> political strategy
Cory Giles

I’m not an expert on congressional districting, either. I went back and looked at the five most recent elections prior to 2010, and there’s much more fluctuation: in some years the seat-to-popular vote correlation is almost perfect; in other years, it’s not, but it benefits both parties at one time or another. In the current decade, it’s always around a +5% differential for the GOP. Is that statistically significant? I have no idea. But it looks like it works to my untrained eye, and judging by the amount of effort that went into that coordinated redistricting campaign (and all the subsequent lawsuits they’ve had to defend against), it’s obvious the GOP establishment thinks it works, too.

I think you may be failing to imagine the potential depths of Republican foreign policy—a forgivable and even laudable oversight, given how batshit crazy it can get. There was talk of John Bolton getting a cabinet position, and he openly advocates for war in Iran. Trump wants to start another nuclear arms race, and Congress is apparently willing to go along with anything that means more money for defense contractors. You probably don’t have to look very hard to find conservatives that want to deploy ground troops against ISIS, or bomb those stupid islands China is building in the South China Sea.

As far as media coverage of respective candidates’ campaigns, I think that’s a really hard thing for any of us to look at objectively. Everyone thinks the media was unfair to their candidate; Hillary supporters blame them for giving a disproportionate amount of coverage to the email scandal. My recollection is that the Bernie coverage seemed pretty straight-on, but we all bring our own set of biases to the table.

I don’t think the DNC was in the tank for Hillary. Individual members are allowed to endorse whomever they want, of course, and many of them did. And in an organization that’s essentially based around having strong opinions, it’s a safe bet that most people will have them. The debate schedule thing was a bit sketchy, but there are other potential explanations for it. (For instance, not wanting to put out hours and hours of the two of them trashing each other before a general election, no matter which one ends up winning.) Nothing else they did strikes me as egregious: no one changed rules, or forged votes, or even made an overt case for one over the other.

I don’t think the mainstream media was trying to favor one campaign over the other, either. Their bias is usually in favor of whatever will attract the most eyeballs. Which can lead to some lazy reporting, for sure. And news coverage is generated by human beings, none of whom are perfect, and all of whom have some sort of agenda. But it’s hard to say more without specifics. What kind of stories did you find unfair?

I didn’t like the Tim Kaine pick either, but it did get them Virginia, which might otherwise have been in play. And while it’s popular to pick on blue dogs like Joe Manchin—with whom I agree on practically nothing—it’d be foolish to discount their importance, either. He’s probably the only person alive who can keep that seat from turning red. The values of people like that are mostly a reflection of their constituents. Tim Kaine felt like an olive branch to Middle America from a campaign that was sure it was going to win. I don’t think he’d have ended up with a major role in shaping policy either way.

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