A House Divided – Amanda S. Green

A House Divided – Amanda S. Green


I grew up in a house divided. No, not one where my parents were divorced. Not even one where they stayed together “for the good of the kid” and hated one another. I was lucky there. My parents loved one another and fought to make their marriage work when things got tough. My dad was confident enough in himself that he didn’t feel less of a man when Mom started making more money than he did. Both had good jobs, especially considering they did not go to college.

Despite all that, it was still a house divided. Oh, things were fine except during election years. Presidential election years were the worst. You see, my parents could agree upon everything except – drum roll please – politics.

You wouldn’t know it, looking from the outside in. My parents were of the generation that believed there were two things you didn’t talk about at the dinner table: religion and politics. They were careful about what they said when it came to politics. Unless they knew you well, they pretty much kept their opinions middle-of-the-road. That sometimes meant excusing themselves so they could walk away from a conversation before they said something they shouldn’t.

But, in the privacy of home, we did talk politics. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, my mother and I talked politics and my father talked political party. You see, much as I loved my father and much as I wish he were still alive today, he had one glaring fault. He would vote for anyone who ran on the Democratic ticket.

It’s not his fault. Not really. I’ve mentioned before how Dad grew up in Oklahoma during the Depression. His family, while never destitute – my grandfather always found a way to have at least some food on the table – was never well-off. For much of my father’s youth, it wasn’t close to what we would call middle class. The family, for a while, was split simply because they couldn’t afford to have everyone together.

So they were helped by some of the programs put into place by FDR. That, as well as the constant comments by his family and friends that the country had been saved only thought the actions of Saint Franklin formed his political opinions. As a good Oklahoma Democrat of the time, once he was old enough to vote, he knew his duty. It really was simple. He was to go into the voting booth and vote straight ticket. After all, he had to do all he could to prevent the evil Republicans from taking office. The only time he had to worry about who to vote for was in the primary when there might have been more than one Democrat running.

Mom, on the other hand, had been raised to look at the issues as well as the candidate. What did the candidate place importance on? What was the candidate’s track record? What was his personality like and did she feel like she could trust him?

That approach was also the product of her upbringing. At a time when divorce wasn’t almost as common as marriage, her parents divorced. Her mother, one of the strongest women I’ve ever known, moved the two of them back to Tulsa from Chicago. Nothing surprising there. My grandmother had grown up in Kansas and moved to Oklahoma when she left home. However, my grandmother had grown up at a time when she saw women finally getting the right to vote. Her family, male and female alike, had been active in local and state politics in Kansas and later in Ponca City. Then there was the fact that my grandmother was one of those who never liked being told what to do or how she should think. She taught Mom to look at all the facts and promises – and broken promises – when it came to politics.

Growing up, we never had political signs in our yard or bumper stickers on our cars. There were some discussions when my folks would talk about whether they should vote or not because their votes would simply cancel one another out. In a weird way, I understood what they were saying but it still bothered me. How many people thought like they did? How many people could have been out there voting but not because they thought their spouse or best friend or whoever would simply cancel out their vote?

This was our house when it came to voting until the 1972 election. I was still too young to vote (I may be old but I’m not that old) but I remember that election season. The war in Viet Nam was still going on. Updates from the field were coming in on the nightly news. Protests at home were continuing to grow. But what was so bad – and so very sad – was how our vets were being treated when they returned home. Not that the country cared then.

That election cycle saw George McGovern running as the Democratic candidate for President. My father, who worshipped at the altar of FDR and who thought JFK walked on water and who mourned with the rest of the nation with Robert Kennedy was assassinated, looked at the news in horror. Mom and I knew that particular election cycle would be different for him and for us. Ted Kennedy had been tossed out of the running after Chappaquiddick. Even though Dad didn’t particularly like Teddy, he was still a Kennedy and Dad felt sure he would at least have good advisors. McGovern, for some reason, Dad hated with a passion.

It might have been because of McGovern’s opposition to the war. Dad had been unable to serve in the military but each of his brothers had, serving in World War II, Korea and even in Nam. It might have been because he didn’t trust McGovern to treat the vets as they deserved for serving our country. I’m really not sure. All I know for certain is, for the first time in my life, our household was united politically. My father did not vote straight party ticket. He looked at who was running and, gasp, voted for Richard Nixon for President.

And then spent the rest of his life reminding Mom and me that the only time he voted Republican, the man turned out to be a crook. It didn’t matter to him that Nixon probably was no more corrupt than many of the Democrats he had voted for. Nixon’s biggest problem was that he didn’t have a good team around him and they had hired folks inept enough to be caught and who were willing to talk. Nixon’s other problem was that he had what would never be called a warm personality.

Even so, even though Dad lived to regret his decision to vote for Nixon, I have to wonder how he would look at the race today. I have no doubt he would never agree to support Bernie. Dad might have been a dyed in the wool Democrat but he also believed that you needed to work for what you want. A handout might be needed on occasion but no one should expect the government to support them or give them an education or anything else. I have no doubt that he is spinning in his grave as his beloved Democratic Party moves ever more steadily toward socialist ideals.

As for Clinton? Not only no but hell no. He wouldn’t dismiss her as a candidate because she’s female. Not at all. Where he would look long and hard on her is her history. He hated politicians who went shopping for a district in order to be elected. He would see her move to New York after Bill left the White House as doing just that. But that’s not the only reason he would look long and hard at her.

He would look at the economic feasibility of her plans for the nation. Oh, wait, we haven’t gotten any solid platform from her yet. So he would go back to look at what she advocated while she was First Lady of Arkansas as well as the First Lady of the U. S. He would look at her record as a senator. He would frown and scratch his head and be disappointed by her stands on health care and the military and so much more.

Then there are the e-mails and her actions as Secretary of State. Let’s just say, my father would be irate about her actions, even before Benghazi. The fact she had classified emails on her personal server and cellphone would have sent him into a rage.

Most of all, he would have to wonder how much of an influence Bill would have on her should she be elected. That, as much as anything else, would have him doubting the wisdom of voting for her. He would have no, absolutely no, respect for Bill Clinton. He would have been one of those voices that had called for Clinton’s impeachment even though it would have hurt him to do so. Personal integrity meant everything to my father and he would not see it in either Clinton.

As for Mom, well, she is voicing the same concerns about the Republican candidates so many of the rest of us are. We see Trump running around like the school ground bully and cringe at the thought of how he would act in the Oval Office. The only track record we have to determine how he might act is his business record and, well, that’s sort of an apples and oranges deal. Mom has voiced more than once the concern that, if Congress didn’t work with President Trump, he would make use of executive orders in such a way that every president before him would look like an amateur.

Even though Cruz is our senator, Mom isn’t convinced he is who she should vote for. His record isn’t quite what she would like and, well, she thinks he looks and sounds like a used car salesman. We are both uncomfortable with how he brings religion into the mix – when it looks like it would help him. Still, he has served Texas well, relatively speaking. The downside to him is he isn’t particularly known for working well with others.

Then there’s Rubio. He’s the candidate Mom hasn’t figured out. We both agree that, if Dad were alive, he would probably vote for Rubio. Marco is more center of the road, by a little at least, than the other two, but that isn’t saying much. Then there’s the fact he has little chance of getting the nomination. Like Kasich, who is Mom’s preferred choice, a vote for Rubio is basically a vote against Trump.

And that, it seems, is what a lot of those voting in the Republican primaries who aren’t supporting Trump are doing. It isn’t that they really support the other candidates as much as they can’t vote for Trump. The Donald might claim that he is uniting the party and bringing in more voters but is he really? How long has it been since either party has been as divided as the Republicans are today? How many of these so-called new voters are actually Democratic cross-overs, voting for Trump because they think it will be easier to defeat him than anyone else (or who realize that, if he were to be elected, he is closer to their own ideology than Cruz or any of the others)?

And so, instead of my own personal house divided, we now have a larger house divided. How it will be resolved waits to be seen. Trump hasn’t yet wrapped up the nomination. Sanders continues to stun on occasion on the Democratic side of things. It isn’t going to be an easy ride or a fun one between now and November. All I can say for sure is that we had all better buckle up and hold on.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. To each of those who have said they will leave the country if so-and-so wins, well, I hope you do so. Anyone who has so little love for this country doesn’t deserve to live here. Go try out those countries you think are better than ours. For me, I love this country and it is worth fighting for.

231 thoughts on “A House Divided – Amanda S. Green

  1. Last night, the wife and I went to a church in Dalton IL to listen to a talk by Ted Cruz’s father Rafael, who is a Baptist Pastor in the Houston area. Rev. Cruz gave a very, very good talk about the Christian foundations of the US. He is an excellent speaker and is very well informed. He is also a very warm friendly man.

    I have absolutely NO fears about the religious angle in a potential Cruz Administration. Both he and his son are well aware of the reason for the first amendment and neither seeks to force any particular religion on anyone in the USA. He did remind everyone that when the secularists talk about you cannot legislate morality, it is always when they a very busy doing just that, pushing their version of morality onto everyone else.

    1. He did remind everyone that when the secularists talk about you cannot legislate morality, it is always when they a very busy doing just that, pushing their version of morality onto everyone else.

      The majority of law stem from morality, laws prohibiting murder, assault, theft, encroaching on your neighbor’s boundary lines, etc.

      There are a very few laws that you could argue have nothing to do with morality but rather exist for functionality, such as those which say we should all drive on a particular direction on a particular side of the road. But even the decision that functionality is of importance stems from a set of morals.

      What those secularists have done is redefine the concept of morals as a code of conduct to only those codes of conduct that are based on religion. Then asserting that if your objections are related in any way to ‘morals’, i.e. your religious beliefs, you have to shut up and they don’t have to listen to you because of the First Amendment . Plain and simple — it is a bullying method to shut down any discussion that might not go their way.

      1. Exactly. Law exists to legislate agreed-upon morality. Anyone who tries to say otherwise is just lying.

        1. I’m afraid a *lot* of law exists to enrich those who have the ears of lawmakers. And even if you are correct, is it a good idea? First, agreed-upon by who, 50%+1 of the population or everybody? And even if we all agree that, say, prostitution is immoral (and we don’t, BTW), does that mean it should be illegal?

          Am I now a liar?

          1. You are missing a fundamental point. Virtually any law is a legislation of morality. Whether it’s a good idea or not isn’t even a valid question; by their very nature laws are legislations of morality. Whether you agree with the moral view legislated doesn’t make a difference to that fact.

            1. I would agree only in so far as the ordinary everyday laws that we deal with are concerned.
              But corporate laws? Tax law? Zoning laws?
              Or how about rules that have the force of law? What about the choices bureaucracies make that are enforceable like laws?
              No, too many laws only answer to themselves, but most people don’t know about them because they don’t deal with them.

              1. Is it moral to take money that someone else has earned against their will? Is it moral to tell someone what they can and cannot do with the land that they own? Is it moral to tell someone how they can run their business?

                If it is moral to do any of the above, are there any limitations to what and how the state can or cannot chose to take or put controls upon?

                1. IMO Morality is the belief that something is either “Right” or is “Wrong”.

                  IMO Laws by their nature are saying “Such-And-Such Action is Wrong So the Government will punish you for doing it”.

                  Laws that restrict how you use your property often deal with the idea that “It is wrong that your neighbors have to deal with how you use your property”.

                  Wither or not, we agree that “a certain use of your property is wrong (because of the impact on your neighbors)” has IMO nothing to do with the intent of the Law Makers.

                  It is “morally based” according to the morality of the Law Makers.

                  Of course, we should be free to kick those Law Makers “out of office” and change such laws to reflect our morality. 😀

                  1. Speaking as a long-term cultural outsider, “moral” appears to mean “doing what we expect you do do” and “immoral” means “we don’t like you to do that.”

                    Exactly *what* those things are, unfortunately, seems to be a secret.

                    1. There’s that sort of morality around, but most of the best people think of morality as “moral is how everybody should behave & immoral is how nobody should behave”.

                      Of course, even the best people can disagree on which is “moral” and which is “immoral”. [Sad Smile]

                    2. “moral is how everybody should behave”

                      Most people believe that there are supererogatory actions — it is better to do these things than not, but not immoral to refrain.

                    3. Agree.

                      But “immoral” covers other areas than “refraining from doing the better things”.

                2. Is it moral to take money that someone else has earned against their will? Is it moral to tell someone what they can and cannot do with the land that they own? Is it moral to tell someone how they can run their business?

                  If it is moral to do any of the above, are there any limitations to what and how the state can or cannot chose to take or put controls upon?

                  I think this deserves some thought.

                  Like all human-created things, governments are necessarily imperfect. It’s not possible to create a government not subject to potential abuse, just as it’s not possible for humans to be perfect.

                  The limitations on government can be ‘why’, not ‘what’ or ‘how’. (Normally, I’d say (for example) the right of free speech (a what) needs to be absolute, but that’s because the exceptions are so ingrained we don’t think of them.) I’m not, strictly speaking, a minarchist, but I have some degree of liking for minarchist theory. Minarchist theory holds that the purpose of the state is “the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud” (according to Wikipedia; YMMV on the exact definition).

                  A minarchist government might state that you can’t test a nuclear weapon on your own property because the fallout will drift onto the neighboring properties (broadly speaking, an act of aggression, in the sense that it damages those properties), which falls under “Is it moral to tell someone what they can and cannot do with the land that they own?”. A minarchist government might hold that making false claims about the product you are selling is fraud and as such illegal, which is both a restriction on speech and falls under “Is it moral to tell someone how they can run their business?”. If you violate those rules, the minarchist government can fine you, which falls under “Is it moral to take money that someone else has earned against their will?”.

                  The key thing is not what and how the constraints are in place, but why. It’s possible for a sufficiently corrupt government to abuse this (hence my boiler plate repetition of the ‘humans are flawed’ reminder), so vigilance will always be necessary.

                  I am insufficient alone to protect myself against aggression or theft or fraud, so if there’s a moral purpose to government, it’s to serve as a communal protection against those as well as a neutral dispute arbitrator for contested claims.

              2. But corporate laws?

                Almost exclusively.
                It’s just normal laws recut, organized and fitted for the groups of people known as a “corporation.”

                Zoning laws?

                Yes. They’re usually pounding out the answers to the question of harm to others vs right to dispose of your own property as you see fit.

                If either harm to others did not matter, or there was an existing agreement about what one did or did not do (such as not setting up “adult” displays across the road from a kindergarten) then there aren’t zoning laws.

            2. I don’t quire agree that the law is a legislation of morality,. I would assert legislation of behavior.

              1. Legislating behavior is based on the idea that “some behavior is Wrong and should be discouraged” and/or “some behavior is Right and should be encouraged”.

                That is also “Morality” equals “What is Right & What is Wrong”.

          2. If “making morality into law” is wrong, then you have to define “what is morality”.

            Is “killing anybody you chose for any reason” immoral?

            Is “taking other people’s property” immoral?

            If you dislike the “50% + 1” idea, is there a “line” where you say that it’d be OK?

            Sorry, what I see too often is “99% of my fellow citizens think this Law is OK but I disagree so this Law should be thrown out”.

            1. The problem is that so many of our ‘laws’ are amoral (like Obamacare). When laws are often contradictory, and written to benefit a special group, and are never applied to the above the law elite; well, why should any of us obey them?
              My thought example is, why do you stop for a red light?
              A. It is the law.
              B. I am afraid I might get a ticket.
              C. To not follow our accepted social conventions is morally wrong.

              1. The red light comes under functionality, like the example I gave above on requiring all motor vehicles to drive the same direction on the same side of a road.

                1. The red light is an invention of positive law to implement the moral behavior of having cars yield to each other in an orderly manner, thus preventing death, injury, and difficulty in arriving at your destination

              2. IMO “stopping at a red light” falls under the “moral position” of avoiding possible harm to others and yourself. 😉

                IMO Obamacare (as bad as it is) reflects a “moral position” (not that I agree with it) that Society must provide Medical Services to all members of the Society.

                No, when we take the position that “Law are very often based on Morality”, we are saying that the Law Makers (and supporters) are following their Beliefs of “What Is Right & What Is Wrong”.

                Are the Laws based on a valid belief of “What Is Right & What Is Wrong”?

                In some cases, the Laws are not or are “supporting a valid belief in the wrong manner”.

              3. Actually i stop at a red light so i don’t get t-boned. Laws are not necessarily morality based but based on sets of rules to allow us to exist together more or less peacefully. Traffic laws are not moral or immoral but provide a way to use the shared resource of a public road.

                Laws against theft and murder have component that is moral but also more aligned with getting a bunch of apes to live together.

                Prostitution, drug laws, and public decency laws are were i see morality and law mixing.

                1. …but based on sets of rules to allow us to exist together more or less peacefully.

                  But the proposition that we might need to exist together more or less peacefully is a moral position.

                  1. Yes. Remember how outlawing used to work?

                    One could easily say that requiring druggies be treated as human beings is imposing morality. Then where is one’s bitching about drug laws as infringing on human rights by imposing morality?

                    Answer: People who think druggies still count as human outnumber those holding contrary views, and impose the results of that perception by force.

            2. If the law is oppressive, then 100% – 1 agreement is not enough to make the law moral, even if the law is purportedly based on ‘morality’. Doesn’t make it ineffective, though.

              My line is the Non-Aggression Principle. If you are not explicitly harming another person by your actions, then your actions are no one else’s business. And if others decide to make your actions their business, it still doesn’t rise to the level where government needs to get involved.

              To answer your examples above:
              -Is killing anybody you chose for any reason immoral? No. Killing someone because they’re ‘in your face’, or they’re resisting your attempt to deprive them of their wallet, watch, and cellphone, is immoral. Killing someone in self-defense is not.
              -Is taking other people’s property immoral? Yes. And yet it seems to be encoded in the laws of the land (see Bastiat and ‘Legal Plunder’).

              So let me turn the questions around:
              -Is possessing, smoking, or otherwise ingesting certain agricultural products immoral? And if it is, does that justify threatening to put those who choose to do so anyway in a cage or kill them to get them to stop?
              -Is consensually exchanging money for sex immoral? And if it is, does that justify threatening to put those who choose to do so anyway in a cage or kill them to get them to stop?
              -Is owning an automatic weapon immoral? And if it is, does that justify threatening to put those who choose to do so anyway in a cage or kill them to get them to stop?

              Because threatening to, or actually, throwing people in cages or killing them in order to make them behave, or not behave, in the way you want them to is the essence of the law.

              This is why I advocate for a return to a robust fully informed jury system, where an 8% minority can put the stops to enforcement of bad Law by saying, “This law is stupid and I’m not going to see this defendant punished for violating it.”

              1. If the law is oppressive, then 100% – 1 agreement is not enough to make the law moral, even if the law is purportedly based on ‘morality’.

                Problem being that your objection is based on morality. Just or unjust is a moral principle.

                It’s kind of like when people talk about how “religious belief” is this or that– as if all religions, even if you irrationally remove agnostics and atheists from the equation, are meaningfully similar.
                Good gravy, compare and contrast the God of Islam with the God of Catholicism– there’s no shortage of digital ink spilled on the statement that they are the same God.

                (Short version: difference in kind between the Zeus type “really powerful person” or “personification of a power” gods and the omnipotent creator type big-G; the quite considerable difference in characteristics just means someone is wrong. Sort of like comparing/contrasting the Islamic view of Jesus-the-prophet with the Christian view of Jesus the Christ.)


                I think it’s called starting assumptions? Like the reason why “I think, therefore I am” is a famous starting assumption.

              2. IMO when people say “Don’t Make Morality Into Law”, what they are actually saying is “Don’t Make Morality That We Don’t Agree With Into Law”.

                In other words, if they agree with the Law, then it is not “Making Morality Into Law”.

          3. Brings up a point I have made to my kids in discussing the law. Not all crimes are sins, not all sins are crimes. Prostitution is legal in various parts of Nevada, but even where it is legal, engaging a prostitute is a sin. Refusing to decorate a cake with a message you don’t approve of is not a sin, but had become one of the most expensive crimes to commit in today’s America. Worthy of more news coverage then a high placed government official violating sinfully sending top secret messages with a private email account in violation of the law.

    2. That’s pretty cool to hear– I got the impression that his father was kind of nutty, from his personal history.

      Not religious-nutty, but contrarian uncle (want one? I’ve got a dozen.) type nutty.

      Good to hear that he can at the very least expose a passion.

      1. A lot of the “religious fanatic” stuff I’ve been hearing about Rafael Cruz comes from His son’s opponents in both parties trying to see if some kind of mud can stick to him. IMHO, They fear him and what he might be able to do to their particular slop troughs.

        1. I hadn’t heard that he was a religious fanatic– I’m a really, really bad target for that as a bad thing, barring evidence they wouldn’t be able to offer– just that he was one of those folks who’d take 50 years to become a citizen just to be contrary.

          Which goes with your theory of “throw stuff at the father to hit the son,” since that is what annoys a lot of the non-emotional Cruz opponents.

          1. Foxfier said, “…he was one of those folks who’d take 50 years to become a citizen”
            I know you’re talking about Cruz’ father here, but it does bring up the whole Ted Cruz didn’t renounce his Canadian citizenship until he ran for President issue. I actually don’t blame Cruz for this. I blame Bill Clinton for changing the law that used to insist that at age 21 (or maybe 18) a dual citizen (the usual case was like Cruz born abroad to at least one American parent) must renounce either his American citizenship or the other one. In other words, no dual citizens in America! I was shocked to realize that law was no longer in place when I met someone with dual American and Mexican citizenship with an American security clearance. If you’re not forced to choose only one, why would you? I angrily disagree with the law, but not those who take advantage of it.

            1. My kids probably have dual citizenship, on paper, and so do I, technically. I mailed my passport back and picked only US, but Portugal refuses to recognize this. They try very hard to mitigate brain drain by trying to attract back emigrant’s kids. They’d pay my kids’ college, etc, if only they went back. And give them/us a stipend as long as unemployed. No, we haven’t done it, but it’s possible if one of them gets a clearance job (likely the younger) this will come up.

  2. Thank you ~ That gave me hope. Like you said… the Democrats of integrity would be spinning in their graves at the prospect of Hillary or Bernie. My grandmother was a Southern Democrat, my grandfather a Republican. Jokes about cancelling out votes were made in my mother’s childhood as well. But my dear Granny would never vote for Hillary or Bernie. She lost her husband at age 42 and then learned to drive, went to work and raised her youngest son without any financial help other than family. She also had respect & love for babies, even those in wombs, and could not vote for the death cult the Democrats are pushing right now.

    1. I have tried in vain to convince an aged and respected relative that even if she says “pro-choice” and means “if there is no way for the mother and baby both to survive, there ought to be a choice,” that isn’t what the rest of the party means.

          1. My one pro-abortion rights relation (as opposed to the agnostics just don’t mind the system-as-it-stands) actually believes “some people are better off not having ever existed” and it’s up for mom to make that decision. Preferably before her offspring exits the uterus.

            And no, she’s not a monster of iniquity. She’s a thoroughly lovely person in a lot of ways.

            So she comes at it from the other direction.

      1. I’ve had some luck with protestant relatives using shock:
        “So, you agree with the Catholic Church?”

        (NOT ATTEMPTING TO START AN ARGUMENT. POINTING IT OUT AS A ‘DEFINING TERMS MATTERS’ THING. Catholic moral teachings allow actions which result in the death of the unborn child as an unavoidable side-effect, most famously including removing the Fallopian tube a child has implanted in.)

        1. My mother-in-law will NOT listen to us, and she says she’s against abortion. But she’s so in love with the Democrats and Joe Biden (God help us- she remembers when he lost his wife & baby in a car wreck-we all live within 10 minutes of the intersection) and she has been a Democrat ever since. Nothing will change her mind. She refused to look at print outs years ago, about partial birth abortion when I went to the trouble of finding the information.

          There is no reasoning with her, and her church considers abortion immoral 😦

        2. Clever, though I don’t think that would have helped in her case. (She died in 1998, so her vote is rather beyond influence by debating her now.) The problem was convincing her that her compassionate party didn’t mean what she naturally thought they must… and hey, if that’s what the Catholic Church says too, then surely the Catholics who vote Democrat are evidence the party platform is using her definition!

          1. Here is the interesting thing: in the run up to abortion legalization we were treated to a ton of Catholic families losing both mother and baby because you couldn’t deal with the obvious need to save one. I run across one of these books periodically still. this is an extremely rare problem. When I was delivering Robert, the doctor told Dan “you’re likely to lose one of them tonight” BUT didn’t tell him to choose. It was a “who lives, lives.”
            What I mean is, they inflated the problem out of all proportion, then lied about current law.

            1. I’ve since lost the page, but at one time I found a site that actually checked all those claims.

              The vast majority were false. Including some where nobody died at all, and some more justifiable– but not by much– that insisted if they’d just killed the kid, the mom would’ve survived. Usually the claim was by someone with some sort of medical authority, but it generally wasn’t even the doctor involved.

        3. I know a few non-Catholic Christians like that. It always boggles the mind how well that approach works.

          Whereas, (for example) an argument of the type: “So you (Lutheran Church M.S.) agree with the Catholic Church” on this one”–? If it turns out to be accurate; it just tends to make me feel more kindly toward the Church.

      2. I am so tired of the concept of tolerance being abused into celebration. While I’m willing to tolerate Bruce Jenner walking around in a dress and thinking of himself as a woman, I’m not willing to tolerate a culture that makes him “woman of the year” for doing so. Likewise a tolerance for a rare hard choice between saving a woman’s life or that of her unborn child can be argued morally, legalizing that tolerance into a woman has the right to “terminate her pregnancy” at any time for any reason is a moral disaster. People will prey on your tolerance to make acceptance of evil mandatory.

  3. 300 million Americans, and this is the group of clowns we wind up having to choose between.

    It is to weep…

    1. In 1776, there were about 2.5 million people in what would become the US, Patriot, Torry, and everything in between. (Not counting Indians, of course.) We had a whole crop of great men from that time and place. With more than 100 times the population now, why can’t we find such men of honor and character for public service?

      Perhaps public service has become too corrupt and backbiting for honorable men to serve in, a la “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”?

      1. Why on earth would a good, honorable, successful person willingly subject himself and his family to the fetid cesspool that is modern American politics? Him being a gender neutral term driven by the English language.
        I find it telling that the vast majority of our politicians are lawyers, people who live in a world where the truth is whatever you can convince a majority of the jury to believe.

        1. “…fetid cesspool that is modern American politics…”.

          My friend, I think you really, really need to do some self-education about just what politics used to look like, in this country. The reality is, and I’m sad to have to point this out, that modern politics is but an effete shadow of what it once was. Seriously–Go research the reams of scurrilous dirty tricks that used to be pulled, back in the day. If anything, the real problem is that our media and our politicians have quit playing hardball, and a lot of the crap that would have come out about these clowns in the old days simply hasn’t.

          It’s always been a damn cesspool. Even back to the days of Washington…

          1. Heck, one of the prevailing theories regarding the death of Edgar Allen Poe is that he fell victim to the practice of grabbing a man off the street, pouring as much alcohol as possible into him, and then hauling him off to the voting booth. Whether or not the victim then died of alcohol poisoning or mishap due to excessive drunkeness was of little matter to the ones doing the kidnapping…

            1. And a major freedom of the press issue over Benjamin Franklin Bache’s newspaper The Aurora to boot.

              It was the start of full scale mudslinging. There had been some before. Some less than truthful and some outright untruthful stories were floated about Washington before his re-election.

              One that has continued to resurface is connected to a British attempt to create the belief that Washington was a traitor – their agent – during the Revolutionary War.

          2. One of my husbands slogans is “Bring back dueling for politicians”
            Now I’m almost ready to agree with that one, if ordinary citizens can then duel an incumbent whose voting record they disagree with. Of course, the challenged still gets to pick the weapons.

        2. The voters get to govern them what the voters reward during campaign season: entertainment, including vigorous but negative, insulting, emotional stuff that has zilch to do with vetting policy and governance. Our problem is that, once hired (by the election process), our entertainer-politicians are mostly operating in their less-competent skill set.

          1. Granted, it’s an old problem. Not just to the days of Washington, but to the days of Attic Greece, and presumably long before. But the institutions – notably, the media – that are supposed to counter this tendency instead aid and abet it, because they, too, benefit from taking a ‘whatever entertains the rubes’ approach.

      2. It is, rather, a product of our cotton-bunting society. Look at the life histories of so many of our Founding Fathers and you will find scores of men raised in difficulty if not outright destitution. Even those who were well-off by the standards of the day lived in a much harder society. Ben Franklin’s Boston was only 75 years old when he was born, with a population of perhaps 10,000. Merely surviving to adulthood was something of an achievement: some estimates put the chance of a newborn of Franklin’s time reaching 18 years old as low as 3-in-5.

        Back then, there was no time to spare for microaggressions, sham education, and lazing about – not if you wished to live, much less live free as a citizen rather than subject to crown and foreign power. That society, recognizing this, drilled that famed Puritan work ethic into as many of those children as they could. Idleness was wickedness. It was shameful to be a layabout, either physically or mentally. Industry and diligence staved off the devil. You *got on with it* back in those days.

        Consider how long we’ve sold out for “self-esteem” (ptui), extended adolescence, spectacle, hollow platitudes, bread and circuses… the real wonder isn’t that we have so few truly great Americans, but that we still manage to have any of them at all.

      3. Rev. Cruz mentioned John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Lutheran pastor, and colonel in the Continental Army last night.

        “Reverend Muhlenberg took his sermon text from the third chapter Ecclesiastes, which starts with “To every thing there is a season…”; after reading the eighth verse, “a time of war, and a time of peace,” he declared, “And this is the time of war,” removing his clerical robe to reveal his Colonel’s uniform. Outside the church door the drums began to roll as men turned to kiss their wives and then walked down the aisle to enlist, and within half an hour, 162 men were enrolled.[4] The next day he led out 300 men from the county to form the nucleus of the 8th Virginia Regiment. “

      4. The men of 1776 were well schooled in Philosophy, could read the classics in Greek and Latin, and saw public service as an obligation not as a career.

  4. My parents were of the generation that believed there were two things you didn’t talk about at the dinner table: religion and politics.

    When Momma taught me these she added a third, sex. And she said that the this applied to general conversation as well the dinner table.

    1. A fourth for “good” families in Portugal MONEY. My mom routinely broke it at the dinner table by being inordinately proud of picking something up at a bargain. She’d say “And do you know, this fish only cost–” And you’d see dad’s face crumple in disgust. At one time he actually yelled back “I don’t eat money.” I love dad, I do, but he is a man of his class.

      1. Ah, now I learned one might talk of ‘bargains and bargaining’ in a general sense, but never ever how much anyone made or were worth.

            1. I’ve often joked to my wife about her obsessive bargain hunting that she was going to save us right into the poorhouse…… 🙂

  5. This was our house when it came to voting until the 1972 election. I was still too young to vote (I may be old but I’m not that old) but I remember that election season.

    Watch your mouth young lady.

    mumble. Making me out to be that old. I’ll have you know that there are some mornings when I don’t even feel it. Grumble

    . 😉

    1. I’ve never been this old before, so I don’t know if I feel that old – but you’re still likely pretty young by my reckoning.

  6. My Maternal Grandfather was like your father. In 1980, I was talking to him about the elections. He said. “I can’t bring myself to vote for _that man_ (Carter).” He had held every position except candidate in the Democratic party, and he couldn’t even call Pres. Carter, by his name. I never did find out how he voted. I’m glad he’s not here to see the trash candidates running as D’s.

  7. It seems to me that a large part of the blame for Trumpmania can be placed at the doors of the media. Firstly they’ve done their best to ensure that no “serious” politician can say certain things without getting whaled on and hence even fairly radical ones that want to get elected (e.g. Cruz) have tended away from certain subjects. And they’ve repeatedly “cried wolf” about all sorts of Tea Partiers and the like that are clearly not the threat the MSM claims they are, while downplaying more obvious threats from, say, fervent adherents of the “religion of peace”.

    As a result when Donald Trump stands up and says the unsayable because he doesn’t give a damn (and possibly other more nefarious reasons) and the media then give enormous coverage of him saying these things – according to National review he’s had more than 50% of all the republican primary coverage – then it’s had to blame people who are frustrated with the current situation flock to him.

    If the media just gave equal time to all Republican candidates I think we’d see a big difference. However that won’t happen, and just possibly that’s because large sections of the media are desperate for Ms Emails to win so they are promoting him as the alternative.

    1. I also can’t help but feel that they–like many on the left-leaning side–actually see Trump as a viable ‘alternative’ if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. After all, despite his current lick of camoflauging paint, he is actually one of them…

      (I don’t see it as a conspiracy, though. That would ascribe *entirely* too much competency to the MSM, and frankly I just can’t see them as that intelligent/organized/capable. It’s gotta be zeitgeist.)

      1. “I don’t see it as a conspiracy, though” – well, there IS some evidence the old “journolist” for coordinating prog talking points has been resuscitated.
        I suspect the media give Trump so much attention for two mutually-reinforcing reasons: 1) his entertainment value adds readership, which translates into a dying business model (and their jobs) hanging on a bit longer, PLUS 2) his ideological acceptability on most issues, as a “plan B” vs. Ms. Emails/3am/fabulist.

        1. Yeah, I expect this is largely true. Things like “If it bleeds, it leads” or “sex sells” and so on and so forth.

          1. I’m inclined to agree. That sort of thing doesn’t disappear when you turn the light on. It just scuttles off to a different dark corner and double checks that the switch is disconnected next time.

    2. The media is doing with trump exactly what they did with McCain: Free positive publicity to get him the Republican nomination, and then they’ll turn on him like a pack of raving stoats as soon as he has it. He’s their preferred candidate, because once he’s got the nomination, he’ll be the easiest target to tear down. Watch what happens if he wins the nomination: McCain II. Remember how quickly the coverage turned, on him?

      The media is trying to do battlefield preparation for the Democrats. Mark my words, that’s exactly what Trump probably is: The media’s preferred opponent to whichever Democrat wins.

      Now, what is highly ironic, here? They might, just might, have screwed up, and enabled Trump to actually win in the general. I’ll laugh my ass off, all the way to the camps, if that happens.

      If it were up to me, I’d tell the lot of them to kiss off, and find me some other candidates. I can’t stand any of them, to be honest. Every time I look at the news, the thing that keeps running through my head is “350 million Americans, and this is who we have running for President…? Can’t we do better?”.

      And, yeah… I’d have good things to say about Cruz, but… There’s this little, niggling problem: What the hell has this guy ever actually, y’know… Done? He’s got extensive experience as a legislator and a litigator, but what the hell has he run? Where is the executive experience, the background? It simply isn’t there, and we’re expecting him to reign in all this executive branch BS? Dude, he’s gonna get played, and I suspect his term in office would be a disaster because of that lack of executive experience running a hostile bureaucracy. We don’t need another semi-competent legislator running the Executive branch; we need someone with past experience at lopping off heads in government agencies, and who knows where the skeletons are buried, as well as where to go looking. Cruz, I worry, would be just another one of those “failed Presidents” whose only experience of government was in the world of legislation. I’ll vote for him, but he’s not who I would chose.

      1. That assessment of Cruz rests on the assumption that he has to play nice with the bureaucracy. He doesn’t, and he’s smart enough to realize that anyone who tries to play nicely when reforming the bureaucracy gets played.
        But what if he simply released an executive order that no regulation has the force of law unless it has been formally enacted into law?
        Most of the bureaucracy’s power goes “poof”. And all they can do about it is scream.

        1. Look… Here’s the deal: You don’t know how to fix something, or even identify when the parties involved are gaslighting you until you actually, y’know, have to work with that crap and make something happen. I’m not wanting to wait for Cruz to come up to speed and learn how to circumvent the bureaucrats–I want someone who’s gonna know he’s being bullshitted on day one.

          You see this go on in multiple venues, throughout life. The one I’m most familiar with is the military, and I’ll relate another of my interminable anecdotes to illustrate it: I used to inspect and advise subordinate units on the operations and oversight of their arms rooms, which are things that can really get to be quite complex and hazardous to a young officer’s career. One arms room I went to take a look at came with an attached and attentive executive officer, who thought he knew what was going on. He’d been in all the classes, and gone over all the checklists with his armorer, and was sure-and-certain that everything was correct and proper.

          I walked into that arms room, and in about twenty minutes, I found enough malfeasance and dereliction of duty going on that I strongly suggested that the armorer be relieved of duties and receive the attentions of the Battalion Commander for action under the UCMJ. See, I knew where to look, and how to penetrate the obfuscations thrown up by underlings to hide the corners they were cutting. That naive XO did not, and it was only after I spent two or three hours with him, showing him what to look for, that he really started to “get it”.

          I’m sure Cruz could learn; I’m just not willing to wait for him to go through the on-the-job-training he really needs to succeed in the Executive Branch.

          I honestly can’t think of too many successful presidents we’ve had, who’d only been legislators or litigators; the more successful ones, and we need one like that right now, badly–Have all had significant time as governors or senior military leaders. Those guys have experience and training for riding herd on recalcitrant underlings and bureaucrats. The legislative types…? Not so much; they tend to think they can whip out a memo, and that will solve the problem, never realizing that there are significant issues past simply putting things into writing, or that there are subtle ins-and-outs of dealing with the recalcitrant bureaucrat. If Cruz had ever been a Secretary of Defense, a governor, or some other major executive branch-type office holder, I’d back him enthusiastically in a heartbeat. As is, I see him as the “least bad” of a remarkably deficient lot.

          1. Kirk did you look at Cruz’s 5 years as Texas Solicitor General and the case cases he handles as a lawyer? Almost all of them involved the government in some manner.

            1. Legislate. Litigate. Run an Executive Branch agency.

              Three very, very different things. You want to fix a problem, you need someone with pertinent experience of actually doing the same job at a lower level.

              And, get me right on this: I’m not saying Cruz is a bad candidate, or that I won’t vote for him in the primary or general; I’m saying he’s not the candidate I want in the situation we’re in. With Cruz, I think we’ll get a guy who can do the job well enough to stem the leaks in the dyke; what we need is the guy who can actually fix the damn thing, and that is not what Cruz looks like to me, right now. Maybe he’ll grow into the job, and his prior experience will be enough–I certainly hope he is, but I’m not entirely sanguine that he is.

              Hell, to be honest… I can’t think of a single national figure who I think is capable of fixing the mess we’re in, right now. Which is kinda cheering, in a way, because I felt the same way about the time Jimmy Carter was in office, and then came Reagan… Who, at least, managed to stem the tide of stupidity for a little while. Although, he did bring in the Bushes…

        1. Two years, and in a relative backwater agency.

          Like I said, he’s acceptable, and the best of what we got offered in this cycle. However, comma, that’s a hell of far cry from “Best we could do”, which would be someone who ran a large state successfully against a resistant bureaucracy and state legislative culture. Which was why I was really hoping Walker would have done a lot better, but the national media very successfully poisoned the well for him, and it’s possible that he’s not the right guy, either.

          I have hopes for Cruz, but I also recognize that he’s only the best choice out of a truly horrid lot.

          What I want to do? Herd the entire lot of our current “political class”, from media to legislator to party hack, onto ships, and then take them out past the continental shelf and sink the fuckers after I’ve welded the hatches shut. Yeah, there would no doubt be a couple of sacrificed “good people” in that lot, but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards, knowing that we’d rid ourselves of a massive swathe of venal incompetents would be sooooo sweet…

          1. I would have to admit that when I learned about the bill that took the Senate’s “advice and consent” for treaties, and turned the process up-side down (with the Cobert? Amendment) for Iran’s deal, and didn’t pursue all possible avenues for nuking the deal (in particular: pursuing the line of thought that Obama violated this law by not disclosing everything in the deal to Congress, making the law itself null and void)…I couldn’t help but wonder, and perhaps even have a twinge of sick, twisted, angry hope, that an Iranian nuke will do this for us…

            It might not necessarily serve Congress and the President right, but it may just be a consequence, regardless…

      2. has this guy ever actually, y’know… Done?
        He read the book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ on the Senate floor. The most intelligent and meaningful statement made by the Senate this millennium.

        1. Y’know… That’s actually one reason I have trouble with him.

          Yeah, it’s funny, but smartass gadflys do not usually make for good problem solvers, in the end. And, Cruz has not been very effective in the Senate, as in “Getting shit done”; he’s mostly managed to piss everyone off, which is something that needs doing, but as a solution for the country, we need a guy that would have gone into that situation, smiled sweetly at all concerned, and then gotten his agenda through. If Cruz were the guy we really need in the Presidency, right now, the various idiots running the Senate would still be going “WTF just happened…?”, and we’d have seen Cruz’s agenda enacted.

          Granted, that means I’m wanting a miracle-worker, but that’s how far down the toilet bowl we’re a-swirlin’, folks…

          1. I agree that done right, the task needs a miracle worker. I agree Ted Cruz does not meet that requirement.

            a) Is the scope of ‘fixing the American federal government’ beyond the limits of human ability for one person? b) Don’t quite a lot of us have responsibility for making this mess in the first place, and wouldn’t we have to make some effort to fix things if they are going to be fixed?

            That said, I have caught myself drinking my own ink when it comes to what Ted Cruz might be reasonably expected to accomplish.

      3. There’s bits I like about Cruz, and given the choice of Social Bern, Ms Emails, mr Combover and Cruz, I’d take him in a heartbeat. But I’d have preferred one of the governors that dropped out fairly early for the most part because they really have run things.

        Mind you I don’t have a vote in these elections being a foreigner so take what II say with as much salt as you like.

    3. Agreed – the establishment media richly deserves Trump, after having led the charge to spit on and otherwise abuse serious and responsible Americans who chose to partake in politics through the Tea Party. Having chosen to be partisan and given their affections so openly towards certain political movements and personalities over others … well, then, reap what you sow.

  8. By way of comparison, I don’t think the electorate has been this divided and fed up with their parties since around 1856. Which led to the replacement of one party, and then the even more divisive 1860 election, which led to …

    We’re tired of being betrayed by our so-called “betters.” Ain’t nobody better than me – I’m an American. Unlike the current occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave, I bow to nobody.

    Sometimes you just don’t have somebody to vote for, but you can usually find somebody to vote against. Use the major media as a reference – vote against anybody they like. Cruz has all the right enemies, but Trump annoys all the right people.

    1. >Which led to the replacement of one party, and then the even more divisive 1860 election, which led to …<

      Quite so; in 1860 there were four Democratic candidates splitting the presidential votes allowing Lincoln to win with only 39% of the popular vote. Turns out, that even if all the Democratic candidates ran as one, given the way the electoral college works, Lincoln would have still won because he took the states filled with lots of immigrants who fled the European revolts of 1848. For those interested in the arcania, http://www.etymonline.com/cw/1860.htm

  9. “Then there’s Rubio. He’s the candidate Mom hasn’t figured out. We both agree that, if Dad were alive, he would probably vote for Rubio. Marco is more center of the road, by a little at least, than the other two, but that isn’t saying much. Then there’s the fact he has little chance of getting the nomination. Like Kasich, who is Mom’s preferred choice, a vote for Rubio is basically a vote against Trump.”

    Two comments: if you accept the premise–as I do–that Trump (and Sanders to some degree, but that’s not material to my point) represents the voice of the disempowered–the people who have problems and perceive the Federal government as the plaything of the powerful and the connected–then you should be looking to someone who is going to at least try and shake things up: a category in which I think I may say without fear of contradiction, neither Rubio nor Kasich (nor Mrs. Clinton, though again that’s not my point) belong to.

    So at this point that leaves you with Trump, the bomb-thrower who wants to burn the whole thing down (or at least so he claims); and Cruz, who–for all his faults–is a guy who’s been willing to try to fix things the old-fashioned way…reclaiming the Framers’ Constitution, one law at a time. The fact that few of his colleagues seem to have the stomach for the fight is hardly his fault.

    It’s true that he has a reputation for not working or playing well with others, but that simply means you should consider the virtues of his vices: he’s shown he’s willing to walk away from the table rather than make a bad deal. He has an understanding of–in the jargon of negotiations–BATNA: “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.”

    Not meaning to throw stones, but that’s my main beef with Rubio: he got sucked into Schumer’s orbit on immigration “reform” and didn’t have the good sense to walk away before becoming indelibly associated with the chumer plan. He let himself get rolled.

    I would also argue that, while it may well have been true that voting for also-rans was voting for not-Trump, as time passes and Cruz establishes himself as the only candidate remaining who can plausibly stand as an alternative to Trump, voting for any candidate other than Cruz is, in effect, a vote FOR Trump. Trump has yet to achieve a clear majority in any contest–the strength of his position in these contests is largely a measure of the divided nature of his opposition–and at this point-regardless of their fitness for the job–I don’t think anyone can plausibly argue that Rubio–or, /a fortiori/, Kasich–has any path to the nomination–at least, none short of a few key plane crashes.

    Finally, a general comment: in the words of Secretary Rumsfeld, you don’t go to the polls with the candidates you wish you had, you go to the polls with the candidates you actually have. The choices are rarely between good and bad: they’re usually between bad and worse. If the November race comes down to Clinton versus Trump–and at this point I think that’s the only plausible possibility besides Clinton versus Cruz–I know whom I will vote for, because I have a fairly clear idea of how each of them would work out.

    And that endgame should always be kept in mind.

    1. A vote for Rubio or Kasich at this point is a vote for a miracle, that the people in charge of the Republican Party will somehow fix things at the convention. That isn’t what is going to happen, though, because if either Trump or Cruz are not at the top of the ticket Republicans are going to get crushed in November. A third to half the party will stay home, or worse, vote D just for spite.

      Threats of But Hillary! Socialism! Supreme Court! no longer hold sway because we’re basically already there. In fact, I believe a ton of suffering would go away if we just said Zuck It, and embraced the suck. That is the problem with Cruz. If he is put into office, I’m sure he’ll try his best and do what you say: walk away on a bad deal. Sadly, this will do nothing to stop the train wreck because the money is allocated and spent already. Our bureaucratic overlords are in place and doing what they do best. Our courts will continue to provide, at best, random & extremely tardy justice. We’ll continue to slide. We need somebody who can actually do what Republicans have promised us for decades: reverse things.

      That’s why Trump is the only logical, if not ideal, choice right now. Nobody I’ve read or talked to who is a Trump supporter believes he will do anything he says. How is this different from every other politician? But if he does even a fraction of it we’re still better off. As far as the party coming back together, this is 1980 all over. A portion (maybe a large portion) of the party will be voting against Hillary, not for the Republican candidate. With Trump, though, you get the Democrats who are Bernie supporters who are being royally screwed over by the establishment, and they are starting to figure it out. Cruz doesn’t pick up those votes, because he is way too scary for them.

      1. Your argument for Trump is basically that he’ll be a dictator just like Hillary would (and Obama is), but at least he’ll dictate things more to our liking. Those of us who are opposed to both Hillary (and Bernie, should it come to that) and Trump tend to want the dictatorial power the presidency has accrued in the last decade or so reversed at least and at best returned to its constitutional limits. The same with the rest of the federal government, which is why an Article V amending convention is something I’m pushing for whenever possible. The feds will never rein in their own power; only an indepent amending convention convened by the states has a chance to do so.

        1. “Your argument for Trump is basically that he’ll be a dictator”

          I made no such argument. In fact, if you are concerned about this do you not think every single voice in the mainstream media won’t immediately become strict “separation of powers” and “limit the power of the president” NOW! folks if Trump becomes president? It seems Trump attaining the office would have the highest chance of congress actually doing their job as a result.

          1. No, I don’t think that. I think Trump will take Obama’s overreach and attempts at ruling through executive orders as a precedent to try the same. And the mainstream media won’t say boo about it, as that’s how they think presidents should act. They’ll complain about the nature of the EOs, but the concept of executive and administrative overreach is something they’re solidly in favor of. And you said:

            “Nobody I’ve read or talked to who is a Trump supporter believes he will do anything he says. How is this different from every other politician? But if he does even a fraction of it we’re still better off.”

            That’s basically saying you’re OK with strong-man rule, not an executive who executes the will of the people’s representatives. You don’t have to use the exact words; we’re pretty good at reading between the lines.

          2. Trump as President with a centrist Republican Majority in both Houses of Congress would give an interesting result. Much like Clinton when Newt was Speaker; we got balanced budgets. Mr. Clinton and Trump are both fairly skilled negotiators (unlike Mrs. Clinton). Neither has all that firm a conviction to any known political principles.

            I recall the days when we — the Reagan administration — had to give the Democratic Congress new entitlements to get enough money to conduct the Cold War. For most of you that was ancient history, but the USSR was real, expansionist, and damned dangerous. We survived, and as predicted, containment worked; the Soviet Union needed expansion; stasis was actually deterioration.

            Supplying arms to North Viet Nam put enormous economic burdens on the USSR, which was basically analogous the an overpopulated Bulgaria with nuclear weapons and a high maintenance cost missile force. Few paved roads outside big cities, and actually unpaved alleyways even in Moscow; the eastern part held together by a single track railroad through sub-Arctic lands; a deteriorating industrial plant; and little access to the benefits of the computer revolution. And 26,000 warheads deliverable to the United States, and an Army capable of being at the Rhine in weeks.

            And the Democratic Congress insisted on entitlements as a condition of passing a budget. Interesting times.

            Neither Trump nor Cruz is a Reagan, but neither is either a Hitler; and a US Army commanded by West Pointers is not the same as the Wehrmacht just as The American Legion is no Stahlhut.

            1. The problem is that with Trump at the head of the ticket there’s no way to know if those new Trump voters will also vote for other Republicans. We could lose the Senate and a number of House seats. And as Trump has already said he is flexible.

              1. I think it is more correct to say that there are a bunch of moving parts, and probably no one has a perfect read on all of them.

                Trump seems to not have the money to self fund in the general. (He has applied for $300 of tax write off targeted at people with less than $500k income.)

                Which means he is going to be relying on the Republican machines, unless he runs third party and Democratic donors want him in the game.

                I’d guess Trump won’t bother about downticket much himself.

                Given how much of his new folks haven’t bothered to register Republican (per speculation based on open versus closed), they probably aren’t going to be efficient volunteers for him, and it’s possible they won’t lift a finger for downticket.

                For hire Republican hands will be there if the donors are, but there are grounds for doubts about uniformity of quality. Trump’s ability to tell good ones from bad ones, or to coordinate messaging with any sort is uncertain.

                As for volunteers, my understanding is that #NeverTrump is a combination of social media activists being alienated by Trump supporters and them deciding Trump has nothing to offer them. If #NeverTrump has legs beyond twitterstorms, it is plausible that the more personal methods of Trump supporters will also have legs. ‘Social media is irrelevant’ is a position, but discounting the effects of Trump supporter messaging suggests also discounting the effects of #NeverTrump.

                Tea Party types tend to be keyed to the economy. I’m unsure that Trump has anything to offer them.

                I dunno. I’ve been suspecting that we are in the middle of a stage where a lot of people are crazier than usual.

      2. Why do you think Bernie supporters would vote for Trump? They do not like Cruz but they do not call him Hitler-they do call Trump that though. I think Trump is the one candidate that would scare them enough to go out and vote for Hillary.

        1. For someone who likes Bernard Sanders, Hitler is a complement. Sanders is interested in politics because of the Holocaust, and has called himself a Nationalist Socialist.

            1. Trump is probably closer to Berlusconi mixed in with some FDR than to Mussolini, but the analogy I used is more consistent as I had it. 🙂

      3. the people in charge of the Republican Party will somehow fix things at the convention.

        Due in no small part to two decades of “vote for our squish or $DEMOCRAT” any attempt to fix this with a brokered convention that doesn’t take one of the top two first round delegate count candidates will be a disaster. If Trump is #1 probably even taking a #2 Ted Cruz won’t save them.

        If they, as I suspect is the plan, try in latter rounds to put someone up who wasn’t even a candidate this round as a “unity” candidate they will implode. I suspect Romney’s anti-Trump speech was his audition for that unity candidate spot.. Even Rubio would probably implode.

        Too many voters for Cruz and, I suspect, Trump have held their noses and voted GOP one too many times. To have a chance to actually not do that only to see their betters use the rules to make sure they don’t will break their ability to ask it.

        I have already said I will vote for the GOP nominee but if it is Trump and if my “betters” in the GOP campaign against him third party (a la Anderson in 1980 until Reagan co-opted them by taking Bush as VP) or openly urging votes for Hillary I will remember it. In the future when they say, “vote for our squish or $DEMOCRAT” my response will be, “like you did for Trump”.

        1. Well said.

          Note that Mussolini was a socialist and made no secret of it; even when he was executed by the partisans. Had he chosen the Allies rather than the Axis — there is some evidence that he would have preferred that option — he would have been a hero if he survived the war, just as Stalin was “Uncle Joe”. He thought he was choosing the winning side after Munich.

          On a scale of ruthlessness as a dictator, he ranks well down the list.

          1. As RAH said in the book on political organizing I have that you provided the introduction voting in the primary is a commitment to vote for the party in the general. Too much of the GOP, having relied on that for decades, feels free to ignore it when they lose the primaries.

        2. Because I have listened to Trump’s words, I cannot abide Trump as President; if he makes it through the nomination process, I will not vote for him. I’ve been speculating on the possibility of making the Libertarian party viable for once…

          Having said that, I find it very sadly amusing that the Establishment thinks it can control a brokered convention. “If only we we can get a brokered convention, then *we* can choose the candidate!” It reminds me too much of the Parliaments that Charles I of England, Louis XVI of France, and even, to a lesser extent, Oliver Cromwell of England (after doing away with the King): basically, once these things were put together, those who thought they could control them (both the Kings and Protectorates, and those on the sidelines jockeying for political power) discovered, often to their dismay, that Parliaments are beasts with minds of their own, and anyone who thought they could control one were very, very, very sadly mistaken.

          If we have a brokered convention, all bets are off. It’s a powder keg, and it might be “fun” to see in what manner it explodes…

          Now, I’ve seen arguments that have said “If Trump doesn’t get the needed 1237 delegates, but has 1236, he’d *better* get the nomination!” countered with “Why? Once the delegates are released, and he can’t convince just one more delegate to side with him, why should he get the nomination?” In thinking about this, I have come to realize that (1) brokered conventions are backups for when the nomination process fails, and (2) the nomination fails when no one candidate can get a strict majority of the delegates. And if this happens, who knows how the delegates will select a candidate? I don’t mind, so long as the process is fair and isn’t fixed for or against one candidate or another…

          But, having said *that*, I wouldn’t put it past the Establishment to tinker with the rules, not realizing that the sparks they produce will set off an Earth-shattering “kaboom!”–and this is MUCH more likely to happen, if we have a brokered convention on the horizon!

          (Are everyone’s fallout shelters in good, working order, stocked with food and weapons? Have we reinforced them with extra concrete and steel? The way things are shaping up, we just might need that extra re-enforcement!)

    2. Overall i like cruz. He does strike me as being overly religious but at the same time i think he does have some integrity and will at least follow the law. I really like his plan to get rid of the irs. I also think he’s the only candidate on either side who will try and roll back some of the surveillance state.

      I’m also worried the next president is going to be a 4 year wonder no matter who it is. The chickens of the Obama economy and policy decisions are going to be coming home to roost soon and blame is most likely going to fall on the current resident of the Whitehouse.

          1. Worry about a radioactive city. Russia has announced ‘the return of the cold war’, Iran test fires missiles with ‘Death to Israel’ stenciled on the side. China is bellicose and Europe under siege.
            In comparison, Detroit, run by feral dog packs and Flint, where the term ‘heavy water’ takes on a whole new meaning are minor losses, easy to refurbish.

            1. Oh, that too… but I daresay that the one is merely a more severe symptom of the same baleful philosophy that helped bring the jewel of the midwest to ruin. A people that could willingly reduce Detroit to figurative rubble, unable to rouse sufficient opposition to save it, is doomed to get literal rubble as well.

            2. North Korea has nukes and missiles and is run by a dynasty of psychotics. Who knows what they’ll do.

              1. Crystal ball broken. I suspect some substantial part of NYC though. No, I have no rational explanation, just this prickling at the back of my skull. Only thing I can think is backpack nuke.

                1. DC or NYC would be my guess. My other guess is they are going to hit Israel first and in retaliation they’ll turn the majority of the middle east into glass.

                  That doesn’t mean we still won’t get hit sometime after.

                2. Al Qaeda was going to just drop one of those airliners in a Jewish neighborhood of NYC, but didn’t think the death toll would be high enough. With a nuke…

                  1. I pray that those stories you hear are true, about the cop who stops a car and says, “Why do you have x millirems of radiation leaking from this car? Oh, such and such a medical treatment. Can I see the papers? Ok, sorry to bother you sir, have a nice day.”

      1. He does strike me as being overly religious

        And why do you consider that a problem? He’s no more religious than many of our earlier presidents. Probably about the same as Reagan. The main this about Cruz is that he WILL NOT be ramming his particular faith down your throat, completely unlike the muslim/secular humanist one we have now. He will try to restore the overtly christian foundations this country was established upon, but there will not be a state religion.

        1. I’don’t rather here about policy and how he’s actually going to get his changes implemented and more importantly how it should help us. Reforming government and entitlements is going to be painful and in order to do it he’said going to need the majority behind him helping to drive forward.

  10. if you accept the premise–as I do–that Trump (and Sanders to some degree, but that’s not material to my point) represents the voice of the disempowered–the people who have problems and perceive the Federal government as the plaything of the powerful and the connected

    This is something that keeps getting lost in translation, either by accident or design. There’s a large group of people who feel disempowered, who feel that the typical candidates have betrayed them; all this talk of #NeverTrump is essentially the establishment saying that these peoples’ concerns aren’t valid or relevant (i.e., when we want your opinion, we’ll tell you what it is).

    Should we end up with a brokered convention, then the only way to hold the party (& country) together will be to acknowledge that Trump’s supporters have valid concerns & that they won’t be shunted aside. Otherwise, they’ll stay home and we’ll end up with Hillary.

    1. That is the major thing I keep seeing. Right now Trump has received the benefit of all of the machinations and splitting from the previous overpromising and ‘failure theater’ of the reps in the past. Most people expect the Republicans to simply bend over anyway and going for someone that may/will betray them does not feel much different than what is already going on. Plus we are in a world where people are seeing others ‘getting theirs’ and want some too.

    2. No, it isn’t. I’m a #nevertrump because I see the possibility for him to go uglier than even Hillary. (If it goes Bernie, I vote Unicorn Cavalry.)
      I’m not establishment. I was one of the early tea partiers.
      Look at Francis’ comment. This is not establishment/non establishment anymore. This is those who believe media and those who don’t. Oh, and the inevitable burnitalldown mythologists.

      1. Okay, but that’s you.

        How about the people who have been organizing this push (National Review, etc.)? None of the articles that I’ve seen have talked about how Trump’s supporters have valid concerns that need to be addressed; all I’m seeing is crush Trump. So, the high mucky-mucks behind this get their wish and crush Trump — they seem to believe that the issues he’s raised will simply go away.

        I see Trump & Sanders as the steam escaping from a pressure cooker, and I *don’t* see the elites/parties paying attention to the underlying problems that have been brought to light; rather, they seem to be focused on pushing those things back under ground.

        1. What I am seeing from National Review and their ilk, is the same kind of scorched earth disambiguations we have come to recognize as a SJW ploy. Their methods are far more offensive than their rhetoric.

        2. Trump’s supporters are either a) not paying close enough attention or b) do not understand Republican values. The root cause is that the USA catastrophically fails when operated in ways too far outside of Lincolnist-Shermanist thought.

          Trump’s supporters do not have concerns that need to be addressed, because concerns specific to Trump’s supporters are invalid. They are invalid because either they assume that the Democrats are correct on some matter, or they haven’t seen everything and thought things through.

          The only problem of Sanders supporters that might need to be addressed is the fact that there are Sanders supporters.

          There are issues that need to be addressed, and won’t go away, but those are raised by the manifest incompetence and evil of Obama and the Democrats. A Democrat who who hasn’t proven his Republican bonafides, especially given all the other Republican traitors, will hide those issues and make it more difficult to address them.

        3. DID you actually read the national review articles? Almost all of them acknowledged that there are valid concerns but that Trump is a “burn it all down” alternative worse than well… Hillary. And that’s very bad indeed.
          I keep hearing this from Trump supporters and also “You called us names” Oh, yeah? For being anti-Trump I’ve been called everything but nice. And if you count a series of unhinged blog posters I’m not even worthy of being American if I don’t believe the Donald is my Lord and Savior.
          I’m going to tell you for various reasons I was forced to watch a few survivor episodes. I wouldn’t let the man babysit a syphilitic earthworm, much less be president.

          1. I would have been impressed with National Review if they had had a discussion, with people like Newt Gingrich and Dana Rohrabacher included rather than a series off hit pieces. I expect Bill Buckley is revolving at 2600 RPM. If Sam Francis or Russel Kirk, were still around they might have presented some other views. Or Wilmoore for that matter. It was a rather upsetting issue. I’m a charter subscriber and I may not renew after that one. I understand the viewpoint of the neocons at Weekly Standard, but I expected better from National Review.

      2. I really wonder how much actual Republican support Trump is getting. I read an article about him not doing as well in closed primaries and also that a lot of Democrats are crossing over to vote for him

        I can see that in a couple ways. People that are actually fans and feel that their party has deserted them and people that think he’s the best candidate for Hillary/Bernie to beat and are crossing over to help get the election to go the way they want.

        Have to agree with though, I can see him being way worse on executive order abuse than Obama ever dreamed of being.

        What the hell is wrong with people in this country that they are wanting Washington to rule instead of lead? It frustrates the me to no end to see the Bill of Rights eroding away.

        1. There was a discussion on IRC Tuesday morning about the Michigan primary and who would get what. I asked, “Is MI an open or closed primary state?” got the reply “Open primary” and then even the slow ox could call it in advance, “Then expect to hear about Trump and Sanders tonight.”

    3. all this talk of #NeverTrump is essentially the establishment saying that these peoples’ concerns aren’t valid or relevant (i.e., when we want your opinion, we’ll tell you what it is).

      Actually, I see all this talk of #neverTrump as essentially proving those people who feel disempowered and betrayed right.

      When he gets to the convention with over 1000 of the 1237 delegates to be nominee on the first round and is completely abandoned by the third in favor of Romney or some other retired squish as a “unity” canidate they’ll all point out to the Trump supporters that it was all according to the rules and that if Trump was such a good negotiator he would have won on the later rounds.

      Then on the day after Hillary wins 49 states they’ll bitch about how the conservatives all caused their loss by staying home and set out to be even more lefty to build a big tent with no room for the people who gave them majorities in both Houses of Congress from 1994 to 2000, 2002 to 2006, and 2014 to 2016.

      1. We shall see.

        That isn’t what my forecasting says is the highest probability for some of those events, but I have a lot of uncertainties, and tonight’s debate and Saturday’s primaries could change things.

        I am perhaps overemotional.

        1. Certain this is up in the air.

          If Trump hits the convention with 800 and Cruz 750 it would probably be easier to dislodge Trump. If Trump hits it with 1200+ but short of a majority the second ballot will pretty much ensure a fissure if they don’t nominate him.

          This is also, of course, made worse by them thinking that forcing him to sign that loyalty oath to support the nominee was a good idea. A Trump candidacy that comes into the convention with 1200+ delegates but not a majority would have a good reason to argue that in light of the loyalty oath the party elders substituting someone who didn’t run in the primaries for him is acting in bad faith.

          So, yes, the remaining primaries are important but so is not just dismissing his supporters. Attitudes such as:

          Trump’s supporters do not have concerns that need to be addressed, because concerns specific to Trump’s supporters are invalid. They are invalid because either they assume that the Democrats are correct on some matter, or they haven’t seen everything and thought things through.

          are in the end destructive. Even if we simply accept the correctness of you second and third sentences dismissal without attempts to explain to them why they are wrong will just leave them primed for Trump 2.0 in 2020. If you think Trump is bad and defeat him why at best calling his supporters ignorant beyond reinforcing their image of both parties you are asking for the next demogog to be both worse and harder to dislodge.

          1. If Cruz doesn’t win in 2016, things are going to change to make 2020 different in ways that won’t depend on the details of the 2016 primaries, and won’t be that foreseeable right now. Few could have seen in 2012 that letting Obama have another four years of screw ups would make Trump semi-viable.

            There are two sound positions on immigration. One is massacre, which we have no candidates for, as it isn’t politically viable yet. The other is law and order, which Cruz is running on. Trump positioned himself between the two, and will accomplish neither. Trump’s supporters either haven’t realized that yet, are Democrats, or have a concern that would be better addressed by Cruz in 2016, or the likes of me in 2020.

            Friends come through the gates, enemies come over the walls. Remember the grave crime Remus was put to death for, and by whom.

            1. Few could have seen in 2012 that letting Obama have another four years of screw ups would make Trump semi-viable.

              Actually, I don’t think Trump was viable until February 2015 when the promised fight over executive amnesty was a preemptive surrender., In November we were sold the fiscal 2015 Cromibus as the way to avoid shutting the whole goverment down to fight amnesty based on the loses we had in 2014 because of the 2013 shutdown (no, that makes no sense given the election results two weeks earlier but we were lectured that government shutdowns doom the GOP even then). When the threat to shutdown HSA was enough to cower the GOP when they setup the strategy in the first place destroyed the energy from 2014 Trump or someone like him not only became viable but at the same instant inevitable.

              The other is law and order, which Cruz is running on. Trump positioned himself between the two, and will accomplish neither. Trump’s supporters either haven’t realized that yet, are Democrats, or have a concern that would be better addressed by Cruz in 2016, or the likes of me in 2020.

              As I have said I voted Cruz in the Georgia primary and if Trump is the nominee voting for him will be as much party loyalty good and hard for those who demanded out of party loyalty I vote McCain and Romney (especially McCain…g*****n jet jocks…and the stories about him from the Academy and Navy youth who grew up around him didn’t help) as anything else.

              That said, as unfair as it is, Cruz is getting a double whammy. He is just another GOP Hilter if you follow Facebook*. At the same time to a lot of very disatifisied GOP voters he is a sitting Senator and thus is seen with the same contempt and distrust as Vichy Michy. It is wrong but that is the level of damage the past 15 years have done to the GOP brand with its own base.

              When Senator X (R) is enough to damn you as a traitor to the party’s ideals it is much easier for a Trump to gain traction.

              * How long have Dems been claiming the GOP was out to steal all your stuff? Since at least 1860 according to Lincoln’s first inaugeral address: “Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. “

              1. The betrayals by the establishment enabled A Trump. Obama’s splendid timing pushing immigration right alongside evidence that impeached his position enabled Trump to do well just by saying a few words on immigration.

                I’ve got wonder what stuff Obama’s been able to pull with the election drawing so much attention.

  11. For nearly every presidential election that I can remember, I held my nose and voted for the candidate that that liberal media had chosen for the Republicans, because he was better than the alternative. Well, this year, if Trump gets the nod, he is not better than the alternative, so I figure that I’ll have to cast my vote elsewhere.

    1. I see that you’ve been observing things and interpreting them in much the same way that I have. I really think the last two elections we had were both seriously skewed by the media, in that the people who wound up with the Republican nomination were not really the people most Republicans wanted, but the ones that the media gaslit them into choosing as being the “most electable”. And, as soon as they got the nomination, welllllll… Then, the knives came out, which I’m convinced were prepared and waiting.

      1. If you look at the voting stats from the states that have adopted voter ID, it is easily seen that democrat turnout is drastically down in those states, another indication of some truly massive fraud by the democrat party in those states.

      1. I do, also – live by the media, die by the media.
        I watched them fall all over, slobbering with adoration at Obama’s perfect pants crease … and forget that they have a job to do.
        Which is not to act as the Public Affairs Division of the Administration.

  12. I have to admit that I’m firmly in the ABC camp, anyone but Clinton.
    Remember Hillarycare, aka Obamacare beta?
    Remember the 1994 assault weapon ban, sold with a 10 year sunset clause because obviously it would solve so much gun violence that the renewal would be a slam dunk?
    And then the district shopping to find a way for her to stay in power, stay relevant in her own mind at least. Any self respecting first lady would have accepted retirement with grace and gone on to do good works.
    And too that “charitable” foundation that does precious little charity, but works exceedingly well as a slush fund for family jaunts and such.
    On that email thing, no one seems to bother asking the real fundamental question, why pay for a private server when as SecState you and your people were provided with a better system paid for by the government? The only logical answer is of course that she didn’t want her dealings vulnerable to FOIA requests. That it was a direct violation of Federal security regulations was immaterial.
    And finally, sometimes as a government official it is necessary that you lie to the public, issues of national security, fictions that serve the public interest. That’s understood. But HC looked the friends and families of four dead Americans in the eye and lied to them, then ordered her minions to promote that same lie to the American people, not to protect the country, but because the truth would have made her boss look bad seven weeks before a critical election.
    The fear that invades my nightmares of late is that the Republican party has screwed things up so terribly badly that they will wind up handing the election to Hillary on a silver platter. Should that occur, I predict four years of hell on earth with almost certain armed revolt. She would not be the first petty, greedy, vindictive piece of trash in the oval office, but arguably the worst.

    1. And worse, by being the first woman President, will poison the idea of a woman in the Presidency for generations. “See, this is what happens when a woman gets uppity and forgets her God-given place and presumes to take the authority that rightfully belongs to men.”

      We’re already this sort of talk coming out of the woodwork. Back in 2012, when there was all the carrying on about “don’t forget to set your clock back an hour, but don’t set your calendar back to 1950,” I was thinking that if some of these people weren’t careful, they’d end up with the calendar set back to 1850, or worse. Even then, I was already keeping an eye on some places where there was dark talk about women needing to be put back in “their place,” and it’s getting steadily worse.

      Hillary will steer the ship of state straight onto the rocks, and the people who pick up the pieces will likely be the sort who believe that it proves femaleness makes one incapable of responsibility, and make sure it never happens again by putting all women back under legal restrictions instead of recognizing that particular woman was both personally fatally flawed and a subscriber to a fatally flawed political philosophy.

      It’s too bad that Elizabeth Dole or Condoleeza Rice couldn’t have been our first woman President. But that’s not what this timeline got, and we’re here for the duration.

      1. Or Sarah Palin. Someone with executive experience.A woman who rose to power NOT being the wife of a male politician. IOW, what the Democrats say they want a woman to be- but don’t really.

    2. Agreed completely.

      The meeting Rafael Cruz spoke at last night was at a black church in a very depressed Chicago suburb. The ill-informed bitterness I heard from some of the local parishioners was a big surprise. I have a lot of contact in those burbs over the past 10 years, and it was there all along, but only among a few cranks. The outright misinformation I heard some of them spout last night was shocking. These folks have been force fed blatant lies for so long they consider it the truth and now have been really stirred up by the local hustlers. The Republican Party has done them a grave dis-service by not coming in their with truth squads. Of course, the Illinois Republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Illinois Democratic Party, so any attempt to try this would be stopped before it started.

      The hopelessness was shocking also. These people expected that 0bama would create a paradise for them. Many were expecting reperations for their great-grandparents’ slavery, claiming PTSD because their ancestors were slaves, and have been taught that even trying to get out of their situation is hopeless in the face of white privilege. Giving them concrete examples of locals who have made good by hard work and perserverence was discounted with contempt. There were a couple of socialist agitators there too who blamed everything on white capitalists.

      We are going to be decades recovering, if we ever do. Rev. Cruz tried to get them to see there was much in common to start working together on. Many agreed, but most were skeptical.

    3. I think I’d rank them (in order of bad, worse, worst) as Trump = bad, Sanders = worse, Clinton = Worst.

      The email thing is what IMHO truly disqualifies Clinton from election to anything other than a prison cell. It shows she puts her own interests beyond those of her country and that she really doesn’t care about laws, whether others are harmed or anything else as long as she gets to do what she wants.

      I think neither Trump nor Sanders are likely to be able to do very much but Sanders appears to be more innumerate than Trump and therefore more likely to try and do something really stupid

  13. I know exactly how your Dad must have felt, Amanda. We were, nominally, Catholics growing up, but if you dug deep enough you’d find that the family’s true faith was “professing Democrat.”

    My grandparents had a very popular print of John F. Kennedy and John XXIII walking away from a tree they’d planted together in the foreground. In my family, the sentiment was that it was very kind of His Eminence to share his picture with the Pope.

    1. Irish Catholics.

      When mom was a kid, there was a wall that had a picture of Jesus top and center, then the Pope and JFK.

      I don’t know who was on the left and right side, there, and wouldn’t hazard a guess.

      By the time I can remember they’d been pretty burned by what they probably would’ve described as basically the black sheep in the party getting power, but there’s no loyalty to the Republicans exactly– just the Republicans are the only party that has anything compatible with their views.

      1. Irish Catholics.

        Lord, don’t get me started on them. I know a LOT of Cook County Irish Catholics (lot of them in-laws) who are conservative, but keep on voting the same “Irish Catholic” democrats back in power every election. Damn near all of them pro-life but are represented in government at every level by rabid pro abortion politicians.

  14. I have never voted for a Democrat in a partisan election.

    I remember the partisan feuds of the Bush administration.

    The Democrat side of those feuds has proven dishonest, because of their silence when Obama did similar things. The Democrat side of those feuds have proven wrong, because every suggestion of theirs that Obama has implemented has been a disaster.

    There is a divide between the sides of the feuds. Trump appears to be genuinely on the other side of that divide.

    Trump’s greater success in open primaries suggests that many of his supporters are likewise essentially Democrats. Which suggests that ‘establishment’ opposition to him is long term registered Republicans.

    Trump is a donor, except too far left to have donated to Republicans much recently. He has more in common with Republican donors than with Republican volunteer political workers. Republican volunteer political workers ticked at Republican elected officials selling out to the donors aren’t certain to feel accommodated.

    I’ve heard that even subtracting Trump voters, Republican turnout has been greater than previous year’s primaries. Those non-Trump voters are not going to be disenchanted at Trump losing the primary, and would still represent a good start on the general.

  15. “There were some discussions when my folks would talk about whether they should vote or not because their votes would simply cancel one another out.”

    Reminds me of this Dilbert:


    And while it might be playing dirty, my thought on that particular situation is, “Go, Dogbert, go!”

  16. A Republic, if you can keep it.
    We might not.
    But even at that extreme, there remains much to love about the country. Even when governed by tyrants or demagogues, Athens remained Athens. Things changed, but more stayed the same.

    You can say many things about Trump. (I certainly have.) But it is not in doubt that he loves the country.
    That makes him miles better than the current president, or either of the Democratic party’s candidates.

    I’d much like to preserve the Republic, and I strongly back Cruz.
    But if my countrymen do not agree, and the day comes when I am called upon to help choose our despot, I will strongly back Trump.
    (On the bright side, he won’t try to declare my drivewaya federally protected wetland. Which again, puts him miles ahead of the current president.)

      1. 1) Seize private lands for public use 2) set them aside as a reservation for an Indian tribe consisting of politically reliable proxies 3) ‘tribal’ casino

    1. I’m not even sure I can go so far as to say that Trump loves this country. An important aspect of loving this country is a fundamental, deep respect for the Constitution. Trump has demonstrated ignorance, and even a little bit of antagonism, towards the Constitution; this makes me doubt his proclaimed love for this country…

  17. Interesting matter on twitter now.

    Breitbart was set up by the late Andrew Breitbart as a conservative media platform. It has since gone in big for Trump.

    It is alleged that a Trump staffer assaulted a Breitbart reporter. Furthermore, it is alleged that the reporter will be fired, and the staffer kept on.

    Now, I am sympathetic to the idea that quite a lot of media types could use a beating. However, where does one draw the line between the folks that have it coming to them, and the ordinary folks exercising their right of free speech? Sadly, it seems we ought to enforce the assault laws in a way that protects everyone.

  18. The Donald might claim that he is uniting the party and bringing in more voters but is he really?

    I think that’s a creative– in the “fairy gold” sense– spin on him getting a lot of the Ronulan vote, and pulling a bunch of Democrats.
    (Not the Democrats who would vote for him in the general, but the ones who like bandwagons or maybe believe their vote won’t matter on their side, so are picking the guy they dislike the least to run against her in the only place they’ve got a chance of it mattering.)

    Gotta admit, the party is pretty united in having a strong reaction to “The Donald.” :wry:

    1. Some of the Democrat or independents he is bringing in seem to be white nationalists who aren’t chasing after his fundamental leftism.

      Despite what I said on MHN, I don’t actually think they would have otherwise voted for Bernard Sanders.

      1. You know how on surveys you can usually get between three and thirteen percent that respond with utterly monkey-nugget insane answers?

        I call that the “crazy vote.”

        A lot of the Ronulans– which is not to be confused with Ron Paul supporters as a group, just the bug nuts moon bombs– are part of that crazy vote.

        Most of the really distasteful folks I’ve heard enough from to judge are definitely in there, like “the call screener for Coast to Coast AM has you on block” level crazy.

          1. In my class of… I think we were 43… there were two guys who bragged about the “screwing with people at every chance” thing, including on any standardized test they didn’t care about.

            in my first shop, we ran at 50% for not thinking it was The Most Awesome Game Ever to do so.

            So I think his Lizardman Constant is a little low. 😀

        1. Larry Elder calls this the “Elvis factor”, for the fact that about 10% of the population seems to believe that Elvis is still alive.

          To complicate matters: how many of these people actually believe this, though, and how many of these people are just pulling the legs of surveyors? Or, for that matter, how many of us actually believe something crazy, but only 3% to 13% of our ideas are that crazy–and thus, we have a 3% to 13% chance of having a survey that catches any one person’s brand of crazy?

          (And this is one reason why, while we should have some measure of respect for surveys, we should also keep in mind that we should always take them with a grain of salt as well. Statistics, after all, is merely a way to methodically take a stab at getting a halfway decent picture of what’s actually going on…)

      2. For at least two decades the left has been pushing whiteness studies and white consciousness. They figured such a program would allow them to universalize and eternalize white guilt which had started to fade.

        They were too stupid to understand that no one is going to base their identity on being the evilist of evil and that any white consiousness would be at best a white power movement and at works a white supremicist one (I put white nationalism somewhere in between but close to the supremicist pole).

        Well, now those chickens are coming home to roost. Trump might be the next logical step on achieving a long term Democrat goal: permenant balkinization by race with the GOP becoming the white party and the Dems the brown one. Not sure where they yellow will go (they are mostly Dem but California is challenging that via affirmative action that harms east Asians more than whites).

        1. “They were too stupid to understand that no one is going to base their identity on being the evilist of evil ”

          Well, other than our hostess and the rest of the ELOE.

        2. As has been said before, if you’re gonna get the hate anyway, why not go whole hog and try and get something for it.

          TBH I place a lot of the anger at the idea that ethnic grievances seem to be giving great power to people and the people that have been on the underside of that are recognizing it and trying to react. Figure if I’m gonna be played for a fool by others banding about by race I may as well join in.

          1. Okay, but I want Herb to explain “whiteness studies” — yes, I know he’s being sarcastic, but we’re in the middle of house negotiations from hell. So, be compassionate, yes.

            1. I am not being sarcastic:


              From the Wikipedia article:

              Whiteness studies is an interdisciplinary arena of inquiry that has developed beginning in the United States, particularly since the late 20th century, and is focused on what proponents describe as the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of people identified as white, and the social construction of whiteness as an ideology tied to social status. Pioneers in the field include W. E. B. Du Bois (“Jefferson Davis as a Representative of Civilization”; 1890; Darkwater, 1920), James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time, 1963), Theodore W. Allen (The Invention of the White Race, 1976, expanded in 1995), Ruth Frankenberg (White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness, 1993), author and literary critic Toni Morrison (Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, 1992) and historian David Roediger (The Wages of Whiteness, 1991). By the mid-1990s, numerous works across many disciplines analyzed whiteness, and it has since become a topic for academic courses, research and anthologies.


              White academics in the United States and the United Kingdom (UK) began to study whiteness as early as 1983, creating the idea of a discipline called “whiteness studies”.[citation needed] The “canon wars” of the late 1980s and 1990s, a political controversy over the centrality of white authors and perspectives in United States culture, led scholars to ask “how the imaginative construction of ‘whiteness’ had shaped American literature and American history.”[13] The field developed a large body of work during the early 1990s, extending across the disciplines of “literary criticism, history, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, popular culture, communication studies, music history, art history, dance history, humor studies, philosophy, linguistics, and folklore.”[14]

              As of 2004, according to The Washington Post, at least 30 institutions in the United States including Princeton University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of New Mexico and University of Massachusetts Amherst offer, or have offered, courses in whiteness studies.

              It is a thing they have been working on for quite some time. I first heard about it when UMass: Amherst offered it’s first courses which would have been late 90s if memory serves.

                1. You’d been writing Through Fire and having severe medical issues when a lot of the rot was coming out of the woodwork.

            2. And believe me I wish the whiteness studies thing was a mix of my cynicism and all the Jameson and Guinness of last night talking (no Bailey’s…I mean, who has Flogging Molly on stage and doesn’t stalk Bailey’s…I was looking forward to a night of irish car bombs and had to forgo one component)..

        3. The better general term is ethnic loyalism. The Democrats have been broadly pushing ethnic loyalism.

          Ethnic loyalism encompasses white nationalism, white supremacism (hence gun control 🙂 ), white seperatism, black nationalism, race-as-culture, race-as-religion et cetera.

          I don’t think America’s politics can be permanently balkanized by race. I don’t think such factions would be stable enough over the long term. If you are born into a faction, you cannot switch factions if someone offers you a better deal. The balance of power cannot be kept even by competition, so it becomes likely that sooner or later a faction will obtain great strength, and have an incentive to consolidate.

          I also doubt the cohesion of a brown, or especially a brown and yellow, faction.

          I doubt the cohesion of a white faction.

          1. This- Americans are too mobile and too willing to marry/mate outside their own race or culture.

            1. We had a faction of some whites, that was heavily polarized against other whites. That faction was viable for a time.

              We have another ethnic faction that formed later, in reaction to the first faction, but I think it is less cohesive than the people in it assume.

              Can this second ethnic faction polarize the rest of American society? Dunno, but their behavior as a faction doesn’t really disprove the stereotype that racists are destructive losers.

              Can the third wave intersectional feminists do it? I dunno.

              It there any point to me making any forecasts? I dunno, but I’m probably not going to stop now. 🙂

          2. I also doubt the cohesion of a brown, or especially a brown and yellow, faction.

            I don’t know what to take away from the following story:

            On the one hand, it shows the natural limits of pandering to a particular minority group, especially when the circumstances for the two groups are so different (see also California university admittance stats).

            On the other hand, both sides seem to still be relying on the same political group for support without realizing the extent of the conflict, and rather than blame the tribal politics, the officer’s side seems to be willing to blame whites for the problem.

          3. Not so much white supremacy. After all, most of the white supremacists are black. (Oreo, acting white, etc.)

    2. I must be more tired than I thought.

      I read this ” Ronulan vote” as Romulan Vote and wondered when we’d made contact. 😉

  19. Nixon’s biggest problem was that he didn’t have a good team around him and they had hired folks inept enough to be caught and who were willing to talk. Nixon’s other problem was that he had what would never be called a warm personality.

    I think Nixon’s biggest problem was actually his loyalty to his minions – if he had disavowed the Plumbers and fired a few WH operatives as sacrifices to the media as soon as the burglary news started to be tied to the White House, “more in sorrow than in anger”, he would have served out his term. Now maybe Jimmeh would still have won the next election riding on the increased general dislike of Nixon from the media, but it’s also likely that the messes in Vietnam and in the middle east would have gone differently without Nixon being preoccupied and then basically paralyzed by the scandal and impeachment, and with a few foreign policy wins under his belt the next election would at least have been a lot closer.

    1. Agreed. Of course those minions found me to be “too inflexible” to get the Assistant Secretary post that the Reagan people wanted for me, but Nixon was loyal to the people around him/. too much so, I would have said.

      The weird part about Watergate is that bugging the DNC chairman’s office wouldn’t have been very useful even had it been accomplished, and I suspect it may already have been done anyway; certainly its occupants had to assume so.

      1. here I feel forced to note that Mensa claims Nixon sent a letter to Mensa asking for help in finding people (I presume not insiders, but who knows) for his administration. If true this shows exemplary naivite, as raw IQ measurement has nothing to do with actual ability to perform a job, much less a job in politics.

        1. One of his staffers asked for recommendations. They get no one they hired for this. Kennedy and then Johnson had added to the civil service and filled the civil-service exempt slots with their own people. The bright idea was that Mensa might suggest some people who were just experts at the posts needed which were not political, but were not for dolts; many of those civil service posts are not very well paid; you can get party hacks and broke relatives to fill them, but that’s not what you want; ideally you want technocrats who will just do the damn job well. They were harder to find then than now in the Second Depression, only now they aren’t wanted.

          Nixon agreed that this might be a good idea, and no harm done, but I don’t recall anyone hired through a Mensa recommendation. Some middle management jobs really don’t need political conviction as much as expertise.

        2. To be fair to Nixon (1) credentials (inlcuding IQ) meant more in the 70s, when college degrees were far more rare (2) Halberstam’s “Best and Brightest”, arguably the first post mortem of the failures of the whiz-kid technocrats in the US only came out in 1972. Our soi disant “intellectual superiors” had not yet completely discredited themselves in those early years. Sadly, the current crop of whiz kids is less educated and more arrogant. Sigh.

    2. McCain’s problem was he hired Democrats who sold books calling all Republicans morons as soon as the election was over.

          1. Democrats & the MSM (but I repeat myself) only viewed McCain as a tool.
            I believe that only McCain likes McCain.

        1. I didn’t much like McCain either. I was set to vote Libertarian that year, but the only reason I didn’t, was that I heard a rumor that Utah was likely to vote for Obama (on account of the youth vote), and I didn’t want Utah to do that, so I held my nose and voted McCain anyway.

          My fear turned out to be unwarranted, though: Utah went 80% McCain that year.

  20. thanks, everyone, for commenting. I had real life smack me hard in the face yesterday. I promise to be back later today to respond. This morning is for playing catch up.

  21. I honestly find the primaries somewhat encouraging because they break a long silence. A certain amount of populism is healthy in a democracy.

    As far as I can tell, economists agree that free trade increases the economy’s of the participating nations. And also agree that free trade adversely impacts the poorer members of a nation running a trade deficit.

    Now, this isn’t simple – because there are technological trends also driving labor costs… But, eh, the lower middle class has done reasonably poorly over the past 40 years. (1974-2014) Per capita GDP doubled. (27k->55k) But, the average household income of the lower 50% went from 25k to 26k. While the income of this nation doubled, we left our poor behind. It is reasonable, and probably also correct, to assume that our free trade pacts have driven some fraction of this effect.

    Similarly, 16% or so of our labor forces consist of immigrants, both illegal and legal. Asserting that this doesn’t drive down labor prices in the US is a pretty long stretch. There are a lot of lower income voters with real reasons for anger.

    And realistically, if driving down the income of half our citizens is considered problematic, legislative fixes could be relatively easy. Free trade pacts most likely come with higher income taxes at the high end. It is a reasonable deal. That no one proposed. Or, modest tariffs based on trade deficits…. The whole ‘everyone wins’ narrative was never true.

    For illegal immigration, building a wall is silly. It would be more effective to hand out some sort of ID to people allowed to seek employment. And then to allow hiring companies to immunize themselves from prosecution by checking and registering that ID in a database. And then by allowing people without work status the right to sue for 5x damages if they were underpaid relative to people with work status…call it anti-exploitation legislation. 😉 Assuming that illegal immigration isn’t driving down wages – I’d expect no effect.

    For legal immigration, the assertion is that legal immigration just brings in people with difficult to find skillsets. So, allow unlimited H1B with the following modifications. (a) all H1B hires must start in the upper 75% percentile of the next grade upwards, (b) each hire must be accompanied with a 100k USD bond. That bond may be claimed by anyone with right to work who submits and completes a training plan of 1 year or less aimed at developing the required skillset. if unclaimed, return to company at end of one year (c) H1B status allows the worker right to work for 5 years. Assuming 4 years of employment history within those 5 years, the worker automatically gets a green card. (avoids the wholly coincidental ‘no raises for H1B until they get a green card’ effect. Basically, immigrants can switch jobs too…) Since, naturally, in this country, we only use H1B to bring in people with missing skill-sets that would take forever to train, I’d expect no effect. Call this the H1B Expansion Act. For people who are genuinely talented, I’d expect no effect – as they’re worth paying premium wages for anyways….

    Up until this election, neither party said a word. Which probably is a big fraction of the reason that Trump and Sanders are so popular this year.

    The good thing is, going forwards, Trump has made pretty concrete the fact that most Republican voters care more about personal economics and social/racial issues than about small government. I prefer the idea of negotiation and dialogue to simply ignoring the majority of the base. He may well have lanced a growing boil on America’s body politic. Basically, if you divide the base into: bigots, business, labor, and small government, it appears that bigots and labor have a majority – so they’re taking over. This is probably healthier than the tail wagging the dog…

    1. Oh. The “Income has decreased.” Two things you’re not taking into account, beyond lies, damn lies and statistics: the lower class aren’t the same people every time. We were there thirty years ago, but not anymore. It tends to be, in hte US “the province of the young.”
      Second, what does it buy? Yeah, sure, food has gone up like crazy, but people in that income bracket had a cell phone before I did, have large screen TVs and homes with airconditioning.
      Call 1974 and ask how much for that.
      The “the middle class is stuck” cry is a thing of socialists. It goes with “there’s inequality.”
      PFUI. Both fail to be crisis, and people looking only at statistics can never understand why the promised revolution will NOT materialize. (Rolls eyes.)
      SERIOUSLY the problem is that everyone’s job/situation is changing, people are scared and looking for a man on a white horse. Populist? Maybe. But mostly it’s cult of personality. A real populist movement wouldn’t have fastened on two members of the elite.

Comments are closed.