The story speaks for itself. There is nothing to add.
Via PoliticalProf, who reminds us
Josh Marshall tries to figure out just what Trump thinks he can accomplish attacking Hillary Clinton by blaming her for her husband’s imperfections.
Robert Kagan sees darkness if Donald Trump is elected. He suggests that the Republicans who are now falling in line–in some cases, falling all over themselves–to support him, because in Republican world, winning is the only thing, do not realize the implications of his rise. Here’s a snippet:
Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.
“Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.
It has been a long time since I read de Tocqueville, but I recall the passages to which Kagan refers. The author worried that the American dream would collapse under its own weight.
(If you haven’t read de Tocqueville, you should; it captures a moment in early American history, a moment that is often misrepresented, and remains relevant today.)
Addendum, a Few Minutes Later:
Colin Woodward discusses the European view of Trumpery at the Portland Press-Herald. An excerpt:
. . . he’s championed a group of people who’ve seen their standard of living decline in the face of globalization: the white working class, whose economic interests haven’t been represented by either party in two generations. He claims he’ll bring back manufacturing and make their America great again. They’ve responded enthusiastically, although Trump is about as far from conservative Christian family values and Republican free market orthodoxy as one can get. They’re the warm water fueling the Trump hurricane.
The downside is that Trump is seeking to protect these “good Americans” in a fashion familiar to Europeans: by threatening to withdraw normal legal and constitutional protections for those seen as “traitorous others.” For European far-right nationalists like those in Hungary’s Jobbik, the British National Party or the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, this class usually includes some combination of Jews, Roma (also known as Gypsies), Muslim immigrants or foreigners from countries they dislike. For Trump, it’s Mexicans, Muslim-Americans, the journalists in the press pen or the black protester at his rally who maybe should be beaten up; he’s promised, in one such instance, to pay the legal bills of someone who tried to do just that.
Daniel J. Evans, ex-Republican Governor of Washington, tells a story almost as an aside, an anecdote that encapsulates the excrescence that is contemporary coverage of political news.
Voters this spring were subjected to a series of TV political debates that were more reality show than a serious argument of national and international issues. I was reminded of a conversation I had with a TV news director many years ago. I was asked to do political commentary regularly in a 1 minute time slot. When I questioned how serious one could be in that short time period, he exclaimed, “It doesn’t matter, we want more heat than light.” He could have been in charge of this year’s presidential debates.
You can read the rest–it will take only two minutes–but, really, like Clarissa, this explains it all.
The problem that the Republican Party has right now isn’t that Trump isn’t a Republican. It’s that he is the perfect Republican.
In related news of the discourse, John Freivalds, writing at The Roanoke Times, discusses the failure of established media to hold Donald Trump accountable for his lies. Here’s a bit:
I believe that excising the qualifier, “until now,” from that sentence would render it more accurate.
Jack Ohman strugges to understand the Hillary haters. A nugget:
Why do these guys hate Hillary? I don’t know if it’s that she reminds them of their strict mother, their Catholic school nun, their first wife, their second wife, or their lack of any female presence in their life, but this spitting, aneurysm-inducing venom is spectacularly overblown even in an election year.
She might even lose to a guy who runs (enables) beauty pageants, which is the human equivalent of a stockyard auction for women. Last poll I saw, 65 percent of GOP women will vote for this sexist clown in November.
Do read the rest.
Frankly, I don’t see “likeability” as a qualification for anything, except perhaps game show host. Con artists are always likeable; being likeable is essential to the con. A significant percentage of voters found President George the Worst likeable, and you know how well that worked out.
Hillary Clinton has been the target of an almost three-decade campaign of conservative calumny. Persons view her through a veil of Republican lies, unable to tell where the lies end and the person begins. In the meantime, they choose to support Donald Trump, who is a veil of lies.
Words fail me.
I was at a political function this past weekend. One of my acquaintances was kvetching about complaints from Sanders supporters about some primaries, specifically, complaints that they “had not been allowed to vote,” when, in fact, the issue was that they had not ensured that they were properly registered to vote.
Virginia is an open primary state, but many states have “closed primaries,” which means that, if you wish to vote in a party primary, you must be a registered to vote as a member of that party. If you wish to vote in the Democratic primary, you must be registered as a Democrat; in the Republican primary, registered as a Republican; in the Green Party primary, registered as a Green, and so on. Delaware, where I used to live, was a “closed primary” state.
This is nothing new.
Sanders supporters who were not registered as Democrats were not allowed to vote in Democratic primaries in closed primary states, and, frankly, that was their own damn fault.
“How simple would it have been,” fumed my acquaintance, “for Bernie to tell his supporters to register to vote.”
For more about rules, see Balloon Juice.