Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Ban Sidhe

Ask me, I’d say he was undergoing advanced hair repair therapy, because in press photos from the weekend his latest dye job was matching offputtingly well with the fluorescent-lime bracelets and trinkets in the audience. (Dude: Use some of the cash you’re grifting from the RNC to pay a skilled wig crafter, and save us all a lot of ugliness, okay?)

But maybe he is feeling a cold trickle of electoral doom down his spine…

Apart from politics, what’s on the agenda for the evening?


(via NYMag — yes those are Kara Walker shadow puppets!)








Thursday Evening Open Thread: Collateral Damage

File under “Could not happen to a more deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver”…

Apart from more delicious schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?








Trump’s “Heil Mary” Pass*

I’m going to expand on a comment in an earlier thread and disagree somewhat with distinguished colleague Tim F on what the Trump-Breitbart merger means. Replacing campaign veterans like Manafort (odious, second-rate and disreputable though they may be) with an alt-right circle-jerk might look like Trump giving up on winning the presidency. But it’s just a change in tactics.

What’s happened is that the Trump scampaign has realized that they will never win by making Trump conventionally “presidential.” He can’t pull that off. Instead, they’ll seek victory by trying to drag Hillary Clinton down to Trump’s level in the public’s perception and eke out 270 electoral votes on anti-establishment sentiment alone.

We should pause here and take in the fact that a major party nominee has openly embraced white nationalism, which the Trump-Breitbart merger confirms. We knew that already, of course, but with the Breitbart affiliation, there can now be no doubt, and it will be interesting to see how the Beltway press responds to that phenomenon.

Joy Reid, subbing for Chris Hayes last night, ably grilled a Trump scampaign surrogate on the kooky Breitbart angle, confronting him with that organization’s batshit crazy extremism. Here’s a screen grab of the Breitbart headlines Reid referenced to demonstrate what a pack of pinwheel-eyed kooks they are:

2016-08-18

But Trump’s brain trust is counting on the fact that most Americans don’t know that Breitbart is a white nationalist fever swamp, and indeed, they don’t. The Trump shill on Reid’s show ducked questions about the nature of Breitbart while telegraphing the reason Trump brought Bannon on board: to smear Clinton.

Trump may be hoping that even if he can’t attract more voters to himself, he can slime Clinton enough to drive disaffected Republicans and independents away from her and into the Johnson or Stein camps and squeak out a win that way. I don’t think it will work because Trump is an embarrassing buffoon.

But at this point, he’s pinning all his hopes on making Hillary Clinton as toxic as himself. So get ready for a tsunami of slime that may be unprecedented in our lifetimes. That’s the only play the Trump people have left, and thus the Trump-Breitbart merger is not 100% stupid or self-indulgent. It’s the vast right-wing conspiracy — retooled.

*Stolen from valued commenter GregB.








Open Thread: Fewer Republicans, But Better Republicans

This tweet last night reminded me of pre-abdication Pope Benedict Ratzinger’s more conservative followers, writing hopefully about how purging the ‘doubters’ and ‘weak sisters’ would lead to a hardened Mother Church of “fewer Catholics, but better Catholics”. (When those tactics didn’t work, Benedict threw his tiara in the cardinals’ laps and ‘withdrew from the world’– but not so far that he couldn’t publicly criticize their choice for his successor.)

Google tells me that the ‘fewer, but better’ formulation goes back to Lenin in 1923, but it’s the rallying cry of every cult under stress. The True Believers tell each other that shake-ups and purity tests will lead to a hardened core of steely warriors, while secretly consoling themselves with the thought that in the new regime at least they will have improved their hold over the apparatus… and their share of the spoils, should the group go completely belly-up.

They’re no longer interested in winning the presidential election; they just want to steal everything they can from the collapsing national party, up to and including the pennies off the corpse’s eyes, to enrich their own fiefdoms in the fever swamps of “alt-right” racists, misogynists & xenophobes.

It’d be more entertaining for the rest of us if the rump revanchists weren’t so heavily armed.

Rats might desert a sinking ship but sharks come in to feed. — Commentor Aleta








Tuesday Morning Open Thread: With All Due Caution

trump will not be dumped danziger

(Jeff Danziger’s website)
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And yet… What’s wrong with popcorn for breakfast, every so often?
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