Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Only two points are worth mentioning about the convention last night

1)  Howard Dean has redeemed himself.  For those too young to remember, Dean was the Bernie Sanders of 2004.  OK, he was Sanders-lite.  So, while I detest Sanders with the vitriolic passion of an anti-goo-goo social scientist, Dean just kinda bugged me.  By making fun of himself last night and the "I have a scream" speech, he showed he can laugh at himself.  Well done, Howard.  You're OK with me now.  Obviously, that matters.

2)  The Democrats are still too timid to hit the Russia hack thing.  They deserve to lose this election.  Betting odds at PredictWise still give HRC about a 2 to 1 advantage, but that's just a testament to how historically awful a nominee Trump is.  Seriously.  Evidence continues pointing towards Russia hacking the DNC's emails to embarrass them before the convention, thereby trying to help elect a guy who has said, on tape, that he would abrogate our NATO obligations if Putin invaded NATO countries, having already tried to re-expand.  And the Democrats are putting on concerts with Paul Simon and Alicia Keys.  They deserve to lose.  They probably won't, but they deserve to.

As a social scientist, I wouldn't stake my non-existent reputation (nobody knows who the fuck I am) on the claim yet, but a party that doesn't make the charge at this point is guilty of criminal negligence.  The media will run with the story, but only if one party makes the charge forcefully.


  1. In one of your previous posts, you mentioned 'issue ownership'-the idea that different parties 'own' different issues and want to keep the focus on the issues that favor them.

    Since national security and the military are generally Republican-owned issues, the Democrats might be trying to avoid having their convention week hijacked by issues that favor Republicans, especially since the DNC leak is another security failure on top of the E-mail server. If the Dems make too much noise about the Russia ties and Trump's connection to Putin, it'd be very easy for the Republicans to come back swinging with "How can we expect the Democrats/HRC to protect the country when they can't even protect their own e-mails?"

    That's not to say that I don't think the Democrats should respond on this issue, because they should. This is an election where the Democrats could take ownership of the security issue because of the vast contrast in experience between HRC and Trump. But that's one reason why they might be staying quiet.

    1. Maybe, but a) issue ownership is a pattern of association in peoples' heads, not a fixed law of the universe. That means it can change, but that requires some external change, leading to b) reframing the whole thing as being about Trump and corruption makes it easier to take ownership of security by saying that Trump and the Republicans are just Putin puppets. Bring in Trump not releasing is tax returns, and the script writes itself.