Category Archives: Election

Fear and loathing in the GOP

On first night of convention, Republicans offer an apocalyptic vision of America By Eugene Robinson July 19

The opening night of the Republican National Convention presented perhaps the darkest, most dystopian vision of America that either of our major political parties has offered in our lifetimes. It sounded as if we lived in some destabilized banana republic sliding rapidly into lawlessness and anarchy.

The reality is quite the opposite. Crime rates are historically low, the economy remains in recovery, stock markets are at or near record highs, unemployment has fallen to 4.9 percent and the United States, in terms of peace and prosperity, is the envy of the world. None of this was acknowledged Monday night in Cleveland. Speaker after speaker warned urgently of impending doom.

Most apocalyptic of all was the speech by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. On a scale of 1 to 10, he cranked the volume up to 11 and the hair-on-fire rhetoric all the way up to 25 or so. …

Giuliani’s mad soliloquy was apparently well-received inside the hall. On television, however, it came across as almost unhinged. Put it this way: If you were on a plane sitting next to a guy who was talking that way, you’d alert the flight attendants.

It was not hard to figure out the reason for all the doom and gloom. The theme for the first night of Donald Trump’s convention was “Make America Safe Again.” To convince people of the need to make the nation safe, you first have to sell them on the idea that it is desperately unsafe. Speaker after speaker tried to do just that. …

You are in grave danger, speakers at the convention told Americans, and the person responsible is Hillary Clinton. Obviously, convention organizers thought this was a winning message. I disagree.

It is risky to apply the rules of a normal election to this bizarre cycle, but the fact is that optimism almost always sells better than pessimism.”

mjh: However, the sunny optimism of Raygun has been replaced by the fear of the Mad Hatters, as in this local luminary:

The death knell sounds for the U.S.A.

THIS OBITUARY should appear in every newspaper in the United States of America.

The United States of America – born: July 4, 1776; died: July 5, 2016. Cause of death – crooked politicians. Preceded in death by U.S. Constitution and presidential oath of office – Jan. 20, 2009.
The United States will be deeply missed by many citizens and friends around the world.

Funeral services – Nov. 5, 2016.

DUSTY BURNETT
Albuquerque

mjh: Such fortitude and patriotism! As Curly used to say, “what a maroon!” (sic)

Don’t ignore the man behind the curtain: Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager

The hypocrisy at the heart of Trump’s campaign By Dana Milbank, Opinion writer

This is the hypocrisy at the heart of the Trump campaign, now under Manafort’s undisputed control. Manafort’s inspiration, which Trump has embraced, is to portray Clinton as the embodiment of the establishment. But Manafort (not unlike Trump) has been the voice of the wealthy and the well-connected for four decades, building a fortune by making common cause with the world’s most avaricious. …

It’s Manafort’s right to represent dictators and thugs and regimes that torture. He has, for decades, helped autocrats who battle human rights and democracy. But now this man, who made his fortune helping the rich and powerful get more so, is setting up a general-election campaign that portrays Trump as a man of the people and Clinton as the captive of special interests. …

Manafort has been a paragon of the Washington Republican establishment for two generations, working on Gerald Ford’s reelection in 1976 before helping Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole. [mjh: So much for Trump being the anti-Establishment candidate his fans believe he is.] …

Manafort is steeped in the racial politics Trump has exploited. As Franklin Foer writes for Slate, Manafort ran Reagan’s Southern operation in 1980; the candidate kicked off his general-election campaign outside Philadelphia, Miss., scene of the murder of civil rights activists in 1964. Manafort later became a business partner of Lee Atwater, who gained fame for Bush’s Willie Horton campaign in 1988.

What Brexit teaches Americans …

1) Ignorance and anger can be exploited to win elections.
2) People don’t vote if they think the outcome is inevitable. Especially, young people most adversely affected by the selfish choices older voters make.
3) You will regret a vote cast as a protest when everything else goes to hell thanks to you.
4) Media, including social media, is vital BUT you must question everything you read and hear.
5) Don’t be bullied or fooled — speak the truth, vote smartly. See #1.

“It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but [Trump is] really working at it.” — from a real billionaire

Mark Cuban: Donald Trump Becoming ‘Stupider Before Your Eyes’ by Marina Fang, Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Businessman Mark Cuban continued his crusade against Donald Trump on Tuesday by targeting the presumptive Republican nominee’s lack of substance and failed business ventures.

“It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he’s really working at it,” the billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner told “Extra.” “You have to give him credit. It’s a difficult thing to do, but he’s accomplished it.”

The frightened Right

I feel sorry for the people who are foaming over the threat they perceive behind sensible gun legislation. Some people fear their government and their fellow citizens. Some are furiously certain that liberals and Democrats want to take their guns as the first step toward a new Holocaust. It’s sad that clutching a weapon of mass murder doesn’t make people one whit less afraid. And it’s alarming that frightened, paranoid people serve the Gun Industry. Sales will rise again this week Ca-ching!