As Vote-By-Mail Ballots Arrive, Here are Ten (Mostly) Generic Thoughts on Voting in This Year’s Races




10 Things I Hate About Elections

Vote-by-mail ballots are supposed to be arriving right around today, so it’s a good time to take stock on this year’s races, from national to local.  Here are some thoughts for you.  Because this is hellishly long — unless you think of it as ten different posts in one, in which event it’s OK — I’m listing them up here for your easy reference:

  1. Yes, You Should Try to Vote Early – But It Doesn’t Need to Be THIS Early!
  2. Rip Up Unread Any Expensive Mailers You Get; Tune Out Any Radio or Video Ads You Hear or See
  3. Look for Specifics in Those Mailers, Beware General Statements Aimed at Gullible Voters
  4. Read Those Candidate Statements – and Local News Coverage Too!
  5. Read Those Campaign Finance Reports; In Fact, You Can Publish Your Own Findings Here!
  6. When It Comes to Ballot Initiatives, Ask the ‘Cui Bono?’ Question – of Both Sides
  7. Beware of Public Safety Union Endorsements — They MAY Be Mostly About High Pensions
  8. Beware of Building Trades Endorsements — They MAY Be About Make-Work Projects
  9. It’s Not Just Trump and Hillary: ANYONE Would Get Slammed, Because the Federal System is Broken
  10. Stop Arguing About Presidential Candidates With Your Fellow Californians; It Doesn’t Matter

(1) Yes, You Should Try to Vote Early – But It Doesn’t Need to Be THIS Early!

The California rule of thumb in recent years has been that a third of the voters cast their ballots by the first Monday after they arrive, a third of the voters vote on Election Day, and the rest will vote sometime during the three weeks in between.  (Sure, tt’s not precisely that – don’t quibble.)  Voting early allows you to get your name taken off of the lists to receive calls and canvassers and mail.  (It also makes things easier on the campaigns, if you care, which you probably don’t.)  We understand those benefits.  But: this year, more than usual, there’s good reason to place yourself somewhere into that “before Election Day, but not in the first week” category.  “October Surprises” have been abounding – and with this year’s election on the latest date possible, November 8, we can expect some “November Surprises” as well.

Campaigns are now quite attuned to cramming the stories they want you to be thinking about into your head as you cast ballots in the first week.  (The leak about alleged misbehavior by Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada and one of his deputies seems like an example of this – and bear in mind that Quezada is opposed by the police unions that are heavy players in Anaheim’s elections!)  It’s a good practice to let those scandalous breaking stories stew a while.  If something comes out this week that you think may change your vote, consider letting the dust settle before you take it too seriously.  If you want to cast a rational ballot, then high-priced campaign strategists are generally your enemy: their goal is to lead you to cast a ballot in the heat of the moment and regret it at your leisure.  It’s worthwhile to try to screw up their plotting.

This is less true on a national level, given the diverse dates of early voting (if it is allowed at all) among the states.  But let’s just say this: anyone who doesn’t wait until they’ve at least had a chance to digest Sunday’s Presidential debate could be setting themselves up for a huge bone-shaking pang of regret.

(2) Rip Up Unread Any Expensive Mailers You Get; Tune Out Any Radio or Video Ads You Hear or See

(Note: this contains some hyperbole, but it’s along the right track.)  This notion applies especially to propositions, where various industries and interest groups will be assaulting your eyes and ears for the next for weeks, but it applies to candidates as well.  If you’re being presented with a polished, expensive product, ignore it.  And BRAG ABOUT ignoring it!  Get your friends to do so too!  Its authors are generally aiming for your reptilian brain rather than for your conscience or complex cognition.  (There are exceptions; they tend to have reliable footnotes.)  There’s too much money in politics these days – too much of it dirty – and this is what it’s there for.  So resist it!  If you want explanations of why to support or oppose given candidates or measures, turn to whatever editorial sources you already find generally worth your trust.

One of those trustworthy sources – especially for poorly covered local races – might conceivably be this here Orange Juice Blog, where we pride ourselves on some pretty high-level (given the local competition) analysis and debate.  Our endorsements for most races are slated  to come out later this week, in time to reach the “first weekend” voters.  (If you’re voting before Saturday, you weren’t going to be influenced by anything we had to say anyway.)  First up will be the “short” endorsement list – which is itself longer than any other endorsement list that you’ll read, because we really do try to cover ALL of the races – and the reasoning behind our choices will be rolled out over time.  (I’m in the middle of moving residences, that’s why.  Yes, I’ll still be within Brea – and will have a real office!  Thanks for asking!)  Most of the short list will be just from me and Vern, with others (perhaps Tyler on plastic bags and matters Irvine, Ryan on ammunition control and elsewhere, Ricardo and Cynthia in the spots they choose) weighing in where they will.

(Note: My understanding of California Democratic Party rules is that I can state how I am personally voting, but that I can’t endorse anyone against a party endorsement.  This is why I’ll be sitting out some races when OJB’s endorsements come out later this week.  If I’m incorrect on this, I’ll expect to hear about Liberal OC posting yet another complaint calling for my expulsion from the Democratic Party – of which the party itself doesn’t even take seriously enough to inform me.  We have some real yahoos around these parts.)

A final note on this: we have to admit that our current lineup of writers is weak on South County, so our recommendations in South County races may be delayed, tentative, or even in some cases omitted altogether.  I TRIED to recruit some people at the more recent DPOC meeting to help us cover these races – and for my trouble I was jeered at in print by LibOC’s Chumley and in a comment here by at least one of the elderly women who idolize DPOC Chair Henry Vandermeir.  So, to hell with that noise!  Fellow Democratic Party people, please understand that an absolute shipload of people read our endorsements – and in general they come here because they are undecided and in search of discussion and guidance.  Your party leadership and its insufferably poisonous scribe wanted to keep you from contributing to a collaborative effort that would likely be read by lots of people in your area – unlike anything that the superficial and utterly predictable LibOC would ever do – and they have so far succeeded.  Be sure to thank them for working so hard to “advance the cause”!

We found last cycle that our South County recommendations were among the most controversial and, in some case, liable to revision.  So, readers: if you want to get a discussion going in any area where we’re less familiar with the local politics, this is your chance.  You don’t need Chumley’s permission.  One caveat – for this gig, you would have to write under your own name.  (Or find a patsy to do it for you, I guess.)

(3) Look for Specifics in Those Mailers, Beware General Statements Aimed at Gullible Voters

The single most irritating signs I’ve seen over the past two election cycles have been from Assemblywoman Young Kim, opponent of former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva in AD-65.  Kim’s signs – and this is a good time to remember that she is a client of rural Sacramento’s Dishonest Dave Gilliard, who shares “Most Horrifying Consultant in OC Politics” honors with our own local Pharisee Despicable Dave Ellis) – read YOUNG KIM – SAVE PROP 13!”  The reason that they read that way is that Dishonest Dave Gilliard thinks that you, potential voter, are stupid.

Is Prop 13 in need of saving?  Kim’s signs don’t bother even making the argument: they just invite you to jerk your knee at the thought of Granny being kicked out of her house due to massive increases property taxes.  THAT is what Prop 13 was about, by the way.  (I was here; I remember it.)  I know of literally no one who wants to repeal those central elements of Prop 13.  Granny is safe.  Prop 13 is safe.  Young Kim is simply trying to scare you into reckless action – specifically, into voting for her.

Now there is an argument that has been made for the past decade or so by mostly what has become the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, and it is for something called “split roll.”  That would deny at least some of the benefits of Prop 13 to some commercial establishments.  Because here’s the unintended effect that Prop 13 had: holding companies constructed big office buildings in Downtown LA and such, and then never sold them, which is the act that triggers a reassessment (and thus higher property taxes.  Rather, they would rent them out to businesses while paying the lower tax rate – and, if a business wanted to buy the building, they could just buy the holding company instead!  “Same owner” = “no reassessment”!  And who makes up the difference in property taxes levied in a local community.  YOU DO, SUCKERS!  So there is a very good reason to want to reform this peripheral and unintended aspect of Prop 13.

Is Quirk-Silva involved in that reform campaign?  Based on my conversations with her – and admittedly she might not reveal her deepest secrets to me because she might consider me a little “excitable” – she’s not going near any part of Prop 13 with a 13-foot pole, because knows very well that Dishonest Dave and whatever opponent Ed Royce installed to run against her would flay her over it.  So the fact that she’s not opposed to Prop 13 in any sense, including reforms that I’d favor, means … well, it means that Dishonest Dave just has to make stuff up and say (or at least imply) that she opposes Prop 13 anyway.  Because, again, he thinks that you’re dumb – or at least highly inattentive.

What I just did there is called “fact-checking” – although I don’t have time to find footnotes.  Look for fact-checking, especially when something seems too good or too bad to be true.  Vague, general, artfully constructed statements (ahem, Hillary) are hard to fact-check, which is one reason why Hillary can truthfully say that she is the best at avoiding lying.  Specific, direct, carelessly constructed statements (ahem, Trump) are easily fact-checked, which is why it’s so easy for fact-checkers to conclude that Trump regularly lies.  Young Kim’s signs are technically not lies – in fact, they’re technically not statements at all – but that should be a warning to check below the surface to see if you’re being misled.

Remember, the goal is to get you to vote in the heat of the moment, without fact-checking, based on lurid allegations that attack the most primitive portions of your brain.  Unless you want politicians who have to rely on such tactics to bamboozle you, so they can go serve other interests in the legislature, don’t fall for it!

(4) Read Those Candidate Statements – and Local News Coverage Too!

Every candidate in this election had the opportunity – IF they could afford it! – to submit a Candidate Statement.  You’ll find them all through this page on the OC Registrar of Voters website.  (You’ll need to search on the offices you’re interested in, one-by-one, using the drop-down menu.)  These statements are of course self-serving, but they can generally give you a decent idea of a candidate’s formal qualifications and political philosophy, which will generally put you in the ballpark of who deserves your support.   But please don’t hold the absence of a candidate statement against any candidate who doesn’t file one; they’re expensive!  (When I ran for District Attorney, the cost of a candidate statement was about $29,000.  But that’s an extreme case.)

You can also find out about the candidates using “The Google” (or your competitor of choice), which will likely lead you to “Voter’s Edge.”  But also consider a resource that might elude you: those free weekly papers or inserts that you see around town.  They’re written by real (or at least aspiring) journalists, and interviews with down-ticket candidates are one local story that they’re in a great position to get.  Such interviews are usually a great contributor to the long version of the OJB candidate endorsements that should come out sometime before Thanksgiving at this rate.  I think that most of my understanding of San Clemente and Dana Point politics came from them last cycle.

(5) Read Those Campaign Finance Reports; In Fact, You Can Publish Your Own Findings Here!

One of the main things that candidates try to do where possible – and we have a nice piece coming up soon on Steven “Chavez” Lodge in this regard – is to make it really hard to document who is donating to their campaign.  (Although in Lodge’s case, it is not that hard to guess.  SNEAK OJB ENDORSEMENTS PREVIEW: Don’t vote for Lodge in Anaheim District 1!)

You can find information about federal candidates through, among other places.  State candidates can be found through the FPPC: Cal-Access.  (We’ll add links as time allows.)  City candidates will be through the individual cities.  School Board and Special District candidates will be through the state, as I recall, but that might have changed.  )This is a huge topic and will deserve its own post at another time.  I’ll try to remember to link to it here if and when it comes up.)

Note that much of the action, especially in critical races, is from “Independent Expenditures” by Political Action Committees or (“PACs”).  If you want to see who’s sending all those glossy mailers to you from Anaheim, it probably won’t be the Disney-endorsed candidates themselves, but from SOAR and OCTAX and some other generically named PAC that are supposed to convince you not to blame Disney for bigfooting its way through this election.

(6) When It Comes to Ballot Initiatives, Ask the ‘Cui Bono?’ Question – of Both Sides

“Cui Bono?” is a Latin phrase meaning “who benefits” — often (especially in politics) translated as “who profits?”  You can often judge a given piece of legislation by seeing who is willing to spend money — on lobbyists, glossy mailers, TV and cable ads — to support it or defeat it.  Sometimes this is reeeeeeally easy.  Take a few examples:

  • Who is opposing Prop 52, which would continue assessing hospitals a free to support Medi-Cal?  Hospitals!
  • Who is opposing Prop 56, which would raise the cigarette tax?  Cigarette companies!
  • Who is opposing Prop 61, which would lower state-purchased prescription drugs to the cost paid by the VA?  Drug companies!  (Well, also veterans worried about the price of VA drugs going up, but this is really unlikely.  We’re only 1/8 of the country and the other 7/8 would raise hell.)
  • Who is opposing Prop 63, which would impose background checks before ammunition purchases?  Firearms and ammo interents!
  • Who is supporting Prop 64, which would legalize adult use of marijuana?  Anyone with sense, but the money comes from people would would profit from being included in the cartel that will be allowed to sell it commercially!  (I’m still voting “yes,” but I’m also looking forward to the future initiative that will smash such cartels to smithereens.)
  • Who is trying to get you to vote for plastic-bag-friendly Prop 65 rather than plastic-bag-banning Prop 67?  People who hate fish!

But sometimes it is more subtle that that.  Take Brea’s Measure K, a school bond vote in a city that has not passed a school bond in a long long time, and that worked with opponents of school bonds to figure out a way to do it responsibly — including laying out in advance all of the things on which the money will be spent.

But some people still weren’t satisfied with even a responsibly crafted bond measure.  Cui bono from opposing it?  The opposition has been ginned up by none other than the major commercial landlord in Downtown Brea: Dwight Manley.

Yes, THAT Dwight Manley.  You may remember the name of the guy who spent enough money in 2014 to elect a City Council that would vote to build an unnecessary new $10,000,000 (or so) parking garage to increase the value of his own commercial real estate holdings.  No property tax measure would win his support (unless it went to support him directly); he doesn’t want to pay more property taxes on his vast real estate holdings.

Well now.  Measure K is justified on its own merits, which is not something that I’d necessarily say about all school bond measures.  But the idea that Manley is trying to repeat his success of 2014 by recruiting and electing School Board candidates who will do his bidding, because he thinks that he is now the political boss of Brea, is hideous.  And the idea of making him pony up more money to the City that he essentially robbed last hear has the bittersweet taste of justice delayed arriving at last.  Cui bono!

(7) Beware of Public Safety Union Endorsements — They MAY Be Mostly About High Pensions Rather Than Public Safety

Admit it: if you’re like most people you see a Public Safety Union (or “employee association”) endorsement for a candidate and think “oh, the cop likes that person, which means they oppose crime (if police) or want better firefighting policy (if fire)!”  Maybe.  But maybe not.  Remember that “Cui Bono?” question!  It is often about pensions — and so-called “pension reformers” (hello, Kris Murray and Lucille Kring!) are some of the most scandalously hypocritical in shoveling out any desired amount of public funds to fund largely high-end public safety pensions in exchange for these precious and bamboozle-facilitating endorsements.  (This, by the way, is one area where Jordan Brandman is at least more honest than his colleagues in the Anaheim Council majority — he’ll throw money at Public Safety interests in exchange for donations and endorsements, but he doesn’t give a damn about lowering pension obligations anyway!  Except when it comes to the staff of political opponents, that is.)

This practice should make you sick — as should police associations basing their endorsements on who will pledge to leave them alone to do whatever they want, even if it leaves innocent blood on the streets, without effective investigation of their wrongdoing.

Now to be fair, there can be very good reasons to honor Public Safety association endorsements too.  Some interests — the Dwight Manleys of the world, don’t want to pay more money for taxes unless on balance it benefits them personally, and public safety officials do a public service in calling them out when they’re too cheap to seek public money for proper police or fire or other similar protection.  But sometimes it really is about the leaders of the Police or Fire Departments using their influence to get their flock to support spraying yet another layer of gold on their already gold-plated pensions.  It’s mostly executive level pensions that are the problem, by the way, more so than those of the rank and file.  Rank-and-file pensions tend not to be gold-plated and reasonable people can argue about whether they are too generous.  But even so, it is obscene for public safety associations to betray the public trust by leading the public to believe that they are voting based on who best wants to contribute to public safety — when it’s about who best wants to make the public contribute to their own retirement accounts.

(8) Beware of Building Trades Endorsements — They MAY Be About Make-Work Projects Rather Than Workers’ Rights

I am fiercely pro-Labor as I have long understood what being “pro-Labor” means:  protecting worker’s rights (including teacher tenure, because what administrators hate most is not incompetence but even justified insubordination); protecting worker safety; protecting worker pensions; protecting the right to unionize; protecting the integrity of worker governance processes and prerogatives; providing a livable wage and even a generous wage where the situation warrants; leveling compensation between the highest employees in a private or public entity and those beneath them, especially the lowest; defending and expanding a minimum wage, and so on.

I am not pro-union for the purpose of helping Labor rip-off taxpayers and others with unnecessary make-work projects that go largely to line the pockets of the already wealthy.

Note that this doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to public spending on Labor.  Sometimes, economics does demand the likes of a WPA (the “Works Progress Association” and later “Work Projects Administration,” under President Franklin Roosevelt) that will employ people in desperate times simply to get money into their hands that they will, by spending, use to boost the overall economy and prevent starvation.  We should be more willing to tax wealthier interests to benefit the poor, because everybody (except arguably the very upper crust) benefits from a more equitable society with less desperation.

The the Building Trades Association in Orange County does not always honor that philosophy.  Rather, they have recently wanted jobs (for themselves) at any cost (to others.)  So you see them pushing to maintain the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station until plain old physics had to step in and make that impossible.  They push for Poseidon’s desalination ripoff because it will bring construction jobs.  They push for a blatantly and literally tw0-tier system on the 405 because for the same reasons.  They pushed to get Anaheim to take out a good portion of a billion dollars, by the time money is repaid, to expand the Convention Center without a vote of the electorate — folding in the borrowing of funds that could be used to give Kris Murray and Gail Eastman, and now Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring, arguments for reelection.  (That “community money” they brag about?  IT IS BEING BORROWED FROM FUTURE TAXPAYERS FOR POLITICAL BENEFITS NOW!)   They are happy vassals to Disney’s assault on the public treasury because Disney will  use some of that money for jobs.

And they have a good chance of ultimately bankrupting several cities, Anaheim included.  And that could cancel not just those gold-plated pension obligations discussed above — but also the tin-plated pensions on which public workers’ retirements desperately, optimistically, depend.  Once Anaheim has sold off its public buildings and public lands to private developers (represented by Curt Pringle, for a healthy cut, one might expect), then creditors will come after public pensions, because that’s where the money is.

Why would Labor act in such a short-sighted way?

The Building Trades get paid when the job is over — and then they pocket the money and leave.  They don’t rely on public pensions.

Anyone who depends on a public pension, in an overextended city, who votes for candidates supporting huge subsidies to huge contributors because the Building Trades say to do it is either fooling themselves or an idiot.  When the Trades are fighting for what’s right, they deserve our support.  And they and the Orange County Labor Federation — which they dominate despite being a minority because their members always show up (as construction jobs will generally leave some people able to do so) — support some fine candidates who support Labor interests for all the right reasons.  But when what they support is candidates who favor looting the City, on behalf of those interests, while there’s still something left to loot– then a Building Trades endorsement (like that for Jordan Brandman) is actually a negative.

Many counties have wonderful, progressive, and civic-minded Building Trades associations.  Orange County has in the past.  Hopefully it someday will again.

(9) It’s Not Just Trump and Hillary: ANYONE Would Get Slammed, Because the Federal System is Broken

Let’s end with a couple of pieces on Presidential politics.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been the two most unpopular Presidential nominees, after reportedly having previously been the two most unpopular Presidential contenders, since national polling began.  (Their numbers are probably up now because lots of people are going to vote for one of them after having previously sworn that they wouldn’t, and orthodonture has nothing on cognitive dissonance when it comes to moving stuck objects around.)

But it strikes me that we can overestimate how much of the hatefulness of this election is on Hillary and Trump.  There’s a bigger and more significant reason for why people are so prone to come to blows over this election.  It’s the Supreme Court, stupid.

The tail of who will appoint candidates for the Supreme Court is now wagging the dog of our political process.  Presidential general elections, at base, are no longer about the qualifications, positions, or deficiencies of one or another candidate.  They’re about who will make it onto the Supreme Court.  Senate races are about the candidates — but also about who will vote on whether to confirm a Supreme Court Justice.  House races are to some extent about the candidates, but to some extent about who might eventually become a Senator and vote on who is appointed to the Supreme Court.  Abortion rights and marriage equality have not been major themes in this campaign, but there’s bubbling hot under the surface skirmishes about email revelations and sexual assault.  Roe, Obergefell, and Citizens United (and maybe the echoes of poor old Bush v. Gore) are what keep a huge number of voters in line after all of the other arguing peters out.  “What about the Supreme Court?”  It’s the question that is supposed to shut people up — and it’s intolerable.

The most critical constitutional amendment we need is not one that overturns Citizens United or limits the Second Amendment; it’s not one that conservatives might yearn for either.  It’s one that would give us back our Presidential elections!  Having the President be the one to appoint Supreme Court justices turns what ought to be an election over the Executive Branch into one about the Judicial Branch.  We overlook so so much about the former because we better know what we think about the latter — even when it is what we think about a few only a few prominent issues.

We can’t both elect a President and buy a lottery ticket to help us decide who will head the judiciary at the same time.

I don’t know what such an amendment should say — the alternative may be some panel of experts selected by a panel of experts selected by another panel of experts, the better the insulate the system from lobbying — but the interpretation of our fundamental agreements over what we can and cannot do simply cannot be left either directly or indirectly to a popular vote.  Interpreting a constitution — a major part of which must be provisions for protecting the rights of the numerical minorities, the dispossessed, and the accused and convicted — cannot be left to the democratic process.  This is not only because fundamental rights cannot be put up for a vote.  It’s because combat between various sides using the methods of the democratic process will poison everything else in the larger democratic process.

And that is what has happened to us, here and now.  Politics is broken in large part because the specter of adverse Supreme Court appointments holds us hostage.  And it would be broken even if the two candidates were decent and likeable.

Again, I don’t know what the solution might be — but I do believe that striving to find it should be one of the major efforts of our political system, if we are to survive as a working democracy.  We need to free voters from the need to make decisions based on the question of what we want to see happen — or not happen — in our nation’s highest courts.

(But let’s talk about that after the election is over.)

(10)  Stop Arguing About Presidential Candidates With Your Fellow Californians; It Doesn’t Matter

Barack Obama won California by over 3¼ million votes in 2008 and by over 3 million in 2012.  Hillary Clinton is way ahead here; California will vote for her.  Decisions about whom to support for President do still matter in swing states whose Electoral College votes will actually determine the Presidency; a luxury of living in California is that our decisions don’t matter here.  If California turned out to be competitive, then Donald Trump will have won in the rest of the country regardless of what we do, but it’s not almost certain not to be competitive.  We’re not going to see anything like three million people who would have cast a grudging vote for Hillary because Trump is terrible instead voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or poor overlooked Gloria La Riva.  So you can vote your conscience and – more importantly – you can let your friends vote their consciences too.  Little if anything depends on it.  (I’m not one to argue that Presidential politics should never end a friendship, but when that happens it should only be due to someone’s relentless obnoxiousness about trying to police your vote, rather than the fact that they have come to a different conclusion than you do.)

I’m not trying to convince anyone to vote my way for President in this election, for two reasons: (1) I’m constrained from straying from the party line by my positions within the Democratic Party, and (2) I’m still not entirely sure how I’m voting.

I stand with Noam Chomsky and other major critics of Hillary Clinton in saying that. if I were in a swing state, I would vote for her and that I encourage people who are in swing states to do so.  I’m not in a swing state, so if I choose to I’m free to vote for the not-especially-qualified but also not-an-anti-vaxxer-so-stop-saying-that Green Party candidate Jill Stein without damaging the world.  For me, this would be a protest vote; I don’t actually want to see Stein take office for the forty-five minutes it would take for her to be impeached and removed, but I do like the idea of forcing the country to count up the number of us who think that Hillary is way too far to the right and therefore unable or unwilling to solve many of our more critical problems.  (But I’m also prepared to be pleasantly surprised.)  People who think that Stein can win are fooling themselves – as is their right as voters – but I both disagree and find trying to convince them of that they’re being unrealistic to be unnecessary.  We can live and let live.  (But one reason I’ll delay casting my own ballot is that if Stein starts to get so much support that the margin between Hillary and Trump drops below eight points or so, I may have to vote for Hillary just to be safe.  I put those odds at well under 1%.)

There’s a plausible argument for voting for Hillary to bolster her margin over Trump and thus more clearly repudiate his bigotry and recklessness.  I’m unmoved by it; I think that the difference between the combined vote of Hillary and Stein, compared to Trump, will be the measure of Trump’s repudiation.  What the Stein vote does is tell Hillary not to shift and govern to the right.  She probably will anyway, but at least Stein voters will have warned her not to do so.  (Sometimes that the only kind of victory one can achieve.)  To cheer up our country’s Republicans: Hillary will move to the right, she’ll be shocked when she loses not only the left but also almost every bit of her Republican support; she will have squandered whatever she may claim as her “mandate”; she will be the least popular President at the end of her first month in office since polling began; and Republicans will do very well by campaigning against her in both 2018 and 2020 — when she will lose either renomination or reelection — thus continuing to control redistricting in most states into the next decade.

As consolation prizes go, that’s not so bad for you.  (Of course, if Elizabeth Warren is nominated in 2020, you’re doomed!)

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)