Donald Trump

Trump Official Misuses Term 'Voter Suppression' and Media Headlines Are Happy to Run With It

It's the campaign's own fault, but outlets are feeding the 'rigging' complaint.


Babies for Trump
Aude Guerrucci/Polaris/Newscom

The New York Post headline reads "Trump campaign organizing voter suppression operations." CNBC says "Here's who Trump is targeting for his 'voter suppression operations.'" Slate says "Trump campaign brags about its ongoing 'voter suppression operations.'"

The basic idea presented in the headlines (Donald Trump is trying to prevent people from voting) is wholly inaccurate. But the inaccuracy is entirely the fault of the Trump campaign because that's the term an unidentified campaign official used when talking to a Bloomberg journalist. CNBC and Slate at least had the awareness to put the term in scare quotes because they realize it's not actual "vote suppression." (And the text of the stories beyond the headline actually explains the truth.)

What's actually happening is that the Trump campaign—in what appears to be pretty savvy operation (considering how outsiders perceive his candidacy as a populist insurgency that isn't terribly competent)—is putting together targeted social media advertisements to try to encourage certain Clinton-leaning demographics to reconsider whether she's worth their vote. They're not trying to "suppress" voters. They're trying to convince them not to vote.

The Facebook campaigns, explained to Bloomberg reporters Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg, target Bernie Sanders supporters, women, and African-Americans, all very large blocs of voters Clinton needs in order to win. The campaign is doing its best to get information in front of these people that will remind them of the ways Clinton (and her husband) are not very good people. They report:

Trump's invocation at the debate of Clinton's WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are "super predators" is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.

On Oct. 24, Trump's team began placing spots on select African American radio stations. In San Antonio, a young staffer showed off a South Park-style animation he'd created of Clinton delivering the "super predator" line (using audio from her original 1996 sound bite), as cartoon text popped up around her: "Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators." The animation will be delivered to certain African American voters through Facebook "dark posts"—nonpublic posts whose viewership the campaign controls so that, as Parscale puts it, "only the people we want to see it, see it." The aim is to depress Clinton's vote total. "We know because we've modeled this," says the official. "It will dramatically affect her ability to turn these people out."

The Trump team's effort to discourage young women by rolling out Clinton accusers and drive down black turnout in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood with targeted messages about the Clinton Foundation's controversial operations in Haiti is an odd gambit. Campaigns spend millions on data science to understand their own potential supporters—to whom they're likely already credible messengers—but here Trump is speaking to his opponent's. Furthermore, there's no scientific basis for thinking this ploy will convince these voters to stay home. It could just as easily end up motivating them.

Based on polling, Trump is going to have to convince a lot of African-American voters and women to stay home. It should be very clear that this is not what "voter suppression" means, but because a Trump campaign worker used the phrase to describe it, that gives some media outlets clearance to be literal ("they said it, not us!") and suggest there's an especially sinister bend to what is in reality simply another iteration of extremely common negative political advertising.

Yes, fundamentally the blame is on Trump's campaign for its poor choice of words, but it is yet another example of the media behaving deliberately dense and literal with what Trump (and supporters) are saying or doing. And then we wonder why these same people hold the media in such poor esteem. There are real fears out there of attempts to intimidate voters on Election Day (another good reason people should just mail in their ballots and we can get rid of this silly smugness-inducing public ceremony of voting). But that's not what this is about. These headlines will ultimately feed the narrative that the media is "rigged" against Trump.

NEXT: Gary Johnson: 'You Cannot Set a Life-or-Death Goal of Getting to the Top of the Mountain, or You're Gonna Blow Your Brains out'

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  1. Trumpity Trump Trump Trump.

    1. It is about damned time they broke their silence on him!!!!!!!111!1elventy

  2. But the inaccuracy is entirely the fault of the Trump campaign because that’s the term an unidentified campaign official used when talking to a Bloomberg journalist.

    Unidentified? It wasn’t Scott Foval, was it?

    1. That quoted sentence is bullshit. I will leave the explanation as to why it is bullshit as an exercise for the reader.

      1. Entirely is an exaggeration, but that is really a boneheaded choice of words by Trump’s campaign. Like, really really stupid that was obviously going to be jumped on by the press.

        1. Trump could quote the dictionary and get jumped on by the press, for “plagiarism” or something.

      2. I’m pretty sure that was snark from ol’ Shackleford.

    2. If we don’t know who said it, how do we know it was a guy who worked for Trump? How do we know that isn’t the reporter maliciously or sloppily writing down what was never said to him?

      I had a friend quoted in the newspaper before. My friend said something very intelligent and nuanced. The journalist shook the words around in a bag before pulling them out semi-randomly and produced something both ungrammatical and imbecilic. My friend was very upset but couldn’t get them to run a correction. So anyone who looks at that newspaper’s archives will think that they were teaching cargo cult physics at the University of Maryland. It was not for nothing that we referred to the student paper as “The Slanderback”

      This is why I believe anyone who talks to a journalist without recording their conversations is taking a big risk.

      1. This is why I believe anyone who talks to a journalist without recording their conversations is taking a big risk.

        FTFY. Even when the conversations are recorded, journos with an agenda will lie and distort what you say to fit their narrative.

        1. Even my high school newspaper misquoted me terribly when interviewed, both times they interviewed during my incarceration. One of those times going so far as to entirely fabricate a story I supposedly told. When I went to the “media teacher” about it, she said I’d need to offer evidence that I didn’t say that for them to print a retraction or reprimand the student journalist. I failed to show negative evidence. The dumb fuck student, went on to become an actual journalist for a regional news paper.

      2. It’s shoddy journalism, at the least, to attribute quotes to unidentified people– especially when those quotes are potentially explosive. If you can’t or won’t identify the source, then your journalist doing the attribution had better be above frickin’ reproach.

      3. I had a friend quoted in the newspaper before. My friend said something very intelligent and nuanced. The journalist shook the words around in a bag before pulling them out semi-randomly and produced something both ungrammatical and imbecilic.

        I spoke to the press a lot in a previous incarnation. What was notable is that web-media or trade-journals or regional newspapers pretty much printed exactly what i said. The times i was quoted in “major daily newspapers” they not only mangled what i’d said to mean almost the opposite, they didn’t even necessarily make it ‘shorter’ or more streamlined in the process.

        It wasn’t clear to me at the time, but i think the reason was basically that the people i spoke to at the ‘lower-profile’ publications were often experienced journeyman writers who were published in a variety of outlets. Even if they weren’t subject-experts, they were competent reporters. The people at the “major papers” were often 20-somethings who had no clue what the subject of the piece was even about and was just trying to get their deadline met and go to the bar.

        the best people i dealt were from Bloomberg News and Reuters. To be fair, this was ‘business journalism’, people covering financial news, etc…. which makes sense, given that’s their particular focus. But the Times, WaPo, people assigned to the same exact beats were complete fucking idiots who couldn’t even transcribe simple statements properly.

    3. They didn’t say it was an unidentified Trump campaign official, now did they? You gotta parse every word with the Clintons.

  3. Out of curiosity. When you mail in a ballot, how do you know it actually got placed in the ballot box to be tallied?

    The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” – Josef Stalin

    1. At least in California, you can go on the county (I think, it might be the state) website and check to see if your ballot has been received. I don’t think that’s any weaker assurance than people who vote in person get.

    2. When I voted, they took my DL and swiped it. That printed out MY ballot. The guy next to me swipes his and the lady says “You already received an absentee ballot, do you have it to surrender?” The guys says no. So she has him sign a form promising not to mail in his absentee ballot. That’s it. If you want to vote twice, get a mail in ballot and vote in person, just pinky swear you only did one.

      1. If you’re swiping your DL when you vote *cue gasp from the crowd* wouldn’t that show up later in the system with a double vote?

        1. I don’t know if the absentee ballots are marked. I would assume not, since voting is anonymous.

          1. In Colorado, your ballot isn’t marked, but the envelope you put it in is marked, so if they scan the envelopes before opening them, they should be able to detect duplicate attempts to vote.

        2. If you’re swiping your DL when you vote *cue gasp from the crowd* wouldn’t that show up later in the system with a double vote?

          *glances left, then right*

          How motivated to double-vote are we talking here?

          Seriously, holding valid DLs and declared residences in more than one state/district isn’t at all unheard of.

    3. I think there’s a bar code or something– that little tear-off thing you keep, and I assume… assume you can go to a website somewhere with your number thingy and get a verification that your ballot was received… or something.

      My knowledge of election law is deep and well founded.

  4. “Why bother voting, all the candidates suck!”

    Did Trump’s campaign hire some H&R commenters?

  5. Webster’s Dictionary defines “suppression” as “the action of suppressing something.” So you tell me, does that or does that not fit what’s going on here?

    The aim is to depress Clinton’s vote total.

    I think the candidates have done an impressive job of just generally depressing the electorate.

    1. Voter suppression usually refers to efforts aimed at preventing people from casting their ballots. This sounds like an effort to convince people not to bother, which is more like voter dissuasion.

      1. Then both the RNC and the DNC are guilty by running their respective candidates.

    2. “Voter Suppression” is not the same thing as just suppressing the amount of people who vote via persuasion, or what have you. As a phrase it refers to a specific set of practices designed to by coercion, or legally reduce the amount of people who can or will vote.

    3. Webster’s Dictionary defines “suppression” as “the action of suppressing something.” So you tell me, does that or does that not fit what’s going on here?

      Didn’t we all score very highly on the number of known English words quiz?

      Voter Dissuasion? Disincentivization? Brewstering?

      They might as well have gone with Voter Oppression. The entire campaign and not one thesaurus.

  6. Pffft – this is small potatoes. I once heard Trump say “we’re killing them in the polls” and if that ain’t a straight-up murder confesssion I don’t know what is. Now murdering people and then bragging about it as a way to intimidate voters? That’s how you do suppression.

    1. Vote and Die, motherfucker

    2. Random American newspaper the next day:

      Candidate Calls For Death For Democratic Voters

      Fact Check: Trump’s anti-democratic calls for voter executions rooted in racism, intolerance.

      Columnist: Trump’s appeal to voting place violence brings back memories of Civil Rights struggles.

      Opinion: Voter intimidation foretells likely nuclear war with Russia should we elect Trump.

      1. Special feature: Trump’s also wants deer to die, as I learned during my few months in the country

      2. *Trump

        The cloud of shotgun smoke made it difficult to type.

  7. The media goes hyper-literal on pretty much everything Trump says, but then is deliberately obtuse on anything Hillary-corruption related. That’s been going on all election. It’s best when Trump adopts positions that have been media talking points for 10+ years, and they suddenly recant. “America is already great!” “The economy is awesome!” “Wars in the Middle East are necessary and Saddam had to go!” “Blacks don’t have it so bad in the U.S.”

    I’d like to see Trump adopt “Vote or Die” as his campaign slogan.

    1. Except there is an obvious difference — both rhetorically and substantively — between pointing out structural factors that contribute to demographic inequality and thus arguing for policies like criminal justice reform and economic investment in poorer black communities vs. saying “Blacks have nothing at all going for them all live in ghetto inner city hells killing each other!!!11111!!!!” Tantamount to the difference between saying our economy is doing better than Bush left it but we still need to create more opportunity and jobs vs “The economy is dying — America is doomed!!!111!!!” and between saying America still has work to do to fulfill our Constitutional ideals vs. “America is worse now than ever, we need to go back to the 1950s #MAGA!!!111!!!” and between saying Iraq was a mistake so we need to work with allies and proceed cautiously in dealing with Assad and ISIS vs. “Hillary created ISIS and Iran and Russia don’t respect us why can’t we drop a nuclear bomb on them and take their oil!!!”

      I’m assuming conservatives will start getting serious around the Julian Castro is prepping to run for President after serving his second term as governor of Texas.

  8. These headlines will ultimately feed the narrative that the media is “rigged” against Trump.

    The media is “rigged” against Trump. It’s just that the media happens to be “Rigged” against a truly awful candidate. It’s like framing a guilty man.

    The GOP could run a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage candidate who thinks something needs to be done about Climate change, and he’d be painted as having binders full of women or some such thing.

  9. In San Antonio, a young staffer showed off a South Park-style animation he’d created of Clinton delivering the “super predator” line…

    Which, for some crazy reason, Shankford refuses to link us to.

    1. Dammit, Shackelolford! Give it!

      1. You don’t need to forcefully demand. Take a cue from The Donald and just grab it.

        1. How do you do that?

          I tried to google “how to grab a video by the pussy” and my work’s proxy server blocked the links.

          1. And now Hr is summoning me to an emergency meeting. I wonder why?

  10. I can’t say I’ve been “suppressed” at all — but this election definitely has me depressed!

    And once it’s over, I’m fully expecting to be regularly oppressed by either a well-cankled or very orange authoritarian.

  11. “…but it is yet another example of the media behaving deliberately dense and literal with what Trump (and supporters) are saying or doing.”

    My favorite: Trump misspeaks and says Hillary Clinton’s 33K e-mails were “acid washed” (probably referring to Bleachbit). Media outlets say Trump is full of shit, as no actual chemicals were used in association with Clinton’s e-mail account. This actually happened.

    1. She didn’t destroy that evidence with chemicals, you moron!

    2. Yeah, I remember that one. It was a low-point even in this abyss of an election.

    3. “It was a sheep, not a pig!”

      1. “…but enough about Chelsea’s real dad.”

      2. Ha ha, charade you are!

        1. Very good

      3. David Cameron?

    4. Clinton emails are acid washed AND relaxed fit.

      1. Bill wants to skip the wash and go straight to the acid.

        1. And so Chelsea was born

  12. it is yet another example of the media behaving deliberately dense and literal with what Trump (and supporters) are saying or doing. And then we wonder why these same people hold the media in such poor esteem.

    Shackleton the SJW once again doing Hillary’s bidding? Why am I not surprised?

    1. “these people”? And Shankfjord pretends he’s not in a cosmobubble.

      1. Are you saying Shabadabadoo is a useful especially idiot?

        1. Skankturd is just yet another Reason DNC mouthpiece, and I hope all the free nectarinis he receives are worth selling out his journalistic integrity.

          1. Shakeword is more an appletini fan!!11!11oneoneone

            1. Ugh. Go have another lemon drop martini, Sacnerd, and leave the libertarianing to us.

              1. Shack’n’bake is just doing his best. This is all you can expect from people with liberal arts degrees.

              2. Shabooh Shoobah is going to make you all pay for this silliness.

                1. Slacklord deserves everything he gets for being a not-so-secret Dem operative.

                  1. Just more promulgayshun of “the agenda” from Shackspeare

        2. Well, given the small size and influence of Reason’s readership, Shackford may not be very useful, but he is a well made facsimile of an idiot.

    2. Rico Suave let poor Shackattack touch the hair.

      1. Shackleton

        please stop imma having an aneurysm trying not to laugh out loud.

  13. Yes, fundamentally the blame is on Trump’s campaign for its poor choice of words, but it is yet another example of the media behaving deliberately dense and literal with what Trump (and supporters) are saying or doing.

    Sorry, Scott, the media has no credibility left whatsoever with respect to Trump and his campaign. And that includes Reason. My annual contribution to Reason will go instead to Project Veritas or whatever O’Keefe’s outfit is called

    1. “Hard-hitting duck suit news”

      1. DRINK!


        wait a minute…

        1. Too late. I’m half way through the bottle.

    2. My annual contribution to Reason will go instead to Project Veritas or whatever O’Keefe’s outfit is called

      Part IV (doesn’t appear to be much “there” there anymore). I think they shot their wad on the first and second ones. And nobody cared.

      What I find odd on all of the videos is the like/dislike numbers. You would think that the DNC would be cranking the dislikes on all of them, but that doesn’t seem to be happening at all.

      1. I agree that every new Part is less powerful than the previous one. Even Part II was not as strong as Part I, probably because I’d already seen Democrat operatives discussing how they would engage in voter fraud in the videos O’Keefe made a few years ago.

  14. So, a vaguely reasonable idea followed by a colossal fuckup that the media jumps all over? Yep, it’s Trump 2016 alright.

  15. Meanwhile, in Venezuela

    The protests come after electoral authorities blocked a recall campaign against the deeply unpopular president last week. The faceoff escalated on Tuesday when the opposition-led legislature voted to put Maduro on trial, accusing him of effectively staging a coup.

    1. Man, is there anything low oil prices can’t do?

      1. it can certainly start a war with Russia.

    2. “Trust democracy.”

      –Joe from Lowell

    3. Venezuela suspends recall campaign against President Maduro


      1. Maduro would like a word with you …

        1. L’etat c’est moi?

    4. Wasn’t the legislature itself effectively staging a coup by voting to put Maduro on trial and weren’t the voters themselves effectively staging a coup by calling for a recall election? Or is that some other country I’m thinking of where some in the press referred to democracy-in-action as a coup? Oh, that’s right, Brazil with Dilma Rousseff getting impeached. She was a Marxist so you know she was one of the good ones.

      1. Remember the coup in Honduras, when the Supreme court and the military removed Zelaya from office for trying to circumvent the constitution and stay in power ?

  16. What a fair and reasonable critique much in the tone I’m sure you’d employ if the Clinton campaign had used the phrase “voter suppression.”

    1. As MM1 Saucier can attest, there’s one standard for Hillary Clinton, and another for everyone else. You just have to learn to deal with it. 🙂

    2. The Democrats don’t want to suppress votes, they want everyone to vote.

      Some Democratic voters have been voting for 200 years!

      1. OK, maybe the Democrats weren’t 100% for everyone voting during that time, but they were always against age discrimination in voting. Just because you grew old and died is no reason to deny you the franchise!

      2. So almost as long as that joke’s been around?

        1. The Democrat’s “Get Out the Vote” campaign slogan is “Bring out your dead.”

        2. Funny how long that “joke” has persisted, isn’t it?

          The Koch brothers have been spreading their insidious anti-Democratic propaganda longer than you might think!

          1. Ah the joy of being a rightwinger. Evidence never necessary.

            1. You mean evidence like Robert Caro’s research into Lyndon Johnson’s use of dead people and other techniques to win the Senate in 1948?

              It was mentioned in the New York Times, and one of Johnson’s former aides didn’t bother denying it:

              “…Horace Busby, who was a 24-year-old aide to the Johnson Senate campaign, said he agreed with [Caro]’s factual presentation but said it should be put in a broader context.

              “”I don’t disagree with the accuracy of anything Bob has in there,” said Mr. Busby, now a political analyst. But he went on, ”There was a lot of stealing in that election.””

              1. “Mr. Caro not only reviewed thousands of pages of court records, but also interviewed Mr. Salas, the election judge of Precinct 13 in Jim Wells County. Under Mr. Salas’s supervision, Mr. Caro said, Johnson received the votes of the dead, the halt, the missing and those who were unaware that an election was going on.”

                1. I’m sorry, I was under the assumption that there were wild evidence-free accusations of vote rigging going around concerning the 2016 election.

                  1. I was under the assumption that there were wild evidence-free accusations of vote rigging going around concerning the 2016 election.

                    Nah, this time around, the rigging is documented on video.

      3. The Democrats don’t want to suppress votes, they want everyone to vote.

        Multiple times, in fact!

      4. The Democrats don’t want to suppress votes, they want everyone to vote.

        I imagine they want everyone to vote in an Australian sense of that phrase.

        1. Stick the ballot in the rear end of a sheep?

  17. “Yes, fundamentally the blame is on Trump’s campaign for its poor choice of words, but it is yet another example of the media behaving deliberately dense and literal with what Trump (and supporters) are saying or doing. And then we wonder why these same people hold the media in such poor esteem.”

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Trump would bomb ISIS–even if there were civilian casualties!

    Suggesting that neither Obama nor Hillary have ever said anything like that may be technically accurate, but the suggestion that Hilary is somehow different from Trump in that regard is fundamentally dishonest. Meanwhile, with drone strikes, Obama has killed more innocent children than Adam Lanza.

    It’s the same thing with Trump’s rhetoric on illegal aliens.

    Trump may say that Mexico isn’t sending their best and say that he wants to build a wall, but he’s no different from Obama or Hillary on deporting hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants every year.

    And you’d never know it by way of the media.

    This election isn’t even about the popularity of various issue–it’s just a beauty contest.

    1. Turns out in the end it’s a contest about who’s manually raped the least number of women.

      1. His answer to that question wasn’t pretty.

        The last person to actually accuse Trump of being degrading to women was a porn star who specializes in bukakke and gang bang videos.

        Again, the point isn’t where Trump stands on any particular policy.

        The point you’re trying to make is that Trump is ugly.

        1. That’s consensual bukakke and gang bangs.

          1. “Drake accused the Republican presidential nominee of “uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement, and being a sexual assault apologist.”

            Nothing quite like being accused of being a purveyor of misogyny, entitlement, and sexual assault by a woman who makes bukkake and gang bang videos; regardless, we’re not talking about any issue here.

            We’re not even talking about the facts in a trial.

            We’re talking about how Hillary Clinton can’t win on the popularity of her issues, so this is the kind of campaign she’s run.

            She even paid people to instigate violence at Trump rallies to make Trump and his supporters appear ugly.

            Her entire campaign has been an attempt to distract voters away from her own unpopular behavior and her unpopular stances on the issues.

            1. You want a tissue for your tears? It’s a presidential campaign. You think there are rules of gentlemanly conduct? You think Clinton is responsible for debasing things here?

              Trump never mentions any policy except the stupid-ass wall. All he does is talk about poll numbers and call people names. Why aren’t you whining about his lack of policy focus? It is by far the most conspicuous lack of policy focus going.

              1. I’ll confess, I don’t think our Presidents should be chosen by way of a beauty contest, and I think if more Americans were aware of what they’re doing and why, it might change the outcome and the world we live in.

                A world in which voters’ primary concerns were the issues and the facts of those issues might lend itself better to a world without a drug war, without crippling budget deficits, with a growing, vibrant, and inclusive economy, etc.

                If you’re personally incapable of expanding your mind beyond the confines of a beauty pageant, that’s certainly no reason to begrudge the rest of us the real world and the issues in it that confront us. We’re trying to make the real world a better place, Tony.

                If your favorite beauty pageant gets in our way, then fuck you and your stupid beauty pageant.

                1. The fact is, the issues are boring. Everyone knows what they’re getting with the two parties. Especially people who pay attention to politics. There is not some big unveiling every cycle where the candidates show their mixed-and-matched platforms. And it’s not hard to pick a side considering they disagree on nearly everything.

                  Be comforted by the fact that polling shows a consistent and growing majority national preference for liberal Democratic policies, and that’s just what they’re going to choose in a candidate this time. Even if that alignment is by accident, it must be music to your ears I’m sure.

                  1. growing majority national preference for liberal Democratic policies

                    Heh. Whatever the fuck they happen to be THIS week.

                    Meanwhile, the liberals’ party has a presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who is about to become the national government’s first female chief executive after trouncing the aforementioned bigot Trump in the November 8th election. The insane, politically incorrect spectacle of Trump has helped people forget that Mrs. Clinton is herself a “right-wing fanatic” and a “lying neoliberal warmonger” ? and here I am quoting two left intellectuals who counsel folks to vote for her. Hillary’s Wall Street-friendly arch-corporatism and hawkish militarism are well understood in very predominantly white establishment business and imperial circles, where she is by far and away the preferred candidate. This is true even among many normally Republican members of the economic, political, policy, and ? in a word ? power elite.

                    1. Doherty but up a post last night showing that according to Gallup, 61% of the American people oppose assault weapons bans.


                      It’s a record high! Banning assault weapons has never been less popular.

                      It is a common symptom among progressives to imagine that they’re more popular than they are.

                      Hillary hasn’t scored above 50% in Gallup’s favorable ratings since July of 2014. Her unfavorable rating has been around 55% since January of this year, and in August, it got as high as 57%.


                      Yet it remains common to find progressives who imagine that Hillary Clinton is popular. According to Gallup, that’s just factually incorrect. She hasn’t been popular since 2014.

                  2. This just in: all issues are boring, vote for prettiest color says village idiot.

                    And also, for the record, what is a ‘liberal democratic policy’ specifically? This would seem to boil down to ‘whatever the Democrats say, regardless of actual alignment of said issue politically’. This tracks with the fact that the Democratic nominee is actually a war hawk and few people give a shit about that. It would seem Democrats got a taste of blood, and liked it with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.

                    Of course, they can’t say that though because their base would have shit a brick about that four years ago. I predict the Democrats will be pro-war in the not-so-distant future with their current trajectory. Honestly they’re already there, it’s just that they’re still lying about it.

        2. But his policy positions are stupid too.

          1. On what issue is Hillary superior to Trump?

            1. Um, all of ’em, any of ’em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years.

              1. You just can’t name even one of them?

                I wonder if Tony could pass the mirror test.


                1. Tax policy. There.

                  1. So, Hillary’s tax policy of taxing income that’s already been taxed at least once to the tune of 65% is A-Ok? Interesting idea Tony. Could you be more specific?

                2. Probably not. Vampires can’t, and every time Tony’s around I feel a biting sensation in my rectal sphincter, and he’s a Clinton supporter so there’s plenty of evidence already that he’s a blood-sucking parasite.

        3. I am sure a guy worth billions molested a bunch of women and never got sued or the Cosby treatment. It took them decades to come foreword. Pure bullshit.

          1. He said he does it!

            1. So you believe that Trump is generally truthful? You doubt that he’d ever embellish a story or use hyperbole to make himself sound “cool” to his audience?

              Do you take his word on everything else he says too?

              1. It’s a case of he said, she said (x11). Add in the fact that he also said that he does what the 11 women said he did, and you tell me what you’d believe if the fucker didn’t happen to have an (R) after his name.

                1. lol, how many of those ‘manually raped’ women were a tag team between Trump and Hillary’s current husband? At least one seems pretty likely since they went to the same parties at a convicted sex offenders house. Honestly, you’re a laugh riot Tony. You just keep doin’ you.

                  1. Bill Clinton is not on the ballot you apologist.

                    1. Bill Clinton is not on the ballot

                      Perhaps the dumbest talking point yet.

                      Yeah, he’s just a former President of the United States, one of the global elite, and will be living in the White House. He’ll totally not have any influence on a President Hillary.

                2. Yeah, I probably hate Trump more than you, dude. But I don’t live in your black and white blue and red fantasy world, so I guess you can’t comprehend that.

                  Of the 11, ONE came out before the tape was released. If you count the divorce proceeding with his previous wife, then make it two, but she specifically said that it wasn’t rape, that it just felt different emotionally. So really, one allegation before the tape was released. And then TEN!

                  Sorry, but “Trump bombastically and possibly hyperbolically uttered x” followed by “10 women claim Trump did x” is not very convincing.

                  Could be true, but could very easily be a smear campaign as well. Plenty enough to judge Trump on that exists as objective fact without having to resort to accusations with a conveniently timed and very suspect timeline.

                  1. It’s all just allegations against the Clintons too. Truce?

                    1. Truce?

                      You’d shit on a truce as soon as convenient.

                      It’s all just allegations against the Clintons too.

                      “Believe her, unless the accused is a Clinton.”

      2. Out of curiosity, how does one automatically rape women?


        2. Pretty sure Westworld is building to that.

        3. Bring them to a Limp Bizkit concert?

          1. It’s funny because it’s true.

  18. I should add, beauty pageants have a question and answer period, too. Contestants lose because their answers aren’t pretty.

    They lose when their answers aren’t pretty–even if they all basically have the same answers.

    That’s what the press is doing to Trump. They’re just making him look ugly in a beauty contest. The press is there to accentuate every wart, mole, and wrinkle on Trump’s face.

    P.S. Hillary can’t win on the popularity of her positions. She can only win in a beauty contest, and she could only win that against Donald Trump.

    1. Another similarity to beauty pageants is that Donald Trump gropes women at those too.

      1. I believe the allegation with respect to beauty pageants was that Trump would make the women get dressed up and parade themselves in front of him. Which, as I understand, is exactly what beauty pageants are anyway, but whatever….

        1. No, the really creepy one is how he’d use his status as owner as a pass to walk through the changing room… including at the Miss Teen USA pageant.

      2. Do you care where Trump stands on any issue vis-a-vis Hillary?

        Do you imagine that being recorded having said something ugly is a policy stance on an issue?

        Pointing out that Trump is ugly in response to the suggestion that Hillary can’t win on the issues doesn’t do much to undermine my contention that Hillary is running a beauty contest because she can’t win on the issues.

        1. Do you seriously think that I, and most other people voting, don’t give a single shit about any policies? I know you’re trying to prove some idiotic thesis here, but yes, I differ with Trump on a number of issues.

          It just so happens that he also hand-rapes women and boasts about it.

          1. Which issue do you differ from Trump on, and how do you imagine that issue will be different under President Hillary?

            Can you point to any of those specific issues as being popular with the rest of America?

            1. Ken’s whine: Trump would be doing better if only this were a world that ignored stuff like rape allegations, tax avoidance, hiring illegal immigrants, and general competence!

              And Trump is running such a policy-focused campaign. Damn the luck.

              1. So, no then?

                1. I’m a Democrat. I support the Democratic party platform, more or less. It is hardly my fault if I can’t articulate Trump’s policy positions, as I’ve never seen him do so.

                2. Yeah, I don’t know how else to take that other than as an admission by Tony that Hillary is indefensible on the issues vis-a-vis Trump.

                  I can think of a couple of issues on which someone might prefer Hillary to Trump or visa versa, but if Tony is so sure that he prefers Hillary to Trump, and he can’t even think of one issue–even when challenged to do so–then that just underscores my point.

                  This isn’t even a popularity contest. The popularity of Hillary’s positions on the issues isn’t even the deciding factor.

                  This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a beauty contest.

                  People like Tony aren’t even considering the issues. They just think Trump is ugly.

                  1. Way to hit the nail on the head Ken, this was a pleasure to read.

                    Tony, you could have just looked up any of Hillary’s positions and posted one. The fact you can’t even be bothered with that really does underscore Ken’s point.

                    Thanks for the interesting take on it Ken, you should write for Reason.

                    1. Climate, taxes, education, immigration, guns… Are we seriously arguing that my main problem is that I don’t like the cut of Trump’s jib and have no policy positions in my pretty little head? It’s just that I find this whole conversation totally stupid. Obviously I differ with Trump on policy. That’s precisely why I am glad that his raping and corruption and incompetence are helping to lose him the election.

                      What is wrong with you people? Where is your wistful lament about all the media focus on nonpolicy stuff surrounding Clinton? Like emails and such?

              2. tax avoidance

                You should probably learn what this expression means before bandying it about accusatorily.

                1. Pardon me if I do not celebrate the legality of the utterly ridiculous loopholes by which Donald Trump has paid nothing in taxes.

                  1. The Net Operating Loss deduction isn’t a “loophole.”

                    1. I’m talking about how Trump gets to call himself a “real-estate professional” and thus pay no taxes. Perhaps the ludicrous part is how Trump personally accounted for 2% of all claimed net operating losses in the country in the year 1995.

                    2. I’m talking about how Trump gets to call himself a “real-estate professional” and thus pay no taxes. Perhaps the ludicrous part is how Trump personally accounted for 2% of all claimed net operating losses in the country in the year 1995.

                      Umm…he is in the real estate business; that is well known. The fact of his profession only affects the character of the income (ordinary vs. capital gains treatment), and no one would be crying “foul” if he’d posted a profit and paid ordinary income taxes on it. All of this should be uncontroversial, and would be if Trump weren’t involved.

                      As far as the magnitude of the loss, there is little to determine whether or not they actually occurred. It’s fucking hard to lose $1B in a single year, but at the same time, a claim of that size almost certainly would have been investigated if it looked dubious.

                      I would also like to point out that your first complaint was that it was an abuse of a loophole, which it wasn’t, but when confronted with that fact, you moved the goalposts. That kind of shiesty bullshit might fly in whatever idiot prog circles you get your talking points from, but most of the people here are not that stupid.

                    3. Tony is the official mover of goalposts around here. He does it at least every other post, but I think this election cycle it’s closer to 85% of the time.

            2. You’re talking to a sock, Ken. Drop it. It’s not interested in having an intellectually honest debate with you.

              1. Yeah, but I can use him for a prop like a prop comic.

          2. So….no, then?

  19. Scooped by Time Magazine. WTF Reason?…

    In the 12-page memo, Band describes how he and several colleagues spent much of the years after Bill Clinton’s presidency working to fund the Clinton Foundation, which has raised nearly $2 billion from individuals, corporations and governments for charities focusing on climate change, economic development, health, women and girls issues and other causes. Band claims in the memo that from 2006 to 2011, he and a colleague, Justin Cooper, raised $46 million for the Foundation through the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual networking conference that is one of the Foundation’s big sources of income.

    1. But the Foundation work was just a part of what Bill Clinton did during his wife’s time as a Senator and Secretary of State, and it wasn’t always clear where the former president’s non-profit activities ended and his for-profit ones began. Five months before he wrote the memo, Band joined forces with a recently retired State Department envoy, Declan Kelly, to form Teneo, which Band said provided merchant and investment banking services, corporate restructuring, public relations and communications services and strategic advising services to 20 clients, including Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, UBS, Barclays and BHP Billiton, among others. Over that period, Band says in the memo, Teneo raised $8 million for the Clinton Foundation.

      1. And Band was also organizing personal income directly for Clinton. Under the heading, “For-Profit Activity of President Clinton (i.e. Bill Clinton, Inc.),” Band wrote, “We have dedicated our selves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities?including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements? In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family?for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).”

        1. Morning Joe had a coronary about that this morning, but I don’t see what the problem is with Bill Clinton earning an income. Maybe the libertarian can tell me what’s wrong with the rank capitalism going on here.

          1. C O N F L I C T O F I N T E R E S T

            To the level of a couple of orders of magnitude beyond a fireable offense in my industry.

            No one needs to prove criminal behavior. This is a textbook ethics violation.

            1. You see the Secretary of State’s love is not like a square’s love.

            2. I dunno. Maybe. Bill Clinton is one of a handful of truly global figures (his wife is another). He knows everyone. Everyone important knows him. They all donate to his charity to help AIDS babies, and many of them pay him to speak too. Is the only solution for him not to do any charity work or make any money? The First Spouse generally doesn’t have a private-sector job, but what about the spouses of cabinet secretaries? What if they’re former presidents? Are the Bushes ethically superior for spending their days in leisure?

              1. Of course Clinton should be able to make money. You think private flights to pedophile rape island are cheap?

                1. Isn’t there a sort of wingnut halfway house between Breitbart and reason that might better suit you?

              2. You heard it here first, non profit and for profit activities aren’t different at all if you’re a Democrat. Good to know Tony!

              3. So Bill Clinton (private citizen) and his staff have substantial conflicts of interest between Bill’s personal business and the Clinton Foundation. To the point, it could jeopardize the tax-free status of the charity at the IRS.

                Hillary Clinton (secretary of state) and her staff had conflicts of interest between Hillary’s personal business, Bill’s personal business, and the Clinton Foundation which was undeclared while she was SoS and still refuses to admit.

                So you are either too stupid too understand the matter at hand or too dishonest to have a conversation with.

                I already regret responding to you.

                1. Maybe you’re right. I’m not a lawyer so I’m not equipped to defend Clinton on this latest thing.

                  What I am is an observer of rightwinger fucknuttery, and I only wonder how many AIDS babies you’d see denied medication in order to really zing the Clintons. Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

                  1. I only wonder how many AIDS babies you’d see denied medication in order to really zing the Clintons. Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

                    Thanks for clearing that up. Dishonesty it is then.

                    1. It’s just beauty pageant stuff. Ask Ken, he’ll tell you so.

                2. I already regret responding to you.

                  I don’t know why any of you bother. Live and learn, I guess.

                  1. I only do it once every couple of years or so.

          2. So according to Tony making a living any which way you can, legal or not and no matter who is harmed in the process, is perfectly ok.

            You heard it here first, people.

            1. Oh, and for the record that isn’t ‘Capitalism’ it is ‘Crony Capitalism’. I know you know the difference, but I understand why you need to lie about it too.

            2. Who was harmed?

              1. I would find it interesting you zeroed in on ‘who was harmed specifically’ instead of talking about the style of capitalism your preferred candidate believes in. Those goal posts won’t move themselves, but I’ll stay on topic since you won’t.

                In your view crony capitalism is actually just fine? I’ll be beneficent and add ‘as long as there aren’t dead babies’.

                Are you sure you’re not a Republican? I mean, in this thread alone you’ve said ethics don’t matter, tax laws don’t matter, and that crony capitalism is fine as long as no one was actually killed.

                I’m not sure what your argumentation technique is meant to be here, but you are taking the wrong tack in defending Clinton. It is actually turning you into a Neocon right before our eyes.

                1. I’m saying it’s rich for libertarians to complain about someone making money on a supply and demand basis. But libertarians are partisans for Republicans first. Everybody knows it.

                  I don’t know if there is a term to classify the type of work an ex-president does. It’s kind of a rare vocation.

                  1. Supply of what, Tony?

                    What does Slick Willy supply and who demands it?

                    1. Speech & people who want to be near him when he’s talking.

                    2. Oh?

                      You mean he just says random words, and they like to listen? That’s the listening experience worth millions of dollars to them?

                    3. They didn’t want to hear much of what he had to say, considering some of those speeches were for less than 5 minutes at several hundred thousand dollars each. What does that come to, at an hourly rate?

                  2. No, Tony, you’re being retarded again.

                    Crony Capitalism isn’t something Libertarians support. You’re thinking of Clinton, your preferred candidate.

                    A free market has no Clinton deciding who wins and who loses in the market place. The fact you don’t understand the difference is what makes you a retard.

                    1. You say you don’t support it, but you also don’t support any laws that would mitigate it.

                    2. I support politicians who do opposite it, whereas you support politicians who actively change laws to enable more of it to their personal enrichment.

                      Time to move the goalposts again!

                    3. All you fallacy police here abuse logic vocab words like real police abuse black men.

                      There is no better political philosophy for encouraging crony capitalism than libertarianism, however much you really want to believe that saying magic words or some shit will make capitalists behave well all on their own.

                    4. There is no better political philosophy for encouraging crony capitalism than libertarianism,

                      HA! HA! HA! HA!

                      That’s like writing “I know of know better political philosophy for promoting slavery than abolitionism!”

                      Don’t ever change Tony. You truly are the rescue chihuahua of this site.

                    5. See, magic words. Libertarians feel very strongly about being against crony capitalism, thus in a libertarian society, it ceases to be.
                      Never mind that a major point of libertarianism is to get rid of regulations on business. Is it that they come into being with all the maximally favorable tax policy you could imagine, and thus never feel the need to ask politicians for favors?

                    6. Never mind that a major point of libertarianism is to get rid of regulations on business.

                      Those taxi medallions prevent crony capitalism! To dovetail tarran’s point, that’s like saying that chains promote freedom of movement.

    2. A 2011 memo made public Wednesday by Wikileaks revealed new details of how former President Bill Clinton made tens of millions of dollars for himself and his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, through an opaque, ethically messy amalgam of philanthropic, business and personal activities.

      Executive summary.

    3. Dude everyone knows this stuff already. Its not like ‘unwanted kissing’ allegations from a pornstar represented by Gloria Allred. You know, “Real News”

      1. John Oliver says it’s no big deal, so just move the fuck along, amirite?

      2. NY1 was calling Allred her “lawyer” the other day. I know they just read the news that other people write but come on already.

    4. Even NPR is covering this now.…..sonal-cash

      1. Just window dressing! Where’s Ken?

  20. Breaking: Clarence Thomas accused of groping woman in 1999.

    1. JFK was so well known for assaulting women that the JFK Federal Building in Boston was even deliberately designed by a gropius.

      1. So what should be done about Justice JFK? Oh right, he’s dead.

  21. people should just mail in their ballots

    I wouldn’t recommend it – you never know what could happen between then and election day. Unless you’re firmly on one TEAM or the other, I guess.

  22. These headlines will ultimately feed the narrative that the media is “rigged” against Trump.

    “Feed the narrative”? More like “lend credence to an empirical fact”.

  23. I’ve never been clear on what “voter suppression” or “vote suppression” meant either, so I just looked it up in Wikipedia now. I would’ve used it to mean all methods to dissuade someone from voting for someone or something, i.e. negative campaigning. I don’t recall hearing the term until pretty recently.

  24. Sorry Hillary, I know that Bubba boasted that he was the first Black President but you’re not going to see anything like the landslide support of the black vote for anything except another Black President. I think that goes mostly without saying.

    That being said, Hillary’s massive advantage among those who’s primary concern is to make sure that the person elected has the same genitals as themselves will likely swing it this time.

    What racial/gender combination will win the Presidency for the Democrats next? I mean, I’m taking it as a given that this is all that matter’s anymore. Policy is boring, and we’ve all agreed that we’re essentially royalists at this point so lets go with what really matters.

    I think it’s pretty much a given that it will need to be a gay person, but will it be a gay man or gay woman? My bet is on a gay man, but one of the dignified types not the flamboyant one’s that are so much fun at bars. Then, the only thing remaining is to wonder if that gay man will be married, and how flamboyant do we think this theoretical ‘First Husband’ would be in comparison to their oh-so-sober Presidential husband?

    1. So you’re mad, bro, about the fact that after decades of relying on bigotry to win white voters over, Republicans can’t win at the national level anymore because they’ve turned off all people of color and most women. Aw. And you’re mad that Democrats were the first to have a black president and a woman president. And none of this has anything to do with any flaw on the part of Republicans.

      1. No, I’m mad because a president should be measured on the content of his or her character and not by sex, gender, race, religion, humor, good hair, etc. For most of us here, Mr. Tony, we have been appalled by 90+% of the voters lapping up the shit that the two major parties have vomited up for most of our adult lives.

        1. I’m well aware that most of you here, like the Berniebro holdouts, are special snowflake voters. People hovering so far above the earth amidst the firmament that you simply cannot discern policy differences between two parties that believe totally opposite things about everything. Beings so angelic and wise that you have shed yourself of all mortal concerns and merely register a quiet, contemplative mien of resignation over how the land creatures only manage to achieve putting flawed human beings who can cobble together messy coalitions into political leadership positions. Political scientists might call you low-information voters, but I just call you friends, if you’ll have me.

          1. Maybe if you cut down on the straw-manning, that might help?

          2. We do see the policy differences. Perhaps we see that each side’s differences are still shit?

      2. I’m not mad about any of the things you list, I’m pointing out that black people overwhelming voted based purely on the color of skin the candidate had. Thus illustrating that Democrats are nothing if not aware of racism, and they use it to their advantage by catering to the inherent racism inside their own party.

        Sorry, Tony, better move the goalposts again.

        1. Black people always vote nearly universally for Democrats. Maybe that ticked up from 90% to 95% when the guy was black.

          I absolutely love this topic because you cannot help but make a racist argument. Trust me, it’s impossible. All of the arguments you have at your disposal deny black people of the ability to think for themselves. The fact is black people tend to be some of the most informed voters. Probably because politicians have been specifically targeting them for centuries as racial scapegoats for this and that. They vote for Democrats because the culprit of that kind of politics for the past many decades has been Republicans. And trust that old white women holding up “blacks for Trump” signs isn’t helping much to reverse that perception.

    2. It’s Barney Frank’s turn.

      Actually, I don’t think America is “ready” for a gay pres. Certainly not one who runs on being gay. Maybe, but still doubtful, one who runs exclusively on the issues and just happens to be gay.

      1. Technically it would be the first *openly* gay president. We did black Muslim, so I don’t see why not.

      2. I think America is ready for a gay President, and I don’t think such a theoretical animal would run on policy any more than Hillary or Trump has. It will be a cult of personality election, as always, which is why I think it will be Mr. Serious Gay Man with his lovable but goofy Husband.

        I’m basically at the point where our Elections only start making sense if I think of them as sitcom plots. And for the record, my weekend will be spent going to a Lesbian wedding in New Orleans. So yes, you may weep in jealously now.

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