Donald Trump’s First Television Ad Hits Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim Themes

Donald Trump is out with his first television ad, and it's about what you'd expect.

Trump Announcement

Now that we’re in the final month before the Iowa Caucuses mark the beginning of the 2016 Presidential campaign, candidates are likely to begin unveiling their high-dollar media campaigns that will hit airwaves in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond, and the first Republican out of the gate is Donald Trump, whose first ad is full of the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric that has marked much of his campaign so far:

Donald Trump’s ad begins with a shot of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Then comes a U.S. battleship launching a cruise-missile strike. It moves swiftly through an explosive montage: The suspects in the recent California terrorist attack. Shadowy figures racing across the U.S.-Mexico border. Islamic State militants.

The narrator, a deep-voiced man, speaks ominously: “That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until we can figure out what’s going on. He’ll quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil. And he’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”

The spot closes with the image of Trump thundering at one of his rallies, “We will make America great again!”

The Republican presidential candidate’s long-awaited and hotly anticipated first ad, which was shared exclusively with The Washington Post, is set to launch Monday as part of a series that will air in the final month before the Iowa caucuses. Trump has vowed to spend at least $2 million a week on the ads — an amount that will be amplified by the countless times they are likely to be played on cable news and across social media.

The decision to air television ads — which Trump hinted at for months, though the billionaire mogul has been loath to spend more than he deems necessary — represents a tightly produced new act for a candidate who has fed largely off free media attention.

In an interview Sunday with The Post, Trump said that he has six to eight ads in production and that his was a “major buy and it’s going to go on for months.” He said he hopes the spots impress upon undecided voters that the country has become “a dumping ground.”

“The world is laughing at us, at our stupidity,” he said. “It’s got to stop. We’ve got to get smart fast — or else we won’t have a country.”

Trump has risen to the top of a chaotic Republican field in part because he embodies voters’ rejection of the professional political class. By taking to the airwaves, he is turning to one of the traditional tools of a modern political campaign.

Trump watched last fall as rival campaigns and their allies spent tens of millions of dollars on TV ads that did not give them much bounce. He said he figured that advertising would be a waste for him, too. Yet as the race tightened with the approach of the new year, some of Trump’s supporters, including former ­adviser Roger Stone, publicly urged him to compete on the air.

Trump said he concluded that he may end up regretting not spending more of his own money to secure the nomination. He said he recalled thinking, “I’m $35 million to $40 million under budget, and to be honest, I don’t think I need [ads] because I have such a big lead. But I don’t want to take any chances, and I almost feel guilty not spending money.”

The first ad, titled “Great Again,” makes clear that Trump’s closing pitch to voters will be as visceral and arresting as the one he delivers at raucous rallies. It is a full embrace of the most incendiary of his proposals, as opposed to the more biographical spots that some other candidates favor.

Here’s the ad:

As with everything associated with Trump, starting out a media campaign with an ad like this is, to say the least, unconventional. Typically, candidates start their media campaigns with some kind of a positive ad that introduces the candidate to a wider audience, presents him or her in a positive light, and lays forth their vision for the campaign going forward. This is even more typically true of candidates who are considered front-runners, which Trump most assuredly is based on the polling at the national level, as well as in New Hampshire and South Carolina (in Iowa, Trump finished out 2015 narrowly trailing Texas Senator Ted Cruz but still in a very strong position.) Conventional wisdom also tells us that going negative, although, not negative against a particular opponent, is not generally the best way to start out a media campaign and not something that a frontrunner generally does right out of the gate. But, of course, Trump has not run a conventional campaign and, so far, it hasn’t seemed to hurt him so far, indeed negativity and acrimony towards immigrants, Muslims, and others seems to be central to what Trump’s campaign is all about, and he knows it:

Although Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kasich and other Republican presidential candidates have at times echoed Trump, none has gone as far as Trump in recommending that Muslims be barred from entering the country or that a massive, impenetrable border wall be built.

Trump said he wants his ads to hammer that distinction for voters who may still be torn between two or more candidates.

“It’s about immigration and safety, and they play hand in hand,” he said. “If you look at every poll, I’m the leader on the economy, but it’s immigration and ISIS, too. I’m bringing them all together.”

Alex Castellanos, a longtime GOP ad creator who is unaligned in the 2016 race, said Trump ought to use his January ads to make a closing argument. He even came up with a slogan: “The strength we want for the change we need.”

“Sum it up before the jury,” Castellanos said. “I would make the case that America is in decline, about to slip over the precipice, and we need a president as big as our fears and as strong as our adversaries — and only one man has demonstrated that strength.”

Trump and Lewandowski declined to name the firm or person responsible for producing the ads. When pressed, Trump said, “He’s somebody who’s respected very much, somebody’s who’s had a good record of ads.”

Trump said his advertising blitz is being financed chiefly out of his own pocket, although his campaign had raised $3.9 million through the third quarter of last year, much of that in small-dollar donations.

“All me, 100 percent me — 100 percent,” Trump said. “I’m self-funding my campaign. We do have small donors that send in $12, $25, $100, but they just send it in. We’re not asking for it.”

Discussing his vision for the ads, Trump sounded more like a media strategist than a politician. He said that television has a unique aesthetic and that rather than speaking directly into the camera, his ads would intersperse rally footage with images designed to draw viewers to focus on the issues of his campaign.

At the very least, Trump’s opening shot in the ad wars is likely to appeal to his supporters, and probably will resonate with most of the conservative GOP base as well regardless of whether or not they are currently backing Trump. The fact that he went so aggressive on the themes that have been a part of his campaign since the beginning of his campaign last June is a sign that his campaign is unconcerned with the idea that he may ‘go too far’ and end up alienating voters that he needs to support him in the primaries.  As we’ve seen repeatedly over the past six months, though, there’s pretty much nothing that Donald Trump can say that will turn off his supporters, and that every ‘controversial’ thing he says ends up helping him in the polls rather than hurting him. At this point, the only real question is whether Trump will be able to turn his support in the polls into voters, and with ads like this one it seems likely he’ll at least be able to fire them up.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    “The world is laughing at us, at our stupidity,” he said.

    Well, he’s right about that much.




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  2. J-Dub says:

    @Mikey: Damn, I had already copied that line myself…

    I don’t know how much the world is laughing as much as they are watching in bewilderment at the ease by which someone like Trump can mesmerize a large segment of our citizenry.




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  3. Mark Ivey says:

    “He’ll quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil. And he’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”

    BORING… when is “The Don” gonna come up with some new bulls**t??




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  4. J-Dub says:

    @Mark Ivey: I’m pretty sure ISIS is stealing that oil themselves. Maybe Trump should promise to return the oil to its rightful owners.




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  5. Tony W says:

    Is he even aware that his wives are immigrants?




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  6. James Pearce says:

    Ack, you embedded it. And I watched it.

    Trump to TV networks: “Look, I’m not paying those rates. Are you kidding me? I’ll just put my ads up on Youtube and the response will be YUUGE.”

    He’s got six ads in production? Surely one will be so controversial, it will get replayed endlessly on the “news.”




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  7. CSK says:

    If I were an optimistic person, I’d say Donny was worried.

    I’m not that optimistic.




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  8. Scott says:

    @Tony W: Yeah, speaking of that, what does Trump have against red-blooded American women? Doesn’t he think they are good enough?




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  9. C. Clavin says:

    How friggin’ stupid do you have to be to believe even for a minute that this comb-over clown is going to make Mexico pay billions for a wall that will never begin to protect our border, or that he is going to march into the Middle East and take all the oil?
    The GOP…a party full of stupid.




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  10. C. Clavin says:

    “All me, 100 percent me — 100 percent,” Trump said. “I’m self-funding my campaign. We do have small donors that send in $12, $25, $100, but they just send it in. We’re not asking for it.”

    That’s because he went begging to the GOP money-men and they turned him down.
    Speaking of which…the Republican party is going to have a major problem if the comb-over clown wins Iowa, aren’t they?




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  11. Crusty Dem says:

    Everyone is focusing on ISIS decapitation, oil theft, and the wall, but the most telling line is;

    That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until we can figure out what’s going on.

    That’s just pathetic (beyond also being stupid, shortsighted and unconstitutional). What presidential ad features “until we can figure out..” If you want to look laughable and stupid, just say you’re doing X “until we can figure out what’s going on”. How have his opponents not figured out how lame that sounds! The correct response (in GOP debate parlance) to it is “figured out what? What more do you need to know? Such a weak statement.”




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  12. Jenos Idanian says:

    From Doug’s article:

    Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim Themes… anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric…

    From the actual ad:

    he’ll stop illegal immigration

    One of these things is not like the other… one of these things just doesn’t belong… come on, sing along! You all know the words!




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  13. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Come on,Jenos, you don’t seriously believe that he’s going to build that “big beautiful wall” and make Mexico pay for it, do you?




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  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Oh my…one of the dogs is pretending not to hear the whistles.




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  15. Pch101 says:

    At some point, the Trump fans will need to figure out that religious affiliations aren’t included in passports. (I suppose that might be a genuine shock for those who have never left the country and therefore have had no reason to have a passport.)




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  16. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: I understand that you’re too stupid to understand the difference between legal and illegal immigration, but I have higher expectations for others here.

    But go ahead, cite how Trump’s proposals would in any way directly affect legal immigrants. Please.




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  17. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: Come on,Jenos, you don’t seriously believe that he’s going to build that “big beautiful wall” and make Mexico pay for it, do you?

    If you read Scott Adams’ coverage of Trump, you’d see that Adams has actually read Trump’s book, and understands Trump’s tactics.

    When Trump wants to open negotiations, he opens with an over-the top position. This gives him bargaining room.

    Think of it as the equivalent of Obama saying that he opposes gay marriage… or will accept and limit himself to federal funding… or that he opposes single-payer… or any of a dozen other things he said when running in 2008 that we all knew were a total crock when he said them.




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  18. Tony W says:

    @Scott: My guess? American Women are likely not compliant enough for him, he needs to feel unquestioned power at all times.




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  19. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Well, the Pakistani government demands that the passports it issues show the bearer’s religious affiliation.




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  20. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: At some point, Trump detractors will have to acknowledge that there is ample precedent for moves like Trump’s proposal — and carried out by Democratic heroes like Jimmy Carter and FDR.

    With Carter, it was the Iranians.

    With FDR, it was the Jews fleeing Europe.

    And in neither case was it proposed as “temporary.”




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  21. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    cite how Trump’s proposals would in any way directly affect legal immigrants.

    Other than rounding up brown-ish people who talk funny and those who refuse to spit on the Quran, using his army of thugs, then placing those folks in concentration camps until they can be deported? That may sound over the top, but it’s absolutely the expectation my Trump-supporting acquaintances have for his first week in office.




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  22. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Sure, but the point is that Trump’s supporters believe him literally. I’m aware of his negotiating tactic, but they aren’t. I don’t think a few miles of barbed wire and some “keep out” signs will cut it for them.




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  23. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    See, you cute little poochie…that’s the entire idea behind dog whistle politics…the words sound perfectly reasonable…except they get the dogs (dupes like you) all worked up and wetting themselves. What’s really funny is when the dupes aren’t even aware of being played.
    Yip, yip, little puppy.




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  24. C. Clavin says:

    Look everyone…Jenos obviously has a hard-on for Trump…you aren’t surprised are you?
    He admires the comb-over, and that Trump wants to fwck his own daughter. The hate and the fear are just gravy. These kinds of things appeal to people like Jenos…who himself is an admitted free-rider on the health care system. Scum gravitates to scum.




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  25. Pch101 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    With Carter, it was the Iranians.

    Last I checked, Iran was a country that issues passports, while Islam isn’t a country and doesn’t issue passports. Jesus, you’re dumb.




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  26. CSK says:

    Jenos, there’s a big–no, a YUUUUGE—difference between negotiating a business deal and running for the presidency. Let me put it this way: A literary agent submits her client’s book manuscript to an editor. The editor likes it, and offers $50,000. The agent says, “We won’t accept a cent less than $100,000.” They settle on $75,000, and everyone’s happy. That’s a deal.

    Trump is not negotiating with the American public over the price of the wall, or how big it’s going to be, or who’s going to do the sub-contracting. He’s promising he’s going to do this. Repeatedly.

    That is not a negotiation. That is lying.




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  27. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    If you read Scott Adams’ coverage of Trump, you’d see that Adams has actually read Trump’s book, and understands Trump’s tactics.

    When Trump wants to open negotiations, he opens with an over-the top position. This gives him bargaining room.

    Trump:
    “Okay amigos, the illegal immigration fiesta is over, we’re building a wall to keep all of you criminals out, and we want to build a wall from Tijuana to Brownsville, which you will pay for!”
    President Nieto:
    “Interesting, who is going to build the wall – American college students on spring break?”
    Trump:
    “Your people, on temporary work visas will build it, and your government will pay for all construction costs.”
    President Nieto:
    Excuse me, I have to wash my hair, have your secretary call me when you’re serious.”




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  28. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda: You mean a negotiation requires more than one party actually show up? Who knew?




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  29. C. Clavin says:

    Turns out Trump used images of Morocco instead of Mexico.
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jan/04/donald-trump/donald-trumps-first-tv-ad-shows-migrants-southern-/
    Not that facts matter to Trump or his rabid supporters…you know…like Jenos.




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  30. Pch101 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    If Trump doesn’t get what he wants, then he’ll just fire Mexico after the commercial break on the next episode of White House Apprentice.




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  31. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jenos Idanian: he’ll stop illegal immigration
    your point:

    he’ll stop illegal immigration

    I think Trumps words were (on Dec 7 2105) “complete and total ban on Muslims wntering”, his press release states “Donald J. Trump Statement on preventing Muslim immigration”.

    He makes no mention of your cited “illegal” as it pertains to 1.2 billion Muslims.




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  32. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: And what happens when the other side says: “You’re crazy. Come back when you’re really interested in negotiation and we might talk” and simply gets up and leaves?

    Sometimes a totally out-of-the-world starting position simply makes you look like a nut.

    Negotiations occur because each side wants something from the other. OK, so Donald Trump wants to have a wall built between the US and Mexico and get Mexico to pay for it

    Why should Mexico spend a penny towards a goal that the US wants? Do you regularly decide to build a fence between your property and your neighbor and then send him the bill?

    Yeah, like that’s going to fly in a law court….




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  33. cd6 says:

    I love this commercial and I think it’s a powerful demonstration that Trump will be a strong, bold patriotic leader, unlike the nambly pants sissy we currently have in office, who dawdles and raises taxes while America burns.

    If we lived in a world where tv commercials were transformed into anthropomorphic beings, with physical bodies and strengths and weaknesses based upon the premise of their content, and I or my kids or my allergist were in an alley getting beat up by goons, I know I’d want Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” commercials to be there to rescue me. I sure as hell wouldn’t want soft and weak Democrat ads like those for Hillary or Bernie Sanders to try and save me. What you gonna do Bernie? Subsidize the thugs healthcare – to death?

    I think not
    Trump / Cheney ’16




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  34. Pch101 says:

    @cd6:

    You should find out whether The Onion is hiring. (The Cheney for veep thing was a nice touch.)




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  35. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: I have copied, screen-capped, and bookmarked that rant of yours. Expect to see it brought up often in the future.

    After 4.5 hours, it’s got one upding, three downdings, not a single comment from anyone interested in “policing their own side,” and nothing from the site moderators. I wonder if this comment might guilt some to now respond to your psychotic break with reality?




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  36. tarylcabot says:

    @Tony W: Well the middle wife was an American, so 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.




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  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    yawn.
    What’s funny is that you don’t dispute your love for your Republican Liberace….you are simply upset that it was pointed out.




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  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: What’s funnier is that you think the vomit you spewed is worthy of any substantive response.

    Keep digging, Cliffy. I’ll even give you a shovel.




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  39. Pch101 says:

    Perhaps Jenos can do something productive, such as organizing a protest at the Islam Passport Office.




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  40. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: And what happens when the other side says: “You’re crazy. Come back when you’re really interested in negotiation and we might talk” and simply gets up and leaves?

    Scott Adams has a phenomenal record for predicting what Trump will do in his campaign, and how it would go over. And he’s doing it as a trained hypnotist and professional persuader — he’s not advocating Trump, he’s admiring and analyzing Trump’s skills. And he’s posted a new prediction:

    Prediction: Watch for someone in Mexican politics to publicly agree with Trump that Mexico might pay for some part of increased border security.

    Then watch that turn into a pundit battle about what that actually means.

    Does it mean pay for the entire wall?

    Does it mean Mexico already pays a lot for border control, and this is just business as usual?

    Is paying for some of the wall enough to say Trump was right?

    That’s when you will start hearing the word “landslide” a lot more.

    You don’t grasp the Trump phenomenon, so you dismiss it. You hold it in contempt.

    Adams does grasp it. And he’s pulling back the curtain — not just on Trump, but on human nature itself. And how well Trump understands human nature, and how to work with it. Trump is a Master Manipulator.

    Don’t listen to morons like Cliffy who push what Adams calls the “lucky Hitler” model of Trump. Just look at the results — how many times has Trump made a move that so many said would be his fatal move, and then not only survived the “blunder,” but grown stronger? How many times does that have to happen before you start to wonder just how out of touch those pundits are?

    Trump took out Jeb Bush. The guy’s a dead man, politically; he just won’t admit it.

    Trump is lining up on the Clintons. Do you really think Hillary can fight back without hiding behind her husband, which destroys her “strong woman standing on her own” myth? And do you really think Trump doesn’t have plans to handle Bill as well?

    But just keep telling yourself that Trump’s a “lucky Hitler.” (In case you don’t get what that means, it’s Adams’ term for the explanation that Trump is a horrible, racist, fascist monster who only has been so successful because he’s been lucky, not because of any innate intelligence or talent or ability. It’s been on full display around here, among other places.)

    You wanna stop Trump? Go for it. But take a long, hard look at what has been tried so far. Instead of it weakening him, he’s only gotten stronger. Maybe you ought to reconsider your tactics before you get him elected by acclaim.




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  41. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    And yet you respond…




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  42. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Yup…he’s got you duped just like Palin did, and your man-crush Zimmerman…and of course Benghazi…and the IRS thing.
    The list of what fools you is long.




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  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: I respond with all the seriousness and forethought you deserve… which is so close to zero as to be virtually indistinguishable.

    What doesn’t fool me? You. Your delusions of adequacy. Your belief that you can win an argument by going more vulgar and crass and ugly. Your belief that those you hate are actually the real “haters,” when you demonstrate far, far more hatred than they are capable of.

    If you’re not drunk, Cliffy, then shut down the computer and go get drunk.




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  44. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump took out Jeb Bush.

    No, George W. Bush took out Jeb Bush. (Or, if one article I read is to be believed, Jeb Bush took out Jeb Bush by putting all his eggs in a PAC basket he doesn’t actually control.)

    But take a long, hard look at what has been tried so far. Instead of it weakening him, he’s only gotten stronger.

    But has he? Gotten stronger, that is. He hasn’t gotten weaker, that I’ll grant.

    But stronger? Ted Cruz might beat him in Iowa.




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  45. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: We’ll have to see what happens in Iowa.

    Trump’s hardly my preferred candidate — I don’t have one at this point — but you’d have to go way, way down the GOP list before you’d find someone I’d rate as worse than Hillary.




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  46. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: hmmm. Not much of a prediction, that is. No time limit on it, no limit on WHO will make the statement…

    I’ll make a counter-prediction: the President of Mexico is more likely to resign than volunteer to pay for a wall that the US builds.




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  47. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    What’s funnier is that you think the vomit you spewed is worthy of any substantive response.

    And yet, you’ve made two so far. Hmmmmm…

    (well, at least substantive for you)




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  48. Senyordave says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Trump is a racist pig who is a pathological liar. And he is running as a racist pig who is a pathological liar. He’s not your preferred candidate? Anyone who would consider voting for Trump is okay with his ideas. The overt racism, the “anyone who doesn’t look like me is an enemy” narrative. I am interested in the phenomenon up to a point, but eventually most of it is that a lot of his supporters are pissed that their life isn’t automatically better than those brown-skinned types. He’s a version of a modern-day Wallace, but he’s still peddling the same racist crap. And does anyone really think that Trump would dominate world leaders like Merkel, Cameron, or Hollande? They’ll figuratively put him in the time out corner.




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  49. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    but you’d have to go way, way down the GOP list before you’d find someone I’d rate as worse than Hillary.

    I can understand that, even if it’s not a view I share. Hillary’s way down on my list.

    And all the Republicans come in trailing after her.




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  50. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Scott Adams has a phenomenal record for predicting what Trump will do in his campaign

    His list is ridiculous.
    1. Has yet to be seen, but I’d put more money on Rubio winning than Trump.
    2. Bush was sinking well before Trump started the ‘low energy’ line of attack. That Trump fired a shot at a sinking ship, doesn’t make him responsible for the sinking.
    3 and 4 were parts of a flurry of self destructive behavior by Carson and Fiorina and EVERYONE saw them going down. Trump was not required.
    5. Best I can figure Trump started his attacks on Clinton regarding sexism around Dec 20 or a bit later. Clinton’s position hasn’t moved outside the MOE since at least early November.
    7. I haven’t heard these so called Freudian slips, but would expect them all to be Fox news and talk radio chatter and so completely inconsequential.
    8.

    My 3D predictions – no matter how accurate – will be ignored by the standard 2D media. Check!

    I had to quote because of the narcissistic stupid.
    9. Yes there are a lot of competing explanations for Trump’s success and by definition most will be wrong Adams’s included.

    Try a Google search and discover that it doesn’t exist, because if it did, the only name on it would be mine, and that can’t happen in the 2D world.

    More narcissistic stupid, or clever trolling. I’m really not sure at this point.

    More stupid from Dilbert

    To put a size on Trump’s skill level, I believe that as president he could depose a foreign leader with words alone. It would not work in all cases. But his skill set in persuasion is, in my opinion, weapons grade. I have never seen that level of skill.

    and

    I remind new readers that I do not endorse Trump or anyone else for president. I’m not smart enough to know who would do the best job. All the candidates look qualified to me, assuming their health holds out.

    and

    But I am a certified hypnotist with decades of study in the field of persuasion. My predictions are based on my knowledge of that skillset and the recognition that Trump has mastered those tools.

    If only we had realized years ago that we should farm out political prognostication to hypnotists.

    Dilbert has gotten his head stuck so far up his own ass he looks like he belongs in one of his own cartoons.




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  51. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    I forgot fast and furious which obsessed you for a couple years.
    The list is incredibly long….fool.
    Not your preferred candidate? Jesus gawd if he picked Palin as a running mate you wouldn’t be able to stop jerking off to their bumper stickers.




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  52. An Interested Party says:

    Trump is lining up on the Clintons. Do you really think Hillary can fight back without hiding behind her husband, which destroys her “strong woman standing on her own” myth? And do you really think Trump doesn’t have plans to handle Bill as well?

    And how is that going to work? We know that Trump goes after females like the male chauvinist pig that he is…do you really believe that will be an effective attack against Hillary? As for Bill, I’m sure he can handle this narcissistic bloviator…after all, he has already handled another narcissistic bloviator named Gingrich…




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  53. Grewgills says:

    Some more stupid from Dilbert

    Someone asked me about Kanye West and his hilarious statement that he would someday run for president.

    Ridiculous, right?

    Except that Kanye is a wizard.

    I spotted him several years ago, and blogged about his genius then. He’s the real deal. And he absolutely has the tools to become president if he makes it a priority.

    Consider the reaction you are having right now to the idea that Kanye West could be president. Your reaction (plus the fact that he is a legitimate genius) is what tells you he can do it. At least according to my filter.

    Kanye/Swift 2020
    You heard it here first




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  54. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:
    I got a little bored and read some more of Dilbert’s blog. This post convinced me he isn’t an idiot making ridiculous predictions. He is doing some high level trolling and apparently has a crowd of rubes following.
    In case you don’t want to click through and read, in this post Dilbert says that he will pit his own wizard powers to stop Trump for… ONE BILLION DOLLARS! I couldn’t help but hear his offer in the voice of Dr Evil.




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  55. Pch101 says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how we’re supposed to keep the Muslims out.

    I had been hoping that they would have little horns on their heads or some kind of scarlet letter on their foreheads that would identify them, but no such luck, so it will take a bit more work. Is it just a matter of targeting people with dark skin and A-rab names and force-feeding them bacon, or should it be a more upbeat, such as singling out the winners of shwarma and tahini eating contests at the airports?




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  56. Kylopod says:

    @Grewgills:

    I got a little bored and read some more of Dilbert’s blog. This post convinced me he isn’t an idiot…. He is doing some high level trolling and apparently has a crowd of rubes following.

    How does that make him different from Trump himself?




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  57. Grewgills says:

    @Kylopod:
    It doesn’t. I think that’s the troll. He’s doing Trump about Trump.




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  58. Kylopod says:

    @Grewgills: So, basically, a kind of meta-trolling. (Someone’s gotta have written a thesis about this. XKCD probably.)




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  59. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Wow, Cliffy, you really, really, REALLY want my attention, don’t you? You really need me to validate you, to take you seriously. You tried gross vulgarity, now you’re trying really, really bad trolling.

    Next, I recommend you stamp your little feetsies and hold your breath. That might work.




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  60. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Loser




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  61. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, Cliffy… you really have no fwcking clue, do you?

    Every time you degenerate into another obscene, spittle-flecked rant against me, I win.

    Every time you piss all over the site’s rules to show how much you hate me, I win.

    Every time our hosts ignore you pissing all over their site to show how much you hate me, I win.

    You constantly demonstrate that you have no self-control, no self-discipline, no self-awareness. What you do demonstrate is a self-image that is completely and utterly detached from reality. You see yourself as the Noble Defender, the Slayer of Dragons, the Protector of the Realm against the evil dragon that is those you hate — mainly me, but I’m hardly your only target.

    You’re not. You’re an embarrassment. The only reason you haven’t been banned from here is that you are seen as a useful idiot, as you mainly focus your empty rage against those the mob here doesn’t like already. Not exclusively, but enough to be (barely) tolerated.

    So keep giving me these easy victories, Cliffy. If I had a nickel for every one you’ve given me, I could buy this site.




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  62. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Grewgills: Did you read the comments on that post? Adams was a little too obvious on that one.

    He set the goal of one billion dollars, then planted the notion of each person’s pledge being only ten dollars. Run the math — that would take 100 million people pledging. If there are 100 million people willing to spend ten bucks to stop Trump, then there is no way Trump gets elected. The billion dollars isn’t the price of Trump’s defeat, it’s the proof of it.

    It also puts the Trump-haters on the spot. What are they, personally, willing to give to stop him? How committed are they to keeping him out of office? Are they willing to put a dollar amount (out of their own pockets) on stopping him?

    It’s just like the “border wall that Mexico will pay for” thing. Your thinking is way too limited. You don’t see the bigger picture, the full context, the subtleties and implications and nuances at play. You see the surface and think that’s all there is.

    Adams is, in a sense, dishonest. He almost never means what he says, on the surface. But he’s honest about his dishonesty — he regularly instructs his readers that he is working on multiple levels.

    He challenges his readers to think. I often fail to see his intentions, initially, but that puts me one up on you. You fail, and you not only don’t know you failed, you don’t even know that there was a test.




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  63. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    What are you? Eight? Nine?




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  64. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: There’s a difference between negotiating and trolling.

    When you start looking for work after you grow up, you will discover this.

    According to your comments, the way to open a salary discussion for a McJob is to ask for $1M/year.

    The fact that the other side won’t take this as an opening gambit but as a flippant attempt that shows you’re not serious is of course lost on you.




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  65. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Every time you degenerate into another obscene, spittle-flecked rant against me, I win. Every time you piss all over the site’s rules to show how much you hate me, I win. Every time our hosts ignore you pissing all over their site to show how much you hate me, I win.”

    Wow. That may be the most pathetic thing I’ve ever read in my life. Imagine having accomplished so little that you need to brag about how pissing off complete strangers on the internet is “winning.”

    I mean, it’s not like we didn’t all know this about Jenos… but to see him put it down in black and white… and brag about it…




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  66. Pch101 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    People belittle you because you’re an easy target. Not sure why you take pride in being the neighborhood punching bag.




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  67. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    I read several of his posts and a some comments. I started with the posts you linked to. At first the ‘predictions’ seemed vague, wrong, or just stupid. After reading a bit more, it looks like he is trolling, or doing Trump about Trump.
    After I commented here I read some of the comments on the post you originally linked about Dilbert’s predictions. The top comment goes into a bit more detail than I did about Dilbert’s predictions. The short of it is every one of the 9, now 10 was either too vague to be a real prediction or was wrong and all of it was surrounded by self aggrandizing puffery. It is Trump plus a bit of hand waving and less racism. Adams doesn’t have any new insights on Trump and his ‘predictions’ are worthless other than as hit or miss mild amusement, much like his comics.




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  68. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: There’s a difference between negotiating and trolling.

    Trump’s been using that “trolling” for decades. I think the results are fairly clear.

    The thing is, Trump is usually too big to just blow off. You can blow off his initial outrageous demand, but you can’t blow him off entirely. You pretty much have to come back with a counteroffer, and then guess what? You’re negotiating.

    If President Trump were to tell Mexico that the wall was going up and they were going to pay for it, I can pretty much guarantee that they wouldn’t ignore him. Because President Trump would have a LOT of tools on hand to bring them to the negotiating table

    A lot of people dismissed Obama as a lightweight and not a serious candidate in 2008. I was one of them. We’re all still paying for that.




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  69. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, the point is that Trump isn’t talking to the president of Mexico. He’s not negotiating with the president of Mexico; he’s not making offers and counteroffers to the president of Mexico when he blathers on and on about building a “big, beautiful wall.” He’s promising the American public that he’ll do something that, legally and pragmatically, he can’t do. That is not negotiation.




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  70. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: So? Obama made an assload of promises that he never kept, and never intended to keep.

    I think Trump would get SOMETHING like that done, and then it would be an argument about how close to his actual promise the final result is. And the idea of a president who enters negotiations from a position of strength and a bit of resolve would be a very welcome change from the mindset that got us that wonderful Iran deal.




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  71. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    You know you are just pissed because Jenos is a winner 🙂




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  72. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, you’re making a specious argument–that Trump doesn’t need to keep his promises because, hell, other politicians don’t keep theirs. Surely you must know that Trump supporters premise their love of him on precisely the fact that they believe he’s not just another lying politician, but that he’s a truth-teller and a promise-keeper.

    Let’s stipulate that Trump gets elected, “negotiates” with Mexico (which has absolutely no reason to make any concessions), and ends up with a few extra miles of barbed wire fencing and some freshly painted “No Trespassing” signs.That will be the “big, beautiful wall.” He’ll convince himself he’s scored a diplomatic triumph, because Donald Trump always gets the better of everybody, right?

    But–his fan club wants that wall. A real wall with machine gun emplacements to keep out the ravening hordes. That’s why, at all of his rallies, the audience chants “build the wall, build the wall.”




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  73. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: And what tools would Trump have to “bring Mexico to the bargaining table”, pray tell?

    Do please inform us.

    This is going to be hilarious.

    After all, according to Trump, there are so many border jumpers that it looks like that border place in Morocco. Like ants coming over.

    What would the President of Mexico have to do except say: “the border to the US is open!” ?

    According to Trump, we’ d just be INUNDATED. It would be a YUUUGE mess!

    And how are we going to get Mexico to pay for any of it? What evidence do you have that the President of Mexico will do anything but ignore Trump?

    He can do that, you know. Trump can rant and rave and build as many walls as he wants (probably with illegal Mexican labor, too), and the President of Mexico has to do….what?

    Why does he have to do anything? Is Trump gonna declare WAR ON MEXICO unless Mexico pays?

    Do tell, please. We’re waiting for the nuggets of your wisdom with bated breath. Go ahead. make a prediction.




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  74. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    The idea of building a wall is more compelling than the wall itself.

    What these people really want is permission to articulate their disdain for minorities. Bigots get off on saying bigoted things, and all of the wall is just another opportunity to indulge in their favorite hobby: Whining.




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  75. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I know you’re asking Jenos, Grumpy, but as far as I can gather, what Trump plans to do is a violation of NAFTA.




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  76. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    And feeling like victims. Don’t forget that. They enjoy thinking of themselves as persecuted patriots. And they’re paranoid. For Gawd’s sake, they believe that Paul Ryan, because he grew a beard, is a Muslim terrorist sympathizer.




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  77. Tony W says:

    This thread in particular needs a Jenos/Cliff filter….my gawd, hard to read the substantive stuff with these two going on and on




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  78. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: Obama has given the next president a whole slew of tools to use in negotiating with Mexico. Off the top of my head:

    –Offer to restart Fast & Furious and supply guns to Mexico’s drug cartels

    –Redefine the terms of NAFTA by executive order

    –Declare Mexico’s drug cartels hold such power that Mexico qualifies as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

    –Suggest to Mexico that we’re carefully studying their policies for how they enforce their southern border, and applying them to our southern border

    –Put a very punitive tax on money sent to Mexico

    –Start rigorously enforcing labor laws on employers of illegal aliens, and deduct the costs of deporting illegal Mexicans from Mexico’s foreign aid. (It’s about 400 million, so expect that to get wiped out fairly quickly. Hell, cut out the middle step and just zero it.)

    –Convert large stretches of border lands away from formal crossing points into bomb ranges and military live-fire proving grounds.

    –Start very carefully examining Mexican imports for health threats, defects, and other concerns.

    –Run ads touting the potential dangers of tourists to Mexico.

    –Subject cruise ships that stop in Mexico to very, very close customs inspections.

    And if any of these are protested as illegal, just have the president issue an executive order saying that it’s legal.

    There. And that’s just off the top of my head.

    The metaphor I’ve seen cited a couple of times is this: imagine that your neighbor has a dog that is always coming into your yard and raising hell. Inform your neighbor that you’re going to start patrolling your yard with a gun, and mention that your car has a slow coolant leak that is dripping very tasty and very toxic antifreeze in your yard. Suggest that it might be in his and his dog’s best interest to put up a fence or keep his dog on a leash or do something that will keep his dog out of your yard — and you have no interest whatsoever in paying for any of those measures.

    In short, find ways to reduce the appeal of the trespass, and ways to make it downright unappealing. Or ways in general to make the trespasser’s life difficult if he doesn’t knock it off.

    All it takes is a little imagination, and a willingness to put Obama’s lawless actions to good use.




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  79. Lit3Bolt says:

    Shorter Jenos:

    Now where’d I put that glue bottle?




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  80. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Your trolls used to be better.




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  81. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Ebenezer Arvigenius: (shrug) You work with what you’re given.

    But as a personal favor to me, to serve as a little inspiration, could you link to one of those “better trolls” of mine? Maybe I just need a quick refresher, a little re-dose to get the juices flowing again.




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  82. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: If you honestly think that these are logical applications of the Executive Orders and actions that President Obama has implemented….wow, the mind boggles.

    You do realize that most of said actions would drive the US business community up the wall, don’t you? Members of Congress would get hammered from the tourism industry, the export industry, Western Union, all those depending on cheap and illegal labor, etc. etc. and so forth. (Trump himself has depended on illegal labor at some of his behemoth constructions and hotels. Or didn’t you realize that?)

    In other words, great TV drama to suck in the rubes, but not a chance of it getting implemented.

    I have noticed that Trump has just gone Birther after Cruz. Must be starting to get worried about Iowa. It’s one thing to gin up the mob, it’s another thing entirely making sure they’re participate in a caucus….




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  83. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Not inclined to spend too much time on it today. This one isn’t perfect but has all the right ingredients: Reasonable arguments, opened or finished with an aside (“I’ve said about Obama”) that is likely to get the liberal blood to a boil but at the same side does not give us the option to respond without completely derailing the thread and looking like idiots.

    It’s missing a more concrete and provoking point of reference (“As I’ve said about Obama when he did XXX”) and the slightly condescending tone that makes it basically impossible to not respond without getting the feeling of having lost by defaulting.

    Honour where honour is due at your best your trolls are works of art. You do some of the best conservative smokescreens I’ve ever seen.




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  84. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: You do realize that most of said actions would drive the US business community up the wall, don’t you? Members of Congress would get hammered from the tourism industry, the export industry, Western Union, all those depending on cheap and illegal labor, etc. etc. and so forth.

    So? Since when has Trump indicated he’s vulnerable to such pressure? And he is smart enough to realize he has natural allies — I’ve always wondered why the hell the labor unions haven’t realized just how badly they are hurt by illegal aliens.

    And thanks to Obama, a lot of these things can be rationalized as “executive orders” and whatnot that don’t need Congressional approval. Toss in that any actual Congressional action opposing it would also have to be veto-proof, and it’s a lead pipe cinch.

    As far as turnout… Trump is getting nigh-record numbers of people to his events in some of the coldest weather in a hell of a long time. Expecting them to then stay home on primary/caucus day… that’s a hell of one slim reed.

    Note that I’m not endorsing Trump or this plan. I’m just explaining how it could happen. So far, attacking Trump and dismissing Trump hasn’t done a damned thing to slow him down.




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  85. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: I’m gonna have to give that comment some thought — more than I can afford at the moment. But at first read, it comes across as almost complimentary.




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  86. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And thanks to Obama, a lot of these things can be rationalized as “executive orders” and whatnot that don’t need Congressional approval.

    You might want to do a little homework. By historical standards, Obama’s use of executive orders has been pretty light. I realize that the people who you have outsourced your thinking to have told you that he is a extra-constitutional tyrant who rules by executive fiat, but that is simply nonsense.

    Every President’s executive orders in one chart




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  87. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: As usual, you stopped reading when you got to the part where you wanted to read, and ignored the part that makes your response utterly meaningless.

    For those playing along at home, I said “executive orders” and whatnot. One good example of the “whatnot” would be his declaring Congress in recess when their own rules said they weren’t. Another would be his non-treaty treaty with Iran.

    I’ll peruse that list later, though; it might be entertaining.




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  88. grumpy realist says:

    I just noticed this.

    20,000 tickets issued for 1400 seats. With no overflow location planned for.

    And this is what passes for Trump’s wisdom. Okaaay…..




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  89. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: If you think Trump is involved in his campaign down to that level of minutiae, then you’re dumber than… nah, won’t go there.

    But you raise an interesting situation. Now that it’s happened, how will Trump respond? That’s a formula for over 18,000 pissed-off would-be supporters. I may have to follow up on reports Friday morning.

    My hunch is that he’ll find some way to make those 18,000 people happy and impressed. Hell, now that I think about it a little, you might be right and he might have arranged for it, because he already has a solution planned. “Yeah, issue a whole bunch more tickets for an upcoming event. And not just a few over, a HUUUUUUGE number. Pick the time and place, then run it past me. I got an idea that’ll rake in HUUUUUUGE benefits.”




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  90. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: If I were running for POTUS, I might not be involved in my campaign down to that level of minutae, but I would be responsible for hiring people who were in charge of the details.

    And if I hire someone who does something obviously dorkish, that’s a judgment on my picking and choosing abilities.

    Capisce?




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  91. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: You’re right about that. But you’re thinking too shallowly. Everyone makes mistakes; it’s how they handle them. And as I said, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Of course, you’re assuming this was a mistake. I’m not willing to make that assumption. Not yet.




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  92. An Interested Party says:

    All this talk of what Trump might do when he is president is just so much mental masturbation…there is no way this bloviating joke will ever sit in the Oval Office…




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  93. grumpy realist says:

    So how many people actually showed up for Trump’s ” 20,000 tickets for 1,400 seats” rally?

    Did they all show up? How many people were turned away?

    If only a small percentage showed up and only a few were turned away, well, we probably have a baseline for how much support Trump actually will have in Iowa in getting his supporters to turn out: a small percentage of those who promised. In which case, Trump will come in behind other candidates who actually did lay the groundwork to get people to participate. Result? The Trump balloon pops instantly.

    If everyone showed up and 90% of them were turned away, do you think maybe a few of them are thinking: “what a terribly-managed event. Hey, maybe this guy isn’t so crafty after all”?

    Trump seems to think that he can “sell” people into voting for him the same way he can get people to plunk down fat fees for the privilege of living in a building with too much marble and gold leaf and Trump’s name on the top: exclusivity. Constrict the seating for the event, make it more exclusive, more people will clamor to participate.

    It’s an interesting way of getting people to participate in the political process.




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  94. grumpy realist says:

    It looks like the crowd topped out at 2,000:

    Donald Trump says the crowd for his speech Thursday night in Burlington was 25,000.

    Untrue, according to the city police chief.

    About 2,000 people lined up starting at 4:30 a.m. for access to the Flynn Center, Chief Brandon del Pozo told the Burlington Free Press. The Trump campaign instituted a loyalty test at the door and allowed into the 1,400-seat Flynn Center only people who professed support for the candidate.

    Based on the above, I wouldn’t be surprised in La Donald came in 3rd place in Iowa.




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  95. grumpy realist says:

    It also looks like a sizable percentage of the people attending the rally weren’t interested in voting for Trump, either.




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  96. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: I’ve been surveying the coverage of Trump’s event (not too formally), and the prediction that the huge overissuing of tickets turned out to be nothing. Instead, the biggest thing people are talking about Trump ordering several hecklers tossed out of the event — and allegations that the hecklers were tied to the Sanders campaign.

    And now I have an idea about what Trump was doing in Burlington: it was a show of strength.

    Trump went to one of the most liberal states in the Union, right into Bernie Sanders’ home town, and had an overflow crowd. A very enthusiastic crowd.

    And those protesters? Trump had them tossed out. And he directed their coats be confiscated, so they’d be shivering in the sub-freezing temperatures.

    Contrast that with when a Black Lives Matter stormed the stage at a Bernie Sanders event. Bernie stood there and let himself be lectured at his own event. He was totally cowed and didn’t have the courage to stand up for himself at his own event.

    Which of the two better resembles Ronald Reagan’s “I’m paying for this microphone” moment? Who came across as stronger and more self-confident and powerful?

    That’s a win for Trump. Another win when so many predicted that this time, finally, he’d start failing and start falling.

    And those people who showed up who won’t vote for Trump? Who cares? Vermont’s primary isn’t until March 1, when it will be buried as part of Super Tuesday. And the state haw 3 electoral votes. In both the primary and the general, Vermont’s a rounding error.

    Trump didn’t go to Vermont to collect votes. He went to collect images. And those people who showed up for the “freak show” element are helping Trump sell his message. Their presence was what he wanted, and that’s what they gave him.




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  97. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “And he directed their coats be confiscated, so they’d be shivering in the sub-freezing temperatures.”

    In other words, he believes the penalty for exercising one’s first amendment rights is to have one’s property stolen. And it is telling that you applaud that, so long as the people who are having their property taken are your opponents.




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  98. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: Who the hell is applauding his actions? I’m simply analyzing the event and how it plays out with the people Trump is appealing to.I haven’t said I support Trump, nor do I intend to do so — at least, not for some time to come.

    Your own perspective is suffering because you have an innate prejudice, a flawed assumption, from which you base your own opinions — and consequently it’s crippling your understanding of the Trump phenomenon.

    And that assumption you have is that Trump is stupid.

    Trump is many things, many of them negative. But among them is not “stupid.” So when he does something that appears (to you, at least) stupid, then you need to figure out why he is really doing it — and “because he’s stupid” isn’t among the possibilities.

    Trump goes to one of the most liberal cities in one of the most liberal states that has essentially zero influence on the election and takes on those who come to heckle him — note they weren’t there to participate, but to disrupt his event — and responds to them strongly and harshly. This makes you think badly of him, but guess what? — you’re not ever going to support him, so he’s not going to pander to you. He’s going to gauge his actions towards those who might support him.

    So why did he do this? What did he hope to achieve?

    As I said, it was a show of strength. Trump went to a place where he and his views are essentially heresy and brought out YUUUUGE numbers. And when those who hate him showed up and tried to disrupt him, he crushed and humiliated them.

    This was, primarily, a shot at Bernie Sanders. He went to Sanders’ home town for this, and when some protesters tried to pull what the Black Lives Matter did to Sanders, he shut them up and shut them down. Sanders stood there meekly and let the invader lecture and scold him; Trump kicked them out, after taking their coats as trophies.

    Both men made an example of those who would disrupt their plans. Sanders went meek; Trump went strong.

    Trump wanted a show of strength; that’s why he went to Burlington. He not only got it, but those who wanted to humiliate him instead got starring roles in this Trump Production.

    Way to go, hecklers. I dunno what else you could have done to help the guy you hate and fear.

    You’re arguing the moralty of Trump’s actions. No, you’re arguing the morality of Trump’s actions through your own filter. I’m talking about the effectiveness of Trump’s actions. We can’t be disagreeing because we’re talking about two entirely different things. Your only hope of winning this discussion is to convince me that your aspect is more important — and that ain’t gonna happen. Because in the end, Trump’s success or failure will depend on his effectiveness, not what people who already despise him think of his morality.

    The only thing you might achieve here is persuading me to not support Trump. And as I have not decided on whether or not I support Trump, your arguing “you’re wrong for supporting Trump” is amusing at best and annoying at worst.

    Let’s look at the ‘take their coats” thing objectively. Was it horrible? I’m not convinced it was.

    1) Did it actually happen? Did Trump’s security actually do it, or not? I don’t know, and I doubt it. It would have been to likely to result in major physical resistance. I suspect that it was used as a threat — “you gonna go quietly, or are we gonna take your coats?”

    2) It was about 30 degrees outside. I’ve been outside without a coat lin colder temps than that. It’s unpleasant, but it’s hardly life-threatening. Trump wasn’t stripping them naked and locking them outside overnight. It would have made him uncomfortable and embarrassed, but hardly dangerous.

    3) They weren’t there to respectfully protest, but to disrupt. They were hecklers, and were treated disrespectfully. A lot of people like it when rude people get treated rudely in return.

    Again, contrast it to Sanders and the BLM jerk. Whose response will be seen as strong, and whose will be seen as weak? Sure, you can spin it as Sanders showing that he is “strong enough” to accept being lectured, while Trump is “too insecure” to face criticism. That’s a valid response, but it’s a minority one. The more common response is that Trump stood up to and shut down the bullies, while Sanders let himself be pushed around. And that’s not the kind of response most people want from a president.

    One more time, because you seem to keep missing it: Trump went to Burlington to collect images and perceptions, not Vermont votes. And not only did he get what he wanted, but those who oppose him helped him tremendously.

    I don’t support Trump. I haven’t decided. But my support or non-support might be totally irrelevant — the Trump haters just might get him elected all on their own.




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  99. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    For someone who makes such a big deal of divining motives, you just did a piss-poor job of analyzing both yours and mine. I said nothing at all about Trump being stupid. My point is that he is a bully who does not respect the opinions of those he opposes, and instead seeks to punish them for opposing him. Moreover, his actions are being applauded by people, including you, who think that him acting like a bully is a good thing.




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  100. Moosebreath says:

    Or to put it another way — every candidate has hecklers. How they respond to them shows something about their character. Trump is failing that test, and you are applauding him for doing so.




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  101. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: I have not said that I approve or disapprove of Trump’s actions; I have only discussed how effective they were at achieving what I perceive his goals to be. And on that standard, they have served him very well. And the people who set out to embarrass him — they served his goals exceptionally well, too.

    And as for your second point…. We saw how Sanders handles hecklers. He caves. He lets them walk all over him.




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  102. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “We saw how Sanders handles hecklers. He caves. He lets them walk all over him.”

    And we have seen how Trump responds to hecklers. He believes they should be punished for having opinions different than his. Again, it is telling that you think that is a good thing.




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  103. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: You really aren’t getting it, are you?

    Hecklers and disrupters aren’t interested in “expressing their opinion.” They want to hijack the other party’s venue and shut them down. I dunno what Sanders was planning on doing the day the BLM activists took over the stage, but “stand there and be lectured” was probably not on the list.

    The women at Obama’s little pep rally were polite, they were on topic, and they were called upon to discuss the matter.

    In one case, the people respectfully disagreed. In the other, they disrespectfully disagreed. The respectful ones were treated with respect, the disrespectful ones were treated with disrespect. And in Sanders’ case, the disrespectful one was treated with undue respect — or, more honestly, outright deference and servility.

    Why the hell is that such a hard concept for you to grasp?




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  104. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Trump went to a place where he and his views are essentially heresy and brought out YUUUUGE numbers.”

    Yes. Two thousand people.

    I see why you worship Trump the way you do — he’s an excellent salesman and you are a born mark.

    “Trump wanted a show of strength; that’s why he went to Burlington.”

    For instance, you believe that having paid security guards evict protestors is a great show of strength. No, it’s a great show of paying security guards.

    “They weren’t there to respectfully protest, but to disrupt. They were hecklers, and were treated disrespectfully.”

    Or, you know, maybe they were paid shills. Snake oil salesmen generally have a few colleagues in the audience.

    “I don’t support Trump. I haven’t decided.”

    In the same way you didn’t support Zimmerman — you just drooled over him in hundreds of messages day after day. Your worship of Trump is as predictable as it is pathetic. There’s nothing you like more than a bully who is willing to bravely use a gun on an unarmed opponent or paid thugs to take on “hecklers.”

    Whoever called you a Brown Shirt in another thread owes you an apology. You never would have joined up with Mussolini’s legions — you’d just spend your days gushing about how strong and manly they looked as they beat up intellectuals, Jews, Commies or anyone else who made you feel inferior.




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  105. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “You really aren’t getting it, are you?”

    No, I really am getting it. You are the one not getting it.

    The world is not going to fall on its knees and proclaim Trump is the wisest person in history, and all of his policy proposals should be immediately adopted. If elected, he is going to have opposition (indeed, more than most, as his proposals are both remarkably unrealistic and intent on pushing all of the costs onto others). And consistently, Trump’s response to opposition by anyone, be it hecklers, other candidates or world leaders, is to try to punish them, often in amazingly petty ways.

    So if Trump gets anywhere near the levers of power, the inevitable result will be a reduction in American influence, and an increase in unnecessary friction. Now, friction between candidate Trump and hecklers falls into the “mostly harmless” category. Friction between a future President Trump and, say the leaders of NATO, far less so. But the same fools who think Trump is showing strength by picking petty fights and joking about it with hecklers will cheer him on as he makes America less influential and weaker by doing the same thing with world leaders.




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  106. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: Even if I accepted everything you said, it doesn’t change the key point here: the people who agree with you are doing wonders towards helping Trump.

    You want a good description for “the …fools who think Trump is showing strength by picking petty fights and joking about it with hecklers?” Voters.

    And here’s what should really scare the piss out of you: Trump would go into office directly following Obama, who has set a ton of precedents for the president to act unilaterally, in direct contravention with written law and the Constitution without anyone even putting a half-assed effort in stopping him. Here are a few examples:

    — The Constitution says Congress sets its own rules governing itself, including when it’s in recess and when it’s adjourned. Obama declared Congress in recess so he could make recess appointments.

    — ObamaCare put very specific dates in black and white as to when certain deadlines had to be met. Obama just unilaterally waived those deadlines, extending them, even though the law had absolutely no provision for changing the deadlines.

    — The Constitution has very specific rules about treaties, mandating the Senate approve them. When Obama worked out his deal with Iran, he chose to call it a non-treaty, even though it met all the requirements of a treaty.

    Now here comes President Trump, with all these tremendously useful precedents for just ignoring restraints. There will be opposition in Congress? So what? Court challenges? Big deal!

    As the Good Professor likes to say, the Democrats have chosen the form of their Destructor.




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  107. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “You want a good description for “the …fools who think Trump is showing strength by picking petty fights and joking about it with hecklers?” Voters.”

    Yes. The same voters who elected President George Wallace, President Pat Buchanan, President Rick Santorum, and my personal favorite, President Pat Robertson.

    There are hundreds of millions of people in this country. It should come as no surprise that some of them are angry, hate-filled, or simply stupid enough to want to follow one of these thugs.

    Hell, Jeb Bush could probably win a majority of Republican caucus-goers in Iowa if he simply had a couple of goons beat up some dark-skinned teenagers on stage.

    And no doubt you’d be talking about what a great politician he’d become…




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  108. Jenos Idanian says:

    @WR: Every time you post a new comment, I find myself wondering if this will be the time you actually demonstrate the slightest hint of civility, intelligence, integrity, and coherence.

    And every time I am disappointed. Even today.

    In this case, you show — yet again — that not only do you not understand saying something that you believe is true and saying something because you agree with it, but that you are too effing stupid to be capable of understanding it. If I say that Trump is succeeding, it’s because he is succeeding. My opinion of whether or not that is a good thing is irrelevant.

    And since you can’t grasp such a basic concept, why the hell would anyone think you could hold a worthwhile discussion about anything?




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  109. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    ” Even if I accepted everything you said, it doesn’t change the key point here: the people who agree with you are doing wonders towards helping Trump.”

    Nice as it is for you to dictate what the key point is, suffice to say I don’t agree with you. You are saying that Trump is winning, and so what sort of President he will make is irrelevant. In other words, winning is all that matters, and how much damage he does to the country does not.

    And the ironic thing is that such a sentiment comes from someone who decries “Chicago style politics” for doing precisely that.

    PS — citing Prof. Reynolds as an authority for anything other than perhaps how to smear people with implausible deniability is truly funny.




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  110. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: You are saying that Trump is winning, and so what sort of President he will make is irrelevant. In other words, winning is all that matters, and how much damage he does to the country does not.

    You miss the point so much, you make mine.

    Trump is winning. That you are saying “what sort of President he will make.” will make.

    You’ve already thought past the sale. You didn’t make it conditional, you made it a simple future tense. You didn’t say “would make,” you said “will make.”

    Tone is such a bitch to convey through this medium, so I’ll spell it out. I am not saying this as a gloating victory. I am noting it and pointing it out to you as an example of how well Trump is winning. You despise and oppose him, yet in a discussion where there is no coercion on you, where I am not trying to put words in your mouth, where I am trying to play any kind of linguistic gotcha games with you.

    You didn’t say “would make,” you said “will make.” That very likely means that, on a subconscious level, you believe that Trump very well could win the election. You are already seeing Trump taking the office. He’s gotten to you that thoroughly. He’s influenced you that profoundly.

    I know you want to deny this, that you will accuse me of being some kind of Trump cheerleader fanboi drone or something, because that shifts the burden away from you. But I didn’t put that word in your mouth, didn’t put that thought in your head. I don’t have anywhere near that level of skill.

    You wanna stop Trump? Go for it. And here’s the most useful suggestion I can give you: look very hard within yourself and figure out why you said “will” and not “would.”

    Once you figure out how Trump managed to get you to make that assumption without changing your surface dislike of the man, then you will be closer to understanding why he has the support he has. And that might help you figure out how to best counter it.

    Trump is winning. He doesn’t need my validation for that to be true. He doesn’t need yours, either — but you’re giving it to him anyway without even realizing you are doing so.

    I believe you’re going to be in for some very rude surprises when the votes start coming in — at least, on the surface. Subconsciously, you already believe it’s going to happen.




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  111. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “If I say that Trump is succeeding, it’s because he is succeeding. My opinion of whether or not that is a good thing is irrelevant.”

    Ladies and gentlemen… allow me to present the single least self-aware human being on the internet.




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  112. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    If your argument is a misreading of grammar, then it’s not much of an argument.

    As for me stopping Trump, as a Democrat, my role in the Republican primary is to keep my powder dry. Once a nominee is decided, the attacks will start. And they will be devastating to Trump, if he is the nominee. Not among his hard core supporters, but to the rest of the Republican voters, who will abandon him in droves.




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  113. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: You’re still in denial. It wasn’t a “misreading of grammar.” You would be better served arguing it was a misstatement on your part; by calling it a “misreading,” you’re shifting the responsibility for the statement away from yourself.

    I am not saying that you want Trump to be president, that you would welcome it. I’m saying that at some subconscious level, part of you believes that it could happen. And you don’t recognize that because you don’t want to acknowledge it.

    You really need to find out how Trump got you to think that. Because if you don’t understand that, I fear you are in for a very unpleasant series of very unpleasant surprises once the voting starts.

    I dunno how I feel about Trump. My gut says that he might be terrible, but he’s gotta be better for the country than Hillary. And there are three big things that could sink her campaign looming right now:

    1) All the bombshells and smoking guns from her private e-mails that the Obama administration has been letting out (and you will never read about here) make an actual indictment more and more possible.

    2) The application of today’s standards about male sexual predators on Bill’s past conduct — and Hillary’s role in covering it up and trying to destroy the women who spoke out about their treatment at his hands. (You will also never read about them here.)

    3) The constant rumors that she has some serious health problems that would make her incapable of carrying out the duties of the office. (Which you also won’t… well, you know the rest.)

    Any one of these could sink a candidacy, and situations very much like them have destroyed careers. All three fizzling? There’s only so much water the media can carry for her.

    There’s been no end of mockery for the long list of Republicans running for president, but on the Democratic side, it’s just the opposite: there is no Plan B. If anything happens to Hillary, the Democrats are well and truly screwed. All their eggs are in one basket, and that basket looks very, very fragile.




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  114. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Umm, no. It is a misreading of grammar. Hint — what is the subject of the sentence “You are saying that Trump is winning, and so what sort of President he will make is irrelevant.”

    And further, if your argument is only that I believe that Trump could possibly be elected President, then WTF are we arguing about? I have never said anything which indicates it is impossible for him to be elected, only that it would be a disaster if he were elected.




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  115. Jenos Idanian says:

    Looks like I might have gone a little rabbit-hole there, and I apologize — it certainly wasn’t my intention. Let me back up a little.

    I’m finding Trump’s campaign fascinating. The guy is breaking so many of the established rules, and every time he just gets bigger. He’s got a ton of money ,and he isnt spending it by the ton. He isn’t collecting campaign donations like all the others are, either. He’s just collecting the free publicity, and running on that.

    And he’s dictating the terms of the free publicity. He’s telling the people who are giving him the free attention the terms under which they can give him stuff — and they’re going along.

    Remember all the talk about how awful it was going to be, with Bush vs. Clinton? Well, Bush is pretty much done for, and there are enough problems with Hillary to make her dropping out a distinct possibility. Trump’s pretty much neutralized Bill as an asset, and there’s even more fun about her — apparently the FBI is looking not only the mishandling of classified info in her e-mail, but what looks like a lot of quid pro quo involving money to the Clinton Foundation and favorable treatment by the State Department. Which brings up Bill Clinton selling presidential pardons and renting out the Lincoln Bedroom, for those of us who remember such things.

    So, should Bush finally admit he’s toast, and should Trump flame out, there are quite a few Republicans who can step up. Cruz and Rubio are both strong right now, and others haven’t given up yet.

    On the Democratic side, who can fill the void? Sanders? He’s 72 and a proud Socialist, who is genuinely baffled why mortgage rates are lower than student loan rates. He’s been in public office for over 30 years, and has shown repeatedly that he has no clue about economics.

    Martin O’Malley? He had an event recently where one person showed up. At the conclusion, that voter said he was still undecided.

    This is proving a hell of a lot more entertaining that any of us could have hoped for.




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  116. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Thanks for the apology.

    “The guy is breaking so many of the established rules, and every time he just gets bigger.”

    Not really — he’s been in the 30+/-% of the GOP primary electorate for some time now. Nothing to sneeze at, but nowhere near enough to win if his support among Democrats and self-described independents is as poor as surveys indicate. And possibly not even enough to get the nomination if the Republican field shrinks enough and unites behind 1 or 2 others.

    “He’s got a ton of money ,and he isnt spending it by the ton. He isn’t collecting campaign donations like all the others are, either. He’s just collecting the free publicity, and running on that.

    And he’s dictating the terms of the free publicity. He’s telling the people who are giving him the free attention the terms under which they can give him stuff — and they’re going along.”

    Yep — remember this the next time someone calls the mainstream media “left-wing”.

    “Trump’s pretty much neutralized Bill as an asset”

    Only among the 30 or so percent who hate Bill, the vast majority of whom would be voting for whomever has an R after their name.




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  117. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: Yep — remember this the next time someone calls the mainstream media “left-wing”.

    That’s what makes it even more astonishing. .The Puffington Host moved their coverage of Trump to the entertainment section, Trump banned their people, he got quietly moved back to the political section.

    As far as Bill goes… there is literally a whole generation that’s grown up believing that “women don’t lie about rape” and take sexual abuse and exploitation seriously since Bill was in office. Tell them about what he did over the years, and got away with, and they won’t believe you.

    You want a tip on a YUUUUGE bomb hanging over Bill CLinton? Look up the recent conviction of Jeffrey Epstein. That’s gonna take a hell of a lot to keep quiet, and I don’t think the Clintons have enough clout to weather that one, too, on top of everything else.




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