A new theory on why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently

Our political divisions aren’t red versus blue, but fixed versus fluid. Republicans are wary of change, Democrats embrace it. [Ezra Klein/Vox]

Discussed in this article but only partly explained: Why Republicans are so much more likely to believe lies and bullshit. The Republicans are the party of climate change skeptics, anti-vaxxers, and birtherism. Some Democrats believe crazy things too, but the Republicans made Fox News their favorite channel and elected an idiot conspiracy theorist as President.

We finally found election fraud [The Washington Post]

We finally found election fraud and Republicans are the ones doing it, running an operation in North Carolina to illegally pick up absentee ballots from African-American voters and keep them from being turned in. Disgraceful and criminal.

The Republicans have a record of making accusations against Democrats — usually, though not always, baseless — and then it turns out that the Republicans themselves are doing that thing. This dates back to Monicagate, when it turned out Clinton’s loudest Republican accusers were also having sex with their subordinates.

Why Is Rep. Hunter Opting for Sept. 2019 Trial? Keeping House Paycheck Is 1 Theory [Times of San Diego]

Duncan Hunter needs to draw out his trial to keep collecting a Congressional paycheck, according to one theory.

I still can’t believe East County voters went for this jamoke. If it had been ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN NOT ACTUALLY UNDER INDICTMENT, I would’ve shrugged it off. Conservative district. Uphill battle. But this clown?

What makes it particularly painful is that Ammar Campa-Najjar would’ve made a terrific Congressman.

And he will make a terrific Congressman, once Hunter is in prison, where you don’t have to worry about paying for food, lodging, or clothes.

Google donated $5k to GOP Senator who “joked” about attending a lynching with her Black opponent [Cory Doctorow/Boing Boing]

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith is a Mississipi GOP Senator is going into a runoff election against her Democratic opponent, a Black man named Mike Espy who might end up the first Black Mississipi Senator since 1883. She made headlines last week with a joke about attending a “public hanging.” She also made public comments in favor of voter suppression.

Google donated $5,000 to her campaign.

Google says they made the donation before they heard about her comments and they never would have donated had they known. However, she espoused hateful views before her recent comments, and Google isn’t asking for its money back.

A Clinton-hater’s wise observation

I’m a Clinton supporter, as you know. But what may not be entirely clear is that I don’t just support her because the alternative is Trump.

That is a sufficient reason to support Clinton. That is a sufficient reason to support anyone. If the Democrats were running a chimpanzee against Trump, I’d support the chimpanzee.

And yet there’s more to it with me and Clinton. I think she’ll be a good president. Or, to be more precise, I think she has the POTENTIAL to be a good president. Maybe even one of our greatest Presidents, on a caliber with the Roosevelts and Harry S. Truman.

I got in a conversation with a Clinton-hater the other day, who declared that she is the most paranoid Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon, and her administration would quickly, like Nixon’s second term, become paralyzed by scandals of her own invention.

Since then, I’ve surprised myself to find I agree with my friend. She IS paranoid. Justifiably so, given her career of being dogged by Republicans who make up lies about her and spread them to millions of willing supporters. Republicans lied that she’s a closet lesbian, they lied that she murdered Vince Foster, they lied that she made money on insider real estate deals in Arkansas (in fact the Clintons LOST money). They lied that she faked being sick during the first Benghazi hearings, and they are lying now that she is faking being essentially healthy other than pneumonia that she’ll get over. Republicans lie that she has somehow coopted three Republican prosecutors who have cleared her of wrongdoing that would get anybody else thrown in prison. Etc. etc. etc. I’m sure there’s a list somewhere of all the Republican lies about Hillary Clinton.

And yet paranoia would be Clinton’s undoing. Even if it is justified.

There’s an old joke that goes: Are you paranoid if they really ARE out to get you? That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, with the answer: No. Paranoia, according to the premise of the joke, is the DELUSION of persecution. No delusion, no paranoia.

But the reality is you can be both paranoid and persecuted. And that’s Clinton’s problem.

Bill Maher: Clinton needs to embrace the cartoon evil image Republicans have created

Bill Maher: “Hillary has to embrace all the nasty things the haters say and run as the Notorious HRC.”

In character as Notorious HRC: “When Donald Trump gets angry at someone he sends out a mean-girl tweet in the middle of the night. That’s cute. Here’s me killing bin Laden. And Gaddafi’s ass is a little sore these days too.”

Hilarious. I love it. And there’s truth here. Americans don’t want “sweet grandma Hillary.”

Also: “Try as I might, I cannot make my brain work like a Trump voter. Maybe it’s my mother not drinking when she was pregnant.”

The data are on Clinton’s side. About half of Trump’s supporters really are deplorable. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:

We know, for instance, some nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claim are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it.

Trump fined for payoffs to Florida’s attorney general

Donald Trump contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Florida attorney general Pam Biondi, after which she dropped the fraud investigation against Trump University and went to work for his campaign.

The contribution was illegal, and not reported accurately on tax records. Officials working for Trump said the whole thing was an honest mistake.

He was fined $2,500 by the IRS, which is a pretty good deal for Trump.

David A. Fahrenthold, The Washington Post

The GOP seems incapable of delivering the kind of support Trump needs to win

Inside Trump Tower: Facing grim reality – Alex Isenstadt, Politico

If the Republicans were capable of mounting a winning campaign, Trump would not be their candidate. The party did everything it could to beat him, and failed spectacularly.

I’m not making an argument for complacency by the Clinton campaign. They need to get up every morning for the next 60+ days and fight like they were down by two points.

Paul Manafort quits Donald Trump’s Campaign after tumultuous run

Maggie Halberman, New York Times:

Paul Manafort, installed to run Donald J. Trump’s operation after the firing of his original campaign manager, handed in his resignation on Friday, signifying the latest tumult to engulf the candidate, whose standing in the polls has steadily dropped since the Republican Party’s convention in July.

What’s the over-under on how long Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway last?

No, Rudy Giuliani Did Not “Forget 9/11.” He Messed Something Else Up, Though.

Jeremy Stahl, Slate:

Rudy Giuliani got a lot of grief on Monday for having supposedly forgotten about the Sept. 11 attacks that took place when he was mayor of New York City and formed a not insignificant portion of the basis for his national political career.

During a speech introducing Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Youngstown, Ohio, Giuliani said: “Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when [Hillary] Clinton and Obama got into office.”

This led to some hyperventilating on Twitter from outlets saying that Giuliani was ignoring 9/11 (something Giuliani is normally not accused of doing).

This whole story has been a series of embarrassments. Several media outlets, including CNN, inaccurately reported that Giuliani said the US had never been attacked by Islamic fanatics before Obama, which would be an absurd thing to say. But Giuliani doesn’t seem to have said that.

What Giuliani seems to have actually said was that the US wasn’t successfully attacked in eight years prior to Obama taking office. Which is technically untrue — 9/11 was about eight months short of eight years.

But the real problem is that Giuliani is promulgating the bullshit Republican narrative, also promoted by Jeb Bush during the primary, that somehow 9/11 doesn’t count against Bush or the Republicans, while the attacks on American soil since 9/11 completely discredit Obama and the Democrats.

Peter Thiel makes the case for his bankrolling the Gawker lawsuit

Peter Thiel, The New York Times:

Last month, I spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland because I believe our country is on the wrong track, and we need to solve real problems instead of fighting fake culture wars. I’m glad that an arena full of Republicans stood up to applaud when I said I was proud to be gay, because gay pride shouldn’t be a partisan issue. All people deserve respect, and nobody’s sexuality should be made a public fixation.

Unfortunately, lurid interest in gay life isn’t a thing of the past. Last week, The Daily Beast published an article that effectively outed gay Olympic athletes, treating their sexuality as a curiosity for the sake of internet clicks. The article endangered the lives of gay men from less tolerant countries, and a public outcry led to its swift retraction. While the article never should have been published, the editors’ prompt response shows how journalistic norms can improve, if the public demands it.

Not mentioned here: The vast databases of private information compiled by business and government in the name of marketing and national security. That kind of information is potentially far more damaging to far more people than sex tapes.

Also, while Thiel is right that even public figures have a right to privacy,I don’t want to live in a world where billionaires decide the boundaries of legitimate journalism. (See also.)