Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Heil Trumpf!


Tuesday morning as voters were headed to the polls before work-- across 14 states-- Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell felt they had to address the issue of the Ku Klux Klan because of the flirtation with the violent hate group by their party's front-runner. And Ben Sasse, the junior senator from Nebraska, a thoughtful guy and a bit of a maverick who won election as a Tea Party candidate, appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He had already stated that even if Herr Trumpf wins the nomination, he won't vote for him, which is why he was invited onto the show. But he went even further, telling the panel that "If the Republican Party becomes the party of David Duke and Donald Trump, I'm out." Oh dear! (In his victory statement/press conference thingie last night, Herr Trumpf threatened to make Ryan "pay" if he doesn't buckle under to his will when he's in the White House.)

A few hours earlier, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of With All Due Respect (clip below), talked with Republican former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman, who told them Herr Trumpf can't beat Hillary Clinton. She thinks eventually people will see through him-- the con man thing-- and that "his temperament, his bullying, his demeaning of people is not going to sit well with the majority of the American people... The kind of rhetoric with which he is engaged, the divisiveness he's encouraging, the belittling of people just by reason of their ethnicity is creating a divide in this country that I think is very dangerous for the future. And while I certainly don't want four more years of another Clinton administration... I would take that over the kind of damage that I think Donald Trump could do to this country, to its reputation, to the people of this country. You can't bring people together, you can't get policy and make it happen if you're so divisive." She then said she would either vote for Hillary Clinton or do a write-in.

The ad below is what Establishment Republicans are running against Herr Trumpf in some combination of the March primary and caucus states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona and Utah. So far nothing-- not even this chilling portrayal of Herr Trumpf as a predatory scammer, huckster and con-man-- seems to be dampening the enthusiasm of the Republican base for Herr or their desire to just give up on democracy altogether and hand it all over to an authoritarian daddy-figure.

And these ads, showing statements from "Trump University" victims are running simultaneously, paid for by a separate pack of anti-Trumpf establishmentarians, the American Future Fund:

Republican consultant took enough time off from his flame war with Ann Coulter to attack other Trumpf supporters at the DailyBeast yesterday, bemoaning how Trump is "inevitably wrecking the GOP on his way to having his weirdly-coiffed head handed to him by Hillary Clinton’s campaign death machine, but in the shorter term Trump has the capacity to destroy a lot of Republican officeholders on the way."
[I]n the coming days it’s likely we will see Vichy Republicans of various stripes break to Trump. A fraction of them, like Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who endorsed Trump last weekend, are driven to his anti-immigration message, which they believe is the singular and driving motivation for Republican base voters. Most will break like frightened herd animals, reading this year’s polling as a sign of permanent political realignment. A few will do so out of malice against the hated Establishment. Some will seek to curry favor, or appointment in the Thousand Year Trump Administration.

All of them are making three enormous political mistakes. Here’s my advice to elected leaders and candidates considering selling their political souls to the Orange One:

Trump doesn’t need you. Trump doesn’t need anyone’s endorsement, because he always has the most vital backing he or any candidate could hope for; universal name-ID, wall-to-wall media coverage and an instant on-air presence the moment he desires it.  He doesn’t need your political machine (most of you, to be honest, barely have one). He doesn’t need your aura of power and influence in your state.  If you stand next to Trump, it’s because he wants to tweak a rival, not because you’re the special political snowflake of your state or district.

After last weekend’s debate, when Marco Rubio beat Donald Trump like a rented mule, Trump swung into action in a desperate attempt to recapture Rubio’s one bad night in the last few months by bringing the Jersey Judas Chris Christie on stage with him as a surrogate against the Florida Senator.  Christie stood behind Trump until summoned to bellow praise of “Mr. Trump” and condemnation of Marco. As an aside, the toadying usage of “Mr. Trump” by his sycophants is just one tug of the forelock away from people averting their eyes and bowing low to Prince Donald of Orange.

Christie appeared at Trump’s side for roughly 18 hours, heaving and yelling. His trained-seal act of hitting Rubio was  a shoddy imitation of Trump’s opera-buffa style until one of the most brutal, ugly political moments I’ve ever seen caught on tape managed to crystallize how Trump takes anything given to him, consumes it, drains it, and casts it aside like a 45-year old trophy wife. At a raucous airport-hanger rally in Arkansas, Trump wiped Christie off his shoe in a single, icy moment. You could almost see Christie’s soul leaving his body as Trump irritably said, “Get on the plane and go home. It’s over there,” while pointing away from the roaring crowd to a waiting jet on the tarmac.

It was a perfect illustration of Trump’s non-transactional politics; Christie thought they’d formed an alliance. For Trump, Christie was like Uber, but for one day of headlines against Rubio.  From speculation Christie would be Vice President or Attorney General to “go fetch your shinebox” in less than a day must have been a revelation for Christie, one I hope he savors as the former Governor of New Jersey and future  manager of the Whippany Best Buy.

Trump didn’t need Jeff Sessions to endorse him; he needed him to gut the wheezing carcass of the Ted Cruz campaign. Trump already owns the “build the wall to keep the brown people out” demographic; Sessions was icing on the cake. His endorsement was devastating to Ted Cruz’s head. When Trump was done, though, Sessions was on his own.  Of course, 12 hours after the Sessions endorsement, the Senator from Alabama was having to bat cleanup on Trump’s tip-o’the-hood to David Duke and the KKK.

You’re not Trump. You can’t rub up against Trump and absorb the magic aura of his fuck-you swagger.  You haven’t been a reality TV game show host for decades in a culture that cares vastly more about the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Wherever than it does about any political figure. You haven’t run a branding company dedicated to branding, well… you.

There are no Trump Republicans; there is only Trump. When the 2010 election swept Republicans into office in a massive tidal wave, they were part of a philosophical and ideological change. They were bound by a set of limited-government principles. To be sure, sometimes loosely and imperfectly so, but the Tea Party wave was driven by ideas, not a singular, authoritarian personality.  On the plus side, you aren’t a narcissistic sociopath, so you have that going for you.

...There’s a reason Trump’s favorability rating is 2:1 negative, why almost no scenario leads him to victory in November. There’s a reason why women and Hispanics loathe Trump. There’s a reason why conservatives know Trump isn’t one of them. And there’s a reason why smart down-ballot candidates and elected officials who can see beyond the current frenzy are heading for the exits from the Trump circus; beyond the core of his supporters, Donald Trump is a hideous cancer on American political life. He’s an objectively terrible person, and that eventually matters in politics.

If you want to endorse that, you’re on your own.  You’ll own it even after the Trump bubble bursts, Hillary Clinton is sworn in, and the Chinese-made red hat he shoved on your head at the endorsement rally is nothing but an uncomfortable reminder of your terrible political judgment.
click to read the results

Van Jones went after clownish Trumpf surrogate Jeffrey Lord-- who insists the KKK is a left-wing organization fighting for a "progressive agenda"-- on CNN last night. This could well be exactly what the general election looks like.

UPDATE: The Morning After

On CNN this morning, Establishment Republican-- and fellow reality TV thing-- Rep Sean Duffy (R-WI), told Chris Cuomo that Herr Trumpf "talks big and he seems strong but when you ask him questions about, 'how do we make America safe again? How do I grow our economy? How do I bring jobs back home? How do I fix healthcare?' he doesn’t have any ideas... He just makes the statements but hasn’t spent the time to think about the policies that are necessary to fix the country."

Friday, one of the spokesmen for the Military Industrial Complex, ex-CIA/NSA chief Michael Hayden, went on Real Time and threatened a coup if Herr Trumpf starts giving the unlawful orders he's campaigning on. Who cares what a doddering old spook says on a comedy show? Some of the ex-military guys in Congress seem to care. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), an Air Force Reserve pilot said he would ignore illegal orders from Herr Trumpf. "When you say you might have to go after family members of terrorists, when you say torture would be OK even if it doesn’t work-- this is the rant of a dictator, not the rant of a guy running for president of the greatest country in the world. We have to follow lawful orders, not unlawful orders. If Trump gives an order like he spouts on the campaign trail, just to try to look like Mr. Tough Guy, we just won’t follow them."

Chris Christie's approval rating back in New Jersey was already in the toilet before he endorsed Herr Trumpf-- just 33% of his state's voters approved of his job performance. That fell a further 6 points-- to a stunning 27%-- after the endorsement of a figure that is widely viewed in New Jersey as a buffoon and a fascist (a bad combination). Six of New Jersey's newspapers ran an editorial calling on Christie to resign as governor in response to the endorsement!
What an embarrassment. What an utter disgrace.

We’re fed up with Gov. Chris Christie’s arrogance.

We’re fed up with his opportunism.

We’re fed up with his hypocrisy.

We’re fed up with his sarcasm.

We’re fed up with his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda.

We’re disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him, calling him unqualified by temperament and experience to be president.

And we’re fed up with his continuing travel out of state on New Jersey’s dime, stumping for Trump, after finally abandoning his own presidential campaign.

For the good of the state, it’s time for Christie to do his long-neglected constituents a favor and resign as governor. If he refuses, citizens should initiate a recall effort.
Another Trumpf endorser, Sarah Palin, is being blamed for his loss of Alaska to Ted Cruz. Trumpf even lost Palin's home turf, Wasilla.

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At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some of the ex-military guys in Congress seem to care. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), an Air Force Reserve pilot said he would ignore illegal orders from Herr Trumpf. - See more at:"

Seems like all those ex-military guys saw no problem with the illegal invasion of Iraq . . . .

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've wondered for months now how many military folks would actually follow orders from this dictatorial reactionary. Glad to see someone speaking out against him early on.

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an important petition. Please sign:


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