Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!
The excellent writer and human Paul Waldman of the Washington Post and The Week gave out a warning to our dear Republican cousins when they blocked the Supreme Court justice nominee Merrick Garland: you’re abandoning another governing norm, do it too many times and you’re de-evolve into something badly unrecognizable.
It can be said that human institutions reflect the personal human psyche, one is rarely in a static general state, there is either a base progression forward or movement backward. There are happy times when variables gel to a stable state, but change will eventually force adaptive growth—or a regressive fall.
Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!Continue reading "Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!"
Giving Them a Real Choice
by Deacon Blues
It's been said before around these parts that the GOP will run 2016 as a law-and-order election, and sure enough, you'll hear a lot of that tonight from Donald Trump. The time-tested way to jack up white people is to scare them with imaginary lawless brown people. So look for Trump and the GOP to run a replay of Nixon's 1968 strategy.
Just don't expect to hear Trump talk about "justice" and "fairness" while he is talking about law and order, unless he wants to brazenly put forward the notion of reverse discrimination, which given his base should not be discounted. Fascists need to display an image of nativism and strength with their overt racism, so the "America First" message tonight is really code for "White People Coming Home."
As for Hillary, and her VP pick, I do think the Pence selection may have changed her calculus, but that is no reason to pick the likes of Castro, Vilsack, or Perez. Nor am I particularly thrilled with a Tim Kaine selection, yet when you look at the Democrats' actual bench, there aren't many commander-in-chiefs in waiting. Obama for his part certainly wasn't himself in 2008, but he selected Biden to compensate for that. Hillary doesn't need to check that box herself, yet she needs to make a good but not pandering pick.
I simply think in this election, with a need to drive out the Democratic base while undercutting Trump's alleged concern for blue collar economics, combatting two extremist white guys with two pro-middle class women could be a smart, and energizing play. It would also help if Hillary called Trump's bluff on economics, and focused on unions, as we've said before, and make Trump go against that.
No matter what, Hillary will have a target-rich environment to go after Trump and Pence, bit it starts with the right economic message and the right running mate.
Update, Thursday evening: Trump's prepared remarks cast America in a dark place that is all Hillary's fault:
Trump’s speech will lay out stark differences between his agenda and Clinton’s. He asserted that the likely Democratic nominee was a “puppet” of corporations and elites, and that she would “keep our rigged system in place.”
That's right, the man who is now owned by the Koch Brothers, and who has been an elite himself his entire life, is attacking the woman who came out last week for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United.
Trump also blamed Clinton directly for the past decade and a half of turmoil in the Middle East and cast the former secretary of state as a favor-trading, self-enriching agent of foreign powers.
That's right; it was all a dream that Bush/Cheney were in the White House from 2001 until 2009. And apparently Hillary has been running our foreign policy since 2009.
"This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: Death, destruction and weakness," Trump said in the prepared remarks. "But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy."
He's now opened himself up to a 4-day exploration next week of what a Trump world would mean for America.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Trump
by Deacon Blues
You have to love how Donald Trump views party unity. Your campaign chairman picks a fight with the governor of the state hosting the RNC convention, explicitly making a threat against that governor, and then blames Hillary Clinton for the outright plagiarism committed by Trump's wife last night. Yes, Paul Manafort is definitely Vladimir Putin's man inside the Republican Party.
It's pretty bad when the RNC chairman and the departed Trump campaign chairman both agree that there needs to be accountability for the dumpster fire that was Melania Trump's speech last night. But what gets lost here are two things:
1. The Trump family has integrity issues all around; and
2. Trump and his supporters are the same people insisting that Hillary's alleged lack of integrity disqualifies her.
Yet there was Matthew Dowd and Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning, giving golden child Ivanka Trump strokes for being a political star in the making. That's when you know ABC and perhaps other networks are in the tank for Trump, while continuing to pick away at the Clintons for their "integrity" issues.
Missing The Obvious
by Deacon Blues
It’s amazing how much of the initial commentary about the Pence VP selection never mentions the real reason why he was selected over Gingrich and Christie: Pence is a bridge to Koch money and immediately solves the GOP financial disadvantage. Yet you wouldn’t know this by reading the New Republic, Politico, Joan Walsh at the Nation, Buzz Feed, or other outlets.
Yet I can’t blame them: the Clinton campaign dropped the ball also. I mean, how hard is it to start tying Trump and Pence to the Koch Brothers, and destroy Trump’s alleged independence from GOP establishment plutocrats? Apparently it is too difficult for Team Clinton.
As for the recent coverage by mainstream media outlets about a tightening race, remember that the New York Times/CBS News poll was of registered voters, and not likely voters. Because the media wants to cover a horse race, they want to sell their narrative that Hillary was mortally wounded by the FBI conclusions about her email stupidity. Yet you won’t hear the mainstream media cover other polls taken at the same time, of likely voters, that show Clinton not affected by the FBI report, but in fact leading Trump by a good margin.
And that’s before the GOP gives us four days next week of Benghazi, Clinton sex crimes, and laughable Trump surrogates. What you won't hear in Cleveland from Trump's media spectacle are actual solutions to our problems, just attacks.
There's been some talk recently about Team Clinton getting its act together and the candidate finding her voice. I haven't seen it yet, nor have I been impressed with their ability to take what is handed to them and beat Trump over the head with it. Clinton now knows the GOP ticket and the convention agenda: a failed businessman and discriminatory governor, peddling attacks and not a positive vision of solutions to real problems. A smart campaign would spend every day over the next week driving the "Party of Koch" narrative, and blasting Trump for selling out to the plutocrats and extremists who have nothing to offer Main Street.
A smart campaign would do that. Where is that campaign?
Pence = Koch Brothers
by Deacon Blues
With Trump's VP nominee search apparently narrowed to Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and now Indiana GOP governor Mike Pence, you only need to remember one thing: Mike Pence is a wholly owned political subsidiary of the Koch Brothers. For a campaign struggling to gain ground against Clinton's fundraising advantage, the quickest way for Donald Trump to access $1-2 billion is for him to put Mike Pence on the ticket.
No matter how tight the polls may be getting right now, Team Clinton should want Trump to select Pence, because such a selection immediately destroys Trump's narrative of being his own man, one not tied to GOP plutocrats. Having Mike Pence on the ticket means putting Charles and David Koch in the Oval Office, giving orders to "Man of the People" President Trump.
Update, Thursday: Money wins out; Trump will pick Pence. Trump's ascension demolished the GOP establishment infrastructure to the degree that the Koch Brothers have now achieved what they always wanted: control of the Republican Party.
America’s Weimar Election
Via Hullabaloo and Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine comes a fascinating insight into the evolution of Adolf Hitler and extremely disturbing parallels to Election 2016, America’s Weimar election.
Conservative Germans then, just as most Americans view Trump now, saw Hitler as rabble political trash, certainly good at mobilizing base political forces but completely hapless in his ability to organize intellectually or to practically seize power. A contemptible lightweight, soon to be easily swept away by rationality and events.Continue reading "America’s Weimar Election"
Post E-Mail Shutout
by Deacon Blues
FBI Director Comey did the right thing, and gave more detail behind their recommendations than the bureau would normally do in the Hillary Clinton email decision. I can quibble about the FBI's assertions as to what Clinton knew was classified or Top Secret as it was sent to her, but the truth as I've said before is that Clinton showed poor judgment and made a mistake in doing this in the first place, so she should just give a contrite and soul-baring statement and press conference and move on. Will she? No.
And the reason why she won't, and decide instead to simply ignore it and ride this out is already in evidence on MSNBC, which is breathlessly covering every rant and utterance from Donald Trump since Comey's press conference. BernieTV was already disposed against Hillary regardless of her stupidity on the email decision, so this perhaps shouldn't be surprising that they are helping drive ratings by giving Trump around the clock coverage in his outrage.
I'm pretty much done with the political coverage until the conventions now. I can't stand what the media is doing to enable Trump, so I've decided to ignore the media each night and just wait it out until later.
The Don of the Con
There has been some background debate to the 2016 presidential campaign among political geeks and a few journalists to an unthinkable thesis of American politics: the Republican nominee is not in fact a candidate for President, he’s a grifter who’s only playing the part to enrich himself.
That cannot be, there is no way our world could produce such a lying twisted mind for the most noble, powerful office in the world. Even if such a mental charlatan existed it’s flat-out impossible for a grifter to navigate the American political process against real politicians, it’s as if to say the sun shines purple, there is no realm of possibility for a faker to run for President.Continue reading "The Don of the Con"