Web Osi Speaks!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

American Toxic!


Friday, April 29, 2016



Ted Cruz!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ted Cruz Loses GOP Nomination With Carly Fiorina.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy Hump Day.


Kentucky Is Numero Uno!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#Harriettubman And #DonaldTrumb!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Toxic Air?


Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day.

When Doves Cry. RIP. #Prince.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Democrats, Superdelegate, Hillary Clinton, And Bernie Sanders: Democrats Are So UNdemocratic!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Enjoy Hump Day.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Funny! Joel Pett Is Still Ribbing Matt Bevin.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Donald Trump!


Saturday, April 16, 2016

CIA Torture: Old Versus New: Missing Hillary Clinton!!


Friday, April 15, 2016


Donald Trump's "Yuuge" Problem. Is America's Problem!

The truth about Donald Trump’s ability to lie is that he has identified a flaw in our political system.

Donald Trump has a yuuge problem with the truth. During a recent one-hour town hall on CNN, he told more than a lie a minute, according to Huffington Post. Trump spouts bs about his opponents, about his staff, about his record, about his opponents’ records. We’ve reached a moment in his campaign where it might be surprising if the truth accidentally came out of his mouth.

But how does he get away with it? There have been reams of commentary blaming the media for failing to correct his factual inaccuracies. However many in the press of called him out repeatedly on his lack of truth—not just the ideological and nonpartisan fact-checking organizations, but numerous members of the media, even Fox News.

The truth about Donald Trump’s ability to lie is that he has identified a flaw in our political system, one used for years by those with an interest in hacking our republic for ideological gain. If you can create a world of two coexisting and contradictory truths, then there is no way to tell a lie.

Since 2012, I began researching a book about how lies, such as “death panels” infect our political and media culture. Quickly it became apparent that there were people who invented these lies, primarily for financial or political gain.

This form of ideological warfare dates back to the tobacco companies’ fight to prevent a public acknowledgment that their product causes cancer. Their methodology has been used over and over again. Aided by a bifurcated media structure that allows Republicans and Democrats to seek information from completely different sources, we have reached a point in our society where there are two competing truths when asked about critical issues.

To confirm this theory I commissioned Public Policy Polling to conduct a poll of 1,083 registered voters asking about their beliefs on three vital public policy issues: health care, guns, and abortion.

Specifically we asked respondents if they believed death panels exist (they don’t), if they believe in the “more guns, less crime” theory (it’s wrong), and whether abortion causes breast cancer and mental health issues (it doesn’t).

While the results were not at all surprising, they do explain some of the underlying problems with our political ecosystem.

It is not simply that we are a country that is divided by political philosophy; we disagree on what should be stipulated facts. This is often cited as the problem behind debates about climate change, but it actually extends across nearly every issue with a partisan divide.

Seventy-four percent of Republicans either believe the Affordable Care Act established death panels or are unsure, compared with 51 percent of Democrats.

Sixty-nine percent of Republicans believe the “more guns, less crime” theory to be true, compared with thirty-three percent of Democrats.

Finally 61 percent of Republicans believe or are unsure if asked whether abortion causes breast cancer and mental health issues, compared with 46 percent of Democrats.

It is not simply that we are a country that is divided by political philosophy; we disagree on what should be stipulated facts. This is often cited as the problem behind debates about climate change, but it actually extends across nearly every issue with a partisan divide.

These divisions are part of an intentional effort to sow division and create a political universe where progress on any number of issues is impossible. As Richard B. Berman, an infamous corporate lobbyist and public relations huckster who establishes respectable-sounding but shill organizations such as the anti-labor Center for Union Facts, pointed out in a surreptitiously recorded speech to energy industry executives his goal was not to win but instead to “tie” because a “tie basically ensures the status quo.”

A culture where liberals and conservatives each seek out information from media sources that confirm, rather than challenge, their ideological preconceptions only magnifies this problem. If your trusted source of information claims that objective lies are true, no amount of scientific debunking is going to undo that damage.

This problem has become far more acute among conservatives than liberals because of a decades-long campaign to convince them that all media has a built-in liberal bias. Hence why Fox News chief Roger Ailes exclaimed to then Daily Beast reporter Howard Kurtz, “Every other network has given all their shows to liberals.(They Haven’t)” He concluded, “We are the balance.”

That is the environment in which we enter the 2016 campaign. Enter into this already toxic environment where liberals and conservatives are operating off a different set of facts, Donald Trump is a candidate perfectly equipped to take advantage of the same hacks of democracy that Lies, Incorporated exploit. His large-scale, attention-grabbing lies have not only deceived the public, they have sucked oxygen away from his opponents as the media provides ample coverage of the fallout over whatever his most recent gaff is. Thus far this has distracted from any real debate in the Republican primary, instead forcing candidates to discuss the relative size of their hands and other body parts.

This is exactly the goal of modern political tactics. Bog down debate on already settled or tangential issues to avoid the real questions that need to be dealt with. In the case of issues like global warming, this allows broad swaths of the public to ignore a crisis at hand and in the case of Donald Trump, it distracts voters from recognizing his ignorance on a host of issues.

Ari Rabn-Havt is author of Lies Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics. 

Editor's comment:

the writer adroitly avoids accusing other politicians of also telling lies like donald trump, chief among them #lyinghillaryclinton.. i recon the writer is a democRAT.

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Bill Clinton Live Matters.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

More Trumpisms!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Enjoy Your Wednesday Afternoon With Liberal Logic!




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Why Donald Trump's Ham-fisted Incompetence Is Such A Winning Combo For The Republican Party.

Why Donald Trump's ham-fisted incompetence is such a winning combo for the Republican Party
by Ryan Cooper

Despite his brand as a ruthless businessman whose greed borders on the sociopathic, it's becoming clear that Donald Trump couldn't organize his way out of a wet paper sack.

After a deluge of truly abysmal headlines, he has tripped himself up yet again on the way to the Republican nomination, as poor logistics lost him multiple delegates in five states over the weekend. His own kids didn't even realize they had to change their New York party registration last October in order to be able to vote Trump in the primary on April 19. Sad!

Ted Cruz, with his carefully organized army of staring ideologues, is the natural beneficiary of Trump missteps, and has gathered most of the lost delegates. Of course, if Trump had even a modicum of political competence, he would have long since locked up the nomination. Just look at this tidbit from the weekend caucuses: "The frontrunner’s advisers repeatedly instructed supporters to vote for the wrong candidates — distributing the incorrect delegate numbers to supporters," Time reports.

Still, it's hard to imagine a politically competent Trump who would also have run the same campaign that launched him to the front of the pack, where he still remains, despite the recent flailing. It's a good demonstration of why nobody can lock up this primary.

Trump soared to frontrunner status by exploiting the fact that the GOP base has, for years, been running on the political equivalent of solvent abuse. Angry, resentful, and paranoid, the conservative movement has responded to inconvenient politics or facts with sheer denial or an enraged doubling-down. Climate change going to drown half of America's coastal cities? It must be a conspiracy cooked up by all those scientists out to get that grant money. Got creamed among Latinos in the presidential election of 2012? To Hades with elite attempts to pass immigration reform as an unavoidable compromise, and primary some major supporters for good measure.

Trump first got into major national politics on the back of the conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn't really born in the United States. (Obama himself completely humiliated Trump for this at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, which reportedly was the spark for Trump to run for president.) During the primary, he has taken every Republican bad habit — every plausibly-deniable racist dogwhistle, every game of footsie with rancid demagogues, every piece of crank economics or pseudoscience — and made them overt slogans painted in 20-foot-tall letters.

As a strategy to win the Republican primary, such tactics combine extremely well with Trump's spider sense for his audience's worst instincts and his absolute genius at manipulating TV media to get himself free coverage.

The rest of the primary field has been unable to mount a serious challenge despite being implicated in exactly the same stuff, just to a lesser degree. If Trump's tax plan is total garbage (which it is), Rubio's and Cruz's were no less so. His signature immigration policy of "huge wall plus deport the brown people" is bonkers, but rooted in decades of conservative anti-immigrant hysteria. And you can draw a straight line to Trump's "ban Muslims" idea from many previous episodes of whipped-up anti-Muslim bigotry.

But it turns out that such a strategy means absolutely obliterating one's standing among the broader population. If nominated, Trump would very likely be the least popular major party nominee since the advent of modern polling. Virtually any Democratic nominee would be the heavy favorite against him.

And that illustrates why traditional national Republican candidates wanting to leverage white racism for electoral advantage have used the dogwhistle instead of an actual whistle. Without plausible deniability, you're going to turn out like Strom Thurmond in 1948. Only Trump, with his unmerited arrogance and manifest ignorance of basic political mechanisms, is dumb enough to try it.

But as a primary strategy, it's successful enough that the only actual politician to pose a serious challenge to Trump, Ted Cruz, is having to scramble to pick up all the scraps he can find — and Cruz is similar enough to Trump that the party is still fantasizing about nominating someone else. Who knows, it might even work. But it'd be simpler to prevent the party from being eaten by galloping nonsense in the first place.

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Virtual Reality!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Joel Pett Still Does Not Like Matt Bevin.


Friday, April 08, 2016

Donald Trump.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

The GOP Has A Big Problem. Millions Of Its Voters Are A Civically Incompetent Mob. Yep. But So Are Democratic Voters!

The GOP Has A Big Problem. Millions Of Its Voters Are A Civically Incompetent Mob. Yep. But So Are Democratic Voters!
by Damon Linker

There is one thing you will never hear an American politician say, at least in public, after losing an election: "I would have prevailed if the voters weren't so foolish, short-sighted, and stupid."

The reticence makes sense. For one thing, when your career depends on winning votes, it's wise not to insult those who cast them. But on a deeper level, such an outburst clashes with bedrock American convictions about democracy.

In the U.S. the people rule, and we tend to assume the legitimacy of their decisions. You might disagree with the outcome of an election, but you accept it. Of course it was justified. The people have spoken, and they have rendered judgment. If the opposing candidate or campaign had been better, more sensible, more reasonable, it would have prevailed.

Who's to say the people were wrong?

And yet here we are, facing the prospect of Donald Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination.

I know we've entered a new bearish phase of Trump coverage. The Heidi Cruz tweet! The pending Lewandowski arraignment! The abortion meltdown! The 10-point polling gap in Wisconsin!

All true. It's been a bad week or so for Trump. Yet he's still beating Cruz by nearly 300 delegates. He's still on track to win big in New York and other delegate-rich states on the East Coast in the coming weeks. And his national poll numbers continue to track slowly upwards. Whereas the party's appointed Trumpslayer (Ted Cruz) sits at 31 percent in the latest Reuters tracking poll, Trump himself has seen his number modestly rising over the past week to 44.6 percent.

Which means that millions of Republican voters — not a majority, but a solid plurality — continue to want Donald Trump to be their party's nominee for president. How could that possibly be — after the mess of the past week, but also after endless months of insults; racial, ethnic, and religious taunts and threats; blatantly ignorant statements about policy (foreign and domestic); and a continual flood of transparent lies?

Explanations abound:

It's the media's fault, for giving Trump so much free publicity.
It's the GOP establishment's fault, for whipping up irrational hostility to Barack Obama for seven long years.

It's the right-wing media's fault, for doing something similar to liberals in general for even longer.
It's neoliberalism's fault, because 30+ years of tax cuts and free-market policies have decimated the white working class.

It's George W. Bush's fault.

It's Barack Obama's fault.

Those are just the most pervasive theories. Each of them gets at a part of the truth.

But so does this: Roughly 40 percent of the GOP base is voting out of a poisonous mixture of ignorance and spite. They are behaving like a mob. And thus their political choice deserves no deference or respect whatsoever.

This judgment has nothing to do with ideology. I disagree with the mainstream Republican agenda, but it represents a legitimate position on our politics. The same holds for the mainstream Democratic agenda, as well as for Bernie Sanders' left-wing insurgency against the Democratic establishment and its preferred nominee for president (Hillary Clinton).

This isn't even about the cluster of ideas that Trump is running on: immigration restrictions, protectionism, and so forth. A responsible, informed candidate could run for president on an agenda like that without it posing a threat to the country in the way that Trump's candidacy clearly does.

The problem is that Donald Trump, as an individual, is manifestly, indisputably unqualified to be president. Yes, as nearly everyone recognizes, he's a demagogue, which should be bad enough. But he's also wildly inconsistent, petulant, and vindictive, and he obviously delights in encouraging (and in the case of his campaign manager's alleged behavior, rewarding) violence.

Then there's his inexcusable ignorance about policy. In just the past two weeks, Trump has staked out as many as four positions on abortion, and threatened to scrap the mainstay of the postwar liberal order (NATO), as well as efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons in a world where terrorists are actively seeking to procure them, without so much as a coherent or compelling explanation as to why.

Apparently millions of Republican voters don't care that Trump would make a disastrously bad president. And that is an expression of rank civic irresponsibility.

What can we do about it? Other than work within the political system to ensure his defeat at the polls, nothing. But that doesn't mean we should deny sobering implications of this whole sorry episode: Democracy lets the people decide who rules, but there is no guarantee that they won't occasionally use the power to make catastrophically bad decisions.

Why Karl Rove is rooting for a brokered convention

This is something Aristotle understood very well, which is why his arguments in favor of a modified form of democracy differ so dramatically from modern, egalitarian versions. The latter nearly always involve some praise of The People's innate wisdom and make a profoundly moral case for deferring to its preferences. Aristotle, by contrast, simply points out that if you don't give the people a voice, they'll make trouble. And because they are so numerous — the people, in Aristotle's terms, are "the many" — they can potentially make an awful lot of trouble. Which may necessitate giving them an awful lot of power.

There are a lot of Trump supporters in the GOP. The party may have no alternative but to defer to their choice of presidential nominee. But please, let's not pretend that a Trump victory in the primaries would carry even an ounce of moral legitimacy.

It would be colossally foolish choice, made by colossally foolish voters.

Editor's comment: sAnd o would it be for democrats voting for hillary and bernie!

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Kentucky's Mr. Maximum Security!


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Terrorists' Roommate Fight.


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

GOP's Donald Trump.

As Wisconsinites head for the polls, our Beltway elites are almost giddy. For they foresee a Badger State bashing for Donald Trump, breaking his momentum toward the Republican nomination.
Should the Donald fall short of the delegates needed to win on the first ballot, 1,237, there is growing certitude that he will be stopped. First by Ted Cruz; then, perhaps, by someone acceptable to the establishment, which always likes to have two of its own in the race.
But this city of self-delusion should realize there is no going back for America. For, whatever his stumbles of the last two weeks, Trump has helped to unleash the mightiest force of the 21st century: nationalism.
Transnationalism and globalism are moribund.
First among the issues on which Trump has triumphed — “We will build the wall — and Mexico will pay for it!” — is border security.
Republican candidates who failed to parrot Trump on illegal immigration were among the first casualties.
For that is where America is, and that is where the West is.
Consider Europe. Four months ago, Angela Merkel was Time’s Person of the Year for throwing open the gates to the “huddled masses” of the Middle and Near East.
Merkel’s Germany is now leading the EU in amassing a huge bribe to the Turks to please take them back, and keep them away from the Greek islands that are now Islam’s Ellis Island into Europe.
Africa’s population will double to 2.5 billion by 2050. With 60 percent of Africans now under 25 years of age, millions will find their way to the Med to cross to the Old Continent where Europeans are aging, shrinking and dying. Look for gunboats in the Med.
If immigration is the first issue where Trump connected with the people, the second is trade.
Republicans are at last learning that trade deficits do matter, that free trade is not free. The cost comes in dead factories, lost jobs, dying towns and the rising rage of an abandoned Middle America whose country this is and whose wages have stagnated for decades.
Economists who swoon over figures on consumption forget what America’s 19th-century meteoric rise to self-sufficiency teaches, and what all four presidents on Mount Rushmore understood.
Production comes before consumption. Who owns the orchard is more essential than who eats the apples. We have exported the economic independence that Hamilton taught was indispensable to our political independence. We have forgotten what made us great.
China, Japan, Germany — the second, third and fourth largest economies on earth — all owe their prosperity to trade surpluses run for decades at the expense of the Americans.
A third casualty of Trumpism is the post-Cold War foreign policy consensus among liberal interventionists and neoconservatives.
Trump subjects U.S. commitments to a cost-benefit analysis, as seen from the standpoint of cold national interest.
What we do we get from continuing to carry the largest load of the defense of a rich Europe, against a Russia with one-fourth of Europe’s population?
How does Vladimir Putin, leader of a nation that in the last century lost its European and world empires and a third of its landmass, threaten us?
Why must we take the lead in confronting and containing Putin in Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia? No vital U.S. interest is imperiled there, and Russia’s ties there are older and deeper than ours to Puerto Rico.
Why is it the responsibility of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to defend the claims of Hanoi, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Brunei, to rocks, reefs and islets in the South China Sea — against the claims of China?
American hawks talk of facing down Beijing in the South and East China Seas while U.S. companies import so much in Chinese-made goods they are fully subsidizing Beijing’s military budget.
Does this make sense?
Patriotism, preserving and protecting the unique character of our nation and people, economic nationalism, America First, staying out of other nation’s wars — these are as much the propellants of Trumpism as is the decline of the American working and middle class.
Trump’s presence in the race has produced the largest turnout ever in the primaries of either party. He has won the most votes, most delegates, most states. Wisconsin aside, he will likely come to Cleveland in that position.
If, through rules changes, subterfuge and faithless delegates, party elites swindle him out of the nomination, do they think that the millions who came out to vote for Trump will go home and say: We lost it fair and square?
Do they think they can then go back to open borders, amnesty, a path to citizenship, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and nation building?
Whatever happens to Trump, the country has spoken. And if the establishment refuses to heed its voice, and returns to the policies the people have repudiated, it should take heed of John F. Kennedy’s warning:
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”

Editor's comment: great points made, pat, but donald trump appears to be the wrong person to play the piper to the tunes, 

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Panama Papers!


Monday, April 04, 2016

GOP Pollster: Here’s How We Know [Donald] Trump Has No Chance In November.

GOP pollster: Here’s how we know Trump has no chance in November

Some Republicans are in denial about what he would do to the ticket

He’s an electoral disaster waiting to happen

Here are the numbers that prove it
 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop Wednesday in Appleton, Wis.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop Wednesday in Appleton,

Some Republicans have been trying to talk themselves into believing that Donald Trump would not be so bad as the Republican nominee for president. Maybe he really would scramble the political deck sufficiently, they think, to allow the party to retake the White House.

Those Republicans are whistling past the graveyard. A Trump nomination has as much chance of success in the general election as Trump University, or Trump Mortgage, or Trump Shuttle, or Trump Vodka, or Trump Casinos. Trump is an electoral disaster waiting to happen.

Demographic trends make clear that a Republican nominee who hopes to win a majority of the popular vote in 2016 must gain either 30 percent of the nonwhite vote or 65 percent of the white vote, a level not seen since President Ronald Reagan’s 49-state landslide sweep in 1984. Trump doesn’t stand a chance of doing either one.

Gain 30 percent of the nonwhite vote? Trump’s favorable to unfavorable ratings in the latest Post-ABC News national poll among nonwhites are 16 percent to 81 percent (72 percent strongly unfavorable); among Hispanics alone - the largest and fastest-growing minority group - they are 14 percent to 85 percent (74 percent strongly unfavorable). A Trump nomination could lock Hispanics into the Democratic column for a generation or more, threatening Republican presidential victories as far as the eye can see.

Gain 65 percent of the white vote? Trump’s favorable to unfavorable ratings among white women are 29 percent to 68 percent. His strongly unfavorable rating of 55 percent among white women is more than four times his strongly favorable rating among that group of 13 percent. How in the world could Trump reach 65 percent among whites overall if more than two-thirds of white women give him an unfavorable rating today, and if most of that unfavorable rating is intensely negative?

And that’s not all. Millennials have now passed baby boomers to become the largest generation. Trump’s ratings among millennials are now 18 percent favorable to 80 percent unfavorable, with 70 percent strongly unfavorable. Partisan identifications that are formed when voters come of political age tend to stick with them the rest of their lives, and a Trump nomination could push an entire generation into the Democratic column.

Negative ratings at these levels are historic for a major party nominee, creating hurricane-force head winds. And just imagine what Trump’s unfavorable ratings would be once the Democrats’ ads finish running.

But what about “the missing white voters” whom Trump supposedly would energize and bring into the electorate? Weren’t there more than 4 million whites who voted in 2008 but not 2012? Yes, and Mitt Romney lost by 5 million votes. Had every one of the missing white voters turned out and voted for Romney, he still would have lost.

Those whites who did not vote were concentrated in the deepest red states - Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia - where President Obama never had a chance and lack of competition drove down turnout. No evidence exists of a dramatic falloff among white voters in the swing states that decide the outcome of a presidential contest.

Conservatives are fond of calling for dynamic scoring of the financial impact of changes in tax policy, where individuals’ behavior is incorporated into the estimate. For example, doubling the tax on yachts does not generate twice the revenue, because people in turn do not buy as many yachts.

We should apply the same concept to voter turnout. Would a Trump nomination bring more white voters to the polls? Undoubtedly, based on the high viewership of Republican debates and the high turnout in Republican primaries so far. Higher white turnout could conceivably put some of the Democratic- leaning but overwhelmingly white states of the Great Lakes region into play.

But the other side gets to play this game, too. There may have been 4 million fewer whites who voted in 2012, but there were also 12 million eligible Hispanic voters who stayed home. We know it is easier to drive voters to the polls to vote against rather than for a candidate - witness the tea party’s success in 2010 and 2014 in trying to stop the Obama agenda.

How difficult would it be to increase Hispanic turnout, given Trump’s ratings and his threat to deport 11 million immigrants? The easiest job in U.S. politics in 2016 goes to the Democratic operative charged with doubling Hispanic turnout to stop Trump. And that could put some Republican-leaning states with higher nonwhite populations, such as Georgia, into play.

Trump has a serious Republican problem as well. Since 1984, no victorious Republican presidential candidate has received less than 91 percent support from Republicans. Trump’s favorable to unfavorable ratings among Republicans are 52 percent to 47 percent, with 34 percent strongly unfavorable. A candidate beginning a general election campaign with almost half of his party holding unfavorable views is a non-starter. Contrast that with Hillary Clinton’s favorable to unfavorable ratings among Democrats of 78 percent to 20 percent.

A Trump nomination would put a Democrat in the White House, seriously threaten Republican majorities in Congress and leave the Republican Party in shambles. Let’s hope Republicans wake up before it’s too late.

Whit Ayres is president of North Star Opinion Research, a GOP polling firm, and was the pollster for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.

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The GOP Presidential Candidates!


Friday, April 01, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Litany Of Scandal.

Hillary Clinton's litany of scandal

Hillary Clinton is a lock to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. And if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump, Clinton looks very, very likely to be the next president of the United States.

Even to many conservatives, Hillary looks good compared to Trump. His open flirtation with white supremacy is only the most egregious example of his campaign's raison-d'être: channeling our worst impulses for his own political gain. Whether it's blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, political elites, business elites, or the media, the message is the same. Trump identifies a scapegoat, as well as the solution: electing Trump so he can crush them. This, along with his campaign's luxuriant disregard for substance, is, quite simply, the essence of fascism.

But aside from that heinous dynamic, the objection to Trump was always one that transcended politics and policy, and had to do with Trump himself. He is clearly a megalomaniac. He has total disregard, if not outright disdain, for the truth. He will do anything to get ahead, holding contempt for the law and virtuous social norms.

Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States.

But here's the thing: Hillary Clinton isn't fit to be president either.

I'm sure this makes some chin-stroking, self-proclaimed serious people clutch their pearls and spill their coffee. But Hillary Clinton differs from Donald Trump only in degree, and not in kind.

Let's start with Trump's lack of substance and disregard for the truth. Clinton is clearly familiar with the minutiae of policy in a way that Trump most decidedly is not. But it's also hard to think of an issue that she has not been on both sides of in the course of her long political career. Is abortion a "sad, and even tragic choice" that should be "rare" or should nothing stand in the way of a woman's "right to choose"? Do we need to lock up repeat offenders for life, or do #BlackLivesMatter? Are we for the war in Iraq or are we against it? Break up big banks: yes or no? Is same-sex marriage bad or good? Is religious freedom "the most precious of all of America's liberties" or unacceptable discrimination?

Clinton has not been nearly as guileless as Trump in her flip-floppery. But it's still quite a record. If Donald Trump's entire life has been about helping Donald Trump with no regard to principle, Hillary Clinton's entire life has been about helping Hillary Clinton first, and principle maybe later.

This should give everyone pause. But what should truly seal the case against Clinton is her repeated and relentless flouting of laws and virtuous norms for personal and political advantage.

Take the noxious nexus of political and personal influence-peddling and corruption-in-all-but-name that is Clinton Inc., otherwise known as the Clinton Foundation. The massive-payday speeches. The donations from foreign governments, corporations, and entities while she was secretary of state. Was there any explicit quid pro quo? Actually, quite possibly, as in the case where UBS got crucial help from Clinton and then gave $1.5 million to her family's foundation. But how low have we sunk as a society when we need an actual paper trail of explicit quid pro quo to turn from this atrocious mélange and say, "You want us to give you more political power? Are you kidding me?"

And then there's the whole email server fiasco. This is a case where the sound and fury of allegations have obscured the basic facts, which are quite clear: Clinton set up a personal email server, in defiance or at least circumvention of rules, with the probable motive of evading federal records and transparency requirements, and did it with subpar security. (For the first few months, her emails weren't even encrypted. At all.) Never mind which emails included what level of classified information, and whether there is or isn't a problem of overclassification in the U.S. government (there is). Never mind whether the Chinese or the Russians or whomever hacked the server or didn't (we don't know of any evidence, but we do know they were able to hack much more tightly protected systems without leaving any trail). The point is that Hillary Clinton didn't seem to care. If she had to bend, if not break, transparency laws, and take the risk of potentially exposing national security secrets, in order to protect herself from scrutiny, well, so be it.

This sort of behavior ought to be fundamentally incompatible with earning more political power in a democracy. It's an attitude of power at any cost, the only question being, "Can I get away with it?"

And finally, let's talk about Benghazi.

Yes, conservatives have frequently been crazy on the topic of Benghazi. Yes, conspiracy theories have been thrown around. But we know that when Clinton stated on the night of the attacks and again the day after that they were due to a YouTube video, and twice more the day after that, she knew that that was not the case. On the night of the attack, right after releasing the first statement to the contrary, she emailed her daughter, "Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda[sic]-like group." Not "it seems." Not "we think." She knew.

Is intensely disliking Republicans enough of a reason to pretend that never happened? Or to wave it away as being in the same league as the everyday, excusable truth-twisting and ethical corner-cutting that all politicians engage in?

Hillary Clinton is simply not someone that you can trust. Really disliking Republicans shouldn't stop progressives from owning this fact about Hillary Clinton. Yes, Trump is "worse." But it doesn't change the facts about Clinton.

When Barack Obama and John McCain each became their parties' presumptive nominees, The Economist had a famous cover: "America at its best." Each of them, in their way, and their progress to that day, represented the best of the American ideal. If Trump and Hillary win their respective nominations, we'll truly have seen America at its worst.

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The Republican Party Can Recover From Donald Trump Faster Than You Think

by Michael Brendan Dougherty
What if the Republican Party isn't doomed?

The consensus tells us Donald Trump is about to destroy the GOP. He has backed away from his pledge to support the eventual nominee of the party if it's not him, saying he has been treated unfairly. Everyone is asking why Republicans haven't done more to avert the coming disaster.

And pundits tell us that the Republican Party of the Bush years is dying no matter what. Writing in The Atlantic, David Frum warns that rallying to Trump would change the direction of the GOP. And running a conservative third-party challenger to compete with Trump may have a similar effect: Splitting a party means abandoning it to your factional enemies.

After Paul Ryan gave a speech that was critical of Trump without ever naming him or making the case against him, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat criticized Ryan for his paralysis. For Douthat, Paul Ryan and the party he leads are proving themselves unable to absorb the most compelling parts of Trumpism, namely its solicitousness of working-class voters. And yet that same party is also unable to forcefully reject Trump the candidate.

But perhaps fretful paralysis is good enough for now. Whatever becomes of Donald Trump's moment in politics, there are reasons to believe this moment is unsustainable and the basic status quo of the Republican Party will eventually emerge triumphant.

Let's posit that, on or off the ticket, Donald Trump will cause an electoral disaster for Republicans.

If he is the nominee, Trump depresses the turnout and activism of churchy Republicans and other social conservatives. He repulses suburban women, and further alienates younger upwardly mobile Republicans. If he is not the nominee, but is the leading vote-getter, the Republican machinations to deny him the nomination alienate a large number of Trumpistas from the party and the effect is just about the same: Republicans lose Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and other states by larger than normal margins. Perhaps it is so bad that Republicans not only lose the Senate, including a few talents like Rob Portman, but the House as well.

What happens then? Hillary Clinton wins. Justice Scalia's seat is filled by a justice who is much more liberal than he was. Clinton is given a two-year mandate to do something big on the progressive wish list. Having defeated the most anti-immigrant candidate in modern history, she may go for comprehensive immigration reform. As a bonus, what she does isn't something that threatens to immediately raise taxes on the millions of affluent and moderate voters that supported Clinton over Trump.

These are all defeats for the Republican Party. And they will naturally bring about some expectations for an enduring Democratic majority. But at the same time that Clinton has a unified government, or close to one, the media will question whether she really has a mandate, since the other major party found itself, by virtue of some flukes and quirks, unable to field an impressive candidate. The flukiness of the Republican nominating process ends up infecting the Democratic victor too.

By 2018, the strength of the Republican Party will be ready to reassert itself, perhaps without a major rethink. Matthew Yglesias has made the case that Republicans possess unprecedented strength and numerical superiority at the foundational level of American politics: state legislatures. This means a larger bench from which to select candidates for federal offices or higher offices at the state level. It also helps attract ambitious talent into the party for the foreseeable future. Dying parties don't have this kind of strength. Clinton's presidency, still fresh, will do the work Republican candidates have so far been unable to do: unify the party.

After Super Tuesday, I predicted that the GOP would rally to Trump in the hopes that by accepting the unhappy marriage with a smile, they could change the suitor over time. I was wrong; the party hasn't resolved itself to Trumpism. After the initial wave of endorsements from Paul LePage and Chris Christie, and flirtatious gestures by Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, the flood of support never materialized. Mitt Romney's unprecedented attack on his party's frontrunner stopped the momentum. And it has become harder to regain, particularly as the Trump campaign seems to be losing steam at the exact moment when a frontrunner is normally romping to the end zone.

The party has been unable to co-opt Trump, unable to endorse him, unable to oppose him effectively. But Trump is not going to bequeath to Republicans a squadron of Trumpistas in Congress. He is not going to build the kind of institutions that ideologues use to pressure a major political party. He's just going to make a spectacle of himself. Barring a black swan event, he will fade away.

The GOP will still have all the problems that pre-dated Trump and that only he exposed. A plurality of its voters will still be unsatisfied with the party's agenda, especially on the economy. It will still have problems with young voters, and still have a long-term demographic problem. Its philosophy will still be outdated.

But by 2018, all the talk of bloodbaths and schisms and fracturing will go away. The party will have powers to exercise, sinecures to offer, and orthodoxies to protect again. The party will get out of its hospital ward and move on. It will shock you how much it never happened.

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