Open Thread: Mike Pence Is Sharing Reince’s Breakfast Baileys

Governor Pence, no matter what he tells us, is not a good man. His willing assumption of the role of Donald Trump’s undercard is exposing this unhappy truth to a much larger audience… along with some glimpses as to why he was known around the halls of Congress as “Mike Dense.”

Pence would be just another example of the truism that nobody who associates with Donald Trump, however tangentially, comes away unharmed. Except that Pence may just be the exemplar for the truth behind the truism: Nobody willing to associate with Donald Trump is a good person.

Consent: The Rosetta Stone to Decipher the Wingnut Mind

Yesterday, as we were jointly consuming barrels of popcorn while watching the Trump campaign reap the whirlwind, some of y’all mentioned Rush Limbaugh’s odd Trumpologia, which centered on the concept of consent. Here’s the mind-blowing quote from that ass pustule which sparked the conversation:

You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.

FSM knows Limbaugh wasn’t the only Trump apologist saying absurd things for broadcast consumption yesterday. One of his more ridiculous surrogates went airplane armrest truther to try to discredit one of the women who accused Trump of non-consensual groping on a flight.

But I think Limbaugh’s failure to grasp the role consent plays in regulating behavior between human beings is telling. It’s an explanation for his own serial depravities, certainly, but perhaps it is also a portal into the wingnut worldview that can help us decipher their thinking and behavior more fully.

Trump views women as objects he can grab and manipulate for his own ends, and we’re seeing a fraction of the results of what happens when a man lives 70 years on the planet with that mindset. He’s not done yet, of course: rounding up the women who’ve accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse and displaying them at the recent debate was another example of Trump using women as a commodity.

If reports from the Trumpenbunker are to be believed, he plans to double down on that strategy. And if Hillary Clinton were to respond in kind, she might have to charter a fleet of 747s to transport Trump’s accusers to the next presidential debate.

But the problem isn’t just obvious creepers like Trump and Limbaugh: Apply their boggled view of consent beyond Trump’s serial molestations to actual GOP policy practiced by so-called respectable Republicans, and it explains a lot.

Mainstream Republicans like governors Scott Walker and Tom Corbett, as well as a number of House GOPers, support legislation to force women seeking an abortion to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. It may sound like “state rape” to you and me, but if women are merely fetus-bearing vessels without an claim to consent, what’s the problem?

Even the “Never Trumpers” are revealing their views of women as they criticize Der Gropenführer. Here’s the godly and upright Erick Erickson on Twitter this morning:

See what he did there? In the featured article, he even helpfully links to a Wikipedia page describing the role of Bill Clinton campaign operative Betsey Wright in quelling rumors of Bill’s extramarital affairs, i.e., “bimbo eruptions.” Erickson unconsciously conflates consensual affairs with non-consensual groping, which is telling.

People like Erickson are going to solve the Republicans’ Trump problem? As my old ma used to say, “Bullshit!”

Anyhoo, as many have pointed out, 2008 taught us a great deal about America’s crushing problem with racism. And 2016 is revealing the depth of our misogyny problem. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Late Night Creepshow Open Thread: Locker Room Taunts

Of course Nixon’s right-hand ratfvcker Roger Stone was gonna crawl out of the swamp for Trump, because how could either man resist such a fitting partnership? Roger Ailes’ reportorial nemesis Gabriel Sherman, in NYMag, on “How Donald Trump Decided to Make Bill Clinton’s Accusers a Campaign Issue”:

Donald Trump’s decision to attack Hillary Clinton on the broader matter of her husband’s alleged sex crimes may be a sign that Trump is losing, but for informal Trump adviser Roger Stone, it’s a victory.

For much of the past year, the notorious political operative and self-proclaimed dirty trickster has been one of the most consistent and persistent voices in Trumpworld advocating for Trump to make Bill Clinton’s sexual history an issue in the campaign…

The spectacle of the last several days — lowlighted by Trump’s pre-debate press conference featuring women who accused Hillary Clinton of covering up Bill’s unwanted sexual advances — was the product of multiple authors: Right-wing journalist-provocateur Charles Johnson[*], as well as Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, all worked to place Clinton’s accusers center stage in the campaign. But Stone says his earlier advocacy put the pieces in place for it to happen. “I forced Trump into my narrative,” Stone said….

Stone says that both Ivanka and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway resisted the idea. “Kellyanne hates my guts. And I hate her,” Stone told me. Conway strenuously denied being against raising the women issue. “It’s a sexist remark,” she told me. “I have been attacking the Clintons for 20 years. The idea that I wouldn’t tell a presidential candidate to shame and blame this woman — and say, ‘Yeah, let’s talk about jobs’ — is complete bullshit.”…

Following his widely panned first debate performance against Clinton on September 26 — in which he alluded to the accusations against Bill Clinton but then credited himself for not discussing them — Trump called Stone for advice. Stone responded by sending Trump and Bannon a memo…

Trump’s whole campaign should’ve been titled Return of the Revenge of the Angry White Mad Men. There’s not a single person or tactic involved that doesn’t call for a return to the 1950s — or the 1850s, if you’re talking about non-white people.


* This would be permanbanned-on-Twitter ‘Rage Furby’ Charles Johnson, not the guy who runs LGF.

Tumbling Don


Trump is currently losing his shit, appropriately enough, in Florida, where much of the nation’s meteoric crazy comes to flame out after the roads end at the water’s edge:

Donald Trump blasted House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans on Wednesday, suggesting that they’ve turned their backs on the GOP nominee because “there’s a whole sinister deal going on” behind his back.

At a rally in Ocala, Florida, Trump warned supporters “this is the last time you’ll ever have a chance to save our country.”

“It’s not gonna happen anymore. You won’t be able — the numbers will be too great. Already, the Republican nominee has a massive — a massive disadvantage, and especially when you have the leaders not putting their weight behind the people,” Trump said. “They’re not putting their weight behind the people.”

“Instead of calling me and saying, ‘Congratulations, you did a great job, you absolutely destroyed her in the debate like everybody said,’” Trump began, trailing off to boast about how Pat Buchanan called his performance against Hillary Clinton during Sunday’s debate “the single greatest debate performance in the history of presidential politics.”

“So wouldn’t you think that Paul Ryan would call and say, ‘Good going?’ In front of just about the largest for a second-night debate in the history of the country,” Trump said. “So, you know, you’d think that they’d say: ‘Great going, Don. Let’s go. Let’s beat this crook. She’s a crook. Let’s beat her. We gotta stop it.’”

But Ryan doesn’t do that, Trump lamented, floating a conspiracy about a backroom deal. “There’s a whole deal going on there,” he said. “I mean, you know, there’s a whole deal going on. We’re gonna figure it out. I always figure things out. But there’s a whole sinister deal going on.”

Crickets from his fellow Republicans so far. Valued commenter Jeffro:

Hey Paul and Mitch and Reince: if you don’t mind, we’d kind of like to avoid Der Trumpster taking the whole democracy down with him…could we at least get a joint statement attesting to the legitimacy of our elections and the legitimacy of whomever is elected President? Thank you.

Yeah, what he said.

When I think about Al Gore offering his concession after a Republican-loaded Supreme Court handed the presidency to a past president’s wastrel son based on highly questionable vote totals compiled in a state governed by said wastrel’s brother, I could weep with admiration at the patriotism on display — not phony slap-a-yellow-ribbon-magnet-on-your-SUV patriotism, genuine fucking love of country, respect for its institutions and care for its people.

Sack up, Ryan, McConnell and Priebus; it’s time to kneecap your own goddamned strongman before he slays you — and takes the rest of us down as collateral damage.

ETA: Oh figgity fuck — I’ve bigfooted a fundraiser, which is like drunkenly stomping on a Make-a-Wish kid’s sandcastle. $10 from Slytherin into the ActBlue pot! Dig deeply, fellow sorcerers!

[H/T — valued commenter AMK]

Late Night Horrowshow Open Thread: Speaking of GOP Criminality…


This particular stunt got a little lost in today’s commentary, but the professionals agree it’s literally one for the history books…

Open Thread: Mike Pence, STILL Just As Deplorable


(Jack Ohman via

Remember, there’s a theory that Mike Pence accepted Trump’s undercard offer because it seemed like a shortcut to the Oval Office. Even if Trump didn’t suffer some kind of medical incident within six months of taking office, he’d surely be bored enough to let Pence act as a godbothering version of Dick Cheney, right? Some evangelicals even professed to believe that God, or someone in a long relationship with Him, planned to call Donald home once the White House was in the bag. (And it’s not as though Indiana voters wanted to keep Pence in the governor’s seat.) Now we all can hope that Mike Pence will be as thoroughly destroyed by the Trump Reverse-Midas Touch as, say, Billy Bush…

Open Thread: Righteous Anger


“Issues like my ability to milk the angry rubes who can’t understand why beating up women / people of color / gays / their kids is no longer considered acceptable. C.R.E.A.M. for Jeebus!

Note from a hardcore religious-not-evangelical conservative Republican…

Or at least had the good sense to preserve the hypocrisy of ‘plausible deniability’.