Astonishingly, 2016 Takes a Turn for the Worse

I don’t think I’ve ever been this disgusted with politics. The combination of willful blindness, mercilessness and vulgarity in 2016 has reached epic proportions. I admit to going on some Twitter rants today and saying some very intemperate things. But no insults! Still, calm reflection is now replacing anger and I’m really just thinking things over.

Never Trump is saying that the whole problem lies with Trumpster – but the reality is that both Never Trump and Trumpster were demanding all-or-nothing this year. Both sides got what they wanted – nothing. I lay the larger share of the blame on Never Trump. It appears to me that Never Trump, by refusing to treat with Trumpsters, was essentially resigning any ability to educate and channel Trumpster voters towards a more traditionalist, Conservative view of affairs. It was an abdication – but as it was also done in the meanest spirit possible, it was also a purposeful division (yes, plenty of Trumpsters were mean, as well – but when one side is feeling betrayed and acting out on that feeling, it is incumbent upon the other side to be the bearer of sweet reason and humility). And, now, the Trumpsters are justifiably feeling that this was Never Trump’s plan all along – knife the guy when the going got tough…and then demand in January that the Trumpsters just forgive and forget. I do think people should forgive and forget – but I suspect that the Trumpsters won’t be in a mood to do so. It was the duty of the Conservative leaders to go, hat in hand, to the Trumpsters, listen to their complaints, declare their support for the nominee and then work on ensuring that as much Conservatism as possible was injected into the Trump movement. They refused – and for all I can tell, their refusal was a matter of overweening pride rather than careful thought. Furious that the GOP base rejected their warnings, the leaders of Conservatism decided to teach the base a lesson.

Trump will almost certainly lose in November – I think that Independents are going to be vastly turned off by his vulgar comments and will either sit it out, or hold their nose and vote Hillary. Trump will retain his core supporters – and there is a high risk that these core supporters will abandon the GOP, never to return, thus making the GOP a minority party for a long time. Hillary as President – and possibly with a Democrat Congress – will be an utter disaster, and now there’s no assurance that the GOP can come back in 2018, as Trumpsters will still be furious for what they’ll view as a betrayal by the GOP. If Conservative leaders wanted to teach a lesson then they are also going to be taught a lesson – you can’t insult a substantial portion of your base and win – not now, not later. At all events, insulting people is never the way to go – tends to poison the well.

How do I feel right now? To paraphrase Chesterton, “as much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in republicanism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Republicans”.

54 thoughts on “Astonishingly, 2016 Takes a Turn for the Worse

  1. Cluster October 9, 2016 / 9:29 am

    What he said:

    The new normal is a horrible education designed to better prepare American children to be politically correct social justice warrior zombies more in need of a safe space than able to contribute to even their own neighborhoods, let alone their country or even larger borderless world, which Obama and Hillary favor over real villages and real people right here in America, or anywhere in all the world. The left believes in some distant symbolic global village ideal, a feel-good concept that amounts to a Madison Avenue sound bite, rather than what political insiders instead call flyover country, where they can’t even find a decent delicatessen.

  2. Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 10:50 am

    For better or worse, Mark (and maybe others?) came around to the notion that “Trump will almost certainly lose in November.”

    Which leaves the next question as, “What should we Conservatives do now to rebuild?”

    • Cluster October 9, 2016 / 11:07 am

      Well obviously what you need to do is get politicians like Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush to stand up against the progressive agenda, at least figuratively so that they have some credibility at the fund raisers. Then charge pundits like Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg to write scathing articles warning everyone of the perils of Democrat governance and subscribe to their publications so that they can continue to advance the conservative cause, at least on paper.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 11:58 am

        It’s not enough to just come out “against the Progressive agenda”. We’ve been doing that, or thinking we were doing that, for a long time now. But we never break it down.

        One day I was listening to a Denver radio station host was raving about some author and his whole take on needing small government, and I couldn’t stand it any more and called in. I explained that the term “smaller government” is meaningless, unless we first know what we mean ourselves and then figure out how to convey that to other people. We had a really good talk.

        What the hell does “small government” mean to most people? It doesn’t mean a damned thing to most people, and it offers the Left a vehicle for demeaning and ridiculing the Right. But we just keep parroting the same old same old, assuming I guess that people know what we are talking about. And to people who have come to count on government for so many things, the general term “small government” can be scary. It sounds like taking away things that are important. But we don’t even try to explain that we are not talking about taking away government, just reorganizing it so authority is where it belongs and not where it can lead to tyranny.

        We need to break it down. We need to describe, define and elaborate on what we mean, and we need to follow up with examples of successes and failures. Look at Tryvasty wanting to know why state sovereignty is better than a central authority—–I laid out half a dozen reasons why authority is better at the state or local level, and s/he never came back. There really is no argument for a central authority and a One Size Fits All approach, other than the feeble appeal that it is necessary for “consistency”. Or “equality”.

        (Some day go to a web site called (I think) They sell “motivational” posters and mugs and so on that twist the cliches we see all the time. Their motto is “We’re not happy till you’re not happy”. One of my favorites is “Consistency is a virtue only if you’re not a screwup” and another is “None of us is as dumb as all of us”. I think every Congresscritter should have to have both of those posters on his or her office wall.)

        Anyway, Conservative pundits can continue preaching to the choir, with about the same impact they have now. That is only a small part of the puzzle, and I think we need to start at home, making sure that the people who write the books and go on talk shows and so on actually know what they are talking about.

        We can’t get a clear, concise message out there if we don’t even have one among ourselves.

      • Cluster October 9, 2016 / 12:53 pm

        The answer is to have term limits, a citizen government and for people like you to run for office. Unless and until normal, average, everyday people start getting involved in government to serve their city, county and state, the grifters and career politicians will rule the day and currently we are up against a tsunami. How could anyone run successfully against John McCain? It simply won’t happen. He has too much money, too much power, and too many special interests in his back pocket. The average everyday person has less than a 1% chance of beating him in either the primary or general election and the same thing can be said about most every Senator and more than half of the House. Take a look at the national campaign, particularly the Democrats. Look what happen to Bernie Sanders!! NO ONE in that party was going to beat Hillary Clinton, and when Bernie got a little too close for comfort, they sabotaged his campaign. And thanks to a very nice $600K lake front cabin, even Bernie went quietly into the night. The cards are stacked against the American people and in my opinion term limits is the only way to start to chip away at the corruption.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 8:01 pm

        I’m in agreement on term limits, but I take it a lot farther than just Congress. I think we need term limits on judges and Supreme Court justices, and we need to reform Civil Service so a government job is not a lifetime gravy train, with or without the status within an agency to create laws without legislation or oversight.

        We also need to build accountability into public office—for example, making an oath of office legally binding, an actual contract with penalties for violation.

    • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 11:31 am

      Speaking for myself, I never did come around, as you preen, to your notion that “Trump will almost certainly lose in November”. I looked at the polls—not the numbers, but the direction. I saw Hillary bumping her head on a ceiling of support with nothing in her arsenal to make her more attractive as a candidate, while I saw Trump slowly building momentum.

      No, I saw a chance for Trump to win, based on the snapshots of the situation at several points in time. When I looked forward, I saw hope that he, and most of all Pence, would be able to articulate the fatal flaws in the Clinton candidacy, which Trump had just not been able to do, and felt that this could swing things a lot farther toward the Right.

      Sadly, I also saw the prospect of the Left dragging out and focusing on some of Trump’s more sordid and creepy past, and had concerns that if they played these well they could create support for Hillary that was not based on support for her, per se, but on turning away from Trump.

      And that’s what happened.

      Sadly, I don’t think Trump has the integrity to do what has to be done. He has to have speechwriters put together some coherent speeches for him, so the ideas don’t get lost when he starts to meander. He has to have the backbone to stand up and say

      “Yeah, sometimes I can be a real jerk. But let’s take a look at what is being said about me, because most of it is lies. Yes, I was being a jerk when I was joking about how some women act around me if they think I am a star. It was rude, it was crude, and looking back on it I’m not proud of it. But even at my worst, I was not referring to all women, or talking about treating all women that way. I was talking about a specific type of woman, the kind of woman we used to call “groupies”, who throw themselves at men just because those men are rich, or famous. Yes, I was disrespectful to that kind of woman, and yes I talked about disrespectful ways of treating them. But I never treated all women this way, and I never thought of all women this way. I think we need to look at why Hillary Clinton and her camp are lying to you, and trying to make you believe something that is not true. I think we need to look at why they need to create some kind of phony outrage, to move people away from supporting me. I think it’s obvious—-it’s because they don’t have a single reason to ask you to vote FOR Hillary, so all they can do is try to manipulate feelings to get people to vote AGAINST me.

      And you know what it comes down to? To put it bluntly, it comes down to choosing between a jerk and a crook.”

      And he can’t do this, because he can’t admit there was anything wrong with what he said. He HAS to defend it, because he never admits he made a mistake. And that is going to sink him. He could say something like this, laugh it off a little by admitting that yes,sometimes he can act like a jerk, he could take it like a man and turn it to his advantage. Or he could if he were not Donald Trump.

      And THAT is why I think that now, at this time, in this place, given the way things are playing out right now, he will probably lose.

      So if your doom and gloom prediction turns out to be true, I don’t accept that it is true because you had such a better grasp of the situation. I think it would be because events veered in that direction.

      • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 12:58 pm


        I am not preening, I am looking for a way forward.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 1:03 pm

        You’re smug because you think now you are proven right, but you deserve a little of that smugness as there was probably an element of prediction that Trump would sink his own ship built into your doom and gloom.

      • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 1:44 pm

        What is with you?

        Jesus H. Christ, there has not been an iota of smugness in my posts on this thread. No “I told you so” or “ain’t I great,” just a simple, “you guys are starting to believe Trump can’t win, so let’s figure out the next step.”

        Quit looking to make me your enemy. We agree on almost everything but you always find a reason to argue.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 8:01 pm

        I keep forgetting how emotional you are. I am sorry for stirring up so much feeling.

      • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 10:38 pm

        Okiedokie, no problem. So, what’s next for Conservatives?

  3. Amazona October 9, 2016 / 11:09 am

    I could not disagree more with your take on how the Trumpsters should have been treated.

    During the primary season, it was the Trumpsters who were rowdy, rude and acting like schoolyard bullies. Their passions ruled, and their passions were not for Conservative governance but for fanboy adoration of fame and money, smackdowns where they could stand on their chairs and scream for their guy to beat up the other guy, and simplistic platitudes that they never bothered to examine to see if they made any sense or were even possible.

    It was the Trumpsters who refused to allow the GOP rules to revert back to what they had been for nearly every single election cycle, to keep Trump on top. It was the Trumpsters who avidly adopted the Trumpian tactic of simply applying some simpleminded insult to any opponent, and it was the Trumpsters who gleefully savaged Ted Cruz as a liar, without the slightest hint of proof of him ever lying.

    It was the Trumpster mob that held the party hostage by making it clear that if they didn’t get their way they would sabotage the election by staying away and not voting for anyone else nominated by the party. Note that very few said they would not vote if Trump were the nominee, while this was pretty much the whole Trumpster position.

    It was the Trumpsters who dragged this whole thing into the gutter, with their “Lyin’ Ted” crap and their hysteria and their bully-boy tactics. It was Trump himself who reduced the whole process to a series of inane bumper sticker platitudes and nasty insults. Look at the field that started the primary process. Even Christie and Kasich had class, compared to Trump, and no group of supporters even came close to the low-class crudity of Trumpsters.

    So no, please do not lecture us on how we failed Trumpsters.

    “now, the Trumpsters are justifiably feeling that this was Never Trump’s plan all along – knife the guy when the going got tough” As if the going just spontaneously, out of nowhere, “got tough”!!! As if it didn’t implode as the direct result of the actual words and actions of Donald Trump hissownself! As if it somehow just happened TO him, poor baby! Wahhh Wahhh Wahhh. Cry me a freakin’ river, Trumpbabies! This is as if no one ever KNEW that Trump said things like this, so those rabid Trumpsters were completely taken aback by the startling news and now whine that the non-Trump people were just lying in wait to ambush him! Bull. The non-Trump people knew about him, just as the Trumpsters knew. The difference was, the ugly truths about Trump turned some people off but, sadly, that is what energized the Trump base. The non-Trump people knew that the opposition had all this ammunition they could and would use against him, and we warned the mobs, but they simply did not care.

    They fed on his crudity. They loved his promiscuity. He was a role model to them. He was rude, crude, and rich, the dream combo of guys who drive trucks with naked woman silhouettes on the mud flaps and “No Fat Chicks” stickers on the window, the lifted pickups with two big balls dangling from the trailer hitch. That was core Trump Country, and they loved the idea that he was like them, just with more money, and that he would get down in the gutter and beat Hillary into sludge. And they got off on the fact that there were enough of them to hijack the party and bully it into accepting Trump, and by extension them, instead of sticking to those namby-pamby ideas of Constitutional governance and dignity in government.

    And they won. The mob won.

    When that happened, most Republicans sucked it up and said hey, we’re now stuck with this guy, so let’s make the best of it and try to get his foot out of his mouth long enough to get him elected. His core constituency has the attention span of gnats and they won’t remain a force to be reckoned with, and for now we have to play nice and get him past the Democrat firewall of Trump history.

    So now the Trumpery mobs, who shoved this stinking pile down our throats, is whining because some of us are saying “I told you so”? Poor babies. Well, we WARNED them that if they screwed this up that is what we would be saying. And they didn’t care. They couldn’t see past the glory of imagining Trump “taking Hillary DOWN!!”

    It was known to clear thinkers that the only hope there was for the future of the GOP was for Trump to win, and even then it would be a dramatically changed GOP because of the determination to purge it of the elites who ignore the base. That would not have been a problem for Trumpists, as they don’t know a thing about politics and couldn’t care less, and would be oblivious to anything going on behind the scenes. We figured they would get disillusioned when Mud Wrestler Trump started acting like Businessman Trump and there wasn’t much in the way of spectacle to keep them entertained, and we could get down to business and reorganize the party. It was also known to us that if Trump lost, he and his howling mob would have taken the whole party down with it.

    So pardon us all to hell if we don’t feel like acting like this is OK.

    Maybe you can organize a web site where Conservatives can go, to apologize to Trumpsters for being unhappy at having our chances at getting a Republican president totally destroyed. How would that go? “I (Conservative voter) apologize for not liking the fact that you dragged our party into the gutter and gave us a radioactive candidate”?

    • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 11:31 am

      The fault lies with the GOP. They are the gatekeepers of the party.

      The could/should have had the courage to say “no” the Trump’s rabid following and done the difficult work converting Trump followers to a proper GOP candidate. Yes, that would have been risky, but it would have maintained their identity.

      Now, the GOP has no viable candidate and, imo, no identity. We conservatives are in the wilderness.

      I think the time for arguments of “can Trump win” and “whose fault is this” need to be put aside. The only question for me is, what should we do now, in the wilderness, to put the Conservative movement back together?

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 11:37 am

        Well, we need to start by defining “Conservative” and that means opening up the definition to mean only a perception of and commitment to a certain specific blueprint for how to govern the country. If we can do that, and do it well, and get that message out there, we can quickly become the Big Tent Party once again, because we will be open to and welcoming of people who simply share our vision of governance.

        But we won’t. We’ll continue playing by the Leftist playbook of divisive pseudo-politics, and demand agreement with certain issues, which we will define as the true meaning of “Conservative” and we will narrow our appeal to only those who agree on those issues. We’ll cede the political arena to the Left, where feelings rule.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 11:44 am

        I do agree about the GOP. I said as much, in letters to state GOP leaders and tried to get this through to the top—-though there is no way to actually CONTACT anyone at the top. Funniest thing. Gee, it’s almost as if they don’t want to hear from us, or care what we think.

      • Cluster October 9, 2016 / 12:43 pm

        Gee, it’s almost as if they don’t want to hear from us, or care what we think.

        LOL. Or even like us. But one thing is certain and that is that they still need both chambers of Congress to “get things done”, and this time they mean it. Thank you for your vote.

      • Retired Spook October 9, 2016 / 12:09 pm

        The only question for me is, what should we do now, in the wilderness, to put the Conservative movement back together?

        The last time the Republicans were cast into the wilderness it lasted 40 years, and it took the brilliance of Newt Gingrich and the Contract with American to end the drought. And that happened at a time when we didn’t have the racial divisions, the economic disparity, the threat of imminent financial collapse, or the threat of radical Islamic terrorism to deal with. One of the reasons it didn’t happen sooner was that the majority of Republicans, particularly those elected to national office, were perfectly content to serve in the Democrats’ shadow as long as they were invited to D.C. social functions. One thing that almost certainly will not happen this time around is that the election of Hillary Clinton will not usher in a new era of progressive governance and social justice. She will not have strong coat tails, although Republicans could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by being complacent about the down-ballot races.

        And I’d still caution everyone that the “it’s not over till it’s over” paradigm is still in play, but, as I’ve said before, I’ve been preparing for a Hillary presidency since this time last year. Even long before Trump secured the nomination, I had a horrible gut feeling about this election. Historically the Left has been a patient bunch with incrementalism being their primary strategy. The advances made under Obama have gotten many on the Left to believe they’re within sight of their ultimate goal, patience be damned. That makes them both dangerous and stupid. I guess we’ll see in 30 days.

      • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 2:05 pm


        Of course the “it ain’t over ’til it’s over” still dictum exists but at what point do you, as the rational man you’ve always appeared to be, come to the conclusion that it ain’t happening.

        I respect your opinion very much, what do you think are Trump’s odds (yes, given that the election is weeks away)? 50-50? 75-25? 90-10?

      • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 2:07 pm

        * the dictum still exists

        I gotta stop editing my first draf before posting. I always seem to scramble words from prior sentences. I should just go with the first draft, warts and all…

    • rustybrown2014 October 9, 2016 / 12:29 pm


      I think your characterizations of Trump supporters are ridiculous. It’s weird to see you trafficking in the same lazy stereotypes that Hillary and progs have been ladling out all these months.

      I pretty much agree with Mark’s post, Republicans are screwed. But it’s not because of Trump, it’s because of the divisiveness within the party. If Republicans would have stuck to the old adage and “fell in line” (as opposed to the Dems “fall in love”) from the start you might still have a party. It’s technically not too late, but with attitudes like yours commanding the day you’re sealing your own fate.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 12:52 pm

        For one thing, I didn’t try to describe all Trump supporters in that way. For example, I don’t think that Ann Coulter drives a pickup. 😉 But I did describe a certain element, and while the superficial aspects might have been a little harsh , the fact is that he IS “..the dream combo of guys who drive trucks with naked woman silhouettes on the mud flaps and “No Fat Chicks” stickers on the window, the lifted pickups with two big balls dangling from the trailer hitch.” That’s not to say that all of his supporters fit that mold, but certainly a lot of them do.

        When we would ask Trump supporters why they supported him, we got two basic answers. One was that “HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS” but the statements that prompted this kind of response were not examined to see if they were realistic or even possible. Deporting all illegal aliens is a prime example. And one was that they wanted someone who could take it to the gutter with Hillary. Right here on this blog, this argument was made several times, including the reference to gutter fighting. They loved his insults and thought it would be wonderful to see him go up against Hillary with that kind of approach.

        So no, I am NOT “…trafficking in the same lazy stereotypes that Hillary and progs have been ladling out all these months.” I am not claiming that his core base is racist, for example, or hates women. But I am quoting the two most common themes given for loving Trump.

        Those who did not any of these molds often simply invented reasons to support him. They said he was for things he had often come out against, they said he believed things that contradicted things he had said and done, and they said his political philosophies were contrary to his actions in the past. Religious people who disdained Mitt Romney, who had a lifelong commitment to a mainstream religion and ample evidence that he lived his religion every day of his life, because they didn’t like that religion, were suddenly casual about religious beliefs when it came to Trump, and all he had to do was say “I’m a Christian” in spite of saying he had never felt he needed forgiveness for anything and in spite of leading a proudly licentious life.

        I can’t remember a single person saying “I admit Trump is a wild card. He has a long and sordid past that not only reflects badly on him it can easily derail a campaign and lose us the White House. He is a blowhard, (etc etc) but having said all of that, I still think there is something about him that might appeal to voters who are tired of politicians, and I am ready to give him a chance.” That would have been honest. But I never heard it.

        And you cannot deny the two biggest and most important parts of my post: One is that it was Trump who degraded the process into a name-calling insult-fest, and his followers who responded with such eagerness and carried this theme onward. (“ It was the Trumpsters who avidly adopted the Trumpian tactic of simply applying some simpleminded insult to any opponent and it was the Trumpsters who gleefully savaged Ted Cruz as a liar, without the slightest hint of proof of him ever lying.”

        And it is a fact that “It was the Trumpster mob that held the party hostage by making it clear that if they didn’t get their way they would sabotage the election by staying away and not voting for anyone else nominated by the party. “

        We can’t deny or overlook the importance of those two elements of Trumpism, even if you think I am too harsh in my assessment of the bulk of Trump supporters. These are the two elements that account for most of the shift in the nature of this election cycle.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 12:59 pm

        BTW, I think it was a mistake to rush in and denounce Trump. I understand it, and can see why it was considered worth the risk, as if Trump HAD caved to the pressure from within the party we would have had Pence up against Clinton, and had a much better shot at the White House. It would have derailed the Clinton Hate Machine, made those millions of anti-Trump ads moot, and shoved her into the arena of political discourse, where she most definitely does not want to be.

        But, even just a day later, I think they made a mistake and wish they had just shut up and let things run their course. If there was a need to comment, it should have been to point out that while Trump’s comments of more than a decade ago were crude, they were about a small and specific type of woman, who basically throws herself at men with fame or status or money, and in no way has anything to do with most women in the world.

        I think that a loss will now fall to some extent on their heads as well as on Trump and his potty mouth and random lust.

      • rustybrown2014 October 9, 2016 / 1:39 pm

        Well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’ll stick by mine: The biggest internal problem with the GOP this year has not been with Trump or his supporters but with the endless hand-wringing and backbiting within the party which continues as I type this. There’s no way a candidate can win with this type of constant infighting.

      • rustybrown2014 October 9, 2016 / 2:16 pm

        “BTW, I think it was a mistake to rush in and denounce Trump.”

        That’s exactly what I’m referring to. I think the flood of Republican denunciations has been much more damaging to the campaign than the leaked audio itself.

      • Amazona October 9, 2016 / 8:15 pm

        As a Republican, with friends more established in the party than I am who tell me things, “..the endless hand-wringing and backbiting within the party ..” comes from the insurgency of the conservative movement trying to either convert, shift or eventually unseat the status quo squishy elites.

        It was this conflict, summarized in Ted Cruz’s rise to popularity among conservatives, that prompted the GOP elites to allow Trump some running room as a spoiler. I think they figured that once Trump slimed everyone else and took Cruz out, they could elbow him aside and slip in someone they like, such as Bush or even Christie. Trump’s intransigence surprised them, refusing to give ground, and they got spooked by the fervor of his following and the threats that this mob would sabotage the election if he was not the nominee.

        I think what you are seeing as “endless hand-wringing and backbiting” is really a struggle to the death between Republicans determined to force the party back to its conservative roots and the desperate clinging to the status quo of the established elites.

        Without Trump in the race, I think we would have had Cruz as our nominee and a very happy conservative element, with the fence-sitters and the supporters of the other 16 also-rans a little disappointed but not bitter or vengeful. It was Trump’s fostering of poison pill politics, his encouragement of the “our way or the highway” mentality among his nearly cult-like following, that made the primaries so weird and creepy and nearly violent and definitely divisive. And this is what is spelling the end of the party. These people cannot back off. They have tasted blood and they have tasted victory, such as it was, and they are not interested in forging anything that does not have Trump at the head—even in defeat. As Mark has pointed out, even when Trump’s problems are of his own making, the reaction is that he has been betrayed by people who should have defended him. It is never his fault.

        We also would have had a much more dignified campaign, not just as tough but far tougher, as Cruz is articulate and has a mind like a steel trap, and could out-argue and out-debate Hillary without breaking a sweat. She is so weak, any articulate and coherent opponent who has the discipline to do his homework and the ability to form complete sentences would have had her at a serious disadvantage, and Cruz would have tied her in knots—without name calling, without insults, just with calm and organized facts put together to form complete ideas.

        I believe Cruz would have elevated the process. Now it may be beyond elevation, though this may be that “hitting bottom” thing it takes to reform.

      • tryvasty October 9, 2016 / 11:26 pm

        I’ll just drop in and say that the one time I’ve ever felt any amount of respect for Ted Cruz was when he explained why he didn’t endorse Trump during the convention.

        “This isn’t just a team sport, we don’t just put on red jerseys, blue jerseys, and yay! This is about principles, ideas, standing for what we believe in. I have to say it was somewhat dismaying that apparently some of Donald’s biggest partisans right down front, when they heard ‘you should vote for someone you can trust to defend freedom … immediately began booing. I gotta say, that’s a little bit troubling.”

        Ultimately, each person has to make a decision about whom to vote for. It’s a very complicated question, especially one in the current political environment, where candidate approval ratings are so low that a whole lot of people don’t have a major party candidate that they are even ambivalent towards.

        The idea that somebody should only be interested in the political gamesmanship part of that equation rather than worrying about ideology or personal values seems dangerous to me. And that sounds exactly like what you’re asking for when you blame people for denouncing Trump. You sound like you’re asking for people to focus on winning to the exclusion of everything else.

        Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there was a lot of personal political calculus there for a lot of people fleeing. But I don’t really think people like Mitt Romney from the start and John McCain just this weekend denounced him for personal gain. I think they did it because their personal values demanded it. I think we need our politicians to behave more like that, not less.

  4. Amazona October 9, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    I’d just love to see the nation swamped with bumper stickers and billboards saying “A jerk or a crook—your choice”.

  5. Amazona October 9, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    When a thread gets so long, it is hard to follow, so I am taking this post from Tryvasty and putting it here, in italics, with my responses and questions.

    “What is the difference between a Democrat and a Leftist?”

    A Democrat has an affiliation with the Democratic political party. A Leftist is a vague shorthand for somebody who tends to be both socially and economically liberal.

    This is a vague answer. Do you truly believe the term “Leftist” is merely “a vague shorthand” for a “tendency”?

    How would you define a “Leftist”?

    And how do you define “liberal”? Do you mean it in the traditional, literal sense. or the Liberal political sense? Do you see a difference between the two? If so, what?

    “What is a “moderate” Republican?”

    A person affiliated with the Republican party that tends towards centrist policy. Also pretty vague and subjective, especially since there are two major (and a host of smaller) axes people tend use to describe political viewpoints. If you vote Republican but think the government should take a role in trying to break monopolies and incentivising the market to produce clean energy, you might be a moderate, for instance. Or if you are Bill Clinton and you sign bills like the ones mentioned previously in this discussion, that probably makes you a moderate Democrat.”

    Do you believe that a party has a specific ideology and platform that defines it? If a person has adopted the formal identify of a party but believes in agendas, policies and politics that contradict that party’s platform and ideology, can you truly consider that person’s choice of identity name as legitimate?

    “How do you define a Republican, in general?”

    Somebody who has an affiliation with the Republican party.

    See above

    “What is the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?”

    The party to which the person has an affiliation. That probably entails a long list of viewpoints on each side that would be more likely than if they were unaffiliated, but neither label is definitively predictive of viewpoint on any particular issue.”

    Do you assert, therefore, that a personal identification with a party does not indicate or prove an ideology consistent with that of the party? Do you consider”ideology” synonymous with a “viewpoint”?

    I am trying to figure out if you have a political identity, and if you on what it is based. And why.

    I have a clearly defined political identity, which I have formed after a great deal of thought, study, discussion and evaluation of history, etc. and you have merely ridiculed it, dismissed it and made fun of it, calling its description mere “rants”. I wonder if you have a carefully thought-out and developed political identity of your own, and if you do, how you would describe it and how you arrived at it.

    • tryvasty October 10, 2016 / 2:26 am

      “This is a vague answer. Do you truly believe the term “Leftist” is merely “a vague shorthand” for a “tendency”?”

      Yep and yep. “Leftist” or “the left” are very occasionally useful shorthand, but they aren’t useful in any meaningful conversation.

      “Do you believe that a party has a specific ideology and platform that defines it? If a person has adopted the formal identify of a party but believes in agendas, policies and politics that contradict that party’s platform and ideology, can you truly consider that person’s choice of identity name as legitimate?”

      Parties have platforms. Usually those platforms embody a disconcertingly large number of ideologies that get packaged together for a variety of reasons. Given that, there is no criteria one can really use to assign a party affiliation to somebody. Either you can use self-identification, official party membership, or some other effectively opt-in basis. There’s no way to account for people who are Democrats but that you think shouldn’t be.

      “Do you assert, therefore, that a personal identification with a party does not indicate or prove an ideology consistent with that of the party? Do you consider”ideology” synonymous with a “viewpoint”?”

      I find it doubtful that there are a lot of people that share no ideological overlap with their chosen party, but I don’t see any reason why it isn’t possible. I think viewpoint can be, but don’t have to be, informed by ideology. I have views on the value of the FCC selling off previously reserved wireless spectrum space, for instance, but they mostly don’t have anything to do with any sort of wider ideology.

      “I have a clearly defined political identity, which I have formed after a great deal of thought, study, discussion and evaluation of history, etc. and you have merely ridiculed it, dismissed it and made fun of it, calling its description mere “rants”.”

      I have not ridiculed a well-defined political indentity, because you haven’t expressed one. You have just repeatedly described a pre-built escape hatch for conversation. Don’t like where a conversation is going? It doesn’t matter, because it was just somebody baiting you into talking about those loathsome issues, when you really want to talk about this other thing that’s totally not an issue, nosiree, it’s totally different.

      I think you care strongly about power being decentralized from the federal government. I think I understand some of the reasoning behind it, and I don’t think it’s all bad. I just don’t think that the relative power of the federal vs. state government is all that important, which is the position I roped out from the very beginning. And I think the question of federal vs. state power is almost entirely orthogonal to most of the things people are talking about here. My view on whether it is right to build a 35 foot concrete wall to keep out Mexicans is reasonable has nothing to do with whether it is states or the federal government doing it, outside of logistical questions. My concerns about Trump’s ability to conduct foreign policy with his past and temprament can’t be a question of state vs. federal power, because foreign policy is explicitly defined as the job of the federal government. I don’t think it would make it more or less okay that Trump talked about sexually assaulting women if the Supreme Court came out with a new ruling on the meaning of the 10th Amendment.

      So I’m refusing to be baited into talking about your pet issue because I don’t find it interesting, I frequently don’t think it’s applicable to the conversation at hand, and because I don’t view it as a privileged concern that I’m obligated to talk about.

    • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 10:45 am

      Thank you for your extremely illuminating response, Try. It was a fascinating muddle of pseudo-political evasiveness and generalities, which is exactly what I expected.

      Over the past 10+ years I have challenged Lefty after Lefty to explain, define, or address his or her political philosophy. In that period of time, only one has—-he is an admitted Marxist, who has studied Marx and has a foundation for his political beliefs. While I don’t agree with him, I do think his position is a political one, based on acceptance and belief in a political system.

      Over the years, no other Leftist apologist has been willing to do the same. Some of us have talked about this, and possible reasons why. Spook and I had this same conversation recently. We have come up with only two possible explanations: One is ignorance—-simple ignorance of the fact that politics is not just a collection of wishes and dreams but actually is a structure of concepts of HOW to govern. Not WHAT to do while governing, but HOW to govern. This is probably the most common reason for dodging the question—there is simply no answer. The response is “HUH?” But sincere people, when faced with this concept, consider it and give it thought and work on where they stand on the L/R political spectrum. They don’t defend their ignorance but try to correct it.

      The other possibility is awareness—-the awareness that coming right out and saying one supports and defends a system which is based on top-down authoritarian government of the masses would open that person up to extensive discussion on the histories of that kind of governmental system and its inevitable outcome of economic misery and loss of individual liberty. So, to avoid openly admitting to preferring this kind of government, the person just tap dances around the question.

      The “tap dancing” is usually an effort to distract from the question by challenging its premise, usually something along the lines of “there are so many variations, so many different scenarios, blah blah blah” and it always—-ALWAYS—includes personal attacks on me for asking the question and disparagement of the very idea of objective political philosophies forming the foundation of specific political systems of governance.

      There is a pattern. One might say there is a script. We have seen it over and over again over more than a decade. No matter who is sent in to disrupt the blog and clutter it with nonsense and attacks, the underlying script is always visible. (I first saw this kind of thing from callers to that radio show I mentioned, which helped nudge me out of that ignorant “HUH?” category into analysis and awareness of political structures and ideologies.)

      While you posture as avoiding being “baited” your very response shows that you were, actually, drawn into exactly the same kind of response, or non-response, you and your fellow travelers always have. You have followed the script quite faithfully. Oh, you have padded it with a lot of verbiage, and you have introduced some side trips to try to draw attention away from the real question, but this final answer of yours ties it all up with a bow on top. You actually lasted longer than most, probably having learned from their experiences, but when faced with having to answer, your “answers” were quite predictable, and quite illustrative of who you are and why you are here.

      You left a little wiggle room—your extensive explanation of why there is no real political ideology at all does indicate either ignorance of it or a desire to appear ignorant—but overall I think you have established yourself as a plant, as a blog vandal here to disrupt the discussion by constant harping on miniscule and trivial details, to attack and ridicule those of us who have actual coherent political philosophies. It took a while, but you have eventually been “baited” into the same non-response your kind always reverts to when cornered.

      Now that you have firmly established that you have no real political position at all, your presence here is exposed as just that of an agitator, as of a disrupter. If you hadn’t been showing off so much, with your impressive vocabulary and concise writing style, you might have passed as just a political lightweight fluttering above the surface of actual politics and thinking that the occasional splash from below constitutes the ocean. But your ego betrayed you.

    • tryvasty October 10, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      “Over the years, no other Leftist apologist has been willing to do the same.”

      I’m not going to engage because I know exactly how that conversation goes. You define as an axiom that restricting the federal government is the One True Issue. I’ve already said I just don’t care about your One True Issue. You ask me to define my ideology. I do, picking some number of my beliefs to describe to you. You jump up and down excitedly, because none of those things are your One True Issue, so they must be one of those sneaky Not Amazona’s One True Issue issues, so they can’t possibly be worth talking about or having an opinion on. If I don’t find your One True Issue to also be the One True Issue, then I must either not be as enlightened as super awesome Amazona, or I must know that the One True Issue is actually the One True Issue and just be evil and refuse to admit it.

      It’s so utterly predictable. Luckily, I just saved us a bunch of time. If you continue trying to turn every conversation to that, I’m going to just start ignoring you entirely instead of skimming your posts when you start droning on about it.

      “One might say there is a script.”

      Yep, it’s exactly as I outlined above.

      “to attack and ridicule those of us who have actual coherent political philosophies.”

      I’d have to have heard a coherent political philosophy to ridicule you for it. The 10th Amendment is not a political philosophy any more than the 5th Amendment is.

      “overall I think you have established yourself as a plant”

      I think it is adorable that you think anything happening on this random WordPress blog would warrant somebody sending in a plant. Don’t get me wrong, astroturfing is a real thing. You guys just don’t rate having astroturfers show up.

      I’d also not have come here and tried to talk to anybody if there was enough traffic for that sort of thing to happen. It’s hard enough to try to keep track of conversations with just a few people writing long posts in reply to me at the same time.

      “Now that you have firmly established that you have no real political position at all”‘

      I have lots of political positions. Oh, you mean I don’t care about your One True Issue? No, I don’t.

      “But your ego betrayed you.”

      Thanks for the laugh. You might have at least saved that line for a post where you didn’t try to hang a giant “mission accomplished’ banner.

  6. Amazona October 9, 2016 / 10:25 pm


    I think we still have time before the next debate to line up Chelsea and Huma to moderate. Or have you already signed them up?

  7. rustybrown2014 October 9, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Well, what do you think folks? I think Trump did very well and won the debate. Maybe this thing isn’t over…

    • Retired Spook October 9, 2016 / 11:45 pm

      Well, he did better than in the first debate, and I certainly hope it’s not over, because a President Hillary Clinton scares the living daylights out of me.

      • M. Noonan October 10, 2016 / 12:21 am

        I only watched bits of it – Luntz’ group says Trump won it in a walk-over, CNN’s insta-poll says Hillary won it in a walk-over, You-Gov says it was about a tie. Meh – who the heck knows?

        I admit that some parts I watched made me cringe, but Trump’s “you’d be in jail” had both I and the Mrs laughing out loud…and that does appear to be part where Luntz’ group felt Trump was on it. At all events, Trump wasn’t talking to me – he was talking to his people, whom he needs with high morale and great determination if he’s going to have any chance, at all. In that, he entirely succeeded tonight – but it also means his strategy is a low-turnout, everyone’s disgusted election on November 8th where the astonishing spirit of his people will carry him over Hillary’s “let’s get this over with” supporters.

        I had a thought earlier today that it might be deadly for Team Hillary if people perceive Trump as a sure-loser…if that sets into the public mind, her soft supporters (which I’m guessing are more than half her actual supporters – this is not based on polls, but just impression: I’ve yet to run into anyone who is really enthusiastic about Hillary) may just find they’ve got other things to do on November 8th…meanwhile, only a fool at this point thinks that Trump’s people will drift away from him. They’ll crawl on their knees over broken glass to cast their Trump vote. Say what you will about Hillary, her team certainly knows how politics works…they’ve got to carefully balance “Hillary’s got this” (to keep the donors pouring the money in) with “we need every single vote to stop the Orange Peril!”. Trump’s task is easier – just keep his troops white-hot with passion…of course, there still might be far too few of them to carry Trump to victory.

      • M. Noonan October 10, 2016 / 12:25 am

        Another thought I had as I cringed – why did I really cringe? Because Trump was just telling the truth about Hillary Clinton in a brutal, no-hold-barred manner. I realized after a few minutes that I’ve just been conditioned – no one talks about Clintons like that! I mean, no one I read or watch or listen to – not even Rush at his most vigorous talks about the Clintons like that. It just isn’t done! They’re Democrats! You can’t talk about them like that! They care about The Children and The Poor! They Feel Our Pain! Yeah, sure, they are sleazy and all that, but we’re above all that politics of personal destruction…we just want people to know we’ve got better wonkish policies than their wonkish policies… and see where that’s got us? Within an ace of a Clinton third term. Trump hit them, hard – and I recoiled from it…partially from my own desire to be well-mannered, but partially from my conditioning about How We’re Supposed to Talk.

      • rustybrown2014 October 10, 2016 / 12:37 am


        i think that’s a very good take on things. But I’d also add that in addition to hard core Trumpers there is an incalculable number of silent Trump supporters. I’ve said this before but I think that number is likely to be quite large and underrepresented in the polls.

        I also think a good deal of swing/undecided voters could break for Trump. They’re obviously dissatisfied with the status quo and I think if they could stomach Hillary they’d be in her camp by now. When push comes to shove they might choose the outsider. Then again, many of them might not vote at all.

      • M. Noonan October 10, 2016 / 12:42 am

        Trump should close the last debate with – “are you better off than you were 8 or even 16 years ago? Do you like the direction of our country? If you are satisfied with things as they are, vote for my opponent, because she won’t change a thing – but if you want change, I’m asking for your vote”.

      • Cluster October 10, 2016 / 7:48 am

        Abraham Lincoln came up in the debate last night. And he was probably as surprised as everyone else to learn that he is the reason why Hillary takes public positions and private positions. It’s surreal to sit there and watch Hillary lie in real time, and with such ease.

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 9:54 am

        I think his close should be stronger. I think he should say “We all saw Hillary stand up there holding hands with Barack Obama when he promised us that she would continue what he started. This was a pledge. Yet 74% of Americans think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. So Hillary is admitting to us that she is going to keep the country headed in that wrong direction. Why would we vote for that? “

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 10:01 am

        Rusty, I agree that “… a good deal of swing/undecided voters could break for Trump. “ In that post office conversation I mentioned, this came up, and I said that I thought a lot of people who kind of think they are going to vote for Hillary, mostly because they always vote Dem, will stand there in the voting booth and at the last minute think “I just can’t do this” and pull the lever for Trump.

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 10:12 am

        How can anyone say the moderators did a good job? Who was that harridan who kept arguing with Trump? I loved it when he called her out on her interruptions, and she got all defensive and then lied, saying she had interrupted Hillary just as much. I don’t think that passed unnoticed. (I don’t watch much on cable so I have no idea who she is and after the debate I have no idea why anyone thought she was qualified—except as a shill for the Dems)

    • Bob Eisenhower October 9, 2016 / 11:52 pm

      He definitely did better this time around.

  8. Retired Spook October 10, 2016 / 10:02 am

    This is a pretty good glimpse at how the Elites look at the rest of us. I can’t imagine a reputable publication publishing many of these cartoons.

  9. Cluster October 10, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Here are the top 4 headlines from Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard:

    For Conservatives, Second Debate A Disaster

    The Debate’s Biggest Loser Was the GOP

    Is Trump a Sufferable Evil?

    Trump Can’t Make the Effective Case Against Hillary

    Bill Kristol is desperately trying to save his membership in the elite DC country club and has no concern for Conservatism or the American People

    • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 3:58 pm

      Do you think Kristol praising Trump would make any difference? The thing is, I kind of see his point.

      I think the debate did nothing to dislodge the hard core support for Trump, nor the tepid support from people like me who support the ticket and are focused on beating Hillary though without any strong positive attitude toward Trump himself.

      I do think it also did nothing to move undecideds his way, and that is necessary. He also did a very poor job of defending himself, not just against the attacks based on his comments but on the way those comments have been twisted to manipulate people into thinking he said something he did not say.

      So if you think Trump is going down in flames, the question seems to be, do you go down with him or do you look for a parachute, once you have realized you can’t restart the engine?

      The Trump engine is dead. It can’t be restarted. He is what he is, people have made up their minds about him as a person. What they haven’t done, hopefully, is made up their minds that what they think about him means he would be a worse president than Hillary.

      I think his only shot is to show that Hillary is a dangerous person to put into the presidency. Trump clearly is not the best person to make this case, because now no one pays any attention to him but his loyal following.

      Now is when the GOP and PACs need to step up. We should have an ad, for example, running everywhere, with some wives and girlfriends of “stars” talking about how their own comments about the kind of woman who hustles “stars” and offer themselves up to them for sex are often a lot more explicit than what Trump said. Get the women in there talking about their observations of these women and how what Trump said IS accurate—–the stars CAN do anything, and the women don’t care. And end the piece with one of them saying that what IS demeaning to women is trying to twist and spin this to convince women his comments are about women in general, not just groupies.

      We need an ad that says “There is a lot of effort to make it seem that not providing his tax returns means Donald Trump is hiding something. Well, one thing that is NOT in those tax returns is a single cent made by selling American influence to the highest bidder. What is NOT in those tax returns is money funneled into his personal account from a charitable foundation that has collected funds from foreign companies and nations, to hide the fact that the money is to pay for favorable rulings from the State Department. What the returns WON’T show is the millions and millions of dollars that have gone into the United States treasury from businesses started or owned by Donald Trump, or the additional millions collected from the tens of thousands of employees who have had jobs because of those businesses. The returns WON’T show the property taxes that support schools in the communities where employees of Trump enterprises have bought homes. Hillary Clinton thinks Americans are stupid. Not just the quarter of all Americans she thinks are deplorable and irredeemable, but all Americans, because she thinks she can fool all of you into thinking the only taxes that matter are the actual INCOME taxes that are, or are not, in Donald Trump’s returns. And she thinks you are stupid enough to think that she can fool you into thinking his tax returns will tell you he would not be a good president.”

      From the first day of the primaries, the Republican effort has looked like Curley, Moe and Larry are trying to get a Republican elected.

      • Cluster October 10, 2016 / 5:57 pm

        This isn’t about Trump. This is about conservative elites who are completely out of touch with the base and now showing their true colors. They are great at talking the talk, but not at walking the walk, and because of that the progressive agenda has moved along nearly unabated for the last 5 decades, hence the environment we find ourselves in. I often watch MSNBC and Kristol is on there quite a bit disparaging Trump and the knuckle draggers who support him. Real class but it is what sells in DC. In my opinion, this is a new political movement, neither Republican or Democrat, but just Americans who are DONE with those who are not willing to fight to protect our country and our way of life against global forces. I also think that Kristol and the boys really don’t understand what a possible existential threat Hillary is to this country. She is an admitted supporter of Soros open borders plan and is bought and paid for by many foreign special interests, so if you like Obama, you will love Hillary and America can not afford that. You have come to this conclusion so doesn’t it make you wonder why Kristol has not reached the same conclusion? I think people like Kristol are more enamored with themselves and their positions than they are with conservatism and they definitely don’t want to rock the boat.

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 8:03 pm

        That’s not my take on Kristol or his allies, not at all. I think they are so angry at seeing the first strong Conservative Movement opportunity thrown away, and so convinced that it means the end of our hopes for regaining the presidency not only this year but far into the future, that they don’t see their stance as tanking our chances but as holding strong to the principles and governmental values that define the Movement. Somebody has to.

        I don’t think it has anything at all to do with DC cocktail parties or being in with The In Crowd, whatever that may be. I think they know at least as well as we do what Progressivism has meant, and will mean, for the country, but also believe that our chances were destroyed when so many alleged Conservatives suddenly jumped ship for the latest shiny thing to catch their attention. Bill Kristol learned of the evils of Progressivism at his father’s knee and in the shadow of Bill Buckley. I don’t think you or anyone else can educate him on its dangers. He knows more about those dangers than any of us.

        My personal view of what you call this “ political movement..” is that it is not a POLITICAL movement at all, but an emotion-driven populist movement based on issues and anger and frustration and a certain amount of spite. How else can you describe a movement which never says a single thing about Constitutional governance but is all about a promise to do something impossible and self-destructive but which superficially appeals to the frustrations of people tired of seeing open borders?

        The fact is, an awful lot if not most of the original Trump people ARE kind of knuckle-draggers, at least politically if not socially or culturally. The fact is, much if not most of the early Trump support was quite irrational, based as the supporters themselves said on promises to do things that were emotionally gratifying but simply not possible, or even desirable, for many reasons. Trump reminded me of a kid running for eighth grade class president, promising no detention, longer lunch breaks, free candy and no tests. Of course the gullible loved every word.

        As the Trump Train picked up momentum, which we have to admit was fueled by a toxic mix of vicious personal attacks on his primary opponents till he drove them away, less by getting more votes than by just making the process so ugly it was not productive to continue, Trump moderated his original “free candy no tests” approach to broaden his appeal, and I think this is what attracted the more reasonable and rational voter—though even this depended on them simply ignoring what he had said earlier, and blindly accepting every statement at face value no matter what the history said. At this time the Trumpists were a little less like mobs and more like gatherings of political supporters—but the mob mentality was still there, and it was fed and watered and encouraged by Trump.

        This is how I see what has happened. Keep in mind, this is my own perspective. I see a party, the GOP, which lost its way and which morphed from an ideological basis which was open to all who shared the ideology, the Big Tent party, into a cluster of issue-based and therefore contentious subgroups. I see a party which is no longer political as much as social and cultural, having lost its political way, and I see it as being controlled by a small cadre of elites who seem to have no true political compass.

        In my view, a few strong and principled and dedicated Conservatives, like Bill Kristol, never gave up but fought the good fight and one by one managed to get people won over to their side, managed to get the message out, managed to get a few people elected to Congress, and managed to set the stage for a true Conservative rally. They expected to have to battle the Left but were ready for that. And all of a sudden they were seeing every single thing they had worked for, for decades, being trampled by an emotion-driven populist demagogue, aided and abetted by a party elite so threatened by the conservative uprising they threw this populist mob at it to derail it.

        I think they saw the same thing so many of us saw from the beginning, which is that once we were stuck with Trump we would have a candidate who is, as Thomas Sowell said, “radioactive” because of his own sordid history and personality quirks. So I don’t think they believe that anything they say will change the outcome of the election, because it has been preordained by what they, and I, and so many others, have seen all along as a fatally flawed candidate.

        I absolutely understand their rage and sense of betrayal. They had to sit by and watch the political support they needed to finally accomplish their goal hijacked by people who simply discarded the political values upon which the movement was based. All of a sudden the enthusiasm was turned against the true conservative, because the demagogue had his mobs screeching “Lyin’ Ted!!” nonstop, and it was directed toward someone who believes in single payer health care, the use of Eminent Domain to confiscate private property to benefit the corporate elite, the wonderfulness of Planned Parenthood, and so on. Why WOULDN’T they be thoroughly pissed off?

        It’s gone. This is what you don’t get. IT’S GONE. The chance of building on the foundation they carefully put together is gone. It has been hijacked, bled, dismantled and basically shit on by a populist movement which excuses itself by pointing out that they are just plain mad, and that’s what counts. And that whole carefully built edifice is now trashed. It is gone.

        The mobs have had enough triumph to feel vindicated in their populist rage, and they are not going to simply move into a conservative mindset and movement now. They have tasted victory, at least for a while, and it tasted good. They bullied good people out of the way with their vitriol, and they excused their descent into the gutter by saying it was necessary to finally know how to fight there. They bulldozed and blackmailed the party into giving them a nomination they demanded by threatening to sabotage the election if anyone else was named. They DESTROYED the movement, like clouds of locusts in a corn field. It is shattered. And now they are sulking because they are seen this way.

        Yes, Trump had some good days, and yes, he climbed in the polls. Yes, there was a chance he might win—but nothing said by Kristol or anyone like him was going to change that if it was going to happen. And Kristol and others knew, all along, just as they and I and others warned the party months ago, when we got to October the floodgates of raw stinking sewage would be opened and Trump and his supporters and his chances were likely to be swept away, along with the collateral damage of the party, the election, and the hopes for a return to Constitutional governance.

        So I see Kristol as a voice in the dark, letting us know there is still a place of sanity and reason where we can go when the populist mobs have destroyed everything else and turned the nation over to Hillary Clinton. I doubt that any Trumpists will go there, because the mentality is pretty much what you and Mark have described—-rage at not having Trump treated as the wonderful Hero Of The People, the guy who will stand up to the bad guys, the guy who is finally ‘…willing to fight to protect our country and our way of life against global forces…. You/they will never forgive us, and I think the division will not be repaired as long as Trumpists deny their role in the disaster and hold grudges against those who stood firm in defense of conservative POLITICAL values.

        In the meantime, as I said, I don’t think Bill Kristol is changing any minds or harming Trump’s chances in any way. If he loses it will not be Bill Kristol’s fault, and if he wins nothing Kristol has said will matter.

        It looks to me as if some people are planning ahead on who to blame if Trump tanks, in denial of his role or theirs in the disaster.

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 8:05 pm

        “I think people like Kristol are more enamored with themselves and their positions than they are with conservatism and they definitely don’t want to rock the boat.” Yet all Kristol is doing is rocking the boat. He is going against the Trump Tide, and he is getting the kind of outraged backlash you keep dumping on him. I’d hardly consider that an avoidance of rocking the boat.

      • M. Noonan October 10, 2016 / 9:47 pm

        Kristol is a very smart man with a lot of good things to say on many issues – but I do believe there has been a disconnect between the overall leadership and the base…and let’s face it, the leadership is mostly insulated from what is hammering the people these days. I’m not going to throw someone as good as Kristol overboard, but I do hope that in 2017 there is a serious re-thinking by everyone.

      • Bob Eisenhower October 10, 2016 / 8:14 pm


        I agree with your analysis of Kristol and of the ashes of the once-conservative GOP. How do you see Conservatism rising from these ashes?

        There does not appear to be the exodus of Conservatives to take over or start another party, as I’d hoped. I really don’t see the GOP being able to clean the rot from within. How do you think things might shake out after November?

      • Amazona October 10, 2016 / 8:47 pm

        Bob, give it time. I think Kristol’s role right now is lighthouse, beaming out the message that there is a place that is still committed. I haven’t talked to my political friends lately—-everyone is pretty depressed, and until something happens there isn’t much to talk about with them—but the last time we talked there was some pretty serious rumbling. For example, a state GOP head (not from my own state) wrote to me that he knows the party has to make some very serious changes—the wording was a lot stronger than that but I don’t feel like digging up the email.

        Let’s wait till after the election. I don’t agree with people like Ryan and Romney piling on, though I do understand the gamble that they and similar responses might have gotten Trump out of the way in time for Pence to do some repair work. It was a gamble, and they lost, and I don’t think we need to add to that.

        Have you contacted your local GOP? I’m lucky to be in Colorado, where our GOP is fairly strong, and close to other states such as Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Utah where there is a good strong conservative presence.

        As you know, I am in the Reform the GOP camp rather than the Build An Alternative camp, so that is where I would start—see if there is a conservative underground rumbling around under the surface near you. If you go online you will find Republicans meeting all the time—-there will be lunch meetings every month and things like that, for party members or people in specific demographics within the party. I think you will find a lot more dissatisfaction with the status quo in the party than you realize.

        Priebus has to go. We thought Steele would be good, but he was squishy, and Priebus just collapsed like wet cardboard.

        We can support good candidates in other states. If your district is Liberal, then pick a couple of people and send them money to help them beat Liberals wherever they are. My first venture into that was a check to John Thune, and I have kept it up. This year, in addition to local people, I have sent money to Ted Cruz. We have to get rid of McConnell. We are stuck with McCain but maybe we can get a Republican in to replace Reid—I haven’t been following that race.

  10. Amazona October 10, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    There is another ad I would like to see:

    On the screen, there would be text that remains in place during the entire ad

    In most states, first-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning.

    Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable “heat of passion”; or a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender’s obvious lack of concern for human life.

    The vocal part of the ad, playing while the text is on the screen, would read:

    “Under the law, a crime is considered more serious, more heinous, if it is premeditated. The law sees a difference between acting on the spur of the moment or without intent and planning to do something that is a crime.

    Hillary Clinton PLANNED to use her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself. She PLANNED to try to hide evidence of this by hiding her communications so they could not be discovered through the Freedom of Information Act. What she did, when she set up a secret private email server, was prove that she knew that using her position of trust and authority as Secretary of State for personal gain was wrong, and prove the intent to try to hide this from investigation.

    That makes what she did even more serious.

    The consequences of what she did might not be premeditated, but when she made the confidential and classified communications of the Secretary of State of the United States easy to find, by running them through an unsecured server supervised by someone who had no security clearance at all, she showed an “obvious lack of concern” for national security. We will never know the consequences of that information being in the hands of people who may not be our friends. We do know there is a reason to keep this kind of information secret, which is why people with access to it are required to sign agreements that they will protect this information. Hillary Clinton signed agreements like this several times in her more than 30 years in Washington D.C. And she violated those agreements, with intent and premeditation. Her word is useless and she cannot be trusted.

    This is not a person who should be President.”

    I would leave the text up because, while the voice-over is not talking about murder per se, but just about the difference between a premeditated crime and a more spontaneous crime the visual will call up the deaths of the four in Benghazi, and subliminally link them to second degree murder, or an “obvious lack of concern for human life”.

    It’s time for the gloves to hit the ice.

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