Voting

Jeb Bush on Voting: "I Can't Do It"

You and me both, bro.

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"I can't vote for Donald Trump and I can't vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart. This is my first time in my adult life I'm confronted with this dilemma." 

Yesterday on MSNBC, Jeb Bush explained his decision to abstain from voting for either of the major party candidates in 2016: "The simple fact is there's a threshold past which anybody that steps into the Oval Office must go past. And I don't think either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump pass that threshold. In terms of temperament, character, trust worthiness, integrity. So what do you do? I mean if you believe, like I do, the presidency is sacred ground and you want a president that uphold the Constitution and I don't believe that either one of the candidates fulfills that primary kind of objective, uh, I can't vote for either one of them."

Pressed by interviewer Nicolle Wallace, he stood firm: "Yeah. I can't do it. I can't do it….Neither for me. And you're not going to get me to change that."

While the former Florida governor and presidential wannabe has said repeatedly that he respects people who feel the need to make a different choice in November, he's the one who has got the right end of the stick here.

As I note in my Reason cover story against voting, the social cost of an individual refraining from voting is very low: Even someone as high-profile as Jeb opting out of major party voting is wildly, spectacularly, insanely unlikely to create a situation that threatens the stability of our form of government or triggers a cascade that undermines the legitimacy of the election. And even as a non-voter (perhaps especially as a non-voter), Bush is pretty clearly discharging any responsibility that might exist to participate in civic life far more thoroughly than the little old lady to votes in every election but otherwise spends all her time doing cross stitch.

Meanwhile, insisting that Bush vote in this election imposes a high moral cost on him: Jeb has a strong view about the qualifications for the presidency—something he describes as "sacred"—and asking him to vote for Trump or Clinton is asking him to violate those principles and dirty his hands for no appreciable gain.* In a season where more people than ever are holding their noses and pulling the lever for someone who they don't think would be a good president, why are we treating Bush like a villain for having principles and sticking to them?

It's not logically consistent to tell a non-voting Bush that it's his fault if the wrong guy wins and does bad things, yet exempt people who vote for one of the two major party candidates from blame when the winner (predictably) does bad things. 

As a sidenote: Bush did leave the door open for a third-party vote: "There's other people running. There's the libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld. I don't know. they don't get a lot of airtime yet." 

Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Sasse is expressing similar qualms over at Medium, although in more opaque language. 

* Reminder: Bush's vote almost certainly will not determine the outcome of the election. Even in the drama of Bush v. Gore, one additional vote in Florida would not have altered the outcome of the election: 

In all of American history, a single vote has never determined the outcome of a presidential election. And there are precious few examples of any other elections decided by a single vote. A 2001 National Bureau of Economic Research paper by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter looked at 56,613 contested congressional and state legislative races dating back to 1898. Of the 40,000 state legislative elections they examined, encompassing about 1 billion votes cast, only seven were decided by a single vote (two were tied). A 1910 Buffalo contest was the lone single-vote victory in a century's worth of congressional races. In four of the 10 ultra-close campaigns flagged in the paper, further research by the authors turned up evidence that subsequent recounts unearthed margins larger than the official record initially suggested.

The numbers just get more ridiculous from there. In a 2012 Economic Inquiry article, Columbia University political scientist Andrew Gelman, statistician Nate Silver, and University of California, Berkeley, economist Aaron Edlin use poll results from the 2008 election cycle to calculate that the chance of a randomly selected vote determining the outcome of a presidential election is about one in 60 million. In a couple of key states, the chance that a random vote will be decisive creeps closer to one in 10 million, which drags voters into the dubious company of people gunning for the Mega-Lotto jackpot.

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  1. Its such a shame that there are only 2 candidates.

    1. It’s such a shame that “None of the above” is not a legitimate choice.

      1. Where’s Montgomery Brewster when you need him?

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      2. Nobody for President!

        1. I think if no one is elected, you either keep Zippy, or it goes to Speaker of the House – Ryan.

      3. Rich|7.12.16 @ 11:59AM| block | mute | #

        It’s such a shame that “None of the above” is not a legitimate choice.

        I thought we had a rule about “No Smashing Pumpkins Lyrics” here

        1. Don’t make me disarm you with a smile

  2. Shreek hardest hit.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an actual sexual obsession with Hillary.

      1. Several square inches of the lumpy scar tissue between his legs does become inflamed and sticky when he thinks of her, yes.

      2. I’m pretty sure his sexual obsession is with Sarah Palin.

  3. On a related note, I saw the most insane Hillary apologia yet on Reddit earlier:

    “Yeah. I mean, the emails are a problem; even lots of her defenders admit that, but the reason that server even existed in the first place is because the GOP has a hate boner for her that just never, ever seems to go away. If she feels like she needs to protect herself from being maligned by muckrakers, it’s probably because she does.
    Does that excuse her actions? No, but these people hate her in a way that’s unhealthy even by the standards of the GOP. There are people out there who still legitimately believe she had Vince Foster killed, who still haven’t let Whitewater go. You thought they hated Obama? Oh my God, this Clinton presidency is gonna make us pine for those days of civility and cooperation.”

    Yes. Hillary engaging in blatantly unethical behavior and violating federal rules/laws regarding security of communication (and record-keeping) is all the fault of the GOP for being so mean to her. She just had to do it or else they’d accuse her of being corrupt and unethical.

    Absolutely absurd that otherwise presumably functional people actually buy this reasoning without realizing how crazy and disingenuous it is (I’m sure they’d have the exact same reaction to a Republican hated by Democrats doing the same thing).

    1. No, but these people hate her in a way that’s unhealthy even by the standards of the GOP.

      Eight years under BOOOOOOSH has eternally discredited any claim to civility and moderation Democrats might fancy.

    2. Yeah, I mean, no ever said nasty things about Bush or anyone in his administration while he was in office. It’s just those meany Republicans.

      1. Related to this – apparently a bunch of progs on twitter got huffy over Maureen Dowd calling Obama “Barry” in a column, leading to #PresidentObamaNotBarry …… no, really.

        I’d lay good money that every person tweeting that called Bush “Shrub” at some point.

        1. “Dubya” is the name I always saw and still see, and is clearly meant to call Bush stupid. Then there’s Slick Willy, Tricky Dick, etc.

          I could see “Barry” as being offensive in that it is trying to ‘normalize’ an Arabic name, but it’s a name he’s used for himself. So, unless we get into some false consciousness narrative, that complaint goes out the window.

          1. A friend of mine who worked at the White House a while back (but never met him) and is one of the biggest Obama-fanboys I’ve ever met refers to him as “Barry.”

        2. Also, “Dubya” and, likely, “Hitler.”

    3. the reason that server even existed in the first place is because the GOP has a hate boner for her

      I thought it had been established that she was merely extremely careless. I confuse.

      1. And it implies that she could outthink every hacker in the world by establishing her own server rather than rely on the government experts. Can you imagine the contortions his mind had to go through to admit that there was something an individual could do better than the government?

        1. except it’s not an individual… it’s Hillary, she almost as all knowing as Obama.

        2. Did someone on Reason actually suggest that the government could do something competently? Wonders never cease…

    4. Did you see the panic attacks on social media over Maureen Dowd calling Obama “Barry”? People on both sides have made politicians into cult leaders. We called Nixon Tricky Dick, Reagan Ronnie, Bush Dubya, but we can’t call Obama Barry because that is disrespectful.

      1. Even though that is (or was) actually his real name.

        1. Apparently his name is His most Exalted Obama now.

          1. I usually go with “Barack H. Christ”

            1. As far as insulting Obama goes, calling him “Barry” is the mildest of insults. In ascending order it goes like this: 4. Barry; 3. Barry Soetoro; 2. Barry Dunham; 1. Barry Davis.

      2. Also worth mentioning Obama’s habit of addressing everyone else by their first name, while he retains the honorific Mr. President.

      3. Also relevant: Obama’s habit of calling everyone else by their first name.

      4. this is, of course, stupid. the president works for us. if we want to call him “hey you”, it’s ok.

    5. California style denial is going nationwide.

      THE RETHUGLICANS MADE ME DO IT!

    6. There are people out there who still legitimately believe she had Vince Foster killed,

      Yeah, that sentence may not say what the poster thinks it says.

      1. Misuse of common English words like “legitimately” and “literally” is a hallmark of a millenial. Whenever I see that shit I assume that the person posting is under the age of 30 with the mental capacity of a 12 year old. And I’m usually right. Literally…

        1. Funny thing is that if that person had said “still literally believe she had Vince Foster killed”, it would be appropriate.

    7. I like the postmodern rhetorical judo. She can’t be transparent because then people would criticize her. As though the deeds themselves are noble and pure by virtue of being done by Clinton’s hands and only become tainted when viewed in the eyes of others.

    8. “a problem”

      No; they’re evidence of criminal conspiracy.

      “A problem” is when you are only able to see your favored candidate’s ethical & legal violations as PR issues to overcome.

    9. I particularly like the part about how “THE OTHER PARTY” is so consumed with hate.

      Everything is projection with these types. its uncanny.

    10. Not the first time I have seen this type of defense.

      After all, one of greatest abilities of human beings is not to reason but to rationalize.

      1. “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”

    11. A bunch of us should go over to that reddit thread and rhetorically bitch slap that little shit. I wonder how long it would take for all of us to get banned from reddit?

    12. This was almost exactly the view of a columnist named Joel Mathis that I read in a July 10 newspaper. He does a left/right column with a conservative named Ben Boychuk called “RedBlue America”. His whole argument was that HRC’s e-mail use was “borderline illegal” but also “kind of understandable” due to the constant hounding of her and her family by Republicans with an “Ahab-like zeal”. He does concede that the Clintons have “continually assisted” their tormentors by doing all shorts of shady actions and not curbing their “worst impulses”. It is the old Flip Wilson defense: “The Devil made me do it!!”

  4. Even someone as high-profile as Jeb opting out of major party voting is wildly, spectacularly, insanely unlikely to create a situation that threatens the stability of our form of government or triggers a cascade that undermines the legitimacy of the election.

    God Himself descending from on high a la Monty Python to give a press conference about how he’s not going to vote for either candidate couldn’t undermine their legitimacy any more than the candidates themselves have done. But to hear some people around here tell it, Jeb refusing to endorse Trump enhances Trump’s appeal, as if throwing clods of dirt out of the hole he’s in somehow helps Trump get out of it.

    1. Are you saying a Jeb! endorsement would have raised anyone’s opinion of Trump?

      1. Not here, but in some circles probably.

        1. I think a Jeb endorsement would be completely meaningless to the Trump campaign.

          1. Might have even had the opposite effect.

            I really think that’s what Barry needs to go for. If he wants to undermine Trump’s credibility among Trumpers, he should constantly talk about what great pals they are, how he thinks Trump’s policies are just what this country needs, Trump is the most qualified person to run for any office in the history of the world, ever, etc.

      2. Not at all. He’s a clod. They’re all clods. But this idea that Trump is bucking the establishment so hard he’s going to attract more people to the rodeo is just dumb. The stands are filled with his fans. Anyone who wasn’t already onboard with the anti-establishment circus he’s barking for (good god am I mixing metaphors) is not going to suddenly find themselves throwing coin at the guy. He’s topped out on that crowd. He could have appealed to conservatives and “establishment-types” to try to unify the party, and instead he’s just gone screeching around bitching about how unfair they are for not throwing their support behind him sight-unseen. So is Jeb’s nondorsement significant? Nah. But it’s not going to help Trump as much as some think.

        1. I was waiting for the organ grinder’s monkey to appear at the entertainment venues

          1. I read that as “orphan grinder”.

            Time to take a break from the commentariat..

            1. I hereby move that “orphan grinder” be placed in contention for Reason Meme of the Month!

        2. Considering that thereally was a time when all the candidates signed a pledge to support the eventual winner.

          Trump received much criticism for his initial refusal to do so from the JEB! type establishment.

          Guck JEB! He signed the pledge and therefore should support Trump.

          All who signed it should.

        1. I firmly believe that anyone who’s devoted their life to obtaining power over others is a psychotic menace who barely qualifies as human, but damn, that “please clap” made me feel bad for Jeb!.

          1. “Low energy”

            I CAME HERE FOR A LOW ENERGY JOKE, DAMMIT!

    2. Who’s going to take political advice from the sadsack who pissed away $130,000,000 just to get kicked out of a primary race with half a delegate or thereabouts?

      Oh, I know. Reason staffers. You can tell it’s an election year when libertarians virtue signal by announcing who they won’t vote for.

  5. “I can’t vote for Donald Trump and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart. This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.”

    A little dramatic, but it’s a start.

    1. What breaks Jeb’s heart is that GOP voters told him to go get bent. He is no longer an important person, if he ever was one, and never will be again. It is over for him and his cronies.

      That is all this whole thing is about. And why anyone other than his family and friends should care that Jeb’s heart is broken is a mystery to me.

      Suck it up Jeb. Sometimes life is like that.

      1. If he had won his first election for governor of FL, he would have won the presidency in 2000.

        Suck it up Jeb, you blew your chance.

        1. That said, he is 100% right here.

        2. I used to think that but now I am not so sure. After seeing his sorry ass run for the Presidency and actually seeing him as a politician, I think he would have flamed out in 2000. He is just a terrible candidate. Trump nailed him. He really is low energy Jeb. I can’t see Jeb ever connecting with people enough to get elected President in any year. To be President you have to have a certain percent of the population that really likes you and will defend you no matter what. Every President in my life time has had that. Even Trump and Hillary have that. I don’t care how high their overall negatives are, each of them have a dedicated core of followers who really like them and want them to be President. I can’t see how Jeb could ever have attracted such a core.

          1. Its possible, but FL wouldnt have been in play, he wins it easily.

            1. GWB only got 271 electoral votes with FL. He needed every state that he won. He won NH by slightly over 1% and a few others by less than 4%. Any of those going the other way means a loss even with Florida.

              1. Just a SWAG, but my guess is Jeb would have been less forceful about gun control or maybe have said something stupid and would have ended up losing Tennessee and with it the election.

      2. I think his cronies will wind up back in power one way or the other. I agree he’s done though, better now and whining than gracefully losing to Hillary in November.

      3. Trump’s going to feel awfully chagrined come November. And the #NeverTrump crowd is going to be sharpening their knives.

        1. Trump isn’t going to care. Unlike the rest of the craven bastards, he has a life. And I don’t know if you say it, but the first post FBI poll came out today. Hillary’s lead among registered voters is down to three points. This was an NBC poll of registered voters that didn’t include a third party option. It is exactly the kind of poll that has been showing Clinton ahead by 8 or more points. The ones of likely voters that include a third party option have generally had her ahead from three to five points with Rasmussen having Trump ahead by two.

          The FBI thing seems to have had an effect. Lets see what the rest of the polls say but if NBC polling registered voters can only get Hillary ahead by three, the ones of likely voters and which include a third party are likely not going to look very good for her.

          No matter what happens, the never Trump people are pissing in the wind. Trump is almost a bystander for larger forces that are going on in the country. The people that voted for Trump are not going away and they are not taking up with the never Trump ass clowns. If the GOP doesn’t change its ways and get someone who can connect with those people, someone else will step in and do in 2020 exactly what Trump did this year. The Never Trump people are finished. Either Trump wins and they are finished or someone else finishes them in 2020.

          1. Clinton’s lead in head-to-head polls against Trump has been about 5 recently, not 8.

            1. It has been five in head to head polls of likely voters. It has been 8 to 12 among registered voters. She like most Democrats always does better among registered voters. Her overall lead on RCP has been 4.5. But that includes a Reuters poll of registered voters that had her up by 11. Throw that one out as an outlier, which clearly seems to be, and the average drops to about 3.5. But that includes a Rasmussen poll that has Trump up by two. How valid the Rassmussen poll is, remains to be seen. It was however the last poll done before this one, was of likely voters, and included a third party option. So it likely isn’t completely off.

              Lets see what happens with the polls of likely voters. But Clinton being ahead by only three among registered voters is a real shift.

              1. Clinton was +5 in the last poll from this outfit, which is what you want to compare it to. So it might indicate a slight drop (but 2 points can be crucial in a close election). We will have to wait for more polls to come out to see the full effect of the non-indictment decision and report.

          2. he has a life

            Shilling steaks and worthless credentials, for sure.

            Populism needs to be excised before it takes up what progressivism can’t seem to finish, killing off American prosperity. Sorry about you poor folks who seem to think you can’t catch a break: you’re shrinking in relative and absolute terms as the economy staggers along, even under the weight of progressive policies. But you’re not allowed the beggar the rest of us because you can’t keep up. When Trump loses fifty states in November, there’s going to be some changes on the right, that’s for certain: its own Kristallnacht to slit the throat of nascent populist fascism.

          3. The people that voted for Trump are not going away and they are not taking up with the never Trump ass clowns. If the GOP doesn’t change its ways and get someone who can connect with those people, someone else will step in and do in 2020 exactly what Trump did this year.

            Yep. Whether the GOP likes it or not, they are at a crossroads, and unfortunately a lot of it boils down to socio-racial economics. Although it was a joke for a long time that the Rs were the party of rich white men, the reality is that it was the white middle class that tended to make up the bulk of R constituency. Not the college students, not minorities–white middle class workers, the same ones that haven’t seen their income rise relative to economic production increases or inflation, who are paying out the ass for school, housing and medical care, who are running out of places to safely raise their children that don’t cost an arm and a leg to live, and who are now getting targeted for every ill of society because of their skin color and modest income level.

            They have absolutely nothing in common with the BLM crowd, with the Trigglypuffs, La Raza, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, academia, or the banker set, but the GOP party bosses are operating under the delusion that these types will EVER vote for them and their core constituents have run out of patience. Tax cuts and foreign wars aren’t going to sell to the white middle class anymore.

            1. And the middle class includes a lot of blacks and Hispanics. The globalists are utterly dependent on racial stiff to stay in power. If the middle class ever put their racial differences aside, the globalists are done.

              The other thing that has become important in US politics is a nasty social class divide. The genius of the Obama campaign is that sold voting for him as a brand and a way to social signal that you were intelligent and tolerant instead of the intolerant stupid people who opposed him. The Trump phenomenon and the GOP reaction to it shows that Obama didn’t create the divide but just tapped into it. Being a never Trump Republican is just a way of social signaling you are one of the smart and enlightened people and being a Trump supporter is a way of signaling you are one of the people who hate the first group’s guts. What Trump is actually saying or would do as President is largely irrelevant. The whole thing is just a morality play going on inside the each voter’s head.

              1. And the middle class includes a lot of blacks and Hispanics.

                Yes it does, and if Trump manages to increase his vote share of these groups over Romney, it will help him, but not as much as people think. When you look at the voter electoral map that Vox put up, it shows that Trump would merely have to increase the participation/voting envelope of white college and non-college educated voters by about 3 percentage points. With blacks and Hispanics, he’d have to move it about 15-20 percentage points to have an effect on state flipping.

                What he has to start accounting for to really give Hillary a run for her money is the inherent non-confrontationalism of the white middle class in particular and their current tendency to signal in order to avoid conflict with hostile groups, in conjunction with their desire for order and stability. That’s a delicate tightrope to walk and I’m doubtful he can ultimately navigate it.

              2. I am not sure what I think about Trump, but I will vote for him on the grounds that he oughtn’t be worse than Hillary and the right people will be offended.

            2. If you really listen to Trump, he is basically a right of center nationalist. Eighty percent or more of what he actually says and promises to do is right in line with what the GOP has been saying for decades. He only deviates from the traditional GOP line on a few things. The GOP congress funded the building of a wall with Mexico in the 00s and exempted it from NEPA in 06. But Trump says to build a wall and various Republicans claim that is fascism and white nationalism. WTF?

              Again, Trump is just a bystander. What is really going on is a vicious fight between the middle class and the elite class and those middle class people who want to associate themselves with the elite.

          4. Trump is almost a bystander for larger forces that are going on in the country.

            I don’t know if I agree with everything you write here, but this is spot-fucking-on.

        2. The #NeverTrump crowd seem to be largely composed of people who were expecting a sweet government appointment in a Bush or Rubio administration (with the suitable “Oh, if only the people had elected my guy!” lamentations if one of them lost), so I can understand why they’re pissed that they’ll have to wait another 4 years to whore themselves out for another neocon loser.

          1. The Never Trump crowd to me seems divided by establishment types (the people you describe would fall in there) and moderates on one hand, and strong conservatives on the other hand who find Trump to be an unacceptable candidate for various reasons. I don’t think it’s all the former by any means, I’ve seen plenty of the latter online and within my own family.

            1. It is not all the former. But the number of the latter seems a bit exaggerated by the internet. If Trump were unable to get even 30% of the GOP base, he would be sitting in the low 30s in the polls and not even competitive. The fact that he is in the 40s and is competitive tells me that there really are not that many actual Never Trump people.

              1. He’s still doing significantly worse than Romney was in 2012 at this point (and that wasn’t exactly a guy who thrilled the base). I think a lot of Trump GE voters are doing so somewhat reluctantly/unenthusiastically. Polls show that about half of his voters are primarily voting against Clinton rather than for him (Clinton’s results are actually significantly better). Most of my family are solid Republicans, and with one or two exceptions (my Russian future sister-in-law loves him) all of them are either NeverTrump or voting for him reluctantly. My mom, for example, plans to vote for him last I talked to her, but has consistently shitted on him this entire election cycle, and literally the only somewhat positive thing I’ve ever heard her say about him is “Well at least he’s better than Hillary.”

                1. I don’t remember Romney ever being ahead. Romney was around three points or so behind most of the way. A few polls had him ahead but most didn’t. Romney ended up losing by four points I think. I don’t see how Trump having a RCP average of -3.5 is worse.

                  And Trump attracts a lot of voters who didn’t vote in 2012. The question is two fold; how many people who claim they will never vote for Trump will when it comes down to it and the reality of Hillary winning sets in vote for him anyway and how many people who didn’t vote in 2012 or voted for Obama will show up to vote for Trump.

                  That is really what it comes down to. Hillary isn’t going to command anything like the turnout and number of votes that Obama did. So the bar is lower for Trump than it was for Romney. Trump might do something really crazy and end his chances, thought I honestly not sure what that would be at this point. If he doesn’t, and he just plays it straight and spends the entire fall talking about what a crook and a liar Hillary is and using his uncanny ability to dominate the news cycle and manipulate the media, I think he has got a pretty decent chance of beating her.

                  And “he is better than Hillary” is the only question he has to answer. It doesn’t matter how many votes he gets or how much people like or dislike him. The only thing that matters is that he gets more votes than Hillary. Whether those votes came from people liking him or hating Hillary is immaterial.

                  1. I think analysis showed that Trump attracted a lot of people who didn’t vote in the primary in 2012, but not necessarily a huge number of people who didn’t vote at all in 2012. But I’m open to any evidence to the contrary.

                    “I don’t remember Romney ever being ahead. Romney was around three points or so behind most of the way. A few polls had him ahead but most didn’t. Romney ended up losing by four points I think. I don’t see how Trump having a RCP average of -3.5 is worse.”

                    Trump hasn’t really been ahead either (I think there was a day or two in May when the RCP average had him ahead by like 0.2 points, but other than that he’s trailed, and usually by a solid margin) and Romney was ahead for a little bit in October and pretty close till the end (Obama ended up outperforming the polls). On July 12th, Obama had a +2.5 advantage. Clinton is currently +4.5. That’s a significant difference. Also, Clinton is polling 1.5 points lower than Obama was. Trump is polling 3.5 points lower than Romney was in 2012. That’s a big difference. And as you yourself alluded to, Trump is up against a much weaker candidate than an incumbent Obama was in 2012. He should be beating Clinton handily. The fact that he’s down 4-5 points is evidence of how weak of a candidate he is. Just because Trump has excited a portion of the Republican/conservative base doesn’t mean he’s a popular or strong candidate.

                    1. Trump won more votes than any Republican Presidential candidate in history despite running in a field of 13 and two opponents hanging in for the entire campaign where in other years they would have been pressured to drop out once someone got far enough ahead to be the presumptive nominee. Turnout for the GOP primaries was up 63% over 2012. So, where did those votes come from?

                      The never Trump line is that they were all Democrats cross voting to cause problems. That seems a bit far fetched. When you combine the huge number of votes Trump got and the fact that overall turnout was so much higher than 2012, the only conclusion I can make from that is that he attracted a lot of people who didn’t vote in 2012. What other explanation is there?

                    2. “Turnout for the GOP primaries was up 63% over 2012. So, where did those votes come from?”

                      I answered that – it was primarily from people who didn’t vote in the primaries in 2012, but voted for Romney in 2012 in the general election. If you have contrary evidence, I’d be glad to look at it.

                      “The never Trump line is that they were all Democrats cross voting to cause problems. That seems a bit far fetched.”

                      Was it? I honestly never really saw that – I saw some NeverTrumpers accuse Trump of being a secret Democrat, but I never really saw any accusations that all his supporters were. In fact, it tended to be the relatively pro-Trump people on this board that pushed the narrative that he had great crossover appeal among Democrats and was getting a bunch of votes from them.

                      Also, I meant to add this on to my last post in response to your point about “all that matters is that people vote for him” but in addition to people like my mom (hate Trump, but will vote for him because Clinton is worse) there are also a handful of people who will not vote for Trump at all. My brother, sister, and brother-in-law are all in that camp, and I think my sister-in-law is as well. All of them except for my brother voted for Romney, and all of them voted for McCain in 2008.

                    3. *handful of people in my family that is

                    4. Also, the fact that Trump got more votes than anyone but his percentage of the vote was still significantly lower than previous winners indicates that the high turnout this year wasn’t just from people loving Trump.

                    5. And he ran against 13 other candidates. So the fact that his percentage is lower doesn’t mean anything. The winner in a 13 way race can’t be expected to get the same percentage as the winner in a 5 way race. Also previous winner’s final percentages were raised because the party forced the other candidates to drop out once they had a lead. In Trump’s case the party kept two candidates running just to deny him votes. That means his percentage is artificially low when compared to other nominees.

                      Time will tell. Maybe he will lose. Honestly, in some ways I hope he does out of concern for the mental well being of the people who seem to have a religious need to believe he can’t win. But, I think the reality will prove that he has a pretty decent shot and certainly a better chance than Romney ever had.

                    6. The vast majority of the other candidates dropped out or were negligible after the first couple primaries. Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio were the only rivals he had of any significance for most of the campaign. Everyone else except Carson had dropped out by Super Tuesday.

                      The candidates stayed in the race longer (not that much though – Santorum dropped out about 3 weeks before Cruz did relative to their races. The Northeast primaries and Indiana were the only things that happened in that frame, and that was where Trump landed his finishing blows) because they had better chances of winning. A contested convention was a greater possibility until that last round of primaries. And I think it’s laughable to think Cruz was just staying in as an establishment ploy. I might buy that for Kasich, but not for Cruz.

                      We shall see, obviously, but I think it’s unlikely Trump does as well as Romney did (the 2012 race was actually a lot closer than most presidential races. People exaggerate how much of a blowout it was because it wasn’t a nailbiter the way 2000 and 2004 to a lesser extent were), especially adjusting for their opponents. Romney faced a much taller task in 2012 than Trump faces today.

                    7. I answered that – it was primarily from people who didn’t vote in the primaries in 2012, but voted for Romney in 2012 in the general election.

                      What evidence do you have for that? That doesn’t make any sense. Why would people who voted in the general in 2012 but not in the primary suddenly decide to vote in the primary this year? What is different this year that would cause people to show up? I suppose you could say that Trump caused them to come out and vote. But that contradicts your contention that Trump won’t unite the GOP. If he can’t unite the GOP or is particularly unpopular with Republican voters, how did he get all of these people to come out and vote for him in the primaries who never had before.

                      It is possible that he got more Republicans into voting for him in the primaries. That however contradicts your claim that he can’t unit the Republican coaltion. Okay, a few people like your anecdotes won’t show up but other Republicans who didn’t vote for Romney will.

                    8. “Why would people who voted in the general in 2012 but not in the primary suddenly decide to vote in the primary this year? What is different this year that would cause people to show up?”

                      Because they liked one of the candidates better this year? Because they’re more engaged? There are a lot of reasons why primary turnout may vary. The 2012 field was weak – Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum weren’t exciting. Trump and Cruz had very devoted supporters, and even Rubio, before his crash, excited some people. It’s also been 8 years with a Democrat in the white house, making Republicans that much more motivated and engaged. I don’t think that says anything about Trump uniting the GOP. I don’t even get the logic behind that argument. I think Trump will win over most GOP voters, even if many reluctantly – but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that he can get enough of them out to vote, and win enough people in the middle, to win the election. And I’m not convinced that’s a likely outcome.

                      http://www.politico.com/magazi…..ata-213897

                      http://politicalmachination.co…..ew-voters/

              2. I think that the opposition to Trump among conservative Republicans will die down as they start getting scared of a Clinton presidency. The reasoning will be that Trump is bad, but with the media and Democrats opposed to him, his only allies will be congressional Republicans, so they will be able to keep him in line, get him to revoke most of Obama’s executive orders (mainly the ones on immigration), and make the “right kind” of judicial appointments. They will also figure that Trump will probably be only a one term President, because by 2020 he will be too old to run for re-election or will have lost interest, probably angry because he can’t make enough money at being President. There are probably a lot of Republicans who would not be averse to co-operating in his impeachment and removal from office. They also believe that the media would complain loud and long at any errors and misdeeds of Trump, while giving a pass to anything Clinton does, thereby limiting Trump in big government excesses. What Republicans may be deluding themselves on is the possibility that Trump, with his vanity, may just decide to govern in a way that would make him popular to the media and Democrats (people to whom he has always donated generously) and go completely beyond anyhting Republicans may have wanted. They are stuck. Either they don’t vote and face an almost certain HRC win, or they vote for Trump and risk getting an HRC administration anyway.

          2. If Trump doesn’t win, you watch. Someone else will walk in and do exactly what Trump did this year in 2020. And the never Trump assholes will be bitching and moaning about how the evil party stabbed them in the back again. They have learned absolutely nothing from this experience. They honestly think Trump won because he is a celebrity and put some kind of magic spell on voters and because evil Democrats crossed over and voted for hm to ensure he won and gave the election to Hillary. The refuse even entertain the idea that Trump won because they failed to connect with his supporters or give people any reason to support them. They can’t seem to grasp that no one gives a shit about “conservatism” or any of the other buzz words they spew out or that people are tired of ideology and want someone who seems to care about the country more than buzz words and ideology. And they are totaly incapable of understanding that maybe they don’t have a monopoly on the truth and have to answer for some of the problems we face along with Progs.

            1. Trump won because people love a strong man. There’s something in the human spirit that desires someone to rule over them. If people aren’t taught their natural rights and the legitimacy of their own agency, then our nature is to group together and appoint a leader to take care of us. Many people see that in Trump. Others see it in the government apparatus in general.

              1. Trump won because people love a strong man.

                That is just arrogance and wishful thinking on your part. Trump because the GOP totally ceded the field to him on the two most important issues in this election; immigration and the economy. The GOP had no credibility on immigration and no candidate anyone trusted not to sell out at the first opportunity. And the GOP had no answers on the economy other than “we will cut your taxes and reduce the social safety net”. That dog doesn’t hunt when the real unemployment rate is over 10 %. It is not that the GOP doesn’t have answers for the economy, they do. Things like deregulation and ending the AGW madness would do a lot for the economy. But they are utterly incapable of explaining that and getting voters to understand why that will help them.

                1. They did have a candidate that could be trusted not to sell out but went for Trump anyway.

                  Ted Cruz was hated by the inner circle of the Republican party even more than by Democrats for a reason.

              2. The GOP also lost touch with what used to be one of their greatest electoral assets; patriotism. Trump seemed to be the only candidate who gave a shit about the actual country. The rest of them were just droning on about how they cared about “conservatism” and “freedom” and such but never bothered to show they gave a shit about the country or felt any obligation to act in their nation’s interests first. The GOP tried selling ideology to an electorate that has seen two Presidents in a row who seemed to care more about ideology than the interests of the country. It should surprise no one that Trump’s unapologetic nationalism and non ideological approach cleaned their clocks.

                Saying shit like “people just wanted a strong man” no doubt makes you feel good. It is always fun to think everyone else is a bunch of stupid rubes and you and a few other self selected elite are above that. It is however completely untrue. Worse, it is unproductive because it rationalizes never questioning your own assumptions and opinions.

                1. The sincerity of Trump’s patriotism is questionable at best. 10 years ago, Republicans would have been foaming at the mouth and calling anyone who insulted POWs the way Trump did an unpatriotic, unamerican commie traitor.

  6. “This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.”

    “When I was a kid I easily would have voted for *both*.”

  7. Hate Boner.

    Absolutely brilliant band name.

  8. “What if everyone did that” is not a principle that creates any kind of ethical obligation.

    1. Emmanuel Kant disagrees, though I don’t.

  9. Jeb! If you had won the nomination, I would have the same dilemma.

  10. It would be well for your government to consider that having your ships and ours, your aircraft and ours, in such proximity… is inherently DANGEROUS. Wars have begun that way, Mr. Ambassador.

    Russian leader sacks EVERY commander in his Baltic fleet after ‘they refused to confront Western ships’

    50 officers including Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk have reportedly been fired in a Stalin-style bloodletting

    Let the purges begin!

    1. So he is firing people for having common sense and wanting to avoid starting world war three. Well, that is comforting.

    2. Not to be pedantic, but in an actual Stalin-style bloodletting, every one of those officers would be lying in the basement of a nondescript building in Moscow with a bullet in his brain. Just sayin’.

      1. Sooooo you’re being pedantic?

        1. Technically, yes.

          1. Technically correct, the best kind of correct for wooing the ladies.

      2. Not to be pedantic, but they would have loaded all those bodies on trucks, hauled them to a mass unmarked grave and carefully hosed all the blood, skin, hair, skull fragments and brain matter down the floor drain

      3. Mister, we could use a man like Nikolai Yezhov again!
        Didn’t need to know their fate,
        Everybody knew who to hate,
        Gee our old Tokarev shot great,
        Those were the dayyyyyyyyyyyyys

        1. Vasily Blokhin did the actual shooting. For a gristly read, go here:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Blokhin

          1. That wikipedia article is great. Blokhin could legitimately claim the title of “hardest working man in the Soviet government.”

    3. sacking all their officers was a pretty good strategy back in the ’30s. Make Russia great again!

  11. I’ve often thought that in a close election, where the margin of victory is less than, say, 1%, it doesn’t matter who wins since half the voters will be pissed and the chance of fraud determining the outcome is pretty high. I think you’d get a “safer” (as in less encouragement for fraud) outcome if you flipped a coin for any such close election and left the conspiracy theorists high and dry.

    1. “Obviously, somebody tampered with the coin!” – conspiracy theorists

      1. Yeah, that would be fun. Pretty soon they’d implement improved protocols and electronic aides and bork it for sure.

        1. Never underestimate the creativity of pareidoliamaniacs.

  12. “I can’t vote for Donald Trump and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart. This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.”

    Welcome to fucking club, pal.

  13. I have the opposite problem. I wish I could vote for them both! Oh how do I decide which is the greater evil?

  14. Does Jeb Bush ever not come across as whinny and effeminate? His brother always came across as the frat guy who would let you into the better parties even though you were not a member. Jeb comes across in the class who whines to the professor about other students sharing outlines and notes. The guy is just utterly charmless.

    1. Nice analogy. Nails them both in one.

  15. “This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.”

    WTF. The first time?

  16. I used to ignore the whole Cloud People versus Dirt People thing. But hearing Jeb! – one of the ultimate Cloud People from a Cloud family – whine and cry about how the dirty regular people nominated a crass guy is really making me a believer.

    He isn’t as upset about Trump’s policies as he is about the wrong kind of people he represents.

    1. Cloud People versus Dirt People

      ?

  17. I mean if you believe, like I do, the presidency is sacred ground

    Dude, sorry to tell you that your holy relic has been befouled by just about every predecessor.

    1. There is nothing sacred about the Presidency. God I hate that sentiment. The Presidency is hired help.

      1. It’s sacred John, SACRED

        1. Sacred……like a farmer looks to the earth and holds it sacred.

          /Professor Turgeson

          One of the best indicators of the decline of republicanism (small R) in the US is the ludicrously deferential way we’re supposed to treat the president. It wasn’t always that way – ordinary people used to be able to drop by the White House and yell at him (or at least his aides). Now, we’re supposed to act as if he were the fucking pope.

      2. We could call it the “National Manager”. Maybe like some cities have “Mayors” who are just political hacks and do nothing useful or harmful because a City Manager is actually running the day to day operations.

  18. Like Romney, Jeb Bush is one of those guys I strongly disagree with but still like. This and “please clap” are so likable to me that I can hate him the way I do most politicians.

    It probably only works as cute so long as he is out of power.

    1. To each his own but I don’t see a single likable thing about either of them. They both strike me as phony rich kids who still think of themselves as self made. I liked George W because I always felt like he had a sense of humility about where he was. He was always the black sheep of the family and kind of fuck up when he was young and that seemed to give hm a sense of perspective that neither Romney nor Jeb have.

      There are plenty of public figures I disagree with but still like. Neither Jeb nor Romney make my list. Romney is one of the most craven and ambitious politicians I have ever seen. I have never figured out what he believes in other than it is good to be Mitt and Mitt ought to run things.

      1. They both strike me as phony rich kids who still think of themselves as self made.

        In all seriousness, that’s why I took an instant dislike to W, this is exactly how he comes across to me.

        1. It is funny how people perceive things. I always found Bush to have too much of a sense of humor to think he was that way. A lot of the stuff Bush said was said sarcastically or meant to be self deprecating and I think a lot of people were too earnest to get that and took him literally.

          I have known several people who worked with him and several others who were in meetings with him. They all say pretty much the same thing, which is that he was wicked smart and surprisingly funny. There is nothing funny about Romney and Jeb.

          1. I remember during his election, the trope about, “Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?” Putting aside the irony of W’s alcoholism, I could only answer, “Kill me first, these are absolutely repulsive humans whom I would want to keep as far from me as possible.”

            FWIW, based on his public persona (which is all I have to go on), I would also have no desire to fire one up with Gary Johnson, but my wife (who knew him in NM) assures me that he’s a terrific guy just brimming with charm.

            1. Johnson doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He just seems boring as all hell. Johnson reminds me of a mildly befuddled president of a prog dominated homeowner’s association. He is a nice guy and he doesn’t want to be unreasonable but look the sign in your yard is too big and a lot of people are complaining about it. To me that is Johnson.

              1. Maybe, John, but better King Log than King Stork. And way better than Loudmouth or the Hillarybeast.

                1. You could say that about a lot of people and it doesn’t matter because none of them, Johnson included is going to win.

      2. I’d swear that, this time in 2012, you were posting stories about how Romney’s actually a decent, charitable guy and it’s crazy how the left portrays him as some Randian monster.

        Please clap.

        1. I don’t think he is a monster. I just think he is a typical slimy politician. It is so funny to hear people slam on Trump for going bankrupt and then talk about what a noble genius Romney is for running Bain Capital. What do people think companies like Bain do? There seems to be this idea that they buy companies and then by the din of their own genius make it better, like if there were some obvious answer that a wall street person can figure out the management would not have already done it themselves. No, what they do is they buy companies that have gotten themselves into a bad spot by signing bad contracts with suppliers or customers and either go into or use the threat of bankruptcy reorganization to cram down better deals and make the company viable again. That is mostly what goes on. And the reason why existing management doesn’t do it is because it is a long messy process that involves admitting defeat and the stock holders or owners are usually willing to take a payout now and let someone else do it.

          Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but it is hardly some noble vocation that Romney’s followers like to claim it is.

    2. Jeb lacks the laid-back easy going style of he brother. Like he has a stick up his ass that is really causing some discomfort. Romney seems okay but if we were neighbors, I bet he would have called the cops on me last week for lighting fireworks off in my driveway.

      1. Romney is like Ned Flanders if Ned worked on Wall Street.

  19. Far be it from Jeb Bush to vote for someone who doesn’t get airtime.

  20. At least he didn’t call the lp ticket Nonsense or anything.

  21. Bush did leave the door open for a third-party vote: “There’s other people running. There’s the libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld. I don’t know. they don’t get a lot of airtime yet.”

    On Left Wing Hate Radio this morning, when they played the clip, this was the part where the hosts started making honking noises, then laughed their asses off.

    1. Damn those libertarians!

    2. The LP shoulda run Romney. Missed opportunities…

    3. Left Wing Hate Radio? Does that stuff get syndicated any more than a mile outside of it’s home station’s broadcast range?

    4. This comment, and the similar one from Romney previously, are emblematic of why ??in addition to tripping over themselves to get Bernie Bros ??Johnson/Weld should be doing some actual work on positive recruitment of disaffected Republicans, those who are anti-Trump yet don’t want to see their beliefs chastised even by a politician who disagrees with them. While Romney and Bush are status-outliers to the set of Republicans opposed to/uncomfortable with Trump, these sort of statements show that many of us in the party are seriously looking at Johnson/Weld and as such are potential supporters.

      But merely to assume that economics are enough to sway voters on the Right (esp. the center-right), while assuming that “socially tolerant” means only tolerance of left-of-center values vs. also promoting a classical liberal protection of other ideas, is hardly a winning solution for a third party (esp. one whose ticket aims to be pragmatic this cycle). While it’s easy to denigrate Jeb, it’s important to remember the pool of disaffected Republicans who, like myself, have been leaning-Johnson but (like putting down a potential tip for a waitress then adding or subtracting based on service throughout the meal), are paying attention and becoming suspicious of a focus upon the Left (a la Weld’s broad disparagement of “social conservatives” as if that term represented a monolith rather than also a Burkean trend on values issues even among more moderate voters).

    5. so Jeb, like every other American, relies upon the quantity of media airtime to judge a candidate’s worthiness to walk on sacred ground. Googling is such a bother.

  22. Nah, Trump’s better. If there’s one thing that we can’t have in the WH, it’s a women with a consistent pro-choice record.

    1. Single issue voter? So, is the single issue the pro-“choice” or that vagina?

      What about those of us who are pro-choice on guns, drugs, God, and association? What about the men and variously other gendered?

      1. Answering this will require consulting with the current SJW hierarchy of victomology.

        1. Which tells him to respond by either:

          1) Crying,

          2) Ad Hominem attacks, or

          3) Both

        2. amsoc is a Marxist stuck fighting the battles of the 1960s transposed onto the candidates and parties of today. I don’t even know if he comprehends the SJW bullshit of today.

    2. I would suggest on most issues she is consistently against choice.

    3. Oh so she is for letting me choose the health plan I want rather than dictating it’s exact details? She will let me decide what medicine I want to use without injecting the FDA into that decision? Oh wait never mind in the mind of “progressives” pro-choice only applies to a single issue. All other choices will be made by the state.

  23. I can’t vote for Donald Trump and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart.

    Breaking news: A member of the Establishment in the 2 party system discovers he has a conscience!

    Talk about burying the lead…

  24. So if voting only matters if the election will turn on your vote, then it follows that the only time to participate in politics is if you are appointed dictator somehow.

  25. $1,000,000,000 will be spent on Presidential Election. Let’s assume that everyone who donated would be willing to pay 10X as much to actual just get to pick the President. That give that choice a utility of $10,000,000,000. 1/60,000,000 chance of achieving that utility has a value of $167 per vote per election. If this seems unreasonable, consider that every vote is the vote that decided the outcome in a 1 vote win- there is a tie until you show up to vote, along with every other single person.

    Of course this ignores electoral college, fraud, error.

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  27. “I mean if you believe, like I do, the presidency is sacred ground and you want a president that uphold the Constitution”

    Now that is some damn funny satire right there. Vote punctuation mark 2020!

  28. “I can’t vote for Donald Trump and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart. This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.”

    Welcome to the party pal!

  29. Low Energy Jeb and Low Neckline KMW.

  30. I’m torn between not voting and voting for GJ. I am hopeful that if enough like-minded folks vote for GJ, he could get somewhere, but it doesn’t seem likely.

    1. I’m voting for him. I used to equivocate about whether this “robbed” a vote from someone else, or was a “vote for the other side.” The fact of the matter is that nothing changes as long as we all sit on our hands and vote for the lesser of two evils.

  31. Door number 1: Giant Douche

    Door Number 2: Turd Sandwich

    Door Number 3: Libertarian

    Those are our choices. At least there is a third, so a turdlet like Jeb really doesn’t have an excuse for his sorry assed reasoning, or what passes for it.

    1. “so a turdlet like Jeb really doesn’t have an excuse for his sorry assed reasoning, or what passes for it.”

      I wonder how many of these mainstream republicans, including Jeb!, will secretly vote for Johnson. My guess is a lot will.

      1. Jeb and Co. will jump on the bandwagon if Gary gets to (and survives) the debates.
        Gary has to get the first 15% in the kitty.
        Absent that, there’s no reason for them to stick their necks out on an endorsement now.

  32. So sad; he should never have run and now he has to live with rejection and failure. Worse, he’s bitter, blaming Donald Trump for his failure. Watching him now, I’m awful glad he didn’t win.

  33. “Watching him now, I’m awful glad he didn’t win.”

    I think if he had won, the GOP would get slammed even worse than they will be now. Nobody wants another Bush.

  34. So, when Jeb!?! pledged to support the eventual nominee he was lying. Got it.

    Now you know what his word means.

  35. For this sort of voter I pitch : Make the Dems the 3rd Party .

  36. I’ve often noticed the curious (or maybe not) fact that #NeverTrumpers get the most hate of anybody in politics, even here at Reason where one would expect they might find a modicum of sympathy. Believe it or not, there is a sizeable cadre of relatively principled Republicans who aren’t fully ready to commit to the Libertarian cause but are sympathetic to many Libertarian ideas. They feel a genuine revulsion to Trumpist impulses–it’s definitely NOT “social signalling!” For example, some of us, while opposed to open borders, nevertheless find the “kick ’em all out!” approach impractical to the point of impossibility and an invitation to horrific abuses. There’s also the fact that Trump deviates from a lot of long-established conservative positions such as support for free trade and opposition to eminent domain. These are substantive disagreements, not whining! Yet #NeverTrumpers are denounced as traitors by their own party, secret Trumpistas by the Demos, and pathetic nobodies by folks here. Where, realistically, can they go? (I know, I know, Hell looks nice this time of year…)

  37. Jeb found his scruples a little late. I’d have more respect if he’d given this answer back during the debates when they asked everyone on stage to take a loyalty oath.

    Last time I checked, this was supposed to be a Libertarian (ish?) website. I know Johnson has his issues, but it seems like voting for him might build momentum for someone more credible in the future.

  38. Then Jeb Bush should publicly state that he will be voting Libertarian come November. Maybe that will shake some sense into a whole lot of people who feel like he does and give the Libertarian Party a chance.

  39. Funny, that’s what I thought about your brothe

  40. Hell, Jeb… First Time???

    I haven’t been able to vote for “either of the candidates” with a clear conscience for about the past five Presidential Elections!

    Nothing like being a pro-choice atheist, is there? Such is my lot. Democrat/Liberals are “half-OK” and half “NFW”; And so are the Republican/Conservatives.

    Good luck in the voting booth this November, Jeb!

  41. ‘I have better things to do than be president or vote. Hey, look, it’s naptime. I hope mom comes to tuck me in’. – Jebby

  42. Showbox Download, Showbox Apk Download, Showbox App Download: Nowadays technology has brought a lot of changes in our lives, especially in education and communication.

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