Scale Thumbing and Election Wrong-ness

There was plenty to get wrong in the 2016 election, and experts missed few opportunities to do so. Scale thumbing ranks high on the list of excuses.

It is actually hard to think of an election that beat this one for aggregate wrong-ness.

Obviously, predictions of the outcome were spectacularly off the mark but there were other less visible examples.

One that comes to mind is the idea that people hated the process and just wanted it to be over. We are five weeks past the election but the battling continues.

Jill Stein discovered there was a profit to be made in recounts. She could raise more money from distraught donors than the states would charge her to recount the votes. The profit went into her party’s coffers.

After-the-fact rule changing continued with the we-won-the-popular-vote-ists facing off against the we-won-the-most-geography-ists. Easiest way to assess those claims is to reverse the actual outcome and see what the two sides say then.

Taking the battle to the Electoral College has enjoyed a brief run but the final decision of that near-anonymous body on Monday December 19 should deliver a garlic spike to that plan.

Even the spectator sports industry has discovered that there is a market for ending their interminable seasons and giving it a rest. Why should politics be different? It is not even a very good game.

Have we all been wrong about people hating the political process? The political professionals and the media they depend upon for attention are behaving like the fans still love it.

Then there is the email hacking thing.

Did Vladimir Putin, former KGB thug, thumb the scales for Donald Trump? Many certainly believe that he did though the prove-it people are hanging in there.

Since the accuracy of the embarrassing emails is not in dispute and since the embarrassing emails have clearly been revealed, it is not completely illogical to say that somebody thumbed the scales (or tried to) by putting the emails out there.

Let’s blame Putin with the understanding that it could have been somebody else whose image might not have been quite as nasty. “Putin hacks DNC” is a better story than “Bambi hacks DNC” because Bambi has a better PR firm than Putin does. Either way, “DNC Emails Hacked” is accurate.

I am not sure why either Putin or Bambi would want Donald Trump to win but I understand why Putin would want Hillary Clinton to lose. He thinks she did the same thing to him. As they say on the TV cop shows, that’s motive. Bambi was unavailable for comment.

Now, here are two unasked – and thus, unanswered – questions about scale thumbing.

Why are the Russians (or Bambi) so good at winning our elections and the Democrats and Republicans so bad at it?

Winning elections by nefarious means is supposed to be a big skill of ours. It is an American export. Our political consultants hawk their wares in other countries.

Have we been supplanted? Are nefarious election-winning techniques just another American industry that has been outsourced?

Political operatives had better get on top of this one or their kids will be needing the free college thing.

The second question is what can be done about email hacking? That one has sort of been asked but the most obvious answers have been ignored.

Most have focused on cyber security and elaborate techy-ness. Really? When vast numbers of people can’t manage the “reply all” thing.

Hacking emails depends on one key factor: revealing embarrassing stuff.

Telling people not to put embarrassing stuff in writing does not work. The whole point of the private server was to keep embarrassing emails sent by self-serving techno-dopes out of the public domain.

That sort of leaves us with one choice.

Has anyone considered not doing embarrassing stuff?

Even small children learn that if you can’t get away with something, there is always the choice of not doing it at all.

 

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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8 comments

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  • The DNC email brouhaha was a leak not a hack… There is a big difference. An insider leaked the email server content to Wikileaks. This is common knowledge. The Hack was on Hillary’s personal server that had no significant security on it. Numerous individuals, and state sponsored agencies had access to that server. It was wide open.
    This ploy, that “Russia did it.” is just another one in a string of desperate attempts by the DNC to focus fault outside of their own management and corruption. The only real vote rigging that has been found to date either through the DNC leaks or the recount has been in the favor of Hillary, this is not to imply that the Republicans don’t engage in the same sort of dirty tricks. It’s just that this year the R-establishment didn’t feel very enthusiastic about the prospects (or the likelyhood) of a Trump Presidency so they didn’t pull out all the stops like they would have, for another Bush candidacy.

      • Ha, ha, ha… yeah it’s just embarrassing how desperate the Democrats are to frame this loss as ANYTHING but their own fault. They spent over 1.2 Billion more then two times the amount of the Republicans, MSM support, Hollywood, Big Money Elite Donors, even the tacit support of many Republican elites. And still they couldn’t get the lowly ‘deplorable’ working class to vote for Hillary or the Dems. They are in deep shit and total denial and they are going to get creamed again in 2020 if they don’t address the issues with the party leadership. Personally, I think it will be difficult to shake the neo-liberal hold from the party until after then. And honestly, we really missed a bullet, the Democrats behavior now petulant and infantile though it may be is indicative a attitude that frighteningly dismissive of the democratic process itself. They are quite literally unwilling to give up power and while is humorous how impotent their tantrums are it’s still mildly frightening they are willing to posit staging a coup in order to keep it and think it reasonable.
        Could you imagine if the situation were reversed?
        The Trump supporters and Republican leaders openly calling for electors to defect, the riots, this would be considered the deranged work of right wing domestic terrorists. But since the left does it, albeit very badly, with little to no support of the general public, it’s open discussed, even supported by the media and political elite. It’s just another Swiftian modest proposal that many of our country’s alleged leaders and media bend over backwards to support, without shame. Like I said, embarrassing, but also a bit horrifying in implication.

        • As you said, “Could you imagine if the situation were reversed?”
          The pitchfork and torch bearers would be attacked by the national guard.

  • Progressive/Liberals must choose between “safe spaces’ (head in sand) and “exorcism” (self colonoscopy) to get back in the political game. Now they come to understand the “lean years” of the GOP post wwii. Will they resurrect themselves, maybe as Country Club Democrats? 🙂

  • Armand,
    I am intrigued by your comments:
    “The DNC email brouhaha was a leak not a hack… There is a big difference. An insider leaked the email server content to Wikileaks. This is common knowledge. ”
    And
    “Honestly we really missed a bullet, the Democrats behavior now petulant and infantile as it may be is indicative of an attitude that is frighteningly dismissive of the domocratic process itself ….. unwilling to give up power and …willing to stage a coup….. ”

    Both of these sentiments are extremely disquieting for entirely separate reasons. The DNC revealed itself for its elitist Holier than thou attitude, and regardless of the source of the hack the truth was chilling with Podesta being exactly the same nasty infighter he had been back in the Clinton presidency days. I had not appreciated the ‘common knowledge’ argument and wonder if you can point to any sources for that comment.
    And the stage a coup point really is very dis-quieting, in that I do not disagree at all. It is quite frightening, although I take some solace in Jill Stein raising the money in Wisconsin in order to find another 131 additional votes fo Trump.

    • Tim and Armand,

      I will email the two of you so that you have each other’s addresses. Hope you continue the conversation here.

      Tim is one of the first LibPell fans and a big supporter.

      Armand is the LibPell “web guy.”

      This might trigger a way for those who comment on a story to be notified of other comments, thus allowing the conversation to continue.