Everything Old Is New Again — John Rogers Is Always Right Edition

Top line from today’s New York Times/CBS poll of the Republican presidential primary:

The proportion of Republican voters favoring Mr. Carson rose to 23 percent from 6 percent in the previous CBS News poll, which was taken just before the first televised Republican debate in early August. Over that same period, Mr. Trump made modest gains, to 27 percent from 24 percent.

In case any of our MSM friends are truly arithmetically challenged, that means that Donald Trump and Ben Carson — two men who have less capacity to fill the office they seek than I do to perform neurosurgery or figure out how to lose money owning a casino — combine to grab half of Republican electorate.


One out of every two polled.



The key number, of course, one that I’m sure leapt out to this particular audience, is Trump’s total, that “modest” step to precisely the level that John Rogers identified, so long ago, as the crazification factor:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?

Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?

Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?

John: … a bit low, actually.

Of course, based on the recent polling gains recorded by our favorite lunatic neurosurgeon, we may be in a situation even the great Kung Fu Monkey has not yet encountered.  It’s entirely possible that we could soon see a survey that has both Trump and Carson at 27%.  Do we have non-overlapping magisteria of crazy working now in Not-Your-Grandparents’-GOP™?

Run away! Run away!

Open Thread, my friends.

PS:  Bonus link to Charles Pierce on the special snowflake that is Our Donald.  When Pierce nails an image, that image stays nailed:

Trump is so thin-skinned that, if he swallowed a flashlight, he’d glow like a Japanese lantern.

Hieronymous Bosch, Ship of Fools (detail), betw. 1488-1510. (Unsure on the color correction on this one, folks.  Been decades since I saw it in the flesh).

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Watch It Collapse

trump for loki runamok rall

(Ted Rall via GoComics.com)

Kevin Trahan, at SBNation — “I tailgated with drunk Donald Trump fans at Iowa-Iowa State so you don’t have to“:

… “Tell that scrub to get to the side. We’ve got Trump coming!” said one guy when Wisconsin governor Scott Walker appeared. Another yelled at the balding candidate about Rogaine. One woman, a self-described Republican, had no idea who Walker was, and the only semi-excited person was a drunk man who told his daughter to shake “Mike Walker’s” hand.

If there’s anyone who had to really hate this tailgate (booze wasn’t provided by the GOP, of course, so it’s only a tailgate because of its surroundings), it was the campaign workers. They’re unpaid, mostly college students, and live in constant fear that whatever they say will ruin their candidate’s campaign.

Like the two guys in Jeb! shirts. A curious Hawkeye fan made the mistake of asking about Bush, and after listening for a good five minutes, the fan thought he’d figured it out.

“So he’s the anti-Trump,” he said.

“NOOOOOOOOOO,” the campaigners screamed in horror…

The drunk crowd showed up later, but at the beginning, there was actually a number of Trump supporters milling about — “all dudes,” much to one reporter’s chagrin — and defending their renegade leader. Tyler Steiner and Jake Rudeen, both ISU students, wore blue Trump shirts.

“I’m a big fan of his one-liners,” Steiner said…

The mob was more akin to a group of fans ready to rush the field after a big win than it was to any political setting. Drunk fans stumbled over each other, moving around in hope of getting in front of the one small audio speaker. I asked one veteran political reporter from Washington, DC., whether she had ever seen a rally with supporters this drunk.

“Not this early,” she said….

Antithesis — Adam Gopnik, in the New Yorker, on “Trump and Obama: A Night to Remember“:

Once, and only once, in 2011, have I attended the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, D.C…. Not only, as we did not know then, was President Obama in the midst of the operation that would lead shortly to Osama bin Laden’s killing; it was also the night when, despite that preoccupation, the President took apart Donald Trump, plastic piece by orange part, and then refused to put him back together again…

What was really memorable about the event, though, was Trump’s response. Seated a few tables away from us magazine scribes, Trump’s humiliation was as absolute, and as visible, as any I have ever seen: his head set in place, like a man in a pillory, he barely moved or altered his expression as wave after wave of laughter struck him. There was not a trace of feigning good humor about him, not an ounce of the normal politician’s, or American regular guy’s “Hey, good one on me!” attitude—that thick-skinned cheerfulness that almost all American public people learn, however painfully, to cultivate. No head bobbing or hand-clapping or chin-shaking or sheepish grinning—he sat perfectly still, chin tight, in locked, unmovable rage. If he had not just embarked on so ugly an exercise in pure racism, one might almost have felt sorry for him…

… The micro-history of that night yet to be written might be devoted largely to the double life of Barack Obama as cool comedian and quiet commander—or it might be devoted to the moment when new life was fed into an old ideology, when Trump’s ambitions suddenly turned over to the potent politics of shame and vengeance. His even partial triumph in the primary still seems unlikely—but stranger jokes have been played on American philosophers over the centuries.

Apart from meditating upon the weirder excrescences of the Republican Party, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Late Night Chiefest Among Media Village Idiots Open Thread

Mark Halperin, always lunging for that pinchbeck crown…

No further replies from Halperin, at least on the public Twitter. I’m assuming his response would run along the lines of “But the optics, Tony! Trump’s optics are reliably A+!”

I badly want to hand that man a drum major’s baton. Preferably one with a Loony Tunes lit fuse at the business end…

Open Thread: Feel the Burn, Trump

Okay, Tim F. beat me to the topic, but Tammy Duckworth’s diss was too good not to front-page.

Also entertaining: #justlikemilitary service, the hashtag collaboration. “I am, at this very moment, watching Robert Redford raise the flag in The Castle. Also did a Men’s Health workout…”

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Speaking of Godwin…

Okay, so Bobby Jindal is desperate to be somebody’s VP candidate, and presumably he thinks attacking Trump makes him look like a new-gen Spiro Agnew for one of the GOP Establishment candidates. (The other Bible-bangers weren’t gonna give him the time of day anyways, what with Catholics only barely qualifying as Christians in Huckabee/Cruz world, and Santorum is polling even lower than Bobby.) I still say that an Indian-American in the Deep South should be very, very careful about encouraging “Those People, you know they’re not like Us” murmurs among the rubes…

For context, this is about Kim Davis, Christ’s Living Martyr in Kentucky. When the media rushed to get every GOP candidates’ opinion about Davis being willing to go to jail rather than do the job she’s (well) paid for, Trump was sensible enough to say that SSM is now the law of the land, full stop. Since the rest of the GOP klown klan were already hustling to out-Taliban each other, Jindal seems to have decided to gum The Donald’s ankles rather than just me-too’ing the day’s reading from the altar. Hey, it’s not like he has much dignity left to lose!