Donald Trump 2016

The Donald Trump Show (Ironic Return)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Everett, Washington, 30 August 2016. (Detail of frame via YouTube)

“Kellyanne Conway continues to stress the importance of ‘disclosure’ and ‘transparency’ in the election, unaware of the irony.”

Steve Benen

Kellyanne Conway speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, 4 March 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)If we started counting up the various assertions by which customs, rules, and even laws just aren’t supposed to apply to Republicans, would it be fair to call the mountain we’ve watched pile up the whole time “shocking”?

Probably not. Then again, I do wonder if, like “locker room talk”, we will try to reckon with such behavior while pretending it isn’t or wasn’t widespread. After this is over, watch and listen as Republicans and journalists alike try to minimize just how deeply they dove down the Trump hole.

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Image note: Top ― Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Everett, Washington, 30 August 2016. (Detail of frame via YouTube) Right ― Kellyanne Conway speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, 4 March 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Benen, Steve. “Team Trump admits, public won’t see candidate’s tax returns”. msnbc. 31 October 2016.

Just a Question About “Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government”

I feel kind of silly because I can’t figure out―

In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government ― a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.

―if Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just dropped a headline. It is, to be certain, a breathtaking maneuver by FBI Director James Comey to so deliberately unsettle the presidential election, and Mr. Reid seems rather quite upset by the circumstance. Still, though, what am I missing? Because the bit about “coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government” just begs for attention. Please do, sir, tell us more.

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Reid, Harry. Letter to James Comey. 30 October 2016.

Reilly, Ryan J. “Harry Reid Blasts FBI Director James Comey Over Handling Of Clinton Email Probe”. The Huffington Post. 30 October 2016.

A Particularly Straightforward Example of an Extraordinarily Mundane―That Is To Say, Neurotic―Rhetorical Accident

This is one of those straightforward distillations; Alli Joseph, for Salon:

“Once Obama called all people from Texas ‘swamp crazy,’ people pretty much decided to vote for Trump next time,” she said matter-of-factly. There’s a germ of truth there: At an Ohio Democratic dinner on Oct. 13, President Obama said that some Texas officials who had believed that a routine military exercise might lead to martial law belonged to the “swamp of crazy.”

See how that works?

No, really; it’s an essential transformation that, in other circumstances, actually looks like people rushing to throw in with undesirable outcomes in order to complain that the politician they already don’t like has somehow insulted them. It comes up quite a bit, actually.

This is just a particularly straightforward example.

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Joseph, Alli. “Deep in the heart of TrumpLand―even Texans want our national nightmare to be over”. Salon. 30 October 2016.

Even Less Admirable (The Chairman’s Daughter’s Whatnot)

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT03) questions Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. during her testimony in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on 29 September 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This is not what we would ordinarily call a profile in courage:

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz again reversed his position on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy on Wednesday night, saying he’d vote for the Republican nominee but wouldn’t endorse him.

“I will not defend or endorse @realDonaldTrump, but I am voting for him,” Chaffetz tweeted Wednesday. “[Hillary Rodham Clinton] is that bad. HRC is bad for the USA.”

The House Oversight Committee chairman had previously backed Trump’s candidacy before withdrawing his endorsement on Oct. 8 following the revelation that the Republican nominee had made lewd and sexually aggressive comments while filming for an “Access Hollywood” interview in 2005.

(Lima)

Then again, this is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT03) we’re talking about, so it’s not like anyone expects a lot. To that end, we should at least note the accomplishment, the e’er graceless flip-flop-flip.

(more…)

The Donald Trump Show (Feminine Side)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers a question during the third presidential debate at University of Nevada Las Vegas, 19 October 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

This is about what we might expect―

In the 2016 presidential contest, there has been one thing that supporters and detractors of Donald Trump have agreed on. The chest-pounding real estate mogul from New York has emerged as the quintessentially masculine candidate. Love him or loathe him, Trump’s campaign has been defined by the ways he has asserted his maleness—mocking his opponents for their low energy, bullying his critics, sneering at perceived weakness, boasting of his sexual prowess, vowing to hit back twice as hard as he’s been hit.

But academic research has picked up something that thousands of hours of campaign punditry has missed completely: Donald Trump talks like a woman. He might be preoccupied with grading women’s looks, penis size and “locker room talk,” but the way he speaks and the actual words he uses make for a distinctly feminine style. In fact, his speaking style is more feminine by far than any other candidate in the 2016 cycle, more feminine than any other presidential candidate since 2004.

More than just a comical curiosity, this fact about Trump’s mode of communication might help explain how a candidate who has been so extensively rebuked for his mean-spirited attacks on immigrants, women, the disabled and even prisoners of war has managed to attract support from millions of voters who adore the way he says openly what they feel. To some, Trump’s ascent is evidence that society still prizes the masculine over the feminine, but what’s happening is more complex, and Trump’s style has qualities that go beyond mere blustery aggression. Research has shown that the more feminine a speaker’s style, the more likable and trustworthy he seems. For Trump, who has been derided for his multiple contradictions and outright lies, that advantage might well have persuaded his supporters to listen to him and not the chorus of media fact checkers.

(Sedivy)

―so long as what we mean by that has something to do with observing the contrast between the inherent distrust we show female speakers, presenters, and leaders, to the one, and the fact that a man speaking “like a woman” seems “more likable and trustworthy”.

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Image note: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers a question during the third presidential debate at University of Nevada Las Vegas, 19 October 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Sedivy, Julie. “Donald Trump Talks Like a Woman”. Politico. 25 October 2016.

What Goes On In Nevada (What’s Going On?)

Jon Ralston posted some interesting insight into the electoral outlook in Nevada:

Tarkanian: CD3 Republican Early Vote Is Underperforming. At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, Danny Tarkanian said, “I haven’t slept for the last two days, and it’s because you guys are letting us down out here. I mean that. You’ve got a little shrug of the eyes, a little nervous. Tarkanian: CD3 Republican Early Vote Is Underperforming. At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, Danny Tarkanian said, "I haven't slept for the last two days, and it's because you guys are letting us down out here. I mean that. You've got a little shrug of the eyes, a little nervous. I'm going to be very honest with you right now. Congressional District 3 is underperforming by far of any district in the whole state. The Republican Party is down substantially in early voting; even more so that [than] it was in 2012. That in itself is bad, but Congressional District 3 is underperforming the rest of the state by 6 percentage points. Meaning that Democrats are voting at a 6 percent higher rate with respect to registration here in CD3 than Republicans are, and most of it is not so much that there's been more Democrats that have voted, we haven't got our Republicans out to vote." [Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, 10/25/16] Tarkanian: If Republican Turnout Doesn't Improve "We're All Going Down" And "Joe Heck Is Going to Go Down." At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, Danny Tarkanian said, "We need your help right now, because I'll tell you, if this doesn't change we're all going down in CD3. Every one of the people that spoke here, if you're in CD3 you're going to be in the same boat as I am, and Joe Heck is going to go down." [Southern Hills Republican Women's Club, 10/25/16] I’m going to be very honest with you right now. Congressional District 3 is underperforming by far of any district in the whole state. The Republican Party is down substantially in early voting; even more so that [than] it was in 2012. That in itself is bad, but Congressional District 3 is underperforming the rest of the state by 6 percentage points. Meaning that Democrats are voting at a 6 percent higher rate with respect to registration here in CD3 than Republicans are, and most of it is not so much that there’s been more Democrats that have voted, we haven’t got our Republicans out to vote.” [Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, 10/25/16]

Tarkanian: If Republican Turnout Doesn’t Improve “We’re All Going Down” And “Joe Heck Is Going to Go Down.” At a discussion with the Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, Danny Tarkanian said, “We need your help right now, because I’ll tell you, if this doesn’t change we’re all going down in CD3. Every one of the people that spoke here, if you’re in CD3 you’re going to be in the same boat as I am, and Joe Heck is going to go down.” [Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club, 10/25/16]

Daily Kos diarist First Amendment notes, “This is the reason Democrats are shifting volunteers from Nevada to Arizona”, and if that sounds strange at least we know where it’s coming from. To the other, it just doesn’t sound strange. Rasmussen/KNTV poll numbers coming down this week show Clinton leading Trump in Nevada, and, yes, incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Heck (R) trailing Democratic challenger Catherine Cortez Masto. It’s a thin lead, and the first time Cortez Masto has led during the cycle. Perhaps Danny Tarkanian overstates this part, or maybe not. Donald Trump continues his breathtaking plummet, dragging the Republican Party with him.

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First Amendment. “Republican panic in Nevada. ‘We’re all going down.'” Daily Kos. 26 October 2016.

Giordano, Al. “Breaking”. Twitter. 25 October 2016.

Ralston, Jon. “How bad has early voting been for GOP in NV?” twitter. 26 October 2016.

Snyder, Riley. “KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Clinton pulls ahead of Trump in Nevada as early voting starts”. KNTV. 24 October 2016.

—————. “KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Cortez Masto narrowly eclipsing Heck in close Nevada Senate race”. KNTV. 25 October 2016.

Sean Hannity (Poor Donny)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (left) with campaign surrogate, FOX News host Sean Hannity.  (FOX News, 2016)

“I have had it. Thirteen freaking days. Wake up. This can be won. But it’s very, very hard. And I’m telling all of you who is important here. And basically every red state’s important. If you think, ‘well, my state doesn’t matter, it’s Texas,’ no, you better vote. ‘My state’s Georgia,’ well we’ve seen polls that are close in Georgia. ‘My state’s Utah.’ Who’s this idiot that’s running third party that’s killing Trump out in Utah. Who put him up? What was it? The Bush people? The Romney people? Seriously? Really? You’re going to elect Hillary because we lose Utah? What a disaster that would be for the country.”

Sean Hannity

This is just a distraction. Media Matters offers a glimpse into Sean Hannity’s not quite struggle to wear both FOX News and Trump surrogate caps. Two hats, one tongue, half a brain? Right. Seriously: What joke goes here? Are not the words, “Sean Hannity”, enough?

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Image note: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (left) with campaign surrogate, FOX News host Sean Hannity. (Credit: FOX News, 2016)

Media Matters Staff. “Listen To Sean Hannity’s Unhinged Rant Over ‘Idiot’ Evan McMullin Beating Trump In Utah”. Media Matters for America. 26 October 2016.

Dangerous and Unadmired

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). (Detail of photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Follow the bouncing Crapo:

Of all the congressional Republicans who’ve struggled with Donald Trump’s candidacy, arguably no one’s story is funnier than Sen. Mark Kirk’s (R-Ill.). The Illinois Republican endorsed Trump, then un-endorsed Trump, then endorsed David Petraeus, then endorsed Colin Powell, then un-endorsed Powell, then said he no longer wanted to talk about it.

But if Kirk’s story is the most amazing, Sen. Mike Crapo (R) of Idaho is a competitive second ....

.... Yes, the Idaho Republican initially endorsed Trump. Then Crapo un-endorsed Trump. Soon after, the incumbent senator, up for re-election this year, said he’s an undecided voter. Yesterday, Crapo came full circle, re-endorsing the presidential candidate he un-endorsed two weeks ago.

(Benen)

This is important: Of all the unbelievable insanity we have witnessed through the 2016 electoral cycle, just how much of it is unbelievable, and why?

(more…)

The Donald Trump Show (Conway-esque)

Republican U.S. presidential nominee donald Trump is greeted by (L-R) his son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka, and son Eric after the conclusion of the third and final debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton at University of Nevada Las Vegas, 19 October 2016. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Reuters/Pool)

This actually takes some explaining. Or maybe not. Okay, so Robert Costa of the Washington Post issues a tweet amid the third presidential debate, criticizing Donald Trump, describing the Republican nominee’s now infamous “bad hombres” line as “Trump being Trump”, and the rest of the game show host’s answers by the lovely term, “Conway-esque”.

Five minutes later, with Hillary Clinton eviscerating the Republican nominee, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway retweets Costa’s critique as a boast.

Or, as Sophia Tesfaye put it: “Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is already auditioning for her next gig”:

Kellyanne Conway speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, 4 March 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, must be making a covert cry for help, as nothing short of desperate confusion could explain a tweet she sent in the middle of the third presidential debate ....

.... After Trump’s “bad hombres” comment caused a ruckus on social media, Trump’s campaign manager took to Twitter to retweet a compliment of herself and backhanded diss to her boss.

Somewhere in the load of not-necessarily transcribed, good luck finding it on the website pile of campaign coverage segments from msnbc’s relentless branding campaign is a bit with a few seasoned, liberal-leaning hands chuckling about the fact of major Republican players showing enough wisdom to stay clear of the Trump presidential bid. There is some merit to the point: Corey Lewandowski, a Koch lobbyist is no longer with the campaign; RNC consultant and Scott Walker’s primary campaign manager Rick Wiley has come and gone; consultant to notorious international figures Paul Manafort has come and gone; and former Dole staffer turned lobbyist Jim Murphy has stepped back from his role as national political director with less than three weeks remaining in the election contest. Donald Trump’s campaign is currently run by an alt-right publisher and, well, Kellyanne Conway. None of these were truly first-tier to begin with. But, still, while it’s not quite pitching for delegates in the 2020 race at the 2016 Republican National Convention, neither is it … er … ah … y’know?

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Image notes: Top ― Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump is greeted by (L-R) his son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka, and son Eric after the conclusion of the third and final debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton at University of Nevada Las Vegas, 19 October 2016. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Reuters/Pool) Right ― Kellyanne Conway speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, 4 March 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Conway, Kelly. “— >”. Twitter. 19 October 2016.

Costa, Robert. “Bad hombres”. Twitter. 19 October 2016.

Tesfaye, Sophia. “Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is already auditioning for her next gig”. Salon. 19 October 2016.

What It Comes To (Pelican Nutsack)

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke talks to the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State's office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday, 22 July 2016, after registering to run for U.S. Senate.  (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

If, for instance, this is not surprising―

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has qualified for a televised debate in Louisiana’s Senate race after a new poll showed him drawing 5 percent of the vote.

Duke, a white supremacist, announced he was running late this summer, saying GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump had inspired him and drawn more followers to his cause. Other Republicans in the state have disavowed him and the Republican National Committee and Louisiana GOP explored booting him out of the party.

Raycom Media, which owns four television stations in the state, commissioned a poll to determine who would qualify for the Nov. 2 debate, and Duke met the 5 percent threshold, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Dillard University, a historically black university in New Orleans, is hosting the debate.

(Robillard)

―can we at least say this is disappointing?

The bit about David Duke pitching his U.S. Senate candidacy at an historically black university, though, ought to be worth something.

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Image note: Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke talks to the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday, 22 July 2016, after registering to run for U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Robillard, Kevin. “David Duke qualifies for Louisiana Senate debate”. Politico. 21 October 2016.