Late Night Open Thread: The Blind Elephants & The Donald

We take our parables where we can grope to find them. Roy Edroso, at Alicublog, spots dependable puke funnel Ross Doubthat edging towards a Hindenbergian acceptance of Trump. With his popularity among the lumpenproletariat, Ross fantasizes, The Donald could reform conservatism, just as Ross and his ideological allies have longingly imagined! Edroso, of course, is more cynical:

…[T]he “reformcons” Douthat endorses are more con than reform — a bunch of pencil-necked repackagers of Gilded Age philosophy, looking for jobs in the upcoming GOP Bureau of Bold New Boondoggles. I can appreciate, from a comedy perspective, blinkered and hubristic social policy wonks as well as much as the next fellow — but to see them holding up a broken chair and cracking a licorice whip against a charismatic buffoon bully-boy, and imagining that they’re the ones in control, strikes me as a formula for disaster.

Or then again, maybe Trump’s the human Mirror of Erised. At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf sought input on why “Donald Trump supporters… believe that the billionaire real-estate developer will treat them any better than the career politicians they mistrust.” The result so overwhelmed him (“Many of the responses contained so many rationales that summing them up proved impossible”) that he put online no fewer than thirty different letters, each one similar only in their Erisian glee. Trump is an anarchist’s dream, a moderate compromiser, a “corrective to America’s cultural pathologies“, a successful leader, the anti-Obama. He is large, he contains multitudes!

And if all there is in this world is lulz, why not choose a trickster for your champion?

The Trumping Of Compassion

As The Donald keeps saying, “We gotta take our country back.”

The homeless man was lying on the ground, shaking, when police arrived early Wednesday. His face was soaked, apparently with urine, his nose broken, his chest and arms battered.

Police said two brothers from South Boston ambushed the 58-year-old as he slept outside of a Dorchester MBTA stop, and targeted him because he is Hispanic. One of the brothers said he was inspired in part by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

This will end well.

Trump, told of the alleged assault, said “it would be a shame . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

Other “passionate” things include rabid wolverines, angry mobs, and racist beatings administered by a couple of assholes from Southie.

Alerted by witnesses, troopers arrested the brothers, and said the men continued to be disorderly in custody. Steve Leader allegedly urinated on his cell door, and both brothers allegedly made threats to staff members.

Police said Scott Leader, 38, told them it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless.

Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” he allegedly told the police.

Whether or not you think Trump is a colossal cosmic joke inflicted on the body politic, the hatred he’s stoking is very real, and has very real consequences.  This is apparently what Trump’s campaign is inspiring in some people, and I’m only surprised that it took this long to manifest.

“Making America greatly racist again” is a hell of a campaign slogan, Donny.

Open Thread: Winners & Losers

You’d think some of the Repub ratfvckers and dog-whistlers would at least remember a few lines from the first part of that book they talk about loving so much… like, for instance, Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling. From the numbers guy at the Washington Post, “We Can Now Name the Winner of the GOP Debate…“:

Fox News released the results of the first major-outlet national poll since the first Republican debate three months two weeks ago. Comparing those results to the Fox poll released immediately before the debate, we can, as objectively as possible, declare a winner: Ben Carson, who saw a five-point jump in the polls — a 71 percent increase over where he was two weeks ago…

Trump essentially held steady. Don’t read too much into a one-point drop, given the margin of error here and the fact that these numbers are rounded. Trump certainly didn’t see a gain, though. Is this his peak? Who knows anymore. But feel free to read things into Jeb Bush’s change: He dropped six points — and three spots in the ranking.

Over time, Bush has gone from the consistent leader to part of the second-tier pack. Scott Walker also dropped a fair amount and is now in the third tier, which Fiorina has just joined. (Marco Rubio and John Kasich, whose debate performances were generally praised, basically didn’t move.)

In total, 42 percent of the support from Republican voters went to people who have never held elected office: Trump, Fiorina and Carson. Feel free to read into that, too.

What I’m reading, as a cynical Democrat, is that Fox has convinced its Repub-base watchers that government is just another crappy reality show, so they might as well vote for the gaudiest bloviator on the dais. The sercon Establishment picks eroded their perceived support, the niche candidates didn’t impress anyone who wasn’t already enamored of them, and the winner was that nice quiet doctor man who was just different enough, for some reason, that those half-watching while they did other stuff remembered his name when the pollsters called.
Apart from being cruelly cynical about almost half the American voting public, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Just A Slob Like Some Of Us

The only thing better than Donald Trump is people who go on the teevee to tell people how rich and classy and yooge Donald Trump is.

Donald Trump supporter Terra Compton Grant explained to CNN that the GOP presidential candidate’s plan to deport up to 20 million undocumented immigrants was a way to provide more jobs for whites “and some of the blacks.”

Over the weekend, Trump released details of his plan, which would make Mexico pay for a wall along the southern border, end birthright citizenship, and it would triple the ICE budget to forcefully deport all undocumented immigrants in the country.

On Monday, Grant told CNN host Carol Costello that she agreed with Trump’s plan even if it was not clear how he was going to pay for all of it.

“We’ve got to get a border, we’ve got to get a wall,” Grant insisted. “We have a lot of illegal immigrants that come into this country, they work illegally, they make American money, and then they send it back to Mexico to support their family. So, that money is going back to Mexico. So, the money is there to make that happen.”

According to Grant, Trump’s heart and mind were “in the right place.”

I really do, I love the plan,” she continued. “I love the idea that, hey, let’s get some of these illegal immigrants out of the country, let’s get them out of here so maybe more whites who have not been able to acquire jobs, maybe they can get into jobs [and] some of the blacks.

Grant added that she had a “good friend” who was deported but Facebook allowed them to stay in touch.

Dog whistle racism is simply too subtle in 2015.  What we need is Disaster Area concert racism.

The yoogest, classiest racism ever.  Very big.

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.