2016 Presidential Election

Is a New GOP Being Born?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
buchanan.org (his blog), 2016-02-29

The day the Republican Party ruptured
Growing resistance to a dominating Trump could splinter the GOP beyond repair.
By Eli Stokols
Politico, 2016-03-02

Wall Street readies big Trump assault
Anti-Trump super PAC source says
billionaire Paul Singer will make sure it has all the money it needs.

By Ben White
Politico, 2016-03-02


Wall Street is getting ready to go nuclear on Donald Trump.

Terrified that the reality TV star could run away with the Republican nomination
and bring his brand of anti-immigrant, protectionist populism to the White House,
some top financiers are writing big checks to fund an effort
to deny Trump a majority of delegates to the GOP convention.


Neocons declare war on Trump
Prominent Republican hawks are debating whether to hold their noses
and vote for Clinton instead.

By Michael Crowley
Politico, 2016-03-02

Donald Trump
calls the Iraq War a lie-fueled fiasco,
admires Vladimir Putin
and says he would be a "neutral" arbiter between Israel and the Palestinians.
When it comes to America’s global role he asks,
“Why are we always at the forefront of everything?"

Even more than his economic positions,
Trump's foreign policy views challenge GOP orthodoxy in fundamental ways.
But while parts of the party establishment are resigning themselves
or even backing Trump's runaway train,
one group is bitterly digging in against him:
the hawkish foreign policy elites,
including many of those known as neoconservatives.

In interviews with POLITICO, leading GOP foreign-policy hands —
many of whom promoted the Iraq War,
detest Putin
and consider Israel's security non-negotiable —
said Trump would be a disaster for U.S. foreign policy
and vowed never to support him.
So deep is their revulsion that several even say
they could vote for Hillary Clinton over Trump in November.


Sorry, Trump, America Can’t Be Great Again
Our economy can no longer deliver the fast growth the candidates are promising.
But that hasn’t stopped the demagoguery.

By Michael Lind
Politico Magazine, 2016-03-02


[W]hen it comes to the kinds of economic promises we’re hearing these days,
even the serious presidential candidates are in danger of wandering into Vermin Supreme territory.
On both the right and left ends of the spectrum
this has become the season of the fiery populists,
with their ability to play to people’s frustrations.
Donald Trump offers a restoration, Bernie Sanders a revolution,
but both candidates suggest a return to a far better place in America.
The majority of economic wisdom out there suggests these are false hopes:
The most we can expect for the foreseeable future is incremental change,
and we ought to get used to it—
starting with a reality check on the campaign trail.


[C]an we make individual American workers more productive by means of universal college education or K-12 math and science education? Candidates love to cite more education as a miracle cure that will grow the economy and increase wages all at once. But this is more hype.

The vast majority of new jobs will not require the skills associated with workers in the lucrative but small high-tech sector. It would have been absurd in the 1930s to teach all American schoolchildren the essentials of electric wiring, on the theory that the nation had entered the Age of Electricity and most Americans would soon be electricians. It is equally absurd to say that success in the information age for most American children—and not just those who grow up to join the small segment of the workforce in the tech sector—will depend on their ability to write code or take part in a tech startup.

We have a good idea of what the real “jobs of the future” are—and very few of them are tech sector jobs that require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupations with the greatest job growth between 2014 and 2024 will be personal care aides, registered nurses, home health aides, combined food-preparation and serving workers (including fast food), retail salespersons, nursing assistants, customer service representatives, cooks (restaurant), general and operations managers, and construction laborers. There is not a conventional tech job in the Top 10 list, though one can be found if you go down to No. 14—software developers (applications).

Of the top 10 jobs of the next decade, only registered nurses and general and operations managers require education beyond high school and limited training. And with the exception of registered nurses, with a median annual wage of $66,640, and general and operations managers, with a median annual wage in 2014 of $97,270, the other occupations with the most job openings pay between $18,410 a year (combined food preparation and serving workers) and $31,200 a year (customer service representatives).

The most recent job creation data confirms the predictions of the BLS. Between January 2015 and January 2016, here are the sectors that added the most jobs: education and health (620,000); professional services, defined as accounting, engineering and entertainment (620,000); hotels, restaurants and entertainment (458,000); and construction (264,000). In contrast with these sectors, the manufacturing sector beloved by populists and labor liberals alike added few jobs (45,000)—while the information (telecom, publishing) sector added even fewer (28,000). The financial services sector enjoys a disproportionate share of income, but created only 149,000 jobs in 2015. Government created only 78,000 jobs, giving the lie to conservatives and libertarians who claim that public sector employment is exploding and crowding out private enterprise. All of these sectors—manufacturing, information, financial services, and government—combined added fewer jobs than retail alone (301,000).

For nostalgic populists and old-fashioned labor liberals who dream of restoring great numbers of well-paid assembly-line manufacturing jobs, these numbers are scandalous. Surely there is something wrong with an economy in which there are vastly more job openings for home health aides and mall workers than for factory workers!


Full transcript: Mitt Romney's remarks on Donald Trump and the 2016 race
Politico, 2016-03-03

[Includes both a full transcript and a video of the speech.]


Dishonesty is Trump's hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.

The President of the United States has long been the leader of the free world. The president and yes the nominees of the country's great parties help define America to billions of people. All of them bear the responsibility of being an example for our children and grandchildren.

Think of Donald Trump's personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. We have long referred to him as "The Donald." He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn't because he had attributes we admired.

Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that? Haven't we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct? We have, and it always injures our families and our country.

Watch how he responds to my speech today. Will he talk about our policy differences or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult? This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president.

Trump relishes any poll that reflects what he thinks of himself. But polls are also saying that he will lose to Hillary Clinton.

On Hillary Clinton's watch at the State Department, America's interests were diminished in every corner of the world. She compromised our national secrets, dissembled to the families of the slain, and jettisoned her most profound beliefs to gain presidential power.

For the last three decades, the Clintons have lived at the intersection of money and politics, trading their political influence to enrich their personal finances. They embody the term “crony capitalism.” It disgusts the American people and causes them to lose faith in our political process.

A person so untrustworthy and dishonest as Hillary Clinton must not become president. But a Trump nomination enables her victory. The audio and video of the infamous Tapper-Trump exchange on the Ku Klux Klan will play a hundred thousand times on cable and who knows how many million times on social media.

There are a number of people who claim that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. There is indeed evidence of that. Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign, and on the Ku Klux Klan, daily for three days in a row.


I understand the anger Americans feel today. In the past, our presidents have channeled that anger, and forged it into resolve, into endurance and high purpose, and into the will to defeat the enemies of freedom. Our anger was transformed into energy directed for good.

Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants, he calls for the use of torture and for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.

Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.


An Establishment in Panic
by Patrick J. Buchanan
buchanan.org (his blog), 2016-03-03

Donald Trump “appeals to racism.”

“[F]rom the beginning … his campaign has profited from voter prejudice and hatred” and represents an “authoritarian assault upon democracy.”

If Speaker Paul Ryan wishes to be “on the right side of history … he must condemn Mr. Trump clearly and comprehensively. The same goes for every other Republican leader.”

“Maybe that would split the (Republican) party,” but, “No job is worth the moral stain that would come from embracing (Trump). No party is worth saving at the expense of the country.”
If Republican leaders wish to be regarded as moral, every one of them must renounce Trump, even if it means destroying their party.

Who has laid down this moral mandate? The Holy Father in Rome?

No. The voice posturing as the conscience of America is the Washington Post, which champions abortion on demand and has not, in the memory of this writer, endorsed any Republican for president – though it did endorse Marion Barry three times for mayor of D.C.

Anticipating the Post’s orders, Sen. Marco Rubio has been painting Trump as a “scam artist” and “con artist,” with an “orange” complexion, a “spray tan” and “tiny hands,” who is “unfit to lead the party of Lincoln and Reagan.”

The establishment is loving Rubio, and the networks are giving him more airtime. And Rubio is reciprocating, promising that, even if defeated in his home state of Florida on March 15, he will drive his pickup across the country warning against the menace of Trump.

Rubio, however, seems not to have detected the moral threat of Trump, until polls showed Rubio being wiped out on Super Tuesday and in real danger of losing Florida.

Mitt Romney has also suddenly discovered what a fraud and phony is the businessman-builder whose endorsement he so avidly sought and so oleaginously accepted in Las Vegas in 2012.

Before other Republicans submit to the ultimatum of the Post, and of the columnists and commentators pushing a “Never Trump” strategy at the Cleveland convention, they should ask themselves: For whom is it that they will be bringing about party suicide?

That the Beltway elites, whose voice is the Post, hate and fear Trump is not only undeniable, it is understandable.

The Post beat the drums for the endless Mideast wars that bled and near bankrupted the country. Trump will not start another.

The Post welcomes open borders that bring in millions to continue the endless expansion of the welfare state and to change the character of the country we grew up in. Trump will build the wall and repatriate those here illegally.

Trump threatens the trade treaties that enable amoral transnational corporations to ship factories and jobs overseas to produce cheaply abroad and be rid of American employees who are ever demanding better wages and working conditions.

What does the Post care about trade deals that deindustrialize America when the advertising dollars of the big conglomerates are what make Big Media fat and happy?

The political establishment in Washington depends on Wall Street and K Street for PAC money and campaign contributions.
Wall Street and K Street depend on the political establishment to protect their right to abandon America for the greener pastures abroad.

Before March 15, when Florida and Ohio vote and the fates of Rubio and Gov. John Kasich are decided, nothing is likely to stop the ferocious infighting of the primaries.

But after March 15, the smoke will have cleared.

If Trump has fallen short of a glide path to the nomination, the war goes on. But if Trump seems to be the near-certain nominee, it will be a time for acceptance, a time for a cease-fire in this bloodiest of civil wars in the GOP.

Otherwise, the party will kick away any chance of keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and perhaps kick away its future as well.

While the depth and rancor of the divisions in the party are apparent, so also is the opportunity. For the turnout in the Republican primaries and caucuses has not only exceeded expectations, it has astonished and awed political observers.

A new “New Majority” has been marching to the polls and voting Republican, a majority unlike any seen since the 49-state landslides of the Nixon and Reagan eras.

If this energy can be maintained, if those throngs of Republican voters can be united in the fall, then the party can hold Congress, capture the While House and reconstitute the Supreme Court.

Come the ides of March, the GOP is going to be in need of its uniters and its statesmen. But today, all Republicans should ask themselves:

Are these folks coming out in droves to vote Republican really the bigoted, hateful and authoritarian people of the Post’s depiction?

Or is this not the same old Post that has poured bile on conservatives for generations now in a panic that America’s destiny may be torn away from it and restored to its rightful owners?

The Oligarchs’ Super-PAC Anti-Trump Savagery
by Patrick J. Buchanan
buchanan.org, 2016-03-08

Hillary Clinton’s Ordeal Continues at the Democratic Debate
By John Cassidy
New Yorker, 2016-03-09

How an obscure committee could decide the GOP nomination
The campaigns are already preparing for battle over control of the key panel that will set the rules for a contested convention.
By Kyle Cheney
Politico, 2016-03-15

The four GOP presidential campaigns are quietly preparing for a battle
over an obscure rule-making committee that could control the balance of power in a contested Republican National Convention in July.

The convention's 112-member Rules Committee
wields enormous power to influence the outcome of the party’s nomination fight,
including the authority to undo policies requiring most of the 2,472 convention delegates
to abide by the will of the voters —
freeing them to vote according to personal preference —
or to erect all kinds of obstacles to Donald Trump’s nomination.

“By majority rule, they can do anything that they want,” said Barry Bennett,
an adviser to Donald Trump who’s coordinating the mogul’s convention strategy.
“They can throw out the chairman.
You can throw out the RNC members.
You can do anything.”


Republicans Enter a Shadow Campaign to Sew Up Delegates
New York Times, 2016-03-17


With more than half the states having now held their nominating contests, Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are quietly directing their attention to a second, shadow election campaign — one that is out of sight, little understood but absolutely critical if Republicans arrive at their national convention with Mr. Trump short of a majority of delegates.

This parallel campaign is to select the individual delegates who will go to Cleveland in July for what could be the first contested convention in American politics in more than 60 years.
Chosen through a byzantine process in each state,
most of the delegates will become free agents
if no one wins a majority on the first ballot.


Wild card for Trump: Who gets to be a convention delegate?
By Karen Tumulty and Jose A. DelReal
Washington Post, 2016-03-17

With the increasingly loud talk of a contested Republican convention, the obscure process of picking who actually gets to be a delegate is about to get underway in states across the country — with an urgency that has not been felt in decades.

These are the 2,472 people who will be filling Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena in July, many wearing silly hats and waving placards. Normally little more than props in a week-long infomercial, delegates could instead be the power brokers who determine the nominee at the GOP convention this time around.

Nearly all will be required to vote for a specific candidate on the first ballot, based on the results of the primaries and caucuses in their states. But if no candidate wins enough delegates to clinch the nomination, there will be subsequent rounds of voting. In that scenario, the vast majority of delegates would be free to vote as they please.

The potential for intrigue is enormous. State delegations who vote for one candidate on the first ballot could actually turn out to be sleeper cells for another as the voting proceeds.

Nor are they bound at any point to support the candidate to whom they are pledged on fights over rules, credentials, the platform or the vice presidential nominee. Those kinds of battles can determine whether the convention is an orderly coronation or a street fight, possibly even putting new names in contention.


Suicide of the GOP — or Rebirth?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
buchanan.org, 2016-03-17


[O]nly the fear that Trump can win explains the hysteria in this city [Washington, D.C.].

Here is The Washington Post of March 18 17:
“As a moral question it is straightforward.
The mission of any responsible Republican should be to block a Trump nomination and election.”

The Orwellian headline over that editorial:
“To defend our democracy, the GOP must aim for a brokered convention.”

Defending democracy requires Republicans to cancel
the democratic decision of the largest voter turnout of any primaries in American history.
And this is now a moral imperative for Republicans.

Like the Third World leaders it lectures,
the Post celebrates democracy —
so long as the voters get it right.

Whatever one may think of the Donald,
he has exposed not only how far out of touch our political elites are,
but how insular is the audience that listens to our media elite.


Lately, 116 architects and subcontractors of the Bush I and II foreign policy took their own version of the Oxford Oath. They will not vote for, nor serve in a Trump administration.

Talking heads are bobbing up on cable TV to declare that if Trump is nominee, they will not vote for him and may vote for Clinton.

This is not unwelcome news. Let them go.

Their departure testifies that Trump is offering something new and different from the foreign policy failures this crowd did so much to produce.

The worst mistake Trump could make would be to tailor his winning positions on trade, immigration and intervention — to court such losers.

While Trump should reach out to the defeated establishment of the party, he cannot compromise the issues that brought him where he is, or embrace the failed policies that establishment produced. This would be throwing away his aces.

The Trump campaign is not a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. It is a rebellion of shareholders who are voting to throw out the corporate officers and board of directors that ran the company into the ground.

Only the company here is our country.

The Rule-or-Ruin Republicans
by Patrick J. Buchanan
buchanan.org, 2016-03-21

Here’s How You Know 2016 Is Already Decided
The most decisive phase of the election has passed;
and it’s not looking good for the GOP.
By Doug Sosnik
Politico Magazine, 2016-03-22

[A detailed forecast of how a Clinton-Trump election would turn out,
with predicted electoral maps and demographic breakdowns.]

The 2016 presidential election is looking like it will be a matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While this election season has been full of surprises, it is likely that the most decisive period in the election has already passed, the outcome is set and this presidential election will be the first time since 1952 that Democrats will hold on to the White House for three terms in a row.


Nukes in Europe? What an awful thought!
by Patrick Lang
Sic Semper Tyrannis, 2016-04-01


A couple of nights ago Bully Badger Chris Matthews raged on against Donald Trump (another ass) for an hour in a staccato stream of questions doubtless intended to elicit some sort of politically embarrassing response that could then become the meme in yet another MSM attempt to destroy Trump.

This succeeded. He managed to get Trump to say several things that could be repeated over and over until they become psychological "truth" for the masses. He tricked Trump into saying that if abortion were a crime, then women who voluntarily aborted should be punished. Once trump accepted that idea then Matthews and all the other gleeful press creeps commenced the endless repetition of the meme that Trump wants to imprison women who have abortions. This will damage Trump's position with flyover country white women as it was intended to do.

This journalistic malpractice was even more fully developed in Bully Badger Chris Matthews' enticements over the issue of nuclear weapons. He managed to back Trump into a corner in which Trump said that he would not wish to use nuclear weapons in Europe but would not "take any capabilities off the table." Oh my God! Trump wants to introduce nuclear weapons to Europe! Who but a madman would want to do such a thing?

Well, pilgrims, throughout the Cold War it was anticipated that in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion across the line between NATO and the WP, NATO's conventional forces would fight as long as they could against WP invasion and then if defeat became inevitable, the response to break the assault would be - wait for it - NUCLEAR WEAPONS. The USSR understood that to be the case.

To make this capability real, nuclear weapons were stored far and wide across the countries of the NATO alliance. Nuclear artillery shells, air-delivered nuclear bombs and nuclear weapons mounted on ballistic weapons were ever present, ready for use in large numbers.

The Pershing II ballistic missile was one such weapons system. It was brought into Europe to counter the introduction of the Soviet SS-20, an equivalent system.

Bully Boy Matthews knows all this. He knows that the use of nuclear weapons in extremis has long been anticipated and a matter of accomplished combined policy and planning in NATO.

Matthews is merely, and contemptibly, seeking to misinform the public. For him the political process is just a game in which his huge but fragile ego is at risk. pl

As did the Founders, Trump urges a foreign policy of abstention not intervention
by Michael F. Scheuer
non-intervention.com, 2016-04-01


If you read the transcripts of Trump’s interviews with the New York Times and the Washington Post
it seems clear that those who asked Trump questions could not grasp the fact that
absolutely nothing is more important in a president
than having a person who never, ever deviates from an America First foreign policy.
America’s security, prosperity, and survival
must be the national government’s first priority and nothing else –
especially the interests of expendable foreign nations –
should even come close to that priority.

The newspapers’ questioners of Trump seemed to think that
free trade, NATO, stability in the Middle East, open borders, environmentalism, Israel, spreading democracy, and military and humanitarian interventions abroad
are the carved-in-stone tenets of a new secular religion that is designed to replace the Christian faith that they, their employers, and the Democratic Party yearn to destroy.
Trump could have been speaking with Churchillian eloquence – which he was not –
and the interviewers would have remained where they were throughout the interviews,
without a single contact point with either reality
or the fairly uncomplicated requirements of an effective U.S. foreign policy.


Uh-oh: Where does all the white rage go when Donald Trump loses?
They're too angry to sit still. Too many to ignore. But too few to elect a president.
Where do they go after Trump?

by Michael Bourne
Salon.com, 2016-04-01

How GOP Intellectuals’ Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics
What happens when the partnership that created the modern Republican Party shatters?
By Tevi Troy
Politico Magazine, 2016-04-19


It’s easy to lay the blame at Donald Trump’s feet
(after all, it’s hard to imagine another Republican candidate of the last four decades rejecting National Review so cavalierly),
but this year’s split between intellectuals and the rank-and-file GOP goes beyond the front-runner.
In fact, neither of Trump’s remaining rivals, Ted Cruz nor John Kasich, is particularly cozy with the conservative intelligentsia.
(Think tankers tended to coalesce behind Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, who are long since out of the race.)
What’s really going on is that the ideas that the conservative intellectual community has been peddling for decades
have failed to appeal to an angry blue-collar voter base.
What worked in Reagan’s era just doesn’t work anymore,
and Trump is simply exploiting the divide.


Republicans have a massive electoral map problem that has nothing to do with Donald Trump
By Chris Cillizza
Washington Post The Fix, 2016-05-03

If it’s to be America First, Mr. Trump, cut the crap, and listen up
by Michael Scheuer
non-intervention.com, 2016-05-24


In the realm of potentially disastrous, straws-in-the wind:

–Why are you meeting and/or chumming about with giants of the war-wanting Israel-First and Neocon movements, men like Lindsey Graham, Speaker Gingrich, Sheldon Adelson, and that engineer of our Vietnam catastrophe, Henry Kissinger. These men abhor the idea of America First. Their goal is to keep U.S. money and blood committed to defend Israel, confront Putin, and continue worldwide democracy-mongering, and that reality can only result, for the United States, in an endless, unnecessary, and losing war with Islam, the expansion of the Executive Branch’s tyrannical powers, a larger national debt, and more reductions in civil liberties. If you want to use Adelson’s money and then ignore him after the election, that’s fine. And if you want to kiss Kissinger’s ring to please the Republican foreign-policy elite you have pledged to destroy, that’s fine, too, so long as the kiss is based on the rule that “insincerity costs you nothing.” But woe betide you, Mr. Trump, if the hint of betraying the goal of America First you have left in peoples’ minds by dealing with these men is an augury of your true status as just one more establishment warmonger.

–Why did you say that Israel should build all the settlements it wants? From an America-First perspective, of course, there is no real problem in what you said, though it might better have been left unsaid. If your words mean there is no reason that Israel should refrain from doing whatever it thinks necessary for its defense, and that all nations have the right to defend themselves, well, that’s fine and irrefutably true. But no nation — Israel, the United States, or a0ny other — has a “right to exist”. If your words mean that Israel should build settlements and that the United States always will militarily and financially defend both its right to do so and its right to exist, you have knowingly enslaved America First — as have many post-1945 presidents — to the disloyal Jewish-Americans who demand their countrymen pay and bleed to ensure their traitorous, Israel-First agenda. Why not offer some clarity on this point, Mr. Trump. Perhaps you could say saying something like, “Israel has every right to defend itself, as does Palestine, and we recognize the right of both to do so. Neither party nor their partisans, however, will be allowed to maneuver the United States into a position that would involve it in their endless religious war, one that is irrelevant to genuine U.S. national security interests.”


It’s all about the heart, not the head, for the average Trump supporter
by Chris Cillizza
Washington Post, 2016-10-03

Explaining Donald Trump’s appeal sits at the heart of understanding not only this election cycle but also, more broadly, the electorate that has produced this most unlikely of presidential candidates.

The easy answer — and the one favored by many Democrats — is racism. Racial animus, they argue, is the thread that ties all of Trump’s support together. I do not buy that. Sure, Trump employs an element of racially coded language, and, without a doubt, avowed racists support him. But is everyone who supports Trump a racist? I find that very hard to believe.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Chris Matthews gave the best explanation of what’s behind Trump’s appeal that I have heard during the entire election cycle.

Here’s the key segment:

“A lot of this support for Trump, with all his flaws, which he displays regularly, is about the country — patriotic feelings people have. They feel like the country has been let down. Our elite leaders on issues like immigration, they don’t regulate any immigration, it seems. They don’t regulate trade to our advantage, to the working man or working woman’s advantage. They take us into stupid wars. Their kids don’t fight, but our kids do.

“It’s patriotic. They believe in their country. . . . [There is a] deep sense that the country is being taken away and betrayed. I think that is so deep with people that they’re looking at a guy who’s flawed as hell like Trump and at least it’s a way of saying, ‘I am really angry about the way the elite has treated my country.’ And it’s so deep that it overwhelms all the bad stuff from Trump. It’s that strong. It’s a strong force wind.”

Yes — to literally all of that.

The most important thing about Trump that Matthews gets is that the Republican presidential nominee’s appeal is fundamentally an emotional one. It is heart, not head. Spending time wondering why all of the fact-checking in the world does not change people’s minds about Trump misses that point entirely. It is about a gut feeling that things are really messed up and that this guy is the only person who gets it. No fact-check changes how people feel.

The other key element to Matthews’s analysis of Trump is the revulsion against elites. The ever-widening economic and cultural disconnect between coastal elites — which includes the leaders of both political parties — and many Americans sits at the heart of Trump’s appeal. It’s a classic us-vs.-them message.
They think you are stupid. They think they are better than you. They think they can tell you what to think and how to act.


The distance between the financial circumstances and policy views of elites and many Americans has never been wider. On trade. On immigration. On what the proper role should be for the United States in the global community. On almost everything.

So every time a newspaper advises against Trump, a celebrity says how dumb the candidate is or a member of the Republican foreign-policy establishment condemns him, it cements many people’s belief that what Trump has been saying all along is right. If the elites think that Trump is stupid or out of touch (or both), then those same elites think the same things about the average Joe. About you.

The resentment and anger those feelings fuel is why, at some level, it does not matter what Trump says or does. It is beside the point for many of these people. The point is that he is channeling all of their distaste for the state of the country — and the elites they think created it.

Those emotions are why Trump is still within shouting distance of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, despite his running one of the least-strategic campaigns in modern memory. And it is why he still has a shot at winning the election despite everything that he has done wrong over the past many months.

Matthews understands that in a way that few other people — and especially pundits — do.

Megyn Kelly has one hellacious interview with Newt Gingrich!
Here are several (in case they get deleted) YouTube videos of ~8 minute session:
from Fox News News Updates
from Ben King
from New America Broadcasting Network
from Jim Browski 2.0

Hillary Clinton’s Expectations, and Her Ultimate Campaign Missteps
New York Times, 2016-11-10

Last year, a prominent group of supporters asked Hillary Clinton
to address a prestigious St. Patrick’s Day gathering at the University of Notre Dame,
an invitation that previous presidential candidates had jumped on.

Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr. had each addressed the group,
and former President Bill Clinton was eager for his wife to attend.
But Mrs. Clinton’s campaign refused, explaining to the organizers that
white Catholics were not the audience she needed to spend time reaching out to.

As it became clear on Tuesday night that Mrs. Clinton would lose to Donald J. Trump,
supporters cast blame on everything from the news media
to the F.B.I. director’s dogged pursuit of Mrs. Clinton over her personal emails,
and to a deep discomfort with electing a woman as president.

But as the dust settled, Democrats recognized two central problems of Mrs. Clinton’s flawed candidacy:
Her decades in Washington and the paid speeches she delivered to financial institutions
left her unable to tap into the anti-establishment and anti-Wall Street rage.

And she ceded the white working-class voters who backed Mr. Clinton in 1992.
Though she would never have won this demographic,
her husband insisted that her campaign aides do more to try to cut into Mr. Trump’s support with these voters.
They declined, reasoning that she was better off targeting college-educated suburban voters by hitting Mr. Trump on his temperament.

Instead, they targeted the emerging electorate of young, Latino and African-American voters who catapulted Mr. Obama to victory twice, expecting, mistakenly, that this coalition would support her in nearly the same numbers. They did not.

In the end, Mr. Trump’s simple promise to “Make America Great Again,” a catchphrase Mrs. Clinton dismissed as a vow to return to a racist past already long disappeared, would draw enough white Americans to the polls to make up for his low minority support.

“The emerging demographic majority isn’t quite there yet,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist and former White House communications director. “The idea you can get to a presidential campaign and just press a button and they’ll vote, it’s not there yet.”

Mrs. Clinton had planned to conclude her 19-month campaign with an elaborate victory celebration on Tuesday night, complete with confetti shaped like glass shards that would fall from the glass ceiling of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan — an extravagant production to mark the history of the evening.


Mrs. Clinton had defeated Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the primary race by rallying older African-American voters and Democratic women, but she seemed disconnected from the white working class that delivered Mr. Sanders’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin. Mr. Trump won Wisconsin on Tuesday and appeared to have narrowly won Michigan, as well.

He won 67 percent of the vote among non-college-educated whites, compared with 28 percent for Mrs. Clinton, according to exit polls.

Early on, Mr. Clinton had pleaded with Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager,
to do more outreach with working-class white and rural voters.
But his advice fell on deaf ears.

[My thought:
What on earth is the relation between Bill Clinton and his alleged wife?
Why did he not give his suggestions to her?
If he did, evidently she ignored those suggestions.
She could perfectly well either have communicated his suggestions to her aides,
or told them to listen to Bill and do as he suggested.
By the NYT report, that did not happen.
Evidently she didn't value the advice from her alleged husband.
Sounds like the typical modern wife.
So much for "love, honor, and obey".]

The sophisticated data modeling Mr. Mook relied on showed that
young, Latino and black voters would turn out as they had hoped.
But while they favored Mrs. Clinton overwhelmingly,
she could not run up the score with them like Mr. Obama had in 2012.


A series of strategic mistakes likely sealed Clinton’s fate
By Abby Phillip, John Wagner and Anne Gearan
Washington Post, 2016-11-12

Just days before the election, after weeks believing that Michigan was safely blue,
the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Priorities USA polled voters there —
only to discover that it was a one-point race.

The group quickly poured millions into the state.
The Clinton campaign did similarly, and on the eve of the election,
aides sent in Clinton herself, as well as her top surrogate, President Obama.

It was too late.

Clinton’s failure to attract enough supporters in Michigan and its Rust Belt neighbors Wisconsin and Pennsylvania cost her the election — and shocked the world. And while many reasons have been offered up, both inside and outside the campaign, one reality has emerged in the days since Clinton’s stunning loss, according to many Democrats interviewed for this article: a series of strategic mistakes, including some made in the final two weeks, probably sealed the deal.

One error was to stick with a long-standing, one-dimensional campaign strategy: attacking Donald Trump. That strategy had been devised despite overwhelming evidence, not only in Trump’s rise but also in Clinton’s struggles during the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders, that the electorate was looking for political and economic change.

Another problem, some said, was to devote resources in states Clinton did not need to win — notably Arizona — instead of shoring up support in deep-blue states, notably the Rust Belt, that she did need.

“Why go to Arizona? Who the hell needs Arizona?” said Lou D’Allesandro, a state senator and Clinton supporter from New Hampshire, where Clinton appears to have narrowly prevailed Tuesday. “You go to Michigan. You go to Pennsylvania. You play to your strengths in this business.”

The lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among the Democratic voters who carried Obama to victory twice could not be overcome with a campaign message focused so heavily on Trump’s divisiveness, said David Axelrod, former chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns.


Shouting match erupts between Clinton and Trump aides
By Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker
Washington Post, 2016-12-02: December 1 at 9:07 PM

A four-minute audio of the argument.]


How nostalgia for white Christian America drove so many Americans to vote for Trump
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Washington Post, 2016-01-05


If only the real Mount Airy,
which has experienced decades of economic and social decline,
were like the Mayberry facade, muses Mayor David Rowe.
If only his city and the rest of America could return to the 1950s again.

“Now it’s about secular progressivism,
not the values you get out of this book,”
like honesty and hard work,
said Rowe, 72, jabbing his finger at the leather Bible on his office desk.


A yearning for an earlier time,
especially prevalent in rural American towns and cities like Mount Airy,
helped spur white evangelical Christians to vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
For these voters, the desire for change also could be viewed as a desire to change back,
to what they perceive as a more wholesome and prosperous time,
when high-paying manufacturing jobs were plentiful,
white Protestants were indisputably in charge
and same-sex marriage and the Black Lives Matter movement were unthinkable.

Seventy-four percent of white evangelicals
believe American culture has mostly changed for the worse since the 1950s —
more than any other group of Americans —
compared with 56 percent of all whites,
according to a 2016 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
In sharp contrast,
62 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of Hispanic Americans
think the culture has changed for the better, the survey said.

With his promise to “Make America Great Again,”
Trump appealed directly to this sense of dispossession,
and 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for him, according to exit polls.


Three of the economic pillars symbolized on the city seal —
tobacco leaves,
a chair representing furniture makers,
a spool of yarn for the textile mills —
are largely relics of the past.


Young people leave for college and come back with more progressive, secular values,
[the mayor] said.

[Yes, America's educational system has really gone awry.]

Even so, as the man he voted for is about to take office, Rowe is a bit wary. For one thing, he said, he does not want to have to defend Trump for the next four years.

“If I’ve learned anything while being a mayor,” he said, “you have to think before you speak. I’m not sure Donald Trump has learned that.”

If Trump does manage to “make America great again,” Rowe said it will involve preventing the government from encroaching on religion.

Christianity has come under attack in America, he said. “It’s subtle, not in your face, but that’s the way Satan works,” he said.

The night Clinton said what she never expected to say: ‘Congratulations, Donald’
By Steven Ginsberg
Washington Post, 2017-04-17

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