Tag Archives: Republicans

Trump cites Iraq withdrawal he passionately supported to say Obama “founded ISIS”

Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott, Buzzfeed:

Donald Trump has said repeatedly during the campaign that President Obama “founded ISIS,” a remark that has come under scrutiny in recent days.

“He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS,” Trump said at a Wednesday rally.

Trump has cited the conservative critique of President Obama’s Iraq policy — that the withdrawal of troops in 2011 led to a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to flourish — in making the claim.

“He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely,” Trump said on CNBC on Thursday. “The way he removed our troops — you shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it.” (Trump was not against the war as he has repeatedly claimed.) “The way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” Trump later said.

But lost in Trump’s immediate comments is that, for years, he pushed passionately and forcefully for the same immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. In interview after interview in the later 2000s, Trump said American forces should be removed from Iraq.

“First, I’d get out of Iraq right now,” Trump said to British GQ in a 2008 interview. “And by the way, I am the greatest hawk who ever lived, a far greater hawk even than Bush. I am the most militant military human being who ever lived. I’d rebuild our military arsenal, and make sure we had the finest weapons in the world. Because countries such as Russia have no respect for us, they laugh at us. Look at what happened in Georgia, a place we were supposed to be protecting.”

The “greatest hawk [and] most militant military human being” got multiple draft deferments when it was his time to serve.

No, the World Won’t Go Back to Normal After Trump

Jason Tanz, Wired:

If  recent polls are right, Hillary Clinton is probably going to win the race for president in November. Did you feel a sense of relief as you read that sentence? As if, in just a few short months, this protracted battle for the future of our country will finally come to an end? As if we will wake up on November 9 like it’s the last episode of Newhart, shake off the bizarre dream of the Trump candidacy, and resume with our normal lives? (Oops. Spoiler alert.)

Well, too bad. The world won’t return to normal after the election, no matter who wins. And this is not just because Trump has unleashed political forces that won’t be easy to contain, or because a Republican-led Congress may be no more likely to cooperate with Clinton than they were with President Obama. It’s because elections are not the end of the argument, but the beginning of a new one.

Even if Trump loses the election and concedes gracefully — and neither of those outcomes are assured, not by a long shot — he still leaves behind a network of supporters that will make it difficult for Clinton to govern.

Clinton is terrible at building the kind of grass roots network that supports Trump, and that supported Sanders.

Moreover, Trump is already laying the groundwork for not conceding, with his claims that the election is “rigged.”

Moreover, do we even WANT Clinton to be able to govern effectively? She represents the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama establishment that’s been running the country for the past 35 years. No, I am not saying there is no difference between all those administrations. There are significant differences. But what they have in common is that they serve D.C. and Wall Street, and leave the rest of us picking up table scraps.

Trump is just a figurehead. His supporters will go on without him. When he inevitably disappoints them, they’ll find some other figurehead, or, like the Tea Party, get co-opted.

Meanwhile the Republican establishment is gearing up to fight the Clinton White House in 2017 and beyond,, ready to claim that her election is not a mandate for her or her policies, but against Trump. Which may well be the case but it’s even MORE true that this election is already a mandate against conservatism. The Republican voters rejected conservatism when they voted for Trump, and the American people as a whole seem likely to reject Trump too. Conservatism has gotten its ass kicked twice in 2016. The Goldwater/Reagan revolution is over, it’s done, the American people have spoken decisively on that ideology and said Do Not Want.

And as for Goldwater: He got clobbered in the election, but he shaped political discourse for decades after. He continues to be a powerful political force today.

So don’t count Trumpism out, even if he loses.

The Democrats are the party of competence. The Republicans are the party of chaos.

Scalzi weighs in: Clinton and the Convention and Where We Go From Here

Great points, and my title for this post is a paraphrase from him. Trump and the Republicans were unable to “even handle a four-day self-advertisement,” Scalzi notes. All the GOP had to do was put a parade of luminaries on stage who would all praise and endorse Trump and attack the Democrats. Instead, they had a line-up of reality TV freaks, D-list celebrities, and has-beens (Scott Baio? Chachi Loves Donnie?). One of their headliners — Ted Cruz — pointedly failed to endorse Trump, which Trump’s campaign was shocked, shocked to discover, even though they had approved his speech in advance.

By contrast, the Democratic convention got off to a pratfall, but then operated like clockwork. As Scalzi notes: That doesn’t prove Clinton will make a good president, but at least she and her team could run a successful convention.

Scalzi errs by labeling Trump supporters as crazies, bigots and haters. They’re not. They’re desperate — and rightly so. Hillary Clinton is the culmination of 30 years of American leaders’ failure to serve the American people. I’ll vote for her — and do it hopefully — because the alternative is crazy incompetence. Or maybe I’ll just vote for the Libertarian ticket, not because I’m a libertarian, but because they’ve got two guys there who seem to have done a good job of running their states pretty well.

A person who is dying of cancer, and who has been failed by Western medicine may turn to alternative medicine not because they’re a believer, but because they don’t think they’ve got anything to lose.

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Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: When conservative politicians talk about “real Americans,” they

often mean white people without college degrees — the so-called “white working class.” They usually mean practicing Christians. Their examples usually refer to people in the South or the Midwest — not East Coast elites or West Coast hippies.

If you’re one of these “real Americans,” you’re in the majority in almost every respect. Most Americans are white, most are Christian, most don’t have college degrees, and most live in the South or Midwest Census Bureau regions. And yet, only about 1 in 5 voters meets all of these descriptions.

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Supposedly, Melania plagiarized a few words of her speech from a Michelle Obama 2008 address.

Nobody cares other than a few college professors and journalists. The thoughts in the passage aren’t original. They praise hard work and honesty and the importance of passing those values on to the next generation. Mom-and-apple-pie stuff.

So far the Republican convention has been surprisingly dull. The #NeverTrump insurrection fizzled, which is unsurprising; if the Republicans were capable of standing up to Trump they would have done so long ago.

Considering the talk of guns just prior to the convention, it’s a blessing that the convention is dull. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

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Trump makes it easy to forget what a dumpster fire all the other GOP nomination hopefuls were

Rick Santorum said pregnancy from rape is a “gift from God” and compared gay relationships to “man-on-dog” sex — and he signed a pledge saying that African-Americans had it better during slavery.

He’s not an aberration, either. The whole cadre of GOP presidential nomination hopefuls were a bumper-crop of absolute terribleness: Rick Perry’s summer hunting camp is called “Niggerhead” and he pledged to eliminate three cabinet-level government agencies, but couldn’t remember which ones. He is a young-Earth Creationist, an anonymous GOP governor once said that Perry was “like George W Bush, but without the brains.”

Bobby Jindal named himself after a character on the Brady Bunch and bankrupted Louisiana by cutting taxes on the wealthy. Carly Fiorina is a climate-change denier who tanked HP and thinks Planned Parenthood sells foetal organs. Rand Paul wants to eliminate environmental and civil rights legislation and eliminate welfare. Scott Walker said he could be trusted to fight Isis because he’d defeated Wisconsin’s teachers’ unions. Chris Christie is basically a mafia don, but not a competent one. Jeb Bush thinks that health insurance can be eliminated by giving people Apple watches and that poverty can be solved by everyone “working longer hours.”

Source: Boing Boing (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). Thanks, Cory!

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Greg Sargent at the Washington Post says Republican overreach will sabotage their efforts to damage Hillary Clinton with the FBI’s mailgate recommendation.

The Republicans are making this about the FBI, James Comey, and Loretta Lynch, rather than keeping the focus on Clinton.

 

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Ezra Klein and Dylan Matthews on Vox:

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has become a strange event. It is, ostensibly, an evening when the president and the press can come together to share a few lighthearted laughs. But it’s evolved into a recital of brutal truths — albeit one neither side ever really admits happened.

The joke of President Obama’s performance on Saturday was that he wasn’t joking. Everyone just had to pretend he was. This was true from the beginning of his remarks, when he walked to the podium to Anna Kendrick’s cover of “Cups” (chorus: “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”).

“You can’t say it, but you know it is true,” he told the crowd, grinning. The implication was clear: my approval ratings are going up. Unemployment dipped below 5 percent this year. My financial reforms are working, and tens of millions of people have gotten coverage through Obamacare. And the Republicans are about to nominate Donald freakin Trump. You don’t know how lucky you had it with me.

There is some truth to the point of view Klein and Matthews are attributing to Obama. But let’s not make too much of it. Also under Obama, we’ve seen massive bailouts to big business, increasing wealth concentration at the expense of the middle class and poor, eroding Constitutional rights, heightened government secrecy, and continuation of America’s forever wars. The Obama White House ain’t Camelot.

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Hastert was so fearless after decades of not being caught that when prosecutors questioned him about suspicious activity in his bank account, he claimed he was being blackmailed.

Hastert claimed that the blackmailer was threatening to go public with false accusations of sexual abuse.

In fact, the allegations were true, and the so-called blackmailer was one of Hastert’s victims, whom Hastert was paying off to keep silent .