Browsing the archives for the Republican Party category.


So Much for States’ Rights

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Obama Administration, Republican Party

The story as I understand it — for some time, Alaska has wanted Mount McKinley to be renamed Denali, its original indigenous name. In fact, as far as the state of Alaska is concerned, the mountain is Denali, not Mount McKinley. Since the mountain is part of a national park, the state couldn’t rename the mountain itself. So now the White House said, sure, we can call it Denali.

And the Right is throwing a typical rightie fit. The Ohio delegation to Congress is particularly incensed. Republicans — well, Republicans who are not from Alaska — are claiming that the White House can’t approve such a name change without congressional consent.

So much for states’ rights. Shouldn’t this be between Alaska and the federal government?

Every year, the same story plays out in Washington, D.C.: Alaska legislators sometimes file bills to change the name from Mount McKinley to Denali, and every year, someone in the Ohio congressional delegation — the home state of the 25th President William McKinley — files legislation to block a name change.

Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation said they were happy with the action.

“I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect, and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a video statement recorded on the Ruth Glacier below the mountain.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said in an email that “Denali belongs to Alaska and its citizens. The naming rights already went to ancestors of the Alaska Native people, like those of my wife’s family. For decades, Alaskans and members of our congressional delegation have been fighting for Denali to be recognized by the federal government by its true name. I’m gratified that the president respected this.”

According to the order Jewell signed, there is a policy of deferring action while a matter is under consideration by Congress. So the Ohio delegation’s annual legislative efforts have stalled any federal movement. But the law does allow the interior secretary to take action when the board naming doesn’t act “within a reasonable amount of time,” the order said.

“It’s something (former Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond) pushed for back in 1975, and because of an effort to stop it in legislation that has not actually gone anywhere in the last 40 years, the Board of Geographic Names did not take it up,” Jewell said.

As interior secretary, she has authority to make a unilateral decision after a “reasonable time has passed,” Jewell said.

On right-wing sites, the trolls are certain that the President himself called for the name change because McKinley was white. The Ohio congressional delegation has the vapors. Somewhere, someone suggested Ohio name one of its own mountains after McKinley. Heh. I checked; the highest point in Ohio is called Campbell Hill, and it’s a whopping 1,550 feet high, compared to Denali’s 20,237 feet. A 1,550 foot peak is about right for McKinley, though, I’d say.

Next up: I’m sure there’s a meltdown on Fox News; Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity will make it a racial issue if they can’t figure out a way to tie it into the war on Christmas. Someone will note that “Denali” sounds African. Someone else will try to get a federal court to block the name change. All of the presidential candidates will be asked their opinions. No one in the press will press the Republicans about states’ rights, however. Because that’s how it always is.

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Sunday Funnies

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Laugh or cry:

Donald Trump doesn’t think the 14th Amendment would stand up in court.

There are signs Jeb!’s campaign is faltering, and who else would move into the #2 position but … Ben Carson?

This week Carson said that there’s no “war on women”; the war is on what’s inside of women. After this statement was met with much head scratching and many WTFs, he said this:

Of course, since this is a Republican presidential primary, Carson was alluding to abortion. But he left out a relatively simple explanation for his “real war” by leaving out what he said previously, which was that the war he is concerned about is on “that cute little baby inside of them.” (He also said “we need to re-educate the women” so they rethink their approach to the procedure.)

More WTFs. (Re-educate this, you creep.)

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Disturbing

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

A couple of articles to read together — see “The Fearful and the Frustrated” by Evan Osnos at The New Yorker and an article recommended by Joan16, “Hate-Group Watchdog: Trump Has ‘White Nationalist Positions.'”

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The Monster That Lee Atwater and Karl Rove Made

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Frank Luntz got some Trump supporters together for a focus group. I believe this is what’s called a “cult of personality.”

Many sounded like relations of an ill patient, furious that all the previous doctors have botched a test or fumbled the scalpel. To them, Trump actually is the real-deal fixer-upper, and he is going to make America great again.

“We know his goal is to make America great again,” a woman said. “It’s on his hat. And we see it every time it’s on TV. Everything that he’s doing, there’s no doubt why he’s doing it: it’s to make America great again.”

The focus group watched taped instances on a television of Trump’s apparent misogyny, political flip flops and awe-inspiring braggadocio. They watched the Donald say Rosie O’Donnell has a “fat, ugly face.” They saw that Trump once supported a single-payer health system, and they heard him say, “I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created.” But the group—which included 23 white people, 3 African-Americans and three Hispanics and consisted of a plurality of college-educated, financially comfortably Donald devotees—was undeterred.

At the end of the session, the vast majority said they liked Trump more than when they walked in.

“You guys understand how significant this is?” Luntz asked the press breathlessly when he came back into the room behind the glass. “This is real. I’m having trouble processing it. Like, my legs are shaking.”

It’s easy to psychoanalyze this crew and call them authoritarians, but it’s also the case that they’re really disgusted with other Republicans.

Much of Trump’s support in the room seemed to stem from a weakness in the Republican party. The 2014 midterms did not usher in the conservative renaissance Republicans expected. Obamacare has still not been repealed, Congress is looking less likely to override a veto on the Iran deal, and there are still 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

The group of 29 went around the room, each supplying a single adjective for the legislative body that let them down after the 2014 elections. Congress “does nothing.” It’s “too old.” “Useless.” “Lame.” “Inept.” “Wrong party.” “Cocktail party.” “Gridlock.” “Costly.” “Sold out.” “Sucks.” “Douchebags.”

Then, the group did the same for Trump. This time: “Tough.” “Businessman.” “Great.” “Successful.” “Not afraid.” “Leader.” “Has guts.” “Charismatic.” “A true American.” “Kicks ass and takes names.”

And again, we can assume this crew is not exactly cracking the IQ ceiling. But lo … Josh Marshall tells us it is possible that Trump really could end up with the Republican nomination. With such a divided field, just 25 to 30 percent of the primary vote could get Trump into the general election.

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View From Nowhere

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News Media, Republican Party

Timothy Egan has a column up at the NY Times comparing the candidates to junk food. Here’s just a bit:

More empty calories: Scott Walker, the governor whose foreign policy experience is limited to breakfast at the old International House of Pancakes, threatens to start at least two wars upon taking office. He promises to use military action if necessary to coax Iran into doing what he wants it to do. He also wants to pick a fight with Russia, sending weapons to Ukraine and erecting a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Walker’s home state of Wisconsin ranks 35th in private sector job creation. But New Jersey is worse, suffering nine credit downgrades and ranking near the bottom in job growth. Even the governor of the state, Chris Christie, would not rise to Jersey’s defense after fellow candidates described Atlantic City as something akin to Baghdad on a hangover.

Those governors want to apply their ruinous models to the rest of the country. In the same vein, a failed former chief executive officer, Carly Fiorina, having fired 30,000 employees and driven her company’s stock price into the ground, feels more qualified than ever to be president. She’s never held elective office and rarely voted while living in California. A junk comeback.

But what about the Dems? All the Dem candidates, like them or not, are offering real policy proposals for real problems. But Egan — and I like Egan — can’t bring himself to step out of the View From Nowhere and declare that dictates we must see both sides as just as bad.

Finally, to the Democrats. A 73-year-old socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is getting lots of attention because Hillary Clinton’s email story is boring, by Clinton scandal standards. When a noisy intruder, an African-American, jumped to the podium and refused to let Sanders speak, it was widely interpreted as a big problem for the candidate and race relations.

Wrong. The censor with the mouth was, it turns out, a self-described “extremist Christian,” from a family that once backed Sarah Palin. Some members of Black Lives Matter distanced themselves from her.

How did this stunt become a thing among the national press corps? Junk media. Sadly, the sugar high goes two ways.

Yes, if you take the time to parse this he’s admitting that the problem is with media reporting, not Dem candidates, but the quick impression is that the Dem candidates don’t have anything to offer either. Of the two front-runners, one is just an old socialist and the other is bogged down in a boring email scandal.

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Republican Identity Politics

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Obama Administration, Republican Party

One of the many baffling things about modern Republicans is that they claim to hate “identity politics” even when “identity politics” seems to be the only game they know how to play.

For example, in today’s New York Times we read that Carly Fiorina has emerged as the Republican answer to charges they are waging a “war on women.” And that’s because … she’s a woman? I’m guessing.

I actually went to Fiorina’s campaign website to find out where she stands on women’s issues. Um, she doesn’t say. Taxes? Health care? Social Security? Nope. She brags about all the good things she did for Hewlitt Packard and tells us she’s a problem solver.

I had to google for more. Here’s what I learned — she wants to shut down the government to force defunding of Planned Parenthood. She also wants Roe v. Wade to be overturned. She pays lip service to “equal pay for equal work,” but she blames the pay gap on unions and government bureaucracies.

She’s fighting for the patriarchy, in other words. But she’s supposed to be proof that there’s no war on women because of her identity.

(There are no policy proposals on Donald Trump’s website, either, but the campaign store is open. Get your Trump for President T-shirts now!
For the record, there are some detailed policy proposals on Hillary Clinton’s website, but you have to doggedly fight through several layers of appeals for donations to get to them. I’ll have you the trouble and link to one of her issues pages. Jeb! has some serious policy stuff on his website, but it’s not organized in any coherent way. All I learned from Scott Walker’s website is that he has adopted “Reform. Growth. Safety.” as his campaign slogan. He might as well add “Yawn.”)

And then there’s Dr. Ben Carson, who has surged to the second spot after The Donald in some polls. WTF, you say?  I continue to stumble into the opinion that Carson can attract at least enough of the “black vote” to win. Frank Rich wrote,

Simply put: If an African-American raises his hand to run for president as a Republican, he (they’ve all been men) will instantly be cheered on as a serious contender by conservative grandees, few or no questions asked. He is guaranteed editorials like the one in the Journal, accolades from powerful talk-show hosts (Carson would make “a superb president,” says Mark Levin), and credulous profiles like the one Fred Barnes contributed to The Weekly Standard last month. Barnes’s piece regurgitated spin from Carson’s political circle, typified by his neophyte campaign chief Terry Giles, a criminal litigator whose clients have included Richard Pryor, Enron’s Kenneth Lay, and an estate-seeking son of Anna Nicole Smith’s elderly final husband. “If nominated, can Carson beat Hillary Clinton or another Democrat?” Barnes asked—and then answered the question himself: “Yes, he can.” How? By winning 17 percent of the black vote in swing states—a theoretical percentage offered by a co-founder of the Draft Carson movement.

In other words, Carson is being taken seriously primarily because of his race. His stands on issues are boilerplate wingnut; he’s not offering anything original or detailed. He has no prior experience in elected office. Were he not black, we wouldn’t be hearing about him now.

Could Carson attract that 17 percent of the black vote? Note that Carson blames the unrest in Ferguson and elsewhere on a loss of values in the black community. Carson said that African Americans needed to return to “family and faith,” which were “the values and principles that got black people through slavery and segregation and Jim Crowism.”

African Americans didn’t elect me to speak for them, but I sense they’re not in the mood to just “get through” things these days. But considering that many Republicans still believe President Obama got into the White House only because he is black, it shouldn’t surprise us that they think any black candidate ought to be able to do the same.

Marco Rubio was once touted as the candidate who could bring Latino voters back to the GOP. I don’t think anyone is saying that now. Jeb Bush actually is ahead of Rubio among Cuban Americans. Unfortunately for Rubio, in order to remain a Republican candidate in good standing he has to be against immigration reform.

At one point in time Rubio, who’s own family’s story begins with illegal immigration and avoided deportation, championed the idea of a “pathway to citizenship”. His party, on the other hand, did not. As a result, he abandoned his heritage, he abandoned the cause, and came out against his own legislation. What’s even worse, he began to speak publicly against immigrants and activist groups such as the Dreamers; the very groups he once fought for. Why? Because his political aspirations meant more to him than actually doing something with the power he had in office to forge the same path that had been allotted him by his grandfather becoming a citizen.

Rubio’s stumping in Iowa and across the nation almost entirely in Spanish is, quite frankly, a slap in the face to the intelligence of Latino Americans. The GOP’s hope is that he will beguile voters with the “we’re so alike” rhetoric and shared stories of heritage that they will not notice that his platform is set against their best interests. Rubio’s hope is that his story and promises of working with white people to gain their trust so real immigration work can begin will buy him his seat on the 2016 ticket and ultimately begin his road to the presidency or vice-presidency. Will he ever revisit immigration in a meaningful way? It’s doubtful. The GOP is staunchly against real immigration reform. And Rubio is now in lock step with the party line.

Vote for me because I’m Latino!

Jeb! is promising immigration reform, which may be why he’s slightly ahead of Rubio among Cuban Americans. But that’s also a big reason he’s not catching fire with the white male base.

And of course the foundation of all Republican identity politics is the assumption that white maleness is the default norm. In the minds of the base, to speak about policies that are intended to benefit any demographic other than white male is “identity politics.” But they don’t grasp that “white male” is an identity too.

More than just philosophical contempt, the GOP has staked out a position that to talk about policies from the standpoint of how they impact the lives of women, people of color or LGBTQ people is cynical pandering rather than an essential way to understand the impact of policies that matter to real people’s lives.

In other words, what appeals to White Men is good for America. Addressing to any other group or class is just pandering.

On the other hand, young white men, especially urban ones, don’t always seem to get the program. Remember “Hipster Guy“? The Hipster drove around in an Audi spouting empty rhetoric about people needing jobs, and “I’m a Republican because my friends need a paycheck, not an empty promise.” It was embarrassing, for the GOP. Hilarious for the rest of us.

But my point is that Republicans seem to have reached the point that identity politics is about all they’ve got. So we’ve got the rich belligerent dude with no policy proposals leading the pack.

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The Debate

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Republican Party

I’m a little late checking into the Debate. I can’t watch on television in the temple, but the updates at the Guardian are always amusing. Please leave comments if you like.

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Why We’re Doomed: Republican Senators

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Republican Party, Stupid Violent Things

Just read Not Fit to Lead: The Iran hearings have shown how the Republican Party can no longer be trusted with the presidency by William Saletan. Yeah, I know, it’s William Saletan. But read it anyway.

Snips:

In all three hearings, Kerry explained how the inspection and verification measures in the Iran deal are designed to rectify flaws that led to the failure of the North Korean nuclear agreement. He spent much of his opening statement outlining these differences. This made no impression. When the Senate held its next hearing a week later, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presiding Republican, dismissed the Iran agreement with a quip: “How did that North Korean deal work out for you?”

The concept of negotiation seems to elude them:

At the Tuesday hearing, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania told Kerry we should demand a better deal, “and if the ayatollah doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to negotiate it, oh, ‘boo-hoo.’ We’re here for America.” Weber, speaking for others in his party, ridiculed Kerry’s concerns about Iranian distrust of the U.S.: “Me and my colleagues were up here thinking, ‘Who cares?’ ” When Kerry replied that the Iranians wouldn’t have negotiated on Weber’s terms, the congressman scoffed, “Oh, my heart pains for them.” These lawmakers don’t seem to understand that much of a negotiator’s job consists of understanding, caring about, and accommodating the other side’s concerns.

The call of the chickenhawk is heard through the land:

Graham is running for president as a foreign-policy expert. But three hours of testimony on Wednesday about the difficulties of using military force to stop Iran’s nuclear program taught him nothing. Wrapping up the hearing, Graham demanded that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter answer a simple question: “Who wins the war between us and Iran? Who wins? Do you have any doubt who wins?” When he didn’t get the prompt answer he wanted, Graham thunderously answered the question himself: “We win!” He sounded like a football coach delivering a pep talk. The differences between football and war—what “winning” means, and what it costs—didn’t enter into his equation.

Miz Lindsey used to call himself a Gulf War veteran. He did serve in the Air National Guard during the Persian Gulf War, but his service didn’t take him outside of South Carolina.

Other highlights: Ted Cruz, who never served a day in uniform, exchanged these words with John Kerry:

Cruz: Gen. Soleimani, the head of the al-Quds forces, has more blood of American service members on his hands than any living terrorist. Under this agreement, the sanctions under Gen. Soleimani are lifted. Now, Secretary Kerry said to the families of those men and women who gave their lives, who were killed by Gen. Soleimani, we should apologize. …

Kerry: Sir, I never said the word apology. I never mentioned apologize. I said we should thank them for their extraordinary service. I never said the word apologize. Please, don’t distort my words.

Cruz: Secretary Kerry, it is duly noted you don’t apologize to the family members of the service members who were murdered by the Iranian military.

Kerry: That’s not what I said, senator. [I said] I thank them for their extraordinary service and I would remind them that the United States of America will never take the sanctions off Qasem Soleimani.

Cruz: Sir, I just want to clarify. Do you apologize or not?

This truly is Joe McCarthy territory. Cruz also distinguished himself in an exchange with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who has a PhD in theoretical physics from Stanford and who was once the head of the physics department at MIT. Moniz testified that he had not read a specific report about EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses. However, “if you look at our Quadrennial Energy Review published in April, we do identify EMP as a risk to transformers, and we are beginning to try to work up a response to that.” Here is what Cruz did with that bit of data:

Cruz: You told the United States Senate you hadn’t read the congressionally mandated commission on EMPs and that you didn’t know what an EMP was.

Moniz: That is incorrect. I said I did not know this 2008 report recommendations. I said I was quite familiar with the issue, and we all know about EMPs from airburst nuclear weapons.

Cruz: Secretary, let me read the testimony verbatim so that I don’t mischaracterize you. … “Senator Johnson: ‘Are you familiar with the EMPs commission 2008 report?’ ‘No, I am not, sir.’ ‘You’re not? Do you know—do you know what an EMP is?’ ‘You’ll have to explain it to me, please.’ ” I find that stunning. …

Moniz: That was about the report. If you read further in the testimony, you will see my explicit statement. Of course I know about the issue.

Cruz: Do you agree that an EMP detonated by Iran in the atmosphere could kill tens of millions of Americans? …

Moniz: It depends upon the specifics. These are highly variable—

Cruz: Does that mean, yes, it could?

Moniz: I said it is highly variable in its—

Cruz: OK. You’re refusing to answer the question.

I don’t hate people easily, but Cruz is testing me.

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Conservative-Industrial Complex

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conservatism, Republican Party, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

My only quibble (so far) about “‘They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing': Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party,” published by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, is that “conservative media” is just one part of a larger, integrated right-wing infrastructure that has been driving U.S. foreign and domestic policy for at least 40 years.

Conservative media are the most visible part of the infrastructure, but conservative media alone wouldn’t be anything without what the study’s author calls the Conservative-Industrial Complex. This would be “the network of no-compromise advocacy groups financed by the Kochs and other right-wing patrons,” the author, Jackie Calmes, writes.

David Roberts at Vox spells it out

There are now hundreds of conservative media outlets, not only the national ones you’ve heard of but regional, local, and niche outlets that speak directly and exclusively to the conservative (read: older white male) demographic. It’s a full media ecosystem; there’s no longer any need for conservatives to stray outside it to stay informed, or “informed.”

Alongside the growth in media (and funded by many of the same people) has emerged a newly muscular ideological machinery. Together they form what political scientist Richard Meagher half-jokingly calls “the vast right-wing conspiracy”:

Conservative talk radio, print publications, television networks, and internet sites have numerous connections, both direct and indirect, with the think tanks, advocacy organizations, academic research centers, and foundations that develop and promote the Right’s policy agenda.

If you spend much time at Sourcewatch, you begin to see how the whole infrastructure, from media outlets, Heritage Foundation and other “think tanks,” and the mostly astroturf advocacy organizations are all being funded by a relatively small group. Oh, and don’t forget ALEC. Time and time again, you run into the same few names.  The Koch boys are prominent, of course, but other names that come up frequently include the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundations and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.

In short, dozens of allegedly independent right-wing organizations are all being bankrolled by a relatively small group of foundations. And as Charles Pierce keeps pointing out, it’s these people who are driving the Right’s agenda, not the Republican Party.

It has been an article of faith in this shebeen almost since we opened it in 2011 that there is no actual Republican party in any real sense any more. Ever since the Supreme Court legalized influence-peddling in its Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, there only has been a loosely held group of independent franchises who are doing business for themselves under the Republican Party brand. This is why the suits belonging to obvious anagram Reince Preibus are so very empty.

Put another way, the Republican Party has lost control of this monster and really isn’t in charge of anything any more. The GOP exists only as a facade, or as part of the nominal political infrastructure that must be used in elections.

The take-aways from all this:

  • Calmes is right that they don’t give a damn about governing. The puppet masters (the Koch boys et al.) have no interest whatsoever in governing. They are looking out for their own interests.
  • A big chunk of the American electorate now gets all of its “information” about current events from the right-wing media infrastructure, meaning they soak in propaganda 24/7 and have no clue what’s actually going on.
  • There is no leftie equivalent of the right-wing infrastructure.

Operatives in both parties and independent observers generally agree that left-wing media do not come near conservative media in terms of the number of outlets, size of audience and political influence, despite the frequent parallels drawn between Fox and MSNBC, for example, or RedState and DailyKos, Hannity and Rachel Maddow. “It’s my conviction that there’s no comparison,” said Price, the Democratic congressman and political scientist. Pressure on Democratic politicians like him, Price said, comes less from left-leaning media than from liberal advocacy organizations like labor unions, environmental groups and women’s and minority rights organizations. …

…Arceneaux, the political scientist whose focus is partisan media, said politically engaged Americans on the right and the left “just consume news in a different way.” Liberals favor comedy satire shows like Jon Stewart’s, for example. Leftwing pundits initially had a bigger presence than conservatives among bloggers when the Internet first took hold, though no longer. As for radio and TV talk shows, Arceneaux said, “For whatever reason, liberal ideologues aren’t drawn to that.” One reason is suggested by Hemmer, who in her coming book Messengers of the Right also writes of less successful messengers of the left. “MSNBC, and earlier, Air America” – a short-lived network for liberal talk-radio shows – “were trying to replicate what they saw as the political influence of conservative media and they were unsuccessful at it,” Hemmer said in an interview. “Conservative media – and the habit of consuming conservative media that is so central to conservative political identity – have been something that has a half-century of history. And liberals don’t have that same history. To the extent that liberalism has a base, it doesn’t come out of media, it comes out of organizations – like labor unions, or groups like MoveOn.”

  • “Mainstream” media remains remarkably clueless about what’s really going on. News organizations think that “fairness” means neutrality, and neutrality means a “view from nowhere” — it’s an artificial impartiality that is maintained by doggedly pretending that the reporter is standing in the middle between two equivalent political forces. As a result, the meltdown into insanity of one of America’s major political parties, going on right before our eyes, is ignored. Politicians who express views that ought to get them committed are treated as “serious.” And political elites, the so-called “Villagers,” are just as bad.
  • Individual reporters may be catching on, but they fail to grasp the scope of things. Roberts of Vox continues,

One of the longstanding critiques of mainstream media on the left, from the very beginning of the blogosphere, was that reporters in the Beltway “Village” failed to grasp modern conservatism and wrote about it in such a way as to sand down and mute its extremity. Their attachment to a certain mental model of politics — “both sides” with their mirror-image extremes and centers — made them blind to“asymmetrical polarization.” In fact, people are still making that critique; here’s Paul Krugman from just a few days ago.

… there are still plenty of mainstream political reporters who cling to the both-sides illusion to this day, imagining politics as a sober business conducted by Very Serious People in suits, premised on a shared set of facts and assumptions. But as the far right sends the Republican Party through an ever-more-absurd series of showdowns and tantrums, the illusion is fading. Now lots of established journalists seem to have moved on to the bargaining stage of grief, holding out hope that the Adults will once again take charge.

But see Steve M on this point; he thinks Roberts is being too generous to the established journalists and the “Villagers.”

We’re seeing evidence that the Republican Party is getting a clue it has lost control. I don’t think the GOP bargained for the fact that the puppet masters and the activists, who don’t care about governing, don’t care about the GOP, either. The Party was just a host, and the activists are like parasites devouring their host. But I’m not seeing a bottom yet, either. And I’m not seeing anyone approximating an Adult who can take the mess back into hand.

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Next Step: Call Luca Brasi

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

As I predicted, The Donald is still on top of the GOP presidential polls, including in some early primary states. If a bunch of state primaries were held today, Trump would be the GOP nominee.

Joan Walsh thinks she has found the tidbit that will end Trump: A 1989 biography with details of brutality toward his then-wife, Ivana, and then Trump’s lawyer went ballistic on Politico writers who were using the details in the story. I don’t see how brutality toward a wife or a nasty lawyer will register as negatives with Trump supporters, though. It’s also the case that Ivana has disavowed the story, which makes it kind of a non-starter.

Reince and Co. are going to have to get tough and make The Donald an offer he can’t refuse. If there is such a thing.

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