Monday, December 12, 2016

Krugman on America's Tainted Election


From Paul Krugman's column in today's New York Times. With Hillary now ahead by nearly three million votes, Krugman is now calling the Trump presidency tainted.

The C.I.A., according to The Washington Post, has now determined that hackers working for the Russian government worked to tilt the 2016 election to Donald Trump. This has actually been obvious for months, but the agency was reluctant to state that conclusion before the election out of fear that it would be seen as taking a political role.

Meanwhile, the F.B.I. went public 10 days before the election, dominating headlines and TV coverage across the country with a letter strongly implying that it might be about to find damning new evidence against Hillary Clinton — when it turned out, literally, to have found nothing at all.

Did the combination of Russian and F.B.I. intervention swing the election? Yes. Mrs. Clinton lost three states – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – by less than a percentage point, and Florida by only slightly more. If she had won any three of those states, she would be president-elect. Is there any reasonable doubt that Putin/Comey made the difference?

...So this was a tainted election. It was not, as far as we can tell, stolen in the sense that votes were counted wrong, and the result won’t be overturned. But the result was nonetheless illegitimate in important ways; the victor was rejected by the public, and won the Electoral College only thanks to foreign intervention and grotesquely inappropriate, partisan behavior on the part of domestic law enforcement.

...nothing that happened on Election Day or is happening now is normal. Democratic norms have been and continue to be violated, and anyone who refuses to acknowledge this reality is, in effect, complicit in the degradation of our republic. This president will have a lot of legal authority, which must be respected. But beyond that, nothing: he doesn’t deserve deference, he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

And when, as you know will happen, the administration begins treating criticism as unpatriotic, the answer should be: You have to be kidding. Mr. Trump is, by all indications, the Siberian candidate, installed with the help of and remarkably deferential to a hostile foreign power. And his critics are the people who lack patriotism?

...Now, outrage over the tainted election past can’t be the whole of opposition politics. It will also be crucial to maintain the heat over actual policies. Everything we’ve seen so far says that Mr. Trump is going to utterly betray the interests of the white working-class voters who were his most enthusiastic supporters, stripping them of health care and retirement security, and this betrayal should be highlighted.

But we ought to be able to look both forward and back, to criticize both the way Mr. Trump gained power and the way he uses it.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The numerous former military personnel chosen by Trump give a better guarantee to take good care of the needs of the Republic than Hillary's banksters.
A..non

The Mound of Sound said...

Who better to entrust with the security of the American treasury than that nation's generals? As for Hillary's "banksters" have you completely overlooked Trump's nominees? Sometimes you just have to take the facts as they are, A..non.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Pompous liberals were clutching their pearls when Trump refused to say he would support the election results (because of his claim the system was rigged.) Now THEY are the ones refusing to accept the election results and saying the system was rigged!

Actually it wasn't Putin or Comey who broke down the Blue Wall and handed Trump the election. It was Michael Moore who won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania for Trump. He fired up a human Molotov cocktail and set fire to the corrupt system. Burn baby burn!

Next on the menu: the EU.

Liberal cravens better find something more sturdy than their pearls to hold onto. This is gonna be one hell of a ride! OH YEAH!

Kirby Evans said...

Trump's de jure win of an election that he de facto lost is probably the greatest political irony that I will experience in my lifetime. Anonymous commentators' continual detractions of Clinton are almost entirely irrelevant to this remarkable irony since it is not a matter of who won and lost, but how. Rather, the beauty of the irony lies in the fact that if the roles were reversed, if Trump had won a decisive popular vote victory but lost the White House (regardless of who his opponent had been), Trump and his supporters would NEVER accept the election and the US would currently be knee deep in violence. One only has to look at the fact that Obama won the White House twice with popular and electoral college votes, and the Republicans never accepted him as legitimate and literally did everything in their legal power to stop him from governing. And they did this before the rise of Trump's populism and the now endemic claims about a rigged system.

Anonymous said...

Only ignoramuses and crybabies don't get the electoral college. The reason presidential votes are decided by state is to ensure all people across the country have a say in who becomes their president.

This isn't a matter of opinion. If the president doesn't represent the Union, there is no Union.

Who cares that a safe Blue state like Californian loved Hillary so much they gave her the state by 4.2-million votes? That doesn't entitle them to the vote in other states.

Representational democracy includes both personal and regional representation. Liberals can hold their breath until their blue in the face. It won't compel 38 states to give up their right to representation in the White House, which is what's needed to kill the EC.



Purple library guy said...

Well, I wasn't sure the "Russian hackers" story was a lie, but now that the CIA and Washington Post have officially made the claim I know it's BS. Particularly since they trot out the usual anonymous sources offering the usual zero evidence.

Purple library guy said...

Mind you, there was certainly corruption in the election, and corruption dominated by Republicans at that, but it's the same stuff the Democrats have been hiding their heads in the sand about for decades now: Systematic disenfranchisement of poor and black voters, massive gerrymandering, dodgy ballot machines both digital and analog, and so on.

The Mound of Sound said...


@ Anonymouse - you seem to think we should be surprised to find fascists in our midst. Hardly. Like pedophiles, we've always had them but, until recently, they've only lurked about. Now with their champions - Erdogan, Orban, Trump among others - they're feeling liberated, empowered, bold enough to crawl out of their sewer and proclaim themselves for what they once concealed. We've seen your kind before and, if necessary, we'll deal with your kind again as we had to before.

Dana said...

Y'know, Mound it's not all that difficult to find out where your fascist troll is posting from and probably it's address and name as well. Wanna have a go at it?

crf said...

I'm not sure that Trump winning wasn't just a fluky accident. Because the election was so close, people do tend to focus on marginal effects, like trying to determine how much Comey's behaviour shifted the electorate. We shouldn't make these out to be bigger than they are.

There is a danger that the American Left will join the Right in following a trail of crumbs right down the conspiracy rabbit hole.

The Democrats should focus on the big things that they can control. If they had done a better job with policy and governance, and run a better campaign, then the election might not have been so close, regardless of the effects of Comey or Putin's little elves.

The Mound of Sound said...

Chris, I agree with Krugman. Comey pulled a Zaccardelli with less than two weeks to the vote. He manipulated the outcome for many voters, including the hundreds of thousands who cast their votes during those final two weeks. With Hillary now 3 million votes ahead I have to go with Krugman - the election was a sham.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Northern PoV said...

Purple Library Guy is right.

Obama won because he overcame the dis-enfranchisement forces that have been suppressing the vote in the US for decades.

Since the Obama wins
1) the SC removed the Fed ability to quash voter suppression and
2) the voter ID laws (remember our own "Fair Elections Act" - that was Harper copying the Yanks) got way worse. (Look up ALEC)

The Dems needed to run a popular candidate to overcome this stuff & win. Duh

the salamander said...

.. you're certainly getting some shots from the peanut gallery..
The presumption that you're completely out to lunch is interesting..
Yet the sheer weight of your extemely accurate & detailed reportage
clearly indicates otherwise .. keep up the fine work .. & excellent analysis

The Mound of Sound said...

That's why "anonymous" is synonymous with "asshole," Sal. This one's a fairly dim bulb at best. Most cowards are.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump the gift that keeps on giving; to bloggers at least.
The new year is going to bat shit crazy making this year one of calm!
As I understand it Trumps unilateral declarations of absolutism will still have to be ratified by the elected Government unless he over uses his executive powers; correct me if I am wrong.

If I am correct then there will likely be shenanigans in both houses of USA government that will make the House of Cards ( the original one not the US one that could have been spawned on the Apprentice) look lame.

My guess is that the infighting which will include back stabbing, false news grabbing and sadly violent expressions of frustration that will devour
not only the USA but the world at large.

The sad thing is; hardly a friggen soul will be aware of what is happening and indeed ; it will be propagated by the advertising,blood sucking,mind numbing , media.
Hail , Rupert Murdoch.

TB

Purple library guy said...

You're wrong. Well, at least partly. The president controls the executive branch, which includes a lot of serious machineries of government. He is the fairly-absolute boss of things like the justice department, the environmental protection agency, the military, FBI, CIA, State department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, department of energy and on and on. They can do a lot of things with no legislative changes whatsoever.

On top of that, W. Bush set an . . . interesting precedent with his signing statements. Nobody really challenged them at the time, even though they basically constituted a seizure of the authority to legislate. I see nothing stopping Trump from taking up the practice, which at a minimum allows a president to seriously modify the effect and enforcement of laws passed by the legislature. At a maximum . . Dubya practically added brand new laws in his signing statements.

He still can't actually pass new laws all by himself. But with all the ludicrous laws and practical precedents already on the books or otherwise in place in the US he barely needs to.

Anonymous said...


@ PL
You're wrong. Well, at least partly

Thanks for the clarification.

It's still going to be Zoo; isn't it?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU0d8kpybVg&list=RDGU0d8kpybVg

TB