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Culture War Roundup for the week of December 11, 2023

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I saw the following exchange between Megyn Kelly and Tucker Carlson, and it made me angry. So instead of getting over it and going and doing normal things like a well adjusted adult, I decided to complain about it on the internet.

MEGYN KELLY: This is one of the reasons why I said if this judge [Chutkan] in DC… because we assume Trump's gonna get convicted in that case, I mean, the smart bet would be this DC jury convicts him because they hate them politically. 92% voted for Joe Biden. And she hates him. If she puts him in jail, pending appeal before the election, the country's going to burn. And then all this blowback, ‘Oh my god. She's calling for violence.’ I'm not calling for violence. But there is no way that Trump base is not going to be beside itself with anger at that level of deprivation of being able to simply vote for the candidate of choice. That's what's being taken away here.

TUCKER CARLSON: Speaking of violence, that's what you're gonna get. And speaking as someone who detests violence… If you leave people no alternative, then what do you think is going to happen? The whole point of electoral democracy is that it's a pressure relief valve that takes people who are very frustrated with the way things are going and gives them a way to express themselves, have their desires heard, and ultimately, their will done to be represented in a peaceful way. And if you take that away, if you have staged an unfair election, which 2020 was, if you suppress information that voters need to make an informed decision, you're rigging the election, and they did that.

So if you keep doing that, and people are like, ‘Wait, I have no economic power, you've devalued my currency, so it's like $11 for a dozen eggs, and my vote doesn't matter anymore. Well, then what do I have? Like what power do I have?’ And you're gonna get violence if you keep the shit up. And that's just the truth. And I am very upset about that, I don't want that to happen, I think the counter violence will be much more extreme than the violence. But any rational person can see what's coming. So they have to stop this.

The charges against Trump are not real. They're not even for serious crimes. I was told Trump was like a murderer and had killed a bunch of people in New Jersey or something. He didn't even cheat on his taxes. And they're treating him like a felon at the same time. Like they protect Epstein until they have to murder him in his cell. It's insane and it's all on public display. Everybody knows what's going on. So I do think the people in charge the people were pulling the strings on Tanya Chutkan in or whatever these ridiculous front people they hire. Those people need to really think this through a little bit. You're about to wreck the country. Don't do this, please.

First of all, I'm at least glad to see that reality is starting to set in. Trump is going to get his nonsense "absolute immunity" claim promptly rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court. He's going to go on trial on March 4, he's going to get convicted, and he's going to go to prison. This has all been obvious for some time, and people do need to come to grips with it instead of telling themselves "it can't happen, so it won't".

But there is a stark mismatch here between the acceptance on one hand that the jury will convict Trump but the insistence on the other hand that "the charges aren't real". DC is an overwhelmingly democratic voting jurisdiction, but you would need to be cynical indeed to think there is no chance that even one Democrat juror would refuse to imprison a political opponent on obviously baseless charges. But of course, the charges are not nearly so baseless as Carlson suggests.

No, the reason that Kelly and Carlson know that Trump is going down is not because they think there is not one honest soul to be found in DC. They can have confidence Trump will lose this case because both his conduct and the law have little mystery about them. On the facts, there's little if any dispute about the actions that Trump took. On the law we have seen similar charges applied to many January 6 defendants, and it has not gone well for them. If Trump is to get similar treatment for similar conduct, he must be convicted.

Carlson and Kelly know that he's guilty and yet they pretend otherwise. Carlson rants about how outrageous it is to render people's votes meaningless, and yet when Trump is charged for conspiring to do exactly that he flatly states it's "not even a real crime". I emphasize that his contention here isn't even that Trump didn't do the awful thing he's accused of - he's saying that the things he's accused of aren't awful. This lays bare how empty and fake Carlson's feigned defence of democracy is. You can believe that it's outrageous to deprive people of their democratic rights or you can believe that conspiring to deprive people of their democratic rights isn't a "real crime", but it's incoherent to claim both.

But worst of all is the "warning" of violence. Carlson tells us that the man who incited a riot must not be punished or else we'll get more riots. This is the logic of terrorism. Give us what we want or there will be blood. Sure, he phrases it as a prediction rather than a threat and says he detests violence... but he knows full well that many of the people who might actually commit it could well be listening to him, and he knows he is fanning the flames of their resentment and putting the thought of violence in their heads. This would be irresponsible even if Carlson were sincere, but the fact that he's obviously being cynical makes it worse. This is a man who passionately hates Trump and couldn't wait for him to get kicked out of the White House - and yet here he is inventing excuses for him, pre-emptively trying to discredit the verdict he knows is coming, sanewashing Trump's "rigged election" claims, stoking anger, and telling people that violence is the inevitable response if Trump gets locked up. All, one presumes, so he can maintain his position in the GOP media ecosystem. What a worm.

Smith and Chuktan will obviously not allow themselves to be swayed by threats of violence, so we will unfortunately get to see if the dark talk turns into action. I for one hope Trump's most volatile supporters will at least recognize the truth that Carlson acknowledges - it will go extremely badly for anyone who takes it upon themselves to shed blood.

  • -20
  • 38 downvotes

And some claim themotte doesn't downvote opinions. And this is from a centrist regular, not a truly progressive opinion. It appears you still have enough credit with the userbase, and you're socially conservative enough, to avoid the bad faith and strawman accusations for now, Ashlael.

I got an actual death threat one time, that was wild.

I always said it's an "I disagree" button, and that we should just get rid of voting, because it seems to cause too much distress for some people.

Better to let the mob have this impotent outlet for their censorious impulse than through accusations of rules-violating behaviour.

Would you like to have a conversation about this?

Anytime. Why don’t we step inside and settle this like women?

That was a legitimate question.

I don't think my behavior was objectionable, but I recognize you didn't like it, apologized for giving offense, and promised not to do it again as a show of good faith. Now you bring it up two comments in a row, which leaves the impression that you don't want to let it rest. So what sort of response are you looking for here?

Look Craven, there is no bad blood between us, I am happy to debate this or anything else with you. No offense was taken, but for obvious reasons I'd prefer not to be accused of bannable actions.

I think the rules can be, and have been, weaponized for censorship. I thought this before I became aware I could be a target too (back when my opinions were closer to motte-mode, instead of somewhat motte-left now, due to the rightward shift).

Believe it or not, we don't go looking for reasons to ban people. That said, I don't know if calling someone "Craven" is an ongoing joke between you two or what, but it looks like a gratuitous snipe.

As for weaponizing the rules for censorship, if you tell us how you think that's happening, we will discuss it. Usually I see these sorts of claims thrown out there as basically a complaint that the Motte is not modded according to how the complainer would prefer.

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I think one should probably not try to draw too many conclusions from votes on trump threads. I'd hazard at least half of regulars just collapse any thread with trump in it immediately. I suggest others do the same, it makes the place much more enjoyable.

As a leftist liberal, I downvoted this because the commentary was inflammatory with almost no substance. I don't think the downvote count of this comment tells us anything about whether or not theMotte downvotes opinions (it does).

I downvoted it because it's not actually contributing anything to the debate.

I can go read people being mad at the right existing and having opinions on /r/politics, I can do the converse on /pol/, this isn't what this place is for.

I wouldn't say I liked it as a post - I'm happy it was posted if only because there just aren't enough toplevel posts in general - but if it was the right-wing equivalent, it'd be at the minimum +10.

I didn't downvote here, and don't downvote for disagreement in the general case, but I've personally called out and gotten warned for calling out AshLael's bizarre and uneven behavior on this topic.

This post might not have gotten as much downvote-spam as its Red Tribe equivalent, but that's more a fault for the people overlooking the consensus-building and evidence-free claims when their team makes them.

Ashlael is literally a political operative, which might explain some of that bizarre and uneven behavior.

And there's the bad faith accusation. What's the theory, anyway? He's BLM shadow liaison to the australian government, moonlighting as autist whisperer?

@gattsuru

  • Yeah, I still don't see the problem, like I told you in that thread. Your standard for sinister behaviour is frighteningly low. Not denouncing BLM more than once or twice is bizarre and uneven behaviour apparently.

  • What consensus is he building, all alone and despised?

  • And the good thing about evidence-free claims is that one can refute them with evidence. There really is no reason to write everything in blue.

@07mk

Frank disagreement is always inflammatory.

What's the theory, anyway? He's BLM shadow liaison to the australian government, moonlighting as autist whisperer?

The reason why we have the concept of "conflict of interest" is to prevent that general sort of thing even when it would sound silly and be impossible to prove.

Remember the adage "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Do you think we could convince him that Trump is a good guy, or any other non-left idea, when his lobbying position depends on not believing that? (And yes, I think that applies even though Trump is not running for any office in Australia.)

Frank disagreement is always inflammatory

Frankly, I disagree.

like I told you in that thread

I'll repeat the arguments from there, then: you can't proclaim law-and-order credentials if you don't care about the law, you can't claim public order as a priority if some disruptions of public order can go unpunished for years lest orderly-but-not-state response squick someone out, and you can't claim anti-violence as a principle if you're willing to excuse it at the drop of a hat when the state wants to use it.

Your standard for sinister behaviour is frighteningly low.

I don't think there's anything sinister, unless you're making a left/right pun -- and even then, Aussie politics doesn't break down into the right/left divide.

But if in one case, people honking horns and blocking traffic are so bad that they justify suspension of civil rights and all the normal protections of democratic processes, and in the other case, riots that burn down buildings with people in them are nothing special and should be resolved through democratic means. Some riots, and some terrorism, it turns out, are special.

What consensus is he building, all alone and despised?

... the sentence structure for consensus-building is around the right-wing posts you (and I) are bitching about.

And the good thing about evidence-free claims is that one can refute them with evidence. There really is no reason to write everything in blue.

And part of the warning I got was that I'm not allowed to do so. So there's a bit of an eyeroll, here.

Some riots, and some terrorism, it turns out, are special.[...]

So he's seemingly guilty of mild, year-spanning contradiction, as interpreted by you. I'm not going to waste my time explaining in detail why ashlael's positions are not contradictory, suffice to say you don't have a smoking gun. And all of this has nothing to do with the downvotes you were trying to justify.

.. the sentence structure for consensus-building is around the right-wing posts you (and I) are bitching about.

You implied he was consensus building, like the post's Red Tribe equivalent. But those posts actually have a consensus to build on. At best he's gathering a coalition of the damned.

You implied he was consensus building, like the post's Red Tribe equivalent. But those posts actually have a consensus to build on.

The rule against "Consensus building" doesn't have anything to do with how many people one is immediately appealing to. "We (you and I) agree on X" can be an appeal to common knowledge to your opposite number, provided they actually do agree; if you're not sure whether they agree, it's best to phrase it as a question rather than a statement.

"We (me and others, not you) agree on X, so clearly you're the odd one out" is consensus-building, whether the others are specified or not, and whether the others are present or not. Speaking for other people is generally frowned upon.

You genuinely do not appear to understand the rules this place operates under, and you are rounding all disagreement with your flawed understanding to evidence of bias. This makes your arguments against the actual, considerable, and quite damaging bias that does exist counterproductive.

This is not an endorsement of the object-level claim above.

I think you confuse consensus building with appeal to consensus. The latter pits an external authoritative perspective against the opponent, the former excludes a perspective from the debate entirely, and is characteristic of echo chambers.

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And part of the warning I got was that I'm not allowed to do so. So there's a bit of an eyeroll, here.

I'll address @fuckduck9000's question below, but stop claiming you were told you're not allowed to refute claims with evidence. That isn't what you were warned about, and you know it. You may disagree with what you were told to stop doing, and you can keep arguing that point with us if you must, but it wasn't "Stop refuting people's arguments."

I'm flattered to be the subject of a conspiracy theory, but no, no one is paying me to shit talk Trump on themotte.org. This is entirely my own pathology.

Whoa. In case anybody didn’t read the link:

NA, $90,000, to buy a year of his time. NA is an experienced Australian political operative "on a first name basis with multiple federal politicians". You might remember some of his comments and stories from the ACX comment section, where he goes by AshLael. He's interested in using his expertise to promote effective altruism, either by lobbying directly or by training EAs in how to produce political change. I have no idea what to do with him right now but I am going to figure it out and then do it. If you're in EA and have a good idea how to use this opportunity, please let me know.

@AshLael, I get if you can't tell us, but I'm curious: what did that year of your time end up going towards?

I'll DM you. My commitment to OPSEC is pretty thin and easily pierced, but I'm not quite willing to fully dox myself here.

The reason it’s $11 for a dozen eggs certainly isn’t that the dollar has been ‘devalued’, it’s at near historic highs relative to most other developed world currencies. The reason eggs cost $11 in the US while they cost $4 or less in most of Western Europe is because of a combination of bird flu, price gouging (most farmers aren’t Democrats) and the fact that large, warehouse style US grocery stores cost much more to run in terms of electricity, and the US in general has far higher labor costs than the much more compact stores that exist in other countries and the workers they employ. Working class pay shot up across the board after Covid, many grocery store workers went from $9 an hour to $20 an hour, so food prices shot up because grocery stores are extremely low margin businesses in which any rise in costs is passed on to customers. If Tucker considers this a disaster, he should just come out and say it.

In general, the intellectual right have gone all in on accelerationism. They want ‘something’ to happen. It doesn’t really matter what that is, it just has to shake up ‘the system’. Unfortunately they fail to realize that ‘something’ in these cases is usually worse than the present. I’ll vote for Trump next November, but only because I personally dislike a lot of influential progressives and will enjoy the crying and wailing on social media if he wins (and perhaps in the faintest, 5% chance he might do something about immigration). He’s still almost certainly a criminal, a scumbag and will accomplish very little of what his supporters hope for if that happens.

And that is the point. Trump is the only proven vessel for any conservative faction to enter the White House since 2004. Everybody in the movement knows this. Whatever their ideological or political aims, they all depend on Trump. Whether you’re an energy lobbyist or an evangelical or a dissident rightist or a Wall Street business con, Trump is your only hope for your guys getting into the executive. A smart American elite would ensure Trump wasn’t sentenced before the election. But they too have to fight their ideological battles.

Like they protect Epstein until they have to murder him in his cell.

And Epstein probably did kill himself. He was a billionaire pervert whose main (other) hobbies were hanging out with influential people and travelling the world, and who was about to spend the rest of his life in solitary in a federal jail, without sex and without money. Many kill themselves in far less dire circumstances.

Epstein having his lawyers or associates bribe some prison staff to look the other way is vastly more likely than an assassination; if the ‘powers that be’ wanted to kill him, they would have done so discreetly long before he was arrested, especially given he was obviously under investigation for many years. There was no need to attempt an absurdly high risk hit in a high security jail in the middle of Manhattan when they could have arranged an entirely plausible accident any time over the preceding few years.

The motive is also lacking. Why would Epstein have talked? Was the US government going to give him a sweetheart deal and let him out in 2 years if he gave up Clinton and Trump? Clearly not, it’s a ridiculous suggestion (he wouldn’t have been able to provide proof the prosecutors didn’t otherwise have, so would have been accused of lying) and even if he had nothing to lose, he had nothing to gain either.

I’ll vote for Trump next November, but only because I personally dislike a lot of influential progressives and will enjoy the crying and wailing on social media if he wins (and perhaps in the faintest, 5% chance he might do something about immigration).

Setting aside the 'own the libs' part, you've got a better chance of immigration reform under Biden or his successor. Trump being Trump (or the media being the media, depending on your perspective), will inevitably make immigration reform so toxic that no democratic politician could support any proposal he makes without getting absolutely shredded by their base.

The reason it’s $11 for a dozen eggs certainly isn’t that the dollar has been ‘devalued’, it’s at near historic highs relative to most other developed world currencies. The reason eggs cost $11 in the US while they cost $4 or less in most of Western Europe

They cost $4 or less in most of the US, Tucker is as usual just lying.

(by any reasonable definition of 'lying')

price gouging

Working class pay shot up across the board after Covid

So those basically aren't happening in the EU, or what?

The reason eggs cost $11 in the US while they cost $4 or less in most of Western Europe is because of a combination of bird flu, price gouging (most farmers aren’t Democrats) and the fact that large, warehouse style US grocery stores cost much more to run in terms of electricity, and the US in general has far higher labor costs than the much more compact stores that exist in other countries and the workers they employ.

It's disorienting to see a litany of reasons trotted out to explain this "fact" when at my HCOL American grocery store I can buy eggs cheaper than the price you quote for Western Europe. Do Europeans really believe this?

price gouging (most farmers aren’t Democrats)

Ah come on, that's a cheap shot. The large agribusiness producers may or may not vote Republican, but I see no reason why - as with Silicon Valley - they can't vote Democrat while enjoying the fruits of capitalism.

Small farmers are squeezed on the margins, and aren't most farm workers/labourers in the USA migrants anyway, who would be the Democratic voting bloc?

The reason eggs cost $11 in the US while they cost $4 or less in most of Western Europe is because of a combination of bird flu, price gouging (most farmers aren’t Democrats) and the fact that large, warehouse style US grocery stores cost much more to run in terms of electricity, and the US in general has far higher labor costs than the much more compact stores that exist in other countries and the workers they employ.

Egg cost aside, is the latter part of this something you actually believe? That American grocery stores are expensive to run because of electricity and this results in high price of goods? I want to make sure this is a serious claim before doing any actual reading, because at a glance it sounds like an absolutely ridiculous claim to me.

It’s actually a commonly discussed topic in the global supermarket and FMCG business because the cost of fresh produce and indeed the majority of even shelf-stable goods is upwards of 50-100% higher in the US than in much of Western Europe. Identical groceries that cost $50 in the UK can cost $100 or more in HCOL regions of the US. Freight costs alone don’t explain it, the most common explanation within the business is indeed that the much larger average square footage of eg. a Kroger in the US vs a Tesco in the UK and associated higher costs are a core part of the reason, plus higher margins across the supply chain.

What’s your explanation for why groceries cost less than 1/2, sometimes 1/3 of what they do in the US in Germany?

Looking at the G20, American fruit prices look unremarkable. Vegetables appear higher, but not anything like two or three times the cost, and still lower than the differences in incomes. Meat prices appears somewhat lower.

This is genuinely one of the weirder claims that I've seen recently. Small grocery stores definitely don't tend to be cheaper than large supermarkets. If there is some actual data that I'm missing, I would find it pretty interesting, but I genuinely don't know where the idea that American groceries are super expensive is coming from.

It’s a longstanding question. From The Economist (via stackexchange):

A study in 2017 by the un’s Food and Agriculture Organisation found that the cost of eating healthily in America was 65% more than in Britain, and among the highest in the rich world

...

Why are American consumers not getting a better deal? A transatlantic comparison is revealing. Walmart, which accounts for about 26% of the American market, has a gross margin (its profit before fixed costs like rent and labour are taken into account) of about 25%. For Tesco, Britain’s largest chain, which has 27% of its home market, the equivalent figure is 8%. Since the two firms both have low net margins (overall profitability), this suggests that Walmart has higher fixed costs, and has to charge a big mark-up.

This shifts from "cost of produce" to "eating healthily", which are not clearly interchangeable, and the latter is a questionable category altogether. Your previous posts included "much of Western Europe" and specifically called out Germany as a place with half to one third the cost, but the article you just linked shows France on par and Germany/Spain within ~10%. As percentages of income, these are all higher than what Americans are spending. The article also doesn't reference electric use at all.

I think I'm going to settle on the idea that electric use in supermarkets doubles the price of produce being one of those weird things that some Europeans decide to believe about the States for inscrutable reasons.

Rafa’s half-american and atypical in any case. This all started when an american claimed a dozen eggs costs 11 dollars. Europeans are not aware of this, much less speculating on it, so leave us out of it. If I had to throw a guess for the somewhat higher prices, it would be the massive choice americans seem to prefer. Aldi and lidl are famous for cutting costs by having only one or two of each thing, but even regular european supermarkets do not compare to the diversity offered by american supermarkets in peanut butter flavours and the like.

Eggs in particular are kind of weird. Depending on your perspective, they can be either a fancy food (nice eggs benedict at a fancy brunch restaurant) or a cheap food (substituting eggs in place of beef, which has also gone up in price a lot). Then there's like two dozen varities at any supermarket, for cage free, organic, etc, which frankly leave me baffled which one I should choose. There isn't any one "price of eggs."

Indeed. Baumol cost disease seems a rather more likely reason.

Small grocery stores definitely don't tend to be cheaper than large supermarkets.

The opposite tends to be true, in fact.

This makes no sense at all. There are economies of scale involved, which is why there are supermarkets in the first place. Smaller stores are more expensive, not less.

This is hitting Arrested Development levels out here people.

Eggs are not $11/doz because of price gouging or bird flu or operating costs or any other reason, they just aren't $11! Go to Target.com, search for a dozen eggs. Here's the large cage free ones: $2.59. Price fairly consistent across multiple locations.

Seriously. What are we even talking about here?

/images/1702553232279261.webp

Yeah, ‘eggs are $11/dozen’ is clearly false to me; I’d believe that the Whole Foods in San Francisco is selling free range organic brown eggs for that price, but not much else.

Damn those are some cheap eggs. Here in the UK they're like 50% more expensive.

It was a thing earlier in the year when prices spiked because of bird flu, but they seem to have come down now. Presumably Tucker doesn’t regularly buy eggs and so remembered some headline rather than commenting on the actual situation.

Tucker was probably just using irresponsible hyperbole. But I've been buying eggs every week for years. I've never paid more than $5 a dozen. There may be weird parts of the country where there were shortages, but that just wasn't a thing in most of the country, for ANY reason.

The use of "$11" suggests to me that it wasn't intended as a literal claim. Unfortunately, egg prices were actually high enough at one point that you probably could have spent $11 if you insisted on Whole Foods eggs at the height of localized shortages, so the claim could be taken literally. Realistically, this seems more like me saying, "with Joe Biden as President, ground beef is now $37/pound". I don't know, maybe it's just that Tucker's completely out of touch with grocery store pricing, that wouldn't surprise me all that much.

Seriously. What are we even talking about here?

There was a period of time where, among a certain set, "high egg prices" was a synecdoche for high inflation and rising prices more generally. Tucker's reference here is probably not to convey that he literally pays $11/dozen for eggs but something closer to "prices high, economy bad."

DC is an overwhelmingly democratic voting jurisdiction, but you would need to be cynical indeed to think there is no chance that even one Democrat juror would refuse to imprison a political opponent on obviously baseless charges.

Much more importantly, trials are not a vote of everyone in the demographic area. Lawyers can reject jurors who they believe can't judge the case fairly; it's entirely possible to craft a jury of 12 Republicans in 99% Democratic region, if that's crucial to your case being judged fairly (or more likely, craft a jury of 12 people who consider themselves independent/undecided and are not very politically engaged in general).

And, if you don't trust that process because you think teh judge is a shill, then it also doesn't matter what the makeup of DC is because the judge could craft a jury of 12 Democrats in a 99% Republican area. If the judge is a shill then the rest doesn't matter, that's all you need to say.

It's all part of the gish gallop, make a million separate claims instead of proving any one of them.

But, anyway: no, the economy is good and people are comfortable, there won't be major violence.

I am doing this selfishly - I see this as a money making opportunity. What do you think the odds are that Trump goes to prison by election day 2024? How much do I have to put up for you to pay me 1k if he isn't?

Money, mouth, etc

I don't do bets with internet strangers anymore - too much counterparty risk, too awkward to explain to my wife if I lose, etc. But I put the probability at something like 85%.

There's various outcomes where things get delayed - SCOTUS declines to deal with the absolute immunity issue on an expedited basis, some other delay tactic succeeds in pushing the trial date back, there's a mistrial and they have to go again, etc. But all are pretty low probability in my view. It seems like the courts are taking the view that this should be resolved before the election and will do what it takes to make it happen.

What number do you put on it?

  • -13

You're an Australian, correct?

Trump is the current favorite to win the next election @ $2.40 (Roughly 41.6%). You can bet 1000's of AUD currently on this not to happen at 58.4% (with a minor commission, taking you to about 56% implied) on the Betfair exchange. Tax-free winnings as an Australian hobbyist, too. As you think Trump is 85% to get jailed here, surely that makes your number of him winning the election a lot lower than 41.6%. Can even bet against him to win the Republican nomination at 81.3% with similar liquidity. No counterparty risk there.

I think that price probably is already incorporating a high probability of his legal problems derailing him. 41% is really low considering how big his polling leads are against all his opponents.

It's very unclear to me how many people will abandon Trump if he goes to prison, or even if the political effect will be negative at all. Somehow he's only increased his support as he's been found to have committed sexual assault, fraud, and insurrection. Maybe this time is different, but maybe the country has just decided "joke's on you, I'm into that shit".

  • -10

Somehow he's only increased his support as he's been found to have committed sexual assault, fraud, and insurrection.

He's increased his support in the Republican primary, but the primary voters switching to him in response to the indictments are die-hard partisans who were going to vote R in the general no matter what.

538 isn't publishing a poll tracker for the general yet, but the Biden and Trump approval polls have been pretty flat since before the indictments, and anecdotally Trump has consistently been a nose ahead of Biden in head-to-head polling.

He hasn’t been found to have committed sexual assault (the juror returned a really weird verdict), the fraud claim was a judge citing property tax value as real value which shows the absurdity of the holding, and another judge “found” he committed an insurrection despite that being entirely dicta (ie the judge could have found that Trump was literally satan but it would be irrelevant).

He hasn’t been found to have committed sexual assault (the juror returned a really weird verdict)

The verdict was that he committed sexual assault but not rape.

Maybe this time is different, but maybe the country has just decided "joke's on you, I'm into that shit".

To be clear, I think this is actually a good and normal response from a nominally democratic nation's regime jailing the primary political opposition. Even if I didn't like the someone's policies, I would want them to win against an obviously tyrannical regime attempting to deny an electorate a free choice, particularly with as flimsy of grounds as him supposedly causing a riot at the end of a year when riots were egged on all over the country by politicians on the other side.

regime attempting to deny an electorate a free choice

And I'm again reminded of the various things I've read arguing that this is in fact the proper, "democratic" thing to do, to defend Our Democracy against the terrible threat of "authoritarian populism," and that refusing to provide the electorate the choice they want is just about morally obligatory.

but maybe the country has just decided "joke's on you, I'm into that shit".

Or perhaps more charitably, the only effective way to defeat crocodile tears in the marketplace of ideas begins and ends with ignoring them. If you're being interrogated in bad faith- whether it's by the actual police or the moral police- engaging in that context is literally never a good move; you make your case directly to the judge(s) only.

Somehow he's only increased his support as he's been found to have committed sexual assault, fraud, and insurrection

As opposed to what his opponents have been up to the last few years, perpetrating institutional-level assault (sexual and otherwise) by intentionally refusing to prosecute crimes based on skin color, defrauding the public with respect to the seriousness of the uncommon cold (especially financially- that 20% reduction in nationwide life savings was definitely worth the 0.0001 QALY that reduction ended up buying), and burning, looting, and murdering their little hearts out in every major urban center a few years ago.

It seems natural that the political faction responsible for those things should face electoral consequences.

but maybe the country has just decided "joke's on you, I'm into that shit".

I learned to tune out this sort of misrepresentation of the opposing view points, it's par for the course for the modal progressive, but I'm mildly surprised to see you engage in it. Assuming your assessment of his chances of being convicted is accurate, you really honestly cannot think of another reason why his support might go up as a result?

I was obviously being flippant. I can concoct all sorts of reasons why someone might think anything, but it's all speculation. Maybe there's a ton of people for whom a conviction would remind them what a good job Trump did standing up against the obviously rigged election. Maybe some people will think "Good, he breaks the rules and gets stuff done". Maybe some people think that every conviction is further proof of the deep state conspiracy against him. Maybe all those people are vastly outnumbered by those who think the prosecutions are political nonsense but think the courts can be trusted to acquit him and are in for a rude shock. The point is, I have no idea how the public will react when it happens.

Well you can always rationalise any outcome if you're deeply committed to Trump, which is the entire problem really. If Trump is jailed, then Ok some people will say that he isn't actually guilty and the blob/Democratic establishment got him on phony charges, but if he isn't convicted then those same people will say that it proves the charges were fake and politically motivated in the first place. There is no result anymore that would possibly change the view of any committed Trump supporter.

You're still missing a few options. The institutions accusing him have lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned, but I'm actually agnostic as to whether or not he's guilty of one transgression or another. I just think that barring some Epstein-level scandal, you should still vote for him.

Well then even if 'into that shit' was a mild exaggeration, you're more or less agreeing with the sentiment that for Trump supporters his being guilty of insurrection is not something that would notably dissuade them from sticking with him.

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Somehow he's only increased his support as he's been found to have committed sexual assault, fraud, and insurrection.

I'm presuming by the "committed sexual assault" you mean the E. Jean Carroll case? Which is a dreadful example if you're trying to convince anyone that it's the truth of the matter. The claims are very hard to verify - he went into a changing room with her in a department store and assaulted her, but nobody else heard a thing? No shop assistants? No other customers?

And while she was talking and writing about it for decades, she never went to court over it. And the case was, in fact, not for rape but defamation, and it was in a second lawsuit that she added in the assault charges. Which had lapsed due to the statute of limitations, but very helpfully New York State legislation was passed to permit adult survivors of sexual assault to bring cases after they were statute-barred - so long as the case is brought between November 2022 and November 2023.

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) is New York State legislation enacted in May 2022 which amends state law to allow alleged victims of sexual offenses for which the statute of limitations has lapsed to file civil suits for a one-year period, from November 24, 2022, to November 24, 2023. The act thus expands the ability of plaintiffs to sue for sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact in the workplace.

Now, the act wasn't specifically for Carroll, but it sure turned out convenient timing for her. Well, nothing more than that, maybe.

But compare the Tara Reade allegations against Biden which were pooh-poohed immediately by the same people who were devoutly nodding along that Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist and Trump was a rapist and everyone ever accused of anything was indeed a rapist. If Reade's allegations are nonsense because of where and when they are alleged to have happened, what about Carroll's allegations? The conviction on the basis that "okay, over the years she told a lot of people it happened, so it must have happened"?

Again, I'm not defending Trump's sexual conduct, but this is a very shaky "he said/she said" conviction that is as much, or even more, about politics as anything else.

I actually agree with you that Caroll doesn't seem credible. I have a strong suspicion that Trump would have won that case if he had a better lawyer and listened to their advice. The Serious Trouble podcast ran a demonstration of what a better cross examination might have sounded like and it was brutally effective at painting her as a fantasist. Unfortunately for Trump his lawyer did a terrible job.

It's lacking evidence, is the trouble. Could it have happened? Sure. Did it happen? Who knows? Presumption of innocence should have quashed the case - if it weren't politically relevant.

Though I find it black humour sort of unintended consequences that, per Wikipedia, the Adult Survivors Act ended up with a lot of New York politicians and public services caught up in the trawl for "get yer prosecution in before the deadline":

Complaints against State of New York under the ASA were filed in the Court of Claims; as of November 17, 2023, 1,469 claims had been filed in the Court of Claims, mostly naming the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision as a defendant.

...New York City hospitals and health systems were named as defendants in at least 300 lawsuits filed under the ASA.

...In May 2023, an ex-employee of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani sued him for alleged sexual battery.

...In November 2023, former Governor Andrew Cuomo was sued by his former executive assistant Brittany Commisso on the last day of the law's window. Commisso had previously filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint against Cuomo for forcible touching in 2021 but was later dismissed.

In November 2023, a former New York City employee sued Mayor Eric Adams, alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 1993, when he was a New York City Transit Police officer. Adams denied the allegation and said he did not recall meeting the accuser.

It's lacking evidence, is the trouble. Could it have happened? Sure. Did it happen? Who knows? Presumption of innocence should have quashed the case - if it weren't politically relevant.

More relevant I think is the fact that it was a civil trial so there was no presumption of innocence. The jury decided on the "balance of probabilities" standard rather than "beyond reasonable doubt".

It can be hard to get the best lawyers when that can be a career blackball for them.

Also when you don't pay them.

And it really doesn't help when the client is notorious for both refusing to pay his lawyers and bad-mouthing them after they quit.

I actually agree with you that Caroll doesn't seem credible. I have a strong suspicion that Trump would have won that case if he had a better lawyer and listened to their advice.

Okay, but with that opinion, the best you can muster is apparent bafflement that "somehow" his support increased anyways? Do you, as a human being, dislike people to a greater degree when you honestly think they were railroaded in court because they didn't have the top lawyers? I would assume that like most people, you would be sympathetic, and perhaps more likely to believe that they have been railroaded unjustly in other ways as well. I do not believe that you find this puzzling at all.

I genuinely think this kind of activity is the way to increase Trump's popularity. There's no way he should be running for a second term, but right now he barely has to campaign because the media is doing it all for him and the actual party debates are being reduced to "this is only to decide who is gonna be his VP".

Ridiculous, but the mania over 'Orange Man Bad' really has led to this. He didn't put the gays in concentration camps, so why is he seen as such a threat to American democracy? And don't "Jan 6th!" at me, this kind of hysteria was in full flow before ever that happened. I have had to come to the conclusion that the rage was all over It's Her Turn Now - how dare anyone take the right, proper, and just transition of power away from the woman and the party destined to possess it in perpetuity? How dare some grubby populist overturn all the pundits who knew it could never, ever happen? And the fearmongering just got stoked higher and higher over the years.

And don't "Jan 6th!" at me, this kind of hysteria was in full flow before ever that happened

His contempt for democracy was already pretty evident before Jan 6th. Pre-Jan 6th anti-Trump feeling wasn't unjustified because Jan 6 hadn't happened yet; Jan 6 was Trump 'hysteria' being proven right! To embrace Godwin's law, this is the equivalent of saying that anti-Hitler sentiment was baseless before 1933 because it was only then that he was able to make any effective attack on democracy. People warned that Trump had no respect for democracy, and they were right. This was 2016;

First of all, it’s rigged and I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, to be honest

I have had to come to the conclusion that the rage was all over It's Her Turn Now

This is trivially disproved by the number of people who hate Trump who also dislike Clinton, from the Democratic left to the Never Trump Republicans. The former is obvious but it's also true in the case of the latter; McMullin called Hillary 'terrible' in 2016, French wrote a piece in July 2016 harshly critical of Clinton on the emails and saying Comey should charge her etc. etc.

  • -14

And don't "Jan 6th!" at me, this kind of hysteria was in full flow before ever that happened.

There were warning signs before the 2016 election. At the time I didn't take them seriously, but someone who was better calibrated than me could have done, as could someone who was looking for excuses to hate on Trump. But with hindsight, I think it should have been obvious that Trump was more likely than most other Republicans to do January 6th.

  1. Trump jump-started his political career by being one of the most prominent people to stick with birtherism after Obama's birth certificate was authenticated by the State of Hawaii - and he didn't finally concede that Obama was born in the US until after he had the 2016 primary sewn up. Falsely claiming that the President is ineligible is an attack on US democracy.
  2. Trump engaged in mild brownshirt behaviour during the campaign, like leading chants of "Lock Her Up" and encouraging supporters to beat up protesters. This isn't anti-democratic in itself, but empirically brownshirt behaviour is correlated with someone being a threat to democracy.
  3. Trump either joked about or actively solicited (the GRU didn't get the joke) Russian help in hacking his opponent's e-mails. I don't want to rehash the argument about whether this is collusion or not, but even if it isn't, thinking that attacks on American democracy by a hostile foreign power are a joking matter says something about Trump.
  4. Trump said in the 3rd 2016 debate that he would "keep you in suspense" about whether he would concede defeat if he lost.
  5. Even after winning, Trump falsely claimed that millions of people had voted illegally in the 2016 election and that he was the legitimate popular vote winner.
  6. As President, Trump continues to transgress various norms in a way which constitutes weak circumstantial evidence that he is the sort of person who would transgress the norm that defeated Presidential candidates concede. Notably, he tries to strongarm Zelezny into launching a (probably bullshit) criminal investigation of the Bidens, and to share nonpublic information about said investigation with the Trump campaign.
  7. Before the 2020 election, Trump again refuses to commit to accepting the results.

Trump was a transgressive candidate - for many of his supporters, that was the whole point. The people who said that this transgressiveness was a threat to American democracy were right, for the right reasons - as confirmed by the events leading up to Jan 6th, even more so than by Jan 6th itself.

Immediately after the 2016 election, everyone knows that Trump is publically badmouthing America's democratic institutions. The Orange Man really is saying Bad things. The question is whether he means them, or whether this is just his schtik. "Orange Man Bad" and "Trump Derangement Syndrome" are memes used by the right (and by the centrist punditocracy which is on its last legs before finally being booted out after George Floyd ODs near a cop) to imply that taking him seriously is cringe. But Trump was serious.

  • -11

‘Wait, I have no economic power, you've devalued my currency, so it's like $11 for a dozen eggs,

Eggs are currently $3.69 for 18 at my local target.

and my vote doesn't matter anymore. Well, then what do I have? Like what power do I have?’ And you're gonna get violence if you keep the shit up. And that's just the truth.

Are we doing "riots are the language of the unheard" with the opposite valence now?

Eggs cost more than a banana, Michael.

Eggs are currently $3.69 for 18 at my local target.

And? If you read the actual sentence that quote is from, he's talking about a hypothetical future that is at the very least set after the next election. He's talking about how if you "keep doing" what was done during the 2020 election, and mentions that same hypothetical individual believes that their vote was effectively worthless.

So what does the price of eggs have to do with what was done during the 2020 election?

People don't like inflation and blame it on the other side so mentioning it riles up the base

I thought we agreed that eggs don't cost anywhere near $11.

he's talking about a hypothetical future that is at the very least set after the next election.

It really goes to show that nobody seems to be able to fit the square peg of $11 eggs in the round hole of whatever else he's talking about.

Hungry people are more likely to upend any system

That doesn't answer my question.

The most important thing to understand is that while Tucker is a charismatic individual and a good writer and presenter, he has no real ideology. A decade ago he was literally a standard neocon with occasional libertarian sympathies. His ‘conversion’ to some kind of nativism is driven by his audience and his support for Trump is phoney, as various Fox leaks have made clear. Ann Coulter is much more of a ‘true believer’ than Carlson ever was, which is saying a lot.

I don’t think so. He attacked Trump in the few situations where Trump was bellicose and that was interesting since most people on the right and left praises Trump for it. Tucker also has fervently said he was wrong about Iraq, something you don’t see a lot. I do think he was a neocon but had a road to Damascus moment so to speak.

Tucker is definitely a nativist true believer, he got kicked out of a comfy job at Fox because he went beyond the reservation. I'm sure people explained to him what was and wasn't tolerable beforehand informally, yet he still went beyond the tolerance of his bosses.

Just because Tucker hates Trump doesn't mean that he'd go out of his way to antagonize Trump's supporters. It's called being tactful and diplomatic. Trump did very little for their agenda, he didn't drain the swamp, he didn't extract the US from overseas wars, he didn't fight back against DEI, he was 'monitoring the situation' and passing tax cuts. But Tucker remained silent on this and used/uses Trump to advance his own position rather than creating divisions. This is the sort of quality that real political adepts have and what people like Hanania lack.

Same could be said of pretty much all people. People's views shift over time. Many of us on this board, for example, used to be bog standard liberals.

It's true that politicians and leaders will naturally be influenced by the people who follow them. Of course they are. It doesn't mean they have nothing of value to contribute or are mere grifters.

What irks about Tucker isn’t the ideological transition. It’s that the leaked Fox stuff (which he doesn’t deny) makes clear that he despises Trump and considers him both an idiot and bad for conservatism. From the OP’s link:

We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights," he wrote in a text sent on 4 January 2021. "I truly can't wait." "I hate him passionately," he added. Mr Carlson, the top-rated host on the conservative network, also appeared to denigrate the Trump presidency in these private messages, despite lauding his achievements on air. "That's the last four years. We're all pretending we've got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it's been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn't really an upside to Trump."

Carlson isn’t even saying that Trump is a sad reality that the right has to accept. He’s saying there’s literally no upside to his presidency at all.

This isn’t a ‘liberal’ view, plenty of rightists agree with Carlson. But he’s too cowardly to come out and say it and to be honest with his audience. And that is indeed dishonorable.

It has nothing to do with cowardice. Pragmatism is a real thing. We all sacrifice a little of our true beliefs every day. Let’s say he really does hate Trump and shifted some beliefs for his audience.

  1. He tries to be a hero. Every word out of his mouth is the absolute truth. He loses his audience and influence. He hurts conservative causes. Biden wins the next election.

  2. He tilts his message more pro-Trump. His audience loves it. He pumps up more people to vote. Trump wins the next election. He personally makes millions of dollars.

2 is obviously the better play for his personal beliefs. If you want to be intellectually honest then go enter a seminary. If you want to get things done in the real world your going to have allies you don’t love especially in coalition politics.

A decade ago he was literally a standard neocon with occasional libertarian sympathies.

Not really - he turned against the Iraq war pretty quickly after he visited the country and saw what was actually going on:

Outside of the heavily fortified—and relatively safe—U.S.-controlled "Green Zone" that surrounds Saddam's former main palaces in Baghdad, you can spend days without hearing English or seeing an American flag. Almost nowhere is there the faintest whiff of American cultural influence. People light up in elevators and carry Kalashnikovs to the dinner table. Gunfire and explosions are background noise. It is a place with almost no Western-style rules. It's not a bit like Denver.

You'd think it would be. According to the Pentagon, there are more than a 100,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. The country seems to have swallowed them. We drove from the Kuwaiti border to downtown Baghdad and back again and didn't see one on the way—more than 700 miles on major roads without catching a glimpse of a single American in uniform.

If the goal is to control the country, there are not enough American forces in Iraq. If the goal is to rebuild it, there could never be enough. The U.S. military simply doesn't have the manpower. As it is, the Pentagon could not fight even a small war without the considerable help of civilian contractors. In Bosnia during the peacekeeping mission, there was at times one contractor for every soldier. That was nearly a decade ago. The military has grown smaller since and even more dependent on contractors. On the battlefield, contractors cook soldiers' food, deliver their mail, provide their housing, and take care of their equipment. (DynCorp maintains virtually all U.S. military aircraft in the Middle East.) In Iraq, they are sometimes nearly indistinguishable from soldiers.

It wasn't until I was flat on my back that the strangest part of the night sunk in: No one outside our immediate compound had seemed to notice the firefight. The gunfire had gone on for 15 minutes. The noise had been tremendous and unmistakable. Yet nobody—not U.S. soldiers, not cops from the Iraqi police station 150 yards away, not representatives of the famously benevolent "international community," whoever they might be—had come by to ask what happened, who did it, or if anyone was hurt. There were no authorities to call. No one cared. We were totally alone.

Not as alone as the rest of the people in the neighborhood, however. We were on a residential street. Iraqi families lived on both sides of us. What did they think? Hundreds of rounds had been fired—hundreds of needle-tipped, copper-jacketed missiles whipping through the neighborhood at half a mile a second. What happened to them all? Where did the bullets go? Into parked cars and generators and water tanks. Into people's living rooms and kitchens and bedrooms, and sometimes into human flesh.

It must have been terrifying to live nearby, or to live anywhere in Baghdad. You couldn't blame the coalition forces exactly. They weren't doing most of the shooting. But they didn't seem to be doing much about it, either. On the street where I was staying, they weren't doing anything. And how could they? All the foreign troops in Iraq hadn't been able to keep the country's main airport safe enough to use. A single block in Baghdad wasn't going to get their attention. By necessity, it was left to civilian contractors, or whoever else had the time, energy, and firearms to police their own tiny sections of Iraq.

He was a quite good magazine journalist for a while. Of course his piece about getting invited to go on a peacemaking trip to Liberia with Al Sharpton, Cornel West, and a bunch of other African-American clergy, is the best.

Interesting comment, and your opinion is very firmly stated. I'm not American and I only have a passing familiarity with US political shenanigans, so I'd be very interested to hear why you are so certain Trump committed an "awful" crime and is going to jail. Are we talking about Jan 6th here? My impression is that nothing he did was worse than the what the Democrats did in 2016 and during BLM (including disputing the election, calls to violence, riots and the storming of the White House during BLM), and that prosecuting political opponents is another step the US is taking toward being a failed state. But I'd be very interested to hear you lay out why this impression is wrong.

Yes, the federal Jan 6 case scheduled to start on March 4 is the one I'm talking about. I think he's completely screwed in the Georgia case and the documents case too, but they're more logistically complicated and are unlikely to go to trial before the election.

I think he went way, way beyond "disputing" the election. He actively tried to stay in power despite losing the vote and despite the courts rejecting his false claims of fraud. He had no legal avenues remaining to stay in power, and he tried to use illegal ones.

Jan 6 was effectively a failed coup. It was an egregious attack on American democracy. Heinous crimes like that should not be tolerated simply because they are committed by political opponents.

  • -26

January 6 was the culmination of a successful color revolution which had been underway since May of the year prior.

If Jan 6 was a coup then where are the weapons? That is the huge issue for anyone describing it as a coup.

A 50 page document without a citation for what you think disagrees is a bit bad faith. No one is reading for an hour to respond to figure out what you mean.

You asked where the guns were. I linked you to a high profile Jan 6 case involving a lot of guns.

And you can’t give me a summary or copy paste the key point?

Like if every time I replied to a message board post I got a 50 page doc to review well nothing would get accomplished.

"The Oathkeeper people bought various expensive AR-15s both before and after Jan 6, also they had a lot of ammo -- all of which they left in Virginia and went to the Capitol more or less unarmed" would be a precis of the relevant parts.

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You asked where the guns were. I linked you to a high profile Jan 6 case involving a lot of guns.

...At the protest? Or is this the sort of thing where my last traffic stop involved a lot of guns, if by that you mean that I had a traffic stop, and my guns were home?

It's the sort of thing where you rob a bank with a gun in your pocket with the full intention of shooting people if you don't get the money, but they just give you the money and you never pull the gun.

  • -12
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So they were planning for a massively bloody revolution... and left their guns in Virginia?

Yes. It was not a good coup attempt.

  • -10

Neither is sitting home on the couch bitching -- what makes this a coup attempt and not that?

The part where they attempted to prevent the democratically elected President-elect from assuming power.

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The basic idea with all of this is to make everything (that Jan 6 was an insurrection and a coup attempt, that Trump incited it, that Trump's words were not protected by the First Amendment, and that Trump is barred from the ballot as a result) common knowledge by repeating it over and over in the media as if it is a true fact, and then not giving any of it a rigorous examination in court, instead relying on the fact that it's all obvious already. Unfortunately much of the right has decided to go along with this, so it will probably work.

The first amendment bit is likely irrelevant. That said, showing that it's an insurrection is still probably a fairly steep bar.

Of course, Trump did try to cheat his way to staying in office (assuming he didn't actually believe the fraud claims, I don't know), but that's not any of the things the 14th amendment bars from office for, as best I read it.

The first amendment bit is likely irrelevant.

If his words are at issue, the First Amendment cannot be irrelevant.

That said, showing that it's an insurrection is still probably a fairly steep bar.

It's just assumed as the default now, with a very high bar required to overcome it. This is entirely backwards but is the power of the left's control of the institutions.

If his words are at issue, the First Amendment cannot be irrelevant.

My own inclination is to think that Baude and Paulsen were basically right on the legal analysis, but not on its applicability to Jan. 6.

They argue for a view intermediate between saying it's limited by the 1st amendment, or that it supersedes it, saying that you should interpret it narrowly in order to understand it in the extent possible, consistent with the first amendment, but if they conflict, then the 14th amendment should be the one you follow.

So you're right, it's not irrelevant, but it's probably possible for someone to do things that would both be protected speech under the first amendment and sufficient from the 14th amendment to exclude from office.

It's just assumed as the default now, with a very high bar required to overcome it. This is entirely backwards but is the power of the left's control of the institutions.

Yes, unfortunately.

The federal case against Trump seems to boil down to if you challenge an election then you have to be correct or you are going to jail. That doesn't seem to be a good precedent to set. He is being prosecuted for things that are entirely legal and people have done before in the past and have not been prosecuted for.

Wait, who's the other president who tried to get their VP to reject legitimate election results?

  • -19

... Were you not awake for 2016 or 2000?

Apparently not if I missed Obama trying to prevent the transfer of power to Trump after the election! Can you give me any more details about it?

  • -12

They did extra legal things to harm the Trumps administration ability to do anything. General Flynn having to answer Logan Act violation issues is a big deal to me since no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act so the fbi attacking him for it was extremely extra-legal.

I seem to recall this big controversy about the crossfire hurricane thing.

And you know that SCOTUS case in 2000.

Tell me more about crossfire hurricane. What did they do to keep Obama in the White House and prevent Trump becoming president?

  • -11
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There is a big difference between using recount laws for the purpose for which they were intended (even if those recount laws later turn out to be unconstitutional) and filing lies with the court. Neither Bush nor Gore was ever accused of filing briefs containing false factual claims - the key facts of Bush v Gore (that recounting punch card ballots accurately was sufficiently difficult that there wasn't time for an accurate statewide recount before the electoral College deadline, and that the margin of error of the original count exceeded Bush's margin of victory) were never disputed.

Trump's State court challenges to the 2020 election are criminal if and only if they were based on knowingly false factual claims. Both the Federal and Georgia indictments promise to bring evidence that they were.

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I don't think that is a fair characterization of what people wanted the Pence to do. The problem was after certification occurred even if the fraud was found it would be unlikely that the courts would allow the final result as certified to be overturned. The idea was to send the contested results back to the states so the irregularities could be properly investigated before certification.

The most similar election was in 1876. It didn't involve the VP rejecting certification himself and infact there was controversy over who had the power to count the votes during certification but there are very strong parallels and no-one was prosecuted for what happened: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1876_United_States_presidential_election

That’s insane. One of those bits of history that gets glossed over in high school, and summed up as “this Rutherford guy ended Reconstruction.”

Worth noting that after the debacle, Congress specifically clarified the situation via law. The Eastman strategy tried to get around this by appealing to Jefferson’s precedent. I don’t know how that was supposed to make the ECA unconstitutional, but I guess that’s why I’m not a partisan law professor.

Tbf 76 wasn't handled by our current laws because those laws were designed in response to 76. From Goodyear's "President Garfield":

In 1887 President Glover Cleveland would sign the Electoral Count Act into law, expressly to ensure the fiasco of a decade prior could never repeat. Hereafter Congress would have to be in session at one o'clock on the afternoon of January 6 following every Presidential election to formalize the results; representatives and senators would have limited authority to challenge certificates submitted by the states; the Vice President would serve as presiding officer but, likewise, not have the power to invalidate election returns.

The Compromise of 77 narrative is also somewhat contrived. Grant had already decided it was time to withdraw troops from the South and Hayes agreed that he would follow him in this policy; they made their decision well in advance of the general election (Garfield approved as well). Likewise, the Democrats at the Wormely meeting who offered to end the Democratic fillibuster were rebuffed because they had no power over their party to actually make this happen, and indeed the fillibuster continued after the meeting, suggesting no deal was made. It wasn't really a meaningful offer anyway - the vote count had already begun and the results were certain, the only issue was how long it would take the fillibuster to end.