POSTMORTEM

It has happened. After months of being reassured that it wouldn't happen, here we are.

Early in the primary season I said that the weakness of the rest of the (non-Trump) Republican field is a serious problem. But I was wrong too; I thought eventually the non-Trump votes would coalesce around Marco Rubio. He turned out to be one of the worst candidates of all, which is like calling someone one the meanest guards at Auschwitz. Standing out among this group is a feat. But the reality is that Republican voters likely would have voted for just about anyone over Trump, and the party is such a shitshow that finding "just about anyone" turned out to be impossible. In the end they had to pin their hopes on a man so loathsome that not one person who knew him personally or professionally could be found to say something good about him. Oh, and Kasich, whose strategy seems to be to get 8% of the vote in every primary but refuse to quit because something something I guess there's a strategy there but probably not.

The big money and bag men in the conservative movement bet on a candidate (Walker) so marble-mouthed, uncharismatic, mean, and stupid that he didn't even make it to the Iowa Caucus and one so fundamentally incompetent (Bush) that not even a famous name, all the money in creation, and the blessing of the entire GOP establishment could win him better than a third place finish anywhere. The field was so bad and the Republican electorate is so mentally skewed that a man with no elected experience who is quite possibly insane and who never even pretended like he was campaigning seriously (Carson) got 10% of the vote. Red-meat Bible thumpers like Huckabee and Santorum never got off the launching pad. Recycled losers like Jindal, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham got so little attention other than mocking laughter that they quit before they too could win their 1% in Iowa. Rand Paul proved that he has a cult following of about 8% of the GOP electorate, just like his dad, and nothing beyond that. Shockingly, it turned out that nobody in any party was prepared to take bloated live-action Nelson Muntz / Tony Soprano hybrid Chris Christie seriously, nor a hatchet-faced sociopath with literally no professional, political, or personal qualities to recommend her to serve as dog catcher let alone president. It was worse than a clown car; clowns are, at least occasionally, funny.

That left three "serious" candidates – Rubio, because he was the only one who could accurately impersonate a human; Trump, because he was winning; and Cruz, because nobody is quite sure why but there he was. Perhaps he was just enough of a bloodless cipher that your average oligarch felt he could be an effective placeholder. Perhaps because someone deluded someone into thinking Hispanics would vote for him. Perhaps because he was just…there. In the end, existing and taking up space seemed to be his strong suit. After Rubio's oh my god this is so embarrassing I can't even watch this software malfunction on live TV, that's what Cruz was. He was Present. If half of life is showing up, I'm struggling to figure out what the other half was for Cruz.

Kasich won one state – his own – and was not a serious candidate except in the minds of people who managed to convince themselves that despite winning 8% of the vote in every primary, the system could somehow be rigged to make him the winner because, well, he doesn't seem like he's going to leave behind a safe deposit box full of preserved skin samples from the people he's eaten. And in this field, that was an achievement on his part not to be taken lightly. But he was never going to sniff the nomination, not even close.

And so Republicans have to grapple with the reality that maybe, just possibly, the reason they couldn't produce a candidate to wrest the nomination away from a con man who isn't even a Republican and doesn't stand for anything in particular but sure is good at getting attention is that everyone they've been electing for the past 25 years is terrible. Almost without exception. By electing anyone willing to say "Obama sucks, we can bomb our way to security, brown people are scary, and the government needs to be drowned in a bucket" without bothering to vet them for, you know, sanity or a modicum of human interpersonal skills, they have loaded their party's ranks of potential candidates for high offices with people who are unelectable without the help of gerrymandering and low midterm election turnout. When it ceased to be important whether a candidate was creepy or insane or borderline illiterate or totally ignorant of the world outside of South Carolina and Fox News, the die was cast and it was only a matter of time until someone came from outside of the party and stole this from them. It turns out that when the system can't be manipulated and rigged to guarantee Republican wins no matter how bad the candidates are, those candidates struggle. Shocking, really. They turned to their party's bench and found nothing there. Imagine a sports team that abandoned tryouts and instead just took the first 20 people to show up and state a loyalty oath with apparent sincerity. What would that team look like on the field? Well, imagine no more. Here you have it.

The best part about this as an outsider who actively wishes ill upon the entire conservative movement is the knowledge that its reaction to this crisis will be to insist that it needs to get even more conservative and vicious. I can't wait.

68 thoughts on “POSTMORTEM”

  • Mike Miller says:

    It's almost as if a decade-ish of being the "Party of No" leaves you with no achievements whatsoever to campaign on.

    *sips tea*

  • A political party that doesn't value government is never going to get good at it. And it's not going to be easy to simultaneously say they're going to help The Common Man while also say they're going to get off the backs of businesses that have been screwing him for the past half-century. Then throw in rhetoric about insiders and outsiders, establishment and revolution, a strong military and a fortress America that pisses off friends and enemies in equal measure. Then add social issues such as abortion never, gay rights reversals, fear of a penis peeing from a sitting position, and the Mexicans who will steal your job while living on welfare. It all melds into one thing: inchoate angst.

    The Republicans have no idea what they want to do. They want power, but only to feel good or something. To be better.

    Someday they might figure out how. But then it will all collapse, because they might have to decide some things and compromise and have to figure things out. I'd pity them, but they're not worth it.

  • The last point is deadly important. They are a party incapable of learning and adapting. They got stomped in 2012 and doubled-down on everything that made them get stomped. They will double-down again. Watch and see.

  • When your only legislative goal is to undo a health care bill and you've had six or more years to craft the alternative and failed to do so, people just might think your political party is a bunch of dumbshits who can't accomplish jack shit.

    They did craft great governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, though. AMIRITE?

  • What worries me at this point is the depth of fervor among Trump supporters. They are so convinced that Trump can fix everything, HRC is terrible, and they represent a majority, that at least a portion of them are likely to shout "This election was RIGGED!" when their candidate loses the general in a landslide. Factor in the crazy and the guns, and things could get ugly on election night.

  • I disagree on this point:

    Cruz, because nobody is quite sure why but there he was. Perhaps he was just enough of a bloodless cipher that your average oligarch felt he could be an effective placeholder. Perhaps because someone deluded someone into thinking Hispanics would vote for him. Perhaps because he was just… there. In the end, existing and taking up space seemed to be his strong suit.

    The position of "bloodless Hispanic cipher" was taken by Rubio. Cruz was appealing to anti-establishment rage. He based his primary win, his actions in the Senate, and his Presidential campaign on being a far-right rebel against his own party.

    For 20 or 30 years, the GOP establishment has been feeding the rage monster of the base. Around election time, they give it chunks of red meat, let it out to roar and stalk the landscape for a while, then chain it back up in the basement.

    Now the monster has broken loose from its chains. Establishment candidates like Bush and Kasich had no hope, because they couldn't speak its language of hate and fury. To GOP primary voters, the fact that Cruz was hated by the GOP establishment was a point in his favour. Unfortunately for Cruz, he is also hated by everyone else who spends a significant amount of time in his company.

    Trump beat Cruz because Trump is more effective at riding the rage beast. We can only hope that Clinton stops Trump from riding it all the way into the White House, because it looks like no one else will be able to.

  • Chicagojon2016 says:

    It's hard to reply in just a post here — this is a night of beers topic.

    I would really like to gain a fundamental understanding of these 2 things that I think had a huge impact on the monstrosity that was GOP2016:

    1. On the WTF happened to Jeb front — Objectively I don't think he was any better or worse than any other of the bozos and he had tons of money…so what happened? I honestly think his last name may be the only thing that kept him from getting Cruz level numbers in early campaigns.

    2. "That's what Washington DC does – the drive by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25 second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him" – Chris Christie in the linked speech (pause at 4:16 for Rubio's 'oh shit' closed eye fake smile — it's the bst)

    This may be taught in textbooks. There may be a fundamental shift here where the electorate started wondering why all of their candidates looked and sounded the same as each other and thought 'I'm tired of this same old crap — why do they always say sensible measured things and have educations from Harvard and Yale, professional experience as lawyers, and political experience as governors and senators INSTEAD OF TELLING US WHAT THEY'RE REALLY THINKING".

    Enter Donald J. Trump. He may be psychotic, but it plays perfectly into the portion of the electorate that doesn't see themselves represented in politics anymore. Media tells us all the time about unreachable people who are just like us. We can have the same Apple watch as Kobe, drive the same Tesla, wear the same stuff as a Kardashian, access the same information (porn) on the internet.

    Why the hell aren't politicians more like me. We need outsiders. We need straight-shooters. No more 'slick willies'. Oh, and we're also still terribly racist against blacks and darker skin minorities.

  • They "hate" Obamacare, But they have no alternative. They have no logical arguments against it so of course they cannot make an alternative. There is not an alternative that they can say in public to go with "I hate it because it means poor brown people might be treated like humans".

    Since the Tea Party – all the Republican have is hate – and Trump embodies that hate better than anyone. "Make America Great Again" – is the dog whistle to "When women, gays and brown people knew their places".

  • No one else? The Democratic Party is as mired in evil as the GOP. There are differences, to be sure, but they are as tied to Wall Street greed and to violence and war, they can talk the humanist talk, but in practice, they bow to an establishment that bows to the corporate class and militarists and sneer at principle and doing what's right.

    As a progressive independent, I support Bernie Sanders and fully believe he can beat Trump. I do not believe Clinton can (and fear for the world if she does). She will never have my support.

  • Two questions. Assuming Hillary wins, as seems likely:

    1) Can any of the 2016 candidates run again? The GOP started this cycle bragging about its "deep bench", the strongest array of talent assembled in either party in generations. So much for that. Trump not only beat all his opponents, but humiliated them. Some are ambitious and shameless enough to try again – everyone assumes that Rubio and Cruz will run in 2020. But by then, Rubio will only be less accomplished and Cruz more loathed. Do any of the vanquished have another shot? And if not…

    2) Who else could run next time? I hate to add to the clouds of hype that hold aloft zombie-eyed granny starver (tm Charlie Pierce) Paul Ryan, but really, who else is there? Nikki Haley? Justin Amash? God help us, Tom Cotton? Ryan seems by far the most plausible, but first he has to survive being speaker, and already he may be just months from stumbling into another shutdown crisis.

  • I'm a Sanders supporter but you can bet your sweet ass that if doesn't get the nomination, I'm voting for HRC. No freaking way am I allowing Trump to get the presidency. He'd be far worse for everyone than HRC would be.

    I don't get the Sanders supporters who say they're going to not vote or vote Republican. How the hell is that responsible or good?

  • God told Cruz to run for and become president. Did god screw up big time? All that omniscience didn't work out, apparently.

  • S M McBean says:

    You beat me to it, Natalie. After a lifetime of voting for the "lesser evil" my wife and I were just saying that HRC may be less insane than Trump, but less evil?
    The past couple of weeks I've been shaking over the assumption she'll easily beat Trump. In 2000 we thought Bush was so obviously a dumbass how could he win?
    I'm (pleasantly) surprised Jeb couldn't get momentum, if he'd hung in instead of Kaisich, would he be their salvation? Hopefully, this is the death knell for the Repub. party but then be careful what you wish for-it could get worse than we could imagine.
    I'm glad Bernie did so well in Indiana, and there may be hope before the convention, but no amount of platform crafting is going to turn Hillary into a progressive. Even if she talks the talk through the general.

  • "[I]ts reaction to this crisis will be to insist that it needs to get even more conservative and vicious. I can't wait."

    In addition to being an admirably poetic polemicists, you should consider a career as a professional psychic.

    This guy is just your boilerplate functionally illiterate pseudo-Christian gun-loving product of chromosomal roulette gone bad — in other words, a pretty typical GOP voter. As you said, he thinks that the reason Trump won over the candidate center to his masturbation fever-dreams, Cruz, is because the GOP of late simply hasn't been right-wing enough.

    http://granitegrok.com/blog/2016/05/betrayal-the-word-exit-polls-best-describe-the-republican-party

    "the GOPe hasn’t fought for its own ideals and Principles. It refuses to fight for what is important to its members when it comes to all aspect of their lives (which is why a Party exists in the first place) and that includes not just fiscal matter (of which it gets a D rating at best) but the social ones as well (getting an F for totally ignoring social issues altogether)"

    Ignoring social issues? This guy does nothing but rail about gay homosexers, transgenders, feminists, Mexicans and Muslims, yet he's somehow come up with that shit on his own?

    If the Republicans are misprogrammed androids these days, rank-and-file shitbirds like this one are the sand in their gears.

  • Pete Gaughan says:

    "If half of life is showing up, I'm struggling to figure out what the other half was for Cruz."

    This line, I really didn't 'get'; surely you don't mean, literally, that you couldn't realize what Cruz's appeal was?

    THEOCRACY, man! The so-called Moral so-called Majority has run large chunks of this country for years, and Cruz was their designated Head Pharisee this time.

  • Ridnik Chrome says:

    The best part about this as an outsider who actively wishes ill upon the entire conservative movement is the knowledge that its reaction to this crisis will be to insist that it needs to get even more conservative and vicious. I can't wait.

    That is actually NOT a good thing, because those crazy and vicious people will continue to win elections at the state level, and who knows what horrible policies they will enact there, in addition to obstructing every damn thing they possibly can in Congress. What we really need is for these loony tunes to be sent back to the political margins from whence they came. I want a (relatively) sane, responsible opposition party back. Until that happens, things will never improve.

  • " Imagine a sports team that abandoned tryouts and instead just took the first 20 people to show up and state a loyalty oath with apparent sincerity."

    Yep. And when all you demand of government is cut taxes and keep fighting the culture wars, you can get away with electing moronic hacks to run your state. Sure doesn't make for a "deep bench" though.

    @Chicagojon2016: Re Jeb, did you actually watch him? Boring, stuffy, stiff, he's nowhere near the campaigner his brother was. I'd put him about mid-pack, but with Trump sucking up all the crazy oxygen, Cruz getting the evangelicals and "real" conservatives, all that left were the reasonable ones, and Kasich had the "my name isn't Bush" advantage there. Aside from a yooooge pile of money, Bush didn't have anything going for him.

  • Agree with most of what you write here, but… could you delete the reference to "hatchet-faced"? I don't think focusing on a candidate's looks is ever a great move (even if Boehner is oddly orange), and often perpetuates unfortunate societal stereotypes (e.g., Christie's weight) as in this case. Also, it would be nice to actually refer to Fiorina by name, as you do with all the male candidates (in this case, I don't even think this was necessarily subconscious sexism, but in a sexist world, it is appropriate to not only not be sexist in intent, but to be conscious of inadvertently downplaying women).

  • Chase Johnson says:

    Agree with MMM. "Hatchet-faced" and the body shaming of Christie were jarring and unnecessary. They can be, and are, awful politicians and humans without need of perpetuating stereotypes that harm non-awful humans.

  • Romney and his whackadoo religious cultist ideas wasn't whackadoo and extremist enough in 2012, so therefore up popped Cruz to pander to the mentally deranged Authoritarian followers.

    Kasich is only moderate in comparison to the frontrunners–he's extremely anti-child, anti-women, anti-health.

  • joel hanes says:

    WTF happened to Jeb

    Even low-information Republican voters are aware that his wife has pigmented skin and grew up speaking Spanish.

  • @Natalie Davis: I wasn't talking about Bernie's personal qualities. I have no great liking for Hillary, but in all likelihood, she will get the nomination. That means she gets the last, best opportunity to take down Trump. I'm just hoping she doesn't fuck it up.

    The notion of Hillary being just as evil as Trump makes no goddamn sense. In policy terms, Hillary agrees with Obama on about 90% of issues. Now, Obama has not been anywhere near an ideal President. But he's got some useful shit done, and had no truly epic disasters.

    Trump, on the other hand, might start World War Three: Either for shits and giggles, or out of sheer ineptitude. Meanwhile, he'll be openly indulging the worst kind of racism and misogyny. It doesn't seem like a hard choice to me.

    @cekman: Cruz will undoubtedly run again. So might Kasich, after his unexpectedly strong showing. Rand Paul will run a protest campaign to impress his own little faction. Rubio isn't running for the Senate again, so he will be out of elected office. I'm not sure he'd have the stomach for another run for President after his humiliation this time.

    As for new candidates in 2020, I imagine whatever remains of the GOP establishment will beg Ryan to run. There aren't many other plausible candidates.

    An interesting question is whether Trump will run again in 2020, if he isn't totally crushed this time. If he declines to do so, perhaps because of his age, what if he designates a successor?

    But the GOP has to get through this election first, and frankly there's no knowing what kind of madness will occur between now and November or who will be left standing afterwards.

  • @Talisker; back in 2012, several wingnuts I have the misfortune to be related to insisted that Ron Paul (father of Rand) was the overwhelming leader in the race, and the "lamestream media" was too terrified/lazy/incompetent to divulge this fact. I can well believe Rand Paul will keep running because his followers are likely equally deluded.

  • @Katydid: Yes.The Paul followers are few, but fervent. I remember travelling around rural Maryland in July 2008, long after McCain had taken the GOP nomination, and seeing a fair number of houses which still had Ron Paul signs on display.

  • The best part about this as an outsider who actively wishes ill upon the entire conservative movement is the knowledge that its reaction to this crisis will be to insist that it needs to get even more conservative and vicious.

    Kinda hoping for conservative spontaneous human combustion, myself.

    Because it's not fashionable anymore to just shoot people down like mad dogs.

    And I'm really, really tired about all the attempts to "understand" what's causing the angst and rage among white conservatives and Trumpaholics. Those pasty white whiners don't even get out of the yellow zone on the Angst & Rage Meter. Toddlers having tantrums because everyone else is getting sick and tired of tacitly validating their bigotry, ignorance, and smug superstition.

  • @Talisker "The notion of Hillary being just as evil as Trump makes no goddamn sense."

    Fucking thank you. I'm so sick of hearing that they're exactly the same. Like there will be no difference whatsoever between a SCOTUS justice nominated by a person who (albeit reluctantly) supports gay marriage, and one nominated by a racist, sexist homophobe whose favorite Supreme Court case is Korematsu.

  • Wayne Ruffner says:

    "Those pasty white whiners don't even get out of the yellow zone on the Angst & Rage Meter. Toddlers having tantrums"

    +1 for Mo. I love this blog.

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    @Talisker "The notion of Hillary being just as evil as Trump makes no goddamn sense." Of course they're the same. It just looks like they're different.

    If a true progressive, an out-and-proud leftie, ever ran for a major party nomination, the scales would fall from people's eyes, they would realize that it's true, and tens of millions of heretofore detached, inactive voters, all closet democratic socialists, would stampede to the polls. We'd wake up in November the citizens of a temporarily nuclear-armed version of Denmark.

    It's a shame that no one like that has ever run.

  • Well, the problem is, as Ridnik Chrome points out, that the Republicans have no problem electing unhinged fucksticks in local and state elections. Where they arguably can wreak a good deal more havoc than at the national level. See, e.g. North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, etc. So, no, it isn't fun to watch them continue on this path. We are all getting screwed by letting the lunatics run the asylum.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Forget liking Hillary if you must. Never will having a Democratic veto in place be more important. There are also about to be some 90 year olds on the SCOTUS. No Trump court please.

    Trump supporters have the mistaken idea that a lot of what he proposes would not require a 2/3 Senate vote or even an amendment to make their day. I wonder if he knows it?

  • On the tombstone of yesterday's GOP, should be carved the words: Edmund Burke was right. When the revolutionaries win, the means by which they gained power become the means by which they lose it.

    Reagan told his followers that it was better to FEEL right than to BE smart. They believed him, and rejected knowledge as a basis for conviction.

    Gingrich told his followers that politics was perpetual warfare against a vilified foe. They believed him, and rejected compromise as a means of achieving their goals.

    Rove told his followers that lies told loudly enough resonate long enough to win elections. They believed him, and regarded open duplicity as merely another form of campaigning.

    Ailes told his followers to never trust anything the media or the government say. They believed him, and promptly began to ignore him when he tried to tell them about Donald Trump.

    The worst thing that can happen to the opposition party is to become the establishment. Because having created a movement devoted to tearing down the powers-that-be, one has created a populace who now have the means to do the same to you the second you tell them anything they don't want to hear.

    In A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, William Roper tells Thomas More that, if he had to, he'd "cut down every law in England" to get after the Devil. More replies:

    "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!"

    The GOP has cut down the laws–of etiquette, of fair play, of honesty–and the Devil has turned 'round on them.

    Unfortunately, he's also turned 'round on us.

    And for those of you disappointed in the choices on the Democratic side, and who are insisting that they will never give Clinton their support, allow me to suggest that you are taking the very, very short–and ultimately very, very self-destructive view. Saying there's no difference between the two of them is like saying there's no difference between a house with termites, leaky faucets, and erratic electricity, and a house made of fire and spiders. Both suck, but one is livable while you work to fix it. If you wish for Sen. Sanders–or someone with Sen. Sanders's values–then earn it.

    Start by forcing the issue of the Chairmanship of the DNC–get someone else in there, immediately.

    Start by focusing on local elections–the ones the media doesn't pay attention to, but the Koch Brothers do. The Freedom Caucus exists because people don't vote for things like School Boards.

    Start by realizing that the key to getting the policies you want isn't simply a president, but a president AND a Congress AND a Supreme Court on your side. (Please note that Sec. Clinton is far more likely to give us a liberal justice than Mr. Trump. Though it might not hurt if we gave her a Democratic Senate to grease those skids.)

    Sen. Clinton will not do much good, perhaps, but neither will she do active harm. (Well, assuming you're not standing under a drone–I'm not gonna pretend that policy doesn't suck–though I will point out that far MORE people will die under Mr. Trump–queasy arithmetic, but it's all we've got.) Under her presidency, the rich will stay rich, the poor will stay poor–things will be about the same level of bad as they are now. The property will not improve, but neither will it depreciate as it would under Mr. Trump.

    So, hire her as a place-setter, then work to build a grassroots equivalent to the Tea Party on the left. That's what needed. Before you vote a Progressive Democrat into the Oval Office, a sympathetic Congress is what's needed. Do that.

  • Dave Dell says:

    I was so very wrong about Donald Trump. I thought he was just doing this for his own amusement. While there still might be an element of that for him he's now "got the fever". The I'm going to be President fever.

    Still and all, I'd be very careful if I was the Donald in the choosing of a VP candidate. I'd have a food taster in my employ.

  • @Dryden:

    What you said. All of it.

    Clinton was chosen for us by the "powers that be" in the Democratic Party. So be it. Still better than a vulgar talking yam ( thanks Pierce).

  • "Shockingly, it turned out that nobody in any party was prepared to take bloated live-action Nelson Muntz / Tony Soprano hybrid Chris Christie seriously, nor a hatchet-faced sociopath with literally no professional, political, or personal qualities to recommend her to serve as dog catcher let alone president. It was worse than a clown car; clowns are, at least occasionally, funny."

    Absolutely brilliant. Nailed it.

  • @J_Dryden Wow, that was a great post man! And I totally agree with you. While I voted for Sanders in the primary we just had, I'm not insane or vindictive enough to not want HRC in office, if she is the Democratic nominee.

    One might be able to argue that Trump is better than Cruz, but neither are even an 1/8th as good as she would be for us as a country. She definitely has the experience under the political and diplomatic skill set to keep us in fairly good graces with the rest of our world. Things would certainly get worse under a crazy, petulant, orange, old, rich business kid.

  • @ Dryden:

    Saying there's no difference between the two of them is like saying there's no difference between a house with termites, leaky faucets, and erratic electricity, and a house made of fire and spiders. Both suck, but one is livable while you work to fix it.

    *slow clap*

    Bravo sir. Well said.

  • Trump is a perfectly sensible Republican candidate. The Republican party is about doing right by the billionaires and shafting everyone else. They make a point of the latter. Also, billionaires, not millionaires. Millionaires, even ten millionaires, are just small fry.

    One lesson I got from this campaign is that the evangelicals are irrelevant. That's not surprising. Their demographics are terrible. Their kids are growing up and want to get laid. The Republicans never took the evangelicals seriously. Now and then they'd throw them a bone, but that was it. Who were they going to vote for? Ralph Nader?

    The other lesson is that the billionaires now realize that free trade isn't necessarily a good deal, even for them. China is just too big and too nationalistic for them to buy and own. Free trade was just an excuse for multinationals to buy and own new countries and screw them over. China said 'no' and made it stick.

    All that Republican party anyone-but-Trump narrative. That's briarpatch, as in don't throw me in the. The Republicans are all going to line up behind their candidate, and the pundits will act surprised since they still think this is the 1970s.

    Hilary Clinton is going to go after those non-existent anyone-but-Trump voters like a trout for a fisherman's fly. She'll totally alienate her party's core, the dirty f–king hippies who are to the right of Nelson Rockefeller. It will take hard work for Hilary Clinton to lose to Donald Trump, but one thing we know is that she is a hard worker.

    P.S. I really hope I am being too cynical. Really. About Hilary Clinton, not those two lessons and the briarpatch thing.

  • while i haven't a clue what Trump is up to, his advisors are nasty Right wingers from the few names i heard about. so the Trump seems to keep us the Republican "program" of fleecing Americans. that's what so interesting about Trump, he uses the Republican "model" to be a Frankenstein of their own making.

    Clinton is a proven product/brand. we all now where she comes from, Wall St., and whom she is working for, Not us Working People. so i get to watch people talk about how Clinton will surely be better than the Evil Trump/Frankenstein. lol. such promising candidates for sure!!!

    Clinton is the "lesser" of two evils. just the perfect "way"! so we get less "evil"? with Clinton. Try saying that quickly, it might just sound a little bit less Republican. i suppose i can live with a slow painful death better than a slow painful death. Oh wait, did i repeat myself there?

    Decisions, Decicions!!!

  • The danger here is the ability of Trump's populism to actually cause massive harm, especially after the election goes to the Democratic nominee. The wound will continue to fester for another 4 years. When we've gotten to the point where Trump supporters are attacking anti-Trump artists in ambushes in front of their homes, to the point where copy-fraud is used by individuals within major content providers to censor anti-Trump videos on YouTube, to the point where every single dirty trick in the fascist playbook is being used in the field, and people who know anything are increasingly remembering the good old times of COINTELPRO.

    We need to take a hard look at where all of this hate is coming from, because Donald Trump sure didn't START it.

  • War, and not liking it at all, is kind of my main issue.

    After Hillary did her best to be the toughest, meanest mother at AIPAC, and after her show of enthusiasm for destabilizing the Middle East and beyond, we're at, what…? I'll try and compare the choices:

    Trump, who might start another war for fun, or spite, or he might actually deep down not want to be responsible for bad things (he may be a sack of shit, but he's not really a politician, he does have that at least.)… so he's a total question, but most probably dangerous. Thing is, even he doesn't know what he would do or how he would react in a crisis. Terrifying. But called by his pecker, and not by God, as Cruz is.

    Hillary, guaranteed to continue bringing us more medium-grade wars in other hemispheres, Guantanamo continues, Drones continue, she'll count more dictators as her closest friends, until it's time to off them.

    and Bernie, who seems a bit less hawkish but will still probably end up in the basement of the Whitehouse, personally directing bombing runs, because they always do. We're pretty much fucked on the war side of things, whoever gets it, it's just a question of how badly and how many more decades will we add to the blowback deficit.

    One thing is certain, a second Clinton Presidency will lack many of the pleasant qualities of the first. Trump will make us start remembering W.'s good points. Bernie, Come on Bernie. Find us an actual Liberal Supreme Court Justice!

  • @Dryden, Ditto. Who decided that "TLDR" was the fear we should all obey? When did only soundbites become the norm?

    Very well written.

  • "Sen. Clinton will not do much good, perhaps, but neither will she do active harm. (Well, assuming you're not standing under a drone–I'm not gonna pretend that policy doesn't suck–though I will point out that far MORE people will die under Mr. Trump–queasy arithmetic, but it's all we've got.) Under her presidency, the rich will stay rich, the poor will stay poor–things will be about the same level of bad as they are now. The property will not improve, but neither will it depreciate as it would under Mr. Trump."

    I personally wouldn't bet on the Democratic party going anywhere but slowly down under Clinton's deeply uninspiring, crony-cuddling "leadership". I take the general point about the importance of the Supreme Court, but the only use I have for past her sell by date Clinton is as a placeholder while we remove the older, failed generation of "Democrats" and make the party fit for purpose. I just hope we can find a way to get young voters back on our side after turning over the party to someone they obviously do not like or trust.

  • What respectable Republican can afford to embrace someone as crude and unpredictable as Trump? Say something nice about him one day, and on the next he'll spout something ugly. You can't support him and retain any shred of self-respect. It's the problem from hell: you're not a good Republican if you don't show solidarity with your party's candidate, but you stand revealed as an idiot or a hypocrite if you do.

    Expect Clinton to take the high road, and everyone else to needle him remorselessly, exploiting his thin skin and short temper.

  • HoosierPoli says:

    I will admit, I'm worried. Hillary may be a competent public servant but she is not a particularly gifted politician, and seems to take far too much advice from people who are still trying to run a 1990s campaign. Presidential politics is about candidates, not ideas. I'm not saying Trump will win, but Hillary has a lot of weak spots and I hope she has a plan for defending when Trump breaks all the unwritten rules in a face-to-face debate.

  • @J.Dryden: I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to add my enthusiastic applause for what you wrote. That was beautifully done.

  • Skepticalist says:

    The Donald has simply picked up the kind of rage and frustration found in in Germany and Austria post WWI and is using it here. I'm not entirely convinced he's a Nazi but some of his pals would be comfortable with it.

  • H.M.S. Blankenship says:

    I was happy about 2 things: the billionaires evidently could not buy the nom, (even though Trumpster is one, he is seemingly not among the cadre of shadowy puppet masters in the 0.1%) &general revulsion at the Bush brand seems to be > general revulsion at the Clinton brand, at least so far. I hope that [bigoted racist jingo vote] + [general disaffected vote] + [what the hell, blow it up vote] will not overcome [sigh, business-as-usual vote] & put the Trumpster in the white house.

  • If Trump wins, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see his the top of his head open and shoot confetti into the air. Really, there could be anything in there.

  • Plenty of independents chose to vote in the R primary where the folks in charge let that happen(Little Debbie sez she wouldn't allow such in the D party if she were queen).
    Trump was the easiest way to say 'fuck off' to the bushes, the romneys, the cruz's, the rubio's, the walker's. IE all the R establishment, which really needed to hear that, and had not up until now. Reckless, but easy.
    I have held since the beginning many (Ed you were in good company) folks were wrong to be writing him off. He is such an ass. If you are fed up with all of them, why not vote for the biggest ass, who is not playing by their rules? A joke candidate and the joke for now in on the R party. Can the D's find a way to fuck this up? We will see.

    Many pundits and 'learned folks' underestimate the anger out here by several zeros. And could someone help wordpress, so I and other's might read the first 50 brilliant comments? TIA if so.

  • We are witnesses to the hostile take over of a major US political Party by a made for TV pseudo billionaire carnival barker con artist!

    THIS is historic and a testament as to how weak, inept and feckless the Grand Old Party/Republicans has become in 21st Century America!

    A startling string of failure and ineptitude in governance …Bush/Cheney … US Senate (McConnell) and House (Boehner and now Ryan) and ALL of the States with GOP/Republican Governors and Legislators (fiscal ruins).

    And MI which IS poisoning 100.00 US Citizens at this very moment!

    We know what went wrong …now the question is WHAT can go wrong?

    Well if Bush/Cheney 2000-2008 is any indication … EVERYTHING!

  • @TimH

    Spiders. It will look like the celebration at the end of the Super Bowl, except every fleck of confetti will be a brown recluse…

  • I have a question those banging the shopworn drum of "Think ot the Supreme Court." We hear that every four years, as do the people on the other side.

    What in Hillary's history or current coterie of associates and advisors makes you think she will nominate a liberal to the court?

    Her closest friends and advisors ars all neoliberal, warmongereing corporatists, to wit, Susan Rice, Victoria Nuland, Sid Blumenthal, Henry Kissinger, Doug Coe (of the scary The Family cult), Robert Kagan (Nuland's husband) architect of the Project for a New American Century, Madeleine (war criminal) Albright, etc.

    Everytime Hillary encounters a true liberal, she finds some way to shit on them.

  • @doug I was weirdly happy being the one to do that on this site. You're welcome! Thanks to the other posters who have done the same previously.

  • @Skipper

    Anyone Hillary names to the court will be a liberal compared to whoever Trump is likely to appoint. I've already heard Ted Cruz's name tossed around if you need some real nightmare fuel.

    Perfect, enemy of good enough, etc. etc.

  • Skepticalist says:

    From some of my rather iffy friends, I learn that here in Upstate NY it's the mistaken idea that a wall will keep out brown people and placing all them A-Rabs aboard trains to square states to be sorted out is all it took to pick a lunatic candidate.

  • The Republican party described as "a house made of fire and spiders" has just got to win the Year's Best Metaphor award cup.

    Charles Pierce won it last year for "vulgar talking yam," IIRC.

  • Fire and spiders both are useful though. More like, dumpster full of cat vomit and shower drain pubic hair clumps. Haven't yet found a need for either of those things, despite their constant presence in my life.

Comments are closed.