Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trump Keeps Driving The GOP Primary Into Darker And Darker Places


Tuesday night Kasich's campaign posted the incredible Trump-is-a-Nazi video based on Martin Niemöller's universally admired anti-Hitler warning. Kasich's ad (above) quickly went viral. Within hours a bizarre phishing website posted this false story about Kasich dropping out of the race under the headline, "BREAKING: Kasich to suspend campaign facing bankruptcy, low polls." Authorship was attributed to "Voltova Dmitri"

Tonight was supposed to be Governor Kasich’s night. He was to do “counter speeches” to Trump, who was campaigning in his home turf. Sadly, Kasich had few attendees and even less luck raising money from the poverty stricken masses that many say his policies had put into debt.

Kasich is also facing heat from Marco Rubio, who has been mocking him and Ted Cruz as “WIMPS”

Kasich, a former banker and wall street guy, is not right for America, most voters believe.

The governor doubled down on his critiques of Trump, but few are listening.

After months of sinking in the polls and not catching on, Jon Kasich, governor of Ohio, is expected to bow out of the GOP race prior to thanksgiving.

Donald Trump, via twitter, confirmed the rumor circling DC social circles.

Trump also brought this fact up at his massive speech.

Wall Street Journal:

John Kasich of Ohio, the House Budget Committee chairman whose bid for young and populist voters never caught on, is expected to announce he is dropping out of the crowded GOP field in the next couple of days, people close to the campaign said.

An older point reflects his failed 2000 campaign above.

(Visited 19,245 times, 13,230 visits today)
Then came this twitter exchange:

(I can confirm that malware including one bit from Indian hackers that is made to look like an official Safari website that can get control of your computer if you go along with their ruse.)

So is it a Trumpian site? I still can't tell. Krugman's It's A Conspiracy post yesterday is right in line with what everyone has been coming to realize about Trump and his sad, sad low-info followers. Herr Trump "just isn’t vulnerable to typical establishment attacks-- at least in the Republican primary. (The general election might be different.) Catch him making an utterly false assertion, and his supporters just see it as the liberal media conspiring against him. It’s driving the establishment Republicans wild." Krugman has no sympathy for the GOP establishment. Like I said a few days ago: they made this bed; let them sleep in it now.
But really, why should they be shocked? Think about what the establishment has to say on other issues. The chairman of the House science committee says that global warming is a fraud, perpetrated by a vast conspiracy at the NOAA, which is presumably part of a global scientific conspiracy. When the administration reported large numbers of people signing up for Obamacare, leading Republican Senators accused it of cooking the books-- and I’m unaware of any apology or even acknowledgement that they were wrong. Rush Limbaugh claimed that one of the Batman films was an anti-Romney conspiracy. And on and on.

So how are base voters supposed to know that Trump’s claims that the media suppressed films of Muslims cheering on 9/11 mark him as crazy, while all the other conspiracy theories on the right are OK? I guess someone could try to put out a cheat sheet listing acceptable and unacceptable tin-hat views; but Trump would just call that part of the conspiracy, and a lot of people would believe him.

Sorry, guys, you created this monster, and now he’s coming for you.
Finally yesterday, Christie worked up his courage to definitively shoot down Trump's bullshit about the thousands of Jersey City Muslims Trump claims to have "seen" celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The right-wing Daily Standard reported Christie directly contradicting Trump's audacious and false assertions: "Thousands of people did not cheer in Jersey City on 9/11. It just didn’t happen. I was there that day. Nothing like that was ever shown on the news. There’s no video of that. It didn’t happen." Earlier Guiliani was on Morning Joe also confirming that Trump's assertions are false.

Soon after Christie's report started circulating I got this Twitter "Like" for some long-forgotten, two-and-a-half month old anti-Christie tweet of mine. And, let me tell you, "Sasha Free" is not a typical Twitter follower of mine.

I know Trump isn't using his money to buy TV and radio ads. He he spending money on online campaigns to undermine his opponents? I can't wait for him to get around to Cruz, who, according to Sahil Kapur's report for Bloomberg, may be starting to identify Trump as an adversary who has to be taken down. "Cruz," wrote Kapur, "is tentatively beginning to take on the brash New York billionaire after months of cozying up. Twice in recent days, the Texan has seized opportunities to distance himself from Trump's policies and rhetoric."

First, Cruz disagreed with Trump after the New Yorker expressed openness to setting up a registry of Muslim Americans in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. “I'm a big fan of Donald Trump's but I'm not a fan of government registries of American citizens,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa, according to Politico. “The First Amendment protects religious liberty, I've spent the past several decades defending religious liberty.”

Then over the weekend, he politely chided inflammatory rhetoric from fellow Republicans on immigration, when asked about Trump during an interview with the Associated Press. “Tone matters,” Cruz said. “Are there some in the Republican Party whose rhetoric is unhelpful with regard to immigration? Yes.”

Cruz's campaign said to expect more distinctions to come.

“Senator Cruz has drawn policy contrasts with his opponents before and he will continue to do so as he shares his own record and positions with voters on the campaign trail,” said Catherine Frazier, Cruz's spokeswoman. “As the field continues to narrow, it's only natural that the contrasts between the front runners will become more evident.”

The contrast-drawing follows an unusual summer and fall bromance between Trump and Cruz that included a July meeting at Trump Tower in New York, instigated by the Texan, and a September rally on Capitol Hill headlined by the two Republican candidates. On Oct. 8, Cruz admitted his strategy was to eventually win over Trump's supporters. “In time, I don't believe Donald is going to be the nominee, and I think in time the lion's share of his supporters end up with us,” he told WABC's Rita Cosby.

Trump's persistent national lead since July, defying a steady stream of predictions about an impending implosion, has forced a strategic shift for Cruz. The Texan is looking to capitalize as he rises to the top tier of the GOP race and as former Iowa front-runner Ben Carson sinks under scrutiny. The new Quinnipiac poll of Iowa Republicans, released Tuesday, found Trump at 25 percent, with Cruz at 23 percent—a 2 percentage point gap that is inside the survey's margin of error. Carson was third in the Quinnipiac poll with 18 percent.

“Ted Cruz should be taken very seriously. He's laid out a very well thought-out grassroots and fundraising network across the country. He's been very strategic in his timing,” said Ron Bonjean, a veteran Republican operative who is not affiliated with any of the presidential campaigns.

For Cruz, Trump presents an obstacle and an opportunity. The politically incorrect New Yorker has been outperforming the Texas firebrand at his own greatest talent: deploying scorched-earth rhetoric to channel the anti-establishment sentiments in the GOP. But Trump's bravado gives Cruz a chance to paint himself as something nobody in Washington would accuse him of being: prudent and measured.

“There is massive irony here for Ted Cruz to be asking Donald Trump to tone it down,” said Bonjean. “He's trying to look like the most adult candidate in the room-- the most realistic alternative that could take away Trump voters.”

The irony is that Cruz has built an image upon angering Republican leaders with tactics like incubating the government shutdown of 2013, forcing weekend work as he makes a stand, and calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor this summer. It has been a tactical use of his Senate seat, Bonjean said, that has enabled Cruz to cultivate his conservative base and that now positions him to seize his political advantage. “He has built a foundation brick by brick for this moment.”

Bonjean said Cruz is “trying to do is marginalize Trump with Republican primary voters-- very subtly-- without tripping the wire of having Trump go nuts on him.”

Meanwhile, Trump has suggested Cruz is copying his ideas, telling conservative radio host Laura Ingraham last week that “Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent.” The confrontational New Yorker has also indicated he'll take the gloves off if Cruz becomes a threat to his nomination.

“If he catches on, I guess we’ll have to go to war,” Trump said last Monday on CNBC's Squawk Box.
Easy enough for Trump to dispose of weak, plodding characters like Perry, Jeb, Jindal, Dr. Ben, Kasich, Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, but will he have what it takes to handle someone with his own sociopathic disregard for any semblance of human decency? We haven't seen a good fascist vs fascist death match since... Operation Hummingbird, (AKA, 1934's Night of The Long Knives).

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