Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The American people have spoken, and they chose Hillary Clinton

UPDATE NOVEMBER 13:  it's fitting that in the currently-first entry in a Google search about election results, the Trump supporter response to losing the popular vote is to deny that he lost. Also says something that he provides his source - a guy named Mike who typed contrary results in a Tweet. Anyway, numbers and text updated below, and I'll revise one more time in a week when almost all the later and provisional ballots have been counted. Hillary beat Donald by even more than Gore beat Bush.

Top line figure if you're asking who Americans chose:

Clinton:  62,523,126
Trump:   61,201,301

Those figures are as of November 13 but they've been trending in her favor since Tuesday and are likely to only grow a bit more. Criticize us Americans, rightly, for only rejecting Trump by a small margin but that's what we did. It's the Electoral College system that decided the loser should be President, not the public.

That's not to say we should be reassured - we shouldn't.

Continued federal action on climate change via Obama's climate plan will go away. Trump's replacement for Scalia on the Supremes will eviscerate one key section of the plan. Another part of the Clean Air Act might save it or might not, but Trump will follow regulatory processes to destroy the plan and possibly legislative action too. It's up to the states to act now, and to our international partners. Paris Accord will survive to the next election.

Obamacare is less clear - not sure how willing Trump and Republicans are to take health care away from 20 million people, although they might - these people aren't that powerful and don't vote Republican. Malign neglect of the law, which needs technical fixes, might give them a chance to trash it while blaming the law itself.

For an authoritarian, Trump is less interventionist than I'd expect, although he talks big talk on ISIS in a non-nuanced way that is scary, especially considering he is puzzled by why we don't use nuclear weapons. Let's hope Mosul is done and Raqqa gets close to falling before January 20th.

Alternative interpretation - authoritarians don't always start out as military aggressors in foreign countries, it's just a trick they turn to when they get dangerously unpopular. So wait for it.

About as important is the general incompetence we're likely to see - unless he chooses aides who aren't sycophants. Good luck.

As soon as one liberal leaves the Supreme Court, give it a few years more and gay marriage will no longer be the law of the land, but up to each state. 

And finally, whether he'll take any steps to really, fundamentally destroy American democracy, following the Caesar route. I'm guessing he's too incoherent to have a plan to do this, but he would do it if the chance arose. Then we see how well American institutions work.

So what to do:

Give Trump a chance? Sure, why not? He's one of the worst people in America, but he's not the absolute worst. Maybe the one in a million chance will play out that he'll change. His misogyny and racism are secondary to his narcissism so maybe he'll moderate. What I can't support is sucking up to him.

Anyone living in a state where the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact isn't approved should get their Democratic legislators to introduce it. Even in a hopelessly Republican state, their failure to pass it gives yet another thing used to beat them over the head.

Could the Democrats, please, please, finally support term limits for Supreme Court judges? A lot of Republicans do. If the Dems had done that 8 years ago, we'd be facing 19 year appointments by Trump, instead of 40-50 year appointments of relatively young, super-conservative nominees.

And act locally, especially on climate change - that's the option we've got.


UPDATE:  and one more idea for a campaign slogan - Warren 2020, A Clear Vision for America


Anonymous said...

A 52% turnout. For *this* election. Words fail.

As Ben Franklin said: "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Andrew said...

You have to wonder what the response would have been from the Trump side had they won the popular vote but lost the electoral college..

The scary fact is that voting systems that deliver lots of power based on a fraction of the electorate (~25% in this case, less than that for the last UK election) is that no politicians of mainstream parties are particularly motivated to change them, because they all seem to be thinking 'If we can just get 1 in 4 voters to vote for us we are in..'.

Fernando Leanme said...

Relax. The discrepancy between the popular vote and the electoral vote has happened 5-6 times in the past. In this case it came about in part thanks to intense data mining and targeting ads, strategic messaging, and appearances at key spots.

For example, take the democratic approach in Florida: their polling apparently told them the "Latino" community would swing democrat, and that cubanamericans wouldn't react too negatively to Obama's visit to Cuba and friendly attitude towards Cuban dictator Raúl Castro.

However, they forgot the Cuban American community is like a temporal sausage, the more recent arrivals are product of the "new socialist man" experiment performed by the Castros. This experiment backfired and yielded two generations of materialistic, hedonistic, promiscuous, and very morally flexible "new cubans". These new arrivals tend to be a bit more inclined to support the democrats - but they aren't citizens, don't feel part of the country, and/or don't bother to vote.

This led to Hillary's careless approach in south Florida. Obama compounded the issue coming out in October and issuing executive orders to allow large amounts of cigars and other goodies brought to the USA by Anerican tourists. This was seen as a direct insult by many of us Cuban Americans who DO VOTE and also sway our neighbors and friends by being active in politics. Why was it seen as an insult? Because in previous months we had pointed out to the Obama administration that repression and human rights abuses had INCREASED since ge started his new approach.

So what was the response? We started to make noise via congressmen and senators. And this eventually filtered to Trump. Trump, whose polling was more sophisticated than Hillary's, saw a move to get her, and started making anti Castro statements. I think many of us realize Trump would have promised us a free trip to Disney World or 2 % car loans if that's what we wanted to hear. But he only had to badmouth Castro. And that cost him nothing elsewhere because Castro loving left wingers were going to vote for Hillary anyway.

And thus it came to pass that Hillary lost 29 votes, Trump gained 29 votes, and that's pretty much it.

I also want to remind you the constitution was written to gave the system work this way on purpose. And when candidates data mine and then focus to win the electoral college vote they are simply playing by the existing rules. If the system was focused on the popular vote then the data mining and strategy would be oriented to winning the popular vote. And Trump may have won anyway.

You want to fix the system? Go after gerrymandering and those rather odd congressional districts. Pass a constitutional amendment limiting pac and corporate contributions, and fix fundamental system flaws. And don't put up a clunky democratic candidate who coughs, loses her shoe, has heavy support from the Hollywood crowd and Wall Street, backed the Iraq war, and forgets that those white bible toting blue collar members of the proletariate aren't to be laughed at, insulted, or ignored.

Jeffrey Davis said...

Is there any evidence, at all, that Warren wants the job?

Constant Gardner said...

Unfortunately, Warren will be 71 in 2020. America's deep and wide racist base, who should be laughed at, insulted and then ignored, voted in the least qualified candidate ever to run. By 2020, EPA will be gone, the CAA may be repealed and execrable imbecile, Sarah Palin, might be in charge of Interior.


Never underestimate the power of an informed Troglotariat.

Brian said...

JD - Warren held off a long time before unequivocally taking herself out of the primary race. She was likely trying to wait to see if Hillary would stumble, but it didn't happen. So yes I think there's evidence of interest.

And yes at 71 she'd be old, but not much older than Trump, and a woman.

BBD said...

This was seen as a direct insult by many of us Cuban Americans

Thought you lived in Spain, Fernando.

Hank Roberts said...

> the constitution was written to gave the
> system work this way on purpose.

Amended, you mean. 12th Amendment.

... In order to guarantee that the nonvoting slaves could nevertheless influence the presidential election, Madison favored the creation of the electoral college. \51

Hugh Williamson of North Carolina was more open about the reasons for southern opposition to a popular election of the president. He noted that under a direct election of the president, Virginia would not be able to elect her leaders president because “[h]er slaves will have no suffrage.” \52

The same of course would be true for the rest of the South. The Convention quickly moved to accept the idea of an electoral college, following the lead of Ellsworth, from the North, and Madison and Williamson, from the South. This sectional balance is revealing. Ellsworth almost always voted with the South on slavery-related matters, and the agreement here seems part of the same New England-Deep South coalition that led to the Slave Trade clause. \53

The Convention tied presidential electors to representation in Congress. By this time the Convention had already agreed to count slaves for representation under the three-fifths compromise, counting five slaves as equal to three free people in order to increase the South’s representation in Congress. Thus, in electing the president the political power southerners gained from owning slaves (although obviously not the votes of slaves) would be factored into the electoral votes of each state.

The truth of Williamson’s observation about the need of the South to have its slaves counted in choosing the president becomes clear when we examine the election of 1800 between John Adams, who never owned a slave, and Thomas Jefferson, who owned about 200 at the time. The election was very close, with Jefferson getting seventy-three electoral votes and Adams sixty-five. Jefferson’s strength was in the South, which provided fifty-three of his electoral votes. If Jefferson had received no electoral votes based on counting slaves under the 3/5ths clause, John Adams would have won the election. \54

E. Swanson said...

El Supremo Trumpenski is already revving up the engines of (Climate) change. Can individual states, many of which are already in the R's camp, have any impact on this massive steamroller???

BBD said...

E. Swanson opens the door to a magical world somewhere out there:

We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration.


The Trump Administration is firmly committed to conserving our wonderful natural resources and beautiful natural habitats. America’s environmental agenda will be guided by true specialists in conservation, not those with radical political agendas.

Unknown said...

Castro, coughing, footwear.

Powerful analysis Fernando.


What becomes of Clinton's O.3% mandate if Brian divides Johnson's 3 % between her and Trump pro rata in acccord with the exit polls?

Hank Roberts said...

I recall years ago (Usenet days) a computer guy noting that if you're planning to fiddle with election tallies, you want as close as possible to a 50/50 split going into the election. That's where changing just a few votes makes the difference.


If you run the full numbers Brian's headline should read:

The American people have spoken, and 24.7% of them chose Hillary Clinton

She got 47.5 % of a 52 % turnout.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, why shouldn't the headline be that:

The American people have spoken, and 25.9% of them chose Donald Trump. Less than the 26.1% that chose Hillary Clinton.

Updated vote totals:
Donald Trump 60,072,551
Hillary Clinton 60,467,601

Eligible voters: 231,556,622


Because 'The American People ' is a rigid designator in the set of national populations, which consist in 100% of the people in a country.

Hillary Clinton has not been spoken for by 75.3% of them, and 52.5 of those who voted for President did not vote for her.

Now what's all this about :
"The American people have spoken, and they chose Hillary Clinton?"

Unknown said...

Anyone got any thoughts on whether the USA's allies are going to be happy sharing sensitive intelligence information with the USA given the possibility that you've just elected a Russian puppet?


Since President Putin is an old KGB hand, I'd worry more about him putting Ukranian poppets on the case.

Howard said...

Yeah! Hillary won a game that was not played. I hopes that boostes your self esteem. The truth is that slimy wall street suckling opportunist conspired with DNC and CNN and relied on overall cheerleading of legacy media to defeat Bernie Sanders.

Hillary's ambitions gave us Trump.

Howard said...

Warren is too old, so in 2020, she will be cannon fodder. That's good because we don't want to waste a great candidate on a loser election.

We need a 45-year old veteran gun toting populist-progressive from the inter-mountain west or heartland in 2024.

Brian Schmidt said...

Howard - yes the incumbent has an advantage running for re-election, but it's not huge, 1 or 2 points. The economy will be a big factor, and secondarily how much of a nightmare Trump turns out to be.

Warren will be younger than Trump, so her age will not be a factor. OTOH if medical problems show up for Trump in the next 4 years (not successfully concealed) then it might be better to run somebody younger.

Hank Roberts said...

I hope you'll update this, it's being denied rather widely.

Brian said...

Thanks Hank, it's updated.

Howard said...

Brian: I would like Bernie and Warren take a leadership role in the party and start organizing for the mid terms. They have lots of momentum and a country full of young people (biggest demographic) who are pissed at the Trump victory. As a national candidate, Warren lacks charisma, which is critical. It's time to pass the baton to the next generation. I'm looking forward to the first Gen-X president.

Fernando Leanme said...

Somebody please remind BBD I'm a Cuban Anerican living in Spain. My Spanish visa is stamped in my USA passport, and yes I have to deal with the IRS, which gives me the right to get evacuated by USA marines if the locals get nasty.

I bothered to answer the question because today people do get around and this doesn't get factored in very well. The center forward for Celta is a Swede named Guidetti, my sister's last name is Japanese, I live with a teenager of Syrian descent who gets excellent grades, and Alaska has quite a few Venezuelans, including a very well educated young lady who helps children with disabilities. Helping her and her husband get out of Venezuela was one of my best accomplishments.

david lewis said...

Its time to support term limits on the Supreme Court. How many Republican voters thought they had to vote Trump in order to avert casting a liberal Supreme Court in stone for the next 40 or so years?

Toby said...

"Pass a constitutional amendment limiting pac and corporate contributions, and fix fundamental system flaws."

Hillary Clinton at least committed to reversing the Citizens United decision that created the Super-PACs. Trump was not only silent on the issue, while making vague attacks on "the elite" of which he is a long-standing member, he appointed the chairman of Citizens United to his campaign. Republicans see the PACS as favouring them, so nothing will be done under Trump.

Indeed, as we watch the President-Elect appoint Wall Street insiders and Lobbyists to his cabinet, promise to re-deregulate Wall Street, while getting behind Paul Ryan's effort to gut Medicare, it looks as if the USA has actually elected Dick Cheney.