Friday, August 26, 2016

Last Call For Here We Go Again

As Zandardad emailed me today to point out, Clinton Derangement Syndrome 2.0 is coming, and Republicans are signalling that with 10 weeks to go before the election and 20 weeks before a new president would take office that Hillary will get nothing but the same rancor and utter disrespect that Barack Obama got, and from an even earlier point.

Is there such a thing as a negative grace period as president? Because that's where we are now.

Hillary Clinton has managed to win support from Republicans without conceding any part of the progressive economic agenda she outlined during the Democratic primary.

But with fall approaching and momentum on Clinton’s side, Democrats and Republicans alike are looking over the horizon to a thornier reality: if elected, Clinton would likely become the first Democrat since Grover Cleveland to enter office without control of both houses of Congress.

That means the bipartisan show of support she has now -- thanks to Donald Trump and the “alt-right,” conspiracy-driven campaign Clinton attacked Thursday in Reno -- is likely to evaporate as soon as the race is called. If she wins the presidency, Clinton would likely enjoy the shortest honeymoon period of any incoming commander-in-chief in recent history, according to Washington strategists, confronting major roadblocks to enacting her ambitious agenda, as well as Republican attacks that have been muted courtesy of the GOP nominee.

“It will be the defining fact of her presidency,” Jonathan Cowan, president of the moderate think tank Third Way, said of Clinton's problem of entering office with a divided Congress. “It’s unprecedented."

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton both enjoyed at least two years of a Democratic majority in Congress when they entered the White House, a period when they were able to enact major portions of their agendas.

While Democrats are confident about taking control of the Senate if Clinton wins the election, even her top operatives who have been working to elect down-ballot Democrats do not expect to snatch up the House of Representatives.

“What that would leave her with is an absolute imperative to govern from the center," said Cowan, a former Bill Clinton White House official. "She will have no choice. There is no choice. Obama will have picked most of the low hanging executive orders, and she'll be in this Grover Cleveland moment.”

In other words, if you thought it was difficult for Barack Obama to get anything done over the last six years, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Of course the obvious solution is for Democrats to do everything they can to win the House, but the ship may have sailed on that one thanks to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and DCCC chair Ben Ray Lujan, who have been complete non factors in 2016 as far as even trying to win the House back at this point.  There are plenty of non-contested Republican House seats in a year where Donald Trump should be costing the GOP dozens of races.

We'll see, but if your worry was somehow that Hillary Clinton was going to be too nice to the GOP or something, well they'll probably have articles of impeachment drawn up on January 21.

That's Real White Of You, Con't

And speaking of the racist cancer that must be excised from the GOP, it's not just Donald Trump, and it's not a new phenomena, it's been around for decades folks, especially in parts of the American South.

The Republican mayor of Midland City, Alabama got nasty on Facebook after losing her seat to a black candidate in this week’s mayoral election.

“I lost. The ni**er won,” griped Mayor Patsy Capshaw Skipper when someone asked her how the election turned out.

WTVY said that Skipper was defeated by Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley, former assistant city clerk and an employee of the Dale County government for 27 years. She has previously served as the city’s water clerk and county court clerk.

Mayor Skipper was named interim mayor last February when her husband — former Mayor Virgil Skipper — retired for health reasons. County officials voted 3 to 1 for Patsy Skipper to take over her husband’s position.

Voters, however, preferred to see Grimsley at the city helm, casting 233 votes for Grimsley as opposed to Skipper’s 148.

Skipper appears to have made her Facebook timeline private, but posts from 2015 are visible. She posted various pro-Christian and pro-Republican memes, including an image of the White House that reads “I want a White House that honors God. Share if you agree!” and another with a quote by Republican former Pres. Ronald Reagan that reads, “We are never defeated unless we give up on God. Share if you agree!”

And so it goes.

Same as it ever was.

Clinton's Reno Gamble Pays Off

Hillary Clinton's case against the "alt-right" racists now fully in charge of the Trump campaign and the Republican Party was delivered in Reno yesterday in a 30-minute speech that may have been the most important so far in the 2016 White House race.

Everywhere I go, people tell me how concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from my opponent in this election. It’s like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.

From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.

In just the past week, under the guise of “outreach” to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in insulting and ignorant terms:

“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen… Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”

Those are his words.

Donald Trump misses so much.

He doesn’t see the success of black leaders in every field…The vibrancy of black-owned businesses…Or the strength of the black church… He doesn’t see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive…And he certainly doesn’t have any solutions to take on the reality of systemic racism and create more equity and opportunity in communities of color.

It takes a lot of nerve to ask people he’s ignored and mistreated for decades, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is everything!

For Clinton to deliver this explosive a broadside with 75 days still left in the campaign is a sign that she is confident in her win in November, and is making the move now to finish Trump off.  More importantly, as I have said time and time again, the real problem in the GOP is not Donald Trump, but the people who enabled him and his fellow travelers to control the party.

This is who Clinton's speech was directly aimed at, the "moderate Republicans" who stood by and let the racists take over, the proverbial "good men who did nothing" to allow evil to win.

This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name “white-genocide-TM.” Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people. His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on a white supremacist website.

The Trump campaign also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. They only dropped him under pressure. When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack. And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.

Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones. Trump said thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t. He suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, because he was a Cuban immigrant, he must have had something to do with it. Of course there’s absolutely no evidence of that. Just recently, Trump claimed President Obama founded ISIS. And then he repeated that nonsense over and over.

His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. All I can say is, Donald, dream on. This is what happens when you treat the National Enquirer like Gospel. It’s what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones, who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings were inside jobs. He said the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. Trump didn’t challenge those lies. He went on Jones’ show and said: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”

This man wants to be President of the United States.

This is Clinton's most devastating blow yet, the kind of political haymaker you only unleash under two conditions: that you are on the ropes and have no other choice, or as Clinton is clearly doing here, you are winning the bout and are going for an early-round knockout.

Donald Trump just took a blow that rocked him.  We'll see if this finally shakes loose the rest of the Republicans who have been looking for an excuse to bail on Trump and turn his loss into a crushing defeat.  It's good politics: those hungry for a reboot of the Republican party now have their big red button to press.

How much you can trust anyone who still needs to be convinced to disavow Trump's racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic campaign, is another battle, but at this point motivating the mass exodus of the rest of the party away from Trump is a definite gamble that Hillary took in Reno today, and I'm hoping it pays off big. (When I say this is a gamble I mean politically, morally and ethically it was 100% the right thing for her to do.)

It will be extremely easy for Trump to try to consolidate his voters by screaming, as he already did on Thursday, that Hillary was calling his supporters racist and that they had to stand by him to stop her.

The problem is that's true, the GOP is full of racist assholes.  But that truth is also the key to kicking Trump out and excising the cancer in the GOP.

Here's the speech in full on YouTube:


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