Sow The Trump, Reap The Whirltrump

The Trump campaign, not racist or anything, just number one with white supremacists as Team WIN THE MORNING accidentally commits journalism to tell us.

The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s.

As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement.

“Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,” said Stormfront founder Don Black, who reports additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show, in addition to the site’s traffic bump. Black predicts that the white nationalist forces set in motion by Trump will be a legacy that outlives the businessman’s political career. “He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point.”

Yes, that movement is called “The Republican Party” as Bloomberg News reminds us.

Almost two-thirds of likely 2016 Republican primary voters favor Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., while more than a third say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Those are some of the findings from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll, an online survey conducted Tuesday, that shows support at 37 percent among all likely general-election voters for the controversial proposal put forward by the Republican front-runner.

“We believe these numbers are made up of some people who are truly expressing religious bigotry and others who are fearful about terrorism and are willing to do anything they think might make us safer,” Doug Usher, who runs polling for Washington-based Purple Strategies, said in his analysis of the findings. “This indicates that, despite some conventional wisdom expressed in the last 48 hours, this is unlikely to hurt Trump at least in the primary campaign.”

Why would it, when the entire party is currently running a dozen nativist assholes for President and has been as loudly and as boldly racist as possible for a long time and virulently so since Barack Obama came on the national scene?  Why would it when a bunch of Republican governors are trying to kick brown people out of their states? Why would it when you have a racist asshole base that finds Trump’s nuclear-powered foghorn hate speech towards anyone darker than a paper bag a refreshing reason to vote for the guy?

Trump is not the cause, he is the inevitable result of today’s GOP, and much like herpes the body politic breaks out in overt racism and produces pustules like The Donald time and time again in American history, it’s just a matter of how big they get and how sick we get before they are lanced.  The names are different, the disease remains the same, and America has been infected with it since the start, kids.

The fact is if he was the GOP nominee, he’d get 45% of the popular vote minimum. Maybe he’d lose 55-45 to Clinton or Sanders, but maybe not. And if anything, Trump is heavy cover for the kinder, gentler racist fascism of Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and the rest of the GOP. The country club section of the party on their fainting couches saying that Trump doesn’t represent them were very happy to support calls to limit Middle Eastern immigration to Christians.

Trump is just the latest face on this evil Mr. Potato Head of nativist hatred, the problem is with all the Republicans who like the cut of his jib…and oh yeah, the Democrats looking the other way and/or still playing the “not a dime’s worth of difference” game.

We’re just going to have to weed out the garden again, and that’s going to take work.  It’s what we do, but damn it would be nice if we just got a backhoe and dug up the whole place one of these decades, huh.



Tuesday Evening Open Thread: The Tribute Vice Pays to Virtue

gop bloviation upgrades ohman

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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News update: Trump will not be attending tomorrow’s big RNC fundraiser… although there seems to be some disagreement as to whether he was dis-invited, or just decided it wasn’t worth it.

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Apart from getting healthful exercise rolling our eyes, what’s on the agenda for the evening?








Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Look at Trump’s face in that video. Get the feeling he’s still bitter about that evening?

He’s not getting much love from the “experts” with their “facts”…

But once the Pumpkin-flavored arsenic marshmallow can get in touch with Bill Gates (why no “my very good friend Bill”? Has Melinda been refusing to take The Donald’s calls?) all us internet snarksters are gonna be laughing out of the other side of our mouths. Per the Verge:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just said the US should consider “closing up” the internet to curb radical extremism. Trump, a man that routinely claims everyone in charge of the US is stupid, believes that as president he could just call up Bill Gates to help him shut off the internet. Trump floated the idea at a campaign rally at the USS Yorktown in South Carolina tonight as a way to stop ISIS “jihadists” from recruiting Americans to commit acts of domestic terrorism. The idea is so dumb it almost has us, too, at a loss for words.

“We’re losing a lot of people because of the internet,” Trump said. “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”…

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Apart from mocking the monsters, what’s on the agenda for the day?








Open Thread: Missing the Trend for the Stats

Is it necessary for Trump to win the GOP nomination for him to “win” the longer argument? Dave Weigel, at the Washington Post, asks “Why do data journalists keep missing the political story of the year?”:

The story of an election is far, far bigger than the story of who won it. The Trump drama, and the movement that has discovered and elevated him as its candidate, is obviously the political news story of 2015.

Actually, it’s the latest in a long, semi-tragic history of primary campaigns that revealed plenty without producing a nominee. You can start the clock in 1964, when then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace ran for president for the first (of four) times. He had no chance of defeating President Lyndon B. Johnson in the primaries, but where he competed, he scored margins that baffled the political establishment… You could have looked at that result and chided the media for making “news” out of what was, obviously, not a victory. You would have missed a historic moment in the politics of backlash.

Losing campaigns have played that role again and again. Ronald Reagan didn’t win in 1976; you know how that turned out. Pat Robertson’s 1988 primary campaign cemented the influence of the religious right in Republican electoral politics. Howard Dean’s 2004 primary campaign collapsed memorably in Iowa, but accelerated the Democratic Party’s evolution from a party that could put Joe Lieberman on a national ticket to one that was skeptical or apologetic about foreign military intervention. Indeed, by the autumn of 2006, Dean was chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Lieberman had lost his Senate primary…

… [F]or five months, Trump has been able to swing into states and draw the biggest crowds of any Republican candidate. It’s been two and a half months since a thinly-attended South Carolina event, organized by a third party group, that was supposed to mark the end of Trumpmania. It’s been a month since a rambling Trump speech in Iowa, where even the people standing behind him grew bored with his rants about Ben Carson. The crowds kept coming. And they keep coming.

Few, if any, reporters will tell you that they expected this to happen. Some may fantasize about another universe, where the field is Trump-less, and candidates like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are dominating the news with substantive fights about privacy rights and terrorism. Even this summer, the rise of Trump was seen by the Republican establishment as a way to freeze the field, while the grown-ups could hibernate and take over when it counted.

We do not live in that universe. We live in the one where, as The Fix’s Philip Bump points out, 53 percent of Republicans want all illegal immigrants to be deported and many are finding a champion in Donald Trump…








Open Thread: It’s Not Lying If You Believe Your Own BS

Okay, okay, pedants: The proper spelling would be Psych!

Oliva Nuzzi, in the Daily Beast, “Golden Hair, Meet Tinfoil Hat”:

If you were “reading the tea leaves,” as Alex Jones might say, you would’ve felt deeply in your bones that it was just a matter of time before Trump’s courting of the nation’s foremost crackpots and conspiracy theorists went mainstream. The dog whistles would transform into shouts, the winking and nodding into bear hugs…

Alex Jones is the Hulk Hogan of conspiracy theorists. A Texas native, he is big and loud and the color of a ripe tomato. He thinks the government was involved in the Oklahoma City Bombing, the New World Order is being run by “clockwork elves,” and shrimp are suicidal because of Prozac poisoning the water supply. He is the founder of Infowars.com, the sort of publication that peddles 9/11 truther propaganda and runs headlines like, “Subliminal Super Bowl Illuminati Secrets Revealed.”

“I’ve got so many questions,” Jones, who in October endorsed Rand Paul, told Trump. “But you are vindicated—this has gotta be the 50th time the last six months—on the radical Muslims celebrating, not just in New Jersey, but in New York, Palestine, all over! What do you have to say? They’re still attacking you!” (Jones didn’t reply when asked if he was switching his allegiance from Paul to Trump.)

From the unfortunate angle of Trump’s webcam, his neck disappeared into the collar of his shirt and his head looked sunburned and misshapen, like a wad of Silly Putty that had recently been set on fire.

“Well, I took a lot of heat and I was very strong on it and I held my line and then all of a sudden hundreds of people were calling up my office,” Trump said…

A few hours later, Jones had moved off the topics on which he and Trump see eye to eye—Muslims cheering on 9/11, the Iraq War—and on to promoting the idea that the mass shooting at a San Bernardino, California, center for the disabled on Wednesday afternoon was “highly suspicious” and seemingly “geared to elicit widespread public outrage,” much like the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School had been…

The storied meeting was arranged by Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump’s who left the campaign, where he had served as an adviser, in August amid infighting.

Reached by phone on Wednesday, as Trump and Jones were still chatting, Stone said that he had “recommended” the interview to Trump after he had been a guest on Jones’ show himself on Nov. 9 to promote his new book, The Clintons’ War on Women.

Stone was adamant that he wasn’t working for Trump again, not in a “formal or informal” capacity, despite recommending interviews to him during their conversations and supporting his candidacy with the frequent employment of the Twitter hashtag #YUGE…

The thrust of Trump’s case for his candidacy is this: The system is broken, the powerful (including himself) are exploiting it to their advantage behind the scenes with the help of a corrupt and complicit media that is concerned only with protecting the establishment and the status quo. Just what your average bros populating a comment thread on a YouTube video about false-flag operations suspect, but Trump may not know the full extent to which this new base of supporters he has tapped into has gone off the deep end. It’s one thing to suggest, as Trump does, that the government and the media are rigged to screw over the Everyman—lots of politicians say that. It’s something else entirely to say government actors are pretending to be the family members of slain Americans who never existed in the first place.

Then again, Trump has been making shit up for longer than he has been a candidate. It would be unwise to underestimate him…

Eric Levitz, at NYMag:

Last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly proved himself to be the Hannibal Lecter of right-wing demagoguery. Just as Dr. Lecter used his insights as a cannibal killer to help police get inside the minds of murderers, so O’Reilly drew on his experience as a serial liar to help America get inside the mind of Donald Trump…

“Here’s what happens,” O’Reilly said. “Sometimes, when you’re up there, you get overly excited and you’re speaking extemporaneously. And then you say things, as anybody would, because the crowd is cheering and everything is going wild, that you don’t know to be true but you believe to be true.”

Trenchant insight and the absence of self-awareness have never been so neatly bound.