We’re only making plans for Nigel

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the Western right’s love for Vladimir Putin. Here’s another example:

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit movement in the UK and formerly head of the far-right UK Independence Party (he retired after the Brexit win), is in talks with the Russian government owned RT news network to a be roving reporter covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign this fall.

And who knew crunchy cons loved repressive dictatorships so much (via)?

[N]ews broke about a young Russian atheist provocateur who got himself arrested by playing Pokemon Go inside a large Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, his hometown…


They say he faces up to five years in prison. I find that excessive, but I don’t feel sorry for this jackass. His fellow atheists committed mass murder of and terror against Orthodox Christians when they were in power during the Bolshevik tyranny.

I don’t think there’s any measure by which Putin has been a successful leader, other than his ability to simply remain in power. He’s the head of a petro-state with a terrible economy and a GDP roughly the size of Mexico. He has a high approval rating in Russia but my impression is that they’d like any leader who is strong like bull (hope I’m not offending anyone).

But in a world under constant siege from black Jewish homosexual atheist feminazis, he’s the last bastion of white Christian male strength, I guess.

She caught the Katie

The Trumpocalypse appeared first as farce, with Sarah Palin in 2008. There shouldn’t be any debate about that. Palin was everywhere for about five years, but now that her logical conclusion has come to pass, establishment media is acting like there was no precedent for Trump, that he came out of nowhere.

Every now and then, I like to go back and revisit the mash notes establishment journalists were writing to Palin before the disastrous interview with Katie Couric. I had thought “Sandra Day O’Palin” was the ne plus ultra of this genre, but it won’t surprise many of you that there’s a McArdle piece that’s even better (via LGM):

She slides the stiletto in without either losing her femininity or coming across as catty, and given that she’s married to an eskimo, it’s going to be hard to fit her into the narrative of conservative closet racists trying to perpetuate white domination.


The Democrats are, as my colleague Clive Crooks notes, in trouble. Whatever you think of her as a potential president, she is a politically brilliant choice, and Democrats are going to have a very hard time finding traction to attack her.


I have no reason to think that she would be a particularly bad president. Obama hasn’t any more relevant experience than she has; he’s simply been coaching for the thing longer. If he can get up to speed to be president in 18 months, presumably so can she, and I think its reasonable to expect McCain to live that long. We do not elect presidents because they are experts on everything that will come up during their presidency–they couldn’t possibly be. We elect them because we think they have good judgement and values that match our own. Contra my Democratic friends, I’m not sure that voters will see “But McCain really might die in office!” as a bug, rather than a feature.

Heh to the indeedy.

“Married to an eskimo” is a nice, if irrelevant, touch.

Five years going by

There aren’t many people who foresaw the Trumpocalypse, but here’s Steve M. from April 2011:

But can’t you see him magisterially propelling himself into an Iowa state fair, or down a main street in small-town New Hampshire, in a motorcade of Escalades? And are we really sure that couldn’t work — winning the nomination, by being the macher, the mack, the big pimp?


The folks who moan that we’re on “the road to serfdom” — don’t they really want to be the serfs of rich guys like Trump?

I just don’t know. I’ve always heard that campaigning in the early states was an exercise in humility — the pigshit on your Gucci loafers at the Iowa state fair and all that. But is it different now on the right? Does the base want to prostrate itself before a plutocrat overlord, and not hold him to the same standards as mere mortals?

Don’t you wanna go (1999)?

The other day I was listening to a political show on the radio, and a guy called into say that, although he was “Cruz guy”, he believed that Trump could beat Hillary because of Hillary’s sordid past, as detailed in a book by Roger Stone.

That’s when it hit me: if Trump is the nominee, it will be five months of Vince Foster, the Mena drug operation, the Clinton body count, and so on.   I hope the Hillary campaign wishes a motherfucker would, but they’d best be prepared for a media that says “some say the Clinton personally murdered upwards of 50 people, some say they do not, the truth lies in the middle.”

As crazy as the last eight years of anti-Obama have been, I don’t think it quite touches the insanity of the anti-Clinton stuff in the mid-to -late ’90s, at least within mainstream political discourse.  The Republicans never even got around to impeaching Obama the way I thought they would.


It’s all coming back if Trump is the nominee, and maybe to a certain extent regardless of who the GOP nominee is.


Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming

It’s hard for me to imagine that the Republican party isn’t thinking about a white knight candidate who can appeal to non-wingnuts, give David Brooks a boner, etc.  Given how bad Cruz and Trump will be in general election, it’s clearly the smart move.  (On the other hand, we all know what happened to Tessio. )

All the non-Trump, non-Cruz Republican office-holders can think of are low T betas that the  base would never rally behind.  The always awful David Ignatius had an article the other day about military men the GOP could turn to.  It’s quite awful, fawning over St. David Petraeus (it was only a misdemeanor) and describing James Mattis as a “warrior monk”.

But it did get me thinking, is there someone out there with enough manly authoritarian bona fides to steal the hearts of the GOP brownshirt base?  I think the answer is probably “no”.

The Company He Keeps

Look who Ted Cruz has recruited as his economic advisor:

If it’s true that a man can be judged by the company he keeps, what are we to make of the appointment of former Sen. Phil Gramm as economic advisor to the Presidential campaign of Ted Cruz?

Cruz made the appointment Friday, when he collected Gramm’s endorsement of his quest for the Presidency.

As Micheal Hiltzik points out in his coverage of this — what’s the word?– curious appointment, Gramm is exactly whom you’d choose if one global financial meltdown just wasn’t delicious enough:

Gramm left a long record as a dedicated financial deregulator on Capitol Hill, with much of his effort aimed at freeing up trading in derivatives. That’s why he’s often identified as one of the godfathers of the 2008 financial crisis, which was spurred in part by banks’ imprudent trading and investing in these extremely complex financial instruments.


Gramm himself is undeterred by his own disastrous record, and clearly Cruz is equally unbothered.  That would be why both men are ignoring Gramm’s last appearance as a campaign surrogate:

Gramm’s previous stint as a Presidential campaign advisor ended inauspiciously. That was in 2008, when he served as co-chairman of John McCain’s Presidential run.

Gramm’s most notable moment in that position came on July 10, 2008, when he dismissed the developing economic crisis as “a mental recession” in an interview–and video–released by the conservative Washington Times. “We’ve never been more dominant,” he said. “We’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today. We’ve sort of become a nation of whiners.” McCain immediately disavowed the remarks, and a few days later Gramm stepped down as his campaign co-chairman.

I’m assuming that Ted Cruz does actually hope to become president, and thus makes his choices in the belief that they will advance him to that end.  So I can only see two possible interpretations for this exhuming of one of the most egregious poster children for GOP economic failure.

One is that this is what epistemic closure looks like when it’s at home.  It takes a hermetic seal between you and reality to think the “nation of whiners” trope is a winner this year (or ever, really, but especially now).

The other is that this is just trolling, or rather yet one more instance of believing an action is simply good in itself, transcendently so, if it pisses liberals off.  Which lands Cruz — and the GOP — in exactly the same place as option one: doubling down on the crazy for reasons extremely clear only to those with the correct implants in their upper left second molar.

All of which is to say that I remain firm in my belief that the entity identifying itself as Senator Cruz is in fact one of these guys.

“Where are we going?”

“Galt’s Gulch”


“Real soon!”

Image:  J. W. M. Turner, Sunrise With Sea Monsters, 1845

Winger what, winger who?

I thought this was a joke when I saw it on Charles Pierce….but it’s not!

Glenn Reynolds: How David Brooks created Donald Trump

The idea seems to be that Bobo said mean things about the Tea Partiers and drove them into the arms of Trump. And those mean things can’t be true because an anonymous blogger in San Francisco saw Tea Partiers picking up trash once. Persuasive stuff.