by Deacon Blues
The four-point victory by Brexit proponents in yesterday’s vote in Great Britain, to leave the EU will have ramifications far beyond David Cameron’s departure as Prime Minister this fall. First, and as important as anything else, the vote in all likelihood signals the end of the United Kingdom, because both Scotland and Northern Ireland have already called for their own referendums to leave the UK to stay in the EU.
Second, Donald Trump impostors Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage will now get their chance to destroy Great Britain financially amid an anti-immigration bloodlust these next two years. You can count on London losing several major international banks and thousands of jobs to Ireland, Scotland, and/or the continent, something that Farage and Johnson can explain to the sheeple who probably didn’t even know what the hell they were really voting for.
This may also lead to more unraveling of the EU, with other members likely wanting out over the coming months. Russia and China are quite happy about all this.
And Trump himself demonstrated today, in Scotland no less, why he is an embarrassment and a flip-flopper. To actually say in Scotland that he applauded the UK’s exit from the EU, at a time when Scotland wants to stay in, on the basis that the decision will make more money for his local golf course only reinforces why the man has no business getting near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But since there are millions of stupid voters here in America like demonstrably there are in Great Britain, there is no guarantee that the United States won’t destroy itself with a terrible decision this November.
And all this because demagogues demonize brown people, and Barack Obama was short-sighted about Syria.
Goodbye Merrick Garland
by Deacon Blues
For every white voter the GOP and Trump try to scare to the polls this November with a call to lock in long-term anti-immigration efforts through a whiter Supreme Court, there will be several other voters that Democrats can also drive to the polls, thanks to the deadlocked SCOTUS ruling today blocking Obama's executive order.
Trust me, it will be quite easy to drive millions of Latino voters to the polls knowing that a Texas circuit court's ruling is the law of the land, and forces the deportation and breakup of thousands of families across the country. All this decision does is ensure even more overreach and ugliness from Trump and the GOP against brown people. I don't expect Beltway pundits to acknowledge that, but the actual political effect of today's ruling will be quite stark this November.
Make no mistake: I think Obama was wrong in what he did, and overreached himself here. But if anyone thinks this will help the GOP and Trump win the presidency, they're delusional.
And yes, this dooms the Merrick Garland nomination, because the GOP will now hold out to wait for Trump to (hopefully) nominate a desired white guy. But when Hillary rams someone else down their throats next year who is less to their liking, they will look back at this time as a missed opportunity to let a moderate through.
Ryan's Obamacare Alternative is a Fraud
by Deacon Blues
I could write a long piece about Donald Trump's attack upon the Clintons today, wherein he called Hillary a "world class liar", which coming from Trump is the pot calling the kettle black. CNN, the NYT, NPR, ABC News, and others have already called out Trump himself for lying today in his attack, but this it is standard Rovian political theory to attack your opponent from your own position of weakness in an effort to keep them on the defensive. Nothing new there, except that Donald Trump himself is nothing more than a pathological fraud and liar.
What's just as interesting however is that Paul Ryan finally rolled out the GOP alternative to Obamacare today, 6 years late. Needless to say, it is nothing new but a rehash of standard GOP scraps that would destroy our healthcare system and throw millions off of coverage. And did I mention that Ryan had the gall today to once again call for block-granting Medicaid, a recipe for GOP governors to throw thousands of people into the abyss, while Ryan also called for a Medicare premium support model, which is GOP dog whistling for destroying Medicare too.
Note that Ryan rolled this out at a time when health care insecurity is at a record low, due in large part to Obamacare. Yet Ryan and Donald Trump call for the immediate repeal of it, during Trump's first 100 days.
If you are looking for evidence that the GOP is a dead and bankrupt party, it is too easy to look at Trump's ascension as Exhibit A. Ryan's sad and intellectually dishonest "cure" for our health care system has no costs or numbers of affected Americans tied to it, even though the GOP's purported main policy wonk (Ryan) has had years to develop this. The truth is that the GOP hates government healthcare and doesn't care if "those people" die in the streets. It's also true that like Ted Cruz, who was also regarded by the media as a very smart if not brilliant mind inside the Beltway, Paul Ryan is just as overrated as a supposed "policy wonk."
If Paul Ryan is the intellectual cornerstone of the GOP establishment, and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the GOP's "faces", then the Republican Party is truly dead.
Running on Empty
by Deacon Blues
Yes, it is mindboggling to see that Donald Trump's fundraising is virtually nonexistent, and that he starts the general election campaign flat broke. However, despite claims to the contrary from the center-left media, Trump has poured $46 million of his own money into his campaign, and claims today that he is willing to put more money in. It's just that the fundraising machine needed to run a countrywide effort in tandem with the RNC needed to be in place and generating some funds by now, but clearly it isn't.
Perhaps it is just one more sign of the emerging yet obvious conclusion: Trump never thought he'd be in this situation a year ago.
Lastly, when you antagonize the national papers and exclude them from covering your campaign, you only motivate them to go after you even harder, and get quotes from insiders that make you look bad.
Update: One of Trump's lines of attack against Hillary and Bill are his allegations today and previously that she used her official position as Secretary of State to benefit the family, a claim that has already been debunked. Given Trump's own enriching of himself through the campaign, that line of attack is now kaput.
Senate GOP Has Blood On Its Hands
by Deacon Blues
Did anyone really think that over 40 dead gay people were enough to prod GOP senators into voting against the NRA? After all, if 8 dead African American church-goers and over 20 slaughtered school kids weren't enough to shame Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn into action, then forget it.
Note that McConnell thinks the issue is about terrorism and not access to assault weapons or background checks. It just shows that scoundrels will find any reason to continue doing nothing. Democrats should remind voters of what happened today the rest of this campaign. Several GOP Senate incumbents up this year (Portman, Johnson, Toomey) became road kill after today.
Make Donald Stay Donald
by Deacon Blues
Having wasted the last five weeks losing ground to Hillary Clinton and falling behind in the polls and in fundraising, at a time when Clinton still is dealing with Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump gave in to his kids today and fired his longtime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Presumably, the establishment's man Paul Manafort is in control of the Trump campaign now, if for no other reason than to get the money flowing again.
Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, and the cleverest thing the Clinton campaign can do right now is set the narrative that Trump has been coopted by the GOP establishment, if for no other reason than to drive Trump to prove otherwise with another several weeks of destructive behavior. The Clinton team knows they are dealing with an unstable individual in Trump, and the best thing they can do is whatever it takes to drive him nuts.
Trump and the NRA
by Deacon Blues
No one should be surprised if Donald Trump "gets" the NRA to suddenly drop its opposition to banning those on the DHS terrorist watch list from getting guns. And no one should be surprised if Wayne Lapierre and the NRA suddenly agree with banning those on the list from getting guns. This is the kind of manipulation that both Trump and the NRA would foist upon the electorate to underline the image of Trump the Dealmaker.
If would however immediately make things terrible for House and Senate Republicans, who have steadfastly refused to do this, even as the bodies pile up. Doing so would allow the DSCC and DCCC to blast GOP incumbents this fall for being more obstructionist than even the NRA, which is a "no-win" situation for those GOP incumbents. And because Trump is all in this for himself, he would carelessly hang these GOP incumbents out to dry without a second thought.
Yet Democrats should be ready to counter any Trump/NRA maneuver with a demand that if Trump was truly concerned about public safety, and if he was really a tough-guy negotiator, he would also get the NRA to drop its opposition to having local law enforcement agencies know who in their jurisdictions buys assault weapons. Unless Trump is ready to take on the NRA to get it done, then everything else is just well-orchestrated puffery between Trump and the NRA.
It's easy to push the NRA into keeping guns from brown people; its just that the GOP has never had the balls to do so. It's far harder to make the GOP care as much for local law enforcement as they do for the NRA.
Kicking Trump In The Ass
Today’s dizzying events in the presidential campaign, from the meeting between President Obama and Senator Sanders, to the Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren endorsements of Hillary Clinton, and the American Constitution Society appearances by Warren and Vice President Joe Biden wherein they tore the bark off of Donald Trump are not random occurrences. They are just a taste of what the pathetic bastard Trump can expect the rest of the way.
For his part, Sanders handled the meeting at the White House like a true professional who knows he is now a national leader of the progressive movement, and a major player in the Senate Democratic caucus. As the incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee when the Democrats take over next year, Sanders and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown along with Warren will form an extremely powerful triad within the Senate that will keep a Clinton White House fully committed to a progressive agenda. Sanders now knows this, as does Clinton and Chuck Schumer. He has achieved what he desires, the platform and position he won in a hard-fought campaign to move ahead as a progressive powerhouse, but now with a political party behind him. To that end, despite the hateful bile from some of his supporters, he has earned the time and right to pick when he exits this race.
With the timing of his endorsement today, right after his meeting with Sanders, Obama made it clear to not only Sanders but to the full party that he expects everyone to fall in line right now behind the woman who will carry on a good deal of Obama’s agenda and protect his legacy. With the Warren endorsement tonight on Rachel Maddow’s show, following her and Joe Biden’s thrashing of Trump today, it is clear that the full machinery of a united Democratic Party and Clinton campaign are about to spend the next five months on offense against Trump and those gutless weasels who support him. Yes, Trump will smear the Clintons repeatedly in his speech on Monday, but don't think for a minute that Team Clinton isn't ready for it.
As Chris Hayes noted tonight, there already is a “Murderer’s Row” of Hillary surrogates lined up and ready to kneecap Trump every day with a classic “Tier Two” effort while Hillary herself assumes the higher ground in a “Tier One” effort. If Hillary can count on Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Clinton, and eventually Bernie Sanders to smash her opponents in the face, she is living large, especially at a time when Trump can only count on Chris Christie to defend him. And we aren't even yet talking about the Clinton fundraising machine and "story a day" oppo research operation.
As Newt Gingrich observed back in 2012, the Clinton machinery would destroy the 2012 Republican Party unless it got its act together quickly, Instead, the GOP went fully over the cliff since then, and is now facing not only the Clinton machine but also 1) a presidential administration bent on cementing in place its legacy, and 2) a party with an energized progressive base, thanks to Senator Sanders. The GOP therefore is about to face its own Perfect Storm.
The Republican Party has earned the destruction they are about to endure.
Bernie's Running His Show
by Deacon Blues
After watching the competing speeches last night, I agreed with the points some were making on BernieTV (MSNBC) about the contrasts between Hillary’s speech (which I found less impressive than the TV pundits did), and Trump’s “they’re making me do this speech like this” address to the assembled white people at his country club. With Hillary’s surprisingly-large margin over Bernie in California, and with the internal backbiting and blame-gaming already starting inside the Sanders’ campaign, I thought last night would have been a great time for Sanders to start a graceful pivot towards party inclusion and a common focus outward against Trump.
Instead, we got a speech from Sanders that pledges a fight all the way into the Philadelphia convention next month, and an ongoing effort to woo superdelegates.
What remains to be seen is whether the sales job and message is primarily anti-Hillary and intentionally aimed at undermining her, which is very possible given what is in the Politico piece, or whether the message is broader-based and focused on how his movement and followers are the true future of the party. It is understandable that Sanders feels he owes it to his followers to stay in the game until they get something out of the effort. But that also assumes that Sanders and his followers join the party. If Sanders isn’t willing to fold his millions of followers and mailing list into a robust progressive wing of the party, and instead wants the party’s nomination but also to remain outside of it, convinced of his self-righteousness, then he is more like Trump than he would ever admit.
Il Duce Emerges
by Deacon Blues
Donald Trump, yesterday:
An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge's Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question the judge's credibility and impugn reporters as racists.
A clearly irritated Trump told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge. "The people asking the questions—those are the racists," Trump said. "I would go at ’em."
Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize television reporters. "I'd let them have it," he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites.
But today, The Donald says he won't talk about his fraud case or the judge any more, and that his comments were misconstrued:
Donald J. Trump, who said last week that a Mexican-American judge was biased against him because of his heritage, said on Tuesday that his remarks had been “misconstrued” and that he did not think that the judge’s ethnicity created a conflict of interest.
“It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage,” Mr. Trump said. “I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent.”
So, after watching this slow-moving train wreck over the last week, we can conclude the following:
1. Donald Trump lies as easily as he breathes.
2. Donald Trump hates anyone who dares question him.
3. Donald Trump likes brown people as long as they work for him.
4. We can now clearly see how a Trump administration will treat the media and courts.
5. Most major GOP officeholders would rather stand with a racist tyrant than risk losing office.
6. No matter what BernieTV thought of what she said last week, Hillary effectively kneecapped Trump.
As more and more GOP officials sweat out the weeks running up to the Cleveland convention next month, we can watch a major political party implode right before our eyes. But never fear: the media will keep telling us that the Democrats have all the problems.