And then there were none: Reports say Kasich quitting


Any devoted Dune fans out there? Remember when Paul and Lady Jessica have escaped Harkonnen clutches after being betrayed, and they’re hiding in the desert listening to radio chatter, and on every band, the message is the same: Atreides reports of defeat, Harkonnen messages of triumph? Complete disaster, no hope.

That’s what I’m seeing now on Twitter:

No hope anywhere, for the party or far more importantly, the nation.

It must have been much like this when the Germans marched into Paris…

Sorry about mixing metaphors there…


115 thoughts on “And then there were none: Reports say Kasich quitting

  1. Doug Ross

    Will he take a spot on a Trump ticket? That’s his best shot for 2020. If he can deliver Ohio/Michigan/Pennsylvania, he’d be considered a hero to the party. There’s even a narrative where Trump says “I need a guy like Kasich to help me work deals in Washington” that would be believable.

    I missed my prediction on his exit by a week. But he never had a chance anyway.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And I applaud this answer he got and reTweeted:

        Amen to that, ma’am.

        1. Doug Ross

          It doesn’t matter what one person thinks. How many more votes would Trump get in Ohio with Kasich? Putting Ohio in play would be very important electorally. Who else would bring more republicans and independents to the polls? If you thought he’d be the best President, he would also have to be the best VP.

          I think the bigger news is that Hilary just can’t seem to put Bernie away. She’s a weak candidate and Bernie represents the same type of voter that Trump gets. 65% of the country believes we are on the wrong path. Those are most of the Trump / Sanders voters.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            This is perfectly logical:
            “If you thought he’d be the best President, he would also have to be the best VP.”

            But that does not matter. I would never, ever vote for Trump, no matter who was on his ticket. Not unless I knew Trump would have a fatal heart attack seconds after been sworn in on Inauguration Day.

            And I’m not just one person. There are a lot of us…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                If I were running with Trump, I would definitely vote against me.

                And I hope SEAL Team 6 would be on standby to rescue my family from that warehouse where Trump is holding them to force me into that situation.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    If I were Kasich, I would never, ever quit.

    Even if all my supporters deserted me, and all my funding dried up. If I had to walk from one campaign event to the next, I would continue.

    Why? Because no matter the odds, Trump MUST be opposed at every turn. Not an inch of ground can ever be conceded to him, not by an opponent who understands what he is. He would have to take every bit of territory himself. If he’s poised one inch from the goal line, I would still do everything I could to stop him.

    I will never, ever understand the “bandwagon” effect, which causes people to think, “Oh, he’s going to win anyway, so I’ll just back off and let him,” or worse, “I’ll help him.”

    Not with a latter-day fascist like Trump. It’s insupportable.

    Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.

    And if you don’t like Churchill, there’s always Galaxy Quest: “Never give up! Never surrender!

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And remember, I’m a moderate guy. I don’t take absolutist positions. But you have to recognize when you’re in a situation in which your usual approach is inappropriate.

      Of COURSE there are times, under normal circumstances, when you give in. Good example: Hillary Clinton should have given in to Barack Obama weeks if not months before she did in ’08.

      But he was the better candidate. I could see that; she could not. Or more likely, didn’t care. To her, no one who isn’t Hillary Clinton could be the better candidate.

      But when the guy winning is Donald Trump, you owe it to your country to keep going.

      Last night, Cruz said something like, “We left it all on the field in Indiana.” And I’ll hand it to him; he did. He tried to make a deal with Kasich; it didn’t work. He threw away an important bargaining chip for the convention by naming Carly Fiorina. He did everything he could; he can’t look back and say there was something else he could have done.

      So I’ll give him that. Although his departure should have made no one weep tears of regret…

  3. Karen Pearson

    All hope abandon. But Ms. Clinton is still there. I’ll vote for her, of if necessary Mr. Sanders. I suspect that either will collect clips of Trump contradicting himself again and again, and replay them often. Let his followers figure out who/what it is they are following.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Why couldn’t the Democrats come up with a palatable alternative? Why, oh why, wouldn’t Joe Biden run?

      Yes, if it’s between Trump and Hillary, you have to vote for Hillary, if you care about the country. But how can anyone feel good about that choice? I know I can’t. Can you IMAGINE how horrible the next four years will be with her having gotten into office as the default alternative to the Trump nightmare? It’ll make the partisan idiocy of the Bush and Obama years look like a Golden Age of Reason.

      As for Bernie — well, we don’t have to worry about that. The Democrats have superdelegates. Thank God for superdelegates…

      1. Doug Ross

        Bernie or Trump, Brad. Who do you vote for? Give us The State’s endorsement.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Both are unthinkable.

          In terms of character, of morality, of basic decency, there’s no question Bernie is the better man.

          But in terms of policy, he’s just as clueless and delusional.

          With a choice between them, I guess I’d be endorsing one of the write-in candidates that would definitely crop up. There’s no way we’d end up with a choice just between those two.

          1. Norm Ivey

            Thoughts on the possibility of a third candidate getting enough electoral votes to throw the thing into the House?

            Who from either party could run a campaign significant enough to win some states?

            The House would have to choose from among the 3 top candidates. With the House heavily Republican, would they choose Trump? Or the third party candidate (assuming that person is an R)?

            1. Doug Ross

              I mentioned on another post – Romney fits here. He can self-finance a third party campaign or get his organization ramped up real quick. He’d be my choice in a three person race. He could win enough states to keep Trump and Hillary from getting 270.

              1. Michael Bramson

                I’m like to see someone with more knowledge do the math on this, but I think a third party candidate would have a tough time stopping Hillary from getting to 270. Let’s say it’s Romney. Doesn’t he take a lot more votes from Trump’s column than from Hillary’s? In which case, in what states is he winning a plurality that would have otherwise gone Democratic? And doesn’t it throw a bunch of swing states Hillary’s way?

                If someone is really going to run on the idea of stopping an electoral college majority, I think it would have to be someone like Michael Bloomberg, who would pull heavily from Democratic-leaning independents.

          2. Pat

            A write-in would guarantee a Trump win. The only vote that makes sense is a vote for the Democratic ticket. Then we must elect a congress that will put forth a common sense agenda and move it through. By the way, I’ve already seen an article recommending approval of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Maybe that court make up will help get rid of Citizens United.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Actually, a write-in whose appeal is entirely to Republicans/conservatives — a Paul Ryan or a Mitt Romney — could be helpful.

              There are millions of people who would pull the lever for anyone who has an “R” after his name, even if it’s Trump. Someone who could peel off those voters would be a good thing.

              But yeah, if the third candidate pulled from among those who might under these circumstances vote for Hillary, then it helps Trump…

            2. Bryan Caskey

              What legal opinion(s) in Citizens United need to be overturned? Is it:

              1. First Amendment protection extends to corporations.
              2. The government cannot restrict political speech based on the speaker’s corporate identity.
              3. The government cannot restrict the political speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others.
              4. The First Amendment’s protections do not depend on the speakers financial ability to engage in public discussion.

              Since I’m okay with Citizens United, I’m just curious what motivates so many people to point to this decision as the reincarnation of Korematsu.

              1. Pat

                Citizens United provides anonymity for a block of people. It is conceivable that some of those who are fronting the money are not citizens at all. I, as an identifiable individual, have protection of free speech.
                I don’t see that a corporation qualifies as a person. Our constitution provides government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is obviously applies to one person, one vote. A corporation can’t vote, can’t provide a long form birth certificate, or a picture ID.
                By some people hiding behind a corporation, they can pump obscenely large amounts of money to influence elections and get around election laws.
                Further, it is offensive to me that an anonymous group can flood the airwaves here in South Carolina and bombard my landline, which I have now removed, with propaganda and misleading questions to influence my vote and gain control of our state government.
                Recently, Nora O’Donald (60 minutes) reported on the pressure our congressmen are under to raise funds for their party. She interviewed one (who is not running for reelection) who said the party was requiring them to donate 3 hours a day to raise money. That’s 3 hours a day, they are not doing congressional work. And this is just to combat outside money that may be thrown against them. He said this was not the case before Citizens United. Is there any wonder, nothing is getting done on capital hill?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            You just don’t have a clue, do you?

            We’re talking about The State newspaper — which has not endorsed the Democrat for president in living memory.

            Although of course, this would be the year to do it. As long as it’s not Bernie…

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            What must it be like to have such a simplistic worldview? “Oh, you’re the media — so you’re for the Democrat.” Do you have to work hard at ignoring the facts — such as the fact that The State hasn’t endorsed the Democrat in your lifetime — or does it come easy to you?

            1. Claus

              Is this like all Fox viewers must be braindead Republicans? It goes both way.

              I noticed you didn’t approve my question about your Nazi picture above. I must have been correct in my assumption.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Yeah, it’s kind of like of like that. (Personally, I don’t seen how anyone can stand any of that stuff — Fox, MSNBC, take your pick. It’s all pretty obnoxious.)

                Oh, in an unapproved comment “Claus,” whom you also know by other names, among other things objected to the picture of the Germans, which I of course used to illustrate the next-to-last line of my post.

                Any of y’all have a better visual analogy? Remember, we’re talking about the complete triumph of a guy whose tendencies toward fascism are stronger than those of anyone who’s come this close to a major-party nomination in my lifetime, if not our nation’s history.

                So choose accordingly…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  You know what’s funny about that? I’d daydream in school about a sudden attack by Nazis and such, so that we’d all have to run out and fight them.

                  You know, to break up the monotony of Algebra…

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  For the purposes of breaking up Algebra class, commies would have done fine. I just leaned toward Nazis because I could picture it better, from the movies.

                  And no, plausibility did not enter into these daydreams. If you’re going to fantasize about an attack on your school, it might as well be Nazis…

        2. Matt Bohn

          The State didn’t endorse anyone for President in 2012. I think that’s the easy way out. It seems like they have a duty to their readers endorse and back it up with rational arguments. By the way, what would it take for The State to endorse a Democrat for President? Would they do so this year? If not now then when?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “If not now then when?” That’s a good question.

            I’m guessing the tendency will be not to endorse, but that’s based on insufficient data. You’ll notice that The State did not endorse in the Democratic primary this time, basically refusing to pick between two unpalatable choices, Hillary and Bernie.

            That argues for a reluctance to endorse in the fall. If Kasich were the Republican nominee, there is no doubt in my mind The State would endorse, and endorse him. But now…

            It’s a bad situation for the paper. If you’re going to break with decades of endorsing Republicans, you’re going to want it to be a Democrat you feel really good about. And Hillary Clinton most assuredly does not fit that description. As I said in 2012, that was the moment in history for the paper to break the monotony and go with the Democrat. (If Romney had been the nominee in 2008 instead of McCain, we’d likely have endorsed Obama then. At least, that would have been MY position.)

            But they didn’t, and I’m worried they might repeat that this year.

            Here’s why something like that would happen: First, there is no editorial page editor. There’s no one in a senior position deeply invested in the idea of the paper having a duty to endorse. I felt that more strongly than most EPEs, so my absence is a factor. But not just mine. There’s no Mike Fitts, either.

            That’s important because Mike and I were the only ones who regularly commented on national and international affairs.

            That’s not Cindi’s area. There’s no stronger journalist in South Carolina than Cindi Scoppe. But while she has a healthy sense of her own worth and talents, she doesn’t like to venture away from topics where she is the leading expert — which she certainly is on South Carolina government issues.

            If there’s someone at The State now who is likely to say, “Dammit, we’ve GOT to endorse!,” it’s Cindi. But she’s not as likely to do that if Mike and I aren’t there to help make the endorsement decision, and to write the endorsement.

            I speak of Cindi because she’s a known quantity to me: I was her editor for most of the time from 1988 to 2009. There are three unknowns here, though: The publisher, Sara Borton; the executive editor, Mark Lett, and Paul Osmundson, an editor who now has some responsibility for editorial. I know Mark and Paul well, but in the years I worked with them they never had anything to do with editorial, so I don’t know their thinking or habits in such a situation. And while I’ve had lunch with Sara a couple of times, I have no idea what she’s like on an editorial board.

            So anything could happen. But yeah, not endorsing may once again be on the table…

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    At least if you’re a Democrat, you can see opportunity in this situation. I can’t, but they can. This is from SC Democrats:

    Dear Brad,

    Last night one of our greatest fears was realized when Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican Nominee for President. There comes a time in every generation when as Americans we must take a step back and ask ourselves who we really are.

    Today, we face a cynical political tide tinged with undertones of racism and hatred. Donald Trump has been the figurehead of this movement since he led the birther conspiracy against President Obama.

    Will we allow Trump to be the name and the face to represent this great nation?

    Today, we ask you to help us spread a different message.

    This fall, we’ll be working to elect Democrats in every local, state, and national election, and we need your help.

    We have 177 days left until the November 8, election. Lets work to stop Trump now! Donate $17.70 today and help us grow as a party here in the Palmetto State, and to fight the hatred and bigotry of Donald Trump.

    1. Doug Ross

      I’d love to meet the person who writes these emails asking for money all the time. They must be awful human beings in real life.

  5. Bob Amundson

    How can anyone not admire Trump? He BODY-SLAMMED World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon and then SHAVED HIS HEAD! WINNING!!!!!!!!!! (Oh wait, that was another person I so greatly admire, Charlie Sheen).

    1. Brad Warthen Post author


      You just made me think of Andy Kaufman taking on Jerry “The King” Lawler…

      Wow. That video is a LOT like this year’s election…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          You betcha. Trump vs. Clinton is THE nightmare. (The only think I can imagine worse would be Trump vs. Sanders.)

          But not just mine. It’s probably the worst nightmare for a plurality of the country.

          The only people for whom it is NOT a nightmare fit into two categories:
          — Trump supporters. That’s enough people to win Republican parties, but not to win in the fall.
          — Democrats. They’re pumped because even though they have a candidate with extremely high negatives, they’re going to win — not only the presidency, but possibly Congress.

          The rest of us just see this as a terrible situation for the country…

  6. bud

    Brad, I’m perplexed that you don’t like Bernie. His signature issue, breaking up the big bank, is looooong overdue. Plus he wants to do something about the odious situation with income inequality. Hopefully he’s put those issues at the forefront of Hillarys campaign. She could lose Bernie supporters if she strays too far from liberal orthodoxy on those issues.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Two reasons: The things he talks about don’t interest me, especially the way he talks about them, with a mixture of oversimplification and paranoia.

      Two, his continued presence helps Trump by pulling Hillary in the wrong direction for winning in the fall. For me, Hillary’s least appealing persona is her “I’ll fight for you!” populist pose…

      1. bud

        All politicians oversimplify, so that’s a nothing charge. You can watch the movie Big Short about the financial crisis if you want details but any presidential candidate is doomed if he comes across as too wonkish. Just ask Jeb Bush.

        To some extent they all speak to paranoia. But Bernie can’t hold a candle to all the extreme paranoia that plays out within the ranks of the neocons. My goodness Lindsey Graham is the poster child for paranoia with all his shrill proclamations about the dangers of ISIS, the Russians or some other non-threat that can only lead to Americans killed and the treasury emptied. So I have to call BS on that charge.

        As for his continue presence, there could be something to that but his supporters expect him to make a difference and if he bails too soon without getting some kind of assurance that his issues will be addressed that could turn off Bernie voters. To be sure this is a difficult line to walk but I’m ok with Bernie staying in for now. In fact it’s only fair to let everyone have their opportunity to vote. But probably best not to have a doomed floor fight.

  7. bud

    This will be the second easiest POTUS vote of my adult life. I doubt any election will top 2004. But Trump is pretty clueless. Hillary is very qualified and should be fine. But I do worry about her hawkish past and coziness with the big banks.

  8. Peggy

    Trump should ask Gov Haley, a conservative, to be his VP. And she can play the “woman card.”

    1. bud

      I’ve seen some folks putting Utah in play but that seems a bit of a stretch given that its gone for the GOP in at least the last 6 elections. Mitt Romney could sway the Mormons there if he endorses Hillary but absent that I expect Utah to remain red.

      But the really crazy one in Mississippi. Really? Didn’t Trump just win MS by a country mile in the primary? Sure it has a large black population but if Obama couldn’t get them out in sufficient numbers I doubt Hillary can do it.

    1. bud

      That’s the 2008 map except for Indiana. Not sure this early assessment means anything more than wild speculation at this point.

    2. Doug Ross

      So Trump would be a more viable candidate than John McCain in 2008? That sounds reasonable. I think if Trump can capture the Rust Belt somehow (economy tanking late summer, picking Kasich for VP) then it would be more interesting.

        1. Bob Amundson

          Google “Contrary Personality” sometime. I know Doug is a very nice man, but he is a contrarian …

          1. Bob Amundson

            And Doug will disagree with this, in some way stating “au contraire.”

            1. Doug Ross

              So my 180 degree view of the world from Brad is the contrary one, right? Because he is right and I am wrong? Ok.

              1. Bob Amundson

                I don’t do right or wrong, black or white, i.e. binary thinking, very well. I am a shades of gray type of person. And I’m ok that you are not; I agree with you fairly frequently.

                1. Doug Ross

                  I know I am falling into your “au contraire” trap but if I have the “contrary personality” you claim I have, it would show up in other places, wouldn’t it? In my job, with my family and friends? The only reason I appear contrarian on Brad’s blog is BECAUSE IT IS BRAD’s BLOG. We’re polar opposites on nearly every topic.

                2. Bob Amundson

                  Contrary only in regards to the blog; we haven’t met. Others that have met you all say you are a very nice man. I think some people who are social media trolls (which you are not) are nice people; the format allows anonymity and people say things they may not say more publicly.

                3. Bob Amundson

                  It is o.k. to be contrarian; see Steve Jobs. Contrarians generally have a high IQ and can be very creative. I’m making an observation, not insulting you. Google it, read for yourself and then decide if, or if not, you have a contrary personality.

        2. Doug Ross

          What is unpleasant about it? You are presenting Trump as the worst potential President ever and even the New York Times suggests he’ll do better than McCain. Your hyperbolic statements don’t reflect reality.

          I’m not a contrarian. I deal in facts. Trump will do no worse than McCain. Many (most) of the same people who voted for McCain will vote for Trump. Were they wrong then as well?

          I just think you’re going off the deep end on Trump and every time you double down on the scare tactics, it looks like you’re further out of the mainstream. Trump isn’t a fascist, he isn’t going to start dropping nukes on countries, he isn’t going to destroy democracy. If he somehow manages to get in, he’ll face the same roadblocks Obama has seen. Maybe it would be a GOOD thing in that Democrats AND Republicans would work together to rein him in.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Trump IS the worst presidential candidate to get a major party nomination. Worse than Andrew Jackson. Worse than George B. McClellan. Worse than take your pick.

            Much worse. We’ve never had anyone close to the presidency who was this crude, crass, clueless, obnoxious, deliberately confrontational, ignorant and yet so convinced that he knows EVERYTHING.

            You’re being obtuse if you insist on not seeing that.

            Who the president is is SO much more than what sort of legislation is produced by Congress. Our chief executive has tremendous influence on this country and others — surely you’ve heard of the bully pulpit. Aside from that, the commander in chief has great constitutional leeway on day-to-day interactions with other countries, totally apart from any easy check by Congress.

            This utterly clueless and capricious individual absolutely MUST not get anywhere near the office. And yet he is very, very near it now, with only one highly flawed and vastly unpopular person between him and it.

            Nothing I have said comes anywhere close to exaggerating what a terrible situation this is. In fact, I’m probably holding myself back too much…

  9. Brad Warthen Post author

    Basically, it’s time for Bernie to shut up and go away, and for Hillary to start moving toward us independents in the middle, and doing anything else she can do to protect this country from a “President Trump.”

    She’s not who I would pick for this role (and from now until November, I’ll be waiting in dread for another shoe to drop on her emails or something), but she’s what the country has. She’d better deliver…

    1. Doug Ross

      So if Hillary moves toward independents does that mean she was lying before or will she start lying at that point?

    2. Lynn Teague

      Brad, I’m sure that the Republican Party is gratified that their constant drumbeat for many years has convinced you that Clinton is, as you put it in an earlier post, a “mess.” Lord knows they have worked at it hard enough and long enough. Politifact checked candidate truthfulness and she came up in the same range as Kasich, miles above Trump and Cruz. On the emails – that seems to be the best they can come up with on someone with decades in public life, and they haven’t shown anything other than that she had a lapse in judgment that thankfully has had no identifiable bad consequences for national security. The Benghazi affair, tragic as it was, has been investigated repeatedly while revealing only that overall security at the facility was inadequate. However, no investigation has succeeded in laying that entirely at her door. I question her judgment on Libya, but she was certainly not alone in thinking that we can waltz in and intervene in other people’s countries and everything will come up roses.

      I’m not arguing that Clinton is perfect, or even that you should vote for her, just that her mistakes and those of other politicians should be kept in perspective. I am very tired of political smear campaigns. There is every reason to think that I will be far more tired of them after this election, with money pouring into South Carolina to elect candidates acceptable to the drown-government-in-the-bathtub folks. They’ve already started the robo calls in some districts. It isn’t enough for them that we have a General Assembly that is on the verge of passing a law ending the right of citizens to sue under the Pollution Control Act. (That would be no problem, of course, if you believe that regulatory agencies are immune to pressure from industries and the politicians who love them, and that they are adequately funded and well run, and that industry isn’t constantly working to weaken regulatory oversight. I think you’ve been around too long to believe any of that). However, some folks want more, and they are prepared to pay, and smear, to get it.

      Anyway, the smear campaigns are so tiresome that even politically involved people, like me, sometimes just want to tune it all out. That isn’t good for our state or country.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        “On the emails – that seems to be the best they can come up with on someone with decades in public life, and they haven’t shown anything other than that she had a lapse in judgment that thankfully has had no identifiable bad consequences for national security.”

        I know she won’t be prosecuted because she’s too important, but it would be nice for some folks to at least acknowledge that she intentionally broke multiple federal laws.

        1. Bill

          Aw, bull hockey, as my grandmama would say. What Gen. Petreus did was far more egregious than anything Clinton is even accused of having done – and he only got hit with one misdemeanor count and no jail time. And it’s not because he was “too important,” either.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        I’m sorry, Lynn, but it is a real problem for the country that the only person standing in the way of Trump is one with such high negatives. It’s a cliche to say that in politics perception is reality, but it’s nevertheless true that it is a thing that has to be dealt with.

        But I can identify with your reaction. This morning, the WSJ ran an excerpt of an old review that took apart (aesthetically, not ideologically) her book, It Takes A Village. And my reaction was, Stop it! Another time, I might have smiled at the reviewers little digs, but now she’s all the country has standing between us and Trump! Save the snotty asides for after the election!…

    3. Doug Ross

      Let me see if I understand the logic here – John Kasich, who won one state and rarely got above 20% of the vote, should have stayed in the race but Bernie, who has won 18 states and regularly gets 40% or more of the vote, should get out?

      The fact that Hillary can’t beat Bernie as easily as Trump beat all the other Republicans is a red flag.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Yes, it is. And since she, with all her warts, is all the country has left between us and Trump, it’s time for Bernie to get out and stop damaging her.

        The wild-haired old coot act was cute. Time to set it aside now…

  10. bud

    Rather than being all negative about the situation I think it’s time to consider the great opportunity this presents us. With the odious Trump at the top of the GOP ticket Democrats have a grand opportunity to win the down ballot races along with the presidency. The first benefit of this will be a liberal SCOTUS. With that in place we can look forward to repealing the dreadful Citizens United ruling and knock down other threats from the right.

    Also, it’s now possible to win both the Senate and the House. That could lead to a more sensible tax structure that rids the country of the YUGE tax breaks for the rich and big corporations. We can also see aggressive programs to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. That will create millions of jobs and push wages higher. All of this will lead to further reductions in the deficits.

    We might also see a sensible foreign policy that moves us away from wasteful military budgets and continued meddling in places thousands of miles from our shores. This reduction in the military footprint can only gain us respect rather than derision. Obama has done some of that but he still has too much of a hawkish streak and Hillary may as well. But with a more liberal Senate that might be tamped down. Perhaps this is wishful thinking but there is at least hope for some sanity in our foreign affairs. That could never occur with the GOP in charge.

    All in all this is a good day. Come November we could see and even better day. Thank you GOP voters for making this dream a possibility.

  11. Bryan Caskey

    I’ll ask you this, Brad: Why did Kasich drop out now? If he had dropped out a few weeks ago the anti-Trump vote wouldn’t have been split between Kasich and Cruz. It’s not like Kasich’s chances were worse today than they were yesterday.

    As soon as Cruz dropped out…Kasich also drops out? Why?

    Kasich being vetted for VP?

    Cui bono?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bryan, I absolutely don’t understand it. He went fey on us all of a sudden.

      This was the moment to follow through on all that hard work over the past year, laboring in the shadows.

      But even if that were not true, even if he were doomed, this was not a moment to quit for someone who cared about the country. This was time for Horatius at the bridge, the boy on the burning deck, Jack Aubrey going straight at the vastly stronger Cacafuego, “Cool Hand” Luke to “>keep coming at Dragline with a hand full of nothing.

      Kasich had an obligation to stay in at that point.

      As I said on Twitter yesterday:

      If I’d had more room in the Tweet, I might have said, “if I had to crawl on my bloody hands and knees from one state to the next…”

      They say Kasich was on his plane on the way to Washington for some campaign meetings, and he suddenly decided he just didn’t have it in him anymore, and turned the plane around.

      I don’t get it at all. Of all the moments in his long campaign up to that point, that is the very last one I would have chosen for quitting…

  12. bud

    And by the way Brad, are Nazi references now fair game as per your photo at the top? If so we can have lots of fun with the Donald.

    1. Doug Ross

      It’s amazing how a racist and misogynist like Donald Trump has been able to fly under the radar for decades. I imagine all those minorities/women who worked for him, starred on his TV show , and appeared in his Miss Universe pageants never realized what a terrible person he was. And yet they kept coming back to those jobs, to those shows, and to those pageants. I would expect all of the minorities and women who make up the 22,500 employees of his company would quit immediately.

    2. Phillip

      Yes, Bud, I have to say that as repulsive as the Donald is, that was surprising to see those pictures posted here.

      But, since Brad went there with the photos, allow me to point out that the parallel here is not France 1940, but the German election of 1932. The pictures should not be of weeping Frenchmen as their country is invaded, but German people putting ballots in boxes.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        No, Phillip, Trump isn’t Hitler. But a step toward him is a step in the fascist direction.

        I refer y’all again to the dark German comedy “Look Who’s Back.” Like Borat, the filmmakers had this actor dressed as Hitler go up to ordinary Germans and filmed their reactions — and THEY were the ones who came up with the anti-immigrant comments that would have been balm to the Fuhrer’s ears.

        That strain that the filmmakers tapped into in Germany is the same one that produced Trump…

        Anyway, I refer you to what I said in reply to Bud. The point wasn’t the Nazis. The point was to evoke ultimate, crushing defeat and the loss of hope…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Let me also note…

          I wrote that about Bud and Phillip being the ones who object to WWII analogies BEFORE I saw that Phillip had weighed in (I see comments in a different order from the way in which they appear on the blog).

          Do I know my readers or what?

    3. Brad Warthen Post author

      Hey, I’m not the person who thinks WWII analogies are beyond the pale. I usually get that from you and Phillip, I believe.

      But my point in running that photo isn’t about Nazis. It’s just the best image of utter, crushing national disaster and ignominious defeat that I could think of.

      As I said to someone earlier, if you can think of another image that says that, I’ll be glad to use it next time I want to make that point.

      Perhaps people would have understood better if I had just run the picture of the weeping Parisian that you see at the bottom. But I felt like I needed to first show what he was weeping ABOUT, for people who didn’t recognize the image…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        To elaborate…

        I would have preferred an image that illustrated my lede:

        Any devoted Dune fans out there? Remember when Paul and Lady Jessica have escaped Harkonnen clutches after being betrayed, and they’re hiding in the desert listening to radio chatter, and on every band, the message is the same: Atreides reports of defeat, Harkonnen messages of triumph? Complete disaster, no hope….

        But there is no image from Dune that illustrates that and would be so instantly recognizable as communicating utter defeat and loss of hope.

        I didn’t even look, especially since the results would likely be from the worst movie ever made, and I would have rejected them on that basis.

        If I HAD found such an image and it was as evocative as what I was looking for, Bud and Phillip would have chided me for comparing Trump to the Harkonnens…

  13. Karen Pearson

    Doug, he was paying them. And he either picked very desperate people, or he paid them well. Bryan, if Hillary’s use of a private email server was wrong so were a lot of her predecessors. In hindsight perhaps those now labeled “secre” shouldn’t have been sent, but they were not so labeled then. A lapse in judgement, yes; a crime no, and continuing to insist that she should be prosecuted when Colin Powell, et. al. were not is smear, not reason. Benghazi has been investigated again and again by a Congress looking for something to prosecute, but they found nothing. That’s why you haven’t heard “BENGHAZI!!!” every time you turned on the news lately. Ms. Clinton has been smeared so much by the Republican party, it makes the Democratic attacks on W. look like an invitation to the ball.

    1. Doug Ross

      “Doug, he was paying them. And he either picked very desperate people, or he paid them well. ”

      So people are willing to ignore racism if you pay them enough? Who looks worse in that case?

      As far as I can tell, all the thousands of young women who competed and made it to the Miss Universe pageant didn’t appear very desperate. Except for the winner, I would expect it cost them a lot more money than they made.

      1. Bob Amundson

        There is substantial research in the field of moral psychology.The biologist Richard Dawkins was right when he said at the start of “The Selfish Gene,” “Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly toward a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature.”

        Fortunately, we can transcend our limited biological natures. Modern humans possess abstract moral notions of equality and freedom for all; we see racism and sexism as evil; we reject slavery and genocide; we try to love our enemies. Of course, our actions typically fall short, often way short, of our moral principles, but these principles do shape, in a substantial way, the world in which we live. Research and observation (Bernie Madoff comes to mind) confirm that the larger the reward, the more likely we humans are willing to do something “wrong.” So, yes, humans will “ignore racism if you pay them enough.”

          1. Bob Amundson

            Not relevant to your point about ignoring racism if paid enough. But since this is South Carolina and he will win anyway, it would take much less than $100K. But of course, no one will even offer me a dollar for my vote for Trump.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Oh, wait: If I had all the money in the world, I would likely have the political power to remove Trump from office if he were elected.

              And it would also mean that Trump was penniless, which would completely deflate him and all his B.S.

              So yeah, I’d vote for him for all the money in the world. But not a penny less…

      2. Karen Pearson

        None of them are going to be/ have been nominated for the presidency. People can be bought for different things: money, attention, power are but a few, and they can be scared by much; job loss, ridicule, isolation are a few of those.

        1. Doug Ross

          Karen – the people who work for Trump’s company aren’t scared. I checked a couple rankings on job search sites and Trump Org gets 4/5 stars from employees.

            1. Doug Ross

              Money isn’t the only factor in job satisfaction. These are anonymous ratings. If people didn’t like working there, they could rate it lower.

              It’s funny to watch liberals react to Trump the way conservatives responded to Obama. Same level of hate, righteous indignation, hyperbole.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Good God, Doug! Are you actually SERIOUS?

                The way liberals reacted to BUSH compared to the way the right reacted Obama. Are you really incapable of seeing that this is COMPLETELY different from that, that we have entered unprecedented space, a situation that is qualitatively unlike anything we’ve seen before? Or are you just acting like it to yank our chains?

                And what’s this “liberals” stuff? I’m a liberal now? Bush 41 and Bush 43 are liberals? Lindsey Graham and that Koch brother are liberals?

                Are those down-ballot Republicans worried about losing their seats with Trump at the top of the ticket liberals?

                Do you really not see what is happening here?

                I know you like to contradict, but you’re really starting to worry me here…

    2. Bryan Caskey

      A lapse in judgement, yes; a crime no

      18 USC 1924

      “(a)Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”

      This makes it a crime to take classified information (like e-mails) to an unauthorized location (like a private server).

      We know that this has occurred. People have been prosecuted for this. The lack of prosecuting others is not a defense. Next time you get pulled over for speeding, tell the cop that lots of other people speed down that part of the road who don’t get pulled over. Let me know how that works out.

      Legally, is entirely irrelevant whether the information was marked classified or not. Also, for good measure, Hillary signed a document which states “…classified information is marked or unmarked information…” and “…I have received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information including the procedures to be followed…and I understand these procedures”.

      And that’s just one law. I could go into Executive Order 13526 and other issues, but what’s the point?

      She’s not going to be charged with anything, and I’ve accepted that. The Justice Department isn’t going to charge a pezzonovante like Hillary.

      I assume that once she’s President she can pardon herself, or maybe Obama will do that on his way out the door. In any event, I just like to call a spade a spade. Hillary Clinton broke the law. And hey, it’s perfectly fine with me if some people want to say that’s not a big deal. It may not bother some people. But what I can’t abide is the Orwellian refusal to acknowledge that 2 + 2 = 4.

      This whole thing also reminds me of the scene in The Godfather where Michael confronts Carlo about his involvement with Sonny’s death and says: “Only don’t tell me you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.”

      1. Karen Pearson

        Bryan, if you’re going to raise the issue raise it about all who have broken this law and not been prosecuted. Picking only on her makes it more nearly a witch-hunt than a search for justice.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Hey, I’m not in the Justice Department. Ain’t my job to prosecute folks.

          1. Karen Pearson

            So far, they aren’t. Could it be because they don’t see a reason to prosecute anymore than they saw one for the others?

            1. Doug Ross

              Sure, the “reason” could be because she is the presumptive nominee for President. Not because she didn’t do something wrong. How many jobs in the Justice Department would be at stake for starting down that path with the potential President?

      2. Bill

        And by a lawyer speaking on a matter of law, who should really know better.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Ha, ha.

          I’m just looking at the law and then looking at the fact pattern. But yeah, Hillary ain’t my favorite person in the world.

          Where is my legal analysis going wrong? Help me out. I’m not perfect. I tell clients all the time that other lawyers may have different legal opinions than mine.

          1. Bill

            In a nutshell:

            1) An intention to remove classified information requires knowledge that the information is classified. The State Department uses an intranet/email system that is physically separate from the internet for documents determined to be classified. As I understand it, the (small amount of) classified material in the (very few) emails on Clinton’s private server found to contain such information was not determined to be classified until after the fact.

            2) It’s not at all clear that the private server constituted an ”unauthorized location.“

            For more on this, with input from a legal scholar with knowledge of this ind of prosecution, see

            And just anecdotally: During my one visit in the Pentagon, years ago, I happened past a young airman sitting at a classroom-type desk-chair outside a briefing room reading a document. When I glanced down at the document, I noticed it had “CLASSIFIED” in bold red stamped on top. When he saw me looking down, he shifted his hand over the stamp. I think this says something about the nature and handling of “classified” information, both then and now.

  14. Karen Pearson

    Could be, Doug. Could also be the other. But even if that’s the answer, it’s been made clear that many before her were doing the same thing. Why not go after them? It’s not like a traffic ticket where the cops didn’t see the other guys. This use of personal server had been all too common and no secret. And given that it could be other, I see no reason to demonize Ms. Clinton; the Republicans are doing that job all too well.

    1. Doug Ross

      So if it had happened before, why didn’t she use THAT as her defense right off the bat? She lied and stonewalled on the whole server thing from day one. Every time a lie was revealed, she changed the story.
      It’s the coverup, not the crime.

  15. Bryan Caskey

    In this case, it’s sort of funny (in a dark way) that the crime is, in itself, a sort of preemptive cover-up.

    The whole purpose for Hillary to set up a private, off-the-grid, secret server for her private e-mail was to avoid FOIA laws and government oversight. You know, because the eeeeeeevil Republicans might use their oversight power to prowl through her correspondence looking for dirt.

    But she was too smart for them, alright. She set up a completely off the grid communications system that had no connection to the government whatsoever.

    There’s literally no other reason someone goes to all that trouble.

    1. Mark Stewart

      And that’s why this issue is not just a Benghazi-type political firestorm.

      This was a premeditated effort to thwart the law of the land. It’s staggering just thinking about the total lack of either ethical behavior or of the rule of law. I’ll be dead by then, but it’s going to be fascinating what Presidential historians are going to find in the archives about who complained about this private server situation while she was Secretary of State. And who did not.

  16. bud

    I’ve said from the beginning that this whole file server issue is more weird than sinister with no credible national security threat involved. Given the extreme obsessive fixation the conservatives have had over the years with the Clintons it doesn’t seem all that odd that Hillary would be just a tensy bit concerned with the vast right wing conspiracy going on yet another witch hunt. Remember these: The Rose law firm billing records; Cattle futures; Whitewater; The White House travel office; Vince Foster; Benghazi. Nothing came of any of that despite endless speculation, investigation and hearings. And until the FBI or Justice Department says otherwise I’ll stick to my weird stance on this too.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That’s fine, but to make sure we’re all clear on your position, I think you should share with us a photo of you in your “weird stance.”

      Is it like Monty Python’s Silly Walks, only stationary?

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