# 2016 Republican Presidential Clown Car Begins!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by joepistole, Jan 30, 2015.

1. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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22,910
Seriously....what does that have to do with anything? It doesn't. The fact is none of the candidates, none of the media, took Trump seriously until it was too late. Almost everyone expected Trump to flame out. He didn't, and he didn't because he was exactly the kind of candidate the Republican base had been looking for after decades of Republican entertainers (e.g. Fox News and Republican talk radio) telling them what they were looking for.

They were waiting for Trump to self destruct, and Canadian Ted in particular. Canadian avoided attacking Trump until the very end and by that time, it was too late.

Do you have evidence he isn't smarter than Palin? No you don't. Trump went to better schools - schools which would never admit Palin. Trump is in fact smarter than Palin. But as I previously mentioned, he mimics her style because that is what the Republican base wants of their candidate.

Trump will do what he has done, and as evidenced by Hillary's speech yesterday that is more than enough. As I previously wrote, what appeals to the Republican base doesn't appeal to most Americans. That's the same problem Romney had. That's the same problem McCain had.

Except he did. You cannot get the Republican nomination without the support of base Republicans. It's a simple matter of math.

Yes, he can be prevented from wining the presidency and probably will be. The majority of Americans aren't that crazy. And Trump seems intent upon pissing off key voter segments (e.g. Hispanics) in order to appease the Republican base. And as long as Trump continues to do the crazy talk which is so loved by his base, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for Trump to win. Getting the nomination was the easy part for Trump, now comes the hard stuff.

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3. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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You believing that is how I know you were not among those who did take him seriously. You don't even know who they were. None of the media?
They saw what happened to the couple who tried attacking him directly, and tried a more likely tactic. That didn't work either. Nothing worked - that doesn't mean nothing was tried. And that is a long way from not taking him seriously.
Because when she makes such lethal, pointed, reputation destroying speeches, she gains tens of thousands of new supporters and Trump is humiliatingly abandoned by the suddenly enlightened, will say nobody ever.
No, it isn't. The problem they had was that they did not appeal to the Republican base. That was famous, at the time. It was in all the headlines, front and center in the analyses.
You can get it without appealing to the Republican base very much. Romney did. So did McCain - that's why he went with Palin, to try to patch the leak in his boat. Neither one of them had to contend with a candidate who actually appealed to the Republican base - which is why they did not suffer the fate of Jeb, or Marco, in the primaries.
August http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/09/politics/romney-conservatives/
and compare, from the second most important intellectual voice of the Republican base:
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box...er-nominate-christie-because-romney-will-lose
vs

Or the first and second: http://www.businessinsider.com/rush-limbaugh-andrea-saul-romneycare-romney-obama-election-2012-8

Trump is running straight from the modern Republican base - the first in a long time, since W for sure and maybe even Reagan. Most of those guys won.

Last edited: Jun 4, 2016

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5. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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And Then It Was Over (Renegade Left Hanging)

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Let's talk about "Establishment" for a minute.

Last week we heard about conservative columnist Bill Kristol's quest for a non-Trump conservative↑ to run for a third party because apparently two former Republican governors running on the Libertarian ticket just isn't good enough.

You know, the party that once nominated Bob Barr.

I had missed a certain detail along the way:

Bill Kristol’s effort to find a Republican presidential candidate to run an independent campaign against Donald Trump has a cool name: the Renegade Party. All it needs now is, well, literally everything else

(Benen↱)

I don't know how I missed this.

Because apparently maverick just wasn't enough. What conservatives really want is a renegade in the White House.

Or so says Bill Kristol.

No, really, Renegade Party? Certes, we've all seen some tacky, superficial marketing before, but just how built for the moment can a new political heritage be?

The third-party #NeverTrump operation has no money, no infrastructure, no platform, no voters, and as of last night, no candidate.

David French, the conservative writer and lawyer floated by anti-Donald Trump forces as a potential independent presidential candidate in 2016, says he will not mount a White House bid.

In an article posted on the National Review’s website Sunday night, French said he opposes both Trump and Hillary Clinton but determined after “serious study” that he would not be the right candidate for the job.

“Given the timing, the best chance for success goes to a person who either is extraordinarily wealthy (or has immediate access to extraordinary wealth) or is a transformational political talent. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, and I thank God for the successes I’ve had as a lawyer and a writer, but it is plain to me that I’m not the right person for this effort,” French wrote.

To the other, I have no idea where Benen gets off saying, "French's decision comes as a bit of a surprise". Okay, that's not fair; it's just inattentive filler, a juxtaposition opening the next aspect. And while it's "obviously understandable", I just don't see how it's a surprise. Still, though, the rest of that part of the analysis fails to be wrong:

French’s decision comes as a bit of surprise, though it’s obviously understandable. Had he launched a campaign, it would have been difficult to imagine a scenario in which French, who is largely unknown to a national audience and not independently wealthy, had any meaningful impact on the race. Indeed, given polls showing Trump consolidating Republican support, it was never altogether clear who French’s target audience was going to be: the GOP’s anti-Trump contingent is quite small.

His announcement, however, was a notable coda to a broader effort that failed in rather spectacular ways.

And how. More and more, my prior analysis―

This is one of those times when we might pause to consider "conservative elitism". In a year finding little support, or even mere traction, for the GOP Establishment, an Establishment columnist thinks ... what? ... that he can sell Republican voters on an Establishment-backed alternative to the market resolution?

Many people on all sides of the proverbial aisle will testify to the necessity of stopping Donald Trump; it's just that Mr. Kristol's endeavor seems particularly futile except for the part where he gets to pretend he feels like a leader in conservative politics. For such pampered privilege as Mr. Kristol has enjoyed in the political marketplace, the sting of irrelevance probably hurts somethin' fierce. Still, Kristol's presumptuousness ought to mean something; it seems somehow demonstrative of an essential abstraction―the complications of cooperation among a league of competitive individualists.

―seems less and less like a glib joke. Then again, Bill Kristol is teeing them up, these days.

No wonder he seems pensive.

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____________________

Notes:

Benen, Steve. "The GOP’s ‘French Revolution’ comes to an abrupt halt". msnbc. 6 June 2016. msnbc.com. 6 June 2016. http://on.msnbc.com/25IKywG

Kristol, Bill. "In era of Trump". Twitter. 6 June 2016. Twitter.com. 6 June 2016. http://bit.ly/1Y54SlR

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7. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Remember when Romney's campaign manager forgot to monitor his stream of thought, and actually answered the question of how Romney was going to run in the general after pandering to the bigots and fundies he needed to win the Republican primary?

The guy said the general campaign strategy pivot was like an Etch A Sketch - you just shook off the primary campaign rhetoric, and started over with a blank screen. Basic two-step Republican strategy. Worked in the past, follow Reagan's footsteps and you'll do fine.

So this one blogger pointed out that Trump was not clued in. And gave us this picture:

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Which I'm getting more fond of by the minute.

8. ### BellsStaff Member

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If you're like, say, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) -- who's given presumptive GOP presidential nominee and foaming man-possum Donald Trump three weeks to "fix" his campaign -- you might be nervously watching for signs that Trump is undertaking an effort to bring order to an organization that has lately lapsed into chaos. Giving a speech with a teleprompter in which the overt white-supremacist content was dialed back a notch might have been a good start.

But then you read the interview that Trump just gave Bloomberg News and ... wow. I don't know, you guys. Go read the whole thing -- it's a genuine doozy.

As Bloomberg's Michael Bender and Jennifer Jacobs report, there is much that seems off, perhaps even delusional, about how Trump sees the next part of his electoral strategy playing out. He seems not to understand how expensive an undertaking this race is going to be (or he's realizing that donors don't want to be associated with him), and he believes that living off the land of free media is sufficient to the task. Speaking of all that free media, he also seems to think that the issues that have dogged him over the past week -- Trump University and his disparagement of Judge Gonzalo Curiel -- are now effectively in the rear-view mirror.

What might be most alarming to veteran GOP figures is how Trump details his process for choosing a running mate. Bender and Jacobs report that Trump has narrowed his search to four or five politicians, plus two "respected military officials." Of the latter two, Trump says that he probably won't choose them because he believes he will "do very well on national security." (For a counterpoint, see Ian Bremmer in Politico.)

Why Trump would say he'd short-listed two military experts if he's not seriously thinking about choosing them is a genuine mystery. Maybe he reckons they'll be honored just to be on the short list?

Trump says that the benefit of picking a politician is that the "voters and the media" will have already vetted the person. What this says is that Trump really isn't planning to vet his own candidates, which is generally seen as the essential thing to do when selecting a running mate.

Goddess grant..

He means the very voters who are voting and supporting a racist orange raccoon to run for the Presidency. Because they have clearly displayed great acumen in public vetting.

As some have noted, his refusal to raise any money for his campaign and relying solely on free media coverage, because DONALD, will endanger others in the GOP.

If you are Pat Toomey or Ron Johnson, your heart just sank. If you are a Republican in a close district, pick your jaw up off the floor. Your party leader just said he won't be spending heavily in your state this Fall because he won't be advertising. Or building organizational infrastructure. Or doing data. Or targeting. Or even building a volunteer apparatus. Instead, he's going to phone it in to Fox and Friends.

Facing you is a rapid scaling up of the Clinton Campaign ground organization across a dozen states. And a popular incumbent President with the power of the office at his disposal. And a demographic problem that your own candidate has successfully made worse. We aren't even talking about the guns your opponent will be firing at you. If you're Mark Kirk, you just wet your pants. If you're Rob Portman, you're scared shitless by remarks like these.

If Trump won't raise or fork over the cash, that means Prince Reebus is on hook. He hasn't got nearly enough resources to compete with a fully built-out presidential campaign. Being on cable news all the time is sufficient for a primary. A general election audience requires you to be on a helluva lot more channels, especially online. Because most viewers barely watch cable news. Hell, many folks today don't even have cable anymore.

It actually gets worse.

As Bender and Jacobs note for Bloomberg News:

Trump's most consequential decision between now and the Republican National Convention that starts July in Cleveland is selecting his running mate.

Amid all the nervousness from Republican political veterans that his speeches are too spontaneous, he vowed to show discipline in the announcement of his vice-presidential pick. The campaign has privately discussed making an announcement as soon as this month to deflect from the controversy surrounding Trump University, and some advisers have worried that Trump may decide on his own to post the announcement on Twitter one night with little warning.

“I’d like to save it, give it the old-fashioned way, right?” Trump said about keeping the announcement until the convention.

Trump said he'll probably choose one of four or five politicians, and that his short list includes some vanquished rivals who have dropped out of the 2016 presidential race. He is considering at least one ex-rival who has so far refused to endorse him, but who will “come over to my side,” he predicted.

There is something to be said when his own campaign is worried that he will just use Twitter to make the announcement. That their candidate is this batshit crazy. Not only has he said he is not going to raise any money for the campaign and that he will just coast on free media coverage, but one of his potential VP picks has thus far refused to endorse him and may have to be convinced to come over to his side, as though they need to be convinced to join the dark side or something.

On foreign policy, Trump shone. If one can call it a shine.

Trump said one example of his prowess in foreign policy is the fact that North Atlantic Treaty Organization created a terrorism post after he suggested it during a cable television interview in March. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that NATO is creating a powerful new intelligence post, “amid growing criticism of the alliance’s failure to focus more resources on terrorism,” including from Trump.

“It’s all because of me,” Trump said in the interview.

“In all fairness, you know, it’s not my life,” Trump said about foreign policy and national security. “But I know about NATO. It’s obsolete. And it doesn’t cover terrorism.”

In a statement to Politico, an unnamed NATO official rejected Trump's conclusion, saying there was no connection to the U.S. presidential campaign.

Ah, comedy gold.

9. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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An Important Point

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Indeed.

The irony is you just devastated me. I didn't finish a post last night that started with that Daily Kos diary pointing to the Bloomberg article, which reminded me of a bit from McClatchy, and I just couldn't close the post up in any satisfactory way and sixteen other bizarre excuses later that the post is sitting on my desktop to be finished this morning.

The McClatchy part is important; the article from Curtis Tate↱ is weird because it drips, stem to stern, headline to closing Molotov, with lurid implications. And why not? Generally the article is about a Beltway moneygoround called leadership PACs. These are run by members of Congress, and they raise money essentially to give to each other; Viveca Novak of the Center for Responsive Politics calls them "a nice little piggybank to have". Ostensibly the article looks at the John S Fund PAC, for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL15). The headline: "This lawmaker spent big PAC money on wine tours, resort stays". The lede:

The leadership political action committee affiliated with Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois has splurged on Napa Valley wine tours, Miami Beach luxury hotels and Washington Nationals baseball tickets worth tens of thousands of dollars over the past four years, federal campaign disclosures show.

Tate even takes a moment to point out that Shimkus is a pro-coal hardliner, critical of renewable energy, effectively mocking him for the fact of a four thousand dollar deposit at a lavish Napa Valley resort. It's easy to get one's ire up; that's part of the point. But it's not a tabloid hit piece; it's just a glimpse inside one of the most obvious and vexing aspects of fundraising, moneygoround, and the inherent small corruption we have long tolerated for a reasonable sense of futility about the prospect of ending such practices.

The article goes on to close with brief examples of leadership PAC failures ($3.2 million combined distributed to candidates by Eric Cantor and John Boehner; the one was drummed out in the primary, the other resigned less than a year into the new session), and manages to end on a note of specific infamy about Aaron Schock's half million in contributions through the GOP Generation Y Fund, and why not, since the former congressman resigned in a corruption scandal about expenses? And, yes, we're supposed to feel that revulsion. There are technical challenges about the prospect of ending such moneygorounds. But in the middle of all that is a buried gem: To be sure, the John S Fund donates to other members at least as much as it spends on fundraising activities. In 2014, it doled out$231,000 in campaign contributions, while it spent $221,000 on fundraising activity, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The fund, like many others, also contributes to the national and state parties, and state and local candidates. The PAC has distributed$110,000 to Republicans this year for their campaigns, according to the center.

The PAC supports less senior Republican lawmakers from Illinois. This year, it has donated $10,000 each to the campaigns of Reps. Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Bob Dold and Darin LaHood. Bost, who was first elected in 2014, doesn't have a PAC. Leadership PACs are his largest source of campaign cash for 2016, totaling$173,000.

Davis, who was first elected in 2012, has a PAC, but it's not very active. Other leadership PACs are his second largest source of campaign money for 2016, totaling \$105,000.

If we focus too much on the fact of legalized influence peddling, we miss the other fundamental, practical problem.

To the one, Republicans have shown an effective congressional campaign effort in recent cycles. This little system is working for them. But what of the obvious implication?

A member of Congress whose campaign chest relies on leadership PACs.

As a simple matter of market stability, this is a dangerous way to do it

If money isn't trickling down from the de facto leader of the Party, the presidential candidate, then yes, as the DK piece notes, it falls to the RNC. But it also falls to Speaker Ryan. And if contributions to leadership PACs drops significantly because traditional Republican donors need to keep distance between themselves and the madman at the top of the ticket, these PAC-supported congressional campaigns suddenly find themselves in a very difficult position.

This manner of corruption is a perpetual issue; right now, the real question is just how deeply GOP congressional success is invested in these PACs. Pretty much every member of Congress has a leadership PAC, but not all of them use the things. And even setting aside questions like why Rep. Shimkus should give to, say, Rep. Davis (R-IL13) when the latter isn't doing much to raise funds for anyone else, there still exists the problem of what happens to those members whose campaign funds so greatly depend on handouts from their fellows?

This is a tremendous challenge for Republicans.

And the thing is that I was actually focusing, in the other post, on the DK diary about Trump, fundraising, and putting the House in play; did you notice all the examples he used were from the Senate, and he didn't turn to the House until literally the last sentence? It's a curious flaw, because he's still correct about the fundraising problem.

It stood out because I have been resisting an increase in confident chatter about Democrats and the House; we can't afford to be overconfident because nothing is normal right now. And between the Bloomberg article, BrooklynBadBoy's↱ take on the fundraising question, and the McClatchy glimpse into leadership PACs, this is the first substantial evidence I have that the House of Representatives might well be within reach.

And there was the phantom candidate idea (1↑, 2↑, 3↑, 4↑), but the thing I can't figure out about that would be why Trump appears to be destroying the GOP, because that is the primary effect. It is, as I wrote in the fourth of those prior posts, as if Trump is punishing the Party for something. But where policy issues have driven the GOP into the ground, Trump now presents a threat of tangible, systemic damage.

We'll have a better read on things as time passes, of course, but if Trump follows through on this course, the result will be one of the most important headlines nobody will get around to until the context shifts to the midterm election.
____________________

Notes:

BrooklynBadBoy. "Trump abandons fundraising, puts House in play". Daily Kos. 8 June 2016. DailyKos.com. 9 June 2016. http://bit.ly/1re6pJl

Tate, Curtis. "This lawmaker spent big PAC money on wine tours, resort stays". McClatchy DC. 3 June 2016. McClatchyDC.com. 9 June 2016. http://bit.ly/22Nzby3

10. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Bounce Around

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A bit of a bouncing ball, here: Benjy Sarlin↱ brings the play-by-play, Steve Benen↱ sits in for the color commentary, and Lalo Alcaraz↱ drew that cartoon last year, so he gets to be the guest with the telestrator.

Or maybe we should mix metaphors: The story so far ....

Top Democrats, including President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, challenged Republican lawmakers on Tuesday to defend Donald Trump's response to the terrorist attack on Orlando Sunday morning that claimed 49 lives.

Few took up the call.

Sarlin's telling opens on a grim note, but if you're a Republican, it's all grim. "Instead", he continues, "GOP lawmakers in Washington jumped, ducked and crawled through yet another obstacle course laid by Trump as reporters peppered them with questions". Translation: Republicans had a rough day on the hill:

"I'm not going to be commenting on the presidential candidates today," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after receiving a question about Trump's accusations against the president.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who lambasted Trump's Muslim ban when it was first proposed in December, said that he still disagreed with the candidate. Asked about Trump's repeated suggestion that "there's something going on" with Obama that prevents him from confronting terrorism, however, he drew the line.

"I am not going to spend my time commenting about the ups and downs and the in-betweens of comments," he said.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), facing a difficult re-election bid, answered an inquiry about Donald Trump's vainglorious tantrum by explaining he "didn't follow it closely", apparently while "jostling to get onto an elevator".

So, right; we see how this narrative goes. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said, "You know, hmm ...", and then walked away. Some Republicans took the opportunity for what it was worth. "I'm not hopeful right now", said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), describing the Muslim ban idea "ill-informed and ill-conceived". Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was even more direct about being less willing to support Mr. Trump:

"It wasn't the kind of response that I would expect when 50 people have perished," he said. "You know, I think I've offered words of public encouragement [to Trump] in important times and continue to be discouraged by the results."

And for taking up the call, as Sarlin put it, that certainly suffices. The grand prize, though, goes to Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ06). The Maricopa County congressman reminded, "Whether it be a Republican president or a Democratic president, I think we will vigorously defend the fact that we're Article I".

There is, of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who said Trump gave "a good speech", "told the truth about the threat we are facing", and "showed leadership and strength". But what do we expect? Mr. Sessions is from Alabama, where the Governor faces impeachment except for the Speaker of the House facing indictment with the embattled executive expected to testify against him, and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court is suspended pending what is expected to be the abrupt end of his term on the bench at the hands of the State Court of the Judiciary. In other words, if Mr. Trump "told the truth about the threat we are facing" in closet homosexuals cracking under the weight of neurotic burdens, and thus "showed leadership and strength" by taking after Muslims, then Mr. Sessions' assessment sounds about right ... for the junior U.S. Senator from Alabama. We see what leadership is worth to Yellowhammer Republicans.

But that's about it for support; Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) reminded, "We do not have a nominee until after the convention". Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) ducked out entirely:

Senator Ted Cruz, who has not endorsed Trump, told reporters that America needs "a commander-in-chief who is clear-eyed and focused on keeping this country safe."

He did not say whether Trump was that commander-in-chief.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC10) also ducked; Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) told the press to take it up with the Trump campaign. The Party responded by complaining about Democrats in general, and President Obama and future President Clinton without mentioning Donald Trump.

This release was on the RNC's website, which as of Tuesday afternoon did not feature a single photo or mention of Trump on its homepage. Nor did Trump appear in the headlines of recent posts on the site's blog.

Sarlin's article really does contain all that. The GOP needs to figure this out at some point. Indeed, Schweikert could even give them cover: Yes, it's stupid and wrong, but remember, We Are Congress, and if Congressional Republicans are going to spend a generation complaining about unconstitutional this and overreaching that, do you really think we're going to roll for something so facially unconstitutional and obviously impossible?

Or maybe that's a dangerous question, to judge by his colleagues.

Steve Benen, for his part, notes of his msnbc colleague's effort:

The Washington Post published a similar report last night. So did Politico. So did Reuters. So did Bloomberg Politics. GOP officials are neither pleased nor confident, they're struggling to pretend otherwise, and everyone is noticing.

They are, in fact, worth reading°, but it is also true the whole thing becomes a nasty, stinking flood for the sheer magnitude of Donald Trump's behavior and inability of the Republican establishment to figure out how to deal with it. Benen continues:

• The fact remains that a grand total of one Republican official―Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)―has announced a switch in his 2016 posture, dropping his Trump endorsement in light of the candidate's antics. Every other GOP lawmaker who's announced his or her backing for the presidential hopeful continues to be, officially, a Trump supporter.

• Watching President Obama and Hillary Clinton tag-team Trump yesterday with similar and effective criticisms served as a timely reminder: Trump sure could use some impressive and influential allies, who are willing to go to bat for him, right about now, but these folks don't exist.

• The GOP leaders who help sway the public discourse, and shape the public's understanding of current events, are the same Republicans who can't think of a defense for Trump, so they're avoiding the questions.

• It may be easy to overstate the nature of Republican divisions, because when push comes to shove, folks like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others will vote for Trump and remain loyal partisan soldiers. But when Trump's under fire, how eager will they be to defend him, back up his ridiculous claims, offer him cover, and lend him their credibility?

For now, Benen observes, "When Trump is flailing, he flails alone". This, of course, is a mixed bag. To the one, Republicans are not eager to publicly back their candidate on this point; to the other, neither are they really lining up with Lamar Alexander or David Schweikert in order to send an unequivocal message to nominee apparent and public alike. We who are cynical about any proposition of good faith within the American conservative politic, of course, are are rolling our eyes and groaning: Of course they won't be unequivocal. They're still hoping he wins.
____________________

Notes:

° I'll note the Politico article specifically for Sen. Linsey Graham (R-SC) being exactly unequivocal in his condemnation of Donald Trump; it's also got some pretty good attempts to redirect the discussion, such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who somehow finds herself strangely vulnerable this season.​

Alcaraz, Lalo. "ISIS recruiting poster". Daily Kos. 9 December 2015. Daily Kos.com. 15 June 2016. http://bit.ly/1Z78kLY

Benen, Steve. "Why Republican despondence over Trump matters". msnbc. 15 June 2016. msnbc.com. 15 June 2016.

Kim, Seung Min and Burgess Everett. "Hill Republicans despondent over Trump". Politico. 14 June 2016. Politico.com. 15 June 2016. http://politi.co/21nlAMw

Sarlin, Benjy. "Republicans Run From Donald Trump's Orlando Response". NBC News. 14 June 2016. NBCNews.com. 15 June 2016. http://nbcnews.to/24RAQSR

11. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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22,910
And Trump continues to amaze, The Donald is in the UK to celebrate the grand opening of his hotel and all he can say is that it's a good thing for him personally. The country is crashing around him and all he can say is, it's a good thing for him. While the dramatic devaluation of the British pound may help Trump attract foreigners to his hotel, it's not such a good thing for the United Kingdom.

It's pretty damn clear The Donald doesn't care about the little people. He only cares about himself.

12. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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¿The Donald Dilemma?

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So ... lists.

Sort of.

In 12 days, the Republican National Convention will get underway, and before the festivities begin, we’ll probably know who Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate. Between now and then, all the presumptive GOP has to do is choose a partner – and hope he or she is amenable.

That last part may be easier said than done. A variety of prominent Republicans have already said they’re simply not interested, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Today, as the Washington Post reported, the list got a little longer.

(Benen↱)

And that would be Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who made an awkward appearance with the GOP nominee apparent yesterday. Benen suggests, "if you saw Corker and Trump together yesterday, you know the two didn’t seem especially comfortable around each other".

In an interesting note, apparently Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has also made it officially known she's not up for the gig, which does seem to lead to an inevitable question, and the answer appears to be simply that she isn't being vetted. Burgess Everett's↱ report for Politico is vague on the point of whether or not anybody actually officially asked if she's remotely interested.

There is a strange not-quite conspiracy theory↱ circulating right now that Trump will nominate his daughter Ivanka, which would be hilarious except for the fact that, hell, it's Trump, so it's not entirely out of the question. But, you know, really, aside from that speculation, come on, really? Oh, right, there's also the bit about Sen. Corker saying, "His best running mate, by the way, would be Ivanka".

I know.

If we choose to hew closer to conventional wisdom, however risky that might be, Benen summarizes the outlook:

So who’s left? A friend asked me the other day who’ll get the Republican nod, if I had to guess, and I’ll tell you what I told him: I have no idea. Part of the problem is that Trump is so erratic and irrational, it’s hard to fathom what kind of criteria he’ll use to evaluate possible vice presidents in the first place.

I saw someone note the other day, for example, that Trump believes short last names convey “power” better than longer last names. I have no idea if that was a joke, if Trump actually believes that, or both. He’s an unpredictable sort of candidate, and not necessarily in a good way.

That said, as best as I can tell, the short list probably includes former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Mike Pence, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Tim Scott, former Sen. Scott Brown, and my personal dark horse, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Yep. Mary Fallin↗.

Yes, yes. That Mary Fallin↗.

At this point, I really need to throw Michele Bachmann↱ into the pool.

This sort of ominous prognosticating shouldn't be so fun. To see a disaster of such magnitude requires first that such a disaster take place.

Disasters are bad, people, m'kay?
____________________

Notes:

Benen, Steve. "As contenders quit, Trump’s challenge is finding a willing VP". msnbc. 6 July 2016. msnbc.com. 6 July 2016. http://on.msnbc.com/29PhU34

—————. "Bachmann’s new gig: Trump adviser on evangelical issues". msnbc. 22 June 2016. msnbc.com. 6 July 2016. http://on.msnbc.com/28TbyiI

Brainwrap. "MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE??? (updated since yesterday)". Daily Kos. 6 July 2016. DailyKos.com. 6 July 2016. http://bit.ly/29p5GhC

Everett, Burgess. "Ernst all but withdraws from Trump veepstakes". Politico. 6 July 2016. Politico.com. 6 July 2016. http://politi.co/29iVbKY

13. ### Ivan SeekingRegistered Senior Member

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I had an interesting talk with a [white] man from South Africa today. I asked about the days of Apartheid, which sent him into a rant about the abuses he saw directed towards blacks in his country. The most interesting part was when he equated Trump with the "Nazi's" that ran S. Africa, and ultimately, Hitler. He said people like Trump are the one who ran Apartheid. He said Trump's rhetoric, style, and tactics are all too familiar for those who lived under the highly abusive SA government. He has this sort of naïve optimism and isn't worried about Trump. He thinks too much of this country to believe Trump could be elected. He was surprised to see that I am concerned. So I explained that even a small chance that Trump could get elected is far too much. We are talking about a man who promises the mass murder of innocent people, and the crowds cheer. That is scary stuff! He agreed and said he's seen it before, just as the Germans did in 1939.

This is the one time that allusions to Hitler are not inappropriate. Trump is using the same tactics. As my friend commented today, Trump knows EXACTLY what he's doing. His methods are tried and true. Watching his supporters defend him is nothing short of horrifying.

Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
14. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,994
Use Mussolini. The parallels are closer - Trump even looks a bit like Il Duce - so "Il Douche" is right there, without the easy dismissal on Godwin grounds.

15. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I think The Donald will likely choose Gingrich or Christie as his running mate and both Gingrich and Christie are desperate enough to accept.

16. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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But they're both so damn toxic.

In a year like this, why not Fallin?

I would love to see her version of "I am not a witch".

You know: "Hi, I'm Mary Fallin. And I really do know the three branches of government, just like you."

17. ### Ivan SeekingRegistered Senior Member

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Perhaps, but in either case Trump cannot so easily be dismissed. And for some reason that I can barely dare to fathom, he isn't 50 points behind Hillary... and I don't even like Hillary.

A good part of this country has gone insane. I don't know what else to think. That should have been the end of Trump right then and there. There is NO defense for this; no rationalization, no excuses. This is just plain evil. Yet he has done well with the "Christians". Unbelievable!

Hillary should be in jail for some emails. But in spite of murdering journalists and political opponents, Putin is a great leader, according to Trump.

Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
18. ### BellsStaff Member

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24,143
People will often defend and excuse the inexcusable when it is expedient to do so.

The people who defend Trump and excuse his abhorrent views, feel at war. They have had a black Democratic President for 8 years, they see their Christian values disappearing as marriage equality came to the forefront, their white privilege is diminishing, they saw what they perceived as their fight against women's rights and abortion diminishing (hence the spate of anti-abortion laws popping up and being smacked down by Federal Courts), they think the black President in the White House who they do not even believe is a real American is coming for their guns, they think Muslims are trying to take over America, they detest that migrants are coming into the US, particularly from South America and they live in terror of illegal immigrants, who they believe the black President is soft on - all in his bid to take over America and turn it into an Islamic caliphate. This is what the right in the US has become. These are the people who have taken over the right and Republican politicians have been feeding it for years. They failed to smack it down and instead, allowed it to prosper and fester in the party.

Then came Donald, who took all of that hate and fear and built a platform out of it. He became their public voice.

So Republicans have a few choices. Denounce him as several have done, in the hope of not losing the sane Republicans who are repulsed by Trump and some fairly big name Republicans have left the party in disgust and others who have spoken out are being abused and trolled for speaking out against Trump and accused of being *gasp* a Hillary supporter *gasp*. The others, fearing if they denounce him as the sociopath that he is, face losing the right wing people they have been feeding fear and hatred to in the bid to garner their votes against the evil left and the black man in the White House.

People who have survived despotic regimes and laws like the apartheid laws in South Africa, are able to recognise where the Republican Party is headed.

Look, people always knew that Trump's supporters existed. They had started to make themselves heard in the last 10-15 years or so, but they were always there. These are the people who homeschool their children because they do not trust the school system as they believe the school system is Godless and evil, so they homeschool in the bid to teach their children Genesis instead of science, teaching them what they fundamentally believe in their right wing Christian minds. Instead of being outed for their ignorance and hatred, they were literally allowed to fester.

Donald is their voice.

He praises a regime that kills journalists? Meh, it is the war against the left. Journalists are part of the evil leftist regime, so really, it is excusable.
He says he wants to mass murder innocent people? Meh, it is the war against Muslims who are simply going to rise up and take over America anyway.

So of course they will cheer. He is telling them what they truly believe and they feel like they are no longer being forced to fester. They have a voice. And they are fanatical about it. The Christian right wing fundamentalists have been preaching against exactly what Trump is against, their voice. And they make up millions of people.

Republicans can and should be speaking out against it, but they won't for the most part. To do so would be to lose that large chunk of voters who had traditionally voted Republican. There is a black man in the White House, after all and he's a Democrat.
Fester.. Fester.. Fester..

Trump is popular for a couple of reasons. He is the voice of the right wing Republicans who are, as I stated above, batshit crazy, and he is a white man, who despite his repulsive views, is a Republican and to many Republicans, it will be better than the black man in the White House. Thus, people like Ryan say that while they do not agree with Trump, they can control him through Congress.. Republicans repulsed by Trump who haven't left, believe them. So they support Trump with the belief that Congress can control him. It's a vicious circle.

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19. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,994
They have been the core, essential, necessary, and overwhelmingly influential Republican base and political force in the US since 1980, possibly since 1968 when Nixon first put the coalition together.

They used to be Democrats - for a hundred years they were Democrats. That's because the tyrant Lincoln was Republican. That ended with Lyndon Johnson's Civil Rights. This is the legacy of the Confederacy, of Fundamentalism, of Jim Crow, of the KKK and rise of fascism in the wake of the Great Depression.

They did not go insane recently. Trump is vulgar and ornery and unpleasant and new, but Rush Limbaugh has been the central and predominant Republican intellectual since 1992, and he's been talking like Trump all that time. Reagan was higher class and more dignified, but otherwise hardly distinguishable (I'll see your Mexican Wall and raise you Space Laser Star Wars, your Hispanic judge and raise you a States Rights campaign speech at the Neshoga County Fair, a Muslim takeover of American cities vs a Communist Nicaraguan Invasion of California.) These are the Dittoheads, the Silent Majority, the Heartland. My favorite term is The Tribe That Rubs Shit In Their Hair -

20. ### Ivan SeekingRegistered Senior Member

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This morning I was watching Ryan call for us to come together in our common values, this in regards to the events in Dallas. I couldn't help but think, what common values? You can't support a man like Trump and claim to have values in common with me. Trump has called for the mass murder of innocent people and you are supporting him. We have NO common values. This is not an issue on which reasonable people can disagree.

What happened in Dallas is just a small fraction of the horror Trump wants to rain down on others who are no more guilty than the cops who died in Dallas.

Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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21. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Do Republicans like Ryan really disagree or do they understand the politics and the long-term impacts on the party? People like Ryan think they can control Trump that kind of reminds me of what the German establishment said about Hitler.

22. ### Ivan SeekingRegistered Senior Member

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There is no excuse for supporting a man like Trump. Each person has a responsibility to reject him on moral and Constitutional grounds, and out of basic decency. That supersedes any party loyalties or obligation to the voters. It is time to be a leader and a person.

The man is calling for torture! This is insane!!! AFAIC at this point, the R party is no better than the KKK.

23. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I agree. But unfortunately, that is what the Republican Party has become. I think there has always been a thread of racism in the party, even back in the day of Lincoln. It's just more pronounced and visible now with Trump as the party's presumptive nominee.

But this gets to much larger problem, and that's the lack of leadership within the Republican Party. Those who lead the Republican Party, those who set the agenda, are entertainers. Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Mark Levin, et al. could care less about the welfare of the country. Their concern is with their ratings. Fear mongering, race baiting, and misinformation sells better than the truth and that's a big problem not only for the Republican Party but for the nation as a whole. Elected Republican officials live in fear of offending Republican entertainers like Rush Limbaugh. One would hope that Republican officials would have a modicum of patriotism and integrity, but that doesn't appear to be the case.