Donald Trump

When You Picture President Trump, Think of Biff Tannen Crossed with Richard Nixon

A man who winks at a little lawless violence on his behalf isn't going to have many objections to lawless government.

|

You know, every now and then, I think you might like to hear something from us nice and easy. But there's just one thing. You see, we never, ever do nothing nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough.
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Donald Trump mused yesterday that he might pay legal fees for the man who suckered-punched a peaceful protester as the latter was being led out of a campaign rally. This shouldn't come as a great surprise, given the ways Trump has been reacting to protesters over the last few weeks, ruminating nostalgically about the "old days" when they'd be "carried out on a stretcher" and saying things like "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court." But it's still extraordinary.

Freelance violence has always been a part of American politics. What's strange is to see a candidate encouraging that violence with only the barest fig leaf of deniability. (Confronted about the punching incident at the last GOP debate, Trump declared that he did "not condone" it. Three days later, he was talking on national television about paying the puncher's court costs.) This isn't unprecedented in American history, but it doesn't have much recent precedent. Instead we've had impostures: liberals who pretended Sarah Palin's "never retreat, instead reload" was meant literally, conservatives who did the same for Barack Obama's "get in their face." To watch Trump telling thugs that he might cover their legal bills is to see just how counterfeit those controversies were.

The chaos on the Trump tour has amped up in the last few days. Trump-lovers and Trump-haters brawled at a speech in St. Louis and at a cancelled rally in Chicago, and then a man tried to rush the stage when the candidate spoke in Dayton. With those events in the background, a lot of anti-Trump commentary over the weekend has been shot through with a fear that the social order is breaking down. (Paradoxically—or maybe not so paradoxically—that's one of the same fears that has fueled Trump's rise.) So bear in mind that we're still a long way short of the amount of political violence that once was routine in America. The Trump brawls are like last year's bump in murder rates after a long decline, or the return of riots in Ferguson and Baltimore: They could be a sign that the country is taking a more vicious turn, but it's also possible that we're just so used to the recent level of social peace that any disruption of it feels huge.

But you needn't think we're on the verge of returning to 1968 to be unsettled by Trump's comments. His words speak to the candidate's character in ways that highlight how he might behave if he ever gets his hands on the machinery of the state. If you think the Bill of Rights is in bad shape now, just wait til this thin-skinned bully decides the federal bureaucracy is his personal revenge kit. A man who winks at a little lawless violence among his fans isn't going to have many objections to lawless government.

Advertisement

NEXT: NYPD Officers Hate Their Jobs, According to Police Union Poll

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Trump is the type of guy who would stab you in the back and blame you for letting it happen afterwords. In fact he would justify it saying it is his moral responsibility to take advantage of people who are so careless.

    Right, tarran? Right?

    1. The blood of many a valiant Christian knight will be avenged when Venice is redeemed from the heathen Turk.

      1. Does webdip allow you to setup a game where identities are hidden? That would be a great game.

        1. Why, you want fewer consequences when you stab people in the back? 🙂

          1. I think it is perfectly obvious that I won’t stab people in the back unless it is absolutely, without a doubt, the best time to so it and ensure my win. Or for the lulz.

            1. We really should do another game.

  2. any disruption of it feels huge.

    Ahem.

  3. OT: This is the top comment on an The Economist article describing the benefits of free trade to Mexico:

    Oh yeah Mexico is great. Huge income disparity. Gruesome drug war. Yeah lets be like Mexico and promote cutthroat capitalist policies.

    Get that? Free trade caused the drug war.

    God, help us.

    1. We created that gruesome drug war.

      1. Yes. But NAFTA didn’t. My contention is that the commenter erroneously links free trade (which he likens to “cutthroat capitalist policies”) directly to the drug war.

        Fucking free trade vs. prohibition, how do they work?

    2. You accidentally re-discovered why you can’t win. The Drug war was caused by the Kochs.

      1. Hence my pleas to a higher power.

    3. Mexico was a economic paradise before NAFTA. Now it’s ruined.

      Save Cuba before it’s too late.

      1. ^Progressives actually believe this.

    4. It’s too bad Mexico hasn’t elected a socialist government for the pasty few decades.

    1. Yeah good one Frankie, that’s about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.

      1. No flies on the bridge.

  4. His words speak to the candidate’s character in ways that highlight how he might behave if he ever gets his hands on the machinery of the state. If you think the Bill of Rights is in bad shape now, just wait til this thin-skinned bully decides the federal bureaucracy is his personal revenge kit. A man who winks at a little lawless violence among his fans isn’t going to have many objections to lawless government.

    It might be good if he were elected, and proceeded to abuse his power, so that everyone could finally see just how many in the govt would go along, and how many would quit. There is value in that knowledge, which you simply cannot obtain any other way.

    That’s how I’d choose to look at it, anyway, were he to be elected.

    1. If you think the Bill of Rights is in bad shape now, just wait til this thin-skinned bully decides the federal bureaucracy is his personal revenge kit.

      Good thing we don’t have anything like that now!

      Seriously, isn’t the federal bureaucracy mostly populated by progressives and their ilk? Why would they just jump to do Trump’s bidding?

      1. They wouldn’t but that gets in the way of soiling ones trousers so it is conveniently ignored.

        1. And haven’t there been a lot of abuses of power over the last 25 or so years? The assumption behind all of the pants shitting seems to be that the people holding power in this country have been any better than Trump.

          1. After the last 2 jerkoffs that held the presidency for the last 16 years, Trump will have to try really hard to trump (no pun intended) that.

            1. Indeed. Why is Reason shitting itself over Trump instead of beginning Obama’s Presidential send off by recapping all his abuses..???

              1. Maybe you should start your own magazine and then you can make the editorial decisions.

                I’m not sure, but I think the answer is that Obama isn’t running and hearing about his abuses again is not terribly relevant. It’s bad enough that we still hear “but, but BUSH” all the time.

          2. We were a bright and shining city on the hill until this nouveau riche outer-borough vulgarian came along and riled up the lower classes into aspiring to something not of their place.

      2. I’m sure that’s true for agencies like the EPA or EEOC, etc. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case for most law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

        1. Yep. About the only common denominator among executive agencies is the mission creep.

      3. What happens to Federal Bureaucrats who refuse to do what they are told by their superiors?

        I would imagine that enough of them care about their jobs and their little bit of power more than any political principles and would get in line for whatever administration comes along.

        And who says Trump isn’t a progressive? Thinking that it’s the president’s job, or that it is in the government’s power, to make the country great sounds pretty progressive to me.

    2. Know how many would quit? Zero. None. Zippo. Nada. Once someone has worked for government long enough, their work ethic is completely destroyed to the point where no one in the private sector will be foolish enough to hire them. And they know it. Not only that, but they’re working for that fat pension and the opportunity to double-dip. No, those government employees who might object to a Republican abusing power would grumble a bit but they’d grudgingly go along. However once their team got back into office they would cheer the abuse of power. Principals, not principles.

      1. Once someone has worked for government long enough, their work ethic is completely destroyed to the point where no one in the private sector will be foolish enough to hire them.

        That might be true for the low-level, uneducated, unskilled government workers, but not for the educated ones. The educated ones know processes and have connections. They can get hired pretty easily in the private sector. And only a third of federal employees have no higher education. Even fewer have no skills. Still, I agree that none of them will leave because most of them will not be directly effected by anything Trump does.

        1. Not from what I’ve seen. My work takes me into the bowels of the federal beast, and unless sleeping at your desk when you’re not chatting with a group of coworkers counts as a work ethic, anyone in the private sector would be foolish to hire the federal workers I have observed. Most of them have one or two tasks that occupy maybe thirty minutes of their day, and they make a great show out of wasting the rest of the time. These are people with fancy degrees as well. Maybe the building I visit is unusual in that respect, but I’m doubtful.

          1. Oh I agree that many of them have little work ethic. I’m just saying they have connections and they know processes. There’s also the ever-popular option of leaving government to work as a contractor to the government.

            1. Gotcha.

      2. No, they’re all going to move to Canada! They said so!

        Damn, it’s both amazing and disappointing that they all moved back here from Canada after Gore lost.

        1. Did a lot of federal employees threaten to move to Canada in 2000? I must have missed that.

          Seems to me that their motivation is pretty much to keep their sweet jobs. Which means going along with whatever the bosses say as long as they aren’t threatening to shrink the federal bureaucracy.

          1. Well, as the Opposition in Residence, they can thwart Trump quite a bit.

      3. “I’ve worked in the private sector! They expect results!”

    3. Was that quote about Trump or Hilary?

  5. Penn Jillette was on Celebrity Apprentice therefore Penn Jillette must agree that Donald should cover rally attendees court costs for thuggery. Either that or he’s a moron. Those are the only 2 things we can be sure of about Penn Jillette.

    1. Jillette called Trump a buffoon before, during, and after his time on the show.

      Keep digging that hole, dude.

      1. I’m sure there’s a pony in there somewhere.

      2. citation…before, during, and after required.

        http://pennandteller.com/trump-letter/

        1. http://bigthink.com/think-tank…..oge-mcduck

          Jillette is now appearing in his second season of NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. While he has been openly critical of the show and its host, Donald Trump, Jillette says he also relishes Trump’s role as a jester in our culture. “He kind of plays this Scrooge McDuck role in our society that’s kind of fun.”

          To quote a great man: Sad!

          1. “He kind of plays this Scrooge McDuck role in our society that’s kind of fun”

            That’s you before, during and after citation? I don’t see the word buffoon, but nice try.

            1. Jillette on Trump from March 1, 2016

              Like most of the country, Jillette says he’s now coming to terms with the fact that despite the pundit predictions and popular wisdom, there is a real possibility that Trump could be president. “It’s beyond my imagination,” he says.

              “I’m feeling so, so, so guilty, because I feel like, along with millions of other people, I played right into this. The cynicism of the Clintons, the careful, tightrope walk of all politicians, forced me, as an atheist, to get down on my knees and pray that someone would come along with some kind of authenticity,” Jillette says. “Well, someone called my bluff, goddamn it.”

              Jillette claims that Trump, Richard Nixon and Hillary Clinton are the only three politicians he’s heard of who people like less after meeting.

              “The stuff [Trump] is saying on immigration, the stuff he saying on torture, the stuff he is saying on war, is absolutely unforgivable,” Jillette says. “He is coming out directly against the Statue of Liberty.”

              See, that’s a repudiation, not Cruz claiming to be too stupid to know the constantly repeated beliefs of a person introducing him.

              Care to be made a complete fool on this issue a third time?

              1. Are you too fucking stupid to understand “before” and “during”?

                1. Are you too much of a Cruz whore to stop sucking him off?

              2. Shorter Sugarfree: Either say things the way I want them said or I will tarnish you with someone else’s words

                1. OK, so you’re going with whore. Cool.

            2. I’d tell you to read the article and watch the video, but I forgot that you’re playing the pedant here. The kind of pedant who hears a pastor say, “homosexuals are worthy of death… And I am willing to go to jail,” and complains that the word “execution” is used to describe the pastor’s view.

              I don’t know if Jillette ever used the word buffoon. He is described as being critical of Trump. He says Trump’s politics are wrong.

              1. Well, there’s a video of Swanson making his statements also. And, BTW he’s not introducing Cruz when he makes them, but here’s a little snippet:

                “”Then they ask me, ‘Yes, but do you advocate for our civil leaders to do this today?’ And my answer is ‘no.'”

          2. Just to make it clear, I don’t think just because Jillette associated with Donald Trump that he agrees with him about anything in particular. The original post was sarcasm

    2. “I don’t imagine you follow my interviews very closely, you’ve heard me yap enough sitting across from you, but I just can’t seem to repeat enough how shocked I was at the honesty of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and how true you are to yourself. Many times on your show I quoted my jazz hero, Thelonious Monk ? “The genius is the one who is most like himself.” I believe that’s the highest compliment I can give anyone, and it sure applies to you.”

      Yeah that totally is sticking it to the Donald. Buffoon, indeed

      1. Here’s another quote from Jillett:

        “Thelonius Monk, the great jazz piano player, said ? and it’s not a well-known quotation but I love it ? he said, ‘The genius is the one who is most like himself.’ That’s what I love with Bob Dylan, Lenny Bruce, Tiny Tim ? they were completely like themselves. Trump, for better or worse, is in that category. I have talked one-on-one with Bob Dylan, and I have talked one-on-one with Trump, and they do not have filters. They speak honestly and from the heart.”

        Looks to me like he’s praising Trump’s lack of filters, not what he says. Trump can be both a buffoon and one who speaks honestly from the heart.

        1. I know one thing he isn’t doing. Calling Trump a buffoon

  6. I’m teh disappoint at the lack of mentioning of how alternate 1985 Biff in Part 2 was based on Trump…

  7. His words speak to the candidate’s character in ways that highlight how he might behave if he ever gets his hands on the machinery of the state. If you think the Bill of Rights is in bad shape now, just wait til this thin-skinned bully decides the federal bureaucracy is his personal revenge kit. A man who winks at a little lawless violence among his fans isn’t going to have many objections to lawless government.

    This is implies that there is a candidate who isn’t a “thin-skinned bully” who objects to “lawless government”.

    1. It doesn’t matter – if you’re determined to soil yourself, you’ll soil yourself.

    2. All I know is, government’s been pretty damn awesome until this Trump character came along.

    3. I wouldn’t describe Ted Cruz as a thin-skinned bully. He’s more of a sentient mass of flesh-colored protoplasm in search of a shape to go with his perpetual smug/clueless frog smirk.

      1. Lol.

    4. This is implies that there is a candidate who isn’t a “thin-skinned bully” who objects to “lawless government”.

      I think Trump is the candidate most likely to amp that sort of abuse back up to LBJ/Nixon levels. Much as Rubio and Clinton are the ones most likely to plunge us into a pointless war, Sanders most likely to create record deficits, Cruz most likely to turn out to be a vampire, etc.

        1. I’m starting to think Trump is one of the regulars here.

      1. Um Hillary? And like LBJ and unlike Nixon she will have the MSM on her side…

      2. Are you thinking Bela Lugosi vampire, Twilight vampire, or Buffy vampire?

        1. Varney the Vampire.

      3. And that is why voting is so important.

        The thing I like most about Trump is his insincerity.

        Trump!

        For the LULZ

      4. I notice Obama was conspiculously left off of that post.

        Jesse Walker supports Obama’s lawless government!!!!!11!!!

        /sarc just in case anyone thinks otherwise

      5. Cruz most likely to turn out to be a vampire, etc.

        *golf clap*

    5. Yeah, but there are degrees of that sort of thing. We are far from peak government power abuse.

      1. ^This. And people here will continue to ignore it.

  8. I would love to see a lot more NON VIOLENT protests at his rallies. Shut down those Nazi thugs who want to make it illegal to yell “Dump! Trump!” in the presence of their Dear Leader. No but seriously if there is a ‘violent turn’ it will have been perpetrated by known thugs and once they are out of the picture then good old fashioned protest will come back in fashion. At least I hope. Then again, maybe only the violent people want to protest. Hard to say. There’s a lot of apathy out there unless it can be coupled to a witch hunt.

    Also I think it’s hilarious that after Trump threatens to arrest his protesters (after saying he ‘loves’ them) then the crowd gets real quiet. HAHA his strategy is backfiring on him – you can’t incite violence if people are free to speak out. The genius of the founding fathers of this country – it’s truly a wonder to behold.

    1. No but seriously if there is a ‘violent turn’ it will have been perpetrated by known thugs

      Like the guy who tried to tackle Trump on stage?

        1. IN addition to that, the guy is a professional “theater activist”.

        2. Oh….that wacky Mr. Kardashian……

        3. That is some spectacular word salad. “I didn’t indend to attack him, I just wanted to prove what a racist he is.”

          lolwut

        4. To be fair, what the guy says afterward is irrelevant. He wasn’t supposed to be on stage at all.

          1. what the guy says afterward is irrelevant

            Not when determining mens rea in an assault case. But you knew that already.

      1. We’re not allowed to talk about that. The person was triggered and feeling unsafe, therefore had to act violently, and now deserves a safe space and free counseling for life. All because of big meanies like you and your privilege and hate speech.

        1. The truth is he made national news, and as a professional “theater activist” or maybe I should dub him “stunt activist”, he just beefed his resume by 90%. He probably got extra laid that night.

          1. It’s even mentioned in the post, but whatever.

            1. I’m not sure how my statement indicates it wasn’t, but whatever.

              1. I wasn’t responding to you; I was joining you in responding to Hyperion’s “We’re not allowed to talk about that.”

                1. Oh, thank you. I was wondering what I had done wrong NOW.

                2. The ‘we aren’t allowed to talk about that’ was not directed at you or anyone else here, Jesse. It was sarcasm about the left’s need to control speech. You don’t read many comments here, do you?

          2. And added 1 or 2 percentage points to Trump’s poll numbers.

            1. I still believe that 1 to 2% is conservative.

    2. More likely the anti-Trumpers want it to be illegal to support Trump and to oppose them in any way. This includes being a libertarian. This situation gives me hope for the future…

      1. faith as small as a mustard seed 🙂

        1. Yes because the battles between the Rotfront and the SA, the Khmer Rouge and FANK, the Kuomingtang and the Communists, the Peronists and the Monteneros all lead to libertopia…

          1. Yes but the difference is that you learned from history. Congrats!

          2. You forgot “Tastes Great!” vs “Less Filling!”

  9. Oh boy. Let’s have another tedious argument between the nihilist anarchist and the libertarian-leaning paleocon. Surely we haven’t beaten that dead horse enough.

    1. “Every time I beat the dead horse it moves. The beatings must continue until it stops moving.”

      1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting kind of abstract.

  10. When I think of President Obama I picture Urkel and am soothed.

    Perhaps libertarains and conservatives should picture Sam Kennison, or Rodney Dangerfield with they think of Trump.

    1. You want to help world hunger? Stop sending them food. Don’t send them another bite, send them U-Hauls. Send them a guy that says, “You know, we’ve been coming here giving you food for about 35 years now and we were driving through the desert, and we realized there wouldn’t BE world hunger if you people would live where the FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A DESERT!! UNDERSTAND THAT? YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT!! NOTHING GROWS HERE! NOTHING’S GONNA GROW HERE! Come here, you see this? This is sand. You know what it’s gonna be 100 years from now? IT’S GONNA BE SAND!! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT! We have deserts in America, we just don’t LIVE in them, assholes!”

      Yeah. That works.

      1. That one is my favorite.

  11. Ugh…reached Trump saturation. See you all tomorrow.

    1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting kind of abstract.

  12. Sick burn

  13. They could be a sign that the country is taking a more vicious turn, but it’s also possible that we’re just so used to the recent level of social peace that any disruption of it feels huge.

    It’s also possible that the media have an agenda and are pushing it for all its worth.

    1. U TANK DAT BORK LARNING IZ 4…oh wait!

  14. Too bad we’re going to end up with President Hillary, who has more Richard Nixon in her cankles than Trump has beneath his entire layer of orange skin.

    1. Yeah, when I think of Richard Nixon, the thing that most comes to mind in modern politics is Hillary. She’s Nixon on steroids. Instead of minutes missing from a tape, the entire tape, tape recorder, and half the furniture would be missing.

      1. It took her two years to get around to destroying her server, and she couldn’t even manage that.

  15. When is there going to be another Donald article?

    1. Don’t worry, they still have plenty of time to meet their quota.

      1. You have to admit, the guy is a master of getting free publicity. Even a supposedly libertarian entity is falling for it.

        1. Every Reason Trump-piece reads like an endorsement. Especially when the recite the same bipartisan deep-state talking pooints They can’t possibly suggest one of the remaining contenders is a “better” choice because none of them remotely are. Suderman tried it with Rubio for a while but his campaign is now totally irrelevant.

  16. ‘You Knew Damn Well I Was a Snake’

    Trump is actually talking about himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8JjDgHVxSM

    1. Or Hillary, or Cruz, or Bernie…..

      1. Trump is a pathological liar. He doesn’t just reverse himself and deny it (which you might be able to claim about others), he reverses himself and denies and then does it again the next day! He does it on just about every single issue. For example, one day he says, “We love our protesters, we do.” Then the next day it’s, “We need to destroy their lives.” Then the next day it’s “Punch them and I will defend you in court.” Then the next day it’s, “I don’t condone the violence.” After saying the previous day, “I understand why they are protesting – it’s because they don’t have jobs. They should be angry.”

        What a dope.

        1. Trump is a pathological liar.

          So he is a typical shitty politician after all…

  17. You know what I bet Trump would do? I bet he would order the assassination of an American citizen living in Yemen and proceed to bomb a sovereign nation without congressional authorization calling it a kinetic action rather than a war. I bet he would also turn the IRS lose on his political opponents and tell his supporters to “get in people’s faces” and “punch back twice as hard”.

    It would be the dark night of fascism falling on America.

    1. Shorter John: But mommy! He did it first!

      1. You know who else liked tu quoque arguments?

        1. Y…your mom?

      2. It is now policy. Until we ALL get hit with that Libertarian Moment. Good and hard.

      3. Shorter sarcasmic,

        I have no sense of humor and will use any excuse to shit my pants over the Trumpmonster who lives under my bed.

        No one has ever explained what Trump would do that is any worse than Obama. But, pants shitting over Trump really isn’t about Trump.

        1. Double-down, dude. Oh, wait. You just did.

        2. Oh, and I do have a great sense of humor. The problem isn’t my lack of a sense of humor. The problem is that you aren’t funny (looks don’t count).

          1. Yeah, you are a funny guy sarcasmic.

            1. You’re gonna kill him last?

              Damn, why can’t they make good bad action movies like that anymore?

        3. No one has ever explained what Trump would do that is any worse than Obama.

          Maybe because Obama isn’t running?

          1. *shhhh* No one told John. Let’s keep it a secret.

          2. If he is no worse than Obama, then how is he any worse than Hillary or most of the GOP candidates?

            It is not about Trump. It is about how panicking over Trump has become a way for stupid people to feel smart.

            1. His trade policy proposals are dangerous and antithetical to free association for one thing. I don’t believe he really supports the BOR or is really against government run healthcare. Why should I take his word that he’s changed over someone that at least has attempted to limit the government?

              1. His trade policy proposals are dangerous and antithetical to free association for one thing.

                i can’t imagine them being worse than the TTP. I wish people would debase themselves of the delusion that they system we have today is anything like free trade or a free international market.

                I don’t believe he really supports the BOR or is really against government run healthcare.

                Which describes about 90% of Congress and most of the politicians of both parties in America. Remember when the Republican party went to the wall trying to defund Obamacare and do something about the NSA spying? Oh yeah, neither do I.

                1. I remember one of them actually trying to de-fund Obamacare, yes

                  1. One of them. And that bought him how many friends in the GOP? And while we are on the subject of Cruz; if he is such a believer in the Constitution as written, why did he vote for fast track of the TPP? Whatever you think of the agreement, fast track is a total shirking of the Senates constitutional duty to ratify treaties. And Mr. Originalist Cruz, was all for it and oh by the way his wife got rich off the deal.

                    1. LMAO, you’re really shilling for Trump? Talking points and all

                    2. So telling the truth about Cruz is now shilling for Trump?

                      And saying the GOP is a bunch of phonies who love big government is shilling for Trump? Really? Is there any position you won’t reverse or any truth you won’t deny to avoid being associated with Trump?

                    3. And while we are on the subject of Cruz; if he is such a believer in the Constitution as written, why did he vote for fast track of the TPP

                      Cruz voted No on TPP fast track:
                      http://www.againstcronycapital…..nate-list/

                      So how does Cruz’ wife get rich on a Senate procedure vote?

                    4. That was after he voted for cloture. That “no” vote was nothing but ass covering. He voted to bring it to the floor knowing it would pass and his vote against it would have no effect.

                      So, you are now shilling for the GOP. Congratulations on allowing Trump to drive you insane.

        4. No one has ever explained what Trump would do that is any worse than Obama.

          That’s setting a low bar. Vote for Trump! NOT Worse than Obama!!!

          1. So what? Obama is bad, but he is not a fascist or anything like people like you are pretending Trump is.

    1. I larfed.

    2. Beautiful

  18. All we need now is a threat for the military to take over and the US will be in full shithole mode….

    1. These nice gentlemen will escort you to your new gated community and glamping tent. We call it “FEMA.”

  19. “If you think the Bill of Rights is in bad shape now, just wait til this thin-skinned bully decides the federal bureaucracy is his personal revenge kit.”

    Um, have you been asleep the last 7 years?

    1. Well Obama was against Bush’s wars. So he started some of his own.

    2. What are you talking about? The Democratic Party is THE party of civil liberties. It says it right here in the Reason-style guide, right next to the whopper about Republicans as the party of economic freedom and gay-o-cide.

  20. I’m not really surprised.

    Modern governance is the contradiction that, through democracy, we resolve differences peacefully, and those differences pertain to how we use government force to compel this person and that person to do this and that.

    Since the whole endeavor embraces violence as a way to solve arbitrarily problems, it’s no shock when the violence spills out, especially between people who vote differently. It’s not like democracy itself is some pacifist system.

  21. When You Picture President Trump, Think of Biff Tannen Crossed with Richard Nixon

    So what you’re saying is that we’re in the dystopian timeline where Marty didn’t succeed in destroying the sports almanac?

    1. Insufficiently fluxed capacitors. I prefer ChipQuik. In syringes.

  22. As someone who’s unaffected by the Trump pants shitting virus, I have to say that the Donald is like one of those grab bag mystery prizes we used to love as kids. You know there ain’t shit in that bag that’s worth anything, but people want it anyway.

    So in November, you get your choices of 2 bags. The mystery grab bag and the old cankle beast.

    No thanks, Gary Johnson 2016!

    1. I agree. I can understand why Libertarians would not support him. He is not a libertarian. What I have never understood is how they could think he is any worse from a libertarian perspective as any of the other candidates except Paul.

      We have the most corrupt public figure in a generation and a no kidding national socialist running for President. Yet, everyone is panicking about a real estate hustler that claims to be able to make deals. The whole thing is just surreal.

      1. Where is Santorum when you need him?

        1. And Trump doesn’t care about culture war issues and is not a social conservative. I thought dropping the culture war and losing the SOCONS was what reason wanted the GOP to do?

          1. It’s all the signaling thing that is discussed here so often. The writers here have to criticize Trump more because it signals to the other cosmos and the cocktail party invites keep coming.

            1. That is the only explanation I can see for it. I think Trump would be closer to a Bill Clinton without the bimbos. He would triangulate and cut deals with rotating coalitions of Democrats and Republicans. He wouldn’t be great but I don’t see any reason to think he would be anything like his critics think he would be.

              Ultimately, government is not rocket science and the people in power right now are generally delusional morons. Trump wouldn’t have to be that good to be an improvement over what we have.

          2. The culture war isn’t just abortion and gay marriage. If you think Trump doesn’t care about the culture war, I don’t know what to tell you. What do you think all his talk about immigrants, globalization, police, etc. are about?

            1. You can define culture war anyway you like. But people have been talking about those issues for years. I have never once heard them called culture warriors. Bernie Sanders talks about those issues. Is he a culture warrior? Not by any definition reason has applied up to this point.

              1. I think Sanders is a culture warrior, yes. He wants to bring about revolution in the US through cultural change.

                If you don’t think that any of those issues are related to the culture war, than what is, aside from abortion and gay marriage?

                1. Again Cal, if you want to call economic policy the culture war, that is your right. I just can’t see how that makes any sense.

                  1. Is immigration exclusively (or even primarily) viewed as an economic issue? Police reform is an economic issue? Globalization I admit is the closest, but I still think there is a lot of cultural influence on the opposition to it.

        2. Where is Santorum…

          Runnin’ down the crack of your momma’s ass.

          I keed, I keed… maybe.

    2. I voted for Gary Johnson once. He lost. This time I’m voting for a winner.

      For the LULZ

      =====

      What ever happened to “voting doesn’t matter” ?

      1. Good question MSimon. Or what ever happened to both parties being equally bad? After years of denying that, I finally start to sympathize with that position only to find everyone who holds it going insane over the evils of Trump.

        1. Presently, the Democrats are still worse, but that’s liable to change in January 2017.

        2. For some reason, when I write posts attacking Clinton or Rubio or any other candidate, the comments are not flooded with people asking “WHY AREN’T YOU CRITICIZING TRUMP?”

          1. BECAUSE WE KNOW WHY YOU’RE NOT CRITICIZING TRUMP!!11!!

          2. My guess is that it has something to do with the number of articles critical of Trump already on this website, but you can never tell for sure.

          3. Criticize away Jesse. IT is not the criticism. It is the over the top “oh my God Trump is the end of the Republic” stuff I am talking about, which doesn’t’ include what I have read from you. I was speaking more generally not about this post.

            Sorry if implied otherwise.

      2. It doesn’t, but we like to pretend from time to time.

    3. Certainly Gay Jay for me too. No net up-side for any of the rest of them. The only thing that might (repeat might) get me to reconsider would be if Cruz picked Rand as a running mate.

      1. I don’t think that there is considerable warm and fuzzy feelings between Rand and Ted, not nearly enough for that to happen.

        I don’t really know who Cruz would pick, but no matter, he’s not going to win the nomination anyway.

        1. Oh, I realize that.

          I was just questioning myself, the other day, as to whether there was anything that could get me to vote for any of the buffoons currently running.

          That’s all I could come up with.

          1. Not even Cruz once he goes full Vampire?

            1. Wait, are you suggesting it’s possible for Cruz to suck even more?

        2. I have to defer to Justin Amash’s view of whether Cruz is legitimately rights friendly or not. You’d have to think he’d be wary of sullying his good name with a bible beating, homo executioner without some reason

    4. So in November, you get your choices of 2 bags. The mystery grab bag and the old cankle beast douche bag.

      FTFY

  23. I want more articles about how they will now charge Hilary with ‘indecent exposure’ against government property for storing her email server in her bathroom.

    1. I want more articles about how they will now charge Hilary with ‘indecent exposure’ against government property for storing her email server in her bathroom the crime she has blatantly committed and for which many other people are serving life sentences in jail.

      FTFY

    2. No one sets up a server in their home to handle work related email. And this is the fucking State Department for shit’s sake. If anyone tried it they’d be fired before they even got it done. And there is absolutely no good reason to do such a thing. Doing it absolutely means you are trying to hide your communications from your employer and to be able to destroy the evidence when needed.

      Also, why are they trying to recover these emails from a server? Federal law mandates the backup and storing of these emails. If there are no backups, there’s the first felony. Just the existence of the server is likely another. Attempting to destroy government data, good lord, people are so fucking stupid to even try to defend this.

      1. Intentionally circumventing FOIA?
        What about the fact that it was something like three years into the Benghazi investigation before this even came up?
        Intermingling personal/Clinton Foundation affairs with State business?

        Yeah, how people can continue to try and defend this is beyond me.

        1. 1800 classified emails on a homebrew server. 1800, including many with SAP information. The brazen criminality of that is just fucking mind boggling.

      2. Actually, both Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell used their own personal e-mail accounts. But that’s back before it was illegal to do so.

        And they didn’t place TS/SCI info on it.

        1. “Used their own personal e-mail accounts” or “hired an IT guy to construct a private server in their basement which they used for both government business and the work they do for the Clinton Foundation, and didn’t disclose it while under multiple investigations following the death of four American citizens”?

          Because if it’s the latter, that’s huge news.

        2. Yeah, but the didn’t have their own emails servers in a fucking closet at home. Big, huge, ginormous fucking difference.

  24. Wait, is Donald Trump running for president? I log on to Reason everyday, and this is the first I’ve heard.

    1. Everyone but Zero Hedge is running anti-Trump articles. What they don’t know is My name is Donald Trump and I’m a BIG fan of Israel.

      The level of derp about Trump from all sides is crazy.

      I’m voting for Trump because he makes people crazy.

      For the LULZ

  25. HELLO MCFLY!

    Most of his fanboys probably think Biff was supposed to be the protagonist of Back to the Future.

    1. Was the entire Back to the Future trilogy just Biff’s dying dream?

  26. A man who winks at a little lawless violence on his behalf isn’t going to have many objections to lawless government.

    Sanders is winking? Any pics?

    1. I thought Obama was term limited.

  27. Jesse, I don’t follow much ‘straight news’, has anyone compared the Trump rally to 1968?

    1. I have done it repeatedly in the comments.

      1. I mean important people that matter.

        *ducks*

          1. Finally. I’m famous. The best I ever did before this was 100,000 readers when I was a writer for ECN.

    2. Chuck Todd did this weekend on Meet The Press. And then I changed the channel and took a shower.

      1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting kind of abstract.

      2. *sigh*

        *googles Chuck Todd*

        Ok, now let me tell you how little Straight News I watch: I still consider Tim Russert the host of Meet The Press. Yes, even in death.

        1. Chuck Todd is a toothless little mouthwhore for the Dems, worse somehow than Russert.

          1. I am surprised that Chuck Todd’s facial hair has not inspired one of your erotic tales.

    3. has anyone compared the Trump rally to 1968?

      Yeah. See here, for example. (I suppose I could be accused of doing it myself in this tweet, though that wasn’t what I was aiming for.)

      1. Won’t Please Come To Chicago?

        I was living in the Bay Area – Bezerkeley – at the time. People’s Park etc. You had to be there.

    4. ’68 was a great year. More chickens came home to roost, The Vietnamese cemented their inevitable victory. The MC5 played a classic outdoor Summer festival in Chicago.

      2016 kinda sucks.

  28. I’d actually be less troubled by “lawless government” at this point than I am by government that rewrites the law to sanction its bullying and abusive behavior.

    1. Bingo. Lost in all of the “how dare he” posturing over Trumps saying he would order the military to ignore the law of war is that Bush and Obama both used hack lawyers to write sham memos pretending LOW violations were not really so. Trump would be better for no other reason than being honest.

  29. Trump!

    Because you KNOW he is lying

    1. Except when you disagree with him then he is telling the absolute truth.

    2. And the difference between the Clinton’s is…?

    3. If you talk to people who support Trump, something I doubt most people on this board have ever done, you find out one of his biggest selling points is his claim to be a deal maker. His supporters have long since figured out that the GOP is going to sell them out and figure they might as well vote for someone who claims to know how to surrender properly. This is why when the his GOP opponents scream about him being pro big government criticisms have no effect. His supporters know he is pro big government. The problem for the rest of the GOP is that the Trump supporters also know the truth about them.

      1. If you talk to people who support Trump, something I doubt most people on this board have ever done

        Who here hasn’t talked to you?

        1. Yeah because on guy on a board says it all. And I am now the dreaded other.Let the hate flow SF. Let it flow.

          1. Or, some of us know your real name and read the NYPost. Which I will not link to because I won’t dox you.

            1. I mean, has anyone seen John and the NYPost article in the same room together?

            2. I’m skeptical. While the writer of that article has a knack for making the same retarded arguments that John does, the column was written in understandable English sentences with words used correctly.

              1. Editors, dude.

              2. Whoever wrote it has an issue with Republicans and conservatives. And everyone here knows I am a team red shill. I have never criticized conservatives or the Republicans. I am Red Tony afterall.

        2. Looking up a youtube thing on The Don, the comments section is a solid jungle of baboon sentry challenges interspersed with occasional “so’s ya mutha” comebacks from the odd Bern flamer.

  30. Biff was more rapey than Trump. Whatever faults he might have, he’s had no problem attracting very pretty women to sniff his wallet. To my knowledge, he hasn’t had to force himself on anyone.

    1. Didn’t Ivana claim that he raped her? Or attempted to?

      1. Why do you think she married him?

  31. “Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have laughed about waterboarding,” he adds.

    No, he’d have just hung his head and sprung a tear but held on that it was necessary, even noble, in the quest to maintain the Union – in other words continue the domination of the South with whatever means necessary.

    Let’s just say if Trump ends up doing HALF of what Lincoln did, he’ll go down as the most vile man in US history. And yet Lincoln is a demi-god to most.

    But those were different times, people didn’t want liberty back then.

    1. Many didn’t want high protective tariffs either. Lincoln had the bad luck to be elected when the looters were passing a tariff hike just as Cleveland was (again) elected just when some of the exact same looters were plotting an income tax!

  32. I maybe going out on a limb here, but I think this Trump fella rubs some people wrong way.

    1. He really does. I think it is the hair piece. Baldies can never buy a break.

      1. Baldies are the only people that I respect.

  33. STFU and VOTE TRUMP

  34. Well, for those who are thinking Greg Stilson, THIS is who Stephen King sees as more Stilson-y

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..fac12642ea

  35. The problem isn’t Trump, it’s the populistic wave he’s riding. If he becomes President, the very bureaucracy the masses are chafing under will be even more untethered. The problems won’t get resolved, and will become worse, likely much worse. The people will be ground under the Statist heal even more, and Trump will make some self serving dents here or there. And there will be an even more toxic solution galvanizing less than decade down the road.

    All the massive issues relating to fiscal/monetary/economic policy over the last 100 years is now about to be settled. The instabilities will get even worse, again masses is disenfranchised will search beyond Trump for their next attempt at a solution. This will occur just as the stretched rubber band of idiotic policies finally snaps.

    1. Yeah, this is the thing. The scary part isn’t Trump himself. It’s the people who think he’s awesome.

      1. People with press badges and cameras?

  36. I give up. Vote for Trump if you want to. Get what you deserve. May God help us all.

  37. A first-hand account of the canceled Trump rally in Chicago.

    While I agree that Trump has gone a bit too far in statements about disruptive protestors, the idea that all this violence is somehow “about Trump” and thus his fault amounts to blaming the victim. If Cruz gets the nom, the same protestors will be paid by the same groups (MoveOn, Soros, Tides Foundation, etc.) to demonstrate and call him Hitler.

    1. Of course they will.

  38. I clearly recall 1968… OK, some of it not so clearly. But I observed socialists (whose party was a flop) in Youth International Party drag try to infiltrate the Dems. At that time the Dem platform called for within a few hundred H-bombs of the same as the GOP. Nixon’s party, like Germany’s National Socialists, was more Christian than its Tweedledee. The most entertaining account of the thing is Country Joe McDonald’s testimony at the Chicago Seven trial. http://www.countryjoe.com/chicago.htm

  39. RE: When You Picture President Trump, Think of Biff Tannen Crossed with Richard Nixon
    A man who winks at a little lawless violence on his behalf isn’t going to have many objections to lawless government.

    What’s wrong with a little lawless violence on the behalf of an elitist turd?
    If it worked for Hitler and Stalin, it’ll work for Trump.
    Trust me on this one.

  40. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  41. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  42. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  43. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  44. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  45. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  46. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  47. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  48. I just realized this was written in 2002. I wonder what the gun crime rate is now. Any government that tells you that you have no right to self defense is not looking after your best interest. Self defense is the most basic right anyone has. No government or police can protect you. I can’t believe you all allow this to continue. I keep a gun at home for self defense and have a license to carry it concealed any where I go. And I do. If I am attacked then at least I have a chance to stay alive. By the time the police arrive they can either arrange for my body to be picked up or take a statement from me. I choose the later. Britons let a right be taken from them and now it will be much harder to get it back. But you should try.
    ???? ????? ??????
    ???? ????? ??????

  49. I had to look up Biff Tannen. The character name seemed familiar, but I couldn’t remember whether it was from Ayn Rand, Jean Shepherd, or Arthur Miller. It was none of those.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.