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Ray -- I don't know what your obsession is with Hillary Clinton. That fact is she won the popular vote despite all the smear campaigns against her. Between you and Chet, you have a fixation on why Hillary lost,
In case you didn't notice, the Democrats lost the Presidency, Congress and the Senate in the last election, along with the opportunity to replace Scalia. And given the age of the current Supreme Court Justices, they had better plan to win again before 2024, or else they risk losing the Supreme Court for a generation. So it seems advisable to conduct an extended post-mortem (what you call a "fixation") on "why Hillary lost" and what went wrong for the Democrats last time. Let's not pin all our hopes on Mueller indicting Trump, Mike Pence and the Speaker of the House, and awarding full control of all branches of the government to the Democrats forever.
but neither of you consider the Trump factor of why some 63 million people voted for him.
That's clearly nonsense. Chet is all over this forum talking about Trump's "charisma".
There are several factors of why people voted for Trump and as Marco Rubio said, he is a con artist. I will go so far as calling him the world's greatest con artist. However, beside that point he also is the master of controlling the messaging by being outrageous. MSNBC and CNN covered him ad infinitum during the campaign because his outrageous behavior was good for ratings. And when they covered Hillary, it was overwhelmingly the e-mails or other negative stuff, never about her well thought out plans. As much as Hillary tried to break through by telling people to go to HillaryClinton.com to read where she stands on the issues, that message got drowned out in the media scramble to be first to cover the latest Trump tweet. They covered his rallies uninterrupted in case they might miss something outrageous that he said.
“One thing I’ve learned about the press is that they’re always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better. … The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you." - Donald Trump, Art of the Deal
He made promises that appealed to selected demographics, but with little thought about how he could deliver on the promises or the broader implications if he did. He promised he would get tough on China and Mexico, falsely claiming that the NAFTA was "the single worst trade deal made in history anywhere". On the TPP he said, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country.”
It was all feel good stuff for the rust belt manufacturing communities. He and Bernie shared the same message in that regard. Both blamed China and NAFTA and trade deals in general. Neither ever mentioned the impact of technology, robots or just market competition for the loss of jobs. He falsely claimed that in scrapping these trade deals, the jobs would be coming back. Well he has imposed some trade tariffs on China and now is having second thoughts as China is outlining their reciprocal tariffs. NAFTA is still here. Yes he withdrew from the TPP and is quietly now trying to renegotiate to get back in realizing he's not going to get any better terms dealing one-on-one with these 12 countries than the negotiated terms in the TPP.
He promised to make coal "king" again and withdrew from the Paris Accord so that coal can pollute the skies again. I guess he never knew that natural gas fired electric generating plants were the main reason coal is no longer king, and that those coal mining jobs are never coming back although he falsely claimed he indeed created 50,000 coal miner jobs. Those coal miners must be looking around asking, "where are those 50,000 jobs."
On health care he called ObamaCare a total disaster and promised what his plan would look like: “There’s many different ways (to fix health care), by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.’ But...I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now....the government’s gonna pay for it.”
I don't need to say anything more on that point. And that "big beautiful wall that Mexico is going to pay for" is shown to be a sham that he cannot get funded but he pretends is being built anyway.
I agree with most of that. The following, however...
But Trump also had help from James Comey,
...is an excuse.
Hillary Clinton decided to use a private and under-secured server for her classified and highly sensitive work as Secretary of State. Who did that? Hillary Clinton did that. Did someone make her do it? No. No-one made her do it.
Her action was, at the very least, against the security policy she had been thoroughly briefed upon when she became Secretary of State. At worst, it was illegal. But she chose to do it anyway. Who did? Hillary did.
That's why there was an investigation in the first place. Thanks to Hillary Clinton.
Then she made it worse.
If only she had handed over all her emails, everything could have been taken care of by July, when Comey made his announcement. Alas, Clinton and/or her assistants attempted to destroy and/or hide many of the emails. Unfortunately, for Clinton, this resulted in some of the emails showing up late, at a most inconvenient time for her campaign.
Whose fault was that? Comey's? Not really. Huma Abedin's? Um... maybe. Secretary Clinton's?
Well, let's put it this way. The sign on Harry Truman's desk said "The Buck Stops Here". And Clinton was auditioning for that job.
The Clinton campaign also pressured Comey to prematurely announce that their candidate was in the clear, even though the investigation was formally still open. Comey acquiesced, making a statement in July that the FBI were not recommending that Clinton be charged, and that they did not expect to find any new information. Unfortunately, that meant that when, to everyone's surprise, the FBI did find some new information, Comey had an obligation to correct the record.
If the Clinton campaign had not pressured him to make the first announcement, there would be nothing to correct. The FBI could and would have kept their October discovery quiet.
I do feel sorry for Comey. It wasn't his fault he was obliged to investigate. And yet, given that task, it seemed to me that he bent over backwards to avoid biasing the election. The poor guy even let Peter Strzok turn "gross negligence" with classified information, which is a felony, into "extreme carelessness", which appears to the ordinary person to be the same thing in different words. As far as I can tell, this was done to avoid pressing charges against HRC and causing an electoral crisis. But in a perfect world, he would not have to make such a compromise. He would not have been put in that position in the first place.
Who put him in that position?
... the Russian trolls and bots, WikiLeaks, and Bernie Sanders voters.
I expect Russian trolls, if such monsters be prov'd, would have much less effect on the election than American trolls, who better know the language, the culture and the opposition's weak points. And there are literally millions and millions of those, most of them between the ages of 12 and 15.
Russian bots, if such monsters be prov'd, are likely to be less effective still. I don't even believe bots when they refer to me by name and tell me I've won a vacation. Hard to believe they're any better at politics than they are at marketing.
As for Wikileaks, if you run an honest primary, there's no cheating for Wikileaks to expose. And if you don't want Wikileaks to reveal the transcripts of $250,000 speeches you gave to Goldman Sachs, don't give the speeches. Alternatively, you could do what Bernie Sanders suggested and release the transcripts yourself.
The bottom line is that leaks can only embarrass you if, behind closed doors, you're up to no good.
And as for blaming it on the (Bernie) voters... you might as well blame it on democracy itself. If the candidate can't even persuade the people on her own side to vote for her, even when facing a fathead, demagogic nincompoop like Trump, what better proof is there that you've chosen the wrong candidate?
But as I said, I agree with most of your post. I think Trump is reasonably described as a con-man. The question is, what use is this information? How will it help the Democrats?
Perhaps they can expose him as a con-man! YES! Er, no. Tried that.
Clinton was endorsed by a record number of newspapers, almost every print newspaper in the country, in fact. She was even endorsed by newspapers that, though they had been around for decades and more, had never ever endorsed a Democrat. They were moved to switch sides because Trump was a terrible candidate. A liar. A demagogue. A conman. Some newspapers made him out to be the next Hitler. An American fascist to end the Republic.
But it did no good.
So if exposing Trump doesn't work, what can be done? Can Democrats change the Republican nominee at the next election? No. Of course not. The Republicans choose their nominee, and that candidate will probably be the incumbent Donald Trump.
Unless something... unusual happens. Perhaps it might. Mueller might bring Trump down. Or Trump might choose not to run. Or the Republicans might oust him (I'm not sure of their rules). But even then, the new Republican nominee may also be a con-man, someone who plays all the tricks that you just listed. Because what Trump has invented, others will surely copy.
So, again. How are Democrats going to defeat it?
It seems to me that, on this forum, bashing Trump is a waste of html. Who are you trying to convince? We all agree with you. Much more productive to discuss what Democrats can change, and the only things they can are Democrat policies, the Democratic candidate and the Democratic campaign strategy. So any serious discussion of strategy going forward should focus on those.
Now let's try to get back to the Scooter Libby pardon.