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Steve Bannon Declares War On The Senate GOP

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon, who left his position as President Trump’s top political strategist back in August and returned to his previous position at Breitbart news, is vowing to take on virtually every Republican in the Senate:

Steve Bannon plans to back primary challengers to almost every Republican senator who runs for re-election next year in an effort to depose Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and streamline Senate voting procedures, three people familiar with his plans said.

Only Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is safe from the nascent political organization led by Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, the people said — because Cruz is considered conservative enough and is thought to be moving toward the more populist approach Bannon favors. Bannon has held a series of meetings to plan his moves for 2018 since late September, when he backed Roy Moore, the Alabama judge who’s been accused of bigotry, in a successful runoff election against Senator Luther Strange, who had support from Trump and McConnell.

Bannon plans to support as many as 15 Republican Senate candidates in 2018, including several challengers to incumbents, the people said. He’ll support only candidates who agree to two conditions: They will vote against McConnell as majority leader, and they will vote to end senators’ ability to block legislation by filibustering.

A spokesman for McConnell referred questions to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and to Josh Holmes, who managed McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign. Neither immediately responded to a request for comment.

Bannon looks to knock off some of McConnell’s most reliable supporters in the Senate. They include Nevada’s Dean Heller, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, Wyoming’s John Barrasso, and Utah’s Orrin Hatch, should he seek re-election. Bannon is working with Erik Prince, founder of the notorious mercenary company Blackwater, who is eyeing a run against Barrasso, the people said. The New York Times reported on Prince’s interest in the race on Sunday.

In Arizona, Bannon also plans to back former state Senator Kelli Ward in a primary challenge to U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, who wrote a book critical of Trump. He also supports Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, a Tea Party Republican, to replace Senator John McCain if McCain — who is battling a brain cancer diagnosis — leaves office early.

In Tennessee, Bannon plans to back Representative Marsha Blackburn, who is running to replace Senator Bob Corker. Corker, who doesn’t plan to seek re-election, engaged in a Twitter exchange with Trump Sunday. The president called Corker a coward for not seeking a third term. Corker responded by calling the White House an “adult day care center.” Bannon has encouraged Trump to push back against GOP senators they view as unreliable on Trump’s agenda, including Corker.

A key goal for Bannon is a long-shot bid to change Senate rules that currently require a 60-vote super-majority to end debate on most issues — a rule that can allow members to block votes by filibustering. That rule limits the power of the GOP’s current 52-vote majority in the chamber; it complicated the Senate’s ability to repeal Obamacare and is expected to complicate plans for tax legislation this year. Trump has repeatedly called for the Senate to change the rule.

McConnell himself won’t be up for re-election until 2020, but by targeting his supporters, Bannon might be able to force him from leadership in the Senate.

Bloomberg has more details on Bannon’s reported plans:

Stephen Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and current chair of the conservative website Breitbart, threatened on Monday to back primary challengers to every Republican senator who is up for re-election in 2018, save Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“That’s why I left the White House—remember, I said I’m going after the Republican establishment,” Bannon told Sean Hannity during an interview on Fox News. “And we’re going to go after them.”

Bannon has pledged to launch a self-described “war” against Republicans who aren’t loyal to President Trump. And there are apparently few people off limits. The nationalist firebrand listed GOP senators all across the country—even those who have been supportive of Trump and his agenda—as targets for potential primaries, including Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

“There’s a coalition coming together that’s going to challenge every Republican incumbent except for Ted Cruz,” he said. “We are declaring war on the Republican establishment that does not back the agenda Trump ran on…. Nobody is safe. We’re coming after all of them. And we’re going to win.”

Primary threats are not uncommon for party activists to make. It’s unprecedented, however, for a person so closely associated with a sitting president to threaten to target virtually an entire political party. That Cruz is the lone exception is notable, too. The Texas Republican has always been a darling of the conservative movement. But he went hard against Trump last year in the heat of the primary campaign, and refused to explicitly endorse Trump when he had a prime speaking slot at the Republican convention.

During his conversation with Hannity, Bannon went after Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in particular, who is locked in a bitter feud with President Trump. While Corker is not seeking re-election next year, Bannon said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman should resign if he “had any honor or decency.” Once an ally of the president, Corker told The New York Times on Sunday that Trump might be setting the country “on the path to World War III.”

(…)

Bannon’s threats don’t come without significant political risks. With only a slim majority of 52 seats in the Senate, going to war against Corker and other potentially vulnerable incumbents up for re-election next year could backfire. Just as was the case with health care, Republicans can’t afford to lose more than two of their own when they begin tackling the next agenda item, tax reform, or as they consider nominees for the open slots in Trump’s cabinet.

The Washington Post’s  Aaron Blake discusses what all this could mean for the GOP, and the Senate:

Bannon seems to be wielding a threat: He wants McConnell out and the filibuster nuked, or else. But it also seems highly unlikely the GOP and McConnell will give him what he wants anytime soon. And that means Bannon will be put in the position of making good on these threats.

We’ve already seen what that can produce, with Roy Moore’s virulently anti-McConnell, Bannon-backed campaign emerging victorious in Alabama. Exactly how much credit Bannon deserves for that is an open question — Moore was leading before Bannon came onboard — but the anti-McConnell message sure seemed to resonate in that race. Bannon is threatening to take that national.

And as importantly, Bannon’s advocacy could help these GOP challengers clear a threshold that most of them fail to ever meet. The major hurdle to defeating Republican incumbents in recent years hasn’t been in knocking them down; it’s been in finding a candidate who is well-funded enough to actually make it a competitive campaign in the first place. Incumbent senators spend years banking millions of dollars, and challengers often can’t even get off the ground — or don’t even try. There’s never been a hugely organized national effort to support these challengers, and generally only one or two a cycle even clear the threshold.

This isn’t the first time that it’s been reported that Bannon is “going to war” against Republicans on Capitol Hill, of course. Less than a month after he left the White House, for example, it was being reported that Bannon was getting ready to take on Republicans on Capitol Hill, especially those he deemed as being insufficiently loyal to President Trump. As I noted at the time, it was unclear exactly what Bannon meant by all of that, but now his plan seems to be becoming apparent, at least as far as the Senate is concerned. Right now, for example, he seems to be engaged in a strategy to choke off the money flowing to incumbents in general and to the SuperPACs and other entities that are part of the vast network that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others have been able to tap into in recent years to go up against grassroots candidates who were seeking to undermine the so-called “establishment” Republican Party. While it’s far too early to tell if he’s going to be successful in these efforts, it seems clear that this coud be a serious problem for Republicans going forward.

These threats come Bannon aren’t just empty ones, and there seems to be a real danger that the campaign he suggests he is undertaking could have a serious and negative impact on Republican hopes of holding on to the Senate in next year’s election. For years now, Bannon has been close to the Mercer family, who have long been GOP megadonors and politically are considerably to the right of other big Republican donors such as Foster Friess, Sheldon Adelson, and the Koch Brothers. If the Mercers, their money, and their network of ultra-conservative donors are behind him, Bannon could end up having a real impact on primaries in several deeply red states where Republican incumbents don’t face serious challenges from Democrats in a General Election, but where they could be vulnerable to a well-funded primary campaign coming against them from the right. In some of those cases at least, it’s possible that this could mean that the Republicans end up with a nominee is so far to the right that Democrats end up having a chance at grasping victory out of the jaws of defeat thanks to the selection of particularly right-wing or unqualified candidates. Given the fact that Republicans are holding on to a razor-thin majority in the Senate, this could pose a problem in an election year where it already seems apparent that two Republican Senators — Jeff Flake in Arizona and Dean Heller in Nevada — are being seen as vulnerable next year, this could pose serious problems for Republicans in a year’s time.

The obvious analogy for all of this, of course, is the efforts of various Tea Party groups to challenge Republican incumbents earlier this decade. In many cases, most notably involving the 2010 races in Nevada and Delaware, and the largely successful Tea Party backed effort in 2012 to challenge former Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana, these challenges seem to have quite clearly led to Democratic victories in states that a more moderate Republican would have arguably had a better chance of winning. Additionally, the threat of such primary challenges caused many incumbents to hold the line on a wide variety of issues including the ‘repeal and replace’ strategy on health care, budget negotiations, the debt ceiling, and the 2013 government shutdown. In several cases, this strategy caused incumbents to fall out of favor with the voting public, although to be fair it didn’t really have an impact on the GOP’s ultimate success in capturing the Senate in the 2014 Senate elections. Whether Bannon’s threat has a positive or negative impact on Republican fortunes in the future remains to be seen, but it is likely to result in pushing Republicans further to the right in the coming years, and that will have an impact on American politics regardless of what it means for GOP fortunes in 2018, 2020, or beyond.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Only Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is safe— because Cruz is considered conservative enough and is thought to be moving toward the more populist approach Bannon favors.”

    Steve&Ted.. :))

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I think that before we go electing an entire Senate full of Roy Moores we should take Comb-over Donnie up on his offer to produce an IQ test.
    Responding to Tillerson calling him a “fvcking moron”:

    “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Kylopod says:

    In many cases, most notably involving the 2010 races in Nevada and Delaware, and the largely successful Tea Party backed effort in 2012 to challenge former Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana, these challenges seem to have quite clearly led to Democratic victories in states that a more moderate Republican would have arguably had a better chance of winning.

    But there’s an important distinction there. Delaware is basically a solid-blue state that hasn’t elected a Republican to statewide office since 1994. Nevada is a purple state. Indiana and Missouri (where Republican candidates lost Senate elections in 2012 after making dumb remarks about rape) are red-leaning, but nowhere near as extreme as, say, Alabama. Obama actually won Indiana in 2008 and came within 4,000 votes of winning Missouri. If Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell or Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock had been running in Alabama, chances are they’d have won. Bannon’s strategy, deplorable as it is, may pay real dividends if it focuses on safely Republican seats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  4. KM says:

    Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Bannon doesn’t like Trump and surrogates, Bannon thinks he can control them and make him dance to his tune. He’s already broken ranks on some issues that dragged Trump back into the fold. He can and will turn on anyone that doesn’t follow *his* party line, not the GOP’s. Bannon fancies himself Kingmaker and he’s not exactly wrong.

    The GOP better come up with a strategy to mitigate Breitbart’s negativity since there’s a very good chance it will be turned on them repeatedly.

    These threats come Bannon aren’t just empty ones, and there seems to be a real danger that the campaign he suggests he is undertaking could have a serious and negative impact on Republican hopes of holding on to the Senate in next year’s election.

    God I hope so. They decided to sleep with this mangy mutt and deserve all the fleas they get. Maybe the Republicans should have heeded that old adage or it’s modern equivalent: don’t stick your ^&#** in Crazy, it don’t end well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Kylopod:

    I noticed Bannon didn’t mention the Purple-ish states that the NRSC is targeting, and which currently have open Republican primaries–Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, etc. What are his plans there, if any? The red-state Dem in me is really hoping he’ll back the craziest primary candidate, which in Indiana would be Todd “Todd” Rokita.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    And right now, some political observers are speculating that Trump is using the “Anthem” and other ‘dog whistle’ issues to McGovernize the Democratic Party in time for the 2020 election cycle.

    The rush to a Restoration of 1928 is on.

    Again, those on the left who thought that Hillary was an unacceptable alternative to Trump? Do you now believe that an HRC Administration would be debasing the public sector as the Trump Administration is doing now? If so, I hope your therapy sessions are bringing you back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  7. Not the IT Dept. says:

    I refer you back to that NYT article that I linked to in one of the posts about Roy Moore. It reprinted the entirety of an RNC memo on the nomination of Roy Moore and stated clearly that Bannon was irrelevant, that his events were geared – not to local voters – but to the national media. Local voters were not getting their info from social media or the internet or Breitbart, they got it from local right-wing radio.

    Bannon is doing what Bannon does really well: he’s suckering the media into taking him more seriously than he warrants. He’s found a parade and has pushed his way to the front of it, trying to make it look like he put it all together. Not unlike what he did with Trump’s campaign, incidentally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. gVOR08 says:

    … there seems to be a real danger that the campaign he suggests he is undertaking could have a serious and negative impact on Republican hopes of holding on to the Senate in next year’s election.

    I’m not sure “danger” is quite the right word there.

    I would infer from this that Cruz has agreed to lapdog for the Mercers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Franklin says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: I’d love to see the results of Trump taking an IQ test. My serious guess would be about 115, likely the lowest of any President ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Franklin:

    My serious guess would be about 115

    Normal, or average, intelligence ranges from 90-109. I would put him at the low end of that scale.
    115 would put him in the Superior range. I see nothing to justify that.

    Simply put, IQ tests are designed to measure your general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. This includes reasoning ability, problem-solving ability, ability to perceive relationships between things and ability to store and retrieve information.

    His ability to solve problems is one-dimensional. He does not seem to be able to grasp even simple concepts; much less so, complex or abstract concepts. Same with relationships. His inability to store and retrieve information is legendary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. KM says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    It also changes with age. Factor in the clear signs of mental decline we witness near daily and whatever number Trump thinks he’s bragging about – subtract at least 10 pt. At his age and known history, he won’t rate triple digits and land squarely on the moron side of the scale. It took a nutcase from NK to give America the proper term for what we were seeing: a textbook definition of dotard. One cannot be a little dotty and sharp as a tack at the same time.

    About the only type of intelligence I’d be willing to grant Trump as higher then normal is Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Much like GW, he’s a not so “smart” man that knows how to read and work his crowd. Remember, higher then normal EQ doesn’t mean you automatically empathize naturally. It means you get what motivates people more and how to push those buttons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Argon says:

    People thought Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove were geniuses back in the day. Then they each imploded. Bannon’s 15 minutes of fame is probably heading that way soon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. MBunge says:

    It’s always good to come back here and be amused at Donald Trump’s intellect being questioned by people who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 27

  14. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:

    who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    First…you have no idea what I have or have not accomplished. So once again you are opining on that which you have little or no knowledge.
    Second…Trump was handed everything he has by his father (or Putin). Had he invested what he was given by Daddy in an S&P 500 Index Fund he would have far more money than he likely has now. Ipso Facto…his accomplishments are a net-zero, or less.
    Third…and this is the kicker, Bunge…If Trump is really worth $10B (which most people doubt) then 1/10000000th of that is $1000. Likely even J-E-N-O-S is worth that much.

    Your man-crush on this buffoon is amplifying your dumb-assery.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  15. Not the IT Dept. says:

    MBunge: I’ll also tell you that none of the people on this site have been 1/10,000,000th of the sociopath Trump has been either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Perhaps to @MBunge, $1,000 is a sum of money not likely to be seen in real life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  17. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s always good to come back here and be amused at Donald Trump’s intellect being questioned by people who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    From 2009 – 2012, I helped care for my father through the three years of the fight with cancer, and sat with him in hospice for much of his final month. Since he passed, I’ve managed to keep my mother alive and alert as she dealt with her grief and several major health scares and surgery, and today she is better shape than she was even a year ago.

    While all of that was happening, I was a financial cop, essentially, for several years helping to keep insurance companies from engaging in their worst impulses. And for the past five years, I’ve taught roughly 200 students every semester, and gotten tons of feedback from them on my teaching that I am quite happy with. Every weekend, I go to the local Humane Society and help socialize stray dogs and cats.

    Remind me again, what things of value has Trump accomplished?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  18. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Remind me again, what things of value has Trump accomplished?

    He fvcks his daughter…while Jarod watches from a cage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  19. Lit3Bolt says:

    @MBunge:

    Excellent work, comrade. You get extra potato and wodka ration today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  20. Joe says:

    When Bannon makes his candidates commit to get rid of the filibuster, is there any fine print that says, unless the Senate returns to the Democrats since the Republicans ran too many crazies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s always good to come back here and be amused at Donald Trump’s intellect being questioned by people who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    It’s always amusing to see you drop stink bombs into threads and then promptly flee after seeing your arguments cogently and intelligently demolished, while continuing to believe you’re successfully knocking people off their high horse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. CSK says:

    @MBunge:

    What a silly comment. As has been pointed out, you have no idea who any of us are, nor what any of us might have accomplished in terms of scientific, medical, technological, artistic, or cultural achievements.

    And please tell us precisely what Trump has accomplished, other than conning a pack of rubes into electing him president. He went bust trying to sell vodka. He bankrupted four casinos. How the hell does anyone but a true idiot go broke peddling booze and promoting gambling? Any gangster with an IQ of 90 can succeed in those games.

    Trump steaks? A bust. Trump magazines? Major flopperoo. Trump board game? No one wanted to buy it. Trump Airlines? Wow, what a success: He bought the Eastern shuttle for 10 million, managed to screw it up so badly it was out of business in four years, and lost 100 million on the deal.

    When Trump calls someone a loser, it’s pure projection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  23. Franklin says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Normal, or average, intelligence ranges from 90-109. I would put him at the low end of that scale.
    115 would put him in the Superior range. I see nothing to justify that.

    Translating an IQ of 115 to percentiles, it would mean he is smarter than ~84% of people. That may be some official category of “Superior” but I don’t consider it particularly impressive. Despite the level of ineptitude he shows as a very public figure, I just don’t think the average person would fare better having every one of their moves analyzed.

    Maybe it’s just my personal experience, or a misjudgment on my part of the intelligence level of the people around me. Anyway, that’s why I would actually like to see real IQ results for Trump, as a matter of interest.

    EDIT: My source for converting IQ to percentile is https://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. the Q says:

    Let me rephrase Al -ameda,

    Again, those Dem corporate centrists who thought that Hillary was an acceptable alternative to Trump? Do you now believe that a Sanders Administration would be debasing the public sector as the Trump Administration is doing now? If so, I hope your therapy sessions are bringing you back.

    Thanks for running the most disliked, distrusted, unpopular, uninspiring candidate since polling began, then blaming the heart and soul of the party who warned you of the folly.

    Then to have the chutzpah to not look in the mirror for the stupidity of running a candidate that consistently ran behind Sanders against Trump….I hope YOU sleep well at night.

    I can’t tell you how many cross overs didn’t vote FOR Trump, they voted AGAINST HRC and that includes WOMEN who she lost by 6 points!!!!!

    So stop being a clueless clown and start blaming the neo lib wing who elects empty suits like Kamala Harris (who gave bjs to Willie Brown) who turns around and votes FOR DoD budget increases. Harris, another worthless boomer.

    Contrast her vote with Barbara Boxer’s courage to vote against all wars and defense spending increases.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  25. Kylopod says:

    @the Q:

    that includes WOMEN who she lost by 6 points!!!!!

    Um….she beat Trump among women by 11 (CNN) or 12 (NYT) points. Where did you get your stat from?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. Moosebreath says:

    @Kylopod:

    “that includes WOMEN who she lost by 6 points!!!!!

    Um….she beat Trump among women by 11 (CNN) or 12 (NYT) points. Where did you get your stat from?”

    Let me guess — only white women count.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  27. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Franklin:
    This is the scale I found…how it relates to percentiles, I know not.

    Over 140 – Genius or near genius.
    120 – 140 – Very superior intelligence.
    110 – 119 – Superior intelligence.
    90 – 109 – Normal or average intelligence.
    80 – 89 – Dullness.
    70 – 79 – Borderline deficiency.

    So superior is just above normal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @the Q:

    Thanks for running the most disliked, distrusted, unpopular, uninspiring candidate since polling began

    …who then won by 3,000,000 votes.
    Are you are blaming Russian hacking and James Comey on Democrats?
    Your argument is lacking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @the Q: She beat bernie like a rented mule. Your year long whining is duly noted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s always good to come back here and be amused at Donald Trump’s intellect being questioned by people who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    Mike

    I have to admit that you’re you’re right Mike.

    I’ll never experience being staked to a multi-million dollar real estate empire by my father; nor experience 5 business bankruptcies including an impossible-to-lose-money casino bankruptcy; nor would I ever sexually harass and abuse women; nor would I ever go on a television or radio show and brag about being sexually attracted to my daughter.

    No, I would definitely NOT accomplish any of those things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @the Q:

    Let me rephrase Al -ameda, …

    So stop being a clueless clown and start blaming the neo lib wing who elects empty suits like Kamala Harris (who gave bjs to Willie Brown) who turns around and votes FOR DoD budget increases. Harris, another worthless boomer.

    Contrast her vote with Barbara Boxer’s courage to vote against all wars and defense spending increases.

    Clueless clown? You’re the one blaming Boomers in aggregate for virtually everything that’s happened since FDR died.

    I’m blaming any so-called progressive, liberal, or Democrat who either sat this one out, or indulged a vanity vote for Jill Stein, simply because they believed that Hillary was, in their myopic little minds, a more abhorrent and evil choice than Donald Trump.

    Did you vote for Trump? Write in Eleanor Roosevelt or Bess Truman?

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/steve-bannon-declares-war-on-the-senate-gop/#ixzz4v8xVrRLt

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  32. t says:

    @al-Ameda: I’m blaming any so-called progressive, liberal, or Democrat who either sat this one out, or indulged a vanity vote for Jill Stein, simply because they believed that Hillary was, in their myopic little minds, a more abhorrent and evil choice than Donald Trump.

    werent you the one that posted that story on this very topic about how you inserted yourself into two random strangers conversation at a cafe and then lectured them??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. t says:

    ugh, formatting…but was that you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: I seem to remember that Trump was the clown who wanted to put marble sinks in the TRUMP AIR bathrooms.. We’re not talking about someone with a lot of horse sense here…

    Trump doesn’t even hit 100 on the IQ scale. What Trump is able to do is demagogue a bunch of resentful clueless aging white people into thinking that he’ll solve all their problems. (In Britain the British version just voted to go SPLAT out of the EU with no advance planning. The fact that they’re looking at 10 years of a deep economic depression hasn’t hit them yet.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @t:

    ugh, formatting…but was that you?

    werent you the one that posted that story on this very topic about how you inserted yourself into two random strangers conversation at a cafe and then lectured them??

    Your language is arguable, but … no matter … yes.
    I asked them if they were happy with the Trump Administration and the direction they were taking the country, and if they regretted any of this?

    I still marvel in complete disgust at the people who saw/see no difference between HRC and Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: What? You mean that going banko several times, losing money in countless businesses, cheating countless small contractors out of thousands of dollars, and–last but not least–being reduced to selling your name to fly-by-night developers because nobody will loan you any money to build don’t count as “things of value” anymore? What’s the world coming to?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Joe:

    is there any fine print that says, unless the Senate returns to the Democrats since the Republicans ran too many crazies?

    I’m not willing to give Bannon credit for being able to think that far ahead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: You can keep on believing all this lofty nonsense about Trump if you want.

    The rest of us know the difference between shit and shoe polish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: @Franklin: I might spot Trump another couple points. I don’t recall where I saw it, and I can’t find it again, but I’ve seen references to something called 120 syndrome or 120 itis or something like that. Guy gets 120 on an IQ test and someone tells him he’s superior. He goes through life making mistakes and being an ass because he thinks he’s some super genius, when he’s really just above average, like all the kids in Lake Wobegon.

    Has WIKI put Trump’s picture on the Dunning-Kruger page yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. DrDaveT says:

    @Franklin:

    I’d love to see the results of Trump taking an IQ test.

    Can’t happen. There is zero probability that Trump could sit still and focus long enough to take an IQ test.

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  41. DrDaveT says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s always good to come back here and be amused at Donald Trump’s intellect being questioned by people who, combined, won’t accomplish in their lives 1/10000000th of what Trump has in his.

    Are your standards really so low?

    I have increased my personal wealth by a much larger factor than Trump has, despite a much less advantaged start.

    I’ve earned rather more advanced degrees than he has, in tougher fields.

    I’ve personally saved the US taxpayers roughly $1 billion. Can Trump match that?

    I will admit that I have not married nearly as many women, and my wife was not a mail-order model. If that’s your metric, I lose bigly.

    What, exactly, do you think Trump has accomplished in his life? I’d be fascinated to know.

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  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Hey Bungles!
    I know you admire him for grabbing women by the pussy.
    I do not believe posters here desire to be accomplished sexual perverts.

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  43. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    What, exactly, do you think Trump has accomplished in his life? I’d be fascinated to know.

    He’s rich. MBunge is not exactly the most subtle thinker. As far as I can tell he’s still in that juvenile “but it’s all so *obvious*. I can’t believe people are not listening to reason” (i.e. me) phase.

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  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    What worked in Alabama will not necessarily work in most of the rest of the country. I guess Bannon has forgotten 2010.

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  45. KM says:

    @Ebenezer Arvigenius:

    And if you are rich, it’s assumed you have a whole host of talents that made you rich so people buy all this BS about how you “earned” it (by falling out of the right hoo-hah that is). This is why Melania keeps get praised for being fluent in multiple languages despite nobody hearing her do so on camera. When she travels, she has a translator just like everybody else so even if she knew a few words, she ain’t fluent. It’s why Trump gets touted as smart because he has so many businesses with his name on it – screw how they actually turned out, you can see his name so he must be great at marketing!!

    In America, all you have to do is look like you have a few dollars and people will rate you as smarter, more talented and it even enhances your height and beauty somehow. Americans think the rich are just better in general.

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  46. Kylopod says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    What worked in Alabama will not necessarily work in most of the rest of the country. I guess Bannon has forgotten 2010.

    I don’t think he has forgotten at all. Look at the states he specifically mentions targeting. First, he singles out Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Tennessee. Those are all deeply red states, far redder than Missouri or Indiana in 2012, and far redder than Nevada or Delaware in 2010. Is there a chance of a Democratic pickup in one of those states, due to the craziness of the GOP candidates? Sure. But it’s not a very large chance. The likeliest outcome is simply that standard Republicans get replaced by Bannon-approved Republicans.

    It’s true that he also singles out Arizona’s Jeff Flake and Nevada’s Dean Heller. But both men are probably goners anyway. Maybe having them primaried in favor of a Bannon-approved loon increases the chances of Democratic pickup from, say 75% to 90%. But the cost-benefit analysis isn’t totally irrational. From Bannon’s perspective, it may be worth the risk.

    I agree with @Not the IT Dept. that Bannon is trying to take credit for a movement he didn’t launch and may not have much actual influence over (there were elements of that with Sarah Palin in 2010). But regardless of who gets the credit, the strategy is not wholly ridiculous. One of the Tea Party’s biggest achievements is a GOP political class that is far more terrified of primary challenges than general-election defeats. Even primary challenges that have failed, such as those McCain has faced over the years, have helped push the incumbents to the far right. It is a major part of what has made the party unable to govern. In other words, Bannon is contributing to the very problem he decries. But it all works out fine for him in the end, because just like the Palinistas of the past decade, the Bannonite or Trumpist wing of the party will always blame the establishment when their putative agenda fails to materialize, and their “leaders” laugh all the way to the bank.

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  47. gVOR08 says:

    @KM:

    And if you are rich, it’s assumed you have a whole host of talents that made you rich so people buy all this BS about how you “earned” it (by falling out of the right hoo-hah that is).

    How many Trumps and Weinsteins do we have to see before we recognize that the ‘prosperity doctrine’ view that wealth is a reward for virtue is BS. Many rich people got there by being self absorbed asshats.

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  48. Franklin says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s always good to come back here …

    Yeah, where you been? Let me guess … WND? Washington Times? Alex Jones’ site?

    All great resources, I hear.

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  49. JohnMcC says:

    @gVOR08: You’ve singled out a founding thread in America’s culture: Puritanism. I don’t think there’s much future in beating one’s head against that wall. And no need. It’s collapsing quickly of it’s own weight and obvious hypocrisy.

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  50. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    How many Trumps and Weinsteins do we have to see before we recognize that the ‘prosperity doctrine’ view that wealth is a reward for virtue is BS.

    For the people who buy into that thinking, Weinstein, et al. are the exceptions rather than the generality–and may even be that in fact for that matter. We probably will not ever get rid of this particular bias–it’s what gives us hope that anyone can become “great.”

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  51. DrDaveT says:

    @the Q:

    Do you now believe that a Sanders Administration would be debasing the public sector as the Trump Administration is doing now?

    “A Sanders Administration” was never an option. If you’re going to regret not getting a Sanders Administration, you might as well regret not getting a third Obama Administration, or an Adlai Stevenson Administration, or a liter of purified unicorn tears.

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  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I have to admit that the second I hear anyone bleating about “Sanders this” or “Sanders that”, mentally I immediately file them into the “irredeemably stupid” box and disregard anything further that they might have to say.

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  53. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: There’s probably a lot of us who did what I did–voted for Sanders in the primaries, and then, when he lost, voted happily for Clinton in the general election.

    Anyone who decided to not vote for Hillary and stomped off in a hissy fit to vote for Jill Stein or one of the other 0.00001% candidates deserves all the mental torture he now feels. You don’t always get what you want. Being adult is realizing that getting half a loaf is often the best you’ll be able to do under the circumstances.

    These are the same guys who voted for Ralph Nader.

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