May 15, 2016


So Reince Priebus was on "Face the Nation." John Dickerson tried to get him to talk about Trump-not-Trump's "John Miller" routine from a quarter century ago, but Reince brushed it off and plugged in his main message: The Earthquake:
[P]eople are comparing Hillary Clinton, a career politician, someone who has made millions of dollars on politics, and a guy who has never run for public office, a business guy, who is a total outsider that is going to cause an earthquake in Washington. That's really the issue that is on the ballot.
I was laughing, because: Which side is he on? Who likes earthquakes? But I guess maybe it's figured out, the people want mass destruction... in Washington. That was the talking point Priebus came to deliver, because he found a way to say it again at the end of the interview:
And when the choice is Hillary Clinton, someone who has made a career of lying and skirting the issues, and you look at the e-mails, the Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and a guy who has never run for office and might have some stories out there that may make some interesting news, I think, in the end, people are going to choose the person that is going to cause an earthquake in Washington and get something done over Hillary Clinton.
When it was panel time on FTN, John Dickerson brought up the Trumpquake:
DICKERSON: What if it's just, we -- you know, we are so fed up with Washington that -- and Reince Priebus used the word "earthquake," you know, that -- that they want the earthquake. And forget positions, smitions, we want the earthquake, and that's Donald Trump.

[CBS News political analyst Jamelle] BOUIE: I mean I think that might be true in the Republican Party. I'm just not sure how true it is in the Democratic Party... [T]he heat of a primary has sort of created the perception in the Democratic Party that there are these steep divisions and no doubt I think there are generational divisions in the Democratic Party that Sanders has revealed and may play themselves out in various ways going forward. But in terms of the presidential race, I tend to think that there really isn't that much disunity in the Democratic Party... And I don't think -- given that the Democratic Party is almost like, you know, it's close to majority non-white, I just do not think that Trump is the earthquake that anyone in the Democratic Party is looking for.
That's a lot of blah blah from Bouie, like he thought we wouldn't notice when he switched from asserting that Democrats don't want an earthquake to Democrats might want a different earthquake. Know your quakes. There's the Trumpquake and the Berniequake. To those who want to be counted out when you talk about destruction, "earthquake" sounds like undifferentiated chaos, but to the earthquake connoisseur, there are distinctions.


buwaya said...

I actually tried t listen to some of these people today.

You are brave and patient, professor.

Nattering nabobs was a fine description. They are tedious, tedious, tedious.

YoungHegelian said...

I mean I think that might be true in the Republican Party. I'm just not sure how true it is in the Democratic Party... [T]he heat of a primary has sort of created the perception in the Democratic Party that there are these steep divisions

Those "perceptions" are there because they are real. They were real when Kennedy stayed in until the convention in 1980 against a sitting President Carter. They were real when Obama started off strong & then faded against HRC, but still picked up enough proportionally-allocated delegates to win the nomination in 2008. And they're real for Sanders, who has won (I believe) 18 states to HRC's 23, far better than Kennedy did in 1980.

Do I think many Sanders voters will return to the fold for the general? Yes, I do. But, many of them are very unhappy with the present Democratic Party, every bit as much as the Trumpians are with the Republican.

Kate said...

Well, they couldn't actually call Trump the Sweet Meteor of Death.

Even though that's basically his appeal.

n.n said...

A more meaningful metaphor is a parting of the Potomac. Who will be chosen to lead the people of America out of the land of special and peculiar interests?

mockturtle said...

You're right, Ann. All earthquakes are not equal. As someone from Seattle I can appreciate this fact more than most. But I think the point is that the public--left and right--is ready for a general upheaval of our political system. Business as usual simply won't do. Not this year.

Achilles said...


I believe you have just created a meme professor. I am not joking. I fully expect that to be on a lot of facebook posters.

And Kate beat me to it. SMOD. The US would be better if DC sank into a black hole and disappeared. There are so many ways to say the same thing. DC is a giant tick sucking the life out of the country and it needs to be removed.

Bob Ellison said...

Please don't do the "so" thing. It's a California idiom that sounds like a way to gather an argument, but fails every time.

harrogate said...

Young Hegelian is right about the disaffection on the Dem side being every bit as pronounced as that among Trump voters' attitude towards the GOP.

Hillary Clinton is very much a status quo candidate . Corporatist and neocon friendly . She seems like a moderate Republican to a whole lot of us . How many will return to her in the General remains to be seen .

It would be interesting if we had 5 people on the Presidential ballot . A GOP alternative to Trump, a Dem alternate to Clinton, and Jill Stein . Heck if the Libertarians could get on the ballot it would be six !

Carol said...

Even though that's basically his appeal.

No. Bullshit. At least in my case, he brought up immigration, inequitable trade deals and a stupid war that no respectable Republican candidate dared repudiate. Considering his commercial instincts, and forethought, it all seemed spontaneous, un-focus-grouped, and totally out of Frank Luntz's control.

They were legitimate issues. No one else appropriated them. Something is wrong with this picture. All quite smashing, but SMOD it's not.

madAsHell said...

What??......No Canklequake?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

YoungHegelian said...
But, many of them are very unhappy with the present Democratic Party, every bit as much as the Trumpians are with the Republican.

I am not sure how true this is, in general, but if applied specifically to Clinton then it is unquestionably true. Clinton encapsulates all that is wrong with the Dems, without any redeeming qualities. Dem voters are a more passive lot, but I think Clinton will prove to be a bridge too far.

Chuck said...

The best question for all of these people is the simplest one: "Who is John Miller?"

That forces everybody to answer the most open-ended of all the questions. The tighter (and more unanswerable) the questions get, the more that people like Priebus say, "B-b-b-ut what about Clinton? Why can't we talk about the important things?"

Ask them "Who is John Miller?" and you'd get some more interesting answers. They'd have to talk.

tim in vermont said...

Still campaigning for Hillary Chuckles. It is an ironic nickname BTW, I bet you have never chuckled about anything.

Baghdad Bouie tells us that the Sanders kids are just going through a phase so none of the people who have invested hundreds of millions in the Clintons personally or the Democrats generally need worry about their investment.

tim in vermont said...

A simple metric to show how out of control DC is is its growth in property values compared to the rest of the country. It is like a tick which has taken over its host.

walter said...

Trump is getting Boehner's insider advice on how to dismantle DC.

Doug said...

Althouse, I saw what you did there - "blah blah... Bouie"

Howard said...

A dip-slip fault can be either a normal fault or a reverse fault. Can you guess which side is the hanging wall and which is the footwall? The crap formed by grinding up rock in a fault zone is called gouge and slip planes within a fault zone are slickensides. You forgot transform, thrust and d├ęcollement faults.

This is just the tip of the koppie.

Howard said...

Chuck turns to the rule of Go Fish commenting on a game of Bridge.

Saint Croix said...

Who likes earthquakes? But I guess maybe it's figured out, the people want mass destruction... in Washington.

All I know is, if it's a very big earthquake, a full-margin rupture, you want to run for high ground.

Four to six minutes after the dogs start barking, the shaking will subside. For another few minutes, the region, upended, will continue to fall apart on its own. Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin.

Among natural disasters, tsunamis may be the closest to being completely unsurvivable. The only likely way to outlive one is not to be there when it happens: to steer clear of the vulnerable area in the first place, or get yourself to high ground as fast as possible. For the seventy-one thousand people who live in Cascadia’s inundation zone, that will mean evacuating in the narrow window after one disaster ends and before another begins. They will be notified to do so only by the earthquake itself—“a vibrate-alert system,” Kevin Cupples, the city planner for the town of Seaside, Oregon, jokes—and they are urged to leave on foot, since the earthquake will render roads impassable. Depending on location, they will have between ten and thirty minutes to get out.

traditionalguy said...

If God wanted an earthquake in DC he could have picked Cardinal Richelieu Cruz.

But we got Andy Jackson Trump, so Washington is safe for now. But if The Donald sells The Trump International Hotel in Washington, then all bets are off.

tim in vermont said...

Cardinal Cruz! I love it!

walter said...

Once we get a little establishment, we'll make great deals. Trumpquake!

Saint Croix said...

"I understand debt better than probably anybody. I know how to deal with debt very well. I love debt -- but you know, debt is tricky and it's dangerous, and you have to be careful and you have to know what you're doing," Trump said.

It's interesting to me that Trump is thinking about our debts, about the danger of debt and how we might deal with our debts. He is thinking of China as our creditor, since China owns a lot of our debt. What he wants to do, I think, is push our creditors hard.

"I said if we can buy back government debt at a discount, in other words, if interest rates go up and we can buy bonds back at a discount -- if we are liquid enough as a country, we should do that," Trump said. "In other words, we can buy back debt at a discount."

And then he goes on to say...

"First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK?"

That's an interesting sentence! Here Trump is threatening our creditors. Yes, we owe you a lot of money. But we print the money! So we can just print more money and pay you back that way.

This is exactly what Germany did after World War I. The victors made Germany pay for the war. All these debts were ruinous to the German economy. So to battle back, the Germans started printing more money. This caused hyper-inflation. "Most people were taken surprise by the financial tornado."

Trump's attitude is that we should pay less than we owe. Our creditors should accept less. Of course this will make China, and our other bond-holders, unhappy. But as Trump has said, he is not afraid of a trade war.

tim in vermont said...

This is exactly what Germany did after World War I. The victors made Germany pay for the war. All these debts were ruinous to the German economy. So to battle back, the Germans started printing more money. This caused hyper-inflation.

I'm sorry, do the Democrats have some other idea? I would love to hear it? Are we supposed to tax our own people into poverty to keep from harming the Chinese? Is that how we are going to prevent the hyper inflation?

I don't disagree that we are risking hyper inflation BTW. But that's like complaining about the driving when you are already sailing off a cliff. The steering wheel becomes useless, as do the brakes.

tim in vermont said...

Trump is right that we have cards to play as debtors.

Laslo Spatula said...


In disaster movies of late there is horrendous destruction, with countless people being squished-burned-stomped-burned and stomped-burned and stomped -burned and stomped and squished: it's OK, we enjoy it anyway because we know it is only CGI 'people', after all.

Then we look at Washington and see those people -- the politicians, the media, the lobbyists et all --and they are no more real to us than a CGI guy running on the deck of the CGI Titanic. They have fully removed themselves from the dimension of people they claim to represent. They use the equivalent of CGI to make money make more money. They are, in the end, pixels: money, attention, words, power -- they are all just pixels chasing pixels, pretending that we should suspend disbelief and view them as real.

And now a Godzilla might finally come to stomp on THEM -- and we are ready. We have our popcorn. We fucking hope some of the crushing is done in slow-motion. We will pay extra for the Imax 3-D Experience.

And it will be the Best Movie we will ever see.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

Nevada Democrat Convention No, it was not "democratic."

Bernie supporters get the cops called on them and are told to get off of Hillary's lawn!

Baghdad Bouie unwilling to comment.

Hagar said...

Reince Priebus might be a good apparatchik, but he is one awful spokesperson.

John henry said...

Anyone else notice this picture? Large, brownshirted men lined up in front of the Democrat podium at the Nevada convention. They had black gloves on too. they were ready to handle someone(s)

Yes they are police, or deputies or some such. I am not sure whether that makes it better or worse.

Apparently it was a typical non-democratic Democrat convention.

John Henry

Wince said...

Sort of reminds me of the battle between...

Quisp and Quake

The Revolution Will Not be Televised.

Susan said...

Laslo,that's the best thing you've ever written. If Trump signs on Optimus Prime or the equivalent there of, as VP - to heck with the popcorn, I'll campaign for him!

walter said...

tim in vermont the Democrats have some other idea?
The one percent!

Laslo..I don't think Godzilla was a "deal" maker..."changing".."suggesting"..etc, etc. etc.
He has pixels of his own.

Roy Lofquist said...

You young'ns is all surprised when April showers bring May flowers. This is old as the hills.

We have a change election every generation or so - 1932, 1952, 1980, 2008. Obama blew it - SOS (same old sh..). More war, more government, more unrest, more stagnation, more more more. His fault? Who knows? But it's what the people believe. He did not do what FDR, Ike and Ronnie did - inspire us. So we now have a do-over.

Yes, it's another earthquake. Long term Californians just kind of shrug when they hit. We Floridians have got a good idea where the nearest with electricity is when the latest weather disturbance rears its head. We'll ride this out too. Won't we?

Rusty said...

I think Trump wants to make it easier to do those things here that are currently being done in China and elsewhere. The "Regulation State" has killed innovation in this country. China is having economic trouble of its own right now and just may solve the problem for us. Pretty soon they may be willing to take less than what is owed just to keep their own economy rolling.

Nichevo said...

For those opposing Trump, it's one thing to mock him when he talks about things that are not within the focus of his experience, but you do the same when he talks about something he understands very well, which is debt. Many eminent men have gone before Congress and stated that there is no chance of the United States defaulting on its debts precisely because we can print all the money we want. I thought that was well understood. Pearl clutching at the fact that Trump understands it too is, I don't know how to say it, silly.

Nichevo said...

Chuck with your

Ask them "Who is John Miller?" and you'd get some more interesting answers. They'd have to talk.

The answer is nobody cares. I would hardly even care if you were directing something like this at Hillary it's so unimportant. The fact that you think that this, this is what's going to bring the whole rotten edifice crashing down on Trump's head, you're just losing touch with reality. You need to take a vacation Chuck. Go away for a week and smell the flowers or whatever you do on a vacation and come back, you'll feel much better.

Sam L. said...

Earthquake: A shaking of the ground. Washington D.C. NEEDS a good shake-up.