Author Topic: The US Presidency 2019  (Read 74043 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #450 on: June 21, 2019, 17:11:29 »
You're glossing over the key point. He originally made a decision to strike (undoubtedly knowing that there would be casualties). The strike package was launched.

Then, he changed his mind and called them back. That's blinking and that's a clear sign of indecision.

I'm not a hawk here and I know that there are clearly pro and con issues as well as differing factions both within the White House and Congress. The issue here isn't whether a strike was warranted or not nor whether this was a decision made on humanitarian grounds. What it is is nothing more nor less a clear signal that Trump is indecisive and incapable of making a reasoned, sound decision. He shifts with the wind and whoever gets to him last.

This is a bad, bad signal to send to the world and particularly to America's enemies. His credibility can't sink much lower.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #451 on: June 21, 2019, 17:37:31 »
You're glossing over the key point. He originally made a decision to strike (undoubtedly knowing that there would be casualties). The strike package was launched.

Then, he changed his mind and called them back. That's blinking and that's a clear sign of indecision.

I'm not a hawk here and I know that there are clearly pro and con issues as well as differing factions both within the White House and Congress. The issue here isn't whether a strike was warranted or not nor whether this was a decision made on humanitarian grounds. What it is is nothing more nor less a clear signal that Trump is indecisive and incapable of making a reasoned, sound decision. He shifts with the wind and whoever gets to him last.

This is a bad, bad signal to send to the world and particularly to America's enemies. His credibility can't sink much lower.

 :cheers:
That's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it. You are also allowed to read whatever you want into it. Bottom line, it's just your opinion. One not shared by everyone. Not everyone is ready to damn him for everything he does.

The guy decides not to escalate and kill people, but still gets pillored. You would likely be in that group that would vilify him if he did launch and are now trying to pigeon hole him when he didn't give you a reason to be outraged.

That's just my opinion though. One that carries the same weight as yours.

Cheers,
 :cheers:



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Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #452 on: June 21, 2019, 17:57:47 »
That's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it. You are also allowed to read whatever you want into it. Bottom line, it's just your opinion. One not shared by everyone. Not everyone is ready to damn him for everything he does.

The guy decides not to escalate and kill people, but still gets pillored. You would likely be in that group that would vilify him if he did launch and are now trying to pigeon hole him when he didn't give you a reason to be outraged.

That's just my opinion though. One that carries the same weight as yours.

Cheers,
 :cheers:

Just for the record, I would not have been in the crowd that might have pilloried him for completing the strike nor would I have been outraged with that. For that matter I'm not outraged that he didn't complete the strike.

What I am is "concerned" about (and what I am damning him for) is the weakened state of America's stature and credibility and how emboldened America's enemies will be by the fact that he flip flopped in the middle of the mission. Trump supporters should be concerned about this too.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #453 on: June 21, 2019, 18:11:18 »
"Flip flop??"  I guess you could say Vasily Arkhipov "flip flopped".....
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #454 on: June 21, 2019, 18:52:26 »
"Flip flop??"  I guess you could say Vasily Arkhipov "flip flopped".....

No, Arkhipov never said ‘launch’ and then reversed his decision. He was in the unusual position of being a third person with authority to authorize launch when there are generally only two, and he alone of the three did not believe that nuclear war must have started, and therefore he withheld his authorization to launch. It’s a fortunate coincidence of history that he happened to be on that submarine, but not a particularly astute reference in this context.
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #455 on: June 21, 2019, 22:00:27 »
Well, neither are in a great position to realistically play the "he's too old" card …  ;D

President Eisenhower had this to say about that, “The greater likelihood that a man of 70 will break down under a load than a man of 50.”

Eisenhower: A need for “younger men in positions of the highest responsibility so as to symbolize the youth, vigor and virility of the Republican Party.”

Eisenhower: "All the programs in the world, and all the Eisenhower prestige, cannot elect some revolting old Republican hack against a youthful, able, and personable Democrat.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt was fifty when he won his first term; John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were in their forties.

He said, “We all know that when advancing years and diminishing energy begin to take their toll, the last one that ever appreciates such a situation is the victim himself.”

Eisenhower was willing to consider the nation’s welfare ahead of personal ambition. He was 62, but had the prestige and qualifications of successful 5-star general.

Edit to add,

Just read something about Biden telling voters about driving girls on dates in his '51 Plymouth.  :)

« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 12:47:16 by mariomike »

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #456 on: June 24, 2019, 17:34:27 »
>What I am is "concerned" about (and what I am damning him for) is the weakened state of America's stature and credibility and how emboldened America's enemies will be by the fact that he flip flopped in the middle of the mission. Trump supporters should be concerned about this too.

So we observe a decision-making and execution process that allows changes pretty much up to the last minute.  This is sub-optimal compared to ... what, exactly?  Over the top at 06:00 boys, even if the artillery is late?
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #457 on: June 24, 2019, 20:20:44 »
Ever since FJAG made that observation I've been thinking of it non-stop. Is a leader who changes their mind last minute indecisive or are they showing flexibility?

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #458 on: June 24, 2019, 20:36:49 »
Ever since FJAG made that observation I've been thinking of it non-stop. Is a leader who changes their mind last minute indecisive or are they showing flexibility?

Depends on your politically stripe.

Remember Obama’s Red Line moment...

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/chris-wallace-compares-trump-to-obama-is-iran-his-red-line-moment
Optio

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #459 on: June 24, 2019, 20:42:14 »
I was thinking more about us as leaders in the CAF. If we change out mind last minute sorta thing. Really has me thinking.
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Online Remius

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #460 on: June 24, 2019, 20:48:20 »
I was thinking more about us as leaders in the CAF. If we change out mind last minute sorta thing. Really has me thinking.

Depends on the reason.  Was it to avoid risk? Was it because of new info? Was a gut feeling?  The results are what ultimately matters.  How he made that decision also counts. Was it cool and calculated or was it in a fit of panic. 
Optio

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #461 on: June 24, 2019, 22:52:14 »
A truly indecisive person would have difficulty committing to a decision in the first place.

Most decision support processes include the concept of a go/no-go meeting - sometimes more than one (I suppose some would be more accurately called decision points in military lingo, when there are discrete conditions to be met).  Sometimes the decision is "no-go" ("go" usually being the assumed posture going in).  Usually "Was it to avoid risk?" and/or "Was it because of new info?" have been the governing factors in my experience.  Sometimes the new info/assessment hinges on the introduction of a new player who may not have been involved in earlier stages of planning (novel assessment/emphasis of factors, even if the basic info is all stuff that was known prior).

If you can explain the change credibly or even plausibly, it's probably not indecision.

I suppose there's always room for a deliberate "launch-it-and-then-call-it-off" theory.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #462 on: June 24, 2019, 22:55:51 »
I was thinking more about us as leaders in the CAF. If we change out mind last minute sorta thing. Really has me thinking.

“Has the situation changed?”
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #463 on: June 25, 2019, 01:16:39 »
A truly indecisive person would have difficulty committing to a decision in the first place.

Most decision support processes include the concept of a go/no-go meeting - sometimes more than one (I suppose some would be more accurately called decision points in military lingo, when there are discrete conditions to be met).  Sometimes the decision is "no-go" ("go" usually being the assumed posture going in).  Usually "Was it to avoid risk?" and/or "Was it because of new info?" have been the governing factors in my experience.  Sometimes the new info/assessment hinges on the introduction of a new player who may not have been involved in earlier stages of planning (novel assessment/emphasis of factors, even if the basic info is all stuff that was known prior).

If you can explain the change credibly or even plausibly, it's probably not indecision.

I suppose there's always room for a deliberate "launch-it-and-then-call-it-off" theory.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - Dr Sigmund Freud

When you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras - Dr Theodore Woodward

When someone tells you he changed his mind because someone told him 10 minutes before H-Hour that there'd be casualties when he already knew or ought to have known that; think flip flop - FJAG  ;D

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #464 on: June 25, 2019, 11:47:34 »
The excuse publicly offered may not be an accurate representation of what happened.  One fact is that the strike was called off shortly before some meaningful point (presumably, the time at which the first munition went beyond recall?).  Two things we don't know as fact: the reason(s) for the decision, and the time at which the decision was made.  All we have is Trump's say-so.

"When [Trump] tells you [anything]", how do you know when he is telling truth and when he is not?
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #465 on: June 25, 2019, 14:53:23 »
Now Canada has the opportunity to escort tankers in troubled waters.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #466 on: June 25, 2019, 18:27:22 »
Now Canada has the opportunity to escort tankers in troubled waters.

 :rofl:
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What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #467 on: June 26, 2019, 01:13:29 »
From the realDonaldTrump Twitter account:

Quote
Donald J. Trump

Verified account
 
@realDonaldTrump
 14h14 hours ago
More
....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

So much for proportionality.

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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #468 on: June 26, 2019, 08:38:14 »
From the realDonaldTrump Twitter account:

So much for proportionality.

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Quote
No more John Kerry & Obama!

I guess not.  :)

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« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 08:41:46 by mariomike »

Offline Loachman

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #469 on: July 02, 2019, 20:55:42 »
Comparing President Trump to more "conventional" leaders generally seems to lead people to false conclusions.

He does not think - or act - like most people. His background is in real estate and entertainment - wrestling, beauty pageants, and The Apprentice - rather than conventional politics. He seems to have a pretty good understanding for the ways that other people think and act, and different societal customs, and gets results.

He prefers to use economic measures to influence governments rather than military force, and has the means to do so, as the following article shows.

He also uses the carrot-and-stick method, although not necessarily in that order. It has achieved unprecedented results with North Korea, first by out-crazying President Kim and then offering him prosperity and a way to a better and safer future for both North Korea and President Kim - who must be well-aware that brutal dictators eventually run out of time and either flee into exile or meet grisly ends. Their body language during the border crossing was quite encouraging.

He made a clear threat against Iran. His previous cruise missile strike in Syria and MOAB strike against Daesh in Afghanistan have demonstrated that he is not averse to using force where it can achieve something positive. He also demonstrated, during the Syrian strike, that he did not wish to waste lives and, during the MOAB strike, that he was willing to kill real enemies. He is aware of the effects of sanctions on the Iranian economy and that a large chunk of the Iranian population, especially the younger ones, do not like their theocratic overlords. As long as Iran can be contained and kept from developing nuclear weapons, it is of little real threat and the regime may well crumble in the next few years. A disproportionate counter-strike could well harm American influence in the Iranian population - we've heard the "bombing only makes more enemies" before. Showing some mercy, with a credible consequence if Americans or their allies are attacked, seems, to me, a much better course of action. I suspect that his threat and "flip-flop" were more planned than not.

He's not shown any tendency towards indecision or flipping and flopping in the past. He's also not stupid, else he'd likely be much less rich and presidenty than he is now. And, if one goes through Youtube and watches his interviews on talkshows, he's been very consistent over several decades - and also quite popular with his hosts and audiences alike. He was never "racist", "homophobic", "misogynistic", or anything else negative until he decided to take on both the Republican and Democratic establishments and and stand up to extremely-biased and vindictive mainstream media.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/us-iran-standoff-trump-has-more-choices-than-previous-presidents/

Iran and the Levers of Global Power

By Victor Davis Hanson July 2, 2019 6:30 AM

Vis-à-vis Tehran, Trump has more choices than previous presidents have had, partly because the U.S. is now the world’s largest producer of oil and gas.

<snip>

Yet the Left now can apply little pressure or find much traction in its Pavlovian opposition to all initiatives Trump - never truer than during the budding Iranian crisis where it is playing a reflexively negative role. Progressives initially railed about Trump’s provocation and warlike politics that allegedly risked war. After Trump’s stand-down, they immediately turned on a dime to damn the administration’s purported appeasement and inaction in the face of Iranian provocation.

The Left forgets that Trump ran on a Jacksonian policy of strong deterrence predicated on reactive not preemptive defense. The subtext of his appeal to the swing-state constituencies was that the sons and daughters of the deplorables were not going to risk dying for the nation-building dreams of the elite. Like it or not, Trump’s electoral concerns are not just that he not appear weak in the face of Iranian aggression, but also that he not incite a war of choice with Iran or undertake optional strikes. By showing forbearance thus far, Trump has put the Left in a dilemma, given that the next Iranian aggression, if it targets Americans, will earn a response from a heretofore restrained Trump, and the dilemma will be the Left’s: Is there any conceivable scenario in which it would strike back against Iranian aggression that resulted in the deaths of Americans?

In sum, Trump has some choices with Iran that few other presidents have enjoyed. After considering all the bad alternatives, Trump will likely conclude that the good one is to stay calm as Iran implodes, to not play omnipotent global cop responsible for the safe commerce of those who oppose U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal, and to not weaken sanctions - and be ready to hit back hard should Iran be so foolish as to kill Americans in international space.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/politics/trump-iran-strike.html

Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake

By Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Thomas Gibbons-Neff June 21, 2019

WASHINGTON - He heard from his generals and his diplomats. Lawmakers weighed in and so did his advisers. But among the voices that rang powerfully for President Trump was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson.

While national security advisers were urging a military strike against Iran, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have the president’s best interests at heart, he said. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran, he could kiss his chances of re-election goodbye.

However much weight that advice may or may not have had, the sentiments certainly reinforced the doubts that Mr. Trump himself harbored as he navigated his way through one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his presidency. By his own account, the president called off the “cocked & loaded” strike on Thursday night with only 10 minutes to spare to avoid the estimated deaths of as many as 150 people.

The concerns that Mr. Trump heard from Mr. Carlson reflected that part of the presidential id that has always hesitated at pulling the trigger. Belligerent and confrontational as he is in his public persona, Mr. Trump has at times pulled back from the use of force, convinced that America has wasted too many lives and too much money in pointless Middle East wars and wary of repeating what he considers the mistakes of his predecessors.

<snip>

“To those who want to criticize the president, I would say they ought to be thankful they’re not the ones having to make that decision,” said Senator Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho and the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who was among the lawmakers at the White House that day. “I watched him really agonize over this.”

<snip>

One thing made clear yet again, however, was just how different Mr. Trump’s decision-making process is from those of other presidents, even on the weightiest of issues to confront a commander in chief.

Meetings and memos aside, he trusts his instincts more than institutions, reaches out to unconventional sources of guidance and is willing to defy a roomful of advisers. He has not had a Senate-confirmed defense secretary for nearly six months, and the acting secretary resigned  this week. And those advisers he does have were busy trying to outmaneuver each other.

Mr. Trump had been resisting a military response to repeated provocations by Iran for weeks by the time he woke up on Thursday morning to discover that an American spy plane had been shot down. Now led by John R. Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, the president was faced with the choice of how to respond.

On Thursday morning, only hours after the drone was shot down, Mr. Bolton met for breakfast at the White House at 7 a.m. with Patrick Shanahan, the acting defense secretary who had announced his resignation just three days earlier, as well as with Mark T. Esper, the Army secretary set to replace Mr. Shanahan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The group discussed the drone episode and agreed on a possible military response to recommend to the president, according to an administration official. At 11 a.m., the same group along with other national security officials met with Mr. Trump to brief him on options for a strike on Iran. According to one administration official, the potential casualties of such an attack were discussed at that meeting.

But as usual, Mr. Trump did not rely exclusively on his official team. Among the outsiders he talked with in the morning was Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close ally. Mr. Graham urged that he consider a military response to the drone’s shooting down.

<snip>

Administration officials said on Friday that the president’s national security team was unanimous in favoring a response and all agreed with the final option recommended to Mr. Trump. But several military officials said General Dunford cautioned about the possible repercussions of a strike, warning that it could endanger American forces and allies in the region. A 6 p.m. meeting in Mr. Shanahan’s office at the Pentagon including General Dunford was described as particularly tense.

As for Mr. Pompeo, he argued during meetings at the White House that sanctions were having a powerful effect by slashing Iran’s revenues from oil sales, according to a senior administration official familiar with the discussion. While he expressed support for a pinpoint military response, he stressed that the sanctions were having the long-term effect the administration had hoped. Some of Mr. Trump’s aides wondered whether a strike would upset a strategy that was already working.

<snip>

But an administration official informed about the discussions privately disputed that account. The 150-dead casualty estimate came not from a general but from a lawyer, according to the official. The estimate was developed by Pentagon lawyers drafting worst-case scenarios that, the official said, did not account for whether the strike was carried out during daytime, when more people might be present at the targets, or in the dark hours before sunrise, as the military planned.

That estimate was passed to the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, without being cleared with Mr. Shanahan or General Dunford. It was then conveyed to the president by the White House lawyers, at which point Mr. Trump changed his mind and called off the strike.

Pentagon lawyers are typically involved in casualty and collateral damage estimates, charged with considering the worst possible outcome. Such numbers are fluid and almost always a rough guess, as it is almost impossible to know who or what will be at the site of an attack when it occurs.

But the lawyers’ involvement was seen by some of Mr. Trump’s aides as an attempt to circumvent Mr. Bolton and Pentagon leaders to influence the president. In effect, whether intended to or not, the casualty estimate played to the concerns that Mr. Trump had shared with Mr. Carlson and other skeptics of military action in the Middle East.

Gen. Jack Keane, a retired Army vice chairman who is close to the Trump White House, said another factor came into play during the deliberations - the president was told that the attack on the drone was really a mistake, as Mr. Trump had publicly suggested to reporters early in the day.

“The president got some additional information that the Iranian national leaders were frustrated or furious with the tactical commander who made the decision to shoot down the American drone,” General Keane said in an interview. Among those who were said to be angry, he said, was Qassim Suleimani, the powerful commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

General Keane said it was unclear whether the commander who ordered the downing of the drone was operating within his authority or was a rogue figure. But either way, he said, it impressed upon Mr. Trump that he would be risking a dangerous escalation over what was not intended to be an attack by Iran’s top leaders.

“I don’t think that’s what was decisive for the president,” General Keane said, but it contributed to the decision, which he said was mainly driven by the casualty concern. “What was decisive for him was the comparison for him, compared to destroying missile batteries and killing people, of shooting down a drone.”

By this point, time was running out. Mr. Graham, who had pushed for a strike, was on an airplane heading to the West Coast and out of touch. Mr. Trump scrubbed the mission.

The decision made, the military ordered ships and planes in the region to stand down. At the White House, Mr. Trump turned on his television to watch the opening of Mr. Carlson’s 8 p.m. show, where he heard what surely must have sounded like vindication. Onscreen, Mr. Carlson declared that “foreign wars have ended in dismal failure for the United States.”

While no decision had been announced yet, Mr. Carlson praised Mr. Trump for resisting military intervention in Iran. “The same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago are demanding a new war, this one with Iran,” he said. “The president, to his great credit, appears to be skeptical of this - very skeptical.”

If he kept the television on, though, Mr. Trump would have heard a radically different message from another friend on Fox at 9 p.m. With the news of Mr. Trump’s decision still not public, Sean Hannity declared that Mr. Trump may have “no choice” but to “bomb the hell out of them.”

For one night, at least, that would not be true. But the battle for Mr. Trump’s ear is not over.

Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #470 on: July 02, 2019, 21:43:03 »
Awesome.

Only thing all those words didn't explain was why the Democrats got 3 million more votes than the Republicans in 2016, and 10 million more votes in 2018.  :)

Offline Loachman

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #471 on: July 02, 2019, 22:05:33 »
Which, for a Presidential election, is totally irrelevant as has been pointed out many times. And which, in the 2018 election, resulted in some House gains for the Democrats and some Senatorial gains for the Republicans.

The same rules applied to both sides in the Presidential election. One side ran a good and vigorous campaign (and for a much lower cost), and spoke to a lot of dissatisfied voters who'd been taken for granted for too long (the "deplorables" in the "flyover" states). The other campaigned mainly in the big cities on either coast where it already had an advantage and had a candidate who many despised and displayed real health concerns on several occasions.

Donald Trump was doing one or two huge rallies almost every day, and Clinton could barely attract a few hundred and lacked energy.

And the Democrats still don't understand what they did wrong, either.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #472 on: July 02, 2019, 22:21:09 »
>Only thing all those words didn't explain was why the Democrats got 3 million more votes than the Republicans in 2016, and 10 million more votes in 2018.

Why bother to explain that which is meaningless?  Each election is distinct.  "the Democrats" is just a blob.  All "got more votes" suggests is over-performance in some political divisions, which is irrelevant in a representative system.  California doesn't get more say just because it feels very strongly about being Democratic.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #473 on: July 03, 2019, 16:01:28 »
Which, for a Presidential election, is totally irrelevant as has been pointed out many times.

It’s still a valuable gauge of political sentiment, particularly given the rather horrendous gerrymandering many districts have been subjected to.

And which, in the 2018 election, resulted in some House gains for the Democrats

They won a net gain of 40 seats.

Democrat votes: 60,727,598
Republican votes: 50,983,895

and some Senatorial gains for the Republicans.

Pretty hard to beat the Republicans when a state like Wyoming ( population 580,000 ) has just as much clout as California ( population 40 million ).


Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #474 on: July 03, 2019, 16:21:42 »
Sure it is....win both States.  You make UT found like there's a stacked deck somewhere.

It's been 3 freakin' years....Trump won...get over it.   He may not win this time,  I won't sit and find 100,000 excuses and tears for it like some folks.  He just didn't  win...
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