So, the effects of big money on American elections

Before Mrs. Clinton spoke on Saturday, her finance director, Dennis Cheng, thanked the donors on the call, each of whom had raised at least $100,000. The campaign brought in nearly $1 billion to spend heavily on data efforts, to disperse hundreds of staff members to battleground states, and to air television advertisements — only to fall short to Mr. Trump’s upstart operation.

Donors conceded that, ultimately, no amount of money could match Mr. Trump’s crisp pitch, aimed at the economically downtrodden, to “make America great again.”

“You can have the greatest field program, and we did — he had nothing,” said Jay S. Jacobs, a prominent New York Democrat and donor to Mrs. Clinton. “You can have better ads, paid for by greater funds, and we did. Unfortunately, Trump had the winning argument.”

But you’re still going to have some of them complaining about big money in elections, aren’t you? Even though the big money candidate lost here.

36 thoughts on “So, the effects of big money on American elections”

  1. C’mon, Tim, you know that they’re not against big money in politics per se, just big money that flows to Repub candidates.

    The only underlying principle they have is “what benefits us today”. Everything else flows from that. Which is why they’re all sounding like a bunch of 19th century tories decrying the universal franchise for uneducated hicks, and talking about “not going to Canada but moving to a red state to teach their children all about racism and sexism and stuff”. Just as if they were talking about a mission to bonga bongaland to teach them all about Jesus and not eating each other.

  2. abacab nails it. The Left have one thought – ‘What can I say or do at this precise moment in order to further my lust for power?’ Nothing has to be consistent with things said or done previously, because at that point the furtherance of their desire for power may have required some other response. Everything they say or do has to be filtered through that lens.

  3. My theory is campaign money is proxy for public exposure/name recognition. Donald has been a well known personality for 30 years and it helped him most in the primaries, because he was running against 17 others. But of course Jeb had name recgonition too, and money, so performance in the debates is important too.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Clinton was the candidate of Big Money. Especially on Wall Street. Especially, say it softly, among people who were not of British or other Northern European origin.

    The Left will ignore that because her heart is in the right place. And, as others have said, they will believe anything if it helps them to power. They have lived unchallenged for too long. Having turned academia and the media into echo chambers of their own asinine leftism, they cannot even begin to understand anyone who disagrees with them.

  5. “a bunch of 19th century tories decrying the universal franchise for uneducated hicks”: that’ll be the tories who passed the Second Reform Act, will it?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    I sent this email to Helen Lewis at the New Statesman who was claiming on their podcast that it wasn’t a massive anti Establishment vote:

    “You’re right that we don’t know what was in the minds of voters and I agree with you on Brexit, 52:48 was closer than is often made out, but maybe not as close as it seems if you consider the Status Quo bias was overcome. However, I disagree on Trump.

    We can be fairly certain that all the bigots voted for Trump, but there will also have been some who held their noses, some who were anyone but Clinton, some who always vote GOP come what may and any other number of reasons. Similarly, Clinton’s vote will consist of those who always vote Dem, anybody but Trump, those who held their noses etc.
    But the point is that in the circumstances Clinton really should have won by a country mile. She outspent Trump by around 2:1 and haven’t we always been told that when the GOP does it it buys votes? She had the party machine, a very good one, working overtime whereas the GOP was at best lukewarm for Trump, the vast majority of the press endorsed her, the Obamas worked overtime and she was put forward as the continuity candidate. She didn’t even grab a massive female vote to smash the glass ceiling.

    We’ll never know the proportions of those groups and why some didn’t turn out, but under these circumstances what happened to the Democrat vote, especially amongst blacks and Latinos, is a disaster and should be seen as a rejection of something.

    Was it because Hillary is part of the Establishment, for any definition of Establishment? We’ll never know but it’s a reasonable claim.”

  7. Another thing that irks me – they say they’re concerned with stupid and iggorant people voting, and then part of their standard argument against voter ID is that some african-americans are too ignorant to use the Internet or find out where to get ID.

    The only underlying principle here is “what works for us right now”. And then they wonder why people not drinking their cool aid don’t think they’re sincere. For instance, all the outrage of “you can grab them by the pussy” cannot be sincere when Bill Clinton, an actual rapist, is cheered when stumping for their candidate.

  8. BiND: Oh all the “bigots” voted for Trump? And all the left-sucking vermin– who somehow fantasise that the left’s track record of mass murder and tyranny won’t have any effect on their cosy middle-class Marxist bubble lifestyle– voted for the evil bitch.

    Your time is of course your own to waste but trying to correct the delusions of skanks who write for the New Statesmen would seem to be an absolutely futile pissing away of your allotted span.

    The left need to be smashed flat enough to slide under a door not rational little letters.

  9. it worked in the old times. But the internet changes everything. The effect of a tweet rippling out, of people retweeting and retweeting is huge.

    Some of The Donald’s tweets have been retweeted 600K times. Now, bear in mind, some people will read and not retweet. Even if we think everyone has a minimum of 30 followers, those hit 20m people.

    Also, the news picked up on things he said.

    He’s seen as a dinosaur, but he ran a very modern campaign. Everyone knows that PR – getting the news to report on your activities – works far better than advertising. Advertising gets zoned out, people go and have a pee.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Wiltshire – “He’s seen as a dinosaur, but he ran a very modern campaign. Everyone knows that PR – getting the news to report on your activities – works far better than advertising.”

    What is interesting about Trump’s campaign is that the media did its usual hatchet job on him. They kept reporting all the things he said and accused him of being a Nazi. But people didn’t care. White people didn’t care enough not to vote for him. Blacks didn’t care enough to get out and vote.

    The mainstream media has exhausted its credibility. They said that Nixon was a crook and people believed them. No one is listening to them any more. So Trump’s message went over the Talking Heads straight to his voters. No amount of smearing worked.

  11. “What is interesting about Trump’s campaign is that the media did its usual hatchet job on him. They kept reporting all the things he said and accused him of being a Nazi. But people didn’t care. White people didn’t care enough not to vote for him.”

    Thats entirely the result of throwing around the ‘racist sexist facist neoliberal scum’ epithets at their opponents for the last 20 years. If you constantly call you opponents all names under the sun, however mild and mainstream they are, then you’ve nowhere left to go when a Trump turns up.

  12. “What is interesting about Trump’s campaign is that the media did its usual hatchet job on him. They kept reporting all the things he said and accused him of being a Nazi. But people didn’t care. White people didn’t care enough not to vote for him.”

    I think that, outside of the kool-aid drinking bubble, people applied 2 filters to everything the media said.

    1: the “they always say this about whatever republican”.
    2: the “well, that also applies even moreso to Bill Clinton and they love him, so they’re a bunch of insincere hypocrites”.

    Anything that gets past those filters is pretty much boiled down to “he’s a bit boorish”.

    Whereas, people apply the opposite filters to Clinton:

    1: the “they always circle the wagons and defend dem malfaisance”
    2: the “if they’ll admit to this, the reality must be far worse.”

    Basically, if every Repub is a nazi and Hillary could perform a 9th month partial-birth abortion on stage and drink the baby’s brain through a straw while being lauded as defending wimmin’s access to healthcare, people outside the bubble are going to be filtering you out…

  13. Thats entirely the result of throwing around the ‘racist sexist facist neoliberal scum’ epithets at their opponents for the last 20 years. If you constantly call you opponents all names under the sun, however mild and mainstream they are, then you’ve nowhere left to go when a Trump turns up.

    As Mark Steyn says:

    “When everyone is Hitler, no-one is.”

  14. The ‘Trump is Hitler’ meme backfired on Clinton in much the same way as Till Death Us Do Part. To their horror the BBC found that most of the viewers agreed with Alf Garnett’s views and took his part against his hairy nelly of a son-in-law, the personification of a socialist layabout.

    Result!

  15. SMFS,

    “The mainstream media has exhausted its credibility. They said that Nixon was a crook and people believed them.”

    In all fairness, he was. OK, they all are, but he got caught.

    The problem with the MSM is competition. They could get away with being crap because creating a newspaper or TV station was so hard.You could get a job as a newspaper writer on little more than who your pals were. But anyone can publish today. My sources of movie reviews are now primarily on YouTube after Ghostbusters. These people called it right as a very poor piece of garbage. The MSM just talked about the sexism and that it was OK or good (it really isn’t, it’s an amateurish, sloppily-made, unfunny, nasty film that deserved to fail).

  16. Was all the big money on Clinton? I doubt it.
    Trump was the volatility candidate. Main St hates volatility, Wall St has found ways to make money from it.
    So there are some very happy traders celebrating this weekend, and expecting more.

  17. The Left will ignore that because her heart is in the right place.

    Safely inside a puzzle box buried inside the tiger enclosure on an island in the middle of a lake somewhere vaguely near Hicksville, Arkansas?

  18. BiiW – You’re right about Ghostbusters.. painfully unfunny piece of shit.

    And it was notable that the MSM couldn’t put any polish on that turd.

  19. When Clinton was being feted by Beyoncé and jay-z who had a hit with ’99 problems’ it doesn’t really fit with don’t vote for the misogyntic guy talk
    The problem they had was not that people are stupid but that they weren’t stupid enough to fall for the crap being peddled by MSM

  20. @BniC

    Again, another example of the double-standard that means people can’t take the media outrage as sincere.

  21. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I want to get a big truck, or possibly an armoured personnel carrier, and cruise past one of these protests* playing Cryin’ Like a Bitch by Godsmack at earth-shattering volume.

    * riots

  22. SMFS

    “Especially, say it softly, among people who were not of British or other Northern European origin.”

    Do you mean the jooz? I’m afraid rootless cosmopolitans can be (superficially) British, Northern European or whatever these days, whereas Jews often put down deep roots where they live, don’t harbour terrorists and do contribute to wider society. I just don’t get anti-semitism, but then it is increasingly a leftist trope.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “Do you mean the jooz? I’m afraid rootless cosmopolitans can be (superficially) British, Northern European or whatever these days, whereas Jews often put down deep roots where they live, don’t harbour terrorists and do contribute to wider society. I just don’t get anti-semitism, but then it is increasingly a leftist trope.”

    It isn’t anti-semitism. It was not meant to mean only the Jewish American community although it certainly includes them. There is no problem with Jewish communities in places where they are small in number. Jewish Americans used to like America. Since World War Two the Jewish American community is disproportionately likely to produce people who do not like America. Really disproportionately. America gave Soros a home. He is trying to destroy it. America gave the Los Alamos spies a home and they too tried to destroy it. Bernie Sanders has not exactly been oppressed by the US. He took his honeymoons in the Soviet Union and in Cuba.

    Jewish Americans have been prominent in every anti-War campaign since Korea. Even for World War Two it is hard to find a book written by someone of Jewish faith who took the war against anyone but the Nazis seriously. Norman Mailer wrote a book saying the real Fascists weren’t the Japanese but White America. Joseph Heller wrote one saying the real Fascists weren’t the Italians but White America.

    Now perhaps these people have legitimate grievances against America. I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think that a significant number of Jewish Americans look at White America and see Cossacks. Hence Deliverance for instance.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Jews, eh? When we’re not running the International Capitalist Conspiracy, we’re trying to destroy it. Fickle.”

    Mock all you like. The facts are still there and they won’t go away. As it happens Jews are more likely to end up running Goldman Sacks. They are also more likely to be Bernie Sanders or Noam Chomsky. So yes, something in the Jewish community produces people who are either very good at succeeding in the Western capitalist world or very dedicated to destroying it.

    Fickle is not a word I would use. I offer a suggestion as to why this is. I think that years of domination by Rabbis has produced a culture that values study and hard work. While at the same time preserves the memory of pogroms going back to the Dark Ages. I don’t see what is particularly offensive about that.

  25. > Mock all you like.

    OK.

    > a culture that values study and hard work. While at the same time preserves the memory of pogroms going back to the Dark Ages.

    Agreed.

    > I don’t see what is particularly offensive about that.

    Nothing. But then you always make that leap:

    > something in the Jewish community produces people who are either very good at succeeding in the Western capitalist world or very dedicated to destroying it.

    Or, of course, it just produces people who are good at stuff, who end up succeeding in all walks of life, including capitalist corporations and anticapitalist movements and songwriting and acting and geology and microprocessor design and cattle ranching and cooking and dentistry and thousands of other things you ignore because they’re not helpful to your Grand Thesis. It also produces loads of people who are simply ordinary, or who just about get by, or who fail miserably.

    > The facts are still there

    Your facts, as presented above, are a handful of cherry-picked individuals.

    > Even for World War Two it is hard to find a book written by someone of Jewish faith who took the war against anyone but the Nazis seriously.

    Quite easy to find Jews who developed the atomic bomb to drop on Japan, though. Sometimes it almost feels as if Jews do different things and have different opinions to each other. You know, like humans. But that’s just crazy talk.

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Or, of course, it just produces people who are good at stuff, who end up succeeding in all walks of life, including capitalist corporations and anticapitalist movements”

    It does. Except they are not evenly distributed. It does not produce a lot of people who are notable defenders of the West for one thing. Jewish Republicans are a much smaller group than Jewish Democrats. Conservative (that is, Tory, not Almost-Orthodox) Jews in Britain used be very rare until the Left embraced the Palestinians.

    “It also produces loads of people who are simply ordinary, or who just about get by, or who fail miserably.”

    Sure. I agree.

    “Your facts, as presented above, are a handful of cherry-picked individuals.”

    Except they are really not. If I were to pick up any book by a WASP author about World War Two written before 1968, I could reasonably expect they supported America’s war.

    “Quite easy to find Jews who developed the atomic bomb to drop on Japan, though.”

    No it isn’t. That is the point. It is easy to find Jews who developed the atomic bomb to drop on Germany. Only Germany dropped out of the war too early. Hence the enormous shock and sense of guilt at killing Japanese. And then people like Oppenheimer went on to insist that the bomb should not be used against the Soviet Union. The divide got so bad that the people who wanted to defend America – led, admittedly by the Jewish Edward Teller – had to leave Los Alamos and set up Laurence Livermore.

    “Sometimes it almost feels as if Jews do different things and have different opinions to each other. You know, like humans. But that’s just crazy talk.”

    Indeed they do. But their opinions tend not to be distributed in the same way as other people’s. Those memories of the pogroms.

  27. > The divide got so bad that the people who wanted to defend America – led, admittedly by the Jewish Edward Teller

    To be fair, Teller probably only did that as part of a nefarious Jewish plot to make your conspiracy theory look like bollocks.

  28. > people like Oppenheimer went on to insist that the bomb should not be used against the Soviet Union.

    Quite a lot of people of all backgrounds didn’t want nuclear weapons used against anyone at all. And they had a point. I’m quite a hard-nosed pragmatic bastard about these things, but not wanting to drop an H-bomb on people is a perfectly respectable and humane position to take, and really doesn’t imply that you support their government. Let’s try extrapolating your logic, shall we?

    George W Bush didn’t drop nukes on Iraq. That must mean he supported Saddam.

    Hmm. Needs work.

    > Except they are not evenly distributed.

    “No matter how much antisemitic bollocks I spout, them Jews still oppose me!”

  29. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “To be fair, Teller probably only did that as part of a nefarious Jewish plot to make your conspiracy theory look like bollocks.”

    No doubt. Come on. You can do better than this. If it came close to making any theory look like crap why would I bring it up?

    Squander Two – “Quite a lot of people of all backgrounds didn’t want nuclear weapons used against anyone at all. And they had a point.”

    Not a lot of people involved with the Soviet Union and the Communist party though. Like, for instance. Oppenheimer. Who does seem to have been fairly relaxed about the idea of the bomb being used against America. Or Bohr who gave the Soviets help for their bomb programme. Or pretty much the entire Atomic bomb spy ring which was almost entirely Jewish.

    “Let’s try extrapolating your logic, shall we?”

    That is not extrapolating my logic. America was not planning to use the bomb except to defend itself. This is what Oppenheimer opposed.

    “No matter how much antisemitic bollocks I spout, them Jews still oppose me!”

    And yet the odd thing is that there is still no antisemitism. There is just your unwillingness to deal with the issues. It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly over represented in Communist Parties for instance. That calls out for an explanation. You don’t like mine? What is yours?

  30. > If it came close to making any theory look like crap why would I bring it up?

    Because your crazed bullshit is inconsistent.

    > It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly over represented in Communist Parties for instance.

    Sure. But why are you not saying any of the following?

    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented in successful capitalistic enterprises.
    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented in retail.
    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented in musical theatre.
    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented in banking.
    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented in scientific research.
    It is absurd to argue that Jews have not been grossly overrepresented amongst Nobel Prize winners.

    Jews do lots of different things (you know, like humans). You’re only interested in going on and on and on about the thing some of them do that you oppose. The other stuff, you’re not interested in, because it doesn’t do anything for your Grand Thesis. And that’s the antisemitism, right there.

    Worth noting, of course, that no matter how overrepresented Jews may be in Communist parties, they still get the blame for running the Great International Capitalist Conspiracy. While you blame the Jews for Communism, the Communists blame the Jews for destroying Communism. And you know the one place we’re not overrepresented? Fascist parties. Unlike, say, Northern Europeans. Presumably you’ll be going on and on and on about the dark side of them dangerous Northern Europeans any minute now.

  31. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Because your crazed bullshit is inconsistent.”

    Then you are doing a spectacularly poor job of refuting it. You would not be so dependent on avoiding what I said if I was inconsistent.

    “Sure. But why are you not saying any of the following?”

    If it came up, I probably would. It hasn’t so far. It also misses the point – no one has problems with books that ask why Kansas votes “against its own interests”, that is, for the Republicans. But likewise someone ought to ask why American Jews are more likely to also vote against their own interests, that is, the richest community in America consistently votes for the Left. Supporting Communism is an extreme form of this. Why do so many Jews find a home in these extremist parties? Why is that an invalid question?

    I suggest it is because they remember pogroms. I don’t see why that is controversial.

    “Jews do lots of different things (you know, like humans). You’re only interested in going on and on and on about the thing some of them do that you oppose. The other stuff, you’re not interested in, because it doesn’t do anything for your Grand Thesis. And that’s the antisemitism, right there.”

    I am sorry but your argument is because I am not obsessed with Jews in every aspect of the world that is proof I am antisemitic? That is laughable. As it happens, when it comes up, I am happy to talk about the over-representation of Jews in musical theatre. It doesn’t come up a lot.

    Remember this came about because I pointed out that North-Eastern ethnic minorities tend to vote for the Democrats. Which other people assumed, wrongly, meant Jews. In the context of the election, what is odd about talking about voting patterns?

    “Worth noting, of course, that no matter how overrepresented Jews may be in Communist parties, they still get the blame for running the Great International Capitalist Conspiracy.”

    I am morally obliged to point out that the Nazis were wrong every time we talk about Guys and Dolls? This is insane. There is no one here arguing for a Great International Capitalist Conspiracy. When it comes up, I will remember to object.

    “While you blame the Jews for Communism, the Communists blame the Jews for destroying Communism.”

    I did not blame the Jews for Communism. And it is possible that both, neither or either of those cases is true. One does not exclude the other. Your argument is passionate but incoherent and illogical. It is also untrue in every aspect. There may be one or two Communists who blame the Jews for the collapse of Communism but it is insane to say they all do.

    “And you know the one place we’re not overrepresented? Fascist parties.”

    That is probably not true actually. There were a reasonable number of Jews in the Italian Fascist Party. But no matter. Of course you would not expect Jews to be over-represented in Fascist parties. As there are very few Jews left at the Guardian.

    “Unlike, say, Northern Europeans. Presumably you’ll be going on and on and on about the dark side of them dangerous Northern Europeans any minute now.”

    No doubt. Just in passing, have you ever seen or heard anyone here arguing that there was *no* connection between the Nazis and the Germans? Their history? Their culture? Anyone ever claim it was racism to suggest that German culture and history shaped the rise of the Nazis and hence the Holocaust? Are we all obliged, every time the Holocaust comes up, to point out not all Germans were like that and besides, Goethe wrote some interesting things?

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