Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Unless The Democrats Wake Up And Nominate Bernie, Herr Trumpf Will Be President


Big win for Herr Trump last night in Nevada where he got more mores than Rubio and Cruz combined. And Nevada is Rubio's second home (from when he was a Mormon). Yesterday I heard one of Rubio's operatives talking with Chuck Todd on MSNBC and saying that Rubio "has to" beat Herr in Florida. Unfortunately for Rubio, the most recent poll (from Florida Atlantic University) shows him falling 7 points since November and trailing Herr Trumpf at 48% and even behind Cruz at 16%. Of course, Rubio still has time to rise... or go further down. At least Cruz wins his own state as a favorite son (oops... spoke too soon; a poll just came out tonight showing Herr Trumpf is now tied with Cruz, 32-32%, in the Lone Star State). No such luck for Kasich, who comes in second to Herr Trumpf in Ohio according to the brand new Quinnipiac poll. It's Trumpf at 31%, Kasich at 26%, Cruz at 21%, Rubio trailing with 21% and poor Doc Ben at 5%. Jeb refused to take Herr Trumpf's call, which was, no doubt, going to be about an offer to get even with the backstabbing, slimy, sweaty little Rubio.

Exit polls-- called entrance polls in Nevada-- show that 61% of caucus-goers say they want the next President to be from outside the political establishment and 94% are dissatisfied or angry with the government. Oddly, Herr Trumpf took 44% of Latino Republicanos (while Rubio won 29% and Cruz only got 28%). Nevada's racial make up diverged drastically from the Republican turnout. 53.5% of Nevadans are white, 27.1% are Latino, 7.8% are black and 7.1% are Asians. But the turnout last night didn't reflect that:

Yesterday the NY Times measured the Trumpf supporters' intolerance levels-- and found... unbelievable amounted of bigotry. For example, "the South Carolina primary revealed that nearly half the Republicans who turned out on Saturday wanted undocumented immigrants to be deported immediately. Donald Trump won 47 percent of those voters.
Voters were asked if they favored temporarily barring Muslims who are not citizens from entering the United States, something Mr. Trump advocates, and 74 percent said they did. He won 41 percent of that group.

Mr. Trump, who handily won that South Carolina primary and all its delegates, is attracting Republican voters across demographic groups-- conservatives, moderates, evangelicals and those who are not born-again Christians. In a sense, he is uniting parts of the party that have been on opposite sides of recent nomination battles.

A new set of public opinion survey results asking atypical but timely questions has shed some light on the Trump coalition. The results suggest how Mr. Trump has upended the contemporary divide in the party and built a significant part of his coalition of voters on people who are responsive to religious, social and racial intolerance.

...Data from Public Policy Polling show that a third of Mr. Trump’s backers in South Carolina support barring gays and lesbians from entering the country. This is nearly twice the support for this idea (17 percent) among Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s voters and nearly five times the support of John Kasich’s and Ben Carson’s supporters (7 percent).

...The P.P.P. poll asked voters if they thought whites were a superior race. Most Republican primary voters in South Carolina-- 78 percent-- disagreed with this idea (10 percent agreed and 11 percent weren’t sure). But among Mr. Trump’s supporters, only 69 percent disagreed. Mr. Carson’s voters were the most opposed to the notion (99 percent), followed by Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz’s supporters at 92 and 89 percent. Mr. Rubio’s backers were close to the average level of disagreement (76 percent).

According to P.P.P., 70 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters in South Carolina wish the Confederate battle flag were still flying on their statehouse grounds. (It was removed last summer less than a month after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston.) The polling firm says that 38 percent of them wish the South had won the Civil War. Only a quarter of Mr. Rubio’s supporters share that wish, and even fewer of Mr. Kasich’s and Mr. Carson’s do.

Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War. Only 5 percent of Mr. Rubio’s voters share this view.

Mr. Trump’s popularity with white, working-class voters who are more likely than other Republicans to believe that whites are a supreme race and who long for the Confederacy may make him unpopular among leaders in his party. But it’s worth noting that he isn’t persuading voters to hold these beliefs. The beliefs were there-- and have been for some time.

Mr. Trump has reinvigorated explicit appeals to ethnocentrism, and some voters are responding.
This morning I watched Joe Scarborough use his MSNBC as a platform to defend Herr Trumpf, steamrolling over his guests-- Bob Woodward and Cokie Roberts-- as they brought up messaging that was unfriendly towards Trumpf, while encouraging Michael Steele's silly assertion that primary voters were backing Trumpf because the Huffington Post reported his carnival show as entertainment. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi was not on Morning Joe but he explained to his readers how Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have taken up residence up Herr Trumpf's ass.
Nobody who's covered the Trump run could fail to notice the increasingly hot-and-sweaty ménage a trois between the candidate and Mika and Joe. After hearing Trump give the duo chummy shout-outs at multiple campaign-trail events, I wrote about them in an upcoming piece for Rolling Stone: My idea is that they would be the royal media under the upcoming Trump monarchy/dictatorship. It's easy to imagine Joe in an official state journalist uniform, with epaulettes and a flying Trump-mane insignia.

Even their on-air performance at the town hall last Wednesday was such a craven display of bumlicking and softballing that media critics all over the country denounced them for it.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post ripped Scarborough and Brzezinski for letting Trump squirm out of fact-checking problems (like his completely un-sourced, unconfirmed claim that he was against the Iraq invasion before 2003). He also blasted them for not asking him any questions about Trump's myriad crazy comments about women, minorities and the disabled.

To this, Mika and Joe responded that they had "humiliated" their competitors and that their critics were being hysterical. Scarborough's first defiant take recalled Bill Clinton's whiny observation that if you took Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein into an alley and "slit his throat," the rabble would still call you soft on Wall Street.

Said Scarborough of Trump: "If you don't stand on top of him with your knees on his chest and stab him in the side of the neck until he bleeds out, it's never going to be enough."

He added later that the rest of the press corps was just jealous that his show was the first to take Trump seriously. "You're really angry because we called this first," he said. "You're humiliated because this is your job."

Actually, guessing that Trump's campaign had a chance at success and shoving your tongue a foot and a half up Trump's backside are two completely different journalistic acts. For the record, a lot of media people guessed early on that Trump's campaign was for real, and that group included many reporters who wouldn't sit within ten feet of Trump without a HazMat suit. (Even I put money on him to win the nomination way back in August).

But Scarborough isn't really saying that he was the first pundit to call Trump a serious contender. What he's really bragging about is that he was the first media figure smart enough to strap on his kneepads in exchange for access once he saw that the Trump campaign was going places. He seems genuinely to think the rest of us are just jealous that we didn't think to do that first.

The reality, of course, is that Scarborough currently is winning the access battle with Trump because Donald Trump, like the Chinese emperors of yore who surrounded themselves with eunuchs as palace guards, refuses to interact with anyone who threatens him in any way.

Thus Trump's regular media contacts are exclusively a gang of supplicating ratings-whores like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and especially Scarborough, who appears to be Trump's favorite lapdog. Trump seems to get a kick out of the fact that he now has an ex-congressman carrying his skirts for him in public, and he tosses Scarborough's name around at events like a war trophy.

There was a time in the journalism business when it was considered at least somewhat embarrassing to be caught openly shilling for a politician. Believe it or not, it was also once considered inappropriate to admit to being about nothing except ratings. Not that everyone has to be Seymour Hersh, but Jesus, have some pride.

Watching Mika and Joe cheerfully allow themselves to be walked on by a thin-skinned billionaire jackass like Trump gives me the same feeling Red Sox fans are having this week watching Pablo Sandoval show up to Spring Training with his gut hanging two feet over his waist. As in: You get paid to do a job, remember? At least pretend to care.

Yesterday Politico's Alex Isenstadt asserted that GOP leaders are starting to wake up to the Herr Trumpf nightmare. I wonder where they've been. Herr has had big wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada and he has growing leads in all the March 1 Super Tuesday states that have current polls but Texas, Colorado and Minnesota:-- Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia.

Also in Politico is an ominous story about how GOP money bags are too scared of Herr Trumpf to contribute to overtly anti-Trumpf efforts. Cruz has already publicly threatened the Ricketts family for funding the anti-Trumpf ads run by ineffectual Our Principles SuperPAC. Even the Kochs, Rove and Adelson are all afraid of him. Waterboarding anyone?

The Make America Awesome SuperPAC head, Liz Mair, who's managed to raise $10,000 since December, says wealthy donors have told her "We would totally donate to you if we could do it anonymously; we’re worried about Trump taking reprisals against us for donating to this. Suffice to say, there are a lot of people out there who want to stop Trump and are willing to donate to do it."

Now... let's get serious. Last night Marianne Williamson kicked off several weeks of the Progressive Summit with congressional candidates Jamie Raskin (MD-06), Tim Canova (FL-23) and Nanette Barragan (CA-44). No matter who wins the presidency, we're going to need effective progressives in Congress. Watch why Blue America and Sister Giant want to introduce you to these three and then go to Sister Giant and watch Marianne's discussion tonight with Bao Nguyen (CA-46), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02):

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