Tales From Real Ameritrump

BuzzFeed’s Ivor Tossell gave us this road map of Trump three weeks ago:

I’ll be damned if Weigel’s not firmly on Stage 4 right now.

A few hours before Donald Trump’s plane landed, 20 minutes south of where he would speak, people gathered outside the Flint Assembly Plant to take a peek into the past. Some of them were retired, reuniting with friends. All of them remembered how there used to be more to the place.

“I worked at Plant 36,” said Jerry Hubbard, who retired in 2001, after outlasting his part of the vast “Buick City” complex that was dismantled as the auto jobs left. “It’s all gone. It’s all limestone. You can’t rape a place like that. General Motors jobs made this place.”

Only one presidential candidate seemed to care: Donald Trump. “A lot of what he says hits a chord with me,” said Hubbard. “Immigration and jobs going to China — this area’s really suffered from that. I just like somebody that stands up for what he speaks about.”

Trump’s rise and persistence as a presidential candidate has been credited to name recognition, to voter anger and to a specific contempt for the Republican Party establishment. But he is also the candidate talking most directly about the loss of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries.

In the Democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has adopted a similar theme, but Trump’s appeal here captured something that went beyond policy: a brew of impossible nostalgia coupled with a pledge to destroy other countries, most notably China, in negotiations. On Twitter, “Make America Great Again” is a goofy, meme-ready slogan, best displayed on ironic hats. There are places, such as Michigan, where it makes real sense.

Never underestimate the power of inchoate rage, properly harnessed. Even if it’s by Mr. von Clownstick here.  How long he can ride this beast, well, who knows, but there’s going to be a lot of damage in its wake.

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263 replies
  1. 1
    dubo says:

    Only one presidential candidate seemed to care: Donald Trump. “A lot of what he says hits a chord with me,” said Hubbard. “Immigration and jobs going to China — this area’s really suffered from that. I just like somebody that stands up for what he speaks about.”

    As a Flint native… no, the reason Flint (and General Motors jobs in Flint) have “really suffered” have nothing to do with fucking immigration or jobs going to China

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Isn’t there a Stage 6:

    6. Democrats are just as bad.

  3. 3
    hitchhiker says:

    It’s official. I am never going to get tired of reading about Trump. It’s always going to be fun to watch while the establishment Rs try to figure out how to neutralize him without exposing their contempt for their own base.

    My favorite part is when he reminds them that they’ve come begging to him before for dollars. Ahhhhhhhh.

  4. 4
    Schlemazel says:

    @dubo:
    You must be right, moving a million jobs from Michigan to Mexico, Costa Rica and China certainly would have no negative affects on the state. Pray tell, what oh what is the real cause?

  5. 5
    WereBear says:

    So give me the downside of Trump being the Republican candidate for President?

    ‘Cause he’s looking more and more possible all the time.

  6. 6
    Gimlet says:

    @Baud:

    6. Profit!

  7. 7
    Jeffro says:

    I’m thinking about getting one of those hats, and wearing it with a Dem t-shirt. Sporty AND fun, watching peoples’ reactions.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    It’s quite possible that Mr. Trump has realized that if he, personally, destroys the Republican party, then his story will be studied by historians for a long time to come. And if you happen to be a narcissistic asshole, it’s an opportunity that’s hard to turn down.

  9. 9
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @WereBear: Maybe the Donald is a clown, but he ain’t a joke no more, is he?

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    Every voter wants to get in on the gag and think the other voters will do the right thing.

  11. 11
    El Caganer says:

    @WereBear: Aside from the fact that he might win, I can’t think of any.

  12. 12
    Mike in DC says:

    Stage 5 happens when and if Trump wins the first 2 primaries.

    Of course, that’s probably the case for Sanders as well.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    but there’s going to be a lot of damage in its wake.

    These people are already the wreckage of decades of Democrats and unions.

    The Silent Majority of U-6’s is silent no more.

  14. 14
    Gimlet says:

    @srv:

    The “new” “Democrat” Party is the party of big business and Wall Street. See DLC and Third Way for details or contact Chuck Schumer.

  15. 15
    Brachiator says:

    Never underestimate the power of inchoate rage, properly harnessed.

    I am not getting a sense of rage here, mainly sadness, hopelessness and a grasping at simple answers to complex problems that is easily exploited by a goofball like Trump.

    There is the ridiculous implication that the government (really Obama) sat down with the Chinese to negotiate, like some kind of card game, and at the end the US government got suckered and China swept all the US jobs off the table.

    Trump promises that he is a huuuge guy who can play the game better than anybody. But it’s not like he is promising to declare war on China. And yeah, this is where Trump includes the standard Republican flag waving about making America great again.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Parsons’s wife, Brenda, who’d been nodding her head, interjected to explain why she trusted Trump.
    “He’s a businessman,” she said. “Being a businessman, he knows the ways around. I don’t think he’d go to Congress and ask. I think he’d just do it.”

    Okay. He’s gonna get under the hood and fix it. /sigh/.

    I saw this Weigel piece recommended in a tweet this morning

    Elias Isquith ‏@ eliasisquith 5h5 hours ago
    This is a superb (& sad) piece of journalism from @ daveweigel on why ppl love Trump

    Sad? sure. Superb? There’s nothing wrong with it, but I don’t find it particularly compelling. Maybe because I’ve been reading some variant of it for thirty-odd years. The only new thing is the word Trump. And maybe references to “he’s not afraid to be politically incorrect”; that seems to come up in all of these “Why do you like Trump?” stories. I guess that’s all about immigration?

  17. 17
    Kay says:

    Yeah, I guess I just take exception to the portrayal of their concerns about trade as “inchoate rage” and I would like to suggest that might not be a “winning message” for Democrats.

    They believe they are being sold out on these trade deals. They have specific objections. Currency is mentioned in the Weigel piece. That’s a real issue. Democrats might try responding to them instead of treating them like they’re the subjects of a sociology paper. The President refused to engage on real specific objections to his trade deal, and instead used the same lines we’ve heard for the last 20 years characterizing anyone who questions a trade deal as “pulling up the drawbridge” and “protectionist”. You’ll pardon me, but that’s bullshit. They are WELL AWARE of global markets and the importance of trade. They think DC negotiates bad deals.

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Today’s paper had an article about how both JEB! and Rubio gave speeches denouncing the opening of the embassy in Havana. They vow to shut it down again and go back to 1961. Seriously, what five voters are these cretins trying to win over?

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @WereBear:

    So give me the downside of Trump being the Republican candidate for President?

    Probably not much downside to his being the Republican nominee. Huge downside to his actually winning the presidency. In terms of competence, Trump is on the same level as Sarah Palin.

  20. 20
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Never underestimate the power of inchoate rage, properly harnessed

    A plan followed by the GOP for most of my lifetime.

    However, I agree with @Kay that the objections to trade are real, and focused and not inchoate rage.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    There’s another part of this that Democrats are refusing to admit. The Snyder quote in that piece is identical to the Democratic response to these issues. The two sides are saying the same fucking thing. That’s a problem for Democrats. Republicans knew they had a problem and the smarter ones simply co-opted the Democratic “opportunity” message, except they also promise lower taxes. Democrats have no counter.

  22. 22
    different-church-lady says:

    Weird — Michael Moore cares what happens to Flint, but not one in that crowd would consider voting for him if he ran for something.

  23. 23
    BR says:

    @Kay:

    I worry that in a Clinton vs. Trump general election, Clinton wouldn’t do any better than any other establishment Democrat in connecting with those voters who are worried about, say, trade deals or other economic matters. To my ears she connects no better and often quite a bit worse than Obama on such matters. Trump is able to connect on the anger level, and maybe that’s all it takes in a time when congress is in such low esteem that people don’t mind the idea of the president doing whatever he wants.

  24. 24
    Betty says:

    @Kay: Yes, people have legitimate grievances that Democratic leaders have not addressed. Not surprising that they are looking for something different.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    Fuck the very idea of “real America,” but if Trump destroys the Republican Party without taking the rest of the country down with it, he’ll have done us all a great service. Seriously. It’s not healthy to only have one party that is marginally sane, and the GOP wasn’t going to heal itself. Maybe Trump is the man to blow it up so that something more constructive can arise from its ashes. He wouldn’t be the first buffoon to change history.

    I watched Trump’s presser and part of a speech last night on MSNBC, the first time I heard him speak in long form. He’s an absurd blowhard, of course, but in a way it’s heartening that GOP voters will listen to someone who straight-up says the Iraq War was a massive clusterfuck on the part of BUSH rather than trying to blame the whole thing on Obama. He ranted about rich people such as himself flat-out buying candidates like Jeb Bush — perfectly true, but not something establishment Republicans want to talk about.

    As others have noted, Trump’s bigotry and misogyny are no worse than those of his GOP colleagues on the hustings; he’s just louder about it and expresses it more crudely. His very presence in the race highlights what a ridiculous circus the very serious business of choosing a president has become. I still don’t think he’ll get the nomination, but I hope he sticks around long enough to strip the bark off whomever does.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay:

    They are WELL AWARE of global markets and the importance of trade. They think DC negotiates bad deals.

    Good point. I tried to say something similar, but my comment is strangely held up in moderation limbo.

    But you nailed it. I don’t get rage here, but sadness and resignation that is easily exploited by someone like Trump, especially because he at least appears to listen to these voters, even if his remedy is a huge over-simplification.

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    He ranted about rich people such as himself flat-out buying candidates like Jeb Bush

    The only thing a Trump presidency would change is to cut out the middle man.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    Yesterday the US Department of Labor held a forum on “employee voice” in the workplace. Wages. Safety. Employee rights. Maybe someone can explain to me why it took Democrats 5 years to draw some distinction with Republicans there, when they were losing state after state after state. As late as 2014 we were still getting “opportunity” when it was clear to anyone who listened Republicans had co-opted that.

  29. 29
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @srv:

    These people are already the wreckage of decades of Democrats and unions.

    The Silent Majority of U-6’s is silent no more.

    Here’s a graph of U-6:

    http://portalseven.com/employm.....ate_u6.jsp

    Note how it looks like the graph of U-3, only higher. It shot up in 2008-09 when the recession began and has been dropping since then. People seem to have a weird idea that U-6 is flat or increasing, but it’s not.

    If you want to argue that things are not getting better, the statistic you really want is the labor force participation rate, or something similar. Of course the idea that “Democrats and unions” have something to do with it is mighty odd: it mostly rose up until around 2000 because of feminism (women entering the workforce), whereas the male participation rate was highest in the mid-20th-century days when unions were much stronger.

    I think the reason it’s dropping now, while the various unemployment rates don’t rise, is that young people are not getting jobs in the first place and are delaying entering the workforce. That was what I recall seeing when I looked into the variation by age: it’s not that people are retiring early, in fact the participation rate for old people keeps increasing.

  30. 30
    Gimlet says:

    Is it time yet for Trump to be called into Ned Beatty’s office for a talking to?

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    @Mike in NC: Meanwhile, Donald Trump will probably be building [insert forbidden word] in Havana in the not-too-distant future.

  32. 32
    Linda Featheringill says:

    There are a number of voters who are hurt and justifiably angry.

    Clinton will not be able to reach them because she IS part of the establishment. No matter what she says.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Betty:

    Not surprising that they are looking for something different the same party they’ve been voting for since 1980.

    Fixed.

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    @El Caganer: Aside from the fact that he might win, I can’t think of any.

    That would be a downside. But this isn’t any three way dustup, with weak candidates that would help that happen. Such a thing gets you Rick Scott in Florida, but I’m not seeing that here.

  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    I realize that he has had a longer time and much more of a start up fund than she did but even if you take his claimed value as bullshit, he has made far, far more money than she’d ever be capable of. Not that making money (even lots of it) is a indicator of good sense or high intelligence but as dumb as she is? She’s dumber than a box of rocks. He isn’t. He does have an ego the size of Jupiter but he is smart enough to have figured out how to keep a live ferret on his head. That beats her level any day of the week.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s also notable that Trump doesn’t claim to have daily conversations with God. So, y’know, as delusional, narcissistic assholism goes, he’s hardly the worst.

  37. 37
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Gimlet: The DLC folded in 2011.
    The Blue Dog caucus is down to 1/3 of its peak numbers. In 2010, fully half of its membership was defeated.
    The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest Democratic membership group in the House.

    There’s been a change going on, steadily, if quietly, since 2006.

    It will inevitably take the facile stereotypes a while to catch up.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    @different-church-lady: I’m still clinging to the sanity that there never will be a Trump presidency, but yes, that’s true. The novelty was in a GOP figure acknowledging that the issue exists at all.

    @MattF: Good point. If the nightmare choice of President Trump or President Santorum was presented, I’d choose President Trump every day and twice on Sunday.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    To say to people in US manufacturing that they don’t understand trade is to completely ignore what they do. The reason trade is bigger in some places than others is not because they’re protectionists or stupid romantics who want to return to the 1950s. . It’s because it affects them directly. I mean, Jesus Christ. If their political leaders haven’t figured that out it’s hopeless.

  40. 40
    BR says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I watched Trump’s presser and part of a speech last night on MSNBC, the first time I heard him speak in long form. He’s an absurd blowhard, of course, but in a way it’s heartening that GOP voters will listen to someone who straight-up says the Iraq War was a massive clusterfuck on the part of BUSH rather than trying to blame the whole thing on Obama. He ranted about rich people such as himself flat-out buying candidates like Jeb Bush — perfectly true, but not something establishment Republicans want to talk about.

    After reading your comment, I pulled up the Trump presser from NH from a couple days ago. He’s very comfortable up there blustering and talking out his ass. And clearly having a good time.

    He’s a problem — at the end of the day, people tend to go for someone who’s natural, and Clinton doesn’t have that and it’s worrysome.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BR:

    at the end of the day, people tend to go for someone who’s natural,

    They don’t, actually. At the end of the day, people in presidential elections vote their party, race, religion — or the lack of it, and region. And gender.

    Narrative, affect, biography, whatever you want to call it, is relatively far down the list.

    Support for particular policies comes further down.

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    The thing is that the republicans have no other ideas for governing than the ones they talk about now. It’s been that way for 60 yrs. They just hid it a bit better then. Their ideas have been bad for a very long time they just forgot how to hide them. So yes if T Rump can manage to open enough peoples eyes as to how stupid, dangerous, racist and backwards the republican ideas are, without killing us all, that would be grand. But from seeing his popularity grow it seems that not many that need to are going to see that message, let alone understand it or believe it.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    As others have noted, Trump’s bigotry and misogyny are no worse than those of his GOP colleagues on the hustings; he’s just louder about it and expresses it more crudely.

    The thing is, a lot of Republican voters, and some non-Republicans, don’t care. The other GOP candidates, and most Democrats, seem to want to tsk tsk and talk about Trump’s bad manners. But he is getting traction because he is promising to do something for Americans.

    It may be a bullshit promise, but it is clearly and plainly expressed. This attracts attention. No one knows yet whether it will actually attract any votes as we get deeper into primary season.

  44. 44
    Matt McIrvin says:

    What worries me is not really Trump, per se; it’s that the US, or at least the white US, is getting itself collectively ready for a Hitler or at least a Putin, some grim-faced avenger who promises to make America great by getting rid of all the undesirable elements and terrorizing the world. And I don’t know who that guy is, yet.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Bush era employees?
    That bureaucracy moves at the speed of maple syrup in the arctic in winter?

  46. 46
    Woodrowfan says:

    clownish candidate taps into rage from working and lower middle classes about former national greatness being “betrayed.” Blames the left, the “Establishment,” and an unpopular minority for loss of status and economic opportunity. Wealthy rightwingers think they can tap that rage for their own benefit and harness the clownish candidate’s ability to rouse the masses with his bombastic speeches.

    Huh, seems familiar somehow. Can’t quite put my finger on it though…

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    If I could just suggest that this whole frame is wrong. These companies are not “American” companies. They are multi-national companies. Everyone knows that. The companies are not negotiating these deals based on “Americaness”. They’re negotiating these deals based on their interests all over the world, and that goal is sometimes in conflict with the people who work at these places in the US. They don’t need the global trade system explained to them. They want to know what their advocates in government are doing on behalf of US workers interests. Telling them that their interests always align with the interests of these companies is not true. It’s never been true.

    THAT’S the 1950’s idea, actually, that what’s good for a multinational companies is good for US workers and that’s promoted by the free trade side, if we want to talk about romantic notions.

  48. 48
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    But he is getting traction because he is promising to do something for Americans.

    They ALL promise that. It’s in the way he’s saying it, which is with naked xenophobia.

  49. 49
    BR says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Maybe, but I’m not so sure. Look at the last many presidents. Every one (from what I can tell) was more natural than his opponent: Obama (vs. Romney/McCain), Bush (vs. Kerry/Gore), Clinton (vs. Dole, HW Bush), HW Bush (vs. Dukakis), Reagan (vs. Mondale/Carter), Carter (vs. Ford).

  50. 50
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Matt McIrvin: What worries me is not really Trump, per se; it’s that the US, or at least the white US, is getting itself collectively ready for a Hitler or at least a Putin, some grim-faced avenger who promises to make America great by getting rid of all the undesirable elements and terrorizing the world. And I don’t know who that guy is, yet.

    Cruz is trying out for the role..

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Speaking of Putin, I’m not sure what to make of this. Someone out there thinks Putin is on a ledge and is ready to give him a push.

  52. 52
    Tree With Water says:

    “How long he can ride this beast, well, who knows, but there’s going to be a lot of damage in its wake”.

    Damage to whom, or what?

    Damage to republican candidates, and to the republican party. Rave on, ravers…

    What democrats need now are candidates willing to publicly accuse Bush-Cheney of plotting war, i.e., candidates willing to speak aloud what is already common knowledge. Nominating a presidential candidate to speak that truth to the American people would be a clarion blast, a declaration of war against the accruing powers of governance of, for, and by oligarchs.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Someone said the other day that Trump is a textbook example of the downside of populism. That’s true. I agree with what Kay said above about the Democrats leaving a vacuum someone like Trump can fill, but I don’t think it’s too late for them to find their message. Sanders is great on working class issues, and Hillary has evolved on it, though she’s having to walk a minefield.

  54. 54
    BR says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Yeah, you’re on to something that’s a bit frightening. We’re at a similar place as a nation as we were before the Civil War or WWII — things are at a state that people are ready for someone to take charge and make things right. Fortunately for the nation we had Lincoln and FDR those times. This time it could just as easily go the other way.

    Greer had an interesting series of posts on the topic of fascicm in the U.S. last year. (I know his blog’s name is strange, but then again, so is Balloon Juice, and he has a very deep historical understanding.)

  55. 55
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tree With Water: And you, of course, volunteer to be the arbiter of that truth on behalf of your fellow Americans, yes?

  56. 56
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BR: You don’t have any elections in there that aren’t predictable by the general state of the economy, peace-and-war, and incumbency effects

    The models are pretty good. And the models don’t get into things like ‘naturalness’.

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @different-church-lady: Well, you’re blinded by your false consciousness, and he isn’t. So, yeah.

  58. 58
    Trentrunner says:

    Watch for the moment when the GOP establishment starts cozying up to Trump.

    (We’ve already seen them stop overtly attacking/belittling him.)

    If/when that happens, hold the fuck onto your hats.

    Up until yesterday, I thought Trump had a ceiling of 35-40% among Republicans.

    But yesterday in NH when he said 1) We need infrastructure and 2) BUSH, not Obama, fucked up Iraq badly, I realized there are a bunch of usually-apethetic low-info voters that will pay a whole lot of attention to a Trump candidacy in the general election.

    And those voters will look at the alternative–Hillary–and see the very embodiment of business-as-usual.

    I’m not saying this right or fair, of course. But yesterday was the first day I could see a Trump path to the White House.

    And I cried.

  59. 59
    scav says:

    Trump is sort of pure hopey-changey figure but through a fun-house mirror — people rather assume he’ll be transformational just by sitting down behind the desk. Some did rather hope that Obama could magically fix things by merely showing up (all racial etc problems, done and dusted). Luckily that instance of the hope did have the political nous and respect for process that is reaping benefit now, after a lot of spadework and prep — shouting loudly about the size of past hotels and girlfriends might not prove quite as effective.

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    The 2014 “message” on opportunity had nothing to do with Bush. It had to do with a group of powerful Democrats who thought talking about wages was too negative and “anti-business”. They failed to notice Republicans were coming right up behind them. Kasich and Snyder talk about training too. Incessantly. Plus! Tax cuts! What’s the counter to that?

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @Woodrowfan:
    Speaking of undesirable elements. Your answer is a perfect description of an undesirable element. But you knew that.

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Woodrowfan: One big difference between Trump and Hitler was that Hitler came from humble circumstances and presented himself as having been a loser at life; he could argue that he was a victim of the same forces bedeviling YOU, but now he’d figured it all out.

    Whereas Trump’s pitch is more “unlike YOU, I’m a big old winner and I can make you win too.” Presumably omitting the part that involves choosing rich parents, or all the bankruptcies.

  63. 63
    Redshift says:

    @Baud:

    Isn’t there a Stage 6:

    6. Democrats are just as bad.

    No, that’s stage 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, and 5a.

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BR: We were closer five years ago — a lot closer.

    Remember, this country didn’t pick a dictator, or fall apart, when U3 was at 25% and U6 was pushing 50%. We had the same Constitution in 1938 that we had in 1928… except for Repeal.

    The level of immiseration you need for a revolution isn’t even close to what we’re experiencing.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Sanders is great on working class issues, and Hillary has evolved on it, though she’s having to walk a minefield.

    Neither of them can out-message Trump because they can’t be evil on social issues like Trump can.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Note how it looks like the graph of U-3, only higher. It shot up in 2008-09 when the recession began and has been dropping since then. People seem to have a weird idea that U-6 is flat or increasing, but it’s not.

    I would appreciate it if anyone could put Flint, Michigan into perspective. I can go online and see decrepit or blasted out factories, rows of rotting and abandoned houses. I would think that this would suggest a greatly eroded economic base.

    You’re right that the unemployment graphs suggest a more complex picture. But there is also this. The population of Flint has declined from 196,000 in 1960 to an estimated 99,000 in 2015. This is the lowest that it has been since the early 20th century. And this means fewer jobs, and fewer possible jobs, sustaining fewer people. And I would guess that wage stagnation further depresses the economy here as well.

  67. 67
    BR says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I hope you’re right.

  68. 68
    Tripod says:

    @dubo:

    I like the irrational raging about China or Mexico or whatever in regards to Buick. Their US market segment got gobbled up by Toyota (middle aged folks love the Camry). Those assembly jobs went to Kentucky you stupid fucks.

  69. 69
    Hal says:

    Christ on a cracker, now Trump has a fighting chance to win? Every GOP asshat who gets even a little major coverage causes a certain amount of Dems shitting themselves. I’m just not worried about Trump. His schtick won’t last and sooner or later people will go on to shitting themselves over the next “sure thing” until the actual nominee appears.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Ruckus: yep. Cruz give me a chill down my spine, and NOT in a good way. In a “oh shit” way. like watching a shark follow a boat with a leak (the boat is leaking not the shark)

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Neither of them can out-message Trump because they can’t be evil on social issues like Trump can

    They can’t, and we don’t want them to. I’m just not accepting the notion that ginning up hatred is some kind of necessary ingredient. Snyder and Kasich don’t use that rhetoric. They won. Twice. Attributing every Democratic loss to “well, we can’t play the ace hatred card” ignores that not all Republicans use it.

  73. 73
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Davis X. Machina: fair enough, but it’s worrisome how popular some demagogic figures are getting. it’s the direction that’s scary.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I think they do. They just aren’t as explicit about it as Trump is.

    ETA: Besides, we’re talking about appealing to people who are looking for economic populists. People are going to choose a full populist over half a populist.

    For the record, Trump would lose badly, but it’s because populism isn’t the only ism out there.

  75. 75
    Cacti says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    clownish candidate taps into rage from white working and lower middle classes about former national greatness being “betrayed.” Blames the left, the “Establishment,” and an unpopular minority for loss of status and economic opportunity.

    Fix’t that for you.

    Trump’s running on the same message that GOP candidates have been running on for the last 50 years: “it’s that black/brown person’s fault” for everything bad in your life.

    His popularity has grown because he’s particularly obnoxious and unfiltered about it.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @Hal:

    I’m not at all concerned about Clinton beating Trump. I’d nominate him if I could. He’s good for Democrats.

  77. 77
    Zandar says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Weird — Michael Moore cares what happens to Flint, but not one in that crowd would consider voting for him if he ran for something.

    This.

    It’s not the “concerns about Democratic trade deals” that voters are responding to, however completely valid those concerns are. It’s the “Trump is gonna show those people what for” part. Inchoate rage.

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:

    @different-church-lady:

    They ALL promise that. It’s in the way he’s saying it, which is with naked xenophobia.

    And more. Trump gleefully points out how the rich buy politicians, which is something that the other Republican candidates would never admit. And Republicans or Democrats will talk about stuff like “the importance of the free market,” or “income inequality,” or “comprehensive immigration reform,” or “rebuild infrastructure.”

    Trump is more blunt. “These other guys have been around for years, but haven’t done anything. Here is what I’m gonna do for you.”

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I’d guess reality just might counter that.
    1. Do you want roads with pot holes and defective signals, bridges that fall down? Or do you want these things fixed? And if that answer is yes, how do you propose to pay for it? Taxes are the cost of a civilized society.
    2. Do you know what the percentage of the federal budget is welfare/food stamps etc? And how is that reasonably made into a better situation?
    3. Do we really need to spend more on defense than than most of the rest of the world combined? Could we find a better use for some of the factories making things like the F35 so that those people don’t become unemployed but at the same time we aren’t spending huge sums for a boondoggle?
    4. What are the ways we could fix monetary inequality so that we actually have a middle class rather than an upper, upper class and everyone else?
    5. How does racism make this a better country? Hint, it does not in any way so how can we get that across to those who think it does?

    A small start.

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hal: This.

    My money is still on either a Walker/Rubio or Bush/Kasich GOP ticket. Walker and Bush each have lots of money and lots of flaws, and neither strikes me as being willing to step aside (though Walker is only 47… If HRC wins, a fourth term in one party would be a hard thing to pull off, and he would have the “my turn”/ “I told you so” argument in 2020). I have no idea who will come out on top, or if Kasich will manage to exploit the way they split the party– and I just can’t take Rubio seriously as presidential nominee.
    The two cents of a guy who thought they’d never nominate McCain in ’08, Romney in ’12, and still can’t quite believe the smarmy nitwit made it close enough to steal in 2000.

  81. 81
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: I think Flint’s been in trouble for a long, long time. Roger and Me was what, 1989? That was when Reagan’s boom was just running out of steam.

    As I said, to my mind the real sign of trouble is the labor force participation rate for young people. The economy is not doing so badly across all age groups; middle-aged people like me and nearly retirement-age people are actually doing all right on the whole, but you look at people in the 18-30 range and it’s still just brutal.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I follow them pretty closely, and they don’t. Both of them went after public employees but Kasich isn’t stupid. He dropped it when he got smacked. Immigration is not a big issue in Ohio. Ohio doesn’t have a large Latino population. I see that Trump is using it as a wedge, I agree with you 100% there, but both Kasich and Snyder are pro-immigration reform. Kasich actually sells his candidacy to donors by pointing to his 25% of the AA vote in this state. That has to be admitted and dealt with by the Democratic Party. If you can show me how Kasich is using hate in his Medicaid argument in this state, I’d like to see it. Plenty of base Republicans hate it, but you won’t hear it from him.

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    My impression is that Kasich is more moderate than Walker, but wasn’t it Walker that said women should die rather than be allowed to have an abortion in the last debate? If that’s not campaigning on social issies, I don’t know what is.

  84. 84
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Cacti: “white working and lower middle class.” yep, I should have added the ‘white.’

  85. 85
    BruinKid says:

    What’s the over/under on hourse before Trump uses this horrific triple-murder in Florida to further demonize undocumented immigrants? (But seriously, the guy was already suspected in a different murder in Belize.)

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @Trentrunner: I keep waiting for him to crash and burn, but he hasn’t. If he’s still around at the beginning of 2016, then I might shed some tears.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Thanks. On the subject of Weigel’s piece, though, when Trump spouts this bombast of what he would do with currency and China, shut the ports until they cry uncle, whatever, I tink you have to put it into the context of what they have been told about trade. They see it as the US is the world leader on opening US markets and other countries do not reciprocate but instead look after their own interests, as far as opening their markets to our products. They are told, in a way, that the US can do that, “must LEAD” because the US has a higher standard of living. Telling them US workers make more than Vietnamese workers so maybe they’re sort of spoiled and privileged to be asking about this at all is crazy-making. They see South Korea busily protecting their interests with the last trade deal. They want to know where their advocates are. That’s a fair question, and it can’t be sloughed off by telling them trade will increase and it will magically trickle down.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    @BR

    Remember, this country didn’t pick a dictator, or fall apart, when U3 was at 25% and U6 was pushing 50%. We had the same Constitution in 1938 that we had in 1928…

    In some ways, Trump’s appeal is more like an old style Greek tyrant.

    Support for the tyrants came from the growing middle class and from the peasants who had no land or were in debt to the wealthy landowners. It is true that they had no legal right to rule, but the people preferred them over kings or the aristocracy.

  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Not Walker. Walker is a wingnut. He’s an outlier in the midwest governor ranks. John Kasich doesn’t go after Ohio State like Walker goes after the University of Wisconsin and he never will. Treating them all as the wingnuts ignores the appeal.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Hal:
    That’s exactly the point. T Rump has a chance to win. Not because he would be a great candidate or president, but because he talks directly to those that would vote for him, even if they know that he’s an ass. On some level they know that a lot of the presidents power is to wage war, take that away and the president needs to be a good speaker and competent bureaucrat. You and I may think that T Rump is not a good speaker, mostly I imagine because we listen to what he says. Those that like him listen more to how he says what he says. They like his belligerence, his money, it is what makes him strong. They want a strong leader, that’s what all the conservatives of the last 60 yrs have been trying to project, a strong, confident leader. People like Paul don’t have any of that. You know what you are going to get with T Rump, he’s loud and proud. He’s going to make things happen. The other 15-16 aren’t going to just make things happen.
    That’s his strength, he isn’t any worse (or better) on all the issues that we hate and conservatives love, he is open about everything and is loud and proud of it.

  91. 91
    ms_canadada says:

    @Ruckus: Thank you for this. Reason will win out – I hope!

    Trumpet blasts his horn, pontificating and bloviating about how he’ll do this and that…but HOW? HOW? Who will start asking him ‘how’ he’ll perform this magic?

    Didn’t he declare bankruptcy four times? Why is no one talking about it?

  92. 92
    Tripod says:

    @Brachiator:

    What happened to Flint? Capitalism. (See Karl Marx).

    Those edifices had an economic utility and now they don’t. GM still has a substantial presence – it’s just they don’t need a large manual labor pool to bang out Silverados. The population with means (aka whites) moved out of the city and to the margins, and cratered demand for the older housing stock.

  93. 93
    Applejinx says:

    But he is also the candidate talking most directly about the loss of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries.

    …of the candidates spoken of by the media, at least. Funny, I went to a Bernie Sanders rally in Keene NH long before he was overflowing STADIUMS on the West Coast, and it seemed to me he was talking about something like this.

    Actually, I voted him in, as I’m a Vermonter, and dude’s ALWAYS been talking about this, because he’s a Democratic Socialist, not a neoliberal freemarket capitalist. To Bernie, sending all the American jobs overseas is not good.

    I suppose it’s possible that Trump is speaking more directly. That’s possible. But I get a leetle feeling somebody’s carefully trying to avoid mentioning a certain somebody. Oh, SURE Hillary Clinton is the only option the Dems could possibly have. How many stadiums has she filled? She’s nice and all but she isn’t the best Dem to run against Trump.

  94. 94
    Archon says:

    Look, I’m not a Trump fan but if your a Republican who thinks that maybe, just maybe the GOP should be about more than fighting wars and giving rich people tax cuts, how is voting for Trump more illogical than voting for Jeb Bush or Scott Walker?

    As far as I’m concerned the people prepared to vote for establishment candidates expecting something different are the crazy ones, not Trump supporters.

  95. 95
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Applejinx:

    … he’s a Democratic Socialist…To Bernie, sending all the American jobs overseas is not good.

    Les ouvrieres n’ont pas de patrie.

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    My bad. You said Snyder, and I thought Walker. Although isn’t Snyder’s thing hating on black-majority cities?

  97. 97
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tripod: We’ve got Lewiston. Auburn. Biddeford. Saco. Alfred. Lisbon and Lisbon Falls. Waterville…

    The Flints of the last century. Tariff-protected, unionized woolen mills and shoe factories.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    On the issue of trade I agree with you. Our trade negotiations as a country have been along the lines of wall st reform. Good for someone, just not the majority. As you say it’s the old trickle down theory. As a member of the bottom 80%, OK maybe bottom 30% I’m tired of the top percentages pissing down on me and telling me it’s raining, on their way to the bank all the while making it illegal to collect rainwater.

  99. 99
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ruckus:

    T Rump has a chance to win. Not because he would be a great candidate or president, but because he talks directly to those that would vote for him

    But like A Stevenson said, he’ll need a majority to win.

  100. 100
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ms_canadada: He’s sent four firms into reorganization — but never personally filed for bankruptcy. With that kind of money you can erect a pretty good firewall between your firms and your person.

  101. 101
    different-church-lady says:

    @Archon: Voting for Trump and expecting something different? Now that’s crazy.

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I’m more optimistic than most of the people here on Clinton. I’m not worried about Donald Trump. I am worried about Democrats dismissing economic insecurity and specific economic issues because, ya know, that’s “populism” and that’s icky and only white working class people care about it.

    Hillary Clinton won’t dismiss it. If she travels to Michigan (and she will) she won’t wave her hand and change the subject to abortion. Obama never did. In fact, in 2012 in these states Obama RAN on economic populism. Nearly every contrast point between Obama and Romney in Ohio in 2012 was economic populism. The most talked about ad in this state in 2012 was “build a stage” and that was about Mitt Romney buying a company and outsourcing jobs. Straight-up economic populism, both barrels. Democrats did that.

  103. 103
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Please remember that Trump has managed to make the bankruptcies BUSINESS bankruptcies and not personal ones. Still it looks bad that his hotel and gambling establishments have lost spectacular amounts of money but that’s because he burdens them with debt. From that side he isn’t a good business man. We should stay clear about terms and their meanings.

    And as a lifelong NYer I’ve had my fill of his bluster and arrogance.

  104. 104
    Gene108 says:

    As this is the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2, I read somewhere the US accounted for 80% of the world’s manufacturing capacity by the end of the war.

    The US manufacturing faced very little competition in the 1950’s. It was an abnormal situation.

    It did not last.

    The problem in the US is the failure to increase the wages in service jobs, as manufacturing started losing ground.

    If Democrats were smart they would push, without hesitation, for a $15/hr minimum wage indexed to inflation/cost of living.

    It’d help push stagnant wages up and get people to realize there’s something in it for them.

  105. 105
    Goblue72 says:

    @Kay: Yeah but treating them all as wingnuts is lazier and easier.

    I agree 100% with your comments in this thread. The average voter may be quite average in their intelligence & sophistication, but they do know their own lives as lived, and we need to respect their own agency in their own lives if we want to earn their votes.

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    This deleted post has been brought to you by the spam filter.

  107. 107
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @Schlemazel:

    You must be right, moving a million jobs from Michigan to Mexico, Costa Rica and China certainly would have no negative affects on the state. Pray tell, what oh what is the real cause?

    The problem here is that a million jobs didn’t move to Mexico, Costa Rica, or China. The underlying premise here is that America doesn’t do much manufacturing anymore, having outsourced all of those jobs, and that premise is false. American manufacturing is actually quite robust.

    American manufacturing employment, on the other hand, is not doing so well, especially in the old industrial heartland that includes Flint. There are two major causes of this that rank well ahead of international trade:

    1) As someone else upthread pointed out, a lot of these jobs went to Kentucky, Alabama, and other places without unions. Interstate trade has done a lot more damage to Flint than international trade has;

    2) Increased automation has increased the amount of goods that can be produced while decreasing the number of workers needed to produce them. In isolation, this is a good thing; both ends of that shift imply that society is becoming much wealthier.

    Both of these factors point in the same direction: the problems we face are distributional rather connected to the amount of manufacturing. Non-stop focus on Mexico and China serves mostly as a distraction from the real problems we face and what we need to do about them. It’s really the oligarchs using xenophobia to prevent anyone from gaining traction with that.

  108. 108
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Applejinx: How many stadiums has she filled?

    How many electoral votes do those stadiums have?

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    Oh we are in agreement on this.
    I’m saying that those that will vote for him will never understand. I think he’s just the loudest clown in the clown school. No better, no worse, just louder and less filtered. Much less filtered. But that’s his drawing card, less filtered. OK that and that he isn’t bought and paid for.

  110. 110
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay:

    She didn’t mean it though. You can tell.

    (Stephen Potter, the man who wrote the book that created the word Gamesmanship used to say that in any political, or historical discussion, you can safely drop the phrase ‘Yes, but not in the south…’ and people will nod sagely. I have adopted the above comment, for the same reasons, for all discussions of Hilary Clinton campaign utterances….)

  111. 111
    different-church-lady says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Still it looks bad that his hotel and gambling establishments have lost spectacular amounts of money

    Anyone running against him should just say, “How the hell could anyone manage to run a ca_si_no and LOSE money?”

  112. 112
    Archon says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You would absolutely get something different with a Trump Presidency.

    Notice I didn’t say better, just different.

  113. 113
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Tripod: There was once a GM plant just north of Tarrytown which the Hudson River line of Metro North passed through. (It’s gone now, completely gone.) But before GM closed the plant you could see the cars driven there by the GM workers — and a lot, a lot, of them were not GM cars.

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree with what Kay said above about the Democrats leaving a vacuum someone like Trump can fill, but I don’t think it’s too late for them to find their message.

    Yep. I’m not worried about Trump (yet). But he is more than just the other Republicans writ large. He is a disruptive force within their party, and it’s fun to watch the disruption.

  115. 115
    Cain says:

    Breaking, Glenn Beck called Portland, my adopted home town the worst in America!!!

    Residents are celebrating! The comments are FULL of WIN!

  116. 116
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Did you see this ad in 2012? Very effective for President Obama. Widely admired in liberal circles:

    A political committee supporting President Barack Obama is out with a new ad accusing Mitt Romney of making millions while shutting down an Indiana paper plant.
    The ad, from Priorities USA Action, is the latest in a series attacking Romney’s record at the investment firm Bain Capital. The group says it’s spending $10 million to air a total of four ads in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
    The new ad features an employee of the AMPAD plant in Marion, Ind., Mike Earnest, recalling being told to build a stage from which company officials later announced mass layoffs. He says, “It was like building my own coffin.”
    Romney aides contend AMPAD was in a struggling business to begin with, and Bain overall created many more jobs than were lost.

    The Obama campaign relied on exactly this message in the midwest in 2012. Did they also do abortion and voting rights and marriage equality? Yes. But they by no means felt economic populism had to be tied to hate or was beneath them or meant they were chasing Reagan Democrats, who are all 75 by now anyway and are now just called “Republicans”. Priorities USA was run by Begala, was it not? He’s a Clinton-era Democrat. And populist.

  117. 117
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Solid. Reasoned. Factual.
    And completely irreducible to a bumper sticker.

    But save it as a macro. Oh, and you’ll have to post it hundreds of times before it makes any dent.

    Narratives change on a geological time frame.

  118. 118
    Schlemazel says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Please do not try to confuse srv with stupid things like facts or evidence. srv operates at a higher level where what feels right in his gut has to be true no matter what his lying eyes tell him. In fact, its best to just leave him to shout down a well as answering causes a larger plume of vomit.

  119. 119
    Calouste says:

    @ms_canadada: Trump’s bankruptcies were brought up during the GOP debate and Trump’s answer was basically that the bankruptcy laws are so fucked up that he would be an idiot not to take advantage of them.

  120. 120
    redshirt says:

    For those who fear Trump, do you feel better about the idea of Jeb! or Ted Cruz or Walker? Those guys scare me a lot more than Trump. At least Donald has shown the ability of independent thinking and doesn’t seem beholden to any noxious ideology other than Trumpism. I’d take that over another Neocon or a Holy Roller.

    And no way Trump beats Clinton in the general election. No way.

  121. 121
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I think cutting out the middle man is a good thing. If you’re an oligarch, run as one instead of hiding behind the bought for. I’d love for all the billionaire to get in the race rather than funneling untold millions into whacky front men.

  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I didn’t say a big chance. It is a tiny, tiny chance. But there is a path.
    Those saying it’s a long time till primaries and election are absolutely right. It is a long time and many strange things can happen. They have in the past and they will again. But who else is going to jump into the clown car? It’s one of those already in, that’s the conservative field, all of it, in all it’s glory. Yes it’s early but the guy making the most noise is ahead. And gaining. I don’t see him winning the election but primaries, yes. And if he is the nominee there is always a chance. You do have to win an election with the candidate you have and over the one the other side runs.

  123. 123
    different-church-lady says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Exactly. By the time you’re halfway through item (1) Trump has already blamed your economic struggles on a Mexican in six words or less.

  124. 124
    Randy P says:

    @PurpleGirl: I’ve seen a vast empty slab of concrete near Tarrytown which I think must be the plant you’re talking about. It’s kind of spooky. And depressing.

  125. 125
    Schlemazel says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
    So when GM open a plant in Mexico to make cars & closed Flint that was not a case of jobs moving to Mexico? Interesting. They did open plants in Mexico as well as shithole ‘right to work’ states. I am not particularly interested in separating them because the end result is the same, American workers become poorer and less secure.

    But neither of those touches my original point which was to ask the poster what caused Flint’s problems since it was not the exodus of jobs from Flint. I don’t give a fuck if they went to Alabama or Chapas, the loss of the industry is the root of Flints problem.

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I remember that ad. I think Clinton will do fine also. But I don’t think Trump has awoken something new that Democrats can tap into to any significant degree. It’s more about holding water.

    Would love to be proven wrong. I’ve been waiting for the breakthrough since 2010.

  127. 127
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I blame the autism.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    This.
    This is how you really win. You talk to people about the issues that are really important to them and you do it like an adult to another adult. Straight up and honest.
    I don’t think Clinton did that very well last time, she seems to be doing that now. And I think that is one of the major aspects of Sanders.
    The clown car is full of panderers or true believers, either way that is dangerous to the nation.

  129. 129
    redshirt says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    We’ve got Lewiston. Auburn. Biddeford. Saco. Alfred. Lisbon and Lisbon Falls. Waterville…

    The Flints of the last century. Tariff-protected, unionized woolen mills and shoe factories.

    And Rumford, Skowhegan, and Millinocket. Bangor, Brewer and Old Town.

    The entire state, really, except for the rich areas of Southern Maine which have remained in most ways, Northern Massachusetts.

  130. 130
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @different-church-lady: Clinton warned us about “Strong and wrong” twenty-plus years ago.

  131. 131
    Debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Boy, I remember that ad. It was far more effective than the Scary Voice of Doom ads or the gauzy Town ‘O Yesterday ads. Where are those ads today? Why do candidates shy away from facts?

  132. 132
    scav says:

    @Cain: Indeed Congratulations! Books and the unchurched!

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Schlemazel: How do you get the jobs back? What steps would have kept the work from going to Hermosillo, or Kentucky in the first place?

    You could nationalize the firm, or put it behind a tariff wall.

    That buys you on average 20 years.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Tripod:

    What happened to Flint? Capitalism. (See Karl Marx).

    Hell, even Groucho is more useful on economics than Karl Marx.

    Those edifices had an economic utility and now they don’t. GM still has a substantial presence – it’s just they don’t need a large manual labor pool to bang out Silverados.

    This tells me a little about GM, but not much about jobs, people or shuttered factories.

    The population with means (aka whites) moved out of the city and to the margins, and cratered demand for the older housing stock.

    Has there been a net decline in wealth in the area? the state? Was it just people of means fleeing, or did the people who flee also lose jobs, savings?

  135. 135
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) continued their push to crack down on currency manipulation by foreign competitors, urging the Administration to combat the practice that hurts Ohio exports and workers through our ongoing trade negotiations.
    In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, the senators wrote, “As you know, last month Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority, which includes two principal negotiating objectives that explicitly call on the Administration to address currency manipulation through our ongoing trade negotiations. Therefore, as you continue negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we urge you to prioritize combatting currency manipulation by our competitors.”
    Brown and Portman were joined on the letter by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), all members of the Senate Finance Committee.

    Rob Portman actually ran on “fair trade”. I attended an Obama event at Ohio state where Portman had 19 year old interns who had no earthly idea what they were talking about passing out “fair trade” lit. Portman is, of course, a free trader but he gets the issue here. They don’t want to draw up the bridge or whatever nonsense the President said when he was promoting his deal. They just want an advocate for them at the table, along with the representatives from “US” companies. Strickland will somehow have to distinguish himself from Portman to beat him and he isn’t going to do it on abortion.

  136. 136
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @Schlemazel:

    So when GM open a plant in Mexico to make cars & closed Flint that was not a case of jobs moving to Mexico?

    The fallacy here is that a single incident does not encapsulate the entirety of the situation. Yes, GM opened plants in Mexico. No, that doesn’t mean that international trade is the primary driver of job loss, or even the secondary one. This is an anecdote, not data.

    It also ignores some of the important drivers for why companies open plants in other countries. A major one is that countries like Mexico and China are becoming wealthier, buying more products, and in a lot of these cases, the company is moving manufacturing closer to the consumers rather than farther away. This will become only more true as China moves its way past being just a center of low cost manufacturing, something it is losing to places like Vietnam and Burma, and has to shift away from devoting 50% of GDP to investment and into consumer spending.

    Let’s also acknowledge that there have been enormous benefits to human welfare in Mexico and China thanks to the increase in manufacturing their. Maybe the well being of Chinese and Mexicans isn’t as important as the well being of Americans, but it counts for something.

    I don’t give a fuck if they went to Alabama or Chapas, the loss of the industry is the root of Flints problem.

    I agree, but the solution to those two cases is very different.

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @Schlemazel:
    You are correct but I believe there is more to it. GM also didn’t update plants because many of them were too old and couldn’t be updated. So rather than build there they moved the location, got cheaper labor and a newer facility that could be easier and cheaper to upgrade when that became necessary. It comes back to the same issue for GM, money, and how to squeeze more of it from the workers.

  138. 138
    Goblue72 says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Well, for the record – I don’t give a fart about Chinese or Mexican workers doing better. I only care about American ones. In that, the vast majority of voters agree.

    Something which liberal elites safe in their upper middle class cocoons seems to be completely unable to internalize.

  139. 139
    jl says:

    No time to read all the comments, so apologize for what must be a repeat comment:

    ‘ “Make America Great Again” is a goofy, meme-ready slogan, best displayed on ironic hats ‘

    I don’t see how that is different from most of the other campaign slogans, especially among GOP.

  140. 140
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    Obama has managed over tough odds to create an impressive Iegacy on severaI issues. I think HRC is eager to do the same or better. 20 years ago the heaIth care poIicy she fought for didn’t go anywhere. I think she wants to expand that and make a difference in many other areas too.

  141. 141
    redshirt says:

    The other thing: Trump prides himself on being a businessman. A master of “The art of the deal”.

    Well, that “art” involves compromise, something every other Republican of today has shown zero interest in. If Trump is able to compromise even a bit, that puts him heads and shoulders above the rest of the pack of Republican jackals.

  142. 142
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @Goblue72:

    Well, for the record – I don’t give a fart about Chinese or Mexican workers doing better.

    Well, it’s at least nice to see someone admit that foreigners are less important human beings than Americans.

  143. 143
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Strickland will somehow have to distinguish himself from Portman to beat him and he isn’t going to do it on abortion.

    Agrees. But that’s not the purpose of social wedges. Abortion, etc. is what keep people from from supporting Strickland even if he does distinguish himself from Portman in economic issues.

  144. 144
    Jeffro says:

    @Cain:

    Breaking, Glenn Beck called Portland, my adopted home town the worst in America!!! Residents are celebrating! The comments are FULL of WIN!

    The comments are indeed effing hysterical (a few are exceptionally so)

  145. 145
    Zinsky says:

    Trump blows. He can’t win

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    Honestly, I felt like I knew there was going to be a piece on how Donald Trump hurts “both sides” because none of them know what to do with him. I personally think he does much more damage to Scott Walker than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Walker was the resentment candidate.

  147. 147
    Brachiator says:

    @redshirt:

    And no way Trump beats Clinton in the general election. No way.

    How is this different from “And no way Trump becomes the Republican nominee. No way.”

    Actually I agree with you, but the idea of a political Trump is so absurd that there is not much point in predicting anything about his future prospects.

  148. 148
    redshirt says:

    @Brachiator: The Republican Primary is a clown show compared to the general. It’s an election in an insane asylum. As such, I can easily see Trump winning the Repub primary. But the general is a whole different game with a different audience. Trump does not beat Clinton. I’d bet real money on that.

  149. 149
    Haydnseek says:

    @Goblue72: You should, because the shittier it gets for Mexican and Chinese workers, the more likely it is for them to cross the border, come to your workplace, and hide in the bushes next to the building. Then, at the end of the day when you’re walking across the parking lot to your car, they run up behind you, hit you in the head with a cheap, imported crowbar, and proceed to steal your job.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @efgoldman:

    It’s dumb because the Democratic candidate imploded but I think he’s correct that he hasn’t actively demonized black people. His sec of state is also much more moderate than Ken Blackwell was on voting rights, and Ken Blackwell IS an African-American :)

    I agree with you with the “coattails” too. No one ever mentions that the famed midwestern governors did nothing for Mitt Romney in 2012. MI, WI and OH looked like they always do in 2012. No coattails for any of them. That’s the inconvenient fact in the Walker narrative on Wisconsin. Romney had a Wisconsin running mate and it still didn’t make a bit of difference.

  151. 151
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Haydnseek: The welfare cost of autarky, whatever it is, isn’t zero – best to try to talk someone else into paying for it.

  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    @Cain:
    Goes a long way explaining why it’s one of my favorites. Gawd knows what he must think of my top choice: Vancouver, what with its vast collection of heathen and its being redolent of Canadian-ness.

  153. 153
    Jeffro says:

    @redshirt:

    For those who fear Trump, do you feel better about the idea of Jeb! or Ted Cruz or Walker? Those guys scare me a lot more than Trump. At least Donald has shown the ability of independent thinking and doesn’t seem beholden to any noxious ideology other than Trumpism. I’d take that over another Neocon or a Holy Roller.

    Independent thinking…like “tapping” Sarah Palin for his administration? Yee-ikes. But yes, I would take him over a Neocon or a Holy Roller. I need Ted Cruz as far away from the Oval Office as possible.

  154. 154
    Cain says:

    @Jeffro:

    My favorite was the gal who said she would rather lick Palin’s asshole than listen to Beck. haha.

  155. 155
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Agreed — the important thing is that workers all over the world get screwed equally.

  156. 156
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Randy P: Probably is the old plant grounds. On one side of the train tracks there was an employee recreation field. On the river side was the plant and a huge parking lot. A few years before the plant closed, Metro North and Amtrak had raised all the bridges over the tracks so that GM auto trains could fit under them. Cost millions. And the plant closed and the bridges didn’t need to be so high any more. I had just started dating a guy who liked in Peekskill and I took the train to get to Peekskill so I passed it a lot.

  157. 157
    Haydnseek says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Could you translate that into colloquial American english for me? I went to an inexpensive state university, which obviously left me ill equipped to parse the comments of those more erudite than me.

  158. 158
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady:

    It’s what Marx would have wanted.

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    @efgoldman: Lowell’s bounced back pretty well though.

  160. 160
    Cain says:

    @trollhattan:

    @Cain:
    Goes a long way explaining why it’s one of my favorites. Gawd knows what he must think of my top choice: Vancouver, what with its vast collection of heathen and its being redolent of Canadian-ness.

    Hopefully you mean Vancouver, BC not Washington. Vancouver, WA are a bunch of assholes who live there as a tax shelter from Portland’s income tax. They get tax free shopping and all that other shit, but won’t spend money to pay for a new bridge over the Columbia to their city. Frankly, fuck em, if that bridge goes down, we aren’t going to be the ones in trouble. We can get all our shit from California. Watching them try to get across the river by ferry or go 60 miles out of their way, will be justice as far as I’m concerned.

    They had the gall to say we would bring portland crime to vancouver, the city who has an even worse crime rate than Portland does. Fucking conservatives.. Won’t invest in anything. Fuck em, let the bridge go to hell and let them experience what real pain looks like.

  161. 161
    jl says:

    @Kay: I’m trying to follow the Dem side fairly closely, and I don’t see the GOP primary really even coming up much other than to ridicule it. All the Dem candidates are talking like grown-ups, so how much is there to say about the GOP side?

    I’ve made fun of Trump, but after reading he is building a serious ground GOTV operation for Iowa, then time to take him a little more seriously. If he can get delegates for the convention, and is threatening to run as a third party candidate, he is ‘serious’, and nothing goofus pundits or news celebs say will change that. I have admitted that I am curious though not very hopeful about Trump’s promise to develop some ‘policy’. I find it intriguing that he admits he does not have much along that line, which differentiates him from other GOP candidates who are not really interested since they don’t need it for grift, or it is beyond them, or who fraudulently pass off BS and con as policy, and intend to keep doing that all the way to the general election day.

    Maybe Trump’s idea of policy is what kind of wood and finish and gilded fixtures to put on that big fancy door for his Mexico wall. We’ll find out.

  162. 162
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: along those lines, and a good chunk of that Harkin vote I’m sure is Harkin more than Dem, but these numbers are still pretty striking

    ‏@ owillis Oliver Willis
    ernst vote, 2014: 588,575
    harkin vote, 2008: 941,665
    (harkin’s 2008 opponent: 560,006)

    Braley got just under 490,000 votes

    the numbers on off year vs presidential years are remarkable, for example:

    Wisconsin, 2010
    Nominee Ron Johnson Russ Feingold
    Party Republican Democratic
    Popular vote 1,125,932 1,020,841

    Wisconsin, 2012
    Nominee Tammy Baldwin Tommy Thompson
    Party Democratic Republican
    Popular vote 1,547,104 1,380,126

    and I would guess Tommy Thompson is a lot more personally popular in WI than Ron Johsnson (?), I know he’s very conservative, but he came from the time before things got so nasty. I think.

  163. 163
    redshirt says:

    @Jeffro: Gad help me but I feel like if somehow Trump did win the Presidency, he wouldn’t be so bad. Better than W. at least. For instance, I don’t think he’d hire Palin for anything. He’s just saying that now for the rubes.

  164. 164
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    … Democrats leaving a vacuum someone like Trump can fill, but I don’t think it’s too late for them to find their message. Sanders is great on working class issues, and Hillary has evolved on it, though she’s having to walk a minefield.

    My frustration is that it still is not too late for Obama to fill that vacuum. He is the leader of the Democratic Party and one can’t conceive that he cannot see what you, and Kay, and me, and so many others have observed.

    But…that does not seem to be in the cards as his interests lay elsewhere.

  165. 165
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Haydnseek: Not participating in trade comes with a cost, just as participating in it does. It’s a trade-off. Winners and losers. Lives improved and lives diminished.

  166. 166

    @different-church-lady: Michael Moore doesn’t hate the right people.

  167. 167

    @BR:

    Greer had an interesting series of posts on the topic of fascicm in the U.S. last year. (I know his blog’s name is strange, but then again, so is Balloon Juice, and he has a very deep historical understanding.)

    Oh it’s not just the name. JMG is a thoroughly weird guy — just search his blog for “thaumaturgy” when you get a chance. But he’s a great read nonetheless.

    BJ’s name on the other hand is just a pun on Hot Air, which was an existing blog at the time. The satire in the name is perhaps more cutting now that the two blogs are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

  168. 168
    Haydnseek says:

    @Davis X. Machina: This would seem to be self evident. Of the three parties mentioned, Mexico, China, and the USA, which of these is not participating in trade? Not trying to be a dick here. I’m trying to understand your point.

  169. 169

    @Keith G: Economics is one area, where I am not an Obot. He has not seriously countered the neoliberal ideology, if anything he seems to have bought into it.

  170. 170
    charon says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Perhaps in their alternate reality elderly Cubans are single issue voters. Florida being winner-take-all in the March 15 primary.

  171. 171
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Haydnseek It’s not self-evident, though. There are people pushing for a certain measure of autarky, at least in the auto industry, right here.

  172. 172
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: A good troll has its place. Too bad it’s not SRV.

  173. 173
    Doug R says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Kids are staying in college, but old folks don’t need to spend so many hours at crappy jobs to get decent healthcare, thanks to the ACA. Thanks Obama!

  174. 174
    Haydnseek says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I have no doubt that this is true, but do you think it’s realistic? Using your example of the auto industry, every car is a world car, in that components come from everywhere. It seems like a rather shaky basis for the kind of independence that even a less than total measure of autarky implies.
    It’s possible that I’m looking at strictly the production end, and missing the bigger picture that you may be referring to. Interesting.

  175. 175
    g says:

    Oh, my Christ! Don’t these people understand that no matter what Trump says, he’s not going to do anything for you?

    He wants to be President because it affirms his popularity. That’s the ONLY thing motivating him. He doesn’t care about you!

  176. 176
    PurpleGirl says:

    @different-church-lady: The title of his first book was The Art of the Deal. He’s been a deal-maker and swaps money and debt around. Pays for the (former) air shuttle with loans on a building, buys a building to transform into a hotel in AC with other loans. Builds an apartment building but makes it a condominum and sells the units but his company keeps the contract as its management agent. Sells his name to a building in West Palm Beach and it seems that he is building it but he isn’t. It’s just his name going on the building, which by the way has trouble selling units because it’s a bad building. The art of the deal.

  177. 177
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Haydnseek:I think the theory is clear — and popular.

    If auto components didn’t come from everywhere, more Americans would have jobs making the components.
    And if they were assembled into cars in Alabama, and not in Hermosillo, more Americans would have jobs assembling them.
    If they were assembled in Flint, and not in Alabama, more UAW workers would have jobs assembling them.
    And if no imports were imported, there’d be more demand for those Flint-made vehicles.
    Because people gotta drive something.

    And then Flint wouldn’t be a crater.

    All you need is appropriate legislation. The fact that there’s about 30% more auto building capacity worldwide than needed doesn’t enter into it…

  178. 178
    jl says:

    @g: I’m sure Trump believes that graciously giving his time so that losers have the privilege to be lead by a winner is doing something for them. He is in resort business and symbolic amenities are worth something.

    Not sure he cares enough to do that for a full time job for four years. We may have to settle for just the campaign.

  179. 179
    Doug R says:

    @Hal: Trump is Romney without the uptightness and ALL of the Assholeness.

  180. 180
    gian says:

    @Kay:
    I still recall Obama promising to walk picket lines, but when scott walker showed up, no marching, no appearances

  181. 181
    Kay says:

    Obama won the same share of the white vote as every other modern Democrat, and he did that (partly) by running on populist economic issues in states like OH and MI.

    Expanding on our election autopsy report in First Thoughts this morning about the white vote, since 1976, Democrats have never won white voters. Jimmy Carter, a Southerner, came the closest in 1976, winning 48% of it.
    Since then, Democrats have ranged from 34% (Walter Mondale in 1984) to 44% (Bill Clinton in 1996).
    Obama, in his first election, won 43% of the white vote, the second-highest number for a Democrat since Carter. His 39% in 2012 puts him further down the list of Democrats in the last 10 elections, but only slightly below the average 40.6% share for Democrats through the years.

    Whether he followed thru is another question, but the idea that Democrats turn their noses up at economic populism as the exclusive concern of a group of voters they don’t need or want or because it’s always coupled with race or ethnicity demonizing is not true. They sometimes do after they’re elected. Not before. Given this, I think it becomes easier to understand some of the discontent with Democrats in a place like Flint. They run these campaigns as 50 state campaigns. Clinton will be as populist as she needs to be in Michigan, just like Obama was. China will be taking a real (rhetorical) beating on currency manipulation and it isn’t because she hopes to attract people who have been voting Republican for 30 years.

  182. 182
    Haydnseek says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Thanks for a clear explanation, and for italicizing the word “theory.” That seems to sum it up. In the abstract, it’s the ideal. Realistically, not so much. The affordability of a vehicle built this way is a topic for another day. Thanks again, and have a good evening.

  183. 183
    Baud says:

    @gian:

    I still recall Obama promising to walk picket lines

    Do you have a link? I don’t remember that.

    @Kay:

    the idea that Democrats turn their noses up at economic populism as the exclusive concern of a group of voters they don’t need or want or because it’s always coupled with race or ethnicity demonizing is not true

    I hope that isn’t directed at me, because I don’t think that’s what I said. Dems can and do do economic populism to some degree, but people generally don’t seem to be satisfied with it enough to change the political landscape, from what I can tell.

  184. 184
    Kay says:

    @gian:

    I have a bit of a different take on that. I wasn’t in Wisconsin but I was active in the Ohio effort on union busting and Obama would have been a detriment to that specific campaign. It was We Are Ohio. It was carefully state-led. I wanted him to stay out because I wanted to win. That particular charge – didn’t walk a picket line- didn’t do anything for me. Maybe he shouldn’t have said it but was the lack of national Democratic support really the problem in Wisconsin? Wouldn’t him entering the fray at that moment in time just solidify positions and nationalize it?

    Maybe it’s the difference between having a specific goal (for me, overturn that Ohio law) and wanting someone to act as a general advocate. Wisconsin isn’t that big. The idea they couldn’t turn out Democrats to oppose Walker unless Obama walked with them seems wrong to me, Sometimes you just lose and the more risk you take the more you lose. A recall was a risky approach.

  185. 185
    Doug R says:

    @Cain: The dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland!

  186. 186
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    I realize that he has had a longer time and much more of a start up fund than she did but even if you take his claimed value as bullshit, he has made far, far more money than she’d ever be capable of. Not that making money (even lots of it) is a indicator of good sense or high intelligence but as dumb as she is?

    I meant that Trump and Palin are both incompetent as national political leaders. They are both ignorant and try to use bluster and empty rhetoric as a substitute for the slightest demonstrable knowledge about domestic or foreign policy.

    Whenever Trump tries to expand on any of his blowhard statements, he sounds like a total idiot. Build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it? Really? Beat the crap out of ISIS and take their oil. How, exactly do you get from point A to point B? Quit letting China and Mexico out-negotiate us. And Apple and other companies are going to stop manufacturing devices in China?

    I guess that Palin had been somewhat effective as governor of Alaska. But time and again she fully demonstrated that she was not ready for prime time on the national level. So far, Trump’s solutions haven’t risen above the level of what you hear as part of stray conversation in a sports bar. Maybe this is part of his appeal.

    If Palin is Caribou Barbie, then Trump has to be New York Ken.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @Haydnseek:
    Well international trade and cheaper mfg have made it almost impossible for an auto mfg to have 100% local content.
    Some one up thread pointed out that mfg is strong in the US. It may be but it doesn’t employ nearly as many people and it’s a lot of expensive stuff that is made. The F35 for example. From a cost of mfg standpoint lots of money is being spent, it looks like mfg is strong, but it isn’t nuts and bolts. It’s specialty parts. I do this for a living once again, making one to a few parts or tooling at a time. That makes the cost very high but the amount of production rather small. I just spent weeks finishing a group of different parts that all fit in a tray that one person can pick up easily, of high precision parts. I don’t know how much was paid for them but I know how many hours I spent and that the shop rate is multiplies of my hourly wage. Probably worth on the range of the cost of a small car, and not the cheapest one either. For 24 total pieces. That’s expensive mfg, looks like a lot but the output was small. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last few decades. Expensive mfg, not quantity mfg. And that takes a lot fewer people. Autos are no different, it takes many fewer people to build one than it did decades ago. Is that good, or better? That’s the question that never seems to get asked, what happens to all the people that used to mfg stuff we bought? They are going to sell hamburgers, to whom? We haven’t really replaced mfg with something else for people to do for work, and this is not new, it has been happening for over 40 yrs.

  188. 188
    feebog says:

    Put me firmly in the no way, no how Trump wins the nomination camp. I think he has already hit his ceiling in the polls. Polling 24 or 25% may seem significant, but when you have 17 candidates splitting the vote, there really is no way to gauge actual support for some of the other top tier candidates. As the also-rans and never-weres like Jindal, Perry, Gilmore, Graham, Fiorina, Cruz, Christie, Carson, Paul, and the like start dropping out, we may get a clue who has the real support. For right now, savor the disruption and panic Trump is bringing to the Republican establishment, and buy popcorn futures.

  189. 189
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Haydnseek:

    The affordability of a vehicle built this way is a topic for another day.

    The great thing about economics is that hand-waving can be performed with either hand, right or left.

  190. 190
  191. 191
    Eric says:

    @Baud: That’s not Trump specific. It’s in every MSM style guide.

  192. 192
    Baud says:

    @Keith G:

    For a tech wizard like you maybe.

    Thanks for finding that for me.

  193. 193
    Gavin says:

    OT:

    Saw Mission Unpossible last night.. good summer fun!
    One of the trailers was for Michael Bay’s next gratuitousness… Benghazi: The Movie.

    Ye gods.

  194. 194
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It’s not directed at you it’s just my general ranting on this :) Republicans know the Democratic version of populism is essential. That’s why they’re busy saying Clinton is too wealthy to run on it and why John Kasich says his father was a mailman every 45 seconds. I think Biden has a low(er) net worth than a lot of long time DC people so if he jumps in that might become an issue between him and Clinton, as candidates.

  195. 195
    Jeffro says:

    @redshirt:

    Gad help me but I feel like if somehow Trump did win the Presidency, he wouldn’t be so bad. Better than W. at least. For instance, I don’t think he’d hire Palin for anything. He’s just saying that now for the rubes.

    You hope he’s saying that for the rubes!

    I don’t think we should even entertain thoughts about what putting Trump in charge of our foreign policy, tax policy (flat tax, anyone?), environmental policy, or heaven help me, the nuclear launch codes would mean for this country and the world in general.

    How long would it take North Korea to get under his skin and get a little Trumper-tantrum going, for instance?

    I’m not going to stress about it too much, because I don’t think he’ll win the GOP nom. But he’d be just another variation on “awful” from the GOP side.

  196. 196
    Mike J says:

    The score of the Mariners Red Sox game is the reciprocal of pi. 7 22

  197. 197
    gian says:

    @Baud:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-.....threatened

    Plenty of links on a Google search

  198. 198
    Jeffro says:

    @g:

    He wants to be President because it affirms his popularity. That’s the ONLY thing motivating him. He doesn’t care about you!

    True…and yet, none of the other GOP loons can really use that against Trump in a debate or campaign ad, because Trump voters will flip it right back at whomever tries…”Yeah, right, and Marco Rubio cares about me? Ted Cruz?”

  199. 199
    Haydnseek says:

    @Ruckus: Precisely. Several years ago I left a company that supplied nationwide retailers with crap products from China. China can produce very good products, but not at prices your average person wants to pay, so surprise! The stuff you see in the store is shit. You don’t want to be using an air compressor that may explode, or a 3-ton floor jack that may suffer catastrophic failure. Believe me, you just don’t.

    Quality, US built compressors and jacks are easy to find. They’re also expensive. If the autarky proponents want to start a rebate program to help regular people purchase quality US made products, I’m all for it.

  200. 200
    jl says:

    @Kay:

    ” I think Biden has a low(er) net worth than a lot of long time DC people so if he jumps in that might become an issue between him and Clinton, as candidates. ”

    We would sure hear about it a lot from the GOP and the corporate media news celebs.

  201. 201
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Whew!

    The news seems to be pimping Kasich, and given Bush’s weaknesses, maybe he’s got a good shot. I can barely understand our side, so I’m not going to try to fathom the dynamic on the other side.

    @gian:

    Master programmer Keith G beat you to it, but thank you.

  202. 202
    rikyrah says:

    Being in a Bookstore while Black.

    Another crime.

    Everyone knows you can hang out at Barnes & Noble for hours, not buy anything, and not be harassed or have the cops called. That’s pretty much what a lot of high school kids do with their Saturdays. But hey, not for Black people, right? The injustice never ends.

    http://theobamadiary.com/2015/.....n-america/

  203. 203
    Keith G says:

    @Baud: Yeah, well, if I have mastered anything, it certainly would not be something connected to using a keyboard.

  204. 204
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Yes, we did not want. Obama coming in and picketing. The issue was local and organizers wanted it ti stay focused on the issues. If Obama had come to Madison in the spring of 2011, it would have become a fight between Obama and Walker.

  205. 205
    phantomist says:

    @feebog:
    It is interesting that there haven’t been any polls with only Trump, Bush and Walker to choose from.

  206. 206
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    It’s sad when it’s good news that no one was shot.

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Was that the consensus? Some of the articles linked to above said that people wanted Obama to come protest.

  207. 207
    Redshift says:

    @Baud:

    The news seems to be pimping Kasich, and given Bush’s weaknesses, maybe he’s got a good shot.

    I’d guess it’s another iteration of their compulsion to find a Reasonable Republican(tm) that they know must exist because both sides do it. I doubt it’ll go anywhere. The only one who seems to have benefited from media pimping is Fiorina, and that’s because it was Fox doing the pimping.

  208. 208
    trollhattan says:

    @Cain:
    Growing up snooty in Seattle, that other Vancouver doesn’t even exist.

  209. 209
    Keith G says:

    Well, if you love to hate Trump, y’all will certainly love this video. Halprin and Raddatz “interview” Trump on his helicopter today.

    The guy is incorrigible. And the guy is going to win over many more Americans** as long as he can control the lens the media is using.

    **At least until the actual voting is underway.

  210. 210
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: I think it was the consensus. I don’t have any articles on it; I am just going by my memories of discussions at the time. It tracks very much with what Kay was saying about Ohio.

  211. 211
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    We had an AFL-CIO organizer (national) here for We Are Ohio and he specifically and vehemently did not want Obama to come to Ohio.

    I knew they were going to lose in Wisconsin when they started blaming national Democrats for lack of (enough) funding, because how much money can you possibly use to get out a million voters? It’s not like you need a million dollars per county. I remember when John put it up how DWS was supposed to pour money in and I thought “uh, oh”.

  212. 212
  213. 213
    jl says:

    @Keith G: I will watch it, or read it, whatever it is, I guess when I am in a calmer mood, but after seeing the page I thought ‘Uh oh… Trump has enough free swag, swank, bennies and bling to provide a replacement for McCain’s picnic tire swings and BBQ, the press will fall in love with him, just like they did with John. ‘

  214. 214
    Groucho48 says:

    Trump won’t stay the course. He’ll get bored or he won’t want to put in the daily primary grind or he won’t spend the money to get on the ballot in all the states. I think he would have been gone by Nov.-Dec. but, he’s doing better than expected and will now probably stay through the first primaries. After that, I just don’t see him sticking around. He’s too volatile.

    And, while he is in it he will be damaging the Republican Party a lot more than he’ll be damaging the Democratic Party.

  215. 215
    Keith G says:

    Reflecting on the Trump video that I just linked to…

    For several years now, our presidential politics have revolved around a few very “buttoned-down” figure: Obama, Clinton and Romney. These are very careful individuals, especially BHO and HRC.

    Trump is acting as an antidote to that group.

    Yeah, eventually his efforts seem destined to end in a train wreck, but old-time pols held sway years ago for a reason. Humans have a seemingly predisposition to pay attention to swagger. Mix the swagger with a bit of populism and one can create a hell of a carnival act.

  216. 216
    jl says:

    @Kay: I am curious as to how much of feeling about bringing in Obama was really about ‘national versus local’ and sound local organizing tactics and strategy, rather than fact that Obama was unpopular for long while because the job recovery sucked for a long while.

    Not a rhetorical question, I am curious. Why wouldn’t you want to have a popular national figure show up? And if there were a fear that Obama would be polarizing (actually he is not polarizing at all, but maybe charges from GOP and media would be problem), why not Biden? But, Biden was part of administration in charge of what was, for a long time, a very disappointing economic recovery for most workers.

  217. 217
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jeffro:

    I don’t think we should even entertain thoughts about what putting Trump in charge of our foreign policy, tax policy (flat tax, anyone?), environmental policy, or heaven help me, the nuclear launch codes would mean for this country and the world in general.

    Not to mention SCOTUS appointments.

  218. 218
    Keith G says:

    @jl: Its can be maddening, but I choose to see it as entertainment. We have stepped through the looking glass and walked right into the big top. The tents may fold and the circus may move on, or maybe it will lead us directly to a dystopia.

    Interesting either way.

  219. 219
    jl says:

    @Keith G: I think what you say is true for Trump in the GOP. I am interested to see new polling on how the general voting public feels about Trump. Last polls I saw on that had between 60 and 65 percent of voters in general population saying that they would not consider voting for him. Has that changed?

    I think people are tired of dishonest political marketing, and anything at all might work against that in the GOP, because that is about all they have. Christie’s self-advertised blunt honest rude talk is just an extreme version of the dishonest marketing gimmick that is SOP in the GOP for years. Those who have self-exiled themselves into that party may be having a gut reaction to it.

  220. 220
    VidaLoca says:

    @Kay:

    I’m late to the party but…

    … That particular charge – didn’t walk a picket line- didn’t do anything for me. Maybe he shouldn’t have said it but was the lack of national Democratic support really the problem in Wisconsin?

    No. I’d emphasize more a woefully disorganized state Democratic Party and a sclerotic union movement.

    Wouldn’t him entering the fray at that moment in time just solidify positions and nationalize it?

    Don’t know if positions could have been solidified any more than they were but nationalizing it would not have helped at all. Like Ohio, it was local and very personal.

    Maybe it’s the difference between having a specific goal (for me, overturn that Ohio law) and wanting someone to act as a general advocate. Wisconsin isn’t that big. The idea they couldn’t turn out Democrats to oppose Walker unless Obama walked with them seems wrong to me, Sometimes you just lose and the more risk you take the more you lose. A recall was a risky approach.

    QFT. Expecting that Obama would be a motivator to turn out Democrats to oppose Walker seems wrong because it is wrong. There is no substitute for political organization; unless and until we can build that back we are and will continued to be screwed. That said, though the recall was a risky approach, the alternative was to do nothing and that would have been worse.

  221. 221
    Keith G says:

    BTW: Thanks Mr. Snowden…..Sincerely Thank. You.

    One document reminds N.S.A. officials to be polite when visiting AT&T facilities, noting, “This is a partnership, not a contractual relationship.”

  222. 222
    Jeffro says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Not to mention SCOTUS appointments.

    Great point, thank you. Can you imagine what he would look for in a nominee to the Court?? Holy cow.

  223. 223
    Goblue72 says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: As an American taxpayer living in THIS country, darn tootin’. The rest of the world is a bottomless hole, much of it run by authoritarian governments. You bleed the U.S. Treasury dry and not make a dent.

    So yeah, I really only give a shit about American workers when it comes to U.S. economic policy and U.S. tax dollars.

    Just like the overwhelming number of American citizens.

  224. 224
    B says:

    @Kay: “Yeah, I guess I just take exception to the portrayal of their concerns about trade as “inchoate rage” and I would like to suggest that might not be a “winning message” for Democrats.

    They believe they are being sold out on these trade deals. They have specific objections. ”

    Yes, they do.

    And in every single case, in every single feature, in every single object, where are those for which the right has not led the way in f*cking them over?

    Brad DeLong has a favorite quote ‘If only the Czar knew what the Cossacks are doing’.

    These people have spent from Reagan’s first term voting for the right. What has happened has been desired by the elites on the right.

  225. 225
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jeffro:

    Can you imagine what he would look for in a nominee to the Court?? Holy cow.

    Nancy Grace.

  226. 226
    feebog says:

    @Jeffro

    Great point, thank you. Can you imagine what he would look for in a nominee to the Court?? Holy cow.

    Somehow the image of “Judge Judy” just came to mind.

  227. 227
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @feebog: Ha! I was wondering what would top @SiubhanDuinne: at which I had already “Ha!'”d

  228. 228
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.

  229. 229
    Kay says:

    @B:

    These people have spent from Reagan’s first term voting for the right. What has happened has been desired by the elites on the right.

    I don;t mean to keep beating this horse, but the whole premise of the piece is that they might vote for Donald Trump although they’re currently Democrats. That’s the theory. They vote for Democrats. Now. Might vote for Trump. Later.

    “Reagan Democrats” have been Republicans so long they’re just “Republicans”. They’re not swing voters. A lot of them are second generation Republicans. I’m not saying “let’s go after Republicans who used to vote for Democrats 40 years ago!” That isn’t the plan of Bernie Sanders and it won’t be the plan of Clinton and it wasn’t the plan of Obama, although they all run on populist economic themes in these states.

  230. 230
    Gian says:

    @VidaLoca: when it was Wisconsin, Ohio, and Tennessee (with Volkswagen) it was loca, When Christie attacks teachers with “unions are the problem” it’s local. how many states does it take for national interest?

    ALEC isn’t locals only

  231. 231
    Tree With Water says:

    @different-church-lady: Do I believe the country was lied into waging war? Yes. Do I accuse Bush-Cheney of lying? Yes. If speaking that aloud makes me a “moral arbiter”, so be it. And as I assume you believe Bush-Cheney to be honest men misled by faulty intelligence, tell me- what does that make you?

  232. 232
    Mike G says:

    @Brachiator:

    They are WELL AWARE of global markets and the importance of trade. They think DC negotiates bad deals.

    Then it’s more magical thinking of the “We coulda gotta better Iran deal” variety. The infantile Repuke idea of unlimited power through bullying, that all Murka has to do is Stand Tall and Show Resolve like John Wayne or Saint Reagan, and those furriners will cringe and give us everything we want with no concessions.

    Meanwhile, Trump and the rest of the GOP will go full throttle on trade deals, but give Real Murka someone to scapegoat while they stand in the unemployment line.

  233. 233

    @Gian:

    I think you may have missed the point of ALEC — it’s a national organization that for years successfully pretended that the legislation it wrote was the result of grassroots efforts and not a national top-down organization.

    I’ve said for a while now that we really need to have an ALEC-like organization that would help write boilerplate liberal legislation so legislators don’t have to re-invent the wheel in every state, but I’d rather not have our org be as secretive and underhanded as ALEC was until they were unmasked.

  234. 234
    max says:

    OP: I’ll be damned if Weigel’s not firmly on Stage 4 right now.

    So have we finally got to the point that we’re officially accepting that it might be conceivable that Trump could get the nom? Because this whole ‘Trump can’t win’ thing has been going on for like 2 months and it’s just boring as fuck.

    max
    [‘Yeah, the Mexican-hating R base really wants to nominate Rubio. Yeah, sure.’]

  235. 235

    @efgoldman:

    It’s better-known than you’d think. When we were in downtown Chicago a couple of years ago, we had to wade through a crowd of a couple hundred protesters outside the hotel where ALEC was having a meeting/conference. But it’s true that they’re still pretty successful at concealing the origins of the legislation they write and a lot of people still don’t get that (for example) the Stand Your Ground laws came from an ALEC template and not some kind of grassroots effort.

  236. 236
    Kyle says:

    My conclusion is maybe we shouldn’t have an “election season” that goes on for more than two fucking years.

    It’s not like we get lots of in-depth information about the candidates during that extended period, just massive quantities of horse-race horseshit and gaseous micromanaged PR-speak with no predictive value.

    There were many things about GW Bush’s background that might have given a clue what a disaster he would be for the country, but I heard jack shit about them from the corporate haircut media during the 2000 election season..

    Other democracies get their elections over with in a couple of months. It’s time for a re-engineering of the process that may, tragically, cut grifting opportunities for the class of political parasites. There’s some unemployment I could get behind.

    And who the fuck decided a few million hicks in Midwest cornfields get a disproportionate say? Is everyone in the state world-traveler Mensa members with degrees in political science? Is there some energy vortex near Dubuque that gives everyone in the region clairvoyant powers? If not, why should the rest of the US take our cues from them?

  237. 237
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Thank you.

  238. 238
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    What worries me is not really Trump, per se; it’s that the US, or at least the white US, is getting itself collectively ready for a Hitler or at least a Putin, some grim-faced avenger who promises to make America great by getting rid of all the undesirable elements and terrorizing the world. And I don’t know who that guy is, yet.

    You got that right. White people are scaring the fuck out me right now.

    They want hope, they want revenge, they want somebody to kiss their ass real good.

  239. 239
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Woodrowfan: You know who else had funny hair…

  240. 240
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @MattF: Isn’t that the US propaganda arm? (Is that what you mean by a push?)

    Funny, they never mentioned Putin’s favorables in the US, where I’m sure the 27% lined up to polish his manly knob.

  241. 241
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The level of immiseration you need for a revolution isn’t even close to what we’re experiencing.

    Of the proles, yes. This says nothing about the reaction of the bourgeoisie.

    The last US reactionary swing gave us Reagan and the dismantling of the “American Middle Class” (worker drones who could pay all their bills and have a little left over).

    That was peaceful, but these people are crazier now.

  242. 242
    Chris says:

    @BR:

    Greer had an interesting series of posts on the topic of fascicm in the U.S. last year. (I know his blog’s name is strange, but then again, so is Balloon Juice, and he has a very deep historical understanding.)

    It is indeed interesting, but there’s just one thing about his final post in which he describes in detail the hypothetical rise of a fascist party in modern America, obviously reproducing Hitler’s rise to power adjusted for context –

    How the hell do you describe the rise of fascism without referencing race?

    (I tend to be a fast reader/skimmer, so I went over his narrative twice before posting this, but it does seem jarringly absent).

    He notes in his earlier two posts that, sadly, racism was not exclusive to the Nazi Party and that what the Nazis were saying was, if not universally accepted, pretty mainstream – true, but not everybody made those commonly accepted prejudices the very center of their political program like the Nazis did.

    He says, towards the end of that post, “antisemitism was socially acceptable in Germany, it isn’t in America now, so it wouldn’t play a role in a neofascist movement of any importance” – true, but all that means is that the preferred racial punching bag of the United States isn’t Jews. There are other minorities.

    He says that the hypothetical National Progressive American People’s Party would focus on commonsense centrist issues that a lot of people feel are important but the main two parties are neglecting (and rather confusingly includes climate change among these issues, which I don’t believe is anywhere near the top of most Americans’ list of concerns – it’s still too big and abstract for most).

    But placing the blame for the nation’s problems on a particular racial group is one of these commonsense positions as far as many (white) Americans are concerned. It’s why you see so many white people, even beyond the hardcore right wing, grousing about “political correctness” – as far as many, many, many whites are concerned “everybody knows” that Hispanic illegal immigrants are taking American jobs and thus contributing to our economic troubles, just like “everybody knows” that black people get an unfair leg up on working whites through affirmative action and “everybody knows” that black society encourages a festering criminal culture that needs to be smacked down hard, and we’re just not allowed to say it in public because those high and mighty political and media and college types think it’s “racist” to say anything bad about members of a minority group.

    Fascism runs on scapegoats, and those scapegoats are defined racially (it’s one of the things that makes fascism distinct from communism, which sets the blame for society’s problems on groups defined by class rather than ethnic or sectarian identity). So where’s the racial scapegoat in Greer’s scenario of a fascist America?

    And to return to the original point of this thread – Trump is, in fact, doing exactly this. Only with “Mexicans” instead of “Jews.” Plenty of white people hear him talk about Mexicans bringing crime and prostitutes into the country and they hear common sense, someone finally having the balls to stand up and say in plain English what “everybody knows.”

  243. 243
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    Your last graph is why I think T Rump may have a chance at the nomination. When the lower end of the clown car exit, where does the support go? To Jeb or Walker, the supposed favorites? Maybe some. Or to the crazy Cruz? Probably not that many. Carson? Well he does have some support and he may pick up some but too many of the right are racist, even if all of them are not. I think that if he keeps his lead where it is, when the less than possible drop out, he might be there to pick up enough steam. The right will coalesce around their best shot, just like we are willing to do around ours. If he goes third party the right doesn’t stand a chance. That is why at some point the right PTB will either concede the election or back whatever loser is in front. And they won’t concede.

  244. 244
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @PurpleGirl: GM believed–before, during, and oh yes, after the brutal, bloody sit-down strike in the depths of the Depression–that it was just somehow wrong for workers to stop the line for any reason–full bladders, somebody caught in a machine, machine is stamping out bad parts.

    GM plants were infamous for low morale not only because labor and management were constantly feuding (which was instigated by management, apparently to them going to war against the people who build your cars is a good thing) but because they were building buggy cars and the workers knew it. And were ashamed of it.

    I was listening to a retrospective on NUMMI a few weeks ago and one worker recalls that in the 1980s he would not let anyone know that he worked for GM. That’s how embarrassed he was about their product.

  245. 245
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    As others have noted, Trump’s bigotry and misogyny are no worse than those of his GOP colleagues on the hustings; he’s just louder about it and expresses it more crudely.

    say it over and over again.

    if he were saying things out of the GOP mainstream, the other candidates would be shouting from the rooftops that Trump didn’t represent MY Republican Party.

    But, none of them say that.

  246. 246
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @different-church-lady: Eh? Care to explain? Lowell was a violent hellhole when I lived in Mass.

  247. 247
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gian: They told him to stay away!

  248. 248
    Napoleon says:

    Why is Zandar, a completely clueless asshole, even allowed to post here as a commentator, let alone otherwise. He is perhaps the most unhinged jackass of any commentator of any on a site I visit regularly. He is living in a fantasy land when it comes to Weigel. He is just a wack job of a human.

  249. 249
    cgp says:

    > On Twitter, “Make America Great Again” is a goofy, meme-ready slogan, best displayed on ironic hats. There are places, such as Michigan, where it makes real sense.

    Ugh, I’m just going to assume the person writing this is on the east coast. I’m glad there are no crazy right wing people in non-flyover states.

  250. 250
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: Future disappointments are no guarantee of current depression.

  251. 251
    Jeffro says:

    @Ruckus:

    When the lower end of the clown car exit, where does the support go? To Jeb or Walker, the supposed favorites? Maybe some. Or to the crazy Cruz? Probably not that many. Carson? Well he does have some support and he may pick up some but too many of the right are racist, even if all of them are not. I think that if he keeps his lead where it is, when the less than possible drop out, he might be there to pick up enough steam. The right will coalesce around their best shot, just like we are willing to do around ours. If he goes third party the right doesn’t stand a chance. That is why at some point the right PTB will either concede the election or back whatever loser is in front. And they won’t concede.

    Add up Trump’s, Carson’s, and Cruz’s support and you’ve got a pretty big, angry block of the GOP base willing to support crazy people as their ticket for 2016. Not sure how a Bush or Kaisch wins those folks over without saying some pretty extreme things that’ll haunt them in the general. Or without putting Cruz on the ticket as the VP selection. Ugh

  252. 252
    redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: I know. It’s a pretty awesome post.

  253. 253
  254. 254
    Ruckus says:

    @Jeffro:
    That’s the point I’ve been trying to make for 2 days now. It’s not a lock or even close, nothing is. But that’s his path. I don’t think it gets him anywhere near the WH but stranger things have happened.

    Jeb is going to have to find the wizard to anoint him with a brain and mouth or he’s only got money. And so does everyone else. T Rump will kill Walker with the bought and paid for moniker. Kasich is too close to normal to win the nomination unless he has a huge GOTV success, and he isn’t that convincing.

  255. 255
    J R in WV says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    I’ve always thought that if I ran a giant AMerican auto company, I would not allow design staff to drive cars built by my company. they need to be driving Beemers, and Audis, and Infinitis etc, etc. Not GM or Ford.

    How are they to understand their competition if they don’t drive the competing cars?

    Ford and GM spent decades figuring out how to build better Fords and Buicks, and when other better cars showed up, they were snowed under. Now they’re working on competing with the other national car brands, and not doing too badly.

    But I drive German cars today.

  256. 256
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tree With Water: It ain’t me you got the argument with, it’s those other folks. If you were restricting your comments to the Iraq war, then you’ve got good company regarding the regret, but probably are standing pretty much alone when it comes to charging them with war crimes.

    You and I might see eye to eye on this, but depending on the exact item in question you might find anywhere from 40 to 60% of the rest of the country disagreeing. Speaking the “truth” to them won’t get anywhere, because they’ll just call that candidate a liar no matter what the truth is.

  257. 257
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Albert Einstein?

  258. 258
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Lowell was a violent hell hole shortly after I moved from a suburb of Lowell to a suburb of Boston in the late 80s too. I don’t fully know the mechanics of it, but there’s been some spontaneous renewal since then. Gentrification, re-invigoration of the downtown, new arena, minor league ballpark, arts scene, etc.

  259. 259
    jiggety says:

    @MattF:

    Thanks for making me spray beer on my keyboard.

  260. 260
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: Part of the freakout here is unintended consequences of Citizens United. The VSPs understood that ruling to mean that the Job Creators™ could buy the candidates; Trump is proof that a Job Creator™ can be the candidate and nobody among the VSPs is handling that well. Every PAC pushing the GOTea-approved pols is running at a serious disadvantage now: their dollars are worth a lot less in advertising, and they’re (technically) prohibited from coordinating with the candidates’ campaigns so messaging will be off from the candidates’ own. Had Adelson or a Koch run for office personally, things would be different; as it is, since those folks take to publicity about the way vampires take to holidays at the beach, they’re discovering – perhaps too late – that they’re outclassed and that they’ll have to spend a lot more of their own ca$h to get their message heard as loudly as Trump is doing. In hindsight the Koch statements about spending nearly $1B on the next cycle don’t seem either excessive or dangerous: the Trump campaign is bleeding them ahead of schedule and it may take another $500M just to match the buying power Trump already has in his own pocket.

  261. 261
    Tehanu says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Watch for the moment when the GOP establishment starts cozying up to Trump. (We’ve already seen them stop overtly attacking/belittling him.) If/when that happens, hold the fuck onto your hats.

    I think your last sentence should have read, “hold the fuck onto your wallets.”

  262. 262
    Thoughtful Today says:

    One of Jon Stewart’s last shows touched on this too:

    boatboy_srq says:

    “Part of the freakout here is unintended consequences of Citizens United. The VSPs understood that ruling to mean that the Job Creators™ could buy the candidates; Trump is proof that a Job Creator™ can be the candidate and nobody among the VSPs is handling that well.”

    If money buys elections and Trump’s willing to burn through cash, it’s his.

    Bernie’s website’s tag line, btw, is:

    Paid for by Bernie 2016
    (not the billionaires)

    https://BernieSanders.com

  263. 263
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Thoughtful Today: I was actually thinking of the flipside of that: that the Kochs, Adelson, et al are all FUBARd because, by staying out of the campaign sphere and working from behind PACs and think tanks, they’ve accrued significant cost and messaging disadvantages in the actual campaign that Trump and Sanders (side note: “Trump and Sanders” sounds like a high-end barbershop, doesn’t it?) don’t face. The Kochs, in particular, could probably outspend Trump 2/1 and still come out behind in effectiveness: between the campaign-specific media pricing and the inability to coordinate between the campaigns of the favored pols and the PAC/Think-Tank efforts, their dollars won’t go anywhere near as far.

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