Trump’s Campaign Says He Now Believes Obama Was Born In The U.S.

Donald Trump's campaign is apparently finally acknowledging reality, although its claim that birtherism originated with the Clinton campaign in 2008 does not comport with the facts.

Obama-Long-Form-Birth-Certificate

Seeking to put behind them an issue that the candidate himself was aggressively pushing, a spokesman for Donald Trump now says that the candidate now believes that President Obama was born in the United States:

Donald Trump’s campaign says the billionaire now believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States — but the Republican nominee still can’t bring himself to say it out loud and in public.

Instead, the Republican nominee turned to an adviser late Thursday to release a statement attempting to finally lay to rest the birtherism crusade that effectively launched Trump’s rabble-rousing political career five years ago.

“Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States,” said Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser.

Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Whether Trump says anything himself could change Friday. People around the candidate are pushing him to say in his own words that Obama was born in the US, a source familiar with the situation tells CNN. The expectation is that Trump will likely do so Friday.

Miller portrayed the move as the logical result of an altruistic attempt by Trump to seek the truth about the President’s birthplace that he claimed was first raised by Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign.

But the statement appeared steeped in political motivations, just over 50 days before the presidential election and with Trump moving into a margin of error race with the Democratic nominee in national polls and in some swing states.

Trump clearly was hoping to take the issue of Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy off the table by the time of the crucial debate with Clinton on September 26, though the campaign statement seems certain to dominate the next few days.

Trump has made strenuous attempts to improve his dismal standing among minority voters and moderate Republicans in recent weeks, many of which see birtherism as racially motivated and an insult to Obama.

In a wider sense, his misinformation campaign about Obama’s birthplace also amounted to an attempt to delegitimize an elected American President. In a stunning final twist to a bizarre and unprecedented saga, Trump now stands a reasonable change of succeeding Obama in office. The birtherism episode is one reason why there is such deep antipathy towards the Republican nominee in the President’s inner circle.

The Clinton campaign immediately seized on the fact that Trump didn’t issue the statement himself.

“Trump needs to say it himself. On camera. And admit he was wrong for trying to delegitimize the country’s first African American President,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter.

As noted, Trump has spent the majority of the 2016 campaign dodging the issue of his birther past. Generally, he has declined to answer reporter’s questions about what he believes now and whether he was wrong to raise the issue four years ago with the response that he doesn’t talk about that issue any more. As recently as an interview yesterday with The Washington Post, Trump again declined to say for sure that he believed the President was in fact born in Hawaii notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence in favor of that proposition. It was that statement that apparently prompted his campaign to issue a statement that purports to finally acknowledge the President’s legitimacy in office, while at the same time using the statement as an opportunity to rehash the claim that the birther issue is something that the originated with the Clinton campaign, a claim that does not withstand scrutiny:

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.

In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.

Mr. Trump is now totally focused on bringing jobs back to America, defeating radical Islamic terrorism, taking care of our veterans, introducing school choice opportunities and rebuilding and making our inner cities safe again.” – Jason Miller, Senior Communications Advisor

The assertion that the Clinton campaign was the origin of the birther story is one that Trump and his supporters, as well as Republicans generally, have been pushing for years in what can only be characterized as an effort to avoid any responsibility for keeping the story alive as long as it was notwithstanding the fact that the President and his supporters had provided sufficient evidence of his citizenship and place of birth long before Donald Trump came along. this assertion has been examined by both Politifact and FactCheck.Org as well as several bloggers who took it upon themselves to debunk birtherism in the years it was at its height, have found, while it is true that the accusations were spread in some part by fringe sources who identified themselves as Clinton supporters there is no evidence at all that the Clinton campaign was involved in pushing the issue or that the claims about the President’s citizenship were part of an official campaign strategy of any time. Additionally,, the first online mention of the core argument of the birther, that the President’s mother traveled to Kenya at some point when she was still pregnant with him and gave birth to him there is an accusation that appears to have originated in a thread on Free Republic, a conservative website. More importantly, the claim that birtherism was started by the Clinton campaign ignores the fact that, regardless of its origin, it was a story that was quickly picked up on by far-right elements in the Republican Party and that it was anti-Obama forces on the right that kept it alive after the President took office. It is true that the Clinton campaign engaged in some sleazy campaigning in which it questioned the President’s identity, but as CNN notes, the campaign never questioned the fact that the President was born in the United States.

Donald Trump will apparently be addressing this issue later today, and it’s expected that he will adopt the statement that his campaign issued last night. In the process of doing so, he will no doubt repeat the claim that the whole birther story originated with the Clinton campaign. That, however, simply isn’t true and in bringing it up Trump will obviously be attempting to deflect from his own responsibility for fanning the flames of a conspiracy theory with no supporting evidence four years ago. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    Trump is supposed to have an presser in an hour, if he stays true to form he will disavow this blatant attempt at revisionist history.

  2. MBunge says:

    Oh for pete’s sake. NOW the media is going to bring this up? Trump’s promotion of one of the most blatantly racists smears in recent politics WASN’T important enough to dwell on for over a year of campaigning, but coincidentally becomes important in mid-September when Hillary is on the ropes?

    I mean, I suppose anything that can keep Trump out of the White House is fair game but could they come up with something that doesn’t legitimize right wing whining about liberal media bias?

    Mike

  3. SenyorDave says:

    Shouldn’t matter. The media should have called him out on his racist BS ages ago. I’m Jewish and if a candidate for POTUS was one tenth as anti-semitic as Trump is racist, he/she would have been forced out by media attention to the issue. He has a history of overt racism to blacks, and it is all but ignored by the media. Birtherism was racist to the core.
    So he’ll give a press conference, probably finally admit grudgingly that Obama is a US citizen, and most of the media will say let’s move on.

  4. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Faced with certified evidence, it takes Trump 5 years to acknowledge truth?
    God help us if, as President, Trump is this slow to react to events that are inconvenient.

  5. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @MBunge: IMO the black community continues to be highly offended by Trump’s birtherism. Now, with Trump trying to court the black community the campaign has come to realize that he needs to recant.

    I’m not convinced that it’s the “media” that is pressing this, rather the Trump campaign recognizing that they cannot win with nearly zero black voters.

    But, as usual, it’s timing is great for the campaign, as it moves attention away from the Trump Foundation and the nearly impossible promise to “blind trust”, the Trump business organization andr the delusional economic plan unveiled the other day

    Sadly, another “shiny” object for the media to focus on.

  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Trump has figured out that he can just lie and get away with it. His supporters don’t care. His party doesn’t care. The media, its fact-checking muscles having atrophied over the last decade, can’t deal with it. He was running around saying Clinton doesn’t have any policies. He’s running around saying he didn’t start birtherism. He’s blatantly lying about his charities (don’t know if you saw WaPo expose of the Trump Foundation; it’s devastating; ten times worse than any Clinton Foundation scandal). And now he’s leading in the polls so we may have four years of this Murderer of Fact on our TV every night.

    Seriously. This is just a hideously bad year.

  7. SenyorDave says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: IMO the black community continues to be highly offended by Trump’s birtherism.

    I heard one black commentator, and he said that its like in South Africa when blacks were asked to show their papers. That the media treated the birthers as if they were anything other than blatant racists was shameful.

    I can only imagine how the US media would have functioned in Germany in the early 1930’s. Are Jews inferior? Here’s a spokesperson from both sides of the argument.

    Bottom line is that there weren’t two sides to the birther “argument”!

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Now Trump wants to do away with the FDA.
    Are you friggin’ kidding me? The FDA? I like knowing that my food isn’t poison.
    This guy is the biggest buffoon on the face of the planet.
    And he’s going to be the next President of these United States.
    I don’t believe in god…but if I did, I would ask her to help us.

  9. Pete S says:

    It is malpractice if he is not asked what new evidence in the last 5 years has caused him to change his mind. If the answer is none, then he needs to be asked if he was lying about what he believed 5 years ago or is he lying today?

    I do not expect the press to actually ask him this, but maybe they can at least press Conway about it. She seems to have a harder time lying with a straight face than his other surrogates.

  10. CSK says:

    I vividly recall Trump, back in April 2011, claiming that he’d sent a “team of investigators” to Hawaii and that “they cannot believe what they’re finding.” Someone in the press should ask him to reveal those findings. I wonder how he’d wriggle out of that.

  11. Grumpy Realist says:

    It’s all distraction, designed to keep the media from investigating stuff like Donald’s taxes and his odorous business transactions.

  12. CB says:

    @Hal_10000:

    (don’t know if you saw WaPo expose of the Trump Foundation; it’s devastating; ten times worse than any Clinton Foundation scandal)

    This is what kills me. The media wants a major scandal, and here it is, smoking guns and all. It is atrocious. But because it won’t get them the scalp they really want, no one seems to care.

    Liberal media, my ass.

  13. CSK says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    Why wouldn’t they want to investigate this stuff? Is it just that they’re convinced he’ll lose, so the matter is inconsequential in the long run? Or have they just drowned in the river of nonstop sludge coming from Trump and his surrogates?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    What are the odds that Trump will unambiguously state that he accepts O was born in the US and legitimate? I’m giving two beers to one against. Any takers?

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    This presents NOT a problem not for Trump and his campaign, or for Trump followers. Not a problem at all.

    If I can propose the following:

    What we have seen is that Trump says what he wants to say, when he feels like saying it. This may be items that are on his script all the way to this totally removed from reality.

    Trump’s campaign has created a way to deal with this by saying “Let Trump be Trump”… which of course means that the previous conversations of “pivot” and “He’ll become more presidential closer to the election” discussions completely moot.

    That leaves the Trumps campaign as a voice of reason (if I can actually use that term to apply to them) that tries to translate and at times outright deny the words that have come directly out of Trump’s mouth.

    So:

    Now the Trump followers have watched all this over the last 5 or 6 months, and they have gotten to the point that Trump can say absolutely anything he wants as they know that he’s just trying to get elected… for them. Because he will magically fix all the wrongs in America (whatever they personally perceive that to be – a veritable Chauncey Gardiner for the GOP rank and file). There is no intellectual curiosity of how this will be done, they just know he will get the best people to fix the problems… for them.

    If Trump finally admits that Obama is an American citizen, then it will be “off the table” and “put behind him”… and Trump and his campaign will say that it is irrelevant to the election as he is not running against Obama.

    And the Trump followers will tell themselves that it was great for Trump to say this… knowing that he doesn’t mean a word of it.

    Not a word.

    It will change nothing, and will be the topic of media discussions for the next 4 days, providing Trump additional free exposure.

  16. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    “Why wouldn’t they want to investigate this stuff?”

    As CB said, they want a Clinton scalp, not Trump’s.

  17. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    It’s all distraction, designed to keep the media from investigating stuff like Donald’s taxes and his odorous business transactions.

    It is. And what is worst, most are missing the most basic questions.

    For instance, we have all heard that Trump does not want to release his taxes because he is under IRS audit.

    However:

    1) The IRS does not state publically is a person is being audited or not.
    2) Trump has not shown any proof (a letter from the IRS) that he is actually being audited.

    It’s the perfect dodge of the issue.

  18. Gavrilo says:

    So, in March 2008 an anonymous commenter on a fringe conservative website made a comment that they heard Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.

    In August 2008, a former Democratic Party official and Hillary Clinton supporter named Phillip Berg filed a lawsuit in federal district court alleging Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery and he was born in Kenya.

    I wonder which one did more to popularize birtherism?

  19. Franklin says:

    @C. Clavin: Is Trump really suggesting that? Christ, he needs to see what the Chinese do to shrimp to make them look bigger.

    /and no I’m not suggesting he use the technique on his own shortcomings

  20. Moosebreath says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    “1) The IRS does not state publically is a person is being audited or not.
    2) Trump has not shown any proof (a letter from the IRS) that he is actually being audited.”

    And 3), if he is being audited, showing a copy of the tax return will not give the IRS any information it did not already have, as the original tax return is in the IRS’s possession.

  21. Pch101 says:

    Is this supposed to be a pivot, some sort of passive-aggressive tactic for keeping birtherism alive, or something else? I can’t figure out why he’s doing something that is pointless to most of us yet alienating to his base at this point of the campaign.

  22. MBunge says:

    @SenyorDave: be highly offended by Trump’s birtherism.

    Everyone should offended by Trump’s birtherism. My point is how would Hillary supporters react if a reporter asks her this afternoon why she still hasn’t released the transcripts of her paid speeches to Wall Street and that was the main topic on the weekend news shows? They would lose their bleepin’ minds.

    Mike

  23. Jen says:

    We are, I think, looking indeed at Mr. Brexit.

    The media thus far has decided that he can’t win, so they pick apart Clinton, under the presumption that since she’s the “likely winner” she deserves more scrutiny.

    Their dereliction of duty has allowed this clown to rise, and he could conceivably win. It is, in fact, looking more likely every day.

    This is the exact same nonsense that happened in the UK. Everyone thought a “leave” vote was impossible and unlikely so no one pushed Farge on his preposterous claims about the NHS. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The media could do their jobs by asking him tough questions about his Foundation and the business dealings–and saying that he is turning the business over to the kids should be just as, if not far more than, an unacceptable answer as leaving Chelsea on the Clinton Foundation board.

    Instead, more birther stuff. Unreal.

  24. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Maybe the mistake we’re all making is assuming that anything Trump says or does has a rational basis.

    I keep thinking of Samuel Johnson’s comment on the plot of Cymbeline: “It is impossible to criticize unresisting imbecility.”

  25. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Moosebreath:

    showing a copy of the tax return will not give the IRS any information it did not already have

    Recall that Donald signed his tax returns, under penalties of perjury, that the information is “true, correct and complete” .

    Even if an IRS audit reveals that there were errors, that does not alter that Trump asserted that the original return was “true, correct and complete”

    The audit excuse is BOGUS

  26. Kylopod says:

    @Gavrilo:

    1. Berg was not a member of Hillary’s campaign.

    2. He filed the lawsuit when Obama was elected, months after Hillary’s campaign had ended.

    3. No, a single lawsuit isn’t what was responsible for “popularizing” the movement; it was its continual advocacy on popular right-wing websites such as World Net Daily, American Thinker, and, yes, Free Republic.

  27. Rafer Janders says:

    @CSK:

    Someone in the press should ask him to reveal those findings. I wonder how he’d wriggle out of that.

    Easy. You can wriggle out of anything with a press that doesn’t ask follow-up questions and is always chasing the same shiny new object.

  28. Joe says:

    I have concluded that it is a common misconception that Trump is running against Clinton. Not true. He is running against the media. If his audience hates anything more than Hillary, its the media. Therefore they love the way he’s playing the media and they love it even more when the media’s collective head spins off. They love that he doesn’t do what the media wants or respond to the media’s demands. He will say what he wants and when he wants to and not a minute before.

    You can say that the media has been derelict in covering him or has fully enabled him. It really doesn’t matter. Trump knows that the media needs the clicks, the views, the eyeballs, and he is playing them like a virtuoso and his fans see that. Even better, since he has cast the media as a central partisan in the battle, he has entirely neutered for his supporters any “honest broker” claim the media wants to pursue.

    For his fans, he gets to form his own reality unchecked by any reliable fact checker.

    It’s really stunning to watch.

  29. Mu says:

    Trump’s accountants know the game. There’s a $100k in auditor bait hidden in the tax return, the auditors get to find it, look good, and it’s over.
    Now, instead of 5 auditors 10,000 cpa with a grudge against Trump look at the return. What will they find?

  30. CB says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Who popularized it within the Clinton campaign? PUMAs and random state staffers, who were then fired. And Mark Penn. &#$% Mark Penn.

    Who spent the NEXT 8 YEARS running with it? Which party? Which current Republican candidate used it to kick start his campaign? Who can claim exclusive ownership of it now, in 2016?

    Clinton owns the birther movement? GTFO.

  31. CB says:

    @MBunge:

    Dude. The Trump campaign brought this back up, presumably because they know they’re getting decimated when it comes to the black vote.

  32. CSK says:

    Well, Trump stated, in an appearance at his new hotel in D.C. this morning, that “Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He followed that with a request that we all get back to making America great again.

    His new spin is apparently that he himself singlehandedly put the birther controversy to rest.

    You know, you have to be psychotic to be able to spin like that. Maybe he even believes it–which is yet further evidence of psychosis.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: No, dum-dum. The Freeper thread was the location which picked up (and amplified) the batsh*t theory that President Obama’s mother had flown to Kenya (and back)

  34. grumpy realist says:

    If it takes Donald Trump 5 years to react to anything that is mind-boggingly obvious and admit a mistake, do we really want him near any position of power?

    Plus, what happened to all those claims of sending investigators to Hawaii who found “fantastic things”? Someone should press hard on Donald Trump about that as well.

    In fact, the whole bleepin’ media should have started doing their jobs a long time ago and asked some hard-nosed questions about the fantasies that litter Donald Trump’s view of the world. I mean, if I’m running for POTUS and promise that everyone will immediately be presented with a pound of gold, I would bloody hope that some reporter ask me questions about how I am going to actually achieve that goal.

  35. grumpy realist says:

    Next: Donald Trump finally admits 1 + 1 = 2, demands round of applause.

  36. RWB says:

    … but he is still a Muslim, right Donald?

  37. Slugger says:

    The birther statements are not intended to be verifiable factual truths. Things get said for effect, and not because they are true. Remember term limits and balanced budget amendments? Remember weapons of mass destruction? How about 47 or so votes to overturn the ACA? Do you think that we are going to round up illegal immigrants and deposit them on the south side of a wall that Mexico paid for?
    Politics is largely about creating affinities. The sloganeering and posturing are just means toward that end.
    If you’re going to comment that the Democrats do the same thing, remember that I welcome such remarks. They don’t detract from my sense that we the people have allowed ourselves to be heavily influenced by irrational and contrafactual posturing.

  38. Thor thormussen says:

    In August 2008, a former Democratic Party official and Hillary Clinton supporter named Phillip Berg filed a lawsuit in federal district court alleging Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery and he was born in Kenya.

    National Review asked for Obama’s birth certificate in June 2008.

  39. grumpy realist says:

    I think L.A. has the best title so far:

    Donald Trump finally concedes that President Obama was born in the US after years of promoting conspiracy theory

  40. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Absolutely perfect headline.

    But why, I wonder, is he conceding at this point that Obama is a legit U.S. citizen eligible to serve as president? What’s in it for him? He’s not going to get the African American vote.

  41. Moosebreath says:

    Trump also claimed that Obama producing the long form birth certificate in 2011 proved he was born in the US. However, he made many statements thereafter still questioning Obama’s citizenship and whether the long form birth certificate was genuine, including:

    “7. “A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate. … Many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There are many other things that came out. And frankly if you would report it accurately I think you’d probably get better ratings than you’re getting.”

    – May 29, 2012, to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer

    8. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.”

    Follow
    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.
    4:23 PM – 6 Aug 2012
    9,539 9,539 Retweets 6,710 6,710 likes
    – August 6, 2012, in a tweet more than a year after Obama released his longform birth certificate”

    So, was Trump lying then, or lying now?

  42. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    “But why, I wonder, is he conceding at this point that Obama is a legit U.S. citizen eligible to serve as president? What’s in it for him? He’s not going to get the African American vote.”

    Because it’s a sufficient non-starter among enough people whom he needs to vote for him that he needs to publicly disavow it. It also serves to provide some distance between him and his alt-right fans.

  43. john430 says:

    Jeez, Doug! Is this the best you can do? This thread is so old it has whiskers on it. Whassamatter? Slow debt collections day?

  44. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: He’s trying to preempt this as a debate issue.

  45. pylon says:

    Doesn’t Donald owe $5M now that he’s satisfied about the birthplace?

  46. Mr. Bluster says:

    Apparently @johnny telephone wants to talk about more recent Trump Soviet style press conferences.
    You know, the ones where he does not take questions and his stage collapses taking down Old Glory.
    Very Disrespectful!
    http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/donald-trumps-birther-pr-stunt-beset-by-chaos-stage-co-1786716861

  47. MarkedMan says:

    Whew! I’m glad no one took me up on my 2-1 odds beer bet….

  48. bookdragon says:

    @grumpy realist: I liked this headline:

    Trump Lies in Walking Back His Birther Lies
    -U.S. News & World Report

    Could the media finally be waking up to the idea of calling obvious lies what they are is not a lack of objectivity but a sign of, you know, doing their job?

    …nah, this is probably just payback for ‘rick-rolling’ them into giving the hotel opening free publicity.

  49. grumpy realist says:

    A good article that gets at why I think I find Trump’s continuous lying so infuriating.

  50. grumpy realist says:

    Trump is gaslighting the entire US, with the American populace in the position of an abused spouse.

  51. JKB says:

    Trump got full, live news coverage of his arrival on Pennsylvania Avenue today.

    And again, Trump gave the media, who are seriously pissed at being punked this morning, all the pieces to show their bias and poor “critical thinking”.

    Interestingly, Trump also was racist (in questioning birth citizenship) against Ted Cruz by voicing suspicions that he was Canadian.

    And, while the Clinton campaign did not go birtherism, there is a memo from the 2008 campaign

    Writing in The Washington Post, David Weigel assessed a March 2007 memo from Clinton campaign strategist, Mark Penn. Here’s that memo.

    According to that memo, which I’m reading for myself, one of the 4 factors that could hold back Obama was: “Lack of American roots.”

    It’s going to be fun watching the media and Hillary shills, but I repeat myself, tear themselves up over this.

    When has Trump stated categorically today Obama was born in the United States. People accept past mistakes. As they say, it’s the coverup that gets you, and here there is no coverup.

  52. pylon says:

    @JKB:

    Trump didn’t say it was a mistake.

  53. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Gonna have just as much fun watching the US economy crater with Trump as POTUS?

  54. Mr. Bluster says:

    @JKB:..Interestingly, Trump also was racist (in questioning birth citizenship) against Ted Cruz by voicing suspicions that he was Canadian.

    So you admit Trump was racist.
    Are you saying Trump’s racism vanished when Cruz quit?

  55. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    It’s going to be fun watching the media and Hillary shills, but I repeat myself, tear themselves up over this.

    The Mark Penn memo is news to absolutely no one who was following or remembers the 2008 race. It was reported in numerous mainstream news outlets when it first came out in August of 2008, and it’s already been mentioned or alluded to several times in this thread, including in Doug’s original post, in which he noted, “It is true that the Clinton campaign engaged in some sleazy campaigning in which it questioned the President’s identity, but as CNN notes, the campaign never questioned the fact that the President was born in the United States.”

    It’s amazing the way you righties encase yourselves in such a small cocoon that you wind up perceiving that widely reported and well-known facts have somehow been suppressed.

  56. Tyrell says:

    Once again the attention being diverted to unimportant, side bar, trivial, but sensational issues that the commentators scream and hollar about. The real, important issues are being ignored. After election day, it will be too late.
    If I want all this drama, brawling, and noise I will tune to WWE. At least they have a better story line, and acting.
    We need an RNN: Real News Network. Ted Turner ?

  57. CB says:

    This excrementitious orange gasbag is going to get away with it. Already today I’ve heard several apolitical coworkers parrot JKB and say “Well they say Hillary started this, and look, Trump said he was sorry for following her lead.” I cannot believe he’s going to get away with this. What the hell is happening.

  58. Tyrell says:

    @CB: A non-issue. No one cares.

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    Attention is being diverted because YOUR candidate is a raving loon, a pathological liar, a racist goon, a woman-hating pig, a rip-off artist, a con man.

    You want to see a rational discussion of issues? Between the former secretary of state and former US Senator on the one hand, and a mentally unstable brat on the other? That’s not how conversation works. It takes two, and this case we have only one. . . and a scumbag that people like you insisted on running for president.

  60. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    No one on your side cares.

    Believe me, we all know Republicans stopped caring about facts a long time ago. But out here in the world beyond the bubble? Plenty of us still prefer reality.

  61. Andrew says:

    @CB:

    I cannot believe he’s going to get away with this. What the hell is happening.

    Trump has locked in the fact that this country wants a reality tv leader. Someone that will make the news more “exciting” and less the norm.
    People think they do not want more of the same, but people are also dumb as a collective. No one really wants things to change. They want less boredom, but at same do not want the boat rocked.
    We Americans are a fickle bunch. More worried about entertainment value in the short term. No one really thinks about the consequences down the line. That’s someone else’s responsibility. And even then it’s like we have turned into goldfish.
    For example:

    Oh, the deficit went up under Obama, even though it was the tax cuts, medicare expansion and wars and the economy dropping that caused it? Obama’s fault!

    The people who said things like that more often than not are Trump fans.

    I may be generalizing too much, so let me reel it back in a little. Trump supporters and those who like him or are like him…they only care about the short term and hearing what they want to hear now. Why the heck would they want Trump to stop any antics, it has got him this far. That’s what is happening. Enter tain ment val ue.

    No one needs to be responsible for their actions, it is always someone elese fault. Trump is the worst of us in that regard. And people down deep love having someone like him on the national stage.

  62. Mr. Bluster says:

    @JKB:..As they say, it’s the coverup that gets you, and here there is no coverup.

    Chump has been perpetrating a cover up with his “birther” lies for several years.
    Dopes like you can buy into this non apology for being a LIAR all this time if you want to.
    I am not that gullible.

  63. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    How can you tell that Hillary had a really, really, REALLY bad week?

    “Quick, throw out the ‘birther’ thing again! Maybe, this time it’ll stick!”

    Isn’t there some kind of law about yelling “BIRTHER” in a crowded theater or something?

  64. Bill says:

    Actually a clinton volunteer circulated a birther email during the 08 campaign, they canned the person but still- it came from them first. That they switched gears to question obamas “lack of American roots” was pretty much along the same line.

  65. michael reynolds says:

    @Bill:

    Your candidate spent five years lying. Now he admits he was wrong, but does it with another lie.

    And you are so devoid of integrity that you regurgitate it.

    Trump promised to give 5 million to charity if he was ever proven wrong. You and I both know he’ll do no such thing because Trump lies about everything, including charity.

    But you won’t care, because again, you have zero intellectual integrity.

    And yet you’ll say you despise Hillary because she’s dishonest. Even as you justify the biggest liar and fraud in the history of presidential politics.

    Why? Because you have no intellectual integrity and no interest in the truth.

  66. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds: um seriously?! Hillary lies so much she can’t even tell the difference anymore- or maybe her memory is just shot, along with her body. Here’s a clue, if the msm had anything on trump they’d have already spewed it. So dig deep, the man’s been living a very public life for the last few decades.
    Integrity……nice!

  67. michael reynolds says:

    @Bill:

    If they had anything? Anything? Are you living in a cave?

    Trump is without question the biggest liar in American presidential politics since George Washington. I’d give you links but the spam filter doesn’t like them, but trust me, there are many, many, many sites detailing Trump’s hundreds of lies.

    And in addition to his incessant lies, he:

    1) Bribes judges.
    2) Loves dictators.
    3) Encourages our enemies to commit crimes on his behalf.
    4) Is supported by the American Nazi Party.
    5) Rips off contractors.
    6) Leers at his own daughter.
    7) Encourages violence.
    8) Attacks the parents of dead American soldiers.
    9) Goes on Russian TV to attack the American military.
    10) Ridicules handicapped people.

    That’s just the 10 off the top of my head. But you won’t care, Bill, because you have no intellectual integrity. Truth is irrelevant to you, you’re a bigot who backs a bigot because he’s a bigot and nothing else will ever matter to you.

  68. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Idiot: Trump brought it up in a speech. He just admitted he was wrong, which means that as of now even that pig has more honesty and integrity than you.

  69. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Do you remember when the Right Wing was all up in arms because Obama was supposedly coddling dictators and stepping on our enemies? Good times, good times. Now they praise Trump for *actually* coddling dictators and stepping on our enemies.

  70. Hal_10000 says:

    @Bill:

    It is true that the Birther thing had originated with some disgruntled Clinton supporters. But Trump is the one who picked it up and carried it forward. Trump is the one who made it into a massive story. Trump is the one was *still* talking about it long after the birth certificate was released. This is precisely the problem with Trump: he is taking bad ideas that have circulated in intellectual cesspools around the country and taking them mainstream.

  71. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Another sign that Hillary’s had a really, really, REALLY bad week: Clintonistas like Michael start hitting the booze REALLY early and REALLY hard and going full flamethrower in defense of Her Majesty’s Sacred Honor.

    Well, not really “in defense,” because they know she’s indefensible. So they go full offense, which is Full Feces-Flinging Simian Mode, and hope that SOMETHING sticks. It hasn’t yet, but they’re so full of crap that they have an endless supply at hand.

    That video of Hillary being dragged to the SUV last Sunday? That’s you people, trying to drag her across the finish line next November.

  72. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Hal_10000: Do you remember when Hillary gave Putin that “reset button?” Or when Hillary helped Russia buy up a good chunk of our uranium supply after they made a very healthy bribe donation to the Clinton Foundation? Or when Obama told Medvedev that after the election, he’d have “more flexibility” in dealing with Russia? Or when Romney said that Russia was our prime geopolitical opponent, Obama said ““The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back?”

    Good times, good times.

  73. stonetools says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    There is treatment for remembering things that didn’t happen, or remembering them in such distorted form that they may as well been fiction. Psychotic drugs are available, and covered by Obamacare. Seek help. It will be better for you, believe me (as your hero would say).

  74. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    So you have the political equivalent of, “made you look!” That’s your comeback. Brilliant.

    Believe it or not being enough of a dick to make people despise you is not something well-adjusted adults aspire to. You reveal yourself as an adolescent, in mind if not body.

  75. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @stonetools: Those drugs never work. If they did, then Hillary wouldn’t have to had claimed brain damage during her FBI interviews.

    If she can’t get the good stuff, then I sure as hell don’t have a chance.

    Snark aside: Hillary’s “reset button” was in Geneva on March 6, 2009; the Russia-uranium thing is detailed here; Obama made his open-mic commend to Medvedev on March 26, 2012; and Obama’s zinger to Romney was at the 3rd presidential debate on October 22, 2012.

    There, I did half your homework for you, so you don’t have to stress your pretty little head about the details.

    As far as “my hero,” I don’t recall him saying “believe me.” I remember him saying things like “TAPI-O-CA!”, “THE CAT!”, and “we’re watching animal porn!” “Believe me?” Doesn’t ring a bell.

  76. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Believe it or not being enough of a dick to make people despise you is not something well-adjusted adults aspire to.

    Are you the same michael who made those comments to Bill above? The ones where you asserted that you were not only a dick, but striving to be THE SUPREME dick?

    You’re so drunk, you’ve lost what little self-awareness you normally possess.

  77. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    Yet another sign that Hillary’s had a really, really, REALLY bad week: Hillary’s favorite pet scumbag, David Brock, is offering dollars for dirt for anyone who has anything bad to say about Trump.

    Hillary has yet to condemn the actions of her favored vermin, and no word as yet if it will be declared as an in-kind contribution to her campaign.

  78. Bob@Youngstown says:
  79. An Interested Party says:

    If this was an attempt by Trump to try to get black votes, he’s failed miserably

  80. rachel says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But out here in the world beyond the bubble? Plenty of us still prefer reality.

    I think it’s not that we prefer reality, but that we know that it wallops us hard whenever we ignore it.

  81. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: seriously, how is any of that worse than hillary & co.? he’s a ny democrat who stuffed money in her pocket while she was the senator, and he’s a successful businessman. if there was anything going on “out of the ordinary” then it would be magnified 10,000x by the msm. bt anyhow, i’m bored on a saturday morning and have 3 minutes to play with so;

    1) Bribes judges. – “it’s business”. and the clintons accept bribes en masse.
    2) Loves dictators.- define “love” in this case…..
    3) Encourages our enemies to commit crimes on his behalf. going off the ledge there, but it’s you.
    4) Is supported by the American Nazi Party.- and the kkk gave money to hillary. she also considers a former kkk grand poobah to be a “mentor” and never disavowed him.
    5) Rips off contractors.- once again, “business” is rife with contractual issues.
    6) Leers at his own daughter.- my daughters are pretty cute, that doesn’t make me a perv. and the fruit if hillary’s loins is butt ugly – you brought it up though.
    7) Encourages violence. really, like saying “they bring a knife. we bring a gun”? LOL….
    8) Attacks the parents of dead American soldiers. more like “responds” to false claims ,trump saif their son was a hero, them not so much.
    9) Goes on Russian TV to attack the American military.- you picked that from the larry king thing?! that’s a stretch……
    10) Ridicules handicapped people. – that was proven false, his mannerisms are well documented and aren’t aimed at anything intentionally.

    so basically you can’t handle the fact that the gop candidate is not a “typical” conservative that you can scream “abortion/gay rights” bs about and actually have to try to find negative things about.
    ironically you seem to forget that the last race was about the “1%” and how big banks/wall st./wealthy donors were all “bad” people……but that went away once they figured out it was cheaper to buy her support than go against her……typical sell-out but she gets a pass from the adoring media who think it would be cute to elect a woman…..and you.

    oh, that took 5 minutes.

  82. Thor thormussen says:

    Have you ever noticed that Democratic ex-presidents spend their retirement years helping people all over the world, while republican ex-presidents just help themselves?

  83. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    Bill, I’ll repeat: you have zero intellectual integrity. Truth, facts, irrelevant to you. You’re a close-minded bigot who sees everything through the distortion of his own need to hate. There is simply no point engaging with someone who has no intellectual integrity. At least Tyrell tries.

  84. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Thor thormussen: Have YOU ever noticed that, for all Trump does to “incite” violence, it’s always the Trump supporters that get attacked?

    Kind of like the old observation that while fascism is always descending on America, it always seems to land in Europe…

  85. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos – Seriously dude, you have nothing better to do than churn out this drivel? As the old saying goes – Get. A. Life.

  86. anjin-san says:

    As much fun as this has been, I’m off to the People Republic of Napa for the day. Art, antiques & sunshine await…

  87. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @anjin-san: And the amazing thing is, in your absence, you’ll actually contribute more to the substance and civility of the discussion.

  88. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Gosh Jenos, that really hurts coming from you – how will I carry on?

    Hey – hope you are continuing your brilliant expose of the NFL’s double standard 🙂

  89. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    You’re lying, of course. OTB spam filter doesn’t like links, so here’s just one of many:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1554524/shocking-footage-shows-donald-trump-supporters-attacking-protester-while-chanting-usa-usa/

    In fact there are incidents all over the country and all over social media of Trumpists using the word Trump as a threat. As in, “Trump that bitch.” You’re on the same side as the KKK and the American Nazi Party, Jenos. That’s who you are.

  90. Jenos The Deplorable says:
  91. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Yeah, well here’s your problem:

    Have YOU ever noticed that, for all Trump does to “incite” violence, it’s always the Trump supporters that get attacked?

    See, I don’t deny that some lefties are becoming violent. I condemn them. We all condemn them.

    But you used the word “always,” and you stand completely refuted.

    If only you were able to mentally walk a statement forward before you make it. You know, to see whether it can be easily and instantly refuted. Sadly, you seem incapable of that.

  92. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: I’ll concede always, and walk it back to “the vast majority.” And your condemnation would mean a bit more if it had been spontaneous, and not in response to my bringing it up.

  93. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Prove “vast majority.”

    Spoiler alert: You can’t.

    You lack the mental horsepower for walking a statement forward and anticipating easy contradictions. You cannot win arguments because you’re a sort of general who yells ‘Charge” without having any idea how the foe might react, let alone preparing for that reaction.

    This is an essential intellectual ability in debate, Jenos, and it’s the single biggest reason no one here takes you seriously. You just run headlong into quicksand, again and again and again. It’s like watching a bird that keeps flying into a window. Flutter, flutter bang! Flutter, flutter bang!

  94. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Your main reason for commenting here is to give these speeches, isn’t it? It’s your recreation, your way of purging your hostility and anger and hatred in a way not likely to cost you anything personally or professionally.

    It’s a lot safer right now to be anti-Trump than it is to be pro-Trump. For all the talk of the threats of violence Trump inspires, there’s only been one certified assassination attempt on a candidate — and Hillary didn’t get another chance to dodge sniper fire. And there’s been a lot more reports of Trump supporters being on the receiving end of violence than delivering it.

  95. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “It’s your recreation, your way of purging your hostility and anger and hatred in a way not likely to cost you anything personally or professionally.”

    That’s odd. Of the two of you, only one I can see posts under his real name, where he might be exposed to some personal or professional cost. And it ain’t you, Little “Jenos.”

  96. An Interested Party says:

    Have YOU ever noticed that, for all Trump does to “incite” violence, it’s always the Trump supporters that get attacked?

    Uh huh…

  97. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Right, so we’ve gone from “always” to “the vast majority” to “a lot more reports.” From definitive, to vague, to purely subjective.

    But of course subjective is where you start and end. Your relationship to the facts is as a user devoid of intellectual integrity or honesty. They have no meaning to you except as some words to throw out there in support of some point you have not thought through. (Ever!)

    You begin with an assumption, take it as fact, then go looking for scraps of nonsense you imagine will support your case. There is no fact-finding stage. There is no thoughtful consideration phase. There is no self-examination. It’s opinion first, facts never. And of course to you, your opinions are non-falsifiable. By simply ignoring reality you get to be ‘right’ in your own mind.

    Yay! I win by saying really stupid stuff I can’t even begin to justify. Yay me, the white warrior! I’ve demonstrated my worth by being stupidly obnoxious and interrupting the grow-ups to light a fart and giggle!

    Here’s what is strange to me, Jenos. And I’ve said this many times to religious nuts. If you’re just going to make shit up, why isn’t it more interesting shit? Why is it so boring? So predictable? So derivative? Why would you sell your intellectual integrity for the chance to be yet another dull bigot? Is that all your pride is worth? If you’re saying bye-bye to reality, shouldn’t you at least generate something original?

  98. An Interested Party says:

    Yay! I win by saying really stupid stuff I can’t even begin to justify. Yay me, the white warrior! I’ve demonstrated my worth by being stupidly obnoxious and interrupting the grow-ups to light a fart and giggle!

    Well, that way of thinking has worked for Trump…so far…

  99. An Interested Party says:

    Bad link above…it looks like elderly women with oxygen tanks aren’t safe at Trump rallies…yikes…

  100. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If you’re just going to make shit up, why isn’t it more interesting shit? Why is it so boring? So predictable? So derivative? Why would you sell your intellectual integrity for the chance to be yet another dull bigot? Is that all your pride is worth? If you’re saying bye-bye to reality, shouldn’t you at least generate something original?

    He doesn’t make shit up — he regurgitates shit other people have made up.

    Also, I think you’re missing the sense of community and belonging that comes from being absolutely right, and in a sizeable group. It might be more original to say that Clinton is a transgender African wharf rat who married her own cousin and wants to make us all marry our own cousins, but then you miss the high fives and the folks saying, “Right on, brother!”

    If you cherry pick incidents of violent lefties, ignore violent righties, and claim that Black Lives Matter is a hate group, you get a level of affirmation the incestuous wharf rat story cannot provide. And, you get to venture out, speak truth to power, and then go back and tell your community how you showed those people.

    He’s not selling his intellectual integrity to be another boring bigot, he’s selling his intellectual integrity as a token of his tribe to be welcomed into a community of similar people.

    We all do it, but most of us recognize it and limit it to harmless things. Like a massive collection of Transformers. Or a tendency to go to a milquetoast church on Sunday and hear about giving.

  101. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: when people need to resort to name calling- i figure they’re just done and have nothing left. too bad, you used to be somewhat credible in here- but “in here” is not much considering it’s mainly a circle jerk of like minded types with no life.

    hillary and co. have been lying so much that they can’t even remember what the lie about. but she has no cred, morals or anything so it’s all good.

    it’s hysterical when her camp tries to say trump is a womanizer/lier,etc….they don’t even get the irony or soemthing

    and her buddy colin powell telling it like it is just must suck….but keep the blinders on, all is well in clintondum.

  102. Thor thormussen says:

    when people need to resort to name calling- i figure they’re just done and have nothing left.

    So Trump was done years before he started.

  103. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    when people need to resort to name calling- i figure they’re just done and have nothing left.

    Riiiiight. Does that apply to Trump?

    Rubio, “Little Marco.” “A joke.”
    Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” “Weak.”
    Rand Paul is, “Truly weird.”
    Megyn Kelley, “Lightweight,” “Crazy,” “Sick.”
    Charles Krauthammer, “A dope,” a “Clown.”
    Meghan McCain, “Obnoxious.”
    Joe Scarborough, “Clown.”
    The Republican Party of VA, “Bad,” “Stupid,” “Suicidal.”
    The Wall Street Journal editorial board, “Dummies.”
    Mitt Romney, “Choked like a dog,” “One of the dumbest and worst…”

    I could go on all day. And that’s what he says about conservatives.

    You are so fwcking dumb you try to defend the biggest insult comic in America by pretending to be outraged by insults.

    I’ll say this, as much as Jenos likes to walk into walls, you like to charge them head-on. Which probably explains a few things about you.

    There you go, Jenos: you’re dumb as a cinderblock but you’re not quite “bill” dumb.

  104. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    Oh, I agree, I’m well aware that they go running back to their basements feeling that they’ve somehow counted coup and demonstrated their loyalty to white power. And some day, gosh, some day their loyalty will be rewarded and they will come into their own as the Important People they are. Sort of like Harry Potter being discovered to be a powerful wizard. Cheering ranks of uniformed white people will salute them and call them brave and write down their quotes in books for the enlightenment of future generations. I understand the fantasies of losers.

    It’s not about them. We have a small audience of people who read comments but are content to lurk. Some may not know which side they’re on, may be only casually interested in politics. Applying a figurative stick to the side of Jenos’ head a couple times a day is a practical demonstration of the truth of what Jenos imagines to be his ‘ideas.’ Pour encourager les autres.

  105. An Interested Party says:

    when people need to resort to name calling- i figure they’re just done and have nothing left.

    Yes, like calling some people “sheetheads”…

    but “in here” is not much considering it’s mainly a circle jerk of like minded types with no life.

    And yet you post ever so frequently…is your alleged black girlfriend out of town a lot?

    and her buddy colin powell telling it like it is just must suck….

    Indeed, like all he thinks about Trump…perhaps you overlooked that part…

  106. bk says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: After reading your post about Hillary being the one to bring this up, I can say unequivocally that you are the most moronic person in the history of the Internet.

  107. Scott O says:

    The rumors about Mr Trumps health have been circulating for a while. Now he has been caught on camera feinting at reality. I’m not a doctor so I’m not qualified to say whether it’s Alzimers or Parkinson’s but clearly the man isn’t well.

  108. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    Here you go, Bill, this morning’s Trump insults that according to you prove he’s got nothin’:

    “We had a clown today, an absolute clown. Robert Gates — he’s supposed to be an expert; he’s been there forever,” Trump said. “Never met the guy, never saw him. I saw him on television, didn’t like him. The end result is look where we are. He’s a mess, OK? He’s a mess, so he goes out and he says negative things about me. I never met him; I never talked to him. Believe me, I am so much better at what he’s doing than he is, you won’t even believe it.”

    That’s Bob Gates he’s talking about. Republican Bob Gates who served as Secretary of Defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, director of the CIA under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Eagle Scout and PhD. That’s who Trump calls “an absolute clown.”

    Cheetoh Jesus keeps telling us he’ll get the ‘best people.’ Well, Gates is the best people. And Trump can’t ‘get’ him because no one, but no one with the qualifications to hold a cabinet level job will work for Trump. All that’s left for Trump is losers. So, let me ask you Bill: you want to be Secretary of Defense?

  109. Andrew says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, to be fair if anyone knows Clowns it is Trump. Donald is quite the Auguste.

  110. Thor thormussen says:

    @bk:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: After reading your post about Hillary being the one to bring this up, I can say unequivocally that you are the most moronic person in the history of the Internet.

    I help run a biology site. I’ve seen lots of creationists. Most aren’t very committed, they just don’t know much about biology and have no idea the mountains of evidence for evolution. But a tiny number are loud, Dunning-Kruger-drenched complete retards, and there’s no use talking to them. I assure you, the average one of those guys is no smarter than Jenos or bill or the G’s. They even act the same, just on a different subject matter. Same kinda people.

  111. Thor thormussen says:

    Which makes sense, I guess, they’re both in the GOP tent. Being a Republican has come to mean you have a certain approach to facts and evidence and the truth that …differs from other people.

  112. anjin-san says:

    @michael reynolds:

    bill is probably one of the guys who likes to talk about the British being furious with Obama for sending a “low-level” delegating to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – James A. Baker III & George Schultz.

    Maybe that Chachi dude would be a good SecDef in a Trump administration.

  113. anjin-san says:

    @michael reynolds:

    bill is probably one of the guys who likes to talk about the British being furious with Obama for sending a “low-level” delegating to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – James A. Baker III & George Schultz.

    Maybe that Chachi dude would be a good SecDef in a Trump administration.

  114. Pch101 says:

    When did Jenos ever have intellectual integrity to give away for free, let alone offer for sale?

  115. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like The Donald doesn’t care if his restaurants dish out salmonella-tainted mousse.
    Yup, we’ve found why the Donald wants to get rid of the FDA….

    Roaches in the kitchen, yum yum.

  116. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Attention is being diverted because YOUR candidate is a raving loon, a pathological liar, a racist goon, a woman-hating pig, a rip-off artist, a con man.

    I’d say you’re correct about everything but his being a raving loon. As the saying says, he only acts one on TV. In practice he seems to be more intelligent (and cynical) than people give him credit for. For instance, he played the Republican race perfectly, and is doing much better in this election than he should be (it should be a complete landslide for Clinton, who is a good though of course not perfect candidate. And its not just because he’s preying on racism and grievances – he’s hardly the first to try that. However, unlike most others, he’s exploiting those factors skillfully; that makes him evil, but it still requires skill.

    Which of course makes him a far worse potential president than if he were a raving loon. Raving loons can be shut up and isolated in office. I don’t think he’d be that easy to dispose of if he got elected. Equating evil with stupid is satisfying, but dangerous.

  117. Kylopod says:

    @george: While I agree about Trump being more clever and cynical than a lot of people give him credit, the reason the race is competitive at all has far more to do with Hillary’s weaknesses and the extreme partisan polarization of our time than it has to do with his strengths. I hate to rehash what’s been said many, many times, but the point bears repeating: he’s the single most unpopular nominee in history. And he’s got virtually no campaign organization at all.

    If he loses the election narrowly, it will strongly suggest that almost any other Republican would have won. And if he manages to win, it will suggest another Republican would have won by more.

    The idea I kept hearing for years that the Dems came into the 2016 election with a massive advantage over any Republican was always a delusion. I continue to believe that had Rubio been the nominee, he would easily have won. It doesn’t matter how much of a lightweight he was (and still is). Bush was a lightweight too. The chattering classes would have stroked their chins about what a fresh face he was compared to a decrepit old dynasty politician like Hillary, the GOP elites would have eagerly gotten behind him, and he would have stood a real chance of making serious inroads with the same Latino voters who are currently running from The Donald in droves. Meanwhile, Clinton would have faced the same “scandals” that have pulled her favorability ratings dangerously low, and Rubio would have adopted the traditional approach of pretending to take the high road while his goons went out and did the dirty work of sliming and Swift-Boating. Given Rubio’s age, the stuff about her health would have had the potential to damage her more than it currently is.

    Trump has certainly tapped into tendencies in voters the establishment GOPers couldn’t reach, but I’m convinced that it’s come at a far greater cost to his electoral chances than what it has gained him.