Why would Trump go?

The post-convention Dump Trump movement among Republican operatives and strategerists is growing and getting louder. Politico has the scoop:

Republican insiders in key battleground states have a message for The Donald: Get out.
That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states. The majority of GOP insiders, 70 percent, said they want Trump to drop out of the race and be replaced by another Republican candidate — with many citing Trump’s drag on Republicans in down-ballot races.

I have two big questions. The first is a bit of taunting —“Why the hell could you not organize an orgy at the Bunny Ranch in January?”

Secondly, why the hell would Trump agree? A Dump and Replace Trump movement has severe mechanical limitations. Ballots will start to be printed in the next couple of weeks so there is a hard time constraint on any Trump Replacement movement. More importantly, any Dump and Replace Trump action has two major players who have to agree and a hostile player who has a say. A successful Dump Trump action needs the “establishment” Republican Party to agree to the action (they’re as an institution is either there or close to it) as well as Donald J. Trump to agree to be replaced.

The Republican insider argument is that Trump will cost them the White House, will cost them the Senate and will significantly reduce (best case scenario) the current GOP majority in the House. That means Trump will cost them the Supreme Court median vote. All of those are probably true and they are high salience to Movement Conservatives.

Does Donald J. Trump and his voters care deeply about any of those items except for the White House?


He does not care about the House, he does not care about the Senate. He does not care about policy outcomes. He has a very limited shadow of the future and a very narrow give a fuck space that barely intersects with Republican insider give a damn space.

What is the gain for Trump to step aside? His brand is underwater as his name is currently toxic. If he is to step aside, his brand (and his ego) won’t recover quickly. His best chance of re-establishing his brand (and his ego) is to double down and win. If he wins the White House in November even if there are 98 Democrats in the Senate and 431 Democrats in the House, he won, and the Republican establishment are full of losers. His brand would take off and he could make odd speeches at golf courses while Mike Pence attempts to govern.

If he steps aside, the party insiders are better off, but his brand is shit and his ego is bruised as he would be the loser genuflecting to the wills of the loses that he beat in the primary process.

What can the Republican Party insiders offer to Trump that is worth enough to Trump to make it worthwhile for him to step aside?

Until I see a good answer to that question, I am assuming that the Dump Trump movement is merely a stage of grief and not an actual strategy.

NOT Good News for John McCain

According to a PPP poll released yesterday, Arizona conservaturds have a raging hate-boner for RINO John McCain, and the right god-bothering, anti-immigrant, gun-fondling primary opponent could pick the bitter old anger muffin off:

John McCain’s troubles with conservatives have him in a whole lot of trouble for reelection next year. Even among Republican primary voters just 41% approve of the job he’s doing to 50% who disapprove. Only 37% of primary voters say they generally support him for renomination, compared to 51% who say they would prefer someone ‘more conservative.’


In a lot of ways this is reminiscent of the 2012 Senate race in Indiana. Richard Lugar- like McCain- had enough popularity across party lines that he was going to be pretty safe if he got into a general election. But when conservatives rooted him out of office in the primary and Democrats had a solid candidate lined up, the Democrats picked up a surprising victory. It’s unclear who will challenge McCain in the primary and what Democrat might sign up for the general but at this early stage the conditions appear somewhat Indiana-like.

Here’s hoping the AZ GOP finds its very own Richard “Squeee! Rape Babies!” Mourdock to take down McCain. Not only would that NOT be good news for McCain, it would leave a gaping hole in the lineups of the crappy Sunday poli-hack shows and leave Lindsey al-Graham flying solo as a sad little wingman.

Jeb’s Dead Ringer

Like, zoiks, Scoob! Jeb Bush is talking about d-d-d-d-death panels!

Jeb Bush, defending his efforts to keep alive Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman, when he was governor of Florida, suggested on Friday that patients on Medicare should be required to sign advance directives dictating their care if they become incapacitated.

A similar proposal by President Obama — that doctors should be paid to advise patients on end-of-life decisions — became a political firestorm in 2009, when Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate, claimed that the legislation would give bureaucrats the power to decide if some frail or disabled people were deserving of medical care. The assertion was shown to be false.

In 2010, Medicare tried to add a regulation that would permit “voluntary advance care planning” during yearly checkups. But after an uproar, President Obama’s administration pushed to drop that provision.

Mr. Bush’s suggestion that advance directives be required under Medicare showed how much public opinion has shifted on the subject since.

Oh it has, huh.  Or maybe, Maggie Haberman, IOKIYAR.

So death panels are now a totally cool thing called “Medicare end-of-life directives.” I’m sure this won’t be the last thing that President Obama proposed and was destroyed by media pissing and moaning that Jebya here will be able to get away with.

Wonder why that is.

You Got Synergy All Over My News

Vanity Fair’s piece on the fall of NBC News over the last 4 years is a pretty good read, and at least finds some people willing to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of The Worst Company In America, which bought NBC/Universal despite serious concerns raised by, I dunno, everyone?

Since Comcast took control of NBC, the network’s news division—famously termed Comcast’s “crown jewel” by C.E.O. Brian Roberts—has endured one debacle after another. “When Comcast took over, they had the No. 1 morning show, the No. 1 Sunday show, and the No. 1 evening broadcast,” says a former top NBC executive. “That’s all completely fallen apart. I don’t know how you blame anyone but Comcast and the people it brought in. It’s been a nightmare.”

Behind the scenes much of the blame has been laid at the feet of three executives: [NBC News chief Deborah] Turness, a British-trained newcomer to U.S. television; [former network head Patricia] Fili, who had virtually no experience in journalism; and Fili’s boss, the steely, driven C.E.O. Comcast installed to run NBCUniversal, Steve Burke. Under Burke the network has done well overall—its ratings have rebounded from last to first in the coveted 18–49 demographic, and NBCUniversal’s profits were up 18 percent last year—but he and his deputies, their critics charge, time and again proved unable to rein in the news division’s high-priced talent. “News is a very particular thing, NBC is a very particular beast, and Deborah, well, she really doesn’t have a fucking clue,” says a senior NBC executive involved in recent events. “She’s letting the inmates run the asylum. You have kids? Well, if you let them, they’ll have ice cream every night. Same thing in TV. If you let the people on air do what they want, whenever they want, this is what happens.”

“Look. Deborah Turness: I have seen no evidence she knows what she’s doing, but in fairness, she walked into a complete shitstorm there,” says a former top NBC executive. “Today is a horror show. Brian Williams? He didn’t give a rat’s ass what Deborah Turness says. But this is fundamentally not a Deborah Turness problem. She’s just a symptom of the problem…. This is a Comcast problem.”

Even some of Burke’s defenders admit he has only himself to blame for the decline of NBC News. “Steve has a great track record, and phenomenal DNA, but nobody bats a thousand,” insists one Burke fan. “He’s done a phenomenal job in so many areas. What he did easing out Leno? Unbelievable. But what you’re looking at here is his mistake. Just a huge mistake. I mean, bringing in Pat? Then Deborah? That’s like bad food and small portions.”

Officially, in a damage-control mode where almost no one will be interviewed freely and on the record, NBC News declined comment for this article. Unofficially, its loyalists cooperated extensively. While admitting the occasional misstep, they reject the harsh critiques that have trailed in the wake of the Williams scandal, blaming them on a coterie of departed executives, including former NBCUniversal C.E.O. Jeff Zucker and former NBC News chief Steve Capus, who resigned under pressure in 2013. “We know the people saying these things about us, and we know why,” one NBC partisan told me. “Because five years later we are still cleaning up the mess they left behind.”

I’m sure a similar piece will be written about MSNBC head Phil Griffin about that network’s rapid disintegration in the coming months, but I’m fairly sure the cause of both of these issues remains “having the largest cable company in the country buying a major broadcast network”.

Shocking Lack of Respect

This is appalling:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ripped President Barack Obama on Sunday over the administration’s response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election victory.

“The president should get over it,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Get over it — get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President. It’s time we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region.”

Last week, Obama said that he is concerned about Netanyahu’s comments during the campaign opposing the creation of a Palestinian state.

“We continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel,” Obama told the Huffington Post Friday. “Given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,” the president continued. “So that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”

“The least of your problems are what Bibi Netanyahu said in a political campaign,” McCain said Sunday. “I think the president maybe shouldn’t like it, but thousands are being slaughtered by ISIS. The Iranians have taken over the major capitols of Lebanon, Syria, Beirut and Baghdad. It pales in significance to the situation which continues to erode throughout the Middle East, and it puts America at risk. … The president has his priorities so screwed up that it’s unbelievable.”

McCain said Obama is letting his personal problems with Netanyahu get in the way of policy.

“Either that or he’s delusional. I’m not sure which,” he said.

If you think that any member of Congress would EVER say this about any other President, you have lost your mind. This is as racist as it gets, and McCain should know it and probably does. Rather than acknowledge Bibi’s lies and the fact that it does create diplomatic problems, McCain chooses instead to infantalize the President, and the only reason he is doing so is because Obama is black. Period. End of story. The only thing he didn’t do was add “boy” to the end of the temper tantrum remark. And CNN’s Gloria Borger didn’t so much as flinch.

And for McCain, the man of legendary temper, to accuse anyone else of having a temper tantrum, is just priceless.

Seriously, fuck these republican scumbags.

The Spirit Is Willing But The Orange Is Weak

Team WIN THE MORNING on Orange vs. Turtle and how it’s all Obama’s fault.

The Senate majority and minority leaders cut a deal that did not have Boehner’s blessing, sources say, and now the speaker is weighing whether to go down without a fight. House Republican leaders are strongly considering amending the Senate’s “clean” DHS funding bill and dumping it back on McConnell’s doorstep. That would complicate the fraught negotiations on the eve of a funding deadline for the domestic security agency and illustrate a new level of dissonance between the top two Republican leaders, according to multiple lawmakers and aides involved in the deliberations.

The discussions on whether to accept a Senate plan, which would fund DHS through September and allow President Barack Obama’s immigration policies to stand, are still in their early phases. And Boehner may ultimately back down if he runs out of time. But the fact that Boehner is initially distancing himself from the emerging bipartisan Senate deal underscores his conundrum — and the stiff challenge confronting the new Republican Congress in attempting to appease tea party conservatives and an uncompromising White House.

Please note that Republicans are “cutting a deal” but the White House is “uncompromising”.  Even when GOP petulance blows up in their faces and puts the country in danger, the Village is forever wired in favor of the Republican party, and it always will be.

Making Boehner’s plight more challenging is the uncompromising position of Senate Democrats and the White House. Reid (D-Nev.) has said his caucus would not accept any changes to the Senate’s proposed standalone bill to fund DHS, which is expected to be approved by that chamber imminently.

Orange Julius is the real victim here of mean old Harry Reid and mean old Barack Obama.

Jesus wept.  You’d never know that this whole idiotic mess was a direct result of Republicans willing to destroy the government over executive actions involving immigration enforcement that Reagan, Poppy Bush, and Dubya all took in the past, actions that WIN THE MORNING describes as “unilateral”.  (They’re executive orders, guys.  By definition they are unilateral.)

But it wouldn’t be complete without Tire Swinging:

Emerging from a tense closed-door Senate GOP lunch, Republican senators signaled they were ready to move on from a fight that has paralyzed the new GOP Congress in just its second month in power.

There are some that object,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), “but I hope that we have convinced them that this is not a good idea — right now — to shut down the Department of Homeland Security.”

McCain, ever the voice of moderate reason.


Shiny Metal Objects Forever

So GOP Rep. Aaron Schock’s Downton Abbey-inspired office decor is the new Sen. John McCain’s Tire Swing, as WaPo’s Ben Terris reminds us.

She introduced herself as Annie Brahler, the interior decorator whose company is called Euro Trash. She guided me to Schock’s private office, revealing another dramatic red room. This one with a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers.

Then, my phone rang.

It was Schock’s communications director, Benjamin Cole.

“Are you taking pictures of the office?” he asked. “Who told you you could do that? . . . Okay, stay where you are. You’ve created a bit of a crisis in the office.”

A staff member then came and asked me to please delete the photos from my phone. So started a day of back-and-forths with a congressman’s office about interior design.

Only in This Town is one of the staunchest Tea Party twits in Congress a rock star with style.

Washington has always been more “Veep” than “House of Cards.”

Schock, 33, is one of the rising stars of the Republican Party. He’s young, has six-pack abs that landed him on the cover of Men’s Health and is a prodigious fundraiser. He’s also one of the most media-savvy members of Congress, with an Instagram feed that features him surfing, hiking across glaciers, tangoing on the streets of Buenos Aires and smiling next to duck-faced pop star Ariana Grande.

An office decorated in a unique way would hardly be surprising; it would just be another interesting fact about a congressman who has built a brand as not just another politician. So why was this a crisis?

“You’ve got a member [of Congress] willing to talk to you about other things,” Cole said on the phone. “Why sour it by rushing to write some gossipy piece?”

Forget it, Lord Crawley, it’s Washington.

And oh, the dancing around Schock.  Must be where he got the abs.  Huckleberry Graham could learn a thing or two from this guy.