Open Thread: “Establishment” GOP Has A Cunning Plan…

Nate Cohn, in the NYTimes, says “The G.O.P. Establishment Has a Big New Hampshire Problem“:

The last two Republican presidential primary contests have followed the same script: A conservative candidate wins in Iowa, a relative moderate wins in New Hampshire, and the latter — with broader appeal and all of the establishment’s resources — outlasts the former in a protracted fight for the nomination.

But so far this cycle, New Hampshire’s voters aren’t playing along. Donald Trump has led every poll in New Hampshire since June. Candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have struggled to get out of the single digits.

The weakness of mainstream candidates in New Hampshire poses a big challenge for the party’s beleaguered establishment. If a candidate acceptable to the party can’t win New Hampshire or Iowa, the G.O.P. will face a bleak choice: undertake the daunting and expensive task of mounting a come-from-behind effort, or grudgingly acquiesce to a candidate it really doesn’t want, like Ted Cruz, but who may be better than someone it can never accept, like Mr. Trump….

How is Mr. Trump doing so well? He’s drawing on many moderate and secular voters who haven’t supported the anti-establishment but usually religious candidates who have fared well in Iowa. The same pattern emerges in national polls, which often show Mr. Trump faring best among self-described moderates…

No worries, reports the Wall Street Journal — “GOP Operative Plans ‘Guerrilla Campaign’ Against Donald Trump“:

The Republican establishment, increasingly alarmed by the enduring strength of Donald Trump’s presidential bid, is ratcheting up efforts to knock him out of the race, including the first attempt to unite donors from rival camps into a single anti-Trump force.

A well-connected GOP operative is planning a “guerrilla campaign” backed by secret donors to “defeat and destroy” the celebrity businessman’s candidacy, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal

… The sense of urgency has mounted in part because Mr. Trump continues at or near the top of GOP polls, even after many predicted that the Paris terror attacks would lead voters to turn to a more seasoned candidate.

The most concerted effort is Trump Card LLC, the self-styled guerrilla campaign being launched by Liz Mair, the former online communications director of the Republican National Committee.

“In the absence of our efforts, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to implode or be forced out of the race,” according to the Trump Card memo. “The stark reality is that unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president.”

Opposition research, grass-roots organizing and donor outreach has been going on for weeks, Ms. Mair said, while declining to name any backers. “It’s loosely organized and highly confidential,” she said. “I certainly know donors who are very happy that their fingerprints will be kept off things.”…

Ms. Mair, who has ties to the libertarian movement and the GOP establishment, said that donors backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Mr. Kasich and Mr. Bush are interested, and that some worry that going public could hurt their candidate…

…[P]ossible tactics include fake pro-Trump ads that show him supporting socialized medicine, seizing property through eminent domain and taking other positions that stray from GOP orthodoxy; using a Trump impersonator to show him insulting people; and attacking his business record in “stark, nasty terms.”

The goal, according to the memo, isn’t to convert Mr. Trump’s supporters into backing other candidates, but to dissuade them from voting altogether, especially in New Hampshire’s influential first-in-the-nation primary…

My emphases. If you have a dim memory of reading about Liz Mair in the not-too-distant past, she was the hip young digital strategist hastily sin-binned by Scott Walker’s campaign for WrongThink:

… “In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair wrote of a January event hosted by conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), according to the Associated Press. “The sooner we remove Iowa’s front-running status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”…

So, she’s not in the business to be loved, obviously. Whether she and her “donors” can actually do much to kneecap Donald “Il Douche” Trump… well, The Hairpiece would certainly be a high-value trophy for an oppo-research firm with no ethics, assuming that last clause isn’t redundant.








Open Thread: The Tire Rims and Anthrax Candidate!

There’s a lot of American voters who just want to blow up the world, per Reuters:

American voters are evenly split between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as their top choice to address the issue of terrorism following the Paris attacks, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Asked to choose from the entire field of 2016 presidential hopefuls, 20 percent of 1,106 respondents surveyed between Nov. 16-17 opted for Trump. An equal share of the electorate picked Clinton.(polling.reuters.com/#!poll/TM743Y15)

Given Clinton’s background as a former secretary of state it is perhaps not surprising that she did reasonably well in the poll. However, Trump’s good showing upends an emerging narrative that the Paris shootings and suicide bombings would prompt voters to rethink their support for the real estate billionaire, who leads the field of Republican presidential candidates…

Glenn Matlosz, 71, of Audubon, New Jersey, said Trump would be the most able to address terrorism because he’s proven to be a straight talker.

“He’s telling it as it is,” said Matlosz, who describes himself as a Democrat. “He’s not mincing any words. There is no gobbledygook there. Everybody else is squawking.”…

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said voters respond to candidates they perceive as taking a tough stance and aren’t necessarily looking at their biographies…

Trump is talking broadly about his approach instead of bogging voters down with details, said Republican strategist John Feehery.

“He’s the one who is speaking in the simplest language that is most understandable to the average voter,” Feehery said. “He’s not talking about ‘no-fly’ zones. He’s not getting into policy. He’s talking about, ‘Lets go kill ISIS.'”…

Translation: And the permanent Republican “establishment” is totally fine with an ignorant loudmouth whose solution to every world problem is YELL ABOUT BLOWING STUFF UP….

Jenna Johnson, reporting for the Washington Post:

WORCESTER, Mass. — As police officers escorted a shouting protester out of the rally Donald Trump held in a converted ice hockey arena on Wednesday night, the crowd of 10,500 held up their cellphone cameras, booed and then chanted: “USA! USA! USA!”

“Isn’t a Trump rally much more exciting than these other ones?” the presidential candidate marveled as he took in the scene. “And that kind of stuff only adds to the excitement, I tell you. Just incredible.”…

During a press conference before the rally, reporters pressed Trump to explain why he continues to say President Obama plans to resettle 250,000 Syrian refugees in the United States even though the administration has only publicly committed to accepting 10,000. Trump said his larger number comes from a “pretty good source” and is likely accurate because he has correctly predicted a number of other foreign events, including the rise of Osama bin Laden.

“You watch,” he said, “I’ll be right.”

Trump once again cursed as he described what he would do as president to Islamic State terrorists: “We’ve got to knock the s— out of these people. We’ve got to do it. We’ve got to do it.” The crowd once again began chanting: “USA! USA! USA!”…

And Trump continued to warn his supporters that these terrorists could use the Internet as a weapon.

“They’re using the Internet, and they’re recruiting people,” Trump said. “We’ve got to take back the Internet because they are taking people. They’re literally brainwashing people. They’re brainwashing our youth… We can’t let that happen. We have innocent youth, and they are misguided.”… Read more








Sunday Evening Pop Culture Nostalgia Acts Open Thread

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I think some readers might be interested in that trailer.

As for the other stuff, does anybody who cared enough to watch Saturday Night Live want to share a review?








Late Night Open Thread: The RNC’s Never-Ending Debate Dumpster Fire

Well, that certainly went well. From the Washington Post, company paper in the town whose monopoly industry is national politics, Monday evening:

The format and content of upcoming Republican debates became increasingly uncertain on Monday after Donald Trump’s campaign said the real estate mogul would negotiate his terms directly with television executives instead of as part of a joint effort with his rivals.

The move by Trump, coming just hours after his and other campaigns huddled in a Washington suburb to craft a three-page letter of possible demands, thwarts an effort to find consensus after what most candidates agreed was a debacle hosted by CNBC last week…

Back story, from Jim Newell at Slate – “The GOP’s Presidential Contenders Are Hijacking Their Own Debates“:

In a Godfather-esque gathering of rival political concerns, representatives of the Republican presidential campaigns gathered in an Alexandria, Virginia Hilton on Sunday evening to draw up a list of conditions for their participation in future presidential debates. The campaigns still are all het up about the completely unfair questioning that business-Republican network CNBC subjected them to last week, such as, Marco Rubio, your tax plan is really good for the wealthy, no? or, Ben Carson, why were you in bed with this snake-oil company for so many years? If the moderators had asked fair questions, see, the candidates wouldn’t have been forced to lie. What’s so complicated about that?… Read more








Los Pollos Hermanos, Con’t

Latino Republicans are sick and tired of The Donald and Ted show, and want to put an end to the notions of mass deportation and ending birthright citizenship.

Months since Donald Trump sparked outrage with his comments about Mexican immigrants, about two dozen of the nation’s top Hispanic conservative activists are joining forces to respond and issue a warning to the Republican Party.

The activists plan to meet on Oct. 27 in Boulder, Colo., the day before GOP presidential candidates meet in the same city for a debate hosted by CNBC. Plans for the “unprecedented gathering” have been in the works for several weeks, according to organizers, who shared the details first with The Washington Post.

Attendees will be “the people and organizations the RNC and GOP campaigns count on to engage the Latino electorate,” said Alfonso Aguilar, head of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership and a lead organizer of the meeting. “We’ll discuss the tone of the primary, comments about the Hispanic community and some of the immigration proposals that have been made.”

After the meeting, the group plans to hold a news conference to “identify several candidates that will not have our support and who we are certain that if they become the GOP nominee will not get enough Latino voter support to win the general election,” Aguilar said.

The meeting will include representatives of the LIBRE Initiative, a group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers that is building conservative grassroots support among Hispanics. Also in the room will be leaders of the Latino Coalition, a national organization of Hispanic business leaders; the Hispanic Leadership Fund, a conservative group; the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the nation’s largest Latino evangelical organization that has hosted events with several presidential candidates; and veterans of past GOP campaigns and presidential administrations.

Aguilar said they will focus especially on the comments and proposals of Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) among others. Trump sparked outrage for suggesting in his announcement speech that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are criminals and rapists, while Cruz credited the New York businessman for raising the issue of immigration and refused to condemn the comments.

It’s hysterical (and actually pretty dark) that Latino Republicans actually think they still have any political power whatsoever at the national level, because national Republicans running for President and leading the party in Washington are trying to do everything they can to be as racist as possible in order to get more votes by throwing these same voters under the bus whenever possible.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s working.  Right now a majority of Republican primary voters are perfectly okay with candidates that are massively racist and Islamophobic on top of having a completely ignorant view of even the most basic tenets of civics and government, which makes perfect sense because they match the views of your average Republican primary voter.

I wish all the luck in the world to these folks trying to turn the GOP around and who knows, someday we may have two sane political parties again, but it’s sure as hell not going to happen in 2016, even if you do hitch your wagon to the Koch Brothers gravy train.

If you still have difficulties seeing why “I’m going to deport millions of them” is a winning strategy with the party that you want to belong to, then good luck with that, guys.  You’re gonna need it.