Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Will We See A Pay-Per-View Mud-Wrestling Match Between Lindsey Graham And Ann Coulter For A Trumpf Cabinet Position?


In an interview for HuffPo with Michelangelo Signorile, Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, said of the GOP's Deep Bench, "My father would be so appalled at what’s going on. He would be so appalled at these candidates. I don’t think he would be a Republican. And if another Ronald Reagan came along right now, I don’t think the Republican Party would accept him."

I wonder if supporters of Herr Trumpf have been noticing that one of the ways their Republican Members of Congress are sabotaging Herr is by endorsing other candidates-- including some with no chance of the nomination at all-- while ignoring the front runner. Not a single senator or congressmember has endorsed Trumpf. Not even one! Over on the Senate side Republican Dean Heller announced he's backing Jeb even though the latest polls of Nevada Republicans clearly show a huge preference for Trump in his state (38%) over Bush (6%). One of Nevada's 3 GOP congressmen, Mark Amodei has also endorsed Jeb. Mississippi Republicans also prefer Trumpf (and Cruz) but Senator Thad Cochran has endorsed the very disliked Jeb and Rep. Gregg Harper endorsed Kasich, of all people, who isn't even being backed by a single member of Ohio's congressional delegation!

This morning Jonathan Swan at The Hill reported that the NRSC's candidate to fill Nevada's open Senate seat, Joe Heck, "is running away from two of his party’s leading presidential candidates," not just Trumpf but also Cruz. He coyly refused to even say he'd vote for Trumpf if he was the GOP nominee. He said Trumpf makes him "cringe" and Cruz is just a "show horse."

It figures that RINOs like Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), David Jolly (R-FL), David Trott (R-MI), Tom Reed (R-NY), David Valadao (R-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Luke Messer (R-IN), and Jeff Denham (R-CA) have all endorsed Jeb... they're just like him. And it might make sense that Miami Dade loser Carlos Curbelo endorsed Jeb and called him-- en español, of course-- secret Democrat. None of that is doing any good anyway. But I wonder how many Trumpf supporters will remember at election time and just refuse to vote for these people who have been undermining their candidate.

Even out-and-out losers like Fiorina, Huckabee and Lindsey Graham have members of Congress standing up for them. Well, Graham just had his boyfriend McCain but Fiorina has three Members-- Jeff Fortenberry from Nebraska, Lynn Jenkins from Kansas and Canice Miller from Michigan. Huckabee has two senators: Rounds (SD) and Boozman (AR). But no one is willing to stand up for Trumpf-- not even the ones who point themselves as strong on Trumpf's issues like Steve King (IA, who's backing Cruz), Jody Hice (GA, also behind Cruz), Curt Clawson (FL, who's backing Rand Paul), Mike Pompeo (KS, who's backing Rubio), Markwayne Mullin (OK, another Rubio backer) and, of all people, the most anti-immigrant Member of the House, Lou Barletta (PA), who you would think is a natch for Trump but is the one Member of Congress who endorsed Santorum.

Remember when North Carolina closet case Patrick McHenry was first elected and was bragging he would be the most conservative Member of Congress and that the would set the standard for the right? A proud Jeb Bush endorser! Mike Coffman (CO) is one of many Republican candidates on the verge of being defeated in 2016. Does he think Rubio will save him? Does Daniel "Taliban Dan" Webster think Jeb's going to do him any good in trying to save his miserable career? I doubt Trump will go out of his way for any of these guys in November. Does Susan Brooks think Christie's going to save her in the Indianapolis suburbs? Good luck with that!

Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham went out the same way he got in, noisily-- and unconvincingly-- rattling a saber. Probably horrified by the 1% support he saw for his campaign in South Carolina over the weekend, he finally tossed in the towel, said he would vote for Trumpf over Hillary-- so was he kidding about all those horrible things he said about Trumpf destroying the GOP?-- and told the media that "At the end of the day, I'm not going to be competitive in my state. I'm not going to be competitive outside my state." He also indicated he'd love be be Trumpf's Secretary of something.

I don't think Paul Krugman would accept a job in Trumpf's cabinet though. In his Times column yesterday, The Donald and the Decider, he made it clear he thinks as highly of Herr Trumpf as he does of Paul Ryan. He pointed out that Herr Trumpf and the other "antiestablishment candidates now dominating the field, aside from being deeply ignorant about policy, have a habit of making false claims, then refusing to acknowledge error. Why don’t Republican voters seem to care?" Yeah, that's got to be one of the questions of the cycle.
[P]art of the answer has to be that the party taught them not to care. Bluster and belligerence as substitutes for analysis, disdain for any kind of measured response, dismissal of inconvenient facts reported by the “liberal media” didn’t suddenly arrive on the Republican scene last summer. On the contrary, they have long been key elements of the party brand. So how are voters supposed to know where to draw the line?

Let’s talk first about the legacy of He Who Must Not Be Named.

I don’t know how many readers remember the 2000 election, but during the campaign Republicans tried-- largely successfully-- to make the election about likability, not policy. George W. Bush was supposed to get your vote because he was someone you’d enjoy having a beer with, unlike that stiff, boring guy Al Gore with all his facts and figures.

And when Mr. Gore tried to talk about policy differences, Mr. Bush responded not on the substance but by mocking his opponent’s “fuzzy math”-- a phrase gleefully picked up by his supporters. The press corps played right along with this deliberate dumbing-down: Mr. Gore was deemed to have lost debates, not because he was wrong, but because he was, reporters declared, snooty and superior, unlike the affably dishonest W.

Then came 9/11, and the affable guy was repackaged as a war leader. But the repackaging was never framed in terms of substantive arguments over foreign policy. Instead, Mr. Bush and his handlers sold swagger. He was the man you could trust to keep us safe because he talked tough and dressed up as a fighter pilot. He proudly declared that he was the “decider”-- and that he made his decisions based on his “gut.”

The subtext was that real leaders don’t waste time on hard thinking, that listening to experts is a sign of weakness, that attitude is all you need. And while Mr. Bush’s debacles in Iraq and New Orleans eventually ended America’s faith in his personal gut, the elevation of attitude over analysis only tightened its grip on his party, an evolution highlighted when John McCain, who once upon a time had a reputation for policy independence, chose the eminently unqualified Sarah Palin as his running mate.

So Donald Trump as a political phenomenon is very much in a line of succession that runs from W. through Mrs. Palin, and in many ways he’s entirely representative of the Republican mainstream. For example, were you shocked when Mr. Trump revealed his admiration for Vladimir Putin? He was only articulating a feeling that was already widespread in his party.

Meanwhile, what do the establishment candidates have to offer as an alternative? On policy substance, not much. Remember, back when he was the presumed front-runner, Jeb Bush assembled a team of foreign-policy “experts,” people who had academic credentials and chairs at right-wing think tanks. But the team was dominated by neoconservative hard-liners, people committed, despite past failures, to the belief that shock and awe solve all problems.

In other words, Mr. Bush wasn’t articulating a notably different policy than what we’re now hearing from Trump et al; all he offered was belligerence with a thin veneer of respectability. Marco Rubio, who has succeeded him as the establishment favorite, is much the same, with a few added evasions. Why should anyone be surprised to see this posturing, er, trumped by the unapologetic belligerence offered by nonestablishment candidates?

In case you’re wondering, nothing like this process has happened on the Democratic side. When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate, say, financial regulation, it’s a real discussion, with both candidates evidently well informed about the issues. American political discourse as a whole hasn’t been dumbed down, just its conservative wing.

Going back to Republicans, does this mean that Mr. Trump will actually be the nominee? I have no idea. But it’s important to realize that he isn’t someone who suddenly intruded into Republican politics from an alternative universe. He, or someone like him, is where the party has been headed for a long time.
PolitiFact named Herr Trumpf's entire presidential campaign 2015's Lie of The Year. Everything he says is a lie. EVERYTHING. The man is incapable of opening his mouth without lying. Unfortunately his besotted fans love it.
It’s the trope on Trump: He’s authentic, a straight-talker, less scripted than traditional politicians. That’s because Donald Trump doesn’t let facts slow him down. Bending the truth or being unhampered by accuracy is a strategy he has followed for years.

"People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts," Trump wrote in his 1987 best-seller The Art of the Deal [which he didn't write]. "People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration-- and a very effective form of promotion."

That philosophy guided Trump in luxury real estate and reality television. This year he brought it to the world of presidential politics.

Trump has "perfected the outrageous untruth as a campaign tool," said Michael LaBossiere, a philosophy professor at Florida A&M University who studies theories of knowledge. "He makes a clearly false or even absurdly false claim, which draws the attention of the media. He then rides that wave until it comes time to call up another one."

PolitiFact has been documenting Trump’s statements on our Truth-O-Meter, where we’ve rated 76 percent of them Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, out of 77 statements checked. No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial.
By the way, even if Republican elected officials haven't endorsed Herr Trumpf, that doesn't mean he has no backers. Professional poker player, Dan Bilzerian, withdrew his support for Rand Paul and endorsed Herr. That means more than David Jolly, Carlos Curbelo and Pat Meehan (a Christie backer) combined! And Sheriff Joe Arpaio is for Trumpf as are Ted Nugent, Wayne Newton, Hulk Hogan, Alex Jones (another ex-Rand Paul backer), model Tila Tequila and Jim Gilchrist, the head of the vigilante Minutemen. And Ann Coulter, pictured below making the right-wing Haj to St. Mary's Parish Cemetery, Appleton, Wisconsin.

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