Alright, #NeverTrump: Show us what you’re made of

After blowing out Ted Cruz in Indiana yesterday to the point at which the lizard person and possible Zodiac Killer dropped out of the race, Donald Trump has officially become the presumptive nominee for the Republican nomination for president. Of the United States. Of America.

North America.

Cruz’s exit, which all but secured Trump’s nomination, prompted swift and emphatic calls from prominent Republican commentators, operatives and even a handful of politicians to oppose Trump in November. However, these #NeverTrump Republicans have, for the most part, failed to articulate exactly what they mean when they say that. After all, there’s more than one way to Never a Trump, and some ways are more efficient than others.

The most obvious route to opposing Trump for voters who don’t consider him a real Republican would be to back an independent or third party candidate. Mitt Romney’s name was thrown around last night by a number of Republicans who may just want to save the GOP the embarrassment of seeing a Democrat win Utah, which Hillary Clinton could very well do in a head-to-head matchup with Trump. Justin Amash and Rand Paul both hinted at support for a Libertarian presidential candidate, who could maybe be poised to garner five percent in the general election this year instead of the usual two. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is sticking with his guns and insisting that he plans on voting for a “Constitutionalist” — whatever that means.

Of course, this all assumes that these white knights on minor party horses are able to get on the ballot in time. They probably can’t. Filing deadlines in most states are fast approaching, so any new candidates who want to throw their hats in the ring need to start gathering signatures in a big way.

Donald Trump, screenshot via 60 Minutes

Donald Trump, screenshot via 60 Minutes

Then again, #NeverTrump Republicans could hold their noses and back Hillary Clinton. Especially for neoconservatives who are meh on the Republican Party’s racism but heavily invested in maintaining the military-industrial complex, Hillary Clinton may actually represent their views better than both Trump and Cruz, both of whom had expressed skepticism regarding America’s continued involvement in foreign countries not named Israel. If Clinton plays her cards right, she can leverage conservatives’ utter horror at the prospect of having to say “President Donald Trump” into getting a few of them to vote for her out of a sense of both sheer embarrassment and personal responsibility.

The final route — the one I think most committed #NeverTrump Republicans will take — is to do something to the effect of sitting out this election entirely. Either they stay home, or they write in a famous dead person like Ronald Reagan or Thomas Jefferson. Bear in mind, many of the same people beating their chests over how they will refuse to vote for Trump have also been conditioned over the last thirty years to believe that Hillary Clinton is the literal spawn of feminist Satan. I have a hard time believing that many of them wind up casting ballots for her.

To be clear, even (especially) in a close race between Trump and Clinton, it wouldn’t take too many would-be Republican voters choosing any of these three paths in order to deny Trump the White House. To be clearer, I have yet to hear many #NeverTrump Republicans say which path they plan on taking. And the longer they hold out, the more likely it becomes that they wind up shrugging their shoulders and voting for the Republican nominee in November. We’ve already seen a few major waffles and defections. Never say never, Bill Kristol, amirite?

The point being that Donald Trump won the most Republican votes by saying things that lots of Republicans agree with. And as he turns his attention to Hillary Clinton, he will continue to say things that lots of Republicans agree with. This being the case, I have a hard time believing that many of the same folks insisting they won’t vote for Trump now find a reason to change their minds between now and November.

Though they’re more than welcome to prove me wrong.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • rightsucks

    #neverhillary is gonna offset this just a bit.

  • Looking at some of the reports since this post went up, my suspicions seem to be pretty much on the mark: the #NeverTrump faction, at least among elected officials, will fall into line behind Trump, assuming he is the nominee, because fracturing the party will not get them what they want: the GOP has become solely about gaining and maintaining power.*

    Watch the down-ticket races on this one. That’s where they’ll put their efforts — again — while leaving it to Trump to run the most disgraceful campaign ever for the top slot.

    With their agenda being dictated by Tony Perkins and the Kochs, there’s not much else for the party to think about.

  • Blogvader

    Bernie’s the one I like the most.

  • cleos_mom

    When you think about it, some of the supporters are way closer than the candidates they’re following. On both sides.

  • cleos_mom

    Some of us will understand if the “Dems” think it isn’t worth it.

    But who’s your chosen candidate? Surely not a Dem.

  • rightsucks
  • sewa tenda
  • Blogvader

    Thank you for providing yet another example to prove my point, that even supposed liberals will cheerlead voter restrictions if they think it’s to their benefit.

    Also, your fear of moderates and independents doesn’t speak well for your candidate’s chances, don’t you think?

  • clarissa

    Blogvader, this is the Democratic Party!! Independents don’t get to choose the Democratic Party nominee.

  • clarissa

    Phil, they want all the primaries open . As a life long Democrat the mixture is just fine. If all the primaries are open we will no longer have a Democratic party!! Democrats should choose the nominee of their party!!! The only people crying are independents who think. they are entitled to vote in Democratic primaries .

  • Bill_Perdue

    This is not about me – it’s about how much your party and that of your Republican cousins will be hurt.

    I’ve explained our strategy over and over but you don’t get because you suffer from the illusion that this is a democracy and that elections change things. It isin’t and they don’t.

    This is how we use elecions: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=labor+notes+seattle

    http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2015/08/seatac-airports-15-minimum-wage-beats-corporate-challenge

  • What way?

    That’s what I was asking? You have nothing but vague principles. No party. No candidate. How does any of that happen?

  • Bill_Perdue

    You lost the arguement. The left offers a way out of year dead end strategy of voting for more wars, more raciosm, more union busting and more attacks on the Bill of Rights.

  • I lost nothing. You have offered zero.

  • Bill_Perdue

    After losing you resort to personal attacks.

  • In other words, you have no plan to do anything but sit in the back of the room and throw spitballs at anyone trying to do anything, even Socialist and Green candidates. You are ever more irrelevant than I thought. Thanks for being honest.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I answered your question. Many of them and many other voters won’t vote. I you’re wondering if I’ll tell you most voters will vote for one of the two parties of war and racism, don’t bother. Some will be fooled into doing just that.

    From 05 05 2016: “The Democratic primary will technically march on, but Hillary Clinton is almost certainly going to be her party’s nominee. Same with Donald Trump. And voters don’t appear thrilled at the prospect: Clinton and Trump are both more strongly disliked than any nominee at this point in the past 10 presidential cycles.”

    “These are people who don’t just like or dislike the candidates, they really like or dislike them. No past candidate comes close to Clinton, and especially Trump, in terms of engendering strong dislike a little more than six months before the election.” my underlining http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/americans-distaste-for-both-trump-and-clinton-is-record-breaking/ via Goddards Political wire

    And this was from last month. ” April 17, 2016 – Both parties’ presidential front-runners are growing increasingly unpopular, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds, with Hillary Clinton showing an especially steep decline over the past month. Among voters in both parties, 56% hold a negative view of Hillary Clinton and 32% hold a positive view. That 24-point gap is almost twice as wide as in a Journal/NBC poll last month, when 51% viewed her negatively and 38% positively, a 13-point gap.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to be the candidate in either party viewed most negatively, with 65% of registered voters viewing him unfavorably and 24% favorably, a 41-point difference. Unlike with Mrs. Clinton, those numbers haven’t changed much over the past month.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/both-parties-presidential-front-runners-increasingly-unpopular-1460898001?mod=djemalertNEWS (my underlining)

    This vast and robust dislike of both candidates and their parties is what will make this year’s election very interesting, hard to call and inevitably, valuable for the left.

  • That’s not what I asked. I understand your objections to the Democratic Party. So who are these “newly radicalized people” going to vote for? Green Party? Socialist Party? Or are they not going to vote at all and just whine on the internet?

  • Bill_Perdue

    I answered you completely, but you don’t understand it or accept because your politics and priorites are not the same as ours.

    I already explained that we don’t worry about elections in a banana republic. The US is not a democracy – that’s fact, not opinion.

    You can waste your time in bickering between the rightists who run the DP and the RP but newly radicalized people are not likely to follow you.

  • Lots of words, none of which answer my question. Who would these supposed socialists be voting for since even the Socialist party isn’t left enough for you?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The SP has been a ‘social democrat’ party since 1914 when each of their parties supported their own imperialist governments during the First World War. It hasn’t been part of the left since then. They’re no better than Democrats.

    His support for US wars in the Middle East and the fact that he’s a Democrat explains why the left won’t support BS.
    The first wave of people disgusted by Obama in 2010 and 2014 built the short lived Occupy movement and went on to build the union left and the very successful fight for $15. As the left and the union left grow we expect the second wave of people repulsed by the equally putrid politics of Clinton and Trump to become part of the left. What you can expect is the DP continuing to veer right.
    Thanks for not wasting time trying to excuse HRH HRCs union busting scabbery, her loathsome warmongering and he long history of anti-LGBTQ bigotry. It would be as difficult as making excuses for her brother in arms Trump.

  • Elizabethssmith3

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cc310etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cc310e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsNeoGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cc310e….,…

  • And where are they going to be driving? Even the Socialist party isn’t socialist enough for you.

  • Blogvader

    Factually untrue.

    But it seems you’re good at that.

  • Blogvader

    You’re fun.

  • Blogvader

    No, I voted Libertarian in that election.

    In 2004 I voted Kerry.
    In 2008 I voted Obama.
    In 2012 I voted Stein.

    If the Dems want my vote they’re going to have to earn it.

  • Blogvader

    Yes.

    Thank you.

  • Blogvader

    You sound bitter.

    Maybe you should support an actual liberal.

  • emjayay

    Staying home and watching teevee would have the same effect.

  • emjayay

    “isn’t any better”?

  • emjayay

    Once again, voting is not about you. It is about us. If you want to feel good about yourself there are other things available that do not harm your country or fellow citizens

  • emjayay

    Did you have a civics or goverment class in high school? Do you have amy effiing idea how our non-parliamentary system works?

  • emjayay

    Because the G W Bush presidency was just like the AL Gore presidency would have been? Gore would have put the same justices on the Supreme Court? I assume that if you were old enough to vote you maintained your personal moral purity and voted for Nader. Thanks a lot.

    GMAFB. Voting is not about you. It is about us

  • Bill_Perdue

    They’re social democrats, like BS.

    Sicialists, on the other hand, don’t give a damn about winning elections in a non-democratic nation like the US. We only engage in electoral activity to organize and educate as we’ve done very sucessfully with the movment for $15, forcing Democrats to surrender to popular sentiment for decent wages, whether they like it or not. Sweet.

    We have no illusions about your candidate or Trump. They’re both union busting scabs, both are for more wars of aggression, both have long histories of racism and anti-gay bigotry and neither is going to change.

    Both parties will suffer big losses in 2016 and 18 as more and more people see thorugh thier scams and that’s a good thing. If your party wins more and more people will bolt and move left and that’s a good thing. If Trump wins he’ll expose his anti-union agenda and more and more working class people will bolt and move left and that’s a good thing.

    The future for the left has never been more promising. Clinton and Trump will drive people in our direction. Sweet.

  • Blogvader

    True, and that’s fine.

    I can still vote for a candidate whose politics align with mine, so in the end, it’s not a huge deal.

  • it was clear by mid-February that the GOP “leadership” had no clue how to stop Trump. It’s not as if they didn’t try, but everything they did seemed to make him more popular with the base. The GOP for years fell in line with whoever the party leadership told them had to be the nominee. And then twice in a row they lost and talk radio and many Republicans have been blaming those losses on the leadership picking bad candidates. They don’t trust the leadership or like them. (I do understand that. I have similar feelings about a lot of the Democratic leadership myself.) A whole conservative magazine was devoted to nothing but anti-Trump articles. Major players came out against him. none of that mattered and in fact his numbers tended to go up after those stunts. They overestimated their own power and control of the party and here we are.

  • The Socialist Party. Did I google the wrong one?

  • Phil in FLL

    The circumstances you describe were exactly the same in 2008. In 2008 Hillary received the preemptive declaration of superdelegates—although those superdelegates switched to Obama at the end of the primaries to reflect the popular vote. In 2008 there was the same number of closed primaries in which only registered Democrats could vote. None of this stopped Obama—an outsider and challenger—from winning. The conclusion is inescapable that Bernie has not performed as well as Obama in the primaries among large parts of the voting public.

  • Blogvader

    In what way could the Democratic Party have handled the primaries better?

    There have been more than a few issues that I’ve found disappointing:

    The preemptive declaration of superdelegates for Hillary. The pretense that she was the crowned candidate from the beginning likely affected voter turnout. (And on principle, it bugs me that a handful of people basically get to choose a candidate.)

    The alienation of independent voters in several states via closed primaries. Being that primaries are publicly funded, it seems more than a little corrupt to me to deliberately alienate voters.

    The DNC creating arbitrary hurdles for the Sanders campaign, a few of which nearly resulted in legal action.

    ___

    It’ll remain to be seen whether crowning a candidate was a good or bad idea. I think it’s difficult to say with any certainty what will happen, given that everyone and their mother predicted that Trump wouldn’t win in the first place, and not only has he won, but he won his party’s nomination decisively.

  • Phil in FLL

    One of your replies to Becca intrigued me:

    It’s widely acknowledged that the Democrats could lose votes because of the manner in which they handled the primaries and Sanders’ unexpected showing…

    Becca has mentioned that the caucuses—in which Bernie has done better—are not particularly democratic (with a small “d”). I actually don’t think there’s anything wrong with the mixture of primaries and caucuses that we have. The caucuses always give an extra advantage to “non-establishment” candidates, like Obama 2008 and Sanders 2016, who are not the prohibitive frontrunners in the beginning. I think it’s kind of cool that caucuses do that. If the “outsider” candidate can catch fire with a broad coalition, as Obama did in 2008, the outsider candidate’s campaign really catches fire—as Obama did in 2008. Now let’s go back to your quote at the beginning of my reply. If anything, the caucus system gave Bernie an extra boost that he wouldn’t have in the popular vote. In what way could the Democratic Party have handled the primaries better?

  • Phil in FLL

    Thank you for the Killfile recommendation. I intend to use it very sparingly, in other words, only for Bill. Other commenters may use it less sparingly, in which case I can foresee the following scenario. Some commenters using Killfile will use the comment pages as a space to post public announcements rather than as a space for discussion since they will block anyone with opposing views rather than just trolls. That would be the equivalent of a blog post or a YouTube post for which comments are blocked. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that. I actually think there’s a place for that kind of setup. I’m just honestly describing it.

  • Blogvader

    It could be interesting this year. There’s genuine anger among Sanders supporters, but I think most will still vote for whoever the DNC tells them to. In the end, for the vast majority of voters, the only real consideration is party affiliation.

    The fact that so few vote Green historically is, to me, an argument for more people to vote their conscience if Bernie decides against a third-party candidacy. (Likely.)

  • Phil in FLL

    I understand that your choice of Green for POTUS is a vote of conscience. To put things in perspective, in Canada the Green Party has one single seat in the entire Canadian legislature. I will be very curious to see how the 2016 vote compares to the 2012 vote in which the Green Party candidate for POTUS got 0.36% of the popular vote. I will also be curious to see if the proportion of eligible voters who actually voters follows the same pattern of general election vs midterm election that has remained consistent for all of the 21st and 20th centuries—or if that proportion is markedly different in 2016. You know, Blogvader, we won’t have long to wait for this information. November isn’t that far away.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Which party is that?

  • Bill_Perdue

    I see the level of election year levels of McCarthyite hysteria, lies and personal attacks are sharply rising. That’s to be expected and has no real effect on things. It’s just a tempest in a dwindling teapot.

  • The majority will. But I think there will be some Republicans voting for Democrats hoping that the loss will knock some sense into their party. I’m already hearing from friends that they will be voting for Clinton and definitely not Trump or Cruz. There are a lot of moderate “country club” Republicans who like their tax cuts and aren’t fans of big government but who are also pro-choice and for women’s rights. But it’s early. A lot could happen and as the old saying goes, “Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.”

  • Add the gerrymandering problem and it becomes very unlikely for Democrats to take the House back in 2016. The Senate map already looked good for Democrats. The 2018 map much less so.

  • Believing that a party that has one elected official nationwide and can’t even get to 1% of the popular vote is going to become the majority party is insanity. I have to wonder if Perdue isn’t just a troll but there are people that delusional in the real world so maybe not.

  • Well and that’s easy to say when one isn’t likely to be on the receiving end of the actions of that Republican Congress or administration. I think that’s why you don’t find many minorities in the Bernie or Bust camp. We remember 2001-2008 and know that it’s a lot of crap to hope that a GOP administration will spark some sort of left-wing uprising.

  • I suspect that the VP slot will be given to someone with appeal to Bernie supporters. That’s how that is usually played. Hillary has also moved to the left on a number of issues. Sanders has had an impact on this race, which is why it’s important to run, even if you don’t win.

  • Blogvader

    I know it’s considered quaint to vote third-party in a two party system, but for me, it’s a matter of conscience.

    I couldn’t conscientiously vote for Obama in 2012 after he rubber-stamped torture and open-ended imprisonment without trial, or the black torture sites in Poland and elsewhere, not to mention his treatment of whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Then we learned about his ‘kill list’ and his assumption of assassination powers, and I was glad I didn’t vote for him. A vote for Obama turned out to be a vote for a war criminal. Under Clinton, it’s likely these policies will worsen.

    With Hillary, my issue is her advocacy for the health insurance industry (which price gouges Americans) and her decision to ignore wages until Bernie forced her to respond. Then there’s her voiced support of regressive trade agreements. Even with the economy recovering, the middle class is struggling, and neither presumptive candidate seems to have a plan to do something about it. We don’t know exactly how close to Wall Street she is, but her actions so far seem to indicate that she’s bought and paid for. I can’t conscientiously vote for that.

    It’s your right to vote as you please. These are the reasons why I won’t support a Clinton candidacy.

  • Blogvader

    If Sanders does run as a third party candidate this cycle, I will never forgive him or myself for ever supporting him.

    See, statements like that make me wonder why people aren’t pressing the Democratic Party to come to more of a consensus on the issues. It’s widely acknowledged that the Democrats could lose votes because of the manner in which they handled the primaries and Sanders’ unexpected showing, but somehow the blame falls on Bernie for having so much appeal.

    I’d think the fact that Hillary hasn’t even decisively won her own party’s nomination would be a cause for concern and a motivation to come to more of a consensus with Dem voters. If Hillary loses, I place the blame squarely on the DNC for (again) kowtowing to Wall Street.

  • Pamela Plunkett

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  • Oh, and by the way, I just made my switch to Clinton official with a $100 donation and it turns out my mom, who for decades voted GOP, is going to vote for her, too. Reason? Not because Clinton is equal to a Republican in her mind, but my mother says she thinks Clinton has the experience and skill to be a decent President, whereas Donald Trump — the only other alternative in the race with any chance to win the office — literally horrifies her.

    One of us here has a pretty good chance of seeing our preferred candidate in office, and I’m afraid it’s not you.

  • Well, as you like, but the last 30 years taught me that every time I cast my vote for a 3rd party candidate, I was throwing my vote away.

    There are reasons the U.S. institutionally favors a two-party system only, much of it based on the fact elections are based on single-member district plurality, where whoever gets the most votes, even if it is less than 50%, gets the elected office in question. This tendency towards only two politically viable parties even has a name: Duverger’s Law.

    There’s a pretty good summary description of the mechanics, and a decent discussion following at this site:
    https://www.quora.com/Why-has-the-United-States-only-had-two-main-political-parties

    The only way this changes is if the election systems themselves change, such as going to proportional representation or instant run-offs.

  • You’e welcome. Truly I have no clue why Disqus doesn’t include “ignore this peson” or “hide this post” (‘collapse’ isn’t good enough, really, and collapses entire threads) as a standard feature. Hell, even Twitter lets you block people now.

  • Blogvader

    Becca, thanks for the tip with killfile. I’d never heard of it before, but there are more than a few people I’d love to fully block on Disqus. Woohoo!

  • Blogvader

    Sadly, you’re probably right.

    I look at 2012 in Kansas for an example. Polls had Sam Brownback losing up until the election, then those same voters got in the voting booth and their “Any Republican is better than a Democrat!” instincts kicked in.

    Clinton will get a significant percentage of Dems. Trump will get a significant percentage of Republicans. I don’t think anyone can really say how the moderates will go, given the strange dynamics of this primary season.

    Most people cannot and will not see past party affiliation, and that sucks, because both candidates oppose universal health care and a living wage.

    Personally, I’ll likely be voting Green again.

  • Blogvader

    Unless Bernie runs as a third-party candidate, I will be voting Green.

    The last thirty years have taught me that the ‘lesser of two evils’ is no good option at all.

  • DoverBill

    We’re fucked!

  • Yeah…but honestly Phil? It really does no good to poke that particular troll. Assuming he’s sincere (and I am no longer completely certain that’s the case), his online persona is that he enjoys hating everything and everyone. REALLY enjoys it. There is not a single human being on this entire planet, living or dead, whom he considers acceptable save himself. Never mind anyone he’d ever point to and say, “Yes, that person would be a good leader.” You’ll never shame him into changing his ways, with reason or even his own words, because he has none.

    He seems to prefer his imaginary socialist worker’s paradise filled with imaginary people, over caring about the real people suffering real problems, poverty and discrimination right now. If he’s sincere, he clings to a long-discredited and demonstrably unworkable ideology in part because it will remain forever imaginary and thus forever idealized to a level of social perfection humanity has never achieved anywhere under any system of government or economics due to the unavoidable facts of human nature.

    He fantasizes that once the glorious revolution comes (and he cares not how many real, living people are killed in what would have to be a civil war of epic proportions), none of the evil leaders (which is everyone in positions of power now) will ever be able to prevent it from happening or to take over again. Because human beings will stop behaving like flawed human beings. Magically. But hey, imaginary people can do that.

    I gave up trying to reason with him a long time ago and have been trying (not always successfully) to stop feeding his obviously insatiable appetite for negative attention rather more recently, once I discovered the Killfile browser extension that leaves me with nothing but “Comment by (name) blocked.” I highly recommend it. When ignored, he does tend to go away.

  • A major party candidate like Trump is also unprecedented. I’ve been eating a steady diet of my own words from last summer onward as I pronounced wrongly that there was no way the GOP was going to let him be their candidate. That there was no way he’d appeal to that many GOP voters either. The ignorance, the racism and xenophobia, the misogyny, the eager embrace of torture and war crimes, and his reckless remarks more recently about using nuclear weapons just because — I thought all of those might put a dent in his numbers.

    I was wrong. So very, very wrong. My only consolation is so were so many of the pundits and political leaders and political wonks.

    I’m not all that confident about the Dems picking up the House either. But even a shift from “impossible” to “unlikely” is itself seismic.

  • slavdude

    The Nevertrumps have always been for Trump. And we have always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Phil in FLL

    With Donald Trump’s reverse coattails, 2016 will be revenge for the 2010 Tea Party victory that Bill Perdue was so gleeful about. Go to this link here to read how delighted Bill Perdue was that the Tea Party rightwing Republicans took over the Congress. Here is Bill’s money quote:

    The people who voted for Obama got disgusted in 2010 and kicked Democrats in the place where it hurts the most. Good for them. Have fun in 2014, you’re going to lose some more as more and more people figure out that Democrats are Republicans in drag.

  • Phil in FLL

    Donald indeed has reverse coattails concerning the congressional races and other down-ticket races. It’s likely that the Senate will switch to Democratic control, which is grand if only because the Senate confirms Supreme Court nominations. The math for Senate races favors the Dems to begin with.

    The Dems would have to win 30 seats in the House to take control, and that simply has never been done outside of midterm elections in which the incumbent president is unpopular. A shift of 30 seats has never been accomplished in a presidential election which is not a reelection campaign for a sitting president. It would be unprecedented, and I don’t expect it. I expect the Dems to win seats, but sure as hell not 30 seats! If I prove to be wrong, I will happily eat my words. 2016 may very well be vengeance for the 2010 Tea Party victory that Bill Perdue was so elated about. (See the link where Bill said “Good for them” about the Tea Party victory in 2010.)

  • Demosthenes

    An excellent piece, Mr. Green. Most of them will support the Donald. A few, though, won’t back him.

  • Truly, I haven’t seen a primary election cycle this crazy — or this terrifying — since 1968.

    I’m not talking about the Democrats, who seem to have a more or less functional party still and although their current definition of ‘moderate’ policies would’ve been seen as typical Republican ones a generation ago, they’re not imploding or fracturing like the GOPers are now.

    There was bitterness in ’08 among the Clinton supporters who felt the nomination had been ‘stolen’ from her by the upstart junior Senator from Illinois. There’s bitterness now among the Sanders supporters who feel the junior Senator from Vermont was never given a real chance to succeed and that the deck was stacked against him by ‘the establishment.’ But as PUMA faded in the glare of a possible McCain/Palin administration, #BernieOrBust is likely to fade even faster when the only realistic alternative is a Trump administration. This isn’t to say there won’t be hardliners and the stubborn who are sure that this time for sure allowing the GOP whackadoo candidate will bring on the glorious revolution and a golden age of democracy and unicorns in America. But I suspect in a few months they’ll be even more rare and disregarded than the remaining PUMAs eight years ago.

    Yes, the Dems are having a contested primary — and that’s a good thing! But when it comes down to it, nobody — not even conservative commentators — are saying that a Clinton or Sanders candidacy in the general is an unmitigated disaster for the party. There’s arguments to be made as to which of them is a better or stronger candidate, but when someone says either of them is ‘unqualified’ to be President based on previous political decisions, that’s actually hyperbole.

    Ted Cruz is a terrible, terrible man and if elected probably would’ve been one of the sleaziest Presidents since Nixon, only less cuddly — but even Cruz wasn’t ‘unqualified’ for the job. Much of the opposition to his candidacy from within his own party was because he’s an annoying asshole and the GOP leaders didn’t think he could win because he has all the charisma of septic infection. However, the party would’ve united behind him and there’d never be a #NeverCruz movement inside the GOP.

    Donald Trump is literally unqualified and unfit for elected office. He knows nothing, and doesn’t care because he’s convinced himself he’s the biggest expert on literally everything. He lies compulsively and constantly. His speeches are a logorrhea of ceaseless narcissism, bragging, and violence incitement.

    And he horrifies the GOP leaders and establishment — not just because they think he’ll lose to Clinton or Sanders — but because they see the same thing a solid majority of the country does: That Trump is a disaster. A disaster for the GOP — and the country, if somehow he gets elected. And that is unprecedented in the modern era.

    The trouble though is Republican partisanship has also never been this extreme, where the party can’t even bring itself to deal with routine operating legislation. And sadly there are a whole lot of otherwise reasonable people who’ll vote for Trump out of party loyalty. I think the more realistic prediction is just that GOP turnout will be down, rather than significant numbers of them voting for Clinton or Sanders. For the sake of re-winning majorities in Congress, that might be the best benefit of all for the Democratic party.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Trump will create conditions that will begin to erode the Republican party, creating deep and irreconcilable divisions. The Republicans are now split three ways – the old line apparatchiks, the tea party wing and the Trump coalition. An electoral victory by Trump or his resounding defeat in November would only exacerbate those divisions and drive many of his working class supporters left and away from the anti worker and racist leaders of the Democrat/Dixiecrat and/Republican parties.

    Other parts of the Trump coalition, joined by Tea Party groups and christer dominionists, will continue to spin rightward. As the war and economic crisis of western capitalist non-democracies (*) continues to fuel the radicalization they’ll eventually form the basis for an explicitly fascist movement. Such a movement does not now exist and the Republicans and Trump are still best characterized as a right centrist party very much like the Democrats. The idiocy of pretending that the RP or the DP are fascist parties is just more election year hysteria.

    Similarly the supporters of BS are in the process of becoming a group with irreconcilable differences with the Democrat leadership based on opposition to the Democrats wars of aggression, racism and their long record of attacks on the standard of living of working people. Those differences will tear at the Democrats no matter who the Democrats nominate and irrespective of the outcome of the November faux elections. The forces coalesced around BS will bolt the DP, move further left and become an independent force for change. Eventually, when large unions break with the DP that will make the DP the new Whigs.

    (*) Pretending that the US is a democracy flies in the face of science and history. It’s the Democrat/Dixiecrat version of the big and scores of millions see through it.
    http://mic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy

  • Baal

    What are they made of? Nothing. Nothing at all. This is a virtual movement. At the end of the day, they will all wear brown shirts.

  • Phil in FLL

    The Green Party has done some good in Germany and surrounding countries, Germany being the birthplace of the Greens. In order to look like people are talking in good faith, the goal of a Green candidacy has to be exactly what it has been in Canada (and Europe too, for that matter): one or more seats in the legislature (usually the lower house)—or even races at the state or local level. A Green Party candidacy for POTUS just looks snarky and not at all in good faith. As long as the balance between conservative and progressive isn’t unfairly skewed toward the conservative side, third and fourth parties can be productive. I just hope to avoid the example of the 1933 German federal election in which the progressive vote was split, allowing Hitler to win with a plurality.

  • That’s one more we’ve done here – there’s hope!

  • Phil in FLL

    You’re right that my assessment of Canada was not nuanced enough. The upper chamber (Senate) is pretty much two-party: Conservative (42), Liberal (26), Independent (19), and I think the independents probably caucus with the Liberals. The lower chamber (House of Commons) is more diverse: Liberal (184), Conservative (99), New Democratic (44), Bloc Québécois (10), Green (1). You could translate most of that into American terms, although you need to eliminate Bloc Québécois because that party exists due to Quebec’s unique linguistic and historical status.

    Now that I’ve taken your advice to look a little more closely, I notice a few interesting things. First, the Liberal and New Democratic parties are both social democratic parties, and thus very similar, so the diversity of political parties in the House of Commons is more superficial than you might think. It really amounts to Conservative and a combo of LIberal and New Democratic.

    There is a second interesting circumstance in the breakdown of parties. Far, far from ever having had a Canadian prime minister from the Green Party, Canadians have only elected one single MP from the Green Party. One! That is a mighty damning assessment of the smartasses on these comment pages who loudly proclaim that they will vote for the Green Party candidate for… let’s see, is it a reasonable goal like a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives? No. They proclaim that they will vote for the Green Party candidate for POTUS. Fail.

  • Well-meaning in the sense that they would not vote for a neo-facist. I didn’t know there were so many two-party systems – the UK is one example although the party elects their PM not the people – and Spain sort of is. I thought Canada had about 5 major parties. Germany is not but it is kind of acting like one these days. Where are the other ones?

    Two-party systems tend to downplay alternative points of view which is very evident right now, they’re also ess competitive and they encourage voter apathy. I and many other Americans find it extremely limiting.

  • Phil in FLL

    First, why does a vote for a libertarian ticket make a Republican voter well-meaning? Libertarians may be tolerant concerning abortion or marriage equality, but their agenda would demand that many parts of the government be dissolved: the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security, Medicare, etc. Libertarian economics are laissez-faire in the extreme. If the poor and lower middle class rot and die with no education or healthcare, so be it. In what way is that “well-meaning?”

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt as far as keeping the balance of progressive vs conservative. So let’s say that approximately equal portions of Republican and Democratic voters break away to the benefit of a third and fourth party. Most democratic countries (with a small “d”) operate successfully under a two-party system. This is true in Canada as well as in northern and central Europe. Take a look at some exceptions, like Italy during many decades. The governing coalitions are comically fragile, and government coalitions collapse with great frequency, with resulting instability and negative economic consequences for the population. Please explain to our readers how this would be an improvement.

  • Ol’ Hippy

    This is the beginning of the end for business as usual political action, with the rich and powerful leading the USA into oblivion. I hope the average citizen wakes up and see what’s been going on for a long time before it’s really too late. I know they are angry, as proven already with two outsiders getting more attention than the pundits could of ever predicted. The final step is to get away from Clinton’s neo-liberal, neo-con dark state controllers and take the country bact to where it belongs, the people. Unless of course that is a ruse too, in which case this country is doomed too along with the rest of humanity. Time’s short; choose wisely because global warming IS REAL and won’t be stopped unless we stop it, So pull this nation back from endless wars and theft of capital and work toward a peaceful non-exploitative form of governance the supports people instead of killing them. Times short, choose wisely!!

  • I really really really hope this election leads to a collapse of our two-party politics and that any well-meaning Republicans vote for a third-pary libertarian ticket, or somethign similar, and that the Bernie or Bust movement leads more people to write him in or vote Green. It really seems like something is in the air this time and I hope that it’s not a shoo-in win as many Democrats may think. It’s time to change the broken system.

  • gratuitous

    The Nevertrumps will not prove you wrong. Their default setting acquiescing to authority will manifest soon enough, and the public will be “treated” to endless proclamations of fealty to Trump and pronouncements of his greatness and fitness for high office.

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