I’ll try to love again but I know

What I like best about politics is the abject idiocy of commentators. I think modern civilization is so smug, so proud of its liberal democracies and its scientific method. People think we’re smarter and better than our illiterate cave people ancestors, but we’re not, and the best proof of this is the writing of Peggy Noonan. Will this column the day before the 2012 election ever be surpassed?

Who knows what to make of the weighting of the polls and the assumptions as to who will vote? Who knows the depth and breadth of each party’s turnout efforts? Among the wisest words spoken this cycle were by John Dickerson of CBS News and Slate, who said, in a conversation the night before the last presidential debate, that he thought maybe the American people were quietly cooking something up, something we don’t know about.

I think they are and I think it’s this: a Romney win.


All the vibrations are right…


One of the Romney campaign’s surrogates, who appeared at a rally with him the other night, spoke of the intensity and joy of the crowd “I worked the rope line, people wouldn’t let go of my hand.” It startled him.


But he (Obama) is still trying to fire up the base when he ought to be wooing the center and speaking their calm centrist talk. His crowds haven’t been big.

Will we ever see political punditry this bad again, now that we live in a Sam Wang/Nate Silver world? You can talk about H. A. Goodman but he writes for HuffPost so that’s like talking about Herschel Walker’s USFL records. Peggy Noonan is famous and has been talked up for a Pulitzer. You might say that in terms of pure volume, Megan McArdle produces more words of stupidity than Noonan, but she’s working in a medium that allows longer articles. It’s like comparing Sadaharu Oh to Babe Ruth.

Is there anyone out there who’s going to challenge Noona’s record? I can see Frank Bruni making a run at it, but he seems like the clean-and-sober type. Theres no way that Noonan could have done what she did without performance-enhancers like vodka.

Nothing changes New Year’s day

I’ve read a bunch of stupid articles recently, many of them by conservatives, about how the GOP will change after this election, assuming Trump loses.

Really? Now, I don’t blame conservatives for hoping that this will happen, but it’s ridiculous to think that it will. Trump is popular with their base. We will get four more years of obstruction along with all kinds of ridiculous investigations of Hillary Clinton. And the media reaction will be a combination of cheering the Republicans on and saying both sides do it, with the occasional reference to Robert Bork and Ronnie n’ Tip thrown in. The GOP will become a little bit whiter and a little bit older, and their long-term prospects will become a little bit worse, but the GOP becoming a reality-base party is about as likely as Morning Joe becoming a reality-based show.

That’s just the world we live in. There’s not a damn thing we can do about it except keep electing Democrats. I do agree with Atrios that a Hillary victory will make Washington a little less wired for Republican control:

I’ve long held the belief that Dems needed 3 consecutive terms in the executive branch to rebalance certain things that had gone a bit off kilter since the Nixon era. I stand by that, though I’m a bit less optimistic about how much that will ultimately help. The Blob, the Deep State, and various other bipartisany elements of the permanent floating Washington power class aren’t going to budge too much. Still if the most we can hope for is to nudge things one way or another, better one way than the other.

We’re lucky, really lucky, to have candidates like Hillary and Obama, who understand that politics today (maybe always, I don’t for sure) is a long painful slog.

Hard Out There for a Pimp


So the much awaited evidence from Team Trump that Pence promised this morning would debunk the sexual assault claims has dropped in the form of an interview in the NY Post. And no. This is not made up or the Onion:

Donald Trump’s campaign says a British man is countering claims that the GOP presidential nominee groped a woman on a cross-country flight more than three decades ago.

The man says he was sitting across from the accuser and contacted the Trump campaign because he was incensed by her account — which is at odds with what he witnessed.

“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The Post by the Trump campaign.

In an exclusive interview arranged by the campaign, Gilberthorpe said he was on the flight — in either 1980 or 1981— where Jessica Leeds claimed Trump groped her.


Indeed, Gilberthorpe claimed, Leeds was “trying too hard” in her attempt to win Trump over.

“She wanted to marry him,” Gilberthorpe said of Leeds, who apparently made the confession when Trump excused himself and went to the bathroom.

There was no kissing, but the “shrill” Leeds was “very much in your face” with the real estate developer.

Not only did Trump not grope the woman, but she wanted HIM. But wait, it gets better, and by better I mean OMFG WAY WORSE I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS SHIT BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT MAKE IT UP:

Gilberthorpe made headlines in 2014, when he went public with a claim that as a 17-year-old he procured boys (some who “could have been” underage”) for sex parties with high-ranking British politicians.

Gilberthorpe has no evidence to back up his claim — just his self-described excellent memory.

“What she said about Trump is wrong,” he told The Post. “I mean, no decent human being could sit by and have a woman go on television and tell the United States of America — accuse an individual of sexually molesting. It’s wrong for Trump, it’s wrong for me. But you know something else? It’s wrong for the American people,” he said.

You, sir, are no decent human being, so stop speaking for us.

If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel

My favorite wingnut response to the Trump tape is “it’s no different than what you hear in hip-hop”.

I have to ask: are there really that many hip-hop songs that you might hear on the radio that condone sexual assault? I can’t think of any except maybe that one line from “Hypnotize”.
I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind here, and I’m sure there are all kinds of awful hip-hop lyrics out there somewhere, but I doubt there’s many middle-aged political operatives and national political reporters who have sung along with such lyrics recently. Am I wrong?

I racked my brain to think of a line from any song of any kind in any genre I’ve ever heard on the radio that feels similar to Trump’s comments, and the best I can do is the title for this post. (Some of you will say “Baby It’s Cold Outside” but I maintain it was just a very strong drink.)

It seems to me the winger assumption here is that since many hip-hop artists are black, it must be that all hip-hop is about sexual assault.

Caught on tape

Here’s the video of Trump that mistermix mentioned.

Out of the past

One of my all-time favorite Balloon Juice threads was this one, especially this comment. The picture of the kid it’s about is gone but I found it again on the internet. DennisLennox

There are many who say that this is not the most important issue in the world, but what’s up with wing nut “media” types wearing multiple shirts? Here’s new Trump campaign manager Stephen Bannon.download

Late Night Open Thread: NRA “Share the Safety” Is A Hoax

For which small blessing, many thanks. The NRA has stretched Poe’s Law so badly out of shape, I wasn’t actually sure until Snopes.com weighed in. Here’s the Buzzfeed story from last night:

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday said an elaborate online campaign under its name to give away guns in “at-risk neighborhoods” to “increase the safety” is a hoax.

Complete with a website, press releases, a social media presence, and even spokesman to take media calls, the campaign fooled many online. But the website appears to be an elaborate hoax that copied the fonts and layout of the NRA’s website for the ruse…

The campaign encourages people to purchase a handgun online, then pick a high-crime neighborhood to which another gun will be delivered to “make an underprivileged American safer, while treating yourself to that Smith & Wesson you’ve always dreamt of.”

Whoever it is appeared to have gone to great lengths, and time, to make the campaign look legitimate.

Twitter and Facebook accounts connected to the campaign appeared to have been active for weeks, posting and retweeting gun rights content…

Bettina Chang, at Chicago Magazine:

So, who put all this time into the fake campaign? A cursory search shows that the owner of the ShareTheSafety.org domain name used a privacy blocker to hide their identity. The same goes for NRApress.org, the dummy site where the press release was first posted. (Official NRA websites are registered directly to the National Rifle Association HQ.) Most of the links on the site direct back to real NRA websites, and all the contact email addresses on the site are linked to the ShareTheSafety.org domain.

I called the phone number listed on the press release, and oddly enough, a real human person answered the phone claiming to be “Hensley Cocker,” the self-proclaimed Program Director (“capital P, capital D”) of Share Your Safety and supposed NRA member. In the ensuing 11-minute call, he 100 percent adhered to the conceit of the hoax, claiming the program started two years ago, and detailing how they were inspired by the “activism regarding shootings of unarmed African Americans,” as well as Sandy Hook, TOMS Shoes, and Warby Parker.

When I informed him of the NRA’s vehement denials that his program was affiliated with the national organization, “Cocker” said it was disappointing and confusing. He claimed it was because of a schism in the NRA that had been bubbling up between those who supported Colt or Smith & Wesson. He even quoted Wayne LaPierre’s famous line about law enforcement being “jack-booted thugs.” Finally he claimed a protester was disturbing his launch event at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and excused himself from the call.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker denied everything he said. “This is just a complete hoax,” she said. “There is absolutely no affiliation with the NRA.” She outright laughed at the claim of a schism within the NRA between the two gun brands, and she said the name “Hensley Cocker” didn’t ring any bells and that he had no affiliation with the group…

This may leave you with a question: Is it legal to give away a gun for free? Yes. Yes, it is.

I gotta admit, whatever his goals, ‘Hensley Cocker’ nicely jigsawed a very convincing mixture of all-American self-righteousness, well-meant-but-ill-thought-out generosity, and dogwhistled racism.