January 31, 2016

Why there are so many things with titles like "Why I still believe Donald Trump will never be president."

It's a hard-to-resist link for the many people who are clinging to the belief — rampant last summer but fading ever since — that Donald Trump cannot become president. Clicking on the link won't make his ascendancy any less likely, but it's like clapping for Tinkerbell. You want to believe what you want to believe and the only thing you need to believe — Peter Pan/the link tells you — is that a simple hand gesture from you now as you gape at a screen will make that thing true that you so dearly want to be true. So you click and the thing you help happen is not the thing you want to be true but the increase in the number of things with titles like "Why I still believe Donald Trump will never be president."

That goes to an article at Vox by David Roberts that I have yet to read and that I'll take at its word. Maybe Roberts is lying and just trying to earn clicks for his site, but I'll assume it's really the reasons he scrapes together as he seeks to assure himself that it just cannot happen, Trump cannot become President.

It turns out to be a long article, broken up into parts, the first heading of which is: "Trump has one mode: dominance." To me, that's on its face wrong, because I've seen Trump in a mellow mode, like when he says that he's an educated, nice man who could be politically correct but it would be boring. It wouldn't work at this talk-to-the-base phase of campaigning, especially where a big strategy is to generate social media. I expect Trump's tone to evolve, just as all candidates pivot to the center after they get the nomination. Trump has spent his life working with people, mostly in a private communicative mode. It's absurd to think he doesn't know how to do more subtle things than what we've seen from the podium, aimed at crowds. The amazing thing is that as a novice politician he's done so well at campaign orations. I wouldn't conclude that's the only thing he can do. I'd infer he's good at whatever form of communication is called for under the circumstances.

But let's read what Roberts says:
One of the best things I've read this year about Trump's appeal is by Josh Marshall. It hearkens back to his (legendary in some circles) 2004 post about "bitch-slap politics."
I must inject a side issue: "hearkens back" (or "harkens back") is wrong (though common): “An old sense of the verb hark (which mainly means to listen) was used in hunting with hounds, where the phrase hark back denoted the act of returning along the course taken to recover a lost scent." We're not talking about listening back. Sound, unlike smell, doesn't remain on the trail and can't be traced. So please say hark back or just use normal English like it reminds me of.

Back to Roberts:
Marshall has wisely abandoned that term...
Roberts doesn't go down the rathole of why it was wise, and I'm not going to do his links for him. I'll just guess "bitch-slap" has been deemed offensive to bitches. The dogs are on the loose in this post.
... but the concept behind it has never been more relevant. It's about dominance displays, about showing, rather than arguing, that one's opponent is weak.

It's done not through critique but through attack — personal attack — demonstrating that the target will not or can not defend him or herself. The attack doesn't make the point, it is the point....

Though it makes pundits somewhat uncomfortable to admit it, most voters.... don't know much about "issues" and don't have well-defined political philosophies.... They are reading the subtext, attuned to who's aggressive and who's defensive, who's strong and who's weak, who seems like a leader and who doesn't.

Trump instinctively gets this. His innovation, if you can call it that, is to abandon the text altogether, bringing the subtext to the surface. "Toughness" is no longer a side dish, it's the main dish, the only dish. Trump will win because Trump wins. It's a post-truth, post-substance campaign, affect from top to bottom.
That's overstatement, but even if it were true, it wouldn't mean Trump is permanently stuck in that mode. It would mean that he has correctly discerned what works at this stage. If more policy particularity is what will work at a different stage, I would expect him to figure that out and get some policies. Do you think it's hard to elaborate policies at whatever level of particularity is needed? He's in a better position to do that if he hasn't nailed himself down.

Speaking of particularity, I'm going to be writing this post all day if I continue at this level of particularity. And the Sunday shows are on now. Let me just tell you the rest of the headings: "Trump's shtick is a wild success ... among a certain subset of voters," "But the road to an election is too long to have only one gear," and "Trump's approach is not an act that he can turn on and off at will." I haven't read the details, but I feel that I've already essentially already responded to them in discussing "Trump has one mode." It seems our Vox writer has one mode, saying Trump has one mode.

What if Roberts's project had been to soothe readers who wanted to believe that Hillary Clinton will never be President? That could be done too. And yet somebody's going to have to be President. Roberts has a footnote at the end of his article. I have to go searching for the text with the asterisk. It's in the second paragraph: "Absent extreme and unlikely circumstances*, Trump will never be president." The footnote is:
* I can think of two scenarios that would fit the bill. One, Trump faces Clinton and, late in the race, something happens to render Clinton unelectable. Two, Trump faces Sanders and Bloomberg jumps in, splitting the left vote and throwing the election to Trump.

Both seem highly unlikely to me, the first because Clinton is already the most intensely vetted figure in US politics, the second because Sanders is unlikely to win the primary.
And if that's reassuring enough to the readers who are sweetly clinging to their belief that Donald Trump can never ever ever be President, then, here, you need a lullaby:

147 comments:

Unknown said...

What happened to the "aversion to politics" subtitle on the Althouse blog? Trump may be successful because he appeals to people with that aversion, myself included.

Ann Althouse said...

"What happened to the "aversion to politics" subtitle on the Althouse blog?"

That hasn't been there for at least 5 years I don't think.

Thanks for being an old timer!

My secret is not to write until I'm interested in something and then only to write about the aspects that interest me. I have a lifelong aversion to politics, and writing about it the way I do is my defense to what would be bothering me more if I kept silent.

Another slogan of mine is "nothing is a high standard." There are many other things I could write, such as attending to the latest stories about Hillary's email, but they've all been rated worse than nothing.

fivewheels said...

"I'll just guess 'bitch-slap' has been deemed offensive to bitches."

Here on the 31st, I'm going to award that Sentence of the Month on this blog.

AReasonableMan said...

I have to say you Republicans take this shit seriously. The comment sections over on Breitbart and RedState are amazingly vitriolic. There was nothing like this on the Dem side, even at the peak of the Obama/Clinton primary. The opposing sides were definitely testy with each other but very restrained compared to Trump/Cruz supporters, who are letting it all hang out.

DavidD said...

If Clinton is not unelectable now, she never will be.

If Clinton is not unelectable, nobody is.

madAsHell said...

There was nothing like this on the Dem side

It's difficult to write vitriolic comments from the grave.

samanthasmom said...

AReasonableMan, you must have been on another planet during the 2008 election. Or been an Obama supporter. The Obamabots ran a good chunk of Hillary's supporters out of the Democratic Party. A lot of them for good. We haven't seen anything like that vitriol yet.

gspencer said...

A story about a DJT title,

So, I was walking through the shopping mall the other day and I saw it had a new tenant, an “Islamic Book Store.” I was wondering what exactly was in an Muslim bookstore, so I went in.

As I was wandered looking around, the clerk stopped me and asked if he could help me.

I imagine I didn’t look like his normal customers, so I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s book on his U.S. Immigration Policy regarding Muslims and illegal Mexicans?”

The clerk said, “F**k off, get out and stay out!”

I said, “Yes, yes, that’s the name of the book. Do you have it in stock?”

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If Clinton is not unelectable, nobody is.

As someone who had a security clearance while in the US Army, I am amazed at the response of Hillary partisans to the email revelations. To me they seem to be delusional. Of course what she did was criminal. It was certainly negligent.

Also, what possible reason could she have for having a personal email server that would justify the additional risk of exposing the inner communications of the Secretary of State to espionage, even if she was not transmitting classified information. Which she was.

David Begley said...

AA thinks Trump will change in the future. Don't count on it.

AReasonableMan said...

samanthasmom said...
The Obamabots ran a good chunk of Hillary's supporters out of the Democratic Party.


This is obviously not true. Clinton supporters made up half of the party and Obama won in a landslide. The Clinton/Obama sides were very evenly matched throughout the campaign. You could argue that because of this they were more respectful because they knew they needed each other in the end. You can't argue that they took a 'take no prisoners' attitude.

Ann Althouse said...

"I have to say you Republicans take this shit seriously. The comment sections over on Breitbart and RedState are amazingly vitriolic. There was nothing like this on the Dem side, even at the peak of the Obama/Clinton primary."

All the nice people are Democrats. In fact, if you want to be considered nice, pretend to be a Democrat. It's the best approach.

As I keep saying, the Trump supporters are (mostly) in the closet. You don't know that you know them.

That is to say, those nice people are observing silence. You don't know what they think... other than that they want you to think they are nice.

Oh, I suppose some of them actually are nice.

Was it nice to call other people "amazingly vitriolic"?

I don't know. It's so easy to lose one's status as nice person.

Best to shut up all the time.

As I said: Nothing is a high standard.

Scott Gustafson said...

I suspect that someone is being misunderestimated again.

Ann Althouse said...

Better than nothing... perhaps an unattainable high.

MaxedOutMama said...

The more articles or columns I read like this the more I believe that Trump is likely to be the next president.

Deep in denial is not a winning strategy.

I liked this post - I thought it was insightful. Trump is anything but a one-mode person. He is goal-oriented.

If one just looks at the debates, one can see that Trump was often in anything but dominance mode.

Trump reminds of Truman.

MaxedOutMama said...

"reminds ME" of Truman. More coffee!!!

Shouting Thomas said...

Masculinity is, in large part, Trump's message.

It's getting through to you.

Feminism is a suicide pact. I think you're beginning to understand, although the indoctrination in that idiot religion is so deep that you will struggle not to give it up. Events in Western Europe will, I think, continue to wear away at your adherence to the idiot religion.

You and Paglia are quite a pair. Her job is to explain "normal human behavior" to pedants made stupid by feminist indoctrination. It's kinda hilarious that you need that, isn't it?

Go ahead. Correct my grammar or spelling. It's a good distancing technique. But, remember... I have three sisters and I know all the female strategies. You haven't got any new ones to play on me.

Laslo Spatula said...

People, they are Jealous of Pimps and The Life: that's just the way it is.

Sure, they'll use phrases like 'bitch-slap' when they know they ain't never could do it none: a Perfect Bitch-Slap is a thing of Beauty. Yet most of these people don't know a Bitch-Slap from a Pimp-Slap, much less when to use one or the other.

For those who Don't Live the Life, a bitch-slap is open-handed, while a pimp-slap is the back of the hand. If you don't know when to use the right tool you ain't no mechanic, and Pimps ARE Mechanics -- we turn that Wrench that tightens what needs to be tightened and loosens what needs to be loosened, you feel me?

Now, I suppose you could use the side of the hand, too, but then that starts to be that Chinese Kung Fu Shit, and that's a whole lot of something else. Me, I never deal with no Chinese bitches, I keep my Stable chocolate and vanilla.

Now, if you use the term 'bitch-slap' but you ain't never actually slapped no bitch, that pretty much means YOU'RE a Bitch, and I'd school you up right now if you was in front of me: never Front to a Pimp.

There ain't no such Shit as a Post-Modern Pimp.

I am Laslo.

MaxedOutMama said...

ARM - I hang out on DU a lot. You are delusional. If the Sanders/Clinton factions could shoot each other, they would. Tactical nukes would be welcomed with open arms.

This is very, very hot and angry on the Democratic ground, which is where it counts. That the media isn't participating doesn't mean crap.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've got no problem with Trump becoming president.

The restoration of the Christian patriarchy is quickly become a matter of survival.

He's a step in the right direction.

David said...

Think "Peace in our Time." Everybody wishes for something.

rich hahn said...

Trump has some of the most brilliant people in the world working for his businesses. Is it any surprise that he listens to them?

His persona, his attacks, his grandstanding are all part of a brilliantly designed strategy that he is implementing to perfection.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Was it nice to call other people "amazingly vitriolic"?


Have you actually read the comment sections over on Breitbart and RedState? I have and this phrase is a fair description. Not making any value judgements, I find this shit funny, but it is brutal.

David said...

samanthasmom said...
The Obamabots ran a good chunk of Hillary's supporters out of the Democratic Party.


They tried but failed. Where would the Clintonistas go? Their identity, and in many cases their economic livelihood, is completely intertwined with the Democratic Party and Federal Power. That rambunctious world of competition and different ideas is too scary for them.

AReasonableMan said...

MaxedOutMama said...
I hang out on DU a lot.


Not sure what DU is so can't comment. I do check out Daily Kos every now and then and they don't seem all that agitated to me. But, in that case, you could argue that this because Bernie has no chance and is not actually a Democrat.

Henry said...

Why there are so many things with titles like "Why I still believe Donald Trump will never be president."

Because the art of headline writing is dead.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, we're seeing the long term unintended consequences of feminism play out in Europe, prof.

What do you think will be the long term unintended consequences of gay marriage and glorifying gaydom?

Hard to say, isn't it? You don't understand the role of tradition and custom until you destroy it, do you? It's kinda invisible and looks to be completely arbitrary to utterly brilliant intellectuals.

Michael K said...

"ARM - I hang out on DU a lot. You are delusional."

ARM is not interested in facts that don't support his opinions. Like so many on the left, he thinks Hillary is just fine and all these people worried about secrets on Hillary's server are just mouthing Republican talking points. Who would be interested in some nasty spies address and telephone numbers ?

Obama beat Hillary unexpectedly because she is an incompetent campaigner and did not plan for a long campaign. It never occurred to her that someone more attractive to the far left would appear and ruin her coronation. Sanders is doing it now. He is an even more absurd candidate than a half-black community organizer but he says what the ignorant, uneducated Democrat base wants to hear.

Trump is still not my choice but I think he will ride the worries about immigration and the Muslim invasion to the convention.

Has anyone seen Frederson since I provided the links a couple of days ago to prove that over 400,000 Muslims have been imported by Obama since 2010?

Craig R said...

Althouse,

You are killing it with this post and in the comments. What you write on a daily basis is so much more true and thought-provoking than the other stuff out there.

I've been reading for over 10 years now, and I just want to say thanks for doing what you do.

Michael K said...

"You don't understand the role of tradition and custom until you destroy it, do you? "

I don;t always agree with you, ST but that is right on.

Richard Fernandez makes the same point in detail.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
ARM is not interested in facts that don't support his opinions.


As a moderate, this is because there aren't any. I was going to call you a senile old fool but I don't want this comment section to descend into the Breitbartian/Ericksonian hell that I have observed elsewhere. As a consequence - dear sir, I believe you to be mistaken.

Paul said...

Scott Adams talks about Trump's exceptional talent stack. Althouse is right in suspecting he is more multi dimensional and sophisticated than his detractors think.

Michael K said...

" I was going to call you a senile old fool"

I don't see a fact here. Not unexpected.

bwebster said...

Had I world enough and time, I would go back and see what the pundits were saying about Ronald Reagan at about this point in the 1980 presidential campaign, because I suspect you would see a lot of the same arguments. Reagan was being portrayed as a has-been B-movie actor whose main claim to fame was starring opposite a chimp in "Bedtime for Bonzo". The "real" race was seen as being between incumbent Presidenbt Jimmy Carter and Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was challenging him for the Dem nomination. (Hint; Reagan won.)

I'm not a Trump supporter, but the historian in me finds the current situation fascinating. Both political parties have lost control of the nomination process, though for different reasons. I can well see Trump winning the GOP nomination, and since I fully expect to see HRC indicted -- or dropping out of the race in exchange for not being indicted -- I think the Dem nominee will be either Sanders or Biden. The DNC would prefer Biden, but I think they have waited too long to make that switch now.

Note: I have held a Secret clearance in the past, and I have two close friends who have Top Secret clearances now. Trust me when I say the e-mail issue is not some GOP fever dream. It is, in fact, vastly more serious than most people realize, particularly if it is true that SAP-level HUMINT info was involved. The FBI does not assign 100+ agents to a case that is GOP wishful thinking.

Anglelyne said...

Craig R: I've been reading for over 10 years now, and I just want to say thanks for doing what you do.

Second that. Thanks for your hard work maintaining this sandbox, and letting us play here, year after year.

AllenS said...

Even if Hillary! is indicted (but she won't be) she will not drop out of the race. Obama and his inner circle are just as complicit in this email story, and they can't afford to prosecute her.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"I expect Trump's tone to evolve, just as all candidates pivot to the center after they get the nomination."

Somebody please tell me when and where Obama pivoted to the center after he was nominated?

samanthasmom said...

David, there's a reason there are more independents today than there were in 2008. The "Where were they going to go?" dismissal was a part of it. Since 2008 membership in the Republican Party has been pretty stable, but the percentage of people registered as Democrats has dropped. Lots of reasons for that, and chasing Hillary's supporters out is one of them. She helped it along herself, and that's part of the reason she's not getting all of them back this time around.

Michael K said...

"Both political parties have lost control of the nomination process, though for different reasons. "

Yes and it's about time.

However, Hillary will be protected by ;leftist women in the administration.

The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries.

“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private e-mail server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview. “How else was she supposed to do business without e-mail?”


And

“This totally eliminates the false premise that she got nothing marked classified,” Krongard said. “She’s hiding behind this defense. But they [e-mails] had to be classified, because otherwise [the information in them] wouldn’t be on the SIPRNet.”

Added Krongard: “She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus.”


Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.

For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.


He predicts a plea bargain but will that still kill her campaign? That depends on whereto Democrats are willing to ignore national security completely.

I don't know. Maybe ARM could tell us.

AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Michael K said...
I don't know. Maybe ARM could tell us.


I could, but in an Althousian spirit of niceness I decline to divulge any spoilers to anyone who has not seen this movie play out several times already.

tim maguire said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
MaxedOutMama said...
I hang out on DU a lot.

Not sure what DU is so can't comment.


Then you don't know enough to make the statements you're making.

Michael said...

"There was nothing like this on the Dem side, even at the peak of the Obama/Clinton primary."

Gee, Bushitler remembers otherwise.

Big Mike said...

... late in the race, something happens to render Clinton unelectable. [emphasis mine]

Late in the race? Did David Roberts really write that? Placing codeword material on an unsecured Email server is about as seriously illegal as one can get this side of homicide. For the benefit of those of you who aren't aware, Top Secret codeword information is as far above ordinary Top Secret as, well, Bill Gates' fortune is above mine. Apparently Roberts is either delusional or willfully ignorant. Or perhaps he thinks putting information that exposes America's most sensitive secrets onto a server that any fourteen year old boy could crack (much less adversarial nations) is a mere peccadillo.

Hillary Clinton is unelectable. So is Sanders. Deep down inside Democrats seem to be telling Republicans to please nominate someone who can fix the past seven years' disaster. As it's looking more and more like Trump, I sure hope he can fix it.

Michael K said...

"anyone who has not seen this movie play out several times already."

Yes, Adam Clayton Powell might have been the first. Then there was Alcee Hastings.

Democrats have no problem voting for criminals. J Michael Curley was re-elected from prison and another Democrat was re-elected from prison recently.

Traficant was another, of course. Yes, ARM knows his Democrats.

grimson said...

The latest 2-week Gallup poll (ending 1/27, nationwide) has Trump with a 60% unfavorable rating, and 33% favorable. Trump is a persuasive genius, just like his video linked to yesterday was amusing.

AReasonableMan said...

tim maguire said...
Then you don't know


This would be a good argument if 'DU' were the only place where Democrats gather to engage in their socialist congress. Unfortunately for this argument, there are an apparently endless number of sites on the interwebs where they openly scheme and plot the downfall of the USA. It would seem unlikely that 'DU' is notably different to any of these other halls of hackery.

tim maguire said...

Voting starts tomorrow and our beautiful airtight speculation will be contaminated by ugly bits of reality.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
Gee, Bushitler remembers otherwise.


You moved the goal posts. They really hated Bush. Hell, by the end I hated Bush, the incompetent motherfucker ran the country into the ground. Still, in the spirit of Althousian niceness, I understand he is pleasant company.

tim maguire said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
tim maguire said...
Then you don't know

This would be a good argument if 'DU' were the only place where Democrats gather to engage in their socialist congress.


Are you paying attention to your own argument? You said there's nothing on the left like Breitbart. Somebody pointed out there was. Now you're trying to claim they're not all like Breitbart? Well, true, but also meaningless.

tim maguire said...


Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Michael said...
Gee, Bushitler remembers otherwise.

You moved the goal posts. They really hated Bush.


I guess you don't pay attention to your own argument. Somebody's moving the goalpost, that much is sure.

AReasonableMan said...

tim maguire said...
I guess you don't pay attention to your own argument.


No, you are just tracking poorly. I was referring to the internecine Trump/Cruz struggle, which would be analogous to the Obama/Clinton struggle. I take it as a given that both sides hate Bush/Obama with a blinding passion.

Edward Lunny said...

" Also, what possible reason could she have for having a personal email server that would justify the additional risk of exposing the inner communications of the Secretary of State to espionage, even if she was not transmitting classified information. Which she was."


To avoid a record of her communications, witness the elimination of " personal " e-mails. To undermine the US ala Obama. For money, and, lastly because she's a Clinton and doesn't give a flying f**k about this country or the citizens thereof.

Oso Negro said...

Professor, you are welcome to believe six impossible things before breakfast, but to believe that Trump will be President, we must first believe two difficult things. The first is that the Republicans, who generally split between a moderate wing and a conservative wing will be pleased to nominate Donald Trump. The moderate center likes a Mitt Romney or a George Bush, calm and deliberate, but this time, fire-breathing Trump is their very heart's desire. On the other side, we have the ideological conservatives who will in all likelihood abandon Ted Cruz to vote for a New York squish because he is so fucking awesome. Second is the general election, where there will be a candidate who is just as serious to get elected or more so than The Donald. But probably all the illegals have just needed a candidate like Trump to call them on their border jumping bullshit. This does, of course, fly in the face of received wisdom about the political peril of dissing brown. But no matter, Drudge is reporting Trump giving a free pony to all children and pulling 130% of the vote.

SteveR said...

After what happened in 2008, can anyone be surprised? "Hey lets vote for him, he's inexperienced and unqualified but he talks well with a teleprompter. Change Baby!"

Sage Klubb said...

ARM's contention that all facts support his views and that of course makes him a "moderate" is fairly typical of the far left these days. It's the whole Stephen Colbert crock, "reality has a well-known liberal bias", which really means "I'm liberal, so everything I happen to hallucinate at any particular moment is reality". He will accept as reality nothing that conflicts with his delusions, so of course if those things are not accepted by him as a part of reality, they don't exist. Reality that conflicts with leftist delusion must be, by definition, delusion.

It's clear that his definition of vitriol is typical of the far left's, too, meaning that anything ugly they say is simply "the truth", but you're just being ugly when you're being ugly. This is a close cousin to "dissent is highest form of patriotism" unless you're dissenting with us, in which case we'll sic the IRS on you and promote "campaign funding reform" as a method to defund opposition.

He really should educate himself about DU, DemocraticUnderground. Not that DailyKos isn't a cesspool, but on DU you'll actually find Democrats calling to have other people put in prison for believing the wrong things, and even having Republicans lined up against the wall and shot--seriously--because they accept the "vitriol-free" accusations by their political leaders that Republicans are literally destroying the planet, starving children, etc. If what their own leaders said was true, of course it would make perfect sense to have Republicans put to death in public executions. This is simply a reflection of how big and consistent their own lies to themselves are.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...

I have to say you Republicans take this shit seriously. The comment sections over on Breitbart and RedState are amazingly vitriolic. There was nothing like this on the Dem side, even at the peak of the Obama/Clinton primary. The opposing sides were definitely testy with each other but very restrained compared to Trump/Cruz supporters, who are letting it all hang out.

1/31/16, 8:44 AM "

Thank you for your yeoman's work. I rarely ever read the comments at those sites or most other sites, left or right for the very reason you mentioned. Its one of the reasons this blog is such a pleasure. Most other blogs one reads for the the thread, this blog often times the comments are the reason to read the thread.

Hershblogger said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Also, what possible reason could she have for having a personal email server that would justify the additional risk of exposing the inner communications of the Secretary of State to espionage, even if she was not transmitting classified information. Which she was.

Hiding the corrupt links between her position as SecState and the Clinton Foundation? I'm quite sure all those emails were deleted as "personal."

Sage Klubb said...

For ARM's benefit, here are Democrats against Hillary talking about "the evil that she's done", seriously trashing her based on her associations with Walmart and David Brock, and the support of policies they despise.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511101627

The commenters--Clinton supporters vs Sanders supporters--start accusing each other of being "right wingers", the worst insult imaginable among leftists. Feel the Bern: "Hurting the middle class by making deals with the devil just so you can get ahead makes you evil in my book." As is their habit on that very Democratic board, the people who disagree rush to plea with the moderators to ban everything they don't want to hear. But they can't because the Sanders supporters *believe* their contentions are true, which is the standard.

There is of course a huge vein of leftist Democrat which loathes and despises the DNC as sellouts, and have hurled vitriol at "moderate" Democrats for years. Actual moderate Democrats, like Joe Lieberman, get targeted and destroyed.

traditionalguy said...

The major shift in politics is not coming from Dems and educated classes switching over to the GOP. They are switching over to Trump.

Trump is clearly the electable non-socialist for the Dems and educated classes who had to support the Obama disaster. That factor is what has Senor Cruz spitting mad at The Donald. By scoffing up those voters Trump has made a pure Conservative test suddenly irrelevant.

And Trump has personally bonded with the WASP middle class who just trust the man and could care less whether The Pure Consevatives Cabal or some traditional Democrats get bragging rights for his success. All Americans can get a share of the bragging rights by supporting a man as good and smart as The Donald. There is no downside in that.



.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I've been hanging out at Lefty websites for their comedic value since the early years of the Internet and I found ARM's 8:44 comment hilarious. From Pacifica to Clinton/Sanders, Democrats are always up for a purge. Equally hilarious was ARM's insinuation that Democrat presidents are elected by thoughtful partisans unifying for the cause, rather than the money of billionaires and the votes of scroungers. Most middle-class Democrats don't realize the party they joined in their youth has been hollowed out.

walter said...

Trump fellating Iowans on ethanol subsidies doesn't seem "dominant"..maybe it's a "nuanced" tease.

AReasonableMan said...

Sage Klubb said...
ARM's contention that all facts support his views and that of course makes him a "moderate" is fairly typical of the far left these days


Because you appear to be new here I am going to cut you some slack. If you had actually followed the discussion you would see I was responding to Michael K. He is not a serious person. He is only here to irritate the few vaguely liberal posters that he can find on this site, and when none of them show up he tries to irritate me. In the spirit of Althousian niceness, I am going to concede that I actually have grown quite fond of him. Our very own Colonel Blimp.

cubanbob said...


Paul said...

Scott Adams talks about Trump's exceptional talent stack. Althouse is right in suspecting he is more multi dimensional and sophisticated than his detractors think.
1/31/16, 10:16 AM "

I'm amazed that the obvious isn't obvious to most. It helps to remember that above all else Trump has made his career out of being a salesman in addition to being a CEO. Besides having a product that is commercial, the pitch has to be credible and appealing to the prospective buyer and for that the CEO has to know his market. So far, Trump has gotten this far which almost all of the conventional wisdom would said can't happen, so while I'm not convinced he can win, given the likely opposition as of now he would be facing if he were the nominee its even more difficult imagining him losing.

cubanbob said...

"Note: I have held a Secret clearance in the past, and I have two close friends who have Top Secret clearances now. Trust me when I say the e-mail issue is not some GOP fever dream. It is, in fact, vastly more serious than most people realize, particularly if it is true that SAP-level HUMINT info was involved. The FBI does not assign 100+ agents to a case that is GOP wishful thinking.

1/31/16, 10:30 AM:

bwebster is spot on. This is huge, way, way, way beyond Watergate. Fortunately for Obama this investigation started too late to have forced him to resign like what happened to Nixon. Plus he has his race privileged. As for Hillary, as of now I doubt she will be prosecuted and sent to prison (which she so richly deserves)but she will be either forced to drop out soon or be so badly damaged as to be undetectable. The next president will have a DoJ that will prosecute all of the smaller fish (like Watergate)so Obama will have to issue pardons wholesale. Question for our hostess and other commenters who are lawyers, can pardons be revoked?

The Cracker Emcee said...

Sage,

Excellent 12:15 post on liberal delusion. And then ARM shows up to reinforce your point! Usually wrong but always gracious, God bless him.

MikeR said...

Throughout I have been fascinated by Democrats who think that it is incredibly unlikely that Clinton will turn out to be unelectable. Amazing. It makes absolutely no difference what the news is about her email services, they simply will not pay attention until the FBI recommends indictment.
Will that happen? How should I know? From the stories, it sounds fairly likely, but they could of course decide not to and there would be no resource. How should I know? But how should these liberals know either? They have no more idea than me.
If the FBI recommends indictment, I would assume as a simplest case that Clinton's candidacy is immediately doomed. Democratic establishment will pretty immediately assume that she is indeed unelectable.
But till then, heads in the sand everyone!

cubanbob said...

Hillary Clinton is unelectable. So is Sanders. Deep down inside Democrats seem to be telling Republicans to please nominate someone who can fix the past seven years' disaster. As it's looking more and more like Trump, I sure hope he can fix it.

1/31/16, 11:32 AM"

Big Mike at the topmost level of the still rational part of the DNC that is probably true. I suspect the shit is so bad that the GOPe also doesn't really want to win either.
Each side I suspect secretly wants to dodge the bullet that the next term will bring and be instead in a place to be able to blame the other party. This election is getting weirder and weirder. An election where both parties elders want to lose but obviously can't admit it so they go through the motions. Jeb and Hillary were supposed to be the sacrificial lambs.

Bay Area Guy said...

It would be fitting to have a Trump v Sanders general election.

The GOP base is sick of their ruling elites who simply allow big government to grow and grow, albeit at a slightly slower pace than the Dems.

The Dem base, if strapped to lie detector tests', would buy what Old Socialist Bernie is selling. They think the American game is rigged. However, they generally understand that coming out as a socialist is a political death knell, so they temper their voice.

Trump v Sanders; capitalism v socialism; creation of wealth v redistribution of wealth; loud and ostentatious v gritty and concerned.

I'd go for Trump.

AReasonableMan said...

The Cracker Emcee said...
Excellent 12:15 post on liberal delusion.


Small children also love to hear the same story over and over again.

eric said...

After reading through the comments here, maybe ARM is the guy who is writing all these articles about Trump never becoming President. He's just as delusional.

chickelit said...

Bay Area Guy said...It would be fitting to have a Trump v Sanders general election.

I think Meade predicted that several months ago, here in the comments somewhere.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

The thing you need to realize about Unreasonable Bitch, is that he isn't writing to convince you, he is writing to try and convince himself.

I predict another one of his meltdowns and mass comment deletion freakouts to be coming in the near future.

AReasonableMan said...

President-Mom-Jeans said...
The thing you need to realize ...


Thank God, you are still alive. I had heard that the charges were the last straw for you poor heart. I know you only have the strength to post occasionally but, from everyone here at the Althouse blog, know that you have our best wishes, both with the trial and your continuing medical interventions.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Yawn.

What charges would those be, oh wise and all knowing "moderate"?

The only charges that I have been involved with was my recent payment of two dollars and fifty cents to your whore of a mother.

AReasonableMan said...

You are so brave. As you drift in an out of consciousness I want you to know the pure love of friendship that we all feel for you in your last, darkest hours.



Ron Winkleheimer said...

Note: I have held a Secret clearance in the past, and I have two close friends who have Top Secret clearances now. Trust me when I say the e-mail issue is not some GOP fever dream. It is, in fact, vastly more serious than most people realize, particularly if it is true that SAP-level HUMINT info was involved. The FBI does not assign 100+ agents to a case that is GOP wishful thinking.

I was in a unit where someone used interoffice mail to send a secret document to someone. He ended up reduced a pay grade, and was lucky that was all that happened to him. Oh, and his career was over too. No point in re-upping. No way he was ever going to get promoted after that.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Hell, I work for a private company now and one of my duties is disapproving requests for access to certain resources if they apply using non-company email addresses.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

At one of my duty stations I set the encryption key on an encryption machine. The keys were housed in a canister that looked like a 35MM film roll. They were delivered every 30 days and each held a different key for every 24 hour period on a piece of paper tape that you would pull out of the canister,

I would set the key on the machine, a computer job would be ran, and the resulting data set would be transmitted to the pentagon over land lines via the encryption machine. Once used the paper tape had to be destroyed (either burned or put in a blender with water and turned into a pulp which would then be flushed.)

Anyway, even though I was responsible for setting up the data encryption, I never knew anything about the job being run, because that is how compartmentalization works.

If I had so much as disposed of the paper tape by throwing it in the trash, even after it was no longer valid because it was expired, I could have been prosecuted and sent to jail for gross negligence. Also, the paper tape did not have classification markings on it, those were on the canister it was printed on. That did not make the paper tape unclassified just because it was removed from the canister.

chickelit said...

With all this talk "dominance" by Donald Trump, I'm a bit surprised that the corresponding "submission" has been left out. Perhaps Laslo can jiggle our memmories.

And wasn't there a recent surge in popularity (in some circles) for fantasy novels and movies with that theme? "Shifty Grades Of Fey"?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The canister was stored in a vault and every time anyone accessed the vault you had to sign in. Accessing the canister required signing an additional log. You also had to attest (in writing) that you had destroyed the tape with details including the time and method.

But if you are Secretary of State, you get to handle classified information according to your feelz.

walter said...

Trump vs Sanders
Great stuff vs Free stuff

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In Korea when running jobs on just sensitive (not classified) information we would shut doors to prevent NK from attempting to detect electromagnetic emanations that could be used to derive the data we were generating.

http://all.net/edu/curr/ip/Chap5-3.html

But hey, when your Hillary K its all good.

wildswan said...

Hillary's husband got away with raping women and seducing under-age interns in the Oval Office with a cigar. It's like a Lazlo fever dream but it happened. So Hillary has betrayed the United States ... so? It's just the Clintons stepping up their game, bitch-slapping the FBI.

But why do the Democrats do nothing. If you look at the mainstream media, you can see that most Democrats and a lot of Republicans probably don't know that Hillary exposed national security secrets because they accept lies from the mainstream on the issue. They don't distrust the mainstream. Also the stories in the mainstream are confusing. And Democrats don't go outside their bubble and check the important stories by hearing the other side. In short they are narrow and gullible and they project these qualities into Republicans. Hillary protected a rapist, took bribes, betrayed national security and assisted Planned Parenthood in a genocide against the blacks but the important point, if you are a Democrat, is that Donald Trump has comb-over because that's what the mainstream talks about.

Michael K said...

" I was responding to Michael K. He is not a serious person. "

ARM is really getting bitchy. Are you having a personal crisis ARM?

When I post a comment disagreeing with someone, I usually include a link to substantiate what I am posting.

Have you ever done so ?

garage even posts links although they often don't agree with his point.

walter said...

You know, wildswan..the jokes about the Donald's hair have err..receded.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
I usually include a link to substantiate what I am posting.


I didn't need to, you had already posted here, thereby establishing my point. And, I know you miss garage. I feel your pain.

Bruce Hayden said...

For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

He predicts a plea bargain but will that still kill her campaign? That depends on whereto Democrats are willing to ignore national security completely.


The problem for Obama is that this isn't a checkers game. There have been repeated rumors that the FBI director and several of his top assistants would resign if their criminal referral were not taken seriously. We are talking Nixonian Friday Night Massacre level response here. Why? Because if the DoJ doesn't indict and try Hillary for her email shenanigans, as well as maybe for public corruption for selling foreign policy for money for her husband and for the foundation that now bears her name (as well as Bill's an Chelsea's), then it will be hard to prosecute anyone else for mishandling national secrets. I expect that this is a serious possibility even if Hillary takes a sweetheart plea deal from the DoJ - if they find what we think that they have found, then the FBI is going to want a felony prosecution, and will react accordingly if they don't get it. Also, I expect that much of their case will be leaked to the public if they don't get their indictment. This would be high profile enough that even Obama and his cabal of female enablers (above) would think twice. And, happening his last year in office, could easily color his legacy. And, if they do resign, then much of however much she gained through no felony prosecution would be lost in regards to the election - I fully expect that the Republican nominee would push this unmercifully (well, to be fair, they would anyway).

Big Mike said...

@wildswan, you ask why the Democrats do nothing? Silly bird! Democrats pass laws for other people to obey. Democrat politicians only obey the laws they feel like obeying.

Chuck said...

Althouse presumes that what Trump is doing "is working." She's not alone, and certainly not foolish, in thinking so.

The thinking is that Trump's numbers in the Republican horse-race polls prove that he is in fact winning the race. Again, I am not saying it is foolish to rest on that notion. But there is all kinds of polling. And then there is voting. And in the end, there is a national general election.

John McCormack at the Weekly Standard has another take, and it has been given the provocative headline, "Why the Fourth Most Popular Candidate in Iowa is in First Place." I commend it to all who are interested in the Republican race. That is, all who want a Republican to win in November. (Not sure if Althouse is in that category; there may be some who can't say if they are for the Republican until they know who the Republican and Democrat nominees are. I have a hard time understanding that, but it's a free country.)

Anyway, here's John McCormack:
"The poll found that Trump would lose a two-man race against Cruz by 18 points--53 percent to 35 percent. Close to a majority of Iowa caucusgoers (48 percent) have become less comfortable with Trump winning the GOP nomination. And the largest percentage of caucusgoers (37 percent) said the nomination of Trump would be "not OK" with them. (Just 20 percent said the same of Cruz and 15 percent said the same of Rubio.)"

Hagar said...

The FBI did not make any recommendations about Watergate either; they just dribbled the information out to The Washington Post via Woodstein.
That channel won't do for Clinton, Inc. really dirty linen, but I am sure they will find a way.

Michael K said...

"I didn't need to,"

My sympathy, ARM. Whatever it is I hope you are over it soon.

Fabi said...

Chuck's a condescending prick. Film at 11:00.

Chuck said...

An open question, to anyone who is interested... I am not picking on anybody, but just looking for discussion...

It has been raised in many sectors, that the Trump '16 candidacy is not unlike the Reagan '80 candidacy, insofar as a "Republican establishment" sought to foil Reagan.

I ask: What is the evidence of that?

The 1980 Republican convention was in my hometown of Detroit. I remember it well, and I attended lots of the related functions. I helped entertain the Montana delegation. And, I had just returned that spring from an undergraduate year abroad where I worked for a Tory member of the British Parliament and I had been in the House of Commons office building (Norman Shaw North) the evening of the historic no-confidence vote that led to the election of Mrs. Thatcher.

I recall a primary race that was very competitive, with George W. Bush eventually losing to Reagan and then immediately becoming the VP nominee in a significant unity move. The others in the race were Howard Baker, the famed Tennessee senator; John Anderson, the gadlfly moderate who was eventually rejected by the Republican party; John Connally, who threatened to win many of the southern primaries before folding; Phil Crane, the rural Illinois congressman; Jack Kemp and Bob Dole, in what turned out to be practice runs before 1996; and Senator Lowell Weicker, running on the far left of the Republican party and getting crushed.

Reagan won, by running the best campaign and winning the most votes. I simply do no recall any Republican "establishment" giving him a hard time.

Reagan sewed up the nomination early, long before the convention. Reagan basically never went negative on fellow Republicans. He had considerable credibility, having finished second in the contested primary of then-President Gerald Ford's campaign to hold office in 1976. Despite the fact that Reagan hurt Ford pretty badly in that primary (Jimmy Carter then won the general), the Republican "establishment" never held it against Reagan. Republicans have a pretty strong history of rewarding the guy who finished second in a primary race with the nomination the next time around. Reagan was no exception.

chickelit said...

@chuck: All that Republican naming dropping makes you sound incredibly well-connected to the Republican establishment. No wonder you're so angry and disappointed about Trump.

Fabi said...

George W. Bush was Reagan's VP nominee? Don't tell his Dad!

Drago said...

Chuck: "Reagan won, by running the best campaign and winning the most votes."

It's astonishing that with incisive and insightful observations such as the above that Chuck does not have his own successful blog.

Once again a uniquely great talent goes unnoticed.

Chuck said...

Fabi, I am only condescending when it comes to Trump. I think I am smarter than Trump, and probably smarter than most who support Trump. I think Trump supporters are some combination of weird/disaffected/emotional/ignorant.

I think Trump is a real prick; perhaps a slightly sociopathic prick. I realize that many intelligent and well-adjusted people have said that Trump can be very friendly in private. I couldn't argue that point; whatever.

The funny thing is that if Trump is the nominee, I will vote for him. I'll do that, because I am a good and loyal Republican. I'm a better Republican, than anybody who says that she or he withheld her or his vote from Mitt Romney because he somehow wasn't conservative enough, or wasn't Republican enough. Even Ann Coulter didn't do that.

I'll vote for Trump if he is the nominee because I can't imagine voting for a candidate based on my own view of a candidate's "character" or personal qualities. My own view on that means nothing. Party is 99% of what I need to know about a politician. Because 90% of policy is party. If you don't like that, sorry. Pick a politician; preferably someone in whom you have a voting interest. Se how often she or he votes with the party majority.

I think the real battle in 2016 will be for Republicans to hold the Senate. And Donald Trump, I expect, will not help Florida Republicans or Ohio Republicans or Nevada Republicans win a very tough seat. It is probably beyond hope, to think that Republicans could ever win 60 seats in 2016, given what they need to defend and make up in the Class III Senate grouping. We could actually LOSE three seats; Rubio's in Florida, Johnson's in Wisconsin and Kirk's in Illinois. The Tea Party maniacs who think that they can just have their way in Washington in 2016, with the Dems holding 47 or 48 senate seats, are hallucinating. Even a President Trump will need to make deals. Deals like the ones that have made the Tea Party loathe Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
George W. Bush was Reagan's VP nominee? Don't tell his Dad!


lol! I can't believe I wrote that. I went back and checked; I sure did.

George H.W. Bush; thanks for the correction.

Drago said...

chuck: "Despite the fact that Reagan hurt Ford pretty badly in that primary (Jimmy Carter then won the general), the Republican "establishment" never held it against Reagan."

And with that we can safely disregard any further of Chucks useless commentary.

Chuck said...

Drago said...
Chuck: "Reagan won, by running the best campaign and winning the most votes."


As opposed to, "doing something unusual, exceptional and historic to foil the evil GOPEstablishment."

Drago said...

Chuck: "Fabi, I am only condescending when it comes to Trump. I think I am smarter than Trump, and probably smarter than most who support Trump."

I can't wait to see the evidence in support of that assertion.

Of course, no one of any real intelligence would ever make such a claim on anything less than some rational data set. Let's sit back and see what materializes.

Chuck said...

Drago; now you are going to supply the overwhelming proof of a vast GOPEstablishment conspiracy to foil Ronald Reagan in 1980. Right?

gadfly said...

Sowe are carefully examining words here such as "bitch-slap" and "harken back" and these turn out to be related to dogs. Then Ann writes: ". . . Clinton is already the most intensely vetted figure in US politics . . . ".

Dictionary.com tells us that the verb "vet, vetted, vetting" means - among other things, "to examine or treat in one's capacity as a veterinarian . . . " If she really had gone to a vet, I think perhaps that the diagnoses could turn out to be - put.her.down!

Drago said...

Chuck: "As opposed to, "doing something unusual, exceptional and historic to foil the evil GOPEstablishment."

Reagan was accused of damaging the party by running against Ford in '76. I mean, what insolence!

Further, every single criticism lodged against Trump is precisely what was said, and continues to be said, of Reagan.

Drago said...

Chuck: "Drago; now you are going to supply the overwhelming proof of a vast GOPEstablishment conspiracy to foil Ronald Reagan in 1980. Right?"

What a revealing formulation.

In 1980, the GOP establishment was behind HW. That was never in question.

However, by 1980 Reagan had essentially been running since the mid-60's and his clearly unequaled political chops honed over decades of practice and application along with his unwavering commitment to an intellectual and principled defense of conservatism rendered any possible opposition on the R-side moot.

But every single slur being lobbed at Trump, fairly or unfairly (and there is quite a bit of both) was lobbed at Reagan.

But hey, you hung out with some Brits for awhile way back when, so that makes you "smarter".

Was it the accent?

chickelit said...

I wonder how Chuck would have sided in the 1952 Republican race, when "loyal Republicans" all sided with Taft up until convention.

Chuck said...

Further, every single criticism lodged against Trump is precisely what was said, and continues to be said, of Reagan.

LMFAO.

I was going to give you a pithy quote from someone who knew Reagan and worked with him, to the effect that "Donald Trump is no Reagan." The thing is, if you Google that, there is a veritable library of such works. From Reagan's son Michael. From Dick Thornburgh. From Reagan biographer Craig Shirley. Ted Cruz makes a good argument, not surprisingly.

Leon Wolf writes at RedState.com:
http://www.redstate.com/2015/09/16/stop-donald-trump-nothing-like-ronald-reagan/

And Stu Spencer and Ken Kachigian at RCP:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/08/23/trump_is_no_reagan_127851.html

By the way; unlike Mr. Trump, Ronald Reagan actually read the National Review. No doubt, Reagan learned something. Which is another difference between him and Trump.

Big Mike said...

Thinking of Trump, Clinton, and Sanders, I could go for a Constitutional Amendment that says that in any election there has to be a "None of the Above" line on the ballot, and if None of the Above wins a plurality then the election has to be held over again in 60 days, with the proviso that each party represented on the ballot has to field a different candidate. (The wording has to be carefully crafted to prevent the two parties from just swapping candidates.)

Am I alone in this?

buwaya puti said...

Reagan had a different culture to work with. A generation and a half are in the grave, since then, and the period of middle class malaise has persisted for twice as long. There is also the fact of much more intense partisanship and more genuine divergence of interests. The emotional background is very different, in so many ways.
Even I can see it, though perhaps I have the advantage of being in daily touch with the blue or light blue collar partisans of Trump.
I also find it amazing that at the parade that Trump got in front of, no-one else has managed to muscle into that position. Trump grabbed them, alone, and held his place while the rest reacted in what now seems like confused surprise, and instead of adjusting their strategy to the emerging taste of the public, insisted on their milquetoast policy. Especially those who were best funded. None seemed to have much real idea of the real voters, or what now seems like a decisive subset. It would have been so easy.

Drago said...

Chuck: "LMFAO.

I was going to give you a pithy quote from someone who knew Reagan and worked with him, to the effect that "Donald Trump is no Reagan."

When you were in Britain, did you spend a lot of time studying "Not Logic"?

Let's try again, really slowly, for the self-proclaimed "smarter" guy: I never said Trump is a Reagan.

The reason I've never said Trump is a Reagan is because I do not believe Trump is anything close to a Reagan.

Which is why I support Cruz, who is also not a Reagan, but is better than Trump. (this marks about the 10th time I've written that).

However, none of the above changes the fact that the very same charges, verbatim, that have been against Trump were routinely lodged against Reagan.

Maybe you missed all that given the time you no doubt spent at afternoon tea abroad.

Drago said...

Chuck: "By the way; unlike Mr. Trump, Ronald Reagan actually read the National Review. No doubt, Reagan learned something"

Let's all be very clear on this point: the National Review of today is a mere shadow of what it was from the 60's thru the 80's.

So, in the same way that Trump is no Reagan, today's NR is no yesterday's NR.

Drago said...

chickelit: "I wonder how Chuck would have sided in the 1952 Republican race, when "loyal Republicans" all sided with Taft up until convention"

There is no need to wonder at all.

Chuck would have sided with whatever republican candidate promised most sincerely to work the most closely with Adlai.

averagejoe said...

Which Olympic athlete is more Peter Pan- Cathy Rigby or Bruce Jenner?

Milwaukie guy said...

I like to hear what Chuck has to say. It is an interesting view and it seems to me that some other regular commenters are feeling a bit butthurt.

It's like when someone has to give up their three chickens and I toss them into my 30-something flock. There's some chest bumping and pecking until the order is re-sorted.

buwaya puti said...

As for Reagan and NR, one has to consider the likelihood that they are, now, out of date, or to a degree have fallen into decadence.
I am a man of metrics; not much out of NR has much to say about several critical graphs - median income and labor force participation, small business formation and survival, employment in new businesses, etc. If there were really good metrics here I would include social mobility; what I have seen here looks very bad too.
In all these it seems clear there is a general and genuine paralysis and decline in the well-being of the Republican voter base. It goes without saying that the Democrats have nothing credible to offer, but it is telling, decisively so, that the intellectual right hasn't got anything either. This makes it difficult to take them seriously.
In the 1970s the policy conflicts were clear cut and policy proposals of the intellectual right were new(ish), fresh, and ready to implement, and they were, with great success. But now I don't see anything real there, it is all rhetoric with no substance, just as bad, if better written, than whatever Trump has to say.
It's telling that the one genuine success in economic policy of the last decade was no policy at all, just a consequence of oil and gas extraction technology, opposed by Democrats, often bitterly, and at best acquiesced to, if not utterly ignored, by the intellectual right. Only Sarah Palin of any major politician actually grasped the importance of this, summed up in one phrase, "drill, baby, drill". That alone was more real than a decade of NR.

wildswan said...

"If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it."

Maybe this race is hard to understand because the world is so hard to understand. The "elite" ignore the facts; the "political" class ignores the voters; and both seem to think that only someone like themselves can lead a democracy in dangerous times. It's like watching a Mr. Magoo cartoon.

Bay Area Guy said...

You guys are harsh on Chuck, but I'll bite on 1980 Reagan race:

1. Reagan did most of the heavy lifting in 1976, when he nearly toppled Ford in the primary. This made him the clear favorite in 1980.

2. By tapping establishment GHW Bush as VP, rather than, say, young Kemp, Reagan gave us the unending Bush dynasty, that sadly, won't end with Jeb! In fact, Jeb's handsome Hispanic son, George P Bush, will be Governor of Texas within 6 years.

3. Reagan was a once in a lifetime politician. 2 time Governor of Cal, 2 term President - all landslides. But, since the Demographics of our country have changed due to LeftWing immigration policies, we won't see another Reagan again.

4. Reagan wasn't perfect. He gave us the first big amnesty. He failed to fight for Robert Bork. But he was the best we've had in decades.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya puti said...
I also find it amazing that at the parade that Trump got in front of, no-one else has managed to muscle into that position. Trump grabbed them, alone, and held his place while the rest reacted in what now seems like confused surprise, .... None seemed to have much real idea of the real voters, or what now seems like a decisive subset. It would have been so easy.


They believe that the Repubs cannot win without attracting a sizable fraction of minority voters. So, they have to tailor their message to that belief. It may be true.

Trump's big advantage is that everyone already thinks he is a BS artist and a significant fraction of the voters are still fine with that. He will spin a completely different line of baloney once he gets the nomination and no one will really be surprised or hold him to his earlier baloney. No one else could get away with that. His strategy is not an option for the other candidates. This is why I think all the hand wringing over is electability is nonsense. You can't judge until you see Trump version 2. I'm guessing that version 2 is very electable.

Michael K said...

" By tapping establishment GHW Bush as VP, rather than, say, young Kemp, Reagan gave us the unending Bush dynasty, "

Absolutely. Reagan was not Trump but he was the guy who said his policy toward the USSR was simple. "We win, they lose" horrifying Kissinger acolytes all through the GOPe. It was the end of detente and, Chuck, that was the issue of the time, like illegal immigration and radical Islam are now.

I didn't particularly like Reagan when he was governor but he was the right guy for 1980 as Carter had completely tanked the economy, along with the post-Watergate left wing Congress that threw south Vietnam like Obama threw away Iraq. Almost identical events.
Carter had the virtue that he could learn from his mistakes and he was less doctrinaire than Obama.

Reagan's worst mistake was choosing Bush. Second was abandoning Lebanon instead of killing about 50,000 Muslims after they kidnapped Buckley. The Soviets knew how to deal with Islamists and they stopped them from kidnapping any more Russians.

I think we all know the story. Even the lefty LA Times recognized the efficacy.

The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.

The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.


Reagan opened a Pandora's Box when he pulled the troops out of Lebanon. Of course, Dodd and Harkin the the rest of the Democrat communist fans would have had hysterics.

David Begley said...

Saw Trump today in Council Bluffs.

He will make America great again by building the wall and making great deals. That was it.

Ridiculous.

buwaya puti said...

Begley,
Looking at the reality of politics, I'd say Trump is being utterly honest. A politician claiming specific policies or some analysis of public policy is much like a mystery writer offering mcguffins; the point of the mystery is the mystery, not the mcguffin. Political mcguffins are usually forgotten or abandoned, because they aren't what an executive does or can do. It's impossible to forsee what will be important, or possible, a year ahead. A voter impressed by the detail filled promises of a politician is just falling for a different flavor of flim flam.

chickelit said...

David Begley said...Saw Trump today in Council Bluffs.

He will make America great again by building the wall and making great deals. That was it.

Ridiculous.


Isn't it amazing how things can simplify down to such simple problems.

Look Begley, I was trained in the physical sciences and so tend see to immigration in pure physical terms -- not social, or political, or even historical terms. We have a semi-porous barrier separating us from the rest of the world. There has always been exchange across that barrier. Barrier potential drives trade. But now we have an administration which in effect says we need to let down that barrier for social and humanitarian reasons. We also have business interests -- Republican ones even -- who in effect say we need to dissolve those barriers too for the sake of competition not to mention demographics. The average American which you seem to scoff, looks at this situation and simply asks how they and their children will fare with increasingly open borders. Even legal immigrants ask themselves how they and their families will fare under looser borders.

chickelit said...

I'll add that there are those who say illegal immigration is tamed, it's slowed, it's not a factor any more, and the metrics prove it. To that I'd say that sacrificing the health of the economy was not worth that effect. What happens if the economy heats up again? And if you don't believe that the economy isn't still in shambles, you're living and working in a bubble.

Freder Frederson said...

The Soviets knew how to deal with Islamists and they stopped them from kidnapping any more Russians.

Yeah, the Soviets really knew how to deal with the Islamists. Afghanistan worked out so well for them.

Advocating genocide is generally not a winning strategy.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Big Mike said...1/31/16, 5:00 PM

Thinking of Trump, Clinton, and Sanders, I could go for a Constitutional Amendment that says that in any election there has to be a "None of the Above" line on the ballot, and if None of the Above wins a plurality then the election has to be held over again in 60 days, with the proviso that each party represented on the ballot has to field a different candidate. (The wording has to be carefully crafted to prevent the two parties from just swapping candidates.)

No, a separate vote on the ballot, as to whether or not you like the choice of candidates (or want the election re-run)

That is, if the incumbent isn't running.

If the incumbent is, and this would be the second re-relection, a separate vote on whether the incumbent should be eligible, and, on the same ballot, nomines by all parties for he same race.

To hold an election at a different time, you need more than 60 days.



Am I alone in this?


Michael K said...

"Afghanistan worked out so well for them."

Reagan also had a bit to do with that. The problem was that the USSR was collapsing from internal stresses.

Socialism works so well, you know.

Sammy Finkelman said...

@Chuck

Republicans have a pretty strong history of rewarding the guy who finished second in a primary race with the nomination the next time around. Reagan was no exception.

That's maybe too general a rule. Rick Santorum is going nowhere this time, and will probably drop out after Iowa, as will Huckabee - and they might endorse Donald Trump, for no reaosn really, except he pays them some attention, which he does because they are near zero in the polls, and can only increase his plurality.

And by the way, who came in second in 1996, in the race for the Republican nomination? Wasn't that Pat Buchanan?

Sammy Finkelman said...

buwaya puti said...1/31/16, 5:04 PM

Reagan had a different culture to work with. A generation and a half are in the grave, since then,

That would take you back to 1974, maybe. Just one generation.

I also find it amazing that at the parade that Trump got in front of, no-one else has managed to muscle into that position.

Not surprising at all, because Trump is wrong, and besides these are minority positions, with more people in the electorate opposed to them than for them. The only thing is, nobody has been arguing with talk radio hosts.

It does no good to anyone to get close to Trump - he can always out-Trump them.





Sammy Finkelman said...

@chickelit

How did the world manage to survive till 1914?

Sammy Finkelman said...

How can Hillary be indicted for disclosing secrets, if an indictment would have to reveal the secrets that she "mishandled?" At least a trial would. It's called greymail.

http://uspolitics.about.com/od/politicaljunkies/g/greymail.htm

Greymail is a defense tactic available to government employees who have connections with national security. When charged with a crime, the defendent claims that classified records are necessary to the defense. The goal of the defense team is to request so many classified documents that the federal government says "no." At that point, the defense tries to convince a judge that they cannot get a fair trial without these records; the goal is to have the case or charges dismissed.

Usually cases like that are plea-bargained.

I think they could pick and choose what to disclose.

Bay Area Guy said...

@MichaelK

Nice California reminisces - when I moved here as a little boy in 1970, we had Ronnie Reagan as Governor and Richard Nixon as Prez. What happened to our Golden State:)

Sammy Finkelman said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...1/31/16, 8:59 AM

Also, what possible reason could she have for having a personal email server that would justify the additional risk of exposing the inner communications of the Secretary of State to espionage, even if she was not transmitting classified information. Which she was.

She did it to make sure she would not slip up, and no quids or quos or requests would appear in a government-held record.

I think you mean what possible legitimate reason.

Fabi said...

No worries, Chuck. When I read 'W', I also did a double take. lol

Sammy Finkelman said...

Espionage? Hillary Clinton was engaging in espionage herself! Or being a total fool.

Sidney Blumenthal was sending her disinformation (he claims the contents were written by Tyler Drumheller, who is now dead and can't be questioned) which Hillary Clinton stripped off identifying information (she stripped it off also from messages sent by her daughter) and forwarded to Jake Blumenthal, without telling him who it was from, and asked him to tell even less, and told to forward throughout the U.S. government and certainly the State Department and get back reaction. Ambassadors were requested to write commentary on that. This was then forwarded to her. The disinformation was often so wrong that she would apologize for sending it, but send it she did. She probably either forwarded the results back to Sidney Blumenthal, or, probably more likely, usually spoke with him by telephone.

Birkel said...

So we have reached the "Sammy Finkleman" part of the comment thread. Skipping comments has never been easier.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Oso Negro said...1/31/16, 11:53 AM

to believe that Trump will be President, we must first believe two difficult things. The first is that the Republicans, who generally split between a moderate wing and a conservative wing will be pleased to nominate Donald Trump.

They may be very unhappy to do so, but Trump could get 50% of the delegates with barely more than 30% of the vote, provided he can prevent any single individual from being ahead of him anywhere, and prevent any one else from being close. It's not impossible. But if Trump comes into the convention with no more than 35% to 40% of the delegates, then he probably won't get the nomination.

The opponents don't have to drop out, but they may have to divide states among themselves in advance and agree that in state P, X will be the challenger, and in state Q, Y will be.

Second is the general election, where there will be a candidate who is just as serious to get elected or more so than The Donald.

It is possible that the entrance of Michael Bloomberg might work to the advantage - it's hard to tell the advantage of whom, but all kinds of different states might be in contention.

Bloomberg's best chance would be to carry a few states and hope the election is otherwise divided enough so that the House of Represenatives will make the decision, and they won't pick Trump or Sanders. If it's Cruz and Sanders Cruz would have better chances than Trump in spite of the fact people don't like him on Capitol Hill.

Bloomberg seems to be OK with Hillary right now but he will make a decision about March 1, at the point where Sanders' chances will look the best. He also neeeds Trump or Cruz looking like the Republican nominee, and will also run if Hillary gets completely disgraced.

You could also get some other billionaire or even a millionaire maybe into the race.


chickelit said...

Sammy Finkelman said...How did the world manage to survive till 1914?

Not a historian here. But if by "the world" you meant the US, I'd give you the physical analogy: Up until around that time, the sheer unfilled size of the nation was capacious enough. Don't forget that many early European immigrants never stayed in the eastern cities. My ancestors for example came from farms in Germany and settled farms in PA before moving on to WI in the early 19th century. For numerous reasons--chief among them probably being increased mechanization--immigrants began staying in cities around the turn of the 20th century. Urban and especially suburban growth after WW II again absorbed increasing numbers of immigrants until...

...Now that "Government" appears to be our #1 growth industry, it will be interesting to see where new immigrants cluster.

chickelit said...

Now that "Government" appears to be our #1 growth industry, it will be interesting to see where new immigrants cluster.

Probably also farms (again) -- a consequence of a dwindling native population willing to work that hard. Another reason to watch Iowa closely.

FullMoon said...

AA says You want to believe what you want to believe and the only thing you need to believe — Peter Pan/the link tells you — is that a simple hand gesture from you now as you gape at a screen will make that thing true that you so dearly want to be true. So you click and the thing you help happen is not the thing you want to be true ...


reminds me of a favorite: "See, whatever happens can be said to have happened for the reason you've already reasoned is the reason for whatever happens to have happened."

ken in tx said...

Trump is our Berlusconi, national version of Jesse Ventura, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nero was a star of the Roman stage. A poet, musician, actor, and Olympic athlete--according to his own reporters. This has all been played out before.

Jupiter said...

"It's done not through critique but through attack — personal attack — demonstrating that the target will not or can not defend him or herself. The attack doesn't make the point, it is the point...."

He's talking about Charlie Hebdo and the demise of free speech, right?

Birkel said...

Jupiter,
Or refugees crapping in public pools. Or gangs rapes in Germany. Or child slavery rings in Rotterdam.

So many examples, in fact.

Brando said...

I think Trump would lose against Sanders or Clinton, but considering how weak both of those candidates are there's still a possibility he could pull it off. A lot of things could happen between now and election day, including a recession, major scandal news, or terror attack. Plus, it is possible a third party candidate--maybe Bloomberg--jumps in the race and gives Trump a chance to win a plurality.

I'm at peace with any of these results, because whether our next president is Trump, Clinton, or Sanders, we're going to see the same gridlock and stagnation as we've seen in the past four years. That's the way Washington is now, and whatever their lofty promises none of these people is going to change it.

Foreign policy is the big question mark. Any of those clowns in control of the military is a sobering thought.

Brando said...

"It is possible that the entrance of Michael Bloomberg might work to the advantage - it's hard to tell the advantage of whom, but all kinds of different states might be in contention."

It's hard to predict Bloomberg's effect, as it would have sounded absurd a year ago to think a guy supporting single payer health care, a wealth tax, and abortion would be leading the GOP field going into the primaries. But as Bloomberg has been center-left, it seems he would mostly split the anti-Trump left and create the possibility for a plurality. (Similar to what LePage pulled off twice in Maine) His appeal is also mostly northeastern, which is where the Dems normally dominate.

But then, we'd have to see first for Sanders to win the nomination (Bloomberg likely won't run if Hillary's nominated) and also see how he campaigns. If Trump can pretend to be a conservative, and actually convince conservatives to vote for him, why wouldn't Bloomberg be able to do the same?

aritai said...

d all seem all "political all the time” to me. An observation from those I visit with not in the U.S or E.C. Some of the best Cambridge minds and cynics I’ve worked with. “he's like no politician I've seen in my lifetime." "I read his book, and I think pTb has said nothing that he hasn't thought deeply about setting expectations, best case is he doesn't win and doesn't have to worry about following up. Worst case is he does win and has to deliver which led to this conversation:

Is everything he says with "what do I do now?" in mind? "kill martyrs’ families?" "well it's certain that families will die, be best if fewer of ours. The Israeli bulldozing hasn't had any effect when a martyr’s family receive thousands of dollars yearly from the sheiks using our petro dollars. Call it the Hiroshima calculus –MAD doesn’t work if you’re already destroyed. ApTb’s history are deals where both parties have a interest in success. Will be good theater learning why he's chosen to make his worst-case his opening position. Don’t bother voting for me if you don’t support this. And if I’m elected it’s because you support this. “So you have my back.” Because I know that this the only way to assure success at a the minimum acceptable cost. Like Reagan did, and the hostages were released. So what does pTb know? Perhaps a lot more than we can guess. He's never gone into a negotiation not knowing more than the other side. So he doesn't pick fights that leave him in a disadvantaged position now or in the future. So what does he know about McCain? And why pick on his war service? He’s certainly gone quiet. Oh my. Unlikely we’ll ever know about any of this. Why would Mexico build a wall? Would he cut off expat dollars that would cause a revolution and death of current leadership? Does he ever disclose details up front? What's up with Russia? Will China change when threatened with a tariff, as Japan did? Will Americans settle for less than the best for jobs? Even if it means an ugly iphone twice as big and heavy? (maybe). Or is there something much deeper at play? Ditto Muslim immigration. Who’s got the list of pTb’s “outrageous” statements? He won't show his cards, the bum – then again the real pTb wouldn’t either.

And he won’t tell us who he's hired that are smarter than he to argue both sides of an issue in front of him so he can decide to do as he’s done at every other phase in his life And doesn’t tolerate fool, especially employees. Consider he convinced his ever more senile by the day father to give him absolute control of their construction company so he could save it, by save it by disowning his brother who wanted to liquidate to get his inheritance rather than risk it all –who then committed suicide by drink. Oh my. Onions the size of grapefruit, Makes everything later looks easy – every morning looking in the mirror and thinking “I contributed to the death of my brother to save a company and all those jobs”. Could our host has him pegged? And she won’t show her cards either. Because there’s no reason too. Why spoil the surprise? I’m running out of popcorn. But this is now too deadly serious to enjoy. I wonder how he will prepare for Iran making Haifa into a parking lot? Or will he act pre-emptively, or will he some how to create a deal where this is just out of the question, and have Iran solve the outstanding issues in the mid-east – Palestinian, Lebanon, Sunni, Shia, other, factions, and Oil as a political weapon, to gain the spoils.
If I could vote, I’d vote for whomever I thought would put a tail on the Israeli nuclear boats. On the certainty that the captain whose family was incinerated in Haifa would launch what she had left at on and the EC, holding us responsible for the death of her country because we forced them not to defend themselves.

Sammy Finkelman said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/upshot/now-a-solid-bet-trumps-nomination-chances-are-better-than-50-percent.html

This is the political prediction markets. But this news article doesn't name them. It does link to them.

If you translated the price intoa probability, Donald trump is nmopw at 51% for winning the republican nommination,

Marco Rubio is at 33%.

Ted Cruz is at 7%, Jeb Bush 6%, Kasich and christie at 1% each. These prediction markets often underrate the extremes. What about everybody else?

damikesc said...

Bloomberg's best chance would be to carry a few states and hope the election is otherwise divided enough so that the House of Represenatives will make the decision, and they won't pick Trump or Sanders. If it's Cruz and Sanders Cruz would have better chances than Trump in spite of the fact people don't like him on Capitol Hill.

I'll never get this belief that Bloomberg is an actual threat to the WH. I know the media based out of NYC think he's great, but for the rest of the country he's just a gun-hating nanny who wants to ban soft drinks or some such nonsense. His impact on the race would be basically non-existent.