Election 2016

The RNC Isn't a Convention, It's a Wake

Cleveland is where the GOP as we know it is going to die.

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Reason TV, Todd Krainin

The Republican Party, conservatives, and certainly Donald Trump may not fully understand it yet, but they are meeting in Cleveland not to chart the future of the GOP but to host its funeral.

The Republican Party and the larger conservative movement for which it has stood since the days of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan is dead but not yet buried. A party whose rhetoric (if never its actual policies) is all about shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government cannot even pretend anymore to stand for any of those things. As important, it hasn't been serious about governing for a very long time. Remember just how terrible and world-ending they said Obamacare was back in 2009 and 2010? They weren't wrong and yet it took the Republicans, despite holding congressional power for most of the 21st century, until June of this year to roll out an actual alternative that certainly wasn't worth the wait.

Before whatever Trumpian display of narcissism, delusion, and disdain for actual knowledge of policy and process clicks into high gear in Cleveland over the next few days, it's worth taking stock of what the Republican Party has become. Trump is not the cause of its collapse but an effect of utter failure of Republicans to deliver even partly on their promises over the past several decades. Republicans and conservatives have officially elevated atavistic tribal allegiances to the most important place possible in their causes. While Trump famously and disturbingly called out Mexicans at the start of his speech announcing his candidacy last year, his dyed-in-the-wool conserative critics actually attacked him for not being tough enough on immigration. National Review, in its house editorial laying out the case against Trump, didn't conjure the ghosts of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush in 1980 arguing over who would do more to legalize and help illegals gain a legitimate place in our country, they said the Trump's plan to remove 11 or 12 million people from the country was a "poorly designed amnesty" plan.

Let's leave aside for the moment that by all accounts illegal immigration into the United States by Mexicans country peaked in 2007. Should a political party be taken seriously when fears about people choosing to come here to work and live is among its top concerns (especially since immigrants, legal and otherwise, commit less crime than natives)? Immigration isn't simply part of America, it is America, which explains why fully two-thirds of us (including at least 50 percent of Republicans) want to create some pathway to legal status for illegals. Since then, of course, Trump and Republicans have burnished their credentials as xenophobes by conflating religion and race, and declaring that refugees from the same Middle East that conservative and Republican policymakers have done so much to destroy and wreak havoc on should not be allowed to enter the United States. Here too the Republican brain trust (such as it is) is divided against itself, as it's chided Trump for not being harsh enough or war-like enough or personally dedicated to a Weekly Standard-style foreign policy of military aggression.

When it comes to social issues, the Republican Party has spent the past several decades warring against abortion (even as its incidence has declined, along with declines in rates of youth sex and unwanted pregnancies too) and "homosexual agenda" and pimping for the drug war that has managed to turn the United States into the world's largest jailer nation. Even as Americans of all stripes are rethinking the stupidity of putting more and more people in jail, the party's vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence told Indiana residents this year in his State of the State Address that he was "leaning into the drug war" and increasing mandatory minimums for various drug-related activity. Being anti-abortion and scared of gays and in favor of the drug war are central to the conservative movement. These are not the concerns of a party with a future. They are the issues of a party that is terrified of a present that has escaped its understanding. Forget about thinking about the future. The Republican Party with its ritual incantation of the traditional family and normalcy or whatever, isn't even living in the present any more.

When it comes to economic policy, Trump (like Hillary Clinton, to be sure) stands adamantly against the free-er trade that is articulated in trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Neither of these things is perfect but we can say with certainty that NAFTA, which created 25 million net jobs in the 15 years after it passed, was better than the status quo it replaced. What are non-Trump conservatives positing in the place of TPP? Nothing really, other than shifting the conversation to how China must be hemmed in a rising global economic and military power.

The greatest failure of the Republican Party in recent memory was the Bush presidency which was perpetrated with virtually total support of a Republican Congress and the conservative commentariat at the time. Bush presided over a 50 percent increase in federal spending, mired the country in two wars that were failures both in conception and prosecution, increased major regulatory structures and then—as the door was hitting his ass on the way out—bailed out the financial industry and the auto industry, claiming nonsensically that the only way to save capitalism was to embrace socialism. Channeling the "destroy the village in order to save it" logic of the war he worked so hard to avoid fighting in, Bush actually said, "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system." The 2008 GOP presidential nominee, John McCain, signed TARP and all the other related legislation, as did his Democratic rival, Barack Obama. Those of us who opposed bank bailouts—libertarians mostly, and some lefties too—were called nihilistic for wanting to business to rise and fall on their performance in the market. The conservative-Republican position was in favor of bailouts, with pundits such as National Review editor Rich Lowry and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal defending Bush's incoherent position. In The New York Times, David Brooks said the congressmen who initially voted down TARP were staging a "revolt of the nihilists."

But after eight years of a supposedly conservative Republican government that increased spending on everything by 50 percent in real dollars, creating whole new entitlements such as free or cheap drugs even for wealthy seniors, consolidated federal control of education funding via No Child Left Behind, pushed a full-employment act for accountants known as Sarbanes-Oxley, an energy bill that lead to the phase-out of incandescent lightbulbs, created a new cabinet agency and, perhaps most devastatingly, entered willingly not just into failed military interventions but secretly built a surveillance state anathema to the history and ethos of our country.

So forget Trump burning the mother down this week. The GOP has been in ashes for most of the 21st century because it has never faced up to just how awful it behaved when it had power. It was the failure and the fraud of the Bush years that destroyed the GOP and the broader conservative movement by making it impossible to reconcile the vast difference between their generic rhetoric about smaller government and individual freedom on the one hand and the actual actions of a GOP majority on the other. 

In the years since Bush retreated from public life and started painting David Hockney-style bathroom art, conservatives have not seriously grappled with what the GOP did the last time it controlled the federal government. Rather than look inward, confess their sins, and work for atonement with the American people, they instead sounded the alarms about Barack Obama and the creeping socialism that ultimately was not so different from what they themselves had recently signed off on. Rather than face up to the party's complete abdication of serious reflection and engagement with an increasingly libertarian sensibility growing in America that they might contribute to, it was more than enough to say that Obamacare would gut Medicare instead of, you know, actually pushing through any sort of health care reform that would actually allow markets to develop and flourish. It was more important to claim the Obama and the Democrats weren't war-like enough, even as they continued the ruinous foreign policy created under Bush. It was enough to stamp their feet about the rise of post-gender and post-sexual-orinetation America and instead have moral lepers like Newt Gingrich talk about the sanctity of traditional marriage.

The lack of focus and seriousness in the Republican Party is what created the conditions for Donald Trump to rise—in a crowd of 17 candidates, including more than a few who were serious people and might have made excellent presidents. To be sure, the clown show that is now upon us—the Republican Party has nominated a man to be president who has absolutely zero experience in public office!—will accelerate the demise of today's Republican Party. So will his plan to increase spending as a percentage of GDP from a historically high 22.1 percent to 22.5 percent over the next decade (for contrast, Hillary Clinton wants to raise it only a little more than Trump, to 22.7 percent). Here we are, nearly 20 years into a century in which fewer Americans have confidence in major institutions than ever and want the government to do less and spend less. And the Republican nominee—channeling the most recent Republican president and his own party—wants to jack up spending even more and plainly use the government to bully any individuals and groups that bug him. This, in a country where according to Gallup, socially tolerant and fiscally responsible libertarians comprise the single-largest ideological group in the country, bigger than conservatives, liberals, and populists. Good luck with all that, GOP.

There are good reasons to believe that whatever ultimately replaces this version of the Republican Party may well be better, especially if the GOP channels the energy and appeal and future orientation of its libertarian-leaning members such as Rand Paul, Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, and a few others. But until conservatives and Republicans admit that they have brought this on themselves through their unwillingness to propose policies that match the libertarian rhetoric they mumble like bored altar boys saying the Rosary—nothing will stir in the ashes, either here in Cleveland or beyond.

NEXT: Separating fact from fiction about the Cuyahoga River fire(s)

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  1. Professional fake libertarian Nick Gillespie is going to be so apoplectic with rage when Trump wins the election.

    1. If Trump doesn’t win, I think this is probably going to be true of you. IIRC you were pretty pissed when Romney lost in 2012, and you seem to be more firmly on the Trump bandwagon than you were for Mitt.

      1. She’s bad within normal parameters, right?

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  2. After Trump loses to what should have been an easy opponent for the GOP to defeat, the party will self-correct and go back to whatever it was before Trump.

    1. Stop pissing on the libertarian moment. It’s real! Now everyone clap together and gayjay will fly!

    2. I don’t think it will ever go back. If anything, even if Trump loses badly, he has already changed the GOP into a nationalist/protectionist party for white people. They could run someone in 2020 who is identical to Trump on this, but less overtly sexist/anti-immigrant, and they might do very well. Goldwater lost badly in 1964 and McGovern in 1972, and they both influenced their parties for a long time after that.

      1. Trump didn’t do that, demographics did. Whites are on their way to becoming a minority, so all the insecure racists are freaking out. It has been interesting to watch the right&libertarian; descent into racialism on Trump’s coattails, though I suppose those sentiments were always bubbling below the surface.

        1. The thing is that there are ton’s of “Hispanics” who are basically white, and the “whites” who interact with them probably don’t even realize that their friends aren’t “white”.
          They’re all freaking out about a bunch of Catholics who are about as tanned as Italians, and turning themselves into a minority by defining “whiteness” narrowly.

          Maybe it’s a good thing, and once they stop thinking of themselves as owning the country we’ll evolve towards something that is inclusive of every race. If what whiteness represents is Donald Trump’s values and beliefs, then fuck “whiteness”, let it die. Whites (those whites) need to evolve to be bigger than that, to be something more than whiny bitches desperate to claim their own victimhood status.

        2. Demographics didn’t do that, Progressivism and “social justice” did. The number of genuinely racist whites who actually harm other people as a result of racist motives pales in comparison to the number of white people (particularly white men) who are expected by the SJW movement to feel terribly guilty and allow themselves to be governed fully by their sanctioned, aggrieved peers. Trump is blowback.

          1. How right you are. White people,and men in particular, are tired of the bulls#it that spews from leftist. Everything from the left is seen through racial and identity politics. Disagree with Obama…racist. Disagree with Hillary…sexist. Don’t want transvesties in the woman’s restroom….homophobic. Think there’s a problem with radical Islam…..islamaphobic. Not a white person that supports black lives matter, votes democrat, believes in “social justice”….then your a white racist,sexist, homophobic,islamaphob that needs to check his white privilege. When that’s what your bombarded with everyday by politicians,the media and Hollywood, Trump may seem like your only option.

            1. Whiney-assed honkeys

    3. I am afraid not, The GOP doesn’t have the leadership to purge out the populist and take back the party from the populist, and Rush Limbaugh.

      1. The party has been cultivating up-and-comers at the state levels ready to step in and take the establishment back on course. The GOP will be juuuuuuuust fine. By it’s own standards, that is.

        1. Assuming Trump loses. Which he probably will.
          If he won, then … power is seductive.

  3. True. I was just banned from commenting at National Review Online. Even they are overrun by Trump trolls now. The conservative movement is over. Hopefully libertarians can pick up and run with whatever’s left over.

    1. Only if doing so doesn’t mean giving up virtue signalling and purifying purges.

    2. To be fair, everyone hates you.

      1. I know. I was banned from Alternet too, and a bunch of other sites on both sides of the political spectrum. At least Reason will tolerate me. I guess they actually believe in truth and free speech.

        1. The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
          …H. L. Mencken

          Shreek, this is why you are tolerated, if with disdain, here.

        2. You are a valued member of the commentariat Wack Pack. We need material, after all.

    3. Too late. The nationalists have already beaten them to the punch in that regard….

    4. NRO = Free speech haters.

  4. Aside from a few quibbles (no, illegal Latin American immigrants do not commit less crime than native-born Americans; no, there is no growing libertarian sensibility in America), I pretty much agree and will shed no tears if the current Republican apparat is bulldozed to make room for something else.

    This is Repub week, I know, but here’s hoping that during Dem week we get a comparable article about the internal contradictions of the Dem party and the ways in which its actual performance is opposed to its rhetoric. Because there’s plenty to talk about there, too.

    I’m indifferent as to which party implodes first (ideally, it would be both). You don’t get different results without changing something, and I think the political parties are an excellent candidate for change.

    1. “I heard a awful lot of libtertarianism up on that stage.”

  5. To be sure, the clown show that is now upon us?the Republican Party has nominated a man to be president who has absolutely zero experience in public office!

    How dare those rubes pick a vulgarian over a TOP MAN!

    [[Falls backwards onto fainting couch]]

    1. the Republican Party has nominated a man to be president who has absolutely zero experience in public office

      In all seriousness, how is this not a feature?

      1. I wouldn’t call it a feature or a bug. It’s really just an unknown. Could be good or could be bad. The advantage to a candidate with some experience isn’t so much that the experience would make him a better president, necessarily, but that you have some idea how he would be in office.

        1. In a country with a functional ruling class, Zeb, I would be more open to that point.

          But in this country “experience in public office” generally means “is an apparatchik who will use the power of their office to enrich themselves and their cronies, while keeping a boot firmly on the neck of everyone else”.

          1. I agree. The main point I wanted to make was that while experience in politics is often a bad thing for the reasons you state, lack of experience in politics isn’t a good thing in and of itself.

            1. Fair enough, Zeb.

              Absence of a bug isn’t necessarily a feature.

          2. At another site some lefty commentor was arguing that Hillary’s corruption as SoS makes her more fit for the presidency because it means she knows foreign leaders at an intimate level and can get things done.

            1. “Look, she’s been on their payroll for years, and they have all kinds of leverage over her because of that. Of course she’ll be better at advancing our interests!”

            2. Ah, the Sam Harris approach. Hilary is evil but Trump is unknown so I support Hillary.

              Sad.

      2. Yeah, for all the failings of Trump, this is not one that bothers me all that much.

    2. I think he might have been referring to way back when Republicans said Barack Obama had no experience…

      http://www.newyorker.com/humor…..whatsoever

      1. At least Trump has executive experience running a large business empire. Obama never ran so much as a candy store.

  6. No matter who wins the election, Hit and Run loses.

    1. True, Soros will cut back his donations when the campaign is over.

      1. Not only has Trump made you dumber, he’s also managed–beyond all the laws of probability–to also make you more boring.

        1. Stick to your shitty pseudo porn, SF. There’s a few nuts that actually care about that shit.

          1. I don’t know which will be more fun: Trump loses and you dipshits cry about it and throw a four-year temper tantrum or Trump wins and we all get to rip you to fucking pieces every time he shits all over liberty.

            1. I’m surprised you can’t understand that preferring the Clown over the Criminal does not equate to liking said Clown.

              1. I’m surprised you can’t understand that preferring the Clown over the Criminal does not equate to liking said Clown.

                You don’t hysterically defend someone you don’t like.

                1. “I’m surprised you can’t understand that preferring the Clown over the Criminal does not equate to liking said Clown.”

            2. I also don’t know which will be more fun, knowing you have lived a despressing, lazy, apathetic life marked by a disease you could have avoided if you were smarter, had more willpower, and weren’t afraid to exercise, or knowing all that AND knowing you’re eventually going to lose your hands and we won’t have to read any of the shit you call writing.

              1. This might have hurt my feelings if I wasn’t a Type I diabetic. Do your homework next time, guy too afraid of me to post under his regular handle.

                1. “This might have hurt my feelings ”

                  It has. We’ve all seen you cry about it. Lie more, it’s fun.

                  “if I wasn’t a Type I diabetic”

                  This is, what all the lazy, stupid diabetics say when they know they’re caught.

                  “Do your homework ”

                  On YOU? Ahahahahahhahhahajaja

                  Why would anyone ever want to do that?

                  1. With people like this on his side, how can Trump lose?

                    1. Trump is garbage, he is the worst candidate I’ve ever seen and his election would be a disaster. There is no chance I’d ever vote for him.

                      And you believe that like I believe you’re a type 1, right appendagefree?

                  2. I don’t think anyone can in good conscience accuse SugarFree of being lazy.

                    1. I can, and have.

                    2. You better not waste that handle on that one stupid comment, which, by the way, has it backwards.

                    3. You better not waste that handle on that one stupid comment, which, by the way, has it backwards.

                      The little useless bastard has a lot to say.

                    4. “The little useless bastard”

                      Awww, look his feelings aren’t hurt.

                    5. “which, by the way, has it backwards.”

                      Nope, this is you stupidly making me responsible for him getting off his lazy ass and choosing to eat right.

                    6. Now that’s two things you have backwards.

                2. I agree. You’re lazy. A normal person could have avoided a gunshot would to the pancreas.

                  I stay in High School Football shape, so I can outrun bullets.

                  1. He makes up stories for a living.

          2. You leave the pseudo porn out of this!!! *faps furiously before going flaccid

    2. That’s how you can tell the Libertarian Moment is upon us!

      [Heavens open, angelic choir sings]

    3. So you’re saying no matter who wins, you’re not going anywhere.

      1. I think someone got their feeling hurt.

        1. I’m surprised you would admit that about yourself.

    4. Yeah, this is getting shitty. Can’t we argue about bathrooms or something?

      1. These individual threads can’t end until someone who spends all day defending Trump tries to play coy by saying they aren’t going to vote for him.

        “I’m not voting for Trump, but” is the “I won’t cum in your mouth” of H&R.

        1. Why on Earth wouldn’t they admit that they are going to vote for him? There are a few people here who have stated an intention to vote for Trump.

          1. Because they don’t want to be to blame when he eventually does something so bad they can’t explain it away.

            That’s what happened with joe. He was full-court press for Obama, Obama shit the bed and joe got hounded off the board.

            1. We will have to remind you of the seen vs unseen insanity, a la Bastiat.

    5. Make Reason Great Again!

  7. I still think Hillary is going to lose.

    The economy sucks, terrorists are killing dozens of people at a time overseas, and blacks as shooting police officers here at home.

    Trump doesn’t need to spend a dime on advertising, because his opponents continue to make headlines that feed into rage on the right.

    1. Sadly, Kinnath, you are right. I despise Trump but he does appear at the right place/right time. I saw in my Youtube feed yesterday where Anonymous posted an Anti-Hillary video. This whole thing is a shit show w/ a side of turd sauce.

    2. Yep. Basically, it’s 1968 all over again. Most people are still more or less sane, civilized, normal people, and normal people at this point are utterly desperate for a return to some semblance of normalcy.

      Honestly, you just about have to be a malignant sociopath to look at the current state of the country and the world, and think, “Yeah, this is awesome; more of this is exactly what we need.”

      1. A Clinton in the White House is not a return to some semblance of normalcy?

        1. Not if she’s going to double down and run as a continuation of Obama, which much to my amazement, she has mostly been doing (I’ll admit I thought she was going to run as far away from him as humanly possible).

          1. Obama has decent approval ratings, so I’m not sure why she would. He’s viewed a lot more favorably than she and Trump are (probably because they make him look better in comparison). If Hillary was as well-liked as Obama she’d probably be up double digits right now.

            1. I think alot of his supposed approval is just relief that he’ll be gone soon.

              1. Obama isn’t hated by the country as a whole nearly as much as he is by the right. He’s not beloved either, but most of the people relieved to see him go would say “disapprove” regardless.

                1. Think those approval ratings will continue going up when ppl start getting their obamacare premium quotes in a couple months?

            2. Yet those same polls show that more than two-thirds of the people think the country and general events are seriously off track and going in the wrong direction.

              Which does seem somewhat counterintuitive. The only thing that would make any sense is that a lot of people think Obama isn’t to blame for anything, which is quite possible. He’s probably the slickest, silkiest, smoothest radical agitator in American history.

              Maybe a lot of people are still blaming Bush, but of course Hillary isn’t Obama and Trump isn’t Bush. We’ll see. If I’m completely wrong and the majority of voters are truly content with this status quo, well then, it was a pretty good country while it lasted I guess.

              1. A lot of people on the left think the country is off track, but put the blame more on the GOP Congress and/or the general corrupt system rather than Obama personally. I’m not saying that’s totally fair and right, I’m just saying that that explains the discrepancy in those numbers.

    3. Hillary losing might make Trump worth it.

      I still have the idea deep down somewhere that Trump will win the election and then decline to take office and announce a new season of The Apprentice or something. Maybe just say “God you people are fucking stupid” and walk off the stage. The greatest real life troll ever.

      1. That’s about the only thing Trump could do to win my respect.

        1. I’d break my hands applauding if he did that.

        2. The only thing? Really?

      2. If Trump did that, he would be my hero.

      3. Zeb|7.18.16 @ 12:11PM|#
        I still have the idea deep down somewhere that Trump will win the election and then decline to take office and announce a new season of The Apprentice or something. Maybe just say “God you people are fucking stupid” and walk off the stage. The greatest real life troll ever.

        ^ This = Dream come true!

    4. Let’s put it this way: I wouldn’t bet on Trump, but I wouldn’t bet against him, either.

    5. Hillary can just play the “he’s the man for the crazy people” angle. “Hey: you want normalcy? The status quo? Back to basics? How about another Clinton administration? The 90’s, weren’t they quaint and sweet? Don’t vote for the crazy man behind the curtain. He’s with the nuts, and one of those levers sends storm troopers to your house to look for drugs and illegals. I’m a calm democrat woman who just wants to keep the status quo rolling. Come with me!”

      It’ll probably work.

    6. May the openly criminal anti-reality Dems become the 3rd Party .

  8. This is Repub week, I know, but here’s hoping that during Dem week we get a comparable article about the internal contradictions of the Dem party and the ways in which its actual performance is opposed to its rhetoric.

    I hope Meghan Ory wins the Mega Millions jackpot and asks for my hand in marriage, but I’ll probably have to settle for something less.

    1. Damn, that’s a lot of teeth.

      1. What is “things a West Virginian says upon moving to the city?”

      2. You should see Rachael Price. But you can only look, Heroic Mulatto and I are currently fighting to see who will be the object of her affections.

  9. Nick Gillespie isn’t a journalist, he’s a hack.
    Nick Gillespie isn’t a libertarian, he’s a cunt.

    1. To be fair, you think everyone’s a cunt.

    2. What happened? You seem very angry today.

      1. I’ve always been, Florida Man. Only now I’m drunk, too.

        You sound like the prostitute who was hectoring me the other night.

        1. Why was he hectoring you?

          1. Because he didn’t wash his sacrum before engaging in the transaction.

            1. Rectum

              1. Rectum? He hardly touched ’em!

  10. “Rather than look inward, confess their sins, and work for atonement with the American people,”

    Wtf is this nonsense?

    1. I think he wants the Republican WASPs to convert to Catholicism.

  11. It was enough to stamp their feet about the rise of post-gender and post-sexual-orinetation America

    Huh?

    1. That’s weird, because the chatter from Nick and his fellow travellers isn’t about moving past gender and sexual orientation, its about obsessing over it and embedding it into the law.

    2. You didn’t hear, we moved past sexual orientation. People that discriminate who they screw based on sex are bigots.

  12. A wake is merely a ceremony of something that has already happened. I think the importance of the ceremony is over-rated by Reason.

    It may have PR use though.

  13. Obamacare may not have been world ending, but we’re now spending 660bn a year on healthcare subsidies for those under 65. That’s more than the entire deficit.

  14. The RNC Isn’t a Convention, It’s a Wake

    A way a lone a last a loved a long the / riverrun, past Trump and Pence’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Quicken Loans Arena and Cleveland.

  15. The Dems are as bad ,or worse.Bush was bad,as bad as Wilson,FDR,Truman and LBJ. In other words ,he was a progressive war monger. By the way Nick,15$ minimum wage ,suing oil companies and attacks on the 1st and 2 ed amendments is in the Dems platform and the Hill demon is on board.

  16. What is the obsession with trump on reason? Hillary Clinton has actually been in a position of power with an entire party committed to whatever she wants

    1. And leads a party committed to repealing dome of the more important of the Bill of Rights.

    2. I don’t know. I can’t tell if it’s some kind of signalling, the majority of writers actually believe Clinton would be better, or what.

  17. ” and declaring that refugees from the same Middle East that conservative and Republican policymakers have done so much to destroy and wreak havoc on should not be allowed to enter the United States.”

    That actually makes sense, I’m still angry over Republicans for destroying my country and it’s been over 150 years now.

  18. in favor of the drug war are central to the conservative movement

    I’ll hold my nose and defend them. The pioneers in the legalization movement have included people like Wm F Buckley, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Jim Gray… So-called progressives are newcomers on this issue.

    1. That goes against the narrative ( though the dug war us not really a partisan issue in any way).

  19. Tell us how you really feel

    1. “I used to be a libertarian…”

  20. I saw a weird Hillary for President link on my Facebook this morning, which seemed to have a Russian origin.
    So, apropos of nothing, here’s my latest conspiracy theory: the Russians are working as hard as they can to get Hillary elected, so that they can use the emails they hacked from her server for blackmail. They know perfectly well that Hilldog would sell out the U.S. a dozen times over before risking personal consequences.

    1. Not just the emails – whatever massive kickback she and Bill got paid for the Uranium deal.

      1. I predict that if Hillary gets elected, the Clinton foundation will shortly begin awarding very substantial “grants” to obscure NGOs in foreign countries.

  21. Also, you should do one on the Democrats too.

  22. (especially since immigrants, legal and otherwise, commit less crime than natives)?

    Despite the fact that their children and grandchildren commit much, much more crime than the natives I think even this is pretty disputed.

    1. I think the sleight of hand there is averaging legal immigrants (who are often middle or upper-middle class, and intelligent/skilled) together with illegal immigrants (who have already shown a capacity for breaking the law when it is to their benefit).

      I can easily believe that legal immigrants are more law abiding than the average citizen, but most of the allegations of disproportionate criminality are directed at illegal immigrants, so it’s attacking a strawman which has been heavily disguised to look like an actual argument. People who resort to deception and logical fallacies to win arguments don’t really deserve the use of the name “Reason”.

      1. That’s my recollection as well.

        Compounded by the adamant refusal of the feds to even collate data on crimes committed by illegals.

  23. A local GOP bigshot has remarked to a friend that the Penna. GOP is going to concentrate on re-electing Sen.Toomey and let Trump make his own way. If Trump wins, fine. If he loses, as this bigshot expects, then the important thing for the GOP is to keep the Senate so Madame President can be stopped from making wacky Supreme Court nominations. (This assumes the GOP won’t roll over for everything she proposes.) I imagine there are many other GOP senate and congressman candidates who will be doing their best to distance themselves from Trump.

    1. This assumes the GOP won’t roll over for everything she proposes

      I think the GOP rolling over for Hillary is the way to bet, myself.

  24. The RNC Isn’t a Convention, It’s a Wake

    In that case, DRINK!

  25. “despite holding congressional power for most of the 21st century, until June of this year to roll out an actual alternative….”

    There never should have been an alternative. It needed to be a direct repeal.

  26. As important, it hasn’t been serious about governing for a very long time.

    Talking point checked off.

  27. HEY, NICK!

    All these anti-trump rants will not lead to more votes for Johnson.

    1. Or Hillary. *puts on majestic tin foil robe
      I was on the Jacket? about all the Cruz hate articles, after reflection, I think the Jacket? is just a contrarian.

  28. So forget Trump burning the mother down this week. The GOP has been in ashes for most of the 21st century because it has never faced up to just how awful it behaved when it had power.

    True that. Moral of the story: screw the Republican Party with or without Trump.

  29. RE: The RNC Isn’t a Convention, It’s a Wake
    Cleveland is where the GOP as we know it is going to die.

    The republican party cannot die.
    Like the democratic party, it has too many rich useful idiots and control freaks in them.

  30. Trump isn’t that far from the Republican Party line on the issues, it’s just a style thing. Cosmos are apoplectic that rubes are voting for him, so cosmos on the right want to signal to cosmos on the left that “we’re not like that!”

    Neocons think Trump isn’t militaristic enough, even though he says his first question to his advisors when he is sworn in as president will be “who do we hit first”.

    Border hawks think Trump isn’t tough enough on immigration, because his Great Wall of New Mexico will have a golden door.

    Chamber of Commerce types are horrified that Trump won’t support the D/R bipartisan Establishment trade deals that the voters of both parties have always opposed.

    I fully expect Trump to win. The issues and the national mood favor him, even as he blunders around, and Clinton is a terrible candidate in almost every way. When Trump called her the most corrupt politician ever, her supporters complained about the shape of the highlight behind the text, not the text itself.

    1. I’m apoplectic that the average Republican voter really doesn’t care about government spending. I thought many in the Republican party actually cared about the size of government what with the Tea Party protests and all, but the fact that a majority has gone for Trump demonstrates that is not the case. The Republican Party really is useless, and it’s not just the guys like McConnell or Boehner.

      1. A majority didn’t go for trump. And it’s not as if libertarians are great on spending either. Plenty of bleeding heart types that echo trump’s pledge to prevent dyong in the streets. And Nicky here complains that the gop hasn’t replaced barrycare, as if that were a libertarian prereq. Not to mention that he prefers a ubi with all of the moral hazard that comes with it. Plenty of populism and utilitarianism being shoved down our throats by the good thinkers.

    2. “When Trump called her the most corrupt politician ever, her supporters complained about the shape of the highlight behind the text, not the text itself.”

      Brilliant. +1

  31. A party whose rhetoric (if never its actual policies) is all about shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government cannot even pretend anymore to stand for any of those things…

    That was the problem every establishment candidate had. They all (except arguably Cruz and Paul) had campaigned as conservatives and governed as moderate Democrats. Nobody was buying the bullshit any more – and enough of that BS got stuck to Cruz, that he eventually lost too.

    i don’t know what it means for the future of the RNC, but if they want to retain the image of the conservative party, they better start governing that way.

    1. So it makes absolutely no sense they went for Trump if they are really concerned about the size and scope of the federal government. Trump praised TARP, the auto bailouts, and even Obama’s stimulus. He also loves him some single-payer healthcare and refuses to consider entitlement reform, which is the biggest driver of government spending and waste. If they weren’t “buying the bullshit anymore” then why in blazes was Trump their man? Immigration, trade, bluster, and a fortune of billions. In that order.

      1. Yes.

  32. The death of the modern republican party, hmmm, is that such a bad thing? What does the republican party have to be proud of these last 16 years? Their just the right wing side of the same political coin. Maybe this this is the year that actually gives hope to a third party in the future being able to make inroads.

  33. Americans of all stripes are rethinking the stupidity of putting more and more people in jail

    Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

    (This would have been funnier back in the day when prisoners actually wore stripes.)

  34. I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 95 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-something different. 2 years after…I can say my life is changed completely for the better! Check it out what i do…

    Go to the web—> http://www.Aspire-Jobs.com

  35. Wake is a good word for it but wakes are held after death has already occurred. The Republican party officially died as we know it the day Romney came out to be their official mouthpiece to denounce Trump on the part of the establishment and no one cared.

    1. (Mind you, there are many events that have led up to it’s official demise, but that event above all others is when it was obvious it was over. Their past has-been-never-was-also-ran serving as the voice of those disliking the new winner – and crickets….)

  36. The RNC establishment is mourning their loss of power?nothing more.

    The RNC, and the DNC, died long ago. Today both are two sides of the same Beltway Establishment Party coin. They have spent decades selling out the country for their own gain and they mourn the idea that it is coming to an end.

    The Democrats got their establishment candidate in Hillary Clinton by rigging the system. The Republicans tried to rig the system and are whining because they failed. No sympathy here.

  37. I’m relieved and proud that the Libertarian Party does not bind their delegates. Being able to nominate candidates after meeting them, considering their competitors, investigating them, and quizzing them on their principles, sure beats letting strangers do it. We also always have None of the Above as an option.

  38. One problem of course with the calls for more and more immigration. Most of the immigrants support socialist policies. So more immigration = more socialism.

  39. The king is dead. Long live the king.

  40. Trump and Gillespie both participate in a little sleight of hand about the Mexican illegal immigration problem. Yes, MEXICAN illegal immigration has peaked, but CENTRAL AMERICAN illegal immigration is surging. Even the pro-illegal-immigration leftist papers LA Times and NY Times admit this is true.

    Trump can count on some or many of his followers to not know the difference or not care if they do know the difference.

    I would expect Gillespie to be a little more forthright about it–the end result is the same whether Mexican or Central American: more uneducated workers with no respect for the rule of law coming here to suck on the government’s teat. (Yes, rule of law is important–it is one thing that distinguishes libertarians from anarchists.)

  41. The RNC Isn’t a Convention, It’s a Wake
    Cleveland is where the GOP as we know it is going to die.

    It’s the death of the New Right, and resurrection of the Old Right.

    Which has a lot going for it, with their old fashioned notion that representative government should represent the mass of people they govern, and not just foreign interests and the ruling class.

    1. “Right” is an euphemism for religious fanatic. I’ve not found any exceptions to that rule of thumb.

  42. “Cleveland is where the GOP as we know it is going to die.”

    Which is why spirits are so high among most and so much butthurt from the establishment monkeys. I have to admit, even though my guy didn’t make it very far in the primaries, I feel a fair amount of optimism myself. Maybe we can get the left to crawl back under the rock it came out from under.

  43. If the libertarians can overcome their open borders nonsense, they could be the Phoenix that arises from Cleveland’s ashes.

    It is only thru continued immigration that the party of the state, the democrats, maintain their iron grip on power. Each wave of immigrants follows the same pattern as always. They get better and better jobs, soon have significant wealth to protect and move to the more conservative party. Once the supply is cut off, the democrat/statist evil dies.

    Atlas Shrugged was supposed to be a warning, Not A Newspaper!

    1. Several libertarian platform planks have idiotic lead-ins. But the Migration plank in its substantive portion–the part not written to impress teenagers–does not suggest admitting people who pose a danger.

    2. You let people come in legally through the front door, so that they don’t climb in illegally through the back window. Let them freely return home between seasons, and there is no incentive for them to stay here and try to smuggle their families in as well.

      The Trump idea that the entire nation needs to be encased in a plastic bubble to protect itself from a cruel world is profoundly stupid.

  44. Cleveland was chosen for the GO Pee convention precisely because the Tamir Rice impunity for murder showed it was a Sanctuary City for National Socialism, unlike Nuremberg.

  45. Being from California, the idea of one party rule at the national level scares the shit out of me. The Democratic Party does whatever the fuck it wants in this state, with only the atrophied sensibilities of Governor Jerry Brown as the sole check on absolute authoritarianism. It’s why so many Democrats call him a raving reactionary.

  46. A few of those paintings are reminiscent of that one painting everyone was freaking out about in an episode of Alpha House… does anyone remember which one that was? I’m trying to find it now.

  47. A few of those paintings are reminiscent of that one painting everyone was freaking out about in an episode of Alpha House… does anyone remember which one that was? I’m trying to find it now.

  48. I think the convention planning has sucked not the convention. The entire set up in the facility looks bad and shows badly on TV, too. Network TV isn’t even bothering showing it until 10:00 p.m. Code Pink nut jobs have been able to breech security for two nights. now. Someone is giving them guest passes to get inside. Hard to believe that a GOP delegate would be handing them passes. More like someone from inside the facilities at Quickens Loan arena is helping them to make the convention look bad. Maybe it’s John Kasich’s Ohio delegation, still hacked off that voters dared to reject him and Jeb Bush.
    The speeches have been lively but unfortunately the media have decided to sit there and talk amongst themselves instead of showing the speeches to the American people. ABC News reported that Hillary Clinton was behind the Melania Trump speech thing, but the media just grabbed it and ran with it like large mouth bass hitting the line.
    If the GOP Party is dead, then joins the Democratic Party which died a long time ago. Bernie Sanders should get a medal for ripping off their carefully crafted masks of respectability and showing them for who they really are: Socialists.

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