Monday, September 05, 2016


It's interesting to read this in The Washington Post ...
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are probing what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.

The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation.
... in the context of this New York Times story:
When a handful of liberal advocacy organizations convened a series of focus groups with young black voters last month, the assessments of Donald J. Trump were predictably unsparing.

But when the participants were asked about Hillary Clinton, their appraisals were just as blunt and nearly as biting.

“What am I supposed to do if I don’t like him and I don’t trust her?” a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. “Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!”
The Times story links to the focus group's report, from which we learn that a number of black millennials think the electoral system is rigged -- just the way Putin wants them to:

We know that plenty of white Berners feel the same way. Obviously, you can't blame all of this on the Russians -- Democratic documents showing a tilt toward Clinton were there to be leaked, although a party that had genuinely rigged the primaries wouldn't have allowed Sanders to win 23 states.

The Post story suggests that the Russian aim is to sell the world on the notion that American democracy is fraudulent:
The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
That message may be heard from unexpected places in the U.S. -- now we see that at least some members of the African-American community will think fraud happened if the overt racist in this election loses. Putin must be thrilled.


Victor said...

IMO – Just as t-RUMP will be the death of the GOP as we know it, Hillary will probably be the death of the DNC – if not the Democratic party.

t-RUMP has exposed the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, religiously intolerant – among other bigotries – for everyone to see.
Despite candidates like Warren, Sherrod Brown, among others, who could have run, they stuck with Hillary.
Those folks would all have been more popular than she is.
And, while Kaine is a nice, safe, VP choice, he’s my age, and we need new blood.

I don’t know how or what’s going to happen after election day, but shit will start to come down around both parties heads.

Anyone have any opinions on what will happen?

I can see a hard-right party, and a more liberal party. But how quickly they can get into power enough to win national elections, is for far greater minds than mine to figure out.

Leo Artunian said...

Victor -

There's quite a bit of fudging in your comment, "Despite candidates like Warren, Sherrod Brown, among others, who could have run, they stuck with Hillary." Does "they" refer to Warren and Sherrod Brown, or to the DNC? Since Warren repeatedly said she didn't want to run, and Sherrod Brown is about as exciting and well-known as Tom Bodett, the guy who said "We'll leave the light on" for Motel 6, it's no surprise that the majority of Democratic primary voters -- not the DNC -- went for a highly-qualified, tested politician. Is the promise of a third term of Obama somehow a party-destroying threat comparable to the nearly incomprehensible insanity that is the Trump campaign? I don't think so.

By the way, we already have "a hard-right party" and we should fight like Hell to make sure its candidates never win national elections again.

Feud Turgidson said...

Victor, there's a flaw in your reasoning. The Republican party is now - has been for the last 4 decades at least (I actually think more like almost the entire last 140 years) the party of corporate business interests: manufacturing, energy and other mining extraction, banking and finance, consumer goods, with the party's "principles", the convergence of capitalism and regligiosity, increasingly a schizoid immigration policy that combines nominal isolationism and nativism combined while encouraging and exploiting massive importing of cheap labor.

The Democratic party is to a large extent defined by most if not all that the GOP is NOT. That is, the Ds aren't so much a party as a bare national scaffolding for the coming together of a wide array of interests that are in some degree or another in conflict or tension with the interests that resort to the R party.

Thus the downfall arcs of the respective parties should be, and in my opinion must be, quite different. The GOP as it is now is CATEGORICALLY vulnerable to being taken over by narrow interests, particularly extremists and con artists. The D party is certainly no less vulnerable than the GOP to a LOCAL or even a short term regional takeover by con artists (tho far less, even categorically immune, to being take over by extremists), but by its nature - the coalition of so many interests that it's a feature not a bug to find at least some interests within the coalition being in conflict with others also within the coalition.

Therefore we all can foresee the Republican party 're-forming' itself as an even more narrow toxic extremism than it currently is, the D party has a form of 'herd immunity' built into its once-every-4-years ongoing reformation.

IOW the default reform direction for the R party is extremism, while the default reform direction for the D party is moderation.

Victor said...

I stand corrected.

Thank you.
Sometimes, it's depressing being a liberal...........

Feud Turgidson said...

We're right on the cusp of both parties ending up being led by an Hispanic nominee: on the GOP side, one of the two Cubans, and on the D side, it could be Perez, or one or the other Castro, or LA mayor Erik Garcetti, and there are other promising candidates. Again: the GOP resort to an Hispanic nominee will be a more towards greater extremism, while I'd expect the D to go for a moderate.

Ten Bears said...

Queue Twilight Zone score...

If your clip reads like something written in the nineteen sixties, it's because it was.

jsrtheta said...

Much of this comes from the general ignorance people have about how elections are done. Not surprising in a nation where one of the two major candidates for president thinks there are at least 12 Articles in the Constitution.

It is extremely difficult to "rig" an election. It would involve a truly "vast" conspiracy at almost all levels. But the average schlemiels on the street have no knowledge of this, and sorry, a lot of it's their own fault.

If the great washed, slicked and pampered would get their fucking noses out of their iPhones, stop playing silly computer games, and stop sending out pictures of the bacon cheeseburger they're eating, and actually try to be at least minimally informed, this sort of nonsense wouldn't fly.

Robert said...

If the great washed, slicked, and pampered would actually try to be at least minimally informed, we'd never have a Democrat or Republican as President of the United States.

Ten Bears said...

By design, a feature, not a bug.

Paul Montgomery said...

Come on Steve, you have seen the poll crosstabs. An anti-Clinton black youth focus group is not representative of the wider community. You can cherry pick focus groups to say anything.

The Politician said...

The problem with conspiracy theories is that there's no way to combat them. Tell a Sanders supporter (who believes this stuff) that a conspiracy wouldn't have allowed him to win 23 states and they'll tell you they *had* to allow him to win some to make sure the whole thing didn't look like a sham. Yet had he been blown out and won almost 0 states they would have said the entire system is rigged because clearly he has so many supporters, etc. etc.

Ten Bears said...

Still flogging the Sanders dead horse?

jsrtheta said...

@Ten Bears:
The "dead horse" crawled out of its stable, so...

Yastreblyansky said...

Also, Victor, do pay attention to most of our favorites--Warren, Brown, Mark Takano, Jeff Merkley, Keith Ellison, Mike Honda, Tammy Baldwin, and soon returning Russell Feingold. They're backing Clinton very hard and confidently. I don't believe they think she's Clement Atlee come back to life, but they clearly see her as something more than Republican Lite, somebody they can work with to make some real progress.

Steve M. said...

Still flogging the Sanders dead horse?

Watch the exit polls in November. It's quite possible that Clinton will lose New Hampshire and maybe Ohio and Florida by less than the number of #NeverHillary Sanders voters who defected to Stein, Johnson, or Trump.

Ten Bears said...

It is quite possible Clinton will lose, but of course Clinton can't "lose", she can only be "gored". Forgetting it was a third party that tossed she and her husband the keys to the White House twenty-odd years ago.

Speaking of Gore, the last time I held my nose and voted the lesser evil, voted the most palatable of Skull and Bonesmen, the freakin' coward didn't have the courage to step up the plate and say "hey, wait just one minute!"

Steve M. said...

Clinton did not win in '92 because of Perot.



jsrtheta said...

The Perot excuse was buried on Election Day. Exit polls showed Clinton would still have won.