Monday Morning Open Thread: Everything’s Political

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Speaking of cartoon animals, when did Joe Scarborough fall out of love with Trump? From the Washington Post, “Donald Trump’s Chicago scam”:

… Has anyone noticed that Trump’s campaign now regularly stages media events designed to eclipse any negative coverage that predictably follows Republican debates?…

When news broke early Friday night that the Chicago rally had been cancelled because of safety fears, you didn’t need to be a programming genius to predict what would be jamming America’s airwaves for the rest of the night. And for the next four hours, the candidate who is promising to weaken libel laws spoke on cable news channels about how his First Amendment rights were being violated. He was doing all of this while reaching a far larger audience than he could have ever done while actually speaking at a rally…

The rally was cancelled, we were told, because law enforcement officials consulted with the campaign and concluded that scrubbing the event was in the best interest of public safety. One problem: The Chicago Police Department said that never actually happened.

And if you find that curious, perhaps you will find it even more interesting that a political campaign whose security has been so stifling as to draw angry comparisons to fascist regimes would plan a key rally for Trump in the middle of a racially diverse urban campus. The fact that that campus sits in the middle of a city that is so Democratic that it has not elected a Republican mayor since before Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as president makes the venue’s selection even more bizarre.

Following the rally’s cancellation, Trump supporters expressed surprise at the number of protesters that were filling the lines and streaming into the event on a campus that is 25 percent Hispanic, 25 percent Asian and 8 percent black. William Daley, the son of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, did not share that surprise. “Whoever picked that location knew what they were doing as far as poking that sleeping dog there,” Daley suggested to the New York Times that the venue was staged for the purpose of provoking protests that would energize Trump’s own supporters…

Apart from the neverending circus, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?

Open Thread: Not Much Daylight Between Trump & Cruz

Meanwhile, per the NYTimes:

BALLWIN, Mo. — A brief accounting of Senator Ted Cruz’s arguments against Donald J. Trump on Friday evening:

— He “affirmatively encourages violence.”

— He “disrespects the voters.”

— His campaign is “facing allegations of physical violence” against a reporter.

— He has created an environment that all but ensures future clashes.

And so, Mr. Cruz was asked on Saturday morning, can you still support Mr. Trump if he is the Republican nominee?

“My answer is the same: I committed at the outset,” Mr. Cruz told reporters, before a rally inside a high school gymnasium here. “I will support the Republican nominee, whoever it is.”

On Saturday, when asked again about Chicago, Mr. Cruz began by criticizing “protesters that resort to violence” in a bid to “silence speech that they don’t like.”…

Asked again to explain the prospect of eventually supporting Mr. Trump anyway, Mr. Cruz walked away to begin his rally.

Yeah, Cruz would accept Trump’s VP offer in a heartbeat. A racing, accelerated heartbeat:

Good Luck with Your Asparagus

asparagus In the future, the fatuous neocon twits who make a living stoking working class racial resentments and ginning up religious hysteria in the service of lower corporate taxes and industrial deregulation will probably be called “Romney Republicans.” A moniker will be required to divide “respectable” Republicans from the Trumpean rabble, and maybe they’ll settle on that name.

But all post-Eisenhower Republicans consciously exploited dangerous racial and social fault lines so they could loot the national treasury on behalf of the wealthy and connected. There’s nothing respectable about using that cheap bit of misdirection. They couldn’t sell bullshit like “trickle-down economics” on its non-existent merits, so they sold downscale white folks an endless line of ooga-booga instead.

But now Trump is telling the rubes they can have dessert without eating their vegetables, and he’s expanded the menu to include new villains, such as job-offshorers and lying establishment politicians. And why would anyone gnash down “profits for me and parsimony for thee” when they can skip directly to dessert and openly (and literally) bash minorities, gays, uppity women, Muslims, etc., while having their economic pain validated?

Stung by Trump’s success in separating them from their meal tickets, some in the Romney wing are unsparing in their criticism of a once-prized constituent segment. Via valued commenter Arm the Homeless, here’s a sample of the primal scream of one such specimen, The National Review’s Kevin Williamson:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. The white American under-class is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul. If you want to live, get out of Garbutt [a blue-collar town in New York].

I think “the whelping of human children” is my favorite line. I’m trying (and failing) to recall a time when a prominent conservative writer expressed that level of contempt for fellow white Republicans. It doesn’t seem like a good strategy. Maybe smarter neo-cons will try to co-opt Trump. For all his railing about trade and theatrical rage at companies that offshore jobs, Trump’s tax plan and healthcare schemes are hardly distinguishable from those of, say, Paul Ryan.

I don’t rule out the possibility that a racist demagogue like Trump could win the presidency, but, in the absence of a cataclysmic event like a Paris-style terror attack or sharp economic downturn between now and November, I think it’s unlikely. Still, now that the power of Trumpism has been demonstrated at scale, it won’t go away. Romney Republicans will have to come up with a better answer than “move,” or their wind-up Marcos will keep losing to the Trumps. And that won’t be good for business.

On Donald Trump (Not) Appearing in Chicago

You know what also struck me about Maddow’s timeline clips? The longer he’s on the trail, the hoarser and puffier and more exhausted Trump looks. For all his braggadocio, Trump doesn’t look like a well man.

For further discussion:

Friday Morning Open Thread: Low Bar

While on the other side of the argument…

I’m gonna quote one of those candidates, too: “We win. They lose. That’s my strategy.”
Apart from the running #facepalm tally, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up a long ragged week?