IT'S OK, THEY DON'T MATTER

I am a small and petty man, and that is why I am just about ready to drop to my knees, rediscover religion, and pray to an assortment of deities for the nomination of Donald Trump. Lindsey Graham – Lindsey fucking Graham! – is right: if Trump wins, "That's the end of the Republican Party." That is not hyperbole. If he is the nominee, the presidential race will turn into the kind of one-sided ass kicking that we haven't properly seen since 1984, 1972, and and the FDR years. In modern elections there are groups of states that Republicans and Democrats simply can't lose. Anyone running with the "D" after their name is going to win California, and any Republican who isn't literally frothing at the mouth will win the Deep South. Trump is so bad he could lose states Republicans never lose. States Republicans would practically have to try to lose. Hell, Texas will be in play.

Gallup released some startling numbers recently about Hispanics' views on the GOP clown car of candidates. Turns out Hispanics don't like Donald Trump. Hispanics really, really, really hate Donald Trump.

trump hisp

Translation: "We're pretty meh on most of these people, except for this guy. Fuck this guy." Not like it matters though. There aren't a lot of Hispanic voters in the U.S. anyway, right?

Bonus amusement comes from the fact that Ted Cruz appears to be the least popular of the non-Donald candidates, along with fellow Texan Rick Perry. Perry's stillborn campaign may be the first one to commit seppuku, if the whispers are to be believed. We'll, uh, miss him. He was really…present. For some of this.

Everyone pray with me on this one. I haven't wanted something to happen this much since I wanted someone to tackle James Harrison.

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57 Responses to “IT'S OK, THEY DON'T MATTER”

  1. Sluggo Says:

    Trump will implode at some point I just don't know when. Hopefully after the convention, but before the general election. It will be something we will never forget.

  2. FMguru Says:

    Anyone really wanting to see what the future of a Trumpified Republican party looks like should take a gander at what happened to the state of California in the 1990s, where the Republican governor (bland non-entity Pete Wilson) tried to launch a White House bid by blaming all of the state's troubles on Latinos, including pushing a clearly-unconstitutional ballot amendment denying public services to "suspected" illegal immigrants and requiring doctors and schoolteachers to report suspected illegals. California's Latinos responded by moving solidly into the Democrat column where they've been for the last 20 years, making the state (which had given the world Presidents Reagan and Nixon) bright blue. The California GOP is so pathetic that the state Chamber of Commerce has stopped funding them. Democrats control all ten of the statewide offices, and have for the last couple of electoral cycles.

    It's amazing because it didn't have to be this way. Latinos traditionally respond strongly to messages about faith (especially conservative Catholic faith, with an emphasis on opposition to abortion and homosexuality), hard work, and family, and they don't like competing with African-Americans for political patronage and resources. There was a real chance to pull them into the GOP coalition (which, given that they're the fastest growing demographic in 21st century America, would have locked up Republican power for the next several decades) but the party couldn't keep it's good-ol-boy base tamped down long enough to do it, and welp here we are.

    Even if Trumps flames out and disappears by the time real votes are cast next year, the damage he has done to the GOP is real and will last a long time. Ha ha ha ha ha.

  3. Glen H Says:

    I have to ask- are Latino voters really as socially conservative as Republicans? I'm not American so I'm curious. Generally most communities are more accepting of gays, etc than even a few years ago and I wonder if the Latino voters are any different?

  4. The Mad Dreamer Says:

    Thing with Latino voters, and I'm one of them, is that there's no one bloc of Latino voters. A lot of us are Catholic. A lot of us aren't. A lot of us are passionately engaged with immigration issues because they affect our families. A lot of us (primarily Cubans and Puerto Ricans) aren't so much, due to different circumstances in the relation to migration to the mainland. There are so many ways to break us down into our different concerns based on national, ethnic, religious, and other heritages that it becomes quite obvious that, contrary to white America's understanding of Latinos as all basically the same, we're all individuals. Who'da thunk it. People of color as individuals. Fascinating.

    I can tell you that as an atheist Puerto Rican socialist born on the mainland and currently enrolled in a doctoral program (and being formerly a first generation college student), I hate Trump with every fiber of my being. But I can also say that I want to see him stick around long enough to destroy the Republican Party from within.

    However, I'm pessimistic and not sure that will actually happen. We've long predicted the self-destruction of the party – from the failure of Dubya to the nightmare of Palin to the Tea Party chuckleheads to birthers to Trump last time around – and it hasn't happened yet. The Republican Party is like the Lernean Hydra. It has no brain, and every time it loses a head two more sprout up. Only by destroying its heart, utterly crushing the emotional core of the beast, will it be defeated.

  5. FMguru Says:

    Glen –

    Two decades ago, the surveys I saw showed they were pretty much in line with Republicans on social issues. Fast forward to today and the generation that has grown is much more liberal (like their fellow Millennials) on social issues, and older Latinos have moved into the Democratic mainstream on social issues. A similar thing with African-Americans – their cultural conservatism (centered around the traditional black church) has withered away over the last couple of decades, and for much the same reason).

    Again, Latinos were a demographic that really was up-for-grabs between the two parties, and the Republicans just chased them into the arms of the Democrat. This is a genuine disaster for Republicans – old racist white people are literally dying off from old age, while today's young Latinos will be voting for the next fifty years, but guess who the Republicans have chosen to build their party around?

  6. Xynzee Says:

    GlenH: Latino for America is—in broad brush— what Asians (Chinese origin) are for Oz.

    They share surface characteristics (and sometimes language). However, scratch and you will quickly find that they are not the same. Chinese Singaporeans are not the same as Chinese Malaysians who are not the same as Honkers, who are not the same as Taiwanese, who are not the same as Mandarin…

    As expressed above, Cubans are as different to Puerto Ricans as they are to Mexicans, Guatamalans, Peruvians…

    As you can see, they're not one big homogenous blob.

  7. HoosierPoli Says:

    Mad Dreamer: 'We've long predicted the self-destruction of the party – from the failure of Dubya to the nightmare of Palin to the Tea Party chuckleheads to birthers to Trump last time around – and it hasn't happened yet. '

    Oh no? I would argue we've been watching it slowly suffocate for the past six years or so. Certainly Republican CANDIDATES have done well individually, and the party nominally controls Congress, but tell me, who controls the party? This is what the death of a party LOOKS like. It's long and it's messy but there's no way out but down.

    I can certainly imagine that a coalition of diverse conservative congresspeople will continue to run train of the legislative branch, but the Party of Nixon is FUCKED.

  8. Katydid Says:

    Down the road from me is an enclave of McMansions on about 3 acres of land each. One house is gated with high fencing and stone walls so you can't see the house, but right at the gate there's always a huge, elaborate, professional signboard. In 2008 it was for McCain/Palin, for 2011 – 2012 it simply said SARAH PALIN, from 2012 until a few months ago it had a rotating list of tinfoil-hat anti-Obama messages, and now it says Trump/Carson. Unless the idiot who owns the property also owns a sign-making company, he's spending a small fortune to advertize what a nutcase he is. THIS is who the Republican party attracts.

  9. Hazy Davy Says:

    The most dangerous spell in D&D was the "wish" spell, if I remember my middle-school years well enough.

    Wish for the destruction of the GOP, and you may get it.

    But Trump will take his message of "any hardship you have is the result of your social inferiors" and start his policy-free, catchphrase-spewing, smarmy, rabble-rousing, reality-TV-driven 3rd party. And it will likely fail, too.

    But oh, the civic damage caused by giving such a large subset of the population righteous anger! It's the worst of the Tea Party (hatred masquerading as nostalgia).

    Call me crazy, but I actually am hoping the GOP establishment beats down this movement.

  10. Mr. Wonderful Says:

    Here is a sincere question via Mrs. Wonderful: Why don't the Republicans jettison their idiot base? Just stop pandering to it, announce a non-insane, more centrist (/right) platform, and stop hitting themselves? Jeb! himself said that, in order to win the general election, you have to lose the primaries. Why not admit that pleasing the base is a ticket to oblivion, and start over?

    I said, They must think that whoever remains isn't enough.

    I also said–rather wittily, I thought–"You dance with the one what brung ya," and they've gotten control of Congress, state leges, and governorships, by pandering to that base.

    I assume it's already too late for this cycle: they have 17 Klowns all trying to out-idiot each other, and there may be no turning back. But next time, when they convene another Quo-Vadis "summit" with Reince and the nitwits to assess the future? I can't see it. Sure, they want the White House. But why risk what they already have?

    Unless, of course, Trump starts a third party and siphons the loons away. Is there enough popcorn in the world to cover such an event? Maybe we'll see!

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    I'm not sure Donald will continue to be this popular.
    He might.
    But he's not the first conservative loon in the lead in the polls.

    At this point in the 2008 election, another big-mouthed and pompous Authoritarian “hero” was leading the pack with over 30%:
    Rudy Giuliani.

    I’m not saying there’s nothing to worry about, because there is.
    But, Trump’s never – and hasn’t yet, that I know of – set-up a state-to-state ground-game system of supporters, door-knocker, phone-callers, etc.

    Now, he’s got name-recognition all over this country, so he might not need to do as much as other candidates.
    But, one thing’s for sure, at least for now, the GOP won’t help him set that up, like they would if some other candidate was in the lead.

    Trump feels like he’s made of Teflon. But, like with a Teflon pan, eventually, stuff starts to stick to it.

    Now, Trump’s further pissed-off FOX by calling Kelly “a bimbo.”
    http://www.metro.us/news/fox-news-czar-roger-ailes-demands-trump-apology-for-megyn-kelly-tirade/zsJohz—c8kp7Q5eJBFLg/

    When it comes to Billionaires, Rupert “Murderoch” can buy and sell Trump probably dozens of times, so we’ll see how this goes!

    So, GOP, how’s that outreach to women and Latino’s going?

  12. postcaroline Says:

    While acknowledging that Latin@s are not a monolithic entity (thank you Mad Dreamer), I am nevertheless reminded of this postmortem of the 2012 election:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/11/19/the-party-next-time

    Useful quote: "In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat. If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party."

    That was none other than Ted Cruz.

  13. Rugosa Says:

    Mr. Wonderful nails it: "Sure, they want the White House. But why risk what they already have?" They have most governorships, most state legislatures, the House and the Senate. And the Supreme Court. A Dem presidential veto is the only thing keeping them from total control, but that's not so important as they can and do control the Federal government by gridlock.

  14. cekman Says:

    Ed, what do you think of the primary schedule this year? It's not fully set yet, and I don't understand the arcana of party rules in any event. But it seems to me like it could be a huge (sorry, youuuge) opportunity for Trump.

    The party has set aside February for the usual early contests – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada – and put the clamp on the frenzied leapfrogging that happened last time. So for a month, we get to pretend like we're having a nice traditional race. Town halls! Diners! Standing on soapboxes at state fairs! Going door-to-door, pressing the flesh! Good old-fashioned retail politics.

    Then, soon as March hits, everyone walks into the buzzsaw. On the first day of the month, something like 14 states will have their primaries. By March 15th, more than half the states will have voted and more than half the delegates will have been awarded.

    The Republican party wanted to weight things towards the establishment frontrunner, to prevent the kind of degrading spectacle of 2012, when Mitt Romney spent months with a succession of no-hopers nipping at his heels. But Romney's competitors had little money. The party clearly didn't anticipate having an insurgent who could afford to compete in 14 states at once. If Trump is still running strong by the time voting starts (which, to be fair, is almost half a year away), then there will be very little time left to stop him.

  15. Khaled Says:

    @FMGuru-

    While the church is still a very important part of the black community, black voters will not be going in droves to the Republican party. You can thank all of the obvious dog whistles about Obama for that outcome. As for "social issues" that they might be conservative about, completely anecdotally here, when I worked in a black neighborhood I had an employee put it to me this way. "I'm a Christian, so I don't necessarily believe in gay marriage. But I know discrimination when I see it." I think most very religious black people see it that way. While they may agree with Republicans on religious issues, they certainly don't trust them.

  16. J. Dryden Says:

    Additional kudos to the Mad Dreamer for banishing the notion of Latinos as a hivemind bloc. (Try, just try lumping together a Latino of Caribbean descent with a Latino of Mexican descent with a Latino of Central American descent, and see how popular you are with all three parties.)

    All communities are diverse in some ways, and the larger the community, the more evident that diversity is–anyone who lives in Southern California (as I did for most of my life) will tell you that there is no more a cultural bloc of Latinos than there is a cultural bloc of white folks. A lot of the talk of "black voters" and "Hispanic voters" is astonishingly racist, simply because it presumes that, based on one's ethnic origin, one thinks and feels certain things. Which, no.

    That said, you can create such a uniform bloc by doing something that forces a collective response. (To risk Godwin's law, I'm sure there were no pro-Hitler Jews.) The anti-"illegal" narrative of the GOP is coming pretty close to doing so. Moves for 'crackdowns'–i.e. mass deportation are in theory based on legal status, but are in practice based on skin color, and that's becoming more and more clear. (Witness law enforcement in Arizona.) Trump is merely the loudest voice calling for such–there are plenty of others who feel the same, or who feel they are required to say so in order to get elected.

    And that's the problem. Thanks to the anti-immigrant narrative from sources like talk radio, Fox News, and the politicians themselves, the GOP base really, really hates Latinos. And the base votes. Which means–and how rarely does one say this, Jeb(!) Bush is right: to win the nomination, you have to lose the election. Happened with black voters. Happened with gay voters. Happening with Latino voters. By embracing policies that treat them like an undifferentiated bloc (as "the problem," collectively), the far right has forced them to embrace the other side out of sheer self-defense.

    Trump will, I think, flame out. As the field winnows, and GOP voters are less glutted with options, I think they'll start to aggregate around a sane candidate, while Trump's current number of supporters will stay the same. But it might not matter, if the eventual nominee has echoed Trump's bigotry.

    As a side note: God bless Citizen's United–the thing that was supposed to save the GOP's national viability may well be the thing that kills it. Why? Because, as it turns out–and I love that my argument has led me to make this point–right wing billionaires are not a unified voting bloc.

  17. cekman Says:

    One more thing: by now, probably everyone's seen the story about Frank Luntz's horrifying focus group with Trump fans. (If you haven't, here are two of them:
    http://time.com/4009413/donald-trump-focus-group-frank-luntz/
    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/08/inside_the_mind_of_the_trump_supporter.html )

    Part of the point of Luntz's focus groups is to probe for weaknesses, without making it look like a hit job. So he'll ask leading questions like, "Would you be less likely to support Trump if I were to tell you that (he once supported single-payer health insurance / he gave money to Democratic campaigns / he worships Ba'al)?"

    He left the group shaken. Nothing worked. The group left liking Trump even more than they had before. These voters distrust the media and feel betrayed by Republican leaders, Luntz declared, so for them, Trump is impervious to criticism. "If you wanted to take him down, I would not know how to do it."

    And what's going to happen in Congress in the next month or so? They're going to fail to stop the Iran deal. They're going to fail to shut down the government. They're going to be forced to raise the debt ceiling. They're going to fail to defund Planned Parenthood. And John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will (quietly) do everything in their power to ensure those things happen.

    What will Trump say? "I thought Obama was the worst negotiator I'd ever seen. But the Republicans gave him everything he wanted! They control Congress, he's a lame duck, but they gave him all this horrible, horrible stuff. How can you be a worse negotiator than Obama?"

    And the base will go nuts. They've been told for months that the Iran deal will lead directly to a new Holocaust and that Planned Parenthood is conducting ritual Satanic sacrifice and holding fetal tissue barbecues. And they're powerless in the face of such overwhelming evils?

    And what the fuck will Jeb say? What could he say?

    You thought summer has been great for Trump? Just wait for fall.

  18. Katydid Says:

    Whatever happened to the Koch-funded TeaBaggers? Did they flame out? Haven't heard much from them since the "moran" and "get the gummit outta muh MEDICARE" signs.

  19. Well mostly Says:

    Oh this is fun!
    I'm with Ed in praying for Trump to get the nod.
    What irony that a slick New York real estate developer could lock up Dixie. He sure has them wetting their pants with his 'tell it like it is' sermons based on nothing so much as endlessly replaying Free Bird. Most of us are embarrassed to have such a huge boner in public. Not them.
    The Mad Dreamer is right to caution against lumping all the Hispanic community. But, if someone manages to piss off so many parts of that community, as FM notes, Pete Wilson did it in California, that most move away……well, that's an accomplishment that takes determination, focus and massive effort. I think Trump has shown he's up for that. Can he keep the troops at such a fever pitch for months and months and turn that into votes? We'll see. Lots can happen in that much time.
    This is all so freakin' entertaining. Who knew the Repubs had it in them to be so funny? And it's still summer!

  20. drouse Says:

    I am personally hoping for a third party run. Hell, he can resurrect the Reform Party and pick up where Buchanan and his brown shirts left off. It would be fitting.

  21. Sam240 Says:

    @ J. Dryden –
    "That said, you can create such a uniform bloc by doing something that forces a collective response. (To risk Godwin's law, I'm sure there were no pro-Hitler Jews.) "

    Lehi was a group of pro-Hitler Jews who saw Britain as the real enemy of the Jewish people. To them, the United Kingdom was the bunch of infidels who were occupying the homeland; therefore, they must be opposed. Lehi never had more than a few hundred people, and would be little more than a footnote if it were not for the fact that one of those pro-Hitler Jews in it, Yitzhak Shamir, later became prime minister of Israel.

  22. John M. Burt Says:

    The death of that which was once the party of Lincoln is the best hope this country has.
    It is my hope that over the next few years, we will paint the electoral map blue…at which point we can safely begin to paint it green.

  23. mothra Says:

    Oh, Trump doesn't want to be president and will drop out of the race after he's had his fun. His campaign is disorganized and doesn't even have offices set up in many states. He just announced that, contrary to his previous statements, he will accept campaign donations. That is because he doesn't want to throw away any more of his own money on mounting a giant carnival featuring and fluffing his own ego, but will gladly use others' money to do so.

    Problem is that he has set a rather nasty tone for the rest of the candidates to meet. They are gladly tripping over themselves to be just as nasty and awful as he is. Great. Will they offend minority voters? Sure. But with voter disenfranchisement ramping up in states all around the nation, those minorities who do even choose to vote will likely be prevented from voting. As Rugosa and Mr. Wonderful point out, the Republicans don't really need the presidency to run the nation—they have wisely focused on taking control of the states and the legislature.

    So, while we think that Trump will destroy the GOP, we are very wrong. The GOP now festers happily in the corner like mold in the corner of a shower.

  24. Brian M Says:

    Will the Trump SA Troopers wear gaudy golden "Ts" on their uniforms in the place of the Swastikas?

  25. c u n d gulag Says:

    @Brian M,
    Herr tRUMP's fans will wear brown shirts, and his staff will wear full-length leather coats, with the "T" surrounded by lightening bolts!

    Heil tRUMP!

  26. Lawrence Says:

    @Mr Wonderful
    They can't walk away from the racists and the theocrats, which, oddly enough looks like the CSA on a map. They'd be left with the chamber of commerce and finance industry. It's not enough. And while the party knows they can obstruct from a minority and govern the more easily bought statehouses, the base wants what they have been promised. They want their war. Yes, with Iran for starters. But even more than that, they want their real war. The war to purge their white christian nation of all the Mexicans, the gays, and their whole list of Others. And they need all three branches of the Federal government to do it. Make no mistake about the nature of the problem. There are tens of millions of Americans who are desperate to march forth under their Strong Father figure and destroy the hated Other.
    Us.

  27. Gerald McGrew Says:

    How in the world can anyone say the GOP is on the verge of death when they control both houses of Congress and in most cases have a majority on the supreme court? When I bring up this "the GOP is killing itself" meme to my conservative friends, they laugh and say "If this is what death looks like, we'll take it!" And with an unliked and untrusted Hillary running in opposition, there's a very real chance that by January 2017, the GOP will control every branch of the federal government. Throw in a majority of governorships and state legislatures, and well, you have to kinda go all Twain and say "The rumors of the GOP's death are greatly exaggerated".

    As with every election I've lived through, it comes down to one thing and one thing only…..who bothers to show up and vote. Latinos are among the least voting demographic in the country. Black turnout is almost as low.

    THAT'S the real problem we have. The Democrat base is comprised of low-turnout populations, whereas the GOP base is comprised of highly energized and motivated voters. Until that motivational difference changes, we may as well get used to the way things are now.

  28. Scout Says:

    'The Democrat base' … alrighty then.

    Sanders (or Clinton for that matter) will demolish the McDonald in the general. So yeah, bring it. I'm ready to see Texas, Arizona and Florida turn blue already. tRUMP's big mouth might just get a whole lot of otherwise unengaged voters to the polls just to cast a ballot against him.

  29. J. Dryden Says:

    @ Sam240: To quote myself on reading your post: "Huh. Well, I'll be goddamned."

  30. Skippper Says:

    @ Gerald McGrew

    Just because there are a lot of people in the Congress with an "R" after their names, doesn't mean the party is thriving. If it were, you would have expected them to have achieved some kind of a program. Instead, they have no real agenda beyond obstructionism, saying "no," and holding their collective breath until they turned blue.

    They voted more than 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Every bill was dead on arrival. They spent millions of dollars of taxpayer money in a futile attempt to do away with same-sex marriage, despite the fact a majority of citizens approve of it. They have done absolutely zero to improve the economy or the life of the citizens of the US. Talk about a failed political party.

    Their lineup of presidential candidates is a pathetic joke. Supposedly the dominant "party," they can't even field one candidate who makes sense, and most are of dubious sanity.

    The reason they dominate in Congress has more to do with gerrymandering, right-swing media, and low-information voters than it does with their coherence as a "party."

    The GOP has already ceased to exist — except as a vague umbrella group for malcontents, wacko religious nuts, Koch Brothers sycophants, Tea Partiers, and deluded opportunists.

    Actually, it would be a blessing if Trump did get the nomination. It might finally pull the plug on the still-breathing corpse.

  31. JDM Says:

    The problem with the Republican Party imploding is that the leadership of the Democratic Party, and virtually every pundit in America, will then insist that the Democratic Party must take a position halfway between where they are now and implosion. That'd be approximately Francisco Franco territory.

  32. Ethelreda Says:

    In the beginning I couldn't see how he could be taken for anything but a joke. But then you see him take actual positions- like he won't touch social security. He's not following the rules of the Republican party, and they love him for that. If he stays in until the end, he might get the nomination. He might even have broader than expected appeal, although I don't see any shot of winning the Presidency.

    What if it was Trump/ Sanders in the general??????

    I am just reading about the breakup of the Whigs/ start of the Republicans, caused by political realignment forced by the initiation of the Civil War. Do we have that level of chaos here? Maybe if Trump leaves the Republicans and starts his own party- that would do it. If he stays in and they lose the general, the Senate, and some state legislatures/ Governorships…..? If they double down yet again on more modern Conservatism and push even further right, would some enterprising group start a new party somewhere closer to the middle?

  33. Mayya Says:

    My dream is that Trump wins the party nomination (but not the election) causing all non-insane Republicans to say "this shit has gone far enough," and form a new party based on non-insane conservative ideas, which will lead to a third and fourth non-insane, viable political parties, finally breaking this binary stranglehold we've suffered for so long.

    It could happen (*in Judy Tenuta voice*).

  34. Skepticalist Says:

    It's still 2015. Cable news is having a helluva good time. Donald Trump even more so. What else is going on? Beats me.

    It's pretty interesting though. I really think that one of these days Donald Trump will make a big deal of declaring his support for a couple Republicans, maybe just one. It won't be cheap. The Party may have to allow him to be a real PITA at the convention. They have to pretend that he is just as popular with traditional horrid party members as he is with other iffy creatures. There's still time. The GOP isn't about to let Trump happen. They better not….. Hopefully, something this messy will result.

    I think this resembles old States Righters campaigns of decades ago. I hope it's true and the result will be the same. I'm not all that worried about the GOP losing its grip on Congress. All those barbell shaped districts worked better than they could have imagined.

    Lotsa time to make things worse. Great fun.

  35. schmitt trigger Says:

    I really hate to rain in anyone's parade,but discount Trump at your own risk.
    His logic is so twisted and his actions so bizarre, that he is really the Messiah to plenty of people.

    Don't become complacent!

  36. Mo Says:

    Someone over at Crooked Timber recommended reading The Authoritarians so I'm about three quarters of the way through it…

    If I didn't know better, I'd think the author was a clairvoyant alien sage from the fourth dimension, not a mere social scientist. Trump and the Republican base fit together like [metaphor cramp, call a doctor, please]

    Stalin…Hitler…Mao…Reagan…Bush…Trump…maybe the arc of history is indeed bending from tragedy to farce.

  37. jeneria Says:

    The Koch Bros were all about Scott Walker until recently. Apparently they don't think cutting higher ed and funding an NBA stadium on tax dollars is a good move. As I understand it, they're still casting about for a candidate to support.

  38. Mo Says:

    Katydid and jeneria –

    Meanwhile, the Kochs are running their subsidiary, the state of Alaska. Our governor ran on a platform of enabling Medicaid expansion, he won, our Republican Koch-funded legislators had a fit, he overrode them, and so the Koch lackies now wasting badly-needed state funds on a lawsuit to stop him.

    Dan Sullivan, our new Senator, is of course a carpet-bagger totally funded by the Kochs. Lisa Murkowski has had an oil money leash around her neck probably since birth.

  39. Carter Says:

    I don't think Trump actually wants to be president. I think there's some other endgame to this for him.

  40. Gerald McGrew Says:

    @Skipper

    When it comes to political power, there's only one metric that matters: how much of the government you control. What you actually do with that control is a secondary issue (when we're talking about if your party has "life").

    The fact remains, the Republican Party has a firm grip on the House (only a small part of which is due to gerrymandering) and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future; they have control of the Senate and even if they lose that in the next election, will still have enough Senators to obstruct; they essentially have a majority on the Supreme Court; and they control most of the state legislatures and governorships.

    You can't say the Republican Party is dead when they have all that power, and there are no signs that they're about to lose it.

    As far as their obstructionism, you do realize that's what conservatism is about, don't you?

  41. Noskilz Says:

    It does look like a spectacular train-wreck in the making.

  42. doug Says:

    rubio scares me more than the rest….
    worrisome that hispanics think he is OK. He is not….

    Trump is a non oligarch candidate. As is Bernie.
    The rest will bow down before their benefactors. Therefore neither of them will be the candidate.

  43. doug Says:

    BTW anyone that says 'so and so' thinks such and such is delusional or a bull shitter. No offense intended to anyone above, believe me. But, you can not possibly know what someone else 'thinks' or 'wants' or 'plans'. Try harder to explain stuff without that BS.

  44. Skepticalist Says:

    Oh my. Trump says we have a serious mental problem.

    This when he was asked his thoughts on yesterday's shooting.

  45. democommie Says:

    Trump is a non-oligarchy candidate? On which planet?

  46. Mo Says:

    OK, I finished The Authoritarians, and here is the final footnote, written in two thousand fucking oh six:

    "Some high RWAs [Right Wing Authoritarians] may be especially energized now because the backlash that is growing against their causes convinces them that they are being discriminated against.
    Overgeneralizing the findings that reveal their shortcomings would indeed be wrong.
    But these highly prejudiced people appear to be performing another of their amazing mental gymnastics by seeing themselves as the victims of prejudice."

    If scientific research can be judged by its predictive bite, this dude seems to be onto something.

  47. doug Says:

    democommie. That would be earth, my friend. the Establishment R's do not want trump anywhere near this presidential race. Can you see that?
    Sure he is obscenely wealthy. No doubt. Team player? not in the least. He has said many times what a disaster IRAN was by GWB, and explained that in detail with costs lives lost on both sides, etc. NO establishment R has or would do that. He is not part of the team. And neither is Bernie.

  48. doug Says:

    we do have a mental health treatment problem, as in very little available to non wealthy folks.

  49. zero Says:

    @Ethelreda:
    The modern Democratic party is already right of center. If they go any further right they may as well change the D's into R's.
    Far more likely after republipocalypse is a high-noise period with multiple new parties fighting for votes. Since organized D is already center-right that means the parties formed from fragments of R would be competing with left-wing parties freed from the need to consolidate with D.

    Organized D could stay centrist or drift to either side. They would win elections until the minor parties consume each other and form a real contender. In the meantime, D policies would be influenced by the relative strength of parties to either side.

    Lots of current R voters (the 3-4 out of 5 that are underinformed but not guano crazy) would discover that D already offers most of what they want and very little of what they don't, so I think D would continue the slow slide into conservativism while a new mainstream party would consolidate on the left around themes of equality, dignity and social justice.

  50. democommie Says:

    Donald Trump is a fucking piece of shit, doug and he is a member of the oligarchy.just because you don't agree hardly make you correct.

  51. Ursula Says:

    I've heard that Latinos rank Trump between dollar store salsa and the woman who killed Selena.

    But I laughed harder at the bar chart you posted.

  52. Skepticalist Says:

    The best thing about Trump mania is that as far as TV is concerned, it confines endless email ranting to Fox News. Benghazi rage had a similar fate.

  53. Piquoiseau Says:

    I don't think a landslide is in the cards. Let's unpack the examples. In 1932, you had a discredited and hideously unpopular incumbent, rejected because the experiences of most people from 1930 to 1933 were awful. In 1936, 1956, 1964, 1972, and 1984, you had a popular incumbent president, perceived as effective and successful. In 1952, you had the enormously popular general who had led the invasion of Normandy and the liberation of western Europe, against an opponent whose party had been in power for 20 solid years.

    I don't think Trump wins the presidency, but I do think that if he gets the nomination, he doesn't do much worse than Romney's 47 percent. Most people will vote party this election, without regard to who the candidate is.

  54. geoff Says:

    @democommie, I may be wrong, but took Doug's point as being not that Trump is not an oligarch himself, but that he (Trump) is not on the payroll of other oligarchs, like say the Kochs or Adelson. He is (seemingly) his "own man". Which is not to say he's not a jerk, but…

    Frankly, despite my worst fears, I can't see how the GOP wins the 2016 Pres. election. OTOH, I'm usually wrong.

  55. democommie Says:

    @geoff:

    Trump will go back to hanging out with ALL of the rest of them, in one NY
    micronanopicosecond after his clowndidacy is over. That he doesn't kiss their assessment has nothing to do with anything but his bloated ego.

  56. bob mcneilly Says:

    I am hearing more people saying they like Trump because he's rich and can't be bought by Wall Street and he made his money honestly unlike Romney who bought, stripped and discarded companies and screwed the employees. Good, long run on sentence eh?

  57. Nate Says:

    @katydid: I go past one of those nut houses a few times a month on business. I've never seen the people that live next to the barn, but they lump Obama in with Stalin and Tojo in terms of modern dictators. They have many self-made wooden signs outside their house in their yard.

    One that even makes a Christmas impeachment plea to Santa Claus.

    My eyes roll so hard when I go past that house that I almost have an automobile accident a few times a month.