The political blindness is staggering

I’ve been watching the unfolding battle within the Republican Party in utter disbelief that people could be so stupid – and that grown adults could be so childish.  Recent developments include:

There are many, many more possible links, but they all point to two things.  First, the Cruz campaign is trying desperately to control the selection of delegates and the rules committees in each state, so as to ensure that as many of their loyalists as possible are appointed as delegates.  In the event of a contested convention, they’re expected to switch from their designated first-round candidate to Cruz in subsequent rounds.  Second, the GOP establishment appears to be working with might and main to ensure that the convention is contested, and that Trump doesn’t win enough delegates to avoid that.  (I don’t normally read or listen to Rush Limbaugh, but he had some pithy comments on the subject last week.)

What staggers me is how blind the political establishment is to the reasons for Donald Trump’s popularity (and Bernie Sanders’ rise on the Democratic side, for that matter).  More and more of the people of this country are sick of political establishments that promise the moon, but never deliver.  They don’t trust career politicians any longer – and with good reason.  Yet, to read the news stories I linked above, most career politicians are blithely carrying on as if they can derail what the people want and ignore their anger.  I don’t think that’s the case any longer – and if Trump’s and Sanders’ campaigns are derailed, I think the backlash among voters will be staggering.

(I hasten to add that I’m neither a Trump nor a Sanders supporter.  I’m merely flabbergasted at the invincible ignorance displayed by the political class over both of them.)



  1. While the Republican clown show is interesting to watch, the real drama is being played out behind the scenes to the tune of 150 FBI agents and the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    Politics is politics, but if we are a nation of laws, Hillary should be arrested some time during May or early June. The sound of ratcheting handcuffs may turn the whole contest upside down.

  2. It is not blindness, it is self interest. Upsetting the republican trough would break a lot of Rice Bowls. Republican-ism is not a philosophy, belief or moral code. It is a career!

    Threatened livelihoods beget desperate measures.

  3. It's interesting to note that while the heart of your message is correct – that voters are tired of "business as usual" – Sanders is the definition of a career politician. Just an extraordinarily rare example who actually appears to have principles that he believes in sticking to.

    A strange season for sure…

  4. Back in the 1980s Alabama was a solidly Democratic state. For many offices the Republicans did not even bother to run a candidate, or only a token one.
    Then came the Democratic primary race for governor. Two candidates, Baxley and Graddick as I recall, ran such dirty mud slinging campaigns that when the actual election for governor was held Alabama elected a mild mannered lay preacher named Guy Hunt, the first Republican governor in over 100 years.
    Naturally, the Democrats in office including the Lieutenant Governor managed to get Mr. Hunt charged and convicted of misuse of state funds for practices common to every last one of his predecessors.
    And the state has leaned heavily towards Republican ever since. And as I recall both Democratic governors elected since that time including the one who took over from Hunt have been indicted for malfeasance of one sort or another.

  5. The fact is, a majority of voters in the Republican primary voted for someone other than Trump. He's got a plurality only because the vote for his opponents is split. A majority of conservatives actively dislike Trump.

    Should he be the nonminee when most Republicans oppose him?

    What we need is a runoff election.

  6. Okay, here's something to consider. If Hillery is the Dems candidate, and Cruz gets the Republican, then the candidates from the two major parties will both be under investigation. Hillery by the FBI and Cruz by the FEC (at least I'm pretty sure they've started the investigation into his unreported million+ loan from Goldman Sachs (where his wife is a managing director).

    Also, I originally dismissed the Birther crap about Cruz but in light of the current Supreme court and the arguments I've heard, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dems managed to make a big enough issue to get the Supreme court (who has become another arm of the leftist machine) to disqualify him on constitutional grounds*.

    At this point I'd say there is a about a 50/50 chance that the republicans are going to pull a convention coup and try to shove Ryan down the throats of the party. If that happens, I'm not sure Trump has enough money to make a run on his own and frankly, his support (primarily the middle class) may not be able to finance it. If I were him, I would try for a purely grassroots funded campaign and refuse any corporate donations. Otherwise he loses one of his best campaign tools – "I don't owe anyone any favors"

    * My understanding is that the Constitution calls for a natural born citizen and there are a number of "constitutional scholars" that argue that naturalized is not natural born – it's not, but it's often considered identical. Now, the Supreme Court has skirted the issues for years, but given their recent tendency to legislate from the bench. They might very well come down on the side of Natural Born is not the same as Naturalized – at least, it's not something I'd bet against.

    My, my. We do live in interesting times.

    1. FEC investigation? Seriously? Try harder. I'm not a Cruz supporter (though I admit I definitely prefer him to Trump) and even I know that that's a baldfaced lie. He reported the income to the IRS. If he was trying to deceive the Federal Election Committee why would he do that unless he is dead stupid? (He's not dead stupid, in case you weren't sure) The answer? He wasn't trying to deceive anyone, he just forgot/a staffer forgot to fill out that form in addition to the IRS form. And even if it *was* deliberate (it wasn't) that "crime" would be *nothing* compared to the monstrous, despicable criminal activities Hillary has been engaged in! Trying to equate the two is beyond ridiculous…it's embarrassingly childish. If Trump is the nominee, I will vote for him; if Cruz is the nominee, I'll do the same. Because I'd elect a brain-damaged turnip before I voted for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. And refusing to vote for Trump or Cruz, (or voting for a hopeless third party candidate) when Hillary or Bernie is the Democratic nominee…is no different from voting for Hillary or Bernie, in my opinion. I may not trust Trump, I may fear he's just a deceitful, narcissistic sociopath, but I *know* that's what Hillary is, and I *know* that Sanders is either an imbecile of a Socialist or a pathological liar of a socialist. Either way *hell* no. God bless. 🙂

  7. It just occurred to me, although I don't know why – If Hillary takes the fall for her crimes (still a big if) and the Dems retaliate by getting Cruz disqualified (with the help of the Republican establishment) we may still end up with a three way race – Bernie, Ryan (or what ever lackey the RNC comes up with) and Trump.

    Or the RNC could suddenly get smart and back off, leaving us with Trump/Bernie Although, I think that's unlikely, as they seem to be well ensconced in their echo chamber.

    Geez, making book on this must be a nightmare.

  8. I agree, this blindness is driving me insane. Very rarely do I see articles where pundits take seriously the underlying issues that are driving both campaigns (esp. Trump). In fact, I just saw an article this morning where a pundit (whom I normally respect) declared that alt-right = racist, and with his reference to red caps, was heavily implying that Trump supporters = racist.

    As I've mentioned before on other blogs, I see Trump (& Bernie) as the steam escaping from the pressure cooker. Block the steam valve, as the respective parties attempting, will ultimately lead to an explosion which I certainly expect would read this country apart.

  9. I'm reminded of 1979 when John Anderson brought many new faces to the GOP caucus. They were jeered and derided by the "real Republicans". At the time I was a GOP Precinct Committeeman. I was removed from the caucus after climbing on a chair and shouting, "You damn fools, you are guaranteeing we will remain a minority party forever". These "leaders" are more concerned about maintaining their positions than they are in winning. They were then, and they are now. Yes in 1979 they had Reagan as their man.

  10. Richard Blaine:

    Just exactly where did you discover that Cruz was "naturalized", rather than a US citizen at birth?

    If, as I suspect, your assertion is not true, then I think one of the foundational planks of your argument against Cruz is a little askew.

  11. First, if Donald Trump isn't making sure that the delegates pledged to him on the first ballot will keep on voting for him in later ballots, he's failed a basic test of skill for a politician in a republic – finding and hiring good subordinates. Since that's supposedly one of the skills Trump has honed as a businessman, it should disturb his supporters that he's doing so badly at it now.

    Second, why would any advocate of "open borders" policy want to establish a precedent that anyone born in a foreign country might not be a natural born citizen? The bias of the legal academy runs the other way – spreading the privilege of US citizenship to as many people as possible.

  12. Status is the most addictive drug of all and a Trump administration would send a huge part of the GOPe's "think tanks" packing. No wonder they'll pull all the stops.

    As to what MB @11.02 wrote, no.

    First, remember innocent till proven guilty,

    Second its a political attack may well not be legitimate in nay case since the prosecutor is on team Hillary

    and 3rd even if he was 100% guilty, its a trivial misdemeanor offense

    In any case loyalty err trumps that.

    Lastly, the GOPe if they nominated Cruz or Ryan has just handed Hillary or maybe Bernie the White House.

    The Trump supporters have been screwed far too many times, be asked for loyalty and given nothing and they GOPe no longer can call on their loyalty. They want a nationalist and Cruz isn't one. He isn't American, may not be legitimate to hold office and appears to be tied awful tight with Goldman Sachs . A normal election year, a functional US people could overlook the "natural born issue" and he'd be OK. This isn't a normal year

    As such, they will not show up and many if Bernie is running because say Hillary has to drop out will vote for him.

    Simply put, the GOPe swings nationalist or it goes the way of the dodo bird. No amnesty, no new trade pacts that arbitrage American wages and conditions down, many less immigrants, and heck yeah deportation and maybe a damned fence too.

    A yes Trump could end up betraying us, in any case we won't be worse off and Cruz if somehow he were the real deal can run again,

    And note too, this election is way more important than many think. Its nearly the last time we have to resolve these differences before people give up and let the natural course of collapse or thought to be inevitable civil war 2 electric bugaloo take over

    For skeptics I'll note March was another record breaking month of gun sales and these sales are not for the shooting sports Some are certainly for self defense but the rest are for preparing for something bad.

    Simply we go nationalist or the nation goes away in a few years.

  13. If Trump is the republican nominee, I believe that we have just handed the White House to whichever democrat candidate is nominated for the election. (The Outspoken Socialist or the Closet Criminal Socialist). His unfavorable ratings are the highest ever recorded since they started polling those. How is he supposed to unite a party after basically using personal attacks on every other candidate that was supported collectively by 65% of the republican base? Jeb Bush, "Little Marco", "Lyin Ted", "Pathological" Ben Carson, Carly "Ugly Face" Fiorina… That's not someone who is going to be able to unite people. And in most of the polls out right now he loses to Hillary by double digits on average. (Average of 10 points over the last 7 Head to Head polls dating back to March 21) Now, I know that's just polling, but that's some seriously bad numbers. Compared to Cruz who averages a 3 points loss in those same polls (much closer) and Kasich who beats her every time, although I don't think he will be the nominee. Conservatives had the chance to show a strong, unified message, and to sell that message of liberty, individual property rights and limited government and I'm afraid we may have missed out on the opportunity to get this country back on the right track. I believe Cruz is the one who would stick it to the establishment the most based on his track record of constitutional conservatism, but that's just my opinion. I would vote for Trump before Hillary or Bernie, although I think the Republican establishment would rather see Hillary in power than Trump. They know what they're getting with her.

  14. Trump gets elected the same way every other GOP candidate gets elected, by plowing ahead and ignoring the polls. And while Trump is not Reagan, the later won despite a 15 point deficit.

    Also as nearly every pollster is a Democratic operative, they might well be lying. Best to ignore them and soldier on. If you lose, you lose. Its not like Cruz has widespread popularity and no one likes any of the others.

    What this is simply a loyalty test for the Republican party. Will you play fair and put the wishes of the party's base first? The elite have asked for their loyal votes and gotten them but when push comes to shove, they vote like Democrats anyway. Trump is a response to that.

    It appears to the rank and file that they expect loyalty but simply regard the working and middle as useful idiots. Well the working and middle have had enough of that. They don't take orders from the Country Club. You ain't the boss of my party.

    Fail to deliver them what they want which is not victory but fairness and they'll turn on you. If this means the destruction of the GOP or internal collapse or worse, so be it.

    And yes it is possible the Hillary could win if she isn't in irons in October . Outside of gun control which can be checked by Congress, who has done a good job there at least she isn't going to vote much different than a typical GOPe person does these days

    Why worry about it?

    If Bernie wins? Good, He is at least somewhat honest and nationalist.

    Unless he is very surprising a Cruz presidency won't touch Trumps agenda and you'll get immediate amnesty handing the country over to Mexicans or creating an ethnic civil war down the line, everything the big banks his masters want, more culture war bullshit that goes nowhere and a ton trade deals that will make American poor and subjugate our Constitution.

    Trump more likely will not do these things , he might sure but his chanceof betrayal is a lot lower.

  15. There is no monster under the bed!
    There is no monster under the bed!
    And if you tell me there really is a monster, I'll punch you out just to shut you up!

    So some folks would rather lash out than admit that they fear things they can't openly admit are real. Not politically acceptable.

    And the people who do acknowledge their fears but have kept silent because they saw no path forward, now have someone who puts it all out in the open, gets tons of outrage and condemnation, and still goes forward.

    Trump loves the attention. Love? Hate? As long as he's the topic, it's good for him. Is it good for the people who now look to him? I wonder if he cares at all.

  16. Prosper, Trump's voters don't come from the GOP base – they're people who never took an interest in politics until this election year. The base settled on Cruz when he won the Iowa caucus.

    Pretty much everything you've said against Cruz is false. Cruz opposed the last omnibus immigration bill (and earned the enmity of many GOP Senators for it) which gives good reason to believe that he would not sign an amnesty if elected President. Trump, meanwhile, has no record of opposing immigration before this election, and while he endorsed Jeff Sessions' restrictionist proposals once, he's abandoned that since.

    The truth is, Trump is not a nationalist. What he is, on his own account, is a salesman – less charitably, a confidence man. His true expertise is persuading government officials to misuse their powers to support a flashy real estate development that has his name on it. Everything in his record says that, if elected, he'll bargain away all of America's substance for glitter and tinsel.

    An American nationalist, comparing the real histories of Trump and Cruz, will pick Cruz; as a genuine conservative he's the nearest to nationalism still in the race.

  17. Somewhere Mark Hannah's ghost is shaking his head and muttering, "what a bunch of amateurs."


  18. I'm voting on the principle of Least Harm.

    Sanders, despite the dire predictions of Soviet America,is honest and earnest, but with a Republican Congress is unlikely to get much done. Trump is likely to be similarly rebuffed.

    OTOH, Clinton and Cruz are both small, mean,toxic, and very dangerous. I could not hold my nose to vote for one of them against the other.

    I'm leaning (very slightly) toward the Bern over the Donald at the moment. Ask me tomorrow and it may be different.


  19. Prosper, Trump's voters don't come from the GOP base – they're people who never took an interest in politics until this election year. The base settled on Cruz when he won the Iowa caucus.


    I was Cruz all the way until Trump changed the game and moved the Overton window with his Wall. Since then I got to see who Cruz really is, and it's pretty scary. I don't want to live in a religious state, either Christian or Muslim.

    I've been a student of politics and history and very involved for over 40 years now, so don't call me "never took an interest".

    Your own prejudice is showing. Your version of the "GOP base" reminds me of the Worldcon's version of "fandom".

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