Trump Confuses Haley With Pelosi

The man is not well.

NYT (“Trump Confuses Haley and Pelosi, Accusing Rival of Jan. 6 Lapse“):

Former President Donald J. Trump on Friday appeared to confuse Nikki Haley for Nancy Pelosi during a speech in New Hampshire, accusing Ms. Haley of failing to provide adequate security during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol and connecting her to the House committee that investigated it.

Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a former ambassador to the United Nations, has never served in Congress and was working in the private sector during the Capitol riot.

On Friday night, Mr. Trump was in the middle of mocking Ms. Haley for the size of the crowds at her events, and criticizing the news media, when he pivoted to how he gave a speech in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, that preceded the Capitol attack.

“You know, when she comes here she gets like nine people, and the press never reports the crowds,” Mr. Trump said of Ms. Haley, whose crowds have lately been, at the very least, in double digits.

Then, he changed subjects. “You know, by the way, they never report the crowd on Jan. 6,” he said. “You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley.”

Mr. Trump then repeated his frequent claim that the bipartisan House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack — including Mr. Trump’s actions that day — “destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence.”

Then, he claimed that Ms. Haley was in charge of security that day, and that she and others had turned down his offer to send troops to the Capitol.

“Nikki Haley was in charge of security,” he said. (She was not.) “We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guards, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that.”

Mr. Trump, 77, often attacks President Biden, 81, over his age and suggests that Mr. Biden is mentally unfit for office. “He can’t put two sentences together,” Mr. Trump said on Friday. “Can’t put two sentences together. He needs a teleprompter.”

A spokesman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump has frequently tried to lay blame for the Jan. 6 riot with Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats. There is no evidence, however, that Mr. Trump ever offered to have troops deployed to the Capitol, or that Ms. Pelosi, then the speaker of the House, rejected him.

At 3:52 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, Ms. Haley reposted photos of besieged officials inside the Capitol, writing on Twitter, “An embarrassment in the eyes of the world and total sadness for our country. Wake up America.”

NBC News (“Nikki Haley questions whether Trump is ‘mentally fit’ after he confuses her with Nancy Pelosi“):

Nikki Haley questioned whether Donald Trump is mentally able to serve as president after he mixed her up with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a Friday-night rally.

Addressing supporters in Keene, New Hampshire, Saturday, Haley called out Trump’s remarks while arguing that the presidential contest should not be a showdown between two men near or above 80 years old.

“We see that [President Joe] Biden has changed so much in two years,” Haley said. “But last night, Trump is at a rally and he’s going on and on mentioning me multiple times as to why I didn’t take security during the Capitol riots. Why didn’t I handle Jan. 6 better? I wasn’t even in D.C. on Jan. 6. I wasn’t in office then.”

“They’re saying he got confused, that he was talking about something else, he’s talking about Nancy Pelosi,” she continued. “He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario. The concern I have is — I’m not saying anything derogatory — but when you’re dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this. We can’t.”

The Hill (“Stefanik pushes back on reports Trump mixed up Haley, Pelosi“):

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) pushed back on reports that former President Trump mixed up his GOP presidential primary rival Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to an NBC News report.

“The reality is Nikki Haley is relying on Democrats, just like Nancy Pelosi, to try to have a desperate showing,” Stefanik said.

The New York congresswoman has endorsed Trump in his 2024 attempt to clinch the presidency. She also has not ruled out being his running mate in this year’s election.

“Well, I, of course, would be honored to serve in any capacity in a Trump administration. I’m proud to be the first member of Congress to endorse his reelection. I’m proud to be a strong supporter of President Trump, and he’s going to win this November,” Stefanik said.

As a general rule, I’m forgiving of gaffes on the campaign trail. Candidates give the same speeches over and over and are essentially on autopilot. Substituting one name for another in stock attacks is embarrassing but, in and of itself, not an indication of much of anything.

But, of course, Trump does this sort of thing all the time and has for years. While he’s full of energy and bombast, he often seems considerably less than mentally sharp.

None of this, of course, is going to deter Trump’s supporters. All of this and more is baked in and they clearly don’t care. To the extent that there are Republican primary voters who are somehow torn between Trump and other candidates, it might matter on the margins. But Haley’s cowardice in refusing to attack Trump (“I’m not saying anything derogatory”) will mitigate that considerably.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    But, of course, Trump does this sort of thing all the time and has for years.

    This is a significant difference in degree. And it’s not just this one incident. More than once in the past few weeks he was confused about who ran against in 2016, seeming to confuse his birther attacks against Obama with his actual campaign against Hillary Clinton.

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  2. steve says:

    This might be different but it doesnt matter. Even though James and Steve say it’s not a cult it all makes sense if you think of it that way. In a cult the leader cant be wrong and can do no wrong. Whatever Trump says or does will be justified if not venerated.

    Steve

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    @steve: It’s definitely a cult and none of this will matter to its adherents. But I’d bet 70-80% of potential Trump voters aren’t in the cult, largely because they are so tuned out from anything they deem political. That’s who can be swayed, at least temporarily and in small numbers.

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  4. Jen says:

    These aren’t gaffes, they are confusion, and they’ve been increasing. If he’d done it once and recovered, that would be a gaffe. This is his brain scrambling one “problematic female” for another. I expect this to continue.

    Writing this off as “campaign trail gaffes” is enabling.

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  5. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You commented yesterday that you were concerned that the press wasn’t covering Trump’s mental acuity. They seem to be doing so now. How could they avoid it?

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  6. Joe says:

    I agree that its no big deal to substitute Cedar Rapids for Cedar Bluffs or frankly any city a candidate is in when barnstorming, but to screw up your own script on such a central character – your primary opposition – is weird at best.

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  7. CSK says:

    It’s ironic that Trump is still calling Haley “Birdbrain.”

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  8. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I thought the same thing when I woke up this morning. It’s like someone gave reporters permission to start paying attention.

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  9. steve says:

    MarkedMan- I think the percentage is larger, still it will be the cult members doing the explaining and justifying for everyone else. Even those not actively in the cult mostly still exist within the right wong media bubble so many of them wont even hear about this and those who do will hear an explanation about why this wasn’t really a problem and Biden is worse. The only place this might have an effect is on the truly undecideds and maybe a few Dems who were considering not voting.

    Steve

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  10. charontwo says:

    Gradually, then all at once.

    This has been developing for a long time, years, but the rate of worsening has increased a lot in the past 2 or 3 months. Worse to come, fairly soon probably.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    @steve:

    mostly

    Thats the key word. Can this pull 1% away from Trump? 1.5%? Every bit helps.

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  12. charontwo says:

    @steve:

    Even those not actively in the cult mostly still exist within the right wong media bubble so many of them wont even hear about this and those who do will hear an explanation about why this wasn’t really a problem and Biden is worse.

    This may not be a big enough story, yet, but it will grow – the bubble will not be able to suppress it once the story is too big to ignore. Besides, even people in the bubble talk to other people.

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  13. CSK says:

    @steve:

    I took a look at Trump Central (Lucianne.com) earlier today, and sure enough, the responses were either that NYT/CNN/ABC, etc. weren’t reliable news sources or direct attacks on Haley.

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t know how much Biden’s allies have been working their press contacts on this, but it is a classic play: Take a candidate’s biggest strength and turn it against them. Trump has been successfully sowing doubt about Biden’s cognitive ability for a year, making sure “cognitive” is uppermost in people’s minds. And, unlike the Swiftboat campaign, this has the added advantage of being obviously true. Trumps handlers are either going to have to hide him away or deal with case after case of nonsense-speak.

    “You know Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, did you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything?” Trump told his crowd Friday. “Deleted it and destroyed all of it because of lots of things, like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people.”

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    We’re going to place strong protections to stop banks and regulators from trying to debank you from your— your political beliefs what they do. They want to debank you. We’re going to debank— think of this. They want to take away your country. Electric cars

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jen:
    Agreed. This is not a one-off, this is ongoing mental deterioration. The stress of losing his business and facing prison will almost certainly have contributed to accelerating his decline. This is a one-way trip, he ain’t coming back.

    @steve: @MarkedMan:
    I had an extended back-and-forth with Steven over this matter and dropped it finally when, IMO, it became undeniable that I was right. This is a cult of personality on a par with Jim Jones or NXIVM or Scientology. (Or the Swifties). But cults are not eternal, they do weaken over time and eventually fade out as adherents die or drift away.

    There will not be a time when the Trump cult has a sudden aha! moment when the scales fall from their eyes and they see the truth. They’ll go to their graves insisting they were right and he was the new messiah. It would shatter their fragile egos to admit the scale of deception, their own gullibility. A con man’s best defense is an embarrassed victim. They’ll find various work-arounds to preserve their self-image: Trump was great but was brought down by enemies. This is the new Lost Cause myth as someone wrote the other day. They’ll die insisting they were robbed.

    I’ve long believed that MAGAts expect to lose, that indeed they crave defeat because sullen resentment is their core personality. Trump has no plans, he’s not even talking about the future, and neither are the MAGAts. Their entire focus is oriented toward a fictional past, they have no notion of the future. This is why the winning move for Democrats is to focus on the future, to create a narrative of America triumphant. Maybe a tough sell with an octogenarian leader, but it’s the right move. Biden should play Moses: I will lead you to the future, though I will not see it myself.

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  17. charontwo says:

    @MarkedMan:

    And, unlike the Swiftboat campaign, this has the added advantage of being obviously true. Trumps handlers are either going to have to hide him away or deal with case after case of nonsense-speak.

    It’s pretty traditional that the nominee gives an acceptance speech at the convention – which should be worth a view.

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  18. EddieInCA says:

    I commented day before yesterday that “the tide is turning”.

    As people start to pay attention, Trump’s mental decline will become too obvious to ignore. Biden, at least, has the office of the President to protect him. Additionally, Biden will be disciplined in his appearances and rarely stray from the teleprompter. Anyone who has elderly relatives and has seen cognitive decline up close can see strong signals in Trump that he’s in an accelerating pace of deterioration. The difference between Trump now and even just a year ago is somewhat staggering, and it’s only going to get worse.

    Biggest problem for Trump is that he can’t help himself. He will keep putting himself out there, and continue to riff of script. That will get him into bigger trouble going forward.

    The Dems don’t have to pick off MAGA. They just have to convince 3-5% on the margins and that will be enough.

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  19. gVOR10 says:

    @steve:

    The only place this might have an effect is on the truly undecideds and maybe a few Dems who were considering not voting.

    @MarkedMan:

    Thats the key word. Can this pull 1% away from Trump? 1.5%? Every bit helps.

    Karl Rove, a thoroughgoing asshole but political genius, said all national elections are now turnout elections. One of the foundations of economics is that economics happens on the margin. It’s not the average price of wheat that matters, it’s the price of the last bushel sold. Politics also happens on the margin. The election will come down to small margins in a couple of states. Ds don’t have to convert the MAGA base or the bulk of the hereditary Republicans, they need to pull a few more of the undecideds and a few college educated GOPs. And maybe motivate a few more kids to vote and a few GOPs to sit this one out.

    And yes, the press does seem to have suddenly noticed Trump lost it years ago. The narrative drives coverage whether it fits reality or not. Maybe we’re witnessing one of those few cases where reality forces the narrative to change.

    Vote Blue, no matter who, and dump on WAPO and NYT’s bothsides at any opportunity.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    It occurs to me that even if we were to accept James’ premise that this isn’t evidence of cognitive decline but rather simply Trump’s longstanding tendency to ramble, it makes little difference. Suddenly a “Trump in decline?” headline will generate clicks so now pundits are focused on his every word. Everything he says will provide fodder for speculation on his faculties. Trump will freak out with stress if he thinks he has to watch what he says in real time, exacerbating his tendency to backtrack and retcon his diatribes. And we’ve all seen how wooden he is if he tries a straight read from the teleprompter. If he tries that we will start to hear about an over medicated Trump.

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  21. steve says:

    I used to read a couple of linguists blogs but lost track of them and think they shut down. I have been mildly fascinated (appalled) at the word salad that seems to be not just accepted/defended but something they seem almost proud of on the right. Palin excelled at it but Trump takes it to new heights. Where does this come from? I may have disagreed with St Ronnie, Newt, Mitt and others but they were at least speaking in coherent, intelligible sentences.

    Steve

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Biggest problem for Trump is that he can’t help himself. He will keep putting himself out there

    FWIW, I think there is a small but not insignificant chance he will bail. If he does he will fake a heart attack and then ride the pity train out of town. He was actually preparing for this a couple of years ago when he wasn’t sure January 6th would blow over. A number of times when asked about his plans back then, he qualified it by saying “if my health is good”, a very un-Trumpian thing to say. I took it as his exit hatch if it looked like he would lose the primary. I expect that if he becomes convinced in his own head that he will lose the general he will drop out, even in October.

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  23. CSK says:

    @steve:

    Back in 2015, Trump may have seen how well the word salad worked for Palin.

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  24. EddieInCA says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Disagree. Mostly because the Presidency is the only thing that will keep him from prison.

    He’s running to, literally, stay out of jail. He wins, every case goes away. He HAS to run. If he wasn’t running, he’d already be on trial. There would be no reason for Judge Cannon to keep helping him. There would be no reason for Chutken or Kaplan to allow any delays to their trail schedules.

    No. Trump is in it to win it. He has to.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA:

    the Presidency is the only thing that will keep him from prison

    A good point

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  26. CSK says:

    Recall that in this speech Trump also referred to Kim and Putin as “very fine people.” Shades of Charlottesville.

    I do wonder why, if Haley is so abysmally stupid and incompetent, Trump appointed her to be his U.N. ambassador.

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  27. Paine says:

    I bet Nikki Haley leveraged this gaffe to make a full-on attack on Trump’s fundamental fitness for the position and positioned herself as the best alternative at this point.

    Just kidding…

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  28. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I can’t figure out what the hell this is supposed to mean. How does one get “debanked”? There’s no such word.

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  29. Moosebreath says:

    @EddieInCA:

    “Mostly because the Presidency is the only thing that will keep him from prison.”

    In exactly the same way that the Prime Minister is the only thing keeping Netanyahu from prison. And since Netanyahu knows that when the war with Hamas is over, he will shortly be removed from being Prime Minister, it gives him every incentive to keep the war going.

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  30. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    “I can’t figure out what the hell this is supposed to mean. How does one get “debanked”? There’s no such word.”

    Are you debunking the debanking?

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  31. Lounsbury says:

    In respect to Trump and his decline – regardless of accuracy of Internet diagnostics, it provides an interesting and potentially quite productive line of attack (and defence for Biden, as noted above, Swiftboating as it were)

    That the core MAGA is likely largely unmoved is not relevant, the utility of putting a ceiling on Trump support in carving away a few percentage points among the “free float” of semi-independents in key Electoral College constuencies is likely to make the difference between a 2016 and a 2020 result. As said @MarkedMan every small percent above all in key electoral districts (bloody forget national percents, the electoral college plays)

    Too often comments here are of virtually religious lens of understanding, nothing short of conversion to a True & Correct moral views, where more modest transactional goals on the margins rather can suffice.

    @CSK: There is indeed such a word in circulation in English – neologism perhaps in inelegant, but it is clear enough to be understood withour arch pretence. Means simply losing one’s bank account and acccess to banking: e.g. https://cardonemoney.com/blog/what-is-debanking-understanding-its-impact-and-exploring-solutions ; https://imtconferences.com/derisking-and-debanking-is-a-solution-coming-this-time-around/ – the referential being essentially to unintended impact of regulation (bank and tax generally) and commercial banks dropping and excluding certain customer profiles be they individual or business.

    While I would not offer a defence of the word for felicitiousness, the neologism serves a specific meaning purpose and has been around for some time.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I thought he meant “debunked,” but that doesn’t make any sense either.

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  33. MarkedMan says:
  34. CSK says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Would you care to explain it in the context or sense that Trump used the word? E.g., how does one get debanked from one’s political beliefs?

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  35. Scott o says:

    @CSK: It’s a wing nut conspiracy theory. The country is going to switch to a digital currency so the banks/government can control how you spend your money.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/desantis-rfk-jr-misconstrue-fednow-digital-dollar-plans-rcna78591

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  36. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “…the clogged and overflowing barroom toilet that is Trump’s brain.”

    I’m breathless with admiration at your phrasing.

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  37. Lousnbury says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’ve long believed that MAGAts expect to lose, that indeed they crave defeat because sullen resentment is their core personality.

    Such nihilism is the route to political losses.

    Clearly and evidently the MAGA populist reaction – which one can see analogous echoes in Brexit, in AfD, and populist right reaction in France, Italy (etc) – is one very much of emotional reaction to fear of loss – and of course from a certain drawing of In-Group / Out-Group to exploit that. Sneering at it and dismissing (whether in a USA or an EU or a UK) context is a path to enabling it and ceding defensible territory.

    Edward Luce of the FT has been banging on this for several weeks of which his recent comment is pertinent;

    It is easy to dismiss the 45 per cent or more of America that would vote for Donald Trump as mad or bad. There are plenty of both, but Democrats are delusional if they think that saying so again and again is the way to get Joe Biden re-elected. I have written about the liberal world’s intellectual shortsightedness on this question on many occasions, most recently here. Any attempt to do so gets instantly discounted as special pleading or, worse — giving comfort and succour to the enemy. That is how a hermetically-sealed universe helps to perpetuate some of the resentments that fuel Trump. You cannot keep telling people that they are idiots or racists and expect that they will see the light and change their vote. Is the American left in the business of defeating Trump, or merely of feeling unsullied when he wins? I sometimes wonder.

    An observation quite identical to my own from reading here, the quasi religious foundational sentiment of greater moral purity (perhaps indeed well enough merited but not politically winning itself), secular versions of Puritans.

    Luce again with emphasis added.

    The Democratic party’s problem goes deeper than communications. … It would be nice to think that US voters elected … Biden because they wanted to restore US constitutional norms. Doubtless some did. But not enough to explain Trump’s defeat … It would also be good to believe that the storming of Capitol Hill on January 6 2021 and Trump’s refusal to accept Biden’s victory will play heavily on voters’ minds next year. Alas, there is little evidence of that so far. Issues such as inflation, immigration and crime dominate their priorities.  …. [elite] concerns rarely intersect with those of the median voter. …. The art of persuasion is forfeit if you brand your opponent as immoral before you begin. 

    It is also no way to win elections. The deeply uncomfortable reality for Democrats is that America’s working-class electorate is increasingly turned off from their brand. This stretches to non-white blue-collar Americans, including Hispanics of both genders and African-American males. Such trends offer both a warning to Biden’s Democrats, and a blueprint of how to defeat Trump.

    The clue is to figure out what such ex-Democratic voters have in common. Clearly, being white supremacists is not one of them. …. It does not help to tell people that the US economy is fine so they should stop complaining. … The same applies to the average voter’s concerns about crime and immigration. It is possible to be worried about your personal security, and angry about rates of illegal immigration, without being racist. …. Yet to say that this means Trump is a fascist will not bring Democratic voters back. 

    The art of winning elections is to differentiate what you say from what people will hear. … It ought to be taboo for campaigns to insinuate that they know voters’ minds better than they do. Unfortunately, the left sometimes cannot help itself. Aside from the … difficulty of deciding what is true and false, voters tend to feel belittled. The way to win is to meet people’s anxieties on their own terms. It is the source of some concern that Biden has not yet found a way of doing that. The good news is that he still has time. The bad news is that large swaths of his donor base and consultants are obsessed with spinach. Both the following sentences are true: Trump is a mortal threat to the US republic; roughly half of the country does not believe that. It follows that Democrats need to find more compelling ways of asking people to vote for them.  

    One should add to Luce’s closing, asking people not nationally in the abstract, but in the key geographical consituencies for an Electoral College win. And anything in legal voting to keep Trump out of the office again, even selling some proverbial grandmothers.

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  38. Jen says:

    @CSK: He is confusing the word “unbanked” which is not considered a real word either, but is now a standard part of the lexicon of the banking industry, I think.

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  39. @Michael Reynolds:

    I had an extended back-and-forth with Steven over this matter and dropped it finally when, IMO, it became undeniable that I was right.

    Just for the record, that’s not why Steven dropped it.

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  40. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Very possibly that’s it, but the word still doesn’t make sense in the context in which he used it.

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I thought MR was saying that MR stopped discussing it when MR decided that MR was right. (Stated this way to avoid pronoun referent difficulties with apologies for the clumsiness.)

    We clearly “heard” two different things; though, upon reflection, I suspect your reading is probably closer to what MR was thinking than mine.

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  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “The art of winning elections is to differentiate what you say from what people will hear. ”

    This statement seems self-contradictory to me given that the speaker has low control over how the audience–particularly the hostile portion of it–contextualizes the message. Alas, Luce’s “explanation”/elaboration of his point offered few clues to what he meant.

    On a more positive note, it was interesting to see where Lounsbury’s “style” comes from.

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  43. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    I can’t figure out what the hell this is supposed to mean. How does one get “debanked”? There’s no such word.

    I believe it is a far-right buzzword, not just something Trump invented. Kanye was using the word last year during his Hitler rant (and he was using it in an explicitly anti-Semitic way–he claimed he was being debanked by the Jewish powers-that-be).

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  44. @Just nutha ignint cracker: I think your reading is fair.

    I am just remarking that that wasn’t why I stopped engaging this topic.

    I will also note that MR thought he was right from the first time he raised the issue, so the degree to which he only realized that later strikes me as incorrect 😉

    I will note, too, that part of why I stopped engaging MR specifically on this topic is that he would never even try to understand what I was trying to say.

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  45. gVOR10 says:

    @gVOR10:

    and dump on WAPO and NYT’s bothsides at any opportunity.

    I seem to have a love/hate thing going with NYT. They are sometimes so bafflingly awful, as in “News Flash – Biden is old!!”, their joining the lynch mob on the Prez of Harvard, and so on. But sometimes they do things like today’s deep dive into the founding and funding of anti-DEI. (You guys get a gift link. Earlier I used this story as part of a reply to some guy at Volokh who claimed billionaires lean left. I told them no gift link, they all claim to be libertarians, they can buy their own damn subscriptions.)

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  46. Mr. Prosser says:

    Paul Campos has an interesting post over at LGM about trump and the 25th Amendment if trump wins in November. His handlers may very well be hoping to keep him going until November 5 then hold off until he’s actually in office then if necessary get him removed. Of course they need a VP that can carry on. Campos thinks that is Cari Lake.

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  47. gVOR10 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Good on you. No point to a flame war. Let what you already said stand on its own, which in this case it does well, and move on.

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    No, you were right.

    Look, I take a position to see what the pushback is. If I say the sky is blue and the arguments raised against it fail, I don’t dance around like Gollum with the ring, I just note that arguments against my position failed and move on to another topic. The person I need to convince first and foremost, is me. If and when I set out to convince other people, that’s a different matter requiring a different approach. In those cases I can play games, but I don’t play games against myself.

    I have great respect for Dr. Taylor, I have respect for all erudition, expertise, etc… and I learn a lot here. But academics have a tendency to dismiss non-academic avenues to the truth. I was right about MAGA being a cult, and right that Trump is a psychopath not because I’ve studied history (although I have, a bit) or because I understand political systems, but because I am professionally good at understanding character and narrative. I’m a good amateur psychologist.

    I learned a valuable lesson in my early teens. I was still a Christian and debated an atheist kid on evolution. I won the argument, but it wasn’t a real win. I knew that I’d won through debating skill and not because I was right. At that point I had to decide whether I wanted to win arguments or be right. I chose the second one. I haven’t always lived up to that ideal, but that is what I’m after.

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  49. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Well, I’m informed by Lounsbury that there is indeed such a word as “debanked,” and I confirmed that separately, but it STILL makes no sense whatsoever in the context in which Trump used it.

    Did he mean “disenfranchised”? Beats me.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Disagree. Mostly because the Presidency is the only thing that will keep him from prison.

    IMO, that’s only part of it.

    The other part is he’d look weak if he quit the race, especially as he’s likely to sew up the nomination in record time.

    In the dumpster fire that passes for Lardass’ mind, that may be the bigger part, too.

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  51. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I think Kanye was using it in a relatively new, right-wing, conspiratorial way that differs from its past technical use. As he was dropped by Adidas following his anti-Semitic comments, his wealth suffered a blow, and he stopped being a billionaire. “Debank” in his mouth was sort of cancel culture applied to a person’s wealth, a form of economic warfare by the powers-that-be to shut you up. At least that’s how I understood what he was saying.

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  52. steve says:

    I think this will be a turnout election, could be wrong. However, if I am right then the 1% you gain at the margins by convincing them that Trump is having cognitive issues is offset and may lose out to a higher percentage of Trump supporters voting. I hope I am wrong and his lapses should be reported but I dont have much hope.

    Also, for the military history buffs, some libertarian economist (sigh) has published a book claiming that when Churchill lamented our shortage of landing craft it was because we had central planners, ie government planning how many LSTs we needed. While the guy may or may not know economics he doesnt know military history. The Navy Times recently had a nice piece on LSTS, link below. There were several reasons we were short on LSTs at times but it wasn’t because the military didnt realize they were a priority. They were much of the time but they did get bumped during the Battle of the Atlantic, which most would agree was a good idea. However, the best part is that Churchill himself created some of the shortage that delayed some landings. He browbeat people into the Anzio landing predicting that Kesserling would fall back and we would clean up in 7-10 days. He was wrong in a big way and a large group of LSTs got tied up for an extended period.

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/06/06/the-unloved-unlovely-yet-indispensable-lst/#:~:text=The%20culprit%20was%20a%20little,nearly%20upset%20the%20entire%20operation

    Steve

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  53. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    But it still makes no sense the way Trump used it.

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  54. Andy says:

    Trump is clearly showing his age more and more. But how much it will hurt him is an open question. The history of lots of things that should hurt Trump but didn’t Trump make be a bit reticent to make confident predictions. But clearly, he’s a much more of an old man than he was 3-4 years ago, and it shows.

    This flub/brain fart, or whatever it was, is one data point many months before an election and will be forgotten unless there are more incidents that show a pattern. I think that will be the key – there needs to be a pattern of behavior.

    Assuming that manifests, it will be good for Biden, but it only evens the field in terms of a weakness. You’re not going to get partisan MAGA supporters to dump Trump for age-related performance for largely the same reasons that you’re not going to get any partisan Democrats to dump Biden it. It becomes an argument not about strength but about which candidate is less weak to a handful of marginal voters who think both are too old. And it’s an argument that’s subjective and about appearances. Who “looks” the oldest and least capable to perform the job? Unsurprisingly, partisan leaning will give the necessary answers one way or another.

    But…. as I’ve been saying for several months now, old people are not resilient, and their circumstances can change suddenly. It’s a roll of the dice whether under the stress of campaigning while, on the one hand, governing the country, and on the other, dealing with multiple criminal trials, one won’t merely have a verbal gaffe or senior moment but something much more serious which would tip both reality and perceptions decisively one direction or the other.

    The Trump supporters I read seem convinced Biden will die or fall and break his hip at any moment, and Biden supporters seem convinced Trump will have a heart attack at the moment. They may both be right!

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My view is that some of Trump’s supporters can be described as cultists of the cult of personality type. But I think it’s clearly a mistake to think that applies to a majority of self-identified Republicans.

    And one thing to consider is how Trump is trapped by his base. Despite Operation Warp Speed being the most successful thing of his Presidency and his personal support for vaccination, he’s stopped talking about it because he gets booed when he does. That could be a great campaign issue for him, but he can’t use it because those supposed cult followers wouldn’t follow him there.

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  55. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: It’s a conspiracy theory that people are having their beliefs shut down by all-powerful banks. It’s an anti-Semitic dogwhistle. It’s a slightly more veiled version of what Kanye was saying last year.

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  56. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: FWIW from a non-participant, since neither of you bothered to define “cult” before you started arguing, you can both claim to be 100% correct 😉

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  57. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “If I say the sky is blue and the arguments raised against it fail, I don’t dance around like Gollum with the ring, I just note that arguments against my position failed and move on to another topic. ”

    For some reason, I am reminded of the film The Ruling Class, about a young English lord who believes that he is God. When he is asked how he knows he is God, he replies: “Simple. When I pray to Him. I find I am talking to myself.”

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  58. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Thank you! I appreciate the clarification.

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  59. anjin-san says:
  60. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I assume Trump meant “debanked for your political beliefs” not “debanked from your political beliefs” — a minor word slip that signifies next to nothing.

    (I mean, it’s not like blending a person you are campaigning against with the top Democrat in the House repeatedly in a long winded explanation, it’s just swapping two words that sound very similar)

    It clearly means that Globalists and Bankers will be cutting the access to financial services to people for their politics. A financial deplatforming. (Jewish conspiracy, or no one wanting to do business with nazis… 6 of one, half a dozen of the other)

    I have no idea why it has been hard for anyone to understand. But you are not alone, it seems like half the world just can’t figure out anything about that weird line, like they cant find any part to grab and pull and reveal meaning.

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  61. Kingdaddy says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Just what this country needs, more claims of the superiority of inexpert, unscientific judgments over the alternative.

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  62. Jay L Gischer says:

    I’ve known someone who went into a cult. Said cult then sued a publisher and author for describing that cult as a cult. They won the defamation suit.

    So, I’m careful about what I describe as a cult.

    Many Trump followers exhibit cult-like behavior. Trump doesn’t really act like a cult leader, though. Also, the number of people you can get to drink the Kool-Aid and kill themselves is much smaller than the number you can get to vote for you and propagate false statements that have very little consequence to themselves personally.

    In addition, there’s any number of actors out there also fueling this, trying to manipulate people psychologically, with some success. People who aren’t Trump. The techniques used are similar to those of con men and grifters, and some new stuff that is only possible with the Internet. This is not a typical cult.

    This is why I would not describe them as a cult.

    The other reason is that the behavior the MAGAs exhibit could happen to anybody. I do not care to “other” them because that would be dismissive of the possibility that that could ever happen to me. It will only not happen to me if I stand guard against it.

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  63. Jack says:

    Desperate, are we?

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  64. DrDaveT says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The other reason is that the behavior the MAGAs exhibit could happen to anybody.

    Well, anybody stupid and fundamentally shitty. I don’t see it, otherwise. “There but for the grace of God” is a real thing, but this isn’t even close to that kind of “it could happen to anyone” scenario.

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  65. Zachriel says:

    @CSK: I took a look at Trump Central (Lucianne.com) earlier today, and sure enough, the responses were either that NYT/CNN/ABC, etc. weren’t reliable news sources or direct attacks on Haley.

    Not Trumpy enough.

    Biden: I don’t agree with Nikki Haley on everything, but we agree on this much: She is not Nancy Pelosi.

    Trump supporter: Trump just got the entire media to finally admit Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security on Jan 6

    That’s called 4D chess numnut!!

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  66. Lounsbury says:

    @CSK: no, Trump’s word salad wasn’t my interest, I merely noted a real word with real usage, e if perhaps technical.

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