Battlegrounds; Real and Imagined

Another jam packed week means another jam packed show: We’ve got the Ricochet Podcast’s Senior Court Packing and Confirmation Correspondent, John Yoo to help us sort out the coming SCOTUS confirmation hearings, and we’ve got Lt. General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army, ret. to talk about his new book, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free WorldAlso, a Ricochet Podcast Presidential Debate Preview and the weirdest Emmy’s ever.

Music from this week’s podcast: Roar by Katy Perry

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  1. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    I had to skip past the beginning. You Americans think elections are won months in advance and are obsessed as I will admit I used to be on polls.

    Something I have learned in the last 4 years. Elections can turn on a dime and the vast majority of voters make up there minds in the last week before the election.

    I am a Canadian. We have elections that last a month. I have seen a Majority government of Stephen Harper go into a thanksgiving weekend with a sure majority and come out a week later with PM Trudeau.

    Polls are good for some things. But they are just not that important anymore if they ever were.

    But thats just my pet peeve. I skip ahead on poll arguments for all podcasts now a days.

    Having now finished the show it was pretty good, except for the weird ending with the non-post of the week.

    • #1
    • September 25, 2020, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. Henry Castaigne Member

    If Trump is emotionally psychologically unstable, why did everything go well until Covid? It just doesn’t make sense that Trump is insane if the policies get better. 

    • #2
    • September 25, 2020, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    If Trump is emotionally psychologically unstable, why did everything go well until Covid? It just doesn’t make sense that Trump is insane if the policies get better.

    I think they mean hes unstable in that hes CRAZY!, but not we the jury find the defendant.

     

    • #3
    • September 25, 2020, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Annefy Member

    I’m curious what polls Rob is looking at that gives him that level of confidence?

    I had to check the date – I thought I was listening to a four-year old podcast for a moment.

    • #4
    • September 25, 2020, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. Henry Castaigne Member

    At 1 hour and four minute, James Lileks made an incredibly conservative case for Trump. I’m quite impressed.

    • #5
    • September 25, 2020, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. James Lileks Contributor

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    At 1 hour and four minute, James Lileks made an incredibly conservative case for Trump. I’m quite impressed.

    I wish I knew what it was!

    • #6
    • September 25, 2020, at 7:29 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. kedavis Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    I had to skip past the beginning. You Americans think elections are won months in advance and are obsessed as I will admit I used to be on polls.

    Something I have learned in the last 4 years. Elections can turn on a dime and the vast majority of voters make up there minds in the last week before the election.

    I am a Canadian. We have elections that last a month. I have seen a Majority government of Stephen Harper go into a thanksgiving weekend with a sure majority and come out a week later with PM Trudeau.

    Polls are good for some things. But they are just not that important anymore if they ever were.

    But thats just my pet peeve. I skip ahead on poll arguments for all podcasts now a days.

    Having now finished the show it was pretty good, except for the weird ending with the non-post of the week.

    Even worse than the polls themselves, might be TV comedy writers telling us what they mean.

    • #7
    • September 25, 2020, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. kedavis Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    If Trump is emotionally psychologically unstable, why did everything go well until Covid? It just doesn’t make sense that Trump is insane if the policies get better.

    Ah, but according to the left, promulgating conservative policies – and judges, and the rest – is ipso facto insane.

    • #8
    • September 25, 2020, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. kedavis Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    I’m curious what polls Rob is looking at that gives him that level of confidence?

    I had to check the date – I thought I was listening to a four-year old podcast for a moment.

    And the comedy writer tells us that nominating Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and the rest, doesn’t make Trump more popular.

    Do tell, mr comedy writer.

    • #9
    • September 25, 2020, at 7:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. kedavis Member

    Too bad John Yoo’s book isn’t mentioned in the show description or notes.

    • #10
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Blue Yeti Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Too bad John Yoo’s book isn’t mentioned in the show description or notes.

    If only we had devoted an entire episode to the book when it came out.

    Darn.

    • #11
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:41 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wow…I must be living in Bizarro World because the popularity of Joe Biden is so evident and overwhelming because of one metric – polling – when compared to Trump when stalwart <cough> conservative <cough> Republicans like Collins, Gardner, and Murkowski are the bellwether that Trump is so vastly unpopular with Republicans that according to Rob he definitely needs to be dumped but won’t because – you know most of the current Republican members of Congress are gutless cowards.

    Yes, never mind that Republican and Independent voter registration has been significantly outpacing Democrat registration in a number of states.

    Never mind that it looks as though Trump may garner around 30 to 40% of the African-American vote – unheard of since blacks tend to vote Democrat above 90%.

    Never mind that virtually no one shows up to any scheduled Biden appearances – it was calculated that in August/September some 84 people showed up to greet and cheer on the doddering old man while Trump’s events have totaled almost 200,000 in the same timeframe.

    Never mind that in traditional Democrat strongholds there is still no visible support for Joe Biden while Trump signs, concession booths, and massive car and boat rallies on each coast are almost a daily occurrence – even in of all places Hawaii.

    Oh, and the riots in Democrat-controlled cities are also somehow Trump’s fault or that the vast majority of Americans are blaming Trump for them – per Rob – and apparently have not moved any votes from Democrats to him. Really? You may want to look into that.

    Yes, bring up the Reagan-Carter election but never mind the elections of 1968 where the middle-class and blue collar reaction to rioting and domestic terrorism swayed them to vote for Nixon and in 1972 delivered a popular vote and electoral landslide to Nixon.

    How accurate was that polling for Hillary in 2016? Are pollsters still making the same mistakes? Are they oversampling Democrats? Is their methodology outdated and flawed? Is there any political motivation behind any of the polls? I know. I know. Don’t sound like a conspiracy theorist. And I do remember Obama admonishing Americans for not trusting their government when the government was actively attempting a coup by high-ranking DoJ and FBI officials to remove a duly elected president just before and after he was elected. So, I guess we’ll see after the election how accurate the current polling has been.

    That said, I won’t make any bets because I do believe the Dems will attempt to submit thousands of fraudulent ballots and destroy or mislay thousands of Republican ballots leading to dozens or hundreds of court challenges weeks after Election Day.

    But to hear Rob tell it – Republicans are driving off the cliff and Trump is at the wheel. Yeah, good luck with that.

    • #12
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:45 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. James Lileks Contributor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Too bad John Yoo’s book isn’t mentioned in the show description or notes.

    I mentioned it, no?

    • #13
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. James Lileks Contributor

    I’m torn on the whole polling thing. I think it’s wrong to automatically wave them away. 2020 is not 2016. But I have the same feeling in my head I had in 2016, which is of course Trump will lose, because <harrymudd twin robot voice> that is what I have been programmed to understand </harrymudd twin robot voice> Anecdotally, which is to say “meaninglessly,” I don’t know a single Trump voter who has switched sides. They are actually willing to chew Mason jars so they can crap glass and crawl over it to vote again. I know at least one third-party voted who considered the Trump record and the plans of the opposition, and vowed not to make the protest vote again. 

    I will say this, and should have said it on the podcast: the most important thing Trump can do in the debate is be happy. Upbeat. Cheerful. Dare I say, sunny. 

    • #14
    • September 25, 2020, at 8:59 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  15. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’m torn on the whole polling thing. I think it’s wrong to automatically wave them away. 2020 is not 2016. But I have the same feeling in my head I had in 2016, which is of course Trump will lose, because <harrymudd twin robot voice> that is what I have been programmed to understand </harrymudd twin robot voice> Anecdotally, which is to say “meaninglessly,” I don’t know a single Trump voter who has switched sides. They are actually willing to chew Mason jars so they can crap glass and crawl over it to vote again. I know at least one third-party voted who considered the Trump record and the plans of the opposition, and vowed not to make the protest vote again.

    I will say this, and should have said it on the podcast: the most important thing Trump can do in the debate is be happy. Upbeat. Cheerful. Dare I say, sunny.

    Absolutely. Especially when he brings up the topic of Hunter Biden’s money from the Moscow mayor’s wife, prostitutes, and human trafficking.

    • #15
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:03 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. kedavis Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Too bad John Yoo’s book isn’t mentioned in the show description or notes.

    If only we had devoted an entire episode to it when it came out.

    Darn.

    Yes, but, it was talked about in the podcast. And McMaster’s book is mentioned in the description/notes.

    And what about people who didn’t see/hear the previous one?

    • #16
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. kedavis Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Too bad John Yoo’s book isn’t mentioned in the show description or notes.

    I mentioned it, no?

    Like I wrote to BY, it’s said, but not in the “written” notes the way McMasters’ book is.

    • #17
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Blue Yeti Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Yes, but, it was talked about in the podcast. And McMaster’s book is mentioned in the description/notes.

    And what about people who didn’t see/hear the previous one?

    I prefer to highlight one book per episode. You are free to do whatever you like on your podcast. 

    P.S. We mentioned the book in John’s intro and I’m pretty sure John mentioned it in his segment. 

    • #18
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. kedavis Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’m torn on the whole polling thing. I think it’s wrong to automatically wave them away. 2020 is not 2016. But I have the same feeling in my head I had in 2016, which is of course Trump will lose, because <harrymudd twin robot voice> that is what I have been programmed to understand </harrymudd twin robot voice> Anecdotally, which is to say “meaninglessly,” I don’t know a single Trump voter who has switched sides. They are actually willing to chew Mason jars so they can crap glass and crawl over it to vote again. I know at least one third-party voted who considered the Trump record and the plans of the opposition, and vowed not to make the protest vote again.

    I will say this, and should have said it on the podcast: the most important thing Trump can do in the debate is be happy. Upbeat. Cheerful. Dare I say, sunny.

    Yeah, I also can’t think of anyone who voted for Trump in 2016 who would actually be talked out of it now. But many people who voted for Hillary, or third party, or didn’t vote at all, because Trump was an unknown risk or whatever, no longer have that excuse.

    • #19
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Blue Yeti Admin

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Never mind that it looks as though Trump may garner around 30 to 40% of the African-American vote – unheard of since blacks tend to vote Democrat above 90%.

    Can you give your source for this? Here’s 538 from two days ago:

    According to recent Democracy Fund polling, 83 percent of likely Black voters favored former Vice President Joe Biden, 10 percent favored President Trump, and 8 percent said they didn’t know which candidate they will back.

    Recent Morning Consult polling found almost exactly the same thing — 84 percent for Biden, 10 percent for Trump and 7 percent undecided or favoring a third-party candidate.

    So it seems likely that Biden will end up winning close to 90 percent of Black voters, with Trump winning around 10 percent, as experts on Black voting say undecided Black voters tend to consolidate to the Democrat as we get closer to Election Day.

    According to BlackDemographics.com, no Republican Presidential candidate has ever won more than 15% of the Black vote (Gerald Ford in 1976). 30 to 40% would be beyond unprecedented and would likely turn several blue states to red.

    • #20
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Never mind that it looks as though Trump may garner around 30 to 40% of the African-American vote – unheard of since blacks tend to vote Democrat above 90%.

    Can you give your source for this? Here’s 538 from two days ago:

    According to recent Democracy Fund polling, 83 percent of likely Black voters favored former Vice President Joe Biden, 10 percent favored President Trump, and 8 percent said they didn’t know which candidate they will back.

    Recent Morning Consult polling found almost exactly the same thing — 84 percent for Biden, 10 percent for Trump and 7 percent undecided or favoring a third-party candidate.

    So it seems likely that Biden will end up winning close to 90 percent of Black voters, with Trump winning around 10 percent, as experts on Black voting say undecided Black voters tend to consolidate to the Democrat as we get closer to Election Day.

    Granted 40% may be aggressive…but I think 15% to 25% isn’t. I think it’s very much in the realm of possibility.

    https://pjmedia.com/election/matt-margolis/2020/06/05/rasmussen-black-voter-approval-for-trump-has-surged-to-over-40-percent-n499859

    https://pjmedia.com/election/matt-margolis/2020/08/02/if-this-poll-is-accurate-trump-will-be-reelected-easily-n742618

    https://www.blackenterprise.com/trumps-approval-rating-with-black-americans-grows-after-rnc/

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/1/trump-campaign-advisers-see-jump-support-black-his/

    From Breitbart:

    A poll released on Monday shows President Donald Trump receiving a post-convention increase in support among black voters.

    The poll, conducted by Emerson College, surveyed 1,576 voters between August 30 and August 31 to ascertain the impact that both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions may have had on the public. Emerson’s results indicate that Trump has tightened the race, now only trailing former Vice President by two percentage points (49 percent to 47 percent.) A similar poll conducted in July had the Democrat nominee leading Trump, 50 percent to 46 percent.

    One of the more surprising results from the poll was the president’s increase among black voters. The poll found that Biden garnered 77 percent support among the demographic, compared to 19 percent for the incumbent. Although Emerson does not appear to have data measuring support among black voters in July, a similar poll taken by Zogby Analytics found Biden leading Trump, 77 percent to 14 percent.

    If the poll is accurate, it poses a major problem for Biden and his party moving into the general election. Most Democrat strategists point to a drop-off in black turnout between 2012 and 2016 as the primary reason for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s loss four years ago.

    • #21
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Jon1979 Lincoln

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’m torn on the whole polling thing. I think it’s wrong to automatically wave them away. 2020 is not 2016. But I have the same feeling in my head I had in 2016, which is of course Trump will lose, because <harrymudd twin robot voice> that is what I have been programmed to understand </harrymudd twin robot voice> Anecdotally, which is to say “meaninglessly,” I don’t know a single Trump voter who has switched sides. They are actually willing to chew Mason jars so they can crap glass and crawl over it to vote again. I know at least one third-party voted who considered the Trump record and the plans of the opposition, and vowed not to make the protest vote again.

    I will say this, and should have said it on the podcast: the most important thing Trump can do in the debate is be happy. Upbeat. Cheerful. Dare I say, sunny.

    It may be different in other parts of the country, but what I find interesting is that for all the polls showing Biden in the lead, I’m just not seeing the normal yard signage/bumper stickers that usually accompanies those types of polling numbers (let alone the disparity in turnout during campaign appearances, when Biden is allowed out by his staff for the grand-slam breakfast at Denny’s before calling it a day). I suppose it’s possible that voters can hold both a virulent hatred of Donald Trump and complete apathy towards Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the same time, to the point they don’t want to go through the effort to get glue on their bumpers are aerate a small part of their yard with messages for the Democratic nominees. But if you hate the current president with the passion of a thousand suns, and the key to the election is supposed to be the wave of suburban support for the Democrats because of that, you’d think those angry people would want to tell someone about their Election Day candidate preference.

    • #22
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    How accurate was that polling for Hillary in 2016? Are pollsters still making the same mistakes? Are they oversampling Democrats? Is their methodology outdated and flawed? Is there any political motivation behind any of the polls?

    As far as Nate Silver…count me as unimpressed based on his spectacular miss in 2016. Has he improved his methodology? It remains to be seen. Is the 538 team still comprised of rabid Democrat supporters? Well, yeah.

    Does Joe Biden’s campaign team even have a ground game? Are they knocking on doors anywhere? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • #23
    • September 25, 2020, at 10:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. kedavis Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    How accurate was that polling for Hillary in 2016? Are pollsters still making the same mistakes? Are they oversampling Democrats? Is their methodology outdated and flawed? Is there any political motivation behind any of the polls?

    As far as Nate Silver…count me as unimpressed based on his spectacular miss in 2016. Has he improved his methodology? It remains to be seen. Is the 538 team still comprised of rabid Democrat supporters? Well, yeah.

    Does Joe Biden’s campaign team even have a ground game? Are they knocking on doors anywhere? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Maybe they figure they can just cheat their way to victory?

    • #24
    • September 25, 2020, at 10:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There’s another aspect to the enthusiasm gap and that’s the enthusiasm of the respective front runners.

    One is energized and putting in a hectic travel schedule asking for your vote to exuberant throngs of voters.

    The other is struggling to emerge from his basement, doesn’t appear in front of audiences, doesn’t take any unscripted questions, speaks for no more than 30 minutes (at most) and frankly looks exhausted from a sparse schedule devoid of any real campaign events.

    It’s been my sense, in the six and a half decades that I’ve lived on this planet and began paying attention to elections at a very early age (since my family was always quite fascinated with politics) that voters want you to court them. If you’re too tired or physically incapable of doing that…it comes across that you don’t really care that much whether you get the job or not. And typically when that happens, you don’t get it. 

    I don’t buy the line that Biden doesn’t have to do anything and he will still win because the polls currently show him leading. And I think there are other aspects of this race that the traditional polling isn’t capturing. So, stay tuned.

    • #25
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Blue Yeti Admin

    Brian Watt (View Comment):As far as Nate Silver…count me as unimpressed based on his spectacular miss in 2016. Has he improved his methodology? It remains to be seen. Is the 538 team still comprised of rabid Democrat supporters? Well, yeah.

    Does Joe Biden’s campaign team even have a ground game? Are they knocking on doors anywhere? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Neither of the two polls cited in the 538 quote above were 538 polls. One was Morning Consult, the other was the Democracy Fund. But I recommend reading the entire piece on 538 as it is very thorough look at all of the African American polling conducted this year, all of it done by groups other than 538.

    And, since you are suspect of polls conducted by “rabid Democrat supporters” (is that what Nate Silver is?), here’s a Fox News Poll from 12 days ago showing Biden with 93% of the Black vote.

    What should we count you as now?

    • #26
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. kedavis Member

    I think Peter said “this is my last question” only twice, this time. Is that a record low?

    • #27
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. kedavis Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    At 1 hour and four minute, James Lileks made an incredibly conservative case for Trump. I’m quite impressed.

    I wish I knew what it was!

    Well I can’t imagine it was about movies being spinach. So maybe it was about people thinking they can vote for Biden and the riots will stop etc, but they likely won’t?

    • #28
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):As far as Nate Silver…count me as unimpressed based on his spectacular miss in 2016. Has he improved his methodology? It remains to be seen. Is the 538 team still comprised of rabid Democrat supporters? Well, yeah.

    Does Joe Biden’s campaign team even have a ground game? Are they knocking on doors anywhere? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Neither of the two polls cited in the 538 quote above were 538 polls. One was Morning Consult, the other was the Democracy Fund. But I recommend reading the entire piece on 538 as it is very thorough look at all of the African American polling conducted this year, all of it done by groups other than 538.

    And, since you are suspect of polls conducted by “rabid Democrat supporters” (is that what Nate Silver is?), here’s a Fox News Poll from 12 days ago showing Biden with 93% of the Black vote.

    Based on the articles I’ve read on the 538 site, yeah, I would say that the 538 team is comprised of rabid Democrats.

    What should we count you as now?

    Still not impressed. I don’t believe Biden has actually made an additional 1% gain in the black vote from 2016 and that Trump has lost 3%. And given the Democracy Fund and the Morning Consult poll you cited earlier, the Fox poll shows a jump of 10% in support for Biden from blacks…so, if compared to those polls, the Fox poll is an outlier which calls it into question.

    By the way, the Fox poll methodology states that they called 1,300 random people (presumably of many races and ethnicities), so, we don’t know how many of those 1,300 random people were black. Clearly they didn’t call 1,300 black people. If there were only 18 respondents that were black or 9 then that’s not a terribly good sampling and not very representative of the black population at large, is it? Will they do a poll where 1,300 blacks around the country are chosen at random?

    • #29
    • September 25, 2020, at 11:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Fox poll states that the polling error rate jumps for subgroups. For blacks voting for a particular candidate it jumps to +/-9% which could mean that Biden, by their unknown number of black respondents, could really be 84% while Trump could be 14% which would be a 6 point gain for Trump from 2016. But my guess is that because they don’t quantify the number of actual black (or other subgroup) respondents to their pollsters that much of the subgroup data is not that valuable because they’re not large enough representative samplings of each group when mapped over 50 states – since they are subsets of the 1,300.

    • #30
    • September 26, 2020, at 12:12 AM PDT
    • 3 likes