Why the Next Democratic President will be a Celebrity

And, more to the point, the Democrats will not be electing a president until they elect a celebrity.

I seriously doubt Donald Trump will be re-elected president in 2020, but not because he will lose to a Democrat. Rather, he’ll be replaced on the ticket before that (he may not know it but he doesn’t automatically get to run as a Republican) or he’ll be removed from office by force of law, by illness or death, or some other means before then.

The person who will be elected in 2020 will be a Republican. Why? Because the Democrats are going to hand the presidency to the Republicans in 2020, and every election year after that, until a generation of Democrats has grown old and died off.

And no, I’m not talking about millennials. Well, some of them I assume, but I’m really talking about Democrats of all ages and stripes, and not all of them, but a percentage of them. About half on a bad day but no less than about 20% of them.

I’ve done this experiment a number of times and it never fails. Name a possible candidate and float the idea. At first that candidate may get some support, nice things may be said, but it won’t take long before naysayers jump into the conversation and start whinging and whining about the candidate, and promulgate the idea that this candidate is unacceptable, and if this candidate runs they’ll vote for the Republican or move to Lithuania or whatever.

Not just “I prefer someone else” or “this or that thing is problematic” but rather, this candidate did or said something once that makes them so bad that we might as well not even have an election if they are running.

Almost all the time the reason for the hate, if you trace it to its origin, is not based on logic, reason, or good information. Sometimes there is a grain of truth, or even a real difference on an issue. But the complainer never seems to realize that it is a simple truth that not one of us has a clone, a doppelganger, a perfect duplicate of wonderful, wise, and perfect selves out there anywhere, let alone one that is running for office. And, most of the time, the issue difference is one or the other of these things: 1) not important or 2) imagined.

Among these naysayers I believe there are two types. One is the growing number of the seriously engrumpled, often older Democrats who have gone over some kind of edge of senility, or sometimes the are younger and ignorant, but in all cases they are very selfish individuals who have put the affectation of hate before party, politics, people, and civilization. The other type is the Russian operative, or someone who is so enthralled by such an operative, or perhaps paid off, that we get the same result.

An example of the former: I approach a small gaggle of old timey Democrats at a fund raiser. I know these folks, and I know they are loyal party members, who will be happy to argue hard about issues and candidates, but who will always support the final outcome of the party process and fight to the end to get the candidate elected. The issue of Hillary vs. Bernie comes up and it turns out that they supported Bernie in the earlier stages of the primary, but that part of the primary is over, and he isn’t going to be the candidate. Instead of shifting to get behind the party goals, they tell me that they are going to throw the party under the bus and who knows who they are going to support (the conventions have not happened yet but it feels like they are planning to vote for Trump.) Understand, now that over the previous ten years, these are the same people that were at every party event, organizing, selling bratwurst, running a silent auction, helping to set up meetings and events, all of it. Not the level of operative that convenes a meeting or acts as a chair, but not occasional volunteers either. Perennial fixtures. Perennial fixtures gone, suddenly and alarmingly, bad. Ever since then, they have been regular and habitual naysayers of this or that or some other thing to the extent that one might prefer they just take off and become Republicans because they can do their psychological damage over there, to them, and not over here, to us.

An example of the latter: A widely respected leader in a particular political area, highly influential and generally liked by his followers, is suddenly advising people to come out against a Democrat running for a key office, one of those races that Democrats needed to win to show the world that we are going to stand up to Trump. He privately notes that his organization is going to come out with material attacking the Democrat in the race. Soon after, that in fact happens, and literature that was apparently created by left leaning organizations that no one ever heard of before is being distributed everywhere, in a widespread effort to disgruntle Democrats and make them stay home in that race. I am as certain as I can be without being absolutely certain that this was paid for by the Russians, though perhaps indirectly, in part because it is exactly the same scenerio that happened in cases where we now know the Russians were involved, and partly because of the nature of the thing. I could be wrong, of course. And, the effort failed partly because it was too late, and partly because the braggart let the cat out of the bag too early and the appropriate parties were warned in advance that it was coming.

Those two groups of people are going to reduce the heft of each and every Democratic candidate that comes from the usual sources, including existing elected officials everywhere. Between long standing and still in place voter suppression, gerrymandering, and the fact that nearly half of Americans are right wing yahoos anyway, this absolutely guarantees a loss in a presidential race against any Republican candidate. Even a clown like Trump. Like actually happened. Remember?

This is why it is interesting to see everyone jump on the Oprah bandwagon when she gives one good speech and has not indicated she is running for anyone. We are so desperate for bigness we’ll take any large scale celebrity. This is illustrated in the diagram below. Take any candidate and subtract the damage caused by this senseless and ubiquitous hate. What you get is a candidate diminished sufficiently to guarantee a loss to a Republican candidate. Alternatively, take any large celebrety, who is much larger than any politician because that is simply the way it is with celebrities. Subtract the same hate, and what to you get? A winner.

So, here is my statement to anyone who nay-says Oprah or any other celebrity. You may be right to say not to this person, but is it also the case that you have participated in prior acts of senseless and stupid cannibalism of more typical candidates? Because if the answer to that is yes, then time for you to shut up and live with the situation you created.

Let’s just hope we get a good celebrity.

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67 thoughts on “Why the Next Democratic President will be a Celebrity

  1. I would not really like Oprah, but if she was the selected Democrat I WOULD VOTE YES! not because she is super qualified (who is?) but she is the democrat. Like Trumpkin is a clown but he has the far -(wrong) and the rePUKEians backing him up. So hopefully Oprah (whoever) would have the democrats backing up her decisions. With a democratic congress putting up progressive ‘forget the wall, & fix the medical care & infrastructure’ bills.

  2. Anyone who backs Oprah for president (or any other non politician) is an ass.
    The tea-bagger/libertarian line of crap that you don’t need any special intelligence or experience to be in government, especially act as president should be easily seen as foolish to anyone with a pulse — not only because it’s pushed by tea-baggers and libertarians (as anything the current crops of those clowns believe is asinine). The same with the belief that success in business means you will be a good political leader.

    But more directly: we now have a year of evidence about how bad having a narcissistic, dishonest, science-denying, morally bankrupt crap-bag as president really is. We don’t need to push another one that way because some on the left think she’ll favor them. Remember that she

    > propelled the woo meister Oz to a public platform — and he’s still shilling nonsense and dangerously worthless “medical” advice
    > did the same for “Dr” Phil — presenting him as a therapist when he never had a degree or license for that. He has his own history of woo and unethical behavior
    > Gave a national platform to the heinous Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccine nonsense

    And don’t think for a second that the racists who backed and continue to back President Trump wouldn’t roll out the race card on a huge scale against her. The Trump backers on here would have a field day attacking her for all the usual race-based fact-free reasons.

    1. I think your argument is a little self contradicting. I agree that experience and aptitude is important, and the tea party line is incorrect for many reasons including factually, but I would not rule out a non-politician ever.

      However, if a famous actor runs, it is essential that they declare in the beginning which role will be the one we are voting for. For instance, let’s take Kevin Spacey as an example. We’ll just put aside the sexual misconduct part for a moment, and use him as an example because he can never run.

      If Kevin Spacey was to be elected, would he be Frank Underwood, Verbal, David Gale, Michael Lynch, or Kaiser Soze?

      This would be important to know.

  3. I doubt Oprah will run. But if she decided to do so, she would be a formidable candidate.

    The first black women President.

    She combines Obama and Clinton in one package, and is also rich, famous and an entertainer (which is similar to Trump). So really, she combines all three in one package.

    If the Democrats had run anybody else other than Clinton, they would have won. Oprah would have beaten Trump (in my opinion). But so would Biden. Not so sure about Bernie.

    Anyway – I can see the attraction of an Oprah run.

    My guess is that Trump won’t run in 2020, so it would be Oprah against Pence (probably).

  4. Of course HRC, with her real flaws, was by far the most qualified candidate. The lies the right had been spreading for decades and the new ones fed the movement against her.

    1. If being the most qualified candidate mattered to voters than Trump wouldn’t have won.

      Trump won partly because he wasn’t the most qualified (he was an outsider).

      Personally, I think Hillary did as much to shoot herself in the foot as the right did against her. Running her private and work emails through her own personal server – that was a bad decision. That one issue alone is probably what cost her the election. Without the private server, her aide Huma Abedin isn’t sending work emails to her husband to print (because that would show up on her Government work email account) and so you wouldn’t have had the investigation reopened right before the election because classified emails were on her husbands computer. Not to mention the classified emails running through the private server.

      But that is just my personal opinion.

    2. But, as we know (at least honest people, the lie is still popular among the reality dismissive folks) there was found to be no criminal intent in the “email scandal”, and the wildest assertions were purely bullshit. It was the constant onslaught of lies (like you continue to push) that kept the issue around.

    3. dean:

      What lies?

      I have not lied. Hillary did have a personal server. Classified emails did go through it. Huma did send emails to her husband’s computer and at least five of them were classified. The rest is my personal opinion. I never even alleged Hillary broke the law or did anything illegal. I just happen to think her server and issues around it are what cost her the election.

      You often resort to name calling – in this case calling me a liar, when I have been very careful to stick to facts.

      But if you prefer to think that I personally caused Hillary to lose the election – well that is ok with me.

    4. But if you prefer to think that I personally caused Hillary to lose the election – well that is ok with me.

      You alone? No. You and people who are drawn to dishonesty, racism, and flat out lies the same way you are? Most certainly.

    5. You’ve heard it before mikeN: if you don’t like being identified as a liar, racist, and worse — stop being those things.

    6. dean:

      You are confused.

      I am not MikeN.

      I am RickA.

      No wonder you think everybody is a liar or a racist – you lump everybody’s views together.

    7. Yup, I screwed up the name. The comments were made with you in mind. I should apologize to mikeN for that. He is not nearly as far off the mark as you.

    8. There was criminal intent by Hillary. As in, Hillary with intent had a personal server for her e-mails. She intended to have work e-mails running on that server. She with intent had classified e-mails appearing on that server. These actions that Hillary did with INTENT were a crime.
      What Comey said was she did not have the MOTIVATION of spreading classified information.

  5. I’ve been a Democrat all my life. That said, I suspect that by 2024 the president will be Ben Sasse. Democrats should pay attention to what he’s saying.

    1. Yes, he’s also a walking combination of lunacy and contradictions (between his comments and his actions).
      Scary, in a Pence way, because even though he’d be a danger to rights and more, he’s somehow seen as rational and thoughtful.

  6. You have a problem as a party when you attribute the exodus of your party stalwarts, people who come to meetings, leaflet, argue hard about issues, to them being “engrumpled”. The rest of the Dem exodus is due to the working class turning into “right wing yahoos”. Oh and the Russians. Those crafty Slavs spent $247k (maybe) and the Dems spent 600M. The definition of more bang for you buck I guess.
    The solution you propose is to run a celebrity??
    When people in academia think this is the solution to what ails us we are in serious trouble as a nation.

    1. ‘Engrumpled’ is a great word. You can’t have a downer on GL because he said ‘engrumpled’. It’s just not fair.

  7. The solution you propose is to run a celebrity??

    Why should we take you seriously when you are incapable of reading for understanding?

    1. I will grant you GL did not propose running a celebrity as a solution. He merely posited it is the only choice left. If we do not hold our nose and vote for the “lesser evil” we have no choice but a celebrity. I am taking issue with his analysis. Democrats might consider that there is something going on other than “engrumpledness” and being “yahoos”.

      @gl ad hominem attack aside, I am a long time reader of your blog. I read it for the science not the politics. Obviously we disagree on what ails the Democrats and how to fix the country.

  8. “She combines Obama and Clinton in one package”

    Two of these served as senators, and one as secretary of state, before running for President. Neither were named “she”.

    Oh, you meant race and gender, because the only qualifications brought to the table by Obama and Clinton were that one was black and the other a woman.

    Someone has a small mind…

    1. That comment simply demonstrates rickA’s view that only well-off white males have anything positive to contribute to society and are willing to work. People in every other group are merely handed what they have, with no effort on their parts.

      That’s the libertarian world view.

  9. Oprah would be a formidable candidate for the reasons RickA says, plus she has strong executive experience.
    Trump’s only play would be to say she is too nice to lead in war. I predict a nickname like lovely Oprah.

    There is a jealousy factor among liberals working against her. She never won an Oscar.
    Lots of other candidates would resent having her usurp their chance at being President.
    What about all the young activists who might interpret an Oprah win subconsciously as there is no chance for me in politics?
    In general, celebrity candidates are a sign the party has no other shot, like Arnold in California.

    1. MikeN:

      “There is a jealousy factor among liberals working against her. She never won an Oscar.”

      Ummm, most of us couldn’t give a shit if she had never worked as an actress.

      Nice projection on your part.

      “In general, celebrity candidates are a sign the party has no other shot, like Arnold in California.”

      Republican. Reagan before him: Republican. Trump: Republican.

      Oprah: no chance, Democrat.

  10. There was criminal intent by Hillary. As in, Hillary with intent had a personal server for her e-mails. She intended to have work e-mails running on that server. She with intent had classified e-mails appearing on that server. These actions that Hillary did with INTENT were a crime.

    In the words of King James, “…why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

    I have no love for either of the Clintons, but Hillary is a girl scout compared to the long litany of demonstrable and suggested crimes of Donal Trump. And Trump is the president, not HRC, so the focus should be on what’s done about him. Further, Trump is rapidly and profoundly destroying the USA’s standing on the world stage, so you’ve not much time left to retain international relevance.

    (What is it about conservatives that they can’t let go of past progressive leaders? Australia’s version of the Republicans is the same – they’re always whining about Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, although it been half a decade since they were in power.)

  11. I have to side with others here who are disturbed by the notion that (entertainment) celebrity is a necessity for becoming president. For so many reasons this is surely a path to downfall in the long-run.

    That said, if one had to pick a conspicuous personality for a presidential candidate, there are many that I’d prefer to see ahead of Oprah Wonfrey. Matt Damon, James Woods, Gina Davis, and Jodie Foster all have reputations for brains, although I’m not familiar with their political leanings. Edward Norton and Tommy Lee Jones are others, and Ben Stein and Elisabeth Shue have particular backgrounds that would lend themselves to serve well as candidates.

    And if one wanted to go entirely meta, who better than Alec Baldwin…?

  12. Ben Stein –> Nixon defender
    Ben Stein –> Believes tax cuts spur economic growth
    Ben Stein –> Birther

    I think we’ve learned (or should have learned) the downsides associated with people with those characteristics (and the ID support to boot), and that there is nothing positive to society about them.

    1. >Ben Stein –> Believes tax cuts spur economic growth

      At best a maybe.
      His dad was economist Herbert Stein, an opponent of supply-siders.
      Anyone who watches Ferris Bueller can see the effect.

      Nevertheless, I find the rejection of the idea surprising from someone who supports carbon taxes, the idea that higher taxes would reduce consumption.

    2. You cannot be serious in asserting that Stein’s economic philosophy can be determined from his acting role in a movie written by someone else.

      Stein is an idiot — his “Intelligent Design” stance and willingness to lie about events, as he did in “Expelled”, don’t speak well for his intellect or his integrity. His believe in the wonderfulness of tax cuts and the existence of Laffer curves reinforce that observation. His defense of Nixon, ala noted criminal G. G. Liddy, doesn’t help him either.

    3. It’s just a coincidence that the dialogue happens to match his dad’s thinking? He could be teaching any boring subject in the world. Ben definitely wrote that in there.

  13. Yes indeed.

    And Winfrey, among what I consider to be her other disqualifiers, is about one hair’s breath away from being an actual cult leader IMO. But by all means, lets get her appointed to head of thoracic surgery at John’s Hopkins while we’re at it.

    Enough with the bull around what is arguably the most powerful office in the world– cynical manipulations, air-headed silliness, and all.

    (MikeN, fergodsake try harder, do better. Holy crap on a cracker.)

    1. Yes, really. From wikipedia:

      “Stein is also a filmmaker. He co-wrote and starred in the 2008 documentary Expelled, which portrays intelligent design creationism as a scientifically valid alternative to Darwinian evolution and alleges a scientific conspiracy against those promoting intelligent design in laboratories and classrooms. “

    2. I have no major issue with faith (as long at it’s not proselytised…), but intelligent design is the version that makes me shudder the most – it takes a special sort of anti-parsimony to put scientific lipstick on a mythological pig. I’m mildly surprised that someone as apparently intelligent as Stein has succumbed to it.

      Of course, if one is coming from the perspective that the universe is a hologram/computer program, then ID might be closer to the mark… but then Christian ID remains a vacuous caricature anyway.

      The more I think about it the more I’d like to see someone like NdGT in the Oval Office. Sadly, I suspect that the majority of the US electorate is still decades – if not centuries – from being able to support someone of that degree of intellectual standing as president.

  14. The ugly truth is, the Democrats have gotten everything they wanted and stood for with Obama, and people are SICK of it!
    Democrats have nothing left to TAKE from America and give to those who DON’T DO!
    Trump will win again (provided he is healthy), because he is making America great again, and he does what he says!
    When was the last time ANY politician did THAT!

    1. “because he is making America great again, and he does what he says!”

      You’d have to supply evidence for the second part and an easily computable metric for the first in order to support that comment.

    2. Re Al: “the Democrats have gotten everything they wanted and stood for with Obama, and people are SICK of it!”

      Well, the fact is that Trump got fewer votes than Hillary Clinton did.

      “Democrats have nothing left to TAKE from America and give to those who DON’T DO!”

      Oh please, not the “makers and takers” crap again. As defined by the GOP, “makers” includes the billionaires (thanks to inherited money) who have shipped many jobs out of the country. It is quite possible for people in the U. S. to work full-time and still be at or near the poverty line.

      “… he [Trump] is making America great again”

      Only if you mean by “great” a lot of jingoistic boasting and biogotry combined with various ways to shift more money from the middle class to the already rich. Apparently, even his own staff members think he is incompetent. Is that part of your definition of “greatness”?

  15. Trump will win again (provided he is healthy), because he is making America great again…

    Really? What, as opposed to the “shithole” that is the rest of the world?

    …and he does what he says!

    That is no proof of greatness, or of fairness, or of wisdom, or of what will secure the best for the most for the longest going forward into the future.

    All it demonstrates is that the US American election system is sufficiently flawed that a minority of the population, disporportionately characterised by uneducated and/or bigotted people, and together with an ideologically-driven right-wing media and a little help from the Russian dictatorship, is able to drag a whole nation and a whole planet down for their own selfish profiteering.

    1. What we found out after the immigration meeting is that the current president is appealing for his scummy supporters to become vocal. Decent people don’t refer to “shithole” countries, nor do they remain quiet when their chosen leader uses that sort of language.

      Of course, we’ve known for as long as Trump has been in the news that he’s a racist, and a congenital liar, so this is nothing new. The fact that people were aware of that and still backed him in the campaign, continuing to do so now, really puts truth to their description as being among the worst people in the country.

    2. The democrats need to spread out, and live away from their current concentrations.

      Democrats cluster around large cities and the coasts.

      The deplorables are spread out enough to win a majority of the electoral votes, which is what counts in the USA.

      The popular vote is not the relevant metric.

      So my recommendation to democrats is move to deep red areas of the USA, and away from the deep blue areas.

      That is what you need to do to win Presidential elections (in my opinion).

    3. What we need as a country is few people who think that people like Trump, Ryan, Pence, and the rest of those dishonest scumbags deserve any position of responsibility.

    4. >Decent people don’t refer to “shithole” countries,

      Except when they complain about Trump’s immigration proposals, they will declare these countries are such horrible places it would be cruel to send people there.

  16. Re RickA: “So my recommendation to democrats is move to deep red areas of the USA, and away from the deep blue areas.

    That is what you need to do to win Presidential elections (in my opinion).”

    And go back to farming the land like our forefathers and foremothers did. Get rid of post-1700s technology and we won’t need big cities.

    Or we could reverse gerrymandering and so that it doesn’t take several voters of one party in one voting district to equal the vote of one person in another voting district. Then we could have our technology back.

    1. You note that rickA’s “suggestion” had nothing to do with dealing with the racists, bigots, crooks, and other scum in the modern libertarian/republican movement. The fact that they are the largest collected danger to the country doesn’t bother him.

    2. Tyvor:

      You could try reverse gerrymandering – but that doesn’t go across state lines. The electoral votes normally go per state (this can vary by state law). So the gerrymandering or reverse gerrymandering isn’t going to change the number of votes for President for the state as a whole. Gerrymandering only really affects the house seats.

      dean:

      I ignored your race baiting comment. Even if it were true that every Republican is racist (which it isn’t), it doesn’t matter. There is no law against casting your vote for racist reasons (or sexist reasons for that matter). So how are you going to fix that?

      Since voting is anonymous even if a law was passed making it illegal to vote based on racist reasons, it would be impossible to enforce.

      I guess you are just going to have to make your self feel better by pretending that every person who doesn’t vote for your preferred candidate is racist, or sexist or both. Which you already do – so good for you.

      Racism wasn’t a factor in the last Presidential election because both Hillary and Trump were white – so you must mean Republican/libertarians are sexist.

      Racism wasn’t a factor in the two elections Obama won, because he won both.

      So maybe it isn’t libertarian/republicans that are the problem.

      Maybe democrats need to field candidates who get out the vote in the places that matter – namely winning enough states to get a majority of electoral votes.

      Maybe having too many democrats living in California is the largest collective danger to the country?

      No – on second thought lets leave California to the democrats.

    3. rickA, you are really an ass (in addition to being a racist). I said the country needs to have fewer racists and bigots. If you don’t think those lowlifes had a role in getting trump elected you are either far more stupid than you seem or far more dishonest than you’ve made us believe. With your record of commenting those two things are equally likely to be true.

    4. dean:

      You are a name caller.

      How do you plan to go about accomplishing this “I said the country needs to have fewer racists and bigots”?

      Hey – I have a good idea – why don’t you call everybody who disagrees with you a racist and a bigot. That should work.

      Good luck with whatever your plan is.

      Or perhaps your plan is to just name call – since that is what you spend you time doing here.

      Well, if it makes you feel better about yourself, I guess you will keep doing it.

    5. Being intentionally dishonest again Rick? Don’t you ever get tired of that? You deny that Trump’s statements are racist? You deny he has the support of white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis, even when they say they support him? You deny that the country would be better off without people like them?

      Additionally, what is to be made of people who claim they aren’t racists but don’t speak out against those who are or Trump’s comments? How is implied acceptance of racism.and worse any better than explicit endorsement?

      I don’t know how you turned out to be such a pathetic example of a person: science denying, stating racism and bigotry aren’t issues, and intentional misrepresentation of the events around you simply to downplay things you favor, but you have certainly mastered all of those behaviors.

    6. House and state legislative districts, including state Senate districts are required to be about equal in population. There is no case of one person’s vote counting many times more than people in other districts, except for US Senate races, states with just one House member, and in the electoral college where a state must have at least 3 votes no matter how small the population.

    7. dean:

      Name calling again? How immature.

      And putting words in my mouth. How immature.

      Your mind reading skills are terrible also.

      I used to think you were mature, but now I wonder how old you really are.

      Are you a teenager pretending to be an adult?

      Keep up your current argument style – it is making you look bad!

  17. Re RickA: “House and state legislative districts, including state Senate districts are required to be about equal in population”

    “Partisan domination of state legislatures and improved technology to design contiguous districts that pack opponents into as few districts as possible have led to district maps which are skewed towards one party. Consequently, many states including Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas have succeeded in reducing or effectively eliminating competition for most House seats in those states. In 2003 Republicans in Texas increased their representation in the U.S. House through a controversial mid-decade redistricting.

    Maybe you should go fix the Wikipedia article of redistricting. It includes this at present:

    “Other states including California, New Jersey and New York have opted to protect incumbents of both parties, again reducing the number of competitive districts. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Pennsylvania gerrymander[5] effectively cemented the right of elected officials to select their constituents by eliminating most of the grounds for disenfranchised constituents to challenge gerrymandered lines.”

    Wikipedia asks “Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.”

    1. Nothing to fix. Nothing what you posted contradicts the fact that districts are about equal in population, and thus one person’s vote is about the same as someone else’s.
      Yes, it has essentially become politicians pick their voters.

      Republicans became over the last few decades as good at it as Democrats were before, and now liberals are complaining. Republicans won 60% of the votes in Texas, yet Democrats had a 17-13 lead in House seats. Tom Delay tried to redo the redistricting to fix this after judges made it only a 17-15 Democrat lead. Then Republicans took over a bunch of states in 2010 and rigged some more states in their favor, while Democrats pushed back in Illinois and Maryland(which doesn’t have that many Republicans to begin with).

  18. RickA,

    Racism was a factor in Obama’s elections, it’s just a factor he overcame.

    Racism was also a factor in the most recent election, the biggest issue for Trump’s base was his campaigning on keeping Mexicans and Muslims out of the US.

    As for fixing the US political system the big trouble is the alternate reality bubble that the right has built. I suspect the major culprit here is Fox News.

    1. If you mean that a lot of people voted for Obama because of the color of his skin, than I agree – there was racism in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

      That is why I voted for Obama – because he was black and I thought it was time for the first black president.

      It certainly wasn’t because Obama was more qualified than Hillary Clinton.

      I also like that Obama was young.

      I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Senator McCain – who was just to old (and white).

      Maybe everybody who voted for Obama is a racist. Hmmm – I never would have thought of that without your comment.

      Thanks Aaron.

    2. It’s interesting that amongst all the reason that you give for voting, you don’t list that objectively he was the best candidate.

    1. Yep – it could happen.

      As a Minnesota fan, we are always waiting to lose in the first round of the playoffs – so I am not sure what to do now that we made it past the first round.

  19. I think a lot of this, including during the campaign, is because Trump is stoking the fire. The e-mails at Wikileaks were largely irrelevant, but revealing how much they rigged things against Bernie is perhaps more significant than we thought. Trump mentioned it everywhere. “A race where you lost, fair and square, unlike the Bernie Sanders race where you won, but not fair and square.” He did not make it easy for Bernie Bros to vote Hillary. I haven’t noticed it, but perhaps he is continuing to do this. Who did Bernie want as party chairman?

  20. Re MikeN: “Nothing what you posted contradicts the fact that districts are about equal in population, and thus one person’s vote is about the same as someone else’s.”

    What about the inequality of drawing districts so as to deliberately distribute one party’s voters among a number of other districts so as to keep them a minority party in as many districts as possible? Are you saying that this hasn’t happened/doesn’t happen? Within such districts, the minority voters votes are dependably going for nothing. Or, of course, there is the other way to manipulate votes, making it as difficult as possible for voters of one party to vote as possible. Haven’t there been many GOP moves in this direction?

    You yourself gave examples of successful rigging of the system in Texas. You want to say that it is done by both parties. Maybe so but I don’t care who does it; it’s wrong.

    1. Yes, that is how gerrymandering works, except you aren’t distributing one party among lots of districts, you are packing them into a few districts, conceding these and making it easier for your party to win the remaining districts.

      The flip side of this is if one party is being aggressive with its gerrymander, it makes it more likely they will lose seats. This is part of why Republicans lost the House in 2006. In gerrymandering, they are taking their strong districts and making them weaker to make the weaker districts strong. Now instead of having districts with 60+% Republicans, you have more districts with 55% or less. These districts are more likely to fall if the party loses favor.

  21. Re MikeN: “… except you aren’t distributing one party among lots of districts, you are packing them into a few districts, conceding these and making it easier for your party to win the remaining districts. ”

    Yes, I understand that there is more than one method. Each method might well be more useful in some states at some times than in others at other times, depending in part on relative total populations between urban and rural areas, between which majority political opinions often differ significantly.

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