"Batshit Crazy"
February 27, 2016 10:31 PM   Subscribe

The GOP is freaking out about the ever-increasing likelihood of Trump as their nominee. The New York Times talks to GOP leaders and consultants, who talk of a Republican National Convention floor fight and an effort to save the rest of the party's candidates. And Lindsey Graham roasts the whole party.
posted by lunasol (683 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
Even allowing for the Press Club rough elbows, Graham's comments are so misogynistic I can hardly enjoy the schadenfreude. Also, he seems drunk.

Bring it on. Trump's got a chance of shattering this party. That'd be great. Let's see it.
posted by Miko at 10:41 PM on February 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


David Frum tweetstorm in response to NYT article, including, "Now you hear elite Republicans blaming the base! As if voters existed to serve party priorities, rather than the other way around!" and "Trump U is a scandal. So’s tacitly allowing 1 million illegal migrants per year rather than offend the National Restaurant Assn" and "So’s withdrawing Medicare coverage from under 55 to finance a tax cut for those who’ve taken 100% of all economic growth since 2010."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:43 PM on February 27, 2016 [34 favorites]


If your strategy to beat Donald Trump requires Donald Trump supporters to not be total fucking idiots, then you need a new strategy.
posted by andoatnp at 10:44 PM on February 27, 2016 [110 favorites]


Also Frum: "5) Isn’t the point here that if a great political party is so vulnerable to fraud as obvious as Trump - it was unhealthy to start with?"
posted by andoatnp at 10:45 PM on February 27, 2016 [48 favorites]


Donald Trump is an uncontrollable wild card, which is exactly why so many people are supporting him. I don't believe he is what he says he is and besides I think he's a pragmatist who will change on a dime. Many of the elderly I care for loathe Hillary Clinton and will vote for him just to stick their fingers in her eyes (if she isn't wearing her special glasses!)
posted by BarcelonaRed at 10:47 PM on February 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I must have missed something. I skimmed over the NYT article a couple of times and no-where does it say what anyone's policies actually are.
posted by adept256 at 10:48 PM on February 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


The R base is finally realizing the thesis of "What's the matter with Kansas."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:49 PM on February 27, 2016 [38 favorites]


a paralytic sense of indecision and despair

<nelson>ha ha</nelson>

Well, no one can say it wasn't wholly earned. One hopes the state Dems are able to overturn the Koch strategy on the coattails of this historic event, but I have to say my expectations are low.
posted by mwhybark at 10:51 PM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, their big eleventh-hour strategy was for Romney to endorse someone, and then he didn't do it. The part where Rubio pissed off Christie was pretty good too.

I'd sure like to see McConnell attempting to disavow the party's own candidate this fall... somehow I think that won't happen either.
posted by zompist at 10:57 PM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


There is this common narrative amongst Republicans that Hillary will crush Trump.

As much as I want that to be true, I do not think it will be. She is only 3 percentage points ahead of him. And not only will Trump attack her from the left, but from the center as well, and I think if it's Hillary v Trump we're going to have a real bad next 4 years.

Republicans should want Trump, especially as Hillary looks more poised to take the Democratic nomination. I think he's the only R that can beat her.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 10:58 PM on February 27, 2016 [37 favorites]


They're going to have to go all in on Trump.
Someone needs to do one of those face swap gifs with Trump as the Joker and GOP as Gambol and Maroni etc.
posted by fullerine at 11:05 PM on February 27, 2016


I'm not sold on current polls for the general telling us much of anything useful.

I want to believe that sane Americans generally outnumber the morons and nutjobs, and further that the morons and nutjobs won't turn out on election day. I know at least one lifelong Republican who has said that he'll vote for Hillary over Trump and then immediately check himself into therapy over it. He hates Hillary, but he knows Trump would be a disaster.* I've seen other Republicans say basically the same thing.

And I want to believe that to be true. I really do. But it's a hell of a thing to gamble on.

I flat out do not understand "party loyalty" when it's patently obvious that both parties are so broken. If given the choice between a sane Republican and a batshit loon of a Democrat, I'd vote for the Republican without blinking. It blows my mind to consider that for a lot of Republicans, the reverse is demonstrably not the case: many of them would choose a nutjob of their party over a practical choice from the other.

I want to believe that Trump won't win the general. That he can't. That a country that would elect Barack Obama TWICE would never turn around and vote for this blatantly racist, sexist, xenophobic, clearly unhinged asshole.

But most of all, it scares me to think that I have to actually see how that plays out. 'cause God knows lunatics have gotten into office plenty of other times in history when smarter people should've freakin' known better.

* - said friend would, however, vote Trump over Sanders, 'cause he honestly thinks Sanders would bring worse economic disaster than whatever Trump would do. So, y'know, there's still that level of silliness to overcome.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:08 PM on February 27, 2016 [36 favorites]


Trump is already running in the general election -- he's veered hard to the middle in the last few debates. Interesting to see how this all plays out.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:09 PM on February 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Interesting to see how this all plays out.

"Interesting" like a Chinese curse, maybe.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:10 PM on February 27, 2016 [38 favorites]


"Efforts to unite warring candidates behind one failed spectacularly: An overture from Senator Marco Rubio to Mr. Christie angered and insulted the governor."

I want to know more about this
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:10 PM on February 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ordering my popcorn now so I'm all stocked up for when the Republican's 2016 election disaster postmortem comes out about why they lost.
posted by andoatnp at 11:12 PM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


if anyone was masochistic enough to watch the Trump rally today and needs antivenin, look up video of Joe Biden responding to a protestor at the Dem convention in CA today

what a fucking great guy, seriously. VP4life plz
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:13 PM on February 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


"Efforts to unite warring candidates behind one failed spectacularly: An overture from Senator Marco Rubio to Mr. Christie angered and insulted the governor."

I want to know more about this


I KNOW. The NY Times piece was so full of tantalizing little teases like this. My hope is that more will come out over the next few weeks as other reporters go digging around.
posted by lunasol at 11:14 PM on February 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to believe that Trump won't win the general. That he can't. That a country that would elect Barack Obama TWICE would never turn around and vote for this blatantly racist, sexist, xenophobic, clearly unhinged asshole.
Perhaps all the "America is two countries" thing is actually coming true?
posted by fullerine at 11:15 PM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Republican 2016 Election Fiasco Autopsy Report"

DID YOU READ THAT LAST REPORT WE WROTE?
posted by andoatnp at 11:15 PM on February 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


that last report?
"Republican 2014 Election Glorious Success Report"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:17 PM on February 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Efforts to unite warring candidates behind one failed spectacularly: An overture from Senator Marco Rubio to Mr. Christie angered and insulted the governor."

I want to know more about this


It is further down in the story:

Mr. Christie had attacked Mr. Rubio contemptuously in New Hampshire, calling him shallow and scripted, and humiliating him in a debate. Nevertheless, Mr. Rubio made a tentative overture to Mr. Christie after his withdrawal from the presidential race. He left the governor a voice mail message, seeking Mr. Christie’s support and assuring him that he had a bright future in public service, according to people who have heard Mr. Christie’s characterization of the message.

Mr. Christie, 53, took the message as deeply disrespectful and patronizing, questioning why “a 44-year-old” was telling him about his future, said people who described his reaction on the condition of anonymity. Further efforts to connect the two never yielded a direct conversation.

posted by retrograde at 11:18 PM on February 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


Josh at TPM has an excellent piece up which uses the (very effectively explained) metaphor of technical debt to explain Trump's takeover of the primary. Essentially his argument is that the GOP have been peddling bullshit to their voters for years, and Trump is just running with it and saying more explicitly the stuff they've been sub-texting. It's very hard to argue against someone who's spouting your own bullshit right back at you.
posted by simonw at 11:19 PM on February 27, 2016 [112 favorites]


The GOP doesn't hate Trump because he's radical. They hate him because he's not their flavor of radical. He doesn't pass the neocon purity test.

On a side note, sucks that Sanders didn't do better tonight. Is it completely out of the question for him to get offered VP?
posted by Beholder at 11:19 PM on February 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I keep telling everyone I know that cooler heads will prevail. Well. Come one cooler heads, start prevailing!
posted by notyou at 11:19 PM on February 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Now you hear elite Republicans blaming the base! As if voters existed to serve party priorities, rather than the other way around!"

Yes, this. Every word from the party leaders about how badly they don't want Trump backfires and alienates them further from the base. Romney endorsing Rubio would be the last nail in Rubio's campaign. Every time the media tries to push this ridiculous manufactured "Marcomentum", they prove themselves to be untrustworthy and lose that much more credibility. Chris Hayes on MSNBC mentioned how he talked to a lot of Republican voters in Nevada during their caucus, and all of them said they didn't trust Fox News anymore (and they're right not to - Fox transparently tells voters what Murdoch and Ailes want them to think to further their political agenda). Voters are rejecting the entire Beltway constructed reality that tells voters what they should think, and that's why their increasingly desperate entreaties have only strengthened Trump - it's like the media/commentariat's brake pedal has been rewired to the accelerator and they just can't figure it out.

And no wonder - I couldn't help but notice how that everyone involved in that article, from their subjects to the authors, had almost nothing to say about actual voters. No wonder they had no idea this would happen and have no idea how to stop it - they don't spare so much as a thought in that entire article for the people who are actually voting for Trump. It's 100% about the top-down media narrative to them. I hear it in every word of campaign coverage on both sides these days - the best they can do is talking about "the ___ vote" in magical thinking terms, just like they blithely assert that Romney might deliver "the Mormon vote" in Idaho to Rubio (fat chance - I live near Idaho, that's 100% Trump country on the Republican side). Everyone involved in that story has officially disappeared up their own assholes.

Trump is a dangerous racist and I am terrified of him becoming President. But it's not solely racism that's driving his rise - it's also a profound rejection of powerful business interests telling voters what to think in the Republican party while failing to so much as consider their own voters, much less do anything to meaningfully improve their voters' income, job security, or quality of life.
posted by dialetheia at 11:22 PM on February 27, 2016 [133 favorites]


On a side note, sucks that Sanders didn't do better tonight.

He lost in the most conservative state in the Union. This shouldn't surprise you.

Is it completely out of the question for him to get offered VP?

If he actually believes in what he says, he would never become a VP. He would be far more useful in the Senate -- or actually being out of politics and moving to Canada.

There's unhelpful, there's useless, and there's the vice presidency, which is quite literally waiting for someone to kill the president so you can do something.
posted by eriko at 11:23 PM on February 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


I think another part of Trump's appeal - and what makes it particularly dangerous for the party to attack him - is that evangelical voters are aware they've been used by Wall Street conservatives and movement conservatives to turn up votes for economic policies, but the promised culture-war victories have not (with a few notable exceptions) materialized, and GOP politicians use those issues to turn out votes but then backburner actually doing anything about them. I think Trump's line about how the institutional GOP is out to screw him even though he's winning fair and square resonates with those voters who've been screwed by the GOP for 20 years despite being the foot soldiers who win them elections. The more they attack Trump head-on, the more credence this narrative gains.

Or, yeah, what dialethia said.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:25 PM on February 27, 2016 [39 favorites]


Sanders won't get offered the VP. He's not connected to the party in a serious way, he doesn't have any particular legislative skill or connections, he's not any sort of future option for the presidency, and he can't deliver a pile of EC votes. It's HRCs party, for better or worse, depending on how Tuesday goes (probably not well for Sanders).
posted by notyou at 11:25 PM on February 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm watching a rerun of SNL right now and praying that Tina Fey was able to impart to Darrell Hammond the secret technique to derail a candidacy
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:32 PM on February 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


he doesn't have any particular legislative skill

Except for being a Senator and Representative since 1991, sure. 🙄
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:33 PM on February 27, 2016 [36 favorites]


Except for being a Senator and Representative since 1991, sure. 🙄

I meant in the sense of say, Joe Biden. HRC can find that skillset elsewhere, for cheaper.
posted by notyou at 11:36 PM on February 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is it completely out of the question for him to get offered VP?

Yes. Hillary will pick someone younger, male, white, and just enough to the left of her. I would suspect Martin O'Malley or similar. Cory Booker would be a terrific choice, but I don't think he wants the gig and I don't think Hillary's camp is that daring.
posted by aureliobuendia at 11:37 PM on February 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


The New York Times talks to GOP leaders and consultants, who talk of a Republican National Convention floor fight

It's not going to happen, for a number of reasons.

After Super Tuesday, Trump should have a commanding delegate lead; assuming he wins two of winner-take-all Florida, Missouri and Ohio (and realistically he should win all three) his lead will become insurmountable. If Cruz and the Establishment Republican Of Choice (likely Rubio, possibly Kasich) remain in the race after Super Tuesday, they'll continue to split the vote. If one of them leaves and it becomes a two person race, Trump is still likely to win more than he loses because a lot of the voters will bleed to him in any event - some see him as a viable second choice, some just want to vote for a perceived winner.

In any event, Trump will very likely enter the convention with, at minimum, a plurality of delegates. He will be the presumptive nominee. If the GOP uses some convention tricks to deny Trump the candidacy, his supporters will cry bloody murder and Trump will likely start at least talking about a third-party run. (The Reform Party's still around, after all.) That's more or less the end of the GOP as we know it, and their survival instincts will fight this to the end.

And the survival instincts are what really matters. Chris Christie isn't endorsing Trump now because he likes Trump. Nobody likes Trump. His current wife is waiting for him to die so she can get millions of dollars, for crissake. But Christie thinks he smells a winner, so he's doing his best remora impersonation and suckering onto Trump's underbelly. Paul LePage and Jan Brewer are doing the same for the same reasons (although LePage and Brewer are toxic and crazy enough that they might actually approve of Trump).

These are only the first in a giant wave of assholes who will leech onto Trump as more and more Republicans decide that he simply can't be beaten. I mean, we are talking about people who gleefully enacted the Southern strategy for years because they knew attacking minorities would get them votes and power. Do you really think they're going to blink at Donald Trump? Their only principle is "do what the people who give me money tell me to do," and the money men will, soon enough, decide amongst themselves that Trump can be handled well enough.
posted by mightygodking at 11:38 PM on February 27, 2016 [67 favorites]


It will be Julián Castro. She's already floated his name several times on Facebook.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:39 PM on February 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Mr. Romney made a blunt demand Wednesday on Fox News: Mr. Trump must release his tax returns to prove he was not concealing a “bombshell” political vulnerability.
Mitt Romney demanding tax returns is not so much beyond parody as, well, madness.
Their constructed reality has become so entrenched they are finally lost to this one.

They're like the video of Ceausescu addressing a crowd of protestors and being confused that they're not cheering him.
The entire party and maybe even the entire political establishment is like this.
posted by fullerine at 11:41 PM on February 27, 2016 [25 favorites]


When I read about Mitch McConnell coming up with a plan to have Republicans disavow Donald Trump should he become the nominee, I immediately thought of what happened in Illinois in 1986 after two Lyndon LaRouche followers won the Democratic primary elections for lieutenant governor and Secretary of State. I'm not the only one drawing this parallel.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:48 PM on February 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The whole thing makes me downright nostalgic for the Republicans of my youth… you know, the serious people in suits who lectured a little too much about fiscal responsibility, but generally didn't go around wrecking the country.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:49 PM on February 27, 2016 [56 favorites]


I couldn't help but notice how that everyone involved in that article, from their subjects to the authors, had almost nothing to say about actual voters.

At the risk of defending Republican pols and donors and such: I wouldn't be surprised if they did make those kinds of comments, but that said comments didn't make it into the article. At that point, it's as much about the authors, as you say.

A huge (yuge!) share of the blame for our current horror show goes to the media, and it's not just the Fox News brainwashing machine. It's CNN's blithering 24/7 incompetence, it's every reporter failing to hold Trump's feet to the fire on anything--except, my god, Megyn freakin' Kelly! And even then, Trump blatantly runs away from further confrontation with her and the media just blows it off like it's no big deal.

The media isn't interested in analyzing and informing anymore. They keep holding to that same formula you hear on NPR constantly:

1. Side A says blah.
2. Side B says blah.
3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:51 PM on February 27, 2016 [107 favorites]


"You don't get it, son. This isn't a mudhole... It's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon."
"Ted, honey. Come to bed."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:58 PM on February 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't know if I can keep two Trump threads open.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


I don't have network TV but my parents do. When I was visit them over the December holidays, Good Morning America has a phone interview with Trump almost every day. He's ratings dynamite. He's gotten more attention than anyone else running for office, maybe ever.

Thanks Matt Lauer.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:11 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


Even allowing for the Press Club rough elbows, Graham's comments are so misogynistic I can hardly enjoy the schadenfreude. Also, he seems drunk.

Some of those comments were making fun of Kasich's comments about how women "left their kitchens" to support him when he first sought elected office. His Hillary bit was less than ideal though yes.

Lindsay Graham does appear to have joined the out of fucks to give club though, and that's quite something to see.
posted by zachlipton at 12:21 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Trump is a bad man, but it's worth remembering that he isn't the extremist in the race. Cruz is far scarier, and there's not much air between Cruz's policies and Rubio's. The most dedicated evangelicals, the scrap-the-gummint libertarians, the nuke-em-all neocons, all hate Trump because he is less committed to their orthodoxy than the other candidates. Trump's support is higher with moderate Republicans; very conservative and Tea Party voters prefer Cruz.

Trump is an unfiltered racist, but the party establishment is just filtered racists. Mitt Romney, the quintessential establishment candidate, made it clear enough in 2012 that the party was only for old straight white men.

If he got elected, he'd do bad things, but those bad things would be precisely the things that he could agree on with the GOP leadership: lowering taxes on the rich, naming a neo-Scalia to the Court, maybe repealing Obamacare. (I say "maybe" because it'd be a lot harder than it sounds; more likely they'd find an excuse to put it off. Plus even with a Trump victory, the Senate is likely to flip Democratic.) Would he get behind Paul Ryan's budget? He's less likely to do so than Cruz or Rubio; he's really not against big government. Would he start wars? He's the one who's been ragging on Bush for the Iraq War; Cruz/Rubio are likely to be more aggressive.

As for Trump vs Clinton, too early to tell, but FWIW Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump did in South Carolina.
posted by zompist at 12:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [30 favorites]


All I can think is that Tool will have so much material for their next album.
posted by happyinmotion at 12:31 AM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


Well, if I can't watch Sanders win (and I still hope he makes a respectable showing), at least I can have the pleasure of watching the Republican party and what remains of movement conservatism implode in spectacular fashion. I just hope the Republican party doesn't take the rest of the country down with it. Trump certainly gets people talking.
posted by eagles123 at 12:43 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Batshit insane? Like a fox. (Foxshit? No, that's a TV channel.)

Come on cooler heads, start prevailing!

Cooler heads prevailed in the GOP in 2008 and 2012. McCain and Romney were much more reasonable than their primary opposition and they couldn't beat a black man with a foreign sounding name! Then the Republicans took the Senate and a bunch more State Legislatures in '14 with candidates who were absolutely NOT cooler heads. And The Donald smartly saw this as the best time to sell some Trump-branded snake oil when people will buy it.

Personally, I don't think Trump is really a racist; he just plays one on TV. He's a sociopath who hates all people equally but has just smartly figured out whose support he can win by openly hating others. At the right time, he'll find new targets for his crowd-pleasing mix of rage, disrespect and braggadocio that are not racially based, and millions will sigh in relief. And many people will conclude that they like at least one of those three things in the mix and decide "at least he's not Politics As Usual".

And he has more media experience and name recognition than any other candidate (thank you, NBC, for The Apprentice, which falsely set him up as a 'Business Manager'). Because it's name recognition for people who "aren't into politics", a large (and yes, dumb) potential constituency that the GOP used to safely take for granted (as well as some who the Democrats used to take for granted). There are no "bombshells" that could derail him that are worse than what we already know about him. It's part of his Brand, and his Brand is a name that appears on casinos and other big buildings, and who needs yard signs when you have that?

An op-ed noted his role-playing at a World Wrestling event several years ago, and that is his campaign model... he's a Bad Boy wrestler and there is no other candidate who can play the role of the Good Guy wrestler who will defeat him in the end.

But I think I just realized what it may be that is driving him to WANT to be President. He just wants to be the Boss over everyone on Wall Street who he feels never gave him the respect he thought he deserved (when, in reality, they've given him MORE respect than he truly deserved). Yep, he'll probably destroy the economy, but it's not like the current economy doesn't deserve it (I've couldn't have chosen a better time to be broke), and it may open up the possibility of rebuilding something better.

Okay, that's my Trump rant. I won't do another one until something happens that convinces me I'm wrong, and then I'll make another one with just as much confident certainty.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [30 favorites]


If your strategy to beat Donald Trump requires Donald Trump supporters to not be total fucking idiots, then you need a new strategy.

I don't think they saw it coming where both the voters and the candidates are trash. You can get away with one or the other, maybe, but not both.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:48 AM on February 28, 2016


As for Trump vs Clinton, too early to tell, but FWIW Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump did in South Carolina.

Unfortunately, Democratic turnout was down 30%, and Dems received ~360k votes to the Republicans' ~740k. White turnout in the SC primary was down nearly 50% from 2008, and Black turnout was down ~70k.
posted by dialetheia at 12:49 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'll give Trump two things: he has yuge confidence, and that helps him say all bullshit he wants because he's an actual bully running against guys that think they are bullies, but only when they are backed by numbers. Second, on his speeches, he usually has to make an effort to make my skin crawl and it usually takes two or three sentences to nope out. Tools like Cruz and Rubio usually sound like a pastor talking to the congregation and holy shit, I recall catholic priests here mention god and jesus on Sunday Mass less than them on a fucking 15 minute concession speech. Cruz doesn't even need to open his mouth - he looks like a snatcher that chose someone with a big head and is struggling having his face fit.

The Republicans need to dial back from the normal of the party being the "I have two favourite books, the bible and the constitution, in this order" (now imagine Always Sunny style title card reading "republican reads the bible and the constitution for the first time"), because when you have doubts who is the worst between the establishment candidate, the establishment outsider and a fucking reality star, there are fundamental problems with the party, unless White ISIS is exactly what they're going for.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:54 AM on February 28, 2016


Personally, I don't think Trump is really a racist; he just plays one on TV.

Vonnegut: 'We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.'
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:06 AM on February 28, 2016 [95 favorites]


The whole thing makes me downright nostalgic for the Republicans of my youth… you know, the serious people in suits who lectured a little too much about fiscal responsibility, but generally didn't go around wrecking the country.

You grew up under Eisenhower?
posted by mwhybark at 1:09 AM on February 28, 2016 [58 favorites]


I think we should stop looking at this as a matter of people being crazy. Trump is intentionally digging into people for effect. He's being craven and cynical, but not crazy. The people who support him aren't crazy either. They see a Republican candidate who bucks wildly against the GOP establishment and calls out the terrible candidates that always run in GOP races (and it's a mistake for Democrats to think that Republicans aren't aware of how awful their candidates are - not because of their politics, but because even someone who agrees with Cruz's platform can see how awful he is).

I know conservative people who are appalled by Trump, and who say he's not what conservatism is supposed to be. The GOP has been as bad at promoting that kind of conservatism as the Democratic party has been at supporting leftists. Trump's support is best not thought of as conservatism gone crazy, but as a mainstream Republican reaction to the GOP itself.
posted by teponaztli at 1:09 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


That said: the open racism, xenophobia, and the like that Trump spits out is, while not crazy, still incredibly dangerous.
posted by teponaztli at 1:11 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


Personally, I don't think Trump is really a racist; he just plays one on TV. He's a sociopath who hates all people equally but has just smartly figured out whose support he can win by openly hating others.

Personally, I don't think that Trump is really a misogynist, he just plays one on TV. He hates all people equally.....
Personally, I don't think that Trump is really classist, he just plays one on TV. He hates all people equally......

Let's say that Trump isn't actually, in his deep-down-heart-of-hearts Racist or Misogynistic (with capital letters), his actions and words have serious, serious impacts. The man was endorsed by David Duke, he's retweeted Neo-Nazi's and does not care a single iota when called out for it. People of colour get beaten up at his rallies and he ENCOURAGES it. He thinks that Hillary Clinton going to the bathroom is absolutely disgusting.

Sure, I think that Trump thinks that all people are below him. I'm sure that the number and types of people he despises extends far and wide but to say that he plays up his racism just for the television I think is really harmful and ignorant. And even if he does just play pretend it sounds like you're using it to balance out his hatred of all people. Which is like, ok, sure, but then who is disproportionately affected by that hatred?
posted by Neronomius at 1:17 AM on February 28, 2016 [29 favorites]


who is disproportionately affected by that hatred?

Who is ALWAYS disproportionately affected by that hatred? Trump is just bypassing the usual "code words" and "dog whistles" for his own aggrandizement ... he gets to be The One Who Tells It Like (the bigots believe) It Really Is. It's all part of the game of making some people believe he's "on their side" when the only side he's on is all his. And it works.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:26 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


The media isn't interested in analyzing and informing anymore. They keep holding to that same formula you hear on NPR constantly:

1. Side A says blah.
2. Side B says blah.
3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The thing I've noticed lately from the media that wants your eyeballs and clicks without doing any actual work is The View From Trumpville, where something is only newsworthy if Trump is involved. I see this in The Washington Post a ton, and their search sucks so here's two quick examples:

1. The Virginia GOP was going to put a loyalty pledge on the primary ballot. They wanted people voting in an open primary to sign their name on their ballot to swear that they would vote republican in the general election. The Post didn't report on that until Trump tweeted about it. That's how they cover the local political beat.

2. They ran a longish biographical piece on Carly Fiorina about the HP-Compaq merger. While the story was focused on her decision making and leadership style, the only business analysis of the merger is this line: "Donald Trump called the merger 'a terrible deal' and ranked Fiorina as one of the worst 20 CEOs 'in the history of business'." Like they couldn't find an opinion from an economist or a business school professor, so Trump's insight was all they had to run with before going to print.
posted by peeedro at 1:27 AM on February 28, 2016 [29 favorites]


I think we should stop looking at this as a matter of people being crazy. Trump is intentionally digging into people for effect. He's being craven and cynical, but not crazy. The people who support him aren't crazy either.

I guess you're attempting to coin a new definition for the word "crazy", then? Because by any currently extant definition, people supporting Trump are deeply, deeply crazy. Dangerously insane. They're trying as hard as they possibly can to drive a sword through their own faces in order to stab the people standing behind them. Trump supporters are doomsday cultists who would rather reduce the entire world to cinders than let Muslims, blacks, or the poor have any rights or freedoms at all, AND MANY OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY IN THAT LAST GROUP. (Also, even if they could guarantee that those groups would live forever in rights-free slavery, they still might burn the world down just because.) They are a danger to themselves and others.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


Hillary will crush Trump. Because if the same coalition that turned out in 08 and 12 turns out again, she wins easily. And they will--Trump has said the most hateful things. No one is sitting this election out who voted the last two presidential elections.

It's the downticket races I'm worried about. E.g. I really want to see the Dems pick up a house in WI.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:30 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking it'll be Castro, too. Which is cool!
posted by persona au gratin at 1:34 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


And I know they've not been out in the Dem primaries. Wait until they can vote to defeat Trump in the fall.

And I can't wait to see Hillary wipe the floor with Trump in debates. She's 4x smarter than he is, and is tougher, too.

I'll need to get some special popcorn for that.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:39 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I like Castros policies but whenever I see him I can't stop staring at his GIANT FOREHEAD.
posted by Justinian at 1:41 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


People don't turn out to vote against someone they hate. They turn out to vote for someone they like. All the hate in the world didn't unseat George W. Bush in '04, or, for that matter, Obama in '12.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [34 favorites]


Well, the Democrats have to get their asses together first before they can win downticket races. Here in Pennsylvania, I remember reading just this week that there are seats for the state houses that the Democrats aren't even going to contest because they haven't recruited any candidates. The U.S. Senate contest isn't looking too great at the moment either - it's retread Joe Sestak and a bunch of candidates who aren't gaining much traction. Personally, I hope Fettermen wins. Basically, just because the Republicans are imploding doesn't necessarily mean the Democrats are a healthy political party at the moment. The party still has a very thin bench and is invisible in many areas. Complacency is not advised.

As for Castro, I'd feel better if he'd at least managed to win and hold one statewide office. Mayor of San Antonio -> HUD is pretty thin.

As for Trump, I think he's a psychopath. He needs to constantly seek new sensations to appease his sensual appetites. Running for President is just his latest attempt to get a high. I guess he can't do cocaine anymore. In Harry Potter terms Republicans = Slytherin and Trump = Voldemort. And look, Christie just endorsed him! Slytherin falls in line, just like in the books.
posted by eagles123 at 1:44 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Trump is already running in the general election -- he's veered hard to the middle in the last few debates.

How much of a "middle candidate " is someone who wants to take away first amendment protection from "unpopular news outlets" by making it easier to sue them for libel?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:47 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Trump has excelled at media hacking. i bet he goes (relatively) sane in debates before the general, banking on people not remembering/caring about his earlier persona.

The only certainty right now is his unpredictability.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:49 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because by any currently extant definition, people supporting Trump are deeply, deeply crazy. Dangerously insane. They're trying as hard as they possibly can to drive a sword through their own faces in order to stab the people standing behind them.

There have been articles and books and pages and pages written about how Republicans support policies that hurt themselves. Writing them off as cultists is a serious misrepresentation of what motivates them. It's not just a semantic game; people did not anticipate the threat posed by Trump because they assumed he was too crazy to be successful. Now that he has been successful, the conclusion is that everyone must be crazy.

I don't want to write people off as crazy because I don't think we'll actually understand what's going on unless we treat them as rational people who are making decisions that we can't relate to. That doesn't imply a tacit approval of the decisions they're making, and in fact it's really alarming that an openly racist candidate would get this much support.

If it sounds like I'm being too fair to bad people, it's just that I think we're continuing to underestimate what's going on here. The support that he has goes much deeper than hate or spite, and it says a ton about Republican party politics. Yes, he's attracting actual hate groups, but he's also attracting people who are fed up with the GOP. As long as we assume you have to be a hateful, spiteful cultist to support him, we'll continue to be surprised when he pulls in supporters.

If we look at someone like Joe Scarborough flirting with Trump, we say "oh, what a shameless opportunist," but if we look at a member of the general public doing it we say "oh, what a crazy person." I think there's less of a gulf between the Morning Joes of the world and the average Trump supporter. Support for Trump is bad regardless of whether someone is a doomsday cultist or not, but we need to have a much more subtle view of Trump's supporters if we're going to beat him.
posted by teponaztli at 1:52 AM on February 28, 2016 [39 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger
posted by fshgrl at 1:56 AM on February 28, 2016 [27 favorites]


I don't know how subtle one needs to go. Racism is hard to fight and can have effects far beyond what people typically imagine, but the basic formula is Insular + Angry. Season the anger with a certain amount of justification if you're feeling generous and add a dollop of self-regard and a sprinkling of stupidity. Heat to a froth and serve.
posted by Scattercat at 2:01 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


i bet he goes (relatively) sane in debates before the general, banking on people not remembering/caring about his earlier persona.

I would fully expect Trump to sound much more reasonable, be much less abrasive, and have fully-researched and practiced answers to questions in a debate with a Democratic candidate. I think it'll actually work really well for him if people do remember the earlier persona, because there's a debate strategy of setting up your candidate to easily beat low expectations.

Assuming Clinton is the Dem nominee, the Democrats will be expecting her to walk circles around him intellectually, while the Republicans will be expecting him to smack her down. I think both will be very surprised if he takes a much more reasonable tone: the Democrats will be surprised if he sounds more intelligent than they thought he would be, and the Republicans will be impressed if he has solid answers for everything she says.

I mean, I'm not promising this will happen. But I remember one of the debate threads where people were saying "wow, Trump actually sounds kind of reasonable compared to the rest of them, that's weird" and he can pull that off because he set such a low bar early on.
posted by teponaztli at 2:01 AM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger

.... who, oddly enough, turned out to be a fairly competent* governor.


*agree or disagree with his politics, he won some policy fights fair and square and lost others, had an abnormally productive relationship with an opposition-controlled legislature, and actually governed toward the center-right, as he said he would.
posted by chimaera at 2:01 AM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


> Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger

That's my biggest fear. Celebrity candidates sometimes seem to operate by different rules that what you would expect. As I wrote in my post above, Trump gets people talking. Just today I heard people talking about him on a popular sports talk radio station in Philadelphia. One of the hosts also spoke positively of Sanders, but it looks like the Democrats aren't going to go in that direction. I have heard similar things from relatives who I wouldn't say normally pay attention to politics. Trump is viewed both as anti-establishment and a serious candidate. I don't hear much about Clinton.....

Still, I don't think Trump will win. The amount of people who absolutely hate him is at last as great as the amount of people who support him. I think the election will be decided by the amount of regular Republican voters who "fall in line" and vote for their party and the amount of new voters Trump attracts versus the amount of people who enthusiastically vote for Clinton and the amount of people who come out to vote against Trump. Personally, I think a lot of people will come out to vote against Trump.
posted by eagles123 at 2:08 AM on February 28, 2016


All the hate in the world didn't unseat George W. Bush in '04, or, for that matter, Obama in '12.

Dubya's approval rating was something like 60-65% in 2004, and Obama's was around 50% in 2012 (and he won the popular vote). It wasn't so much that the people who hated them stayed home--it's just there were more people who liked them than disliked them.

Trump's approval rating has hovered around 25%. 2012 made it abundantly clear that you couldn't rely solely on White people to get you the election. Hell, after that election the Republican party hired consultants to tell them how to get popular again, and that was basically the message: you can't rely on White people, you have to appeal to women and minorities, social conservatism isn't going to work any more. That is what the USA is now, and it's only getting more like that with every year.

Trump, narcissist he is, will switch positions all he wants. But the DNC only needs to deploy videos of him talking about Mexican rapists and killing children to get back at terrorists and it's going to completely fuck him up. It's not just the racism either--Trump has so many, many things to attack. His ability to get this far is not so much an indication of his cunning, strategic mind as it is the Republican Party's utter inability (and unwillingness) to muster a response to him.

Put an attack campaign in the hands of people who actually want to take him down, and you're looking at Babby's First Campaign. (Or at least I'd like to think that--the Dems have proven themselves to be terrible at this sort of thing in the past)
posted by schroedinger at 2:41 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


One of the most terrifying things about this election cycle to me is the number of people who persist in thinking that Donald Trump is really secretly a moderate, mostly, despite having policy positions that include eliminating the EPA, eliminating the Department of Education, never raising the minimum wage, barring all Syrian refugees, barring the immigration of all Muslims, building a wall at the Mexican border, having no gun control of any kind, cutting taxes by 10 trillion dollars, repealing the Estate tax, putting a time limit on food stamps, and getting rid of Obamacare and replacing it with "Health Savings Accounts". Plus he's anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, wants to reduce the use of vaccines to avoid autism, questions whether Obama was born in the U.S., and considers climate change a hoax.

But apparently he was saying slightly different things as recently as 16 years ago, so we can be reassured?
posted by kyrademon at 2:46 AM on February 28, 2016 [74 favorites]


Can I just take one moment here and point out how topsy-turvy it will be for the Dem nominee to be the staid establishment figure and for the GOP nominee to be the "no more business as usual" figure? Especially when the GOP nominee's persona is practically synonymous with "business"? To what extend does that inversion of the normal pattern throw off any historically-evidenced guesses and extrapolations we would typically feel confident in making?

To say nothing of the crushing absurdity, for those of us who remember the '80s and '90s, that we are actually seriously talking about a possible President Trump. If you'd asked me back then, I'd have said a "possible President Jimmy Swaggart" was vastly more plausible.

I'm just not sure what to hope for in our current Batshit Bizarro Nightmare Green scenario. If Trump becomes the next president, he'll fail catastrophically, as he has everywhere else, but it'll be hard to enjoy schadenfreude at his expense when his actions cause untold human suffering (as it is safe to assume they would). If he loses the general, the bleaker elements of the GOP base that have been worked into a froth will support someone worse and/or do something truly apocalyptic (like, say, launch a nationwide Cliven Bundy-esque insurrection). That's a constituency that won't just go to sleep after January.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:53 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


How much of a "middle candidate " is someone who wants to take away first amendment protection from "unpopular news outlets" by making it easier to sue them for libel?

Please read what I actually wrote. Thanks!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:56 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I've yet to see commentary about Trump having "to promise" not to mount a 3rd party back in September, and then took the party.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 2:58 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


After W won in 2004 (after pretty openly stealing the election in 2000), I was more disgusted with America than I ever thought I could be. People had had 4 years of that horrible man, and they wanted more. When they got swoony over Sarah Palin, my disgust hit new highs! She had even less charm than W, she was just such an obviously rotten, dumb creature. That she even came close to the vice presidency was a ghastly embarrassment.

So now we have Trump. He's horrible and ridiculous, but... is he worse than W? Hell no. Worse than Palin? No. He's an opportunistic SOB who will say whatever outrageous thing will get him attention. I don't even think he's truly that racist, I think he's just saying vile stuff to fire up his supporters and keep the press talking. I think all he really cares about is money and being talked about. He's this absurd figure from my childhood, and reality TV. He's like Hulk Hogan or something, some loud goof who was on cereal boxes in 1987. He's a novelty candidate, and it is fucking madness he's gotten this far.

And I still don't know if Hillary can beat him. We could end up living in a 21st Century sci-fi dystopia with the whole world at war, our cities in ruins and President Donald Trump on our viewscreens endlessly telling us we are the greatest nation there ever was. I'm not sure if that's a scene from a Robocop sequel everybody forgot about, or something Alex P. Keaton sees in a nightmare that makes him momentarily question his go-go eighties ways.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:00 AM on February 28, 2016 [48 favorites]


That she even came close to the vice presidency was a ghastly embarrassment.

Some forget that McCain made his choice when Hillary was a frontrunner. The privacy of the ballot box is a wonderful character of our democracy. How people say they'll vote and what lever they actually pull isn't predicted very well. Especially as America's candidates inch (and I mean inch) away from all old white guys.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 3:05 AM on February 28, 2016


She had even less charm than W

I don't think W is lacking on charm, and thinking he was a buffoon Gore would easily crap on was one of the reasons why he came close enough to steal the 2000 election. Yes, it's a very average, kind of schmoozola of charm and certainly not what you'd expect from a presidential candidate, but I mean, I would have a beer with him.
With Cruz or Rubio, or even Palin, Cheney and Lieberman, if we're going with charmless assholes from the past, I'd probably kick a hard wood cabinet just to have an excuse not to go. Probably safer with Cheney, too.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:19 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can I just take one moment here and point out how topsy-turvy it will be for the Dem nominee to be the staid establishment figure and for the GOP nominee to be the "no more business as usual" figure?

I think there are worrying parallels to the 2010 special senate election in Massachusetts. Martha Coakley's staid, by-the-books campaign did well to dominate the primary, but her rather uninspiring message didn't stand a chance against the seething tidal wave of angry populism that came to support Scott Brown. The only saving grace to that complete and utter disaster came two years later when Elizabeth Warren overwhelmingly defeated Scott Brown.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


Trump touched a nativist nerve with his entry into the race. That's been a live wire in the Republican coalition: the nativists, being white and angry, hate the Democrats but drag their feet for establishment Republican candidates. The establishment wants some normalization of the immigration situation, i.e. comprehensive immigration reform. But with decades of dog-whistles about "illegal immigrants" to court the nativists as voters, the Republicans suddenly have to deal with them as a voting bloc. That's sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind for you.

The thing is, the Republicans have been unwilling to go full-bore against Trump until, roughly, four days ago. And it's just too late. Donald Trump is a gorilla and creates a lot of havoc everywhere he goes. If he's the nominee you can expect a few months of the most remorseless negative advertisement (of course, all coming from Clinton aligned SuperPACs) you've ever seen, because between the people he's stepped on to go up the ladder and the number of idiotic things he's said, Donald J. Trump is one of the most attackable sonuvabitches to ever run for President.
posted by graymouser at 4:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't want to write people off as crazy because I don't think we'll actually understand what's going on unless we treat them as rational people who are making decisions that we can't relate to.

There's a difference between thinking Trump supporters are irrational and thinking they are insane; don't conflate the two. There is a rational, understandable distrust of the party establishment and of "politics as usual." But there are a great many ways to respond to that distrust.

But Trump's appeals and statements are simply not rational; they are visibly, obviously incoherent. To the extent that Trump supporters demonstrate a rational connection to their particular "anti-establishment" candidate of choice, it is that they are frightened, angry, and find comfort in a particular narrative of self and country, one that is primarily exclusionary and, yes, supremacist in various ways. Trump gives voice to that fear and anger *in the terms* of that narrative.

Rationality is very often a structure people build around what are, at base, irrational or at least arational commitments and desires.
posted by kewb at 4:05 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


My fear is that Trump will bring out stupid white voters in droves the way Obama brought out young people and minority voters in 2008. My hope is they are too stupid to know they have to register to vote and actually show up.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:16 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


"...I want to believe that sane Americans generally outnumber the morons and nutjobs...."

Well, there's your first mistake....
posted by HuronBob at 4:44 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger Ronald Reagan

Anyone who was around when Reagan ran for president will remember how he was written off as a faded (and divorced) actor who would never be taken seriously because he acted in a movie with a chimpanzee. That turned out pretty great . . .
posted by jeremias at 4:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [34 favorites]


Donald Trump is an uncontrollable wild card, which is exactly why so many people are supporting him. I don't believe he is what he says he is and besides I think he's a pragmatist who will change on a dime.

At best, America will get its own Berlusconi. At worst, things could get much worse.
posted by acb at 4:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


If nothing else, Julian Castro would continue to drive Republicans apoplectic at the trend of Democrats in the White House that happen to possess the names of dictators.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


That's my biggest fear. Celebrity candidates sometimes seem to operate by different rules that what you would expect.

After Reagan, Schwarzenegger and Trump, perhaps this will spell the extinction of non-celebrities running for President.

Only eight years until President Swift is constitutionally possible.
posted by acb at 4:50 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't even think he's truly that racist, I think he's just saying vile stuff to fire up his supporters and keep the press talking

IF YOU WOULD SAY VILE RACIST STUFF TO FIRE UP SUPPORTERS THAT MAKES YOU TRULY RACIST FOR REAL FOR REAL
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:24 AM on February 28, 2016 [141 favorites]


The whole thing makes me downright nostalgic for the Republicans of my youth… you know, the serious people in suits who lectured a little too much about fiscal responsibility, but generally didn't go around wrecking the country.

This is what it looks like when somebody gets taken in by Republican propaganda. The GOP doesn't give a fuck about "fiscal responsibility". That's nothing but branding. The actual GOP economic agenda is and was to slash the top marginal tax rate and go on a massive spending spree and blame the Democrats for the results.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:25 AM on February 28, 2016 [38 favorites]


As horrible as all this is becoming, there's a capering lunatic inside me that wants a President Trump, so that when everything goes to shit and they start rounding up dissenting voices, it can grab my conservative acquaintances by the shoulders and shake them: "SEE?! Do you GODDAMN SEE now?"

I usually bring that crazy person inside me to heel by reminding myself that even then, they will not see.
posted by Mooski at 5:32 AM on February 28, 2016 [26 favorites]


People don't turn out to vote against someone they hate. They turn out to vote for someone they like. All the hate in the world didn't unseat George W. Bush in '04, or, for that matter, Obama in '12.

I am fairly indifferent as far as Hillary vs. Bernie goes. But I will give away every last cent I can afford to prevent a Trump presidency. I'll bet I'm not the only one.

That being said, I think the Democrats would be wise to be wary. I live in NYC, and the Trump supporters I've run across are surprising: doctors who have felt squeezed by insurance companies and lowering Medicare reimbursement rates, parents who want to have a SAHP and can't afford to do so in the city, wealthy people who are tired of the evangelical wing taking over the Republican party. It's not all crazy racists.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:35 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


"One of the most terrifying things about this election cycle to me is the number of people who persist in thinking that Donald Trump is really secretly a moderate..."

What I'm seeing is that all the media and most of the people I know seem to have little understanding of populism. Trump is a center-right populist who could easily become the closest thing to a genuinely fascist candidate that the US has seen. He doesn't fit the mold of either the religious right or the corporate right and this is confusing everyone who thinks that these are the only two possibilities. Trump's single biggest favorability margin is with Appalachian whites who are (still) registered as Democrats. He's got the white racist vote, sure, but his real strength is with low-information voters who distrust multinational corporations and immigrants, tend strongly toward isolationism, and who are not quite as concerned about a candidate's church attendance as whether he'll bring jobs back to the US and make it "great" again.

And this message has a lot of appeal all across the center and even among parts of the left (the white racist portion of the economic left that's more concerned about protecting jobs from China than about cultural issues). Exactly contrary to the establishment GOP folk in this article, I think that Trump is the only candidate who could win against Clinton. Cruz would lose like Goldwater. I think it's unlikely that Trump would beat Clinton, but a plunge into recession this summer could change things.

To me, the fact that the establishment GOP is mostly certain that Trump would badly lose is another sign of how out-of-touch they really are. But the same can be said of people on the left who interpret what appears to be Trump's heterodoxy as an indication that he's really not so conservative. For example, his isolationist tendencies. There's a long tradition of isolationism on the right as well as on the left. Right-wing populism is all about fear, anxiety, xenophobia. An appeal to the "common man" is at the core of this and in that crucible it's possible to mix some things from both what we've come to associate with the left and what we've come to associate with the right and forge something that is nevertheless very right-wing in its essence, if somewhat unfamiliar (to us) -- and this is fascism or something close.

Now, all that said, I think that it's still very possible that Trump will spectacularly implode. I read the other day that most of the other GOP candidates haven't done any oppo research on him, but that the few that have, there's a huge amount there. And we already know this -- just knowing a little about him, we know that he's vulnerable. He's shown an amazing capacity to shrug stuff off, but what's he's also shown is that when someone does actually get under his skin, he starts to screw up and he suddenly looks vulnerable. I think that in the general election, he would be attacked far, far more viciously and personally than he's experienced within the GOP and that's because within the context of the GOP, people are afraid of him. But in the general election, that won't be the case. And Super PAC's and others will be able to hit below the belt with impunity. And I think Trump will just freak out, he'll go nuts, and he'll stop looking like someone confident and strong and instead he'll look like someone insecure and obsessive.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:35 AM on February 28, 2016 [41 favorites]


There's a short-term and a long-term strategy for the Republicans to stop Trump, and eventually others like him, from taking over their party. Short-term, show him as a serial liar who's just saying whatever he thinks people want to hear at any particular moment and knows he can never deliver on any of the bullshit he's promising. Long-term, stop running the party like a fucking hedge fund and put together a long-term governance strategy voters might support on its own merits. Fat chance of that, but still -- as long as your strategy is to use whatever dogwhistling, culture-war nonsense you can drum up in order to achieve immediate gains, you're going to be at the mercy of voters who really believe the bile your candidates just pay lip service to.

TLDR: Clowns.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


But in the general election, that won't be the case. And Super PAC's and others will be able to hit below the belt with impunity. And I think Trump will just freak out, he'll go nuts, and he'll stop looking like someone confident and strong and instead he'll look like someone insecure and obsessive.

I really, really hope so.

My fear is that when you combine the racists on the right with the closet misogynists on the left, you end up with a group of people who don't care what Trump's done as long as she doesn't get in.
posted by Mooski at 5:44 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


The whole thing makes me downright nostalgic for the Republicans of my youth… you know, the serious people in suits who lectured a little too much about fiscal responsibility, but generally didn't go around wrecking the country.

Grover Norquist called and wants his wrecking ball back. (But in fairness to your point, they performed that wrecking job while looking staid and respectable, and talking of fiscal responsibility.)

In regards to the racist thing, all Trump would need to do to insulate himself is bring on a minority as VP candidate. The GOP has written off 2/3 or more of the latino vote for at least the next cycle, so that is gone no matter what, but being able to point to a minority VP (the equivalent of "some of my best friends are...") will blunt the racist charges. I don't know if he will actually do that, since being a racist is helping rather than hurting him, but if necessary I am sure he would do so in a heartbeat.

And on top of that, Trump's racism is a very specific sort, more nativist than anti people of color, and that plays well these days. He is tapping into at least two deep strands of anger in the GOP base -- anger at the party's establishment that has repeatedly sold out their economic and social interests, and anger about immigration. It's like with Bernie's open talk about inequality -- he and Trump are openly naming the elephants in the room that the establishment arms of the parties quietly collude in while claiming to be in support of the base.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:44 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


And we already know this -- just knowing a little about him, we know that he's vulnerable. He's shown an amazing capacity to shrug stuff off, but what's he's also shown is that when someone does actually get under his skin, he starts to screw up and he suddenly looks vulnerable.

This. He's a thin-skinned bully who has lived a life insulated from consequence. Trump supporters are authoritarians looking for a Strong Leader. All you need to do is show Trump to be weak. This will be pretty easy, because Trump's a bully and all bullies are cowards.

Rubio finally got the right approach by repeatedly needling him, he just took too long to do it.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


As for Castro, I'd feel better if he'd at least managed to win and hold one statewide office.

I hear you, but there is no significant statewide office that a Democrat can win in Texas. Mayor of a large city-->cabinet post is about the best path to the VP spot a Texas Dem could have.

As for Trump and racism, the first article about him in the NYT (1973) was literally about accusations of bias against black tenants. Besides, if you value minorities so little that you are willing to sell them out to get votes from racists, then yes, you are racist.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:53 AM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


I must have missed something. I skimmed over the NYT article a couple of times and no-where does it say what anyone's policies actually are.

Policies don't matter in federal elections. Americans vote for the candidate who looks as if he would be the most fun at a dinner party.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


this whole thing feels like this Don't Hug Me I'm Scared video

In that it's a bullying pink ham saying things in a jocular way that make no sense, and then reality comes in and it turns out you're being eaten alive.

I'm serious, that's what Trump feels like.
posted by angrycat at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


The same people who say "I don't know if I can vote for Hillary, she's not trustworthy" are in this thread and in many other election threads openly opining a vote for Trump because "well I just don't believe he's currently saying what he really believes." That is some bullshit right there. Just admit that you don't like Hillary's personality (for whatever reason), and that you find Trump entertaining and secretly want to give it a go. You're not fooling anybody.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:06 AM on February 28, 2016 [32 favorites]


Just admit that you don't like Hillary's personality (for whatever reason), and that you find Trump entertaining and secretly want to give it a go. You're not fooling anybody.

But this is something that Hillary Clinton needs to do something about immediately if she wants to be president. She needs to reach these people, because they aren't going to vote for her.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:10 AM on February 28, 2016


Or reasonable people who don't want to live in a failed state could just support Hillary.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:12 AM on February 28, 2016 [21 favorites]


But this is something that Hillary Clinton needs to do something about immediately if she wants to be president. She needs to reach these people, because they aren't going to vote for her.

How is she supposed to "reach" people who openly lie about their reasons for opposing her? What about that implies they're convinceable?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:16 AM on February 28, 2016 [15 favorites]


Trump has so many, many things to attack.

Even if you had video of him shooting someone in the middle of 5th avenue I'm not sure it would affect his popularity.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:18 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Most analysis of Trump' run makes me a bit more leery of the strength of the Democratic party. The Republicans have no monopoly on the angry and fed-up. The feeling the party establishment has abandoned the base isn't unique to the R's. At a minimum, Bernie's campaign is a safety valve for the Democratic party's own disaffected base. If not for him, I think we'd see chinks forming in the the Democratic party along similar lines as the fractures and breaks in the GOP.

In politics, like warfare, we tend to develop our strategy around winning the previous war, not the next one. The party that figures that out within the next 8 months wins.
posted by klarck at 6:22 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


This whole election cycle reads like a TV show.

I can't believe this is real.
posted by sio42 at 6:24 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


Gore Vidal once said there's only one political party in the US, the property party, and it has two wings. If Rupublicans want to find a center right Republican to support, Hillary fits the bill.

I can't support any of the current candidates except Sanders, but Hillary is right, he's unlikely to be able to get any of his policies enacted.

Surely there's support for an Labor/Socialist party.
posted by sudogeek at 6:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I blame Goldwater.
posted by clavdivs at 6:37 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just admit that you don't like Hillary's personality (for whatever reason), and that you find Trump entertaining and secretly want to give it a go. You're not fooling anybody

I would rather have Sanders (or Warren), but my main concern is having someone not totally controlled by Goldman-Sachs.
posted by 445supermag at 6:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


main concern is having someone not totally controlled by Goldman-Sachs.

Okay, so, in the looming scenario of "status-quo centrist controlled by Goldman-Sachs" versus "actually Mussolini", you'd really lean toward the latter?
posted by saturday_morning at 6:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [52 favorites]


Also, Trump isn't controlled by Goldman Sachs because he's one of the people for whose benefit they operate. That's not better!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:50 AM on February 28, 2016 [47 favorites]


I don't think the Mussolini/Hitler comparisons are helpful. At all. Let's not stoop to Trump's level of conversation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:55 AM on February 28, 2016


Tump is literally repeating Mussolini's statements verbatim on social media.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [63 favorites]


I guess he can't do cocaine anymore

As was mentioned in the previous thread, Trump is straightedge. I bring this up not because I'm trying to say that Trump is actually really cool, but because cocaine is actually really cool.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:56 AM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


I actually think that there is a small but significant portion of Bernie supporters who would vote for an actual fascist over Hillary. They're that out-of-touch with reality.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:58 AM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish is not exaggerating. Look at that. Trump is quoting Mussolini at us. Comparing the two of them is not "stooping to" anything.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:59 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


clavdivs (above) is right about Goldwater. Hillary famously said she was a Goldwater girl and she still is. Barry became a gay rights supporter later, like Hillary, and both are military hawks and interventionists as well as representatives of financial power.
posted by sudogeek at 6:59 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


The reality is that if the Republican Party didn't feel like Trump wasn't electoral ebola they wouldn't be hand-wringing and telling endangered Senators to run away from Trump. They would hold their nose and say "Ok if that's what the base wants then fuck it" but they aren't. They are still holding out hope that Rubio can somehow close this deal which seems impossible as Cruz, Carson and Kasich seem destined to stay in the race for vanity reasons. And even if they dropped out it doesn't seem likely that Rubio would get all of their support. He's already got loser stink all over him and loser stink doesn't come off in the Republican party.

What is really interesting is that the Republican Party seems like it's being undone by some of the forces that they have been trying to use in their favor that is unbridled racism/nativism and obscene amount of dark money in the form of Super PACs.

Trump has co-opted their platform of nativism/racism and turned it up to 11 and profited immensely even though it's general election kryptonite. You can't pivot to the center after calling Latinos a bunch of rapists. Imagine clips of that running non-stop on Telemundo across Florida and the Desert Southwest.

The other thing that has been dooming them is the Super PAC money which allows candidates to stay in the nomination process even though they should be dropping out because they can't raise enough money. Bush stayed in past his expiration date because Super PAC millions and it seems like Kasich and Cruz are staying in despite neither one having a snowball's chance in hell of getting the nomination. Carson is just staying in because he's fucking crazy.

What's funny is these two forces are exposing all the icky bits hiding under the surface of the sausage factory and possibly dooming the Republican Party as a consequence.
posted by vuron at 7:01 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Greg Nog: "I guess he can't do cocaine anymore

As was mentioned in the previous thread, Trump is straightedge. I bring this up not because I'm trying to say that Trump is actually really cool, but because cocaine is actually really cool.
"

You know who else didn't drink or smoke?
posted by octothorpe at 7:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pat Buchanan was a big fan of the idea that there was merit in fascism, but it had been unfairly maligned by association with Hitler. He was a big fan of Franco. I don't think this is an entirely new strain of American right-wing populist politics.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


The reality is that if the Republican Party didn't feel like Trump wasn't electoral ebola they wouldn't be hand-wringing and telling endangered Senators to run away from Trump.
I think, though, that they're not just scared about losing the election. They're scared about losing control of the party. If a nominal Republican wins but he's not a Republican who shares their priorities or gives a flying fuck about their party as an institution, it's a bigger disaster than losing any one presidential election.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:05 AM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


Yeah there are a not insignificant number of Bernie supporters who will probably latch onto Trump now that Bernie seems doomed. Not because they believe in his message (and let's be honest Trump is not even remotely economically progressive) but because he's the current personification of white rage at the disintegration of white privilege. Because that's what Trump and his supporters are really saying when they say Make America Great Again, they are saying Make America White Again.
posted by vuron at 7:07 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


dialetheia: "Unfortunately, Democratic turnout was down 30%, and Dems received ~360k votes to the Republicans' ~740k. White turnout in the SC primary was down nearly 50% from 2008, and Black turnout was down ~70k."

This has been pointed out over and over (I think most frequently by people newer to politics and/or who are especially excited this year? But less often by long-time party functionaries) and primary turnout, especially in an open primary state, doesn't tell us a whole lot. Primaries are sometimes driven by enthusiasm for a candidate, but they're far more often driven but ugliness of the races. And there has never been a race as ugly or as crazy as this GOP primary, certainly not in my lifetime. As someone in an open primary state, I can tell you the vast mass of uncommitted Democrats are looking at Hilary and Bernie and shrugging and going, "Two qualified, interesting candidates with many policies I can support -- I can live with either of them," and looking at the Republican candidates and going, "Shit, I'm going to have to pull a GOP ballot, aren't I? Because this level of crazy is unacceptable."

(Although at this point by the time the primaries get to me, I suspect it'll be just Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, and I can't in conscience vote for ANY of those three, so maybe I'll pull a Democratic ballot anyway. But right now almost every Democrat I know is planning to pull a GOP ballot this year because of the batshittery, and lots of "independents" I know who don't normally vote in primaries are planning to vote in the GOP primary, same reason.)

I'm hesitant to apply conventional wisdom to this election cycle because NOTHING WHATEVER has been conventional about it so far, it is just crazy all the way down. But the evidence of the "enthusiasm gap" for Hillary has been largely people misunderstanding the dynamics of early primaries and early (general election) polling (during primaries), so I'm not going to buy into that theory until we're farther into the race. Because I am not trusting conventional wisdom this cycle I'll allow it's totally a possibility, but Imma wait and evaluate.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:07 AM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


As was mentioned in the previous thread, Trump is straightedge.

That confirms my anecdotal experience that, if you're straight edge, you are almost certainly a self-absorbed asshole.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:08 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


This exchange just happened:
CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked Trump if he would "unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his support."

Trump dodged the question.

"I don't know anything about David Duke," he said. "I don't know what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don't know. I don't know, did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about."

Tapper pushed back. Trump suggested Tapper send him a list of "the groups" and he could research them. At which point, Trump said he would "disavow if I thought there was something wrong."

"The Ku Klux Klan?" Tapper asked.

"It would be very unfair," Trump continued talking over Tapper. "So give me a list of the groups and I'll let you know."

"I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here," Tapper said.

"Honestly, I don't know David Duke," Trump said. "I don't believe I've ever met him, I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him, and I just don't know anything about him."
Stop calling this execrable racist hatemonger a moderate.

One common factor uniting Trump's disparate supporters is a willingness to throw people of color under the bus. It's nice for them that they have the privilege not to ultimately care about anyone but their own cohort, but some of us actually give a crap about our fellow Americans who happen not to be white.
posted by sallybrown at 7:09 AM on February 28, 2016 [52 favorites]


This has been pointed out over and over (I think most frequently by people newer to politics and/or who are especially excited this year?

Those numbers are from last night. Nobody has pointed them out over and over.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Surely it's time to admit that independence was a rash, ultimately unsuccessful policy? Luckily, Her Majesty's British Empire is prepared to welcome its prodigal son back to its munificent bosom. Time to fold away the failed "constitution" and receive again a British governor for the American colonies - perhaps Earl Blair; maybe David, Duke of Peckham; or ... No, I have it! Benedict, Lord Cumberbatch! Prepare to swoon again at governance, fellow subjects of the Crown! Also the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has asked that you change your name to "New South Canada". Ta muchly.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [38 favorites]


Trump is playing dumb re: KKK because his dad was a member.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah there are a not insignificant number of Bernie supporters who will probably latch onto Trump

I suppose it's never too early to blame a Democrat loss on the furthest-left available candidate!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2016 [52 favorites]


Trump's got a chance of shattering this party. That'd be great. Let's see it.

Leaving aside Vidal's witticism, you have to ask- do you really want a one party system?

Surely there's support for an Labor/Socialist party.

Not much. Not under that name, at least.

"actually Mussolini"

The political machinations that got Mussolini top spot make interesting reading. Parallels to America are more than a bit of a stretch.

They would hold their nose and say "Ok if that's what the base wants then fuck it" but they aren't.

Actually, some are trying to find an independent. They really don't like him.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2016


roomthreeseventeen: "Those numbers are from last night. Nobody has pointed them out over and over."

They've come up in three threads already! And also a lot of the media I was reading. But I was up late last night so I was reading quite late.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:12 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Any Sanders supporter who suggests that Trump is a better candidate than Hillary and there are some is delusional. That includes any suggestions that Trump is somehow or another actually more liberal than Hillary or less likely to be "owned by Goldman-Sachs".

If Progressives want to advance progressive causes it's through working with the Democratic Party despite their candidate probably not getting nominated, not rage-quitting and voting for Trump. Looking through places like r/politics and r/sandersforpresident and that's increasingly the narrative that I'm seeing. Yeah some of it's driven by /pol/tard and Trump supporter trolling but there is increasingly a nasty underbelly present in those forums that isn't just concerned about Sanders getting elected but doing all they can to make sure Hillary is not elected. Which is explicitly not what Sanders was trying to do with his candidacy.
posted by vuron at 7:18 AM on February 28, 2016 [23 favorites]


Yeah there are a not insignificant number of Bernie supporters who will probably latch onto Trump

I suppose it's never too early to blame a Democrat loss on the furthest-left available candidate!


Wait, how could that possibly be read as an attack on Bernie and not as an attack on some of his supporters -- particularly those who would rather vote for Trump over a candidate whose voting record in the Senate aligns with Sanders 93% of the time? I love Bernie, but his supporters that pathologically hate Clinton and would do anything to keep her from the White House really bother me.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:19 AM on February 28, 2016 [25 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard (my rep!) resigns DNC position to endorse Sanders.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:20 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]




I'm really, really concerned about the interaction between understandable disappointment from Sanders supporters, the media's constant hammering of "Clinton will win the Dem nomination because of the black and Hispanic vote," and Trump's likely attempt to move to the center on certain issues while maintaining his racist and xenophobic drumbeat.
posted by sallybrown at 7:23 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think she's the only R that can beat her him.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:25 AM on February 28, 2016


Sorry, vuron and Arsenio, I honestly apologize for mischaracterizing your comments; I'm clearly still tetchy from constant Naderblame after 2000's stolen election. Though as far as third-party-candidates go, I suppose the best-case scenario if the Republican party is crumbling is that they might be willing to head up a bipartisan effort to make instant-runoff voting a thing.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Democratic racist vote is definitely going to all go to the Jewish guy instead of the white lady.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there any doubt that Sanders and his team and resources will throw themselves behind Clinton when the time comes? And that they will persist as a coherent force to move the agenda toward responsible socialism? Nasty internet trolls will not affect this. In fact, mainstream socialists would be well advised to disavow and crush problem elements in their own camp.
posted by No Robots at 7:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Rep. Gabbard is right. The smaller number of Dem debates did allow the Reps more media time to get their talking points out. It was a mistake not to have more on the Dem side, but this was a strategy of the DNC to lock down the nomination for Hillary

As far as Sanders supporters going for Trump, I think that will be a very small number. A large group of Sanders supporters, like me, are single issue voters - universal health care.
posted by sudogeek at 7:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


it's never too early to blame a Democrat loss on the furthest-left available candidate!

It's not the big-D Democrat loss I care about, it's the conservative bellend winning the office, e.g. what happened in 2000 (and all major Westminster systems last decade for that matter).
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:30 AM on February 28, 2016


Democratic racist vote

largely left the party 1965-1980

http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2012/Election2012RedWhiteBlue.png
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:34 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


"I can tell you the vast mass of uncommitted Democrats are looking at Hilary and Bernie and shrugging and going, "Two qualified, interesting candidates with many policies I can support -- I can live with either of them," and looking at the Republican candidates and going, "Shit, I'm going to have to pull a GOP ballot, aren't I? Because this level of crazy is unacceptable."

This describes my thought process exactly. (Lifelong Dem voter) Hillary will win my state about as easily as she won South Carolina. Since i can only vote in one primary, i'm voting for Trump. Why? Because i love what he's doing to the GOP. And i HATE TED CRUZ.
posted by ELF Radio at 7:36 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'd sure like to see McConnell attempting to disavow the party's own candidate this fall... somehow I think that won't happen either.

In addition to the example above of the LaRoucheys, this has happened before at lower (but still significant) levels.

I'd guess the most important example was when David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana in 1991. Louisiana's electoral system is all fucked up and parties don't end up with actual nominees in any meaningful sense. Everyone -- Republicans, Democrats, Communists, independents, whatever -- runs in the same primary in March and the top two candidates go on to the general election in November (unless someone wins a majority in the primary). Anyway, David Duke ran as a Republican because anyone can run as anything they want to and came in second, putting him in the November election. Anyhoo, Bush and other Republican leaders were all FUCK NO DON'T VOTE FOR THIS ASSHOLE.

More entertainingly, this one time not too long ago no actual Republicans had entered the race for the opportunity to lose to John Tanner, a popular Democratic Representative from around Memphis. So James Hart, an actual no-shit nazi eugenicist running on a platform of sterilizing the "lesser races" entered as a Republican, knowing that he would automatically win the primary as the only candidate. Again anyhoo, he did in fact become the Republican nominee and the state and national party had to publicly say "Dear voters, in the name of God please don't vote for the asshole who is our candidate. Write in this other guy instead!"

ISTR that CA Democrats also did this when (also racist fuckhead) Tom Metzger stole one of their nominations.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:40 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Trump is playing dumb re: KKK because his dad was a member.
That's apparently true, but it's true for a substantial number of white Americans his age, most of whom still manage to say that the Klan is bad. He could disavow the Klan, which is actively campaigning for him, and he's not. People have to stop pretending that doesn't mean what it looks like it means.
Since i can only vote in one primary, i'm voting for Trump. Why? Because i love what he's doing to the GOP. And i HATE TED CRUZ.
Please don't do this.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [17 favorites]


I really don't think Trump stands a chance of winning the general election. Not in a "I hope not" sense, but in a numbers sense.

Trump has the highest unfavorability in the race by a huge margin. Democrats and Independents already know who he is, and they already have opinions about him. That means his ability to pivot to the center during the general is worse than Rubio or probably even Cruz. Most Americans who do not currently support Trump already oppose him. Non-Republicans don't have a reason to hold their nose and vote for him out of party loyalty.

I'm not saying Trump couldn't beat a ham sandwich, but as long as the Democratic candidate campaigns normally and doesn't get assassinated... Every analysis of numbers I've seen says Trump can't win.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:43 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I like Sandes a lot and in general am aligned more towards socialist political positions but man I am getting tired of the attempts to dogpile Hillary by some Sanders supporters. The fact that he steadfastly refuses to attack her on a whole host of issues indicates that he's not willing to use scorched earth strategy to achieve his progressive revolution. I kinda wish some of his supporters would follow his lead. Support your favorite candidate in the nomination process but don't make the Republican case for them.
posted by vuron at 7:46 AM on February 28, 2016 [39 favorites]


Rubio finally got the right approach by repeatedly needling him, he just took too long to do it.

If you watch the video of what the right-o-sphere is calling Rubio's thrashing of Trump, you'll see it's nothing more than really bad standup comedy. All he's doing is aping the opening monolog of every late night show for the past nine months. But the sad thing is that he has better comedic timing than Hillary could ever do, and the mean guy jokes aren't something Bernie would go for. And if the best the democratic party has is whoever has been writing Obama's jokes, they need to look into hiring some outside talent if they want to go that route. Too bad Aziz Ansari is too young to be on the ticket as VP.
posted by peeedro at 7:47 AM on February 28, 2016


Personally, I don't think Trump is really a racist

I believe Trump might believe he's not a racist but this is a guy who regularly, for as long as I can remember, uses the term "the blacks" after all:

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger

Or for those of us in Canada, Rob Ford. If Trump does get the presidency I expect not only a bigger train wreck, but sadly, a very bloody train wreck.
posted by juiceCake at 7:47 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


[I]t's not solely racism that's driving his rise - it's also a profound rejection of powerful business interests telling voters what to think in the Republican party....

Except for gun manufacturers (and others with interests in the personal weapons industrial complex) via their mouthpiece, the NRA.
posted by carmicha at 7:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


the white racist portion of the economic left that's more concerned about protecting jobs from China than about cultural issues

I don't see how being concerned about this:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MANEMP

is being "racist".
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:52 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Every analysis of numbers I've seen says Trump can't win.

The analyses out there also said that Trump wouldn't win a single primary. He's going to win them all. Except maybe Texas and Florida? It's not at all clear that the 'unfavorability' rating means much at the ballot box, and anyway, HRC's unfavorables are also sky-high. The general is going to be a great big hate-off (unless Sanders is nominated?) The hate-off will bring out the crazies and keep the reasonable people at home. Hell, I'm nervous about going to the ballot box if Trump is the nominee. I remember in 2004 (er., nov 2003?) going to vote with along with a friend who was wearing one of those yellow NO WAR buttons, and a guy followed us from the voting booth, into a convenience store we stopped at afterwards, staring us down, following us down the street, calling us faggots and other bad words. And that was in a liberal suburb of Chicago, in a time when America was even less divided than it is today. The thugs are gonna win this one, I'm afraid.
posted by dis_integration at 7:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


The actual GOP economic agenda is and was to slash the top marginal tax rate and go on a massive spending spree and blame the Democrats for the results

this is visible here:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2t7X (and how)
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:57 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


If Progressives want to advance progressive causes it's through working with the Democratic Party despite their candidate probably not getting nominated, not rage-quitting and voting for Trump.

I will certainly vote for the Democratic nominee in the fall, but most of the hardcore progressives I know are more likely to opt out because they see voting as a way of validating an existing system.

I tend to agree with them that progressive involvement in the Democratic Party is unlikely to produce the kinds of economic reforms most progressives support. What the Democratic Party is good for is the safeguarding of cultural or "social" progressive gains.

To a lesser extent, Democrats are less likely to make overtly stupid foreign policy decisions of either the isolationist or warmongering sort. (Both parties still suck at long-term thinking, and they still subscribe to a species of hegemonic "realpolitik" ideology in foreign affairs that invariably produces spectacular blowback.)

It's worth remembering that the majority of voting-age Americans have been pushed out or have checked out of electoral politics entirely. To repeat: "I'm out" and "I'm disenfranchised" together reflect the majority position.
posted by kewb at 7:58 AM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


You can't win the Donald Trump Is A Racist argument, because the ultimate authority on Donald Trump's inner being is Donald Trump, and he ain't tellin'.

You can, however, take him to task for each of his racist actions, individually. But as soon as you shift the focus from the action to the person, you lose.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:59 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger...

Or Jesse Ventura.
posted by carmicha at 8:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thugs are gonna win this one, I'm afraid.

Nope. Don't even think about losing to despair before the fight even begins. We're going to nail this racist xenophobic asshole to the wall, and leave him there as a reminder to others who ever thought this was remotely acceptable.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:03 AM on February 28, 2016 [65 favorites]


I know are more likely to opt out because they see voting as a way of validating an existing system.

well, duh.

The alternative is going for a February Revolution-type mass action, and those never turn out well.

I'm a far left eurosocialist and I have come to understand one has to work with the electorate you have, not one you wish you had.

Even if we had another revolution here, we're going to have the same fucktards to deal and possibly dialogue with --right, left, and center.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


"I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here," Tapper said.

Here's Trump from after being rejected by the Reform Party in his bid for their nomination for President, in 2000:
Mr. Trump painted a fairly dark picture of the Reform Party in his statement, noting the role of Mr. Buchanan, along with the roles of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and Lenora Fulani, the former standard-bearer of the New Alliance Party and an advocate of Marxist-Leninist politics.

"The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani," he said in his statement. "This is not company I wish to keep."
I guess he's changed his tune about the company he'd like to keep, now that they like him, anyway.
posted by dis_integration at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2016 [19 favorites]




I guess he's changed his tune about the company he'd like to keep, now that they like him, anyway.

He de-evoluted on the issue.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:18 AM on February 28, 2016


This thread evokes some very disturbing images.
Example: a giant wave of assholes who will leech onto Trump
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:19 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


The analyses out there also said that Trump wouldn't win a single primary.

Not true. Trump was predicted to perform strongly or win most primaries/caucuses as soon as numbers were available in the run up to those contests.

Electoral Vote math coming into 2016 favored Generic Democrat over Generic Republican. The catch phrase for this is "A Democrat has to be Good, but a Republican has to be Perfect." Trump is a bad candidate, and has almost no chance of winning against Clinton or Sanders (importantly not the same as none).

With record turnouts, Trump can't even win half the Republican vote, which suggests his own party's voters are just as excited about stopping him as electing him. Both Clinton and Sanders have been able to surpass 50% at least once in the Democratic primaries.

The math in the general doesn't add up. Until we see that change, Trump loses.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:19 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


If Progressives want to advance progressive causes it's through working with the Democratic Party despite their candidate probably not getting nominated, not rage-quitting and voting for Trump.

Well, since being a progressive means we're just dirty fucking hippies and Berniebros, why the heck would we support the Democrats? And now, after being utterly rejected, you demand we play along? That sanctimonious bullshit is why Progressives are "rage quitting" the party. And, of course, the accusation that we'd vote for Trump. Next card you'll play, of course, is if you don't vote for Clinton, you're voting for Trump. It's all so boring and tired. I've heard it election after election.

(Next card will be THINK OF THE SCOTUS!!!! Don't bother.)
posted by eriko at 8:22 AM on February 28, 2016 [29 favorites]


a giant wave of assholes who will leech onto Trump

What we need is not a wall, but a levee. An embankment against the rising tide of asshole leeches polluting our national waters.
posted by dis_integration at 8:23 AM on February 28, 2016


a giant wave of assholes who will leech onto Trump

In this imagery, are the assholes pucker-side out? I'm imagining it being all pucker, like a toroidal anemone.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 8:23 AM on February 28, 2016


Exactly Heywood Mogroot, unless it's a violent revolution that somehow culls a percentage of the population (in which case no thanks, I have no desire for 1917 style revolution) you are going to have the same demographics after a nonviolent revolution as you did before it with all of the same entrenched interests. Certainly every attempt should be made to GotV and protect enfranchisement (or re-enfranchise people). If you absolutely cannot support Hillary in the general election then vote for Jill Stein or some other progressive but don't fool yourself into thinking Trump is some sort of economic populist or that a liberal spring would some how follow the long dark winter of a Trump presidency.
posted by vuron at 8:24 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Heywood Mogroot III, if you're concerned about the loss of manufacturing jobs you should look closer at that graph you linked to.

Notice when the biggest job losses happened? During the Reagan and Bush Jr. administrations, and the Great Recession. And do you see what's happened since the end of the Great Recession, during the Obama administration? We've gained back almost a million manufacturing jobs in the last six years. We're nowhere close to where we were, and I'm not sure we ever will be, but it isn't all bad news.
posted by postel's law at 8:28 AM on February 28, 2016


Well, since being a progressive means we're just dirty fucking hippies and Berniebros, why the heck would we support the Democrats? And now, after being utterly rejected, you demand we play along? That sanctimonious bullshit is why Progressives are "rage quitting" the party. And, of course, the accusation that we'd vote for Trump. Next card you'll play, of course, is if you don't vote for Clinton, you're voting for Trump. It's all so boring and tired. I've heard it election after election.

(Next card will be THINK OF THE SCOTUS!!!! Don't bother.)


I just wanted to say, I loved your Unsafe at Any Speed. Great Book.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [20 favorites]


If you're looking for evidence that the GOP establishment, or at least significant chunks of it, will break with a Candidate Trump, here's a bit more of it, from HP CEO Meg Whitman:
"Chris Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism. Donald Trump is unfit to be President. He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey. Christie knows all that and indicated as much many times publicly. The Governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie's donors and supporters to reject the Governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter."
Meg Whitman was the co-chair for finance of Christie's 2016 presidential campaign.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [23 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger

Trump/Schwarzenegger 2016
posted by cashman at 8:30 AM on February 28, 2016


Not true. Trump was predicted to perform strongly or win most primaries/caucuses as soon as numbers were available in the run up to those contests.

Despite my obsessive following of this story, I certainly didn't read every analysis put out there in the run up to the first primaries. But I did see a lot of people following Nate Silver's line of thought, saying over and over again that he might be high in the polls but it's not going to translate into real votes. In hindsight, these analyses look like frantic attempts to mathematically explain away horror, like global warming deniers arguing away temperature rises by cooking up graphs and charts proving that, in fact, we're about to enter a new ice age. But you might be right, and everyone started calling it for Trump once it became clear. And that the "math" just "isn't there" for Trump in November. Of course, you know what bullies do to math nerds (punch them and take their lunch money, that's what). We really can't know this far out, but barring shenanigans in Cleveland, Trump will be the nominee, and my gut sense is that he's going to beat HRC through pure macho showmanship. I hope you're right, though.
posted by dis_integration at 8:32 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


since being a progressive means we're just dirty fucking hippies and Berniebros, why the heck would we support the Democrats?

I'd like to see more actively progressive representation in the legislature and in state governments. Hopefully your district has progressive candidates running for a variety of local, state, or national positions. Vote for them, whether they're Independents or Greens or Democrats or whatever. Leave the other boxes blank, if you can't live with voting for either choice. That's fine.

Also, vote in mid-terms and local elections. Conservative voters tend to dominate outside of presidential years, so if we're ever going to build progressive politics nationally, the important thing is to actually show up and proudly vote for everyone who does deserve your support, not whether you check the D box every four years.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:37 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


he's going to beat HRC through pure macho showmanship

Yep. Hillary has almost been trounced by a scruffy socialist, and I fear she is going to get steamrolled by an actual polished showman.

Surprisingly, I think Bernie could beat Trump. Not only because the polls say that (and they do), but because he also pulls in the pissed-off vote and he would create a yuge voter turnout. Hillary seems likely to instill apathy, low-turnout, and a Trump presidency
posted by special agent conrad uno at 8:38 AM on February 28, 2016 [27 favorites]


I personally also think Trump has no real chance in the general, BUT absolutely nothing about this GOP campaign has tracked conventional wisdom or prior experience, so I'm not going to get too comfy resting on those assumptions. Because when he declared I for-sure thought he wouldn't even stay in until the primaries, and I DEFINITELY thought he wouldn't win the primaries, but now it seems like that's where we're going. I still don't think he can win the general, but I'm going to be super-suspicious and anxious about that, instead of comfortably scoffing (like I was before).

I am REALLY curious to see how Trump on the ballot affects down-ballot races, especially for the Senate -- has there been any polling on that yet, or more state-by-state analysis? Mark Kirk (one of my senators) is highly vulnerable this year anyway (excellent Democratic opponent-presumptive; personal health issues; some major gaffes) and having to walk a very fine line to maintain a GOP seat in a blue state, so I rather suspect ANY down-ballot effect at all will hurt Kirk considerably because he's in danger of losing even with a fantastic GOP ballot at all other levels. What other senators and governors are vulnerable? Reps and statehouses?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


Schwarzenegger

He's not eligible for VP. If he was he would be a good choice for Trump.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2016


Bernie pulls in the pissed-off vote and he would create a yuge voter turnout.

This has not yet happened in the primaries; why would it magically happen in a general?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2016 [16 favorites]


This has not yet happened in the primaries; why would it magically happen in a general?

Because the DNC would stop fighting tooth-and-nail against him, and would actually have a proper GOTV.

Bernie's campaign has been all on it's own, and surprisingly successful. Hillary's has been the DNC, with all of it's massive infrastructure.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 8:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


One thing I'm surprised about, is that the other Republican candidates haven't found an effective way to attact Trump on his weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I mean, the guy is just a virtual MASS of vulnerabilities, sordid history, wacky and inconsistent statements, and all the rest. There is no lack of ammo there whatsoever.

Somehow by having so many weak points--it's like everything about him is a weak point--it's somehow made him entire impervious to attach from any direction.

Jeff Roe, Ted Cruz's campaign manager, is literally the king of dirty tricks and ratfuck politics. If that guy can't figure out how to bring Trump down, maybe nobody can.

(Although it may be less that he can't pull him down and more that Cruz & Co. has adopted a strategy of slipstreaming Trump and waiting patiently just behind him until he inevitably implodes. Which seemed like a pretty good strategy until fairly recently . . . )
posted by flug at 8:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the big tactical mistake the other Rs made was to assume that Trump's support would follow the path other initially popular fringe primary candidates have always taken, and crash as other candidates established themselves as credible options. They didn't count on a significant chunk of Republican voters finding Trump credible, and weren't prepared for a situation where they had to bring him down.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump telling Christie to go home. If he added "you fucking tool" it might've been one of the greatest moments in history. I mean, talk about "speaking your mind." That is what all the Trump voters say they love.
posted by M Edward at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump can't win should remember Arnold Schwarzenegger

Except that, throughout both of his campaigns for governor of California, Schwarzenegger came across as a knowledgeable, informed person who had thoughtful ideas for how to improve the state. He was always clearly moderate (or left-leaning) on social issues, and governed as such. Even though I watched in shocked disbelief as a (seeming) meathead action movie star was elected governor, Schwarzenegger never, ever on his worst day sounded even 1% as crazy, stupid, and pandering as Trump does on his best day.

And even though it adds nothing to the conversation, I have to share this: when you photoshop Trump's lips onto his eyes, he looks exactly the same. (Thanks, reddit.)
posted by LooseFilter at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


I also think what the voters are telling the GOP at this point is that the GOP is not racist enough. I don't know if it rings true for everyone but "speaks his mind" is pretty straightforward code for "he's a racist" in my experience.
posted by M Edward at 8:47 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump telling Christie to go home.

Wow. WOW. "Get in the plane and go home. It's over there. You go home." Translation: you've done your job, lapdog, now get the fuck off my stage and out of my sight.

I thought Christie's ego and pride were far too large to kiss The Donald's ass like this, but his desire for power has him just cravenly humiliating himself. And now I'm mad at Christie for making me like Trump a little bit for that.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:51 AM on February 28, 2016 [15 favorites]


"Republican 2016 Election Fiasco Autopsy Report" A perfectly constructed pop culture concept, so sparkling, so refreshing we can call the product, Schadenfreude Soda.

Talking trash about the trash? Umm I find that disconcerting, since trash is made, not born. The middle and lower middle income folks, and certainly the already poor folks have been robbed, but not beaten, yet. That doesn't make them or their faux-liberator seeming candidate, disposable.

I didn't find Graham's comments about women mysogynistic. I think he made fun of Kasich's mysogyny, and in accusations about lying, he didn't mention gender, giving both liars Cruz and the other he only alluded to, equal footing. Strangely he seemed to say if women vote Republican, they will be back in the kitchen after 2017. There was no small amount of regret in his criticism of his own party.
posted by Oyéah at 8:52 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to take a break from election threads, because ugh, but the whole "just playing a racist on TV" thing meme needs to die. The Vonnegut quote cited above about being what we pretend to be is certainly true for everyone, but it's even more true for politicians, and especially true for those seeking the highest political office in the world's most powerful country. A vast majority of Presidential duties are performative in nature, and even if you have the best firewall ever between your inner self and the character you're playing, at some point the character is what matters.

Sure, policies matter, as does the wherewithal to try to make those policies happen, but there's just too much going on in the federal government for any President to do more than put people in positions where they do the day-to-day-work while you fly around and ensure people that the machinery of government is running smoothly.

I know the original comment wasn't trying to diminish the danger of a Trump presidency, but it still has that effect. At the level we're talking about, the act is the candidate, and the candidate is the act, and I feel like a lot of his supporters see that as a feature, not a bug.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:52 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


I thought Christie's ego and pride were far too large to kiss The Donald's ass like this, but his desire for power has him just cravenly humiliating himself. And now I'm mad at Christie for making me like Trump a little bit for that.

He's doing this exactly because Rubio didn't kiss his ass the right way.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:53 AM on February 28, 2016


I should clarify that I am merely speaking about tactical voting; I love Hillary, and would love to see her as our President. And up against Rubio, Cruz, etc she would kill it and become #45.

But against Trump, it becomes not left vs right, but insider vs outsider. And this election cycle has shown that Americans want actual change, and want outsiders.

It's all about media attention. Clinton can command it, because she can actually, literally command it. But she isn't inherently charming, and she doesn't exactly drive eyeballs and ad revenue like Trump does. In a Clinton v Sanders matchup, the press (clearly) sides with Clinton because the DNC demands it. But Trump exists on his own special plane of ad-revenue generation, and in a general election between him and her, he will dominate the news cycle.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 8:54 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


he might be high in the polls but it's not going to translate into real votes.

Yeah, the theory was that Trump dominated in demographics that weren't known for voting in primaries or caucuses, so a victory would require him turning out the vote, and his Iowa ground game was famously non-existent. And indeed he lost Iowa. But since then he seems to have figured out how to get out the vote.

Still, you'd expect that if a super charismatic candidate was generating massive primary turnouts like the ones we've been seeing, that he'd be steamrolling his competition. But he isn't. So either Rubio and Cruz are also secretly setting the voters on fire, or Trump is motivating Republicans to get out and vote against him just as much as for him, which is pretty terrible news for him when it comes to the general.

And my god, if senators and congress folk try to campaign around Trump, it will create a sort of "he's not a [your state's name here] Republican" message that could give hardline R-ticket voters an obligation or at least permission to leave the President section blank on their ballots.

It's not safe to ignore Trump, and the collateral damage he's doing by making groups like the KKK more mainstream again are serious bad news. He's not the joke we thought he was back when he paid actors to watch his announcement that he was running for office, but he's almost certainly not going to be President.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yep, he'll probably destroy the economy, but it's not like the current economy doesn't deserve it

I expect I'll see a lot of this in the coming months, so I'll just point out how utterly fucking stupid it is once and leave it at that. And having voted for Sanders yesterday, I'll also agree with (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: if you call yourself a progressive or a lefty and you think that Trump is any way preferable to Clinton, then just admit that what you really want is to burn shit down.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2016 [61 favorites]


Schwarzenegger ... was always clearly moderate (or left-leaning) on social issues, and governed as such

Please stop rewriting Arnold's horrible carer as a politician.

A few examples: Arnold campaigned strongly against prop 66, which would have big a large step towards reforming CA's very broken three strikes system. Arnold held back gay marriage for years, twice vetoing bills that would have legalized it. Arnold lost a huge fight against the nurses association, but not before having two special elections that cost the state hundreds of millions and were an attempt to win by abusing low turnout elections to get his way. The reason the state actually survived was Arnold faced a state legislature that fought him tooth and nail, and thank god that was true.

Arnold left office with a 23% approval rating for a reason. I've noticed people have started to forget what he actually did when in office. Stop falling for the same bullshit. It's exactly the same behavior that gives us Trump.
posted by aspo at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


if you call yourself a progressive or a lefty and you think that Trump is any way preferable to Clinton

I've seen a few comments saying that people will either stay home or vote third-party rather than vote for Clinton, if she is the nominee, but I don't recall a single comment in this thread or any of the other still-active election threads saying what you mention there. In fact, the overwhelming consensus on this website is that President Trump is the darkest timeline, period. (Though a close second would be President Cruz or Rubio.)

So: citation needed, or that's a strawman.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:03 AM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's like fashion, trends that take off in Europe take a while to get popular in America, sometimes it's loud pattern print Blazers, sometimes it's fascist, racist populism that appeals to a growing class of pissed off white guys.
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM on February 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


I think there's some case to be made that Hillary is more hawkish than Trump. But that's because she's a career American politician, and it's sort of inevitable that it happens. Trump's foreign policy record is completely nonexistent compared to any politician.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:08 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Arnold held back gay marriage for years, twice vetoing bills that would have legalized it.

Yup, anybody who was against gay marriage as late as 2011 should not be considered left leaning on social issues. He later reversed himself of course, but you can't erase a bigoted history of opposition to equal human rights just by reversing yourself when politically convenient.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump seems to never shrink from using the worst publicly-available criticism that other candidates feel to tread. One wonders if he'll triangulate the racism charges by attacking Hillary for her super-predator comments and her role in supporting Bill's tough on crime bills from the 90s in order to muddy the waters. Bob and weave.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Stop falling for the same bullshit.

I'll stand corrected on the point you mention, and not argue any others off-topic. But:

It's exactly the same behavior that gives us Trump.

I will, however, refuse to accept this characterization of either my words or my behavior in general. To put it simply: you don't know me, and I would appreciate it if you check your tone.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


In regards to the racist thing, all Trump would need to do to insulate himself is bring on a minority as VP candidate.

Pat Buchanan chose the first female African-American vice presidential candidate in American history for his 2000 election. I don't think anyone changed their minds on him being a bigot.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:16 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Next card will be THINK OF THE SCOTUS!!!! Don't bother.

I'll be your huckleberry. You seem to forget that, if McConnell gets his way, we are literally literally -- not even figuratively literally -- voting on who gets to fill a vacant seat and determine the swing of the actual SCOTUS itself.

So yeah, think of the SCOTUS. Because not only is it not bullshit, it's possibly the single biggest issue that should decide everyone's vote. That Roe v. Wade decision looks awful nice. Wouldn't want anything to happen to it, now, would ya?

I'm not being sarcastic or hyperbolic.
posted by chimaera at 9:20 AM on February 28, 2016 [52 favorites]


Next card you'll play, of course, is if you don't vote for Clinton, you're voting for Trump. It's all so boring and tired. I've heard it election after election

Well, this is how our elections actually work*, so yes, you're going to hear people try to tell you this this cycle too.

* in the few swing states where the D/R split is close enough for 3rd, 4th, nth party votes to swing the balance.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:20 AM on February 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


That Roe v. Wade decision looks awful nice. Wouldn't want anything to happen to it, now, would ya?

Literally quoting stereotypical mafia dialogue is probably not going to be as persuasive as you imagine.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:21 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Literally quoting stereotypical mafia dialogue is probably not going to be as persuasive as you imagine.

I take part of my statement back. I am being sarcastic, but I'm still not being hyperbolic.
posted by chimaera at 9:22 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


I mean, parts of the media seems to revel in "ha ha look we tricked trump into admitting he's a racist facist" while large masses of fellow citizens go "yay finally a racist facist"
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on February 28, 2016 [49 favorites]


I actually think we need to stop acting as if the Supreme Court is only about social issues. Citizens United was a Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court is responsible for a lot of the stuff that Bernie's supporters care about.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2016 [30 favorites]


Well, this is how our elections actually work*

no, not really - millions of people who are apathetic and disgusted stay home and don't vote and a few thousand non-conformists get blamed for the results

except this year, i guess some of those apathetic and disgusted people are voting for trump - and the dems will still be punching hippies over the result
posted by pyramid termite at 9:26 AM on February 28, 2016 [16 favorites]


Charles Pierce writes for Esquire on how it's come to this.

Linking it all the way back to the weasel Bob Barr and the impeachment of Clinton because they had the votes.
The problem with the Times piece is that it doesn't take into account two obvious factors that the Republican Party itself resolutely fails to confront: first, that the prion disease that has afflicted the party since Ronald Reagan first fed it the monkeybrains in the 1980s has gotten worse, not better, and second, that the party's three-decade courtship of the wild and the vile in our politics sooner or later was bound to leave the party open to a renegade campaign that was better at energizing that element than the cumbersome party machinery was.
This is what decades of conservative media has wrought. The thing is, can the republic survive this self-inflicted wound?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:26 AM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


What's HRC's likability ratings compared to Trump's? I saw somewhere that claimed hers is also very low, and that the election very well be between two of the most disliked people possible.

Which is sort of amazing to me. 2016 somehow ended up being the most personality-polarized race that I can think of. To stop the Trump menace, you either have the perennial conservative boogeywoman and Democratic answer to Nixon of Hillary, or an outright elderly Jewish socialist. No O'Malley or Webb, no generic centrist white guys. On the other side, to stop a new reign of Clintonian terror or a socialist revolution, you either have Trump, 'nuff said, or the widely-detested and plainly repulsive-looking fanatical Ted Cruz. Okay sure there's the Rubios/Jebs/Kasichs who would in normal elections be the reluctantly-chosen establishment nominee, but this time they've been completely shut out. Both parties seem to be going for broke.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:26 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


So: citation needed, or that's a strawman.

I think octobersurprise's pull-quote of oneswellfoop:

Yep, he'll probably destroy the economy, but it's not like the current economy doesn't deserve it

serves as a pretty good cite for the attitude being described here. I don't know if oneswellfoop considers themself a progressive and/or a lefty, but if you haven't read progressives and/or lefties espousing this exact flavor of "fuck it, let it all burn and what rises from the ashes will be better" kind of attitude here on the blue and on the wider Internet, well, I have.

It's certainly valid to question how much that attitude is represented among Trump supporters -- I'm not convinced there are a large number of them who'd consider themselves lefties of any stripe -- but with comparisons being drawn between Sanders and Trump supporters in terms of populist messaging, it's completely reasonable to consider the game theory of a race where Trump is the only populist left, and "anyone but Hillary" lefties are in the position of supporting the leftmost candidate or staying home / voting third party.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


As cstross said, this is the first real election after we accidently developed telepathy and it turns out the inside of our friends and neighbors' heads isn't as nice as we assumed
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


I agree with Taibbi: Hillary is the soft underbelly that Trump has already shown his ability to latch his jaws into. I don't know that I necessarily agree that he's a sure thing against her, but he's a really, really strong contender.

This is because, as Taibbi points out, Trump actually can claim outsider status in a way no other candidate can. He doesn't have anyone's money but his own, and he gets constant free advertising. He also is able to say things that no other candidate can. Taibbi points out his comments about healthcare and big-pharma, and how he used that to attack Jeb!. Also note his comments about Israel recently, which isn't just out of the question for a republican, but for ANY candidate to make. Trump is terrible, his policies are terrible, but his ability to cannily maneuver his way around the establishment is an amazing strength.

You throw in the do-or-die nature of the supreme court, and you have a bunch of older neo-cons who are going to be willing to hold their nose and vote for Trump. You throw in a seething hatred of Hillary, and you're going to have a bunch of undecided voters (truly the lowest of all of God's creations, but there you have it) who will look at Trump's ability to say what he wants to say and it will make the choice easy. You throw in Trump's cult of personality, and you have a situation where debate performance on issues simply doesn't matter. People keep saying that Hillary is going to eviscerate Trump at debates, but do you really think so? Have you seen what he's done to the Republican field? Facts don't matter. Reality doesn't matter. Insults, bravado, and promising 'winning' is what matters - especially to the intellectually sub-optimal creature known as the undecided swing voter.
posted by codacorolla at 9:29 AM on February 28, 2016 [20 favorites]


millions of people who are apathetic and disgusted stay home and don't vote and a few thousand non-conformists get blamed for the results

Did you want me to "blame" the former groups too?

OK, I blame them too.

No, actually, I don't.

This isn't about "blame" -- that's your framing -- it's just describing how the system works to people who apparently don't understand.

What's very funny is that Clinton was put into her 2002 pro-war vote by the purists in FL and NH who didn't vote for Gore (assuming Gore wasn't going to gin up the Iraq War like the neocons under Bush did in 2002).

If you're conservative, vote 3rd, 4th party, hell, write in your 1st choice for the office.

If you don't want the conservative taking the office, vote for another candidate on the ballot that has a mathematical chance -- per the public polling of voter intent -- of beating them.

Generally in our party system that would be the Democrat.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:32 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


What's very funny is that Clinton was put into her 2002 pro-war vote by the purists in FL and NH who didn't vote for Gore (assuming Gore wasn't going to gin up the Iraq War like the neocons under Bush did in 2002).

Centrist dem loses Florida because thousands of centrist dems vote Bush. Centrist dem votes for a war that murders hundreds of thousands of people.

I blame the hippies. Someone find me a hippy so I can punch them bloody.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:35 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


you haven't read progressives and/or lefties espousing this exact flavor of "fuck it, let it all burn and what rises from the ashes will be better" kind of attitude here on the blue and on the wider Internet, well, I have.

yes, this is called "accelerationist"
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:37 AM on February 28, 2016


At this point, I'm just really hoping for one or more of the losing Republican candidates to run as a third party candidate. As mentioned in the other Trump thread (I think, it's all blurring together), it's not hard to imagine Trump getting pissed enough to do this if he loses because of a brokered convention. Plus, I think he's having the time of his life, so why stop now?

Would Cruz decide to run as a third party candidate? I hope so. Honestly, best case scenario is probably having Rubio as the Republican nominee, and then Cruz AND Trump running as third party tickets. Sure, it will basically mean this whole shit show will continue until November, but it seems like divide and conquer may be the best chance the Dems have.

But honestly, whatever outcome we have in the election, even if Trump loses (please please please god let him lose), we still have to grapple with the fact that so many people rallied around his hateful, racist, fascist, misogynistic rhetoric. That's not going to go disappear, even if Trump does fade away.*

*Okay, by fade away I mean get himself a Fox News Show where he can spew his vitriol every day to a rapt audience.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:37 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


this is how our elections actually work

No it isn't. If you would only vote for one of the Democratic candidates in the general, actually voting for Trump would require 2 Democratic voters to make up the difference. Leaving the section blank means you only need 1.

Also, because of the Rlectoral College, there are only a handful of states that are ever In Play for the presidency. Trump being Trump, its hard to know which ones that will be right now. The vast majority of Democratic voters aren't ideological purists, and will vote for either Clinton or Sanders in the general.

You will know in November as you walk into the booth whether your presidential vote "matters." If it probably doesn't, nobody has any reason to shame you for choosing not to sully yourself if it's that important to you. Yes, if everybody felt that way, there would be no safe states, but there are safe states, so that's not the world we live in. If you are one of the lucky few who really counts as an individual in a presidential contest, then you'll know that going in, and what you do with that power is your choice.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:38 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


The number of Bernie supporters who would vote for Trump is so vanishingly small it's not worth getting worked up about. There are probably a few on the fringes but Bernie's whole campaign is based on economics only and to think Trump will attract them in significant margins with his economic platform is silly. Much more likely they'll stay home (as millions do every election anyway) or vote third party (as I plan to do, but I live in California so my vote doesn't matter. If the Democrats lose California they have bigger problems than a few protest votes). I think the whole idea of Bernie supporters tipping the election to Trump is just absurd on its face.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:38 AM on February 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


Trump seems to never shrink from using the worst publicly-available criticism that other candidates feel to tread

That's his weakness. He's a one trick pony, and he leads with what he thinks is his strongest punch. That works in a primary where he can keep changing targets (Bush is low energy, Rubio is a lightweight, etc.). But he's got no follow-up; he doesn't have the discipline. You saw that in the last debate where he kept trying to go after Rubio for repeating himself and Rubio turned it around on him. Trump isn't that quick on his feet if you can dodge the first punch. But that first punch is a doozy.

Problem is, that approach goes stale very fast in a general election, the press gets bored of reporting the same thing said the same way, and it's not going to be as effective, particularly when there's plenty of time for the other side to counterpunch and to bury him in oppo research leaked to various news outlets. You can't avoid the press in a general election that same way you can in a primary. You can't boycott debates for leverage unless you've got an overwhelming lead, which Trump won't.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:39 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I blame the hippies. Someone find me a hippy so I can punch them bloody.

I'm not punching anyone. I just don't understand people in FL or NH who didn't want Bush to win the presidency not regretting their vote for Nader in 2000.

Nader got 97,000 votes in FL and 22,000 in NH.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:42 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


If you're under 40, you've never lived in the US while there was a progressive Supreme Court. It can be difficult to grasp the fundamental shift that might create on major issues in social justice, law enforcement, women's rights, etc.

In the same way that conservative groups bring challenges to the Supremes, hoping to get conservative state policies protected nationally, you'd see progressive groups suddenly empowered to do the same thing. It's hard to understate what a fundamental shift that could create.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [40 favorites]


I'm baffled by the idea that the "Main Street" contingent that so vehemently railed against the evils of Wall Street could now host such a large group of Trump supporters. Isn't Trump the definition of Wall Street greed? I don't get it.
posted by double bubble at 9:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I suspect the 300,000 Democrats who voted for Bush have more to regret. But talking about how Gore lost them when nominating another candidate with the same sort of baggage isn't as fun as trolling for hippies to punch.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:47 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


Nader got 97,000 votes in FL and 22,000 in NH.

It's almost like an individual's vote is the only teeny, tiny sliver of power each of us has in this whole ridiculous arrangement, that some people want to use it for the result they'd like to actually see, and resent being told what they should or ought to, or worse, must do with it.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


This isn't about "blame

oh, it has been since about 2000 - anyone who's been around here that long knows this

it's just describing how the system works to people who apparently don't understand

the system works best with as few people participating as can be managed

you needn't dem-plain it to us

What's very funny is that Clinton was put into her 2002 pro-war vote by the purists in FL and NH who didn't vote for Gore (assuming Gore wasn't going to gin up the Iraq War like the neocons under Bush did in 2002).

and here we have it - one candidate who backed the mass slaughter of and helped cause the displacement of millions of brown people against another who wants to deport millions of brown people

which lever do i push that doesn't have the blood all over it?

(at least you admit gore wouldn't have changed much of anything)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


onefellswoop: Yep, he'll probably destroy the economy, but it's not like the current economy doesn't deserve it.

tonycpsu: serves as a pretty good cite for the attitude being described here. I don't know if oneswellfoop considers themself a progressive and/or a lefty, but if you haven't read progressives and/or lefties espousing this exact flavor of "fuck it, let it all burn and what rises from the ashes will be better" kind of attitude here on the blue and on the wider Internet, well, I have.

I'm no accelerationist, but when venting in private I admit I have occasionally ranted my way into a version of this idea. It's probably best to read it less as a willful program or an indicator of how the speaker will vote, and more as a momentary expression of helpless, intense frustration at where things are and where they seem to be headed.
posted by kewb at 9:48 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


this exact flavor of "fuck it, let it all burn and what rises from the ashes will be better" kind of attitude

I heard this from people regarding Bush in 2004, and of course, this current election is the result; what's risen from the ashes is Trump, and what rises from the ashes of a Trump presidency might be, I dunno, I guess a horde of sentient fire ants or something. It's remarkable how much worse it can always continue to get.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:49 AM on February 28, 2016 [57 favorites]


CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked Trump if he would "unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his support."

OK, just to take a step back to this: The shocker isn't that Duke or other white supremacists support Trump. The shocker isn't that Trump dodged the question or won't condemn.

No, what's newsworthy is that a reporter confronted Trump on TV with an uncomfortable question and then didn't immediately drop it when Trump blew it off. Seriously. It's newsworthy that a journalist interviewing Trump kinda sorta did his fucking job.

The media's handling of Trump has been an enormous factor in his rise.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:53 AM on February 28, 2016 [39 favorites]


I seriously cannot believe that we're re-litigating the 2000 election. It's been 15 years, guys. There are people in college, who will be voting in the next election, who don't even remember the 2000 election. Some of the volunteers knocking on doors will be people who were not even born during the 2000 election. Can we please, please let it go already?

I think the Democratic nominee will probably be Clinton, but it could still be Sanders. And I would really like for all of us, no matter which candidate we support, to agree to work for the eventual nominee to avoid the fucking shitshow that would happen if there's a Republican victory. That goes for Hillary supporters too.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:53 AM on February 28, 2016 [16 favorites]


and resent being told what they should or ought to, or worse, must do with it.

nah, this is just your framing again.

The purity vote has its personal appeal ("my hands are spotless!"), but by my lights produces worse outcomes, like Bush winning the WH in 2000.

If you were a Nader voter in NH and/or FL fine with Bush taking office in 2001, bully for you.

Funny we never hear from these people tho.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:54 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


that we're re-litigating the 2000 election.

my comments have nothing to do with that, I just don't want to see a repeat in 2016. For, as you say, many people voting now were pooping their diapers in 2000.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 9:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Maybe try discussing the GOP establishment's panic response in the OP's article, rather than relitigating 2000, talking about punching hippies, or blaming each other for voting wrong? We have like four open and active election threads with the same discussion (and many more open); this one might be more interesting if it were more focused on the original post.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


It's probably best to read it less as a willful program or an indicator of how the speaker will vote, and more as a momentary expression of helpless, intense frustration at where things are and where they seem to be headed.

Perhaps, but I also think it's okay to counter those expressions of frustration with a reminder that there are a lot of folks out there who aren't in a good position to survive the fallout and emerge from it better off. You know, in case your intuition is wrong, or in case that frustration boils over.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:56 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump's gonna be prez. No I don't like it. But there it is. It's the red state's answer to Obama. I just don't see what's gonna stop the momementum.
posted by telstar at 9:58 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you were a Nader voter in NH and/or FL fine with Bush taking office in 2001, bully for you.

Funny we never hear from these people tho.


I voted for Gore in NH in 2000, but am friends with people who voted Nader, and I seriously do not give a shit about their votes. It is bizarre to me to try to blame them for Bush's "win" instead of the five supreme court votes and pernicious millions that voted for Bush.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:59 AM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


I just don't see what's gonna stop the momementum.

Voting Dem and encouraging others to do so?
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 AM on February 28, 2016 [32 favorites]


Isn't Trump the definition of Wall Street greed?

My idea of Trump is more of the tasteless, dodgy real estate developer. I'm sure he has investments in the stock market and he's very outspoken of his love for money, but if I had to put 10 flashcards with things associated with Trump, "Wall Street" wouldn't be one of them.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:01 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Why Trump Is Panicking Robert Kagan

Anyone looking for further converts to the Hillary Clinton campaign might do well to look at the Marco Rubio campaign. If Clinton is the leading liberal hawk, Rubio is the foremost neocon candidate. In 2014 National Review published an article about him titled “The neocons return.”
-
If Donald Trump, as seems more than likely, prevails in the GOP primary, then a number of neocons may defect to the Clinton campaign. Already Robert Kagan announced in the Washington Post on Thursday that he intends to back Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump receives the GOP nomination. The fact is that the loyalty of the neocons has always been to an ideology of American exceptionalism, not to a particular party.

posted by Drinky Die at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


things associated with Trump, "Wall Street" wouldn't be one of them.

FIRE would be tho. He's the poster child for that.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2016


Gore was responsible (aside from the Supreme Court) for what happened in 2000. Not Nader voters. People individually choose the way they use their vote (or whether to vote at all) and generally they vote when they support a candidate. If the candidate isn't offering anything more than "Look at how bad the other guy is!" to these voters they won't get their support. You don't have to like it or agree with it but that's what voters do. The outcome is ultimately up to who the candidate is and can they draw enough of their own party and a good amount of independents to win. And that's up to the candidate. Blaming voters is just easier than saying maybe we didn't have a great candidate.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:06 AM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm never quite sure what people mean when they say "neo-cons." I think of that word as referring to a particular kind of establishment intellectual figure: pundits and policy people, mostly. They have an over-sized influence on what Republican politicians actually do, but there aren't very many of them. I don't think that neo-cons have ever been a significant part of the Republican voting base. Trump could totally lose all the neo-cons and not have any trouble winning the election.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:07 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Trump does break up the GOP, then what replaces it won't be good. Worse even than the Koch fronted plutocrats, I think. Trump has tapped into a desire for big government (protectionism, regulations against corporations, certain social programs) for middle class, heterosexual, patriarchal whites, and an absolute horrorshow for everyone else. If that seems historically familiar, then that's because Trump hasn't really been secretive about his influences. This is the sort of thing that would be appealing to a West Virginia life-long Democrat who hates Obama with a seething fire. It's really worth listening to trump supporters. They aren't at all ashamed at the fact that they're voting for a strongman who's promised them glory.

RE: The FPP article, it's very tempting to relish in the discomfort of noted toad-demon Karl Rove, but at least fuckheads like Rove and company have a vested interest in keeping the country running to some degree. The Faustian bargain that the GOP has been striking since the 60s is about to come due, and unfortunately for all of us, it won't just be confined to their upper brass. We're all going to have to deal with it. And, as Christie has shown, that same upper brass isn't going to be bashful about doing an about-face to comply with a new regime.
posted by codacorolla at 10:10 AM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


From Obama to Trump

In another sign of the GOPs complete meltdown, Trump's rise is now apparently Obama's fault. I think purely because he's black? dunno, couldn't parse Douchehat's bullshit.

Thanks Obama!
posted by dis_integration at 10:14 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's time to start a whisper campaign against Trump suggesting he really isn't racist.
posted by mazola at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2016 [19 favorites]


The number of Bernie supporters who would vote for Trump is so vanishingly small it's not worth getting worked up about.

The number of Bernie supporters who are going to sit home if he's not running is not going to be small, I don't think.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:23 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


In another sign of the GOPs complete meltdown, Trump's rise is now apparently Obama's fault. I think purely because he's black? dunno, couldn't parse Douchehat's bullshit.

Thanks Obama!


The Party of Personal Responsibility, folks!
posted by leotrotsky at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


This little bastard (Rubio) dares lecture people on ideological purity and “con men,” when for 30 years they’ve been sold out and forgotten by Reagan, Gingrich, and George W. Bush. Hardhats don’t care if Trump is worth $200 million or $10 billion; he’s successful.

Yes, he failed, went bankrupt, and was sued by the government, but that proves he’s got brass balls. The damn stupid “shining city on a hill” doesn’t mean much to someone who can’t pay the light bill. He wants a man who’ll work his butt off and do it dishonorably.


@Dick_Nixon's Super Tuesday forecast: Thunder and a good chance of carnage
posted by My Dad at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


The number of Bernie supporters who are going to sit home if he's not running is not going to be small, I don't think.

Well, then maybe Clinton could actually try to win their votes. A good start would be to release her speeches.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


melissasaurus, hundo. Clinton's problem is personality more than policy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2016


Well, then maybe Clinton could actually try to win their votes. A good start would be to release her speeches.


Heh, I suspect she would lose more votes that way than she gains.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


That she [Palin]even came close to the vice presidency was a ghastly embarrassment.

Some forget that McCain made his choice when Hillary was a frontrunner.


What? McCain announced Palin as his choice the day after Obama gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. McCain had only met her for the first time the day before, and the discussions of possible picks just a couple days prior to that. Hillary had made her concession speech and pledge to support Obama months before.
posted by JackFlash at 10:30 AM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


Yeah, to the degree Clinton was a factor it was belief that her supporters wouldn't show up for Obama and a successful woman might appeal to them enough for them to go Republican. That was a really silly belief to bank on.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:33 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Old saying has merit: (translation from Spanish) Don't muddy water you soon may have to drink.
posted by mule98J at 10:38 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm putting this here because the Nevada thread about Sanders crashes my browser. Not sure what thread this should go in anyways..

The DNC Vice Chair resigned so she can support Bernie.
posted by sio42 at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


Tump is literally repeating Mussolini's statements verbatim on social media.
favorites +1billion

Gawker: how we fooled Trump into retweeting Benito Mussolini

Ugh, Gawker are idiots. That's an Italian army quote that dates back to WWI. Misattributing a cool quote is not a gotcha.
posted by dgaicun at 10:55 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Misattributed or not, on MtP Trump basically said he was fine with quoting Mussolini, nbd.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:20 AM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's all over now folks: Aaron Carter endorses Trump.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Watching Chuck Todd fawn over Trump like a kid finally getting to sit at the cool kid's table is gross
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:45 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


That sums up my feelings about MtP in general. It's insular and back slapping.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Way up there: "You can't pivot to the center after calling Latinos a bunch of rapists."

Yeah, sadly, I think you can. People have the attention span of a gnat and history takes a back seat to the right now and the what-is-the-media-saying. I think Trump can win the nomination, then make a sharp turn to saying reasonable, but not Hillary, things. Everyone who wants a reasonable, electable Trump can see that in front of their face and hear it on the news, everyone who liked crazy-pants Trump can remember before as long as he doesn't explicitly denounce that stuff. Never underestimate the ability of people to think what they want to think and reject contrary evidence.
posted by ctmf at 11:47 AM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's worth remembering that the majority of voting-age Americans have been pushed out or have checked out of electoral politics entirely. To repeat: "I'm out" and "I'm disenfranchised" together reflect the majority position.


It's worth remembering that the turnout for the last two Presidential elections has been higher than any since the 1960's. In fact the turnout is been consistently about same going back more than a century. So if you are implying that low turnouts are some recent phenomenon due to political discouragement, that isn't the case.
posted by JackFlash at 11:51 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't think Trump can pivot to reasonable, because his appeal is based on being unreasonable. Trump who doesn't say outrageous things is not Trump. The concern is that he may not need to pivot.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:53 AM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel like we're basically living in a bizarre and terrifying West Wing/Hunger Games mashup.

And, you know, I'd like to think that 10 years from now we'll be able to look back on this and say, "Wow, that was crazy! What was everyone thinking? Oh well, at least that's in the past!" but that's what I was praying for during W's presidency, and well, here we are.

brb off to go pinch myself repeatedly in the hopes that this is actually just the most terrifying and surreal nightmare ever.
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:00 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, sadly, I think you can. People have the attention span of a gnat and history takes a back seat to the right now and the what-is-the-media-saying.

For sure there will be a bunch of clueless anglos who will forget he said that if he pivots away, except for ones that never cared in the first place or just agree that latinos are rapists.

But I expect that actual no-kidding latinos might remember better. Especially hispanohablante ones, since I gather Univision has quite the (well-deserved) hate-on for him.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh thank God Aaron Carter is not the Breaking Bad star I was all JESSIE what have you done
posted by angrycat at 12:09 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why is anyone surprised Trump doesn't mind quoting this guy? Very good chance his campaign HQs end up looking something like this.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:15 PM on February 28, 2016


It is interesting that in this thread we've been told that Trump will win because people will get out to vote against Clinton because they hate her, but also Clinton will lose because people don't go out to vote against people they hate, like Trump.
posted by emjaybee at 12:19 PM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


2012 was a pretty boring election so this year we've made up for it by trying to select the most personally polarizing candidates imaginable
posted by Apocryphon at 12:24 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe Trump's senility will kick in after he's in the White House, and we'll all be under the rule of an Eastern European gold-digger reigning behind the faux beard of a group of complicit toadies. We're not just trapped in the script of a crappy tv soap, we're trapped in a rerun!
posted by Chitownfats at 12:25 PM on February 28, 2016


It is interesting that in this thread we've been told that Trump will win because people will get out to vote against Clinton because they hate her, but also Clinton will lose because people don't go out to vote against people they hate, like Trump.

Well, Trump's appeal does seem to be largely driven by his willingness to stoke the fires of hatred. Clinton's doesn't. Haters gonna hate. Non-haters, not so much.
posted by snofoam at 12:26 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Way up there: "You can't pivot to the center after calling Latinos a bunch of rapists."

Yeah, sadly, I think you can.


Does your work or lifestyle put you in a place where you interact with a lot of Hispanic Americans? As ROU_Xenophobe mentions, there is a not insignificant part of the American family that will not forget Trump's rhetoric, regardless how much he tries to pivot. Remember that feeling of "omigod look at those lines of black voters!?" during the 2008 election? That will happen this year, with Hispanics.

A Trump general election win would require him garnering roughly 66-70% of the white vote. If a campaign built on nativist rhetoric can still win in America, this might be the last year for that to happen, before demographics shut the door on that idea forever.

It is interesting that in this thread we've been told that Trump will win because people will get out to vote against Clinton because they hate her, but also Clinton will lose because people don't go out to vote against people they hate, like Trump.


Don't forget the dual "I can't stand it when Hillary supporters try to shame/guilt me into voting for her in the general!" + "If Bernie isn't nominated then his supporters will stay home and Democrats will lose, so there" argument.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:26 PM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


Of course Trump can pivot. He's demonstrated he can say what the hell he likes, and once he's got the nomination then like a Saturn V the first stage drops away and he can fire up some totally different engines. If nobody's called him on contradictions and inconsistencies yet, then why not?

I don't think it'll work, because that stuff will be thrown back at him in the general, but it's still the most Trump thing to do.
posted by Devonian at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2016


If nobody's called him on contradictions and inconsistencies yet, then why not?

Worth noting that Clinton can and probably will tack heavily back to center as soon as she can shake Sanders. She and Trump then fight for the mythical centrists, she the insider representing all the problems, he the outsider representing all the solutions.
posted by an animate objects at 12:32 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


trump is the Frankfurterian bullshit artist par excellence. You couldn't ask for a more perfect illustration of the technical sense of bullshit: he wins because it's implicitly agreed that neither he nor his audience actually care about the truth value of anything he says. All politicians are bullshit artists to some degree, but most of them dilute their bullshit with the occasional piece of non-bullshit, while trump has figured out that peddling pure, unadulterated 100% bullshit is the way to win in 2016 America.

(I've stopped capitalizing donald trump's name because I feel it pays him too much respect. Won't you join me?)
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 12:33 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]




Wait ... a balding businessman obsessed with illegal aliens ...

Is this just Lex Luthor AGAIN?
posted by kyrademon at 12:36 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


As for Cruz, I think the reason he's not really letting loose on trump is because he knows he himself hasn't got a chance and he'd rather see trump win than Rubio because it sets him up better to be the conservative savior in 2020, whether or not trump wins the general. Cruz's strategy seems to be to attack trump enough to win some delegates so that he can get to a contested convention where he'd be the power broker, or failing that to at least trip up Rubio because Rubio is Cruz-lite and the Tea Party isn't big enough for two Cuban-American ultra-conservative blowhards. Sure, President Rubio would actually push much the same agenda that Cruz likes to spout, but it's clear from one look at him that all Cruz really cares about is power for himself.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


The intellectuals in the GOP who beleive the crap about no taxes and no regulation are discovering what we've all known. These were not deeply held beliefs, but simple dog whistles to promulgate racism and patriarchy. Now we see the truth.
posted by humanfont at 12:59 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


In European Civiliization (1648-1945) Yale youtube John Merriman there is one whole episode on fascism:

22. Fascists

His takes: fascism isn't really that extreme;
every European country in the 1930's except Russia had a big movement;
well over half the European countries in the 1930's had fascist governments;
large fractions of the citizens loved it;
Mussolini was like a Rock Star until the war doom hit home.
posted by bukvich at 1:02 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


This has been pointed out over and over (I think most frequently by people newer to politics and/or who are especially excited this year? But less often by long-time party functionaries) and primary turnout, especially in an open primary state, doesn't tell us a whole lot.

If this was directed at me, I don't appreciate it and it isn't even close to accurate. I've worked on Democratic campaigns every election year since I was 8 years old, and one of my first political memories was working for and celebrating Bill Clinton's election in 1992. I was responding to innumerate arguments that we could win South Carolina in the general election or that the raw number of votes for Clinton vs Trump in SC would be in some way illuminating re: general election results there, which is a patently ludicrous idea - we haven't won that state since Jimmy Carter won there in 1976.

Furthermore, all sorts of Democratic strategists & commentators are very concerned about our awful turnout, e.g. Democrats should be very nervous about their terrible turnout numbers. Maddow brings it up constantly, and so do many of the longtime Democratic strategists I follow. It's not a crazy idea.

Look, I live around a lot of poor white people who are going to support Trump in the general. Most of them are not active white supremacists in the KKK sense, but they are casual racists, the type that can overlook his overtly-racist stuff, because the economic issues are more immediately pressing to them since they don't have any steady employment or health care access. "Moderate" vs left vs right misses the point. This bit from that Guardian article linked a few comments back captures it perfectly:

"The unexpected resonance of the Sanders and Trump campaigns does not represent a decisive turning of American voters towards the left or towards the right. It represents a populist protest against a neoliberal economic order embraced by the establishment wings of both parties, which bestows lavish rewards upon those at the top and makes life precarious for everyone else."

To the extent that some Sanders voters (not me, for the umpteenth time) do end up voting for Trump, it will be because they have nothing left to lose personally on an economic level and they are racist enough to overlook the rest of his bullshit (and probably buy into it explicitly with respect to immigration). "Accelerationist" is a fancy word for "literally nothing left to lose because they already don't have jobs or health care." I'm not excusing their votes - again, they are racist for being able to overlook his white supremacy and voting for Trump is bad bad bad - but if we want to beat him, we have to understand the importance of his populism, too. I'm a little bothered that any attempts to understand why people are voting for him beyond racism are painted as inherently excusing his racism - it isn't that at all, it's that I know a lot of these people and the overt racism is something they're mostly overlooking (again, because they are racist and have the white privilege to do so) because they are primarily drawn to his populist/anti-elite message. If we overlook that because all we can see is the racism, we'll end up running with some stupid slogan like "America is already great!" that just underscores the idea that elites in both parties don't care about or understand poor peoples' lives.

My big worry is that Trump is already achieving the political revolution that Sanders argues for - there is some evidence from his turnout demographics that he's bringing many new voters into the political process ("I love the poorly educated!"). If even a smallish fraction of the "low-information" non-voting public is moved to vote for him and most reliable Republican voters hold their noses and vote for him because they hate Democrats more (what's called "negative partisanship"), he could easily win, especially if Democrats are not enthusiastic about Clinton and don't get their vote out.
posted by dialetheia at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2016 [56 favorites]


Despite their ideological differences, Sanders and Trump are tapping into similar sources of discontent. Both speak to Americans’ sense of disempowerment in the face of big money and unaccountable power. And both are critical of mainstream politicians, Democrats and Republicans, who have, over the last three decades, become captive beneficiaries of the system.

I think this is correct. Trump and Sanders supporters are diagnosing the same disease but obviously offer up very different cures. A typical trump supporter may be a 45 year old white guy with a high school education, out of work, struggling to support his family, angry, and without hope because neoliberal economics does not provide him a path to a decent life. 5 years ago he was at a Tea party rally. A typical Sanders supporter could be a 24 year old young woman who is a recent college graduate with massive debt and a low paying service sector job. She can't find the path to the type of high paying job that could allow her to pay off her debt, buy a home, and live the so called American dream. Five years ago she was at an Occupy Wall Street rally. Unfortunately, real change won't happen until that middle aged man and that young woman wake up and stop demonizing each other (he is nothing but a racist woman hater and she is nothing but an Anti-American pinko commie) and realize that they share a lot in common and have been affected by the same global economic forces that the establishment keeps advancing in the interest of their own financial gain and power.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:19 PM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


Dialetheia - I wish I could frame your post.

It would be interesting to see the age breakdown of the new Trump voters. My suspicion is that its mostly disaffected boomers and some Gen Xer's, but I am not sure.
posted by eagles123 at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wait ... a balding businessman obsessed with illegal aliens ...

Is this just Lex Luthor AGAIN?




Ew...no.
posted by Alexander J. Luthor at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


The most satisfying part of this whole primary season is going to be when it's over -- but the particular moment of maximum warm fuzzies is going to be when we see Warren, Sanders, Obama, and Hillary on stage together, united and enthusiastic for November.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:45 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Guardian on who Trump's supporters are -- CNN slices and dices Nevada entrance polls -- A deep dive from the NYT in January on registered Democrats who identify as and vote Republican (they like Trump) -- BBC on qualitative rather than quantitative issues -- Some analysis from Daily Kos that looks at both data and anecdotes

There are a lot of stories about who his supporters are from way back in August and September that are all mucked up by candidates who are gone; I suspect we'll see a lot more after Super Tuesday when the race shakes out a bit and media and pollsters can focus on just a few candidates and grab fresh data.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:46 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I do think everybody predicting that a Trump victory is inevitable are ascribing way too much electoral importance and power to disaffected white male assholes.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:49 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Look, I live around a lot of poor white people who are going to support Trump in the general. Most of them are not active white supremacists in the KKK sense, but they are casual racists, the type that can overlook his overtly-racist stuff, because the economic issues are more immediately pressing to them since they don't have any steady employment or health care access. "Moderate" vs left vs right misses the point. This bit from that Guardian article linked a few comments back captures it perfectly:

This absolutely matches what I see around here. Of the current crop of likely/possible nominees on either side (Clinton, Trump, and Rubio, plus Cruz), only Trump is speaking directly and forcefully to people who are legitimately hurting economically. Clinton, under pressure from Sanders, has been speaking a bit more to inequality, but she is establishment personified and even a liberal like me doesn't believe much of what she says. Rubio and Cruz are just parroting establishment GOP talking points on these issues at best and make Clinton look like a paragon of honesty.

Sanders is the closest version on the left, though obviously less confrontational and less populist, and he is fading probably as a result. A genuine left version of Trump would, I am willing to predict, also be surging in the polls, because there is such a huge percent of the population who, though they might be "low information voters," have absolutely figured out that they are being screwed by business as usual and are excited by the one candidate who is saying something different.

I think Trump is a total sack of shit, but I'm not surprised at his continued rise in popularity. I hope that Rubio's attacks get traction and Trump goes down in a sniveling and humiliating defeat, but I'm not feeling optimistic right now.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:50 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Although here is a piece of local crazy, a local dude who put a silhouette of a deer hunter shooting a Muslim in his front yard (yes, there are pictures; yes, it's offensive), but who said that Trump was "too far out there" with his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US so I SERIOUSLY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO INTERPRET MY FELLOW AMERICANS' NUTTERY ANY LONGER. How on earth is Trump too crazy for a guy who makes front yard murder dioramas?

I have no idea what is going on.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:51 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


The people in this thread laughing with glee at cancer eating the GOP would be wise to save the celebration until the actual victory.

The same disease has afflicted the Democratic party and it's much more advanced. A healthy national party does not fail to find a candidate to run for the United States Senate. In one of the other threads someone mentioned how few candidates the party was putting up in Pennsylvania. The Democrats show no signs of being able to turn around their dismal performance at the state level, and they have only four years until the next census, when the Republicans will get another shot at locking in an absolute majority in the House for a generation.

Faced with this terrible situation, the DNC under Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has basically abandoned the 50 state strategy and essentially cut the downticket loose (look at 2014), instead focusing solely on making Hillary Clinton the next president. Even then, the Democratic Party establishment has proven it is really bad at doing even that.

The lack of any actual progressive Democrat from mounting a challenge against former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Clinton, combined with the total support of the DNC and an overwhelming fundraising advantage should have guaranteed her a simple coronation. People are saying she has this thing sewn up after yesterday. They may be right, but the fact that she has had to fight so hard against a septuagenarian socialist Jew who isn't even a Democrat should give people pause. The DNC allowed him in because they didn't consider him a threat. I don't think Sanders thought he would see this much support even in the absolute best case scenario.

There is lots of talk about the GOP coalition fracturing, but the same is happening with the Democratic party. The DLC; the party of Silicon Valley and upper middle class educated professionals; the party of the Clintons and boring, neoliberal technocrats—that party is breaking from the party of young activists, the poor and working classes. That is happening before our eyes, and I doubt it can be reversed. There used to be labor unions as a kind of glue, party bosses and union bosses could work together during the 80s and 90s, even if the growing neoliberal wing increasingly saw organized labor as an anachronism. Well, the neoliberals won, and now labor is a pale shadow of its former self, and is incapable of mobilizing the working class in service of the professional "creative class" that relies on them to win elections. Social progressivism is the last thing that the Democrats have to win elections, and it's an increasingly risky bet as more and more people feel their immediate material needs are being ignored. Even traditionally reliable voter blocs in this category may get discouraged and stay home if they feel nobody running is concerned about their actual needs.

It isn't hyperbole to say that Donald Trump is an actual fascist. But he has a real chance of winning against a moribund clique of millionaires who can barely even pretend to know about the struggles of the people they claim to represent.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:56 PM on February 28, 2016 [49 favorites]


I do think everybody predicting that a Trump victory is inevitable are ascribing way too much electoral importance and power to disaffected white male assholes.

It's not just white males. Trump has also been consistently winning the female vote among Republicans - that Guardian analysis that Eyebrows McGee linked to found that slightly more than half of his support is from women.
posted by dialetheia at 2:01 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


If Clinton sews this up on Tuesday, it won't really have been the case that she had to "fight so hard" for the nomination. And Sanders' candidacy, by making this not a rote coronation, generating interest and excitement in the race and forcing her to be more responsive to the progressive left, could turn out to be a considerable net benefit to her.

Totally agree that the downticket, 50-state outlook is garbage though.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:02 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders is taking it to the convention, and states after March 15 are much more favorable for him. She doesn't have anything sewn up until the convention, regardless of the media narrative.
posted by dialetheia at 2:03 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's not a media narrative. She will likely generate an insurmountable lead on Tuesday. There's a difference between "not impossible" and "reasonable", and while a Sanders win will not be impossible after Super Tuesday it would take something like an indictment or getting hit by a bus for Clinton to lose her lead. Sadly, in her case the indictment is actually the more likely of those two scenarios.
posted by Justinian at 2:05 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


[expletive deleted] nails it.

We may be watching the GOP fracture but at the same time we are watching the Democrats become the same type of machine many us descry about the GOP.

This isn't how our democracy is supposed to work, and yeah the 50 state strategy? Gone.

2020 is where Democratic indolence will doom us again to GOP down ticket motivation.
posted by Max Power at 2:06 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


There are still a lot of semi-criminal investigations going on in relation to Clinton. Nothing is going to be insurmountable on Tuesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:07 PM on February 28, 2016


Never give up, never surrender!
posted by Justinian at 2:08 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Sure, but "literally unsurmountable" and "insurmountable barring major changes to the race" are very different things, especially in a year like this one and with a candidate under active investigation by both the FBI and the State department. If Clinton's support continues to decline, he still has a path, exactly the same way Clinton argued she still had a path after Obama beat her in the South on Super Tuesday in 2008. Obama's support did not decline, so she lost in 2008, but that isn't necessarily guaranteed this year.
posted by dialetheia at 2:08 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders has no reason to leave the race before he runs out of money (which is not really a problem for him so far) even if it becomes completely impossible statistically for him to actually win the nomination. I think he'll want to continue getting his message out and campaigning all around the country as long as there are primaries to go. And that's what's most important to him. Getting that message out loud and clear to as many people who will listen. Winning the nomination would just be icing on the cake.
posted by downtohisturtles at 2:09 PM on February 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


I feel like we're basically living in a bizarre and terrifying West Wing/Hunger Games mashup.

That is the best description I've heard so far.
posted by emjaybee at 2:11 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I have no problem continuing to contribute to allow Sanders to campaign. The more people who get to hear his message, the better.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:11 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fred Clark on the possible etymologies of "batshit" and "bullshit" in relation to the Republicans right now.
posted by emjaybee at 2:15 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The most interesting scenario is if Trump and Sanders both aren't nominated. Because they both would still run in the general election, which would mean a legitimate four person race. Which would make a Trump presidency actually likely - the Republicans and Democrats should HOPE he is the candidate because it's the most likely case for Trump not to win the general election.

I think it's interesting that there could be two classic, party-politics candidates (Clinton and let's say Rubio) and two outsiders that want to tear down the whole thing, albeit from completely different angles. Both Trump and Sanders are against the moneyed influence in Washington and are both legitimate threats to actually do something about it once they are in office. This is going to be a wild election that one way or another is going to come down to the (political) machine vs. a sledgehammer, and it's happening in both parties at the same time.
posted by lubujackson at 2:21 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders has given no indication that he would mount an out-of-party challenge as far as I know, Trump yes.
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:24 PM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


If Sanders doesn't get the nomination, he won't run in the general. The only scenario where he would even entertain a run is if he had a majority of support but the superdelegates threw the election to Clinton anyway. Even in that situation I think he would find a negotiated solution rather than make a 3rd party run. Bernie wants to make big changes, but I think tearing things down is a bad metaphor for his goals.
posted by meinvt at 2:25 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


lubujackson: "The most interesting scenario is if Trump and Sanders both aren't nominated. Because they both would still run in the general election, "

Sanders has been pretty clear he WON'T, but the last time we had a legit four-way race (with two insiders and two outsiders!) was 1860. And that gave us Abe Lincoln and abolition, where were good; secession and the Civil War, which were not; and the Republican Party itself which started pretty awesome but has eventually come to Trump, Cruz, and Rubio in 2016, so that part's just sad.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:27 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would rather lose with Rubio than win with Trump, because, I'm not kidding, Trump will kill us all.
posted by corb at 2:29 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders' attacks on Clinton have been of the sort that push her to being a stronger/more transparent candidate when (and if) she responds to them. He hasn't been trying to undermine her with attacks on her character or scandals.

He's not going to run as a third party.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:31 PM on February 28, 2016 [16 favorites]


Is Trump really against moneyed interests in Washington, or is that just part of the character he is playing? Personally, I think its more the latter.
posted by eagles123 at 2:43 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I assume 99% of what Trump does and says is a character. The problem is that there are a lot of people who actually think those things.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:47 PM on February 28, 2016


Peggy Noonan (!) had an interesting (paywalled) WSJ piece on Trump. She divided the electorate into the "protected" and the "unprotected" with the latter turning to Trump and Sanders. (She then goes on to blame immigration, because Peggy Noonan, but I liked the labels.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:50 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


(sigh) Jeff Sessions endorsed Trump.
posted by angrycat at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2016


wouldn't it be nice if hell existed. i'm having one of those moments
posted by angrycat at 2:54 PM on February 28, 2016


Jeff Sessions endorsed Trump

I guess they're getting on the crazy train after all.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:58 PM on February 28, 2016


Is Trump really against moneyed interests in Washington, or is that just part of the character he is playing? Personally, I think its more the latter.

Has Trump ever done anything that truly helps anyone besides him? His only difference from your average grasping billionaire is that he likes to poke at/enrage other billionaires as well as siphoning wealth off of those below him.
posted by emjaybee at 3:01 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


The most interesting scenario is if Trump and Sanders both aren't nominated. Because they both would still run in the general election, which would mean a legitimate four person race.

Sanders--unlike a vocal chunk of his online supporters--would not actually prefer to watch the world burn if not nominated. I'd like to believe he's a better man than that.
posted by schroedinger at 3:05 PM on February 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


I would rather lose with Rubio than win with Trump, because, I'm not kidding, Trump will kill us all.

Nah, you're a Good American. You'll be just fine. It's the rest of us with nagging problems like weird sexual orientations and skin color that have to worry.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:10 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


If we're going with mashups, you don't need to go beyond a few Norman Spinrad novels.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:17 PM on February 28, 2016


If Clinton develops a 100+ delegate lead on Tuesday (and I have seen some estimates of a 200 delegate lead being likely) then Sanders is flat out done. He might still continue to get donations to keep his campaign nominally alive but coming from behind without the benefit of some winner take all primaries is damn near impossible.

The reality is that Nevada basically doomed his campaign. His organization thought it could come in late and mobilize based upon rallies and a lot of ads and it didn't work. Now he has the worst case scenario coming which is low campaign cash, no momentum and the need to fight in tons of states at the same time without a GOTV organization.

The echo chambers that developed on r/S4P and r/politics where anything pro Clinton is mercilessly downvoted represents a dangerous way to run a campaign. Yeah keeping up morale is important but not at the cost of being utterly delusional. More importantly it has gotten some people willing to donate money they really don't have in a belief that the revolution is eminent and I think even Sanders understands it's going to be the work of multiple election cycles not just one.
posted by vuron at 3:18 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


The other thing that worries me, that I didn't mention upthread, is what happens if the GOP establishment senses the potential of a populist Trump run, and falls in line with him? I think we are already seeing this happen. A GOP begrudgingly united behind Trump's populist fascism could easily defeat a divided and demoralized Democratic party that isn't even trying to have a serious nationwide presence.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:22 PM on February 28, 2016




And now, if you weren't already, panicking enough already, this:

Statistician with near-perfect election formula says prepare yourself for President Trump
posted by holborne at 3:26 PM on February 28, 2016


You'll be just fine. It's the rest of us with nagging problems like weird sexual orientations and skin color that have to worry.

Hey, thanks for denying that any problems but your own exist. My family depends, for literally life-saving medications, on Obamacare. Guess who wants to throw it out.

Plus there's little things like climate change, which could kill hundreds of millions of people, and which Trump of course denies. But maybe you live inland.
posted by zompist at 3:33 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Lol statistical models that anticipate a 97% certainty of a Trump presidency are hopelessly garbage especially this far out and without battleground state polling.

Run a statistical modeller on 538 and basically unless Trump significantly increases White working class voter turnout and Republican percentage numbers while also somehow depressing voter turnout among Latino, AA, Asian, Women, college educated whites,etc he doesn't win the presidency. He might make Ohio competitive and win Virginia but he absolutely cannot win in November without a major shift in the campaign that magically makes him acceptable to AA and Latino voters.
posted by vuron at 3:34 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


A near-perfect formula fit to past data but not with a history of successful predictions. I could come up with a formula that "successfully" predicted all but one of the past winners based on Washington Redskins football games but that wouldn't mean it had any predictive value.
posted by Justinian at 3:34 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


538 and any other stats website is useless when you're dealing with a celebrity. Like, throw it out.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:35 PM on February 28, 2016


Faced with this terrible situation, the DNC under Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has basically abandoned the 50 state strategy and essentially cut the downticket loose (look at 2014), instead focusing solely on making Hillary Clinton the next president.
That really, really wasn't my experience of the 2014 election, in which I was a Democratic Neighborhood Team Leader in Iowa. We had a ton of resources from the national Democrats. We had a really impressive, competent team of paid organizers. We were able to hire canvassers when we couldn't get sufficient volunteers. We had a massive enthusiasm problem on the ground, but we did not have any issues with being insufficiently supported by the national leadership.

(And frankly, I get a little tired of being badmouthed about doing nothing by people who probably really didn't do a whole lot in 2014.)
Peggy Noonan (!) had an interesting (paywalled) WSJ piece on Trump. She divided the electorate into the "protected" and the "unprotected" with the latter turning to Trump and Sanders. (She then goes on to blame immigration, because Peggy Noonan, but I liked the labels.)
I think that doesn't do much to explain the South Carolina results, in which 85% of black voters went for Clinton. Do you think that black people in South Carolina fall into the category of "protected"?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:37 PM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


Let's be real, this is Peggy Noonan here. She probably forgets there are black voters half the time.
posted by Justinian at 3:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Trump is playing dumb re: KKK because his dad was a member.

More likely that Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas are days away. He's evil, but he's surprisingly good at the game.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:44 PM on February 28, 2016


I couldn't vote for a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in 2014 here in Pennsylvania because the Democrats didn't even bother to recruit anybody to run in my district. The Democrats failed to do this despite my area being one that regularly supports Democrats in national races. The neglect by the national party of down ticket races is real.
posted by eagles123 at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2016 [23 favorites]


Jeff Sessions endorsed Trump
I guess they're getting on the crazy train after all.


What? Jeff Sessions rides the crazy train more than Joe Biden rides the Acela. Jeff Sessions is an honorary conductor of the crazy train.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:50 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Looking past all the racist and nativist crap that Trump is spouting and he is basically running Romney 2012 2.0. It is red meat for the base and hoping that Clinton is weaker than Obama. Base election strategy used to be smart but it is outdated for presidential elections.
posted by vuron at 3:56 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looking past all the racist and nativist crap that Trump is spouting and he is basically running Romney 2012 2.0.

This is so untrue, though. Watch the debates, watch Trump's speeches. Romney didn't have a populist bone in his body and was 100% in favor of big business trade deals - hell, Obamacare's mandate was originally Romneycare. Trump is running on changing trade relations (AKA starting trade wars) with China and Mexico to protect jobs, promising not to touch entitlements, promising to fight health insurance companies, protect pre-existing condition clauses, and not let people "die in the streets" due to lack of health care, and he doesn't take a penny from big business or Wall Street. That last part is huge to his voters - they think he's not in anyone's pocket. Romney was in everyone's pocket. It is profoundly missing the point to call him Romney 2.0 with more overt racism.
posted by dialetheia at 4:04 PM on February 28, 2016 [13 favorites]


My worries about the general election strongly include (but aren't limited to): General election debates that are basically nothing but Trump yelling over whatever the Democratic nominee says, ever; constant print/internet media exposés on how TV media editors and producers deliberately push Trump along and tell reporters never to question him in the interests of ratings...and then said exposés changing nothing; a slow but steady defection of Republican establishment figures to Trump in a continuing display of their complete lack of courage... but most of all, I'm dreading all the nail-biting fights with bitter supporters of whichever Democrat loses the nomination who'd rather burn the whole thing down out of resentment than vote to keep that asshole out of office.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:05 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think that doesn't do much to explain the South Carolina results, in which 85% of black voters went for Clinton.

True, but black voters are comfortable with the Clinton brand, which has been a recognized problem for the Senator from whitesville. On the other side, though, Trump won handily.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:06 PM on February 28, 2016


I've theorized that instead of Sanders running third party, some of his hardcore supporters might try to launch a write-in campaign. Doubt that it'd work, though, as interesting a four- or more way race would be.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:11 PM on February 28, 2016


> a slow but steady defection of Republican establishment figures to Trump in a continuing display of their complete lack of courage

I'm looking forward to the inevitable "Trump: You Know, This Guy's Not So Bad After All!" issue of National Review.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:21 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]




There are still a lot of semi-criminal investigations going on in relation to Clinton.

Semi-criminal investigations -- that's an interesting, though meaningless, turn of phrase. Karl Rove would be envious.
posted by JackFlash at 4:30 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


After actually following this thread (don't I have better things to do on a Sunday?), let me state that I have been convinced to change my mind on one thing: yes, Donald Trump is a racist, following in his father's dirty footsteps (and I could get into 2 of his 3 wives being 'exotic Eastern European' - his preferred kind of 'exotic').

I do need to clarify one statement: Yep, he'll probably destroy the economy, but it's not like the current economy doesn't deserve it. I am NOT an accelerationist. I believe that accelerating the current capitalist trend will lead to a system that is closer to Feudalism than anything else... but I also believe that putting a proven incompetent businessman like Trump in charge politically will NOT do that. He will find ways to enrich his own properties ('blind trust'? don't joke) and to get revenge on all his perceived 'enemies' in the Business world (most of whom are just as evil but more competent) , and in the process, cause incredible damage to our economic system that might (just might) make real reforms far more possible than they are today, if only in the need for Rebuilding. Hillary may be the candidate "owned by Goldman-Sachs" but Trump WANTS TO OWN Goldman-Sachs and can't understand why he doesn't (three words: "proven incompetent businessman").

But I must admit to the accusation by octobersurprise: yes, I do kinda want to "burn shit down". Maybe it's from watching This Old House for over 35 years, but I believe it is WAY TOO OFTEN easier to tear everything down and build from scratch than to try to 'patch' severe structural flaws and do mostly-cosmetic restoration. And to me, America's economic AND political structures have totally unsafe crumbling foundations. And Trump is a 'builder' who is much better at demolition.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:33 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think debates should be interesting. Trump cannot brook being dissed by a woman, I think he will have trouble not going ballistic and unleashing his full on sexist. Look how Megan Kelly got under his skin.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:36 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Semi-criminal investigations -- that's an interesting, though meaningless, turn of phrase.

That's actually a great term for "High Court" investigations that will inevitably result in minimal consequences (c.f. David Petraeus)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:36 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Romney didn't have a populist bone in his body and was 100% in favor of big business trade deals

If I got real drunk before sitting down with my ballot in November I could almost mark it for Trump, just for how he nailed W to the wall on his Iraq misadventure.

I got a CS degree with good timing and relevant skills in that area so I'm not economically attracted to his platform, such as it is, but the general thing about China & Mexico is correct (i.e. ol' Perot was right in 1992 about NAFTA's "giant sucking sound").

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/top/dst/current/deficit.html
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 4:38 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is the thing that still boggles my mind the most: Nearly 20 percent of Trump’s supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves

As Lily Tomlin said: no matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.
posted by homunculus at 4:39 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


so this is what it looks like when people see their standard of living under threat in a variety of ways. this is what we see when there aren't sufficient resources. Miami and New Orleans aren't even under water yet. It is an interesting time to be alive.
posted by angrycat at 4:51 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Look, I live around a lot of poor white people who are going to support Trump in the general. Most of them are not active white supremacists in the KKK sense, but they are casual racists, the type that can overlook his overtly-racist stuff, because the economic issues are more immediately pressing to them since they don't have any steady employment or health care access ... there is some evidence from his turnout demographics that he's bringing many new voters into the political process.

I don't think there is much evidence of this at all. Obama lost 65% of white male voters. Just how many more angry white guys do you think there are for Trump to pick up? Trump isn't creating more angry white guys. He is just siphoning off the angry white guy base that always votes Republican from the Republican establishment candidates.

And if the angry white guys in Montana who don't have health insurance haven't figured out yet that it is due to the wacko Republicans in their state legislature denying Medicaid expansion, neither Sanders nor Trump can help them.
posted by JackFlash at 4:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


It is an interesting time to be alive.

We're even importing Chinese proverbs...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've theorized that instead of Sanders running third party, some of his hardcore supporters might try to launch a write-in campaign. Doubt that it'd work, though, as interesting a four- or more way race would be.

If he doesn't win the Democratic nomination, I'm glad that Sanders ran just to maybe pull Hillary a bit to the left, but I really don't want any left wing third parties because the last thing the Dems need is someone splitting the liberal base votes. I mean, I'm sure some of his hardcore supporters would write him in, but I hope it's not a significant percentage.

It will probably never happen, but if she gets the nomination, I kind of wish Hillary would choose Bernie as her VP so that the Dems can have a more united front going into November. Who knows, maybe once she's in office she can be convinced to let Bernie actually do some things!

Okay, probably not. But seriously, at this point, all I really care about is making sure one of these Republican nightmares candidates doesn't end up in the White House. So I hope we can leave the third party shenanigans to the Republicans, at least for this election season.

And then, assuming we survive the next four years, maybe Elizabeth Warren can be convinced to run for president in 2020.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:07 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Elizabeth Warren, I would LOVE to see her face off with Trump in a debate. I just feel like she could take him down a few pegs, and it would be glorious.

I'll have to hold on to this fantasy to keep me warm at night while I spend the next 9 months rocking back and forth and silently weeping as I stare into the abyss that is our current national shit show.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:13 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I believe it is WAY TOO OFTEN easier to tear everything down and build from scratch than to try to 'patch' severe structural flaws and do mostly-cosmetic restoration. And to me, America's economic AND political structures have totally unsafe crumbling foundations.

OK, and what about the people who die in between? What about the kids who grow up overstressed and undereducated, the families whose already tenuous financial foundations crumble, the people who go homeless? The early deaths? The women forced to carry unwanted babies to term? The people jailed for bullshit reasons?

All these things are already happening--but do you truly believe it cannot get worse? Do you truly believe that it is better to sacrifice the lives and health and futures of actual human beings because you get frustrated with incremental improvements over sweeping revolution?
posted by schroedinger at 5:17 PM on February 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


This is what frustrates me about the "burn it down" crowd. Inevitably the people who want to tear everything down are not the ones whose lives will be significantly affected by a Trump presidency. They claim to fight for those living at the margins, and yet they're all too happy to sacrifice them to the flames in the name of ideological purity.
posted by schroedinger at 5:18 PM on February 28, 2016 [19 favorites]


Ugh, and one more thought--please give me an example of a bloodless, sweeping political revolution that turned everything around within a generation and didn't fuck over the poor in the process. "Burning and rebuilding" is great in theory, but countries are not houses. That is not how it works. That is not how any of this works.
posted by schroedinger at 5:21 PM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


This is what frustrates me about the "burn it down" crowd. Inevitably the people who want to tear everything down are not the ones whose lives will be significantly affected by a Trump presidency.

I've seen riots happen. That's not how it works.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:25 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll be honest: I don't think a lot about discussions of privilege really clicked for me on a visceral level until this election cycle. Now it does. It's fine for straight white men to believe that a Trump presidency wouldn't be so much worse than a Clinton one, or to advocate "burning it down," or to try a write in campaign. The status quo isn't so bad for them, and they won't be hurt too badly by a Trump presidency. But the women who will no longer have access to contraception, and the gay people who can no longer marry, and the people who will be deported after years of living here, and the ones who lose their health insurance -- well, they don't have the luxury of beleiving that a Trump presidency would be a good placeholder until something that suits them better came along.
posted by holborne at 5:27 PM on February 28, 2016 [25 favorites]


Just how many more angry white guys do you think there are for Trump to pick up?

Plenty, when so many Americans simply don't vote. From this piece on voter turnout, only 65-63% of white people (male and female, because again it is not just men voting for Trump) voted in the 2012 election. There are plenty of angry white people who don't vote - the question is how many of them would come out to vote for Trump.
posted by dialetheia at 5:28 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


The timing on the Christie and Sessions endorsements makes me wonder if Trump's campaign doesn't have more of these lined up to drop every time he hits a speed bump. Christie endorsed right after that last debate. Sessions endorsed hours after the Duke/KKK thing. I wonder if we won't see a pattern of offsetting bad moments with endorsements.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:31 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Politico Magazine: Why Trump and Sanders were inevitable: "Trump and Sanders are thus in many ways the yin and yang of America’s present discontent; both address, in different ways, the seething sense of unfairness, of inequality in Americans. Their supporters tend to be angry, somewhat less educated, more-industrial-age-than-information-age-skilled Americans—and in other cases, insecure young people just out of college, for whom unemployment until the age of 30 still averages 12 percent—who believe their political parties no longer represent them. Trump emphasizes shutting down job-stealing immigrants and getting “better” deals from the world; Sanders, imprisoning wealth-gobbling, spoiled Wall Streeters and getting “fairer” deals from the world. Both candidates plainly appeal to people who feel that no one is really standing up for them and what used to be known as their middle class; people who want more of the pie than they’ve been getting for a long time, and people who realize that their political parties are at best half-hearted about doing anything about that."
posted by dialetheia at 5:33 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Their supporters tend to be angry, somewhat less educated, more-industrial-age-than-information-age-skilled Americans—and in other cases, insecure young people just out of college

wat
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:36 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've seen riots happen. That's not how it works.

Historically, the riots don't make it out to the suburbs.
posted by schroedinger at 5:37 PM on February 28, 2016


Ugh, and one more thought--please give me an example of a bloodless, sweeping political revolution that turned everything around within a generation and didn't fuck over the poor in the process.

The Czech "Velvet Revolution" is, arguably, one of those. Although if you were a Slovak factory worker, or a laborer in general, you might argue that it did fuck over the poor, insofar as moving to a capitalist economy from a socialist one does fuck the poor a bit no matter what.
posted by dis_integration at 5:38 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Historically, the riots don't make it out to the suburbs.


That's my point. Don't count on people not burning down their own houses. And worry if it's also your house.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:38 PM on February 28, 2016


(And I have lots of criticisms of Havel and the Velvet Revolution. But Prague is pretty nice these days so, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
posted by dis_integration at 5:39 PM on February 28, 2016


Sessions endorsed hours after the Duke/KKK thing.

That may not have been the best timing:
Sessions was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. The year before his nomination to federal court, he had unsuccessfully prosecuted three civil rights workers--including Albert Turner, a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr.--on a tenuous case of voter fraud. The three had been working in the "Black Belt" counties of Alabama, which, after years of voting white, had begun to swing toward black candidates as voter registration drives brought in more black voters. Sessions's focus on these counties to the exclusion of others caused an uproar among civil rights leaders, especially after hours of interrogating black absentee voters produced only 14 allegedly tampered ballots out of more than 1.7 million cast in the state in the 1984 election. The activists, known as the Marion Three, were acquitted in four hours and became a cause c?l?bre. Civil rights groups charged that Sessions had been looking for voter fraud in the black community and overlooking the same violations among whites, at least partly to help reelect his friend Senator Denton.

On its own, the case might not have been enough to stain Sessions with the taint of racism, but there was more. Senate Democrats tracked down a career Justice Department employee named J. Gerald Hebert, who testified, albeit reluctantly, that in a conversation between the two men Sessions had labeled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "un-American" and "Communist-inspired." Hebert said Sessions had claimed these groups "forced civil rights down the throats of people." In his confirmation hearings, Sessions sealed his own fate by saying such groups could be construed as "un-American" when "they involve themselves in promoting un-American positions" in foreign policy. Hebert testified that the young lawyer tended to "pop off" on such topics regularly, noting that Sessions had called a white civil rights lawyer a "disgrace to his race" for litigating voting rights cases. Sessions acknowledged making many of the statements attributed to him but claimed that most of the time he had been joking, saying he was sometimes "loose with [his] tongue." He further admitted to calling the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a "piece of intrusive legislation," a phrase he stood behind even in his confirmation hearings.

It got worse. Another damaging witness--a black former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama named Thomas Figures--testified that, during a 1981 murder investigation involving the Ku Klux Klan, Sessions was heard by several colleagues commenting that he "used to think they [the Klan] were OK" until he found out some of them were "pot smokers." Sessions claimed the comment was clearly said in jest. Figures didn't see it that way. Sessions, he said, had called him "boy" and, after overhearing him chastise a secretary, warned him to "be careful what you say to white folks."
posted by zombieflanders at 5:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have long since parted from the need to remain "pure" in ideology. I have too many people I love that I *know* will suffer. So... if Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I will cast my vote for her... though she is clearly craven, opportunistic, and ego driven.

However... I must admit that I find her deep collusion with the existing power structures and exploitation thereof to be odious and cynical. To me, she wishes to be the first woman President to the detriment of all else. I feel she is craven. Deborah Wasserman-Schultz has been highlighted as a human weak point in regards to party consistency and continuity by others more informed than I.

I will also be vigilant about the down ticket elections and ballot measures... as those are critical. All NM state house and state senate seats are up for election this year. I plan on assisting in retaining the senate in D control and shooting to get the house into deeper blue territory.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 5:41 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


The whole "vote for Sanders because he'll soak up some of the racist White votes Trump is getting!" sounds a little cynical to me too. It frankly is a little nuts, it makes me uncomfortable to think about it, and I expect it won't work. But the gambler side doesn't want to dismiss it outright.
posted by FJT at 5:49 PM on February 28, 2016


The whole "vote for Sanders because he'll soak up some of the racist White votes Trump is getting!" sounds a little cynical to me too.

I don't recall it being phrased like that. More often it's "there is a strong anti-establishment mood out there that both Trump and Sanders are tapping into, and Sanders polls stronger in a head-to-head matchup."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:52 PM on February 28, 2016 [14 favorites]


"There are plenty of angry white people who don't vote - the question is how many of them would come out to vote for Trump."

Aren't these people going to run into the same "anti-fraud" voter obstacles the Republicans put into place to keep POC and poor out of the voting booth? White or not, the struggling, low-information voter who isn't registered right now, doesn't know what precinct they're in or where they go to vote may be in for a DMV-like experience, courtesy of the GOP.
posted by klarck at 5:55 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


People keep saying that Hillary is going to eviscerate Trump at debates, but do you really think so? Have you seen what he's done to the Republican field? Facts don't matter. Reality doesn't matter. Insults, bravado, and promising 'winning' is what matters - especially to the intellectually sub-optimal creature known as the undecided swing voter.

Then it's a good thing that Hillary has already been dealing with people like this for literally decades. The GOP field hasn't really attacked Trump yet because they're scared of him, because he's been popular amongst the voters they're trying to win and he's willing to use all the dirty tactics mentioned against them. Hillary has been taking this kind of shit forever, is used to it, can control her emotions, and I'm pretty sure isn't scared of another bombastic dude in a long line of many attacking her. Combine this with the fact that Trump literally goes into meltdown mode when challenged by a woman - to the point where I actually think that it's his Achilles' heel - and yeah, not only do I think she will wipe the floor with him, I actually relish the thought of seeing it. Because I'm pretty much 1000% fuck Trump and his misogynistic, racist bullshit sideways at this point. Seriously, fuck that guy. Go at him, Hillary.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:03 PM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


You'll be just fine. It's the rest of us with nagging problems like weird sexual orientations and skin color that have to worry.

As I told my father, inexplicable Trump voter, it's not like they're going to say "Oh, whoa, you're Nicaraguan? We thought you were Mexican! We're so sorry! Have a good day, sir!"
posted by corb at 6:04 PM on February 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


I don't recall it being phrased like that.

I'm not saying that's the entirety of the Sanders campaign or even the entire comparison between Sanders vs. Trump. But part of the argument is that Sanders is better able to win working class white voters, the same voters that Trump is going after. The same voters that have been mentioned previously to be casual racists.

And part of this is also due to the lack of definition of what the "establishment" is. Some do feel that acceptance and sensitivity to other cultures and other peoples are traits of the establishment. Being "PC" in other words.
posted by FJT at 6:12 PM on February 28, 2016


Do angry racist White people even matter any more? Seriously. Because angry racist White people sure as hell weren't voting for Obama in 2008 or 2012, and it's not like the country has gotten more White since then.
posted by schroedinger at 6:22 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


The theory is not that angry white dudes who voted for Obama switch to Trump but that angry white dudes who were too busy beating it to anime porn in 2008 will crawl out of their mudholes to vote for Trump in 2016.

Is my angry showing guys?
posted by Justinian at 6:24 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


“It’s scary,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has endorsed Rubio, said on ABC’s “This Week.” She added, “I think what he’ll do to the Republican Party is really make us question who we are and what we’re about. And that’s something we don’t want to see happen.”
Hah! The last thing we want is to actually think about who we are and what we believe!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:25 PM on February 28, 2016 [30 favorites]




Schroedinger, I am an angry white man. I have been angry ever since I had people elude to my face that I was not "American" enough because I didn't support endless wars.

As a man with no family of his own and no significant other, I will continue to invest my time to fight for others. People in love. People with families. People who need help in all the ways we as Americans sorely need it now.

I fight for a future that I will not see. For loves I will never know again.

I have literally been left for dead, lying in the road, bleeding from the head.

I am fucking furious...

and I will fight until my last breath.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:30 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


Do angry racist White people even matter any more?

I think that it's perhaps a little naïve to presume that Trump's particular brand of populism would only have appeal for "angry racist white people"? Anger and resentment about the effects of undocumented immigrants is a lot more prevalent in communities where a large number of people rely on manual labour and low-skilled work of the sort that's ripe for exploitation of undocumented immigrants. I don't think that Trump's potential appeal there would necessarily be restricted to "racist white people". (And the appeal wouldn't have to be that great; Bush II got 11% of the black vote in 2004, which was enough in the right places for him to win.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


angry white dudes who were too busy beating it to anime porn in 2008 will crawl out of their mudholes to vote for Trump in 2016.

Are we expecting Trump to bring about such a huge White revolution that it will outweigh the tide of demographics turning against White people in the polls? I don't deny that White people favor Trump, but I do argue that there will be enough of them voting to matter.
posted by schroedinger at 6:35 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]




Well, let's see- I have occasionally been known to beat it to anime porn, I'm not particularly angry, I voted Obama in the last two elections (as well as for Senate in Illinois), and I will certainly not be voting for Trump.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:39 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do angry racist White people even matter any more?

Trump apparently did pretty damn well for himself in heavily Latino districts in Nevada. I would love for someone to show me evidence that Latinos themselves weren't voting for him, because that would make me feel a lot better, but analysis so far suggests that yes, he pulls in Latinos.

And it's not a shock. First, there has always been a strong current of anti-illegal immigration sentiment among Latino voters. It may not be a dominant thread, but they aren't a monolithic voting bloc. I heard that particular sentiment all my life growing up in Arizona and California. And second, Latino or white or whatever: if we haven't learned in the last 40 years that people can and will vote against their own best interests, then we've learned nothing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


But the women who will no longer have access to contraception, and the gay people who can no longer marry

That's not really how that works, though. I get you on the contraception, since that's still up in the air, but marriage equality is now the law of the land, and would require a Republican to nominate at least two, maybe three justices to overturn that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:41 PM on February 28, 2016


In 2012 the Republican Party famously hired a bunch of consultants to figure out why they lost the election. The conclusion was "you're racist and sexist and people are fed up with you idiots." You can read the report here [direct link to PDF]. Now, of course these results were immediately decried by party leaders and dismissed in favor of carrying on with Business As Usual. But it doesn't mean the facts are any different.

White people are becoming increasingly less relevant. We won't be irrelevant for a good long while, but we're a long ways from the time when you could get by just by appealing to White people.
posted by schroedinger at 6:42 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Please clap.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:44 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Even if Trump did well among Latinos, what percentage of Latinos was that to the total percentage of voting Latinos in the general?

No doubt Trump will hold some appeal to some non-White voters. Statistically, it's gonna happen. But a significant block? I would really like to see the numbers that support that, because all the ones I've seen indicate the exact opposite.
posted by schroedinger at 6:44 PM on February 28, 2016


Wait until Univision commissions Linda Ronstadt to compose an anti-Trump jingle in English and Spanish.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:45 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Señor Trump no es macho, es solamente un boraccho.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:48 PM on February 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


Trump apparently did pretty damn well for himself in heavily Latino districts in Nevada. I would love for someone to show me evidence that Latinos themselves weren't voting for him, because that would make me feel a lot better, but analysis so far suggests that yes, he pulls in Latinos.

Yes, it's true that Trump won over 40% of the Latino vote in Nevada!

Of, course, that was 40% of ~5,000 Latinos that voted in the Republican caucuses.

So 2,000 voters in a state of 2.8 million people.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:49 PM on February 28, 2016 [15 favorites]


Now, of course these results were immediately decried by party leaders and dismissed in favor of carrying on with Business As Usual. But it doesn't mean the facts are any different

There was a major effort to follow through on the recommendations of the report. The push for comprehensive immigration reform, and the Gang of Eight, were an effort to put the anti-Latino reputation of the Republican Party behind them. Since there were enough votes to pass the Gang of Eight bill in the House, it was a major blunder of former speaker Boehner not to bring it to a vote. Party leaders definitely realized the potency of the report and made efforts to carry it out, before they got derailed.
posted by andoatnp at 6:50 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


There were probably two main considerations that lead Boehner not to bring the gang of eight bill to a vote. One, that he would be forced out of the speakership and two, that it would propel an anti-immigrant demagogue To the leadership of the Republican Party. But both those things happened anyway.
posted by andoatnp at 6:52 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


andoatnp, that's somewhat encouraging. I remember thinking "No shit, Sherlock" when that report came out, and then being boggled at the immediate pushback from conservatives. I didn't follow it past that. So I guess it's nice they tried for a minute there.
posted by schroedinger at 6:53 PM on February 28, 2016


It's state by state with the electoral college, and the whiter states in the Rust Belt are where Trump would beat us if the white working class came out to vote for him (especially if their turnout increased by a good margin). Turnout in those states is pretty average - a good 40% of white people don't vote at all, and Trump wouldn't need huge increases in that turnout to beat Clinton. This article gave me the biggest scare: "But even with that massive margin [in 2012], Obama could have been undone by victories for Republican rival Mitt Romney in just four states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Together, those four Rust Belt states account for 64 electoral votes. Even if Floridians, Iowans, Coloradans and all of the other swing states had gone to Obama, his failure to capture the Upper Midwest would have been enough to hand the White House over to Romney. ...

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

Trump has already shown worrying strength among union voters, according to SEIU and AFL-CIO leadership. It's borne out in some polling from the Rust Belt as well (from that same link): "A study of voters from Cleveland and Pittsburgh conducted by Working America, an offshoot of the AFL-CIO labor federation, should compound those concerns. The union group surveyed working-class households making less than $75,000 a year, 90 percent of which had voted in the 2012 election. Although 53 percent of voters in the December-to-January survey had not decided on a general election candidate, Trump was crushing the competition among those who had. Trump's 38 percent support was stronger than support for both Clinton and Sanders combined. And his backing wasn't simply from hard-line conservatives. One in four Democrats who had settled on a candidate had decided on Trump."
posted by dialetheia at 6:55 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Do angry racist White people even matter any more?

I don't think they do if a large enough number of non-white, women voters are mobilized to vote. And everything I've read saying that Trump has very little chance of winning the presidency are making that exact point - that Trump is hated enough by a majority of women, Latinos and African-Americans that they would turn out to vote against him in record numbers. I think that normal lowish voter turnout tends to favor the angry white racists because they're often older (retired) making it easier for them to go out and vote during a Tuesday and they're least likely to be victims of voter suppression tactics, which is so favored by the GOP for exactly this reason. But I don't think they have an edge in demographics, and I think Trump is bad enough to inspire lots of people who might not have otherwise done so, to go out and vote against him.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:55 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm glad to learn that the votes of people who wank to Anima porn are still... up for grabs...

Tip your waitresses!
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:56 PM on February 28, 2016


I think Trump is bad enough to inspire lots of people who might not have otherwise done so, to go out and vote against him.

This probably only matters if they are in like six states, though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 PM on February 28, 2016


In 2012 the Republican Party famously hired a bunch of consultants to figure out why they lost the election. The conclusion was "you're racist and sexist and people are fed up with you idiots."

Turns out for a surprisingly large number of Americans who are now rallying to Trump, they were neither racist nor sexist enough.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thank you for pointing that out (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates. News media and Trump is trumpeting that he won the Latino vote and he did but when you drill down you see what that really amounts to and it isn't much.

dialetheia has a good comment explaining it but I can't find it right now.
posted by futz at 6:59 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The reality is that a base only election is exceedingly unlikely to pay off for Trump. Assuming that college educated whites continue to vote fairly consistent to their 2012 and turnout is pretty much the same among minority groups Trump needs to increase turnout and voting percentage among working class whites by a significant margin to avoid getting beaten like a drum ala Romney 2012.

The reality is the demographics are just that bad for Republicans. Latino turnout remains low but increasingly the Latino vote is decisive in some states as the percentage of Latinos voting Democratic steadily increases. Rubio and Cruz were supposed to the be outreach to the Latino community and that's been blown to shit.

AA voters will apparently turn out in significant numbers for Clinton, not Obama big but she has definitely won over the AA community in a big way.

Asians aren't really kingmakers in any state IIRC but it's an areas where turnout could still be increased and it's increasingly becoming a reliable Democratic demographic.

So Trump needs to capture a massive number of white working class voters (like 68% turnout and 68%+ Republican). Or they need to massive depress minority turnout in battleground states. Both strategies have immense risks and Republican elites know this and are completely fearful because right now Trump as the nominee puts the Senate into play.

Combined with the Scalia SCOTUS seat and Republicans have a rough year ahead of them.
posted by vuron at 7:08 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ruben Navarrette for The Daily Beast: Yes, Donald Trump Won Latinos Over Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Here’s Why.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:09 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's true that Trump won over 40% of the Latino vote in Nevada!

Of, course, that was 40% of ~5,000 Latinos that voted in the Republican caucuses.

So 2,000 voters in a state of 2.8 million people.


That last bit was weird. He got 40% of Republican-inclined Latinos in a primary that featured two. There's some resentment in that community of people who aren't legal, don't forget.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:10 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The "Democrats will win on demographics alone" argument has been criticized and revised recently, too. John Judis, the person who wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority (the book that first explicated that argument), has revised his arguments recently based on 2012 trends:

"If you count up the percentage of the vote that working-class whites and four-year college grads represent, and add overlapping groups of senior citizens with their unusually high turnout, rural voters, evangelicals, and business owners and managers, you get the same kind of formidable bloc for Republicans. It’s one that could rival the one Greenberg finds for Democrats — even if you throw in professionals with advanced degrees, a group that Greenberg unaccountably omits from his 63 percent.

By sheer demographic calculation, you can’t plausibly predict which party will capture Washington over the next decade or two. What finally makes the difference in overall election results is not demographics but politics."
posted by dialetheia at 7:12 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's not really how that works, though. I get you on the contraception, since that's still up in the air, but marriage equality is now the law of the land, and would require a Republican to nominate at least two, maybe three justices to overturn that.

Sure, but one of those is already pending and it's virtually a lock there will be more vacancies is the next president's term, probably from among the liberal justices.
posted by Justinian at 7:13 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the Daily Beast link a few comments ago:
Now, here’s what happened in Nevada. The Latino community in the United States—and especially the nearly 70 percent of that population that is Mexican or Mexican-American—is highly aspirational. They don’t settle. They want better lives for themselves and their children. They want success. They don’t hate Trump. They want to be Trump.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:15 PM on February 28, 2016


That article gets a lot right. My family and most of those I know have been banging the assimilationist drum for a long, long time. And honestly, the assumption that Latinos will vote for whoever is friendliest to illegal immigration is kind of really offensive. Like, I won't vote for Trump because he is the devil, but I still hate this "illegal immigration must be your top priority." It's more like home ownership, from where I see.
posted by corb at 7:16 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm in Texas , where the Dem vote doesn't really matter, except sometimes in primary delegate math. So, im going to vote for Bernie as my way of telling the Dems they need to move that Overton window back to the left if they want to continue to attract my vote. That said, if our Hillary gets the coronation that the national party has already decided with their superdelegates, I will still vote for her. I'm just not going to do it with joy, and frankly, I'm weary that most of my voting life, I've been voting against someone, rather than for someone.

I'm tired of a universe where the politicians promise to make things worse, and the colosseum roars with approval. Where racebaiting is happening in the floodlights of the 21st century. Where human beings are called illegals by men who want access to weapons that could end the world. A country where 25% of American children go hungry, but our politicians masturbate to snuff films of Muslim weddings and always have budgets for bombs, but have no budgets for the poor.

I wish Bernie would win. I wish it ushered in a new Progressive Age which washes away the puritan ethics of suffering as virtue. I wish the Dems had spent the last three decades building a backbench of strong leaders, and I wish I had a Pegasus.

I'll vote for Hillary in November if she's the chosen one, but she's a long way away from my Pegasus.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:20 PM on February 28, 2016 [25 favorites]


The Republicans are also learning to their apparent horror that there are some differences in the Latino community. You cannot simply run a 2nd generation Cubano who is virulently anti-Castro and expect to automatically win over Mexican Americans that dominate much of the southwest.

Republicans know they are never going to win over a majority of Latinos and even reliably republican Latino groups like the Cuban American community are increasingly becoming mixed as the old guard anti-Castro types die off. Normalization of ties with Cuba will make that group even harder to hold onto moving forward.

Which is probably why Obama pushed it so aggressively as it's causing some generational rifts in the Cuban American community.
posted by vuron at 7:22 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I met a traveller from antique's roadshow
Who said: Giant walls of rock and stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose orange face, wild hair, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked dems and the GOP that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is the Donald Trump POTUS:
Look on my works, ye Mexicans, and deport!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away
posted by humanfont at 7:25 PM on February 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Corb, the fact that you are describing it as illegal immigration is fundamentally a republican framing of the issue. Yes there are undocumented workers living and working in the United States but that's because there is a market for their labor. When the market for their labor decreases we see less undocumented workers entering the United States.

But the racist shit that Trump and other Republicans have been saying for years is deeply incorrect and deeply misguided and it's basically going to fuck Republicans over this year.
posted by vuron at 7:28 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


First, there has always been a strong current of anti-illegal immigration sentiment among Latino voters. It may not be a dominant thread, but they aren't a monolithic voting bloc. I heard that particular sentiment all my life growing up in Arizona and California.

Which isn't exactly a surprise, since in that part of the country we're talking about a lot of people whose ancestors were there when it was still part of Mexico and whose families have been Americans for 150+ years, now.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:28 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


As I told my father, inexplicable Trump voter, it's not like they're going to say "Oh, whoa, you're Nicaraguan? We thought you were Mexican! We're so sorry! Have a good day, sir!"

I hate to disabuse you of your Rubio love, but Rubio is even worse than Trump on immigration. Rubio wants to build a wall like Trump but attacks Trump for using immigrant labor to build it. Rubio wants to run out of the country every undocumented immigrant, while Trump likes the idea of cheap immigrant labor as long as it is controlled. Rubio wants to run out of the country young DREAMers currently protected by Obama. Rubio is vehemently opposed to any amnesty program no matter how long they have lived in the U.S. or children born in the U.S. Rubio is literally the "anchor baby" Republicans rail against, yet wants to prevent anyone else enjoying the benefits he got when his parents immigrated to the U.S.
posted by JackFlash at 7:37 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


That article is useful because it helps to point that out a white American liberal blindspot of an almost binary concept of racism. Trump doesn't want to institute some sort of Turner Diaries-inspired David Duke-approved dystopia of racial holy war. He doesn't want to persecute all Latinos- he needs and wants their votes. He dehumanizies and insults and rages against illegal immigrants using ugly and racially codified language, because they're convenient scapegoats of lower social status. As dangerous as such talk is, it's against a specific class within a race. There is as much intersectionality in oppression as there is to being oppressed.

I guess the takeaway is to remember that reactionaries often uses the blunt tool of bigotry for precise operations, and to be able to respond to it appropriately. The British Empire lasted much longer than the Nazi Reich partly because it was devious enough to use divide and conquer over subject peoples, and not through indiscriminate genocide.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:37 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


As much as some Republicans (and even some non-Republicans) reassure me that they only want the undocumented immigrants out of the country, just saying that they want to deport or deny certain key services to undocumented immigrants only sends one message to me, as a legal immigrant: "Don't ever forget, you are a visitor."
posted by FJT at 7:39 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


Just looking at the crosstabs from recent Clinton vs. Trump general election matchups, Trump gets a minimum of 20% of the Hispanic vote in the last four matchups I could find. He got 40% in one of them (and I'm going to reassure myself about small sample sizes when I go to sleep tonight lest I have nightmares). These are national polls with large sample sizes, and he isn't winning by any means but I don't think it's as drastic as some people are saying here. Trump wins white women in many of those matchups against Clinton, too, for everyone who continues to insist on characterizing his voters as "angry white men" only.

Anyway, I'm not saying Trump gets a ton of Latino votes or anything, but I wouldn't expect a yawning 90/10 split, either, based on the polling data. As corb is saying here, talking about any group as if they vote monolithically based on only a few issues is also problematic - especially when people are inadvertently -splaining to someone who is actually a member of those groups about how they should feel about those issues.
posted by dialetheia at 7:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


General election polls have virtually no predictive power at this point of the campaign. They're not worth worrying about.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes there are undocumented workers living and working in the United States but that's because there is a market for their labor.

So, you're cool with H-1B Visas?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:52 PM on February 28, 2016


There are massive fissures in the Latino community around all sorts of issues. There is still a great deal of racism among upper class Latinos that are effectively purebred Peninsulares against Mestizos and god forbid Indios from the Yucatan and Central America. There are also issues where families that have literally been in the US since before there was a US are prejudiced against recent immigrants. There are also massive issues between traditional Catholics, reform Catholics and the recent rise of Evangelical Protestantism among Latino communities.

Long story short, there is no monolithic Latino community just like there is no monolithic AA community but if you villify people just because of their race or ethnicity then perhaps unsuprisingly a decent number of people are going to get upset.

But sure Trump can pull out some sort of "I'm very popular among the Blacks" (seriously the Blacks? it's almost like saying the Negros) or "I'm not racist, I have lots of Latino friends" and absolutely nobody is going to be fooled.

Trump's biggest appeal is about being the biggest whitest asshole on the block who is somehow going to fix all this shit that Obama and the rest of the undesirables have fucked up. Hell maybe he'll even run on a "Repeal the 14th Amendment" platform since a not-inconsiderable percentage of his base seems to think ending slavery was a bad idea.

I mean fuck you cannot make this shit up it's like every time you think Republicans have hit a new low they bring out something new that makes them seem even more racist and xenophobic.
posted by vuron at 7:52 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm not saying they have predictive power in November, I'm saying that data directly from Latino people about who they might vote for right now is more valuable than peoples' reductionist musings about who they think they would vote for as if they are some monolithic bloc. This poll about Trump's favorability among Latinos puts his favorability lower than Romney's (net -64%), which seems more consistent with a ~20% ceiling which was the most common result in those matchups (and for perspective, Romney got 27% of the Latino vote). Maybe I'm just irritated at the erasure of people like Corb's dad in our discourse around this stuff. People have different top priorities, and negative partisanship can be a thing for people of all backgrounds - maybe a lot of those folks just really hate Democrats! Who can say! I just wish Democrats didn't say stuff like "well of course Latinos won't vote for him" - it sounds like we're taking voters for granted and treating them like monolithic groups when they really aren't.
posted by dialetheia at 8:00 PM on February 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think one potential counter to that is that he's been in show business for some quite time now so his public persona of being a hardass magnate type who bullies everyone equally is what sticks to the common consciousness. It's not as if you can't see Trump publicly interact with and even promote POC who are as privileged, or as ruthless, as he is, such as Omarosa or others of his show contestants. It's almost like unless you're a celebrity who has been reduced to pariah status, such as Mel Gibson, you can freely make controversial and/or prejudiced statements and get a pass for it, because "hey if he/she was truly so bad, he/she wouldn't be on TV anymore." So one important thing to do is to try to attack his pop culture perception, and remind people of Trump the public menace, such as with the Central Park Five.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:00 PM on February 28, 2016


Dialetheia, as you seem to be the most determined to point out Clinton's supposed electibility issues can you explain why you think that Trump is going to somehow clean up among white voters when even Republican strategists pretty much agree that a 60% Republican voting percentage is more or less the high water mark for Republicans.

This is why Republican strategist insist on growing the Republican base through peeling away Latinos from the Democratic voter block was so critical. Basically there is a belief that Latinos are conservative on a number of social issues (like abortion) and that would somehow trump some of their concerns about social and economic justice (honestly this is a really sketchy thesis but it's the dominant one of Republican strategists).

Now at a time when they need to reach out to the Latino community their lantern bearer is using all sorts of ridiculously nativist bullshit that's basically the old standard dogwhistles made explicit rather than implicit. You know the standard bullshit about Latinos taking our jobs, making too many babies, etc.

Yes some Latinos will vote Republican because it's in their economic self-interest and some because of aspirational and assimulationist desires but do you really think that Trump is somehow going to do appreciably better than Romney while continually denigrating the Latino community?

I think yes Trump can peel off some of the last remaining blue collar union Democrats in the rust belt maybe even enough to carry Ohio but I'm doubtful that there is really that much improvement he can really make among whites especially if Clinton can run up her lead among college educated women.
posted by vuron at 8:08 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


it sounds like we're taking voters for granted and treating them like monolithic groups when they really aren't.

Yeah, this is true about not treating folks as monolithic groups. Sad to say, my father is a Trump supporter. And my uncle, who is Asian and a state employee (of a Deep South state), is also a Trump supporter.

So y'know, people contain multitudes.
posted by FJT at 8:09 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Michigan, by contrast, is over 75 percent white, and Pennsylvania's population is more than 77 percent white. More than 80 percent of Ohio is white, as is over 82 percent of Wisconsin."

And yet, we all voted for the black guy twice.
posted by octothorpe at 8:10 PM on February 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


One thing worth mentioning about Trump doing better than Rubio and Cruz among Latinos. Rubio and Cruz are Cuban-Americans. Latinos in most of the US are not Cuban, and don't necessarily see Cubans as natural allies. That doesn't seem to come up much in coverage.
posted by jackbishop at 8:14 PM on February 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


Michigan, by contrast, is over 75 percent white, and Pennsylvania's population is more than 77 percent white. More than 80 percent of Ohio is white, as is over 82 percent of Wisconsin."

And yet, we all voted for the black guy twice.


Oh, I remember a study that tracked people's actual voting records against people's self-reported voting records. I can't find it now, but the conclusion is: People love a winner, and love does funny things to memory.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's no memory involved here. Obama won Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin in both 2008 and 2012 . When I said, "we all" I meant all four states, not every voter in all four states.
posted by octothorpe at 8:23 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


"I get you on the contraception, since that's still up in the air, but marriage equality is now the law of the land, and would require a Republican to nominate at least two, maybe three justices to overturn that."

Nope. Abortion is legal in America, but you can see how that's been chipped at by state legislatures.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 PM on February 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


I just wish Democrats didn't say stuff like "well of course Latinos won't vote for him" - it sounds like we're taking voters for granted and treating them like monolithic groups when they really aren't.

I'm basing this more on the fact that he has consistently conflated legal and illegal immigrants when blasting the later, preferring to focus on race and ethnicity over status. And that his net -51% approval rating among Hispanic voters seems to indicate that, anecdotes aside, most are not taking too kindly to that tactic. It's not treating a group as a monolith to point out that if someone states he hates all members of a group, the members of that group might not take too kindly to him.
posted by schroedinger at 8:33 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


It should be pointed out as well that in the case of Michigan, at least, The Black Guy won not only in '08 but also in '12, against the moderate son of a popular former Governor. By nine points.

Contrary to what y'all coastal folks say, we Midwesterners aren't all nutso Tea Partiers.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:44 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm basing this more on the fact that he has consistently conflated legal and illegal immigrants when blasting the later, preferring to focus on race and ethnicity over status.

In my experience it's very rare for a politician talking about illegal immigration to not mean "all Latin@s".
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:46 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Michigan is pretty solid in terms of national elections although it seems like a sizable percentage of the state wants to punish black people for being black. Illinois is another midwestern state that seems to like Democrats in the white house but not in Springfield because fuck Chicago or something.

Wisconsin and Ohio have some explaining to do and no Ohio can't just blame the Appalachians for every time they seem to get things wrong.
posted by vuron at 8:53 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


can you explain why you think that Trump is going to somehow clean up among white voters

As I already said, it's specifically the Rust Belt where I'm worried. It wouldn't take too big of an increase in white turnout to swing those states, and they already run uncomfortably close in the matchups now, with Trump within the margin of error of Clinton in many of those states already (again, not predictive, yadda yadda, but given that everybody is already very familiar with both Clinton and Trump, not meaningless enough as a snapshot of current sentiment to give me comfort, either). Because those states are so white, there's just fewer non-white people to offset potential turnout increases among poor white people. Clinton will also really need to mobilize young people to win like Obama did, and it remains to be seen whether she can get them to the polls to vote for her. I would imagine that the reason the Republicans didn't identify running hard at working-class whites in the Rust Belt as a fantastic strategy in their 2012 post-mortem is that it's terrible for the party in the long-term - and it is! It's just that Trump doesn't care about the long term.

I mean, I'm certainly not saying it's a lock for Trump, only that I'm pretty skeptical of the assertions that he would have no chance against Clinton, especially since none of the people who seem most comfortable that Clinton will win predicted Trump's popularity in the first place. Mostly I'm just worried that once he pivots toward the general and lays off the emphasis on overt racism, as I'm sure he will, his populism could be surprisingly powerful for poor white people in the Rust Belt who have otherwise tuned out of the political process, especially given his views on trade and Clinton's identification with NAFTA (whether it's fair or not). We haven't seen what a truly populist Republican could do in the Rust Belt in quite some time (I assume he'll be more competitive than Romney), and I assume that the Republican brain trust didn't really consider "abandon many of our economic principles" as a strategy, either. Enough white people typically don't vote that if he appeals to enough "low info" poor white people and really focuses on turning out their vote, he could really give her a run in those states (especially given how close it already looks in the current-snapshot state-level matchups). I also have specific concerns about how her flaws as a candidate play directly to his strengths, but we've already been through most of that, and this is about Trump, not Clinton. I would really love to find out that I'm wrong, though, and that their concerns about his racism would outweigh the economic concerns that Trump targets and which tend to be particularly salient in the Rust Belt.
posted by dialetheia at 8:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Illinois is another midwestern state that seems to like Democrats in the white house but not in Springfield because fuck Chicago or something."

... we have a Democratic supermajority in the statehouse.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:59 PM on February 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was referring to the asshat you have as a Governor in Springfield. Even if you blame that on Pat Quinn (somewhat reasonable) it seems like Illinois has a tendency of electing republicans to statewide office even though the state should be more reliably liberal.
posted by vuron at 9:06 PM on February 28, 2016


Charles Pierce writes for Esquire on how it's come to this.

Linking it all the way back to the weasel Bob Barr and the impeachment of Clinton because they had the votes.


Thinking about impeachment, I wonder: if Trump wins the election and turns out to be as insanely abusive as we fear, and if enough GOP establishment creatures like Mitch McConnell truly believe that he's causing irreversible damage to the Republican party, maybe impeachment is the best we can hope for. It would also depend on Democrats doing well in the House and Senate, of course.

Hey, maybe that's why Christie seems to be vying for VP. He's still running for president!
posted by homunculus at 9:07 PM on February 28, 2016


I guess it just depends on exactly how corrupt a Trump administration would be. If it's just him being an embarassing douchebag 24/7/365 then I don't think he'd ever be impeached. On the other hand I pretty much have no doubt that a Trump administration would give the Ulysses S Grant administration a run for it's money in terms of rampant corruption so perhaps a 50-50 degree of likelihood.

I should look into who is latched onto him like a remora to see who is the most likely to engage in massive fraud and other high crimes.

What's unfortunate is that I actually kinda like Ivanka Trump who actually seems like she's pretty smart and also fairly compassionate. It's just a shame she has such an asshat as a dad although he does seem like a fairly loving parent.
posted by vuron at 9:18 PM on February 28, 2016


"it seems like Illinois has a tendency of electing republicans to statewide office even though the state should be more reliably liberal."

Of statewide offices, AG, Sec State, treasurer, and one Senator are Democrats. The comptroller is a Republican due to a strong individual candidate (Topinka) who was one of the first Republicans nationwide to embrace gay marriage; the governor won in a close-fought, ugly battle that was more about Quinn losing; and the other Senator is GOP but highly likely to lose this year. So 4-3 Dems in statewide office; it was 5-2 until 2014 (6-1 until 2010) and likely to go back to 5-2 in 2016 when Kirk loses.

Plus Republicans in statewide office in Illinois are typically (not always, but usually) significantly more liberal than Republicans generally.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's unfortunate is that I actually kinda like Ivanka Trump who actually seems like she's pretty smart and also fairly compassionate.

Maybe he'll pick her as his running mate? Trump/Trump 2016!
posted by BungaDunga at 9:35 PM on February 28, 2016


if enough GOP establishment creatures like Mitch McConnell truly believe that he's causing irreversible damage to the Republican party, maybe impeachment is the best we can hope for.

what? you are vaguely hoping that the post-President Trump GOP impeaches the man who will have been elected on a platform of authoritarianism, naked racism, torture and corporate entertainment neofascism? Did they do that to 43, either time?
posted by mwhybark at 9:40 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think she's technically old enough. Besides he'll probably want to pull some General out of retirement to show he's the biggest bully on the block but I'm not sure who would sign up with him currently.
posted by vuron at 9:46 PM on February 28, 2016


what? you are vaguely hoping that the post-President Trump GOP impeaches the man who will have been elected on a platform of authoritarianism, naked racism, torture and corporate entertainment neofascism? Did they do that to 43, either time?

I'm assuming the point here is that, in a nightmare future where Trump is elected president, the best case scenario will be him being impeached, assuming he doesn't have someone like Sarah Palin as his VP. Although if he picks Sarah Palin as his VP, I feel like that has to be a sign that he really is just doing this to fuck with everyone else.

While we're on this topic, is it possible to just not have a VP when running for President? Because I can kind of see Trump being like, "I'll be my own VP because fuck everyone else."
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:50 PM on February 28, 2016




Last Week Tonight With John Oliver devoted their long segment to Trump tonight with a pretty excellent takedown. "Short-fingered vulgarian" is the key phrase to remember here.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I can't help but reflexively think "short-fingered Vulgarian" whenever I hear Trump's name; I read Spy voraciously back in the day, and that is just part of his name to me. Today I went poking around to see if there were some compendia of Spy's commentary on Trump on the web, and there are - I didn't really have time to evaluate and share though. But have a look if you'd like to enjoy how long and deservedly he's been despised.
posted by Miko at 9:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


it seems like Illinois has a tendency of electing republicans to statewide office even though the state should be more reliably liberal.

To be fair, Massachusetts currently has a Republican governor, and well, we're sort of responsible for Mitt Romney, too. But I still think we're pretty reliably liberal as a state, although I can't for the life of me figure out what's up with this Republican governor thing. Although, as is the case it sounds like for Illinois, the viewpoints espoused by a Republican candidate running in Massachusetts are not necessarily going to be the same as in a more reliably right wing state like, say, Texas at least on certain issues. See also Mitt Romney and Massachusetts healthcare reform that happened under his term as governor.

Then again, we're also responsible for Scott Brown. I didn't live here in the Romney days so I don't know who Romney ran against, but I do know that Scott Brown and Charlie Baker both ran against Martha Coakley, so maybe this is also a function of the Dems not finding a candidate who appealed to enough people or the right people. So glad we were fortunate enough to have Elizabeth Warren to take down Scott Brown in round two.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:59 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


In my experience it's very rare for a politician talking about illegal immigration to not mean "all Latin@s".

Most politicians agree that it would take a lot of Canadian Tire money to build a wall with Canada, true.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:15 PM on February 28, 2016


Miko: "I can't help but reflexively think "short-fingered Vulgarian" whenever I hear Trump's name; I read Spy voraciously back in the day, and that is just part of his name to me."

I'm also a fan of Charlie Pierce's trio of nicknames:
He, Trump
Vulgar talking yam
The Libidinous Visitor
Also, for those still mulling demographics, check out this FiveThirtyEight tool that lets you plug in turnout and partisanship rates for various groups and get instant electoral college projections.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:24 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Today I went poking around to see if there were some compendia of Spy's commentary on Trump on the web, and there are - I didn't really have time to evaluate and share though. But have a look if you'd like to enjoy how long and deservedly he's been despised.

Read and enjoy. (August 1990 is a good issue to start with)
posted by SisterHavana at 10:26 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Besides he'll probably want to pull some General out of retirement to show he's the biggest bully on the block but I'm not sure who would sign up with him currently.

We can only hope. America's generals aren't quite presidential material like the used to; neither General Curtis LeMay for Wallace in '68 and Admiral James Stockade for Perot in '92 didn't exactly bring much credibility to their respective tickets.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:26 PM on February 28, 2016


Chris Christie Struggles To Explain Trump Endorsement In Train Wreck TV Interview

Has anyone posted that hot mic clip of Trump telling him "go home" yet?

In a previous thread, I said Christie was among the least godawful of the GOP candidates. I can say now haha wow did I call that wrong, I cannot remember the last time I've seen a politician willingly render himself so contemptibly pathetic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:30 PM on February 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Did they do that to 43, either time?

W. was part of the establishment clique, one of their own. The scenario I'm imagining depends on Trump alienating enough of the GOP establishment that some would cooperate if the Democrats tried to impeach him, assuming he abuses his powers enough to merit impeachment.

I'm assuming the point here is that, in a nightmare future where Trump is elected president, the best case scenario will be him being impeached, assuming he doesn't have someone like Sarah Palin as his VP.

Bingo.
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on February 28, 2016


Last Week Tonight With John Oliver devoted their long segment to Trump tonight with a pretty excellent takedown. "Short-fingered vulgarian" is the key phrase to remember here.

Trump Steaks!
posted by homunculus at 10:54 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think she's technically old enough.

Ivanka turns 35 days before the election! That's plenty of time. Hell, she probably doesn't have to turn 35 until the inauguration so she's a good 3 months early.
posted by Justinian at 11:47 PM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've seen a few comments saying that people will either stay home or vote third-party rather than vote for Clinton

Those people will be Trump voters in effect if not in intent.
posted by pracowity at 12:10 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump is quoting Mussolini at us. Comparing the two of them is not "stooping to" anything.

Maybe coincidence or maybe not.
posted by homunculus at 12:20 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Surprisingly, I think Bernie could beat Trump. Not only because the polls say that (and they do), but because he also pulls in the pissed-off vote and he would create a yuge voter turnout. Hillary seems likely to instill apathy, low-turnout, and a Trump presidency

Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency
posted by homunculus at 12:29 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty tired of these "Trump will crush Clinton because he is an invulnerable monster and she is incompetent and awful" opinion pieces. They never seem to he based on much more than Sanders polling as Generic Democrat and an awful lot of generous and deferential assumptions about Trump's skills at manipulating a sheeplike, uncritical electorate.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:38 AM on February 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


an awful lot of generous and deferential assumptions about Trump's skills at manipulating a sheeplike, uncritical electorate

He's proved Nate Silver wrong at just about every step, so far.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:51 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


I have a strange, sinking feeling that voters will just end up seeing Trump as "pretty much like Sanders, except tougher and more willing to tell the Truth (say racist things). And oh, he's not pals with Obama either."
posted by FJT at 1:23 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency

When Clinton wins the Presidency anyone who published pieces like this should have someone following them around holding a sign reading "bullshit artist at work" whenever they try to publish more articles. "An unmitigated electoral disaster"? "A disastrous, suicidal proposition"? Come on, dude, take off the bowtie and maybe travel at least a few miles outside Cambridge once in a while. I know its scary but you can do it!
posted by Justinian at 1:36 AM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't want to make any assumptions. It seems like every assumption has been upended this year.

I really, really hope that we come out of this a) without Trump for president and b) with the Democratic and Republican parties seriously examining how they've been playing politics for the last few decades. It seems like almost everyone has been proven wrong about something, and it would be nice if they took this as an opportunity to rethink their strategies going forward. There are some very smart people in this country, and it's ridiculous that the vast majority of candidates fielded by both parties have been so weak and uninspiring.

Basically, I want this to be the election that changes how we talk about American politics. I'm doubtful that it will, but who knows, maybe that's pre-2016 thinking.
posted by teponaztli at 1:38 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


In other words, my biggest fear, next to that of a Trump presidency, is that the Democratic party is going to come out of this without getting rid of the bullshit artists who gave us the "Blue Dogs." They can take the popularity of Sanders as a push for change within the party, or they could write his supporters off as the Democratic Tea Party. From my perspective it would appear that Sanders has at least forced Clinton's campaign to adopt some new strategies, but a lot of people may not see it that way.

This feels like the moment when a major company is trying to make up for flagging sales in the face of an outdated brand. The Democrats could come out of this with a new way of reaching people, or we could wind up with New Coke. Or, I suppose, they could see this as a fluke and make no real effort to adapt to anything. There's a lot of lobbying and high finance involved in the Democratic party, and I'm sure that's going to limit their movement somewhat. I can say that I know Democratic donors, and on an individual level their politics are definitely in the right place. But I don't know how well that translates to the larger party, and I don't know if it's enough to force any real changes.

I guess the first clue will be how the party treats the general election.
posted by teponaztli at 1:56 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


(And by New Coke I mean a new approach that just manages to alienate even more people due to a failure to understand what was actually motivating everyone. The Democratics seem to be good at that.)
posted by teponaztli at 2:00 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


In 2008 we were all "Female supporters of Hillary will never vote for Obama." Then months of bullshit that turned out to be false.
posted by johnpowell at 2:03 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't the New Coke version be something along the lines of: "Well, the Sanders folks seem to have rallied behind a white male independent with Democratic ties from New England. Someone call Joe Lieberman. It's his big chance."
posted by frimble at 2:04 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Not to mention Jewish.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:19 AM on February 29, 2016


But part of the argument is that Sanders is better able to win working class white voters, the same voters that Trump is going after. The same voters that have been mentioned previously to be casual racists.

This is much, much too broad a brush. It's not one group you're talking about, as much as you'd like it to be. For one thing, Sanders has specifically disavowed people with those beliefs, unless by "casual racists" you mean everyone who has any tinge of racist tendencies. If you think you can win an election in the US without a lot of those people, you're mistaken. If you think Clinton has not dog-whistled those people several times, you're mistaken.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:44 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sanders is polling 8 points down in fucking Massachusetts of all states and people really think that he should be the standard bearer when he can't even get people to vote? He did what he was supposed to and pushed Hillary fron the left but it seems unlikely that he is going to be an effective challenge past Tuesday.

This myth that Sanders would propel a progressive revolution was just that a myth. I would love to believe in that as well but over and over he failed to close the deal. Any chance of a broad revolution needs broad support and he seems unable to generate that even in his own party.
posted by vuron at 4:28 AM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


This myth that Sanders would propel a progressive revolution was just that a myth.

I don't think this is really true. Had he won Nevada, the story would be on his side, and he'd probably be expected to do much better tomorrow. Narratives change.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:31 AM on February 29, 2016


litera scripta manet, this is a pretty good question that answers why liberal Massachusetts often has (moderate) Republican governors.
posted by Melismata at 4:38 AM on February 29, 2016


Nate Silver doing his pundit thing: Don’t Assume Conservatives Will Rally Behind Trump.

I know he's getting knocked around a lot but as a pure horse-race-watcher I enjoy Silver's work and find his observations add light to the discussion. The chart with the cross-party voting is really interesting here.
posted by graymouser at 5:28 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


why/where is "nate silver" getting "knocked around a lot"? (i like him too, but don't follow many american news sources).
posted by andrewcooke at 5:37 AM on February 29, 2016


I think it's part of a backlash against the Data Analysis types who (rightly, in my view) have tried to bring some greater understanding about what polling can and cannot tell us. But of course when they themselves overreach, it ends up being worse than opinion punditry itself since they are actually claiming a scientific basis for their prognostications. I think a lot has to do with fact that one be winning with say a predicted outcome of 55% - 45% and thus be 90% likely to win... plus add in discussion of margins of error, quality of poll design, etc. and you end up with a lot of uncertainty. Which people hate. But then if you're accounting for all that stuff with accurate assumptions, you behind getting very precise results which also weirds people out.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:57 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Upthread where a lungful of dragon says "He's proved Nate Silver wrong at just about every step, so far." is a good example.
posted by graymouser at 5:57 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


WaPo: These Numbers Should Absolutely Terrify Republicans (and, I would add, the rest of us): Trump is crushing among college-educated Republicans, suburban Republicans, Republicans who are under 55, and Republicans who make over $50,000 a year.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:58 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just to prove that this whole primary season is batshit crazy:
Rubio, long loath to take on Trump, has recently decided to go on the attack. At an event tonight he joked that Trump is a tall man but has the small hands befitting someone who is 5’2”. “You know what they say about a man with small hands,” Rubio quipped. “You can’t trust them.”
The GOP race enters strange territory as Rubio jokes about Trump’s small penis.
posted by graymouser at 6:05 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can the Republicans nominate Clinton?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:18 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


At an event tonight he joked that Trump is a tall man but has the small hands befitting someone who is 5’2”.

Someone who needs to wear dress boots with 2" heels to see over the podium should not be talking about anyone's size or height. He's up against Trump, The Insult Comedy Cadidate, and should not be bringing the fight to him on that level. Amazing. The only one who looks the least bit presidential on the R side is Kasich, so naturally he's getting his ass handed to him on a platter by everyone except Carson.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:30 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The tax returns is going to completely screw over Trump, even if the Romney led whisper campaign against Trump is more or less bullshit there is absolutely no way that his taxes aren't going to reveal significant income at a completely ridiculously low tax rate. Yes some people will see that as Trump managing to cheat the Gubmint but a decent number of people will see it as him failing to pay his fair share.

You know plus the Trump U shit.
posted by vuron at 6:39 AM on February 29, 2016


the tax returns is going to completely screw over Trump,

My guess is there is nothing that is going to completely screw over Trump at this point.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:48 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


Yes some people will see that as Trump managing to cheat the Gubmint but a decent number of people will see it as him failing to pay his fair share.

Like 95 percent of that latter number of people were never going to vote for him. The remaining 5 percent will feel slightly worse about voting for him anyway.
posted by Etrigan at 6:54 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


there is absolutely no way that his taxes aren't going to reveal significant income at a completely ridiculously low tax rate

All he has to do is pull a Warren Buffet and say, "See? The system is rigged."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:56 AM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


It'd be a bombshell if it was revealed that his empire was just smoke and mirrors and that he only plays a billionaire on TV.
posted by klarck at 7:00 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure his empire is more or less smoke and mirrors. He's been ridiculously leveraged in the past and doubt anything appreciable has changed that. I mean he's still a rich guy but he's probably not extremely liquid either.
posted by vuron at 7:07 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think that paying a low tax rate would hurt Trump at all. It would just feed into his supporters' fantasies about being such a winner that you can stick it to the government by barely paying taxes. I actually think that Rubio has the right idea: the way to puncture Trump is to make him look ridiculous and foolish. I just don't think that Rubio has the comedic chops to do it. (And small penis jokes are kind of gross.) I don't know if there is anyone on the Republican side who could do it, and unfortunately they've alienated most of the genuinely funny people who could act as surrogates. It's probably too late anyway.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:13 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Unless Drumpf is actually found committing fraud, he'll flip the table by saying he always paid what he's ordered to, and that he loves giving back to America. Plus, the "gotcha!" scandal tactic hasn't worked that well with Hillary so far, has it?

Not to mention, why would anyone go after his tax records? How many of those breaks were yay'd or ideologically supported by his primary opponents? And republicans trying to bring attention to a %1er tax breaks? I'm sure who came up with that strategy received a few very colorful phone calls by now.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:15 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the general election, though, I think a good strategy would be to figure out who potential Trump supporters think is funny and then have those people go at him in ways that paint him as a bloviating fool. It has to be the right people, though: people with whom his audience identify, rather than people who they already think are elitist jerks who look down on them.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:18 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]




he won the Latino vote. how did that happen.

In my experience, if you think Americans have a monopoly on racism you are very sadly mistaken. Middle class Latinos tend to privately nurse very racist views, and they hide the fact that they will do anything they can to feel as white as possible from outsiders (actually white, non-mixed-race, non-Latino people), but this mentality is very common and in many circles not even seen as a problem.

Since middle class Latinos* are mostly mixed race, racial discrimination is used as a tool to show others that you are in fact as close to 100% white as possible, because otherwise you wouldn't be a racist, right?

I say this as a Latin-American woman who lived in Latin-America most of her life. I have seen this attitude almost every day of my life in my home country, and I have seen exactly the same attitude among Latinos in the US. However, I have never seen this attitude shown when an actually white, non-Latin-American person is present. When there is an outsider, we are all pro-equality and antidiscrimination.

I have heard many more Latin-Americans calling for undocumented people to come into the US "the right way" (i.e. after qualifying as solid middle class by showing your bank statements and paying for really expensive immigration processes) than non-Latino people. This segment of the population of middle class Latin-Americans hated poor indigenous people back home, and they continue to hate them here, and they have citizenship and can vote at a higher rate than undocumented immigrants for example. In fact, they hate to be lumped together with them and they tend to feel ashamed of them. FWIW I have also heard way more hateful and outrageous racist remarks from Latin-American immigrants than any other population. If I repeated some of the things I have heard against black or indigenous people in Spanish you would probably vomit. For example, middle class Cubans are famous for thinking black people are disgusting, not that anyone would admit this to a non-Latino person. Marco Rubio is exactly this kind of person, and yes, I can tell just by looking at him.

The only Latin-Americans I have met who are aware of their privilege are those who are 2nd generation, since they grew up with the (believe it or not) far more tolerant and diversity embracing values of the USA. Those are the democrat Latinos. Throw in a very small amount of people who were aware of their privilege back home (very few). You still get a not small amount of Latin-Americans who completely agree with Trump (or any of the worst republicans, for that matter).

*When I say middle class Latino, I mean someone who was middle class back in Latin-America, not someone who moved to US and made money, because that is new money and they are probably too dark to be considered equal anyway.
posted by Tarumba at 7:21 AM on February 29, 2016 [24 favorites]


WaPo: These Numbers Should Absolutely Terrify Republicans (and, I would add, the rest of us)

So polls now about November are basically just random noise but this is entertaining:

8. If Donald Trump won the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency, would you definitely
support him in the general election in November, probably support him, probably NOT support him,
or definitely NOT support him in the general election in November?
Feb. 24-27
2016
Definitely support him 25%
Probably support him 27%
Probably not support him 13%
Definitely not support him 35%
No opinion 1%

Owwy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:22 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


andrewcooke: "why/where is "nate silver" getting "knocked around a lot"? (i like him too, but don't follow many american news sources)."

Silver's claim to fame was breaking through the bluster of the 2008 punditocracy with hard numbers and objective analysis. Even in 2012, his was one of the few outlets to hold the line and consistently project an Obama victory in the face of widespread desire for a nailbiter.

Once their weighted polling average method got aped, Moneyball-style, by other outlets (and especially after the ESPN buyout), the site expanded into a variety of other topics, and the core political beat was supplemented with a heavy dose of, well, punditry. Debate liveblogs, musings on subjective theories like "The Party Decides," and Slack chats full of gut checks and buy/sell/hold spitballing. A lot of this was due to the relative dearth of early primary polls, to be fair, but those polls that existed all pointed to Trump dominance and a Sanders surge. The site gravely underestimated both trends, professing skepticism of Trump's true strength for months on end and prematurely declaring the Sanders movement over. As a political junkie, I appreciate any and all informed speculation, but it's clear the site's track record in punditry vs. pure number crunching is pretty bad.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:36 AM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


From quartz magazine. Il Trumpo is not a joke. Silvio Berlusconi was a foul-mouthed, funny, buffoonish tycoon who nobody thought could win. “Then one day we woke up to find our government overrun by criminals, our economy destroyed, and our cultural mores perverted to the extent that the objectification of women was commonplace.” Annalisa Merelli brings home to Americans a dire warning from her native Italy.
posted by lalochezia at 7:40 AM on February 29, 2016 [14 favorites]






It's also worth noting that in graciously accepting that endorsement, Trump called Le Pen "she."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:53 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


20% of likely democratic primary voters would definitely not support Hillary Clinton if she won the Democratic nomination (pdf), while 13% would probably not support her. Those are better numbers than Trump's, I guess.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:53 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


My guess is there is nothing that is going to completely screw over Trump at this point.

Trump will screw over Trump at some point, most likely. It's what he does best.

The only way he becomes President is if large numbers of Independents and minority vote stay home. Which is possible, especially if Obama does what I think he's going to do and not campaign very much, if any, for the Democratic nominee.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 AM on February 29, 2016


Why do you think Obama is going to do that?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:57 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't think Obama will stay out of it after the convention, once there's a nominee. And Bill will be out on the stump too, once it gets down to the wire. Bill Clinton could make mincemeat out of Trump.

The sitting president usually does not get involved until after the convention if memory serves.
posted by readery at 7:58 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think they are going to have to pull Bill from the campaign trail completely. He's not going to help her.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 AM on February 29, 2016


So Trump is now saying that the reason he didn't disavow David Duke's endorsement was because of a bad earpiece.. I admit the connection is....vague.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on February 29, 2016


Obama will campaign like crazy because everyone knows that Gore walking away from Clinton was a mistake.

Clinton was a good team player and she got Obama For America and she'll get a decent amount of Obama doing what he does best. If she goes with Castro as VP then he's going to definitely be pushing that nomination because it's a complete validation of his 8 years in office.
posted by vuron at 8:02 AM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]




It's also worth noting that in graciously accepting that endorsement, Trump called Le Pen "she."

He probably thought he had won the endorsement of his marginally less vile and definitely more relevant daughter Marine.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:07 AM on February 29, 2016


So Trump is now saying that the reason he didn't disavow David Duke's endorsement was because of a bad earpiece.. I admit the connection is....vague.

The earpiece was bad? That's funny -- he answered the question by using the exact same words Tapper did. Just coincidence, I guess.

Oh, I know, I know -- it's ridiculous at this point to be shocked by the level of this man's dishonesty. I'm still naive, I guess; I still think that the electorate should, at the very least, demand that their politicians don't spout transparent lies.
posted by holborne at 8:08 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why would Hillary hide Bill? He's still incredibly popular and warmly regarded as a former president. Dubya is the only toxic former president currently.

Keep in mind that Bill is incredibly popular among the party faithful and his support among African American voters is insane. She can pretty much let him lose on all sorts of smaller events as a way to boost morale and help GotV.

I don't think people realize how many proxies Hillary Clinton can bring to bear as the GE campaign really starts up. VP choice, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Obama, etc. In contrast Trump is a one person cult of personality and if stuff like the DRUMPF takedown takes off his personal mystique is going to take a hell of a beating.
posted by vuron at 8:12 AM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Jesus please make this KKK kerfuffle the thing that finally kills Trump. But if you can make fun of women for being on their periods, advocate murder and torture, threaten protesters with violence and lay down plans for a system of mass deportations through what would have to be an enormous police state apparatus, maybe you can play footsie with the KKK and win the nomination to the Republican party.
posted by dis_integration at 8:13 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think the KKK thing is going to do Trump in, but I think it will make it harder for mainstream Republicans to line up behind him right now. They'll probably forget about it after a week or two, though.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:15 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Poll: Trump commands 33-point lead nationally

For his party's nomination, not for the general.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:22 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump can't stand the test of time. He's going re-screw-up again and again until people start to see the inescapable - that he's a horrible choice for president.
I'm going to go out on an anthropological limb here and posit that for a lot of people there's an amount of tacit 'ok to be racist' racism that won't even make them blink. But this does not include the KKK, and as Trump squashes more and more of these toes he'll lose support from the public and I t's not like he has much support in the party at large. It's a real cluster-fuck for the Republicans.
Wasn't there a narrative where Paul Ryan pops up and sweeps into the nomination?
posted by From Bklyn at 8:23 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there a narrative where Paul Ryan pops up and sweeps into the nomination?

I'm pretty sure this narrative runs through Ryan's head (accompanied by trumpets! or Ride of the Valkyries) every hour or so, but especially during sex. But man that would ratfuck the GOP congress yet again. Another Speaker struggle?
posted by dis_integration at 8:34 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think my favorite plausible scenario is a Clinton-Sanders-Trump debate in which Clinton and Sanders team up to destroy Trump and get him to flip out and shout racial slurs and incoherent swears on live television, followed by either Democrat* graciously endorsing the other.

*I don't want to vote for either, but I'm fully committed to voting for Not A Republican this year, again-- depends on how safe my state is whether I can vote Green or not
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:42 AM on February 29, 2016


Why do you think Obama is going to do that?

As leader of the Democratic Party, he's done a pretty piss poor job of keeping it sharp. It's mostly been all about him and his Presidency. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I suspect he won't do a lot of campaigning for the nominee.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 AM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


> Although if he picks Sarah Palin as his VP, I feel like that has to be a sign that he really is just doing this to fuck with everyone else.

He won't choose Palin; she'd be an attention hog, and he wouldn't want much of that taken away from himself.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:45 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


A lot of this was due to the relative dearth of early primary polls, to be fair, but those polls that existed all pointed to Trump dominance and a Sanders surge. The site gravely underestimated both trends, professing skepticism of Trump's true strength for months on end and prematurely declaring the Sanders movement over.

I'm not going to go look for it, but ISTR Silver saying the same thing that pretty much every data-oriented observer was saying about Sanders: He's going to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire and sort of fall apart in SC and Super Tuesday (at least as far as actually winning the nomination goes short of Clinton peeling off her human mask to reveal the xenomorph queen underneath).

Trump is a legitimate surprise. But the most surprising thing has been watching the GOP do jack-shit about him for so long, and watching them still refuse to coordinate on anyone.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:46 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jesus please make this KKK kerfuffle the thing that finally kills Trump.

Nope, #BothSidesDoIt.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:47 AM on February 29, 2016


ISTR Silver saying the same thing that pretty much every data-oriented observer was saying about Sanders...

In between saying that primary polling was much, much less reliable than general-election polling.
posted by Etrigan at 8:47 AM on February 29, 2016


although he does seem like a fairly loving parent

Uh. Are we talking about the same guy who constantly says in interviews in the presence of his daughter that he would date her if they weren't related?
posted by poffin boffin at 8:53 AM on February 29, 2016 [19 favorites]


As leader of the Democratic Party, he's done a pretty piss poor job of keeping it sharp. It's mostly been all about him and his Presidency. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I suspect he won't do a lot of campaigning for the nominee.

Also, it's already been noted that he and the current DNC leadership don't get along, and while I expect that's more their fault than his it's still a problem.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:53 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


But the most surprising thing has been watching the GOP do jack-shit about him for so long, and watching them still refuse to coordinate on anyone.

I think it's time to recognize what's left of the top of the RNC is just really weak and ineffectual. This is an issue of critical importance to the future of their party and they have dithered, denied, and generally run around in circles. They haven't taken any real responsibility for anything over the past 8 years (longer, I know), and it's atrophied their deliberative function, I think.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:32 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


As leader of the Democratic Party, he's done a pretty piss poor job of keeping it sharp. It's mostly been all about him and his Presidency. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I suspect he won't do a lot of campaigning for the nominee.

Every Republican within sight of the nomination has campaigned on repealing Obama's signature legislative achievement. I think he'll be fairly eager to campaign for whomever ends up as the Democratic nominee.
posted by Etrigan at 9:35 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


In between saying that primary polling was much, much less reliable than general-election polling.

Yeah, every FiveThirtyEight piece so far has boiled down to: primary election polls suck, but we need to keep an audience until July when we have our data model rocking, so here's some analysis.
posted by graymouser at 9:38 AM on February 29, 2016


Just popping in to request a photoshop: Trump carrying a bible and wrapped in a flag.

Please.
posted by eclectist at 10:16 AM on February 29, 2016


Photoshop that image to his hat
posted by Apocryphon at 10:19 AM on February 29, 2016


Please don't, it will undoubtedly start showing up in rallies and only make things worse. Trump supporters aren't big on nuance.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:20 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think it's time to recognize what's left of the top of the RNC is just really weak and ineffectual. This is an issue of critical importance to the future of their party and they have dithered, denied, and generally run around in circles. They haven't taken any real responsibility for anything over the past 8 years (longer, I know), and it's atrophied their deliberative function, I think.

Maybe they're not so different from Democrats, after all.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:20 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think it's time to recognize what's left of the top of the RNC is just really weak and ineffectual.

But in this context "the GOP" doesn't mean "the RNC," it means "the RNC and all the Republican governors and all the Republican Senators and the heads of interest groups that lean heavily GOP like the NRA or various white-evangelical church leaders and longstanding and prominent GOP managers/fundraisers/etc like Rove."

And all of them have done fuck-all about Trump except express a wish that someone else would do something about him.

It's just weird. Sort of, anyway, at another level it's like oh yeah collective action problems are a thing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:20 AM on February 29, 2016


Well yeah, but political party machinery is literally designed to overcome collective action problems in the context of nominating viable candidates for public office.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:25 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just popping in to request a photoshop: Trump carrying a bible and wrapped in a flag.

Please.


Enjoy this while we wait.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:30 AM on February 29, 2016


Trump is a legitimate surprise. But the most surprising thing has been watching the GOP do jack-shit about him for so long, and watching them still refuse to coordinate on anyone.

The Equilibrium Paradox: Somebody Has to Do It - "Daniel Drezner argues that equilibrium reasoning made everyone think someone else would cut Donald Trump down to size. But somebody has to do it, or it doesn't get done. And in this case, it needed to be a critical mass of somebodies."

Anacyclosis: The Mob Awakens
According to the original version of Polybius’s theory of Anacyclosis, society begins as tribal monarchy, develops into royal monarchy, then degenerates into tyranny. This in turn is overthrown by aristocracy, gets corrupted by oligarchy, and is later succeeded by democracy, which itself is perverted into ochlocracy (mob-rule) — finally opening the door (once again) to the chaos that makes autocratic rule palatable, thereby restarting the cycle...

Despite its pedigree, however, Polybius’s original version of Anacyclosis didn’t account for everything. It failed, for example, to register foreign interference in internal revolution, international integration, or even geopolitical conflict... We now have the benefit of an additional twenty-two centuries of human political experience which Polybius did not have when he first laid out the template of Anacyclosis. This advantage allows us to supplement Polybius’ original model and more fully abstract general rules of evolutionary causality.

The greatest defect in Polybius’s original model of Anacyclosis may have been its failure to clearly link the development of stable democracy with the emergence of a strong middle class, or the ephemerality of democracy with a weak middle class, as Aristotle did. Man’s preoccupation with improving status fuels economic progress, but also animates political struggle. When the middle class is ascendant, you approach freedom and independence, aspire to equal justice under law, and promote moderation, which together channel human ambitions into creative and productive enterprises. A declining middle class is consequently the harbinger of revolution, for the diffusion (and concentration) of wealth tends to precede the diffusion (and concentration) of political power.

When productive, unsubsidised wealth is more broadly and equitably diffused among a population, which is relatively rare, political power tends to be more broadly diffused. This is why a middle economic stratum precedes the first appearances of democracy... Conversely, the re-concentration of wealth, particularly after democratic institutions have been entrenched, tends to produce a re-concentration of political power leading to antipathy among the middle classes...

As wealth becomes re-concentrated among a small elite, society becomes increasingly stratified between the opulent and the dependent. (Or, to use Aristotle’s terms, masters and slaves, comprising “one class envious and another contemptuous of their fellows”.) The institutions of democracy do not retreat as quickly as the middle class declines, however, hence the rise of the “populist menace”.

The dependence of the masses on the wealthy and the state will lead to an orgy of pandering by politicians, with the eventual transformation of democracy not into ochlocracy, but rather, by virtue of patronage, into “demagarchy”. This rule by demagogues — the people’s champions — will echo the rise of Pompey, Julius Caesar and Octavian in ancient Rome. As was the case then, however, it stands to initiate a tournament of demagogues which, like any other tournament, can ultimately only have one champion. When that champion comes to the fore, the circle will be complete because the transition into and out of ochlocracy represents the seventh and final phase.

Drawing on yet more historical parallels, it’s probably no coincidence that Polybius was contemporary to the Gracchi, reformers who tried to rehabilitate the Roman yeoman farmers, the pre-imperial Roman middle class. This class had long been the backbone of the Republic, but by various causes was exhausted, its wealth concentrated into the plutocracy... even in antiquity, the Gracchi resorted to arguably socialistic measures in an effort to restore this middle class. Yet the process of social stratification and territorial integration had advanced so far, and the intractability of the plutocracy was so complete, that there was little choice but to encroach upon the ancient constitution or else watch it evolve out of existence.

Can anyone break the wheel?

As it turned out, the Gracchi could not stop Anacyclosis. Had the Gracchi succeeded in restoring the Roman hoi mesoi, they probably would have forestalled the contest of demagogues that dragged Rome from plutocracy to monarchy. But they were murdered by the plutocracy, and within a century Rome was ruled by an emperor. From the monarchy of kings to the monarchy of emperors, the wheel of history completed one revolution.

It’s worth noting that land reform in postwar Japan and South Korea proved far more successful, although fears of Communist revolution and the presence of America’s occupation forces probably helped concentrate minds in ways unavailable to the Gracchi. But, as we see now, what happens in antiquity doesn’t necessarily stay in antiquity. The forces of Anacyclosis are arguably turning again, and this time on an unprecedented global level.
-The declining labor force participation rate for middle-aged males
-Trump is a vehicle for angry whites who feel invisible to elites: We miss the point to focus on Trump and not them
-90% of what goes on at The New Yorker can be explained by Vulgar Marxism
-Where Trump _and_ Sanders come from
-Noam Chomsky on Clinton vs Sanders
-Trump has the White House in his sights
How could he pull it off? The demography is stacked against him. As a rule of thumb, Democrats are assured of victory if they take 80 per cent of the non-white vote and 40 per cent of the white vote. The first part ought to be easy. Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims and others will come out in droves to vote against Mr Trump.

It is the white vote — and particularly white males — that ought to worry Mrs Clinton. Blue collar whites are America’s angriest people. They feel belittled, trod upon and discarded. The future belongs neither to them nor their children. Mrs Clinton personifies an establishment that has taken everything for itself while talking down to those it has left behind. Mr Trump is their revenge.
also btw...
-The political philosophy Hillary Clinton and her defenders embody has always been about the concrete protection of elite privilege — and empty promises for everyone else
-Hillary Clinton won't rule out appointing a Wall Street veteran to the top economic post in the White House
-Gradualism and the fight over Single Payer
-Dirty little secret: Insurers actually are making a mint from Obamacare
-Hillary Clinton, 'Smart Power' and a Dictator's Fall
-Hillary Clinton's Ties to Black Democrats Will Save Her Campaign (There Goes the Firewall?)
-The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton (Cthulhu 2016)
posted by kliuless at 10:33 AM on February 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


Lots to chew on there, thanks!
posted by mazola at 10:38 AM on February 29, 2016


jeremias: "Anyone who was around when Reagan ran for president will remember how he was written off as a faded (and divorced) actor who would never be taken seriously because he acted in a movie with a chimpanzee."

He was also a popular two-term former governor of California who had come within an ace of winning the 1976 GOP nomination, and then spent the next four years basically campaigning. He also had a coherent (if repellent) political philosophy.

Yeah, people made Bedtime for Bonzo jokes, but I don't think the two candidates are otherwise at all analogous.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 AM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Enjoy this while we wait.


*vomits profusely*
posted by leotrotsky at 10:44 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


And all of them have done fuck-all about Trump except express a wish that someone else would do something about him.

Can't Someone Else Do It?
posted by graymouser at 10:44 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]




I'm sure more people in this thread are aware of this than not, but 270 To Win is a fun gadget and also a way to de-panic yourself a bit over the possibility of God Emperor Trump.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:47 AM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


He was also a popular two-term former governor of California who had come within an ace of winning the 1976 GOP nomination, and then spent the next four years basically campaigning. He also had a coherent (if repellent) political philosophy.

Reagan was a national player a decade earlier, in the 1960's. His 60's political persona bears a strong resemblance to Trump's, though.
posted by My Dad at 10:50 AM on February 29, 2016


[INT: GOP convention]

Paul Ryan: After 73 ballots, we finally have a nominee

Crowd: [falls silent]

R: RONALD REAGAN

Crowd: [WILD CHEERS]

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:55 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


A Journalist Was Just Manhandled and Detained at a Trump Rally: Videos posted on Twitter earlier this afternoon show a man, identified by some witnesses as a photographer for Time magazine, being violently thrown to the ground by a member of Donald Trump's security team, possibly a US Secret Service agent. The man struggles back to his feet and is led away by several other security team members.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) says he will refuse to support Trump even if Trump is the nominee. Both his post (which is long) and the comments below from likeminded conservatives are interesting reading.

Hard to remember sometimes that people with policy ideas that seem crazy might still have strong principles and values that prevent them from supporting Trump.
posted by sallybrown at 11:20 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Make America KKK Again.
posted by andoatnp at 11:20 AM on February 29, 2016


I think the key to taking down Trump is a Wizard of Oz style pull-back-the-curtain moment where someone exposes him as a loser instead of a winner (using his preferred terminology). He's just a dirty old man who doesn't even have as much money as he pretends to (this is what I think he's hiding by refusing to release his tax returns) and spends his mornings sadly combing over his bald spot. I don't know how we pull that off.
posted by sallybrown at 11:25 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]




I have already outlined that scenario.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:27 AM on February 29, 2016


That or an Obama endorsement.
posted by mazola at 11:27 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


From that Nation link:
More people watched the season one finale of “The Apprentice” than participated in the 2012 Republican primaries
That's not as reassuring as they presumably think.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:34 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


> I'm sure more people in this thread are aware of this than not, but 270 To Win is a fun gadget and also a way to de-panic yourself a bit over the possibility of God Emperor Trump.

Guys guys I've got an idea.

Things we know about Donald Trump:
  • Trump is impulsive.
  • Trump is self-aggrandizing
  • Trump neither knows nor cares how science works.
  • Trump is stupid.
I think as a result of the combination of these features there's an outside chance we could convince him that through sinister superscience he can hybridize himself with a giant space worm and thereby become an immortal telepathic prescient all-seeing all-knowing God Emperor. He'll spend the next n years injecting himself with various worm serums and spice melanges and hiring unethical quacks to splice worm parts onto his body. He'd likely end up killing or at least irreparably maiming himself; in any case, his new hobby would take up much of the the time he'd otherwise devote to running for President.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:35 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


From elsewhere, re: the establishment's deaf-blindness towards the rise of Trump and Sanders and populist agitation:

[in the voice of a German circa 1932] the rise of the KPD is a consequence of the SPD's Marxist ideology finally coming home to roost, and the rise of the NSDAP is the consequence of the government's close relationship to the Freikorps and neither have anything to do with Versailles or the Great Depression.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:35 AM on February 29, 2016


Speaking of giant space worms:

the tea party being created by republicans to destroy democrats but actually destroying republicans (and democrats) instead is basically what the Bene Gesserit did with the Missionaria Protectiva when you think about it
posted by Apocryphon at 11:37 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


As such, we need to somehow convince him that through sinister superscience he can hybridize himself with giant space worms

yeah and what are you going to do if he pulls it off?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:37 AM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) says he will refuse to support Trump even if Trump is the nominee.

Nice! He went to St. John's College (the masters program) a few years before I was there as an undergrad, and he has a pretty big presence in the alumni Facebook/IRL community. Glad to see that he still has that SJC commitment to principle and that he isn't going to disappoint all the SJC folks who disagreed with him but still respected him.
posted by dialetheia at 11:40 AM on February 29, 2016


A Journalist Was Just Manhandled and Detained at a Trump Rally

That's Christopher Morris, of VII, who usually works for Time. I imagine he was on assignment for them when this happened. Here's some of his recent work for Time from the campaign. And his book on the Bush years is well worth checking out. During that time, he'd usually spend a month on, month off covering Bush and the White House for Time.

Mashable has a little more info on the incident.
posted by msbrauer at 11:46 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the comments on Ben Sasse's post:

I don't know about Trump supporters being well-meaning. I've never seen so many vulgar and foul-mouthed attacks on supporters of other candidates in my life, including by Democrats.


This said by a Republican, damn. Will Trump be the drop that fills the bucket of insanity? Is this our lowest point? Could we be looking to have at least a semi-respectable conservative win the republican primaries next time around? At this point I miss Romney. It would be nice to have a not terrifying person on the other side, that way I wouldn't be horribly embarrassed or downright scared if my party loses the elections.
posted by Tarumba at 11:49 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


hey so is this the super tuesday thread or is somebody gonna make a new one

I just want to know if I should set my lawn chair down and stake out a space yet
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:49 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


I mean come on, another comment: " I never thought I would say this but Trump is worse than Obama. At least Obama has "morals"."

It's a powerful disapproval that makes a republican say anything is worse than Obama.
posted by Tarumba at 11:51 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


"This guy won by bashing everyone — long before Trump showed up" by Cameron Joseph at Mashable on the election of David Perdue
posted by Apocryphon at 11:52 AM on February 29, 2016


A Journalist Was Just Manhandled and Detained at a Trump Rally: Videos posted on Twitter earlier this afternoon show a man, identified by some witnesses as a photographer for Time magazine, being violently thrown to the ground by a member of Donald Trump's security team, possibly a US Secret Service agent. The man struggles back to his feet and is led away by several other security team members.

Somebody is gonna make serious bank when they start selling brown work shirts and armbands at Drumpf's rallies
posted by leotrotsky at 12:02 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Last week IRL I talked to someone on the phone named "Tevin." I know it is a real name, but I've never met anyone called that before and it was weird, out of body, like a previously-ephemeral entity had suddenly become tangible. This was another person, surely, but in some ways it was like talking to myself.

No doubt GOP elites feel that way. Trump is some kind of embodiment, and all they can do is stare in wonder, that this previously-theoretical uber-demagogue has been made flesh.

Except Tevin IRL was gracious, helpful, and a good sense of humor so the analogy kind of breaks down pretty quick.
posted by Tevin at 12:09 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somebody is gonna make serious bank when they start selling brown work shirts and armbands at Drumpf's rallies

To be clear, it was the Secret Service who manhandled this journalist.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump has to be in the middle of a serious awakening, seeing his ivory tower shelled. I think he is as insulated from reality as most .05 percenters are. Plus, I can't imagine he would want to work as hard as a good POTUS does, for others. I can only see him working for himself, with little to no supervision. So, this doesn't really present as a real job interview.

Rubio could definitely work a Mean Girls type of sitcom. Cruz is like if they accidentally included a badger, in a petting zoo.

The bought up, bought out leadership of the Republican Party, has no candidate to meaningfully, or effectively, represent their people. Republicans have been betrayed by the sell out to corporatocracy.
posted by Oyéah at 12:33 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


At this point I miss Romney.

Remember this moment if Rubio someone sweeps in. He'll appear so moderate now, even though there's little difference between him and Cruz.

Don't be willing to be fucked just because the candidate speaks nicely. You're still getting fucked.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


So Trump is now saying that the reason he didn't disavow David Duke's endorsement was because of a bad earpiece.

Yeah, that was weak. He should have just run with it:

"Mr. Trump, will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?"

"No, I won't say that I don't want the vote of this or that group. I'm running to be president of ALL Americans. And I'm very popular with people from all walks of life. Mexicans, Latinos, blacks. I am VERY popular with black people."

"But David Duke is the leader of a white supremacist group that…"

"I don't know about that. For all I know, this is just a guy who won't let anyone walk over him. I don't know what he did. I'm not familiar with his record. Did he ever kill anyone? Hillary Clinton is responsible for at least 100.000 deaths as secretary of state. Just think of Benghazi. She's being investigated by the FBI. She might even be in prison on election day."

"Let's return to David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan for a minute. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?"

"Look, John…

"Jake."

"Look, Jake, I am not going to judge people here on your show, OK? That's not my job. In the end it's God's job to pass judgment. You know what Jesus said? He said: Let he who casts the first stone turn the other cheek."

"Mr. Trump, I don't think that Jesus actually…"

"It's true! It's in the Bible. You can look it up! My favourite book, by the way. Has lots of tremendous answers in it."

"OK, back the topic of David Duke and…"

"It's sold even more copies than my 'Art of the Deal'. And they both contain a very similar message."

"… and what would that be?"

"Don't let anyone walk over you."
posted by sour cream at 12:46 PM on February 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


To be clear, it was the Secret Service who manhandled this journalist.

It looks like the reporter went for the Secret Service agents neck. That was a mistake.
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:47 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


It looks like the reporter went for the Secret Service agents neck. That was a mistake.

That was after he had been choked and clotheslined by the agent for taking one step out of the press box.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:49 PM on February 29, 2016


That was after he had been choked and clotheslined by the agent for taking one step out of the press box.

Yeah, I noticed that too - and that he was kicking at the agent when he was on the ground. It does not look good for either party. Also, I do not think that Secret Service Agents are really partisans.
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:53 PM on February 29, 2016


Not sure that there's a good excuse to put a series of dangerous wrestling moves on a 60+ year-old journalist. But it's more worrying in the context of previous comments by the candidate, who premeditates doing serious, violent harm to anyone who is decided has somehow gotten out of line.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:55 PM on February 29, 2016


I don't blame the reporter for kicking at a guy who was in the process of assaulting and potentially killing him. Going for the throat after they're both up looks bad, but not as bad as actually taking someone down by the throat unprovoked.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:56 PM on February 29, 2016


You know what Jesus said? He said: Let he who casts the first stone turn the other cheek."

"he also said a horse divided by itself cannot stand and it's easier for a camel to learn needlecraft than it is for a sparrow to count to eleven"

"mr trump, i don't think ..."

"like my daddy said, you can't tell which way the train's been by looking at the tracks"
posted by pyramid termite at 12:57 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Look, I am usually on the other side of this kind of thing. I hardly ever defend any one in authority and from my view point it looks like both of the people involved in this were unreasonable.
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:58 PM on February 29, 2016




When Trump was first asked about Duke at a press conference, he immediately replied, "I disavow." As has been noted about his 2000 run for president on the Reform ticket, he knows exactly who David Duke is and wanted nothing to do with him since it was political poison.

I bet some time between that press conference and the interview where he equivocated one of his advisers said, "Duke and his like represents a big part of your support. Don't accept his endorsement, but don't completely disavow it, either. We need those votes." Now he's realizing that was stupid bad and is trying to walk it back. This is further evidence (to me) that Trump's actual beliefs are unknowable since he just says whatever he thinks will go over the best. And that isn't a compliment since these are campaign promises he's just spewing forth.
posted by charred husk at 1:22 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Once again, just like in the last thread, there seems to be a lot of noise that suggests that Rubio or Cruz are somehow much better than Trump. They are all fascists, because the modern GOP is a fascist party and Trump is just loud and tactless enough to make everyone acknowledge the elephant in the room is wearing a brown shirt.

People keep talking about how disastrous Trump would be for Latinos and women. During the last debate, Cruz repeatedly called Trump's immigration plan "amnesty". Rubio believes having an ectopic pregnancy should mean a slow and painful death because the Bible is very clear that Jesus loves undifferentiated masses of tissue more than people with ovaries. Even Kasich, who is so often claimed to be unelectably moderate, what did he do in the last debate? He crowed about his "humane" plan only to deport those who broke unspecified laws, and allow others to stay as a reserve pool of disposable second-class non-citizen labor after paying a fine and apparently additional regressive taxes, while of course omitting the fact that undocumented workers on average overpay taxes because they can't file returns. He just defunded Planned Parenthood, apparently in an attempt to flank Trump on the right. And Carson? The longer he stays in this thing, the more obvious that it is all just a scam to build his direct mail list and defraud his donors, and the other candidates all worship Mammon too much to call attention to the unrestrained venality on display.

Trump is extreme? They are all extreme. He's just louder and cruder about it. Trump is the most annoying symptom; don't confuse him for the disease.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:26 PM on February 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


The Trump/Cruz/Rubio dance is an excellent way to study the Overton window in action. Rhetoric at the far right of what an already super-conservative GOP has thrown at us for the last six years? Listen to Trump talk about a giant wall along the border, banning Muslim immigration and getting chummy with Putin, and now it seems mainstream!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:37 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Once again, just like in the last thread, there seems to be a lot of noise that suggests that Rubio or Cruz are somehow much better than Trump. They are all fascists, because the modern GOP is a fascist party and Trump is just loud and tactless enough to make everyone acknowledge the elephant in the room is wearing a brown shirt.

Yeah, it's worth looking at the political compass evaluation of the 2016 U.S. Primary Candidates. Look on it and despair.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 1:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


More troubling primary turnout news - according to Florida officials, 44% of the early votes cast in the Republican primary are from voters who didn't vote in 2012, suggesting that Trump really may be drawing new people and infrequent voters into the political process.
posted by dialetheia at 1:42 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Once again, just like in the last thread, there seems to be a lot of noise that suggests that Rubio or Cruz are somehow much better than Trump."

Here's my current thing. Rubio and Cruz scare me a lot more on domestic policy as they are actual ideologues with actual government experience who at least theoretically know how to accomplish their horrifying domestic policy goals (well, those of them that are remotely constitutional), whereas Trump seems far more likely to do whatever's expedient, popular, and occurs to him that morning. But our domestic policy system has a fair number of protections (those checks and balances) against presidents just "doing whatever," especially if they can't work with their own Congressional party. So I totally agree that Rubio and Cruz are worse and scarier on domestic policy.

But now that Trump seems like a real thing that might happen, we have to take seriously the fact that he'd be in charge of foreign policy, and he is reactive, thin-skinned, angry, sensitive to perceived slights, and determined to prove what a big man he is. I have legit concerns that a trade dispute with the EU over banana protectionism would end with Trump nuking Brussels! Like, of all available candidates, Trump seems BY FAR the most likely to get us involved in either a land war in Asia or an actual nuclear war, because some tin-pot dictator calls him a short-fingered vulgarian.

Cruz and Rubio are CRAZY, but they don't seem nuclear war crazy. Trump seems if he had his finger on that button, he'd have to push it once just to see what happens. ("Huh, the clouds really ARE shaped like mushrooms, sorry Missoula!")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:43 PM on February 29, 2016 [16 favorites]


Remember this moment if Rubio someone sweeps in. He'll appear so moderate now, even though there's little difference between him and Cruz.

Hm, Trump, Cruz and Rubio are of the same ilk in my book. My point was that none of the viable candidates on the Republican side give me any sort of reassurance that if my party loses, the country will go in at least a fairly okay direction.
posted by Tarumba at 1:46 PM on February 29, 2016


I mean, Mexico's our third-largest trading partner and Trump doesn't give two shits about burning that relationship to the ground. Putting a man who literally cannot be diplomatic enough to maintain passably cordial relationships with, say, our top five trading partners in charge of diplomacy is a terrifying, terrifying thought.

Cruz and Rubio at least understand the part where you're only allowed to outright accuse other countries of sucking if they're in the bottom half of your trading partners and you don't need to put a strategic military base in their country. Trump would, like, fly into Mecca during the Hajj just because he hates a party he's not invited to.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


But one of the paradoxical issues with that is currently the electorate is fed up with the unending war of the last fifteen years. Trump is appealing to that by being anti-war. And neocons, or at least one of them (Kagan) are already sliding up to Hillary in response. Yes, Trump's volatile nature is scary. But I'd bet that if in power, he'd be content to outsource all of the brutality of empire to other people. That is, he'd use his dealmaking to get both our allies (particularly the non-democracies that end up on lists of black sites for extraordinary rendition) and regional powers (Russia, China) to do our dirty work.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cruz and Rubio are CRAZY, but they don't seem nuclear war crazy. Trump seems if he had his finger on that button, he'd have to push it once just to see what happens. ("Huh, the clouds really ARE shaped like mushrooms, sorry Missoula!")

Yeah, policy wise, Cruz is to the right of Trump, and Rubio is also total nutballs. But Trump is the kind of guy that would make the first order of business on assuming office going down his enemies list and using his newfound power to fuck over everyone who opposed him in the election. Then our dear leader would begin looking into ways he can enrich himself and his family through his office. I mean, he's the kind of guy that would start a war so he could declare an emergency so he wouldn't have to leave office. I really believe that if Trump becomes president, the only way we'll get him out of the oval office is in handcuffs or a pine box. Term limits be damned, election losses be damned, he's not going to leave.
posted by dis_integration at 1:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cruz and Rubio are CRAZY, but they don't seem nuclear war crazy. Trump seems if he had his finger on that button, he'd have to push it once just to see what happens. ("Huh, the clouds really ARE shaped like mushrooms, sorry Missoula!")

IIRC, both Cruz and Rubio have promised to kick off at least one major Middle East conflict the moment they're sworn in. And even conservatives think that Trump is at least reasonable when it comes to trying to come up with a workable Israel/Palestine solution. And we haven't even got into their batshit-crazy climate policy and how that intersects with both domestic and foreign politico-economic issues.

So, they're just as crazy (and yes, "nuclear war crazy") if not more than Trump when it comes to foreign policy. The same people who helped create Trump are now in a tizzy about it, let's not help them get away with it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:52 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really believe that if Trump becomes president, the only way we'll get him out of the oval office is in handcuffs or a pine box. Term limits be damned, election losses be damned, he's not going to leave.

That's what they said about Bush as well. People thought he'd pull emergency powers, prevent Obama from ever getting in. And he was merely the figurehead for entire cabals of shady scary powerful elites. Right now Trump is the direct opposite. His power right now is from the masses, not the machinery of government.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:53 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Given Rubio and Cruz's neocon foreign policy and promises to carpet-bomb the Middle East, I think it's far more likely that they'd draft every little boy (and maybe even girls, judging from the last debate) in Peoria, IL before Missoula got nuked. Weird as it is, Trump has so far been the anti-intervention candidate - which will make it really interesting to see him go up against Clinton's Libya record, especially given his positioning on the Iraq war.
posted by dialetheia at 2:08 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Has anyone mentioned the splintering we're seeing in the GOP may give some politicians more breathing room to break from the strict orthodoxy imposed by the far right?

Trump has trashed many of the GOP's conservative shibboleths with no apparent damage, and continues to dominate. Including the Holy of Holy's, that GWB "kept us safe" and Iraq had WMDs.

Or is that just the power of overt racism among the GOP electorate?
posted by Max Power at 2:09 PM on February 29, 2016


"Meet The Muslim Americans Voting For Donald Trump, Including An Activist Suing The NYPD Over Surveillance" by Ismat Sarah Mangla, International Business Times
posted by Apocryphon at 2:10 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh, I believe Trump would go to war in a New York minute if the right buttons were pushed in his psycho brain
posted by angrycat at 2:15 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


To the Trump panicers:

The GOP establishment cannot attack Trump with any oomph because he's just saying explicitly what they have been nudge nudge wink wink insinuating for at least a decade now. Attacking that would be political poison for that attacker and noone running for president is willing to fall on their sword to stop Trump, instead they keep hoping someone else will. Meanwhile Hillary/Sanders/the DNC WANTS Trump to win the nomination because they think they can walk all over him AND win tons of downticket races. So they aren't attacking him yet, that would be stupid. The press were treating him as a novelty candidate until very recently, sure that he was going to fizzle out, and seem as surprised as anyone that, oh my god this is a real thing, so are just finally starting to respond to just how outrageous the idea of President Trump is.

My gut feeling. If Trump becomes the nominee (which he could, because it's almost too late to stop that train) the oppo research is going to burn him to the ground and it is going to catch Trump completely by surprised. He's a giant bully who has gotten away with only the most halfhearted attempts to stand up to him. There's TONS of material to attack him with and it's going to be brutal.

Chickenlittleing now is silly.
posted by aspo at 2:23 PM on February 29, 2016 [10 favorites]




Yeah, it's worth looking at the political compass evaluation of the 2016 U.S. Primary Candidates. Look on it and despair.

I filled out their survey. I am on the lower left quadrant. The complete opposite of almost all of the candidates running.
posted by yertledaturtle at 2:28 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


“It pains me to admit that I’m going to pull the lever for this guy,” he said. “But what the hell else do we have? I don’t think it will be as bad as people think. … What’s the worst that can happen?”

lol

I mean, talk about famous last words. Has it literally ever gone well for anyone asking "what's the worst that could happen?" I'm sympathetic to those frustrated and alienated by Obama's foreign policy, but, like, come on. For a Muslim-American to support Trump is to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. It's dangerous self-delusion.

Also, the comparison to other minorities who had their time in the "hot seat" is....not a good one, given that Japanese-Americans' time in the "hot seat" involved losing their homes and businesses and being sent to actual, for real internment camps.
posted by yasaman at 2:31 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]




I mean, talk about famous last words. Has it literally ever gone well for anyone asking "what's the worst that could happen?" I'm sympathetic to those frustrated and alienated by Obama's foreign policy, but, like, come on. For a Muslim-American to support Trump is to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. It's dangerous self-delusion.

The ultimate - vote for the "lesser" evil rationalization?
posted by yertledaturtle at 2:43 PM on February 29, 2016


I saw the memo that you wrote spelling out the issues that you could use against Trump—from his support for partial-birth abortion or his use of illegal immigrants to build his hotels. One thing that wasn't on there is criticism of his bigotry or his racism. How come that's not an issue that you want to raise?

At the time that we were doing research, that wasn't the strongest silver-bullet message for us. How do I word this? The people that are drawn to him because of those things aren't going to be peeled away from him for that. There is an element that likes him because he's a racist, so emphasizing the fact that he's a racist wasn't going to pull those people away.
Stay classy GOP.
posted by OmieWise at 2:49 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: “I don't think this is an entirely new strain of American right-wing populist politics.”
Robert Altemyer. The Authoritarians. 2006.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:53 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


From the comments on Ben Sasse's post: ... I never thought I would say this but Trump is worse than Obama. At least Obama has "morals".

I have never agreed with Barack even once,
We have fought on like seventy-five different fronts,
But when all is said and all is done,
Obama has beliefs.
Trump. Has. None.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:54 PM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Trump believes Trump Steaks are the world's greatest steaks and he means that in every sense of the word.
posted by mazola at 2:57 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


He does have the best words.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:02 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The whisper campaign about Trump being a moderate begins.

pegged it!
posted by mazola at 3:05 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The whisper campaign about Trump being a moderate begins.


If he wins the primary, I think this will help him in the general. I believe, perhaps falsely, that this will not be damaging to his campaign.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, doesn't the polling suggest that his support is strongest among people who identify as moderate? I don't really see how this hurts him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:17 PM on February 29, 2016


it's going to be super weird watching Trump pull a heel-face turn in the general.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:20 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


With populism, you're supposed to appeal to the greatest amount of people possible, and play around with conventional left-right distinctions. That's the whole point of populism!
posted by Apocryphon at 3:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah but we're playing with the soothing fiction that Trump only appeals to a small faction of crazies, you see.
posted by Tevin at 3:35 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I also do not think the ridicule angle is going to work either. It will just be handwaved away as the -"establishment"- picking on the- "outsider". I mean, for Christ sake, Trump has been roasted by Snoop Dog on Comedy Central. Ridicule; is almost like an accelerant for him and his campaign.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like, of all available candidates, Trump seems BY FAR the most likely to get us involved in either a land war in Asia or an actual nuclear war, because some tin-pot dictator calls him a short-fingered vulgarian.

This is undeniably true. But once again, I'm not convinced that the others are actually better. To continue the wrestling metaphor that You Can't Tip a Buick has just reintroduced, Cruz is the mark who made his way into the ring, not pulling his punches because he doesn't realize it's all fake. More than anyone who has ever gotten this far towards the Oval Office, Cruz is a True Believer. Why is it that pretty much every person who has ever had to interact with him hates his guts? He seems to treat everyone only as a means to an end. Why? Perhaps they are all walking dead to him. He may honestly think it is his sacred duty on this Earth to hasten the second coming by way of cleansing nuclear fire.

And Rubio? I'm not going to feel better about him having the Football until someone convinces me that he hasn't been sent back in time by Skynet to bring about Judgment Day.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:39 PM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Jesse Ventura: I’ll Run for President If Bernie Loses

No matter what the outcome is on Super Tuesday and beyond, Ventura seemed excited to get back into politics, hoping to run alongside former New Mexico governor and libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a personal friend.

posted by futz at 3:40 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump represents the apotheosis of privilege. White, male, straight, Christian, wealthy and with zero understanding of how his privilege has paved his way and no empathy whatsoever for those who don't have privilege. For Trump, and others like him, people without privilege exist only to be exploited.
posted by theora55 at 3:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


What a lot of pundits and experts are missing when analyzing Trump and the people that follow him is that there is some legitimate anger and pain out there that has been ignored for years. The pundits and analysts seem to live in a bubble. Significantly large portions of the population of the US live in or near extreme poverty or on the edge of it. There is a lot of pain and suffering out there. Our media has ignored it and instead, pushed the "war on terror" and other wasteful ventures. This is perhaps just the first of the eruptions of populist anger that will occur if the underlying problems are not acknowledged and addressed.

Also, I am not justifying how this is playing out, but I can see where it is coming from. And ridicule has the exact opposite effect that is intended when aimed at Trump and his followers.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:51 PM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


"“Don’t put it on the fucking Internet,” Ventura, stone-faced, said as someone snapped an iPhone picture with an excited admirer."

Well, he's got my vote.
posted by box at 4:01 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


according to Florida officials, 44% of the early votes cast in the Republican primary are from voters who didn't vote in 2012, suggesting that Trump really may be drawing new people and infrequent voters into the political process.

I'm not sure this means what we think it means -- you'd kind of expect a lot of churn in the FL electorate given all the damnyankees moving there and then dying.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:03 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I know what candidate I want with me in a bar fight now.
posted by bukvich at 4:13 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


the thing about persuading people that Trump is a con man is that it means getting to admit that they've been gullible, they've been conned, they've been stupid.


it's just an interesting conundrum. i guess because i would open up any conversation with a Trump supporter with the equivalent of that amalgam of British drivers swearing yesterday, all JESUS WEPT and YOU ABSOLUTE FUCKING WANKER, i am not the best person to imagine how to reach out to Trump supporters
posted by angrycat at 4:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is perhaps just the first of the eruptions of populist anger that will occur if the underlying problems are not acknowledged and addressed.

Something about this is bugging me about this sudden rise in populism "started" by Trump.

Honestly, people have been angry before. More often than not, it has been minorities (and also the Left) who have protested for better pay and to address inequality. But why is it when they were angry before about various inequality issues it's often not called "legitimate anger" and it's never been called "populist" as far as I know. But all of sudden Trump says all these things (a lot of which is just racist) and then people start saying "Populism is on the rise! People power! OMG Trump is an oracle!".
posted by FJT at 4:30 PM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


Something about this is bugging me about this sudden rise in populism "started" by Trump.


Trump did not start it. It has been there festering for years. It is not a sudden thing. Also, the populist rhetoric is not just appealing to white people.

Trump is exploiting the white "lower class" with white identity-based politics and focusing the anger away from the true culprits. HE IS THE ESTABLISHMENT!
posted by yertledaturtle at 4:34 PM on February 29, 2016


No matter what the outcome is on Super Tuesday and beyond, Ventura seemed excited to get back into politics, hoping to run alongside former New Mexico governor and libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a personal friend.

It's almost as though the presidential election is turning into a... battle royal.
posted by My Dad at 4:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump is not the point, as has been reiterated at length. He is just a figurehead for a huge group of people who are in so much pain that ideas like "reason," "honesty," "peace" and "cooperation" are not only uninteresting but feel like a symbolic assault on what little dignity they have left.

When the conditions of society corner people in situations from which it offers them no relief or escape, democracy goes right out the window. They are at fight or flight; everyone else is either a hand to hold or a head to chop off.

The only thing Trump has to do is yell loud enough for long enough. The only thing his constituency demands of him is that he fight until he wins. He's saying exactly what people want to hear, and it doesn't matter what falls out of his mouth besides.

How profoundly scarce is the left's empathy that we cannot comprehend why people would flock to Donal Fucking Trump? People are hurting and afraid. The xenophobia, sexism, racism... it's all just a symptom of their despair.
posted by an animate objects at 4:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [18 favorites]


Tonight's On Point with Tom Ashbrook is Will Trump Upend the GOP? Yes, it's quite a freakout. This is such a weird election. A few old-line Republicans have called in to say they will have a very hard time voting in support of the party if he's the nominee, even though they always do, and they aren't sure what they'll do. Meanwhile, others have called in in support, including a guy who identified himself as "a 39-year-old black guy definitely voting Trump!" who, incidentally, is the 3rd person identifying as black I have heard call into radio shows in the last few days in support of Trump. I think it's very hard to predict what kind of Trump coalition could emerge, as it is hard to predict what will happen with the nomination process and what GOP voters would do if Trump gets the nod.
posted by Miko at 4:39 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


But why is it when they were angry before about various inequality issues it's often not called "legitimate anger" and it's never been called "populist" as far as I know.

It has been because I have been a part of those type of movements in the past. It is often waved off by the establishment as just "populism". I think if I remember correctly, even Obama was tarred a bit for some of his populist rhetoric.
posted by yertledaturtle at 4:41 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


How profoundly scarce is the left's empathy that we cannot comprehend why people would flock to Donal Fucking Trump? People are hurting and afraid. The xenophobia, sexism, racism... it's all just a symptom of their despair.

Right, I get that, but their despair puts my life in danger, and not in a figurative way. So my empathy is limited.
posted by yasaman at 4:49 PM on February 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


The stupid (and scary) thing is the outrage over Trump and the KKK is legitimizing what had become a moribund organization (if you don't include police violence against African Americans).
posted by My Dad at 4:49 PM on February 29, 2016


Right, I get that, but their despair puts my life in danger, and not in a figurative way. So my empathy is limited.

So we fight fire with water: We pursue dramatic social reform to alleviate economic pressures on the lower classes as quickly as possible, we indict the individuals responsible for the fraud that brought the pain, we dissolve or rehabilitate the institutions likewise responsible, and we abandon any and all unsympathetic language like "America has always been great" hard and fast before it's too late.
posted by an animate objects at 4:56 PM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]




Latest from my FB feed, Trump poster-Yes! We Klan!

"a 39-year-old black guy definitely voting Trump!" who, incidentally, is the 3rd person identifying as black I have heard call into radio shows in the last few days in support of Trump.

It is possible Trump has mobilized the call ins, and folks who work them are instructed to say they are black. It has to be some "dirty tricks" department.
posted by Oyéah at 5:05 PM on February 29, 2016




....uh, that's the Post.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:10 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


...And it says Trump is "surprisingly strong" in Westchester and Long Island. That would be great for him if Westchester and Long Island had electoral votes.
posted by Justinian at 5:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]




....uh, that's the Post.

I'm sorry, did the "NYPost:" bit confuse you?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:25 PM on February 29, 2016


dear fellow white people, if we see black people doing things we don't understand this election cycle, can we maybe seek out answers that come from them instead of whitespeculating? I think that'd be cool thx
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:26 PM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


Somebody should probably just go ahead and start working on that thing where they match '80s pro wrestling personalities to presidential candidates now.
posted by box at 5:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, did the "NYPost:" bit confuse you?

No.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]




The xenophobia, sexism, racism... it's all just a symptom of their despair.

I don't think that's true. I think these beliefs are still held even when there isn't despair. I think instead of coming out in forms of anger, these beliefs still come out in the form of "logic" or "rational arguments" or whatever other excuse is used to justify them.

Which is why I am actually fearful that if it is indeed some kind of paradigm shift going on, then in a few years we'll end up with some combination of the Trump/Sanders populist platform: Stronger social services, but restrictions in immigration. Openly bashing/hostility against China & India, but more protectionism.
posted by FJT at 6:28 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]




We pursue dramatic social reform to alleviate economic pressures on the lower classes as quickly as possible, we indict the individuals responsible for the fraud that brought the pain, we dissolve or rehabilitate the institutions likewise responsible

These things would all be great, but none of them will solve the racism or sexism we're seeing from Trump supporters, which is something that runs waaaay deeper than economic injustice or Wall Street banks. Treating people like that with a soft touch because we should empathize with them is not a solution, given that they would happily see women die in agony in back-alley abortions, or black people put back into slavery. I don't know what the answer is, but I know that fixing economic injustice isn't it otherwise all of our one-percenters, who have known nothing but privilege, would be the biggest advocates for immigrants, women and PoC, and we know that's not true. The problem with a lack of empathy isn't on our side, it's on their side.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:50 PM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


The xenophobia, sexism, racism... it's all just a symptom of their despair.

I don't think that's true. I think these beliefs are still held even when there isn't despair. I think instead of coming out in forms of anger, these beliefs still come out in the form of "logic" or "rational arguments" or whatever other excuse is used to justify them.



I agree with you. The xenophobia, sexism, racism etc.. were there preceding the despair. These ideas are part of our economic, political and social systems.

How it is expressed varies over time. It is now expressed in our foreign policy by bombing and invading countries in the Middle East and North Africa. So eventually, there will be other targets that suit the "establishment" itself. Like China or India or wherever as long as most of the people populating those regions are not white and Christian.

That is why, although Trump is acting like he represents the little people against the establishment - he is basically a part of the establishment. He is manipulating the economic oppression of one group against others even more oppressed, to further the aims of part of our current system.

Ultimately I believe, and I may be in error, that it keeps the focus off of the cause. An ideology, that uses identity and other social markers to justify greed and the acquisition of power.
posted by yertledaturtle at 6:57 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think that's true. I think these beliefs are still held even when there isn't despair.

I agree with this. Economic justice is by no means a replacement for racial justice, just an essential counterpart. I do think the economic despair acts as a multiplier on the resentment and hatred, and that elites use minorities as scapegoats to misdirect the focus of that despair and anger.

Which is why I am actually fearful that if it is indeed some kind of paradigm shift going on, then in a few years we'll end up with some combination of the Trump/Sanders populist platform: Stronger social services, but restrictions in immigration. Openly bashing/hostility against China & India, but more protectionism.

I tend to agree with this too, and it's actually one of the main reasons I feel so strongly about Sanders this year. It's a little glib, but the bottom line of my argument for him might be "Sanders 2016: Look at what's happening with Trump, folks - we can do this the nice easy socialist way, or we can do this the hard awful fascist way." I feel that Sanders could meaningfully drain and treat some of that anti-establishment fury in a way that Clinton never could and provide a credible, less dangerous anti-establishment alternative to Trump. But I might be overly optimistic about America's openness to non-nativist solutions to their economic problems at this point. I've found people remarkably open to Sanders here, but the big cultural wedge issue here is gun rights - I'm not sure how well it translates in areas where the wedge is abortion or immigration or religion.

I don't think Sanders could actually convince anyone who's voting for Trump now, just to be clear - his current voters are absolutely beyond hope or empathy with respect to trying to win them over - but I do think there are going to be people who are torn in the general once he pivots because their economic situation is so dire. If the race is between the populist candidate vs. the elite candidate, the person representing elites just has a tough row to hoe this year, regardless of who they are. If they run Trump, as bad as he is, Hillary Clinton is going to be the one onstage representing corrupt campaign finance, neoliberal economics (especially Wall Street deregulation and trade), and neoconservative foreign policy (not just the Iraq vote, which he'll hammer her on, but her lobbying for Libya's regime change & planned "70-year presence" too). Most of America on both sides is pretty damn fed-up with all of that stuff. Sanders, on the other hand, is already arguing very credibly against all of those things. Trump wouldn't be able to make any of that stick to him like he could to Clinton.
posted by dialetheia at 7:09 PM on February 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


I've found people remarkably open to Sanders here, but the big cultural wedge issue here is gun rights - I'm not sure how well it translates in areas where the wedge is abortion or immigration or religion.
Gun rights was a big cultural wedge issue where I grew up, too, but in the other direction. Bernie's support of guns makes him palatable where you live, but in other places it contributes to a perception that he is out of touch with or disinterested in people's safety and survival. So it's not just that he can't win people over in places where abortion or immigration or religion are wedge issues. It's that the very thing that makes him ok with rural white voters where you live is going to cause him problems with constituencies that have to turn out if Democrats are going to have a prayer at winning.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:31 PM on February 29, 2016


Fair enough. I mean, to clarify, it's not like he's great on gun rights from a Montana perspective - he has a D- voting record from the NRA - people just don't have that "he wants to abolish all gun ownership" feeling from him that they apparently get from most Democrats. Sanders is still in favor of most gun restrictions (background checks, close the gun show loophole, eliminate straw-man purchases, ban semi-automatic assault weapons, etc).
posted by dialetheia at 7:40 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


20% of likely democratic primary voters [who do not support Clinton in the primary] would definitely not support Hillary Clinton if she won the Democratic nomination (pdf), while 13% would probably not support her. Those are better numbers than Trump's, I guess.

Sorry to jump upthread a bit, but what that poll actually finds (with my brackets added) is pretty good news for Democrats, while being a wash for Bernie and Hillary. It finds that about 15% of Democratic primary voters would decline to support one or the other Democratic candidate in the general election.

Math: 33% of the 45% of non-Hillary supporters would definitely or probably not support her in the general -- for a total of just under 15%. Likewise, 24% of the 62% of non-Bernie supporters would definitely or probably not support him in the general -- for a total of just under 15%.

By comparison, on the Republican side 48% of the 51% of non-Trump supporters would definitely or probably not support him in the general -- for a total of 24.5%. Trump has a lot more deficit to make up in his own party than either Democrat in this poll -- an additional 10% of his party is threatening to stay home.
posted by jhc at 7:58 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


According to the Times, the Clinton camp is seriously concerned about Trump. I think there's a pretty good chance that after tomorrow, it's going to be pretty clear that it's Trump vs. Clinton, and then things are going to get really interesting, in the "may you live in interesting times" sense.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:02 PM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


From A&C's link above, the first reassuring thing I've seen from the Clinton camp:

“He’s formidable, he understands voters’ anxieties, and he will be ruthless against Hillary Clinton,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut. “I’ve gone from denial — ‘I can’t believe anyone would listen to this guy’ — to admiration, in the sense that he’s figured out how to capture everyone’s angst, to real worry.”

... Others, including former President Bill Clinton ... said that Mr. Trump clearly had a keen sense of the electorate’s mood and that only a concerted campaign portraying him as dangerous and bigoted would win what both Clintons believe will be a close November election.


Finally. Thank you.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:31 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK, just one more:
“Hillary has built a large tanker ship, and she’s about to confront Somali pirates,” said Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for former President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign, who is now an independent.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:33 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I miss the days when a random nutcase shouted out,"Obama is a muslim", and McCain admonished the nut right on the spot.
posted by yertledaturtle at 9:05 PM on February 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


I can't shake the feeling that Trump is the perfect foil for Clinton. For all the distrust voters may have of Clinton, Trump is so odious that its going to be impossible to not vote against him for a lot of people. We're going back to the 90's where the Clintons are going to battle Republicans in tabloid style culture war battles - only without the booming economy.

I have a bad feeling that is just going to clear the way for a Republican in 2020 who appears superficially "moderate" but is just as, if not more, dangerous than Trump.
posted by eagles123 at 9:06 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump has openings to attack Hillary from the right, the center and the left.

- He is going to hammer her as being incompetent in foreign policy, citing the mess in the Middle East that began under her watch. Get ready for lots of Benghazi talk. The hell of it is, he's got a point. Libya was a disaster. The Arab Spring, outside of Tunisia, has been an unmitigated disaster of global scope.

- He is going to point out he believed the war in Iraq was a ruinous failure, and since he had nothing to do with it, he can go after Hillary who voted for it.

- He has declared he's neutral when it comes to Israel and Palestine, and wants to negotiate something acceptable to everyone. Which is something seismic in the Republican party.

- He is going to point out that she's in the back pocket of Wallstreet, and when he's in charge, they'll be in his.

- He is going to attack globalization as being ruinous for the working American, and now professional American. (Since outsourcing the IT department wholesale to India and China has pretty much failed, the new trick is to slowly replace all of the local engineers with cut-rate H1-B's from staffing firms. It's not going at all well, but pulling these shenanigans right around a major election will get the college educated to the polls. )

In short, he is going to say some very reasonable things that the undecided middle really liked hearing from the Democrats, without having to listen to the things that make them uncomfortable. Plus, he's a TV star.

... and then he'll continue with slandering Muslims and Latinos, nasty gendered comments, and some very ugly fellow-travelers who can organzie and get people to the polls.

Ironically, Bernie would be bulletproof on this. Trump wouldn't have the leverage, and would have to stick to histrionics and bluster, which would wear thiiiiiiiin by the second debate or so.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:07 PM on February 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


close the gun show loophole

I was just at a gun show where there were big signs saying that all sales require a background check. I can't speak to what might theoretically happen in the parking lot, but indoors things were legal and scrutinized.

It will still be a stick the GOP will use to beat the democrats, but it seems like a rather paltry issue to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


She stayed in well past when she lost in 2008.

Clinton received 300,000 more popular votes than Obama in the primaries. Out of more than 4400 pledged delegates, Clinton trailed Obama by only 17 delegates at the end of the primaries. Obama won on the basis of those evil super-delegates that everyone is complaining about now, even though he lost the popular vote. It was an extremely close primary right up until the convention.
posted by JackFlash at 9:26 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


According to the Times, the Clinton camp is seriously concerned about Trump.

That's a big relief, actually.
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Clinton received 300,000 more popular votes than Obama in the primaries.
Obama won more total votes than Clinton in the contests where they both appeared on the ballot. Clinton won the popular vote only if you count votes from Michigan, where Obama’s name did not appear on the ballot. Any way you cut it, the candidates’ vote totals are within less than 1 percent of each other. Both candidates got roughly 18 million votes, but since four states don’t list official counts, the precise totals can’t be known.
Factcheck.org
posted by melissasaurus at 9:34 PM on February 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


Any way you cut it, the candidates’ vote totals are within less than 1 percent of each other.

Thank you for confirming that the statement "she stayed in past when she lost in 2008" is false. They were separated by only 17 pledged delegates and the selection of the nominee was made by the 794 super-delegates.
posted by JackFlash at 9:47 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Out of more than 4400 pledged delegates, Clinton trailed Obama by only 17 delegates at the end of the primaries. Obama won on the basis of those evil super-delegates that everyone is complaining about now, even though he lost the popular vote. It was an extremely close primary right up until the convention.

No, look. By March 4th in 2008 it was clear the math for Hillary just on pledged delegates was putting her into a severe uphill battle.

Hillary's only hope lies in the popular vote-a yardstick on which she now trails Obama by about 600,000 votes. Should she end the primary season in June with a lead in popular votes, she could get a hearing from uncommitted superdelegates for all the other arguments that she would make a stronger nominee. (Wins the big states, etc.). If she loses both the pledged delegate count and the popular vote, no argument will cause the superdelegates to disenfranchise millions of Democratic voters. It will be over.

Her only realistic path was through superdelegates.

Look people. If you think it's wrong to stay in after you have lost, apply that criticism equally. Personally, I think Hillary didn't harm Obama's chances all that much and I doubt Bernie will harm hers all that much by choosing the time and the place to bow out. He isn't going to wait beyond a reasonable point. It's better for Hillary if he gets out more sooner than later, but he does owe a certain something to the supporters who are currently still showering him with money too. He will find the right balance there.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:49 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


(And I think it's important the Democrats unify first. Whoever unifies first is going to have a huge advantage. The Republicans are already in motion with the Christie and Session endorsements of Trump. If Sanders stays in too long after Super Tuesday and the Republican clusterfuck settles, you do have a case then that he is putting himself before the party I think.)
posted by Drinky Die at 9:53 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Unless Sanders goes super negative in a way he so far hasn't, it probably benefits Clinton for the Dem race to continue instead of receding to the background while the GOP Grand Guignol Nightmare Clown Carnival grinds on
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:54 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


The longer that Sanders is in the race, the longer he can keep pulling Hillary to the left, and the longer that those who are looking for a populist can have a palatable alternative to Trump.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:56 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


By March 4th in 2008 it was clear the math for Hillary just on pledged delegates was putting her into a severe uphill battle.

And obviously the pundits on March 4th were wrong. By June Clinton was within 17 delegates. The nominee was selected by the 794 super-delegates.
posted by JackFlash at 10:00 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sanders says he's in it until the convention in most of his campaign emails and comments to the press. I wouldn't expect him to drop out at all as long as he can keep raising money.
posted by dialetheia at 10:01 PM on February 29, 2016


So I guess we are just supposed to forget the uncontested primaries in Michigan and Florida in which Clinton campaigned and Obama didn't because those states broke party rules. Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.

As for Sanders, he should stay in as long as he is winning states. Clinton could at least claim that back in 2008.
posted by eagles123 at 10:10 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


And obviously the pundits on March 4th were wrong. By June Clinton was within 17 delegates. The nominee was selected by the 794 super-delegates.

I'm trying to figure out what you are basing your conclusion on and I can't find any sources that argue that the superdelegates gave Obama the win in 2008. Is this something to do with the disqualified numbers from the states that broke the rules?
posted by Drinky Die at 11:04 PM on February 29, 2016


anybody who was against gay marriage as late as 2011 should not be considered left leaning on social issues

Despite his inaccurate bragging, Bernie Sanders was against gay marriage as late as 2006.

asked whether Vermont should legalize full marriage rights for same-sex couples. He replied: “Not right now, not after what we went through.”

But there's a lot of revisionist history on this issue. People forget how strong the anti-gay forces were in the 2000-2008 period. There was a serious risk of a constitutional amendment enshrining the ban on gay marriage, and this kind of "civil unions not marriage" stance, or compromises like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and DOMA were compromises pushed by many pro-gay politicans to block that permanent change.
posted by msalt at 11:20 PM on February 29, 2016


It's weird that everyone handwaves his opposition to DOMA like it didn't mean anything. DOMA was a really big deal to me growing up as a queer kid - I felt like there must really be something wrong with me if even the Democrats thought it was wrong. It really hurt me personally at a very key time in my life that they passed that bill (I remember having to give a report on it in middle school and wanting to cry), and it actually means a lot to me that Sanders was a lone voice in the wilderness on that issue, no matter what his reasons were. As for civil unions in Vermont, to me, his statements read like he was in favor of civil unions in Vermont and just didn't want to push for marriage right after they had passed the bill and had a major shift in the state legislature, which seems reasonable for 2006 to me. Besides, Clinton didn't come around until 2013 so it's not a huge winner for either of them. Bottom line, for me as a young queer kid, DOMA hurt me the most.

I love this video of Sanders defending gay soldiers against this asshole who referred to them as "homos in the military" from 1995 though.
posted by dialetheia at 11:37 PM on February 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


Based on actions, not platitudes, Sanders has a longer and better record on (gay) civil rights. I don't think it would be likely to turn bad for gay people if Clinton is elected, but I have no illusions about her as anything but a fair weather friend. She's pragmatic about acknowledging our rights to get our votes, and that's fine.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:28 AM on March 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


What Donald Trump can teach the Democrats

RAND investigates Trump's populist coalition:
"Trump also beats Cruz among likely primary voters who have liberal positions on economic issues. Trump does better among those who strongly support tax increases for the wealthy (incomes over $200,000) and support labor unions (Figures 4 and 5, respectively), while Cruz does worse. The same pattern emerges with other economic issues, such as raising the minimum wage and a single-payer health care system (not shown). Among GOP primary voters, there is a substantial proportion with relatively liberal positions; 51 percent of Republican primary voters strongly or somewhat favor increasing taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year, and 38 percent have a favorable or very favorable opinion of labor unions, for instance. It appears, then, that Trump supporters form a powerful populist coalition uniting concerns about immigrants and other groups with support for economically progressive policies. ...

Among people likely to vote in the Republican primary, people are 86.5 percent more likely to prefer Donald Trump as the first-choice nominee relative to all the others if they “somewhat” or “strongly agree” that “people like me don't have any say about what the government does". The role of “people like me don't have any say…” is not significantly related to preference for Cruz, Rubio, Clinton, or Sanders as the first choice for party nominee (where Clinton and Sanders are rated by likely Democratic primary voters)."
posted by dialetheia at 12:34 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump’s candidacy might not be making America great, CBS Chairman Les Moonves said Monday, but it’s great for his company.

"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS... The money's rolling in and this is fun," Moonves went on. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:06 AM on March 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


30 black students forcibly removed from audience before Trump rally starts:
VALDOSTA, Ga. — About 30 black students who were standing silently at the top of the bleachers at Donald Trump’s rally here Monday night were escorted out by Secret Service agents who said the presidential candidate had requested their removal before he began speaking.
posted by mmoncur at 1:55 AM on March 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


As for civil unions in Vermont, to me, his statements read like he was in favor of civil unions in Vermont and just didn't want to push for marriage right after they had passed the bill and had a major shift in the state legislature, which seems reasonable for 2006 to me.

Yes. Sanders was referring to the backlash against civil unions, represented by the Take Back Vermont thing. As the Wiki points out, those signs were still around years later. There are probably still some visible today. Despite the recent liberalization of the state, there's still a very conservative component of the population.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:37 AM on March 1, 2016


I don't know why people are so up in arms about Bernie staying in until the convention. Compare his campaign and Hillary's to the GOP clown car, where they are literally arguing over dick size and trying to outdo each other in kill counts of PoC/women/Muslim/LGBT folk. Hell, compare it 2008 and it still comes off as relatively chill. Even if I thought that the primary was essentially over today, if I was either Bernie or Hillary I'd still be thinking of ways to get Bernie to speak at the convention in ways that highlight his agreements with her to keep his voters at least somewhat energized for her.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:32 AM on March 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, considering that the primaries are frontloaded with southern states, it'd be irresponsible to drop out so soon.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:43 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Personally, I think it would be awesome if both of them used their money to attack the GOP. An extra three months of negative press no matter who gets the nod, plus the chance to test which attacks are most effective, seems to me like a win-win.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:48 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


from dialethia's link, What Donald Trump can teach the Democrats

tl;dr: Microsoft's Embrace and Extend.
posted by klarck at 6:09 AM on March 1, 2016


I could be wrong, but I think that Bernie will get behind Hillary if it's clear that she and Trump are going to be the nominees. Bernie has made it really clear that one of the formative facts of his life is that a lot of his Polish immigrant father's relatives died in the Holocaust. I think he probably views a Trump presidency with the same sense of sick dread that my family does.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:34 AM on March 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder how Trump's lack of filter would play out if he were in office. All my life there has been speculation that newly elected presidents are taken aside by Those That Truly Are In Power and given a briefing on The True State Of The Planet that they must keep secret at all costs.

If this were really the case, could someone like Trump not let it slip?
posted by sourwookie at 7:40 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


All my life there has been speculation that newly elected presidents are taken aside by Those That Truly Are In Power and given a briefing on The True State Of The Planet that they must keep secret at all costs.

I can't find it with a cursory googling, but Henry Kissinger once said that this is basically the case -- getting those daily security briefings and then going to cocktail parties and having to talk to people who don't get those briefings is incredibly difficult.
posted by Etrigan at 7:44 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


The crucial truth Donald Trump reveals about American politics is that the center of gravity for debates between Americans writ large is virtually the opposite: a mix of economic liberalism and social conservatism — what sometimes gets defined as "populism."

If only America had a Christian Democratic Party...
posted by Apocryphon at 7:44 AM on March 1, 2016


"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS... The money's rolling in and this is fun," Moonves went on. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

If it bleeds, it leads. If it's Trump, it's a ratings bump.
posted by Drastic at 8:22 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump’s candidacy might not be making America great, CBS Chairman Les Moonves said Monday, but it’s great for his company.

"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS... The money's rolling in and this is fun," Moonves went on. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”


The business conservatives always think they can control the fascists
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:30 AM on March 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


(Just noticed the Super Tuesday thread, carry on.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:40 AM on March 1, 2016




The business conservatives always think they can control the fascists

CBS doesn't make money without viewership. I'd think maybe we call for a boycott of CBS and Viacom-owned properties, if they are okay with making money off promoting a white supremacist Republican. But liberals would rather consume The Daily Show and the like, rather than make that kind of principled stand. I suspect Moonves knows that, too.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:00 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Latinos in most of the US are not Cuban, and don't necessarily see Cubans as natural allies.

Especially Cubans who talk about building walls and deporting Mexicans. It's pretty rank hypocrisy for any Cuban to criticize "illegal" immigrants, since Cubans literally cannot break the law by entering the U.S. with or without papers.

By a unique law, the second they reach US soil they are granted legal status.
posted by msalt at 3:09 PM on March 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Larry Summers: The possible election of Donald Trump as President is the greatest present threat to the prosperity and security of the United States. I have had a strong point of view on each of the last ten presidential elections, but never before had I feared that what I regarded as the wrong outcome would in the long sweep of history risk grave damage to the American project.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:06 PM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Summers didn't think that the war adventures of Bush et al might have that affect, as they did for the Soviets?
posted by OmieWise at 6:05 AM on March 2, 2016


It may be the framing of what that means, I guess. He's specifically highlighting the threat of electing a proto-strongman.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:25 AM on March 2, 2016


"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS... The money's rolling in and this is fun," Moonves went on. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

And here, in a nutshell, is the root of all of this. Trump's power is significantly reduced if he stops making so much money for the media. As long as he's good TV, they're happy to cover and normalize every ignorant, awful thing he says.

Les Moonves, you're ruining America for a little bit of money.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:42 AM on March 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ruining America for a little bit of money is about the most American thing you can do.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:53 AM on March 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


I wake up to the Today show most mornings and it has seemed like every fucking day they call him up to ask "oh Donald, how COULD you!" and let him blather on the phone for a good 5-10 minutes.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:09 PM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


« Older No vestige of a beginning,–no prospect of an end.   |   “When asked my name, I struggled between ‘Kenneth... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments