A Trump presidency would be fabulous TV.  And though he would instantly, by virtue of simply getting elected, complete a milestone on the Decline of Empire travels by getting even our allies to believe we have collectively lost our shit and never trusting us again to the degree they do now, I don’t believe he would accomplish much more domestically than B. Sanders given the Congress with whom either will have to deal.  I’m not even sure Trump would nominate an ideologue to the Supreme Court, because of course I do not believe a word he says.

How much people are influenced by their love of the Great Screen is vastly underrated, and at this particular point in our history this will be a tight election even if Il Douche does win the GOP nod largely because of TV (though also because HRC is a weak candidate).  We are conditioned to Spectacle, and no one likes a blowout in Super Bowls,”reality” TV, or Politics.  We are conditioned to vote for our team, to be loyal to our team, our tribe, regardless of how silly (or futile) that may be.  TV does a lot of that conditioning.

Trump may horrify a lot of old-school establishment conservatives, but he’ll appeal to a lot of authoritarian simpleton racists that normally vote D and/or are one of the 25 people in this country that are actually I’s.

The Villagers and the TV (repeating myself to a great degree given the tube’s power over the culture) will see to an election within 5 points one way or another regardless of who the nominees are.  Politics has become a for-profit business on several levels post Citizen’s United.

Sure am glad I’m not brown, female, gay, young, dependent or depended on, or (too) poor, because being any one of those things is going to get dramatically worse under Republican control.  Bright sides!

My guts are screaming pretty loudly right about now that Rafael fits the current GOP electorate best.  Of course, I’ve also been saying Trump will flame out for about 6 months now, and maintain to this day it will still happen.  Predictions are hard and all.

Think about how good you have to be at what you do to get where Cruz has gotten in a people business where virtually everyone who knows him hates him.  He has Nixonian ruthlessness, cunning, ambition, and intellect.  He’s no moron, but certainly is such an awesome asshole the latter more than makes up for Ted’s Ivy League eduction and intellectual pedigree in the eye’s of Cruz’ Einsteinian base of hard core theocrats and general Haters, the ones that just love being “led.”  Need to be led.

HRC’s ceiling is, IMO, 53% of the vote if she runs a flawless campaign (she won’t).  There isn’t going to be much margin for error.  Ted will present a serious problem, since I assume all those Principled Establishment Republicans who are on record as hating Cruz will come ’round to the modern GOP’s barely unspoken motto of “Party before Country” soon enough.

The scariest words and perhaps the most raw expression of pure tribalism in politics are, “I will support our party’s nominee [no matter who it is].”

The only good I can see coming from a Cruz Presidency is that I think he’d be a one-termer and would ultimately prove to be another nail in the coffin of the modern Republican party.  The man clearly doesn’t wear well, and he wants to give more money to rich people than every single other Republican candidate, which is now a proven failure on both national and state levels, as Bush The Lesser and the fine Republicans in KS and LA have clearly demonstrated, so I assume it will fail again, but we won’t see the consequences for another several years and by then it will be too late for me to care.

If Cruz wins, once again being an oldish, spouseless, childless SWM loner with a laptop, a dog and a cat will come very much in handy.  I can ride Ted out.

I continue to believe I was born at just the right time and place in the history of the American Empire, because a Cruz Presidency would most certainly be another signpost to me that the best days are behind us.  Underestimating him is a fool’s game.

Update:  David Wasserman rains some reassuring data on my apocalyptic-grade fear of a Cruz Presidency.

I tend to come down on this side of what will happen in the process to replace Nino as opposed to this view, with the caveats that a lot of things can change in 10 months and even the modern GOP has not regressed to a point that renders them unable to read poll numbers.

Simply can’t see the Republicans folding on this one.  We are in the process of watching the last violent survival shudder in the life of a currently dying or at the very least transforming institution.  The Culture has moved on from much of the Right’s reactionary bullshit, particularly Kids These Days, and as much as I don’t think re-litigating abortion and gay marriage is a good political idea for the GOP these days, they’re all in with their base and are going to the dance with what brought them.

Strange times.


File under things I wish I would’ve written myself.

I like Heywood J a lot.  He sees the world through the same lens I do and doesn’t get enough blog-love if you ask me.

He was a big enough, tough enough, mean enough guy for this year’s GOP electorate, but he wasn’t stupid enough.

Christie is the kind of politician who would hire people who would in turn create a rush hour traffic jam purely out of political spite, which traffic jam no doubt seriously pissed off a number of their own voters.  Yeah, he was mean enough.  No room in the party right now for anyone who knows a thing or two about politics though.

It’s very distressing.  I didn’t like the guy because of his native NJ personality (and see above for a manifestation) but I wouldn’t have completely freaked out had he been my President.

We elected a black guy and a huge chunk of conservative America just collectively freaked out, and now Trump has let them out of the closet and given them voice.  Strange times indeed.  Ezra has it spot on here.



The press will continue to fawn on him because money and “electability” and because, apparently, Marco is cute or something (he’s actually a bit of a douche, albeit a smooth one), but his debate crash and burn will sting for a long time because of a simple fact: The American public has no interest in seeing their POTUS pantsed like that by anyone, under any circumstances.  A pantsing like the dorky nerd in the locker room with all the asshole jocks.  Coupled with total brain freeze.  It’s a tough image to shake, and it’s going to come up again and again.  Few voters will have missed it should he secure the nomination.

He’s a clever politician taking responsibility like he demonstrates in the first link, I think that sells, but he’s a couple of days late on it, since he’s spent the last (and only two days he had) saying he was going to keep repeating what he said.

But I don’t think his do-over is going to help.  That’s the second time he’s clearly choked on a national stage.

The Republicans want a big-swinging-dick type this year, that much is obvious.  This year a humiliation like Rubio suffered is going to be very hard to overcome.

Update:  This was a mistake, IMO.  He’s really under pressure now and there is a long road ahead.  Another sign of poor judgement and inexperience, if you ask me.

The only thing I would quibble over in this rundown of the state of play in the GOP primary is that to my jaded cynical eyes no matter who wins the Republican primary their odds of winning are at least 40%, a small quibble indeed.

Mitt Romney’s “47%” comments were widely reported, but at the time I couldn’t understand why nobody in the Democratic party pointed out that the GOP nominee has a floor, too, made up almost entirely of angry white guys, bigots, homophobes, racists, Christianists, and morons.

I put that floor at very near 45%, not too much different than the 47 Mittens so stupidly tossed about.  Odd that modern Presidential races now come down to about 10 states and 10% of the population.  A little disturbing, too.

Another in my new series, “Thoughts I wish I could share with an actual audience on FB but can’t because of FB culture and my relationship with FB culture.”

Regarding Paris it seems like if I was the POTUS I would consider this a good time to convene European and Middle Eastern leaders (the sane ones) and encourage them to band together WWII-style to wipe out the latest in a forever-line of Invisible Sky Wizard psychopaths and sociopaths in a massive and brutal way—for now the revenge gene is strong in me—except with a brand new twist. We’re not playing on the ground any more than we already are. Sure, we’ll help coordinate and cooperate in every way possible, but ISIS doesn’t threaten us, fuckers, they don’t have an air force or navy, only a fucked up idea, and this idea is a known toxin, check your fucking history books, and it needs to be eliminated from the ground up, and that requires yet another fucking bloody war over magical thinking, so welcome to the 21st Century. America is not your daddy to whom you can whine and beg every time a new bully shows up in the neighborhood.

“Let us usher in an unprecedented new era,” I would announce, “where Jews and Muslims, Catholics and Protestants, Russians and Germans, Turks and Kurds, Indians and Pakistanis, Japanese and Chinese, you get the idea, band together and bond together to open up a giant can of whoop-ass on these 7th Century pests and assholes.”

I guess I’m glad I’m not POTUS, because that isn’t going to happen. Obama just might know what I know, it’s another bankrupt ideology that will burn itself out in the end, represents no existential threat to America, and provides a perfect opportunity for at minimum the State Department at all those diplomatic cocktail parties the world’s diplomats attend a lot to start dropping the novel concept that this particular problem is a lot more yours than ours, we’ll talk more when the shit starts going down here, and if you all agreed to get it together militarily for about 5 years the problem could effectively be eliminated for everybody at least until the next band of ISW folks collect like so many malignant tumors on the buttholes of the world where they can thrive in a lack of education and poverty and, well, magical thinking. (Sorry, Christians, you pulled all this shit too once upon a time on the same scale and still do when you count abortion-clinic and church massacres. ISW people are all one in the same to me in that they lie on the same axis of, well, believing in fucking magic.)

Sure glad Obama is the one with his hands on the wheel. History is going to judge him very, very kindly overall. He’s a rational decent thoughtful man, which inexplicably makes conservatives bug-eyed stupid with rage.  They are invited to imagine if they can the things Donald Trump or Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, all people of obvious personality disorder and proud magical thinkers themselves might say or do.

Update:  Also, happy to let Pierce speak for me in terms of real-world approaches to a very complicated problem.

I wish I could put this kind of thing up on FB but it is too lamely dominated for anything like this.  If anyone wants to share it I hereby grant permission, just don’t say where you got it:

It’s Veteran’s Day and that means a whole bunch of FB posts thanking our deified military people. I object on propaganda grounds (Yay, military-industrial complex!) to these proud pointless public “look at my patriotism!” declarations and would strongly prefer people actually cast votes and applied pressure, whether it be through social media or more traditional political channels, to make the actual lives of our soldiers better instead of the ritual “thank you’s!” which don’t you know put food or medicine on the tables or roofs over heads. So voluntarily accepting the chance to die on my behalf includes (for me) a lifetime’s worth of economic security. Free school, free health care, free places to live, at least enough to keep them all fed, housed and if necessary treated, and last but not least, keeping them out of harm’s way in the fucking first place by trying to understand that it isn’t Team America World Police out there. It’s the only area of government the fucking GOP NEVER proposes we shrink, and that’s a common characteristic of every Empire ever in the Empire graveyard, which is all of them except us. Yet. The baddest military on the planet, the means with which the Empire was built in the first place. It has never lasted and won’t again, and military strength is fool’s gold in the first place once you have achieved the ability to wipe literally everyone off the map. The country would be much stronger and secure for the long haul if it was more comprehensively educated, fed, housed, healthy, self-powered, secure and infra-structurally the envy of the world and not such an international busy-body and bully. (Nobody is pissed off at Canada.)

Remaining a cool place to visit while the rest of the world passes us by on cool stuff for little people like Supertrains or at least cheap modern power and information grids and safe functioning schools, roads, sewers and bridges might be goals worthy of consideration. “Inner-strength” and “leading by example” and “couldn’t we choose butter over guns some of the time?” and all those old cliches imply. But no. Instead we have to act like we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, another Empire characteristic that grates on the rest of the world over time. The modern GOP wants to let the place (the U.S. and on climate change on some level the rest of the world) devolve into a shoot-‘em-up (guns) dog-eat-dog (economics) overpopulated (abortion) ghetto (economics and education) with a big swinging military dick, largely because the modern GOP can afford its own private security, transportation, schools, safe clandestine abortions performed by one of their Dr. friends, you name it the list is endless and, like me, the modern GOP never ventures outside the bubble of its own wildly cozy existence behind metaphorical moats or from metaphorical towers and, unlike me, is filled with people that think swinging their dicks around is the natural order of things. (Also because right-wing Jesus, but don’t ask me to explain that.)

A Jeb-HRC matchup guarantees the largest third party vote in this country since Perot’s 19% in 1992.

And I’ll be one who casts one.  Not much difference between Jeb and Hillary.