Monday Morning Open Thread: The GOP’s Nekkid ‘Establishment’ Emperors

trump tramples liberty toles

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Nothing particularly new, but Frank Rich has a lovely Monday morning pick-me-up in NYMag“Can we please retire the notion that Donald Trump is hijacking someone else’s party?”:

… The Republican Elites. The Establishment. The Party Elders. The Donor Class. The Mainstream. The Moderates. Whatever you choose to call them, they, at least, could be counted on to toss the party-­crashing bully out.

To say it didn’t turn out that way would be one of the great understatements of American political history. Even now, many Republican elites, hedging their bets and putting any principles in escrow, have yet to meaningfully condemn Trump. McCain says he would support him if he gets his party’s nomination. The Establishment campaign guru who figured the Trump problem would solve itself moved on to anti-Trump advocacy and is now seeking to unify the party behind Trump, waving the same white flag of surrender as Chris Christie. Every major party leader — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, Kevin McCarthy — has followed McCain’s example and vowed to line up behind whoever leads the ticket, Trump included. Even after the recurrent violence at Trump rallies boiled over into chaos in Chicago, none of his surviving presidential rivals would disown their own pledges to support him in November. Trump is not Hitler, but those who think he is, from Glenn Beck to Louis C.K., should note that his Vichy regime is already in place in Washington, D.C.

Since last summer, Trump, sometimes in unwitting tandem with Bernie Sanders, has embarrassed almost the entire American political ecosystem — pollsters, pundits, veteran political operatives and the talking heads who parrot their wisdom, focus-group entrepreneurs, super-pac strategists, number-crunching poll analysts at FiveThirtyEight and its imitators. But of all the emperors whom Trump has revealed to have few or no clothes, none have been more conspicuous or consequential than the GOP elites. He has smashed the illusion, one I harbored as much as anyone, that there’s still some center-right GOP Establishment that could restore old-school Republican order if the crazies took over the asylum…

Did the pillars of the Establishment fail to turn back the Trump insurgency because they have no balls? Because they have no credibility? Because they have too little support from voters in their own party? Because they don’t even know who those voters are or how to speak their language? To some degree, all these explanations are true. Though the Republican Establishment is routinely referenced as a potential firewall in almost every media consideration of Trump’s unexpected rise, it increasingly looks like a myth, a rhetorical device, or, at best, a Potemkin village. It has little power to do anything beyond tardily raising stop-Trump money that it spends neither wisely nor well and generating an endless torrent of anti-Trump sermons for publications that most Trump voters don’t read. The Establishment’s prize creation, Marco Rubio — a bot candidate programmed with patriotic Reaganisms, unreconstructed Bush-Cheney foreign-policy truculence, a slick television vibe, and a dash of ethnicity — was the biggest product flop to be marketed by America’s Fortune 500 stratum since New Coke…

For all the Republican talk about “personal responsibility,” the party’s leaders have worked overtime to escape any responsibility for fanning the swamp fevers that produced Trump: They instead blame him on the same bogeymen they blame everything on — Obama and the news media. What GOP elites can’t escape is the sinking feeling that a majority of Republican voters are looking for a president who will repudiate them and, implicitly, their class. Trump refuses to kowtow to the Establishment—and it is precisely that defiance, as articulated in his ridicule of Romney and Jeb Bush and Megyn Kelly and Little Marco, that endears him to Republican voters and some Democrats as well. The so-called battle for the “soul” of the Republican Party is a battle over power, not ideology. Trump has convinced millions of Americans that he will take away the power from the pinheads on high and return it to people below who feel (not wrongly) that they’ve gotten a raw deal. It’s the classic populist pitch, and it will not end well for those who invest their faith in Trump. He cares about no one but himself and would reward his own class with extravagant tax cuts like any Republican president. But the elites, who represent the problem, have lost any standing that might allow them to pretend to be part of the solution…

***********
Apart from the schadenfreude of enjoying a good rant over breakfast, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?






148 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😎
    It’s Monday 😢, sigh….

  2. 2
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    Acceptance is the final stage.

    In rural Potomac MD today being driven to insanity by my new management.

    My beloved Gopher women’s hockey team defeated the previously undefeated Boston College Eagles 3-1 yesterday to win back to back national championships!

  3. 3

    Why is the word ‘racism’ so hard? If the GOP base hates the establishment, it’s only because the establishment isn’t giving them what they want. Trump is.

  4. 4
    Bruuuuce says:

    It’s Girl Scout cookies pick up day! Three boxes of Thin Mints, one of the peanut butter things for the better half, and one box donated to servicemen overseas. I love that program, and am happy that this troop makes it easy to do a little good.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Bought a new burn barrel on Sat. Gotta cut out the bottom and run some rebar thru it for a “grill”. Bought a 2nd one I’m gonna turn into barrel smoker so I can make my own sausages and smoked meats. Been picking up more than a few recipes. Also need to finish extending the fence around the chicken run to 7′ high. It is spring time and they have a habit of scratching in my “flower beds” (calling them that is really kind of generous, more like “places with some flowers”) and the herb garden. Not acceptable when I am trying to grow things.

    The snow we got yester morn was largely gone by 3pm. Gonna hit 60 today, 73 tomorrow. Lots of sunshine.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    If you thought the GOP convention was a hate-fest in the past, you need to check the girding on your loins before this one.

    Donald Trump + Ted Cruz + high ratings due to a contested convention + they have nothing positive to offer the American people = An unfathomable level of vitriol directed at Obama and Clinton and Democrats.

  7. 7
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: They were talking about Trump’s speech at AIPAC on Morning Joe.

    I was going to share my experiment of combining visible light photos and IR(it cuts through haze) but FYWP didn’t like the link😓.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Did Trump talk about how much he loves the Jews or how much the Jews love him?

    ETA: When I refresh the page on my computer, your emoji goes through a transformation before settling on the teary one.

  9. 9
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: It hasn’t happened yet, they were talking about him using a prepared speech and a teleprompter…I hope I didn’t wake the neighbors with my laughter.

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud:

    emoji goes through a transformation

    I’ve noticed that with everyone’s emojis.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: So AIPAC is the one place he’s worried about extemporaneous remarks, huh? Interesting.

  12. 12
    Ben Cisco says:

    The Establishment’s prize creation, Marco Rubio — a bot candidate programmed with patriotic Reaganisms, unreconstructed Bush-Cheney foreign-policy truculence, a slick television vibe, and a dash of ethnicity — was the biggest product flop to be marketed by America’s Fortune 500 stratum since New Coke…

    Anybody got some oven mitts, ’cause that shit is HOTTTTT.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I’m sure it means something. I’ll await the conspiracy theory.

  14. 14
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: No, Joe and Nicole assumed he was going to use a teleprompter. I guess since it is an important speech and all.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Or Joe and Nicole are making stuff up again. Who can tell?

  16. 16
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Hence the reason for my laughter.

  17. 17
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Proud of my President in Cuba!! This is one of the mad props I give him. I dare the GOP try to go back on Cuba, but they probably will.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud:

    An unfathomable level of vitriol directed at Obama and Clinton and Democrats.

    You forgot illegal immigrants of Mexican descent and Muslims. There are others too but it changes daily.

  19. 19
    bystander says:

    Did anyone else catch Trump whining that Raul Castro wasn’t on the tarmac to greet Obama? Just when you thought the stupidity couldn’t drop its trou one more time, here’s the Chief Clown pantsing it to the delight of his minions.

    Getting ready for the idiots to ratchet up the stupid directed at Clinton. Many references to the Clenis and her own castrating mannishness.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @bystander: Like every second of this visit, including potty breaks, hasn’t been scripted well in advance.

  21. 21
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @bystander:

    Did anyone else catch Trump whining that Raul Castro wasn’t on the Tarmac to greet Obama?

    Yup.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not so sure. They hate those people for their base, but for the national TV audience, they recognize that their actual opponents are Democrats. Although with Trump, who can say whether he can control himself?

  23. 23

    Good morning. First day of spring break. First day of sleeping in, such as it is, first day of not driving to work, first day of not wearing my contacts, and not caring about work for five days since they don’t pay us for being off.

  24. 24
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Looks like AL(or another FP’er) dug me out of moderation, so if you’re interested in seeing my expirement; it’s in the previous thread.

    ETA: I see 7 folk have☺.

  25. 25

    @bystander: The president doesn’t go out to Andrews to greet a foreign president or head of state when they arrive… and would President Trump?

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You spying on us and collecting our metadata?

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    NPR interviewed Roger Stone this morning, who said his man didn’t have half the negatives that Hillary has. Including his naming her as a woman abuser, I guess based on Bill’s behavior. I don’t even know how to respond to that, but I hope that someone in the establishment will get them to stop that.

  28. 28
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: I think you’ve been hanging around with mclaren too much. Flikr tells me the number of views on each album/picture.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    These pundits who keep saying Trump attracts Democratic voters…Those must be the same voters who haven’t voted Democratic since Reagan. I think it’s safe to call them Republicans by now.

  30. 30
    qwerty42 says:

    @Baud: … An unfathomable level of vitriol directed at Obama and Clinton and Democrats.
    Yes. To get the voters who hate Trump (a decreasing number?) to vote (needed for down-ballot), I’d expect exceptional paranoia, viciousness, and misogyny/racism to have to predominate. It’s who they are.
    An ugly Fall. Especially if Hillary is leading in the polls.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Trump’s hope is to bring everyone else down into the gutter, where he is king.

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I subscribe to his newsletter. Don’t you?

  32. 32
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    After my trip to Descanso on Friday, I’m thinking of visiting a few more gardens in the area, The Japanese Garden in the Supulveda basin, the Huntington(though expensive, $23) and the County Arboretum(think “Da Plane, Da Plane”).

  33. 33
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Baud: It’s ok – he’s not the government

  34. 34
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud:

    I subscribe to his newsletter. Don’t you?

    I don’t need to(sound of ominous music plays).

  35. 35
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Exactly(as far as you know).

  36. 36
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: The genie is out of the bottle. They can’t shove him back in. They either kill it or it kills them. My money is on the latter.

  37. 37
    amk says:

    “one I harbored as much as anyone, that there’s still some center-right GOP Establishment that could restore old-school Republican order if the crazies took over the asylum”

    So basically, yet another clueless or wilfully blind pundtwit? Don’t know why anyone would take him or his ilk seriously.

  38. 38
    Phylllis says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Ours is next week. Been white-knuckling it for about 2 and a half weeks now. Enjoy.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    No one here has been contacted by Clinton’s or Strickland’s campaign yet. By this time in 2012 Sherrod’s campaign manager had met with us and Sherrod was an incumbent with a much weaker opponent. I had also met what would be the first of two Obama organizers- the first was promoted up the chain and then they sent in another.

    I hope Democrats are ready to take advantage of the disarray in the GOP. Trump sucks up all the national (free) media, but they could be using this period to operate under him, at the local level, which is much cheaper than ads and probably more effective. They aren’t going to get any “free media”.

  40. 40
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Trump refuses to kowtow to the Establishment—and it is precisely that defiance, as articulated in his ridicule of Romney and Jeb Bush and Megyn Kelly and Little Marco

    “Establishment” seems to be a term of art for Rich, being so loosely and widely defined as to be useless. Does it mean anything other than “someone perceived as being in a position of influence, who won’t or can’t use that influence to give the Teahadis what they want”?

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    I think Hillary and Ted both are taking Ohio for granted, but I hope you’re wrong about the DNC. Nothing can be taken for granted at this point.

  42. 42
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Agree with you wholeheartedly. Any analysis of Trump which doesn’t address his blatant bigotry/racism/xenophobia up front is severely lacking. His bigoted words are what has attracted his voters as evidence that he’s not “politically correct” and has no filter. If those who support Trump wanted a President who wasn’t beholden to the rich elite, they would be voting for Sanders and not a Billionaire.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    It wasn’t the DNC in 2012. It was the two campaigns. I don’t know what the DNC does.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @amk:

    “Here lieth Polite Washington Punditry. It thought there was still some center-right GOP Establishment that could restore old-school Republican order if the crazies took over the asylum. It was wrong.”

  45. 45

    @Phylllis: Here’s hoping you get through it. On Friday at 3 I had an office call up with a transfer that HAD to be done right away. No one up the approval chain was in; most of them took off the day before break. Sorryyyy….

  46. 46
    Chris says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    From the punditariat, it feels like it just means “the people who SHOULD be runningthe country.”

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @bystander: If the only thing Republicans can throw at Secretary Clinton is that her husband cheated on her, that’s pretty weak sauce and nothing new. We all know about President Clinton’s dalliances.

    We also know that Republicans have several sitting politicians who have engaged in interesting behavior such as wearing diapers during dalliances with prostitutes and hiking the Appalachian trail. They can shut it with the moral high handedness.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I think it would leave a bad taste in people’s mouths if Clinton started campaigning for the general election before she had wrapped up the nomination.

  49. 49
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Why are there helicopters hovering over my house?

  50. 50
    MattF says:

    I agree that figuring out exactly what the RE objects to about Der Trump is worth doing, but I don’t think Rich succeeds. Yeah, it’s about power, but it’s always about power.

    One thing is that Der Trump pays no attention to the Morning Email that specifies the current focus-group approved message– that discipline, it turns out, is for losers. And that goes for the whole K Street gang that goes along and has gone along for all these years. That must sting.

    But still, the cause of the animus towards Trump from the RE seems hard to really pin down.

    ETA: And yeah– racism, xenophobia, chauvinism, misogyny, violence– yadda, yadda.

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Same damn thing!

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @MattF:

    I agree that figuring out exactly what the RE objects to about Der Trump is worth doing

    I think their extreme jumpiness at anything remotely populist probably plays a big role. As Kay pointed out yesterday, they’re complete chicken, who’re as terrified and enraged by fast-food workers peacefully protesting as you might expect them to be of an actual revolution. So Trump’s noises about the evils of the establishment and how it’s screwing over the common people, even if it’s ridiculously vague and even if all his actual policy proposals are pretty much exactly like theirs, has them wetting their pants.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Chris:

    I think their extreme jumpiness at anything remotely populist probably plays a big role.

    To be fair, look at what happened with Katniss Everdeen.

  54. 54
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Kay: I think it’s important to remember that 2012 was a reelection year which is entirely different than a year with a contested primary. I recall OFA officially opening offices in NH/VT one year to the day prior to the election. The Strickland campaign not being active in your area could be problematic.

  55. 55
    Chyron HR says:

    @Baud:

    To be fair, look at what happened with Katniss Everdeen.

    Yeah, I was pretty pissed when she married Ron instead of Harry.

  56. 56

    @kindness:
    Actually, yes. I wish I could remember who investigated that. 538? Anyway, Trump does pull in registered Democrats, but they’re ‘Democrats’ who reliably vote Republican. And Trump’s support in the Midwest primaries wasn’t centered in the rust belt cities, but racism strongholds like Cincinnati.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @Chyron HR:

    She couldn’t marry Harry. She was his sister.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: So why couldn’t she marry me? Oh, wait a minute….

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @kindness:

    These pundits who keep saying Trump attracts Democratic voters…

    It’s like they want to blame Democrats for Trump’s showing.

    Yer modern GOP. Won’t take responsibility for anything.

    (Michigan Governor Snyder as example A there. Pointing every finger he can at the EPA. Which operates in the other 49 states too, as I recall.)

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another thing that slipped by me:

    Genealogists confirm that Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee making Warren 1/32, the same percentage as Chief Baker. Other members of Warren’s family, including her first cousin, are actively involved in the tribe and Native causes. Before 1963, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians awarded tribal membership to anyone applicant who could prove he or she was 1/32 Cherokee. The lineage rule has served as an ongoing debate within the Cherokee community since then, but Warren never applied for nor claimed any membership to the tribe.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    which is entirely different than a year with a contested primary.

    Absolutely, but it isn’t really a contested primary as far as delegates. I know she has to say she’s focused on the primary but she won Ohio by something like 12 points. Primary is over here. There would be a problem with funds- I don’t think primary funds can go to the general, although I don’t understand the system myself and don’t pretend to. If it is funds can’t they do some kind of allied org campaign until the primary is over?

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    It may be funds but it’s also optics. Unless you promise to rip Sanders or his supporters a new one if they (correctly) argue that she is measuring the primary drapes, I can see why Clinton’s camp may want to wait until she at least has a majority of pledged delegates locked up.

  63. 63
    Aimai says:

    @Baud: yes. This is an ongoing source of rage on the sanders side. If she were to attack sanders thats harsh but when she pivots to the general yhats insulting–ive seen lots of that online.

  64. 64
    japa21 says:

    @Aimai: And what is interesting is that she has not attacked Sanders, nowhere near like she did Obama in 2008. And she has been very respectful of his campaign and him.

    This is a different Clinton than in 2008. One I can have a lot of enthusiasm about.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    @Aimai: a purring kitten could be a ongoing source of rage on the Sanders side.

    “Hey, guy with Sanders button, nice hat.”

    “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?”

    No, I month ago I wasn’t like this, why do you ask?

  66. 66
    danielx says:

    What GOP elites can’t escape is the sinking feeling that a majority of Republican voters are looking for a president who will repudiate them and, implicitly, their class.

    I’d thought that at some point during the current campaign, I would tire of reading things like this. I was incorrect – every time I read another, it puts a sparkle to my teeth and a spring in my step. Gives me a nice warm feeling.

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    If you believe the Republican establishment exists to funnel money upward, their panic over Trump makes sense. The scant policy proposals Trump has offered on issues like taxes and health insurance appear to have been cribbed from Paul Ryan. But his rhetoric on trade and Social Security are heresy.

  68. 68
    different-church-lady says:

    @danielx: Yeah, well it’s all fun and games until that guy actually gets elected.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @different-church-lady: What are you talking about? That’s when the fun and games begin for real.

  70. 70
    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    It took longer to clean the snow off of my minivan than it did to both shovel the steps and snowblow the driveway. For Boston, this is a nothingburger of a storm. The local public schools (except Cambridge) closed, but most of the private schools opened (if they could get shoveled out in time).

    Both Hillary and Bernie need to start mentioning the antics on the other side. It certainly isn’t time for anyone to drop out; but it is damn well time to start mocking the KlownKar.

  71. 71
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I think the general-election campaign is going to be more painful for the left this time around than it was in 2008. Yes, in all likelihood, Sanders is going to endorse Clinton and most of his supporters will go along. But the Sanders supporters I listen to online… it’s really going to hurt for them. Some of them are definitely going to go down raging against Clinton, calling Bernie a sellout and urging that people vote for Jill Stein or maybe Gary Johnson or nobody. Some will hold their noses and vote for Clinton but they’re not going to be happy about it at all.

    They will be morose, convinced that doom is coming and Clinton is going to get Trump elected. I have one friend who says he’s been “bracing himself” for the coming of Trump for months, that he’s known in his gut that Trump is going to be President ever since he first appeared on the scene. He’s a Sanders supporter; he doesn’t personally know anybody of any ideology who likes or supports Hillary Clinton, he can’t see any way that Americans would actually elect Hillary Clinton President, and he’s just really sad at this encroaching disaster of Trump’s inevitable election.

    I think the movement on the left to reject and blow apart the Democratic Party in favor of some kind of real left party has been building for years, and this is the first time these people have been offered a serious alternative, the idea that their movement might actually take over the Democratic Party and supplant its old leadership. And to be denied that in the end, when their sentiments are more popular and more widely shared than ever, is going to sting. Some are going to want to burn it all down.

  72. 72
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlyingToaster (Tablet): Disagree — I think we’re still in the give ’em some more rope phase.

  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    They will be morose, convinced that doom is coming

    Oh, so in other words, no different from how they were before.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think optics matter in the sort of thing I’m talking about. It’s just underlings calling people :)

    No one in media pays any attention to it. The general idea is to go UNDER them. I kind of like the idea of Trump bellowing every day and picking fights with media celebrities and something quieter happening on the other side beneath that. We don’t have to do everything they do. Trump doesn’t get to set the terms.

  75. 75
    different-church-lady says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You used to use a magnifying glass on ants when you were a kid, didn’t you?

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’m trying to gauge how many of the folks you’re referring to were actually Democrats anyway. Seems like this is the first time a lot of the folks who voted for Jill Stein in past elections have participated in a Democratic Party primary — finally a candidate pure enough to appeal to them is participating. Yeah, they’ll be disappointed when he loses, but I suspect the folks who were actually Democrats will vote for the Democrat and the Greenies will go back to voting for Stein with very little net change to the status quo.

  77. 77
    Emma says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I have a streak of mean a mile wide and six miles deep, and sometimes, in my worst moments, I wish Sanders would get elected. Really. I want to see his die-hard supporters scream and howl when the man is faced with actual governance with an out-of-control Republican party in opposition. I am sick and tired of the assumption that if Sanders gets elected, he will be able to push every liberal wish into reality by the sheer magic of his being a liberal.

    Reality is a bitch. I want her to swing a two-by-four from time to time.

  78. 78
    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    @different-church-lady: Given Sheriff Arpiao, et.al., I don’t see ignoring them to be a good option.

    Realistically, being proactive here is going to have a better chance of success than being reactive. If only having the candidates and their spokespeople to agree on a message.

    Something like:
    “Right now I’m focused on the Democratic primary, but I can’t say that I find the antics on the Republican side amusing.”

    On the follow up:
    “The Republican-controlled Senate is refusing to do it’s job; Republican pundits are trying to block their own front-runner, their surrogates are attacking our families and supporters. I like our side a lot better. Anybody have questions about the Democratic primary? Great, we’re done!”

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    Anne Laurie: it was harsh to send us to the Frank Rich article — with illustration of old GOP types in their skivvies –without a trigger warning. Or at least a “put down the coffee” admonition.

    Also, too: tee hee re what Jerry Hall has to put up with now. Money money money.

  80. 80
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: I had the same reaction. When Matt says “Some are going to want to burn it all down,” I’m thinking, as far as the people he’s describing, they went into this wanting to burn it all down.

    I don’t think this describes most Sanders supporters at all. Most of them just think he’d make a better president. It’s only the ones who were already inclined to behave like a parody of Jeffrey Goines who are going to go scorched earth. And those types are deeply over-represented on the internets.

  81. 81
    japa21 says:

    @FlyingToaster (Tablet): I believe both candidates have been doing exactly that. Definitely Clinton and I have heard some comments form Sanders reflective of the same thinking.

    Since, however, this would tend to be a downer for the media which is trying to present the KlownKar as having some respectability, you don’t hear their comments a lot.

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Tell them to put their big girl and boy pants on. Wankers.

    Maybe they should take a page from that corporate sellout, Barack Obama. Look at what he has had to put up with, and what he has accomplished, day by day by day, whether big media wants to report [accurately] on it or not.

    @different-church-lady: Word.

  83. 83
    different-church-lady says:

    @Emma: Inverse scorched earth? Scorchenfreude?

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @different-church-lady: Heh. I just happen to be one who thinks the joke will be on us if he gets elected, and if the choice is laugh or cry I might as well laugh.

  85. 85
    Peale says:

    @Matt McIrvin: it wasn’t yet their time. In a few cycles it’s theirs for the taking if they find a candidate who is younger.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    amk says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    ‘he doesn’t personally know anybody of any ideology who likes or supports Hillary Clinton’

    right, millions who voted for her are just invisible people.

  88. 88
    rikyrah says:

    I have absolutely no sympathy. They re-elected him.

    Elections have consequences.

    …………………..

    From bad to worse for Sam Brownback’s Kansas
    03/18/16 04:39 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Not long after he made the transition from senator to governor in late 2010, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback boasted about his grand ambitions. The far-right Kansan, working with a GOP-led legislature, would cut taxes far beyond what the state could afford, in what Brownback described at the time as “a real-live experiment.”

    He was optimistic, though the Republican governor added at the time, “We’ll see how it works.”

    We sure will. In his first term, Brownback’s “experiment” led to debt downgrades, weak growth, and state finances in shambles. Perhaps the jobs picture is more heartening? Guess again. The Kansas City Star’s Yael Abouhalkah reported today on the state’s latest job numbers.
    Let this stunning news sink in: The Kansas jobs report released Friday shows the state lost another 1,900 jobs in February and now has 5,400 fewer jobs than it did one year ago.

    That’s right: The Sunflower State had a “growth” rate of negative 0.4 percent from February 2015 to February 2016, the first time that’s happened in more than five years. That negative employment rate is one of the worst in the nation.

    The same piece noted that, just a year ago during his re-election campaign, Brownback set a goal of 25,000 new jobs, per year, for a total of 100,000 new jobs in his second term. Eighteen months later, Kansas has created 1,600 jobs.

  89. 89
    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    @japa21: Clearly we need a collection of zingers for followups.

    I don’t see Democrats attacking their families.

    I don’t see any pundits trying to block me from getting the nomination.

    I don’t see our party leadership trying to block my opponent’s nomination.

    Etc.

  90. 90
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Best wishes!

  91. 91
    Linnaeus says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I wouldn’t read too much into what you’re seeing online. It’s true that there will be a subset of people on the left in America who want to “burn it all down”, but that’s been true for a long time. But that subset is pretty marginal and will continue to be so.

    The more significant trend, IMHO, is the leftward movement of the Democratic Party. Both Clinton’s and Sanders’s candidacies signal the waning of DLC-style centrism in the party. It’s been waning for some time, but now it’s quite clear: Clinton has moved away from the positions that were more widely held by Democrats 20-30 years ago and Sanders’s campaign has turned out to be more serious than anyone (probably including Sanders himself) thought. The shift is still happening, and it won’t end with Clinton, but for every Sanders supporter who can’t be brought to vote for Clinton, there are many more who will and will continue to influence the party.

  92. 92
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Seems like this is the first time a lot of the folks who voted for Jill Stein in past elections have participated in a Democratic Party primary — finally a candidate pure enough to appeal to them is participating.

    There’s definitely some of that.

    I think some of them, though, are people who already went through the disappointment cycle with Obama: they thought maybe he was pure enough, then discovered he wasn’t. Some are Obama ’08 voters who jumped to Jill Stein over the NSA and the drone war in 2012. A few are people who had given up on voting entirely, and tried to persuade other people not to vote, until they voted for Sanders in the primary. One was a Ron Paul supporter with an unclassifiable mixture of left and libertarian ideology who spent 2012 mocking liberals for thinking Obama would be a good guy just because he was black.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    @amk: You gotta remember, those poor under-informed people who vote Hillary are “others”: they’re minorities; they’re red-staters; they’re old people; they’re irrelevant, washed up feminists. They don’t count as ‘anybody’.

  94. 94
    japa21 says:

    @different-church-lady: What I am about to describe is not a quality restricted to Sanders supporters, or at least those that Matt was referring to.

    We talk a lot about the GOP living in a closed circle. But that does tend to be the mode of living for most people, specially now in the day of social media and the internet. People congregate with those with whom they share a similar viewpoint. And when you surround yourself with similar views it sometimes feels as if that is the viewpoint of the population in general.

    So a Sanders supporter who can’t imagine people really liking Clinton (as an example) ignores the fact that Clinton is trouncing Sanders in the actual voting. As pointed out a couple days ago here in a post, Clinton primary voters are probably not voting for her with their noses held. They are voting for her because they see her a s the best choice.

    As a species, humans tend to make choices based more on an emotional appeal rather than a rational, intellectual choice. Trump is a perfect example. But there are Clinton supporters who vote for her because she is a woman, and that is all that matters. That is an emotional appeal. Many Sanders supporters have an emotional reaction to his policy proposals and vote for him for that reason.

    Plus, we still live in an age where catch phrases which sound fine are more important than what a real examination of those phrases means.

    “Build a wall” has meaning to a significant portion of the Republican base. “Wall Street Lackey” gets a response from many on the left. Doesn’t matter if it is true or not. “Medicare for All” sounds nice but if examined closely enough one would see it as a horrible policy. We had a Democrat running for the State Senate on promoting “Term Limits”, which is a highly undemocratic policy, but sounds nice. She won the primary, unfortunately.

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @Matt McIrvin: “You know — morons.”

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    @Patricia Kayden: It is the hate that dare not speak its name.

  97. 97
    magurakurin says:

    @different-church-lady: I have no idea what Sanders supporters think and I dont care. I’m not responsible for their vote, they are. If they want to help elect Clinton they are most welcome. If not, so be it. The rest of us will do it without them.

  98. 98
    Paul in KY says:

    @Emma: I would be fine with a Pres. Bernie Sanders.

  99. 99
    cleek says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    and some are people who have never voted before, never thought about the political process before and have now come into the political world wide-eyed and full of the zealotry of the newly-converted. Sanders is The One! they just don’t get that other people don’t see the plainly obvious truth of Sanders’ ideas. and think that throwing themselves into the volcano is the only way forward if the world turns out to be so corrupt that it won’t agree with them.

  100. 100
    Paul in KY says:

    @magurakurin: We’re going to need every freaking vote we can get. Need the Berniacs to vote Dem in Nov.

  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …In real life, as opposed to online, I see some of the opposite: centrists who voted for Obama thinking he would be more centrist and are disappointed that he’s a feckless liberal who wouldn’t somehow meet Congress halfway to get things done. They’re the ones who say they will hold their noses and vote for Hillary, because they hate Donald Trump so much, but wish that Mitt Romney would run third-party so they could vote for him instead.

    This may be a Massachusetts thing: their theory is that the Mitt Romney who ran for governor in 2002 is the real Mitt Romney, and the Mitt Romney you saw in 2012 was just some artifact of the need to win a Republican presidential nomination, whereas a third-party run would bring the real moderate guy out.

    (I don’t believe this because I recall that Mitt Romney was already tacking hard to the right in 2004, when his governorship was basically an effort to try to keep gay marriage from happening. He was probably already running for President at that point, but even if so, the supposed real Mitt Romney was remarkably easy to shuck off.)

  102. 102
    RaflW says:

    Rich also rightly points to McCain’s pick of Palin as part of the unleashing of ‘the crazies’ as McCain disdainfully put it about Trump, with grandpa walnuts of course oblivious to his own role in the further gutterization of the GOP.

  103. 103

    Just a reminder, OBAMA IS IN CUBA.

    This should be bigger news. This can be a game-changing moment in US-Caribbean relations and a final nail in the Cold War animosity that started 50 years ago.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    @RaflW: That, unquestionably, was the moment the monster got out of the lab.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    magurakurin says:

    @Paul in KY: It’s on them. Hillary Clinton will ask them for their vote, but it remains their choice. If they decide to stay home, what are you or I supposed to do about it? Send more money to Hillary and pray,I guess.

  107. 107
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I agree with all of this except that Trump has embarrassed pollsters or the fivethirtyeight number crunchers. Bernie certainly did, in one State (Michigan), but Trump has won most of the States where he lead in the polls. If the guy leading in the polls wins, that doesn’t embarrass the pollsters. It confirms what they’re telling you. and the FiveThirtyEight guys just crunch the poll numbers, so they’re not getting embarrassed either. That a guy like Frank Rich, who is better than most of his punditry ilk, seems to be completely innumerate – unable to read or comprehend simple poll results – is a big part of our problem.

  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    centrists who voted for Obama thinking he would be more centrist and are disappointed that he’s a feckless liberal who wouldn’t somehow meet Congress halfway to get things done. They’re the ones who say they will hold their noses and vote for Hillary, because they hate Donald Trump so much, but wish that Mitt Romney would run third-party so they could vote for him instead.

    Those be “moderate Republicans.”

    Which is kind of what MSM defines as “centrists”, but I would think centrists could include Democrats as well.

    If you are pining for Mitt Romney ….

  109. 109
    Paul in KY says:

    @magurakurin: All we can do is give them our opinion that voting for the Democrat in Nov is the sane, ‘not stupid’, thing to do.

  110. 110
    danielx says:

    @different-church-lady:

    In this parlous times, it’s important to take advantage of whatever opportunities for amusement present themselves.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    It really is a high bar, especially if they’re lower income and “sporadic” and his whole argument rests on the “fact” that these are the missing white GOP voters from 2012. They’re pretty “sporadic” if they didn’t even come out to vote against Obama in 2012:

    But a new examination of the demographics and projected voting patterns in some of the key Rust Belt states underscores just how unlikely this really is. To succeed, this analysis finds, Trump would likely have to improve on Mitt Romney’s advantage over Barack Obama among blue collar whites by double digit margins, which is an astronomically high bar — in almost all of these states.

  112. 112
    magurakurin says:

    @Paul in KY: sounds like a plan. I’m gonna pray, too, just in case. ;)

  113. 113
    Aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker: i think there is a big difference between the attitudes of older prigressives and the new young berniacs for whom this is their first election, their first love affair with a candidate. The older bernie people are really angry while the younger ones are rightfully dnthusiastic. For lots of the older ines the pro bernie vote is also a revenge vote against the democratic party , the clintons, snd against bush whose sins seem to have bedn attributed to hillary just like citizens united–a law suit that was brought to destroy her and which stood for the word C*NT is seen as her fault. I hope that bernie doesnt engage in the alienation of his younger voters from the democratic process and the party because his older voters sure seem to be.

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: The ‘missing voters’ is just another lie they use to try and diminish Pres. Obama’s 2 ass whuppings.

    You know how it is, if lie A doesn’t work, just trot out lie B, lie C, etc. Doesn’t matter if they contradict each other.

  115. 115
    Paul in KY says:

    @magurakurin: Just remember, you get more flies with honey ;-)

  116. 116
    Aimai says:

    @cleek: i have to say i agree with this. The kos sanders voter is a mirror image of the evangelical missionary who believes as a matter of faith ghat the jews really know christ is lord but just stubbornly refuse to accept the obvious facts. So they shout louder, display larger billboards, encourage people to see church as a “new fsmily” so they wont be held back by their erroneous tribal loyalties.

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016: This can be a game-changing moment in US-LATIN AMERICAN relations. FTFY. The US policy on Cuba has long been a thorn in the side of people and govts thru out S & C America. All too reminiscent of our more colonial past.

  118. 118
    Emma says:

    @Paul in KY: So would I. But I also know he wouldn’t be able to be the PURE PONY PRESIDENT they want. So, I get to enjoy their suffering.

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    @Paul in KY:

    The lying compounds, too. They lied about Romney’s strength versus Obama so they needed an explanation for why the skewed polls theory didn’t pan out- that’s when the “missing white voters” theory turned up.

    It’s hard for me to imagine Clinton gets fewer low income white voters than Obama did in 2012, if we’re exclusively selecting for “whiteness”, and we seem to be using that as a determining factor.

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Aimai: Anyone who lived through the 2000 election should have enough sense to know what can happen when a bloc of voters decide to drop a grenade in the pipes. I’m confident that Bernie himself gets that, even if some of his supporters don’t.

  121. 121

    I’ve been thinking about how we’re calling the Democratic candidates by their first names this year. Clinton started that for herself, I assume to differentiate herself from Bill. But why Bernie? It feels really personal, like there’s a personal relationship between the voter and the candidate. Frankly I think getting over invested in a political candidate is a bad idea. They’re not your friend. A campaign is a job interview.

    ETA: I accept Clinton’s need to be someone other than Bill’s wife, but the use of her first name echoes the kind of minimizing women often face in the workplace. Trump calls her Hillary while he insists on being called Mr Trump.

  122. 122
    Bill says:

    @Baud: Nicolle’s insistence – and she’s said it a few times now – that Trump voters “are embracing Trump despite the racism not because of it,” is infuriating. Just the absolute worst kind of media insider spin bullshit.

  123. 123
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Aimai:

    For lots of the older ines the pro bernie vote is also a revenge vote against the democratic party , the clintons, snd against bush whose sins seem to have bedn attributed to hillary just like citizens united–a law suit that was brought to destroy her and which stood for the word C*NT is seen as her fault.

    By the way, this is something that’s been nagging me for years… I hear people saying this in various places, but is it actually true? As far as I can tell, there are two different organizations called Citizens United: a conservative organization just called Citizens United that goes back to the 1980s, and Roger Stone’s anti-Hillary “Citizens United Not Timid” thing which is just from 2008. Wikipedia claims the first Citizens United, not Stone’s, is the one that brought the suit (though it was also over an anti-Hillary show). But I also see various articles claiming the opposite.

  124. 124
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …Also, the other Citizens United sued Stone for trademark infringement.

  125. 125
    Shana says:

    At a precinct ops meeting I attended last week we were given the statistic that, here in Virginia in 2012, the number of votes Obama got over Romney statewide were almost the same as the number Obama got over Romney in Northern Virginia which is the largest Democratic area of the state. In other words, even if it seemed that Obama had Virginia locked up, without ALL the D voters in NoVA he might have lost the state.

    My week: looking forward to weighing in for my medical weight loss program on Tuesday. I hope to break 10 pounds. Wish me luck. Then Wednesday I go to a local high school where they’re having a county-wide naturalization ceremony. I’ll help register brand new citizens to vote and offer to take family pictures so that all the family members can be in the picture. Sounds like a blast.

  126. 126
    Unsympathetic says:

    The other fun of a Trump presidential campaign?

    He wouldn’t have to sell personal business interests that might be against the interests of the US. So, when he says he’ll negotiate… Yes, he will, but he’ll benefit only himself and actually make the condition worse for the very people who will vote for him.

    It’s really sad that stupid people actually think that verbal identification of a problem is precisely-the-same as implementing a workable solution to that problem.

  127. 127
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Aimai: I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, not because I thought she was more electable but simply because I think she’s outrageously more qualified than anyone else currently running.

    But I have to say I feel a lot of sympathy with the GenX-and-older progressives who are supporting Sanders out of anger. I’m still carrying a lot of personal guilt over temporarily being on board with Bush’s invasion of Iraq back in the early months of 2003 (I sometimes question whether this support removes my qualification to vote at all). At that time, over that very important issue, the crazy radical leftists, dreamers and socialists who wanted to burn down the system were all right, and the very serious Democrats like the Clintons and John Kerry were all wrong. Furthermore, the radicals had a persuasive argument that their position had been obviously right and anyone who wasn’t with them was being completely irrational. And it made me resolve to listen to left radicals from then on, even if they sounded crazy.

    In 2008 it was refreshing being able to vote for someone who had actually been against it all along. Going back to voting for someone who was for it… that was rough. I did have misgivings.

  128. 128
    NonyNony says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I actually refuse to call any candidate I take seriously by their first names. The only candidates I will use first names for are candidates I intend to trivialize – and even then it’s not a hard and fast rule. So I’ll talk about Jeb! and Mittens and Rand and W (which isn’t a first name but is a familiar name) but it’s almost always McCain and Palin and Trump and Rubio despite having as much contempt for them as I do for the other three. I will occasionally talk about “The Donald” I guess – that’s kind of like using his first name. And I did start calling Rubio “Little Marco” for a while there.

    On the Dem side I try to always talk about Clinton and Sanders rather than Hillary and Bernie. Clinton does get tough because because of Bill, but I try to use Bill to disambiguate instead of Hillary – or go with the HRC if I must on the Internet (though that doesn’t really work in conversation). For me being overly familiar with a politician is a sign that I’m either mocking them or that they’re my friend. I don’t have contempt for either Clinton or Sanders but I don’t delude myself into thinking that they’re my friends either. So they get the last name treatment.

  129. 129
    Original Lee says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016: Pilot friends of mine are demanding that Obama use his mojo NOW to extradite the guys who shot down their buddies, and they’ll be very angry about the new detente with Cuba if it doesn’t happen very soon. They are not reasonable about it at all. I suspect a lot of Cubans who ran away from the Batista regime feel the same way. Maybe the media is so busy trying to duct-tape the Republican Party to survive through the convention that they don’t want to add the extra centrifugal force from making a big deal of Cuba.

  130. 130

    @NonyNony: That’s what I do too, as much as I can.

  131. 131
    Aimai says:

    @Matt McIrvin: no the lawsuit was brought by roger stones citizens united. To be able to run an anti hillary movie without running afoul of campaign finance laws.

  132. 132
    Calouste says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    the FiveThirtyEight guys just crunch the poll numbers, so they’re not getting embarrassed either.

    You haven’t actually read FiveThirtyEight in the last 8 months or so, have you? Nate Silver definitely wasn’t “just crunching the numbers” when it came to Trump, and he was getting quite embarrassing with statements along the line that even though Trump had been leading most national and early primary polls for 4 months straight, he actually had less of a chance to win the nomination than a number of other candidates.

  133. 133
    Aimai says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I excoriated kerry for his vote at the time. But i still voted for him and thought he would be an excellent president. I remember looking around at the big new york city anti war rally snd being really angry there were no top dems to dpeak at the rally. To my mind hillary snd schumer should have been there. But, at the same time, i dint think all politucal negotiations hsppen in public and i see the AUMF vote more in the light of a ddlaying tactic by the Senate. I think it was, in their mind, a legitimate snd possible means of slowing the invasion during which time internstionsl institutions might have prevented war.

    At any rate there is no new din–imperialism and blood are our original sin. As well refuse to vote for the dems and civil rights because of LBJ and vietnam.

  134. 134
  135. 135
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Agree that Hillary should do better in that demographic. Also agree with your other points, Kay.

  136. 136
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill: There’s another one of those lies!

  137. 137
    Paul in KY says:

    @Original Lee: I expect us to lose the ex-Cuban expatriate pilot vote.

  138. 138
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Shana: On Election Night in both 2008 and 2012, it seemed like McCain or Romney was leading early in Virginia because Fairfax County reported relatively late.

    Being from NoVa, I knew enough to wait. Though when I lived there, my end of the county was still very white and conservative.

  139. 139
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Calouste: Guilty as charged. I haven’t been reading FiveThirtyEight. I have been reading the polls and they’ve had Trump leading throughout. I don’t know what’s going on with FiveThirtyEight but that is pretty embarrassing for them. The pollsters though, they’ve generally been right. Trump leads in polls, Trump wins at polls. Sure, the polls have been wrong here and there but generally they’ve been right.

  140. 140
    catclub says:

    @MattF:

    And yeah– racism, xenophobia, chauvinism, misogyny, violence– yadda, yadda.

    Amongst our weaponry are: Fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical dedication to the Pope. I’ll come in again.

  141. 141
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Calouste: Even Sam Wang seemed to be reaching for reasons to say that Trump was fading toward the end of the summer. But he came around a lot quicker than Nate Silver. These days he’s amusing himself by running baroque scenarios for the Republicans to force a contested convention, but he thinks any scenario in which Trump actually does not get nominated is pretty improbable.

  142. 142
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Shana:

    yay for you on all counts!

  143. 143
    LAO says:

    Ignore if some one already linked to, but Charles Pierce hits it out of the park. (AGAIN)

  144. 144
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    It’s hard for me to imagine Clinton gets fewer low income white voters than Obama did in 2012, if we’re exclusively selecting for “whiteness”, and we seem to be using that as a determining factor.

    Me too. I just don’t see it.

  145. 145
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    If you want to, you can even break it down further. Obama did better with younger and female lower income white voters, while Romney did better with older and male. The low income white old/young split on “social issues” is kind of interesting- younger are less religious and less narrow on social issues, which may be more of a “young” thing than a “low income white” thing.

    I actually see that here.

  146. 146
    Alex in NYC says:

    Love the hyperlink on just “Trump voters don’t read” — well done!!!

  147. 147
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek:

    …and think that throwing themselves other people into the volcano is the only way forward if the world turns out to be so corrupt that it won’t agree with them.

    FTFY.

  148. 148
    Tones says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: the Huntignton Library and botanical gardens would be worth it at twice the price – do that one for sure

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