How the GOP will change after Trump

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.52.27 PM

Our “reasonable” alternative

How much will the Republican Party change after the Trumpocalypse? Zero. Nada. None at all.

Leaders at every level have signaled that white nationalism is now acceptable in the Party of Lincoln. From Paul Ryan to Scott Walker to Marco Rubio, senior figures have confirmed that tax cuts are a higher priority on the Republican agenda than basic human rights and civil liberties.

No one can unring that bell.

Many Republicans fantasize that after Trump’s defeat the party will execute a miraculous “pivot,” restoring sanity and regaining some semblance of relevance. Unfortunately, our embrace of racist groups will dictate the party’s short, grim future. A change of direction is impossible because all of the party’s feedback mechanisms have been systematically dismantled.

The Politics of Crazy has eroded the social capital institutions that once blunted the influence of dumb ideas and daffy candidates. A conservative entertainment complex has destroyed any means by which Republican voters might confront dissonant information. Whatever organizational structure the party once enjoyed has been replaced by a vampire squid of grift, a matrix of interconnected cons funneling contributions down a bottomless hole.

Very few of the people who built this mess have any stake in the outcome. If RNC Chairman Reince Priebus fails to retain his position next year, he’ll leave the worst job on the planet to quadruple his income (at least) with a fat position on K street. For Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the rest of the conservative entertainment complex, the show will go on without pausing to apologize. The same people who bought tickets to see Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America will fork over more cash for next year’s low-budget sequel. Nobody pays for getting it wrong.

With the party stripped of feedback mechanisms, Trump’s defeat will do nothing to interrupt the GOP’s decline. The kind of people who think climate change is a hoax aren’t going to reconsider their life choices just because some guy lost an election.

The Reagan coalition is dead, but the remaining members can’t smell the corpse. They don’t understand why their rhetoric falls flat. They have no idea why younger voters have rejected them. They can’t comprehend why their policies are failing in the places that have adopted them. Most of all, they refuse to rethink the positions and rhetoric that have driven non-white voters from the party.

After November, Republican leadership will pretend that Trump was some kind of anomaly, an act of God like a hurricane or earthquake. There will be so-called “reforms.” Fresh slogans will be spray-painted over the same flaming dumpster. Smiling, cooperative, “well-spoken” black people will be paraded on stage at Republican events all over the country. No effort to soften the party’s tone will change the fact that 70% of Republican primary voters supported either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in 2016. Those voters aren’t going to get smarter overnight. They aren’t going to reflect on their choices. And they aren’t going away.

Absent a fundamental reconstruction of the party it will never again nominate a competitive candidate for President. That reconstruction isn’t coming anytime soon, because there are no forces in the party capable of delivering it.

What does this mean for the party’s future?

The party’s shift toward a more open white nationalism is a terminal event that will play out across the next four years. Big losses in 2016 will probably be tempered somewhat by a fleeting recovery in 2018. Forces that boost Republicans in off-year races remain at work, though they continue to weaken. A few wins in 2018 will not be enough to staunch the bleeding.

By 2020 the demographic forces that have driven the party out of contention nationally will be impossible to ignore. That will be the first election in which a significant number of millennials have hit the real voting age – 35 – the age at which people start to participate reliably in politics. In the next Presidential election millennials will be nearly 40% of eligible voters. Beyond 2020 they will completely dominate our politics.

Their coming of age will coincide with the emergence of a massive younger wave of Hispanic voters, far more politically engaged than their parents. These two forces are the hammer and anvil waiting to crush the weakened remnants of the GOP. Their arrival in serious numbers will finally break the party’s state and local successes in nominally red states that have large urban areas.

Whatever talk show host or religious fanatic the GOP nominates in 2020 will enter the race polling just ahead of the Libertarians and Greens. If that sounds unlikely, take a look at Trump’s current polling in Utah and New York. The future is now.

At this point there’s only one thing that can rescue the Republican Party – the Democratic Party. In this political climate, a Democratic coalition large enough to win 55% of the vote in a Presidential election is too large to be structurally sound.

There’s reason to believe that Democrats might suffer their own Politics of Crazy-style disaster. In 2016 Democrats came very close to nominating the left’s version of Ron Paul. Based on that 2016 close call, 2020 could be rocky. Larger social, economic, and political forces that have overwhelmed the Republican Party may be just one or two cycles away from ruining the Democrats.

Barring such a failure by Democrats in 2020, a Republican implosion will trigger a powerful and potentially destabilizing scramble to occupy the second spot in our two-party system. How that plays out is impossible to predict. We can be sure though that Trump’s defeat will not change the Republican Party’s trajectory. No advice or warnings will be heard. It’s too late now to take this train off the tracks.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Election 2020, Politics of Crazy, Uncategorized
227 comments on “How the GOP will change after Trump
  1. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Let me be honest…

    I speak with probably more black people than Donald Trump does on a regular basis. I probably speak with more black people each week than some people who post on this site. When I say talk to black people I am saying I speak with them in a casual and open manner.

    Talking to black people on a regular basis in a restaurant when you are ready to make your order does not count for the purpose of this conversation.


    I am talking actual political conversations, discussions of health struggles or the struggle to provide educational opportunities to their children and young relatives. Discussions of past humiliations and current ones borne of the racial animus by those they have encountered in life.

    These are people who “keep it 100”. If you don’t know what that means… google it.

    These are people who are hopeful, but are realists. They are pragmatic to an exceptional degree. They are hip to deceptions by some politicians, businessmen, etc. that are often oblivious to others.

    They are often not pessimists but have reached the conclusion long ago that even if they do everything right in society, everything they have worked for can be unjustly taken away in an instant.

    One could call this a fatalistic view of the American story that is not always discussed openly.
    That fatalistic view of the world can be a great asset sometimes.

    It is how many black people have survived with sanity intact.

    Donald Trump’s personal “pitch” to African Americans is no pitch at all. It is a deliberate deception at best, a grotesque insult at worst. The fact people would believe it at all makes it an atrocity.

    Donald Trump is the type of man who once paid for a page in a New York paper calling for the execution of teenage black suspects in the infamous assault on the Central Park Rape victim… who were revealed years later to have been innocent.

    They spent many years in prison for a crime that was committed by another man.

    Trump never apologized for being mistaken in calling for the deaths of innocent black children. This is not a presidential candidate to many black people. This is a man they view as an authentic monster.

    The black people I have spoken to know what the score is. They know all Trump is doing is trying to show skeptical independents and Republicans he is not a bigot, which worries some of them and may prevent them from voting for him in November.

    Trump knows he can’t realistically reach out successfully to minorities between now and election day to secure their vote. This recent speech (made in front of a mostly Caucasian audience) isn’t really about getting a second look from non-whites.

    So if people on this site can’t figure it out I’m here to tell you…
    African-Americans are not preconditioned for stupidity, contrary to anything you may have read by Charles Murray.

    They will not allow themselves to be used by Donald Trump (or by Republicans) as a tool to make doubtful white voters more comfortable voting for him.

    They won’t let that happen, at least not without saying something. It’s up to everyone else in America if they want to listen.

    Trumps says they have nothing to lose in voting for him as president. I say history says otherwise.

    • For my part at least, I can’t think of a single contributor here that doesn’t recognize Trump’s ‘deception’ (if one is so inclined to call it that, that is) for what it is.

      And while I’m convinced Trump’s in this not so much to win simply as he is to narrow the margin as much as he can and claim he was cheated, none of that obscures the ugly reality that he’s doing what he was from the very beginning, maximizing his share of the white vote as much as he can.

      Given recent reporting, it looks like he’s even failing at that.

    • formdib says:

      “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

      Literally every opportunity to reverse those figures, Mr. Trump.

  2. If there was just one demographic you’d think Trump excelled in, it would be white men. According to a recent NYT article however, even that supposed linchpin of support is showing surprising weakness.

    This brings us to a critical question. Just how many of these crucial voters either vote for Clinton or just stay home on Election Day, and what does that bode for Republicans’ down-ballot chances?

  3. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Courtesy of CNN:

    A half-Indian supporter was apparently kicked out of a Trump rally for being brown. This is awful. Trump and comapny has created an atmosphere so racist it can’t even tolerate non-white supporters for his campaign at events.

    Is a Trump rally at this point all that functionally different from a Klu Klux Klan rally or a Neo-Nazi gang… or maybe the villains from Harry Potter?

    Are only “pure bloods” allowed?

    I hope this kid figures out this candidate campaign is an existential threat to minorities like him, not a chance to “Make America Great Again”.

    Strange interview, the young man condemns the Black Lives Matters movement… even while admitting he was being probably being racially discriminated by a member of Trump’s security team.

    “Jake Anantha, an 18-year-old from Charlotte, was approached by a member of Trump’s security team and then ushered out by police. He was told that he resembled another man who had previously disrupted Trump rallies.”

    “I told him I’ve never been to another rally in my life,” Anantha said. “I’m a huge Trump supporter. I would never protest against Trump.”

    “I do think it’s because I’m brown,” Anantha said, explaining why he believes he was kicked out. He added that he was “totally shocked.”

    “Anantha is a registered Republican, according to state voter records, who registered to vote in March. Anantha, who said he’s a student at Central Piedmont Community College, was wearing a pro-Trump shirt with another pro-Trump shirt underneath.”

    “I couldn’t believe what was going on,” he said of the incident. “Obviously now I’m very angry. I’ve wasted a bunch of time coming here. I may have wasted six months of my life supporting Donald Trump, who doesn’t even let me come to his rallies.”

    I hate to sound naive but I still find this stunning.

  4. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    \We may have reached peak “The Politics of Crazy”. This story is tragic, gruesome and weird. WEIRD.

    It’s a Florida story (un)naturally.

    “While eating man’s face, Florida ‘cannibal killer’ wore Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ hat”

    • formdib says:

      Eh, if Florida Man signifies our current civics then Carl Hiaasen wrote Politics of Crazy in multiple volumes ages before Chris Ladd.

  5. Griffin says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Chicago police unions are strong enough to save these cops jobs after they were caught lying about a police shooting:

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Yes, they are coming right at us, so get out of the way.

    • Creigh says:

      A big change in the way we own (or don’t own) and drive (or don’t drive) cars is coming. Certainly first to cities, where owning, parking, and driving is a pain. It’ll take longer in rural areas.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        One good thing I am seeing already is the disappearing stigma for people who don’t drive, for whatever reason.

        However, I do predict people who use self-driving individual cars will look down on those who use driverless mass transit.

        That’s one thing I think will never disappear — the human need to think oneself superior.

      • Fair Economist says:

        If you think about it, the anti-driving stigma was created and is now being destroyed, all within a (somewhat long) human lifespan. Interesting sociologically.

        So true on the need to think oneself superior! LOL

  6. objv says:

    Let’s revisit the Bush/Katrina criticism. Isn’t Obama doing the same thing Bush was accused of? Trump is visiting the area now. Maybe someone should paint Obama with no clothes?

    “The Advocate of Baton Rouge issued an editorial Wednesday night titled “Our Views: Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama.”

    “Now that the flood waters ravaging Louisiana are receding, it’s time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union.”

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, he should. At the very least, or most, he acted swiftly in response to the governor’s request to declare LA a disaster area…But, in situations like this, the President needs to visit.

    • goplifer says:

      I may have missed some of the coverage on Fox, but how many LA residents are currently trapped in the Superdome without food and water?

      • objv says:

        Chris, maybe I have too many facebook friends from Louisiana but I was getting constant updates and pictures of the flooding and losses suffered by their friends and family.

      • goplifer says:

        Me too. How many of them needed rescue by the National Guard…and didn’t get it. Personally I didn’t know of any. Not this time at least. Katrina was a different story.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, I have Family with water in their homes so my experience is personal. This is an unprecedented flood but you don’t call out the president when he’s doing what he can to help as requested. I didn’t know Gov. Edwards had asked him to wait. I don’t know if you have ever been in a situation like LA is experiencing FIRST Hand, but helicopters flying over for photo shoots cause more flood water to enter homes and businesses. Right now, the state needs help with such basic services as rescues and restoration of water and power. No photo ops necessary. The President will come at the appropriate time.

      • 1mime says:

        Here you go, Ob. Hillary has sent out emails to her base with links to the appropriate agencies for donations and assistance. Now’s your chance. I am not on Trump’s mailing list so maybe that’s why I haven’t received anything from him. Here’s Hillary’s letter FYI, so you can donate.

        BTW, I thank god that John Bel Edwards is the Governor of LA for this disaster and not Jindal.

        “”I just got off the phone with Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.

        The flooding there is more extensive than anyone expected — more than 40,000 homes have been damaged and more than 100,000 people have been affected.

        My heart breaks for Louisiana, and right now, the relief effort can’t afford any distractions. The very best way this team can help is to make sure Louisianans have the resources they need.

        There are two organizations the governor asked that we help. Chip in right now to the Red Cross, which is doing critical work to provide medical assistance and supplies to the victims of this natural disaster. You can also donate right now to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a local organization that’s directing money to community non-profits that need it.

        These are our friends, our family members, our community — and they’re counting on us to reach out with open arms right now. This team has done so much for me. Now I’m asking you to show that same support to the victims in Louisiana, so that we can begin to rebuild together:

      • 1mime says:

        Aw, be nice, lifer (-;

      • Kenneth Devaney says:

        FEMA does seem to have this one under control. Their utilization of mobile emergency response teams greatly reduced folks stranded…too bad we didn’t have these for Katrina. Even the emergency disaster relief program links are getting responses from the agency to make sure folks have shelter, food and water…

      • 1mime says:

        Gov. Edwards knows what he’s doing. He is well equipped to know how to conduct an operation like this, as sad as it is to have to. LA is fortunate to have him in charge. Here’s more info. (also incredible that LA was smart enough to select him as governor because he’s the first Democratic Governor in several years….goodness knows Jindal was a disaster.)

        As for FEMA, they have had to fight for their financial life through the sequester process and in every appropriations bill. They, like the US Coast Guard, are unsung heroes who keep their heads down and just do their jobs despite the politics surrounding them.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I am so sorry some of your relatives have had property damage from the flooding. I hope that all goes well with repairs.

        One of my friends in Louisiana posted the following link for an additional way to contribute to help those in need.

    • goplifer says:

      Oh, and also, I haven’t seen any exact figures from Fox or Breitbart on how many hundreds of corpses are laying abandoned, untended and uncounted, just like in Katrina. Just post a figure.

      • 1mime says:

        Hey, NICE Photo!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Chris, you remind me of a Catholic priest in this photo.

      • 1mime says:

        Hey, Chris! I’ve got a bone to pick with you for your new photo….against a “red” wall? Really?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, that’s very observant of you.

        A blue shirt against a red wall.

      • goplifer says:

        A Catholic priest? Well, I haven’t heard that before. Didn’t think about the red and blue. I guess I’m just naturally patriotic.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, being called a Catholic used to be problematic for Republicans….possibly a Southern Baptist….would be….???

        Don’t go there, Lifer….just messin’ with you!

      • Griffin says:

        Catholic? Naaaaw he’d fit in at my Methodist Church to a tee. We all have the same damn polo shirts. Hell even I’m wearing one now.

      • objv says:


        This wasn’t a Katrina from the standpoint of lives lost but over 30,000 people had to be rescued by the National Guard and volunteers like those of the “Cajun Navy.” People are still missing and flooded homes are being search for some who may not have made it out – not to mention pets that had to be left behind.

        I came home from camping on Sunday, checked the news, then facebook, and saw all the posts from my Louisiana buddies. I was surprised that the news didn’t have much on the flooding. Lots on the Olympic swimmers and Trump … the situation in LA … not so much.

        For all it’s worth, I like the photo! 🙂

    • goplifer says:

      Not sure the Katrina card is going be quite the trump people are hoping for.

      • The Louisiana governor has asked Obama not to come now. It will distract needed personnel from the work they have!

      • objv says:


        I think the governor is covering for Obama. At this stage, a visit from the President would not be distracting. It would be encouraging and let people know that their president cares.

        “Like Obama, President George W. Bush was on vacation as Katrina devastated parts of Louisiana. He cut his stay at his Texas ranch short by two days to return to Washington — assessing the flooding from above on Air Force One during the return trip. Despite those efforts, Bush’s response to Katrina was viewed as inadequate, and Bush himself acknowledged the period inflicted lasting damage on his reputation as commander in chief.

        In the editorial on Thursday, The Advocate warned Obama against repeating Bush’s mistakes.

        “We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel,” the paper wrote. “In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.”

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s the backstory to Obama’s visit to LA. By way of personal family and friends, let me also share that I-10 and I-12 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and between Lafayette and Baton Rouge have been closed to vehicular traffic as have many other routes. The only way to get into B.R. is by air and housing is at peak. Over 70K people are staying in shelters or people’s homes/hotels/etc. As seems to always be the case, common sense should prevail even when it raises questions about priorities. Obama has been there before. Nothing he does will ever be good enough for those who hate him….for being POTUS while Black.

      • antimule says:

        You look a bit older on that picture. Not sure why

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The 2016 election cycle has aged him.

      • vikinghou says:

        objv wrote: “I think the governor is covering for Obama.”

        Grasping for straws.

      • johngalt says:

        A visit from the President is a huge distraction from the immediate needs of disaster victims. Obama is visiting next week. I doubt that he’ll praise incompetence when he does. “Hehe, great job, Brownie.”

    • goplifer says:

      How many years do you think it will be before investigators give up trying to identify all of the dead from this storm? You know, like in Katrina.

    • Griffin says:

      Oh God some of my family members are talking about this and posting a link from FOX spelling out WHY THEY SHOULD BE MAD GAAAAAR!!!#%^@(&!

      (I mean do they really have to spell out EXACTLY how their audience should be angry?)

      Is this really the new “Benghazi”? I would say this would just serve to divorce the Republican right even further from reality but that may not even be possible anymore. I mean when do we reach a point when after Benghazi Outrage Number (Insert any number) that it just doesn’t make a difference anymore?

  7. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    So this is a thing now. Homeless white supremacists stabbing interracial couples after seeing them kissing in public… And has voiced support for Trump apparently.

    “Daniel Rowe was apparently enraged at the sight of a black man and a white woman kissing on the streets of Olympia, Wash., Tuesday night. But police say he hid his violent intent behind a stony face until he was close enough to strike.”

    “The attack happened about 8:30 p.m. in the state’s capital city on Fourth Avenue, a classic downtown street busy with people going to a local movie theater or visiting bars and restaurants.”

    “Rowe had recently been released from Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, about 300 miles away. Police say he may have been among the ranks of the state’s homeless, who flock to Olympia for help on their way to Portland or Seattle.”

    “Rowe, 32, walked up to the couple and, without warning, yelled a racial slur and lunged with his knife, police say. The blade grazed the woman and went into the man’s hip, according to a news release from Olympia police.”

    “The suspect is unknown to the victims and the attack appears to have been unprovoked,” police said in the statement.”

    “After the attack, Rowe ran off as stunned onlookers dialed 911. The 47-year-old male victim, not realizing how badly he was injured, chased Rowe and “tripped him up,” said Lt. Paul Lower, a police department spokesman. Rowe hit his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious.”

    “No one involved had life-threatening injuries, but police said Rowe’s behavior grew stranger as officers tried to wrestle him into the back of a patrol car.”

    “He tells them, ‘Yeah, I stabbed them. I’m a white supremacist,’” Lower said. “He begins talking about Donald Trump rallies and attacking people at the Black Lives Matter protest.”

    “According to court documents obtained by the Olympian, Rowe, who was unconscious when police encountered him, had tattoos that read “skinhead,” “white power” and “hooligan.” One tattoo showed the Confederate flag.”

    Should this be surprising? Clearly incidents like this happened because of Obama. Just like how he killed the Khan family’s son in Iraq after he started ISIS as a Illinois state senator in 2004.

    This is why we should build a wall to keep out the Kenyans. We all know they all support Hillary… which makes them devil worshippers. You know she has legions of heroin dealing illegal alien Mexican rapists ready to strike real American…


    But in all seriousness folks… Alex Jones,, Trump, Trump’s morally compromised evangelical supporters, the fanatical Roger Ailes cultists at Fox News and the neutered Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are helping ruin America this year.

    • antimule says:

      >But in all seriousness folks… Alex Jones,, Trump, Trump’s morally compromised evangelical supporters, the fanatical Roger Ailes cultists at Fox News and the neutered Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are helping ruin America this year.

      Good news is they are also ruining each other.

      • 1mime says:

        As Ob noted, the nicest person on the team is a woman, Kellyanne Conway…..which makes me wonder how she’ll achieve anything of substance.

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      Sir Magpie,
      I could have gone my whole life without seeing that statue…I can’t unsee that!

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        It’s not my fault. Blame the gifted hands of haunted house artist “Ginger” for the statues storming across America. It looks like “The Emperor has No Balls” is a viral sensation.

        After the statue was demolished in Union Square by park wardens in New York City, this was the response from New York’s department of parks and recreation…

        “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small,” a spokesperson told AFP in an email.


        I really love that town.

  8. vikinghou says:

    More Trump drama. Paul Manafort is out. I wonder if he’d had enough or if his connections to Russian bad boys was too much for the campaign to swallow.

    • RobA says:

      Hard to say. My gut is that Manafort wanted out, perhaps he wasn’t expecting THIS kind of scrutiny, and some of the stories now coming out could lead to very serious trouble. Lobbying for foreign interests without declaring it is a felony. He could legitimately be looking at jail time. And who knows what else is out there? Manafort obviously does, and maybe he’s trying to stop further investigation.

      As for Trump, his speech last night was very interesting. This Bannon guy may be a lot more clever then I have him credit for. One thing that gets said about him again and again (besides being a truly shitty human being) is that he’s very smart and very ambitious. He’ll do and say whatever will get hin ahead. To that end, it’s very possible (maybe even likely) that Breitbart was just a stepping stone. I.e. maybe he’s not really a “true believer” in the alt right, just used Breitbart to advance himself. Now that the site has served his purpose, perhaps he’s leaving that behind. The speech Trump gave last night was nothing like anyone suspected. We all thought hiring Bannon meant a double down of “let Trump be Trump”.

      Maybe it is, but last night speech foreshadowed a much savvier candidate then we’ve seen so far. The Trump campaign biggest flaw, IMO, is its absolute inabikity to apologize, or even admit they were wrong. For those who aren’t authoritarian minded, apologies can go a very long way. And contrary to Trumps juvenile instincts, apologies are often a sign of strength, not weakness.

      I’ll be a little worried if Bannon guides Trump more towards this human, fallible Trump. That will be far better for him then continuing his ” let Trump be Trump” schtick.

      • Everything I’ve read about Bannon indicates that he’s drunk the Kool-Aid himself, and is only dimly able to perceive the world outside of his ideological walls. It’ll be interesting to see how he copes with a campaign that’s already been having problems with preaching to the choir.

        Meanwhile, the fact that Breitbart people are coming into this mess increases the chances that my least favourite human being, Milo Yiannopoulos, will end up involved somehow. I shall be distinctly unhappy if that happens.

      • vikinghou says:

        Your a better man than I, RobA. I simply can’t stomach Trump’s speeches any more. The best I can muster is to view clips in news reports.

      • objv says:

        Where’s the news that Kellyanne Conway is the new campaign manager? All the focus is on this Bannon guy. My guess is that Conway is the one who helped Trump with the speech. Why is she getting little attention? Could it be that you Democrats don’t want to give Trump credit for hiring a woman manager?

      • 1mime says:

        I posted earlier (more than once) about how well received Kellyanne Conway (T U for last name) is on both sides of the aisle. What I think is odd, however, is how someone like Ms. Conway with her principled, quiet approach can work within a Breitbart organization. She seems to be a fine, capable woman and she could make a real difference “if” Trump listens to her.

      • 1mime says:

        The gal, Kellyann (?) has a fine reputation from boths Dem and Repub pundits. She will make a difference as well.

        As noted before, Trump really doesn’t want to lose, and he now has a team of very smart, savy political advisors that can use the remaining time to try to turn this election around.

        And then there is always the GOP who will do their part. This is going to erode her support even as the “new” Trump emerges and presents a more “likable/acceptable/presidential” facade….because, we all know But, others don’t. Those who hate Hillary may be swayed just enough to abandon her…Might be time for a Hillary re-focus on strengthening her true base…It will be interesting to see how her campaign pivots to both the anticipated perjury charges and the kinder, gentler Trump.

      • vikinghou says:


        Chris Matthews interviewed her for 20 minutes on Hardball last evening. It’s clear that, among the Trump surrogates, she seems to be the most sane. I didn’t agree with what she had to say, but at least she was coherent.

      • objv says:

        Mime, where is the true Hillary? Isn’t the image she projects a façade as well? By many accounts, there is good reason why Michelle Obama called her Hildebeast. She is notoriously hard to work for except for those in her inner circle.

      • 1mime says:

        All I can say is that Obama seems to like her just fine, and he would be in a much better position to know the “real” Hillary than Michelle would. Can you provide a link to support the Michelle quote?

        It wouldn’t matter if Hillary Clinton was annointed by the Pope as a saint. She would never be believed to be a good person by those who have been poisoned by the Republican Party over decades of personal attacks and false innuendo. She is an imperfect person but she is a competent, skilled, smart and I think good person. We will simply disagree in our personal and professional assessment of HRC.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I think Bannon is clever: let’s try to humanize the rump. A regret statement. A trip to Baton Rouge.

        See, he’s got a heart.

      • 1mime says:

        That is definitely the pivot, Bobo.

      • 1mime says:

        Reports of leaks of classified information from Clinton FBI interviews given to House Oversight Committee Members. Those confirmed to have passed on classified information are committing felonies. This is exactly what was predicted.

      • objv says:

        Mime, the Hildebeest claim came from a book called “Blood Feud” by Edward Klein.

        There has been talk of Hillary being a difficult boss since Travelgate.

        “The abuse of Presidential power known as Travelgate elicited another series of lies. She induced a White House lawyer to assert flatly to investigators that Mrs. Clinton did not order the firing of White House travel aides, who were then harassed by the F.B.I. and Justice Department to justify patronage replacement by Mrs. Clinton’s cronies.

        Now we know, from a memo long concealed from investigators, that there would be “hell to pay” if the furious First Lady’s desires were scorned. The career of the lawyer who transmitted Hillary’s lie to authorities is now in jeopardy. Again, she lied with good reason: to avoid being identified as a vindictive political power player who used the F.B.I. to ruin the lives of people standing in the way of juicy patronage.”

  9. Remember when I said that Dems should pound Repubs without mercy for their inaction on Zika, particularly in FL? That nonexistent snowball appears to have started rolling.

    I was particularly fond of this gem of a quote: ““The GOP are taking the majority of the blame,” said one senior staffer to a Florida Republican who asked for anonymity to speak frankly. “Constituents don’t understand it was Democrats who blocked it, and worse they think the House went home for summer ‘vacation’ rather than find some room for compromise. We are screwed.”

    • RobA says:

      As I argued weeks ago, the GOP controls the House. Rightly or wrongly , they’ll take the blame. The types of ppl who don’t spend their time on political message boards like us (I.e. the vast majority of ppl) don’t get that deep into the weeds with that stuff. They tend to assume (quite naturally) that the party that controls Congress is going to be responsible for its successes AND it’s failures.

      And rightly so. Even though it could disingenuously be argued that “the Dems blocked it”, in reality, the GOP made it impossible to pass with their poison pills.

      But at the end of the day, the buck stops at the top. The controlling party will always take blame (or credit) for the results of Congressional action (or inaction). All the more reason not to insert poison pills.

      • RobA says:

        I should also add, lots of Americans aren’t stupid.

        Offering a too small package and attaching a bunch of partisan riders and then “blaming” Dems for not passing it is not going to work.

        That’d be like if you were owed $1000 for services rendered and when you went to get paid, your boss says “Here’s $500. Take it or leave it”. And then when you take him to court, he says ” hey, it’s his fault. I offered him money and he refused to take it”.

        It’s not gonna fly.

      • 1mime says:

        I hadn’t seen your posts (I work up the posts in time sequence) but we are in exact agreement.

      • 1mime says:

        I have a very hard response to the decision by the GOP to play games with the ZIKA funding bill: you deserve to pay a big price for playing with people’s lives. This is the ugliest of political games and I hope they lose FL big over this one issue. There has to be consequences to gamesmanship like this. Has to be. You simply do not risk health crises in order to advance political agendas, and that is all this was about.

        You may recall, that this gambit occurred as the Dems staged a sit-in on the House floor. Pay back? Either way, it is a reprehensible decision to play with people’s lives and health. Reprehensible and Republicans deserve the worst outcome for their little game.

      • Dems up and down the ballot will win in FL on Zika as long as they keep raking Repubs over the coals on it. Don’t let them breathe for even a second.

    • 1mime says:

      Or, maybe the Floridians understood it perfectly: “Democrats blocked the bill because Republicans poisoned it”. Understandably, it is more difficult to adopt the more nuanced understanding, but I think it can be explained, further, people in high exposure areas have been following this battle for a while. They likely knew that Pres. Obama proposed $1.9B in February to prepare for the ZIKA invasion, and they likely knew that a bi-partisan bill had been crafted then dropped, and they probably knew that the Republicans were playing more games by not only an inadequately funded bill, but refusing to vote for it as a stand alone measure. They likely understood that the long delay was unnecessary and careless, and that money was being taken from other programs that also impact this major southern gateway (Ebola, cancer, PP contraception availability, etc); and they likely know:

      This is how Republicans govern. Wrap it up in whatever gaudy paper and ribbon you’ve got, Repubs, when you open it up, it still smells to high heavens.

  10. WX Wall says:

    Here’s an update on the Laquan McDonald case in Chicago. CPD’s new superintendent has recommended terminating 7 officers, including ones whose crime was lying in their incident reports.

    It’s a good start, but we’ll need to see if this new attitude remains once the spotlight is off.

    But I also wanted to share this story about the Chicago PD:

    The main reason is because of this paragraph:
    “The officer is the same cop who escorted an elderly woman home a few weeks ago in the same neighborhood where he was shot Tuesday evening, when she appeared disoriented in the street. He and another officer bought her groceries when they realized she had no food in the house.”

    I fully support BLM, and I’m glad that there is some justice coming to those cops who behaved unprofessionally in the Laquan McDonald case. But I’m also incredibly grateful that the vast majority of cops are like the latter one, who do the right thing every day even when it doesn’t earn medals or make the news. I salute you!

    • 1mime says:

      Here, here. We need more coverage of the kindnesses that happen in America – from our law enforcement officers, to our teachers and medical staff and just ordinary good people –

  11. As anyone who’s followed this blog knows all too well by now, it was Goldwater’s ill-fated decision in ’64 that set our current racial politics in motion and likely doomed the Republican Party. But what about before that?

    A fantastic piece explores how it was actually Roosevelt’s New Deal that, albeit unintentionally, set the groundwork for Southern Democrats’ colluding with Republicans that opened the door for Goldwater.

    Our sordid history’s doors open one after the other…

    • Griffin says:

      I was reading a biography on FDR and it turns out he almost blew up the whole Fifth Party system over twenty years early during the 1940 Democratic National Convention. FDR wanted Wallace to be Vice President but the delegates weren’t having none of it because Wallace was a former Republican and pretty leftist (as in, to the left of FDR). The delegates were also pissed because FDR didn’t want to go to the convention and instead eventually sent his wife, which they (including the party bosses) took as a sign of disrespect and FDR’s people were having trouble keeping the delegates from blowing a gasket.

      Upon hearing this FDR grew furious with the Southern Democrats and other conservative Democrats. They had been recently voting down his newer New Deal proposals after they formed the “Conservative Coalition” with conservative Republicans and now they were refusing to nominate his top pick, Wallace (it didn’t help that his former vice president, John Garner, was a staunch Southern conservative without whom the Southern Dems felt like they had no representation). FDR penned a speech that would have brutally denounced the Conservative Democrats and instead invited the liberal Republicans into the party, essentially causing near-instantly in 1940 what took decades and decades to occur in our timeline. He barely ended up getting talked out of it by his mistress/secretary and other advisors (can’t remember if Eleanor was there and her feelings on it) who were so desperate to get him not to give the speech they almost ripped the speech out of his hands but it’s interesting to think what would have happened…

      Anyways yes FDR’s term is when the Democratic Northern liberals and Democratic Southern Conservatives started to make it clear they didn’t like each other. The Southern Dems were suspiscious that FDR was even more for black civil rights than he let on (particularly after the creation of the “Black Cabinet” and his attempts to run conservative Democrats out of office in the 1938 midterms I believe) But it was Truman’s desegregattion of the military in 1948 that really blew things up followed by LBJ finishing things off of course.

    • Griffin says:

      It’ll be interesting to see if Chicago Police Unions are strong enough to save these guys jobs after they were caught lying about a police shooting :

      Also I left a comment in reply to Ryan Ashfire’s comment about FDR late last night and it didn’t go through and now it won’t let me post it again because it’s a “duplicate comment”. If there’s nothing that can be done it’s not a big deal obviously it was just some history about the 1940 DNC.

  12. formdib says:

    This also expresses a sentiment I talked about in the Autostraddle post way down the thread:

    The key things that stick out to me are:

    “Many of you write, wanting me to tell you GOOD things about the gop chances this year. I wish I could do that. But I WILL NOT LIE TO YOU.”

    “I’m going to keep being a voice that says yes on the one hand but not the OTHER FREAKING HAND, the future of this party is at risk.”

    This gets somewhat to what Chris has said about the entertainment industrial complex and a line he mentioned in one post about the Politics of Crazy’s relationship to ‘instant gratification’ of consumer needs (and entitlement, to use a pejorative):

    What’s even more deeply strange about the Politics of Crazy on both the right and the left is that I position myself, with friends and associates, to be helpful to their endeavors. I operate under the fundamental principle that helping other people is your path to success.

    And what blows me away about political ideologues is that they’ll reject data even when it helps them. Statistics and polls may be notoriously spinny, but at core, good statistical analysis gives you the capability to STRATEGIZE. How do you expect to make a winnable strategy without any access to information? Do you really hate the enemy so much you can’t bear to look at their numbers or placement to plan out your lines of attack?

    What Dana Perino reveals is that this resistance to facts is also in part a psychology of entertainment. Villifying the enemies and constantly using a strategy of stress keeps the audience paying attention, but making them feel right and on the winning side keeps their loyalty. The villiainizing can’t happen without the heroizing. The threats and anxiety would get to be too much on the brain if there wasn’t admonishments to their internal righteousness.

    Interestingly enough, this is generally considered poor, basic, and sensational storytelling. Along with so many other things we discuss, it’s unsustainable. Eventually narratives lacking complexity collapse for lack of verisimilitude.

  13. formdib says:

    The Emperor Has No Balls

    Alas, I was unable to pop over to Union Square to take a gander before it was taken down. But a few of my friends took pics.

  14. formdib says:

    Department of Justice to phase out use of private prisons:

    Note: does not apply to ‘privately run federal prisons’.

    • 1mime says:

      One step at a time…..I have shared several times, the work of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He works mostly at the state prison level and his book, “Just Mercy” is a compelling portrait of how justice is meted out – especially in the deep south. Here’s a little info on him. He also has a TED talk which is excellent. This man does powerful, good work for the least among us – white, black and hispanic. He is a remarkable person.

      • Creigh says:

        Bryan Stevenson is profiled in this week’s New Yorker (Aug 22).

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks Creigh! I’ll look for it…I think I’ve exhausted my 5 monthly free copies (-; from the New Yorker…Can’t subscribe to everything!

    • rulezero says:

      From a law enforcement perspective, private prisons are a terrible idea. There should never be a profit margin on the incarceration of persons. You end up with shady deals like that judge that got popped in Pennsylvania.

      I worked at CCA in Tennessee when I was 19. I lasted 3 months. I didn’t feel that it was a safe work environment. It wasn’t the inmates that made me feel that way. It was my coworkers. Twice I had requested a supervisor come to my pod and never had anyone show up.

      After I quit, three of my supervisors were sentenced to the same prison for introducing contraband into a penal facility, TCA 39-16-201.

      • formdib says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • 1mime says:

        Rulezero, I hope you will read “Just Mercy”. by Bryan Stevenson, or at least watch his TED talk. Law enforcement in particular needs to know what happens to people they arrest…not saying it’s law enforcement’s fault, but that with a lot of poor people, the outcome can be vastly more serious than the offense…if any.

        In that regard, it is against the law to jail someone because they can’t pay a fine, yet it happens all the time. The SC ruled on this ions ago but it seems it is readily ignored.

      • rulezero says:

        What typically happens in our jurisdiction is that the offender will be asked if they can pay the fine on the court date. If they say they cannot, they’re put on probation for a year until its paid off. I believe the probation fees are waived. If they make no payments, a warrant for probation violation is issued. If you don’t show up for court and don’t make a payment, a bench warrant is issued. Cash bond only. Georgia is pretty well known for its privatized probation services. It’s not something I necessarily like but that’s what we have.

        I’m not familiar with the SCOTUS case you’re referring to. Link?

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s the case. Bearden v Georgia. There may be others since this one in 1983.

  15. Nick Danger says:

    Lifer, you might want to update the blurb in “About goplifer”. It’s no longer accurate.

  16. Fair Economist says:

    I agree with your analysis that demographic trends will wipe out the Republican party, but I think you’re being too aggressive with the timing. Barring a civil war within the Republican party, they could still win a 1980-style election with the 2020 electorate. They won’t be dead yet. After that, they’re pretty much doomed in Presidential elections but they can still win midterms and red states for a while after that.

    Also some of the advantage with the elderly is that once people retire they sit around watching TV and absorb a lot of propaganda. I’ve seen it with my mom. Fox is the worst, but all the networks run with terror programming (YOU ARE IN DANGER!) with nonwhites and nonChristians the preferred villains. It’s not just news; it’s in the shows too. Fictional TV also shows a world vastly more dangerous than the one in which we actually live.

    I’m not sure at what point they’ll actually throw in the towel. Conservative media has no reason to ever give up; Fox will make even more money screaming about a perpetual Democratic government than they do now. The political leadership has no reason to give up until they’re no longer able to lobby after leaving government. Not sure when that will happen but I don’t see it happening right away.

    • It’s all well and good to say that they “could” win, but is it realistic? How do they break through the Blue Wall? Demographics are trending hard against them and the numbers get worse every year. Barring a collapse on the Democratic side, Republicans look pretty much finished, much to the chagrin of the conservative entertainment complex (Kudos to Pres. Eisenhower for starting that, btw)

  17. Turtles Run says:

    I am sorry this is off topic. I fucking hate war and those that speak so freely of using it as a tool in our diplomatic pouch.

    I literally cried

  18. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Linda Greenhouse outlines a change in how the courts view legislatures.

    Some courts are questioning the motivations of the leges:

    “In the face of spurious explanations for public policies that would foreseeably inflict real damage on identifiable groups of people, judges and justices are abandoning the traditional diffidence of the judicial role and expressing a new willingness to call out legislatures for what they are really doing, not just what they say they are doing.”

    She contrasts a 1964 swimming pool decision with decisions re Texas’ recent laws on abortion and voter ID.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      In a response of sorts, this article laments the late, great voting rights law and describes the actions of cities and counties to limit the voting access of African Americans — whose rights must be denied because they don’t vote Republican.

      I hope elected Republicans everywhere are smashed in November. What sh**s.

      • 1mime says:

        There are other actions to suppress Minority voting – ending same day registration; weekend voting; banning straight ticket voting….Voter suppression is one of the nastiest activities of the Republican Party.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I was thinking just this morning how INTENT is as important as OUTCOME in cases regarding voter ID.

      Up to now I had seen only rulings striking down voter ID laws which made references to OUTCOME, with the reasoning that minorities and low-income voters were the ones who were disproportionately affected, a point which was often used by supporters of voter ID laws to argue that minorities and the low income were the ones to blame for not being able to comply, as in “of course minorities and low income people are the ones most adversely affected by voter ID laws, since they are the ones who are committing the fraud, etc.”

      Now the burden is being placed on the legislators to defend their INTENT.

    • 1mime says:

      I love Linda Greenhouse. Her analysis of what is happening in the courts is so clearly presented and her knowledge, very deep.

      From the first NYT link: “…something has happened this summer that matters. Legislators, perhaps assuming they had friends in high judicial places, had taken bold, even flagrant steps to suppress the black vote and restrict women’s access to abortion. Judges responded, and even though their actions in some cases spoke more loudly than their words, these decisions mark a departure and make a difference.”

      Indeed they have been. I’ve noted that judges seem emboldened in many opinions and several states. Again, I think Scalia’s absence from the SC frees the lower court judges to render decisions that are more independent and a departure from business as usual.

  19. johngalt says:

    The Houston Chronicle published today the results of a Public Policy Polling survey in the Lone Star State that illustrates the problems the GOP has moving forward in its present form. Trump accounts for part of this problem, but he’s not responsible for the demographics.

    Trump leads Clinton by 6% statewide, but by 28% amongst the over-65 crowd. For under-65s, Clinton leads by 14%, for under-45s, her lead is 25%. For non-white voters, she leads by 52%. Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic by far, prefer her by 41%. Amongst African-Americans, her lead is 97%, and that is because 3% are undecided. Literally – Trump’s support was 0%. Zero.

    This is behind the paywall, so sorry for those who cannot access it. They don’t have a version on the free site yet.

    • goplifer says:

      ***For under-65s, Clinton leads by 14%, for under-45s, her lead is 25%***

      These numbers point to something much bigger than a bad election. This is an extinction event. If Clinton is winning by 25% among the next rising block of voters in Texas, the ones who are not dying off, then there simply is no future for the GOP.

      • WX Wall says:

        I think George Will is a tad premature.

        I used to think Texas would rapidly turn blue due to burgeoning latino voters. But TX republicans have figured out how to get a reasonably large share of latino votes even while otherwise going insane on their policies. For example, Gov. Greg Abbott won 44% of the Latino vote.

        And this is the cautionary tale I’d tell my fellow democrats: for all their weakness, it would only take a few changes for republicans to become a national party again. I’m not even talking about reforming immigration or repudiating racism, which one could argue aren’t “small” changes for the current Republican party. Look at Texas: despite being the most batshit crazy republican party of all, they still manage >40% latino voting share, while calling for border walls, deportation, etc. etc.

        Here is an uncomfortable statement for members of this blog which I believe is nevertheless true: we all like to say we’re fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but the truth is most of middle America is fiscally liberal and socially conservative: they want to tax the hell out of the rich, stop China from flooding us with imports, and they think hollywood values corrupt their kids, while praying it doesn’t turn them gay. The old Democratic party that dominated from FDR to Reagan fit this bill: blue collar workers who supported unions and didn’t like the urban music their kids listened to, while the minority Republicans were of the country club and never went to church.

        Take a look at latinos, the supposed demographic savior of the Dem party: Latinos are culturally conservative. They are far more in line with Republicans culturally than with Democrats. Furthermore, for 2nd generation and beyond, immigration is less of an issue than economics. Texas Republicans have threaded this needle by being supportive of Latino culture (e.g. many Repub politicians are proudly bilingual), while maintaining their usual immigration and economic policies. If the national Republican party only shifts slightly and stops calling Mexicans murderers, and only accuses new immigrants of stealing our jobs rather than raping our daughters, they’ll be far closer to national relevance than we think.

        Furthermore, if the demographic tide is helping Dems, I believe the economic tide will start hurting them: everyone loves the cheaper goods of free trade until it’s your job that’s outsourced. As long as immigration means having a cheap illegal to mow your lawn but would never compete for your white collar job, it’s great. But the minute that immigration means an Indian programmer coming on an H1B, it’s a different story. I know plenty of programmers who think Trump is stupid for wanting to build a wall while they rail against the H1B program, even though logically, highly trained immigrants coming through a legal program contribute much more economically to our country than untrained people illegally crossing the southern border.

        Bernie’s strength was precisely due to economic populism, something that Republicans will have an easier time embracing moving forward (due to their support among groups who have traditionally been suspicious of gobalism), than Dems who, ever since Bill Clinton, have wholeheartedly embraced free trade and deregulation.

        FWIW, African Americans are also far more culturally conservative than the rest of the Dem coalition and also economically populist, but the history of civil rights is still recent enough to keep them Democratic. Latinos have no such history with either party and are therefore much more open to switching allegiances.

        Chris mentioned the Dem coalition being too broad to be sustainable. I agree. So i guess my question is this: what party has the easier transition: the Republicans to tone down their rhetoric and embrace conservative latino culture (with small cosmetic changes to their policies), or Democrats to re-consider the economic platform that has brought them electoral success for the past 25 years?

      • 1mime says:

        Interesting question, WX Wall….Here are a few thoughts. First generation Latinos will reflect a more conservative background; however, succeeding generations will inculcate more the prevailing values they mingle within – existing White families, most of whom will be of a similar socio-economic situation. Thus, just as America is trending “secular” (by over 50% by latest PEW polls), the children of immigrants and the younger immigrants will meld into the population they entered. Hopefully, their American counterparts will absorb some of the values of the immigrating Latinos. Once the immigrating families achieve education, it is more unlikely that they will support the Republican Party “as it is”. The angry exclusionary and demeaning rhetoric is too often matched with deeds of the same kind. Given Chris’ and my own opinion that this is not likely to change any time soon, Latinos will distance themselves from a party that they will increasingly understand is only interested in their votes – not their needs.

        The Democratic Party is more likely to be the one to benefit from a “Latinization” of America but we need to understand one important point: as White people become the minority not only in raw population but also in voting population, it may not be up to the embedded leadership of the two dominant parties to determine what the parties look like. In essence, they will be taken over from outside not absorbed from within….Sheer numbers will likely determine party platforms. People have long memories of discriminatory treatment. What we better give some thought to is the “hope” that once minorities become the majority in America, that they will treat the new minority better than we treated them.

        It is my fervent hope that more than party dominance change; rather, that the political institutions that mechanize the political process also undergo change. Things like: computerization of voting – both automatic voter registration and elections, voting districts (replacing outdated and highly partisan gerrymandering) ; the process by which people matriculate as potential candidates; the abolition of artificial and harmful Congressional procedures that thwart the Democratic process (Hastert Rule, Citizens United, Voter suppression laws). Nothing should be inviolate from being changed if it is no longer fair or relevant to our contemporary society….that could include Constitutional changes – electoral votes (which would impact the Blue Wall), and how ties are handled (remember the hanging chad and the SC involvement in that decision?).

        There is room for change in both parties but it will come because evolutionary change is going to drag us all into a new era. For now, what we have are two awkward, traditional parties who are barely hanging on . Which party will emerge the stronger? Does it matter? Wouldn’t a more healthy goal be to have two strong parties which reflect the same bedrock American values but champion different approaches to governance?

        Interesting question – I’ll keep thinking on it. But, if I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on the Dems – at this juncture. Their tent may be too large, but their inclusive, flexible organizational structure has strength in diversity even if it is more difficult to manage.

      • @WX Wall: “I used to think Texas would rapidly turn blue due to burgeoning latino voters. But TX republicans have figured out how to get a reasonably large share of latino votes even while otherwise going insane on their policies. For example, Gov. Greg Abbott won 44% of the Latino vote.

        44% of the Latino vote in a year where less than 30% of Texas as a whole actually turned out to vote, Wall. Context matters.

      • WX Wall says:

        That’s true. Latinos may grow more culturally liberal in subsequent generations as well. So I guess the question is which changes faster, their culture or their economic / immigration stances? We’ll have to stay tuned and see…

        According to this article ( Texas statewide Republican candidates have averaged ~40% of the Latino vote since 2000, including both presidential and off-year elections. Latinos’ affinity for Republicans in Texas is real, and not just a product of off-year dynamics.

      • 1mime says:

        Latino support in TX is also due to an absolute void of Democratic presence. I have voted Republican in TX many times despite my Democratic preference. Problem is, there have been no Democrats to vote for – either none running or of such poor quality I wouldn’t vote for them. This is changing and when I can, I vote Dem. Also, Republicans have been highly skilled at motivating Latinos in TX to vote, and Latinos have not been as discerning as they are now, albeit through lack of education, sophistication, or a better GOTV effort by Repubs. There is no question that their needs haven’t been served.

      • goplifer says:

        Texas is a one-party state. Has been for its entire history. Want to serve your community in elected office? You pretty much have one option. When Texas wobbles, those figures for Hispanic involvement in the GOP will collapse practically overnight. What they put up with today in that organization is stunning.

      • 1mime says:

        What the Hispanic community puts up with in TX ….with no intention of being a snob, let me state that their manipulation by the Republican Party which does nothing for them and continuously denigrates them – is not only stunning, it is pathetic and revealing of how little they will accept for a little recognition. It’s sad.

    • 1mime says:

      Well, it appears that birth rates will achieve what common sense has been unable to. It can’t get here soon enough for me. And, of course, this demographic is happening elsewhere as well. Who knows what changes this new majority will bring, but good riddance to the old ones. There is hope through change.

    • WX Wall says:

      “Trump leads Clinton by 6% statewide, but by 28% amongst the over-65 crowd. For under-65s, Clinton leads by 14%, for under-45s, her lead is 25%.”

      Those numbers don’t add up. The survey says Trump is winning 64-36 among >65, and losing 43-57 for 65 was 26% . 18-65 is 74%. Here’s the math:

      >65: Trump: .64*26 = 16.6 Hillary: .36*26 = 9.4
      <65: Trump: .43*74 = 31.8 Hillary: .57*74 = 42.2

      Total Trump vote: 16.6 + 31.8 = 48.4%
      Total Hillary vote: 9.4 + 42.2 = 51.6%

      This doesn't even account for the survey finding that Hillary's lead is bigger in the under-45 category.

      So either Hillary is leading in Texas, the differential voting patterns between the age groups isn't as extreme as the survey notes, or the Chronicle needs to hire a new statistician!

      • WX Wall says:

        sorry the ’18-64 is 74%’ should read: ‘according to Pew Research, in 2014, 26% of verified voters were >64, and 74% were 18-64.’ If anything, in 2016, the >64 vote share should be smaller.

  20. Creigh says:

    Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone has the answer to your question (How the GOP will change after Trump): A Republican Workers Party!

    Key quotes: “In their 2008 book, Grand New Party, Douthat and Salaam argued that “the policy elite of the Republican Party is out of touch with the majority of Republican voters” and from Taibbi: “Trump was Republican voters’ way of telling their leaders they’re done waiting. They want their piece of the pie now, even if it means unleashing the Trumpinator to get it.”

    So there you are, Lifer, Republicans will be the new labor party!

  21. indy says:


    I made the comment right after watching the Democratic convention that I had just witnessed a convention that was too broad to support its own weight. Democrats are much better at coalition politics than Republicans but it was still too much. ‘m sure many Democrats on the further left felt uncomfortable with many of the displayed values. It will splinter eventually.

    • goplifer says:

      Just wait ’till Kissinger visits the White House. That image will be plastered all over someone’s campaign ads in the 2020 primary.

      • How many millennial Bernie supporters even know who he is/was, let alone have strong feelings about him?

        More broadly I wonder how much lasting impact the Bern will really have? He won the states and voter groups that have always been drawn to ‘insurgent’ Dems, but never got out of that box. And the Populist/Progressive insurgent wing doesn’t have much in common beyond their shared vague unease with the core Dem urban coalition.

      • 1mime says:

        Just wait ’til Putin visits the White House. That image will be plastered all over someone’s campaign ads in the 2020 primary…. (-; Gotcha!

    • Stephen says:

      Which makes me wonder if the Republican party goes kaput the Democratic party may have a split and a new party of sane Gopers and conservative Democrats emerges?

      • goplifer says:

        Trying to think through that scenario now, but I think the answer is yes. It is a system after all. Destabilize that system enough for one of the parties to lose critical mass and the impact will ripple out.

        At the end of the day, we are due a major partisan realignment. It’s going to get very bumpy.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Once the dust settles after this major partisan realignment we may all be the better for it, even if I am dead by then, or too senile to appreciate it.

        Change can be good.

      • shiro17 says:

        To that end, what do you think will be the major issue that will determine the new alignment?

        As I’ve posted before, and if this election is any indication, I keep thinking that the major issue will be globalization v. anti-globalization. In their own ways, both Trump and Sanders are reactions to the harms of globalization, just coming from completely different angles. And Clinton’s campaign is increasingly pro-globalization par excellence, which is probably why all the national security and moderate business types are flocking to her.

      • 1mime says:

        “Clinton is pro-globalization”…..That is not what the pundits are saying….Bernie pushed H way left to domestic issues. She will have her hands full trying to capitalize on the first two years where she will hopefully be able to implement some of the changes she campaigned on. If she were to run for a second term and succeed, she could use her foreign affairs skills to great advantage and THEN she might focus more on global issues. In term one, she will focus globally only as necessary, the rest will be domestically driven.

        Do not forget: Republicans will still control the House, and the House controls appropriations. Her pledge to: fix the infrastructure and create jobs – $$; increase the minimum wage – $$; make public colleges almost free – $$; create pre-school programs for children of working parents – $$……That’s just four off her list – all domestic, all have a price tag. At the same time she’s trying to patch together the support she’ll need to get appropriations for these initiatives (from a Republican Party that may be just as obstructionist with her as they were with Obama), she needs to jump start the process to nominate and approve judges in jurisidictions all over the U.S., INCLUDING SCOTUS. I really look for Ginsburg to retire during these first two years to allow H to select two judges. Kennedy might do the same.

        If elected, HRC better be in the best of health because she will be one busy lady.

      • RobA says:

        I think that’s inevitable. There are undoubtedly huge numbers of “natural” Republicans who are/have been voting Dem for the past few years, due to the GOP’s batshittery.

        The minute a credible/sane conservative party comes along, they’ll bail.

        In a two party system, the natural tendency will tend towards equilibrium, just like natural systems (such as pressure or thermal systems).

        I think it will look like (or actually be) the Libertarian Party. Social conservatism is dead. There’s no interest in it beyond the dying evangelical Bloc. And there really is no natural affinity for social conservatism/small government conservatism, theyve just been lashed together the past few decades due to political expediency.

      • Griffin says:

        So if centrist Republicans and conservative Democrats form a party together what would the the more solid left and right do? At least one of them would have to either join this new centre party or form a party with each other since we live in a two party system. Would this new party be likely try to appeal to the hard-right or the hard-left, or neither? The Solid and Far right as well (to a lesser extent) Solid and Far left do make up a good chunk of the electorate but not enough to win on their own so who would they work with?

      • 1mime says:

        Who would the extreme left and right ally with? Who cares? They would become ineffective fringe elements and that’s where people with extreme views belong. It’s time for reason, however it configures. It surely isn’t happening under the current party structure – especially on the right.

      • 1mime says:

        Extremists have learned how to play the game. They use the courts with conservative majorities to file their suits and wind their way up to SCOTUS. As long as Scalia was there, this was a viable plan. We are still living with the Hobby Lobby decision as this current ruling prooves. Extremism can have a long shelf life in legal opinion. That is one more reason to work towards fair and balanced courts – which I favor vs partisan of either stripe.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s more proof of how courts can function to act as a brake on irresponsible, bigoted legislative action against minorities and other classes (women). It shouldn’t require this but the tide seems to be turning within jurisprudence. Thank god.

      • Griffin says:

        White nationalists and religious fundamentalists constitute, it appears, at least about 22 million active national voters (if you add the support of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz), probably more. They may be extreme but they aren’t “fringe”, they constitute a good chunk of the national vote and have significant influence on state and local elections. Who will they go to if the new centrist conservative party is too moderate and pro-civil rights for them? It seems all too tempting for at least one of the new parties to try to appeal to them to gain the “Solid South”.

      • Fair Economist says:

        The current problem any “sane” center-right party would face is that the racists and other crazy conservatives would join it and take it over, just as they have with the Republican party. Single-party rule has a lot of problems but I don’t see how you can have another party in anything like the current political environment.

      • 1mime says:

        It would be nice to get back to a place in politics where one could vote the candidate, rather than the party. Where parties mattered but not more than the individuals seeking office, nor more than country.

      • ChriS Love says:

        The Republican Party isn’t like the political parties of last century. Organization and being one of only two viable governing power blocs in the country will mean there will be no shortage of votes and officials willing to cater to whatever gets them elected.

        It’s a party that, in all practical effect, exists as an anti-Democrat party, not a conservative one. They essentially define themselves as the antithesis of liberal and progressive solutions. There are no ‘values’ in the party, ‘conservatism’ has become a hollowed out eggshell that has been filled instead by only one word: Loyalty. If you are “conservative”, you are loyal to the party, no matter the cause. That is the only meaning to the term as it is in use today. That is why Trump is not “conservative”, because he is not loyal to the party. If you are not “Loyal”, you’re a RiNO, a liberal, or a communist.

        And that is why the Republican party will not simply vanish. They have become a political cult.

    • ChriS Love says:

      Nah. Far lefters’ know the party can deliver enough tidbits to keep them happy to handle some red-shifting, and it’s always healthy for a party to compete over the Independants, because there’s only one other ways to get votes: Breed.

      I’ve my own beef with particular circles on the left that keep me well in the middle, mostly revolving around one thing: Movements don’t come with brakes, and the Democrats sport quite a fervent few.

  22. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    The elevation of Stephen Bannon, grand lord troll of internet sludge pit has gotten mixed reviews from a fellow republicans/conservatives… to say the least.

    Here are some of my favorite comments of despair, courtesy of that social media hellscape known as twitterverse.

    Charlie Sykes
    “Trump’s campaign has now entered the Hospice Phase. He knows he’s dying and wants to surround himself with his loved ones.”

    Bill Kristol
    “Last night on CNN I noted how creepy the conversation at a Trump-Manafort-Ailes meeting would be. Add Bannon. Ever lower into the gutter.”

    Ben Shapiro
    “Imagine one of the worst people you personally know running the Republican nominee’s campaign. That’s my life this morning.”

  23. rulezero says:

    Here’s a pretty interesting link from George Mason University. It’s the 06/2016 list of states ordered by fiscal solvency. Per the site, the top five states are:

    North Dakota
    South Dakota

    The bottom five states are:

    New Jersey
    (Puerto Rico is last, considered an outlier)

    I wasn’t expecting the map to look like this.

    • duncancairncross says:

      Reading that article I am not at all sure that those rankings mean a damn thing
      They seem to put an awful lot of weight on short term debt and absolutely nothing on things like the state infrastructure

      • rulezero says:

        Just by glancing, it appears that states with pension budget issues are doing worse than states that don’t really spend on benefits. Are the Dakotas in the top 5 because they’re run well? Or are they in the top 5 because they spend little to nothing due to having a low population and no major cities?

    • Almost no one lives in the top 5 states!

    • vikinghou says:

      At least 4 of the 5 top states receive oil and gas royalties. Wyoming and the Dakotas have recently benefited from the shale fracking boom. Lucrative royalties plus low population may lead to fiscal solvency.

    • goplifer says:

      Their criteria are…let’s just say, a little skewed. Mercatus is one of those Koch Brothers projects in academia. We can just leave it there.

      • 1mime says:

        Is there a list (however incomplete) of all the activities, projects, and organizations the kochs control? I envision the bros as an octopus….their tentacles everywhere, coiling and uncoiling, slimy (sorry octopuses) and slithering…Really, has there been a credible piece of reporting on their empire and dealings?

    • Griffin says:

      I can’t trust much coming out of GMU these days, at least concerning Econ and business. It pushes a whole stew of crackpot ideas because it gets funding from wealthy crackpots. Also pushes a bunch of global warming denialism.

  24. Griffin says:

    Usually I’m not a fan of but this is… what the hell is this site they came across?

    Apparently they came across some far-left site that has… interesting views about Seth Rogan films and… interesting editorial policies. A good chunk of the internet is now having fun with it.

    I find fringe politics very interesting (if often horrifying) so reading the original article is worth it for anyone else who has a morbid curiousity about the views of some of the “PC” far-left (I hate using the term PC because more often then not its just become a term abuse by the far-right to hide beyond crazy views but I don’t have a better way to describe it). I’m used to reading crazy shit and I had to triple check that this wasn’t satire.

    Original article:

    • Griffin says:

      Well now the federalist is having fun with it:

      Usually I don’t care for these sites but I can’t disagree with them here that that article gave me the best laugh of this month.

      So really is it satire or not? I’m just curious now.

    • formdib says:


      The significant thing I see there may seem off topic, but it’s actually the dumping of unedited Slack chat under the guise of ‘transparency’. This group Wikileaked themselves.

      The reason it caught my attention is because I attended this two-day corporate shindig surrounding ‘culture at the work place’, with the usual degrees of HR and mid-level executives from companies small to large giving presentations on various things such as how to bring in diversity, motivate workers with incentives they value, etc. and so forth. And of course the word ‘transparency’ was thrown around.

      A lot. It actually became too much for me. At one point this woman stood up and talked about ‘communicating with transparency’ and I approached her between events and asked “What do you mean by transparency?” From there that kind of became my thing and I asked the same question to a lot of people, mostly to see what would happen. Everyone’s answers were different and in most cases it caused them to rethink how to word what they were saying. So that’s my one little achievement / takeaway from the event.

      But anyway, if I were an advisor to this group, which they wouldn’t take because I’d be a whitewashing mansplaining patronizer, is that dumping an unedited decision making conversation is not transparency at all. Transparency isn’t about rawness or realism, it’s about communicating intentions and values and seeking the communication itself to match those intentions and values. Apologies for mistakes in communication are good things for transparency, but this really jumps the shark.

      The problem with revealing conversations about making decisions is that decisions not made look decided, and thoughts reaching out for critical appraisal read as declarative. Hence how the DNC looking into the legality of a tactic against Bernie is considered by the general public to be proof that they performed illegal tactics against Bernie, despite the due process in our society that does not conflate seeking legal advice to be intent to break the law. Or in this case, where an internal question of “Is [the writer] white?” is racism in any public conversation, but an actual consideration of how to represent your company when your company is focused on the burden of representation in context.

      They’ll probably learn the wrong lesson from this, feeling vindicated that their point of view is being persecuted. It’s the reason why I don’t talk politics with my friends, because even if I could offer them help to express themselves better so as not to do something dumb like dumping an unedited Slack chat in the name of transparency, I’m pretty sure such unsolicited micro aggression would constitute white-washed mansplaining from their point of view.

  25. Does anyone remember the time when Chris was all “the Democrats will crush the Republicans like an empty beer can”, and Nate Silver was all “there is no blue wall, it’s gonna be close”, and Chris was all “a wise man does not argue with Nate Silver, but I’m arguing with Nate Silver”, and Nate was all “pffft, the numbers clearly say that the GOP establishment is going to – oh hey where did the GOP establishment go? Why are my predictions failing? Why is there the taste of crow in my mouth? Why did I go from a 50% chance of a red victory to a 20% chance of a red victory whilst still having to trot out Harry Enten to apologise for my model’s bullishness on Republicans on an almost weekly basis?” and Chris was all “muahahahahaha don’t try to maths your way out of this, maths-boy, I was saying all along that this is not a normal party in a normal election and so cannot be predicted by historic data.”

    Did that last bit not happen? Chris must be an unusually well mannered person.

    • Stephen says:

      Statistics is a useful tool. But has limits. Often history can be as good or better predictor. Chris was looking at politics from a political scientist view which in this case was a better model at the time he wrote the Blue Wall. As we get closer to the election and people’s views are more baked in Nate’s models will get more accurate. If you like this kind of thing read Nate’s book, ” The Signal and the Noise”.

    • goplifer says:

      To clarify, I never said “muahahaahaa.” I would not do that. Not yet.

    • 1mime says:

      Ha! Chris is pretty special, EJ. I think we all know this. He’s right on so many issues that I’m convinced he must be at least 110 years old in a very young bot. We can disagree with him but not argue with his logic.

    • If he hasn’t found it already, I imagine Chris is looking for just the right image for what will be his well-earned victory post.

      Perhaps we can help out? I’m partial to this one myself:

    • Griffin says:

      Huh aparently a bunch of top political scientists thought Republicans should be winning this election:

      So now he can brag about out-predicting both Nate Silver and our top pol sci departments.

  26. Griffin says:

    Eat your heart out Abraham Lincoln!

  27. antimule says:

    I frankly think Trump won the primaries because he was the only one there with anything at all that looked like policy. Terrible policy but policy nonetheless. Everyone else where just in it to cut taxes to the rich.

  28. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    It if funny, about 20% of the posts so far take exception to the Bernie/Ron Paul comparison, not unlike the GOP of years past suggesting that their candidates weren’t really nuts.

    There is a post below that suggests Bernie, were he younger and a bit less zealous, would be a solid candidate in 2020 or 2024.

    Bernie is an unknown Senator from a tiny state with an overwhelmingly White population, who has had to make no executive decisions or even had to face significant repercussions for difficult positions because he has always been re-elected. He’s not put forth specific plans that would greatly upset various constituencies.

    The US university system is the envy of the world. Smart kids around the world do everything they can to come to school here. Making college free, while a noble thought, runs the risk of turning our universities into something that looks like our less-than-wonderful high school system, just with older kids and frat parties. I’m going to be more impressed when someone explains not only how we pay for it, but how we protect the quality of our schools too.

    While Bernie might be a centrist in countries around the world, he is pretty out of touch with a whole slew of Americans. There is absolutely zero evidence that Bernie would be even a remotely effective President. If they can’t find a better candidate than Bernie, then the Democrats will be well on their way to the politics of crazy.

    • goplifer says:

      But, Social Democracy…amirite?

      • 1mime says:

        I’d still take a Bernie Sanders who at least was trying to help the ordinary American rather than the few who occupy the 1% or 10%. Tcial or ethnic exclusion – those are far more serious and hurtful actions that exclude people. Which of Bernie’s ideas actually “hurt” or excluded anyone?

        Guess what I’m saying is that I’ll take the Bernie Sanders of the world over a whole bunch of the Republican far right any day. Only time will tell if a fringe forms on the left but if it does, I think it will be a while. It’s kind of nice that the Democrats let the Republicans go first, don’t you think (-;

        You’ve been right about many things but I’ve never been able to accept this prediction.

      • Sanders wouldn’t be the problem; not really, anyways. It would be the leftist equivalent of right-wing kooks, nutjobs and all-around assholes getting their preferred candidate. It would show that they have the real power and that the much dreaded “establishment” was weak.

        As with so many other things in this world, it comes down to a show of strength. There will always be fringe elements of a political party, but it’s when those elements display the actual ability to organize and achieve real, tangible results that they become a perceived threat. Batten down the hatches if and when such a day arrives.

      • 1mime says:

        One nutjob at a time is all I can handle, Ryan (-; DJ Trump is fulfilling all my expectations in this regard….setting a very high “nutjob bar” as it were….

      • Chris L says:

        Bernie just got an extra boost of wind under his wings because of HRC’s general unpopularity. He’s a lovable grand-uncle you’d like to hang around, but really wouldn’t want to be in charge of anything important. Millennials haven’t quite figured out the difference between a popularity contest and an election yet.

      • 1mime says:

        Absolutely true, Chris L, but they are a group that politicians need to understand and listen to. Their size, educations and different social values make this group very important and interesting.

      • Bernie Sanders was just Bill Bradley on steroids (but without the basketball skills).

    • Griffin says:

      “While Bernie might be a centrist in countries around the world, he is pretty out of touch with a whole slew of Americans.”

      Couldn’t this be said of any of the candidates? There is some demographic that each candidate simply does not appeal to nor understand, hence the need for multiple candidates. Even Clinton is out-of-touch with the white working class that is running to Trump. Would this not count as a “slew of Americans”?

      I’ve been “sold” on the social ownership society and advocacy of Burkian conservatism partly because I was lucky enough to come across this blog and I believe many others would be as well if they were aware of it, especially people I know who are becoming increasingly distressed by the more radical left groups that are particularly noisy on college campuses. However no one should be surprised if we end up with social democracy because no major political organization was around to champion these views. Indeed it will probably be the inevitable outcome, because whatever the consequences of “free college” young Americans will grow so tired with college debt they will back more radical policies to reduce it. That’s pol sci 101, without more moderate reforms the electorate will boil like water over a stove to the point where more extreme measures are inevitable. Likewise for single-payer healthcare instead of the model we should be championing, the “Rhine model”.

      It worries me that advocates for capitalist-based, centrist economics don’t realize they’re running out of time, they seem too confident that more radical measures won’t end up getting passed as people get angrier and angrier.

    • 1mime says:

      If Democrats can’t find a better candidate than Bernie….If you don’t give Bernie credit for anything else, he inspired and identified a “whole slew of Americans” who shared a very specific set of concerns. That is worth knowing about and doing something about.

      I have never agreed with free college, but neither do I think college should be so pricey that kids and their families go in to major debt. I also did not agree with the $15/hr minimum wage as a starting point. Is our current minimum wage long overdue for an increase? You betcha. Would it ever happen under Republican leadership? No way. Have our big banks taken advantage of the system, with the American people paying the price? yes. Have we held those executives responsible who lied and bent rules to make money? No.

      Democrats did find a candidate. She is not perfect but she will do a fine job. Her name is HR Clinton. Those were the choices we had, which thankfully, were far better than what Republicans ended up with.

      • Chris L says:

        Democrats had a weak field this year. Hillary would have been a ‘normal’ candidate had it not been for four straight years of persecution by GOP led congressional committees seeking to discredit her. It’s not like she would be the first President who was also a part of the immediate family of a previous president (*COUGH BUSH COUGH*)

        That put a lot of wind in Bernie’s sails along with popular frustration of 6 straight years of a paralyzed Congress, but the party didn’t quite buy in to his pie-in-the-sky promises they knew he couldn’t even begin to keep if the GOP kept Congress.

        Either way, Democrats win with Hillary. If Trump isn’t enough to collapse the GOP majorities, then a HRC presidency is one hell of a middle finger to her congressional detractors.

      • 1mime says:

        Rest assured that H’s Congressional detractors from “day one” are going to make her life as miserable as they can. Heaven forbid (if there is a landslide…if) that they learn a little humility from the election, OR that they make an effort to work across the aisle to get the nation’s business done. The last 8 years of Republican congressional existence has been focused on one thing: stop Obama from achieving anything. I do not look for the Repubs to make any behavioral changes – they will focus on 2018 “when” they take back the Senate, and remember, they will keep the House. So, from their perspective, it’s dog paddling time…and, MORE obstruction. When will the American public have enough!

      • 1mime says:

        I have suggested previously that HRC could be a one-term President. Here’s an expansion on that thought by Vanity Fair. Hillary deniers will find much to relish. It’s not flattering to Clinton.

    • duncancairncross says:

      Hi Houston

      “Smart kids around the world do everything they can to come to school here”

      Smart kids from third world countries do everything they can to come to school in the USA

      The USA does have some of the top ranked universities – (and so it should with its size)
      but it also has a LOT of mediocre universities and “smart kids” from western countries go to their own much better colleges

      When I was working in the USA a Bachelor’s degree from a Scottish University was considered equivalent to a Masters from a US University

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        The US has lots of mediocre and poor colleges, but to say the US has “some of the top ranked universities” stretches the definition of “some”. There are few rankings that won’t produce something like 75% of the top 20-25 universities from the US, and half of any top 100 list will be in the US. The US is big, but it isn’t that big. The totality of the EU won’t produce the number of top-tier universities as the US.

        California alone has more top ranked universities than any country other than the US.

        A BA from a Scottish University is not a Masters at Rice. It may be a Masters at Texas A&M – Commerce, but the Scottish equivalent to Texas A&M – Commerce is either just as bad or simply doesn’t exist.

        I am far from an “American exceptionalist”. We suck in lots of ways, but our top-tier universities are really second to none.

        We have lots of work to do with our universities, but the good ones are quite good.

      • duncancairncross says:

        There is a reason that the USA is at the top on all of those lists
        They are
        (1) Incredibly US centric
        (2) simply don’t include a lot of the best universities in Europe because – they don’t!

        Yes some of the US universities are good – but the majority are simply not as good as somewhere like Glasgow

      • Over here in Europe, American universities certainly have an extremely good reputation.

      • goplifer says:

        Um. I spent a little time at Imperial College in London. For a few years there I had a lot of peers in British universities. To be clear, anecdote is not data. That said, my experience left me with the distinct impression that European universities exist in a netherworld of their own creation, with little or no contact with the outside. They seem to do a better job than us with the humanities (who could be surprised by that), and they seemed to trail in nearly everything else. Just an impression, and an old one. But it seems consistent with later experience as well.

        Our university system seems to be one of our massive competitive advantages in the world. And it doesn’t surprise me in the least than Europeans would not be drawn to it. Why would they bother. It’s attractive to people who are climbing.

      • johngalt says:

        Duncan, do you think a (well-respected) ranking of academic institutions called the “Shanghai Ranking” is likely to have an inherent U.S.-centric bias? That is not the usual slant of things that come from China. Anyway, it has 15 of the top 20 as American (the others: Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, the Swiss Fed. Institute of Technology, and Univ. of Tokyo) and 33 of the top 50.

        Your claim that a Bachelor’s from a Scottish university (a three-year degree) is equivalent to a Master’s from a U.S. one (a 5-6 year degree) is ludicrous. Surely there are terrible universities here, but a bachelor’s from any reputable school in the U.S., of which there are very many, is at least equivalent to the same degree from a UK institution. I work with many, many British and European academics and none of them have ever even whispered the claim you make.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi John
        The Bachelors/Masters was specifically to do with engineering
        When I worked in the USA that was what the HR people told me
        (Cummins a large US company employing thousands of engineers)

        Having worked with a lot of US engineers I could see exactly what they meant
        The stuff that we were taught at year three (the Scottish BSc MechE was a four year) was taught at final year in the US Universities

        I found the same with the English Universities their final year was the same as our third year

        University “reputation” is not a good guide – I was working with a guy from one of the “Better” English Universities (Loughborough) – he was a real dim bulb – so we compared papers – His final papers covered the stuff we did in SECOND year!

        I don’t know if the same is true for other subjects – or even if it is still true for engineering
        (I graduated in the 70’s) but it was definitely true then and in the 80’s

      • WX Wall says:

        Hmm… I went to a top-15 school in the US and several of my friends studied abroad for 6 months at several of the top European schools including Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, etc. Every single one said the classes were a lot easier and less rigorous than at our University, and generally aced most of them (even in a foreign language like French or Spanish). Especially in the sciences, there is so much more research money in the U.S. that the top universities absolutely dominate science education.

        It may be true that the difference isn’t big enough to make it worth it for a European kid to travel to America to study, but when we look at neutral third countries (China, India, Japan, etc.) and where they decide to study, most prefer American schools over European schools.

        But maybe this is more a matter of national snobbery. My engineering pals didn’t think the vaunted IITs in India were anything more than mediocre (the students were absolutely brilliant, but the quality of teaching in the IITs, which have very minimal research and few professors who could be considered at the forefront of their fields, wouldn’t pass muster at a halfway decent school; which is why all of those IIT kids come to MIT, Stanford, etc to get their graduate degrees and actually fully realize their potential).

    • RobA says:

      “While Bernie might be a centrist in countries around the world, he is pretty out of touch with a whole slew of Americans. ”

      But that’s just demonstrably untrue, unsupported by facts. Frankly, ALL of Sanders top positions poll very strongly among Americans, if you take his name out odnit and just ask policy questions. What a lot of Americans “disagree” with is the ‘S’ word he keeps throwing around. Not because ‘socialism’ is a 4 letter word, but more likely as a relic of cold war propoganda. The vast majority of those who “hate socialism” would lose their minds if you tried to touch their Medicare. Go figure.

      You are just using your anecdotal experience that Americans are “out of touch” with Sanders positions, similar to how Trump usbusing his anecdotal experience (his rallies) for why he should be winning. But facts Trumps anecdotes.

    • Creigh says:

      “He’s not put forth specific plans that would greatly upset various constituencies.” What, Wall Street isn’t a constituency?

      Seriously, as Joe Biden admitted recently on Morning Joe, the Democratic Party hasn’t worked that hard for working class and middle class. I’m grateful every day for Sanders saying this loudly, and for demonstrating that people are receptive to that message.

    • 1mime says:

      Just read (somewhere!!! surfing takes on a mind of its own and I can’t find my way back!) the back story about the girl who coordinated all the digitization of Bernie’s campaign. Talk about flying on the seat of your pants! They didn’t have money to begin with but they were internet-savy, and they used every chat option out there and leveraged it to the max. This achieved two immediate purposes: they put passionate supporters to work on tangible projects they could manage, and they saved a fortune on commercial ads.

      The young woman said they are bundling the methods used into an open-source template for anyone to use, but especially all the Bernie people who want to stay involved in politics. Sort of like Wiki…which I think is very special and consistent with the way the campaign functioned…not trying to profit off a highly successful organizational process, but sharing it openly. I’ll try to find it and post if I do. Most interesting.

  29. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I can’t believe I am saying this but I want a competent, sane Republican Party for the sake of country… and the Democrats.

    I see the serious problems of the continued malaise in the GOP. There is more at stake than the internal party divisions born of their idiocy.

    This is the best analogy I can come up with:

    If I was an aspiring martial artist, I would never have any hope of becoming a master of a particular fighting style if I never interact/or be challenged by skillful sparring partners.

    We have essentially a binary political system that could (based on GOP ineptitude and ideological chaos) devolve into a situation in which their opponents (Democrats) turn into the AT&T of old… or maybe worse yet…Time Warner Cable.

    You don’t have to be good or truly helpful to those you serve if you become the only viable game in town.

    • Chris L says:

      From what I see, the GOP is effectively ‘too large to fail’. It can’t dissolve or collapse simply because of the internal structure, tribal loyalties, and centuries of anti-competitive legislation to prevent alternate parties won’t let it.

      You will have places that simply vote Republican because that’s what their pappy did. Their Pappy will always vote Republican because ‘I’ve always voted Republican”. The parties’ leadership will tack to the loudest voices in the hodgepodge coalition of evangelicals, rural whites, and the oligarchy of their field of big corporate business interests (both sides have them, friend!).

      The GOP will ultimately become self-isolating for at least a generation, as a result of their inability to adapt (ignoring their “post mortem” is a sign) and their inability to negotiate (paralyzing Congress for straight 6 years) among their greatest sins. They have a habit of eating their wounded, which I began noting when the party devoured Colin Powell and Condoleza Rice over the gross missteps that put us into the tar-baby that is the middle east. Even now you see them take shots at Mitt Romney and John McCain as being ‘not conservative enough’ or ‘establishment’ or whatever narrative fits their excuse for supporting what is rapidly becoming a dwindling voting bloc. Candidates for every office have to run in fear (which varies depending on experience) of being “Primaried” out of office by their own party more than losing to a Democrat.

      Ultimately, they will become a party that only speaks for themselves to themselves. The question is, are the hurdles of two centuries of baked-in anti-competitive rules too high for the Libertarians to take their place?

      • 1mime says:

        No one does their best work by having to continuously look over their shoulder. Ask a world class sprinter if you have any doubt. People need intellectual freedom and the opportunity to make mistakes and even fail without abject fear of being primaried. A party that depends upon this tactic is as totalitarian as the countries they “say” are America’s greatest threats. Yet, they can’t see it in themselves.

  30. duncancairncross says:

    To add to what JK74 said minimum wage here (NZ) is over $15/hr – with our exchange rate that drops a bit – down to about $11US

    BUT a lot of things are a lot cheaper or even free here that an American worker would have to pay for – car insurance, health insurance….

  31. Creigh says:

    I still feel like pushing back on equating Rs and Ds when it comes to crazy, and I definitely don’t buy the equivalence of Sanders and Ron Paul. But I do think that the Rs and Ds share a breakdown in the power centers that impose organizational discipline, and it goes without saying that in politics, organization is power. And you may well be right that without the counterweight of a strong Republican party, centrifugal forces will start pulling the Democrats apart. But it won’t be the same kind of crazy that’s afflicting Republicans.

    Somebody needs to figure out a way to build a coalition of interests that can win elections in the future. Sara Robinson suggested a few posts ago that such coalitions wouldn’t break down along the old right-left axis. Interesting times ahead, I guess.

  32. 1mime says:

    I hate to go off topic so early (-; but the appeal by MI in regards to elimination of straight ticket voting there, led me to a little surfing on the subject. Turns out, 40 states have eliminated straight ticket voting as an option. It appears in both red and blue states. Where it becomes a problem of voter suppression is in those states that limit polling places, hours, days – especially in minority district. This results in very long lines many give up or don’t try to vote. Straight ticket voting speeds up the process and it makes it easier for those voters who vote party vs candidate.

    Anyway, the appellate judges denied MI from implementing this procedure for this election, an action which the SOS plans to appeal to the full 6th Appellate court….stay tuned.

  33. 1mime says:

    Lifer, you and Politico are on the same page:

    “Is the Trump campaign about the man or the message? In other words, will Trumpism survive Trump?”

    Read more:

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      Chris was right about a lot of things including that Trump is the effect not the cause..This Bloomberg piece is a quick overview of american institutions all being attacked, belittled and minimized mostly at the hands of Republicans…getting to Chris’s comments about the social cohesion of critical institutions…ever been to a VA hospital lately? Mixed race, african americans, hispanics our armed forces looks just like America…and used to be sacrosanct and now you can say John McCain isn’t a war hero because he was captured. The piece ends with the only institution left to destroy is their party. Sad, rarely agreed with their policies but never thought not having them in the debate was a good idea…now I can’t wait for demographics to finish the job on this very broken party.

  34. Griffin says:

    As further proof of the GOP’s collapse and embrace of white nationalism Breitbart is now literally running Trumps campaign.

    So, um, that happened.

  35. Donald Evitt says:

    I love this prediction by GOPLifer, Chris Lamb, on the post Trump Republican Party. The right wing alternate “crazies” kooks will continue to drive the Party to less and less relevance.

    Couldn’t happen to a better bunch.

    Sent from Don’s iPhone


  36. 1mime says:

    I have never bought the idea that Bernie Sanders was to the left what a Rand Paul is to the right – but, I also have to say that I’m glad we don’t have to find out this election.

    Two observations about your post, Lifer. First, given that you see the Republican Party surviving as a shell of itself through denial, but still, surviving until 2020, why couldn’t the residual establishment proffer a candidate like Paul Ryan, or Jeff Flake? Are you stating that in order to survive the beating that you predict in this election the establishment will be totally subsumed by the White Nationalist sector? Second, why do you not believe that the Democratic Party can become more coherent given the discord in the Republican Party, at least up through 2020?

    Finally, if the takeover of the Republican Party by the white nationalist group occurs as you predict, why wouldn’t it be probable that Dems could actually hold more of their Senate and House seats in 2018 by virtue of being the more rational alternative? How patient and forgiving is the GOP base going to be? (The ones that don’t populate the far right corner of the party.) I realize that Dems have 23 Senate seats to defend vs 5 (?) for the Repubs, but what if in the ensuing two years, the GOP meltdown happens more quickly and the Dems hold it together?

    The Politico piece I posted by Julia Azari offers the possibility of changes to the basic political institutions under which the two parties have functioned – the convention process in particular. Maybe this turmoil will offer an opportunity to make some fundamental changes institutionally. As Azari suggested, ” sometimes a crisis is what the situation calls for.” What will be interesting is whether such fundamental change can occur if only one party self-destructs.

    • Demographics are steadily eroding the Republicans’ advantage in off-year elections, mime, but there’s no reason to think there’s going to be some terrible disparity between what we’ve seen in 2010/2014 and 2018.

      Whether Dems keep the Senate through 2020 depends almost entirely on how well they do this year.

    • goplifer says:

      ***why couldn’t the residual establishment proffer a candidate like Paul Ryan, or Jeff Flake?***

      What difference would it make if they did? GOP voters in 2016 had a chance to select Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, or John Kasich. Seventy percent of the backed Trump or Cruz. Why would those millions of voters suddenly turn around and nominate someone remotely sane?

      And in 2018, as in 2014 and 2010, voters over 55 will still drive turnout, so Republicans will get a break. Thing is, as you get past 2020 enough angry old white people will have died off that the new wave increasingly liberal 50+ voters will swamp them. For a while though, this dynamic will hold.

      • 1mime says:

        Good point, especially as the GOPe and much of the base seems to be in total denial of their shortcomings.

        I think Rubio is weak at his core and needs to stay in a position where he is one of many. Jeb was simply intimidated though qualified. Kasich is too unknown outside Ohio, and you really don’t want to know what I think about Scott Walker.

      • duncancairncross says:

        *why couldn’t the residual establishment proffer a candidate like Paul Ryan, or Jeff Flake?*

        What difference would it make – they were ALL total flakes!
        The only policy that any of them seemed to have was “shovel more money to the Rich”

        Of the 17 GOP candidates the best of the bunch was the Donald! – and he is horrible

      • 1mime says:

        Another “known unknown” is that voter registration is way up this election. Unknown is how voter turn out will look….It could be that the predictable 55+ year old voters may not offset the numbers of newly registered Hispanics, Blacks, Millennials – “if they vote”….and, therein, lies the strength of the 55+ group but one day it may not be enough.

    • If Dems are fortunate enough to retake Congress this Nov, there is one thing they could do to help close the gap in midterms even quicker: champion online voting.

      Want to get younger people more consistently involved in voting? Speak to them in their language and use the medium they’re most used to. It would do wonders.

      • 1mime says:

        Totally agree, Ryan. Oregon’s experience has been overwhelmingly positive. That would eliminate much of the voter suppression as well. In fact, automatic voter registration to me exceeds repeal of Citizens United. Give people the power.

        It gets right back down to SCOTUS. You know there will be legal obstruction to automatic voter registration….might as well plan for it. What a shame that something so simple and right should be so threatening to some.

  37. Makinmajik says:

    There is a possibility that the libertarians will make enough noise to get some real traction after the election. If they can attract some folks from the disaffiliated in both parties, some reasonable candidates might emerge in the next cycle. Parties come and go, with a bit of common sense, libertarianism could get traction. Stranger things have happened.

    • 1mime says:

      But parties haven’t “come and gone”, Makinmajik. Read the Politico piece by Azari (linked above) for some historical perspective. The two major parties have been amazingly resilient, but in the process, have begun to fray. Hence, today’s conundrum. The Libertarian Party will have to become much more centrist to become a contender and part of their attraction to their base has always been their free spirit….Not sure that can change.

      • Makinmajik says:

        If they can pull off over 10% in this race, I think more centrist folk might see them as a viable choice. A bit of sanity could do wonders for that brand.

      • goplifer says:

        The Libertarian and Green Parties are a marketing engine for a niche ideology. They have absolutely none of the organizational structure it takes to actually do things on the ground all over the country. If two Republican Senators formed a splinter party, they could swamp our current “third parties” overnight. Libertarianism is likely to form the core of whatever entity takes the Republican Party’s place. The Libertarian Party, however, is unlikely to have anything at all to do with that process.

  38. JK74 says:

    In some respects I get your description of Sen. Sanders as “the left’s version of Ron Paul”. But really – when you consider that in pretty much any other developed country – Australia, NZ, Canada, UK or western Europe – his policy stance would be mainstream centre-left, I think you do him a disservice. Take twenty years off his age, moderate the tone, and you’d have a pretty solid Dem nominee for 2024.

    • Griffin says:

      Eh some of the positions would have to change. Wanting to audit the Fed was crazy, though he did back off from it quicker than Ron Paul did (which led to Ron Paul calling him a “sell-out”) and the fifteen dollar minimum wage is crazy unless it’s purely being advocated so they can compromise later (such as making a deal to gradually raise it to ten dollars but even so minimum wage is a horrible way to fight poverty compared to increasing the EITC).

      However while I can also see the Ron Paul comparison and similarities I don’t think he’s that bad. I’m not really ashamed that I was initially “supportive” of his campaign, even though I did have some reservations and eventually voted for Clinton. He wasn’t advocating for anything on the scale of recreating the Articles of Confederation. Nonetheless his success despite his lack of institutional support, handful of actual fringe positions, inexperience (which really started to hurt him later in his campaign) and the fact some of his supporters have actually gone totally crazy suggests a Democratic breakdown could be in the making, which is Lifer’s main point anyways.

      • 1mime says:

        At least Sanders was smart enough to pivot even if it took way too long and was less than ebullient. Of course, when he decided to fly under the Democratic Party banner, I have to feel there were some strings involved, as there should be. His campaign is certainly one for the books.

      • JK74 says:

        I don’t think that its necessarily a good idea to focus too much on one item, with no context or nuance. but I’ll just throw this out there; here in Australia the minimum wage is $17.20/hour (less for those under 21 years of age). At today’s exchange rate of $US1 = $AU0.77, that’s $13.25/hr in $US. My understanding is that the $15 minimum was to be phased in over several years. Is it really the case that American workers are that much less productive than Australian ones that the US can’t afford something at least as high as the Australian minimum?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 454 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: