Patterico's Pontifications

7/29/2016

Your Vote Does Not Matter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

So you really don’t have to be a jerk to your friends because they’re not voting the way you would like.

No individual vote ever matters in a presidential election. We learned this in Florida 2000. If it’s close enough that your vote could theoretically matter — which is far less likely than your winning the lottery — a swarm of Democrats will swoop in and start reinterpreting the votes of people who could not vote competently to begin with. The brief moment when your vote seemed to matter will pass, and your vote will be swallowed up in all the phony reinterpreted votes.

So your vote simply doesn’t matter. To use the language of the beloved alt-right: you are “virtue-signaling” by announcing for whom you will vote. Some of you are signaling the virtue of being on the team or part of the tribe. Some of you are signaling the virtue of adherence to abstract principle rather than group membership.

But none of it really matters. So just relax.

141 Responses to “Your Vote Does Not Matter”

  1. Think of it this way: your vote will be canceled out by a pot-smoking TV watcher — and this will happen in every election in which you ever vote.

    And if you try to argue that, hey, you canceled out their vote too, I say yippee for you . . . except there’s millions more votes just like that one — votes you didn’t manage to cancel, and never will.

    Patterico (bcf524)

  2. Don’t overlook that many people (myself included?) believe they can change minds, especially those people who aren’t as smart as we (I) am… so they’re not merely virtue-signaling, they’re engaged in persuading people into voting for their preferred candidate, just as the campaigns themselves are attempting to persuade to vote for the chosen candidate. If I can persuade a few hundred thousand people to vote for my candidate, and a few of them can persuade still others, then pretty soon we’re talking about a real difference.

    steve (27c637)

  3. That is, if nothing else, terrible economic theory.

    1) If our votes were valueless, politicians would not work so hard, and spend so much, to get them.
    2) Even if they are of small value, so is the profit on a single gumball from a gumball machine. But a “penny” here and a “penny” there and pretty soon you have enough votes to move a person you like into the White House.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Gotta disagree here, I think the better argument would be that in certain states that vote overwhelmingly one way or the other your vote doesn’t matter, but overall pushing apathy is a horrible idea.

    Sean (221079)

  5. voting is the most important thing

    your vote is your voice don’t throw it away

    we’re setting sail to the place on the map from which no one has ever returned!

    here be prosperity and freedoms

    here be stinkypig

    you need to do you some navigate

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. Even if they are of small value, so is the profit on a single gumball from a gumball machine. But a “penny” here and a “penny” there and pretty soon you have enough votes to move a person you like into the White House.

    Yeah, but who screams at other people about what kind of gumball they’re getting?

    Patterico (bcf524)

  7. but gumballs don’t smell to high heaven and try to redistribute all you stuff

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  8. This is certainly true for the Presidential and most state-wide elections. The Democrat-controlled cities and counties can be relied upon to have voting issues that can be exploited either to win the ballot count outright using manufactured votes, ballot boxes full of votes found two weeks after the election in the basement of a Democrat-controlled public building, or, failing that, they can appeal based on the incompetent management of the voting process in their own counties. And the local judiciary will only be to willing to help.

    But for those of us who live in smaller cities, cities with ten- to twenty thousand registered voters, our votes do matter. And if we are willing to help worthy candidates our efforts will make a difference. SeaTac, the city that gave birth to the $15/hour minimum wage, managed to throw out the rascals last year.

    So work hard for the down ballot candidates.

    BobStewartatHome (404986)

  9. Bernie voters don’t matter.

    mg (31009b)

  10. I think if enough of us tuned out, turned off and dropped out we get someone’s attention. Living in California I get Patterico’s frustration. Nobody here since Tom McClintock seriously courts conservative voters. Our voices mean absolutely nothing, whether it be for a candidate or a policy position. Even when conservatism does win one, we have a liberal court system willing and able to overturn that win.

    The Presidential race here is no different. The populations of San Diego, Orange County The Inland Empire , San Bernardino and all the rural areas of the state just cannot overcome the terminal liberalism of the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  11. happyfeet (28a91b) — 7/29/2016 @ 8:07 am

    That’s a lot of hypocrisy coming from you. You’re the one who won’t register to vote because you’re afraid you’ll be asked to do one of the very few civic duties- serving on a jury- we are asked to do.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  12. A few questions for the California-based attorneys. Given that illegal aliens can get a driver’s license and, as I understand it, register to vote at the same time, if they vote in a Federal election, isn’t that a violation of Federal law, and should those votes be disqualified? How would the CA Secretary of State tell? If the Trump campaign or the RNC file a Federal lawsuit asking for CA’s electoral votes be uncounted until CA changes its state law, would such a suit have to be filed in CA, or could, as is often the custom, be filed in a “friendly” Federal Court?

    Horatio (96243d)

  13. we get someone’s attention.

    That should have been ” we might get someone’s attention.”

    Moar kawffee!!

    Bill H (971e5f)

  14. If our votes didn’t count:

    1. Candidates wouldn’t spend so much money and time trying to get them.
    2. Demoncrats wouldn’t want to steal them by fraud.
    3. Nobody would bother to vote.

    I live in Pennsylvania and it can go GOP so I think my vote is important, however if I lived in California I would still vote. It might just be a protest vote but I’d still cast it.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  15. Horatio, that was the whole idea behind the motor-voter initiative years ago. To get ID to vote into the hands of the ineligible demoncrat voter. I was shouting that then but no one listened.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  16. I live in Pennsylvania and it can go GOP so I think my vote is important, however if I lived in California I would still vote. It might just be a protest vote but I’d still cast it.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6) — 7/29/2016 @ 8:33 am

    I still vote, Rev. Like I told CS yesterday, I take my voting privileges very seriously. Seriously enough that even though I can vote by mail, I make it a point to go to the polling station. I will be voting down ticket in the current election. I will write in a Presidential choice. Problem is, pretty much anything I vote for will wind up being a protest vote here anymore. The chances of us getting a conservative replacement for SanFranNan ar incalculably small.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  17. rock that vote Mr. H

    i got your back

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. Think of it this way:
    We can do one of three things.
    Vote for one of the candidates selected for us by the Duopoly.
    Vote for a third party candidate or a write in vote that signifies we reject the Duopoly.
    Not vote and allow ourselves to be numbered among the mass of people who don’t really care, and are happy with whatever the Duopoly deigns to give us.

    Which is why it is important to not stay home. Even if you write in George Washington, you are showing you reject the system.

    And if enough people reject the system, others will notice. Or at least you will realize how many of you do reject it, even if it is not much compared to the overall population.

    kishnevi (870883)

  19. Please write in my Dog, Missy. She is friendly, loyal, honest and gentle. She is also a black female
    who will sell out for a cookie. Beats hell out of either of the two official candidates.

    Bar Sinister (c62a89)

  20. For those thinking about writing in a candidate for President – while it may satisfy your anger or disgust at the two major candidates – it will be discarded by your State’s Secretary of State for the simple reason that you never vote for Presidential candidates – you vote for electors, and your write-in candidate won’t have any. A write-in vote is mental masturbation writ large

    John Galt 2016

    Horatio (96243d)

  21. Mathematically an individual vote doesn’t matter if you are talking strictly about determining the winner.

    However, votes can have an influence even if they don’t decide the winner. (See votes for Communist Party and Ross Perot)

    Chris L (d0f878)

  22. If Loretta Sanchez did a full-throated(!) endorsement of Donald Trump, would it help her overtake Kam Harris (although a case could be made that KH is less harmful as a junior US Senator than as Cal AG). And I dont think she would lose Hispanic support in doing so, because they would recognize this as the only path forward to get a Mexican-American US senator.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  23. I will be happy to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton only if I am on the grand jury and am voting to indite her. Since California is now a one party state run by the Socialist Unity Party, Hillary
    will win California. Might as well have a little fun while suffering.

    Bar Sinister (c62a89)

  24. Barack is President because more people voted for him than either Mitt Romney or John McCain.
    A lot of Americans have suffered during this Barack Economy — the 2nd quarter of his eighth year has produced a mind-numbing and “unexpected” 1.2% growth! — and lots of people have died around the world due to Barack’s feckless foreign policy.

    So, I’d respectfully say that not only do votes matter, but elections do have consequences.
    Elections are determined by the ballot box — not by late night dorm room bull sessions, regardless of how much passion and principle is injected into the session.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  25. Our host wrote:

    If it’s close enough that your vote could theoretically matter — which is far less likely than your winning the lottery — a swarm of Democrats will swoop in and start reinterpreting the votes of people who could not vote competently to begin with. The brief moment when your vote seemed to matter will pass, and your vote will be swallowed up in all the phony reinterpreted votes.

    This argument fails because there were 529 more votes than the Democrats could reinterpret away from George Bush to Al Gore.

    Now, I can argue that my vote would be wasted, if I cast it for Donald Trump, because Hillary Clinton will carry Pennsylvania very easily, but that my vote would not be wasted if I cast it for Gary Johnson, because that, if enough other conservatives follow suit, would send a message to the GOP.

    The Dana who will vote (f6a568)

  26. Re: 20.

    “A write-in vote is mental masturbation writ large”

    It’s true that the actual name written in won’t be counted, but the total write-in vote always is. If that hits, say, 20%, you think it won’t be noticed? Nobody will believe that affected the election result?

    Luke Stywalker (334adc)

  27. In fairness, a lot of us are virtue-signaling by announcing that we aren’t going to vote for the GOP nominee. My thoughts are that I am not going to try to talk anyone out of voting for him, nor will I hold it against anyone who does so. But I ask that they understand that it is just a bridge too far for me to actively support his candidacy with my vote. Simple as that.

    Conversely, I would spend my last breath trying to convince anyone not to vote for that awful, awful woman whom the Democrats are running.

    JVW (f97acd)

  28. . . . my vote would not be wasted if I cast it for Gary Johnson, because that, if enough other conservatives follow suit, would send a message to the GOP.

    I made a very small donation to the Johnson/Weld campaign, in part because I still have fond memories of Bill Weld’s first term as governor of Massachusetts and in part because I want to see him invited along to the debates this fall. I have my masochistic streak just like the rest of us, but I shudder to contemplate the idea of watching the GOP and Dem nominees debate with the stage all to themselves.

    JVW (f97acd)

  29. And by “him” I mean Johnson, thought I would like to see Weld debating Kaine and Pence as well.

    JVW (f97acd)

  30. So when Ted Cruz is up for re-election in 2018, we can expect to hear our Texas friends pontificate about how voting for Ted doesn’t actually matter, right?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  31. I agree with our host entirely re virtue signalling. I’m awfully tired, and growing annoyed, at people scolding me on the assumption that they get to decide the parameters I use to cast (or not cast) my vote. It’s patronizing and offensive, all the more so when it comes from someone who’s otherwise given me grounds to respect their opinions (even when I disagree).

    My quibble (and it’s only that) is in our host’s vague formulation. I’ll buy the argument that no individual vote matters, if by “matters” you mean “decides the outcome.” If by “matters” one instead means “will be included in the aggregated totals that decide the election,” then ordinarily, yes, one’s vote does matter in that sense. And that’s all I’ve ever expected of it anyway. (The clusterfark in Florida in 2000 remains a spectacular exception, I’ll also grant you, but it is only an exception.)

    When I cast my Texas GOP primary ballot for Cruz, my vote didn’t translate directly into a new delegate for him at the convention or anything even that consequential. But indirectly, it translated into an election in which more Texans showed up specifically to vote for Ted Cruz — in a still-large field — than showed up for the 2012 Texas GOP primary altogether. That result didn’t turn out to “matter” in the sense of winning Cruz the nomination. But it matters for other purposes — e.g., whether Cruz’ enemies can recruit a credible GOPe-type opponent to primary Cruz in 2018, which I think extremely unlikely, and whether Cruz could be well-positioned to run again in 2020 or even 2024.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  32. For me, it’s more than a matter of virtue signaling.

    To vote for Trump is as much a vote against small government conservatism as vote for Hillary would be. He represents the authoritarian, nationalistic strain of conservatism that doesn’t care if government is overly large, as long as we have a stable orderly society.

    Plus he himself seems psychologically and ethically unfit for office. She is too, but in different ways. And when he shreds the Constitution, he won’t even realize it. She will at least know she should be ashamed, even if shame is totally foreign to her personality.

    There are some policies he seems to support which should at least be discussed: should our involvement in NATO be the same as it was in 1956? Should we penalize Chinese imports with high tariffs? But he seems to throw them out as off the cuff impressions, superficial ideas he would be hard pressed to explain, much less defend. Rethinking crucial longstanding policies needs someone better to represent them.

    kishnevi (870883)

  33. voting for Mr. Trump is a sacred privilege whereas voting for stinkypig or doing scribbles is very pooper

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. At this point, in this system, our vote is more about what we say about ourselves than what we say to or about anyone else.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  35. Was it over when the Germans bombed pearl harbor?

    narciso (732bc0)

  36. Sometimes a vote is just a vote, Leviticus. I think you’re reading too much into making a choice for President. There are basically two people running: pick one. The only thing it “says” is you think one would be better than the other.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  37. Thanks, narciso, this discussion needed a good John Belushi reference! 😀

    Beldar (fa637a)

  38. Why does one bother to make noise in a stadium when your favourite football team in on D? The players can’t hear you.
    It’s because collectively we can make a lot of noise and influence the outcome.
    This is why your vote counts.

    Radical moderate (21fb83)

  39. One needs to have the proper absurdist mindset, we can’t let the wrong lizard win, focus on that.

    narciso (732bc0)

  40. . The only thing it “says” is you think one would be better than the other

    But what of us who think both are equally horrible…albeit horrible in different ways.

    kishnevi (870883)

  41. voting is how you say no stinkypig for me thank you

    I’m an American!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  42. I really don’t think this is so hard. The political and social devolution we have witnesses over that past few decades has me worried. I fear for my child’s future. I believe that the needed change will only be accomplished by an individual with the smarts, determination and, most importantly, moral compass needed to get the job done. For that reason, my goal is to put Ted Cruz, or someone who shares Cruz’ conservative world view (Justin Amash or Mike Lee), in the White House. Donald Trump is not that man.

    For me and others like me, the question is, “What is the most effective strategy to ensure a Cruz presidency?” The answer I come up with is the defeat of Donald Trump in the general election. Like it or not, Trump supporters, Ted Cruz is now the presumptive Republican nominee in the next election cycle if Hillary is elected come November. I would argue that not only should likeminded conservatives withhold our vote from Trump, but that we should, in fact, vote for Hillary.

    If the last eight years have taught us anything, it is that we can tough out a leftist presidency. We can tough out four years of Hillary, if it promises transformational change in the next presidential election cycle. Simply subtracting our vote from Trump’s total is not enough. I know that voting for Clinton will be a bitter pill, but it is a step in the right direction. It is the only rational, long-term strategy.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  43. The 2AM dorm room bull sessions are getting old.

    BUT WE’RE SENDING A MESSSSSAGE!

    Stop it, please.
    Elections are determined by votes. The winner gets to govern. If Ted Cruz had garnered enough votes during the primaries, we wouldn’t be pontificating about how votes don’t matter. Rather, we’d be boasting about how more people voted for our guy than for that jerk, Trump.
    (Irony alert!)

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  44. I would add make it a 300/70 R proposition in the House/Senate to curb her worst tendencies, but look at how poorly that has worked in this past administration. Unless there is a blatant “assassination” of one of the Right-4, I still say that time and health issues portend that the next few vacancies happen on the liberal side of the SC.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  45. A few questions for the California-based attorneys. Given that illegal aliens can get a driver’s license and, as I understand it, register
    to vote at the same time,

    Why are you asking about illegal aliens? There’s nothing special about illegal ones, an illegal alien voting is no worse than a legal one doing so, and legal aliens have been getting drivers licenses ever since they were invented.

    And no, they can’t legally register to vote at that time or at any other. They can, of course, illegally register to vote when they get their licenses, but they can equally do so at any other time, and always could. So CA’s decision that driver licensing should be about safety and nothing else doesn’t change anything with regard to voter registration.

    if they vote in a Federal election, isn’t
    that a violation of Federal law, and should those
    votes be disqualified?

    Of course
    votes cast by those ineligible to vote are
    disqualified, if they can be identified. But once
    they’re in the ballot box there’s no way to identify
    them and fish them out.

    The core is that when people register to vote there is no verification of eligiblity. Not in California or in any other state. The registrant must simply declare under oath that he is eligible, and the government takes his word for it. Even those states who tried to fix this couldn’t, because they are required to accept the federal form, and the federal government refuses to add a requirement for proof of eligibility. So any ineligible person who wants to register illegally can just use the federal form. Of course if he is ever caught he risks prosecution, but the chance of that happening is almost nil. Almost nobody is caught, and of those caught almost nobody is every prosecuted. So those who choose to perjure themselves have no fear.

    Milhouse (0f3c4e)

  46. There was no single purchase of a VHS or Betamax machine that determined whether VHS or Betamax would be the dominant format.

    But clearly each purchase mattered in that determination.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  47. @Milhouse:The core is that when people register to vote there is no verification of eligiblity.

    This is an excellent point. The people who demand evidence that vote fraud happens and sways elections, set up a system by which vote fraud can almost never be detected.

    The employment eligibility verification system works in essentially the same way: an illegal immigrant who presents papers of some kind cannot legally be fired, nor can his employer legally question his documentation or be held responsible for having hired an illegal.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  48. How would the CA Secretary of State tell? If the Trump campaign or the RNC file a Federal lawsuit asking for CA’s electoral votes be uncounted until CA changes its state law, would such a suit have to be filed in CA, or could, as is often the custom, be filed in a “friendly” Federal Court?

    Oops, I ended that early. First of all, as I pointed out above, CA is not different in this regard. Second, no, even if a state actually allowed aliens to vote it wouldn’t affect the validity of that state’s electors, because the election of a state’s electors is entirely a matter for the state’s legislature. A state needn’t even have an election for its electors; it can provide that they be chosen by lot, or it can auction electorships to the highest bidder, or it can have them elected by everyone residing in the state, citizen or alien, legal or illegal, aged over 10.

    Milhouse (0f3c4e)

  49. whaaaa?

    Ted Cruz was collapsing like a rio olympic venue even before his disastrous primary speech

    much like the (possibly apocryphal) toast, he is done

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  50. *convention* speech i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  51. #42 Thor,

    I respect you.
    You stood up and said, “I’m voting for Hillary.”
    You believe that she’s the better choice between Trump and Clinton, and you didn’t hide or mince words.

    However, I completely disagree with you that our nation has weathered the Barack Storm. And I completely disagree with you that we can weather a Hillary Storm.
    Lots of people have died due to Barack’s feckless foreign policy, so I think it’s fair to say that not everyone has weathered the storm, huh?
    And a lot of people are suffering economically.
    I know that a lot of hard right wingers see economic success (or failure) as a result of a person’s work ethic and smarts, but I just see that policies have a big impact on the economy as well as on the ability of a family to save and invest in their own future.
    Today, the 2nd quarter reports 1.2% growth. We can’t do this crap anymore.
    Sotomayor and Kagan are gifts that will keep on giving for another thirty years. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer have been giving us gifts for 23 and 22 years, respectively.
    When we elect a President, we’re not just choosing the schlub who gets to sit in the Oval Office. We’re choosing the schlub who gets to control the Pentagon, the State Dept, the IRS, the VA, and the Department of Energy, et al.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  52. Horatio (96243d) — 7/29/2016 @ 8:25 am

    . Given that illegal aliens can get a driver’s license and, as I understand it, register to vote at the same time,

    A person geta asked a separate question before registering to vote and has to check off yes – whether they are a citizen of the United States – so one doesn’t automatically follow from the other. They have to say they are a citizen, and this partially follows from the type of proof of identity used. People under 18 can also get driver’s licenses, but are not automatically registered to vote.

    if they vote in a Federal election, isn’t that a violation of Federal law,

    Yes it is. Invalid registrations most often happen from people who have been told they will become citizens, but have not yet been sworn in. Legal permanent residents don’t want to make trouble for themselves, and those not legal usually don’t want to call attention to themselves, but might be registered by a political machine. Most know individual votes don’t matter that much, but the temptation may be higher in this election than usual.

    and should those votes be disqualified?

    You could do that if you knew what they were, which is hard with a secret ballot. It’s different with affidavit and, sometimes, absentee ballots, which can be checked for eligibility befrore the vote is counted.

    I suppose someone could demand an election be re-run if the number of unqualified voters is larger than the margin. I think the law about that is unclear.

    How would the CA Secretary of State tell? If the Trump campaign or the RNC file a Federal lawsuit asking for CA’s electoral votes be uncounted until CA changes its state law, would such a suit have to be filed in CA, or could, as is often the custom, be filed in a “friendly” Federal Court?

    At a minimum, you would have to show that the number of invalid votes cast was greater than the margin between the two top candidates.

    By the way, don’t put it above the Democrats to argue for the voote to be thrown out if they lose by a small margin, even if most of the invalid votes were most likely cast for them, but this would probably happen only in the most important elections. They have to figure the impact on other elections.

    Democrats also always want to rack up the margin of victory in order to convince anyone who might want to launch a campaign against them that opposition is hopeless. Democratic victories are actually more fragile than you think. Consider that a Republican won the special electioon for Anthony Weiner’s seat in Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  53. Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1) — 7/29/2016 @ 10:33 am

    nor can his employer legally question his documentation or be held responsible for having hired an illegal.

    He can’t use any test that he does not also use for a person who speaks English without an accent. All persons must be treated equally. No shortcuts for obvious cases. There can be no discrimination on the basis of national origin, but only just where and when the federal government says so.

    For e-verify I think the rule is like this: A person can be asked to provide proof only AFTER a decision to hire has been made, and has 3 days to provide it. If denied, he or she can claim an error and appeal. The employer must keep the person on the payroll until the matter is settled and then fire the person immediately if the matter is decided against the employee.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  54. Wow…Patterico is simply going to get a mind hernia contorting reality to smooth his despicable and traitorous behavior of helping Hillary.

    So your vote doesn’t count, huh.

    LOL…

    Soon he’ll be telling us that committing crimes don’t matter since the justice system is unfair and everyone does bad things and law enforcement is trying to sweep back the sea with a broom and most crime is victimless and everybody does it so why not do something for yourself to get ahead and steal something or whatever.

    Good one, Patterico… your vote doesn’t count. I’m sure this will be big comfort to you when Hillary wins and conservatives lose a really important election.

    PTS (ce7fc3)

  55. #42 Thor,

    By the way, wasn’t Barack’s first term supposed to yield an outrage by the American people?
    It didn’t happen.
    And wasn’t his second term supposed to yield an outrage by the American people? (Result remains to be seen.)
    So, now we’re pushing the goalposts out farther, saying, “Well, Hillary will probably suck, but she’ll elicit an uprising after her first term!
    And wasn’t that supposed to happen to Bill Clinton in 1996, too?
    I think we’ve seen this tv show before.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  56. Cruz Supporter,

    I think that Trump is marginally superior to Hillary, but I also feel that voting for Trump is shortsighted. I believe the changes I am hoping for, if they come at all, will come sooner by way of a Clinton victory.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  57. But that’s exactly how Bill Clinton won in 1992.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  58. urbanleftbehind (5eecdb) — 7/29/2016 @ 9:02 am

    If Loretta Sanchez did a full-throated(!) endorsement of Donald Trump, would it help her overtake Kam Harris </blockquote. That would hurt her, because she could offer no plausible reason for doing so. It would like Donald trump endorsing Putin. But Donald Trump, or a conservative magazine, endorsing Loretta Sanchez, would help her. But you say, maybe getting Kamala Harris out of the Cal Attorney general job is something you would want.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  59. voting for Mr. Trump is a sacred privilege whereas voting for stinkypig or doing scribbles is very pooper
    happyfeet (28a91b) — 7/29/2016 @ 9:46 am

    What the hell are you smoking, dude? I think you’re wrong, but that almost makes sense.

    Bill H (576c5e)

  60. Good one, Patterico… your vote doesn’t count. I’m sure this will be big comfort to you when Hillary wins and conservatives lose a really important election.
    PTS (ce7fc3) — 7/29/2016 @ 10:58 am

    PTS, yo momma is so fat, her ass has it’s own zip code.

    Bill H (576c5e)

  61. yes yes it does almost

    i hope everyone understands they’re a vital thread in the american tapestry and goes to the polls and votes for Mr. Trump

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  62. Thor,

    If the American people aren’t collectively pissed enough about the past 8 years of a bad economy or about ISIS cutting people’s heads off, then they’re probably not going to be too outraged by what happens during the first four years of a Hillary presidency.
    If Hillary gets to put three 50 year old left wing moonbats on the Supreme Court, it will redefine the country.
    Again, a four year presidency is not just four years of bad sh*t.
    It shapes the country for DECADES.

    Just remember, Ginsburg and Breyer were seated BEFORE the Gingrich Revolution.
    Gingrich is long gone, but Ginsburg and Breyer are the gifts that keep on giving!

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  63. Sammy, I’m ambivalent since I do not reside/cast ballot in CA. On top of getting Harris out of the AG seat in a Dem-replacing-Dem senate race, Sanchez (sometimes Brixey) still has detractors originating from her margin against Fighting Bob Dornan comming from illegal aliens voting. Apart from a general population version of the AB – Sureno prison protection alliance, I dont see a path for Sanchez and you may see a lot of ballots in CA bereft of filled circles on the top 2 races. Whichever way I go in the Presidential race, I will go opposite party for US Senator (Kirk if its Johnson, Duckworth if its Trump).

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  64. Yea in some instances your votes don’t matter.

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2004/dec/14/found-ballots-may-tip-election-to-gregoire/

    This went thru three recounts and every time the most populated county kept “finding” more misplaced ballots every time the local WA Democrats needed some ballots. Even after serious questions were asked the US Attorney and the DoJ certified the election as legitimate. So go ahead and live in your imaginationland and dont admit that in some states which are diehard in the Democratic National Committee ownership, will invalidate any conservative opinion and voters.

    Charles (4fcb6d)

  65. Hillary presidency.
    If Hillary gets to put three 50 year old left wing moonbats on the Supreme Court, it will redefine the country.
    Again, a four year presidency is not just four years of bad sh*t.
    It shapes the country for DECADES.

    Just remember, Ginsburg and Breyer were seated BEFORE the Gingrich Revolution.
    Gingrich is long gone, but Ginsburg and Breyer are the gifts that keep on giving!
    Cruz Supporter (102c9a) — 7/29/2016 @ 11:15 am

    Hold on a minute, CS. After you asked for, and I gave you my opinion on whether or no0t Sir Hillary could make conservative judicial appointments, you told me that this wasn’t an important point. Now you’re saying it is. Which is it? This was the exact point I attempted to get across to you yesterday- if Trump were to make noises about selecting genuinely conservative judges- ones thar take their oath of office seriously, I may consider changing my mind about him.

    Bill H (576c5e)

  66. Bill H,

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.
    I’ve been banging the drum for weeks (months?!) about my fear of Hillary’s judicial nominees.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  67. …..if Trump were to make noises about selecting genuinely conservative judges- ones thar take their oath of office seriously, I may consider changing my mind about him.

    He really doesn’t need to, Bill H. Trump could throw darts at the list of BAR Assn. membership and pick less liberal judges than Hillary! will pick. You can take that to the bank. He would literally need to go out of his way to pick more liberal judges than she.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  68. My vote cancels out one idiots vote. Go vote and help me cancel idiots.

    Luckily since happyfeet does not vote, I don’t have to cancel him. er, his vote.

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  69. #65 Bill H,

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and just chalk it up to you confusing a conversation with another commenter with me, but I didn’t say, infer, or suggest ANYTHING of the sort that Hillary’s judicial nominees might be surprisingly conservative, or that they don’t matter, blah, blah, blah.
    Hillary is a left wing kook, and she’ll nominate left wing kooks to the federal judiciary. I’ve been banging that specific drum for months, and all the regulars know it.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  70. @Sammy Finkelman:For e-verify …the employer must keep the person on the payroll until the matter is settled and then fire the person immediately if the matter is decided against the employee.

    This is 100% false. If an employee cooperates and the E-Verify process cannot confirm eligibility, the employer has the legal right to retain the employee.

    ►The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Nonconfirmation result.

    E-Verify cannot verify that this employee is authorized to work in the United States. The employee had contested the tentative nonconfirmation (TNC), but was unable to resolve it. The employer chooses to exercise its legal right to allow the employee to continue to work.

    ►The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a No Show result.
    E-Verify cannot verify that this employee is authorized to work in the United States. The employee had contested the tentative nonconfirmation (TNC), but did not take action to resolve it. The employer chooses to exercise its legal right to allow the employee to continue to work.

    ►The employee continues to work for the employer after choosing not to contest a Tentative Nonconfirmation.

    E-Verify cannot verify that this employee is authorized to work in the United States. The employee chose not to contest the tentative nonconfirmation. The employer chooses to exercise its legal right to allow the employee to continue to work.

    Even if the employee refuses to cooperate, the employer is not obligated to fire the employee:

    If you decide not to terminate employment, you should not complete a new case for your employee. You should close the case as ‘The employee continues to work for the employer after choosing not to contest a Tentative Nonconfirmation.’

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  71. CS
    I think that at one point you said Hillary might nominate judges who were more conservative than we expect. By which you meant (I am fairly sure) not as out and out leftist as we might expect. But the phrasing may have confused people.

    kishnevi (142e2a)

  72. Yes, your vote doesn’t matter.

    For no matter which candidate wins, Clinton or Trump, conservatism loses.

    And that’s a good thing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  73. ask al gore if voting for nader in 2000 didn’t matter. and supreme court stopped vote counting.

    ralph (63565f)

  74. The God of Thunder wrote:

    For me and others like me, the question is, “What is the most effective strategy to ensure a Cruz presidency?” The answer I come up with is the defeat of Donald Trump in the general election. Like it or not, Trump supporters, Ted Cruz is now the presumptive Republican nominee in the next election cycle if Hillary is elected come November. I would argue that not only should likeminded conservatives withhold our vote from Trump, but that we should, in fact, vote for Hillary.

    Arrrggghhhh! That is an argument to put a possible Cruz nomination ahead of the country. I can vote for Gary Johnson, knowing that Hillary Clinton is going to carry Pennsylvania, but I sure as Hell would never vote for Mrs Clinton.

    And no, defeating Donald Trump in no way makes Senator Cruz the presumptive GOP nominee in 2020. Mr Cruz’s philosophy is absolutely the right one, but the man does not have the charisma to win. The man has pissed off just about everybody in the Republican Party, and even if Mr Trump is defeated, and even if Mrs Clinton proves to be as disastrous a president as we would expect, I will tell you, right here and right now, that Ted Cruz will not be the 2020 Republican presidential nominee.

    If the last eight years have taught us anything, it is that we can tough out a leftist presidency. We can tough out four years of Hillary, if it promises transformational change in the next presidential election cycle. Simply subtracting our vote from Trump’s total is not enough. I know that voting for Clinton will be a bitter pill, but it is a step in the right direction. It is the only rational, long-term strategy.

    We can “tough out a leftist presidency?” Thanks to this leftist presidency, we have homosexual “marriage” foisted on us, thanks to two Obama Supreme Court appointees, we have the federal government now guaranteeing health care, we have a huge inflation in welfare and food stamp and disability rolls, we have a slowly decreasing labor force participation rate, we have public schools ordered to allow the mentally ill to use whatever stinking locker room they want, we have normalized deviancy and stigmatized normality. Our country is not only worse off, but it is far worse off than even I’d have even imagined. Another four years of Democratic presidents, and our First Amendment rights will be emasculated, and the Second Amendment completely eviscerated.

    The Dana appalled by ThOR's argument. (f6a568)

  75. #56
    What changes will come as a result of a Clinton victory?

    Gerald A (d958ee)

  76. DCSCA, you’re a non conservative trolling a conservative blog encouraging people not to vote? How adorably diabolical.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  77. Dana is 100% on the money. If Hillary! wins the Supreme Court will have determined the First Amendment is not an individual right before her first term is over. And don’t be surprised if European style speech laws are passed to stop anti AGW speech. They will also determine that kids who choose go to college have a “right” to have it paid for by people who didn’t. And those are just for starters.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  78. Dana most appalled:
    But what of the damages wrought by a Trump presidency. All those social changes would be equally probable with the Donald. And the baton of opposing big government power grabs would be passed to–the Democrats, Shiva help us. There are also all the foreign policy imbroglios Trump would lead us into.

    I will give a less ambitious version of Thor’s argument.

    –If Trump wins, small government conservatism will be kicked out of the GOP. If he loses, the resulting intraparty shake-up will give small government conservatism a decent chance at becoming truly dominant in the GOP, and an actual small government candidate (Cruz or someone else is far too early to forecast)to run as a true alternative to the Democrats.

    Mind you, unlike Thor and Dustin, I refuse to vote for Clinton, even though I live in Florida where it may “actually” matter.

    kishnevi (026afe)

  79. Rev H.
    The Acronym of Five Letters has actually been declaring his fealty to Trump.

    Which ought to give pause to those considering voting for Trump.

    kishnevi (026afe)

  80. And don’t be surprised if European style speech laws are passed to stop anti AGW speech. They will also determine that kids who choose go to college have a “right” to have it paid for by people who didn’t. And those are just for starters.
    Only if the congressional GOP really rolls over and play dead. But simple political calculation should ensure they won’t

    kishnevi (026afe)

  81. If Trump wins, small government conservatism will be kicked out of the GOP.

    oh boo and also hoo there’s none of this what’s even remotely discernible in the GOP

    the important thing is stinkypig clinton gets a swift kick in the harpsichord

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  82. Only if the congressional GOP really rolls over and play dead. But simple political calculation should ensure they won’t

    Agreed, and nor will they roll over if Trump is elected. In fact they might even influence things if Trump is elected but not with Hillary!. However kishnevi, I was assuming Supreme Court decisions on those policies not legislation.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  83. I think the GOP will be delighted to roll over for Trump, because he would be a “winner”. He would be the influencer, not the influencee. In fact, if this were not a family blog, so to speak, I would use a rather blunt obscene phrase to describe the GOP under Trump. The word “under” might give you a clue. And I don’t think the Supreme Court by itself could inflict all those policies, merely approve laws passed by Congress.

    kishnevi (026afe)

  84. “The grapes were probably sour anyway.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  85. If Trump wins, small government conservatism will be kicked out of the GOP.

    And if Trump loses, the last vestiges of the Constitution will be kicked out of the Supreme Court.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  86. They may be anyway, but may is better than will.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  87. President Trump will do so good on the Constitution. You’re going to be very pleasantly surprised I think.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  88. kishnevi, you seem to be saying it’s just a matter of degree how bad Hillary! is over Trump or vice versa. I know, and so do you, that Hillary! is a radical leftist ideologue. Trump is not. There is always a chance Trump may be better than we think he’ll be. There is no doubt Hillary! will be far worse than we think she’ll be.

    I also thoroughly believe if she wins the left will have a death grip on the levers of power for the rest of our lives and may years longer. It will mean America no longer believes we are exceptional and we will become Europe.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  89. @76. On the contrary.

    By all means, vote. Neither are conservatives. And either victor is a win. It neuters conservatism.

    My God, I’m voting Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  90. Rev H @88
    Essentially I think Trump will be worse than you think he will be. And I don’t think Hillary is an ideologue. The left is a convenient tool to power for her, and if and when it stops being convenient she will throw them under the bus. Her creed is Hillaryism. And even if she is the radical ideologue you think she is, I don’t think the power of the Left will be able to hold power as firmly as you fear.

    kishnevi (dac9a3)

  91. right, citizens united and nakoula bassolay didn’t convince, what color is the moon on your world,

    narciso (732bc0)

  92. And I don’t think Hillary is an ideologue.

    oh i know what she is

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  93. 91
    Two good examples of Hillary trying to protect herself. Benefits to the Left were a side effect of the benefit to Herself.

    kishnevi (dac9a3)

  94. The train is fine. But the grapes are sour.

    So it's come to this (85e424)

  95. She wants to set up safe zones for Syrian citizens? crazy.

    mg (31009b)

  96. Cruz Supporter (102c9a) — 7/29/2016 @ 11:00 am

    , wasn’t Barack’s first term supposed to yield an outrage by the American people?

    No, it wasn’t. There was a psuhback against some of his legislation, the Republican re-gained control of the House of Represenatives in 2010, but they ddin’t have a good candidate in 2012.

    And wasn’t his second term supposed to yield an outrage by the American people?

    The Republicans took control of the Senate in the 2014 elections.

    So, now we’re pushing the goalposts out farther, saying, “Well, Hillary will probably suck, but she’ll elicit an uprising after her first term!”
    And wasn’t that supposed to happen to Bill Clinton in 1996, too?

    No, although the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1952 – the first time since they lost control in 1954, and they’d only had it inn 1946 and 1952, two years each, since 1930. In the 1930 elections, the Republicans still retainec control, but because of deaths till it was organzied in December, 1931, the House was Democratic. The republicans had taken control of the Senate alone, in 1980, for the first time since the Congress elected in 1952 came to an end, and it lasted 6 years.

    I think we’ve seen this tv show before.

    So the Democrats gain control of the Senate and then lose it in two years?

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  97. The problem with Hillary is NOT that she is an ideologue, which she is not. It’s her total lack of any ethics or human feelings.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  98. 97. mg (31009b) — 7/29/2016 @ 3:07 pm

    She wants to set up safe zones for Syrian citizens? crazy.

    Putin will only take that kind of guff from Israel. RUssian air planes avoid challenging Israeli ones, and let Israel do what it wants in Syria where it wants to do that, while U.S. planes avoid challeging Russian ones.

    Safe zones won’t work, because they might be bombed by Russia, and the U.S. won’t shoot at Russian planes, at least as long as Putin keeps lying and promising ceasefires, while ISIS would try very hard to detonate bombs there. Maybe a safe zone could be established in the south.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  99. good news everybody,

    http://www.cato.org/blog/johnson-weld-libertarian-ticket

    of course volodya will not allow such a safe zone, so we’ll have a tripwire like in the cuban missile crisis,

    narciso (732bc0)

  100. @ PTS (#54), who wrote this —

    Wow…Patterico is simply going to get a mind hernia contorting reality to smooth his despicable and traitorous behavior of helping Hillary.

    So your vote doesn’t count, huh.

    LOL…

    Soon he’ll be telling us that ….

    That’s how far I got before I realized that I certainly didn’t need to read any farther. PTS putting words in Patterico’s mouth … yeah, that’s utterly credible, dude. What a master of rhetoric and mind-reading you are!

    I still think you need more taunts to sharpen your game. I’m telling you, try the “Nanny-nanny boo-boo” line!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. #71 kishnevi,

    I never said any goddamn thing about Hillary’s judicial nominees being palatable.
    That’s ridiculous.
    I once said a few weeks ago that TRUMP’s judicial nominees might surprise you — not Hillary’s.

    By the way, when did you stop beating your wife? (LOL)

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  102. I completely understand why one might view my argument as appalling. I’m not even sure I could go through with voting for someone I find as repugnant as Hill. But I think it is important to seriously consider this option.

    Sadly, there is a short-sightedness that conservatives have fallen prey to, time and again, that makes us perineal losers come election time. It is the short-sightedness of believing they we must always vote for the lesser two evils. The problem with this approach is that, in so doing, we short-circuit the only feedback mechanism we have that would enable us to break out of the seemingly endless cycle of worthless GOP nominees who feel no compunction about thumbing their collective noses at us. The only way to insure that our concerns are catered to is to stop giving away our votes. There must be a quid pro quo. Many of us complain about Republican elected officials who go along to get along. We need to stop doing the same thing, ourselves, when we cast our ballots.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  103. if you live in a blue berg, as I used to it was like resident evil, now it’s probably closer to 50/50, however if you summon cthluthu from the briny deep, don’t be surprised you’ll be eaten in short order,

    narciso (732bc0)


  104. And wasn’t his second term supposed to yield an outrage by the American people?

    The Republicans took control of the Senate in the 2014 elections.

    He’s talking about the idea that Republicans will win the White House in 2020.

    I think we’ve seen this tv show before.

    So the Democrats gain control of the Senate and then lose it in two years?

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49) — 7/29/2016 @ 3:14 pm

    Yes we have seen that TV show before. Who cares if the GOP gets control of the Senate in 2018, after Clinton makes a couple of SCOTUS appointments, along with packing all other federal courts with even more libs, lets in thousands of Syrians, shuts down more coal mines, etc. etc., and then loses it back in 2020, along with losing the White House again in 2020?

    And what do you expect the GOP will do those two years anyway?

    Gerald A (76f251)

  105. “your vote simply doesn’t matter”

    It matters a little bit. If nothing else, my vote cancels out the vote of a complete moron who lives somewhere else in my town. And that makes me feel good. 😜

    Andrew Hyman (b12b60)

  106. The obvious absurdity of claiming that it’s okay if Hillary wins because we can wait for the Republicans to possibly regain control of the Senate (for what will likely be a two year period if it happens) makes me wonder if the person arguing that is actually a Democrat.

    Gerald A (76f251)

  107. Are you referring to me? Why, yes, I am a registered Democrat. I changed my registration in May, right after Senator Cruz conceded, so I could vote for Bernie is the California primary. And this isn’t the only time I’ve re-registered as a Democrat to vote in the California primary. Many moons ago, I re-registered so I could vote for Jesse Jackson in the presidential primary. Do you see the pattern? Rush Limbaugh didn’t invent “Operation Chaos,” he just gave it a name and popularized it.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  108. Wow…Patterico is simply going to get a mind hernia contorting reality to smooth his despicable and traitorous behavior of helping Hillary.

    He told you a year ago that a Trump candidacy should count him out. Now you lot are so effing shocked that he meant what he said. The “traitorous behavior of helping Hillary” was accomplished the moment Trump became the nominee. You have no one to blame but yourselves if she wins.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  109. I’m just confused about why Trey Gowdy has not yet been appointed Dictator for Life by simple acclamation.

    Can we still just do that? Nobody actually really reads the Constitution any more anyway, so let’s just re-set.

    hunson abedeer (80144e)

  110. ThOR (c9324e) — 7/29/2016 @ 10:44 pm

    I was talking about #98.

    Gerald A (76f251)

  111. You have no one to blame but yourselves if she wins.

    That’s a bunch of hooey. A guy supports a candidate in the general you didn’t like in the primary so it’s his fault the enemy wins? You’re damaged goods. There are two people running. Pick one. I don’t care how much you loved Cruz, he’s not running. Vote Trump or it’s your damn fault if Hillary! wins and you know it so stop trying to shift the blame onto someone who actually voted against her.

    Rev. Hoagie® (0f4ef6)

  112. Shake your head, Kevin, your brain is stuck.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  113. I would argue that not only should likeminded conservatives withhold our vote from Trump, but that we should, in fact, vote for Hillary.

    I stop by once in a while to see if common sense has reappeared. I guess not.

    In spite of the #NeverTrumpers, I think we are going to see a very interesting event in November.

    Mike K (f28d0f)

  114. This humble one does not wish to experience interesting times.

    en kei (dbc370)

  115. Mike K… For the win!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  116. “Votes don’t matter anyways guyz”

    I seem to recall that part of Obama’s original mission was to ‘go around spreading apathy’, as it were. Has he already gotten to you just 8 years hence? Would it kill you not to turn into an Apathy-spreading Under-node?

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  117. The “traitorous behavior of helping Hillary” was accomplished the moment Trump became the nominee. You have no one to blame but yourselves if she wins.

    I think I will avoid further comments until the election. Hopefully, sanity will then return to what was one of my favorite blogs.

    I do see a few sensible comments but the tone is too hostile.

    Mike K (f28d0f)

  118. yes, the foul mouthed lazlo of althouse doesn’t engage in such continuous category error, past is not prologue it apparently never happened,

    narciso (732bc0)

  119. 104: “perineal losers”? I hope you meant “perennial”, because “perineal” is an anatomical term that means pertaining to the region known vulgarly as the “taint”. A good adjective for quite a few politicians I can think of, but you probably shouldn’t use if of any group you’re including yourself in.

    Dr. Weevil (208599)

  120. ’tain’t nobodies business but Thor’s!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. One could make the same argument against participation in any mass action.

    For instance, a soldier should not bother firing his gun because there is no chance that that one bullet will decide the war.

    But if they all don’t bother, the war will be lost.

    Rich Rostrom (d2c6fd)

  122. Well any vote for a non Democrat in my part of California sure as heck doesn’t matter. The Hildebeest will carry California in a breeze. Gerrymandering of electoral districts happens on both sides of the table. When I moved to my part of California, my Congress Critter was Carlos Moorhead.
    He was a Republican and had been in Congress since Pontius was a pup.

    The voting precinct at the time was about 100% Republican. Today, things have changed. My precinct is now about 40% Republican. And my Congress Critter is Adam Schiff, a Democrat. Schiff will be re-elected (the boundaries have been artfully constructed to suck up every Democrat within 20 miles of the center of the District) until he leaves office with as much money as he wants, or until he is dead.

    Skeptical Voter (1d5c8b)

  123. 123. Rich Rostrom (d2c6fd) — 7/31/2016 @ 12:02 am

    One could make the same argument against participation in any mass action.

    For instance, a soldier should not bother firing his gun because there is no chance that that one bullet will decide the war.

    It’s said a lot of American soldiers in World War II and the Korean War didn’t do that. Although that may not really be true.

    http://www.historynet.com/men-against-fire-how-many-soldiers-actually-fired-their-weapons-at-the-enemy-during-the-vietnam-war.htm

    a squad of 10 men, on average fewer than three ever fired their weapons in combat. Day in, day out — it did not matter how long they had been soldiers, how many months of combat they had seen, or even that the enemy was about to overrun their position. This was what the highly regarded Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, better known as S.L.A. Marshall, or ‘Slam,’ concluded in a series of military journal articles and in his book, Men Against Fire, about America’s World War II soldiers. Marshall had been assigned as a military analyst for the U.S. Army in both the Pacific and Europe….

    …Marshall’s claims did not go unchallenged, but despite the disagreements they were widely accepted as truth both within the nation’s military and by those writing about the war and its American fighting force. Marshall continued in his role as analyst and self-proclaimed military historian before, during and after the Korean War, authoring many more books and frequently appearing as a guest lecturer at Fort Leavenworth and other installations around the United States. It is not an exaggeration to say that he was more or less a living legend by the mid-1960s. Largely due to his influence, noncommissioned officers and officers sent to Vietnam at the beginning of the American buildup were concerned that their soldiers and Marines would not fire at the enemy.

    The American fighting man made sure that these concerns were short-lived. He showed little hesitation to use a rifle, pistol, shotgun, machine gun, grenade launcher or whatever other weapon he carried. Marshall himself visited Vietnam to conduct studies similar to those done during World War II and later emulated in Korea. He concluded that much had changed since those earlier conflicts and that it was not unusual for close to 100 percent of American infantrymen to engage the adversary during firefights in Vietnam. It seemed that all was well. Marshall had seemingly found that the Americans’ hesitation to fire was all but gone.

    Some 20 years later, the validity of Marshall’s analysis was called into doubt. Respected researchers interviewed those who had accompanied him in World War II and also pored over his personal notes during the mid-1980s. Convincing evidence pointed to his having fabricated his World War II ratio-of-fire values, still so widely accepted at the time. The question seemed inevitable: Had there been a problem with Americans’ willingness to engage the enemy in World War II? If so, had it actually been rectified during the Vietnam War as Marshall claimed, or was the research done there just as flawed as had been the case a quarter of a century before?

    ….The assigned mission at times meant that actions other than killing the enemy had a higher priority…The list is not exhaustive, but it helps to explain why a unit might have several men not engaging despite being under fire. Often every man fired during a contact; at other times, only a few had the opportunity. And there were occasions when fear, cowardice, poor judgment or confusion kept men from employing weapons against their foes when they should have. However, such occasions were the exception in Vietnam.

    http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/articles/03autumn/chambers.pdf

    One of the key questions concerns where Marshall obtained his figures
    about the ratio of fire, the proportion of a rifle unit firing its weapons in battle.
    Marshall claimed it was derived from his group after-action interviews, a method
    he developed as a field historian in World War II and which as a civilian journalist,
    Reserve officer, and military consultant, he employed and advocated for use
    by the US Army and later by the Israeli Defense Force. Although the ratio-of-fire
    figure was his most famous product, Marshall was proudest of his methodology—
    informal, open-ended, group interviews of enlisted personnel, as soon as
    possible after a particular combat action, to learn about the actual behavior of the
    soldiers in battle….

    …..The following oral history provides some fresh insights into Marshall’s
    methodology and findings. It also raises troubling questions about the reliability
    of Marshall’s statistics on fire ratios.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  124. Skeptical Voter (1d5c8b) — 7/31/2016 @ 2:34 am

    When I moved to my part of California, my Congress Critter was Carlos Moorhead.
    He was a Republican and had been in Congress since Pontius was a pup.

    He was on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 and I think voted not to impeach Nixon. I liked him. He was one of the best members of the committee in asking questions, although not too active.

    My precinct is now about 40% Republican. And my Congress Critter is Adam Schiff, a Democrat.

    The eleading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Most memorable for saying (on Face the Nation one day) that if Hillary had told the truth after Benghazi, she would have been justly criticized for contradicting the CIA.

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  125. I’m getting a little tired of all these mentions of “virtue-signaling.” It seems a very easy way to dismiss the views of people one doesn’t like, or doesn’t agree with.

    “Oh, the only reason you’re saying you won’t vote for Trump is because you’re trying to convince everyone you’re not one of THOSE Republicans!”

    No, fictional interlocutor. The only reason I’m saying I won’t vote for Trump is because I’m trying to convince other people that voting for Trump is a bad idea. Which it is.

    Demosthenes (09f714)

  126. Mr. Trump is new beneath a blue umbrella sky!

    stinkypig is feculent

    and fascist

    and wants to do it all up in you! (yikes!)

    advantage (I’m sure you’ll agree): Mr. The Donald

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  127. “No, fictional interlocutor. The only reason I’m saying I won’t vote for Trump is because I’m trying to convince other people that voting for Trump is a bad idea. Which it is.”

    No one cares if you think it’s a ‘bad idea’, is it a WORSE idea than voting for Hillary? Is there something in the Hillary policy lineup that you like but most people on the side you’re ostensibly on don’t like? If you don’t detail that, you’re probably virtue-signaling, and thus automatically untrustworthy.

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  128. The God of Thunder wrote:

    Sadly, there is a short-sightedness that conservatives have fallen prey to, time and again, that makes us perineal losers come election time. It is the short-sightedness of believing they we must always vote for the lesser two evils. The problem with this approach is that, in so doing, we short-circuit the only feedback mechanism we have that would enable us to break out of the seemingly endless cycle of worthless GOP nominees who feel no compunction about thumbing their collective noses at us.

    But, are you not planning to “vote for the lesser(?) two evils” when you say that you are going to vote for [shudder!] Hillary Clinton, even though you say it’s to help Ted Cruz win the nomination in 2020?

    You want a feedback mechanism? Vote for Gary Johnson, or some other third party candidate! When the GOP sees the huge increase in third party votes, coupled with the loss by Donald Trump, they will know exactly why Mr Trump lost. That’s as clear a message as you can send.

    Of course, the GOP didn’t really want for Mr Trump to win the nomination . . . but apparently the Republican primary voters did.

    The Dana planning to vote Libertarian (f6a568)

  129. I like a good pot party with tax-free transsexual hookers as much as the next guy, but I don’t want any Constitutional amendments making same-sex marriage and abortion mandatory.

    nk who thinks Gary Johnson represents the worst aspects of the counter-culture (dbc370)

  130. I don’t expect Mr Johnson to win, and yeah, some of his positions are whacko, but then again, most of the third party candidates are whack-jobs. Gotta send a message somehow.

    The Dana still planning to vote Libertarian (f6a568)

  131. Johnson is a pothead. Just sayin’

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  132. Dana,

    As I commented, above, I think Trump is marginally superior to Hill. So, no, I’m not choosing the lesser of two evils. What I am doing is trying to formulate a strategy to return this country to conservative governance. I’m concerned that a Trump presidency will spawn an anti-conservative backlash. We’ve been lost in the wilderness for too long. That must end, even if it means voting for Hillary.

    I also think voting for a third party candidate is a half-measure. However, if you can’t stomach voting for Hill, voting for Jill Stein might be a better half-measure because it disrupts the Democratic Party. I live in California, where Republicans are few and far between, so disrupting the Democratic Party falls high on my list.

    I haven’t decided how I’ll vote in November, so I think it is useful to explore all the alternatives. Ultimately, my vote – and I will vote – will go to the candidate who either directly or indirectly does the best job advancing the conservative agenda.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  133. The God of Thunder wrote:

    Ultimately, my vote – and I will vote – will go to the candidate who either directly or indirectly does the best job advancing the conservative agenda.

    Alas! The notion that a Hillary Clinton presidency might do more to ‘advance the conservative agenda’ seems to fail when you consider that irreparable damage might be done. We have our Second Amendment rights thanks only to two 5-4 Supreme Court decisions, and one of that five-member majority is now stone-cold graveyard dead. Give Mrs Clinton the chance to appoint one, or perhaps two, more liberal Justices, and you’ll find that the Second Amendment does not confer an individual right, but only one on the militia, which the states can “well regulate,” as into no, you can’t own firearms. Our Freedom of Speech and of the Press was guaranteed by a bare 5-4 majority in Citizens United v FEC, and, just like the two Second Amendment cases, one member of the five has gone to his eternal reward.

    Those are very specific areas in which the lovely Mrs Clinton has already said that the Supreme Court got it wrong, and in which she will try to appoint Justices who will undermine your constitutional rights.

    The constitutionalist Dana (f6a568)

  134. “I’m concerned that a Trump presidency will spawn an anti-conservative backlash.”

    ThOR,

    Not to worry. Gallup strongly affirms greater exposure to Trump induces stronger antipathy. He acknowledged the fact today, 99 days from the election, with a claim the the election outcome will be rigged.

    He’s already filing for bankruptcy again.

    Rick Ballard (8a237d)

  135. I’m worried about court appointments, but I’m also worried about economic recovery. My concern is that a protectionist Trump could spawn a global trade war and a deepening of the global recession. My idea of a conservative is someone who doesn’t want the government interfering with the business sector. Trump has promised to restore steel manufacturing to Pittsburgh – what a pipe dream! – and he will accomplish that with protectionism. If you have any understanding of how Smoot-Hawley deepened and extended the Great Depression, you would never vote for The Donald. According to Ben Bernanke, “Economists still agree that Smoot-Hawley and the ensuing tariff wars were highly counterproductive and contributed to the depth and length of the global Depression.” Sadly, I think many conservatives have bought in to the idea that because Trump is a businessman that he’ll do what’s good for business. Not even close.

    Trade wars and depression can also lead to shooting wars, which is something I am also worried about.

    It all has to do with how you balance your books. I think global depression and shooting wars are a much larger concern than loss of gun rights, but that’s just me.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  136. Perhaps the best reason to hold back on deciding who to vote for is that with each new day comes news of yet another lapse in judgment by Trump. Even if you can stomach Trump based on what you have witnessed to date, there is every reason to believe that he may, at some point between now and election day, cross a line you cannot tolerate.

    This is not an issue for Trumphillics – they have a way of continually moving the goal posts. But, Dana, you may decide that even our second amendment rights really aren’t that important.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  137. @ 129

    I’m not going to get into a debate over which is worse, lung cancer or liver cancer. They’re both awful, and our country would have a tough time surviving either in decent shape.

    And by the way, there you go again, as Mr. Reagan would have said. Basically, what you’re saying is “Prove to me that you’re sufficiently anti-Hillary, or else I’ll conclude that you’re virtue-signaling.” Well, you can conclude what you wish, Mr. Ezekiel Bulver. Your game is easily played, and a great deal of fun — provided one wishes only to speculate about motives.

    Demosthenes (09f714)

  138. Liver cancer, or what is commonly diagnosed as liver cancer, is worse.

    Lung cancer has a possibility of being cured, especially if you step out of the routine (into the right place of course)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/health/harnessing-the-immune-system-to-fight-cancer.html

    A few years ago, they would have suggested chemotherapy. Instead, his oncologist, Dr. Matthew D. Hellmann of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, recommended an experimental treatment: immunotherapy. Rather than attacking the cancer directly, as chemo does, immunotherapy tries to rally the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease.

    Uncertain, Mr. Cara sought a second opinion. A doctor at another major hospital read his scans and pathology report, then asked what Dr. Hellmann had advised. When the doctor heard the answer, Mr. Cara recalled, “he closed up the folder, handed it back to me and said, ‘Run back there as fast as you can.’”

    Sammy Finkelman (7fce49)

  139. That is an impressively astute examination of the tree in question, Mr. Finkelman.

    Now, as to the forest around us…

    Demosthenes (09f714)


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