Dead GOP Vote Diddler’s Hard Drives Reveal Huge US Commerce Department Scandal

This is a crazy story, y’all. The Times:

Deceased G.O.P. Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON — Thomas B. Hofeller achieved near-mythic status in the Republican Party as the Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps that cemented the party’s dominance across the country.

But after he died last summer, his estranged daughter discovered hard drives in her father’s home that revealed something else: Mr. Hofeller had played a crucial role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats. And months after urging President Trump’s transition team to tack the question onto the census, he wrote the key portion of a draft Justice Department letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act — the rationale the administration later used to justify its decision.

Those documents, cited in a federal court filing Thursday by opponents seeking to block the citizenship question, have emerged only weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of the citizenship question. Critics say adding the question would deter many immigrants from being counted and shift political power to Republican areas.

You can read the filing document from the plaintiffs in the case against the US Department of Commerce here. It reveals that Trump administration officials cribbed from Hofeller’s work and passed it off as their own in documents submitted to the court and lied about the expected effects of including the citizenship question:

[Mark] Neuman [Trump transition team member and close adviser to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross] testified that Mr. Hofeller told him that using citizenship data from the census to enforce the Voting Rights Act would increase Latino political representation — the opposite of what Mr. Hofeller’s study had concluded months earlier.

John Gore, assistant attorney general for civil rights and the DoJ’s chief overseer of voting rights issues, also lied under oath about the intended effects of the census question and the origin of the documents. Ross should obviously resign, and Neuman and Gore should be prosecuted for perjury. As for the citizenship question, it should be stricken from the 2020 census, and if it’s not, the House Democrats shouldn’t provide a cent of funding for it.

The thing that makes this case so nutso is that this evidence came to light by accident. After her father’s death, Hofeller’s daughter was going through his belongings and found a bag of thumb drives. While looking through them for family photos, etc., she found material he’d used to create gerrymandered maps. She gave those drives to Common Cause, saying they might be useful in that organization’s challenge to gerrymandered maps her father had created in North Carolina to give Republicans an advantage. The law firm representing Common Cause is also doing pro bono work on the census question case before the SCOTUS and saw the material pertinent to that case.

After the 2012 election, the Republican Party famously conducted an “autopsy.” The TL;DR version of its conclusion was this: Demographics are changing, so if you want to be competitive in future elections, stop being such rancid bigots. The party chose to double-down on racism, sexism and xenophobia instead, and this explosive revelation is only the latest indication that Republicans would rather lie, cheat, steal, and/or conspire with malignant foreign powers to win elections rather than stop being rancid bigots. That’s the inescapable conclusion.






125 replies
  1. 1
    Anonymous At Work says:

    1. Perjury charges recommended by Congress all-around.
    2. Extra hearings with lots of subpoenaed witnesses and subpoenas for documents.
    3. Frankly, inquiries into whether DoJ/DoC attorneys knew about that information and either lied or withheld it during lawsuits, leading to sanctions/disbarment.
    4. Even if Roberts upholds the citizenship question in a 5-4 opinion, this is sufficient evidence to re-file the case and request a new emergency injunction against it.

  2. 2
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Periodic reminder that Clarence Thomas is on record as believing that gerrymandering to screw over Democrats is fine; gerrymandering is illegal only if it is based on race.

    Fuck GHWB for eternity for replacing Thurgood Marshall with this nutjob.

  3. 3
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Anonymous At Work: If the Supreme Court upholds adding the citizenship question, can congress choose to defund the census in light of these revelations? Would they defund it?

  4. 4

    @Anonymous At Work:

    Even if Roberts upholds the citizenship question in a 5-4 opinion

    It’s very hard to predict the Supreme Court on this issue. Roberts obviously dislikes minorities, but gerrymandering decisions by this court have not been the consistent 5-4 uphold gerrymandering that you would expect. There have even been 6-3 and 7-2s against gerrymander attempts. It seems to have more to do with legalisms than straight partisan lines. I am cautiously hopeful that evidence the administration faked evidence and perjured themselves will doom this attempt to corrupt the census.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Finding this, just by accident, suggests that there’s so much lying bullshit all over the place that all you have to do is open your eyes, sniff around… et voila. These are not huge secrets– these are obvious, patent truths. We need to find ways to make it obvious to those who have plausible reasons to ignore the whole thing, and make the perpetrators pay a significant price.

  6. 6
    jonas says:

    We all knew this is why they were doing it. Nice to have cold, hard evidence to rub their faces in finally.

  7. 7

    What a sad life. Ending with your daughter thinking you’re such a piece of crap she has no problem turning over your life’s work to those trying to dismantle your ugliness.

    I feel for her, I really do.

  8. 8
    Ohio Mom says:

    Somewhat off-topic but a favorite example of Republican perfidy concerning gerrymandering:

    Here in the northeast Cincinnati suburbs, we had a State Representative who was a Democrat. Okay, she was on the conservative side but a Democrat nonetheless. We always voted for her of course, and even sent her money.

    When she decided to run for the State Senate, the Republicans controlling the Statehouse redrew the district’s borders around her house, putting her in a district she couldn’t win, and denying her former constituents the opportunity to vote for her again.

    Republicans really are evil geniuses.

  9. 9
    kindness says:

    I don’t trust the current seat holders of the Supreme Court to vote according to the laws at stake. The 5 conservatives have already plainly said “it sucks to be you”.

    When a Democrat is elected in 2020 we are going to need a 13 member Supreme Court so we can get back to sanity.

  10. 10
    West of the Rockies says:

    Ah, yes, the Republican Autopsy… Any Republicans who took in that information with any degree of intellectual honesty must be doing some crazy internal flips to stay in the party. David Jolley, David Frum, Rick Wilson, Michael Steele come to mind.
    Kind of, sort of maybe Ann Navarro, too.

  11. 11
    cmorenc says:

    The GOP’s abilities to execute precisely micro-targeted gerrymanders was also potently enhanced by advances in GIS (geographic information systems) database software. This greatly enhanced their ability to micro-target shifts in precinct and district lines right down to census tract and street level. I recall my brother, who is a professional GIS person, making the comment shortly after the 2010 elections about how the GOP in North Carolina would shortly begin using these software capabilities to micro-gerrymander the state, and he proved exactly right.

  12. 12
    Luthe says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    Even if Roberts upholds the citizenship question in a 5-4 opinion, this is sufficient evidence to re-file the case and request a new emergency injunction against it.

    Time is very short for that. The Census Bureau has a hard deadline for printing forms.

    @Felanius Kootea:

    If the Supreme Court upholds adding the citizenship question, can congress choose to defund the census in light of these revelations? Would they defund it?

    The Census is in the Constitution (like the Post Office). There is no option for “nah, we don’t want to.”

  13. 13
    plato says:

    @Ohio Mom: 2010 is the year when the dem voters made the stupidest decision of their life to take their ball and go home just because Obama couldn’t fart out their particular unicorns every day. It has been downhill ever since towards the current shit creek culminating in the totus thug.

  14. 14
    J R in WV says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    …When she decided to run for the State Senate, the Republicans controlling the Statehouse redrew the district’s borders around her house, putting her in a district she couldn’t win, and denying her former constituents the opportunity to vote for her again.

    Republicans really are evil geniuses.

    I agree with everything but your word choice of evil “geniuses” — they may be cunning, but genius is way too much credit.

    And your representative they gerrymandered out of her district…. if I had been her, I would have moved around the neighborhood, across the street as needed to be in the district as redrawn. Two can play that game. Fuq those rat bastards!

  15. 15
    cope says:

    Trump is a symptom of the disease. The vectors of the disease are the uncounted, unknown Thomas B. Hofellers of the Republican Party and the high-profile shit stains like Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham.

    Getting trump out of office is only the most minor of procedures necessary to save this country. Ousting him as quickly as possible is the crucial first step. Impeach the mofo.

  16. 16
    Eric S. says:

    @Felanius Kootea: If my memory serves the census is mandated in the Constitution. Not funding it could be a problem.

  17. 17
    dr. bloor says:

    Big news. I’ll still bet the house, IRA, and kid on the Supremes upholding the question on a 5-4 vote.

  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:

    It reveals that Trump administration officials cribbed from Hofeller’s work and passed it off as their own…

    This actually has a chance of gaining some MSM traction, since in their world plagiarism is the only sin they ever get truly outraged about.

  19. 19
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: There’s a way for SCOTUS to dump the entire citizenship question based on Wilbur Ross not following the Administrative Procedures Act, or a separate law requiring 2 years pre-notice to Congress of the intent to change/add questions. Those methods would avoid the substance of the matter.
    Congress, meaning in this case just the House of Representatives, might have already allocated funding for the Census and Democrats wouldn’t be able to strip the question in time, even if Mitchy and President* Snowflake agreed.
    As far as vote numbers go, Roberts sided with Kennedy any number of times because the Chief Justice assigns who writes opinions if he is on the “winning” side and the most-senior Justice does if the Chief Justice is not. In cases of a 5-4 vote with Kennedy being among the 5, Roberts switched his vote to have the authority to control who wrote the opinions. Like how Reid and McConnell will vote against a filibuster vote if they are losing, just so that they have the authority to ask for a new vote later on.

    Separately, as far as gerrymandering cases, Roberts has tough choices, since ruling against individual gerrymandering cases won’t stop the flood and punting the issue to states will result in “independent state panels” and maybe some Congressional legislation. Ruling against extreme gerrymandering as an issue will result in multiple cases of “What do you mean by ‘extreme?” with all the cases being Republican-based, and getting the federal courts tied up in monitoring such things. Roberts, remember, built his reputation as an attorney trying to kill off the Voting Rights Act and federal court monitoring of desegregation efforts (still ongoing some places after 60+ years). So he knows that open the floodgates will be impossible to shut.

  20. 20
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Fuck GHWB for eternity for replacing Thurgood Marshall with this nutjob.

    And screw Joe Biden for acting as his willing stooge, rather than do his due diligence and treat a woman as an actual credible witness.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    He also was the architect of the 2010 RedMap GOP gerrymandering plan- key to Tea Party takeover, as described in Dark Money. https://t.co/XgYXFYzM4A— Jane Mayer (@JaneMayerNYer) May 30, 2019

  22. 22
    bemused says:

    These amoral, corrupt, malevolent degenerates will destroy everything and everyone to fulfill their depraved fever dreams. Their own families are not safe from them.

  23. 23
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Luthe: Quick FYI that, yes, that’d be the point. New evidence that is pretty effing damning would justify seeking out a liberal judge and justifying a national injunction with no stay. Which, given the timeline, might cripple things, but would certainly make a huge effing mess.
    Just adds a lot of reason to SCOTUS to remove the question based on how much of a problem it’d create based on potential perjuries, withheld evidence, etc.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Luthe

    The Census is in the Constitution (like the Post Office). There is no option for “nah, we don’t want to.”

    Also a requirement that reapportionment be conducted but that didn’t stop it not being done after the 1920 census. Reapportionment based on the 1910 census remained unchanged until 1933.

    The Reapportionment Act of 1929, in fact, stipulates that congressional districts may be abandoned altogether by any state and all or any of its members of the House be elected at large.

    The Census Bureau has a hard deadline for printing forms.

    A deadline which can be altered or, if needs be, already printed forms be declared invalid, discarded and new ones be drawn up within a specified time frame.

  25. 25
    Mandalay says:

    @West of the Rockies: David Jolly – a thoroughly decent human being as far as I can tell – left the Republican Party a few months ago.

    As for the others, since they are all media figures it’s just their schtick to bravely carry with a smile the burden of still being in the Republican Party despite it being the party of Nazis, racists and grifters. Hypocrites all, but you need to have a niche to make yourself stand out in the overcrowded pundit market.

  26. 26
    cmorenc says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    And screw Joe Biden for acting as his willing stooge, rather than do his due diligence and treat a woman as an actual credible witness.

    And yet, if Biden does manage to with the Dem nomination for POTUS, if we don’t give him the degree of support needed to beat Trump, we’d be cutting off our own noses to spite his face. Unfortunately, an essential prerequisite to that is, even while trying our best to steer the party to nominate someone else, to avoid inflicting fatal damage on Joe from within our own ranks because of the very real possibility Biden might become our nominee even though many of us would much prefer Harris, Warren, etc.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    Ah, so not only was the GOP lying (duh), they lied to a federal court in the first trial. If this was any other group they’d be considered an organized crime syndicate.

  28. 28
    Martin says:

    @cmorenc: That was being done back in 2000 as well. Not as accurate then, but accurate enough.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anonymous At Work: Could you remind me of how one insures that one’s case is heard by a liberal judge.

  30. 30
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: file the suit in Scandinavia

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    There’s a way for SCOTUS to dump the entire citizenship question based on Wilbur Ross not following the Administrative Procedures Act, or a separate law requiring 2 years pre-notice to Congress of the intent to change/add questions.

    And a non-whore SCOTUS might do just that. One with a 5-4 republican majority, led by a Chief Justice who has dedicated his career to stopping Democrats from voting, in unlikely to do so.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Small world.

  34. 34
    Mandalay says:

    @cmorenc:

    even while trying our best to steer the party to nominate someone else, to avoid inflicting fatal damage on Joe from within our own ranks because of the very real possibility Biden might become our nominee even though many of us would much prefer Harris, Warren, etc.

    Exactly so. Which is why we are in the bizarre situation that Harris, Warren and Gillibrand, who zealously hounded Franken out of office, didn’t say a damn word this week while creepy Joe Biden continues to stick his slimy paws on females.

    Screw Biden, and screw his rivals for their silence. He promised he’d stop doing this creepy shit but he either doesn’t give a fuck, or he has even less impulse control than Trump.

    Forget interventions for Trump. Democrats need to do an intervention on Biden or there’s a very real risk that he’ll romp to the nomination then crash and burn as Republican attack ads portray him as a creepy kiddy fiddler.

  35. 35
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Luthe: Which would not stop the GOP from saying exactly that, were the shoe on the other hand.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Believe me, those Scandinavian judges are mean.

  37. 37
    raven says:

    @Mandalay: You are a fucking moron

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    his estranged daughter discovered

    This is what will be the end for all of them- we’ll never be able to catch them at it but someone from the inside will turn them in.

  39. 39
    Bruuuuce says:

    @cmorenc: If Uncle Joe gladhands and manhandles his way to the nomination, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him. But during primary season, my focus is on nominating one of the really excellent candidates we have (I have Senator Warren way out in front, then Harris/Booker in some order, and a field of four or five more after that, with the very bottom being held solidly by Biden, BS, DINO Gabbard, and my Mayor De Blasio).

    For the most part, I’ve been trying not to denigrate any of the Dems too loudly in public, but I’m also not going to flinch away from the truth, especially here in a space where the average IQ is higher than summer temperatures in Death Valley.

  40. 40
    sdhays says:

    @NotMax:

    The Reapportionment Act of 1929, in fact, stipulates that congressional districts may be abandoned altogether by any state and all or any of its members of the House be elected at large.

    Wow. I did not know that. I wonder if it would pass Constitutional muster if a state did that.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    I think Biden is a bad choice and I’m not at all comfortable with touchy people, and I don’t find that clip offensive.

    She looks pleased and proud in the clip. Has she said or indicated she wasn’t?

  42. 42
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Immanentize: Whatever, Julian! I mean, Imm.

  43. 43
    Mandalay says:

    @raven:

    You are a fucking moron

    You are a clueless fucking moron if you think it can’t happen.

    Kerry was successfully portrayed as a war phony and a liar when running against Bush. It will be a piece of cake for Trump’s team to paint Biden as a creepy sick fuck who can’t keep his hands to himself. It won’t even be misrepresentation. There are a gazillion videos out there.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    You know, Obama was kind of a hugger. Completely appropriate and I don’t think anyone minded- he was always getting hugged back but he was a hugger. Go look at the military family interactions. So this to me veers into a narrative where Biden can’t touch anyone and I don’t think that’s the actual issue for women. Or girls.

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    I don’t know Mandalay but can someone put their hands on a boys shoulders? Are we sure we want to do that to girls? Portray all physical contact as sexualized? Again, I’m not a touchy person but putting it all on the same basket seems like it could rebound in ways we don’t anticipate.

  46. 46
    bemused says:

    @Kay:
    I’m not offended either. Definitely not in the same category as trump getting too handsy with Ivanka.

  47. 47
    Kent says:

    I spent a decade working in the Federal government doing administrative rulemaking (fisheries regulations) but I’m not really familiar at all with the statues and regulations surrounding the Census.

    I have to wonder though, if Dems win in 2020, whether the incoming administration can make findings about the 2020 Census and basically throw out the numbers and do some sort of a do-over. I can’t imagine they would be able to do a new Census in 2021 but perhaps make a determination that the numbers are garbage and then use statistical tools to make adjustments as appropriate.

    There would, of course, be all kinds of legal pushback from the right. I’m just wondering if that is something a Dem president could jam through simply using executive powers. Because this is the sort of thing that is going to need to be done, not just with the Census, but in thousands of different places throughout the Federal government (climate change, education health care, etc.) to root out all the fetid rot left behind by Trump.

    Of course if he wins in 2020 we are well and truly Fucked.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Can’t watch the clip but, as someone who also doesn’t prefer Biden, I’m getting a little tired of the effort to invent creative reasons for him not to be the nominee. Reminds me of the whole “Goldwater Girl” meme that the Bernie people tried in 2016.

  49. 49
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t find that clip offensive

    That happened this week, but this is what Biden said last month:

    Social norms have begun to change. They have shifted. And the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying. I understand it.

    And I will be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, my responsibility. And I will meet it.

    It’s fine that you are not concerned about what Biden did, but the larger issue is what Republicans can make out of it, and how the public will react. And apart from that, Biden is showing lousy campaign discipline: last month he promised he’d respect the personal space of others, yet a few weeks later he breaks that promise.

    And Biden is making it harder for Democrats to go after Republicans who mistreat women. If they do then Republicans can accurately respond: “But you don’t say anything when Biden gropes women…”. Those claims might be unfair or distorted, but they’ll resonate.

  50. 50
    rikyrah says:

    I want to tie this into another story that I read a few weeks ago, about the number of offices being cut for the 2020 Census. It is being done because of something the GOP did in 2014 – after they had taken back Congress. The DELIBERATE SABOTAGE OF THE CENSUS PREDATES DOLT45. So, when folks like me say, uh uh, you can’t isolate Dolt45 from the GOP. That they are ONE. That they are hooked together. Getting rid of Dolt45 doesn’t resolve the problem that the entire GOP is nothing but a rotten cesspool.

  51. 51
    Mandalay says:

    @Baud:

    I’m getting a little tired of the effort to invent creative reasons for him not to be the nominee

    You mean “creative” as opposed to a valid concern? Seriously?

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    @Mandalay:

    There are plenty of things to attack Joe Biden on. When is someone gonna attack him on his part of the bankruptcy bill, and tying it to student loan debt?

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @bemused:

    Biden polls well with older voters. He won’t do this, but I think he could go to those voters and say “I complimented her and touched her and people said it was offensive! Folks….this is going too far” :)
    I think this is standard older adult interaction with kids. The hands on shoulders thing is well within the mainstream.
    OTOH, pulling grown women into his lap is gross and he needs to stop.
    The measure I use is it appropriate with a boy, because we don’t want to sexualize little girls or make them think all interactions are of a sexual nature because that’s a burden for them. Put them in the “kid” category. All of them.

  54. 54
    Origuy says:

    RIP Leon Redbone Variety

    Singer-songwriter Leon Redbone, who specialized in old-school vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley-style music, died earlier today, his family confirmed. He was 69 — although, in characteristically whimsical fashion, the official statement announcing his death gave his age as 127.

  55. 55
    Kent says:

    @Mandalay:

    You are a clueless fucking moron if you think it can’t happen.

    Kerry was successfully portrayed as a war phony and a liar when running against Bush. It will be a piece of cake for Trump’s team to paint Biden as a creepy sick fuck who can’t keep his hands to himself. It won’t even be misrepresentation. There are a gazillion videos out there.

    And Clinton was portrayed as some sort of traitorous security risk for using the same email practices as all of her predecessors and many members of the Trump administration.

    No matter who the nominee is, the GOP slime machine will fling endless feces against the wall until the media finally latches on and laps up some of it. That is an absolute given. They will do it to EVERY candidate. The only question is whether the Dem candidate has a strong enough force of personality to push past it. Obama did with the Reverand Wright, birtherism and other crap thrown at him. He tackled it straight on with his speeches on race and just pushed past. Both Kerry and Clinton basically reacted by clenching into a defensive crouch and expecting the media to play referee. Which we all know doesn’t ever happen anymore (if it ever did).

    The question isn’t whether the GOP will slime Biden or Harris or Warren or whomever. The question is which candidate has the force of personality, charisma, and political skills to push through the ocean of shit thrown at them and come out the other side. I think both Warren and Harris have it. I’m not so sure about Biden

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: @Baud:
    The logic is all wrong too. The people who genuinely care about “space” issues and touchy politicians have already picked a different candidate. Republicans don’t care about this stuff at all — anyone remember “grab her by the feline?”. So the way to make Biden not the candidate is to work for, contribute to and vote for another person.

    We have no way to control what crap the Trump campaign will spew.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @Luthe:

    The Census is in the Constitution (like the Post Office). There is no option for “nah, we don’t want to.”

    Have you seen what Republicans did to the Post Office?

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    “But you don’t say anything when Biden gropes women…”.

    Again, I would ask you to examine why you are putting this little girl in the “women” category. She’s a kid. Use the kid category, please. I’m sure you don’t intend it but this is not a good example to use.

  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Mandalay:

    It will be a piece of cake for Trump’s team to paint Biden as a creepy sick fuck who can’t keep his hands to himself.

    Wouldn’t that just qualify him to run for the office of his choice as a Republican?

  60. 60
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud:
    PS, My friend — I saw your Q about Independrnt counsel versus special counsel in the morning thread. I have an answer about Morrison v. Olson, but it’s a bit longish and this is Immp grad. Weekend…. The short answer is Scalia’s dissent had some merit and proved prescient vis a vis Starr

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    file the suit in Scandinavia

    That’s Lutherans.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Lutherans

    God’s frozen people.

  63. 63
    Searcher says:

    @sdhays:

    I wonder if it would pass Constitutional muster if a state did that.

    Depends if the state elected all Democrats or all Republicans after doing so.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @sdhays

    It’s been done multiple times since.

    …The Reapportionment Act of 1929 allowed states to draw districts of varying size and shape. It also allowed states to abandon districts altogether and elect at least some representatives at large, which several states chose to do, including New York, Illinois, Washington, Hawaii, and New Mexico. For example, in the 88th Congress (in the early 1960s) 22 of the 435 representatives were elected at-large. Source

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    When is someone gonna attack him on his part of the bankruptcy bill, and tying it to student loan debt?

    Probably after the first state votes in the primary.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    Right. If it’s socially unacceptable that should self-cure in the primary election. And also, Jesus Fucking CHRIST. We’re going to let Donald Trump’s judgment on behavior pick our candidate? No, we are not.

  67. 67
    The Moar You Know says:

    It will be a piece of cake for Trump’s team to paint Biden as a creepy sick fuck who can’t keep his hands to himself.

    @Mandalay: It would be, but Team Trump can’t drop that bomb without getting ten times “creepy sick fuck” back in return. That’s an area they won’t touch. Trump’s recorded as calling his teenage daughter a “nice piece of ass”. If Dems don’t have an ad with that quote running on every station in the United States they don’t deserve to win.

  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Trump’s recorded as calling his teenage daughter a “nice piece of ass”. If Dems don’t have an ad with that quote running on every station in the United States they don’t deserve to win.

    Then we’re obviously screwed.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Also, never forget that with every sleepy Clarence you get a free Gini Thomas, leader of the Crazy People True Believers.

  70. 70
    Kay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Biden is popular with Democrats where I live and I think the “creepy fuck” hasn’t stuck to him because they are very familiar with them and that just isn’t how they think of him. They would have to change a view they have held for decades- that he’s devoted to his family, dotes on his wife, etc. They probably aren’t going to do that.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    What would be most interesting (admittedly not gonna happen, although it is conceivable) would be for the courts to declare a state’s drawing of districts so tainted, coupled with a short window before the next election precluding redrawing maps to pass muster, that a ruling comes down that they must hold at-large elections.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Also, Mandalay, Trump considers Biden a threat and attacks him every day. He doesn’t attack him on this. He says he’s dumb and “sleepy”, it’s the same old Trump bs. The “low energy” bullshit. The only people promoting this narrative are political media because they think it’s an example of Dem “hypocrisy”. They’re making one of their incredibly boring and irrelevant “larger points”.

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay: You are misreading what I wrote:

    And Biden is making it harder for Democrats to go after Republicans who mistreat women. If they do then Republicans can accurately respond: “But you don’t say anything when Biden gropes women…”.

    That point was clearly distinct from the specifics of the video from earlier this week, and I don’t see why you are conflating them. (To be crystal clear: Biden has been “handsy” with women and girls for years, and has largely got a free pass on his behavior until recently.)

  74. 74
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan:

    Also, never forget that with every sleepy Clarence you get a free Gini Thomas, leader of the Crazy People True Believers.

    Do not want. Return to sender.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Biden is on my lowest tier but I do think he is the kind of person who might escape a lot of ordinary attacks. It’s too soon to tell but this stuff doesn’t seem to be touching him. I think he’s hard to dislike.

    It’s a mystery to me why some people have that sort of “teflon” where you think “WTF, why doesn’t this bother people?” but they do.

  76. 76
    trollhattan says:

    @Kay:
    MuchExactly like TV ratings, Trump is obsessed with poll numbers and anybody who pops to the top is going to get the Special Trump Treatment, which helpfully signals what he believes to be that person’s weaknesses.

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    “I don’t know what happened. I was not involved. I would not have done that,” Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for Colorado, where he is scheduled to address an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

    Trump, however, suggested that his disdain for the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is well-known and that it was understandable that someone would try to keep a warship originally named for McCain’s father and grandfather, both Navy admirals, from his view.

    “I was not a big fan of John McCain in any shape or form,” Trump said. “Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, okay? And they were well-meaning.”

    Every institution has failed. Now including the military.

  78. 78
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Luthe:

    The Census is in the Constitution (like the Post Office). There is no option for “nah, we don’t want to.”

    And yet, look at what the Republicans have done to the Post Office, and worse, to postal workers.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    You’re telling me that people who do not believe Joe Biden is “creepy” now can be made to believe that by Donald Trump.
    I don’t agree. Trump doesn’t seem to either, since he’s going with “low IQ”

  80. 80
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    Biden is popular with Democrats where I live…

    No doubt, but the issue is not whether Democrats will vote for Biden. It’s whether Biden can win over independents and Republicans.

    he’s devoted to his family, dotes on his wife, etc.

    I don’t doubt that either, but the issue is electability. Some claim (with no persuasive evidence that I’ve seen) that Biden is the only Democrat who can beat Trump. Even if that is true, he’s the only Democrat with the “handsy” baggage.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    You’re telling me that people who do not believe Joe Biden is “creepy” now can be made to believe that by Donald Trump.
    I don’t agree.

    Swift Boating still works.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I love how we’re not allowed to know which public employee spend 2 fucking days on sucking up to Dear Leader.

    Tillis says Trump is “underprepared” for these meetings. I bet he is. This is what they spend their days doing, accomodating the diva in the White House. Shallow, petty people. Gofers for a capricious celebrity.

  83. 83
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    You’re telling me that people who do not believe Joe Biden is “creepy” now can be made to believe that by Donald Trump

    No. I am specifically not telling you that.

    I am telling you that if Biden is the candidate there will be attack ads against him portraying him as a creepy groper, and Trump won’t be involved in their production and he won’t appear or be mentioned in the ads. Why would he?

    The Swift Boat ads that scuppered Kerry didn’t mention that George Bush went AWOL either. Why would they?

  84. 84
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @rikyrah:

    There are plenty of things to attack Joe Biden on. When is someone gonna attack him on his part of the bankruptcy bill, and tying it to student loan debt?

    Well, I guess you just did! :)

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Don’t support Biden – I don’t- but please don’t go into “cowering Democrat” mode. Get off defense. I refuse to do this for another cycle. I refuse to spend a year gaming out what Republicans might say.

  86. 86
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Luthe:

    In 1921 I think, the government just skipped redistricting, for Congress at least, and just used the previous decades numbers. Not sure if they did a census at all that time

  87. 87
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay: And its gonna get worse. We’ve seen just how badly Trump reacts to a crisis, any crisis.

    Well its Hurricane season again. And its probably going to be a real bad one this year if the temperature fluctuations we’ve been hit with so far keep going.

  88. 88
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay: The Democrats suck at a coordinated national offense when it comes to political ads. I blame the crappy advisers they insist on rehiring year after year, despite the shitty results they deliver.

    I do not know how to fix it.

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    @Mandalay: It would be, but Team Trump can’t drop that bomb without getting ten times “creepy sick fuck” back in return. That’s an area they won’t touch. Trump’s recorded as calling his teenage daughter a “nice piece of ass”. If Dems don’t have an ad with that quote running on every station in the United States they don’t deserve to win.

    Not just Dolt45 and his NINTEEN ACCUSERS.

    But, RNC Finance co-Chairmen, Briody and Wynn – sexual misconduct abounds

  90. 90
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mandalay:

    You are now, and always have been, 102 percent full of shit. Just shut the fuck up and go somewhere else.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Okay. I’m not playing the swift boat game. I think it’s reactively defensive and not productive and I don’t have anything to apologize for when my opponent is Donald Trump. I just refuse to live in past trauma or whatever. I hate this about Democrats. For people who are constantly complaining that Democrats don’t “fight” you are bad fighters. IMO.

    “oooh- we’re gonna LOSE!”. Really? This is how we’re gonna be? It’ll be a looong year, if so.

  92. 92
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @JoeyJoeJoe: In other words, what NotMax had already said

  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax:
    After some of the seminal voting rights cases, that would probably now be unconstitutional as it would severely dilute minority representation. At large districts are (were?) presumptively suspect.

  94. 94
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:
    Not only that, but Jill Biden does not strike me as a Stepford wife who would put up with creepy shit from Joe. I like her a lot.

  95. 95
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    It’s the same game that centrists play. Can’t nominate someone too liberals because the Republicans will say nasty things about them.

  96. 96
    James E Powell says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I do not know how to fix it.

    It would take two or three liberal versions of the Kochs, Mercers, or Adelson to fund relentless attack ads. Sadly, there are no such people.

  97. 97
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: That would not be great because
    At-large elections mean that the majority wins all the positions. So in a red state with two RWNJ Senators, you would get every Congressperson cut from the same cloth.

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    Would be a fascinating exercise for a moot court presentation, IMO.

  99. 99
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: And “sleepy” which is really weird!

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Here’s what I learned from Swiftboat. We put up a decorated war veteran, a smart, experienced senator who was smack in the middle of the Democratic Party and seems “clean” as in “not corrupt” and they smeared him anyway.

    So I don’t defer to them when picking a candidate. It’s not a factor.

    “Swiftboat” doesn’t stand for the idea that “it’s a weak candidate”. It MEANS “unfair smear”. And defending against that is a waste of time.

  101. 101
    sdhays says:

    @NotMax: Fascinating. But I guess I was actually wondering if it would be a violation of the equal protection clause since a state like Alabama could use at-large districting (and then gerrymandering) to deny any Democratic representation in the House.

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    Do you think “sleepy” is effective? Biden is affable. “Sleepy” is almost…cute :)

  103. 103
    sdhays says:

    @Immanentize: Proportional representation for at-large seats might be interesting, though. Of course, I don’t expect Alabama to enact something like that.

  104. 104
    opiejeanne says:

    mr opiejeanne got a letter from one of the Rebpulican organizations asking him to verify that he’s registered as a Republican in Washington state. We don’t register by party here and he was just going to throw it out, but I read some of the letter and among the horrors that the Democrats are planning is HELPING PEOPLE REGISTER TO VOTE!!! AIYEEEE!!!
    I mean, that’s what they see as dastardly behavior.

  105. 105
    sdhays says:

    @Kay: It’s pretty rich coming from Mr. “Executive Time”. I’m not a Biden fan, but I guarantee you he puts in more work and energy in one day as a 300 year old man (or whatever) than Trump has during his entire Occupancy.

  106. 106
    trollhattan says:

    @Immanentize:
    It’s just a slight reframing of his ever-popular “low energy.”

    The fact that Jabba the Fuck is willing to go there and call others sleepy, low energy, fat, etc. while hauling his greasy bloated corpse around in front of the cameras is something I just can’t process.

  107. 107
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @sdhays: It already has, in MD when it gained its 8th member of the House as a result of the 1960 Census. Rather than redistricting immediately, the legislature voted to keep the existing 7 CDs unchanged & elect the new Congressperson “at large” – i.e., as if the entire state was the CD. This lasted through the 1964 election, after which the CDs were redrawn & with the 8th District in the Montgomery County suburbs of Washington, DC. You could look it up.

    Curios footnote: This maneuver in fact had a not-inconsiderable role in the rise of one Spiro Agnew.

    Carlton R. Sickles, the liberal Democrat elected to fill the at-large seat in both 1962 and 1964, saw the redistricting coming & chose to run statewide once more, this time for Governor. He and the incumbent Attorney-General, middle-of-the-roader Tom Finan, split the non-whacko Democratic primary electorate & allowed asphalt contractor & perennial candidate George P. Mahoney to win a plurality in the Democratic primary by campaigning on a thinly-veiled platform of bigotry (“Your home is your castle – Protect it!”)

    Meanwhile the Republican primary went to Spiro Agnew, County Executive of Baltimore County, essentially a lame duck who’d taken advantage of feuds among the dominant local Democrats 4 years before but had no chance of being re-elected. Agnew at the time was considered a moderate, a supporter of Nelson Rockefeller – and the votes of MD Democrats who saw him as preferable to Mahoney put him into the Governor’s Mansion – where Tricky Dick found him 2 years later.

  108. 108
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay:

    “Swiftboat” doesn’t stand for the idea that “it’s a weak candidate”. It MEANS “unfair smear”. And defending against that is a waste of time.

    Agreed. I’m much more worried about the many other factors that make Biden a weak candidate, such as the bankruptcy bill and crime bill votes, shitty handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings, previous presidential run flops, insistence that Trump is an aberration and Republicans are really our friends, wrongheaded blathering about how his generation had it so much tougher than millennials, etc.

    No need to borrow trouble from Republicans about Biden’s weakness as a candidate; his candidacy has got plenty of genuine downsides.

  109. 109
    trollhattan says:

    @opiejeanne:
    Somebody in ElDorado County (Sierra foothills) is anonymously sending voter shaming letters to people who have not voted recently (IIUC they list vote/non-vote years and compare with voting neighbors). Rather big-brotherish, especially since we’re not a state that “purges” non-participating voters like Certain Others.

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Me too. I think the student debt stuff is poison.

    I went back and looked at Biden’s floor speech on that vote and it’s gross. He framed it as “protecting women and children” – child support isn’t subject to discharge in bankruptcy and they beefed that up- but oh what bullshit that “the children” were why he voted that way. Just shameless.

  111. 111
    Kent says:

    @Kay:

    Here’s what I learned from Swiftboat. We put up a decorated war veteran, a smart, experienced senator who was smack in the middle of the Democratic Party and seems “clean” as in “not corrupt” and they smeared him anyway.

    So I don’t defer to them when picking a candidate. It’s not a factor.

    “Swiftboat” doesn’t stand for the idea that “it’s a weak candidate”. It MEANS “unfair smear”. And defending against that is a waste of time.

    Yes it was an unfair smear. But it was effective because Kerry didn’t really respond. He acted like responding was beneath him. He would probably have been better served by unleashing some rightous anger and producing a couple of good soundbites tearing those cowards a new one. And then move on. Josh Marshall talks about this in his “bitch slap” theory of politics which you can probably find on his TPM site somewhere.

    Watch the War Room documentary about Bill Clinton’s first campaign. They obsessively responded to every single thing and tried to do it in the same news cycle. That’s how you have to do it. Not what Kerry did and not with Hillary Clinton did by never really responding to the email thing either. On Day 1 she should have gone on Leno or wherever, pulled out an example of the ridiculous obsolete blackberry type phones the state department was asking people to use in a show and tell and made fun of the whole thing. And talk about how we all do work email and personal email on our own phones these days and how ridiculous the whole thing is. And how of course she didn’t ever discuss classified information on non-secured phones because they have a whole other separate system for that. She should have just mercelelssly MOCKED the GOP House lackies for sniffing into her personal emails and read a bunch of cute ones for the public. That sort of thing. Change the narrative. Used humor and anger. And then every time some new NYT thing came out do the “Seriously guys? Here we go again?” thing. She had that ability to get real. But she didn’t really show it well until after the election.

    Running for President in this day and age takes tremendous charisma and the ability to shape the conversation. Obama had that. So did Bill Clinton. And so does Trump. The best Dem candidate will be the one who can best do that. I’m not sure who that is yet. Warren? Harris? I don’t think Sanders, he’s to shouty and one-track. And I’m not sure it’s Biden either. He’s too affiable.

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    @Kent:

    I generally agree except for the idea that Hillary could have done anything about the email issue. Many of the attacks on her were manufactured outrages about her responses to various accusations. There was no response she could have given that would have muted those attacks. What she needed is for decent people to have her back, but that didn’t happen because the party was too divided in the primary.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    What she needed is for decent people to have her back,

    We have learned since that they do not constitute a majority in this country.

  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Me too. I think the student debt stuff is poison.

    I think so too, which is why I’m waiting for a candidate to go after him on it. It was real THEN. It’s a VERY REAL ISSUE NOW. And, they can just pound away on it.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: Okay. Institutions fail on occasion. Then there are failed institutions. This particular fuck-up doesn’t even rise to the first level. Someone in the chain of command gave a stupid
    order, and then someone higher in the chain of command countermanded it. That’s ssdd in any large organization.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @cope:
    Really the problem is us. All of us. Too many people have no desire/concept of citizenship, of working as citizens towards a better country. So the people involved, the religious bigots, have a louder voice and the press makes the most of that/is on their side.

  117. 117
    opiejeanne says:

    @trollhattan: They’re doing that again? Didn’t this happen in 2016, somewhere else? And it included “info” about how those neighbors had supposedly voted?

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I think it’s a individual question. I would mind being in room with trump even if we were 100 ft apart, let alone if that fuck touched me, and I’m an old man. And yet I can shake hands with most anyone. It’s the way one is touched, who’s doing the touching, who’s being touched and the touching that happens – the inferred intent of the touching, even if by all accounts the actual intent was OK. If you creep me out, I don’t want you touching me. Now as a man, there is more leeway, but there are limits. A woman or a child should have more/lower limits. All of these limits are cultural and personal.

  119. 119
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    Also, in days gone bye politicians did a lot more glad handing, be that good or bad. This is one thing that shows me that Biden is too old. Personally I think Obama chose him to get him out of the senate.

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ruckus: I didn’t find Biden’s actions in the linked video creepy at all, even though I am definitely not a touchy-feely person myself. It’s the hair-sniffing thing that gave me pause (not in that video but elsewhere). If a man other than my husband did that to me, I’d elbow him in the snoot.

    That said, I agree with you that these are personal and cultural things. I really don’t think Biden is a creeper. But hopefully he’ll dial the touchy thing WAY the fuck back going forward. No excuse now that he knows some folks find it uncomfortable.

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: I don’t know how much this matters, but, as a very non-touchy-feely person, there are a couple of situations in which I have been much more likely to touch or not mind being touched. In both sports and the military, I have found that a hand on someone’s arm or shoulder is helpful when either offering encouragement or consolation. Bucking up someone who is exhausted and injured/sore works better with physical contact. Others’ mileage may vary.

  122. 122
    JustRuss says:

    Since the thread be open, just saw this at Digby’s:

    Mitch McConnell, who blocked Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick in 2016, during that year’s presidential campaign, said he’d be fine helping to confirm Donald Trump’s choice if an opening were to occur on the nation’s high court in the 2020 election cycle.

    “Uh, we’d fill it,” the Senate majority leader from Kentucky responded with a wry smile Tuesday when asked about such a scenario during city chamber lunch in Paducah.

    This fuckin’ guy…

  123. 123
    Kathleen says:

    @different-church-lady: Well, that and deranged leftists who question the integrity of Maggie Haberman’s propaganda, er, “reporting”.

  124. 124
    Barry says:

    @Luthe: “The Census is in the Constitution (like the Post Office). There is no option for “nah, we don’t want to.””

    Funding the Census is one thing; funding particular items is another.

  125. 125
    NobodySpecial says:

    @plato: The turnout data shows that hardcore, vote-every-election Democrats turned out. The folks who DIDN’T turn out were occasional voters, mostly those who only vote in Presidential races.

    We spend way too much time on circular firing squads, even on almost top 10,000 blogs.

Comments are closed.