Tag Archive: Republican Party

Trump, Bernie and the entertainment campaign of 2016

Protesters disrupt Bernie Sanders event in Seattle, WA

Protesters disrupt Bernie Sanders event in Seattle, WA

Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton. A presidential race between two dynastic candidates, focused on sharp policy differences. That’s the campaign we were supposed to get. Instead, as of August 2015, we are getting the Entertainment Campaign featuring sideshow issues involving Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Maybe it’s the presidential campaign we should have expected.

Donald Trump falls to Earth in GOP debate

Donald Trump, focus of first GOP debate

Donald Trump, focus of first GOP debate

Most of the chatter before last night’s Republican Party presidential primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio was about Donald Trump: What would Trump say? How would Trump do? How would the other candidates react to Trump? It turned out, though, that Donald Trump was attacked more by the Fox News debate moderators than by his competitors.

Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his characterization of some women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals.” Kelly even invoked the Democratic phrase “War On Women,” something Republicans try not to mention since it puts them on the defensive. Trump replied that these labels were reserved for Rosie O’Donnell, although Kelly pointed out that they go well beyond O’Donnell. Trump was also asked about his companies’ four bankruptcies, and his answer, like many of his other answers, revealed a blunt, brutal honesty that, while maybe great for a corporate CEO, comes off as unseemly for a politician. Trump said that he had taken advantage of laws in place, and that “everybody else” in his position has done the same thing.

Huckabee and Christie help Trump tear down the GOP

 Donald Trump, GOP destroyer


Donald Trump, GOP destroyer

First it was Donald Trump destroying the Republican Party brand by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” denigrating John McCain‘s military service and calling¬† a female professional who had to pump breast milk for her baby “disgusting.” But as Trump has surged in GOP polls and sucked all the air out of the room, other Republican presidential candidates have had to scramble for attention. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham pulled stunts involving chain saws, fire and baseball bats. But Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie apparently have decided the best way to compete with Trump is to out-Trump Trump in making outrageous statements.

Huffington Post’s boneheaded decision on Donald Trump

Donald Trump with his version of the White House

Donald Trump with his version of the White House

The Huffington Post published a notice last Friday stating that, from now on, it will cover Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign under its Entertainment section rather than under Politics or News. According to the notice from Huffington Post Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim and its Editorial Director Danny Shea:

Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.¬†We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

Not surprisingly, Trump’s campaign fired back at the Huffington Post, saying:

The only clown show in this scenario is the Huffington Post pretending to be a legitimate news source. Mr. Trump is not focused on being covered by a glorified blog. He is focused on Making America Great Again.

In fact, the Huffington Post’s decision to dump Trump from its political coverage is completely arbitrary, and is a huge mistake.

Fighting the culture war in Nevada

The politics of plastic straws

The politics of plastic straws

Last week in Nevada, we asked the waitress not to give us straws in our soft drinks. The drinks didn’t need to be stirred, and we didn’t need to waste more plastic that ends up in a landfill or a floating trash archipelago in the ocean. “Oh, you’re one of them,” said the waitress. We could only conclude that “one of them” meant a hippie liberal environmentalist who should be mocked for wanting to conserve our resources. We concluded that our waitress is a conservative who might be brainwashed by Republican talking points from Fox News and other sources that sheath their pro-corporate messages behind a veil of “individual freedom” and an “us versus them” mentality.

Hastert and Duggar sitting in a tree

Dennis Hastert

Dennis Hastert

After the recent sexual revelations involving Josh Duggar and Dennis Hastert, businesses that replace windows in glass houses are doing very well. Both the Duggar and Hastert cases are about hypocrisy, and psychologists might also say they involve loudly criticizing others’ sexual behavior to cover one’s own past behavior. But both cases offer some sharp political lessons:

Republican presidential primary problems

Ted Cruz, clowniest passenger in the GOP Clown Car?

Ted Cruz, clowniest passenger in the GOP Clown Car?

In the 2012 Presidential primaries, the Republican Clown Car had a crackup. The GOP candidates fell all over each other to kowtow to the narrow, extreme Republican primary base (comprised, for example, in Iowa, of 60 percent Evangelical Christians). Michele Bachmann said that the HPV vaccine causes “mental retardation,” and Herman Cain mocked the very idea of having foreign policy knowledge. Then came Willard Mitt Romney‘s disastrous “Etch-A-Sketch” moment, in which Romney’s Communications Director dumbly asserted that, after lurching to the right in the primaries, Romney could simply “hit a reset button” for the general election, “like an Etch-A-Sketch,” as if no one would hold Romney accountable for the positions he was taking and as if the giant Memory Machine known as the Internet didn’t exist. Romney’s Etch-A-Sketch moment perfectly summed up the Republican Party’s 2012 problem. Romney’s Republican rivals such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum pounced on the Etch-A-Sketch statement as proof that Romney could not be trusted by the GOPs conservative base. Romney ended up being trusted by no part of the electorate. Fast forward to the present day, and it appears that the GOP is poised to repeat these same mistakes of 2012.

Seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced last Sunday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. While Clinton is one of the best-known people in the world, more folks might be familiar with knee-jerk labels used to describe her. In fact, Hillary has a long record of commitment to progressive American values. Here are seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President:

Messaging Maxim #8: Don’t use the other side’s labels

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Republicans and conservatives, which are curently one and the same, love to come up with short, catchy labels for things. Here’s a list of popular Republican political phrases. Those labels and phrases are always loaded, either in favor of the Republicans, against the Democrats, or both. So, if you’re a Democrat, a liberal or a progressive, why would you ever use those Republican labels, making them even more popular so they get taken up by the mainstream media and become part of our vernacular? The answer is, you shouldn’t. But plenty of Democrats, liberals and progressives are making this mistake lately. Here are a few examples of Republican-loaded phrases that Democrats, and thus the mainstream media, are using all over the place. Hopefully, these will serve as a reminder to cut it out:

The Democratic Party of Yes vs. the Republican Party of No

Ku Klux Klan march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

Ku Klux Klan march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

Last Saturday’s event at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, marking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, was a jarring reminder of how the Democratic Party has become the party of “Yes” while the Republican Party stands in the way of progress as the party of “No.”

On issue after issue, including voting rights, marriage equality, affordable healthcare, equal pay for women, diplomacy instead of warmongering with Iran, tackling climate change, comprehensive immigration reform, sensible gun safety laws, high-speed trains, stopping police violence, renewable energy and more, the Democrats are the party of “Yes” while the Republicans define themselves by being against these things, and especially, being against whatever President Obama is for. Republicans now pathologically say “no” to things even if, as is the case with the Affordable Care Act, repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges, and executive action on immigration, Republicans previously (even recently) supported those very things.