More Irresponsible Rhetoric from Trump

Basic trust in process is essential for democratic governance to function and major party nominees ought not be undercutting that trust for cynical gain.

donald-trump-microphoneVia the BBC:  US election: Donald Trump warns vote could be ‘rigged’

He told a rally in Columbus, Ohio, that he had heard “more and more” that the contest would be unfair. He offered no immediate evidence.

At another event he called Democratic rival Hillary Clinton “the devil”.

Mr Trump has come under fire from across the political divide for remarks he made about the parents of a US Muslim soldier killed in action.

On the forthcoming vote, he told supporters “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest”.

He later repeated the claim on Fox News, adding “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”.

To sow seeds of doubt about basic governing institutions is irresponsible and cynical.  Given his narcissism it may well be he has an inkling that he is likely to lose, so he is setting up a narrative in which he was cheated–since that last thing Donald J. Trump can be is a loser (at least in his own mind).  However, such claims by a major party’s nominee is the kind of thing that can damage democracy because it sows seeds of doubt in the minds of citizens that can undercut institutions.  Basic trust in process is essential for democratic governance to function.

At a minimum, it is yet another example of Trump acting like the worst underbelly of conspiratorial website comment sections, rather than as a responsible nominee of a major party.  This should be the stuff of basements and subreddits, not campaign speeches by the Republican nominee.  At worst, he continues to do an awfully good impression of an authoritarian wannabe (as these kinds of claims are often made by individuals who think they cannot gain power by legitimate means, so seek to incite their followers to attack a corrupt system).

Should this narrative gain any traction whatsoever, the Republican Party will have itself to blame, and not just because its nominee is spouting this rhetoric.  Rather, many members of the party have pushed voter ID legislation and other changes to voting procedures on the predicate that there is a serious threat of voter fraud.  As such, and despite all evidence to the contrary, the seeds of fear on this topic were planted a while back.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Lounsbury says:

    An excellent comment, and absolutely correct.

  2. Lit3Bolt says:

    The Republican theme for the past 4 presidential elections has been “Rally ’round the billionaire, racist draft-dodger.”

    Their rhetoric will go lower. Hillary is already the devil. How long before Trump calls for 2nd Amendment solutions to the “Democratic problem?” When will there be calls for a “Final Solution” for the Muslim-Americans?

    And by the way, we’re just accurately describing Republican behavior in real time. That’s not a lie or a smear. Unless the party of “personal responsibilty” wants to disavow their fascist rhetoric, they better be ready to own it. You’d almost think they know racism and bigotry is not something to be proud of…

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Should this narrative gain any traction whatsoever, the Republican Party will have itself to blame

    But they can’t/won’t. The cowardly Yes/But crowd is unable to accept responsibility for anything, much less their own failures.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    The worst of sore losers…Republicans can’t accept the fact that their own rhetoric and policies have pushed away minority voters so rather than trying to change their message they try to make it harder for minorities to vote…meanwhile, we have Il Douche, probably already realizing that he is going to lose, making up lame excuses for that loss…these people are pathetic…

  5. Pch101 says:

    To sow seeds of doubt about basic governing institutions is irresponsible and cynical.

    Just in case you were wondering how this happened…

    Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
    -Ronald Reagan

    In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
    -Ronald Reagan

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’
    -Ronald Reagan

    I don’t have an attribution for this next quote: Karma is a bitch.

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    You’re right about the corrosive effects of this type of argument, but is it really anything new? How long have we been hearing conspiracy theories about how all the voting machines were secretly being programmed to steal your vote or that the other side was planning to declare martial law to stay in power after the election? Bernie Sanders just spent the entire primary running on the same claims Trump is running on now.

    It’s a reflection of the increased polarization in our politics. When each faction sees themselves as the only legitimate expression of political will, it’s not surprising that they see victories by other factions as necessitating foul play rather than a purposeful decision by the voters.

  7. Rafer Janders says:

    Should this narrative gain any traction whatsoever, the Republican Party will have itself to blame.

    Well, they should have themselves to blame. But they’ll blame the Democrats.

  8. al-Alameda says:

    On the forthcoming vote, he told supporters “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest”.

    He later repeated the claim on Fox News, adding “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”.

    I wonder if he realizes that the Republican Party has done everything it can to suppress the vote among Democratic Party constituencies – or, in the original Republican, “rig the vote”?

  9. grumpy realist says:

    Because if Trump goes under, it has to be because of evil shenanigans on the other side, not because of his own incompetence.

    No wonder a lot of people want to vote for him. He embodies the “it’s not MY FAULT I’m such a loser, it’s because everyone’s against me!” self pity that is so comforting for people to fall into.

  10. Scott F. says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You’re right about the corrosive effects of this type of argument, but is it really anything new?

    Though I agree with you that rhetoric that questions the legitimacy of the opposition is nothing new, I think you may be missing the extent to which it is expanding and therefore entering new territory. There is a Rubicon to be crossed and if Trump isn’t already past that point, he’s damn close and almost certainly he will go beyond before this is over.

    Though I fear Trump might win and that will be very bad for the country, I’m actually more concerned with what could happen should he lose, especially if it’s close.

    I think it very likely the Trump will never concede that he lost the election – this “rigged” rhetoric is already suggesting that 100 days in advance – and that would be unprecedented. How do you think the most ardent Trumpkins will respond to feeling that they’ve been cheated from their rightful place in charge of the direction of the country? Consider this question in light of their demonstrated proclivity for violence during the primaries.

    It could get very ugly!

  11. KM says:

    On the forthcoming vote, he told supporters “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest”.

    He later repeated the claim on Fox News, adding “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”.

    Don’t you understand, Steven? The Donald CAN’T lose. He’s just so YUUUGELY popular it’s inconceivable he won’t be President unless somebody cheats him. And they’re gonna try and cheat him cuz CrookedHillary’s like that you know – now she’s got the NFL lying about that letter he totally got saying she set up the debates to screw him over and distract from that family thing. He’s a winner; he fires people, he doesn’t get fired!!! He’s made sacrifices for this country, really BIG ones. He doesn’t know, some guy told him but they’re gonna steal the election from him! SAD!! Now back to Mike Pence….

    (One day I’m gonna code a simple sarc tag as ubiquitous as bold or italics. The internet will rejoice)

  12. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: We have never had the actual nominee of a major party saying this stuff, and months before any voting actually took place. That’s the difference.

  13. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    Agreed, but I’d argue that’s not because the other nominees are more principled, they just say it through proxies instead of directly. And Trump’s campaign is too cash strapped and disorganized to say things through proxies.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott F.:
    Nothing will change. They already feel “they’ve been cheated from their rightful place in charge of the direction of the country”. They honestly believe they are a silent majority, rather than the noisy minority they really are. We heard vote fraud, acorn, vote rigging in the last few prez elections.

    Small rural and small town precincts get counted earlier than large urban precincts. All it takes is seeing a state or two swing late at night from their favor to against to prove to them it’s rigged. Or seeing the networks declare Hillary winner of a state with 20% of the votes counted and Trump up by 2%. Obviously rigged in their eyes. And always has been.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Of course the election is rigged. DEMS are still voting, aren’t they? That’s voter fraud right there.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @Pch101:..California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970 responding to questions about campus anti war/anti draft protest movements:

    “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.”

  17. PJ says:

    Trump is doing massive damage to the Republican Party and to the Republicans supporting him.

    The Republican Party is no longer the dog whistle party, it’s out and proud as being racist, conspiratorial, misogynist, and so on.

    The Republicans supporting him and what he is saying are also out and proud.

    The Republicans supporting him but against what he is saying will be tarnished for having put party before country.

    With Trump, the GOP has opened Pandora’s Box, the things that are out can’t be put back in again.

    I look forward to the establishment of the Whigs 2.0 Party.

  18. Zachriel says:

    @Scott F.: There is a Rubicon to be crossed and if Trump isn’t already past that point, he’s damn close and almost certainly he will go beyond before this is over.

    I served with Caesar. I knew Caesar. Caesar was a friend of mine. Donald Trump, you’re no Caesar.

  19. bookdragon says:

    @Lit3Bolt: That’s unfair. Bush and Trump, okay, but McCain was anything but a draft-dodger. (Also, Romney got academic and Mormon mission deferments until 1970, then registered but drew a high draft number).

    As to rhetoric today though, I hear you. I want to believe America is better than this, but given some of the stuff coming from Trump supporters, earlier this year my kid asked if we should building a ‘hiding place’ in the attic for a Moslem family. Granted, she’d just come back from a field trip to the Holocaust Museum so there was an emotional impact factor, but it’s horrifying that we’ve reached the point where that parallel would even come up in this country.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    As @Pch101: correctly points out, this is nothing new. We’ve had a major party campaign for thirty years against the government they want to lead. It’s evolved from Reagan’s rhetoric to McConnell et al actively sabotaging the ability of the government to function. The delay in zika funding is just today’s example. And then, despite controlling Congress, they paint Dems as the establishment and run against the dysfunction they caused. We’ve had thirty years of Republicans screaming that the government is illegitimate. Is it any wonder there are “seeds of doubt in the minds of citizens that can undercut institutions.”

    Trump is not an aberration in the Republican Party, he is a culmination. He didn’t do this to them. They did it to themselves. And to us. I don’t think Trump will destroy the Republican Party, but they deserve it.

  21. Lit3Bolt says:

    @bookdragon:

    My bad, I forgot about McCain.

    Still, he married a billionaire! And while he used to be an example of defying the worst impulses of his party, those days are long gone.

  22. Joe says:

    You are all missing an importance nuance. It’s not unusual for one party to blame the other party, but that is not what Trump is setting up. Let’s go back to the quotes.

    On the forthcoming vote, he told supporters “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest”.

    He later repeated the claim on Fox News, adding “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”.

    Anyone can blame the opposing party. It is Trump’s intention to blame the Republican party for being in on the fix or at least for being too stupid or low energy to block it. As you see more Republicans distancing themselves, you will hear more from Trump about how he has been undermined, not by his own actions, but by the actions of the Republican establishment. That’s just how he rolls.

  23. PJ says:

    So, this happened today:

    At the start of his Virginia rally on Tuesday, Donald Trump invited a military veteran on stage after he presented the GOP nominee with his Purple Heart.

    “A man came up to me and handed me his Purple Heart,” Trump recounted after bringing the man, who he identified as a lieutenant colonel, on stage. “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

    Whip 2.0. It’s fresh. No putrid ideas. Coming Soon!

  24. cian says:

    Not to downplay the seriousness of what Steven is saying, but the crisis has been here since Trump was nominated. He has given legitimacy to the worst voices in America- white supremacist /Militant groups the length and breadth of the country and their numbers are growing alarmingly. Whatever the result, they are not going away and by not repudiating Trump, the Republican party owns these crazies and will be destroyed at their hands. Sadly, American democracy will also be shaken to its deepest core. It’s not what might happen under a Trump win/loss, it’s what is happening right now that is frightening. Hard to see at this point how this might be reversed.

  25. Jeremy says:

    I just want to interject here about the bashing of Reagan and tying him to Trump. By doing so, you’re trying to smear everyone who believes in limited government as insane and racist. That is manifestly not only unfair, but also manifestly untrue.

    There are loads of problems with having a large and overbearing government, from throwing people in jail for smoking a plant, to mass surveillance of Americans, to blowing up brown people in other countries, to sending armed agents to take all the money from ordinary families and small businesses because they can, and that’s before we get to all the corruption from collusion between government officials and corporate donors–collusion which results in massive benefits for the politically connected, benefits that they would not obtain with a more limited government.

    Trump has gone completely off the rails and is a nutter. There is no denying that. But trying to tie him to anything limited government is just dumb. The man has suggested that, if elected, he will use the office of the president to bully and punish newspapers that print unflattering pieces about him. He has said his plan is better than Clinton’s because he will spend more. He wants to use the power of the state to go door to door and forcibly deport tens of millions of people at gunpoint. This man is not about limited government whatsoever. This man is about using government as a club to whack anyone he doesn’t like. Yes, the Republicans need to own this, as they nominated him, and yes, over the past ten years they’ve gone off the rails as a party…but Democrats should also own that they helped get government to where it’s big enough for Trump to use it this way. And considering the “CPT” jokes Hillary deployed, her words on superpredators, and the lines coming from some BernieBros, it’s not like Democrats aren’t racist.

    Reagan was not a limited government messiah, but tying him to Trump is just irresponsible, and implicitly using that as a smear against any limited government person is just wrong.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Joe:

    As you see more Republicans distancing themselves, you will hear more from Trump about how he has been undermined, not by his own actions, but by the actions of the Republican establishment.

    He seems to have believed that once he got the nomination the Party was supposed to step in and take care of electing him.

  27. PJ says:

    @Jeremy:
    Are you saying the Southern strategy took a pause during the Reagan years?

    It’s more out and proud now though. That’s for sure.

  28. whatever says:

    It’s almost like the supreme court decided an election and then state governments proceeded to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.

  29. Jeremy says:

    Also, I for one welcome the destruction of the GOP. It has long outlived its usefulness, and the white nationalism it has engendered needs to be stopped. We’re all in agreement on that, I take it.

    But at the same time, I would hope that maybe Democrats and other people on the left would take a few moments to consider how much their crying wolf and constant declarations that Republicans are by definition racist idiots has contributed to Donald Trump and 2016. If you hear people constantly saying you’re a racist dolt, eventually you’re going to become one even if you aren’t. And if you constantly say everyone on the other side is a threat to the republic, is completely horrible, hates minorities, etc. etc., when you finally get someone who really does, no one is going to listen to you. Heck, they might just vote for him out of spite.

    I’m not saying that’s right. But that’s what you get.

  30. C. Clavin says:

    Has there been a case in recent history that a sitting President has called the nominee of the opposition party unfit to be President?
    Obama:

    “I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job. And had they won, I would have been disappointed, but I would have said to all Americans, this is our president, and I know they’re going to abide by certain norms and rules and common sense, will observe basic decency, will have enough knowledge about economic policy and foreign policy, and our constitutional traditions and rule of law that our government will work. But that’s not the situation here…There has to come a point in which you say, enough…Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president…”

    Now this is a man who has a pretty calm and reserved demeanor. Yet here he is saying something that hasn’t been said…since when? I mean…to quote Joe Biden…this is a big f’ing deal.

  31. whatever says:

    @Jeremy: Ronald Reagan started his general election campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

  32. Jeremy says:

    @PJ: I honestly don’t know how extensive the Southern Strategy was to really comment on it. I do recognize it as something that has happened and that has helped contribute to what we’re seeing today. It’s lamentable and disgusting and I wish the GOP had never ever bought into that crap.

    But I think there’s a big difference between Reagan noting the many difficulties ordinary people have with the government and the incredible BS of what Trump is shoveling.

  33. Jeremy says:

    @whatever: And?

    “He started his campaign in Mississippi–must be a racist!”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @Jeremy:

    I just want to interject here about the bashing of Reagan and tying him to Trump. By doing so, you’re trying to smear everyone who believes in limited government as insane and racist. That is manifestly not only unfair, but also manifestly untrue.

    Of course Reagan exploded the size and expense of Government…so the very basis of your comment is wrong.

  35. whatever says:

    @Jeremy: Maybe look into the history of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

  36. Jeremy says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Which is also why I said that Reagan wasn’t a limited government messiah. He did shrink government in some ways and got people thinking about it, but in the end he didn’t really shrink it overall, no.

    It might behoove you to actually read people’s comments before responding to them, Clavin.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Jeremy:
    Republicans have never shrunk the Government.
    They talk about small Goverbnment…but what they really want, based upon their actions, is far different.
    They want the Government in your bedroom.
    In your church.
    In your Dr’s office.
    Trump is no different.

  38. PJ says:

    @Jeremy:
    Probably should look into the history of the Southern Strategy too.

  39. Jeremy says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Well, good thing I’m not a Republican, then, nor have I ever been.

    And, as I said above, I for one am looking forward to the GOP’s destruction. Again, you might want to read.

    Nobody is perfect, but there are some good things Reagan got across in some of his speeches and rhetoric, and there are some people in the GOP who really are for limited government. I’m hoping this election finally convinces them there is no hope within the GOP and they need to find a new party.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    Today in the Trump Dumpster Fire…
    One of his un-educated white guy sycophants gave Trump his Purple Heart today.
    Said Trump:

    “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

    So Trump is literally saying that he always wanted to be wounded or killed in the line of duty.
    Trump received 5 deferments from serving in Vietnam.
    Anyone who thinks this man should be President of these United States has serious mental health issues.

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jeremy:

    “He started his campaign in Mississippi–must be a racist!” This is exactly what I’m talking about.’

    No, you left out the key word. He started his campaign in PHILADELPHIA, Mississippi. The place where Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman were murdered.

    Get real. Republicans never believe in “limited government.” Limited government was always a code word for we’re gonna stop the government from making you stop being horrible to blacks, women, gays, Asians, etc.

  42. Jeremy says:

    @PJ: What I meant by “honestly don’t know how extensive the Southern Strategy was” were the details. I know the general history of it, and I don’t like it. I hate it. I wish they never did it. And I wish the GOP gets smacked down because of it.

    @C. Clavin: Also, saying “Trump is no different” is just wrong, period. It’s the thing a dumb ideologue who doesn’t actually think says. Even President Obama has said that Trump is different from every other GOP candidate who has come before. Even Obama knows that Trump is different.

  43. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jeremy:

    and there are some people in the GOP who really are for limited government.

    That’s about 5% of the party, tops.

  44. whatever says:

    I just pointed out facts. The simple act of side-stepping and not calling attention to them is why we are here today.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You’re right. And you know what? My statement wasn’t even correct; I just remembered that McCain was blabbing about ACORN months before the 2008 election. He even brought it up in one of the debates. Trump is being more explicit, but it’s a matter of degree and not kind.

  46. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I was going to say that, but you beat me to it (and the downvotes that were coming with it–take pride in knowing that when both sides are shooting at you that you’re close to the center).

  47. al-Alameda says:

    @Jeremy:

    “He started his campaign in Mississippi–must be a racist!”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about.

    Please, do yourself a favor and Google “Philadelphia Mississippi”

  48. Kylopod says:

    Also, McCain never brought up ACORN after the election, and he conceded fairly graciously. Nobody who’s been paying the least bit attention believes Donald will.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Jeremy:

    you’re trying to smear everyone who believes in limited government as insane and racist.

    I don’t recall seeing anyone on these threads try to smear believers in limited government as insane and racist. We’re smearing Republicans as insane and racist. You may feel conservatism is about limited government, the rest of us have to deal with the conservative party we have, the Republicans. You’re certainly right when you say “Reagan was not a limited government messiah”. None of the Reagan quotes above say government should be smaller, they say government is bad. Republicans don’t want to make government smaller, they want to delegitimize it so that perversely they can take control of it. And Reagan did work the Southern Strategy. I have no idea if Reagan was racist. There is no doubt that he used racism to get himself elected. So it’s entirely fair to bash him and tie him to Trump.

    But you are entirely correct that the Rs own Trump.

  50. Jeremy says:

    @Rafer Janders: Elected officials or just party members?

  51. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Scott F.:

    How do you think the most ardent Trumpkins will respond to feeling that they’ve been cheated from their rightful place in charge of the direction of the country?

    Ummm… the same way that Gore supporters felt in 2000? [Bad Toad! Bad Toad!]

  52. James Pearce says:

    My response to a vet giving me a Purple Heart: “Thank you, but I can’t accept this. I didn’t earn it.”

    Donald Trump’s response: “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier than combat.”

  53. Jeremy says:

    @gVOR08: I’ll be honest, I don’t know what conservatism is about anymore. I think it somewhere along the line mutated into “kick out immigrants, kill brown people overseas, put the Cross up everywhere, and no taxes.”

    I think. I’m not even sure if that counts.

    Not all Republicans are insane and racist. But years and years of people like you insisting that they were, well, we’ve seen it taking its toll. Eventually some people are just going to throw up their hands and go, “Oh, you think I’m racist? You think I’m crazy? You know what, I’m so fed up, let’s just do that. If you want me to insane and racist, just let me show you.” It’s the “Then Let Me Be Evil” trope applied to US politics.

    Keep digging yourself that trench. Keep piling up the insults to anyone who disagrees with you. Call them evil, dumb, sheeple. See what that gets you.

    @al-Alameda: A terrible choice to start his campaign. I wish he didn’t do that. But I also can’t let that define the man. I can’t allow this to become all or nothing, 0% or 100%, black or white. That sort of Manichean/Christian millennialist viewpoint will destroy our democracy more than anything. It’s not healthy, it’s actively destructive. I can accept imperfection. That’s why I prefer Hillary over Trump.

  54. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jeremy:

    By doing so, you’re trying to smear everyone who believes in limited government as insane and racist.

    Pardon my cynicism, but there are no people who believe in limited government–only government that enriches me at your expense. I’m fed up with that shibboleth!

  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jeremy:..but tying him (Reagan) to Trump is just irresponsible…

    If the foo sh!ts…

  56. Blue Galangal says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I respectfully disagree. While there were mutterings about ACORN – and that was not a line that McCain or even Palin pushed very much – that was AFTER the Supreme Court halted ballot recounting in Florida and declared Bush the winner when Gore had had a lead on the first count.

    Can you imagine what would happen in this country today if such a thing happened to the Republican candidate (whether or not s/he was Trump)?

    Now we have a candidate, Trump, who is – for all intents and purposes – threatening civil disorder if the “polls” (which polls? How many of them? Are they Unskewed (TM)?) show him winning in Florida but he loses there.

    And while we’re on the subject of polls, I recall the exit polls in 2004 in Ohio that showed Ohio going for Kerry, yet Bush won Ohio. There were a lot of us who looked on with some disbelief here in Ohio at the electronic voting machines changing votes (documented at the time; fortunately my county distrusted them and never adopted them) in 2004. Then there was the whole “Romney is going to win Ohio” / “Is this math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” exchange with Rove in 2012. Watching that, in real time, both my husband and I were struck by his literal incomprehension… like there was simply No Way Ohio wasn’t going for Romney. I still think there was and is something fishy about Ohio, specifically, and the whole electronic voting situation (Bush’s ties to Diebold).

    But did I take out my guns and start shooting up the local mayor’s office because Gore and Kerry lost, or because Bush won? No, I didn’t. That is partly because I’m not crazy, and partly the principals involved behaved like responsible adults instead of trying to poison the well three months before the election was even held and incite civil disorder. Kerry did not tell Ohioans that the election was rigged, before or after the vote was held and he lost. That is the difference, and no amount of “both sides do it” is going to fly on this one. This is frankly scary demagoguery to any student of history and I agree 100% with Dr. Taylor that this is the first refuge of a fascist scoundrel who is trying to legitimise his forcible overthrow of American democracy.

  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jeremy:

    throwing people in jail for smoking a plant, to mass surveillance of Americans, to blowing up brown people in other countries, to sending armed agents to take all the money from ordinary families and small businesses because they can, and that’s before we get to all the corruption from collusion between government officials and corporate donors–collusion which results in massive benefits for the politically connected, benefits that they would not obtain with a more limited government.

    Exactly which of the above are things not associated with Reagan (I may be willing to give you “mass surveilance” and “sending armed agents to take all the money” provided the second’s not a reference to the war on drugs)? Please, I’ll wait…

    As I noted, I’m tired of this shibboleth.

  58. sherparick says:

    On right-wing radio and some of the fringeier Fox News shows, it was alleged that Obama and the Democrats stole the 2008 and 2012 elections with millions of “fraudulent” minority votes by non-citizens, or felons, or multiple voting. Hence the agitation for “voter ID” laws the last 8 years. And quite frankly, for many in the Neo-Confederate Party, that minorities can vote at all is galling and a candidate elected on the basis of such votes is not legitimate. (If you listen to Rush Limbaugh these last 8 years and look back at his CPAC speech in January 2009, he made no secret that he was making an all out attack on Obama’s legitimacy as President to make him a “failure” from the get go.) So Trump is just bringing up what the core of his party and its most influential opinion makers already believe. (Again, the logical flaw is why the Democrats also don’t pull this fraud in off-year elections and get themselves a Democratic Congress if the can do it so easily and get away with it every Presidential election. Like a lot of Neo-Confederate beliefs, logic and evidence are impediments to the truthiness of what they feel.).

    The African-American vote tilted Democrat after Northern Liberal Democrats started to adopt Civil Rights for Blacks as a legitimate in the late New Deal through the Civil Rights Revolution of 1964-65, but even in 1976 Gerald Ford was able to get 17% of the Black vote. http://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-groups-voted/how-groups-voted-1976/ despite Kevin Phillips and the “Southern Strategy,” in part because Ford had a very pro-Civil Rights Record while in Congress. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/document/0204/1511705.pdf It was not for nothing that Ronald Reagan’s most strenuous supporters in 1976 came from the South and white ethnic areas in the North in conflict with Blacks. And in 1980, the Republicans went all in on becoming the White Person’s party and to paint the Democrats as the party of “special interest groups.” Becomes of Trump, Hillary might have higher turn out and greater percentage of support from African Americans then Barack Obama.

  59. Jeremy says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Perhaps you should read the part where I said he wasn’t a limited government messiah, that he was imperfect.

    Because, you know, reading a thing, though you need to practice it.

    Also, while we’re on the subject, what have Democrats done about ending the drug war, asset forfeiture, police misconduct, or allowing small business owners to live their lives in peace?

  60. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Rafer Janders: I’ve always taken “limited government” to mean spending the money on me, not you, but you make a good point here that I’d never considered. Lily Tomlin was right about cynical, it is hard to keep up.

  61. KM says:

    @Jeremy:

    “He started his campaign in Mississippi–must be a racist!”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about.

    I’m going to take a different tack with this so you can see why this statement keeps getting called out. Announcing a Presidential bid is a BIG DEAL. It’s not done lightly or on the fly but rather is the result of careful planning and staging. This includes venue – who wants to be known as the person who announced their run in front of places like the Holocaust Museum, an active volcano, a prison, etc? Choice matters as well as the image it projects. Reagan chose the Neshoba County Fair. Neshoba County had less then 24,000 souls in the 1980 census; Philadephia has less then 7,000. Little has changed since. It was not important in the grand scheme of things, especially to a Californian like Reagan. The only reason he would have been aware this sleepy little place existed would have been a certain infamous incident.

    So ask yourself and answer honestly: why this little slice of nowhere for such an important speech? If the intent was to be in rural America or or to do this at a State Fair, there were literally thousands of other options. He had no personal, professional, political or sentimental ties to Mississippi (as far I as remember).

    Why there?

  62. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jeremy: any political party which wants to control the contents of a woman’s womb can in no way be called “for limited government.”

  63. raflW says:

    Republicans have been sowing seeds of distrust in the electoral system for a couple decades. All the 99% fabricated crap about voter impersonation fraud and the resultant voter ID laws (now being struck down by courts that are fed up with fabricated or fully nonexistent evidence of fraud) have created the landscape wherein Trumps narrative can flourish.

    As with so much Trump – he is just dialing to 11 the prevarications, resentments, fears and garbage of a decadent and discredited conservatism. It needn’t have come to this. Conservatives could have fought elections on issues and ideas. But they got flabby and eventually gave in to an easier but ultimately destructive path.

    Remains to be seen if American democracy can survive one of the two parties overtly deciding to subvert it.

  64. Pch101 says:

    I suppose that I shouldn’t slam Ronald Reagan, for he was committed to limited government.

    For example, he wanted to limit your right to have an abortion, even though the Supreme Court had settled the matter.

    He actually declared war on citizens of the United States with his fantastic small-government war on drugs. After all, it was necessary for the federal government to place limits on your recreational choices — that’s what limited government is all about.

    He wanted to limit the government’s willingness to pay its bills when he escalated the budget deficit.

    Reagan was also a strong proponent of states rights, i.e. the ability of state and local government to limit the rights of minorities. More limits!

    You might notice that there is a pattern to this limited government stuff – the limits are placed on women and minorities. Funny how that works out.

  65. JohnMcC says:

    @Jeremy: “I’ll be honest, I don’t know what conservatism is about any more.”

    Join the crowd, brother! I started off as a naif who thought that the ‘conservatism’ I read about in Russell Kirk and Wm F Buckley were the actual driving forces behind the politics of the Right. It was a shattering lesson to learn the truth and see the consequences of that.

    Today’s R-party has never in my lifetime been a believer in what I (and I suspect, you) call democracy. Nixon and Watergate represented a cynical attempt to steal an election that they could not possibly lose. Reagan and Iran-Contra showed that if they didn’t want to ‘execute faithfully’ the laws passed by Congress then, BY GOD!, they’d just ignore them (and sell our enemies the weapons they wanted to fund their lawbreaking). The Clinton impeachment was an obvious attempt to overturn a completely fair election simply because they disapproved of the outcome.

    As said above, no one believes that the government should be so small that it can’t send a check to MY mailbox. Everyone — particularly the modern Republican party! — thinks the government should be large enough to control the portion of society that we wish would stop doing awful things. In the case of the Republicans that happens to include everything from smoking a joint to aborting a fetus and not too long ago to using birth control.

    Like it or not, that’s what the game actually is. Get over it.

  66. JohnMcC says:

    Whew! Our friend Jeremy got quite a few of us up on soapboxes!

  67. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @al-Alameda: In 1985 Philadelphia, PA police, dropped a bomb from a helicopter on a residential nneighborhood destroying the MOVE headquarters which killed 11 people including 5 children.

    In 2016, the DNC nominated HRC, an advocate of the prison industrial complex that locked up 1 Million Black Men in its pursuit to rid the country of super-predators, at its convention in Philadelphia, PA.

    Shall I draw the same inferences from that as from Reagan’s showcasing of Philadelphia, MS?

  68. Scott F. says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Gore in 2000 is an excellent counter-example.

    If you remember, Gore conceded relatively quickly and preempted what could have been a very contentious legal battle. Despite this, there was and is animus toward the outcome of that election to this day, though thankfully that anger hasn’t manifested itself in anything more violent than some protests and grousing on the Internet.

    Imagine what the outcome would have been if Gore hadn’t conceded and that Democrats were the party that quietly accepts support from factions in the US that argue for the need of an armed citizenry should it become necessary to throw off an oppressive government (the “patriotic” interpretation of the Second Amendment).

  69. C. Clavin says:

    @Jeremy:
    I didn’t say he was just like other candidates.
    I said that just like other Republicans he wants the so-called small government to be in your bedroom, your church, your Dr’s office, etc.

  70. al-Alameda says:

    @Jeremy:

    @al-Alameda: A terrible choice to start his campaign. I wish he didn’t do that. But I also can’t let that define the man. I can’t allow this to become all or nothing, 0% or 100%, black or white. That sort of Manichean/Christian millennialist viewpoint will destroy our democracy more than anything. It’s not healthy, it’s actively destructive. I can accept imperfection. That’s why I prefer Hillary over Trump.

    I’m not talking about a binary 0/1 viewpoint here, I speaking to what actually happened back in 1980. No one here is saying “Mississippi! Racism!”

    Ronald Reagan knew exactly what he was dong by opening his campaign in Philadelphia Mississippi – the symbolism was inescapable. It was part of the ongoing Republican appeal to white Southern voters. Frankly that’s been an integral part of the Republic campaign playbook since 1968, and it was very successful indeed – from 1968 to 2004 it yielded Republicans 7 presidential victories in 10 general elections.

  71. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Trump is not an aberration in the Republican Party, he is a culmination. He didn’t do this to them. They did it to themselves. :

    He’s also not aberration to American politics. He’s not a Nazi, he’s a segregationist Dixiecrat rebooted for today now that the Dixiecrats are Republicans.

    Business establishment Republicans have been in denial of the fact that their views of “limited government” as defined by their corporate and wealthy donors, i.e. low tax rates for the wealthy and limited regulations on business, are not what attracted social conservatives and former Dixiecrats to the GOP. That social conservative vision of “limited government” was one that restricted the benefits and liberties provided to minorities.

    Reagan knew it but was careful in how he articulated it. Trump has also figured this out, and eliminated any of its subtleties.

    The establishment is still in denial of the fact that their party members share a common lexicon but that they define these terms differently from one another. The establishment’s reaction to this being separated by a common language has been to claim the moral high ground, denouncing the upstarts as “lacking conservative principles,” while the base accuses the establishment of being “RINOs”.

    The social conservative WASPs would have no problem with transfer payments if they were the ones receiving the transfer payments. They get a bit ornery when they feel as if they are redistributing cash to the inferior folks who motivated them to join the GOP in the first place. That clashes with the wealthy supporters of the party who don’t want to pay for either one to have them. It’s Huey Long vs. Ebenezer Scrooge.

  72. al-Alameda says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    @al-Alameda: In 1985 Philadelphia, PA police, dropped a bomb from a helicopter on a residential nneighborhood destroying the MOVE headquarters which killed 11 people including 5 children.

    In 2016, the DNC nominated HRC, an advocate of the prison industrial complex that locked up 1 Million Black Men in its pursuit to rid the country of super-predators, at its convention in Philadelphia, PA.

    Shall I draw the same inferences from that as from Reagan’s showcasing of Philadelphia, MS?

    No.
    It is not analogous to Philadelphia, Mississippi.

  73. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jeremy:

    Also, while we’re on the subject, what have Democrats done about ending the drug war, asset forfeiture, police misconduct, or allowing small business owners to live their lives in peace?

    Squirrel!

  74. PJ says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    If only there was some other things that Philadelphia, PA was known for.
    Like the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Or the signing of the Constitution. And so on…

    Could you please let us know if there was something else that Philadelphia, MS was known for back in 1980 when Reagan thought it was a good place for his first speech after the convention, other than the murder of three civil rights workers. And why he brought up states rights.

    We are all waiting.

  75. KM says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Shall I draw the same inferences from that as from Reagan’s showcasing of Philadelphia, MS?

    Reagan picked Philadelphia, MS to start his presidential campaign. Small town, not a lot going on historically with a few glaring exceptions. His choice.

    I’m unaware of Hillary Clinton choosing Philadelphia, PA for the DNC this year to end her primary campaign. Big city, famous in our foundation, site of many things going down in history. Not her choice.

    But hey, both sides amirite? Bet the fact that they were both Philadelphia made you feel pretty clever…..

  76. KM says:

    @Jeremy:

    or allowing small business owners to live their lives in peace

    Now this is interesting. Define “live their lives in peace”. Somehow I get the feeling it’s gonna contain the words “religious freedom”, “cut regulation” and “do what they want” or some variation. While I do agree it should be simpler to start and run a small business from a tax perspective, I don’t think sacrificing things like environmental safety, worker’s rights or accommodations for the general public to do so. A business is not a little fiefdom; it doesn’t make you a little tyrant to boss around others but rather gives you the opportunity to serve others for personal profit.

    Kindly elaborate, what peace don’t they have right now, Jeremy?

  77. Rafer Janders says:

    @KM:

    To add to that, know how you live your life in peace? Don’t start a small business.

    Once you do start a small business, however, you have to deal with customers and suppliers and use the roads and pay bills and make payroll and deal with accounting and taxes etc. etc. etc. That’s just the nature of the beast. Complaining about it is like becoming a professional baseball player and then complaining about the rules of baseball. Hey, it’s exactly what you signed up for.

  78. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Oh, it’s the old “freedom of association” thingie. Want to be able to keep those icky Moo-slims and icky nee-grows from contaminating my restaurant/hotel/swimming pool/whatever, y’know….

    Same sh*t, different decade….

  79. grumpy realist says:

    And the “lack of regulation” means “able to sell you peanut butter with rat turds in it without you being able to bring a lawsuit against me.”

  80. KM says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Yep. The purpose of a business is to make money, period. You know what you’re getting into because you want more Benjamins.. All other things business owners claim they do it for (artistic expression, helping the community, religious motivation, personal fulfillment, etc) are secondary considerations at best. Know how I’m sure of that? Because they could do those things for free and don’t. They much rather get paid in the process and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Someone who has a religious objection to selling cakes for gay weddings can easily just give cakes away to people they like if it’s all about the art. You can’t force a private citizen to give away their property so there goes the federal government off your back. After all, isn’t it a good thing to be generous on someone’s blessed day so you can be a part of their celebration? Isn’t your art and your faith worth the hit to your pocketbook? Somehow, it never is…

  81. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jeremy: You suggested Reagan as at least someone who tried to work for limited government, I asked you which of the grievances you listed as government excess was one for which Reagan would agree with you, and your response was to tell me that I have a reading problem and that both sides do it. Oooookaaaayyy…

    Rather than get in a flame war with you I will simply say “boy, you sure put me in MY place; I must’ve misunderstood you completely.”

  82. KM says:

    @KM:
    To circle this back to Trump and the Republicans, why not make a pledge for small business of 100 employees or less being tax-free (state and federal) for the first 2 years with the stipulation that money goes to non-related employees either in salary or benefits? As in, instead of paying $5000 in taxes to TX, that goes to paying $15 per hour employees. The Donald’s supposed to be a business man, where’s all the suggestions to help the little guy get started on their own financial empire? Why aren’t we benefiting from his “genius” instead of the tripe we’re getting now?

  83. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Rather than get in a flame war with you I will simply say “boy, you sure put me in MY place; I must’ve misunderstood you completely.”

    Hahahahahaha.

    All I can say is: Touche.

  84. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pch101: I’m going to come to Reagan’s defense on one of your points:

    For example, he wanted to limit your right to have an abortion, even though the Supreme Court had settled the matter.

    He wanted to SAY he wanted to restrict abortions, but he didn’t want to DO squat about it.

  85. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: You may if you wish to. I’m charry about “coincidences,” too.

  86. DrDaveT says:

    @Jeremy:

    If you hear people constantly saying you’re a racist dolt, eventually you’re going to become one even if you aren’t.

    Seriously???

    Jenos, is that you?

  87. Concerned UK Citizen says:
  88. Tyrell says:

    Weird, bizarre. A few weeks ago Trump had clear sailing, an open road, and momentum. A weak economic report, Hillary was in hot water, and events overseas were going out of control.
    All that fell into Trump’s lap. Instead of taking it and running with it he engaged in behavior that you would see at primary school play period: name calling, pouting, throwing fits, and tattle tales. Either that or he is rehearsing for some WWE stunt. Then came the DNC and they basically out righted and out patrioted the Republicans, (sorry, Sanders protesters –
    your socialist soviet style tactics are so 1970′ ish).
    “Trump and Trumper”

  89. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: So people become racist in order to show other people that they aren’t? I fail to understand the logic of J’s argument….

  90. Jen says:

    @Jeremy:

    you’re trying to smear everyone who believes in limited government as insane and racist. That is manifestly not only unfair, but also manifestly untrue.

    I’m going to start by saying that I agree with you that not all people who believe in limited government are racists. My father’s one of them.

    However, it was Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights movement that started the ball rolling in that direction for Republicans. He opposed the Civil Rights Act because he didn’t believe that government should be able to tell a private business who it should serve (I believe that Cong. Ron Paul has a similar viewpoint). With Johnson on one side and Goldwater on the other, guess where the *actual* racists felt comfortable? Nixon’s Southern Strategy built on that, and it’s become baked into the Republican voting bloc.

    For years, people like my father have argued that it’s just a small minority of Republican voters who feel that way. Trump is disproving that, rather definitively.

  91. MarkedMan says:

    As an aside, earlier today Obama publicly called on Republicans to stop backing Trump and said that he was unfit to be president. Several hours later there is no response from the Trump camp.

    If I believed that politicians were capable of seven dimensional chess, I might suspect that Obama said this so as to make it harder for Repubs to pull away from their candidate (My gawd, that socialist Kenyan Mooslim told you to jump and you said “how high”). But I suspect it has more to do with the fact that Obama knows exactly what is involved with the presidency and how important it is. And he thinks, correctly and obviously, that Trump is unfit to be president.

  92. grumpy realist says:

    Somewhat OT, but Trump-related.

    I honestly don’t know which one I want to lose more. I dislike Trump and all his minions, but on the other hand I hate their opponent’s retro-active “common law copyright” concept with the flaming hot rage of a million burning suns.

    (I swear, if someone offered me the chance to rewrite US copyright law so that we go back to the two 28-year terms we used to have but that’s I’d have to vote for Donald Trump I still would be really, really tempted.

    I guess this just proves everyone has his/her price, and mine is US copyright law…)

  93. michael reynolds says:

    Jenos has gone to hide in the basement with Cheetoh Jesus’s poll numbers.

  94. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @al-Alameda: Of course it isn’t because Democrats can’t possibly be Racists–only Republicans. Logic is a double edge sword…. own it. Your party started the charge to put over a million of us in prison. They have done nothing to stem the tide and continuously prioritize the white collar desires of other constituencies over ours.

    You are welcome to point out how Philadelphia, MS as a political prop is different Philadelphia, PA. The latter being the worst or second worst racist city in the Northeast—neck and neck with Boston.

  95. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @PJ: Declaration of Independence?!?!?! What in the hell does that mean for my history? Diddly and Squat. While the white founders of this country declared their independence….they also declared their right to own my ancestors. Im sorry Im not nostalgic (ok Im not sorry) for something that was meaningless for my ancestors. Please.

    I see two parties that used 2 racist a$$ towns as their political backdrop. Welcome to Black History.

  96. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @KM: No…its Ironic that both appeal to brotherly love…except for when it comes to black people.

  97. An Interested Party says:

    You are welcome to point out how Philadelphia, MS as a political prop is different Philadelphia, PA. The latter being the worst or second worst racist city in the Northeast—neck and neck with Boston.

    Oh please, for someone who acts as if he is pretty intelligent, you are being pretty dumb with this comparison…Reagan knew exactly what he was doing with his racist dog whistle in Mississippi…the Dems this year were hoping to use Philadelphia for its role as the founding city of this country and also knowing that Pennsylvania may be a swing state…big difference between the two cites…

    I see two parties that used 2 racist a$$ towns as their political backdrop. Welcome to Black History.

    You poor thing…I guess you are only satisfied with a black president…otherwise, everything else is just a racist mess…

  98. Concerned UK Citizen says:

    Trump not endorsing Ryan or McCain.

    Yet another example of his childishness… “You didn’t back me over the Khan, so I’m not going to support you nah nah nah nah nah!

  99. Concerned UK Citizen says:

    Serves the RP right. They should have stopped him in his tracks months ago.

  100. Concerned UK Citizen says:

    He won’t be there for the vote in November……

  101. Grewgills says:

    @Concerned UK Citizen:
    If they could, they’d probably be publicly thanking him for that.

  102. Grewgills says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Do you honestly not see any difference between a small southern town known ONLY for a racist horror show and Philadelphia, PA? Really? Is Philly’s only claim to fame it’s racism? Is that the only reason someone would choose to hold a high profile political event there? Do you believe, even a little bit, that the Democrats chose Philly to highlight their racist cred and bring in the racist vote? Can you be that blinded by your both sides do it ism?

  103. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    You are welcome to point out how Philadelphia, MS as a political prop is different Philadelphia, PA.

    Type these names into your favorite search engine:

    James Chaney
    Andrew Goodman
    Michael Schwerner

    Combine that with Reagan’s tribute to “states rights”, and you got yourself a party…the new Republican Party.

    You should know that “states rights” is code for Washington keeping its civil rights race-mixing mitts out of places such as Mississippi.

    When Reagan gave that speech, Mississippi had just finished desegregating its schools — it was the last state in the Union to integrate. Not that it was happy about it — the state had considered abolishing public education in order to avoid dealing with it.

    You can bet that this crowd knew exactly what Reagan meant. No comparison to the 2016 Democratic convention that went out of its way to be inclusive.

  104. bill says:

    so 2012 was all about the “1%” /wall st./big banks being “bad”…but now that they’re throwing money at democrats….not so bad now?!
    ever wonder why? here’s a clue- the economy has been on fed reserve life support since before obama took over, the middle class can’t put money into savings accounts anymore as they don’t pay interest (as the fed gives banks essentially free loans, with our tax dollars….), so we have to either hide our savings under a mattress or roll the dice and put it in the stock market.
    the “war on the middle class” is this and obamacare- a massive tax increase on them for the benefit of a modest few….and of course hospitals, doctors, those who all agreed it would help them.

    and if none of you actually noticed- hillary was essentially given the nomination via the dnc’s dismissal of bernie. so yes, that’s a rigged election there already, but since none of you really care anymore it’s just business as usual.
    trump on the other hand was elected by popular vote- against the party’s wishes.
    that’s how democracy used to work.

  105. Moosebreath says:

    And now for some even more irresponsible rhetoric coming from the Trump camp:

    “Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

    He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.”

    In other words, Trump’s strategist is saying if Hillary wins, it can only be due to fraud, and therefore Trump’s supporters would be justified in responding violently.

    Franklin’s line “A democracy, if you can keep it” never seemed more apt.

  106. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: I care less that Obama is black than I care that he actually impacted sentencing disparities the crack and cocaine. Im satisfied that he shines a light on “broken windows” policing that only cares to look for broken windows in neighborhoods that people of color live in. Im satisfied that he created a task force to determine what police forces and tactics SHOULD look like in a multicultural 21st century not to mention a host of other reforms. I voted for many White Presidents…they didn’t do 1/4 that. Is there a white Presidential candidate out there that is going to continue pushing reforms for issues unique to the black community? Show them to me and I’ll vote for em. Everything is is fluff from my perspective.

  107. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Pch101: Really? I used to live in Mississippi. I know exactly who they are. Even If I didn’t in Mississippi….I would know who they are.

    The comment section logic is that a location = racist. If that’s the standard…its not a lot of places any candidate or convention could go.

    Now…if you have the words for Reagan’s speech that day and it had dog whistles in it (it probably does) then that’s a better argument than making the case that because the guy launched his campaign in Philadelphia, MS that he wanted the racist vote or is racist himself.

    Frankly, Democrats need to go to those areas and engage people in conversation. For no other reason than they might make some teens and college age kids rethink their blind support of the RNC.

  108. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Grewgills: I disagree with the logic that city a candidate chooses make them or the campaign racist. Even a con-man like Reagan. If the contents of his speech that day are dog whistled throughout…then its a fair assessment. I don’t care to google his speech because Reagan in my book was a actor/con man playing a role. A sock puppet. I can spend the 20 seconds itd take me to google his speech doing something else more interesting.

  109. Mikey says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Now…if you have the words for Reagan’s speech that day and it had dog whistles in it (it probably does)

    He said “I believe in state’s rights” and promised to “restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them.”

    That’s not a mere dog whistle, that’s a dog whistle, a can of Alpo, and a whole heap of Milk Bones.

    He knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he said those words in that place, and EXACTLY who he was appealing to, and EXACTLY why his message would appeal to them.

  110. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    “States rights” isn’t enough of a dog whistle for you?

    I’m thinking that you’re a concern troll, not the real deal.

  111. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    My wife and I had occasion to write a little quickie kid’s book on Generals Colin Powell and Benjamin Davis Jr. (A crap job, no money, no resources and no time, didn’t want to do it but professional relationships dictated we should.)

    So I read everything I could find about both men, but despite Powell’s popularity and celebrity at the time, it was Davis who blew me away. Ben Davis Sr. was a black general serving way back in frontier times. His son, Benjamin Davis Jr., is the guy who created the Tuskeegee Airmen, the Red Tails, who flew P-51’s in WW2.

    Ben Jr. attended West Point where he was shunned for the entirety of his time, by the white cadets. He grew up in a Jim Crow world. IIRC he was sick and near the end when we wrote the book, so we couldn’t interview him, but we were able to speak to one of his guys, one of the original Tuskeegee Airmen. I did the phone interview. The airman I talked to was black (although I doubt that’s the descriptor he heard most often) and grew up in miserable circumstances. In order to become one of the Tuskeegee Airmen he had to overcome incredible obstacles, including of course the open hostility of the entire US Army.

    Now, you may be inclined to think he did it for money or for career prospects, but no, the man was a patriot. He loved his country. He wanted to serve and defend his country. I’ll be honest and tell you I had a hard time keeping my emotions under control talking to him. Smart-ass cynics like myself find genuinely brave, selfless, patriotic men hard to process. He had a moral force and clarity that I lacked, at least back then. (First Gulf War.) He made me feel cheap. Small.

    In fact it was a bit of a turning point for me. Good and brave men have that effect some times on those of us who are not so good.

    Reconsider your stand on the Declaration. The arc of history may bend toward liberty, but it only bends slowly, and the Declaration bent it about as far as any single document ever has. The Declaration laid out principles that are the very foundation of the Civil Rights movement. No Declaration, no General Benjamin Davis Jr., no Dr. King. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. King was a terrific speech-writer, but that line was not original to him.

    Partly inspired by that assignment I did not want to do all those years ago, I’m writing a trilogy of books on WW2 that includes a black main character from Tulsa. If you know black history, you know what Tulsa means. My readers are all races and genders, and I assure you I do not sugar-coat the racial situation in the US in 1942-1945. I could have made this young character bitter or cynical (I did with her older brother) but as corny as it sounds I don’t think Gen. Davis would have approved. Black soldiers didn’t just go to war, they often fought for the right to go to war, to defend a nation that treated them more poorly than it did German POW’s. They made the world a better place, and they made this country a better place. Which is what good and brave men do, and smart-ass cynics do not.

  112. Jim Brown32 says:

    @michael reynolds: Probably the finest generation of Black men to this date 2nd to only the Post Reconstruction generation. One of my Grandfathers was a WW2 and Korean War vet. He told me that he and his fellow black vets came home from war fearless. They simply weren’t going to take it anymore after they fought and bled for this country.

    Perhaps my words were little harsh regarding the DOI. It’s sometimes frustrating when people assume certain portions of American history have the same affinity from everyone. The words on it are noble…the execution anything but. That said I do consider myself Partriot….somewhat reserved because of the stains of history…but nevertheless I feel like we have a stake in this Country. We certainly don’t have a stake in any other country. I hope your right that one day all brown people can feel that those words on our founding documents apply to them.

    Great story about General Davis. I am partial to Chappie James’ biography as well. Another great warrior.

  113. Jim Brown32 says:

    @Pch101: States rights in the context Reagan and Republicans use it was an appeal to the segregationist vote. No question about that. It would have been so if he gave the speech in Philadelphia, PA, and abolitionist museum, wherever.

  114. Mikey says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    States rights in the context Reagan and Republicans use it was an appeal to the segregationist vote. No question about that. It would have been so if he gave the speech in Philadelphia, PA, and abolitionist museum, wherever.

    That’s true, but it would not have had the additional symbolic significance of having been delivered in the town where Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner were murdered. Reagan speaking there was a direct slap at the civil rights movement.

    Where something is said can be just as important as what is said.

  115. Zachriel says:

    @Mikey: it would not have had the additional symbolic significance of having been delivered in the town where Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner were murdered. Reagan speaking there was a direct slap at the civil rights movement.

    From the point of view of many Mississippians, it was the place where, once again, Northerners came down South to meddle in someone else’s business.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_civil_rights_workers%27_murders

  116. C. Clavin says:

    WOW…
    This is a huge bombshell (pun intended) and incredibly f’ing scary.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/joe-scarborough-trump-briefing-nuclear-weapons
    Anyone who thinks this man should be President of these United States has serious mental health issues.

  117. Jen says:

    @C. Clavin: I read that this morning, and find it odder than usual.

    Pretty much any sane person with an above-room temp IQ understands that nuclear weapons are a deterrent force. I can’t fathom any reason other than him intentionally trying to sandbag this race. No one is this dumb.

    I am also completely convinced that this daily barrage of nonsense streaming forth from him and his campaign is to avoid discussing any real policy issues. He doesn’t have any thought-out positions, at all, and has to figure out a way to get around that.

    If this is the case, we’re all taking the bait. He’d rather look like a loose cannon than an uneducated fool. Were he to try and discuss policy, it’d be the latter.

  118. Pch101 says:

    @Jen:

    Trump’s demographic supports him precisely because he is a loose cannon. His supporters refer to that as “straight talk.”

    What you consider to be a bug is what they consider to be a feature. You have to understand there is a segment of the public that detests nuance and despises analysis; when they hear big words and calm voices, they see a cover-up. He is giving them what they want.

  119. @C. Clavin: I will confess, if the story was accurate, it would not surprise me. However, I have a hard time with those kinds of “as told to” third person stories, especially on topics like this.

    @Jen: The thing is, I think we all know people who are sufficiently unsophisticated in politics/international relations who actually thinks that nukes can be used to solve problems. The simplistic thought process tends to be: military victory goes to the strongest force, nukes are the most powerful weapon there is, ergo: nukes can win wars.

    The issue, to me, is not that it is impossible to think that someone might think this way. The issue is how in the world is such a person the nominee of a major party?

  120. C. Clavin says:

    @Jen:
    I work in the building industry. When it comes to building codes and somebody says, “Well, that doesn’t make sense.” The standard response is that you cannot use logic to understand the building code.
    You are attempting to use logic to understand Donald Trump. Cannot be done.

    The one thing that Trump understands is his branding. He has to know that this race is destroying his branding. His kids are still running his business. They have to see it. The demographic he is appealing to, Jenos JKB bill and that ilk, are not the demographic he needs to appeal to to feed his brand. What does he do about that? I have no idea. Given the way the wheels are coming off this speeding train…I think we are going to see something epic in proportion happen soon.

  121. An Interested Party says:

    From the point of view of many Mississippians, it was the place where, once again, Northerners came down South to meddle in someone else’s business.

    Someone else’s business? Whether you’re in Mississippi or Massachusetts this is all one country, so the “business” in one state matters in all states, especially if that business is rank discrimination…

  122. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I have a hard time with those kinds of “as told to” third person stories, especially on topics like this.

    I whole-heartedly agree. And I am no fan of Scarborough. Having said that; I have a hard time believing that a man who is as dedicated to the GOP, as he is, would toss this out there without being pretty sure it was accurate.
    And when you consider that it was said about Donald Trump…just sayin’
    On the other hand…Morning Joe is getting a lot of replay this am. So there is that.

  123. Jen says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Excellent point.

    Heaven help us all.

  124. al-Alameda says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Of course it isn’t because Democrats can’t possibly be Racists–only Republicans.

    Very nice, I see what you did there.

    Sorry, but the circumstances of Reagan going to Philadelphia Mississippi to begin the 1980 campaign, is in no way analogous to Democrats convening in Philadelphia PA to select their nominee.

    Also, to you’re off-the-point inference that I was saying that Democrats are not racists-only Republicans – No, I was not saying that.

  125. Zachriel says:

    @An Interested Party: Whether you’re in Mississippi or Massachusetts this is all one country, so the “business” in one state matters in all states, especially if that business is rank discrimination…

    More specifically, when it has to do with the federal issue of national elections, and the possible involvement of local law enforcement in the murders.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  126. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    Previously, you said:

    If the contents of his (Reagan’s) speech that day are dog whistled throughout…then its a fair assessment.

    Now you’re arguing that even though it had dog whistles that it wasn’t a fair assessment. Complete flip flop in just a few hours.

    Either you are very confused or else you are a concern troll. I’m voting for the latter — you are playing a character, pretending to be someone who you are not.

  127. JohnH says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Geez Michael, you made me tear up a bit there. I’ll look forward to the books.

  128. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been listening to news this morning. We seem to have reached a tipping point. Putin, Khans, Purple Heart, Manafort complaining, bad joke about ejecting a baby, asking why we don’t use nukes, and more. I’m losing track. The tipping point isn’t all that stuff, it’s that the MSM are reporting it. Priebus is apparently so pissed about not endorsing Ryan he’s reportedly trying to organize an intervention. It’s making one wonder if the #nevertrup guys ever checked GOP rules for a way to force a psychiatric evaluation. I am not being facetious. They should certainly be reading the 25th Amendment, Sect. 4, which provides for removal of the President for incapacity.

  129. Andrew says:

    Obviously, when there is a real person who is asking why he can not use nukes on an enemy, or insulting the parents of a soldier lost in battle, one must wonder what IF. And make up a hypothetical situation. AKA not real.
    And why that hypothetical situation is in fact worse than the real situation at hand.
    Otherwise, you know, the sh!theel who is real would actual be a sh!theel that is real.

  130. Blue Galangal says:

    @MarkedMan: You’re right, I didn’t think about that. And here it is the next day and still no response. Maybe someone took Trump’s phone away from him, or changed his Twitter password. This is an unusually long time for him to go without responding to a slight (imagined or real, and Obama’s was entirely zerofksgiven real).

  131. Moosebreath says:

    @gVOR08:

    And now we are hearing that Trump’s circle are considering an intervention:

    “Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.

    The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children — who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers — to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy. Trump’s family is considered to have by far the most influence over the candidate’s thinking at what could be a make-or-break moment for his campaign.”

    Oh, to be a fly on that wall….

  132. grumpy realist says:

    Trump, and the people who follow him, are people ruled by the Id. No planning, no prudence–everything is just a knee-jerk reaction to something that insulted them, or “dissed” them.

    The only difference between Trump and someone from the ‘hood is that Trump uses tweets and lawsuits rather than bullets.

    Has Trump always been this bad, or are we seeing the results of incipient senility? He is, after all, 70 years old.

    …after second thought, naah, he’s always been a jackass.

  133. Guarneri says:

    Welcome back to CNN.

    In our first story we note that in interviews the absolute falsity of charges against Hillary Clinton and her emails, and the charges that the Administration paid bribes paid to Iran have been debunked. They told us so, and that’s good enough for us. To question otherwise would be corrosive.

    In our second story, Kzir Khan is with us, again; he’s a true iron man, to give his views on Hillary and Obamas greatness, why they had nothing to do with the war that killed their son, why Donald Trump should be drawn and quartered because he actually caused the war, and explain how he isn’t a willing political pawn.

    And a viewing note to viewers, on Monday at prime time CNN will bring you the first episode of the new Kzir Khan Show. Kzir Khan will be sharing his views on politics, Fed policy, cooking tips, why Donald Trump is actually a mass murderer secretly ordering drone strikes, and why Mr Khan isn’t a willing political pawn, and not the least bit corrosive. Please join us then.

  134. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    And here comes Drew, to wallow in the pig sh!t his former candidate, Mitt Romney won’t go near.

    I never liked Romney, but he’s a man. I don’t know what you are.

  135. JohnMcC says:

    Over at RedState where they are having daily cerebral hemorrhages over the theft of their party there are two stories concerning the Joe Scar/nuclear bomb issue. They’ve resurrected their coverage of the March interview with Chris Matthews in which Mr Trump refused to ‘take nukes off the table’. And they have a column featuring one of those chains of tweets that just make hash out of a paragraph (and annoy the heck out of me) but this one is from a retired USAF General Noonan who commanded the missile part of SAC. If there’s anything to this story, it’s worth the irritation to read it.

  136. Pch101 says:

    @Guarneri:

    I do hope that “Rafer Janders” reads your post so that he can see an example of how right-wingers can go out of their way to avoid having compassion for the parents of a dead vet. He seems to under the impression that such a thing is impossible…

  137. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    He used to try harder to appear human. I think something must have gone badly wrong in his life. He used to be a 3 or a 4 on the humanity scale, now he’s just. . . well, as you see.

  138. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Janders was chiding me for believing that some Americans would not have sympathy for a Gold Star mother, even if she was Muslim.

    Well, now you know.

  139. Jen says:

    RedState is unreal right now. There’s a post up suggesting that Reince Priebus is saying that people shouldn’t vote for Trump (I checked Priebus’s tweet stream and I’m pretty sure he was talking about Clinton, but the fact that there is any question is sort of astonishing). Pence has just split with his own running mate and endorsed Paul Ryan (damage control, not that it matters on the Hindenburg), and virtually every major news organization has some “meltdown mode” post up right now.

    This is crazy.

  140. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    It is crazy, but then the whole Trump campaign has been a road trip to Crazytown.

    You and I have been saying that Trump could bail. Frankly, I think his recent chatter about rigged debates and rigged elections could be interpreted as him setting the stage to walk off it.

    I doubt if an intervention would induce Trump to act presidential, or even rational.

  141. al-Alameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    And a viewing note to viewers, on Monday at prime time CNN will bring you the first episode of the new Kzir Khan Show. Kzir Khan will be sharing his views on politics, Fed policy, cooking tips, why Donald Trump is actually a mass murderer secretly ordering drone strikes, and why Mr Khan isn’t a willing political pawn, and not the least bit corrosive. Please join us then.

    Next time, try oxygen, not nitrous oxide.

  142. Jim Brown32 says:

    @Pch101:Nope, what I said was the contents of the speech made it a fair to say Reagan appealed to segregationists. The location of the speech– not so much. Its possible to be right for the wrong reason. Had Reagan given a dog whistle-less speech in Philadelphia would that have been Rascist? I don’t believe so. Content and Location are severable factors in making a determination about who the speakers target audience might be. I don’t have a clue what a concern troll is….it’s probably a waste of my time to find out.

  143. Grewgills says:

    @Jim Brown32:
    Can you really not see how a location can send a message along with the content of a speech?
    What if Reagan had given a speech with no obvious racial component at a clan rally with burning crosses in the background, would that speech be similarly clear of any racial implications?

  144. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    Either the word “symbolism” doesn’t appear in your dictionary, or else you’re a concern troll. I am raising my bet on the latter.

  145. Matt says:

    @Pch101: I called it some time ago that he’s performing the distant cousin of the concern troll. Although in this thread he’s more concern troll than anything. All he has is hatred of Democrats and how they are EVIL. Never mind that Republicans are far worse that doesn’t matter…

    Hillary AND Bill both have said several times that the tough on crime stuff they pulled had negative consequences and they would of changed that if they could go back in time. Hillary has stated multiple times that she wants to continue Obama’s addressing of the issues the troll is bringing up but the troll just keeps ignoring it.

    It’s a troll.

  146. Matt says:
  147. Matt says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/27/us/brown-hudner-devotion-korean-war/

    Was my first exposure to his story. It’s also my favorite article but it took a while for me to find it.