Open Thread: Could Be Worse, You Could Be A Republican

The above tweet made me curious enough to check the source. Allahpundit’s very first line:

I can’t shake the nagging suspicion that not only isn’t this guy [Trump] conservative, he doesn’t much respect conservatism either when you come right down to it…

… Some voters, as Shapiro says, don’t care about conservatism in the first place; either they’ve been centrists for years or they’ve drifted towards nationalism in frustration with the GOP. But others probably do still identify as conservative yet have no problem identifying Trump that way too because their definition of conservatism is thin and consists in great part of opposition to the left…

… The true risk to Trump in lumping conservatives in with Beltway Republicans is that it makes the right’s incentive to go third-party stronger if he ends up as nominee. If conservatives are part of the problem that a Trump-led GOP is trying to overcome, why would they stick around and support him in the general? Better for that 20 percent of the party to go indie and vote for Romney or whoever, even at the expense of electing a Democrat, since it would force nationalists to recognize that they can’t win without conservatives any more than conservatives can win without them…

I keep thinking of the punchline to the ancient joke about an overbearing bully confusing Raisinettes and rabbit pellets: See — you’re getting smarter already!

Apart from schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda as we start the (long for some) weekend?

Late Night Open Thread: Trump (Further) Agitates RNC Dinosaurs

The Prolapsed Pig Rectum speaks! Ex-NH Governor & longtime Bush Crime Family associate John Sununu — never my favorite person — is not happy with the possibility that Il Trumpenfuhrer will turn his beloved “Live Free or Die Trying” fiefdom into a(n even bigger) laughing stock / political liability. The Washington Examiner is a far-right platform for loons like Byron York, but in Very Important Media Village Idiot-Persons circles, he’s respected. And here’s his latest — “GOP fear and loathing in New Hampshire”:

… At the [First-in-the-Nation Presidential Town Hall] gathering’s dinner Friday night, I sat next to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and his wife Nancy. When we talked about the presidential race — a race in a state whose ground-level politics Sununu knows better than almost anyone — Sununu must have said some version of “I don’t know what is going on” about a dozen times.

Sununu has not endorsed a candidate. But in a brief speech before dinner, he seemed to send a message to fellow Granite Staters to stay away from unserious choices.

Sununu’s message was that New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status is a precious gift, but it might not last forever; state Republicans could lose it if they do something crazy. “We must remember why we are allowed — and I use that word, ‘allowed’ — to be first in the nation,” Sununu said. “We are allowed because we have done a good job historically, and so we must in the next 18 days make sure we continue to do a good job.”

“You have to go out and communicate with our friends and neighbors that a primary is not to settle internal differences within a party and a state,” Sununu continued. “It’s not a get-even process. It’s not a gotcha process. It’s a process that we have a responsibility to pick the next president.” Voting in the primary is more than just voting, Sununu said: “It’s making sure that as a body, those of us who support the Republican Party, those of us who care about this country, make sure that our friends and neighbors do it responsibly.”…

This is buried in a ‘No true Scotsman’ tirade, about how none of the real Republicans, the serious GOP permanent party people, have any idea who might be voting for this parvenu Trump person. Their voters are not his voters! He has no lawn signs! He’s not spending his money on paid local consultants or ‘earned media’ meet’n’greets (with their profitable-to-local-business dining & lodging)! He dissed the Union-Leader — and seems to have gotten away with it!

The Wall Street Journal noticed this #FITN dissatisfaction a couple of weeks ago — “Former N.H. Gov. Sununu: Trump Is Rich but ‘Not Bright’”

“The guy brags that he can’t be bought and yet Putin proved the guy is the cheapest political buy in the game,” Mr. Sununu said… “Ten cents worth of flattery and he’s got Trump sucking up his butt.”

Some context for this fight: Mr. Sununu, who served as President George H.W. Bush’s White House chief of staff and was governor of New Hampshire during the ’80s, last week penned an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader asking people to not “drink the Trump Kool-aid.”…

“Can you believe this guy?” Mr. Trump said about Mr. Sununu, who quit his White House post in 1991 after the president asked for his resignation. “He was fired like a dog and he doesn’t even realize it.”

Mr. Sununu has long been a critic of Trump the politician. In November he predicted the GOP would lose control of the Senate if Mr. Trump wins the party’s nomination. In October he said voters need to “wake up” to stop Mr. Trump’s political momentum.

One of Mitt Romney’s chief attacking surrogates in 2012, Mr. Sununu is unaligned in 2016 because his son Chris is running for governor. The former governor on Monday said Mr. Trump isn’t patient or smart enough to be president.

“You can’t be commander-in-chief with such a thin skin,” Mr. Sununu said. “He may be rich, but he’s not bright. The two don’t necessarily go together.”…

(Those of us who suffered through the first Bush presidency will remember that Sununu is inordinately proud of his ‘one in a million’ IQ scores… )

To be fair, it’s true that a President Donald Trump would be catastrophic for our Repub-weakened nation. On the other hand, there’s a good chance that even a general-election Candidate Trump would be catastrophic for the Republican Party… which I am not at all sure would be a bad thing for those of us not paid by the Republican Party.

And, as a Masshole who spends far too much time clicking away from First-in-the-Nation paid media for at least 18 months out of every two years, it would be a net positive if a Trump win in the NH primary were to destroy the enfeebled “tradition” where a small non-representative very-white state full of angry old tourist-milkers, Free State glibertarians, and social parasites commuting across the border every workday to use Massachusetts resources while avoiding Massachusetts taxes has entirely too much power to winnow presidential choices for the rest of us.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Spaghetti Plots of Doom

gop doomsday spaghetti polling toles

(Tom Toles via

I went looking for some information on this, and it’s all over the Twitchyverse but nowhere else I can find. The wingnuts are plenty bitter, if RedState is any indication

Sarah Palin Expected to Continue Endorsing Sarah Palin Today
Donald Trump has been teasing a “major endorsement” that he is scheduled to release today in Iowa, and the rampant speculation is that it will be Sarah Palin’s. I don’t really know if this particular speculation is true, but I do know that if Palin doesn’t endorse Trump today, she will endorse him eventually. At this point, only a particularly aggressive hair splitter would concede that she has not endorsed Trump already.

The last few months have not been pretty for conservatives who have long denied with angry vehemence the allegation that many of the leading figures in the conservative movement were only in it for the money and/or the attention. Liberals have long claimed that this was true about people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and a long list of others, especially including Sarah Palin…

The going narrative in and around DC is that the Trump assault has been an eye-opening phenomenon to the GOP Establishment. Maybe, maybe not. I have my doubts about Mitch McConnell and gang’s ability to learn anything, and they are moreover already cozying up to the Trump organization anticipating that he will win the nomination.

On the other hand, it has been an alarmingly eye-opening phenomenon to millions of ordinary conservative Americans who enjoyed consuming talk radio and the serial works of conservative authors, under the (apparently naive) belief that they meant what they said. Because when Trump – who spent his entire life believing in none of those things – came along and started getting ratings, almost all of them to a man jumped on board the train, because the Trump boomlet was so easy to monetize…

… Palin was a tremendously powerful force for good as recently as 2010, in helping many conservatives to oust moderates whose anti-conservative heresies paled noticeably compared to Trump’s. Somewhere along the way, though, Palin realized that there was a lot of money to be made by presenting herself as the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by a so-called “smart set,” which she in her wily caginess was always able (in her own mind) to outsmart…

Say what you will about Palin, but she is no dummy. She’s smart enough to realize which side her bread is buttered on and it is the side that increases her personal profile by siding with Trump. What she is doing is a rather shrewd way to keep her personal profile high.

It may not be especially principled, or honorable, or in keeping with anything she has professed to believe in since she burst onto the national scene in 2008, but it isn’t stupid…

Apart from waiting on tender hooks (/snark) for the next clown shoe to drop, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Blow It Up, Burn It Down

Meanwhile, outside the boat in dangerous, scary places:


Well, there must be a reason why the GOP hasn’t done this rather than the current strategy of “We won’t take any responsibility for this Iran deal whatsoever but we’re specifically not going to stop it and in fact we’ll basically make sure we can’t do so” but I haven’t figured out what it is yet.

In fact, by getting rid of the filibuster, the GOP-controlled Senate could make things extremely difficult for President Obama and force him to veto all kinds of things, but for some reason they haven’t decided to go this route.

It’s almost like they don’t want to do that.

Gaping Media Idiots Open Thread

Couple Politico stories, since you guys are probably too sensible to go there. As he decamps from his regular rotation, Bob Schieffer explains to Howie that they’re not reporters, they’re stenographers:

CBS’ Bob Schieffer says that perhaps reporters in the media “were not skeptical enough” of President Barack Obama as a presidential candidate in 2008, telling Fox News’ Howard Kurtz that the whole political world was struck by the sudden rise of the senator from Illinois…

“I don’t know. Maybe we were not skeptical enough. It was a campaign,” Schieffer said in the interview, which aired Sunday, adding that it is the role of the opponents to “make the campaign.”

“I think, as journalists, basically what we do is watch the campaign and report what the two sides are doing,” he said.

Or at least “what the two sides say the other side is doing”, because any more strenuous investigation would take Schieffer too far from the greenroom aura that keeps his ancient corpus from crumbling… Jack Schaefer, high priest in the Cult of the Savvy, spells out the Media Village Idiots’ joint position more concretely:

… Like any multi-headed beast, the press can fall in love, but its love is difficult to measure and tends toward the fickle… It may be hard to remember now, but during the primary season, the press did not churn a relentlessly positive wave of coverage for Obama to surf. Reporters capitalized on the controversial sermons of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to publish many stories graded as negative by Pew. Likewise, the press filed much negative copy about Obama’s dismissive comment about small-town Americans clinging to guns and religion and his association with former Weather Undergrounder Bill Ayers. Where Obama held the unbreakable advantage in the 2008 primary season from January through May was total press coverage. This total press coverage translated into higher public visibility for Obama for most of the primary season. In late May 2008, for example, 54 percent of the public said they had heard most about Obama in the last week compared to 27 percent for Clinton and just 5 percent for McCain…

In the early going of the 2008 campaign, Obama’s newcomer halo and his unique personal history sent many stories on an affirmative, Obamamania course. The most negative it ever got for Obama during the primaries season was that he was too young, too inexperienced and too unaccomplished of a backbencher to be president. But even those “negatives” were interpreted as positives by many voters.

The Obama numbers do, however, suggest that campaign reporters tend to give more positive coverage to presidential candidates with that new-car smell (Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, et al.) than it does to candidates with an excess of miles on them (Hillary Clinton, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee). The high-mileage candidates, having been in the arena longer and having generated bigger paper trails, almost always make better subjects for negative stories. And as a rule, journalists prefer a negative story over a positive one any day…

And ‘journalists’ prefer blank slates and/or pre-digested oppo handouts over having to do our own homework, you betcha!