"How a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country"
February 23, 2016 9:26 AM   Subscribe

The moment of truth: We must stop Trump "Democrats, your leading candidate is too weak to count on as a firewall. She might be able to pull off a general election victory against Trump, but then again she might not. Too much is uncertain this year. You, too, need to help the Republicans beat Trump; this is no moment for standing by passively. If your deadline for changing your party affiliation has not yet come, re-register and vote for Rubio, even if, like me, you cannot stomach his opposition to marriage equality. I too would prefer Kasich as the Republican nominee, but pursuing that goal will only make it more likely that Trump takes the nomination. The republic cannot afford that."
posted by OnceUponATime (1586 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
so wait the way to beat Trump is to support Marco Rubio?

isn't this like beating cancer by stabbing the patient to death with a knife
posted by mightygodking at 9:29 AM on February 23, 2016 [214 favorites]


Oh please. You created this monster, the least you can do is be like Victor and deal with your mistakes.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:30 AM on February 23, 2016 [52 favorites]


'No candidate is perfect, let's support the one that has some of what we want, as long as they are a safer bet in the general election'

Sounds familiar
posted by mulligan at 9:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


Sorry, no. The GOP got itself into this mess, in part by shitting all over POC and Queer minorities and women. Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, all of that lot will continue to assuage hurt white fee-fees and continue to shit all over less-privileged groups.

So fuck you very much. You're not done begging.
posted by qcubed at 9:33 AM on February 23, 2016 [64 favorites]


Why are the democrats the one here expected to sacrifice their candidate? Shouldn't this be a call to arms for the republicans to support Hillary or Bernie? WTF
posted by Carillon at 9:33 AM on February 23, 2016 [236 favorites]


Donald Trump is the President that America deserves.
posted by Fister Roboto at 9:33 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


Yeah let's not pretend that Rubio and Kasich aren't dangerous.

Basically the closest thing to a decent republican in this race was Lincoln Chafee.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:34 AM on February 23, 2016 [50 favorites]


This may not sound popular, but in some ways Trump (especially if you believe he's pandering really hard) is less terrible than some of the other Republicans, particularly Cruz. As somebody who grew up in the Northeast, people there at least believe he won't give the whole region the finger as recent republicans have tended to do.

But yes, I agree that Trump is the logical conclusion of Republican politics. This article lacks logic and is pleading with people who don't have a dog in their fight.

I think either democratic nominee is likely to wallop the Republican nominee; either of them will perform much better in a general election debate by sounding less crazy.

If the democrats lose, then it was always going to end that way, and nobody could have done better. The U.S. will get the government it deserves. I won't lose sleep over it, because I'll consider the game lost before we even started to play.
posted by Strudel at 9:34 AM on February 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I am registered as an independent in MA, so I could follow this plan. But Trump is polling at 41% compared to Rubio's 17% right now. My voting as a Republican for a candidate I cannot support would be demoralizing and would probably not even help.
posted by cubby at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Democrats, your leading candidate is too weak to count on as a firewall. She might be able to pull off a general election victory against Trump, but then again she might not. Too much is uncertain this year. You, too, need to help the Republicans beat Trump; this is no moment for standing by passively. If your deadline for changing your party affiliation has not yet come, re-register and vote for Rubio, even if, like me, you cannot stomach his opposition to marriage equality.

I'm sorry, but Rubio is just not some Republican moderate Democrats can meekly get behind. Frankly, have a lot of faith that either of the prospective Democratic candidates will clean house if the end up running against Trump.
posted by newdaddy at 9:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


so wait the way to beat Trump is to support Marco Rubio?


Marco Rubio's meltdowns under pressure mean he at least recognizes that he could wind up in over his head.

Trump buys into the same lies he sells.

But yeah, I'm voting D this year.
posted by ocschwar at 9:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


[sad airhorn]
posted by ennui.bz at 9:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


One of the most important, and clarifying, moments in my life was reading Anne Frank in the third grade, and the promises I made to myself afterwards about the kind of person and citizen I was going to grow up to be. Same with reading Korematsu. Same with reading "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

To me, it's not even that neither Sanders nor Clinton has a guaranteed path to victory vs Trump. It's that either one, being human, could be struck by a bolt of lightning in late October. The chances are almost nil. But I want the chance of a President Trump to be even smaller than that. President Rubio would be horrible, for any number of people, especially women. But President Trump would be a very sad and shameful day for a country that should have already learned its lesson from the many sad and shameful days it's already seen.
posted by sallybrown at 9:37 AM on February 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


LAS VEGAS — In his final rally on Monday before the Nevada caucuses, Donald J. Trump said he wanted to punch a protester, who had been ejected from the event, in the face.

On the eve of what could be Mr. Trump’s third consecutive victory among a fractured Republican presidential field, the protester — the third one to interrupt him at the event and who Mr. Trump said had thrown punches at security guards — really drew the candidate’s ire. As the man was being escorted away, Mr. Trump repeatedly told the crowd that he wished for the “old days,” adding, “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher.”


He just needs Rand Paul's brownshirt buddies to do security for his events, and he'll be set. On CBC, last night, he already had support from bikers proudly waving Confederate flags. Maybe he can hire some of those winners.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:37 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


If Trump could beat Hillary in a general election, then I'd say the Democrats are nearly as fucked as the Republicans.
posted by echocollate at 9:38 AM on February 23, 2016 [39 favorites]


Basically the closest thing to a decent republican in this race was Lincoln Chafee.
posted by neroli at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2016 [44 favorites]


I've said this before, but when you bet that Trump won't follow through on his racist, nativist, bigoted bullshit (and all the egging on of it from his followers), you are gambling with peoples' lives and loved ones.
posted by sallybrown at 9:40 AM on February 23, 2016 [83 favorites]


For another, more optimistic point of view, see Jeet Heer's twitter essay written last night (and sadly not [yet] storified), which begins here.
posted by Bromius at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I live in Arkansas, a state where a)all voters can vote in either D or R primaries) and b)it looks like the R primary might actually be close. I considered this strategy.

And then I early-voted for Bernie Sanders.
posted by box at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2016 [46 favorites]


The thing is, the argument about Trump being ideologically preferable to Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich is true. Unfortunately, Presidential elections aren't about party platforms or candidate manifestos, but instead about particular individuals. In the case of Trump, the individual in question is erratic, violent, stupid, and almost certainly suffering from an untreated personality disorder.

So although Trump's ideas, such as they are, are better than Cruz's — Trump is a violent narcissist, rather than a cold-as-ice true believer — we can't just hope that Trump's advisors could keep him from wreaking real devastation.

I mean look he's Joffrey Baratheon, alright? Trump is Joffrey Baratheon. Making Trump President is basically tantamount to giving Joffrey Baratheon a nuclear arsenal.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:42 AM on February 23, 2016 [89 favorites]


How come democrats have to bite the the bitter pill to stop Trump? Couldn't republicans just...vote D?
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 9:42 AM on February 23, 2016 [97 favorites]


I don't like any of the Republicans. But Trump is a genuine threat to our democracy. We would survive President President Cruz or President Rubio, though I wouldn't agree with their policies. Trump is different. He could corrupt our democratic process irreparably. He and Putin are big fans of each other. Putin was democratically elected but has been unwilling to yield power. They are cut from the same cloth. Trump has said he will torture people. He has said he will discriminate against people based on their religion. He has invited his supporters to physically attack people at his rallies.

Rubio (and Cruz) are different in that I think actually believe most of the stuff they say they believe. They have principles, even though their principles are not the same as mine. That constrains their behavior. Trump seems to have none. He is capable of anything. I am not sure he would even hesitate to do stuff like default on the debt, bomb Pakistan or Iran, go after journalists and get them fired or beat up -- or killed, like Putin. It's not that far of a step from asking his followers to beat up people at rallies.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:42 AM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


Frankly, if Trump's elected, I fully anticipate that we would experience the nation's first military coup, because the thought of being sent into harm's way by that blow hard is too mind-blowing.

And I would acquiesce to the coup, personally. I just hope it would be a palace coup with Trump acting as a puppet for appearance's sake.
posted by ocschwar at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well she does have almost 1/4 of the delegates needed, is leading in Texas, and is the frontrunner. She's not the presumptive... yet, but she's certainly the leading candidate by a wide margin.
posted by avalonian at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


This may not sound popular, but in some ways Trump (especially if you believe he's pandering really hard) is less terrible than some of the other Republicans, particularly Cruz.

Just yesterday, Donald Trump responded to a protestor during a speech by literally saying he would like to punch him in the face and that he longs for the days when protestors would have to be carried out of the building in stretchers.

And the crowd loved him. Ate it up.

At this point, we are playing with fire.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:44 AM on February 23, 2016 [55 favorites]


But Trump is polling at 41% compared to Rubio's 17% right now.

But there's another 21% among Cruz, Kasich, and Carson that will make it a much tighter race if they're willing to throw over to not-Trump.

This article reminded me of my local House race (MI-11) a couple of years ago. Because the GOP incumbent ('s staff) committed election fraud, he dropped out, and the only R left on the ballot was a complete whackadoo but ended up winning (because of racism). He was only one freshman Representative among many, and his whackadooery didn't have that much effect on me or the country, and frankly, watching the local GOP try to recruit a write-in candidate and then spend the next two years recruiting a legitimate primary challenger was kind of amusing.

President Trump would have an effect on me and the country, in many, many ways, few of which would be amusing. I'm genuinely considering declaring as a Republican in the (basically open) primary for just this reason. I'd rather have Rubio in the White House than Trump, and Sanders/Clinton are much farther apart for than the GOP primary is for me.
posted by Etrigan at 9:44 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Democrats, your leading candidate is too weak to count on as a firewall.

The answer from the Danielle Allens of the US political establishment is some version of, "hold your nose, forget your principles, and support the status quo."

Come what may, I'm not doing it anymore - I have absolutely fucking had it. My kids deserve better, your kids deserve better - we all deserve better - than this sink of corruption and nihilism. So no, I won't vote for Rubio or Clinton. If we have to have a stand-up fight, let's just get it over with.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:44 AM on February 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


President Rubio would be horrible, for any number of people, especially women. But President Trump would be a very sad and shameful day for a country that should have already learned its lesson from the many sad and shameful days it's already seen.

Any of the GOP candidates, including Rubio (especially Rubio) and Kasich, would be completely untenable, especially if he gets elected at the same time as an even more rabid Congress. This isn't at all, and is less so than any election I can remember, a choice between lesser of two evils. It's a choice between some form of the status quo (minimally) and shooting yourself in the face on purpose.
posted by blucevalo at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


Basically the closest thing to a decent republican in this race was Lincoln Chafee.

GOOGLE THADDEUS STEVENS
posted by DaDaDaDave at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Excuse me? Just because the Republicans have built this towering garbage fire of a nomination does not mean I, a Democrat, am obliged to jump in and burn in it with them. The smoke is noxious enough as it is. I won't vote for a single one of those fuckers, not when, at every turn, they've shown themselves to be fundamentally, diametrically opposed to my interests. Or no, not my interests, that's too soft a term; I mean my identity. Years of hearing dogwhistle and not-so-dogwhistle statements that say I'm not American enough for them, that I'm not a real American. Fuck that.

You move, Republicans. I sure as shit won't.
posted by yasaman at 9:46 AM on February 23, 2016 [89 favorites]


Just yesterday, Donald Trump responded to a protestor during a speech by literally saying he would like to punch him in the face and that he longs for the days when protestors would have to be carried out of the building in stretchers.

And Cruz speaks daily of how much those he's supposed to work with hate him, and how he's going to make them fear and hate him more.
posted by avalonian at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


But President Trump would be a very sad and shameful day for a country that should have already learned its lesson from the many sad and shameful days it's already seen.

The thing is, Trump so far is all bluster and rhetoric. He's said some disgusting things about specific women and has pandered heavily to the anti-Muslim fears of the people who will probably win him the nomination, but he's actually publicly defended Planned Parenthood and attacked the warhawk tendencies of the Right, and when it comes to domestic social policy he has a track record of saying pretty moderate things.

Look, I think he'd be a relatively lousy president and I'd throw myself through a fifth-story window before I voted for him, but do you really think he'd be worse for the country for four years than Ted Cruz or Mark Rubio? Do you really think Trump is going to try to build a fucking wall around Mexico? That he's really going to try to block all Muslims from entering the country? Who among the three do you reckon would install the more ideologically conservative justice to the Supreme Court?
posted by echocollate at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


Some of us would survive President Cruz. A lot of women and girls would die from botched abortions, though. And a lot of people would die from lack of necessary medical treatment in the wake of the dismantlement of Obamacare. A lot of people who immigrated when they were children would be expelled from the US and sent off to die.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


The nice thing about Trump is that he's not driven by ideology. If you could make it profitable for him, he'd be the biggest supporter of single-payer healthcare and nationalizing the Energy sector.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


But I want the chance of a President Trump to be even smaller than that.

I think it's worth emphasizing that people who are terrified of a President Trump are missing the very important fact that at this point it is nearly impossible for him to win the general election so long as he is vigorously opposed by a Democrat. ANY Democrat.

Trump has completely alienated black, Arabic, and Latino voters to an extent not contemplated in American politics in the past thirty years - and Asian voters are not far behind at this point. Those voters make up almost thirty percent of the electorate. Trump will be lucky to get one vote in twenty from them. Before we even get to white voters, Trump is running at 29-1 against.

And then there's the white voters. Yes, some of them will vote for Trump. But we just had the South Carolina GOP primary, which is as white and racist as voting gets in this country, and Trump got about a third of that vote. I think he would have gotten more with fewer candidates in the race, but I also think he has a ceiling of about 70% with the GOP electorate. Oh, and then there's the Democratic white vote, which is not nothing.

Basically, being scared of Trump is either the belief that the Democrats won't oppose him (and I think both Sanders and Clinton would relish the opportunity to lay into Donald fucking Trump) or that white votes are somehow more powerful than non-white votes.
posted by mightygodking at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [52 favorites]


If a Republican becomes president and the GOP controls the House and the Senate, they will nominate a Supreme Court justice and possibly 2. They will dump Obama health program, dump the treaty with Iran for no nukes; and get rid of the Climate Change treaty...Other than that....

I do not trust a one of the GOP candidates, and so the way to defeat any one of them is to work hard to get a Democrat into the presidency.
posted by Postroad at 9:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [23 favorites]



Any of the GOP candidates, including Rubio (especially Rubio) and Kasich, would be completely untenable, especially if he gets elected at the same time as an even more rabid Congress.


Rubio and Kasich are both insincere opportunists whose electoral pandering to the Tea Party is not so likely to reflect their policies in office.

Yes, I'm saying this as arguments in their favor. A competent cynic is way better than a delusional maniac.
posted by ocschwar at 9:48 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's a choice between some form of the status quo (minimally) and shooting yourself in the face on purpose.

What, you don't keep Cheney on retainer?
posted by avalonian at 9:49 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Let's skip the pronoun thing. If we're gonna have yet... another... election thread, let's keep this one focused on Trump, and do any Democratic candidate arguing in one of the many other threads.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:49 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


If the Democrat's nominee convinces the second place finisher to run as VP there's no way they lose this election no matter who the Republicans run.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm sorry, have I time-traveled to September? What is happening in the Republican primaries right now is not my problem (nor can it be, as I live in a state with closed primaries). I oppose every single one of those fuckers with ever fiber of my being. But right now, this is an intra-party DEFCON situation and I literally can't do anything about it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Clinton? still has an edge nationally. Rubio? voters don't love him, He's the true heir of the Bush legacy, (and holder of the sword of Chang!)
My very peculiar and speculative theory of why the GOP has not stopped Donald Trump - "What if political scientists are to blame?" You Postpolicy Republicans Gave Us Trump - now's it's his party and he's already won. He's Middle American's Messenger (and by "middle american," we mean white people). Trump stole JEBs! mojo, while the consultants made out like bandits.

Not even Donald Trump Can Stop Donald Trump. Trump Optimists And Trump Skeptics Are About To Go To War. Game Theory is on Trump's Side (it's a tragedy of the commons!)

The Cult of Personality. The American Ahmadinaejad. The American Pim Fortuyn. Stop being a god-damned idiot. After Trump -
What I find fascinating about the punditocracy’s constant commentary on the Trump Phenomenon is this: Nothing about that phenomenon is difficult to understand. In fact, it seems to me that thoughtful commenters have reached a remarkable level of consensus about Trumpery. Almost everyone now understands that Trump’s constituency is comprised largely of people who have been ignored by the Republican establishment; that they are angry about how peripheral they have become to to professional politicians and to American society in general; that Trump effectively channels that anger; and that the more outrageous and offensive his rhetoric is the more convinced they become that he will speak for them and their concerns when no one else will.
Trump is the worst? What if the worst already happened?

/ And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [39 favorites]


Wouldn't it make more sense to vote for Bernie, who polls well against Trump?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:51 AM on February 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


How come democrats have to bite the the bitter pill to stop Trump? Couldn't republicans just...vote D?

If the Republicans who hate Trump leave the party in the primaries, he becomes the nominee. That's what Allen is asking people to do -- vote against Trump in the primaries so he doesn't have the chance to beat the Democrat.
posted by Etrigan at 9:51 AM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Donald Trump responded to a protestor during a speech by literally saying he would like to punch him in the face

I hope he can manage to throw a punch with those heel spurs
posted by Hoopo at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, we'd need to beat both Trump and Cruz, because Cruz is worse than Trump, and then loose in the general to Rubio the Smilin' "Moderate." Fuck that. We'll take our chances with Donald J. Toupee in November.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm confused. If a political party has a nomination process and ends up with a candidate whom party leadership doesn't want, can't they just say no and choose someone else?
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's way past time to support an alternative Republican candidate. The time for that was 15 years ago. Because Donald Trump isn't the problem. He just does what works and gets him the attention he craves. He's a mirror. If this was a decent nation, Donald Trump would be Spencer Tracy.

Even if Trump doesn't win, we're living in a country full of people willing to put him this close to the levels of power. So it's well past time to deal with Donald Trump. Now it's time to prepare an underground resistance. Stockpile weapons and supplies. Create hidden spaces in your home where you can hide people. And document everything. Everything.

Because eventually there will come a day when all these Trump supporters will be swearing "I wasn't part of it! I hid Muslims!"

We'll need to prove who did, and who didn't.
posted by Naberius at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


I live in a state that will definitely go Republican in the general election. I think there is some merit to the idea that I can use my teeny tiny bit of power in service of the greatest avoidance of harm by registering Republican and voting for Rubio in the primary, then voting Democrat in the general election. I have to think about this.
posted by HotToddy at 9:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


This is an exciting election, I see the outcomes as:
1) Swing left with Bernie
2) Business as usual with Hillary
3) Swing right-ish and see how far down the rabbit hole goes with Donald.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


But right now, this is an intra-party DEFCON situation and I literally can't do anything about it.

I think one of the valid points the article makes is that the system is broken, we can't broker, and it's valid to attempt to circumvent it. I'm with it in theory, but the entire republican field is morally repugnant in my eyes.
posted by avalonian at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


If a political party has a nomination process and ends up with a candidate whom party leadership doesn't want, can't they just say no and choose someone else?

If they want to end up in court long past the election and lose the support of a large fraction of their party members, they probably could do so.
posted by Etrigan at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump's rise in the GOP primaries is partly a result of the broad field of problematic candidates. As far as I can tell, he doesn't win by a plurality, he wins because the majority of the vote is getting split several ways.

And even in the GOP primary his negatives are strong. In a general election his negatives are going to be a lot more negative.

I don't think there's any way he wins a plurality in the usual straight-up two candidate contest.

(Now, if a spoiler like Bloomberg enters the race....)
posted by wildblueyonder at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh my God this is so monumentally stupid. If Trump wins the general it won't be because Democrats didn't help vote against him in the primary, it'll be because Rubio/Bush/Kasich supporters say "well I guess he's not that bad" and vote him in.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


The closest thing to a decent moderate Republican in this race is Hillary Clinton.
posted by Bee'sWing at 9:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [203 favorites]


We can't run Hillary against Trump. You have to fight populist fire with populist fire. Pit Bernie against him, it's the *only* way to grab the undecideds who have not been paying attention but aren't happy with how American life is going.
posted by gusandrews at 9:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


Seriously though the "the best way to use my fractional power is by making sure Rubio instead of Trump gets the nomination" line of reasoning would only make sense if Rubio weren't himself a dangerous radical.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Frankly, if Trump's elected, I fully anticipate that we would experience the nation's first military coup, because the thought of being sent into harm's way by that blow hard is too mind-blowing.

I bet a successful impeachment would be more likely. First, there's almost no way he wouldn't do something illegal, and second, he has absolutely no allies in Congress. You'd need 15 or 20 Republicans to vote against Trump, but I don't actually think that would be so hard based on how much the party leadership seems to hate him.
posted by Copronymus at 9:56 AM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


Trump is history's answer to "It can't happen here."

This generation may just get an opportunity to find out what it is to be part of an underground.
posted by Mooski at 9:57 AM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


Y'all saw she was talking about the primary right? Cause she was talking about the primary. She said that she intends to back the Democrat in the general election, she just doesn't think Trump should get as far as the nomination. She's clarifying that Trump isn't like the ordinary type of terrible people he's competing against.
posted by Octaviuz at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


But there's another 21% among Cruz, Kasich, and Carson that will make it a much tighter race if they're willing to throw over to not-Trump.

Not all of those voters are going to vote for whoever the non-Trump option is, though, even if everyone else does drop out. Daniel Larison made a similar point about Bush's exit - it's an unsupported assumption that everyone voting for Kasich or Cruz would just switch sides to Rubio and not Trump.

I linked it at the bottom of the other thread, but AFL-CIO's Working America recently did a poll in Pittsburgh and Cleveland showing that fully 1/4 of decided working-class Democrats in those cities were ready to vote for Trump:

"Polling data from Cleveland and Pittsburgh conducted by Working America, an offshoot of the AFL-CIO labor federation, should compound those concerns. The union group surveyed working-class households making less than $75,000 a year, 90 percent of which had voted in the 2012 election. Although 53 percent of voters in the December-to-January survey had not decided on a general election candidate, Trump was crushing the competition among those who had. Trump's 38 percent support was stronger than support for both Clinton and Sanders combined. And his backing wasn't simply from hard-line conservatives. One in four Democrats who had settled on a candidate had decided on Trump. ...

Another fact to consider: The Rust Belt is disproportionately white. While there are pockets of color -- in Philadelphia, Flint, Detroit, Milwaukee -- the states are much whiter than the national average. America is 62 percent white, according to census data. Michigan, by contrast, is over 75 percent white, and Pennsylvania's population is more than 77 percent white. More than 80 percent of Ohio is white, as is over 82 percent of Wisconsin."

The Rust Belt is where we will really need to watch out if he's the nominee - Trump could flip many of those states by making a substantive "class traitor" appeal to working-class white voters. Those voters have been ignored by the GOP outside of cultural appeals for years - they mostly disliked Romney and McCain - but many of them appear to be much more favorable towards Trump because of his economic populism.

I sincerely worry about our ability to keep these voters on the sidelines or voting Democrat if Clinton is the nominee. His trade rhetoric is a hugely overlooked aspect of his popularity with the white working class, and so much of this is about rebellion against the elites who have abandoned the working class. Trump is the first Republican I can remember running against NAFTA, which is still toxically unpopular with most working-class people. It may be much harder for us to win those key Rust Belt states than it was in past years, just because Trump is actually making a substantive (not simply identity-based, e.g. Sarah Palin) appeal for those voters for the first time since, well, probably Reagan.
posted by dialetheia at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2016 [50 favorites]


The FPP link is paywalled for me, but am I correct that the gist of it is, "dear Democrats, please help nominate a more electable Republican in the primaries for us, kthx<3" because if so hahahaha lolol what the fuck no are you kidding me? No.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]



I bet a successful impeachment would be more likely.


Good point. And one that will probably reduce the amount of liquor I drink over the next few months. My liver thanks you.
posted by ocschwar at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Problem is, Rubio ALSO scares the hell out of me. Asking me to choose between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio is like asking which car I would prefer to be in when it drives off the cliff. Who cares?

I did not feel this way about John McCain or Mitt Romney. I disagreed with them on just about everything and didn't want them to be president, sure, but I didn't think they were absolutely friggin' nuts. If, say, Romney and Santorum had been neck and neck and someone had said, "Vote for Romney in the primaries, democrats, don't let Santorum get even that close!", then I might have been like, well, you you have a valid point there, I'll think about that.

But Rubio vs. Trump? Why bother? What good would it do? I'll just work on getting the democrat I think is best to the nomination, thanks.
posted by kyrademon at 10:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


[Going to just underline again: this needs to not be a thread about why Democrats should nominate Sanders.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [36 favorites]


I guess this is the latest horserace thread. Sorry for the Godwinning, but Trump beating down on the Saudi government for 9/11 is very The Man in the High Castle, what with the arch-brutal Heydrich being a marginally less loathsome choice for Reich Chancellor than Goebbels, because the latter's more bellicose foreign policy threatens to destroy the entire world.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, I'll be honest here, too.

I have zero faith in the electoral system of the US, anyway. Sure, okay. I can cross party lines and vote for Rubio or whoever in Illinois, where Trump is leading by +13. It's not like it'll matter anyway in the general election. The city will go for whoever is the (D) candidate. How the city goes, so will the state.

So, like.

Why the fuck should I bother with the primary? Three elections have proven to me that my vote does not count.
posted by qcubed at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


The Washington Post of all places calling for Democrats to get behind Rubio is hilarious. Outside of FAUX News, and the WSJ, Wapo is the single biggest mainstream journalism culprit behind continual rightward march of the overton window which led directly to the rise of Trump. Of course they expect Democrats to fall on the sword once again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


You know who else rose to power on bigoted demagoguery and threats of violence?
(What's that...? The first sentence? Really?)
posted by the sobsister at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I bet a successful impeachment would be more likely.

Which prompts the question: If he does get the nomination, what kind of wackadoodle will he choose as his running mate?
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:02 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


In fairness, I will note that my spouse has essentially said that she believes Trump getting elected would be literally be a world-apocalypse-level bad thing and that the others would not be bad to quite that degree, and is seriously considering voting in the Republican primary this year for just that reason.
posted by kyrademon at 10:03 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"
posted by Fizz at 10:03 AM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


I bet a successful impeachment would be more likely.

Which prompts the question: If he does get the nomination, what kind of wackadoodle will he choose as his running mate?


Presumably someone just as easy to impeach. President Paul Ryan NLT 2018.
posted by Etrigan at 10:04 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Which prompts the question: If he does get the nomination, what kind of wackadoodle will he choose as his running mate?

I'd put actual money on someone related to him.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:04 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


No, Prize Bull Octorok, this gist is: "We, the people, need to find somewhere, buried in the recesses of our fading memories, the capacity to make common cause against this formidable threat to our equally shared liberties. The time is now."

A few more quotes for those who can't read the article:

"But over the course of the past few months, I’ve learned something else that goes beyond Arendt’s ideas about the banality of evil and feelings of impotence in the face of danger. Trump is rising by taking advantage of a divided country. The truth is that the vast majority of voting Americans think that Trump is unacceptable as a presidential candidate, but we are split by strong partisan ideologies and cannot coordinate a solution to stop him. Similarly, a significant part of voting Republicans think that Trump is unacceptable, but they too, thus far, have been unable to coordinate a solution. Trump is exploiting the fact that we cannot unite across our ideological divides."

It also advises "Republicans, you cannot count on the Democrats to stop Trump. [...] Trump has to be blocked in your primary. [...] If you care about the future of this republic, it is time to endorse Marco Rubio. Kasich, there’s a little wind in your sails, but it’s not enough. Your country is calling you. Do the right thing."
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:05 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


> he has absolutely no allies in Congress. You'd need 15 or 20 Republicans to vote against Trump, but I don't actually think that would be so hard based on how much the party leadership seems to hate him.

I think you underestimate how much people love power or, failing that, debasing themselves before it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


The FPP link is paywalled for me, but am I correct that the gist of it is, "dear Democrats, please help nominate a more electable Republican in the primaries for us, kthx<3" because if so hahahaha lolol what the fuck no are you kidding me? No.
The author is a political philosopher, and I think she's a centrist Democrat.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:06 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


One thing the demographic angle (the one that conjectures that Trump has no chance in the general because he's an obvious racist and misogynist, and women, latinos and blacks won't vote for him) is that American voter turn out in presidential years hovers around 50%. If a large portion of the angry white working-class men in that other 50%, the portion who don't vote most years, turn out to vote for a Trump Who Will Restore Whiteness And Torture and Murder The Brown People Who Are Taking Our Jobs (aka, Make American Great Again) he could sweep the nation. Perhaps an unlikely scenario, but Trump was supposed to be over and done with before the first primary, and now he's sweeping the field. We should start assuming the worst and most unlikely scenarios are the ones that will actually happen.
posted by dis_integration at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


> You know who else rose to power on bigoted demagoguery and threats of violence?
(What's that...? The first sentence? Really?)


I mean Trump's not Hitler. He's not Hitler, he's not Berlusconi, he's not Le Pen, he's not Mussolini. He's, well, he's Trump. But Trump, Hitler, Berlusconi, Mussolini, and Le Pen are all symptoms of roughly the same sort of madness, and if the United States falls under the spell of that madness the world as a whole is in for a real rough ride.

and maybe falling under the spell of that madness is inevitable — maybe it's already too late.

Godwin's Law was an artifact of the relatively safe and decent world of the 1990s. Invoking it in the 2010s requires willfully ignoring reality.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


> Which prompts the question: If he does get the nomination, what kind of wackadoodle will he choose as his running mate?

If this were a movie, where the real-life barriers that would prevent it did not apply and the consequences were totally fictional, I would root for Rob Ford. There's a dynamic duo for you. "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???"
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Outside of FAUX News, and the WSJ, Wapo is the single biggest mainstream journalism culprit behind continual rightward march of the overton window which led directly to the rise of Trump.

Are you sure you're not confusing the Post with the Washington Times?
posted by chimaera at 10:08 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Which prompts the question: If he does get the nomination, what kind of wackadoodle will he choose as his running mate?

*steeples fingers* Bernie.
posted by BrashTech at 10:08 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Back when the clown car was still packed full, I called the GOP ticket as Kasich/Rubio. The respectable, not obviously crazy but still mostly conservative Midwestern governor for two terms, and the Dan Quayle-ish Latino lightweight who'd get some seasoning over two terms as veep and serve as a diversity marker/milestone for the party and country.

I do not put it past the powers that be to make this happen no matter what polls and pundits say.
posted by the sobsister at 10:08 AM on February 23, 2016


We're supposed to vote the "sane" candidate who's against abortion even when the mother's life is endangered?

And who plans to give away 7 trillion in tax cuts to America's wealthiest?

No, we're just going to have to defeat both of these candidates, and force the GOP to move left to win elections vs. chase them down the right wing rabbit hole.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 10:09 AM on February 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


We are deep into a Stephen King presidential race. And Christopher Walken is nowhere to be seen.
posted by Splunge at 10:09 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I do not believe that Trump is the president that America needs, but if you (as a nation) should end up electing him, he is assuredly the president you deserve.
posted by bouvin at 10:09 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Guys, she's talking about voting Republican IN THE PRIMARY. Then voting Democrat in the general election.
posted by HotToddy at 10:10 AM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Really worth mentioning again and again, Rubio is arguably more extreme than Trump. It's not like a vote for Rubio is a vote for a Northeastern Republican pragmatist like John Huntsman or even for a Bob Dole. Rubio himself represents a return to the first two years of bellicose, unapologetic Bushism on steroids.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:10 AM on February 23, 2016 [35 favorites]


Walking Dude/Trashcan Man '16
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:11 AM on February 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


Jeb Bush has done the right thing by dropping out, just as he did the right thing by being the first, alongside Rand Paul, to challenge Trump. The time has come, John Kasich and Ben Carson, to leave the race as well. You both express a powerful commitment to the good of your country and to its founding ideals. If you care about the future of this republic, it is time to endorse Marco Rubio. Kasich, there’s a little wind in your sails, but it’s not enough. Your country is calling you. Do the right thing.

I love this author's clear self-image as a beneficent philosopher-king commanding his followers. Why not just say, "Trump, you know in your heart you are bad. I ask you to please be less bad"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:11 AM on February 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


Basically, being scared of Trump is either the belief that the Democrats won't oppose him (and I think both Sanders and Clinton would relish the opportunity to lay into Donald fucking Trump) or that white votes are somehow more powerful than non-white votes.

The Democratic frontrunner is currently under investigation by the FBI. Democratic self-destruction is still a real possibility.

The things Trump says obviously disqualify him from the Presidency in my view, but I feel much the same way about the other Republican options. He says out loud what they dog whistle anyway. But then he actually has better views than them on things like Iraq and all of his social conservative credentials on issues like abortion are totally questionable. I have no idea how he would actually govern, he actually has potential to be less bad than his opponents.

I'm not gonna try and bail the Republicans out on this one, nominate whoever you want.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:11 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The writer also totally misreads Hannah Arendt.
posted by My Dad at 10:11 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't understand this thread. The article in question is talking about how one might choose to vote in a primary, not in the general election. It's not saying "we need to elect Rubio", it's saying "selecting Rubio in the GOP primary is more important than choosing between Clinton and Sanders in the Dem primary, because of how awful Trump is". It's an idea worth engaging seriously with.
posted by Jpfed at 10:12 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I love this author's clear self-image as a beneficent philosopher-king commanding his followers.
Danielle Allen is a woman. You can tell that because Danielle is usually a woman's name.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:13 AM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


It's important to note that nobody, nobody, is asking you to vote for Rubio in the general. Registering as a Republican is not a blood oath. You can register Republican to go in the caucus, and then vote Democrat in the general.

Trump is literally evil. I cannot think of a negative descriptor that he does not deserve. I cannot think of a descriptor for what America will become if Trump is elected and Trump's views become mainstream politics.

I have been out of politics on a serious level for several years, because of my mental health. I am getting involved again, simply because Trump is an evil that must be defeated. And I'm gonna tell you the same thing I'm telling the Republicans right now: if you're a patriot, vote anybody but Trump.
posted by corb at 10:13 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Trump may be a demagogue but he's no ideologue. If elected, I don't think he'll be nearly as bad as an actual Republican would be.
posted by monospace at 10:14 AM on February 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


Really worth mentioning again and again, Rubio is arguably more extreme than Trump.

Arguably based on policy statements yes, but if Rubio and Trump were the only people in the general election, would you actually vote Trump? I'd guess no one making the "Trump isn't that radical" argument would actually pull a lever for him, and rightly so, he's a total wildcard loon who could do basically anything.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:14 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


The ironic thing about Trump, and the tragic thing about American foreign policy, is that while he makes noises about smashing ISIS and forcing Mexico to build a border wall, he can freely criticize the Iraq War and foreign entanglement. That's the power of third candidates, whether Perot or Pat Buchanan- the ability to freely call for isolationism, even as everything in our apparatus is against that. And Trump, being a billionaire, is less beholden to contributions from the military-industrial complex, and since he's no politician, has no constituencies who work for it.

So to bring up by earlier post, Trump is Heydrich, and the conventional candidates are Goebbels. And that's the supreme irony and sadness.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:14 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do not believe that Trump is the president that America needs, but if you (as a nation) should end up electing him, he is assuredly the president you deserve.


Let's not pretend this is a purely democratic process, that people are all functionally enfranchised, and that all members of the U.S. are deserving of pain and suffering because 51% of electoral college votes go towards a particular person. Why do we become a homogenous entity that's deserving of "what's coming" or the "good and hard" because of systemic phenomenon that manifests beyond what any one individual can affect?
posted by avalonian at 10:15 AM on February 23, 2016 [35 favorites]


> if your patriot, vote anybody but Trump.

That's the thing, though; Trump's base is people who hate America, or at least what they perceive it to have become.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:15 AM on February 23, 2016


It's an idea worth engaging seriously with.

K so why not vote for Cruz instead of Rubio? Why we gotta back the one who looks moderate and is probably more electable in the general?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:16 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


This year I will probably be comforting myself with a lot of H.L. Mencken:

"Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand... We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

"No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby."

and

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
posted by entropicamericana at 10:16 AM on February 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


The writer also totally misreads Hannah Arendt.

I don't know how you can glean that from the single paragraph on Arendt, but it aligns with my reading of Arendt's work. Dr. Allen is the the real-deal in political theory, and maybe this is just my lingering pro-academy bias, but I'm fairly certain she could defend her reading at essay-length.
posted by dis_integration at 10:16 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


You can tell that because Danielle is usually a woman's name.

Well that, and the picture of her on the piece.
posted by avalonian at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


but if Rubio and Trump were the only people in the general election, would you actually vote Trump?

I refuse to cast a vote for someone who is anti-abortion. If that means I don't vote because there are only anti-abortion candidates, then it is what it is. It doesn't matter whether it's the primary or the general. I cannot give support to any candidate who does not support legal abortion, full stop.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


K so why not vote for Cruz instead of Rubio? Why we gotta back the one who looks moderate and is probably more electable in the general?

Seriously. If we're so afraid of Trump, why shouldn't I throw my primary vote away for Cruz?
posted by qcubed at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Danielle Allen is a woman. You can tell that because Danielle is usually a woman's name.

Whuh-oh, sorry Danielle, if you're reading this! Didn't mean to misgender you.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am starting to think of American politics as Two Parties One Cup.
posted by srboisvert at 10:18 AM on February 23, 2016 [27 favorites]


K so why not vote for Cruz instead of Rubio? Why we gotta back the one who looks moderate and is probably more electable in the general?


I can't vote full slytherin no matter what. If the dark lord is to rise again, it will be upon the death eaters that it's done.
posted by avalonian at 10:18 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I love this author's clear self-image as a beneficent philosopher-king

It would perhaps not shock you that Danielle Allen actually wrote a book about Plato which, "argues that Plato was not only the world’s first systematic political philosopher, but also the western world’s first think-tank activist and message man."

I mean, I haven't read it, so I can't tell you if it's, "What if it turns out that Plato's Republic is actually very good as a political system?" but I have my suspicions.
posted by Copronymus at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


at this point it is nearly impossible for him to win the general election so long as he is vigorously opposed by a Democrat. ANY Democrat.

I'd like to think so. But let's remember the Republican establishment finds itself in this predicament, in part, because they repeatedly underestimated Trump. The Democrats better learn from that mistake.

Trump has completely alienated black, Arabic, and Latino voters to an extent not contemplated in American politics in the past thirty years - and Asian voters are not far behind at this point.

It's a long time between now and November. What if he tacks to the center after winning the nomination? A lot of people seem to assume he'll keep up his current racist xenophobic bluster in the general election campaign... what if he doesn't? What if he says, "Oh, just kidding about that Mexican Wall thing, but I will vigorously enforce existing immigration law and deport as many people as I can?" How many of those minority voters can he win back?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's an idea worth engaging seriously with.

I think most people in this thread are engaging with this just as seriously as it deserves.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump is the President that America deserves.

let's talk about this in November. Meanwhile ...
posted by philip-random at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2016


Donald Trump responded to a protestor during a speech by literally saying he would like to punch him in the face

Has anyone heard the entire context? I finally did and it was clear that the intent was much closer to "grr I'll wring the kids neck that made that mess" than a threat of physical harm.

As much as I have qualms of Trumps governing abilities in the national and international arenas, the freeness of his prose is one of the elements that folks like.
posted by sammyo at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Basically the closest thing to a decent republican in this race was Lincoln Chafee.

But he was sort of funny-looking and Salon thought it was a joke that he had been a farrier.
posted by thelonius at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016


The article's thesis is barely worth engaging with. It all turns on whether Trump is in fact a worse candidate for the Democrats to face in the general than Rubio. Personally, I'm way more terrified of Rubio: his views are dangerous, retrograde lunacy, but journalists are so deeply in heat for him that the fully appalling scale of his vision for the country hasn't even gotten an airing. With Trump there's always the possibility of his imploding, either on his own or with a little assist from hostile coverage, while to most of the electorate I'd imagine that Rubio presents as a nice, fresh-faced youngster, not a bloodstained ideologue.

Anyway, didn't the goddamn George W Bush presidency teach us to look out for the maniac that the press is backing? Allen is floating some seriously bad electoral strategy here.
posted by informavore at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [35 favorites]


Donald Trump is playing the role of a megalomaniacal, sociopathic fascist demagogue, and whether he is genuine or simply pandering is beside the point. The point is that in winning, he has finally revealed the true darkness at the heart of the modern American Republican to such an undeniable extent that even the Republican party leaders and professional mouthpieces are forced to beg for mercy.

Frankly, we need Trump, because we need this fight, out in the open, ugliness incarnate. The Republicans need to be represented by the braying tumor that best reflects the cancer in their souls, and the rest of the nation needs to rise up at the polls in fear and desperation and beat them so soundly that the Republican party is finally forced to give up pandering to their worst populist elements and design a new winning political strategy that includes governing for all of the people.

We have to let the market decide. But then we have to BE the market. And we have to decide SO resoundingly that we wash the stink of this madness clean. Forever.

Not sure if trump is really a demon, or if he just plays one on TV, but the Republic is clearly possessed. It's time for an old-fashioned exorcism, and don't spare the pea soup. Just wash it away.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [95 favorites]


I'd guess no one making the "Trump isn't that radical" argument would actually pull a lever for him, and rightly so, he's a total wildcard loon who could do basically anything.

I'd actually argue Rubio is pretty much the same thing. He's shown an utter willingness to completely cater to the every whim of both the Koch paymasters and right wing hate radio, with his own streak of clueless foreign policy saber rattling, which he's highly likely to follow through on. He'd agree to every demand from the right wing fever swamp out of reflex.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this thread. The article in question is talking about how one might choose to vote in a primary, not in the general election. It's not saying "we need to elect Rubio", it's saying "selecting Rubio in the GOP primary is more important than choosing between Clinton and Sanders in the Dem primary, because of how awful Trump is". It's an idea worth engaging seriously with.

In my state, you cannot vote in a primary unless you are already registered in that one party.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump responded to a protestor during a speech by literally saying he would like to punch him in the face

Oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed. (Come on, you honestly think they haven't all felt the same at one time or another? I could wish Bernie would say something like that. Or at least pick up a knife, metaphorically speaking.)

if you (as a nation) should end up electing him, he is assuredly the president you deserve.


I always hated this cliche. I may or may not deserve the president I help elect, but I hardly can claim to deserve one I don't help elect. And given that the president we get invariably is not the one we were promised, the phrase becomes even more stupid. (Moreover, you can drop the "as a nation" qualifier, because it makes absolutely no sense.)
posted by IndigoJones at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why wouldn't I want my opponent to be in its weakest position possible?
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, about Rubio's chances of winning:
Florida: 99 delegates. Trump leads all three surveys conducted in January, by margins ranging from 12 to 32 points. This should be a blaring, five-alarm fire for Marco Rubio; if Trump beats him in his home state, the skeptical “what state can Rubio win?” cries will get deafening.
posted by clawsoon at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


It's also worth noting that Trump is so crazy, that I cannot tell any more when something about him is satire. There is nothing that has been published about him in comedy news that I cannot conceive of him actually doing.

I mean, Trump is so seriously frightening that I am actually advocating super left Democrats register as a Republican to fuck up party caucuses, just because Trump is that bad and evil. Like, you guys can propose the Republican Party bans all guns, and I will deal with that shit /after/ we take Trump out of the race.
posted by corb at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


it's saying "selecting Rubio in the GOP primary is more important than choosing between Clinton and Sanders in the Dem primary, because of how awful Trump is". It's an idea worth engaging seriously with.

Okay, but my problem is they're all goddamn monsters who are fundamentally bad for this country, and for me and a lot of others it really is the choice between shooting myself or poisoning myself. If Jeb! was still in it, and in any sense a viable candidate as opposed to a sad muppet, I'd be more sympathetic to this argument because, like Romney or McCain, he's a Republican who I could grudgingly stomach as president. But I'm choosing between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio here, and that is...that is not much of a choice at all. That's just choosing my preferred dystopian hellscape, and I'd rather not make myself party to choosing any dystopian hellscape scenario.
posted by yasaman at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


I think most people in this thread are engaging with this just as seriously as it deserves.

I can't speak to their seriousness but the idea that most people in this thread are engaging with is a caricature of the point the original article is making.
posted by Octaviuz at 10:22 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


A lot of people seem to assume he'll keep up his current racist xenophobic bluster in the general election campaign... what if he doesn't? What if he says, "Oh, just kidding about that Mexican Wall thing, but I will vigorously enforce existing immigration law and deport as many people as I can?"

Anyone whose seen his bits on Late Night with Stephen Colbert can see how well he can temper. I almost blame Colbert for lessening my disdain of the man.
posted by avalonian at 10:22 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, I know that Bloomberg implied he would only get into the race if it ended up to be Trump vs. Bernie, but I think that he should seriously consider a scenario where Hillary loses to Trump.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:22 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cruz speaks daily of how much those he's supposed to work with hate him, and how he's going to make them fear and hate him more.
The hate goes pretty far back.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:23 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump doesn't want to be president. We don't have anything to worry about there.
posted by agregoli at 10:23 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Guys I solved it. What if -- bear with me here -- what if Republicans didn't vote for Trump? Because it seems like that's the actual problem here
posted by shakespeherian at 10:25 AM on February 23, 2016 [67 favorites]


Avalonian: Why do we become a homogenous entity that's deserving of "what's coming" or the "good and hard" because of systemic phenomenon that manifests beyond what any one individual can affect?

Such a good point. This is something I remind myself of every time I hear about states in the South doing horrible things to its population with Women's health, Civil rights, Immigration, etc. This is not what the South deserves, just as a nation we do not deserve any of these G.O.P. fuckwits. I know it sounds witty to say "this is the president we deserve," but it's utter crap.

That said, I'd sooner eat glass than vote in the affirmative for any of these absurd people. They all worry the shit out of me.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:25 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


So, my comment with the most favorites ever was a Facebook message from my friend who works for the GOP in a large Northeast state. He is mostly working with getting congresspeople elected. He JUST sent me another today after I sent him the Jeet Heer tweetstorm:

"let me put it to you this way, i have mailer in spanish in the works for my candidates, basically telling hispanics that "we are not donald trump" because we are fearing a down ballot slaughter
"
posted by lattiboy at 10:25 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


There's a part in Robert Caro's "Passage of Power" (I think it was that book) where he describes General MacArthur's return to the United States after being dismissed by Truman. MacArthur I think spoke before a joint session of Congress, and he was so popular, so energizing and so charismatic that there were real fears that he would have been able to launch a coup of some kind.

Anyway, I would predict that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if not actually mounting a coup, would do some real firewalling of their own should Trump be elected president.

Trump's problem is that while he might be a demagogue he is not a politician and likely has absolutely no ability to actually execute any of his crazy policies. He has no apparatus (which is why Cruz beat him in Iowa) and no constituency within government.

So I would expect to see four years of flailing and complaining from Trump. A failed presidency.

He might resemble Putin, but Putin was always part of the machine and knew how the machine operated. Trump does not.
posted by My Dad at 10:26 AM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


I don't think Trump wants to be president. I think he wants to win the presidential election. Who actually governs after that is anyone's guess.

What I would like is for people of good will to agree to campaign as hard as possible for the Democratic nominee, no matter who that is. Because the Republican is guaranteed to be a nightmare.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:26 AM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm still 50-50 on whether there will be a heel-face turn if he makes it to the general election.

"Mister Trump, how do you expect the American people to vote for you when you've said so many insulting things?"

"Look, first and foremost, I love America, and America loves Donald Trump. They love me because I know them. I know my audience, and I give them what they want. Whether it was the Apprentice, WWE, or the Republican primary, I hear my audience, and I give them what they want. Now, finally, all of America is my audience, and Donald Trump hears you America!

"You think Obamacare is popular? You'll love Trumpcare! We'll be doing so much winning, your doctor won't know what to say. And that doctor's visit will be covered by Trumpcare. America wants to be heard, not the interests of corporations or Wall Street!"

"Well do you have anything to say about Hillary Clinton?"

"I won't say a bad thing about my good friend Hillary. I do think I'm going to win, but we've been friends for decades. She'll make a great Secretary of State again!"
posted by explosion at 10:27 AM on February 23, 2016 [24 favorites]




Arguably based on policy statements yes, but if Rubio and Trump were the only people in the general election, would you actually vote Trump? I'd guess no one making the "Trump isn't that radical" argument would actually pull a lever for him, and rightly so, he's a total wildcard loon who could do basically anything.

Honestly, what policies are both candidates promising during the general election? The thing about Trump is that he's a complete sea change from politics as we know it. Not in terms of policies per se, but in that he's a private citizen, not a politician or war veteran, a complete outsider. His approach to statecraft would be completely different. How he deals with the machinery of government would be completely different. For the most part, he'd be completely dependent on his advisors far more than any president in past history. Government agencies that find his directives to be nonsensical can just reinterpret them as they see fit. He'd likely be ignored by Congress quite often, see his proposed legislation be subjected to slow deaths by lawmakers who can't make heads or tails of it.

Rubio is the conventional evil we know already. Trump is the unknown evil we fear... but an evil that might just trip over its own feet on the way up from bed. Now Cruz... there's an evil that's both seasoned by public service, and have the ideological fervor to keep us guessing as to how bad it can get.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I retain my hope, previously expressed, that sensibilities formed by years of hanging out with racially diverse and liberal Hollywood celebrities while filming The Apprentice, combined with his passion for showmanship and spectacle, along with his massive ego and absolute shamelessness, means that Trump is going to pull a Shatner-to-Trekkies-SNL-monologue switcheroo at the moment of his ultimate primary triumph and drive a stake into the heart of the malformed idiot beast the Republican party of the 21st century has become: look, look at the monster you fools chose to represent you, look at the ghoulish inanity you cheered for, look at what you've become, and despair!

I mean it's a long shot but why not dream big, right?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:29 AM on February 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


I don't think Trump wants to be president. I think he wants to win the presidential election.

I'm not sure he even wants to do that. If he gets the nomination and then gets destroyed in the general it sets him up for a pretty lucrative gig in the "bloviating about how he'd have done it better" industry.
posted by contraption at 10:30 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let's not pretend this is a purely democratic process, that people are all functionally enfranchised, and that all members of the U.S. are deserving of pain and suffering because 51% of electoral college votes go towards a particular person. Why do we become a homogenous entity that's deserving of "what's coming" or the "good and hard" because of systemic phenomenon that manifests beyond what any one individual can affect?

Yeah. A majority of us voted for a Democratic representative four years ago, and yet we got a huge, right-wing Republican majority. It basically takes 55% of the popular vote to get a bare majority of Democrats in the House, and maybe close to 60% to get a majority that's durable enough to pass real progressive legislation. Meanwhile conservatives can basically get what they want by allowing nothing to happen, since that de facto leads to a dismantling of the federal state.

That's not democracy.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:30 AM on February 23, 2016 [65 favorites]


Trump is the best republican running. If I was going to vote in the GOP primary I would vote for him. He is substantially less terrifying than Rubio or Cruz. Look at their positions vs Trump on taxes, trade, healthcare and foreign policy.

Consider Iran. Rubio and Cruz want war with Iran on day 1. Tear up the deal and start bombing. Trump actually said, no we can't do that.
posted by humanfont at 10:30 AM on February 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


I just want someone from the media to openly laugh in Trump's face.

"We're gonna build a wall..."
"Hah! Good one, dude. Wall! Hah! Anyway..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I welcome a Trump candidacy. His numbers in November will make Goldwater or McGovern look like near misses. The down-ticket destruction will be monumental. The stigma will be indelible. Can't wait...
posted by jim in austin at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


look, look at the monster you fools chose to represent you, look at the ghoulish inanity you cheered for, look at what you've become, and despair!

I love the idea that after a long day of shouting obscenities on the campaign trail Donald Trump goes home and collapses in his study and weeps for a few moments, then removes his hideous wig and resumes his reading in À la recherche du temps perdu, hoping to wash away the residue of the day's charade.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [42 favorites]


That's one of the dumbest things I've read in a long time. First, why would they want to stop Trump? He's a surging candidate in their own party. He's their best chance to win. If you don't like him, vote for one of the other guys. Expecting people to cross the aisle to do this is asinine. I do love the idea that Hillary's questionable electability is the impetus for this piece, but really it's a stupid premise.

I thought caucusing with the GOP here in Iowa. At the time I wasn't a Sanders supporter, and I figured it was a lock for Clinton, so I felt like my vote could have been better served trying to get a rational GOP candidate in there. But one didn't exist! Seriously, this isn't like the days of McCain (pre-Palin) or Romney where you might not like all the guy's policies, but honestly you could see their point and they seem sane so you are fine getting behind them. No, they are unabashed crazies on that side. If pressed I'd have supported Rubio, but only because I think every other single candidate is far worse.

But I'm done voting for the least worst candidate.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Republicans want to vote for a hawkish center right conservative they should vote for Hilary Clinton.

Not kidding.

(I will be voting for whomever the Dem nominee is, even if it's a handbag, cause I don't want to end up in a camp somewhere)
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on February 23, 2016 [55 favorites]


Trump is better? What the fuck. So many people are like "He'll never really build a wall/deport 11 million people!" and I don't know why they think that. Other leaders as hateful and deluded as he is have done things very similar. Why wouldn't he? If he had a Republican congress behind him, why couldn't he? Do you really think he has a moral compass other than "do what makes me look big and strong and important?"

I mean yes, it would plunge us into economic chaos and cause massive suffering but we already know that doesn't matter to the Republicans who like Trump. Nothing does but the chance to put the hurt on the people they want to hurt and to kiss the ass of the man they see as the king they always wanted to be. I see no reason to believe he wouldn't give them what they want, once he was President.

I don't understand this desire to downplay Trump's ability or willingness to do harm. Did we learn nothing from W? He seemed wrongheaded but harmless, too dumb to do any damage. I remember other Democrats saying those very things when he stole the election! And then we had 8 years of hell we still aren't over.

Time to wake the fuck up.
posted by emjaybee at 10:35 AM on February 23, 2016 [45 favorites]


This one time, in handbag camp....
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 10:35 AM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Camp Whelk doesn't sound too bad.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


What if Trump is Banksy?
posted by mrgroweler at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump may be a demagogue but he's no ideologue. If elected, I don't think he'll be nearly as bad as an actual Republican would be.

The problem is perhaps that, entirely: he's such a bullshitter and says whatever you need to hear to get your vote, that you don't really know with much certainty what he really believes. You know what you believe, though, and he's pretty good at tuning into that to get your assent.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


if you do the moral calculus, is it true that trump is worse? for everyone?

certainly, inside the usa, things would be bad for poc and women.

but for mexicans, ironically, there could be a net improvement if he ends the war on drugs. and what about iraqis? will less die there? what is the net result if america's standing in the world declines?

from outside, america has been a little too keen to tell other people what to do. a tad unconcerned about other people dying. there's the occasional bad memory here in chile, for example.

if trump took won and america's influence abroad declined, would it be that bad for the rest of the world? worse than business as usual?
posted by andrewcooke at 10:37 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sister of murdered Muslim calls on Trump for a chat about Islam

Trump is a horrorshow. Yes Rubio and Cruz are also terrible but Trump is lying constantly, advocating violence at his own rallies...I'm dumbfounded that people are saying Trump would be a good alternative to Rubio or Cruz.

However, I have to believe that I really don't think Trump in the general is going to happen. I've been watching Republican talking heads on CNN the last few weeks and they can't say his name, anyone in an official capacity in the party seems not to want to discuss him at all.

Right now Rubio and Cruz are battling for second place. One of them needs to get out fast, and then I think the remaining one will rally to the nomination.


But for those quips about the government "we deserve," think about what will happen to Muslim (not "Arabic" btw) , black, women, homeless, veterans, etc with a Trump presidency. Even if he tacks center eventually, the people who voted for him will see a mandate for violence and exclusion. I think they already do.
posted by zutalors! at 10:39 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


People need to stop it with these nonsensical comparisons of Donald Trump to Hitler until they can back up their positions with facts. Sure, Donald Trump sounds a lot like Hitler, and has a lot of similarities in style and substance; and sure, they are probably interchangeable personalities historically. If Donald Trump had appeared on the public stage during the death throes of a bloated, collapsing Weimar Republic, he probably would have done about the same things Hitler did. But the United States is not a bloated, collapsing Weimar Republic – it is many things, some of them good and some of them horrendously terrible, but there are very few parallels between our situation now and Germany's situation in 1933. There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.
posted by koeselitz at 10:44 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


"let me put it to you this way, i have mailer in spanish in the works for my candidates, basically telling hispanics that "we are not donald trump" because we are fearing a down ballot slaughter
"


The problem is, yes, they are. Trump is the apotheosis of the voter the Republicans have been courting since the Southern Strategy began. He is doing well, not in spite of his outrageous statements and behavior, but because of it--voters are flocking to him because he says what the other candidates do, only he removes the dog whistle step.
posted by stevis23 at 10:44 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Another fact to consider: The Rust Belt is disproportionately white. While there are pockets of color -- in Philadelphia, Flint, Detroit, Milwaukee -- the states are much whiter than the national average. America is 62 percent white, according to census data. Michigan, by contrast, is over 75 percent white, and Pennsylvania's population is more than 77 percent white. More than 80 percent of Ohio is white, as is over 82 percent of Wisconsin."

I can't speak towards the the other states listed but Pennsylvania hasn't supported a Republican for President in 28 years. Plus we elected a Democratic governor in 2014 and the Democrats swept the judicial elections last year. And we may be 78% Non-Hispanic white but that's down from almost 82% in 2010.
posted by octothorpe at 10:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


That's great if you're in a position where you can do the moral calculus, where you can idly wonder, "oh, but would Trump really?" or "surely Rubio isn't that bad." Some of us do not have that luxury, and I really wish people would remember that. Like, yo, Muslim American speaking here, and this is not a trivial moral calculus question for me. That's great if you feel safe telling me, "don't worry, Trump won't really do anything to you and your family, this is America, nothing will happen to you, you're citizens."

I most emphatically do not feel safe. I look at this country's history, at what we did to Japanese Americans, at the Jewish refugees we turned away at the door, and I don't feel safe at all. Don't tell me that even in the primary, I should do the moral math and choose a less loathsome option to save the Republicans from themselves. That entire fucking field is the equivalent of Russian roulette for me, only every chamber of the gun is loaded with a bullet. My only real choice is where the bullet will hit. So, you know, I'm not picking up that gun.
posted by yasaman at 10:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [75 favorites]


Camp Whelk doesn't sound too bad.

I thought I was nothing but camp....

Anyway we've gone from "this is a pr stunt" to "this is a money grab" " to this a joke candidate that will fizzle soon" to "well if nominatedhe couldn't win and would be a failed president" to "actually he wouldn't be the worst for certain reasons" and I'll just be over here living in my carefully constructed Bertie Wooster-esque fantasyland thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


certainly, inside the usa, things would be bad for poc and women.but for mexicans, ironically, there could be a net improvement if he ends the war on drugs. and what about iraqis? will less die there? what is the net result if america's standing in the world declines?

from outside, america has been a little too keen to tell other people what to do. a tad unconcerned about other people dying. there's the occasional bad memory here in chile, for example.

if trump took won and america's influence abroad declined, would it be that bad for the rest of the world? worse than business as usual?


Well, that's persuaded me - I'm voting Trump, packing a rucksack and heading off to handbag camp with the rest of the queers, women, POC, unemployed, homeless, dissidents, etc. I'll console myself by thinking of how much better off straight white American men and the rest of the world are under Trump.
posted by Frowner at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Trump has completely alienated black, Arabic, and Latino voters to an extent not contemplated in American politics in the past thirty years - and Asian voters are not far behind at this point.

I mean, I know that Asian-Americans are afterthoughts, but really? He's pulled a Rosie O'Donnell and a "Where are you really From?", so, I mean.
posted by qcubed at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


What if Trump is Banksy?

my inner deluded optimist secretly believes that something like this is so. That come the moment that the nomination is his, Trump steps up to the podium, rips off the stupid wig and launches into a protracted rant about the failure of American democracy and, in particular, the rank, xenophobic stupidity and/or malevolent cynicism of EVERYONE who's thus far voted him, yes he will build huge f***ing walls, but they won't be on the Mexican border, they'll be dikes around all the seacoast areas vulnerable to the rising sea levels inherent in global warming which, yes, as a matter of fact, is A MATTER OF FACT ...

and so on.
posted by philip-random at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


However, I have to believe that I really don't think Trump in the general is going to happen. I've been watching Republican talking heads on CNN the last few weeks and they can't say his name, anyone in an official capacity in the party seems not to want to discuss him at all.
Trump is the Republican outsider candidate. If the Republican Establishment wants to pull the rug out from under him, the best thing they could possibly do is endorse the guy. By avoiding him, they play directly into his outsider persona.

Consider what would happen if Clinton took ten minutes to recall the good times she and Trump have shared in the past. Trump support would evaporate faster than liquid oxygen on the surface of the sun.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


He might resemble Putin, but Putin was always part of the machine and knew how the machine operated. Trump does not.

I want to agree with you, and on an intellectual level I can - an outsider politician should be able to be isolated and insulated from harming the machine. But I think a big pull of Trump's appeal has been his message that the machine of government is malfunctioning; if he gets in and gets stymied, does everything just freeze up and stop working? Or do his followers come out to break the machine altogether because they believe it to be the enemy?

There's a danger here, and thinking that Trump-as-President can be controlled by the same systems and forces that should have prevented his rise in the first place leaves me uneasy.
posted by nubs at 10:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


My main problem with the article is that any call for the non-Trump candidates to drop out and then rally around either Cruz or Rubio almost certainly tanks any chance of a brokered Republican convention. And a brokered convention -- as unlikely as that is -- is probably the best shot at getting Rubio or Cruz to have the establishment backing of the Republican Party while also convincing Trump, having been 'unfairly denied' the presidency by 'backroom deals,' to run as an independent. Even as a write-in candidate, that would be amazing.

I mean, if we're going to talk about wacky strategic voting plans and pragmatically crossing party lines for the primaries, why settle for 'nominate the establish candidate'? Why not push for something more entertaining (and, if less likely to happen, also more likely to fracture the Republican vote and block Trump, Rubio or Cruz from winning)?
posted by cjelli at 10:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I mean, I know that Asian-Americans are afterthoughts, but really? He's pulled a Rosie O'Donnell and a "Where are you really From?", so, I mean.

Yeah, but he hasn't actually advocated for policies targeting Asian-Americans yet, so relatively speaking, Asians are doing a little better in Trumpland right now than other minorities. Until, of course, they aren't. I'm sure they'll catch up soon enough.
posted by mightygodking at 10:48 AM on February 23, 2016


Right now Rubio and Cruz are battling for second place. One of them needs to get out fast, and then I think the remaining one will rally to the nomination.

The thing is, I don't think Cruz cares much for the good of the party, and thanks to the brave new world of Citizens United To Let Rich People Do Whatever The Fuck They Want, he's funded through to the convention.

Donald Trump is on course to win the 1,237 delegates he needs to be the GOP nominee. Particularly, as the article notes, if Kasich stays in until Ohio, which is a vote-rich winner-take-all state and splits the non-Trump vote, and if Cruz and Rubio split the non-Trump vote in Florida (which is also winner-take-all).

Regardless, even if Trump doesn't get an absolute majority he will be the clear choice of a large plurality of Republican voters and I'm not sure what party leaders are going to do at the convention to stop him. Hopefully it's just an absolute shitshow that leaves the Republican Party absolutely splintered, causes massive dissension among the constituent groups in the party and leads to the collapse of their majorities in the Senate and House as general election voters stare in horror at the trainwreck that the GOP has become.

Hopefully. Hopefully.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:48 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


What if Trump is Banksy?

Trump is Andy Kaufman, finally ready to reveal himself after all these years.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:49 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


"Jefferson has beliefs.
Burr has none."
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


b1tr0t: “Trump is the Republican outsider candidate. If the Republican Establishment wants to pull the rug out from under him, the best thing they could possibly do is endorse the guy. By avoiding him, they play directly into his outsider persona. Consider what would happen if Clinton took ten minutes to recall the good times she and Trump have shared in the past. Trump support would evaporate faster than liquid oxygen on the surface of the sun.”

Wrong. This is the kind of complicated political maneuvering that has only fueled Trump's flames, frankly. He's an "outsider" candidate, so the establishment supporting him would kill his run? I doubt it. He's not an "outsider," and he hasn't run as an "outsider." (Except in the exact same sense that every candidate since the beginning of time has run as an "outsider" candidate.) He's a "strength" candidate, in the brutest and most simplistic way possible, so trying to pull the rug out from under him like this would fail miserably.

It's a lot like Ted Cruz' strategy against him in the last debate. Cruz thought he'd be super-smart and point out that Donald Trump isn't a real conservative at all! at every opportunity. And Cruz was right, as far as that goes – Trump really isn't very close to the conservative ideals that most conservatives say they believe in. The thing is that voters apparently just don't give a fuck.

And if they don't give a fuck about that, then it's silly to believe they'd give a fuck about their "outsider" candidate getting party endorsement. They'd be fine with it. They'd be fine with just about anything, as long as their guy stands up there bloviating "strongly."
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


Voting in the Republican primary seems positively Gozerian - Stay Puft would honestly be a better choice.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but he hasn't actually advocated for policies targeting Asian-Americans yet, so relatively speaking, Asians are doing a little better in Trumpland right now than other minorities. Until, of course, they aren't. I'm sure they'll catch up soon enough.

Not to mention that Asian-Americans end up being such afterthoughts that you don't need an oaf like Trump to be casually insulting them.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2016


*is pushed with the butt of a rifle and reads from a prepared statement* we. Are. Treated. Very. Well. Here. At. Handbag. Camp. Providing . Usefu. Labor. To prepare us to. Return to society as. Productive. Civilians. Funnily. The one thing we don't. Make. Are. Handbags.
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Anyway we've gone from "this is a pr stunt" to "this is a money grab" " to this a joke candidate that will fizzle soon" to "well if nominatedhe couldn't win and would be a failed president" to "actually he wouldn't be the worst for certain reasons" and I'll just be over here living in my carefully constructed Bertie Wooster-esque fantasyland thank you.

"You know, he won't actually seal the workers who build the Great Trump Border Wall into its foundations...

"Oh, he already did? Oh...well."
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


my inner deluded optimist secretly believes that something like this is so. That come the moment that the nomination is his, Trump steps up to the podium, rips off the stupid wig and

...says with a flourish: "The Aristocrats!"
posted by entropicamericana at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


if you do the moral calculus, is it true that trump is worse? for everyone?

See, this line of argument reminds me of a conversation I had with a Marxist-Leninist defender of the USSR, whose take was that the suffering of people inside the USSR didn't matter, because in the grand scheme of things it was better that the US be held back from total world domination. So all the mass relocations, the anti-Semitism, the retraction of women's rights under Stalin, the murders of the Old Bolsheviks, etc, never mind the regular old gulags were just...the cost of doing business. I might have taken this argument a bit better if it were from someone who'd done some time in a Soviet prison, of course, but even if you accept it on its face it's a bit difficult to imagine telling Osip Mandelstam that it was all for the greater good. Even assuming that the arc of history is short enough that we can be sure it was.

"in the distance disappear the mounds of human heads/I dwindle, go unnoticed now", etc etc."
posted by Frowner at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


This is not the solution and will only add firepower to Donald apologists.
posted by glaucon at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Paradise
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016


I don't understand why Trump should be viewed as worse for women, African Americans, or queer people than Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. Can someone explain?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


So, the presidential election is the not the only thing that will be on my March 15 primary ballot. (I think... I've certainly been getting mailers for various primary races.) I live in an open primary state, so in theory I could just say "sure, give me the Republican ballot".

But that's asking me to not have a say in which candidate we put forward for the party that best represents my views not just for the presidential election. It's also asking me to hold my tongue on the critically important local elections, in a city (Chicago) where many, many candidates are likely to run as Democrats. If I grab the Republican ballot there may very well be races for which there are no choices, and I'd be giving up my chance to vote for the reform the Dems here desperately need.

We've talked a lot about the need to start some real grassroots progressive reform in the Democratic party, and that starts locally.

Sorry, Republicans. I see where you're coming from, but I can't do it. You have to handle this mess that you made.
posted by misskaz at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


In related signs & wonders, precisely thirteen bald eagles have mysteriously dropped dead near Washington
posted by theodolite at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


WE GET IT, ZEUS
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:56 AM on February 23, 2016 [36 favorites]


It's like a Greek tragedy for the Bushes.

I actually feel bad for Jeb…of all the candidates, he seemed like the most reasonable…if only his last name wasn't "Bush"...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 10:56 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"But the United States is not a bloated, collapsing Weimar Republic – it is many things, some of them good and some of them horrendously terrible, but there are very few parallels between our situation now and Germany's situation in 1933.

Point taken, and you're absolutely right, however...

"There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.

... what is meant by "Make America Great Again", if not almost precisely this?
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:56 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.

You think the guy running on a "government is broken, let's make America great like it used to be," is not similar to what you described? Cause it sounds pretty damned similar.

As for pundits ready and willing to praise the greatness of President Trump, in fact I think there'll be a surplus of them, fighting for the chance to claim that they always knew he was destined to triumph. We are talking about the Republican punditocracy, as craven a set of paid authoritarianist bootlickers as ever lived.

He's not like Hitler now because he doesn't have that kind of power. The math all changes if he were to win the general.

It's not like we don't have many examples in history of patently incompetent leaders stumbling into power and then deciding they were destined to be there.
posted by emjaybee at 10:57 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump's a builder, he wouldn't open up a camp. What he'd do is house dissidents in edifices that he built, and branded. He'd make them live in the less profitable units of his Trump Hotels.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:57 AM on February 23, 2016


There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.

That sounds like a solid precis of the GOP platform for the entirety of my adulthood, actually.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm just kind of amazed that so many Mefites are willing to embrace The Smiler.
posted by corb at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


live in the less profitable units of his Trump Hotels.

Fate worse than death, have you seen the decor?

(Fun fact, the movie The Devil's Advocate? With Keanu Reeves? There's a scene in some white shag rug mirror wall marble column monstrosity of a room that I joked was fit for Trump. It was filmed in his penthouse suite.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


He's not like Hitler now because he doesn't have that kind of power. The math all changes if he were to win the general.

Yeah. It's important to remember that to many contemporary germans (I get this from my reading of a biography of Adorno), Hitler was just a buffoon. A failure. He was that guy who completely botched a disastrous coup attempt, seemed generally politically incompetent, and whose gestures and speeches were so exaggerated and bizarre that it was hard to take him seriously... until it was too late and things got really really serious.
posted by dis_integration at 11:01 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]




The republicans can go pound sand.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:02 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Overt antisemitism was played down in official Nazi rhetoric, but was never far from the surface. Germans voted for Hitler primarily because of his promises to revive the economy (by unspecified means), to restore German greatness and overturn the Treaty of Versailles, and to save Germany from communism.
posted by theodolite at 11:04 AM on February 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


Trump speaks for those Bush betrayed - "They've lost their jobs, their families and their faith. The usual Republican bromides won't cut it."

via Dreher: Trump: Fishtown’s Champion Against Belmont

the two towns reference Charles Murray's essay: Belmont & Fishtown
Worst of all, a growing proportion of the people who run the institutions of our country have never known any other culture. They are the children of upper-middle-class parents, have always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished. They are likely to know that Garrison Keillor’s monologue on Prairie Home Companion is the source of the phrase “all of the children are above average,” but they have never walked on a prairie and never known someone well whose IQ actually was below average.

When people are making decisions that affect the lives of many other people, the cultural isolation that has grown up around America’s new upper class can be disastrous. It is not a problem if truck drivers cannot empathize with the priorities of Yale law professors. It is a problem if Yale law professors, or producers of the nightly news, or CEOs of great corporations, or the President’s advisors, cannot empathize with the priorities of truck drivers.
I'm brought back to this piece from The New Yorker
The outsiders are swamping us, and the insiders are mocking us—this ideology alters its local color as circumstances change, but the essential core is always there. They look down on us and they have no right to look down on us. Indeed, the politics of Trump, far from being in any way new, are exactly the politics of Huck Finn’s drunken father in “Huckleberry Finn”: “Call this a govment! Just look at it and see what it’s like . . . . A man can’t get his rights in a govment like this.” Widespread dissatisfaction with all professional politicians, a certainty of having been “sold out,” a feeling of complete alienation from both political parties—“Not a dime’s worth of difference between them” was George Wallace’s formulation, a half century ago—these are permanent intuitions of the American aggrieved.
"They look down on us and they have no right to look down on us." But this complaint only arises when people feel, deep down, that the people who look down on "us," with their wealthier lives, their non-back-breaking jobs, their secure retirements and their happy children, might actually be right to mock and despise us. We don't care about the contempt of people who are obviously incorrect- it's the contempt from people who might be right to turn up their noses that burns.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:04 AM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


He won't just send us to Handbag Camp, He will make us build the tents from handbags that He will make us pay for, and then He will make us pay rent to stay in His tents. The tents will be amazing. We will embroider "Trump" on every tent. It will be the greatest Handbag Camp in history. All praise to the Trump.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 11:05 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm just kind of amazed that so many Mefites are willing to embrace The Smiler.

It's spelled 'Slimer.'
posted by shakespeherian at 11:05 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


me: "There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.”

tivalasvegas: “... what is meant by 'Make America Great Again', if not almost precisely this?”

emjaybee: “You think the guy running on a 'government is broken, let's make America great like it used to be,' is not similar to what you described? Cause it sounds pretty damned similar.”

How many Republicans (or Democrats) in Congress are saying now, either publicly or privately, that the Constitution of the United States was a terrible gamble enacted by weak milquetoast leaders who had no idea what they were doing and who failed because they inserted into that document too many institutional demands and requirements? How many Congresspeople are currently saying that they'd be happy to do away with it, if it were possible? How many Congresspeople – again, even Republicans! – will happily fall in line when President Donald Trump brings forward the vote to suspend the Constitution in order to make way for the drafting of a new document which gives him absolute power?

I really don't think any of these things are possible. Republicans, even, have enough to lose (in prestige, but also in plain, simple money) that they will not sweep away the Constitution. It's ridiculous to think they will.

What we would need to be the Weimar Republic would be (a) a desire for honor and prestige so overwhelming it led us to make great sacrifices; and (b) an economic collapse so general and so profound that even the most wealthy would be moved to action. Neither of those things is ever going to happen in America, I'm almost sorry to say.

No: anyone who says the rise of Trump is akin to the rise of Hitler either isn't paying much attention, or isn't taking into account the actual details of the rise of Hitler. In fact, we're more likely to have a hundred years where we slaughter brown-skinned foreigners for profit than to have a decade where we kill American citizens.

And the worst part is: most Americans probably heave a sigh of relief at that.
posted by koeselitz at 11:08 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Donald Trump is the President that America deserves.

But is he the American president that the rest of the world deserves? Because everyone will suffer if we elect Trump.
posted by Edgewise at 11:08 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honestly! If all of the failed candidates do a "mother of a press conference" condemning Trump, it is even more likely that he will drop out as a republican and run independent, which is fine for me as the Democrat will win, but the Repubs are in no way going to fuck any chance of Rubio winning.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:09 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's a danger here, and thinking that Trump-as-President can be controlled by the same systems and forces that should have prevented his rise in the first place leaves me uneasy.

Government works in its own particular way. You have to know how it works to get anything done. It all depends on who a President-elect Trump would hire to be on his team.

For example, Barack Obama could rely on Rahm Emanuel — Barack Obama could trust Rahm Emanuel absolutely, they share the same values and wordview, the same sensibility about getting things done, and Rahm Emanuel knew how to get things done.

I don't think Trump has a Rahm Emanuel who is going to help him out.
posted by My Dad at 11:09 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Smiler
posted by b1tr0t at 11:10 AM on February 23, 2016


I don't think Trump has a Rahm Emanuel who is going to help him out.

A lot of people, like Guiliani, will be angling to fill those slots of power.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2016


I'll be mailing in my vote when the time comes, but will be very very glad to be residing in Canada if CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN: AMERICA ONLY comes to early fruition.
posted by Kitteh at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump is pulling about 33% support of Republicans.

In the 19 candidate shitstorm that has been the GOP campaign, pulling 33% means you dominate. But now, the candidates are dropping out. Soon, it'll be one guy vs. another.

And 33%? That's a losing percentage when there's only one person to run against.
posted by eriko at 11:12 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are no Carl Schmitts lining up to suggest that Donald Trump is the only one who can save the glorious and hoary state of America that is spoken of in our ancestral myths and legends by sweeping away a constitutional infrastructure that is too gnarled and confused to function properly.

But we do have Carl Brutananadilewski
posted by CincyBlues at 11:12 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


(a) a desire for honor and prestige so overwhelming it led us to make great sacrifices;

A terrorist attack as terrible as 9/11, if not worse?

and (b) an economic collapse so general and so profound that even the most wealthy would be moved to action

The market is due for a correction. It will likely be within a year... the question is how bad it will be.

As a side-note, I wonder if Trump's bellicosity will go where popular will lies. So let's say it's 2008 and not 2001- would he be calling for CEOs and hedge fund managers to be prosecuted and jailed? Would he say "let the crooks fail" instead of bailing them out?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:12 AM on February 23, 2016




And 33%? That's a losing percentage when there's only one person to run against.

As Trump himself pointed out, only if all the remaining votes go to the other guy.
posted by mrnutty at 11:14 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


The republicans can go pound sand.

While Trump has too much pride to admit that his followers are a bunch of goons who are basically Confederate traitor sympathizers, who would have made Good Germans a century ago, what's tragically funny is that moderate right-wingers who claim to dislike Trump would have too much pride to do the obvious thing and support Hillary Clinton, who, if elected, would push for every right-wing economic and militaristic foreign policy they espouse.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


We're killing lots of brown skinned American citizens right now.
posted by zutalors! at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


This fixation on the presidency is always damaging, as this essay demonstrates yet again.

Yes, electing Trump would be catastrophic. But only in small part because it's Trump. Rubio, Cruz, even Kasich -- if we elect any of them, Republicans will control the House, Senate, Presidency and Supreme Court. The House is currently run by the extreme wing, and has far more power to destroy America than the others. Without at least one veto point, we could see not just the rolling back of large percentages of federal and state programs, but the creation of dozens of incredibly destructive ones. And this will happen regardless of which Republican wins the presidency. I'm not saying Trump won't be worse, just that the Hitler comparisons are pretty ridiculous -- in the sense that they will all be really, really terrible, most especially in the way the current system is set up with exactly one domino between us and disaster.

And the "vote for Rubio" solution is nonsense and anti-democratic. Hostage-taking cannot be allowed to force policy (vote for us or we'll shut down the government/elect Donald Trump/default on the debt/etc) in a functional democracy. Furthermore, as she well knows, political science in is complete agreement about what should (normatively and positivistically) happen in the event one party nominates a candidate too extreme for their own members: they should vote for the candidate ideologically closer to them, ie, Clinton. If the hostage-taking method were actually allowed to flourish, all the guarantees of democratic theory would fall to pieces. But in any case, there's no reason to fall for it, because Trump + full Republican control would only be a little worse than any of his main competitors + full Republican control. Either way, we're doomed. If voting for Rubio makes it even slightly more likely a Republican will win the presidency, you should avoid doing that at all costs.
posted by chortly at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


Trump is better?

I'd put it more like "Cruz, Kasich, and Rubio aren't better." Because If we're going to be calling Trump "evil" and a "monster," then they deserve to be called that too, because they each have positions just as horrible than his, just in different areas. The fact that the "establishment" candidates--who are supposed to be the lesser evils--think survivors of rape and incest should be forced to bear the children resulting from that violence, or that we should start WWIII immediately and for no good reason the day they're inaugurated, reflects just as poorly upon so-called moderate conservatives as anything Trump says.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


I'll be mailing in my vote when the time comes, but will be very very glad to be residing in Canada if CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN: AMERICA ONLY comes to

The black chamber has designated him AGENT ORANGE to prove they're not completely humorless fascist blood wizards.
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I am darkly amused at the leftists talking about no-shit revolution. I don't think the internet communists in favor of full gun control that don't own any firearms or know how to shoot win that particular throwdown.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:17 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


In related signs & wonders, precisely thirteen bald eagles have mysteriously dropped dead near Washington
I blame NIH Bear.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:18 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but he hasn't actually advocated for policies targeting Asian-Americans yet, so relatively speaking, Asians are doing a little better in Trumpland right now than other minorities.

You mean apart from being mostly okay with the Japanese Internment Camps?
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


And 33%? That's a losing percentage when there's only one person to run against.

But Cruz is never dropping out, it's only going to get down to 3 at the minimum. 35 Trump / 33 Cruz / 32 Rubio = Trump wins. And depending on how long Kasich hangs on, Trump can all but wrap it up after Ohio and Florida on March 15.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


While Trump has too much pride to admit that his followers are a bunch of goons who are basically Confederate traitor sympathizers, who would have made Good Germans a century ago

Okay, that's the exact mindset that's fueling the divisions and explaining Trump's rise. It's like nobody is reading all of those posts about how his populism speaks for many in the lower middle class, how he's viewed as a class traitor, why they like him.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


No: anyone who says the rise of Trump is akin to the rise of Hitler either isn't paying much attention, or isn't taking into account the actual details of the rise of Hitler. In fact, we're more likely to have a hundred years where we slaughter brown-skinned foreigners for profit than to have a decade where we kill American citizens.

This reminds me of Nietzsche's Use and Abuse of History for Life. It's true, according to the antiquarian mode of historical reckoning, that Trump and Hitler are not at all alike. But here's the thing, every historical situation is particular, and utterly unique, such that no two events in history can be called 'alike' if we really compare them on a the basis of their details. Nietzsche's monumental historian ignores this fact, and looks at things in their broad strokes, in terms of their general outlines and themes. Trump is a fascist demagogue in the American context. On the basis of his speeches, I can say with confidence that he at least appears to be an authoritarian megalomaniac who will demand strict obedience to his will, and use violence to obtain it. On top of that, he's taking advantage of a divided electorate full of resentment at the status quo to gain power despite the fact that he's not approved of by the majority. Lastly, he's a racist. These are all Hitlerian themes.
posted by dis_integration at 11:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


I most emphatically do not feel safe. I look at this country's history, at what we did to Japanese Americans, at the Jewish refugees we turned away at the door, and I don't feel safe at all.

Exactly, I'm neither Latino or Muslim so I'm largely not personally affected if Trump is elected (unless Trump double down's on China bashing). But I am of Chinese ethnicity and I remember it was only less than 100 years ago that the US did away with the Chinese Exclusion Act, and it was only because of World War II.

I'm taking the lesson of "First they came for the X, and I did nothing..." to heart by defending any minority or group under attack and treating what Trump says as serious, because it's happened here before and it could happen again.
posted by FJT at 11:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


You think the guy running on a "government is broken, let's make America great like it used to be," is not similar to what you described? Cause it sounds pretty damned similar.

His point was that the economic and social conditions could not be more different, regardless of how a small base of Republican primary voters believe, and without those conditions, you don't get Hitler.

Look, I can't stand a demagogue anymore than you, but Hitler wasn't just a demagogue, Hitler believed in the shit he espoused. Nothing I've seen or heard from Donald Trump leads me to believe the man possesses a single conviction. He's all ego.
posted by echocollate at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't see any scenario where this doesn't work out for the Dems. Well except one nightmare scenario: Trump/Sanders/Bloomberg.

Which, while amusing (three NYCers running for president? Two of them Jews?) will lead to President Trump in the end. But that's the only way I see it happening.

To those of you who think Hillary doesn't have what it takes to beat him: Are you fucking kidding me? Sometimes people complain that she's a mean, cold bitch. Well, that's what I want! A mean cold bitch that isn't afraid to cut some throats to bring the wigged Oompa-Loompa to his knees. She will utterly destroy him.

And what about her scandals? What about them? She's been through the wringer so many times now and she's still unscathed. She's a survivor, that one. You think Trump can stop her? Trump has so many skeletons that have yet to be discovered. We haven't even found his strangled hooker burial ground yet, you know it's out there.

Of course if Sanders is the nominee, he has my full support. I just worry about the Bloomberg factor.
posted by fungible at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


In related signs & wonders, precisely thirteen bald eagles have mysteriously dropped dead near Washington

Wait wait wait. What if Trump is Julius, then who's Octavian???
posted by Apocryphon at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, like, just, how are we possibly arguing that someone who wants to put Muslims in camps is probably just doing it for the lols and will come to his senses? Like, how is that an okay thing to gamble with?
posted by corb at 11:22 AM on February 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


Trump as the nominee is the absolute worst case scenario for the Republican party and they know it.

He has polling negatives that make Hillary look like the pope, absolutely no grassroots organization necessary for a battleground state strategy, and negative coattails.

Plus he basically assures that the Republican Party = Racist to the Latino vote which is rapidly becoming the most critical demographic in many battleground states.

Keep in mind that once you add up the safe democratic electoral college seats and the safe republican seats there are a small number of battleground states and Republicans need to basically carry most of them on their way to 270. Two states Florida and Ohio are absolute must wins.

Trump could possibly win Ohio due to appealing the white working class voters that are afraid and want to blame someone but I can't see Florida voting in strong enough numbers to elect Trump.
posted by vuron at 11:22 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump as the nominee is the absolute worst case scenario for the Republican party and they know it.

I don't think that's true. Someone linked (in the NV/SC) thread the other day some scenarios where Trump wins easily against Hillary, the presumptive Dem. nominee. None of the other Republicans do as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:24 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, like, just, how are we possibly arguing that someone who wants to put Muslims in camps is probably just doing it for the lols and will come to his senses? Like, how is that an okay thing to gamble with?

I think partly it's because why Trump makes the most noise, his noises aren't all that different from what we've come to hear and expect from the Republicans, for a very long time. Sadly.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:25 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trump did us one favor, the undoing of Bush. It remains to know who Trump runs as his veep. If it is a poison pill he intends to take it. If it is a reasonable Republican, (excuse the oxymoron,) then he has dirty linen, and will have to drop out at the last minute. Realistically does he have to deed over his businesses to hold the presidency? Someone, somewhere is holding on to the information that disqualifies Trump for candidacy. So, if he chooses a viable veep, that is his gift to the Republican Party, clearing out the crazies. We are a long way from Barstow, it is all going to happen in between.
posted by Oyéah at 11:26 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


me: “What we would need to be the Weimar Republic would be (a) a desire for honor and prestige so overwhelming it led us to make great sacrifices; and (b) an economic collapse so general and so profound that even the most wealthy would be moved to action. Neither of those things is ever going to happen in America, I'm almost sorry to say.”

Apocryphon: “A terrorist attack as terrible as 9/11, if not worse? ... The market is due for a correction. It will likely be within a year... the question is how bad it will be.”

Terrorist attacks don't necessarily increase a nation's desire for honor or some sort of putative "purity" – they only increase a desire for safety, which is a different thing entirely. Hitler called his nation to march into and conquer all of Europe. America wouldn't want to conquer anybody if it could; it only wants to exploit, and it has learned to do so with frightening efficiency.

Finally, there may be a market correction, yes, but here's a prediction I'd back with every penny I own – the rich in America will never suffer again, no matter what sort of recession we go through. We have set them up to be beyond suffering. We have mechanisms in place in case of recession to grind down the poor, to squeeze the middle classes, and to maintain the rich completely. We also have mechanisms in place to convince everyone that this is the proper order of things. It's really a fantastic system, and one that no one in Germany in the 1930s could have ever imagined.

“As a side-note, I wonder if Trump's bellicosity will go where popular will lies. So let's say it's 2008 and not 2001- would he be calling for CEOs and hedge fund managers to be prosecuted and jailed? Would he say 'let the crooks fail' instead of bailing them out?”

That's actually a good question, given that Donald Trump apparently holds no political views of his own. He's changed over and over again throughout his career. It's pretty clear that any position he takes is predicated on popularity, not conviction.
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 AM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


It's like nobody is reading all of those posts about how his populism speaks for many in the lower middle class, how he's viewed as a class traitor, why they like him.

There's no secret sauce here. He uses language to appeal to the racist impulses of poorer white people who are angry they didn't reap benefits from the economic recovery, the way their richer white bosses did, before they were laid off from low-paying work that got moved to factories in Mexico. Blaming other demographics works for Trump, just as it worked for Hitler, just as it almost worked for Huey Long. There's no magic here; this stuff is as old as empires.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:26 AM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


One can make a comparison without saying this is exactly like that. Republican proposals for how to restrict immigration and creating ID cards for religious/ethnic minorities can be compared to similar actions in history, and how they often were the precursor to more aggressive religious and ethnic cleansing.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:30 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's no secret sauce here.

Right, but there seems to be a lack of sympathy or even empathy for those people. It's like, "well, they support Trump/the Republicans/Pat Robertson/Pat Buchanan/George Bush" and boom, they're the lumpenprole, or the petit bourgeois, they're neo-Confederate troglodytes and they might as well be hordes of scary zombies with less melanin. It's like everyone's* given up on trying to show them the light.

Huey Long, incidentally, was relatively racially moderate for his place and time and did not scapegoat African Americans.

*Well, except for the one guy who's talking up class war.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:31 AM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


dis_integration: “On the basis of his speeches, I can say with confidence that he at least appears to be an authoritarian megalomaniac who will demand strict obedience to his will, and use violence to obtain it. On top of that, he's taking advantage of a divided electorate full of resentment at the status quo to gain power despite the fact that he's not approved of by the majority. Lastly, he's a racist. These are all Hitlerian themes.”

Well, sure. I said that same thing up above: their personalities are probably historically interchangeable. You could plop Trump down in Germany in 1930 and about the same thing would happen.

But I'm saying that Germany in 1933 was nothing like the United States is in 2016. We have advanced financial instruments to minimize risk by spreading it to the innocent. We have mechanisms to preserve economies at the cost of foreign unrest and slaughter in countries we largely don't care about. The world is all connected now, and nobody on earth could write and enforce a Treaty of Versailles big enough to hobble this juggernaut of a nation which has unstoppable machinery designed to impoverish the poor, enrich the rich, and keep divided any populace that might throw a wrench in the gears. Germany had none of those things. So there's no way Trump's rise could be anything like the rise of Hitler.

Also, in Germany in 1933 there were a lot more good breweries, and the music in general was a lot better. So there are loads of differences.
posted by koeselitz at 11:31 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fresh from @ChuckGrassley: The Senate Judiciary Committee WILL NOT hold hearings on SCOTUS nominee:

Uh, so we should really make sure that the Republicans don't win the White House now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:31 AM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


when I think of Giuliani suing when New York Magazine ran an ad that poked very mild fun at him, when I think of his weird personal crusade against ferret owners, when I think how he used 9/11 to his political benefit, I nod my head and say, 'of course he's with Trump.' Man, this is probably Giuliani's last grasp for substantial power.

And with due acknowledgement and respect to people's points about Trump not being like Hitler, I would like to point out that under Giuliani, welfare work requirements were put into effect that hurt a lot of people. The program was stopping benefits of homeless people because of a lack of an address other than the main post office for a while./

The name of the welfare-to-work program was "Work Will Set You Free," so I guess that was an example of using one of Hitler's "good" ideas (TM Greg Nog).
posted by angrycat at 11:32 AM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


well, if trump doesn't want to win the presidency, he wants to lose it by being stabbed in the back by the political system, so he can justify any and all dirty tricks he can pull in revenge, not the least of which is exposing the republicans as hypocrites who don't really fight for their own platforms

but there's a nightmare scenario that few discuss - a brokered presidency, in which none of the 3 candidates have enough electors to become president and the decision is placed in the hands of congress - the old congress, i believe - what kind of deals will be made? - what will trump's price be to throw victory to one person or another? - who will claim that the election was stolen from them?

that's the real danger in trump's candidacy - and the author's suggestions not only won't work, but they will probably play right into trump's hands
posted by pyramid termite at 11:33 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


America wouldn't want to conquer anybody if it could; it only wants to exploit, and it has learned to do so with frightening efficiency.

Well, I think that's because in the modern world of much more static borders and of non-state actors, no one truly calls for conquest anymore. Even Russian expansion in the Ukraine go through all sorts of legalistic justifications of "we're there to maintain order on behalf of oppressed people X" and so on. A future fascist U.S. wouldn't necessarily need to bring up Lebensraum (or even Manifest Destiny) to justify its wars. It could just say the states are sponsoring terrorism. Or have weapons of mass destruction.

The one thing about Trump is that again, like similar fringe, third party-type candidates in the past, he's able to go neo-isolationist in his rhetoric. He uses past wars waged by conventional politicians as the basis of his criticism. So hypothetically, he's not pro-war/supporting Saudis/sparring with Russia. But then, Bush claimed to not be a nation-builder, either.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, I haven't read it, so I can't tell you if it's, "What if it turns out that Plato's Republic is actually very good as a political system?" but I have my suspicions.

I think I have a book upstairs that claims that no one read Republic as a political text until a couple of hundred years ago (I suppose the idea is that people accepted the ostensible meaning, that it's an inquiry into the just soul and that it uses the city as a metaphor for that).
posted by thelonius at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2016


I was actually thinking about not voting in the primary this year, because I'm kind of uncomfortable with having to declare allegiance to a party and then having that declaration on the books for two years for any political operative to see. Right now I don't get any attention from the canvassers or robocalls or anybody else connected to any political campaign, and I prefer to keep it that way. Besides that, I don't know that my vote in a Democratic primary would have any impact in this state... but the notion of disrupting the GOP primary does appeal on a certain level.

Mostly I just want a Groupon offer for a nice, long medically induced coma, because I'm so deathly tired of this election cycle and I'm ready for literally everyone to STFU and GTFO, thanks.
posted by palomar at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Listen: Trump(T) is clearly not Hitler. Hitler was a loser, and Trump(T) is a winner. He is amazing, and He will make America Great(T) again, whether America likes it or not. Did Hitler build a wall out of unicorns and handbags? I don't think so. Trump(T) would have punched Hitler in the face. Or He would have gotten a deferment and hired some poor to punch Hitler in the face for Him, and then deported the poor, and then made the poor pay for his deportation hearing. But still: Hitler would have been punched harder than anyone has ever been punched in history. So stop comparing Trump(T) to Hitler. Hitler wishes he could have been Trump(T).
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 11:37 AM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Given recent Hitler-related news, you are unironically correct.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:39 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm an independent voter in MA, so I was already planning to vote in the Republican primary. Mostly because I care more about not having an extremist asshole running on the R side than I care about Bernie vs Hillary on the D side.

Of course, there's really nobody running on the R side who doesn't qualify as an extremist asshole to my crunchy liberal self. But, hey. I'd rather the Democrats go up against the least evil option. I'm still trying to figure out who the least evil is, though.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:41 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump, Crony Capitalist (via)

also btw...
***scott adams trigger warning!***
"To solve for scary, Trump needs Mark Cuban as his running mate." :P
posted by kliuless at 11:42 AM on February 23, 2016


thelonius: “I think I have a book upstairs that claims that no one read Republic as a political text until a couple of hundred years ago (I suppose the idea is that people accepted the ostensible meaning, that it's an inquiry into the just soul and that it uses the city as a metaphor for that).”

I wouldn't go quite that far – I think people understood the political dimensions from the beginning – but it should probably be said that the Republic is very clearly not presenting itself as an actual account of an actual plan for an actual city that Socrates (or Plato) thinks would be good. It's playful, it's often silly, it's sometimes contradictory, and yes, the purpose appears to be to sort out the human soul and the impact of justice thereupon.

If you want a Platonic vision for an actual plan for an actual city that could be workable, you have to read Plato's Laws, one of his greatest and sadly most neglected dialogues. It is, in fact, full of details about how an ancient Greek city ought to be run, what sort of customs it should adopt, how it should trade with its neighbors, what farming systems it should set up, etc. As such, people find it more boring that the Republic.
posted by koeselitz at 11:42 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


What are you going to do about it? We have so much information available about behavior, behavioral economics, emotional intelligence, class disparities, and the pain that other people feel -- what are we going to do with this knowledge to make the world better and keep the world safe?
posted by amtho at 11:43 AM on February 23, 2016


All of this focus on Hitler also ignores a bevy of 20th century authoritarians you can make useful analogies to. How is Trump not a Mussolini, or a Perón, or a Getúlio Vargas? Hitler was an actual veteran who saw the horrors of war, so right off the bat that immediately makes that comparison far less applicable.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:45 AM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Right, but there seems to be a lack of sympathy or even empathy for those people.

Okay, "those people" are the same people who are born with incredible advantages and opportunities of place and skin color, who choose to communicate their feelings by intimidating Muslims in their houses of worship and threaten them with involuntary incarceration, who proudly wear and wave Confederate flags to celebrate black slavery and sedition, and who also blame their problems on, among others, Mexicans, gays, women and a black President, instead of pushing themselves to improve their own lot through hard work and sacrifice, the way that the rest of America has had to.

I don't know if they will be helped by sympathy, but I do know that, if we are headed for another economic depression, a President Trump would be as dangerous for the United States as Chancellor Hitler was for the Weimar Republic.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:47 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


ah, koeselItz, I found the passage I had in mind online:

Why do we read Plato's Republic?

The author argues that Jowett's reading has become dominant, although the context motivating that reading has passed on, if I understand her correctly.
posted by thelonius at 11:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"well, they support Trump/the Republicans/Pat Robertson/Pat Buchanan/George Bush" and boom, they're the lumpenprole, or the petit bourgeois, they're neo-Confederate troglodytes and they might as well be hordes of scary zombies with less melanin. It's like everyone's* given up on trying to show them the light.

As someone from Alabama where there are a lot of people like this... I honestly don't think there's much chance, sans a time machine to go back to their primary education days, of showing folks like this your 'light' (be it spotlight of justice or flashbulb of logic) anyway. The best bet is to put the effort into knocking down what walls you can, not ramming the brick, reinforced, concrete, and covered with barbwire one with your head. Or the whole "getting down to wrestle with the pigs and who likes it and who gets dirty" deal...
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess it should be said, also:

The biggest difference between Trump and Hitler personally that I can see is that Donald Trump doesn't actually appear to believe anything at all. Hitler had "that vision thing," at least in the sense that he knew what he wanted, and spent a decade writing and talking about it before he could bring it to pass. Donald Trump has spent the past few decades taking different positions for money, and he apparently has not cared enough about any of them to keep holding them once the money goes elsewhere. As far as I can tell, his current grassroots-y conservatism – all full of "ban the Muslims!" and "Mexicans are rapists!" and everything else – is brand-new for this campaign only; until then, he very often spent time saying he sympathized with Muslims trying to immigrate to the United States, that we should make it easier for them, and that Mexico is a great partner full of fine people that should likewise have an easier path to American citizenship. Similarly, he said that gay marriage seemed fine to him, he said that he was "very pro-choice," etc. He doesn't say any of these things now, he denies that he ever said them, and his supporters seem to accept that and be okay with it.

So, really, he is an example of how successful you can be if you literally will say anything to win. Ted Cruz is sleazy, but he won't say anything to win. Marco Rubio has changed his opinions for votes several times – particularly on immigration and abortion – but he won't say anything to win, either. Both of them believe their political careers are hinged on their being Republicans, and holding some sort of Republican banner by clinging to conservative ideals as they see them. Donald Trump is not similarly encumbered, and as such he is a much more versatile candidate.

In any case, at the end of the day, when Donald Trump has earned all the votes and is President, and the only thing left to worry about is his popularity rating, will he still care about that? Will he still shift his opinions strategically, according to what makes him most popular? Is that what he wants out of the office – to be the most popular President in history? I don't think he's so silly; his popularity has always been for the sake of money. So maybe he'll be the first President to host reality shows and gimmicks? Maybe he'll sign multimillion dollar contracts with media companies to do a whole swath of President-themed TV shows? Who knows.

However you swing that cat, though, I have a hard time picturing him crusading for any of the positions he's espoused during this campaign. I just don't think he cares.
posted by koeselitz at 11:51 AM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'm saying that Germany in 1933 was nothing like the United States is in 2016.

Sure. There aren't going to be brownshirts stepping through the streets and concentration camps.

But the overton window will shift. We will now be a country with a demogogue, and one who is willing to use the language of hate and violence to bolster his base. And it's a base that has shown themselves to be only too willing to treat such a thing as a call to action, and an expression of permission.

There has already been a rise in hate groups in America. And he may be pointing them at Muslims just now, and I may not be a Muslim, but I am a person of conscience, and so I won't stand idly by while a demagogue causally asks if somebody won't rid him of a meddling imam and the thugs draw their knives in response.

And I don't think he will stop at rallying his base against Muslims. He's already targeted Mexicans. He's willing to point his finger at anyone that his base hates. And they hate everyone.
posted by maxsparber at 11:52 AM on February 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


Right, but there seems to be a lack of sympathy or even empathy for those people.

It's not about sympathy or even empathy, really. It's about enacting just public policy. Everyone in this country is better served in the long run when everybody has reasonable opportunities to support their families, doesn't have to worry about dying of lack of health care if they lose their jobs, and aren't crushed under medical and student loan debt.

instead of pushing themselves to improve their own lot through hard work and sacrifice, the way that the rest of America has had to.

This is still a right-wing bootstrap narrative, though. It's not a race to the bottom or a crab bucket.
posted by dialetheia at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's funny how different the perceptions are of the "window" shifting on the right versus the left. Folks on the right feel like culture is running headlong into PC-land and they won't be able to say in public what was once preached from pulpits from coast to coast.
posted by fraxil at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, I'm pushing that window as hard as I can from my side, because, holy Christ, the things people think it is okay to say about women, blacks, Jews, Muslims on social media.

Let me GET THAT WINDOW to the shiny PC paradise. Let me SHOVE IT a little more.
posted by maxsparber at 11:56 AM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


How many Republicans (or Democrats) in Congress are saying now, either publicly or privately, that the Constitution of the United States was a terrible gamble enacted by weak milquetoast leaders who had no idea what they were doing and who failed because they inserted into that document too many institutional demands and requirements? How many Congresspeople are currently saying that they'd be happy to do away with it, if it were possible? How many Congresspeople – again, even Republicans! – will happily fall in line when President Donald Trump brings forward the vote to suspend the Constitution in order to make way for the drafting of a new document which gives him absolute power?

No, they're just saying that the Constitution as interpreted by liberalpoliticiansandunelectedjudicialactivists since 1933 / 1965 is a terrible gamble enacted by weak milquetoast leaders who had no idea what they were doing and who failed because they inserted into that interpretation of the document too many institutional demands and requirements.

It's a distinction without a difference as far as I'm concerned. Just as it makes no difference whether Trump is an actual true-believer fascist or a popularity-driven ego who is espousing fascism because that's what Republican voters want. The outcome is the same.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:59 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's not about sympathy or even empathy, really. It's about enacting just public policy. Everyone in this country is better served in the long run when everybody has reasonable opportunities to support their families, doesn't have to worry about dying of lack of health care if they lose their jobs, and aren't crushed under medical and student loan debt.

No, I agree with all of that. It's just when I see commentators sneering at how Trump supporters are a bunch of dumb redneck yokels, well, they're just falling into the trap of dehumanizing one's opponents. A lot of the bigotry are just as much a product of failed education systems, divisive rhetoric from bad leaders, and a poisoned culture. In the grander view, these people are just as much victims as those who they are seeking to victimize. And so when people label them as malicious willing dupes of the Southern strategy and so on- how is that helpful? They're not just going to go away. That sort of division in response to division will just lead to more polarization and partisan entrenchment.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:01 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


In terms of winning people over, insults only work if you cause your opponent to feel shame for what they've done and said, and cause them to make up for it. But shame doesn't work when the parties involved have fundamentally different worldviews. So you just end up riling people up harder. Maybe you get a catharsis out of it, but there's other ways to achieve that.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


We're killing lots of brown skinned American citizens right now.

Which candidate is most likely to stop this?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's funny how different the perceptions are of the "window" shifting on the right versus the left. Folks on the right feel like culture is running headlong into PC-land and they won't be able to say in public what was once preached from pulpits from coast to coast.

But it should go without saying that those who are nostalgic for the day when ministers and priests preached intolerance and racism from pulpits and it was common practice in general to oppress, demean, and economically discriminate against selected other demographics - out of fear or ignorance, for personal gain, for ego boosting, because the Lord Almighty said so, or just for sick lulz - are espousing values that are just plain wrong, and we shouldn't be hesitant to say so.
posted by aught at 12:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I like how when we get down into the details of Trump vs. Hitler it's basically that Hitler at least believed in something! There is some dark, dark humor there.

I do think Trump believes in something. He believes in his own infallibility and right to succeed.

And koeslitz, I appreciate your injecting lots of good historical information into the conversation. I wish I was more convinced by it that "this couldn't happen here."

I mostly hope that neither of us will ever get to find out that we're right because there won't be a Trump victory.
posted by emjaybee at 12:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The Trump presidency will produce an unprecedented increase in jobs as all unemployed will be called on to build a 7,000 foot statue in his honor. And, as a bonus, its hair will serve as a wind-sock.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


In related signs & wonders, precisely thirteen bald eagles have mysteriously dropped dead near Washington

Is it possible for fractional eagles drop dead?
posted by srboisvert at 12:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


> Yeah, I mean, I'm pushing that window as hard as I can from my side, because, holy Christ, the things people think it is okay to say about women, blacks, Jews, Muslims on social media.

That's another thing; no matter what happens to Trump, it's not like these people and the conditions that have led to his popularity are going to just up and disappear. If anything, if he loses they'll be even angrier and in four years we'll be here freaking out about a candidate that will make us yearn for the wisdom and restraint of Donald Trump.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:11 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The best predictor of Trump support isn't income, education, or age. It's authoritarianism.

What I found is a trend that has been widely overlooked. A voter’s gender, education, age, ideology, party identification, income, and race simply had no statistical bearing on whether someone supported Trump. Neither, despite predictions to the contrary, did evangelicalism.

Here is what did: authoritarianism, by which I mean Americans’ inclination to authoritarian behavior. When political scientists use the term authoritarianism, we are not talking about dictatorships but about a worldview. People who score high on the authoritarian scale value conformity and order, protect social norms, and are wary of outsiders. And when authoritarians feel threatened, they support aggressive leaders and policies.

posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


I like how when we get down into the details of Trump vs. Hitler it's basically that Hitler at least believed in something!

At least it's an ethos.
posted by maxsparber at 12:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


For better or not, Trump I think will get the GOP nomination. The "magic" he has exercised might even convince some undecided and some Dems to vote for him as president. Golly.
posted by Postroad at 12:14 PM on February 23, 2016


The Card Cheat: "> Yeah, I mean, I'm pushing that window as hard as I can from my side, because, holy Christ, the things people think it is okay to say about women, blacks, Jews, Muslims on social media.

That's another thing; no matter what happens to Trump, it's not like these people and the conditions that have led to his popularity are going to just up and disappear. If anything, if he loses they'll be even angrier and in four years we'll be here freaking out about a candidate that will make us yearn for the wisdom and restraint of Donald Trump.
"

I'm pretty sure Vlad the Impaler is permanently dead. I hope.
posted by Splunge at 12:14 PM on February 23, 2016


I'm pretty sure Vlad the Impaler is permanently dead. I hope.

Dracula 2000 made a pretty convincing case that he wasn't.
posted by maxsparber at 12:16 PM on February 23, 2016


I dunno... "Death is but a doorway, time is but a window" would be a hell of a campaign slogan.
posted by Bromius at 12:16 PM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


It's really odd that nobody (ie "political pundits") ever points out that Donald Trump has literally worked as a heel on professional wrestling.

If you regard the race for president as just another professional wrestling story arc, everything about Trump starts to make sense.
posted by My Dad at 12:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Vlad the Impaler is permanently dead. I hope.

"But Dracula, you're not a natural born citizen," they said. But, friends, I refer you to words following that in Section II: "...or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution," thereby preserving, then and forever more, the right of any immortal Vampire American to run for President. Ah ah ah.
posted by cjelli at 12:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm just kind of amazed that so many Mefites are willing to embrace The Smiler.

Cruz is The Smiler. Trump is The Beast. Rubio is The Sex Puppets. IT ALL MAPS.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Corb, why are you appealing to Democrats to change their affiliation? Have you heard things from Republicans that have led you to believe that they wouldn't be of assistance?
posted by Selena777 at 12:28 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess my attitude is, if this country can elect Trump, then Trump is not the problem, the problem is that the country was willing to elect Trump. He's not a unique Hitler leading the country astray, he's just riding the wave of shit that was already passing by. If he can get that far, it reflects a deep problem that exists regardless of whether or not he is actually elected.
posted by anazgnos at 12:31 PM on February 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


> Yeah, like, just, how are we possibly arguing that someone who wants to put Muslims in camps is probably just doing it for the lols and will come to his senses? Like, how is that an okay thing to gamble with?

If this is a concern then I would suggest you'd be poorly served with many a GOP candidate. How many of them are against waterboarding and indefinite detention again?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]




I guess my attitude is, if this country can elect Trump, then Trump is not the problem, the problem is that the country was willing to elect Trump. He's not a unique Hitler leading the country astray, he's just riding the wave of shit that was already passing by. If he can get that far, it reflects a deep problem that exists regardless of whether or not he is actually elected.

I mean, yes, if we elect Trump, there's a problem. But if we elect Trump, it will be because of a combination of voter suppression, outright corruption, sheer bad luck, international politics, misinformation given to the electorate, a relatively small percentage of the country voting, etc in addition to people simply choosing a candidate. It won't just be "well, a well-informed public decided they wanted to vote for Trump, and clearly the majority of the populace has spoken so we just have to realize that Americans are terrible". That's certainly a fine set of problems right there, but they're also contingent, not determined. "Willing" in this context does a lot of work.
posted by Frowner at 12:40 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Trump is literally evil. I cannot think of a negative descriptor that he does not deserve.

"Underprivileged."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:41 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


For better or not, Trump I think will get the GOP nomination. The "magic" he has exercised might even convince some undecided and some Dems to vote for him as president. Golly.

Well, I mean the country voted for Reagan. I guess by that metric you can kind of chart the trajectory of GOP cross-appeal candidates.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:41 PM on February 23, 2016


The Wrong Lizard Theory never goes out of style.
posted by delfin at 12:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm just kind of amazed that so many Mefites are willing to embrace The Smiler.

I think that might be a good comparison. My recall from Transmet is that the Smiler is awful, and if he killed someone you cared about to get into the office you'd be well motivated to bring him down. But from a societal perspective, if we're talking about him versus The Beast in the primary, I'm not sure he's that much worse. He's awful in many of the same ways, but if Callahan doesn't have it out for you in particular and you're just garden-variety needy, well, you were pretty fucked under The Beast too.

I think Trump is awful and I'll never vote for him, but add me to the chorus of folks who are uncertain that Rubio or Cruz are in any sure way an improvement. You can google up recent articles about how completely batshit crazy Rubio's financial ideas are; they're particularly scary since they don't diverge THAT much from recent years of republican noises about lowering taxes and increasing deficits for the sake of military spending while cutting social services. But they just do it in an even more extreme way.

Or Cruz and his moral majority insanity.

Both those two guys have insane people in Congress who'd go for those deals. Why would I want to do anything to help maintain something similar to the R status quo? I know I hate what they want. Trump is nuts but he's taken social stances in the past I found okay. He's spoken clearly that Iraq intervention was a bad idea. He's defended planned parenthood. Now, while courting the primary voter, he apparently will say anything... but so what? I should help elect people from the machine that does things I loathe because they're more consistent?

Fuck that. Straighten out your own shit, Rs. From my perspective I have nothing to gain in helping you avoid party disarray. If you end up with Trump then maybe I get to see a party as prepared to shoot at each other and stonewall their fellow Rs as they are everyone else.
posted by phearlez at 12:46 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't think the author was using an argument that Trump and Hitler share similarities as individuals. She said that the social attitudes and climate that enabled their prominence is what is troubling. That's in the first third of the article.

I would rephrase that as: It's not what you see in the candidates, but rather the second-order step of what you see in them that reflects on your attitudes, etc.

I just felt a puzzling concordance since Chomsky has also articulated a comparison between today's world political climate to Hitlet-era popular ideology. He said this only a few weeks ago. So, what a coincidence to see another ivory tower intellectual who seems to see a connection.
posted by polymodus at 12:48 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait till he can control unrecorded agents and budgets
posted by infini at 12:53 PM on February 23, 2016


Also, while we're all obsessing about the presidential elections, are there any other races we should be worrying about?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's not as complicated as comparing the political climate of the U.S. in 2016 to post-WWI Germany and looking for parallels. All you have to do is listen to the man talk, then realize there are apparently a large number of people who like what they hear.

As a few others have said, it's not Trump that scares me so much as the people who look forward to his presidency, and their sheer numbers.
posted by Mooski at 12:54 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wait till he can control unrecorded agents and budgets

Trump having the power to order around unmanned drones is not a happy prospect, but given that Obama's Mideast foreign policy has been a mess, at least in Syria, and is unable to prevent the CIA and the Pentagon from training rival warring rebels there even with eight years of experience and having both Hillary and John Kerry as Secretaries of State, I doubt non-politician Trump would be able to take full advantage of the very complicated resources at the president's disposal.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:56 PM on February 23, 2016


To me, it's not even that neither Sanders nor Clinton has a guaranteed path to victory vs Trump. It's that either one, being human, could be struck by a bolt of lightning in late October. The chances are almost nil. But I want the chance of a President Trump to be even smaller than that. President Rubio would be horrible, for any number of people, especially women. But President Trump would be a very sad and shameful day for a country that should have already learned its lesson from the many sad and shameful days it's already seen.

Not the point that you are making; however, I'd vote for a dead Clinton or a dead Sanders before I'd vote for Rubio or Trump. If the dead candidate was elected, I'm pretty sure they'd make more rational decisions than any of the Republican candidates.

Daniel Tosh I'm pretty sure has a joke about electing Ronald Regan again (and he indeed means the corpse) and it is also spot on for foreign relations - who would really want to mess with a country insane enough to elect and follow a corpse for their leader?
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:58 PM on February 23, 2016


Can we impeach the corpse?
posted by Apocryphon at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


> I doubt non-politician Trump would have the ability to take full advantage of the very complicated resources at the president's disposal.

You're not thinking Trumpian enough. If he's elected we'll probably start bombing Tijuana.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


We should elect someone fictional. Like the Great and Powerful OZ.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 1:02 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


while we're all obsessing about the presidential elections, are there any other races we should be worrying about?

What I'm worrying about, idly, in a state-of-democracy sory of way, is how few races are actually races.

Here in Pennsylvania, we just passed the filling deadline for most races, and...
Of the 203 seats up for election in the Pennsylvania state House, 120 will be contested. In the state Senate, only 12 of the 25 seats up for election will be contested. While Pennsylvania’s 55 percent of districts not holding a competitive general election is par for the course, it brings the national average in 2016 up above 50 percent, seven points higher than in 2014. Just 12.7 percent of primaries will be contested, about 5 percent below the national average in 2016.
Seventeen state senators who have already effectively won.
One-hundred and six state representatives who have already effectively won.

There is no get-out-the-vote effort that can unseat a candidate running unopposed; no groundswell of opinion that can shift those races.
posted by cjelli at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


We should elect someone fictional. Like the Great and Powerful OZ.

Francis Underwood.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Trump goes the distance and becomes president, he will never be able to do the terrible things he now promises. Someone mentioned it further up-thread, but Trump has no Washington infrastructure. For all the bragging about his wealth, it pales in comparison the combined power of the military-industrial complex and the financial sector. Getting elected would be the apex of his power. Once in office, he would be beholden to the establishment-controlled Congress and all of the wealth/power/influence behind that. He's a fucking entertainer--other than the poor fools he's hoodwinked into supporting him, no one of any real consequence on the global stage will take him seriously. Which means he won't help things globally, not one bit, but I sincerely doubt he has the political clout to start a world war. Too much economically at stake for that...hell, the Koch brothers would have him assassinated if it went too far.

Right?
posted by tehjoel at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


take full advantage of the very complicated resources at the president's disposal.

yaas, so they'll run amok unreigned in by any human
posted by infini at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


But if we elect Trump, it will be because of a combination of voter suppression, outright corruption, sheer bad luck, international politics, misinformation given to the electorate, a relatively small percentage of the country voting, etc in addition to people simply choosing a candidate. It won't just be "well, a well-informed public decided they wanted to vote for Trump, and clearly the majority of the populace has spoken so we just have to realize that Americans are terrible". That's certainly a fine set of problems right there, but they're also contingent, not determined. "Willing" in this context does a lot of work.

Well yeah, those are "deep problems", and they are systemic problems that are there regardless of Trump. It's one thing to say that Trump is a worse potential president, another to suggest that he is more capable and willing to enact electoral manipulation than the other candidates.
posted by anazgnos at 1:05 PM on February 23, 2016


any other races we should be worrying about?

The Senate, which is basically a tossup.

Democrats win back the Senate if they can successfully defend Nevada (Harry Reid - inc.) and Colorado (Michael Bennett - inc.), and take at least five other seats (my estimate is that the most likely flips, in order, are: Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina) -- so as usual, Ohio is the tipping point.

If Democrats win the White House + the Senate, the "constitutional" / "nuclear" option will probably get expanded to apply to all appointments and so the Supreme Court vacancy, if it still exists, can be filled without any Republican votes.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:10 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


If they take back the Senate they should end the filibuster entirely. It's totally justified at this point. It's not a nuclear first strike, it's the inevitable response strike.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


However you swing that cat, though, I have a hard time picturing him crusading for any of the positions he's espoused during this campaign. I just don't think he cares.

The problem is, I have a really easy time picturing him trading a veto for a discount on a new jet (and not seeing anything wrong with that), or signing a law putting American Muslims into camps in exchange for a pass vote on a bill that unprotects some wetland somewhere so he can build on the land, or privatizing Social Security because it seemed like a good idea in the 2.5 seconds he actually thought about it. A Trump administration would be unbelievably corrupt right from the top down - he just Doing Business, after all - and he absolutely would crusade for the positions he's currently espousing if he thought there would be personal gain in it.

Of course, this would all be complicated by the fact that he would have an absolute shit-fit every time his whim is blocked for any reason, and he appears to be a World-Class Champion Grudge-Holder, but not really caring about the positions he holds now is no guarantee at all that he wouldn't use his Presidential powers and the bully pulpit to carry out his campaign promises. He would do it just because "Why the fuck not?"
posted by soundguy99 at 1:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Apocryphon:
"Also, while we're all obsessing about the presidential elections, are there any other races we should be worrying about?"
Let's see, for this primary, a pair of district judges I'll need to look into... three people running for Commissioner and they're all the same goddamn people (D) who play musical chairs in our county's administration... everyone else is unopposed... hey, we've got Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente on the presidential ballot here in Ohio! He's like the mirror universe Donald Trump who ran as a (D) and doesn't win anything! And Ted Strickland's got competition in the form of Kelli Prather!

And two issues... a municipal tax levy and... ISSUE 1! OMG that is some useless hippie dippie bullshit and it's got 100% of my vote!
posted by charred husk at 1:14 PM on February 23, 2016


A Trump administration would be unbelievably corrupt right from the top down

Agreement: a Trump administration make the Teapot Dome scandal look literally teapot-sized by comparison.
posted by cjelli at 1:17 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh and the Colorado referendum on single payer!
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]




Why would a Trump presidency be more corrupt than a Cruz or Rubio presidency? Cruz and Rubio are so far much more beholden to corporate and billionaire dollars for their political successes.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:21 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


santorum has a way of oozing into unexpected places long after you think the danger is past
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Of all the dumb shit that Trump's supporters believe about him, the idea that he's "incorruptible" because he's already rich has to be the dumbest.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [16 favorites]




He's not ending corruption, he's just cutting out the middleman.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


And passing the savings on to YOU!

Or him, more probably.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on February 23, 2016


"In Search of American Fascism" by Ross Douthat
"Trump Is Scary, But Not 'Fascist' Scary" by Megan McArdle

(dammit, why are *these* the pundits addressing the Trump-fascism angle? Still, they're interesting analyses with some historical comparisons.)
posted by Apocryphon at 1:29 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Almost as scary as Trump's classically Fascist, populist appeal is the stridency with which people object to calling him a Fascist. It can't happen here!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:31 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why would a Trump presidency be more corrupt than a Cruz or Rubio presidency? Cruz and Rubio are so far much more beholden to corporate and billionaire dollars for their political successes.

Never said it would be more corrupt.

I do think the corruption would be far less subtle and far more . . . . . what's the word? Impulsive. Cruz and Rubio are at least vaguely familiar with the concept that a serving government official should not just openly and brazenly be making sweetheart deals; their corruption would be the standard "Support this bill and I'll put you on the Board of Directors when you're out of office."

Trump's corruption would be Mahoning County/Youngstown Ohio-level obvious - he'd publicly push for a bill that gave a construction contractor a lock on a major Federal project, and the a week later he'd have the guy digging a pool on the White House lawn. And when confronted with this he'd be all, "What?? The guy wanted a contract, I wanted a break on the price of a pool! What's the big deal?"
posted by soundguy99 at 1:35 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt

the greatest pun in the history of things
posted by thelonius at 1:35 PM on February 23, 2016


Even if a tiger is devouring me, it doesn't make it any more of a lion.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:36 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


It does if you lionize the tiger.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 1:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Down here in Fl. the wife and I are voting for Trump (already voted)

Our reasoning is that in the general election a Trump vs. Clinton card would result in only insane women voting for Trump. How many insane in any group? 1 - 10%? The remaining 90+%
of sane women will overwhelmingly defeat the redneck, biker, prepper moron demographic.
posted by notreally at 1:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


If they take back the Senate they should end the filibuster entirely. It's totally justified at this point. It's not a nuclear first strike, it's the inevitable response strike.

Meh, there's still value in the filibuster as a slowing technique. So far smarter would be some of the many plans that have been floated over the years to make it work on a sliding scale. Currently it's always 60 votes for cloture, on day one or day 300. There have been some schemes floated that sounded reasonable to me that involved starting out at an even higher number - the traditional 67 - and having it decrease with time till it's basically simple majority.

There's a Drum article (see search above) talking about balancing the cloture vote with right to add amendments, though that seems like it's too usable to do poison pills that are just as awful but perhaps you would offset that somewhat with getting people's votes on record for those things. Not something that you could pull off in the House since they have such focused constituencies, but perhaps it would be enough in the Senate where people answer to a whole state.

The question is whether the dems have the guts to do that one day one (the only day they can do it without 67 votes) and I'm unsure they do, given the need for the blue dogs to keep their seats.
posted by phearlez at 1:38 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


How many insane in any group? 1 - 10%?

27%
posted by Drinky Die at 1:39 PM on February 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


How many insane in any group?

27%.
posted by Talez at 1:39 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


How many insane in any group?

Banana
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 1:40 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Our reasoning is that in the general election a Trump vs. Clinton card would result in only insane women voting for Trump.

This is not a good assumption.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:41 PM on February 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


How many insane in any group?

$20. Same as in town.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:48 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Twenty banana

And ... summarized.
posted by maxsparber at 1:49 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


It does if you lionize the tiger.
That's more than we could bear.
Oh my!
posted by Floydd at 1:49 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


emjaybee: “And koeslitz, I appreciate your injecting lots of good historical information into the conversation. I wish I was more convinced by it that 'this couldn't happen here.'”

Heh. Well, thanks. I really do believe that history won't repeat itself. My sense is that whenever people worry (or hope) that history is going to repeat itself, they end up being surprised to find that the future is stranger and darker than the past. The surprise is very rarely pleasant. It's more often terrifying. I don't think President Donald Trump will be anything like Hitler. I wish I could say that was an optimistic perspective.
posted by koeselitz at 1:50 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think President Donald Trump will be anything like Hitler.

"I'll take 'Sentences that seemed too implausible to even read as jokes a year ago but that are now uncomfortably realistic assessments of the American electoral landscape' for $200, Alex."
posted by cjelli at 1:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [72 favorites]


Regardless of Congress, he would still be Commander-in-Chief. Both Bush and Obama have used the AUMF to go after basically anyone they want, so there is no need for additional Congressional approval for any military action at this point, we have an open-ended auth to go after "terrorists" (not literally what it says, but thats how Obama has been pushing it to allow him to use it to go after ISIS).

So unless you think the military would actually stage a coup against the CIC, then Trump (or anyone) has a lot of room to do some pretty terrible things. Exactly what that would be, I have no idea... Trump is hard to figure out. But he's impulsive and gets angry / feels slighted easily, and likes to rile people up.... thats a bad personality for someone in charge of the worlds largest military force.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:55 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


We have always been at war with the Hiltons.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 1:57 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I still think Trump/Putin is a more relevant comparison than Trump/Hitler.
When informed that her country's president, Vladimir Putin, had called Trump "brilliant," she told The Huffington Post, "When Putin came to his first term or second term, nobody [in Russia] actually thought that this is serious. Everybody was joking about it. And nobody could imagine that after five, six years, we would have a war in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, and these problems in Syria," in which Russia has become involved.

"Everybody [is] joking about Donald Trump now, but it's a very short way from joke to sad reality when you have a really crazy president speaking about breaking every moral and logic norm. So I hope that he will not be president. That's very simple."
Putin is bad enough.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Just received another telegram from Red State, USA: seeing progressives getting this worked up is approximately 95% of the appeal of the Trump candidacy.
posted by fraxil at 1:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


One of the things I often wonder about is how much power the executive branch truly has over federal law enforcement. Between 1860-1930 America basically lived under very light federal executive control of local and even statewide law enforcement. This allowed what basically allowed the statewide conspiracy against anything that wasn't straight white male hegemony to flourish.

How far can we go backwards if the president tells the FBI and DOJ to stop giving a shit about city PDs and county deputies indiscriminately arresting brown/black people they don't like? We're talking tossing all civil rights and EEOC enforcement out the fucking window. Is it even possible? Can a government attorney stand up and directly disobey an order from the administration to not pursue certain types of crimes?
posted by Talez at 2:03 PM on February 23, 2016


seeing progressives getting this worked up is approximately 95% of the appeal of the Trump candidacy.

Yeah, but we tried dismissing him as a joke for a long time, and now we're here...
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can a government attorney stand up and directly disobey an order from the administration to not pursue certain types of crimes?

Worked for getting Nixon out of office.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


How far can we go backwards if the president tells the FBI and DOJ to stop giving a shit about city PDs and county deputies indiscriminately arresting brown/black people they don't like?

Why would Trump, or Rubio/Cruz for that matter, do that? Yes, law enforcement abuse is a big issue right now. Yes, there are forces working against racial and social justice. But why would any Republican president purposefully give carte blanche to local policemen to abuse as much as they see fit? There's nothing benefiting the White House there.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:08 PM on February 23, 2016


Our reasoning is that in the general election a Trump vs. Clinton card would result in only insane women voting for Trump.

Yeah, I know at least two women voting for Trump. One is an elderly woman who voted for and loves Bill Clinton. One is a female vet who is in an interracial relationship. Things are complicated.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


i think the greatest danger of a Trump presidency is that he will bomb the fuck out of anybody who annoys him. ISIS would be so happy. Just call Trump a buncha names, presto WWIII.
posted by angrycat at 2:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


As far as historical models go, I think Trump is probably more similar to Latin American caudillos than he is to Hitler and the usual suspects. A strongman who talks tough, seemingly stands for every single position on the spectrum (Vargas in Brazil screwed over the local capitalists, communists, and fascists), and crafts cults of personality through populist demagoguery. Those regimes don't get a lot of attention here. How many inter-state wars were there in post-WWII Latin America? The Falklands War wasn't launched by Perón. Their ideologies, while despotic, weren't particularly bloodthirsty or discriminatory. They aren't flashy like the Axis powers were. Far more banal in evil. But they were still corrupt and dictatorial regimes, with political instability, state persecution, and sometimes a lot of internal violence, all in the service of the autocrat and his retainers. They're still places that you wouldn't want to live in. And that you wouldn't want the United States to become.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [27 favorites]


Why would Trump, or Rubio/Cruz for that matter, do that? Yes, law enforcement abuse is a big issue right now. Yes, there are forces working against racial and social justice. But why would any Republican president purposefully give carte blanche to local policemen to abuse as much as they see fit?

There's a major backlash against PC/SJW/progessivism going on.
"You know what I hate? There's a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we're not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks."

"Then they said to me: What do you think of waterboarding?" he said. "I said I think it's great but we don't go far enough."
This was last fucking night!

I don't know how much is bravado and how much is serious but I loathe to think how much of the "deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king" is really coming out in this election.
posted by Talez at 2:15 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


> "Of all the dumb shit that Trump's supporters believe about him, the idea that he's 'incorruptible' because he's already rich has to be the dumbest."

I know! It's baffling! "Trump can't be bought by some rich corporate fat-cat because he already is a rich corporate fat-cat!" I just ... what? The argument is that surely this fox is is our best bet to protect the henhouse because any nonfoxes might be bribed by Big Fox?
posted by kyrademon at 2:17 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm really afraid that the next thing out of Trump's mouth is going to be "I saw this thing in a movie called a purge. We're going to set one up when I'm president and it'll be fantastic! It was cathartic! People could sort things out between each other, you know, air their grievances without any sort of political correctness and the best part about it? There was no crime! No poverty! All the poor people they went away!" and people will eat it up.
posted by Talez at 2:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Eat and purge. Purge and eat. Soylent Green is so slimming.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 2:20 PM on February 23, 2016


I'm surprised nobody's compared Trump to the Know-Nothing Party.
posted by FJT at 2:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Trump, a Latin American caudillo?" by Andres Oppenheimer

It’s not just Trump in the United States. Whether it’s President Vladimir Putin in Russia, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, or rapidly rising opposition leaders such as Marine Le Pen in France, charismatic nationalists are popping up across the northern hemisphere.

Perhaps because of a growing gap between the super-rich and the not-so-rich, many people are angry, and turning to xenophobic populists. In most cases, these leaders blame foreigners for their countries’ problems, oppose free trade deals, promise to bring back a real or imagined golden era of the past, demonize the free press as an alleged arm of shady oligarchs, and present themselves as saviors of the fatherland.

In Latin America, on the other hand, people are getting tired of charismatic leaders, at least for now.

posted by Apocryphon at 2:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


This op-ed makes the case that Trump's candidacy has more in common with the European right wing than the American right wing: "Perhaps the most significant difference between the American and European right is that the latter is almost entirely oppositional — an emotional response to the out-of-touch establishment. The American right, despite infighting and vigorous disagreement on specific policies, unites around a distinct set of political principles, with an abiding faith in free markets and individual liberty chief among them."

I know! It's baffling! "Trump can't be bought by some rich corporate fat-cat because he already is a rich corporate fat-cat!" I just ... what? The argument is that surely this fox is is our best bet to protect the henhouse because any nonfoxes might be bribed by Big Fox?

It's a pretty classic class traitor appeal. The idea is that he knows about all the corruption because he participated in it - but now he's turning his back on all his rich cronies because he cares more about the Common Man, or something to that effect. Obviously it's pretty ridiculous to trust him that he means any of what he says, but that's the basis of it. What's especially devastating about it is that it protects him from attacks on his previous corruption in a twisted way - all of his previous corruption can be turned around as evidence against the very system he wants to "fix" (of course, I have no illusions that he would "fix" anything, but that's the basis of the appeal).

The moment I started taking Trump very seriously as a real electoral threat was in one of the first debates where he gestured expansively at his Republican colleagues and said (paraphrasing): "Look, these guys are all bought out. I know because I've donated to most of them! And they do what I want them to do, because I pay them. Hell, I donated to Hillary Clinton and she had to come to my wedding and pretend to like me! They are ripping you off, I know because I helped them rip you off until now. But now I want to make America great again, yadda yadda yadda." That's when I started to get really scared about our chances against him in the general. He'll try to do the same thing to Democrats and it could be a very effective line of attack.
posted by dialetheia at 2:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


Texas has open primaries. I generally vote in the Republican primary in midterm years, because that's when Texas elects its state-wide offices (governor, lt governor, etc), and I take advantage of the opportunity to pick the least worst option, who will inevitably win the general election.

I did this math in my head today before heading to the early-voting polls, about whether to pick the least worst Republican or vote for my favorite Democrat. I finally decided that I couldn't live with myself knowing that I had voted for Rubio or Kasich*, and voted in the D primary. As mentioned upthread, it also meant that I got to vote for the down ballot primaries, including an open seat in the Texas House for my district. Texas liberals have shitty voter turnout and our federal electoral college votes will inevitably go to whoever the Republicans nominate, but at least I did my part on the local level.

* I still live with the shame of voting for Bush in 2000 because I was young and had been indoctrinated by my conservative upbringing that the Clintons and anyone associated with them, were the devil. And Gore was probably the AntiChrist.
posted by donajo at 2:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


There was no crime! No poverty! All the poor people they went away!" and people will eat it up.

But Purge 2 tho
posted by zutalors! at 2:27 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised nobody's compared Trump to the Know-Nothing Party.

I've noticed. Not necessarily in this thread but I've noticed.
posted by Talez at 2:28 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


If Trump could beat Hillary in a general election, then I'd say the Democrats are America is nearly as fucked as the Republicans.


FTFY etc.
posted by spitbull at 2:34 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Our reasoning is that in the general election a Trump vs. Clinton card would result in only insane women voting for Trump.

He's already laid out his strategy to win over women voters (or at least depress turnout for Clinton): he's going to attack Bill Clinton as a serial abuser and Hillary as an enabler. It will be extremely disgusting.
In October, Roger Stone, Trump’s former longtime political adviser who left the campaign amid acrimony in August, published “The Clintons’ War on Women,” a book that portrays Bill Clinton as a serial sexual abuser and Hillary Clinton as complicit in silencing his victims.

Trump has seized on that line of attack this month. He greeted the New Year by tweeting, “I hope Bill Clinton starts talking about women’s issues so that voters can see what a hypocrite he is and how Hillary abused those women!” on Jan. 2. Five days later, his campaign released an Instagram video that features images linking the Clintons to Monica Lewinsky, Anthony Weiner and Bill Cosby and declares Trump “the true defender of women’s rights.”
As always, hypothetical general election matchups don't tell us much, but so far there are plenty of women who would vote for Trump over Clinton. This recent Quinnipiac poll [pdf] found that in that hypothetical matchup, 48% of women would vote for Clinton compared to 39% for Trump.
posted by dialetheia at 2:38 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


This is such a fucking weird election. I've seen people who say they are supporting Trump because they know he can't actually do most of what he says he wants to do but they think he'll be a good manager in chief. I've heard conservativish people say they'll never vote for Hillary, but they'd vote for Bernie because, again, they don't think he can do all the stuff he wants to do and at least he hates the banks.

Voting for someone because you don't think they can actually do what they say they want is such a weird place to be.
posted by macrael at 2:39 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Voting for someone because you don't think they can actually do what they say they want is such a weird place to be.

we should be used to it by now
posted by pyramid termite at 2:42 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Late capitalism, baby!
posted by Apocryphon at 2:42 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Rubio is offering 12 million new jobs, right away, as soon as he deports all the illegals, and their children. I know all those frustrated white folks want to pick strawberries, they have outhouses in the fields now.

Again, the Republicans do not have a credible candidate, and they don't seem worried. Mitt Romney is waving his arms around again, me, me, me, pick me someone, I can lend some credibility, and I have good hair!

Then I wonder in this current day statesmen are out of place when faced with Putin, Assad, Erdogan, El Chapo, whoever the current prick is running Great Britain, the military defense establishment, energy companies, and oligarchs. Maybe Trump is the perfect foil for establishing some even more precarious balance. Though I think voting for Trump is certainly a litmus test of some kind, probably a way to establish eligibility for stabilizing medications. This is the made by TV nightmare that has been coming on slowly since the fifties.
posted by Oyéah at 2:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Friendly reminder, if you want to talk about the merits of Clinton vs Sanders as the Dem nominee, please take it to one of the other election threads that have focused on that.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think Trump is probably more similar to Latin American caudillos than he is to Hitler

This op-ed makes the case that Trump's candidacy has more in common with the European right wing than the American right wing

Trump: whatever you think he is, he might be that. He's clearly a trickster god, who came down to earth just to fuck with us.
posted by dis_integration at 2:50 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Corb, why are you appealing to Democrats to change their affiliation? Have you heard things from Republicans that have led you to believe that they wouldn't be of assistance?

I'm not appealing to them to actually change their affiliation. I'm suggesting that they register as a different party, vote in a caucus, and then do whatever they want.

As for Republicans - the interesting thing is that almost everyone who I've seen that's actually involved in the Party despises Trump. But he's still getting enormous amounts of support.

I can't influence people who aren't involved in politics - who are sitting in isolation making their decisions. And those people are particularly resistant to influence. They don't want to be involved in "politics". That's why they're voting for Reality Clown Trump. Because they think he's a 'man of the people'.

And every time a Democrat makes fun of Trump for being a clown - even though he is - someone thinks "Oh, so voting for Trump is how I stick it to those pointy headed elite bankers?"

We're so fucked. No one is going to give and we're so fucked. I'm going to try, of course, because we have to, but I think we'd be better off stockpiling food and building secret hiding places in our houses for people fleeing from the inevitable camps he's going to create.
posted by corb at 2:55 PM on February 23, 2016


Nyarlathotrump.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:56 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why would Democrats want to help a more electable Republican candidate win? Trump is the least electable.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


De-lectable. We want to hire a more de-lectable Republican candidate. Purge and eat, eat and purge.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 2:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why evangelicals are born again for Trump: tl;dr it's about the new culture war.
"But since 2012, the nation has changed. Romney ran the last campaign of the pre-gay marriage era. The years since have seen an explosion of controversy over political correctness, with battles over safe spaces, speech codes, and the assertion of privilege spreading from academia into the broader culture. The flashpoint in this new phase of the culture war is the issue of speech: what our culture and politics will allow you to say, and where you are allowed to say it."
posted by dialetheia at 3:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nearly this entire thread is about how similar Trump is to Hitler. It's the equivalent of Republicans arguing over whether Sanders is more like Stalin or Mao. This kind of dumb shit is exactly why he's going to win and why I'm more and more embarrassed to be registered as a Democrat.
posted by stavrogin at 3:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Just what if Trump is the American Dream, personified? You know, the sad thing, he is. Beauty Pageant host, lavish wives, spectacular failures, and billions of dollars worth of successes. I can't help laughing over the shitty mirror he provides us, posing, pouting, bellicose ugly American. No one could write a novel about this with any worth, maybe some brilliant auteur screenwriter could contrive the plot, but please put it in a time capsule for some much later era; then gilded to become a new prophesy. The new bible, and then Donald slew the heckler, and did rise to enslave the other non believers. Donald built a great wall to keep the unclean out. On the third day, then Donald and his priestesses withdrew to quiet supper.
posted by Oyéah at 3:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump wins if you guys nominate Clinton, so yeah, it's still kind of a problem that Democrats who don't want the Trumpocalypse may want to consider.
posted by corb at 3:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


This kind of dumb shit is exactly why he's going to win and why I'm more and more embarrassed to be registered as a Democrat.

You should probably vote for Trump
posted by Greg Nog at 3:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Nearly this entire thread is about how similar Trump is to Hitler.

Perhaps Andrew Jackson is a better comparison, but Trump's deportation plan is definitely Trail of Tears / Holocaust Lite (while he doesn't technically say he wants to kill anyone, spinning up the government to hunt down and deport 11 million people is going to result in deaths, injuries, etc no matter how "careful" one tries to be).

(Now, I realize he may well not be able to pull off such a plan, but it IS his actual plan)
posted by thefoxgod at 3:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump is a shit onion. You get filthy peeling back the layers, only to discover there's nothing at the center. Nothing but the sting of your tears.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


Just what if Trump is the American Dream, personified? You know, the sad thing, he is. Beauty Pageant host, lavish wives, spectacular failures, and billions of dollars worth of successes. I can't help laughing over the shitty mirror he provides us, posing, pouting, bellicose ugly American. No one could write a novel about this with any worth, maybe some brilliant auteur screenwriter could contrive the plot, but please put it in a time capsule for some much later era; then gilded to become a new prophesy. The new bible, and then Donald slew the heckler, and did rise to enslave the other non believers. Donald built a great wall to keep the unclean out. On the third day, then Donald and his priestesses withdrew to quiet supper.


I bet Orson Welles could have handled it.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nearly this entire thread is about how similar Trump is to Hitler. It's the equivalent of Republicans arguing over whether Sanders is more like Stalin or Mao. This kind of dumb shit is exactly why he's going to win and why I'm more and more embarrassed to be registered as a Democrat.

Considering that the article that this thread is allegedly about begins by comparing Trump to Hitler, I think arguing the comparison is appropriate. Anyway, we've reached the post-Godwin era. The leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the USA is actually close enough to a real-life fascist that the comparison has enough teeth that we have to say, "well, he's really more like a cuadillo if you think about it."

Anyway, I hate false equivalences maybe as much as you hate Hitler-comparisons. Trump is really an authoritarian demagogue. Sanders is barely a socialist.
posted by dis_integration at 3:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Trump wins if you guys nominate Clinton, so yeah, it's still kind of a problem that Democrats who don't want the Trumpocalypse may want to consider.

a Trump v Hillary debate is going to produce an incredible turnout of women voters in the US like none that has ever been seen before

and I bet you that most of those women will not be voting for Trump
posted by runt at 3:10 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


arguing over whether Sanders is more like Stalin or Mao

You misspelled "mayo."
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 3:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Huntsman: I could support Trump

I'm guessing he's angling for VP?
posted by melissasaurus at 3:18 PM on February 23, 2016


Trump wins if you guys nominate Clinton, so yeah, it's still kind of a problem that Democrats who don't want the Trumpocalypse may want to consider.

I don't think that would turn out to be the case.
posted by Justinian at 3:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


corb: "Trump wins if you guys nominate Clinton, so yeah, it's still kind of a problem that Democrats who don't want the Trumpocalypse may want to consider."

Cute little throwaway line. Want to explain it? Or should it just be thrown away?
posted by Splunge at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


You should probably vote for Trump

Pretty fucking stupid, greg nog. I'm surprised you guys can't see how similar this stuff is to "He's a communist, socialist, nazi Kenyan muslim!" and how well that worked in 2008 and 2012. Hey, what if we photoshop a pencil mustache on Trump so people can see he's literally Hitler!
posted by stavrogin at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2016


wow, being Trump's vice president would be such a job. It sounds like some Twilight Zone nightmare. i thought Huntsman was one of the relatively sane ones. i could be wrong about that
posted by angrycat at 3:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


More likely Secretary of State. Which to be honest, would be a pretty damn good pick.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


“Even the really dishonest press says Trump’s people are the most incredible,” the billionaire said during a rally in Sparks, just hours ahead of the Nevada caucuses. “Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder. I think it means anything.”

Anything indeed. I'm still trying to laugh about all this, but man, it's getting harder to do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Huntsman: I could support Trump

It sounds like he's more saying "I support the Republican party."

Which is only marginally less of a WTF than endorsing Trump in this election cycle.
posted by wildblueyonder at 3:25 PM on February 23, 2016


Huntsman: Sure, I can bring you her heart. Wait - you don't mean literally, do you?
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 3:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


yes indeed, Greg Nog, your suggestion that stavrogin vote for Donald Trump is indeed 'pretty fucking stupid,' in fact I am quite surprised that you seriously think that he should go register and vote for Trump, since that is clearly your sincere belief
posted by koeselitz at 3:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


My bet is Trump chooses a general or other military figure. It matches his "I'll hire the best people" shtick and help cover his military/foreign affairs weakness.
posted by charred husk at 3:27 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sure. I think with the current swell of feeling, any establishment candidate up against a populist is going to lose and lose hard. So Trump vs Clinton? Trump win. Trump vs Sanders? A contest. Rubio vs Sanders? Sanders win. Rubio vs Clinton? A contest.
posted by corb at 3:29 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Imagine the infinite monkeys scenario of an accidentally okay Trump presidency- the great outsider, bereft of any sort of ideological professional political advisors (neocons or Vulcans), staffs his cabinet which whomever looks and sounds good. Huntsman, with his China savvy and billionaire hair, gets State and carries out Trump's protectionist mandates by... not doing that at all, and in fact improves Sino-American relations better than ever. Surgeon General Carson does a good job, because well, people forget that his whole claim to fame is that he's a world-class surgeon. Rob Lowe literally gets to be in The West Wing.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, what if we photoshop a pencil mustache on Trump so people can see he's literally Hitler!

Pencil mustache? That sounds more like literally Vincent Price.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:31 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Pretty fucking stupid, greg nog.

I'm serious! If you're embarrassed by leftists talking about the ways in which xenophobic authoritarianism is a step toward fascism, feel free to disassociate yourself from the Democrat party! Lord knows the other party isn't nearly as worried about it.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:32 PM on February 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


I'm picturing a John Waters 'stache, and it's making me smile.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 3:33 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


And who plans to give away 7 trillion in tax cuts to America's wealthiest?

-Republican candidates are out-Reaganing Reagan on tax cuts
-Analysts Question Viability of Deep Tax Cuts Proposed by Republican Candidates

It sounds like he's more saying "I support the Republican party."

ICYMI! Clay Shirky: Social media has turned Republican & Democratic Parties into host bodies for 3rd party candidates - "Mentioning X [what 'v.serious people' don't talk about] became Dean's hallmark. Far from marginalizing him, it got him tons of free news coverage. Trump is just biting those rhymes... Reaching & persuading even a fraction of the electorate used to be so daunting that only two national orgs could do it. Now dozens can. This set up the current catastrophe for the parties. They no longer control any essential resource, and can no longer censor wedge issues. Each party has an unmentionable Issue X that divide its voters. Each overestimated their ability to keep X out of the campaign... So here we are, with quasi-parlimentarianism. We now have four medium-sized and considerably more coherent voter blocs. 2 rump establishment parties, Trump representing 'racist welfare state' voters, and Sanders representing people who want a Nordic system." :P
posted by kliuless at 3:34 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


So how many people in this thread are actually typing 'r i c h   a s s h o l e' instead of 'T r u m p'? Because reading rich asshole as rich asshole is about the only thing that is getting me through this primary season.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:36 PM on February 23, 2016


VP: a huge screaming dog
State: George Washington
Treasury: the word "incredible"
AG: a tornado
Labor: half-eaten Kind bar
Agriculture: Tom Vilsack
posted by theodolite at 3:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


I'm serious! If you're embarrassed by leftists talking about the ways in which xenophobic authoritarianism is a step toward fascism, feel free to disassociate yourself from the Democrat party!

Democratic.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:38 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm surprised you guys can't see how similar this stuff is to "He's a communist, socialist, nazi Kenyan muslim!" and how well that worked in 2008 and 2012.

That's the genius of the Republican rhetoric. They spend years saying that Democrats are anti-American megalomaniacal wanna-be monarchs, and then when they move to nominate someone who is exactly that, if you point it out you are only adding to the "one side is just like the other" perception of the average low-information voter. If you don't point it out then you have tin-plated despots running for office with no one calling them on it, while they continue to compare moderate centrist types to Mephistopheles.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:40 PM on February 23, 2016 [37 favorites]


corb: “Sure. I think with the current swell of feeling, any establishment candidate up against a populist is going to lose and lose hard. So Trump vs Clinton? Trump win. Trump vs Sanders? A contest. Rubio vs Sanders? Sanders win. Rubio vs Clinton? A contest.”

It seems like a mistake to assume that this whole election comes down to "populism," which is a pretty amorphous and difficult-to-define thing anyway. Regardless, as I said above, Trump isn't popular because he's a "populist." He's popular because he's an asshole. Americans kind of like that in a public figure.

Meanwhile, those saying Donald Trump would be disastrous for the Republican Party's standing with women are correct – he has absolutely atrocious numbers among female voters. Given that more women vote than men, it seems likely that a Trump v Clinton election would be very much a contest – perhaps more of a contest than Trump v Sanders, especially given the extra mileage Hillary Clinton (who is not as unpopular as I think you imagine) will get when Trump inevitably insults her, making her very relatable and sympathetic, and making him much more of an obvious asshole.
posted by koeselitz at 3:41 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Unless it ends up like all the other times Trump "goes to far" and is punished by his lead increasing.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I bet Orson Welles could have handled it.

Trump's Rosebud is a gold coke spoon.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:45 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Never used alcohol or drugs in his life because of his brother's struggle with alcoholism and early death.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:47 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It was a gold comb.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 3:48 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


the extra mileage Hillary Clinton (who is not as unpopular as I think you imagine) will get when Trump inevitably insults her, making her very relatable and sympathetic, and making him much more of an obvious asshole

Unless it ends up like all the other times Trump "goes to far" and is punished by his lead increasing.


I guess it really depends on if Hillary can make her persona more likable to those who aren't currently supporting her. And yes, I understand it's sexist that the first leading female presidential candidate is dealing with that problem. On the other hand, the reason isn't because she's a woman, any more than Romney's likability problem was because he's a Mormon.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:48 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


What if Trump is Banksy?

Whoa, I came to the same conclusion the other day. Banksy vs The Zodiac Killer. Amazing.

Just what if Trump is the American Dream, personified? You know, the sad thing, he is. Beauty Pageant host, lavish wives, spectacular failures, and billions of dollars worth of successes.

Donald Trump is what a hobo imagines a rich man to be. Or is he just a really good at Family Feud?
posted by BungaDunga at 4:17 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump is not (technically) a fascist; many of his most fervent supporters, however, are fascist (or at the very least blindly authoritarian), even if they don't know that they are.

What Trump is might be even more dangerous: an amoral narcissist (sociopath?) with money and fame, who now has a taste for power.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think Clinton will win handily if she picks someone like Julián Castro (young, smart, accomplished Latino) as her running mate. (Based on current delegate counts and a Clinton-friendly Super Tuesday slate I think she'll win the nomination. Nevada was Sanders' best chance to change the Democratic race.)

Trump is doing well in the Republican primaries because he's pandering to white people that are scared of us becoming a majority/minority nation. I don't believe women and non-whites will forget the things he says in the primaries, and the longer the Republicans take to select a candidate the less time they'll have to distance themselves from their rhetoric.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on February 23, 2016


The terrifying thing to me about Trump isn't Trump - its what his popularity says about a significant portion of our fellow citizens. There are people who think he wouldn't be a complete horrorshow of a president. That a portion of our citizens hate other so much that they want that hate enshrined as law gives me much more pause than Trump himself, who is not so much a man as he is a lump of waffle dough and pipe cleaners highlighted with orange magic marker.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


I think it's better if we criticize Trump's policies rather than what he looks like.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:31 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Just what if Trump is the American Dream, personified?

No. We've had The American Dream personified once in my lifetime. We will not see his like again.

.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:32 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think it's better if we criticize Trump's policies rather than what he looks like.

Fixed:

The terrifying thing to me about Trump isn't Trump - its what his popularity says about a significant portion of our fellow citizens. There are people who think he wouldn't be a complete horrorshow of a president. That a portion of our citizens hate other so much that they want that hate enshrined as law gives me much more pause than Trump himself, who is not so much a man as he is a lump of waffle dough and pipe cleaners highlighted with orange magic marker.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:33 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The flashpoint in this new phase of the culture war is the issue of speech: what our culture and politics will allow you to say, and where you are allowed to say it.

"Allow" is being a bit generous... assholes are increasingly being called out for talking like assholes so they try to spin it as a fight for free speech despite the near complete lack of government suppression of speech involved.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:33 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton (who is not as unpopular as I think you imagine)

I imagine nothing. But her stats aren't looking good. Not that Trump's are.

Mind you, people lie about this sort of thing. Whether they lie more about her or him is currently impossible to know
posted by IndigoJones at 4:34 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump is a Wildcard bitches
posted by ian1977 at 4:35 PM on February 23, 2016


I know I was pushing Omarosa as VP candidate, but more and more I'm thinking it's going to be Ivanka. Even if neither of them, I think it will be a woman.
posted by sallybrown at 4:40 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I agree. I think he will pick a woman. Quite possibly a woman of color.
posted by ian1977 at 4:42 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


If he picks Omarosa tho? I will assume I live in a simulacrum designed by LSD addled space fish.
posted by ian1977 at 4:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I was pretty surprised by this part of the DNC's official response:
The primaries and caucuses are extended gutters and the gutters are full of Trump and when the drains finally scab over, the GOP establishment will drown. The accumulated filth of all their Tea Partiers and neocon hawks will foam up about their waists and all the party faithfuls and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and we'll whisper "no."
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:44 PM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]




Almost as scary as Trump's classically Fascist, populist appeal is the stridency with which people object to calling him a Fascist. It can't happen here!

Funny how the people bringing up, y'know, historical evidence and looking at Trump's actual stated past views are the "strident" ones. Tone argument FTW, I guess.

I know! It's baffling! "Trump can't be bought by some rich corporate fat-cat because he already is a rich corporate fat-cat!" I just ... what? The argument is that surely this fox is is our best bet to protect the henhouse because any nonfoxes might be bribed by Big Fox?

This was actually a big part of early post-Independence Federalist rhetoric: you can't enfranchise the poor because they'll just be bribed by richer demagogues, the only folks you can trust to run things are men (only men, only white) who are rich enough to deal solely on grounds of high intellectual and moral suasion. The same argument was used against paying elected officials decent salaries, any truly trustworthy man would have landed estates to support him during his time in Washington. It crops up again at various other times in our history - an eternally useful piece of BS.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


assholes are increasingly being called out for talking like assholes so they try to spin it as a fight for free speech despite the near complete lack of government suppression of speech involved.

They do? As far as I can tell, it's not griping against government censorship but PC BS. Which even Obama says he finds a bit much. Mostly what I see is the people I expect you are thinking of as assholes rejoicing that in America the government mostly doesn't come down on you for speech, and worry that citizen sentiment is edging closer to countries that do.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Remember the last time a successful business man thought about joining the race.. until he suddenly realized HE MIGHT WIN and then dropped out and fractured the Republican party?

Yea, that.... all over again in SPADES except Trump looks committed (unlike Ross Perot).
posted by twidget at 5:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Trump is probably more similar to Latin American caudillos than he is to Hitler

As I quoted in the Evita-Trump thread:

One has no rules, is not precise.
One rarely acts the same way twice
One spurns no device
Practicing the art of the possible

One always picks the easy fight
One praises fools, one smothers light
One shifts left to right
Politics - the art of the possible.

posted by chainsofreedom at 5:08 PM on February 23, 2016


No way will he drop out until after he's president - at that point it's pretty much "when".
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on February 23, 2016


"Classically fascist" isn't even a thing. Unlike communism, there's no central manifesto for fascism, which is why the term is nearly meaningless in common use. So if you're going to study fascism, you're going to have to look at different definitions of it, and that will involve historical analysis. And if you're gonna label something fascist, you need to play by those rules, because it was a specific political phenomenon (if not a single strict ideology), not just "evil thing I don't like".

For what it's worth, "authoritarianism" and "xenophobia" are phrases that do not need strict definitions, so you can go to town with generic pejoratives. "Nationalist thuggery" works, too.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Guys, y'all know that it's not just, like, Trump dumb violent greatness therefore HITLER — Mussolini, Franco, Tojo, both Brazil's and Portugal's Estado Novos… there are tons of other dangerous precedents to point to! Don't get bogged down in having to defend the exact parallels between Hitler and Trump when there are so many other, better options!
posted by klangklangston at 5:16 PM on February 23, 2016


Never used alcohol or drugs in his life ...

Out of all the things Trump has ever said about his life, this is the one you believe?
posted by JackFlash at 5:19 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Classically fascist" isn't even a thing.

You can start with Mussolini and Gentile's The Doctrine of Fascism to do some basic reading, if you're interested.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


But, hey, it can't happen here!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Never used alcohol or drugs in his life ...

Out of all the things Trump has ever said about his life, this is the one you believe?


Based on the reasoning behind it (watching a family member suffer through addiction), it does seem to be the one thing that is grounded in sense.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whether or not Donald indulges, the part about his brother seems true.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I totally believe that about Donald. And given how many business deals and meetings take place over booze (and how many participants get a little fuzzy during those deals), I bet he thinks it gives him a business advantage (just like he reportedly thinks his wacko hair tricks people into underestimating him).
posted by sallybrown at 5:29 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump is not Hitler. But he's riding a wave of people that have that smell. The xenophobic stink is real. Anyone that can't see that are in denial. Many of them may very well be the people that are amongst those against the wall when the Trump revolution happens. That might be a way to go if you want to deprogram the faithful. But I doubt it.

The way to go, in my limited perception, is to go for Hillary hard. Assume that Trump is the GOP pick. Start to fight him now. Fuck Rubio and Cruz. Go hard as a Democrat. Get your people to vote. Vote for Hil and drop Bern as a possible candidate.

Read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72 as a bible.

Get out the freak vote. Bury the sucker so far down that he never tries again.
posted by Splunge at 5:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Whether or not Donald indulges, the part about his brother seems true.

The guy owns, or at least has his brand attached to, a a winery. Maybe he doesn't drink, but if his reasons are moral, then he's just a hypocrite.
posted by dis_integration at 5:30 PM on February 23, 2016


Not moral so much as, "hey, someone genetically related to me suffered to a terrible degree from this somewhat genetic-related disease, so I'm going to do everything I can to avoid it." Biden has cited similar reasons for not imbibing. I believe him too. That doesn't mean they think the world as a whole should stop drinking.
posted by sallybrown at 5:34 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


A lot of people, like Guiliani, will be angling to fill those slots of power.

Most frightening thing I have read in this thread.
posted by notreally at 5:37 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The point is not that Trump is Hitler. As I've said elsewhere here, he isn't. It's worse than that. Hitler led the German people down a path of his choosing. It's easy to deal with Hitler. Everyone knows you build a time machine, go back and strangle him in his crib. No Nazi party, no war, no holocaust.

This is different. Trump isn't leading this movement. He's capitalizing on it. This is fascism from the ground up, from the rotten mass of paranoid, broken monsters that the American people have become. Go back and strangle Trump and they'll just pick someone else to raise up. You want to fix this, you've got millions of babies to kill, not just the one.
posted by Naberius at 5:51 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


tbh i would use the time machine to try that extinct banana and see if it really does taste as terrible as fake banana flavouring
posted by poffin boffin at 5:59 PM on February 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


Donald Trump is a bully and a jerk, but his actual policy positions are considerably more moderate than the other Republican candidates. Plus, he doesn't have the connections or institutional support to actually win the general election or get anything passed if he is elected. I'd be a lot happier with him as the GOP nominee than Cruz, who is staggeringly regressive and also a skilled enough operator to actually be effective if he wins the nomination.
posted by miyabo at 6:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


but also the hitler thing for sure
posted by poffin boffin at 6:00 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


You want to fix this, you've got millions of babies to kill

Well, that escalated quickly.
posted by cjelli at 6:02 PM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


This is fascism from the ground up, from the rotten mass of paranoid, broken monsters that the American people have become. Go back and strangle Trump and they'll just pick someone else to raise up. You want to fix this, you've got millions of babies to kill, not just the one.

So given the repeated insistence, in this thread, that rhetorical gestures be uncritically taken at face value as actual real-life propositions, and given also the discussion about fascism and what it means, how it functions via demonization and evocations of violence....
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:03 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


can't we just pit baby against baby in a series of caged deathmatches? think of the revenue.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I believe that Hillary is the one person that can stake Trump and leave him a crumbling wreck. Just remember to burn his hair.
posted by Splunge at 6:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


can't we just pit baby against baby in a series of caged deathmatches? think of the revenue.

Trial by battle rattle
posted by sallybrown at 6:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


You want to fix this, you've got millions of babies to kill

This thread is getting really creepy and weird.
posted by teponaztli at 6:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


BTW. Just a note. Most Americans are not what you believe them to be. I am so angry at the, "If Trump becomes the president you all deserve it" comments that I just can't comment on the people that posted them. It would be a long and angry screed. So in Nazi Germany all of the German people deserved Hitler? In any historical period, ALL the people of a specific country or state DESERVED the rulers that they had? Pol Pot? Mugabe? All deserved because they became leaders? Fuck you.
posted by Splunge at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


ok but can we agree that totalitarian enthusiast babies deserve to fight one another to the death with honor in the holmgang
posted by poffin boffin at 6:16 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Guys! Guys! We all know that racism is real and time travel isn't , right?
posted by Artw at 6:17 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Donald Trump is a bully and a jerk, but his actual policy positions are considerably more moderate than the other Republican candidates.

As long as you're ignoring his positions regarding various minorities. Leave that out and he's not nearly as horrifying a candidate. But I can't leave that out.
posted by brundlefly at 6:21 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Guys! Guys! We all know that racism is real and time travel isn't , right?

I wasn't creeped out because I thought someone would go back in time to murder babies, I was creeped out by the sentiment that Americans are a lost cause prone to fascism and better off dead.
posted by teponaztli at 6:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


We should round up all babies with combovers and send them to sensitivity camp.
posted by ian1977 at 6:24 PM on February 23, 2016


You heard it here folks...teponaztli isn't worried about time traveling baby killers. I advocate a strong stance against these temporal hooligans.
posted by ian1977 at 6:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder if it's hard to find a historical parallel to what's going on right now. To live as an American is to have it pretty good if you compare it to a lot of places in the world, yet the income inequality--has it ever been this bad in a western democracy? Has there been a country founded mostly by WASPs that became majority-minority? Have any of those countries exuded the sense of exceptionalism that the U.S. does?

Has anybody read all the books of Parade's End? I mean that is a pretty amazing picture of an empire in decline, and how one character's reaction to said decline is to fall into a coma-like state, iirc. I mean I worry that's what I worry about, how psycho an empire in decline or undergoing significant change can get.
posted by angrycat at 6:49 PM on February 23, 2016


This thread is getting really creepy and weird.

Creepy, weird and hilarious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:50 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dunno about historical parallels but geographic parallels, sure. Trump is riding the same wave that Cameron and soon to be re-elected Sarkozy are.
posted by fraxil at 7:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


To live as an American is to have it pretty good if you compare it to a lot of places in the world, yet the income inequality--has it ever been this bad in a western democracy? Has there been a country founded mostly by WASPs that became majority-minority? Have any of those countries exuded the sense of exceptionalism that the U.S. does?

There are some parallels to South Africa, of course there are many differences as well.

I am sympathetic to Godwin's Law-callers-out because yeah, usually when Hitler gets invoked a conversation is pretty much over in terms of productive / helpful dialogue. But on the other hand, it's okay to compare people to Hitler in the sense of "Here's how Hitler / Naziism worked vs. Here's how Person X / Party Y / Ideology Z works".

There are obviously some disturbing parallels between interwar Germany and the current US situation: for example, a sense of the failure of democratic institutions, an economic crisis, a desire to restore national greatness, the scapegoating of ethnic minorities. There are also obviously differences: for example, our political traditions are much more deeply-rooted; power is diffused much more among local, state and federal jurisdictions; the ethnic group which has historically dominated is demographically shrinking....

We absolutely should be talking about red flags and warning signs, though. We should be looking at interwar Germany and Italy, at Spain under Franco and Argentina under Peron and apartheid South Africa. We should be vigilant.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


income inequality--has it ever been this bad in a western democracy?

It's been this bad in the USA itself, for a good chunk of the period between the Civil War and WWI. A fair number of people claimed the End Had Come then as well.

Has there been a country founded mostly by WASPs that became majority-minority?

The WASP USA saw unprecedented non-WASP immigration which transformed the USA and led to repeated explosions of xenophobic nationalism from roughly the 1850s up through the 1930s, fueling groups such as the Know Nothings (who eventually merged into the Republican Party in the decade before the Civil War), the Klu Klux Klan (which was anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant as well as racist) and the John Birch Society, and which was still being pumped for political points (albeit with diminishing returns) right up through JFK's 1960 presidential campaign.

Have any of those countries exuded the sense of exceptionalism that the U.S. does?

Every great power develops something like this. The USA has had it from the very beginning - arguably from before the nation ever existed ("city on a hill", anyone?). Every successful power finds it easy to suggest that it is unique, that it's success is due to inherent moral virtue rather than broader historical forces, sheer circumstance or even the more banal and quiet elements of power such as a well-educated population, good infrastructure, or carefully constructed political systems.

There are always people who want to believe - or even genuinely do - that the problems they face in their own lifetime are unique and uniquely awful, the stuff of epic legend against which all the trials of their ancestors pale in comparison. Some people even seem to need to believe that, maybe because they're not capable of generating the effort required to do basic maintenance on their political house unless they're sure its about to fall apart around them. But that's what democratic politics should be - basic maintenance, a part of daily life. Not a once-every-four-years extravaganza with Messiahs dancing shirtless on the tables and apocalypses being peddled on every street corner, tailored for every possible taste.

I'm going to bow out, as I've gotten to the "grumpy lectures on the misuse of history" stage, and what comes next is never fun or constructive.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm reading up on HUAC at the moment, so the idea that America could never swing significantly fascist is a pretty dubious one to me right now.
posted by Artw at 7:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Every election-related thread reads like a string of confident assertions. Trump won't win the nom! He will! Hilary has no chance! It'll be a blowout for Clinton!

(I include myself in the list of people who thought Rubio was gonna surge; glad I didn't bet money on that one).

The truth is we have no fucking idea. Lots of guesses, but no fucking idea.

Right now we have a renegade Congress that not only refuses to confirm a new justice from our President but refuses to even hold a fucking hearing. They put out a letter today saying, yep, they are going to be the biggest possible assholes for vague reasons that everyone knows boil down to "Going forward, Democratic Presidents will never be treated as real presidents by our racist fuckhead party." Then commenters like us make confident assertions that "the people" will throw them out for this. Will they? I'm not confident that "the people" know or give any fucks about the Supreme Court or gridlock. Most of "the people" seem either too busy trying to survive to vote, full-on crazy Fox News believers, or apathetic. Add that to the glories of gerrymandered elections and you've got yourself a fuckery maelstrom that none of us know how to turn off.
posted by emjaybee at 7:29 PM on February 23, 2016 [29 favorites]



Donald Trump is a bully and a jerk, but his actual policy positions are considerably more moderate than the other Republican candidates.


Let's look at some of his policies:

In 2 years, he wants to round up and forcibly deport over 11 million people.
He wants to bring back torture
He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States
He wants a database/registry of all Muslims in the US

In addition to the standard Republican stuff: end Obamacare, believes climate change is a hoax, cut the EPA and DOE ("Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace"), cut taxes, cut spending, etc, etc.

Which positions of his are moderate? Only ones I can think of are he suggested he might maybe consider marijuana legalization (but no commitment there) and that he's a little softer on Planned Parenthood (but still mostly pro-life).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Well at least he may get Amtrak working so the trains will run on time.
posted by fraxil at 7:35 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


We have indeed seen our presidential elections weirder! The one when LBJ just tossed in the towel before the primaries really start despite being an absolute lock to win the general, giving Nixon his in, comes immediately to mind.

Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Calvin Coolidge - we have elected a lot of horrific weirdos. I'm not even touching on the incompetents. (One of the worst was not too long ago...)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:40 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Which positions of his are moderate?

The claim -- which you quoted, for goodness sakes -- is that his actual policy positions, such as they are, 'are more moderate than the other Republican candidates', not that they are moderate per se.

That is, almost across the board, quite true.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Not to defend the loathsome fucker, but.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:43 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Andrew Jackson

Oh God, can you imagine what he would have done with a nuclear arsenal?
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:46 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whatever one may think of Trump’s talk of building a wall, does anyone think the United States is not going to have to build a security fence to defend our bleeding 2,000-mile border?

Given the huge trade deficits with China, Japan, Mexico and the EU, the hemorrhaging of manufacturing, the stagnation of wages and the decline of the middle class, does anyone think that if Trump is turned back, the GOP can continue on being a free-trade party financed by the Beltway agents of transnational corporations?

Absent some major attack on the homeland, do our foreign policy elites believe the American people would support new U.S. interventions to defeat, occupy and tutor Third World nations in liberal democracy?

Trump is winning because, on immigration, amnesty, securing our border and staying out of any new crusades for democracy, he has tapped into the most powerful currents in politics: economic populism and “America First” nationalism.

posted by My Dad at 7:47 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is just a reminder that Ted Cruz, per his wife, will "show this country the face of the god that we serve."

Sweet dreams!
posted by The Gaffer at 7:47 PM on February 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


Sorry, I meant "which positions of his are MORE moderate"


That is, almost across the board, quite true.


Absolutely not true. Other than _maybe_ drug or abortion policies, none of his are more moderate that I can find, and his immigration policies are the most extreme.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:50 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dunno about historical parallels but geographic parallels, sure. Trump is riding the same wave that Cameron and soon to be re-elected Sarkozy are.

Yeah but Cameron and Sarkozy both represent traditional rather than populist convervatism in their respective countries. Trump is analogous to UKIP and Le Pen. Indeed, Cameron campaigned against chaos (planting the belief that Labour would form a coalition with SDP to tear apart the UK).

Also, Sarkozy, who might be able to put up a spirited defense against Le Pen and the FN, is now under investigation.
posted by My Dad at 7:51 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is just a reminder that Ted Cruz, per his wife, will "show this country the face of the god that we serve."

Don't forget...
"And I think that’s something that this country really needs to be reminded of, is that Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people,"
Except when getting an abortion from Planned Parenthood when you're gay married.
posted by Talez at 7:52 PM on February 23, 2016


How many times do minorities need to mention they find Trump's policies extreme and terrifying?
posted by zutalors! at 7:52 PM on February 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


tbh i would use the time machine to try that extinct banana and see if it really does taste as terrible as fake banana flavouring

With political rhetoric getting this heated I might have to switch my affiliation in the Flavortown primaries to help delicious fake banana crush some weak candidate like blue raspberry in the general.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:53 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the issue is that while Trump's policies are extreme and horrifying we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the other nominees policies are also extreme and horrifying, particularly Ted Cruz.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


no, the issue is that people keep popping up to say that Trump is actually pretty moderate.
posted by zutalors! at 7:57 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Absolutely not true. Other than _maybe_ drug or abortion policies, none of his are more moderate that I can find, and his immigration policies are the most extreme.

Compared to Cruz and Rubio? You'll have to do better than just making Strong Assertions, but you know, I'm bored already, so: whatever. A shit sandwich is still a shit sandwich, no matter how thick the bread is sliced.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:57 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


That I would certainly agree with, Justinian. I just don't accept the idea that Trump is somehow any more moderate than Cruz or Rubio. He has a few unorthodox positions (drug war, abortion) for a Republican, but at the same time he's been pushing the envelope with xenophobia and racism. And the vast majority of his domestic policy positions are "standard" conservative Republican stuff (climate change is a hoax, cut a bunch of government agencies, lower taxes, "police are the real victims")
posted by thefoxgod at 7:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


How many times do minorities need to mention they find Trump's policies extreme and terrifying?

I'm a WASP foreigner and I find his immigration policies extreme and terrifying. Green card be damned, I'm not sure if I'll get back in after my next trip back to the homeland if I even say "as-salamu alaykum" at the passport control booth in Trump's America™.
posted by Talez at 7:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]



Compared to Cruz and Rubio? You'll have to do better than just making Strong Assertions


Well, I posted links to him actually saying stuff (as opposed to your assertions), but whatever.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:59 PM on February 23, 2016


"The face of the God we serve" Speak for yourself you mammon loving, Goldman Sachs, Harpie! (But really the Cruz's are going to drag the extraterrestrials into this?) These people are not from here, a major reason to avoid Texas, crawled out of The Gulf, half formed...smelled barbecue, mutated their skins to look like satin and argyle sweaters...just said yes to Jesus.
posted by Oyéah at 8:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Andrew Jackson

Oh God, can you imagine what he would have done with a nuclear arsenal?


Beat Aaron Burr in a duel handily?
posted by ian1977 at 8:09 PM on February 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Well, I posted links to him actually saying stuff (as opposed to your assertions), but whatever.

Bully for you! Here're some actual policy comparisons, though.

Here's Trump vs Cruz

"On individual rights, Ted Cruz is slightly more conservative than Donald Trump.
Ted Cruz is slightly more conservative than Donald Trump on domestic issues.
When it comes to economic issues, Ted Cruz is generally more conservative than Donald Trump.
In terms of defense and international issues, Ted Cruz is far more conservative than Donald Trump."


Here's Trump vs Rubio
"On individual rights, Marco Rubio is slightly more conservative than Donald Trump.
Marco Rubio is slightly more conservative than Donald Trump on domestic issues.
When it comes to economic issues, Marco Rubio is slightly more conservative than Donald Trump.
In terms of defense and international issues, Marco Rubio is generally more conservative than Donald Trump."


So tell me again how you reckon it's 'absolutely not true' that he's more moderate than the other Republican candidates? Hey, maybe that InsideGov site is totally devoted to making Trump seem less like a lunatic, but I have my doubts.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ted Cruz wants to round up 11 million people, destroy the EPA, bring back torture, and ban Muslims from entering the country too. He has matched Trump, xenophobia for xenophobia. And, in addition to that, he wants to turn the US into a Christian nation, and criminalize abortion, and end same sex marriage, and actually seems to be justifying vigilante attacks against Muslims. And Cruz is a very accomplished legislator who actually has a chance of getting bills passed and staffing departments with people who will fight for his views, rather than just blustering on stage.

Trump is fundamentally a businessman. I'm not always a huge fan of businessmen but they can be negotiated with. You can't negotiate with someone who think's he's a freaking saint.

I'm not saying I like Trump. I'm saying that, compared to the competition in the same race, he's the most sane. Which is horrifying but true.
posted by miyabo at 8:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


On CNN they're saying they don't feel like Rubio has a strong lead in any state so it could all go to Trump. That's...that's quite something.
posted by zutalors! at 8:14 PM on February 23, 2016


I said this in one of the earlier threads, I think: The thing is that while Trump is probably better policy-wise than Cruz, he also has the potential to be much, much worse. Like, all-norms-breaking, destruction-of-any-semblance-of-democracy worse.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


According to this Washington Post story from June 2015, where the ideology of tweets was ranked, the nearest candidate to the exact middle of people using twitter is Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton's tweets are ~3X further to the left of the middle than Donald Trump's are to the right.
posted by bukvich at 8:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Plus he's a way better campaigner than either Cruz or Rubio so may have a better chance in the general. Again, he's so chaotic that it gets dangerous to even estimate, I think.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Most of the pro-Trump people I have encountered come down to one thing: they are labor and they know that all of the other candidates, including both Democrat candidates, will continue to actively destroy their lives. For better or worse (and worse it is), Trump is the only candidate that has even given lip service to stopping the disempowerment of labor by globalist and mass immigration policies.

The rest doesn't matter to them. The really dreadful thing is these are mostly democrats.
posted by rr at 8:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


So tell me again how you reckon it's 'absolutely not true' that he's more moderate than the other Republican candidates?

The assertion was "Donald Trump is a bully and a jerk, but his actual policy positions are considerably more moderate than the other Republican candidates."

Those general summaries are mostly "slightly more". If you look at the details, there are a handful of issues where it rates Trump as less conservative, but most issues are the same. None of that supports the idea that Trump is considerably more moderate, especially since it understates the differences on immigration and other issues which are real.

He has matched Trump, xenophobia for xenophobia

False, and somewhat false ("Nor has he mimicked Trump's extreme rhetoric about mass deportation. Instead, Cruz is playing it down the middle, arguing for a system like the one we have now, only somewhat enhanced: more Border Patrol agents, more fencing and closer monitoring of those who enter legally for a temporary visit.")

To be clear, I am arguing that Cruz and Rubio are also extreme, but Trump is not more moderate than them.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Leaving policy aside for a second, the current Republican Nevada caucus is really quite the thing:
The leading Republican presidential candidates were all on watch Tuesday night for so-called “dirty tricks” as the Nevada caucuses got into full swing, telling supporters to be on the lookout for “dishonest” tactics.

Donald Trump told a rally crowd in Sparks, Nev., to flag “dishonest stuff” and “let us know about it.”

Ted Cruz reportedly instructed backers to record suspicious activity at caucus sites – prompting the Trump campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal, to warn videotaping caucus sites could be illegal.

The Marco Rubio campaign, meanwhile, blasted a message to supporters saying they’re concerned the Cruz camp will try to “systematically distribute false and malicious rumors.”
That's the Fox News summary: that the three leading candidates are all-but-accusing each other of trying to steal the caucus by fraud.
posted by cjelli at 8:23 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kasich is polling third in home-state Ohio. Think the cake is more or less baked; Trump will be the GOP nominee this Fall.

The only question that remains is if "moderate" GOP-ers, should they so exist, will hold their nose and vote for whoever the presumptive Democrat nominee will be. Personally, I don't think they will; their political identification is stronger than their civil-values.
posted by the cydonian at 8:24 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


He incites violence in his town hall meetings. He makes things up on the fly. "Boycott Apple! I just thought of this! Boy.Cott. Apple." And he's turning out record numbers of first time voters in Nevada. He's bringing out the xenophobic, racist vote - he's inspiring those people. As I said before, I think he's making his views seem mainstream to people, and people will see this xenophobia as a mandate to just attack minorities in the streets. I think we'll start seeing that soon but times 90 if he were in the general or elected.
posted by zutalors! at 8:25 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


He's bringing out the xenophobic, racist vote

"Measuring Donald Trump's Supporters for Intolerance," New York Times:
Possibly more surprising are the attitudes of Mr. Trump’s supporters on things that he has not talked very much about on the campaign trail. He has said nothing about a ban on gays in the United States, the outcome of the Civil War or white supremacy. Yet on all of these topics, Mr. Trump’s supporters appear to stand out from the rest of Republican primary voters.

Data from Public Policy Polling show that a third of Mr. Trump’s backers in South Carolina support barring gays and lesbians from entering the country. This is nearly twice the support for this idea (17 percent) among Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s voters and nearly five times the support of John Kasich’s and Ben Carson’s supporters (7 percent).

Similarly, YouGov data reveal that a third of Mr. Trump’s (and Mr. Cruz’s) backers believe that Japanese internment during World War II was a good idea, while roughly 10 percent of Mr. Rubio’s and Mr. Kasich’s supporters do. Mr. Trump’s coalition is also more likely to disagree with the desegregation of the military (which was ordered in 1948 by Harry Truman) than other candidates’ supporters are.

The P.P.P. poll asked voters if they thought whites were a superior race. Most Republican primary voters in South Carolina — 78 percent — disagreed with this idea (10 percent agreed and 11 percent weren’t sure). But among Mr. Trump’s supporters, only 69 percent disagreed. Mr. Carson’s voters were the most opposed to the notion (99 percent), followed by Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz’s supporters at 92 and 89 percent. Mr. Rubio’s backers were close to the average level of disagreement (76 percent).

According to P.P.P., 70 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters in South Carolina wish the Confederate battle flag were still flying on their statehouse grounds. (It was removed last summer less than a month after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston.) The polling firm says that 38 percent of them wish the South had won the Civil War. Only a quarter of Mr. Rubio’s supporters share that wish, and even fewer of Mr. Kasich’s and Mr. Carson’s do.

Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War. Only 5 percent of Mr. Rubio’s voters share this view.
Let me just repeat that last bit again: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War.

Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War.
posted by sallybrown at 8:33 PM on February 23, 2016 [49 favorites]


I said this in one of the earlier threads, I think: The thing is that while Trump is probably better policy-wise than Cruz, he also has the potential to be much, much worse. Like, all-norms-breaking, destruction-of-any-semblance-of-democracy worse.

I don't think there's much argument -- America is well and truly fucked if any of the Republicans win. It's just a matter of degree, pretty much. I can see scenarios where a Trump presidency isn't much worse than the last Bush presidency (that is, near collapse of America as a viable nation-state) all the way to literal post-apocalyptic wastelands. None of them are less than horrifying, of course.

Or, you know, a christo-fascist Handmaid's Tale dystopia under Ted Cruz. Time will tell!

None of that supports the idea that Trump is considerably more moderate, especially since it understates the differences on immigration and other issues which are real.

If you want to dither about adjectives, I will happily leave you to it. Can't offer much more factual info than I already have, and anyway, it's a sidebar I stepped into rather than started, so my enthusiasm is limited.

Like I said before, it's shit sandwiches all the way down.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:36 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump/Ann Coulter Ticket?
Donald Trump/Jesse Ventura Ticket?
Donald Trump/Michelle Bachman Ticket?
Donald Trump/Paul Ryan Ticket?
Donald Trump/Nicholas Cage Ticket?
Donald Trump/Bloomberg Ticket?
Donald Trump/Sarah Palin Ticket?
Donald Trump/Donald Rumsfeld Ticket? (like deja foo)
Donald Trump/Danny DeVito Ticket?
Donald Trump/Mia Love Ticket?
Donald Trump/Miss Piggy Ticket? (would have to be an American made puppet.)

Who is he gonna run wid?
posted by Oyéah at 8:45 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who is he gonna run wid?

My best guess is a chimpanzee that can play the banjo. Or an AR-15. His best running mate, however, would be the resurrected body and spirit of W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel, along with the Hillbilly Boys. My current guess is that the death of 13 eagles in Maryland was an unholy act of sacrifice wrought by Trump to bring Pappy back to life, and thus secure his victory as Lord Emperor of the Universe.
posted by dis_integration at 8:52 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Omg don't say Danny Devito cuz I'd totally vote for Trump/Devito solely based on the possibility of them playing nightcrawlers together.

T
But FYI pretty sure Devito (and Perlman) are in the sanders camp. At least according to my last wiki search of 'sanders nominees'
posted by ian1977 at 9:02 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just think the idea that Trump is a more moderate choice than Cruz or Rubio is dangerous. All 3 of them would be a disaster, but Trump to me is the most likely to start WWIII, given that his foreign policy is that he wants to bully every other country into submission.
And he won't have to worry about Congress if he wants to start military action, he's already got the authorization thanks to Bush/Obama. Maybe he's better on one or two issues domestically. But he seems to have no restraint or patience, and putting him in charge of a military that already has blanket authorization to do whatever it wants... Cruz might be able to do more damage at home, I think Trump would do more damage abroad. Which is worse? Hard to say. If I were not American, I would definitely fear Trump more.
posted by thefoxgod at 9:02 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump is in favor of the forced removal of 11 million people from the United States. He's in favor of banning Muslims from the United States. Trump wishes there could be violence against protesters at his rallies. In no way is he a more moderate choice.
posted by zachlipton at 9:06 PM on February 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Shit is getting weird.
posted by Artw at 9:07 PM on February 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


congratulations to Nevada for doing its part in unfolding the Grim Prophecy
posted by theodolite at 9:16 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"But always – do not forget this, Winston america – always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on toupee smothering a human face – for ever."
posted by lalochezia at 9:22 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump/Donald Rumsfeld Ticket? (like deja foo)

Rumsfeld I think was Ford's chief of staff, and planned the Halloween Massacre... His aim was to be named to the presidential ticket in '76. He'd be a great choice but I think he's 100 years old now...
posted by My Dad at 9:30 PM on February 23, 2016


When asked why they are supporting Trump, members of the KKK responded, "We're not really fans of subtext."
posted by maxsparber at 9:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


He's gonna go totally unexpected, like Caitlyn Jenner as his VP.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:44 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dennis Miller
posted by My Dad at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump/Omarosa
posted by cell divide at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump just talked about how well he's doing with various demographics and said: "We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." Truer words were never spoken.
posted by zachlipton at 9:58 PM on February 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


Shit is getting weird.

When the police are dressing up in KKK drag to support Trump, I hope that, one day, some day, maybe not today, it will seem reasonable to call him a Fascist.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:01 PM on February 23, 2016


Children of Men was not an instruction manual.

Children of Men was not an instruction manual.

Children of Men was not A FUCKING instruction manual!

-__-
posted by PROD_TPSL at 10:04 PM on February 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Wait, sorry for asking this but...

I always thought the phrase "Hitler made the trains run on time" was a grim reminder of how the Jews were transported to concentration camps. Basically that murder was the only thing he did well. Is it actually nothing more than a suggestion that he did, in fact, make trains run on schedule?
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:07 PM on February 23, 2016


It's mostly said about Mussolini and yes it's just about trains.
posted by zutalors! at 10:15 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


In related signs & wonders, precisely thirteen bald eagles have mysteriously dropped dead near Washington
posted by theodolite at 12:54 on February 23

WE GET IT, ZEUS
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:56 on February 23


You're welcome.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:20 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, what this whole race is reminding me of is one we recently experienced here in Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) vs Todd Akin (R).

How that played out is, McCaskill sort of "helped out" the extreme Republican nuts in the state during the Republican primary, to insure that the nuttiest possible candidate was selected. Then she very thoroughly trounced the asshat in the general election.

It took a race that woulda/coulda/shoulda been very close to a toss-up at best in a state that is trending more and more to the red, and turned it into pretty good trouncing of the Republican candidate.

So--I don't know how Hilary or anyone could possibly manipulate the Republican primary process to ensure that the biggest clown in the clowncar wins. And (if it is a strategy, which it probably isn't) it is a very dangerous strategy and certainly a very dangerous situation, because there is always some chance in a two-party race that either of the two parties might win. Plus, you're firing up and encouraging the supporters of Head Nut #1--which never leads to anything good on down the line.

But if the fates continue to align and if the D's play their cards right at all,* it surely is lining up to be the biggest R trouncing in a presidential race in recent history, most likely bringing the Senate well over into the D side and making some significant inroads in the Republican majority in the House as well.

If you are running for president as a D, Trump is very clearly the person you want to be running against.

*Has that ever happened? Oh well, we can hope . . .
posted by flug at 10:26 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I suspect Trump may choose Khorne, Nurgle, Tzteentch or maaaybe Slaanesh for his VP, though that last one might lose him some evangelical votes.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:42 PM on February 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Children of Men was not an instruction manual.

On the plus side abortion very quickly became a nonissue in that particular timeline
posted by BungaDunga at 10:45 PM on February 23, 2016


Trump is in favor of the forced removal of 11 million people from the United States.

As does every other remaining GOP candidate.

He is in favor of banning Muslims from the United States.

Actually he has not called for a ban on Muslims. He proposed an immediate halt to Muslim visitors while the US reviews it's background check system. Marco Rubio recently suggested Obama was unamerican for visiting a Mosque in the USA. Ted Cruz seems to think we are in an actual biblical struggle of civilizations with all Muslims. Rubio and Cruz would also like to start an immediate war with Iran. Because they are terrified of Muslims.

Trump wishes there could be violence against protesters at his rallies. In no way is he a more moderate choice

Rubio and Cruz also have some dark shit happening at their rallies. During the Nevada primary Cruz was all but endorsing Cliven Bundy and his friends.

I don't disagree that all these guys are terrible and terrifying. it is a bit like deciding which mountain of shit to climb.
posted by humanfont at 10:47 PM on February 23, 2016 [5 favorites]




I always thought the phrase "Hitler made the trains run on time" was a grim reminder of how the Jews were transported to concentration camps.

Actually it was "Mussolini made the trains run on time." Trump bears and uncanny resemblance to Mussolini, doesn't he?

With Hitler, it was always "At least Hitler got Germany back to work." That's what my mother (born in Germany) and my grandmother used to say.
posted by My Dad at 10:59 PM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


they must've been a real hoot at thanksgiving
posted by poffin boffin at 11:13 PM on February 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


biggest R trouncing in a presidential race in recent history,

I should add, the whole R strategy of withholding hearings on the Supreme Court nomination plays right into this as well. The R leaders seem to think this is a winning electoral strategy for them, but (again, if the D's have any sense at all about how to play the situation) it is very high stakes and potentially setting up the Rs for a huge loss in November.

Personally, I don't think that "We are a bunch of obstructionists who won't even try to do our job--let us prove it by vowing to obstruct before we even know the person we're obstructing and then obstructing very publicly in a long drawn-out process lasting nearly a year" is winning combination in the upcoming election.
posted by flug at 11:14 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The trains running on time has been debunked by snopes.
posted by humanfont at 11:32 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's for both Hitler and Mussolini, though.

I still think Trump — especially his body language and facial expressions — resembles Mussolini, though. The scary thing is, compared to Trump both Hitler and Mussolini were public intellectuals, especially Mussolini.
posted by My Dad at 11:35 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only question that remains is if "moderate" GOP-ers, should they so exist, will hold their nose and vote for whoever the presumptive Democrat nominee will be. Personally, I don't think they will; their political identification is stronger than their civil-values.

I think you may be right. Someone who I would previously have thought was a reasonable-ish republican was musing on facebook about how if it came down to Clinton-Trump she'd find it difficult as a republican. I don't know how Trump or not Trump is a tough choice but there you go.

It certainly makes you wonder who these folks wouldn't vote for, so long as that person calls themselves a republican. How do we distill this, a la Yellow-Dog Democrat?
posted by phearlez at 11:41 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Tribal Republican."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:20 AM on February 24, 2016




flug: yup. It will be 1964 all over again. We just need to flip the Senate while we're at it.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:14 AM on February 24, 2016


he won the Latino vote. how did that happen.
posted by angrycat at 1:46 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Adrian Carrasquillo: Let’s Not Get Carried Away With That ‘Trump Won Latinos’ Entrance Poll
The overall sample size for the entrance poll was 1,545 caucus-goers; of those, 9% identified as Latino — or about 135 people. Because of the small sample size, the 44% support figure has a 10% margin of error.

And while the Democratic caucus on Saturday saw nearly 16,000 Hispanics participate, the Republican number will fall somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 Latinos. In other words, many fewer Latinos voted Republican in Nevada than they did for the Democrats — something to remember if Trump touts the number as evidence that he can win Hispanic voters nationally.

And nationally, that approximate split carries through: Pew Hispanic has found that 63% of Hispanics identify as or lean toward the Democratic Party, while only 27% identify as or lean toward the Republican Party. In 2012, Obama famously received 71% support from Latinos while Mitt Romney got 27%.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:55 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why Not Shoot Them?

This is the voice of *establishment* Republicans. I think America is irreparably broken no matter who wins the next election, but if it's Trump - and I'm starting to believe it will be - I think a lot of people are going to die.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:55 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'd give the prisoners a choice at least if they want to take that way out. I certainly might consider it if I was trapped in that kind of Kafkaesque legal limbo nightmare.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:01 AM on February 24, 2016


Vox: The Republican Party is broken: This is how parties veto. They send signals. They mobilize their influencers. They use the media. They make sure that the party faithful know that this isn't our kind of guy, he doesn't believe what we believe, he isn't the kind of person we support.

Republicans know all that. They've heard their party. They've heard everyone else, too — the condemnations of Trump have been a nonstop clamor, a roar that's drowned out all other political coverage. But Republican primary voters just don't give a shit. It's worse than that — they like that Trump pisses off the establishment. The backlash only makes him stronger.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:05 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


With Trump, I worry about election night violence, especially around here because my neighborhood is mostly POC and lots of Muslims live here. I mean, I worry about other violence but I worry immediately about that, especially after the shootings at the Black Lives Matter protest.
posted by Frowner at 5:06 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


(I mean, I worry about people coming here to commit hate crimes.)
posted by Frowner at 5:07 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The video at the bottom of that Vox link of roomthreeseventeen's comment is an excellent summary of both why Trump is popular and why he is dangerous.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:22 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why is Jon Ralston posting the hashtag #trumpmatters? Am I missing something?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:23 AM on February 24, 2016


Please can Kasich and Carson drop out now and leave it to the three maniacs with mannequin smiles?

Also, why is the turnout for the Republican caucus so much higher than the Democratic caucus? It's basically 7x higher! Those numbers terrify me. Trump won more votes in Nevada than there were votes cast in the Democratic caucus.
posted by dis_integration at 5:35 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


...because it's more exciting?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:38 AM on February 24, 2016


I think the why is hard to figure. I'm going to go absentee vote for my primary today but thats about my feelings about voting. From a candidate standpoint I'm going to be happy with and vote for whoever wins the D primary. If you're less sanguine about the other candidates that is probably a big motivator.
posted by phearlez at 5:38 AM on February 24, 2016


Is turnout even measured in a caucus? I thought they just counted by precinct.
posted by indubitable at 5:40 AM on February 24, 2016


Dis_Integration -- the Nevada Democratic Caucus set up its "headline" reporting to be number of county delegates chosen by each caucus, not number of caucus participants supporting each candidates, while the Republicans set up their reporting to focus on caucus participant individual votes. Somewhere around 80,000 people attended Democratic caucuses, somewhat more than Republicans, which is exactly what you'd expect given that Clinton had a HUGE turnout effort run for her by the casino unions and owners.
posted by MattD at 5:42 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Why Not Shoot Them?

I don't think this is the solution, but it does draw a line in the sand on the atrocity.

The appeal behind this is that the action, while evil, is it is over and you can go about reconciling the actions with the national identity and perhaps seeking forgiveness. There's also precedence. Drum head military justice.

Problem with what we have no is we've incorporated indefinite detention and torture not only into out identity, but onto our culture. Torture is just another method toward the hero getting things done during prime time TV. Indefinite detention is what we do to those we're no longer sure how to charge. We have presidential candidates bragging about how waterboarding doesn't go far enough. We've militarized our police, we spy on our own, and we don't give a shit about the welfare of anyone not within our borders (and even then you have to be someone we believe should be hear).

And this we I speak of is anyone that doesn't fight this crap. Anyone who stays silent when others say Trump is just saying the things that need to be said or when idiots call for waterboarding.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:51 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here's what has me a little freaked out. The president is supposed to be constrained by our system of checks and balances, the rule of law. But I genuinely worry that is eroding. Congress basically cannot function anymore. You need a supermajority to pass anything, and that never happens. The president, in turn, resorts to governing by executive order. Congress basically gave up "declaring war" after WWII. Now all it does is authorize military action. But the most recent such authorization (2003) is taken to be so open-ended that the president no longer goes to congress for that either, thirteen years later. The rule of law? Extra-judicial assassinations and indefinite detention (in Gitmo) without charges. (*Mostly* these are not used against Americans. Yet. That we know of.) At the local level, the police are equipped like military forces and the citizens no longer trust them. Public defenders basically don't exist anymore in many places, so what does that say for the right to a fair trial? And, of course, at the very highest level of the judiciary system, we now have a Supreme Court with eight justices. No way to resolve ties. And no prospect of one for a year.

We can't pass a budget any more. We are regularly at risk of defaulting on our debt.

Moreover, we are so deeply divided along party lines that we can barely talk to each other anymore, which is the root of much of the higher-level dysfunction. We are so Balkanized that each side accuses the other of being traitors and suspects the other of wanting to destroy the country. In top of that, race relations have never been worse, in my lifetime.

Nobody seems to really have faith that our elections are free and fair. Between gerrymandering and campaign finance questions and Diebold and Bush vs Gore, lots of people now think elections can be and have been stolen.

Put someone like Trump, who has no shame, in charge of this broken machine of government, with the normal checks and balances unable to operate, and what will happen? I don't think constitutional crisis or even civil war (which would look like low level domestic terrorism to start with) is out of the question.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:58 AM on February 24, 2016 [32 favorites]


Put someone like Trump, who has no shame, in charge of this broken machine of government, with the normal checks and balances unable to operate, and what will happen? I don't think constitutional crisis or even civil war (which would look like low level domestic terrorism to start with) is out of the question.

Republicans aren't going to obstruct Trump the way they would a Democrat. He will be able to govern. I would normally say for better or worse here, but well, for worse.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:02 AM on February 24, 2016


In top of that, race relations have never been worse, in my lifetime.

this can't be true.
posted by zutalors! at 6:22 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I was born in 1980. When since 1980 have race relations been worse?
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:24 AM on February 24, 2016


I questioned the premise of the FPP, which seemed to assert that Trump had a Very Specific Level of Popularity: tenuous enough that aisle-crossing Democrats could screw him in the primaries, dangerous enough that he had a shot in the general. While I'm still not certain that this is actually true, I'm starting to think it's possible, since generals bring out the unaffiliated, and I can't help but think of some things Adam Cadre said back in 2008:
That leaves a bit over a quarter of the electorate: who are they? They're the ones who voted for Bush, but eventually Bush got boring, and Obama seemed cool, so they thought maybe they'd go for him this time, but then US Weekly had a story about this Palin lady and now they're thinking they might go with her. They get tagged with various labels: "independents," "swing voters," "low-information voters." What they really are is incredibly stupid. I mean, yes, I think it's stupid to support the Republican Party. But it's a whole other level of stupid not to know whether you support the Republican Party....
Everyone's interested in the leaders of the country. Intelligent people are interested in the actual functioning of the government, what policies various candidates plan to put into practice, how those policies will affect the lives of the citizenry... but there just aren't that many intelligent people. A lot of people are stupid. To them the government is just a sort of reality show. To them politicians are just celebrities who show up in different timeslots from the actors and sports stars....
Democrats always say that if they can just steer the conversation back to the issues, they'll win. But I read a lot of political journalism, and one observation that comes up in article after article is that low-information voters do not realize that government actually affects our day-to-day lives. They do not connect the experience of sitting around the kitchen table trying to pay the bills with the earnest men on the television set talking about sitting around the kitchen table trying to pay the bills....
I can well imagine the "government-as-entertainment" demographic being invisible in the primaries and, as if by magic, surfacing for the general.

I hope I'm wrong; I really do. Both the messages "All of these Republicans are jokers and not one of them has a chance against someone who, y'know, has a sensible policy and hasn't methodically pissed off every single minority group" and "Trump's weirdly indefatigble base of support actually consists of a majority of Americans" seem pretty popular, and one of them is clearly false. I have no idea any more which.
posted by jackbishop at 6:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure what you mean by "relations" but there has always been racism, persecution of immigrants, unjust imprisonment, the death penalty, etc.

I think a lot of what you're seeing is just things that were always there coming to national attention.
posted by zutalors! at 6:27 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


corb: "Trump wins if you guys nominate Clinton, so yeah, it's still kind of a problem that Democrats who don't want the Trumpocalypse may want to consider."
...
Cute little throwaway line. Want to explain it?


This essay talks about a Clinton-vs-Trump general election, and lays out a potential stump-speech-cum-debate-answer that they imagine Trump saying:
“She lies so much. Everything she says is a lie. I’ve never seen someone who lies so much in my life. Let me tell you three lies she’s told. She made up a story about how she was ducking sniper fire! There was no sniper fire. She made it up! How do you forget a thing like that? She said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the guy who climbed Mount Everest. He hadn’t even climbed it when she was born! Total lie! She lied about the emails, of course, as we all know, and is probably going to be indicted. You know she said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! It was a lie! Thousands of American soldiers are dead because of her. Not only does she lie, her lies kill people. That’s four lies, I said I’d give you three. You can’t even count them. You want to go on PolitiFact, see how many lies she has? It takes you an hour to read them all! In fact, they ask her, she doesn’t even say she hasn’t lied. They asked her straight up, she says she usually tries to tell the truth! Ooooh, she tries! Come on! This is a person, every single word out of her mouth is a lie. Nobody trusts her. Check the polls, nobody trusts her. Yuge liar.”
Where does she even begin to respond to this? Some of it’s true, some of it isn’t, but the more she tries to defensively parse it (“There’s been no suggestion I’m going to be indicted! And I didn’t say I usually tried to tell the truth, I said I always tried and usually succeeded”) the deeper she sinks into the hole.


This hypothetical listing of mixed-truth charges reminds me quite a bit of Bush's win against Kerry and the kind of rhetoric his campaign used to portray Kerry (who'd actually been off at war at the same time that Bush was a Yale cheerleader) as a sniveling coward. Like Clinton, one of Kerry's big selling points during the primaries was how much more "electable" he was than some of the other candidates (particularly Howard Dean, whom the media frequently portrayed as kind of a loose-cannon hard-left populist who lacked Kerry's realism or gravitas).
posted by Greg Nog at 6:29 AM on February 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


> I was born in 1980. When since 1980 have race relations been worse?

In 1980?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:30 AM on February 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


angrycat: "he won the Latino vote. how did that happen."

He didn't win the Hispanic vote, he won the Hispanic Republican vote. And Republicans motivated enough to spend a weekday caucusing. I can't imagine that self-selected group is in any way representative of Hispanics as a whole in Nevada.
posted by octothorpe at 6:37 AM on February 24, 2016




This essay talks about a Clinton-vs-Trump general election, and lays out a potential stump-speech-cum-debate-answer that they imagine Trump saying:

“She lies so much...


Oh, yes, certainly. Right on the mark.
Then you have the second line of attack, which is that she's in the pocket of big banks:

"Hillary Clinton is the Wall Street candidate. Her entire campaign was financed by Goldman Sachs. That's why she won't tell you what she said in her speeches at Goldman Sachs! What she promised them in return for their money. I know how this works. I did it myself! I paid her a lot of money and she had to do stuff for me. That's why she came to my wedding. You can buy her. You pay her money and then you can tell her what to do. She's totally corrupt. To me that's not democracy. It's against the will of the people. If you want a president who cannot be bought by the big banks, you have to vote Trump. I don't need anyone's money. When I'm president, we're going to say NO to Wall Street. No more bailouts. No more money for greedy Goldman Sachs banksters. We can say NO to Wall Street. Hillary Clinton cannot say NO to Wall Street. She is Wall Street's poodle."

This stuff practically writes itself. And I can see a lot of people going, uhh, yeah, you've got a point there Mr. Trump, including lots of current Sanders supporters.

At the moment, I think a Trump landslide is more likely than a Clinton landslide.
posted by sour cream at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


In re race relations: I think "relations" is a term that's obscuring a lot of stuff.

What I notice now is that after a long, long, long political slog, activists (mostly activists of color) broke through the national inattention to police brutality and the prison industrial complex.

In the nineties and early 2000s, I used to read a very nicely letterpressed anarchist fanzine called The Match (I stopped when the writer got really Islamophobic). He had a column every issue called "Who The Police Beat" - just a list of police killings and beatings culled from the local-ish news. I also went to anti-police-brutality protests and knew about several local police killings. Basically, at that time, it was not "official" knowledge - if you were Black or an immigrant or Latin@ you knew; if you were an anarchist or an activist you knew; but it wasn't something that would get talked about in the paper or in mainstream sources. It was how, when I was little, we all knew that priests abused kids - that was just a commonplace. But somehow it was something that could never be said "officially".

Through the 2000s, I noticed a slow build-up in the number of books and articles about police brutality and the prison industrial complex (I volunteered at a bookstore at the time). When The New Jim Crow came out, that seemed to be a tipping point.

The internet also made it much harder to sustain the "official" belief that there were only a few police killings and only a little discrimination. And now, with Black Lives Matter and other related projects, these facts are irretrievably "public" and "official". You can have openly, loathesomely racist responses to those facts, but you can't simply not believe that things things are literally happening. (Without being a total false-flag conspiracy theorist.)

What I observe is that through my adult life, activists have worked very, very hard to try to get from "some people know about this but no one talks about it and if you talk about it no one believes you" to the state things are in now.

To me, it seems like this has disturbed the social peace - it was possible to pretend that things were fine in a way that is not possible now. White people have to make a choice now, because we can't pretend we don't know.

In a way this is "worse"; in a way it's just different. What's scary to me is that it seems to have opened up the space for aggressive, open white supremacy, and this is also enabled by the internet. (The shootings here at the Black Lives Matter protest really kind of shook me up about this stuff - those guys were clowns who luckily didn't kill anyone, but what happens next time?) I think there's a possibility (with Trump or without him) that the ability to be openly white supremacist will prove so seductive to so many white people that it will unleash something that will be far worse than the eighties and nineties. The eighties and nineties were built on sand, I think, and it's misleading. The history of this country is Reconstruction, Jim Crow, prison pipeline, the Klan - I think in the nineties we wanted to believe it was A Different World and Living Single, and for people like me who were young then, it was possible to believe in this. But it wasn't real.

That's the bad outcome; the good outcome is that people of color and those white people who either are not actively white supremacist (and who thus can be swayed by fairness arguments or attracted by universal social benefits) or who are anti-white supremacy can win elections, pressure the state for political changes and change the social tone.
posted by Frowner at 6:51 AM on February 24, 2016 [32 favorites]


I think in the nineties we wanted to believe it was A Different World and Living Single, and for people like me who were young then, it was possible to believe in this. But it wasn't real.


For white people.
posted by zutalors! at 6:54 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


For white people.

Yes, absolutely, 100%. I apologize that I didn't say that clearly.

What I was trying to get at was that for white people, it's possible to see "race relations" as "worse" now precisely because we were able to kid [lie to] ourselves in the eighties and nineties, and we can't anymore.
posted by Frowner at 6:55 AM on February 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


And that this is substantially the result of a long, long political struggle by activists of color, not just a random change.
posted by Frowner at 6:56 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]




This essay talks about a Clinton-vs-Trump general election, and lays out a potential stump-speech-cum-debate-answer that they imagine Trump saying:

I think that essay makes some interesting points, but is unpersuasive (your mileage may vary) as to showing that we can know which candidate will be a better matchup vs. Trump. At its essence, it boils down to 'Hillary isn't trustworthy because of perceptions of scandal, therefore Trump's personal attacks will be successful,' (to paraphrase), whereas (to quote) "Trump’s various unique methods of attack would instantly be made far less useful in a run against Sanders. All of the most personal charges (untrustworthiness, corruption, rank hypocrisy) are much more difficult to make stick."

But Obama isn't actually Muslim. He's not actually from Kenya. He's not actually a socialist. And yet Trump was waving the birther flag for how long, exactly?
And Kerry wasn't actually a coward. And yet he was Swiftboated.
And so on.

So when that essay claims that "There’s only one real way to attack Bernie Sanders, and we all know it: he’s a socialist fantasist out of touch with the Realities of Economics. But Trump in the worst possible position to make this critics," and only several paragraphs later notes "Of course, the American people are still jittery about socialism," it's a bit...underwhelming? Because we should not expect that Trump will limit himself to reality in attacking Sanders or Clinton, anymore than Trump has ever limited himself to reality.

Hypothetically: remember the bizarre doctor's note Trump released back in December? "The letter, gushing in tone and signed by Dr. Harold N. Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, was four paragraphs long and provided few specific laboratory test results. The letter made a sweeping declaration in a tone oddly similar to how Mr. Trump talks about himself. 'If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.'" What are the odds that Trump will attack Sanders on his age (he would be the oldest president ever elected) or his bad health? What's that? Sanders is in good health? Well, I heard from Trump that he was in bad health. Maybe Sanders should release his medical records, etc etc etc.

We cannot predict what Trump will do. We did not predict he would get this far! It's a nice bit of forecasting hubris to say, ah, but now that he HAS gotten this far, we know how his general election campaign is going to go.

I'm generally wary of general-election electibility arguments, so I admittedly have a bit of a bias here, but that's because I think we really do not know who would be the better match-up. If you like Sanders, vote Sanders in the primary. If you like Clinton, vote Clinton. That's why we have primaries. Trying to predict electoral match-ups right now is mostly a guessing game.
posted by cjelli at 7:11 AM on February 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


I think the idea that Mussolini made the trains run on time is actually a really interesting one, in that I do not believe that fascism actually causes the trains to run on time, but I do believe that it gives a dictator the power to change the definition of "on time" to something that was profoundly unhelpful (i.e. "whatever time the trains arrive"). It creates an appearance of punctuality about which the government can brag while screwing over the people who actually need to know when the train WILL arrive and not when it DID arrive which I think is a perfectly good commentary on fascism, albeit one unfortunately probably not being considered by people who say "Well, Mussolini did make the trains run on time".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:15 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Woke up this morning having accepted that as things are going, HRC will likely be our next president. Not sure how I arrived at that conclusion but I think it was picturing Trump in a debate versus her and getting demolished on policy specifics. Funny how the mind works.
posted by fraxil at 7:23 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


David Frum: The Great Republician Revolt

I see we're in the peak period now where Frum pretends he cares about anything but party identity. We should start a betting pool on when he'll pen his inevitable "but I'm gonna vote for the republican anyway" essay. There's probably a way to plot his condemnation/apologia such that you could get a perfect sine wave
posted by phearlez at 7:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


What makes you think Donald Trump is going to show up to debate her?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


What makes you think Donald Trump is going to show up to debate her?

Misogyny.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:28 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump may not be able to be bought by Wall Street, but he has already said that he plans to fill his cabinet with the smartest people from Wall Street. I don't know how you do that while simultaneously "saying NO" to Wall Street.

A big part of supporting Trump is understanding that Trump is a bullshitter. He can flip-flop in ways that ordinary politicians don't and not get punished by his base because nobody expects (or wants) him to literally do everything he says he'll do. Trump's bluster is about communicating an idea, "This guy would do anything to make America great. Nothing is off the table." So maybe Trump can get away with cutting ties to Wall Street and find other people to use as advisors. But I don't think somebody who's been in big business in New York as long as Trump has has escaped having complex personal ties to Wall Street.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:29 AM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


To be honest, I don't think his lack of policy positions are going to hurt him ever if they haven't so far, especially against someone as unpopular as Hillary Clinton. 2016 is going to be about voter turnout, and that's it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:29 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]




I'm generally wary of general-election electibility arguments, so I admittedly have a bit of a bias here, but that's because I think we really do not know who would be the better match-up. If you like Sanders, vote Sanders in the primary. If you like Clinton, vote Clinton. That's why we have primaries. Trying to predict electoral match-ups right now is mostly a guessing game.

For what it's worth, I 100% agree with this sentiment, and the thing that grated on me the most about that essay is the same thing that grated on me most about the OP article: the "let me now tell you, the famous, rich, and almost-pathologically-self-assured people running for office, which of you should go and which should stay, for the greater good."
posted by Greg Nog at 7:32 AM on February 24, 2016


he has already said that he plans to fill his cabinet with the smartest people from Wall Street. I don't know how you do that while simultaneously "saying NO" to Wall Street.

Yeah, I have a feeling his strategy against Sanders wouldn't be so much "You don't have to worry about Wall Street screwing you, because I'm also against Wall Street!" but rather, "You don't have to worry about Wall Street screwing you, because I am THE FINAL BOSS OF BUSINESS AND I RUN WALL STREET"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2016 [19 favorites]


Actually there are plenty of reasons why a base only election strategy tends to be a bad one for both parties.

Persuading a voter from voting for another candidate is twice as effective as bringing someone who doesn't normally vote and who would never vote for the opposition out for your side.

Base GoTV adds +1 per additional voter
Persuasion strategy adds +1 to your voter total and -1 to the opposition

This is ultimately why all campaigns race to the center because centrist political strategies have largely been shown to be more successful than base elections.
posted by vuron at 7:35 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump may not be able to be bought by Wall Street, but he has already said that he plans to fill his cabinet with the smartest people from Wall Street. I don't know how you do that while simultaneously "saying NO" to Wall Street.

Easy: "They're the smartest people from Wall Street. So they know how Wall Street works. And because they're so smart, they've made a lot of money there. That's why you can't buy them off. They're not like Clinton and her people, who will take bribes from Wall Street. My people don't need to take bribes. So they can say NO to Wall Street."
posted by sour cream at 7:47 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


What makes you think Donald Trump is going to show up to debate her?

Because he craves the publicity, he needs it for his spank bank.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:49 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Apologies if this has already been posted (am having trouble keeping up), but, bringing us back to the starting point of Danielle Allen's essay, here's a Storify with some responses she has sent to reactions to her piece as well as a horrific collection of tweets recieved.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:54 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump may not be able to be bought by Wall Street, but he has already said that he plans to fill his cabinet with the smartest people from Wall Street. I don't know how you do that while simultaneously "saying NO" to Wall Street.

'Wall Street used to be great. Wall Street used to be filled with the brightest, smartest Americans looking to make money -- to live the American dream. I was one of those people. That's why I'm a [expletive] billionaire. I know how Wall Street works. But Wall Street has lost its way. Wall Street is corrupt. And the government has failed to reign it in. [Sanders/Clinton] is promising you more of the same! Are you gonna trust the government to reign in Wall Street? No! I'm gonna put together a team of the best people, real smart guys, and we're gonna clean house. We're gonna make Wall Street great again. And we're gonna make America great again.'

Or, that, but with more xenophobia and lies.
posted by cjelli at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


With respect to Nevada, I think it's significant that the two voter-priority demographics Trump lost are Electability (to Rubio) and Shares My Values (to Cruz).

Trump's primary supporters don't care if he can win in the general or not, and they don't particularly care whether he represents their interests or not. Or, put another way, the Republican party is faced with a base that is not interested in winning the White House, or supporting Republican values. Pretty much DEFCON 2 for party leadership.

If you want a potential silver lining to this situation, watch to see how this disaffection with Republican priorities hits Senatorial and Congressional races. If it starts to seem like the national GOP can't deliver the electoral goods any more, then suddenly it starts to make a lot of sense for legislators to break from the lockstep that has dominated the GOP for the last decade-plus, and regional priorities will take hold. That cracks open the door to legislative compromise.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:58 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


My people don't need to take bribes. So they can say NO to Wall Street

It seems like you're creating a false dichotomy between "taking bribes" and "enemy" that ignores the possibility that somebody with personal connections to Wall Street would have reasons to go soft on their old friends who are still there.

Is your point that most people would find that false dichotomy persuasive? Or...
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:06 AM on February 24, 2016




Is your point that most people would find that false dichotomy persuasive?

Trump is already bragging about how, because he's rich, he's free of moneyed encumbrances. That false dichotomy is already a key plank in his platform. And he's leading the Republican field. So, no, it's not the people would find it persuasive. It's that people do find it persuasive.
posted by cjelli at 8:14 AM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


@mobute on Trump's appeal in the Guardian:

As tacky and thuggish as it might be, Trump plays the hero to people that the wise warriors of the system have abandoned. He’s the ultimate Gary Stu character: a billionaire beholden to no one and able to abuse every disingenuous and pettifogging remora latched headfirst on the nation and sucking upward.

And as long as people can enjoy the elbow-throwing wish-fulfillment of watching him in action, most of the rest doesn’t matter to them – not the bombast, not the war-mongering, not the unfeasibility of even his signature promises and certainly not the consequences if he keeps them. If the system is already so broken that it abandoned you, its preservation is not your concern. Hell, burning it down might be what you want most.

Anger has a clarity all its own. It renders most detail extraneous, and it animates like nothing else.

posted by Greg Nog at 8:18 AM on February 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


I'm preparing for a Trump presidency, does anyone know if Google Fiber will install to underground reinforced-concrete bunkers? Do I need a street number to get Amazon Prime deliveries?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:23 AM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Anybody else fear that within a couple months we'll be hearing of mass shooting by yet another CrazyWhiteGuy, this time targeting Muslim folks with bullets dipped in pig's blood?

Anyway, I agree with whoever pointed out that one of the items the Rs have fervently worked to destroy, at least for the masses, is a truly good education. Sow ignorance, reap bigotry.

Look at the R-Masterplan by decade:
1980s: The Uneducation of America thrives under revered DearLeaderRaygun. Trees cause pollution, ketchup is a vegetable, welfare queens something something.

1990s: Control the media. Mass propaganda machines. Everybody gets loofahed.

2000s: Steal elections. Fake videos. Whoops, what's this? Unhinged fringe of Teapublicans who came of age iin 80s/90s takes center stage. These fucking idiots are governors, congresspeople, VP candidates. Pitbulls, lipstick, Russia from your house.

2016: Logical denouement: Trump.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:37 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Anybody else fear that within a couple months we'll be hearing of mass shooting by yet another CrazyWhiteGuy, this time targeting Muslim folks with bullets dipped in pig's blood?

Months? Man, you're really an optimist here, aren't you?

---

More seriously, it's kind of darkly amusing to see everybody panic here now, after years--no, decades--of us Americans laughing at how fucked up other countries' elections are.
posted by qcubed at 8:40 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Two things are driving Trump.

Americans believe that the elites have abandoned them in favor of strange values and people. Radicals believe elites should be overthrown; non-radicals (like Republican primary voters) just want the elite to come back and embrace them. Trump's campaign in a nutshell -- it's also why Evangelicals can back a guy who was a womanizing pro-choice Obama fan not so long ago; this is the feast for the most promising of prodigal sons.

Americans hate to be told what to do say and what not to say, and speech control has become the establishment left's main tool. Trump said, loud and proud, "You and what army are going to stop me from calling it the way I see it." It is not at all surprising that Trump began his meteoric rise just after Americans had been commanded to stuff into the memory hole the identity, indeed the very name, of Bruce Jenner -- world-famous for decades for his manly feats man. (What's funny of course, is I don't think many people at all begrudged Jenner doing whatever felt good, including taking a new name and pronoun ... just didn't want to have to be ordered to go along with it...)
posted by MattD at 8:42 AM on February 24, 2016


Americans hate to be told what to do say and what not to say, and speech control has become the establishment left's main tool.

Has it now? Do they really?

It seems like they're going along really easily with the speech control/talking points that are the establishment right's main tool.

And the Trump dis/mis/un-information.
posted by qcubed at 8:43 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump said, loud and proud, "You and what army are going to stop me from calling it the way I see it."

No, Trump said "fuck you if you're not white."
posted by qcubed at 8:44 AM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Trump is already bragging about how, because he's rich, he's free of moneyed encumbrances. That false dichotomy is already a key plank in his platform. And he's leading the Republican field. So, no, it's not the people would find it persuasive. It's that people do find it persuasive.

Yes, exactly.

Also, as laid out nicely in the article linked by Greg Nog, the truth doesn't matter in this game. Once you're dealing with such a barrage of half-truth, kernels of truth and outright lies, refuting the lies becomes impossible:

Hypothetical debate statement: "Hillary Clinton received 1,000,000$ for her speeches at Goldman Sachs. What did she promise in return?"

Think how that could possibly be refuted: "That's a lie. I only received 200,000$ [or whatever]. And I didn't promise anything."

Now which message do you think will stick? That Trump is exaggerating or that Clinton is corrupt?


Trump is a true master a this. Anyone who dismisses his statements as xenophobic, fascist, misogynistic, etc. misses a very, very important point: It's not about xenophobia, fascism or anything vaguely ideological at all. Trump is all about identifying and then ruthless exploiting a weakness in a competitor. That's how he crushed Bush. And that's what he's doing with Cruz and Rubio right now. And when it's Clinton's turn, she will be equally crushed. It will be fun to see what other nasty stuff he can come up with during the general.
posted by sour cream at 8:44 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


It will be fun to see what other nasty stuff he can come up with during the general.

No, no it will not be.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:50 AM on February 24, 2016 [12 favorites]




I get why it's so easy for him to tear down these other shitheels, because with the exception of Sanders there really isn't a whole lot to admire, but what I don't get is why attacks on him never seem to stick. At this point I'm guessing that even if someone found a photo of him giving a sack of money to Goldman Sachs and Planned Parenthood and asked him for an explanation he'd just grab his nuts and say "I got your explanation right HEEYAH!!!" and rise another five points in the polls.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:57 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have to admit, if he executed a proper bofa at a debate, I'd have to think about whether I still want to cross party lines to vote against him.
posted by Etrigan at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


NEW: Nevada GOP says more than 75,000 voters participated in last night's caucus, breaking 2008 record of 44,000.

OK. That's frightening.

I've been relying on feedback in my social circle, which has quite a few Republicans in it, and except for a handful, they're largely baffled by Trump and would be loathe to support him.

I'd sortof assumed that was indicative of lackluster support (or outright enmity) outside his base. Hadn't really considered he might either have much broader support in other circles -- or be energizing a population outside of the usual Republican voters.
posted by wildblueyonder at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know Matt Taibbi isn't everybody's cup of tea, but his latest RS article (that cjorgensen just posted) is pretty great:

It's a few minutes after that when a woman in the crowd shouts that Ted Cruz is a pussy. She will later tell a journalist she supports Trump because his balls are the size of "watermelons," while his opponents' balls are more like "grapes" or "raisins."
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 9:02 AM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


At this point you have to be pretty damn optimistic not to see him as the likely winner. I don't see anything he's done to steamroll his GOP opposition as less likely to work with the American public as a whole, sad to say.
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


NEW: Nevada GOP says more than 75,000 voters participated in last night's caucus, breaking 2008 record of 44,000.

OK. That's frightening.


Nevada only went to a caucus system in 2008. Voters have only had a couple chances to get used to the new way of doing things; expect to see turnout records broken somewhat regularly for the next few election cycles. Taken by itself, it's not that scary.
posted by penduluum at 9:04 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't Trump be afraid of winning the Presidency? Presidents cannot keep their campaign promises, and shouldn't Trump be afraid of such a backlash?
posted by Monochrome at 9:07 AM on February 24, 2016


Not sure he thinks or cares about such a thing. When he's done his story will be that he was excellent despite everyone else failing him, same as it always is.
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]




Atom Eyes, that was happening with Hillary voters last weekend as well. It's allowed.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:11 AM on February 24, 2016


Trumps record hasn't exactly hurt him so far, and any promises are widely understood to be subject to change at any moment. What backlash does he have to fear - you know, outside of "failing to make America great again?" And even so, how does that actually impact him in a negative way? What does he actually have to fear?
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:12 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]




Asked about a scathing Washington Post editorial that chastised GOP leaders, and Priebus in particular, for allowing Trump “to run a flamboyant insult of a campaign,” the RNC chair called the piece “the stupidest editorial that I’ve ever seen.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:16 AM on February 24, 2016


Ugh, Joe Scarborough. He's on my shit list of idiot centrist common-wisdom-spouting blowhard pundits, right along with David Brooks and Chris Matthews.

I'm about to gleefully read that Tabbibi takedown. So excited right now.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2016


From that Taibbi piece:
[Trump] talks, for instance, about the anti-trust exemption enjoyed by insurance companies, an atrocity dating back more than half a century, to the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. This law, sponsored by one of the most notorious legislators in our history (Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran was thought to be the inspiration for the corrupt Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather II), allows insurance companies to share information and collude to divvy up markets.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats made a serious effort to overturn this indefensible loophole during the debate over the Affordable Care Act.

Trump pounds home this theme in his speeches, explaining things from his perspective as an employer. "The insurance companies," he says, "they'd rather have monopolies in each state than hundreds of companies going all over the place bidding ...  It's so hard for me to make deals  ... because I can't get bids."
This is why I'm terrified of him once he pivots to the general. That's pretty damning to the left trying to defend ACA, especially paired with commentary on all their campaign donations from health insurance companies and big pharma - a lot of people think folks don't like Obamacare because they don't want health insurance or something, but a lot of people just see it as Democrats selling them out to private insurance (not that they'd necessarily support e.g. single payer either though).
posted by dialetheia at 9:34 AM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


You know if Trump can't make a deal it's pretty bad. He is the deal master.
posted by ian1977 at 9:39 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


What about if Trump goes so far outside of the political mainstream Establishment that he alienates Business/Moderate Republicans towards whoever is the Democratic Nominee?

Business people want to make money. Racists, White supremacists, Patriot militia-types, and just angry people don't create a stable business environment. Ripping up trade deals with other countries is horrendous for business. Making our Southern border into The Great Wall of Checkpoint Charlie is going to disrupt the massive amounts of goods that go from Mexico to the US/Canada (San Ysidro in California is the busiest land border crossing in the world).
posted by FJT at 9:54 AM on February 24, 2016


Trump is the logical conclusion of Republican politics.

Newt Gingrich to Fox News: 'Trump Is the Candidate You Invented'. Truth-telling from an interesting source.
posted by homunculus at 9:57 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Who cares if insurance companies have local monopolies when they also have their profits capped under ACA? They have to pay out 80% of their revenue from premiums on health care claims. Their overhead, I think, has to come out of the other 20%, and then the profits are what's left.

At this point they're basically "cost plus" government contractors, administrating the health care system on the government's behalf, covering what the government tells them they must cover. The mandatory insurance premiums serve the same function as taxes, except for not being quite as progressive as an income tax. But still somewhat progressive -- there are subsidies rising to 100% for lower incomes.

I just don't get the "Oh no, corporations!" criticism of the ACA. If we did single-payer and a new tax to support it, and then hired a bunch of former insurance company people to run the system, how different would that be? (Besides somewhat more efficient because a lot of middle and upper managers would become redundant.)
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:57 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


What about if Trump goes so far outside of the political mainstream Establishment that he alienates Business/Moderate Republicans towards whoever is the Democratic Nominee?

"Mike Huckabee and the Coming Republican Realignment" by poblano, Daily Kos, Nov. 2007

Say that Huckabee wins the nomination. I believe that we could see a similar re-orientation, where populism tended to be associated more with the Republican cause and the Democrats were considered more pro-business. What we'd have then is two parties that looked something like this:

* The secular rationalist party, a.k.a. the Democrats, which would tend increasingly toward libertarianism.
* The theocratic collectivist party, a.k.a. the Republicans, who would shift in the direction of economic populism while remaining extremely conservative on social issues.

At first glance this might seem far-fetched, but I would argue that it actually makes more sense than the current, disintegrating Republican coalition, which relied on a (literally) unholy alliance between libertarian-leaning "Reagan Republicans", and religious conservatives who were looking for a party to bind themselves to. In fact, to some extent this realignment may already have taken place. Outside of urban areas, working-class protestant whites tend to vote strongly Republican even when it's not in their economic best interests. Meanwhile, the affluent citizens are lining up with the Democrats; and so too are affluent corporations. It's almost like the platforms are just waiting to catch up with the people they represent.

There's also one particular issue that seems to be a harbinger of change: immigration. For the most part, we've had Democrats taking the pro-growth, pro-immigration position. The Republicans, meanwhile, after an internal struggle with the issue, have mainly reverted to the more reactionary but more populist anti-immigration position. A good way to tell a "Reagan Republican" from a "Huckabee Republican" is his stance on immigration.

Last question: would this be a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know, but I tend to think that on balance it would be a good thing, and here's why. I think the new, more libeterian-ish Democrats would retain enough of their tradition that they would not "sell out" the progressives on issues like health care and the environment -- which after all, are economic disasters among other things. On the other hand, the new, more populist-ish Republicans would be less likely to block reform in these areas. But I'd like to ask you guys the same question. (See poll below after electoral college tangent).


Written nine years too early, and centered around a candidate too lightweight, and causes that have come to pass (even Trump acknowledges that gay marriage is the law of the land and that Planned Parenthood does good things for women). Though the article does bring up immigration at the end, almost as an afterthought.

If it does become Hillary vs. Trump: for one election at least, we'll be seeing a pseudo-corporate Democrat against a pseudo-populist Republican.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:59 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


OnceUponATime: “I just don't get the 'Oh no, corporations!' criticism of the ACA. If we did single-payer and a new tax to support it, and then hired a bunch of former insurance company people to run the system, how different would that be?”

POOR PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE HEALTH CARE. Isn't that – uh – blitheringly obvious, as a problem with the ACA and as the major problem with health care in the United States in general?
posted by koeselitz at 10:11 AM on February 24, 2016 [15 favorites]


he has absolutely no allies in Congress.

Chris Collins becomes first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump

And so it begins.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:13 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Reading the comments from that post are rather telling. Seems like progressives trusted HRC no more than they do now. And it's rather funny in retrospect for them to characterize potential races as either NY vs. NY (Clinton vs. Giuliani) or AR vs. AR (Clinton vs. Huckabee).
posted by Apocryphon at 10:14 AM on February 24, 2016


I am at a loss to understand why people in this very thread think that the crazy Obama-was-born-in-Kenya man does not really mean it when he says he's going to build a giant border wall or ban Muslims from the U.S.
posted by kyrademon at 10:17 AM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Chris Collins becomes first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump

Duncan Hunter also yells FIRST!
posted by FJT at 10:17 AM on February 24, 2016


POOR PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE HEALTH CARE

Because we move Medicaid from being administrated by the states to being administrated by the federal government, you mean? So that Republicans can't block the medicaid expansion? But there are Republicans in federal government too...

Or you think an income tax would be more progressive than the subsidies, so a poor person who is not on Medicaid would see their taxes rise by less than their current (premiums - subsidies) under ACA?

Those are both arguments that I can see making, but neither of them has anything to do with "The Democrats sold us out to the insurance corporations!" or whether insurance companies benefit from their local monopolies.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:24 AM on February 24, 2016


I am at a loss to understand why people in this very thread think that the crazy Obama-was-born-in-Kenya man does not really mean it when he says he's going to build a giant border wall or ban Muslims from the U.S.

Hope springs eternal. First they said he was just doing it for a gag. Then that he could never make it through the first debate. Then that he'd never win a single primary. Then that he'd get bored. Now the thought is: well, but he's just putting on a show to win. He can't really be as bad as all that. Soon we'll be saying: but he can't really have won the electoral votes. He can't really be taking the oath of office. He can't really be putting Muslims in concentration camps. He can't really be rounding up everyone vaguely Latino and deporting everyone who can't come up with the right papers.... He can't really be starting WW3. That isn't really a mushroom cloud in the distance.
posted by dis_integration at 10:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Or you just think an income tax would be more progressive than the subsidies, so a poor person who is not on Medicaid would see their taxes rises by less than (premiums - subsidies) under ACA?

Health care costs are not limited to premiums. Many of the people newly insured under the ACA still can't afford to see a doctor due to deductibles and copays. We need to move to a system with zero cost at the point of service.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:26 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


I can't believe that a country where the idea of "Bernie Bros" can drive support from Sanders to Clinton is one where Trump is not going to face issues due to zealous supporters driving away centrist conservatives.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 10:32 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who cares if insurance companies have local monopolies when they also have their profits capped under ACA? They have to pay out 80% of their revenue from premiums on health care claims. Their overhead, I think, has to come out of the other 20%, and then the profits are what's left.

At this point they're basically "cost plus" government contractors, administrating the health care system on the government's behalf, covering what the government tells them they must cover. The mandatory insurance premiums serve the same function as taxes, except for not being quite as progressive as an income tax. But still somewhat progressive -- there are subsidies rising to 100% for lower incomes.


This is broadly true. However the ACA system is also wildly leaky both in structure and in implementation, compared to a single-payer system, and the cost controls (increasingly complex insurance plan design, increasingly high deductibles and copays, increasingly narrow networks) remain huge barriers to care. And without robust regulation, the 20% cap on administrative costs is going to be laughably ineffective.

When you count up direct government spending on health care through public systems (Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, Tricare, plus the spending that government does as the direct employer of millions of public employees, plus the indirect public spending through tax writeoffs for employers, tax credits for individual premium assistance through the Marketplaces, etc., etc., etc., you end up with a total public spending amount that's not too far off from actual, simple, universal single-payer.

But now we have this behemoth of a system that was pushed through Congress and the very liberals who begged and pleaded for some kind of a scrap of a public option and were sent to sit in the corner and think about how naughty we were being and we'll get to universal access later are now told shut up and defend this system we choked down your throat and we're not even going to pretend to stand up for health care as a basic human right anymore because republican bogeyman.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:33 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


"If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

We've mentioned Hitler and Mussolini, but you know this line of self-promotion really lines him up with another perennial favorite, Vladimir Putin.

Do we have any examples of him single-handedly staving off a tiger attack, personally saving the lives of small children, parading about doing macho things bare-chested, and such?

It all seems right up Trump's alley, so to speak . . .
posted by flug at 10:35 AM on February 24, 2016


Okay, well this is maybe a derail and I don't dispute that single payer is more efficient nor do I oppose the idea (though I doubt very much that it will happen in my lifetime. Because Republicans. I mean not hypothetical bogeyman Republicans. Real Republicans in Congress elected by real Republicans in the electorate).

I just have a problem with that "giveaway to insurance companies" narrative, and hearing it put into the mouth of Hypothetical Trump just makes it more annoying, since Republicans are the reason the insurance companies are still involved. ACA is indeed an inefficient and unwieldly compromise, but it is not a giveaway to insurance companies.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:39 AM on February 24, 2016


OnceUponATime: “I just don't get the 'Oh no, corporations!' criticism of the ACA. If we did single-payer and a new tax to support it, and then hired a bunch of former insurance company people to run the system, how different would that be?”

me: “POOR PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE HEALTH CARE”

OnceUponATime: “Because we move Medicaid from being administrated by the states to being administrated by the federal government, you mean? So that Republicans can't block the medicaid expansion? But there are Republicans in federal government too... Or you just think an income tax would be more progressive than the subsidies, so a poor person who is not on Medicaid would see their taxes rise by less than their current (premiums - subsidies) under ACA? Those are both arguments that I can see making, but neither of them has anything to do with ‘The Democrats sold us out to the insurance corporations!’”

You asked how different it would be if we had single-payer health care and a tax to support it. I said, quite simply: poor people would have health care. In other words, homeless people could walk into clinics and get treatment. They can't right now. They should be able to.

Whether the ACA is a "giveaway to insurance companies" is sort of a difficult debate. Some of us don't think insurance companies should be allowed to exist, so obviously for us it's giving them far too much. It was certainly championed by the AMA, among others. Probably couldn't have passed without that support, of course. But we're screwed, unfortunately – we're stuck with it.

All I want, though, is for anybody to be able to walk into a doctor's office and get treated. No insurance, no going on the internet and buying from an exchange, nothing. We have terrible health care, and this is why. And the ACA is a feeble attempt to fix that, even if it does help a lot.
posted by koeselitz at 10:43 AM on February 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


kyrademon: “I am at a loss to understand why people in this very thread think that the crazy Obama-was-born-in-Kenya man does not really mean it when he says he's going to build a giant border wall or ban Muslims from the U.S.”

I am at a loss to understand why you think someone who was clearly lying when he said he thought the President was born in Kenya would ever tell the truth, particularly when making campaign promises.

What he actually does will probably be far worse than building a wall or banning Muslims. That's what we've been trying to tell you.
posted by koeselitz at 10:45 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


You asked how different it would be if we had single-payer health care and a tax to support it. I said, quite simply: poor people would have health care. In other words, homeless people could walk into clinics and get treatment. They can't right now. They should be able to.

Except if we want to level this as a criticism of the ACA it's not quite fair; they were supposed to, but states suing to be allowed to block the medicaid expansion prevented it at the lowest levels.

I am not a fan of the just give up approach of thinking about progressive legislation but this is a place where the ACA hit its target and got what was possible. In a functional government they'd have spent the years after passage tweaking and improving, but the nutters were interested in repeal or nothing.
posted by phearlez at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you were a Republican congressman or senator (other than, say, Rubio or Cruz), it seems like endorsing any of the Republican candidates would be a hell of a gamble at this point. You'd potentially win favor if you endorsed whoever became president, but as divisive as everything is within that party, I can see there being some form of retribution if you got it wrong.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:52 AM on February 24, 2016


ACA is indeed an inefficient and unwieldly compromise, but it is not a giveaway to insurance companies.

On the contrary: there's a strong, quantitative argument that insurance companies have done very well under the ACA. Stocks of the five major healthcare insurance companies have outperformed the S&P 500 for the last five years.

Forcing an increase in their revenue by requiring people to buy insurance from the private sector means that the legally-permitted overhead costs and high premiums have facilitated investors sharing in profits that could otherwise have gone to providing customers with needed healthcare services.

In those terms, I would say the word "giveaway" is not inaccurate.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:54 AM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


From the Tabbibi piece:

You will find union members scattered at almost all of Trump's speeches. And there have been rumors of unions nationally considering endorsing Trump. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry even admitted in January that Trump appeals to members because of the "terrible anxiety" they feel about jobs.

"I know guys, union guys, who talk about Trump," says Rand Wilson, an activist from the Labor for Bernie organization. "I try to tell them about Sanders, and they don't know who he is. Or they've just heard he's a socialist. Trump they've heard of."


It's almost as if Democrats and progressives learned nothing from the Hard Hat Riot!
posted by Apocryphon at 10:56 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whether the ACA is a "giveaway to insurance companies" is sort of a difficult debate. Some of us don't think insurance companies should be allowed to exist, so obviously for us it's giving them far too much. It was certainly championed by the AMA, among others. Probably couldn't have passed without that support, of course. But we're screwed, unfortunately – we're stuck with it.

Aii, my previous comment was unnecessarily grar-y and I apologize. (I'm funded by the Affordable Care Act and spend my days helping folks navigate complicated insurance situations so I dial it up to 11 pretty quickly on MeFi where I'm actually able to rant about this stuff.)

The other way the ACA is a giveaway to insurers (in the sense that it lets them make more money) is that way more people are now eligible for insurance coverage, and their premiums get subsidized by the government. So the pie is bigger for insurance companies. And because of premium subsidies and copay subsidies, taxpayers are paying for it.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:04 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Duncan Hunter also yells FIRST!

N.B. These congresscritters are from NY and CA - winner-take-all states late in the primary season. These guys presumably think they know which way the wind is blowing and are tacking their sails accordingly.

Besides, they've realized they need to jump on the bandwagon soon before they're crowded out by Trumpeters the likes of former governors Sarah Palin and Jesse Ventura, not to mention such super-celebrities as Ted Nugent, Tila Tequila, Dennis Rodman, Wayne Newton, and Charlie Sheen.

Winning!
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:05 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo were pretty much the nativist hard-right nobodies that were Free Republic's dream nominees back in 2008. I'm unsurprised that Hunter is endorsing Trump.

Dennis Rodman being the ambassador to North Korea who brings peace between them and the South would be in my infinite monkeys okay Trump presidency scenario. Maybe I should have disillusioned accelerationist Azealia Banks as Trump's VP. I thought Ted Nugent was backing Cruz, though.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:07 AM on February 24, 2016


It's almost as if Democrats and progressives learned nothing from the Hard Hat Riot!

What do you think Democrats and progressives should have learned from the Hard Hat Riot?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:15 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


That blue collar union members are a somewhat shaky demographic within the American liberal alliance, and that often their demographics and cultural sensibilities are more similar to the average Republican voter. So there should be outreach spent on retaining their votes beyond winning over the union bosses (the article highlights nicely the split between union mgmt. and the rank-and-file over Clinton vs. Sanders), lest they be won over by a Republican populist. Oh, and backing labor/trade policies that don't weaken unions would be prudent.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:21 AM on February 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


The reason that it's shaky is that union members are generally anti-immigration. That's one of the big reasons why Trump is a draw. He's openly racist and that proves to them that he's serious on his immigration policies.
posted by FJT at 11:38 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, and backing labor/trade policies that don't weaken unions would be prudent.

Kind of a big point to add as an afterthought.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:39 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


That Taibbi piece is...something else (I'm really not into the over the top use of sexual references to symbolize degradation).

And this is just not accurate: [Trump] talks, for instance, about the anti-trust exemption enjoyed by insurance companies, an atrocity dating back more than half a century, to the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. This law, sponsored by one of the most notorious legislators in our history (Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran was thought to be the inspiration for the corrupt Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather II), allows insurance companies to share information and collude to divvy up markets..

McCarran-Ferguson is a limited exemption that has been held not to apply to market division and other kinds of conduct that runs afoul of the Sherman Act. The conduct in question is only exempted if it meets a three-factor test. It's not some blank hall pass that lets insurers fix prices and carve up markets. More worrisome to some kind of antitrust suit against an insurer is a possible state action immunity defense. The fact that some insurers have monopolies and some collude to divvy up markets is more about the hesitance of regulatory agencies to mount a huge, complex, not-a-slam-dunk challenge.
posted by sallybrown at 11:42 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


If memory serves, there's some weird thing about the Hard Hat Riot - some set-up where people were paid to attend. The book I remember reading this in is at home...but in any case, the rioters were members of a particularly conservative and rather politically unusual union.

There was an effort in the seventies to create a perception that working class people were opposed to the left - you see it various movies. Again, the book I need is at home. Unions have historically been a site of contested values, and non-working-class people are always trying to paint them as intrinsically one thing or another.

As far as I know, everyone in my union would gnaw off a forearm before they pulled the lever for Trump. Union culture varies from place to place, local to local, union to union, occupation to occupation - prison guards are unionized, for instance, and there was a big tussle in my union between the prison guards (I am not a prison guard; unions like the SEIU, AFL-CIO, etc organize multiple workplaces in multiple occuptions) and everyone else when the union was trying to pass a resolution in support of Ferguson.

Also, in my particular union, we have many members of color and members who are immigrants. My union, in point of fact, showed up and gave a speech at the big Black Lives Matter protests here early in the winter.
posted by Frowner at 11:45 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Trump Is A Rump, But He Has A Point (Bill James)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:52 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Repeal McCarran-Ferguson before it's too late, David Balto, antitrust attorney and former Federal Trade Commission policy director:

"If there was one thing clear from the Congressional debate over health care, it is that health insurance markets are unhealthy. Over the past few decades, profits have increased dramatically, and the market has become one of the least transparent and most anticompetitive markets in the nation; indeed, few markets are as concentrated, opaque and complex, and subject to rampant anticompetitive and deceptive conduct. There is simply an immense need for antitrust and consumer protection enforcement to reign in the constant abuses of the industry.

Unfortunately for consumers, McCarran-Ferguson often creates obstacles to effective enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission has a stellar record for policing consumer protection violations and preventing unfair trade practices in almost every market, but McCarran appears to rob it of health insurance jurisdiction. And McCarran may dampen the ability of private parties to bring antitrust and consumer protection actions. "
posted by dialetheia at 12:04 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]



Trump Is A Rump, But He Has A Point (Bill James)



White Guy Explains Why PC Is Bad.
posted by zutalors! at 12:04 PM on February 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


I love that Bill James has to spend several paragraphs swearing up and down that Trump is the wrong guy, he doesn't support him, etc. It sounds like the traditional "I'm not a racist, but..." -- something that he falls into quite nicely there. Way to completely ignore the actual issues around institutionalized racism while bemoaning the fact that we make ethnic slurs less often now.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with him regarding "courage" - I find little courage in being a bully and a liar, personally. That also extends to toughness. And standing up for yourself. And saying "You don't make the rules for me." And holy shit, the reasons to not like gitmo extend well beyond "Europe doesn't like it"

god this fucking article... it's a goldmine of false equivalency. Trump hasn't hit on jack shit that our society has lost, unless you really miss the idea of white supremacy, smear campaigns, and hyper-masculine posturing.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:08 PM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


White Guy Explains Why PC Is Bad.

A white baseball writer which is the whitest type of white person.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:09 PM on February 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


The Federalist lol
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:10 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


That Bill James piece is extremely terrible but I think it's a good preview of how all the sensible, intelligent, not-racist people are going to justify voting for Trump.
posted by theodolite at 12:11 PM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


> "What he actually does will probably be far worse than building a wall or banning Muslims. That's what we've been trying to tell you."

I am not sure we are actually on opposite sides of this issue if I think he is dangerously deranged and you think he is worse than dangerously deranged.
posted by kyrademon at 12:12 PM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I hadn't realized until I read a couple of those "but PC!" articles how central the "he's just willing to say what we're all thinking!" part really is to Trump's appeal. It's not just stylistic and it's not just that it makes him look tough or whatever, it's also that a lot of his voters feel "persecuted" for their "unpopular" beliefs and see the way elites treat him as a mirror for the way they feel that they've been "aggrieved." (I hope all the scare quotes make it clear that I think this is bunk - but it is genuinely driving a lot of his popularity in this segment). David Frum had a better piece about it earlier this year. The alliance of the aggrieved:

"What defined her was an identity as a “real American”—and her conviction that she was slighted and insulted and persecuted because of this identity. That’s exactly the same feeling to which Donald Trump speaks, and which has buoyed his campaign. When he’s president, he tells voters, department stores will say “Merry Christmas” again in their advertisements. Probably most of his listeners would know, if they considered it, that the president of the United States does not determine the ad copy for Walmart and Nordstrom’s. They still appreciate the thought: He’s one of us—and he’s standing up for us against all of them—at a time when we feel weak and poor and beleaguered, and they seem more numerous, more dangerous, and more aggressive."
posted by dialetheia at 12:14 PM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Trump is anti comedic, like a villain in a Batman movie. He is hurriedly inventing his credentials, but good God, surely he has a mega-closet somewhere, full of still-red skeletons? C'mon, somewhere in between and among his marriages, and whatever the Trump lifestyle really is, surely there are at least fourscore and seven unpresidential goings on. Sadly he is the Republican candidate, taking the heat for now. Meanwhile no matter what the field is up to, their money can't buy any attention. I think it is not good they are out of sight. He so destabilizes the extreme right, pulling the whole thing in from the religious crazies, seeming almost centrist, the rest is insubstantial emotion and smoke to cover his vapidity. The emergence of the succubus Palin as Trump ally, and would be hate muse, puts the whole candidacy a step back, to Green Acres, Dallas at best.

He could win. Better start telling him what we want. Right now he is emerging from the second dimension.

Mefi should endorse substantive dialogue about the election, or else it is just more cacophony. Crazy noise might make crazy candidate, seem the norm.
posted by Oyéah at 9:44 PM on September 8, 2015<>/em

Ha ha ha ha, shit! Oh dear.

posted by Oyéah at 12:16 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


at a time when we feel weak and poor and beleaguered, and they seem more numerous, more dangerous, and more aggressive.

"they" being anyone not-white not-straight not-Xtian.
posted by qcubed at 12:16 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, exactly - I don't think Frum is saying that approvingly, necessarily (though he is GOP, he's been pretty anti-Trump this year), I think he's just trying to explain what Trump voters think.
posted by dialetheia at 12:18 PM on February 24, 2016


More from The Federalist: I'll Take Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

"In other words: Better to lose to a true enemy whose policies you can fight and repudiate, rather than to a false friend whose schemes will drag you down with him. This is a painful choice, but it also embraces realism while protecting the possibility of recovery in the future. The need to live to fight another day is why conservatives should adopt a Hamilton Rule if, God forbid, the choice comes down to Hillary and Trump."
posted by FJT at 12:19 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Right, just underscoring that point.

TBH, the more I see people twisting themselves into knots justifying free-range Trump or justifying the mass-produced Trump-lites, the less and less inclined I am to really believe in "America" in any real sense.

Which is a sad thing to say about the country of your birth and the nation you once actually thought you could help.
posted by qcubed at 12:20 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


> "What he actually does will probably be far worse than building a wall or banning Muslims. That's what we've been trying to tell you."

I am not sure we are actually on opposite sides of this issue if I think he is dangerously deranged and you think he is worse than dangerously deranged.


I am less worried about President Trump himself, than I am about his supporters. I think he'd spend a good part of his term getting his sea legs -- being president is not the same thing as running a company and, even with "the best people" there will be a learning curve regarding how to accomplish what he wants to do (which is not to say that there will be obstructionism like the Dems would face, but there would be general bureaucratic delay). On this point, I think Cruz is scarier, because he know exactly how government works and on day 1 can start implementing his evil agenda. What I am really worried about with a Trump election is that his supporters will feel there is a mandate/approval to be (more than before) openly misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. Any progress in public treatment of women, POC, LGBT people, etc. will be lost. I think we will see a significant increase in hate crimes if he wins the general election. All committed by "lone wolves" who everyone thought were just "nice guys" of course.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:27 PM on February 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


What I am really worried about with a Trump election is that his supporters will feel there is a mandate/approval to be (more than before) openly misogynistic, racist, honophobic, transphobic, etc.

Yep.
posted by zutalors! at 12:28 PM on February 24, 2016 [15 favorites]


For better or for worse, Germany is the metaphor for talking about ethnic cleansing, at least until Americans own up to our own genocides.

But, some of the "how bad is Trump, really" strikes me as pedantic nit-wrangling. It's not really just about Trump for me, it's about the movement behind him. They've already changed American law to pander to xenophobia after Paris last year. Arguing about whether they'll be just as bad or worse as their stump speeches is rather like asking whether I'll smell horse piss or shit at the bus stop later today.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:29 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


The fact that Trump has made it as far as he has means that we can bank on there being at least one candidate being very open about their mysogyny, racism, and hatred of anything "other" for some time, regardless of if he takes the primary or not. And if he doesn't, maybe it's because he just didn't go far enough.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:31 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Cruz is scarier, because he know exactly how government works and on day 1 can start implementing his evil agenda.

I know this is a bad election season because people say stuff like "implementing his evil agenda" and my hyperbole meter doesn't go off at all.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:32 PM on February 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


there have been a lot of people in this thread saying he's not so bad because they're ignoring the racism and/or misogyny or don't think he's serious. I don't think we need to really think and ponder what Trump supporters might be thinking.
posted by zutalors! at 12:34 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


> What I am really worried about with a Trump election is that his supporters will feel there is a mandate/approval to be (more than before) openly misogynistic, racist, honophobic, transphobic, etc.

That is, to some extent, what happened in Toronto when Rob Ford was elected. I swear to God, when I left work the night of the election, half an hour after the polls had closed and 20 minutes after Ford had been declared the winner on TV, the first person I encountered was a woman ranting in the street about how Toronto finally had a "good Christian mayor" (which, WTF, but it helped set the tone for what followed).
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:37 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, "Trump says the things we're all thinking but are too afraid to say!"

Of course, if you're like me, those thoughts are usually something along the lines of "I wonder what it would feel like to stick my tongue in that light socket?" or "Feet are weird" or "WANT TO WEAR KITTY AS HAT!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


While I personally think Trump is going to bomb in November (should he be nominated by the GOP), you only have to look at what happened with Rob Ford in Toronto to see how a Trump presidency would play out. As I said upthread, Trump has no ability to influence the machinery of Washington, although I suppose it depends on who he adds to his inner circle. But look to Rob Ford for that: a bunch of yes-men and boozy muscle heads. Rob Ford didn't get anything accomplished during his time as mayor. Not a single thing.
posted by My Dad at 12:47 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think we need to really think and ponder what Trump supporters might be thinking.

I mean, I think/hope we all know that he is racist and/or capitalizing on broad racist sentiment - I'm not sure there's any disagreement on that in this thread (although some have pointed out that he breaks Republican orthodoxy on a number of economic and foreign policy issues in a way that might make him tougher to beat in the general among voters who are racist enough to at least overlook his racism). I don't think anyone disagrees that what he is doing is Wrong and Terrible in every way, though I may have missed a couple of comments.

What is illuminating to me about the "PC!!" articles coming from the right is how the very reaction to those racist sentiments actually seems to strengthen their support of him. It's a feedback loop that is difficult to break and helps explain why the media was unable to sink him by publishing tons of "Trump is bad" articles, is what I take away from it - the more the media and everyone else tries to shame Trump voters (and rightfully so, they should be shamed for supporting him), the deeper they dig in and the stronger their support becomes. Those articles are arguing that this response actually fueled his run to some extent. Maybe that was already obvious to everyone, but I thought it was interesting in that it helps explain why his candidacy hasn't collapsed but has actually been strengthened somehow every time he says something totally awful and everyone gets rightfully upset about it.
posted by dialetheia at 12:55 PM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Rob Ford did manage to kill off a perfectly good mass transit plan.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:55 PM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trump-the-candidate is like a sassy minion meme from your racist cousin become flesh.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:57 PM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Reckoning For A Very Wrong Media: a compilation of pundits who were wrong about Donald Trump. In a just world, these folks would lose some of their credibility.
posted by dialetheia at 1:05 PM on February 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ford only got Transit City killed because city council and the provincial government rolled over and let him do it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:06 PM on February 24, 2016


Rob Ford didn't get anything accomplished during his time as mayor. Not a single thing.

He was a mayor. Trump would be president, commander-in-chief of the world's largest military. This is a pretty significant difference to consider.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:09 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]




I'm really not into the over the top use of sexual references to symbolize degradation

It's not pleasant, but on the other hand it's interesting how out-in-the-open and mainstream that sort of degradation has become this year amongst Republicans (see also the whole cuckservative thing).
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 1:21 PM on February 24, 2016


He was a mayor. Trump would be president, commander-in-chief of the world's largest military. This is a pretty significant difference to consider.

Yes, exactly. Compared to being POTUS, being mayor of Toronto is much less complex... and Ford couldn't get anything done, despite being a career politician.

Tell me exactly how Trump will enforce his will. Who will execute his orders? How will he find and appoint competent people to execute his orders?

Speaking as a former government drone myself, I can tell you it will be a clown show.
posted by My Dad at 1:24 PM on February 24, 2016


He's running as a republican - republicans don't achieve shit. Breaking things, on the other hand...
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, Bush at least made the trains run on time.
posted by My Dad at 1:29 PM on February 24, 2016


Tell me exactly how Trump will enforce his will. Who will execute his orders?

In general, I agree with you that he'll have a hard time getting stuff done at first. But (and maybe this is just my general lack of military knowledge here), doesn't he have absolute command of the military? Like, military people are required to follow his orders? Are we expecting a military coup if he orders them to do something they think is inadvisable?
posted by melissasaurus at 1:31 PM on February 24, 2016


Are we expecting a military coup if he orders them to do something they think is inadvisable?

You might be in a situation like what happened with Kennedy and the JCoS during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy had to maneuver very hard to avoid the generals from taking the ball and running with it.

Trump can dismiss military commanders who don't obey him, but he can only draw from the same ranks of professionals. The generals may like purchasing expensive toys, building basis and bombing here and there, but they don't want a re-do of Iraq.
posted by My Dad at 1:43 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Maybe there will be a military coup" is one of those things we can add to the list of longshot hypothetical scenarios we never thought we'd console ourselves with
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:45 PM on February 24, 2016 [27 favorites]


In theory - from what I've read - the military has avenues for protesting orders that are illegal. Even the lowest soldier can refuse to follow an illegal order. They generally don't, for various reasons, first being that they may not know they have the right. But the higher ups know, and they know they have political resources.

Unless I'm wrong and that's all total fiction.


From the "Trump is a rump" piece: "We have lost touch with the virtue of toughness. We despise toughness, not as individuals but as a collective, and we sympathize with whiners when we should ignore them. The consequences of this are becoming visible, and they will become more visible until we realize that toughness is a real thing, a real virtue, and that we need more of it."

"Whiners" being people who "whine" about hate speech instead of "standing up for themselves". Jesus goddamn. It is "standing up for yourself" to demand that people stop insulting you.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:50 PM on February 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


Who gains the most if GOP candidates drop out? Sadly it looks like anyone who drops out will still end up transferring a fair amount of their support to Trump. I was surprised how many of Cruz's voters would go to Rubio though (33% to Rubio compared to 26% to Trump) - I figured Cruz people would be more inclined towards Trump.
posted by dialetheia at 1:51 PM on February 24, 2016


Dear Trump Fan - So You Want Sometime To "Tell it Like It Is?" Ok, Here You Go by The Blaze's Matt Walsh. Stopped clock and all.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:51 PM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Perhaps this explains why you’re so worried about politicians who are “controlled by donors,” but you aren’t at all concerned about a politicians who is the very donor you didn’t want controlling the political process. “I’m sick of these donors influencing the government! I have an idea: let’s make one president!”

Well, sure, you cut out the middle man. Sounds like advice Trump would give.
posted by nubs at 2:08 PM on February 24, 2016


Christ almighty. White supremacist PAC starts racist robo-calls for Trump in MN and VT: "In a recording of the robocall sent to TPM, American National Super PAC founder William Daniel Johnson calls on white Americans to brush aside their fears of being branded as racist and stop the “gradual genocide against the white race” by electing Trump."

Perhaps this explains why you’re so worried about politicians who are “controlled by donors,” but you aren’t at all concerned about a politicians who is the very donor you didn’t want controlling the political process. “I’m sick of these donors influencing the government! I have an idea: let’s make one president!”

That piece is fantastic! This is the very basis of the class traitor appeal though - if people view him as a kind of 'whistleblower' against his fellow corrupt rich people, then he can turn around his own corruption as evidence against the very system he's impugning; under that twisted calculus, his own corruption only strengthens his authority. (Again, I don't believe this stuff at all, but that's the basis of the class traitor appeal).
posted by dialetheia at 2:16 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Since Trump has no real ideology other than 'winning', I suspect he would preselects issues that he is bound to win. I.e. I think he would just pre-emptively 'art of the deal' things that he knows will pass/have support/whatever. In that way he may well be a true wild card. Republican legislature? He will fight for restricting abortion access and unlimited guns for everyone. Democratic legislature? He will win some universal health care and legalize pot. The main thing is he is winning.
posted by ian1977 at 2:24 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would deadpan "Gee well maybe that will finally motivate people to look at other races besides the attention-sucker that is the White House" but given the previous responses about Pennsylvania and so forth it seems like the system is already broken at multiple levels

Maybe we should start preemptively gearing up for the 2018 midterm elections?
posted by Apocryphon at 2:27 PM on February 24, 2016


But (and maybe this is just my general lack of military knowledge here), doesn't he have absolute command of the military? Like, military people are required to follow his orders?

Given that Trump is running on a neo-isolationist platform, I doubt he will be interested in launching any foreign adventure anytime soon (which, sadly, makes him somewhat better than Hillary in that category). Unless, again, there's a terrorist attack with a clear link to an established government.

If anything, I'd be more fearful of him using the military for- interesting- applications domestically. Like border operations. Or, God forbid, chasing renegades into Mexico.

But out of the ways he might mess up this country, I think the fears of warmongering or World War III are overblown. The last few conventional presidencies have already been doing that to different extents, thank you very much.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:39 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, Rubio is literally using "A New American Century" as a campaign slogan. There is no doubt the direction his foreign policy is going to go. At least with Trump you have a chance he means it when he talks about having a strong military as a deterrent but not doing dumb things like Iraq.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:46 PM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]



But out of the ways he might mess up this country, I think the fears of warmongering or World War III are overblown. The last few conventional presidencies have already been doing that to different extents, thank you very much.


Unless there's a major terrorist attack here in the US in the first year or so of his Presidency.
posted by zutalors! at 2:48 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


After seeing the primary voters, I have to say I think we're fucked. I don't think Republicans can stop him. And the Democrats still don't take him seriously.

Every bit of this sounds like a science-fiction novel that up until two years ago, I would have condemned as implausible.
posted by corb at 2:52 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


"In general, I agree with you that he'll have a hard time getting stuff done at first. But (and maybe this is just my general lack of military knowledge here), doesn't he have absolute command of the military? Like, military people are required to follow his orders? Are we expecting a military coup if he orders them to do something they think is inadvisable?"

There are a couple of big checks on his ability there. First off is something that Trump himself elides: Most of his proposals, e.g. the wall, are incredibly logistically complicated. His idiot reductionism works in a campaign, but when you have to rely on the cooperation of other people, a lot of the promises and claims he makes break down not because of a lack of theoretical ability to enact them but the practical ability to follow through. Building a wall alone would be billions of dollars.

Second off, let's assume that somehow Trump comes up with the bare material resources to enact his plan — say he just finances the whole thing himself from some undiscovered cash reserves. Then there's the culture of the military — while some are rabid right-wing nativists, most aren't. Not only do they have a constitutional duty to not follow illegal orders, they have little incentive to do many of the things he's proposing. Trump can't just build the wall himself — at the very least, he's going to need to take the US Corps of Army Engineers off of whatever projects they're currently working on, or subsidize them to the extent that they can hire enough people to carry out his boondoggle. And even if the money is there, the federal bureaucracy is a legal apparatus that would require the complicity of the legislature and courts to upend to the extent that it would need to be in order to follow through on his plans.

So, basically, his plans are wildly impractical and to the extent that other presidents have pursued policies analogous on any level — e.g. Japanese internment, suspension of habeas corpus — they've had massive crises that enabled complicity.

This isn't to say that a Trump presidency — or even a nomination — wouldn't be tremendously bad. You're right about the likely rise in hate crimes and if he was elected he would devastate our regulatory and welfare programs, but the things that he is promising are so cartoonishly improbable and his plans for enacting them are so moronically ipse dixit that they have little chance of actually coming to fruition. Any Republican president would be a disaster — to do some fake quantification, I'd think of any of the current candidates as likely to make America at least 10 percent worse for 80 percent of people in the country over the next four years, and I'd say that Trump would likely make things an additional 10 percent worse overall. Not because he'd be successful in accomplishing the things Trump says he would, but because all of the things that he is likely to accomplish would make America shittier for the vast, vast majority of people (and likely better only for Trump personally, some cronies, and a small subset of lucky people, briefly).

""Maybe there will be a military coup" is one of those things we can add to the list of longshot hypothetical scenarios we never thought we'd console ourselves with"

I won a bet against two of my bosses back in 2008 by betting that if Obama won, Bush II wouldn't launch a military coup and refuse to surrender power. While only one of my bosses paid up, the $50 was nice.
posted by klangklangston at 2:53 PM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Unless there's a major terrorist attack here in the US in the first year or so of his Presidency.

That is possible, but there's scant few rogue states that the U.S. can invade with minimum consequence. If anything, any sort of foreign action wouldn't be too different from what the Obama administration- or a hypothetical Hillary one- would do: deploy drones and military advisors, really leaning on local CIA/Pentagon-backed forces and any neighboring allies. Maybe Trump would have less scruples and just openly give Blackwater and other PMCs big fat military contracts for them to go in. It would be bloody, costly, and shameful, but I don't think the U.S. is going to get into any more Iraq's or Afghanistan's anytime soon, unless it's a sort of Vietnam-type "escalation we didn't expect" scenario.

And hell, Trump being who he is, might even invade a country, destroy the enemy regime, and then leave with minimal nation-building other than grabbing a few reconstruction contracts for his companies. But he's unlikely to commit to the type of unprofitable generation-long project that we've seen in Iraq. Unless he develops an oil habit during his term of office, maybe.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:59 PM on February 24, 2016


Umm, isn't his process for getting the wall done to ask Congress to write a bill to get it done and then sign it? Are Republicans really gonna stand in the way of that one? It's the deportation he can't practically get done, but I think the symbolic value of the wall will be mostly enough to placate the anti-immigrant types.

If he actually tries the mass deportation...God knows where that will end up.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:02 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump can't just build the wall himself — at the very least, he's going to need to take the US Corps of Army Engineers off of whatever projects they're currently working on, or subsidize them to the extent that they can hire enough people to carry out his boondoggle.

But could he, for example, order all troops/military/whatever out of [insert country] and to the US-Mexico border? I could actually see him getting public support for this (Iraq war is disastrous, bring our troops home, secure the border, etc.) from people who don't think about the consequences of a more-heavily-militarized border and a further-destabilized [insert country].

I am not so much concerned with him getting involved overseas as I am with him using the military domestically.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:02 PM on February 24, 2016


A Vote For Trump Is A Vote For Bigotry by Dean Obeidallah, CNN.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2016


I know we're scraping at the bottom of the barrel now for reassurance, but when was the last time America was able to successfully complete a massive infrastructure project? Congress can sign all sorts of legislation for projects that never actually go anywhere.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looks like reality is finally starting to sink in for the movement/establishment Republican camps. NRO: It's time for an anti-Trump Manhattan Project
posted by dialetheia at 3:06 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


there have been a lot of people in this thread saying he's not so bad

Literally not a single person has said that, although some, myself included, have suggested he might not be as bad as the other Republican candidates. But again, these things are relative -- there's light between the options of having your eye poked out with a sharpened toilet plunger handle or having your tongue torn out by a rabid wolverine, but neither is optimal in terms of quality of life.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:08 PM on February 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


A Vote For Trump Is A Vote For Bigotry by Dean Obeidallah, CNN.

So is a vote for Marco "Pink triangles and Gilead are totes awesome!" Rubio or Ted "More like Jew York culture amirite?" Cruz. Make sure Americans know they're all bugfuck crazy bigots, not just Trump.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:10 PM on February 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think he's not so bad as the doomsday predictions claim he is. I think partly it's because the man is a complete sphinx and his goals are so unfathomable that he probably doesn't know what he's going to do. So I don't want to get all post-apocalyptic yet until closer to the general election. There will be plenty of time for fear. That comes later.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:11 PM on February 24, 2016


I think he's not so bad as the doomsday predictions claim he is.

Sigh. Way to put a lie to what I just said. Words have meanings -- I'm suggesting there is an important difference between the phrases 'not so bad' and 'not as bad as'. A little caution might not go astray here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:14 PM on February 24, 2016


My personal theory is that as Trump gets up the steps to the podium to take the Oath of Office, a swift and terrible gust of wind will blow forth from a cloud in heaven and sweep his combover right off, revealing him to be a bald emperor with no clothes. His masculinity, thus so irrevocably impugned, will make him so ridiculous and mockable that no one will take him seriously again and in fact he will be so ashamed that he will refuse the Oath and flee the country before he is inevitably impeached for being a big fat baby. And thus was Trump undone by a strong breeze.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:15 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


"But could he, for example, order all troops/military/whatever out of [insert country] and to the US-Mexico border? I could actually see him getting public support for this (Iraq war is disastrous, bring our troops home, secure the border, etc.) from people who don't think about the consequences of a more-heavily-militarized border and a further-destabilized [insert country]."

He could. I mean, Japan has about 48,000 U.S. troops right now — Trump could order them back to the U.S. and station them at the border. But in order to do that, he'd have to be able to fund that change in deployment, which would require big changes in the defense budget, which means getting that through congress, including a filibuster-sized Democratic minority in the worst case scenario.

He'd then have to deal with Posse Comatitus and the fact that immigration is mostly a civil infraction, not a criminal one. Some right-wing loons try to argue that illegal immigration constitutes an "invasion," but that's pretty clearly bullshit, and getting the army to enforce immigration law would require an act of congress.

He'd also have to, again, deal with the infrastructure costs of building deployments on that scale, etc. etc. and the likely foot-dragging from military bureaucracy (which has never been nimble at the best of times).

While it's somewhat more practical than building a wall, it's still, like, much, much harder than any number of other policy alternatives.
posted by klangklangston at 3:15 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Beyond what it symbolically stands for, would a wall at the US-Mexico border really be all that much of a game changer? It's laughable to me to think that a wall in and of itself could stop the flow of refugees into the US - coyotes will come up with ways to go over it, there will be tunnels built under it like the drug kingpin tunnels, those narcosubs will be repurposed to dump people on the beach in NorCal, etc. A wall is only useful to delay crossing, not prevent it, and there just aren't enough border patrol agents to actually stop immigrants from entering the US.

I actually think if all of Trump's attention goes to building said wall, it'll keep him focused on something that's far less dangerous than many of his other proposals.
posted by zug at 3:17 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump also claims that he wants to build a "big, beautiful door" into the wall to let in legal immigrants. Maybe the wall can be a giant Trojan Horse to put in immigration reform to make legal immigration easier and more streamlined and less of a bureaucratic mess. Not because Trump is a closet liberal, mind you, but because he is a craven businessman and he'd probably like cheap labor to build his towers with, so long as they get the fig leaf of legality.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:21 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


> Looks like reality is finally starting to sink in for the movement/establishment Republican camps. NRO: It's time for an anti-Trump Manhattan Project

The reality of Trump's popularity, yes. But the writer of that article seems to think that if Trump's supporters are made aware of his poor conservative bona fides and career of screwing over little people they will abandon him. I don't think he understands (or maybe acknowledges is the right word) the reality of what draws the base to the Republican Party Which is a long time National Review tradition.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:24 PM on February 24, 2016


NRO really, really, really doesn't get it.

> he is feigning religiosity to appeal to people he believes are rubes; and, above all, that whatever he may be pretending now, he has spent a lifetime screwing the little guy.

So he is a Republican!
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:28 PM on February 24, 2016 [9 favorites]




So Mitt Romney is stealing Harry Reid's maneuver.

This seems another trial balloon for getting Romney in as a compromise. Can he make an attack on Trump stick? How will Trump respond to him?
posted by Drinky Die at 3:38 PM on February 24, 2016




"“I finally got scared last night,” said Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, referring to Mr. Trump’s resounding victory in the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday."

How can you not love this? This is so conservative, fright. This is the one thing I love about the T-rump, and the only thing, he has given the entire Republican Party, an anxiety disorder, and indigestion. Go long on toilet paper and antacids.
posted by Oyéah at 3:40 PM on February 24, 2016


Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 18m18 minutes ago
When Mitt Romney asked me for my endorsement last time around, he was so awkward and goofy that we all should have known he could not win!

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 29m29 minutes ago
"@Ward_II: Oh great @MittRomney is doing a @SenatorReid on @realDonaldTrump like losing the presidency wasn't enough #Trump2016" He's a fool

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 31m31 minutes ago
Mitt Romney,who totally blew an election that should have been won and whose tax returns made him look like a fool, is now playing tough guy

posted by Drinky Die at 3:45 PM on February 24, 2016


Harry Reid suggested GOP gov for SCOTUS?
posted by ian1977 at 3:52 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's too late for a compromise candidate. Super Tuesday is next week.
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on February 24, 2016


Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 31m31 minutes ago

Not that I needed another reason to rage against Twitter, but goddamn if it hasn't been a massive help in getting him as far as he's gotten in this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:55 PM on February 24, 2016


Nearly 20 percent of Trump’s supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves.

Another 18 percent of Trump's supporters weren't aware that Lincoln had already freed the slaves until they were asked about it.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 3:59 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's too late for a compromise candidate. Super Tuesday is next week.

Thinking more at the convention if it goes chaotic. Though Romney on the Libertarian ticket seems not out of the realm of possibility if he wants to tank Trump's chances.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:01 PM on February 24, 2016


13 percent of Trump's supporters blame Obama for Lincoln freeing the slaves.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 4:01 PM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


20 percent of Trump's supporters will admit that they disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:02 PM on February 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


Freeing the slaves was a huge loss of property and capital for the "businesses" of the South. So that's an unsurprising logical conclusion from their principles.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 4:03 PM on February 24, 2016


You wonder how many calls Kasich, Carson and maybe Cruz have gotten from party leaders to drop out before Super Tuesday. They must be in full panic mode.
posted by octothorpe at 4:03 PM on February 24, 2016


Though Romney on the Libertarian ticket seems not out of the realm of possibility if he wants to tank Trump's chances.

He'd have to get through Gary Johnson and John McAfee in the LP primaries first.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:20 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Libertarians decide at the convention. Nominating Romney if he asked would be a no-brainer for the party.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:28 PM on February 24, 2016


Mike Gravel ran for the LP nomination in 2008, Alan Keyes ran for the Constitution Party. Both got rejected despite having name recognition. Third parties aren't just plaything pawns for mainstream politicians. Plus, Romney would just launch an "independent" campaign similar to what Bloomberg might do, no need to use a preexisting third party.

America for Romney Party, anybody?
posted by Apocryphon at 4:31 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Neither of them have even close to the name recognition of Romney, and the issue with independent campaigns is ballot access is a real pain in the ass. The deal with Romney would be to raise the profile of the party while giving Romney a bit of the organization he hasn't yet set up. But yeah, this is an extremely unlikely scenario regardless so no use debating it too hard.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:35 PM on February 24, 2016


john fucking mcafee hahahahaha oh man i think we just found trump's perfect VP pick
posted by indubitable at 4:38 PM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


So, basically, his plans are wildly impractical and to the extent that other presidents have pursued policies analogous on any level — e.g. Japanese internment, suspension of habeas corpus — they've had massive crises that enabled complicity.

There is a case to be made with the way Trump is talking and the way his supporters and some Americans feel, that there IS a crisis. So, though I agree his plans are impractical, I take Trump at his word that he would at least attempt to get the ball rolling for a wall and deportation. Even though the president is constrained in domestic matters, there are also numerous small ways that he can use the Executive Branch to push for anti-immigration policies and actions. Things like attempting to get DMVs (or other government institutions/groups) to release license data on undocumented immigrants, further militarizing/expanding the US Border Patrol, and not issuing any deferred deportation executive actions that Obama has been doing for the last few years. And there's also the use of the bully pulpit aspect of the presidency that he could take advantage of by telling "real" Americans and businesses to report anyone that is an undocumented immigrant or just cheerleading Minutemen volunteers.
posted by FJT at 4:41 PM on February 24, 2016


Trump's VP pick will be Megyn Kelly.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 4:42 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


In other news, Facebook has implemented emotional emoji(s?) that go alongside the Like feature.

I expect the Angry emoji to load tested extensively in the next weeks and months.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:43 PM on February 24, 2016


Do they have an Angry White Man emoji? Or is that just the default?
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 4:45 PM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


"There is a case to be made with the way Trump is talking and the way his supporters and some Americans feel, that there IS a crisis. So, though I agree his plans are impractical, I take Trump at his word that he would at least attempt to get the ball rolling for a wall and deportation."

Right, but think about the aftermath of 9/11 and Bush's attempts to get sustained engagement for the Iraq War — the best he could hope for was telling people to spend more. There weren't gas rations, there weren't people recycling their fences for war materiel, there wasn't support for a draft. There was the possibility of sustained engagement after 9/11, but it was pissed away pretty quickly.

Trump could do a shitload of damage with the powers he would actually have, but attempting to get the ball rolling on a wall and deportation would likely be less effective than Cruz attempting to repeal Obamacare. The mobilization and engagement of the American public is really low compared to the historical examples that people have cited for government abuse in an American context, let alone the discussion of fascism.
posted by klangklangston at 4:47 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was really hoping G.W. Bush would have more time as reigning Worst President Ever.
posted by snofoam at 4:56 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Rick Perry's criminal case got dropped. Is it time for him to continue his presidential campaign?
posted by Apocryphon at 4:57 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Guys, guys, you're forgetting the most important part of the wall plan (perhaps this is a sign that no one else is hatewatching Morning Joe along with me) -- Trump says he will force Mexico to pay for the wall. Still not sure how he's going to accomplish that one.
posted by sallybrown at 5:03 PM on February 24, 2016


Force them? I thought he said theyd be happy to pay for it?
posted by ian1977 at 5:04 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump says he will force Mexico to pay for the wall. Still not sure how he's going to accomplish that one.

Simple. If Donald Trump is now the President of a country adjacent to yours, chances are pretty good you're gonna want to build a border wall yourself.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


My theory is that he's going to quietly use a bunch of State dept. agencies, front companies, and so forth to deliver the necessary funds to the corresponding Mexican government organizations, maybe cut some backroom deals, and then publicly claim victory. No one look closely at the sudden increase in foreign aid to Mexico for that fiscal year!
posted by Apocryphon at 5:07 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Silver lining: if Trump ends up losing in the general, his campaign will become retroactively AWESOME in how it tore through the usual GOP clown show and made all the Very Serious Conservatives in the party shit their pants on a daily basis so bank some of these memories for possible later enjoyment
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:07 PM on February 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


WHY BANK WHEN I CAN SPEND IT NOWWWWWWW
posted by indubitable at 5:09 PM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Please stop talking about Romney, this is the Trump the demagogue thread, not the look at me I'm Mitt Romney, thread.
posted by Oyéah at 5:09 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Silver lining: if Trump ends up losing in the general, his campaign will become retroactively AWESOME in how it tore through the usual GOP clown show and made all the Very Serious Conservatives in the party shit their pants on a daily basis so bank some of these memories for possible later enjoyment

I'm not generally prone to conspiracy thinking, but some part of my brain is constantly suggesting Trump is secretly working for Hillary to put the Republicans in chaos.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:11 PM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Right now, a Mexican corporation owns most of the tollways in Texas. (For a given value of owns.) I believe that same company also built and takes profit from tollways in most of the states that share borders with Mexico. If trump seized and nationalized those $1.25 per mile roads, he could pay for the wall pretty quickly. I mean, it would start a war, and our allies would start to get nervous, and those people have nukes, but hey...what could go wrong?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:12 PM on February 24, 2016


If the Falklands War could happen without a nuclear war, what you're suggesting would not lead to WWIII either. But somehow I don't think Trump is observant enough to be aware of that corporation, and for all of his caudilloism, nationalization is way too Hugo Chavez for his style. More like some sort of buy-out, a hostile takeover, would be more apt.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:16 PM on February 24, 2016


What if the war isn't something Trump starts, but something another world leader (Putin?) starts up after the election, recognizing Trump's incompetence in the role of President and inability to respond quickly and well? Like "oh, the US is particularly unstable right now, so now's a good time to do X."
posted by sallybrown at 5:18 PM on February 24, 2016


That NRO article dialetheia linked earlier goes into straight-up “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest” territory:
Why, moreover, are the men in charge of the big guns all-but flirting with the snipers on the other side?
It’s couched as metaphor, of course, but what are the odds of a straight-up assassination attempt before November?
posted by nicepersonality at 5:33 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump Said a Lot of Gross Things About Women on "Howard Stern" - click through for Donald's Top 10 most beautiful women (a priceless 12 minutes of audio), his opinions on "a person who is very flat-chested," an intense Princess Di obsession, and more.

(truly the most MAGNIFICENT raw attack ad material I have seen and heard in a while)
posted by sallybrown at 5:33 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


(not to mention even more creepy talk about Ivanka)
posted by sallybrown at 5:36 PM on February 24, 2016


Why is it attack ad material? What person who was planning to vote for Trump is going to change their vote when they are reminded of his unreconstructed views on women? Especially given that Trump can match it blow for blow (no pun intended) with Hillary's defenses of Bill's indiscretions?
posted by MattD at 5:40 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump says he will force Mexico to pay for the wall. Still not sure how he's going to accomplish that one.

He mentioned something in one of his victory speeches about a trade deficit with Mexico in the tens of billions. I presume (perhaps incorrectly) that Trump's argument is that Mexico would likely want to maintain this level and direction of business after his succession to the throne, and their payment for and construction of a border wall (spitballed to be somewhere in the low billions) can be a means to that end.

Still, Trump's success is on predicated on the promise of all kinds of pie-in-the-sky notions to the trash who follow him, whether it is putting Muslims into detention camps or having someone else foot the bill or whatever, so the actual "how" for these proposals is probably not as important to these folks, and thus not really important to him. The details are deliberately vague, because details don't close the sale.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:47 PM on February 24, 2016


You don't think hearing creepy Trump talking about women's breasts and why some of the Desperate Housewives are bangable only if they wear bags over their heads might motivate some people to remember to show up and vote who might have otherwise stayed home? I know people who don't care for Clinton at all but would be utterly disgusted by this stuff to the point of pulling the lever for someone they don't care for.
posted by sallybrown at 5:48 PM on February 24, 2016 [5 favorites]




I love that we still think "World War 3" is the most terrifying outcome in world affairs. It's a bit like being concerned that the enemy might be armed with Winchester rifles.
posted by koeselitz at 8:37 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Retro has been in lately, what with Crimea and all. Still, Trump and Putin are best buds because they are similarly insane, so that will keep us safe?
posted by Artw at 8:52 PM on February 24, 2016


To some extent I'm more afraid that the relevant military-industrial wonks, intelligence agency spooks, and generals are going to create a shadow government deep state in response to a prospective Trump presidency. Something even more invasive, unknowable, and does not respect term limits.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:16 PM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Indeed. If we in the peanut gallery mistrust and fear the mob, so too must the ushers and stagehands with the means to close the show.
posted by notyou at 9:34 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


How many of those minority voters can he win back?
Donald Trump once spent part of his fortune on a full-page newspaper ad supporting the death penalty for five (innocent) Black and Latino children. If he makes it into the general election, you can be sure that the other side will be reminding voters of this.

How did we get to a place where a billionaire who fought the Central Park Five in court for a decade could end up running against another billionaire who campaigned for their execution?
posted by mbrubeck at 9:38 PM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]




Romney: Trump's tax returns may contain 'bombshell'

That's so cute. Romneybot 2K16 (or whoever has trotted him out) actually thinks potential Trump supporters might give a shit about his tax returns. The Republican old guard really has no idea how much the landscape has shifted.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:43 PM on February 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


Is there time to fix the voting system before the general election? With the possibility of a third-party presidential run by Bloomberg, plurality voting scares the hell out of me.
posted by sanedragon at 11:00 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh great now I'm nostalgic for Mitt now thanks Trump
posted by angrycat at 1:04 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Populism is both fun and scary.
posted by clavdivs at 1:29 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nostalgia is for those who cannot face the future nor the past.

Unless tickets are sold and refreshments available.
posted by clavdivs at 1:31 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump once spent part of his fortune on a full-page newspaper ad supporting the death penalty for five (innocent) Black and Latino children. If he makes it into the general election, you can be sure that the other side will be reminding voters of this.

... which will immediately give him an additional 5% support in the polls.

Possible spin: "The five got 40 million $ from the city. 40 million! Can you imagine? This is absolutely crazy! And they weren't exactly angels. They had rap sheets longer than 5th Avenue. They are criminals! And what did the victim get? Nothing! What a crazy world we live in. The criminals get millions of dollars and the victim gets nothing. You are damn right that I was against the settlement. This craziness has to end. On election day, the people of America will have a choice. They can decide whether they want to give more money to the criminals or whether they want to invest in a better police force and a safer America."
posted by sour cream at 2:58 AM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


you know, i wonder if Trump's next genius move will be to admit that climate change exists and his plan will be
1. Build a huge miracle something
2. Make it China's fault somehow

I mean, isn't climate change denialism built largely on fear? So why not exploit that? Convince people that Clinton/Sanders will strike international deals that will unfairly Hurt America and therefore Be Losers

I mean his formula seems to be as long as he can build something huge and/or throw punches and/or make a Deal, he'll get 'er done.

This is a little scary. As has been said before, shitty timeline, man.
posted by angrycat at 3:23 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


> I love that we still think "World War 3" is the most terrifying outcome in world affairs. It's a bit like being concerned that the enemy might be armed with Winchester rifles.

"World War 3" = a war that only lasts a few hours.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:41 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


How did we get to a place where a billionaire who fought the Central Park Five in court for a decade could end up running against another billionaire who campaigned for their execution?

This, plus the fact that Hillary campaigned for and Bernie voted for the 1994 crime bill is a perfect encapsulation of the pervasiveness of the racism woven through our country, still. When push comes to shove with politicians, whom do they sell out? At least two of these candidates are making significant promises about the future, but going by past behavior...all four have their hands dirty. But this is just a small piece of the landscape - politicians who haven't been tainted in this way are few and far between. It's sickening. Especially to think about this and hear the constant pundit refrain about "the black vote" as if black voters are pawns on a chess board and have some sort of secret decision making process to pick one candidate to vote for.
posted by sallybrown at 5:00 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




538 currently has Cruz winning Texas, Rubio winning Virginia, and Trump winning everything else on Super Tuesday. Yikes.
posted by bukvich at 5:37 AM on February 25, 2016


And if you trust one poll rather than the averages, Trump might even steal Texas.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:03 AM on February 25, 2016


That Taibbi article is scary. I feel like I finally understand when I read about the rise of terrible people thinking "how on earth could actual human beings allow this top happen?".

And then I realize I'm watching it in slow motion. Appealing to the worst in people. Appealing to their ignorance, their primal fear and rage, their greed, their sense of superiority of their race.

It depresses the absolute hell out of me. I feel like in thirty years I'm going to be sitting around the MetaFilter VR lounge with some twenty something asking me "what the hell? How did you idiots elect Trump?" like we do now with the baby boomers that let Reagan stomp into power.
posted by Talez at 6:16 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


David Corn: How the Republican Elite Created Frankentrump
Though Romney did not contend Obama was a covert Kenyan, he warmly accepted the endorsement of the nation's most prominent birther: Donald Trump. Appearing with Trump at his Las Vegas hotel before Nevada's GOP caucus in February 2012, Romney praised the real estate magnate and noted it was awesome to be backed by Trump: "There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life." By this point, Trump had sent investigators to Hawaii—or said he had—to investigate Obama's birth, and he had even suggested Obama might be a Muslim. With this meeting, Romney signaled that Trump was fine company for the GOP. Trump's over-the-top birtherism was not a disqualification. The Republican tent had room for this reality-denying reality television celebrity. (Romney, his former strategist Stuart Stevens tells me, did say no to Trump's requests to campaign with Romney and to speak at the GOP convention.)

After Obama's reelection, the hate machine churned on. Republicans continued to whip the false meme that Obama was bent on taking all guns away from Americans. They routinely claimed not that his policies were wrong but that he was feckless and weak—or dictatorial and authoritarian. Last year, Rudy Giuliani said, "I do not believe the president loves America." And Dick Cheney claimed Obama operates as if he wants to "take America down." (That's a theme Sen. Marco Rubio has, uh, repeatedly, pushed on the campaign trail, contending that the president is deliberately weakening the United States.) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz, another presidential wannabe, gave credence to the wacky notion that Obama was going to invade and seize control of Texas.

It's been a long run of Republicans accepting, encouraging, and exploiting uncivil discourse, anti-Obama hatred, and right-wing anger. (Republicans also welcomed nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions from Trump since he went birther.) The GOP raised the expectations of its Obama-detesting base and primed the pump for Trump. There is not much wonder that a xenophobic and misogynistic bigot and bully who bashes immigrants and calls for a Muslim ban—and who also slams the Republican insiders for rigging the system—should now find a receptive audience within the GOP's electorate. For years, Republicans gave their voters a taste for the reddest of meat. That increased the appetite for more. And here comes Trump the butcher with a heaping plate.

Oh, the clichés abound. You play with fire. The chickens come home to roost. Hoisted on your own petard. You reap what you sow. The call is coming from inside the house. The GOP elite laid the foundation on which Trump is building the biggest, classiest—really classy—most beautiful insurgent presidential campaign in all of US history. And there may be no emergency exit.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:30 AM on February 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


I feel like in thirty years I'm going to be sitting around the MetaFilter VR lounge with some twenty something asking me "what the hell?
We should be so lucky. More likely we will be groveling at the feet of Immortan Joe for water and food.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:30 AM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


That David Corn article reads like a cleansing catharsis of a media released from having to play the game and finally getting the opportunity to paint the landscape in realistic colours. Ugly colours. If nothing else, Candidate Trump might be the lance that releases the pus from the boil.
posted by infini at 6:46 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another in a similar vein by Conor Friedersdorf: How the Conservative Movement Enabled the Rise of Trump
Today, the very pathologies that conservatives who should’ve known better indulged as a matter of shortsighted convenience are being exploited by a reality-TV populist whose agenda is far from “libertarian.” His ascension poses an existential threat to movement conservatism. And he cannot be stopped in part because, over many years, conservative media trained its audience to respond to tribal signaling more than rigorous debate; to reflexively dismiss any complaints about speaking disrespectfully about others as bogus “political correctness;” to respond to mainstream-media criticism of public figures by redoubling their trust in them ; to value the schadenfreude of pissing off ideological opponents more than incremental policy gains; and to treat Sarah Palin as a credible candidate for the vice-presidency.

Trump could not succeed but for a large faction that grins at indecency; cheers attacks on Mexicans; sees no need for governing experience; has lost its immunity against populist misinformation and manipulation; believes that establishment officials are trying to destroy the country; elevates cultural cues over substance; and dismisses the possibility of improvement through compromise.

As movement conservatism reaps the pathologies that it sowed (even as its more responsible arms try to kill a monster that they were institutionally complicit in creating), I return once more to the talk radio host who first proved that the base could fall for a polarizing egomaniac with a penchant for crudely insulting women. Rush Limbaugh still purports to be a conservative. Yet he is still engaged in rhetoric so perfectly suited to fueling Trumpism that it is hard to believe he is unaware.
[...]
That is the message of the most popular entertainer in the conservative movement, a man hosted by Republican presidents at the White House, honored by the Heritage Foundation and the Claremont Institute, and lauded at one time or another in most every movement publication. In his funhouse-mirror telling, today’s obstructionist Republicans are all about cooperating in Washington. The illegals are coming to steal American elections, they’re shock troops for an all-powerful left that will snuff out the last remnants of the Founding, and folks with heartland values will be squashed unless a strongman with unprecedented backbone stands up to Democrats and illegals and socialists who’ll otherwise treat conservatives like Nazis.

If you believed all that was true––if you took it not as hyperbolic entertainment, but an earnest assessment of the state of the union from the stalwart who gives it to conservatives straight––perhaps you’d seriously consider voting Donald Trump, too.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:17 AM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]






Segments like that Conan thing just add fuel to their victimhood fire; "LOOK AT THESE ELITISTS MAKING FUN OF YOU!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:15 AM on February 25, 2016


For sure making fun of Trump voters will make them feel defensive. But making fun of Trump himself? How can he fill that "strongman" niche if he is also a figure of ridicule?

I think it's helpful to make fun of him, not for being racist or misogynist or crass, but for being bad at business!(He'd have made more money investing in an S&P 500 index fund back in 1983 than in his real estate investments.) For having no military experience or understanding of the military (that "nuclear triad" debate answer!) For his involvement in the entertainment industry (because nobody likes "Hollywood.") Undermine the impression of strength and savvy and success he gives off...
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:35 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


So when someone is elected President, don't they have to set aside all their business interests for the length of their term?

I can't honestly see Trump having the 'UUUUUUUUmility to do so. Has there already been discussion of this that I missed?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:40 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


People have been making fun of Donald Trump and his run for President since last August and it hasn't done a thing to stop him. In fact right now he's doing better than he ever was. The man is probably going to with Super Tuesday. I wish I knew what would stop him but I don't.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:45 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


angrycat:
"you know, i wonder if Trump's next genius move will be to admit that climate change exists and his plan will be
1. Build a huge miracle something
2. Make it China's fault somehow
"
"We've reached the top here in America. We're very advanced. We've got all sorts of clean technologies because we learned from our mistakes. But China, oh boy, China is just growing and polluting all over the place. Have you seen pictures of Beijing? You can't even breathe over there, you have to wear a mask because there's so much pollution. And they're doing it, destroying the climate, destroying the EARTH!, on OUR DOLLARS! As President I will make them play fair, get our money and jobs back and in the process SAVE THE PLANET!"

Just imagine speaking with Trump's voice and this shit flows from the Id.
posted by charred husk at 9:01 AM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hear me out: what if all this time, the GOP’s base was in it for tax cuts and racism, and didn’t give a shit about “conservative principles”

That's really unfair. There are lots of Republicans who also care deeply about the oppression of women.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2016 [27 favorites]


"When the police are dressing up in KKK drag to support Trump, I hope that, one day, some day, maybe not today, it will seem reasonable to call him a Fascist."

I don't think it's the KKK nor do I think it's the police. Looks at the 2 guys' hands in the photos. It looks like 2 black guys doing a prank.
posted by I-baLL at 9:17 AM on February 25, 2016


On last week’s episode of the Hulu series based on Conan O’Brien’s bit “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog,” the titular canine sent out a group of fake “blonde Fox News robots” to talk to crowds gathered outside of rallies for GOP candidates.

The quip is not “blonde Fox News robots”.

It's actually, "we sent multiple robotic white women."

One quip is more misogynistic than the other.

And what's with the stupid Triumph laff track? Are people so stupid that you have tell them when to laugh at your jokes?
posted by My Dad at 9:22 AM on February 25, 2016


Late back to this thread, and I still want to know:
stavrosthewonderchicken: there's light between the options of having your eye poked out with a sharpened toilet plunger handle or having your tongue torn out by a rabid wolverine, but neither is optimal in terms of quality of life.
Which is which, again?

posted by RedOrGreen at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2016


Are people so stupid that you have tell them when to laugh at your jokes?

Based on the current election, I would say, "Yes. Yes, they are that stupid."
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are people so stupid that you have tell them when to laugh at your jokes?

"Please clap..."
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:26 AM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Are people so stupid that you have tell them when to laugh at your jokes?

It seems to work for Big Bang Theory.

Oh, wait, you said "jokes."
posted by qcubed at 9:26 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's couched as metaphor, of course, but what are the odds of a straight-up assassination attempt before November?

I was telling people months ago that Reince Preibus probably has a hitman on speed dial for if Trump shows sufficient traction. I was not entirely joking.
posted by jackbishop at 9:53 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




He's already picked out his Secret Service nickname, its Mogul. As in the Central Asian invaders from Afghanistan who brought Islam to India type of Moghul. Heh.
Hee.
*snorts*...

posted by infini at 9:56 AM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I wish I knew what would stop him but I don't.

Vote for the Democrat. No matter who it is. And work your ass off to get as many other people to vote for the Democrat too. He'll probably win the nomination, yes. That still gives the sane among us one last chance to hold him back.
posted by penduluum at 10:12 AM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's couched as metaphor, of course, but what are the odds of a straight-up assassination attempt before November?

Might be dangerous for babies.
posted by My Dad at 10:19 AM on February 25, 2016


Minority basketball players targeted with racist ‘Trump’ chants at Iowa high school

I wanted to make an acerbic or insightful remark in response to this, but I'm finding that I no longer know what to say or think as Trump and his supporters continue to bring to light the racism that I have been repeatedly told either doesn't exist or doesn't exist in a meaningful quantity in this country.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:22 AM on February 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't think it's the KKK nor do I think it's the police. Looks at the 2 guys' hands in the photos. It looks like 2 black guys doing a prank.

"Why Rex, how many times have I told you to wash up after our weekly cross burnin'?"
posted by rifflesby at 10:35 AM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




I don't think it's the KKK nor do I think it's the police. Looks at the 2 guys' hands in the photos. It looks like 2 black guys doing a prank.

With a not-great camera, and bad lighting, and nighttime exposure with a lot of bring white lights contrasting with badly illuminated dark areas, together with the fact that they're wearing white klan robes and holding up white signs, I'm not remotely confident that the camera used there accurately captured their skin tone well enough to disprove anything.

It's a horrible, racist 'what color is the dress???' situation, is what I'm saying.
posted by cjelli at 10:42 AM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I assumed it was protesters as well (of no specified race) making the point that police unions are basically KKK with better uniforms.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:52 AM on February 25, 2016


Of course, if you're like me, those thoughts are usually something along the lines of "I wonder what it would feel like to stick my tongue in that light socket?" or "Feet are weird" or "WANT TO WEAR KITTY AS HAT!"

So you share at least one thought with Trump.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:07 AM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


More uh-oh for Rubio: A Quinnipiac poll out today "showed support for Trump at 44 percent in the Sunshine State, an enormous lead over Rubio, who stood at 28 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 12 percent."
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:09 AM on February 25, 2016


Remind me again how you win a general election when 72% of people in your own party in the state where you're a sitting Senator would rather you not be the party's nominee?
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:12 AM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's probably foolhardy to think, but I'm imagining that when Hilary actually gets to debate Trump, voters will see the inanity of Trump. IMO there is no possibility that he can out-debate Hilary on foreign or domestic affairs, and I think she is seasoned enough to not be riled by his empty blustering and bullying.

And maybe even people who wouldn't have voted will actually vote just to stop it all from happening.
posted by archimago at 11:12 AM on February 25, 2016


IMO there is no possibility that he can out-debate Hilary on foreign or domestic affairs, …

He won't be debating. He'll be 'riffing'.

…and I think she is seasoned enough to not be riled by his empty blustering and bullying

She won't but what will the audience think?
posted by mazola at 11:19 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


She won't but what will the audience think?

They won't.
posted by qcubed at 11:21 AM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


but I'm imagining that when Hilary actually gets to debate Trump

I wouldn't take a Hillary nom for granted any time soon
posted by localhuman at 11:26 AM on February 25, 2016


"With a not-great camera, and bad lighting, and nighttime exposure with a lot of bring white lights contrasting with badly illuminated dark areas, together with the fact that they're wearing white klan robes and holding up white signs, I'm not remotely confident that the camera used there accurately captured their skin tone well enough to disprove anything."

It's not just the one photo. It's multiple photos from multiple angles. Here's an article from the Atlanta Black Star:

https://atlantablackstar.com/2016/02/25/black-protesters-dressed-as-kkk-stump-for-trump-but-some-folks-missed-the-satire/
posted by I-baLL at 11:38 AM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think both Hillary and Bernie could crush Trump in a debate. Hillary is wily and very quick on her feet and able to let Trump walk into a trap without tipping him off. Bernie is sincere and will be angry in a good way at dealing with Trump's con job. Both are hugely more knowledgable than Trump. The key for both will be to steer away from talking points and let Trump dig his own grave, slowly poking at him all the way into it.
posted by sallybrown at 11:43 AM on February 25, 2016


> And maybe even people who wouldn't have voted will actually vote just to stop it all from happening.

This miiiiiiight happen, but even if it does I bet that number would be swamped by the number of people who would happily rush to the polls to vote for the rich guy they saw on the teevee.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


In a twist that will surprise no one, the most recent anti-Trump memes I've seen pop up are some of Melania's bathing suit / lingerie modeling photos with scolding, woman-shaming comments about family values. Fighting bigotry with misogyny, how original.
posted by sallybrown at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Remind me again how you win a general election when 72% of people in your own party in the state where you're a sitting Senator would rather you not be the party's nominee?

You hope it takes more than 8 months for people in the other 49 to learn what a shitburger you are.
posted by phearlez at 11:55 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


All these comments about how a prospective Dem candidate will crush Trump in the debates entirely miss the point of why Trump is doing so well. Hint: it's not about ability to talk intelligently about policy, nor is it about experience with the Washington apparatus. We are way past time for doing basic issues education here. The moment Hillary looks like a formal put together headmistress using proper and precise language and not getting ruffled by Trump's random declarations ... well, that is the same moment that she loses any remaining credibility with his supporters and a whole lot of undecideds.

The point of the debates won't be to change people's minds, it will be to inspire people who wouldn't otherwise vote to come out and vote against Trump. That doesn't take nuanced discussion of issues; it requires drawing the lines, hitting hard and making promises to her base that resonate as much as the promises he's making to his. "I'm not Trump" and "Boo! Supreme Court" may not cut it, but I'm concerned that is all people are going to absorb if she's the nominee.
posted by meinvt at 12:03 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


IMO there is no possibility that he can out-debate Hilary on foreign or domestic affairs,

Trump is many things, but he is not stupid. Or not dumb. I mean, he's canny. And I would not be confident Hilary or Bernie could in fact persuade him to tie his own noose, after giving him enough rope.

Whoever beats him in a debate, and not just to their own supporters, will have to subsume Trump and then out Trump Trump. It'll be a heck of a feat and I know I'd like to see it, but it'll be a hell of a lot like pig-wrestling.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:04 PM on February 25, 2016


I should say, to head off the potential derail from that comment - it is more intended to be about the fact that Trump's popularity isn't about nuance, so it isn't reasonable to expect more nuanced debaters to "expose" him and strip any support. Maybe Bernie wouldn't do any better, for the same reason that he wants to talk issues and not personality/showy politics. The articles talking about how the last few decades have prepared our country for the success of this run by Trump are spot on.
posted by meinvt at 12:05 PM on February 25, 2016


Well, I'm hoping the same immune response of Democracy that caused Sarah Palin to crash and fail will kick in sometime soon. The press and general public has treated Trump as a baffling, fascinating oddity until now, but that's fading fast as it seems increasingly likely he will be the Republican candidate.

But at least Trump has helped me to understand the appeal of dictatorship. It's not that people want to be dictated to. It's that there is a strongly antidemocratic sensibility in this country, held deep by a million dictator wanna-bes, who all feel like, if I could just be in charge, I wouldn't take no shit. I'd just kick the Muslims out. I'd just build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. Somebody protests, I'd beat them up, and let's see if that ever happened again.

All these little tyrants want a candidate of their own to do their tyrant stuff for them. The impulse toward totalitarianism is not that you will be victimized by totalitarianism, it's that somebody else will, and they should be.
posted by maxsparber at 12:09 PM on February 25, 2016 [32 favorites]


When Trump steps onto a debate set, he sees it for what he wants it to be: a WWE/Luche Libre stage. He owns that stage like no other candidate in the race today. If I were Hillary or Bernie, I wouldn't go near him in that venue. Plenty of other mediums, old and new, where he might be beat.
posted by klarck at 12:15 PM on February 25, 2016




Like ... he's not going to debate. He's not even going to show up. Actually what I think he'll do is go to one debate, attack his opponent viciously, lie repeatedly, and then never go again. Who's going to care? People willing to vote for him will see it as a sign of strength, a strongarm negotiation. People unwilling to vote for him won't change their minds.

Imagine what a normal candidate would do, then imagine the opposite. He's not playing by the script and he's got absolutely nothing to lose. Any time he might be in a weak spot, he will just refuse to engage entirely. Why not? He's the boss, he doesn't have to show up to the meeting if he doesn't want to. Even if he's the one who called it.
posted by penduluum at 12:18 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Alas, I think out of all the Democrats, Joe Biden is the one who would easily have handed Trump his ass in a debate.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:29 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've watched most of the GOP debates, and Trump hasn't exactly mopped the floor at all of them, there's been some when he's been low key (dare one say low energy?), some where he's actually tried to sound like he's thinking seriously about policy, some where, no shit, he sounded like the most reasonable guy on stage. It's not all slamming Jeb! around with devastating piledrivers, that's just the stuff that stands out.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:29 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]




I've been quite curious about whether the current pundit speculation of people dropping out hurting Trump was really correct.. it seems to me like most of the pundits are assuming none of the dropouts supporters will choose Trump, which seems... pretty unrealistic.

So, thanks to the link showing an NBC poll with people's second choices from earlier by candidate, I was able to do a quick Nate Silver-style analysis that looks at what happens if various candidates drop out of the race.

Essentially, when a candidate drops out of the race, their supporters move to their second pick. The second picks were polled back when Christie, Fiorina, and Bush were still in the race, so I've moved people whose second pick is any of those candidates to the DK category since we don't know who they would choose from there. That pool of undecideds are the remaining people available for the candidates to fight over.


Here are the current 538 poll average (polls only) for all the GOP states through March 15th:
            state cruz rubio trump carson kasich   dk
1           texas 33.8  22.7  28.0    5.3    7.7  2.5
2         georgia 20.8  24.1  35.1    9.2    8.8  2.0
3        arkansas 14.5  22.4  40.8   10.0    8.3  4.0
4            mass 10.1  15.6  48.7    2.8   12.2 10.6
5        oklahoma 23.9  24.8  34.7    7.4    5.6  3.6
6        virginia 22.4  24.8  31.9    9.5    8.2  3.2
7        michigan 16.0  13.4  40.0   12.0   15.1  3.5
8         florida 21.3  22.1  41.9    8.6    3.1  3.0
9         illnois 15.0  14.0  27.6    6.2   12.7 24.5
10 north_carolina 21.5  19.4  34.9   11.8   10.2  2.2
11           ohio 19.2  12.2  33.2    5.9   28.6  0.9 

It's widely expected that Carson and Kasich will drop out. Here's what happens if Carson and Kasich drop out today.
            state   cruz  rubio  trump     dk percent_dk
1           texas 35.842 25.396 30.398  8.364  -65.08847
2         georgia 23.888 27.684 38.532  9.896  109.62005
3        arkansas 17.730 25.992 44.328 11.950  153.43933
4            mass 11.992 18.976 51.268 17.764  181.78338
5        oklahoma 26.236 27.328 37.224  9.212  107.42510
6        virginia 25.500 28.288 35.302 10.910   64.28964
7        michigan 20.390 18.944 45.056 15.610  158.01409
8         florida 23.674 24.220 44.288  7.818  256.68969
9         illnois 17.758 18.040 30.996 33.206   39.01705
10 north_carolina 25.352 23.736 39.128 11.784  116.90428
11           ohio 23.476 20.008 39.074 17.442   89.42782
percent_dk here is the percent of undecided voters that would need to flip to the 2nd place candidate to beat trump. In the case of texas, the negative sign means he's already behind. As you can see, for the majority of states, more than 100% of the undecided voters would have to flip to trump's competitor for Trump to lose, which is... impossible. Trump is still in a commanding lead in this situation.

The punditocracy seems to think that the GOP is going to convince Cruz to drop out. I can't see Cruz doing anything for the good of the party, let alone give up his chance to be president, but let's assume they convince him. Here's what it looks like:
            state  rubio  trump     dk percent_dk
1           texas 36.550 39.186 24.264   10.86383
2         georgia 34.548 43.940 21.512   43.65935
3        arkansas 30.777 48.098 21.125   81.99290
4            mass 22.309 53.894 23.797  132.72681
5        oklahoma 35.215 43.438 21.347   38.52064
6        virginia 35.680 41.126 23.194   23.48021
7        michigan 24.224 49.216 26.560   94.09639
8         florida 31.249 49.826 18.925   98.16116
9         illnois 22.990 34.896 42.114   28.27088
10 north_carolina 30.831 44.718 24.451   56.79522
11           ohio 26.344 44.066 29.590   59.89186
Now, the lead in Texas has flipped from Cruz to Trump, but it's a much closer race. Trump still has Massachusetts on complete lockdown, Michigan, Florida, and Arkansas virtually locked, and probable leads in North Carolina and Ohio. Rubio looks likely to win Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma.

And the longer it takes other candidates to drop out, the bigger a lead Trump builds, making it even harder to catch up in the delegate math. Florida and Ohio, the winner take all states, would be split between the two of them, but Florida has 99 delegates to Ohio's 66, so that puts Trump even further ahead.

In other words, unless something drastic changes, I don't see a likelihood of anybody knocking Trump off his throne.
posted by zug at 12:45 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


What are the chances that Trump would introduce national service?
posted by Talez at 12:47 PM on February 25, 2016


And I should add, in the most likely Trump-Cruz-Rubio scenario, someone beating Trump in a given state isn't enough, because Cruz and Rubio split the states they win, meaning that Trump will continue to get further ahead of both of them.
posted by zug at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2016


From Bklyn:
"Whoever beats him in a debate, and not just to their own supporters, will have to subsume Trump and then out Trump Trump. "
I've been thinking it would be hilarious (but not necessarily effective) for Clinton to just OWN all the shit flung at her the same way Trump does.
"Yeah, I took their money. I took your money, too, Donald. What did you get for that, huh? I got a nice car, you got squat because I don't owe you anything."
"Everybody knew I was using my own email server. Lots of people have had their own email server. Know why? The government one sucks and I get things done. You only care now because you're AFRAID!"
"Yeah, Bill banged Monica. Hell, so did I!"
posted by charred husk at 12:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [23 favorites]


Matt Taibbi: The Official GOP Debate Drinking Game Rules, Pt. 10

Sometimes, one can see that Taibbi got his start working in Moscow with Mark Ames, because his proposed rules would kill most people.
posted by frimble at 12:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


The people that think trump is as moronic as he's acting are forgetting his Wharton degree in economics. He's gone to top schools, and graduated from them. He's built, lost, and rebuilt more empires than Persian kings of old. He is many things, rude, uncultured, tacky and horrible, but he's not stupid. He's the master of opportunists, and he realized the hate fields sown by previous republicans were ripe. He is bringing in the sheaths.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:02 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm kind of wondering if it would be better not to try to out anger Trump, but just try to be reasonable and point out that as much as it feels good to be angry and blame other people, it doesn't actually lead to a good place. Basically, Americans have had to endure a lot, but they've changed things not with being angry but by actually working through it. In short, someone that can credibly portray themselves as the "Therapist-in-Chief".

Or maybe I'm thinking too much of Tobias Funke.
posted by FJT at 1:02 PM on February 25, 2016


Nobody is dropping out before Super Tuesday. The big questions are whether Cruz wins Texas or Rubio wins Florida. However I expect Carson and Kasich to be dropping out by Weds and then we will see.
posted by fraxil at 1:03 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's that there is a strongly antidemocratic sensibility in this country inherent to the human condition

Fixed that for you. Americans aren't special, we just happen to have more little green cloth rectangles with numbers on them than the average homo sapiens.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:05 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Matt Taibbi: The Official GOP Debate Drinking Game Rules, Pt. 10

On the one hand, there's no way that my stomach and liver can handle that level of alcohol. On the other hand, that's not nearly enough booze to obliterate the disgust and terror that I feel when I contemplate any of those people being president.
posted by octothorpe at 1:06 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow. So apparently not only did all of the Republican candidates completely fail to do a full run of oppo research on Trump (we "thought it was a joke" said an official with Right to Rise, Jeb Bush's super PAC), but according to Democrats who actually have done their oppo research, a good 80% of the material they've dug up on Trump over the last 8 months hasn't even come out yet. What an unbelievable failure on the part of the GOP. Classic collective action problem - everyone thought it was somebody else's problem to solve (and/or was way too afraid of Trump's retaliation to even think about attacking him).
posted by dialetheia at 1:08 PM on February 25, 2016 [19 favorites]


In short, someone that can credibly portray themselves as the "Therapist-in-Chief".

That seems pretty low energy to me.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:09 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of wondering if it would be better not to try to out anger Trump, but just try to be reasonable and point out that as much as it feels good to be angry and blame other people, it doesn't actually lead to a good place.

Nope, five demerits to you. As punishment you have to go back and read ALL the insufferable articles written over the last seven years exhorting Obama to just show some anger.
posted by phearlez at 1:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


What an unbelievable failure on the part of the GOP.

What would the opposition research do to him, though? He's invincible to any kind of negative attack. If Trump scams people, that makes him tougher. If he lies, it shows he's got the kind of wily-moxy we want in our tough-guy leader. If he's done bad things to the women in his life, then it shows he's virile and macho. He could have illegitimate children, a rape conviction, be currently under indictment for fraud, etc., and it wouldn't stop him. Really the only thing that would stop him would be to find out he was actually a muslim sleeper agent sent by ISIS to overthrow america.

Rick Perlstein wrote an excellent piece for The Baffler a few years ago that really gets to the heart of this. It's more about the Romney-era of the GOP, but it does an even better job of explaining Trump's appeal. The GOP base likes that their leaders are liars. Knowing that they're con-artists somehow makes them more trustworthy. Trump comes right out and says: look at me, I'm the puppet-master, I've been screwing you all for years. And they like him all the better because he's a conman. He's their conman. He's their bastard.
posted by dis_integration at 1:16 PM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Sometimes, one can see that Taibbi got his start working in Moscow with Mark Ames, because his proposed rules would kill most people.

Come up with 12 more and I'll make a bingo board.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:18 PM on February 25, 2016


What an unbelievable failure on the part of the GOP.

Don't forget that the party leadership has conflicting motivations here. They're well aware they're a party having issues with losing on growth of new members and Trump isn't the first opportunistic infection taking advantage of their inability to reject anyone. They can't afford to lose any of their base and now they have this crackpot driving record turnouts. It seems certain there's arguments going on daily in their HQ about whether the pain he causes is worth the enthusiasm he inspires.

The retaliation thing is big too. It doesn't do them any good to force him out of the GOP nomination if the result is him trying an independent bid and taking away the votes they need to win the White House. Or angering party loyalists such that it negatively impacts down-ticket races.
posted by phearlez at 1:29 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the GOP is in a bind. If they force Trump out he runs third party and destroys their chances. But its a bind of their own making since the establishment types fanned these flames for years. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 PM on February 25, 2016


Unquestionably. Here's that monkey's paw you wanted, dickheads. It's what makes Gingrich saying that the media made Trump so eye-rolley. This arrow left the string when Nixon was President. But it's why they're never going to solve this problem for themselves.
posted by phearlez at 1:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The more I think about the bind Trump has put the GOP in, the more I think that Trump-as-Snape theory isn't as far-fetched as it might seem.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:36 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump-as-Snape

You take that back.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:37 PM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's that there is a strongly antidemocratic sensibility in this country inherent to the human condition

Fixed that for you. Americans aren't special,


Actually, I disagree with you. Americans always think everyone anywhere in the world is exactly like them, or wants to be exactly like them. This is incorrect.

All you have to do is look at the October 2015 Canadian election, where 70% of Canadians voted against the incumbent and quite anti-democratic Harper Conservatives.

The US is special (as is every other polity). You guys have a real problem down there.
posted by My Dad at 1:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, and we voted in Obama while you guys voted in the Harper Conservatives in the first place. You can't just pick one election.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


The people that think trump is as moronic as he's acting are forgetting his Wharton degree in economics. He's gone to top schools, and graduated from them. He's built, lost, and rebuilt more empires than Persian kings of old. He is many things, rude, uncultured, tacky and horrible, but he's not stupid.

People insisted on saying exactly the same sorts of things about George W Bush, for the same sorts of reasons. I refuse to play along. George was and is dirt stick stone stupid, and so, I am quite certain, is Donald. I don't underestimate them (or, you know, misunderestimate) because stupid people can do a lot more damage than clever ones, but I have no illusions about their intellectual shortcomings.

I don't know where the idea that graduating from a famous University somehow means you're a major intellect came from. It doesn't. It means you have enough money to attend, and little else.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


So assuming Trump-as-Snape, what's the plan? Wait until he gets the nom, and then tank his own campaign? Are there procedures to take back someone's nomination? Or is it that he will wait to be elected/appointed Headmaster and then undermine the Republican Party from within?

(Also, if he is elected but has not yet taken office, but resigns, does it go automatically to his Veep?)
posted by corb at 2:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, and we voted in Obama while you guys voted in the Harper Conservatives in the first place. You can't just pick one election.

The current displays of overt Fascism in the United States are ugly but not particularly unique to its people. Canada looks nice and friendly from the outside, but has a lot more dirt in its past than just Harper and C-24 and the rest of his party's Fascist-flavored bullshit. Indigenous children separated from families. Eugenics. Harper's the tip of a jackbooted iceberg.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


If Trump is playing the long con, he isn't playing as Snape, he's playing as Hans Gruber. He's pretending to be the ultimate outsider, terrorist of mainstream politics. If elected, it turns out that he's just an exceptional thief.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 2:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I understood that reference.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




Anyone who is holding out for a Trump/Clinton or Trump/Sanders debate to finally destroy Trump doesn't understand the reality here. Sample debate scenarios:

CLINTON: Mr. Trump has no clear policies. He has no relationships with congress. His talking points are racist, fascist, and dangerous.
TRUMP: I'm rich. If I murder someone you'd still vote for me. Look over there, Hilary's having some kind of Woman Problems or something. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

SANDERS: I have spent my whole life fighting for all american citizens. Mr. Trump has been running hotels and hosting TV shows when he wasn't spouting horrible racism.
TRUMP: I'm rich. If I murder someone, you'd still vote for me. Look at that wacky old Jewish guy over there. I think he's a communist or something. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

In both cases, the headlines from liberal media would say "Democrat Wipes Floor with Trump" but his supporters would still be supporting him. Hell, he would probably gain supporters.

We are not dealing with rational people who use logic and reason to decide who is the "winner" here.

I think the only way a democrat could "win" would be to take every bit of their time and spend it talking about voter turnout. "Do you want that man to be president? If not, vote!" over and over.
posted by mmoncur at 3:12 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Classic collective action problem - everyone thought it was somebody else's problem to solve (and/or was way too afraid of Trump's retaliation to even think about attacking him).

The 2016 GOP primary fight, explained.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:17 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


All the Republicans have in their carefully curated inventory, are weak sauce fancy boys of privilege who are in some perpetual pupae state, waiting for the mythical royal jelly that will make them strong American leaders and men. They borrow words from tracts, make money off of tract housing, hate everyone who makes them feel anything but the comforts of their varying self deceptions. At least Trump takes responsibility for showing himself a good time. These other people have not progressed beyond waiting for the cookies and milk, and still wait for the accolades. I quote,

"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men, alas
Our voices when we whisper together,
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind through dry grass,
Or rats feet over broken glass"

TS Eliot
posted by Oyéah at 3:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


There's some talk about the conservative movement fielding a third-party candidate if Trump wins the Republican nomination. This is based partially on the strong opposition among many conservatives to Trump and also on the following strategic considerations (quote from the link above):
* In some states, a right-of-center electorate divided between Trump and a conservative challenger could turn out more total voters who’d support down-ballot Republicans than a Trump vs. Clinton race where conservatives stayed home.
* If Trump wins, there will be a lot of establishment campaign professionals who’d benefit financially from a third-party challenge by a movement conservative (and who wouldn’t fear being branded disloyal for staffing one).
* Many neoconservatives would prefer an Israel-loving, interventionist hawk like Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump, but also value their place in the conservative movement. Supporting a third-party challenge by a hawkish conservative would be much less disruptive to their network of alliances than openly supporting a hawkish Democrat, even if the likely outcome is the same...
* Right now, we’re seeing Trump in a Republican primary. He is more deferential to the conservative movement now than he would be in a general election—and he’s already breaking with party orthodoxy on health care, entitlements, Planned Parenthood, and foreign policy. I don’t know exactly what he’d say in a general election, but at some point, the faction of the GOP that’s spent 8 years obsessed with ideological purity will rebel. Like Erickson, they'll argue that it’s better to go down fighting as conservatives than to compromise their values. Intransigence is consistent enough with their preexisting beliefs and past behavior to make me believe they’d abandon the GOP for the right candidate

Whether or not that happens, it seems pretty clear that the rise of Trump is threatening to fracture the GOP coalition.
posted by overglow at 3:37 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


We are not dealing with rational people who use logic and reason to decide who is the "winner" here.

Obviously, this is anecdotal. I had an absolutely fascinating (and civil) discussion with a Trump supporter and some of our mutual friends the other day. She was an Obama supporter but her family business is losing a lot of money because of the ACA. So she's switched to being a Trump supporter because "The ACA isn't helping anyone and doctors don't even support it."

So, several of our mutual friends mentioned that the only reason they had health insurance and were able to deal with some pretty serious shit was because of the ACA. She was pleasantly surprised. I pointed out that most medical professional's opinions regarding the ACA seem to be dictated more by their political party than the actual impact (source). She replied that she doesn't read stuff and is going on the opinions of people she knows in the medical field. I asked her what plan Trump had to make sure her business stopped losing money but our friends didn't lose health care.

She replied that she really supported Single Payer, so I asked "why not Sanders, then?" She doesn't think he's a viable candidate. I pointed out that Trump doesn't support single payer (not since 2000) and that his system wouldn't help our friends stay on insurance.

Her response? In essence, that she thinks he knows the insurance industry is corrupt and believes he will do something to help them, even though he's never said it. She had a similar response when we pointed out the racist parts of his campaign, first saying she doesn't listen to the media noise and then saying "he doesn't really believe that stuff he says."

So she doesn't support Trump based on what he says. She supports Trump based on what she hopes he might actually believe.

I had no reply.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:52 PM on February 25, 2016 [30 favorites]


Joey -- better than the trump supporters who believe Trump will make America great again because that's what it says on his hat.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:59 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]




Erickson likes his own brand of racism and authoritarianism more than he likes Trump's.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:04 PM on February 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


So she doesn't support Trump based on what he says. She supports Trump based on what she hopes he might actually believe.

God, I think that's it. Politically he's kind of a cipher (because he has no interest in being consistent in his beliefs), but in some weird reality TV way he's likeable. He passes the "would have a beer with this guy" test way better than Rubio or Cruz. I think that's almost his whole appeal. Just like G.W. Bush, back in 2000 against Gore... He doesn't sound wonky and out of touch, or like a politician who is used to calculating the impact of every sentence on opinion polls, and rehearsing them in advance. He sounds like regular folks we all know, a little bit of a loud mouth, but at least you know what he's thinking...

People like that. They don't know where the candidates stand or even where they stand on a lot of issues, maybe, but they feel like they are a good judge of character, and Trump seems like a decent guy to them. So he'll probably do all right by them, one way or another.

I don't know how you fight that, though. If that's right, it doesn't matter what anyone says about policies or anything else. If people like him for the way he laughs and his zingers and his "honesty" and don't feel the need to look any deeper... well, we can't take those away from him.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:05 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Politically he's kind of a cipher

Isn't that kind of like the Obama '08 campaign? I think Obama had more specifics, but I think a lot of his campaign was capturing and reflecting what mood the country was in.

And that's what Trump is doing. He's running as a Mirror Universe Obama.
posted by FJT at 4:10 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


debate thread declared?
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really think he's just an Alpha and people who are drawn to Alphas are drawn to him. His whole persona is based on undercutting 'lesser' men and sexualizing women. It hit me when he cut Jeb off about his mother, saying something about 'maybe your mother should have run'. The crowd loved it. That's what they want. He's the heel in wrestling, he's the larger than life persona - HE IS A REAL MAN.

People who want rules and authority want an alpha. They don't know why they want an alpha, but hey, here he is, I'm sure he'll know what to do.
posted by readery at 4:17 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


"When the police are dressing up in KKK drag to support Trump, I hope that, one day, some day, maybe not today, it will seem reasonable to call him a Fascist."

The thing is, thanks to Jonah Goldberg a lot of conservatives think that fascism = liberalism, so they won't even understand the accusation.
posted by homunculus at 4:19 PM on February 25, 2016


##### DEBATE THREAD DECLARED ######

MAY THE GODS OF OLDE HAVE MERCY ON US ALL.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Whether or not that happens, it seems pretty clear that the rise of Trump is threatening to fracture the GOP coalition.

Good. Upend the corporate-church-war triad. End this abomination of Mammon, Yaldabaoth, and Baal.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:23 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


[frenzied chanting]
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:23 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


> He passes the "would have a beer with this guy" test way better than Rubio or Cruz.

If those are the only three choices, I'm going home and drinking alone.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:26 PM on February 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think the only way a democrat could "win" would be to take every bit of their time and spend it talking about voter turnout.

A Democrat could totally win a Trump debate, provided they were willing to play by Trump debate rules.

TRUMP: "I'm rich. I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
DEM: You started out with Daddy's millions, and then you went bankrupt. Is that why you want to shoot somebody? Did you take mob money to buy your way back into the game, Mr. Trump? Is that how you're going to "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" - by breaking America's legs if we don't pay back the vig?
TRUMP: "Uh... MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
DEM: America is great now. Why do you hate America, Mr. Trump? Is that why you keep marrying foreign wives?
TRUMP: "Uh... We have to have a wall. We have to have a border. And in that wall we’re going to have a big fat door where people can come into the country, but they have to come in legally."
DEM: Are Ivanka and Eric anchor babies, Mr. Trump? Does that door by any chance lead into your bedroom?
TRUMP: "I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her."
DEM: Say again?
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 4:29 PM on February 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


People like that. They don't know where the candidates stand or even where they stand on a lot of issues, maybe, but they feel like they are a good judge of character, and Trump seems like a decent guy to them. So he'll probably do all right by them, one way or another.

I think he's really used his celebrity status to his benefit. For one thing, he was on NBC primetime for over a decade. People get used to him being in their living rooms. Seeing him bully around wannabe businesspeople of every color and creed makes it harder to imagine him as really a hooded Kleagle in disguise. It gives him both a sense of respectability (why would Hollywood, the networks, and the venerable WWF give airtime to a racist?) but also a touch of humanity (you see his bulldog personality, jowls and all). Sure, there are always celebrities that have fallen out of favor for extreme bigotry (see Mel Gibson), but somehow Trump has avoided that, despite his comments. Somehow he remains acceptable by the mainstream.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:30 PM on February 25, 2016


DEM: America is great now. Why do you hate America, Mr. Trump?

Honestly, back in the Bush era I've wondered why Democrats never respond to fire with fire. When Republicans push for the PATRIOT Act, call them cowards. When they say our military is weak, bring up the amount the government has spent on the F-35 and bash them for belittling are armed forces, then switch to how we need to double the VA budget. Mock them for getting hysterical over nations that we could conquer ten times over, but we don't need to, because that's the mark of a bigger country. Call them un-patriotic for fearing immigrants. Call them disrespectful to our nation's finest boys in blue for their opposition to gun control and attachment to the castle doctrine. Quote a bunch of Teddy Roosevelt. It's really not all that hard.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [34 favorites]


Does that door by any chance lead into your bedroom?

To be fair, there's also a door leading to the HR department of his resorts.
posted by peeedro at 4:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


If those are the only three choices, I'm going home and drinking alone.

TRUMP: Doesn't drink, but recommends an expensive Eastern European import that his beer-enthusiast friends, very smart people who know a lot about beer, have assured him is the best, just a great beer.

RUBIO: Orders a Corona Light, gets the lime stuck halfway down the neck, pretends to sip it. You find his beer tucked behind your couch, still 7/8 full, the morning after the party.

CRUZ: Orders a Budweiser, effusively praises its wholesome Americanness, discreetly has an aide swap it for a bone chalice filled with the black bile of a hanged man (his signature cocktail).
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [33 favorites]


Did the debate thread get deleted? I don't see it.
posted by zug at 4:42 PM on February 25, 2016


It was forcefully deported.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 4:43 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


YOU'RE IN IT, BABY.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Though it would be too much to hope for, what would be truly entertaining is if the GOP split not twain but into thirds. Cruz seems fervent enough to want to continue his cultish Tea Party crusade if he doesn't get picked as the candidate for the anti-Trump emergency GOP third party campaign. Imagine a replay of 1948, where the Democratic Party similarly broke three-ways between Truman, Dixiecrats, and Progressives. It'd be the establishment Rubio-Romney-Kasich-Jeb? either under brokered RNC aegis or in an emergency splinter campaign, the populist Trump the conman-queror of the GOP nomination or furious pathbreaking third party, and finally the great Tea Party Cruz-ade.

And no, it's not going to happen, because our first-past-the-post system makes third parties toxic because everyone's afraid of vote-splitting. And the Koch's and other Tea Party ideological leaders/financiers would put the kibosh on Cruz to focus on their parachute ticket. But it would be glorious.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


MAY THE GODS OF OLDE HAVE MERCY ON US ALL.

We are fucced
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:55 PM on February 25, 2016


CNN: Rubio Campaign Is Prepping For Contested GOP Convention

It's really hard to decide between whether Rubio is merely completely stupid because he's preparing for one, or monumentally stupid because he thinks this is a good thing for either his political prospects or those of the GOP in general.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:56 PM on February 25, 2016


A contested convention from which three parties emerge (the Alpha Republicans, the Grand Old Republicans, and the People's Republican Front of Judea) would be the least-darkest of all timelines!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:58 PM on February 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Trump pulls off the mask, and it's Johnny Depp.
posted by box at 5:01 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio has lost his marbles if he thinks that he can steal the nomination from Trump in a contested convention. Trump will run third party in a split second just to spite the GOP.
posted by zug at 5:05 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


From "How to Break a Party":

In 2016, though, something new is happening. A united front isn’t being forged; instead, we have both a religious conservative and a populist insurgency, the former led by Ted Cruz and the latter by that most unlikely populist, Mr. Trump.

In theory this should keep the coalition’s weaker partners divided. But Trump is such a phenomenon that he’s winning enough Enterprisers and enough evangelicals to break out of the Buchananite box, while Cruz has a level of funding and organization that no religious conservative candidate has enjoyed before.

Their joint strength has left less than half of the vote available to the candidates running Republican campaigns — and since there are still three of those candidates, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich, we have a strange logjam in which no candidate favored by the party’s normal senior partners can seem to claim more than 20 percent of the vote.


It really makes me wonder if Trump had decided to sit 2016 out, how far Cruz would have gotten, and if the GOP establishment would be scrambling in panic to defeat him. Sure, he's an actual elected Republican. On the other hand, everyone hates him. But I guess the Tea Party is "conventional" enough (unlike Trumpism) for the RNC to absorb, extort, and assimilate. It's just really interesting that Trump's success is partly due to Cruz's simultaneous success within a niche, and complete odiousness outside that niche. Do other Tea Party leaders even like him, or is he his own standard-bearer?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:08 PM on February 25, 2016


It really makes me wonder if Trump had decided to sit 2016 out, how far Cruz would have gotten, and if the GOP establishment would be scrambling in panic to defeat him.

We can't answer what would have happened had he never run, but I re-ran my scenario calculator from earlier to answer what would happen if Trump dropped out tomorrow. Trump voters go 24% for Cruz vs only 14% for Rubio, which tightens the margins between the two.

In fact, Rubio and Cruz would be in a dead heat, but leaning pretty favorably toward Cruz. Rubio would be ahead only in Arkansas (by 4%) and Mass (by 3%). They'd be within 1% in Georgia and Virginia, within 2-4% in Arkansas, Florida and Illnois. The only "comfortable" (>10%) leads would be Texas and Ohio, both for Cruz.

It would be a very competitive race but I think Cruz would be seen as the rightful frontrunner.
posted by zug at 5:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


A no-Trump race, I'm only guessing, would've left more room for relatively-moderate people to speak. Pataki and probably Gilmore would still be doomed, but Jeb might still be in it.
posted by box at 5:24 PM on February 25, 2016


Man, remember George HW Bush? A Republican who, for all my disagreements with him, didn't destroy the country and usher in the apocalypse? Good times. Good times.
posted by Justinian at 5:34 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hey, Carson made it out onto the stage. He's having a good night so far.
posted by homunculus at 5:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Seriously, what does Carson get from staying in this race? The ability to command higher speaking fees after he drops out?
posted by dhens at 5:36 PM on February 25, 2016


Man, remember George HW Bush? A Republican who, for all my disagreements with him, didn't destroy the country and usher in the apocalypse? Good times. Good times.

If only he had never reproduced.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 5:36 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


jinx, homunculus
posted by dhens at 5:36 PM on February 25, 2016


I haven't watched one of these sober in years; have they always looked like reality TV game shows? Holy shit this is bad.
posted by bonje at 5:36 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait - Carson is still in the race? Has anyone mentioned this to Carson?
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 5:37 PM on February 25, 2016


If only he had never reproduced.

Please clap rimshot.
posted by dhens at 5:37 PM on February 25, 2016


Man, remember George HW Bush? A Republican who, for all my disagreements with him, didn't destroy the country and usher in the apocalypse? Good times. Good times.

At least we know there'll never be a President worse than Bill Clinton. Imagine, lying in a deposition in a civil lawsuit. That's the worst sin a President can commit!
posted by Talez at 5:37 PM on February 25, 2016


Someone needs to tell the country music star that it's "o'er the land of the free" not "for the land of the free".
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Man, remember George HW Bush?

Fuck that guy. At the time, I referred to him as the most evil man in the western hemisphere, and in the quarter-century since, I haven't seen much that would cause me to modify my views.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:38 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


...along with the dramatic almost-"Pirates of the Caribbean" theme...
posted by bonje at 5:38 PM on February 25, 2016


Fuck that guy. At the time, I referred to him as the most evil man in the western hemisphere, and in the quarter-century since, I haven't seen much that would cause me to modify my views.

Dick Cheney
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 5:39 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


'Here's a little thing we learned in CIA!'
posted by box at 5:39 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Someone needs to tell the country music star that it's "o'er the land of the free" not "for the land of the free".

This is a constituency that doesn't realize the irony of Trump walking in to his rallys to "Revolution", cities playing "Little Pink Houses" on July 4th or Reagan using "Born in the USA" as a campaign them. As long as it sounds right.
posted by Talez at 5:40 PM on February 25, 2016


Dick Cheney

Oh certainly, far worse bastards have come (and some have gone) since, including his son. But at the time in the late 80s, he personified banal evil, for me at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 PM on February 25, 2016


I haven't seen much that would cause me to modify my views.

Yep. Still better than the current crop.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on February 25, 2016


They should ask Carson questions while they're at commercial, like when your little brother got to "play nintendo" with you but his controller wasn't plugged in.
posted by DynamiteToast at 5:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


Oh, yeah - late 80s, banal evil, GHW Bush was The Brand.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 5:43 PM on February 25, 2016


Why the hell are you watching this sober?
posted by corb at 5:43 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


'America's great'--Kasich. Too subtle.
posted by box at 5:44 PM on February 25, 2016


Jeez, Ted needs a shave.
posted by box at 5:45 PM on February 25, 2016


I feel the need for deep hurting.
posted by bonje at 5:46 PM on February 25, 2016


WIN WIN WIN WIN WINNER WINNING WIN WINNING WIN WIN WIN
posted by gatorae at 5:46 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Our borders shouldn't look like Swiss cheese, they should look like American cheese.
posted by dhens at 5:46 PM on February 25, 2016


Fuck that guy. At the time, I referred to him as the most evil man in the western hemisphere, and in the quarter-century since, I haven't seen much that would cause me to modify my views.

Dick Cheney


Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 5:47 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think I'm gonna drink anytime the internet is referenced. Shout outs to their websites, Wolf reading a facebook question, etc.
posted by DynamiteToast at 5:48 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeez, Ted needs a shave.

Hope he has a Nixon moment.
posted by futz at 5:49 PM on February 25, 2016


That's funny. Jim never vomits at home.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 5:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Arpaio would be a perfect VP for Trump.
posted by homunculus at 5:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


(If you need Deep Hurting, TV’s Frank is live-tweeting the debate…)
posted by nicepersonality at 5:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's the upseason!
posted by box at 5:51 PM on February 25, 2016


Who are these Democrats talking to Ted Cruz? My bet is Cruz misheard "You're an asshole" as "You're doing what you said you were going to do."
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:51 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Really annoying that CNN doesn't stream the debate online outside the US.
posted by snofoam at 5:51 PM on February 25, 2016


"Donald Trump: My whole thing is Make America Great Again. We don’t win anymore. Isis, Obamacare, our Swiss cheese borders. We’re gonna start winning again. It’s gonna be a big difference."

grauniad... live update

EDIT: link
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:52 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubiobot has gotten some significant upgrades.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:53 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


My son and I just counted, and if we'd been drinking according to Taibbi's game, we'd be 12 shots in before we got to Trumps intro.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:55 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ted Cruz: I was a xenophobe before xenophobes were cool! Vote Ted Cruz #1 xenophobe kid!
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"If you wanna be liked in Washington, that's a bad attribute for a president." -- Hell, that must mean that Obama is an amazing president!
posted by dhens at 5:58 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hope he has a Nixon moment.

He's living the life.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 6:00 PM on February 25, 2016


Finish the border? I mean, I realize the Rio Grande is moving, but I kind thought that was mostly settled...
posted by bonje at 6:00 PM on February 25, 2016


God's, even when K is trying to sound rational, he can't stop himself from calling people "illegals".
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:01 PM on February 25, 2016


I... didn't think Ben Carson would be the one pushing for addressing the root causes of poverty and gang violence in Central America....
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:02 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh snap Rubiobot just dropped the B-bomb!
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubiobot has gotten some significant upgrades.

He's in Trump Mode!
posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016


Hoooooooooly shit.

This is a shouting grudge match.

There is no control.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016


Well Rubio finally came ready to fight with Trump.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rubiobot really did get an upgrade.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is beautiful.
posted by johnpowell at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016


I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

Never more apt.
posted by Talez at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2016


Oh god someone is squealing for everything Rubio says.
posted by charred husk at 6:07 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


This debate is blowing my mind right now.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:07 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a serious screamer in the audience.
posted by cortex at 6:07 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I want more questions in Spanish, preferably aimed at Ted Cruz.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:08 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


'This President' always gets a pop.
posted by box at 6:09 PM on February 25, 2016


Wonder how having a moderator from Telemundo is going to go over.

I hope that they are respectful towards her.
posted by futz at 6:09 PM on February 25, 2016


Yeah, that's a serious screamer in the audience.

That must be Bronn's friend.
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on February 25, 2016


I actually love, love, love Cruz and Rubio fighting in Spanish. I could watch that for hours.
posted by corb at 6:11 PM on February 25, 2016


Maria: "Why are both of you such fucking twats?"
posted by Talez at 6:12 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The Obama-Clinton economy?????"
posted by dhens at 6:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The Obama/Clinton economy?"

Also, I think they forgot Kasich and Carson exist.
posted by charred husk at 6:14 PM on February 25, 2016


This is vomit inducing.
posted by Talez at 6:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh fuck off Cruz. You and Marco over there are the beneficiaries of an extremely liberal immigration policy exception that allows Cubans to immediately gain legal status on touching American soil. I can't even verbalize how hypocritical it is for you to threaten other immigrants with deportation.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [22 favorites]


holy shit, you guys! I just realized that Rubio's Senate seat is up for election this cycle. remember from upthread how terrible his numbers are in his own state of Florida for the Presidential race? wouldn't it be awesome if he managed to lose his Senate seat, too?
posted by indubitable at 6:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Never mind. You aren't Mister Fucking Rogers, Kasich. I'd tell you to go home but that means remaining our governor.
posted by charred husk at 6:17 PM on February 25, 2016


Oh fuck off Cruz. You and Marco over there are the beneficiaries of an extremely liberal immigration policy exception that allows Cubans to immediately gain legal status on touching American soil. I can't even verbalize how hypocritical it is for you to threaten other immigrants with deportation.

"My dad did it so you can too"

Like immigration laws haven't changed in five decades.

Can I have the ten thousand fucking dollars back that we (myself and my wife) spent for me to immigrate here legally please? I'll take it as hundred dollar bills in my underwear thanks.
posted by Talez at 6:18 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Rubio isn't running for Senate again, his seat is up for grabs in yet another shitshow.
posted by gatorae at 6:18 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did Trump really win with Hispanics in Nevada? I thought there was some controversy about that?
posted by futz at 6:20 PM on February 25, 2016


"I don't believe anything Telemundo says." Damn. I mean, I should stop being shocked by Trump, but still.
posted by dhens at 6:20 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


aw, marco, you put all your eggs in that presidential basket, didn'tcha buddy.
posted by palomar at 6:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow I had no idea how much Hispanics love Republicans! Maybe the Republican primaries should just be decided with a tamale and tapas cook off?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's so thirty seconds ago. Now he actually loves Telemundo.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wow I had no idea how much Hispanics love Republicans!

Some of the hardline Catholics will be more than happy to fuck their countryfolk if it means a woman can't get an abortion.
posted by Talez at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, she's explaining it now. Good.

Also, it seems like Trumpy is really trying to restrain himself. Lol.
posted by futz at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2016


Here we go... "we lost a conservative justice don't you think we need to have a conservative back?"
posted by Talez at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2016


THAT keeps you up at night? Really?
posted by gatorae at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio has already decided not to seek re-election to the Senate IIRC.
posted by humanfont at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2016


Oh Cruz, if the people republicans put on the court disagree with you half the time, maybe it's not that the judges are traitors, maybe it's that your interpretation is wrong?
posted by Arbac at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


That could have been true 10 years ago. W definitely tried to make it happen. The Republicans have missed the boat on the conservative-Latino-Catholics-will-save-us strategy though with this nativist insanity.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2016


"Mr Trump, will you promise here and now to continue to let us be bigots?"
posted by Talez at 6:25 PM on February 25, 2016


ROBERTSCARE. Please, let's make that a thing.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:26 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump's head twitches totally telegraph the tone of his next answer. He's like an angry owl.

sorry owls!
posted by futz at 6:27 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Aww...Ted just wants to be in the room where it happens.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:28 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't like the radio guy. Ugh.
posted by bonje at 6:28 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I hope all the justices are watching together so they can all point at each other and yell NOT IT any time candidates forecast their impending deaths.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:29 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cupcakes? What?
posted by homunculus at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow. Holy shit. Trump just played both sides of the fence on Planned Parenthood.
posted by Talez at 6:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ah, okay, this is the cupcake thing: John Kasich On Bakeries That Won’t Serve Same-Sex Couples: ‘Make Them A Cupcake’
posted by homunculus at 6:31 PM on February 25, 2016


What in the name of God did that Planned Parenthood rant mean? 'Planned Parenthood is YUUUUUGE with women. It's great. They're winners. Except for abortion, so lets not fund them. But women rely on them to survive, which is great work. But no funding, nope never no way.'
posted by gatorae at 6:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


A few minutes ago Trump said that his victory in Nevada was a sign he was attracting independents and new voters to create a "New Republican Party". He's taking a page out of Bernie's playbook and he's pretty much acknowledging that he's creating the party in his own image.

Wow.
posted by FJT at 6:32 PM on February 25, 2016


Earlier today (yesterday?) Kasich made some comment to the effect of if someone wants to buy a cupcake from you, sell them the damn cupcake instead of filing a lawsuit, etc.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:32 PM on February 25, 2016


I half expected the next stop in Kasich's tirade to be "Maybe tomorrow I won't serve a n----r"
posted by Talez at 6:32 PM on February 25, 2016


NO CONGRESS DOESN'T GET TO CORRECT THE SUPREME COURT. HOLY SHIT.
posted by Talez at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who gave Scalia and Carson honorary degrees? The University of Phoenix?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


ben carson will extract and analyze the life souls of all his judicial picks
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


THE FRUIT SALAD OF THEIR LIFE.
posted by anti social order at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fruit Salad of their life...

What. The. ACTUAL. Fuck?
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


"The fruit salad of their life." -- Dr. Ben Carson
posted by dhens at 6:34 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The word salad of Ben Carson's life.
posted by dhens at 6:34 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


These people have NO CLUE how that nations is actually, functionally run.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:34 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Rubio: "We will throw you to the fucking wolves of health insurance funds but hey you'll be SELF SUFFICIENT and won't that be better for all Americans?"
posted by Talez at 6:35 PM on February 25, 2016


I'm surprised Trump hasn't been booed for constantly insinuating the audience is stacked against him.
posted by charred husk at 6:36 PM on February 25, 2016


They realize he wants them to boo, he's playing to the camera and not to them.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:37 PM on February 25, 2016


Wait...so the candidates hate business now?
posted by Maecenas at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2016


Trump's plan sounds like Wyden-Bennet...
posted by charred husk at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2016


Is "the lines around the states" the new lockbox?
posted by gatorae at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2016


I wish the audience would just shut up.
posted by Justinian at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now he's repeating himself.
posted by box at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2016


Soooo many different plans!!!

It'll be GREAT!!11!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2016


I think Rubio might actually be getting somewhere here.
posted by zug at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Man - if they can all just give up and imitate Trump when they respond, that would be amazing.
posted by Arbac at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I imagine the audience has been drinking, too.
posted by corb at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016


Sweet Jeebus moderating this thing is like trying to wrangle preschoolers.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio with the "now he's just repeating himself" to ROUSING cheers.
posted by futz at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016


I wish they would move the microphones further away from the people in the crowd who are screaming and whistling.
posted by carmicha at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016


Is it just me or has Cruz not been getting nearly as much time as Rubio?
posted by dhens at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016


What's sad is I know what Trump is talking about.
posted by charred husk at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does any of this stuff they're saying make sense if you haven't taken a class in healthcare economics? What is the PLAN, bozos? There's already competition at the state level, "many many different plans", and apparently it hasn't helped since things are so terrible so WHAT IS THE PLAN?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yah that was the first exchange that really felt like Trump lost his nerve and the audience was laughing at him.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tonight's moderators.
posted by Justinian at 6:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Covering the working poor with Medicaid? THAT'S LITERALLY WHAT OBAMACARE DOES! AND YOU FUCKING JACKASS REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS SAID NO!

I can't do this anymore. I just fucking can't.
posted by Talez at 6:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Trump just got triple trumped by Rubio. That is going to be the news clip for the next day or so.
posted by futz at 6:42 PM on February 25, 2016


Kasich's plan is the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard.
posted by Talez at 6:42 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I, too, surprisingly understand what Trump is talking about. I can't imagine low-information voters do, though. Maybe it doesn't matter? Sometimes I feel like anything that isn't a soundbite isn't worth listening to for a lot of people.
posted by zug at 6:43 PM on February 25, 2016


Just to remind everyone, the individual mandate and the requirement to cover preexisting conditions go hand in hand. If people don't have to sign up for insurance until they get sick, and then are legally entitled to sign up at the same rates as everyone else, the insurance markets will explode because only sick people will get insurance. It's very basic and any politician who says different is blatantly lying.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:43 PM on February 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


Plus, I'm pretty sure it was the GOP that required the state boundaries in the first place because they wanted states to be able to choose whether to administer the ACA themselves, sign up for the federal funding, etc.
posted by carmicha at 6:43 PM on February 25, 2016


'Health care is not a right.'
posted by box at 6:44 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Carson word salad.
posted by futz at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Health Empowerment Accounts. BIG GOVERNMENT HERE PEOPLE.

"Shift money around" Literally REARRANGING DECK CHAIRS ON THE FUCKING TITANIC.

The whole problem is that they CAN'T AFFORD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE YOU FUCKING DAFT TOOL.
posted by Talez at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2016


Ben Carson has transcended logic and is now just time and space.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


tivalasvega is correct; you cannot cover pre-existing conditions without an individual mandate. To claim otherwise is non-sensical. That's why Obamacare has an individual mandate despite the fact that Obama claimed to oppose an individual mandate during his campaign against Clinton. (She was for it, being one of those evil realistic pragmatic incrementalists.)
posted by Justinian at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ask about climate change!
posted by futz at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2016


This is a Republican debate, futz. They don't talk about things which don't exist. They talk about god instead.
posted by Justinian at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wolf Blitzer you spineless piece of shit.
posted by gatorae at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Well not quite, I think the issue is that if insurers are allowed to sell across state boundaries, they'll all pick up and move to the state that has the laxest oversight, and states will race each other to the bottom. Like how all the loan companies are headquartered in Delaware.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2016


If there are no state boundaries, then isn't there going to be one state that says that insurance doesn't have to cover rheumatology or maternity care or hearts and lungs or something, and all the insurance companies will move there? Or am I missing something?
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


For fuck's sake Wolf GROW A PAIR.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2016


Cruz: 'Planned Parenthood is wonderful.'
posted by box at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2016


Or, what tivalasvegas said.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2016


IT IS HEARTLESS YOU PUNCHABLE FACE MORON FUCK.
posted by Talez at 6:47 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I loathe Cruz.
posted by carmicha at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cruz on healthcare : Fuck you. Die.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Every civilized country has it and they hate it"

You shut your god damned motherfucking whore mouth.
posted by Talez at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The state boundaries are from the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which allows different states to set different rules about what must be covered, right?
posted by zug at 6:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


whore mouth

All the sex workers I know are in favor of socialized medicine, actually.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


OMG, they're literally arguing about people being "allowed" to die in the street.
posted by zug at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


MAKE AMERICA DYNOMIC AGAIN
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2016


I always find it hilarious that the things Trump gets hammered by the others over are the few things where he isn't a total asshole. Not letting people die in the streets. Saying Bush didn't keep us safe because 9/11. All you need to know about the current Republican party is that Trump says all kinds of racist and misogynistic and idiotic crap and the only things that cause him problems are when he shows compassion or speaks the truth.
posted by Justinian at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [60 favorites]


The decision is simple - corpse strewn streets or no corpse strewn streets.
posted by charred husk at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2016


And by hilarious I mean terrifying.
posted by Justinian at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh good, the tax questions. I'm not inebriated enough to deal with this.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:51 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


You don't have anywhere near the highest taxes in the world you toupeed blow hard. Nowhere fucking near.
posted by Talez at 6:51 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bring environmental protection back to the states.

Jesus fucking Christ it's literally an oligarchy.
posted by Talez at 6:51 PM on February 25, 2016


"We're going to cut so much your head will spin but since Medicare would be gutted you won't be able to see a doctor about it".

Also, Kasich, cutting capital gains tax isn't a fucking achievement numb nuts. It's just giving the rich a way out of taxes.
posted by Talez at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2016


Well, the environment was finally mentioned by trump. He wants to get rid of the EPA. Yup.
posted by futz at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2016


Ummmmm should someone tell him about cooperative federalism?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2016


Trump 2016 : Make the Cuyahoga River BURN again!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The nominal rate for corporate taxes in the US are among the highest in the world. The effective rate, I dunno.

Trump is a BUSINESSMAHNZ so that's probably what he's complaining about.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2016


JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2016


Trump being asked about his tax return.
posted by futz at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2016


Is "bigly" really a word, Trump? Is it?
posted by Justinian at 6:56 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know what causes waste, fraud and abuse? INCREDIBLY COMPLEX AND BYZANTINE REGULATIONS DESIGNED TO MAKE SURE NO ONE GETS A CENT MORE THAN THEY DESERVE.

I just today spent an hour sitting through a webinar on Medicaid spenddowns. That's the program that allows folks who are elderly and disabled and are over the poverty line to get help with medical expenses if they apply for the program beforehand, bring their medical bills in person to the local public aid office (assuming they can get their wheelchairs through the snow), show how much money they have in their bank account, demonstrate lack of assets beyond a certain allowable amount for funeral expenses, one house and one car, and up to a small amount of countable assets....
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


It is a brand new YUUUUUGE WORD.
posted by futz at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2016


Is "bigly" really a word, Trump? Is it?

It's cromulent I guess.
posted by Talez at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is "bigly" really a word, Trump? Is it?

It's a cromulent word that embiggens the smallest man.
posted by dhens at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump directly dissing a moderator. Huh.
posted by dhens at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2016


I'm out. I feel like I need to know what we're really up against but it's just too much concentrated fucking stupid for me to cope.
posted by Talez at 6:58 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is "bigly" really a word, Trump? Is it?

This is really a misdemeanor in the grand scheme of Trump's manifold crimes against the English language.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:58 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gross. Trump takes a question from the radio moderator about a statement on his show, starting with "Well it's a good thing no one listens to your show. That's true, check the ratings!" What a crass asshole.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


He's dissed 2 of them now.
posted by futz at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2016


I guess I never realized how well Trump actually preps for these debates. He's anticipated a lot of gotchas.
posted by klarck at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hugh Hewitt is a right-wing radio commentator. He's not a nice fellow.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:00 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just then Trump reached for something from his podium, probably a glass of water and the camera immediately cut from Trump and Cruz to just Cruz, then cut back 10 seconds later as he was swallowing and putting something back. Now all I can think about is that there must be a "no filming me drinking" rule that was probably proposed by Rubio's people.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:02 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hugh Hewitt is a right-wing radio commentator. He's not a nice fellow.

On the one hand, true. On the other hand, is it really a good idea to be a brazen dick to a moderator? I don't think anyone but Trump could get away with it.
posted by dhens at 7:03 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




Now they're all just picking each others bones clean...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2016


Can someone say my name so I can respond? Or maybe can I change my name to ding ding ding so I can respond?
posted by bonje at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I expect Trump to whip out his penis and just straight up urinate on Cruz or Rubio at some point.
posted by dhens at 7:05 PM on February 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't know about you guys but this 5th season of Veep is the best yet.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:05 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pee break!
posted by futz at 7:05 PM on February 25, 2016


This is worse/funnier/sadder/more delicious/more depressing than the last debate. As much as I enjoy watching the Republican Party eat itself, I can't believe this is the best that one of the two major American political parties has to offer.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:06 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Terrifyingly, I can really see the appeal of Trump. When he goes in on Rubio and Cruz about being embarrassed about their poor poll standings, I genuinely laughed out loud in joy at seeing two blowhards get taken down a notch. Whatever else you say about Trump, he is certainly entertaining.
posted by zug at 7:07 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Which terrifies me, because he's going to pull in right-of-center independents in droves.
posted by zug at 7:07 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had to Google that Purge commercial because I only saw it peripherally and was really fucking creepy in this context.
posted by charred husk at 7:09 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had to put it on pause and come out to look at the stars. Just remind myself there's a bigger universe. Also to check if the mothership was there to pick me up. It wasn't. Damn the luck.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:09 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Think things are crazy now?

Rick Perry : Don't call it a COMEBACK, I've been here for years!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:09 PM on February 25, 2016


Oh no... now we get to watch how fast they fellate Isreal.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:11 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey, another thing where Trump is being almost reasonable and getting hammered for it.
posted by Justinian at 7:11 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump explains diplomacy to Republicans. Results are predictable... wait what am I saying?
posted by charred husk at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Damn! The fuck?
posted by box at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2016


CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't bring myself to actually watch, but this thread is wonderful.

Seriously, what does Carson get from staying in this race? The ability to command higher speaking fees after he drops out?

His whole campaign has been a financial scam. Search around a bit, you'll find a few articles from last fall detailing how.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is so bizarre to me that republicans are so pro-Israel. It was created by fiat from the UN, for godsakes!

Can anybody explain that to me?
posted by zug at 7:13 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump won I/P with a beauty pageant summary. "If I can bring peace, It'll be my biggest accomplishment"
posted by klarck at 7:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's a mixture of Islamophobia and some weird end-times eschaton nonsense. Really.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump is the political equivalent of the housing bubble. You know he crash is comming, but you are astonished that it hasn't happened yet. Then you convince yourself ok it is different this time, and then it hits and Brad Pitt is making movie about it while wearing a bad wig.
posted by humanfont at 7:14 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


I decided to ignore politics and just get stoned a lot today...have i missed anything important?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


... Rubio screaming for blood...
posted by charred husk at 7:15 PM on February 25, 2016


It's complicated and has to do with really weird fringe Evangelical theology.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:15 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio and Cruz look forward to bringing about the End Times as the Christian Domionists that they are.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:16 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rubiobot is stuck on "Palestine is not a real estate deal" someone needs to reboot him.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:16 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rubio missed his chance to punch through the "Trump will negotiate with Terrorists" line.
posted by klarck at 7:16 PM on February 25, 2016


The Tabli article mentioned that Trump should be sending flowers to the candidates still in the race (since he maintains the lion's share in a divided field) I wouldn't be surprised if he's done more than that.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:16 PM on February 25, 2016


Which terrifies me, because he's going to pull in right-of-center independents in droves.

My fear is that he's going to pull in the otherwise politically disinterested people who feel like voting for Trump is their chance to be a guest star on a reality TV show.
posted by homunculus at 7:18 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


did you know? ohio is the birthplace of eight of the twelve most terrible presidents
posted by theodolite at 7:18 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't get why Joe Sixpack, the average blue collar non-evangelical republican voter in the rust belt, should give a flying fuck about Israel, especially since antisemitism is so prevalent in that group, judging by my facebook feed. It's not like they care about biblical end times.
posted by zug at 7:18 PM on February 25, 2016


Talking about N Korea seems like a waste of debate time imo.
posted by futz at 7:19 PM on February 25, 2016


Oh god please don't whine. Please.
posted by Justinian at 7:20 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubiobot got an upgrade. Donald was an ass to moderators, said some reasonably compassionate things that immediately got shouted down. Ted is cool with people bleeding out in the street. Ben said something about fruit salad.

Nope, you missed nothing.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:20 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is your moment.
posted by box at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2016


It's not like they care about biblical end times.

Didn't you hear? They're nearly here!

Seriously, I saw evangelical stuff complaining about the obsession with endtimes in the eighties. It hasn't gotten better.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2016


And Ben Carson has officially whined.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2016


did you know? ohio is the birthplace of eight of the twelve most terrible presidents

Ohio is so terrible that people don't just leave the state itself, they're so ashamed they have to leave the planet.
posted by Talez at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ooooooh Carson is about to jibber jabber. He'll probably mention his book or website.
posted by futz at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2016


I really miss watching christie's body language. it was beautiful, like dancing
posted by theodolite at 7:23 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really live on a different planet than these people.
posted by bonje at 7:25 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yay dictators.
posted by charred husk at 7:26 PM on February 25, 2016


Trump secretly sees Qaddafi and Hussein as kindred souls, perhaps?
posted by dhens at 7:26 PM on February 25, 2016


CNN dropped the ball on cutting to Bush Sr during that "Saddam wasn't that bad" speech
posted by theodolite at 7:27 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


ohio is the birthplace of eight of the twelve most terrible presidents

Er... Grant, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, Taft, Harding, Garfield. Lotta C-listers there to be sure, but I am only finding seven. Is there a joke here that is passing me by?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 PM on February 25, 2016


I think it quite unlikely that Japan would pursue nuclear weapons... I think they'd say they've had quite enough experience with nukes already.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:29 PM on February 25, 2016


Israel. Israel. Israel. Israel.
posted by futz at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Carson just won the debate.
posted by charred husk at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump just called everyone else on the stage liars...

Carson : Can somebody attack me please?
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there a joke here that is passing me by?

Nope, google just fed me some bullshit about Wm Henry Harrison
posted by theodolite at 7:30 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Can somebody attack me, please?"

Ben Carson's shining moment.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


BEN CARSON FOR THE WIN. "Can someone attack me please?"
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Can somebody attack me, please?" is Ben Carson's equivalent of Jeb!'s "Applause, please?" moment.
posted by carmicha at 7:31 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio keeps talking over Trump.
posted by yertledaturtle at 7:31 PM on February 25, 2016


Donald Trump is the political equivalent of the housing bubble. You know he crash is comming, but you are astonished that it hasn't happened yet. Then you convince yourself ok it is different this time, and then it hits and Brad Pitt is making movie about it while wearing a bad wig.

Or Johnny Depp.
posted by homunculus at 7:31 PM on February 25, 2016


No Jeb was just sad. Ben was adorably plaintive.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:32 PM on February 25, 2016


Hey Grant wasn't a bad president.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:33 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cut their fucking mics.
posted by charred husk at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


haha. Cruz - 'Trump Funds liberal democrats'.

Trump - 'I funded you'
posted by yertledaturtle at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Calmer than you are.
posted by Maecenas at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


They're all just blathering now. This is fucking pathetic.
posted by homunculus at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


lol even Wolf can't control them.
posted by zug at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016


They would probably orgasm if you tried to cut their mics. It would give them a chance to play Reagan's "I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE".
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016


Cruz tells Trump to take his meds. Ivy league champion debater.
posted by klarck at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


this is ridiculous.
posted by zutalors! at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2016


Oooh! See the Apple thread.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for Priebus's post-debate tweet about what a great set of candidates they have this year.
posted by glhaynes at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Carson should spend his time practicing his Trump impersonation so he can say "Ben Carson is a liar I tell you..." in his voice next debate and get to butt in.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2016


Cruz is still wearing his Princeton ring.
posted by carmicha at 7:37 PM on February 25, 2016


These children want to be president. It would be cute if it wasn't so terrifying.
posted by futz at 7:37 PM on February 25, 2016


Instead of running their own ads, the Dems should just run repeats of this debate on every network every night during prime time for the next year as a cautionary tale. Game over, man. Game over.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 7:37 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Wolf is a dimwit.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer Jeopardy Fail: negative $4600
posted by yertledaturtle at 7:37 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I picture Ben getting his comments in with a series of Wile E. Coyote-type oversized signs.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:38 PM on February 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


I just got here, have they been randomly blaming stuff on Obama this whole time, or did it just start now?
posted by teponaztli at 7:40 PM on February 25, 2016


Katich illegally detains business executives all the time.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh fuck you, Kasich.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:40 PM on February 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't feel like this country is in crisis?
posted by zutalors! at 7:41 PM on February 25, 2016


BeepBeep grain pyramids beep beep
posted by futz at 7:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does Trump act like this in a debate with Hillary Clinton? Could he get away with that?
posted by Justinian at 7:42 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kasich on personal privacy : Lock people in rooms
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:42 PM on February 25, 2016


Heroin is coming from Mexico? Wha
posted by zutalors! at 7:43 PM on February 25, 2016


Locked cell phone? Lock the doors!
posted by futz at 7:44 PM on February 25, 2016


Rubio going to bat for the bankers
posted by yertledaturtle at 7:44 PM on February 25, 2016


Can't wait for Priebus's post-debate tweet about what a great set of candidates they have this year.

This is how I picture Priebus typing out those tweets.
posted by Justinian at 7:44 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Carson really is nuts, isn't he?
posted by zug at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


They Made A Movie About My Hands would be a good campaign slogan
posted by theodolite at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ben Carson just invoked Saint Raygun.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2016


Gag me with a pitchfork. Carson is soooo creepy.
posted by futz at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


These hands?
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does Trump act like this in a debate with Hillary Clinton? Could he get away with that?

He could try, but she's already shown in debates that she doesn't feel the need to take on all comers; she could throw out a crisp "No" and leave it at that. I would love to see him react to her refusing to respond to him like she's done during some of these primary debates.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ben Carsonscissorhands!
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2016


I'm going to miss Carson, he's a true outsider candidate in the henry darger sense of the word
posted by theodolite at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Move the US embassy to Jerusalem? Is that some new End-Times talking point I've never heard of, or just Cruz being Cruz?
posted by barnacles at 7:52 PM on February 25, 2016


Ted Cruz : I promise you things that are unrealistic because I don't live in reality.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:52 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump: I will business the shit out of this country.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:52 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


That whole thing has sucked the air of my room thousands of miles away. Good fucking god.
posted by bonje at 7:57 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump just theorized in the post-game interview that the IRS is auditing him repeatedly because he is a strong Christian.
posted by gatorae at 8:00 PM on February 25, 2016


Though it would be too much to hope for, what would be truly entertaining is if the GOP split not twain but into thirds.

Evangelicals, libertarians, and the alt-right?

wut is the alt-right?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:01 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah Cuomo was definitely trying to tease out " because jews" on the IRS question
posted by zutalors! at 8:01 PM on February 25, 2016


GOP 2016 : Just Another Great American Tragedy.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:02 PM on February 25, 2016


And it'll sell. The thrice-married casino operator is being oppressed by the feds, so he's an evangelical ally.

Hell, it's sane compared to the people who executed an armed seizure of a federal institution.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:04 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of me in it. I'd like to watch a recording of it playing behind me while I'm staring at myself in the mirror."
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 8:07 PM on February 25, 2016


"You know how the game serves us. It has a definite social purpose." (Rollerball)
posted by mountainpeak at 8:08 PM on February 25, 2016


I am so... so very glad that this... lot... is not of mine choosing.

This beautiful disaster would make me laugh to no end...

But so much is at stake.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:11 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




I didn't get to see the final bit, from the comments can I safely assume that Ben's closing argument was "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known"?
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:20 PM on February 25, 2016




I feel like I've seen this movie before
posted by ambulocetus at 8:32 PM on February 25, 2016


How this whole year has made me feel up to now.

Twilight Zone
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:55 PM on February 25, 2016


Well Kasich sounded almost OK until he committed us to nuclear war.
Carson sounded soft and reasonable until he spit up his fruit salad.
Cruz speaks with a well modulated voice, he needs a pulpit, then should leave the rest of us out of it.
Rubio belongs back at the country club, learning the real estate business, and personally decorating scenes.
Trump was pleasantly paternalistic and tired, and did take responsibility for entertaining himself. He is big daddy.

It was a rude event, enough rude in Cruz, Rubio, and Trump to create useless cacophany for the most part. Kasich came off like the Milkman gets down, and Carson was soft, mildly articulate. Not one bonafide Christian among the rude three. The Orwellian twisting of religious freedom, and the blatant agreement to stack the Supreme Court with religious activist judges left me aghast. Nobody hates abortion like business who wants unlimited growth potential. Trump got some good digs in, to Cruz, "I paid for you!"

Ugly, uninformed, overfed, pugnacious, posers, the lot of them. Minimal grace available. The Republican Party won't stop Trump, no one actually named Reince Priebus, (by some sad misunderstanding of social norms and language,) is going to strategize Trump, out of the race.
posted by Oyéah at 9:04 PM on February 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Move the US embassy to Jerusalem? Is that some new End-Times talking point I've never heard of, or just Cruz being Cruz?

It's about this.

It is vanishingly unlikely that Cruz will ever be expected to settle his bet, but in the event that he is elected I predict that he will find it convenient to delay action on the relocation to some time in the distant, unspecified future.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:21 PM on February 25, 2016


The fruit salad line is the greatest thing in the history of American politics. By which I mean the worst. These people are all terrible, shameless, horrible creatures entirely unfit for running your local DMV. I'm drunk on sadness, well and Matt Taibbi inspired bourbon drinking. But really, is this real life? Did this really happen?
posted by dis_integration at 9:21 PM on February 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality...
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:31 PM on February 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


D'publican Rehate.
posted by Oyéah at 9:39 PM on February 25, 2016


For anyone wondering about the "lines" insurance issue - control, certification, and regulation of health insurers operates at the state level, which means to sell health insurance in a state you have to satisfy whatever rules and requirements that state imposes, as well as be subject to state laws (including state antitrust laws, which exist in 49 of the 50 states, I believe). McCarran-Ferguson and the state action immunity principle ensure that the federal government cannot override this state control except in limited circumstances (which include some federal antitrust law). This does not prevent insurers from operating nationally (like the current big 5), it just means they have to do the work to enter and operate in each state individually. That's a pretty big barrier to entry if you wanted to up and start your own health insurance company. On the other hand, there are tons of other barriers to entry -- establishing provider networks, and the current market dominance of the Blues, for example. A big reason for the Blues' market dominance state-by-state is because, while they are independently owned companies, they are restricted by their own rules from competing with each other. This won't disappear if we get rid of state control of insurance. And this is already subject to federal antitrust law, not blocked by McCarran-Ferguson (although arguably blocked by state action immunity). In addition, there are lots of small health insurers currently operating in each state - getting rid of the "lines" could just lead to increased consolidation in the industry, or at least fail to halt the rapid consolidation already occurring.
posted by sallybrown at 9:46 PM on February 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Justin Halpern: "Watching Trump start to move to the center in preparation for the general election is like when the velociraptors learned how to open doors."
posted by komara at 9:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [32 favorites]


I hope if Trump actually manages to build his wall that is made of durable materials and has some sort of chemin de ronde so that the thing can be turned into a tourist attraction after it becomes depreciated. Kind of like China's Great Wall segments.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The more this doesn't seem real, the more difficult it will be to face the reality. And it's very, very important to face reality. The way demagogic opportunists and dictators came to power in the past was precisely because people were in denial at first. Dr. Howard Gardner, developmental psychologist (he came up with the theory of multiple intelligences) and professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education states, "For me, the compelling question is the psychological state of his supporters. They are unable or unwilling to make a connection between the challenges faced by any president and the knowledge and behavior of Donald Trump. In a democracy, that is disastrous.”
posted by mountainpeak at 10:47 PM on February 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Caring about Israel is the rolling coal of American politics. It's code for "I'm not a godless commie."
posted by corb at 11:16 PM on February 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't get why CNN seemed to lose control of things, aside from these three men are monsters. I mean, John Dickerson* pushed back on them a little, and his career didn't seem to implode.

*I may have a little crush on Mr. Dickerson and am therefore biased.
posted by angrycat at 3:37 AM on February 26, 2016


Is it just me or was María Celeste Arrarás from Telemundo the only one who even tried to hold these guys' feet to the fire?
posted by moody cow at 4:28 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Caring about Israel is the rolling coal of American politics. It's code for "I'm not a godless commie."

Hilariously enough, the only "godless commie" in the race is also Jewish. That's America for you.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:33 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


"alt right" = neckbeard ammosexuals
posted by spitbull at 5:06 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a bit of a response to what's been said here a bit about Trump actually being more moderate on some issues than his rivals ... So, I just went to ISideWith.com, which I've always found reasonably accurate, for a quick, fun, non-in-depth check-in of how I accord with the candidates on policy issues. I got 94% with Sanders and 91% with Clinton, which I found a bit reassuring since I'm currently planning on voting for Sanders in the primary but would (enthusiastically) vote for Clinton if she's the candidate in the general. I got, I think, 67% with Bloomberg.

Trump was at 10%. Rubio and Cruz were both actually *higher* (although none of them was higher than 13%, so considering statistical wobble they were probably all about the same.)

So, yeah. It's not that he's more of a centrist than the others but I think he's crazy. His stances have exactly as much right-wing zealotry as the others, if not more so, agreeing with at least this leftist on pretty much none of the issues of the day, and I ALSO think he's crazy.
posted by kyrademon at 5:27 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just did the I side with quiz and got 99% Bernie, 97 Jill Stein, 94 Hillary, then a massive drop off to almost single digits for the clown car crowd. There was virtually no difference between Trump and the other loonies, because they're all espousing the same insane positions.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:47 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bernie and Hillary are high 90s versus low 90s here for me too.
posted by Artw at 5:49 AM on February 26, 2016


It also kind of made me wonder if such a sharply divided electorate might result in more candidates like Bloomberg getting elected if there were a non-first-past-the-post system in place.

Potential campaign slogan: Bloomberg -- Everybody's Second Choice!
posted by kyrademon at 6:06 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bloomberg: The Firewall Between What You Want And What You Fear

Your Candidate First, But Bloomberg Second

Vote Your Heart, Then Vote For Bloomberg
posted by kyrademon at 6:12 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


huh, i had no idea there was a green candidate. go jill stein! if i was in the usa i could yet again vote for someone that gets nowhere.
posted by andrewcooke at 6:13 AM on February 26, 2016


The amount of agreement with conservative candidates on ISideWith is somewhat related to how extreme some of the questions are. I agree with Cruz that we shouldn't ban all muslims from entering the country. For the record, I also support keeping the earth round.
posted by snofoam at 6:14 AM on February 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Only tangentially relevant, but this article from the Weekly Standard about Hamilton talks about Trump and the current state of American politics.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:35 AM on February 26, 2016


Hilariously enough, the only "godless commie" in the race is also Jewish. That's America for you.

I'd rather we not conflate Anerican Jews with Israel and Democratic Socialism with Communism. If we're looking for hilarious parallels, it's not that Bernie is Jewish, but that the candidate with the most direct experience with Israel (Bernie, again) spent his time on a kibbutz.
posted by maxsparber at 6:37 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


"alt right" = neckbeard ammosexuals

Unfortunately, not entirely. There are a number of organizations, including the Pioneer Fund, with their share of degreed, well-manicured types. The more "respectable" ones even pal around with people like Charles Murray or Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
posted by kewb at 6:40 AM on February 26, 2016


Trump's messaging is a thing of beauty:
1) against Socialized pinko healthcare
2) but will not allow Americans dying in the streets.
When pressed for details:
3) state lines, competition, efficiency

His actual positions are secondary to his rhetoric, and I think trying to understand or analyze his politics a waste of time. If we hadn't let the liberal arts die a slow death, our punditry - and maybe our electorate - would be able to look at Trump's campaign in terms of his messaging/language/rhetoric. There has to be someone out there for whom Trump's messaging is textbook stuff. It sure isn't for me.
posted by klarck at 6:46 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


MotherJones: Donald Trump Goes to Bat for Planned Parenthood
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:05 AM on February 26, 2016




I'd rather we not conflate Anerican Jews with Israel and Democratic Socialism with Communism. If we're looking for hilarious parallels, it's not that Bernie is Jewish, but that the candidate with the most direct experience with Israel (Bernie, again) spent his time on a kibbutz.

Well, yes, that too, but I was assuming "godless commie" as comedic shorthand for "suspiciously (to Protestants) non-religious person to the left of Reagan on economic policy." I think the parallels work for Sanders both ways. He's culturally Jewish and not so much religious, he supports more distributive social and economic programs, and his views on and experience with the Israeli government and people have almost nothing in common with any of the GOP candidates. In this respect he reflects the large majority of Jewish Americans and a good number of Israelis, although to listen to conservatives (both here and in Israel), those Jews don't really count.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:42 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Caring about Israel is the rolling coal of American politics. It's code for "I'm not a godless commie."

No, it's code for "I hate Muslims" as Rubio and Cruz both made clear when they talked about Israel.
posted by JackFlash at 7:48 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Israel was a big deal even before 9/11 turned up the US muslim hate, though; while this might be a little nitpicky, I think allegiance-to-Israel is more broadly about the idea of a little mini-US (democratic, capitalist, comparatively full of English-speakers) elsewhere in the world, holding fast in the midst of barbarism. I think its main function, in a lot of American political rhetoric, is that it's a kind of colonial project "everyone" can get behind.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:59 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


The evangelicals protect Israel for one reason: to insure the Second Coming. "Preserving our Democratic ally in the region" is just cover for trying to speed along biblical prophecy.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:07 AM on February 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Rience Priebus? The extraterrestrial PR firm has to get better with naming their shape shifting alien fertile secret agents.
posted by Oyéah at 8:22 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fertile?
posted by kyrademon at 8:23 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I liked it better when we could just assume anyone named John was a lectroid.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:31 AM on February 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


98% Bernie, 96% Jill, 88% Hillary... and 58% Trump. I've always gotten weird results (like the time Kuscenich was first and Buchanan was second) but my libertarian/conservative numbers are way down nowadays. Must be the Lipitor.
posted by charred husk at 8:41 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think allegiance-to-Israel is more broadly about the idea of a little mini-US (democratic, capitalist, comparatively full of English-speakers) elsewhere in the world, holding fast in the midst of barbarism.

It also doesn't hurt that their right wing and the US' right wing politics are so closely aligned. You can't point to another democracy where that is happening. It's not like the republican congress would invite Tony Blair like they did with Netanyahu.

And I've wondered why the democrats never take the opportunity to point that Israel makes health care a fundamental right for its citizens and health insurance is mandated. It's easy to bash Sweden and Canada, but I'd like to see how republicans would avoid trash talking about Israel.
posted by peeedro at 8:50 AM on February 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Independent Journal Review/Google Consumer Surveys poll on who won last night's debate:

Trump: 43.6%
Rubio: 29.7%
Cruz: 12.1%
Kasich: 9.7%
Carson: 5.0%
posted by zombieflanders at 9:04 AM on February 26, 2016


Trump leads in polls today:
Virginia +23
Mass +21
Florida +20
Mich +24
Illinois +17
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:08 AM on February 26, 2016


For me my isidewith.com score was 99% Sanders, 97% Clinton, 92% Stein and 7% Trump. I'm going to have to get off my ass and get out and campaign this summer for the whomever ends up facing Trump. Not like I have any free time but I can't let that vulgar talking yam (ht) get anywhere near the levers of government.
posted by octothorpe at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Independent Journal Review/Google Consumer Surveys poll on who won last night's debate.

Who are the 5% voting for Fruit Salad Of A Man's Life?

But these numbers are just nutty. Trump seemed outmatched in this one, and Rubio seemed to win the day. But I guess Rubio is just too smug in an unappealing, frat-boy way, and Cruz too much an anthropmorphic ball of slime in a suit, so Trump still wins with his pouty exaggerated facial expressions and absurd rants about THE LINES. IT'S GOING TO GREAT. SO MUCH WINNING. WOW. VERY WIN.
posted by dis_integration at 9:19 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Aside from a tiny minority who accidentally spout their truthful opinion, "Who won last night's debate?" is basically an affinity question. If you support Trump (and apparently about 40% of Republican primary voters do), how could he not be winning?
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:23 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


it's a kind of colonial project "everyone" can get behind.

I'm sure that Isrealis can get behind it too!
posted by My Dad at 9:25 AM on February 26, 2016


Josh Marshall: I'm hearing a cavalcade of Republican operatives and pundits on the cable nets this morning explaining how Trump is basically done, caput, might as well get out of the race now. Nope, sorry, Trump had a very good night.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:30 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nope, sorry, Trump had a very good night.

He had a good night because he basically has the nomination sewn up. And with Sanders and Clinton both willing to go to the convention before there's a nominee on that side, Donald Trump now has 4-5 months to be in the general campaign all on his own.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:36 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Christie is endorsing Trump right now.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:51 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Christie link
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:53 AM on February 26, 2016


How this played out with Trump was highly revealing. Trump is talking about deporting 11 million people in about a year, breaking up families which include some citizens and some non-citizens. Done at this pace and scale this may amount to a war crime. But that's what he's proposing. Like everyone else he also says he'll get rid of Obamacare.

For most base Republican voters, that makes you pretty hardcore, pretty conservative - especially when you throw in the Trump Taj MaWall. If you'll notice, though, Cruz was reduced to saying that while Trump would deport 11 million people he'd also eventually let some of the "good people" among the deportees reapply to enter the country legally. Cruz would ban these people forever.

On Obamacare, Cruz said, sure Trump would get rid of Obamacare but he also wouldn't let people "die in the streets," whatever that means. Cruz would get rid of Obamacare and also let people "die in the streets."


I had the exact same feels during the debate. I was horribly shamed (but not unsurprised) at how the crowd was basically OK (due to lack of boos) when Cruz's words and omissions made it clear that he was pretty much just fine with the idea of Americans literally dying in the street.

I think that if things keep going the way they are now, Trump gets the nomination, and maybe even the win. Dark times.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:57 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Christie is endorsing Trump right now.

Jebus. The "moderate" Republican, folks.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:59 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Look like Christie is vying for VP. They both love to bully people, so they should get along famously.
posted by homunculus at 10:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


It is the cultural moment for shouty guys from New Jersey who think a PT cruiser is classy
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


Christie is endorsing Trump right now.

Tony Soprano just endorsed Phil Leotardo?
posted by dis_integration at 10:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


That's wild! The Republican establishment is blowing right past 'shitshow' on a firm course to 'shitstorm'.

What next, will Olympia Snowe endorse Bernie Sanders?
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:11 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also does this mean that Chris "9/11" Christie is totally cool with what Trump said about Bush? It's amazing what they'll overlook when they get a whiff of power.

Oh man, if he nominates Giuliani to AG or Secretary of State, it's gonna be a New York Douchebag Decade. Bill Bratton for Homeland Security? That guy from the diamond district that Trump knows really well, (a great guy! he gave me a great deal on my ring for Melania) for Treasury secretary, and Pizza Rat for HUD.
posted by dis_integration at 10:13 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is the cultural moment for shouty guys from New Jersey who think a PT cruiser is classy

Surely you can *make* a PT Cruiser classy -- pull out the back seats and put a platform with some memory foam in the back with nice satin on top of it, install some mood lighting, maybe a bong-holder or other aromatherapy... airbrush some Vallejo chicks on the outside...

I mean, it still won't radiate class the way a tricked-out El Camino would, but it'll be okay.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think Trump wants to make Carl Icahn the Treasury Secretary, even though Icahn doesn't want the job.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2016


As someone said in Twitter, can you imagine how hilariously obvious VP Christe's assassination attempts on Trump would be?
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on February 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


Seriously, even if he thought Rubio was a lightweight or whatever, why didn't he just either not endorse, or endorse Kasich -- you know, that other conservative governor from a moderate state?

I think we've got to see this as a tipping point where significant portions of the "establishment" are capitulating to Trump -- and if that's the case, he's indeed unstoppable for the nomination.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:19 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


As someone said in Twitter, can you imagine how hilariously obvious VP Christe's assassination attempts on Trump would be?

I'm picturing that scene from Goodfellas where De Niro is trying to lure Lorraine Bracco into the fur warehouse. "Just a little farther in the back..."
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:20 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]




Christie is endorsing Trump right now.

As weird as it looks, it's a great way to stomp all over Rubio's good press. It probably sucks up all the oxygen this afternoon, leaving anything Rubio and/or Cruz does to be relegated to the Friday night news-dump.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's great for Trump, no question; it's Christie's perspective that's interesting. If Trump doesn't secure the nomination or destroy the Republican Party trying, then Christie is done in the GOP.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Tweet with image of closed captioning about sums it up: Even the people doing closed captions have given up.

Two Words That Explain the Republican Debate (and the Campaign, as a Whole.) You already know what they are.
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


huh, i had no idea there was a green candidate. go jill stein! if i was in the usa i could yet again vote for someone that gets nowhere.

Chris Hedges: Why I Support Dr. Jill Stein for President
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on February 26, 2016


Christie is endorsing Trump right now.

Fame-Seeking Loudmouth Endorses Vulgar Talking Yam. America, fuck yeah.
posted by homunculus at 10:45 AM on February 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh, it's great for Trump, no question; it's Christie's perspective that's interesting. If Trump doesn't secure the nomination or destroy the Republican Party trying, then Christie is done in the GOP.

If I can attempt to paraphrase: Christie is a broken hero on a last chance power drive?
posted by nubs at 10:48 AM on February 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


The establishment lane might become jammed with people on last-chance power drives, now that I think on it.
posted by nubs at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just imagining Christie whispering "Now wrap your legs 'round these velvet rims."
posted by My Dad at 10:56 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Trumps like us, Baby we were born to run!"
posted by nubs at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


flagged as sadness I cannot live with
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:07 AM on February 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


flagged as sadness I cannot live with

I don't think facebook has added this option yet
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:10 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Facebook is that option.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:20 AM on February 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Trump cabinet so far..

AG: Chris Christie
Department of Interior: Sarah Palin
DHS: Joe Arpaio
Secretary of State: Dennis Rodman
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:24 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


holy shit i actually thought christie had a smidgen of a soul
posted by angrycat at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Christie is Secretary of Transportation, surely.
posted by pemberkins at 11:32 AM on February 26, 2016 [26 favorites]


holy shit i actually thought christie had a smidgen of a soul

When Christie's answer in an earlier debate as to how he would reduce spending was to defund Planned Parenthood (a microscopic portion of the budget) I knew he had gone a bridge too far.*

*See what I did there?
posted by dhens at 11:33 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Now, now, now, pemberkins...

You might call that...

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

... A bridge too far.

Gah... missed on preview.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

...

We're boned!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Number one, when you walk into a state you cannot walk like a penguin. He walked like a penguin. I said this is a problem," Trump said. "Somebody tell him take some steps. Romney turned out to be a disaster." (Link)

I... I just ... I don't even know what's performance art, what's comedy sketch, what's the Onion and what's real life any more.

(Bonus mockery.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:48 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Poe's Law continues to break down as we approach the Poe Singularity, where reality will be a satire of itself. At this point, I am projecting we will cross the event horizon on Inauguration Day.
posted by nubs at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


okay I've become a little bit obsessed with Trump's WWE appearances.

I'm beginning to realize that a significant fraction of the American population thinks of electoral politics as kayfabe and I legit have no idea what to do with that realization.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:09 PM on February 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Poe's Law continues to break down as we approach the Poe Singularity, where reality will be a satire of itself. At this point, I am projecting we will cross the event horizon on Inauguration Day.
posted by nubs at 11:51 AM on February 26 [+] [!]

BAUDRILLARD WAS RIGHT JET FUEL CAN'T MELT SIMULACRAL STEEL BEAMS WAKE UP FAKE SHEEPLE.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:10 PM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh man, please please please let this happen if Trump wins the nomination: Donors ask GOP consulting firm to research independent presidential bid. "Conservative donors have engaged a major GOP consulting firm in Florida to research the feasibility of mounting a late, independent run for president amid growing fears that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination."
posted by dialetheia at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I may have to write-in Andy Kaufman this time around.
posted by notyou at 12:14 PM on February 26, 2016




Early morning, January 20, 2017: protesters erect wall around Capitol to prevent Trump inauguration.
posted by graymouser at 12:24 PM on February 26, 2016


you know, I am feeling very protective of the First Amendment these days
posted by angrycat at 12:28 PM on February 26, 2016


Oof, I suspected this was coming as soon as Rubio lit into Trump last night: Trump supporters go on CNN to say that Rubio had a 'gay lifestyle'. There have been rumors going around on e.g. queer news/gossip sites for awhile now - it was only a matter of time before Trump brought it up. I wouldn't link to any of it at all but for the fact that Trump's surrogates are bringing it up and it will probably be much-discussed soon enough (hell, it's already on CNN I guess).
posted by dialetheia at