Category Archives: Politics

You Don’t Say

My brother is being resasonable about what he calls “The Brooklyn Dodgers,” namely Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’s non-answers at the most recent debate.

WHEN A CANDIDATE for high office can’t respond to a simple question with an honest answer, attention should be paid. More often than not these days, that kind of behavior is just greeted with a shrug by the members of the elite media, but specific acts of evasion are worth studying. Because if something’s important enough for a candidate that they concoct a ludicrous non-response, there’s probably a sore point under there somewhere.

And when a candidate won’t directly answer the question, it’s also legitimate to speculate why that might be.

I’m not talking here about the positions on the issues that the candidates are taking, and whether they are logically consistent or wise. I’m not fact-checking. I’m just looking at evasive responses, and what they mean.

There follows multiple examples. I think this a model of what news analysis during campaigns should be.

PS. That said, reasonable surmise #2 appears to have been disproved by events? Could the reason Bernie hadn’t released his returns have been as simple as the returns being back home, the family is on the campaign trail, no one else had the key?

Posted in 2016 Election, Dan Froomkin | 4 Comments

Peak Trump?

There are signs that some time this week–maybe over the weekend? –we reached Peak Trump.

That doesn’t mean momentum won’t carry him to a lot more delegates, and maybe even enough to scrape a majority, but I think the bloom is off the rose tinted glasses. Not sure if it’s the Trump misogyny, the arrest of Trump’s campaign manager followed by doubling down on the guy’s defense, the really weird panel of foreign policy advisers, the articles about Trump’s dominance games (more), or the resignation and damning open letter of a pro-Trump “super-PAC” PR person, but something gives me that feeling.

Yes, lots of people have said ‘surely the GOP will come to its senses’ at various times over the past 25 years, and mostly they’ve been wrong. And I’m not exactly saying that myself, just that I’m going to guess his popularity has peaked.

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Bush PAC Post-Mortem

Worth a read. Also includes this local-interest gem from operative Mike Murphy:

He cites the old Eric Hoffer maxim: Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

Take, for instance, he says, the Tea Party — “a racket, though it’s supposed to be a nonracket,” full of faux four-star generals who say, ” ‘You’ve got to pay me because … I represent the Nebraska sub-Army 14 of the Tea Party,’ and there’d be like four or five guys arguing over who’s in charge of it.” It reminds Murphy of when he used to do referendum campaigns in Dade County. “There’d always be these charming old Cubans who’d come in and say, ‘Colonel Escobar is willing to endorse on his radio show, but he requires certain considerations. One million dollars.’ “

“And we’d be like, ‘Thirty-five hundred dollars cash and lunch today.'”

“‘We agree!'”

Debriefing Mike Murphy | The Weekly Standard.

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DSC Plays Its Trump Card

Link if you can’t see above

Posted in 2016 Election | 4 Comments

If Only…

MIAMI—In what political observers characterized as the organization’s highest-level staff shakeup to date, the presidential campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio announced Monday it would be bringing on a new candidate for the remainder of the 2016 election.

via The Onion por supuesto.

Posted in 2016 Election, Completely Different | Leave a comment

Props

Time to salute Robert Kagan. I do not share his ideology but I can recognize a patriot writing in Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein Monster. Read it all, savor the historical allusions, but here’s the takeaway:

We are supposed to believe that Trump’s legion of “angry” people are angry about wage stagnation. No, they are angry about all the things Republicans have told them to be angry about these past 7½ years, and it has been Trump’s good fortune to be the guy to sweep them up and become their standard-bearer. He is the Napoleon who has harvested the fruit of the revolution.

There has been much second-guessing lately. Why didn’t party leaders stand up and try to stop Trump earlier, while there was still time? But how could they have? Trump was feeding off forces in the party they had helped nurture and that they hoped to ride into power. Some of those Republican leaders and pundits now calling for a counterrevolution against Trump were not so long ago welcoming his contribution to the debate. The politicians running against him and now facing oblivion were loath to attack him before because they feared alienating his supporters. Instead, they attacked one another, clawing at each other’s faces as they one by one slipped over the cliff. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got his last deadly lick in just before he plummeted — at Trump? No, at Rubio. (And now, as his final service to party and nation, he has endorsed Trump.) Jeb Bush spent millions upon millions in his hopeless race, but against whom? Not Trump.

So what to do now? The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.

We need more like this.

PS. Has the GOP rehabilitated David Frum yet?

Posted in 2016 Election | 1 Comment

It Begins

Digby:

I keep thinking there’s got to be a large number of Republicans who are appalled by Trump and will never vote for him. He is, after all, a neofascist megalomaniac. But maybe I’m wrong.

God, I hope I’m not wrong.

Update: I’m wrong

Look at this graph of national GOP voters gradual, growing acceptance of Trump as nominee pic.twitter.com/3bINR9TQgb
— Martin Gelin (@M_Gelin) February 21, 2016

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