Saturday Morning Open Thread: Maybe She’s Just the Better Choice

Professor Krugman:

[H]ere’s a contrarian thought: Maybe Mrs. Clinton is winning because she possesses some fundamental political strengths — strengths that fall into many pundits’ blind spots…

When political commentators praise political talent, what they seem to have in mind is the ability of a candidate to match one of a very limited set of archetypes: the heroic leader, the back-slapping regular guy you’d like to have a beer with, the soaring orator. Mrs. Clinton is none of these things: too wonky, not to mention too female, to be a regular guy, a fairly mediocre speechifier; her prepared zingers tend to fall flat.

Yet the person tens of millions of viewers saw in this fall’s debates was hugely impressive all the same: self-possessed, almost preternaturally calm under pressure, deeply prepared, clearly in command of policy issues. And she was also working to a strategic plan: Each debate victory looked much bigger after a couple of days, once the implications had time to sink in, than it may have seemed on the night.

Oh, and the strengths she showed in the debates are also strengths that would serve her well as president. Just thought I should mention that. And maybe ordinary citizens noticed the same thing; maybe obvious competence and poise in stressful situations can add up to a kind of star quality, even if it doesn’t fit conventional notions of charisma.

Furthermore, there’s one thing Mrs. Clinton brought to this campaign that no establishment Republican could have matched: She truly cares about her signature issues, and believes in the solutions she’s pushing.

I know, we’re supposed to see her as coldly ambitious and calculating, and on some issues — like macroeconomics — she does sound a bit bloodless, even when she clearly understands the subject and is talking good sense. But when she’s talking about women’s rights, or racial injustice, or support for families, her commitment, even passion, are obvious. She’s genuine, in a way nobody in the other party can be.

So let’s dispel with this fiction that Hillary Clinton is only where she is through a random stroke of good luck. She’s a formidable figure, and has been all along.

Apart from approving this message, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Late Night Open Thread: Farewell to All That

Another (extremely grudging!) vote for HRC…

But then… yeah, nutpicking — when this is today’s GOP:

Mouthy Idiots Open Thread: More Wingnut Schadenfreude, Masshole Edition

Because Curt Shilling is not a smart person, this happened tonight:

From the Crooks & Liars link:

Schilling continued, “”I would like to ask you something as a person who is practicing the Jewish faith and have since you were young. I don’t understand, maybe this is the amateur, non-politician in me, I don’t understand how people of Jewish faith can back the Democratic party which over the last 50 years have been so clearly anti Israel. so clearly anti-Jewish, Israel.”

He went on, “That I don’t know what else would be done, said, or happen for people to understand that they don’t — the Democratic party is alive with Israel, only because we have agreements in place to make them have to be.”

Tapper very coolly said, “Well, I don’t speak for Jews. I would imagine, just to try to answer your question. One of the reason Jews are Democrats has more to do for social welfare programs and that sort of thing.”

Jake repeated, “Again, I don’t speak for Jews.”

“I know you don’t. I just always find it a great conversation for somebody of your faith to — because I want to understand the reason behind some of those things so i appreciate that.”…

And theeeeennnn, on MSNBC’s Hardball…. per Media Matters‘ partial transcription:

CURT SCHILLING: Well, I mean Chris, I’m apparently an anti-semite now, because I had the gall and the audacity to ask someone of the Jewish faith why or how they believe people of the Jewish faith vote Democrat! I mean, god forbid I listen to someone of the faith, rather than the media, who clearly are not biased and don’t have an agenda. I mean, that to me is just common sense.

I don’t want — I don’t need Chris Matthews to tell me why people of Jewish faith vote the way they do, I want to ask someone of the faith. To me, that’s much more relevant. I think that — and I don’t have a problem asking people questions like that, because I’m not trying to be offensive or racist. I’m clearly curious, because I’ve read my history. I understand my history, that, you know, that this country feels so anti-Israel in the last 15 years, more so than at any point in my life and I can’t figure that out.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s a legitimate debate we’re all going to have. By the way, left, right on Israel, left, right on Bibi Netanyahu is a popular argument anywhere in the country, by the way. Especially in Israel they argue about that stuff, which is a great thing over there.

But the problem is, people will say is, and I’ll say it, you can’t ask a person of a religious faith or a race to speak for that religious group and to ask them to sort of account for it. You ask them to account for it as an individual.

SCHILLING: No, you can. Chris —

MATTHEWS: Go ahead.

SCHILLING: Not true. Liberals do it with Christians all the time. Liberals do it with Christians all the time, and I’m not going to play the victim game because I’m a white male Christian, which apparently makes me a racist to anybody, that as long as — if I don’t speak out in favor of whatever it is they want me to speak out of…

Gosh, and we didn’t even get the opportunity to watch Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren kick his broad fishbelly-white arse from Williamston to Provincetown.

Also, I’m against any action that makes Chickenshit Charlie Baker happy, which this will. Not that Charlie doesn’t need whatever good news he can garner, right now:

Friday Evening Open Thread: Canvassing Social Notes


Apart from GOTV, what’s on the agenda as we start the weekend?


Join Democrats Abroad for our fifth Global Town Hall of 2016 with special guest George Takei

Monday, October 24,

8:00 AM EDT (Washington DC time) by video-conference

Our very own Martha McDevitt-Pugh, DNC Member, Vice-Chair in the Netherlands, and Chair of the LGBT Caucus, will start things off by discussing the Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus and Advocacy Work.

George Takei will be sharing his thoughts with DA about what really makes America great, why he supports Hillary for President — and why we must win the White House and Take Back Congress.

Friday Morning Open Thread: GOP — Abandon Whale!


(John Deering via

From the Washington Post:

A wave of apprehension and anguish swept the Republican Party on Thursday, with many GOP leaders alarmed by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and concluding that it is probably too late to salvage his flailing presidential campaign.

As the Republican nominee reeled from a turbulent performance in the final debate here in Las Vegas, his party’s embattled senators and House members scrambled to protect their seats and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities against what Republicans privately acknowledge could be a landslide victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton…

“The campaign is over,” said Steve Schmidt, a Trump critic and former senior strategist on George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s presidential campaigns.

Calling a refusal to accept the election results “disqualifying,” Schmidt added: “The question is, how close will Clinton get to 400 electoral votes? She’ll be north of 350, and she’s trending towards 400 — and the trend line is taking place in very red states like Georgia, Texas and Arizona.”

Meanwhile, top Democrats fanned out to battleground states on Thursday to hammer Trump for what they described as an unprecedented attack on the country’s political system and to attempt to yoke Trump to Republican candidates down the ballot.

Campaigning in Miami, President Obama said Trump’s doubts about the election outcome are “not a joking matter. That is dangerous.”…

And in Arizona, where polls show an unexpectedly tight presidential race, first lady Michelle Obama said Trump “is threatening the very idea of America itself” by suggesting he would not honor the election results.

“You do not keep American democracy ‘in suspense,’ ” Obama said in Phoenix.

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate, held a rally at a downtown Charlotte brewery, where he said Trump’s claims of a “rigged” election reminded him of the Third World politicking he had seen as a young missionary in Honduras.

“The bigger we can win by, the harder it is for him to whine and have anyone believe him,” Kaine said, trying to galvanize supporters on the first day of early voting in North Carolina…

Apart from a little hard-earned schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up this busy week?

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Relieved to Be A Democrat

It can honestly be said that both candidates had their best debates last night. Unfortunately for the Republican party and its candidate, twenty minutes of ‘not acting completely unhinged’, followed by seventy-five minutes of ‘more greatest hits from the Breitbart/InfoWars archives’ can’t effectively match ‘consistently demonstrating why her experience and depth of understanding makes Hillary Rodham Clinton uniquely qualified to serve as President for the next four years.’

If his final petulant refusal to face reality once (when) he loses wasn’t so completely outside the norm, there were at least a dozen other Trump statements that would be sparking discussion this morning. Since moderator Chris Wallace was determined to feed red meat to his Fox News base, his first question was about SCOTUS and whether the candidates believed the Constitution was ‘a living document’ or ‘settled by the Founding Fathers’ (as is an item of doctrine among the wing-iest wingnuts, such as the late Antonin Scalia). Trump seized the opportunity… to complain that Justice Ginsburg had been very mean in her comments about him, before babbling about ‘states’ rights’ to prevent ‘babies being ripped from the womb, three, four days before birth’. (He did not, however, attest that he’d overturn Roe v Wade, so the nosiest part of his intended audience won’t be placated.)

He vowed to prevent Clinton ‘overturning the Second Amendment’. He claimed that ‘all those women’ who accused him of assaulting them ‘had been debunked, every one’ — as Clinton campaign plants. He once again defended Putin as ‘a strong leader, smarter than her’ and refused to accept that Russia might have had anything to do with the Wikileak hacks. He said that ‘millions of people who shouldn’t even be allowed to vote’ were giving Clinton an unfair advantage. He babbled about ‘bad hombres’ coming across the border — with Clinton’s collusion — to ‘poison our children with their drugs’. He didn’t protest when Clinton accused him of not paying federal income taxes, but he did insist that Warren Buffett and George Soros took advantage of the same loopholes. (Buffett has gone on the record explaining that he hasn’t, and will probably say so again today.) And that’s just the low-lights!

Debate Open Thread: Let Us Begin

YouTube livestream here.

Guardian liveblog here.

Everybody ready?