Election 2016

Hugh Hewitt: Of Course I'd Vote for Trump Over Hillary

And so will most professional Republicans, if and when it comes to that.

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In recent weeks, all sorts of Republicans and conservatives who always/only vote Republican have been ratcheting up their vitriol against the GOP frontrunner for the party's presidential nomination, Donald Trump.

Whether it's National Review's editors attacking Trump for being soft on immigration—they called his plan to forcibly remove 12 million people from America "a poorly disguised amnesty"!—or rival Marco Rubio making dick jokes over the weekend—there's no shortage of Republicans who have vowed never to vote for Trump. Over weekend, #dumptrump and #nevertrump even trended on the Twitter, mostly emanating from right-wing circles.

Because, you know, Trump is simply not conservative enough: Like all the other remaining GOP candidates, he's anti-abortion, anti-Muslim, pro-war, anti-Apple, pro-torture (when it's for the right reasons), wants to screw with the Constitution (in a totally different way than, say Ted Cruz, who wants Supreme Court justices to be subject to recall votes) and on and on. But didn't you hear!?!? Trump said nice things about Planned Parenthood, specifically that the contraceptives they hand out and gyn exams they do for women with federal dollars aren't pure evil. What a fake conservative, even if he is right about Mexicans!

Radio show host and Republican activist Hugh Hewitt, a conservative of impeccable standing (and one who has been insulted by The Donald), is already saying what I suspect many more will say after Super Tuesday: Of course he is going to vote for Trump if and when the billionaire is running against Hillary Clinton.

If Trump is the nominee I will support him for six reasons.

The first three are the existing and probable two additional Supreme Court nominations he will get to make. Judges Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor are two fine judges that Trump has mentioned as possible nominees and he made the right commitment on religious liberty to me on stage Thursday night. He won't screw these up. More precisely, it is a lock that Clinton would screw them up and at least a fighting chance he wouldn't.

Fourth, Trump's an honest-to-God builder and he will rebuild the Navy, which must be done. Soon.

Fifth, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will at least think twice before crossing him.

And, finally, sixth: Donald's daughter and Svengali Ivanka is a smart, smart, smart lady with an extraordinary intellect and influence on her father. We get the GOP's own Valerie Jarrett, only this one with a sense of America's role in the world and the same resolve to succeed as Jarrett possesses.

Read more here.

These strike me as incredibly piss-poor reasons to support anyone for any office, much less Trump for president. What is it about conservatives and the goddman Navy? As if the mechanics of war haven't changed since World War I, they are bizarrely obsessed with the number of boats countries have (oddly, when they go on and on about our lack of ships, they never talk about, you know, how many more airplanes and bombs we have added since 1918). Supreme Court appointments are routinely overestimated as a perk of power. Not only are they far less transformative than commonly believed—legal scholar Mark Tushnet persuasively argues that SCOTUS decsions are actually "noise around zero"—they are extremely unpredictable (see Eisenhower, Dwight). When it comes to warmongering (if that's your idea of foreign policy), you probably should vote for Hillary Clinton, the Madame Defarge of the 21st century. This is also the first time that I've heard Ivanka Trump, a capable business operator (I guess) who has even less experience in politics (and self-made businesses) than her father, trotted out as a secret weapon to make America great again. Seriously, WTF?

But Hewitt is at least being honest (he's also holding out hope that his crush, Mitt Romney, will swoop in and become the nominee again). As a Republican, he is of course going to vote for the Republican in November 2016.

I'm betting that many of the high-profile folks (and low-profile folks, too) will do the same thing, and not simply because of party affiliation (though that's a big part of it).

It's because they will have many, many months to get their minds around what is perfectly obvious to those of us not blinded by partisan tribalism: Donald Trump is not a threat to Republican ideology. He is a near-perfect expression of everything that the GOP has been moving toward for at least the past 15 or so years, whether it's contempt for restraints on government when it gets in the way of necessity (do you remember all those GOP conservatives attacking Bush for executive overreach in the War on Terror? neither do I), fixation of American exceptionalism, and too-Freudian-for-words obsession with masculinity. The difference with Trump is that unlike Romney and McCain and the current host of wannabes, the billionaire blowhard might just win.

That possibility, along with the uncomfortable fact that on virtually every major policy issue Trump is 100 percent on board with conservatives, will change a helluva minds. Look for something similar, too, to happen on the left side of the aisle among disappointed Sandersnistas, who will come to the late-breaking realization that Clinton isn't a tool of Wall Street and the masters of war but one of the very most progressive politicians EVER.

The real question is for the vast plurality of us who no longer (or never did) consider ourselves Republicans or Democrats: How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility? Stay tuned.

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  1. So is federal spending on PP libertarian now?

    Derp derp derp derp

    1. You have a perfect track record of missing the point.

  2. Uh, the Navy is important because unless we piss off Mexico or Canada, any invasion will go over air and sea. Focusing on the army is for offensive wars of choice, focusing on the Navy is about actual defense.

    1. I like this analysis. I’m stealing it for future use.

    2. Is…is this how conservatives think? Do they really believe that other countries are just biding their time until the Navy breaks out in a super-masculine dance number to stream across the seas and invade?

      1. No. They want a big navy to project power around the world and to be a global force for good. It’s not just a budget fiasco, it’s an adventure.

        1. Somebody has been paying attention to Navy ad campaigns.

          1. I prefer the giant map pin ads.

            1. THEY PUT A GIANT ASS PIN IN WAKE ISLAND AND DESTROYED IT!!!!

        2. The Navy, its not just a job. You can quit a job.

    3. If you think we ought to completely ignore military defense altogether in the belief that no nation would be so horrible as to attempt a conventional invasion of another, that’s naive, but beside the point.

      I was speaking to the relative value of the navy versus other aspects of the military.

    4. Nick, probably best if you don’t opine on things like the Navy without doing a lot of homework first.

      A few things to consider:

      It takes years to bring even one ship from budget appropriation to operating vessel. It takes even longer to bring naval officers to a level of acceptable competence. While it doesn’t take long to decommission a navy, it takes a very long time to build one.

      As a trading nation, we would be foolish to ignore the lessons of history, which include the idea that trading nations who can’t keep the sea lanes open have a real problem on their hands. China, for example, is now working on a very long-term plan to establish “their” naval security zone around Japan. Our current naval weakness is a big part of that plan. Now, is this a Japanese problem? You bet it is. But, as a trading nation, the fate of our major trading partners is not inconsequential to us.

      1. Thank you. At least there’s a scant few who realize there’s a difference between the real world and the tantrum-verse of social media.

  3. Let he is who is without the desire to roger his own kin cast the first stone.

  4. Nice rant, Nick! Although, if you actually had to listen to Hugh Hew to write it, you paid a very heavy price.

  5. These same Republicans who are shitting their pants over Trump happily supported McCain and Romney. Their claims now to be unable to support Trump because he is not a conservative are ridiculous.

    I understand why Libertarians won’t support Trump. They are not Republicans and don’t owe Republicans their votes on some half assed assurance that it is the strategically smart thing to do. The Republicans who refuse to support, Trump, however, have no such excuse.

    1. It’s becoming really difficult to deny that Trump is anything but a Republican Par Excellence. The only thing that differentiates him from other Team Red politicians is that he is dispensing with old-fashioned fictions of decorum and consistency.

      1. I can’t argue with that Hugh.

    2. Most of the republicans who say they won’t vote for him argue he isn’t christian enough, whatever that means, and of course scream “constitution” as if all the others they voted for had it tattooed on their chests.

      1. Maybe they missed it that Romney is a Mormon.

  6. That possibility, along with the uncomfortable fact that on virtually every major policy issue Trump is 100 percent on board with conservatives, will change a helluva minds.

    Missing something there.

    The real question is for the vast plurality of us who no longer (or never did) consider ourselves Republicans or Democrats: How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility?

    Fuck it. You can’t spin horseshit into Egyptian cotton. Might as well just hold on tight and ride the bomb to hell like Slim Pickens.

    1. Isn’t Trump pretty left on the Culture War? He is if you listen to the Culture warriors on the Right who are losing their minds over this. And hasn’t Reason been telling the Republicans for years that they need to lose the culture war and stop running on abortion and gays?

      It looks to me like the Republicans have finally taken reason’s advice. Whatever you think of Trump, I don’t see how you could call him a SOCON culture warrior.

      1. Yes, when I hear “Mexico is sending their rapists,” I totally think “left on the Culture War.”

        1. Its a sad commentary that our government is so riven with identity politics and factions competing for privilege that immigration policy is considered a culture war issue.

          1. Don’t fool yourself, immigration has always been a culture war issue.

      2. What socon culture warrior would make campaign pledges to force people to say “Merry Christmas” more often? Total leftist!

        1. Last I looked abortion and gays were a pretty big deal in the culture war. And if Trump really is a SOCON culture warrior that will come as one hell of a surprise to Micheal Wash and any number of other self described culture warriors who are convinced he is the devil.

          Maybe you know the socon culture warriors better than they know themselves. I am going to take them at their word when they claim Trump is a raging cultural liberal.

        2. Well, Trump is completely full of shit and is pandering harder than any have ever pandered before. Trump doesn’t give a fuck about religion, he’s just a con artist who realized this is the way into the hearts of dumb conservatives.

          Has he ever said anything like that before he was suddenly a leading candidate in the Republican primary?

          1. You mean, was he a socon culture warrior before he decided to start up his new gig as a socon culture warrior?

            1. No, I mean does he actually care about any of this or does he realize it’s the way to win votes in a Republican primary?

              If it’s the second, then he is not going to care at all about actually implementing this shit. He’s been very much in favor of abortion his whole life until suddenly that’s a liability and he now he claims to oppose it.

              He isn’t a real culture warrior any more than a Republican congressman is actually a ‘fiscal hawk’ because he whines about government waste while voting on every entitlement and war that makes it to the floor.

              1. Um, fighting the culture ware is what makes you a “real culture warrior,” and he’s doing that right now, really fucking hard. The whole point is that it’s not real. It’s about a cultural narrative, and his is fucking poisonous.

                1. It seems to me that most of his culture warrioring has been against the DemOp cultural institutions, political correctness, and the like. Which puts him on the right side, as far as I’m concerned.

                  But I don’t follow his campaign very closely. Just the high-profile headline stuff. Maybe he has changed to being anti-gay marriage, anti-drug legalization, and anti-abortion.

                2. Trump isn’t fighting the culture war by any reasonable definition.

                  He’s engaging in transparently hypocritical pandering, not to win any hearts and minds (which is one aspect of “culture war”) or to secure any legal changes (which is the other) but to troll the arbiters of a reviled conventional morality for the amusement of his audience, to the betterment of his ego and campaign.

      3. More evidence of Trump’s cultural leftiness: biggest Bible reader ever! And reading is, of course, for fags.

        1. Some day Nikki, you will be in charge and we will ban those kinds of things. Seriously, who cares?

          1. A bunch of socons care, John, which is why Trump said it.

        2. Trump also couldn’t name his favorite apostle and referred to Second Corinthians as ‘Two Corinthians.’ He’s putting on a right-wing culture warrior mask for electoral gain.

          I don’t think he believes any of that. He isn’t a right-winger or a left-winger on culture war issues, he’s a rank opportunist playing on the prejudices and obsessions of the religious right.

          1. Trump also couldn’t name his favorite apostle and referred to Second Corinthians as ‘Two Corinthians.’ He’s putting on a right-wing culture warrior mask for electoral gain.

            John is claiming that Trump is “pretty left on the culture war,” and you want to argue with me because I point out his right-wing culture warrior shtick without specifying I also think it’s a mask?

            1. And we are saying those are outlier issues that no one really cares about and to the extent he is claiming them, everyone knows he is pandering and lying and they just don’t care.

              Yes Nikki, you hate Trump. We get it. But just because you hate him doesn’t mean he is a culture warrior.

            2. I think John has a point. Trump’s been pro-abortion most of his life and has consistently supported gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws.

              “Trump has never hidden his support for gay civil rights laws. In 2000, he declared that he supported gay anti-discrimination laws and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He also advocated for “a very strong domestic-partnership law that guarantees gay people the same legal protections and rights as married people.” His book, released that same year, wistfully described his dream of an America “unencumbered by ? discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.””

              ^ This was before he suddenly was leading the Republican field and looking to pander, so what do you think Trump’s real views are?

              1. His real views are totally irrelevant. He is currently pushing culture war to get elected, and he’s not doing it on the left.

                1. Okay, I agree with you on that. All I was saying is that Trump has actually supported all sorts of leftist cultural causes.

                2. His real views are totally irrelevant.

                  Interesting take.

                  He is currently pushing culture war to get elected.

                  He’s putting out a few signals (I read the Bible, etc.). Until he starts talking about anti-gay, anti-pot, or anti-abortion policies, I’m not gonna say he’s switched sides on the culture war itself.

          2. No one outside the voices in Nikki’s head thinks Trump is a culture warrior. The SOCONs who are voting for him don’t think that. They just don’t care because they think his position on immigration and the pleasure of sticking it to his critics is more important.

            The SOCON journalists like Walsh are having a fit because they think every SOCON should be a single issue culture warrior voter and they apparently are not.

            In some ways Trump is proving Reason right. Walking away from the culture war doesn’t necessarily mean losing SOCON support.

            1. That you don’t see his angry-mob-riling as pure Kulturkampf says something about fish and water, but I don’t think it’s worth explaining to you at this point.

              1. yes Nikki, you hate his supporters. You are not one of them. We get it. No one is ever going to confuse you for those people. And yes it is just fucking appalling that they even are allowed to vote much less gather in large groups.

                Basically you are telling me that he is engaging in the culture war by attracting the support of people you hate. Not being a culture warrior, I honestly don’t see the logic of that.

                1. Basically you are telling me that he is engaging in the culture war by attracting the support of people you hate. Not being a culture warrior, I honestly don’t see the logic of that.

                  So what you’re saying is you have no idea what “culture war” actually means as a phrase. Good talk.

        3. Nikki,

          I think a lot of people here seem to think that the culture war just consists of abortion, gays, and religion, and since Trump mostly just pays lip service in those areas he’s not really a culture warrior. I would argue that the culture war extends well beyond those issues, and Trump has in fact made it a centerpiece of his campaign (immigration, his whole appeal to nationalism and American identity, etc.)

      4. One thing is for sure, Trump is not a Gutmensch.

        http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-…..a-18972956

    2. Under President Trump, I’m pretty sure Egyptian Cotton–aka Muslim Muslin–will be banned. So what’s your point?

      1. Wow… really?

        You come here to post that?

        Are you shooting for Nikki’s crown? She won’t give it up easy.

      2. Under President Trump, I’m pretty sure Egyptian Cotton–aka Muslim Muslin–will be banned.

        Muslim Muslin – I like that! Well played.

        So what’s your point?

        The point is that trying to find some silver lining in this clownshow of an election season is futile. Reason has done pretty exhaustive coverage on the candidates here in the runup and frankly, it’s just depressing to think about what libertarian (or liberty-minded) case could be made for any of these screeching authoritarian sociopaths on either side of the aisle, apart from weighing the negatives that each of these lunatics brings to the table, and picking the least-bad option.

        Maybe I’m too bitter or unimaginative to see it, or I’ve been hanging out at too many ancap blogs, but the doomsday-apocalypse-total-fucking-meltdown scenario where the country crashes and burns and then a new nation founded on respect for individual liberty arises from the ashes, just seems like the only way out, long term. Hence the Dr. Strangelove reference.

        Ordinarily I get a kick outta people lining up to kick you in the balls, Nick. Sometimes it’s more entertaining than the actual article itself. But I’d be curious to hear how the liberty-minded can turn this dumpster fire of an election to their benefit. Though I suppose that’s what the “Stay tuned.” at the end of the article was hinting at. My bad.

        1. I’m just going to start working on the Trump “Purity of Essence” poster campaign now. See you all after the apocalypse.

      3. Nick, just leave the clever cheap shots to the pros in the commentariat, OK? You’ve got plenty of space up there to make your points.

        1. Leaving aside the question of space, the time might be better spent on a second editing pass, double-checking basic arithmetic, and the like.

    3. So you’re saying a huge nuclear war that wipes out the vast majority of the human race might advance the social tolerance and fiscal responsibility that leads to Libertopia? Where do I sign up? Hoping once everything else has been tried and failed maybe people will try “leave other people alone and do your own thing” as a way of life isn’t much of a strategy when everybody else thinks “stick your head in this bucket of shit and things will be wonderful and if they aren’t wonderful it just means you need a bigger bucket” is sure to work just as soon as we get an even bigger bucket than we got the last twenty times that strategy failed.

  7. The real question is for the vast plurality of us who no longer (or never did) consider ourselves Republicans or Democrats: How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility?

    Considering that Nick never votes Republican and wouldn’t have this time, whey does he care? I suppose he should if Trump is somehow worse from a Libertarian perspective than Romney or McCain. I don’t, however see how he is.

  8. (do you remember all those GOP conservatives attacking Bush for executive overreach in the War on Terror? neither do I)

    But Bush didn’t overreach! John told me so.

    1. No, he never unleashed the powers of the IRS and DOJ on his political opponents the way Obama has. And if you have any examples of how he did, I would like to see them. Sorry but naked assertions from Harry Reid about how mean Bush was really don’t answer the mail on that.

      Come on Nikki, why does being a Libertarian mean denying the truth? Whatever you think of Bush, he didn’t use the IRS and DOJ and his executive power against other Americans the way Obama has. It is just true. Admitting that doesn’t mean you can’t still hate Bush. It does’t mean you are not cool. Okay. You are not one of the other. Don’t worry.

      1. Yes, John, whatever I think of Bush, he didn’t do a handful of specific things exactly like Obama did. I’m impressed!

        1. YEah,

          I think not sicking the IRS and FBI on your political opponents, while a pretty low bar of behavior, is a pretty fucking big deal. Sorry Nikki but misusing the IRS and DOJ to go after your political opponents is more than “just a few specific things”.

          1. No, it’s exactly two specific things.

            Would you like links to a list of W’s executive orders and signing statements? I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to Google that for you.

            1. The Bus IRS just happened to order a thorough audit of the NAACP during the 2004 re-election campaign.

              And an audit of Greenpeace seemingly at the request of Exxon in 2006.

              1. And an audit of Greenpeace seemingly at the request of Exxon in 2006.

                Seemingly? In other words you have no reason to believe that is true other than you want it to be true. And what Greenpeace should never be audited? Ever? Did he deny them tax exempt status the way Obama did.

                Try again.

                1. Well, just like Lerner they never managed to find a smoking gun linking it to the President. But one is gospel truth and the other is inconvenient to your nonsensical argument.

                  1. Lois Lerner admitted the IRS targeted the Tea Party and ensured they didn’t get the ability to organize. That is an established fact. And even if Greenpeace were audited, so what? Is it your position they should never be audited? That being audited once is a violation of their rights?

                    It probably is but that is just because you are that crazy on this subject.

                2. In other words you have no reason to believe that is true other than you want it to be true.

                  I’m sorry, did I miss actual proof of IRS malfeasance under Obama?

                  1. Yeah, Nikki, it was in all of the papers. Go google it yourself for God’s sake. Lois Lerner admitted as much in 2012. That is what started the whole thing.

                  2. I’m sorry, did I miss actual proof of IRS malfeasance under Obama?

                    Apparently you did, yes.

                    Just to pick a couple of the more obvious, procedural ones:

                    (1) Conducting official business (targetting the Tea Party, but who knows what else) using private emails.

                    (2) Refusing to turn over documents and witnesses subpoenaed by Congress.

            2. No, it’s exactly two specific things.

              So I guess if Obama shot a few opposing members of congress, that would just be on thing as well? The nature of the action matters.

      2. So Bush having the DOJ dismiss US attorneys who were looking in Republican scandals wasn’t an abuse of executive power?

        1. Not when you consider the DOJ framed Ted Stevens and Tom Delay. If Bush turned DOJ into a partisan tool, that is going to come as a big surprise to Sevens and Delay.

          1. So they did abuse the DOJ? Like you said they didn’t. But it doesn’t matter because they didn’t abuse it as badly?

            Keep moving those goalposts, John. joe and Tony loved doing that too.

            1. To the extent the DOJ engaged in politically motivated malfeasance under Bush, it was against Republicans. They certainly didn’t do that because Bush ordered them to.

              What are we left with? Bush didn’t take enough action to get rid of the Democratic hacks in DOJ and allowed them to frame two Republican members of Congress.

              Your original post accused Bush of firing anyone in DOJ that was investigating Republicans, looks pretty stupid doesn’t it?

              1. Against Republicans? Removing AUSAs looking into Republicans is not a benefit to Republicans.

                But keep your delusional armor up.

                1. Against Republicans? Removing AUSAs looking into Republicans is not a benefit to Republicans.

                  IF that is what happened why did Stevens and Delay end up getting framed? You tell me that he fired AUSAs who were looking into corruption. And my response is how can that be true when we now know that DOJ was actively framing Republicans for corruption.

                  And your response is I am delusional? What is wrong with you? How did you get this stupid?

                  1. I’m talking about the mid-term AUSAs firings in 2006 that resulted in 4 Bush officials leaving in disgrace and tanked Harriet Meirs getting on to SCOTUS. You’re babbled about something else.

                    1. I’m talking about the mid-term AUSAs firings in 2006 that resulted in 4 Bush officials leaving in disgrace and tanked Harriet Meirs getting on to SCOTUS.

                      And I am telling you that had zero actual effect on DOJ. DOJ never framed any Democrats. It framed Republicans and did so while Bush was President.

                      So your claims that Bush politicized DOJ are ridiculous. How? What did they actually do that was political other than frame two Republicans?

                      This shit drives me nuts. You are just posing. You are not Nikki. You are not stupid. Yet, you are so worried about not constantly being above the partisan fray that you allow yourself to take a ridiculous position.

                      I have no idea why I feel this need to keep you from claiming ridiculous things.

        2. US Attorneys are executive appointments, so… not really?

          Unseemly, most definitely, but not really an abuse.

      3. The IRS told Nixon to fuck off.

        Obama got away with it because the IRS was too busy sucking his cock to say no.

        1. The Bush IRS collected voter registration data on taxpayers in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

          1. So the IRS went political even earlier.

            The problem is not just the “president”; it is also the agencies that write rules with the power of laws because the congress delegated away all its power.

          2. Yeah, SF they collected data. That is totally the same thing as what Lois Lerner did.

            Just stop it.

            1. No, you said that Bush didn’t unleash the IRS on his political opponents. And you were wrong, as usual.

              1. How is that unleashing the IRS? So they collected data/ So what? Was anyone deprived of their right to participate in the political; process? did anyone get indicted or go to jail?

                I don’t even see how you can describe that as an “abuse”.

                It is just pathetic. Why have you become as crazy as Nikki?

                1. Why have you become as crazy as Nikki?

                  Yes, John. It’s all of us that have gone crazy, not that you are consistently wrong. We’re mad. Yo’reu surrounded by all these people who don’t see things your way, so they must be the crazy ones.

                  Yeah, that’s how it works.

                  I mean, it’s not like you posted 30% off all the comments in a Trump thread today, which is Mary Stack levels of mania.

                  1. So in other words SF, you have nothing. What if it was a 100%, that wouldn’t make your point any more valid.

                    Why don’t you just admit I am right about this. I don’t see why it is so important to you. Obama did shit even Bush didn’t do. Why is admitting that truth so hard?

                    1. Obama did shit even Bush didn’t do. Why is admitting that truth so hard?

                      When did I ever say that? Oh, that’s right… I didn’t. Make more shit up, John. Come on. Dismiss, spin and lie some more.

            2. And audited the NAACP, as Sugarfree noted above. That strikes me as pretty much the same exact thing they did to the Tea Party under Obama.

              1. Irish,

                The tea party was denied the right organize and form political organizations. Obama either denied them or just never acted on their applications so they were never able to get their organizations up and running.

                That is not the same as auditing an existing organization, especially one as big and as well funded as Greenpeace.

                Just because you hate the Tea Party and like Greenpeace doesn’t make the two actions the same. they were not.

                1. “Just because you hate the Tea Party and like Greenpeace doesn’t make the two actions the same. they were not.”

                  Oh, LOL. I love when you get on these tangents where anyone disagreeing with you must be a shill for random leftist organizations.

                  You got me, John. I love nothing more than Greenpeace and the NAACP. I’m actually the head of my local BLM chapter and fund raise for Bernie Sanders in my spare time.

                  1. Okay Irish, they why are pretending being audited is the same as being denied the ability to have an organization at all?

                    I am attributing malice because I can’t see any other rational reason for your position.

                    1. They audited the NAACP because Julian Bond criticized George Bush. Are you really telling me this isn’t a politicized attempt to chill the speech of your opponents?

                      Even if your argument is that what Obama’s IRS did is worse, that doesn’t change the fact that Bush’s IRS also attempted to stifle free speech for basically the same reasons the Obama IRS did.

                      “I am attributing malice because I can’t see any other rational reason for your position.”

                      No, you’re attributing it to malice because you attribute all disagreements with your political position to malice.

                    2. Even if your argument is that what Obama’s IRS did is worse, that doesn’t change the fact that Bush’s IRS also attempted to stifle free speech for basically the same reasons the Obama IRS did.

                      Bullshit. Being audited in not the same thing as being denied the right to even from.

                      And show me a link proving your allegations. Was this ever established? And if so how come no one ever went to jail over it?

                      Lerner admitted the IRS went after the Tea party. Show me any proof that they audited the NAACP because of what they said.

          3. I hadn’t heard about that one.

            Why? And what did they do with it?

            I can think of legit reasons to do so, mostly having to do with voter and/or tax fraud having to do with place of residence. Did anything come of it?

        2. Obama got away with it because he has a “D” after his name.

      4. It is illegal for 501(c)4 organizations to engage in political activity. They’re given tax-exempt status to do non-political work.

        The IRS is legally required to investigate *every single new 501(c)4 application* to ensure that each one is not primarily political before approving them for tax-exempt status.

        Lots and lots of Tea Partiers decided to apply for 501(c)4 status in 2010 (there were a total of 2,774 apps, way up from past years). They also decided to name their organizations things like “Americans Against Obama,” or “Tea Partiers for America.”

        The IRS sent these groups *questionnaires.* Not audits. To find out if “hey, are you actually political, because if so, we can’t give you tax exempt status.” (Oh, and vast majority of the orgs got approved anyway.)

        It’s a testament to the GOP’s ability to promote narratives in the media that this non-scandal became a scandal, but being denied tax-exempt status because your organization does primarily political activity, in direct violation of the law, is not the end of the world. (Nor has anyone ever explained why Lois Lerner, a George W. Bush appointee, would go to bat for Obama.) There are so many *actual* reasons to criticize Obama–executive overreach, drones, the very troubling assassination of American citizens abroad–that it’s unfortunate to see a fake zombie talking point thrown around.

        Columbia Journalism Review has more:
        http://www.cjr.org/united_stat…..p?page=all

    2. To be fair, Bush always drug congress along on his constitutional overreaches, so not so nearly as executive as Bush III.

      1. I couldn’t tell what Nick was bitching about. Bush got a permission slip from Congress before his foreign adventures.

        1. Are foreign adventures the only possible way for executives to overreach?

          1. Well then I’m going to need some more specifics because I don’t remember Executive Overreach being on my top ten complaints about the man – and I was not a fan.

            1. Sorry, but I’m not going to go through all 1,200+ signing statements for specifics. I don’t know why people seem to have amnesia about this shit.

          2. No, but they are definitely one of the worst ways they can.

            Right along side directly attacking the enumerated rights laid out in the constitution.

            Bush sucked, but O has gone after just about every one of those 10 amendments.

            1. Well, I guess that would matter to an Obama fan.

              1. Or anyone who wants to make a truthful evaluation of the two administration, which of course would not include you.

                Of course it doesn’t matter to you Nikki.

  9. How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility?

    Those don’t sound like things that appeal to angry mobs, Nick.

    1. It’s the wisdom of enraged, barely-literate crowds.

    2. MY TURN AT THE TROUGH GOD DAMMIT

    3. Turnout is up 26% in gop primaries. If Nick thinks a good chunk of that isn’t coming from his independents…

  10. He is a near-perfect expression of everything that the GOP has been moving toward for at least the past 15 or so years, whether it’s contempt for restraints on government when it gets in the way of necessity (do you remember all those GOP conservatives attacking Bush for executive overreach in the War on Terror? neither do I), fixation of American exceptionalism, and too-Freudian-for-words obsession with masculinity.

    Nice to know that’s what you think of Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, and Mike Lee. And, bear in mind, that’s only been in the last few years.

  11. (do you remember all those GOP conservatives attacking Bush for executive overreach in the War on Terror? neither do I) I believe his name was Rand Paul. I also seem to remember a use-of-force vote, which while not an actual Declaration of War, was not an Executive power grab. Compare to the Libya campaign that Obama and Hillary thought up and decided did not warrant any permission from Congress.

    the uncomfortable fact that on virtually every major policy issue Trump is 100 percent on board with conservatives… I must have missed it! Conservatives are now in favor of Single Payer Health Care, higher taxes, more spending, and higher tariffs?

    I don’t like Trump either – but this article is just a pile of stupid. I get it, you hate Republicans, so you want to paint them all with your Trump brush.

    1. Plus they’re pretty one-sided in the Israel-Palestine conflict, don’t see judges who vote for partial-birth abortion as “phenomenal” and like Rubio, has teeter-tottered on the issue of immigration. It takes quite a bit to say that Trump is “100 percent” with conservatives.

  12. I’ll never forget when Rush Limbaugh (forgive me, lord, for listening) said how horrible the GOP was, with Paul Ryan’s help, for passing the last deficit-busting budget. Then, after the commercial break, he said he’d vote for anyone the GOP picked to run against Hillary. Is it any wonder we are FUCKED?

    1. I get flak around here for pointing this out, but the Fabian socialist strategy was a success. Socialists took over the Labour Party and the Democratic Party slowly and incrementally. The Libertarian Party is not winning the presidency, so it makes since to work with what you have, and get what you can, when you can.

      1. Shut up, yokel.

  13. I listen to Hewitt some on my drive home from work. He’s an affable guy and a good interviewer. And yes, he is obsessed with the Navy. It’s an easy bet that he’ll ask a GOP presidential candidate on his show how many Ohio class submarines should be maintained or some similar shit.

    1. Why do you need submarines in Ohio?

      1. Well, no, you see, the Ohio class is a type of submarine, not a submarine actually stationed in Ohio, that-

        Never mind. Just google it.

      2. Why, to keep Canadians on their side of Lake Eerie, of course!

        1. Don’t we have some Ohio Boy Scouts that can do that?

  14. Nick is largely correct here, but I disagree about SCOTUS. The pattern seems to be that Democrats appoint reliable leftists, and Republicans sometimes appoint people who actually read the damn Constitution as it was written, and not hallucinate and see whatever they read on the New York Times op ed page last week. So appointments are a big deal. Do I trust Trump to make good ones? No, it’s only that I am sure Hillary would make bad ones.

    1. Ya I agree. Trump may end up doing the right thing close to 50% of the time. He might not. But his ceiling is much higher than Hillary’s.

  15. It isn’t personal, it’s just politics….

    But yeah, I’d vote for Ivanka. She seems much more reasonable than her father.

    1. Trumps as LePens?

        1. How is Ms. Le Pen crazy?

        2. Who knew that Lisa Kudrow started a new career in French politics?

  16. Trump v. Hillary.

    Vote Chthulu, because he is the lesser of evils.

    1. Vote Chthulu, because he is the lesser of evils. of the evil of lessers.

  17. Reality check time: would you rather look at the women who surround the Trumpster on stage, or those who surround Hillary?

    I think I know.

    1. I think I know.

      I too would prefer to admire those who surround Hillary.

      1. She likes the girls on the large side because of the slimming effect on her cankles

  18. Two Corinthians walk into a bar…

  19. I too would prefer to admire those who surround Hillary.

    We know. You’re a baaaaaad maaan!

  20. How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility?

    We can’t. There, I saved you 1500 words of typing.

    1. Dammit, I said it first! But then it spawned a real culture war shitshow and got buried in the noise.

      *kicks rock*

  21. Nothing better than a libertarian telling conservatives what’s wrong with them. The point is that Trump says he believes these so-called things, but his record on these matters is very different. Plus, he’s a fraud/con man who is trying to make the sale. Anyone who actually believes this guy’s rhetoric about being conservative is a fool. Or maybe you’re just a graduate of Trump University. Trump doesn’t actually believes his own bullshit. Why should anyone else?

    1. Trump doesn’t actually believes his own bullshit. Why should anyone else?

      Cruz doesn’t actually believes his own bullshit. Why should anyone else?
      Rubio doesn’t actually believes his own bullshit. Why should anyone else?
      Clinton doesn’t actually believes her own bullshit. Why should anyone else?
      Sanders doesn’t actually believes his own bullshit. Why should anyone else?

      1. Forget it, OMWC, it’s TrumpTown.

        1. Shut up, yokel.

        2. I…I…don’t want to live in that town.

      2. Aside from their voting record you’re exactly correct. Brilliant.

    2. The point is that Trump says he believes these so-called things, but his record on these matters is very different. Plus, he’s a fraud/con man who is trying to make the sale. Anyone who actually believes this guy’s rhetoric about being conservative is a fool.

      So you agree with Nick that Trump is an exemplar of the GOP. There are some RINO’s in the GOP like Amash and Massie and Paul who really do believe the GOP should stand for smaller government and greater individual liberty, but there’s only a few of them. Despite the CW, Goldwater was not vindicated by Reagan and Reagan did not win the day, Reagan was just sort of the dead-cat bounce of Goldwater’s brand of conservatism. It’s been Rockefeller Republicanism all the way.

  22. The U.S. Constitution assigns the selection of Electors to the States. That means it’s a state issue. This means your state representatives (not U.S.) need to change their Election Code. Contact them.

    Currently, 48 states distribute their Electoral Votes with the combination of Winner-Take-All and Plurality Voting. This method is what drives the two-party system and encourages to say things like “don’t waste your vote” or “a vote for Candidate A is a vote for Candidate C”. I have two recommendations to improve our system. Each state can debate and decide what’s best for them.

    Approval Voting:
    This would work with the current software on most voting machines and ballots. Just allow multiple selections so you can choose ALL candidates you approve of. You could have a minimum threshold of (1/EVs)% of vote. Distribute EVs proportionally floor((Candidate’s Approval Votes)/(Total Approval Votes))xEVs. Then use Nevada’s GOP method of distributing extra EVs in order of highest remainder. For single-winner races (e.g. governor), the winner is the candidate with most Approval Votes.

    Ranked Choice:
    Rank candidates 1 through N. Eliminate lowest candidate and redistribute votes. Repeat until 1) all remaining candidates are above Proportional Threshold, P, or 2) One candidate exceeds WTA Threshold, W. In this case 50% < W < (100-P). For single-winner races, set P=W=50%. This is obviously a bit more complicated than Approval Voting, but that’s why we have computers.

  23. How do we take the two-party meltdown on glorious display and use it to push an agenda that actually might advance social tolerance and fiscal responsibility? Stay tuned.

    So, Reason will let us in on a plan to kung fu this whole thing to our advantage?

  24. These strike me as incredibly piss-poor reasons to support anyone for any office

    Which is fine, and I’m not arguing. As ever, though, context is everything, and I have to ask: Are the reasons for supporting Cruz, Rubio, Sanders, or Hillary any better?

  25. he had to add number 6 didn’t he?

    it’s like he wanted us to know he was making this all up.

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