GOP Will Shit Itself

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Mongrel
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:20 am

That doesn't really make it all that much better.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:42 am

No, but Mother Jones really shouldn't have reported on it as if it were serious.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby pacobird » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:42 pm

Nate Silver is softening on Party Decides.

I'm in the midst of working on a long review of the book “The Party Decides,” so we’ll save some of the detail for that forthcoming article. But the textbook on Trump is that he’d be a failure along virtually every dimension that party elites normally consider when choosing a nominee: electability (Trump is extremely unpopular with general election voters); ideological reliability (like Sarah Palin, Trump’s a “maverick”); having traditional qualifications for the job; and so forth. Even if the GOP is mostly in disarray, my assumption was that it would muster whatever strength it had to try to stop Trump.

But so far, the party isn’t doing much to stop Trump. Instead, it’s making such an effort against Cruz. Consider:

The governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, said he wanted Cruz defeated.
Bob Dole warned of “cataclysmic” losses if Cruz was the nominee, and said Trump would fare better.
Mitch McConnell and other Republicans senators have been decidedly unhelpful to Cruz when discussing his constitutional eligibility to be president.
An anti-Cruz PAC has formed, with plans to run advertisements in Iowa. (By contrast, no PAC advertising has run against Trump so far in January.)


So basically, Reince Priebus, out of fear of an independent run, has decided to show Trump his soft, pink belly.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:08 pm

That's not my read. My read is that the RNC and the other candidates have realized that the only person who benefits from Ted Cruz winning Iowa is Ted Cruz. Trying to defeat Trump in Iowa is not actually in the Republican establishment's interests.

But, as Silver says later in the same article:

Instead, it may be that Republicans think of Cruz as the more immediate threat, and then plan to turn around and attack Trump later. But that’s a high-degree-of-difficulty caper to pull off. For one thing, Trump, who’s in a much better position in the polls than Cruz in states after Iowa, could rack up several wins in a row if he takes the Hawkeye State.


He's right that it's a tough game to win, and I would add that they really don't have a long-term strategy. But I think letting Cruz and Trump duke it out in Iowa is probably the best call that the establishment candidates and their supporters can make.

I think the interesting thing to see is going to be how the guy who finishes third in Iowa starts running his campaign afterward.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby pacobird » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:15 pm

"Trump is in a good position to win several states after Iowa" is a bit of an understatement. Iowa's one of his narrowest leads in the country.

Sure, they hate the shit out of Ted Cruz, and going after him rather than Trump would have been a fine idea back in November, but now? Iowa's in nine days. What Secret Plan to Win in Vietnam are they going to pull out to squelch Cruz, shift gears, and stop Trump before Super Tuesday?
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:47 pm

Depends on who you mean by "they". I really don't think the RNC or its donors have any good long-term plans at the moment, because I don't think they have any idea what's going to happen.

If we're talking about individual candidates, well, I expect most of them are going to push hard at New Hampshire and South Carolina and hope that two or three consecutive losses for Trump will be enough to kill his momentum.

I wouldn't put any more stock in current polls for Super Tuesday states than I did in polls for Iowa a month ago. Super Tuesday is going to be hugely influenced by the events of the next month and by whatever media narrative springs up around them.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby pacobird » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:05 pm

I agree, but Trump is looking pretty dominant in NH and SC right now, and if he wins Iowa, there's no reason to think he won't be able to sweep all three. This gets him to Super Tuesday, where he's already over 30% in multiple states. If he's been untouchable before now that doesn't change after he wins Iowa, at all.

So really, the best shot is to beat him in Iowa, hope it deflates him enough that his commanding lead in NH turns into a squeaker, and let his megalomania do the rest. The problem is, nobody other than Ted Cruz can beat him in Iowa. Much is being made of how close Iowa is but it's really only between those two candidates; either would crush anyone else. Cruz may not be their guy, but backing him through Iowa will get him South Carolina, too, Trump loses momentum, and then unseating Cruz as an early frontrunner becomes way more manageable once other candidates start dropping out.

At this point, the last, best hope of the mainline GOP was Ben Carson: a charismatic orthodox conservative who could plausibly win a general election. Too bad he's a fuckin' moonman.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:16 pm

Yeah, no argument here. They're in the position of wanting Cruz to win, but not win by too much.

(Silver's suggestion that they might think Cruz is actually worse than Trump is an interesting theory, but I'm skeptical.)

I should add that, for all the time I've spent saying Iowa is not a good predictor of who's going to win the Republican primary, I don't deny that it can have a big impact on the shape of the race. I don't think anybody was expecting Rick Santorum to finish at #2 nationally at this time four years ago.

Cruz beating Trump in Iowa definitely hurts Trump in NH and SC, even if it doesn't mean Cruz is going to be the nominee.

The RNC is in a tight spot because attacking Trump just feeds his anti-establishment outsider narrative, while praising Cruz means giving him ammo to use later. I think the latter is their better option, but I expect Priebus is having a lot of sleepless nights about now.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby pacobird » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:57 pm

Could we agree that when the unthinkable actually happens and Trump becomes the nominee, when people start wondering what the hell happened it will have been this decision to undercut Cruz at the very moment he was looking like a real honest-to-God obstacle to Trump that sealed the deal?
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby zaratustra » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:11 pm

well it's ted's own fault he looks like grampa fricking munster

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:53 pm

pacobird wrote:Could we agree that when the unthinkable actually happens and Trump becomes the nominee, when people start wondering what the hell happened it will have been this decision to undercut Cruz at the very moment he was looking like a real honest-to-God obstacle to Trump that sealed the deal?


I see what you did there, but yes, I agree that is definitely one possible outcome.

ETA: Meanwhile, Enten asks a question that's the other side of the coin: Why Aren’t Republican Leaders Rallying Behind Marco Rubio?

Why aren’t members of Congress coming to save Rubio? Part of the answer may simply be that Rubio is too conservative and too anti-establishment.


Maybe. But I think it's simpler than that: they're waiting to see what happens in Iowa.

If Bush finishes ahead of Rubio (which I wouldn't bet on but which is still possible), then he regains his status as the establishment candidate. If Rubio finishes ahead of Bush, that's when I expect his establishment support to start climbing, especially if Bush drops out.

That said, Republicans being lukewarm about their candidate, whoever he may be, is a good sign for the Democrat. And if people really do see Rubio as the extreme right-winger he is rather than as a reasonable moderate alternative to Trump and Cruz, that's good for the Democrats too.

I really do think Sanders would have a shot if he were the nominee. I still don't think he will be, but a man can dream.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Sharkey » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:00 pm

zaratustra wrote:well it's ted's own fault he looks like grampa fricking munster


I think Grandpa Munster was the better politician, all things considered.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:39 pm

Worth noting for it's amusement value: Ted Cruz lives in the same building that houses the Canadian embassy.

lol

(I've been to that building! They have awesome Bill Reid sculptures outside!)
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:36 pm

Democratic Think Tank releases policy paper exploring how to best take advantage of Republican Civil War

There's a lot of very interesting data in there, mainly numerical breakdowns of internal Republican divisions and splits.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:32 am

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Caithness » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:27 am

So that had to have been intentional, right? I mean I didn't remember the fact that she's a double amputee until it was pointed out to me, but I'm sure I would have looked that up if it was my job to tweet about her.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:59 pm

I think it's likelier that somebody incompetent just employed an unfortunate cliche.

But it's possible they just don't give a fuck. Remember Chambliss running ads comparing Cleland to bin Laden and Hussein and questioning his patriotism?

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:07 pm

There's also the "angry interns run our social media accounts" option.
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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Thad » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:18 pm

These aren't the best sources, but:

Buzzfeed: A Female Reporter Says She Was Roughed Up And Bruised By A Trump Aide

Specifically, Michelle Fields, a reporter for Breitbart.

Daily Beast: Breitbart Rolls Over After Reporter ‘Grabbed’ by Trump Aide

A day after its political reporter was manhandled by the candidate’s campaign manager in front of witnesses, the Trump-friendly news outlet has offered only the mildest of rebukes.

[...]

“It’s obviously unacceptable that someone crossed a line and made physical contact with our reporter,” said the Breitbart statement, issued under the name of Larry Solov, the outlet’s CEO and president. “What Michelle has told us directly is that someone ‘grabbed her arm’ and while she did not see who it was, Ben Terris of The Washington Post told her that it was Corey Lewandowski. If that’s the case, Corey owes Michelle an immediate apology.”

The statement was issued in the wee hours of Wednesday morning but remains Breitbart’s official comment on the matter, hours after sources said Lewandowski acknowledged to Breitbart’s Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, that he did manhandle Fields.

Lewandowski’s explanation to Boyle, said these sources, was that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.


Oh, well that's okay, then.

Buzzfeed: Michelle Fields, Ben Shapiro Resign From Breitbart

And in retaliation for Shapiro's resignation, somebody at Breitbart wrote a nasty article mocking him, and posted it using his father's (pseudonymous) account. It's since been removed.

Politico: Breitbart piece mocking editor who resigned was written under father's pseudonym

I never expected to be on Ben Shapiro's side on anything (and I don't really buy his invoking the late Breitbart to suggest that he wouldn't have condoned this kind of outrageous behavior among his staff, because frankly this seems like exactly the sort of thing that would have happened if Breitbart were still around and in charge), but I guess it's a sign of the times.

This shit's getting scary. Trump's not just encouraging violence against protesters and the press by the members of his audience, it's actually being committed by members of his staff now.

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Re: The Grand Olde Party will self-consume

Postby Mongrel » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:09 pm

To be fair, a single incident of a reporter getting assaulted by a single Trump staffer is not an indication that Trump staff are now engaging in any sort of comprehensive violence against members of the press, organized or otherwise.

But it's reeeeeaaaaally not saying great things about his staff (and implicitly, about his choice of staff).

I mean, I'm not stupid enough to think this isn't the climate at Trump rallies. We'll just see if we get more of this from staff or if this is a lapse of discipline, since they should know they can only maintain plausible deniability so long as it's just the public engaging in violence, not staff. You're right to assume that campaign-sanctioned staff beatings would represent a new line being crossed.
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