Saturday, January 21, 2017

The March of Dames

For the first time since November I have a glimmer of hope.  Thank you, ladies, one and all, wherever you're marching today.   After one of America's darkest days in history comes one of its brightest.  May pink restore the red, white, and blue. 


Bill Avena said...

Just when I'm ready to say we've flushed ourselves down the crapper these nutty chicks show up on my Saturday with hope, spirit and courage, which I've outgrown of course. How dare they parade in my rain!

Jill said...

I was very much supportive of this march until the organizers went out of their way to disinvite women who happened to be pro-life. I guess if you're pro-life, you can't be offended by sexist comments, or believe in equal pay for equal work, or many of the other attributes of feminism. How very intolerant and non-inclusive.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...


Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...


VP81955 said...

I have to agree with Jill. There are many progressives who are anti-abortion (oops, forgot the PC -- anti-choice), who support contraception and other women's health issues. (Wouldn't opposing the death penalty classify one as "pro-life"?) Being opposed to abortion doesn't automatically make you a right-wing punk. At times, the feminist movement is its own worst enemy.

Barry Traylor said...

Hooray for the ladies.

CRL said...

I have nothing to add.

I just didn't see a 'Like' button.

sanford said...

This was bad. Wonder who ordered this. Protesting and marching are great. But they need to organize and educate people and get them out to vote in the next election. They would do well to get more democrats elected to local offices and state legislatures. Otherwise all the marching means nothing. You can't do that for 2 or 4 years. You need to get better people elected

Annie C. said...

Meanwhile, just as many conservatives turned out with their church members, 4-H clubs, etc., today, painting old ladies' houses, driving someone to the store, helping friends move, and on and on. Today, a lot of people's lives were helped along in small and large ways, but none of them by the marchers and organizers. They don't actually *help* anyone, they just talk about it.

Goldendreams said...

I was at the peaceful and empowering event in Denver with more than 100K in attendance today... great choice of photo! This is what democracy looks like.

emmphx said...

Annie C, I'm sure you could have done some nice deed instead of firing up your device and wasting time reading Ken's post and responding.

I did not attend my Red-state march because I attended a funeral. Friday night, I went to a "Peace Vigil" involved a personal charitable commitment.

But expressing one's opinion should never have a precondition, except for condition of nonviolence.

Stu R said...

Hi Ken - Would love to see a post on the new Minister of propaganda... errr press secretary Sean Spicer. Goebbels would proud.

Roger Owen Green said...

There were dozens of marches all over the world, with easily more than a million. The philosophy - save for fear of Trump - was hardly monolithic.

Unknown said...

I marched today in Seattle.
WONDERFUL bunch of people.
WOMEN.....MEN.....KIDS.....but NO Republicans.

Unknown said...

This is - I don't know what it is:

Without the Electoral College - if this anachronism had been abolished 15 years ago when it should have been - Hilary Clinton would today be President, with a clear plurality of nearly three million votes ...

... and the Trumpies and the Breities, and the Foxies would be bitching about all over the place ...

... and these marches still would have had to take place - because so many people just don't pay attention ...

(I have a whole detailed lecture on how the Electoral College fouled up this last time, which I'll spare you.)
( ... unless someone asks me ...)

mmryan314 said...

Thanks Ken for acknowledging this day. Powerful in every way. There were people marching for so many personal reasons, all of them good. And.. the unity of spirit was inspiring.

Diane D said...

Mike Doran
We got screwed by the electoral college this time (for those who wanted Hillary), but it seems to me that the point is did it accomplish what the founders of the country intended. If you think that States with a small population deserve to have a small leg up to compensate, then the EC does that. Without it, all Presidential elections would determined by the 5 biggest states. Is that what we want?

I would love to read your lecture on the subject.

CRL said...

'Mr. President, almost three million Americans are marching in opposition to you."

"Shhhh. I'm trying to watch SNL."

Anonymous said...

@Annie C - I'm one of those that marched. Who the hell are you to say I don't "actually *help* anyone?"

I'm not sure what compelled you to write such a mean spirited comment about the marchers, basically saying while we pointlessly marched others were quietly serving their neighbors with humility. I'll tell you why I marched. I wanted to show the world, Trump in particular, that there is a very large group of us that reject misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, narcissism, and everything else Trump has become the embodiment of.

It seems to me that we if nothing else showed that we are here and there's a lot of us. Due to the arcane Electoral College rules, the majority may have lost the election, but we can still show that we are indeed the majority and when we all get together our voice is loud.

Unknown said...

To Diane D:

Thanks to the Electoral College, this election was decided by three middle-sized states in which the popular vote was almost dead-even - but but the winner-take-all rule caused all the Electoral Votes to go to Trump, thus tipping the election.

The fallacy here is that "The States" are separate sentient entities - that there's such a thing as "The New York Vote" or "The California Vote" or "The Illinois Vote", etc. etc.

In Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin - all states which were expected to go to Clinton - Trump finished with a "victory margin" of less than one per cent of each state's popular vote - but Winner-Take-All gave Trump 20 EC votes from Penn., 16 from Mich., and 10 from Wisc. - just as if each state had been a Trump blowout - 46 EC votes that gave Trump the margin he needed to overcome a deficit of 2,865,075 popular votes nationwide.
Remember, Trump and Clinton were running for the Presidency of the whole country - not just those three states - or indeed of any individual state or states (and the people in those states, whose individual votes are what's supposed to be the deciding factor anyway).
In the entire United States of America - e pluribus unum, so to speak - Clinton was the clear winner, however close the vote.

The Founding Fathers were dealing with thirteen colonies that were at their most colonial; they never figured on continental expansion, a population of multiple millons, political parties that became contentious in the extreme, war rooms and regional strategies and all that fun stuff we've all gotten used to (God help us).
In today's political world, the campaigns concentrate on the "battleground states" (what used to be called "swing states" in saner times), to the exclusion of the others, where the outcome may be considered "locked up" - Red States or Blue States.

Remember that in 2000, it came down to a photo finish in one state - Florida - which went to Bush by an even closer margin than the three states I mentioned above did last year.
The 26 EC votes in that one state decided the Presidency for the whole country.
This is what the Founding Fathers wanted?
You tell me.

This wasn't the Lecture, by the way.
The Lecture involves toting up the numbers for each of the states in question (and for the whole country, comes to that), and adding and subtracting by hand, and trying wherever possible to avoid "Worlds Of IF", and like that there.

I accept the Electoral College outcome of the 2016 vote.
Much as one accepts the annual outbreak of this year's flu.
In this context, I would suggest that all of you -on both sides - take a close look at the makeup of the new Senate and House.
The Republicans still hold pluralities in both houses, but they lost seats in each.
In 2018, the Senate lead of the GOP is only two seats - eminently takeable if the Democrats are willing to do the gruntwork.
In the House, the GOP lead is about a third of what the Democrats had in 2009, which they lost in its entirety two years later when Obama didn't pull off The Miracle, and here came the Tea Party.
Trump won't pull off his Miracle either (and his Republicans are even more sharply divided that Obama's Democrats were in '10).

That last turned out to be another Lecture, didn't it?
Apologies to Ken - and if you like, stick a ? on the end of this and call it a Friday Question.
On to 2018 (aka next year).

Canda said...

The best thing about Friday was that Madonna WASN'T there. And the worst thing about Saturday was that
Madonna WAS there

Anonymous said...

Yesterdays protest marches "never happened". "I'm the most popular President EVER!" - Donald Trump

Bill Jones said...

"In the entire United States of America - e pluribus unum, so to speak - Clinton was the clear winner, however close the vote."

This is obviously bait, but what the hell, I'll bite.

Everyone knew the rules of the presidential election going into it. You don't win the presidential election by winning a popular vote. You win it by winning the electoral vote. And that is how Trump (not my preferred candidate by any means) strategized to win the election. Clinton did not. She spent an inordinate amount of time campaigning in Democratic strongholds like California and New York. Trump barely campaigned there, for good reason. And she crushed him by millions of votes in those states, which is what gave her the popular vote margin. Take away her California margin of victory, and it's practically a dead heat in the popular vote.

Had popular vote mattered, campaigning would have been radically different. Trump would have campaigned for votes in California or New York. Clinton would have campaigned for votes in Texas and Alabama. Who knows what the popular vote would have looked like.

Disagree with those rules if you want--and you clearly do, although there are good reasons to have state-by-state voting that I won't get into here. (By the way, it's funny how people only proclaim the electoral college to be a great injustice AFTER their candidate loses the electoral vote).

But claiming that the candidate who won the popular vote, and not the electoral vote, is the "winner" is like claiming that the football team with the most total yardage wins the game, not the one with the most points. You can't go back to any given football game and say that the team that had the most yardage was actually the winner. First, those weren't the rules at the time. And second, if that was what actually determined the winner, the other team (which scored the most points, according to the then-rules) would have played the game very differently.

Bill Jones said...

Sorry, I can't resist.

"In 2018, the Senate lead of the GOP is only two seats - eminently takeable if the Democrats are willing to do the gruntwork."

I live and work in Washington, DC. Even my friends who work for Democratic senators acknowledge that--barring a massive recession or massive Trumpian blunder--the Democrats are screwed in the 2018 Senate elections. They have to defend something like twelve seats in states that just went for Trump and/or are traditionally red states (all senators who were elected in 2012 on Obama's coattails).

Anonymous said...

I TRY to love everyone, far left democrats and far right republicans included...I'm not terribly good at it but it's happened here and there.

I still remember the days when each side would carry on civil conversations and debates with each other--before the days of "bowling alone" followed by the iPhone and facebook.

And the left used to be laid back, with peace and love motivated hippies rebelling against "The Man" a bunch of uptight squares. I guess being "laid back" is now completely a thing of the past? Now we all have to be riled up and angry about something? Seems like a crappy way to live.


Diane D said...

Mike Doran
Thank you for responding, and let me say that I very much wanted Hillary Clinton to win. However I feel I should address several of your points:
1. "The fallacy here is that the states are separate sentient entities." I think most people consider States as organized political entities, not sentient. Each State decides for itself if it will be "winner take all" or be proportional with electoral college votes. This is a State decision. Should the state have that right? That is the key question, because it is what makes it possible for the the loser to have more individual votes than the winner. As much as I don't like the outcome this year, I can see no reason why the States should not have this right.
2. Several times you mention that just a few electoral votes decide the presidency for the whole country. How can people say that? They couldn't win with just those votes---it takes all the other votes they also got to total 270. Whichever states come in last with their numbers of course put the winner over the top, but it could be any states---one or two large states with a winner take all system, or 6 or 7 smaller states.

I hope you will address just those two points, and I promise I will say no more. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sean, not to disagree with your intentions, but as someone who had a front seat to the peace-loving hippie movement of the 60's, there were tons of protests, many involving extreme acts of violence. Do you remember the Yippies? The Chicago 7 or the Vietnam War protests at Kent State where 4 students were killed? The 60's peace protests could at times be anything but peaceful. I also remember quite a few students bombings at colleges around the country.Peace. Janice B.

Ed Hochuli said...

Bill Jones wins today.

Paul G said...

Thanks Ken, I love your blog and podcast,, plus you were my favorite Dodger Talk host of all time. I have an anecdote from the coverage of the march in LA yesterday that fits your blog nicely. As everyone but the President knows, there were hundreds of thousands of marchers in LA -- a number impossible to estimate because it spilled over into block after block of downtown, and because the buses and trains were so overwhelmed that people were still arriving and creating gridlock hours after the event started. In short, there were a hell of a lot of people in LA marching, possibly more than any other city in the world.

But how was the LA march covered by Slate online mag? In a series of posts about the marches around the country, the first post about LA showed one marcher with a sign demanding "More Female Directors." The second post showed a headline from a newspaper saying something like "Thousands of People and Celebrities March...." I guess their image of LA is that only a mass audition would get a half a million people out the door.

Unknown said...

Since when do you have a 4,096 character limit?
I just had to delete a really terrific comment replying to Bill Jones and Diane D. because I exceeded a limit I didn't know was there.
If I'd known I'd have to keep a count in my head ... but there's no character clock here.
Now I have to go and figure out how to split the sucker in two, and I'm just too ticked off to do it right now.
Maybe tomorrow.
Maybe ...

Diane D said...

Mike Doran
I hate it that you did all that work and couldn't post it. I would love to read it so I hope you find a way. Ken doesn't really like long discussions about political issues, but I promised to say no more if I could get another response from you. I don't blame you if you don't want to proceed with it, but thank you for your thoughts, so far.

Unknown said...

To Diane D and Bill Jones:

This will be (thank God) as brief as I can make it.

Bill's football analogy is backwards.
The States - the geographical territories - are the Yardage.
The Votes - the actual people - are the Points.

I just spent time looking at the returns in my home state, Illinois.
You may recall that Illinois was called for Sec. Clinton, with 55% of the Statewide vote. So Illinois is thereby Blue.
But if you look at Illinois county by county - the Blue turns mainly to Red.
Most of the Downstate counties - farm and rural areas - went for Trump, bigly (sorry, couldn't resist).
Clinton's strength was mostly in Chicago/Cook County and the Collar Counties - urban/suburban and far more densely populated than Downstate.
Illinois, in my view, stands as the living disproof of the Electoral College rationale.
I haven't taken the time to look at the other states, but I'll make the educated guess that most of the larger states would yield a similar result - urban Blue, rural Red.
Put that on a map, and many of the big Blue states would turn at least half-Red.
So Trump has the Yardage.
But the votes -the individual people who cast ballots - went for Sec. Clinton; she has the Points.
A plurality, as opposed to a majority, but still, more actual people voted for Clinton.
In the Dead Heat States, Trump's plurality was less than one per cent, but Winner-Take-All gave him the whole EV totals, just as if he'd gotten a 'landslide'.
Where is the logic? Nowhere that I can see.

The sole function of the Electoral College is to provide the political parties (I don't make exceptions here - both majors are guilty) with a system they both can game to their own momentary advantage.
The EC can only be eliminated by a Constitutional amendment, which will never happen, for the reason mentioned above.
And when the House of Representatives is redistricted following the 2020 Census, and those big states lose members in the House - and therefore a like number of Electoral Votes - thereby skewing further elections ...

... well, I'll be past 70 by then; maybe I'll be past caring ...
... or maybe not ...