Election 2016

UPDATED! Republicans Desert Trump in Droves. But Where Will They Go?

Most say they are as #NeverHillary as they are #NeverTrump. Will any back Gary Johnson and Bill Weld?

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UPDATED: Here's The Hill's list of Republicans "disendorsing" Trump, doubling down on previous refusals to endorse him in the first place, and more. It contains some folks not mentioned below in my original write-up.

The release of an audio tape in which Donald Trump outlines what amounts to a practice of sexual assault on women, top Republicans are rejecting the billionaire developer in ever-larger numbers, with more than a dozen U.S. senators saying they will not vote for him and other members of the party demanding he step down as the GOP nominee for president. Since Matt Welch noted scathing attacks on Trump by the likes of Republican Sens. Mike Crapo, Jeff Flake, and Mike Lee less than 24 hours ago, the list has easily more than doubled. Here's a list put together by the BBC of leading Republicans who have publicly denounced their party's nominee for president:

Senators:

  • Susan Collins, Maine senator
  • Dan Sullivan, Alaska senator
  • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska senator
  • Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire senator
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona senator
  • Dean Heller, Nevada senator
  • Mark Kirk, Illinois senator
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska senator
  • Mike Crapo, Idaho senator
  • Cory Gardner, Colorado senator
  • Lindsey Graham, S Carolina senator
  • John Thune, S Dakota senator
  • Deb Fischer, Nebraska senator
  • John McCain, Arizona senator

Others:

  • Jeb Bush, former Florida governor
  • Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor
  • Gary Herbert, Utah governor
  • Jason Chaffetz, Utah congressman
  • Carly Fiorina, former presidential candidate
  • Barbara Comstock, Virginia congresswoman
  • Mike Coffman, Colorado congressman
  • Mike Lee, Utah congressman
  • William Cohen, former secretary of defence
  • Michael Hayden, former CIA director, former NSA director
  • John Kasich, Ohio governor, 2016 presidential candidate
  • Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor; former Homeland Security secretary
  • Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, 2012 nominee
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida congresswoman

Since the BBC posted its list last night, a few more high-level party people have come out, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who posted the following at Facebook:

Another pretty stunning call for Trump to withdraw comes from Hugh Hewitt, the influential author, radio show host, and television analyst who has always been a faithful spear carrier for whomever the Republicans serve up:

That basically a third of the GOP Senate majority has reviled Trump is news of course, but it's not the end of the story. Where do Republicans who now refuse to vote for Trump turn in the ballot booth? Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has said, perhaps facetiously, that she will be writing in Trump's running mate, Mike Pence. Others have called for the party to elevate Pence or pull in another candidate, strategies that are untenable for all sorts of legal and logistical reasons. For his part, Trump has vowed that he will ever quit the race. Virtually all public denunciations of Trump have included almost equally sharp denunciations of Hillary Clinton, too.

While it's a stretch to expect elected Republicans to publicly endorse the ticket of a rival party, Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are both former two-term Republican governors of blue-leaning states. At the very least, Johnson-Weld may be particularly attractive to "establishment" Republicans who tend to be more socially tolerant (in a GOP context, read pro-immigration and OK with marriage equality and possibly marijuana legalization). At the same time, Johnson-Weld also scratches the itch of Tea Party-style rank-and-file Republicans who are devoted to less spending and smaller government. No polls have been published yet that measure the early effects of the tape scandal yet, but prior to it, RealClearPolitics showed Clinton maintaining her lead and Johnson fading a bit in four-way national polls. At least that last part may change in the days ahead.

RealClearPolitics.com

NEXT: Who Will Get Our Votes?

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  1. Republicans really do like to stick to their principles.

    1. Which is why the morally flexible (read evil) Democrats win every time.

      Democrats have not just supported, but actively gushed over a senator that murdered a women and for a president who may have raped women and Comintern sexual harrassment while in the White House.

      1. Not to mention all of the fucked up shit their all time hero FDR did that we’re still paying for today.

        1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 6-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $98 per hour. Vist this web and go to Tech tab for more info… http://www.Trends88.Com

      2. The account of the rape is pretty compelling.


        YouTube: Juanita Broaddrick Relives Bill Clinton Rape & Hillary Intimidation

        Excerpt:
        BROADDRICK:
        I was completely dressed. I had a skirt and a blouse. He tore the waist of my skirt. And then he ripped my pantyhose. And he raped me. It was very vicious. I was just pinned down? I did not know what to do. I was so frightened. I was only 35 at the time. And it was horrible. I just wanted it to be over with. So he would go away.

        KLEIN: He got up?

        BROADDRICK: No, he held me down for a long time. And then he did it again. I was so ready for him to leave me alone. When he started raping me again. And it was very brief? And he did get up and he straightened himself. And my mouth was bleeding and it was hurting. And he just straightens himself and goes to the door.

        1. ONLY 35. Not even off her parents’ insurance yet.

      3. The contest between The Stupid Party and The Evil Party is governed by the immutable Law of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

    2. I think you meant “Republicans really do like to stick it to their principles”.

      1. Or to their principals.

        1. ^ Bingo!

  2. Republican politicians are trying their best to pull the rug out from under Trump. He’s getting it from both sides now.

    And he always would. it’s no because of ideals: republican politicians don’t want any would-be has-been celebrities jumping up and taking their turn for president in 2020 or beyond. So they want Trump to fall hard. It sends a message.

    1. Also because Trump is godawful.

      1. He sounds awful. All the RINOs listed above are/were actually godawful.

        If actions speak louder than words, then many Republicans are not Republicans but fiscally liberal and socially conservative RINOs. They keep saying they are Republicans but do not act that way in Congress or other political office.

    2. He raped a 13-year old girl so no punishment is too severe for this rapist and pedophile.

      1. Bill Clinton raped the minor, you mean?
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/20/ exclusive-hillary-clinton-took-me- through-hell-rape-victim-says.html

        1. Nono… Trump did. By a women actually willing to say so in a court

          1. A civil court.

            For money.

    3. Brian is correct. This is more about the Bushies making sure that Trump fails (and, further, to embarrass him) than a legitimate attempt to remove him from the ballot.

      Anyone who knows anything of substance about politics or the election law (and the former/current public officials calling on Trump to withdraw surely do) is well aware that it is effectively too late for Trump to withdraw. Not only has early voting begun in many states, but in most (if not all) states, it’s too late to substitute another name on the ballot.

      As such, calling on Trump to withdraw is meaningless. He will still be the candidate.

      So why are they doing it?

      For some down ticket candidates, it is a way signal the voter should not associate them with Trump on Election Day. For non-candidates, however, it’s simply a way to attack Trump. They know he can’t withdraw, so calling on him to do so, just makes him look even more stubborn. It also serves to inhibit support for Trump and, they hope, suppress the Trump vote. Finally, if and when Trump loses, the Bushies can start their whole “this is because you should have gone with Jeb” argument.

      As Brian said, they don’t just want Trump to fail (and George HW’s daughter in law by another mother) to succeed. They want to send a message that we should have listened to our betters.

      1. Um ok. I guess we should rally behind Trump standing up for us little guys.

  3. I wrote a letter to the guy on the GOP ticket who might be amenable to reason.

    http://www.lp.org/news/press-r…..mike-pence

    1. That works too. I actually would vote for Pence if not for the fact that the Trumpkins will think he owes them.

      1. You would vote for Pence. You are voting for Hillary and Jill Stein.

        1. You would NOT vote for Pence. You are voting for Hillary and Jill Stein.

    2. Now would be an interesting time to see a 2-way Johnson vs Clinton poll

      1. A Johnson / Clinton two-way you say?

        1. Not so fast there ….

          1. Gay-Jay would go extra gay after a Hildabeast encounter!!!

      2. “Now would be an interesting time to see a 2-way Johnson vs Clinton poll”

        Or Johnson vs Trump. Or Stein vs Clinton. Or Stein vs Trump. I think those polls would be revealing.

  4. They will vote for neither, but they will still vote for pot and no new taxes and most importantly will bring Reason’s handy guide to downballot libertarians and principled conservatives to the polls with them to ensure gridlock for the next 4 years until the presidency can be handed to its rightful heir – Rand Paul (or Austin Peterson?).

  5. Dear major party primary voters, you wonderful people who have brought us Clinton and Trump as representatives of your respective parties:

    Thanks a fuckin’ lot.

    1. Yeah no shit. We’ve gotta keep this in mind.

    2. I blame the GOPe. Years of ignoring and backstabbing their base gave us Trump.

      The DNC has always been a Clinton machine. It has little to do with primary voters.

  6. I was on board with Trump’s plan to round up and deport all brown people, but I draw the line at attempting to seduce a married Nancy O’Dell – she is a goddamn National Treasure and deserves to be treated as such. Deplorable indeed.

    1. You get the sarcasm award.

    2. Absolutely. Up until now he was a reasonable man and I supported his well thought policy positions. But crude talk about the ladies? Shocked and repulsed I tells ya.

  7. While it’s a stretch to expect elected Republicans to publicly endorse the ticket of a rival party, Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are both former two-term Republican governors of blue-leaning states.

    Give it up. They’re voting Trump.

    1. They don’t want to “throw their vote away”

      1. A third party can’t get a foothold.

        1. If not now, when? Pretty depressing.

          1. I’m saying a third party cannot be allowed to get a foothold.

            1. Not even the Harambe Party?

              1. Did Harambe have prehensile feet?

          2. When the electoral system gets changed?

            Fat chance of that happening, of course.

            1. Allocate by districts rather than states? Wouldn’t that be interesting.

  8. so nico the republicans i know are all “born again” christian types of folks. i would expect them to be drooling over a white christian methodist grandmother from arkansas who just happens to be very conservative. interesting election season.

    1. That would be wonderful if we had someone like that. Unfortunately, we have a white corrupt grandmother from New York City who just happens to be very fascist.

      Fuck them all with a rusty hammer.

      1. Oh no. Preet will come for you. And now everyone’s going to have to change their handles from wood chipper themed to ‘rusty hammer’ themed names in protest.

  9. If Johnson and Weld aren’t on the phone to these people right now they just aren’t trying.

    1. I’ll bet that the can’t even get to leave a message on voice mail because the Republicans have blocked their phone numbers.

      1. Burner phones are good for more than just drug dealers and hookers.

        1. Hail burner phones, the last bastion of anonymous communication.

          1. Until the feds try to make them illegal.

            1. What makes you think the feds don’t already know who has a “burner” phone?

              1. But it under the name Muhammad Muhammad and they’ll destroy the records because they’re afraid of being charged with profiling.

                1. ^+1

                  LAWL

  10. I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.

    *rolls eyes, makes wanking motion with hand*

    1. We had this but Scott Walker was one of the first ones driven out of the race.

      Face it, the parties are configured to give us the WORST possible candidate, not the best.

      1. Every governor with a decent record was out of the race by February. The battle cry went from “No more Bushes” to “No more politicians”.

      2. Pissed-off people occasionally tend to do stupid things.

        Congratulations, Republicans. For the second cycle in a row, you’ve succeed in losing an un-loseable election.

        1. Then the elections weren’t un-loseable, were they.

          1. It’s what happens when you underestimate the power of incompetence.

        2. The problem was that there were too many Republican candidates at the beginning, because every one of those 17 people running for the nomination knew that it was an “un-loseable” election against a corrupt and widely-disliked candidate. That’s why there were so many, and why legitimate candidates like Rubio kept running past the point where they might prove useful… “If I can just get past this Primary somehow, I’ll be the next POTUS”

          Because of that, Trump sort of became the default candidate, due to pre-existing name recognition and media coverage.

          I’m really not sure what the solution is, especially since the LP nominated the two least principled people it could find for their presidential ticket as well.

          1. I think the solution is to have runoff elections for the primaries. Then we’d have Cruz instead of Trump at least.

            The American election system is stupid.

  11. What fascinates me after parsing through the usual commentary from Trumpistas in the media is the complaint that the dicussion has moved away from substantive issues to, instead, center on El Trumpo’s awful comments about grabbing women in their private parts.

    When these same complaints were repeated by Trumpista Tucker Carlson (who some years ago fancied himself a ‘libertarian’) and other El Trumpo supporters, I turned towards my wife and commented “But they chose him. They chose this guy. Wht are they now complai ing about this? If they wanted substantive issues discussed, why didn’t they sulportwd Rand, or even Rubio? The possible skeletons in their closets don’t come close by a long shot to what this guy has in his. And they have the gall of being angry with the media?”

    And that is what I tell you Trumpistas out there: you chose him. This is your guy for worse (certainly not better). You cheered when he lied about Mexican immigrants and when he proposed the stupidest
    boondoggle a presidential candidate could offer, the kind of thing that makes the ignorant xenophobes out there wet themselves in ecstasy. Heck, it is not even going to keep those Irish out! Silliest thing!

    1. Ironically, Trumpistas have virtually ensured that we will in fact see Bill Clinton on the Supreme Court and Elizabeth Warren as Secretary of State.

      Helluva job retards!

      1. I really don’t think President Trump would appoint those retards to political office.

        1. Take a step back and recogitate sir

          1. Play on what DEATFBIRSECIA said.

      2. Bill on the court? That seems like too much of a conflict of interest even for the Clintons. But I’m sure that’s been said before.

        I think Liz Warren is probably least dangerous at State; pack her off on her world tour far away from us to hobnob with dictators. I’m more worries about her becoming attorney general. Yikes:

    2. Well said Old Mex.

  12. Burn Republican Party, burn.

    The Libertarian party better be ready to step in the void.

    Because this there is only one valid party shit is going to bring the camps like it does every time it is tried…

    1. You didn’t build that.

  13. And as awful as Trump is, he still remains within spitting distance of Hildawg. I can’t really think of anything more damning than that. I know mindless tribalism accounts for the majority of both candidates’ support but the fact that a canidate that seems to be actively trying to be a real-life version of a political cariciture is keeping up with you in the polls means that you are positively repellant.

    1. It’s because of all that misogyny.

  14. Now Trump will spend the last few weeks of the campaign targeting the Republicans who’ve denounced him.

    I tip my hat to everyone in Clinton’s campaign. Well done, all.

    1. And to the MSM who in their unrelenting efforts to save us from Satan have delivered us straight to hell.

      1. And they will bear partial responsibility when that evil woman starts more pointless wars.

        1. Dude, she’s not a war monger. I heard that on the news!

          1. I dunno. I think she’ll sell anything to anyone.

            1. I think Assad will be safe if he contributes to the Clinton Foundation. Putin might get Ukraine on the cheap that way.


  15. YouTube: Juanita Broaddrick Relives Bill Clinton Rape & Hillary Intimidation

    Excerpt:
    BROADDRICK:
    I was completely dressed. I had a skirt and a blouse. He tore the waist of my skirt. And then he ripped my pantyhose. And he raped me. It was very vicious. I was just pinned down? I did not know what to do. I was so frightened. I was only 35 at the time. And it was horrible. I just wanted it to be over with. So he would go away.

    KLEIN: He got up?

    BROADDRICK: No, he held me down for a long time. And then he did it again. I was so ready for him to leave me alone. When he started raping me again. And it was very brief? And he did get up and he straightened himself. And my mouth was bleeding and it was hurting. And he just straightens himself and goes to the door.

  16. Not Trump related:. Birmingham’s going to be writing a large check. Poor girl.

    http://nbc4i.com/2016/10/09/fi…..m-seating/

    1. Not Trump related? The pole grabbed her pussy.

      But, yeah, that’s awful.

    2. What’s with chicks not looking before they sit down, first toilet seats now this.

    3. So, what happened to the seat?

  17. my image of Trump as a paragon of morality and virtue has been shattered. Oh wait, unlike these phony politicians, I was never under any such illusion. A dirty mouth is still better than a dirty crook. And Gary Johnson is a joke with no shot.

    1. Gary JohnsonDonald Trump is a joke with no shot.

      FTFY

    2. Yeah, Gary Johnson wouldn’t be hard enough on the niggers for your taste.

      1. Pop quiz:

        Who’s worse: am soc, real American, or Hihn?

        1. am soc, real American, or Hihn?

          real american is just a alt-rightish whiner. like NR&X

          in the competition between hihn and amsoc, hihn enjoys some “hilarity” points, and is at least internally consistent (if boringly repetitive)

          Amsoc is bone-stupid, and frequently contradicts himself in flailing arguments. He’s an idiot who thinks he’s clever. He’s too stupid to recognize his own mistakes.

          so, Amsoc wins Worst-Troll prize.

          1. I think I actually find real American the most spooky.

            I honestly feel sympathy for Hihn as I think he truly does need help.

            I actually think I find John to be the most annoying of all.

            1. And while there was some concern trolling – thought that bo cara sometimes made useful arguments – even if just from a devils advocate standpoint

              1. thought that bo cara sometimes made useful arguments – even if just from a devils advocate standpoint

                Bo would always have a nugget of truth buried in a thousand layers of rhetoric, strawmen, emotional manipulation, and out-and-out bullshit. I engaged him a few times and regretted it each and every time.

                And John as worst troll? You’ve got to be kidding. He’s got a couple topics that set him off (gay marriage and transgender issues), and he argues in bad faith when those topics come up. That could be said of 80% of the regular commenters on here.

            2. I find John to be the most annoying of all.

              John’s not a troll. He has perfectly good arguments for his positions most of the time. he’s often wrong (imo), but he’s not stupid or mendacious. “people you disagree with” aren’t trolls by default.

              Bo was a fucking moron who would routinely make authoritative claims about things he knew absolutely !@#*$& nothing about. Anytime he asserted “i’m pretty sure X….” you could be 100% sure that X was something he just made up on the spot.

              And he was like an encyclopedia of shitty sophistry; he’s basically try out a dozen bullshit arguments for any given point, and as each one failed, he’d pivot to a new-bullshit one and pretend he’d never made the previous ones.

              He was like a caricature of a ‘incompetent lawyer’ who loved the sound of his own voice, but didn’t have the wit to recognize how stupid he appeared to others.

              1. Not saying John’s a troll – I just find him to be Irritating – guess it’s the self satisfied vibe. I suppose no need for me to bitch about anyone though really – while there can be a bit of an echo chamber in here there really is no where else that I know of that is quite so open and thoughtful re: differing points of view

                1. I thought we were primarily open and thoughtless.

          2. I enjoy Hihn. But Tony has s an institution around here, surprised you didn’t mention him.

            Amsoc just does drop be by one-off snide remarks and runs away, not that amusing really.

            I have to give it to Hihn. He’s just such a riot; I lose it when he starts narrating the game thread.

            1. Goddam iPhone!

              *is an institution..
              *drive by one-off…

              Thanks a fuckin lot Steve Jobs, making me issue a corrugendum for an online comment. Burn in hell you hipster douche.

  18. This election could be “The Red and Blue Collar Comedy Tour”

    You could be a politician if:

    You lie compulsively even when the truth would help you more.
    You force yourself on women
    You’ll fuck anyone to advance yourself
    You love power for the sake of power
    You can’t do anything else.

  19. To partially answer the headline question, the Trump-disavowing Republican politicians don’t have to “go” anywhere. They will stay right where they are, comfortably in office until, by choice or electoral accident, they leave “public service” and take up a well paid sinecure with a lobbying firm or think tank.

    They all got by just fine letting Obama do whatever he wanted and see no reason why they won’t continue to prosper doing the same for Hillary.

    1. Bingo. This is the establishment taking the opportunity to rid itself of an interloper. It’s 100% protecting their rice bowl.

      1. And reason is piling on.

        Cause they’re so anti-establishment, or something.

        1. Or , you know, Trump is a shit-covered fuckstick and only idiots like you haven’t figured it out yet.

          1. While true, that really has nothing to do with the shitty coverage and editorializing Reason has done.

      2. This interloper was the poster child for impulse control problems. However, he did serve a purpose in reducing the Republican party to complete irrelevancy by exposing their complete lack of principles.

        The fact that such a manifestly incompetent, mentally unbalanced degenerate could gain the nomination did more to show the futility of trying to reform the existing parties than any dozen well argued tracts on political science. This giant oompah loompah will go down in defeat to the worst two faced bitch to ever marry her way to the top.

        1. The fact that such a manifestly incompetent, mentally unbalanced degenerate could gain the nomination did more to show the futility of trying to reform the existing parties than any dozen well argued tracts on political science.

          But enough about Hillary.

          1. It was intended to be about Trump but it applies to both.

      3. Rice bowl?

        You CIS-gendered shitlord cultural appropriator!!

  20. Mike Lee is a Senator

  21. Remember folks, the most important issue confronting the country isn’t rising crime or police abuse or terrorism or the inexorable growth of the federal government. It’s not the ongoing disaster that is obamacare, or out of control political correctness, or a crappy economy or impending wars with Iran and Russia. It’s not the erosion of rule of law resulting from the Blanca that criminality and lack of consequences for the politically connected.

    Nope, the most important issues are candidate Trumps locker room talk a decade ago and him saying mean things about a few women.

    1. Yep, we don’t have policies or principles anymore; we have posturing and virtue signaling.

    2. Donald Trump says: “come on guys, can’t we just talk about the issues?” Lolz

  22. I think its misleading to say “”Republicans Desert Trump in Droves”” when you don’t have any poll-data

    the people cited are simply Republican-branded *servants* who feel their constituencies would probably be more likely to re-elect them if they kicked The Donald to the Curb.

    iow – i think its a mistake to confuse the behavior of politicians for “the changing will of the masses” or something

    One of my former bosses liked to always remind me that political figures and heads of govt branches should never be thought of as “people”, but simply actors playing a role largely scripted for them by others. They don’t really have individual agency the way people like to pretend they do.

    Many of these people may be making a choice that was pre-determined long ago, regardless of current events; others may be making a calculated choice that they will be politically ‘safer’ not being tied to a loser.

    I just think its worth pointing out that most (if not all) of these same people were probably wrong about who they thought would win the GOP nomination a year ago; and they were probably wrong even 6 months ago.

    IOW – they aren’t a barometer of anything other than their own political careers. many of which are secure, so ‘why not’ distance themselves from a loser; others of which rely on a purple constituency which would rather their servants remain ‘undecided’, etc.

    1. i think its a mistake to confuse the behavior of politicians for “the changing will of the masses” or something

      I’ve been thinking about this. If we accept the premise that DT is some kind of protest vote against establishment politicians, are the people supporting him going to follow the lead of establishment politicians when they publicly distance themselves like they are doing?

      Or are they going to say, “FYTW” and pull the lever for DT anyway.

      Time will tell, I guess.

      1. If we accept the premise that DT is some kind of protest vote against establishment politicians

        I think that’s a mis-read.

        DT isn’t a “protest vote against establishment politicians” – a protest is happy simply to send a message; this is more like an insurrection.

        If Trump voters already rejected the GOP’s “leadership” over the past 12 months, and repeatedly told them to go fuck themselves … i fail to see why some small cadre of senators and governors are supposed to have some significant sway now.

        None of the forces that have driven someone like trump to rally huge numbers have changed at all. Nothing about the Democrat’s “middle class problem” has changed at all.

        I think trump will probably lose, but i thought that months ago. I don’t think he’ll lose because of some frat-boy talk from a decade ago.

      2. *correction = the term ‘mis-read’ is unfair; i think you’re 100% right, just that theres not enough emphasis on the difference between a mere ‘protest’ and a complete rejection of the entire GOP infrastructure

        they don’t want to ‘fix’ the party; they want to shove it aside and replace it with some jacksonian-populist thing.

        Which, as noted yesterday, isn’t going to change even if/when Trump loses.

    2. Hell a third of them at least are known NeverTrumpers who never supported him to begin with.

  23. Trump’s a dumpster fire but most of the people on the above list are hardcore war mongers who only supported Trump begrudgingly anyway and they begrudged him primarily for foreign policy reasons (not hawkish enough). The thought they, other than one or two of them maybe, would support Johnson either publicly or privately is laughable. We all know who the war in Syria, war with Russia, and war with God knows who else candidate is.

  24. This article is sad and pathetic. Establishment Republicans ditching Trump will only get him more votes, not less. Duh, I mean double fucking duh!

    1. I’m not voting for him but the names on that list almost tempt me to give the guy a second look. Talk about a basket of deplorables.

      1. Hillary’s not on that list.

      2. No shit. I mean anyone NOT having the support of John McCain would almost make me go out of my way to vote for that person because there has to be some redeeming value.

        1. Indeed. McCain and Graham are against you? You can’t be all bad.

  25. Hillary and the MSM are ready for the end of the rule of law, I mean as long as a Democrat is in the Whitehouse, what difference would it make at this point?

    1. Yup. I think Ron Paul has it right. The neo-cons, hawks and RINOs will go Hillary. McCain and Romney lost because they were too much like Obama and Obama is black, so….

  26. “No polls have been published yet that measure the early effects of the tape scandal yet, …”

    Here’s a link for the one published yesterday at Politico:

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..oll-229394

    Looks like GOP voters want the party to stand by Trump.

    1. The best part of that link is this little jewel describing the reactions of their sample group to the new trump video:

      “Ten percent of Republicans said the video gave them a positive feeling.”

      1. Tingles up their legs, perhaps?

        1. God I wish Johnson had said that to Matthews.

          1. “Did my memory lapse give you a tingle up your leg”

            That would have been funny and face saving.

    2. I think scott Adams and Akkad guy more or less called it on this: this kind of thing doesn’t really change anyone’s opinion: its more information on how trump is like, which is more or less something everyone already knows. Those who have decided to vote for trump, by and large, already have a decent idea of what their getting, and will vote the way they’ve decided to anyways.

    3. No polls have been published yet that measure the early effects of the tape scandal yet, …”

      I honestly think any polling done so soon is itself also pretty stupid.

      It somehow pretends everyone in America is glued to the most petty political news of the day. Most people don’t read the papers or watch “news” over the weekend. Maybe by the end of *next week* would be a better time to see if there’s any actual fallout from this b.s.

      1. At this point, it’s about swaying undecided voters. The question should be to what extent the video impacted this group.

        1. The question should be to what extent the video impacted this group.

          Sure, but that doesn’t affect my point at all. Which is that polling in the immediate aftermath of some bullshit-hype-news event doesn’t actually capture its effect. Most people don’t sit around on the intertubes all day swallowing political news.

          Maybe in a week, if there’s any effect, it might show.

          1. I wasn’t trying to affect your point, which cannot be addressed till next week, as you say. I was trying to reframe Nick’s point now that we actually have a poll. I personally think the impact will marginal among supporters. The question now is its effect on the undecided.

  27. An Independent Voter Explains How “The Trump Tape” Scandal ‘Changed’ His Mind

    This whole thing has pretty much taken me off the fence of deciding whether to vote 3rd party or stay home. Seeing the incredible push by all of the DC power-brokers to have Trump withdraw over this has convinced me that it’s not an act. TPTB really are scared of him and desperately want Hillary to win.

    That’s good enough to convince me to vote for Trump. I wonder if any others like me who didn’t really buy the hype had a similar reaction. I would guess yes.

    I think the latest predictions that Trump is doomed are premature, just like all the earlier ones.

    1. You could be right that some people will support Trump simply because they think he’s anti-establishment. However, read that statement of the supposed “fence sitter” again. If that wasn’t written by a professional hack I’d be surprised. It’s almost perfect propaganda intended to flip fence sitters. Who refers to “The Powers That Be” as an acronym except hacks?

      1. You know professional hacks are writing comments at Zerohedge because you haven’t personally seen normal people use “TPTB”? Do I have this right?

        1. Despite your 168 mph fast ball Sid, I said it was only suspicious. Look at the comments on Reason and find TPTB.

          But most important is the way the comment is written. It sounds like an ad for some snake oil remedy “I’ve tried everything but only Vita-Meata-Vegamin gives me relief from acromegaly. “

          1. ” I wonder if any others like me who didn’t really buy the hype had a similar reaction. I would guess yes.”

            “Others like me” is classic ad copy. Mad Men would have said this exact thing to sell soap.

            1. So = “professional hacks” lurk in the comments section of Zerohedge…. hoping to be potentially highlighted and featured in a …blog post…. because, really, *how better* to influence important target-demographics….? because everyone knows that this tiny niche of financial-market dorks and anti-establishmentarians is such a crucial population to influence….

              Sounds sort of stupid on reflection, doesn’t it?

              1. Not as stupid as quoting it in the first place.

              2. Maybe the writer chose the most articulate response he found. I’m not saying that it’s definitely written by a professional I’m only saying that it sounds like something planted. As for whether people will keep supporting Trump I suspect they will because his scumbaggery is well known and it hasn’t affected him before.

                He was not chosen because he is a pillar of moral rectitude, he was chosen to get rid of “them” whomever “they” may be. Chinese cheaters, Mexican rapists and companies that move their operations overseas all comprise “them” for different segments of Trump’s supporters.

      2. It could just be an amateur hack.

        TPTB seems like an acronym I’d expect an Alex Jones enthusiast to use often.

  28. The Trumptanic is on its way to an icy grave and politicians are yelling “Abandon Ship!!”

    Too bad they forgot to load the lifeboats with provisions for the next four years. They’ll be forced to resort to cannibalism as the socons and the libertarians fight over drugs and sex while Hillary, Empress of the Dark Arts, turns the US into Venezuela.

    1. Who are these libertarians you speak of? Don’t let Matt and nick fool you – there were two of them on the ship and they were busy arguing over drivers licenses and missed the life boats call. I swear I feel very pessimistic when I talk politics with most people. They have been given a list of the positions they are supposed to have based on the group they have signed up for and then they just go down checking against them. That’s as far as the thinking goes. To see this is full effect have a conversation with any soccer mom about legalizing marijuana

      1. You mean the soccer mom who pops valiums like M and is married to a guy who’s popping uppers to stay competitive in a job he hates?

        Breitbart was an asshole but he was right about politics being “downstream” from culture. Cultural changes are wildly unpredictable. Who saw gay marriage and legal recreational marijuana 20 years ago? Perhaps a few “lunatic fringers”.

        Nick and Matt see mirages of libertarian oases in an authoritarian desert but the desert of politics isn’t the real world. The Founders favored liberty because in their daily lives they experienced the control they had over their environment. They were farmers and artisans who controlled their own work. It is in the areas that people can still exert control that change will come. Uber, home schooling and the internet will lead the way, if people let it.

        Universities and the MSM will always support the world as it is. That was their purpose. They are both fading from their death grip on the past.

        The change may be incremental or a quantum jump but things as they are are finished.

        1. I guess I should have said “M and Ms” because an ampersand doesn’t print.

            1. Thanks. I forgot what little HTML I learned.

  29. The best hope of Trump resigning would be for him to have a total meltdown on camera tonight during the debate. If his polls drop low enough or he’s embarrassed enough, he might withdraw.

    In other words, the thing that motivates Trump is pride, and the only way he’ll drop out is if his pride is hurt more by staying than it is by leaving. A Dean scream will not be enough. We need a psychological meltdown of epic proportions.

    If Trump doesn’t withdraw at this point, we’re looking at the Democrats taking both the House and the Senate, and Hillary without a care in the world. If that happens, we may look back to the Obama era as the good ol’ days.

    1. If Trump doesn’t withdraw at this point, we’re looking at the Democrats taking both the House and the Senate,

      Dream on.

      1. I want to be wrong.

        1. A lot of us do, but not even a yuuge Trumptasm with him lying on the ground, foaming at the mouth would make him quit.

  30. If only Johnson would have spent the four years since his failed 2012 run studying the issues and how to behave presidential and working on some snappy techniques for interviews and how not to alienate libertarians and conservatives with his libertarian-lite politics, he would actually have a chance to get at least second place in this race.

    Instead, he comes off as an ignoramus on the issues who wears tennis shoes with a suit. During interviews, he either bites his tongue and blurts nonsense, or he spouts off opinions that seem calculated to alienate genuine libertarians and conservatives.

    “At the end of the day,” to this 25-year member of the LP, 2016 will probably seem like a shamefully squandered opportunity. He could have been a contender (not the winner, in all likelihood, but a contender who would propel the LP to the rank of a serious political party) but Johnson’s performance means that he’ll be lucky to get 10%. Which is probably no better than what McAfee or Petersen would do in this dreadful election.

    1. ^This. A thousand times this^

      The one election where the LP could’ve become serious players on the national stage and Johnson blows it! Its a damn shame when a former two term Governor makes me wish we nominated the guy accused murder or the blogger instead.

      What a clusterfuck!

      1. I really do think Johnson seems like a great guy personally and maybe too honest for his own good. However he just doesn’t inspire confidence when you see his MSM appearances. It’s not the same way that this was true of Ron Paul who might of been a bi rambling but was usually tying together some fundamental items and was often quite brilliant incentives your understood where he was going.

        I mean if people like us aren’t feeling super enthused how is the average voter supposed to feel? Take a gander at his triumph interview:
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aRezqAy9svE

        1. Johnsons a bigger goofball than Trump.

          1. Let’s not get carried away.

          2. Actually his ability to play along with the jokes makes him look like an unserious candidate, but I found this interview to be endearing. He’d be light years better between two ferns* than Hillary.

            * – not a euphemism.

        2. “Ron Paul who might of been a bi rambling”

          The bisexual Paul never refers to it as rambling, my friend … but gamboling. Sweet, unadulterated gamboling.

    2. I’ve had that thought – in retrospect if you could go back to the LP convention and pick who you wanted knowing what you do now, what do you do?

      1. I don’t know. It’s a crap shoot either way you go. Austin Petersen is probably the best at political sloganeering and soundbites, but he comes off as an asshole and he’s just a blogger (nothing against that but if we’re trying to widen the tent we’re gonna need someone with a little political experience).

        I love John McAfee, but there is no way that a guy accused of murder is gonna get anything but media attacks or entirely written off. If you think the way the media is treating Johnson is unfair or the Ron Paul newsletters were overblown then the full column attacks on McAfee for whatever happened in Belize will likely make your head explode.

        The LP really just needs to focus their energy on building the party up at the local and state level. If the LP had poured most of their energy into this, particularly in states that are open to libertarianism, then eventually we would have competent candidates who could run for the Presidency. We need folks elected to the state legislatures, then elected Governors and Senators before we can win the White House.

        1. I think the LP really needs to move away from the McAfee types to win mainstream credibility. An eccentric stoner billionaire running around Central America as a fugitive or getting arrested for gun possession while drunk or high? Sounds like hippies in steroids.

          To bring classical liberal ideas into the mainstream they need someone more, dare I say, conventional (or sane). Some economist who can articulately explain the value of economic freedom and individual freedom in general. Someone who’s willing to wear a suit and act like a grown up and ideally had some involvement in policy making so they seem like they know what they’re doing. Someone like Greg Mankiw maybe.

          Unfortunately smart people rarely want to be president, so you’d have a hard time convincing one to run.

      2. As bad a libertarian as he is, I think Weld is an incredibly smooth political operator. Unshackled from Johnson I think he truly could have made hay with this crazy election as the head of the ticket.

        If we’re streamlining the ticket for maximum voteshare with people who were at the convention, and ignoring folks like Rand who weren’t interested, I think a Weld (pres)/Petersen (VP) ticket would have had the most success marketing themselves.

        That said, I’m not totally anti-Johnson. I do think he did an amazing job getting earned media early on, he’s just not quick enough on his feet to handle six months of earned media appearances without tying a noose around his own neck.

        I’m not sore at the LP delegates – when you can get a ticket with actual name recognition it’s logical to go for it even if there’s some philosophical issues. But in a dream world, there were better moves in hindsight.

    3. If Johnson understood the spontaneous order of the market, how regulation protects established firms, how fiscal policy affects capital allocation and a dozen other significant things he could easily pick up another 8 or 10 votes. It’s his delivery that kills him. His squirming in front of the camera, his squeaky voice and his inability to connect on any level other than he’d be a great guy to go mountain climbing with, hurts him.

      Frankly, if he says “fiscally conservative and socially accepting” one more time I’m likely to throw something at my TV.

      If he had the balls to say “Black live don’t matter because any adjective placed in front of ‘lives matter’ except ‘innocent’ is racist nonsense. Only innocent lives matter. Eric Garner’s life mattered because he was innocent, not because he was black. Michael Brown’s life didn’t matter because he was a thug who robbed a store and tried to kill a policeman. Whether it’s an innocent street kid beaten and killed by thug with a badge or an innocent police officer shot by a scumbag sniper what counts is not their color, it’s their innocence that makes these acts so horrific”.

      But no one will ever say something like that.

  31. Johnson/Weld would attract defecting Republicans if they were more presidential and demonstrated more substance on policy.

    Friday’s foreign policy speech was a start, but still too much of a rehash of Johnson’s same awkward talking points – like the “holding hands with Russia” nonsense.

    And why was the lighting so awful? It made Johnson look paler and creepier than necessary.

    The Johnson/Weld campaign, Libertarian Party, libertarian think tanks and policy people, need to get their act together now, or we’ll miss this moment.

  32. WE ARE THE WELD!

    I think the USS MOMENT! has already sailed…

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  37. Look hard at the other candidates. Gary Johnson is a better choice. He was a two-term governor and left his state’s finances in the green. His running mate, former Governor Bill Weld, did the same in his state. Johnson and Weld don’t have the negative baggage and divisiveness of Trump or Clinton. If elected, Johnson and Weld are more likely to help bring our nation together again.

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