What Kind of Person Would Vote For Donald Trump? These People.
August 4, 2015 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Inside Donald Trump's Surging GOP Campaign (SLGQ), by Drew Magary.

Oskaloosa has been left behind in the Information Age. What has left here is never coming back, no matter how what any politician or businessman promises. And people in Osky—the locals call it “Osky”—don’t look pleased about this. Contrary to friendly Midwestern stereotypes, they look PISSED. Every man I saw in town looked like your father-in-law the first time you met him at the door. Out on the empty roads, the only vehicles are big, angry pickup trucks with huge side mirrors sticking way out, like they wanna punch your car. People here are aggrieved. People here have had a lot of disappointment, and they are sick of it.
posted by The Card Cheat (377 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
I strangely feel no need to read this article to have 99.99% confidence regarding what kind of people would vote for Donald Trump.

This in some ways makes me very similar to the kind of people I imagine would vote for Donald Trump.
posted by Shepherd at 10:28 AM on August 4, 2015 [22 favorites]




It's as good a place to tell this story as any:

Earlier in July, while returning home from a vacation and driving on the Taconic Parkway, I was startled to see one of the exits up ahead lead to the "Donald J. Trump State Park". I did not even know that there was a Donald J. Trump State Park.

But apparently there is, and here's why: Trump originally bought the 436 acres in the late 1990's because he planned to build a golf course there. However, he ran afoul of the local zoning laws and environmental regulations (he was going to wreck some wetlands) and never got the permit. He donated it to the state in 2006, and it pretty much lay disused (although people kept stealing signs). Someone tried building a dog park in one section in 2010, but found that there was asbestos in some of the abandoned buildings and they gave that up. The state closed it due to budget cuts in early 2015; Trump threatened to take the land back when he heard that, but the state said "nothing doing". So it's just sitting there.

I passed a second exit directing people to "Donald J. Trump State Park" a couple miles later, and I am pleased to report that I flipped it the bird as I passed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on August 4, 2015 [31 favorites]


Every man I saw in town looked like your father-in-law the first time you met him at the door.

Friendly and happy to see me?
posted by Sangermaine at 10:31 AM on August 4, 2015 [15 favorites]


Someone tried building a dog park in one section in 2010, but found that there was asbestos in some of the abandoned buildings

DO NOT ENTER THE DOG PARK.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:32 AM on August 4, 2015 [56 favorites]


I refuse to contemplate a world where Trump is the President of the United States of America.

A more likely scenario is Trump making it onto the ticket as VP, like Sarah Palin did.
I hope he is as successful as Palin was.
posted by Gwynarra at 10:33 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


As an American of certifiable citizenhood, I would like to declare now, I will cast my vote for any current or former reality television star. They was on TV.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:33 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is a warning from someone who had Rob Ford as his mayor for four years:

Don't assume he can't win.

Don't write him off.

Don't say "oh, he has no chance."

Don't say "he's obviously racist/sexist/homophobic so minorities/women/gays won't vote for him" because people can and do vote counterintuitively, especially when they think they're going to get something for free out of it, and Trump is explicitly promising people free everything.

Don't say "the money will line up against him as soon as he becomes a threat." The money might do that - or it might decide that he's their best shot at winning and line up behind him.

Don't say "he says such stupid shit nobody would really vote for him" because lots of people who vote say stupid shit all the time, and pretty much all sectors of society have spent decades believing that politics is easy and anybody can do it.

Don't underestimate him because he's gone bankrupt twice and in major part is only where he is because he got a major head start from his daddy's money. Don't forget that this is a man who turned his buffoonery and inability to manage property interests into a net benefit because the one thing he can do is sell people on himself.

Don't assume he's too dumb to win the whole thing. Don't rely on monied interests to bring him down. Don't rely on common sense to see him lose.

Just don't.
posted by mightygodking at 10:35 AM on August 4, 2015 [205 favorites]


I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.
I... I can't even imagine.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


As an American of certifiable citizenhood, I would like to declare now, I will cast my vote for any current or former reality television star. They was on TV.

Just like Saint Ronnie Reagan!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.

I... I can't even imagine.


It's really not that crazy. If the guy was voting for Obama in the hopes that some juggernaut would storm in and take back the government for the little guy....well, that is the kind of motivation that crosses party lines.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:37 AM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


I wish 538 would do a breakdown of how things might turn out if the election actually ends up being Sanders v Bush v Trump.

Could this mean that my man Bernie could have a chance?
posted by furnace.heart at 10:37 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.

I... I can't even imagine.





Was Wayne his middle name? Because that might explain it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:38 AM on August 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


Just don't.

Well, the primaries haven't even started yet. If he's peaking now, he can't peak again later, right? Right!?
posted by FJT at 10:38 AM on August 4, 2015


I'm sure this is a very funny, well-written, and insightful article but I had to stop a few paragraphs in. It's so smarmy and classist. I'm no fan of Trump and I don't get why people love him, but I could do without all of the gawking over how trashy, tacky, inelegant, and uneducated-sounding his fans are. har har har, it's like a real life Cletus The Slack Jawed Yokel!

Can't we do better in terms of understanding what really drives people to attach themselves to characters like Trump?
posted by joan_holloway at 10:40 AM on August 4, 2015 [38 favorites]


Can't we do better in terms of understanding what really drives people to attach themselves to characters like Trump?

In GQ Magazine? Highly unlikely.
posted by blucevalo at 10:41 AM on August 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Don't say...

Just don't.


D'oh, I wish had read that comment earlier! I did all of those things you said not to do and I also plan on doing them later today and tomorrow and all the way until Trump is not the President.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:42 AM on August 4, 2015 [16 favorites]


I wish 538 would do a breakdown of how things might turn out if the election actually ends up being Sanders v Bush v Trump.

I would think if Trump were an independent or Republican nominee this would cause more Democrats to rally to Hillary Clinton. I guess my thinking is no one would have expected for Trump to be still in the election at that point, and that surprise would cause people to choose someone safer because of that.
posted by FJT at 10:43 AM on August 4, 2015


A more likely scenario is Trump making it onto the ticket as VP, like Sarah Palin did.

All things being equal, possibly. But it's probably not the best idea to give the #2 spot in your administration to a guy involved with high-priced NYC real estate, some of which may or may not have human corpses hidden in the foundations.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I refuse to contemplate a world where Trump is the President of the United States of America.

Coming from Minnesota where the dissatisfied elected former wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura to a four year term as governor, never say never.
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


joan_holloway: “I'm sure this is a very funny, well-written, and insightful article but I had to stop a few paragraphs in. It's so smarmy and classist. I'm no fan of Trump and I don't get why people love him, but I could do without all of the gawking over how trashy, tacky, inelegant, and uneducated-sounding his fans are. har har har, it's like a real life Cletus The Slack Jawed Yokel! Can't we do better in terms of understanding what really drives people to attach themselves to characters like Trump?”

To be fair to the article, (a) it was a lot less classist than I was expecting, and (b) that stuff really only lasts for the first few paragraphs. The rest is about Trump – and the author begs our indulgence as he says some nice things about Trump, and then discusses what he actually said, noting that he can kind of see why people get caught up in it: because Trump is entertaining and bold, and those things are great if you're ashamed of where we are as a country and if you just want somebody to "shake things up."

Also, Trump actually said at one point that he'd make a better Supreme Leader than Ali Khamenei.

So the article is pretty entertaining overall.
posted by koeselitz at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


joan_holloway: Can't we do better in terms of understanding what really drives people to attach themselves to characters like Trump?

Yes, we can. Start with looking at other people who like Trump. "Some days I’m hot, and some days I’m cold,” said George Smith, 70, a retired consultant who said he is still leaning toward Trump. “There’s things he’s saying that other politicians don’t have the guts to say. . . . But he tends to be a little thin-skinned and retaliates too easily. When I see that out of Obama and his people, I detest it.”

Then again, his big crowds aren't really a great example of his power of persuasion. “These are retired people. They’ve got a lot of time,” he said, laughing. “I don’t think he has a chance, but he provides entertainment.”
posted by filthy light thief at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015


Americans, did you wonder how Toronto could elect a sexist, racist, crack-smoking mayor who felt free to run city hall with his own private gang, who felt free to bring escorts into his office, who didn't understand the words "conflict of interest"?

Welp. Trump is using his playbook.
posted by bonehead at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015 [22 favorites]


It's hard to imagine Trump going for VP. He seems like an all or nothing candidate on the basis of personality. That said, I still can't quite figure him out. Like others, I think he got into the race as a marketing exercise but at this point, who knows? The transition from brand to ego happens swiftly and adds a lot of momentum.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:48 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, the whole article could have been summed up as:

"Angry low- to no-information voters."
posted by qcubed at 10:50 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.

Was Wayne his middle name? Because that might explain it.

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:38 PM on August 4

My dad's middle name is Wayne he would never vote for Obama. One of my BFF's middle name is Wayne... he would never vote for Trump.
posted by symbioid at 10:50 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


In conclusion, Waynes are a land of contrast.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:52 AM on August 4, 2015 [81 favorites]


Maybe it was the Reverend Wayne Gary Wayne? Although he would probably be more like a Huckabee guy.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:52 AM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


To better understand Trumpholes - the kids call Trump supporters “Trumpholes” - you might want to revisit the Milgram experiment or the Stanford prison experiment.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:53 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


The one saving grace of Ford's administration was that he and his brother were so stupid and so determined to do things their own way, without any external support or input, that the damage they caused (even before the crack tape; people forget that by the time that happened Robbie already had a year and a half's worth of fuckups under his belt) was somewhat mitigated by their own incompetence. If they had surrounded themselves with a competent team after the election, and more importantly had listened to them, Toronto's bad situation would have been even worse. Virtually everything they achieved was during their first few months in office, when people were still taking them seriously.

Trump is a buffoon, but if the big money decides he has a chance and throws some support (financial and/or logistical) his way...well, know knows?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:54 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am of the opinion that Trump isn't going to be president because Trump doesn't want to be president. He's just enjoying all the attention. That's all this is for him: an opportunity for him to bloviate and have people listen.

At some point he'll get sick of the fact that almost all the attention he's getting is negative and he'll pull out, and use that as an opportunity to get even more attention, as he hems and haws over which other candidate he should direct his supporters to, and those candidates prostrate themselves before him.

There may be an alternate reality in which he actually is elected, but even in that one, he steps down after less than a month in office, leaving us with President Palin. Who then steps down 3 months later (she's got slightly more staying power).
posted by adamrice at 10:56 AM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Slightly more than half of London's population voted for a buffoon with weird hair, many of them for a laugh, or on the assumption that it wouldn't make a difference.

It hasn't worked out terribly well.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:56 AM on August 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


What's most interesting about Trump is not about his position in the polls, which I think says more about the clown car effect than Trump's actual appeal to voters, but his impact on the rest of the field:

The Declining Marginal Value of Crazy
In the economics of Crazy, there is purity and volume. Trump has brought to market a purer and more widely deployable product. He has also radically increased volume. Like a high-flying tech start-up or new drug syndicate, he has radically devalued the product, while dominating the transformed market in a way that allows him to make a killing even against reduced prices and margins. Many of us thought that the string of collapsed business deals and partnerships would hurt Trump. And they may have damaged his bottom line. But in the political realm they have only served to confirm his image as a no-nonsense (all nonsense?) truth-teller who is indifferent to how controversy may affect his personal fortunes. In both purity and volume, his competitors simply cannot compete.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:57 AM on August 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's political kayfabe.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we can safely ignore him. Remember that professional wrestling is a multi-million (billion?) dollar a year industry. lots of regular people's incomes depend on it and if it went away they would suffer. Just because something is built on nonsense doesn't mean it can't cause damage, pain, and destruction.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:57 AM on August 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Do you really think Trump's ego would allow him to accept a job as vice president?
posted by dilaudid at 10:59 AM on August 4, 2015


> Honestly, the whole article could have been summed up as:

"Angry low- to no-information voters."


But it isn't; the inability to seriously reckon with Trump is what got the GOP into this mess in the first place. From Joshua Green at Bloomberg:
Time to retire theory that Trump has only "fringe" appeal: in @bpolitics poll he wins rich, poor, old, young, male, female, college/no coll

...

Thrice-married Trump who sez he "never" seeks forgiveness from God is winning "born again" vote in new @bpolitcs poll, besting even Huckabee

posted by Ouverture at 10:59 AM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


A dear friend who is a professor at a liberal arts college near Des Moines told me recently of Trump speaking there and opening his speech by thanking the college for inviting him.

Except they didn't. He paid to rent the place with his own money.
posted by 4ster at 11:01 AM on August 4, 2015 [29 favorites]


Missing "rooftop fuck cabana" tag.
posted by the painkiller at 11:05 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Could this mean that my man Bernie could have a chance?

No.
posted by brennen at 11:06 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


The crowd grave him a standing O on his way out.

Now there's an image that'll stick with you.

Also, entirely sincere question: in American English, is "trump" not a slang word for fart? Because even though jokes about people's names always feel lazy and unoriginal, I can't believe that I've literally never seen anyone use it, even in slangy and cheap stereotype-ridden articles like this.

(In British English it's an anachronistic and, to my ear, decidedly private schoolboy -sounding bit of slang. But I'd expect most people to recognise it.)
posted by metaBugs at 11:06 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


in American English, is "trump" not a slang word for fart?

Nope.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:07 AM on August 4, 2015 [23 favorites]


Backing Trump means acknowledging that you live in a world of failure, and that your last best hope is the Music Man moseying into town.

He's just a-
bang-beat,
bell-ringin',
big-haul,
great-go,
neck-or-nuthin',
rip-roarin',
evry-time-a-bulls-eye
SALESman

/ he's a fake, and he doesn't know the territory!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:07 AM on August 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


in American English, is "trump" not a slang word for fart?

It is now, buddy. It is now.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:09 AM on August 4, 2015 [27 favorites]


i honestly can't remember anybody more ridiculous running for the U.S. presidency. am I wrong about that? I know we had Ross Perot, but he wasn't a figure of ridicule, at least until it got until the last stages of the campaign, right?

I mean Trump is a motherfucking racist Birther. I mean maybe he would possibly have a chance in 1890 or whatever?
posted by angrycat at 11:09 AM on August 4, 2015


Nope

Again, thinking Bernie Sanders can't win isn't correct either. It's August of 2015. Anything can happen, and probably will.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:10 AM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Any Republican with unrealistic solutions to problems the Republican Party caused or exacerbated has a shot.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:13 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Backing Trump means acknowledging that you live in a world of failure, and that your last best hope is the Music Man moseying into town.

Okay, fine. I guess we'll see how he does someplace else. Someplace that really knows a quality candidate. Someplace like . . . Shelbyville.
posted by The Bellman at 11:13 AM on August 4, 2015 [16 favorites]


Sometimes I sit at home and think about all the people I know and I wonder what percentage of them are closet morons.
posted by srboisvert at 11:14 AM on August 4, 2015 [24 favorites]


I mean Trump is a motherfucking racist Birther. I mean maybe he would possibly have a chance in 1890 or whatever?

It's 2015 and the anticipated largest of the political donors, the Kochs, are Birchers.
posted by srboisvert at 11:16 AM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really loved the Bloom County redux for the Trump hilarity. Bill the Cat for vp!
posted by sio42 at 11:17 AM on August 4, 2015


I guess it would be a funny end of the world
posted by angrycat at 11:17 AM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


John Brunner wrote The Sheep Look Up in 1972. In it the president of the USA, aka "Prexy," is a folksy cowboy who isn't actually good at running the country but has plenty to say about it.
The alleged rise of intelligence in so-called backward countries is ascribed by the scientists who conducted the three-year investigation to improved diet and sanitation, while the as-yet unconfirmed decline in advanced nations is attributed to intensified pollution. Asked to comment on the report just prior to leaving for Hollywood, where he is tonight slated to open his annual retrospective, Prexy said, quote, Well, if they’re so smart why aren’t they clever? End quote.
...the Army is using defoliants in Honduras to create fire-free zones. This charge has been strongly denied by the Pentagon. Asked to comment just prior to leaving for Hawaii, where he will convalesce for the next two or three weeks, Prexy said, quote, Well, if you can’t see them you can’t shoot them. End quote.
So far we've had Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Bush Jr., and the resemblance to Prexy is getting closer all the time. Trump is really just the logical endpoint to everything else in The Sheep Look Up coming true.
posted by Rangi at 11:18 AM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Trump can't win period.

He can self fund to a substantial extent but he's not going to blow a billion on a vanity run and the money guys that run the Republican party aren't going to dump a ton of money on a candidate that would lose the general election by double digits because that would put the Senate and House into play and that's their safehold.

The reality is that Trump will take alot of the crazies out on the Republican party before going down to sustained attacks in a reduced field.

The big question mark is whether he has Ross Perot level arrogance enough to run as a third party nativist which would basically result in a resounding Hilary victory.

Bernie can't win either but that's not saying that he shouldn't stay in the race a long time because honestly it's good if Hilary gets practice before the general election and Sanders allows for a bunch of trial balloons of populist policy perscriptions.
posted by vuron at 11:19 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I guess it would be a funny end of the world

And in the end, isn't that what really matters?
posted by Rangi at 11:19 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a fairly conservative friend and enjoy reading his comments on facebook when it comes to Republican politics. He knows that Trump is kind of looney, but at the same time, admits that he at least knows what he's getting from Trump, versus your regular Republicans who say one thing and then do another.
posted by Atreides at 11:19 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you can get past the snobbish tone of the article, it does get at what Trump is doing and doing well. He's tapped into the vast well of resentment/anger/disillusionment a lot of people are feeling about how things are going, and then giving them some reasons to hang that feeling on - that the elites are mishandling things; that America just has to "win" again and you do that by being tougher than the other guy. Everything gets reduced to simple terms and the Trump can bray about simple solutions. Of course lots of people go for it; it makes all your problems the result of somebody else's incompetence, and the fix is simple, just go in there and fix things with your all-American common sense. Trump is a consummate showman and huckster; he knows what the audience wants to hear and is giving it to them.

What his endgame is, I can't even begin to guess. Usually the huckster flees town with everyone's money before everyone wakes up and smells the snake oil.
posted by nubs at 11:19 AM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Doesn't anyone know how tautologies work? Trump is polling at 24% implies 24% of Americans self identify as morons.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:23 AM on August 4, 2015


He's going with the "trouble right here in river city" routine which seems like it's working with a certain sector of the populace.

Instead of talking up the evils of pool halls he's talking up the evils of rapist Mexicans and crypto-Muslims.

And instead of just taking the town's money for band uniforms he'll parlay this into another reality TV project because that's the Donald for ya.
posted by vuron at 11:23 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


He knows that Trump is kind of looney, but at the same time, admits that he at least knows what he's getting from Trump, versus your regular Republicans who say one thing and then do another.

I find this opinion pretty hilarious. I actually think a President Trump wouldn't be all that bad, for the same reason I thought a President John Edwards wouldn't have been that bad. They are these horribly, secretly insecure little men who want nothing but approval, and so will do whatever they think is popular at the time. Trump changes his mind about politics about every 5 years. Chasing poll numbers isn't the best way to lead a country, but it's not the worst, either.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:24 AM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Trump is polling at 24% implies 24% of Americans self identify as morons.

And that's not even counting the number of people who don't understand how small the primary electorate is!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:25 AM on August 4, 2015 [17 favorites]


Someone tried building a dog park in one section in 2010, but found that there was asbestos in some of the abandoned buildings

Aaaooo! Werewolves of the USA.

I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.

Aaaooo! Werewolves of the USA.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:27 AM on August 4, 2015 [15 favorites]


Trump 2016: We declare war on the moon!
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thrice-married Trump who sez he "never" seeks forgiveness from God is winning "born again" vote in new @bpolitcs poll, besting even Huckabee.

This is not surprising. To many right wing American Christians, Trump's bellicose posturing, shameless ambition, triumphalism, and unapologetic worship of money and power likely resembles their idea of the True Jesus much more than the peace-loving, wealth-eschewing, anti-authoritarian hippie prototype that our soft, modern, bleeding heart sensibilities (and the actual text of the bible) would have us believe.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2015 [22 favorites]


He's The Great White Stupid Hope of a racist hegemony in decline and determined to take us all with them.
posted by emjaybee at 11:33 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I find this opinion pretty hilarious.

It's a glimpse into one of the major problems of the GOP, in my opinion. They have tried to ride the populist wave of the Tea Party, using the minority boost to gain an edge on Democrats, but ultimately identify the Tea Party ideas as completely unrealistic and therefore, stymy those Tea Party politician efforts to follow through on those beliefs. The result is this grand disillusionment and sense of betrayal, you have the national GOP promising one thing, but then inexplicably (to some of their supporters) just turning their back on a large segment of their constituents with their failure to behave as promised seen as either giving in to the Democrats or worse, Obama. What's worse, these conservatives have no where else since the main alternative is the Democratic Party.

Then enter Trump.
posted by Atreides at 11:33 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


FWIW, NYTimes estimates of the 10 people who will be allowed in the Republican debate on Thursday: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:33 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again, thinking Bernie Sanders can't win isn't correct either.
roomthreeseventeen

Yes, it is. Now, always, and forever. Bernie Sanders cannot and will not win. To think otherwise is Ron Paul levels of delusion.

Mark this post. If Sanders beats Clinton, and gets the Dem nomination, I will make a MetaTalk post acknowledging my mistake and send $100 to you or your charity of choice. If Sanders wins the general election, another $1000 on top of that.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:35 AM on August 4, 2015 [57 favorites]


I just want to see a Trump/HRC debate. I feel like the experience of being married to Bill Clinton for so long, plus that cold steel vicious quality in her you can kind of sense, makes her the one and only politician who can disassemble the Trump bomb without exploding the whole room.

No one who has the ability to win the Republican nomination would ever choose Trump as VP (they hate him and his charisma would expose their feeble charm and lackluster appeal) and Trump would never never never never EVER accept a #2 spot. Either he's the nominee or he's nothing.
posted by sallybrown at 11:35 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think it's fascinating that Trump is essentially echoing Perot's critique of NAFTA. And that criticisms of the neoliberal economic agenda, that actually totally does harm the type of people in Osky and pretty much everyone who isn't super wealthy, are apparently resonating with more and more people. Of course, Trump combines this with racism and nativism and would almost certainly not actually challenge the increasingly power of Big Money. But it's still fascinating that he's advocating for a return to high tariffs.
posted by overglow at 11:36 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, it is. Now, always, and forever. Bernie Sanders cannot and will not win. To think otherwise is Ron Paul levels of delusion.

Well, lots of very smart people think otherwise.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:37 AM on August 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Trump is polling at 24% implies 24% of Americans self identify as morons.

Nope. It's the Crazification Factor at work.
John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --

Tyrone: 27%.

John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
I think we can call 24% within the margin of error. This is classic Crizification Factor. The completely insane candidate in the US will get about 1/4th of the votes, period.
posted by eriko at 11:37 AM on August 4, 2015 [49 favorites]


Trump 2016: We declare war on the moon!

At least it's better than "Huckabee 2016: I Will Literally Declare War On Women!" Which, mind you, is only slightly better than the "serious" contenders, who have suggested merely shutting down the government over it instead.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:39 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


But it's still fascinating that he's advocating for a return to high tariffs.

THANK YOU this was the part of the article where I went from "welp time to start day drinking" to "...wait....really?" It is deeply fascinating, and no wonder it resonates so strongly with people whose industries have been decimated.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:40 AM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


in American English, is "trump" not a slang word for fart?

Maybe Trump would cause Santorum to emerge as a running-mate.
posted by exogenous at 11:42 AM on August 4, 2015 [26 favorites]


I just want to see a Trump/HRC debate. I feel like the experience of being married to Bill Clinton for so long, plus that cold steel vicious quality in her you can kind of sense, makes her the one and only politician who can disassemble the Trump bomb without exploding the whole room.
sallybrown

I could see this backfiring in a "lying down with pigs" way. Clinton can only be tarnished because people expect Trump to be a buffoon, and Trump can only really gain since appearing onstage with Clinton makes him seem more serious.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:42 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]




Lot's of very smart people aren't necessarily educated in poli-sci either.

I like Bernie but even he's said that he's not looking to be a spoiler but merely use this as a stage to promote his ideas.

Bernie isn't going to win the nomination anymore than Princess Twilight Sparkle is going to win. Sure technically he's allowed to be the President (I'm assuming that Twilight Sparkle isn't going to measure up on that native born requirement - or the age minimum) but the reality is that he's got enough support to do well in College Towns and even some early Caucuses and Primaries but he doesn't have the machine necessary to win the nomination and doesn't look to be able to pull an Obama'08 on Hilary despite the progressive desire for him to.

What is good is that he can promote progressive ideas in the primaries and push Hilary to the left some prior to the inevitable shift to the center for the General Election.

It's way less certain that Bush will survive the amount of air sucking out of the room that Trump is generating but on the otherhand Trump will end up nuking most of the loonies out of the race.
posted by vuron at 11:44 AM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


And here we are dumping gasoline into the Trump Attention Truck, just like he wants.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:45 AM on August 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Bringing the absolute level of racist bullshit to light rampant in the Republican party is a good thing.

Now instead of hiding behind implicit dog-whistles they are going to have to really admit to their explicit race-baiting in order to gain traction against Trump.
posted by vuron at 11:47 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I came across this article posted to a FaceBook feed, New Hampshire Focus Group Fawns Over Trump: 'He's Like One Of Us'.

Below the post, in the FB LINKS PEOPLE ALSO SHARED area, this clip, Gooble Gobble One of Us We Accept Her, was listed. It is a scene from the the 1932 Tod Browning film 'Freaks'.
I am still chuckling.
posted by dougzilla at 11:49 AM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Damn, people hate Mexicans even more than I could've imagined. Can we stop talking bullshit and just admit that racism is 95% driving Trump's numbers up?
posted by chaz at 11:51 AM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


From dougzilla's first link:
"Heilemann further asked the focus group what they believed a Trump presidency would look like.

“Classy,” Cheryl, a real estate agent, answered confidently."


I do not think this woman has a good grasp of the English language.
posted by daq at 11:53 AM on August 4, 2015 [16 favorites]


A more likely scenario is Trump making it onto the ticket as VP, like Sarah Palin did.
I hope he is as successful as Palin was.


There is no alternate universe in which Trump settles for the VP slot. None. Never. Gonna. Happen.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:57 AM on August 4, 2015


I do not think this woman has a good grasp of the English language.

I would disagree, I think Trump is the epitome of the word "classy" as it is commonly used.
posted by cell divide at 12:00 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh my god the primary debate is in 2 DAYS

please mods may we liveblog this trainwreck i beg you
posted by poffin boffin at 12:03 PM on August 4, 2015 [24 favorites]




So far every Trump supporter I've read comments from falls somewhere in a Venn Diagram with the following three circles: (1) People who don't take democracy seriously (2) People who know extremely little about Donald Trump beyond "tough talker on TV" and (3) Literally the worst.
posted by midmarch snowman at 12:05 PM on August 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


chaz, Judging by the comments in the article, I think the hatred is more directed at Muslims than Mexicans.

I hope Trump wins the nomination. If he does, Republicans at all levels of government will be forced to stop their hinting and either affirm or reject the bigotry they've relied on.

I suggest we all vote for him in the Republican primary. If nominated, he stands essentially no chance of winning, and a very large chance of decimating the GOP for the next few election cycles.
posted by andrewpcone at 12:06 PM on August 4, 2015


I suggest we all vote for him in the Republican primary. If nominated, he stands essentially no chance of winning, and a very large chance of decimating the GOP for the next few election cycles.

Like somebody said upthead.... Rob Ford.
posted by coust at 12:08 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


please mods may we liveblog this trainwreck i beg you

I don't see why this couldn't be on FanFare. I don't think there's any FF rule against live TV events.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, if your strategy is "vote for the most vicious bigot to discredit the Republicans long term" there might be better options than Trump... Huckabee, for instance.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 12:10 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


We don't have the same electoral system as Canada though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:12 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm glad someone else mentioned the 27% Crazification Factor - it's not just my memory playing tricks on me. Again and again we come back to that number: 27% of our fellow citizens are a few animal crackers short of the full petting zoo.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:12 PM on August 4, 2015


Personally I assume that the 27% Crazification Factor is actually closer to ~27% on either end of the political spectrum, making the full Crazification Factor around 54%.
posted by fings at 12:14 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


chaz, Judging by the comments in the article, I think the hatred is more directed at Muslims than Mexicans.

I think in general when it comes to conservative hate, the hate hose is sort of spinning around the yard splattering hate everywhere, and each candidate is the thumb over the hose end directing the flow into the area that pleases them most.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 PM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Pretty much everywhere but where it should be pointed, strangely enough.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:16 PM on August 4, 2015


Dammit, eriko beat me to the 27% baseline crazy stat, which along with the phrase "racist in the nicest possible way" to describe the GOP sending a carpetbagging crazy person to run against Obama just because they were both black, were the only two amusing things about watching that election.

I literally had a dream about the first debate last night, only it was like an MMA scrum to get in front of the camera instead of taking turns, and it was AMAZING.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:18 PM on August 4, 2015


yes well of course they're not going to turn the hose on themselves.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:18 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Personally I assume that the 27% Crazification Factor is actually closer to ~27% on either end of the political spectrum, making the full Crazification Factor around 54%.

Yeah, no. The 27% run the show for conservatives, no contest. Unless you're one of those people that thinks "crazy" ideas like single-payer health care or a decent working wage are just as wacko as denying anthropocentric climate change or running on straight-up discriminating against everyone who isn't white, male, straight, etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:19 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


zombieflanders: "I Will Literally Declare War On Women!" Which, mind you, is only slightly better than the "serious" contenders, who have suggested merely shutting down the government over it instead."

Point/Counterpoint:
U.S. Out Of My Uterus!
vs.
We Must Deploy Troops To Jessica Linden's Uterus Immediately

posted by Rhaomi at 12:21 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


estimates of the 10 people who will be allowed in the Republican debate on Thursday: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

I'm making popcorn, personally.
posted by nubs at 12:24 PM on August 4, 2015


I would disagree, I think Trump is the epitome of the word "classy" as it is commonly used.

Exactly. Been to the trump tower? It has the highest quality of gold toned veneer all over. Classiest mall style anywhere! What's more classy than showing up to your women's golf championship in the country that invented golf, in a chopper with your name emblazoned in six foot lettering?

Question? Will he be able to repaint Air force One?

Sigh.
posted by sammyo at 12:25 PM on August 4, 2015


Donald Trump is the Charlie Sheen of politics.
posted by panama joe at 12:25 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Panama joe just called the running mate!
posted by sammyo at 12:27 PM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Until pretty recently, most people in the media and elsewhere have thought of Trump the way they thought of, say, Howard Cain last election: a vanity candidate who has peaked months early and who will fade as soon as silly season ends. I think we're finding out that this isn't the case.

Polls have shown for years that many Americans firmly believe in the power of the bully pulpit, that if the President would just go out there and say what he wants very loudly, everyone else will back down. And who better for the bully pulpit than an actual bully?

This isn't to say that I think Trump will win, but I don't think we'll see him just fade out anytime soon.
posted by tau_ceti at 12:35 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't assume he can't win.

Don't write him off.

Don't say "oh, he has no chance."


When I see comments like this (and they pop up regularly here & other places whenever Trump comes up), I feel like the person saying it has some sort of fundamental misunderstanding of American politics.

Sorry, but mayor of Toronto is not quite the same pinnacle of political achievement as U.S. president, the hurdles one must clear are quite a bit tougher.

Trump cannot win. I suppose I would have to admit that it doesn't actually break the laws of physics to construct a Series of Unfortunate Events that would lead to such a thing, in the same way that one could construct an elaborate series of events that lead to MY becoming president (shudder), but...no, that ain't gonna happen either.

There's not a 7% chance that Trump will win.

There's not a 3% chance that Trump will win.

There's not a 1% chance that Trump will win.

There's a .000001% chance that Trump will win, and I feel entirely comfortable rounding that down to 0%.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


(Just briefly, about the debate - Fanfare's not the place, we don't really do live event over there and it's not really for liveblogging. Chat is explicitly for liveblogging during events -- knock yourselves out with as many "whoa!" type short comments as you want. And a thread on the blue would also work, with a somewhat higher bar than Chat for comments.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:42 PM on August 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


built on nonsense

damage, pain, and destruction


I feel like these could both be slogans for the Trump '16 campaign and they would poll well with his supporters.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:43 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


it worries me some that people believe trump's bullshit

it worries me a lot more that trump believes his bullshit
posted by pyramid termite at 12:46 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bernie isn't going to win the nomination anymore than Princess Twilight Sparkle is going to win.

*looks at current field of candidates*

so - what's her platform, anyway?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:48 PM on August 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


Fanfare's not the place, we don't really do live event over there and it's not really for liveblogging. Chat is explicitly for liveblogging during events

So it's taking Chat under 100 hours to get their monkey's paw. Congrats, folks.
posted by phearlez at 12:52 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


FRIENDSHIP
posted by poffin boffin at 12:52 PM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


TIMING
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kevin Drum: If You Don't Get Donald Trump's Appeal, You Really Need to Catch Up on Your "Celebrity Apprentice" Viewing
Now, picture in your mind how Trump looks. He is running things. He sets the tasks. The competitors all call him "Mr. Trump" and treat him obsequiously. He gives orders and famous people accept them without quibble. At the end of the show, he asks tough questions and demands accountability. He is smooth and unruffled while the team members are tense and tongue-tied. Finally, having given everything the five minutes of due diligence it needs, he takes charge and fires someone. And on the season finale, he picks a big winner and in the process raises lots of money for charity.

Do you see how precisely this squares with so many people's view of the presidency? The president is the guy running things. He tells people what to do. He commands respect simply by virtue of his personality and rock-solid principles. When things go wrong, he doesn't waste time. He gets to the bottom of the problem in minutes using little more than common sense, and then fires the person responsible. And in the end, it's all for a good cause. That's a president.

Obviously this is all a fake. The show is deliberately set up to make Trump look authoritative and decisive. But a lot of people just don't see it that way. It's a reality show! It's showing us the real Donald Trump. And boy does he look presidential. Not in the real sense, of course, where you have to deal with Congress and the courts and recalcitrant foreign leaders and all that. But in the Hollywood sense? You bet.

So keep this in mind, you liberal latte sippers and Beltway media elites. For the past seven years (11 years if you count the original Apprentice show), about 10 million people have been watching Donald Trump act presidential week after week. He's not a buffoon. He's commanding, he's confident, he's respected, he demands accountability, and he openly celebrates accomplishment and money—but then makes sure all the money goes to charity at the end. What's not to like?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:02 PM on August 4, 2015 [34 favorites]


vuron: Your suggestion of a Twilight Sparkle write-in progressive vote intrigues me. After all, she strikes me as no more unreal than Donald Trump. And I think she'd have a really excellent Cabinet ready to go for day one (though Secretary of Defense Rainbow Dash might favor the air force a little too much).
posted by LeRoienJaune at 1:07 PM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]




Ouverture:
> Honestly, the whole article could have been summed up as: "Angry low- to no-information voters."

But it isn't; the inability to seriously reckon with Trump is what got the GOP into this mess in the first place. From Joshua Green at Bloomberg:

Time to retire theory that Trump has only "fringe" appeal: in @bpolitics poll he wins rich, poor, old, young, male, female, college/no coll


Um, do you think that those groups can't be low- to no-information voters? Because believe me, they can.
posted by tavella at 1:24 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Trump, pfft. He's just a batshit-crazy guy that the quidnunc kid people are putting up to temporarily divert attention from their REAL candidate, who is MUCH crazier about batshit. Mark my words, when election time comes none of you will be voting Trump - you'll be swimming in batshit, and voting #1 quidnunc kid … quidnunc kid … quidnun -- ah, I should have mentioned that I'm swinging a pendulum in front of my monitor while I write this, so the hypnotism should work if you just relax and stare at the screen. OK, where were we? Oh yeah: "Shit #1 quidnunc bat … quidnunc bat … quidnunc bat".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:29 PM on August 4, 2015 [22 favorites]


I came across this article posted to a FaceBook feed, New Hampshire Focus Group Fawns Over Trump: 'He's Like One Of Us'.

Star Of Bloomberg's Trump Supporter Vid: Wait, I'm No Trump Supporter!
posted by andoatnp at 1:36 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, it is. Now, always, and forever. Bernie Sanders cannot and will not win. To think otherwise is Ron Paul levels of delusion.

Replace Bernie Sanders with Obama, and that's exactly what insider media was saying eight years ago. Let's just see how the first debate plays out before we start using the word inevitable.
posted by Beholder at 1:37 PM on August 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


Could this mean that my man Bernie could have a chance?

He already beats all of the Republican primary candidates including Bush; his poll numbers have doubled in Iowa and tripled in New Hampshire just since May; and nationally his numbers have doubled just since mid-June (he's around 20% nationally now).

Anyone (media or otherwise) treating Trump as a more serious or electable candidate than Sanders is showing their biases.
posted by dialetheia at 1:41 PM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Bernie Sanders also has a distinct organizing advantage, with over 100,000 volunteers showing up at house parties nationwide last week. I went to one here in Montana, and over 200 people around my (liberal for MT, but still conservative) region showed up to talk about electing Bernie Sanders. I wish the map showing all the small house parties around the country was still up because it was fascinating - so many small towns that I never would have guessed had a single liberal person who lived there, but were still able to scrape together five or ten people to talk about organizing their communities to elect Sanders. I doubt any other candidate could say the same at this point.
posted by dialetheia at 1:45 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Time to retire theory that Trump has only "fringe" appeal: in @bpolitics poll he wins rich, poor, old, young, male, female, college/no coll

Reiterating what tavella points out: I'm not being classist/racist when I say supporters of Trump seem to be invariably angry low- to no-information voters. Even, mind you, self-described liberals.

Pretty much anyone can be in that group. It just so happens that the writer of this article went to Iowa.
posted by qcubed at 1:52 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this might be furthering a derail, but I would be really curious to hear some of the reasons people think Sanders is unelectable... Without supporting arguments, a lot of the comments about that read like bluster to me.
posted by overglow at 1:53 PM on August 4, 2015


I met a man named Wayne who voted for Obama twice but was now firmly in Trump’s corner.

I cried because I had no feet, until I met a man who had no brass flamingo.

What Kind of Person Would Vote For Donald Trump?

People of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know . . . Americans.
 
posted by Herodios at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Foolish oversensitive magazine writer, you need huge side mirrors to safely operate your truck when hauling a large trailer or camper, duh.

HUGE SIDE MIRRORS 2016
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


“The Revolt Against the Ruling Class,” Robert Reich, 02 August 2015
“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's not out of the realm of possibility that Hillary gets knocked out of the race - We are early in this, and the attacks on her are already very strong, and have some teeth. Who would become the Democratic candidate then? O'Malley? "Who?" Biden? Possible, but there's a ton of work he'd have to do. Sanders would likely be the "de-facto" candidate if anything happened to her. But even if she doesn't get knocked out, Sanders is engaging much of the party that would otherwise remain apathetic - many of whom could easily decide a primary. That's the same sort of momentum that won elections for the Tea Party.

The only other thing I know for sure is that many of the articles of "Bernie Sanders isn't going to win" that I see constantly are making at least some people move from "Bernie who?" to "Let's check out this Bernie guy." If he really didn't have a chance, you wouldn't read so much about him -- whereas people who truly don't have a chance, like Lincoln Chafee (cue "who?" and furious googling), are getting no air time whatsoever - none. As in, less than the absolute bottom tier of GOP candidates like Graham, Christy, and Kasich - many of who are names that you likely already at least know.

I posted at length about Trump earlier. Do not disregard the momentum of an energized group that would otherwise remain apathetic. Remember that there are plenty of "unelectables" that got elected in 2014 - Do not discount him just because it's the presidency at stake, I don't think that changes this. The fact that Palin was the VP of choice in 2008 should also speak volumes about the possibilities. The other thing that Trump really has in his favor is there isn't really anything hidden about who he is - All of his dirty laundry is out there. He has no need to go on the defensive, and that's huge.

All of that being said, there is a ton that can happen in the next 461 days leading up to the general election. The only things that I know for sure is that Bernie is getting more popular as time goes on, there will be more attacks on Clinton every day, and Trump isn't going away any time soon - there's absolutely no incentive for him to go away at this point.
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:10 PM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, I lied, there's one more thing that I'll have nightmares about unless they both spontaneously vanish - Walker/Cruz.
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:12 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


The problem is that reich remembers a time when people could actually change policy direction by virtue of protests and strikes and revolts. In our current police state, the powers that be have no fear of plebes with pitchforks. They'll send tanks out to massacre protestors and cry big crocodile tears about how we made them beat us.
posted by dejah420 at 2:13 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


I guess the idea is that we'll come to our senses when we get into our respective primary voting booths and vote for consensus candidates Clinton and Bush. But we don't actually have to do that.

A Sanders-Trump national would be fantastic. One guy determined to make the campaign about issues and the other guy determined to make it about personality talking right past each other (and the other guy's supporters).

Hitchens often borrowed what he considered a hopeful a quote from a friend (who was commenting on developments in Israeli politics): "There are encouraging signs of polarization."

Maybe these are some for us here.
posted by notyou at 2:15 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


He knows that Trump is kind of looney, but at the same time, admits that he at least knows what he's getting from Trump, versus your regular Republicans who say one thing and then do another.

substitute:
Trump -> Sanders
looney -> radical
Republicans -> Democrats
posted by mr vino at 2:15 PM on August 4, 2015




My sense is that the support for Trump is the "none of the above (or, less charitably, the "fuck it") vote. Given that the GOP and Democrat nominations are essentially a process of the major donors anointing their two prize bulls who can then pretend to have a contest between them (and then do exactly the same thing, regardless of which one gets in to office). Yes, it's a big deal for the one who gets the big prize, but what difference does it make for the citizens?

Another way of looking at it is the disruption/troll vote. Trump is a "tell it like it is" candidate, who's willing to speak the hard truths that the mainstream GOP and the mainstream Democrats. The Republican elite have alienated their base which is the white working class - who actually cares about things like getting their jobs disrupted by Mexicans or Guatemalans working for cheaper. It's interesting to note that the only other candidate who's addressing this issue from the citizens' point of view is Bernie Sanders. The others are just pushing the same old warmed over talking points about amnesty.
posted by theorique at 2:18 PM on August 4, 2015


Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

An interesting thing about Trump, he supports affordable healthcare for the poor. I think that's why the GOP hates him. They worry about reeling him in, about getting him to tow the corporate line, but Trump is a multi billionaire egomaniac. He's not worried about getting rich after he leaves office. He's already rich. He wants fame, adulation, and acceptance, so if public opinion favors more liberal economic positions, I think he's more likely to support them than the other right wing candidates.

And something else about Sanders. He's got a surprising amount of support from rank and file Republicans. They won't admit it, but they like his economic positions. I think Sanders knows this, which explains his less than enthusiastic response on any questions involving gun control. He's from a tiny rural State. He understands how to reach working class Whites in a way Hillary can't. A way her husband perfected, but she never could, and you need to get those working class Whites on board, so Democrats can get the majority needed to overcome GOP legislative roadblocks.
posted by Beholder at 2:19 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


> (and then do exactly the same thing, regardless of which one gets in to office)

Stop saying this. The supreme court vote absolutely matters. The veto absolutely matters. These are things that will drastically change depending on who is there.
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:21 PM on August 4, 2015 [27 favorites]


I would be really curious to hear some of the reasons people think Sanders is unelectable.

Because both parties are beholden to big business and big money. Because the word socialism is a massive dirty word in American politics. Because a substantial portion of the United States denies climate change and/or are economically dependant on carbon fuels for their income. Because many people still think that the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance are good things. Because 8 years of lackluster Obama have weakened the likelihood that younger voters who his policies should resonate with will bother to vote.

Neither he nor Trump are likely to get elected; they could well have even chances, but what we're seeing now is a media circus that's about ratings, and Trump is a charismatic celebrity buffoon that looks like an anthropomorphic carrot wearing a taxadermied squirrel and Bernie is an earnest guy that many people had not given more than 10 minutes of thought to before recently that looks like someone's retired dentist grandfather. Guess who they're going to cover?
posted by Candleman at 2:22 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


(When he "announced" yesterday, he started a clock with the Federal Election Commission - in 120 days, he has to file paperwork with them formally declaring his candidacy.

Salò, or the 120 Days of Trumpdom
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:22 PM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


And mind you, I love the idea of a President Saunders, I just can't see any reasonable likelihood of it happening.
posted by Candleman at 2:31 PM on August 4, 2015


Gonna post this again, I would love to know the answers to many of these questions but #18 may be my favorite.

21 Questions for Donald Trump by a guy who covered him for decades.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:31 PM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

I'd say the key word here is "today," as in August of 2015, which is still 15 months before the general election, and that anybody who has a strong opinion about the race now is either a politics buff/activist (nice for you, best of luck) or a person who Loves To Have Opinions regardless of their relevance to the world today. The vast majority of people, the I-will-give-a-shit-next-year-when-it-actually-matters corps, are not being heard from right now.

No one who has the ability to win the Republican nomination would ever choose Trump as VP (they hate him and his charisma would expose their feeble charm and lackluster appeal)

I agree in general, but let's not call it charisma when what we're talking about is shamelessness. Has the man every held elective office? Is he accountable to anyone? He says what he wants because he doesn't. fucking. care. and that's annoying to anyone who actually has to.
posted by psoas at 2:32 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because both parties are beholden to big business and big money. Because the word socialism is a massive dirty word in American politics. Because a substantial portion of the United States denies climate change and/or are economically dependant on carbon fuels for their income. Because many people still think that the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance are good things. Because 8 years of lackluster Obama have weakened the likelihood that younger voters who his policies should resonate with will bother to vote.

Those are all reasons why our political system is irreparably broken, if true. If everything you said is true then I don't have any hope that our government can even address the issues we face, much less solve them. To me, people who think that the actual voters in this country have no say in the election and that money and corporate interests determine everything have given up altogether.

Also, they called Obama a socialist a million times and we still elected him - I don't think people are nearly as afraid of the S-word anymore as folks think they are.

Because 8 years of lackluster Obama have weakened the likelihood that younger voters who his policies should resonate with will bother to vote.

This is going to be an issue for Clinton far more than it is for Sanders. Young voters actually tend to like Sanders because he actually means what he says and has some measure of authenticity; he's easily and handily winning the race among young voters in my social media. For example, for better or worse, he's already won reddit's wholehearted support, and he's pretty huge on Tumblr too even though no one has written any articles about it. The kids seem to overwhelmingly prefer Sanders over Clinton (though he's certainly still hurting for name recognition by comparison), precisely because he actually seems to mean what he says.
posted by dialetheia at 2:34 PM on August 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Stop saying this. The supreme court vote absolutely matters. The veto absolutely matters. These are things that will drastically change depending on who is there.

But does it? Recently, the Bush-nominated "conservative" John Roberts voted for gay marriage, and there are many earlier cases of ideological unpredictability.

The right-wing is using the rather, um, zesty term "cuckservative" to denote the Washington GOP insiders who want a nice cushy National Review column, some paid appearances on Fox News to be a talking conservative head, and a gig at the AEI. The idea is that they are a well-paid, well-fed controlled opposition to make it look like a contest. Upthread, someone mentioned "political kayfabe" - the real kayfabe is what is going on with the mainstream candidates. Insofar as Trump (and Sanders) are unpredictable spoilers, they are disrupting the business as usual in Washington, which can only be a good thing for the citizens (less so for the insiders, we can hope).
posted by theorique at 2:42 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


When he "announced" yesterday, he started a clock with the Federal Election Commission - in 120 days, he has to file paperwork with them formally declaring his candidacy.

He has filed his statement of candidacy in late June and his personal financial disclosure in mid July. Is there something more?
posted by peeedro at 2:43 PM on August 4, 2015


Clinton is a relentlessly mediocre, right-wing candidate with a 30-year history of failure; Bernie Sanders is a long shot. We all know this.

Let's refocus instead on Mr. Trump and his amusing and theatrical run for the Presidency!

I have been saying for quite a while that this is kayfabe. Oh, I don't think that Trump doesn't want to campaign and mouth off, but I'm pretty sure that Republican handlers know what group he's going to insult this week so that, say, Jeb Bush can conveniently be speaking the next day and be able to able to negate those remarks in Spanish.

Based on these hints, I honestly believe that they're going to put Jeb! Bush up as the candidate.

He isn't a raving idiot like the rest of them, just another fuckup from a family of fuckups which is "good enough", and many Republicans from the Dunning-Kruger segment of society revere the Bush family as secular saints.

Another Bush vs. Clinton match! How exciting! (You know what to do if you don't want that...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:44 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's pretty much the same blueprint for fascism that is appearing all over Europe. People recognize that they are being screwed over, their lives becoming poorer and more insecure. You have the right wing and center, which wholeheartedly embrace screwing more people over. You have liberals, who will try to soften a few edges, but are afraid to commit to taking back power over capital (and in fact, the system has been maneuvered in the last couple of decades to ensure that any attempts to do so will become illegal under various trade treaties and national court rulings.) So people look for some alternative, and fascists, like Trump, offer someone to bash. There's no actual functional left-wing to advocate the same violent alternatives pointed at the people doing the fucking over. So people vote for the neo-fascists.

And of course neo-fascists are actually perfectly happy to cooperate with capital, so people's lives will only get worse, but in their poverty they will have someone to hate and feel superior to, and some lynchings to entertain themselves with.

I've said it before, but the truest thing ever said about American politics (and I think, sadly, probably politics everywhere), was by Davis X. Machina:

"The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of who will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it."
posted by tavella at 2:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [36 favorites]


But does it? Recently, the Bush-nominated "conservative" John Roberts voted for gay marriage, and there are many earlier cases of ideological unpredictability.
Majority Kennedy, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan
Dissent Roberts, joined by Scalia, Thomas
Dissent Scalia, joined by Thomas
Dissent Thomas, joined by Scalia
Dissent Alito, joined by Scalia, Thomas
You may have been thinking of the Obamacare decision earlier in the week.

Yes there have been Warrens they can't be relied upon to show up. Every GWB justice continues to be a right fucking prick.
posted by Talez at 2:55 PM on August 4, 2015 [18 favorites]


Many white people in America are filled with racial hatred right now. That's what the love for Trump is about. This is absolutely pertinent to the election, and we have to address it somehow before shit gets worse.
posted by naju at 2:56 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


But does it? Recently, the Bush-nominated "conservative" John Roberts voted for gay marriage, and there are many earlier cases of ideological unpredictability.

He didn't, but things like Obamacare and Gay Marriage are important but also sideshows in the real conservatism of this court-- this is the most pro-corporate court... ever? Huge corporations love the Roberts court, it's delivered everything they want and seems poised to continue.
posted by cell divide at 3:12 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


estimates of the 10 people who will be allowed in the Republican debate on Thursday: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

Which also happens to be the night of the final Daily Show episode ever. I kinda wonder if FOX is saying "heyyyy Jon, heyyyyyyyy, stayyyyyyy Jon stayyyyyyyyyy."

(and then do exactly the same thing, regardless of which one gets in to office)

Ugh. SCOTUS appontments (and the Federal judiciary). Gender and sexual minority rights.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:14 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a warning from someone who had Rob Ford as his mayor for four years:

Don't assume he can't win.

Don't write him off.


I feel confident that there's no way this will happen. People get opportunities to be mayor or governor who would not get the same nation-wide support for the presidency. I'd bet my left... anything on it, despite early polling.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:28 PM on August 4, 2015


Huge corporations love the Roberts court, it's delivered everything they want and seems poised to continue.

Yes, look at Citizens United, which broke down on party lines (regarding who appointed who). Kennedy is the only real "switch" in the court, and he was only appointed because Bork was blocked (who would have been a nightmare). But even Kennedy is more conservative than any justice nominated by Clinton or Obama (and Ginsburg will be 87 in 2020 when the subsequent election happens).
posted by thefoxgod at 3:33 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


The thing about Trump is that he's not really a Republican in the post-GWB sense of "a flunky of Roger Ailes and the Koch Brothers." I'm not saying that makes him a good guy, but it makes him, in my mind, less of an out-and-out disaster as any of the other GOP frontrunners.
posted by xigxag at 3:40 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, they called Obama a socialist a million times and we still elected him - I don't think people are nearly as afraid of the S-word anymore as folks think they are.

A significant and, I think, still-meaningful distinction here is that Obama is not actually a socialist, and despite my dim view of the comprehension exercised by so much of the American electorate, I think this is apparent even to a great many people who are susceptible to standard right wing rhetoric.

I do think that Obama's campaign was built on a real outpouring of both radical and reformist energy, as much as this sometimes gets downplayed or lost now. But even as a candidate, he held positions that were palatable to a lot of life-long Republicans. I don't know that my parents voted for him, but I also don't know that they didn't, which sure is striking. I have a hard time conceptualizing a universe in which I can say the same about Bernie Sanders, given that they have the faintest idea of his priors.

I dunno. I want to be wrong about Bernie's chances. I will be positively gleeful if I am wrong. I will also be out a couple hundred bucks in bar bets, because I just cannot see how anyone outside of the borderline-delusional-hippie set is reading this as any more likely to happen than a Ron Paul presidency. It's more likely than a Trump presidency, but, well, heh.

Here's hoping I'm just bitter and out of touch.

(To be clear, about half of my friends are delusional hippies.)
posted by brennen at 3:45 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Beholder: "Replace Bernie Sanders with Obama, and that's exactly what insider media was saying eight years ago. "

What do Vermonters think? There was DEFINITELY a vocal cadre of Illinoisians who thought Obama could do it 8 years ago, because we'd seen his previous campaigns for the statehouse and Senate. I think everyone realized it would require some amount of aligning stars for such a national-scene neophyte, but home-state media was a lot less skeptical of his candidacy than national media was, and there were a lot of home-state believers.

Since Trump has no electoral history it's not useful for him, but home-state history and home-state opinions (not polls, but opinions by insiders and journalists) are often reliable indicators about underdog/lesser-known candidates with a history of government service.

Out of curiosity, who were the last president, and vice president, elected(/appointed/carried along into office) with no prior electoral history? There has been a trend towards the "businessman who will clean up politics" especially at the state level (oy are we ruing Rauner), but I think that gets a LOT tougher when looking at the presidency or vice presidency. A quick scan gives me Eisenhower (military service, no prior elected service), Herbert Hoover (Secretary of Commerce, and also a fucking catastrophe as president), Taft (30 years of service as a judge and appointed colonial governor when elected), US Grant (military), and Zachary Taylor (military). Even George Washington had local electoral experience in Virginia. (There are also a few who served only as senators when senators were still appointed but that would take a long time to look up.) When we talk about inexperienced presidents, we talk about Abraham Lincoln, who only had a couple years in the US House. Eisenhower was a political neophyte but had years of government service in the military; Hoover is probably the closest thing to a presidential winner with primarily prior private industry experience, and even he served in federal posts before running. I'm not sure Trump is electable as President because he's never been elected and I'm not sure you can do that without military or other federal service.

MysticMCJ: "The other thing that Trump really has in his favor is there isn't really anything hidden about who he is - All of his dirty laundry is out there. He has no need to go on the defensive, and that's huge. "

For real ... we might learn a few gross details, but what are we going to learn about Trump that doesn't already fit the contours of what we know? I don't know why people think any coming revelations are going to be game-changers.

theorique: "But does it? Recently, the Bush-nominated "conservative" John Roberts voted for gay marriage [sic], and there are many earlier cases of ideological unpredictability."

I'm not totally sure he is unpredictable ... he's primarily a corporatist Republican, not a religious/culture war conservative, and he also has a FIRM EYE towards the "legacy" of his Court. When he thinks THE COURT will end up on the wrong side of history, he votes with the right side. I am half-convinced he would have voted for gay marriage if Kennedy hadn't.

lupus_yonderboy: "Clinton is a relentlessly mediocre, right-wing candidate with a 30-year history of failure"

Dude, when Clinton went to Wellesley she had to wear white gloves to tea at the college. She was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley, went to Yale, chaired the LSC, was elected to the Senate, and has served as Secretary of fucking State, quite successfully. If that is your definitely of a mediocre failure, I'm totally curious to hear what you consider success. I'd also like see YOU start in white gloves and become Secretary of State. BITCHES. GET. STUFF. DONE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:01 PM on August 4, 2015 [15 favorites]


Many white people in America are filled with racial hatred right now.

Remove the word White from your point, and you're getting closer to the truth. Every ethnic group is filled with racial hatred right now. No one likes anyone different from themselves. That's not a coincidence. That's a result of very powerful forces expending massive wealth to ensure that working class Whites stay in one party and working class Blacks and Hispanics stay in the other. It's called vote splitting, and our ruling class has perfected it.
posted by Beholder at 4:05 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


FWIW, NYTimes estimates of the 10 people who will be allowed in the Republican debate on Thursday: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:33 PM on August 4

FOX News has chosen and the NYTimes list was spot on.

INS: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.

OUTS: Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore.

Ah, my favorite Southern Belle, Lindsey Graham, didn't get an invitation to the ball.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:09 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe Trump would cause Santorum to emerge as a running-mate.

Christ, I just ate
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:13 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Remove the word White from your point, and you're getting closer to the truth. Every ethnic group is filled with racial hatred right now.

Falsely equating white supremacy and racism with people of colour being justifiably angry about same is a steaming pile of racist privilege.

Ah, my favorite Southern Belle, Lindsey Graham, didn't get an invitation to the ball.

I don't like the guy either and could we please stop with the "oh he's so effeminate he must be gay" nonsense?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:14 PM on August 4, 2015 [20 favorites]


That article just makes me want to weep.
posted by sarcasticah at 4:14 PM on August 4, 2015


I don't think beholder is comparing rebel flag wavers with blacklivesmatter, and he's got a strong point, in that, the powers that be have done enormous amounts to divide people, lest they band together and run the bastards out on rails.
posted by dejah420 at 4:27 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This Washington Post blogger post from June 15 has ideology of tweets analysis and puts Trump the closest to the middle of the road of all candidates. They put the zero line at the average twitter user which skews the appearance of the graph but if you put the zero line half-way between the democratic and republican congressperson peaks Trump is still the closest to the center, just not as extremely so.
posted by bukvich at 4:42 PM on August 4, 2015


I don't like [Lindsey Graham] either and could we please stop with the "oh he's so effeminate he must be gay" nonsense?

B-b-but... Jon Stewart does it all the time, so surely that makes it cool, right?
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:47 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


The rest of the GOP aren't out there calling Mexicans rapists. They prefer their coded racism and dogwhistling. Trump's whole popularity is him outright saying that stuff without even bothering to do the nudge-wink stuff, and people are eating it up. That's why he's a problem for the GOP. They don't know what to do with him because he's willing to take it way too far, and it's working so well, and the moderates who are just interested in dogwhistling racism for votes are wholly unprepared to go that far to alienate the rest of America with hate speech. It may be another example of the extremists (Tea Partiers, birthers, and assorted angry white people, basically) within the party taking over. We're seeing a major internal Republican crisis and transformation into something massively ugly. This isn't quite the same as longstanding party divisions.
posted by naju at 4:48 PM on August 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


The situation doesn't seem too complicated if you just take people at their word.

Trump is running because he legitimately thinks he's qualified and has a good shot at it. (And for an egomaniac, what other mountain is left for him to conquer?)

People are supporting him because they think he's qualified and they identify with what he's saying. (This appears to reflect both tension within the Republican party and the fact that Trump says openly what many people believe but which has only been dogwhistled previously for fear of offending voters.)

The news media loves him as a candidate because of the nearly endless stories they can write and page views they can get. People just love to click on links and watch TV to see what outrageous thing he said today. Thus, FOX will gladly support him.

Republicans, just like everybody else, want to back a winner. If he becomes the nominee support will line up and sing his praises. Literally anything, they will think, is better than Clinton becoming president.

It doesn't take much imagination on my part to see him staying in the race until forced out by lack of delegates or actually winning the nomination. No secret exit strategy and no hidden plan on his part required. I severely doubt that he would win the general election, but I can easily see him winning the Republican nomination. If you think otherwise you don't know enough pissed off Republican voters tired of being used by the establishment and never actually getting what they want.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:21 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jeb Bush made what he thought was a clever offhand remark today and said (sardonically) "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women’s health programs."

Um...maybe George W. was the smart brother? Is the Trump mania crazy-fying the party so much right now that they think it's a good idea to use women's health care as an anger issue in an election against (most likely) the first female Presidential nominee? Like...what is the strategy here?
posted by sallybrown at 5:25 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]



I don't like [Lindsey Graham] either and could we please stop with the "oh he's so effeminate he must be gay" nonsense?


Who is calling him gay? I am calling him effeminate (rather more so than your usual presidential candidate) but that doesn't mean I know what his sexual preferences are.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:28 PM on August 4, 2015


I still suspect Trump will win at least the primaries by virtue of having ALL OF THE COVERAGE, ALL OF IT, and most voters being simple creatures. How that picture changes once he's up against an actual opponent and securing blanket coverage becomes more of a challenge I don't know.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on August 4, 2015


[Several comments deleted. If you want to have a conversation about how this discourse is going, you can go to MetaTalk. Otherwise, please don't meta-critique the discussion - that goes nowhere polite. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:38 PM on August 4, 2015


Who wants to give me odds that Trump straight-up drops an n-bomb during the debate?

Like just busts out with, "N*gger. That's an interesting word. I say that sometimes. N*gger. Should I keep saying it? People tell me I shouldn't. There's a lot of history there. A lot of bad feeling. A lot of people don't like it when I say N*gger. Others don't have a problem with it. For me, I sort of see where both sides are coming from. N*gger, N*gger, N*gger. Is this a word we should stop saying? It makes people angry, but I say a lot of things that make people angry. I'm not saying I'm going to keep saying it, but I'm not saying I'm going to stop saying it either. This is America."


And who wants to give me odds that his polling numbers go up afterwards?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:38 PM on August 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Literally everyone else in the universe who comments on Graham's effeminacy is blowing a very specific dogwhistle. It's gross. His effeminacy is as irrelevant to his candidacy as Clinton's preference for pantsuits is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:40 PM on August 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


It would be interesting for someone to compare and contrast the current popularity of "hard left" Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the British Labour Party and that of Donald Trump. Both are widely seen by many, mainly from the establishment, as being unelectable as national leaders, a message that is not shared by their supporters. Both are on the outer edges of what passes for conventional political philosophies, both appear to hold wistful and irrational notions of the past, yet both are very popular among a certain set of voters. I suspect both represent a revolt against conventional politicians and a failure of the political elite to represent the interests of the voters.
posted by vac2003 at 5:41 PM on August 4, 2015


And who wants to give me odds that his polling numbers go up afterwards?

Instant victory. Bonus points if he pulls his shirt off to reveal a confederate flag tattoo underneath.
posted by Artw at 5:41 PM on August 4, 2015


As fair as I can tell Corbyn is pretty much a standard non-Blairite Labour Party member and the notion that he's some kind of far left extremist is pretty silly. Also not a ridiculous media freak buffoon.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


A lot of people were not going to vote for Obama. Right up until they were alone in an election booth.
posted by buzzman at 5:50 PM on August 4, 2015


I'm sorry, every time Trump talks all I can hear is this song (NSFW). Incoherent screaming, over the top posturing, and I assume cocaine.

and toupees

tooouupeeessss!!!

posted by chainsofreedom at 5:55 PM on August 4, 2015


His effeminacy is as irrelevant to his candidacy as Clinton's preference for pantsuits is.

Wait, what? Are you trying to imply that a woman wearing pant suits is an indication of something specific?

I am confident in saying that Graham's soft, prissy way of speaking is relevant to his candidacy-- not because I think it makes him seem gay but because it makes him seem less powerful and less authoritative. Honestly I'm surprised he ever got elected. Most of the voters (and the media) care as much about the candidate's hair, stature, weight, and voice as they do about the candidate's views and experiences. I am sure we would all wish otherwise but there will be a lot of discussion about Trump's hair, Christie's weight and Clinton's style-- which includes her make-up, hair style, and wardrobe. In fact out of all the candidates I guarantee Clinton's appearance and manner of speaking will come under the most scrutiny.

But back to pant suits. Really? Are women wearing pant suits too manly in 2015? I find that astonishing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:02 PM on August 4, 2015


For real ... we might learn a few gross details, but what are we going to learn about Trump that doesn't already fit the contours of what we know? I don't know why people think any coming revelations are going to be game-changers.

I think that what we know and what low-information voters and Tea Party Fox News types and reality-tv fans know are two different things. And that, after one of the other 15-or-more candidate's people does the math and tells the candidate that there's more upside than down, one of the other candidates, and then more than one of them, will make sure that everybody knows these things.

No coherent campaign plan or positions. Flip-flopping RINO that literally gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats over decades. Probably employed illegal non-American workers. Marital rapist. Hypocritical, probably a little mobbed-up, not actually all that good a businessman. Also, some people think he has a bad haircut.
posted by box at 6:05 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? Are you trying to imply that a woman wearing pant suits is an indication of something specific?

Christ no. Lots of people do, though, for the same reasons that Graham's supposed effeminacy and supposed closetedness do. My point is the dogwhistle, which I'm sure you didn't intend, and is still there anyway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:06 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Marital rapist.

Tipping into marital tape advocate and it's still not hurting him.
posted by Artw at 6:11 PM on August 4, 2015


I'm wondering at what point he eats a baby on stage and how much of a boost it will give him.
posted by Artw at 6:12 PM on August 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Literally everyone else in the universe who comments on Graham's effeminacy is blowing a very specific dogwhistle.

I think an effeminate man in the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth is really not the image we want to put out there. This isn't an anti-gay dogwhistle (at least coming from me, it's not). Graham, of course, has about epsilon chance of being elected.

Trump, on the other hand, for all his gonzo faults, at least projects an image of decisive "big boss" masculinity (assisted by his reality show, "you're fired", etc). The guy in charge is going to have to negotiate toe-to-toe with Putin, with a bunch of Middle-Eastern tough guys, with China. Or at least, to appear to do so. I don't care what he does in his personal life, but the president needs to project power.
posted by theorique at 6:15 PM on August 4, 2015


I think an effeminate man in the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth is really not the image we want to put out there.

Why?

This isn't an anti-gay dogwhistle

Yes it is. Unintentional, perhaps. Still is.

I don't care what he does in his personal life, but the president needs to project power.

...and that's why it is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:18 PM on August 4, 2015 [17 favorites]


The President could be a stereotypical, Tom Of Finland-style, leather daddy, and I would support him because that's a powerful, masculine image. I would rather have a super-gay masculine president than a weak straight president.

Unless you're saying that gay men can't be masculine, and/or can't project power? (Which I don't think you are.)
posted by theorique at 6:21 PM on August 4, 2015


That is not what I'm saying, no.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:24 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whether or not it's homophobic, it's super sexist.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:27 PM on August 4, 2015 [20 favorites]


Equating masculinity with power isn't an anti-gay dogwhistle, I don't think, exactly, but rather a sexist one.

Because it seems like you're saying that stereotypically-feminine people, male or female, gay or striaght, can't project power (which I don't think you are).
posted by box at 6:28 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's much better ways to slam Senator Graham for his shitty worldview and voting history than going after the manhood angle. It's also super lazy.
posted by peeedro at 6:28 PM on August 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


I don't buy that foreign leaders are going to sit down with a self-described (and accurately so) hawk in charge of the world's most expensive military which is known for aggressive and even ill-considered military adventures and think "oh, well he acts effeminate so I've got nothing to worry about!".
posted by thefoxgod at 6:33 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now instead of hiding behind implicit dog-whistles they are going to have to really admit to their explicit race-baiting in order to gain traction against Trump.

You see, racism is kind of like flatulence. First, you consume a whole lot of shitty ideology. Probably your parents taught you to have a taste for it, but even after you're grown, you just shovel that nasty goo down. And it gets inside you and it ferments, because it was already rancid and putrid when you ate it. And because it's not polite in most places anymore to let out a loud, satisfying belch or fart of racism, you've been keeping it in, letting out small gasps and peeps but not letting it all out all the time. But you keep consuming that crap ideology, mostly from Fox, and so the pressure keeps building. It's uncomfortable. You long for relief! You're angry that you can't ever just let fly.

Republican candidates will give you a little wink if a racist fart slides out, or pretend they didn't hear/smell it, but they still prefer you to keep it inside in public. Maybe in private you can let loose, but it makes them jumpy, always worried they'll get recorded and show up on the news enjoying that one really funny racist joke you are telling them.

And then Trump comes along and says, "America, loosen that waistband. Open that windpipe. Stand with me and let's make the loudest, angriest racist farts and belches we can, and be proud while we do it! Because that's what America is!"

And weeping with joy, a thousand racist gasbags relax their aching sphincters and pledge allegiance to their savior.
posted by emjaybee at 6:35 PM on August 4, 2015 [18 favorites]


For people who are curious (as I was) about what we were saying about Obama's chances back before 2008 (as a comparison to Sanders and Trump), this is the thread with the announcement of his presidency and this is the thread after the announcement of his presidential exploratory committee.

(One big difference that I seem to remember is Obama had a fair amount of bipartisan support, i.e. he was able to pull in the center. Neither Trump nor Sanders have that, which is one of the many reasons I don't think either of them has a chance.)
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 PM on August 4, 2015


Hey, hey, don't worry, it's actually super easy for things to be sexist and homophobic at the same time!
posted by overglow at 6:40 PM on August 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Because it seems like you're saying that stereotypically-feminine people, male or female, gay or striaght, can't project power (which I don't think you are).

No, not exactly. Femininity can go along with power in a woman (think Margaret Thatcher, or, uh, Angela Merkel, I suppose), but it's a bit odd in a man.

It's true, though, that a less masculine man would at least have the authority of the office to back him up. And his handlers could structure media events to play to his strengths. But you definitely want to avoid any "Michael Dukakis in a tank" issues.
posted by theorique at 6:42 PM on August 4, 2015


So is this how the German people felt about that oddball Hitler back before he was elected?
posted by MikeWarot at 6:44 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Femininity can go along with power in a woman (think Margaret Thatcher, or, uh, Angela Merkel, I suppose), but it's a bit odd in a man.

As a counterpoint I submit: every Disney villain
posted by theodolite at 6:46 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can we be done with theorique's super boring derail now?
posted by Artw at 6:54 PM on August 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Can we be done with theorique's super boring derail now?

Indeed - Back to the Donald!
posted by theorique at 6:55 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, those old Obama threads blow

ETA: Actually, just the first one.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:04 PM on August 4, 2015


Maybe Trump would cause Santorum to emerge as a running-mate.

I love this so much now that I know about the word trump as slang for fart.
posted by phearlez at 7:06 PM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nah, they're both bad, never mind
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:32 PM on August 4, 2015


‏@realDonaldTrump: "I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?"
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:34 PM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love this so much now that I know about the word trump as slang for fart.

Okay, I have heard this slang before, and was surprised that no one else had, but I googled it and it turns out that it is slang but that it's used in England.

Nah, they're both bad, never mind

Yeah, I just finished the first thread and am just starting the second one. The quality of discourse around here has really increased exponentially.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:38 PM on August 4, 2015


Eyebrows McGee: "When we talk about inexperienced presidents, we talk about Abraham Lincoln, who only had a couple years in the US House."

I guess now we talk about Kennedy: "An eloquent young president, elected with only brief experience in the Senate, is facing a nuclear weapons threat abroad and a chorus of criticism at home. So he chooses to make the short trip to American University to give a speech urging Americans to take a chance for peace and explore a weapons agreement with a country no one trusts."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:46 PM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm delighted by Trump's success as a GOP candidate, because it lets me yell I TOLD YOU SO from the lofty heights of my sub-$800-a-month sagging apartment down upon the marching morons of the conservative South who've been lapping up unmitigated bullshit like it was strawberries and cream for the last thirty fucking years.

Trump is the candidate the GOP DESERVES. They EARNED this.

(But Ted Cruz would be an even worse president than Donald Trump. Cruz has literally devoted his entire life to amassing personal power through demagoguery. Trump js just a venal asshat who likes money. To put it another way, Donald Trump's alignment is probably chaotic neutral. But Cruz? That dude's neutral evil.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:01 PM on August 4, 2015 [15 favorites]


My drinking game while watching the debate on Thursday will be to drink every time Trump offers a substantial discussion of policy. And then I will go to bed sober and sad.

I watched Trump: What's The Deal? from the other, other open Donald Trump thread. I though it was weak sauce, there wasn't anything that couldn't be rebutted by The Donald saying, "There's a lot of people jealous of my success, and those small people use the media to go after me; that's the difference between winners and losers."

That's a 5 second soundbite that carries much more weight than a 2 hr documentary that nobody will watch. That's a 5 second soundbite that he can shoot from the hip, without looking at the polling and a focus group, without being vetted by his campaign team, without coordinating behind the scenes with his superPAC, without having to later walk back or clarify in the next news cycle (e.g. Jeb!). The news will play that soundbite hundreds of times, and why should they repeat any of the substantial accusations of wrongdoing buried in a twenty year-old documentary that looks like it was shot on Betamax? (There's even a chapter in which the ultra rich complain, with affected continental accents, that they will never accept a schlub like Trump who had to "work" for his fortune, what red-blooded American can't relate to that?!)

He's the Teflon Don(ald). The thing is he has no shame, so he never has to answer to any criticism, even when we all know he's in the wrong. It doesn't matter that Mexican immigrants aren't rapists and drug mules. It doesn't matter that John McCain made some pretty serious sacrifices in the service of his country. It doesn't matter that every business partner has jumped ship so they aren't tainted by his racist shit. It doesn't even matter that his hair is ridiculous, why would he ever care what you think about his hair? He's out there making billions; and what are you, a hair stylist?

Sure, he's surrounded himself with an orbit of people who just say yes and keep his big ego going. The big difference is that he's not paying most of them to be obsequious, he's making money off their worship. People watch his shows, and stay at his hotels, and rent offices in his buildings, and gamble away their chips at his casinos, and play his golf courses because his big dumb name means something aspirational to them.

And now that he's the Republican party's presidential front runner, maybe it will be different with some actual media scrutiny. Let me know when that begins. He's been beating the media at their own game for three decades. That was the most interesting part of Trump: What's The Deal?, how he doesn't shy away from using the media as a tool to advance his own goals, and he's able to make up the rules as he goes along. He got burned by the coverage of his divorce with Ivanna, and he learned how to adapt to the media landscape and keep it working in his favor. He's had decades of practice, he's having his revenge now.

He's eclipsed the competition for the moment because they're all playing from the same risk-averse, avoid-a-gaffe script that every other would-be front runner has been advised to take. The Donald is giving the press something to talk about, so they talk about him every broadcast.

Sure, the press will tire of him and other candidates will adjust their strategy (they are all rehearsing, right now, their touchdown soundbite zingers for the first debate). How long will the Trump acendency last? I dunno.

> N*gger, N*gger, N*gger.

Can we not do that? The things that come out of their mouths are bad enough already, can we skip making up even worse things they could say to post here for some lols?

posted by peeedro at 9:57 PM on August 4, 2015 [8 favorites]




Sorry for the callback to one of the first comments, and I'm not trying to call out the man of twists and turns with this, but the contents of this link :

Why is Trump surging? Blame the media.

...drive me nuts. I find WP reporter John Sides's theory that increased mentions of Trump in the news were a big factor in his rise to the top of the polls to be completely plausible, and even likely. But then Sides deploys a bunch of graphs with really sketchy Y-axes ("share of news coverage of GOP presidential field") which, on further examination, turn out to have come from "social analytic tools provided by Crimson Hexagon."

There's no mention of what, exactly, Crimson Hexagon is measuring, there's no mention of what the sample size is like, how closely it correlates to news that GOP primary voters are likely to have seen, or anything else that might allow a critical reader to evaluate the data. Instead there's just a graph of "Crimson Hexagon's secret sauce" versus time. I'm really not sure why anyone thought it was worth firing up xplot or python-notebook or whatever to get these graphs.
posted by whir at 11:40 PM on August 4, 2015


weeping with joy, a thousand racist gasbags relax their aching sphincters and pledge allegiance to their savior.

Wow, that's a hell of an act. What do you call it?
posted by flabdablet at 2:35 AM on August 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


@artw
As fair as I can tell Corbyn is pretty much a standard non-Blairite Labour Party member and the notion that he's some kind of far left extremist is pretty silly. Also not a ridiculous media freak buffoon.

I am sorry that I didn't express myself clearly enough. First, I wasn't trying to equate Trump and Corbyn as being similar in either style or substance. Manifestly they are not. Nor was I wanting to suggest that Corbyn was some sort of weird, far leftist.

What I was trying to suggest is that both have something in common that is worth exploring further, beyond their different styles and substance: that is, both are regarded by their relevant political elites as utterly unelectable, yet both command an ardent and genuine following that seems, in part at least, motivated by the very opposition of the political elites. Read the comments section of The Guardian's various articles about Corbyn and you will get a sense of this. Many in Britain are angry that the establishment, such as The Guardian editorial writers, are telling them that Corbyn is a leftist who will never be accepted by a majority of British voters. There is a genuine 'fuck you' about their comments. They detest the 'Blairites', even though they gave Britain an unprecedented 13 years of Labour Party rule.

I suspect that there is a similar ardent and radical disillusion with conventional politics and politicians amongst those that support Trump. It doesn't matter that one is a "media freak buffoon", and the other an intelligent, considered non-egotiscal British MP. I just think there is enough common ground between their popularity to explore further. Just as I thought 4 or 5 years ago there was common ground, or at least a common impulse, between the Taliban and the Tea Party. Both seemed to me to be raging against modernity, with all its complexities, uncertainties and rate of change . Both sprung from this similar well, even though they were, and are, manifestly different in style and substance.

I still remain of the view that a "compare and contrast" perspective of Trump and Corbyn would some yield additional insights into the current political discourse.
posted by vac2003 at 2:35 AM on August 5, 2015


I still remain of the view that a "compare and contrast" perspective of Trump and Corbyn would some yield additional insights into the current political discourse.

I agree, although I've been thinking more in terms of Corbyn and Farrage. To be clear: I agree that they couldn't be much further apart in policy or ideals, and I support Corbyn (have done for years, since living in his constituency and following his voting record at the time) while I detest Farage. But the way that they're spoken about by supporters is strikingly similar: not a typical politician, principled, straight-talking, an alternative to the polished but soulless centrists, etc etc. From the look of it, a lot of Trump's appeal comes from the same place.
posted by metaBugs at 4:13 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The right-wing is using the rather, um, zesty term "cuckservative" to denote the Washington GOP insiders who want a nice cushy National Review column, some paid appearances on Fox News to be a talking conservative head, and a gig at the AEI.

See also: "wingnut welfare".
posted by gimonca at 4:26 AM on August 5, 2015


peeedro, that's a fair criticism.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:21 AM on August 5, 2015


I don't understand the cucksetvative thing. They lie watching other people get fucked? That's all conservatives isn't it?
posted by Artw at 7:10 AM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Trump Calls for "Civil" Debate

(Trump manages to use nine adverbs in one sentence. It's extraordinary.)
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on August 5, 2015


Remember, there is a decent chance one of these ten people will be the next president of the United States.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:09 AM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


brb gibbering under my bed covers for the next 15 months
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:11 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Trump manages to use nine adverbs in one sentence. It's extraordinary.)

What did you post that Trump quote I didn't want to be linked to from for?*


*Yes, I know these are prepositions not adverbs.
posted by Herodios at 8:14 AM on August 5, 2015


Remember, there is a decent chance one of these ten people will be the next president of the United States.

I really don't get why the Republicans aren't coalescing behind Kasich. He's just charming enough, he's just Presidential enough, he's got just enough gravitas, and on top of all that there's a really good chance he'd carry Ohio. The last poll that I can find was from February, where he enjoyed 55% approval, 30% disapproval.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:38 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


John Kasich's Passion for the Poor Is Rankling Conservative Christians

Among other things, he took the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:42 AM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I really don't get why the Republicans aren't coalescing behind Kasich. He's just charming enough, he's just Presidential enough, he's got just enough gravitas, and on top of all that there's a really good chance he'd carry Ohio.

There are a lot of Republicans who don't feel that electability should be a main concern (or a concern at all). They think they got suckered into supporting McCain and Romney because they were "electable", and that what their fellow Republicans really want is a "true conservative". Most of these anti-electability types are not old enough to remember Barry Goldwater winning 38 percent of the vote.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the cucksetvative thing. They lie watching other people get fucked? That's all conservatives isn't it?

The term seems to be used by the right specifically for conservatives who are nationalist and/or nativist for other nations such as Israel, but unwilling to express similar sentiments for their own country.

Joan Walsh at Salon wrote some criticism of the term.
posted by theorique at 8:50 AM on August 5, 2015


The term seems to be used by the right specifically for conservatives who are nationalist and/or nativist for other nations such as Israel, but unwilling to express similar sentiments for their own country.

That isn't correct, even according the article you linked. It's way more disgusting and racist than that.
“Cuckservative,” you see, is short for a cuckolded conservative. It’s not about a Republican whose wife is cheating on him, but one whose country is being taken away from him, and who’s too cowardly to do anything about it.
OK, that’s gross and sexist enough already, but there’s more. It apparently comes from a kind of pornography known as “cuck,” in which a white husband, either in shame or lust, watches his wife be taken by a black man. Lewis explains it this way: “A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor.”
posted by dialetheia at 9:01 AM on August 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cuckold pornography is for white guys who like to be humiliated, and the most humiliating thing they can think of is for their wife to do something completely degrading -- the most degrading thing they can think of is for their white wife to have sex with a black man. It's pretty damn disgusting.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:12 AM on August 5, 2015


[As a random interlude in what is notionally a discussion of politics, maybe we should not dig too far into the whole cuck/racist-pornography thing here?]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apologies for how disgusting the term is, by the way. It is unfortunately very relevant because it's basically the slogan/rallying cry of Trump's supporters.
posted by dialetheia at 9:35 AM on August 5, 2015


It's been kind of educational as to what some people are talking about, TBH.
posted by Artw at 9:35 AM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

Switch "crazification" for "dumb" or "unintelligent" (as in dumb enough to believe the crazy) and I could have proven this to you with math. See, intelligence (like height, weight, etc.) is a bell curve where there are lots of people in the middle and fewer people on either the higher or lower end.

Just taking IQ (which I know has lots of problems, but is a decent stand-in for intelligence for this purpose), the average is 100, the standard deviation is 15 points (this varies depending on the test but the most commonly used test has a std dev of 15 points). The lowest 25% have an IQ lower than 90. For reference, the average IQ for those with only an 8th grade education, is 90 (according to that same page on wikipedia).
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2015


"John Kasich's Passion for the Poor Is Rankling Conservative Christians"

ahahhhhhahahhahhahhhahhhhahaaahahahahahahah Kasich as a nice guy.

Much as I would like for the GOP to get the candidate they deserve, i.e. Trump, every minute that bozo is running detracts from the media's ability to get out the word about how massively dickish his opposition is and has always been.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:30 AM on August 5, 2015


I would love for the GOP to become some wrinkled vestige of our two-party system, to be replaced by two divisions of the left as it is now, and that Trump is maybe proof of a benevolent God, a man who would bring such things to pass.

I would like this racist ignorance as embodied in Trump to just implode the GOP. I hope that the other candidates attempt to out-crazy the crazy in Trump tomorrow. I would like them to look like such wide-eyed gibber-gobbers that even people living on a Fox news diet are like WOAH okay these dudes are crazy maybe even climate change exists.

It's a nice little dream. I really think that it will take some national cataclysm a la the Great Depression for this country to correct itself.
posted by angrycat at 11:00 AM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


The lowest 25% have an IQ lower than 90.

This is why there needs to be an IQ test to vote - merely turning 18 shouldn't be enough. For that matter, most 18 year olds are barely responsible enough to put their pants on in the morning, let alone choose the future course of the nation.

From the Salon article: Huckabee became a popular target after he claimed President Obama’s Iran deal was “marching Israelis to the ovens.”

The cuck-Israel connection is thus: Trump supporters appear to believe that so-called cuckservatives sublimate their support for a vigorous, aggressive, and ethnocentric nationalism and border protection, by fervent support of vigorous, aggressive, ethnocentric Israeli nationalism and border protection.

In this analogy, Netanyahu is the proxy, tough-guy president that the cuckolded Americans wish they had in their own country. (And, I suppose, Trump is the solution to all our problems?)
posted by theorique at 11:08 AM on August 5, 2015


This is why there needs to be an IQ test to vote

That can't possibly go wrong.
posted by Etrigan at 11:13 AM on August 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


This is why there needs to be an IQ test to vote

Jesus H. Christ. No, there does not, as a shred of perspective on the history of poll testing in this country should make brutally clear.
posted by brennen at 11:13 AM on August 5, 2015 [21 favorites]


This is why there needs to be an IQ test to vote

Maybe a literacy test? To prove the equivalent of, say, a fifth-grade education?

I'm sure that would work well.
posted by bonehead at 11:14 AM on August 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Jinx. bonehead owes me a Coke.
posted by Etrigan at 11:15 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Down to the same link even. Le sigh.
posted by bonehead at 11:25 AM on August 5, 2015


Re IQ test: yeah, it should not be made deliberately racist like those old poll tests. It's weird, though, the USA seems to have a fear of anything surrounding restricting voting (e.g. voter ID) that other nations use.
posted by theorique at 11:40 AM on August 5, 2015


Re IQ test: yeah, it should not be made deliberately racist like those old poll tests.

The thing is, the tests weren't racist. They were just impossible to complete if the proctor didn't want you to complete it (with a little extra assistance from grandfather clauses). The odds on any IQ (or literacy, or current affairs, or political knowledge) test being used for nefarious purposes are too high to risk it, so dumb people get the same vote as the rest of us. That's democracy.
posted by Etrigan at 11:45 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's weird, though, the USA seems to have a fear of anything surrounding restricting voting (e.g. voter ID) that other nations use.

Because it is blatantly used for voter suppression here.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:46 AM on August 5, 2015 [14 favorites]


Or, to go into more detail: Other nations tend to make voter ID equally accessible to all, something that no proposed law in the US has done to my knowledge.

Voter ID here is deliberately designed to be inaccessible to disadvantaged people, to dissuade those whose votes have been challenged through the country's history from voting altogether, and to make challenging valid votes from those groups much easier. The crime they claim to be aimed at, voter impersonation, is so low that there have been just 31 cases out of over one billion (yes, with a "b") votes cast since 2000, and even some of those might be mistakes rather than deliberate fraud.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:54 AM on August 5, 2015 [6 favorites]




The crime they claim to be aimed at, voter impersonation, is so low that there have been just 31 cases out of over one billion (yes, with a "b") votes cast since 2000...

Note that they kick up fuss over 31 ppb, but when it came to arsenic, they railed against lowering the standard from 50 ppb.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Etrigan: "dumb people get the same vote as the rest of us. That's democracy."

In aristocracy, we give them ten times as many votes as the rest of us! So, on net, we're improving!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:23 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I beleive that's also how the electoral college works.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


why o why can't Christie and Trump be next to each other at the debate so we can witness the horror of Whelk's vision as articulated upthread
posted by angrycat at 3:16 PM on August 5, 2015


because some things are too horrible to contemplate
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:35 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


How about this: how about the moderator at tomorrow night's debates use this rare opportunity of having TEN GOP frontrunners all in one place to ask them about the weekly fucking mass shootings we have in this country now.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:46 PM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Forget about it, triggerfinger, it's Fox.
posted by nubs at 3:55 PM on August 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I know, but despite that, it seems like it would be a SUPER glaring omission.

I can still dream
posted by triggerfinger at 4:02 PM on August 5, 2015


It's weird, though, the USA seems to have a fear of anything surrounding restricting voting

It's not "weird", it's because we have a specific history of using a variety of means to restrict voting of entire groups of people (especially, but not limited to, black people).

Even a "neutral" test can be applied unevenly/unfairly, and that was happening _within the lifetimes of many Americans_.

So yeah, many of us think it's better to just let everyone vote.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:39 PM on August 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


How about this: how about the moderator at tomorrow night's debates use this rare opportunity of having TEN GOP frontrunners all in one place to ask them about the weekly fucking mass shootings we have in this country now.

So we can hear 10 people say that the answer is to arm every {white, conservative} person in American so they can gun down the evildoers?
posted by thefoxgod at 5:41 PM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Official GOP Debate Drinking Game Rules, courtesy of Rolling Stone.

You might need an ambulance in the first hour.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:07 PM on August 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Official GOP Debate Drinking Game Rules

Oh no! I hope we're all on board. That chat room is gonna get messy.
posted by naju at 7:25 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


" ask them about the weekly fucking mass shootings we have in this country now.
posted by triggerfinger "


Well, since we have YOU here ... have you been unusually itchy lately? Can we get you some benadryl or a topical ointment maybe?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:40 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I take a benadryl just for fun
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:53 PM on August 5, 2015


Everyone I know doesn't think I can last the whole debate without getting shouty and leaving the room, so I'm going to grit my teeth and pledge $1 for every crappy comment about women's health care/immigrants/unions to appropriate awesome local organizations. Hopefully I won't go broke.
posted by mostly vowels at 8:15 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: Mr. Trump's experience, he has already demonstrated many years of exemplary performance in the role of reality TV performer.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:09 PM on August 5, 2015


Health officials warn that you could die playing GOP debate drinking games. "Murthy suggested that people play a safer variation of the traditional debate drinking game by only consuming alcohol when one of the candidates says something reasonable."
posted by exogenous at 6:56 AM on August 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's no way I can get through the debate sober though
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:02 AM on August 6, 2015




How about this: how about the moderator at tomorrow night's debates use this rare opportunity of having TEN GOP frontrunners all in one place to ask them about the weekly fucking mass shootings we have in this country now.

So we can hear 10 people say that the answer is to arm every {white, conservative} person in American so they can gun down the evildoers?


Getting all those tobacco execs to swear under oath they didn't think cigarettes caused cancer [1] didn't accomplish much but it was useful to be able to pull out the video over and over again through the years.

[1] How pissed are those guys now to find out you can just hand-wave things off with "well, I'm not a scientist," do you think? Born too soon, death merchants, born too soon.
posted by phearlez at 9:29 AM on August 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


How Do You Debate Trump?

♩♫How do you debate a candidate like Donald?♬♪
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:24 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]




(GOOD GOD IS IT EVER GOOD TO HAVE HIM BACK)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:55 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


so how does one watch/listen to this damn thing without a TV. You can't, right? Fucking Fox.
posted by angrycat at 12:04 PM on August 6, 2015


How are GOP candidates preparing for their first debate?
Eyeing the rise of businessman Donald Trump, who has trash-talked his way to the top of the GOP primary field, Kasich's chief strategist John Weaver tweeted last week, "Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race, knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That's what prepping for this debate is like."
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]






Even with a TV hooked up to the internet and a capable rooftop antenna, it doesn't seem possible to watch the debate live without cable for Faux News. Oh well, I probably ought to be sleeping instead of laughing/crying at those bozos.
posted by exogenous at 12:38 PM on August 6, 2015


There will undoubtedly be many streams of dubious legality available. A little bit of googling should help. (I've got a link, memail me if interested)
posted by naju at 12:48 PM on August 6, 2015


wide-eyed gibber-gobbers

I love this phrase. Though I think some of them have tiny little piggy eyes and do more hissing than gibbering.
posted by emjaybee at 1:21 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about this article, and the people in it. I'm imagining - and tell me if I'm just imagining - that having to be obsequious to bureaucrats in order to live drives a lot of this anger. I'm guessing that a lot of these people have to get money from the government, or they know someone who does, and the money is means-tested, which involves a humiliating conversation in which you have to prove how poor and downtrodden you are, and in which you have to be careful not to say anything that might offend the well-educated liberal who's going over your application.

They vote against one set of their interests - they vote for the guy who will take away the money that keeps them alive and healthy and housed - but it's also a vote that says "fuck you" to a humiliating experience. Donald Trump would definitely say "fuck you" to someone who means-tested him.

This may be a completely incorrect theory, but I do sense an undercurrent of humiliation driving the anger, and it's anger very clearly directed at the well-educated liberal bureaucracy.
posted by clawsoon at 8:56 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


well-educated liberal bureaucracy

I'd only quibble on this: means-testing is frequently a more reactionist platform. The worst sin a government can make is allowing someone to "cheat the system", in a conservative's view. Fraud and waste must be extinguished at all cost! (Yet my conservative relatives are the ones who most delight in finding tax and regulatory loopholes).

Liberals tend to balance the costs of enforcement against the return on cracking down.
posted by bonehead at 10:10 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd only quibble on this: means-testing is frequently a more reactionist platform.

It's almost as if there's unconscious reactionary cleverness here; they're forced to compromise on the existence of welfare, so they force it into a form which makes the recipients hate it as much as possible, to the point of voting against it.
posted by clawsoon at 10:51 AM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


For folks like the Cato Institute (and their wannabes at the Frazer Institute) and Grover Norquist and the like, this is not unconscious.
posted by bonehead at 11:32 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sources: Roger Stone quit, wasn't fired by Donald Trump in campaign shakeup
Stone’s friends tell POLITICO (this exchange) happened:

Stone: “Donald, stop with the Megyn Kelly shit. It’s fucking crazy. It’s killing us.”

Trump: “What do you mean? I won the debate. People loved it.”

Stone: “You didn’t win the debate.”

Trump: “Yes I did. Look at the polling. Look at Drudge.”

Stone: “The Drudge Report poll isn’t a scientific poll. You won’t give me the money to pay for a scientific poll. And you’re off-message.”

Trump: “There are other polls.”

Stone: “Those are bullshit polls, Donald. They’re not scientific polls. We need to run a professional campaign and talk about what people really care about.”

Trump: “We’re winning.”

After the meeting, Trump did the opposite of what Stone had recommended by going on CNN and trashing Kelly. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump said, a comment perceived by many to be a reference to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Trump’s campaign later denied that interpretation, but by then Stone was consulting his friends about quitting.

“He is losing his grip on reality,” Stone told them. “He has these yes-men around him. And now he’s living in a parallel world.”
This is starting to sound a bit like a cult.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:22 PM on August 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


> He has these yes-men around him

OF COURSE he does. That's basically Trumps MO. He doesn't have trusted advisors to run things for him, he has servants to do exactly what he wants.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:35 PM on August 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


And that's what's so terrifying about the chances of him running and winning. (FTR I think if he runs as an independent there is no way for him to win--it's Democrat by a country mile at that point). It will be the second Bush White House all over again, except Cheney and Bush are the same person.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:10 PM on August 8, 2015


I don't want to sound repetitive or condescending or worse, but there is almost zero chance of Donald Trump winning the general. Please stop worrying about it.

It would be like if you caught a falling star, then found an eight-leaf clover, then, during the Super Bowl halftime show, saw a live video of Hillary Clinton pegging Jeb Bush in a Hitler mask.

It might be a delightful fantasy for certain kinds of weirdos, but it isn't going to happen.
posted by box at 6:59 PM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The chance is zero if he runs independent.

If he manages to snag the nom from the Republicans, it is decidedly non-zero.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:11 PM on August 8, 2015


While I am not an expert, my impression is that the nominating process is basically designed to make sure that stuff like this doesn't happen. I mean, that's how we got Romney, right?

Since we're already talking about Metroid bosses and stuff, Nate Silver offers Donald Trump's Six Stages of Doom.
posted by box at 7:20 PM on August 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


... there is almost zero chance of Donald Trump winning the general. Please stop worrying about it.

He is debasing and harming the election and our general political process in his running, regardless of his chances of being the final winner. He is best understood as an adventitious infection sapping a weakened system. It's like "that bacterial bug is very unlikely to kill you; you probably don't need to finish all your antibiotics."

If you want to point out that there are other things more worthwhile thinking about, I'll agree, but doesn't mean he's harmless.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:22 PM on August 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I totally agree, and I definitely didn't say 'harmless.'

Trump is a human toxic asset, a walking indictment of our broken electoral system.

My point is just that that system is broken, not utterly destroyed, and that's why we can be fairly confident that Trump won't become president.
posted by box at 5:06 PM on August 9, 2015


He is debasing and harming the election and our general political process in his running, regardless of his chances of being the final winner.

That is why he's winning the troll vote - why not accelerate the decline by mocking the process with theatrical, entertaining candidates, rather than pretend that it has any hope of redemption? (Also see: Hilary Clinton.)
posted by theorique at 6:03 PM on August 9, 2015




Really? Money wasted, as I'm pretty sure they'd do it for free.
posted by Artw at 6:43 PM on August 9, 2015


Trump is peaking too early to be a real threat. The shithead/asshole vote is a seat of the pants thing and works better the less time people have to think about the candidate.

Ford surged in 2010, when the voters were offered a pair of leftish candidates no one was really excited about. There were a lot of undecideds. He capitalized on that by being Mr. Shouty, and got elected by "low-information" but enthusiastic voters. Ford surged over the last month or so in the run-up to the election and won through the peer-pressure voter-momentum effect.

But, I'd argue that's a short term thing, easy to lose with a bad talk show appearance that falls not just flat, but stinks. That's Trump's risk---the longer he hangs out there being an idiot the more he alienates. What he's doing can work, especially in a weak field like the 7 and 7 dwarfs who are running now, but he's 3 or 4 months too early.
posted by bonehead at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


‘The Republican Party Created Donald Trump’ - Molly Ball interviews Erick Erickson
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:29 PM on August 10, 2015


Any analyses of Trump's actions that treat "winning the Presidency" as his goal are making a huge mistake. Yeah, it's the same mistake people make with Gingrich and post-2008 Palin, but in Trump's case it's more egregious.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:31 PM on August 10, 2015


Any analyses of Trump's actions that treat "winning the Presidency" as his goal are making a huge mistake.

He might not have started out that way, but he may be outperforming even his own expectations to the point that he starts thinking, You know, I really would be pretty good at this....

I agree that he probably won't still be in the field come New Hampshire, but I think it's a mistake to simply ignore the possibility that he won't want to jump off the tiger.
posted by Etrigan at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2015




the man of twists and turns: “Donald Trump's fight with Fox News and Megyn Kelly, explained”
上屋抽梯 — Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof

With baits and deceptions, lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself, he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:58 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another national poll released Monday afternoon showed former reality television star Donald Trump continued to lead the crowded Republican presidential primary field even after saying Fox News anchor and GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever".

No words.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2015


I'm surprised he didn't leave the rest behind in a cloud of smoke
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:04 PM on August 10, 2015


“What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days?” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 10 August 2015
Where Huckabee tries to take down Planned Parenthood, Rubio denies Super Pac donor influence and Trump just wants to help women.

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of the state of Our National Dialogue which, as you know, is what Led Zeppelin would have come up with, had they composed "The Babble of Evermore."
posted by ob1quixote at 2:06 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the Gobshites: But the bigger issue is, is that unborn child a human being? Because if it is then the Fifth and the 14th Amendment apply because we're dealing with personhood…It means that you guarantee due process under the Fifth Amendment before you deprive someone of their life and liberty," Huckabee continued. "It means under the 14th Amendment there's equal protection under the law. Exactly how that plays out is one of the ways that we discover. What does it take for Americans to finally wake up to the fact that we are violating the constitutional rights of human beings?"

Huh. Zygotes are guaranteed liberty. Does this mean that every woman who chooses to bear a child is guilty of imprisonment? Because maybe we could just look at abortion as freeing the zygote.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:43 PM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, what happened to Jeb and Walker in this national Republican poll?

I think the Fox-Trump thing is about Trump threatening to run as a third party candidate. He's insinuated he won't as long as he's treated fairly - thus Ailes insistence he will treat Trump fairly.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:47 PM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]




Yikes. That Don Lemon link includes an autoplay ad WITH THE SOUND TURNED ON.

Who does that?
posted by notyou at 5:42 AM on August 12, 2015




Why Trump, Corbyn and Sanders Are Doing Well - "Sanders, Trump, and Corbyn in England (whom I’ll write about in a bit) are all doing well because of this dynamic. People are sick of the status quo and they will take a chance with anyone who is willing to actually bloody well try something different than the usual. "

There was a comment a while back that outlined how Dem wins in 2008, Rep wins in 2010, Dem wins in 2012, Rep wins in 2014 are not the sign of a political system seeking equilibrium between two parties, but the sloshing of voters running away from incumbents and disgust with current political process.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:23 PM on August 13, 2015


Sanders Shamelessly Pandering to Voters Who Want to Hear Truth (Borowitz Report): “Telling the truth may be working for Bernie Sanders, but it shows a serious lack of respect for the American political system,” he said.
posted by dialetheia at 6:24 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


“How Trump Survived the Megyn Kelly Blowup,” Amy Davidson, The New Yorker, 11 August 2015

“Megyn Kelly Is Going On Vacation After Igniting Donald Trump Feud,” Katherine Krueger, Talking Points Memo, 13 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 9:57 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Igniting
posted by phearlez at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Trump: candidate of truth
Donald Trump cuts through the ideological haze of American politics and exposes its underlying truth, the truth of enjoyment. Where other candidates appeal to a fictitious unity or pretense of moral integrity, he displays the power of inequality. Money buys access -- why deny it? Money creates opportunity -- for those who have it. Money lets those with a lot of it express their basest impulses and desires -- there is no need to hide the dark drives when there is none before whom one might feel shame (we might call this the Berlusconi principle). It's the rest of us who bow down.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:17 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


there is no need to hide the dark drives when there is none before whom one might feel shame (we might call this the Berlusconi principle).

We might. We might, therefore, say that Trump should be the nominee representing the Bunga Bunga Party, rather than the GOP.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:18 AM on August 14, 2015




Should have just gone to a large NO.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is Donald Trump Running a False Flag Campaign to Help Hillary Clinton?

I find the third part (running a third-party campaign, as he has threatened to do, would only help Clinton) particularly laughable -- the only reason anyone has bothered to ask Trump whether he would do that is because he said he would do it. If this were all a clever scheme, he would roundly deny that possibility until the very last minute, say, around the convention and claiming he had been disrespected by not giving the keynote or somesuch. Making the threat now is like the villain explaining his plan to the hero in the first act, not when he's got the hero tied up in his lair.
posted by Etrigan at 3:41 PM on August 14, 2015


He's doing it now to prevent the GOP and conservative media from butchering him. It would be dumb not to play the third party card. Most likely he wouldn't do it anyway, but who kmows what Trump is really thinking.

This twitter essay comparing Trump to Citizen Kane/Hearst is pretty good:

@billmon1: "4) Hearst cultivated a kind of Fox News know-nothing populism - but with ersatz left-wing flavor, for left-leaning working class of his time"
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:33 PM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the fuss about will he or won't he Third Party... He ran for the Reform Party nomination once already. He's Pro-Trump!

That question -- will he be loyal to the Republican party or won't he -- is irrelevant.

But it's probably negotiable.
posted by notyou at 10:14 PM on August 15, 2015


> ... who kmows what Trump is really thinking.

I always figured it was this.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:44 PM on August 16, 2015


Trump's policy on immigration reform is up now. His playbook is pretty transparent.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:20 AM on August 17, 2015


The Actor Whom I'm Trying To Convince To Join Mefi just coined an awesome nickname for Trump - "Cirque Du Toupee".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 AM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, apparently a kid asked him at the Iowa State Fair if he was Batman and Trump said he was Batman. Which is a pretty great response. I mean, that's would I would say if asked.
posted by angrycat at 8:11 AM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, what a concept for a reboot: jerkish billionaire playboy biz mogul Bruce Wayne's secret identity is that, despite the elaborate show he puts on in public, he's actually bald.
posted by cortex at 8:25 AM on August 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, apparently a kid asked him at the Iowa State Fair if he was Batman and Trump said he was Batman. Which is a pretty great response.

Seems like a more Tony Stark/Ironman thing to do to me; Bruce/Batman is brooding and secretive. Stark loves the limelight.

I'd buy Trump really being Tony Stark before being Batman.
posted by nubs at 9:01 AM on August 17, 2015


Both those people are competent. If Trump is anyone he's Booster Gold.
posted by phearlez at 12:19 PM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Does anyone else sense a weird shift happening from "LOL, Trump could never get the nomination" to now being considered seriously as the legitimate GOP frontrunner?
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:25 PM on August 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


What, you expected like every mainstream political commentator in the nation to put out a headline: "I WAS WRONG!"?

They never do that.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:29 PM on August 18, 2015




Is The Republican Establishment Losing Control Of The Party?

Technically, this doesn't violate Betteridge's Law, because the answer is "No... they already did." The Tea Party is a third party in all but name.
posted by Etrigan at 5:43 PM on August 18, 2015


Eh, it's more the not-so-tame pet of certain factions of the GOP.
posted by Artw at 5:54 PM on August 18, 2015


Party of Lincoln.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:05 PM on August 18, 2015


What, you expected like every mainstream political commentator in the nation to put out a headline: "I WAS WRONG!"?

They never do that.


From the Washington Post: Boy, was I wrong about Donald Trump. Here’s why.

I know, it's only one. But Trump wins eyeballs for the media so they'll keep covering him even if being wrong about his chances is part of the story.
posted by peeedro at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2015


Well, I suppose he's right... 'Never say "never" in politics.'
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:05 AM on August 19, 2015


TPM: We've gone far enough now with the Trump political phenomenon to know that it is no mere or momentary matter of name recognition which has placed him as the top contender for the Republican nomination, as bizarre an eventuality as that might appear. [...]

These [anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic positions] are now the official Republican positions. Going into a presidential election year. And Donald Trump is defining the terms of the debate.

posted by RedOrGreen at 9:24 AM on August 19, 2015


Henry Krinkle at Current Events Inquiry: Donald Trump's ethnic cleansing proposal and the ongoing rise of First World chauvinism
This is a terrifying time in American history. While the US has always been an imperial power that has thrived on land theft and slavery domestically and exploitation and plunder globally, the general (white) population views it as a country that has historically been put upon. According to this view, the US is a shining city on a hill that is constantly under attack internally from subversive elements posing as social reformers and externally from multilateral institutions and NGOs posing as peace makers. The reality is that both of these internal and external “enemies” have generally been utterly benign or even helpful to the US imperial project. Many domestic social reformers have been utterly co-opted by elements of the US ruling class such as George Soros’ Open Society Institute and numerous other multi-billion dollar foundations. Internationally, the UN has served to legitimize US imperialism from the Korean War to the Persian Gulf War.

In the US, the chauvinist white right does not see it this way. Their perception of the US and the world it resides in is almost the polar opposite of reality. For example, the IMF has sometimes been viewed by this crowd as a project of international do-gooders which sends hard earned US tax dollars to hostile Third World nations, sometimes as part of a shadowy scheme to enact global socialism. The reality of the IMF’s role in impoverishing the Third World and enriching the First World through extortionate debt policies and neo-liberal structural adjustment is never acknowledged. So it is today, that American oligarch and presidential candidate Donald Trump derides NAFTA as a kind of handout to Mexico rather than the exploitative arrangement between the ruling classes of the US and Mexico that it is.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why do I think Trump would be better?

He’s led large organizations before. There hasn’t been much examination of his business beyond his bankruptcies and the fact that he inherited large sums. However, by all accounts he leads an enormous, diversified organization that is worth billions. This requires leadership. Leadership, by the way, is different from knowledge. When you lead a large organization you set vision, goals and expect results. You do not know every detail of every level of your organization. You can’t. The world is too complicated. You delegate and empower.

posted by flabdablet at 10:08 AM on August 19, 2015


From the Washington Post: Boy, was I wrong about Donald Trump. Here’s why.

I wish people, and especially journalists, would stop calling him "The Donald". It always feels (a) too familiar, and (b) too obsequious.

(There's some odd history behind that nickname, but at this point Trump has embraced it so fully that referring to him as "The Donald" is clearly much more fawning than needling.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:54 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Krugman: Trump in a Box
And then there’s the empty box. Once upon a time that box was filled by southern Democrats, who preserved Jim Crow while supporting the New Deal. But they’ve all moved over to the GOP now, and in the process become anti-social-insurance. But there are plenty of voters who want Social Security and Medicare for people who look like them, but not those other people. And at some level Trump is catering to that unserved population.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Henry Krinkle at Current Events Inquiry: Donald Trump's ethnic cleansing proposal and the ongoing rise of First World chauvinism

Trump is delivering a lot of tough-guy talk on illegal immigration, but "ethnic cleansing"? Like, Srebrenica and Rwanda? The title sounds a bit hyperbolic.
posted by theorique at 1:06 PM on August 19, 2015


Trump is delivering a lot of tough-guy talk on illegal immigration, but "ethnic cleansing"? Like, Srebrenica and Rwanda? The title sounds a bit hyperbolic.

He's talking about targeting people based on their ethnicity and removing them from the country. That's literally the dictionary definition of the term. And considering that at least 63% of his fellow conservatives (and a depressing 50% of Americans in general) support the revocation of birthright citizenship, crazy shit like drone strikes along the border and a return to slavery becomes scary as fuck.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:21 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




Donald Trump on the 14th amendment: It's not going to hold up in court.
posted by rdr at 5:11 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




Trump is delivering a lot of tough-guy talk on illegal immigration, but "ethnic cleansing"? Like, Srebrenica and Rwanda? The title sounds a bit hyperbolic.
Some US commentators have labeled [the Dominican Republic's new deportation policy] (correctly) a form of ethnic cleansing. If the US were to start detaining and deporting US-born residents as “illegal immigrants” on a massive scale similar to what the DR is doing right now, or what the US itself did in the 1950s, it should also be described as ethnic cleansing. What other phrase would be more accurate?

I’m sure some will tell me that using a phrase associated with some of the worst crimes against humanity in history to describe a “mere immigration enforcement” operation is beyond the pale. But what is actually beyond the pale is that Trump’s proposal for ethnic cleansing is so popular among the US population.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:55 PM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


He's talking about targeting people based on their ethnicity and removing them from the country.

The key difference is that he's not suggesting "let's round up all the mestizos". Instead, he's recommending an enforcement of existing immigration laws, and a border wall to prevent further illegal entry. An American of Mexican or Cuban descent who arrived legally, or was born in the USA to parents who arrived legally, is not going to be "ethnically cleansed".

From the CEInquiry article and excerpted above by Rustic Etruscan: I’m sure some will tell me that using a phrase associated with some of the worst crimes against humanity in history to describe a “mere immigration enforcement” operation is beyond the pale.

So the writer of the CEInquiry article appears fully aware that the phrasing "ethnic cleansing" is far more commonly associated with mass murder - and even actual genocide - rather than the basic right of a nation to physically remove individuals who are present illegally. The CEInquiry writer is consciously using this rhetoric to increase the emotional impact of his criticism against Trump's plan. The overall arc of that polemic seems to be: "America did some bad things in the past (warmaking, etc), therefore we need to accept a lot of immigrants whom we are currently deeming 'illegal'". (This seems to be aimed at some kind of karmic atonement or punishment for America, although the connection is not made explicit.)

None of the three "main points" of Trump's plan for illegal immigration seem particularly contentious or controversial, though Democrats and Republicans would naturally argue on the implementation and the details:
  1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
  2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
  3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
This seems like boilerplate common sense rather than some nefarious racist plan.
posted by theorique at 3:24 AM on August 20, 2015


Calling a series of points common sense or non-controversial does not make it so.

1. It's silly to suppose that we can secure a 2000 mile border by building a wall. Saying that Mexico will pay for it just adds enough silliness to push it over into surreal.
2. Lots of laws are not enforced.
3. If you want to improve wages for all Americans, there are many more direct ways of achieving that than changing immigration policy.

The clue that Trumps plan is an appeal to racism is what Trump himself said. He is building the wall to keep the rapists and drug dealers that Mexico, but apparently not Canada, is exporting to the United States.
posted by rdr at 4:09 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


The "make Mexico build the wall" line is just Trump bluster. People like it because it's outrageous and delivered with charisma.

The differences between the Canadian and Mexican borders are pretty clear at a glance: economics.

Canada is a developed nation with $44,800 per capita GDP (source). Mexico is a less-developed nation with $17,900 GDP (source) and borders other, even less-developed nations such as Guatemala (per capita GDP $7,500) (source).

For economic reasons, there simply isn't any illegal Canadian migrant problem worth mentioning.
posted by theorique at 5:11 AM on August 20, 2015


This seems like boilerplate common sense rather than some nefarious racist plan.

The very first point, "There must be a wall across the southern border," is stupid and racist on its face. It's a pie-in-the-sky plan that no one could possibly deliver, but it's red meat to white nativists.

The "make Mexico build the wall" line is just Trump bluster. People like it because it's outrageous and delivered with charisma.

so which is it, boilerplate common sense or outrageous bluster
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:17 AM on August 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


theorique: "Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced. "

Except for, and Trump was very clear about this, THE ACTUAL CONSTITUTION, because he wants to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment and undo 150 years of jurisprudence on what American citizenship means. He doesn't want to enforce laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government; he wants to undo the Constitution and deport brown people who are already citizens of this country.

I can't tell if you're trolling us or if you actually think anything you said is reasonable.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:44 AM on August 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


The very first point, "There must be a wall across the southern border," is stupid and racist on its face. It's a pie-in-the-sky plan that no one could possibly deliver, but it's red meat to white nativists.

- Is there no other reason, besides racism, that a person would want to prevent illegal immigration into the country?

- Does the fact that some people have racist reasons for opposing illegal immigration, invalidate other (non-racist) reasons for opposing illegal immigration?

so which is it, boilerplate common sense or outrageous bluster

I'd say the "building the wall" is the common sense part, and the "make Mexico pay for it" is the bluster part.

If we can scare up a $1-2T (and a few thousand soldiers' lives) for neocon misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, then surely we can scrape together the $50-100B for a better security barrier on the southern border. There are precedents for such barriers, such as the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border fence, which is similar in length to the US-Mexico border.
posted by theorique at 5:46 AM on August 20, 2015


- Is there no other reason, besides racism, that a person would want to prevent illegal immigration into the country?

- Does the fact that some people have racist reasons for opposing illegal immigration, invalidate other (non-racist) reasons for opposing illegal immigration?


Well, you'll have to come up with some, because "they steal our jerbs" and "they're more criminal than us" have both been proven to be myths based on more-or-less racist propaganda.

surely we can scrape together the $50-100B for a better security barrier on the southern border.

Please tell me you don't actually believe this laughably bad estimate.

There are precedents for such barriers, such as the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border fence

Yes, let's emulate theocratic countries with horrible human rights records, including slave labor. That's worked out so well for us in the past!
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


If we can scare up a $1-2T (and a few thousand soldiers' lives) for neocon misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, then surely we can scrape together the $50-100B for a better security barrier on the southern border.

I propose that we build the wall out of fat stacks of US dollars and label sections with "a year's welfare for a family of four," "a year's salary for a teacher," "cost of rebuilding a collapsing highway bridge," etc
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:18 AM on August 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


The very first point, "There must be a wall across the southern border," is stupid and racist on its face. It's a pie-in-the-sky plan that no one could possibly deliver, but it's red meat to white nativists.

- Is there no other reason, besides racism, that a person would want to prevent illegal immigration into the country?


When the only specific illegal immigration he seems to want to stop consists almost entirely of people of a particular race*, you kinda have to come up with a reason that it's not racism.

* -- Yes, yes, "Latino" isn't a race race, and there are indigenous peoples as well, but we all know what we're talking about here.
posted by Etrigan at 6:21 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, you'll have to come up with some, because "they steal our jerbs" and "they're more criminal than us" have both been proven to be myths based on more-or-less racist propaganda.

The true fact that it's false does not rob it of political value. Opposing immigration is an issue which certain politicians use to appeal to certain voters. I live in a border state. I have immigrants in the next apartment and in the downstairs apartment and in the swimming pool outside my living room window in another couple hours. Anybody who actually knows any immigrants has ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with immigrants as a class. If accurate information gets out there and we hear an honest debate Trump is going to self-destruct on this if on nothing else so let him have at it.
posted by bukvich at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2015


Donald Trump’s appalling reaction to a hate crime committed in his name
When people are committing hate crimes in your name, you do not call them "passionate." You do not say they "want this country to be great again." You say they do not represent you or your beliefs. You talk about why your followers are different from people who beat up homeless men because they're "illegal."

Donald Trump isn't explicitly saying it's okay to beat people up because of how they look, but at least two men have interpreted it that way. And instead of telling them, and the rest of his followers, that that interpretation is unequivocally wrong, he's — at best — framed it as a moderately regrettable downside of his movement's "passion."
posted by tonycpsu at 8:45 AM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


It just occurred to me that the pollsters need to add a step to the questions to get a better look at the state of the electorate:

1 -- "If the presidential election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?"
(wait for answer; regardless of answer, ask question 2)
2 -- "Really? I mean... really?"
(record second answer)
posted by Etrigan at 9:28 AM on August 20, 2015


I've had an idea, but I'm not good at law or reading about Donald Trump, so maybe you folks here can easily analyze it. (Warning: like most things associated with Trump, it's gets kind of gross.)

So DT wants to do something like repealing, ignoring, or radically re-interpreting the 14th Amendment, no? All with the goal of having a bunch of people who are currently considered citizens no longer be considered citizens. I've also heard him say that there are (top-notch, very classy) lawyers who say that with their re-interpretation, these people are already not citizens.

Now I know (possibly incorrectly) that the 14th was passed after the Civil War to deal with the legal status of former slaves. What I want to know is, if you use Trump's lawyers' interpretation of the 14th Amendment, are those former slaves also not citizens? And if so, maybe their descendants aren't citizens either?

(Yes, this is ugly racist shit. I think that DT gets away with a lot because the media doesn't take what he says seriously. I think we've reached the point where it should, and the serious outcomes of his proposals should be emphasized.)

posted by benito.strauss at 9:34 AM on August 20, 2015


Donald Trump’s appalling reaction to a hate crime committed in his name

"It would be a shame ... I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate."


He's basically praising these assholes, which will likely spur on more attacks.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 AM on August 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


McClatchy DC: Trump migrant proposals could be 'catastrophic' to both U.S., Mexico
Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s calls to impound the money undocumented workers send home and to jack up fees for Mexicans crossing the border legally each day could prove harmful to the economies of both countries, Mexican experts said Monday.

Even proponents of Trump’s immigration stance said some aspects of his platform are impractical or cannot be implemented in their entirety.

Trump, whose surge in U.S. polls has troubled many Mexicans, issued a policy paper Sunday that called for blocking the money undocumented Mexican workers send home to their families and increasing fees at border crossing points and for border crossing cards that 1 million Mexicans uses. The measure would stay in place a permanent border wall can be built.

“We will not be taken advantage of anymore,” the Trump policy paper said.

Former Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan said Trump’s policies would be “an unmitigated disaster” for U.S.-Mexican relations, would violate banking regulations and would ignore a changing panorama in which Chinese and Indian migrants stay illegally in the United States more frequently than Mexicans.

“This would be ‘lose-lose’ for both countries,” Sarukhan said of Trump’s proposed policies.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:01 PM on August 20, 2015 [2 favorites]




Trump's personal wealth doesn't empower him to say unpopular things - it empowers him to say popular things (that also happen to be unpopular with the mainstream Chamber of Commerce GOP and Democrats).

Another way to frame it - Trump is a populist.
posted by theorique at 5:49 AM on August 21, 2015


And another one about the Trump-fueled schism in the Republican party, specifically on the subject of immigration.
posted by theorique at 5:56 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class
posted by Apocryphon at 9:02 AM on August 21, 2015


And another one about the Trump-fueled schism in the Republican party, specifically on the subject of immigration.

It's fun to read the publisher of an online magazine whose whole aesthetic screams "We are militaristic fascists" complain about militaristic fascism on the part of Trump supporters.
“Identity politics for white people” is not the same thing as “racism”, nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist, though of course the categories overlap. In fact, white identity politics was at one point the underlying trend for the majoritarian American cultural mainstream.
You know, back when one part of the country was a de jure apartheid state and the other part did its best to make itself a de facto one.
But since the late 1960s, it has been transitioning in fits and starts into something more insular and distinct.
In other words, the white reaction against the Voting Rights Act, etc., set in, and then the Republican Party pandered to it for decades.
Prior to this election season, the national Republican coalition had come around to the idea that while conservatives are opposed to a comprehensive reform package, they would take an incremental approach to reform: building a wall, increasing enforcement along the border, and generally moving toward a path to legalization, not citizenship, for those here illegally.
lol at the idea that building a huge wall along the US - Mexican border is an incremental approach to reform
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:24 AM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


The header image of the article link I posted from The Federalist is a deliberately jingoistic image from the alternative-history video game Bioshock Infinite. I don't know if they are using it knowingly or otherwise.

It's the same one that a Tea Party group shared in a Facebook group - believed to be unironically.
posted by theorique at 9:47 AM on August 21, 2015


Oh yeah, I know. It's just that angular, dark gray type on a black field doesn't have pleasant associations, especially for a right-wing outlet.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:56 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Color me shocked that a Ben Domenech joint would lift someone else's work instead of creating something new.
posted by phearlez at 10:46 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure the picture is a knowing jab at Trump's policies, which the article pointedly rejects (emphasis and link my own):
France is hardly alone in this experience – across Europe the rise of these populist movements, whether from the left or the right, have spread to Britain, Spain, Italy, and other nations. The European experience suggests that the burgeoning administrative state, whether run by putative leftists or putative rightists, engenders a reaction against itself. That antithesis usually is illiberal and adopts an aesthetic of anger, because it is the sort of citizenry that the administrative state produces, and because it is in the interest of that state to have that sort of enemy. Everyone who believes in the values that the administrative state at least claims to support and defend — societal pluralism, common decency, some sort of liberalism — gravitates toward it on Election Day. This is a story repeated across Europe – and in rare places like Hungary, we see what happens when the populist-right actually wins, and it isn’t pretty.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember Weimar.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:06 PM on August 21, 2015


Apocryphon: “Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class
That link gives me a 404 error. Here's a link to Reich's column that worked for me.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:20 PM on August 21, 2015


There have been a lot of pieces comparing Sanders and Trump, but I think this video really captures the most important thing they have in common: their pronunciation of the word "huge".
posted by dialetheia at 1:23 PM on August 21, 2015




“Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny,” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 21 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 9:52 AM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


“The Absolute Insanity Of Donald Trump’s Big Alabama Pep Rally, In 17 Tweets,” Judd Legum, ThinkProgress, 21 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 10:42 AM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]




Guys, what's with the Trump signature hat covering the Trump signature hair? I can't figure out his angle with that...it's not as if his hair has just started getting mocked.
posted by sallybrown at 1:44 PM on August 22, 2015


Seriously the funniest/scariest picture of the campaign so far

That poor child is going to be scarred for life.
posted by homunculus at 4:28 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


30,000 people turn out for Trump stadium rally in Mobile, Alabama

A premonition
posted by gimonca at 5:42 PM on August 22, 2015


Why Donald Trump Won’t Fold: Polls and People Speak

According to the Huffington Post Republican nomination polling tracker, Trump is continuing to rise in the polls.
posted by crazy with stars at 8:28 PM on August 22, 2015


The best model I can come up with for Trump is Eric Cartman.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:59 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


'Why Donald Trump Won't Fold' (NYT)
posted by box at 7:48 AM on August 23, 2015


Why Donald Trump Won’t Fold: Polls and People Speak

I Told You the Media is Starting to Fall in Love with Trump
This video is awful. I know it's meant to show us Trump as his admirers see him, but his admirers don't admire him just for being shruggy and jokey and disarming -- they admire him for saying ugly things and getting away with them. But the press likes a winner, so expect a lot more Trump coverage like this.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:36 PM on August 23, 2015


New Trump Thread
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2015


Dr. Cornel West had a good comment on the oft-referenced similarities and differences between Trump's and Sanders's appeal in his endorsement of Bernie Sanders: "Brother Bernie and Brother Trump are authentic human beings in stark contrast to their donor-driven opponents. Yet only Bernie has authenticity and integrity, whereas Trump is for real but not for right."
posted by dialetheia at 5:09 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


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