Wednesday morning we all got a glimpse of why I've been predicting that Trump will hang himself given enough time and rope. He delivered a lot sooner than expected. I assumed it would happen during the debates. It's OK – it'll probably happen then too. It's going to keep happening until this is over.

There have been dozens of "Well certainly he must be finished now, right?" moments throughout the campaign. Nothing, now that he has won the nomination, is going to "end" his campaign. But the unhinged, half-assed comments inviting Russia to commit espionage to help him dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton are – unlike the other unhinged, half-assed comments so far – are not going to go away. They've undermined one of the only effective plays he had against Clinton.

Personally I couldn't care less about the "emails" pseudo-scandal, but there's no question there was a legitimate (if overblown) point to be made. To people who think that's a big deal, she didn't have much of a valid response to criticisms about what has been deleted, where it was stored, etc. Again, I find this all ridiculous, but to someone suddenly deeply concerned about emails sent years ago then I guess it's an issue one could press.

Now, every single time someone says "emails" the Clinton campaign doesn't have to respond in detail about the minutiae of server space. They can say, over and over again, "I showed bad judgment? I compromised national security? You actively invited a foreign government leak classified material. Who's judgment is questionable here?" And believe me, they are going to run that into the f-ing ground. They are NEVER going to let up on him for this, because even if it's not the most shocking, inflammatory, or outrageous thing he's said it is beyond any doubt the one that shows the most glaring flaws in him. It's the kind of inappropriate that anyone who isn't a Trump die-hard will hear and say, this guy is out of his mind – unless you think the Russians are suddenly popular with middle America.

Nothing hurts Trump per se because his supporters are a cult and they don't care about facts. This doesn't hurt Trump either. But it hurts his ability to attack Clinton. Had he thought about this for more than ten seconds and if he had a modicum of self-control and an adult attention span, he certainly would not have turned his best weapon into a Bugs Bunny gun that shoots himself in the face every time he pulls the trigger. But that's just it: He will never stop himself. He can't stop himself. He can't censor. He can't hide what he is. He is an unserious, petulant child in a bloated adult body. And now every time he tries to attack Clinton and question her judgment, anyone paying attention will be reminded of all of those characteristics and reminded of how dangerous they are in an elected leader.

"His supporters won't care," you say. And you're right. But here's the thing: the core of Trump supporters isn't even as large as the Republican Party, because there are a not-insignificant number of Republicans who can't bring themselves to vote for this guy. They'll either skip the presidential race or waste a vote on Gary Johnson. The united "We must defeat Obama" GOP was not enough to get Romney anywhere close to victory. So how is a portion of the GOP – the Tea Party plus some – going to do it? It isn't. That's why I'm confident, even though Clinton would be toast against a stronger GOP candidate. This guy has zero appeal outside his already fanatical followers. He is running an American version of a far-right European party's campaign, and they get 10-15% support at best. The people who like that message really like it, but it's hard to expand beyond that core. There are no "casual" neo-Nazis. You're in or you're out.

Independent and undecided voters are always overstated during elections, but the few genuine ones that exist are likely to be swayed by just this sort of thing – nothing that requires detailed policy understanding and knowledge. Instead, something that immediately and undeniably shows him to be an dangerously unpredictable fool. Like McCain in 2008, the convention week will prove to be Trump's peak. It's all downhill from here. Remember, people reacted very positively to Sarah Palin for about a week. Then she had to talk, and we know how that turned out.

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  • Berkeley '74 says:

    Something is definitely different with this story. I note the comment blogs at the NYT and WaPo have exploded with thousands and thousands of posts today on this story. I've never seen such an enormous volume of traffic on the madness. Let's hope this one will turn out different from the rest.

  • He is running an American version of a far-right European party's campaign, and they get 10-15% support at best. The people who like that message really like it, but it's hard to expand beyond that core. There are no "casual" neo-Nazis. You're in or you're out.

    It depends on how contortionist the media becomes in order to maintain the 'Both Sides' fiction. Remember, most voters aren't paying a damned bit of attention now, and for moth of them Trump is just the guy on teehee who had that 'Apprentice' show and a bunch of big buildings with his name on them.

  • After everything we've seen in the last twenty years of politics, I really don't feel like the majority of Americans are very rational or even reasonable. My workplace is full comfortable white engineers and business people, all who seem completely apolitical except for the occasional joke about “Gonna leave the country if Hillary is elected.” I don't think any of them pay any attention to the latest goings on, but they'll probably vote come November. Like they always do. For the big stupid R. Because taxes suck and their kids are doing great in private school. No potholes on their (across from the golf course) street.

  • You have a good point here because much of the Republican party's base believes that Russia is still the Communist Soviet Union. Since Obama they've constantly been attacking their opponents as Marxists and socialists who suck up to foreign countries. Now their candidate, at least according to the media (and not without a fair deal of accuracy) is sucking up to Putin (physically this should be called "sucking down" given how short he is). All this at a time when Russia is in full "Fuck the USA" mode too.

    What orange-face doesn't appreciate is that the part of his base that watches RT and faps to Putin is actually quite small, much like the neo-Nazis you point out here (though not without a lot of overlap).

  • Expect the media to enable a strategy of putting culture war agenda items and Hillary scares ahead of Trump's trumpery. 'Yeah sure he talks out of his ass but do you want a pants-suit wearing She Hulk coming for to take away your guns?' Expect a great deal of hand-waving and yeah-but with fond chuckles, aw geez, there he goes again.

  • @Wim, don't forget, she HAS SHORT HAIR and WEARS JACKETS (likely to cover up the kevlar vest needed to foil an assassination attempt from the increasingly unhinged).

    As for Trump; BushCo got away with outing Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent, in retaliation for her husband's refusing to lie about there being WMD so BushCo could start the war that destabilized the middle east.

  • Sorry–to finish that thought–when an undercover American citizen was outed, Rill Murkuh just shrugged it's shoulders. I expect the same out of them when Donald Trump invited a foreign country to hack us.

  • He is running an American version of a far-right European party's campaign, and they get 10-15% support at best.

    The closest European equivalent to USA 2016 was the final round of the French presidential election in 2002. The candidates were JM Le Pen, open fascist; and Jacques Chirac, cynical centre-right machine politician.


    Chirac won with 82% of the vote. But this was partly because he was a conservative candidate. Non-fascist French conservatives backed him, as did French liberals who didn't want Le Pen to get in.

    Hillary won't get 82% of the vote or anywhere near it. This is partly because she's been vilified for the last 25 years like no other candidate. It's also because she's not a Republican, and some proportion of Republicans will back Trump out of blind party loyalty.

    Trump has another three months to continue making a fool of himself. Hillary should win comfortably. But in this context, having to use words like "should" and "probably" is still pretty alarming.

  • I have to believe that when they face each other in debates Hillary will eviscerate The Donald. I just hope that the debates are moderated by somebody competent who asks real questions requiring a depth of policy knowledge to answer. I'm not too hopeful about that, but we'll see.

  • I'm not sure how to reconcile this with his polling numbers currently being pretty even with Hillary's, though. Surely (at least right now, hopefully this will change), he has people declaring support for him in polls that are not hardcore Tea Party-ites.

  • Will this swing a red state into the blue column? Will it be a factor in any Senate or House race? Will it be a factor in any down ballot contest? I'm afraid that if DTrump kissed Putin full on the mouth on national TV the answer to those three questions would be no, not at all.

    "…even though Clinton would be toast against a stronger candidate…" I think it'd be true that HRC's campaign would have to run on more than, "I'm not DTrump", but an R victory wouldn't be a given no matter what strong R candidate came off the bench.

  • Sorry, I meant to type "stronger" R candidate". I think the Donald was their strongest candidate. One of my thoughts about what plagues this country is that we have people that are good, even great, candidates. Problem is that it takes a different skill set to govern.

    While I'm a Bernie fan I will say that Secretary Clinton might just be the President that flipped that. She might be a lousy candidate but there's hope she has the skill set to govern.

  • @AlanC; I'm not holding out any hopes for the debate, when the TeaParty wing and the rest of Rill Murkkkuh seems to believe that knowing facts means you're a communist. I am afraid the debates will go down like that scene in Idiocracy when the time-traveler from Present Day America is trying to tell the future people that putting salt-laden sports drink on plants is what's killing them, and that clean water is what plants need to grow. The future folks hoot and holler and find it clearly ridiculous because "Brondo has what plants crave–electrolytes"…even though they can't say what exactly electrolytes are.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Maybe the Russians can also unearth the 1.5 to 2 million e-mails and internal documents the Dumbaya and Dick "Of Death" mis-administration said, "WHOOOOOOPSIE! We lost them!"

    How is what tRUMP said, not treason?
    He's called for another country – and not a close ally by any means – to help him defeat his political opponent.
    Treason, as defined in our Constitution:
    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court."

    I want how this is not treason as defined, explained to me. Particularly, this:
    "…or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

  • Trump will roll coal with a dump truck of logical fallacies and Alex Jones inspired conspiracies during the next three months while the don't-tread-on-me brigade eagerly slurps up his golden colostomy bag of trumpiturds. The "I can't believe he just said that shit" gambit is about to get real, up in here.

  • @CUND Gulag; of course it's treason, and the "left-leaning" media (hahahaha) is not going to care, because "Both sides do it!" and "SHUT UP!" That's apparently what passes for investigative journalism.

  • I don't agree Ed, a literal disturbing amount of people I have met in Red America absolutely fawn on Putin. Remember also, the religious zealots love him because he's anti-gay.

    Second problem is that it was actually pretty funny to a lot of people.

  • I don't care what you say. I am still worried. I never, and you, Ed, never in your wildest dreams thought this megalomaniac snake oil salesman would get the nomination. I believe there are enough misguided people and stupid people who will vote for him, and too many lazy people who won't get out to vote for Clinton.
    I'm frightened about the presidential debates.
    I know Clinton is smarter than the Hair, but the Hair can out bullshit anyone. He'll sell you a '89 Geo Metro with a cracked wind shield, oil and anti-freeze leaks, squeaky brakes, non-existent shocks, cigarette stench, bald tires and no spare, dings and rust all around, missing hubcaps, manual 4 speed with a slipping clutch, no radio or a/c with 238,000 miles on it, and you'll be driving it off the lot thinking you're in a loaded Mercedes.

  • Of course Trump's comments about the "damn e-mails" are going to go away. The press and the public (not to mention Trump himself FFS– he's probably already forgotten about the whole thing) have short attention spans and it's kind of a complicated and boring story. The Clinton campaign has a very keen interest in not keeping the story alive, since the facts (in the boring story) are that the DNC e-mails wikileaks released were damning enough to cost DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz her job, and the HRC private server "nothingburger" earned Ms. Clinton a very public dressing down from the Director of the FBI. They HAVE to let it go.

  • BTW, lest y'all think I'm defending the Giant Evil Baby (h/t Laurie Penny), check out THIS terrifying nugget from the Times:

    "With the political conventions coming to an end on Thursday, Mr. Trump is expected to receive his first national security briefings from American intelligence agencies in coming days. It is unclear whether those briefings — which describe the global challenges facing the United States but not continuing covert operations or especially sensitive intelligence — will change any of his views."


  • c u n d gulag says:

    What's the over-under on how long it is after he gets briefed, before he spills some secret?

    I think moments, if not seconds.
    His tiny brain and small hands and short fingers won't be able to stop themselves from tweeting out something that's not supposed to be out there.

    But, he can't 'hep himself!'

  • I wonder if those security briefings are mandatory or not. Because I could see Trump saying, "I don't need them. I already have really good people, mostly me, telling me all the important things that I need to know."

    My understanding is that the current president decides the content of those briefings, but my question is… does he have to get them if he decides he doesn't want them?

  • CLINTON: It's still not working

    TRUMP: What if I totally go in on the Putin thing?

    CLINTON: OK, just don't overdo it

    [2 hours later]

    CLINTON: You're overdoing it.

  • @SeaTea: I doubt it's ever come up before. Maybe Reagan or George W Bush didn't pay diligent attention to their briefings, but I doubt they refused altogether.

    If Trump wants to refuse his briefings though, who's to stop him? It's not a Constitutional or legal requirement to be President. They can't very well strap him down Clockwork Orange style and make him watch.

  • anotherbozo says:

    Yes, this latest gaffe will do some damage.

    Have any in the press exposed his Russian investors yet? I read in only one place that when no American bank would touch his ventures he got capital from Russian oligarchs, and quite recently. Which could explain a lot of his coziness with Putin and antipathy to NATO. It all fits.

    Where is the investigative press? Are there any left any more?

  • bangoperator says:

    I don't think we should get too comfortable with the idea that Clinton will destroy Trump in the debates. What if Trump just refuses to have any?

    What does he have to gain by debating? How would refusing really hurt him? Refusing to debate gets him more attention and gives him a degree of control he would never get in a debate. He even looks heroic to the anti-intellectuals.

  • Awesome Metaphor Du Jour award goes to John Danley:

    Trump will roll coal with a dump truck of logical fallacies and Alex Jones inspired conspiracies

  • I'm inclined to believe Trump when he says it was satire. That's his style, and if the Internet has taught is anything it's that, unless you attach a little "Sarcasm" emoticon, people are going to take it literally.

    Sure the Clinton camp is going to flog it mercilessly. That's how it's done. My first job as a reporter — in the middle of the last century — was covering a pretty corrupt city with a pretty corrupt mayor. He could also be a dick and was given to sarcasm. When I wanted to fuck with him, I'd just print exactly what he said. It made him look like an ass — and he would complain — but I'd just show it to him right in my notes. "But that's not what I meant and you know it." Sorry, but I only know what you said.

    I also don't think Putin wants Trump to be president. Putin is a lot of things, but he's not a fool. He doesn't mind going mano a mano, but like all of us, he wants the other guy to be consistent and predictable. There's nothing worse than doing battle with someone who is all over the place. It's much better to know that if you do A, the other guy will do X, Y, or Z. Then, you can plan your next move. If the other guy is llikely to do anything from B to W, planning your next move is impossible.

    OTOH Putin may have been involved in the DNC emails – – although probably not to elect Trump as much to embarrass the US, which was behind the release of the Panama Papers. That made Putin look bad, and it's possible he's getting even for that.

    As far as the debates, Trump's unpredictability gives him the upper hand. He will go into full Gish Gallop mode — http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gish%20Gallop. There's no way to prepare for that or even argue against it. Hillary is smart, but she's not good on her feet. She needs to be carefully prepared. That could hurt her. When rattled, she tends to get brittle, and that makes her look bad.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    The biggest mistake that Jeb!, Little Marco, and others made was treating Trump like a normal opponent, with a certain amount of respect.

    He isn't a normal candidate – he is Ol' Dirty Bastard at the '98 Grammys. This is his primary appeal to his Stans.

    Hillary can be a brutal fighter, and I hope she takes the gloves off for this.

  • Have any in the press exposed his Russian investors yet? I read in only one place that when no American bank would touch his ventures he got capital from Russian oligarchs, and quite recently. Which could explain a lot of his coziness with Putin and antipathy to NATO. It all fits.

    No. See geoff's comment: boring, long and involves investigating stuff. Yawn-O! They'll be off reporting his next gaffe and chuckling about how crazy that Trump guy is. "We report, you decide."

    I am with other commenters on this one, Ed. I remain quite worried that Trump will win this election. My local Republican hometown rag barely ran a story on Trump's comments and I expect that was the case nationwide. How many people read the NYT or WaPo nationwide? Anyway, it really does seem that nothing that Trump does affects him long term. I wish it would, but it only seems to increase his elan and appeal.

    My biggest hope is that he will, indeed, start spilling classified information he receives in briefings. Oh please, oh please, oh please…. If Ed is right and he has no self-control, then it is inevitable, I think. But he might protect himself by refusing the briefings, it's true…

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    Regarding the debates, I'm seriously worried we're going to see a variation of how Bush "won" his debates against Gore. In those, the expectations for W. were so low, as soon as he didn't do or say anything really stupid, he exceeded those expectations and much of the public (who hadn't been paying attention before) figured "Oh, I guess he's not as dumb as the media makes him out to be".

    With Drumph, the expectations are that he'll shout, call Hillary a bimbo, and give away national secrets on national TV…..or not show up at all. But if he shows up, doesn't yell or name-call, and just comes across as somewhat normal, then he'll have greatly exceeded expectations and many Americans will figure "Oh, I guess he's not as crazy as the media makes him out to be".


  • @mothra — If I were the intel people, I'd give Trump a few false, but oh-so-tantalizing, pieces of (dis)information. He would eventually spill them, causing no damage to the country, but it would be enough to bring him down.

  • As a Republican consultant pithily stated, giving Trump professional handlers is like giving Charles Manson a fox trot instructor. After a few lessons, you'll say, "look, he's doing the foxtrot." But then he'll still be trying to cut your head off. Because he's Charles Manson.

  • Skipper, you're right about Trump and his Gish Gallop technique, but I sure as hell hope that Hillary's debate preppers will be on it and get her ready for that. The way to debate a Gish Galloper is to completely ignore his or her statements–don't get in those weeds!

    Of course, as others have suggested, Trump may simply refuse to debate Hillary. What's the advantage, from his point of view? Or maybe he'll just call into a scheduled debate–and the press will willingly comply because that would be FAB for ratings!

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    He's now trying to spin this as sarcasm. It's the closest he ever gets to admitting he was wrong about anything.

  • @Bitter Scribe. As I said above, I'm willing to believe it was sarcasm. That's his style. But sarcasm is dangerous because not everyone has the sarcasm-detection gene. Some people take it literally.

    More to the point, his proclivity for shooting off his mouth intemperately is dangerous were he to become president. People — and more importantly, markets hang on every word that comes out of the president's mouth.

    Back in 2002, George Bush said that he and the Japanese prime minister had discussed the "devaluation issue." The markets went bonkers. What he had discussed was the "deflation issue." Trump could start a war or market panic by his spewing of bullshit.

  • philadelphialawyer says:


    "He'll sell you a '89 Geo Metro with a cracked wind shield, oil and anti-freeze leaks, squeaky brakes, non-existent shocks, cigarette stench, bald tires and no spare, dings and rust all around, missing hubcaps, manual 4 speed with a slipping clutch, no radio or a/c with 238,000 miles on it, and you'll be driving it off the lot thinking you're in a loaded Mercedes."

    Um, no, he won't. Trump is a bullshit artist, certainly. But I, along with most other people, am able to see through his con. Trump is not going to sell us anything.

    In his life up to this point, in his "business" dealings, Trump has only needed to con a small fraction of the audience. Enough people sign up for "Trump University" courses, or buy time shares in Trump resort developments, or agree to do work for him without payment in advance, or lend him money, for him to "succeed." Some of them, not all or even most of them. Not most potential students, buyers, workers/contractors, or banks. But, in politics, Trump needs half of the electorate to fall for his line of crap. Or else he fails.

    To me, that is the hope. That, sure, plenty of voters will fall for it. But not most of them.

  • MUCH too early to worry about much. go outside and play for another 2 months…unless you like anxiety, then have at it.

    gonna need all the popcorn and chemicals possibly available before this is over if you pay close attention….

  • hoosierpoli says:

    All due respect, Ed, you've been wrong about Trump so far. I look at his national support rising and Hillary's negatives and I see a slow motion trainwreck in the making. Hillary has the shot she wanted. She has 100 days, and the prevent defense ain't gonna cut it. She needs to give him a good hard bitchslap across the face and dare him to come at her or it's gonna be Kerry part 2.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Keep the gaffs coming. The more the merrier.

    Trump voters here in southwestern NY are ones that start conversations by snickering about how "unusual or "different" this election is. Before they get much of a response, they change the subject smiling all the while. No need to admit they need serious help. What's scary is how many of them I see every day.

  • obviously, only the Russians can hack Clinton's emails. lol. what is also strange is Trump violated the Republican commandment of intra party infighting, as well as how Trump openly violates the unspoken language Republican use to racism, bigotry and all those other "code" we will never hear from Bush, Rubio, McConnell or any other Republican.

    Trump is all the nastiness of the Republican Con on America, overturning years of Society in the name of Profit. Selling out America for Money/Power has been the Republican Plan since St. Reagan was anointed PR spokesman.

    Trump just violates all the Republican Rules, except for being a Con Man. that is a consistent Republican "value." Profit over People, aka Republicanism.

  • @whatmeworried

    When you see Anne Applebaum, you can pretty much disregard from the start. She's a professional pundit and total status quo defender who has made a career off of conflating the USSR and Russia and "warning" everyone of the grave danger Russia supposedly poses to the entire world. Russia only wishes it could be as powerful.

  • I'm fairly confident that there's no way Trump's going to skip an opportunity to get on stage. He's an attention whore first and foremost, and no doubt he believes that any publicity is good publicity.

    So far it's been true–he is where he is because he's gotten tons and tons of free advertising a la media "spectacle" bias. People want a shitshow, and the media has delivered in spades. People tune in and stay glued to see what the guy will say next, which is very, very profitable for media outlets. They don't even have to work for it; The Donald provides the diamond-encrusted turds for us to lap right the fuck up and we do it, willingly.

    Donald Trump is the orange love child of Lil' Wayne and Kim Jong Un. The only person The Donald loves is The Donald. One of HRC's strengths is that she's managed to weather personal attacks from narcissistic blowhards for the better portion of the last quarter-century and she's STILL made it to where she is. She's a pretty tough bird.

    I sincerely hope that the Dems have learned something from President Obama's optimism in that it has hindered him–he's consistently treated the GOP like adults and it's consistently bitten him in the ass. I think HRC has it in her to play rhetorical judo with him and come out on top. It's all about the show.

  • *Rhetorical judo with The Donald, not President Obama. Kind of annoying that we can't edit comments…at least the not showing more than 50 comments thing has been fixed.

    Also, if a narcissist can't control you, they attempt to control how others see you. This "sarcasm" thing wasn't a joke. It's possible that it could've been a lie to make people think he's got more power and influence than he does, but blowing it off as a joke and acting like we're idiots for not treating it as such is classic back-pedaling.

  • Amateur Socialist says:

    One of the key if not critical questions that 2012 litigated was whether or not taxes should go up on the wealthy. With Obama running for his 2nd term his electability as an AA wasn't an issue any longer. I genuinely believe that was the question voters answered by supporting Barack Obama: "Yes rich people should pay more". It was really the starkest and most widely understood difference between Obama and Romney as I recall.

    For about a year I have been predicting that the 2016 question will be whether or not american workers are overdue for a raise, and which candidate is perceived to be more likely to facilitate that raise. I haven't seen anything happen during this admittedly strange primary campaign to make me want to modify that prediction.

    While Madame Secretary may have (finally) decided to adjust her rhetoric on this key question, accepting the necessity of raising the minimum wage etc., her unclear and "evolving" position on stuff like TPP could easily blow her (always tentative) credibility on it. If The Donald manages to convince people he is going to do more to increase wages of working people he's going to win. And I would give him better than even odds of managing that. The convincing, I mean. I don't kid myself he's going to increase wages substantially. But it's the sales job that matters.

    With 100 days to go it's possible that Madame Secretary will find the magic focus-tested approach that wins with voters and her army of financiers. Anything's possible. But nobody can blow a lead like HRC.

    See also: http://angrybearblog.com/2016/07/google-trends-and-the-presidential-election.html for another data based approach to evaluating the likely winner in Nov.

  • I like you Gin and Tacos.

    But Trump said “Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”

    This is a reference to the private non foreign secretary related emails that were deleted as irrelevant. If publishing these emails leaked classified information then Hillary has supposedly lied about how they involved no work related material and no classified material.

    I'm from another country so its just another shitshow to me, but you're acting exactly like the Trump supporter that tries to twist everything into a Trump positive no matter how retarded that looks to everyone else.

  • Skepticalist says:

    Madeline Albright said that Trump is being called the "Siberian Candidate" and that perhaps he and Putin are channeling each other.

    As great as the convention was, Hillary needs all the Bernie voters she can get. It's all about stopping the brown people from coming here to get jobs back in Mexico when their new employers move south of the border.

  • whatmeworried says:


    Thanks! Precisely what I was questioning…It is really difficult to get an accurate bead on Putin's Russia as there is a lot of knee-jerk Cold War mentality that is mixed into the 'reporting' about that area of the world in our media.

  • @Bobby from a foreign country
    Thanks for the schooling.
    I'm pretty sure everybody here knows Trump was referring to the 30k emails on the private server.
    The fact that Trump as a Republican presidential candidate was, even if he says he was only kidding ;), asking for Russia's help is kind of a big deal.
    What do you think?

  • philadelphialawyer says:


    "But nobody can blow a lead like HRC."


    She "blew" one lead in her life. And that was to Barrack Obama. And, even then, she probably won the popular vote, and that was with two States, one of them huge (Florida), and which she probably would have won in any event, not counting. She twice won election to the US Senate from New York State. As opposed to Sanders, who is US Senator from a rotten borough. Oh, and she kicked Sanders' ass too. So, take you Chuck Todd horseshit Hillary always "blows" the lead "analysis" and shove it.

    "Hillary needs all the Bernie voters she can get."

    Does she?

    First of all, actual "Bernie voters" are only a drop in the bucket of the general electorate. Secondly, most of them are already on board, and those that aren't now probably never will be, even if she dumped Kaine and picked Cornell West or Rachel Madow as her running mate. Thirdly, Bernie voters seem to be concentrated in deep Blue states that she is going to win even without them, and Blue enclaves in deep Red states that she probably is go to lose in any event, and most likely doesn't even need.

    As I see it, there is just as good a tactical case, or better, to be made for her pivoting to the right, to shore up what she can of the Rust Belt, white male, Trump-curious, MOR voters, as there is for her to try and reach out for the support of the very last of the hardcore Bernie Deadenders.

    "It's all about stopping the brown people from coming here to get jobs back in Mexico when their new employers move south of the border."

    WTF does that even mean?

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    Sorry, the first quote was from the "socialist," not the "skeptic."

    Also from the socialist,

    "With 100 days to go it's possible that Madame Secretary will find the magic focus-tested approach that wins with voters and her army of financiers."

    Funny, how she seems to have already connected with millions of voters. Four million more than Bernie. And more in the 2008 primaries than BHO. And more than her opponents for the Senate seat in New York.

    As for the "financiers," no one has won the presidency without them in a long, long time, and that includes BHO. Hillary didn't write the campaign finance laws, you know, and Citizens United was not exactly her idea, either. Oh, and St Bernie actually outspent her during the primaries, too.

  • @phillylawyer-

    Citizens United was a case of a "film" explaining how "terrible" Hillary Clinton was, something that couldn't be published about a non-politician, since libel and slander laws apply to non-public figures. It went all the way to the supreme court, where Justice Kennedy pulled something about campaign money not being quid pro quo with access out of his ass.

    Money may be terrible in politics, but you have to play the game to win. Far better to win and then go for change than "remain pure" and lose. Look at local elections for a better idea of how money influences politics. When one of the Koch bros SuperPACs dump 300k on a judicial election, you have a good idea of how they view their ROI on elections.

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    @phillyEsq @skepticalist:

    [quoting] "It's all about stopping the brown people from coming here to get jobs back in Mexico when their new employers move south of the border."

    WTF does that even mean?

    Skepticalist omitted the [irony] tag.

    But I agree with your point wrt Bernie Bros & Gals. Pew says 88% of Bernie '(Bros|Gals)' have already come to terms with voting Hils. Someone else (sorry, no link) made the point that Bernie Die-Hards mostly weren't in the system anyway, so it's not giving away Dem voters should Bernie Die-Hards break for Jill Stein, which is to say, all else being equal, they don't matter (because there are more Dems than Goopers.)

    Our host makes the useful point that Die-Hard Trumpkins are approximately Crazification Factor per cent of the electorate. Then there are tribalists … perhaps amounting to 10% of the electorate (a SWAG), giving Trump a baseline of about 38% of the vote.

    One might hope that even Republican-leaning voters – at least those who are not batshit insane – might be peeled out of the path of the TrumpperNaut.

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    FTC: Yeah, I figured something like that, but I'm still not seeing how "irony" explains the quote, though. It seems more like gibberish to me. MAYBE, it would make sense as applied to Trump, but Hillary? Even assuming the idea is that Hillary supports NAFTA which siphons jobs to Mexico, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, still, Hillary is not "all about" keeping Brown people out of the USA. And there is a disconnect between the first part and the "to get" part. It just makes no fucking sense.

    I agree with the rest of your post. Hillary's left is now as well covered as it is ever going to be. It is only the self importance of the BoBs that makes them think that winning them over is some big deal. There are way more votes, and more important votes in terms of the electoral college, to be had from normally Repub or neutral voters who just can't stomach Trump than there are from the Fart In crowd.

  • I had a thought….call it crazy but I think the powers that be – ie, the CIA/NSA/IMF/secret cabal whatever – will not allow Trump to win. They will do something to keep it from happening.

    Yeah, I really think this. [Adjusting tinfoil hat]

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    @PhillyEsq: wrt quote, It's Skeptic's, so I'll defer to him. That said, teh Goog tells me that irony is mumble juxtaposition of contrary elements mumble cognitive dissonance mumble humor. If I correctly understand Skeptic's irony, he's juxtaposing "jobs fleeing to Mexico" and "Mexican rapists crossing the border so's to find jobs in the US, there being no jobs in Mexico", which seems to me plausibly ironic. Clever, even. I wish I were sufficiently imaginative to create sentences like that.

    Anyway, I took it as a throwaway comment highlighting the internal contradictions of Republican paranoia.

    wrt your 2nd para, yes. Lots of pundit / commentariat / journamalists saying that Hils is trying to cover all the bases in service of attracting disaffected Republican voters mumble mumble blowout, or at least a win. She's got as much of the Bernie .* vote as she'll ever get, so the best place to look for votes is on the right.

    We'll see.

    I sorta see the logic… Dems need the House and Senate to govern, not just the presidency.

    That said, I am not entirely comfortable with the strategery of appealing to the right if that means that the Kagans et al become part of the Dem brain trust.

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    The previous great liberal administration – LBJ's – was not only up-ended by failed "liberal interventions" overseas, those failed interventions led directly to 40-odd years of conservative domination of American politics.

  • philadelphialawyer says:


    Still seems like gibberish to me. And anything that requires that much explanation does not qualify as "clever," in my book. It's such a fine line between stupid, and, uh….

    Re the rest of 8:06 post: Meh. Just win, Hilly. I'll worry about Kagan, et al, in November.

    On LBJ: Was it Vietnam that led to the forty years in the wilderness, or was it ooooga boooga on scary African Americans no longer having to suck it up so much? Southern Strategy, Reagan Democrats, and all that. The White South did not desert the Dems cuz of Vietnam, nor did the Northern Archie Bunkers, for the most part. Goldwater carried the Deep South in '64, BEFORE Vietnam went sideways, but AFTER the CR Act was passed.

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    did I mention 60K American war dead? (per Wiki)

    It's way OT, but I worry about HIls' hawkishness. Hawkishness didn't work out so well for LBJ. And Iraq worked out so well for Dubya.

    A strategery that appeals to everyone seems like a strategery destined for the rocks.

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    @PhillyEsq: agreed, I was being too reductionist. The 60s were a witches brew. LBJ was a great president among other reasons because he risked the Dem majority for social justice for African-Americans.

    But without Vietnam … Vietnam destroyed liberal confidence in liberal policies. Vietnam ended New Deal dominance of American politics, not the Civil Rights movement.

    Liberals would not have despaired over the loss of the South alone. But Vietnam was, if not a liberal project, a project that was undertaken by a liberal admin, and supported by liberals. And it failed horribly.

    "Worry about Kagan": well, OK, you do you. If Hillary weren't such a hawk, I wouldn't worry either. And yes, defeating the short-fingered vulgarian is the critical task.

    But … Matthew 16:26. I support our troops, but I feel reasonably sure that I wasn't the only person to feel cognitive dissonance hearing chants of "USA! USA! USA!"

    As for humor, if you have to explain it … but your complaint is with Skeptic, not with me.

    I thought the comment was funny. You didn't. [shrugs]

  • philadelphialawyer says:

    FTC: It was not just the South that bailed because of social justice. The Vietnam War, bad as it was, was finite. But Black folks not being content with second class citizenship was ongoing. As was feminism. And, eventually, the gay rights movement. Those things, and things like them, which were not finite, which were never going to end, are what "drove" the Archie Bunkers out of the Democratic party, not the Vietnam War, which pretty much stopped being a Democratic party, much less a "liberal," thing by 1969, and stopped being a thing at all by 1975. Indeed, when the New Deal coalition died for good, it was Reagan and the Republicans and conservatives who were all about bellicosity, and rehabing Vietnam, heating up the Cold War, and ending the "Vietnam Syndrome." Opposing all of that did not help Carter, Mondale, etc.

  • Fermion T. Clown says:

    @PhillyEsq: I don't disagree with anything you say. You could add the sexual revolution (however you wish to define it, but at least Griswold), Roe v. Wade and the emergence of abortion as a civil right (abortion as a wedge issue has been shown, convincingly I think, to be tied to racism), the re-entry of evangelicals into politics, the beginning of the decline of the labor movement, and of course the man who made the pact with the Devil that created the modern New Dixie Party: Richard Nixon.

    Perhaps we've overlooked other contributing factors.

    Even so, (IMO) the Vietnam War was the rock on which New Deal liberalism foundered. The war fractured the Democratic Party into a kaleidoscope of mutually antagonistic factions and set in train a generation of conservative dominance of American politics. The country as a whole lost its blind faith in the New Deal liberal consensus ("the best and the brightest", remember?), seeing that New Deal elites were no more immune to catastrophically stupid policy failures than the party-of-business elites which a generation earlier failed to cope with the Great Depression.

    Which (whacking deceased equine vigorously) is why I get heartburn when I see Dems "broadening" the party by welcoming the same neocons who greased the skids for the Iraq War. The Iraq War having, you know, turned out so much better than the Vietnam War.

    I'm pleased that Hils and the party are socially more liberal today than ever before (thanks, Bernie!). And because Trump has dissed everyone who isn't an Old White Male, I don't see how he can possibly win in November, current polls notwithstanding. Who knows, perhaps he'll lose in a blowout, thanks in part to the broadening of the Democratic party… just as LBJ won a blowout election against Goldwater.

    I fervently hope Hils does not engage us in more "stupid wars", cuz it sure didn't work out well for either LBJ or liberalism back in the day. Or for Dubya and movement conservatism in the aughts, for that matter. Pride going before a FAIL, and all that.

    Advocating for "no fly" zones in Syria is not a promising sign.

    Perhaps I'm way off-base. Contra Yogi, prediction is easy, even the future; it's only accurate prediction that is hard. [shrugs]

    (Interesting historical claim I came across a few years ago – sorry, don't remember which book – that LBJ bought the Civil Rights Act with support for the Vietnam War. If that's correct, then perhaps everything that happens in this country is about race.)

  • Monte Davis says:

    Maybe Reagan or George W Bush didn't pay diligent attention to their briefings…

    It was during a briefing at SAC HQ soon after his inauguration that Reagan learned for the first time (by his own account) the US had no defense against the USSR's ICBMs, and began the "thinking" that led to the SDI ("Star Wars") clusterf — uh, initiative.

    Think about that. More than 35 years after the V-2, more than 25 years after the hellbent ICBM race began, 20 years after the fallout shelter scramble, the Cuban missile crisis and the wide currency of "deterrence" (as distinct from defense) and "mutual assured destruction"… the newly elected President discovers a central strategic fact, arguably THE central strategic fact, of the Cold War. It has always shocked me that few seem to have been shocked by that.

    God only knows what will come as news to Trump in his briefings.

  • Fermion – Thanks for that link. Additionally, I'm under the impression (from some reading sometime ago) that Nixon wasn't anti-abortion and didn't think that abortion was a big deal or at least not an issue to use in a political manner.

  • Vietnam. My favorite quote from "OUR WAR" by David Harris. A "must read" in my opinion.

    'And so it may be for all of us: our body politic clogged with undigested experience, strung up on the same dilemmas we never dealt with 25 years ago (45 now) when the killing was still going on. Our disorder is plain to see: having made lying an accepted government function, our government is overrun with liars; having made our public posture heartless as a matter of policy, we are now unable to bring our heart to public affairs; having made killing a measure of our national efforts, we watch helplessly as killing has become one of our principal cultural currencies; having failed to look our transgressions straight in the face, we have not been straight with one another since; having refused to live up to our values, we are increasingly without values; having made language into hype, we now have nothing believable to say.'

  • philadelphialawyer says:


    "Even so, (IMO) the Vietnam War was the rock on which New Deal liberalism foundered."

    Well, IMO, you are wrong. The Korean War was brought to you by the New Deal liberal party as well, and didn't go swimmingly either. And yet the coalition was able to regroup. But the CRM, feminism, gay rights movement, etc, broke up the coalition, because the "Silent Majority"/"Reagan Democrats" didn't like Black people, and thought that women should stay in their place, and gays in the closet. Vietnam had little or nothing to do with any of that. And the disintegration process really only got rolling after the Vietnam War was over or almost over, and reached its peak well after that.

    "I'm pleased that Hils and the party are socially more liberal today than ever before (thanks, Bernie!). "

    Thanks for nothing, you mean. For God's sake, Hillary did not need Bernie One Note, economics-are-all-that-matters, Sanders to make her more socially liberal. And the party as a whole even less.

    On Hillary's FP, I expect it to be more or less the same as Obama's…not nearly as non interventionist as I would like it to be, but no repeat of the Iraq invasion, much less of the Vietnam War.

    On LBJ, as I understand it, he felt that if he did what we now know was the right thing on Vietnam in 1964-5, ie let the Viet Cong take down the shit Saigon government, he would be vilified by the Goldwater wing of the GOP, that there would be a repeat of the "who lost China" bullshit, and, perhaps, another McCarthy would rise up. Whereas if he did the wrong thing only a few college professors and assorted oddballs would complain. Pure politics.

    I don't think it had anything to do with the CR Act, which was only opposed by the racist Southern wing of the Democratic party and the few Southern Republicans. LBJ did the right thing, and, famously, knowingly lost that Southern Democratic wing, for decades. LBJ did not need to escalate the war to pass the Act, as the overwhelming majority of Northern Dems and Republicans were in favor it. Here, the Goldwater wing was isolated within the GOP. And, in fact, the Act was passed before the big escalations began.

  • Berkeley '74 says:

    It appears the Russian email comments have already been eclipsed by the kerfluffel with Khizr Khan. It isn't possible to keep up with the craziness. We have three months more of this daily madness. Can I please be sedated for about five months so I can skip all this insanity ?

  • I was at the local merchfest (billed as "Harborfest") in Oswego, NY, this past weekend and heard some young, dumb, low info types talking about writing in Daddy Duckdouche Dynasty
    because neither Hilary or the Day global Donald were "good" candidate

    Jesus, if he existed, would have wept.

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