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June 05, 2016

Comments

My concern at this point is which side is larger:

- Republicans who may not like Trump, but have spent the last two decades being taught to hate anyone with the last name 'Clinton' and thus will vote for him if/when Hillary wins the (D) nomination, regardless of what they worry he might do to the country because "Hillary would be worse than that."

or

- Democrats who may not favor Hillary as their first choice, but have spent the last several months in complete awe at the regularity with which Donald Trump has proposed something controversial, stupid, or just plain illegal and has only gained strength from doing so, and are more than happy to cast their lot in with anyone, even Hillary Clinton, to ensure Trump does not take the White House.

Polls at this point seem to suggest the second is larger than the first, but times (and attitudes) can change with the winds.

they imagine that Trump is more electable than his more ideologically conservative rivals.

Let me suggest that this may, in fact, be the nub of it. GOP primary voters may have come to the conclusion that what they have been told for the past several decades is flat wrong.

What they have been told is that the reason that they were losing was that their candidats were not sufficiently conservative. And they may have decided that this is bull (which it is). And what they need is a candidate who ignores conservative orthodoxy on, especially, social/cultural issues. Which, be it noted, Trump does -- at least to a far greater extent that the rest of the candidates on offer.

The unfortunate thing, from the perspective of winning in November, is that the guy who was furthest from ultra-right orthodoxy is also someone who has lots of other short-comings.

So the critical question, for the future of the GOP, becomes: Do they decide that they were wrong about needing a candidate who is less conservative? Or do they decide that they were right . . . but just didn't have the correct candidate?

"I think Douthat must be onto something, there."

I think Douthat will vote for Trump.

"But I don't see how they've managed to miss the issue of Trump's temperament and personality in general, and how frighteningly unsuited he is to the Presidency."

They haven't missed a thing. His "political incorrectness" is his prime selling point, like the imported mints under the pillows at his hotels, and 40 years of the conservative "movement" trashing all expertise, all governance, all "elite' scholarship, all science, and all professionalism makes his frighteningly unsuitability for the Office the top bullet point in his resume, just above the fake steaks and the college "educations" he hawks.

As wj suggests, they believe Trump is the true conservative in the bunch.

His trigger finger is the apotheosis of conservative horsesh*t these many decades. They want the nukes launched. Against enemies foreign and domestic.

Paul Ryan just hopes Trump signs legislation with those stubby launch fingers to deny 20 million Americans medical insurance before the missiles are launched and turn several large areas of the Earth into glass.

Just to show America the way its going to be, all guns and no butter this time around.

But to cut to the chase, they hate the nigger in the White House, the same way the white slave owners in "12 Years A Slave" hated the main black hero, especially for getting uppity and offering his engineering expertise, so they whipped and hung him up so his toes could barely touch the ground as payback.

They also hate women, immigrants, foreigners, gays, government employees, and liberals, and that doesn't include the ones who will tolerate that hate just to get an effing tax cut and make sure the EPA won't ever stop them from polluting again.

Douthat is at the 1:08 mark in November, succumbing, in preparation for crafting true conservative Marco Rubio's kneepads and press releases announcing the latter's new job in a Trump Administration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42GgRPozzV4


As wj suggests, they believe Trump is the true conservative in the bunch.

Actually I was (trying to) suggest exactly the opposite: that they know that Trump is NOT the true conservative in the bunch. Quite the opposite.

But they have figured out that conservative ideological purity is not a winning path to victory.

If I was Donald Trump, I could insist that you indeed did mean what I wrote that you meant, and your objections would be drowned out by the jeers of my supporters and my invocation of the "old days" regarding what ought to happen to you.

"Be gentle with him until he is out of camera range, people", I would croon.

But, not being Trump, I retract my interpretation of your point and apologize.

;)

A dozen steaks bought at Kroger's have been re-labeled Count Steaks and FEDEXed your way, collect.

But, I think they think Trump is the true conservative. He'll kick ass.


Well, you are both right. he is not the Christian conservative far right that continues to lose elections over social issues long decided, he is a true compassionate conservative, who believes compassion begins at home. SS is safe, foreign aid not so much. Build a wall? ok, or not, the promise to fix it is enough.

They live in an ever tighter echo chamber where any detractor or poll that says he cant win is a hater. and, well, haters gonna hate. I have quit arguing with them, so have most people they know that disagree with them. They are blocked on my Facebook, they create their own reality, in which Trump is undefeatable.

And 8 more years of this would mean the country could not recover in their lifetime.

The only thing they get right.

I suspect that Marty is right. They will arrive in November, convinced that their guy is going to win. And win big. Any polls or other evidence to the contrary being either deliberately falsified or massively flawed. Because, after all, everybody they know (at least who is willing to talk politics with them) agrees with them.

The bad news is, where Romney was surprised to lose (for much the same echo chamber reasons), he was willing to accept the results. I have the horrible feeling that Trump and his supporters will be screaming from the rooftops about voter fraud and stolen votes and false counting. And anything else that they can imaging might have resulted in an outcome that they find inconceivable.

It is clearly going to be an ugly campaign. But the aftermath may be uglier still. I pray that I am wrong, but....

I'm sure Marty is right about what will happen in November. What's surprising to me is that Trump's Republican rivals never attacked his temperament or personality as being unfit for the Presidency.

Of course, it's also true that the other candidates mostly didn't attack Trump *at all*. Josh Marshall has talked a lot about Trump's dominance politics, how he overwhelmed his GOP rivals on a visceral level. It may be that when GOP voters think he's "the most electable" they mean he's the best performer of masculine dominance, which they expect to be as salient in the general election as it was in the GOP primaries.

It may be that when GOP voters think he's "the most electable" they mean he's the best performer of masculine dominance, which they expect to be as salient in the general election as it was in the GOP primaries.

Bingo. The biggest bully who hates the same people they hate.

Count's suggestion to "arm up" before November may turn to be (unfortunately) a wise one.

To agree with Marty

Remember that the previous version of Trump, Palin, wanted to give a barnburner speech after the loss, but was stopped by McCain, who understood that graceful acceptance is part of the rules (see also Gore in 2000). But suppose (as I hope and assume) that Trump loses: he is totally incapable of accepting loss. So he will, no matter how clear the results, deny them, and keep denying them. This is completely inevitable; the question then is, who (in the media and the party) will line up with him?

I'm not convinced by wj's notion of a strategic calculation that conservative ideology is a losing argument... mainly because large numbers of GOP voters didn't consider McCain or Romney very conservative. A few tea partiers lost winnable elections to Dems, but I doubt that made much impact.

It's more of a positive convinction that Trump's electable because of his macho dominance of the primaries, his willingness to tell it as it supposedly is, the sense that with the Dems running a tarnished uber-establishment candidate it's all set up for an 'outsider', etc.

It does show that GOP voters are happy enough to let conservative ideology slide if it means they get to win. But that's not the same as thinking it's a loser.

Really, I have no clue; what do you guys think, especially those of you who are more R-leaning?

We are all mind reading. Both parties seem captives of their ideological extremes. Trump's appeal, as far as I can tell, is the *appearance* of being consistently willing to call a spade a spade and not speak in political double-speak. To me, he seems perfectly capable of tailoring his message to his audience. He is far less of a word smith that HRC, but so what.

Bottom line: no clue.

Isn't mind reading kind of a necessity when trying to figure out what someone else is thinking. ;-)

I would say that Sanders is more far left, more ideologically extreme, than Clinton. Yet she is the one winning the nomination. Not sure how this conforms to your "captive of their ideological extreme" analysis.

wj: isn't it obvious?

The Democrats are captive to their right-wing extreme, the Republicans to their left-wing extreme.

Sorta.

Clinton isn't exactly the darling on the Dem base. There's a large faction on the left who despise her with something approaching how little Republicans like her.

She's the Dem's establishment pick, and other than on social issues, she might as well be a Republican. Trump is anything but the establishment's pick. And who really knows what he is policy-wise?

I'll be voting for her in the general election, mainly because she's not Trump, as opposed to voting for her out of ideological captivity. I'd guess confidently that I'm far from being alone in that.

And we all know little Republicans don't like her very much. I heard a 7-year-old mumbling about what a piece of crap she was while reading the National Review at the playground the other day.

Evaluating "electability" is *always* about mind-reading.

Every partisan primary voter always has to weigh ideology versus electability. It's never just about "who will represent me better", there's also "who is more likely to win in the General", which involves both a) guessing who the other party will nominate, and b) matching the candidates to your mental model of the general electorate.

Republicans this year should have had a particularly easy job of gauging electability, because it's been obvious for more than a year that the Democratic nomination was Hillary's to lose. Instead, their ability to imagine what other voters might want looks *completely* broken -- which also means they can't see what it would actually take to achieve their own goals.

...which also means they can't see what it would actually take to achieve their own goals.

Well, if your object is to teach your party elite a lesson and burn the place down...mission accomplished, GOP base.

Way. To. Go.

Elections as primal scream therapy.

This election cycle is shaping up to be a possible black swan event. Both the Republican and Democrat candidates are at risk of tanking in spectacular ways. The Libertarian candidate is likely to get a larger percentage of the vote than the LP has ever gotten before.

I would say that Sanders is more far left, more ideologically extreme, than Clinton. Yet she is the one winning the nomination. Not sure how this conforms to your "captive of their ideological extreme" analysis.

HSH responded to this pretty well. The Repubs' establishment choice was Ted Cruz, who got elected as the far right anti-establishment bomb thrower from Texas. *That* is what I meant by the extremes. HRC is running much further left than she is comfortable with because Bernie is pulling her in that direction. But for HRC having the fix almost in from the outset, Sanders would have a real chance. *That* makes my point.

But for HRC having the fix almost in from the outset,

people made the same "fix" and "coronation" remarks in 2008 - right up until she lost.

just as there was no "fix" in 2008, there was no fix in 2016. there was an election. and people overwhelmingly voted for her over Sanders.

the only reason the race appears close is because of proportional delegate allocation. if the Dems awarded delegates the same way the GOP does, Clinton would be up by well over 1000 delegates at this point - probably more like 1200. the same math that keeps her from being 1200 delegates ahead of Sanders right now makes it look like Sanders has a shot. but he doesn't.

the proportional delegate allocation makes her look weak and it makes Sanders look strong. neither is true. as of today, i believe Clinton needs fewer than 20 additional pledged delegates to win the pledged delegate majority.

"This election cycle is shaping up to be a possible black swan event."

Juanita Jean has a friend:

I was telling Verdelia, “This country could elect Donald Trump because they were distracted by a gorilla.”

Verdelia thought for a minute and replied, “But the opposite is true, too. This country could elect a gorilla to be president because they were distracted by a Donald Trump.”

The Repubs' establishment choice was Ted Cruz...

Really? I recall just having lived through that process, and he was not their guy in any sense of the word "choice" that I can recall, unless those GOP stalwarts were thinking Cruz = abortion.

Perhaps you were watching a different nomination process?

Well, to be fair, he was their choice once everyone else was out of the race.

The Libertarian candidate is likely to get a larger percentage of the vote than the LP has ever gotten before.

Wow! Up to maybe 2%? HaHa.

I encourage all disaffected republicans to vote Libertarian Party this year.

Well, to be fair, he was their choice once everyone else was out of the race.

Marty, thanks for making the point I intended to make.

"Well, to be fair....."

Kasich dropped out the day after Cruz did. So "everyone else" does not seem to apply.

But I am with the Count. Liberals must arm.

"Well, to be fair, he was their choice once everyone else was out of the race."

Yet another chink in the pro-choice armor.

Daffy Duck was still available.

Kasich dropped out the day after Cruz did. So "everyone else" does not seem to apply.

I'm pretty sure the Republican establishment had fully pinned their hopes on Cruz regardless of Kasich's presence.

I'll see bobbyp a bob, and raise the ante:

http://juanitajean.com/dude-we-have-bigger-ones/

Those are deadly violent terrorist threats.

Why hasn't someone shot these scum in self-defense yet?

Because they are Republicans and political correctness prevents defending the country against them.

GOP primary voters -- who are the most politically engaged and aware segment of the party -- thought Trump was the one candidate with a good shot at defeating Hillary Clinton in November

Not true. Maybe 56% of them think that.

More accurately, 56% of those who thought they'd definitely vote in the primary, but had not yet done so, and who also responded to the survey.

For the most part, I don't do surveys. And for me, it doesn't matter so much whether I think Trump can win or not. What matters is will I choose to vote for him?

I already didn't once. I may wind up, for the first time in my voting career, choosing not to cast a vote for a candidate for President.

With their ballots, some Americans have said they want Clinton for POTUS; a smaller number have said they want Sanders. A smaller number still have said they want Trump, but they prevailed on the GOP side.

The inference is obvious: Both parties seem captives of their ideological extremes.:)

But it seems only ONE party's majority is willing to empower a racist, misogynist, carnival barker to occupy the White House.

Never mind why the Republicans, as a party, think that He, Trump is "electable". It's possible they don't -- and don't care. The frightening question is: "What sort of world-view does it take to think that He should be elected?"

--TP

But for HRC having the fix almost in from the outset, Sanders would have a real chance. *That* makes my point.

Sanders would not have had any chance at all, but for the fact that Hillary had a huge constituency (not a fix). Hillary never ran any kind of negative campaign against Sanders because 1) they're not that far apart, and 2) she wants to embrace his supporters. If Sanders had the kind of scrutiny most candidates get, he wouldn't be so popular. Or maybe he would, for the same reason that Trump is - there are a lot of people who are vaguely dissatisfied, and don't quite know where to put it.

" they're not that far apartt"

Clinton is a militarist. She was for the Iraq War and she favored getting more involved in Syria--as it was I think we and our noble allies the Saudis have helped the rebels too much, which in practice means the war has dragged on and on. She's pals with Henry Kissinger. She practically slobbers over Netanyahu. Sanders isn't perfect from the anti- imperial pov, but he doesn't seem wedded to American exceptionalism and the sort of interventionism Clinton favors.

It's a lesser evil election for me-- Trump is such a wild card it's scary, but I'm not sure I trust Clinton that much on FP either. But I trust her more than Trump. And she's not a global warming denier.

I'd enjoy this election a lot more if it were taking place on another planet.

If Sanders had the kind of scrutiny most candidates get, he wouldn't be so popular

if more of the general public knew his plans include a raising taxes on those making the median income by $4k. and that the top quintile, ($142K+), would get a tax increase of $44K (average).

Trump would completely destroy him with that.

Yeah he would, especially with Democrats deciding that single payer would never work in the US and with nonpartisan analysts emphasizing the costs and ignoring the benefits. I was a little floored by that aspect of the campaign-- for years we on the left have been told that single payer in other countries is much cheaper than the US system and it was only political opposition that made it unworkable here. Then all of a sudden that seemed to go out the window. It's too expensive now, just as the right has always said. Places like Narnia and the Shire and Canada which have single payer are, it seems, just a fantasy.

There are actually significant differences between Sanders and Clinton and though I am in Sanders camp, I wouldn't say they are all in his favor. She's won, so all he can do is pull her leftwards, assuming that party platforms and campaign promises mean anything.

I'm not sure the Donald is going to have the nomination sewn up at the Convention.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/wtf-donald

I don't believe the poisonous, utterly compromised republican establishment will let him overcome, but then why would he put any faith in those opportunistic filth. Overcomb, perhaps, but ... overcome?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-instructs-surrogates-go-at-reporters

Racist f8ck.

And look, he's going to take down yet another major corrupt Republican State government, Texas being the first with his corruption:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/florida-ag-asked-trump-for-donation-before-nixing-trump-u-lawsuit

What are poor groveling Rubio, McConnell, and Ryan going to do? First these rats ignominiously pipe themselves aboard the Trumptanic and now they are going to try find their way overboard again already.

Too bad Shelly Winters isn't here any longer to fetch the rotten vermin to safety.

Trump's people already ate all of the lifeboat rations.

Cleveland will burn if he doesn't get the nomination.

Trump's people will kill wholesale.

I think they need more guns. More guns should help.

"Sorry, folks...we had to nuke Cleveland to save the rest of the country.

But, rest assured, we'll track down who wrote 'say hi to Tamir Rice!' on the bomb, before it was dropped."

The Donald, not our Donald.

I think a simple, if incomplete, explanation is that many of they think he's electable because, well, they like him. Good old halo effect -- in people's minds, if they're not being careful, all positive qualities correlate.

Evaluating "electability" is *always* about mind-reading.

(...)

Instead, their ability to imagine what other voters might want looks *completely* broken -- which also means they can't see what it would actually take to achieve their own goals.

It occurred to me, though, that if you think about this post, what we're really doing is an attempt at mind-reading to ascertain how others go about their attempts at mind-reading. We're reading the minds of Trump supporters to figure out how they read the minds of the electorate in general (or, more specifically, why their mind-reading is so flawed - assuming that it actually is, God willing, and that Trump isn't electable).

Perhaps someone has read this post and is speculating about the thought process that would make us do this.

I understand why you all hate anecdata, rightly, but I must tell you that we met a couple in Florence (rich snowbirds from Ohio, sometime backers and aquaintances of Boehner) who support Trump because a) they believe all the mad, Fox-disseminated rubbish about how America has gone down the tubes under Obama, and b) because "he's going to Make America Great Again". When asked how they believe he's going to do the latter, they tittered sheepishly, and really had no answer. It's all an exercise in mass-hypnosis/wishful thinking/grateful relaxation into subconscious race-stereotyping and craving for a Big Daddy to restore an imaginary pre-lapsarian Eden.

i met my first in-the-wild Trump supporter yesterday. he was berating a Whole Foods cashier because she scoffed when he, out-of-the-blue, started talking to her about Trump. he went to to tell her that "Trump will be the next President! you can count on it! so get used to it!"

he was the kind of guy who you'd enjoy watching as he discovered a big fresh dollop of fresh bird shit on his immaculate Mercedes SLK.

I realise I said why they backed him, but not why they thought he was electable. They were convinced he WOULD be elected, and by a substantial majority, I can only think because they thought most of the electorate share their delusions about him, and the state of the country.

...they thought most of the electorate share their delusions about him, and the state of the country.

Not that I disagree with your assessment, but it's strange to me that people could think this, given the ubiquity of ridicule and scorn for Trump that I see and hear in various media and in face-to-face conversation. Maybe they think it's all coming from a very vocal minority (of politically correct liberals, natch) and assume anyone who doesn't pipe up one way or the other must support Trump as they do.

cleek,

I would gladly trade 4k and end my payments to for-profit insurers for universal health care. you know what the words "net change" mean, right?

and really, citing a totally dishonest article in Politico? you can't be serious. is this how Democrats roll now?

I will support Hillary. I will donate money, put up yard signs, phone bank....I won't say a bad word about her...until after the election. but I will never deny that I will have blood on my hands as a result.

and what Donald said above.

hsh:
They thought this despite being fully aware of the ridicule and scorn for Trump, more of which they got from me. They even seemed to agree with some of it, when they said "he's our Berlusconi"!

GftNC: it's also fetishization of "political outsiders". That's sadly a very real selling point of He.

--

As much as I despise Clinton, I will never say she's not adroit at working the media; "just so happening" to precisely hit the magic super-delegate number the night before the last big primary date should do wonders for suppressing turnout. I expect we'd not have heard any such thing had she been polling better. That's how the game is played, though, and the primary nomination process was always fixed. Note that fixed doesn't mean it was a sure thing; it means that the house adjusted odds heavily in its favor. Clinton learned her lesson in '08. Half the super-delegates were soft-pledged before Iowa. If you want to claim that a 351 delegate lead before the primaries start means nothing (particularly in selling "electability" narratives) you surely can - but it'll be damned difficult to convince an unbiased observer of such. Clinton enjoyed massive structural advantages and overwhelming establishment and media support. She was favored by the party establishment and they worked to ensure she got the nomination. Any other outcome would have been shocking, and it's entirely reasonable to view the process as fixed - because it's designed to be fixed.

I'm still on the fence about my ability to simultaneously hold my nose, excise my conscience, twist my arm, and cast a vote for Clinton. Maybe Trump will make it easier over the next few months, but right now I really don't think so. If I'm single-issue on anything it's FP, and a Clinton who carefully calculates and maneuvers to rally domestic and international support for further adventurism seems more menacing than He throwing tantrums.

I think if you hooked up an electroencephalogram device (maybe a colonoscopy would detect a more accurate signal) to these folks, you might get a "mind read" on what's going inside their noggins. Likely only a dim tweet from their brain stems, but that just works their twitching trigger fingers.

Let's turn to Dan Quayle to ascertain what is going on:

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/quotethis/a/quaylequotes.htm

Why stop there?

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."

You can see where the damage originated. While the rest of us were chewing on lead paint chips, their mothers were chasing them around with cat-o-nine tails and a bucket of water.

See, I like a guy who puts his thoughts down on paper, to save on the guessing.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/filemon-vela-open-letter-trump-border-wall

More of this. The ass big enough to contain the Republican Party fully stuffed is a biological impossibility. We need body bags.

"when they said "he's our Berlusconi"!"

I was about to invoke his name, thinking maybe it would be a satirical comment. Alas, I'm now three steps behind the empty-minded.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3628985/Ex-Italy-PM-Berlusconi-hospitalised-heart-problem-not-life-threatening.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

The Ohio couple could have taken a short train trip on to Milan and visited Berlusconi in his hospital suite. He's probably arranging a bunga-bunga party with the underaged candy-stripers and having them retrofit his cannoli.

The couple could have helped.

Did you say "You mean, he's your Mussolini, don't you?"

We don't have to read their minds. They hate the black man in the White House. They've told us so repeatedly, for decades.

I would gladly trade 4k and end my payments to for-profit insurers for universal health care. you know what the words "net change" mean, right?

and really, citing a totally dishonest article in Politico? you can't be serious. is this how Democrats roll now?

I'm guessing cleek was discussing how the general public would react, particularly to the sort of half-truth propaganda that Trump would put out to attack Sanders. I think he's absolutely right about that, regardless of whether or not any tax increases would be, in reality, net gains when considering the benefits received.

"I'm still on the fence about my ability to simultaneously hold my nose, excise my conscience, twist my arm, and cast a vote for Clinton. Maybe Trump will make it easier over the next few months, but right now I really don't think so. If I'm single-issue on anything it's FP, and a Clinton who carefully calculates and maneuvers to rally domestic and international support for further adventurism seems more menacing than He throwing tantrums."

Yes, Trump will rely very little on inconvenient calculation or maneuvering to rally domestic and international support for further adventurism abroad.

If Hillary is bad enough on FP, as you expect, and you may well be right, we can do to her what we did to LBJ and burn the country down.

In the meantime, a vote for Trump is a vote for the death and penury of millions of Americans.

Nice thing for him is he won't have to actually bomb them.

and a Clinton who carefully calculates and maneuvers to rally domestic and international support for further adventurism seems more menacing than He throwing tantrums.
I've seen this kind of argument before, that an incompetent empire might be preferable to a competent one... but I don't buy it. Incompetence made George W. Bush's foreign policy more dangerous, not less so.

Just looking at international opinion, the world seems potentially critical of Hillary Clinton but terrified of the possibility of a President Trump.

A small part of me, that dark little nugget of mean, lunatic smallness, would like to see a President Trump have the hissy fit, World Wrestling Federation, temper tantrum of all time, and inadvertently snatch his hairpiece from his own head, hurl it to the ground, and jump up and down on it during a press conference as he announced the missiles have been launched because Havana turned down his casino zoning request.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVlQ7Ac5ULI

I'm guessing cleek was discussing how the general public would react, particularly to the sort of half-truth propaganda that Trump would put out to attack Sanders.

I understand. But it strikes me that hesitating to fully advocate for your preferred public policy because you might be subjected to "propaganda" is pretty darned silly, and when the Clintonistas pull this one out, I get a bit testy.

I remember voting for Fritz Mondale in 1984 when he promised to raise taxes.* But it wasn't that remark that destroyed him. It was the whole Reagan "morning in America" thing.

* And then bonzo boy went out and did exactly that anyway.

I would gladly trade 4k and end my payments to for-profit insurers for universal health care

me too.

but the conversation would go"

Trump: "Sanders says he's going to raise your takes by thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dollars."

Sanders: "Yes. But, in exchange..."

Trump: "I will not raise your taxes. I will lower your taxes."

Trump wins by 30%.

and really, citing a totally dishonest article in Politico?

Politico didn't do the analysis, they reported on it.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/06/07/how-did-we-get-here-2/

Did you say "You mean, he's your Mussolini, don't you?"

Count, I'd like to have thought of it, but on the other hand, I was making nice.

If I'm single-issue on anything it's FP, and a Clinton who carefully calculates and maneuvers to rally domestic and international support for further adventurism seems more menacing than He throwing tantrums

NV, I think this is badly wrong. Trump could easily, based on his non-understanding of all foreign policy, and his likely continued reliance on himself as principal adviser, start insane foreign adventures that would make your hair stand on end. Matt McIrvin is right: the world may be critical of Hillary, but it essentially thinks she is an intelligent, safe-ish pair of hands, who can probably learn from her mistakes, whereas Trump is seen as a dangerous, ignorant, impulsive bully with no understanding of the world and its complexities, and no desire to learn. This is, I hope you will excuse me for saying, no time for good men to stand aside and do nothing.

but the conversation would go

Trump: "I will put a stop to all telemarketers, all robo-callers, all those annoying fake survey callers, NO EXCEPTIONS. If I have to use SWAT teams and drone strikes to shut down the call centers. I WILL DO IT"

Trump wins by 30%. Minimum.


Trump: "I will not raise your taxes. I will lower your taxes."

Every GOP candidate in my lifetime has asserted this claim.

You know what's scary? Good Democrats who quake at the thought that a Republican will promise to lower taxes.

They will throw the same line of argument against Clinton.

You know what's scary? Good Democrats who quake at the thought that a Republican will promise to lower taxes.

also, men of straw.

They will throw the same line of argument against Clinton.

Clinton didn't make a $15,000,000,000,000 tax hike a central pillar of her campaign. Sanders did.

lemme add...

i just went a took a look at my payslip to see how much i pay for health insurance for me and my wife: $266/mo. that's just my contribution, i don't know what my employer pays.

but, my out of pocket medical insurance cost is $3200/yr. add vision and dental: $3600.

but Sanders is asking me to pay tens of thousands more for universal health care and free college tuition (which i don't need) and more infrastructure spending (which Congress is loathe to approve already). and he wants to tax my 401k and my wife's IRA (via taxes on stock transaction fees).

as a relatively well-off liberal i know i'm not supposed to be selfish. but that doesn't mean i can't balk at what sounds like a crappy deal.

A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon you're talking about real money. Clinton has a trillion out there, too. The same charge applies. It will be made by Trump and the GOP lickspittle. All those zeros....goodness me.

Get me a fainting couch.

I've been watching dems run and hide from the New Deal since Jimmy Carter. The apotheosis of this was Clinton's presidency.

Obama has been better (and had an overwhelmingly Dem Congress for a while)....but the trend continues, esp. wrt the economy, trade, labor rights.

Straw man that.

You know, it's pretty damned amazing that when you actually point out the benefits of all those zeroes, people tend to take a more nuanced view....agricultural price supports, which see.

Money does talk! ;)

when you actually point out the benefits of all those zeroes

it makes some people wonder if there might be cheaper means to similar ends.

and since Sanders doesn't exactly strike me as a brainy economist type, i was skeptical before i saw those numbers.

Why do Republicans think Trump is electable?

Check the newswires these last few hours.

This is Day One of the Republican Party publicly and truly besh*tting itself. It's running down the cold-blooded murderous ratf*cking Republicans' legs and over the tasseled loafers they were planning on wearing to tap-dance all over poor and middle-class sick and dying people in penury next January, the sick f*ck killers.

Trump's head spun around 360 degrees and he vomited pea soup all down special murderer Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand vestments and they can't have that, can they?

If I were the city fathers of Cleveland, I'd request the lot of them take their pigf*cking show elsewhere, else Trump's armed supporters may well shoot the armed Erick Erickson in the head, as he reasserts his principled, cracker, racist Republican pigf*ckery over the Republican Party in place of Trump's cracker, racist Republican pigf*ckery, and then burn the rest of the city down.

And to think they've worked so hard to redevelop that city and the Indians are in first place in the American League Central.

Everyone needs more guns and ammo. Guns and ammo are the solution to every American problem, we've been told.

I hope they show us how.

Ryan is in close touch with the Benghazi and Clinton server clown shows, as he maneuvers to shiv Trump and his supporters out of the nomination.

Jews, Mexicans, Muslims, Immigrants, Gays, Women, blacks, and the poor in general wait with bated breath as the Republican Party puts a sock down Trump's gullet and attempts a return to the vaselined, dog-whistle status-quo ante to replace Trump's rough trade rogering.

Filth.

The late Tom Cotton, who is terminal as well:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2016_06/sen_cotton_wanted_to_inflict_s060752.php#

as a relatively well-off liberal i know i'm not supposed to be selfish. but that doesn't mean i can't balk at what sounds like a crappy deal.

That is understandable. That is a discussion worth having. Just throwing 12 zeros out there and announcing "case made" and invoking scary republicans doesn't cut it (with me), especially when it is an intraparty matter for now.

Thank you.

I've seen this kind of argument before, that an incompetent empire might be preferable to a competent one... but I don't buy it. Incompetence made George W. Bush's foreign policy more dangerous, not less so.

I don't know; Bush had a pliant, cooperative Congress. I'm not sure the He will be able to boast that. Given the way that Clinton's hawkishness leans, I'm pretty damned sure that even if she was being sandbagged on every other proposal she put forth by a Congress that suddenly remembered it was a coequal branch of government, she'd be able smooth over any differences standing in the way of driving on ahead to war.

A lot of how scary Trump is depends on what you expect Congress to look like and how you expect them to react to the He. Even with the ridiculousness of the current bunch, I have trouble seeing him really, truly managing as much death and destruction abroad through unilateral malicious reckless executive action as Clinton would likely bring about through coordinated multilateral planning.

There's still several months left, and that's plenty of time for me to either grind down my principles or toss them out in response to ongoing Congressional and Presidential campaigns. Or not. We shall see.

Ryan is in close touch with the Benghazi and Clinton server clown shows, as he maneuvers to shiv Trump and his supporters out of the nomination.

The elders are waiting, pants moist, for the penultimate psychotic break from HE the T. They will quickly ease him out and put Romney up promising to still build that wall and self-deport all those "illegals" through magic one way doors.

Then they can get down to the real work of more tax cuts for the rich.

Because they really, really, don't care about or even like their base. This is self-evident. The GOP elite plumps for public policies that will make their base poorer.

The grift never stops.

I have trouble seeing him really, truly managing as much death and destruction abroad through unilateral malicious reckless executive action as Clinton would likely bring about through coordinated multilateral planning.

The death and destruction will be at home as Trump would most likely sign anything a GOP controlled Congress would serve up, and if Clinton were to lose, it would most certainly imply continuing GOP control of the legislative branch.

Not to mention global warming.

There are more ways to unnecessarily kill humans than invading or bombing foreign lands. You get more bang for the buck by, for example, ending SNAP or shredding Medicare. Just not as much shock and awe.

Apropos of nothing, I cast my ballot in the all-but-meaningless NJ primary for Bernie a couple hours ago. So there's that.... Thanks!

The title of this is "Why do Republicans think Frump is electable?" My observation is that the Republican base perceives themselves as generic Americans, the standard by which Americanism is measured, and everyone else is a hyphenated American or a not quite as good American. Entitlement runs deep: they are entitled to government services, subsidies, help when their region suffers a disaster, funding for their local economy, all that and a tax cuts too. They have been falling for Republican scapegoat themes for decades: bums on welfare, the gay agenda, big government employees, immigrants, Muslims, everything is always the fault of someone else. And part of that sense of entitlement is the faux victimization: why should they politely acknowledge someone else's religious holidays? To do so is a War on Christmas! They see political life as a zero sum game: respect and opportunity for others has to come at their expense! So of course their candidate, the candidate of real Americans, can win. They are entitled to win. Anything else would be unfair to them. Surely all real Americans will see that!

I understand why a lot of Bernie people like Trump. They're both protectionists and "anti-establishment", whatever that means.

Of course, Bernie isn't an unabashed racist.

Bernie has supported almost every intervention except for Iraq. In fact, there's almost no difference between Bernie and Hillary on foreign policy except for the Iraq vote (when Hillary was representing a very different constituency in the Senate than Bernie was). Hillary did make money on those Wall Street speeches (and a lot of other speeches to not Wall Street) but we know that because she disclosed all of her tax returns, which Bernie has not. (Awww, don't we just love Jane, whose Burlington College legacy is kind of questionable.)

Anyway, I think it's great that Nombrilisme Vide thinks Trump might just be better. Let her live for the rest of her life with the Supreme Court that Trump appoints, as I have lived with Nixon's, Ford's, Reagan's, and Bush II's. (Bush I appointed Souter, and regretted it.)

People might want to rethink Trump. Whatever damage he does will last many, many years past his term.

I understand why a lot of Bernie people like Trump.

I don't. Then again, I didn't know this was true, at least not by my understanding of "a lot."

I have spent the day, since 6 AM, working the polls in California. And will be here until 9 - - it's a very long work day. (Presumably we are counted as on salary.)

Amazing number of little details, many of which we managed to cock up at one point or another. I can testify to a lack of voter fraud. But I can also say that someone who is determined to believe in it could find "anomalies".

It has definitely been educational.

at least not by my understanding of "a lot."

My understanding of "a lot" is when I see more than a few people that I personally have dealings with say that they're not going to support Clinton. Good luck to, for example, NV. I find it horrifying and tragic.

It has definitely been educational.

Yep. I've done that here in Virginia, and there truly have been a few things ...,. But for the most part, I think the poll workers are good people, and things are straight.

If it makes you feel any better, sapient, my vote for Clinton is a lock come November. I'd also note that not supporting Clinton isn't the same as liking Trump, not that it's something I have to worry about as it concerns my support. I just don't see the need to attribute liking Trump to people who clearly don't like Trump, as NV doesn't.

I'd also note that not supporting Clinton isn't the same as liking Trump

doing nothing to stop a great evil may not be the same as liking that great evil, but the evil still benefits.

Mileage does vary. I will be voting decidedly against Trump, myself. But I can see why someone might be torn about voting for Clinton. I'd advise that Trump is clearly the far greater evil if anyone cared to ask me, but I still see a great deal of daylight between people who actively support Trump and someone like NV.

I still see a great deal of daylight between people who actively support Trump and someone like NV.

I'm glad you're so nuanced about your friends. I see no difference in effect whatsoever, although whatever circle in Hell is assigned is obviously not for me to decide.

i'm not in the least doubting NV's sincerity. i can certainly imagine a situation where i couldn't vote for the party's nominee no matter who the alternative was - if i were a Republican right now, for example.

but it seems pretty clear to me that the absolute best use of one's vote is to help defeat Trump. for all Clinton's faults, she's not a chaotic and evil idiotic fraud like Trump.

Mathematically, there is a difference as voting is concerned. A vote for Trump creates a differential of one vote, whereas a vote for no one creates no differential whatsoever. And NV hasn't even ruled out the possibility of a nose-held vote for Clinton in the face of Trump's great evil.

But NV is more than capable of self-defense with out my help, so I'll bow out now.

Clinton in November!

but it seems pretty clear to me that the absolute best use of one's vote is to help...

....route the repuklican party root, stem, and branch. They are a disease.

route the repuklican party root, stem, and branch. They are a disease.


Rout them!!!!! Will do!

"I see no difference in effect whatsoever..."

The difference is what they do, not what you think they "believe". The time may come when the test is going to be put to you...whose side are you on? If a "far left" candidate swept the Democratic primaries, but that candidate disavowed the so-called "war on terror, and condemned zionism, what will you do?

The choice is yours. The consequences are not.

The choice is yours. The consequences are not.

Not sure what you're ranting about, but the consequences of my choices are also mine. I own them. For better or for worse.

Not sure what you're ranting about, but the consequences of my choices are also mine. I own them. For better or for worse.

Well, you did not answer a direct question, but there you go. That's political combat.

Bernie has supported almost every intervention except for Iraq. In fact, there's almost no difference between Bernie and Hillary on foreign policy except for the Iraq vote (when Hillary was representing a very different constituency in the Senate than Bernie was).

As much as I dislike Obama, I preferred him in '08 to Clinton (although not enough to hold my nose), and for good cause. Had she been elected, we would like as not currently be engaged in ground wars in Syria and Libya. Secretary Clinton supported more involved interventions; President Obama disregarded her counsel, for which I am grateful. Clinton's cheerful, callous hawkishness has history well beyond her Senate tenure.

Note that I will find a conclusion that I need to support Clinton based on my willingness to find Obama's Presidency from '08-'16 preferable to a hypothetical Clinton presidency in the same timeframe to be very amusing.

Hillary did make money on those Wall Street speeches (and a lot of other speeches to not Wall Street) but we know that because she disclosed all of her tax returns, which Bernie has not. (Awww, don't we just love Jane, whose Burlington College legacy is kind of questionable.)

Oh, don't even start. The amount of shady crap that has gone down with the Clinton Foundation, to include actions with appearance of prejudice during Clinton's time at State, is absurd.

And do you really want to bring the not-actually-relevant subject of spouses and specifically their ties to universities into this? I'd think you wouldn't given WJC's dubious choice to shill for cold hard cash as Laureate Education's global spokesman and honorary chancellor. But hey, you do you.

--

The thing about "lesser evil" arguments is that they imagine all actions to occur on a linear continuum. If A is "less evil" than B, then A will do evil things, but only from a subset of what B would do anyway. This is, sadly, simply not the case.

Like I said, I have months left to decide to swallow my principles and endorse evil. I haven't forgotten the lesson of '33, and that suggests I should support Clinton in spite of her highly dubious morals. But again, we shall see.

The thing about "lesser evil" arguments is that they imagine all actions to occur on a linear continuum.

the abstraction and philosophizing seem unnecessary here. Clinton isn't great, but Trump is abhorrent. given the Presidency, he may actually be an existential threat to the US, and to to the rest of the world.

Like I said, I have months left to decide to swallow my principles and endorse evil.

you can do it! :)

Good luck, NV.

You have obviously brought a lot of thought and anguish to your decision, just as our more conservative friends here are experiencing with the decision in November.

You care and we need more of that.

I've honed my principles down to bite-sized pieces, the easier to swallow them when the time comes, except for this dog's dinner that has become the Republican Party, of which I was registered for years, if you can believe it.

I got tired of unhinging my jaws like a boa constrictor when younger.

But that's just me.

So, Trump is dangerously unpredictable and Clinton is predictably dangerous.

Hey ChWT, at least it's not "indescribably horrible and horribly indescribable".

Perhaps in 4 (or 8) more years.

As opposed to the Libertarian Party platform principles, which taste worse AND are less filling.

No dessert menu either. I say it's spinach and the hell with it.

Plus, they never swallow their principles, not even to nibble, which is an eating disorder that doesn't work in a Republic.

Instead, we're expected to swallow their principles.

Actually, I think Trump is wholly predictable, in that whatever comes out of his mouth today can be guaranteed to be more full of crap than what he upchucked yesterday.

Like every circus clown finale, with him we are guaranteed to be shot out of a cannon into a tub of reality show pudding, which isn't pudding, by the way, so close your mouths when you land.

Clinton seems to me at times to lack awareness of how she projects, some of which is her extreme calculating wariness (but who wouldn't be after the past 25 years) which comes across somehow as its opposite of not giving an eff.

She has principles and if you don't like those, she has others.

I think she's a bit of a blockhead.

But this blockhead will vote for her.

Both candidates are pretty good distillations of what the system -- us -- spits out.

We are Narcissus and they are our reflections.

Regarding the sleaze on both sides, if money is now speech, then sleaze is its vocabulary.

Here's ten dollars, now swallow some principles, .. yours ... mine .. anyone's ... whichever taste better.

The Supreme Court somehow found the word "sleaze" in the Constitution and enshrined it, thinking it was synonymous with freedom.

Whattaya talk, whattaya talk.

it seems pretty clear to me that the absolute best use of one's vote is to help...

....route the repuklican party root, stem, and branch. They are a disease.

Bobby, I think you are making a terrible mistake here. Three points come together:

First, like it or not, American is going to have two and only two major parties for the foreseeable future. (And we need to have more than one party capable of winning and governing.) A new party may replace one of the old ones, but we aren't going to see a situation where there is a viable third party alongside the other two. By "viable" I mean capable of electing both significant numbers of people to Congress and capable of getting at least 25% of the vote for President.

Second, we have only really once replaced one of the existing parties with a new one. That was a century and a half ago, when the Republicans replaced the Whigs. And it took an issue big enough to trigger a Civil War to generate that change. I see no issue of that magnitude on the horizon today. No matter how unhappy people are with politics.

Third, while I can see (indeed, agree with) your characterization of most (but definitely not all) elected Republicans at the national level, it is far from true at the state and local level. The only way that sanity percolates upwards is if people put some effort into supporting those sane Republicans as they try for higher office.

It may take the same level of effort as the far right spend during the 2-3 decades that they worked to take over in the first place. But given the first two points, it is something that needs to be done.

"I think a simple, if incomplete, explanation is that many of they think he's electable because, well, they like him. Good old halo effect -- in people's minds, if they're not being careful, all positive qualities correlate."

This. Doctor Science writes: "I don't see how they've managed to miss the issue of Trump's temperament and personality in general, and how frighteningly unsuited he is to the Presidency." But Trump supporters, pretty much by definition, don't think that Trump is, "frighteningly unsuited he is to the Presidency."

Anecdotally, I observe the same phenomenon on the Democratic side. Sanders supporters tend to believe that Sanders is more electable than Clinton, and vice versa.

This. So much this. Trump has supporters who support him precisely because of his temperament. My FB feed is full of them. We've talked about this here before, I believe; his "lack of a filter" and willingness to say "what everyone's thinking" (whether anyone, let alone everyone is or not) is a yuge draw for a depressingly large amount of people. He seems sincere because political correctness is insincere, and he's not politically correct; therefore he's plainly Presidential material. QED.

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