Over at Forbes – The toxic role of “moderates” in the GOP

As I’ve written previously, I campaigned for Illinois Senator, Mark Kirk, in 2010 and was pretty enthusiastic about his potential. Since then I have been bitterly disappointed to discover that I was just giving Ted Cruz one more vote in the Senate.

From the new post at Forbes:

Sensible figures like Susan Collins and Mark Kirk have come to play a toxic, enabling role in the GOP’s descent into madness. Their placid party loyalty lends credibility to outlandish characters like Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Steve King and Donald Trump. Republican leaders like Kirk cannot continue to evade responsibility for the extremism they legitimize.

Until someone in the Republican Party is willing to take a visible, courageous stand for sanity in the style of John McCain circa 2000, there is no reason to keep electing them. Any vote for a supposedly “sane” or “reasonable” Republican unwilling to confront the party’s extremes is a vote for those extremes. Electing Mark Kirk is a mistake Illinois voters are unlikely to repeat.

Kirk has no shot at retaining his seat in a Presidential Election year, but it’s still important to look at the impact of his Senate career. Those who still think they are going to steer the GOP back toward sanity from the inside can learn a lot from previous failures.

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.

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79 comments on “Over at Forbes – The toxic role of “moderates” in the GOP
  1. 1mime says:

    Trump’s old nemesis, Graydon Carter, used his monthly Vanity Fair column to skewer Trump.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/graydon-carter-on-donald-trump

  2. 1mime says:

    Fly you asked about whether Trump could transfer business losses to personal taxes. This article speaks to that question.

    “Trump used a provision of the tax code that allows businesses to transfer their tax payments to their owner’s personal tax returns, which in most cases are subject to lower tax rates. This tactic, in which the business becomes what the tax code calls a “pass-through entity,”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/10/which-deserves-more-scorn-trump-or-the-tax-code/502766/

    The premise of the article is spot on. Trump mangled his response and undoubtedly has somewhere in his operation (foundation or whatever) done some things that are questionable if not illegal (which I hope he will be held accountable for…especially the foundation shell game), but fundamentally, he used the laws as written. The basic problem here is the tax code and that is what needs to be addressed. The concept of depreciation and carrying losses forward on its face is not “bad” unless it’s abused or too generous. Good point in the article.

  3. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    The upper echelon of the Republican party is truly drowning in absurdity and pure hypocrisy.

    I am seeing before my eyes this political calamity in motion and I look at some people and they are completely blind to it.

    I have gone from questioning the sanity of people supporting Trump to questioning how long I can hold onto my sanity in the face of their horrid embrace of his awfulness.

    Thank the gods (and companies that make india ink) for cartoonists! They lighten the mood and make me feel hope the pod people haven’t quite taken over American society…

    • Granted things were a whole lot different back then, but I wonder if this is similar to what America saw back when the Whigs fell apart.

      It’d be funny if it weren’t so resolutely pathetic and sad.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      A fellow comrade in arms?

      From Michael Gerson/Washington Post

      Trump’s angry white men

      “What do most of the chief advisers and surrogates of the Trump campaign have in common? I’m thinking of Chris Christie, Roger Ailes, Stephen Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich.”

      “What could possibly unite this diverse group? They are white, middle-aged (and older) males — not that there is anything wrong with that. They are almost psychotically sycophantic.”

      “(According to Gingrich, Donald Trump won an “enormous, historic victory” in the first presidential debate. Both Christie and Giuliani have called Trump a “genius” for avoiding federal taxes.)”

      “They are very forgiving about certain foibles (“everybody” commits adultery, explains Giuliani) and rather tough on others (Miss Universe Alicia Machado, says Gingrich, was “not supposed to gain 60 pounds”). They apparently lack the gene for irony (“America’s mayor” is smitten with a candidate who has flirted with 9/11 conspiracy theories).”

      Yeah man. Fight the er… Trump Tower!

    • 1mime says:

      Undoubtedly, holding on to one’s own sanity is the highest order of the day, Sir Crow!

      Laughter, life’s best medicine…

  4. 1mime says:

    Chris, your former party refuses to learn. I have come to the realization that they “have to lose” in order to learn anything. Look at what they are doing – continuing to pitch voter suppression tactics in every way imaginable; climbing aboard the Trump bus; going after civil servants on yet another witch hunt….It just doesn’t stop.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/gop-mega-donors-air-new-irs-impeachment-ads-229078

    • I have to disagree, mime. Republicans have already abandoned the option of merely being handed a defeat. If that could’ve changed them, they would’ve made a turnaround after ’12. Now they have to suffer on a national scale and abjectly humiliated. In other words, they have to endure Donald Trump.

      If they still refuse to change, which they will, then the Republican Party will be mercilessly destroyed and split asunder. Chris has said that he won’t issue a judgment on his former fellow Republicans, but whatever consequences they now face, they’ve brought on themselves; a fitting irony for a party that once championed personal responsibility.

  5. Fair Economist says:

    The uselessness of the Republican moderates was clear even before Kirk was elected. The proof was Olympia Snowe’s vote on the ACA. Just a few weeks before she’d pushed for constructive changes in committee, gotten almost everything she’d asked for, and voted for it. But on the floor she voted against. That was the end of Republicans actually being moderate when it made a difference and we haven’t seen it since.

    In Congress, the cause hasn’t been the fear of primaries from the right but the demand for strict party loyalty from the leadership. McConnell in particular runs a pathologically tight ship. In the House we still see Republican defectors *but* only to the right, for fear of the primaries, or sometimes from true belief by the Congressmen. Sadly McConnell’s been rewarded for his obstructionism so we’ll just see more in the future.

    • 1mime says:

      Not if Dems take the Senate, or, at least, not as Senate President. I had to take a deep breath when I read this quote from The Weekly Sift from McConnell after the veto over ride:

      “Because everyone was aware who the potential beneficiaries were, but nobody focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships. And I just think it was a ball dropped. I wish the President — and I hate to blame everything on him and I don’t — but it would have been helpful had … we had a discussion about this much earlier than the last week.”

      Muder: “Because expecting Congress to do its own research into the consequences of its actions is setting the bar way too high. And McConnell listens so well when Obama tries to tell him something.”

      McConnell is due for his own personal hell. He has been snide, mean, ugly, and calculating…in his announced and practiced efforts to demean President Obama. There has to be some kind of payback for this. I couldn’t ask for anyone better.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        “Because everyone was aware who the potential beneficiaries were, but nobody focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships. And I just think it was a ball dropped. I wish the President — and I hate to blame everything on him and I don’t — but it would have been helpful had … we had a discussion about this much earlier than the last week.”

        What. An. Ass. I am a regular working guy who reads a bit of news sporadically and I knew about the “potential downsides”. This is an obvious lie in an attempt to have it both ways. I voted FOR suing the Saudis (but am not responsible for the consequences). Just more break the government and then bitch about how the government is broken.

    • Moderate Republicans’ uselessness, as you said, essentially comes down to their unwillingness to fall on their own proverbial swords. Anyone who could’ve been a real voice for change would’ve had to be one from an otherwise blue state that could stave off a far-right challenger, like a Snowe or Kirk, but obviously that didn’t happen. Save for Snowe who was fortunate enough to jump off when she did, now these so-called moderates are going to go down with the whole Republican ship. Good riddance.

  6. 1mime says:

    The decision by the NY AG to block Trump’s foundation from functioning due to failure to register, file requisite reports, etc., may offer a very interesting portal into a foundation that has been “creatively” utilized by Trump. I think this could be very, very damaging.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/03/donald-trump-s-barely-legal-foundation-gets-busted.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

    • RobA says:

      Indeed Mime. There’s probably a reason they didn’t register. I heard on CNN that Eric Trumps foundation is fully compliant with all regulations, and they both use the same accountant, so it’s not from ignorance. And if you’re not registered, you don’t get audited.

      There could very well be some bombshells there.

      • 1mime says:

        I certainly hope so. Trump simply cannot get away with this any longer. He has lived his life dodging accountability and responsibility. Meanwhile, some low level shop lifter gets hauled off to jail.

  7. A few interesting pieces of news today; one, an article from the NYT detailing the shifting tide of a previously reliable bloc of Republican voters, FL Latinos, that are growing increasingly Democratic; second, a new Morning Consult poll with some interesting numbers for the presidential race.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/us/hispanic-voters-florida-republicans.html

    Clinton’s ahead in the poll, no surprise, but her gains in some specific demographics gleam some insight into just what kind of a margin we could be looking at in November. Pre-debate, Clinton has just an eight-point advantage with Millenials in the same poll, an advantage that’s swelled to a whopping 32 points now. 51% of Millenials pick Clinton as their choice while Trump has an abysmal 19%.

    Clinton’s ahead by about ten points with women, but perhaps the most interesting result was that she’s actually tied with Trump among men.

    For perspective, President Obama won women by eleven points in ’12, but he actually lost men to Romney by seven points. Nice swing.

    • 1mime says:

      Good article, Ryan. I hope the conversion is in time for this election.

      BTW, Clinton has a new ad out and you won’t be surprised at its content.

  8. Jenna says:

    I was just thinking about my local US Representative, and how even though he isn’t a wing nut I still can’t vote for him, because all he has ever done is go along with party unity. He’s never stood up to the right wingers, ever, in twenty years.
    The Conservatives in my neighborhood are so horribly conflicted right now. Four years ago there were Romney signs all over by now, but, this year? The one wing nut house on the corner is the only Trump sign I have seen in town, and all the rest are for local races. Our US Representative actually has competition this year, even. I’m interested to see which way my very traditionally Republican neighbors will vote this year. Will the district turn blue?
    My dad gave up on the Republican Party when they chose Reagan, but, Dad disliked Reagan from when he was governor of California and believed that “trickle down economics” was bunk when it was first suggested.
    He would have been horrified by Trump.
    I’m horrified by Trump.
    I’m not actually surprised, though, because the Republican Party has been building up to this for decades. Cruz must be so frustrated; Trump stole his ride!

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I think the number voter initiatives is a response to the kind of elected reps you describe.

      “Across the U.S., more than 150 measures will be on statewide ballots in November for voters to weigh in on with a “yeah” or “nay.”

      “Measures dealing with marijuana, gun control, minimum wage, taxes and other controversial issues have been approved for 2016 ballots.

      “There’s a greater number of citizen-initiated measures this year than at any time since 2006.

      “Experts say more people are turning to the ballot box to counteract legislative gridlock and the Republican takeover of many state legislatures.”

      https://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-10-03/ballot-measures-around-the-u-s-on-gun-control-marijuana-legalization-minimum-wage-and-other-key-issues

      There’s no transcript of the program but you can listen to it. It was broadcast this morning.

      Even with initiatives that win, though, those pesky elected officials often refuse to implement them or delay or water them down.

      Not exactly acts of democratic principle….

      • 1mime says:

        More power to the people, and if these down ballot issues dear to regular folks gets them to the polls, that’s fabulous!

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      And in other news about elected reps who don’t rep, congress’ Zika bill is less than requested so researchers will be taking funds from research on cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

      Zika is so weird, there’s actually a case that is thought to have been transmitted via the sick man’s sweat or tears to his son. I guess it’s not enough for Republicans that babies can be born seriously damaged.

      They could be heroes; instead, they’re jerks.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/29/mystery-zika-virus-utah-may-spread-through-sweat-tears

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know what to say, Bobo….taking money away from cancer research in order to find a cure and treatment for ZIKA? How can that be explained?

  9. 1mime says:

    Update on John Doe case and Scott Walker ended today when SCOTUS refused to hear the appeal from the Democratic prosecutors. I am amazed and disappointed. I have posted the article discussing the S.C. decision, and the detailed documents upon which the prosecutors based their appeal of the WI Supreme Court decision, as presented by The Guardian. Judge for yourself. I can’t understand how the court could feel justice had been served in this matter.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/u-s-supreme-court-rejects-john-doe-appeal/article_12186a27-1c78-5dfe-93e4-7e2d8a03da54.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2016/sep/14/john-doe-files-scott-walker-corporate-cash-american-politics?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&elqTrackId=73442218d37949d1a5e295819f3fa2bc&elq=e461584ab7d1433eb5f17f73afca6e99&elqaid=31756&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=6506

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      I was disappointed too but cynical enough not to be surprised…taking on this case with a 4-4 split would have resulted in a tie (no decision) in all likelihood anyway AND it would have shone a bright light on the faulty premise used by the majority that money would not corrupt process.

      • 1mime says:

        If you read the entire Guardian piece, the evidence seemed irrefutable. What I abhor is that Walker will think he got away with this and will continue these kinds of tactics. Also, what does this say to prosecutors who go the extra mile to try to right several “wrongs”.

    • Archetrix says:

      I’m guessing it was another 4-4 decision. We need a working government again. We deserve it in fact.

      • 1mime says:

        When the S.C. declines to hear a case, they are not obligated to reveal who voted how or for what reasons. Those who follow the Court closely have opined that this case is so controversial that it would end in a 4/4 tie, thus they allowed the lower court decision to stand, which I think is not only wrong but a tremendous injustice. To lose an appeal because of a truncated SC with no ninth justice, on a case this egregious and this much preparation purely because of a partisan divide, is grossly unfair. I was, needless to say, extremely disappointed that we couldn’t get anyone on the right to budge on any of the issues that were brought forward.

        And yes, 4-4 doesn’t always work out to be justice.

  10. Griffin says:

    What’s up with moderate, pro-business Republicans like Rob Portman and Lisa Murkowski supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment? It’s such a bizarre position to take and flies so seriously in the face of basic economics and even basic knowledge about capitalism itself (i.e. the business cycle) that I would have to vote against them on that issue alone, even if I would probably vote for them if they dropped that stance (and spoke out against the far-right of course).

    • 1mime says:

      Balanced budgets are the elixir of Republican politics. It sounds sooo good even if they violate it with impunity for their own interests. It’s all about their base, Rob. Also, you are well informed and understand the irrationality of a balanced budget for a country like America. Not that we don’t need to work to reduce our federal deficit, we do, but a balanced budget is not the appropriate financial tool to work towards that goal, as important as it is.

      • Griffin says:

        Probably the worst side effect would be that when a recession his (a “bust” period) the government would inevitably lose revenue, and would have to compensate for it by raising taxes or cutting spending which would make said recession far worse. Also, no bailouts and fewer subsidies to save fledgling companies during those bust periods. Just such a really, really horrrible idea that I have no clue how anyone who claims to be supportive/knowledgable of modern capitalism could support it.

      • Stephen says:

        After the financial collapse of 2007–2008 I read a bunch of books on economics and investment to understand what happen. Picking economists who’s models were accurate. My eyes were open and I drifted more away from the GOP. I started to pick on B.S. as it was spewed. My politics started to change. Education will do that to you.

      • 1mime says:

        Change only happens if it is forced or if one works at educating themselves, as you did. Look at how long America has been dealing with racism. And “trickle down economics”. And equality.

        Our young people will help us down the road of change but it will not emerge from those who refuse to think independently as you do, Stephen.

      • moslerfan says:

        “Public debt will burden our children and grandchildren.”

        That argument is very powerful: it’s easy to understand and it appeals to common sense and personal experience. It is also wrong. The argument depends on a false equivalence – the equivalence of private debt and public debt. The two things are not equivalent; they have entirely different consequences.

        Also, re: “government borrowing.” Have you ever wondered why a government with the ability to print money at will would bother to borrow more? What kind of sense does that make?

        Most economists haven’t given much thought to money, but if you don’t understand what money is and how it works in the economy, and if you do not understand the difference between public and private debt, you cannot understand economic policy.

      • 1mime says:

        Mosler, have you been following the Deutsche Bank issue?

      • moslerfan says:

        No, haven’t followed Deutsche Bank, some kind of self-dealing fraud no doubt.

    • A BBA, to me at least, has always come across as a roundabout way of taking the ax to entitlement programs without risking the political throwback it would otherwise ensure, or at least mitigate it to a certain degree.

      Republicans actually did get very close to making it happen in the mid-90s after they took over Congress, but President Clinton managed to beat them back, for which we should all be grateful.

      • 1mime says:

        Of course, just like charter schools are a round about way of starving public education for funds….figures never lie but liars often figure…..

    • Creigh says:

      My problem with “pro-business” is this: business exists to benefit people, not the other way around.

  11. tuttabellamia says:

    I think the GOP is experiencing an identity crisis and a period of turmoil and transition, so even moderate Republicans don’t quite know where they fit in. Perhaps they are waiting for the dust to settle before making a decision as to what stand to take.

    It’s no longer just the worry of being primaried. The fact that Mr. Trump wasn’t just an extremist phenomenon during the primaries, has gotten this far, and appeals even to otherwise sane and intelligent people might be the reason many moderate lawmakers won’t denounce him.

    I mean, if otherwise sane and intelligent voters support Mr. Trump, people never before known to be extremist, it would make any Republican lawmaker wonder what has happened, not just to the party itself, but to the constituents.

    Give the people what they want. The question is: Who are the people, and what do they want?

    • flypusher says:

      “I mean, if otherwise sane and intelligent voters support Mr. Trump, people never before known to be extremist, it would make any Republican lawmaker wonder what has happened, not just to the party itself, but to the constituents.”

      This touches on things we’ve discussed before. People like Ryan and Pence are gambling here. It is true that Trump blundering his way into the Oval Office gives them a chance at advancing the agendas they hold dear. But they stand to lose big, and I dispute that more tax cuts for the wealthy or more conservative SCOTUS picks is really worth the risk of such a reckless and unstable person as CIC. I also think there is denial about the state of the old GOP political alliances. People like McCain don’t want Trump’s base to turn on then. That was one of the reasons Cruz didn’t go on offence against Trump until it was too late- he thought that Trump would fail, then Cruz would snap up all those Trump supporters. Others, I think, have a wistful dream about putting the GOP coalition back together.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        What I can’t forgive Republicans like Ryan, Pence, etc. is the fact that they have helped legitimize a grotesque strain of American politics. This strain of irrational demagoguery has existed since the founding of this country.

        The kind one finds during the Red Scare, the Salem Witch Trials, the indifference and hostility to civil rights in the 50’s and the horrific aftermath of the Nat Turner led rebellion.

        That is a bell they cannot un-ring. History should take note of their moral failings and mendacity in regard to this pathetic excuse of a presidential nominee.

        They have traded potentially the long term viability of our democratic political system in exchange for the prospect of short term electoral gains… that may never materialize.

        What fools they must be if they think they can somehow tame the worst instincts/inclinations of a would be autocrat that has the temperament of a spoiled child.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s a statement that Kelly Ayotte is going to have a hard time walking back….Oh, sometimes politics can be so fun….

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/sen-ayotte-trump-absolutely-a-role-model-for-kids-229076

    • tuttabellamia says:

      In other words, it’s not clear what it takes to survive in today’s Republican Party.

      The most successful Republican of the moment is Donald J. Trump. He is the current role model.

      Is it any wonder that some GOP lawmakers would hesitate to denounce him and call for a return to sanity, when Mr. Trump is the new normal?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        John Kasich and Jeb Bush would have represented a return to sanity, but the constituents were not interested. So, what’s a sane lawmaker to do?

      • 1mime says:

        What’s a sane lawmaker to do?

        Put country before party and self. That’s what they should do.

      • flypusher says:

        What Chris did. You put country 1st, and understand that it could cost you, politics-wise.

        That’s what a statesman/person (Hi 50!) would do.

      • 1mime says:

        And, so it begins, the “Trumpization” of America’s foreign policy. As reported by Politico Influence:

        “Lobbyists with the Nickles Group met in March and April with Sen. Jeff Sessions, a close adviser to Donald Trump, on behalf of South Korea about economic and security ties, according to a new filing with the Justice Department. Trump has controversially floated withdrawing American troops in Asia to let allies fend for themselves against nuclear North Korea. The lobbyists also met with the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee…”

        Let me guess: just what would happen to S. Korea once America pulls out…With the crazy dictator in N. Korea, one could just imagine….

        Foreign policy, Trump-style…..

      • 1mime says:

        There comes a point in every elected official’s life that they have to make a principled stand – on something. There is absolutely zero excuse for any Republican to support Trump given what they have witnessed with their own eyes. To do so says as much about them as it does about Trump. That line of reasoning extends to all who support him.

      • 1mime says:

        Ah, we get back to that word “successful” again. I have a different idea of successful as it relates to politicians….to me, success speaks only to public personna, not to personal achievement or character. Undoubtedly, Trump has “successfully” captured the GOP nomination, but as a Republican nominee of integrity, I doubt you’d find many who would support him on that basis. Still, as noted, votes are the only means the populace have to register support for a politician. Those who have chosen him on any basis other than integrity are part of the problem.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Let me guess: just what would happen to S. Korea once America pulls out…With the crazy dictator in N. Korea, one could just imagine….

        1mime – I can assure you S. Korea can easily handle N. Korea. The ROK Army and Marines are some of the toughest hombres you will ever see. The N. Korean million man army that is half-starved and poorly equipped stands little chance against them. Our military presence there is merely symbolic.

      • 1mime says:

        Good to know but still stupid to leave them on their own. After all, China and Russia are right across the way….Just seemed like such a stupid, shallow statement from a presidential candidate….

    • 1mime says:

      Tutta, reading the comments for WSJ articles has been eye opening. Trump is not just appealing to blue collar people, he is appealing to an educated (?!) group whose hatred of Hillary is outweighing any logical decision-making. And, this group can get down in the gutter with the best of them.

      We have a very special group here of people who are smart, courteous, and rational. That is not universal.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That’s why I do my best to be civil when discussing or describing Mr. Trump, no matter how much I dislike him.

        That’s the reason I make a point to refer to him as MISTER Trump (except when I’m typing on a virtual keyboard, and the fewer the keystrokes, the better).

        The title “mister” bestows a modicum of civility and respectability to an otherwise distasteful subject.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I find most comments sections depressing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That’s where people go to deposit their hate.

      • 1mime says:

        We participate in a comments section here, Tutta, and although strong views are presented, some of which are negative and depressing (as are current events), there are many interesting topics and posts from commentators and Lifer that speak to a broader world view.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        This place is civil, for the most part, although it has its moments.

      • 1mime says:

        A little “spice” is all, Tutta. Makes the meal memorable.

      • 1mime, you claim that “hatred” of Hillary is “outweighing any logical decision-making,” implying that any opposition to Hillary is irrational. I’ll merely point out that while there are certainly haters out there, much Hillary opposition is entirely rational, based on her public record. While I fear what Trump *might* do, I *know* what Hillary will (attempt) to do, and I cannot support her on that basis. My vote won’t be for Trump; it will be *against* Hillary. That’s not because I hate her, but rather because I believe, based on her past conduct, that she will attack our Constitutional liberties, including the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendments, and because I believe (again, based on her record) that she is deeply, irredeemably, politically corrupt. I suspect there are a lot of people out there who, like me, despise Trump, but fear Hillary more, and will vote on that basis. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are.

      • 1mime says:

        No, you mis-stated what I said, which was: “Trump is not just appealing to blue collar people, he is appealing to an educated (?!) group whose hatred of Hillary is outweighing any logical decision-making.’

        Note the emphasis is not that the hate for Hillary is irrational (which I absolutely think it is but was not the point), but that the hate people have for her “outweighs any “logical decision-making”. Anyone who can support DJT is not using logic. Hate has obliterated logic. I stand by that belief. There are other people running for president. Pick one. Bask in your hate for Hillary because that is what this is all about.

      • 1mime says:

        I keep thinking about what you said guided your voting decision for president, and it still bothers me. I read this piece from Ross Douthat (NYT) that so aptly describes “why” anyone who is a logical, rational thinker can not vote for Donald Trump….which you have said you don’t plan to do. Yet, pundits agree that by not voting for one or the other of the two major candidates, we could end up splitting electoral votes, giving Trump an edge.

        Douthat: “Set aside for a moment Trump’s low character, his penchant for inflaming racial tensions, his personal corruptions. Assume for the sake of argument that all that can be folded into a “lesser of two evils” case.

        What remains is this question: Can Donald Trump actually execute the basic duties of the presidency? Is there any way that his administration won’t be a flaming train wreck from the start? Is there any possibility that he’ll be levelheaded in a crisis — be it another 9/11 or financial meltdown, or any of the lesser-but-still-severe challenges that presidents reliably face?

        I think we have seen enough from his campaign — up to and including his wretchedly stupid conduct since the first debate — to answer confidently, “No.” Trump’s zest for self-sabotage, his wild swings, his inability to delegate or take advice, are not mere flaws; they are defining characteristics. The burdens of the presidency will leave him permanently maddened, perpetually undone.”

        And, that’s just the stuff you can memorialize in print. Evidently you are willing to risk this outcome even though you “despise” Trump, but your concerns about Hillary will not allow you to vote “against” Trump, even if it weakens her chance of winning, because…

      • Turtles Run says:

        That’s not because I hate her, but rather because I believe, based on her past conduct, that she will attack our Constitutional liberties, including the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendments, and because I believe (again, based on her record) that she is deeply, irredeemably, politically corrupt.

        So your belief is to vote for a person that has promised to attack the first and fourth amendment and has supported in the past the restrictions you fear on the second amendment because Hillary might do those things based on reasons and because……

        You are right that is a sad state of affairs.

      • @Tracy Thorleifson: >] “1mime, you claim that “hatred” of Hillary is “outweighing any logical decision-making,” implying that any opposition to Hillary is irrational. I’ll merely point out that while there are certainly haters out there, much Hillary opposition is entirely rational, based on her public record. While I fear what Trump *might* do, I *know* what Hillary will (attempt) to do, and I cannot support her on that basis. My vote won’t be for Trump; it will be *against* Hillary. That’s not because I hate her, but rather because I believe, based on her past conduct, that she will attack our Constitutional liberties, including the 1st, 2nd and 4th amendments, and because I believe (again, based on her record) that she is deeply, irredeemably, politically corrupt. I suspect there are a lot of people out there who, like me, despise Trump, but fear Hillary more, and will vote on that basis. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are.

        Pardon my French, but what a load of self-justifying crap. If what you were saying were true, Tracy, then you wouldn’t need to pull the lever for Trump. You could vote for Johnson, Stein, write in someone else (heck, write in Ronald Reagan for what it’s worth) or just leave your presidential box blank.

        You know this and you’re smart enough to know that saying that you’re voting “again” someone is still voting for someone. A vote for a bigot is, at the end of the day, still a vote for a bigot. Don’t insult yourself and face your choice head on.

  12. Stephen says:

    According to what I am reading polls show a tighting in Senate races. Lifer do still think Republicans will lose control of the Senate?

  13. flypusher says:

    Even without the rise of Trump and the crazies in the GOP, Duckworth would be a tough oppenent.

    The thing that makes the moderates’ lack of spine even more exasperating is that GOP Congress members from Blue/Purple states don’t have to worry about being primaried from the right.

  14. Kenneth Devaney says:

    He walked and talked like a moderate and I was very hopeful that Illinois was sending a Susan Collins type to the Senate from a blue state and naively thought…yay! WOW, this NYC democrat was disappointed in both of them. If there are adults in the room they are suppose to stop the kids from hurting themselves and they failed.

    Chris, it isn’t due to a lack of trying to find a reasonable republican to vote for…you know us NY democrats love to split our tickets (Pataki, Bloomberg and Obama for me) but the GOP is making it impossible by culling the moderates and only offering crazies and when you do find one they are so afraid of being primaried (now a verb) they abandon reason.

    Back to waiting for the fever to break or the cruel reality of our demographics to cull the voters keeping these boobs in office.

  15. Stephen says:

    Conservatism is a incremental practical problem solving philosophy. It assumes mutual responsibility to each other. Conservatives embrace Capitalism because it is a useful way to generate wealth. But understands unregulated trends towards feudalism. Looking at things like Paul Ryan’s budget or GOP’s social policy you see radical change and no mutual responsibility to each other. This is not conservatism .Conservative philosophy can cope well with our changing world. But not the disfunction of the current Republican Party despite the enthusiasm of the party’s base. Conservatism will survive the GOP in either the Democratic Party or a new political movement.

    • 1mime says:

      Conservatism of old may have adhered to ” …mutual responsibility to each other”, but that only applies to other conservatives who follow lock-step with a rigid agenda. Gone are the good ideas, strong conservative principles that are not compromised by misplaced party loyalty, and gone are the sensible moderates that Chris discussed in his Forbes post today.

  16. RobA says:

    Great article Chris.

    I’m interested in what kind of feedback you’re getting from writing there? Both in the comments section and directly.

    I’m not too familiar with the overall slant of Forbes, but am I mistaken in assuming it’s conservative leaning? Money mags tend to be, whether it’s centre right like Bloomberg or harder right like WSJ.

    If so, some of your articles may seem almost heretical. I think you might tap into a vein though. I still believe there’s a demand for GOP sanity somewhere. Hopefully you’ll garner a following.

    • goplifer says:

      So far it’s hesitantly supportive. Forbes’ visitor base could be described as traditional business Republicans. That bloc has largely been in denial about the state of the GOP, since most of their non-business news comes from Fox. They are the last solid GOP bloc to get woke and they are having a very uncomfortable autumn.

    • 1mime says:

      I’ve signed up to follow it and be able to comment, but I am not receiving other comments in full. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, I think this is their paywall at work.

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