GOP Venality Open Thread: If Only There Was Some Agency!...

… Or if Leader McConnell allowed us any!…

Romney of the Uncanny Valley, peak functionality.








Weak Man, Tough Talk

As you’ve no doubt heard, the Short-Fingered Vulgarian announced a plan to round up “millions” of undocumented immigrants via tweet last night:

This was news to ICE, according to The Post:

U.S. officials with knowledge of the preparations have said in recent days that the operation was not imminent, and ICE officials said late Monday night that they were not aware that the president planned to divulge their enforcement plans on Twitter.

I’d rather gouge out my eyes with a melon baller than watch Trump’s klan rally/2020 campaign launch from Orlando tonight, but I’d bet my next paycheck that anti-immigrant demagoguery will feature prominently in the evening’s bellowing. We’ve seen this movie before. Trump will make stupid accordion gestures with his tiny mitts and leer, snarl, strut and lie in an attempt to sound tough. The rage-fart huffers of Cult45 will stomp and hoot in approval.

But whenever Trump cranks up the bigotry, it’s a sign of weakness. Greg Sargent at The Post has it exactly right:

It has never been clear whether Trump acknowledges any political downside to his immigration cruelties and all around border-related impulsiveness. He appears to refuse to accept that they helped Democrats win a large national majority in the 2018 House races. He appears certain — outwardly, at least — that in 2020, this focus will energize his core supporters by enough to tip the electoral college, due to disproportionate numbers of blue-collar whites in the Rust Belt.

But the backdrop to all this is that the Trump campaign is firing several pollsters, because internal data leaked revealing Trump as deeply vulnerable to losing reelection — including trailing in Rust Belt states.

Trump still enjoys the advantages of incumbency and the good economy. But if his immigration agenda in particular is helping boost his reelection chances in those places, there’s no sign of it yet. Until that changes, this threat of mass arrests looks more than anything else like doubling down on a failing strategy — both substantively and politically.

In addition to firing up racist, xenophobic base voters, mean-spirited immigrant bashing frightens squishy Republican Never Trumpers like Andrew Sullivan and David Frum, who are urging Democrats to take a harder line on immigration — despite being immigrants themselves. Remind me again why we should listen to those assholes? Oh right, we shouldn’t — fuck them.

Candidates Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke have compassionate, comprehensive immigration proposals. Even if neither man makes it to the ticket, it’s my hope that their proposals gain support in the primary, just as I hope many of Warren’s economic policies become part of the Democratic Party platform in 2020, even if she’s not the nominee.

Outside of Trump’s rabid, dwindling base, cruelty doesn’t play well. But Trump is going to double, triple, and quadruple down on immigrant-bashing from tonight on through election day — not because he’s strong, but because he’s weak.

That means we’ll have to stay strong, because friends, shit’s about to get even uglier. This may be a good time to reach out to immigrants in your life who are understandably anxious about the climate in this country and let them know you stand with them.








Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Graphically Terrible

(Rubes via GoComics.com)
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Hey, the worst we have to worry about is Handsy Uncle Joe, an ‘independent’ who’s leaking support, and approximately a bakers dozen of disgruntled white dudes who can’t get traction. The Repubs are stuck with the Squatter-in-Chief, the half-bright diehards at the core of his personality cult, and the uncertain mercies of foreign oligarchs…

As President Trump prepares to formally launch his reelection bid Tuesday, his allies are trying to tamp down headlines that depict his campaign as trailing top Democrats, beset by withering leaks and unable to keep internal tensions from spilling into public view.

The 2020 drama intensified over the weekend, as Trump’s campaign abruptly fired three of its pollsters, including one polling firm formerly owned by Kellyanne Conway, the president’s adviser and former campaign manager.

Privately and publicly, campaign advisers fumed over the leak of internal polling data that showed Trump far behind former vice president Joe Biden in key states — a pattern that has touched a nerve with the president…

While an economy with low unemployment and steady growth would normally be a solid tail wind for an incumbent president, the Trump campaign is facing signs of a tough path to reelection.

The 17-state poll conducted by the campaign in March, for example, showed Trump trailing Biden by double digits in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, ABC reported Friday. Trump’s approval rating has also been stuck around the 40 percent mark throughout his term…

(Walt Handelsman via GoComics.com)
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On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

 

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

 

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Late Night Open Thread: Picking the GOP Nominee

Speaking of survivors from a distant past…

Instead of arena rallies, most of Weld’s weeks are filled with little-noticed trips to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, where he stops by diners and living rooms to meet with voters who might remember him from when he was a neighboring governor in the 1990s.

Other weeks are dotted with meetings and television appearances — he was on MSNBC on Sunday morning — where he has won occasional attention for his scathing criticism of Trump, but little else…

The president’s backers have ignored or mocked Weld since he announced his campaign in April, calling the Harvard lawyer — who can trace his family’s roots to the Pilgrims — “nothing more than a delusional elitist.” That view is shared in the West Wing, according to several Trump advisers, with Weld dismissed as a speck of lint on a black-tie tuxedo.

Weld is a particular type of Republican: a New England moderate who once had stable footing in the GOP but has all but disappeared in the party’s upper ranks. He is measured in temperament, advocates for strong ties with traditional U.S. allies, and is socially liberal. Weld supports abortion rights, and he was elected governor in 1990 and 1994 with the support of Republicans like President George H.W. Bush…

Despite the daunting odds and dynamics, Weld nonetheless remains cheery about his cause. At age 73 — and after a long and winding political career that has included a stint as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2016 — he is happy these days to provide like-minded Republicans with an option.

And he is hopeful that, perhaps later this year, he’ll somehow find himself in the political spotlight and be given a chance to lift his campaign’s status from quixotic to competitive, at least in New Hampshire, which has given a boost to past challengers of incumbent presidents — and has an open primary where independent voters can vote in party contests.

“When I go around New Hampshire and mention Mr. Trump’s name to people, I get frowns and thumbs down in response, these long faces,” Weld said, calling such exchanges encouraging. “But I know it’s going to be a long haul.”…