So It’s Trump vs Clinton


(Map source.)

On the bright side, this makes Hillary Clinton’s chances as good as they possibly could be.

On the dark side, this suggests that the Republican Party… well…

1. On Tuesday night, the Republican Party confirmed the worst suspicions liberals had of it. Five years ago, it would have sounded like a partisan slur to say the GOP harbored enough racial resentment, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, anti-elitism, and latent authoritarianism to nominate someone like Donald Trump. But it was true.

2. Credit where it’s due. The Republican Party is what congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein said it is: “ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” In case you are skeptical of that final charge, recall that Trump began his rise in the Republican Party as a champion of the birther movement.

Frankly, I don’t think the Republican Party is this way; I think it was made this way. Years of contempt for facts – most notably, in fostering global warming denialism – and of teaching the base that no one but Fox News can be trusted have produced the Party of Trump.

This is a bad status quo. The US has a two-party system, and it functions best when it has two parties that, while disagreeing, are both committed to good governance and, frankly, reality. The only thing that we can really hope for is that a resounding victory for the Democrats will cause the Party of Trump to pull itself back from the brink. But that’s not at all a sure thing.

On the bright side, this is certainly causing some (not all) conservatives to reconsider.

And on the second bright side, it’s nice that Cruz, who has really tied himself to the transphobic mast in recent weeks, sank like a hateful bigoted smarmy stone.

What do y’all think?

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55 Responses to So It’s Trump vs Clinton

  1. 1
    Ellaine says:

    I am actually happy to see that some intelligence still exists in America. I am excited to know that due to a bunch of racist sexist bigoted individuals being led by a clown it is virtually assured that a Democratic government will be voted in by not only Democrats but by level headed Republicans as well in November. Hilarious to watch too. Better than Benny Hill

  2. 2
    Charles S says:

    Trump as the Republican Party candidate is horrifying. I only hope a massive Clinton win is sufficient to deliver the House to the Democrats (I expect it to deliver the Senate). The 2010 Republican gerrymanders mean that for the Dems to win the House, the national House vote needs to be D+5, and someone’s estimate is that a presidential D+10 would probably result in a House D+5. Clinton winning 55-45 seems unlikely to me, but it seems possible. (I think Clinton is a pretty bad campaigner at the national level, and that plenty of Republicans will come home to Trump- his Republican “won’t vote for” numbers aren’t much worse than Clinton’s Democratic “won’t vote for” numbers.)

  3. 3
    kate says:

    I think we’re one major terrorist attack on U.S. soil away from president Trump.

  4. 4
    Sam says:

    If the Republicans were going to nominate a fictional character, I wish they would have gone with Bugs Bunny. But he would have got slammed for being weak on the Second Amendment.

    In seriousness, I guess this means Hillary is president and the U.S. no longer has a conservative party. Huh. I would have probably voted for Hillary anyway, but, man, I might campaign for her if I start to see scary polls.

  5. 5
    Ortvin Sarapuu says:

    “The US has a two-party system, and it functions best when it has two parties that, while disagreeing, are both committed to good governance and, frankly, reality. ”

    Is it possible to be a conservative and be committed to either? Given that core conservative beliefs like neoliberal economics, opposition to gun control, racial profiling and opposition to abortion are incompatible with both reality and good governance, it seems impossible.

    If you took a conservative – even an anti-Trump conservative – and stripped away all the beliefs that were contrary to good governance and/or reality, you would be left with somebody who is no longer a conservative.

  6. 6
    Copyleft says:

    Repeated, resounding defeats have no record of causing extreme right-wingers to reconsider and pull back from the brink; rather, it generally causes them to double down and crank up the rhetoric about “not being conservative enough.”

    Note to Sam: Don’t worry; a Democratic Party led by Hillary more than qualifies as a conservative party. Now we just need to organize a liberal one.

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    Fantastic. We now have two of the most unqualified people possible to run for President. Two huge egos, both convinced of their superiority to the general citizenry. One blinded by his own self-image and the other an incredibly corrupt and lying hypocrite.

    Illinois will very likely go for the corrupt hypocrite. Just look at our State legislature and our municipal leaders! I’ve voted in every general Federal and State election since Nixon ran against McGovern. I’ve missed one primary in that span and one municipal election. I’ve always voted in every contest where there were opposing candidates. But this may be a first for me. I may well leave the top of the ticket blank. That might possibly change by November, but right now I can’t see voting for either one with a clear conscience.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Sam – the U.S. has not had a conservative party for quite some time. Bush II certainly didn’t qualify. And God knows that there is no conservative running for President in this election.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:


    The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support

    Trump voters’ median income exceeded the overall statewide median in all 23 states, sometimes narrowly (as in New Hampshire or Missouri) but sometimes substantially. In Florida, for instance, the median household income for Trump voters was about $70,000, compared with $48,000 for the state as a whole. The differences are usually larger in states with substantial non-white populations, as black and Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly Democratic and tend to have lower incomes. In South Carolina, for example, the median Trump supporter had a household income of $72,000, while the median for Clinton supporters was $39,000.

    Ted Cruz voters have a similar median income to Trump supporters — about $73,000. Kasich’s supporters have a very high median income, $91,000, and it has exceeded $100,000 in several states. Rubio’s voters, not displayed in the table above, followed a similar pattern to Kasich voters, with a median income of $88,000.

    Many of the differences reflect that Republican voters are wealthier overall than Democratic ones, and also that wealthier Americans are more likely to turn out to vote, especially in the primaries. However, while Republican turnout has considerably increased overall from four years ago, there’s no sign of a particularly heavy turnout among “working-class” or lower-income Republicans. On average in states where exit polls were conducted both this year and in the Republican campaign four years ago, 29 percent of GOP voters have had household incomes below $50,000 this year, compared with 31 percent in 2012.

  10. 10
    LTL FTC says:

    Repeated, resounding defeats have no record of causing extreme right-wingers to reconsider and pull back from the brink; rather, it generally causes them to double down and crank up the rhetoric about “not being conservative enough.”

    Then they wait for the midterms, when they clobber anything to the left of Jesse Helms from school board up to governor and are proven right. Then comes next general election, when the far right is defeated and urged to pull back from the brink, lather, rinse, repeat.

    It’s possible that the geography is such that we are at the beginning of a long period in which Democrats have a lock on the White House and the GOP has a lock on everything else. Nobody learns anything.

  11. 11
    Sam says:


    I think you, as presumably a principled conservative, should vote for Hillary for two reasons. Hear me out.

    1.) A victory by Trump would do far more damage to conservatism than a victory by Hillary. Trump would become what it means to be a Republican, which obviously would do far more damage to the party long term than having another Democrat elected. If Trump is soundly defeated, Republicans can simply change their primary rules to make it difficult for something like this to happen again. And 2016 would just be an aberration.

    Also, if the argument is that Hillary will win even without your help, then, it seems to me, not voting is essentially morally equivalent to voting for Hillary.

    2.) Surely you don’t think Trump would be better than Hillary? She may be corrupt, but our country survives corrupt politicians all the time. I’m not 100 percent sure our country could survive a Trump presidency. (It probably could; I don’t want to be too alarmist, ha.)

    Hillary would basically continue the policies of President Obama. Who knows what Trump would do? But if he successfully carried out virtually any of his “policy prescription,” it would just be disastrous. (I don’t know where to start.)

    Where do you think I’m missing something? I understand the idea that you don’t want to be morally complicit in a win by Hillary. But if you don’t vote, and Trump wins, in my view, you are morally complicit in Trump’s victory.

  12. 12
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    I’ve been a Hillary supporter since the beginning, even though I really don’t like her at all. I’m libertarian leaning, so I lose no matter what happens. With HC winning I lose the least (I think, the choice between a self-proclaimed socialist, and a hawkish Hillary is a tough one for someone with my politics)

    This is probably the best outcome for HC to secure the presidency, but at the same time, I’m just so disappointied. I’ve never voted republican, but I’ve always felt that the party had a purpose- to me the party (at its best) provided principled restraint against encroaching leftism. I feel like that version of the party just vanished. There is no principle there anymore. I’m starting to think it was never there to begin with.

  13. 13
    JutGory says:

    It really pisses me off that I have to say that Sanders is the only one worth voting for.
    He is honest and principled, though completely deluded. He would also likely be completely ineffectual.

    Trump or Clinton would be disastrous.

    In observance of Star Wars day: “Help me Bernie Sanders, you’re my only hope.”


  14. 14
    nobody.really says:

    On political correctness and political tribalism – including why straight white men feel free to condemn their fellow straight white men for their sexism/racism/homophobia:

    There are certain theories of dark matter where it barely interacts with the regular world at all, such that we could have a dark matter planet exactly co-incident with Earth and never know. Maybe dark matter people are walking all around us and through us, maybe my house is in the Times Square of a great dark matter city, maybe a few meters away from me a dark matter blogger is writing on his dark matter computer about how weird it would be if there was a light matter person he couldn’t see right next to him.

    This is sort of how I feel about conservatives.

    I don’t mean the sort of light-matter conservatives who go around complaining about Big Government and occasionally voting for Romney. I see those guys all the time. What I mean is – well, take creationists. According to Gallup polls, about 46% of Americans are creationists. Not just in the sense of believing God helped guide evolution. I mean they think evolution is a vile atheist lie and God created humans exactly as they exist right now. That’s half the country.

    And I don’t have a single one of those people in my social circle. It’s not because I’m deliberately avoiding them; I’m pretty live-and-let-live politically, I wouldn’t ostracize someone just for some weird beliefs. And yet, even though I probably know about a hundred fifty people, I am pretty confident that not one of them is creationist. Odds of this happening by chance? 1/2^150 … = approximately the chance of picking a particular atom if you are randomly selecting among all the atoms on Earth….

    I live in a Republican congressional district in a state with a Republican governor. The conservatives are definitely out there. They drive on the same roads as I do, live in the same neighborhoods. But they might as well be made of dark matter. I never meet them.

    This is the best articulation of in-group/out-group dynamics I’ve ever seen.

  15. 15
    nobody.really says:

    Oh, and nice map, Amp.

    To keep Hillary from winning, Trump must reduce Hillary’s electoral college total to 269 or less. So Trump has to peel away 78 votes from the map’s projected allotments.

    Now consider how likely it is that Trump could win Florida, given his support among Latinos. And without Florida, what paths does he have to peel away 78 votes? Hell, I’m not sure Trump can even land Utah, given the state’s high education and sensitivities to the oppression of religious minorities.

    True, Trump has a powerful appeal for certain people, and that appeal will certainly help him run up the score in Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. If I were to estimate how that will alter to Electoral College vote in round figures, I’d guess very round figures….

    Hate to be glib, but I don’t see any powerful reasons not to be. What am I missing?

  16. 17
    Harlequin says:

    Hell, I’m not sure Trump can even land Utah, given the state’s high education

    The 538 article Amp linked above points out that Trump’s supporters are more likely than non-Hispanic whites in general to have college degrees (though to a lesser degree than Cruz’s or Kasich’s).

    As a heads up I’m probably going to post something on the open thread tomorrow about the things that are wrong about that dark matter analogy from comment 14 (though the rest of it is interesting!).

  17. 18
    Duncan says:

    Ortvin Sarapuu: “Given that core conservative beliefs like neoliberal economics, opposition to gun control, racial profiling and opposition to abortion are incompatible with both reality and good governance, it seems impossible.”

    Well, maybe so, I don’t know. But racial profiling and (especially) neoliberal economics are what you’re going to get from Clinton. (“Superpredators,” remember? And the ever-growing privatized prison complex, which is racist in practice if not in theory.) Not to mention wars, wars, and more wars. Basically Obama’s third term.

  18. 19
    Mandolin says:

    Jesus Christ, her voting record isn’t that different from Sanders. She’s not a Republican; she’s not Wall Street Incarnated Into a MeatSuit. I am way more liberal than she is, and more ideologically aligned with Sanders probably, but this “you can’t tell her from a Republican” crap is icking its way into my spine and giving me the shivers. Gore would not have been a perfect president, but things would not have progressed as they did, because he was not, in fact, a Republican.

  19. 20
    Ben Lehman says:

    Her voting record is (slightly) to the left of Obama: on the left wing of the Democratic party.

    “Neoliberal” means the politics of Reagan, Thatcher, Milton Friedman, and the AEI. Clinton isn’t a neoliberal. She’s just a regular liberal.

    JFC people do you have any idea what a Republican looks like or votes like?

  20. 21
    Jake Squid says:

    Isn’t a Republican anybody to my right?

  21. 22
    Falstaff says:


    I’m a little confused. I’ve followed politics closely since the mid-nineties and I *thought* I remembered “neoliberal” being the word of choice to describe Third Way politicians like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Australia’s Paul Keating. I mean, if I’m wrong I’m wrong, or maybe a lot of people misuse the word? Could someone possibly help me out here?

  22. 23
    Charles S says:

    Neoliberal is used both to refer to Third Way politicians and used to refer to Hayek/Friedman/Chicago School Economists and their followers like Thatcher, Pinochet, and Reagan. Both uses of it have long histories, and there is a definite interplay between the two uses, in which Third Wayists claim to be bringing lessons learned from Reagan/Thatcher/etc into liberalism ( “The era of Big Government is over!”, etc) and leftists accuse Third Wayists of being an entrenchment and soft continuation of Thatcher/Reagan/etc.

    The differences between Bill Clinton/Blair/Keating and Thatcher/Pinochet/Reagan are pretty substantial, so it is perhaps unfortunate that there is a single term which has different meanings that refer specifically to both of those groups (the similarities between the two groups are also substantial, but neoliberal doesn’t usually refer to the union of both groups, unless you are far enough left that you lump the two groups together).

  23. 24
    Falstaff says:

    Thanks very much, Charles, that was extremely helpful.

    On the whole, just for the record, I agree with Mandolin (which strikes me as something people should do often). Clinton isn’t as hard on the financial industry as I’d like and I find her foreign policy a bellicose, immoral mess (but then I’m a Quaker, so I would) but good grief, she’s hardly a Republican, that’s completely ridiculous. She certainly isn’t Donald bleeding Trump.

  24. 25
    Charles S says:

    You’re welcome. I was arguing about this with Ben last week, so I’ve been puzzling over this recently.

    I also agree with Mandolin. I feel like Clinton is too hawkish for my preference (so is Sanders), and I don’t have much confidence in her commitment to fighting global warming, but that still puts her a long way away from the Republicans, who don’t even admit that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

  25. 26
    JutGory says:

    For those supporting Hillary Clinton, do the “allegations” (they are allegations, but they don’t seem to be disputed, but I don’t know if I would call them “facts”) that she was physically abusive to Bill have any effect on your support for her?

  26. 27
    Ruchama says:

    I haven’t heard those allegations, Jut. Do you have a link?

  27. 28
    JutGory says:

    There are several, but it will have to wait until tomorrow; my Commodore 64 has horrible connectivity problems.

    But, as I recall, allegations first came out when Bill was president, some unauthorized biography or something. There were allegations of Bill having scratch marks on his face and similar things.

    When HC was running in 2008, I recall some feminist hand-wringing about whether it was proper to support her. Feministing had such a debate, I thought.

    Then, when she entered the race last year, this came up again briefly.

    I will post links tomorrow, but Google Hillary Clinton domestic abuse and you can get a lot of them yourself.


  28. 29
    JutGory says:


    I think one of the early depictions was in the novel Primary Colors . I did not read the book, but I saw the movie.

    Glenn Sacks referred to two incidents in an blog post when Clinton was a Senator. I did not notice those incidents he mentioned at the time they happened.

    Like I said, I think Feministing raised the question back in 2008, but I can’t find it (I don’t know how they archive their old posts).

    It came up again when she started her campaign last year.

    It is also detailed in a recent book, which I have not read.

    There has been a lot of commentary about the book, especially when Clinton tries to be an advocate against domestic violence.

    Anyway, that is some basic background. Apart from Bill’s denying it (he ran into a door or had a shaving accident) there does not seem to be any rebuttal of the allegations; it is just silence.

    Trump, however, may make a huge deal about this. Hillary can attack him all she wants about what a loathsome individual he is. He won’t care and his supporters already know how loathsome he is, so they won’t mind either. But, when he starts attacking her about this stuff, it will be hard to ignore, much like when he attacked her last December or early-January; she stopped attacking him right away.


  29. 30
    Jake Squid says:

    You know that Primary Colors is fiction, right?

  30. 31
    JutGory says:

    Jake Squid,

    Yes, in much the same way that Animal Farm was fiction (not exactly the same way, but much the same way).

    You know that it was based upon the campaign of Bill Clinton, right?


  31. 32
    Jake Squid says:

    “Based on” is not the same as “factual account”. I find myself unable to take a work of fiction as trustworthy evidence. I have the same problem with every source I was able to find for the claims of abuse. The NY Post and, overwhelmingly, right wing blogs are not sources I find credible. If I were the Clintons, I, too, would ignore accusations from those sources instead of addressing them. Which is not to say that the claims are beyond the realm of possibility, just that I have no sources I consider credible to back up those claims. Certainly not a work of fiction, based on real people and events or not.

  32. 33
    Jake Squid says:

    And to answer your original question, no. No matter how horrible a person Hillary Clinton may be (and I tend to believe that she’s pretty horrible), the effects of a Trump (or, these days, any GOP) administration will be so much worse than those of a Clinton administration. There’s also the fact that Trump is also a horrible person to weigh.

  33. 34
    JutGory says:

    JakeSquid @ 33:
    So, to put you to the “Trump” Test, if Hillary shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, would she lose your vote?

  34. 35
    JutGory says:

    Jake Squid @32:

    “Based on” is not the same as “factual account”. I find myself unable to take a work of fiction as trustworthy evidence.

    Sure, and that was one reason I was ambiguous about “facts” versus “allegations. I only brought up Primary Colors because it was my first recollection of the allegations being made. And, that was only done to suggest that this is not a new issue. This is no October Surprise.

    The NY Post and, overwhelmingly, right wing blogs are not sources I find credible.

    Fair enough, I suppose, although your response smacks of an ad hominem argument. Glenn Sacks, right wing blogger or not refers to two sources about two specific events. He refers to Gail Sheehy and Christopher Anderson, both of whom wrote biographies of the Clintons, as the sources. I have not gone to those source materials to verify Sack’s account of the “allegations” (I keep coming back to that word) but I don’t see any rebuttal of Sacks, Sheehy or Anderson.

    If you don’t like the NY Post, fine. I don’t know the politics of IBT. Is the Washington Times lacking in credibility. Or, maybe it is Roger Stone you don’t like, as that would be the source for the Times piece.

    And, not to put it in terms of Trump/Clinton yet, if the allegations were true, would you still support her over Sanders? As ideologically opposed to Sanders as I am, he seems honest, he seems to have integrity, and he seems to be a decent person. If I were a liberal-progressive type person, I would probably support him over Hillary. Because, let’s face it, when O’Malley dropped out, what other choice was there?


  35. 36
    Jake Squid says:

    And, not to put it in terms of Trump/Clinton yet, if the allegations were true, would you still support her over Sanders?

    I don’t think I’d ever support Clinton over Sanders. Sanders’ positions are closer to mine than Clinton’s are. It’s going to be hard to have the discussion you’d like because we’re so far apart on ideology. In order for me to vote for a Republican candidate in the current political reality, the Democratic candidate would have to be politically (not personally) so bad that the GOP candidate would more closely align to my politics than the hypothetically awful Democrat.

    It’s nearly impossible for me to imagine how a Democratic presidential nominee could be worse than any of the last 4 GOP nominees. I guess if the Dems suddenly transformed into an isolationist, nationalist party in favor of some form of apartheid and/or ethnic cleansing I’d be voting for the GOP. And that doesn’t seem very likely.

    On a personal level, as far as candidates go,… It’s tough because, while I don’t want to vote for a kitten rapist/baby eater, if they’re not in prison for their crimes I have to vote for the person who’s administration is less damaging – regardless of their personal odiousness. I don’t believe that it’s possible for a good person to become POTUS. There’s too much ruthless competition involved in getting to the point of being a viable candidate for there to be a good person surviving to the nomination.

    We all laugh and point out how horrible the opposing (or less favorable to our positions) candidate is as a person. We never point out that all the candidates are horrible people or ask ourselves why we let that happen.

  36. 37
    Ampersand says:

    The allegations of Hillary abusing Bill seem weakly supported to me – which isn’t to say they can’t be true. But I don’t think there’s enough here to justify assuming the allegations are true.

    The sources you (Jut) linked are 1) literally fiction, 2) from right-wing operatives who have written books such as “War Crimes: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy the Military and Lose the War on Terror,” “American Evita” (about Hillary Clinton), and a book about how LBJ was behind the Kennedy assassination, 3) Reports allegedly from unnamed White House staff and Secret Service agents, and 4) Gail Sheehy’s book Hillary’s Choice.

    I think it’s obvious that neither 1) fictional accounts nor 2) right-wing conspiracy theorists are trustworthy sources. What about those anonymous secret service agents? Snopes thinks skepticism about alleged secret service accounts is warranted, pointing out that Secret Service agents do not believe that one of their own would ever talk out of school, and that “as far back as 1993, cranking out spurious stories that discredited Hillary Clinton and were attributed to anonymous Secret Service agents was a known political trick.”

    Gail Sheehy is several steps above the other sources here – but what she wrote in Hillary’s Choice is significantly different from what Jut’s sources claim she wrote. For instance, Glenn Sacks writes:

    According to Hillary’s admiring biographer Gail Sheehy, author of Hillary’s Choice, one of the domestic assaults upon Bill Clinton occurred in 1993, when Hillary slashed Bill Clinton’s face with her long fingernails, leaving a “mean claw mark along his jawline.”

    Compare to what Sheehy actually wrote:

    ­Soon after Hillary’s return, the President emerged for his morning jog with a mean claw mark along his jawline. “I’m the idiot who said he’d cut himself shaving before I’d seen him,” admits Dee Dee Myers, his press secretary at the time. “Then I saw him. It was a big scratch, and clearly not a shaving cut. Barbra Streisand was clearly around at the time.” Hillary banned Streisand from staying overnight at the White House, the official explanation being that it would be improper for her and her then fiance to share a bedroom.

    That is suggestive, and maybe Hillary purposely scratched Bill’s face. Or maybe there was an innocent explanation (have none of you ever accidentally gotten a minor injury? I have). Maybe it was the cat, as the White House claimed – cats leaving big scratches isn’t that unusual. But to report Sheehy’s account as a certainty – as Sacks did – is at best ridiculously careless, and at worse blatantly dishonest.

    Ally Fogg, in an article Jut linked, expands that one incident into two incidents: “[Sheehy] too records the Streisand incident, and adds another occasion on which President Clinton was seen with “a mean claw mark along his jawline.” I respect Fogg a lot, but reporting one incident as if it were two separate occasions is, again, either careless or dishonest.

    Glen Sacks also says that Hillary slapped Bill on the night he told her that he had been having sex with Monica Lewinsky, quoting the extremely unreliable and biased “American Evita” writer:

    “…the President…weeping, begged her forgiveness. Much of what transpired next between Bill and Hillary Clinton was plainly audible to Secret Service agents and household staff members down the hall. In the past, Hillary had thrown books and an ashtray at the President — both hitting their mark…Hillary rose to her feet and slapped him across the face — hard enough to leave a red mark that would be clearly visible to Secret Service agents when he left the room.

    “‘You stupid, stupid, stupid bastard,’ Hillary shouted. Her words, delivered at the shrill, earsplitting level that had become familiar to White House personnel over the years, ricocheted down the corridor.”

    To make that account seem more credible, Sacks notes that “Sheehy’s account of the incident is similar.” Here’s what Sheehy wrote about that incident:

    By some accounts, Hillary lunged at him and gave him a blow: “You stupid bastard!” Clinton became abject. He begged her forgiveness, but still he argued his case: he had never really had sex with that woman; fondling and fellatio, yes, but he hadn’t slept with her.

    That is similar. But the dissimilarity – the “by some accounts,” indicating that Sheehy wasn’t certain this is true – is too crucial to leave out, imo. (AFAIK, Sheehy doesn’t collaborate the books and ashtray claims anywhere.)

    And, honestly, if Hillary did slap Bill at that specific moment, I’d find that forgivable – and a vastly different thing from a ongoing campaign of abuse.

    Sheehy is the one really reliable source cited – and her account isn’t nearly as certain as Sacks and others claim it is.

    * * *

    Oh, and you (Jut) have a couple of times suggested that because Hillary hasn’t explicitly denied these allegations, that’s evidence they are true. I don’t think that’s a credible argument – as far as I know, she’s also never explicitly rejected allegations that she was having sex with Vince Foster (as one of the sources for the abuse allegations has claimed), or that she had Vince Foster murdered, but that doesn’t mean those claims are true. Someone in Clinton’s position can reasonably choose to ignore false-but-obscure accusations rather than addressing them and bringing them more attention.

    * * *

    If there were convincing evidence that Hillary abused her husband (in a more significant way than one slap in decades of marriage), then I’d certainly consider that a reason to vote for Sanders over Clinton, if I hadn’t already voted in the primary. I wouldn’t find that a reason to vote for Trump over Clinton. When voting for a president (or any other powerful politician), the first matter to consider is the likely policy impact if they win the election. Everything else – including important questions of character – is secondary.

  37. 38
    Ampersand says:

    Oh, and I wanted to comment on this:

    The NY Post and, overwhelmingly, right wing blogs are not sources I find credible.

    Fair enough, I suppose, although your response smacks of an ad hominem argument.

    That may not be an ad hominem argument, because it might be that Jake was talking about reasons to doubt testimony, not reasons to doubt an argument.

    I’ll quote the Fallacy Files:

    A: The main thing to keep in mind is the distinction between argumentation and testimony. The whole point of logic is to develop techniques for evaluating the cogency of arguments independently of the arguer’s identity. So, ask the question: is the person being criticized arguing or testifying? Are reasons being presented, or must we take the person’s word for something? If the person is arguing, the argument should be evaluated on its own merits; if testifying, then credibility is important.

    To say “I don’t find Charlie Brown a credible source for testimony” is not an ad hom argument.

  38. 39
    Mandolin says:

    My husband has a scratch on his face *right now.*

    I’m pretty sure he scratched open a bug bite.

  39. 40
    Charles S says:

    The Clinton-friendly biography that a bunch of right wing sources claim as a supporting original source turns up nothing relevant for google book searches on ‘scratches’, ‘stitches’, ‘blood’, ‘cat’, ‘door’ or ‘maid’. So, until I see relevant quotes from that book that are searchable in google books, I’m going to guess that it is a straight-up lie that those events are described in that biography. Lacking that, it looks like there is a work of fiction, and some right wing slander.

    The most recent supposed biography of Clinton that got this in the (right-wing tabloid) news last fall is a hit piece by one of the worst masters of dirty politics alive, who also happens to work for Donald Trump’s campaign.

  40. 41
    Jake Squid says:

    … it might be that Jake was talking about reasons to doubt testimony

    That’s exactly what I was talking about. Sources are all about evidence/testimony, not arguments. At least that’s what my brain tells me.

  41. 42
    Charles S says:

    When the folks who tell us Hillary Clinton murdered Vincent Foster tell us anything else about Hillary Clinton, the reasonable response is (a) where is the video footage? and (b) has this video footage spent any time within a thousand feet of any of your friends who specialize in doctoring video footage?

  42. 43
    Ampersand says:

    Are they the same folks who said Clinton murdered Vincent Foster? (I know that one of them has claimed that she had an affair with Foster.)

  43. 44
    Charles S says:

    Eh, same fever swamp. Apparently, Roger Stone does not claim that the Clintons murdered Vincent Foster (just that their “goons” moved his body out of the White House), but he does claim that they murdered JFK Jr..

  44. 45
    Ampersand says:

    Wow, I hadn’t even heard of that conspiracy theory before.

    Jut, does that information about Stone change your assessment of Stone’s credibility?

  45. 46
    RonF says:

    A response to Sam @ 11:

    1.) A victory by Trump would do far more damage to conservatism than a victory by Hillary. Trump would become what it means to be a Republican, which obviously would do far more damage to the party long term than having another Democrat elected.

    A great many conservatives see blowing up the GOP as a feature, not a bug. On the conservative blogs neither Trump nor the GOP are considered conservative, and destroying the GOP is seen as clearing the field for a true conservative party to take it’s place.

    2.) Surely you don’t think Trump would be better than Hillary? She may be corrupt, but our country survives corrupt politicians all the time. I’m not 100 percent sure our country could survive a Trump presidency. (It probably could; I don’t want to be too alarmist, ha.)

    If Hillary was merely financially corrupt I could tolerate it. Even there she does not fulfill Simon Cameron’s definition of an honest politician: “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” She constantly tells one group of people one thing and another group another. Ask yourself “What lie will she not tell if it would be to her political advantage to tell it?” I quite simply don’t believe anything she says. Her main principles are to get power and keep power, and it seems to me she’ll say anything to attain those ends.

    Hillary would basically continue the policies of President Obama.

    Which to my mind would be disastrous.

    Where do you think I’m missing something? I understand the idea that you don’t want to be morally complicit in a win by Hillary. But if you don’t vote, and Trump wins, in my view, you are morally complicit in Trump’s victory.

    Given that there’s no question that Clinton will win Illinois, there’s no complicity attached to not voting the top of the ticket. If it was close, if the State was in play, you might have a point. But in Illinois, no.

    As far as what you’re missing, I’d say that from my viewpoint it’s the Supreme Court. There’s a seat open. And the odds are reasonable that there’ll be at least one more in the next 4 years. It is my opinion that if Clinton wins, she’s much more likely to attempt to install justices that are of the mindset to increase the power of the Federal government overall and the Executive department thereof in particular over individual liberty and freedom. The Supreme Court has been turned into a super-legislature. Whether Trump will keep his promise to pick nominees from the list he released or not I cannot be sure, but I can be quite sure of what Clinton will try to do.

    Again, don’t mistake this for a statement supporting a vote for Trump. You’ve invited me to talk about the issues I see with Clinton, so I have.

  46. 47
    JutGory says:

    Amp @45:
    (I want to respond more fully to your other comments, and will soon, but Gory Baby Number 2 prevents that.)

    Anyway, short answer on Stone’s credibility: yes and no.

    He seems to be a Trump supporter, so a book bashing Clinton last fall seems suspicious. It could be biased. Knowing that, new information that suggested he was biased against the Clintons had a marginal effect. It went from suspicious to more suspicious.

    At the same time, he appears to be repeating things that were posited by earlier, more credible sources. To that extent, the fact that he may be a complete goofball on Vince Foster (or JFK Jr.) does not mean he can’t recycle the truth. But, that is the reason why I was vague as to whether Jake Squid had issues with the Washington Times or with Stone. I am as suspicious of Stone as anyone. If he were the only voice in the wilderness, I would likely consider him a nut job. But he is not the only one-just the latest one.

    I will reply to your other points as time permits.


  47. 48
    JutGory says:

    Ampersand @38:
    I was vague here. Jake Squid talked about the NY Post and right wing blogs. That is a big combination. The NY Post, i understand; it’s an outrageous publication. That is not to say it is wrong, just not the most reputable journalistic source.

    The vagueness I expressed was because, apart from the Post, Hake Squid’s comment seemed to implicate Glenn Sacks credibility (I did not mention other “right wing” bloggers). So, my thoughts were: if Jake Squid thinks my argument is not credible because it relies on the position of right-wing blogger Glenn Sacks, that would be ad hominem. If the argument is: Glenn Sacks is a right wing blogger so he must be wrong, that is a fallacy. Jake Squid did not say that, but as I said, he said something that smacked of that. I did not want to accuse him of fallacious reasoning, because that was not clear. I simply acknowledged the ambiguity, but I tried not to presume bad faith on Jake Squid’s part. I had doubts about his meaning and tried to give him the benefit of that doubt.


  48. 49
    Harlequin says:

    Hake Squid

    That’s a pretty fishy typo, JutGory…

  49. 50
    Ampersand says:

    That’s a pretty fishy typo,

    Let’s not descend into carping. I don’t want people getting crabby.

  50. 51
    Harlequin says:

    Sorry, I’ll clam up about it.

  51. 52
    Elusis says:

    This whole argument is a red herring.

  52. 53
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m floundering for a reasonable response.

  53. 54
    Kohai says:

    I think his wording was just a fluke.

  54. 55
    Ampersand says:

    I hate it when people pike and choose their arguments based on convenience, so as soon as the subject changes they’re singing a different tuna. Oh, well, as long as no one’s eelings are hurt, all’s whale that ends whale.