GOP has gone over the cliff

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You know you’ve gone way off the cliff if even the most virulent right wing conspiracy nuts denounce you. That was Glenn Beck, being denounced by — not kidding — Alex Jones of Info Wars. In his rant Jones goes after Beck for attacking Donald Trump and for joking about stabbing Trump if he was ever on stage with the real estate … tycoon? … So many people are hammering Trump on the veracity of his claims, let’s wait and see if he really is a tycoon.

But he is a showman.

To his discredit, when the Secret Service came a knocking to find out why Beck was threatening to stab a presidential candidate, Beck claimed he meant he would stab one of his co-workers on his TV/radio program Yeah, sure we believe that (not really). Jones called it, “premeditated weasel behavior.” Adding, “I’m so sick of these premeditators. Tired of’em.”

Jones gets really good in this rant, calling Beck a “big fat, effeminate bully.”

Alex Jones of Info Wars.
Alex Jones of Info Wars.

You could listen to Alex Jones for hours and be entertained.

What really has Jones so ticked off is that Beck has sided with the GOP elite in trying to rid the race of Donald Trump. They even have semi-official names for it: #DumpTrump and #AnyoneButTrump are trending hashtags on Twitter.

The GOP is frantically trying to find a way to block Trump from the nomination, so much so that even avowed Ted Cruz hater Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, “Here’s my message to the Republican Party and conservative movement: I’d rather risk losing without Donald Trump than try to win with him because it will do more damage over time.” Graham also said, “I would support Cruz over Trump. I’d prefer Rubio over Kasich; Rubio and Kasich over Cruz. But if Ted’s the alternative to Trump he’s at least a Republican conservative.”

This from the guy who, when asked if he would support Trump or Cruz, said, “It’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?” That was less than a month ago.

Marco Rubio, whose campaign is sputtering to a halt, has decided to get into a penis war with Trump. There is constant name-calling and the foulest language ever heard in any campaign, let alone a presidential debate in front of millions of viewers. Little Marco’s shoes are getting smaller.

Mitt Romney came back to join the Dump Trump campaign, giving a speech in which he said, “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.” And, “He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Yeah, but it’s a really cool hat with a rah-rah message on it.

It was a long speech, which you can read and watch HERE, thanks to the NYTimes (that’s New York Times in old school parlance).

Underlying all that — and undercutting Romney’s message — was the time Trump endorsed Romney in the 2012 election cycle. After Romney gave his speech Trump reminded everyone, rather crudely, Romney was a big fan of The Donald. “I could’ve said, ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees. He was begging.”

That’s one of the more entertaining — and horrifying — aspects of the 2016 GOP presidential campaign: the school yard mentality and language and the bullying.

When he was on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Romney couldn’t really defend throwing so much admiration Trump’s way four years ago (Romney flew to Las Vegas just to get the endorsement and some money) and then condemning Trump last Thursday. Four years ago Trump was a great success. This year Trump is a big failure. Todd asked about the flip-flop and with his initial answer, Romney confirmed what Trump supporters believe to their core.

“You know, he’s made a lot of money for himself. And I’m gracious enough in a setting where someone has endorsed me to point out that he’s been successful, made a lot of money. He has a lot of hotels and so forth. But you can’t also ignore the fact that he’s had a lot of failures. And he tries to sell himself in this campaign as nothing but successful. He’s not a loser.”

That’s what Trump supporters believe as well: Trump is not a loser and Mitt Romney, in what was supposed to be a denouncement of Trump, endorsed what draws the millions of people to Trump. I bolded the phrase to highlight that bit.

Mitt Romney on Meet the Press
Mitt Romney on Meet the Press

Todd had clips showing voters reacting to Romney’s speech.

“If Mitt Romney thinks that about Mr. Trump, then he must think that about every one of us supporters of Mr. Trump. We are not phonies and frauds.” And this: “I think what’s damaging the Republican brand is trashing the frontrunner at this stage.”

The Republicants are in a pickle. If Trump is the nominee, they are screwed. He will turn voters off and that dislike will transfer to any other Republicans running in November. It’s so bad Mitch McConnell told GOP candidates they can campaign against Trump if he’s the nominee.

On the other hand, dumping Trump, when clearly he is the choice of most GOP voters, would alienate a lot of people who would either stay at home or vote for someone else — up and down the ticket. Voters are pretty disgusted with both parties, more so possible GOP voters who are still waiting for the party to repeal Obamacare and shut down all the federal agencies they don’t like.

As Karl Rove famously said to Ron Suskind for the New York Times, during George W. Bush’s first term, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

There are a lot of conservative voters who actually believe that too and Trump is promising the “reality” they are creating in their imaginations, one where white people will once again reign supreme. That’s their message of hope, what the GOP wants.

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And on the Democratic side of the divide …

Philosophically I’m in tune with Senator Bernie Sanders, maybe a little more liberal. If the political situation was different in Congress and the Democrats controlled both houses, Senator Bernie Sanders would … probably … be my guy.

Bernie Sanders(YouTube)
Bernie Sanders(YouTube)

After watching Saturday’s debate I have to agree with Secretary Hillary Clinton that Bernie is a one-issue candidate. With nearly every question he was asked and every response, Sanders pivoted to his anti-Wall Street rhetoric.

Yep, we’ve heard that one already Senator. Yep, you can tie it into the #BlackLivesMatter movement in that economic justice could go a long way to curing much of what ails us racially. Yep, making the big corporations and wealthiest among us pay their fair share in taxes could go a long way to help with the national budget. But going after big business and Wall Street isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy for everything that needs fixing in America.

He had some semi-specific ideas about crime and justice reform, or more precisely the outcomes of what reform should look like, but for everything else the answer was all about economic equality and who doesn’t agree with that?

Still, despite his myopic view of things and his reluctance to make gun manufacturers and distributors responsible for their actions, Bernie Sanders represents my views on just about everything.

But … this is why I no longer feel the Bern. When Senator Sanders was on the Hardball With Chris Matthews College Tour, Matthews asked Sanders the big question: how would he get any of his agenda passed if he had to deal with a Republican-controlled Congress. President Obama has had very little success since the GOP took over Congress. It was even tough when the Democrats controlled Congress.

Bernie’s answer: call on that growing revolution to produce millions of Americans to pressure Mitch McConnell and the Republicants to act. Well, you need a better strategy and tactics than that. McConnell has already pledged to be the do-nothing Senate Majority Leader and he’s succeeding at it. His counterparts in the House of Representatives are controlled by the do-nothing Teabaggers who are categorically against anything that even remotely allows the government to do anything, other than wage war.

The Republicants in both houses have proven they don’t give a damn what the majority of Americans want; they are going to do exactly what they and their shrinking constituency want, regardless of public opinion.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

So, getting a million young people to march on Washington, let alone flood the Congressional email servers with millions of messages, will not be enough to push the GOP into doing anything.

That’s when Senator Sanders lost me. The revolution doesn’t really exist right now (if it did he would have won a lot more delegates by now) so it’s not likely to materialize into a proactive, powerful force between now and January 20 of next year.

Senator Sanders is idealism at its best, but we need more than idealism right now.

So I’m supporting Hillary Clinton. She has some ideas — practical ideas — on how to get things done in the absence of a functioning Republican Party. Whether or not she can actually get it done is another question, but at least she has some practical strategies that don’t rely on hoping millions of young people march on Mitch McConnell’s office.

 Photos from YouTube.