C U this Tuesday: A Texas fringe festival guide to the 2016 election

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-44-21-am

 

Good morning Austin:

I wrote a story in Sunday’s paper on the mark Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will leave on the Texas Republican Party in which I quoted a question posed by Sylvia Manzano, a principal, based in Houston, with the national research firm Latino Decisions:

Who is the fringe of the Republican Party going forward? Is Joe Straus the fringe of the Republican Party in Texas or is Sid Miller the fringe of the Republican Party in Texas?

This is a good question.

It does seem that Trump’s campaign might be doing something to bollix the usual fringe continuum.

Consider:

On Thursday U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and heretofore establishment Republican, who is considering challenging tea party idol Sen. Ted Cruz’s renomination in 2018 in part because Cruz was slow to back Trump after losing to him in the primaries, characterized Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for her State Department emails, which on Wednesday he called an impeachable offense, as an act of treason, even as Cruz, who, if Trump loses, is likely to run again for president in 2020, was campaigning for Trump in Iowa and Michigan.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-21-56-am

 

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who chairs the Trump campaign in Texas (and, before that, Cruz’s presidential campaign in Texas), issued a news release blasting some in the Texas press corps for having “seized on the most recent social media outrage generated by Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller” — who in recent days has crowed that he is Trump’s most beloved champion in Texas — to wrongly suggest that Miller’s tweeted reference to Hillary Clinton with the most offensive profanity that can be applied to a woman, might hurt Trump with Texas women. In the release, Patrick did not mention Sid Miller’s defense that the offensive tweet was the result of an underling’s inadvertent cut-and-paste error, and that he deeply regretted it and quickly took it down.

Meanwhile, if, as is likely, Donald Trump wins in Texas, and if, as is possible if not so likely, he become president, it is no longer quite right to describe his ideas as fringe, even if many of them were manufactured in Alex Jones’s fringe idea factory in Austin ,as I recently wrote (Alex Jones: The Voice in Donald Trump’s head.)

 

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-2-23-56-am

 

From an excellent new story in Spin by Andy Cush: The Invisible Empire of Alex Jones: How the Donald Trump campaign turned America’s greatest conspiracy theorist into a household name

Alex Jones is a proud paranoiac, one whom might be expected to sympathize with McKenna’s message of worldwide alienation and planetary crisis. But the radio host, as he often does, sensed something even deeper afoot. He explained that a sense of futility encouraged by the 2012 theories might keep downtrodden people from standing up to their oppressors. “That is what the 2012 hoax is all about,” he said. “An artificial superstition to make people turn over control of their lives to the globalist technocrats.” To America’s greatest conspiracy theorist, even a conspiracy theory can start to look like evidence of a conspiracy.

Jones is a virtuosic orator and TV personality, more engaging to watch than just about anyone else on the airwaves, regardless of whether you believe what’s coming out of his mouth. He likes to boast that he doesn’t use scripts or teleprompters on his daily radio show and video webcast, but he needn’t advertise the fact any more than Ornette Coleman should have briefed listeners that he wasn’t playing his interstellar sax explorations from sheet music. Jones has an improviser’s natural sense of rhythm: Sometimes, he is a boulder tumbling downhill, picking up speed and debris as he crescendos toward angry and invigorating catharsis; other times, he’s a feather in the wind, fluttering down, then up, letting a thought hang in the air for one suspenseful moment before plunging in a different direction entirely. He is a lifelong Texan, and his drawl sounds like it is emanating from a throat filled with dust and syrup.

Today, thanks largely to the surprise success of Donald Trump’s undeniably Jonesian U.S. presidential campaign, Alex Jones is a bona fide force in mainstream American politics. His radio show is syndicated from his Austin, Texas, studio to 160 stations nationwide, and it reaches many more listeners over the internet. According to the web analytics company Quantcast, his website InfoWars reaches about 7.5 million unique readers per month, with 6.5 million of the site’s visitors based in the United States. Those numbers aren’t far behind Quantcast’s statistics for the long-running liberal publication Salon, which counts 9.1 million global and 7 million U.S. unique monthly visitors. (That probably says as much about Salon’s declining influence as it does about InfoWars’s grasp on the American psyche, but still.)

xxxxxxxxx

In 2016, Alex Jones has recruited the Republican nominee to join him in shouting out the basest fears of a nation where lunatics and police kill our countrymen in the streets, where suburban mothers fret over genetically modified baby food, where white supremacist poets post their lurid fantasias to Facebook Live, and where immigrants and refugees are pleading at our doorstep. Among the many twists in the most bizarre presidential campaign in recent history, few developments have felt more surreal than Alex Jones rising to become one of the philosopher chiefs behind a presidential candidate.

And, so, in the year of Trump, or maybe the age of Trump, it is a fair question whether Alex Jones can still lay claim to being the king of the fringe, or whether Joe Straus he must pass the tin foil hat of outsider thinking to Joe Straus.

Of course, in the age of clicks, there is only way to settle this, with an meaningless on-line poll.

If you’re not sure how to vote, read further in this first annual fringe festival guide to Texas politics.

 

 

1. One Dares Call it Treason.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-4-28-07-am

Let’s imagine. It’s Monday, January 23, Hillary Clinton’s first day at work since her sparsely attended presidential inauguration the Friday before. President Clinton is rubbing her temples as Chief of Staff John Podesta enters the Oval Office.

JP: Whatsamatta boss?

HRC: I’ve got this dreadful headache. It’s all that hammering outside. What are they doing? Still taking down the reviewing stand from the Inaugural Parade?

JP: Ummm. No. That was down within an hour of the parade ending. This is something they’re building. It’s a, well ,it’s a gallows. In case you’re found guilty of treason – you know, the e-mails – and sentenced to death by hanging. They want to have the gallows ready.

HRC: What? They don’t hang people any more, do they?

JP: Well, actually the Constitution leaves the punishment for treason to Congress and, well,, H.R. 1 – McCaul-Gohmert – calls for death by hanging, in a gallows to be constructed in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, and the Trump Foundation agreed to buy Lafayette Park and fund private construction of a “big, beautiful gallows,” so it could be done ahead of schedule and under budget.

HRC: Oh. I see. You know, one thing I don’t get. Yeah, sure Gohmert. But what’s up with McCaul?

Good question.

From Conservative Review:

McCaul has proven himself to be a moderate member of the House GOP Caucus. On his congressional website, McCaul notes his opposition to several troublesome spending mechanisms in 2008-2010. (McCaul.House.gov) Since that time, however, and as McCaul has gained the ever-growing praise of House leadership, his voting record has become more moderate. From supporting increases to the debt ceiling to higher federal budgets, McCaul has supported many of the GOP establishment’s priorities. These include the 2012 and 2014 reauthorization of the crony Export-Import Bank and votes in favor of bloated farm, highway, and hurricane relief bills. McCaul also voted for the omnibus spending bill in December 2014 that fully funded President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty order.

His moderate voting record has continued into the 114th Congress when McCaul voted for a Medicare SGR “fix” that was actually a carefully crafted bill projected to add $500 billion to the federal deficit in coming decades. McCaul also supported Rep. John Boehner’s reelection bid for House Speaker and once again voted to fund President Obama’s amnesty action.

Here was McCaul on FOX on impeachment last Wednesday.

From Fox News Insider:

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) said on America’s Newsroom that Hillary Clinton could face impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives if she is elected president. 

Speaking to Bill Hemmer today, McCaul said that Huma Abedin’s emails – which were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop in a separate investigation of the disgraced former congressman – represents “new evidence …. that could be quite damaging.”

He said the reopened investigation will keep going beyond Election Day into a potential Clinton presidency.

“[If] the investigation goes forward and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point in time under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial. It would go to the Senate and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place,” he said.

Hemmer asked whether McCaul really wanted to use “the I-word” right before the presidential election. McCaul, a former prosecutor and currently the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, pointed out newly-released WikiLeaks emails showing John Podesta emailed Clinton aide Cheryl Mills to say “we are going to have to dump all those emails.”

“That’s getting a little closer to intent,” said McCaul, adding that it would be a “smoking gun” if the FBI finds a new email in which classified information was knowingly sent.

McCaul said there is already “ample evidence” to take this case before a grand jury. He said there should have been a grand jury from the start to remove politics from the equation.

Yes, by all means, let’s  start to remove politics from the equation.

Very good. Problem is, impeachment just doesn’t have the sting it used to.

Every President Clinton gets impeached, and the last time it happened, that President Clinton’s poll numbers went up.

Anyway, what Republican isn’t for impeachment? (It’s an essential companion to the Ted Cruz et al. plan to deny a vote to any Clinton Supreme Court nominee. Remember, the poll allows for write-ins.)

So, a day later, McCaul was back on Fox, this time on Fox & Friends, upping the ante.

From the Statesman:

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said Thursday morning that Hillary Clinton had committed treason, following a Fox News report that the Democratic presidential nominee’s private e-mail server had been sidhacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, citing unnamed FBI sources.

The charge follows heated rhetoric from McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, a day earlier, when he said on Fox News that Clinton could be impeached if elected president over her use of the email server.

On Thursday, McCaul said on “Fox & Friends” that FBI Director James Comey had previously told McCaul that, “it’s very likely that foreign adversary nations got into her private server.”

“This is why you have security protocols: To protect classified information,” McCaul said. “She exposed it to our enemies and now, Steve, our adversaries have this very sensitive information that not only jeopardizes her and national security at home, but the men and women serving overseas. This is in my opinion, quite frankly, it’s treason.”

Fox & Friends is where Donald Trump, on the day of the Indiana primary, the day he finished off Ted Cruz, wondered why the media was ignoring reports in his trusted news source – the National Enquirer – suggesting that Cruz’s father was thick as thieves with Lee Harvey Oswald ahead of the Kennedy.s assassination.

The Fox & Friends news team took it on the chin at the time for not pushing  back against Trump’s assertion, and the hosts, performed true to form in reaction to McCaul’s bombshell claim.

“Wow,” said host Anisely Earhardt.

“That’s an extraordinary sound bit right there,” observed co-host Steve Doocy.

Here is what the U.S Constitution has to say on treason.

Article III

Section 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Hmmm. Must have been the RINOs and squishes at the Constitutional Convention who wrote that mamby-pamby punishment section.

Here, from Blackstone (Blackstone, Wm., Knight. Chase, George, ed. Chase’s Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books. New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., 1936, pp892-3.)  is how our British forefathers dealt with those who committed treason:

  1. That the offender be drawn to the gallows, and not be carried or walk: though usually (by connivance length ripened by humanity into law) a sledge or hurdle is allowed, to preserve the offender from the extreme torment of being dragged on the ground or pavement
  2. That he be hanged by the neck and then cut down alive
  3. That his entrails be taken out and burned, while he is yet alive
  4. That his head be cut off
  5. That his body be divided in four parts
  6. That his head and quarters be at the king’s disposal.

And yes, in that benighted age, women were treated differently than men.

For as the decency due to the sex forbids the exposing and publicly mangling their bodies, their sentence (which it to the full as terrible to sensation as the other) is to be drawn to the gallows, and there to be burned alive.

Well, in the meantime, as of yesterday, FBI Director Comey is apparently now cool with Clinton’s treason.

Which leaves McCaul I don’t know where.

I thought of McCaul at a very interesting Saturday session at the Texas Book Festival in which UT’s Paul Stekler interviewed Josh King (Off Script), former presidential events production director at the White House, and Mary Beth Rogers (Turning Texas Blue), the last person to run a successful campaign to put a Democrat, Ann Richards, in the Texas governor’s office.

Stekler asked King to recount how Michael Dukakis ended  up, of his own volition, in a tank, his head sticking wearing a helmet with his name on it, which became the fodder for a devastating negative attack ad.

Here was Josh King’s illuminating answer.

>> SO LET ME TAKE YOU BACK TO THE SUMMER OF 1988, PAUL. BECAUSE MICHAEL DUKAKIS ENDED HIS CONVENTION AFTER — IN ATLANTA IN JULY, UP 17 POINTS IN THE POLLS. AND HE LANGUISHED AFTER THAT, LOST HIS LEAD. AND AS THE DUKAKIS CAMPAIGN WAS LOOKING AT THEIR POLLING ATTRIBUTES, THEY WERE VERY HAPPY, WITH THE RESULTS OF CARES ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE ME. WHAT THEY HAD A PROBLEM WITH WAS WOULD BE A CREDIBLE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. AND SO THEY SPENT THE REST OF THE SUMMER FIGURING OUT AS SOON AS LABOR DAY HITS, WE’RE GOING TO SPEND A WHOLE WEEK CASTING THIS ADMINISTRATIVE GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, A BUREAUCRAT, A VERY SMART GUY, MIKE  DUKAKIS, AS A GUY WHO COULD FIT IN GEORGE S. PATTON’S HELMET. AND SO ON THE WEEK THAT BEGAN SEPTEMBER 12TH, THEY WENT TO PHILADELPHIA TO CARPENTERS HALL, THEY WENT TO CINCINNATI TO A GENERAL ELECTRIC PLANT, THEY WENT TO CHICAGO TO THE WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL ALL TO GIVE MAJOR SPEECHES ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SOVIET UNION. AND TO CAP IT ALL OFF, THEY WENT TO STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN, BATTLEGROUND THIS VERY WEEKEND, TO TRY AND WIN MICHIGAN’S 22 ELECTORAL VOTES AND ALSO MAKE DUKAKIS LOOK LIKE A GENERAL

AT THE SAME TIME. BOSTON, THE HEADQUARTERS SAID TO MATT BENNETT, THE YOUNG ADVANCE MAN, WE’RE GONNA PUT DUKAKIS IN A TANK. AND BENNETT WENT OUT TO THE TANK, TO GENERAL DYNAMICS, TO THE PROVING GROUND, AND HE CALLS BACK TO BOSTON, AND HE SAYS, “GUYS, THIS IS A DISASTER. THIS WHOLE IDEA STINKS. HE’S GOING TO LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. “BOSTON SAID, “DOESN’T MATTER. WE NEED THIS VISUAL. YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.”

AND SO WHAT HAPPENED WAS THIS PERSON WENT TO SWATHMORE COLLEGE, SPENT TWO YEARS IN KOREA AFTER THE ARMISTICE, BUT SPENT THE REST OF HIS CAREER IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE GOVERNMENT, WAS CAST AS A MILITARY MAN, AS A GENERAL LIKE GEORGE S. PATTON ATOP AN N1A1 ABRAMS TANK AND, YOU KNOW WHAT? THE COSTUME DIDN’T FIT AND EVERYBODY KNEW IT. ALL THE REPORTERS WHO WERE FOLLOWING HIM ALONG AT THE TIME, AND IN PARTICULAR, ONE AD MAN NAMED SIG ROGUISH WHO WAS WORKING FOR BUSH AND QUAYLE AT THE TIME, WHO SAID IF WE TAKE THIS VIDEO AND MATCH IT UP WITH ALL OF THE WEAPONS SYSTEMS THAT GOVERNOR DUKAKIS HAS ALWAYS SAID HE WAS AGAINST, WE’RE GOING TO PILLORY HIM. AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY. THIS HAPPENS ON SEPTEMBER 13TH, 1988, WE’RE GOING TO DO IT ON OCTOBER 18TH, ’88, THE THIRD GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES.

AND THAT’S WHEN THE FIRST TANK AD RAN AND SO WHAT IT SAYS AND WHAT I CONCLUDE IN THIS ONE PARAGRAPH, PAUL, WAS THIS BOOK BEGAN WITH A SIMPLE QUESTION, “WHY DID A CANDIDATE WEAR A HELMET WITH MIKE DUKAKIS STENCILED ON IT?” IT ENDED WITH AN EPIPHANY AS I WATCHED DONALD TRUMP WEAR A GOLF CAP WITH “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” EMBLAZONED ON IT.

IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE HEADWEAR, I REALIZED, BUT RATHER THE PERSON UNDERNEATH IT. DUKAKIS, BRILLIANT, CEREBRAL AND MODEST, TRIED TO SYMBOLIZE SOMEONE HE WASN’T IN STERLING HEIGHTS WEARING HIS HELMET. TRUMP, PATRIOTIC, BRASH AND BOMBASTIC, SHOWED EXACTLY WHO HE WAS WHEN HE STRODE ACROSS HIS RAISED WALKWAY IN MOBILE, ALABAMA, WEARING HIS HAT. SO WHAT MARY BETH SAID, WHETHER IT’S DONALD TRUMP OR ANN RICHARDS OR RONALD REAGAN OR BILL CLINTON, YOU DO HAVE TO HAVE A CERTAIN SWAGGER IN ADDITION TO THE POLICY CHOPS TO SUCCESSFULLY WIN THE WHITE HOUSE.

It looked to me that McCaul claiming Hillary Clinton had committed treason, was Dukakis in the tank.

2. Sid Miller.

rbz-sid-miller-office-15

Miller’s got plenty of attention in the last week. His fringe credential hardly need further mention or embellishment.

But, like Alex Jones, how fringe can you be when Donald Trump is giving you repeated shout-outs on the campaign trail in the crucial final days.

From the Statesman:

Four days after tweeting out a vulgarity aimed at Hillary Clinton, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller received a shoutout Saturday from Donald Trump.

Trump mentioned Miller and his trademark cowboy hat by name during a rally Saturday in Tampa, Fla., as he rebutted polls showing that presidential vote in Republican-leaning Texas will be tighter than years past

“They kept saying, ‘The great state of Texas is in play,’ ” Trump said, adding that he couldn’t believe those reports because the crowds at his Texas rallies had been so large. One line to get into his event “literally, it went miles.”

“I don’t want to lose Texas,” Trump said. “One little problem: We’re killing them in Texas.”

As further evidence, he cited Miller, who serves as an agriculture policy adviser to the Trump campaign and who said the vulgarity against Clinton posted on his Twitter account was the result of an aide’s mistake.

“A guy gets on two days ago, a man named Sid Miller,” Trump said. “Don’t really know him. Wearing a big, beautiful, white cowboy hat. In fact, I want to find out where he got it. It’s pretty nice.

“And he said, ‘You know, you folks are getting it all wrong. These lines are four, five, six blocks long. We’ve never had anything like this in Texas. And let me tell you all those folks, they’re all voting Trump; they’re not voting for anyone else.’ We’re doing great in Texas.”

Here’s video of Trump’s Tampa speech. His comments on Texas and Sid Miller start at the 9:45 mark:

 

But, one interested observer was not as enthralled with Miller as Trump was, and that would be the guy who by all rights is Trump’s main man in Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

From a press release Friday from Patrick that was ostensibly chiding the Texas media, but was really a rather remarkable censure of Miller as off the reservation and unhelpfully fringy.

From Patrick’s release:

It is no secret that the main stream media, including most of the press in Texas, are backing the Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton.  So it was no surprise this week that some in local press corps seized on most recent social media outrage generated by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.  As we said earlier this week, using such offensive is intolerable and there is absolutely no excuse for it. 

But the press was wrong to suggest that this incident would impact the way women in Texas will vote in the presidential race.  I have been campaigning across this state for almost a year, first as the Texas Chair for Ted Cruz for President campaign and now as the Texas Chair for Donald Trump and I can tell you that Texas women are solidly behind the Republican ticket, from the White House to the Court House.  Even before all the facts about the pay to play, violations of classified material and basic dishonesty came out against Clinton, Texas women were never going to support a pro-abortion, anti-gun, tax and spend liberal who will pack the Supreme Court with people who want to take away our freedom of speech and expand abortion.

Note here, that Patrick is not really buying Miller’s explanation that the tweet was an innocent mistake, describing  the most recent social media outrage generated by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, as intolerable and inexcusable.

This is a lot stronger than Gov. Abbott’s admonition to Miller – “The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment. No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way” – which made it sound like this was really more a breach of the Texas Code of Chivalry than anything more serious.

But as I wrote last week on First ReadingSid Miller and the C-word: On the cowboy commissioner’s posse in the alt-right manosphere – and in a subsequent story Sid Miller finds fringe friendships in Trump’s alt-right Twitterverse – a single errant tweet is not what this is all about. It’s what it reveals about Miller and his intellectual running buddies in the alt-right realm of Trump World.

Without rehashing it all – and you have to read this stuff to believe it – for these folks, the Trump who was revealed on the Access Hollywood tape was the Trump they admire, and the women who subsequently came forward to say that Trump assaulted them, were, in fact, witnesses to what they consider his strength of character.

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-4-51-37-am

From San Antonio Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff wrote on Friday:

Miller is also a fan of Mike Cernovich, another alt-right icon and aggrieved male whose bone-deep wounds are salved only by grinding women to submissive dust.

A typical post on his blog, Danger & Play, purports to tell us what women want: “There are tens of millions of good — which is to say, neutered — guys in America, and yet the best women consistently end up with dominant, strong, violent men.

“The question isn’t whether women want to be dominated,” Cernovich continued. “The question is whether you are man enough to dominate them. … Women want to feel real desire. They want a man who grabs them and makes them feel small, vulnerable, and feminine.”

Is it any wonder the alt-right worships Trump, the most infamous woman-grabber in politics?

 

3. Alex Jones.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-42-47-am

 

Alex Jones’s fringe bona fides are apparent.

So I will simply bring you up to date.

Alex Jones special edition of his show on Saturday:

Hands down this is the most important broadcast of my life. This is the Fifth of November, two thousand sixteen.

Watch and listen. If you dare.

And, from Jones’s lips to everyone within the sound of Drudge’s ears.

From boingboing.net:

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-10-56-48-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-10-57-09-pm

From the New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb on The Death of American Exceptionalism.

Trump is partly a product of forces that the G.O.P. created by pandering to a base whose dilated pupils the Party mistook for gullibility, not abject, irrational fear that would send those voters scurrying to the nearest authoritarian savior they could find. The error was in thinking that this populace, mainlining Glenn Beck and Alex Jones theories and pondering how the Minutemen would have fought Sharia law, could be controlled. (For evidence to the contrary, the Party needed look no further than the premature political demise of Eric Cantor.) The old adage warns that one should beware of puppets that begin pulling their own.

In this light, Trump represents a kind of return to the old-time religion, a fundamentalism that rejects the effete nature of dog-whistle politics the way the religious right defined itself by rejecting the watery tenets of liberal Christianity. Implicit within dog-whistling is enough respect for democratic norms and those outside one’s base to speak to that base in terms that the mass populace can’t readily decipher. Here, plausible deniability is at least a recognition that there are people with interests different from one’s own and that their influence, if not their interests or humanity, warrants a certain degree of respect. Trump is doing the opposite of this. He is an exhorter in a midsummer tent revival: direct, literal, and speaking at a decibel that makes it impossible to misunderstand his intentions. The end result of Trump’s evangelism is that a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, serially mendacious narcissist is poised to pull in somewhere north of fifty million votes in the midst of the most bitterly contentious election in modern American history. The easy analysis holds that Trump’s jihad against decency has wrecked the Republican Party, but the damage is far more extensive than this.

From Edward Isaac-Dovere at  Politico on Oct. 13.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Barack Obama on Thursday night tore into Republican leaders for “riding this tiger” of what he repeatedly called “crazy” hoaxes and conspiracies that created the conditions for Donald Trump to become their presidential nominee—and blasted anyone now trying to distance themselves out of what he derided as political expediency.

No one who stands by Trump this year, Obama said, can claim to be serious about family values or foreign policy. And nobody can claim higher ground than Trump if they spent the last eight years pursuing an agenda he said was pure opposition, embracing a right-wing media that regularly trafficked in conspiracy theories and accepting personal attacks on him from their base.

They stood by while this happened, and Donald Trump as he’s prone to do, he didn’t build the building himself — he just slapped his name on it and took credit for it,” Obama said.

xxxxxx

Clearly veering off-script, Obama turned to the example of proud Obama antagonist Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, whom he didn’t name, but noted had ordered the state National Guard to observe the 2015 Operation Jade Helm military exercises after right-wing media exploded with conspiracy theories about how it was actually secret prep for an Obama led junta. Abbott, Obama said, had said he didn’t know if the talk was true.
“What do you mean, you don’t know? What does that mean?” Obama said, leaning on the podium, his voice rising in anger. “They took it seriously. This is in the swamp of crazy that has been fed over and over and over and over again.”
straus
4. Joe Straus.
He is the control in this poll. Preternaturally calm.
But, if you’d like to know more from those who would like to exile him to the fringes of Texas politics, see Empower Texans.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

0 comments