Pat Buchanan Won

John Fugelsang made the point that it took 24 years since Pat Buchanan’s 1992 convention speech that the late, infinitely great Molly Ivins said “was better in the original German” but the GOP is now the party he thought it was in 1992.  It was a fight against George H.W. Bush for the heart of the party.  Bush won then, he is not attending now.


First Night of the GOP’s Wake in the Books

What was that?  Night 1 was Make America Afraid and a little sad for how nutsy cuckoo one of the major parties has become.

The mother of a Benghazi casualty said Hillary was responsible for her son’s death and journalists had to gently point out that there’s no evidence for that without calling her crazy.

9/11 Rudy yelled and took credit for the 20 year drop in crime in NY that started before he took office and continued after, and happened everywhere he wasn’t mayor too.

A bunch of people said we’re already at war and/or a cross roads and only they have the courage to call the enemy by its given name of “Muslim extremism.” They seemed proud of that.

Chachi spoke after tweeting that Hillary is a c*nt (Baio literally ran into Trump last week and Trump asked him to speak – like this was just some backyard barbecue, “you know , come if you can and have a rib, give a speech, whatever, it’s casual”).

Antonio Sabato, Jr., who is… um… I don’t know who he is, said Obama is definitely a Muslim, definitely.

Joni Ernst and Jeff Sessions droned showing why they’re big stars. Actually, nobody ever thought Sessions was a star (he’s in the Senate because his nomination for the federal bench was rejected by the Senate because of his extreme views on race). They did actually think Ernst was, until last night.

Melania Trump gave a serviceable although apparently plagiarized speech that didn’t add any personal element to her indentured servitude marriage to Trump. Which, going by the people who have seen the curtain pulled back, is about par for the indifferent course on his relations with his wives and children. Maybe she had no color to offer because the only color in their lives is that orangeish tint he trails like a human bag of Cheetos. Maybe she doesn’t really know him.

But more importantly she rickrolled us all.

It was also an occasion for every nude picture of Melania to be tweeted against the backdrop of how much grief the same people applauding Melania gave to Michelle Obama over sleeveless dresses.

Ultimately it’s a toss up whether the actual convention was worse or this piece in the  New Yorker about the writer who actually wrote “The Art of the Deal” and how much he regrets putting lipstick on a pig for Trump.

The hall seemed half empty most of the time (and completely empty part of the time), the functions seemed perfunctory – march speaker on, march speaker off, no videos, no productions values. It looked like a convention that was done on the cheap at the last second, and it was.

Poor Bob Dole sitting there and being propped up whenever they needed a visual of an elder statesmen to give the whole thing cover. There is no cover here and that was obvious from the fact that even his wife, Elizabeth “Liddy” Dole, former Republican Senator from NC, did not accompany him.

We’re all Israel Now

The despair people feel about terrorism today is at least partially rational* because these nihilists that attack beach celebrations and marathons and concert halls and gay dance clubs embody the real heart of terrorism: it’s so indiscriminate, so unpredictable that it really can happen anywhere. Don’t leave your house ever! These murderers with a cause are different from any other set of murderers with a cause because they make no bones about the targets having anything to do with their cause. We can say Isis is so much more effective than al Qaeda because they would sit around in caves planning attacks for months, because the target mattered at least a little.  Not so anymore.  Isis tells its naive and disconnected young acolytes to just go out and kill with whatever you can get your hands on. Gun, knife, car, whatever. Quite literally they say if all you have is a rock then hit people in the head with it. Which people?  Doesn’t matter, just kill. This feels different. Even more pointless and doomed to failure, but doomed to failure while soaked in lots of blood.

So all of the western world is now on high alert at all times. We are all Israel now, on high alert everywhere at all times.We got used to seeing soldiers with automatic weapons in airports and railway stations since 9/11, get used to that in an ever expanding list of places.

* It’s partly still not completely rational because much perspective is lost in the mists of time. I hear people bemoan current events as if terrorism is new and worse than ever. The more nihilistic nature of it notwithstanding, there’s always been terrorism. There are ever changing groups and their causes that ebb and flow and disappear as other causes and groups emerge.

At all times in the post-WWII period there have been countries and regions that were besieged by terrorist groups and their guerrilla tactics. In the 50s and 60s Puerto Rican nationalists killed a Congressman on the steps of the Capitol. In the 60s and 70s the Irish Troubles reached our shores and kept London in a state of siege. Makeshift American anti-social actors tried to stop the killing in Vietnam by killing in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, etc.  In the 70s dozens of people were killed by a bomb at LaGuardia Airport. Bombings were every day occurrences somewhere, even before the Oklahoma City disaster 20 years ago. It’s not even new to have Middle Eastern inspired mayhem like the massacre of the Israelis at the Munich Olympics, or how France was beset by the uprising Algerian anti-colonists. I’m just talking about Europe, Asia, North and South America. Skyjacking was a thing with airplanes being commandeered and rerouted by force at a rate of 1 a week for years. Basque Separatists attacked Spain and Spanish interests. Anarchist groups like Red September and the Baader Meinhof Gang put a pall over Germany. Yada yada yada…

Some people in 2016 act like these horrific acts never happened and tragedy only began on 9/11/01. Call me Mr. Perspective.

Old Fashioned Plutocrat Trump Completes GOP’s Time Travel Adventure


Just swap the mutton chop sideburns and out of control facial hair for Trump’s patented out of control orange thatch and he’s literally representing a party from the 1800’s. And it’s not just the emphasis on racism, xenophobia and America First. Trump has set himself on a course to motivate every angry white person who wants to turn back modernity to vote to Cexit 21 as in Exit the 21st Century.

But it’s not as if any of this is his idea and he brought it to them. He’s just the perfect candidate for, and the product of, a party that has degenerated for 40 years down to the level of the lowest common right wing radio conspiracy theory denominator.  Unlike even a Romney or McCain, Trump embraces nearly all of the revanchism that represents the core party.  A look at the GOP platform is like looking back in time to a party platform from the know-nothings of the 1830s.

As Talking Points Memo notes, the real architect of all of this is Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who was the author of Arizona’s “papers please” law.

This was not Kobach’s first time serving on the platform committee. He was a member in 2012 — where he harshened the platform’s immigration language that the Mitt Romney campaign had tried to soften — as well as in 2008.

But Trump-mentum and Kobach’s brand of hard-right, anti-immigrant conservatism were a match made in heaven. The legal wunderkind-turned-state bureaucrat has long advocated for anti-immigrant legislation — including Arizona’s infamous “show us your papers” law — as well as for restrictive voting laws.

Now, with Trump at the top of the ticket, that attitude is reflected in the party platform, which presidential campaigns in the past have attempted to tone down. The platform also stakes out conservative positions in a number of other areas that are less of a focus for Trump, but Kobach expressed confidence that Trump is on board.

What’s in the hard right platform besides Trump’s famous wall to be paid for by Mexico, implicit America First language and complete bans on abortion for any reason whatsoever?

A plank that says online porn is a “public health crisis.”  Not guns.  Porn.

A plank demanding that lawmakers use religion in composing laws.

stipulating “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights.”

It encourages Bible instruction in public schools.  Encourages it because you need the Bible to have an educated citizenry.  [Note: much of the literacy movement of the first half of the 19th century was so that people could read the Bible.  And given the paucity of books available to the poor, that was the one book most homes had. It’s literally 1830 in here!]

Planks showing disapproval of homosexuality, gay marriage and transgender rights. They approve of state laws that limit rest room choices and “conversion therapy.”

“Has a dead horse been beaten enough yet?” asked Annie Dickerson, a committee member from New York, who chastised her colleagues for writing language offensive to gays into the platform “again and again and again.”

Yet it was the lack of much interference by Mr. Trump or his aides that seemed to set the tone for the platform’s direction. That allowed conservative activists like Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, to exert greater influence. Mr. Perkins’s hand could be seen in dozens of amendments on issues like gun control, religious expression and bathroom use.

A plank calling for all federal lands to be returned to the states.  That includes our national parks.

And let’s not forget maybe the craziest zig in the dance of crazy that is the GOP Platform of 1832 2016.  Coal is a vegetable.  No, actually coal is clean energy.

After Texas delegate David Barton proposed the addition of the word “clean” to the platform’s description of coal, the committee voted to officially call coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”

So again, porn is a public health crisis, coal is the clean energy source of the future, only men and women should marry and procreate and law should be based on religion.

Maybe I’ve given them too much credit.  Maybe it’s the platform from the 1730s!


I Understand Fear, But it’s Not Close

I have been surprised to hear some people I consider pretty smart wax pessimistic about the possibility of the Trumpster fire presidency.

But it’s not really close.  And I don’t expect it to get closer.

Pew has Clinton by 9 and outperforming 2012 Obama in almost all demographics. The biggest change is white college-educated women who split evenly for Obama/Romney, have moved 31 points towards Clinton.

This is while Trump keeps repeating the delusion that Hispanics love him (freaking out fellow GOPers tethered to reality).

The biggest cloud over Hillary just cleared up. The conventions usually compress differences, but this year I expect them to actually expand them as the GOP’s convention promises to be a disastrous amateur theatrical next to the professional Broadway spectacular the Dems will put on.

Imagine if you will, a convention that has Obama, Biden, Sanders, Liz Warren, numerous other Dem luminaries and finishes with Hillary making speeches exhorting America to live up to its promise, expand rights, contract inequality and respect everybody versus the GOP convention of… not sure what yet.  Three nights of Trump?  His kids?  Chris Christie?  A handful of Republicans who will show up making speeches for themselves, hardly mentioning the candidate (like Christie hilariously did in 2012, by the way).  Maybe Eastwood comes back with a table this time?

Imagine all of the Democratic senate candidates in those battleground states getting prime time exposure while their GOP opponents aren’t even in Cleveland. They’re in bunkers whiting out the word “Republican” from the posters and yard signs they had ordered.

There’s a time for pessimism.  This ain’t it.

It’s Still a Lunatic with a (Too Big) Gun

Some thoughts about Dallas, but let’s not let Dallas completely obscure Baton Rouge and Minnesota.  No matter what this suspect said before they blew him up, he was a mass killer with access to a weapon or weapons of war. The Black Lives Matter versus the police false frame is going to overwhelm the reality that another maniac with too much firepower did it again.

They blew the dude up.  They sent a bomb in to blow the guy up!  That seems weird to me. Is this Fallujah?  Then when reporters asked about the suspect’s mental state all they could say was they don’t know, all they know is what he said.  Yeah, because he’s dead! They couldn’t wait him out?  Is it because he was black?  I keed!  In any case all those good guys with guns needed a bomb.

Actually they never said this morning he was black.  They just intimated that he sympathized with Black lives Matter and he wanted to kill white people…. so black.

A lot of talk this morning from the Dallas Police Chief and Mayor about how heroic cops are and join together in prayers and blah blah blah.  Nobody asked about the probably legal assault weapons the suspect (or suspects) had, whereby they were able to rain down a great many shots on the police in a short amount of time. This is getting to be a very old story.  Like a kid constantly touching a hot stove and the parents saying, it’s his right to touch a hot stove, his failure to learn is protected by the Constitution, ya know!

So sometimes the crazy person with a gun is a cop.  I don’t know if it’s racism in every case, but it sure is cowardice if these cops piss themselves every time they have to pull over  a black person to the point that if the black person twitches they start firing.  The reality of these scared, trigger happy cops doesn’t match the talk about the heroism.

I know they’re the vast minority and the majority are good cops… don’t make me blah blah blah again.

762 Americans killed by cops so far this year.  When, last night notwithstanding,  2015 and 2016 have seen very few fatalities among police.  They’re relatively safe, considering their job.  While many of our fellow citizens are scared shitless, of them!  WTF!

Comey Confirms What We Knew

There were some things mishandled with Clinton’s private e-mail server, but nothing illegal, nothing criminal, nothing.

And yet, this was the GOPs great white hope for 2016. They have asserted, and will continue to assert, that clearly she would go to jail if the fix wasn’t in.  For what exactly? No answer.  Didn’t Colin Powell do the same thing and nobody said boo?  Who can know?

Somehow it’ll all be an elitist, politically correct plot to take the country, that they want back, from them. Like how the media keeps seeing anti-Semitic uses of Stars of David, when they’re sheriffs stars. It’s so elitist of them to note that the graphic that Trump re-tweeted came from a racist neo-nazi twitter troll and not from a sheriff’s benevolent organization.

Maybe Hitler just deputized a lot of people.

From the What the Hell Did I Just Do Files (Brexit Edition)

Nigel Farage’s wife is German.  Farage is the leader of the UKIP, the party that spearheaded the Brexit.

Theresa May, the leading Tory candidate to be the next PM isn’t sure Farage’s wife should be able to remain in the country.  It’s up for negotiation, she says, like everything.

That’s a hard fuck up to get back from when you get your wife deported.

But democracy never closes a door without opening a German window.