In Praise of Donald Trump

Hi, Trumpniks! Sick of winning yet?

I was going to go into a follow-up piece on the Michael Wolff book, and whether or not it is true, and whether that even matters when your boy said Obama was a Kenyan and his inaugural crowd was bigger than Obama’s.

But… Christ on a cracker, folks.

Speaking of crackers, it looks like Trump referring to Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries” had the desired effect on his base. I saw some of my Republican Facebook friends saying things like “Trump is like the Honey Badger” and “he’s playing the media like a fiddle.”

Too bad he didn’t say that stuff before Darrell Issa announced his retirement. Issa, of course, is a prominent California Congressman and longtime enemy of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. This week (before Thursday) Issa announced he was retiring. That makes 31 House Republicans – so far – that are retiring this year rather than running for re-election. The Democrats only need to take 24 seats to regain the House. These retirements will not guarantee that result, but those Republicans are giving up the critical advantage of incumbency.

It creates the impression that Congressional Republicans aren’t eager to run with Donald Trump as the representative of their party. They used to stick with him when he was riding high, and now they’re stuck to him. Like a tar baby. Look, I can say racially offensive stuff. Apparently it’s back in style.

I mean, I don’t get it. Donald Trump has been saying racist, oblivious shit for years and years, and all of a sudden, he’s not cool.

Representative Mia Love, who is both a black Haitian and a Utah Mormon, gave a statement saying “the president’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.” Otherwise known as “Thursday.”

All this might explain why Trump cancelled an already controversial trip to London next month, ostensibly because Obama made a “bad deal” in moving our embassy. Before he was inaugurated.  And I thought it was because Trump is a cowardly little punk who didn’t want to face hostile crowds in a country where people don’t feel obliged to kiss his ass and treat him like God. I mean, Britain already has a Queen. They don’t need a second one.

And while the Trumpniks are as loyal as ever, the question is how many of them there still are. SurveyMonkey recently did a poll analysis for 2017 over several demographics. Liberals don’t want to admit how much of Trump’s 2016 victory was due to votes from blacks, Hispanics, and white women. But according to this survey, while 23 percent of black men support Trump, only 11 percent of black women do. He also has at least a plurality of Hispanic men (40%) but women in all groups disapprove of him. While he recieved 49% of the vote among college-educated white women, now 66% disapprove of him. In 2016, 66% of whites without a college degree voted for Trump. Now, only 56% overall approve of him. That’s a 10 percent drop compared to the last vote.

So while a lot of them may be putting on a brave face, I suspect the Trumpniks are feeling a little demoralized. Thus, for their sake, and to help explain to the rest of us why so many people support – or supported – Trump, I wanted to make a few points … in praise of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump killed him a b’ar when he was only 3.

The reason Chuck Norris never fought Donald Trump was because he was afraid Trump would kick his ass.

This week, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he was a great athlete as a kid. In fact, when he was in military academy, Trump rode a cougar in the equestrian event. He could pull a tractor 50 yards. He never actually pulled one, because they didn’t have one at the military academy. He could squat over a coconut and crush it with his testicles. That’s right, he could crush nuts with his nuts. This level of physical prowess is all the more remarkable considering those bone spurs.

How many plane crashes did Trump prevent? ALL of them. THAT’s how many.

Donald Trump drove the snakes from Ireland.

(‘Wasn’t that St. Patrick?’ ‘Fake news.’)

Roseanne Conner voted for Trump because he used his holy touch to bring Dan back from the dead.

Donald Trump made the Grand Canyon.

He was vacationing in Arizona and lost his wallet.

While Donald Trump was in Vietnam, his unit was pinned down by enemy machinegun fire. His squad was ordered to attack the machinegun nests from behind. He was the last survivor of the attack. He managed to flank the nearest enemy trench and fired individual rifle shots with such accuracy that all of the Germans surrendered. Then he got their officer to get the men on the adjacent line to surrender, and he ended up returning to camp with 132 prisoners.

(‘Wait, didn’t Trump get a draft deferment for the bone spurs?’ ‘Forget it, he’s rolling.’)

Donald Trump made pork kosher.

Look, it doesn’t matter if he can make pork kosher. Because it doesn’t matter what his in-laws think, he’s Donald Trump, and he’s going to eat pork.

Donald Trump has advanced the libertarian movement more than anyone in decades. Because now liberals and centrists know why we hate the government.

And Donald Trump says he has done more in one year than any other president. And this is true. After less than one year in office, he has proven to be more racist than FDR, more vulgar than LBJ, more corrupt and authoritarian than Nixon, more incompetent than Carter, more gullible than Reagan, more of a plutocrat than Bush Senior, a bigger liar than Bill Clinton, more clueless than Bush Junior, and more racially polarizing than Barack Obama.

Truly, unpresidented. It is to be hoped that such a record of achievement will never be equaled or exceeded by any future president. Assuming we get to have one.

Steve Bannon, RIP

Steve Bannon’s political career died today. He was fired from his last remaining job as editor of Breitbart News by the site’s owners, who include the billionaire Mercer family that financially supported both Bannon and Russian Viceroy Donald Trump. Steve Bannon is 64 years old. His political career was 14.

Born to a family of working class Irish Democrats, Steve Bannon attended Virginia Tech after graduating high school. During the summers he lived at home and took a job at a local junkyard, often coming home so dirty that his Mom would force him to strip to his underwear and rinse off with a hose before being allowed into the house. This set a standard of personal hygiene that he has maintained to this day.

Bannon ultimately received degrees from multiple universities, and served in the US Navy from the late 1970s to early 80s. After military service, he became an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, a resume point that he shares in common with many others in the Trump Administration. Using this position, Bannon and some colleagues started an investment bank that negotiated a sale of Castle Rock Entertainment, Bannon & Co accepting a payment in the form of stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld, for which he still receives cash residuals each time the show is aired. In the mid-2000s, Bannon also, through Goldman Sachs, took over a media company that was renamed Affinity Media. Through his work in media, Bannon was introduced to right-wing publisher, Andrew Breitbart. With him, Steve Bannon founded the Breitbart News site. Bannon helped publish Clinton Cash, an expose’ of the Clinton Foundation, by Breitbart editor-at-large Peter Schweizer. He has also worked as vice president at Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis owned by the Mercer family.

When Andrew Breitbart died in 2012, Bannon became executive chair for the Breitbart company.  Under its namesake founder, Breitbart.com had been famous for its political incorrectness, but under Bannon, the site became much more focused on what Bannon called a “nationalist” agenda including attacks on Muslim immigrants in both Europe and the United States. In 2016 he declared to a reporter that the site was a “platform for the alt-right.”  While Bannon denied specifically being an anti-Semite, he had once referred to himself as “the (Leni) Riefenstahl of the GOP.”  It is also uncertain why Bannon would associate with anti-Semites when he still gets Seinfeld money, but it could be that he is just as tired of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David as the rest of us.

Bannon’s credentials were apparently enough to get him referred to the Donald Trump campaign in 2016, even though in 2015, GAI, a research firm founded by Bannon and Schweitzer had done opposition research on alleged deals between Trump companies and organized crime.  Once Trump received the Republican nomination in 2016, the Mercer family offered monetary support and the assistance of conservative media woman Kellyanne Conway and Bannon (the Mercers are also backers of GAI).  Bannon became Trump’s campaign strategist. His main contribution was perhaps the use of his media platform to endorse a populist agenda that set candidate Trump not only against much of the corporate-friendly Republican Party but also the corporate-friendly Democratic Party. Breitbart.com was also quick to pounce on any negative rumors about Hillary Clinton and her campaign, which ended up being instrumental in her electoral defeat and some of which turned out to be spread by Russian sources.

During the post-election transition, Donald Trump appointed Bannon to the unique position of Chief Strategist, going to the extent of dropping the Joint Chiefs of Staff from National Security Council meetings with the president in order to allow for Bannon’s presence. During the early days of the Trump Administration, Bannon along with Pee-Wee Herman Lookalike Contest Winner Stephen Miller was involved in the creation of Executive Order 13769, aka the “Muslim ban” that was mostly thrown out by courts. Bannon’s influence over the Administration was such that he was often jokingly referred to as “President Bannon,” raising the ire of the famously touchy Trump. During 2017, Bannon’s other major contribution to politics was to encourage Trump to side with the white nationalists during the Charlottesville protest where one person was killed by a vehicle. Given Bannon’s reputation, the NAACP and other groups called on Trump to fire him. To save face, Bannon said he had planned to resign after his one-year anniversary – as campaign chairman – on August 14. He also said that due to the “tumult” in Charlottesville, Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had agreed to delay the announcement until after the Charlottesville protest.

At this point Bannon returned to his position as Breitbart executive chairman, telling the conservative press, “I’ve got my hands back on my weapons”. Bannon planned to use his position outside the Washington establishment to agitate for what he called “economic nationalism” and the populist social conservatism that worked in the Trump campaign. To do this he planned to support candidates of like mind against the agenda of Washington professionals like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. His main test case was in the Alabama special election when he supported theocratic “Judge” Roy Moore against Luther Strange, the Republican appointed by Alabama’s governor after Senator Jeff Sessions became Trump’s attorney general. Trump, for once towing the party line, endorsed Strange half-heartedly, but Bannon rallied the Tea Party Right and supporters like Sarah Palin on behalf of Moore, who won the Republican primary in September and set up a race against Democrat Doug Jones.
This of course was before the Washington Post reported allegations of Moore dating teenage girls and molesting one when he was in his thirties. Yet Bannon continued to campaign fiercely for Moore, even mocking Ivanka Trump for saying “there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” Even so, the stakes were such that the Republican establishment – now including Trump – joined the offensive for Moore while the negative publicity increased, Jones intensified his campaign and Moore himself retreated from the press, setting up a Jones victory that made him the first Democratic Senator from Alabama to be elected since 1986. Politically, Bannon engineered a screaming catastrofuck that already compares to the Battle of Stalingrad in terms of its strategic damage to the Republican Party, damage that could have been avoided at several points. For this monumental achievement, Bannon was praised by at least one conservative as “the most effective Democratic Party strategist since James Carville”.

The primary short term result of the Alabama race was to destroy what remained of Bannon’s reputation for competency within conservative circles. Bannon was already unpopular with establishment Republicans for both professional and personal reasons, with Rep. Pete King (R.-New York) saying after the Alabama election that “he looks like some disheveled drunk who wandered onto the national stage”. Bannon’s patron, Robert Mercer, was put under scrutiny by the New Yorker magazine largely because of his connections to Bannon and the activities of Cambridge Analytica. As a result he decided in November to end his political activities and sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughters. However, Bannon still retained some clout with Donald Trump himself, as evidenced by Trump’s willingness to campaign for Moore in the first place.

The fatal blow was the now-famous release of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, an expose’ that Wolff compiled with interviews made during the later stages of the Trump campaign through the early part of the Trump Administration. Much of it relies on interviews and accounts with Bannon, which serve to confirm his already-established reputation as one of the White House staff’s primary leakers, mainly at the expense of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (as he called them, ‘Jarvanka’). He also specifically told Wolff that Donald Trump Jr’s June 2016 meeting with Russian nationals (before Bannon was on the campaign) was a bad idea: “”Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.” He added, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.” (Bannon also said that the information deal would have been better handled by indirect delivery to Breitbart ‘or maybe some other more legitimate publication’, possibly admitting that it isn’t one.)

For this, Donald Trump gave an official statement to the press pool on January 3 saying “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency”, which of course was only true in the present tense. Trump also paid tribute to him by saying: “Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself” which was the main thing the two men had in common. Back at Breitbart, Bannon tried to maintain his position but Rebekah Mercer, his last patron, withdrew her support and today it was announced on Breitbart.com that he had “stepped down”.

Steve Bannon’s legacy is primarily in the association of American right-wing politics with reactionary nationalism and racism, thus tarnishing the reputation of Andrew Breitbart’s website and the entire Republican Party. In pushing the badly-drafted “Muslim” immigrant ban, Bannon set an early precedent that helped to undermine American soft power and the trust of the international community, and more directly antagonized a large section of the American civil service against the Administration. He will also be remembered for undermining the prestige of facial hair.

Steve Bannon is survived by three daughters and three ex-wives, the second of whom cited his anti-Semitic remarks at their divorce hearing and who also made domestic violence charges against him that were dropped when she failed to appear in court, an absence that she claims was due to legal threats against her from Bannon’s lawyer. However, Bannon’s proudest and most famous child is the squalling man-baby he helped install in the White House, a student who betrayed and destroyed his teacher once he was powerful enough to survive on his own, thus fulfilling the ancient Rule of Two.

 

You Never Go Full Trump

You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”
-Donald Trump, technically speaking in anecdote

Happy New Year…

Of course, January 3rd was the worst and weirdest day of the Trump Administration, breaking the 347 records set by the 347 previous days. But prior to that, much of the buzz in media was set by Viceroy Trump’s latest taunt of Kim Jong Un, with what The Atlantic accurately described as “The Most Irresponsible Tweet in History”  (which is a bit like ‘Most Unmusical Yoko Ono Song’). And about the same time, media were going on about Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who is retiring apparently against the wishes of Donald Trump, because that seems to clear a path for Mitt Romney to run for his seat. And in the center-left Mainstream Media, I kept seeing all these musings about how Romney was supposed to be a Trump-skeptic conservative. Except of course when he was a presidential candidate asking for Trump’s endorsement. Or when he came to Trump after the election petitioning for a Cabinet post.  It’s a testimony to liberal-establishment naivete – or selective amnesia – that journalists were looking for a sign of hope in the prospect of Romney rejoining Republican politics when they were roasting his motives the last time he ran for office.

What I would like “progressives” to admit is that they’re the real conservatives. That is, they want to go back to the glory days of the Great Society and the New Deal. They want to restore a political establishment that was working just fine – for them. They honestly think that their approach to things is the a priori truth, and they seriously seem to think that if you can just bring back the “reasonable” Republicans and get a Democrat back in the White House again, everything will get back to normal.

What they have to accept is that things will NEVER get back to normal again.

And we know why.

On January 3, New York Magazine’s website posted an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s coverage of the Trump campaign transitioning to the Trump Administration: “Michael Flynn, the retired general who served as Trump’s opening act at campaign rallies, had been told by his friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. “Well, it would only be a problem if we won,” Flynn assured them.
“Not only did Trump disregard the potential conflicts of his own business deals and real-estate holdings, he audaciously refused to release his tax returns. Why should he? Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.
“Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy. ”

This only confirms my personal theory that if anyone was more shocked and horrified by Donald Trump’s win than Hillary Clinton, it was Donald Trump.

This piece is only an excerpt from Wolff’s upcoming book, but almost every paragraph is a new revelation in What The Fuck, from what is already the most WhatTheFuck presidency in our history. For example, when Roger Ailes advised Trump to hire John Boehner as his chief of staff. Trump’s response: “Who’s that?”

As I’ve said, Trump has been spoiled all his life and has never had to pay the consequences for his incompetence and malice, and in the back of his mind, he realizes this. He knows he’s a fraud.

Trump just realized the same thing everybody else did – that our political system is a sick joke. So he figured the best way to get in on the gag was to run for president, knowing better than anyone else how inadequate he was. It was just another stage in his career of branding himself as a success rather than actually being successful at anything other than branding. But then came the punchline to the sick joke: Trump won. And at that point, he realized there was no point in trying to conceal his moral and intellectual inadequacy, since clearly nothing mattered.

That’s why, even if Trump didn’t actively conspire with Russia to win the election, he still compulsively presents the image of being Putin’s bitch, because that’s the way he is, all insecurity and projection. The whole basis of Trump’s political career is a bad-faith argument, so why is that one part any different?

But even that isn’t the issue. As I keep saying: Trump is not the problem. The problem is a political party that would accept being ruled by a Trump.

When Romney lost to President Obama in 2012, Republicans came up with their famous “autopsy”  review of what happened in that election and how the Republican Party could turn around. The overall recommendation was to make the Republican Party more, well, democratic:

“AMERICA LOOKS DIFFERENT – If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them and show our sincerity. … We recommend the formation of a new Growth and Opportunity Inclusion Council within the RNC … Women are not a ‘coalition.’ They represent more than half the voting population in the country, and our inability to win their votes is losing us elections. Female voters want to hear the facts; many of them run the economies of their homes and understand economics better than the men in their families. But they are also the caregivers for their families. Women need to hear what our motive is — why it is that we want to create a better future for our families and how our policies will affect the lives of their loved ones. Those are things that cannot be communicated well in graphs and charts … the RNC must design, fund, and implement an agressive early voting and absentee effort for target races … GROUPTHINK IS A LOSER – Our friends and allies must realize that the Party is at its best as the Party of ideas, and healthy debate of those ideas is fundamentally good for the Republican Party.”

Well, so much for that idea. The “Growth and Opportunity Project” was a bit too much like the Democratic mentality (especially in using a spiffy communique of graphs and charts to say that you can’t convert people with graphs and charts) but it addressed the fundamental reality of representative government, especially in our “first past the post” election system: To win, you need a majority of votes. If you don’t attract a majority of voters – or actually alienate the people who are out there – you doom yourself to minority status. Thus a party that appeals to only whites, especially white men, will doom itself to minority status even before this country officially becomes white-plurality.

But while this theory seems inescapable, in practice the theoretical majority (of liberal whites, women and minorities) is often not a majority in elections (because even when voting is not made inconvenient by local government, voters often fail to show up). Whereas the core demographic for Republicans – older, middle-to-upper-class whites – are far more prone to show up to the polls. In many cases, they have more free time. But often, the difference is motivation. Not only because of Fox News, but talk radio before it, “conservatism” is now less an intellectual movement than a grievance industry that profits from stoking resentment and a siege mentality mindset among said demographic. The kind of conservatives who vote for “Christians” like Roy Moore, or rationalize voting for Trump, really do believe America’s core values are under direct assault by the party in power. (A feeling that most liberals weren’t familiar with until recently.)

And as I said, if Republicans strung those people along and didn’t follow through on their promises, what difference did it make if they followed a known liar as long as he put up a good fight with the hated establishment? Indeed, Trump was far better than other Republicans or even many Democrats at appealing to as wide a base as possible. He was in that respect the genuinely best candidate Republicans had in 2016. He had serious potential as a president, apart from the minor detail of being a racist, power-lusting, gullible idiot. Of course that was also a big part of the appeal. It’s not as though the Republican establishment were blind to his dangers, and they tried to express their displeasure.
But certain real billionaires, such as the Mercer family, liked the cut of Trump’s jib. They decided, like a certain television executive,  that Trump may not have been good for the country, but he was good for their business. So they financed and publicized an outright joke for president, because nobody seriously considered the responsibility of the act. Because nobody thought that Trump would win. Including Trump.

And ironically, the fact that Trump and his base shared the same commitment to consensus “reality” in defiance of evidence is what gave Trump just enough votes to get over.

They went full retard.
You never go full retard.

Liberals scorn Orrin Hatch because he was one of many Senators who seemed to have intelligence and dignity but spent last December gushing with praise for a president that even many Mormon conservatives disdain. But Orrin Hatch is just like the rest of his party. Orrin Hatch sucks up to Trump because in a certain sense, he is Trump. That is, privileged, old, and scared, because his time is almost up.

But even that isn’t the bad part. One wonders after all this why Republicans, who know that Trump is a threat to them as long as he has a mouth to yell and two hands to tweet with, don’t go along with impeachment proceedings and get Mike Pence as President, since he is more conservative and would be much less embarrassing. Of course the fact that the “base” identifies with an embarrassing dingbat is one thing. But it comes down to the reason why Trump the candidate was appealingly unorthodox but as a president has gone along with the hardcore Republican agenda. And that’s because he doesn’t grasp ideology, even to the half-baked extent that Steve Bannon does. So Trump lets Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell set policy, since he doesn’t know enough to be proactive. Or as McConnell allegedly told Michael Wolff in another book excerpt: “He’ll sign anything we put in front of him.”

So along with being a habitual liar who turned himself into a jackass, Trump has one more thing in common with Pinocchio: He’s a puppet.

Trump was installed via the Electoral College – a device the Founders intended to stop “bad” democracy (mob rule) from subverting “good” republicanism (rule of law) and became the device for bad republicanism (rule by rent-seeking elites) to justify itself by means of “good” democracy (‘the public has spoken!’). That fact, the overall Republican tendency to use voter ID laws and other pretexts to discourage voting (or select the voters they want rather than vice versa), and the turn of Republican legislative strategy since winning the White House indicates not simply a desire to enact conservative ideas that might be unpopular. In Reagan’s day, or even Dubya’s, there would be some attempt to make those ideas popular. What we are seeing is a complete disregard for any public support at all, even acting against popular will in favor of Republican elites’ priorities. You do not push a bill like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through the Senate with no review, no debate, and no consultation with the opposition or the CBO if you think that your proposal can withstand scrutiny. Indeed, the more feedback Republicans get against their proposals, the more determined they are to carry them out over public demand. And as they go further down the spiral of rejecting accommodation with the voting public, and as their Leader becomes more blatant in his contempt for (small r) republicanism, the Party becomes more and more prone to ignoring his power grabs, to making excuses for why they can’t stop him, and finally, to openly agitating for strongman rule.

Of course the reactionary social experiment isn’t going to go as smoothly as it did in interwar Germany. Even now, Germany isn’t as multiracial and multicultural as the US was even in the 1930s. And that was before the Sexual Revolution and the Gay Rights movement. There are a whole bunch of threatened communities who were not mobilized the way they are now.

But you don’t have to make comparisons to Nazis. Just look at Venezuela. Or Iran. People are protesting against an evil government, frequently getting violent pushback, and the mainstream media here is saying that the protests are for “economic reasons”, blanking out the point that the economy is screwed because the political elite have fixed the system to hoard all the wealth for themselves. But it doesn’t matter how unpopular they are, how many protests there are or how much bloodshed there is. The thugs stay in power because they control all the country’s institutions.

Which is why, as long as Democrats still have some control over those institutions, they need to make the most of that and win the Congress this year, to cut Trump off at the knees. I am not optimistic. After all, the Democrats are the party that couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse. But do not underestimate how pissed off the voters are at the establishment. After all, in 2016, they were pissed off enough to vote for Trump. So if they were pissed off enough at the Democrats to kick them out despite Republican backwardness, they ought to be pissed off enough by now to kick out Republicans despite Democratic fecklessness. Because whatever else I might think about Democrats, they weren’t actively TRYING to alienate their base the way Republicans did last year.

For example, the Miami Herald this week has a story about retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s House seat, saying:
The GOP’s inability to find top-shelf candidates to run for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s U.S. House seat has some Republicans ready to write off the race and shift money and attention to more winnable contests.
“The seat that encompasses Little Havana, most of downtown Miami and Miami Beach is now considered unwinnable by some Republicans in Congress and fundraisers who could infuse millions into a competitive congressional race, according to interviews with high-ranking GOP officials and potential donors. … ‘The seat is now going to go to the Democrats,’ said Raquel Regalado, a former Miami-Dade school board member and candidate for Miami-Dade mayor who recently announced she was dropping out of the Republican race to replace Ros-Lehtinen. ‘I think I was the only moderate who could have fought that fight for a bunch of different reasons. I don’t think you’re going to see a large GOP financial investment. They’re looking for a moderate candidate, but I don’t think they’re going to find one.

If you’re losing Cuban Miami… that is NOT good.

Remember, the reason establishment Republicans got scared in 2012 is because they had previous experience to look back on. California was the home of Nixon and Reagan. But business interests eagerly sought under-the-table labor from Mexico for their industries and lawns, and then acted surprised when those people, in combination with the pre-existing Latin community, started to become a cultural force. So when Governor Pete Wilson pushed Proposition 187 in 1994 as an anti-illegal immigrant measure, that force started pushing back. Since then California has been one of the most Democrat-dominant states in the nation.

(The fact that there is now an independent commission to determine district boundaries and curb gerrymandering didn’t help.)

The Florida Cuban community, descended from anti-Castro exiles, was evidence along with other groups that Republican conservatism isn’t necessarily the same as Anglo-white nationalism. But now Republicans are moving away from diversity, even away from previous core groups. What happens to Republicans’ national chances if Florida goes the way of California?

They’re fucked, that’s what happens.

Republicans are ultimately pack animals. They slavishly follow a strong leader only as long as he appears strong. Once they admit that Trump is more liability than asset, the people who were lining up to take a photo with him will be fighting each other for the privilege of ripping his guts out. Indeed, that already seems to be starting. I don’t know if that will be enough to save their reputation, or their party, but that will be their instinct.

What then happens to the true believers? What happens to the poor little Trumpniks who actually thought their spray-painted charalatan took anything seriously? Well, they’ll be orphaned yet again. Their revolution will be over before it really started. And they won’t have much longer to kick ass and lord it over the weaker people. If their party loses the majority, they won’t go down in history like the brownshirt bullyboys who kicked Jews in the streets and manned the concentration camps. No- they’ll end up worse.

They’ll be this generation’s equivalent of the last guy on the dance floor wearing gold lame’ pants while all his neighbors were burning their Donna Summer records and chanting “DISCO SUCKS!”

Second Most Awesome Wikipedia Article of All Time

The article in question is for the “low budget comedy-horror” film I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle.  “Michael Elphick plays Inspector Cleaver and Anthony Daniels plays the eccentric priest who attempts to exorcise the bike’s evil spirit.”

I recommend reading the entire plot summary, but this part is particularly meaningful:
“It is revealed to the audience that the vehicle has become a bloodthirsty monster. Noddy goes to the scene of the crime where he meets an inspector who smells like garlic. Later, Noddy has a bad dream that the inspector gives him Buzzer’s head in a bag and it talks at him but then he wakes up. Then he goes back to sleep and dreams Buzzer is a poo that jumps in his mouth and starts asking how he is. Noddy wakes up again and is chewing his duvet. Noddy and Kim go to the pub and order a large vodka tonic and a pint of cider. Then ten of the bikers from the beginning come in and shoot the bar with the crossbow. One then offers to show Kim his “chopper” while she is playing pool. She declines, claiming not to have brought her magnifying glass. He then proceeds to unsheathe an axe and attack the pool table and moving onto plates, starting a bar wide brawl of 10 bikers against our protagonists. Kim manages to slip out the front and drive the bike round the back of the pub where Noddy jumps on it from the first floor and then gets shot with a crossbow bolt.
“Then they have Chinese.”

The most awesome Wikipedia article of all time is of course, this.