates to the Senate declining to do its actual job and take a vote on a Supreme Court justice because it has a theory that a president’s term is actually only kind of around three years long has a long, hard root in the pool of racism that white dudes in particular swim around in. There are other roots — it’s not like the GOP didn’t go after Bill Clinton, after all, so it’s not all racism and sexism — but let’s not kid ourselves. That’s a lot of what it was.

And now here we are in 2016 and when it comes to conceding this election, there’s no real principle at stake here other than fuck all those people, we should have won.

Who’s we? Well, who is voting for Trump? It’s not a lot of minorities here in the US, that’s for sure. It’s not women, in general or even the white women — even Republican women don’t support Trump in the numbers they generally support GOP candidates with. The core of Trump’s support is white dudes. And as they say, #NotAllWhiteDudes, since in fact many support Clinton or other candidates (hello!). But that’s his core of support. It’s us, white dudes.

We’re the people Trump wants to “watch” the polls — the way he suggests that’s done, incidentally, sounds like a lot like voter intimidation — and the ones he expects to raise a ruckus about rigged elections if he doesn’t get what he wants. He’s relying on white dudes to be racist and sexist on his behalf before and after the election, and let’s make no mistake that if he should win the election, the white dudes who are actively and unapologetically racist and sexist intend to capitalize on that win.

If you go along with his plan, you’re down with all of this. Again, rationalize it all you want. You won’t fool anyone.

Here’s the thing: It’s not going to work. It has the possibility of making a mess in the short term, but Clinton doesn’t need Trump’s concession, and all the people who voted for Hillary Clinton (or at least, against Trump) are not going away. They’ll be back election after election, and demographics are on their side. They’re not going to forget if Trump loses and refuses to concede and calls on his supporters to make a mess. They’re not going to forget who it was who rallied to Trump’s side to say everyone else’s vote didn’t count, or didn’t count as much as the votes of white dudes and their preferred candidate. They’ll remember what that actually means.

So: Trump, or the United States. White dudes, if Trump loses the election and doesn’t concede, you’re going to have to decide which is more important to you. All us white dudes are going to have to decide. Everyone else will be watching.

Choose wisely.

155 Comments on “White Dudes, Trump, and America”

  1. Notes:

    1. Hey, two political posts in the same day! Can you tell I finished my book?

    2. Mallet is out, remember to be polite, and inasmuch as I expect this piece to bring in a lot of new folks/flybys, if you haven’t already, please read the sites’ comment policy. It pertains to you.

    3. In case there was any doubt about my feelings about Trump conceding, speaking as a white dude, I can say: Dude should suck it up, and if he doesn’t, then everyone should treat him like the sore loser he is and consign him to history.

    4. There’s a reasonable chance white dudes reading this might be upset that they’re being singled out for commentary here. But, speaking as a fellow white dude, let me just say: Deal with it, dudes. I get to talk about us when I want.

    5. Along the lines of above, if some particularly silly white dudes (or others) try to pollute the comment thread with taunts about how I’m a beta cuck or whatever, I’m just going to snip those out, so a) maybe don’t bother, b) if the rest of you run across a comment like that, leave it alone, I’ll get to it sooner or later. Thanks.

    6. I do think it should be clear that the crux of the issue in this entry is not voting for Trump (although I personally think that’s not a great idea and would not advise it), but siding with Trump if he decides not to concede. If you vote for Trump and if he loses go, “Well, this sucks, but we’ll be back in 2020, BWA HA HA HA HAH HA,” one, I will compliment you on your evil laugh, two, we have no problems here.

    I may add more later. In the meantime, remember: Play nice.

  2. Thank you for this, John. As a middle aged white dude, myself, I am volunteering as a poll watcher for Mrs. Clinton. Why? Because I want white dudes who think that the election is rigged to see that there are actual white dudes who support her. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the truly important things about this country.

  3. My fear is not that there will be civil war or that the pillars of democracy will crumble because Trump is the overgrown, bald version of a whiny toddler who’s just been told he can’t eat cookies for dinner, but the delegitimization thing. If he decides the election really was “rigged,” then we could see at least the hard-line Trumpist/Tea Party types in Congress not only refusing to play ball with the administration in even the most minor way for another 4-8 years, but outright insisting that the president was installed illegally. Just think: constant demands for impeachment proceedings from the House whackos, refusal to consider any nomination no matter how trivial, etc. Fun!

    I think this Twitter thread describes how that could ultimately play out.

  4. As a white dude it saddens me to realize that every word you wrote is correct.

    I know guys who are not going to be able to let this go. I want to think they know better. I want to believe they wont do this.

    But they will.

    And the question then becomes…what do I do about them?

    Honestly? I don’t know.

  5. As another average white dude, thank you so much for using your writer brain for good and not evil. And I really really hope (just like with Palin, whoops) that this time is truly the nadir. Or that the fight becomes one between progressives and centrists.

  6. Hmm. Maybe keep Steve’s comment in there as illustrative of the entire point.

    The analogy I’ve been thinking about is not a child peevish to be forced to share toys, but rather one throwing a tantrum when told it’s time to go home.

    Let’s all concede we’ll be at least exhaustedly grateful when this is over.

  7. “cheating little people out of what he owes him”

    Should be “what he owes them”

    In response to the article–

    Speaking as a straight white dude, fuck this septic pustule on the face of humanity, fuck his fascist bullshit, and fuck the horse he rode in on. He’s now saying that he will respect the result only if he wins. I have gone past mere hatred for this Goering clone with a golden retriever glued to his head. We already had a Hermann Goering, and he was quite enough, thank you very much. I hate the reeking sack of shit known as Donald Trump so much that I physically cannot hate him more. I’m skipping classes on the 8th to vote for Clinton and I’m proud to do so, and if the demonic hellspawn known as Donald Trump tries to do something asinine and starts a civil war, I will gladly volunteer for the US Army and die against his fascist toadies for our democracy and our nation. The un-American traitor known as Donald Trump is beyond unfit for office and has no regard for other human beings; this incompetent tire fire of a humanoid sack of waste must be stopped, period.

    I’m going to stop now because my soul is being consumed by the nuclear fire of my hatred for the pile of fermented offal that is Donald Trump and I want to think about something more positive. Also being angry is exhausting.

    Source on the Trump statement I reference: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trumps-stance-on-election-results-deepens-rifts-in-republican-party/ar-AAjbZ6h

  8. Here’s another voting-for-Hillary white dude who’s absolutely fine with your rant. Fellow white guys, this is not the hill that we–or any sane people–want to die on.

  9. Constitution be damned, we’re all about being parrototic and parroting whatever message gets our goats up. If behaving like Mel Gibbson on a three day bender, so be it. My manlihoodness depends on it.

  10. While I agree with your message, John, I have to question your delivery. If you’re really speaking particularly to white dude’s planning to vote for Trump – as you say your are – you’ve probably turned them off long before point #1. On the other hand, if you’re trying to entertain me (#NotAllWhiteDudes), well done.

  11. I don’t know if the Deplorables are reachable – they take an ignorant pride in their repulsiveness and hatred – but thank you for trying. I’m a white dude who is more than happy to elect the only qualified candidate as POTUS. Bonus that it’s a woman.

  12. I want to write something pithy, like “hell yes!” or something equally pithy like “you go Johnny!” but something tells me you may be preaching to the choir and the only non-choir viewers are the ones that love to hate you.

    There’s a guy one street over with a yard littered with Trump and “Deplorable, and proud of it” signs (six of the former and five of the latter). And those are the people you need to reach. But they have already built a wall (and a moat and have a shotgun by all the doors and several windows [hey, TEXAS, y’all]) and are completely entrenched in their opinions.

    I have a friend who is conservative and proud of it. HATES Democrats and has called Obama all sorts of offensive names. And he is the most reasonable one I’ve ever met because he actually doesn’t like Trump but refuses to vote for “Hitlery” (He won’t say her name just the insult) and doesn’t know who he will vote for and is considering just not voting at all.

    John, your essay is about a reasoned discussion of the issues at hand. And, as such, (as always) an excellent, well reasoned, well written essay. But it seems to me that most of the Trump supporters are not reasoning, they are just AFRAID. And fear will make you do strange and terrible things, including voting against your best interest.

  13. Like you said, this will happen, whether he wants it to or not, so no big worries there.

    What worries me is that he’s given all these nut-jobs a voice, and made them think this kind of behavior is okay.

    Certain GOP members have already said they will continue to block SCOTUS noms if HRC wins. Image how much easier that will be if they can tout that her presidency is somehow not legitimate. You know, like if they kept demanding her birth certificate or something equally silly and offensive.

    Also, I’m worried on a more personal level. The racist, sexist scumbags that have usually kept that crap to themselves, now think it’s okay to shout it from the mountaintops. I feel like they might be hard to deal with when they lose.

  14. Unfortunately, the folks to be most worried about are sociopaths, and shame has no effect on them.

  15. I’m not white, I’m sort of orangy-pink (when I get a sunburn). So at least JS isn’t talking about ME here.

  16. John, John, John… my sweet naïf. *Of course* the election is rigged. You’re an author, so you know that stories have to make sense. Do you think you could get away with writing a story about a candidate such as Trump who makes it to the top of the (festering) GOP heap? Of course not. Stories have to make sense. Ergo, the only way Trump became the leading candidate was by fixing the election. Q.E.D.

    Of course, this raises the question of why anyone would want to fix the election that way. Maybe the Illuminati have been *ahem* trumped by the top-secret committee of “Americans for Humility”. For proof, Google their name: you won’t find it!* Ergo: top-secret committee. Q.E.D.

    * Well, I did find one cryptic reference to this group. The exception that proves the rule?

    Thank God for logic.

  17. Bravo.

    The white dudes that really need to sack up and do their fucking jobs are the republicans in congress. It’s not a major stretch to say that they created this monster, or at least created the environment in which he was able to thrive, and they need to stand up and make it clear just where they stand, not weasel around with the constant endorse/don’t-really-endorse-but-will-vote-for bullshit. Some have, but where are Ryan and McConnell? Where’s their clear and definitive statement that the result of the election will be the result.


  18. Personally, I’m of the opinion that Trump’s ‘I’ll keep you in suspense’ comment was his textbook narcissism showing through again and that he’s far too stupid to comprehend the consequences of his comment with regards to American democracy. He was indulging his reality tv instincts of dragging things out and causing controversy while doing so.
    My expectation is that if he loses, everybody on the left AND the right (but not the far-right) will be shouting at him so much that he’ll choke, concede and then spend his remaining years trying to garner attention about how he was cheated out of it by the vast conspiracy against him.

  19. It might be wacky but it’s simply a variation on the British system that we copied in large part (House of Commons becoming House of Representatives being one example). We substituted having our elected Members of Parliament aka Members of The House for a system of Electors that for each State equaled their two Senators plus a vote for House of Representative member.

    What I find strange is that our founding fathers hewed so closely to a British system that they found a rather protracted and quite bloody war to gain independence form!

  20. I think you angry white dudes should fight it out, not because I think you are in anyway correct but because it’ll take the title of leading political trainwreck and possible destroyer of the global economy off of my country and the damn brexit. I’m not even sure you angry white dudes taking to the streets with your beards and guns and plaid vests, will even do that, but I think you should give it a go.

    No, wait, that’d be dumb. We deserve to be the bigger trainwreck right now, don’t follow our example. Be smart and just admit Trump was awful, and served mainly as political comedy, but was a dumbass thing to do. If you were going to vote Trump, please don’t, and if you do then at least accept it when he loses. Don’t take to the streets with your guns, your beards and plaid vests are fine though. If you still think Hillary is evil, then come up with a more competent evil dude for next time.

    You can keep Nigel Farage if you want though.

  21. When Trump refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election, my impression: He’s going to lose. He knows it. And he’s already preparing to shift/deflect the blame.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the impact of Trump’s shenanigans on national cohesion, unless the outcome is “Florida close.”

  22. New t-shirt idea. Face of future madam president with her ” is this guy for real?” face. On the back ” Who does that?!” Best line of the debates.

  23. Of course Trump’s complaining about “rigged elections” stems from the knowledge he’s going to lose, just as his complaining about Clinton’s supposedly cheating, somehow, at the debates stems from the knowledge he lost those too.

    They’re not going to forget if Trump loses and refuses to concede and calls on his supporters to make a mess. They’re not going to forget who it was who rallied to Trump’s side to say everyone else’s vote didn’t count, or didn’t count as much as the votes of white dudes and their preferred candidate. They’ll remember what that actually means.

    I also hope Clinton and her supporters don’t forget that Congressional Republicans planned to obstruct Obama from day one of his presidency, and do everything they can to name, blame and shame them for the similar shenanigans they are likely to pull over Clinton’s eight years. Yes, Clinton will probably work to find common ground with the Republicans, because she’s a politician and that’s how our political system is supposed to work. But the time is past where the definition of “bipartisan” is “do what the Republicans want,” and it seems that the dumpster fire of the Trump campaign has made the media realize it, if only for a brief moment.

  24. And can we just link to all the consternation around the question “Do Electors have to vote the way their states voted” we hashed out in 2004, 2008 and a little in 2012 so we can avoid wasting time again?

  25. Apart from everything else Trump has said, done, thought or expressed the desire to do, his casting doubt on the legitimacy of the electoral process and playing coy about accepting or not accepting the results has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he’s completely and utterly unfit to be the President of the United States.

    I quite honestly can’t fathom why so many people still support him.

  26. You can keep Nigel Farage if you want though.

    Oh, no you don’t. We’ve enough pain in the ass right-wing British expats already. Pass.

    Fellow White Dude Democrat here: I very much agree with this, but it’s absolutely preaching to the choir.

    Which is sad in a way, because it’s spot on. But that’s the thing: our realities have diverged. The two tribes inhabit different universes at this point. In the Red Universe, this is yet another example of horrible liberals screaming racist! sexist! at decent people who have a sincere opinion (that Hitlery is The Worst and The Democrat Party steals elections with black magic, natch).

  27. I think Ivanka will threaten to keep the grandkids from him and go to work for the Clinton Foundation before it goes too far. Thank might put a schism between her and Junior but he is of the same mold as the Donald and does count to sane people.

    I too am an old white guy. I am not particularly angry and made up my mind for Hillary long ago. I have absolutely nothing in common with narcissists of any kind and I see Trump as the pinnacle of that pile of s**t. I don’t think he is racist, fascist or a misogynist. He steps on anyone who gets near and probably doesn’t even notice them if they are someone who makes him hard.

    Family, though, will get him in the end.

  28. I think #3 is an opinion thing (whether or not those opinions are based in fact is another story). Some people believe the USA is irrevocably broken, so voting for Trump *isn’t* breaking things to them.

  29. I just watched a stream of his rally in Delaware. It’s horrific, and I had to stop after a bit.

    I can see how he does it. He works the crowd perfectly. He alternates between talking to them directly, in a friendly, familiar, and quite engaging way, and then telling enormous lies, coupled with grandiose plans about how he’s going to make everything better for them. And Crooked everything, all the time. They shout and cheer, and he laps it up.

    What they can’t see is that he cares not one jot for them, their jobs, or anything else in their lives, and he would see them burn for his own ends.

    It made me much more worried about him than before I started watching. I’m now most concerned about 2022.

  30. White (Jewish) dude here. Voting for Secretary Clinton. Not interested in having a tantrum-throwing toddler running the country, thanks.

  31. I’m not a white dude, and I have a question about your description of Hillary’s email issue as “small beer.”

    Is this the appropriate place for such a question?

  32. Lay it on us, just remember to follow Our Esteemed Host’s guidelines on posting, and remember that you may not get the response you’re looking for, up to and including rude comebacks.

  33. Minor edit to the OP: “…to the Senate declining to do its actual job and take a vote on a Supreme Court justice because it has a theory that a *Democratic* president’s term is actually only kind of around three years long…”

    To Cat Eldridge: It’s really not so much a “British” (parliamentary) system, as a federal system with indirect democracy. Originally intended to limit the ability of populist demagogues from attaining power by catering to the base whims of the masses.

  34. Yeah, what John said. He’s blatantly unqualified and too dumb to know what damage his statements make. Of course, Hillary will only have 2 years to do anything (assuming the dems get to 50 in the Senate) so nothing much will change – but that’s better than a Trump win, which would drive the country straight into a ditch.

  35. Thanks for your excellent rant. As a white older lady (Hillary’s age), I greatly appreciate this. I’m one of those never-interviewed enthusiastic Hillary supporters. The one good thing about Donald Trump is that our numbers are growing in direct proportion to Trump’s misogynistic blathering.
    And BTW, thanks also for pointing out the racist attacks on Obama! I was an enthusiastic Obama supporter in 2008 (and 2012).

  36. Beverly,

    The most cogent discussion I’ve seen thus far of the substance of the Clinton email problems is the John Oliver LastWeekTonight bit on it. If I post a link, my post will have to wait for moderation, but you can go to youtube and search for “LastWeekTonight” and “Scandals” and it’s one the first hits.

    Basically, the Clintons combined personal and job emails on one server to simplify things. It’s a practice that’s frowned upon, but it’s not against the rules or illegal. They did it for mostly dumb and lazy reasons. From other sources, I believe a few confidential (not “classified” and certainly not “top secret”) emails got onto the server and shouldn’t have, but most of them weren’t marked properly which is why they slipped through. No real compromising information was in any of the messages (or else I’m SURE someone would have been talking about exactly what got compromised).

    Several prosecuters have looked at the evidence in the case, and their conclusions have been that yeah, it wasn’t the greatest decision, and yeah, it was done sloppily, and everyone would have been better off if they hadn’t. But there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that it was done for any reason other than laziness, and no evidence any information got into any wrong hands because of it.

    To me it’s like Carter accidentally sending a suit to the cleaners with nuclear launch codes in the pocket. It’s a stupid thing to do. It would be far better if he hadn’t done it. And it sounds really bad. But the codes were probably days out of date when they were sent out of the white house in his suit, so they had no real strategic value, and nothing was at risk, except that several people (including Carter) felt really dumb about it.

    That’s my take.


  37. I’m not nearly as worried about the sociopaths as I am about the people who can feel shame but don’t want to. Honestly, I know a few people with actual clinical ASPD, and they’re pretty chill, because they aren’t nearly as driven to constantly pretend everything they’ve ever done was ideal and worthy of praise. They can just say “yeah, I guess that was pretty horrible, not really sorry though”.

  38. A fine rant, Sir!
    I will be filing away “sycophantic bunghole tonguing” for future use.

  39. Thanks for the fun read. I laughed out loud several times. I am going to happily vote for Hillary Clinton and I hope her presidency shines brightly enough to give the likes of Trump supporters, and misogynists everywhere, third degree burns. And I think that is within the realm of possibility.

  40. Beverly:

    A few more points

    Private email is now against policy but was not at that time.

    The biggest precedent for the use was Colin Powell doing it in the same capacity.

    The ‘Confidential’ stickers were added retroactively to an unknown amount of those files.

    Her server was not hacked during the duration of her appointment. The state department’s was under attack and may have been breached during that time period.

  41. The middle-aged white guy I’m married to has always identified as an Independant, but decided to register as a Republican this year for no other reason but to vote against Trump. I pointed out that he didn’t have to do that, that here in Texas Cruz had the Republican nomination sewn up. His response was that he wanted to vote against Trump as many times as possible. I cheered the sentiment, but now we keep getting fund raising mail from the Republican Party. Sigh…

  42. I applaud the general sentiment, but I really wish well-meaning liberal folk would stop saying things like “it’s almost impossible to rig a presidential election”.

    I would encourage people to Google “voter suppression” – except that I know a lot of y’all already understand what that is, and that it influences every election, and still somehow don’t see the dissonance between “impossible to rig” and “systematically disenfranchising non-whites”.

    This election is rigged. Every presidential election is rigged. Just not in the manner or the direction that Trump’s claiming.

    I understand that people are alarmed at the prospect of Trump’s goons refusing to respect the result, but can we please not give the rest of the Republican machine a pass by erasing well-documented and systemic crookery?

  43. Preach it, brother!
    The last time some white guys tried to take their ball and go home because the didn’t like the results of a presidential election, 750,000 people died (and slavery was abolished) before we straightened it out. Let’s not do that again.

  44. Wow, unlike Scott Adams, you aren’t afraid to allow comments in your blog. You’re much more credible because of this.

    Can’t wait to read your next book!

  45. > do you think I was happy when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush…

    Yeah, right there with you. And I took people on “my side” to task for the inevitable “he’s not MY president” drivel that followed.

    You might not like the result of the election, and you might not like how it ended in a Supreme Court decision, but you have to get past that. The sanctity of the peaceful transfer of power MUST be preserved.

    Predictably, when Obama was elected (and re-elected), the “He’s not MY president” rhetoric came back on the other side, amplified. We need to shut this crap down before we cross the threshold where the majority of the electorate doesn’t believe in the results of the election.

    This is an existential threat to not just American democracy, but to the IDEA of democracy.

  46. It is more important than ever that everyone get out and vote. I almost want to see him try to not concede when he loses by double digits, and might have trouble getting to 100 electoral votes. But even if he gets to the mid hundreds, Hillary will have won numerous states where Republicans control the state government. Who exactly is rigging the election? For someone that built his entire campaign on the myth that he was a winner, he is going to find himself friendless pretty quick when he is exposed as a loser.

  47. 1. As a New Yorker, I’ve seen the pure damn idiocy of the man for decades and the only surprise is that anyone bought into it from day one (“rapists…criminals”).

    2. Sadly, though they are undoubtedly the large majority of Trump supporters, it isn’t only white dudes. My wife was harangued by a nutty former neighbor in the doctor’s office the other day who assured her, that Hillary is dying from stage three Parkinsons but doesn’t care, as long as she is elected; that she never has anyone at her rallies, just talks in front of a blue screen and has the crowd inserted digitally.

    How do you argue with crazy sh!t like that? For my part, you don’t. You stay a long way away.

  48. So much emotional energy for a footnote in history. Seriously John relax, Hillary will win by a landslide, you are being influenced too much by the bigots in flyover country. Drumpf is the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic party, just wait and see, we’ll win back the house at least! On Jan. 20th, when Hillary takes the oath of office, it’s gave over, the repukes will never again be a threat to this country.

  49. Oh skylark, I wish I could be as confident. This is more than just a footnote. This will irreparably change future elections… We CANNOT become complacent.

    And I believe the “repukes” will be a constant threat to us getting anything done, just as they have for the last eight years.

  50. Amen, Brother Scalzi. Amen. Nice wordsmithing. Once again, many possible quotes of the day. “Cocknugget?” “Walking garbage fire?” Wow…

    White Guy for, like, “NOT” Trump. Vote!!!

  51. Craig – thank you for pointing to the John Oliver videos.

    I’m old enough that back in the day, I watched the Watergate hearings day after week after month. My take-aways from those hearings are 1) it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up, and 2) no one should get away with obstruction of justice. My background now is in information security, with experience with public, private, and military environments. I am required to take annual training to ensure my awareness of my obligation to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information to which I have access as part of my job. This training includes awareness of the penalties for failing to meet that obligation.

    That said: given Hillary’s involvement with government, particularly in her role as Secretary of State, I find it difficult to believe that she has not similarly been required to protect the information to which she has had access.

    When I unpack the words “Hillary’s emails”, I think “did she not know better? And if she did know better, why didn’t she do better?” I think that “convenience” and “other people did it” does not excuse what she did. When I hear her staff saying “nothing to see here, move along,” I think that I’d believe it more if someone not associated with her staff said it. When I read that “missing emails” have been found, I think of the tape recordings that played a part in the Watergate hearings, and that destroyed files/devices/laptops sounds a lot like the missing 18.5 minutes of a crucial tape recording, When I hear of immunity deals for her close aides, some of whom served as her attorneys, I wonder whether there will be any accountability for what I think smells a lot like obstruction of justice. Whether the unsecured email server amounts to a “crime,” the “missing emails” bring to mind the perception of “coverup.”

    All of which brings me to ask: how is this “small beer?” Regardless of the other presidential candidates, how is her email issue not a cause for more concern?

  52. @Beverly

    Because everything you’ve said is based in innuendo, not fact. You talk about perception and what you find difficult to believe. You say that “other people did it” isn’t an excuse.

    So, let me ask a question: what do you think about Colin Powell? Because he did the exact same thing. Do you think the handling of his emails was criminal? Do you think we should be going after him with the same level of zeal that we’ve all used when examining Hillary’s conduct? Because I haven’t heard a single person going after him. So why Hillary?

    Every single expert who’s examined the facts has concluded that no rule was broken and no crime was committed. Why do you persist in believing that you know better? Without a shred of real evidence? Based solely on your feelings? I’d call that small beer, especially compared to everything else going on in the election.

  53. Because under Bush 2. 22 MILLION emails were disappeared during the investigation of the DoJ firings and none of you people said boo. And it isn’t as though ‘other people did it’ refers to the kitchen help. Colin Powel, former Sec of State /recommended/ that she do it.

  54. You can sing the title of this blog post to the tune of Cher’s Gypsies Tramps and Thieves. Almost.

  55. I never thought Trump ever believed he could or wanted to win, not really. Except for moments here and there when his ego got the better of him. I think what he’s doing is stoking the flaming garbage fire as high as possible with other people’s money, so he can launch his TrumpTV network as the “Rightful President of the United States here live on your screen!!” He’s been revealed to be an absolute caricature of a human being, so extreme as to make me think, “how can this be real??” at every turn. On the other hand, nobody is that good an actor. If he is, he really deserved that Emmy. Perhaps an Oscar.

    So basically what he’s doing is identifying his target audience and getting them primed to Tune In. He’ll be able to wreak havoc on our culture untethered as a TV personality, unfortunately. As president, he’d at least be constrained by the Constitution, in between the weekly impeachments. Heck, B. Clinton got impeached for lying ONCE. Trump can’t open his mouth without lying. He could be impeached multiple time for a single speech.

  56. Beverley – she screwed up. She knows she screwed up, and the rules have _now_ been changed to make what she (and a good many others) had done…I’m not sure “illegal” is the right term, but against the rules.
    However, according to the FBI (who are not on her staff), no real damage was done (as said above, some info that was retroactively classified Confidential was on the server), so…small beer. Certainly not worth chasing over and over and over.

  57. While I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton, I agree almost wholeheartedly with you–except for point #4. I just don’t think any candidate needs to concede–that is the whole point of counting. If the count is for Clinton, bully for her. If the count is for Trump, bully for him. He has the right to not concede, to have a tantrum, and it may be that he is sexist and/or racist. I don’t know him personally so I refuse to comment on that. But I uphold his right to do any of those previous things, as abhorrent as they may be, based on his access to Amendment 1. Everyone else can call him names for doing it using their own access to Amendment 1 of the Constitution. But my upholding his right to act how he wants doesn’t immediately make me racist or sexist just because I am a middle aged white guy. It makes me someone who believes in the Constitution of this great country of ours and in the Amendments as currently constituted regardless of who is using it and whether I agree with them or not.

  58. @Skylark, it’s way too early to be complacent, that way lies our very own Brexit. I _hope_ you’re right (and I say that as a resident of “Flyover Country”), but America can’t afford for us to coast until the 8th.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Trump staged an epic meltdown as the voting progresses. It won’t even surprise me, unfortunately, if he says something that can be interpreted as (or flat-out says) “grab your guns and open fire”. If anyone _does_, though, I think Trump will finally learn that actions have consequences. I don’t think he’s got enough pull to overthrow the Constitution, or even make a solid attempt at it.

  59. Beverley:

    All of which brings me to ask: how is this “small beer?” Regardless of the other presidential candidates, how is her email issue not a cause for more concern?

    Two things:

    1. I don’t think you can say “regardless of the other presidential candidates” in this scenario. Because no aspect of a candidate’s life happens in a vacuum, but rather takes place in the context of an election, which means including whoever they are running against. And in this case, Clinton is running against a dumpster fire of a candidate who seems unable to say three words without causing a scandal of his own. In that context, a mismanaged email server is small peanuts to all but the most ardent members of the anti-Clinton faction (which is not the same as say GOPers, or conservatives). In comparison, the whole email server issue would be a lot more hurtful to Clinton if she was running against Prototypical GOP Candidate (i.e., Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush).

    2. Clinton’s emails are not, in my opinion, comparable to Watergate. First, as it’s been noted before over and over, the email server was not illegal. Breaking into a DNC office to photograph documents and wiretap phones is most certainly illegal. So it’s not as if the cover-up was the problem, but rather what was being covered up. Second, as far as we know, there were no serious consequences to Clinton’s private servers: no information was stolen which, if obtained by hostile (or not-so-hostile) groups, would jeopardize national security. By comparison, the Watergate operation most certainly represented a threat to the nation’s democracy.

  60. A little while ago, John wrote persuasively of Trump as the guy that swept in and stole the GOP’s mob out from under it. Allowing this to be the case, it may not matter a damn what Trump gets up to on Election Day itself, because he’s been getting that mob good and drunk on rhetoric through the whole campaign. Even if he gives the most graceful concession speech in history, calling for a new age of understanding and reconciliation, there’s a good chance that the angriest elements of the mob will just screech out, “They got to him! They’re threatening his kids! HANG ON, DONALD! We’re coming to save you!” and do whatever the hell they thought he was suggesting they should do up to this point.

    And I’m not even convinced the current plagues of indolence and obesity will save the situation. Some of those “second amendment types” seem awfully active and svelte.

  61. Am I the only one who’s got a horrible feeling we are going to see some violence on Election Day? Trump is already telling people to be on the watch out; the Onion’s joke headline “Trump Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Spot Any Suspicious Skin Colors On Election Day” is…funny but horrible because you know it’s sort of true.

    Oh and let me be clear: I should, in theory, be a Republican. I mean, I spent 14 years working on Wall Street. But the Republican party created this and people like me are never going to forget it.

  62. I just read that Trump supporters are planning to conduct their own exit polls. Presumably this will be an attempt to “prove” that the election is rigged. Because OF COURSE any results they generate with their “random” sampling will be more accurate than secret ballots cast in the privacy of a voting booth.

    Can Trump and his supporters get any more weird and creepy? I think we’ll be learning the answer to that question over the next couple of weeks.

  63. @ Another Laura

    Commiserations on receiving all the Republican Party mailings. But look on the bright side; everything they send you costs money. Money that is not going to get any payback

    Have people ever wondered if the Republican Party is as enthusiastic in dropping names off their mailing lists as they do with electoral rolls?

  64. I’m also a middle-aged white dude (without a vote but with a beady European eye on this election.)
    It’s been a depressing race and I fully expect that Trump and many a white dude will not concede. It will be ugly and the poison won’t magically change into Jesus juice.

    On the other hand, I will get some grim satisfaction from the fact that this poisonous warthog will have to live with the knowledge that, in his own so subtle words, he’s been schlonged – by a woman.

  65. My father, an old white dude and rabid Trump supporter, has already started on the election is rigged soap box.
    Clinton is winning in the polls b/c it’s rigged. The debates are rigged b/c they’re run by liberal assholes. etc. etc.
    When I pointed out that the election hasn’t happened yet, he just started on another rant. I just ignore it all. It’s all so tiring that I’ve banned all talk of the election until after the 8th.

    So I know of at least one Trump supporter who will be screaming the day after the election. No amount of facts or truth will ever change his viewpoint.

    Sadly, my vote offers no net gain as I’m only canceling out his vote.

  66. Trump with his birtherism never conceded the last election. I don’t expect this one to be any different. White GOP Dudes in congress played with that “issue” for years. I don’t expect them to be any different. Oh, they’ll say that Hillary stole the election but the have to concede for the good of the USA- and then continue to allow it to fester for years at their rallies where the people questioning call Hillary illegitimate, and chant that we still need to lock her up.

    Donald Trump’s “rigging” is a direct descendent of the GOP’s Voter Fraud line. Again Donald Trump really isn’t anything new- just he’s not dog whistling.

    I hope that those white dudes lose the Senate so then we have a nine justice Supreme Court again. Something John McCain has said won’t be the case. They won’t lose the House, too gerrymandered,

    White Dudes will continue to drag the USA into this shit again and again for years to come.

  67. Your point #4 is why I don’t quite believe you when you say your Darke County neighbors are good people. The fact that someone’s nice to you doesn’t mean they’re a good person (cue “the guy who’s nice to you but rude to the waiter” stories). If you haven’t talked to them about Muslim refugees or seen their reaction to a black family moving into an otherwise-lily-white suburb, you aren’t really in a position to know.

    Even if they say all the right things and you’ve seen them be friendly to a hijabi woman and so on, they’re voting for Trump. That means they’re willing to throw all the brown people under the bus, along with all the queers and trans people (and Muslims, though they’re probably not aware that not all of them are brown).

    So, they may be in the “other” basket, but that doesn’t mean they’re good people. The amount of self-delusion required for a person of decency to vote for Trump…well, I think two physicians would sign the certificate.

    As a white guy (gay but “passing”), I used to hear a lot of blunt racism from people who otherwise seemed nice as pie. (Now that I wear a “Black Lives Matter” hat, this has stopped.)

    I wasn’t aware of how deep the racism in this country ran until Trump’s candidacy. My POC friends weren’t surprised at all. Funny how that works.

  68. Beverly:

    She did “know better”.

    That’s why she had two different, separate email systems: one run by the State Department designed and intended to keep classified information, and one run by her (or her tech guys) that was never intended to be used for classified information (the “private server”). She knew that the majority of messages she’d want to deal with were not classified, and wanted the convenience of a better system than the State department one. But for classified material, she knew to keep it on the State system.

    That’s why several of the emails that have been found had messages in shorthand that said, roughly “strip out all the classified stuff and send it to my nonclassified email”. She knew that classified material should stay off her private server, and tasked those sending her material to keep it that way.

    That’s why none of the messages found on the private server were marked with the legally required headers indicating that they were classified materials. If any emails did contain classified material, she wasn’t given any notice of that fact. In fact, a review of the messages showed very few messages containing classified material, and the vast majority of those very few messages were classified *after* they went through her server, so they weren’t classified when she received them. None of the messages she originated contained classified material.

    She did “know better”, which is why she took efforts to safeguard the proper handling of classified material, as she was supposed to do.

    She also knew that, as far as official government record keeping goes, all her work-related email was supposed to be subject to long-term storage requirements (for FOIA requests and the like). That’s why she had all her work-related emails sent to her private server printed out and delivered to the State Department for archival purposes. The State Department has verified that that was in accordance with the record-keeping laws, as was appropriate.

  69. Xopher

    You seem to,have overlooked the fact that JS has discussed this one in the comments as well as the original post, and yet you are berating him for things he didn’t say.

    Maybe if you read the thread before you opined it would be helpful for everyone…

  70. As a meddling Canadian, I pray this all works out for the best for everyone but the wannabe apocalypse-engineers. The suggestions I have for the futures of such people as would wreck what’s left of the planet for the rest of us – and as many of the rest of us as possible in the process – are not fit for publication.

  71. Katherine V – I tried to use examples that came from the FBI report and from news reports, not innuendo. If Colin Powell were running for President, I would consider voting for him; if at that time there were similar reports of his use of non-secure email for State Department business, I would have the same concerns that I have about Hillary Clinton – I would expect him to know better and to do better. I would be critical of any public official who, in my opinion, demonstrated poor judgment, regardless of however many others may have also done the same thing.

    Rochrist – I’m not sure how to respond to your statement regarding emails deleted during the Bush administration. In general, however, I would have concerns about any systematic destruction of government records, particularly if the documents had been subpoenaed, as I understand that Hillary’s emails were. (Per the FBI report.)

    JJMcGaffey – while there might have been “no real damage,” the FBI report did categorize her actions as “gross negligence.” My expectation is that any high-level government official, such as the Secretary of State, would not exhibit gross negligence, whether intentional or not.

    Zemadmax – I will grant that any pair of candidates can be compared as relatively more or less preferable in office as the other. I was considering Watergate and the email issue in terms of actual or perceived obstruction. Sorry if I misunderstand your point about which one is more of a threat to democracy.

    I do thank you all for your comments, and I apologize that my original post wasn’t clearer that while I’m critical of the used of the unsecured email server, I’m bothered more by the appearance of a coverup (deleted/missing files, particularly when the deletion happened after the State Dept was notified of the investigation and subpoena, and the “nothing-burger” attitude of Hillary’s staff.)

  72. I wonder how many Americans are going to be using the Lazarus Long method of voting, come November?
    … There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against.
    ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

  73. Dirck, maybe dispense with the fat-hatred, please. There are plenty of reasons to disagree with people without bringing physicality into it. Thanks.

  74. Beverley,

    The FBI report did NOT categorize Clinton’s actions as “gross negligence.” Gross negligence very specifically would mean criminally liable in this case, and the FBI report clearly exonerated Clinton from any criminal wrongdoing. FBI Director Comey during his discussions on the report called her actions “extremely careless”, but that wasn’t a categorization in the report, that was his stated personal opinion of the matter (and don’t forget that Comey is a Republican and has been under constant pressure from other Republicans to emphasize the email issue).

  75. Blaisepascal2014 – sorry, I didn’t see your post before I replied. Thank you for pointing out the intent for Hillary to use classified and non-classified email systems. I do question the wisdom of conducting any government business that way, however. My experience has been that business is business, and personal is personal, and that they should be kept strictly separate. My employers have certainly gone to great lengths to make their policies about that known and complied with.

  76. I suspect we’ve gone as far in re-litigating the emails as we are usefully going to go, so let’s go ahead and wrap it up, please, and move on.

  77. Beverley, I also have been bothered by the emails (and other concerns about Hillary) but over time have come to see that due to the Trumpster Fire, things that might ordinarily have been examined more publicly/closely (and I know many here will say the emails already have been) just have to be let go. I’m still working on my letting-go skillz, but yeah, this is an (I hope!) extraordinary election, and there’s just no point (IMO) in doing anything but fighting the fire and hoping the US doesn’t end up like Centralia PA.

  78. Skylark,
    I’m far less confident. I think Hilary will win, liberals will go to sleep assuming all is well now (like they did during Obama) and the Alt Right and talk radio and Tea Party types will continue to grow angrier and angrier underground. Congress will continue obstruction. Politics will become more polarized. Eventually, the demographic trends in this country will take care of this battle for good, but I think that in the next two-three election cycles, this is going to get worse before it gets better.

    Beverly and others in the email conversation,
    It’s a really hard thing for people to accept that, most of the time, people in positions of power actually make HUGE mistakes and frequently have no idea what they are doing. If you spend any time at all reading declassified state department and defense department conversations since WW2 (and you probably don’t, unless you have a research job that requires it), then you will find that people making decisions about the world are often frighteningly ill-informed to the point of being reckless. (Frankly, it’s amazing they haven’t blown up the planet already). Many times they are ruthless, and other times they are indoctrinated. I can think of no examples in which they are careful, ethical AND competent. In think people don’t want to believe that the mistakes could be as simple as laziness/stupidity, and I think it makes people uncomfortable to believe that people planning large-scale military operations could be uninformed about the basics of the countries they are invading. Therefore, people tend to believe conspiracy theories or more devious intent/corruption because at least that puts the world’s greatest power in the hands of masterminds with a plan. Occam’s Razor though.

    The analogy with Powell is a good one. Reviews of his case to the UN before the invasion have not been kind to him. How much did he know to be considered ethical and how much should he have known to be considered competent and how careful was he being about creating a humanitarian disaster that would last decades and cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars? I don’t think Powell is a ruthless evil corrupt liar. But in his stint of SoS, he was not careful, ethical and competent. He was just a guy who knows less about Iraq than any average Middle Eastern studies professor who was motivated primarily by ideologues in his party. Likewise, Clinton is not some corrupt evil mastermind. She just did something really lazy and stupid.

  79. John – middle age white dude here. Thank you, once again, for giving voice so eloquently to things that urgently needed saying. You nailed it.

  80. I can’t conceive of this election not ending in a Trump victory, I’m a pessimist and people kept imagining he’d lose the primaries too. But on the off chance being a racist, sexist anti-intellectual bully doesn’t win him the election (remember, this is America, where people still debate if religion should be taught in science classes, people try to pass laws demanding revisions to history to highlight American exceptionalism/remove civil disobedience from the Civil Rights movement and demand signs that say you shouldn’t kill Black people be removed for being anti-police in and of themselves. Those traits are basically guaranteed winners in that sort of hellhole even if his opponent didn’t also have to fight against sexism) I fully expect his followers to do violence on innocent people, primarily minorities and women. If someone is the sort of person who’s still in for Trump this late in the game I have no reason to give the respect of assuming they aren’t a violent lunatic from the get-go. Or any respect. At all.

  81. jmazzola, I worry about polls not being representative of how people will actually vote. Blogger Penelope Trunk recently admitted her (previously secret) desire to vote Trump but claim otherwise, just to “shake things up.” (Son, I am VERY disappoint.) Look at Brexit results vs. prior polling. I think more people will vote Trump than admit to doing so. Hopefully Hillary’s lead leaves enough room for the Trump Sneaky Shame Voters.

  82. Journalist Charles Pierce points “It has been an article of faith for the entire Republican Party for a quarter-century now that any elected Democratic president is prima facie illegitimate. Trump is just putting a layer of narcissistic varnish on the bucket containing all the historical deplorables..”

    He has a historical post covering this ground; it’s worth reading: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a49829/trump-wont-respect-election-result/ .

  83. Analysis of polling: “It is said, wrongly, that polls missed Brexit. However, that is not true. Pre-election polls indicated that Brexit was too close to call – and there were 9% undecideds. It was pundits and conventional wisdom that failed.” — http://election.princeton.edu/2016/10/14/motivated-reasoning-strikes-again/

    I think Clinton will win. Sam Wang often reminds us that since 1996 voters have formed their views early and seldom wavered. There are, however, still three weeks to go and there is a possibility of unexpected events with unpredictable effects on the election. http://election.princeton.edu/2016/10/07/the-hardened-divide-why-donald-trump-is-mitt-romney-lite/.

  84. If this whole Trump campaign turns out to be a publicity stunt gone too far, is there any legal recourse against Trump?

  85. And, it occurs to me, successful voter suppression and intimidation. There are reports that Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina are dragging their feet in implementing court decisions on laws making it more difficult for African-Americans to vote. Also, we have Trump exhorting his followers to “monitor” the polls while openly carrying firearms. But this is different from historical fascist movements: there is no powerful paramilitary organization to act on Trump’s behalf. And this: the USA is no longer in majority racist.

    Still, with bad luck, it seems to me that there is a chance such tactics could turn the election.

  86. For those of you wishing to turn in your “white dude cards” believe me, I feel that.

    There’s a Yiddish phrase that works here: Shanda fur di goyim. Stop embarrassing us in front of everyone else, Trumper Dudes!

    They will not, of course. The whole point of Trump is to give everyone else the finger.

  87. I’m a white dude who is not planning on voting Trump, and I couldn’t care less whether he plans to concede or not. That whole thing just seems like someone looking for a reason to complain about Trump. Does anyone ask a quarterback before a game if they are going to concede the game? Does it matter at all? Could Trump have responded better? Sure, but as you stated, John, it won’t affect the election so I see it as a non-issue.

  88. Here in lovely Florida the GOP is attempting to keep late registrations from hitting the voter logs. The hurricane cut a few days off of our voter registration time. A judge finally granted an extension of it. Now the GOP want those to be run as provisional votes.

    It could be important because there is a lot more dirt that can be brought to the surface.

    Imagine those still wobbling finding out high of a road Hillary has taken. Many of those “Classified” emails she has weren’t “Classified” when she got them. The State Department added that later. You can find out about it from a rant by Colin Powell.

    Clinton also has not said a word about Trump’s close association with Joel Epstein or that one of the 356 lawsuits against him accused him of raping a child.

    The GOP has reason to be scared.

  89. I wouldn’t be half surprised if Trump had already ordered his legal team to start writing up lawsuits to be filed if there are any states that (in Trump’s mind) were close enough that they had been “stolen.” If it’s a landslide for Clinton he _might_ not file those suits but he might try to muddy the waters in places that weren’t so decisive. Would he care whether or not he can WIN those suits if he can foster doubt in his supporters’ minds by filing them?

  90. I think all of this noise about Trump is just him trying to make certain that Hillary Clinton is our next president. The election is rigged, but not in the facetious way that Trump is hilariously indicating. It is rigged because both major party nominees and working towards the election the same status quo insider.

    You’ve noticed it too “…every time something potentially damaging to Clinton comes out, Trump has to go out and do or say something stupid…”

    Trump is a long term reality show personality. He knows how to control a narrative, he knows how to be the hatable villain. He is just using those skills to elect a corrupt, poorly liked, Wal Street beholden, Hawkish oligarch with a view that the main purpose of elected office is to enrich yourself and your allies. And he is doing so effectively by making himself unelectable.

    He’s got the media, and you playing right into his hands. There is nothing we can do now. The fix is in. It’s too late to make a better choice, but we don’t have to revel in the glory of it.

  91. The election is rigged in that it favors people who can mobilize large amounts of money and large numbers of people effectively.

    That means people who are veterans at doing this, and not people who do it once and give it up.

  92. tag8833,

    I can’t believe Donald Trump would permit himself to lose to a woman. Like, maybe originally he was in the primary more as a vanity project and had built in expectations that counted as ‘win’ in terms of articles and not votes, but once he actually started winning primaries, he was in it for the big win. (I don’t know if he cares about doing things as President, but he certainly wants to Be Elected President.)

    I can’t imagine the Republican party would let Donald Trump near the podium if they had any control over their base. He’s taking what probably should be a close election and turning it into a raging dumpster fire. AND he’s jeopardizing the Republican hold on the Senate. Republicans might concede that four years of President H Clinton is better than President Trump, but that’s contingent on continuing to block a Democratic president’s power via the legislature. And, frankly, as much as many people wish Clinton was more liberal, no Republican would describe her as ‘conservative enough’. Few of them would believe she’s supportive enough of business and national defense (how they would spin ‘Wall-Street beholden’ or ‘hawkish’).

    Also, I don’t know about where you live, but there are plenty of people where I live (and where Scalzi lives) who genuinely like Trump in all his xenophobic, sexist, asshole glory and think he’d be a fine president. I don’t care if the closest Trump will get to the Oval Office is on the Official White House Tour, the fact that people support Trump and what views he appears to have scares the crap out of me.

  93. May I please finally say [spurious argument deleted, so I guess the answer is no? – JS]

  94. tag8833, I’d find that more plausible if there were any evidence for Trump doing anything for anyone other than himself at any point in his life.

  95. I hope that Clinton wins handily and that Trump choses not to concede. If that happens, I think that most people will see him for what he really is, a narcissistic whining loser. Sure, there will be people who will never accept Clinton as the legitimate President, but they’re probably the same people who felt that way about Obama.

  96. Aaron says: “And I really really hope (just like with Palin, whoops) that this time is truly the nadir. Or that the fight becomes one between progressives and centrists.”

    I hope that too, but in a sense that has already happened. It happens all the time.

    There was a time when the conservative position was that gay men should be locked up or chemically castrated, and you’d have a difficult time finding a liberal who thought gay people should be allowed to be teachers. Racial segregation was the centrist position.

    One reason people become more “conservative” as they grow older is that the bell curve shifts underneath them while they keep their same views.

    As much a hero as Sarah Palin was as a “conservative” woman, she was the governor of her freaking state. I don’t think she spent much time at home baking cookies. She would have been seen as a bra-burning feminist by conservatives half a century earlier.

    If you’re currently young and progressive, you should prepare yourself for the likelihood that your grandchildren will see you as an old fuddy-duddy with turn-of-the-century ideas and values, and you’ll see them as going just a little bit farther than you will be comfortable with.

  97. Following on to @ Bruce’s comments, I agree, if he fails to win sufficient electoral votes, Trump might try to put up a legal challenge in those states he lost (i.e. the “rigged ones”), but I very much doubt he would ever actually win the presidency that way. Courts tend to want things like actual evidence of significant voter fraud, not just unsubstantiated wild allegations. All it would accomplish is to make him look like a sore loser trying to gum up the works out of spite. His base will probably cheer him on, but so what? It might give them some kind of Quixotic warm fuzzies, but it would still accomplish nothing of practical value.

    Regardless of anything Trump does or says on November 9th, “Hillary Clinton is an illegitimate president” is something the Republicans are sure to trot out as an excuse for their obstructionism. It was a standard part of their rhetorical playbook against President Obama and President Bill Clinton, so no reason to think it would be any different in a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    What happens with Trump’s base of supporters is ultimately up to them. I hope they collectively channel their passions into productive action for their communities and the nation. However, if some of them want to live out violent revenge fantasies in real life, I’m confident our law enforcement agencies know how to deal with domestic terrorists, having done so in the past.

  98. “The election is rigged” is just “Obama is from Kenya” attempt to delegitimize the presidency.

    “Show us the birth certificate” will turn into “show us the hanging chads”.

  99. On a related tangent: I consider the retirement of George Washington to be one of the greatest moments in American history. Here was a man who could easily have gone for a third term as president (and I suspect a fourth, …) But, instead he chose to move on and let others take over. This tradition of regular peaceful transfer of power is a part of the bedrock of democracy that makes America awesome (some would even say great). I think it would behoove all americans to take a few minutes (perhaps once a year) to stop and read Washington’s Farewell Address. Then ponder our amazing political system for a while.

    We can never let any individual become more important than the institutions they (temporarily) lead. Regular and peaceful transfers of power create the institutions that create new leaders.


  100. Mike says “I’m confident our law enforcement agencies know how to deal with domestic terrorists, having done so in the past.”

    Yeah, but since they’re mostly white guys, they’ll probably negotiate with them instead of just sending robots to shoot them.

  101. Greg, Mike and all the others who are brushing off Trumpites’ intention of not recognizing Hillary’s presidency with a “sure whatever, they did the same with the last couple Democratic presidents so its nothing new” – that is *precisely* the fear and the problem! John has mentioned all of this before but you dont seem to get it. Trump supporters are taking their cues from the extreme obstruction of the recent Republican Congress, the birther arguments (courtesy of Trump), and the growing idea of bipartisan compromise being traitorous. The idea that the sitting president’s power is illegitimate and must be stopped at all costs, no matter the issue, is nothing new. But this is the first time (that I can recall at least) where they are OPENLY inciting violence and blatant discrimination as the solution! And sure, if a group of Trumpies gets a little too eager with their polling day “surveillance” they’ll be stopped (hopefully) quite quickly. THATS NOT THE POINT! The point is that they are legitimizing violence as a political tactic! And no matter who that is coming from, that is terrifying for the stability of our nation.

  102. kfitch42: I consider the retirement of George Washington to be one of the greatest moments in American history.

    And in a related additional tangent, in my opinion one of the greatest things Abraham Lincoln did as president was run for re-election in 1864. He had War Powers; he could have avoided the risk; he chose to take it–and set a standard that later incumbents have had to live up to. Every time Trump or one of his surrogates refers to “the party of Lincoln,” I think of that, and snarl . . .

  103. >> Of course, Hillary will only have 2 years to do anything (assuming the dems get to 50 in the Senate) so nothing much will change >>

    Two years of the White House and the Senate is enough time to change the balance of the Supreme Court for a generation. So I think we’re looking at a big change, even if we can’t get the House as well.

    Heck, even if we can’t get the Senate, and the best Clinton can do in replacing Scalia is a moderate, that in itself would change the balance of the Court.

  104. All of this is so much smoke and mirrors. Hillary has got this election in the bag. This is the last election that the repukes even had a chance, no on other hand, their last chance was in 2008. They lost, it’s over. Hillary will go down as one of the best Presidents in our history.

  105. I disagree that the agreement is spurious. I shall acquiesce to the house rules and never mention it again.

  106. First, let me just say that I continue to take issue with the Esteemed Mister Scalzi’s decision to refer to Trump as a “garbage fire”. Garbage fires at least serve to get rid of garbage. Trump is more like a tire fire–foul-smelling, impossible to get rid of, and hazardous to our health.

    Second, I am reminded of nothing so much when I look at Trump supporters as I am of the dwarves at the end of C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Last Battle’. Having firmly convinced themselves they won’t be fooled again, they construct an edifice in their minds that represents the truth and defend it against the evidence of their eyes and ears. I really don’t think there’s any getting through to these people; they’re going to continue to reinforce each other’s delusions until the day they die.

    Third, everyone who says, “Well, it doesn’t matter if Trump concedes because constitutionally, he doesn’t have to” is wrong. Not because the Republican party will refuse to work with Hillary–that was a given–but because if Trump spends a whole month ginning up these gun-happy assholes with talk of The Brown People rigging the vote, what happens on November 9th when he loses? I’m not expecting a Second Civil War or anything, Trump doesn’t have enough people for that and certainly not enough sober and competent ones who haven’t already broadcast their plans on Facebook for the FBI to see, but I think we may see Muslim families in red states murdered by some asshole with a gun and a grudge over his stolen election. That is not something that should be taken lightly, and Trump should be held to account for inciting crowds to violence instead of defusing the situation.

    And fourth, this isn’t mere narcissim on Trump’s part. This is a calculated threat. “I’ll keep you in suspense” is a clear warning to the American electorate that if they don’t vote for him, they risk consequences on and after Election Day when his supporters do whatever they’re going to do. He keeps that threat vague, so that he can always walk back responsibility when a bunch of Trump supporters riot on Election Night, but make no mistake–he is taking hostages here. It’s no different than what he did as a Republican candidate, refusing to agree to support the Republican nominee because he knew that it gave him leverage, only taken to a new and more despicable level.

  107. @tag8833: You assume that Trump would ever do anything, large or small, for the greater good. As the polished turd himself would say, “WRONG!”

  108. Just taking a step back, here’s my big worry and here’s the hope that I cling to.

    Polls are all completely bollocks. Polls frequently never mention how many people they poll, and they basically never give real demographic breakdowns, and they never mention how the people conducting the poll made sure that the demographics of the poll reflect the electorate (because they don’t bother). They don’t mention when the polls were taken, even though a poll at 9am would be very different from a poll at 2pm and again different at 6pm and again and 9pm.

    I’m incredibly worried and angered that 30+ percent of American voters think Trump is good presidential material, much less a sane person. No matter the results of this election, we’ll all be dealing with those people, and their children, for generations to come.

    My one hope is the same one I clung to when Barack Obama was in his final bits of the election in 2008. The polls were pretty even, and everybody was tense. Lots of statements about “The polls show no significant difference between….”

    One cartoon, or maybe it was a comedian, modified the quote and said “Among people who still have a land-line and who answer the phone from numbers they don’t know…….”. I’m clinging to the hope that the polls are mostly phone polls and are heavily skewed toward older people who really have nothing to do with their lives, and who answer the phone even if they don’t know who it is.

    I think the election will be won and lost by how the younger vote swings. I desperately hope that those at my age (43) and younger can pull this off. And then I relax just a little.

    And then I think about the Brexit vote, which NO ONE thought had a chance of passing, but it passed. And then I’m scared again.

    Vote everybody. Vote like the future depends on it, because it does.

    Thanks for the post, Mr. Scalzi. You say what I want to say better than I ever could.

  109. “white dudes”

    “racist, sexist piece of shit who would rather tear everything down than not to let a white dude have his way”

    “sack up”

    “the bigots in flyover country”

    This post is gross. All you commenters cheering are gross. Your hatred and race baiting and generalizations are gross. You’re not as gross as Trump, but that’s not saying much.

    I hope he loses. I hope he doesn’t concede, and he’s fucking humiliated for it. I hope that drives his pestilent stain of befrogged nationalism back onto 4chan where it belongs.

    But you know what, I hope Paul Ryan does turn into the most obstinate obstructionist you’ve ever seen for the next 4 years. I hope Hillary is a lame duck from her first day in office. I hope she gets caught doing something awful so he can impeach her. Not because she’s a woman. Because she’s a Clinton, and finish the job this time.

    Maybe the Republican party needed to be burnt to the ground so that something sane could rise from the ashes. Maybe 4 years of Hillary can bring together some kind of coalition against the left that’s more inclusive and more libertarian.

    God this election is depressing. Damn straight we’ll see you in 2020.

  110. Wrong! You’re gross! Lol… Oh my goodness I love love LOVE it when butthurt 3rd party voters (People who consider themselves morally superior to the people making the actual decisions) tell me that I’m “gross”. November 9th will be glorious… and I shall revel in it for eight years!

  111. you know what, I’ll take “butthurt 3rd party voter” and wear it proudly. If this election doesn’t make you butthurt, then you need to get your head examined. As for third party, I live in California so I’m not getting to make the decision no matter how I vote. If I lived in Florida I’d vote for (shudder) Hillary.

  112. Just because you’re butthurt doesn’t mean I need to be. I began this election season as a Bernie supporter and voted for him in the primaries. But shortly after that, the awfulizers who chicken littled and trashed HRC using right wing smears all over every progressive websites, Facebook and Twitter made me start to regret that vote. The more I looked at Hillary, the better I liked her and now I’m GLAD she’s the nominee because she has done what no man or woman up til now has been able to do – beat DT. She may not be perfect, but she’s very good. So, I’m with her. And so is Bernie.

  113. Scout,

    Yeah, to me that’s been the interesting thing over the past month. HC has had so much invective thrown at her, and of course the carelessness and laziness of email server decision (which might not have even been primarily her decision), that I think a lot of people have been surprised at how very smart and detail-oriented she really is, but which the debates showcased very effectively.

    DT is clearly used to winning discussions because he’s rich and loud and brash and uses all those things as a bully does. HC clearly prepared for the debates VERY meticulously, and was able to bait him very effectively and he mostly defeated himself.

    I wouldn’t have guess it a year ago, but I’m beginning to think that HC might well be VERY good at being presidential. That would be fantastic.

  114. Whenever somebody starts talking about ‘burn it down’ or ‘I hope that everything DOES grind to a halt’, what they’re really saying is they feel so secure in their own lives and level of power that they’re not afraid of the consequences of destructive politics. It won’t be their SNAP or Section 8 checks cut. It won’t be their children going to increasingly substandard schools. It won’t be their careers diminished or erased when well-bribed elected officials pay back their debt to their corporate masters. They don’t care if housing aid strangles in red tape or factories go inspected for years. All they care about is their frustration and outrage, and if the consequences of acting that out hurt other people, well, hell with ’em; they’re other people, and besides, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs that were supposed to be somebody else’s breakfast.

  115. @mythago, Burn down the republican party. Let legislation grind to a halt. I’m certainly not saying burn down the country or let the government grind to a halt.

  116. @skylark: “the bigots in flyover country”

    Just wondering if you think they’re any worse than the bigots in the rest of the country or if you have some particular vitriol for folks “in flyover country”.

  117. Just want to note here that I’m a white dude, a year younger than Trump was on that Access Hollywood tape. I’ve voted for 7 different white dudes for President (not counting any primaries I may have voted for someone else in). This year, I’m voting for my second not-a-white-dude. If Donald is what they’re going for, I’d be perfectly happy never voting for a white dude again.

  118. Cec:


    “about half of people who live in rural communities (52%) say none of these institutions treat blacks less fairly than whites in their community, compared with 42% of suburbanites and just a third of urbanites who say the same. ”

    So, rural people were far more likely to disregard and downplay the existence of racism against blacks than suburban or urban people.

  119. So all you need to do to get declared a contemptible flyover bigot is to be slightly statistically less likely to think your local institutions are racist, compared to urbanites?

    Reminds me of the people who want to fire Sam Altman, who supports Hillary, because he doesn’t want to fire someone else because they support Trump.

    How tenuous of a connection, how many degrees of separation does it take for someone to get denounced as a bigot?

    For that matter, did it occur to you that they might respond that institutions are less racist in their communities because institutions are less racist in their communities. Seems to me it’s cities where most of these unarmed black men are being shot by the police, not rural communities.

  120. Until 2008 I didn’t have an opportunity to vote for anyone except a white Christian dude (and neither did anyone else). I did that from 1964 through 2004 — eleven times in all. Like Lyle, I’m enjoying the change.

    The parade of horribles the Republicans offered this year did include a woman and a black person in the mix (both of them manifestly unqualified for the job) so I suppose even there the times are changing. But a Bachmann, a Carson, or a Palin would be as bad as yet another Trump. Progress is not along a single dimension.

  121. Lawrence D’Anna

    I’ve spent time in Sicily; it’s primarily because I like the archeology, and the glorious buildings; for example Monreale, but the guides do their best to give us some idea of the forces which drive the Mafia.

    The thing with disturbs me most about your post is that the last three paragraphs fit perfectly with the way she analysed the Mafia. Hatred of another family is, obviously, a development from clan war; one which has survived and turned into what we see today, a mechanism of hatred which enables people to do truly dreadful things.

    I’m not suggesting that if Hillary Clinton is assassinated it will be your fault; you say you just want her impeached, though you didn’t provide any reasons why you think she should be impeached, other than that her surname is Clinton.

    I am suggesting that your ‘She’s a Clinton and finish the job next time’ is the sort of statement that Donald Trump makes to the Second Amendment nuts, implying that everything will be fine once she’s dead. You are using the same rhetorical strategy, though you would, no doubt, profess to be utterly shocked and horrified if someone shot Hillary Clinton because you didn’t say anything to encourage it other than the ‘finish the job next time’.

    I have to say that I wouldn’t believe you…

  122. @Stevie

    That’s preposterous. I’m not in a mafia clan war against anyone named Clinton. George Clinton is fine. You know darn well I’m referring to her political partnership with Bill Clinton. You also know perfectly well I said to impeach her, not assassinate her. I would indeed be horrified if somone shot her. Hell I’d be horrified if someone shot Trump. You can make all the overwrought, disingenuous, pearl clutching claims not to believe that you want.

  123. Lawrence, perhaps we could just go ahead and consider those pearls of yours well and truly clutched.

  124. Lawrence wrote “Maybe 4 years of Hillary can bring together some kind of coalition against the left that’s more inclusive and more libertarian.”

    If your are looking for a coalition to rise from the ashes of the GOP, one that is libertarian plus embodies classic (or neo-classic) conservative principles, then I must assert that the forces of history are against you. Thank God.

  125. Lawrence D’Anna

    You have just demonstrated that you respond in exactly the same way that Donald Trump does when challenged about his suggestion that maybe the second amendment people would take care of the problem: ie Hillary Clinton.

    And if there’s any pearl clutching going on, I’m certainly not the person doing it.

    You are.

  126. To the question of “can I turn in my white dude card”: Maybe! (Sort of.) At least, I have talked with a psychologist about the question of “do I feel like I am not a man because of something intrinsic to myself, or because I don’t want to be associated with the other people who are called men?” I found one helpful thing to think about here is comparing how you feel about it to how you feel about some other group(s) you might be part of that have some loud and unpleasant members, and seeing where those comparisons take you.

  127. @John Scalzi, I don’t know why this post got under my skin so much. It’s not like I even disagree with the main points you’re making on the peaceful transfer of power. And If I thought about it for a second, I would have known coming here and ranting about it would be pointless and just piss people off more than they already are, and piss me off more in the process. That was stupid. Sorry.

  128. I’ve asked if I can be a Nasty Woman rather than a Bad Hombre. I’ve been told I can be a Nasty Bad TACO TRUCK if I want! So I’m not too worried about my White Dude badge.

    T-shirts I want: Just “NASTY” in white on a Democratic Blue field, and “Nasty Women Get Things Done,” ditto.

  129. Hi @Greg, I agree that the research is pretty clear that folks in rural communities, which (statistically) are more likely to be predominantly white, tend to give less credence to issues of racism than folks in urban or suburban areas. (It’s also true that folks in urban and suburban areas tend to underestimate the average intellect of folks from rural communities, but that’s getting away from the matter at hand.) So to clarify, I wasn’t arguing with whether there are bigots in flyover states. There are bigots and all manner of other assholes everywhere. There are also rural communities in the coastal states, not just the flyover states, so that puts the pew research in support of there being unpleasantness wherever you look.

    Actually, my issue is the use of the term ‘flyover’, which from origin to present day carries a connotation that the states in the middle of the country are somehow less worthy of attention that the states on the coast. Singling out the bigots in the flyover states gives the rest of the jerks a free pass. Focusing on flyover states in general is just another way to discriminate, and we’ve got more than enough of that to go around already.

  130. I haven’t turned in my white dude card.

    I have, however, filled out my vote-by-mail ballot and will turn it in tomorrow, so I can spend Election Day volunteering at the Clinton office in Bristol, PA on the outskirts of Philly.

    (I live in New Jersey; Pennsylvania is as close to a swing state as I can get to and back on the same day.)

  131. As a couple of people have pointed out, Republicans (some of them) have been refusing to accept Democratic presidents since Clinton I took the country away from its supposed rightful owners and gave it to the liberals, the non-whites, the non-Christians, the non-male …
    I don’t see why anyone is surprised at Trump, in any case. After all, what does he have to lose? Whereas if he challenges the results he may at least imagine there’s a chance of a Bush v. Gore upset; if not, he can bully and annoy the woman who took the presidency from him. And that chunk of his followers who love him for standing up to the non-white, non-male, non-christian, non-straight people supposedly oppressing them will follow him to whatever grift he has in mind next.
    For examples of Republicans failing to follow procedure, Dick Cheney while VP specifically rejected various calls for information about lobbyists he’d met with on the grounds transparency rules for the executive branch didn’t apply to him–the vice presidency is actually a separate branch of government

  132. I for one am getting more than a little weary of being told that we need to coddle the tender feelings of the sons of bitches who told me, in print, that I should be killed for publicly opposing the Iraq war; who’ve threatened my family’s safety and my livelihood for what I’ve written about the Bushes; and who’ve repeatedly libeled me by writing online comments and letters to the editor defaming my professional reputation because I’ve made fun of their Dear Leader, whoever that might be. Good post, John, and fuck these Deplorables.

  133. When I got the call the other day asking me to be a poll monitor, I jumped at the chance. I’ll be taking my training on Monday. After Trump’s antics, I’ll feel better knowing I can be on the scene at the polling places making sure no shenanigans go unreported. Though I’m not expecting any problems, honestly. Here in CO, voting is almost all done by mail. I wish other states would adopt the same system.

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