HOME IMPROVEMENT: Quite a few people voted for Trump!

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022

"We are not enemies, but friends:" In the 2020 presidential election, quite a few people voted for Donald J. Trump.

In fact, he racked up more than 74 million votes. Nationwide, the final tally is officially said to have looked like this:

2020 presidential election:
Trump: 74.2 million votes (46.9%)
Biden: 81.3 million votes (51.3%)

According to this official account, Donald J. Trump received 74.2 million votes. 

That said, Joseph R. Biden received even more votes than that. According to that official account, Biden received 81.2 million votes, a difference of roughly 4.4 percentage points.

Biden won the nationwide popular vote, but Trump got a boatload of votes. From that day to this, many members of our blue tribe have wondered how that could be—have wondered what those 74.2 million voters could possibly have been thinking.

At least in principle, it's a perfectly decent question, but our tribe has sometimes rejected attempts to seek out answers. When news orgs have ventured into the wilds, asking Trump voters to explain their thinking, members of our embattled tribe have often criticized them for doing so.

In effect, the policy known as "Don't ask, don't [let them] tell" was quite visibly back.

Why did so many people vote for Trump after four years of his governance? At least in theory, it's a perfectly decent question!

That said, it wouldn't be the worst idea to let some of those 74 million people offer their explanations. That said, there are other ways to review the 2020 vote totals, ways from which our own blue tribe might draw a bit of instruction.

For example, consider what the vote totals were like in "The Other 49." 

Biden won the state of California by a walloping 5.1 million votes. Vote totals in the other 49 states were therefore remarkably close:

2020 presidential election, The Other 49:
Trump: 68.2 million votes
Biden: 70.1 million votes

Biden won The Other 49, but by less than two million votes! For the record, Trump won 25 of those other states. Biden won just 24.

That walloping win in California represents a bit of a problem for the Democratic Party. Under current arrangements, the state's votes are overwhelmingly Democratic—but in common parlance, that involves a lot of "wasted votes." 

In presidential elections, the Democratic candidate receives California's electoral votes whether he or she wins the state of a lot or a little. Regarding the slightly misleading nature of those giant Golden State wins, consider the state of affairs which obtained in the 2016 election:

Candidate Clinton won the nationwide popular vote by some 2.9 million votes, but she won California by 4.3 million votes! By a fairly narrow margin, she actually lost the popular vote across The Other 49.

California is still part of the United States. In 2020, its roughly 17 million presidential votes were, of course, properly seen as part of the nation total.

That said, we don't elect our presidents on the basis of the nationwide popular votes, as we Democrats keep proving. And our overall thoroughly basic key point would be this:

A lot of people—a whole lot of people—voted for Donald J. Trump! Those people are Americans citizens too. In theory, they're the neighbors and the friends of those in our own blue tribe.

Why did those people vote as they did? In part because there were so many of them, we can't quite tell you that. 

We can tell you this. Even after four years of President Trump, the nationwide vote in our 2020 House elections was even closer than the vote between Candidates Biden and Trump.

Even after four years of President Trump, nationwide voting for the House was fairly close. Democratic candidates emerged with more votes, but the vote totals looked like this:

2020 House elections, total nationwide votes:
Republican candidates: 72.8 million votes (47.7%)
Democratic candidates: 77.5 million votes (50.8%)

The margin there was just a bit over three points. 

On a percentage basis, Candidate Trump ran behind his nationwide slate of congressional hopefuls. But even after four years of Trump, a very large number of neighbors and friends voted for his party. 

In The Other 49, Republican candidates for the House actually won more votes, if only by a narrow margin, than their Democratic counterparts did! For many in our own blue tribe, it's hard to fathom how Donald J. Trump, and his congressional party, could have gained so many votes. 

According to many political experts, the numbers are likely to be much worse for Democratic candidates in this fall's House elections. Even after two years of Donald J. Trump's post-election lunacy, millions of our neighbors and friends will be voting to put his party back in charge.

Our deeply self-impressed political tribe finds such matters hard to fathom. In hopes of winning future elections, how might we perform some self-improvement here in the tribe we call home?

Tomorrow: We continue from here

Just for the record: Just for the record, here are the additional data from the 2020 House elections:

2020 House elections, The Other 49:
Republican candidates: 67.2 million votes
Democratic candidates: 66.4 million votes

"We must not be enemies," President Lincoln once said.


92 comments:

  1. "Why did so many people vote for Trump after four years of his governance?"

    Jeez, dear Bob, is this really a question to ask?

    Meh. Why wouldn't they vote for Trump after four years of his governance?

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    1. Here, dear Bob:

      Politics
      February 12, 2020
      More in U.S. Say They Are Better Off Than in Past Elections


      "WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sixty-one percent of Americans say they are better off than they were three years ago, a higher percentage than in prior election years when an incumbent president was running."

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    2. Better off in the midst of pandemic?

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  2. "From that day to this, many members of our blue tribe have wondered how that could be—have wondered what those 74.2 million voters could possibly have been thinking."

    Democrats wonder how anyone could vote Republican, after every single election. Trump is nothing new in that regard. How could anyone have voted for Nixon, given that he was an obvious crook even before Watergate? How could anyone have voted for Reagan, given that he was an actor and knew nothing whatsoever about politics? How could anyone have voted for Bush, who not only wasn't very bright or hardworking and who evaded military duty during Vietnam, but didn't really want ot be president at all (preferring to be baseball commissioner)? And how could anyone support Republicans when their party didn't stand for the things that Americans should care about?

    When journalists and social scientists interview those who vote Republican, there are never good answers about why they vote as they do. And they no doubt feel the same way about Democrats. That's why I doubt that Somerby has anything useful to say on this topic -- he won't have magically found the answer to this question. He sure as hell won't be changing any Democrat minds with his scolding. And no, I do not believe that "understanding" The Others will result in any of them switching to our side.

    This is a free country and people are allowed to vote however they want, even to the point of choosing horribly unqualified candidates (Eric Greitens, Donald Trump). That doesn't mean that the wrongdoing of those elected as they break laws should be ignored. It also doesn't make their choices necessarily good ones, simply because a bunch of Republicans were similarly stupid in their choice. It just means they have the right to vote -- and so do we -- without being maligned and shamed by an asshole like Somerby.

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  3. "Under current arrangements, the state's votes are overwhelmingly Democratic—but in common parlance, that involves a lot of "wasted votes."

    Somerby implies that it is unfair that so many people in one state vote for a Democratic candidate -- the votes of the people in the other states matter too, and they preferred Trump. He thinks that is a problem, even though the electoral college is designed to give the people in those other states a disproportionate influence compared to those in California. Non-Californian votes count MORE not LESS than Californian votes. But Somerby says this is a problem, since it is mostly Californians who don't like Trump. This is obviously untrue, since the votes in the other 49 states are so close, meaning that as many people there like Biden as like Trump, especially with Biden winning half of those states.

    But what is the point of Somerby's essay today? Does he wish to argue that because Trump won so many votes, he didn't actually lose the election? He lost by 4 percentage points, and that is a whole lot of votes in a nation as large as ours. Does he wish to argue that because Trump got so many votes, his Big Lie about winning is not such a big lie? That is still manifestly untrue, when his purpose was to steal the office won by another man. Our system is winner-take-all -- no prize for being second. Does he wish to make it seem like if so many voters supported Trump, then the insurrection is less wrong? Trump tried to take office by force, using violence and corruption of our system. That is wrong no matter how many innocent people voted for him.

    So, what exactly is Somerby's point? Is it that we should let Trump off the hook because his voters will be upset? There is that implied threat in Somerby's recounting of the numbers too. But remember that Trump lost -- and that means that the number of people who would have been disenfranchised by Trump's coup is much larger than the number who were disappointed by Trump's loss.

    And no, I do not feel sorry for those misguided fools who voted for Trump. I do not understand them, and yes, I have spoken to many of my friends and acquaintances about why they voted for Trump. I have never gotten a good explanation, which suggests to me that they perhaps don't know why they supported him -- or that their reasons don't make sense. But they lost. They should have lost, they did lose, they cannot take the presidency by force and shouldn't have tried, and that makes them double losers. And yes, those who attempted this need to go to jail. Because you don't subvert an election by attempting a coup, no matter how many of you voted for Trump instead of the actual winner, Biden. And being part of a large, disappointed group doesn't give Republicans the right to overthrow a valid election, destroy democracy and turn this into a Banana Republic for their own benefit.

    If Republicans do not understand that, they still don't have the right to take office by force. It is unclear what Somerby is suggesting today, as always by implication, but whatever it is, he is wrong. I hope he will be watching the hearings today, so that HE can understand why Trump damaged the nation and why his own misplaced concern for the losers aided this insurrection, one in which The Others should have been helped to become good losers instead of feeling that it was their right to take by force what they did not earn at the polls.

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    1. If you have fantasies or mental images about hurting yourself or have other suicidal thoughts, get help right away.

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    2. And we hear from another red tribe member. Are you happy now, Somerby?

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    3. 10:57,
      Great advice. Seek help, so that you can accept black people's votes counting in elections. Throwing public temper tantrums is not the answer.

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    4. Great news. Republicans haven't made it illegal for you to seek help, yet.

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    5. As Democrats we will just have to access the damage once the election is over and agree upon a scapegoat.

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    6. There's a lingering racism that exists within the Democratic party, the ideas of "we have to help the blacks" and "we speak for them." "We'll fix things for you"... "we are your voice."

      We all need to work on our own flaws once in a while. The whole purpose of this blog is to perform INTROSPECTION for the liberal "tribe" and it's methods. His main point is everything is shrugged off with "...but Republicans" and then we get comments day after day showcasing exactly that, it's comical and ironic.

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    7. You expect blacks to prevent their votes from being suppressed on their own?
      That doesn't seem optimal.

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    8. Let's play spot the straw man. That's another one.

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    9. Watch Revolutionary Blackout on YouTube.

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    10. "Great news. Republicans haven't made it illegal for you to seek help, yet."

      Here is a Republican story about mental health treatment.

      When Reagan became governor in California, he closed all of the mental institutions in the state, largely due to cost. He said he would replace them with community mental health centers. Those community mental health centers were never funded. That meant that chronic schizophrenics, veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, chronic alcoholics with Korsakoff's syndrome, people with disabling OCD and depression were put out on the streets with no means of support and no help. They formed a core of the burgeoning homeless problem that arose when alternative sources of care disappeared. Relatives of people with chronic mental health issues develop "compassion fatigue" and stop helping after an average of 3 years, overwhelmed by their inability to make life better for their loved ones without advice and support. That left the mentally ill stranded and living on the streets. Many "self-medicated" with street drugs, especially with the crack boom that hit the inner cities in that time period.

      So, you can joke here about commenters seeking help, but Republicans are at the core of the problem that California still struggles with, as mentally ill people mingle with drug addicts, the poor, with neglected veterans, and are taken advantage of by street crime. But if you find this funny, you belong in the Republican party -- they greatly exacerbated this problem and have no idea what to do about it, except blame the Dems, who are the only people who have ever tried to help the mentally ill.

      (In European democracies, those who are mentally ill are considered disabled and receive a living stipend and ongoing medical care.)

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  4. "but in common parlance, that involves a lot of "wasted votes."

    I find it offensive whenever Somerby uses this term -- wasted votes -- because it implies that the votes in a blue state are less important than those in a state with a more contested election. The votes of the people in California matter too. So do the ones in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado, and other blue states where Trump was defeated by a wider margin.

    Each person gets a vote. That makes them important and it matters how they cast their vote. There have been several elections where the candidate has conceded before the polls closed in California. I cast my vote anyway.

    Somerby shows a fundamental disrespect for the voting process and the people whose votes are being cast, when he calls some votes "wasted" and wishes to suggest that some votes matter more than others -- today, he is most concerned about those in the "other 49" and especially the 24 states that Trump won, states with far fewer voters than the large states with those "wasted" votes and those irrelevant blue voters.

    I really cannot see how Somerby expects to convince blue voters to take red voters seriously by telling the blue voters that they don't matter and that their votes are wasted and thus they must pay more attention to those ever-so-important red voters!

    There is a fundamental concept of equality -- that word that Dr. Oz edited out of his campaign tweet about Juneteenth -- that Somerby today edits out of our electoral process. ALL votes matter and ALL citizens are accorded a vote to cast as they see fit. Talking about some votes as being more important by virtue of where they live or how red their tribe is, violates that fundamental premise of democracy.

    But is that really a surprise to anyone here who has been reading Somerby as he drifts to the right? All animals in the barnyard are equal, but some are more equal than others. This quote from George Orwell is relevant to Somerby's pitch, unlike Somerby's unattributed Robert Frost.

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  5. Even after Trump gave the Establishment a HUGE tax break, Republican voters doubled down on Trump, despite being "economically anxious", and not at all bigoted, dontchaknow.

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  6. "Just for the record, here are the additional data from the 2020 House elections:

    2020 House elections, The Other 49:
    Republican candidates: 67.2 million votes
    Democratic candidates: 66.4 million votes"

    And if you leave out enough of the Democatic votes you can make it seem like Trump won too. Leaving out the votes from the most populous Democratic-voting states doesn't change the election results. And this is what sophistry looks like.

    Somerby says, if you ignore enough of the Democratic votes, Republicans will win the House. Right. and if we ignore enough of the Republican votes (such as Texas and Florida), Democrats will win the House. But that is not the reality of the upcoming election (or any election) because those populous states are also part of our union. And no, Texas cannot and will not secede because it is illegal.

    Somerby has no idea what is going to happen in the upcoming midterms. It is in the interest of Republicans to predict confidantly that they will win. The media wants it to be a horse race, so they are talking up the closeness and disparaging the chances of the Democrats, as usual. But no one knows what the impact is of the hearings and no one knows how much Trump's problems will affect down-ticket races (especially if Republicans stay home), and we do not know whether inflation will improve sufficiently to be less preoccupying to voters. It may be that voters decide to punish all Republicans for 1/6. It may be that local candidates stress their own merits and run on local issues instead of national ones. And it may be that the doom-and-gloom predictions about Democratic Party losses motivate enough of a GOTV effort to swing things in favor of Democratic wins. Beto O'Rourke may take Texas.

    Somerby has ignored redistricting, which has favored Democrats more than in the previous maps. That may be a factor. Uvalde may kick out its white Republican mayor, out of disgust for how he and his police force behaved. Other small towns may do the same. Somerby has no idea what will happen. But his specious math is aimed at undermining and dispiriting Democrats, not "self-improvement" and is of a piece with the "Democrats in disarray" theme that the media and the right put forth before every election these days. And it is bullshit.

    But notice that Somerby doesn't even have real numbers to work with. He must deliberately exclude California to produce a fantasy result that has nothing to do with what may happen in an uncertain midterm election in which no one knows how current events will shape results.

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    1. We have to adjust the numbers to account for the Hexit.

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    2. Texas isn't seceding, because there is no benevolent God.

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    3. More drooling, bigoted, un-self-aware comments from the Somerby attack squad.

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    4. 12:26,
      Somerby's solution is to find common ground with bigots, like 11:37.
      Here's your chance to show he's correct.

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    5. I'm pretty sure 11:37 is a rabid leftist trying to be funny. Oh and straw man #3 spotted. Collect all seven!

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    6. 12:26 tossed Bob's lesson about listening to "the Others" in the trashcan, where it belongs.
      With friends like 12:26...

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    7. I'm pretty sure 12:26 really believed he agreed with Somerby, for a little bit. Things often change when push comes to shove.

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  7. “It is unclear what Somerby is suggesting today, as always by implication, but whatever it is, he is wrong.”

    Preach it, sister. This is the anonymouse mantra to the core.

    It’s not at all unclear what Somerby is saying, no matter how disingenuously and idiotically the anonymices 10:37am and 10:54am try to maneuver around his point.

    He is asking how can Dems can win more people over. How can his political party win more votes.

    The other day he was elucidating the problems for Democrats with the Electoral College and all you could say is what you always so brilliantly say— that Democrats shouldn’t bother to forge a message that appeals to anyone who had or would ever vote for Trump because they’re hopeless human beings because of it. They could never poll positive about expanding Medicare and Social Security or reigning medical and pharmaceutical companies. Just focus on identity issues and calling them names when they don’t agree you on that or about energy policy.

    He gives you the percentages, you reply with crap like that.

    We realize even you don’t really buy your act, it’s all cover up because Somerby has a broader outlook on politics and culture than what is nearly always offered up on partisan political blogs.

    That makes him baaad.

    It’s no one wonder you sages claim you’re so accomplished, yet have the time to do five or six daily posts, 10-15. paragraphs each, repeating yourselves every day.

    It’s not like the DNC or a political campaign would value your help.

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    1. Agree. That quote was classic.

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    2. Don't work with Republicans. Work around them.

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    3. The quote stood out. There's a cult here that will defend the status quo against Somerby's perceived attacks no matter how many logical fallacies and convoluted uses of logic they must support. And it mainly serves to prove his points. Close mindedness. Case in point that quote.

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    4. Best explanation I've seen for how Trump gained votes in 2020, is that every economically anxious Trump voter in 2016, voted for Biden in 2020.

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    5. "He is asking how can Dems can win more people over. How can his political party win more votes."

      Please provide one stick of evidence that Somerby is a Democrat and that he has Democratic interests at heart.

      Where does he say what you have just attributed to him?

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    6. A word of advice, bitter attempts to be humorous just come off as bitter.

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    7. Being for the little guy isn't going to garner votes from people who accuse the Democratic Party of being socialist commies, that make people lazy by helping them.

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    8. That's some dated stereotyping there, you need to upgrade your talking points.

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    9. It is interesting how closely the take of various commenters on Somerby's writing seems to parallel their political views, red or blue. A bunch of red commenters take a dump on the blue commenters, claiming that the blue readers see something wrong in Somerby that doesn't exist, while the blue commenters find the red trolls here annoying, lacking in substance, and merely out to troll without explaining what they find compelling about Somerby's latest beef.

      If someone can read Somerby's writing and find anything thoughtful or interesting about it, they are as incomprehensible to me, a Democrat, as the praise heaped on Trump by Republican supporters. There is nothing of value in Somerby as near as I can see, and a great deal that is annoying, repetitive, frustratingly wrong and bigoted, and quite a bit that is offensive, much like Trump himself. I wouldn't waste my time on him, if he didn't keep claiming to be liberal, and that makes him a big liar and harmful to democratic discourse, much like Trump is. But I don't see any meeting ground in the comments between those of us who are annoying by Somerby and those who claim they admire him. And that is just like what happens with Trump, MTG, Boebert, Gaetz, Cawthorn, Jorndan, Oz, and the other Republican miscreants flapping their mouths and speaking gibberish.

      You may think you are scoring points against those who take the time to analyze Somerby, but you are merely demonstrating your Otherness, and that is not a good thing in my deep blue state wasted vote opinion.

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    10. "They could never poll positive about expanding Medicare and Social Security or reigning medical and pharmaceutical companies. Just focus on identity issues and calling them names when they don’t agree you on that or about energy policy."

      Cecelia, Republicans know which issues they are supposed to support and which they may not. If your view of Republicans were correct, there would be one or two of them supporting Biden's various initiatives, which got 0 (zero, no votes) support from Republicans who are supposedly all voting their consciences.

      Meanwhile, identity issues are not coming from the left. CRT for example is a Republican issue, as is anti-trans bigotry that the right is campaigning on. Choice shouldn't be just a woman's issue, because women, gays, black people, all are people and are entitled to rights, so calling civil rights "identity politics" strikes me as an odd formulation. But I think that is how the right things of things, not so much the left. Denying people equal rights is a right wing issue.

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    11. Your logic makes it very gratifying to be a Republican.

      Racism in our society isn’t a concern of Democrats. The only people who care about CRT are the people who oppose it.

      Known entities such as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio didn’t make it in the Republican primaries, because they are notorious devotees of expanding entitlements.

      Again, I can see why you folks have the time to piss out ten paragraphed screeds against Bob Somerby. It’s all you have to do.

      In the real world, your reasoning isn’t worth a penny.




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    12. Usual gaslighting response.

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    13. Cecelia,
      It's okay to admit you got suckered into being a blind sheep, believing Christopher Rufo's bullshit about CRT. I promise to not think any less of you for copping to it.

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  8. I agree with Somerby that the whole problem here is the Electoral College, which is grossly unfair to the Democratic voters in populous states such as California. But to eliminate the Electoral College, we must first get rid of the Filibuster so that Congress can enact the legislation (and also the other bills desired by the majority of our country but obstructed by small red states).

    Gerrymandered districts in red states create the same problem on the local level. Blue voters tend to congregate in a few large cities instead of being distributed evenly across states. That means that by putting them all in one district, the Republicans can create a bunch of red districts that are safely Republican (without many blue voters) while segregating the blue voters into a smaller number of much larger districts that are under-represented by a single elected representative. Democrats have reduced the amount of such gerrymandering but it is still happening and creates an impression that there are red "states" while the reality is that there is an urban/rural split that creates an impression that a state is red simply because the blue votes live in a small number of large cities. I can hear Somerby suggesting that if you remove Portland from Oregon, it is a red state, and similar nonsense.

    This problem all goes back to the founding fathers and the need to capitulate to slave states who feared being outvoted by more populous free states. It is still doing the job of protecting a minority from the will of the majority. But is that how a democracy is supposed to work? Shouldn't the majority prevail (with protections for minority rights)?

    I don't understand why Somerby does not discuss this seriously, instead of "warning" blue tribe members that the red tribe is losing patience with them. Or subtracting the blue state votes in order to speciously claim that there are a lot of leftover red votes, even though they lost the election.

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    1. anon 12:11 - abolishing the Electoral College would require an amendment to the Constitution, if I'm not mistaken, and eliminating the filibuster wouldn't solve the problem. Seems far-fetched that such an amendment could happen. Is getting rid of the filibuster a solution? (It used to be 67% in the 50's by the way) - do you consider you might live to regret it if that happens, if the GOP controls both congress and the presidency, a distinct possibility - dems in the senate could do nothing to stop the GOP from doing whatever they want. And, we certainly won't know until later this year, but there seems to be a strong chance the GOP will regain control of the house, senate, or both.

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    2. Yes, it is farfetched under the current circumstances, but the constitution has been amended before. I doubt I would regret seeing some important bills enacted after the rollback of the filibuster. And if some Republican ones were enacted after that, how is that any different than now?

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  9. Sorry, I cannot be friends with people who think the sun comes up in the west and also do not believe in Democracy. They must be out voted because no amount of rational discussion can change their minds.

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    1. "friends"

      Straw man.

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    2. Exactly.

      The term is ironic too. With “friends” like anonymices, the Democratic Party doesn’t need enemies.

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  10. The tradition of wing-nut craziness goes back to our founding fathers too. We are a nation created by religious extremists, criminal deportees, opportunists and con artists, and economic failures who arrived as indentured servants. And slaves, whose servitude enriched amoral landowners who came to America because of the lack of restrictions on their actions. The descendants of these outcasts (sensible people stayed in Europe) inherited their skewed attitudes and beliefs, and that has been the source of problems for our democracy every since. We deliberately adopted a system of governmet in which the oddities of our people were given free voice to influence political outcomes (despite the best efforts to limit franchise to solider citizens, relatively speaking). We all saw Hamilton, didn't we? Look at his backstory.

    So it should be no surprise that craziness is built into our system. But so are values and the current divide is along the lines of those values. Democrats place high value on the common good. Republicans say "screw the common good" and place high value on individual success at the expense of others. Republicans value winning at any cost. Democrats value fairness, equality, justice. These values are in conflict and there is no way for them to avoid that conflict because achieving one sacrifices the other.

    In marriage counseling and diplomatic conflict resolution, it is possible to resolve conflicts based on miscommunication and misunderstanding, and it is possible to achieve compromise if the situation permits it, but this is not a conflict based on miscommunication or misunderstanding so no amount of talking will help (Somerby's remedy). It is also not a situation where compromise will work, although Democrats have certainly tried to appease the right, but they just demand more (because "greed is good"). So that is not working either. That leaves us with power as a solution and that is what our elections are about -- who will have the power to impose their values on the rest of us. Democrats outnumber Republicans and that suggests they should wield power. But Republicans believe in cheating to win, so they have been trying to gain power despite their numerical disadvantage (which Somerby argues is A-OK). Believing in fairness, it seems unlikely the Democrats will tolerate this approach, and that is what the 1/6 hearing is about. Because we have a democratic system, we need not resort to violence, but if the right decides not to buy into our governmental system, then violence is the next resort. Last time that happened, the Union won because it was better equipped and had more resources. I doubt that situation has changed and I believe the red states will lose if they attempt a violent solution. But they are just crazy stupid enough to try, and ignorant enough of history to engage in another self-defeating, doomed effort. A peaceful outcome is possible only if the red states acknowledge their weaker status within our nation and accept results that go against their wishes -- because those results are favored by the majority, and that is how our government works. Are they smart enough to do that? We'll see.

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    1. Anonymouse 12:25pm, please run for office on your first paragraph. You’d be an honest leftist that way because for all your vaunted concern about entitlements, they really play servant to the larger cultural sentiments and agenda that you first expressed.

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    2. Somerby is sensitive about being called ignorant, but other Republicans wear it like a badge of honor. Did you skip American History class, Cecelia?

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  11. “He is asking how can Dems can win more people over. How can his political party win more votes.”

    Aside from attacking liberals as pathetic losers, what are Somerby’s actual suggestions?

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    1. Straw man..

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    2. Does he have any suggestions? Or can you not say what they are? Or do you just like using the phrase “straw man” even when it isn’t applicable?

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    3. His suggestion is that you stop sounding like Anonymouse12:25pm.

      That alone garners him every insult in the world short of murderer. So no one here is going to hold their breath.

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    4. Not turn our politics into a series of accusations involving private behavior.

      See the ways our conduct resembles theirs.

      Realize profit-seekers hand us pleasing tales that are not dispositive

      Don't overstate evidence against our opponents.

      Avoid unsupportable claims using our favorite bombs, claims which are easy to bat away.

      Not try to "explain" 63 million voters with idiotic generalizations.

      Realize we regular people will often say things, and reach judgments, which don't make a lot of sense. (This is especially true where partisan desires are involved.)

      -etc. You don't read what he writes?

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    5. mh would you like 20 more?

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    6. Fascinating you read this blog for years without comprehending what is written. That explains a little I guess.

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    7. I always thought it was trolling, but it turns out it's reading for comprehension.

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    8. You have repeated some of the criticisms but merely inserted the word "NOT DO THIS" in front of each one. That isn't exactly a suggestion for change. Most of Somerby's criticisms are not as valid as you seem to find them, many are nitpicks and some are flat wrong. None of them will do a thing to lessen the divide between red and blue. Because there is so little constructive being offered, Somerby's rants just come across as an unhelpful attack. For example, what is pleasing about the narrative that California is nothing but a pile of wasted votes and the the rest of the country is all Republican -- Somerby's claim today?

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    9. You're stupid.

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    10. You’re inarticulate verging on non-verbal.

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  12. Somerby has apparently already memory holed the near historic gains in the house of representatives the Democrats made back in 2018, or the fact that the Democrats won both Senate seats in Georgia in 2020 thanks to massive Dem efforts there, and Biden won the presidency against a rising tide of Trump support.

    Midterm flips in the House are fairly common. It happened under Clinton and Obama. So, maybe it will happen this year. That isn’t evidence of any incompetence on the part of Democrats.

    Biden’s electoral victory was close? So was Bush 2000, and Trump 2016.

    Now, who here thinks that “winning more votes” isn’t something that Democrats and Democratic strategists hadn’t thought of until Somerby came along?

    It’s child’s play to suggest Democrats ought to win more votes. A valuable thought piece would make suggestions as to how to do this, aside from declaring Trump mentally ill, I mean.

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    1. I think some of the feeling that Democrats are not doing well may arise from the flood of fundraising appeals that you get if you donate money to someone's campaign. Each one makes it sound like there is an urgent crisis at hand that will result in destruction and doom, if you don't send more cash. If you took these literally, it would seem like the Democrats are losing, hand over fist, and in desperate need of help. It is hard not to pick up on that urgency when it comes at you so frequently via texts and emails, every day.

      That approach to fund-raising may be a mistake if it results in Somerby's sense of foreboding about the midterms and seeps into media reporting, as it seems to have done. I agree with mh that things were far worse before Biden took office and I don't think gas prices are going to ruin the election for the Democrats, when they are objectively far lower in the US than elsewhere and a temporary fluctuation. In CA, perhaps there are so many wasted votes because our gas prices are always high, due to the extra environmental processing done on gas in the state, and the state taxes imposed on each gallon at the pump. We are used to paying for nice things in CA, so this doesn't seem like the sky is falling to us.

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    2. Democrats are toast. They're totally out of touch.

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    3. Democrats are too in the bag for corporations , and the people can see it as plainly as they can see Democrats being commies, who want to bankrupt the country by making people lazy by giving them everything for free.

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    4. Who pays you to write this stuff?

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    5. The same establishment elites who pay Mao.

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  13. Bob’s aggressive stupidity provokes
    the obvious.
    Richard Nixon’s massive electoral
    victory did not make him any less
    accountable for his behavior.
    Bob Somerby’s obsessive hatred
    of Northern liberals and those who have
    made big bucks in liberal political
    TV does not make Donald Trump
    Innocent or excusable.
    The hearings today, underlining
    innocent parties Trump was willing
    to destroy, really shows the sewer
    Bob loves to inhabit.

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  14. Geezus, Bob. Really, what does this stuff accomplish? I can look at this 100 times and still be pissed off about these wasted votes. You stand up for the 74 million, i'll speak for the 81 million.

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  15. If you just ignore a large number of votes, you get a very different perspective on the adjusted total vote count!

    While this is true.....the article struggles to make it clear why we should do this. Why not ignore a different set of votes to achieve a completely different perspective?

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    1. Because Hispanic poverty rates declined under Trump.

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    2. Hispanic poverty rates continued a downward trend under Trump that began under Obama. Since Biden has taken office, it has declined an additional 1% (from 18% to 17%) under Biden.

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    3. In ominous sign for Democrats, a new poll says inflation is the top issue for Latinos.

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    4. Also top issue for trolls.

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    5. Are you sure those are Hispanics, and not free market Libertarians, begging Daddy Government to do something to help them?

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  16. Motivated reasoning is what leads people to be amazed that others voted for the other party. ("To maintain positive self-regard, people (unwittingly) discount unflattering or troubling information that contradicts their self-image. Individuals engage in motivated reasoning as a way to avoid or lessen cognitive dissonance, the mental discomfort people experience when confronted by contradictory information...")

    Trying to be objective, there were good reasons to vote for Trump and there were good reasons to vote for Biden.

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    1. I don’t think Somerby is trying to be objective, his goal is to peel off votes.

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    2. From Republicans to Biden.

      Otherwise, like you, he’d suggest that isn’t important.

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    3. Are you aware that he criticized Biden before the election, as well as Harris? What gives you the idea he supports Biden?

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    4. Because there's only 2 alternatives. Having complete support and no criticism for one of only 2 candidates would be highly unusual.

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    5. Virtually all the anonymices were against Biden before he was nominated and were busily linking him to 50’s era Dixiecrats.

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    6. That’s a lie.

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    7. Nope. Granted it’s hard to get a head count on anonymices. That’s why they choose to be anonymices. However, Biden was many times denounced as being someone who had cooperated thru the years with Dixiecrats.

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    8. Fortunately, black people voted for Biden and saved the country. Again.

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    9. there were good reasons to vote for Trump

      If you are a fascist racist prick like yourself, David.

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    10. There are some people who supported Trump because they believed him to be a successful businessman and expected that Trump would enact policies favorable to businesses and thereby lead to personal prosperity. The problem with this is that Trump lied about his business acumen too. His business "success" relied on grifting and borrowing, and later on, money laundering for Russian oligarchs, not any business talent. His bankruptcies and casino failures should have signaled that, but Trump told big lies about his business skills and promoted his "brand" on TV, selling that Big Lie to those who supported him in politics. This was as big a grift as his later con about rigged elections.

      This is one of the "good reasons" that rested upon not looking too closely at how Trump made money and what happened to those who were his partners in business.

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  17. Even before Jan 6, Prof Noam Chomsky has been calling the Republican party "a low level insurgency"

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, just maybe, it's okay to distrust people who support terrorists

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  18. "Biden won the state of California by a walloping 5.1 million votes"

    Yeah, dear Bob, we hear dead people are super-active in parts of California. Climate, y'know...

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  19. If you want to pretend California doesn't exist, you have to pretend that an X number of solid red States (similar to California in voting population) doesn't exist.

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