Republicans agree: Donald Trump is reckless, dangerous, and divisive. https://t.co/fUkISvxMmc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 5, 2016
Some of my friends here, to my amazement, think Donald Trump will be just another nominee, business as usual. For instance, Doug said this yesterday:
It’s funny to watch liberals react to Trump the way conservatives responded to Obama. Same level of hate, righteous indignation, hyperbole….
I responded, rather excitedly:
The way liberals reacted to BUSH compared to the way the right reacted (to) 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? … Lindsey Graham and that Koch brother are liberals?…
Hold on while I catch my breath… But Doug isn’t alone; others have tried to normalize this alien from Planet Reality TV. Politics as usual. (Bud, still suffering from BDS after all these years, has insisted numerous times that Trump is nowhere near as outlandish as the guy we elected president in 2000 and 2004.)
Let’s examine one aspect of this phenomenon: The assertion that Trump’s detractors are just “liberals” acting the way the right did over President Obama.
At first glance, the video above would seem to support the theory: After all, it comes from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Here’s the thing, though: Those are not actors pretending to be Republican stalwarts trashing Donald Trump. Those are Republican stalwarts — actual, dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, as opposed to the newbies who presume to call real Republicans RINOs — trashing Donald Trump.
Maybe for the general election Hillary should just stay off the campaign trail and let her campaign amplify what Republicans think of her opponent. This, as a foretaste, is pretty devastating.
But that stuff is weeks and months old. Let’s look at what some “liberals” have had to say about the presumptive GOP nominee:
- Former President George H.W. Bush — Does not plan to endorse Trump, and will not attend the national party convention that will nominate him.
- Former President George W. Bush — Ditto on both points.
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — Asked whether he’ll endorse Trump, he said “I’m just not ready to do that at this point.” Why? To give some cover to GOP House members who need to disassociate themselves from this nightmare, to keep from sinking his own future prospects by association with such an albatross, and in general to try to save the Republican Party.
- Former GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney — You knew already he was appalled by Trump, and did what he could to stop him. Praising his former running mate Ryan, Romney said last night, “I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices…”
- Sen. Lindsey Graham — “I absolutely will not support Hillary Clinton for President.” At the same time, “I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
- Former GOP Presidential Nominee John McCain — “If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life.” (That said, I’m disappointed to report that McCain plans to support the nominee. Arizona’s other senator does not. See below.)
- Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake — CNN quotes him as saying”some of Trump’s positions” make it “very difficult for me” to support him.
- Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — “I vehemently oppose our nominee.”
Then at the extreme end — among those ready to back Hillary Clinton — there’s former McCain aide Mark Salter:
the GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.
— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) May 3, 2016
And finally, Ben Howe, editor of RedState blog:
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 3, 2016
I am a fiscal conservative and I am a social conservative. That will not change. But I will not vote for an egomaniacal authoritarian. Nope.
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 3, 2016
And what is Sen. Graham saying these days?
I just added him to the list.
Never mind. I just checked Sen. Graham’s web page and he isn’t voting for either. Ah, the “Close your eyes and make it all go away” approach.
The full Graham statement, issued this afternoon:
It’s beginning to look like it’s going to be easier than usual to get a seat at the GOP National Convention this summer…
Take the whole family. There should be plenty of room.
In a CNN interview after issuing that, Graham also said the following:
Graham’s better when you get him talking beyond the press release…
Here’s video of part of that Graham interview with CNN:
I’ve had my problems with Graham. He drives me crazy sometimes. I even voted against him in his last primary election. But today we’re on the same page. Good for him.
Add Jeb! to the list.
Also, you left out Ben Sasse, though I guess it might be fair to call him a “newbie”.
Yes, I meant to include him!
I don’t know what Republicans are complaining about. Trump is the natural progression of the way the party has drifted over the last two decades.
I dunno. Republicans have certainly welcomed the Trump supporters into the tent, and that’s coming back to bite them.
But I think the way the party’s been drifting has been more in Cruz’ direction than Trump’s.
There’s just an extra ingredient this year, a destructive carelessness on the right AND the left, that has produced both Trump and Sanders.
And before my leftie friends protest that, I’m not morally equating the two. But there is the same embrace of unreality, the same insistence on backing a guy who tells you what you want to hear (and in Bernie’s case means it), and an utter disregard as to whether he can get elected or accomplish any of the things he’s promising.
It’s fantasy time on both ends of the spectrum.
Why don’t you just stick to bashing Trump. You could be so much better addressing the issues of the nation without this fingernails-on-the-chalkboard false equivalency.
There he goes, with the same childish petulance we’ve come to know…
Of, course, then we have Dick Cheney coming out for Trump–Rick Perry coming out for Trump–Bob Corker (the only Republican I’ve voted for in memory!) for Trump–the WSJ Editorial Page cozying up to him–Sheldon Adelson for Trump. This list, too, shall lengthen.
And this is the problem…
All sorts of inertial forces will work to normalize Trump and make people forget, as E.J. Dionne begged us all to do, to stay SHOCKED.
The first and greatest is the mindless, slavish habit of the partisan — to vote for one’s party’s nominee no matter what. This will lead to all sorts of rationalization, unconscious mental back flips.
Another is the simple dynamic that as time passes, people can get used to anything. And people who might be inclined to vote Republican have a long time to get used to the idea that Trump is the nominee.
Then there is the “objectivity” model of journalism, which holds that you cover an election with strict neutrality — which means that, day after day, your coverage will be no more outraged over Trump as the GOP nominee than over Clinton as the Democratic nominee.
That last element is quite different from the “false moral equivalence” that y’all (mostly Democrats, though) are constantly accusing me of. My condemnation of both parties arises from a different source — rather than stand back from judging either party (the objective model), I have judged both parties and found them sorely lacking, and won’t sit still for any smugness from my interlocutors about how superior THEIR party is.
And this election is a good example of the fact that I do NOT impose false equivalencies. As many warts as Hillary Clinton has, Donald Trump is completely beyond the pale.
The thing I worry about is that people could fall into the habit of thinking, “We have the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee, each of which is legitimate.” No. We’ll have the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump. BIG difference. And the virtue of opinion writing over the objective model is that you are free to state that obvious truth.
Or maybe Trump isn’t as horrible as you and others think he is. Does he have the capacity to adapt? Does he have the capability to learn?
You wanted Hillary to start shifting her rhetoric to court independents. What if Trump does the same toward certain segments of the Democratic Party? He can deliver a message on jobs that might appeal to some of them, particularly those who may be affected by jobs moving out of the country. On abortion, he’s going to probably be in the “it’s settled law” camp.
He’ll run on eliminating Obamacare (just like every other Republican would have done). He’ll run on shutting down the borders (just like every other Republican would have). He’ll run on being strong on terrorists (just like every other Republican would have). And then he’ll say some brash over the top things that will get people like you worked up. No less radical than Bernie’s call for free college education, shutting down the banking system, free healthcare shtick.
I’m more interested in the Trump strategic moves as he goes forward. Imagine if he DOES get Kasich on board as VP. You might have a seizure but it will no doubt strengthen his position with Republicans and indepenents. He certainly wouldn’t lose any votes with a move like that. Then Hillary will pick a VP. Can she pick someone who can withstand getting “Trumped”?
Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”, also has the potential to resonate like “Hope and Change” did with some people. What’s Hillary’s response to that message? It’s already great? Plenty of people (60% who think America is on the wrong track) will disagree.
No, he actually IS every bit as horrible as I “think” he is.
“Does he have the capacity to adapt? Does he have the capability to learn?”
I doubt that he has the capacity learn. I’m sure he doesn’t want to…
The Trump campaign is all about proud ignorance, the kind of idiocy that is proud of itself and its immunity to facts.
Which is probably the most infuriating thing to “people like (me)” as you put it (which I assume means “people who think.”). There’s one thing I’ve never been able to stand in politics, or in human nature for that matter — it’s the arrogance of stupidity, which scorns wisdom as foolishness. It’s a very common phenomenon; Trump just takes it to levels never seen before…
“People like you” doesn’t refer to thinking, it refers to comfort level with systems that fit your sense of command and control. Resistance to change, acceptance of rules, willingness to compromise…
It’s pure foolishness to suggest Trump is stupid or ignorant. He’s not Sarah Palin. I think Trump values intelligence and surrounds himself with people who art both smart and driven. You can’t get a bachelors degree in economics from the Wharton School without some level of intelligence that is above average. He’s got three kids with degrees from Wharton, Penn, and Georgetown… again, these are not the Palin clan.
Your definition of stupid apparently is someone who either says things you don’t like or isn’t interested in the things you think a President should be interested in. I’m guessing he’d beat George Bush in an IQ contest. Bush said plenty of dumb things and never demonstrated a capacity for deep thought.
I wasn’t suggesting you are one of the liberals getting wound up over Trump. You’re one of the establishment types who thinks politicians are some special class of people with special skills that someone like Trump couldn’t grasp. These are the same politicians who have created the political environment we have now. If you want more of that, continue to vote for the Hillarys, Grahams, McCain s, et c. And then complain when things don’t change.
If Lindsey Graham is for it, I would automatically be against it. He’s got a Trump sized ego without any real accomplishments to show for his adult life spent getting rich on the public payroll. He’s a phony actor like Trump except without the capability to attract hot women.
Trump as president would adapt to the job.
Trump as president would adapt to the job.
Really Doug? Are you really looking at the same news coverage that I am? The man is a buffoon who happens to be rich because of the hard work of his grandparents and father. He has no real skills to speak of. He would be easily more wealthy than he currently is simply by investing his inheritance in some sort of S & P 500 stock fund. His contribution to the nation and the world is essentially nil. He’s all bluster and no substance and he scares the bejebers out of me. At the end of the day he’ll be the second worst president of my lifetime.
” The man is a buffoon who happens to be rich because of the hard work of his grandparents and father. ”
Pure class envy. In bud’s world, nobody ever can build on anything they started with without calling it luck. It’s so easy for a millionaire to turn into a multi-billionaire that they all do it. Trump just sat back for the past four decades and the money just rolled in.
Think about how much time you all are spending worrying about Trump. You’re wasting your time. Do you seriously think any of the people who post on this blog can change a single voters mind at this point? Go enjoy your weekend and forget about Trump. Whatever is going to happen in November is beyond your control. Trump will get somewhere between 43 and 51% of the vote no matter how much you wail and moan.
If you are serious about changing the political system, vote third party. Otherwise, you are for more of the same.
Like the Ayn Rand Libertarian cult? Sorry but we don’t need people in government who believe capitalism is some type of magic elixir that will solve all the nations woes. We may as well elect Jim Jones.
Which cult is that, bud? The cult that expects people to make up their own minds and think for themselves? Sort of the antithesis of a cult? If any thought process is cult-like it’s liberalism. It’s recruitment process is based on getting people to believe everyone is equal and entitled to the product of the work of others.
Doug, you make a good argument from your point of view — that is to say, an argument that makes sense to a Randian.
But Objectivism is very cultish. And its god is the almighty Self….
Yeah, we’re the cult that doesn’t recruit, doesn’t meet, doesn’t tell its member what to say or do, doesn’t have a leader, doesn’t fight wars, doesn’t steal or lie. We leave all that goodness to Democrats and Republicans.
Well, you DO have the Libertarian Party.
Which is richly ironic, I’ve always thought…
The folks who believe in the absolute sovereignty of the individual over all else have banded together into a party, while communitarians have not…
That’s because you continue to mistakenly assume libertarian = selfish loner. The reason communitarians don’t have a party is because they can’t find enough people who can all agree on what their community looks like. Once you get beyond the group of old white guys who want to tell everyone how to run their lives, the membership list gets pretty limited.
Here’s what the actual Libertarian Party stands for:
Libertarians believe in the American heritage of liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility. Libertarians recognize the responsibility we all share to preserve this precious heritage for our children and grandchildren.
Free and Independent
Libertarians believe that being free and independent is a great way to live. We want a system which encourages all people to choose what they want from life; that lets them live, love, work, play, and dream their own way.
Caring For People
The Libertarian way is a caring, people-centered approach to politics. We believe each individual is unique. We want a system which respects the individual and encourages us to discover the best within ourselves and develop our full potential.
The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government’s only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud.
The Libertarian Party is for all who don’t want to push other people around and don’t want to be pushed around themselves. Live and let live is the Libertarian way.
If more people thought like Libertarians, we wouldn’t NEED a party to counterbalance the two main parties that try to control everyone’s lives from cradle to grave. Libertarianism is the medicine, government is the disease.
And there you have it. If someone believes “government is the disease,” he can’t be reasoned with.
Seriously, what’s the point in engaging in political discussion, if he regards the very thing that politics is about to be completely illegitimate, a “disease.”
Dialogue is hopeless…
Richland County’s government provides enough daily evidence of the disease. And the disease is so bad that there isn’t even a fix available for it. Cindi’s editorial this weekend on the impotence and corruption speaks volumes in support of my position. Liberarians aren’t stealing millions of tax dollars. It’s your people who are doing it. The community government.
Maybe you should consider having a dialogue with the politicians who allow this to happen instead of trying to change my mind.
You couldn’t be more wrong. RCRC is a Special Purpose District, and SPDs are the antithesis of “community government.” They are completely walled off from the will of the people. They date back to before the advent of county government, when state lawmakers ran local affairs as their own fiefdoms.
They are the very embodiment of our tagline for the Power Failure series back in 1991, “The Government that Answers to No One.” Which is why we’ve always been so adamantly against them.
THAT is what Cindi described in her column Sunday — the same problem she and I have been calling attention to for 25 years…
By the way…
The only way these problems will be effectively addressed is by people who understand all the things that are wrong and how they fit together, and are committed to taking it on in its entirety. Little incremental reforms such as doing away with the Budget and Control Board and having the Gov Lite run with the gov — two Power Failure recommendations enacted in recent years — are inadequate.
And at the very LEAST, it’s essential that the governor, the person with the bulliest pulpit in the state, be completely committed to such comprehensive reform. No one else is in a position to keep a spotlight on the full array of problems and push until they’re addressed.
And THAT is the answer to the question that so many (mostly Democrats, to be sure) have asked, which is how we could have endorsed Mark Sanford for governor in 2002…
Early in that campaign, Sanford read a reprint of Power Failure that I gave him and embraced its recommendations hook, line and sinker. It seemed too good to be true — and it was. Once elected, he gave only occasional lip service to that agenda, putting what little political capital he had behind libertarian proposals, and then burning THAT capital by constantly attacking and insulting legislators out of his utter contempt for all politicians (himself excluded, of course)…
You and Cindi get hung up on process and laws and progress that is measured over decades. That’s what your style of government gets you.
A libertarian government would have canned all of those corrupt people immediately.
The fact that people like Joel Lourie can just stand on the sidelines and do nothing meaningful except call for an investigation is representative of the broken government we have in place. Why aren’t all the members of the delegation forced to address this immediately? Why isn’t Joel Lourie calling out his delegation members publicly to do so?
You just refuse to get it, Doug.
“Why aren’t all the members of the delegation forced to address this immediately?” Forced by whom?
You can dismiss explanations of “process” all you want, but these systemic flaws we point out are the reasons why what you call for is impossible.
NO ONE is in a position to force the delegation to do anything — remember, each of them reports to a separate constituency. Which, of course, is why it’s insane to expect a legislative delegation to be in charge of any executive function.
But I like that it’s a libertarian, a champion of individual liberty, who wants to “force” them to do something…
You, who like to generalize from the specific — condemning all government because of the few bad apples — should understand what Cindi and I are saying better than anyone.
The specific — the alleged bad behavior of the RCRC — is small potatoes. As long as you don’t address the bigger, systemic problem, you’re going to keep on having these little fiefdoms of abuse of power.
It would do little good to replace the current staff and board of the RCRC (something that, as Cindi explains, the delegation lacks the power to do), as long as it continues to be an SPD. The tendency for it to go down this road again would still exist.
Extrapolating larger principles from these individual abuses is the right thing to do. Government haters just extrapolate to the wrong conclusion…
If we are talking about childish toys, it would be nice if the left gave up their own 20th century trash, like the whole Howard Zinn outlook.
I can’t think of two pop culture icons from the last century who deserved one another more: A fake philosopher who thought human suffering boiled down to latent catholic guilt and a fake historian who only revised his text to provide new citations that cited himself.
Only children would think that selfishness is a virtue and that history is a weapon for creating whatever reality you want in the name of “right”.
Howard Zinn rang a bell, but I couldn’t quite place him, so I looked him up.
Oh, yeah. A People’s History of the United States.
From where I sit those outlooks are the same level of childishness, but fashioned for their own end of the political spectrum.
One says that altruism is 100% evil.
You gave those Native Americans blankets? They should have made their own blankets before it turned 30 below, even if someone else did burn their settlement down!
It relies on the fallacy that there is always one more insurance policy you should have bought.
The other says that even if you do something altruistic, you were probably not totally altruistic in your heart (or there was some reverberation from your actions that caused something that wasn’t totally altruistic), so you are 100% evil.
You gave those Native Americans blankets? You must have planted the idea in their heads that blankets are safe for Native Americans and that’s how small pox got started. Can I prove it? Doesn’t matter, there was evil in your heart. By consequence you are a genocidal monster (and you are probably a monster created by Capitalist society)!
One says Social Darwinism is the answer. The other claims everyone else is an evil geniuses capable of subverting the natural order and agency of others for their own ends. Neither wants to believe that we live in a world of chaos where things break and we never totally live up to our ideals. Both seem pretty toxic in large doses.
Doug, this may be your take on Libertarianism, but I consistently see another side. Some Libertarians want the freedom to destroy the ecosystem that we have. Drill where you want. Own that Hummer to drive to the supermarket and back. Use once and throw away stuff, never mind what the landfills look like. Most of them care mostly for those who already have something, discounting those who never had a chance. They seem perfectly willing to let folks drive motorcycles without a helmet, but are unwilling to finance the extreme medical costs they incur in a crash. Many are willing to contribute to charities, but are not willing to allow a central agency (if you don’t like the word ‘government’ call it something else) to collect and coordinate monies to take care of those who have little or no voice in government (the mentally ill, the mentally retarded, the severely disabled). And finally, they refuse to contribute to anything they don’t believe in be it food stamps, war, climate change. So no, I can’t go that route even though there are a lot of things the government uses my taxes to fund that I don’t believe in. If it’s every person for themselves, there’s always someone bigger than you, and when the one common denominator of your group is self-interest, there will certainly be defectors who will betray the group for the sake of their own self interest. The most practicing libertarian, in my view, is the smart sociopath who can always figure a way to get what he wants.
Right. Libertarians consistently believe that what they want can’t possibly harm anyone else… This is why you hear them, for instance, going on about “victimless crimes…”
And you consistently fail to give examples of who is harmed. Give me an example and then tell me what your government solution is that makes it better.
So since we don’t have anything that resembles libertarianism in effect in this country, you should be satisfied with what we have, right?
You’re absolutely correct in that I do not want the government to enforce what you call charity. Why? Because they’ve proven over the past five decades to be terrible at it. Is the VA run well? How about Social Security and Medicare? Which runs better – St. Judes Childrens Hospital or the V.A.?
The system we have now is full of greed and corruption. And that system is run by Democrats and Republicans, not libertarians. I’m open to trying an approach that encourages people to be ethical and compassionate without force.
Yes, St. Jude’s is run better, but it’s only one place that could not possibly care for the thousands (millions?) in need of their services. And if you think private charities are so great. Check out the “scrooge” list. As for who is hurt, how about all those whose land is disappearing as the seas rise? Or those (usually in other countries) who expose themselves to deadly toxins to strip precious metals out of the phones/computers we have thrown away? Or those who live downstream of polluters, who poison streams, which poison rivers in turn? There are plenty of people who are being harmed. Did anyone catch the “60 minutes” piece on the earthquakes that Oklahoma is experiencing?
“As for who is hurt, how about all those whose land is disappearing as the seas rise?”
Which libertarian did that? What solution do you propose that will stop it? The answers are “none” and “it’s not possible”.
The environment we have now is a result of Democrats and Republicans. Nobody else.
So lets give up and do what we want, more and bigger cars, no concern or effort to move to cleaner fuels? Is this Libertarian mantra?
Doug, the USA was essentially libertarian during the Gilded age. The result was a YUGE concentration of income near the top. We also had Jim Crow laws, child labor in sweet shops, corporate disregard for safety, cleanliness or virtually anything else but profit. We’ve tried various strains of Ayn Rand style libertarianism from time to time with horrendous results. In the 30s we had the great depression thanks to a hands-off approach by government. In the 60s we had pollution so bad that rivers were catching fire. Libertarians fought the necessary changes to bring us clean air and water tooth and nail. Corporate greed was more important than a clean environment. Thank God they were defeated. Then along came the banking deregulation thanks to libertarian thinking. The result? The great recession. ENRON was a byproduct of libertarian thinking. I shudder to think what will happen if they ever get complete control.
Compare that to liberalism. That noble philosophy led to the end of slavery; the rise of women’s rights; the environmental movement; safety regulations that have saved millions of lives. And today liberalism is exerting an important roll in the extension of civil rights to the LGBTQ community. It is also leading the charge to fight the disaster of global warming. If we could ever get someone like Bernie Sanders elected along with a like-minded congress we could see the end of monopolistic banking and finally implement a reasonable health care system.
But alas I’m only dreaming. Sadly the libertarian influence has infiltrated the Republican party. And America is much, much worse off for it.
You have no idea what you are talking about with your phony history “lesson”. Name a libertarian politician from any time period. Just one. I must have missed all those lessons in school where they spoke of the great libertarian revolution. Now I am familiar with the great impact of liberalism which teaches people to hate success, to envy those with more than they have, and to expect something for nothing. If you throw a rock in any government office building, you’ll hit a dozen of them — the ones that aren’t asleep at their desks.
The libertarian party was formed in 1971. Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957. Apparently Ayn Rand and Ron Paul were time travelers.
Orchestration Governance is an interesting model that states the importance of centralization (the conductor), localities (the different sections) and the individual (each musician). Each must work together to “succeed.”