Monday, December 21, 2015

Herr Trumpf Vulgar? Oh Dear, Imagine The GOP Coming Apart At The Seams Over Vulgarity!


In what world is Herr Trumpf vulgar but Ted Cruz is not?

I don't know which Republican presidential hopeful is the most homophobic, although it certainly isn't Herr Trumpf. Cruz is a notorious homophobe and his second biggest donors, the Wilks brothers ($15,000,000), are almost exclusively motivated in their political giving with their bizarre and unbalanced obsession with homosexuality. Cruz, though, is also supported by self-loathing Fire Island predators, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. Then there's Marco Rubio-- with a family in Miami another stashed away in New York City and lobbbyist/mistresses in Sacramento and Washington-- who seems to always be worried that if he doesn't sound more homophobic than anyone else, someone's going to think he's wearing punk underwear. And Rubio is being backed by pro-gay billionaire hedge fund wing-nut Paul Singer who has a gay son. What can I say about Santorum? Huckabee? And there there's the utterly contemptible Fiorina trying to show she can be as much a hater as the Big Boys. And poor Dr. Ben... These half dozen nuts all signed an anti-LGBT pledge sponsored by Hate Groups Family Research Council Action, Heritage Action and the American Principles Project-- to pass a law that "would give individuals and businesses a license to openly discriminate against gay people and others in the name of 'religious liberty.'" The pledge is very clear. Each signatory pledged to push for the passage of the anti-gay legislation and vowed to sign it into law during the first 100 days of their presidency.

I don't think people are too worried about the margin-of-error candidates like Huckabee, Fiorina and Santorum (and Dr. Ben is headed straight to that category of also-rans as well) but two of the signatories are actually potential GOP nominees: hate-filled Cuban-American Marco Rubio and hate-filled Cuban-Canadian Ted Cruz.

It gets worse. A spokesperson for one of the Hate Groups, American Principles Project, claims that the poor Jebster, libertarian Rand Paul, South Carolina closet queen Lindsey Graham and even Herr Trumpf are "expressing" support for their legislation. Expect to hear Herr Trumpf lecturing some schlubb on TV soon that he or she has never met a less homophobic person in their entire life and some of his best friends...

And speaking of vulgar, Herr Trumpf took his low grade stand-up routine to Grand Rapids tonight and demonstrated again what a sick and misogynistic man he is. Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson noted that he "used vulgar language as he attacked Hillary Clinton during a rally on Monday night, saying her use of the restroom at the last Democratic debate was 'too disgusting' to talk about and that in 2008 she got 'schlonged' by Barack Obama when he defeated her in the Democratic primary. Standing before a crowd of 7,500, Trump recounted how Clinton was seconds late to the Democratic debate stage on Saturday night following a commercial break. Trump asked the crowd four times where Clinton had gone. 'I know where she went-- it's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it,' Trump said, screwing up his face, as the crowd laughed and cheered. 'No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting.'" Disgusting? Just over half the population is female. I suspect they may have not agreed with Herr Trumpf's ugly insinuations on that.

And speaking of Herr Trumpf, Jeff Greenfield, did a post for Politico over the weekend about an even crazier scenario than brokering the crackpot convention on behalf of Paul Ryan. Greenfield floats, or re-floats, the idea of running a mainstream conservative against Herr Trumpf in the general, throwing the election to Bernie or the establishment neocon Democrat if she wins the nomination. The problem they're supposedly worrying about now, according to Greenfield, is what happens to their beloved Republican Party if Herr Trumpf wins. He points out that the differences between Herr-- can I just call him that from now on some I don't have to write out Herr Trumpf every damn time and contend with that awful spell check monster?-- and the party establishment is not reconcilable and that "a Trump nomination would create a fissure within the party as deep and indivisible as any in American political history, driven both by ideology and by questions of personal character."

With Donald Trump as its standard-bearer, the GOP would suddenly be asked to rally around a candidate who has been called by his once and former primary foes “a cancer on conservatism,” “unhinged,” “a drunk driver…helping the enemy.” A prominent conservative national security expert, Max Boot, has labeled him flatly “a fascist.” And the rhetoric is even stronger in private conversations I’ve had recently with Republicans of moderate and conservative stripes.

...In Trump as nominee, the Republican Party would face a threat to unity on several fronts. His victory would represent a triumph of an insurgent movement, or impulse, within the party. Historically speaking, this is exactly the kind of intra-party victory that guarantees political civil war.

...[A] dramatic shift in intra-party power led to significant defections on the losing side. In 1964, when Republican conservatives succeeded in nominating a divisive champion of their cause in Barry Goldwater, liberal Republicans (there were such things back then) like New York Gov. Rockefeller, Michigan Gov. (George) Romney, and others refused to endorse the nominee. More shockingly, the New York Herald-Tribune, the semi-official voice of the GOP establishment, endorsed Lyndon Johnson-- the first Democrat it had supported, ever. With his party split, Goldwater went down in flames. Eight years later, when a deeply divided Democratic Party nominated anti-war hero George McGovern, George Meany led the AFL-CIO to a position of neutrality between McGovern and Nixon—the first time labor had refused to back a Democrat for President. Prominent Democrats like former Texas Governor John Connally openly backed Nixon, while countless others, disempowered by the emergence of “new Democrats,” simply sat on their hands. The divided Democrats lost in a landslide.

Would a Trump nomination be another example of such a power shift? Yes, although not a shift in an ideological sense. It would represent a more radical kind of shift, with power moving from party officials and office-holders to deeply alienated voters and to their media tribunes. (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham have not exactly endorsed Trump, but they have been vocal in defending him and in assailing those who have branded Trump unacceptable.) It would undermine the thesis of a highly influential book, The Party Decides, which argues that the preferences of party insiders is still critical to the outcome of a nomination contest. This possibility, in turn, has provoked strong feelings about Trump from some “old school” Republicans. Says one self-described “structural, sycophantic Republican” who has been involved at high levels of GOP campaigns for decades. “Hillary would be bad for the country--he’d be worse.”

A battle over ideology or influence, however, explains only one kind of defection from party ranks. The other—one that would hold particular peril for Trump-as-Republican-nominee—arises from a belief that a chosen candidate is simply unfit, by character or temperament, to hold office. And on at least one occasion, a prominent politician sacrificed his electoral chances out of that belief.

...If you want to see the most sulfurous assaults on Trump, don’t look to the editorial pages of the New York Times or the comments of MSNBC personalities; look instead to the most prominent media voices in the conservative world: National Review, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, and the columns of George Will and others. In part, they deplore his deviations from the conservative canon; deviations that former Reagan aide and onetime FCC Chairman Dennis Patrick summarizes this way: “Many of my colleagues from the Reagan Administration would have a hard time pulling the lever for Trump. We weren’t just Republicans, we were conservatives. It is very difficult to square any principled theory of conservative governance with much of what Trump says."

But it’s more, much more than policy that has stirred the ire on the Right: it’s the vulgarity, the fusion of ignorance and arrogance, the narcissism, the dissembling on matters great and small. The composite portrait of Trump painted by these outlets-- leavened only by a grudging acknowledgement that he’s touched on legitimate concerns about immigration and terror-- make the idea of handing over the nuclear codes to Trump unsettling; and it makes the idea of embracing him as the alternative to Clinton somewhere between a reach and a lunge.

What a Trump nomination represents, then, is a victory that leaves significant slices of the party unwilling or unable to accept the outcome. Whether he’s seen as an ideological heretic for his views on trade, taxes, and government power, or seen as a demagogue whose clownish bluster and casual bigotry make him temperamentally unfit for office, the odds on massive defections are very high.

But what kind of defections? Based on the folks I’ve talked with, it could take different forms. One is a simple, quiet step away from any work on behalf of the top of the ticket. That’s what the self-described “structural, sycophantic Republican”-- will do. While he fervently hopes Trump wills meet the fate of past front-runners like Giuliani and Gingrich, he says that in the event of Trump’s victory, “I would put all my heart, soul and energy into saving the Senate. I’d work to turn out votes so that [Kelly] Ayotte and [Pat] Toomey and [Ron] Johnson survive. In the end, every Republican, every conservative, knows what a disaster it would be to have Clinton as President. So the key is to make sure the checks and balances were in place.”

Others, however, can envision much more radical outcomes. Dan Schnur spent a lifetime in the vineyards of the Republican Party, working in the Reagan and Bush Presidential campaigns and serving as Communications Director for the California Republican Party. He’s now an independent, and heads the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. He argues “a Trump nomination would virtually guarantee a third-party campaign from a more traditional Republican candidate.”

Why a Republican? The short answer is to save the party over the long term. “It's impossible to conceive that Republican leaders would simply forfeit their party to him,” he says. “Even without the formal party apparatus, they'd need to fly their flag behind an alternative, if only to keep the GOP brand somewhat viable for the future. Otherwise, it would be toxic for a long, long time.”

Romney strategist Stu Stevens, who still believes Trump will fade-- indeed that “he will not win a single primary”-- nonetheless agrees that a Trump nomination will trigger a “very strong third-party effort.” And Rob Stutzman, another veteran of California Republican politics-- he helped spearhead the 2003 recall that put Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Governor’s Mansion--foresees a third party emerging, both as a safe harbor for disaffected GOP voters, and to help other Republican candidates.

“I think a third candidate would be very likely on many state ballots,” he says. “First of all, I think most GOP voters would want an alternative to vote for out of conscience. But Trump would also be devastating to the party and other GOP candidates. A solid conservative third candidate would give options to senators like Ayotte, Johnson and Kirk to run with someone else and still be opposed to Hillary. In fact, I think it’s plausible such a candidate could beat Trump in many states.”

Any candidate attempting a third party bid would confront serious obstacles, such as getting on state ballots late in the election calendar. As for down-ballot campaigns, most state laws prohibit candidates from running on multiple lines; so a Senate or Congressional candidate who wanted to avoid association with Trump would have to abandon the GOP line to rerun with an independent Presidential contender. The Stevenson example shows that leaving a major party line is fraught with peril-- although the write-in triumph of Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010 suggests that it can sometimes succeed.

The very fact that serious political thinkers are contemplating such a possibility demonstrates that when Republicans look at the perils posed by a third-party bid from Donald Trump may be looking in the wrong direction. It’s not Trump the Defector that could trigger the biggest threat to the party, but Trump the Nominee.
I hope this makes you feel the way it makes me feel-- that it's more important than ever to make sure that Bernie is the nominee of the Democratic Party and not another tired establishment hack, even if she is-- she is, she is, absolutely, positively-- better than a Republican. Just tap that nice thermometer below.

Goal Thermometer

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At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Herr 'Hair' " would be accurate, buffoonish, mocking, suggestive and spell-check neutral.

John Puma


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