A Claire And Present Victory

Why yes, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill wanted to make sure that Rep. Todd Akin won the 2012 Missouri GOP primary so that she could kick his ass in the general, and at this point she’s bragging to WIN THE MORNING about how she helped make that happen.

Akin’s track record made him my ideal opponent. Many of his votes in Congress contradicted his claim of being a fiscal conservative. While he opposed President Barack Obama’s authority to raise the debt limit, during the Bush administration, in 2004, he had voted to raise the limit by $800 billion. A vocal opponent of the Obama administration’s stimulus efforts, in 2001 Akin had voted in favor of a $25 billion stimulus package that mostly benefited large corporations and the wealthy. And he was a big earmarker: in one fiscal year he sponsored or cosponsored $14 million worth of pork and once sought $3.3 million in a special appropriation for a highway near nine acres he owned and was planning to develop. While opposing spending money for child nutrition programs, veterans’ health benefits, and disaster relief, he repeatedly voted to raise his own salary.

His extreme positions on social issues and ridiculous public statements made him anathema to many independent voters. He sponsored an amendment that would define life as beginning at conception, thereby outlawing common forms of birth control. He voted against repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation. When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, he stood on the House floor and asked for God’s help in keeping the nation from “socialized medicine.” In 2008, he claimed in a House floor speech that it was “common practice” for doctors to conduct abortions on women “who were not actually pregnant.” He had made speeches calling for America to pull out of the United Nations and claiming the government had “a bunch of socialists in the Senate” and a “commie” in the White House.

So how could we maneuver Akin into the GOP driver’s seat?

Using the guidance of my campaign staff and consultants, we came up with the idea for a “dog whistle” ad, a message that was pitched in such a way that it would be heard only by a certain group of people. I told my team we needed to put Akin’s uber-conservative bona fides in an ad—and then, using reverse psychology, tell voters not to vote for him. And we needed to run the hell out of that ad.

My consultants put together a $1.7 million plan. Four weeks out we would begin with a television ad boosting Akin, which my campaign consultant Mike Muir dubbed “A Cup of Tea.” The production costs were pretty low, about $20,000, because we didn’t have to film anything. We just used pictures and voice-overs. We would spend $750,000 at first and run it for eight or nine days. Then we’d go back into the field and test to see if it was working. If it was, we’d dump in more “McCaskill for Senate” money, and we’d add radio and more TV in St. Louis and Kansas City. The second TV buy would approach $900,000. We hoped that some of our friends watching the TV ads would catch on and some of the outside groups would augment the last week with mail and radio. Sure enough, a radio ad calling Akin “too conservative” that went on the air in the closing days of the primary was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. We would later find out that their rural radio buy was $250,000.

As it turned out, we spent more money for Todd Akin in the last two weeks of the primary than he spent on his whole primary campaign.

Not sure how I feel about this.  On one hand, buying a general election opponent just to clean their clock is something a good politician shouldn’t have to do.

On the other hand, it worked and most importantly, McCaskill is in the Senate and Todd Akin is most certainly not, and I’m frankly more than okay with that.

Given the fact that a similar situation is shaping up here in Kentucky for governor this November, if Republican primary voters want to put the craziest mofo up to run against a Democrat in a red state, well I’m not going to stop them.  And if ad buys by the Democrat help make that happen, well it wouldn’t be the first time.

We’ll see if Jack Conway can pull off the win against Matt Bevin here in Kentucky the same way Claire McCaskill beat Todd Akin.






176 replies
  1. 1
    rumpole says:

    “The production costs were pretty low, about $20,000, because we didn’t have to film anything. We just used pictures and voice-overs.”

    I am so in the wrong business.

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    Buying a general election opponent is a “good politician’s” wet dream. What that says about his/her fitness to govern is another matter, but I’m willing to take that chance every time if it means beating back the Neanderthals.

  3. 3
    different-church-lady says:

    When did talking about the rat fucking out in the open become a thing?

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    Timely — I was just idly speculating in the morning open thread about McCaskill’s high profile lately and wondering if she knows something we don’t about the Democratic primaries. Probably not.

    RE: McCaskill’s maneuvering to set up Akin for the take-down, I say go girl. I don’t think the necessity of such an operation is a reflection on McCaskill’s political skills when you consider the makeup of her state and the extremely unfavorable (to sane pols) political climate at the time.

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Buying a general election opponent is a “good politician’s” wet dream.

    True, but not spending a penny to get the opponent you want is even better…er…you know what I mean. Senator Chris Coons certainly does. Thanks Delaware Tea Party!

  6. 6
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Biggest problem I have w/ what McCaskill said is that she said it out loud…

    Some things are better off kept to one’s self…

  7. 7
    wonkie says:

    I have no problem with encouraging the Republicans to chooe a candidate that accurately reflects how crazy, stupid and mean they are.

  8. 8
    Eric U. says:

    I think that if we rub their noses in Cleek’s law, we win. The problem is when we don’t point out how extreme they are. Republican voters don’t recognize that their positions are unpopular, jut put them out there. The media is too damaged to do its job, so that’s the only way it’s going to happen

  9. 9
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: oh hell no. The paranoia this creates is part of the fun.

  10. 10
    LWA says:

    I wonder if the target here is the GOP base, to further sow dissension and infighting.
    “Further, Bristol Palin says you are not a true conservative. And you have a fat ass. Uh huh, her words.”

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: I’m pretty sure the knuckledraggers and mouthbreathers in and around Missouri are not reading C-Mac’s book. Or any book, for that matter.

    Save a Hannity or Boortz bit on this, the secret’s still in the bag.

  12. 12
    chopper says:

    @wonkie:

    i agree. fuck em. these guys want to make everything terrible, every day. pointing out that the guy you’d like to run against is the ‘true conservative’ in the race is just pointing at reality.

  13. 13
    Damned at Random says:

    As long as the ads are factually accurate, I don’t have a problem with it. More ads about policy and votes, and less about what an awesome family man Candidate X is tends to steer the conversation towards policy where it belongs. And the ads McCaskill ran had her name on them, so again, I’m OK with that. Innuendo and misrepresentation by anonymous groups like Patriots for Awesomeness and Apple Pie are the ads that I find disturbing

  14. 14
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @dr. bloor: good politicians don’t select their opponents. Great politicians do.

    Unfortunate that Claire disappoints, but she did vote for Reid.

    I’m not sure this will work in KY. Never seems to.

  15. 15
    Geeno says:

    @different-church-lady: That’s kind of what i was wondering. Didn’t they used to quietly file away things like this so they could pull them out again ata later date if necessary.

  16. 16

    @different-church-lady:

    When did talking about the rat fucking out in the open become a thing?

    Same question here.

    ETA:

    @Bobby Thomson: I can accept that answer.

  17. 17
    butler says:

    The big reason Akin tanked is because of his idiotic “legitimate rape” comments. Before that he was consistently beating McCaskill in every poll from March to August. So unless McCaskill knew he was going to step on that particular rake she’s admitting that she almost got him elected to the Senate. Scary, and not something I would be bragging about.

  18. 18
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @butler: Any R would have, it was that kind of year. With Akin they were gambling he would provide them an opportunity that a smarter politician wouldn’t. And when it came, they ran with it.

    Plenty of D’s have lost for golden opportunities they passed over.

  19. 19
    rk says:

    Not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, buying a general election opponent just to clean their clock is something a good politician shouldn’t have to do.

    I don’t feel any concern about it. As I grow older I realise that rules are not absolute. All wars are not bad. Freedom of speech is not all good, We should ignore the second amendment in this day and age and do whatever we need to do, to keep guns out of the hands of a significant number of crazy people which populate this country. It’s called nuance.
    Republicans have completely gone off the rails. Even though we laugh, it’s shocking that an obvious egomaniac like Trump is the frontrunner of a major political party. If Trump was a dictator I can easily see him as a Robert Mugabe, or Saddam Hussein 10-15 years into his rule. So anything is takes to destroy republicans I’m for it.

  20. 20
    shell says:

    Re: Rick Perry’s ‘scaling down’ of his campaign…
    Note to all future campaign staff, make sure you get paid up front.

  21. 21
    J R in WV says:

    I’m with the paranoids who fear that after we push the craziest republican in a primary, they’ll come on to win the general. And that’s BAD!

    I was thinking that Trump would be so great, as he is such a butthead – but what if he won? O my gawds!

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    I have no problem with publicizing this. In fact, I think it should be sent out as a memo to every potential D candidate. Calling out the Republican party on its radicalism and irresponsibility is good politics, and doing it effectively is better politics.

  23. 23
    Cervantes says:

    @rk:

    As I grow older I realise that rules are not absolute. […] So anything [it] takes to destroy republicans I’m for it.

    Hmm …

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @J R in WV: There is not a republican running that would save ACA. There is not a republican running that would save a woman’s right to choose. There is not a republican running that would not decrease taxes and would kill social security and medicare. Tell me why Trump is scary.

  25. 25
    ThresherK says:

    If Ham Rove did this, the VSPs would be on their knees kissing his…feet, yes, feet…over yet another piece of political mastermindery.

    Expect all the usual asswipes on TV to get concerned about Dems not playing fair in 3, 2, 1…

  26. 26
    Lee says:

    Given the fact that a similar situation is shaping up here in Kentucky for governor this November….

    Vote for Drew!!!

  27. 27
    Waldo says:

    @rk:

    If Trump was a dictator I can easily see him as a Robert Mugabe, or Saddam Hussein

    Trump is a constitutional crisis waiting to happen. In his mind, the rules simply don’t apply and if you don’t like it, tough. As much as I’m enjoying his torching of the GOP facade, I don’t want to see him anywhere near the Oval Office.

  28. 28
    japa21 says:

    Well, now that this is out, the GOP will push even harder that Trump is a Dem plant. Thing is, the base will still ignore them.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    From TPM: Ted Cruz has been holding his fire on the Donald because he hopes to pick up the Donald’s popular support when the Donald’s campaign keels over. But not only is the Donald not keeling over, he’s out-Cruzing Ted and usurping the raison d’être of Ted’s candidacy.

  30. 30
    artem1s says:

    @Damned at Random:

    that and the non stop defacto ads run my media mouthpieces posing as journalist and who are nothing but stenographers for the GOP and/or the most offensive tool in the room.

  31. 31
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    buying a general election opponent just to clean their clock is something a good politician shouldn’t have to do.

    Oh yes it is. You play to win, not to have a good fight.

    McCaskill is good and has a good team.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @JPL:

    There is not a republican running that would save ACA. There is not a republican running that would save a woman’s right to choose. There is not a republican running that would not decrease taxes and would kill social security and medicare. Tell me why Trump is scary.

    Exactly right and I hope every Dem campaign is frantically saving the GOP candidates’ speeches and debate appearances. When it comes down to it there are almost no differences between these folks. The only ones I see are in their views on immigration & climate change, and the degree to which they’re willing to stress their religious views.

  33. 33
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    But not only is the Donald not keeling over, he’s out-Cruzing Ted and usurping the raison d’être of Ted’s candidacy.

    And to add insult to injury, Trump went to only a “minor Ivy.”

  34. 34
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid: True…except Cruz has something like 47 million reasons to hang in there until the last minute and hope Trump (or someone else) takes Trump out by February. I have no doubt Cruz will put the knife in and sell himself as the electable version of Trump if it comes down to that.

  35. 35
    msdc says:

    @different-church-lady: Exactly. I have no problem with McCaskill maneuvering herself into a race against a self-destructing idiot, but for god’s sake, you share that shit with the DSCC, not fucking Politico.

  36. 36
    Soylent Green says:

    @Amir Khalid: It helps to read the comments on right-wing blogs, where the True Conservatives are bitterly raging against the GOPe and vowing never to vote for an establishment candidate, For these guys, Trump and Cruz are both their rebel champions. When Trump flames out, Cruz will benefit directly.

  37. 37
    Steve From Antioch says:

    Yet another front page post that fails to address, or even acknowledge the existence of Black Lives Matter.

  38. 38
    mai naem mobile says:

    Trump scares me a little because I can imagine people voting for this guy in the GE but,shit,McKaskill trying to ratfu k the GOP? Can we haz more of this please? After watching the GOPs actions against Obama, I have no doubt that the GOP would knowingly do harm to this country just for more power/money. So almost anything to stop that is ok by me.

  39. 39
    jheartney says:

    I don’t think it was ever much of a secret that McCaskill was doing this. One look at the ads and it was obvious she was boosting Akin. It also was no mystery why she was doing it; he promptly torched his own campaign with his mouth. This material will fill in the blanks for historians, but the consulting class could easily see what she was up to in real time. Hell, I could see it, and I’m just an amateur politics watcher.

  40. 40
    Tokyokie says:

    @rk: I think Trump is more the American version of Silvio Berlusconi, but that’s sufficiently awful.

  41. 41
    valcessi@gmail.com says:

    I understand why Claire McCaskill would run this gambit, and congratulations to her for winning with it. But we’re living in a country where nutjobs win a significant number of elections.

    Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Paul LePage, Rick Scott, Gregg Abbott and Sam Brownback are just a few that come to mind. They are just as extreme as Todd Akin was.

  42. 42
    sukabi says:

    @Waldo: that’s true for the entire slate the gop has running…they all love the constitution, except for ….. insert the thing they want to repeal, never mind the whole wanting to secede cuz we don’t like xyz.

  43. 43
    Debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That may not last much longer. Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Debbie:
    Is she really? If so, and I ask with the full awareness that we’re discussing The Donald here, is that a bad thing?

  45. 45

    We’ll see if Jack Conway can pull off the win against Matt Bevin here in Kentucky the same way Claire McCaskill beat Todd Akin.

    This is Kentucky. I’m not placing any bets either way.

    @rk:
    We laugh, because it’s better than crying. We would all love a sane Republican Party not operating on racism, that wants what’s best for the country, but this is the world we live in.

    @Jeffro:

    I have no doubt Cruz will put the knife in

    If you come at the king, you’d best not miss. Everybody’s like ‘Who will stick a knife in Trump?’ They can’t. Everyone who tries, fails. Trump will implode (very likely) or win (unimaginable, and yet it looks possible). The clowns he’s facing ain’t gonna do shit to him with their rubber noses. The whole field is incompetent.

  46. 46
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    The approach rings an interesting change on Lazarus Long’s “best way to lie” from Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love. In paraphrase*:

    The second-best way to lie is to tell the truth, but not all of it. The best way to lie is to tell the truth, and tell all of it, but in such a fashion that your listeners believe you’re lying.

    From what I can tell, McCaskill’s ads just told the truth about Akin’s policy positions, & even told the truth that (from the POV of McCaskill & MO Democrats) he was “too conservative.”

    The effectiveness of such ads comes straight out of a fundamental flaw in the GOP’s DNA: They welcome extremists into the fold because they need their votes in the general election, but they can’t win with those votes alone, so they can’t be allowed to have any say in the nomination process. All the McCaskill ads did was to remind the inmates of the Rethuglican asylum that have the numbers to overwhelm the staff any damn time they want to.

    —–
    * NB this is not in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long so don’t bother; it’s part of a story in the text & I will be damned if I’m going to try & find my review copy & flip thru the whole flippin’ voluminous volume for the exact tureen of phrase.

  47. 47

    @Debbie:

    Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    I don’t see that hurting Trump with his fans. Plenty of them want to have sex with a porn star, so it will just feed into his success narrative.

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    So today is totally fucked, I woke up in the middle of the night and it took me an hour with a hot tub and painkillers to put myself down again. Now I’m up–late–with a massive sinus headache. Took that anti-histamine I’d been avoiding, took tylenol and it’s not working. I have shit due by COB today and tomorrow, stuff I was supposed to read and respond to today and I can’t concentrate on anything but painpainpain. Fuck my life already!!

    And I’m supposed to get it together and drive two hours to Jax this afternoon.

    Hellllllllp.

  49. 49
    valcessi@gmail.com says:

    @Debbie:Why would that be a strike against Trump? His downfall will come when somebody reveals photos of him comforting a sick child or rescuing a puppy from a burning house.

  50. 50
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    @Debbie: You really need to go watch Idiocracy to understand the Trump candidacy. This, if true, will help him, not hurt him.

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Debbie: Is that true? Her wiki profile says she was a model. You can’t keep porn stints secret in this day and age, so sounds like Glennbot is l-l-l-lyi–exaggerating again.

    The great Gazoogle coughed up a rumor that Trump cheated on Hot Slavic Wife with a porn star. It has not confirmed Beck’s idiocy one bit.

  52. 52
    Zandar says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This is Kentucky. I’m not placing any bets.

    Neither am I. Bevin is a horrendously bad candidate, but as AG, Conway keeps running commercials here about how he’s going to “Stop the Obama War on Kentucky Jobs” and is joining the GOP lawsuit against the EPA.

    Oh, and Fark.com founder Drew Curtis is running as ia independent now.

    Race is still Conway’s to lose, but good lord he is trying even my patience.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    I guess I have my answer now.

  54. 54
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Much like Il Duce and his answering machine:

    I can’t answer the phone right now, I am making love to a beautiful woman. But leave a detailed message and I will get back to you after the cigarette.

  55. 55
    Another Holocene Human says:

    When I crossed the state line into Kentucky, gee, almost a decade ago, on my way to Mammoth Caves, I just got the nasty feeling that the hills had eyes. Was I wrong? (this was red clay territory near Cumberland Gap)

    NC seemed pretty normal, best road conditions in the SE and yeah I’d include Florida. Even if a Florida road looks good temporarily, they never constructed it right underneath the asphalt so that won’t last. Effing shame what’s happened with their state politics last few years.

  56. 56
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Zandar: Hell, Conway’s trying my patience and I don’t even live in the Commonwealth. I think he’s been a dandy AG there.

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Similar to Dorothy Parker’s famous line– “I’m too fucking busy and vice versa.”

  58. 58
    srv says:

    All Sanders has to do is get another establishment candidate to run and then he’ll be at parity with Hillary.

  59. 59
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @japa21:

    Well, now that this is out, the GOP will push even harder that Trump is a Dem plant. Thing is, the base will still ignore them.

    To paraphrase what Harry Truman said about Republicans: Given the choice between a fire-breathing 6-megaparsecs-starboard-of-Genghis-Khan shooting-from-the-lip Tea Party candidate & a corporate shill but otherwise somewhat rational person pretending to be one, the crazies will choose the real Teahadist every time. All an aspiring Democratic rodent-shtupper needs to do is make sure the Far Wrong has no doubt which one that is.

  60. 60

    @Another Holocene Human:
    I was thinking of Rainer Wolfcastle’s answer to how he sleeps at night: “On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies”. Once you’ve established that the normal rules don’t apply, they really don’t apply.

  61. 61
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Huh, now that I whined about my sinuses they’re clearing up a bit. :D

  62. 62
    BR says:

    @Steve From Antioch:

    When did you become a troll? I remember you being a real commenter in the past.

  63. 63
    scav says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Keep whining! Keep whining! That is a superpower for the day to have.

  64. 64
    Splitting Image says:

    @Debbie:

    Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    That won’t be what kills Trump. He defended Planned Parenthood and said that Reagan wasn’t as conservative as teabaggers remember him. Trump is correct on both counts, but the base won’t stand for it.

  65. 65
    samiam says:

    Dear Mr. “Not sure how I feel about this”. It’s called politics and you are posting on a political blog. Maybe you should do something else if you are not sure how you feel about it.

    The only thing a bit unusual about that article is that a politician is actually explaining in detail what ALL politicians do behind closed doors with their advisors but rarely if ever talk about in public.

  66. 66
    srv says:

    @BR: Some people just can’t get past their single-issue issue.

  67. 67
    MattF says:

    @Splitting Image: But Trump’s constituency remembers his birther cred. Disrespect for Obama is what matters, not policy.

  68. 68

    Oh, I forgot one major possibility. Trump’s support remains about the same, but the rest of the field narrows until someone has more voters than he does.

  69. 69
    Waldo says:

    @sukabi: Yeah, I’d say they’re all scary in their own special ways, but mostly on policy. My impression of Trump is that he wouldn’t care even about the appearance of playing by the rules.

  70. 70
    AxelFoley says:

    @Steve From Antioch:

    Yet another front page post that fails to address, or even acknowledge the existence of Black Lives Matter

    Just hope you know that your life doesn’t matter. Fuck you, asswipe.

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That’s what will happen. Does Kasich have the money to stay in for the long haul? Rand Paul and Carson look iffy. Paul’s support would probably go to Cruz or Trump.

  72. 72
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @JPL: On the standard “issues”, Trump is the same as or actually better than most of the other Republican candidates.

    It’s a question of temperament, though. These other guys are conventional politicians who know what you’re supposed to be able to get away with. Trump is the one who, given real governmental power, would be most likely to have all of his opponents murdered and declare himself President for Life. Guys like him often get into office with a platform consisting of a combination of conservative and surprisingly progressive ideas.

  73. 73
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @scav: Maybe I should start whining about racism in the criminal justice system, right?

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    after the demonization of teachers..one wonders why folks aren’t going into the field?

    …………………………………………

    Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional)
    AUG. 9, 2015

    ROHNERT PARK, Calif. — In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers.

    Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.

    At the same time, a growing number of English-language learners are entering public schools, yet it is increasingly difficult to find bilingual teachers. So schools are looking for applicants everywhere they can — whether out of state or out of country — and wooing candidates earlier and quicker.

    Some are even asking prospective teachers to train on the job, hiring novices still studying for their teaching credentials, with little, if any, classroom experience.
    Nationwide, many teachers were laid off during the recession, but the situation was particularly acute in California, which lost 82,000 jobs in schools from 2008 to 2012, according to Labor Department figures. This academic year, districts have to fill 21,500 slots, according to estimates from the California Department of Education, while the state is issuing fewer than 15,000 new teaching credentials a year.

    “We are no longer in a layoff situation,” said Monica Vasquez, chief human resources officer for the San Francisco Unified School District, which offered early contracts to 140 teachers last spring in a bid to secure candidates before other districts snapped them up. “But there is an impending teacher shortage,” Ms. Vasquez added, before correcting herself: “It’s not impending. It’s here.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08.....&_r=0

  75. 75
    Poopyman says:

    @different-church-lady: This. I skipped right here without reading the intervening comments, but this is a good indicator of Amateur Hour on display.

  76. 76
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Debbie: okay Glenn beck just lost half of his audience for half.an hour, while they’re typing into the google Trummp, Melenny Trummp, Malanie Terummp,Mehlanee Trummp, Malani Trummp….

  77. 77
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Debbie:

    That may not last much longer. Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    I am guessing that Trump’s fans regard this fact as awesome.

  78. 78
    NonyNony says:

    @Debbie:

    Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    Um – why would you think this matters to Trump’s audience? Most of them would call that living the dream.

    Having enough money to tell everyone who says anything you don’t want to hear to eff off, marrying a porn star, being able to act as belligerently as Trump does and get away with it – all of these are things that Trump’s core audience will love him all the more for. So long as he keeps up his angry asshole public persona.

    Hell even the stuff about him saying moderately nice things about some aspects of Planned Parenthood won’t necessarily hurt him – if he gets attacked for it he can come back and call the attacker all sorts of names. As long as he’s being attacked and fighting back they’ll love him. What’ll hurt him is if he starts to back off from his angry asshole persona and starts sounding like a politician – if he makes that mistake his support will crater as the angry pack of ravenous weasels will look for a new alpha asshole to follow.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Walker offers taxpayer money for new Milwaukee arena
    08/12/15 11:27 AM—UPDATED 08/12/15 11:29 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Following up on our earlier coverage, sports fans are probably familiar with a familiar dynamic: a local franchise wants an expensive new facility; it wants taxpayers to pick up the tab; and the team’s owners have made clear that without a new home, they’ll abandon the community and move the team elsewhere.

    That’s exactly what’s happening in Wisconsin, where the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks not only want out of the Bradley Center, which opened way back in 1988, and also want a new half-billion-dollar arena.

    That left Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) with a decision to make, though it apparently wasn’t an especially tough call for him. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that the Republican governor left the presidential campaign trail to seal an expensive deal.
    Gov. Scott Walker signed the Milwaukee Bucks arena funding bill Wednesday morning at the Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park. […]

    He’s repeatedly cited the income taxes Wisconsin would lose if the team leaves the state, and he said it was about protecting the state’s taxpayers.
    In fairness, this isn’t a situation in which Walker simply signed a massive check and handed it over to the Bucks’ owners. The price tag will be spread out over several years, and some of the money will include the sale of public land.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-ma.....ukee-arena

  80. 80
    scav says:

    @Another Holocene Human: That and wait times for service reps.Start at the top. Well, ok, nearly the top. WordPress is beyond all superpowers. We’ll call endemic racism the top. Swing past the Middle East a little later in the afternoon?

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Btw, if anybody saw the link posted yesterday to Obama’s interview with Steve Inskeep, it’s well worth a listen. I can’t stand Inskeep (but by all that’s holy he’s by no means the worst on npr) but it didn’t matter. He didn’t talk over Obama (much) and was pretty respectful. Obama got more fluent as the interview went on and I found his remarks very interesting.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Heck, I think that’s awesome.

  83. 83
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @scav: Oh dear, taking on the cable company monopolies is a bit much. How about peace in Syria?

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    @Debbie:

    That may not last much longer. Glenn Beck just announced to his Trump-loving audience that Trump’s current wife is an ex-porn star.

    And this is supposed to matter because?

    As long as she didn’t do any films while she started dating him, who cares?

    I have to say that I read a lot of celebrity gossip, and this is the first I’ve heard of this. Not saying it’s not true…just that I hadn’t read it before.

  85. 85
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …Basically, I think that Trump’s fan base isn’t quite the same as Ted Cruz’s. They’re not the hardcore bluenose Christianists, they’re jerky former fratboys who like a jerky fratboy in charge. I know from personal experience that these two groups have considerable overlap, but they are not identical.

  86. 86
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

  87. 87
    MattF says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Bearing in mind, e.g., that many historically fascist parties claimed to be ‘socialist’. This, come to think of it, is close to the inverse of the winger “liberals are really fascists” meme and a lot closer to what actually happened in the ’30’s.

  88. 88
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NonyNony: These folks only care if a woman does porn after she marries him, because that would be “embarrassing” the husband, unless he’s a porn mogul too. Then they can be assured he’s still ordering the little lady around and all is right with the world.

    Remember, these folks don’t hate pimps, either–they hate uppity women.

    Having a respectable, sexless wife is a Victorian middle class obsession that died somewhere in the 1950s. Of course politicians tend to be old, so in political life there was an overhang. Right until 1980.

  89. 89
    mai naem mobile says:

    An hour later Glenn becks listeners continue to type into the Google – Marley Trummp, Iwanna Tramp, Marleh Tramp, Iwonka Trummpe, Marlanka Trammp……

  90. 90
    SFAW says:

    @Zandar:

    Race is still Conway’s to lose, but good lord he is trying even my patience.

    And Senators Grimes and Gantt agree with you wholeheartedly.

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @Another Holocene Human: It’s your superpower — you’re the best judge of what the ichor is up to. No one will hold the lack of cable companies against you. (Although I’m sure a troll or two can be arranged if you want a personal one.)

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Matt McIrvin: True. Jerky ex-fratboys get religion and get churched, where they rub shoulders with the neeeeeerds who were beneath them in the social sphere in high school and college but who are now embedded in the church organization and hierarchy they’re trying to work because they think it will be good for their frat-boy business or their political ambitions or because they’re trying to find a compliant wifey after screwing around for a decade, or whatever.

  93. 93
    SFAW says:

    @Steve From Antioch:

    Yet another front page post that fails to address, or even acknowledge the existence of Black Lives Matter.

    All Lives Matter, you racist.

  94. 94
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Heck, I think that’s awesome.

    I can’t decide if this will hurt or enhance your status as a universally respected commenter.

    We’ll go for “enhance.”

    ETA: Just my way of trying to move up from my “usually reviled commenter – if we ever thought about him, that is” status.

  95. 95
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: Are you a fan of Jeff Koons?

  96. 96
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW: I thought it was beloved, not universally respected. But I like “enhance” in this context.

  97. 97

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Having a respectable, sexless wife is a Victorian middle class obsession that died somewhere in the 1950s.

    It appeared somewhere in the late 40s. World War Two veered our culture wildly off track, and ‘traditional family values’ aren’t actually traditional.

  98. 98
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: That’s good news for Wisconsin colleges! (snark)

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I sometimes do The New Yorker jigsaw puzzles online.
    Some of the covers from the thirties and forties would be banned today.

  100. 100
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I went to college with a lot of nominal evangelical Protestant guys, super-conservative politically, who basically believed that the rules were for other people. Them? They were saved; Jesus told them they could get away with anything.

    And then there were the real Ned Flanders types, who got picked on a lot.

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Yee Hee!!! Git em, Vern!

  102. 102
    scav says:

    @Matt McIrvin: That “We know the mind of God and all of his ineffable decisions on the Day of Judgement: Our sins are forgiven while yours are not!” mindset is not limited to frat boys.

  103. 103
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I thought it was beloved, not universally respected. But I like “enhance” in this context.

    I think it started as “universally beloved,” but I thought it had changed because of semi-snarky responses. Maybe I’m confusing Amir with someone else, wouldn’t be the first time I was confused.

    Be that as it may, I’m more-than-OK with Amir being “universally beloved.”

  104. 104
    trollhattan says:

    @BR:
    That would be a false memory unless by “real” you mean “really excited by gunz.” He generally pops up after a spree shooting to defend the poor defenseless gunz.

  105. 105
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MattF:
    I don’t know enough about modern art to call myself anyone’s fan, alas. But as I recall, Cicciolina was the porn star and the politician in their marriage.

  106. 106
    debbie says:

    @NonyNony:

    Um – why would you think this matters to Trump’s audience? Most of them would call that living the dream.

    Exactly what’s driving Beck crazy!

  107. 107
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    in re Trump’s wife: I think it was when they first got married, some snarky reporter asked her, on a red carpet type set up, something along the lines of “was his money part of the attraction?”, something just this side of, “Hey, Gold digger!, wanna say flat out that you married the ugly old man for his money?” Her (as I recall) pretty quick and unperturbed response was a variant on this, from the Paul Newman-Lolita Davidovich movie:

    Earl Long: Would you still love me as much if I wasn’t the fine governor of the great state of Louisiana?
    Blaze Starr: Would you still love *me* if I had little tits and worked in a fish house?

  108. 108
    raven says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: God I almost choked to death!

    eta Blaze BTW

  109. 109
    shell says:

    Well, this was very telling. When Trump was basically calling Bernie Sanders a wimp for being upstaged by some BLM protestors, he didn’t call them protestors. He dissed Bernie for ” being upstaged by two women.” Cause you’re obviously a pussy if you cant handle your wimmen folk.

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    @Another Holocene Human:
    Serially divorced perennially looking for a newer, hotter wife Newton Gingrich didn’t seem harmed by his philandering ways four years ago, even led at one point, so whatever pr0n-fueled fantasy Trump may be living will only help his image with the rabble.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Zandar: Duke sucks. France surrenders. Hilarity ensues.

  112. 112
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @BR: really?

  113. 113
    Jeffro says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That is a possibility, true. What happens when we get to February and (thanks to super PACs and sugar daddies) Jeb!, Rubio, Walker, and Cruz are still in it?

    I’ll tell ya what happens: I go out and buy every last bag of popcorn in Aisle 11, that’s what happens.

  114. 114
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bobby Thomson: not uncommon troll behavior, spend some time at a blog, get to “know” commenters, then drop the mask. Steve isn’t the first or the worst to do that here.

  115. 115
    beltane says:

    The current Mrs. Trump has appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which in the minds of the Republican faithful would make her the best First Lady evah.

    Glenn Beck is just a silly little prude.

  116. 116
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m saying there was never a mask.

  117. 117
    beltane says:

    @trollhattan: Melania Trump is much, much better looking than Callista Gingrich, which makes Donald Trump a much, much more compelling candidate for the Republicans.

    Mitt Romney once quipped that Ann was a “starter wife” and trophy wife all rolled into one. Donald Trump has none of that Mormon frugality. He has no qualms about spending money on upgrades whenever it suits him. He is a very classy man, that Donald Trump.

  118. 118
    rikyrah says:

    Anti-Voting Crusader Plans Purge Of 30,000 Citizens From Voting Rolls
    BY KIRA LERNER AUG 11, 2015 1:51PM

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) — notorious voter suppression architect who now wields the power to prosecute people for voter fraud — has proposed a change to state regulations which would allow his office to purge more than 30,000 incomplete voter registration applications being held because voters have not yet provided proof of citizenship.

    Four state lawmakers, including one Republican, have come out against the proposal, claiming it would disproportionately impact low-income, minority and elderly voters who may need more than 90 days to provide their proof of citizenship. State Rep. Jim Ward (D) told ThinkProgress that not every Kansas citizen has a drivers’ license and other forms of identification can be hard for people to procure in a short period of time.

    “[Kobach] said we gave more time than other states who have imposed this purge rule, and we thought it was fair,” Ward said. “But there really wasn’t any kind of analysis on how long it would take” voters to produce a proof of citizenship.
    Soon after taking office, Kobach advocated for a law requiring new voters in Kansas to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register. The law took effect in 2013, and immediately 12,000 people were placed in limbo because they could not prove their citizenship, despite the fact that the threat of non-citizens casting a ballot of virtually non-existent.

    As of now, more than 30,000 voters have begun the registration process but are being held in suspense because they have not showed the required identification. Currently, voters can provide the required documents up until Election Day, but Kobach wants to change that. He told a Kansas newspaper the proposal is intended to save election officials time and money and cut down on reminders they send voters to submit their citizenship documents.

    http://thinkprogress.org/elect.....ter-purge/

  119. 119
  120. 120
    Gene108 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I think part of the incompetence comes from Republicans and the right-wing media mass messaging the same talking points over and over again.

    Trump did not get the winger memo. He has his own script.

    And the audience, so far, likes Trump’s script better.

  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    @different-church-lady:

    When did talking about the rat fucking out in the open become a thing?

    Post Citizens United.

  122. 122
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @rikyrah: fuck that hypocritical himbo douchebag.

  123. 123
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Amir Khalid: negative trend line and it looks sketchy to boot.

  124. 124
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Had to read that. When you say ‘spit’, I know it must be something wild :-)

    I cackle with glee at their misfortune!

  125. 125
    NonyNony says:

    @Amir Khalid: Eh – it’s the same polling outfit that had him at 32% last week. This just shows him holding steady (MOE of more than 3%, also an online poll so methodology becomes a bit suspect).

  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    It’s within the margin of error, so one could argue he’s holding steady.

  127. 127

    @Amir Khalid:
    Given how rapidly the candidates’ polling numbers have changed, I think all polls at this point should be taken with a large grain of salt.

  128. 128
    wuzzat says:

    @trollhattan: Sir Trump rescued that poor, foolish lady-type from a life of sin. He’s a hero, I tell ya.

    Seriously, unless it turns out that she was a male p*rn star, there is is no chance this hurts Trump.

  129. 129
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Dave Weigel, who if he wasn’t a Benghazi Truther did a hell of an impersonation of one in his last weeks at Slate, asks what you think would be a fairly obvious question
    daveweigel ‏@ daveweigel 42m42 minutes ago
    What is the smokingest gun we can imagine in a deleted Clinton email? Like, an order to begin the false flag attack in Benghazi?

    Chris “She’s a Bitch” Cilizza, holds to the Clinton Standard of Guilty Until She Proves Herself Innocent

    Chris CillizzaVerified account@ TheFix
    Democrats, ask yourself this: If this was a former GOP Sec of State and his/her private e-mail server would it be a “non story”?

  130. 130
    Cacti says:

    @srv:

    All Sanders has to do is get another establishment candidate to run and then he’ll be at parity with Hillary.

    All I have to do is grow six inches, and I could be a trash-talking power forward in the NBA.

  131. 131
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Why, yes, Chris, yes, it would.

  132. 132
    scav says:

    @Amir Khalid: it’s not as though MOE is a magic bandaid for all the cobbled together issues. We could do an online pole at BJ, gather a tidy MOE and predict a Tunch Landslide. Do it often enough and we might even elect caligula or a fish taco recipe every so often. BJ would throw up the most amazing trendlines, I’m somhow sure. Fractal, Knot Theory, String Theory and Parallel Universes, Slinky Theory: all would be unable to cope.

  133. 133
    JustRuss says:

    @rikyrah:

    In fairness, this isn’t a situation in which Walker simply signed a massive check and handed it over to the Bucks’ owners. The price tag will be spread out over several years, and some of the money will include the sale of public land.

    I’m not seeing how selling off public lands and handing the proceeds to the Bucks’ owners in installments mitigates the crappiness of this deal at all.

  134. 134
    Poopyman says:

    @Debbie: I would think a porn star would have more self-respect.

  135. 135
    Cacti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    What is the smokingest gun we can imagine in a deleted Clinton email? Like, an order to begin the false flag attack in Benghazi?

    I don’t that your average GOPer even knows what the supposed conspiracy was in the Benghazi attack.

    That the Obama administration confered on how they were going to discuss it with the media? Not a crime last I checked.

    That the cavalry were on the way, but ordered to stand down? The Secretary of State is not in the chain of command, and has no authority to order a military stand down.

    The whole thing has been a snipe hunt from the start. You can’t catch what ain’t there.

  136. 136
    Helen says:

    @Debbie:

    Do you have a link for that? I can’t find it anywhere. I wanna repeat it and repeat it and repeat it again, but I can’t find it on these here intertubes.

  137. 137
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    @scav:
    True. As anyone knows who remembers what the poll numbers were saying at this point in the 2008 and 2012 cycles. Still, they do suggest who on the Republican side will get talked up next: Carly and Ben.

  138. 138

    @scav:

    Do it often enough and we might even elect caligula or a fish taco recipe every so often.

    Sorry, but Omnes is going to out poll Little Boots every time.

  139. 139
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: You’re ignoring important legal principles and Constitutional considerations like appearances, optics and smoke and fire. I can’t remember if it’s Hamilton or Madison who’s credited with writing Federalist no. 69, “On Opticks”, but it’s a vitally important of our government.

  140. 140
    Cacti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    True. As anyone knows who remembers what the poll numbers were saying at this point in the 2008 and 2012 cycles. Still, they do suggest who on the Republican side will get talked up next: Carly and Ben.

    Unlike your typical GOPer politician who wouldn’t dare criticize anything a CEO ever did, Trump will bludgeon Fiorina with her tenure at HP. Not sure how he’d try to kneecap Carson.

  141. 141

    @Amir Khalid:

    Still, they do suggest who on the Republican side will get talked up next: Carly and Ben.

    At least in Fiorina’s case, I assume some of her boost in the polls is an effect of being talked up in the media at least as much as it is a cause.

  142. 142
    Thoughtful Today says:

    Enabling insane opponents allows extremists to falsely cloak themselves in moderation.

  143. 143
    Peale says:

    @Cacti: He’ll kneecap Carson for being a vain narcissist with no government experience.

    LOL

    Seriously, though, he can just wail on Carson for being a good surgeon who has never run a company.

  144. 144
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, yeah, but there could be a bad case of the entire internet going down at a critical moment, or maybe FYWP could fling out some of its duplicate posts while inside an Elon post or …… outlier of an outlier, granted. And only if there hadn’t been any pet photos for a very long time.

  145. 145
    Cervantes says:

    @Thoughtful Today:

    Enabling insane opponents allows extremists to falsely cloak themselves in moderation.

    Is that one of those sentences that contains every letter in the alphabet?

  146. 146
    sharl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    What is the smokingest gun we can imagine in a deleted Clinton email? Like, an order to begin the false flag attack in Benghazi?

    One of the Weird/Irony Twitter bunch was all over this question back in March:

    hot boy in the car ‏@ScottyTonga Mar 2

    To: benghaziman@gmail.com
    From: FirstLadyPrez1@aol.com
    Subj: it’s time

    do the benghazi…

    Hilary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State

  147. 147
    My Truth Hurts says:

    It’s not ok. It subverted the process and that’s not ok. We have to hold all of them to the same standards or we can continue with the lawless anarchy we already live under. No tolerance for corruption.

  148. 148
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If it were a republican Secretary of State, I’d actually be relieved enough if Benghazi is the worst thing that happened and let it slide.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: Maybe, but the fish taco recipe will kick my ass every time. Hell, I’d consider voting for it.

  150. 150
    boatboy_srq says:

    @wonkie: This. And again, with comparison to Trump who’s blaring out the GOTea Id for all to see rather than sleazing around behind weaselspeak like the entire rest of the primary pack. Energizing the 27% so the 73% can see the results in Technicolor is not only effective but in its way responsible: it shows up the slimier ones that will say anything to sell their snake-oil (Cruz in particular, but there are others). I disagree with Akin enough not to trust him when he says the sky is blue and water is wet, but I respect him for standing up for his (whacked-out) principles more than I respect the slime that would govern the same way yet lie dogwhistle so their positions sound at least somewhat reasonable to those not paying close attention. McCaskill did both the (old, more sane, less reality-challenged) GOP and the republic a huge favor. More of this, please.

  151. 151
    SFAW says:

    @My Truth Hurts:

    or we can continue with the lawless anarchy we already live under.

    Did we become the United States of Somalia, and I missed it? Damn!

  152. 152
    Soprano2 says:

    I remember those ads. At the time hubby & I were pretty sure it was McCaskill trying to make sure Akin won the primary. If either of the other two Republicans in the race had won it McCaskill probably wouldn’t have been able to beat them. I don’t blame her for doing what she did, not at all. It means we don’t have two Republican senators from MO, that’s good enough for me.

  153. 153
    SFAW says:

    @Peale:

    If it were a republican Secretary of State, I’d actually be relieved enough if Benghazi is the worst thing that happened and let it slide.

    No shit. The last Republican Secretary of State was in no small part responsible for the various security agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA) refusing to share info pre-9/11. Of course, she made up for it by allowing her traitorous party-mates to try to pin the blame on Jamie Gorelick.

    ETA: Yes, I know she wasn’t SoS when she aided-and-abetted the 9/11 attacks.

  154. 154
    Thoughtful Today says:

    re: Dave Weigel

    Dave Weigel is a right-wing libertarian, literally.

    That doesn’t diminish Weigel’s insights into conservatism, in his case I think it enhances it and it’s made him a valuable read as he’s generally tried to be more informative about the various strains of conservatism than ideological.

    But it’s important to read and listen to him with a grain (or bag) of salt.

  155. 155
    Thoughtful Today says:

    doh, forget the /b

  156. 156

    @SFAW:

    The last Republican Secretary of State was in no small part responsible for the various security agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA) refusing to share info pre-9/11.

    And a major player in lying our way into Iraq, also before becoming SoS. I guess being promoted was a reward for her role in those fiascoes.

  157. 157
    Calouste says:

    @Jeffro:

    What happens when we get to February and (thanks to super PACs and sugar daddies) Jeb!, Rubio, Walker, and Cruz are still in it?

    And fun little detail, all primaries (roughly half of the total) until March 15 are more or less proportionate. Only from March 15 can they be winner-takes-all. It doesn’t look like there will be a break-out candidate by that time, except for Trump, considering all the other ones have been so close together. And who is going to drop out from the chasing pack, so that one of them can take on Trump, if they all have 10% in the polls and about the same number of delegates? No one, they all think they will be the one.

  158. 158
    SFAW says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I guess being promoted was a reward for her role in those fiascoes.

    Well, she already had an oil tanker or two named in her honor, so how do you one-up that? The only alternative would have been Cheney giving her the Presidency, and I don’t think he was about to do that.

  159. 159
    Hoodie says:

    @Cacti: Make him his VP? Neither Fiorina nor Carson are credible threats. At this point, Trump’s biggest threat might be a Mitt resurgence if Walker, Rubio and Bush all flame out, establishment types start panicking and some Trump supporters sober up and realize they stole Mike Tyson’s tiger. Mitt is no superstar, but I have to admit he’s shown more game than Bush, Rubio and Walker (he did do more than hold his own with Obama in one of the debates). I can see how his prior loss to Obama would be explained away to the GOP base — all those fraudulent brown voters showing up to get their Obamaphones and now he’s reclaiming what was rightfully his. I wouldn’t call it a high-probability event right now, but I could see a Mitt resurgence given the weakness of the rest of the current GOP field. A big reason behind Trump’s surge is that they’re all pretty awful communicators who are incoherent, weird or one-dimensional. Obama showed folks how to deal with Trump — you make fun of him (preferably while sending SEALs to kill bin Laden). None of the GOP candidates has done that, and they’re such a talent- and humor-less lot, I doubt they can.

  160. 160
    Loneoak says:

    The Repigs have been waging a ratfucking war for decades, and we should welcome the occasional victory. On that note, be sure to read the TPM piece about the secret history of the POW/MIA flag, which is fundamentally a Nixon-Raygun joint ratfucking effort.

  161. 161
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If talking about this rat fucking makes conservative voters go bugfuck-paranoid insane and start wondering if every one of their candidates is a Democratic plant – which wouldn’t be far from their current state of paranoia about their party – it’s well worth talking about this in public. I believe part of the reason the Ku Klux Klan died out as an organized force was this principle in action: different chapters started accusing each other of being run by undercover cops, and the paranoia ultimately did more damage than anything the cops were actually doing.

    Not saying that’s necessarily what’s going on here, but it’s why I’m not too worried about us talking about it. (Bill Clinton telling Trump to run, also too).

  162. 162
    Cacti says:

    @Peale:

    He’ll kneecap Carson for being a vain narcissist with no government experience.

    LOL

    Seriously, though, he can just wail on Carson for being a good surgeon who has never run a company.

    I think he may try to make a running mate out of Carson, to give him a black face to guard dog against accusations of bigotry.

  163. 163

    @Cacti:

    I don’t that your average GOPer even knows what the supposed conspiracy was in the Benghazi attack.

    I disagree. They know exactly what the conspiracy they’re imagining was. Obama knew the attack was coming, and deliberately did nothing, maybe even set the diplomats up to make sure they’d be killed. He did this because he thinks Muslim terrorists are basically right in hating us and he spitefully enjoys seeing patriots die. I suppose most of them don’t actually really think that happened, but it is still the scenario they’re imagining and going ‘Well, that’s how bad a person he is.’

  164. 164
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: Would Carson publicly entangle himself with one so ungodly? To bring it back to Melania’s alleged past, would he allow (used advisedly) Mrs Carson to associate with a soiled dove?

  165. 165
    Cacti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Would Carson publicly entangle himself with one so ungodly? To bring it back to Melania’s alleged past, would he allow (used advisedly) Mrs Carson to associate with a soiled dove?

    When you listen to Carson talk, it seems that his religious kookery is the honest kind. I think he really believes himself divinely appointed for something or other, and as we all know “the Lord works in mysterious ways”.

  166. 166
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @My Troll Sharts: The political parties are completely free to chose their nominees in any way they see fit: trial by ordeal, “quiet rooms”, lottery, grindr.

    But if they want to use public resources to do it, they have to follow the rules that the people’s representatives have devised.

  167. 167
    satby says:

    @Karen in GA: I would dispute that that was ratfucking.
    @Damned at Random: <– Or, what this says

  168. 168
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    And if my latest trip to the movies is to be believed, there’s now a Benghazi movie coming out. With Michael Bay. Because American Sniper wasn’t enough. Kill me now, please.

  169. 169

    @Chris:

    I believe part of the reason the Ku Klux Klan died out as an organized force was this principle in action: different chapters started accusing each other of being run by undercover cops, and the paranoia ultimately did more damage than anything the cops were actually doing.

    More powerful than anything the cops were doing directly, at least, but the paranoia was all the more powerful because it had a basis in fact. Even normally sane people will start looking over their shoulders when there’s an actual threat. Just look at how quick people are around here to accuse others of being paid trolls; the knowledge that there are such things really feeds the paranoia.

  170. 170
    NonyNony says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Just look at how quick people are around here to accuse others of being paid trolls; the knowledge that there are such things really feeds the paranoia.

    The idea that any of our pet trolls here are paid operatives just makes me chuckle. I don’t doubt that there are trolls paid to haunt the comments sections of major newspapers and maybe places like Media Matters, but the idea that anyone would pay to have trolls come post in the Balloon Juice comments is just staggeringly hilarious.

    I mean I can’t think of a bigger waste of money than paying people to post here. The nutters will come here and troll poorly for free – if we had paid trolls they’d be better than the ones we get.

  171. 171

    @NonyNony:
    I doubt that most of the trolls around here are paid, but there are one or two who I find very suspicious. Bob in Portland looked very much like one of the paid Russian trolls, and I do wonder about “UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH”.

  172. 172
    Jeffro says:

    @Calouste:

    And who is going to drop out from the chasing pack, so that one of them can take on Trump, if they all have 10% in the polls and about the same number of delegates? No one, they all think they will be the one.

    Exactly. Even if the “kids’ table” folks drop out, even if Christie folds when his funds run out (as I think Jindal and Perry will shortly, PAC or no PAC), that adds less than 10% to the rest of the field’s available voters. It’s not like it will all go to one person – they’ll each get 1-2%. This would likely leave Trump, Walker, Rubio, Bush, and Cruz with something like 15-25% of the vote each, with perhaps Huckabee and Paul at 5-8% each.

    Popcorn!

  173. 173
    Brandon says:

    I think McCaskill just violated the first rule of Campaign Club.

  174. 174
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Democrats, ask yourself this: If this was a former GOP Sec of State and his/her private e-mail server would it be a “non story”?

    Don’t we all remember the furore and the endless inquiries into Colin Powell’s use of private e-mail?

  175. 175
    Tim O says:

    If Conway can stick to the issues and not get cute with his attack ads, a la “Aqua Buddha”, he’ll be fine.

  176. 176
    Debbie says:

    @Helen:

    Sorry not the same see this sooner. I heard this on his radio show, but there’s sure to be something on his site.

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